The Building of

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning to dance in the rain.    -Vivian Greene

Building this website was challenging for me at times, but overall it has been very rewarding. It was extremely difficult to write about and refer to my story. I often had to take breaks because my sadness bubbled to the surface resulting in a brief melt down and crying. My hope is that sharing what I learned during some very hard years will help others.

The website I built revolves around overall well-being, but is geared more specifically toward those that face hardship or some of the difficult situations we face as we get older. The website introduces my story of suddenly becoming a caregiver to my husband at the time. The site shows steps I took to live with a tragic situation and learn to live with joy again. 

I believe my website is the beginning of becoming more involved in offering useful information and resources in helping others. I will use my website as a foundation for expanding on my dream of forming an organization offering support to those in challenging situations.

This project proved to be deep exploration about myself, a much needed creative outlet, a healing experience and hopefully something that will benefit others. 

Below, I have shared the step by step process of building my website.

October 20, 2018 domain secured on GoDaddy. Not really understanding about website hosting and creating, I realized I could not create the website myself on GoDaddy and wanted to transfer to SquareSpace since I have used that website building program before and know how to use it.

October 27, 2018

Spent a good portion of the day trying how to figure out how to transfer my domain name to SquareSpace. I was not able to do it on my own and was on hold with a SquareSpace support specialist on the phone for so long that I decided to start writing content instead and deal with the technical side later. I spent the rest of the afternoon working on “my story” for a section of the website.

November 9, 2018

I found that working on my story and organizing it into folders as a beginning of completing an entire book at some point. I found the writing and organizing and important process for me, so I kept writing and re-writing knowing that I would have to pare down my writings substantially for the website.

December 1, 2018

With new dates for my timeline to be pushed to after the new year, I am glad I was able to have the extra time due to the number of pieces I would like included in addition to my story. I looked back at my notes from the Edge instructor that were noted at the beginning of September where she wrote that my timeline might have been too tight, which was exactly right! I am so glad to be able to draw it out for a longer period of time. Spent a few hours writing today.

 December 14, 2018

Done with all my other classes for the semester, I was able to spend a couple of hours looking at other websites that might be similar to what I am doing to get ideas and also to make sure my site is unique. I also figured out free image websites for images I can use. I looked at lots of photos on Unsplash and Pixabay. 

 January 5, 2019

The last few weeks were busy with my kids home from college and the holidays. Today I jumped back into my website project to get things rolling in order to be done next month. I considered the framework that I would like for my website. When exploring other websites, there seemed to be many that were structured with subtitles such as “exercise” , “nutrition” and other wellness  terms that did not seem to be quite the right fit for my site. I decided on “mind, body and spirit” as the main focus to be the areas where I could post information to help others who are experiencing a tough time. I decided I wanted to tie in the work I have been doing about reslience in my coursework and even use one of the papers I wrote for that section.

I also looked at my original timeline and have adjusted below based on my extended timeframe:

1.      Begin work second session of fall semester, October 16, 2018.       Done

2.      Secure website name by October 23, 2018.      Done – need to transfer.

3.      Chose hosting service by October 23, 2018.   Started to figure out need to complete by January 25.

4.      Complete framework of website by October 31, 2018. Worked on today and realize this will shape up when I chose a website template.  Find by February 1.

5.      Find and insert images by November 15, 2018.  Changed to February 15.

6.      Research topics to include by November 15, 2018. Topics researched. They will include what to do for a healthy mind, body and spirit to help hard times. My posts will be other tips that are helpful – benefits of being in nature, importance of rest and relaxation and resilience. I will incorporate useful resources within these topics.

7.      Insert basic informational text by November 30, 2018. Changed to February 14- 24, 2019.

8.      Complete and publish website by December 5, 2018. Publish by February 24, 2019.

 January 9, 2019

Wrote about how important rest and relaxation when you are a primary caregiver which will be posted to the site. Researched useful tips links to get information to recommend. I wrote a very simple self-care  plan for someone who is overwhelmed with being a caregiver.

 January 11-13, 2019

Continued working on Rest and Relax section for site.

 January 14, 2019

Worked on content for Nature section. Researched and documented about benefits of spending time in nature.

 January 15, 2019

Wrote content for Nature section.

January 19, 2019

Spent the day reviewing what I have written which is organized in files. Downloaded images to use on my website on the image sites I have already explored. I find I enjoy looking through the images so I probably spent way too much time doing so. I started to download and save them, but realized I will likely be able to download them right into my website builder, so just started writing the name of the images down to find later.

January 20, 2019

Outlined  “7 Simple Steps” for a health body.  

 January 22, 2019

Was at a point where content really needed to be populated into my site. Concerned with the frustration I experienced before, I was reluctant to try to figure out how to transfer my domain over to SquareSpace again. This was a good learning lesson as it ended up to be quite simple this go around, even though it took me awhile. I realized some of the technical necessities can possibly be challenging for me.  

 January 23, 2019

Now that I transferred the domain name, I went through my templates to see which one I wanted to use.

I chose the template below called Moshka. It was from the “health and fitness” category. Once I got into it, I realized the template can be completely reworked, which was helpful in accomplishing the look I want.

The below images show my website on the back-end after I transferred it from GoDaddy to SquareSpace.

January 26, 2019 – February 2, 2019

Spent time each day inserting images and text. Played around with the template. Wrote some of my favorite quotes and found images to use with them. Revised “My Story” again. It is always really hard for me to work on this part. It brings back unpleasant memories, but this has been a great outlet for my feelings.

Excerpt from “My Story” on my website:

In the midst of my devastating crisis, one of the things I did was surround myself with quotes that resonated with me to try to stay in a positive state of mind. Upon writing my story to share here, I found the words flowing from my fingers, so I actually shortened it for this post and will continue my writing to culminate in a book with more details about my story. My hope is that this story will help others in some way even if it is just making one person feel like they are not alone.

February 3, 2019

Worked on “resilience” link and page. Used one of my course research papers as my article which has great references on this topic.

February 4, 2019

Added photos and text for “rest and restore”. Wrote article for page.

February 8, 2019

Used template to place my own location and contact information.

February 9, 2019

Finished “7 Steps for a Healthy Body”. Wrote my article and inserted along with a relevant image.

February 11, 2019

Finished “Nature Section” inserting text and images. Found relevant quote.

February 19 - February 21, 2019

I explored and created some pages on the site that are building blocks to grow upon. I have a “connect with others” page to have a connection board where people can get support from others.

I also created a “Spirit Page” with a brief article. This section will be about honoring healthy emotions and living with things that are hard to face.

I spent time going through what I have created, editing my work with making corrections, changing photos around and adding text where needed.

I practiced using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop for the quotes on the “My Story” page. The photo below used for the Eleanor Roosevelt quote is a photo taken myself of the Timpanogas Mountains out the front of my house. I will be learning more about photography so I can use my own photos in the futures.

Mt. Timpanogos from the front of my home. Typed text over photo in Illustrator then imported into Photoshop to upload jpeg to site.

Free image download from Unsplash site. Typed text over image in Illustrator, then imported into Photoshop to convert to jpeg to upload to site.

February 22, 2019

Created a section about healthy minds. I wrote about what I do to stay in a good frame of mind by offering tips that work for me.

February 23, 2019

Spent the day proofing and editing my site.

February 24, 2019

Completed published website for my Edge course. While it is an ongoing “live” site. I will mostly stop work on it at this point while I complete the class.

I am very excited about my website, I am looking forward to the evolution of it.