500! 

Got this really awesome notification today! Thank you all for your support the past 10 months! Meeting and learning from each and every one of you has changed my life for the better! ❤

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Happiness Tag Challenge!

What a wonderful tag! Thank you, Tikeetha for thinking of me! Tikeetha is one of my favorite bloggers. She is real, honest, kind and supportive! I’m sure you all follow Tikeetha as well, but if for some crazy reason you don’t, stop by her page and you will see exactly what I’m talking about! Every Friday I write about five things that made me feel good that week. I also participated in the Kindness Challenge on Niki’s blog The Richness of a Simple Life. I strongly feel that kind thoughts reflect a happy life. I mean, they do say, it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile.

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Five things that make me happy…..

  1. Marriage: I love being married. I love being married to my best friend. Being away from each other the past two weeks really made me appreciate my husband more than I already do. (and if you know me, you know I adore this man) It makes me happy to know I get to spend the rest of my life loving someone and being loved in return.
  2. Our Kids : They may not be biologically mine, but that is the only thing that separates us. They make me happy by showing me that family isn’t about blood, it’s about love. They make me happy by being themselves and not changing who they are to make other people happy.
  3. Friendship: Friends are important to have in life. It makes me happy to know I have a few close friends, that without a doubt I can count on, no matter what.
  4. Florida: I’m so serious. Being on the beach in Florida makes me so happy. I am calm. I am at peace. I am 100% happy soaking up the sun and getting heavy doses of Vitamin D.
  5. Wine: I had to do a silly one, but wine always makes me happy when we hang out! LOL Wine tastings, wine parties, up north wine weekend trips. I just can’t get enough. When wine is involved, I am usually a very happy person! 😉

 

 

Five songs that make me happy….

 

  1. The Eagles – “Take It Easy” (I grew up listening to The Eagles. I know every song by heart. When I met my husband he started singing this song with me, I knew then he was the one LOL)
  2. Florida Georgia Line – “H.O.L.Y.” (happy tears every time I listen to this song)
  3. Keri Hilson – “Got Your Back” (I can’t help but dance — it has an amazing beat)
  4. Pistol Annies – “Hell of Heels”
  5. Luke Bryan – “Huntin’, Fishin’, Lovin’ Every Day” (clearly a country song, but this is one that Jordan and I will sing together — super loud in the car!)

 

“I nominate the following bloggers to continue the happiness tag by writing about five things that make them happy and five songs that stir happiness in their hearts. These bloggers are awesome and I enjoy their writing. I hope that you will check them out because they are pretty awesome.”

Stephanie – Making Time For Me

Niki – The Richness of a Simple Life

Nikki – A Kinder Way

Emily – The Corner Office 

Jenn – A Mother of All Trades 

Blogger Recognition Award

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Earlier this week I came across an award my blogger friend Sandra from A Mommas View was nominated for. Sandra has an inspiring blog and opens it up to give a platform to other bloggers to share their stories. I enjoy reading her blog posts and if you haven’t checked her out yet you’re missing out!

I decided to take on this award, it gave me a chance to sit back and reflect on my journey thus far in the blogging world.

The rules are not complicated:

  • Write a post to show your award.
  • Thank the person that nominated you
  • Briefly describe your journey as a blogger
  • Give advice to other bloggers
  • Nominated deserving ones

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I began blogging in January 2016. I wanted to blog about my experiences as a step mom, and not just any step mom, but a step mom without biological children of my own. To some of you, you might think what’s the difference being a step mom and a childless step mom? Well, in all honesty is feels quite different. I didn’t give birth to any children, but I raise them as my own.  It has been a lot of trial and error. A lot of hard lessons learned and a lot of biting my tongue. I went in head first anyways. I dove right into parenting and didn’t once look back.

Everyone’s journey is different and when I began blogging I was able to read and connect with a lot of other step moms. I was able to communicate and talk with step moms who were in the same boat as me. I was able to finally see that I wasn’t crazy after all, that a lot of step moms go through the same things I have been through. There were stories I read that brought me to tears. Stories that made my heart ache for biological mothers and step mothers. I realized those stories were situations I never want to have to be in. Situations I never want to put my children in. I began to heal more from the hurt that was between my step kids mom and I. I wanted to better our relationship and not be another bitter blended family statistic.

Low and behold I stumbled across my kid’s mom’s blog page. Stephanie was a blogger too and we were in the same blogging circle on WordPress. What are the chances? What are the ODDS that would happen!? It couldn’t have been written any better. This is something for the movies. Stephanie and I began to open up to each other. We began working more together and talking out our issues. We were able to see each other in a different light and I am grateful for that. Our family is grateful for that and I couldn’t be more proud of us!

I didn’t start blogging for the followers, the views or any of the stats for that matter. I began blogging for ME. It is my therapy. It is where I can let out all of my frustrations then move on from it. What’s done is done and it’s on to the next thing. That is a huge step for me!

My advice for fellow bloggers is to be yourself. You don’t have to blog every day and you don’t have to blog about a certain topic. Blog about whatever makes you happy in that moment, after all that is why we write in the first place. We write because it makes us happy. Don’t ever lose sight of that.

If you’ve made it this far consider yourself nominated for this award! This has been a nice way to sit back and reflect on my journey through blogging. I may still be a “baby” blogger, but I am enjoying the hell out of it!

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3 Day Quote Challenge: Day 3

Today is my last post for the 3 Day Quote Challenge!

Rules:

  • Post one of your favorite quotes (different quote on each day) on three consecutive days. The quote can be from your favorite book, author, or your own.

  • Nominate three bloggers to challenge them.

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you

 

QC3

This is something I have been working on for awhile. Instead of blowing up when I’m upset – I explain why I am feeling that way. Low and behold the arguments began to go away and  issues were being solved instead of pushed aside.

I nominate anyone who would like to take on the 3 Day Quote Challenge!

3 Day Quote Challenge: Day 2

QC2

Thanks again Megs from Midnight Musings with Megs for the nomination!

Rules:

  • Post one of your favorite quotes (different quote on each day) on three consecutive days. The quote can be from your favorite book, author, or your own.

  • Nominate three bloggers to challenge them.

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you

 

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There will be days where we feel like we just can’t do it anymore. Where we feel like we have been beaten down enough and just can’t take one more second of it. Remember that the day will be over soon and tomorrow is a new one! Don’t give up and remember what you are fighting for.

Nominations:

Miriam

Mysticalwriter 

Ioana

3 Day Quote Challenge: Day 1

Thank you Megs for the 3 Day Quote Challenge nomination! This is one of my favorite ones to do, because let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a good quote!? 

Rules:

  • Post one of your favorite quotes (different quote on each day) on three consecutive days. The quote can be from your favorite book, author, or your own.

  • Nominate three bloggers to challenge them.

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you

 

iamenough

Well, that pretty much sums that up. I couldn’t have said that any better. I am who I am, and that is enough. It took me awhile to realize that I am enough. I am full of love, kindness and mistakes. I am human. Just like everyone else. 

Nominations:

A Nene’s Life

A Mother of All Trades

Home Hugs and Huskies

jessica1

The Sunshine Blogger Award

My friend Stephanie at Making Time for Me, nominated me for The Sunshine Blogger Award. Stephanie is my step kid’s mom and she is not only my friend, but a phenomenal blogger. She has received countless awards and deserves every one of them. If you haven’t checked out her blog yet, head on over there and say hello!

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The rules:

1.  Thank the person who nominated you.

2.  Answer the questions from the person who nominated you.

3.  Nominate other bloggers for this award.

4.  Write the same amount of questions for the bloggers you have nominated.

5.  Notify the bloggers you have nominated.

 

The Questions I Answered:

1. Are you where you thought you would be at this stage in your life?

I am in some ways. I have a beautiful and supportive family, loyal friends, and a job that allows me the flexibility to spend time with my family.

2. What is your favorite country to watch show up in your stats?

I don’t really have a favorite country to watch, but I do like checking to see what new countries check out my blog every day.

3. What is one tip you have for bloggers?

Be YOU. Don’t try to be someone you aren’t. The more genuine you are the more followers will be able to connect with you on a deeper, more understanding level.

4. How do you choose who to give awards to?

I pick blogger friends or blogs that I have recently stumbled across that fit the description of what the award is for.

5.  What is your favorite Holiday?

Christmas! I love Christmas. I grew up with so many amazing family traditions that I’m thankful I have got to pass on to our kids.

6.  Are you spiritual/religious?

I grew up very religious. I was raised Mormon and went to church seven days a week. I use to have to go to “bible study” which is called seminary, every morning in high school on days we had school. My parents use to force us to go to church and there were just some things about the religion that bothered me. I’m not a fan of women not having any authority in a religion and being pushed aside.

7. What is your favorite thing to do on a Saturday morning?

Saturday mornings are usually mornings to myself! Depending on the a season I will do different things. In the Spring I will usually take Ford (our dog) for a walk, in the Summer I will go to the local Farmer’s Market, Fall I will usually be watching College Football, and in the winter I will be cuddled up on the couch with coffee, catching up on shows I have taped.

8.  What is your ideal breakfast?

I ALWAYS get two eggs medium with well done bacon and a side of wheat toast. I will break the eggs, let the toast soak it up, put the bacon and egg on the wheat toast and eat it as a sandwich. My friends tease me because I have it down to a science now.

9.  Did you go to your high school prom?  Or if you haven’t had it yet, do you think you will go?

I went to prom as a sophomore, junior and a senior. My senior year I went with just my girlfriends in stead of a date.

10. Do you plan, write down thoughts, ideas or stats for your blog?

I have a yellow blogging journal. I write down ideas for posts and then I will write out rough drafts for each post that I write. It makes typing it up a lot easier, plus I enjoy writing.

 

Questions for my nominees: 

  1. What is your zodiac sign and does it fit your personality?
  2. What blog is your favorite to read and why?
  3. What is your guilty pleasure?
  4. What is your earliest memory and how old were you?
  5. What is the worst present you ever got?
  6. Three things you love about you and/or your life?
  7. Quick, what’s on your right?
  8. What did you start blogging?
  9. Have you ever met anybody famous?
  10. What is your favorite holiday tradition?

 

I nominate:

Midnight Musings with Megs

Home Hugs and Huskies

Sonofabeach96

A Kinder Way

Sugar and Spice, Everything Nice

A Mother of All Trades

Four Fact Survey Fun!

Thanks for the Four Fact Survey tag You’re Not Alone in This World!

 

Four names people call me other than my real name: 

  1. Jess
  2. Jessie (just my family)
  3. Babe
  4. Mom

Four Jobs I’ve Had: 

  1. Limited Too was my very first job. I had a shopping addiction at age 16 LOL
  2. Hollister…yes I worked there with the barely lit atmosphere and intense cologne smell.
  3. Medical Assistant at a cardiologist. This actually has helped me a lot over the years when parents or grandparents have had heart problems.
  4. Being a (step) mom. This is by far my FAVORITE job.

Four Movies I’ve Watched More Than Once: 

  1. Mean Girls”
  2. “The Family Stone”
  3. “Sleeping Beauty”
  4. “Zoolander” 

Four Books Or Authors I’d Recommend: 

  1. Jane Green. Without a doubt my favorite author of all time.
  2. Emily Giffin
  3. Liane Moriarty
  4. Jennifer Weiner

Four Places I’ve Lived: 

  1. Carmel, Indiana
  2. Ypsilanti, Michigan
  3. Birmingham, Michigan
  4. Troy, Michigan

Four Places I’ve Visited: 

  1. Cancun, Mexico
  2. New York City, New York
  3. Austin, Texas
  4. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Four Things I’d Rather Be Doing Right Now: 

  1. Being somewhere tropical. I’m not even picky.
  2. Have a glass of wine in my hand. (too lazy to get up right now)
  3. Cuddling longer with the kids, they are in bed now.
  4. Laying on a beach getting my tan on with my in-laws in Florida. I guess my husband and kids could be there too LOL

Four foods I don’t like:

  1. Mushrooms (it’s a texture thing) 
  2. Milk, I know it’s a drink not a food, but I HATE MILK. I haven’t had straight milk since I was 4 years old. Nope. Won’t do it. Don’t care. Makes me gag thinking about it.
  3.  Tomatoes, I’ll eat salsa but not just plain old tomatoes. That’s another texture thing.
  4. Really spicy food. I sweat when I eat ketchup. Super embarrassing, so I only eat spicy food when I have my hair up, make up off and just around family.

Four of my favorite foods: 

  1. Sushi
  2. Stuffed Peppers
  3.  McDonald’s French Fries
  4. Avacados

Four Shows I Watch: 

  1. Grey’s Anatomy
  2. Game of Thrones
  3. Real Housewives of Orange County, Beverly Hills, New York, New Jersey…you get the picture right? LOL
  4. Scandal

Four Things I’m Looking Foward To This Year: 

  1. Disney World in October! The kids have no idea yet!
  2. Matt and my 3 year wedding anniversary
  3. Country Concerts this summer
  4. Summer time!

Four Things I’m Always Saying: 

  1. “Clearly…”
  2. I love you”
  3. “Does a bear shit in the woods?” 
  4. “Be aware of your surroundings!” (I obviously am constantly saying this to the kids)

Four People To Tag: 

A Mother of All Trades

The Perpetual Camping Wife

Making Time For Me

Home, Hugs and Huskies 

jessica1

One Lovely Blog Award

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I was nominated by Stephanie at Making Time for Me. Stephanie is my step kids mom. This woman is amazing. I never in a million years thought we would be where we are today, she is not only my FRIEND but my Mother-in-Combat as we navigate through this lifestyle of co-parenting and blended families.

The Rules:

•Thank the person that nominated you and give a link to their blog.

•List the rules.

•Display the award on your post of the award.

•List seven facts about yourself.

•Nominate (up to) 15 bloggers for this award and comment on one of their posts to let them know you have nominated them

Seven Facts About Jessica:

  1. My feet and hands are always cold. It doesn’t matter what time of the year it is, they are cold 99% of the time. I will get home from being on my feet for 9 hours and my toes feel like ice cubes.

2. My guilty pleasure is a McDonald’s Coke and small fry. I can never get away with it either, the kids ALWAYS smell the fries the SECOND they get into my car. Even after I threw the bag away 4 hours prior.

3. When my step kids, James and Jordan were younger, they couldn’t say “Jess” so they called me “Ja”. I actually kinda miss hearing their little voices say that.

4. I use to write poetry when I was a teenager. I had a little green book I kept on my night stand and for every Mother’s Day and Father’s Day I would write my parents a poem. They cried like babies every time and I never understood why. Now that I’m a parent, I totally get it, especially coming from a teenager.

5. I played soccer for 19 years, I won 2 State Championships, and played on an Olympic Development Program that is very select of their players. I don’t brag about much, but I will brag about my soccer skills.

6. I hate living in Michigan. Plain and simple. I broke 14 bones playing soccer and that caused a lot of arthritis in my future. The cold weather triggers a lot of body aches and I’m only 28. Unfortunately, Michigan has two seasons, winter and construction, but mostly winter. If I could live in Florida, it would be a dream come true. (Hey Steph, wanna move? LOL)

7.  I’m not a shoe person. *gasp* I know. I really could care less about shoes, until the time comes I need a specific pair. Good things my friends have amazing taste, huge shoe collections and the same shoe size as me. As for my step daughter Jordan, she is a shoe-a-holic at age 7. All she asked for her birthday was shoes.

 

I nominate: 

Home, Hugs and Huskies 

A Mother of All Trades

I Have an Opinion I’d Like to Share 

Wife, Bonus Mom and New Beginnings

Big and Pinky Toes  

 

Thanks again for the nomination, Stephanie!

jessica1

 

 

The Black Cat Blue Sea Award

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I was nominated by Lindsay at Home, Hugs and Huskies for The Black Cat Blue Sea Award. Lindsay is an amazing self-published author and illustrator, along with being a kick butt mama, partner, and husky pack leader. If you haven’t checked out any of her books yet, you have to see them! My step daughter loves them! Thank you for the nomination, Lindsay!

The 3 questions I need to answer:

1.Who was the first blog / blogger you heard of / read and did they inspire you to start?

The Childless Stepmom was a blogger I came across when I first became a step mom six years ago. She writes about some pretty raw and real stuff about being a step mom and how it has changed her life. I would read her posts and just keep nodding. “Yes, this is exactly how I feel.” “Yes, this is exactly what I am going through right now.” It was reassuring to read about someone else’s experience about becoming a step mom and know I wasn’t alone. One day I knew I wanted to be able to help other step moms as this blogger had helped me six years ago.

2.Do you see Blogging as a future career or just a side hobby?

If the opportunity presented itself to make blogging into a career, I wouldn’t hesitate on saying yes. As for now, I have only been blogging for 5 months and I enjoy being able to share my story with all of you as a side hobby.

3.What is your all time favorite Album and Why?, How does it make you feel to listen to it?

The Eagles – Hell Freezes Over Album. I grew up listening to The Eagles every time I was in the car with my mom, which was a lot. She drove us to soccer practices, soccer camps, church camps, school and anywhere else my brothers and I needed to be carted around. The Eagles were always playing in the car. My heart becomes overwhelmed with joy every time I hear The Eagles on the radio. At the end of our rehearsal dinner for our wedding, The Eagles came on over the speakers, my brothers, Dad and I belted out every word to “Life in the Fast Lane.” That’s a memory I will cherish forever.

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 I would like to nominate:

sonofabeach96

A Stepmother’s Journey 

Making Time for Me 

The Perpetual Camping Wife

Proud To Be Step

A Kinder Way 

All I Wanna Do Is Beach 

 

I would love if you would accept this award, but it is non compulsory and I won’t feel offended if you decline.This award is for bloggers who strive to write for everybody, and no matter how many viewers they get, make an impact on a reader. This award is an expression of gratitude to the nominee. It should be awarded to anybody that you choose deserves it and it doesn’t mean that they must have hundreds of followers and likes.

jessica1