How to Survive a Shitty Year

One of my favorite things I’ve posted on Pinterest is a saying that goes, “I love Jesus, but I cuss a little.” I won’t explain myself or apologize for the title of this post. Sometimes an almost-cuss word just won’t do the trick.

This calendar year has been a tough one on my little family. We started out New Year strong with close friends at our house having a night of fun and laughter. It seems like things have been challenging ever since.

I started my new job in November of last year but didn’t really start traveling until January 2016. These kinds of careers, like all, have challenges on any family situation. We are adjusting to it in our own way and in our own time. I finally feel like we’re starting to hit a cadence with the travel schedule 3 months later.

My health has been concerning as well. With the extra travel and time on my feet and in unusual atmospheres I have been noticing more swelling, soreness and overall fatigue. After speaking with my amazing Rheumy we are pretty sure the increase in travel is what is taking the toll on my tired joints. More decisions to follow regarding this 2016 challenge.

Probably the biggest and hardest part of our year thus far has been losing our majestic boy, Denali. He was 185 lbs. of pure awesome and we miss the hell out of that big guy. Sometimes I have to stop myself from thinking of him to avoid bursting into uncontrollable sobbing in public places. I prefer to cry alone and in private, thank you very much. When my heart can type more I will have an entry on this specific topic and the grieving process of it all.

Our girl, Violet has had a tough time coping with her brother’s passing as well, which has added stress onto this year. She is the sweetest, most gentle soul you’ll ever meet in your life. I’m not sure what if feels like to lose a twin but she must be very lost. We are trying to do everything we can to help her heal.

We have lost human friends as well this year. You know the kind …the ones that make us question if we are good friends to those we let into our lives. Do we give enough time to the people who matter to us? The challenge here is that once we let someone in, we love him or her completely. There doesn’t seem to be enough time in a day to spread the amount of love, laughter and friendship around that we want to. In the end we’re left wondering if we loved enough.

Our other big stressor this year has been trying to figure out why we haven’t been able to start a family. We’re fairly private when it comes to things we’re currently dealing with. I’m not sure why. I think part of it is that we want to figure out how we really feel about our situation before opening ourselves up to suggestive advice or emotions of others. We realize there are many who want to be there for us but in the early phases and stages of things unfortunately that kind of “love” hurts us and doesn’t help us.

Probably the biggest stressor is helping to care for one of my family members in their time of need. There is no avoiding the situation and no ignoring it. Someone has to take the reins and help share the load. Even though it is out of love it does add stress to take care of others.

A laundry list of stressors… Even with the long list and short explanations I gave it still pails in comparison to what others are going through this year. Someone very close to me asked my husband recently what I meant when I said, “It’s been a tough year.”   Although this person had full knowledge of all of the struggles we were going through their personal challenges were, to them, more center stage than what we were going through. Although it hurt my feelings a bit I came to realize that I couldn’t expect people to put our issues before their own.

So, you might ask, “How do I get through a shitty year, Christi?” Well, I’ll tell you what I know to be helping me cope so far. If I think of any more I’ll keep adding to this post.

  1. Rely on your support system. They said they wanted to be there for you. Pick something they can listen to you talk about or something they can do for you.
  2. Find an escape…or two…or three. Make sure you have mechanisms in place to help you take your mind off of all the things that are happening around you. It might be music, movies, reading, yoga, mediation or gaming. Whatever it is do it in healthy amounts not to avoid dealing with your situations but to give your mind a mental break from them every now and then.
  3. Eat Right. If you succumb to the emotional eating habits of your 13-year-old self for all of the months that your stressor is in your life you’ve just added another stressor. Congratulations if you wanted to feel worse. Shame on you if you didn’t. Allow yourself indulgences. They’re important. Don’t down a carton of ice cream every other night and expect to have your mind, body or self-esteem feel good in the morning.
  4. Don’t Self-Medicate. It is important to go through all of the emotional stages of whatever you’re going through. They’re not fun. They don’t feel good all of the time. If you don’t feel it now day by day you will feel it all at once some day.
  5. Find a way to laugh. Laughing is healing. That’s all I have to say about that.
  6. Remove the negative. Hard times have a way of exposing relationships for what they truly are. If you’re in an unhealthy relationship (intimate, friend or otherwise) it might be time to examine what should be done. Although it might add a stressor to your life it is better to deal with it and be free than to put up with something that isn’t going to help you heal.
  7. Learn to say no. There are times you need to be more selfish with your time and your energy. When you have a personal situation going on, learn how to say no to others who need your time and attention. You’re of no use to anyone if you aren’t in good shape yourself.

That’s all for now.  Good luck to you.  I’ll see you out there…

xoxo,

Christi

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Taking the Scenic Route

Picnic White Sands National Monument

 

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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Picking Your…

….Wedding Date; not your nose you sicko!  🙂  After you get engaged, this is one of the next important decisions you’ll make.  Picking a date is even something you need to do if you are planning on eloping!

There are so many factors that go into picking a wedding date that the task can be quite daunting.  I’m going to list a few considerations to help you try to think of everything that might interfere with your loved ones and friends attending.  As always, keep in mind that this day is about celebrating your love for each other…NOT about making everyone else happy.  Got it?!  Ok…moving on.

Even if you’re trying to plan for the majority of the people you love and cherish to be there the day you get married remember that it is impossible for each person to make it.  Prioritize those that you must have at your wedding and reach out to them for their schedules too.  Also, don’t expect everyone to drop or reschedule things they might already have booked, paid for or committed themselves to.  Many don’t have the flexibility in our work and/or family schedules to re-schedule or drop everything if we’ve already planned it out.

Finally, be flexible and above all understanding.  These are the people you care about the most in the world, right?!  Then make sure you treat them with love and respect as they may face difficult decisions about where to commit themselves to.

Here’s a list of date considerations to think about and check on while trying to pick your perfect day:

  • Your calendar – Try to pick a day that works best for your work schedule or school schedule.  This may seem obvious but it’s often overlooked.  If your busiest time as a tax accountant is around the first 3-4 months of each year you might want to plan your wedding day for later in the year.
  • His calendar – Again, this should be obvious but try to think about his priorities, commitments, etc too.
  • Weather – Be sure to pick a day for the weather you want.  If you want snow, …do I have to elaborate?
  • Travel – Be sure you know what weather conditions you and your guests might encounter during the time of year you’re looking at.
  • Work & Vacation Schedules – Check with others you wish to invite for their availability if they are a priority guest for you
  • Holidays – I really like to plan events around holidays because a lot of people have holidays from work and have to take less vacation days, but you may also run into those holidays already being booked or committed.  Again, just check with your priority guests.
  • Miscellaneous Family Events – Is someone going to give birth around the time you want to have your wedding?  Do you have any graduations coming up in your family?  Try not to stretch your families who need to travel too thin.  They’ll feel like they have to pick between events and that isn’t comfortable for anyone.  Its like a huge wedgie right in the middle of your family.  (you’re welcome for the visual)
  • School schedules – If you have or have guests who have kids in school you can easily look up school schedules online.  I don’t recommend doing this for each family you invite but definitely for the priority families with school-aged children.
  • Other Wedding Events – Also think about what you both want to do for your bridal shower, bachelorette and bachelor parties.  If you want nice weather try to plan for that time of year where you’ll get married.

Above all else be sure to give yourself enough time to plan the wedding you want.  If you want an elaborate and detailed wedding you will need time to plan, organize and hire vendors to help you with that.  If you want a small backyard wedding that is beautifully simple you likely could get away with far less prep time.

Good luck to you and happy planning!

xoxo,

Christi

  • I can’t wait to go to bed tonight.  So.  Tired.
  • We have found a new station on Spotify that we love:  Search “80s  Lounge Essentials”.  One of the artists we really love is Orleya.  Its lounge-type 80s covers.  Pretty awesome.
  • Did I mention that I have the hottest husband in the whole world? 🙂
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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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Voices of Faith Devotional Bible

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Today’s post comes right from my hotel room in Sin City.  As ironic as it is, I’m going to tell you today about the devotional bible I’ve been using since the beginning of the year.

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I’ve never been consistent with any daily devotions but I have always believed in the power of a spiritual balance to each day.  So, for the first time ever I am trying to have almost daily devotions for my faith.

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I purchased this Voices of Faith Devotional Bible from my local Hastings at the beginning of the year with Christmas money I received.  I picked it out of all the others because it adds commentary from historical figures as well as current figures in Christianity.  It also guides you through a section of scripture which happily starts with Genesis Chapter 1 and moves you through the entire bible in a year.  I was very excited to find this would take me from beginning to end of the bible throughout the course of my study.  Also, this was a weekday daily devotional with a weekend devotion.  Although I don’t think it’s a bad thing to devote time every single day it is nice to be able to take a break on one day during the weekend.  I usually end up doing my weekend devotional on Saturday since I get spiritual enrichment on Sunday too.

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I haven’t missed a day until this last week when I was battling influenza.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been that sick and it took me the entire week to recover.  I decided to table the entire week of devotion after losing the first three days.  I am thirsty to pick it back up tomorrow and get back into my study.

Have a great week!

xo,

Christi

  • I am in Vegas for work this week.  I’m enjoying the very nice client and the warm weather but missing my sweetheart and puppies more than I can express.
  • I am in constant awe of the fountains at the Belagio hotel here.
  • Less than 2 months until I get married to the best man I’ve ever known!!!
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We’re Going to the Chapel…

Site of our proposal

Site of our proposal

On Saturday October 11th, 2014 the love of my life proposed to me in a remote location in the mountains west of Laramie, WY.

It was initially intended to be a birthday trip for him to see some friends he hand’t seen in quite a while and visit his college town.  It turned into a celebration for both of us and I couldn’t be happier.

We’ve shared the engagement story with our immediate family and very close friends.  He did such a great job surprising me and making sure that I had no intuition about the proposal whatsoever.

There are no concrete details yet with the exception of the fact that we are crazy in love and both feel incredibly lucky to have finally found someone who makes us the absolute best version of ourselves.

Thank you to all of our friends and family for all of the well wishes and congratulations.  We are truly blessed with love.

xoxo,

Christi

  • I thought I’d try a fun idea that I learned from Emilynoel83 on www.youtube.com and thru her blog at http://www.beautybroadcast.net and add little random snippets from my day at the end of my blog posts.
  • I’m still working my way through that amazing Hawaiian pineapple.  It is so tasty!
  • It is 2:48 am as I write this.  I am exhausted but sleep is avoiding me tonight.
  • I think my boy dog, Denali has sleep apnea.  Can dogs have that???
  • We asked the puppies if they wanted to be a family after Chris proposed.  They were beyond cute with their excited response.  Guess he passed the puppy test. 😉
  • I hope I’ve emptied my brain enough to sleep now.  G’night all.  🙂
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