This photo was taken last year.
The days leading up to Christmas 2017 we some of the hardest days we had to endure as a family.
We had just moved into a larger space. Money was tight but we needed the space. I had a little side business I thought we could manage.
Chris was working as a car salesman for Honda. His pay was dependent on car sales and quotas.. well Christmas he didn’t make his quota.
I had gotten my catering license started a vegan meal prep company. I was determined to make extra money for the family. I also wanted to parlay my cooking into a way to “work from home”
I was selling vegan meals online and delivering them or costumers would come to my home and pick them up.
My business was doing great!
I was getting a lot of work from the paraeducators at my patients high school.. then she began to need more medical attention and began home schooling.. no more clients..
then my Aunt died in New Mexico and I let go of the vegan meal prep business.
This time last year I was crying at night when my family was sleeping. I looked at them thinking they deserved more than me.
I felt less than because I wasn’t able provide the type of Christmas I was accustomed to providing for my kids.
Chris and I were just beside ourselves. I didn’t want to keep crying to him because I knew he already felt awful. Combined we have 5 kids
We have one child together. I have one child and Chris has 3 from previous relationships.
We felt like we were letting down a lot of people. We stayed grateful. Our kids had a home, clothes, food maybe they didn’t have a ton of gifts under the tree but they plenty… we knew that.
It still eats at you when your daughter keeps asking:
“Did you look at my Christmas list?”
And you shake your head and smile knowing damn well you can only buy one measly T-shirt out of the 50 she’s asking for.
She deserved everything on the list.. but the way my bank account was set up… I couldn’t get her anything.
I cried out to my good good internet girlfriends because
Internet friends are real friends
I met “arly” in a Facebook group for people expecting July babies. I was drawn to her because she was HILARIOUS
creative, imaginative and a therapist
She was also the only other LBGTQ member in the group of 60 plus women so we bonded. I loved her point of view and we trolled each other online via memes… DAILY! “Arly” was my friend. looked for her post daily.. estole her memes.. you know internet friend Love🤷🏾♀️
I knew I could tell her the truth. “Arly” could see me. Beyond the posting she could see me. I felt safe enough to be vulnerable and admit.
I was adulting my ass off and couldn’t give my kid a pair of vans.
“Arly” listened and gave me advice.. tagged me in pictures of hairless cats to cheer me up and just supported me.. then one day she asked for my address.
She had gathered her home school stuff she wasn’t using..
There was SO MUCH inside that box! Books! Movies! Teddy bears, A FORT KIT! neck ties for Chris to wear to Honda
and a pair of vans for Brooke
“Arly” asked to remain a secret so the people who know her know just how amazing she is.
The kind of kindness shown to me made “Arly” more than a friend she was family. That was the most genuine and generous thing anyone has ever done.
I was so blow away by the kindness of “Arly” I looked around the room at my children enjoying Christmas and I cried.. oh I ugly cried!
But I still felt horrible that I could only get one T-shirt for my child.that was when I vowed to make a living online working home..
I wanted to be home with my family.
I wanted to be home making money.. I knew I could money.
If I could sell VEGAN food to people online I knew I could find a legit way to make a living online..
Through out the year I tossed around the idea of a YouTube channel I talked it up so me Chris got me a GoPro for Christmas! I decided that was my sign!
That was the push I needed to start my journey to make extra money for this family online some how.
last Christmas was saved by “Arly” and a surprise engagement.
This Christmas was saved by the blog
I’ve been blogging 9 months exactly today.
Let me correct that.. today marks 9 months since I’ve owned this SITE! but I’ve been a creative for years!
I’ve been “funny” on Facebook for years
Majority of my support comes from Facebook because I’ve been “funny” on Facebook for years.
I’ve learned since pursuing my career in blogging that anything over 200 words is a blog post…
I’ve been writing funny stories about #lifewithbrooke on Facebook for about 5 years.
I’ve been creating content for years and had no idea that’s what I was doing.
I purchased a book I saw while scrolling Facebook
This book is designed for you to read and do the steps in one week.. I was so motivated.. I did all the steps in ONE DAY.
I started the blog and I just knew “THIS IT! I READ THIS BOOK.. I HAVE A BLOG.. ANY DAY NOW I’LL BE ABLE TO QUIT MY JOB AND WORK FROM HOME!”
after about 3 months of some of the hardest work I’ve done in my life.. I’m talking reaching out to brands for sponsorship m, I’m talking watching webinars and ted talks about blogging and social media till I thought my head would explode.
I dove head first into my new career!
I’m talking all in!
I’m talking about making a resume of the work I had done so far and applying for freelance blogging jobs it tried all 6 ways to monetize my small blog I was giving myself one year to see if I could really make any money blogging.
Day after day I created content and reached out to brands showing them what I was capable of.
Some brands said no.. most brands were silent! One day I get an email with a yes!
I finally landed a sponsored POST!
For vegan food off all things 🤣
From that post I decided I was going to save my blogging money to purchase Christmas gifts! At first I wanted a laptop and camera. Then I realized I was doing ok with equipment I had., I wanted to give my family cool gifts because this year I had the means because of this blog.
I was so happy to have earned money from my own creativity I didn’t know what to do!
I made money blogging. I had to create a blog post and social media campaign.
This was July so the blog was 5 months old.. I didn’t have a large following. I had 1000 Instagram followers and 100 blog subscribers.
I couldn’t believe it happened! I found a way to make money doing what I loved.. that was all I needed was a taste of knowing it was possible!
I’m not blogging because I want to be “instagram famous” I really love to write!
I really love social media! I love to create content! I literally just found out my dream is attainable.
I blog and create because I love it and because the blog has provided Christmas for me and my family all year around:
We have had Fine dining
I’ve met celebrities
The PEREZ HILTON is one of my online besties now
Brooke met whoa Vicky
I got sent some really cool products to write about!
(Sleazy Greetings was one of my favorite companies to work with this year.. foul mouthed greeting cards.. I gave this to Chris one date night🤣🤣 it’s the gift that keeps on giving.. they were looking for bloggers with foul mouths on Twitter.. it was simply meant to be 😅)
This year blog has provided me with a part time job that helped pay a few bills but it gave me a way to give my family Christmas .
Tomorrow I’m taking my daughter out of school..
at 10am so she can flex on her friends 🤣
one of her gifts from me this year is a 3 pack of tickets to universal studios.. I’ve never been. She’s gone and has been dying to take me.
Without the money I made from writing this year I would NOT be able to take her.
Blogging is a lot harder than I ever imagine it to be.
There’s sleepless nights and so many aspects to it that it seems like every day there’s something to do.
I love it though. I’m so happy I’ve found my place.
I’m so happy I’ve found what I’m supposed to do with my life.
I’m a writer. I’m a Content Creator. I’m a social media BEAST and that’s what I do for a living.
It took THIS blog for me for me step out of my comfort zone and see what was possible.
I started alll of this while working my day job. In my mind I thought I’d have quit my job to blog by now but.. there’s not shame in working a day job!
I love my day job. I’m a nurse that’s noble AF!🤣
I’m proof you can be a mom, have a husband, a career and a dream… (you may go slightly insane every 4 months and need a break but I mean.. it’s possible lol 😂)
I did all of that in just 9 months.. and I really don’t have the time for it.
I just see what I want and where I want to be and I won’t stop until I’m there.
This Christmas the blog has given me more than financial blessings, the blog gave me my voice.
My blog gave me an outlet, my own place to hang out online, a career.. my blog gave me the excuse to live life.
I’ve loved every single part of this journey but honestly the best part was being able to throw toys in the cart like a fool and not have to use Lay away.
My kids have Christmas because of this blog. I’m out here on these internet streets slanging my chocolate creativity everyday.
It’s a trip to see the fruits of you labor. I know Christmas isn’t about gifts. I know Christmas isn’t about fancy things. For me I finally did something right.
This was something I was successful at.
Nursing is everyone else’s dream for me and I’ve done that to provide. I love being a nurse. I love what I do.
But this.. this is my dream. I earned money living my dream and I can’t really put in words what it feels like but I burst into tears of happiness at least twice a week these days. Something amazing is always happening. I thank God for my life and this blog.
I earned each and every one of those dollars because of pictures I took and words I wrote and that is what makes this so special.
I earned money from my mind and my own two hands.
I love that feeling.. it’s addicting.. now that I’ve tasted that freedom I’m not going back.
Every gift I picked out shopping this year I nearly cried each swipe and probably looked crazy.
I can’t wait for my kids to open their presents and see what the blog got them for Christmas 🤣
This has been one of the best Christmas ever..
I can’t wait to see what happens next year🤗
Thank you got following my journey and reading this post.