Riding the Dragon


Me: I hate this kitchen!

Husband: Why whats wrong with it now?

Me: nothing it’s just a freaking mess! How did it get so messy we weren’t even here this weekend!

Husband: well it’s not even that bad. Its been way way worse, and it was like this when we left I don’t understand why it’s suddenly so bad.

He’s right. On our quest to become minimalist the kitchen has been cleaner than normal lately. I could do without him being right once in a while. But I take this as a sure sign that I’m changing as a person. The fact that some fruit, a bottle of wine, and the groceries that I just bought, on the counter is sending me over the edge. I’m turning into a cleaner person.

OR… The much more likely explaination is I have PMS. DUN DUN DUN *cue dark music and thunder clouds*

I have always had PMS ever since I was a teenager. If I have to explain what it is you are reading the wrong blog post! I’m not saying I get it every month. But once in a while there’s a month like this one that scares my husband, my mom, the dogs, and even myself just a little.

I can’t be alone in having little things send me over the edge. Little things like a dirty kitchen counter making me want to move. My husband not writing back fast enough results in a series of WTF texts and passive aggressive messages including but not limited to “its fine forget it I can go to the grocery store later. It’s not like I don’t have enough to do”.

I can’t be alone in thinking for 1 week that the world should revolve around me. That’s right the whole world! How dare people have other lives and not wait around for me to want to do something. Only to cancel on them at the last-minute because I want to be around people but don’t actually want to be around people. How can people not know that?!

I can’t be alone in being COMPLETELY irrational and out of control of my emotions. Its like seeing a red light and knowing, logically, that I need to slow down and stop yet I hit the gas anyway. I know its wrong, I know I’m not making any sense and that whatever I’m feeling/saying will be different in a week, but it doesn’t matter. I have no control of the irrational things I’m thinking/doing.

This is where getting rid of things can be a good thing. Its good timing when you’re irrational to throw away everything and get rid of anything that is in your way or doesn’t change you mood. Which is everything because there is no help for this mood!

People will tell you “exercise and get rid of caffeine”. Ummm what? Don’t drink coffee? I’m sorry we can’t be friends anymore. That’s the worst idea ever! When you are the most tired and need all the help you can get…. don’t take it.  Exercise really does work. I also know this to be a fact. However, when I’m in the middle of a mood swing and some one suggest exercise, they better start running themselves because I want to throat punch them.

Did I mention I have PMS right now?!

I also have to say that getting yourself to exercise during PMS should be worthy of an award. Or at least a gift card. People say gift cards are thoughtless but let me just tell you… give a Day-o or Sephora gift card to a woman with PMS and she will switch moods like a toddler who just got their way.

To the women who think you don’t get PMS…. Yes you do. I’m sorry but its true. Its okay don’t be sad. Even if you truly think you don’t get it. You just don’t realize it. Again, it’s not your fault. Chances are your PMS has taken over your thought process and the bitch is lying to you. You are forgiven. Or maybe you really don’t get it and I just think you do because I have PMS and think you get moody when really its me.

See this whole thing is just one giant tornado of irrational thoughts and snarky comments. This is my disclaimer to anyone dealing with me this week.

I’m sorry.

 

LITERALLY Sick of Summer


“I want to punch you” my sister-in-law Jen says to me one day while I’m whining about being  a parent.

“I know, I know, we have it really good I’m just saying this is way harder than I thought it was going to be”. I try to justify myself.

My sister-in-law is the best. I scored big time! I’m not just saying that incase she’s reading this either its the truth. Anyone who knows her can vouch for that. Anyone who knows me knows I wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t true.

She’s also totally justified in wanting to punch me for complaining. My husband and I live in our home town where we were born and raised.  When we first met I lived on “family hill”. My grandparents live right next to my parents, and I lived 3 houses down. My husband lived on “family court”. Lived in his parents down stairs close to his aunt and uncles houses but also one street over from my  aunt and grandpa. I swear our town is not as po-dunk as I’m making it sound.

Anyway when I went back to work after Rylan was born I was blessed with not having to find child care. Rylan was with my mom on Wednesdays, Thursdays my grandma and mother in law would share the day, Fridays she was with my dad. I’m shocked my sister-in-law still talks to me actually.

Jen lives in Chico and while she has family there (aunts and cousins) they all work full-time and don’t have the luxury of taking entire days off during the week to help her. So yeah, she’s allowed to hate me.

Friday of this week I got a sore throat. Like couldn’t talk, kind of sore throat. It quickly escalated to a runny nose and into body aches, hot and cold flashes, and an 80 yr old smokers cough.

I was pretty bummed it hurt so bad to talk because I was really looking forward to calling my best friends and singing Phoebe’s rendition of “Smelly Cat” in my sexy sick voice.

Not only did I have it but Rylan got it too. Which meant our weekend and the first Sunday football of the season was spent in bed being taken care of by my husband. Thanks to the TV in my room I got to watch my Raiders win. Thanks to DayQuil and Alieve I didn’t have to watch my Niners lose. I beat my other sister-in-law in fantasy so, you know, glass half full.

But come Monday Rylan and I were both sick and my husband had to go back to work. Never had I wanted to parent less in my life. I finally got a glimpse of what Jen deals with on a regular basis. Rylan couldn’t go to school because she was sick, my parents were both at work, Pats parents were both in Chico (well-played Jen haha), and I wanted to die. Not to mention no one wants to babysit a sick kid.

Of course my kid is sick but also has energy to run from her bed room to the living room, grabbing a bite of food, then back to her room to watch her show on her iPad. Yes she got it all day because I was dying. No mom shaming or Karma’s going to bitch slap you with my cold/flu.

Any way we survived on power aid, Dora the explore an over the counter medication. Oh and an offensive amount of essential oils. If you even walk by our house right now you might sneeze, feel, relaxed, and have your mood lifted all at the same time! Maybe give it some time though we were all just sick.

So ending the summer with the worst cold in history and sending Jen my sincerest apologies and promises to help more in the future. More trips to Chico, more taking her kids when I can, more nights out without the kids when she’s here. That last one just makes sense with so many babysitters in town we can have some much needed fun.

Side note: looking for cute sister-in-law quotes or pictures on Pinterest to add on here…. there aren’t any! They are all so mean! Once again bragging about how blessed I am. But thank you Jesus for two great sister-in-laws that don’t make me post horrible thing about them. So you got a picture of Rylan and her cousins instead.

 

 

Are You Ready For Some Football?!?!

ITS HERE ITS HERE ITS HERE!!!!!!  Football season is here ladies and gentlemen!!!!

If you aren’t a football fan its cool, we can still be friends. Here’s why. Football season is so much more than amazing chances to be competitive and feel truly apart of a group. Which is one of the things I love about. I love rooting for the same team, trash talking, getting dressed up, and cheering like we have any effect on the outcome whatsoever.

But more than that I like getting people together to watch the games. Unless it’s a really big game because all the men around me think I talk to much. But otherwise its fun to get groups together to watch the games and talk. Make good appetizers and have a few drinks.

Really any excuse to have a party or get people together is good with me. Part of the glory of having a tiny house is that we don’t have a lot of room to entertain. Our living room is good for football if all you want to do is sit and watch the game. So bright side we usually go to other peoples house for the games.

For a long time it was my brother-in-laws house. It was a blast. Then we had Rylan and while we could still go over there and tried a few times, it didn’t work out with an infant. She would cry when everyone would scream and yell. Which was a lot. As she got older I worried about the F bombs that would fly around game time.

I’m over that now. She knows not to talk like that and will soon understand that football means she gets to hang out with her friends and eat good food and have fun. Or relax at home if that’s what we are doing.

So yes we love football in our house and everything that comes with it.

But wait there’s more!

Football season is also the season of fall and winter! I’m talking orange and brown leaves, cooler weather, sweaters, RAIN, Halloween, and the best of all… Thanksgiving.

So extremely grateful for thanksgiving. It’s like Christmas without the pressure of gift giving! Not to toot my own horn but my family has the best thanksgiving set up in the history of combined families. Every year my grandma does it at her house the Sunday before Thanksgiving so we all get to spend the day with the other side of the family and she is guaranteed to have all the kids, grand kids and great grand kid there with her. Beep beep beep beep!

Any way all of this is what football season means to me.

Not to mention my new introduction to fantasy football! What?!?! Yup that’s what I said. I’m in a fantasy football league with some girlfriends. A little friendly competition and yet another incentive to watch the games is right up my alley. I couldn’t have said yes fast enough.

Speaking of being competitive… Yes I am. Not with everything but with a lot of things yes. Mostly with things outside my control like fantasy football. I’m nothing compared to my husband and his friends. They take competition and superstition to a whole new level!

No joke. One year I invited my friend who I hadn’t seen in years over to hang out with me while we watched a playoff game. The Niners lost and they will not allow her to come over any more. On top of that I’m not allowed to bring anyone new to the house during important games. NO joke! It’s literally talked about at least a few times a year. Football and Baseball!

So while Sundays are a day of rest and family… in our house that means family, football, and food. Trying to keep it healthy this year so swimsuit season next year doesn’t suck!

Let the games begin!

 

 

Literal Labor Day


Yesterday was my birthday!!! September 4th!

Which means my mom was LITERALLY in labor ON labor day! I’ve always thought that was hilarious.

I love my mom. She’s a crack up and anyone who’s ever met her knows she has the biggest heart in the world. She means well in everything she does and truly cares about people.

In fact we always joke that she adopts homeless people. Not literally. Although we own a gas station and its goes in phases of being bum central. One lived in his trailer behind the store the entire time I was in high school. One lived in the bathroom for at least a month before my mom asked him to leave.

My favorite used to come and just hang out to talk to her. He was nuts. Exactly what you picture when you think of a homeless man. Finger-less gloves, talks to himself, has a dog. The only thing missing was the stick with the bag hanging from the end. I’m pretty sure I remember actual cartoon smelly squiggles coming off him.

Tangent number 1 complete.

My mom is sweet that was the point of that. She also used to joke that for my birthday she should get a present because it was, after all, her labor day.

I used to make fun of her for this. “Okay mom. It’s your world we just live in it” as I rolled my eyes. Or I’d sigh and say “it really is all about you isn’t it”. What a bratty teenager I was.

Now after being in labor for 36 hours myself I fully understand what she meant. Labor sucks no matter if it was a C-section or you pushed that giant thing out yourself. So funny to me that we always ooh and ahh over how tiny babies are. When your the mom who just pushed it out that thing is massive!

So it took 30 years but I finally understand what my mom meant. So when its your birthday. Don’t forget about what that day means to your mother. Because while we are all thankful for that day you were born… it was a rough one for your mom.

I used to think my birthday was amazing because it was labor day weekend and all the parties and fireworks were all for me. Wow sometimes I open my mouth or write something down and my mother comes out. This is the apple barely even falling from the tree!

So yes the parties were for me and there was always something to do.

Now at 32 there is nothing to do!

I’m sure there are still parties and lakes to go on but at this point in my life with a toddler I don’t wanna be around people.

I wanna go to the lake. Labor day weekend? Way too crowded. 

I wanna go out to eat. Forget it everywhere is packed.

I wanna go out-of-town and do something. So we can drive in traffic and take 3 hours to get anywhere decent where again there will be too many people? Nope.

My birthday this year was fantastic! I got to relax at home with my family and see my friends at different times throughout the weekend and even got to make some headway on the week. Yes, planning and cleaning made me happy on my birthday. I know I”m not alone in this.

Times have changed and I’m not the person I was at 21. Or even 30. I was so freaking fun back then!!! I’m still working on myself because we should never stop doing that. But this birthday has given me a great chance to stop and look and check in with my life. I love it!

I could list all the things going right in life but I won’t because… well barf. Who really cares. The point is I’m so grateful for everything I have and most importantly the people I have in my life. I’m surrounded by amazing people. A few weird ones in there but who doesn’t have a few crazy friends? Keeps me on my toes! Or maybe I’m the crazy friend?

Either way crazy or not I hope everyone had a great Labor Day and enjoys their birthday as much as I did. Don’t worry my birthday isn’t really over… I get the whole month of September. It’s just getting started.

Resistance to Mom Friends

I love my friends. I’ve talked before about my friendship landscape and how it’s ever changing with the peaks and seasons of life but one thing that stays consistent is my love for my friends. That being said it’s a hard transition when you start growing up and changing and people start popping out babies. I’ll be honest my friend and I were concerned when the responsible one got pregnant. Who was going to take care of us? Make sure we got home okay? Didn’t go home with strangers? Yes sometimes we needed to be reminded of that! Who was going to be our voice of reason and slap us when we were being ridiculous? Who was going to drive us to get new clothes? Who was going to drive us everywhere? We needed some serious taking care of and she was the best at it. We were incredibly happy for her but selfishly concerned.

She’s super-mom/wife/friend so of course she managed all of her capes just fine. WAY better than I did when I had Rylan.

I was worried when I got pregnant about my changing friendships. I had friends like Super mom who made it look so easy so I knew it was possible but then you have other people (mostly strangers or distant acquaintances) who would make comments like “oh yay join the mom club”, “How great you get to be in the mom groups”, “get as much time with your friends cause then you have to make new mom friends”.  It’s not that I’m antisocial but I’ll be honest I dislike anything that makes me feel limited to one group. I instantly get and attitude of “nope I’m not going”. It’s the same attitude that keeps me away from any of the multilevel marketing groups. I don’t like feeling associated to only one thing. I feel claustrophobic. I feel tied down. I feel like I’m a cow being herded into a trap.

All my friends were super supportive when I got pregnant. It was a shock to everyone because I had always said I didn’t want kids. Sorry Rylan mommy loves you! When she actually came into the world I started to get a sense of the mom group thing. It’s not like the cow herd feeling, its more like a support system of people who have been there. I call super mom all the freaking time. I also had a few other mom friends I’d call, my sister-in-law included. We call her Dr. Jen because that’s how we treated her. Like our own personal on call doctor.

Our other friend is a doctor and I swear the only conversations Pat has with her is when Rylan’s sick. Even now at almost 3. We should really take her out to dinner to say thank you!

Rylan was about 6 months old and I took her to the pool with a group of friends who had kids too. Some around the same age but most were older. We sat them up to take a picture and I was way more confident in Rylans ability to sit up than I should have been because right before we took the picture she tipped over. Smacked her head right on the concrete.

Panic is an understatement. She cried, I cried harder. She was fine after a few minutes and it was the mom friends more than the doctor who made me feel safe that day. I wanted to rush to the emergency room. These girls did the best job of making me feel justified if I took her in but also reassured me that I didn’t have to and she would be fine. They also all shared similar stories to make me feel like I wasn’t alone.

Funny how much it makes you feel better to hear that your friends screwed up too. I know its cause we feel like we aren’t alone but still makes me laugh.

Friend: My kid fell off the couch at that age.

Me: Oh thank goodness.

Not an easy thing to do… making a new panicked mom feel like whatever decision she makes is the right one.  But they did. That’s the power of mom friends.

We didn’t go to the ER. But I did pull over about 12 times on the way home to make sure she was awake and alive. Then woke her up a million times throughout the night. Yes she slept with me that night. Judge away I don’t even care!

Mom friends are there to share stories with. and make you feel better about parenting.  It’s helpful to hear that your fear is also something other people worry about. It feels good to be validated that a mom friend would do the same thing.

Sometimes you just need someone to say its okay to hate your dogs while you kids are young. You need that one friend who can high five you when you call your kid an ass under your breath. The friend who calls from the closet because they are hiding from their kids and its perfect timing because you are head to the grocery store just for some quiet time. Those are the mom friends that count.

I read the book  Women Are Scary  It’s about making new mom friends and its hilarious. I recommend it to all new moms for sure. Sometimes you need something like that because lets face it, women are scary!

So while I was hesitant and leery of it, I’m happy that I have my mom friends. I’m also happy that I haven’t lost my other friends. It’s the beauty of the friendship landscape and its ever-changing ways. I’m also happy and grateful for all my mom friends and their many different parenting ways. One of my favorite things about the mom friends is the lack of judgment. Everyone is all just supporting each other and its fun to watch the different ways people do things. It makes us all better parents and better people

 

 

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.

 

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.