The Journey Towards Minimalism #JTM

Hey all. I’m starting a new hashtag for future posts.  #JTM will follow any posts I write about my family’s Journey Towards minimalism. First post starts tomorrow. I’ll add these posts to a new page as well.

Embracing Change: A Love Story

This post has been brewing for a long time. It all started with a question quite a few months ago; I’ll get to that. I was going to write it yesterday but the day came and went. But here it comes.

Yesterday, my husband and I celebrated 18 years of being “John and Chrissy.” 18 years as a couple. Our story began in 4th grade when we sat next to each other. I moved to a different community for middle school but then came back for high school. The rest is history. We started dating freshman year and have been “us” every since.

20170414_125312

Freshman Year, 1999

A few months ago I went to have a coffee date with a new friend. We were doing the usual “get to know each other” question and answer session. She asked me, referring to my husband and I being together so long, “Have you guys changed a lot?” My immediate response, with a laugh, “Pshhh, no!” I didn’t realize the impact of that question. I have thought of that question almost every day since then.

When I initially asked myself the question again, my reasoning for the NO answer was this: I am still the goof I was in high school. He’s still the muscle that can pick me up and swing me over his shoulder. We still listen to the same music. He still drives and I passenger. We are still together so of course we haven’t changed. But then I continued to ask myself the question over and over since then and I keep realizing, we are totally NOT the same people that we were when we first met, or got married, and we definitely aren’t the same couple after all these years.

The easiest change to see, we are now parents. And even that has changed in the 9 years since we had our daughter. But the other changes might not be as obvious, even to the people who know us best.

The first thing I think of is the way we eat. On our 1 year dating anniversary, John took me out to a super fancy seafood restaurant, not realizing I didn’t eat any sort of seafood. I filled up on bread and ordered a chicken meal. It took me a good 15 years to live that one down. “Remember the time I took you out for fish and you ordered the chicken?” When we were first married I don’t think I ever cooked a vegetable. We ate meat with rice or pasta. We ate out a lot. It wasn’t until about 5 years ago we decided to make changes in our diet. And it wasn’t until just last year that we really decided we were going to clean out our cabinets and start from scratch and start eating clean. Vegetables are now one of our favorite things to eat! And I LOVE seafood!! And I cook wayyyy more often than I ever did; we rarely eat out.

We grew up in southern California. I am not trying to say that there are only two types of people in SoCal, but for this blog there are two types of people; fancy people and hippies. Maybe instead of fancy I could call them lavish. In my opinion, lavish people want a perfect house, the perfect clothes, the perfect tan. Hippies are carefree, they differentiate between wants and needs, and they care more about other people than themselves. I would say we grew up being a healthy mix of those two. We lived in a pretty great neighborhood with all the things we wanted, could go to the beach to get our perfect tans, but were also pretty grounded with good heads on our shoulders and good morals.

When we were first married I think we wanted to be the lavish kids we thought we were. We bought all the things we wanted. We had a tv in each room. We HAD to have cable with HBO. When we could afford to, we spent money on new clothes and new things for the house because we wanted them. And when we had our daughter we wanted her to have all the latest and greatest gadgets because that would be the best for her. We aren’t those people anymore.

We’re the hippies now, 100%. We were slow and steady to make this change. Moving out to the country away from everyone was the first big step. Wanting to live off the land and not have to spend all our money on food when we could grow our own. We realized we wanted to spend more time with each other doing things outside rather than watching tv, so we kept extra tv’s in the moving boxes. We discontinued cable. We had very limited internet (this wasn’t a choice in the beginning but it was a blessing in disguise). We took away our daughter’s tablet (another thing that we didn’t realize was a blessing). We’re in the process of downsizing all of our stuff. We are heading in the minimalist direction, hoping to one day maybe be those weirdos who live in a tiny house with just a bed and a stove on a huge plot of land with chickens and a garden (I’m not kidding, it’s become our dream).

Growing up we weren’t raised religious. We had some church background but nothing that I would say was enough to form us into the people we are today. We still aren’t religious, like Bible religious, but we are both very spiritual. We are constantly learning and sharing ideas with each other that build on our spirituality. It’s something we have grown to share.

And then there’s our relationship. We have always loved each other, no question. And we’ve always been best friends; we GREW up together, how could we not be best friends? But when we were first married, and only 19, we still had growing up to do and things to experience. We did everything together but we still had those moments when we wanted to get away from each other. I was that annoying nagging wife at times. And he was the worker bee that I wanted more attention from. We fought over dumb things, like any new couple, we kept grudges, and would dwell on things we had no control over. Today, we not only love each other more, we LIKE each other more. There’s totally a difference. You can love someone but not enjoy being around them. We enjoy each other. We want to spend time together as much as possible. And we definitely don’t hold grudges. We agree on a lot but when we don’t, we figure it out without being assholes to each other. We laugh A LOT more, me especially when I think we’re fighting over something stupid. We work together. All while still maintaining our independence.

The point of all this is that the answer to the question, “Have you changed?” is most definitely a, “Hell yes, we’ve changed!” And the best part is, we’ve done it together. The second best part is, we are happy. Like, really happy. The happiest we’ve ever been. When talking about us and our lifestyle, hippie-ish, I always tell people that I think this was all in there deep down but it just took a while to really embrace it. Deep down we wanted all this but maybe just didn’t know how to make it happen. And all the roads we’ve taken together were all eventually going to lead us to this point. And now, this is the new starting point down our next road of adventure. Will a lot more change in another 18 years? Who knows. I would guess that we will just further embrace a lot of the things we are moving towards now. And the best part is, we’ll still be doing it together.

20170413_155952

April 13, 2017. 18 years

Adios 2016

fb_img_1483060165313

So yeah,  this is totally me right now.  Not just in life but in the blogging world. Is it #NamasteTuesday? Is it #FarmlifeFriday? When’s the last time I actually did yoga?

My husband has been working half days and everyday after work we’ve been building a chicken coop. When we weren’t building we were shopping for supplies.  When we weren’t doing those things we were eating.  And if we weren’t  eating we were out spending gift cards from Christmas. My point is,  we’ve been thoroughly enjoying winter break!  So much so that I dunno what day it is and I  haven’t sat down to blog. So….

Here’s my lasy blog of 2016! I hope everyone has a marvelous last few days and a Very Happy New Year.  I’ll be back in 2017!

Cheese with Cheese and a Side of Cheese

The other day my husband posted a video (click it) to my Facebook page. There is a restaurant in NY that serves tacos in shells made of cheese. We are a family who loves cheese so this seemed right up our alley. I commented, “Why the f*** have we not done this before?” We decided to try this last weekend. I bought the ingredients (cheese) and went to work.

20161217_182510

Cheese in pan.

20161217_182858

Annnnndd it’s melting. And it’s getting greasy!

20161217_182922

Flipped it!

20161217_184319

And it became a shell. Time to fill it and eat it!

20161217_185625

Annnddd here’s my review…

I DON’T recommend this. I looooooovvveee cheese but this was too much.

In the video you see a lady pull the shell apart and it’s still stringy and melty. My first mistake was cooking the cheese too long. I think my second mistake was having too much time lapse between making the shell and filling and eating it. The shell hardened way too much as it sat there. And my third mistake was thinking that a cheese shell would taste like cheese and not a hard greasy weird shell. Fourth mistake was thinking this much cheese would be a good idea. My daughter took one bite and gave up. I took two bites and gave up. My husband muscled through it and finished his; good job, sweetie.

In conclusion, if I ever go to this restaurant where they have perfected this recipe, I will most definitely try it and probably love it. But I will not be trying to make these at home again. Good luck to anyone who does. I’d love to hear a good review of a homemade cheese shell.

Naked Yoga (No Actual Nudity) #Nameste Tuesday

I have wanted to write about this for a while but wasn’t exactly sure if I could express my feelings, but I’m going to try anyway. Backstory…

I follow the a lot of yoga people on Instagram and a lot of them post naked yoga photos. They are unique and they really show a different side of yoga. One poster is Tattooedyogimama. Everything she posts is unique! And every single photo she posts, naked or not, has a positive message about body image and/or soul image. I look forward to her daily posts. That said, I don’t really understand some of the other nude or scantily clad yoga posters. Some are definitely beautiful and tasteful, but there are soooooo many other people who post wearing tiny shorts or underwear and I get the feeling that they just want to show their butt on IG and look sexy. Not all, but some. For me personally, not wearing a shirt or posting a photo in my bathing suit is a bit risqué. Maybe it’s the mom in me, maybe I’m just not comfortable, maybe I like to keep things to myself. Maybe it’s that I don’t see yoga as sexy. So the thought of ME doing yoga while naked never really occurred to me.

Flash forward to a couple weeks ago when I had an arm balance breakthrough!!

screenshot_20161208-094614

That’s me doing EPK2 or Eka Pada Koundinyasana II. After I sent the photo to Isis I sent it to my husband who was away for work. Because he’s my husband he replied with, “You should do that naked.” So I got naked and did it again. I really did not expect what happened next.

You know how when you post photos online or even send one to your significant other, you always pick the best one. You edit it to make yourself look better. You highlight it to hide imperfections. And you ALWAYS add a filter. My husband has seen me naked a gazillion times, but I still make sure that I hide the zit on my chin and take a photo of the other side of my face when I want to share a smile with him or show him my new shirt or something. He has seen my imperfections and still loves me but I continue to edit photos and send him the best angle because that’s just what I do. Maybe I have some deep seeded model aspirations because I have always been too short to be a model. LOL! Point is, I/we are always striving to look our best in photos. Here’s where the naked yoga photo comes in. I sent it to my husband without a single edit. I didn’t lighten anything, I didn’t retake the photo, I just attached it and sent it on it’s way. And I didn’t even think of editing it. The thought never crossed my mind.

Of course afterwards I started to closely examine the photo and look for imperfections, but guess what? I didn’t find any. I saw nothing but beauty. I saw a strong woman. I saw muscles. I saw a mom. I saw myself doing something I love. I didn’t see someone sexy. Even though the initial thought was me being sexy for my husband, it ended up not being that at all. So a few days later I did it again.

This time I did a little naked flow first. Not wearing clothes during yoga feels so much less binding. You don’t have clothing getting in your way. That alone makes the whole flow better. You aren’t worried about your shirt moving up or your pants riding down. You can focus better and concentrate.

I took a photo of myself doing full dancer this time. I looked at it and my first thought was, “I look just like my painting!”

fb_img_1474397405476

The artist in me got giddy and excited. A few months ago I painted this figure doing full dancer. The figure isn’t necessarily naked, but it’s a depiction of the raw pose; no clothes, just the pose. This is what I saw of myself. Raw, free, unbound, exposed, gah!! I can’t really even describe it. I am sitting here trying to think of more words to describe the feels I was getting but I just can’t. It’s like I was saying in my Thankful for Yoga post… “it isn’t about using your body to learn a pose, it’s about using a pose to learn about your body.” Maybe that can help with understanding the feelings.

I sent this photo to my husband and I said, “isn’t it fantastic?” I then told him thank you for asking me for a naked yoga photo. It did more for me than I ever thought it would. It opened up a new door in my yoga world. Again, it wasn’t about being sexy. It became more about, look at my body! Look what I can do with this body! Look at what the mother of your child can do. I made a human with this body. I was an unhealthy girl and have become a strong, healthy woman.

Of course now I am trying to get Isis to try this so that see can experience the same feelings I have. She has a friend that only does naked yoga when she’s alone and has even gone to a naked yoga retreat. The thought of doing this in a group did in fact cross my mind. Not sure if I’d ever actually do it, but I know it would be life changing. I know that everyone there would be feeling the exact same way as me and it’s something we would spiritually share. Maybe that’s another way to try to describe this…spiritual. Maybe I should stop trying to explain it. Maybe I should just tell you that I recommend it. Don’t do it for the IG followers. Don’t do it because you want to be sexy. Don’t do it just because I tell you to. Do it for you. After all, one of my favorite things to tell people is “yoga is for you.”

Namaste.

 

 

 

 

The Christmas Spirit

I don’t really know exactly what it is, but this year I am really feeling the Christmas spirit. I am not stressing about the holiday. I am not a scrooge (not sure I’ve ever really been that against the holiday). I am just really enjoying this time of year and I can’t really remember ever feeling this happy about it.

I’m not trying to say that I have always been unhappy around Christmas because I love Christmas and I love the holidays, but I can’t recall ever having the feeling I have this year.  I am going to try to explain why I think this year is different. And just so you don’t get all pissy with me, I’m not saying everyone should do, or not do, all these things, I’m just explaining how I think they’ve worked for ME.

First, Santa is no longer real. I cannot tell you how happy I am that we finally got that out of the picture. My daughter knows that at some point in time there was a guy like Santa and that’s where the story comes from, but she now knows for sure that WE are in fact the ones that put presents under the tree. I am so glad to be over that. And I think this has really changed how we go about the holiday. We aren’t spending time writing Santa letters and seeing him at the mall. There is no lying!!! I don’t have to coax her into telling me what she told Santa she wants for Christmas to make sure I find that specific gift and wrap it in different paper. And she isn’t worried about being good all the time. You know, when you take that pressure away, it’s easier to just be good. Which brings me to the next thing we don’t do.

The Elf on the Shelf. We never got into that and I am soooo glad we didn’t. It’s cute, I really do enjoy seeing my friends creativity with their elves, but you know what? That shit’s creepy. An elf watching your every move so he can go narc to Santa. Awesome! And what is this doing to parents? It is making them 100 times more stressed than they need to be. Not only do parents have to remember to move the elf, they have to create super awesome things for the elf to be doing. And then, you forgot to move it! What do you do? Lie to your kids again. And what if the kids touches it? Tears and tantrums because you broke the magic! Heartache is what that elf is. I am glad it’s working out for some families, but again, take that stress off the kids to be good and they might just surprise you. And take the stress away from the parents.

One thing I tried to do a couple years ago that I’ve tried to stick to is buying gifts early or at least spreading out the buying. Not having to spend a crap ton of money all in one month helps soooo much! No stress!! We also sort of stuck to that gift buying guide you have probably seen online…something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read. It really does work out well and takes away the idea that Christmas is just all about toys. It makes the toys more special. I also did a ton of Christmas shopping at the Book Fair. Rather than send our family members lists and having them buy books, maybe buy duplicates, and then have to spend money on shipping, I had them all Paypal me money and I shopped for them. I knew the books my daughter wanted, so I bought them, wrapped them all in different paper and labeled them from each family member. And this was in October! Done and Done!! That takes the stress off me annnnddd my family.

Enjoying the holidays also makes the “giving” aspect much more enjoyable. Rather than feeling like I HAD to give gifts, I WANTED to give gifts. I was already a pretty giving person, but this year still felt more giving.

I really think there is one pretty significant thing that has made me really feel the spirit of the holiday this year. People. The people that we have surrounded ourselves with here in Virginia, and the friends we have kept during all our moving adventures, are really some of the most genuine people we have ever met. There is no drama. No one has any hidden agendas. These people are 100% good people. And that makes all us happier and makes my daughter happier and we just get to be happy and enjoy life.

Merry Christmas, Everyone!!

 

Thankful For Yoga #NamasteTuesday

If you don’t follow me on Instagram, here’s what you missed!!

img_20161113_164157

Everyone is doing “Thankful” challenges so I decided to do my own. I’m going to be thankful for yoga and all the things it has brought me!! To start off day 1, I’m Thankful for Yoga. Period.

img_20161114_114716

Today I’m thankful for the opportunity to share yoga with others in the form of teaching/guiding. I get such a thrill out of people coming to my class and experiencing yoga with me. I never thought this road was on my path, but I’m so glad it was.

img_20161115_095121

Today I’m thankful for the community center where I practice and teach yoga. I happened upon the building looking for the library when I first moved here. At the library I learned of the yoga and exercise classes. I immediately became part of the community. We frequent the community center as often as we do Starbucks (if you know us you know this is a LOT) and we get involved as often as possible. If I didn’t see the yoga sign that day, life here would be very different.

img_20161117_092915

Today I’m thankful for the opportunities my yoga teaching/attending has given my daughter. When the hub is home I go to yoga alone and the two of them get dad/daughter time. When hub is gone the daughter comes with me and spends time in the library. It’s so awesome! I don’t think about her the entire time. I know she’s reading, crafting, or busy gabbing with the two librarians, 60ish year old Ricky and 32 year old Mary. Gwen even says Mary if her bff. The opportunity this gives Gwen is so much more than library time. It’s time away from me and time for her to be extremely independent and adulty. Annnnddd, if one lady hadn’t ever come to my class, we wouldn’t have been invited to a Hoe-Down at a horse ranch and we wouldn’t have ever gotten Gwen involved in the FREE horse therapy/riding lesson program. Annnnddd I wouldn’t be the new craft coordinator for said program. All thanks to the yoga classes in a tiny community center. p.s. my money tree isn’t dead. She’s sad because she was outside in a freeze.

img_20161119_173923

Yoga in the biggest, comfyest (totally a word) pair of sweats I own. Today I’m thankful for what yoga has done for my soul. I feel like the philosophy of yoga (there’s so much more to yoga than being stretchy) unlocked a part of me that was always there but maybe not right on the surface. Ever since really embracing the yoga lifestyle I feel 100% myself. It’s a missing piece I didn’t even know was missing.

img_20161120_103810

Today I’m thankful for what yoga has done for my body. Not only am I stronger and more flexible, I love my body for both it’s flaws and awesomeness, and I’m more in tune with my body. I read somewhere that “it’s isn’t about using your body to learn a pose, it’s about using a pose to learn about your body.”

img_20161121_094909

I tried something new today. I’m continuing to try to figure out new things to do with my legs while in pincha. This was tough but I held it for a couple breaths.

Today I’m thankful for what yoga has done for my spirituality. I’m not religious, never have been. But I am spiritual. Not believing in one specific idea allows me to be open to a gazillion others. And yoga philosophy has really opened my mind and made me feel, again, like I am finally 100% me. I’ve been living this life for 30+ years but I am finally living it fully.

img_20161122_152806

Today I am thankful for what yoga has done for my marriage. I know that seems weird. But yoga gives me time away, mini breaks, time for myself. Yoga has taught me not to sweat the small stuff. Again, it’s one of those things that was there already but yoga has enhanced it. Yoga has really taught me that there are so many other important things in my life and to really enjoy everyday things. Which in turn has helped in the marriage department. Been married 13 years today (11/22)

#ThankfulForYoga

 

Yoga Thursday

Just like with all creative endeavors, you start with a plan. It may work out, it may not. When I decided to revamp the blog (again) and have certain days to write about certain things it was a great way to get me started. I’ve enjoyed writing my #NamasteTuesday posts all about my yoga journey. But sometimes yoga happens when it isn’t Tuesday and I want to write on a different day. So…I’m not saying goodbye to #NamasteTuesday but I’m going to allow myself to not stick to it and have freedom with my posts. Which brings us to today.

Today is a pretty significant day in my yoga world. Facebook reminded me that two years ago today was the first time I took a yoga class taught by my bff and yoga bff, Isis. That day I did not think my life would turn into what it is today. I am forever grateful for that class.

I am also doing the second backbend challenge, #Bentyogis2, and today’s pose is pigeon. Of course I had to take the king pigeon variation.

But before I show you that, I want to show you my very first time trying king pigeon. If you don’t already know, this is one of my super fave poses. It’s also the first pose I ever wanted to try and progress in. I wanted to be able to bend, reach back to grab my toes, and not fall over. There is a lot of balance in this pose. So last year in September I grabbed my strap and started.

screenshot_2016-10-27-09-43-40-1

There’s a few things to say about this photo. One, my left leg is practically underneath me; in a perfect execution of this pose, that leg would be perpendicular to my body. Two, I’m barely bending back. I’m thinking at this point I didn’t realize it was a backbend. And last, I clearly cannot get my arms back to grab my toes let alone balance.

Flash forward two months and me practicing this pose…

screenshot_2016-10-27-09-43-40-2

One, that front leg is still underneath me. Two, I reached back but look at my hilarious face! I’m not at all comfortable. I’m staining and hurting myself.

Just about a year later… (Today)

screenshot_2016-10-27-09-29-35

I am so incredibly comfortable in this pose now. You can’t see, but my front leg is much straighter now (not perpendicular yet but getting there), I can reach back with ease, and look at that backbend. My head dips down below my toes. Whoa!

This is why I always add the hashtag, #practicemakesprogress. It’s so true. You can see it! I can see it in so many poses. Even in the simpler Warrior poses, I can see how my lunges are deeper and my hips are more flexible. My shoulders… As much as I complain that my shoulders need work, they’ve come a long way since the start. This is what yoga practice does.

But I must say, yoga did not just make me more flexible. Yoga has made me into a better version of myself. Yoga has made me incredibly comfortable in my skin. I could go on all day about how powerful yoga, breathing, and meditation is, but I’ll just say its just that. Powerful.

Namaste.

My Daughter was an asshole…Then we Took Away her Tablet

Let me preface this by giving you a bit of insight into our life. We are currently living in Virginia, about 50 miles south of Richmond, in the country. We don’t have cable and we have limited internet (a data plan). We own a Wii, the first one, not the WiiU or anything new. We have an iPad, I have a first gen iPod that is still alive and kicking, and we have a laptop. We don’t go out and buy the newest and greatest electronics. We even do Netflix the old school way by getting DVDs in the mail. We read books, we use pen and paper, we spend time outdoors.

All that said, you can imagine that our 8 year old daughter might feel left out sometimes. She had never played Minecraft, she isn’t watching the newest Netflix shows, she doesn’t watch Cartoon Network or Disney Channel, and she isn’t quite up on the latest and greatest out there for kids her age. So last year when we were deciding on what her BIG present should be for Christmas, a tablet was the first thing we thought of.

Pre-tablet, I’d say our daughter was the most awesome little person ever. She had fun doing everything. She enjoyed everything. She wanted to spend time with us and go places and do things. She loved to read books and would even stay up late in bed reading books. She loved to write stories and do art projects. And we never fought. Sure, we had our struggles just like all parents and kids, but nothing that wasn’t quick and solved and over and done with. She was our unicorn child. You know, the ones you only read about but don’t really exist.

Christmas 2015 arrives and she gets her tablet. Its the best thing ever. She even got a couple Google Play gift cards to spend. Minecraft was downloaded along with other games and even a couple movies. We lost her that day. She went into her room and never came out.

But first, we did have rules. Since we are on a data plan, no wifi while at home. We could do wifi if we went to Starbucks or other places. She could do Minecraft but also had to do other things. No BUYING anything unless she had a gift card. And no tablet at night.

Things went well for a while. She followed all the rules. She would put the tablet away when we asked. She would still do all the other things she loved. Until she didn’t. I’ll admit that at first it didn’t bother us. Like all parents, it was a babysitter sometimes. And don’t lie, you use devices for the same reason. We all do. If my husband and I wanted to watch a movie uninterrupted, the tablet helped with that. Then, the hour of tablet time after homework turned into all evening. The 3 hour drive to DC was 3 hours on the tablet. Weekends were spent begging to go to Starbucks so she could watch a Youtube video or download a new game. She never wanted to do anything else. Read a book? Ha! I’d have to force her to read and that’s never fun. Color? Why color on paper when you could build something amazing on Minecraft? And the fighting…holy shit this girl liked to fight with us.

And it wasn’t just the fighting over tablet time. It was fighting over EVERYTHING!! And the attitude. I would joke with friends that I had a 16 year old 8 year old. She was turning into an asshole. And I had no problem telling her that. She had an attitude about something silly, asshole. She wanted to fight with me about eating dinner, asshole. Everything was a fight and she was an asshole about everything. She would huff and puff when we asked her to do normal stuff. She would talk back. Everything was a negotiation. “Fine! I’ll eat my broccoli if I can play the tablet.” We didn’t give into these negotiations of course; we did do that part right. She was rude to us and other people. My daughter was an asshole. I honestly didn’t realize what the problem was. I started to question my parenting. I thought I was doing everything wrong because my unicorn child was turning into the asshole kids I see at the grocery store yelling at their parents.

Why was this happening? It never clicked.

Fast forward to this summer. I flew her to San Diego to spend the entire almost 3 months with my parents. The perk? Unlimited wifi. That child would spend HOURS upon hours on Youtube watching Minecraft videos and crap. And my parents noticed the attitude. She wasn’t there but maybe 2 weeks when the shit hit the fan.

I woke up to $200 spent on Google Play. At first I thought I had been hacked because, “My daughter would never do that. She knows better. She follows the rules!” I had my dad do some recon work and found out it was her. I really couldn’t believe it. All her assholeness aside, I didn’t think she’d do something like this. That was the last day she had a tablet.

Within two days my mom called me and told me that the old daughter was back. She was back to doing Legos, reading books (she read about 20 books while in California), coloring, and being an awesome kid. She spent the rest of the summer living in a bathing suit, building an entire Lego city, traveling with my parents, doing art projects, and having a blast.

IMG954754

Here she is writing a story on a medieval tablet. 

IMG955154

Here she’s a goofball at In-n-Out. Even her goofballness was something that was missing during the tablet months. 

She’s been home almost a week now and my husband and I keep saying how we are so glad to have her back. But we don’t just mean physically. We are glad that we have the old daughter back. She’s back to being her old self. We were at an event the other day and rather than stand in a huge line SHE suggested we just walk over to the library so she could get more books. Instead of, “Can I go play my tablet now?” she says things like, “Wow, mom! I’ve read almost all the Junie B Jones books!” Instead of me finding her hiding in her closet playing the tablet, I find her in my craft room painting a canvas. (see below)

20160829_103645Man, did we miss her.

The reason I decided to write all this down for other people is because I noticed something after talking to friends. Their kids are acting the same exact way. The kids that are usually awesome have attitudes like teenagers and act like shit heads when they never did before. I have told them about the change in our daughter and they all have said, “You know what? I notice a change when they are on their devices too much.” I am not saying that the key to ending attitudes is no electronics, but it’s a damn good start. Try it. We’re not exactly glad the $200 happened, but it made us decide to end the tablet for good and it’s worked out better than we ever expected. Just today my daughter asked when she was going to get the tablet back. I said, “HA! Never.” And then I continued, “Maybe when you’ve grown up a bit but still maybe never.” Without a hint of attitude my daughter said, “Oh. Okay.” And now we’re doing a craft.

Another reason I wanted to write it all down is to let you know that no parent is perfect. I really and truly doubted myself for the 7 months my daughter was an asshole. I really did not ever think it was the tablet. I thought I was doing a shitty job as a parent. And maybe giving an 8 year old so much freedom was a shitty idea on my part. But we learned. And that’s the basis of raising kids right? Do bad shit and learn from it and hope you didn’t screw them up too much.

Update: I left the laptop open and my daughter read the first part of my title. She asked, “Why am I an asshole?” I told her that she WAS and now she’s not. She asked why and so I asked her why she thought she was. She said, “Because of my tablet.” Smart kid this one.

I’m back?

As usual, I make a blog writing goal and then fail. I looked today and I haven’t written an entry since 2014. I think the reason my last attempt failed is because I tried to focus on crafting and art only instead of just writing. I could also blame being part of the PTA and the Girl Scout leader; I didn’t have much time for anything with those two things in my life last year. And because the new focus of this blog is going to be ME, I can also add that in all honesty, marriage was hard last year and if I was to write anything, it may not have been 100% positive. Plus, I don’t like to talk about that kind of stuff but I just did and I broke my own rule and oh well, it’s my time to write.

So, here’s a quick update on me. Since my last blog post, my family has moved from sunny and hot Arizona back to the east coast. We now live in Virginia in a great brick house about 20 miles from anything. We are testing out the country living lifestyle and we are loving it!! My daughter rides the bus everyday because we only have one car and that means I am 100% a stay-at-home mom and wife (because I literally can’t leave) and no more Girl Scouts or PTA. I don’t run as much as I used to because there aren’t any places to run around here. We live on a highway (unsafe to run on), there aren’t any sidewalks (a quirk of the east coast), and there aren’t any parks or anything within (safe) walking distance. We have a TON of land and my husband mowed me a running track, but I have come to realize that as much as I miss running, I am a bit of a running snob. Right now it’s just too darn cold, the ground is super soggy from rain and melting snow, there is still snow on the ground, and it’s cold. 55 degrees and humid is pretty ideal running conditions, not 30 and dry. Since I can’t run, I do other things. After I had been in Arizona for about a year, I started taking a yoga class taught by a friend. I got hooked. Now yoga is pretty much my life. I am always trying new things and trying to get closer to calling myself a “yogi”. When I’m not doing yoga, I’m doing other sorts of exercises, reading books, learning about all the history that surrounds us here in VA, helping my daughter find her missing lego piece, taking care of my two mutts and new cat, trying to continue to eat healthy, and busy being an admin of my health and wellness group on Facebook.

Basically, I am the exact same person I was a couple years ago, except I am a bit thinner, more flexible, and slightly more knowledgeable about U.S. history. I still do art, just not as often, so if you liked my blog for just the art, well, start to like it for other reasons. New year, new blog name, new posts! I am not setting a goal this time but I do hope to be back writing more often then before.

Oh, if you want a little more insight into the “Life of a Chrissy” (good new name?) follow me on Instagram @chrissyq02. I’m fun, I promise!

%d bloggers like this: