Only The Good Die Young

My sister just lost a dear friend.

Her friend was young, really in the prime of her life. Or she should have been. Instead, she’d been battling cancer. This week, she lost the fight.

My sister called me in tears. As I tried to comfort her, she asked me, “Why is it so unfair? Why do the good ones die and the assholes get to live?”

Why, indeed.

It’s a question I’ve asked myself often in the year and a half since we lost Misty. Why must the good ones lose the fight? Why must the great hearts be snuffed out early, while the bad seeds continue on to cause so much heartbreak and pain? Why can’t life be more fair?

The truth is, I don’t have a good answer.

I don’t know why Misty didn’t get another forty years to share her smile and her love with the world. I don’t know why my sister’s friend had to lose her fight before she was able to marry and have babies. I don’t know why the good ones don’t get to live the longest lives.

All I could say to my sister, and all I can tell myself is this:

Maybe we lose the good ones so that we can be enraged by the injustice. Maybe we’re supposed to use that rage to become inspired. Maybe we’re supposed to use these losses to look at our own lives and evaluate where we are and where we want to be. Maybe we’re supposed to become inspired to live better lives, to become the good ones.

Maybe, just maybe, we have to lose someone great in order to understand just how precious and valuable our own lives are.

Truthful Tuesday: I Love The Rain

There is a brief little storm moving through our area and I could not be happier. The high temperatures have dipped back into the seventies and there is an intoxicating smell of freshness pouring in through my windows.

I’m reminded of one of my favorite songs from the nineties, Blind Melon’s No Rain.

And so while you do the bee girl dance, here are some other tidbits for this drizzly day.

*I’ve been working behind the scenes to make my blog a bit more professional. I’m now copyrighted (woot!) and have a legal/disclosure page, just in case.

*I’m also working on starting a new Saturday series for the blog where I feature guest posts. Interested? Email me at becominneurotic (at) gmail (dot) com.

*I’ve been approached to contribute to a health website. As I can share more information, I will, but suffice it to say I’m extremely flattered and very excited.

*It was recently discovered that Scotty (my fiance) and I have never been bowling together in our near five years together. This will hopefully be rectified for our birthdays next week. I may have to granny-ball it, but I’m totally looking forward to it!

*Our new upstairs neighbor is turning out to be very nice. He actually came down to apologize for making noise while putting together a shelf and working on his vacuum cleaner. It’s a bit of a novel feeling, having neighbors that aren’t complete asses. Also? My dog didn’t growl at him, which is a pretty good sign.

*I get to see my favorite lady tonight. I’m looking forward to her great hugs, some wonderful chatting and visiting, and to a fresh look. It never fails, a trip to Cathy’s leaves me with my heart full and feeling more human.

*While I’ll have posts up next week, I will technically be out. I’m having a medical procedure on Monday and will be taking the rest of the week to recover and rest up in order to be ready for my son’s arrival that weekend. Hopefully by next Friday we’ll also know whether or not insurance will cover the Remicade infusions my rheumatologist wants to start me on. Fingers crossed!

Ask Away Friday 90′s Throwback

Another week of summer is behind us, and hopefully it has taken these crazy high temperatures with it. I can handle some heat, but high 90′s with humidity is just a bit much here, especially without air conditioning.

Speaking of 90′s, it’s time for another round of Ask Away Friday, and Echo and I are doing a 90′s Throwback!

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Echo is the lady behind the Domain Of The Mad Mommy. You may remember we swapped a while back. This week found us both without a partner, so we decided to do something a little different and a lot fun. So pop in your favorite boy band CD, rock those big bangs, and brace yourselves while we travel back in time!

1. What was your favorite 90′s TV show?

This is hard, I had a bunch that I loved! It’s probably a tie between Boy Meets World and Saved By The Bell. Because apparently I liked imagining high school to be so much cooler than it actually was…

2. What 90′s TV show character did you most want to be?

I went through a phase where I really wanted to be Clarissa from Clarissa Explains It All. She had such a cool, eclectic room and kind of reminded me of Claudia from The Babysitters Club books. Who I also wanted to be.

3. What 90′s toy do you wish they would bring back?

(click photo for source)
(click photo for source)

Though there seems to be many variations dating back to the 70′s, I had the Hasbro Fashion Plates and LOVED them! I entertained the wild idea that I was a great fashion designer just waiting to be discovered and had different sketches tacked all over my walls for ages!

4. What was the biggest 90′s fashion crime committed by you, and by the world at large?

Those bangs! Oh lordy, y’all! My mom has pictures with my bangs teased so high, with so much hairspray, I’m sure had someone lit a candle in a six foot radius of me, the whole room would have gone up in flames. And they were made all that much worse by the fact that they were permed!

5. What  is your favorite 90′s music video?

6. What 90′s movie did you watched repeatedly? 

As much as it pains me to say this… I watched Clueless over and over and over again. Does it redeem me if I add that Pulp Fiction is the 90′s movie I now watch over and over?

7. What is your least favorite 90′s song that everyone else loved?

Hanson’s MMMBop. I still know every mother-lovin word, but gah! I hated that song and it was EVERYWHERE.

8. Who was your 90′s boy celeb crush?

(click photo for source)
(click photo for source)

Rider Strong aka Shawn from Boy Meets World. My original bad boy crush. *le sigh*

9. What was your favorite 90′s snack that you want back?

I know they still make them, but somehow they don’t taste the same. And I haven’t had one in ages… Ding Dongs.

10. What is your favorite 90′s memory?

Though my relationship with my mom was strained in those years (even more so than it is now), she and my step-dad took me to my uncle’s church camp one summer and I got to go white water rafting. I was terrified (I’ve never properly learned how to swim, I kinda do a panicked doggy paddle. So glamorous.), but it was so exhilarating to face a fear. And it was so much fun! Definitely one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.

Thanks for such a great swap Echo! Y’all be sure to pop over to her site and see all of her 90′s favorites. Who knows? We may have some similar answers :)

If you’d like to join in on the Ask Away Friday fun, join their Facebook group. You’ll meet some awesome peeps, I promise you won’t be disappointed. Or if you have a question for me that I haven’t answered yet, leave it in the comments and I’ll add it as a bonus question next time!

Always, I Keep Fighting

Sometimes I wake up and everything hurts.

Sometimes the pain is too much and I want to give up.

Sometimes I want to give the reins over to someone else. Let them worry about all the new symptoms, the pain levels, and whether or not I’m absorbing all my medications and vitamins.

Sometimes I want to close my eyes and just forget it all. Forget that I’m sick, forget that I have responsibilities and obligations, forget that I have to keep fighting.

Sometimes I don’t want to fight. I don’t want to research new treatments and better diets. I don’t want to push through the pain just to manage a few minutes of exercise. I don’t want to go to yet another doctor’s appointment, I don’t want to give them more blood, I don’t want to pee in yet another cup.

But sometimes…

Sometimes I wake up and there is a doggy kissing my swollen hands.

Sometimes the pain is just bearable.

Sometimes my fiance rubs my back and kisses my forehead and I know no matter what, everything will work out.

Sometimes I close my eyes and can let the stress go while my favorite song plays in the background.

Sometimes I get an email, a phone call, a text that reminds me I have a purpose, not an obligation.

And that’s why I keep fighting. For my fiance and our doggy, for my son. For all the people who’s lives I’ve touched and who’ve touched mine. For all the others out there like me, who have days where they wonder why they bother.

For me and my dreams, I keep fighting.

I’m Grateful For Happiness

I woke up feeling pretty puny this morning. I didn’t sleep well due to pain and an upset tummy which means I’m more than a little crabby from lack of good rest. Rather than allow myself to sit and wallow, I’m celebrating all the things that made me happy recently. You should join me!

GratefulMondays

 

I’m grateful for:

*Thunderstorms that break up a two week run of high temperatures.

*Being able to be the bearer of much awaited good news.

*My fiance playing live music again. And the wonderfully supportive band mates.

*Friends who drive 40 minutes one way to come and support my fiance.

*The 80′s music channel on my TV that lets me reminisce while I write.

*Blogger friends who pass along tips and help.

*Doctors and nurses who call to check on me, who take the time to fully explain recent lab work, who go out of their way to ease my fears and worries.

*My fiance’s employer who has bestowed so much kindness and understanding on us.

*Friends who help plan my wedding via text message and Pinterest when they can’t be right here with me.

*Phone calls with my kiddo where he tells me how excited he is to come see us.

*My parents, who are currently spoiling my son with once in a lifetime opportunities. I may be slightly jealous that I never got to go to Disney or Six Flags as a kid, but I’m so happy my son gets to make these memories with his grandparents.

*Getting to share about Spoons 4 Spoonies and The Spoon Theory with new people, especially when they’re open and receptive. It warms my heart to know I’m doing my part to raise awareness and push back at the stigmas.

*Dawnie, who first told me what a spoonie was, and helped me to put into words my struggle. She also gives me strength every day to keep putting one foot in front of the other, to keep living the best possible life, in spite of whatever struggles get thrown my way.

 

What are you grateful for today? Link up in the comments and lets make Monday just a little brighter!

Ask Away Friday Vol. 7

How in the world is it mid-July already?!

In a matter of weeks it will be my birthday and my son will be here with us. While I’m looking forward to his visit, I’m a little sad that 2014 is racing by. So I’m just going to ignore it and focus on today. Today is Friday and that means it’s time for another swap with another awesome blogger.

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This week I swapped with Rabia from The Liebers. Rabia is a sweet mama who blogs about her family, her life, and everything in between. I love that she describes herself as an open book, as I’ve often said the same thing about myself. After you’ve read this, please hop over to her page and see what her answers to my questions are!

And now, on to the show!

1. If you could choose to stay one age forever, what age would you choose?

I know it’s a bit self-serving, but I’d choose 28. That was the last year before I got sick, and though that year had its own struggles, I was healthy enough to deal with them. While my illnesses have made me a stronger person, I’m not above wishing I had never gotten sick.

2. What is your most prized possession?

It’s so hard to choose just one! I have a handful of things that are special to me for different reasons. My engagement rings (all 3!), a bracelet my adopted niece made me, the cards and drawings from my son, my spoon necklace from Misty, a thank you letter from a dear little girl, my brother’s dog tag, the china I inherited from my fiance’s late mother.

3. Tell the world your opinion on: ghosts, aliens, the Loch Ness Monster, and Bigfoot.

It might seem fanciful, but I like to believe in the unknown. I like the possibility that we don’t know EVERYTHING in the universe. There is so much that science hasn’t yet grasped, who am I to say whether there are mermaids or Nessie?

4. I see that you like to read. I’ve been on quite a reading kick lately too. Who are your favorite authors?

Diana Gabaldon, Laurell K. Hamilton, Dan Brown, John Green, Sandra Brown- to name a few.

5. Tell me your five biggest pet peeves.

Oh boy! Okay- People who smack when they eat. Bugs, insects of any kind. Rude people. Inside out dirty socks. People who insist they know more about my health than I do, no matter how well-meaning they are.

6. What is your favorite room in your house? (Bonus points for a picture)

My favorite room in any home is the kitchen. It’s the heart of the home, and where I’m most comfortable. My kitchen may be small and less than ideal (yay apartment living!),  but it’s MINE and it’s where I cook up yummy treats for my fiance. It’s where I find my groove.

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Pumpkin Cookies from my very own kitchen! (click photo for recipe)

7. What is your most vivid childhood memory?

What an interesting question! I have a few that stick out, but probably the most vivid is when I cracked my chin open. I was just barely six years old, and had fallen off the top bunkbed deep asleep. I don’t know when I woke, but I remember opening my eyes and seeing a bright red spot on the white t-shirt of the man picking me up off the floor. (He was a friend of my parents who was over playing cards with them that night.) You know how I always say when I do something medical, I do it BIG? That little fall out of bed resulted in a cracked jaw, 1 1/2 broken teeth, a split upper lip, a torn bottom lip that sliced all the way past my chin, and more stitches than I can remember. I lived off milkshakes for weeks.

8. Would you rather line dance or ballroom dance?

I’d love to learn to ballroom dance! There’s something so classy about it, and I feel like it’s something you might always use.

9. If you could go 100 years into the past or 100 years into the future and spend a week, which would you choose and what would you do?

Well, ala my favorite book series, The Outlander, I’d love to go into the past. There’s something about the corseted fashions that I think would be cool. Besides, I wouldn’t want to go forward and come back knowing what will happen.

10. Do you have a favorite charity or non-profit that you support? Tell us about it.

Most of you know I’m the co-founder of Spoons 4 Spoonies. Though we’re not yet a non-profit, we have a mission that I very much believe in. S4S was started to honor my friend Misty, who lost her battle with chronic illness at just 40 years old. Misty was a sweetheart who made everyone smile. Cindy and I wanted a way to spread that smile to others like us, who live with chronic illness and pain. We took our inspiration from Christine’s Spoon Theory, and I started hand-decorating spoons with messages of hope and love.

(click photo to order yours today!)
(click photo to order yours today!)

We send these spoons to people all over the US who are fighting some battle- RA, MS, cancer, IBD, and many others. These spoons are a way to let people know that while they may feel isolated due to their illness, they’re not alone. We’re here and we understand. It’s a powerful message.

Whew! Rabia sure had some great questions for me! If you’d like to catch up on past swaps, click here. If you have a question for me that I haven’t answered yet, leave it in the comments and I’ll add it in as a bonus question next time! I hope you all have a great weekend, I’ll be spending mine trying not to melt!

Truthful Tuesday: Summer Is Here

With temperatures reaching the nineties this week, summer is most definitely in full swing. Normally summer doesn’t start for us until my son gets here for his visit, but the weather has other plans this year.

Since the heat is bearing down and it’s not even noon yet, my brain is naturally fried. So here are a few truths to hold you over until I can think straight again.

*I was not made for extreme temperatures.

*I had forgotten how much I love A Walk In The Clouds until this morning.

*It’s always been a dream of mine to stomp grapes, ever since I saw Lucy do it in Pretty Woman.

*My rheumatologist wants to start me on Remicade infusions. Now we wait to see if my insurance will approve it.

*For my birthday this year, I’ll be getting a colonoscopy and endoscopy. I was kinda hoping for a mani/pedi instead.

*I’ve always dreamed of being serenaded.

*I ran into an old “friend” this past weekend. While we had a nice chat, catching up, my heart remembers all the hurt she and another caused me. And I’m hesitant to put myself out there again.

*The TENS unit I received has been working wonders on my lower back pain. I HIGHLY recommend them.

*My fiance never ceases to amaze me with the depth of his love and care for me. I am so very lucky that he has stuck by my side through everything.

Ask Away Friday Independence Edition

Happy Independence Day and Happy Friday!

This week I had the pleasure of swapping with April from 100lb Countdown. April is on a journey to a healthier self and is sharing it all with us, along with stories of her kiddos, her marriage, and life in general. Because our swap would land on July 4th, April agreed to do a bit of a theme with me. Be sure to check out April’s site to see her answers!

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So here are five questions about Independence Day:

1. What’s the most creative way you’ve used the American flag?

I had to think about this one really hard and I still couldn’t come up with anything. I think one year we baked a cake and made a flag out of berries on top, but that’s about it.

2. Do you have a friend or family member in active duty that makes you appreciate this day more than others?

I actually grew up in a military family. My first step-father served in the Air Force and I spent the first decade of my life stationed at a number of different bases. My mom’s current husband is also in the Air Force, as well as my youngest sister, so my son is also being raised in a very military-appreciative family.

3. What’s your favorite part of the Fourth of July celebration?

I know it may be a common answer, but I love watching the big fireworks shows. There’s something about staring up at the starry sky and watching the different colors stream across. It always takes my breath away.

4. Have you always participated in Fourth of July activities?

Um. I think so? I don’t have any distinct memories of NOT doing anything for the holiday, so there’s that. Growing up, there was always family. So whether we were at home or Grandma’s or with a friend, there was family around. Sometimes we lit our own fireworks after BBQing, sometimes we went to the city park to watch the big show over the lake. But I think we always did something.

5. Do you have any Fourth of July stories?

When my son was little- I think it was his second summer, so he was a year and a half- we took him to see the parade. He loved everything until the firetrucks came. They turned on the sirens and he placed his hands over his ears and WAILED! We didn’t realize he’d have such a strong reaction to the loud sounds since nothing else had seemed to phase him up to that point. That night we set off fireworks at home and his nana was trying to get him to hold a sparkler for a photo, but he kept trying to place his hands over the ears to cover the noise from the other fireworks. I was freaking out that he’d burn himself from the sparkler, so somewhere there’s a photo of him with his hands over his ears, grinning, and me holding the sparkler for him. Not really the photo op everyone was looking for haha!

And here are five about me:

1. You mentioned that you aren’t close to many of your family members. Is there anyone that you really wish you had a relationship with, but don’t?

I thought really hard about this. Though I’m closer now with my two sisters, we haven’t always been that way. I wish we’d been closer growing up and that we had some great memories of things the three of us did together when we were younger. Fortunately, we’re working on making memories now.

2. Have you told the “How You Met Your Fiance” Story? If not, can you tell us? If you have, tell us what first attracted you to your fiance?

Last year on our anniversary, I shared the story of how we met. Scotty (name has been changed to protect his sanity haha!) is the very best person for me, I just can’t say it any better than that. He understands me, even when I’m not sure I understand myself. There’s a love here that runs very deep and true. As for what first attracted me, that’s kind of two-fold, since we met online. Initially, I was drawn in by his wit. Scotty is one smart cookie, but I never felt like he was talking down to me. When we met in person, his smile won me over. When he smiles at me, his whole face lights up. It’s enough to melt my heart.

3. What values do you hope to instill in your son?

I hope to teach him how to value women. I hope to teach him to believe in equality. I hope to teach him to stand up for himself and what he believes in, even if it might not be the popular choice. I hope to teach him to follow his dreams and to have passion for life. Mostly, I hope to teach him to love- to love wholeheartedly, without reservations, because without love, life is so very sad.

4. Where so you see your life in 5 years? Will you still be blogging?

I sure hope so! This blog has become very much MY space. I come here to share about myself, to share about this crazy life, and I can’t imagine much of that will change over the next five years. I hope that I’ll have a bit of a better handle on my health by then, or that I’ve at least found a routine. I hope that Scotty and I will have a bigger home then, with maybe an office for me and a studio or practice room for him.

5. Design your perfect home… include location and size!

I’ve daydreamed about a perfect home many times over the years. I used to want a 2-story Victorian but stairs and I are no longer friends, so I’ve made some adjustments to the dreams. I’d love a ranch-style home on the outskirts of the city. There are rolling hills within five minutes of the city lines that remind me of “the country.” Ideally, I’d like it to have a master suite, a bedroom for my son, and a guest room. I’d also like an office/library for me and a music room for my fiance. I’d like it to be on a decent piece of land so that there would be plenty of land for a few doggies to run around, and maybe even a pool or hot tub. And of course, it would need a state-of-the-art kitchen :)

 

I hope you all have a happy and safe holiday and weekend! We’re planning for a quiet evening at home since I’m on doctor’s orders to rest this week. Fingers crossed I can see some fireworks from my little corner of the world! And don’t forget to pop over to April’s site to see how she answered our Fourth of July questions!

Mondays Are For Gratitude

My lovely Tracie has been linking up on the weekends with a group of thankful bloggers, making a wonderful list of ten things for which she’s thankful. I keep saying I’m going to join her, but let’s be honest- blogging on the weekends has always been hard for me. That’s the only time I get with my fiance, weekends are usually pretty busy here.

So I decided that I would make Monday’s full of gratitude and thankfulness. Why not? It’s not like Monday’s are full of much that’s good, so I’m gonna turn that around. At least, in my own little corner of the interwebs. Y’all feel free to join in :)

GratefulMondays

I’m grateful for:

*Reading a new book with a friend hundreds of miles away.

*Sharing emails and texts about said book.

*Shaved ice and exploring our town with a good friend.

*The new Linkin Park album and DVD that was an early birthday gift from my fiance.

*New upstairs neighbors that I can barely tell are there.

*A doggy who snuggles up and gives kisses first thing in the morning, allowing me to wake up a bit before taking him outside.

*My TENS unit and the insurance that paid for it.

*Fallah, who quietly helps from the background. She offers grace, understanding, and non-judgement, and just can’t fathom being any other way. She is, and always will be, an angel in my life.

*My mother’s sponsors and mentors who are helping with her recovery.

*My own therapist who is helping me establish healthy boundaries and coping tools so that I can thrive in my life instead of merely surviving.

*My patient and understanding fiance who hasn’t yet strangled me for the mountains of crafting supplies that have been strewn all over our living room this past week.

*My fiance’s best friend, who has blessed us with many gifts this year, including giving my fiance a sneak peak at some new music making tools, which have sparked inspiration and creativity.

*New bloggers I’ve met via Ask Away Friday who are helping me broaden my horizons and make this blog into my own little corner of the interwebs, one step at a time.

*Cindy Lou and Rene, who helped calm the storm in my mind. They listened, offered help, and even volunteered to send chocolate. They are the very best kinds of people.

*The nice maintenance man who not only fixed our shower faucets last week, but came back the next day to snake the drain. He could have waited until the request form was filed and approved (which can take up to 30 days), instead he just did it. And now I have a normally working/draining shower again.

 

What are you thankful for this Monday morning?

 

Ask Away Friday Vol. 6

It’s Friday and that means it’s time for another swap!

This week I swapped with Sonya from Saving Everyday with Sonya K. Sonya is married, a homeschooling mommy to two young kiddos, and your go-to gal for the best shopping deals around. I loved getting to know more about this fellow bargain hunter, and you will too! Be sure to pop over to her site today to see her answers to all my questions for her.

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And now, inquiring minds want to know! Here are Sonya’s questions and my answers:

I read that you want to travel to France along with some other European countries. How about some questions about your fantasy trip to France-

1. What are three tourist sites you would like to visit in France?

Well the obvious answer is Paris, though maybe not for the Eiffel Tower. (I’m terrified of heights!) I’d love to see the Louvre most of all. I’d also like to see the Mont Saint Michel and explore the Loire Valley.

2. What French foods would you be most excited to try?

I want an honest-to-goodness authentic eclair. Mmmmmmmm.

3. During what season would you visit France?

I think late spring, early summer would be best. I would like to beat the huge summer crowds, and still get to see all the beautiful flowers blooming.

You said that you enjoyed reading my 90′s questions that Drea asked me. So here are a few 90′s questions for you-

4. Favorite boy band from the 90′s?

Boys II Men

5. If you could choose four TV characters from the 90′s for a fantasy dinner party who would you invite?

Oh man! Can I cheat and pick four different casts of characters? It’s so hard to choose! I’d love to have a Melrose Place dinner party, a Saved By The Bell dinner party, a Boy Meets World dinner party, and a Clarissa Explains It All dinner party.

6. What was your favorite hair style from the 90′s? If you have an old picture, please share :)

Fortunately for my ego, my mom has all my old pictures. So while my fiance has seen them (Thanks Mom!), I can honestly say I don’t have any in my possession to share with you! HA! As for my favorite hairstyle, I’m not sure I had one. I mostly rocked the LONG wavy hair that I would spend hours on each morning before school. By my senior year (and the end of the 90s) my hair was down to my waist.

Random Questions

7. What is your favorite nail polish color right now?

Teal seems to be my old faithful, as it’s my favorite color. But for summer, I really like bright colors, so I’m sporting a sparkly orange right now :)

8. Online vs. In-store shopping. Which one do you prefer?

I prefer in-store, even though it can be very tiring for me. I like being able to try things on and make sure they’ll fit how I want.

9. It’s date night- Do your prefer going out for a night on the town or staying inside for a movie night?

Since my fiance and I usually spend most nights home together, I like our date nights to be out. I like finding things we can do that don’t break the budget, like finding a diner and playing cards while sipping hot cocoa. That way we’re still getting out, but we’re not blowing a ton of cash on dinner.

10. Salty snack foods vs. Sugary sweet treats which one would be harder to give up for a week?

Hmm. Probably sugary sweets. Though, to be honest, I prefer both together. I love the salty/sweet contrast. M&Ms and popcorn is a favorite of both my fiance and I.

 

Each week I’m having more and more fun with these swaps! These ladies are good at finding things about me that I haven’t shared yet. Is there a question YOU have for me that I haven’t answered yet? Leave it in the comments and maybe it’ll make it in as a bonus question!

And if you’d like to get involved with the Ask Away Friday crew, check out their Facebook group. Everyone is super nice and helpful, it’s great for new and seasoned bloggers alike!