Sunday, November 29, 2015

My kitchen mojo

Guys, if there is one really, truly positive thing that our move has done, it is this:  it has given me some serious kitchen mojo.  I have always liked to cook and bake, but I tend to be somewhat mercurial about cooking, and in the past I let that "I don't want to cook" attitude take us right to the loving embrace of Chipotle.  But not anymore.

I will say, having a shiny new kitchen with pretty appliances probably helps a little.  It is TINY, but has decent storage, and almost enough counter space.

That picture is from moving day.  Like I said, it's tiny, but surprisingly functional.  So far in my tiny kitchen, I have made many things.  Things like:

Spaghetti Squash with homemade tomato sauce (our first home-cooked meal in our new home!)

Fresh artisan bread (no kneading required!)

Pesto BLT with roasted broccoli (on homemade bread)

 Sloppy joes on homemade rolls with roasted potatoes and green beans

Grilled apple and cheese sandwich on homemade bread (are you noticing a theme here?) with extra apple slices for good measure

Homemade pita bread for gyros and pita pizzas

Whole wheat bread I made yesterday to go with creamy chicken and rice soup.

Oh my goodness, the bread I have made lately!  I always used to think Ammon didn't like bread, but it's far more complicated than that.  Ammon LOVES bread, but only when it is baked fresh.  He doesn't do store bought, or 2nd day bread, he's all about bread I bake, or bread that is totally fresh from a bakery.  And now that I have discovered how easy and cheap it is to bake my own bread from scratch, we are eating more bread than I have in an awfully long time.  It's certainly a far cry from the low carb, high fat diets I have tried in the past, and I'm totally okay with it.  We're following a meal plan that's goal is to feed families real unprocessed foods, while still being budget friendly.  It is working for us.  The food is that throw-back food to the stuff I imagine that my grandparents and great-grandparents would eat with little complaint.  We're eating a lot less meat, and this one-time vegan really likes that.  All around, it's been a big win for us.

My love of baking is starting to transcend to a whole new level.  I remember this happened when I discovered the world of vegan cupcakes and cakes.  I could not get enough of making desserts.  This time, I literally can not get enough of making bread.  I have a pan of homemade cornbread drying out as we speak for cornbread dressing, which I'm going to stuff into acorn squash for dinner.  And if this is a sickness, I desperately hope there is no cure.  I'll take all of the homemade breads and goodies, please.  Ammon just needs to keep paying for my gym membership =).

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Different goals for a different time

It took 4 weeks of healing, but last week I was finally able to get back to working out.  Woohoo!  That silly little cyst in my armpit knocked me farther back than I ever could have imagined.  Even now, I still have an open wound there, but it's managed by a band-aid, rather than the tender loving care of the medical team at Kaiser.  Oh, have I mentioned how much I love Kaiser healthcare?  I had it briefly in CO way back in 2007, and LOVED it.  It was an option through Ammon's work when we moved out here, and I was quick to jump back on the wagon.  A lot of people in CA are actually not big fans of the Kaiser model, but we love their integrated model of care, how streamlined everything is, and their focus on prevention.

My love of Kaiser is not the point of this post, though it is an interesting aside (I think).  The point of this post is that I'm doing things differently with fitness this time around.  It hit me last week that what I'm really all about right now is getting to a point where I can maintain a reasonable level of fitness throughout pregnancy.  I have little interest in doing races right now (even though we have a 5k tomorrow - it's just for fun!), or in chasing some unrealistic body-image expectation, like 6-pack abs.  I don't even care so much that my weight is a little up again.  I'm trying to make fitness something enjoyable and sustainable right now.  Which is hard for me, because those aren't words that fit into my view of working out.
Beckham approves of my new workout goals, and rewards me with cuddles post-run

Right now, all of this means that I'm chasing a crazy goal, just for fun with running.  I'm using this Zero to Running plan to work on building up to running for 30 minutes at an 8:00/mile pace.  I sure love Jenny Hadfield's plans because they're realistic and customizable.  I love one of the notes to this plan, which says to replace the "weeks" with levels, and keep at a level until you can comfortably complete the prescribed workout 3 times in one week.  Since I'm chasing a goal that is pretty big and unrealistic given my previous experiences with running, I anticipate that this will be a long-range endeavor.  So far, I'm on week (level) 2, and so I'm doing 1 minute intervals at and 8:00 pace.

I'm also making an effort to lift heavy-ish things twice a week.  I've always been fully aware of the many benefits that this can have for sport performance, but it just hasn't been a priority, because I hate it.  I hate being so sore that I have a hard time going to the bathroom.  I know other people love this, I just don't.  But I'm trying to come to terms with it, since it's such a beneficial thing.  I've found that variety is key here, and I haven't done the same strength workout twice since moving out here.  I'm also thinking about doing this 3 week challenge.  Even though it repeats workouts, it's only a few times, and it's a do-able time duration for me.  Plus, despite being a "booty" challenge, it makes a point of providing total-body workouts and being kind-of balanced, which is good.  Booty strength is a big part of running, and a nice booty is a big part of a happy marriage, so it's a double-win for me right now.

Proof I go to a gym, because I'm not sure anyone would believe me otherwise.

Also, if you don't believe me that a poppin' booty is good for marriage, go ask your man-friend. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Recent thoughts

I keep wanting to blog, but then deciding that the random little things that I want to talk about can't round out to a good blog post without getting boring, or depressing, or straight up strange.  But I remember that sometimes, I used to just throw all of the random thoughts in my head out there list-style, and that seemed to fit the bill.  So without any further explanation, here are my recent thoughts:

  • We bought a new rug right before we moved out here, and I love it.  It's completely different from anything else we have, and I think that's what makes it so great.  It really highlights Gunner's Chocolate lab-ness too.
  • I always forget how much I love running until I have taken a break and I start over from scratch.  Something about working through running from the beginning stages really reminds me of what running does for me.
  • When I left my job at the Housing Authority, I really wasn't emotionally prepared to leave.  It has made the transition to my new job incredibly difficult.
  • The COO at my new company reminds me of Michael Scott from "The Office".  He's not a 100% ringer, but there are little mannerisms there that totally get me every time.
  • Trees should not still have green leaves in mid-November.  Get it together, CA.
  • I forgot how much I enjoy tax law and tax preparation until I started my tax class a few weeks ago.  Taxes are the reason I got into accounting in the first place, and it's completely re-affirming that I need to go into the tax field after I graduate.  I was debating some other paths, but there really is no more obvious path for me right now.
  • I feel really isolated and alone out here.  The people I work with are never going to become as close of friends as those I made at work in CO, and since I was out of commission with that cyst-issue for 4 weeks, I really haven't been doing anything that gets me out and meeting people.  
  • Probably as a result of feeling so lonely and isolated, I really miss blogging, and the amazing community that I used to have in blog-land.  Does the blogging community exist anymore?  Or did it disappear like a rainbow unicorn?
  • One of my cousins that I have never met invited us for Thanksgiving.  Her parents will be there, and her dad is the guy who dressed up as a farmer for our wedding.  Do you remember that story?  Anyway, my Aunt and Uncle are awesome, so we will be going.
  • Blogger is being stupid right now, and only inserting images above the bullets.  I just tried to insert a picture of my uncle as the farmer 6 times, no dice.  If I was a real blogger, I would care more, but let's be real... those of you actually reading this anymore have seen the picture before.  It's nothing new.
  • The produce we are able to get out here is unreal compared to what we got in Colorado.  And the prices!  Everything is so much better when you can actually get it locally.
  • I agreed to be the "wellness champion" at work for the wellness program.  The program is pre-designed, and it's super easy to implement.  This is awesome, because I just want to do all of the fun stuff associated with wellness programs anyway, like organizing water drinking challenges, healthy snack pot-lucks, and fun runs.
  • We had a black IPA last night that neither Ammon or I liked at all, which is sad since black IPA is my favorite style of beer.  It was ridiculously strong, too:  One pint knocked me down pretty hard.
  • I think we're finally ready to get serious about having a baby.  I know I am... for the first time in a long time, I'm not all that jazzed about finding a race to train for, I just want to work out to be balanced.  This is a strange feeling for me.
What random thoughts have you had lately?

Sunday, November 1, 2015

6 years

 It's hard to believe it, but 6 years ago today, a cute boy asked me to get a burrito with him after work.  I didn't want to go, I was tired from working all day and I needed to get home and feed my cat.  That cute boy convinced me to go anyway.

The first ever photographic evidence of our relationship.  Look how young we were!
Back when I was younger, it turns out that I went on a lot of first dates, and I never knew that they were dates.  Dates with boys I really liked, and thought that they were way out of my league.  If we're being honest, it didn't even cross my mind that I was going on a date with him, because he was a cute boy, and it was just a burrito, you know?  Also, his work uniform made him look like he was 12, so I was entirely unsure if he was even 21 yet.
Well, after finding out that not only was he over 21, that he was older than me, one major issue was overcome.  And then I saw him in real clothes, and realized that the cute boy was a handsome man.  And somehow, despite better judgement, he agreed to keep dating a clueless girl who never knew when she was being asked out.

And 6 years later, I'm still the clueless girl, and he's still the cute boy.

We've both changed in the last 6 years, maybe even more than our hair has changed.  But the flutters I get over that cute boy that I get to date haven't changed one bit.  I'm glad that he was my last-first date, even if I was entirely unaware of the circumstances.

And tonight, we'll go get a burrito, because that's just what we do.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Workout setbacks

***Warning***  If you are easily grossed out by body stuff, just skip this post and come back some other time.
If there's anything that runs like clockwork just as much as my propensity for cycling in and out of shape, it's that once I decide it's time to get back into shape, I will face some sort of major setback early on.  And guys, that most definitely happened, and in a big way.

I have had a little cyst in my right armpit for several years now.  It was a benign little sebaceous cyst, and it was really deep, so there was nothing to do about it, except see if it was going to get worse or better on its own.  Well, it decided to get worse, and on Tuesday morning, I woke up to an ache in my armipt.  When I took a look, it was swollen.  I wasn't sure what was happening, because I had heard that painful swelling could mean that the cyst was working itself out, or that it had burst and was infected.  Since our insurance is still in processing right now and out finalized, I also wanted to wait and make sure that there was a problem before trying to get in to the Dr.  By Thursday, things were much worse, and I was pretty much constantly in agony.  So I got myself in to the Doctor's office, where it was confirmed that I definitely had a burst infected cyst.  And so now we're treating that loveliness with antibiotics, hot compresses, and ibuprofen.  There is definitely no working out happening, because I'm pretty much in agony anytime I move quickly, or my right arm moves.  Fun, right?  We're hoping hat by Monday, things will have progressed to the point where either my body can re-absorb the cyst, or it will start seeping out and the doctor can excise it.  Obviously, I'm hoping for re-absorption, because it's a much faster healing time.  However, I'll really be happy for progress either way, because it will mean that this setback is that closer to being over.

Ya know, just putting a hot compress on my armpit.  No big.

I hate that these setbacks happen, but I realize that they serve such a valid purpose. They serve as evidence of my desire and dedication to my goal.  If I am just as motivated to get back to my workouts afterward, I know that my goal is valid and important.  If I have no desire, it's  wake-up call that I should probably stop and re-evaluate what I'm doing and why I thought it was a good idea.  Right now, I would love to be able to go workout and keep improving my fitness again.  Every time I drive by our new gym, I wish I could go in and get to work.  These are good signs.  I know that I'm on the right track.  It's going to happen for me, and before I know it, I'm be back in the game.

Do you have workout setbacks?  If so, how do you handle them?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A viscious cycle

When it comes to working out, I am a total glutton for punishment.  I am in this cycle where I get super out of shape, get motivated, have to work super hard to get back into shape, get into great shape, get burnt out, and get out of shape again.  Over, and over, and over.  I try to tell myself that it's normal, and natural.  Right.  Normal and natural like orange colored chocolate.
Like, after the marathon, I needed to take a break for a bit.  That's normal.  Good, even, according to most experts.  It isn't healthy to push your body that hard, and then not give it a minute.  I think it took me 4 months to start running again.  Oops.  That's probably longer than you should give it.  Just a guess.

Then, I got in great shape again for the triathlon, and CRUSHED my time goal.  I set a pretty high bar for future sprint triathlons, in fact.  So what did I do after that?  I quit working out.  Oops.  Granted, right after the triathlon our world got turned upside down, but still.  Taking 12 weeks off was not part of the plan.  Thankfully, packing and moving boxes counts towards daily activity, otherwise I would have gained all of the weight in that 12-ish weeks.  No exercise and all of the ice cream and cookies does not equal maintaining a leaner physique.

Hi, my name is Kristen, and I stress bake.

And now here we are again.  Life finally got to the point where I needed the endorphins again, because "Happy people don't kill their husbands", or something like that.  I also have a triathlon in April, and I'm feeling the pressure to improve on my time.  So to the gym we have gone.  Last week really kicked it off for us, we managed to go 3 times.

And then we even went again tonight!  My life has devolved into that place of perpetual muscle soreness lately.  I have been sending Ammon really sexy text messages lately about how my legs are going to revolt against me, and how going to the bathroom hurts my abs.  Also, when we get home from the gym and have to walk upstairs to our apartment, he walks behind me, "just in case you can't make it on your own".  That flight of stairs manages to look just like Mt. Everest after the gym.  It's a cruel, cruel trick.

Another fun fact is that we dropped our old gym tonight like a ton of bricks, and got a fancy new membership at a place that is much nicer.  It's also cheaper!  Yay for corporate membership deals, and Ammon having a big boy job!!!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Morning walks

Now that we live in an apartment again, there is no more opportunity to be lazy and just let the dog into the backyard when he needs to do his business.  Nope, that's not the way the world works anymore.  Every morning, my alarm goes off at 5:20am so that Gunner and I can go for a 20 minute walk before I have to get to the hustle and bustle of my day.  I had thought that it would feel like an inconvenience, or that I would start to dread it.

Instead, I find myself wishing that we had more time for our little morning walks, and I look forward to the idea of making them longer.  It'll be a while before that alarm goes off at 5am...  It might not even happen.  But deep down, I really want it, because that time that the two of us spend together every morning before most of the City is awake, before anyone has to rush off to wherever they need to be, that time is so special, and it's all ours.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Total Authenticity


How are you this morning?  I'm just sitting here in my sweats drinking coffee.  Sundays really encourage that behavior, don't they?  I like to think so.  Ammon's sleeping in the other room, the animals are all leaving well enough alone (a rare thing!), and I have time to just do the things I want to do for a bit.  That includes talking to you guys for a few minutes.

I went to a women's forum yesterday.  Since we are so new to the area, I'm trying to be brave and branch out.  Make new friends, have new experiences.  Do scary things.  I love women's conferences, because I'm a sucker for anything personal development.  I hate women's conferences, because usually you're there by yourself, and you have to meet and interact with new people.  I really have become very withdrawn from humanity since moving to California.  I miss my people, and it took me a really long time to build my solid tribe.  I don't want to make new friends, I just want all of my existing friends to pick up their lives and follow me out here.  Reasonable, yes?

Back to the forum.  It was actually fantastic.  Everyone was so nice and supportive.  Several people offered to give me information about different organizations that they are a part of that I might want to consider joining.  Another woman and I totally bonded, and we're going to have coffee together.  AND of course, there was the personal development part of it all.  There were 2 breakout sessions, and about a dozen different speakers to choose from.  I choose sessions on networking and leadership, because I felt like they were so darn applicable to where I am in my life right now.

The sessions had so many common elements in them, which was strange because the two speakers were very different, and came from different approaches.  But the common theme was that you have to know yourself, and you have to be authentic and sincere in everything you do.  All of the tips and tricks in the world, all of the work that you do will never be successful until you truly know yourself, and you can act from a place of total authenticity.

Moving stripped away a lot of the elements by which I identify myself.  My friends, my state, my job, all gone now.  I walked into that forum knowing that I was in the midst of a major identity crisis, and walked out with the realization that this identity crisis could be one of the very best things that could happen to me.  I am in the unique position right now to really figure out who I am as a person, beyond the life that I had previously built up around me.  I am able to create a life that supports and builds upon who I am.  I don't have to do things that don't serve me anymore, simply because they were things that I did in the past.  

In 2 years, this opportunity will be gone.  We will have built our life here, and I will be back in a space where it will be harder to really get clear about who I am amid the clutter of our life.  It's time to move forward, and put some real effort into finding out who Kristen is, and what she wants and needs out of life.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Coming back together

It's almost like magic, but since starting my new job on Tuesday, life is coming back together again.  Where last week it was a struggle simply to shower every day, I actually managed to run last night after work. Run!  That's something I haven't done since the end of June.  And you know what?  It wasn't as awful as I was expecting it would be.  So not awful, in fact, that I came home and signed Ammon and I up for a 5k at the end of November. #addictedtoraces

Post-run selfie or it didn't happen.

Another habit?  This one weirds me out and is out of character, but for the past 3 days, I have done my hair and make-up.  Not normal.  Never mind that I have more make-up than a drag queen, it never gets put through its paces.  Except that now it is.  I kind of like it, but I have no crazy belief that this will last.

 Selfie of me with hair and make-up done, or I won't even believe it happened.  Also, my hair is really long right now, and I'm not sure what I'm thinking/feeling about it.  Kind of tempted to go back to the pixie.  And this is why I'm every hairstylist's dream client... I almost always want to do something different with my hair.  I'm not the "same as always" kind of client.

Just throwing it back to the best look I ever achieved with super short hair.  I miss being able to make my hair stand straight up on purpose.  Also, I don't know why I love this picture so much, it's grossly unflattering and I look like a dude, but whatev... it's hilarious to me, and that's that.

Anyway.  Gotta go to work now.  Glad we got to have this chat.

Monday, September 28, 2015

25 days in total

...And just like that, I'm re-employed again.  Well, as of tomorrow I will be.  It's funny the way that life tends to throw everything at you all at once, just to see how able you are to sort through things and make sense of the chaos.

Last week was a tempest of interviews.  5 in 3 days, to be exact, with 3 interviews all in the same day.  Of those 5 interviews, I landed offers for 4.  There were even offers to counter-offer against what other employers were offering.  I have never felt so in demand before, and I really was so lost in how to manage the decision of where I would work next.  It's a huge deal for me... work makes up a huge chunk of my identity, and I m at the point now where I really want to make smart decisions with my career, not just take whatever lands in front of me first that offers a reasonable wage.

This was my Wednesday, spent driving all over the greater-Sacramento area for job interviews.  Also, yes, that is a shit-ton of moving blankets in my car.  I put them there the week before to get them out of our apartment, and didn't get them moved over to our garage until yesterday.  #classy

Ammon and I knew on Thursday, after all of the interviews were over, that it was going to come down to 2 job offers:  One was essentially doing what I had been doing before, but on a bigger scale, and in a much bigger department.  The other offer is in an entirely different industry (construction/manufacturing), and was offering all new experiences and challenges starting on day one, simply because there is so much to learn.  So it really came down to doing what I've always done, or going out on a limb to do something entirely new.
This morning, I accepted an offer to try something new.  I start tomorrow.  That means I was unemployed for a whopping 25 days.  It's the longest that I have been unemployed since sometime during college, but I somehow managed to avoid being unemployed for a month or more.  I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty proud of that fact.  I had no idea how long it was going to take me to find a new job, but I had anticipated that it would take much longer.  I'm relieved that I can stop sending out resumes and going to job interviews.  I'm thrilled that I will be contributing to my household in a financial way again.
Next goal:  Start saving up so that we can buy a HOUSE.  I can't begin to explain to you how much this means to us - we had pretty much given up on the notion that we would be able to afford to buy something until after I was done with school.  We're now in a position where we can move toward that dream much sooner, and it's quite possibly the happiest news ever.

California, you are so, so good to us.  I hope we can be equally good to you.

Thursday, September 17, 2015


Unemployed.  It's a terrifying word to me, and yet, it is the exact correct phrase to describe me right now.  For the first time since... Junior year of college (I think???  It's a little hazy in that time of my life), I'm without employment, and I don't know what to think, or how to feel anymore.

So far, it's been 2 weeks.  The first week and a half were a piece of cake, because Ammon wasn't working either, and we were so darn busy.  Then he went to work on Monday, and suddenly, reality hit that I don't have anywhere to be every day.  The extent of my duties are entirely contained to housework pursuits and job hunting.  It's a huge deal if I shower before 3pm, or leave the apartment for any reason other than walking the dog these days.  I know I need to get out more, but why?  We're trying not to needlessly spend money, and I don't know anyone, so where would I go?  Ammon keeps encouraging me to go to the gym, but that sounds about as appealing as going and getting a pap smear.  Not because I don't want to work out, but because I just hate the gym THAT MUCH.  And it's so smoky here from the wildfires that running outside isn't advisable right now.

I really don't know how to start again out here.  I am really hoping that finding a job will help me put down some roots here, because I don't have kids to use as an excuse to get out of the house, or money to spend on doing lots of fun things.  Work has always been my "happy place".  I find good friends at work... heck, I found my husband at work!  I'm just my best person when I'm working... and so having to focus all of that energy and goodness elsewhere has been challenging.  I'm pretty sure Ammon has really appreciated all of the home-made meals lately, and the fact that he hasn't had to do dishes once since we moved in.  I just wish all of that was half as satisfying to me as going to work for 8 hours and contributing in that way to society is to me.  Not knocking the SAHM's or the SAHW's out there.  You all are incredible, and I admire you immensely, because it is no joke being so on your home all of the time.  When you're there 24/7, you notice every single drip, every splatter, every spot, and to keep up with it, and any other responsibilities you have is a huge deal.

And on that note, I need to get to the grocery store pronto, because the cable guy is coming this afternoon to figure out why our internet connection is showing as being poor on their side.  Guys, this is like... the most thrilling thing.  I'm even wearing clean clothes, and I've showered.  I might even eat lunch out instead of eating leftovers.  Grocery shopping is becoming an EVENT for me, not just an errand.

Have you had a long period of unemployment before?  How did it go?  How did you stave off any madness?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

We survived 22 hours in a car with a cat and a dog

Well, hello...
We made it to California, and after 5 days of "roughing it", we have the internet again!  That was a looooooong 5 days, especially yesterday and today, when I was home all day by myself while Ammon was at work.  Let me tell you, cooking and cleaning are really boring when you can't binge on TV shows, or take Pinterest breaks periodically.  I did, however, get a prodigious amount of cooking done, and a respectable amount of unpacking done, so I guess it might not have been the worst thing in the world.


Our time getting to California, and our first few days here haven't been too bad.  The cat was only moderately awful on the roadtrip, so that is a win?  He was yowling for the first hour and a half, so then I held him for a while, until he started clawing holes into my shoulder, and then he went back in his carrier again.  Aside for a few walks (on a leash!), and a 1am desperate attempt to get him to eat and use the bathroom (unsuccessful in both), he stayed in his carrier.
What a middle of the night break with a cat looks like.  Try to contain your jealousy.
Gunner sat next to Beckham in the back seat, and the two of them got along about as well as we expected they would.
Yup, with Beckham hissing, and Gunner trying to ignore him.  Lovely, yes?

Other than that, Ammon and I took turns driving.  Our total travel time was about 22 hours, substantially longer than the 16 hours drive time that Google Maps had originally forecast.  Oh well, we made it safe and sound, and on time for our Thursday morning move-in.  Oh, and surprisingly, the animals flipping love our new apartment.  We figured it would be touch and go, because it's on the second floor, and the cat doesn't like anything.  But miracle of miracles, they are both happy in this new space, which makes Ammon and I happy.  Clearly, we indulge our animals slightly more than an average person might consider healthy.

I'm off to watch NCIS.  I'll be back in another week or so ;).  What have you all been up to for the past week?  Anything exciting?  Any interesting stories of road tripping with animals to share?

Saturday, September 5, 2015

15 random tidbits

I realize fully that this old blog has been pretty heavy mixed with a dash of depressing lately, and I'm really sorry about that.  I guess my life is pretty heavy, and it's hard to keep that from seeping through into other things.

So instead of perpetuating that, I thought I would just share with you guys some random little tidbits today, because it's Saturday, and Saturdays should be for fun random facts, yes?

1)  I am addicted to the Strawberry Lemonade from Cafe Rio.
2)  I just joined Periscope, and I don't get it.  Not at all.
3)  I got my hair cut yesterday for the first time in 6 months. 
4)  I'm currently bingeing on NCIS, and just started the 4th season.  I forgot how good that show is.
5)  If I think something will be useful in the future, I will keep it, even if we "don't have room" for it.  Like the boxes that our Fiestaware and wine glasses originally came in... PS, they make moving so much less awful.

6)  I own a ridiculous amount of nail polish.  I should probably change the colors on my fingers and toes daily, given the amount I own.

7)  I'm a morning person.  Sleeping past 7:30am is nearly impossible for me.

8)  I dislike wearing pants, especially jeans.

9)  I force Ammon to drop everything and come look at the dog and/or cat most days, because I'm convinced they're doing the cutest thing I've ever seen.

I mean, those eyes...

10)  I find it almost impossible to sit correctly in a chair.

11)  I don't really like watching movies.

12)  Doing the dishes is one of my least favorite chores.  I'd rather scrub a toilet than wash dishes.

13)  I'm extremely uncoordinated... we went to a trampoline park last week, and I managed to get a huge friction burn across one hip while we were there.

14)  I kind of really want to be able to live an off-the-grid, self sufficient lifestyle someday, not be cause we're preppers, but because I think it's incredibly gratifying.

15)  I still have a credit card in my maiden name, and I got married over 2 years ago.  Oops...

Tell me something random about you!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

In the blank pages

Blank.  I keep opening up new posts in Blogger, and then closing them, all because of the pressure of that blank space.  It's a metaphor for my life right now, that empty white text box with the blinking cursor, just waiting to be filled up with this, that, and the other.  But I don't know what should go there.

My last day of work was yesterday.  It was so, so, so hard.  I've never worked at any one place that long before, nearly 5 years, and it's hard to believe that I stuck with one job that long.  Well... technically 2 companies, 3 job titles, and 8 different offices, but... you get the point, right?  It all ran together, and when your company gets bought by a different company, it shouldn't (and doesn't seem to) count as an entirely new job, despite what your resume might indicate.

My co-workers gave me the sweetest send-off imaginable.  There were cards, lunch dates, and even an ice-cream sundae bar.  It's very hard to leave a place when you have wonderful co-workers.  Those co-workers were so sweet, and are so excited for us.  They talk about all of the big things that I am going to do next.  They see all of the potential.

I see blankness.  An empty slate of a life that is about to be re-imagined yet again.  I look at this beautiful life Ammon and I have built together in Fort Collins, and I try to remember that at one time, this was a blank page with a blinking cursor bar too.  That if you don't have a little blankness now and again, things can do one of two things:  1) they can stagnate and become boring 2) they become so complicated and chaotic that it's painful to live that life everyday.  The blankness is just another opportunity to create a new and lovely picture.  To invite new and wonderful people into our lives, yet still bring some past characters into the new scene with us. 

And I look at this page, and after a few minutes of bravery, of putting myself out there, and the blankness has been replaced with life again.  Because life happens, it happens all of the time, whether we're sure about it or not.  But it's only when we choose to engage life can we actually build a life that begs to be truly LIVED.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Those big steps

This is my minute by minute mantra these days.  Big steps are hard, but sometimes, they are necessary.  My co-workers got me an awesome deck of inspirational quotes for my birthday last year, and as I was flipping through it a couple of weeks ago, I happened on this one, and it struck me in that profound way that quotes often do.  We are taking big steps these days.  We re-rented our house, we are moving to California, and we are starting new careers.  Ammon's is defined, and mine is TBD.  To some people, all of this may be no big deal.  But to us, this is massive change, especially since it came about when we least expected change to come into our lives.  But I'm going to step with it, and hope for the best, because we will never be able to get there if we don't try.  At least if we step, there is the chance that we will land safely on the other side.