Good Night Sweet Prince

happy jack Good Night Sweet Prince

I will never forget that night in November 2000 when Jack entered our lives. My husband and I were knee-deep in all the trappings of relocating—cardboard boxes and newspaper—prepping to move from our first home, a condo, to our first “home” home in a nearby subdivision. We had fallen in love with the older, established neighborhood with its shade trees and community park. It was the perfect spot for our family of three at the time, which was myself, my husband, and our Corgi/German Shepherd mix Bailey, a neurotic rescue girl we adopted just after we were married in May 1997.

I was home packing when my husband called to say two things – “I’m headed to the vet’s. And Bailey is OK.”

While he was out driving he spotted an injured dog abandoned in a ditch just off Charlotte Pike here in West Nashville. The area was more rural than suburban and as he stopped to inquire at neighboring homes he quickly realized that our Jack, as he would soon be known, was unclaimed and unwanted.

Jack was the perfect dog to raise kids with. God must have hand-picked him just for us, because there is no way we could have researched and found such an ideal family pet.

He was there to sniff the girls’ downy newborn heads when we brought them home from the hospital. He agreeably and stoically resolved to their dress-up parties and loading him down with trinkets like a princess and to riding him like a pony. He was big and lumbering, but gentle and calm. He was handsome, too, with a gorgeous red coat that challenged many a vacuum and my nerves with his fur tumbleweeds that were everywhere.

Jack was no pushover, though. He was a strong, sturdy, robust watchdog who startled many a delivery person on our front steps. He was a notable presence at our front door. He never left the girls’ sides when they played in their bouncy seats as babies.

Jack was just downright sweet. He was never obnoxious or needy. He was there for you. Quiet and unassuming he was a faithful companion. He deferred to Bailey and her alpha girl ways and if he could speak I’m certain he would have never complained. It was as if he knew we’d rescued him and that we were his and he was ours forever.

He was perfect.

He was much loved.

He is profoundly missed.

 

 

10 Ways to Optimize Old Content

optimize old blog content 1024x1024 10 Ways to Optimize Old Content

It’s been a while since I’ve written a Social Media Monday post but the start of a new year is the perfect time to plan out your content and rethink your social media strategy.

We’ve moved beyond blogging, beyond social media management, and on to content marketing. The content you create, whether it be for your own personal platforms or your business, needs a long shelf life and in order to do so it must resonate with your readers. Planning out an editorial calendar for the year, however, can be a daunting task. Here are 10 ideas to effectively optimize old content and reenage your readers as you kick off a new year.

  1. Add a Pinnable image – Back in the BP (Before Pinterest) days of blogging I shared a lot of great content that didn’t necessarily feature an attention-grabbing Pinnable image.

  2. Curate a “wrap-up” type post – (my favorite posts of 2014, the most commented on posts of the year, my favorite images in 2014, etc.)

  3. Update your readers on the status of a situation you blogged about – a career change, a new puppy, a move to a new city, going back to school for a new degree, a fitness routine you launched, etc.

  4. Update a series such as an annual line-up of Super Bowl recipes, a list of your favorite bloggers, your favorite organizational or productivity apps, your recommended tech products, etc.

  5. Curate a post highlighting your favorite Tweets of the year and tell the story behind each one

  6. Create a SlideShare based on your post – SlideShare has more than 60 million unique visitors a month, generating over 215 million page views (Source: Social Media Examiner)

  7. Write a before and after post – room makeover, beauty makeover, blog makeover, etc.

  8. Curate your favorite posts – feature them on a Pinterest board OR create a group board asking a team of bloggers to also submit their favorite posts of the year

  9. Design a graphic highlighting your favorite posts or social media moments and post to Instagram, etc.

  10. Survey your readers – Ask for their feedback on past posts for examples of content categories you are considering focusing on in the new year

social media monday 10 Ways to Optimize Old Content

 

Let It Go (That Elsa Chick in Frozen Totally Had The Right Idea)

I’m not gonna lie to ya’ll, 2014 was a mixed bag. The ups included attending my niece’s beautiful wedding in New York and traveling on a second mommy daughter trip to Atlanta with my younger daughter, Miss A. Travel is always is something I look forward to and I love sharing that love with my girls. The downs included losing my stepmother in June. Miss C broke her ankle in September and wasn’t able to play soccer all fall…the first time in years. This fall we’ve watched our old boy Jack’s health deteriorate and we’ll have to make a decision about him very soon which is going to really, really hurt. Life just happened, as it does to all of us, but boy sometimes does life happen.

2015, what are you gonna bring?

So far this year is starting off fantastically with a couple of fun opportunities, including a family travel blogger trip to the Smokies later this week. I’m really looking forward to exploring some new (to me) restaurants and attractions in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Despite growing up in Middle Tennessee, I have only been to Gatlinburg and the Smokies a couple of times.

I hope to be more grounded this year and not so in my own head that I stress about everything. I hope to be more focused and more deliberate with my words. I also hope to finally put on a bikini this summer and feel good about it. I’ve been planking ya’ll. PLANKING. And let me tell you, with three dogs that’s a challenge as they totally want to know what the heck I’m doing down on the floor. (Ha!)

As far as 2014, I’m ready to let it go and embrace each and every second of 2015 as a brand new opportunity. If this week is any indication of the direction 2015 is going in, then it’s going to be a fantastic year.

What are your goals for 2015?

Let it go ZEN Let It Go (That Elsa Chick in Frozen Totally Had The Right Idea)

 

 

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