Why PK?

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Once upon a time in 2007 when Joshua joined the Marine Corps, he graduated from the School of Infantry as a Lance Corporal and was sent to his first unit at Camp Lejeune. His team leader decided that his last name, “Ploscik,” was too complicated to spell or say, and he took the first and last letters and began calling Josh “PK.” It stuck, and the other Marines also called him PK. When we started dating in 2008, his friends started calling me “Mrs. PK,” which I secretly adored. Together with our little family, we are the PK posse!

Before we ever got pregnant, Josh originally wanted to name his son Joshua. I wasn’t a fan of the idea because I thought it would be too confusing/annoying at home, so I told him if he really wanted a Joshua Jr. then I would call him JJ, which he was super against.

Fast forward to when we chose the name Preston for our firstborn. We were trying to come up with a middle name, and I’ve always loved the name Kade. Josh didn’t like it as a first name, but when I suggested making it the middle name so his initials would be “PK” (after daddy), he loved it! It’s also the perfect nickname for Preston, our first baby PK.

Essentially, all of us are PK’s, but Preston gets the honor of carrying on that nickname without any explanation!

Making Things Happen

In early November of 2015, I had the privilege of attending the Making Things Happen conference in Chapel Hill, NC. Here is a bit of paraphrasing from the event description, because I can’t really say it much better.

This two-day conference, led by Lara Casey, author of Make it Happen, is designed to fire you up and set you on a powerful path. During the conference, led by Lara Casey, attendees dig deep, establish priorities, uncover a purposeful vision for their life and business, set goals, and discover how to make what matters most happen. Making Things Happen was founded on the idea that you have the choice to change your life. It was designed to fire people up to make bold decisions towards their best lives and empower them to step into their fears instead of away from them. Even those who have gone through the Making Things Happen experience have a hard time articulating it, but that’s okay – alums are encouraged to let their actions explain the powerful changes they’ve experienced! 

The conference was enlightening for me. It helped me figure things out in both my personal and professional life in ways I didn’t even think I needed. It helped me uncover what really matters to me, what matters most. And it gave me the wisdom and clarity to make “it” happen. “It” is something different and personal for everyone. For me, “it” became balance.

I’ve had a little over two months to digest everything I learned, and while I don’t plan to do a big long post about the conference, I do plan to incorporate bits and pieces into my posts here and there.

I went to Chapel Hill feeling so overwhelmed and exhausted. I left feeling purposeful and encouraged. I thought I went to figure out what to do in my career. I work from home full-time as a graphic designer and social media strategist for a government contractor out out the NoVA/DC area, which has never been my dream job but has provided a stable income for my family for the past four years. Since giving birth to Preston a year ago, I had come to resent my job for taking time away from Preston. I recently learned that I’ll more than likely be losing my job in the next 6 months or so because the contract I work on was not renewed with the government. It left me terrified and scared about not being able to contribute to our family’s income. I’ve always wanted to own my own business, but after I failed at my first freelance attempt several years ago and went into a bad depression, I’ve been scared to try again. I felt overwhelmed with what to do next. Everything has been piling up — chores, housework, work, fights with Joshua. At the conference, Lara shared a story about one morning when she yelled at her young daughter because she was so stressed out with work, and that was the first point in the conference when I broke down. I’ve done this, I’ve done this more than once. I’ve yelled at my sweet, sweet baby boy, for no reason other than being too stressed to handle whatever the situation was in a positive and intentional way. He never deserved that from me. I’m crying as I type this, because I hate that I’ve done it. I hate that I filled my tank with so much of what doesn’t matter that it took over what does matter.

::deep breath::

I know now that work and business are not my first priority. It’s my family. It’s my husband and my baby. They are my reasons for it all, and I want to make balance happen. I’ve been working on it everyday since leaving the conference, and I’ve already messed up several times. But as I also learned, sometimes your mess becomes your message. And my mess is becoming my message. Somehow, after setting my priority as family and giving myself permission to keep them at #1, everything else has been falling into place. I don’t understand it, and it’s crazy and messy and not totally how I pictured it, but it’s all happening.

I am so grateful to Lara Casey, to my breakout session leaders, and to the new friends I made in those two days for changing my life and giving me perspective and purpose.

// Photos by Callie Davis of Nancy Ray Photography

Because Mommy Needs an Outlet

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Joshua gave me his blessing to start a family blog — because he’s an awesome husband — and because he knows I love to write, and I need some type of creative outlet to get by! So I figured, what better way than to revive our old wedding website, thepkposse.com? And here we are. A big, blank canvas for me to share our family updates, home projects, and excess of photos with our friends, relatives, and everyone else.

As a military family, Josh’s job has us living far away from “home.” Even though “home” is a different place for both of us, and we’ve both called multiple places home in our lifetime, for the most part when I tell Josh I want to visit home, he knows I’m referring to Upstate New York. The Lake George area, to be more specific! It’s become home to him as well, since that’s where we were married 4 years ago this year. Four years! Time really does fly.

We’re far away from family, and with a career as a social media strategist, there is only so much Facebook I can handle. I’d like to use this space to share family updates and adventures, home projects and decor, raising Preston Kade — and Ladybug — and all the joys and laughs in this new journey of parenthood for Joshua and I. So this is where it’s at. Us, you, and this new blog. I’ll probably be writing late at night after the house is quiet and everyone is asleep, but we’ll see how it goes. In the meantime, if there is anything you’d like to hear about, let us know!

xo,
Dani