Sunday, February 19, 2017

A Mostly Whiny Blog Post Just This Once

The last time I came to this space to put some thoughts down on paper, I vowed to blog more and blog better in 2017. We're nearing the end of February and this is the first time I've returned, so I'll give you two guesses how that's going for me so far (*eye roll emoji).

At the end of December I worked really hard on setting goals and intentions and bucket list items for 2017 and I was so excited for the new year. Then the new year came and shit hit the fan. I'm being slightly dramatic but really, one bad thing seemed to happen after the other. Heads up, I'm about to complain for the next few paragraphs so if you're not into that feel free to skip ahead.

Firstly, on my first day back at work after the new year/holiday weekend I got word that changes were happening on our team. Changes that made me sad, and mad, and anxious and it was all drama and I don't do well with drama. It wears me out. And it definitely doesn't put me in a blogging mood.

Then, on the same day I go back to work after the new year/holiday weekend, my internet quits working and thus begins the great Cox saga of 2017. In a nutshell (and trust me I need to put this into a nutshell in order to keep my blood pressure at non-lethal levels), the internet and tv lines on both the inside and outside of my house needed to be replaced and it took FIVE separate appointments, FIVE separate technicians, FIVE different times I had to adjust and take time out of my work schedule, and a few lots of tears to actually get them replaced and get my tv and internet services restored. THEN, when we got our bill last week not only did they not credit us like the supervisor we spoke to on the phone told us they would, but they actually tried charging us almost $100 extra dollars for the work it took them 5 technicians to do. I don't use the word 'hate' often, but I hate Cox. I hate them so much and I really mean it, you guys. I hate them and they definitely don't put me in a blogging mood.

Then my water heater broke and flooded my garage. And some of my bathroom. And parts of the spare bedroom. And then my mom's dog died, and we all cried. So basically, it was kind of a shitty January and nothing about it put me in a blogging mood. Also, "shitty" is my new favorite describing word.

But as always, we have to look for the good things in the midst of all the bad things, and there were definitely some good things in January too. Sarah was the first in our group of friends to turn 30...
...and Charlene hosted a party to celebrate. The theme was gold since it was her golden birthday (turning 30 on the 30th) and I have to say, Amy really nailed this one:
We ate food and hung out and passed bottles of wine around the fire pit and poured them into red solo cups and drank lots of wine out of red solo cups. Cause we're fancy like that.

Nate and I took the dogs and the 4Runner out on a rainy Sunday and cruised the Bartlett Lake area. We tried to get allllllll the way back to Sheep Bridge at the Verde River but came upon some really slick mud and basically started sliding down the hill. We were so close we could see the bridge, but decided to turn back considering the rest of the way was downhill, and I really just wanted to see the bridge - not heavens' gates, this day. It's the second time we've done this trip and oddly enough, both times have been in the rain and we've had to turn back.

So, even though January had some good, it was mostly bad and I'm happy we're on to February which is already going swimmingly. New year new blog me starts now. ...but in case it doesn't don't be mad either, mmk?!

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

I Used to be Good at Blogging

You know, I wanted to blog tonight and I thought to myself, "you could do a 2016 year in review!" similar to this one, but then I went through all my posts from 2016 - a whopping 20 of them, 21 if you count this one, and they're basically all catch-up posts. So a 2016 year in review would basically be like, all of the catch-up posts I've done this year mashed into one. And even I think that sounds boring.

But it got me to looking through my blog archives and I read a lot of my old posts, and it kind of makes me sad that I basically went the last two years with nothing but catch-up posts. That's so boring. Why didn't anyone tell me I got so boring???! Quite frankly, as I read through old posts I thought to myself, "how was I ever that creative??" And, can I ever be that creative again? I mean, this blog is going to turn six years old next year (six!), maybe my creativity has just run its course? Maybe my blog life was only meant for a good five year run and I've really just been scraping the bottom of the barrel with boring catch-up posts the last couple years? Whatever it is, it kind of makes me sad. Like, how did I ever come up with a "Lab Shark?"
Or convince people that I was good candidate for Vice President of the United States?

...actually that's a lie I probably convinced no one, but still. What made me think to write a small biographical blurb about the deer Nate killed, or his javelina? Or actually take the time to sit down and think about what Shania Twain songs taught me about relationships? 
I read those old posts and I'm just like, how did I think of these things?

There's a few things I'm thinking might be stymieing my creativity/blogging mojo.

1.) I haven't been engaged in politics the way I used to be (and boy did I used to be), so the current happenings of the day don't give me inspiration for post ideas since I'm not paying attention. I don't even really know when the State of the Union address is anymore, let alone be able to blog about it. I wrote about a filibuster once...I think the Democrats had a sit-in of sorts this year but I don't know what it was for or how long they sat in or even when that naturally I couldn't blog about it.

2.) I don't really read other blogs anymore so I don't get any inspiration from the blogosphere like, first world fits for example, or lists of things I couldn't think of on my own. If I don't read other blogs then I'm certainly not "linking up" with them either, like this one or this one, or this one. Are link-ups still a thing?

3.) I'm not in school anymore and oddly enough, when I have a lot of time I'm not good at time management. When I'm busy and have class to go to and homework to complete and research to do all while working full time, I'm better at managing my time - therefore, I blogged more when I was in school. Now I'm just a lazy POS who watches too much Bravo network.

4.) My blog is almost six years old (six!) so you can only celebrate birthdays and introduce your friends and your dogs and your family for like, the first two years of your blog before it starts to get repetitive 'cause everyone already knows everyone. Although meeting new friends is fun, and blogging used to do that for me. I miss that.

5.) Since I'm not blogging regularly, I don't think I'm really on the look-out for things to blog about. There's plenty of posts I've written that are essentially about nothing - just everyday observations or happenings that I managed to write a blog post about because it came to my attention. Maybe I just need to pay closer attention to life. Attention to detail = blog post ideas.

A goal for me in the new year is to definitely blog more; look at the difference in the amount of posts I used to write since I started this blog:
I wrote 122 posts in 2013....and 20 in 2016. I want to not just write more, but I used toBe more creative. Be more fun. Don't be so boring and write so many catch up posts. Thanks for putting up with my catch-up posts for the last two years basically.

Here's to a more creative 2017!

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Monday, December 26, 2016

December Things

December 26th is always a little sad isn't it? I just feel like we wait all year for Christmas and all the anticipation of the holiday season and all the Christmas-y things we all love and then it's over in the blink of an eye. 24 hours of December 25th and then bam it's gone. If I were a calendar with cliche motivational quotes December 26th would probably say "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." Super cliche but yolo, totally applicable.

My Christmas season was a good one; I feel like I crammed a lot into like a week-ish of November and four weeks of December. I bought all the Christmas-scented 3-wick candles from Bath and Body Works that my bank account would allow. I decorated my house, including I found a new way to display my Christmas cards and I love it so much I never want to take it down.
I baked Christmas goodies...but I have no pictures because my hands were probably covered in peanut butter and my head was inside of a baking dish licking all the chocolate out...or something. I looked at Christmas lights with my family. I got a Christmas tree.
...a real Christmas tree cause that's how the Townsends roll. Actually, it's mostly just how I roll - Nate hates it and thinks it's too much work.

Amaes Photography who also happens to be one of my BFFs, took Christmas pictures for us again this year and it might be my favorite yet.
We couldn't have planned for the snow even if we tried - it fell from the sky as we took pictures and it was the coolest thing ever. And also freaking cold. And windy. But definitely the coolest thing ever. Between the weather, the dogs, our inability to focus, and...the dogs, we're sort of high maintenance...
...but Jennica still manages to make us look good. Sorry, I know that was a lot of Christmas pictures; I get carried away when I look at them (*heart eyes emoji*).

Anyway, other December things we did include going to Sedona for the weekend to play in the snow and look at Christmas lights...neither of which happened because 1.) There was no snow left on the ground, and 2.) Sedona turns off their Christmas lights at 7pm. SEVEN PM. So we drank margaritas (*cough lots of them cough*) and played Heads Up in the hotel lobby instead.
We didn't get in trouble or a noise complaint all night, and considering the volume of margaritas we'd all had, that's a Christmas miracle in itself.

While we were up in Sedona we hiked West Fork Trail - one that's been on my list for a while! I was hoping for a magical snowy trail but alas, it just wasn't in the cards for this weekend. Still, it was as beautiful as I'd hoped and an afternoon well-spent.

We Christmas Eve'd at Nate's parents house, then Nate's grandmas house, then my parents house. We ate shrimp and I won $20 by unwrapping a big huge ball of Saran Wrap. I also won a bunch of candy bars for guessing Christmas carols that people were humming the fastest. You could say I cleaned house this Christmas Eve. 

We Christmas'd at home together and enjoyed a quiet relaxing day. We opened gifts in the morning, including the dogs who got to unwrap a gift for themselves. They in fact did unwrap it all themselves. Gunther is quite handsy and Maycee has dewclaws which are basically thumbs so they made it happen.
I think they liked it...
..and I think we liked our gifts too. 
We made breakfast burritos and a ham for dinner with a nap somewhere there in between. 

I'm always sad when Christmas is over, but at the same time I look forward to a new year and a fresh start! 2017 is just around the corner!

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Monday, December 12, 2016

All of the Things in a Feeble Attempt to Catch up this Blog

I'm just gonna come out and say it - this is probably gonna be a really long post. But that's because I haven't posted in a really long time and I have this thing where, when I get the bug to blog I feel like I can't just pick up and start new - I feel like I need to go back and review what's been going down so that my blog goes in chronological order. Maybe it's OCD, or ADD or CBS or NBC but either way, I gotta do it. So if you hate catch-up posts, sorry - this is a catch up post.

I basically haven't updated this for all of fall. How embarrassing, I know. I actually found a draft post I started in Mid-October and I thought about using it and to just add onto it but it was already super long so I thought I'd spare you and start over all together. I'll try and hit the high points - a "high level overview," as I like to say at work. At twerk. Neh-twerk.

Back in September one of my best friends Charlene got a permit for Fossil Springs and the short of it is, Fossil Springs was plan A for the day, and we ended up on plan C by the time the day was over. Hey, when roads are closed and you can't find Forest Road 81 E (because I'm pretty sure that's a made up thing), you have to improvise and we ended up at Potato Lake. Nate and I had been before on a day trip and since we were in the area why not cruise over there and eat our lunch and salvage what was left of the day right?
We hiked to the back of the lake...I use the term "lake" loosely because although "Potato LAKE" is its name, it's more like, Potato watering hole:
Nonetheless, it's a cool watering hole/lake-ish and the area is still gorgeous. We ate our lunches and somehow started a game that consisted of throwing rocks at a rock. It's pretty self explanatory - you pick up small rocks and throw them at a bigger rock and see if you can hit it. Exhibit A:
It's very ridiculous and very simplistic, and also kind of funny - so much so that Charlene enthusiastically proclaimed "I love that this is our activity!!" Throwing rocks at rocks. Rocks on rocks y'all!! Even though our Plans A and B failed, it's time well wasted any time you can get out of the valley, smell the Ponderosas...and throw rocks at rocks.

So, I told you all about how I hiked Reavis Ranch back in early October. Well before this, Charlene and I scheduled in advance (waaaay in advance) a Friday to head up to Flagstaff and hike Lockett Meadow. I had never been and it had been on the list for a while. Had I known what kind of shape I'd be in after Reavis, I would've never scheduled another hike one week later...yes, it took me weeks for my knees and feet and hips and toes to recover (it's fine if you judge me I acknowledge I'm a weak amateur). But nonetheless we hauled our butts up to Lockett Meadow and I'm sure glad we did cause:
Pretty impressive right?! After we made it to the top where the meadow connects with the Inner Basin Trail, we decided to turn back around and opted to find a good spot for our hammocks. 
We laid in our hammocks and ate snacks in the middle of Lockett Meadow and it was the best day ever. 

The rest of the fall included wedding shenanigans - up to and including the actual wedding - for one of my favorite blog-friend turned life-friend, Brianna. We showered her with love at her wedding shower,
alcohol at her Bachelorette party (of which this is the only picture I have because, alcohol),
and more love and more alcohol at her wedding.

Halloween came and went this year and Gunther was the dog version of Uncle Sam and Maycee was like, a German pretzel maker. I went with like, a global theme this year.
I'm just kidding I didn't go with a theme - I went with the only costumes that were left on Halloween day because I procrastinate and everything was picked over. 

I got a new truck this fall so we spent a few weekends out and about breaking it in - by breaking it in I mean there's dog hair already all over it and slobber on the windows. 

The election came and went; I went over to Charlene's house to watch the returns and we got through it the only way we know how:
...getting wine drunk.

After the election came Thanksgiving and I ended up having a few different versions of it. One early, with some of my in-laws' family; we got to spend some overdue time with my niece and seriously could she be any cuter? on time with my family, and one late because Nate worked on the holiday.
That's a lot of food to eat and thanks to give and all of it was perfect...except for the Nate having to work thing, I'd be ok if that were different.

That about brings us up to speed. See told ya, it was a long one. But now my inner OCD issues are satisfied and we can continue blogging onward and upward. Thanks for keeping up, friends!

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