Life Changes

Hi, everyone!

I’m finally finding some time to write, and considering it’s been months since I got around to posting, I thought it would be beneficial to do a post solely on some changes that have happened since my last post. Get ready for the chaos!

First and foremost, Justin and I will be welcoming our first baby this July! We are having a boy and could not be more excited, even though everyone can probably guess that I was praying for a girl. Honestly, I’m just happy we have a healthy baby, and feeling thankful that the pregnancy has been smooth, recently. Definitely stay tuned for a post all about my pregnancy – from the moment we found out we were expecting, up until now AKA 23 weeks pregnant. And of course I’ll be posting about all things mom once our little one is here.

baby boy

 

Next, Justin and I added a new fur-baby to our family, Barry. He’s about four months old and I don’t know how we lived without him. That being said, puppy ownership hasn’t been without a few bumps in the road, so expect a post about everything Barry – from health concerns to training, and how we’ve handled every adventure that comes with puppy parenting. Believe me, there are several.

barry1

You now might be wondering where we plan on keeping all these new additions to the Minman Family, and with that, we also just recently moved into our new home. Going from a two-bedroom apartment, to a room at my in-laws, to a four-bedroom home has been quite something. We are finally getting settled and WILL NEVER MOVE AGAIN. Look forward to posts regarding how I’m (sorta) managing to keep up with our new home. As much as I would like to tell you I will be posting cute DIY projects on here, I will not be. Most of our furniture is from Walmart, and I have to wait for Jus to get home to assemble it.

house

Finally, as far as my career goes, it’s basically on hold at this point. Yupp, I’m not working. GASP! After finishing my master’s in under two years, while working full-time, and managing everything else life seemed to throw at us, I am finally taking a much needed break. Those who know me are well aware that this is the most difficult transition I’ve gone through, so you can expect posts on how I’m spending my “free time”, the real reasons why I’m taking a break, and the emotions that come with a workaholic taking time off.

SO, those are just a few of the changes that have taken place over the past few months. Luckily we’ve made the ultrasound tech confirm multiple times that there is only one baby in me, because yes, with our usual chaos I expected there to be twins.

I’m super excited for the upcoming year and I can’t wait to share it all with you. Any particular life event you just can’t wait to hear about? Let me know via WordPress or Facebook! 🙂

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I Have a Dream

Most people know that my dream job is becoming a lawyer, and not just any lawyer, but a complete powerhouse in the legal arena, called on by government agencies and high level executives, but also those who need me the most, like the mother trying to win back custody of her children. Since Legally Blonde first came out, I pictured myself as Elle Woods, proving people wrong, arguing points, fighting for those who needed it, and looking super cute while doing so. Ivy League college was a must (LOL), and I would come home to my white-collar husband and kids after a long day of us both working in some high level position.

This is not my reality, and I have just recently faced this, but I am so thankful I did.

As for the white-collar, high power husband, that would be awful in my case. I am so proud of my hard working, truck-driving husband. Justin is calm, supportive, content, and just what I need after a long day of work, school, and whatever my crazy personal life throws at me that day.

But the powerhouse, big city lawyer part of my dream has been a lot more difficult for me to figure out mentally. Justin and I live in Meadville, which while most people up north refer to as “the largest city in Crawford County”, it’s hardly the big city I imagined myself in. And as for Ivy League schools, I don’t have the time nor the financial situation to devote my life solely to studying for the LSAT to boost me into the Ivy League realm. And even if I did, the chances of me moving are slim to none. So how have I been handling this jolt into reality? Horribly, until now.

I started by reprimanding myself for “settling” and getting annoyed with Jus, even though his attitude has, and will always be, “get into the best school you can and we will figure everything else out.” Of course, this was an unrealistic expectation that I put on myself, one that truly will never happen, and one that honestly wouldn’t fit my new values.

I now value being able to be home at a decent hour to spend time with my husband. I value being in a work environment that focuses on empowering its employees and clients. I value flexibility, personal growth, privacy, mental health, and free time. These new values did not align with my big city lawyer dream, but they do align with my new dream: being a small town lawyer/wife/mother who helps small businesses, local government, community members, and whoever else calls upon my future legal knowledge. At first I saw this new dream as settling, but now I’ve realized it’s just adjusting to the other amazing aspects of my life. I’ve started to relieve myself of these unrealistic expectations and instead focused on all of the positive life changes that have caused this change in my dream.

Although not everyone who reads this post wants to be a big time lawyer, many of you may place unrealistic expectations on yourselves. Let them go, do your best, and enjoy your life.

Love/Hate

Hey, everyone!

You know the drill – super busy, but every few weeks something happens to me that makes me think “okay, I need to blog about this.”

Two weeks ago, I got to spend some one-on-one time with my mother-in-law, which was awesome. Of course we started talking about Justin and she told me that they play this game called Love/Hate where they bring up a topic and say what they love and hate about it. Christie then told me that the last time her and Justin played the game, she decided to say the topic of “Molly” as a joke. Of course I thought this was hilarious and made my own jokes like “Oh god, let me guess, Justin said he loves my butt and hates when I nag him.” But his response was way different than I expected…

Justin’s responses:

Love: “I love how driven Molly is. She’s involved in almost every committee and board, while also going to school and working full-time. I’ve never seen someone work so hard and be so motivated.”

Hate: “How Molly sees herself…she’s always so hard on herself and she doesn’t understand how beautiful she is.”

DAMN. You all know that hit me like a ton of bricks, so much so that I actually started crying. It was super embarrassing, and I tried composing myself, but it never really occurred to me that Justin understood a lot more about me than I’d ever give him credit for. And what he said was absolutely true, and I feel like it is for a lot of women other than myself.

I’ve been thinking about this constantly for the past few weeks, and after talking with a few of my friends, I’ve realized that I’m truly not alone in this (or that my friends are liars). But I truly feel like women are so hard on themselves, whether it’s trying to balance being a working mom, trying to fit back into our size 6 pants we wore in high school, or just trying to get through the day.

Since realizing that my husband was right (okay Jus, one time), I’ve decided that I’m going to work on my insecurities as best I can, but also not stress about things I can’t control. I’m not going to lose 25 pounds in a week, or suddenly have hours of free time, but I can start making small changes. My first change will be realizing it’s okay to not be perfect, and I need to stop getting down on myself.

Challenge yourself to think every day about all the positives you have in your life and all the awesome things you do. Think about some changes you’d like to make, create some goals, and don’t stress when they don’t happen immediately.

What’s My Age Again?

Obviously I have been incredibly busy, so much so that I haven’t gotten much of a chance to write. I finally have the time, so I wanted to write about something that I recently realized and that I’ve been thinking a lot about: my age.

I recently accepted a job as a Branch Manager, and the term manager has suddenly made me feel super empowered, but also super old. The other day at Starbucks I was on the phone with Jus while waiting for my caramel macchiato in the drive-thru. I pull up to the window, say thanks to the twenty year-old barista, and he responds “you’re welcome, ma’am.” I never realized how ugly that term sounded, even though it’s supposedly used to signify respect, but to me it signified age.

It was in this moment that I realized for only being 23, I am kinda old. I’m married, Justin and I have our own place, I have a stable job, am working on my master’s, and wouldn’t mind starting a family in the near future. I would much rather be at home, on the couch, watching a documentary until I fall asleep at promptly 10:00 PM than out until 5:00 AM drinking with people I truly don’t care about.

At 23 years old I know who I can count on, how to achieve my overly-ambitious goals, and have a whole list of “adult” problems like paying rent, making decisions at work, etc., and I don’t want to be hungover while dealing with them. To many others my age, this type of mentality signifies that I’m old and no longer fun.

And then there are those I interact with while at work. I’m seen as the baby in most professional settings. At a solid 5 ft 1 in, I walk into every room and take the award for the shortest person there. It also doesn’t help that I look like I’m the ripe age of 12. Once again, I’m going for my master’s, but when I mention going to school I’m immediately asked if I know where I want to start working, as if I must be there as an intern or assistant. I proudly say that I’m the Branch Manager at a global nonprofit, and often times a confused expression comes over their face. Then I think to myself “damn, I can’t please anyone.”

I now completely understand the entire concept behind Blink 182’s song “What’s My Age Again?”. The song truly shows the awkward transition period that most 23 year olds are in, with people telling them they’re either too “grown up” or too immature. I have friends who make $60,000 a year while others spend $60 a night at the bar. I feel like I’m in a stage in my life where I’m too young for colleagues but too old for friends, and it’s been driving me nuts.

Obviously I’m not the only person that feels this way. For example, peep the meme below. It shows the completely different stages we could all be in while being the same age.

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Luckily I have friends who totally get my weird transition phase and spend time with me regardless, whether it’s volunteering at my job or meeting me for food and being home by 9. So, if you feel similarly, let me know, and we can grab drinks after we’re both done with work and prove Blink 182 wrong when they say “nobody likes you when you’re 23.”

The Power of Positive Stress

I’ve been at my new job for almost a month now, and I have already been so inspired by the amazing women that come into my office. To keep it short, women go through a lot and we deal with a lot of stress. WE balance work, school, kids, keeping our lives organized, and so much more. Every woman has a unique set of circumstance that they have to deal with on a daily basis, and it makes my life seem incredibly easy at times, even though I have almost zero free time and function only after guzzling multiple caffeinated beverages. Basically, I’ve been complaining about how stressed I am and how tired I am, but damn, my stress is nothing compared to what other women my age can be going through.
Over the past few months, I’ve been trying to categorize my stresses and look at the positive things that come from everything that is currently stressing me out. This mentality has absolutely changed my life, so I wanted to share it with everyone on my blog. I’m normally not a very positive person, but I promise, this works!
So, first I start by making a list of things that are stressing me out that day. Typically, it looks something like this…

1. School/homework/getting to class on time
2. Adjusting to working full-time again
3. Looking like a whale
4. Laundry
5. Scheduling time to see my family and friends

After I make my list, I look at everything on it and categorize it as positive or negative stress. Once again, this list varies each week but these always seem to be on there.
1. School/homework/getting to class on time – Positive. I am still in school full-time for my master’s, taking 12 credits and finishing up on finals. I start my summer semester next week, which is both exciting and stressful. BUT, I am so thankful to be in school and to have family and friends that support my dream of being one of the most educated women in the world. I love the fact that my husband, family, and friends are so supportive of me bettering myself.
2. Adjusting to working full-time – Positive. I love my job. Yes, I’m only a few weeks in, but I love being able to work with such inspiring clients and co-workers. It’s also a way to make money. As someone who wants to continue taking college courses until I’m 74, working at a nonprofit could allow me to have some of my student loans forgiven, and do so in a way that I actually enjoy. See my post about student loans here.
3. Looking like a whale – Positive and Negative. There’s no denying that I’ve gained a significant amount of weight over the past few years, but specifically in the past year or so. I’ve been under a lot of stress (wedding/school/moving/family/work/life), Taco Bell is delicious/convenient, and I would much rather be cuddling on the couch with Jus or having a beer with my friends rather than working out.
“But, OMG Molly, but you could work out in the evenings when you get home from class at 10, or wake up earlier!” – Yeah, no thanks. 🙂
Eventually I’ll get to a point where I decide to work out and eat a salad or two, but for now, I’ll continue eating my taco/caramel macchiato combo on my two hour commute from work to class every evening, and still come home to my husband telling me how hot I am.
4. Laundry – Positive and Negative. Justin and I hate laundry, and it’s pretty much the only thing we actually argue over. It’s super petty, but it drives both of us bonkers! With that being said, I realized how horrible it was that I was complaining about having so much clothing to wash when I work for an organization that provides attire to women who could not otherwise afford it. While I still hate laundry with every fiber of my being, I realize that I should feel lucky to have clothing to wash.
5. Scheduling time to see my family and friends – Positive. While this really stresses me out because I miss my family and friends so much, if you refer to my “Support System” post, you will see how having friends and family who want to spend time with you, but understand your craziness is such an amazing feeling. I’m thankful for people who truly care whether or not I spend time with them, but don’t necessarily care how that time is being spent. S/O to Heather for sitting there while I type papers, Erica for meeting me in Butler to walk after work, and my mom for meeting me on 79 to give me a hug.
Long story short, there’s not much going on in my life that can’t be categorized as something positive. While stress is still stress, realizing the amount of good in your life can sometimes help you get through the days when you’re overwhelmed, tired, cranky, etc. I’m not saying there aren’t negative things that happen to us, but learning to dwell on the positives could make those negatives a whole lot less sucky.

To Those of You Asking If I’m Pregnant

So, Jus and I have been married for just over 6 months now, and of course everyone is wondering when I’m going to announce I’m pregnant. FYI, I’m not pregnant, and I’m not tacky enough to announce my pregnancy via blog post.

People warned me that this would happen. I cough in front of someone, and instead of having a cold, I must be pregnant.

I am in no way offended by the random family members, or complete strangers, asking if Justin and I are trying. Everyone knows I can’t wait to be a mom and Justin can’t wait to be a dad, but it’ll happen when we’re ready. That being said, I really have had so many people asking me about it, and it’s been happening so often that I felt the need to post a bit of a caution.

While I’m not offended by pregnancy questions, I caution all those asking to consider a few things. First, according to the American Pregnancy Association,  “studies reveal that anywhere from 10-25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage.” From what I understand it’s not only difficult to get pregnant, but it can also be very difficult to keep a pregnancy. While I’m not going to get into any specifics, miscarriages are so much more common than anyone wants to talk about, and I can’t imagine how depressing it would be to constantly have to tell people “no, I’m not pregnant” when you’re spending your free time calculating your ovulation schedule and praying each month for a positive test.

Secondly, it’s really not anyone’s business if you’re pregnant, if you’re trying, or when you plan to be. To reiterate, I am in no way offended when people ask me this, but I have to wonder who else the people who ask me are questioning. You never know when someone is going through something. It’s so important for us to realize our place in other people’s lives and understand that we might not be the first person they want to tell they’re pregnant, or that they’re having troubles. People can choose whether or not to share those details, and with whom they’d like to share them. Watch the first minute or two of this Teen Mom OG episode clip as a reference —> Teen Mom OG.  

No matter how you feel about the show, I think it is so powerful to see celebrities (yes, these girls are celebrities), having an honest dialogue about these issues that so many can relate to.

I’m thankful that these life experiences are becoming increasingly discussed and hope that with open, empathetic communication we can start truly being there for one another rather than just casually asking intimate questions.

PS This post is not to make people who have asked me feel guilty. Y’all know I have baby fever, so I really don’t mind. I just feel as though this is such a relevant topic right now, and we need to be cautious about who we ask.

My Support System

The past few weeks have been absolutely crazy for me. I can’t STRESS that enough! A typical day for me currently looks like this:

-wake up at 6:00 AM

-leave at 7:15 AM for work

-arrive to work at 8:30 AM

-work until 4:30 PM

-drive to class, which starts at 6:00 PM and goes until 9:00 PM

-drive home and do homework until I pass out

Side note: PLEASE DO NOT STALK ME!

But this is important to know, because recently I haven’t had much time to do anything at all. Most people my age are still going out and drinking on a week night. I’m lucky I have enough energy to stay up past 10 on a weekend.

With all this being said, I feel the need to give a quick shout out to my support system (bridal squad + both my mamas + Jus + my g-ma) for making sure I’m alive and understanding that I don’t have time for anything. They have been super flexible and supportive of my hectic life, which has resulted in things like my mother dropping off my laundry (yes, underwear included) to wherever I was on I-79 at that given moment.

Below are a few texts/messages I’ve received over the past few weeks that have made me happy as a clam and super thankful for everyone in my life. Warning: My friends swear, a lot. I’m sorry. Don’t judge me, or them.

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I am so lucky to have a group of people around me that support my crazy busy lifestyle. Instead of complaining about the fact that I have zero time to spend with them, they support me and allow me to accomplish my goals. This has meant them responding to my 7 AM texts, being willing to accept random calls while I’m driving somewhere, and randomly sending me inspirational messages throughout the week to recognize how hard I’m working.

If you get nothing out of this blog post, please just realize how much of an impact you can have on someone just by texting or calling them and saying “hey, I miss you and hope you’re well” or “hey, keep up the great work and I would love to catch up when you can.” A text or call can really changes someone’s day, especially when they’re stressed out like I am 97% of the time. These messages that took roughly 30 seconds to text made my week 100% better.

Anyways, I AM SO BLESSED to have my support system, and while I wish I had more time to blog about them, I just got called on in class, so toodles! ❤