Book club!!!

Okay I’m doing it! Well kind of. I’ve always wanted to have an amazing book club until I realize I have to get people to read the same books and then get together at a time when we’ve all read this same book and can actually meet up. A lot of work and super hard to do. Although it’s a great excuse to get my best friends together we normally start with “okay did you like the book?” “yeah it was pretty good” ” I thought so too. Wanna go to Pinecrest Tuesday?” End of book club.

Having this outlet and pre-podcast I figure I can do a form of book club right here!!!!

So I’m giving out 2 book suggestions that I’m reading right now. Yes I’m reading two books at once. Not because I’m an over achiever but because I have one paperback book I can’t put down, and one on my kindle so I can read at night while the tiny one falls asleep at the same time as my arm.

So Book choice 1: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah Click here to order

This book was given to me by Pats Aunt and I’m so happy she did. I haven’t been able to put it down.

Book Choice 2: The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict Click here to order

This one is the book club book for my favorite podcast. So I’m kind of hijacking their book club. But not really because you should listen to them they are funny and sweet and I feel like we’d be friend if I lived in Phoenix. I give them the Brittany Stamp Of Approval. (high-five How I Met Your Mother Fans!!!!)

So They will be airing their podcast book club for The Other Einstein August 16th available on iTunes.  I’m super excited about this book and can’t wait to listen to that episode! Also if anyone’s interested in meeting up for book club about this one or The Nightingale let me know!

 

The Angry Receptionist

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I used to be a people person. People have ruined that for me.

In all honestly  I do consider myself a very kind person, or at least I try to be. That being said, I have worked with people for the last 10 years. Yup. 10 years of being a human punching bag. The dumping ground for other people’s blame. The scapegoat to their lack of planning. On the receiving end of venting sessions that have nothing to do with me. The highly underpaid therapist. The shoulder to cry on. I swear I’m not bitter.

I work in the medical field and completely understand that anything to do with doctors and illness is scary. I’m not unsympathetic to that fact. However, it does not give someone the excuse to be a total dick. ESPECIALLY when you are needing something from the receptionist. Listen very carefully….. you will get much further if you are nice. What’s the saying? You get more bee’s with honey than vinegar? Its true.

Another little tip for you. Your lack of planning does not make it an emergency. Let that sink in for a second. Yes, it sucks you forgot and you need it tomorrow but your apt isn’t till the end of the year. Guess what? There’s nothing I can do. I can not reschedule other people who have been waiting 6 months because you forgot. Flip that around and imagine you’ve been waiting 6 months and I had to reschedule you out another few months. Imagine its due to someone not keeping track of things and it could have been prevented had they thought ahead. You’d be mad right? So please don’t get mad at the receptionist for not being a magician.

Another thing the receptionist can’t do… make a doctor magically appear to work on a day that isn’t their day. They are people too (shocking I know). They get vacation time and sick time just like the rest of us. You think you’re mad they had to reschedule because their sick? Imagine the receptionist who had to call 27 people just as mad and rude as you were. We don’t like it. It’s not fun to have to reschedule sick people. Especially when we have nowhere to put them.

Guess what else is NOT in our control? How many patients we can fit in the schedule. We only have so many spots open for people because the doctors can only see so many people in a day. They can’t be in two places at once. While you may view it as a “quick check”, on our end to make sure everything is done right, we have to do everything for a normal check. Which means it’s not quick. Again you would be mad if your apt was late due to someone getting added in last-minute when you’ve been waiting for your apt.

Something we’ve learned working as a receptionist: Common sense is not very common. Its true common sense goes out the window when you are scared. But here are things that are never-changing and should be remembered. If it’s an emergency there is a room for that. Your doctor’s office is not equipped for emergencies. Yes yes yes I know you’ve had a bad experience at the hospital and would rather die than go back there. Well that is your other option. If it comes down to it and its a real emergency you’d go to the emergency room. If it’s not a real emergency it can wait until we have an apt to see the doctor. Lucky for some there are areas where they have “urgent” cares. Not quite an emergency but needs to be treated that day. Go there. They can help you. They are also medical professionals!

We know you are scared. We know you have questions, that you want answers to whatever is ailing you. We hear it every day and you know what else we hear every day? The answers to the same questions over and over again. Kind of like in school when you are learning something so you go over the same information over and over again. So forgive me for being a little annoyed when the conversation goes like this:

Patient: is there a nurse or doctor I can talk to?

Receptionist: They are currently with a patient at the moment is there something I can help you with?

P: you probably wouldn’t know you’re just the receptionist. Can you take a message?

R: of course. While we are on the phone why don’t we make a follow up? Yes I can get you scheduled for 2020.

Never ever have this conversation with us. Its truly offensive. Unless you are a doctor or Nobel Peace prize winner you are also just something. After this conversation you are just a pain the ass. Yes we are a receptionist but that is an extremely hard and trying job. We are exhausted at the end of a the day and while we are here with the patients best interest at heart its super hard to want the best for an ass hole.

The link below was the inspiration for getting things off my chest. He’s way more brutally honest than I could be for fear of losing my job.

My Idol The Angry Pharmacist

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Pluviophile in the world

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A Pluviophile is someone who loves the rain and finds peace and joy in the rainy days. This is me through and through. I love the word, I love the meaning, and I love my rainy overcast days.

Some days are hard with a toddler. We are teaching her how to be an adult. How to deal with frustration, how to soothe herself, how to recognize when she’s wrong and say sorry, and while she’s learning and so excited during the day to do things on her own there comes a point in the evening when she becomes my velcro baby. All she wants is her mama. Its hard when there are things around the house I need to get done and I find myself frustrated and growling (wow wonder where she got it).

She’s always been a good sleeper. The last two years she’s fallen asleep in bed with us and we easily transfer her to her crib. She loves to snuggle and get “comfy cozy” as she calls it. She’s just like me in that she needs something on her. She wants ALL the blankets on her even when its 110 outside. So we use the sheets and her thin baby blankets that she wasn’t into for a while but are making a huge comeback. Once she’s asleep we put her in her bed. Easy peasy.

The last week all she wants is me falling asleep in her toddler bed with her. Cramped because it’s still the length of her crib I shove myself in to snuggle her. I’m not going to lie the first two nights it was pretty comfy and special to hold her like that then escape to my own bed. It was like she was my tiny baby again.

Tonight it was hot and cramped. Have you ever waited for a toddler to fall asleep? It’s physically painful. It’s staying really still and keeping one eye closed. Its repeating “its night night time, close your eyes and relax”. Its getting poked in the eye because she’s making sure you are going to sleep too. Its feeling her start to drift off and moving at a glacial pace to get your arm out from underneath her without waking her up. Its hitting the floor like a bomb went off and crawling out of the room like a ninja when you hear her move before you’ve made your escape. Then that satisfying feeling of silence in the house.

Isn’t that the literal part of being a pluviophile though. Learning to find joy in the rainy days of life. Learning that tonight was rough and there were tears and raised voices and what that really means is we have a family who’s growing and learning together. Everyone enjoys and “likes” pictures of the sunny times that are easily captured by the camera and looks good to post. I do it too. I get a good picture and post it despite the fact that there were tears and flying shoes not even 30 minute before the smiles and posing. We do this because that’s what we want to remember. No ones wants to look back and remember the tears, yelling, pouting, and flying shoes. We want to remember that even though everything went horribly wrong and we all fought that we pulled together and were able to smile through it. Sometimes those are the best memories when things fall apart and come back together.

I’m thankful for my little family, in our little house, in our tiny town that’s hotter than hades right now. I’m thankful she still wants to cuddle with me for now because I know the days are numbered. If it was truly raining I’d be happier but I’m thankful our town cools off at night and I’m able to get cozy under a sheet and still snuggle with my husband.

Not every day is going to be my ideal rainy day. Some days we are going to melt and get sunburned. That’s why there is soothing lotion and essential oils to help us recover and get back to the lake.

To Prep or Minimalize?

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That is the question!

I’m not a prepper myself but my coworker Terri is. Its no shock that this debate comes up a lot. I’m trying to be a minimalist, she’s a prepper…. we have lots to talk about.  I’m ultra fascinated by prepping. I have a lot of weird things I get fixated on so just add this to the list. I love the idea of being prepared and after talking to her I am happy that we live close enough to each other that I can crash her house if crap really hits the fan (she hasn’t invited me but I can assure you that’s where we are going).

This is not a new theory. People have been starting to prepare for the worst for sometime now. I’m pretty sure there was a reality show of people who built bunkers for preppers. If not I watch too much reality TV and have imagined it.  You could spend an whole workday on Pinterest getting prepper ideas and tips (not that I have… not the whole day anyway).  Watching the news and thinking about the state of the world makes me want to build my own bunker and start prepping for the worst.  When I think of “the worst” I don’t really think hiding… I think Hunger Games. I should really start running more. At least be able to run to Terri’s house.

So while I’m on my minimalist kick Terri and I have had conversations all around getting rid of things and having a nice clean look and living simply. Terri is much cleaner naturally so I’m sure her house looks great all the time. It’s taking some serious work on my part. But that lead us to the question: Can you prep and stay a minimalist?

Sounds like something on Shark Tank.

How do you do it? How do you live with just your essentials and still stay prepared for a disaster? I guess it depends on what you are prepping for.

Currently Terri is prepping with at home survival in mind. So she’s preparing for power outages and injury care, and being able to stay home and be self sufficient. In a case where everyone is fleeing she’ll be fine staying home for long periods of time. With me, uninvited, showing up on her doorstep. I may have to get some weapons or start stashing cash on my own so we have something to contribute so she’ll let us in. An incentive to help keep us alive.

She’s educated me on some prepping things I would have never thought of. For instance she keeps cases of water in the basement (water bottles) that she rotates through so they don’t go bad down there, but that she’s always fully stocked. Forget Shark Tank lets just fund Terri to figure this out for us! The list of things she has stocked includes gallons of water, cases of the water bottles, canned foods, frozen meats (would only be a problem in the summer, winter we get snow), paper towels and toilet paper, bathroom essentials and a box of paper goods so there’s not need to do dishes. Again add me to your head count Terri! She’s also fully prepared with big rubber maid containers full of first aid supplies band aids, suture kits and a whole other list of things I would not know what to do with. May need more than money for her to let me in.

So she’s got a lot of stuff to store and manage which leads us back to the original question; how do you have a minimalist lifestyle and prep at the same time?

Here’s my thoughts.

If you have a basement or garage or a legit bunker, first let us know where you are so we can head that way during the crap storm. Second, you are pretty much set. You have your basics in your living space and your disaster kits in your storage areas. Then you can make your house nice and minimalistic with only the essentials of everyday non apocalyptic living.  I’ll have to check with Terri but I’d think you would want to plan ahead with that too and make sure you have space if you need to stay in those spots or make sure you can easily get your stash to your living space without dying.

If you don’t have the space there are “minimalist” prepping ideas you can make. You can do “mini prep kits” and keep the essentials you’d need in a large trash can or one of the big totes that store ridiculous Christmas decorations (that’s what we have them for, not sure what the real purpose is). Keep all you can in those so you have a mini prep kit you can keep it behind the garage or find somewhere it fits without being distracting. Also keep in mind the smaller the kit the smaller your survival time and its good to have a plan on what do to when that kit starts to run low. Don’t find Terri though I’ve already called dibs on that prepper.

Keep in mind we are mountain people and have no clue what this would look like for people in the city or in apartments. Also we are not experts or anything and are COMPLETELY unqualified to be considered a “source” of any kind. This is for fun for us because we’ve been talking about it lately. If you die in the zombie apocalypse its not our fault. We wish you luck and may the odds be ever in you favor.

 

Raining Cheerios

When is the best time to travel long disftance with a toddler? Answer: NEVER

Okay that’s a bit dramatic but seriously after 3 1/2 hours in a car with a 2-year-old thats my current suggestion.

Rylan has always been a good traveler. She would fall asleep in the car and be good till we got wherever we were going. Before she was 6 months old she had been to Santa Cruz twice, San Jose, Tahoe, Bucks Lake, and I feel like there was more but I’m recovering from traveling right now and can’t think. She is still a fairly good car kid. Around town she falls asleep when its nap time and transfers so great! My kid is amazing overall but that’s probably my favorite thing about her. If she falls asleep in the car 9 times out of 10 we can pick her up and get her in bed with out a fit or her waking up. Its like magic. (knock on wood…. seriously, please).

We normally travel with someone. Pat is always with us or my mom likes to plan stuff for us to do together. She’s WAY better at making sure we get to do fun stuff than I am. Especially in this heat. I have 0 motivation to do anything other than complain. Anyway this trip I decided to go alone. Pats family has a cabin at Bucks Lake. Right on the water and drop dead gorgeous view and adorable true cabin feel. They all go every year in July and my poor hubs can’t go in the summer because of golf course grass or something. I swear I’m a decent wife!

This year they planned the trip and I looked at mine and Rylans schedule and yes we could make it happen for a little bit. Not realizing that the road was closed to get there and we would have to drive an extra hour and half on top of the already 4 hour drive. Awesome. So to make the trip less cringe worthy my mother in law and I drove 3 hours to stay at her brother’s house before waking up to travel the last 2 hours.

We left on a Thursday night because we wanted to get there, sleep, wake up and finish the trek to the glorious Bucks Lake. If you’ve never been there I’m not exaggerating how amazing this place is. Add it to the bucket list STAT. So we load up in the car and Rylan is super excited to see her cousins and has no clue the amount of time her tiny bum will be strapped to that seat.

The first hour and half we listened to Toddler Tunes. She did great. Sang her songs, ate her fruit snacks, and was doing fine. My head was starting to hurt from wheels on the bus on repeat but overall was feeling pretty proud of myself.

Then things started to change.  *dun dun dun* She threw her water, which I can not reach while driving. She wanted the iPad, which we do not give her in the car because she’s never wanted it and didn’t know it was a thing until recently. No iPad meant she had to do something and asked for Cheerios. High fiving the crap out of my future self I had packed snacks and had them in the front seat ready to hand her pre-meltdown. Sounds like a good idea right? WRONG!

Still mad over not getting the toys of her choice and me not pulling over every 5 seconds to pick up all the things she threw, she took the open bag of Cheerios and dumped it all over her lap.

“Seriously Rylan?!?! You know better!” I swatted towards the back seat while trying not to swerve on the freeway.

Then it happened…. it started raining Cheerios in my Yukon! Yup you read that right. from all angles cheerios were flying! Down the back of my shirt, bouncing off the windows, even flying towards the windshield only to land down in the air vents.

Determined to make it to Oroville without stopping, I just stopped yelling. I stopped swatting at her while driving down the freeway cause, well… I choose life. I waited it out and was thankful that I hadn’t stocked the reachable ice chest with anything alcoholic. (I would never really drink and drive especially with my child in the car so hold the AA emails) But after experiencing a car cheerio rain storm I’ll also be withholding my judgement on drunk moms.

We made it to Bucks Lake. Right when we got there I could breathe easier. I opened the car door, took a look at that gorgeous cabin and lake, and took a deep breath. Then I put a beer in the freezer. That’s one thing I can appreciate about summer, when its miserable out (anything over 75 degrees) there’s always a gorgeous lake just sitting there waiting for you to come and join the higher elevation, and take a deep breath.

Of course Pinecrest is also beautiful and only a 45 min drive.

I’ve listened to podcast and read blogs on traveling with kids and tips to make it go faster and this trip has led me to give you advice of my own. Mother to mother. Are you ready, cause it’s really good advice? You should write it down. Here it is: Let dad drive and put on a sleep mask and noise cancelling headphones with a good audio book!

 

“Minimalist”

IMG_1155It’s a normal Tuesday afternoon, Pat and I are starting on dinner while Rylan is playing with her toys in 3 minute intervals before coming and wanting to help cook or help wash dishes. At 2 and a half there are a lot of things she can do. There are also a lot of things that I just want to get done because, honestly, who has 3 hours to do the dishes to then have to re-do them and clean up the water that’s flooded the kitchen while she was “helping”. Some days I do. This Tuesday was not that day.

So while Pat and I take turns distracting her from each other so we can get stuff done, I’m also trying to clean out and reorganize the whole kitchen. Not because this sounded like a good idea but because for the last 3 months I’ve got this wild hair up my bum that we are going to become….wait for it…. minimalist!!!!” (me with a giant smile and jazz hands, *cue husband eye roll*)

So I’m doing dishes, working on dinner, rearranging cabinets, throwing things away and trying to entertain a toddler. Looking back I can’t believe my meltdown didn’t end in a hospital visit with some bad ass drugs. Okay… .Deep breaths… just keep going down the list. Start clearing off the table. There’s no room for anything until we get the new smaller table with hidden storage.  I had successfully cleaned out one area and dinner was in the works when the sink started to back up. Meaning I couldn’t do dishes.

I slam my hand against the faucet turning it off, dry my hands way harder than necessary and slam the paper towel in the trash can. Super reasonable reaction. I then start slamming drawers and literally throwing things in the trash not even caring that I was still using that spatula. Minimalist now we only need one anyway. Pat comes in from being outside on the BBQ and just stops in the doorway. He gives me that look like knows whats coming and even though we’ve only been married for 4 years he really does know me that well to know it’s not safe in our kitchen.

“I hate this kitchen. I hate our tiny house. I hate that we aren’t trust fund babies who only work for fun.” I’m still slamming things and throwing things away but he doesn’t comment on that. He simply takes Rylan back with him to the BBQ so I can meltdown in private. Which of course makes me feel like a total psycho! Awesome. Just once when I’m being completely irrational I’d like him to come in and start screaming with me and get in on the meltdown. Couples who lose their shit together, stay together. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that on a hallmark card. Then again I’ve always thought I should do the writing for them…. sorry I’m back.

So I’m in the middle of melting down while my husband is being all reasonable and supportive (ugh), when it hits me…. I don’t have to do this right now. I really don’t. I can only do so much and quite frankly I’m killing it when I am rational enough to actually think about it. I work 3 days a week as a human verbal punching bag (I mean receptionist), I teach Les Mills classes on the days I’m not at the hospital, I’m starting a blog and trying to start a podcast, I have a toddler, and trying to reorganize our whole lives. Not to mention trying to work out our budget and follow the Dave Ramsey plan. Nope I don’t have to do this right now.

My very wise sister-in-law once told me that I should put a timer on for 15 min each day and work on a certain area for that 15 minutes and only 15 minutes. So that’s what I’ve been doing and in the last week I’ve made some progress. I’ve gotten my closet organized to the point where I can close the closet doors (don’t judge me, I’m making changes), the foot of our bed is no longer a disaster, and the bar in our house if finally cleared off. Although that’s a daily task that takes a lot of effort on all of us.

Luckily for me Rylan has Aunty Jen’s genes and likes to be clean. For a toddler she can be super helpful when it comes to keeping her toys in her room and wanting to take baby wipes to clean the baseboard. Yup my kid cleans the baseboards and I still have a cluttered house! I’m actually judging myself so don’t worry about it. She’s good at her tasks it’s when she wants to help with mine that I lose patience and become snippy mom.

I’ve subscribed to a few different podcasts to help with the daily motivation of staying clutter free. The truth is when I can walk in my bedroom at the end of the day and see my nice pretty bed made and walk around to each side without having to dodge a Barbie, dog toy, or even a pair of my shoes, I can breathe easier. When I walk into the kitchen to start dinner and the counters are clean and there’s no dishes in the sink its like a weight lifted off my shoulders. Even better when I open the cabinets to find whatever ingredients or cooking utensils I need and its right there, easily accessible! It’s not quite better than sex but its towards that end of the spectrum.

Its becoming clear to me that this is not something that’s one and done. My new “minimalist lifestyle” is an ongoing, constantly changing beast of its own. I was never the best at keeping my room clean but now as adult I am learning that I can breathe easier and am more productive when things are clean and organized. One of my favorite podcast does audio classes on Minimalism for Real People and High Five To Your Future Self. Seriously the best thing for me. Its sparked that fire and has truly been so helpful. When I think of giving my future self a high-five it makes me want to prep my coffee, lay out clothes, do all my dishes the night before and get everything prepped for the next day, week or even the next few hours.

So hopefully between a super helpful husband and child, podcast motivation, and the general drive to give my future self a high-five, I’ll be on track to having a nice clean grown up house. Until then the journey is super fun and while I hope there’s no more tears in the kitchen I’m sure there will be. That’s what makes its great.  I’ve listed some links to podcasts that I really like and that have helped me. But if you come over and my kitchen is a mess is my fault not theirs 🙂

Picture is our house the first christmas we moved in. We are in fact “tiny living”. We do have half an acre and since then my husband has gone full blown Clark Griswold.

Girl Next Door Podcast Link

The Home Hour Kitchen Episode

Friendship Landscapes

Mom: “who’s your best friend?”

12 yr old me: “I have a few but I don’t think I have a best friend”

At 31…32..no I was right 31 years old I look back at my pre-teen self and am proud. At such a young age I already knew the value of having many friends and the different strengths that came from all the different types of friendships you can benefit from. I thank my mom for that. She always had such a great group of friends around her and really was a great friend herself. She would do anything for anyone and always felt everyone should be included.

I didn’t learn that part until I was at least in high school. We had a close group of friends in elementary school but there was always that one girl who you thought was your friend but didn’t realize until later she was just a mega mean girl. I could do a whole post on that but don’t worry won’t. I recently listened to a podcast I think it was Coffee and Crumbs… I’ll post the link if I can find it, where they talk about friendship landscapes and how certain times in your life that landscape looks different and it’s always changing.

There will be times when you are closer with certain friends more than others or just because life happens you may not talk all the time. Sometimes you are both going through the same thing in life and its easy. Or sometimes one of you is having a baby throwing up with morning sickness while the other is throwing up hung over from an awesome party the night before. Probably not at the peak of the friendship landscape. Doesn’t mean it won’t come back around to being besties taking selfies and crying over a good cup of coffee in the future.

But it doesn’t always work like that. Sometimes friendships really do break apart at the seams. It could be fast like when my dog gets a new stuffed animal and goes savage trying to get to the squeaker, flinging stuffing around and leaving my living room looking like a stuffed animal crimes scene. Those seams my be harder to repair but I will never say anything is impossible.

I could happen incredibly slow to the point where you don’t even really notice until one day you go to call or text but can’t quite figure out why there’s pit in your stomach and a burning behind your eyes. Those are the worst. Because there’s no falling out and nothing to be angry about it’s just… weird. Uncomfortable. It would be better if she did something to cause this feeling. Stole from you, slept with your boyfriend (personal preference but husband is unforgivable to me), or betrayed your trust. That way at least there’s an incident to fall back on  when you start missing them. “that’s right she was such a bitch” could be super helpful in moving on.

But the slow pull apart is painful. It could be for a million different reasons and I don’t have that kind of time or creativity to think of them all but no matter what happens it’s always hard.

Here is a passage that may be something to think about courtesy of JoLynne Whitaker:

“As you grow, your circle will change. This too is part of growth,. Not everyone can go with you. Not everyone should….

Elevation requires separation. Awaiting you at the next level will be new allies, new connects, new friendships, new opportunities to be apart and connect with. Yet, I exhort you to embrace the peace, benefit  and power of a season alone with your Savior.

But one must detach from the ones who cannot see, respect or accept your vision. One must detach from the ones who choose not to grow. This is part and parcel of your walk with Christ; this too is development. Elevation requires separation. Selah 2 Corinthians 6:17”

Yes I got a little Gody. Take what you will from it leave what you don’t. whether you believe or not you can take something about friendship and growing from that passage and I encourage you too.

Yes I’ve personally lost friendships. Not a lot because once I love you I always love you and will always be friendly and nice when I see your hear about you. But I also appreciate the feeling of freedom and growth that comes with letting go. Yes its hard. If it didn’t hurt there’s a lack of caring there for that person, in which case it’s probably a good thing the friendship isn’t on the landscape. But if you cared of course its going to hurt. and that’s okay. That’s good.

Yup leaving you with a super grown up mature quote from….. Whinny The Pooh!

“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard”. well said Pooh.