Sunday, May 31, 2015

Our First and Last Huzzah!

BBQ Pool Party Summer Fun
At our apartment complex we have access to a pool, a sand volleyball court, several BBQ pits, and lots of picnic tables. So of course we have to host a huge cookout with all our friends at least once before we move and lose access to all that free stuff.

I happen to be the only vegan I know. No one is even a vegetarian or pescatarian or gluten intolerant or anything. Just me. Which means that of course there will be some vegan burger options for me, but there will be an overwhelming amount of meat. I have almost completely forgotten how to prepare anything other than chicken tenders for Husband. Absolutely take this as a cry for help (read: please post links to meat-eating bloggers so I'll be able to make something decent).

I like to think of myself as somewhat social so I know I'll be getting a few of my friends and their husbands and children to come. However, Husband is not as social. Other than the guys who came to Thanksgiving last year, I don't know any of the guys he talks about. Some of them have gotten married, but a lot of them are single, barracks guys. It's going to be an interesting mix that's for sure.

What are some of your favorite ways to enjoy the summer? Who all is a queen hostess and has tips for me? Any food or beverage suggestions?

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day: A Day of Remembrance

I know a lot of people are enjoying this three day weekend with food, fun, and games. And by all means, feel free to do so. Memorial Day is one of those holidays whose true meaning sometimes gets lost in translation across all segments of the population. So while this Monday is to be a day of celebration of life and freedom, it should also be a day of solemn remembrance.

For many people, Memorial Day kicks off the first day of summer fun. The weather is getting warm. Pools are opening since school is out (or almost out depending). There's a lot going on that can take away from who we're really celebrating: those who gave up their lives fighting for our freedom.

I'll keep this post brief since it is a heavier topic. I just wanted to give a friendly reminder that there are a lot of people who aren't as blissful this holiday weekend. Families and friends have been deeply and irreparably impacted, and this day can be a sad reminder of who is lost.

So yes, go out and BBQ and enjoy the hot weather by the cool water of the pool or beach. Enjoy this break, and live it up to the fullest. That is after all the reason why we still have a military to fight for our freedom. All gave some, and some gave all so that way all of the rest of us could live with the freedoms to be able to live life fully.

Usually this is where the questions come in, but for this one, I would much rather ask each of you to uphold a moment of silence in honor of those we have lost in the maintenance of our society. Have a blast with your holiday plans! I'll see you on Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

House Hunting is Exhausting

Home, House, Sale, Realtor, Hunting, Buying
Husband and I have been working towards moving out of our apartment pretty much since the year started. Let me tell you, it's been slow going.

We've decided to go ahead and buy our first house. We have a lot of pets. That means a lot of pet fees. In addition to the first month's, sometimes last month's, security, deposits, and application fees, we're looking at thousands just to get in the door somewhere. That's pretty not doable for us especially since the only furniture we actually own is an office chair. If we're spending that kind of money, I'd much rather be buying a bed. And so, we're buying.

Now that in and of itself is a somewhat long process. First, you have to get approved for a loan. That took us a couple months to do. Then, once you're approved you have to give your requirements and numbers to your realtor (we were recommended a wonderful realtor so we got to skip that search). Then he/she will gather houses that fit, and then you get to go look. Then you have to narrow it down and work on the paperwork part. Then you have to wait for the closing process. AND THEN you can move in. Or do a little work/deep cleaning if it's a resale instead of new construction.

We have finally gotten to the looking at houses part. We looked at around 7 houses the other day that were all very rentable (we're planning to rent out the house after Roger's contract with the military is up). Only took two hours but it wiped me out. I mostly took pictures of the different kitchens to help me keep them straight, and I wrote notes on each one while we were still in it. I'll be posting tons of pictures once we finally make a decision and get moved in. Until then, it'll be imagination time. Especially since two of our options weren't even completed yet.

But the best part about all of this: our lease with our apartment is up at the end of August, and we should be all moved in just in time! Don't get me wrong, moving in the middle of summer is miserable, and I'll be moving us all by myself again so I'll be pretty exhausted this summer. But it is all so worth it to finally have a backyard for the dogs and a place of our own.

When did you all buy your first houses? What are some of your big milestone stories? Anyone have moving/furniture buying tips?

Sunday, May 17, 2015

4 Steps to Take to Be the Main Character in Your Story

If we're completely honest, life is fleeting. Life is precious. Life is temporary. And worst of all, life is not guaranteed. Because of that, it is immensely important to live the life you want to live. I have 4 points that I follow so that I can be the hero of my own book of life.

  1. Make life what you want it to be.
This is seriously the most important part. I'm sure we've all heard the phrase "be the change you want to see in the world," and that's great for the more ambitious of us. But for people like me who just want to chase happiness and fulfillment, that can be intimidating. Know this, you are the one who has to live with the consequences of your choices. Might as well make them what YOU want. I went to college because I was told to. College is where I learned to think for myself, and college is where I learned that I hated the principle of college (that's a post for another time). My parents weren't going to college for me. My friends weren't either. It was me. And what I truly, truly want from this life has nothing to do with higher education.
  1. Understand that you can't and shouldn't please everyone.
We all know people pleasers in our lives. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make others happy. The problem comes when you become so consumed with the well-being of others that you stop taking care of yourself and lose sight of your own goals and dreams. It’s hard to take care of others if you aren’t taking care of yourself. There is NOTHING wrong with making time to do something selfish.
  1. You are the caretaker of your own happiness.
Along the same vein as point 2, each and every one of us truly is responsible for our own happiness. Simply choose happiness. Yes, it is easier said than done, but start practicing. It gets easier the more you do it. If someone or something is poisoning you and stealing your happiness, sometimes you have to do what’s best for you and cut out that negative energy.
  1. Other people's opinions of you are not your business.
This one can be the hardest to grasp, but trust me on this one. What is said about you behind your back doesn’t matter. If you’re living with integrity, your character will shine through. If you take nothing else from this post, take this: not your circus, not your monkeys. If someone wants to create drama about you, that DOES NOT mean you are required to get sucked into it.

Now let’s put it all together. Essentially, to be the star of your own show you need confidence. Living the life you want to be living the way you want it to be lived with the people who build you up will fill you up with joy, and you will be able to exude that positive energy. Your talents are gifts. Follow your passions. Have a good self-care routine. Help out where you can. “A lion doesn’t concern himself with the opinions of a sheep.” And no matter what, never EVER forget that you are an important and worthwhile person simply because you exist. I’m glad you’re still here.

What helps you feel powerful in your own world? How do you stay present in every moment and remember what matters? 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Day in the Life of... The Fur Children!

I just realized that I really haven't actually written anything about my lovely fur children since The Day I Got Pantsed in The Middle of The Street so here is a little recap of what they've been up to.

Let's start with Aura since she is our oldest fur baby. First off, she is Roger's daughter through and through. She definitely picked him as her preferred parent. Secondly, she doesn't have the harness in this picture anymore. I did a bad thing and left it out in her reach, and the buckles have since been digested. But anywho, Aura is now a certified Emotional Support Pet for me. As an empath I have a lot of emotions and anxieties, and Aura is my rock in the storm. Thanks to her I am finally getting good at differentiating between my bad feelings and the bad feelings of others so I don't get overwhelmed nearly as often as I used to.

Next up is Achilles. Achilles will officially be ten months old tomorrow and a year old July 14th. And let me tell you, this picture pretty much sums up our relationship. Even as I'm writing this post he has his head resting on my arm. He is my shadow. Wherever I go through the apartment, he is sure to follow. Or he'll lie down outside the door until I open it. As soon as I finally get home from work, he has to be touching me, or he won't sleep. He'll keep pacing in the bed until he finds a spot that fits him leaning up next to me. Where Aura is my rock, Achilles is the light in my dark days

Finally, we have Alma, our latest addition to the family. Little Alma is my sob story. This precious girl was found three weeks old with a dead momma cat and her three siblings. Thankfully a lady whose cat gave birth around the same time Alma's litter was born took them in. Her momma cat suddenly had eight kittens to nurse, but she loved them all just fine. Alma may or may not have FIV. She tested negative for leukemia which is good, but it's pretty much a waiting game to see if she will continue having little sneezing fits regularly or if it was just seasonal allergies like Achilles and I have.

And that's my story. These are my silly, crazy munchkins that keep life always interesting.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Fighting in Marriage

argument, marriage, hard, life, talking, team

Marriage is hard sometimes. Just like life is hard sometimes. But the way I see it, we wouldn't know much of anything if it wasn't for opposites. We wouldn't know day without night. We wouldn't know kindness without cruelty. And we wouldn't know what works without what doesn't. Opposites help us to be aware and appreciate what actually happens in life. One of the most common opposites we have would be the good days and the bad days.

Marriage is like that. The people involved in a marriage have outside factors that can play into whether they are going to have a good marriage day or a bad marriage day. Or even just a mediocre marriage day. Each day is different for a reason, and with two people playing into it, there's a lot more room for variety. But it isn't always easy to remember not to take your spouse for granted if everything is good and perfect all of the time. This by no means is me saying you have to act like a complete douche bag every now and then to make your person appreciate when you're nice. That's abusive and a horrible mentality to have towards the person with whom you have vowed to share your life.

But that's just it. We are trying to share lives as two whole, independent individuals. Two people who have thoughts and dreams and plans of their own. This can lead to some clashing, but the big clashes that can cause the most turmoil are the external ones such as financial stress and familial pressures. The world is a big place for two people to tackle by themselves, and there is a whole heck of a lot that can possibly happen.

So really, when we say that marriage is hard, it's really life that is hard. Tough external variables get brought in and taken out on the person you think will never leave because he/she vowed to stay with you til death should part you, but taking your person for granted is no way to make someone feel loved and wanted. Life is like chess, but you have to make your moves with your spouse in mind. You can't treat your spouse like a pawn to be sacrificed so you can win.

In marriage there isn't one winner and one loser. You win and lose together. You share. And you celebrate the differences that enable you to handle the wider variety of possible situations that comes with having two people to worry about instead of one. Don't let the waters of the external factors into your ship to sink your marriage. I don't know much about ships, but communicating about what is going on to cause your grumpy attitude that day instead of taking it out on your spouse would be like having buckets or whatever is used to keep the water out. Don't let life weigh down your marriage.

What are some ways your person makes you feel appreciated? How do you show your appreciation for your person? Any tips and tricks to share for how to maintain positivity through the storms of life without sacrificing your person?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The C Word

Crazy. This is the C word I want to discuss today. Why does lacking a Y chromosome instantly mean you must be crazy? Why is that okay? I for one can't seem to understand why exactly this happens, and I don't appreciate it whatsoever.

There is a pretty popular video going around detailing what the "wife zone" is according to a woman's metrics on the hot and crazy scales. Because obviously all women just have to be crazy and our worth comes from appearances. Yes, this is just a funny video, but it got passed around as much as it did because of the irony in it. It is funny because it can almost be true depending on your opinion on the C word.

What does the C word mean? Why are only women capable of falling under the umbrella of the C word? I personally have never heard men being called crazy because of how they reacted to a situation or acted in public or enjoyed their private lives. Getting upset or hurt as a result of a betrayal is a perfectly understandable reaction, but it's labelled as "crazy" if it's a woman who is hurting.

For a more specific example of the C word only applying to women, when Husband drove back to Oklahoma, he didn't text me when he made it back. The guy he drove down with posted about being back home, but I hadn't heard anything from my husband. I texted him a couple times and eventually called because I was worried he had gotten into an accident after dropping off his friend. Thankfully, he was fine. His phone had died was all. But I was scared for him. Perfectly understandable reaction, right? Until he dropped the C word.

I don't mean to talk down about my husband in sharing this story. He is one of the more progressive-minded men I know, and he still fell prey to the C word. It's so ingrained we don't even realize the different categories we have for people according to their biology. It's ridiculous. And it's a double standard. It forces most of women's actions to be considered unnatural and adds to the pressures to be perfect and rely on appearance since behavior and personality are almost always wrong since it's clearly "crazy."

No longer will I allow such misapplication of the C word to my actions and reactions. I am who I am, and who I am worries on occasion. I feel emotion deeply. There is nothing wrong or "crazy" about emotions. It is okay to fall hard for that person after the first date if something about him or her just resonates with you. It is okay to be excited and celebrate that one of your friends is hitting another big milestone. But most importantly, it is okay to be a woman.

What's your opinion on the C word? What do you do when you get called crazy for something that is in no way an incorrect behavior? Anyone have any stories to share about a time you've been called crazy for something anyone would've done in a similar situation?

Sunday, May 3, 2015

May Goals '15

I am going to have to start with April did not go as planned, and I failed to meet most of the goals. But that's what happens when you have poor time management skills. I was doing pretty well in the beginning of the month, but then Husband went to Enid for a couple weeks which threw off our household. I didn't make the adjustment very well.

But this month will be different! This month, I will be making a lot of progress in all areas.

  • Get a reader survey out there
  • Make progress on the househunt and try to write about that journey
  • Continue making the blog a greater priority and spend more time on it
  • Start planning farther ahead and utilize my planner
So those are my blogging goals for May! What are some of your goals? Anyone need an accountability partner as badly as I do?