bloggingchronic illness

Top 10 Posts Of All Time

top 10 posts of all time

It is so hard to believe that A New Kind of Normal has been in existence for over 10 years (almost 10 1/2!). Since thing were so crazy last year, we never really got to celebrate the 10 year mark, I thought I would take a day out of Bloguary to earmark the top 10 posts of all time here on A New Kind of Normal (well, at least they are the top 10 posts for the last 10 years)!

Here they are counting down from 10 to 1:

10) Things To Say (& Not Say) To Someone With Chronic Illness

9) What Is In Your Flare Survival Kit?

8) Mission Aborted: When Routine Procedures Go Wrong

7) Fighting The Tube: Recovering From Bowel Obstruction Surgery

6) Surgery Survival Kit

5) The Bowel Prep Survival Kit

4) One Little Word For 2014: Fierce

3) A Frozen Birthday & Bedroom

2) My Hair Hurts: Dealing With Tactile Allodynia & Fibromyalgia

and….drumroll please…..

1) The First 7 Days After Bowel Obstruction Surgery

 

I Am Bold

It is hard to believe that it has been over 10 years since A New Kind of Normal was born! So many amazing – and challenging – things have happened along the way but I am excited about what is going to happen this year and hopefully for many, many more years after!

Bloguary Day 9

Here is to Living Boldly for another 10 years!

just for fun

10 Funny Things You Didn’t Know About Me in College

Funny Thing About Me In College

I thought that it was time to start adding some funny posts into Bloguary and I thought why not start with the time period of my life that happened just before I started my blog so here are 10 funny things that you didn’t know about me in college (in no particular order):

  1. My first ever concert was going to see Chris LeDoux my freshman year at a place called Coyote Joe’s and I totally rocked a black Stetson cowboy hat. I made being a cowgirl look good!
  2. Each semester of my freshman year, I took an intensive French class. The course was worth 6 credit hours which meant spending a total of 8 hours a week in class once you factored in the lab time. I took five years of French before I reached college so instead of starting out at the 101 level, I went in at the 301 level. In high school, we spent time speaking in French obviously but there was a lot more focus on writing. In college however speaking was the primary focus and because it was a 301 level course, there was no speaking English right out of the gate. I left each class at least the first two weeks in tears. Eventually, however, because the class was so immersive, I went to my other courses and began translating everything the professor was saying in English into French and even began occasionally dreaming in French. I was one class short of a French minor but it meant taking a summer class and I wasn’t having that.
  3. My sophomore year, good guy friend was going to give me a goodnight hug and tripped. We landed on the sidewalk and my shoulder hit just perfectly at a spot where the sidewalk was uneven causing me to strain my shoulder, end up in a sling for a month, and needing to see a chiropractor for I have no idea how many months. My parents did not see the humor in this at all but the chances of his tripping and me landing in the exact, precise spot where I did – the only spot in that entire area that would have caused the injury it did – was astronomical and in its own way hilarious because thats just my luck. Its how I roll.
  4. Just before said accident happened, I had a wild hair (pun intended) and chopped off my shoulder length blond hair into an auburn sassy pixie cut à la Wionna Ryder. It totally helped to only have hair about an inch long when you couldn’t life one arm over your head for nearly a month. The stylist that cut my hair was named Butch (I am totally not making this up) and he was beyond excited to do this cut because he had spent the majority of his day styling senior ladies hair so the change of pace was just what he needed and its not often he got to cut such a daring style at the time. This haircut is what started my love affair with short hair and up until I started growing out my hair two years ago, I never had hair past my shoulders from the years 2000 to 2016.
  5. One year for Homecoming the theme was “Through The Years” and the pep band adapted the them to “Musicians Through The Years” and since I rocked short hair, I dressed up as Pink in her early years complete with the obvious pink hair, crop top and pleather pants. Let me just say that pleather pants in September in North Carolina is NOT a good idea. I had sweat just pouring down my legs the entire football game. I am honestly surprised I did not pass out from heat exhaustion! I will admit though that I looked pretty good. I hate that all this happened before the days of social media!
  6. I initially got first aid certified because I thought the guy teaching the course was super cute. Sad but true.
  7. I was pursued twice to enter the starter division of the Miss North Carolina pageant by one of the pageant directors. I have never been in a beauty pageant – my apologies – a scholarship program in my life (outside of some really bizarre makeshift pageant at church camp in the 7th grade) and while the idea of all the glamour seemed fun, the thought of having to wear a bathing suit on stage in front of all those people was terrifying.
  8. I was a music education major which required that I perform a senior recital. My primary instrument was the horn (most people know it as the french horn aka the geekiest instrument known to man) which required me to spit on stage. I was totally rocking a gorgeous green formal dress and spitting on stage. Classy.
  9. Not only did I have an instrumental focus, I also took voice lessons and sang in the concert choir. Every year we took a choir tour to various states over spring break (two years after I graduated they went to Ireland – jerks). One tradition that they had on tour every year was giving out funny awards at the end of the week. My junior year I received an award. Here is the background story: Our director’s favorite color was purple. He had no shame in his love of purple and we looked for every opportunity possible to exploit it. His last name was Etter and his first name started with P and at our university, the email was always created by using your first initial plus your last name so his email was petter@ouruniversity.edu which he hated because it made him sound like some kind of pervert which only gave us something else to laugh at. Anyways, one afternoon on choir tour, one of the guys was giving me a piggy back ride and someone behind me noticed that the band of my undies was purple and she loudly proclaimed, “Look! Jamee is wearing Petter-wear!” Needless to say at the end of the week, I was awarded the “Petter-wear Award.” Our director kept asking what it meant which made it even more humiliating (and admittedly, hilarious) which made me want to crawl under the bus seat.
  10. I met my husband his first weekend of college. I was a junior and he was a freshman. I started college at 17 so the age difference between us isn’t that big. We met at church where I sang in the praise band and my two friends who were his “big sisters” brought him to church to visit and he ended up playing bass in the praise band that morning.It took us some time to start dating because both of us were determined to not date and focus on our studies but God finally got it through our thick skulls and John drove us to Virginia that January to ask my Dad’s permission to date me (I know, I thought it was weird at the time too but won major brownie points with my dad) and we went on our first official date that Valentine’s Day and have been together ever since. John always teases that I took away his chance to have any kind of fun in college but I know I saved him a lot of heartache. Silly boys!

There you are folks. Ten funny things about my college years that you didn’t know before and now your life is so much greater now that you know!

Now that I’ve shared mine, you need to share yours! What are some funny things about your college years?

chronic style

my dream behind chronic style

Where i came up with Chronic Style

Chronic Style has slowly developed over the last few years but in 2018, it will become a major piece of A New Kind of Normal. I wanted to have a catchy name for any posts that referenced anything style, beauty, or fashion related (which didn’t happen very often). There was a phase in blogging history a few years ago where link-ups were everything and memes were a close second and they always had these great, catchy names. If was easy, if you weren’t careful, to be participating in a different link-up/meme every day and not post any real content but it was out of participating and creating these posts that I decided that I needed to come up with a name.

The first major style related link-up that I can remember participating in that really impacted both my blogging and me personally was What I Wore Wednesday over at The Pleated Poppy. This was Lindsey (the creators) mission behind created What I Wore Wednesday aka WIWW:

welcome to “what i wore” at the pleated poppy!  share with me your fashion posts and we can inspire each other!  i started this originally as motivation to get out of my daily uniform of jammies or sweats, but now i am encouraged and held accountable to put a few extra minutes aside for myself and try new things.  i’d love for you to join me!

I was still working at the time and at the office I felt like I was wearing the same thing all the time but specifically outside of work, I felt like I lived in the same uniform (which oddly enough I didn’t have to wear at work but created for myself in my personal life). I lived in jeans and Old Navy t-shirts. I remember writing this post way back in 2010 where I was searching for my own sense of style. Shortly after I discovered What I Wore Wednesday and began to think, what if I am not the only one struggling with this? What if I am not the only spoonie trying to figure out how to balance being comfortable and maintaining a personal style?

The dream of Chronic Style was born. It has developed slowly, especially the first several years as I just added in posts here and there but if you have noticed, the posts have become more frequent over the last year or two as I have begun to figure out for myself what my personal style is and how to start to create some kind of balance.

As I stated in my 2018 goals, Chronic Style will become a staple feature here at A New Kind of Normal. It even has its own logo for future content:

Chronic Style Post Header

I love the tagline “reclaiming the confidence we were born to rock” as that is the main mission behind the series. To quote what I said on my welcome back post:

A main goal focuses on reclaiming our confidence. Makeup doesn’t make me feel beautiful, it makes me feel confident. It gives me an avenue through which I can express my creativity. I can feel feminine. I can feel edgy. I can feel both. I want for each of one of us to find an avenue through which we can all reclaim this confidence. I want us to feel good about our bodies and feel spunky, sassy, sexy, fierce, creative, bold, audacious, unique, and on and on. I want that for all of us. Each and every one of us deserve to feel like the most rockin’ chick on the planet.

Do you get as pumped up reading that as I do? I sure hope so!

Some possible post options for the Chronic Style series include:

  • Monthly Makeup Baskets
  • Makeup/Style Hauls
  • What I Wore Wednesday or Outfits of the Day/Week
  • Style Lookbooks
  • Makeup Tutorials
  • Makeup/product Reviews
  • Fashion/Style Wishlists

These are just some basic options.

What I would LOVE to hear is what kind of things you guys would like to see and read from this series! Please share your thoughts in the comments!