Irish Road Bowling & Saint Patrick’s Day fun ☘️

Another weekend has come and gone. Dyl & I finally got a weekend away from the kids and it was nice to spend time together and refresh. We traveled to St Patrick, Missouri and played road bowling, which was something I had never done before. My uncle did it last year and had told me about it, so I told him last year that I had wanted to do it. He invited us on him and his wife’s team, so we had a really great time. Basically, there is a mile and a half stretch right out of town that you roll shot puts down, in attempts to have the least amount of rolls to the finish line. It was really fun because the course opened at 11am and everyone could just kind of go at their own pace whenever they wanted. I

t was a cold 30° day that spit snow off and on, but when we were walking and moving it wasn’t bad. We finished the course in just 23 throws, which seemed to be one of the lowest scores I’d seen. It was fun because people were dressed in all sorts of St Pattys Day costumes and the course was fun because you just shouted “Ball!” before you threw and also had to watch as people rolled their balls down the road from behind you. Apparently, Irish road bowling can be dated back to Ireland in early 1600’s. It’s a pretty fun game and an annual tradition in St Patrick, Missouri. I’m thankful for my uncle, stepmom, and husband. It was great spending time with them! If you ever get the chance to give Irish road bowling a try, I highly recommend giving it a go!!

Me & the hubs 💚
My uncle & his wife in front of the shrine of Saint Patrick
Loved the creativity & spirit here!

EOD Thoughts: 03.09.2023

Tonight I am a little anxious and a little excited.

I am currently completing a mentorship program at work. It is one you must apply and selected for, and the company matches you with a mentor to assist with personal and professional development. I met with my mentor a few weeks ago and spoke with her about my career plans and how to move forward as I approach finishing my degree. She told me that I could start applying for jobs for after graduation, so I immediately started putting in for jobs that I have never previously been able to apply for!

The first question I got from one of these companies was:

Do you have a Bachelor’s degree?

To which, I could FINALLY answer Yes (come May)!

He responded that the May timeline would work perfectly for them. I then completed a few tests and now have a phone interview for tomorrow. I am really trying not to get my hopes up, but I am mainly more excited that all of the hard work and dedication and planning and late nights and goal setting is finally feeling like it is paying off. Throughout my years in college I have completed a military contract, gotten married, had two amazing children, and built a career. I have worked hard to get here. To even have someone interested makes me feel excited and like I finally have a path and direction for my future. This potential job would be a salary job working directly with my surrounding communities and people in need of resources. This is what I have been working towards. This is my goal. My dream.

What I could never put into words is finally becoming clear. It took me several years and a degree change before choosing Public Administration as my career path, but in my heart I know that I find great joy in educating others, serving my community, and meeting new and different people.

I am excited for this new journey that I am about to begin. I will be very sad to leave the current company that I have called home for nearly five years, but this new path feels more like me. More like it’s where I belong.

I am ready for new, I think. Even though it is scary.

A New Battle

A few weeks ago I was really struggling with a heavy chest and not being able to catch a full breath of air. I could not get a yawn to catch, and just felt like an elephant was sitting right atop my breasts. This pursued for several days, leaving me exasperated and irritated. One night I sat on the edge of the bed while my heart nearly beat out of my chest. I was up and down out of bed for several hours and even worried if I should call the hubby home from work. I was petrified that I was having a real health concern, so I decided to get into my PCP – just hoping that it was due to anxiety.

Luckily, my PCP was very friendly, listened intently, and even ran tests on my heart and blood to confirm that the heavy chest wasn’t due to my heart or lungs. Labs came back good, so that was a relief. She put me on anxiety meds, gave me an inhaler because of my history of asthma, and sent me on my way. A few days passed and much to my relief, my heavy chest went away.

Now, this was probably going on three weeks ago. So I have been taking this anxiety medication for a few weeks now, and this is a journey that I new to. I am not ashamed to be on this medication, but I have never really been on any medications before, so it is something that I am going to continue to monitor and talk with my healthcare professionals about. I have had a lot of emotional strain and work stress lately, along with raising two kiddos, running a home, and finishing my final semester of my degree. I am excited to say, though, that the medication is seemingly making me less irritable with the kids and also allows me to fall asleep rather quickly – as opposed to lying in bed for hours worrying before finally falling asleep. The doc said it could be 4-6 weeks before I really notice the medication doing much, but I think the heavy chest and panic attack relief was enough for me to buy-in to the process and keep my mental health on the foreground. I think that this was a real wake-up call for me, because I had never had anxiety present itself in my body in such a drastic way to where it paralyzed me, made it hard to breathe, and increased my heart rate. I was miserable for several days while my attack pursued, so I can truly relate to anyone that battles anxiety or depression that leaves them physically altered and distressed. I considered going to the Emergency Room a few times simply because my heart was racing, I couldn’t catch a breath, and nothing I did seemed to help. The stress of not being able to breathe only exacerbated my fear and stress, so it was an endless cycle until I got the medication which allowed me to relax, gain my breath, and fulfill the long-awaited yawns that I had been chasing for several days.

I am glad I took the leap. It is going to hopefully help my behavior as a mother and wife be more patient and less irritable, and allow me to lead a more regular life without always stressing and worrying about what is next. These two small pills have provided me relief and hope for a brighter future. I probably should have been medicated long ago, but for now I will venture into this new part of my life and shift more focus on maintaining and healthy mental status for myself and my family.

Six Years on WP!

Today marks my six year anniversary on WordPress. This site was my beginning journey into sharing my writing and life experience with the world. Since then my content has been viewed in countries across the world tens of thousands of times.

I’m thankful for my blog friends here & the journeys we have shared together. Some of the darkest moments of my life are reflected in the poetry and writings that I upload here. It’s a very personal and honest reflection of my life that I will leave behind for my children and possible descendants to dig out. I’m currently writing a book about my family’s lineage that I hope to print and give to my siblings for Christmas to be passed to do future generations.

Not only do I share my poetry and creative writing here, WP is also my outlet to photography, gardening, vent sessions, personal interests, and self-reflection.

It’s really a catch-all.

So I appreciate the follow & engagement. Drop some love in the comments!

Thanks for a great SIX years. Here’s to another!

What I’m Giving Up In 2023

It’s a new year! Happy New Year to all my readers! I hope you all had a happy and safe holiday.

I am welcoming 2023 with open arms and hoping that it is a great year. I have set some goals for myself in 2023 that I want to take seriously. I read that you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you simply write them down, so this is my version of putting pen to paper.

Here are a few things that I am focusing on in the New Year.

Spending so much time on social media

I spend far too much time pointlessly scrolling on social media. It takes away time from my family and does no benefit to my mental health. One thing that you have to keep in mind while on social media is that everyone has an appearance that they are wanting to sell on social media. Whether that image is reality, is not always portrayed accurately. I have the downfall of comparing myself and what I do or don’t have to what I see on social media. Maybe I’m not skinny enough. Maybe I feel like I got left out. Maybe I am creating a fake scenario in my head simply because of what I see online. I am smarter than wasting any more energy on sh*t that doesn’t matter. In the end, those that want to be in my life will be present whether or not I am on social media. I deleted Twitter months ago and haven’t been very active on Instagram for nearly two years now. I deleted Facebook on Jan 1 and don’t plan to spend much if any time on the platform any time soon. In 2023, I am committing myself to my family and my physical and mental health.

Alcohol

This holiday season had me dealing with a lot of emotion, burnout at work, finishing up a semester and starting another in school, all while still trying to keep alive the holiday spirit for my family (which I love doing, btw). Work really had me feeling down, so I’d get the kids down of an evening and have a drink a few nights a week. Not that that was even all too bad, I just know that the toll that it can have on my body and wallet just isn’t worth it. I enjoy drinking mainly in social settings, but now that Dylan works nights four nights a week, I have been using alcohol to let loose more often than before.

I recently read an article about the younger population using alcohol less and how non-alcoholic bars and settings were on the rise. It went on to give some pretty gnarly facts about the effects that long-term alcohol abuse can have on the body. One study reveals that between 2002 and 2018, the number of student adults aged 18-22 in the U.S. who abstained from alcohol increased from 20% to 28%, and from about 24% to 30% for those not in school.

I wouldn’t consider myself to have an issue with it, but I know that my health and wallet will greatly improve if I just cut it out. I may share cheers in a social setting with friends from time to time, but I am participating in Dry January and hoping to continue that habit indefinitely. I bought some Welch’s sparkling grape juice for our New Years party with the kids, but of course Della was not down to even try it. Dylan and I shared the bottle over dinner and found that it really was a pretty good replacement to scratch the itch if we ever are wanting some wine! I encourage you to look into “sober curiosity” if you get the chance.

Some health benefits to giving up alcohol that I found are:

  • Potential to lower mental health issues including anxiety and depression
  • Better sleep
  • Weight loss and easier weight management
  • Decrease in inflammation, digestion, and bloating
  • Increase focus, memory, and energy levels

Aside from giving up social media and alcohol, I am also making a more conscious effort to get a workout into my daily routine. The last two nights I have put the kids down and gone to the gym. I have a treadmill, bench set, some weights, and other equipment down in my basement, so there is really no reason why I can’t get down there even if for a small amount of time. Working this into my routine is going to help me tremendously because I really do feel better and have more energy when I get up and get movin’.

So here is to 2023 and making it a happier and healthier one! I am excited to see what is in store!

… And to all a good night.

Christmas has come and gone in the blink of an eye, hasn’t it? It seems as though the years go by faster the older I get. I have come to the conclusion that a 40-hour work week does not give me the satisfactory amount of time to enjoy the parts of life that I love the most. I miss my family. I love the giving season. I wish we got more than one Christmas every year.

Although I generally struggle every holiday season, this year was a harder one than most – and I am still processing and internalizing my emotions to figure out why. Nonetheless… being back together with my siblings, gathering the grandkids, and just enjoying family company is good for my soul. (My six siblings and I have a total of ten grandkids, so when we get together it’s an event!)

We spent a lot of Christmas Day traveling and visiting others, and that always makes the day go by so fast. We woke up around 7:30 to open Santa’s presents followed by own families gifts. We left our house around 9:15 to head to my Mother-In-Law’s house and left there around 11:30. Went to Dylan’s dad’s house after and spent a few hours there. Finally got home around four in the afternoon, but considering it was Sunday just before dinner time, it did not leave much time for relaxing before work on Monday. Let’s start a petition to ban any Christmas from falling on a Sunday because the working mother in me is freaking out over a STILL messy house.

Maybe someday I can convince Dylan we won’t travel and that if people want to see us, they can come to us. I have tried with no luck yet. I just feel like a great portion of the day is spent driving and the kids get to open a bunch of gifts that they don’t even get to sit down to enjoy before we are on to the next stop.

Holidays are hard for a lot of people. My heart is with you if you are one of those people during this time of year. Sometimes it is hard to put that smile on. Sometimes Christmas doesn’t feel so jolly. That’s okay, too.

From ours to yours, have a wonderful holiday season and New Year!

An Ode to Myself & My Family

I just wrapped up my last assignment for my final fall semester of college. I am now one semester away from having my degree – a feat that no one in my family has accomplished. But that’s not why it’s important to me.

I have fought for every inch I’ve gained in this life. I want something, I go get it.

I am power.

I have worked through my school work all while actively serving my country (also a first in my family), working full-time, bearing and raising two children, and managing to stay (half) sane. Next spring I will have my Bachelors in Public Administration with a Minor in English to accentuate my honorable Military discharge and Associates of Arts degree.

None of this has been easy. I have progressed and succeeded without the help from any parents, but instead leaning on my husband and into the love of my children. I do it all for them. I yearn for the day where my family can see in the impact I have on our world, using the knowledge, skills, and experiences learned from my education and service to others. I want to be the good in the world that they never give up on.

Life is a challenging and messy road. Right now, so many aspects of our world feel hopeless, lost, and unnerving. I hope my family always finds stability, passion, and a strong foundation in the woman I am; for I am constantly in a state of construction, looking for ways to repair, build, and amend the pieces of me that are broken.

I hope they grow to notice and appreciate the values I try to live my life by. I hope they subliminally and intentionally adapt these values on their own, as being an honest and hardworking and appreciative person goes a long way in this world. I hope they never give up on their dreams, even if they feel unobtainable or of great lengths to reach. I started this journey in 2015 and will finally reach my goal in 2023. Many times it felt like I was on the wrong path or in the wrong place, but it has always played out in a manner that was better than I expected or anticipated. Life can feel so gloomy, but it can also bring the uplifting wonder of glorious surprise. I hope they never lose their sense of hope, for I too have been guilty of falling into the treacherous depths of depression and lack of understanding. I hope they choose not to lean against the feeling secured deep in their guts; the feeling of intuition and trust that is nearly always accurate in guiding us to the right path. Trust it. Lean into it. Let it guide you to the life you deserve.

Call me Mrs.

It’s been while! Just over 8 weeks since I last posted on here. It’s few and far between these days, with a full-time job, two kiddos, a new husband, and I’m also wrapping up a semester in college.

As the headline states… You can call me Mrs!

After six years dating, nearly four years engaged, and two kids later… Dylan & I finally tied the knot down south in Tennessee on 10/1. More to come on that, but I’ll leave you with a few photos from our special day!

I managed to put together our wedding & reception together in less than $10,000 (Todays average cost of a wedding is $30,000)!

More in-depth details to come later, but I wanted to introduce you to the new Chrissy Ruble 😊

It’s wedding week!

I’ve been casually MIA- for good reason.

6 days until “I do.”

I have planned our entire wedding in less than one year and under $10k dollars (which is nearly unthinkable today).

And did I mention… vacation?

Thursday morning at about 4am we will head to Pigeon Forge, TN where we will be married in the Smoky Mountains on Saturday. Send good thoughts, as the long travel (10-12 hour drive) we are asking of our families is what brings me the most worry.

I’ll be sure to update with plenty of pictures after the big day, but here is some of what we have been up to lately!! (Other than full time jobs, college, and wedding planning!

Pumpkin patch
Leon is almost 11 months old!
Our sweet Della Rae
Jeep rides!
And even time for a date night here & there!

Now for final preparations and packing!!! 🤍💍

Our garden: Year 2

Today marked the real start of planting for our 2022 garden. You may remember, I wrote about this last year– we had to plant all of our tomatoes and jalapeños in a pot since we were renting and couldn’t till our own true garden.

2021 actually brought us a pretty decent yield considering we grew everything in containers and kept them alive through the move into our new home.

But this year, we’re excited. We are making our plans to start a real garden sown outdoors since we finally own our own land. FINALLY we own a home and can do as we please, and a big part of who we want to become is becoming more self-sustained; which will be improved with the bearings of fresh, real food harvested from a garden less than 25 yards away.

We have big plans, but also understand that we are new to this ( and any advice is highly appreciated). We have plans for tomatoes, jalapeños, corn, bush beans, snap peas, onions, strawberries, cilantro, spinach, cucumbers, radishes, asparagus, carrots, mint, basil, and possibly more that I can’t think of right now. We also have an apple tree. I’d like to get some berry bushes and a couple more fruit trees planted this spring.

Now, if we actually get all of these to harvest? Who knows. We are new to this, so our expectations are in line with some disappointment but also some great fresh produce. I’m particularly interested in growing the spices and seasonings, and also hoping we can finally get some onion to harvest. We’ve failed with onions before, but I’d really like to venture into making homemade salsa, pickles, and spaghetti sauce!

Today I started the jalapeño and tomatoes seeds so that they can germinate indoors and eventually be transplanted out in the yard in 6-8 weeks.

Dylan has started with putting some stakes in the yard so that we can fence in the garden. The other night we woke around 3am to notice eight deer roaming our backyard. We watched them for a bit, as it was fun to watch them simply roam.

More to come on the garden front – we are so excited! I will update as the garden season progresses!