Showing posts with label Project 52. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Project 52. Show all posts

Just A Life Update

How about a good old life update post?

What have I been up to lately?

Chasing Around These Two

DSC 7707 2blog

DSC 7726blog

(39/52 - Smileys)

Seriously, between Gwen pulling up on everything and Wyatt potty training, these two are hard to keep up with!  They are such sweethearts though, and both of them have such great personalities and senses of humor.  They brighten up all my days.


We started MOPS, and it's been good so far.  I like my group pretty well, and I'm looking forward to trying to get to know the girls better.  It's kind of weird to me to be starting over with a whole new group this year.  Last year was my first year of MOPS, so I'm still getting used to the switch.

Also, I discovered that our MOPS group has a blog!   I know!  I never even thought there might be a blog.  I emailed our director and volunteered to help out with it, but there is already someone handling it this year.  I am planning on applying for the spot next year though.  I have so many ideas for the MOPS blog running through my head even now.  I need to write them down so I can keep them fresh in my mind if I get a chance to help out next year.

Potty Training

We gave potty training a brief try in February, then I decided I wasn't ready.  And Wyatt probably is more ready now than he was then too, so I don't regret that.  However, it's been slow going, and this is pretty much all my fault.  I started potty training Wyatt again in July, but guys, we live an hour away from town.  If we have to run errands or whatever, we are pretty much gone the whole day.  I was scared about handling accidents on the go, so I would put him back in diapers for when we had to go somewhere.  I think this pretty much just confused Wyatt and set him back a bit, and I feel awful about it.  

So a couple weeks ago I just said to myself "No more diapers", and it's been going so much better ever since.  Wyatt is really starting to get it, and accidents are few and far between, so that's exciting!

Muddling Through While Derek Is Away

Derek has been traveling a lot for work.  And it pretty much stinks.  Nothing is right when he's gone - the dogs act up, the kids don't sleep, and I don't eat anything but canned soup.  I'm handling it better than last time, but I'm still ready to be done with it.  Not much else to say.

Shopping A Little Too Much

See previous post.

Scheming About Fun Stuff To Do

I really want to start a bowling night.  Why don't people bowl more?  Bowling is fun.  I was thinking to designate, say, the first Saturday of every month or something like that, as bowling night, and Derek and I will be at the bowling ally.  And we will invite friends to come and join us every month.  Kind of like our own little bowling league.  Do people even like bowling?  Do my people like bowling?  I don't know.  But I think it would be fun.  Maybe nobody would come, but if nothing else I'm pretty sure I could count on my sister, and that would still be fun.  The scheming is still in progress.

And that's about it for now . . . hopefully more interesting stuff coming soon! Derek is finally mostly done building the porch, so we have our weekends back!

How To Keep Your Pictures From Appearing In Searches

After I had kids I became concerned with how to balance blogging with protecting my kids' privacy online, but particularly when it comes to pictures of my kids.  I actually wrote a whole post about protecting blog images here, and I describe some of the ways I do that.

However, one thing that kept bothering me was that I would get visits to my blog through pictures of my kids that showed up in Google Image searches.  Not that anyone was searching for anything inappropriate, but it just made me uncomfortable to have pictures of them showing up in random searches.  Because my kids are so cute, who wouldn't want to steal their pictures, right?

I actually disabled my blog with search engines for a while to try to keep that from happening.  But after a while I felt the Lord was telling me to make it open to search engines again.  So I did, but I still didn't like the picture thing.

Then one day I decided there must be a way to tell Google not to index the images on my site, so I did some research - and lo and behold, I figured it out!  All you have to do is edit your robot.txt file to tell Google not to index your images!

Yeah, that deer-in-the-headlights look you probably have right now?  That was my reaction too.  But this is easier than it sounds.


First of all, when should you do this, and when should you not?  Good question.  Here's what I think.

Do Use This Tutorial If:

1.  You are getting visits through pictures of your kids using keywords that are inappropriate. I think you should definitely consider it in that case.  There are weird people out there.

2. You are uncomfortable with pictures of your kids showing up in searches.

3.  If you may have kids in the future and don't like the thought of their pictures showing up in searches.

Carefully Consider Whether To Use This Tutorial If:

1. You get a significant amount of traffic that is helping your site from image searches.  If you have ads on your blog, you need to be aware that preventing your blog images from being indexed will affect your traffic in some way.  If that is a problem for you for whatever reason, don't do it.


Okay, if you are still wanting to ask Google not to file your images, proceed.

Take the following bit of code . . .

User-agent: Googlebot-Image
Disallow: /

Go to "Settings" on your Dashboard:

Then "Search Preferences":

Then click the "edit" button next to the words Custom robot.txt, select "Enable", and then paste the code into the box.  Don't forget to save your changes!

And wolla!  Your images won't show up in Google searches anymore!

I would like to note that you shouldn't expect the images to disappear from Google overnight if you didn't have your blog set up this way from the start.  It takes time for Google's little bots to come crawl your site and see the changes.  Your privacy settings for your image hosting site can also affect this, but that is probably a different post.

You should also be aware that any images that you post of your kiddos on other people's blogs, like for guest posts or linkups, may still show up in Google searches.  It also does not prevent people from pinning your images, so they will still show up in searches from Pinterest.

It's not fool-proof, and some images are likely going to sneak through here and there.  But I've noticed a big decrease in the amount of visits I get from image searches, and hardly any come through from pictures of my kids anymore.

This gives me a lot of peace of mind about posting pictures of my kids on my public blog.  I do, however, still recommend watermarking and using other methods to protect your photos (and again, you can read more about that in the "Protecting Your Pictures" post I wrote).

You can read more about how to block specific images from searches here.

Any other tips for protecting pictures that I haven't covered?  I always like to hear how you protect your images, or whether that's even important to you!


Why Unsolicited Advice Doesn't Bother Me

I think all of us have at some point received unsolicited advice.  It kind of goes along with being a person.

Most people love to give their advice on anything and everything, sometimes whether it is asked for or not.  This is true for all life stages, I think, but it reaches a whole other level when you become a mom.  Suddenly you are a target for people to shoot their advice at and everyone wants to take a shot, from the lady in the grocery store, to the brand-new father who is catering your family reunion, to the single girl who isn't anywhere near being a mother (not that I speak from personal experience or anything).

DSC 7343blog
(37/52 - Pumpkins)

I've heard from a lot of people who hate getting advice from others when they weren't asking for it - and truth be told, I've had my moments where I have hated it too.  But over the years I've learned a few things, and the unsolicited advice doesn't bother me as much anymore.   Here are the reasons why.

1. I realize people care about me and are just trying to help.

Sometimes I decide to talk about a problem or a struggle with someone just because I want to talk about it.  And when they start to try to "fix" my problem by giving me advice, there can be that temptation to feel annoyed.  But most of the time they are doing this because they hate to see me struggling, and they want to help my sorrows disappear.  So they give advice.  When you realize they aren't trying to boss you around, they are just trying to help you, it becomes easier to take the advice for the good intent behind it, even if it's not what you were looking for.

2. I realize people are trying to connect with me.

Sometimes people will offer advice because they have been through something similar, and they feel a connection to me.  They want to talk about our shared problems or experiences, and sometimes the easiest opening to make that connection or let me know they know what I am going through is to offer a snippet of advice!  When this happens, take the bait.  Carry through with the conversation and make the connection.

3. I realize people are trying to impress me.

Sometimes people give advice because they are trying to show off their vast knowledge on the subject.  This usually happens with acquaintances or new friends and is one of the most annoying kinds of advice to deal with.  However, I try to look at it from the other angle - they wouldn't feel the need to "show off" if they didn't think I was someone worth impressing.  That's kind of flattering!  The best way to deal with this motivation for advice is to say something along the lines of "Wow, that's a really good point, is that what you do/did?" or "Interesting, tell me more", and try to take the conversation more in the direction of personal stories.  Then you can share experiences and advice back and forth without feeling like you are being lectured.

4.  I realize people aren't necessarily trying to be a know-it-all.

At the same time, I don't assume every time someone tries to give me advice they are trying to show off.  That can lead to unnecessary annoyance.  The motives behind the advice are more likely one of the first two.  I always assume it's one of the first two motives listed here until it becomes obvious that it's motive #3.

5. I realize that any random advice given by strangers who tell me that some insignificant thing that I am doing is wrong is immediately up for dismissal, unless there is imminent danger or something.

Strange people you see in the mall really shouldn't be telling you what to do, unless it's along the lines of "You are blessed, enjoy your life!" (which is probably the most common stranger advice, especially when they see your cute babies).  When Wyatt was a month or two old some lady at Joann's told me I was holding him wrong.  But actually Wyatt was just trying to look at the lights (he's always loved lights).  Annoying?  Yes, this is probably the type of advice that is truly annoying with no real redeeming factors.  But it's not something to dwell on.  Your blood pressure will thank you if you just learn to dismiss it.

6.  I realize I don't have to take all the advice given to me.

People can give me all the advice they want, but in the end I pray about it, and I decide what's going to work best for me or my family.  I'm not obligated to take any specific advice, especially the advice given by random people at the store.  And those who love me are going to support me whatever I decide.  That knowledge is freeing and makes the advice less frustrating.  I've learned to listen to the advice, to consider it because a multitude of counselors is a good thing, and to have confidence in the final decisions I make.

(Free printable - click on photo to enlarge, then save to your computer.)

7.  I realize sometimes that "annoying advice" is just what I need.

This goes back to the week we got back from our honeymoon.  Someone who is close to me noticed that I kept correcting parts of the story when Derek was telling about the different things we saw on our trip, and they advised me not to do that and just let Derek tell the story his way.  It annoyed me at the time, but two years later I read something that reminded me of that conversation, and I realized that person was right.  It was silly of me to keep correcting Derek on things that didn't matter - it was disrespectful and sent the message that Derek was getting everything wrong.  I vowed right then to listen to the advice that was given me in the future and try not to be immediately annoyed, because even if I disagreed at the moment the wisdom could become more apparent to me later.

8.  I realize that sometimes people are trying to be controlling or manipulative, and in those instances it's okay to respectfully disagree or disregard their "advice".

Some people are controlling.  Some people are trying to push their agendas.  Some people are insulting you personally and hide their insults behind "advice".  I try to give people the benefit of a doubt, but I think if you suspect that this may be the reason behind someone's "advice", you should run their comments by someone you trust.  If you feel like someone is being controlling or manipulative, it's okay to respectfully stand your ground and refuse to accept the hurtful words.

How did I come to realize all this?  Because I've come face-to-face with the fact that sometimes I am an unsolicited-advice giver!  I think everyone is at times without really realizing it.   And I know the reasons behind my motivations when I give advice.   This has helped me to search out and appreciate more the heart of those who are trying to give me advice - because I think most people are giving advice for pure reasons.  

And you know what?  I love that.  I love that they are interested enough in me and care enough about me as a person to want to help me.  I love that they want to connect with me and impress me.  I love that I have people in my life who are willing to say the hard stuff because they want me to be "the best me I can be".  I've learned when advice is just a different way of looking at things, when someone's advice is something serious that I should prayerfully consider, and when it serves no other purpose but to control or hurt.  When I can distinguish that I can react in the appropriate way.

What are some ways you deal with unsolicited advice?  Are there any things that have helped you have a more God-honoring perspective when it comes to all the advice-giving?

35/52, 36/52 - Campfire and Snack Time

35/52 - Campfire

DSC 6989blog

DSC 7006blog

36/52 - Snack Time 

DSC 7037blog

DSC 7030blog

Happy weekend!

Last Hoorah For Summer

 I know, I kind of dropped off the face of the blogosphere.  I took an impromptu blogging break last week.  I just read books, crossed some projects off my ever-present to-do list, and took Wyatt to the park.  Some weeks you just don't feel like blogging.  And that's okay.  The break was just what I needed.

I cannot believe that summer is almost over!  It seems like this summer went by really fast (of course it always seems that way).  For once I find myself at the end of a summer feeling like I've done everything I wanted to do this year.  Here is what we do to send the summer off with style!

1. Go to a new park.  I wanted to try to take Wyatt to a few new parks before it gets too cold out, so we'll probably do this in the fall too.  It's so hard to get a good park picture anymore, so you get a pretty flower picture instead.

2. Go to a fruit festival.   A couple of weekends ago we took a weekend camping trip across the state and went to a peach festival.  We had such a fun time - and we bought a big box of peaches to bring home!  I'm thinking I might try making peach salsa out of some of them.

3. Go swimming.  We went swimming at a hot springs pool the day after the peach festival - the kids loved it!  Wyatt loved the "boat" and wanted to carry it back and forth to the pool, and they both took turns sitting in it.  Gwen love the water, and Wyatt loved pushing Gwen around in her inner tube.  It was a lovely time!

4. Go to a rodeo or county fair.  We killed two birds with one stone and went to both at once!  I was disappointed to see they didn't have a ferris wheel this year, but Wyatt loved the rodeo - he really got into it, and kept waving at the horses and cowboys.  He was watching carefully to see if they would fall off.  Of course it was a little rainy, hence why I'm wearing a sweater.

5. Try a new recipe.  I tried a grilled watermelon recipe that I found here.  I've been wanting to grill some watermelon for a while, and it was pretty good!

6. Sit outside and enjoy the warm evening air.  I figure it's going to get cold soon, so we better enjoy being able to sit outside after dinner while we can.

7.  Stargaze.  Self explanatory, and perfect to do after enjoying the evening air on the porch!  I'm hoping Derek and I can sit outside and try to find my star again one of these nights.

8.  Drink limeade.  Limeade is such a summery drink to me.  I bought three cans and I plan to enjoy them before we hit September next week and it's officially fall.

What are some of the things you like to do to as your last hoorah for summer?

P.S. I'm also using the pictures of the kids in this post as my 33/52 and 34/52 pictures for Project 52.  So I'm all caught up now.

32/52 - Mom And Me and FMKC LinkUp

The theme for this week's linkup is Mom and Me!  So basically any posts with pictures of you and your kiddos will qualify.  I decided to cheat a little and use these pictures for my Project 52 pictures for the week and for the From My Kid's Closet linkup!  Clever of me, no?

I haven't had any good pictures taken with me and the kiddos in a while, so I had Derek take some new ones on Sunday!

DSC 6304blog

DSC 6298blog

DSC 6291blog

DSC 6285blog


Shirt: Target

Pants: I want to say Kohl's.

Shoes: Gift from my mom.  I like them because they look like Converse, but I think she got them from Walmart, which is a-okay with me!  No way I would pay full price for real Converse shoes when Wyatt will outgrow them in a couple months.

Hat:  Gymboree.  Wyatt loves wearing his hat lately, I think because it looks just like the hats his dad wears!


Dress and Bloomers: Children's Place on clearance last year!  I found out we were having a girl and I wanted to get something for her.

Bow: Target.

And we went sans shoes because I didn't have any that matched.  Shoes is on the list of things to buy for Gwen's fall wardrobe.


Dress: Target.  I bought this maxi dress at the beginning of the summer, because I loved that it had sleeves, and the top part is loose enough that it's nursing friendly!

Shoes (that you can't see): I didn't get a picture of the shoes.  But they were neon coral sandals, and they cost me $8 at Forever 21!  I think that's pretty good for shoes.

Earrings (that you can barely see): Tiny little spikes from Forever 21.

Wow, and would you believe it that Wyatt's outfit was the most complicated this week?  That's what happens when Gwen and I wear dresses, I guess.  Nice and simple!


Okay, go ahead and review the guidelines here and link up your posts below!

Also, a quick announcement - both Allison's and my schedules for the fall are looking pretty crazy, so we decided to put the linkup on hold for now.  It will most likely be back in a few months.  Thanks to everyone who has participated so far, and be sure to follow Allison's blog for future news about the linkup (and you should follow her anyway, because her blog is amazing)!


31/52 - When They Aren't Looking

DSC 6250editblog

DSC 6270editblog

30/52 - Pouts

DSC 5847blog

DSC 5853blog

I just can't help myself, their little pouty faces are so cute!  They're even cute when they're upset.  Don't worry, I put the camera down right after snapping these and made those little pouts go away.

27-29/52 - Funny, Blondies, Water

27/52 - Funny Faces

DSC 5354editblog

DSC 5350editblog

They crack me up sometimes.

28/52 - Blondies

DSC 5586blog

DSC 5640blog

They both looked so blonde in these pictures!  I think Gwen's hair is getting lighter, and Wyatt's is getting darker.

29/52 - Water Babies

DSC 5648blog

DSC 5692blog

We had a good time swimming with Ashley this past week!  Gwen wasn't a big fan of the water, but Wyatt had fun!

25-26/52 - Smiles and Fun Day

I need to catch up on posting my weekly pictures of the kids!

25/52 - Smiles

25/52 - Fun Day

We have this fun little kid's center here, with jumpy castles and an art room.  We went there with Derek's family last week, and Gwen was pretty content in her stroller while Wyatt focused on his masterpiece!

24/52 - Rough Day

DSC 4045blog

DSC 4046blog

It's not always sunshine and roses around here.  But I wouldn't trade one day, not even the bad ones.

© Through Clouded Glass. Design by MangoBlogs.