Tuesday, February 7, 2017

January 31, 2017 - One Whole Month, Nine Whole Years

Today is a pretty cool day.  It has been exactly one month since our son was born.  It still feels quite surreal.  He’s my little buddy.  He’s been extremely calm for a baby.  He almost sleeps through the night, only really waking up once halfway through usually.  He loves all his sisters, especially the second oldest (or maybe she’s just a baby hog).  He’s a great addition to the family and we love him very much.  I can’t wait for him to start showing some personality.

Also, Heather and I have combined to write one blog everyday for all of January.  Our goal of course, is to write one for everyday for the entire year.  And going one month is a great milestone.  For me the next milestone will be going an entire quarter.  But we are about to get our first big test for our consistency.  I’ll explain more when it gets closer to the time of the test.

Lastly, it has been 9 years to the day that Heather and I met.  In 2008, we met at a friend’s house on January 31, I asked her out on the 9th of February, then we celebrated our first Valentine’s Day on the 14th.  So we try to celebrate for the entire “fortnight” every year.  This year, (and the last few years while we’re being honest) we have been broke.  So not so much celebrating the last few years, but we still go back through some of our old pictures and talk about the memories…maybe have some champagne…or ice cream.  Anyway, life is better with my wife, no matter how we celebrate it. 

Tomorrow, I will be writing in my new format!!  Hopefully it will be more interesting than my January ramblings!!

Monday, February 6, 2017

January 30, 2017 - More Website Building

Another full day working on the website.  I finished a rough draft of the “Gallery” and “Events” pages.  That means I am almost to the point where I can just do consistent maintenance as I am almost done with our “Home” and “Listen” pages.  At that point, it will just be Heather and I adding our content as we go.  It’s really the home stretch of being able to market on a near daily basis. 

The gallery will have a seamless transition between our Instagram feed, Website only pics and other various galleries!!
I also took some time out to help my 4 year old swing a bat.  She was able to hit the ball both righty and lefty!!!  She’s a switch-hitter!!  So excited about that…because I am a switch-hitter.  It really pays to even just take five minutes out to play with the kids.




Wish I took a pic of the 4 year old swinging the bat darnit!!
Finally, I surprised Heather by going out and getting a bottle of Champagne.  January 31 is 9 years from the day we met.  We always celebrate it…I will explain more tomorrow.  So I gotta run…it’s almost that time. 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

January 28, 2017 - Shifting Focus

Still haven’t reached 100 subscribers on the newsletter, but we’re sittin’ only 10 away at 90.  I went ahead and redirected my attention for now, as that is a big enough audience for me to start sending newsletters out.  I directed my attention on the last really big project that I needed to work on before really being able to pump out the content easily…our website.


Our old homepage...it's ok, but when its larger, the pics don't look great.
We use Wix, which is really easy to use.  Neither of us have any other experience with making websites, even though I do own another website that I’m going to start building with wordpress (once I get around to it).  I’ve found some limitations to what we’re envisioning here and there, but the drag and drop simplicity more than makes up for it. 







The top of our new homepage (obviously still in progress).  This one has a lot more depth to it, telling our story as you scroll

Our main goal is to make our “perfect superfan” so intrigued by the story we tell on our homepage, that they will be itching to want to know more.  Once they get that level of intrigue, we also have to be able to keep their interest by making the rest of the site deep and interesting as well, and give them plenty of opportunity to sign up for the newsletter, buy a product, or support us monthly on Patreon. 

Our other goal is to make our website very easy to throw up new content on.  We want to be able to use the site in the state that it will be in for at least a year with only little maintenance.  Once we post a new video, we want to have a spot for it on the site.  Basically, it will be our central hub for the community we are going to build around our band. 

I have a feeling this will be the subject of the next few blogs…hope you don’t mind!!

Friday, February 3, 2017

January 27, 2017 - Big Projects

Today I continued building our email list by asking friends and relatives on facebook.  My goal is 100 emails and I made it all the way to 87.  It is exhausting because I don’t feel right just asking…I am trying to catch up with these people.  Honestly, it’s a good excuse for me to be sociable again, but it is taking a lot of time and staring at the screen.

                                        

I also found today that we are going to need to upgrade our subscription to our favorite new website, Canva.  There’s a lot that we can’t do now with the free version, but hey…that just means prettier posts down the road.

                                     
Next up is working on the website.  That is the last big thing that I need to do before we are really able to go full throttle with everything.  The next steps are not as big of projects up front.

                                     

The kids are good, but I’m boring them to death…I got to get this website done so that we can get back into a groove and these poor kids can have more time with mom and dad when they can each give full attention to them in areas other than just cleaning up after themselves.  It will come…and all this hard work will pay off.

January 25, 2017 - Why didn't I think of that a year ago?

Today I (Heather) decided to step up to the plate and to try my hand at writing one of our 365 blogs for the year.  Last night was the first night in a few days I actually got a solid few hours of sleep.  For some reason once you have a newborn, or kids in general a few hours makes you feel so well rested and ready to tackle the day.  This morning was one of those.

This is how I feel in the morning after the baby lets me sleep for a whole 5 hours!





 Our baby was having trouble breathing the last couple days due to a really stuffy nose, it affects how they eat, weather or not they will take a pacifier, and makes them want to be held all day.  Don’t get me wrong I love holding my babies, but when its the middle of the night and they don’t want to lay down to go to sleep, it gets to be a long night.  I decided yesterday that I had to go pick up the babyfrida nose sucker, because I was ready to throw the bulb we had in the trash, due to it not working!   I know, I know that thing is so gross!! But let me tell you, it sure does work.  (and no snot gets in your mouth, I promise!)  I used it the minute I got home from my late night dash out to target.  Within minutes you could see relief. I now swear by using the thing and would highly recommend it to anyone!  I know it sure helped all of us sleep through the night and made him so much happier all day.

Dad being a trooper with the nosefrida!


We were back on track today with me editing pictures and working on social media in the morning while paul took the kids.  It felt good to get back into have a few hours to sit and work.  Because you know, I was behind.  No big surprise there though.  The best part though is I always have a work buddy, usually the baby. 


My work and snuggle buddy


Once it was my turn to take the kids shift I had one of those “why didn’t I think of this a year ago” moments.  We are blessed enough to eat nearly every meal as a family, but it gets to be a lot bringing all of the food back and forth from the dining room, making sure everything is picked up and swept up so we can use the table for homeschool.  Well our kitchen has a small fold out bar that i’ve known about since we moved in.  I used it for serving or for extended counter space.  It never dawned on me until today that we could use it for meals!  I decided to try out snack there, bringing in stools for each kid and it worked like a charm.  We have decided now that we will start to eat our breakfast and lunch around the kitchen bar, allowing the dining room to be picked up and ready for homeschool!  Its funny how things work out sometimes, and how excited we get about small things.  But this is big for the flow of our day and that is huge when you school at home and work at home. We are learning daily. We each come from small families, so its like starting from square one for us.  Thanks for coming along for the ride. 


Having the kids sit at the bar to eat makes mealtime and clean up so much quicker and easier!
It is a work in progress but our dining room doubles as our school room. 

It is our first year homeschooling our oldest




Thursday, February 2, 2017

January 26, 2017 - Building Our e-mail List from the Ground Up

I started to write our first newsletter a few weeks back.  But I ran into a brick wall…the fact that we had absolutely no content to get people interested in…and no people in our list to interest.  So, I figured we got to start putting together a collection of people who would be interested in getting the emails, no matter how small it is at first. 
                                              

                                           

My goal was to find at least 100 of our friends and family who would be happy to get our newsletters, and with 694 friends on Facebook…that shouldn’t be too terribly hard.  I started yesterday just diving in writing people.  I figured if you don’t ask, you don’t receive…even though in my head I didn’t want people to think that I was just using them for their email.  These are all people that I really care about.  So I made sure to chat with them a little bit, after all I really am interested in what’s going on in their lives.  It was great catching up with a lot of people in a very short time.                                                     
8 on the 24th, 28 on the 24th, 62 on the 25th.  Thanks guys!!
                                                  
I have been able to grow our subscribers from 8 to 62 in just two days.  And they are all people that we know and care about, so we will be able to speak to them differently than the people that we will be signing up as the months go by.  We feel very blessed to have this many people who actually care enough to know what’s going on with our band before we’ve even put out our first album.  Thanks a ton to anyone who is reading this who signed up.

If you'd like to sign up...click here.

I love my job.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

January 24, 2017 - Trying to Make Each Child Feel Special

One of the most difficult things about having several kids is trying to make each of them feel special and giving them adequate attention.  Days like today are quite difficult, days where both Heather and I have a lot of work to get done.  Our 3 year old was feeling a bit left out…and because of that getting herself in quite a bit of trouble. 

                                          

I like to switch off taking them out on errands with me to get some one-on-one time in.  But in the past, I’ve had trouble remembering who went last and who is next.  Last week was our 6 year olds birth week, so I knew it would be fine to take the one who was having the trouble today.  She definitely needed the special time. 

                                          

To prevent wars breaking out between my children in the future, I’ve designed a simple little fridge chart to tell who’s turn it is to go out running errands by themselves.  All I do is put each kids pic or name in the squares, and put a magnet on the space of the child who last went out.  Whoever’s next on the chart is next to go with me.  I'm planning on making several of these for people to download if they want to use them.

This is my rough draft.  I plan on refining it a bit.
                                
My 3 year old and I went ti Taco John’s (our favorite place).  Nothing too exciting, but she was ecstatic!!  The kids talk my ear off whenever I take them out and I love it.  It’s a great time for me to relay wisdom to them.  We also saw some antelope laying on the side of the road on the way there.  That was awesome for her!!

I'm really happy with this shoot.  Check out our instagram to see my favorite.
                                 
I love these little one-on-one trips with my girls, I wouldn’t trade them for anything at all.