First of all…

Yes, I start all of my sentences with “first of all,” because who isn’t a fan of a well-written list? I figure each spoken paragraph should get the same treatment. The problem is that my husband tells me I never get around to the “second of all” bit. My guess is that is probably because I’m already on to the next one by then.

So, FIRST OF ALL, I’m still sorting out my plans. When I say “my plans,” I really mean “my life.”


Wait. I think this would be articulated best via a numbered list.

1. I have finished studenting. Yay! Here’s my proof:

Is this the most beautiful group of nerd doctors you’ve ever seen?! I’m the fake blonde in the middle.

2. I am part-time GED teaching and part-time coaching (academics and business) all the time. I am also actively searching for a full-time job in adult education. Ideally, I would love to consult community colleges with their GED programs and students.

Ahem. Dear Universe, I really want to work for the GED Testing Service. If I may throw in the title I want? Community Colleges Consultant. Pretty please with sugar on top.

Can I somehow @ the spectacularly good-looking, kind, and extremely intelligent people at GED and send them magical notifications to read my blog? I’ll get my almost teenager on the case. I’m confident she can use SnapChat to solve this riddle.

Ok, but on the real, real, real. If you or someone you know wants to earn the GED, I promise it’s not too late. Go register at to get started, or call me, and I’ll help get that thing once and for all. You’ve got this. For real. Turn this off and head to Did you get that?

3. So, if you can’t tell, I don’t have time to take pictures anymore. Even if I could squeeze you in, my shutter count on my practically now-vintage camera is–NOT KIDDING–100,000 clicks beyond its estimated lifespan. So, I’m rightfully terrified that it’s going to die mid-shoot. I always bring a backup camera, of course, but I charge a lot of money. I don’t think my fancy clients would be thrilled at my camera springs exploding or disintegrating in my face mid-shoot. I have no interest in dropping several more thousands of dollars into a shiny new camera, especially when cell phone cameras are getting better by the nanosecond.

Also, my Photoshop version is old. Like, old, old. Like, Instagram and my second child weren’t even created yet old. I’m very cranky about spending a monthly fee for Creative Cloud–their online version that you have to subscribe to, which is not cool. I bought and paid for this one with my first-ever photography gig profits. I’m very attached to it. It still works right now, but the laptop I am writing this on just had its second visit to the computer hospital, and the outlook is dismal. Once it goes to PC heaven, my Photoshop will ascend with it.

4. But, I sure love this little blog of mine. I get why people post reels and stories and updates on social media. This was my version of talking to my “followers” back in those days when I also wanted to brag to the world about the lovely clients I had and the gorgeous shots I had created.

I have already closed my Facebook business page and have turned down many kind clients, so I was thinking that I should turn this off as well.

However, I have a lot of content over 12-ish years that just feels wrong to flush and delete. And, although I haven’t done a spectacular job at keeping it updated or even showcasing my favorite work, I’m still getting a lot of web traffic. While it’s nice for a few pennies in clicks, it’s not so good for people who really need to find a photographer. I imagine it’s quite frustrating to find my website and not have any up-to-date information.

5. It finally dawned on me. (Time for the next layer of list: the sub-list.)

a. It’s time to monetize my blogs in a smarter way. Oh, yes, it’s coming to all of them.

b. I’ll do it by continuing to post informative photography-related rants posts to educate people on how to pose big families or how to attract clients for a special photo session, etc.

Sidenote: Remember how way back in the day you had to write 300+ words for Google to recognize it as a solid post? Well, hold onto your hats, buddies, because they are now recommending 1000-2000+ words per post. You thought I was rambling before? Let me give you an Amazon affiliate link here so you can go and buy said hat.

I’m not kidding. That was my segue to beg you all to start using my affiliate links to buy lovely things to support my bigger mission of helping women earn their GEDs. So, for real, bro. Go buy some stuff and help at least two moms out. I’m one of those gals, if that wasn’t clear.

Ah, great news. I just received the email approval for affiliate links through Esty, as well. I’ll always try to find items on there to support a fellow small business owner when possible. Okay, standby on that. It’s not as intuitive as the Amazon affiliates, so here’s a link to my favorite shop in the meantime: Sun Is Up Shop. She started as a client and has since become a friend who has made me many beautiful items over the years.

The latest is this very cool envelope clutch.

This was originally a boomerang I posted on IG. If I ever win the lottery, I’ll first open my own GED program, then I’ll upgrade to the WordPress version that allows videos. Then the condo at Pensacola Beach, of course.

Sheesh. Are we at one thousand words yet? See what I did there? Writing out 1000 adds two more words. I’m at that point of sixth-grade life when you write that “the book was very, very, very, very, interesting” to hit the word count–as if any of you would believe that this little nerd would ever have done that. We met friends for kayaking the other day, and my mom friend asked me, “Oh, did you know about the waiver? Did you fill yours out online ahead of time?” I said, “Of course,” which really meant, “Woman. You have known me for 12 years. Have you ever known me to NOT follow the rules and do the homework for class?”

Evidence that I wear the hat and do the kayaking.

Y’all. Clearly, I’m struggling with this thousand-word foolishness. Okay, I am going to wrap this up. I have no doubt I’ve lost the four readers I had, so it’s really become more of a journal entry at this point. Back to my 6th-grade-ish ways, I guess.

Dear Diary, I worry that my friends will think I’m a sellout for using affiliate links in all of my old blog posts. Will they still respect me tomorrow? PS, I have a crush on a blue-eyed boy. He has gray whiskers in his beard, which make him look really distinguished.

xo, Dr. Andie

FYI, this is my new and improved name. Since Baylor University upgraded me from Former Captain, I’ve changed it. Now no one will mispronounce my first name as On-DRAY-uh and no one even has to attempt Bacle anymore. or 508.768.5808

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4 Responses to First of all…

  1. Susan Holmes says:

    Congratulations, Dr. Andie!
    If you haven’t already, check out the League for Innovation in the Community College ( It’s an international non-profit organization.
    ~Dr. Holmes

  2. Rachel says:

    Bravo! 👏🏻 I read the whole thing. Thanks for the shoutout! And I hope you find your dream job!!

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