a Lot & a Couple

a Lot & a Couple

Welcome. This is a transfer and continuation of our old blog, www.johnnieandangela.com. I have switched from Blogger to WordPress and our blog has changed names from Johnnie and Angela to a Lot & a Couple. I will be also opening an Etsy shop this year under the same new name. So what does “a Lot & a Couplemean? We chose this name because of our daughter. When she was 2.5 years old and we would say to her, “I love you a lot,” she started replying “I love you a lot… and a couple.” It became her thing and she still says it. The name is not limiting which will allow me to take the blog and the shop in whatever direction they develop. This new blog still has some design and link issues that are a work in progress so please bear with me.

I started blogging the year we moved to South Korea for other people, for our family and friends, to learn about our life there. It turned into a photo travel blog for anyone and everyone, but more importantly, it turned into an incredible photo journal of our year there for us to look back on. When we moved to Hawaii, the blog became a pregnancy journal and then developed into C’s baby book. It remained a way for all of our family and friends to watch C grow since they were all so far away.

My health crumbled during our final six months in Hawaii so I stopped blogging. I didn’t have the energy or mental clarity to do it. When I finally wrote a post about the health struggles I was going through, I got some feedback saying that it was too negative and too personal to share. I got put down at a time I was feeling especially vulnerable, so I closed up and I started questioning the blog and myself. I had already hid so much in the past couple years, from the blog and from family and friends… my battle with postpartum depression and anxiety, my struggles with being a new mother, our very long and frustrating battle with C’s eczema, and all of my own health issues. I censored myself and what I shared, afraid of what others would think and how I would be perceived. I was afraid that I would get put down instead of being offered empathy and acceptance.

The truth is, I had not written authentically on the blog since C was born and realizing that, I suddenly felt like a fraud because I hid so much. I started thinking that maybe I shouldn’t blog at all if I couldn’t share the real me and the real things we go through. Then I wondered if people would even want to read about those things anyway? I wondered, in fact, why they would want to read anything I wrote at all, good or bad? It was a mental struggle on top of the physical health issues I was still dealing with. I know now that I should have been wondering why I was even worrying about whether or not people wanted to read my blog.

Closing up is something I’ve done well all my life – I’m not good at sharing feelings, I’m not good at opening up to people, I very rarely ask for help even if I need it. There were many times in my life… terrifyingly low, dark times… that I needed help, when I should’ve gotten help, but I didn’t because I believed that those negative things were the kinds of things you don’t share with other people. So I bottled everything up, let it consume me, and almost destroy me more than once. During those times, I felt like I was drowning but nobody knew because I didn’t feel like I could share what I was going through.

Acknowledging and sharing fears and unpleasant feelings is what disempowers them and allows you to heal, whereas avoiding them makes you feel like part of you isn’t normal, acceptable, or lovable. In the past few years, countless lifestyle blogs have appeared. Suddenly I was reading my feelings and my stories that someone else had the courage to write. They shared, they got help, they were healing, they were doing what I should have done. Why had I felt like it was not okay for me to share those same things?

If I had voiced my feelings and struggles, I’m certain that someone would have thrown me a life preserver. I’m also certain that I would have then seen just how many other people were also afloat on the same dark turbulent water. I would’ve known I wasn’t alone. I really needed to know that I wasn’t alone.

This time, I am restarting the blog for me, not for others. I’m blogging to have a written and visual journal of our life. I’m blogging to have a collection of writings and photos for C to read when she’s older. I’m blogging to record our life and the real me so that C can learn who I was and know what we went through and what we did. I want to write authentically and be that life preserver that I’m sure somebody else needs, especially if it’s ever C or someone I know who needs it.

I don’t know what direction this blog will take, but I want it to be real. I don’t even know who I am right now or what direction my life will take, but I’m ready to start making changes and finding out.

******
“For what it’s worth, it’s never too late to be whoever you want to be.
I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find that you are not,
I hope you have the strength to start over.”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald

 

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11 Comments
  • Lisa says:

    Hi Angela and family. Its so great that you are back and sharing your life with us again. I started following you when I came across your post that you did in Narita, Japan. Your posts were always cute, informative and basically wonderful. We all go through difficult times during our life, such as difficult relationships, or health issues. I could read your blog and it all seemed so perfect. I could put distance in my own daily struggles and for a few moments just read about your families perfect life. I was very happy for your family that life was going so well. As you just recently wrote that you did have many challenges while living in Hawaii. I feel very sad that you had to go through so many things at once. Its so encouraging to see that you were able to rise above the problems. Plus share, with your readers, what was actually going on in your life. I loved the storybook life you wrote about, but I appreciate more the authentic life that you are writing about now. I feel like we are all more
    on a common level. Do you recommend any relationship podcasts? I enjoy podcasts and learn so much from them. Good luck with your running and your upcoming family vacation in Europe.
    Aloha, Lisa in Waikiki

  • Jam Rad says:

    AJ,
    Good for you! I’m heartened to read that you decided to continue the blog for yourself. It is a hard thing, to put yourself out there, only to have others react negatively, when it’s YOUR life, YOUR feelings, and YOUR struggles.
    I know I have said it before, but if you need to talk, I am here for you…I have gone through a lot of the same things you have, and can empathize.

    That being said, good luck on the blog, and congrats! I can’t wait to read more. 😘💚

    • Angela says:

      Thank you! I know that you are one that I should have reached out to during my darkest new mommy days had I been brave enough. Realizing that I wasn’t alone in my struggles then and am not alone in them now is the biggest help in getting through them. I appreciate your friendship!

  • RJ says:

    So excited to see where you’ll take this. I’m glad you’re writing again… and for YOU. You’ve always been the most genuine and honest person I’ve ever met, and I’m glad your blog is going to be a virtual reflection of that. I have always loved your writing. I am so glad you’ve found an outlet for your thoughts feelings. It’s so incredibly brave of you. 😘

    • Angela says:

      Thank you! You know me better than almost everyone else in my life so your kinds words and encouragement means so much. I’m not sure where I’ll take this blog or my life in this new chapter but I’m thankful that you will be cheering me on wherever it goes. I may write about some of our past adventures… and look forward to more adventures to come. <3

  • Katie says:

    Hi Angela, great to hear from you again virtually, and congrats on the new website. You are very courageous to put yourself out there. I share the same squeamishness about sharing, which for me I think is just fundamentally a fear of a bad reaction…and fear is not the right motivator, right?? Wishing you a great 2017 and looking forward to hear about some bits and pieces of it. I still count learning Spanish in Antigua among one of my best vacations ever. 😉

    • Angela says:

      Thank you! Antigua was one of my best experiences ever as well and I’m thankful for the friendships that came from it to remind me of it! Fear is a strong thing but I’m finding that facing it and voicing it is really helping in overcoming it. Still, sometimes I think it would be most freeing to have a completely anonymous blog, right?! Though I am thankful for the non-anonymous blogs we have chosen to write to keep parts of our lives connected. The photos you post on your blog are amazing and are a great window into the world. Wishing you a prosperous 2017!!

  • Emilie says:

    I love this. I am so glad you have decided to “refresh” this blog. I have followed you on Instagram and enjoy all that you post, but I have missed your blog posts! So glad you decided to continue it.

    • Angela says:

      Thank you for letting me know that you enjoy and have miss the blog posts, that means a lot! I’m excited to have this fresh new start and thankful for everyone who joins me on this journey!

  • Brandi says:

    I love this! I am SO excited that you are blogging again. I know I don’t know you, but I really enjoyed reading your blog. I loved all your creativity and all your cool projects and reading about your sweet girl. I also found your posts about your struggles to be so honest and real and made me feel more normal reading them. I am so sorry that anyone criticized you for sharing, and I want you to know that I learned a lot from the things you wrote and felt inspired. I still have the treasures you sent in the care package I won of Hawaiian things and recently thought about you when we drove through Valdosta on our way to Disney World. I am glad you are well. Although technology can make me really nuts most days, I love that we get the chance to learn about others and their thoughts, feelings, and experiences through blogging. And you’re right…it will be such a treasure to your daughter years from now to read the words her mother wrote when she was young. Thanks for sharing!

    • Angela says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement, it means a lot! I remember that care package give away well as it was so fun to put together and send! I’m really glad to hear that what I DID share was helpful to you and therefore probably others as well. Thank you for following along on my blogging journey and joining me again as I get back into it!

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All photographs that are watermarked johnnieandangela, angelagreenphotography, and alotandacouple are the sole property of Angela Green. Photos and blog content may not be used without giving proper credit and a direct link back to the source.