Lazy Daisy

I remember being told I was lazy a lot when I was younger.  I’ve struggled with motivation and keeping my passion high on any one thing for a long period of time.  It’s not that I get bored of what I’m doing; it’s more that I enjoy so many things that it’s hard to be passionate about only a few.

I read something the other day about my astrological sign, cancer, that makes a lot of sense:  “Cancer spends about half of their life enjoying the social or more interactive scene and the other half in a reclusive, “I-want-to-be-left-alone” state.  For them, it is very pivotal to have a balance between these two spectrums.” ~Thezodiaccity.com  I’m not deep into astrology but sometimes it makes sense and helps me explain myself in ways I can’t on my own.

I remember hurting my dad’s feelings a lot as a kid.  I would get to to their house where I was the only child and feel a sense of release and relief.  There isn’t much calm and quiet in a house with three other kids so I remember feeling like my dad’s house was a sanctuary and a place where my reclusive half could recharge.  I would only want to hang out in my room and relax.  It had nothing to do with not wanting to hang out with my dad or stepmom…I just needed to recharge.  As an adult I reflect on those times and feel deeply sad that I hurt them and gave them the wrong impression.  I also wonder if this contributed to the impression of me being such a lazy kid.

Let’s be honest, kids are lazy.  They need to be taught how to be a productive individual and do their part.  I am sure guilty of that.  What I’m unsure of as an adult is how much of my need to recharge is being lazy and how much is healthy?

This is a picture of my dining room table yesterday.  I have two computers open and stacks of papers everywhere.  I completed 17 things on my to-do list yesterday.  Some big and some small.  Many of the day’s activities were not on my to-do list.  And yet, with a full and productive day I still felt lazy.
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It is important for us to give ourselves time to recharge and permission to not be running ourselves mad.  It is important for me to realize that there is only so much that can get accomplished in a 24-hour period.  There is a point where busywork will lead to inefficiency.  I have always struggled with this balance.  Somewhere in the back of my mind there is a constant voice telling me I’m lazy if I’m not pushing myself to the max every single day.  When I listen to that little sucker I end up frustrating myself for my own unrealistic exceptions.

Don’t be like me….give yourself a break.  Give yourself a reasonable amount of stuff to do in a day.  Don’t stress about not getting the ironing done or the laundry fully put away.  Pace yourself and don’t forget to pencil in some time to enjoy your day.  Trust me.

xoxo,

Christi

Daily Tidbits

  • I’m hungry for my Arbonne breakfast shake.  Tummy time!
  • Violet is slowly waking up.  She is so funny to listen to as she moans and mumbles and grumbled about getting up.
  • We are working on some projects around the house.  It feels good to finally be turning our attention to putting our own stamp on this place.  🙂
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Taking the Scenic Route

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Over the past few years as I’ve been getting to know my husband I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned about myself and how I want to be. I was thinking about all of the things he’s taught me while we headed out and about the other evening.

You see, I am a control freak who loves to pack as much into one trip as humanly possible. I am the person you’ll find with arms full of crap hauling more than I should to make less trips. I love to find the most efficient way of doing things and in the quickest amount of time. Some call it a sickness, I call it a gift.

This particular evening his idea was to sweeten our time together with a trip to our amazing local ice cream shop. True to form, I threw in an added step of taking our dogs to the newly opened dog park. As he often does with my scheming, he agreed with effortless calm. And, off we went.

While we were driving away from the ice cream shop (he had an Oreo or cookie dough shake – I can’t remember which and I had huckleberry ice cream) I started wondering, as I often do, why he wasn’t taking the most direct and quickest route to the new dog park. It wasn’t just indirect; we were headed in the complete opposite direction of where we needed to go.

He must be developing a spidey sense of what I’m thinking because he’s getting better and better at anticipating my comments, questions or remarks. Within an instant of me swallowing my bite of ice cream in preparation to ask “Where are we going?” he turned to me and said “I’m taking the scenic route.” It impressed me that he headed me off on the topic at my thought process and knew exactly what I wanted to hear. I mean, who does that?

I spent the next several minutes becoming annoyed with the inefficiency of our route and the amount of time we would waste taking it. Then, it hit me. Who freaking cares? Why was I in such a hurry to spend quality time with my family in a different way than I had previously planned in my head? Did it matter that we spent more time together in the car taking a scenic drive? Does it matter where and how you get your quality time in? The answer, in case you haven’t figured it out yet is: No. It does not.

I shamed myself a bit over my initial reaction. I have always reacted this way when someone isn’t doing exactly what I thought the “best” way. It’s stupid and selfish, I know. Then I decided that there’s a reason why we surround ourselves with others. It isn’t to have people that think and act exactly as we do, it’s to have influences to help us continue growing and learning. Enter my husband stage right.

He teaches me patience, calmness, forgiveness, kindness and most importantly on this night, he taught me to enjoy the scenic route. After I accepted his proposal to wander off my almighty course I relaxed and settled in. As he drove, I watched the sun kiss and hug its way through the buildings and the trees. I watched the people we passed. I noticed the homes we drove by and beheld their exterior design. I enjoyed my aimless meandering in my own mind. In the end, I enjoyed every single second of my renewed perspective on our current path.

I’ve thought about that night for several days now. It makes me wonder what other paths I put myself on that should have been scenic routes instead. It’s something I will try to keep in mind as I move forward with all decisions in life. Since it is against my nature I know I will struggle. Luckily, I have a wonderful partner who compliments my personality with his. Lead on my handsome wanderer…lead on.

xoxo,

Christi

  • I had THE best southwest chicken salad for lunch. Yum!
  • I’m throwing a friend an 80’s bachelorette party on Saturday. I’m dreaming of all the makeup looks I can put together. 🙂
  • For Labor Day we’re going out to the lake with my mom’s side of the family. I’m so excited to spend the day with them. I’m very ready for a long weekend!
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Actively Enduring

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I’ve been unsettled the last few months.  I’ve started a new job, moved into a new house, got married and had a few other major challenges.  None of those are bad; they just have me feeling quite out of a routine lately.  Do you ever have that?

I can’t seem to get a new rhythm into my life.  I keep trying to make sure I get all of my tasks or to-dos done each week but I seem to still remain unbalanced.

A new job is always an adjustment but especially in a new industry.  I have switched from healthcare technology to energy and although the work and tasks are largely the same I am learning new terminology, new methods and techniques as well as new people.  Add that to the fact that I’m back in an office environment after having worked at home for the last 7 years and its easy to see why the transition has left me in a fog.

Denali (our boy dog) had TPLO surgery on his rear left knee to correct a torn ACL.  This has been a challenge of it’s own.  He has had several complications and only recently did we learn that it’s all stemming from a staph. infection that has carried over from his surgery.

Married life to the man of my dreams and my absolute best friend is more amazing that I could have ever dreamed.  With any new phase to a relationship there are changes and discussions to help us get on the same page.  In addition to the relationship growing pains there are also adjustments at home.  Chris moved in very shortly before we were married to help with Denali’s surgery recovery.  I don’t care if it’s the best person in the entire world, a friend or a random roommate…learning someone else’s living style and meshing yours with theirs always takes some work and time.

I’ve been wondering why I haven’t blogged or put up a YouTube video in a while.  A lot of it has to do with the demands on my time but it also has to do with not feeling completely settled with all of my new recent changes.  Although most of them are so spectacularly wonderful, I am still foggy.  As I slowly get into my new routine I am excited to navigate through all the nuances in my days.

My pastor said a few weeks ago that “Perseverance is not passive waiting but an active endurance.”  I took that very much to heart.  Things take time.  There is constant growth.  There is always something to learn.  And with that I will continue to navigate the place I have in all of the new magical and wonderful chaos.

xoxo,

Christi

  • Our town has a wonderful music festival every summer.  I was out there most of the day yesterday enjoying friends, family, sun and music .
  • I’m addicted to “London Fog” tea lattes.  If you like chai tea you should check them out.
  • I’m on a fashion and lifestyle refresh cycle.  I’m looking at clothes, make-up and home decor in a more refined way.  Maybe there will be some of that coming soon to the blog and to Youtube.  😉
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Anger is as anger does.

I had someone ask me the other day about the anger I experienced when I was first diagnoses with RA.  I was completely honest with them.  It was an anger like I’ve never experienced before.  For the first time I was mad at my body for limiting me in ways I never dreamt.

I spoke of RA’s influence on my childbearing prospects, my ability to mindfully participate in my sister’s wedding and overall how in one appointment my life was different.  People don’t often know or think about the moments that their lives turn and go a new direction.  November 2, 2011 changed my life.  It changed my dreams.  It changed my immortality outlook.

Although anger is an important part of the grieving process for anyone who has been diagnosed with a chronic illness it is a scary one to accept.  You’re expected to be sad.  You’re expected to be transformed.  I’m not sure many people are aware that you’re also expected to be angry.

I’m not an expert.  All I know is that whatever situation causes you any type of emotion can be a game changer for your life.  And if you don’t deal with the feelings you’re having you might not be able to move onto the next phase of your grief.  Experience your anger.  Find a healthy outlet for it and let it process itself out of your system.  No one has a magic formula for how long this will go on.  You have to ride it out until your mind and body are ready to move on.

Find those that understand and give you strength to weather the angry storm.

xoxo,

Christi

  • Its finally warm enough to start planting outside here.
  • The puppies are shaved and so soft with their fuzzy hair coats.
  • I’m working on redoing my phone pictures and music.  I wish it was easier.  Lol.
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Back in the Groove

Hola!  Let’s start with an easy question such as “Where have I been?”  The answer is EVERYWHERE!!

Chris and I have survived some of life’s most challenging and stressful events over the last few months.  We moved into the new house one at a time.  I started a new full-time job.  Our boy doggie, Denali, had ACL repair surgery on his knee and has been recovering.  We finalized our wedding plans and got hitched at the most amazing and love-filled ceremony ever.  We just returned from our honeymoon to Cancun late Monday night.  We’ve been blessed with so many exciting things in a short amount of time and now we’re trying to process it all.

If you’re still reading, I thank you for your loyal following.

Over the next few weeks we’ll find our new rhythm here at our house and I hope to get back on a constant posting and filming schedule. One thing I learned for absolute certain is that it is OKAY not to do everything all of the time.  I set goals for blogging that I was truly unable to fulfill during the last few months.  And you know what?!  It’s OKAY.  I give myself the permission to not dwell on over dreaming.  Be sure to give yourself a break as often as you give others theirs.

Stay tuned!!

xoxo,

Christi

  • Chris and I are working through “House of Cards” on Netflix.
  • Denali went upstairs for the first time in 7 weeks today.  It was a special field trip for him. You could almost see him smiling.
  • I have married the most amazing man.  I can’t stop looking at him thinking it’s a dream.  <3
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Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Resources

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Today I wanted to take an opportunity and list some of the RA resources I find most helpful and encouraging.  I tend to like communities that encourage and try to uplift each other in contrast to those that create an environment of negativity.  Please don’t misunderstand me…sometimes it is hard for me to remain positive about my diagnosis, how I’m feeling or the prospects of what its doing to my life.  I do think it’s important to have a community that supports you when you need to air those frustrations.  I also believe that its important for my mental health to surround myself with a team of forward-thinking individuals.

Furthermore, I am a fan of true and accurate facts.  You’ll notice that I have very few medical references for RA because I feel medical advice and data should be presented only from a reputable and peer-reviewed source.

I hope you find some of these resources helpful if you’ve found me but are having trouble navigating the waters of internet information and communities.  As with any type of health related information it is always most important to speak to your health care team about symptoms, possible diagnosis and treatment options.

National Health/Arthritis Organizations

Blogs I Enjoy

  • All Flared Up:  An Arthritis Blog
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy
    • He provides a very honest look at RA and I enjoy hearing from a male perspective too.  It helps me remember that we’re all in this together regardless of gender or specific ailments.
  • RA Warrior
    • Kelly is very knowledgable and has a proven track record for advocating and learning all she can about RA.  There is a lot of information available through her site.

I have long searched for YouTube channels that would provide a face to a name or a face to associate with someone else who was suffering or had questions about RA just like me.  I haven’t found one that is specifically dedicated to Rheumatoid Arthritis, which is primarily why I started my own channel.  I have found another girl out there who suffers from a rare autoimmune disorder and RA and she has the best outlook on how to handle the highs and the lows.  I am a lover of make-up and beauty products which she covers as well but many of her videos log the day-to-day struggles of someone dealing with chronic illness.  Coupling that with her fun personality I will forever recommend her to anyone looking for a face to connect with in the virtual world.

 YouTube Channel

As always check in your local community as well for local chapters or resources that may be able to help you get in touch with others in your area.  Don’t be afraid to reach out on social media as well.  Search hashtags; search Pinterest; keep searching until you find a place for your heavy and questioning heart to land.

I wish you happy searching.  Until you find your happy place I’ll be right here for you.  🙂

xo,

Christi

  • I’m getting so excited for our wedding day.  I’m mostly excited that I get to live with the man of my dreams starting that day.
  • We had Dickey’s BBQ for dinner tonight.  It’s rather new to our community.  Do you have one where you live?
  • I was able to touch base with several of my girlfriends throughout the day today.  I am so blessed to have such incredible women in my life.
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Land of the LIVING: 2014 Year In Review

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Thanks for joining me for my year in review.  A lot has happened this year and I think it’s important to remember all of the good AND bad things from the past year and reflect on all of them.  

Challenges

  1. Losing loved family and friends. 
  2. Being laid off
  3. Losing health insurance (see #2)
  4. Denali’s torn ACL

Blessings

  1. Moved back to my hometown
  2. Being laid off
  3. Traveling to London, Ireland, Stonehendge, Alaska, Montana and Nashville
  4. Getting engaged <3
  5. Moving into the new house
  6. Holidays with my families
  7. New contract job opportunities
  8. Actively used my gym membership (and LOVED it!)
  9. Lived as fully as possible

The majority of my year can be summed up by referencing the movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.  The main character, Walter, redefines himself through a series of events.  In the end, being forced to examine himself and his life outside of what he’s known for 16 plus years was the best possible thing for Walter to finally start living the life he was destined for.  Part of me loves this movie for its amazing representation of true Wanderlust.  Most of me loves this movie for helping me make the choice to take a lay-off in the early summer and return my life, actions and decisions to not only myself, but my love, my family and my friends.  Its all too easy to get busy with life that we forget how to LIVE.  I am not perfect at it yet but I know I’ve never been happier (and more poor) than I am at the end of this year.

I had the chance to take stock of what truly matters to me in this life.  I had a glimpse that few get and an opportunity to make the changes I needed to save my life for LIVING.  My goal for 2015 is to continue to take a look at the most important parts of my life and spend my energy there.

A few years ago I finally realized and understood that not everyone is granted the same amount of time on this earth.  Far too many are taken away from us too young.  I vowed then and there to not speak in vain of any birthday, revolution or milestone that I may reach or surpass.  It’s an amazing thing to feel what these words mean:  Every day is a gift.  And it truly, truly is.

May you chose to LIVE in 2015.

xo,

Christi

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Veteran’s Day 2014

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It’s very cold here.  1 degree Fahrenheit to be exact. My weather app tells me that with the windchill it feels like -16F outside.  The freezing temps, however didn’t matter to the brave souls who got up early on this Veteran’s honor day to place flags on the veteran crosses that are scattered around our local cemetery.  I drove around the cemetery to view the flags and honor these fallen heroes in bone-chilling windy silence for one reason:  they braved the worst of the worst for me.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never been particularly committed to honoring our nation’s heroes in the past.  I didn’t pay attention to holidays like Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day.  To me at the time they were just days off or excuses for time-and-a-half at a job.  I was extremely uninformed.  I started paying more attention to what these days are intended to be once I started to know more and more veterans.  Still, I didn’t understand the importance of honoring them.  Worst yet, my dad and grandpa also served but for the longest time I just didn’t get it.  They never made a big deal out of these days and I never really gave it a second thought.  I don’t believe in regret but there are so many years that I was so foolish about not acknowledging these brave souls that I do feel shame in my ignorance now.

To that end I will only add, “Thank You.”   Happy Veteran’s Day to all of the honorable men and women who served our country.

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Fall Here

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The other day I took the dogs on a walk around one of our favorite city parks, we tested out some new camera equipment and enjoyed the amazing fall weather.  Here in Wyoming we aren’t often privy to such a wonderfully long fall.  Typically our summer ends on a hot note in August then we experience snow or frost the weekend of Labor Day weekend in September.  Then it’s cold and the leaves change fast and fall off right away.  There’s no time for picturesque walks, no transitional Fall outfits, a shortened season of PSLs (pumpkin spiced lattes) and a too early transition to peppermint mochas. Nnnnoooooo!!!!

Fall 2014 is different, however.  We’re well into October now and only this last week the brightest of the amber leaves have started to lose their crisp color and turn into a golden brown.  We really lucked out this year and I’m taking full advantage of it!  I get to wear shorts with tights and long-sleeved shirts and dresses with boots but no tights.  Who knew the Fall transition fashion is so versatile!

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I will continue to enjoy this amazing fall weather and let the pups run around all they can.  They’re loving the cool down and as always its so much fun to photograph them with great color contrast.

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Happy Fall y’all!

xoxo, 

Christi 

  • Wedding planning has commenced.  We have a lot to decide but at the end of the day I’ll be marrying my best friend and nothing is better than that!
  • I am currently surrounded by puppy snoring.  I have my two big snore hounds and my puppy nephew tonight as well. I am one happy dog-person.  🙂
  • You should now be able to subscribe to the blog directly and receive automatic updates.
  • Pumpkin chili is getting made tomorrow.  Eaten only by me but made tomorrow!  Lol.
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Walk the Line

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Walking is such a great low-impact way to get some exercise, movement and de-stressing into your life.  Although I love to run I haven’t been able to in several years because I can never seem to heal from one jog to another. If you check out RA Warrior’s recent blog post on a shirt she spotted at a sporting good’s store you’ll know that we’re not alone.

http://rawarrior.com/reaching-beyond-limitations-nike-versus-yoda/

It may not be RA or any kind of chronic illness that is preventing you from putting rubber to the road.  One of my best girlfriends recently powered through her emotions of being sidelined from running with a hip injury.  Knowing her and how important her running is to her and also knowing what it’s like to have that taken away from you I was so empathetic to the change this recent injury presented to her life.  She knew, however that she had to let it heal or she wouldn’t be able to return to the road.  So, she waited…and waited…and finally she was able to run again.

Some of us will never run again but that doesn’t mean that we can’t find a new way to be active.  Whatever has put you on the bench and kept you from your favorite game has to be given the respect it needs so you don’t damage yourself further.

For me, one of the things I have replaced with running is walking my dogs.  I love spending time with them anyway and I love to be outside.  And although it’s not as fast paced as running I still get MY time and the chance to decompress my mind.  I walk with earphones in listening to music that fits my current mood.  If I’m sad I work through a sad playlist.  If I’m upset about something the music is a bit heavier.  😉

The point is to find something that keeps you moving and active because RA or not..activity is good for your body, mind and soul.  Water sports, walking, biking, hiking…any activity you can do with little to no pain is the key.  Take care of yourself.  Yesterday’s body will not be here tomorrow.

xoxo,

Christi

  • I am making some chili tonight for dinner.  I also made a batch of Famous Dave muffins to go with.  I love those things!!
  • I just posted my video on how to make an inexpensive flower arrangement.  Check it out on my videos page.
  • The puppies are super sleepy after our walk.  Since they are so big it doesn’t take much to tucker them out.
  • I get to have lunch with my stepmom today!  What a treat.  We never get to go to lunch together!  I’m excited.  🙂
  • This has been the most beautiful fall I remember in Wyoming.  We usually go from HOT summer to FROZEN.  Hahaha.  This year we actually have a long fall and I’m soaking it up all I can.
  • Later taters!
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