Enduring All Things: July 2016

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Thankful Thursday: 3 Things Daily

Well guys, this month has been infinitely better than the rest of this year so far as far as my emotions go. I'm happy again. Part of that is my new job and other changes, But part of it is because I decided to be happy. It's not always that easy, but a lot of times we can change our attitude about certain things and it helps.
One of the ways I've been doing that is by sitting down every night (ok it does't always happen every night) and writing in my journal. Part of that journal entry is listing at least 3 things I was thankful for that day.

Y'all, this has made all the difference. I'm choosing to be happy with and thankful for what I have instead of dwelling on what I don't have and what's going wrong. I highly encourage you all to do this as well!

Here are just a few of the things I've written in my journal so far this month:
  • Pearson
  • Our apartment
  • Pip
  • Clothes
  • A cozy bed
  • My parents
  • Pearson's family
  • Coffee
  • A washer and dryer
  • Food in general
  • Pizza
  • Donuts
The list goes on.

What are you thankful for this month? Have you ever done a daily thankful project?
Thanks for reading and be sure to link up any thankful post below!

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Charlene: Bloglovin // Instagram // Twitter // Facebook // Pinterest // Snapchat

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I'm looking for co-hosts. If you would like to co-host in the future, let me know in the comments or email me at charlene@emduringallthings.com.

Enduring All Things | Thankful Thursday

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Monday, July 25, 2016

DIY Puzzle Dog Toy for the Star of your Home

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MyPetMyStar #CollectiveBias

Pearson is about to start his fifth year of grad school. He works more than 70 hours per week and is accomplishing great things. I recently started a new job as a data quality analyst. I'm doing things not as great as him, but still pretty great. But you know who the real star is in our family? It's Pip.
For anyone who doesn't know, Pip is our 5 year old hound mix. We adopted him from our local dog shelter in August of 2013. He's the perfect little guy. He's so well behaved. And he's even adjusting really well to my new work situation. After my working from home every day and being here all the time for the whole time we've had him, I just started working in an office from 8:00 to 5:00 five days a week. He's stuck in his crate by himself for all that time now, and he seems perfectly fine with it all.
Some more of his wonderful star qualities is that he almost never barks, he doesn't tear things up, we've had very few potty accidents, he's very chill and he mostly keeps to himself unless he wants to give out some love.

The MVP (most valuable pooch) of our home deserves some star treatment and he certainly gets that around here. One way I've given him the star treatment lately is by making this puzzle toy for him to play with while I'm gone during the day. Disclaimer: I feel fine leaving Pip unattended with this toy because he's not very destructive but if your dog tends to chew things up, you will probably want to keep an eye on it in case they break any small pieces off that they can choke on.

What you'll need:

  • A tennis ball (I picked up a 2-pack from the Pet aisle from Kroger)
  • A box cutter or something sharp that will cut into a tennis ball
  • Treats or kibble

Step 1:

VERY CAREFULLY poke the box cutter or knife or whatever you're using into the tennis ball puncturing it. You may need to use some force. And put it down on a surface and hold it around the knife. (In other words, don't hold it in the palm of your hand and cut toward yourself. Keep your hand and fingers as much out of the way as possible).

Step 2:

Once you've punctured the tennis ball, make the cut you want. I created sort of an X. If you want to make it easier for your dog to get the treats out, cut in a semi circle to create a flap (this one might be easier done along the seem of the ball). Or to make it harder, just cut one slit.

Step 3:

Fill the ball with your pup's favorite treat or food. Perhaps the new Purina® Dog Chow® Natural dry dog food.

Step 4:

Give the toy to you the furry star in your home for hours of play!
I was so excited that Pip loved the toy so much. He spent a while working on it before getting bored. That's a big deal for him. He's usually so chill he gives up on those sort of things pretty quickly before going back to them later.
Another way I've given Pip the star treatment is by switching his food to the new Purina® Dog Chow® Natural dry dog food available in the fantastic pet aisle at my local Kroger. Ever since we adopted him, we've been feeding him one of the other varieties of Purina® dry dog food. Also, growing up, we fed our dogs Purina® Dog Chow®. Needless to say, I completely trust and love Purina® and I was pretty excited for this new natural dog food.
I love that this new natural dog food product is just as affordable as the rest of Purina®'s products. Purina® really knows how to help me give Pip the star treatment! I bought a small(ish) bag because I wasn't sure how Pip would like it because he's not usually a fan of change but he ate it right up! I will be going back for more very soon!
Also, I love how Kroger has a big and wonderful pet aisle where I can find everything from dog food to tennis balls and other toys to bags to help pick up after Pip all while getting my groceries.
Your satisfaction is guaranteed with any Purina® Dog Chow®. If you're not satisfied, you can get your money back. Details here. Also, right now Kroger has a digital coupon for $2 off Purina® Dog Chow® Natural dry dog food. Click here for this offer and so many more (including other Purina® offers).

How do you give your pet the star treatment? Read more about the Dog Chow® brand and the Dog Chow® Natural line here.
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Friday, July 22, 2016

The Best Blogs About Blogging

At the beginning of June, I shared with you the ten best online marriage resources. At least the best in my opinion. So today I wanted to give you a quick little post with the best blogs and online resources I've found about blogging. I follow a lot fewer blogs about blogging than I do about marriage. But I have 5 resources below that I think are pretty useful.
Do you know of any great blogs about blogging to add to my list?
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Thursday, July 21, 2016

5 Tips to help you Stay Strong when Everyone Around You is Having Babies

I'm sure it doesn't surprise you but all of my friends are having babies. And this shouldn't surprise you either but we're not planning on starting a family at least for a while longer. Our excuse is that we're waiting for Pearson to finish school. To be honest, there are a lot more reasons we're waiting besides that but that's another story. I have to admit though, with everybody having kids all around me it's tough.

So here's what I've experienced lately: On Father's day, most of my friends actually posted pictures of their husbands instead of their dads. A lot of my friends actually either have two kids or they're pregnant with their second. Someone in Pearson's lab, getting a Science PhD from Ohio State, is having a baby next month. People who are much younger than us and even younger than our little brothers are having babies. My cousin just had a baby and my mom jokingly complained that she should have been a grandmother before her younger sister. And someone recently suggested that I throw my birth control pills away without telling Pearson (I think they were joking though).
It's getting kinda ridiculous. And I know I'm not the only person in this situation so I wanted to give you some tips to handle it.

ONE || Remember Everyone is Different

Every individual is different. Every couple is different. Every life situation is different. Just because your friends are becoming parents doesn't mean you need to. Even if they seem to be in the same life situation as you. Or if you think you are a lot like that person. That doesn't necessarily mean you need to have kids right now. Everyone is different.

TWO || Remember you have a Plan

Ok so I don't know if you really have a plan. And I don't know if things are going according to your plan. But at least in my situation, we're planning on waiting at least until after Pearson graduates. Don't forget your plan. Talk about it often. Remember why you made the plan. Reassure yourself that you aren't necessarily just missing out but you're waiting till your situation is more ideal and you can enjoy being a parent more than you can right now.

THREE || Remember God has a Plan

Sometimes this isn't what you want to hear. But I truly believe that God has a bigger plan and we can't always see that plan. God sees the whole picture and maybe he has some reason for you to not have children at this time. Maybe he wants you to do other things right now. Maybe you have other things to take care of. Or if you're in the infertility boat, maybe he has the perfect orphan for you to adopt. I don't want to go too far into hypothetical examples but I truly think that God is always at work in our lives and has a reason for these things.

FOUR || Stay friends with your Parent Friends

If you want to keep hanging out with your friends who are parents, you have to make the effort. I really need to start taking my own advice on this. Make plans. Invite them to stuff. Host activities. Be excited to meet their babies. Show up at their house out of the blue. Or maybe call first, just to make sure it's okay. But stress the fact that their house doesn't have to be clean etc. You just want to see them and the baby and you know it's probably easier for you to come over than for them to leave the house. You can't just sit around and wait for them to contact you like I've been doing.

FIVE || Offer to Babysit

I'm sure you do this already because it's just what people do. "I want to babysit anytime! Let me know when you want to get out of the house!" But you know that never works. They probably don't believe you're serious or at least don't really think about it when the time comes. You have to be intentional about it. That may even look like being so blunt as to call and say "You are going out tonight. I know you like the Star Trek movies so you two are going to see it tonight and I am watching the baby. No excuses." Or maybe you can offer any night next week and let them pick one or something. And offer to do it for free of course. Because you just want to hang out with the baby, right?

So you see, it's not so bad to not have kids when everyone else around you is. You can enjoy it with them, be happy for them, live vicariously through them, and know that you don't have to deal with all the negative parts right now.

Are you in the same boat as I am? What tips would you add to my list?
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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Always Say "I Love You"

Hey guys, I just wanted to stop in today and give you a little piece of marriage advice. What is that advice? Always say "I love you." Always. When you wake up, when you leave for work, when you see each other at the end of the work day, before you go to bed, when you hang up the phone, randomly throughout the day, and any time you want.
Seriously, those three little words make all the difference. Sure sometimes they can seem to be mundane and rote and lose their meaning, but it's still important to say them.

Pearson is so much better about this than I am. I find myself replying with "I love you, too," more than fifty percent of the time. Much more than fifty percent, actually. I'm really trying to be better about it.

Why are these words so important? Well, because you never want your spouse to have to guess about your love. You never want him or her to be unsure. Sometimes we can forget, am I right? We need to be reassured.

Also, isn't it just a good habit you want to get into? Words are powerful. That's why I always say that you shouldn't talk bad about your spouse in front of other people. We've all heard "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words may never hurt me" and while I agree that we shouldn't let what other people say govern our lives, I still disagree with that. I think words can do a lot of harm. But it shouldn't only be about not saying bad things. We should strive to stay positive and speak in uplifting ways. One of those ways is always saying "I love you" to your spouse.

But what about when it starts to become rote? That's when you can change it up a little bit. Sometimes Pearson will add a couple words to the end of it. "I love you so much." It doesn't really change the meaning all that much, but it shows that he actually put thought into it. He didn't just say 3 words out of habit.

Chelsea from The New Wifestyle recently wrote an entire post about saying "I'm in love with you" instead of "I love you." She talks about how your actions and the things you say in a relationship can become robotic. You know it's true.

So today I challenge you, if you don't already, start saying "I love you" all the time. And if you do that already, find some way to switch it up a little today and keep it fresh.

Do you say I love you to your spouse all the time? How do you switch it up sometimes to keep it from becoming robotic or rote?
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Friday, July 15, 2016

A Life Update - Oh, Hey! High Five for Five on Friday

Happy Friday everyone! I have to say I've had a pretty great week. Exhausting, but great. I am so sorry I've been MIA though. As you know, I started my new job last Tuesday July 5th. I am going into the office every day and mostly still training right now. Not only that, but my in-laws were in town last weekend. We had seven people and two dogs staying in our little two bedroom, one bathroom apartment for four nights. It was so much fun but it was also exhausting and didn't leave me a lot of time to blog.

But today, I wanted to just sort of update you all on what's been going on in a 5 on Friday format. And since all of these things are so great, I thought I'd link up with Chelsea for tell me something good as well.

ONE || We had a wonderful weekend. 

Pearson's family got here Friday night, about 10 minutes before I got home from work. We ate dinner and played cards all night. Side note: playing cards with this group usually turns into an ab workout as you just sit there and laugh the whole time. It's one of my favorite things to do with this family.

Then Saturday we went to the zoo. We were there from about 10 AM to about 4 PM and saw all the animals and two shows. We got to pet the stingrays and a couple snakes and we even saw Baby Nora, the precious 4-month-old polar bear. We brought our own lunch which I've never done before but it worked out great. It was a beautiful day and I took a lot of pictures, some of which are below. I just love the zoo, don't you?
That night we went to Skyline Chili and then we saw The Secret Life of Pets, which was fantastic!

On Sunday, we went to church and then to Piada. Then we walked around the North Market for the afternoon and came home to grill burgers for dinner. Then we played some more cards all night.

Monday, I had to work but they all came and had lunch with me at City Barbecue. Then they picked me up after work and we headed down to German Village where we explored The Book Loft and ate at Schmidt's.

They left Tuesday morning for the long drive home. We'll see them again at Christmas and they'll come back next year, but it's always sad to say goodbye.

TWO || I love my job. 

The people are absolutely fantastic. Which was the most important thing that I wanted in this new job. Everybody is so nice and helpful. My team only has 4 people and they are all really close. I've been training on all of the company's products so I'm getting to meet lots of people who I won't work very closely with and they are all so very welcoming.

Also, and this may sound weird, but I love the dress code. I actually like dressing professional and picking out my clothes every morning instead of wearing whatever I wore to bed all day. Confession: when I was working at home, I would often never change out of an "outfit" (I use that word loosely) for two or three days straight. I'd wear it to bed and then all day the next day and keep it on for bed that night too. And yes, that means I would go two or three days without showering. But nobody saw me. No shame. Do you see why I needed this job? Both my mental and physical health depended on it.

I'm heading up a major project in the next couple weeks. They're throwing me right in after my training. I'm a little nervous but also excited. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Also, I love the location of our office. There are two great thrift stores within a couple blocks, as well as a Clothes Mentor (like a Plato's Closet but for adults instead of teens). I also pass an Aldi on the way home, and there are lots of restaurants around. Like Bibibop! Basically, I just really needed to get out of the house and this is a great place to come too. I am already so much more happy than I have been in the last few months.

THREE || Yesterday was our four year anniversary. 

As I said on Instagram, I could rattle off a bunch of anniversary cliches and sappy stuff, but that doesn't really mean anything to me. I just want to say that life is tough and I'm so glad I have Pearson by my side through it all. And I'm glad I can be there for him as well. Four years seems so long and yet, it also seems like we just got married yesterday. I've never regretted saying yes to him and I never will.

FOUR || I've had a lot of both sponsored and guest post opportunities lately.

Amberly and I swapped blogs again last Friday and I turned in my July contributor post to Emily this week. It will go live some time next week while she's out of town. As far as sponsored posts go, I've gotten a lot of opportunities lately. In fact, I've done three in the last four weeks. I hope that doesn't drive you readers away. Honestly, some of my best work is sponsored work because I have extra motivation to make it great. And I don't accept sponsored opportunities that I don't think will benefit you readers. Anyway, I just wanted to share my successes with you and ask you to continue to support and read my blog. I promise I'll get back into the swing of things once I find a good blogging schedule to balance with work.

FIVE || You're invited to VBS/12 Questions Columbus (also streaming online from anywhere).

Our church, Fishinger and Kenny Church of Christ, is putting on a program next week called 12 Questions Columbus as well as a VBS for children in elementary school and younger. The theme of the program is "If you could ask God one question..." We've been collecting these questions for some time now and have come up with 12 that the people leading the program will do their best to answer based on biblical truths. If you click here, you can see the schedule for the 12 questions. If you're in the columbus area, please join us. It will be at Fishinger and Kenny Church of Christ (the address is on the website I linked above and at the bottom of this page) on July 17-20. It will also be available to stream live online at the 12 Questions website, so even if you're not in the Columbus area, please tune in, get your burning questions answered, and be uplifted by the knowledge and wisdom presented. I'm certainly looking forward to it.

So, you see, I've been pretty busy. And I have a lot of great things going on my life. I just wanted to give you all a little update and thank you wonderful readers for being so great and sticking around for so long. I love coming to this little space and sharing what's on my mind. I hope I get to continue doing this for a long time in the future.

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