Suz's love for COWS + Allan's work with LASERS = one unique blog name! Welcome to our blog filled with race recaps, pictures of our labs, and everything else we share with blogland!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Being Authentic-Part 1

Today I'm taking a break from catching up on race recaps (still have three more to go!) to write about something that has been on my mind lately.  Sometimes I find myself reading post after post that is happy-go-lucky or post after post in which the blogger claims to "love" every product they review. There comes a time where the line between being authentic and writing for an audience becomes blurred and unfortunately that's happened with several blogs I used to read.  I'm not sure why these bloggers thought all that anyone wanted to hear them say was how amazing their life is or how much they enjoy the free stuff they blog about every other day but there's nothing real there and the blogger whose voice I enjoyed hearing doesn't exist anymore or at least not on their blog.

As far as being happy all the time that's a lie. No one's life is like that. My mom is the happiest (and sweetest) person I know but even she has a rough day now and again. I know I, like many of you, keep a lot of private things off the blog but I'm throwing caution to the wind and as my STEP kids would say there's going to be "real talk" on the blog today. I hope that in opening up about some things you guys will better understand me and maybe something I talk about will relate to something going on in your life.

In the spirit of throwing it all out there let me start with saying that Allan is gone A LOT! I spend nearly half the month here by myself with the dogs. I run the house, pay the bills, work two jobs, serve on two boards, and volunteer at both the library and the hospital so while I keep busy there are many nights when I eat cereal, watch my girl shows, and go to bed at 9 without having talked to Allan all day. When he's out of town he's often not reachable via phone or e-mail and it's very hard for him to get back home in case of emergency such as when my grandmother passed away.  He couldn't make it back for the funeral. My Daddy taught me from a young age to be independent and to learn to take care of myself so I'm not sitting here helpless but I will admit that it does get lonely and when he's gone so much it's hard to feel like I am able to rely on him. (This is nothing Allan and our family and close friends haven't heard me say so don't think I'm airing anything on the blog that is news to them.) I think that's part of the reason that I love running so much because there's no one there to run those miles for you when you get tired and your legs ache. You can only rely on yourself to get you to the finish line.

On his way to his home away from home

I bring all this up to say that it's not happy all the time here and there are days that I feel so overwhelmed that I just have to take some time for myself and put my phone on silent, turn my computer off, and just get lost in a book or movie. Then I regroup, check my to do list, and start tackling everything that I have to handle around here. There are also days when the dogs are terrible and cause more trouble than should be possible from those two. Sasha really is too smart for her own good and if Allan is gone for two weeks by week two I start paying for it. She turns her water over, is unhappy whether she's inside or outside, and wants to sit out on the deck at 3:45 AM. I know she misses him but give me a break! Lucky may be precious but don't let that face fool you. He has a little excavation site in the backyard that he and I are going back on forth about. I fill it up and think I've made it to where he can't dig there again and the next day he proves me wrong and I catch him with dirty little paws.

We always walk sooo nice on our leash, just like this!

Today I received a subpoena to appear in court next month as a witness. A couple of years ago I was robbed at the bank where I worked and the case is just now going to trial. Just when I thought I could close that chapter of my life it's back. I was very fortunate not to have been robbed at gun point and I was able to detain the robber long enough for the police to be in place to easily apprehend her. Even though it wasn't what I would consider a violent crime that doesn't mean that I don't have nightmares about it and I would never say it's something that I take lightly. I can still see her face as though it happened yesterday and many times in my nightmares things don't play out like they did that day and I get shot or taken hostage. Hopefully next month I can put this all behind me once and for all.

The last thing I want to talk about today is not necessarily an unhappy thing but just something that I think needs to be shared in regards to children. The rest of our siblings already have children and we often get asked about when we are going to have a family of our own. Last time I checked being married means you have a family and when people ask us about starting a family it makes me feel that a family of two (plus the dogs) isn't good enough. Like I said earlier, Allan travels a lot so the responsibility of a child would fall nearly entirely on my shoulders.  Now don't take that to mean that I'm not up for the challenge because I am but I don't know that I'm ready for that challenge right now. On a very personal level I am not where I'd like to be physically to have a child. I'd like to lose 15-20 pounds and I've let strength training take a backseat in recent years so my arms and core are weak. Losing the weight and getting stronger is a priority for me this year and I'm about to start using a 1-year gym membership that I snagged off Groupon for $149. Yes, be jealous. That's $149 for an entire year and that includes using the gym and taking most of the classes offered there.

Uncle Allan loves playing with our nieces and nephews!

So there you have it. Not all sunshine and rainbows here people! Stay tuned for Part 2 where I'll share some of my favorite and not-so-favorite products and share my take on product reviews.


  1. We all have things that aren't sunshine and rainbows. Beer Geek used to travel a lot too. I got REALLY tired of it. Now sometimes I wish he still traveled LOL. And on the kid front, don't do it until you are ready, but also don't wait for the "perfect time". We were married 7 years before we had kids and I still wasn't sure I was ready. Now I wish we'd had them a bit earlier so we weren't facing retirement and college at the same time LOL.

    Enjoy the gym!

  2. These are the kinds of blogs I like to read - the ones where people talk about themselves and their lives, good or bad, struggle or success. I too am tired of many blogs going too corporate and all about self promotion. I blog because I feel good about putting it all out there and I like to read blogs of people like me, people I can learn from and people who motivate me. Giveaways and sponsored posts and blogger conferences and a million ambassadorships don't help me... yes, I have a giveaway now and then but I don't ever want that kind of stuff to be what I'm all about. Anyhow, great post. This topic has come up a lot lately it seems...

  3. Nicely said Suz! I loved reading this because you couldn't have said it any better, really. I for one can't stand reading how "perfect" people's lives are and know first hand that we can "keep it real" without being a Debbie Downer.

    I have been under a dark cloud for ample reasons the last two years and while my blog has suffered in terms of quantity of blog posts, I have been able to stay true with out being cheesy positive or negative Nancy. --Er, I hope not anyway -- you'd tell me, right Suz!? haha love you girl! :)

  4. Suz, thank you for sharing. I recently opened up alot on my blog and it felt amazing! If you ever need a shoulder to lean on or a girl chat, I am definitely here.
    Being a single gal, I experience loneliness more than I would like, but I am also an independent women and have always taken care of myself so I try to look past and stay positive. My life has taken such an amazing turn recently that I am bound and determined to stay positive!
    Thanks for always reading my blog and your sweet comments! They are truly appreciated! I hope I can do the same for you!

  5. You are awesome Suz! I even told Brian yesterday is it always good to see you and Allan :). You guys are my normal.

  6. Thank you for sharing! What I love about reading your blog is that I know that you're a REAL person and not just blogging/commenting for popularity. Most of us blog as a way to share an interest and our lives with similar minded people. Life isn't perfect, I know you're strong! There are SO many different definitions of a family and ignore those who question (half the time I bet it's out of envy that you still have a quiet and clean house! :)

  7. Great post!! I agree about a lot of people's blogs. Sometimes they can feel sort of spammy with all their reviews and happy go lucky stuff. I've cleaned my blog list up a lot in the past few months.

  8. Good to get some things off your chest, so to speak, and offer your own view point.

    I only review products I really like, and usually try to score a giveaway with a review so I can share those things with anyone who might want to have them, too.

    It's a fine line sometimes... writing what you want to write and writing what you think people want to read. I try not to do that.... but I know I have been guilty of it in the past.

    I think blogging goes through some noticeable phases until the blogger finds a comfortable niche.

    Sorry that I love your dogs even when they are naughty! :)

  9. Totally agree!! Sometimes I dont share because of privacy.
    I love reading your blog!! Real life, race reports, book reviews! I count on you to be 'normal.' And now I understand why you took some time off at Christmas when Allan was home!!!
    The next time someone asks you about kids, tell them the dogs are doing just fine!!! Parenting is a personal decision and I respect the not now plan!! I have friends whose work schedule was very similar to yours. They have decided to not have children, and I think thats better than doing because 'its time'.

  10. nice honest authentic post....thanks

  11. Love this post - you definitely hit the nail on the head. Thank you for sharing! I'm in the same boat as you are regarding children. I get asked that question all the time and it makes me crazy!

  12. Love, love, love...Real posts are the best. I always get responses that "I'm so positive", well I'm not always, there are days when I am a hot mess, and if I don't blog for a while it means I'm tired, or cranky, or I remember what my mom said, "If you don't have something nice to day, don't say anything".
    What does Alan do where he travels all the time?

  13. I guess everyone has already said "great post" but I wholeheartedly agree! Very interesting to hear about the true side of someone's life. I am have stepkids? Allan has kids?

    I keep my blog mainly sunshine and rainbows on purpose. Mostly because the #1 source of strife/anger/etc is my job and I don't need to get fired, so I just don't talk about it on the internet. I also stress like crazy about money sometimes, but I also don't want to put that on the internet.

    It definitely sounds hard to be alone that much. When Eric works at the bar he doesn't get home till 4 or 5 am on Fri/Sat nights and I basically don't see him all weekend and that is hard, so I can't imagine what you go through. And I can absolutely related on the having kids thing - this summer will be our 5 yr anniversary and my 30th birthday, so the pressure is ON. So what if we are both in grad school and have full AND part time jobs and live hundreds of miles from our nearest family member? Do you ever want to punch the next person who says something? Or is that just me?

  14. Wow, 1st off I am sorry you had to go through the robbery:( That is scary! On the children note, everyone knows when the time is right. Take your time, you will know when it's time. My husband travels a lot too and in fact left this morning for 8 days to Japan. It has always been like that and it can be tough with kids, but definitely doable:) I was just thinking about doing a post about authenticity! So crazy! And I was talking about it with my friend yesterday. You are right, nobody is happy all the time and not every run is a great one. I try to be as real as I can on my blog as far as cruddy days. I guess that's why I do "free rant friday";) I find that there are many inauthentic people in my real life too unfortunately. I try to steer clear of them. Great post Suzanne! Glad you are keeping it real:)

  15. Way to keep it real!
    I hope I always do the same!

  16. Being Authentic makes us who we are! Why be anyone else? I hear ya about the travelling spouse. Mine doesn't go away for as long, but she's gone many weekends and 5-6 times a year she goes away for 3-5 days at a time.

    If you're not being authentic, you're not being true to yourself and that helps no one!!

    Great post!!!

  17. Thanks for keeping it real, Suz! Sorry you get lonely sometimes. My husband is always here, but sometimes I get lonely, too. I know it's not the same thing, but it's still hard sometimes. I totally love my life and wouldn't change it at all, but you're so right that we all go through rough patches. :-)

  18. So very true.... blogs are supposed to be real life.

  19. I have lived that life with a very often away husband and I can sympathize. It is frequently no fun. How scary about the robbery, and I'm sorry it's still haunting you. Wishing you peace and closure of that chapter. I think you do an excellent job of keeping things authentic around here.

  20. I also wanted to ask, do you have step kids? That part confused me, haha. And hey, I fully admitted that Mike and I aren't going to have kids on my blog so I definitely feel you! I think we are a family with our furkids :)

    I don't really do product reviews anymore because I don't want them to be all sunshine and rainbows, and I've figured out how to be nice about it when I don't like something but sometimes that is too much work! I definitely am unhappy a lot of the times and while I don't always post about it, not all of my posts are happy go lucky topics either! Life happens!

    And trust me, I get you with the misbehaving dogs. Bernie had to go to intensive training for 3 weeks (he stayed there the entire time and we couldn't see him) because he was so aggressive.

  21. Such a great post. I heart you, girl. Will call you tomorrow! xo

  22. We also get asked a lot about when we're having kids, as we've been married over 4 years now. I know people mean well, but at this point I feel like I can hardly keep up with my farm work, house work, and care for the dogs and hubby while staying sane. Eep! Someday I hope we're ready for kids, but it isn't quite yet. Even though my husband doesn't travel I still feel rather alone in many of the tasks that fall to me. Things are good and I know I'm blessed, but that doesn't stop my from feeling overwhelmed some days.

    Enough about me. Great post, and I will be praying for healing for you from that robbery. How scary; hope the court stuff goes ok.

  23. Suz
    Thank you for the post, being real and opening up. Yes we all do not have stellar days.In talking about those days makes them somehow least for me.
    You and Allan are a family with your 2 fur kids as well. Terri and I get that a lot to.
    Again thanks for sharing and good luck in court. Will be thinking of you and praying.

  24. Thank you for your honest and open post! I've stopped reading several blogs where everything is a post about something they got for free. I also try to be honest if things are going well or they aren't. I blog for me, so how am I being true to myself if everything is sunshine and rainbows?

    Best of luck with the trial. That can't be easy. And dealing with a spouse gone so often is tough too. My husband used to work shift work so it was really difficult to plan things with him and I found being at home at night was a little scary. Not sure why since I lived on my own for so long!

  25. i just love you :) and appreciate your honesty. i can't believe that all of the trial stuff is just now happening. and i totally understand how you feel with all of that. praying all goes well and you can put it behind you. xo

  26. i find it so funny that i've never met you but i feel like i really 'know' you. i think that's because you do keep it real and the person you are shines through your writing. it is hard to believe that those two innocent looking fur babies of y'alls can act up like that ;) riley has his days too, my favorite is when you hear a retching sound at 3am. always a good time.

    i think we're at that point in our lives where children come up in conversation daily, like it's just the next expected step. that's between y'all and God. don't let anyone make you feel guilty or second guess yourself.

  27. I love this REAL post about REAL life!! I've noticed the same thing with Facebook. People who have perfect husbands and perfect children. Really? Where do they buy them cause I want to shop there! :)

    Thank you for being YOU! Carry on!


  28. I love this. Being honest is such an important part of blogging. I think we have to let people know that we are not perfect - because people in general aren't perfect and it makes us more real.
    I admit openly that while I am trying to learn to eat healthy I still have HUGE binge eating issues. I also am open about the fact that I am 31 and totally single. While I am fine about this most days I let people know that sometimes it is hard for me. Thank you for being honest about everything. I think that is fabulous.

  29. I love the honesty. Sometimes it does get a little too much with all the happiness and achievements and shiny rainbows!

    Sometimes I eat an entire bag of snacks even when I am not hungry. Then I feel guilty and lazy and I start to get down on myself and all I want to do then is eat more. My work pants are getting tighter and I feel like a lump.


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