A long-overdue personal post
I haven’t written a personal blog post in such a long time. My new years post was a bit personal but still not the same way I used to write when I started this blog.
I’m not sure how many of you are left who have been following me from the beginning but I’m pretty sure that a majority followed my blog because of the personal stories. Whether it was the struggles I had with our daughter and her health, my cats, our family traveling, or other family and home-related stories and issues.
Especially during the past year, I can say that I’ve felt like I turned on my autopilot. Talking about too much personal stuff would require turning off autopilot and thinking about everything. I didn’t feel like reflecting because there was nothing we could do to change the situation. I guess it was and still is some type of survival mode. There is something very truthful in the statement “surviving not thriving”.
I’ve also not been a fan of my husband and I both working at home for this long. There I said it! I’m still not sure if he will ever go back to the office either. I mean you guys probably all know that during the last year, cleaning up after everyone else had taken on an entire new level. Before the house stayed clean for a bit and I had time to tinker around on my projects and blog.
My projects lately
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If you’ve been wondering why I haven’t done much else besides macrame…
Well, it’s not because my blog is turning into a macrame blog. Last year during lockdown I mentioned how it had helped me stay creative and how much I loved working with the yarn.
This year, I hurt my knee in early February skiing and I simply haven’t been able to tackle all the other more labor-intensive projects I want to do. Boy am I glad that I finished my bedroom before Christmas which you can see HERE. I shouldn’t say it is completely finished because I still want to add wooden beams to the ceiling but that is one of those projects I simply can’t tackle right now.
My regular physician had told me to wait for a little to see if my knee would heal. It’s gotten better but is still swollen and causes pain. I can’t kneel on it and am having trouble with certain movements.
I put getting an MRI off for too long because we had so many medical bills lately since my husband’s surgery last year and my daughter breaking her arm snowboarding in December. I finally got the MRI on Saturday which states that I have a “posterior lateral tibial plateau osteochondral fracture with surrounding bone contusion and prominent joint effusion“. I’m waiting to review the results with the specialist tomorrow to see how it can be fixed and heal. Ugh!
So bare with me through this immobile period and whatever craft or other macrame project I come up with while not being able to move the way I want.
I do have a post coming up where I fixed a tile chip in our beautiful new patio table from last year. I feel like I constantly have to fix things others break. I was so angry when my husband and son decided to scrape ice off the tiles even though I asked them not to.
My husband also scratched our beautiful floor while sliding out the stove when I wasn’t home. To me, it would be a given to put sliders under the metal… Not to him!!!
Another project I am planning on doing and hopefully can accomplish with my knee is wrapping my dishwasher in car vinyl to match my cabinet color. Yup you heard that right. I’ve been doing a lot of research on this subject and think it might turn out great. I’m actually picking up some color samples today.
While other blogs that started around the same time I did in 2012 have turned their business into a structure with employees, I have remained a one man show. The back end of what all goes into having a blog and keeping it above water and not drowning in the see of other blogs is driving me a bit crazy and leaving me frustrated.
I’m currently trying to get my blog up to date so Google’s upcoming Core Vitals update won’t ruin my visibility on Google for good. It’s hard enough to rank for anything these days anymore. Big blogs have it easier because they have authority. It’s kind of really unfair because they can write about any subject and rank easily. Explaining all this could take up an entire blog post alone.
For example, my macrame feathers ranked at #1 on Google for a bit until a huge blog did the same exact project and booted me far away from that spot. Thanks so much Google, the big guys always win. Why does it matter to rank highly in search results? Well because you get traffic to your site and traffic to my site means I get paid from my ad network. That is how most bloggers are able to make money while keeping their content free for others to read.
Anyways, this back-end work is the reason I haven’t been able to blog more than maybe once a week or less.
There are different reasons I haven’t written any personal posts for so long. My kids and daughter especially doesn’t like it when I share personal things about her. Not that she had a saying in it when she was little and writing about it helped me a lot, not only emotionally but also because others had great suggestions. After all these years, I can happily say that she is really healthy and the diet changes we made were a game-changer. She is a normal mouthy and healthy 14-year old teenager who is intelligent, ambitious, and driven. If you are new around here and are interested in reading about her struggles with sensory issues, encopresis, and candida from birth to about age 7, then you can check out my posts HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.
The next struggle now is dealing with a teenage girl if you know what I mean 😉 She is entering Highschool in the fall and I am a tad bit scared. LOL!
Our son is heading off to college to study supply chain management in the fall and I can’t even really talk about it because I get so emotional. I never thought I’d be that much of a mess just thinking about it. I will miss him so much. Thankfully he is only going about 1.5 hours away which isn’t too bad am I right? He has always been the one in our household that I can talk to with ease about pretty much anything. Maybe it is because our personalities are so similar. I’m hoping that I will get to the same point with my daughter once she is over her grumpy teenage years.
Like I mentioned before, I took last year as a gift in the end because I would have never been able to spend that much time with my Highschool senior. He feels robbed of his last two years of Highschool though.
Or should I call them my therapists? That’s what I feel they are to me a lot of times. When I’m emotional, upset, or angry they always have the ability to stabilize my mood better than anything or anyone can.
I wish Walter and Willy would have learned over the years to like each other which they haven’t. They still fight daily and Willy is frustrated with Walter stalking him. Willy isn’t giving up his boss guy position yet though.
Willy has increasingly gotten the urge to wanting to go outside, and I’m not talking about his catio. Thanks to my husband’s mistake of leaving the door open and finding Willy in the neighbor’s yard, he now has a taste for the rest of the outdoors. He stands at the door daily now and scratches at it to see if he can open it.
I’m so thankful that he didn’t run far. He is my little bottle baby and we have a special bond.
I have mentioned before why we don’t let our cats outside in the neighborhood and why I built the cat enclosure, to begin with. We have a shooting range very close by, roads, nasty neighbors who trap cats and dump them in the woods, and neighbors who poison rodents which lead to my one and only indoor/outdoor cat dying of sudden kidney failure due to poisoning at age 5.
With that said, I have been contemplating if I should leash train my Willy but I know that can just make things worse with him wanting to get outside. I’m just not sure if I should try or not. A lot of my friends on Instagram have said that trying to take their cat out on a leash has only made things worse.
My Family traveling
I miss my German family so very much and am beyond glad that I had the intuition to see them quickly last February on my own. I had no idea Covid would hit but had the strange urge to go during an unusual month. When I returned chaos started in March 2020.
My parents who are in their 80s are finally vaccinated now and I have been begging them to come and visit us this summer.
I don’t know how much we will be able to continue with our yearly Germany trips and that’s not only because of college bills but the fact that our daughter also wants to be home for her summer Highschool soccer training in order to make the team. Everything is changing and uncertain right now which tends to really make my anxiety worse. I try not to think about everything but at night when I am awake in bed and can’t sleep all the worries and fears creep up on me. I know I’m not alone.
So this was it in a nutshell. I’m basically trying to stay sane and take it day by day.
Hopefully, I will get back to moving around normally again soon so I can tackle more labor-intensive projects. I forgot to also mention that I want to build a little shed at the side of the house and enlarge the cat enclosure when I am better.
Hugs Julia xx
Thanks Catherine 🙂
hi julia i just read your blog and let me tell you i felt normal reading it !it seems when it rains it pours my husband is always at home so i know about constant picking up like you we are also animal lovers we have 3 pomeranians one just recently injured her rear legs now she is handicapped makes it twice the work cant bear to put her down since she was born on our bed i myself have heart problems and he is also having medical issues i was just thinking about you yesterday since i had not seen your emails carry on little trooper thats all you can do maybe next year we will have a better year i love love hearing about your projects it inspires me
Oh, your poor little baby! I can so understand why you don’t want to put her down. I would do the same. And thank you so much for the encouragement, I really appreciate it.
It was great hearing news from you. These are certainly interesting and stressful times we live in.
I hope your knee gets better and you can find a good solution.
Hi Katja, how are you doing? I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I won’t need surgery and it can be resolved and heal differently.
I feel so many of these things… the ups/downs to the last year have been crazy. I’m so sorry about your knee (and all the medical bills surrounding that). Gosh, that must be hard. I can’t imagine how you are feeling about your son going off. Greyson (who is 11) has been home doing virtual school since last March and it’s been such a growth time for our relationship. I know I’m going to struggle when he goes back in the fall to middle school. Making that switch from elementary to middle school is stressing me out so I can only think how you are feeling!
As far as backend things on the blog…I GET YOU! You aren’t alone.
Hi Ashley, we need to do virtual happy hour again. I’ve been really stressing about this core web vitals stuff, ugh!
When my daughter went to middle school, she told me that she missed elementary school. It’s definitely a change, especially after a year where they were home a lot.
Thinking of my son, I literally burst into tears out of nowhere occasionally. And the college debt makes me cry too 😂.
I just recently found your blog and I am so happy that I did! Your macrame reminds me of my years in college, during the ’70’s (yes, I’m that old 🙂 I am also a cat lover.
You sound stressed, but I think that most of us are. We just need to hang in there and support each other. Life has gotten very
interesting and I don’t think that will change anytime soon.
I have also had to deal with knee injuries. I’ve had torn miniscus surgery and, later, two knee replacement implants. I can’t kneel
on my knees, anymore, but I can do everything else that I used to – it’s a blessing!
The reason that I started following your blog, is because you are personable and not one of the “big blogs.” I quit following those
a couple of years ago and will continue to support blogs like yours. My best wishes to you!
Thanks so much for your comment Susan, it really helps to know that there are people who care on the other side of my screen, literally 🙂 I’m glad you enjoy my macrame posts. And thank you so much for supporting a small blog 🙂 Have a great week.
I love your site 🙂 Thank God for the fur children! My fur children always listened to all my problems:) Many hugs to you and hopefully your parents will visit soon.
Thank you Debby! Yes the fur children listen to all of our issues 🙂 God bless them.
I just want to send you good vibes, Julia! Hoping the knee issue will soon get sorted and you’ll be able to get back to normal. Glad to hear news from your kids-wow! Time flies!!! Take care of yourself and hang in there!!
Yes, time flies for sure! Thanks for the good vibes!
Hi Julia – I loved this post – chatty and like we are sitting at cute little cafe together drinking coffee and catching up. XO I feel your pain about the high school sports interfering with late summer vacations. We had to rethink how we traveled for those high school and college years.
Hang in there, hopefully we can get on the other side of the pandemic soon.
Hi Diane, I wish we could meet and catch up in person one day. Maybe on the other side of the pandemic, we can.
I had a cat that was leased. I took him outside leased and after awhile he didn’t want to go outside anymore leased and forgot about wanting to go out. Hope this will be the same for you.
Oh that’s so good to know that it hasn’t been a bad experience for everyone.
Hugs and healing, Julia! I love everything you do. Maintaining a basic functional home during the time of covid (when every family member is always home all the time) definitely doesn’t leave a lot of project time!! Good luck meeting with the specialist. <3 And sorry husbands are oblivious about furniture sliders.
Yes, husbands and furniture sliders!!! Just why? LOL Thanks for making me feel like I’m not alone
Love your posts!
Thanks so much Sarah!
I feel so much of this too. I’m surviving not thriving. I feel like I’ve been living in a fog on autopilot for awhile. I’ve been trying to grow my blog behind the scenes too but it is so difficult. I don’t even know if it can be done.
Isn’t it like chasing the purple unicorn when you try to grow your blog? It’s ridiculous for sure! I’m glad we can function on autopilot at least, maybe that’s a gift? Trying to make it sounds better than it is, right?
Hugs to you xo
I feel the same way with so many of the things you talked about. I’m thankful for being able to spend so much time with my family, but I’m also so tired of constantly cleaning up. I really miss having the days to myself.
We should meet up and commiserate after our boys go off to college!
Yes, I’m thankful on one side, and then I miss my time too. I know I’m still very blessed and I hate even writing posts like this because I know I don’t have it bad by any means. And yes we should meet up one day. Where is your son heading to?
Thank you for the honesty you have presented, in regards to your life and challenges. These are difficult times for all, and it is refreshing to read a blog post that presents real issues, not a sugar-coated version of life. You have a lovely blog and I hope that everything will work out so that we can all continue to enjoy it! Most things in life do work out in the end, despite the struggles to get there, at times. All the best to you and your family.
Thanks, Sylvia, I struggle with writing honest posts like this because I know that I have a good life and I feel guilty when I struggle. I don’t want to ever sound like a complainer.
SAMEGIRLSAME! Especially with husbands and kids being home. It has been a gift and a curse. My husband was laid off 8 months ago and my youngest daughter had to move off campus back home. I have learned my husband and I cannot be together in the same room for very long. It’s just how it is so why deny it?! The three of us have decided we don’t enjoy sitting down and eating meals together … could be our anxieties but my daughter and I don’t like ANY eating noises. My hubs thinks just because he closes his mouth, we can’t hear him. Many of your thoughts and feels I can identify with 100%. I have loved your blog for years but I know it must be fighting an uphill battle with analytics and
all the big blogs (who, I have stopped following). I want real. I want to know I am not the only one hanging on by a fingernail some days. Thank you for sharing your heart. Now, get that knee better and build that shed!
Oh my gosh, Diane, the eating and chewing noises!!! I hear you loud and clear! I can’t take it either. My husband loads up a plate with his sandwich and chips and I don’t want him to be in the same room with me when he eats it. I’m not allowed to say anything though. Chewing noises makes my skin crawl. And thanks so much for following my small blog.
Love hearing more about your life because I know I haven’t been able to stay in touch as well as I used to. SO sorry about your knee and I hope the doctor can help you. I know it’s frustrating for someone as active as you. And I feel you on the teenage daughter. 😉
Excited to see what the dishwasher will look like wrapped- super exciting!
Also really appreciate you just keeping it real here.
From a one woman show to another, you’re doing great!
Maybe one day we can have a virtual happy hour. I enjoyed my virtual happy hour with you on the beach last year. I’m so excited about my dishwasher too but the car shop is a tad bit annoyed with me LOL
Hey, thanks for this post! In COVID times especially, posts like these are such a great reminder that we’re all struggling in some way.
My husband and I both work from home now, and our kiddo’s preschool closed permanently, and it is all feeling like A LOT of people with A LOT OF FEELINGS hanging around my formerly quiet house ALL THE TIME. Hugs to you!
Oh my goodness, bless you with preschool kids at home right now. I’m so glad I don’t have that right now. My brother does and he is going crazy.
You will make it thru teen hostility. It will be tense for a bit but after a year of college, your daughter will turn around and think you are the greatest thing since sliced bread. I might suggest that, if it is possible, bring your daughter with you if you visit your parents. It will be a great personal bonding experience, just you and her.
Thanks Deb! I hope she will be less annoyed when she is in college.
That was my first trip alone ever, she just couldn’t go because of school at the time. She usually always goes. It is hard to bond with her right now. What we do have in common and do to bond is watching scary movies while being cozy on the sofa or in bed. Just her and I and it feels very good.
Hi Julia. I’m a new subscriber (via the lovely Rhoda at Southern Hospitality), and love your beautiful blog. We’re all on the road to better days -if we can just keep our grip in the meantime. Kitties always help. They’re just the best little friends to us, aren’t they? BTW, one positive of my husband being home so much: He has learned where the silverware drawer is.
Hi Jana, nice to meet you! That is awesome that he found the silverware drawer LOL. I always feel guilty writing posts like this because I know I still have it good. It just feels good knowing we aren’t alone feeling the way we do.
I’ve been around here a long time, not going anywhere. I love your macrame projects but my ADD just can’t follow how to do it. I have been working from home for the past year too and I hated to go back. I’m an introvert at heart and hate all the personal drama at work.
I had a trip planned this spring with my daughter who is 17 to New York but that’s on hold. I find the best conversations we have are in the car because she’s trapped there with me. It was nice this past summer, I could drive my daughter to work and pick her up so lots of car time. Also, take her shopping- say makeup and any teen will go. Then you could do lunch outside or we got Panera and went to the park.
My eldest son was the hardest when he left for his service in the Army. I cried for days. It was much easier when my second son bought his own home and moved out. Also, boys aren’t the best at keeping in touch, lol, so text or call him or make his dad guilt him to call you. Sending hugs!
He’s off to Penn State, but starting at a side campus in Hazelton to ease into college life. Where did your son decide to go?
Just wanted to chime in and say that your personal comments were very human and that as a reader I think it’s important to share that side of your story as well as the creative stuff. Keep on keeping on; you have great taste and I would love to see you design a friend or family member’s space and maybe charge them a fee of some kind. You should totally substitute as a interior designer if you happen to magically have free time one day!
That would totally be fun to do!
And thanks, the reason I decided to write a blog post like this is to show it’s not just pretty photos and a perfect family over here because that’s what drives me crazy on social media. I don’t ever want people to think I’m a complainer or don’t know that I have a good life and am grateful for it.
So sorry about your knee. Hope it gets resolved soon. You still seem to accomplish so much!! Love hearing about your family and I’m glad your daughter is doing so much better. What a relief that must be.
And I so love reading about the kitties. They all have personalities don’t they! My 3 are all different and unique and life would be empty without our pets.
It is sad when our kids grow up and leave. When they are growing up the days are long but the years are short. The important thing is to give them the freedom to fly from the nest and be supportive and they will always come back to see mama!!
Take care and heal fast.
So true that when they are young the days are long but the years are short.
And yes life would be so empty without the furry children. Their personalities are great
I think what you’re feeling is just Covid fatigue. Just tired of this whole thing. You sound so frustrated with hubby, (and that kinda broke my heart) , but things could be so much worse. What if you lost him due to Covid? I would be lost if something happened to my husband. He is my best friend. Do you ever go out for some nice long walks? A walk alone can really clear your head and heart. Go for a nice evening walk with hubby. Just you and him. My hubby and I walk all the time together. (10-15 miles a day!) That’s when we have our best talks. You can clear the air about so many things that are bothering you with him. And you know what? I bet he has some things he may like to say to you as well. Maybe both your bad moods are affecting each other? About your son..yes..it difficult to see him go off in the world without you. I had twins and they both left the same day. We were devastated. But, within 3 or 4 days, it actually was wonderful! When you get to the empty nest stage, it’s like life is just starting over again and you and hubby will reconnect again and it’ll be like it was when you were newly married. We put so much time and energy into raising kids, we forget who we are/were, and sometimes lose that connection with our spouse. When the kids leave, it’s like a whole new beginning. Kids always come back and they call and they get homesick, but this is all what we prepare them for, right? This is the goal! As for your daughter…don’t lose your connection with her. She is just going to start spreading her wings and testing the waters. High school is difficult for them to find their way. I guess you just don’t sweat the small stuff, but try to keep on top of what’s going on in her life and who she’s with etc. You will get through this anyways. We all hate to see our babies grow up , but like I said, that is the ultimate goal. Hey…go for that walk… 😘
Thanks Colleen! I do tell myself the same things you mentioned all the time. And that is why I haven’t written any personal posts because I know that I have it good and I don’t want to sound like a complainer but I also want to show people that it’s not a perfect life over here with pretty photos. That’s what I usually show and I myself get tired of seeing only that all over blogs and social media. Of course, I would never want anything to happen to my husband. I go for long walks alone to clear my head if my knee allows. We occasionally go for walks together or we sit outside together but like my mom always said, a little distance makes the hard grow fonder and would give us more to talk about again too.
I do spend that time with my daughter, we go shopping together and have movie nights where we snuggle or other things she likes doing.
And wow to 10-15 miles a day that is awesome!!!
I love updates like this… it’s like catching up with an old friend. I don’t read blogs as regularly these days because there is less personal and more churning out sooo many projects.
I hope your knee heals quickly and that you get to see your parents in person soon.
My kids just all went back to in person school for 4 days a week this week. I was speaking with my husband about how much I was looking forward to this, and he didn’t understand what the big deal was since they are pretty self sufficient with school. The idea that the house, especially the kitchen, is never clean for more than 10 min. with 4 teenagers ALWAYS home just wasn’t on his radar. I feel you.
Julia, I so appreciate your openness and honesty. It’s refreshing. I’m sure that running a blog must be a tremendous task and can take away from the fun and creativity of what you do – especially when you have a husband and family to care for on top of it! And the events of this past year made everything harder and it sounds like you had more than your share of challenges. Life is hard, always changing and it can be difficult to navigate. Something that changed my life (for the better) is when I came to know Jesus. He’s brought me peace and joy especially during some very tough circumstances. It may sound cliche, but coming to know God is the most important and impactful thing that’s ever happened to me. And I believe it’s that important for everyone – He’s there for anyone who asks. He loves you. He is always for you, never against. He is the giver of all things and that includes peace and joy even when times are tough. I’ll pray for you to have that kind of peace in your life. I wish it for everyone. Hang in there and look up to the One who loves you best.