Six Years

This Sunday my husband and I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary. He surprised me with a trip to a dinner theater here in Ohio, and my parents took Arianna over night. Sister Act was the show and it was hilarious. The night was lovely. We ate too much and laughed really hard. It was nice to enjoy some time just the two of us.

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The Ameri Brit Mom

Five Minute Friday: Safe

This week the topic for the Five Minute Friday link-up post is Safe. What is a link-up? Essentially a link-up is when you join other bloggers and write on a similar topic. You share your blog posts with one another and begin conversations via a host site. You can head over to Kate Motaung’s page to check out other entries from inspired bloggers. Here’s my five minutes of uninterrupted, unedited writing on this week’s topic:

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I’m running on a delayed schedule this week as I’ve fallen victim to an intense sinus infection. The weather has been so up and down in Ohio. Two days ago my yard was buried in a blanket of snow and now my sleeves are rolled up and my windows are open and I’m enjoying this springlike day. It’s no wonder my body feels attacked–it’s confused by all this mayhem.

As I’m beginning to feel human again and remember what it is to breathe through my nose, I’m getting back on track.

At the start of the year my husband sent me out of my safe place.

He went behind my back and signed me up for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and forced me to interact with other writers. He sent my manuscript to a highly respected author (without my permission.) As nervous as I was when I found out he had done it I knew it was an act of love that I will be forever grateful for.

If left up to me I would have continued to make excuses as to why I wasn’t ready to let successful authors read my work. But he had confidence that if he gave me a little push that I would make it in the world of professional writers. He kicked me out of my safe place of writing for the few who read my blog or my closest friends and family.

I know that he is always going to be my biggest fan. He reads everything I write and he still cheers me along. He pushes me to do uncomfortable things so that one day my dream will be realized. I’m starting to recognize that stepping out doesn’t mean forgetting about safety. It is necessary. And as long as I have my husband there giving me the confidence to take the next step I will always be safe.

The Ameri Brit Mom

Most Memorable Posts of 2016

2016 is coming to a close and I am joining my Five Minute Friday crew on a special link up today. This year has been a huge year of growth for my blog. I’ve increased my readership and had numerous opportunities arise as a result of my commitment to provide authentic content for my readers.

To start with here are some exciting numbers for the year:

-Number of views: 7,745

-Number of visitors: 4,396

-Number of posts: 262

I have doubled my statistics in every area since 2015 making 2016 my most successful year yet as far as readership and publication go. Thank you for all of your support as readers!

Here are my Most Memorable Posts of 2016:

1. Stitch Fix #7

This was my most popular post of the year in part because it was featured on the Stitch Fix website. As a result of this post, I became a Stitch Fix influencer this year which has allowed me to gain some compensation for my posts from their program.

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2. English Rain Jacket

While visiting loved ones in England this summer I highlighted some of the fashions sweeping the nation.

 

3. 24 Book Challenge

This was a challenge I published at the beginning of the year to get myself reading some different and unique book choices. It has been really successful and many others have joined me on the journey to read 24 books this year.

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4. Two Announcements

This very special post is where I made the announcement that I was officially accepted as a Stitch Fix Influencer as well as my first ever poem would be published in the Five Minute Friday book.

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5. Lula Roe Review

I hosted a Lula Roe party at the end of the summer and have been in love with the company ever since!

 

 

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for making 2016 a successful year for The Ameri Brit Mom. To think that two years ago I hadn’t ever published anything beyond a Facebook status to where I am today is such a humbling thought. I am so encouraged by those of you who make reading my blog a priority and I look forward to bigger adventures in 2017. To God be the Glory!

The Ameri Brit Mom

 

My First Published Poem!

Over the past year and a half I have been a part of a wonderful online community of bloggers known as The Five Minute Friday. Every Friday we head over to Kate Motaung’s page where she has posted the one-word theme for the day. As a member of that community I get to grab the image for the theme and then spend five minutes crafting a post around that theme. Afterwards, I link-up on her page so that the rest of the community can take a look at my post and then I choose some others to read and comment on.

Being a member of Five Minute Friday has been such a rewarding experience. I’ve met people and read stories from all over the world. These people are so encouraging and check in with me from time to time outside of the Friday posts.

In the spring, I found out that the Five Minute Friday community was going to publish their first book. It would be a collection of some of the best posts done in five minutes flat. And of all the members, I was chosen to contribute to the book!

I’m so excited to announce that the Five Minute Friday book is now released and able to be purchased. All profits will be divided equally between two ministries in South Africa: The Vine School in Cape Town, and The Ten Dollar Tribe–so we’d love to sell as many books as possible to impact these fantastic ministries!

I ordered my copy last week when they went on pre-sale for contributors and I cannot wait to share photos and stories once I get my own copy.

If you are interested in purchasing the book, click on the title of Five Minute Friday: A Collection of Stories Written in Five Minutes Flat.

“We threw caution to the wind and we wrote our guts out.” -Lisa Jo Baker (founder of Five Minute Friday)

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The Ameri Brit Mom

Five Minute Friday: Happy

This week the topic for the Five Minute Friday link-up post is HAPPY. What is a link-up? Essentially a link-up is when you join other bloggers and write on a similar topic. You share your blog posts with one another and begin conversations via a host site. You can head over to Kate Motaung’s page to check out other entries from inspired bloggers. Here’s my five minutes of uninterrupted, unedited writing on this week’s topic:

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The first week of August has come and gone and I can’t decide how I feel about it. As a teacher, flipping the calendar to August brings up several emotions. At first, I experienced dread. The unscheduled fun of the summer is quickly coming to a close. All of the day trips and late nights are winding down. It’s hard to come to grips with the fact that I will soon be back to school and my daily routine will be in place once more.

The next emotion I feel is happiness.

I’m happy for so many reasons, but up toward the top of my list in the beginning of August is the fact that I get the opportunity to spend the summer with my family. So many people envy the work schedule that I have as a teacher. I’m happy that I’ve chosen a career that is not only rewarding, but that allows me to still spend so much time at home. I love spending time with my husband and daughter. Luckily August won’t change the fact that we will get that quality time together–it will just look a little different.

Lastly, I feel anxious.

I’m anxious for new students and a new school year. Meeting new people can be so much fun, but the time leading up to the beginning of the school year always has me a little nervous (in a good way.) This year I have one more thing to be anxious about. My baby is starting pre-school! I can’t believe my little girl is actually old enough to need a backpack and school supplies. Time has truly flown by at a ridiculous speed. It seems like just yesterday that I held my eight pound baby for the first time. Now I’m preparing to release her into a classroom.

Despite the dread and anxiety I am still full of happiness. I choose to be happy when I think about the next couple of weeks, because I am blessed to have a career and lifestyle that still affords me plenty of quality time with those who matter most.

What are you happy about?

The Ameri Brit Mom

Two Announcements

Things have been really busy for me over the past week. From soaking up the last moments of summer to editing my novel to working on some really neat projects with my blog I’ve barely had a moment to relax. Today, I have two announcements regarding my blog and/or writing.

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Announcement #1: I am now a Stitch Fix Influencer (Affiliate) and will be featured this Saturday on their blog Stitch Fix Reviews. On Saturday, I will post a link so that you will be able to see my feature. Imagine my surprise when I opened my email last week with this news from such a popular brand! It was totally unexpected.

In addition to asking me for the feature, Stitch Fix asked me to apply to become an Influencer. I did, and I was approved! Essentially what that means is that I now have a special referral link which you can see is now on my sidebar menu. I will receive compensation per purchase made through my Stitch Fix ad referral. That may not seem like a big deal, but it truly is in the blogging world. To make the jump to blog monetization is a huge accomplishment that I never really thought would happen to me. So, thank you to all of you who have helped my blog reach the status necessary to earn even a little bit. To me it isn’t about the money. I’ve never been out to get anything from my blog, but it is so encouraging to see the numbers of people who visit and comment. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

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Announcement #2: I am getting a short poem published! Many of you know that I am a member of a blogging community called Five Minute Friday. A few months back I was approached by another member of FMF about including one of my posts in a book she was compiling. I was again surprised by the offer and of course I obliged. The book is almost finished and is set to release at the end of September. My contribution will be a short poem and a quote about the FMF community. Not only has blogging increased my IRL (In Real Life–for all of you non-bloggers) connections, but I have met some amazing people and had wonderful opportunities as a result of this blog.

If I would’ve known all these opportunities would arise from blogging I would have started years before I did!

In closing today I want you to think about your own passions. It may not be writing, but we all have something we wished that we had more time to do. I want to encourage you to pursue those things. Sitting down to write everyday is hard. Some days I have more time than others and can do several posts for the week. Other days I don’t write at all. Keeping this blog going has been hard at times, but it has also been incredibly rewarding. Take the time to figure out what you are passionate about and set some time aside to make it happen.

The Ameri Brit Mom