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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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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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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Christmas Movie Season

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Every year starting after Thanksgiving I watch some of my favorite Christmas movies.  There are new and exciting films coming out each year so my list just keeps growing.  Since I don’t have cable service I often rely on my Netflix account for television entertainment.  This year I am very disappointed in the selection of holiday movies available on Netflix.  Luckily, I own many of the movies I like to watch.  My friends or family own a few that they let me borrow or come over and watch, plus I am adding some more to my wish-list.

Movies I Own

  • Stepmom
  • The Santa Clause
  • The Holiday
  • Four Christmases – Electronic version via iTunes
  • Elf
  • Just Friends
  • If You Believe
  • Christmas Story
  • White Christmas
  • Christmas With The Kranks
  • Charlie Brown Christmas – Electronic version via iTunes

Movies I Don’t Currently Own

  • Love Actually – Currently on Netflix
  • Family Stone – Added to my wish-list
  • California Raisins Claymation Christmas Special – My mom has this on recorded VHS from my childhood
  • Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer – We bought a set of these specials this year
  • Frosty the Snowman – Included in the set we purchased with Rudolf
  • It’s a Wonderful Life – Added to my wish-list
  • Home Alone 1 – Added to my wish-list
  • Bad Santa – (don’t judge…haha); Currently on Netflix

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There are so many more out there and I’m certain I’m forgetting to name some of my favorites too.  What is your favorite Christmas movie/special to watch?

xo,

Christi

  • My mom and I are finishing a book club at our county public library tonight.  I think the idea of a book club run by the library is a great idea, however I wasn’t thrilled with all of the book selections.  We’re thinking of starting our own.
  • I’ve been out of Scentsy back-up light bulbs for over a year now.  Chris’ co-worker’s wife hooked me up at their Christmas party the other night.  Yippee!
  • It’s a frosty morning outside my window today.  All of the branches are frosted over.  Yes, of course I snagged some photos!
  • Christmas is only 8 days away!
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Anniversary Gift Idea



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Christmas Eve this year will mark my mom & stepdad’s 30th wedding anniversary!  30 years is a long time but even longer when living in close proximity to the other person.  Ha!  Earlier this fall they took themselves to Hawaii for their 30th anniversary trip.  The kids all went in together and bought them a new luggage set complete with the 360 degree wheels that make traveling a lot nicer on your towing body.

Although we already bought and gave their present I want to do something special for them on their actual anniversary day.  A few months back I saw the cutest idea on Pinterest and decided to replicate it.  It counts the years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds that are in 30 years.  The one I saw was a digital printed version.  My version includes some scrapbook material to make it have more layers and textures.

I started with a background page/design that I liked.  Since the 30 year anniversary gift that is customary is opal or diamonds I chose the page and details that either looked like opal or sparkly diamonds.

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I also found a ribbon that would coordinate with the paper detail.

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I always try to layout the materials and samples of what I’d like the end product to look like before I tape or glue anything together.  This helps me visualize the design and make sure it will turn out the way I intended.

 

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I designed and printed out the wording that I wanted to be sure the sizing would fit on the design I had created.  I used my 12″ paper cutter to cut it into smaller pieces.  Then I used a design scissor to cut around the edges of the paper and add a special touch.

 

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I also used my 12″ cutter to trim the barcode bottom border off of my background page.  I love how you can line up the page exactly and get the most precise cut regardless of the detail design of the paper.

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The first thing I assembled was the ribbon on top of the accent diamond cut of paper.  I used a paper adhesive and cut the ribbon long enough to wrap it around the side edges of the diamond-shaped paper.  This gave it the appearance that the ribbon carries all the way around the page.

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I then glued the diamond-shaped paper to the background paper and centered it.  Next I worked on adding the lettering of their names to the bottom.  My favorite tool to use for placing stickers or small items is my Creative Memories lift and placing tool.  I don’t think you can buy these from Creative Memories any longer but there are similar types of tools at any craft store.  I find this tool to be the easiest to use for small pieces when my fingers aren’t cooperating or when placement needs to be exact.  
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I really hope they like the final version.  I thought it was such a sweet decoration to commemorate this big anniversary!

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xoxo,

Christi

  • The weather is finally above zero!  It’s around 38 degrees out there right now and melting some of the snow.
  • I have White Christmas playing on the TV while I write this and take care of a few other details of the day.  I love this movie!
  • The wedding planning is coming along nicely.  Chris booked the ceremony and reception venue today!  🙂
  • I feel string cheese in my very near future!
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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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Autumn Turns Into Winter



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This past weekend a long-time friend of mine laid her father to rest.  I use the term father in the meaning that he was her dad regardless of biology.  He was the one she looked to for strength and support growing up.  I am so deeply saddened by his loss for her.  It’s later in life when you truly start to dread the hurts of those you love and care about coming true for you as well.

I don’t consider myself a morbid person but I do think about losing my parents from time to time.  I have been blessed with 4 amazing parents who have been nothing but supportive and helpful in getting me this far in life.  I tear up thinking of the day when I have to say goodbye to any of them.

I was reminded of the transitions we go through in life today with the real first winter storm blowing through our community.  Yesterday was just another fall day but today is cold and snowy with dropping temperatures promised overnight.  There are so many times in our lives we go through changes and they’re not always for the better.  Sometimes things transition and our lives are forever changed; like the loss of our parents.

I have much to be thankful for as we move into this winter season but I did want to take a moment to think about those who have loved and lost and those who have given everything for us.  Veteran’s Day is tomorrow.  As a woman in love with a Veteran I am certain that no amount of thankful praise or love will ever explain to him how deep my gratitude goes for his sacrifice and service.  It’s a debt that can never be repaid and I will forever be thankful for him and all of the millions of others.

Allow yourself to experience the transitions in life.  They are here for all of us.  All of us have a season of love, grief, happiness and sorrow.  Allow it to develop and learn how to dress for the new season.  If you need a jacket of warm hugs make sure to surround yourself with those who can provide that comfort.  If you need rejoicing time please include people who will wholeheartedly rejoice right along side you.

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xoxo,

Christi

  • I love the change of seasons.  I love the beauty of freshly fallen snow and the mashing of two seasons together.
  • I admit it…I have Christmas music playing right now.  🙂
  • I’m so in love with my fiancé I can hardly contain my excitement to have found the partner I’ve longed for.
  • We had a date night the other night with one set of parents.  Never underestimate the fun you can have double-dating with your parents.  Love them!
  • The puppies are happy to be sleeping the days away when it gets colder.  Can’t say I blame them.  😉
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Music is to the Soul as Food is to the Body

Music has always been a feature in my life since I was a little kid.  My dad loves music and I truly believe it speaks directly to his soul when he finds the right song at the right moment.  I was in band, choir and was fortunate enough to have piano lessons as a kid.  Even today  I find myself searching for the music on my radio, iPhone or record player that suits my current mood.

Isn’t it funny how music can so accurately reflect our current feelings?  To that end I enjoy music as a source of therapy and cherish the connection it gives me to myself and how I’m truly feeling.  It is so important to allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling and not try to squash it down or ignore it.  Therapeutically speaking music helps me work through my emotions.  If I don’t deal with them now they will surely present themselves at the worst possible time.

For my July birthday my boyfriend gave me a Crosley record player that I had eyed on a trip through Minnesota.  We stopped at the Mall of America and as I entered the Urban Outfitters (UO) store my eyes quickly found these darling record players.  They are built like little suitcases with a latch front and removable top.  The handle is functional but to avoid shifting the balance of the table inside I admire it solely as a decorative feature.

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Urban Outfitters Crosley Record Player

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Months prior to that my boyfriend inherited a vinyl record player piece of furniture from his parents.  We started shopping for records and we both fell in love with the music format and sound.

Here is the link for the UO online store that shows all of the various styles they have: http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/urban/catalog/search.jsp?q=crosley&cm_mmc=SEM-_-Google-_-Crosley-_-crosley_turntable&device=c&network=g&matchtype=b&gclid=CjwKEAjw5NihBRCZmdLkuuTHyWYSJACtCY0JWzyzG-pfcBoi56149-e_GXiV7SdupwcG46Qt7D7BNxoC28jw_wcB#/

 

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The case is so simple in design but really packs a punch for sound quality.  The speakers are on both sides of the bottom part of the box.  I can turn it up almost to full volume and hear music throughout my entire house.  This makes it extremely convenient for helping me clean the house.

I’m still building my record collection.  My boyfriend and I have made a point to search record stores when we go on trips to bring something fun back as a souvenir.  Since I don’t have many records yet I opted to create my own little record storage crate.  I purchased a crate from Joann’s Fabric Store for around $14 and a very tiny can of wood stain for around $5.  I chose a dark stain for the crate because, well…that’s what I like.  I think it came out very cute and it looks great with my record player on display.

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Record Crate

Some might say records are a pain to listen to because you have to get up and switch them to the other side after just a few songs.  I appreciate the chance to move and change the record to the other side or another album frequently.  I work from home and in the past I have found myself sitting and working until I’m dancing in my chair.  I’m not dancing because I feel like it, but rather because I didn’t even realize I needed to use the restroom.  Listening to the record player reminds me to get up from my desk, stretch and move around.  What might be annoying for some is a relief to my body that is in need of frequent movement and stretching.

What’s missing from your life as a reminder to slow down and give your body, mind and soul what it needs?  I’m so thankful for this little machine because it’s brought so many reminders for me to take the time I need and to slow down and enjoy what is truly great about this life.

xoxo,

Christi

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Fresh Hawaiian Pineapple

Fresh Hawaiian Pineapple

Fresh Hawaiian Pineapple

My parents recently returned from a Hawaiian vacation to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary.  True to form, my mom brought back something spectacular for all of us.

One of our favorite things from the Islands is their Maui Gold Pineapple.  If you’ve never tasted this brand of pineapple you’re truly missing out.  Consider Dole pineapples to be the generic version of Maui Gold.  They still taste alright but they’re just not the same as the real deal.

Incorporating fruits and veggies into your diet while you have RA is essential.  Many of us take medication to control our symptoms and disease.  You’re medication will only help you as much as you help yourself and your body.

Truthfully, it’s not a fight to get this pineapple into my diet when its available because it is so good!  I do find myself eating too much at one sitting sometimes which can cause my mouth to begin to feel an acidic burn.  To that I end up using my trusty Glyoxide to combat any mouth issues (blog & video to come soon).

Remember to treat yourself but do it with things that are kind to your body; such as pineapple from the beautiful island of Maui.

xoxo,

Christi

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I can’t catch my breath

Outdoor Chapel, Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming

Outdoor Chapel, Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming

We went for a day adventure to the Bighorn Mountains close to home the other day.  Walking up the fire lookout was a brutal assault on my lungs.  Not only was the elevation a challenge but the crisp autumn air pierced my lungs as I climbed the short path.  I found myself unable to look up or around me and take the view without gasping for air.  I now wonder if the phrase or term “breathtaking” was invented for the moments that take our breath away or for the views that make us lose our breath to reach.

View from a fire outlook, Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming

View from a fire outlook, Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming

Whatever takes your breath away either literally or figuratively in life you must honor it.  Give yourself time to reach the top; the goal; the end.  If it is something worth sacrificing your breath for be sure to give it credence and continue to seek it.

TieHack Lake, Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming

TieHack Lake, Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming

I often feel this way about having babies of my own.  My  life circumstances to the date of this post haven’t allowed me to fulfill this lifelong dream, however.  I find myself daydreaming about ways I will announce to my family and friends that I am pregnant.  I picture a scene that literally takes my breath away while I stare down at this beautiful creature that is made out of love and the best of the two of us.  As I look down at that wonderful gift I will ask if they know everything I went through to have them in my life.

Whatever part of the journey you’re on to attempt to have a family of your own or coming to terms with your options you are not alone. There are so many of us in the same situation even if yours doesn’t immediately match mine.  I wait every 6 months to hear if my disease has progressed, if I need to switch to medications or if my options to have my own family biologically are exhausted.  I know all of my options at each stage and I’m comforted with knowing but it is important to never give up on the breathtaking moments that you dream of.

Christi, Chris, Denali & Violet, Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming

Christi, Chris, Denali & Violet, Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming

xoxo,

Christi

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