It seems only appropriate that to start a new year, we should profile a new Reader of the Month, doesn’t it?Â I’m so happy to introduce you all to the first Reader of the Month for 2011, Kat King.
Kat has been a long-time reader of my blog and I have come to love reading her comments on my posts. When people comment regularly, I get to know them a little bit just like they get to know me and I love that. But I really got to know more about Kat on Twitter.Â And her Twitter comments peaked my interest and had me checking out her blog, Living Like the Kings, on a regular basis.Â Like other past Reader of the Months, Kat just seems like my kind of girl.Â Like someone I’d want to hang out with.Â And when she sent me her answers to my ROTM questions, it just confirmed that we are long-lost friends.Â Check out her engagement story – hysterical!
Okay, here we go…
What is your name?
Who lives in your house?
Oldest to youngest:
Jon â€“ aka the Hubs; the old man will be 28 in just over a month
Kat â€“ aka me; a very young 27
Travis â€“ aka Bubba; our 5-year old Yorkshire Terrier
Cailey â€“ aka the Gremlin, our 3-year old Schnauzer Pug, or Snug
Addison â€“ aka Peanut, P-nutty, P-nizzle; still in the womb
How long have you been married?
How did your husband propose?
I used to travel quite a bit and on the night in question was coming home from a business trip around midnight.Â Â As usual, Jon and I were on the phone while I was driving home from the airport, chit chatting away.Â When I pulled in the driveway, I cheerfully told Jon that I was home and that he should promptly come outside and help me get my luggage.Â This was our routine.Â Except that night Jon said â€œno.â€Â Actually, he whined that he was already in his PJâ€™s and didnâ€™t want to get out of bed.Â Fuming, I hung up the phone and dragged my heavy bag to the front door.Â Once inside, I noticed that the whole place had the lights dimmed, candles displayed around the room, roses on the table, the whole 9 yards.
Now here youâ€™d think a light bulb would go off that my boyfriend of 8 months was going to proposeâ€¦but we were 23 and it had only been 8 months!Â So, instead I thought he was being romantic and bolted upstairs.Â There I found more cutesy stuff along with a note for me to blind fold myself and proceed to the bedroom.Â Now we were talking!Â Assuming I was about to get lucky, I stripped down to my birthday suit, put on the blind fold and knocked on the bedroom door.Â There I found Jon in a suit, kneeling, with a ring.Â He mumbled something about spending our life together while my entire world spun in place and I temporarily went deaf.Â I ran and hid in the couch pillows, then finally came to, reached out for the ring, and said â€œYes.â€Â All the while wearing my birthday suit.
What is your favorite part about being married to your husband?
I love always having my partner in crime by my side.Â He was my best friend before we started dating and that part of our relationship never changed.Â I love growing and navigating through life with him by my side and knowing that there is always someone there to lean on.Â Itâ€™s also great to have someone else pick up the slack, like taking care of the dishes or cleaning the house when you just donâ€™t have the energy or time to take it on.
What is the hardest part about being married?
I think the hardest part is letting your significant other be themselves.Â Â I like to get things done quickly when they come up while he likes to take the time and think through every little detail.Â I need constant action and attention while he enjoys parking his bottom on the couch for hours.Â Iâ€™m what you would call a â€œworrierâ€ while my husband thinks that everything will just work out.Â There are times that itâ€™s hard to remember that heâ€™s there to balance you and your personality so that together you make sound decisions and that those crappy jokes once made you laugh and fall in love with him.Â After all, I married him because he is his own person and, although I often forget, I really like that about him.
What do you think is the “key” to your success in marriage?
Honestly, I have no idea.Â I think if I had to put my finger on it, itâ€™d be trust and respect.Â Trust that your partner has your best intentions in mind when theyâ€™re making the decisions they make and respect them for who they are.Â Â Oh, and share the remote.Â Thatâ€™s a very important one in our household.
Did having children change your marriage? Â If yes, then how?
Weâ€™re actually expecting our first one any day now.Â Â Being pregnant has brought us closer together.Â Weâ€™re way more tolerant toward one another and there is this shared coy smile when we both think that thereâ€™s something growing inside of me that we made.Â All by ourselves!
When is your baby due? Â And do you know if it’s a girl or boy yet?
Our baby girl is due January 15th.Â Which means that Iâ€™m ready to pop.
When did you start blogging?
February 2010.Â Itâ€™s almost my 1 year blog-aversary!
How often do you blog and how do you make time for it?
I try to blog at least 4-5 times a week.Â Itâ€™s become part of my routine.Â Work, cook dinner, eat dinner, plop on the couch and grab the laptop while hubs turns on the TV.Â Iâ€™m sure everything will change once the baby comes, but I hope I can still make time for whatâ€™s become one of my favorite hobbies and, quite frankly, an outlet.
Why do you blog?
I love to write, take pictures, and Iâ€™m a technology geek.Â Iâ€™ve kept a diary or a livejournal (does anyone remember those?) since I was a teenager so I could always go back and reflect on the past.Â Once I started blogging I learned that there is a whole community thatâ€™s supportive and caring.Â Now I canâ€™t imagine what I would do without my blogger friends.
What are your top three favorite blogs (Please don’t include MC)
Pioneer Woman- Â Â I love all the recipes and photography advice.
How Sweet It is â€“ she is hilarious!Â And again, the recipes are to die for.
Hyperbole and a half â€“ If you havenâ€™t seen this, you absolutely must.Â SO freakinâ€™ funny, I have had to stop reading to catch my breath and make sure I donâ€™t pee my pants.
What’s in your purse right now?
Oh boy.Â Can I start by saying that I swear Iâ€™ve been meaning to clean it?Â Iâ€™m just a little behind.
Tissues, some hair clips and a hair tie, a popcorn kernel, a clothes pin, a leaky pen, a Baby Depot coupon, a pocket knife, a target receipt, 2 wallets (a small one I bring places and a bigger one with coupons and receipts), mints, some cough drops, a mirror, eye drops, a Tide pen, matches (I have no idea why), make up, liquid bandage, Big Y coins, change, some loose dog treats, dog poop bags, lip gloss, gum and, of course, my iPhone.
Thanks for playing along and entertaining me with your answers, Kat!
Follow Kat on Twitter:Â MrsLLTKings
Check out Kat’s blog:Â Living With the Kings
Today I am grateful for Chris’ sister, Annie.
I love many things about Chris – his ability to scratch the exact spot of the itch on my back, the way he stays so calm and collected during a crisis, how he eats pretzels (he chews the salt off first).Â But of the many lovable traits he has, I think his most valuable is his ability to fix just about anything.
Plumbing leaks, car engines, dishwashers, computers, baby strollers, furniture, humidifiers, Diaper Genies, websites, pools, boats, my jewelry, squeaky doors and cabinets, golf carts, Bean’s toys, washing machines, vacuums, and the list goes on. You name it and I’ve probably broken it, which means Chris has probably fixed it.
This is him building me a custom closet in Bean’s old bedroom in Connecticut…
This is our garage that he turned into a Man Cave, including refinishing that pool table that he bought on eBay for $50…
This is him the night that he accidentally crashed our entire website and then had to rebuild it himself without knowing too much about websites at that point (note the beer in this picture – it’s how we both survived that ordeal)…
This is the garden he built me after I read about one exactly like this on The Pioneer Woman‘s website and announced my new desire to be a gardener… (The garden lasted longer than my passion, in case you were wondering…)
This is him (and his sister, Annie) putting together Bean’s giant school bus that he got for his first birthday…
This is him doing something with the plumbing lines in our first rental house here in Florida so that the new refrigerator could be moved to a different part of the kitchen…
And this is Chris tonight fixing our dryer which pooped out about ten minutes after I started doing our vacation laundry…
We came home with big plans to clean everything – starting with our three suitcases we lived out of for a week during our vacation. Everything in our cleaning plans this past weekend hinged on our ability to do our laundry. But apparently the dryer had different plans because about ten minutes after the first load went in, the whole thing gave out. It has been dying a slow death for about a month, but we just shut the laundry room door and pretended not to notice. Turns out that wasn’t the best idea. So, Chris spent the past two days taking the entire dryer apart, replacing every part inside of it, and then putting it all back together again. What would have easily cost us $200 or $300 easily for a new dryer cost us $50 in parts.
But the deal with Chris’s ability to fix things is this: I have absolutely no control over what he does, when he does it, how he does it, or IF he does it whatsoever. I am simply allowed to point out that something is broken and then I have to sit back and wait to see if/when/how he’s going to fix it. It drives me crazy to be completely out of control like that, but it is what it is until I can figure out how to work a socket wrench. And other socket-wrench-like tools.
Thankfully, Chris needed and wanted clean laundry as much as I did and so this task was completed in record time.
However, I should point out that my little, wooden, antique vanity that needs a little love and attention to get back to her original glory still sits untouched in Gracie’s nursery….
The plight of a handy man’s wife…
Today I am grateful that I have a job that I love.
Over our Christmas vacation in Pensacola, Florida, with Chris’s family, Chris’ mom, Jackie, took us all to the Naval Air Museum at the Air Force base in town.Â Chris and I had been a thousand times before on class field trips as we grew up, but this was our first time going with Bean and, like so many other experiences, this one was just better because Bean was with us.
He’s really into airplanes right now (“eha-panes”) so this museum was the perfect place for him to explore. It’s basically just a big aircraft hanger with restored government planes dating all the way back to the beginning of flight. You can touch anything and even climb in and explore a lot of them.
On January 1, Bean turned 19 months old and as we walked around that museum, it struck me how old 19 months really is. Bean is such an independent, active, on-the-go little dude right now and I just love it.
He isn’t scared of anything that we’ve found yet and his curiosity is one of my favorite parts about his personality. Actually, he’s a lot like his dad. Chris loves to wander around and get into things on his own, and I see that so much in Bean. Both of them are content to entertain themselves and they both do better when they are learning on their own terms, instead of being taught to.
If 17 months was all about independence, then 18 months was all about learning when to ask for help. I was pleasantly surprised to see Bean not quite so headstrong this past month as he was the month before that. I think he is learning that asking us for help doesn’t mean we are going to take over or tell him what to do. We help and then we back off and let him continue on and even at 18 months old, I can tell Bean is learning to trust that about us.
One of the greatest things we have taught Bean this month was the word “help.” Whenever we would see him struggling with something, we would ask him if he needed help instead of just jumping in and doing it for him. When we asked, “Do you need help?” he would repeat back to us, “Help,” and then that gave us permission to help him out. Sometimes he would actually say no, that he didn’t want help and so we’d let him figure out whatever he was struggling with on his own. But when he would ask for help, we made sure to just get him started on the task at hand and then turn it back over to him to finish. We never wanted him to feel like asking for help meant that he couldn’t do something himself. Now, Bean will come to us and ask for help without us prompting him. It’s a nice way of showing our respect for Bean and for Bean to learn that asking and receiving help doesn’t require that he give up any of his independence.
Another thing that has taken off this past month that seems to really help with the temper tantrums is Bean’s ability to communicate and his ability to understand abstract concepts. He is talking up a storm and every day he seems to be adding new words to his vocabulary. He now understands what and where “home” is and so when we’re out somewhere and he starts to get fidgety, I can explain that we’re going home soon and he seems to understand what that concept means. He usually starts giggling and saying something about seeing Lucy and Molly (or Daddy, if Chris isn’t already out with us). Another concept that has really helped things is the idea of waiting and being patient. Though he is hit or miss on actually doing it, he does understand what it means to wait for something. So, if I say that he has to wait before we can eat dinner or he has to wait before we can leave, he understands what that means. He might not WANT to wait, but he at least knows what we’re saying.
I’m so happy that Bean is still as interested in books as he has always been. He still loves to be read to, but he also loves to read out loud to us or to his stuffed animals. In fact, just tonight after I had read two books to him and I put him down in his new big boy bed, he asked for a book to read in bed. So, I tucked him in with a little board book and he read until he fell asleep. I love that about Bean! I hope he keeps this love of books and that as he gets older we can start reading more together.
One thing that is totally new and surprised me and Chris’s mom until neither of us could hardly say a word was Bean’s ability to work puzzles. He got several new puzzles for Christmas from both me and Jackie. One night over vacation we were all sitting in Jackie’s living room together and Bean pulled out one of his puzzles and without any help from anyone, he put every single piece into the correct spot on the first try. We tried not to squeal and call too much attention to it so we didn’t distract him, but it was really hard not to shout out, “MY BOY’S A GENIUS!” He pulled out a second puzzle and did the same exact thing – every piece in the right place on the first try. And this time I couldn’t help myself and I actually did shout out, “MY BOY’S A GENIUS!”
Another thing that surprises me is how much he is learning at school these days. I hear him singing bits of the alphabet perfectly clearly. I see him counting to five (though his favorite is, “One, two, three, GO!” and, for some unknown reason, “Two, five, GO!”). He can identify just about any animal, including dolphins, whales, and turtles that he learned on our trip to Sea World over Thanksgiving break. He knows every single body part from his head down to his toes and can even sing, “Head, shoulders, knees, and toes” now. Though most of these little bits of knowledge are sporadic and he remembers them mostly because of songs he likes to sing, I still love that his little mind is soaking up all that knowledge during the day. It makes me feel even better about our decision to put him in daycare.
I find that I say this just about every month, but 18 months really has been my favorite so far. Chris and I love that we are able to communicate so much more with him and that he seems to be growing and learning and developing at such a fast pace, while still keeping that easy going attitude that we love about him. But my favorite part of 18 months? Bean learned to say, “I love you, Mama” and “I love you, Dada.” And that is, hands down, the greatest thing I’ve ever heard.
Oh, imaginary friends. How I hate writing this blog post. But my narcissistic tendencies win out over my hesitations and so, here I am. Asking you once again to vote for me in the Bloggie Awards.
If you’re unfamiliar with the blogging world, the Bloggies are like the Oscars of the blogosphere. Kind of like the red carpet for nerds. Only we don’t have to get out of our jammies because we don’t have to leave our houses. Cause we’re nerds.
Last year you guys totally went above and beyond and I ended up being one of 5 nominees for Blog of the Year, along with my BFF, The Pioneer Woman. I don’t think Chris or I stopped squealing for weeks. We didn’t win (the downside of being nominated with The Huffington Post and The Pioneer Woman…), but it was still such an honor for us! And so I’m hoping maybe you’ll do it again this year.
The way the voting works for The Bloggies this year is that you go vote until January 16 and nominate blogs for awards. Then, a selected committee will review the nominees and choose the top five blogs in each category. After that, the voting opens up once again for everyone and you vote on your favorite finalist in each category.
I know, I know. It’s a long process and it’s asking a lot, but let’s do it in baby steps. For now, if you’re so inclined, you can just pop over to The Bloggies website and nominate me for whatever categories you think are appropriate. If I’m selected later as a finalist, I’ll post another desperate blog post asking you to go vote again.
Because I have no pride, you see.
The catch for voting at this nomination stage is that you have to nominate at least three different blogs – in the same category or in three different categories, it’s up to you.Â And don’t worry about having to fill in each category.Â Just pick and choose which categories you want to vote for and list your chosen blogs there.Â For those of you who may not read that many blogs, I thought I’d walk you through the categories and tell you who I’m voting for. I read some really fantastic blogs and I’m sure they’d love your support.
Here we go…
Best Canadian Blog: Archives of Our Lives
Best Photography of a Blog:Â My BFF, The Pioneer Woman
Best Art, Craft, or Design Blog:Â Mabel’s House
Best Parenting Blog:Â Glamorous Life of a Housewife
Best Food Blog:Â Bakerella
Most Humorous Blog:Â The Bloggess
Best Topical Blog:Â Southern Weddings Magazine
Best Writing of a Blog:Â The Bloggess
Best Kept Secret Blog:Â Our Front Door
Thanks so much for all you do to support me and my little corner of CyberLand.Â If I win a Bloggie this year, I will thank each one of you personally in my acceptance speech.
Which I will be giving from my couch.
In my PJ’s.
Because I’m a nerd.
Today I am thankful for rainy days.