There are just three “Saturday Sit-Down” features this month before we wrap up 2017 and tie a bow on this series’s first full year. The first of those three features is a blogger named Keating who I’ve been following for at least two years now, but we might actually be getting closer to three! I’ve continually come back to check out her site for new posts month after month because she shares about her life so candidly. Most of my favorite blogs are the ones where I feel like I’ve gotten to know the real person on the other end of the screen, and that’s Keating. I’m excited to share her with you all today and hope you’ll pop over to her site to look around a bit. 🙂
Q: In three sentences or less, please introduce yourself. ☺
A: Hi everyone! I’m Keating and I’m a military wife, mommy, lifestyle blogger, and family photographer. My husband and I are from the beautiful state of Maine but are currently living in and exploring Southern California with our German Shepard named Jack and our 6 month old daughter, Allie.
Q: When did you start your blog, and what did you intend to share about?
A: I started my blog back in late 2013 when I was 21 years old. I had just married my husband and was brand new to the military lifestyle (he had already been in for 3 years at that point!). It was also my first time living far from family. We grew up in Maine and he was stationed in North Carolina at the time. So it was a good 900 miles from home. I thought starting a blog would be a great way to stay connected with everyone back home. I wanted to have a place where I could share little tidbits from our life in North Carolina so that they’d always feel up to date and included in our lives despite the distance. I now continue to use my blog to give them updates on our little one.
Q: How has your blog evolved and changed over time?
A: My blog has been through so many ups and downs along with various phases. It started out as a military lifestyle blog where I simply just talked about our life. Then it became my full-time job as I began taking on sponsors and freelance writing for military publications. I grew super fast which was very exciting, but very overwhelming at the same time. It kept me very busy while my husband was overseas in 2015/2016. Then when he returned home and we got pregnant, it transitioned into a mommy blog with zero military content. And nowadays it’s simply just my blog. I’ve made a full circle back to writing just for myself. I just recently relaunched my photography business this past September so that’s been taking up a good majority of my time (in addition to our little one). I’m sure I’ll go back to doing some sponsored content in the future, but for now, it’s back to being just a basic life update kind of blog.
Q: Tell us about your precious daughter! What have the last few months been like adjusting to being a brand new mom?
A: We just had our first daughter in May and I have loved every single moment of it. Seriously. It’s been such an amazing experience. And in all honesty, I never felt any sort of shift or big adjustment period, as weird as that sounds. It was obviously a change going from a family of 2 to a family of 3, but it wasn’t this big, exhausting transition for me like I’ve heard from so many other moms. I never felt that big sense of overwhelm and I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve worked with kids for years or if it’s just the simple fact that I know I was meant to be a mom. Our little girl fits so perfectly into our little family and it was all just a very natural and fun transition for us.
Q: I know you’re originally from Maine! What do you love (and miss) about the northeast, and Maine specifically?
A: Everything! I was actually never a fan of growing up in Maine. It wasn’t until I moved back home to be with family while my husband was overseas that I started to miss it a bit. Now, we’re in Southern California and we are not west coast people at all! We’re missing absolutely everything about New England: trips to Boston, the fall leaves, summers on the lake, Red Sox games at Fenway Park, New England Patriots football games at Gillette Stadium, weekend getaways to Vermont. And then of course our family. We miss them like crazy!
Q: Is your family still planning to transition out of the military? If so, how is that process going?
A: Yes! Yes! Yes! We have been counting down for what feels like forever now. My husband reenlisted in 2014 and we figured it would probably be the last enlistment. Then a few months later he got sent to Japan for 12 months unaccompanied. That was when we decided we were 100% done with military life. And then we got pregnant his first month back home in the states and that really solidified it for us. We didn’t want our daughter to have this lifestyle and we wanted her to grow up around family.
As of right now we are exactly 1 year from his contract end date (December 1, 2018). The little one and I will be moving back home in early June just after her first birthday so that we can find a house and get settled before Zack gets out. Then he’ll be coming home 2 months early with our fur baby in early October so we can officially get settled into our new life before his contract ends. We couldn’t be more excited for this final transition. We’re more than ready to buy a house and officially settle down. And I know our families are excited as well.
Q: You were vocal about your passion for fitness throughout your pregnancy. That is so awesome! Would you mind sharing the impact fitness has had on your life the last few years? What has it helped you overcome?
A: Fitness has been huge for me. I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression in the past and when my husband went overseas, I was at a pretty low point. His orders had originally been accompanied and it was the only reason we had reenlisted. Then, his orders were changed just 5 weeks before we were set to leave the country. We were devastated and it was the start of the longest and worst year of our marriage. That was when I decided something had to change for the sake of my health. So I began working out!
I was at the gym 5 days a week every week and instantly, I was feeling better. After a couple months I not only felt better, but I was looking better and feeling stronger as well. By the time he returned home, 12 months later, I was the healthiest I had ever been in my life. When I found out I was pregnant, while it was 100% planned and very much wanted, I hated every moment of pregnancy. So my workouts became even more important to me. I continued working out 4-5 days a week and even joined a prenatal yoga class once a week as well. I wanted to have the healthiest pregnancy I could have with minimal weight gain. Fitness during pregnancy is so important in my mind. Everyone kept telling me to relax and I just couldn’t do it. My mental health couldn’t have handled sitting on the couch for 9 months. But I am beyond glad I stuck it out. It made my pregnancy, labor, delivery AND recovery super smooth and easy. I highly recommend it to all pregnant mamas!
Q: Where can we find you on social media?
A: You can find me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. The username is the same for all: @keatingbartlett.
Q: Where should new readers start on your blog?
Why I Chose To Formula Feed – http://keatingbartlett.com/chose-formula-feed/
Allie’s Birth Story – http://keatingbartlett.com/allies-birth-story-part-1/
How The 5 Love Languages Changed Our Marriage – http://keatingbartlett.com/love-languages/
And just for fun…
- Early bird or night owl? I used to be such a night owl until I got pregnant. Nowadays, we’re more than happy to crawl into bed at 8pm and our entire home is up by 6am!
- Cardio or weights? Weights 100%. Cardio is the worst!
- What’s worse: Dishes or laundry? I’m fine with putting it all into the washer and dryer, but I hate putting it all away. Our laundry will literally sit in laundry baskets (completely clean) for weeks on end. I’m not even kidding!
- Dine in or delivery? Love delivery! We’re currently obsessed with Uber Eats and Door Dash. They’re lifesavers!
Thank you so much, Keating!
Is this your first time to Whimsical September? Welcome!
Hello! I’m Erica, the blogger behind Whimsical September. I created the “The Saturday Sit-Down” series in January 2017 as a way to give back to the blogging community and link readers with new bloggers whom they may share similar interests with. Click here to discover more bloggers that have been featured on “The Saturday Sit-Down”. I promise you – there’s some GREAT ones!
Want to be featured in this series?
I have openings starting in the spring of 2018 and would love to feature you! Please fill out the form below and I’ll be in touch with you.