8 Year Anniversary and a Kindergartner

Monday, Match and I celebrated our 8 year wedding anniversary! Some days it feels like the wedding happened yesterday. Wasn’t I just planning the wedding on this blog? Wild! We celebrated 8 years in a pretty low key way. Saturday night we went out for drinks with friends, and enjoyed a rousing game of scrabble.

Sunday we went to the zoo and watched the animals play.

Monday, our actual anniversary, we decided to make ourselves a gift-a homemade cornhole game. I still need to paint the boards, but I love how they turned out.

We love playing games, so it’s fun to get back to our roots a little bit. It reminds me of when we were dating and poor, and we used to play penny can. It’s amazing how time flies, and how life changes, and how some things stay the same. Match is still my best friend, and we still love playing simple games and just being together. I love our little life.

Speaking of time flying, today was Piglet’s first day of Kindergarten! I still can’t believe he’s in elementary school. He was so excited to start school. I love that sweet little boy so much. He is growing up so fast, and I just want to press pause. Wasn’t I just blogging about my pregnancy with him? Wasn’t he just a tiny little baby in my arms? I blinked.

I love how his backpack is as big as he is, my petite little man.  I love that he told me he wished I could come to school with him every day. I know one day he won’t feel that way. I also love that the minute I left, he started talking to friends, and had this huge grin on his face. That grin was even bigger when I picked him up. I knew he would love school as much as I did. For his night night song tonight, we sang “We’re Going to be Friends” by the White Stripes. I have sung it to him before, but today the lyrics were perfect for the first day of school. He fell asleep giggling, and that smile of his lit up his room. In case you’re not familiar with the song, here are the lyrics:

Fall is here, hear the yell
Back to school, ring the bell
Brand new shoes, walking blues
Climb the fence, books and pens
I can tell that we are going to be friends
I can tell that we are going to be friends

Walk with me, Suzy Lee
Through the park and by the tree
We will rest upon the ground
And look at all the bugs we found
Safely walk to school without a sound
Safely walk to school without a sound

Well here we are, no one else
We walked to school all by ourselves
There’s dirt on our uniforms
From chasing all the ants and worms
We clean up and now its time to learn
We clean up and now its time to learn

Numbers, letters, learn to spell
Nouns, and books, and show and tell
At playtime we will throw the ball
Back to class, through the hall
Teacher marks our height against the wall
Teacher marks our height against the wall

And we don’t notice any time pass
We don’t notice anything
We sit side by side in every class
Teacher thinks that I sound funny
But she likes the way you sing

Tonight I’ll dream while I’m in bed
When silly thoughts go through my head
About the bugs and alphabet
And when I wake tomorrow, I’ll bet
That you and I will walk together again
I can tell that we are going to be friends
Yes, I can tell that we are going to be friends

What Does it Take to be a Mental Health Counselor?

If you’re considering a career as a mental health counsellor, you probably have a lot of questions. It’s like that with most occupations but perhaps even more so when you’re in the field of mental health as it can be emotionally challenging, and even a bit overwhelming to some.


Image via: Pexels

 

Here is a simple guide to help you make up your mind, and feel confident that you’ve made the right decision. It’s not all about your personality traits, though, as you’ll need to go through the education before you’re ready to get started.

 

First: The degree

 

Many people who pursue a career as a mental health counselor will have a bachelor’s degree in psychology. If you’d like to work as a clinical counselor, you’re going to need a lot more schooling than just a bachelor’s, though, but you can luckily get through it by taking a clinical mental health counseling masters online.

 

This doesn’t mean that it’s going to be any easier than attending regular classes as you’ll need to be both motivated and self-driven to manage this – but at least you’ll be able to get your degree even if you have kids at home. It just makes life a bit easier.

 

Are you interested in people?

 

Even though you love the thought of working with people, and helping them through their problems, you need to ask yourself seriously if you’re interested in them. This goes beyond being a good listener; while your education will teach you all the theory you need to know, the work itself involves real people and their actual struggles.

 

They’re looking for help and advice rather than a good listener, and you need to be prepared to give them your educated answers for the rest of your career life. If you think people have a bit too many problems, in general, this might not be the job for you.

 

Are you emotionally strong?

 

A lot of occupations come with an inevitable emotional burnout; doctors, nurses, and psychologists all experience the same heaviness as they work with people. This is a fine balancing act, though, and with time and experience, you’ll be able to stay professionally connected without allowing it to take over your life completely.

 

On the other side, you might experience the numbness that comes with trying to only stay professionally connected without letting your emotions get in the way. Neither of this is healthy, in the long run, and you need to come up with ways of taking care of your own mental health while also caring for others.

 

Needless to say, a career as a mental health counselor is not for everyone. If working clinically seems a bit too tough, you can always consider going into a different field where you can use your communication and emotional skills without burning out.

What to DIY and What Not To DIY for Your Wedding

A DIY wedding can save you a lot of money, but it can also cause you a lot of stress. Even if you don’t do everything yourself, many couples decide to do some things themselves. It allows them to save a bit of cash and add a personal touch to their special day. The question is, what should you DIY and what’s better off left to the professionals?

 

Professional: Scheduling the Day

 

You probably think that it’s pretty easy for you to schedule everything, and decide what will be happening and when. It’s not as easy as you might hope it would be, but it’s also not the most complicated thing in the world. You probably will be involved in deciding how the day will progress, no matter what you do. However, the one thing you don’t want to do is to be in charge of scheduling on your wedding day. You have enough to worry about, without running around and trying to make sure everything is happening at the right time. Hire a coordinator instead.

 

DIY: Stationery

 

One of the first things that you’re likely to do for your wedding is send out save the date cards or invitations. The good thing about these is that even when you choose a professional route, you can still do a bit of DIY. You can either make your stationery from scratch (try to keep it simple), or you can use a website that will allow you to customize everything. This is an easy way to put your personal touch on your stationery while also saving money and receiving a professional finish.

 

Professional: Flowers

 

Flowers are everywhere at a wedding, from the venue to the bridal party bouquets and the groomsmen’s boutonnieres. It could be easy to convince yourself when looking at flower arrangements, that you could easily do it yourself. However, flower arranging is more difficult than you think. Not only that but if you do it yourself, you need to deal with collecting and arranging your flowers at the last minute. You don’t need that just before you get married. Use a professional florist if you want to have all of your flowers ready on time.

DIY: Decorations

 

If you want to help with decorating, making some decorations could be a lot easier for you to handle. They’re not going to perish before the big day, so you can make them in advance. Even paper decorations can look charming if you choose the right design. In particular, creating decorations for the ceremony is a good way to save some money. The ceremony won’t last long, so spending a lot of money on decorating might not be a priority for you. It’s easy to create some baskets of flowers or buy some candles (or LED lights) and decorate to your liking.

 

 

Professional: Cake

 

Even if you’re a seasoned baker, who has taken on similar challenges, who wants to spend the days before their wedding making their cake? Baking and decorating a cake that’s big enough to feed all your guests can take a long time, and then you have to get it to the venue. If you’re determined to bake your own cake, you’ll have to be prepared for a lot of stress. Using a professional is much easier, and you can still customize it to your liking.

 

DIY: Party Favors

 

If you want to provide a sweet treat for your guests, doing it with your party favors is a much easier DIY option. It’s not difficult to put together a few little gifts, whether you choose candy or something else. You can turn inexpensive items into something a bit more special just by adding a couple of your own details. For example, a candle can be a lot more presentable just by putting it in a glass holder and tying a ribbon around it. You can get your favors ready long before the wedding, so it won’t stress you out.

Professional: Outfits

 

Obviously, you want everyone to look their best on your wedding day. Some people do decide to make their own wedding outfits, which you could do over an extended period before your wedding. If you feel confident about it, it might be something you choose to do. However, unless you’re an experienced sewer, it’s not a great idea. If you want custom outfits, you can have a dress made or shop Chookhare.com for custom suits. There are some experienced professionals who can give you want you want so you can look perfect for your wedding.

 

DIY: Accessories

 

One thing you might find a bit easier to DIY is your accessories. It’s not as difficult to sew some pocket squares or even make a necklace as it is to make an entire dress or suit. If you want to make your own wedding jewelry, one of the easiest ways to do it is to learn to thread beads and choose some that you like. Another great option is to take a workshop. You can even make your own wedding rings under the guidance of an expert.

Professional and DIY: Photography

 

A lot of people will warn you not to DIY your photography. While it’s true that you probably want to avoid only having DIY photography, it doesn’t mean you can’t mix it up a bit. If you’re trying to save some money, consider having a professional photographer for the ceremony and perhaps a few photos afterward. For the rest of the day, you might consider something else. Maybe you have a friend who’s learning photography or does it for a hobby who you can trust (check their work first). Or you might just want to rely on your guests to take some photos. You’d be surprised how many accidentally excellent photos your guests can take. And, let’s face it, do you really need hundreds of professional photos of everyone dancing and getting drunk?

 

You can make your wedding special by choosing to DIY some of the elements. Just be careful about what you DIY and what you entrust to a professional.

Summer Recap So Far

This summer has been so busy! We’ve been jamming our weekends full of activities, and doing our best to soak up these last few weekends of summer. Our boy is going into Kindergarten this year. He’s officially going to be my big kid, going to elementary school. I’m not quite ready to accept it yet. So this is our last summer before the start of what I know will be a whirlwind school year.

So far this summer we have gone to the zoo twice, took a super quick trip to Sonoma County, took Piglet to his first fair and rodeo, and of course in typical us fashion, visited friends locally, had friends visit us, and we’ve managed a bunch of house projects too.

The trip to Sonoma County was incredible. We got to catch up with so many of our close friends, like Couple Friends, Old Married Couple (and Baby!), Geeky and her family, and an old friend of Match’s that he went through academy with. The In-laws let us use their home to host a pool party, and we had an amazing time.

It was also our first time coming back after the fires. It was pretty emotional, and once again we are so grateful that no one lost their lives. We got to hear Couple Friends’ story first hand, and hear how they’re rebuilding after they lost their home. I’m so amazed at their bravery and strength through everything. I also couldn’t get over just how big their kids are now. I love that even though we hadn’t seen so many of these friends in such a long time, it didn’t feel like time had passed. I guess that is what makes them good friends. You don’t have to see them every day to keep that connection.

Meeting Old Married Couple’s baby was the highlight of that trip. We then got to see them again last weekend when they made the trip up to Portland. We got to visit the zoo and spend some extra time with them. I hope we get to see everyone again soon, and we’re hoping we can get some of them to come stay with us in Oregon.

We’ve got some more fun things planned for the rest of the summer, including a wedding for one of Match’s co-workers, hopefully a trip to the coast, and we need to get our canoe out on the water one of these days. What are your plans for the summer? Are you taking time to enjoy it?

The Battle of the Front Door

As some of you may recall, we took on the huge task of painting the exterior of our house. We both agreed on the color of the house, but we could not agree on the color for the front door.

After a pretty heated debate, which we took to Facebook, I finally conceded to Match, and we went with the green.

I still think my color was better, so he compromised and we painted the inside my color, and the outside his. The outside is Sherwin Williams Parrot Green, and the inside is Sherwin Williams Seakiss. Here’s the before of the inside:

No matter what I do, the door keeps getting grimy, so my hope is that the new paint also repels grime. Either way, I’m so in love with this blue color. It just makes me smile to look at that happy door. It almost makes up for the glaring bright green on the other side! I kid, I kid. But seriously, it’s so green though. But that’s marriage isn’t it? We compromise for the people we love. And with that, I give you the lovely blue interior front door. Isn’t it so pretty?

Have you ever painted the interior of your front door? Have you ever compromised on paint color to make your partner happy? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments!