November 28, 2017

9 Things You Need to Have for Online Classes

Online classes are no joke! From experience, they require a lot more work than in-seat classes do. BUT! Don't let that deter you from taking them to finished a degree! It can be done, and I'm going to help you.

Besides your computer and text books, here's a list of stuff you need to have for online classes.

1. A good place to do your schoolwork.
This. Is. Essential.
Whether it's your home office, a coffee shop, or your bed, find a spot that will be the most conducive to you getting your shit done without too many distractions. This also includes ambiance. Turn on that classical music, light some aromatherapy candles, put on those jammies. Whatever it takes, dude. Whatever it takes.

2. Post-its
I LOVE POST-ITS. They have been my saving grace on finding references for discussion posts in my text books. I can write notes on them and color coordinate too.

3. Colored pens or pencils
Also the best. I write copious notes, and having the discussion question or essay question written at the top of my notebook page helps a lot. I use a colored pencil to write the questions so they stand out. You can color coordinate these with your post-its!

4. Dedication
Hubs actually suggested that this be on the list. And he was right. You've got to have the dedication to get those tasks done on time. Sometimes it's really hard to push yourself to do schoolwork when there is no set class time. Trust me, I know. But you can always set your own class time by scheduling it out for yourself.

5. A lap desk
Especially if you choose to work from your bed or couch. Depending on the kind you get, you can use it in the car and a coffee shop comfy chair too. Whether you put your computer on it, or use it to take notes from your text books, it can really come in handy.

6. Highlighters
Unless I rent my book or get the e-book, I highlight the crap out of them. It makes finding that info you need much easier, and paired with the post-its, discussion posts and essays will be a breeze.

7. Breaks
Don't forget to give yourself a break from time to time. Especially if you are like me and can get deep into a project or paper and all of a sudden 5 hours has passed. Set alarms on your phone or use your activity band (i.e. Fitbit, Apple Watch, Jawbone, etc.) to send you alerts to get up and move around every hour or two hours.

8. Coffee
No explanation needed.

9. Water and snacks
As with anything, you need to stay hydrated. Your brain just works better that way. And your body will thank you for that bag of goldfish.

Have you ever taken an online class? What would you add to this list?

November 24, 2017


It's Thanksgiving, well it was yesterday anyways, an on Thanksgiving you tell everyone what you are thankful for. So, that's what I'm going to do today.

+ Family who will drop everything they are doing to come and help in times of need.

+ Friends who have been with me through the good and the bad days without judgement.

+ Therapy that has helped me figure out who this new me is.

+ Medications that help my body do what it cannot do alone.

+ Hubs because he takes such good care of our little family.

+ Colby, because he has taught us how big our love can be.

+ Colby Bear because now we have something to cuddle when we are missing Colby more than normal.

Hubs' is thankful for:

+ A good job that keeps us comfortable.

+ Me :)

+ Pumpkin and Misty even though they can be buttheads.

+ Colby

+ That he is able to go back to school

What are you thankful for this year?

November 21, 2017

A Reintroduction

It's been a while since I've posted on the regular. The biggest reason is grief. It sort of takes over every part of your life, and you don't know how long it will stay and to what intensity you'll experience it from day to day. You see, on January 20, 2017 we lost our son, Colby, at 14 weeks and 2 days gestation. I'll tell that story another day, but it shook us right to our core. I am not the same person I was on January 19th. I will never be that person again. So here I am to introduce this new self to you.

My name is Amanda, mommy of an angel, wife to Philip, and student of psychology. I have been blogging on and off here since January of 2014 and I'm hoping to make a comeback here this holiday season. I've blogged about food, marriage, DIY projects, and silly stuff like this funny conversation with my husband. This year, when I've blogged I've talked about those fun things, but I've also decided to share more about mental health and grief, as well as what not to say to a bereaved parent. I don't want all of my posts to be sad and/or serious, but I do think these issues need to be addressed, and I will continue to talk about them, as well as my son. Losing him has really brought home the importance of raising awareness about mental health, grief, and pregnancy loss.

I've talked a little about this on Instagram already, but I wanted to talk about it more here. For a long time after January, my life was make up of more bad days than good. And by bad days, I mean days where my grief has been so overwhelming that just getting out of bed was a victory. Recently, it has reversed. I have more good days than bad ones, and I am so grateful for them. I'm learning to turn my bad days into good ones, by reminding myself that Colby would want me to be happy and to enjoy things again. Sometimes this works, and other times it doesn't. Therapy and medications help a lot, and I am not ashamed to admit that. You have to do what you have to do to get your body and mind balanced.

Hubs and I celebrated 3 years of marriage in April, so we're nearly to 4 years now, haha. We live in Missouri, but want to move as soon as we can. We have two cats, Pumpkin and Misty. A few of you will be wondering about Bear, our great pyrenees. Well, after nearly 6 months of tearful deliberation, we decided to re-home him. He has needs that we were unable to fill, no matter how hard we tried. We did find him an amazing home with a family of 3 who have a large fenced in yard, which is just what he needs. Our home is not the same without Bear, but this decision was about what is best for him, not what is best for me and Hubs. 

Let's end this on a good note! I am this close to being done with my BA in Psychology. Like we're talking just weeks away! I haven't yet decided what I'm going to do afterwards, a lot depends on if we get pregnant again. Yes, we are trying to get pregnant again, but we are still battling my PCOS and infertility. Hubs has returned to school and I am so incredibly proud of him. He's decided to finish is Bachelors and get a Management Information Systems degree, which is a mix of IT and Business Administration. 

This is the new me.

November 17, 2017

Currently... November 2017

This fall weather. It's finally getting into the cooler temps here in Missouri and it's lovely.

Reading: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Making my way through the Harry Potter series again. You can never have too much magic in your life.

Feeling: A mixture of things. Hope and frustration seem to be the strongest at the moment. Hope for our future family, and frustration that things aren't happening in MY timeline. I have to remind myself daily that HIS timeline is greater than mine.

Watching: Game Show Network! The vintage shows are the best.

Writing: A few blog posts. I need to get my creative juices flowing again.

Listening: to Christmas music! Two of the Sirius XM stations are playing it already.

Wanting: The new Illustrated Harry Potter Books! The first three are out in stores. They'll be on my Christmas list for sure.

Needing: New shoes. It's been a while.

Hoping: That God will bless us with another child. A living child.

Avoiding: Schoolwork...

Wishing: It was socially acceptable to put up Christmas decor.

Trying: To stay positive. It can be easy to let my depression take over and stay in that dark place, but it's not healthy. I'm working on making healthier choices for my body as well as my mind.

Missing: Colby.

Praying: For the sad state of our country.

Thinking: That i am so grateful to have our Colby Bear. Having something physical to cuddle has been a great comfort to us.

Considering: A total revamp of the blog. Name and all.

November 15, 2017

Colby Bear

I want to introduce you to our sweet little Colby Bear. He was made for us by a wonderful organization called MollyBears. They make custom teddy bears that represent angel babies. The give families the comfort of a cuddle. Like each baby, each bear is different. Some have symbols like butterflies or animals or initials, and some have accessories like blankets or bows or tutus. Each bear can also be weighted to the weight of your baby.

Colby Bear is two ounces. He has an elephant on his chest and initials on his foot. We have two symbols for Colby, elephants and feathers. When we opened the box and saw that Colby Bear had a winged elephant on it I cried. The MollyBear maker had no idea about the feathers, we just requested an elephant. What a wonderful little hello from our sweet boy.

I can't tell you what this bear means to our little family. I am so grateful to have him, to have something to cuddle when I'm having a bad day. It will be nice to have something to represent Colby in family photos as well. Colby Bear has brought such comfort and joy to us, and I hope to the rest of our family as well.