I so did not get this Fagan Family update on the blog in November… and now it’s already half-way through December. Not normal for me, but in some ways I’m trying to do less blogging/writing, and in other ways, I’ve been swamped with sponsored posts and life. So, without further ado, November 2014 for the Fagan fam:
2. November was the month of Family Pictures. Our family had to have our family pictures taken not once, not twice, but three times. My friend and I opted to take each other’s photos. However, the first day we got together (back in October), Lisa fell backward off a rail and cracked her head, so we ended up taking her to the ER as she was inconsolable, and then her eyes started to roll in her head, and she got super tired. We got her all checked out, and she was fine, and back to normal by the morning. The second time we met, it was the day after Daylight Savings, and we didn’t realize that meeting at 5:30pm would be far too late. The light was gone. The third time, we finally got some good pictures.
In November, I also started a business with said friend above, called Twice Focused Photography, where we team up to take family pictures for people. We have done 5 or 6 different families picture sessions. I still need a lot of improvement, but I am getting better, and learning a lot.
3. Josh and I were able to go to the San Antonio LDS Temple for the first time. It was so nice! The temple is beautiful and much bigger than the Louisville, KY temple we had been going to back in Indiana. We did some family sealings, and had such a great experience as we finished names that last of temple ready names Josh had printed out back in 2006!
4. I was in charge of a Relief Society activity at church where we discussed the book “The Hundred Dresses” by Eleanor Estes (affiliate link). I led a group discussion about ways we as sisters could be better friends, sharing about how we shouldn’t judge others, as well as sharing about individuals that have helped me feel friendship and love through the years, and how much more we can do to be united. We also donated more than 100 dresses and skirts to a local women’s shelter.
5. For book club in November, we discussed the book “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story” (affiliate link). It was a different book, an autobiography, about an African American boy who was raised by a single mother, and went on to become a top Neurosurgeon. He’s a 7th Day Adventist and believes he was given gifted hands so that he could work on such a delicate thing as the brain. The book sparked some good conversation among us, about a host of different thing, main of which was why would you write an autobiography so prematurely? He was just starting his career really. The book was written around 1988. The book has actually been turned into a movie, and Ben Carson is now a potential presidential candidate in the next election.
6. My best friend from growing up, Amanda, came to visit me! She recently returned from a tour to Afghanistan, and is stationed in San Antonio, not far from where we live, so I invited her over for the day. It was so nice to catch up, as we haven’t seen each other since my wedding reception 6 years ago! She’s going to be getting married here very soon, and I’m very excited for her and all her future holds. I hope I’ll be seeing more of here as we live so close now.
7. We celebrated Thanksgiving with some friends, and I made some delicious homemade dinner rolls. We played some Pandemic, watched some football, ate too much food, and then I went out shopping at the Outlets Malls with the ladies, and didn’t get as awesome of deals on clothes for the kids as I was hoping. All well. I am very grateful that we have made such great friends here in Texas, and that we had a place to go for Thanksgiving this year as we were not able to be with any family, for like the first time ever.
8. Josh and I celebrated six years of marriage! We awesomely had a friend willing to watch our children for the day as we went into San Antonio and explored the River Walk, ate a little bit there, and then went to see Interstellar in IMAX. It was a LONG movie, but we had a great time getting out for several hours, just the two of us, and checking out San Antonio for the first time.
9. I threw a LeapTV Party, but then the camera didn’t work, so I had to entertain my guests last minute with a different activity. I then was sent a new camera but haven’t thrown a second party. It was a MommyParties, as part of MomSelect.
10. Blogging is still going very well. I have been very humbled to see such amazing growth in my blog this year. In January I received 17,000 visitors and made $0. In November, I had the most visitors ever at 156,000 and made more than double our rent payment. It’s funny because at the start of the year I wanted to maybe double the amount of visitors from January, and make a steady $200 a month. I has far surpassed those goals, and pretty early in this year. Every month I have consistently made more money than the last.
It’s been a crazy year of hard work, lots and time spent, lots of growth, lots of experimenting, lots of networking, lots of writing, and lots of photo editing. Sometimes the time commitment has been too much for my young family, but I feel like the hard work is paying off in a big way. And honestly, I did it with God. I felt him prompt me to start monetizing and pursuing my dream of being a “real” blogger last summer 2013. So, I took some leaps of faith and followed where he led, and couldn’t have seen such great success without him by my side, nor without my supportive (and understanding) husband, children, blogging friends, and of course my fans and readers. Thank you all, and thank you God!
11. I also threw a Thanksgiving playgroup party again this year for my girls and a few friends from church. It was a bit different, in that one group left as the next arrived, but we rolled with it, and had a great time.
12. It cooled off enough here for a few days that we were able to get a “fall,” which apparently doesn’t happen often in Texas. The kids were so excited to play in leaves, and kept asking/begging to make a leaf pile so they could jump in it. Unfortunately, our apartment complex only has small trees, but I obliged one day, and we had as much fun as we could jumping in our small pile. The girls kept saying they wished they could go to Olivia’s house (back in Indiana) and jump in leaf piles (we had helped them rack their leaves last year and they have several enormous trees on their property).
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