In 2017 Flourish animal advocate learning monthly learning Pit bulls

Better Books, 82 Teeth, and Breaking Comfort Zones [June Learning]

June was a pretty great month, and had some good learning experiences too!

1.) The book is almost always better.

I read the Miss Peregrine's series in May, so I got the movie this month and watched it with Nathan. Thy tried to combine three books into one movie, switched the powers and ages of characters, and basically massacred the series (in my opinion).

2.) Alligators have 82 teeth. 

And despite Jace getting up close and personal with some of them, he did not experience any of those teeth.

3.) My husband and I are softies.

We've pushed around the idea before of adding another dog to our family, knowing that if we did it would absolutely be a rescue dog, and highly likely a pit bull or pit bull mix because those misunderstood babies need love.

So when Kennel #2 popped up on social media, I noticed.
When he was still there the week before we left for vacation, I had a feeling.
When he remained there after returning home, the pull started.
When the pound was full and he was first in line to be put down? We took Luna to meet him and signed the paperwork the same night to adopt him.

Meet Maverick, who came home from the vet last night to join the Kouris family.

4.) Stepping outside your comfort zone is so worth it sometimes. 

One of my favorite things in Kentucky was every Monday night going to ReFit (dance fitness), with Nicole and many of my other friends. I wanted it here too, I wanted it at my church, I wanted it as a way to make friends. So, I asked fellow mom friends if they'd be interested. I asked our church pastors if it was something I could do. I researched, pursued, practiced, and finally taught my first class earlier this week. And it was completely, 100% worth it.

2017 Goals Update:

I laid out goals for myself this year, and what better time to check in with them then my monthly learning post? Here's where things stand currently.

1.) Read 50 books!

Current Status:

2.) Meditate daily

Current Status: Not terrible, I did spend some time in meditation over the past month. It's still going to take some building up to in order to make it a daily practice though.

3.) Maintain Blog

Current Status: Fourth post of the month, yet again doubling what I deemed necessary to consider the blog "maintained." In fact, I've nearly matched the amount of posts I published in all of 2015!

4.) Write!

Current Status: I started a short story this month that has been very therapeutic, and jotted down other ideas for pieces I want to write.

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In link up netflix summertime The Keepers things I'm loving

Things I'm Loving {June '17}

We're already halfway through 2017, into the beautiful summer, and it's yet again the 15th; time to intentionally write out what I'm currently loving!

1.) The Keepers

I watched The Keepers on Netflix in under 24 hours. And then watched all 7 episodes again later the same week. It's a really compelling series, especially for a girl that grew up watching Murder, She Wrote, Matlock, Perry Mason, and Snapped with her mom.

2.) Hanging out on the back patio

Whether it's just sitting, or playing a game of UNO after dinner, I'm loving our backyard with giant shade trees and some plants (that are still alive!).

3.) Summer Vacation! 

We're heading to Florida for a family vacation, and boy do we need one. This will be the first vacation I have taken where I have not A.) Worked extra hours during the week to make up for the day off or B.) Worked from vacation since I left Kentucky. I am taking one glorious week of paid time off to enjoy with my family and I cannot wait.

4.) Birthday Shenanigans 

In March, we went out for my 27th birthday, now that it's June it was time to go out to celebrate my sister's 25th! We found an awesome bar and restaurant in Kent, Erie St. Kitchen inside Venice Cafe, and it's right beside an adorable walking path and the Cuyahoga river.

5.)  Vacation Bible School

This is the first year I've ever been involved in a VBS, and I love love love it. Kids dancing, singing, playing, learning, crafting and laughing. It's a busy ans exhausting week, but if I'm being honest, I'm loving every minute of it!

What are you loving right now?

Link up below:

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In best friend Friendship national best friend day

National Best Friends Day

I enjoy some of the silly "national" days.

Like, National Doughnut Day (any excuse to eat a doughnut is good in my book).

And today is National Best Friend day. I have a small group of people I consider my best friends, and I do my best to tell them I love and appreciate them (seriously guys, you're awesome)!

But today, something about it made me think of all of my former best friends. The people who, at one point and time, knew me better than anyone else. They shaped me, and whether we simply grew apart or ended our friendship dramatically, they impacted my life.

To my many former best friends, thank you. Thank you for sleepovers and conversations at 2:00 in the morning, giggling about boys and dreaming of the future. Thanks for being there through dramatic meltdowns, first kisses, first boyfriends, and of course breakups. Thank you for important lessons and teaching me how to move on. Thank you for at one point calling me your best friend.

I think I've finally reached a point where I can look back on the friendships that aren't still thriving without bitterness and regret, but with genuine joy at the fact that they happened at all. I would not be the woman I am today without all the experiences both good and bad. And today felt like a good day to acknowledge that.

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In baby years memories Motherhood writing


*This post was what I wrote and submitted earlier this year, it wasn't chosen to be published, but I was still proud and wanted to share it.*

It was 117 degrees as I stood in front of the Sphinx. Yes, the missing nose monument that comes only after the pyramids when thinking of Egypt. In total I spent three weeks in Egypt with classmates, and my professor told us, “You won’t remember the heat.” Every day for twenty-one days was over a hundred degrees. I distinctly remember thinking there was no way in hell I was going to forget this heat.

Talking to fellow moms that are in the trenches of baby and early toddler years I heard their guilt for not enjoying every minute. Some struggled with infertility and miscarriages for years before having a child, and now they feel immense guilt for not being in love with their baby every minute of every hour. They are disappointed in themselves when they’re stir crazy from staying home every day. They hide from their spouses that they really just want one night to sleep through the night and not wake up for the 3:00 am feeding. They want every day to be the diaper commercial of the mom snuggling their baby looking completely fulfilled.

That’s not reality. Whether you tried for ten years for that baby or it was a complete surprise you weren’t prepared for, you’re not going to feel joy every minute. You’re not going to be a perfect mom by your own standards. There will be moments when you lay a screaming infant into their crib and walk out onto the porch because you’ve overwhelmed. There will be times you scroll your Facebook feed bitterly jealous of your college girlfriend who was just promoted at work and is vacationing in Cozumel.

But take heart, because those moments aren’t what you remember. Take it from a fellow mom who is now out of the baby years and into the preschool years. When I think about those days, I think about my toddler saying “straw-baby” instead of “strawberry.” I recall sweet moments cuddling instead of tantrums and refused naps. Those good memories, those moments of contentment and joy, outweigh the moments of feeling inadequate, feeling overwhelmed, or just being discontent.

Stop tearing yourself down for having minutes, hours and days of not loving motherhood. Start focusing on the minutes that you are happy. Because when I think about the Sphinx, about the wonder of it, and remember standing in front of that history, as crazy as it may sound, I don’t remember the heat.

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