Why My Mom is the Most Important Person in My Life

The relationship you have with your mother can be the most important relationship you ever have in your life. Not everyone gets the opportunity to become best friends with a parent, but if you do, take advantage of it.

I can say that I would not be the woman I am today without the patience, guidance and love that my mother has given me since day one. A mother’s love is different from any love that a person will experience in their lifetime. It’s a unique love that comes from seeing person grow and develop as their own person. It’s a non-judgmental love that doesn’t waver. It’s a mother’s love.

My mother has known me the longest and dealt with all my ups and downs. I know I’ve tried her patience once or twice and that I haven’t always been an angel, but she has always been there to be my shoulder to cry on and the firm hand to push me forward. She understands my quirks, my strengths and my weaknesses. Having her support throughout my life has been the only reason I’ve stayed sane. I know she’ll always be there for me, through thick and thin.

She is the person I want to tell everything to and I know she’ll never judge me for my decisions and actions. She’s there to tell me about her own personal experiences and to guide me on my own. She’s taught me many things from simple life skills, to cooking to how to deal with boys. She’s there to be a helping hand while also letting me learn my own lessons at my own pace.

I can’t imagine how different my life would be without her beside me. She means the world for me and is the most important person in my life. And I hope she’ll forever be the person I can go to for anything. I’m forever grateful for her and I can’t thank her enough for all that she’s done for me.

Happy Birthday Mama!

Love, Kelsey

Why Having a Planner is Important

Remember in high school how every teacher (and probably your mom) told you to write down all your assignments, due dates, tests and quizzes and the like so that you wouldn’t forget it. I know a lot of people that didn’t care to write any of it down and they’d forget about something and be panicking last minute.

I was quite the opposite and wrote down everything. I not only wrote what was due when, but I planned out my weeks on what I had to work on when so that I wasn’t cramming the night before. I, of course, bought a school calendar planner every year and used it and abused it.

When I graduated high school, I retired the one-time use planners and spent graduation money to buy a refillable planner that I adore. I buy the inserts for each year and usually keep the last year just in case. I have to say that having that planner has saved me on multiple occasions.

My planner is from At-A-Glance and can be found here. I like the weekly view style because it’s a great way to see your entire week all together. I’m a huge to-do list type of person and the space provided for each day is plenty for that and appointments/events. I do have to purchase an insert every year. Inserts can be found here. I think that having this size (size 4) is a good size (it’s about the size of a large hardcover book to give you perspective).

I know a lot of people aren’t as organized as I am. I’ve been told many times that I am too organized but I firmly believe in having an organized life to keep things all together. I think having a planner is important to keeping sanity and being a responsible person and professional. And it doesn’t have to be some elaborate leather planner but having some place to write it all down is the easiest way.

An article from weekplan.net gives five reasons why you need a weekly planner. All five reasons I firmly believe in.

  1. You can keep track of all responsibilities at any moment – I already eluded to this above. I can say that I am a person that says I will remember that one thing and I don’t need to write it down, but forgetting that one thing happens. (For example, I left a gallon of milk that I bought before work two days ago at work…for the past two days.)
  2. You get used to focusing on important activities – I can first hand attest to this. I write down things that I absolutely need to get done that day in my planner and I usually put exclamation points, underline it and the like and it ensures that I focus on it when I get home. It gets things done in a timely manner as well because I focus on that one thing until it’s completed.
  3. You can share your schedule with other people – This is obviously easier when you have a digital copy of your schedule or an online planner/to-do list. I personally like writing things down the old fashion way but I also have my general schedule (work, important meetings, trips) on a Google calendar that I can easily send to a coworker or friend.
  4. You’ll increase your productivity – I think this is very true and goes hand in hand with number two. If you write down tasks it’s easier to get them done in a way. I get satisfaction when I have a to-do list and I get to tick off one of the items.
  5. You’ll enjoy a feeling of completion at the end of the week – So true. Like I said in number four, it’s satisfying to finish something. I also like just having an overview of all that I’ve accomplished in a given week whether that be items on a to-do list, meetings or events.

Overall I’ve never regretted in investing in a planner and keeping it up-to-date with tasks, important meetings/events and birthdays and anniversaries. There are many reasons as to why you should get a planner and I think every reason can be important for any given person.

If you’re interested in checking out a planner or even a calendar check out Dayrunner.com. It gives you options to navigate to several popular brands and once you become a customer they will give you discounts for when you have to refill your planner with a new insert.

Feel free to ask me questions about my planning habits/my planner itself!

Happy Planning!

Why Volunteering is Important

National Volunteer Week is meant to celebrate those that volunteer their time to better a community or organization. Volunteering, in any capacity, is vital for the continuation of many programs that lack the funding to have a full staff. Many of those programs serve the community in different ways that help those in need.

I’ve been fortunate enough to volunteer for many organizations for several years.

My volunteer work started in middle school when I had to do a couple hours to go on a school trip. It didn’t feel like a chore to me at all, but then again I volunteered at the local animal shelter where I got to play with cats and dogs (and puppies) for a couple of hours.

179 (2)

Volunteering continued in high school and as a graduation requirement, I had to perform 40 hours of community service. I did an array of things to get those 40 hours. I tutored, I assisted with the elementary school cheer program, I aided at local events and I helped the Grand County Water Information Network test our local lake and river water. I did other odds and ends of course and exceeded the 40 hours which genuinely made me feel good. I enjoyed doing the work and seeing that my assistant in simple things made the world of difference.

When college came around volunteer work went to the wayside and wasn’t a priority for me. Jump to my second year, spring term when I was introduced to Alpha Phi Omega, an international service fraternity focused on serving the community. I pledged, I initiated, I grew. I fell into the pace of volunteering all over again. Even though the group only required 20 hours over the course of 10 weeks, I always went above and beyond and within a year I achieved my goal of reaching over 100 hours of service.

IMG_5581.JPG

Since graduating I’ve been able to continue volunteering through my local high school. As a former student, I’ve gained more respect for those that volunteered during my time that made athletics and trips a reality. As a current volunteer, I see first hand the effects that programs have and how appreciative students are for what you are able to do for them to successfully run week-long river trips and successfully play out a full sports season.

Volunteering is very much a lifeline for many organizations to function properly. Without volunteers, my high school wouldn’t have an Adventure Education program. Without volunteers, cities wouldn’t have aid services for the homeless. Without the volunteers that drive for Meals on Wheels, there wouldn’t be hot meals for seniors that are unable to cook for themselves. Without volunteers, shelter animals would sit in cages 24/7.

Volunteering even once a year for something in your community can make the world of difference. Volunteering on a weekly or monthly basis makes for an even better community. Volunteering not only helps those that are receiving the aid, but it also helps you gain a new perspective. Without volunteers, I think our nation would be a lot different.

I volunteer because I know someone, somewhere that is directly affected by what I am doing is overly appreciative. I volunteer because someone before me was able to volunteer and make my experience all that much better. I volunteer because it makes me feel good. I feel proud to be an active volunteer and I think everyone should find something they are passionate about and find a way to volunteer.

National Volunteer Database: https://www.nationalservice.gov/serve/search

Even a simple Google search of ‘volunteer opportunities near me’ will give you ample results to chose from.

Why Living with Your Mom Post-Grad isn’t a Bad Thing

As I promised from my post The Art of Packing… and Unpacking an update on my housing status (a bit late I know, but bear with me here).

My hardworking mother bought a house this summer and I decided to save some of my earnings and live with her. We moved from our two bedroom apartment to a four bedroom house with a yard and plenty of space.

As a recent grad, I worried about the cost of housing and moving to a new area where I (gasp) might have to live with random roommates just to afford to eat. Some might say I took the easy way out when I decided to live with my mom in my hometown. Well, let me tell you…

it was the best decision ever.

I know a lot of people recently have been choosing to live with their parents as I have. Housing is just so expensive and after rent, take home earrings are usually just enough to eat, but not out of course. There goes your social life and you better hope to god your car doesn’t break down.

It’s common to get odd looks or get pummeled with questions about why you would EVER move back in with your parents, but it’s the best financial option today.

My mom and I have a great relationship (way different from when I was in high school) so getting along isn’t a problem. She gives me my space and allows me to do whatever I want/need to do. Of course, there are some downsides. It would be weird if there wasn’t any.

My mom has a tendency to sometimes act like a total mom. She wants to know when I’ll be home (mostly because of the dinner thing) but also because she just wants to know. She also sometimes gets butthurt when I don’t stay in the living room after dinner. I get that she wants some company, but also sometimes I really just want to be in bed watching Netflix and the like.

So to answer some of those questions for anyone that is unsure about the choice to make the move into your old room, yes it’s weird at first but so so worth it.

  • Is it like going back in time to high school where you don’t have any freedom?

No, but my mom was really chill in high school and I had a ton of freedom to begin with. I do have to say that she has gone back to texting me when I’ll be home. BUT mostly to know if I’ll be eating dinner (see question below).

  • Ummm no more privacy?!?

I have a ton of privacy, but obviously not nearly as much as I would if I lived alone. I basically have my own side of the house, bathroom included so privacy isn’t a huge issue. 

  • Do you pay rent?

Yes, but a very small amount. My mom didn’t ask for it, but I figured it was the right thing to do. 

  • How do meals/food work?

My mom cooks for me most nights. She’s already making a meal so I just join. I in return make dinner when I can. Now with food, in general, I pay for what I want. If I want something specific I buy it when I do my own grocery shopping. 

  • Do you still have friends over?

Of course. Just because I live with my mom doesn’t mean she dictates every aspect of my social life.

  • Do you feel awkward when your boyfriend comes over?

My mom knows I’m an adult so there’s no awkwardness when it comes to the boyfriend coming over. He’s welcome whenever and that’s cause it’s my house too.

  • Do you really save money?

YES! I am saving so much and I get more than just saving money because I get fed. My mom cooks me dinner and she pays the internet, TV and all the utilities…

It’s seriously the best decision I could have made straight out of college. Of course, I won’t be living with my mother forever, but because I’m saving I’ll have money in the bank for the deposit, first and last months rent and whatever moving expenses might come up.

Another nice benefit from all the saving is that I am paying down my debt from school, my car and those pesky credit cards.

All in all, I find living with my mom to be a great decision and I don’t think anyone should be ashamed or feel weird about it.

I hope this helps anyone that is considering the move back to mom’s and feel free to ask more questions below in the comments.

Of course I don’t plan on staying with mom for the rest of my life, so stay tuned for any updates as usual.

 

Why Classic Date Nights are Important

What do you consider a classic date night?

My version of a classic date night is dinner and a movie. Recently, I did just that: dinner and a movie with my boyfriend.

Now I don’t claim to be an expert on dating and relationships, but I know that I personally enjoy the classic date night and that it has made an impact on my relationships.

My high school boyfriend turned to friend and now boyfriend again took me to one of our favorite restaurants and then to the movies. It was like we were first dating again. It reminded me that sometimes going back to that feeling of everything being new and exciting is important to keep that spark alive.

Now granted, I’m only in my 20s, but I’ve seen how relationships can blossom and also how relationships can crash and burn. Coming from a divorced family and watching friends around me ride the relationship carousel, I’ve learned to appreciate all the little things in my relationships.

I’ve also learned, through observation, that doing the same old routine day after day and not “spicing things up” is detrimental to the health of a partnership. I watched my parents’ love disintegrate because they never did anything spontaneous or for themselves. Yeah, we went on family vacations occasionally and went out to dinner, but it wasn’t for them, it was for the whole family. I’ve heard it’s hard to get away as parents of young children, but it’s possible and it’s great for the marriage and evidently great for the family as a whole.

Date nights allow any couple to feel special and try something new. It also gives each person something to look forward to. Schedule a date in advance and mark it on your calendars. Schedule often enough to keep it interesting, but not so often it becomes routine or boring (or too much out of your wallet).

Again, I don’t claim to be an expert, but with technology, food delivery and the comfort of home, it’s easy, even as a 22-year-old, to not want to leave. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m happy staying at home, binge-watching Game of Thrones and scarfing down a Dominos pizza under my favorite Star Wars blanket, but getting out makes me even happier.

This past summer my BF and I got out as often as we could. Even taking a bike ride around our hometown and getting lunch at a local snack bar was a perfect day date. (Also thank you Grand Lake Bike Company for the Insta shout-out!)

 

My boyfriend and I still try to get out as much as we can even though he (sadly) lives three hours away. But when I go to visit him we make the most of it. One time he took me to putt-putt and let me tell you, I love putt-putt and we will be doing it again. Small tidbit: make the most of the time you get if you’re in a long-distance relationship.

In addition to the classic date night dinner and a movie, a day riding bikes and getting lunch and a round of putt-putt, I’ve compiled a short list of some date night (or day) ideas below.

Day Dates

  • A walk, a bike ride and/or frisbee in the park
  • Window shopping (my BF isn’t into this, hopefully, your SO is!)
  • Go to the zoo, aquarium or botanical garden (my first zoo visit was in high school with my BF and it was such an amazing day)
  • Amusement park, go-cart track, putt-putt of course
  • Hiking (one of my personal favorites)
  • Kayaking, paddle boarding, boating
  • Picnic (preparation included)
  • Vineyard tour (21+ obviously and drive responsibly)
  • Volunteer
  • Yoga
  • Farmer’s market, craft fair, music festival
  • Museum, special exhibit
  • Library (have your SO pick a book for you to read and vice versa)
  • Coffee date

Classic Date Night

  • Dinner and movie
  • Pottery, painting, or any other crafting class (find a specialty studio that does an adult class with wine included!)
  • Evening stroll or drive
  • A night on the town, bars and dancing
  • A movie, take-out, snuggling and homemade dessert
  • Pick a new recipe and cook together
  • Get cozy by the fire and roast marshmallows

Seasonal Dates

Spring

  • Plant a garden
  • Walks
  • A day trip to a nearby town
  • Rainy day TV show binging or movie marathon

Summer

  • Anything really, it’s summer, it’s warm and it’s light till late.
  • Pretend you’re a tourist in your own town
  • Camping

Fall

  • Pumpkin patch, corn maze
  • Hayride
  • Haunted house or escape room
  • Decorate for Halloween and pass out candy
  • Carve pumpkins

Winter

  • Sleigh ride
  • Skiing/Snowboarding
  • Snowshoeing
  • Ice skating
  • Holiday decorating
  • Play in the snow
  • Christmas light tour
  • Make a gingerbread house

 

I’ve also found Pinterest to be a great resource for date ideas from anything that doesn’t cost you a cent, to extravagant nights that you’ll never forget.

If you have more ideas please send them my way and as always, stay tuned for more!

Why Taking a Break from Social Media is Important

So I’ve taken a break from posting on all of my social media channels for the past month and now I’m back.

A lot has happened in the past several weeks and I’ll catch you up, but first I’d like to write about this brief time off social media.

There have been plenty of studies that show taking a social media break is beneficial and can shed light on various insights into your life.

My freshman year of college I took my first ever journalism class and was tasked with going screen-less for 48 hours. In those 48 hours I remember feeling very off-the-grid and out of the loop. Of course, this task was an assignment, a paper, designed to show us, students, that being plugged in 24-7 isn’t always the best thing. I learned that even if I did miss something “important” that it would still be there when I got back.

For this social media break, which I derived from my class experience, I decided to give myself limited time on social media and not post anything myself. After graduating from college (post on that later) I’ve realized that I’m not missing much on the various platforms I have an account for and surprisingly, I’m okay with that. Being connected all the time isn’t something that I’m super concerned about anymore.

I enjoy viewing what other people are up to and how their lives are going, but it isn’t the end of the world if I don’t check my Instagram feed every day.

As someone who is hoping to enter the communication industry it whatever form that may be, I do value the importance of being connected still. I will continue to post on my social media channels and I’ll be posting here more often.

Mainly what I learned is that sometimes there are more important things to be worried about than checking in on everyone else. I think what’s most important is understanding what you value the most and if that means taking a break from posting on social media yourself and seeing what really matters to you, then so be it.

I’ve decided that there are more aspects of life that deserve a Why it’s Important posts so stay tuned for more.

In addition to this new series of posts, I will also be posting more life updates. As I mentioned above, I’ve graduated and I’m currently seeking a job in communications in Colorado.