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In keeping with tradition, I had to post a little something on our wedding anniversary! (Here's what I wrote on our 5th & 6th ) I can hardly believe Blake and I are on year number 7! Interestingly I think this past year has been a bit more memorable than some of the others. 

Our first year was amazing. We had no money, but it was awesome. I loved working on our home and settling into a routine. I tried to do all the wifey stuff at first, but all that trial and error was great. We settled in really easily and totally bonded watching the entire Star Trek The Next Generation series together. (Hard to admit but I love it!) 

Our 1st anniversary! 
Years 2-3 feel like a blur. We gained a bunch of weight together, that I definitely remember! Those years were kinda tough because Blake had a super high stress job at the time. He made a ton of money, and we were able to buy a lot of things I'm not sure we'd have otherwise. But it wasn't worth it. That job started as a work from home position, but he was on call 24/7. I'd wake up in the middle of the night and he'd be on the phone with his team solving some server problem. When it became a desk job in an office, he left for work before I was awake and got home after dark. Not cool. Oh, but we did get Delly year 2, which kept me pretty occupied during that puppy stage! 

Dinner with my family on our 2nd anniversary!

Our 3rd anniversary trip to Disney...maybe my favorite trip ever!
Year 4 feels like a bit of a turning point. Our relationship has always been strong, but it was hard to keep it that way when he wasn't happy at work. In year 4 he started working for his current employer. It was a pay-cut, but we've never cared. It's so worth it. It was like a weight had been lifted and he was then able to concentrate on other goals that he was too tired for before. Specifically spiritual goals. And when your husband is doing well spiritually, it benefits you so much. *Gotta brag on my man. 

Our 4th anniversary trip to NYC
Year 5 is traditionally the Wood Anniversary. Which seemed super weird to me at first, but it's very on point. By 5 years your roots as a family are deep and feel secure. That's exactly how I felt in our relationship, totally comfortable and safe. 

On our 5th anniversary trip to St. Augustine!
It's not that Year 6 felt any different, but we definitely went through a different season in life. That's why you can't compare yourself to anyone else - everyone is in a different season! Our year was super stressful. A lot of it self imposed too. There were a lot of great things, like our bathroom remodel and adopting Bailey and the puppies! But, those things were also SO stressful. The remodel took so much longer than I thought, and my house was a disaster for weeks...and we adopted Bailey right before that happened...she was so undernourished and pregnant. The birth of the puppies was dramatic and scary...and then puppies are just plain a lot of work after that! I just mean that we had a very eventful year and while none of it was horrible, it was just a lot. It honestly took us months to recover from all of that. 

The cool part was being in it together. Stress can often distance a couple, but rallying together made us stronger than ever. That's what we signed up for! The thick and the thin. 

We retook our wedding photos on our 6th anniversary!
We've made a lot of changes in the last few months to help us avoid another season of stress. It's paid off too! Working together on the same goal is really what marriage was designed for. I appreciate what a gift marriage is, even more so after making it to year 7. So many couples don't make it this far, and even when they do you can tell they don't really like each other any more. 

I know I'm a completely different person that I was in 2010. Actually, I know I'm a completely different person than I was last year! While Blake may be the most steadfast person I've ever met, I know he is a different person than when we got married too. The most satisfying thing is knowing that even though we've changed, we've grown together all this time and that we love each other MORE now than we did on our wedding day!! 

Thanks for letting me get a little sappy! I'd love to hear about what keeps your relationship strong during those stressful seasons! And what you thought of year 7! Leave a comment below.

7 Years!

Monday, February 27, 2017

One of my most favorite things in life is being able to look back on something after a few months and being so glad you started. It happens when you keep up with your exercise routine, or starting any new habit really. A few months ago I began a bit of a minimalism journey, and now I can look back and see both progress and places I'd still like to see growth. 

Decluttering and reassessing my life was literally the most enjoyable part of 2016 for me. I LOVED it. I went through every room in my house and critiqued everything I owned. I asked myself why I did things and why I had things. Brutal honesty was difficult, but SO freeing. I wound up with a humongous Yard Sale pile, and countless bags to give away and throw away. 

I've made a killing on Ebay selling a bunch of random stuff like cookbooks and old electronics. 
I had planned to have that Yard Sale this month. But, we had piles of stuff looming in our shed, and it didn't seem like much more needed to be gone through. We rescheduled it for January instead. I forgot how much I hate Yard Sales!! The worst people show up to your house and insult your stuff. But you have to be nice to them because you want them to give you a few bucks. It's ridiculous. I was thankful to have my sister there to be nice to the customers, while I rolled my eyes. 

A friend of mine drove by our house while we were having the Sale, and she saw me loading up a bookshelf into a lady's car. She was so surprised by that. But it was really really cool to tell her that I didn't need that shelf anymore because I didn't have any books to put on it! After the yard sale we ended up with about 5 rubbermaids that are just sitting empty, because I have nothing to organize in them. It's just the coolest thing to me. 

If you look closely here you can see some items that went into the Yard Sale. Perfume that gave me a headache, office supplies...and old neck pillow! Not a single drawer went untouched in our house. 
I still have artwork and knickknacks around the house, but everything here is serving a purpose, or is here because it makes me happy. I love interior decorating too much to ever have bare walls. But I do have cleared off surfaces, and that is really calming. 

The whole point of starting this process was to get us back to Keeping It Simple. Our life had become to cluttered and busy with unimportant things. I had too much on my plate and  I needed to change that because it was causing me so much anxiety and guilt. 

I needed less stuff to clean and maintain, but interestingly, now I don't want to buy any more stuff. My Amazon Wishlist went from 3 pages to 4 things. Getting ready in the morning isn't as hard because the clothes I have are ones I like and fit well. I literally had a cookie jar filled with pens and markers, now I have a small cup with just a few that are easy to see and grab. We were able to pay off 2 debts in one day- which was so exciting and definitely motivation to keep going.

We still have stuff! We have movies, but those bins used to be bursting. And that console table used to have photos and candles on it. Now it's nice and clean! 
Less stuff means less to think about. Well, more time to think about important things. That's the side-effect I wanted to talk about! I wasn't expecting that. All I could see was the hurdle of clutter that I needed to take care of. I didn't know or imagine what it would be like on the other side of it. 

For example, at work last Friday we had the slowest day I can ever remember. I accomplished everything on my desk, and tried to find any little thing to do after that. Even cleaning the microwave...But I still ended up twirling in my desk chair with 2 hours to go. Normally I would have just messed around on my phone. During this minimalism journey I also decluttered my phone. I only have a select number of apps and I unfollowed over half of the people I was following on Instagram. That coupled with very limited use on any other social network gave me about 15 minutes of scrolling through my phone. So, I ended up a little bored, but also really excited. That's exactly what I wanted a few months ago. I wanted to waste less time on pointless things and really focus on other areas. It's what I wanted to happen, but it's still taking me by surprise!

Before, I was just coping with my schedule and recovering when I could. But now I feel a lot more in charge with how my time and energy is spent. So, that's what I have to figure out next. What do I want to do with my time? What can have my attention now that I have it to give? 

We've had a ton more time to enjoy our back porch with the pugs! 
It's a super cool problem and an awesome side effect I wasn't anticipating. It's kind of like having a bucket list, and then actually having an opportunity to check some things off. I have a ton of goals, but they seemed kind of idyllic before. Instead of just slowly chipping away at them, now I have the ability to accomplish them.  

I won't say I'm completely over the 1st phase of minimalism. Because you do have to continue to assess your things and not let clutter creep back in. There are also some habits I'm working on to keep us on the simplification path, like chores I need to do daily instead of weekly. But, it's so nice to be able to be proud of something. I really can't wait to look back on this post 6 months from now and continue to see growth! Thanks for letting me share!

Leave a comment below if you have done something in the last 6 months or so that have you proud of yourself! I'd love to hear your decluttering progress or what you would do with your extra time! 

Minimalism Side-Effects

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Guys, I recently started up Delly's Instagram account again. I started it originally because I wanted to post lots of pictures of her, but I knew that would get annoying. Kinda like when people post 45 pictures of their kid in a row...You know who I'm talking about.

I got out of the habit of posting, but realized it was a good time to start back up since I want to share more of Bailey and Winston too. There are so many great pug accounts out there! I especially love following rescues and hearing great stories of pug's and their happy endings. 

You can follow my pugs at @dellyandfriends

A photo posted by Delly, Bailey & Winston (@dellyandfriends) on

In the meantime here are a few pictures and an update on my grumble. 

Winston's eye is basically completely healed after his puncture incident. On a really sunny day you can see a small scar on his eye, but it doesn't affect him at all. He doesn't seem to have any vision problems. He is a healthy little guy, and SO rambunctious. He is fully potty-trained, but he does still need complete supervision because he chews on anything he can. He is 6 months old now, but still not lifting his leg to pee. Kinda wondering if he ever will - I've heard some dogs don't. He will probably be getting fixed next month.

Bailey got spayed 2 weeks ago. She did SO well with her surgery. I was worried because she is older and just had a c-section in July. They also cleaned her teeth and cut her nails way back while she was out. That pug breath was no joke. She had to have 1 tooth pulled, and I think that was the culprit of the smell. This old lady hasn't quite gotten back to her old self yet. She still doesn't have a big appetite. I started feeding her Winston's puppy food so she wouldn't lose any more weight. We worked so hard to fatten her up when we adopted her, so I don't want to have to start over! 

Her eyes have also been really dry since her surgery. They were very bad when we first got her, but between good nutrition and artificial tears, she had been good. The other day when I got home from work her eyes were completely gooped over - I thought she had gone blind! I'm guessing when she gets to eating more and adding extra drops, it will get better. 

Delly is the same as always! She has definitely been siphoning the puppy food, so I know when we go to the vet she is going to get a lecture. She was already a few pounds heavier than they like.

After we ended up with 3 pugs, I started clipping their nails, instead of taking them to the vet. Delly used to go once a month for her nails and glands. It is just too expensive to take all 3 like that! I found some great nail clipperson Amazon. She HATES getting her nails clipped. One of the reasons I had the vet do it! Blake holds her and I do the clipping. I'm just doing little bits at a time since they are black nails and hard to see. She is a strong little thing though. Blake has a nice bruise on his bicep from last time. Bailey and Winston on the other hand behave perfectly during nail trims. Delly needs to get her teeth cleaned as well, so when they put her under they will clip her nails really far back and then I think maintaining them will be so much easier.

I recently talked Blake into doing a 5k with me, doing the Couch to 5K program to train. Since the first few weeks are such short runs we've taken Winston with us. He loves it! I swear he is going to be the first muscular pug in existance. 

Hope to see you guys over on Instagram! Leave a comment below if you have any tips for nail trims or if you had an older dog spayed. 

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017


Hi friends! I'm Kristen, and this is the Life and Style of an early 30's Floridian living the Best Life Ever, with her husband and three pugs. Runner | Avid Reader | Small Shop Owner

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