Thursday, May 31, 2012

I crafted!

After a significant amount of time where I SHOULD have been crafting, and was instead blogging, I finally managed to tear myself away from the computer long enough to do a quick, simple project.

What you're seeing here are hand-painted clothespins that I then strung from crochet string to create some extra organization.  I can tell you are all just amazed by my creative streak, but girls, contain yourselves.  Really.  Even you can do this, I swear.

The first thing you need to do is obtain your supplies.  In this case, I used acrylic paint, brushes, and clothespins.  Make yourself some painting friendly space, and lay everything out.  See how easy this is so far?  Now it's time for the actual painting. I'm pretty terrible with a brush, so my designs are pretty basic.  I want to use these as an organizational tool, so there are different categories, like school and finances, as well as 2 more "catch-all" designs.  These are what they looked like a little bit closer up.

So yeah.  I can tell you are all blown away by my mad painting skills.  I know I am...

How have you gotten creative lately?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Why run?

So far as I can tell, running is the least sexy sport ever.  It's hot.  It's sweaty.  There are bugs all over the place.  And then, there's the tummy trouble.


Until just recently, I'd had very few issues with runner's tummy.  I figured I was just lucky, and that wasn't going to be an issue for me.  Boy, was I wrong.  The first time your tummy starts dancing the meringue halfway through a run when the nearest restroom is over a mile away is an experience I will never forget.  And there's that certain grudging acceptance that you're going to have to walk part of the way there if you want to make it successfully.

In more ways than one.  Source

It really begs the question of why people run.  I know all of the crap about how it burns 100+ calories every mile for the average woman, and it really does tone up your legs in a big way quickly.  But neither of those are good enough reasons for me.  So after dragging my Latin dancing rumbly tummy home, I realized why people run.  Despite all of that, running generally makes me feel pretty good about myself, in the "I just survived something terrible" sort of way.  I don't get runner's high yet, but at the end of every run, I feel accomplished.  And for now, knowing that is hopefully enough to get me through tummy trouble.  Let's hope.  It could be a long summer otherwise.


For all of you runners out there:  Why do you run?  How do you handle tummy issues?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Getting smoothier

It's no secret that we love the smoothies in our house.  I have a smoothie at least twice a week, and if I didn't think I was in danger of blowing out our blender, I would make one every day.

Oh wait, starting in June I committed to drinking a smoothie every day.  Guess I'd better start my blender research.  Does Oster still make blenders?  Up until a few years ago, my mom had the bestest Oster.  It was older than me.  We had a million different jars for it.  Find me an Oster, I will give you a prize.  Ready? Go!

So while we're all doing a fun research project, I though I'd share with you one of my new favorite smoothie recipes.  It's so good.  I told Ammon it was really yucky, in hopes he wouldn't want as much, and would leave it for me.  Do you think he listened?

Yeah, that's a big negative.  I tried to convince him that because it was pink, it wasn't going to be good.  He still didn't believe me.  Gosh, you try to be nice to a guy, and he drinks your concoctions anyway.

What you need:
One small pineapple, skin, top, and core removed (you could use a can of pineapple instead I guess)
8 oz water
2 servings vanilla protein powder
One banana
One cup frozen strawberries

What you do:
1) Put protein powder, water and pineapple in blender.  Blend until all of the pineapple is broken down nicely.
2) Add banana and frozen strawberries.  Blend again for 2-3 minutes.  This makes the texture amazing.  Don't shortchange your blending time.
3) Pour into your favorite glasses and enjoy.  This makes 2 HUGE smoothies, so you will either need to be able to consume it all at once, or cut down on the recipe.

This is the face Ammon made when I told him I was giving myself more than I was giving him:

I guess I'm not so nice after all...

Monday, May 28, 2012

I got jokes

Happy Monday!  Thought I I would try again today with the whole vlog thing.  We'll see, I think I did better this time...

So, go check out my wonderful friend Nay if you've never done so before.  She rocks!

See you all tomorrow, I'm off to the running trails...

Saturday, May 26, 2012


In 13-15 months time, I will be making some very important vows.  The kinds of vows that are unbreakable, unshakeable.  I will be vowing to merge my life with that of another.  To make his wants, needs, and desires as important as my own.  To be his friend, his lover, his partner.

I can't wait.  In many ways, we've already made these promises.  We know these things, and feel them in our hearts.  But there is something so fantastically important about saying those vows in front of witnesses.  Knowing that there is accountability there.

Before I make that particular set of vows though, there is another set of vows I feel compelled to make.  Vows to myself.  And I want all of you to act as my witnesses.  To keep me accountable for these promises I make to myself.

Dearest self,
Today I vow to treat us with the greatest love, kindness, and respect that I can muster.
I am so blessed to have a life to live, and I vow to protect that sacred life by making healthy choices, not making reckless decisions, and reaching out for help in times of need.
I vow to always remember that we are together for the long haul... and that no higher purpose is served by doubt, negativity, or condemnation.  There will be good, there will be bad.  But through it all, I vow to remain true to who I am, and to never back down from the challenges presented to me.  I vow to always strive to be the best version of myself that is possible.  And in this, self, we will conquer.

I have always loved when people say that "divorce is not an option".  I love the commitment to constant betterment that this implies.  It makes me wonder how we can divorce ourselves from having that same kind of relationship within ourselves.  It's hard work.  But it is so worth it to be able to look in the mirror everyday, and to find love and acceptance looking back. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Wake up with me

Guys, one thing that I have decided over the last 9 years:  Being a grown-up is hard work.

There's work, bills, chores, responsibility, fur babies, and a dozen other things on a daily basis that require love, attention, and time.

And on top of all of that, you're supposed to take care of yourself, too.  Eff.

I've made mention of the fact that I wake up far earlier than is decent to work out.  You've all even grumbled at me about it.  Except for Tiff, who wakes up even earlier than I do.  She sends me funny emails at oh-dark-thirty in the morning.  I get the morning thing.  I used to be not such a fan of them myself.  But guys.  Please listen to me when I tell you this:  My ability to care for those around me has increased dramatically since I started working out on the regular.

It's true.  I know you don't want to hear about my boring treadmill run.  So instead, I'm going to tell you about why I bother.


No, I don't love it when the alarm clock goes off.  I'm not the least bit happy when this cutie jumps on top of me and starts asking why I haven't gotten him his breakfast yet.

His eyes totally look evil first thing in the morning too.

I'm still not happy as I'm drinking my electrolyte drink and getting dressed.  I'm dreading every second of that workout on my way to the gym.  And up until the moment I get in the pool, or on the bike, or on the treadmill, I am GRUMPY about it.

But a magical thing happens once I start.  It's almost like the Thomas Kinkade paintings come to life... Oh no, no it is NOTHING like that.  My bad.  It's like as I'm getting a good ugly sweat going, and I'm totally miserable, the problems that I know I'm going to face that day start to become less significant.  Yeah, I have to do some really not fun stuff today.  But, can it really be worse than running on a treadmill next to the creepy old man who always turns the fans off and runs in his Tevas?  The answer is no.  If you don't know what Teva shoes look like, grab a time machine back to Boulder, CO in the 90's.  You'll see your fair share of trust-fund hippies rockin' them big time.  Or you can google, I guess.

So guys, now you know one of the reasons I choose to work out in the morning instead of at night.  Let's face facts:  If you have to work all day long, then go face sharing gym space with strange people doing terrible things, what do you have to look forward to after that?  Going home to chores, dinner making, and falling into bed exhausted?  NO THANK YOU.

Have a fantastic Friday.  Stay classy this weekend.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A real guide to real estate

So, as you all know, I work in apartment management.  In our area, Craigslist is the ideal way to market available properties to the general public.  It's free, it takes almost no time to post an ad, and the new tenants storm the office like ants on a picnic.

So it's only natural that we spend a lot of time on Craigslist perusing the available rentals, as well as properties for sale.  Through our strenuous research, Emily and I have put together a guide to real estate that will be priceless for any of you looking for your new home.  Really, you can thank us later.

This is my official rendering of Emily and I opening our own Real Estate business. 

Mature Landscaping = Old as heck.  You'll be tearing shit out for weeks trying to make it look good.  And the trees are going to provide too much shade for your flowers, so they'll die.

Charming = You'll love it.  Your husband will be filing the divorce papers in the morning.  Prioritize please, people.

"It has Character" = This house is going to need LOTS of work

Family Friendly Neighborhood = Hope you like waking up and going to bed with the sounds of screaming kids

Pet Friendly Neighborhood = watch out for the land mines.  Woof.

Close knit community = there are a bunch of gossiping biddies down the street.  Don't say you weren't warned.

Exclusive neighborhood = hope you like keeping up appearances.  Oh, and you're going to pay way too much for that house.  Enjoy.

Sold in "As-is" condition = structural problems and/or mold.  Maybe even a meth lab.  Tear that sucker down and start over.

Cozy = maybe it would be best if you were homeless right before you move into this place... because nothing you own right now is going to fit.

Perfectly updated = For who??? Why are they moving if it's so damn perfect?  There are problems here.  You just don't know it.

Tons of sunlight = Enjoy that summertime electric bill!  Your AC is going to be working overtime.

Older home = Hello sky-high utility bills!  You can bet your bottom dollar this one's not energy efficient

So Emily and I hope that we've been able to help you when next you're looking for a place to call home.  If you can read the signs, you're going to know EXACTLY what you're paying for.  Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Tips and tricks

I've seen a lot of posts about blogging tips and tricks lately.  A lot of people writing about the things they wish they'd known when they started.  The things they learned the hard way.

While the name of this post might make you believe I'm writing one of those posts, I'm not.  Not at all.

Neither is it a post about turning tricks.  This is a classy blog, guys.  My moms (all 3 of them) read this blog.  And then tell me in detail what they think when they see me (I love you guys and your feedback, btw!!!).

Circa 1985.  Hideous sectional care of the 70's.  You're welcome.
To tell the truth, I'm pretty sure I go about this blogging thing all wrong.  I haven't sponsored a big blog.  I'm not interested in giving strangers a bunch of free crap just to pretend to like me.  I occasionally drop mild curse words.  I don't email people begging them to swap buttons with me.  My daily page views are all over the map.

I am a hot blogging mess.  I don't stick to one topic.  I can't make any subject simultaneously charming, sweet and funny, unlike Dusty.  I'm not as brave, or as compelling in my writing as Shay.  My blog is not the bottled love that Nay shares on a daily basis.  I'm just Kristen.  I don't take pictures of anything usually, and I avoid Target as much as possible.  I have hang-ups that I don't share with all of you.  I think it's so crazy, yet flattering that you are reading these words right now.  And, by the way, I do think it's necessary you go visit the above mentioned women.  Go ahead, it's okay, I don't mind.  Just come back for the last paragraph, deal?

So if I could give anyone reading this out there just one tip... start a blog that you would want to read yourself.  Don't start the blog that everyone else writes, or that you think someone else wants to read.  I want to know about you.  And if you're reading this, I want you to tell me who you are, and where I can learn more about you.  I am intensely interested in your life.  Please share it with us all.  I am so giving you permission to shamelessly plug your blog in the comments section just this once.  Go ahead!  Do it, I quadruple dog dare you.  Yup, now you gotta do it, my cousin Jerod says so.  He's the serious one in that picture.

With love...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

When technology fails

I always try to be cognizant of the fact that technology is not the end-all, be-all that society leads us to believe that it is.  Sometimes, it slips up.

Other times, it just downright fails.

I have 2 primary email accounts I use.  My google e-mail, which is what this-here blog runs on.  If you comment, email, whatever, this is where you're sending it to.  But I also have my everyday email.  The one my bills, my facebook, my twitter, pretty much everything important to me is run off of.  It's darn important.

So when the above-mentioned important email account suddenly stopped receiving emails on Thursday, I got somewhat worried.  I've had that account since 2007.  Countless accounts across the interwebs are accessible by that email.  Can I get it to work again?  Nope.  How come hotmail can manage to make my account "undeliverable"???

Despite my best efforts to not freak out, I allowed myself a moment.  You know that kind of moment.  The kind where you 100% lose your shizz for no good reason.  I knew it really wasn't a big deal, but there was a certain amount of emotional attachment to that particular email address.  It was my alumni account for my first undergraduate degree.  I cherished how smart and accomplished I felt whenever I wrote it out.  YES I survived 4 years of college, out of state AND with my life a mess, and I have this email account to show for it.

Okay, maybe it didn't mean that much (although all of the above is true)... but I still loved it dearly.

So after I lost it for  second, I decided to take swift action and regroup.  I moved on over to yahoo, and set up a new "darned important" things email account.  Slowly but slowly, I started to remember just which accounts happen to be linked to that account, and have started the switching over process.  I realized that my Twitter was connected to that email, and found out I had missed tweets because of the email outage.  Sorry guys, if you happened to tweet me during that time.  I wasn't ignoring you, I just didn't know said tweets existed.

It's times like these that I remember that as great and useful as technology is, we always need to have a back-up plan.  We need to know how to function without all of the short-cuts that email, online bill pay, paperless statements, etc... provide.  This is probably why I always want to learn the skills that are becoming less and less important to society.  Gardening, cooking from scratch, sewing, and generally being self-sufficient are important skills to have when technology is on the fritz.  They are skills that help me to appreciate my grandmother and my great-grandmothers, who had to make do with what they had, and who were always able to make something out of nothing.

Because in a culture that values leaving as little waste behind as possible through the paperless movement, when technology fails, you have to re-create everything out of nothing.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Guess who got a webcam?

I'm sorry for this, guys.  If you hate me forever now, please tell me, and there will never be another vlog.  Really.  Don't hesitate to hate this time, I need to know.  But hopefully, my sheer awkwardness makes you laugh.  I wasn't in the mood to try to re-record, so you're seeing the one take, unedited, Monday morning goodness that makes me, well, me. 

If you made it through that, I love you forever.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Thankful to be a nerd

So my last Sweetly Saturday post was a minute or two ago... or about 20-ish followers ago.  Ooops.  I do miss them a lot, so I'm resurrecting the Sweetly Saturday.  For the 20 or so (I can't believe how this little bloggy is growing!) of you who have no idea what this is, this is my time to share with you the things that have been happening this week that I'm grateful for.

I felt like this was extra important this week, since I've had a hard time focusing on the good.  So here we go.

~I'm thankful that as you're reading this, I'm probably still sleeping.  Heeeeeeeelllo 3 day weekend!
~I'm thankful I got a 4.0 for the Spring Semester!  I had an 89.9% in my word class, and the teacher rounded up! (okay, we're back to normal font size now.  I wanted to make sure you didn't miss the good news).
~I'm thankful that Ammon likes musicals and the Dinner Theater.  And that the Dinner Theater in town emails me specials!  "Sound of Music", here we come!
I am so beyond lucky it's sick.  Who else has co-workers this supportive?  This was 8:30 am.  They got up at 4:30.  Best ever.

~I'm thankful to have co-workers who can make me laugh, even when I'm not in the mood to do so.
~I'm thankful for my bike!  Cycling is my favorite exercise in the whole WORLD.
The two of them posed for this.  Really, they did.

~I'm thankful that Ammon is so forgiving of my high strung tendencies.
~I'm thankful for non-spam emails.  I love getting little love notes in my inbox!  They're like droplets of sunshine.
~I'm thankful for the post-workout high.  Addicting.
~I'm thankful that coffee is back in my life.  It was a dark time when I gave it up.  Never again, friend.  Never again.
For Tiff, I'm going to make this an outfit post:  The glasses are 6 years old (old as heck, peeps).  You can't get them anymore.  The t-shirt was at Old Navy last summer for $6.  I don't know if you can get it anymore either.

~I'm thankful that I have the best hair stylist ever.  If you live anywhere within a 50 mile radius of Boulder it's worth the drive to see him.  His name is Greg.  He'll make you "look killer"

What are you thankful for this week?

Friday, May 18, 2012

A little help from my friends...

The thing I love about blogging is all of the people I've met on this journey.  YOU ROCK.  Yes, you.

Sorry about the computer screen glare on my glasses.  Fail.

It's because I love you that I want to extend this offer to you.  I hope you know it's genuine.  I hope you know that it's because I want to see your dreams come true, and read all of your awesome blog posts about success beyond your wildest dreams.

I wanna be your health coach, yo.

What the heck does that mean?  That means that I will work with you to create a comprehensive plan, based on your life, that helps you meet your personal health and wellness goals.  My objective is to help you find out why you are not necessarily where you want to be.  I will work with you to find out why you are stuck at a certain point, and you are not reaching your fullest potential.  I will be your friend, ally, support, and encourager.

So, I want you to know I have credentials for this.  I have a BS degree in Exercise Science.  I have also completed a certification course in Health Counseling through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.  All of this means that I spend a lot of time thinking about health and wellness, and what it all means.  I understand some of the crazy that goes on in a woman's body when she decides to make big changes.  But most of all, I know how to help you figure out what your body is trying to tell you, and how to work in harmony with your body.

So, here's what I'm offering.  There are a few options, and I don't want any of you to feel pressured to pick any of them.  But I've been happening around the blogosphere lately, and there are a lot of people looking to meet their health goals right now.  If I can help you in any way, I'm happy to do it.


The Whole Enchilada
This is for those of you who want a real-deal, all the bells and whistles health coach.  This option will cost money, but will be on a sliding scale basis of what you can comfortably afford to pay.  You get a free health history consultation, 2 over the phone (or skype) sessions a month, plus goodies and handouts, plus email encouragement and support (see push-up bra option).

This option is designed to help you realize your fullest potential over a 6-12 month span of time.  We'll work together to overcome your stumbling blocks, and at the end, you will be amazed by how your life has transformed.

The Appetizer
This option is for the chickadee who wants some help, but doesn't want to go all out.  This person knows generally what their goals are, but wants some help in making them a reality.  This option will also cost a little bit, but less than the Enchilada, and still based on what you can afford to pay.  With this, I'll be giving you one over the phone session a month, fun handouts, goodies, and email support and encouragement (see push-up bra option).

This option is great if you want to see what health counseling is good for.  This is also good for people who are great at self-motivating between sessions, but just need someone to be a sounding board and provide periodic advice and encouragement.

The Push-up bra
Yup, the push-up bra.  This is my FREE option.  For anyone, at anytime, whether you follow this bloggy or not.  You can email me a brief question about health, and I will be happy to answer you.  You can ask me for encouragement, and I will do my best to flood you with the love and support you need, via email.  You won't get the goodies and handouts, or the opportunity to hear my voice on the phone, but you'll be getting moi in your email inbox on a semi-regular basis.  Who wouldn't want that?


If there is any way that I can help you meet your goals, please email me and tell me how I can best support you.  I am so happy to help you in any way that I can!  Getting healthy is stressful, don't go it alone!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Black bean soup

If there is one type of food I could eat over and over, it's soup.  I love how comforting, warm, and overall awesome soups are.  Plus, 9 times out of 10 they're pretty good for you.  I call this a win.  So today, I want to share with you a bowl of my black bean soup.  I'm including my personal directions, not the kind a cookbook would give, in the hope that it demystifies my kitchen for you.  I hope you (ahem, Emily, ahem), enjoy!

What you need**:
Black beans (3 cups of fresh cooked, or 3 cans.  You pick)
2 ribs of celery
One onion, diced
1.5-ish cups chopped carrot
1 20-oz can of petite diced tomatoes
6 cups vegetable broth
2 Tbsp olive oil
bay leaves

What you do:
  1. Chop your veg.  This sometimes takes a while.
  2. Preheat your desired soup pot.  My stove is hotter than hades, so I use a medium-low setting.  Somewhere between there and medium is good.  Add your olive oil and coat the bottom of the pot.
  3. Saute your onions, carrots, and celery until they are mostly soft.  I leave mine a little under-cooked so that they add a little texture.
  4. Add beans and the entire can of tomatoes (including juice) to the pot.  Stir everything up.
  5. Add your vegetable broth.  Stir again.
  6. Add a couple of bay leaves.  Everyone swears they give stuff flavor.  I'm not convinced, but I go with it anyways.
  7. Turn up the heat.  You want this bad boy boiling, so walk away, and have yourself a dance party for a minute or two.  Watched pot, and all that.
  8. Once you're boiling, lower the heat again to low, and cover.  Let cook as long as you can stand it.  I recommend at least an hour, but it can go longer.  I usually declare cooking done after Ammon asks for the third time when it'll be ready.
  9. Remove bay leaves.  Because they're dry, inedible, tough leaves.  Gross.
  10. Transfer several cups of your soup to a blender.  Pulse it a few times, allowing the steam to escape in between pulses.  Stir back into your soup.  This should make your soup thicker, and give it a creamier consistency.  If you're not digging the consistency, repeat the step.  If your stick blender is handy, and the motor isn't dying (epic fail, stick blender!) you can pop that sucker in and blend to perfection.

Serve up that yumminess in your biggest table-appropriate bowl with some yummy bread topped with butter.  Heaven, I tell you.

So there you have it.  A recipe for soup, my personal directions, and then proof of its yum factor.  Short of having you over to try mine, I can do no more for you.  May the soup force be with you.

**I almost never actually measure my ingredients, so everything here is approx, and according to our tastes.  Feel free to make this work for you.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Breather

After the madness of the 5k, I was so happy to scale back a week.  When I went into last week, I was ready to take it easy, and I told myself from the start to go slowly, and enjoy an easy week of workouts.

Instead, I decided to take more time with these guys, in this place.

In the epic battle between girl versus sleep, sleep won.  And I was surprisingly at peace with that decision.  We've been on the go a lot.  School for me was done for a couple of weeks, the 5k was done... my body was hurting.  So even though I trudged through my Monday and Tuesday workouts, I took Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday off. 

Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the philosophy of consistency.  It's easy to convince yourself it's most important to just show up.  But I reached a point where I could no longer simply show up.  Where I just needed a few moments of pause.

So I paused.  I enjoyed letting my muscles heal.  I enjoyed staying up a little later, and sleeping in past 5:30.  I enjoyed a few extra snuggles.

And this week, I am so happy to be back in my routine, and pushing towards my next goal:  A 34 mile bike ride on June 3.  Guess what?  It's been a long time since I was on my bike. 

I see sore butts a plenty in my near future.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A little more explanation

Guys, there was no dead body.  Take a deep breath, A and I don't live in the ghetto.

I wrote the post from earlier today on Sunday morning at 2am... after I'd been dealing with the situation for over an hour, and was exhausted, but too keyed up to sleep.  I didn't stop to think that I left it kinda weird.  My apologies.

It all came down to 2 people drinking far too much, and then getting into a fight.

The police never were able to tell me where all of the blood came from.  Some investigators, huh?

So no need to worry just yet.  Unless it's about my sanity.  Because to tell the truth, it's on the brink.  I am loving silence right now.  I am loving not being bothered.

And for whatever reason, I'm not feeling up to leaving my usual deluge of comments on everyone's blog.  I'm sorry for that too.  I want to comment deep down, but I'm just feeling off.  I will reset my mentality to the "on" position as soon as possible.

Thank you guys for caring, and wanting to make sure we don't live near meth-heads and axe murderers.

Interesting Jobs

One thing I can say for the life choices that I've made is that every job I've ever had has put me in unique situations I never thought I would have to experience.  I've worked in group homes, and taken more than my fair share of people to the Emergency Room.  I've worked in a nursing home, and had to provide post-mortem care (that is, in fact, what you think it is).  I've met local politicians and area celebrities as a furniture sales person.

And with my current job, I have become good at dealing with the police and navigating the police report request system.  Did I mention that I'm lucky enough that the police have my name and phone number on file so that they can call me in the event of emergency?

I know all of you are dying to hear this story.

I got a call Sunday morning at 12:15am.  I couldn't figure out who in the world it could be.  It was police dispatch, calling me because they said that they had police on scene at my complex, and that I needed to come "secure the unit".  I thought they wanted me to unlock a door for them so they could get in and arrest someone.  This happens every now and them with domestic disturbances, and it's really no big deal.  So I grumbled something that was probably only halfway coherent, threw on sweats and headed out the door.  I knew right away this was not going to be an easy-peasy, lemon-squeazy call when I realized that there was one ambulance, 6 patrol cars, one German Shepherd, and probably a dozen police officers milling around.  So I loudly announced that I was the property manager.  I find it's best to identify yourself when there's that many people of authority gathered in one place.  They handed me over to the reporting officer right away and took me over to the apartment.  The first thing I noticed was that the door to the apartment was open.

The second thing I noticed was that it had been busted down in order to make it open.  Holy cow, that is a big mess.  I hope you never have to witness that for yourself.

The officer explained to me that they had a call for a verbal domestic disturbance from the neighbors.  When they got there, one of the two residents talked to them, but the other would not open the door to the apartment.  While they were arresting the one resident (because that's apparently how these things are handled), the police looked through the windows of the apartment in order to determine that the other resident was safe.  They saw blood on the ground.

In the event of simple obstruction of justice, they call me and I come unlock doors.  In the event they see blood, things escalate to a category where standard operating procedure requires that the police enter the apartment using any and all means necessary.

So yeah.  That's the story of how the door got broken down and I got called to deal with it.  Bet you're really jealous you don't have my job.

Monday, May 14, 2012

We just realized

So, A and I were driving to get dessert the other night, and we were talking about my extreme need to plan and control pretty much every curve ball life throws our way, when I realized that I constantly think our wedding is still 2 years away.  It hit me that our wedding is now only about a year away.  As of Spring 2013, A will only have one class left.  It was requested that we wait to get married until after he finishes his undergraduate degree, which would be at the end of fall semester 2013 (he can't take the class over the summer, it's only offered fall and spring).

BUT his dad is a teacher, he has three siblings in school, and a niece and nephew.  I have cousins with school-aged kids.  So our best shot at the family wedding is a summer wedding, whether school is over or not.  We really don't think anyone will mind too much, given that we live together, and our transition to married life will hopefully be pretty easy.  It's just that while I don't feel a long engagement is necessary, I am in awe of the fact that this time next year, we will be in a double digit day countdown to our wedding.  It's surreal to know that in a year I will be preparing for that iconic walk.  I will take someone else's last name.

It got me thinking about the passage of time, and how it can pass so quickly without anyone noticing, yet still be utterly remarkable.  In November we will have been together for 3 years.  How is that even possible?  Seems like just yesterday that I was wondering if he was asking me on dates because he was interested in me, or if he just wanted to "hang out" as friends.  How can it be that in August we will have lived together for 2 years?

I am so happy I get the honor of sharing the rest of my life with this man.  Even if he makes creepy faces like this one...

I love you, dear.  Can't wait to be your Little Misses (sooner than I think).

Sunday, May 13, 2012

You just don't know

You just don't know when you're going to get a call telling you your mom has been in an accident.  This happened on December 6, 2007.  My dad called me while I was at work.  In Indiana.  My senior year of college.  One week before Fall semester finals.  My dad never calls me unless there is a major emergency.  I will never forget hearing that she had been run over by a truck, and had been taken to the hospital.  We didn't know anything else, because my mom had been up in the Mountains for a skiing clinic.  I lost my shizz.  Thankfully, she came through okay.

You also just don't know when you'll get the call that your mom found a lump in her breast.  This call came just days after Thanksgiving this last year.  Almost 5 years to the day after being hit by a pick-up truck while walking, we found out she had breast cancer.

We're lucky that she's such a strong woman, such a fighter.  But you just never know.  So go ahead and hug your mom today, if she's close.  If not, at least do something special for her.  Really, you just don't know when you're going to get a call that changes your family forever.

Happy mother's day, mom.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Letters

Since I already wrote a few letters this week, I thought I would keep it going for you all.  I hope you are having a fantastic Friday!

Dear A,

Congratulations on thriving this semester.  You were under quite a bit of pressure, and you still did great.  Kudos.  Just not the gross granola bars called "Kudos" that we ate all the time as kids.  Although if you really wanted, I could run to the store and get you some of those Clif Crunch Bars you love so much.  Because I'm very, very proud of how hard you worked.

Dear B,

You are a fantastic kitty.  I love that you make a reliable alarm clock, and help ensure that I get up in the mornings to feed you before I go work out.  I do wish you would let me cuddle your dad without you being in the middle of everything though.

Dear work,

You and I have not been great friends this week.  Please change for the better next week.  Thanks.

Dear Uterus,

You've been absolutely suck-tastic this month, between random outbursts and my usual monthlies.  Really now, there is no need for this kind of anger.  I promise you, if I have to kill someone because of you, no good will come of it.

Dear V,

It kills me that you're home this weekend, and we might not get to see each other.  It's been too long since we had shenanigans.  I miss your face lots.

Dear mommy-in-law,

You are the best future mother in law a girl could ever hope for.  Thank you for accepting me, loving me, and welcoming me into the family.  You didn't have to do any of these things, but it sure does make life a lot more awesome.

Dear step-mommy-in-law,

I totally lucked out with you, too.  Thank you for being such a warm, genuine person.  I'm sad we aren't going to be at Disneyworld, but I really am hoping we'll see you at Labor Day.  And then we can drink wine together, and I'll blog about it.

Dear Mom,

I had no plans of leaving you out of mom-fest just because you gave birth to me.  You made it through the first few days of radiation, which is pretty great.  You are totally dominating on cancer.  Your fight and your optimism is pretty impressive.  You're on the downward swing of the tough treatment, so just hang in there for a few more weeks.  Then we'll all go out and celebrate.

Linking up today with Ashley:  Photobucket

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Really now...

**WARNING:  This is a post about feminine hygiene.  If this stuff grosses you out, come back tomorrow.**

I was in Target the other day buying a little (okay a lot) of this and that.  What girl does not love spending her evening wasting time at Target?  When I saw this.  There are no words for what I feel about this.  It's tremendously appalling to me.  See for yourself:

Uh-huh.  "Radiant" tampons.  According to the commercials, they provide you with the most discreet period ever.  Okay... back this train up. Discreet and radiant are not two halves of the same whole.  When I think of my hygiene products, these two things do not compute.  Most likely, I'm thinking about where the back-up to the back-up chocolate is at work.  Not how a tampon that prides itself for being the height of discretion is simultaneously radiant.  In fact, all I can think of is that I would expect these to light me up from the inside like some anatomically correct night light.  And that isn't part of my game plan.

I know we all talk about how the commercials are the biggest crock EVER.  But really, let's talk about packaging and branding for a minute.  They put all of this money and time into making this stuff "cute", and making the packaging attractive, when in reality... you're trying to make sure nobody sees ANYTHING when you're in the break room at work trying to grab your supplies before you run as fast as you can to the bathroom, where the previous "supplies" are discarded with as little care as a used tissue.  Why in the world should I care about packaging???

So no, Tampax.  I will not be trying your "Radiant" tampons.  Despite the fact that I pride myself on being Radiant, I look for that to come from my sparkling personality, not a lit-from-within vagina.  Better luck next time, stop hiring men to do the branding.  Maybe then you'll get my business.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Dear babies

So, my friends, family, and co-workers know this about me, and now you all will too.  We know that right now is not the time to have babies.  But for the last year or so, I have really wanted a baby.  I want to be pregnant, and I want to grow a pretty, perfect little baby.  A started talking about how we would raise our kids 3 months into us dating.  Apparently he was sure I was the mother of his children before he even knew he loved me.

...That looks way worse in writing than it really is.  Wow.

Anyways, there are some things I want to tell my future kiddos.  You know, the things I am sure I will forget to tell them someday, but that right now I desperately want them to know.  So what better thing than to share them with you too???

Dear future baby girl:  

Your daddy and I have been dreaming about you for a long time.  He has so been looking forward to making you his little princess.  I have been looking forward to sewing you princess dresses, playing dolls, and having tea parties.  But even if you never enjoy those things, and you'd rather skin your knees and get muddy, you will always be the world's most beautiful little girl.  You are absolutely loved and adored by your daddy and I.

As the years go on, we know you will test limits and make mistakes.  We love you anyways.  You will hurt our feelings and break our hearts.  We will love you anyways.  You will disappoint us, you will disappoint yourself.  But our love for you will never fade.  As much as you are a part of us, we are a part of you, and we could never stop loving something that we created.

Being a woman is not easy.  There is so much pressure to be thin, to be pretty, to say and do the right things at the right time.  Don't succumb to the pressure just because others tell you it is right.  Listen to your heart and trust your instincts.  Even if they aren't 100% true, you will know that the decision you made was yours and yours alone.

I love you so much already, and you aren't even a realized dream yet.  I cant wait to get to know you, and see the amazing person you become.


Dear Future Baby Boy,

When I picture what our future family will look like, I see you front and center in pictures, with a big cheesy grin.  I see you and your dad building things.  I see you curling up in my lap while I read you a story.  And my heart melts.  I didn't always see a baby boy in the picture when I thought about my future family, mostly because I'm a girlie girl, and always related well with little girls.  But as I've gotten older, I find myself dreaming of you.  When I see pictures of your cousin Robert, or when I see your cousin Devin, I know just how amazing it will be for you to grow up with these two as role models.  And I can see a little bit of what you will look like, what you might be, in them.

I don't know if you will love sports, and it doesn't really matter.  The boys on both sides of the family don't seem to be big sports buffs.  If you love sports, we will support you always.  If not, you can stay in and learn to love reading with the rest of us.  I know daddy would love to talk books with you.

I expect that you and I will cause trouble together.  You'll probably wreck my scooter at a young age, and I'll probably tell your daddy that I did it.  You'll sneak a cookie, and I'll have a hard time not breaking down and giving you another one while I ruffle your hair.  After all, if I catch you sneaking a cookie while I'm sneaking a cookie, can I be that mad?  Mostly though, I look forward to watching you grow into a man who I am so unbelievably proud of.  I hope your daddy and I tell you that every day.  I hope that you can see the way your daddy treats me, and emulate that when you find a nice girl to date.  But don't rush into that too soon.  You're my special little guy.

I remember that when one of my best friends was pregnant with her little guy, she told me that her mom said it was best to have little boys, because "girls have  tendency to hurt their mothers' feelings".  I hope her mom was right when she assured my friend that boys are less likely to make their mom sad.  To me, you are my sunshine on a cloudy day, little boy.  For that, and so much more, I love you always.

Your momma

Dear Future adopted baby of unknown gender:

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to adopt a child, or be a foster parent.  You are the manifestation of a life-long dream.  I'm crying as I write this, because I know that the first time I hold you will be so incredibly special.  I don't know who you are, or where we will find you.  But know that your daddy and I are waiting for you, and actively seeking you.  That you are as much a part of us as your siblings are.

I can't imagine some of the things that you will face growing up.  I truly hope that your dad and I can provide a safe space, where you never feel unloved or insecure.  I pray you will never wonder if anybody could ever love a child as much as we love you.  I want you to understand how special you are now and always.

I look forward to seeking your heritage with you, and sharing your life with your birth mother and father, if they so choose.  I look forward to nurturing an unshakeable bond with you.  To traveling with you.  To sharing an incredible family with you.  The relationship I share with you will be night and day to the relationships I share with your siblings.  And I pray that you never resent that.  Each of you is equally important to me.  You will never mean less to me than them, simply because I didn't carry you in my belly and get insufferable cravings while I grew you.  If it makes you feel any better, I am sure the adoption process will be longer than 9 months, and far more difficult on your dad and I.  But you are worth it.  And I am so proud we share the same name.

Your mother by choice

So, what I want to know:  Did you write letters to your children before they were born?  Are you childless like us, thinking about all of the things that you need them to know?  What would you tell your future or present children if you could write them a letter?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

That's Hot???

I had to stop reading most fashion blogs.  Every time they would pop up a post of an outfit that was inspired by some runway collection, or they are showing off the newest, trendiest stuff, I find myself saying, "Do their boyfriends/husbands really go out with them looking that way?"

Would you wear this?

I read a blog for a little bit about a woman whose boyfriend told her that nearly all of her clothes were hideous.  She said he didn't understand fashion.  I say, to heck with fashion.  If I'm getting dressed, I want my man to enjoy looking at me.  After all, if he's not looking at me, who's he going to be looking at instead???

Fashion begs the question of who you're trying to impress (in my mind).  I like to look put together, and I have a personal style.  It isn't fashionable, and most of my favorite staples come from Ann Taylor.  I like to buy things I can wear for 20 years without feeling dated.  Most trends are so utterly beyond me.  Sometimes I try just for fun, and I feel so not me, that even if it looks good, I don't look good because I feel awkward about it.

So you won't really see "What I wore" posts from me.  I hesitate to say never, but I have no intentions of posting pictures of me in slacks with a tank top and cardigan... because that's what I wear pretty much every day.  Yes, boring.  But I also know that my boyfriend isn't embarrassed to be seen with me in public.  Big bonus in my opinion.

How do you feel about fashion?  Do you bother to even pay attention?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Stronger, Stronger

Happy Monday!  Today is recap day of the 5k I did yesterday.  If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I had a big personal best this weekend!  But more on that in a minute.

We woke up at 4:45 Sunday morning in preparation.  I knew I needed to get both electrolytes and sugar in me, because I had to board the bus for the race an hour prior to the race starting.  I am usually a "roll out of bed and get it done" kind of girl.  I don't like to super-hydrate or eat before I run, because I don't like all of the awkward tummy troubles runners and distance athletes are prone to.  But since this was out of the norm, I decided to drink a can of coconut water (potassium), and make a strawberry smoothie.

To be honest, it was still too much.  Even after using the port-o-potty at the start line, I was pretty queasy.  Next time, I might do just a banana or so.

We picked up two of my co-workers, Emily and Amber, on the way to the bus I took to the start line.  From there, A, Emily, and Amber got some much needed coffee, and staked a claim at the finish line.

They just had to cross the finish line before me.  Jerks.

The race I participated in was part of the Colorado Marathon.  They were offering 5k, 10k, half and full marathon courses.  I really liked this, because as I become a better runner, I can move up the totem pole.  the 5k is on the last 3.1 miles of the half and full marathon course, and was run almost entirely on the Fort Collins bike path.  This meant that there weren't a lot of spectators, nor was there a lot of space for tons of runners.  Thankfully, only 193 people participated in the 5k, so there weren't any major log-jams.

Right away, I found 2 girls who I thought were running a great pace.  I stuck with them for the first 2.3 miles.  Around 2.1, I asked what the time was, as my phone (with endomondo timing), was in my Camelback.  They told me we had JUST hit 20 minutes.  And seriously, my body decided not 3 minutes later that I was nuts to be running with these girls.  I tried to stay with them.  I really did.  But they sped up toward the finish line, and I slowed down a bit.  In the last 0.8 miles, I had to walk a couple of times.  I worked really hard to make sure that if I did have to walk, I walked as fast as possible.  Towards the end, there were so many kind, supportive people who encouraged me to jog the rest of the way in.  I thought for sure that my time was not going to be that great.  I had walked, after all.

So imagine my surprise as I came across the finish line at 32:32!

The girls and A had made signs to cheer me on, and were screaming like maniacs.  Naturally, I had to ham it up and get a little Rocky in order to best celebrate.

All said and told, I best my time from 7 weeks ago by 8 minutes.  Not the under 30 minute goal I had in mind, but I worked really hard and came close.  Thank you to all of you who have offered love and support on my way to this accomplishment.

As I have mentioned in passing, one of my bosses participated in the 10k yesterday morning.  So after I almost threw up caught my breath, we waited eagerly for Kate to come across the line.  My phone was not out and ready for pictures, but she beat her goal!  She was targeting about and hour and ten minutes, and finished right around an hour and five minutes.  Talk about so inspiring!

She lost her safety pins, and I texted her to just use duct tape.  When she came across the line, I died laughing

All in all, I am really satisfied with my performance.  Kate and I are now thinking about doing another race at the end of the summer, and pacing each other through it.  Looking forward to working towards a bigger, better goal!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Not your ordinary Giveaway...

Hello Everyone!  That's right, I'm doing a giveaway.  Today.

Brandon and I BOTH want you to know that this is gonna be a good one.

You see, I think most giveaways out there are downright depressing.  They offer a massive, amazing prize, allow ANYONE to win, as long as they follow the blog, comment, whatever, during the contest period, and so the odds that little old me will win diminish to the point of impossible.

That simply does not work for me.  The idea of doing a giveaway where only one person wins saddens me.  The idea of doing a giveaway that encourages people to "follow" my blog, and then never read again after the contest period frustrates me.  So I thought for a long time about how to make a "Kristen-esque" giveaway.  Here is what I have decided.
  • This giveaway is open ONLY to people who followed my blog prior to May 5, 2012 @ 12:01am through Google Friend Connect.
  • TEN people are going to get a prize.
  • In order to be one of the ten, you just need to comment down below, and have an email address attached to your profile so that I can e-mail you and grab your address.
  • If you are comment 11 or greater:  Comment anyways, because you will automatically "win" next month's follower giveaway (I'm limiting to 10/month, because shipping is expensive, yo, and I have to budget this sort of thing).
  • Sorry, I can only ship within US and Canada (again, shipping prices)
What are you winning?  I am so glad you asked.

I used to be an Independent Beauty Consultant with Mary Kay Cosmetics.  I made some questionable choices early on about inventory, and bought waaaaaaaaaay too much stuff.  It's good stuff.  Pretty stuff.  But since I don't wear makeup, it's stuff that's taking up space.  You will be winning part of my hoard.  And I'm going to do this every month.  

Followers can "win" once every 6 months, until all of it is gone.  

No, you don't get to make requests.  Think of me as your own personal birchbox, except that I'm gonna stalk you check the pictures on your blog to make sure the colors will look hot on you.  If you rock a natural look, I may just send you some non-makeup type products, like Satin Lips, lotion, etc.  I have it all, girlies.  And it's ALL for you.  You are awesome, and this is a small way I can thank you for reading my words and supporting me these last 5 months.  I hoped to meet one or two nice people.  I never could have expected the love you all show me every day.

Not a follower yet?  Follow before the June giveaway to be eligible for the next round!  So what are you waiting for?  Drop a comment about anything... how much you love lipgloss.  How pink is ugly.  What your plans are for the weekend.  Drop your blog link and make a new friend or two.  The sky is the limit.  Just make sure that when your comment comes to my e-mail, I can hit "reply", or that you have supplied me an email address in your comment.  THANK YOU ladies!

Friday, May 4, 2012

From real life...

Guys, I want you to meet my best friend.  Her name is Victoria.  I call her V.  She's my cancerian lover.  Our birthdays are days apart, and I'm positive that we became friends with another person for the express purpose of meeting and becoming best friends.

Okay girls.  Don't hate on her for how gorgeous she is.  She has the biggest heart.  And she will make you laugh.  And she works in the film industry.

...So if you're gonna hate her, do it because she is awesome sauce times one billion.  And now, this best friend of mine has a blog where she's sharing her life with you and me.  You need to avoid this blog, because I don't want you stealing my best friend go read it and love her.

Find her here.  I don't think you'll be disappointed!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

School vs wine vs blogging

So far, work this week has really sucked.  Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer from the get-go, but it has.  It's the start of the month, so everyone is paying rent, moving, and in general complaining about anything and everything.  A resident made my co-worker cry on Saturday.  The mothers of a resident couple called and screamed at the same co-worker yesterday ( I know you think this has little to do with me, but I am the direct manager of the unit, so it's totally my issue).  I have a stack of files 2.5 feet high in my in-box right now.  Every call is a problem, every person in the door needs to move right away, and we don't have any apartments for several more weeks.

And despite it all, I have been trying extra hard to keep a cheerful disposition at work.  Coffee and I have been reunited at last.  Shouldn't that be enough to override anything else?  This is what I remind myself as I decide to choose joy over frustration.  Everyone who told me I was crazy for giving up coffee for a month was right.  How can you be sad if you have coffee?

I'm not gonna lie though, after work last night wine became my partner in crime.  About 30 minutes before we closed, my uterus decided it would be appropriate to kill me.  It isn't "that" time.  I fact, I should be ovulating right now, and my uterus should be the happiest little future baby home ever.  Not so much.  So, what cures an achy uterus?

Well, red wine and your blogs.  Yes, this is finals week, and I have a TON of stuff to finish by Friday at midnight.  But really, this was an emergency.  I know that if you are a woman, you understand.  Thank you all for writing blog posts that can take my mind off of the mysterious out of nowhere pain.

Don't worry though, tonight I have every intention of owning the work I still have left to complete.  A should have a study session, which means he won't be around to distract me with his general awesomeness.  Seriously, when you're in the same room with your man, how do you not find things to tell him every 10 seconds?  I need to work on this.

How has your week been so far?  How are you coping with curve balls this week?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Gettin' Crafty with it

Guys, bear with me on this one.  It's 11:30 pm, over and hour and a half past my bedtime.  I just finished my Principles of Business final, which I got a PERFECT score on, and with extra credit I got a better than perfect score in the class.  While this makes me happy, I am tired.  But I was really looking forward to linking up with Newlyweds on a Budget for Craft night, so I knew I needed to throw together something. Besides, I would miss you too much if I didn't post anything!

The challenge was to make a project using magazines, scissors, and glue.  There has been minimal crafting in our abode lately.  But I have an awesome project that has been waiting to reveal itself to you here.  It's my sewing table.  A made it for me when we first moved into this place a year and a half ago, and we debated on what to make the top out of.  I wanted something really smooth, so that fabric would not catch on it.  We decided on high density fiberboard.  This stuff rocks.  It is smooth like buttah, y'all.

From the get-go, I knew I wanted this desk to serve its utilitarian purpose, but I also wanted it to inspire me to create.  So {six months after he built it for me} I grabbed a bunch of back issues of fashion magazines, and ripped out anything I found even mildly interesting.  And then, I collaged.

Okay, not so much collaged as neatly arranged all of my lovely things.  The idea is that as new things inspire me, I can add them, and layer it slowly into a neato collage.  For now, it's more like a horizontal vision board.

This is the whole thing.  Due to time constraints and the table being covered in huge piles of crafting stuff, I haven't yet added another layer.  But it certainly serves its purpose of reminding me of the types of things I love, and what I am interested in creating!

I have to admit, it is much more gratifying to mod-podge pictures to a desk than pinning stuff on Pinterest.  This was by far one of my favorite craft projects.  Are you linked up for craft night?  Let me know so I can check your project out too!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Runner's High?

Wow!  How in the heck is it May 1st already?  Today, my lovely friends, I am officially off my cleanse.  I think we all know what that means:

Yup, coffee is back in the game!  And I do have to say, my darling coffee, that these last 30 days without you were terrible.  Welcome back, blessed friend.

Not only do I have coffee back, but I have a jam-packed month.  Yeah, I say that every month.  It does not change the fact that it's true.  Starting off the month my school semester ends, then I have the 5k.  After that is mother's day with both of our moms, I start bike training, then the summer term starts up.  Whew.  I think I'll need another coffee.

Too keep myself on track (and sane!) this month, there are a few things I want to focus on.  The first thing I want to focus on is not obsessing about how my body looks.  It is strong, it is healthy, and it is getting stuff done.  Why am I so obsessed with changing it to fit someone else's standard?  To that end, I am cutting down on my scale privileges to Sundays only.  I tend to judge myself entirely on the number on the scale, not be any other standard, and that probably needs to stop.  I am also starting once a month body measurements.  Not to obsess over, but rather to give me proof that I'm improving, even if my weight is not changing.

Also in May, I really want to focus on finding constructive ways to fill my time between the two school terms.  As much fun as Twitter, Pinterest, and reading blogs is, there are so many other ways I can be spending my time, and I need to be cognizant of that.

So a funny thing happened in April (worst transition ever, but we're gonna roll with it).  Somewhere around week 3 or 4 of my training plan, A started commenting that my legs were starting to tone up from all of the running.  By the last week of April, my pants were noticeably more loose.  But the most remarkable change this month was mental.  For the first time in my life, I started to see myself as a runner.  I have seen myself as an athlete before.  A swimmer.  A cyclist.  A rock climber.  But even in the past, when I was running to cross train, or running in order to avoid being kicked out of Air Force ROTC, I never bought into the idea that I was a runner.  It stopped me dead in my tracks when I realized that I was thinking about running outside of training and blogging about it.  It startled me when I realized that I was starting to look forward to those 4 day/week runs.  I really couldn't believe it when I sought out a running book at Barnes & Noble on Saturday.

How did this happen?  How in the world has running become a "thing" for me?  Honestly, I think it is the fact that it may be the only thing in the world that effectively slims my legs.  I have big birthin' hips and thunder thighs.  My thighs and calves get accentuated by cycling.  Swimming tones me up, but doesn't make me lean.  Weight lifting does the same as swimming.  Nothing else has done this.  Is it a great reason to love running?  Probably not.  But I'm going with it. 

Did anything surprise you in April?  What are your plans for dominating May?  I can't wait to hear what you have going on!