Monday, March 12, 2018

Thanks for the Memories

You know that saying that's like, "nothing in life lasts forever?" While I've always known this to be true, this is really starting to hit me hard lately. I think maybe I've gotten a little too comfortable in life you know, just kind of cruising along and then all of a sudden the things you love most in life get taken from you at a moments notice.

For example, the baked brie at The Keg. You know, the baked brie on the happy hour menu, served with the little crostini's and the pesto? It's gone. You can keep looking through the whole menu (believe me, I did), but you won't be able to find it. It was a bit of a traumatic experience, to wander into the Keg on a Friday for happy hour, all happy and unsuspecting, ready to devour some delicious baked brie and pesto, only to sit down and see the menu just lying there - baked brie-less. Baked Brie was the reason I went to The Keg for happy hour. It's what gave me purpose between the hours of 4 and 7pm, posted up at a patio table; and now I'm just here, picking up the pieces of my happy hours that have been torn apart by the removal of baked brie. RIP to happier times at The Keg.

RIP to Wild Mushroom Bisque too. My favorite soup served in the cafeteria at work. One day as my coworkers and I were bemoaning the prolonged absence of Wild Mushroom Bisque from the weekly soup rotation, Bernadette decided to email the cafeteria manager - "ay yo - where da bisque at??!," she inquired. She didn't put it like that per say, but that was the gist. And with his response my worst nightmare came true - the vendor discontinued it. This is not okay. I am not okay. Wild Mushroom Bisque was the only soup that would bring me into the office on a work from home day. Wild Mushroom Bisque gave me something to look forward to in a weekly soup line up full of vegetable beef barley, broccoli cheese, and vegetarian chili. The soup future at work looks bleak, guys. Keep me in your thoughts and prayers mmmk?

To kick me while I'm down, Victoria's Secret stopped making Warm and Cozy in a lotion, and Scentsy discontinued my favorite Satin Sheets scent bar. Satin Sheets made my bedroom smell so luxurious as if there were actual satin sheets on my bed and not cheap Ikea ones covered in dog hair. Satin Sheets made me forget about the dog hair, guys.

I've never had so many of my favorite things disappear so quickly in such a short amount of time before. I haven't felt this lost since Chili's got rid of the Chicken Caesar Pita circa 2007. You can't even tell me I'm being dramatic on that one, that was a damn good pita.

But you know as they say, nothing in life lasts forever. Hopefully that includes these withdrawals of not being able to eat a baked block of cheese every week.


What discontinued products do you miss?!

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Sunday, March 4, 2018

I'm a Hufflepuff and I think I'm OK With it

I have a coworker who believe it or not, had never read the Harry Potter books, nor seen any of the movies. People like that are out there, guys. They exist. But thankfully, over the holidays we convinced her to watch all the movies and learn the story and that, she did. So, as she was experiencing Harry Potter for the first time we (obviously) had a lot of HP discussion at work and it got me to remembering how much I love Harry Potter. I began reading HP as a kid as each book came out and I have to admit....I have never once re-read them since (it's fine if you judge me, I'm judging me too on this one). Which also got me to thinking, as we had all these discussions, how much I've forgotten about the story. Feeling ashamed and embarrassed like, what kind of HP fan am I (no seriously), I decided to re-read all seven HP books.

So, at this moment not only am I about 3/4 of the way through Chamber of Secrets, but I'm deep in the Harry Potter fandom, guys. Like, deep. I'm talking, listening to Harry Potter Podcasts (if you want a good one my favorite is MuggleCast), buying all the anniversary collector's editions that came out when I wasn't a dedicated enough fan to be aware of such a thing, and of course re-visiting

The best part about Pottermore is that once you create an account, you can take the Sorting Hat quiz (written by J.K. Rowling herself so you know it's 2legit2quit) and be sorted into a House. I did this exercise years ago in 2012 when Pottermore first became a thing and I was sorted into Ravenclaw. Since then, I've always identified as a Ravenclaw and even bought Luna Lovegood's wand when I went to Harry Potter World in Orlando. So, once my coworkers and I got to talking about what houses we had all been sorted into, I felt compelled to go back and visit Pottermore. However upon my first visit, it prompted me to create a new account because apparently, unbeknownst to me, Pottermore got a facelift in 2015 and they totally re-did/re-designed the whole thing. So, new account = new sorting quiz.

I took the quiz and was sorted into Hufflepuff. So naturally, I deleted my account, created a new one and re-took the sorting quiz FOUR more times and three out of those four times, was sorted into Hufflepuff.

I was not okay with this because here's the thing: nobody wants to be a Hufflepuff. The internet tells you so, Draco Malfoy tells you so (although his opinion doesn't really count for too much because he's kind of an ass), and even Hagrid was talking some shit about Hufflepuff in book 1. Quite frankly, if there's a house nobody should want to be in I would think it'd be Slytherin for obvious reasons, but what do I know. So, unhappy with my Sorting Hat Ceremony results and very aware of the reputation of Hufflepuff's, I spent an entire Friday night Googling Hufflepuff House to try and convince myself that being a Hufflepuff isn't a bad thing and you know what, I'm convinced. In fact, I'm kind of obsessed with it now and I am full-on embracing my inner 'puff.

Loyalty, patience, hard work, and fair play might not be the sexy qualities of the bravery of Gryffindor, or the ambition of Slytherin but guess what? We're ride or die ok?       
The Sorting Hat says, 

"You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true,
And unafraid of toil."

Unafraid of toil. Our house symbol is a badger. Do I need to remind you that honey badger don't give a shit?
It doesn't And neither do we. We don't care that you think we're boring, or generic (jk I totally did at first hence, this blog post), we know what's up and we always hold true to it. We're underestimated and we're ok with that. I'm underestimated everyday in my real life; a few months ago an Omaha Steaks salesman knocked on my door and when I answered he asked if my mom was home. I said, I'M THE HOMEOWNER, BETCH. I didn't say that, actually, I was thinking it though. The point is, Hufflepuff's are bad ass in a strong and silent, subtle and unassuming kind of way.
During the Battle of Hogwarts,

"The Hufflepuffs, virtually to a person, stay – as do the Gryffindors. Now, the Gryffindors comprise a lot of foolhardy and show-offy people… You know, there’s bravery and there’s also showboating, and sometimes the two go together. The Hufflepuffs stayed for a different reason. They weren’t trying to show off, they weren’t being reckless. That’s the essence of Hufflepuff House." - J.K. Rowling.

Even the queen herself said, "In many many ways, Hufflepuff is my favorite house."

Match point: Hufflepuff

So, from the yellow and black, earthy goodness, to Cedric Diggory and Nymphadora Tonks, Newt Scamander and his fantastic beasts, and all the Herbology in between - Hufflepuff is where it's at and I'm here for it.

And if you too are a Hufflepuff, I say let your 'Puff flag fly because as J.K. Rowling herself said, it's the dawn of the age of Hufflepuff.

We're just out here living our best life and, as they say, everyday we're Hufflin'.

Have you taken the Pottermore quiz? What House do you belong to?!

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Monday, February 5, 2018

Things That Never got Blogged: The Entire Months of November through February

Hi, hello, is this thing on?! It's me again, Carissa - the one who used to put words and pictures and stuff here and always says she's gonna blog more but never does. Hi, yes, that's me. It's February now, and the last time I blogged was November...oops. See the thing is, early November came so fast and then the end of November was busy with the holiday and stuff, and then December came and I was stuck on the couch watching Hallmark movies all month long (so def couldn't blog right), and then early January came and I was like, trying to clean up Christmas and mourning the loss of Hallmark Christmas movies, and then the rest of January took so damn long I got really busy just wondering why January was taking so long to be over with. Makes sense right?

So I'm here to do a highlight reel of sorts, because 1.) my inner OCD doesn't let me casually start blogging again without catching it up first, and 2.) The end of 2017 was actually full of really fun stuff.

*Taylor Swift's new Album Reputation finally came out and my friend and fellow closet Swiftie ("closet" because we're 30 and I don't think anyone over the age of 13 can publicly refer to themselves by the name of a particular fandom) made a morning out of it. Target, brunch, then sat in my car to listen to the album because we both realized we don't own CD players. 2017 probs.

*We took the side-by-side out and buzzed around the Tonto National Forest back to Sheep's Bridge with my in-laws. The family that eats dirt together, stays together. Although next time I'm calling dibs on lead because I don't actually like eating that much dirt.
 Sheep's Bridge

*My friend Kailey hosted a Friendsgiving and it was lovely and impressive and delicious. One day your bff's are strangers you met on the internet, the next day you're drinking sangria at Friendsgiving together. Life comes at you fast.

*We made our annual Christmas photo trip with my dear friend Jennica of Amaes Photography, which might actually seem like it belongs in December but we were ahead of the game this year and got our Christmas photos done in November. And as per the usual, Jennica did an amazing job, and every year I'm like, how can we top this next year?? And every year we do.


*We set out looking for a small Christmas tree this year and ended up getting the biggest one we've ever had because it was actually the cheapest one we found (love you, Costco). I put it in a new spot in my living room and it was my absolute favorite thing this holiday season.
*I discovered I had the Hallmark Channel this Christmas and so naturally, proceeded to watch so many Hallmark Christmas movies that Nate turned it into a verb ("Uh oh, she's Hallmarking again").

*My family took our annual weekend trip, this year to Prescott and we had the best time. We saw so many Christmas light displays, went hiking at Lynx Lake, and saw the most impressive gingerbread house exhibit. 

*By some stroke of luck, Nate was offered Christmas Eve off which made the actual holidays so much better. Since he works the graveyard shift, that meant we had Christmas Eve night together and most of Christmas day before he went to work Christmas night. 

*This holiday season was a really really good one. A culmination of small things just really added up to make my Christmas feel so full. Usually after the holidays I'm ready for a fresh start in the new year but I was really sad to see this Christmas go. 

Christmas 2017 from Carissa on Vimeo.

*Rang in the new year by myself but it's fine because I had a whole bottle of champagne to myself and re-decorated my pallet.

*My family had a ribs and corhole day complete with crock-pot Mac and cheese and a surprise guest appearance by T-rex.
January 2018 Ribs and Cornhole Short from Carissa on Vimeo.

*My mom and I rode bikes to Postinos on a Saturday morning, drank a bunch of mimosas, and then got rained on the whole way home. We were drunk-ish so it's like we didn't even notice. Jk we totally noticed and we were totally wet. But also totally had fun.

*Nate received the 2017 Veteran's of Foreign Wars (VFW) Police Officer of the Year award in a lovely ceremony that he didn't want to go to because he hates this kind of thing, but we love it and are so proud and made him take lots of pictures.

*Out with the old pallet, in with the new. I got this letter board for Christmas and now it's my new favorite staple on my wood pallet and I spent an embarrassing amount of time googling "Harry Potter Valentine's puns" to find this one. Totally worth it.

If you've made it this far and are still reading this post - thanks for making it this far and reading my post. If you haven't - I totally get it.

Now, let's get this blog on a roll shall we?!

Happy 2018!

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Saturday, November 11, 2017

He Won't but I Will

Today we celebrate Veteran's Day. My husband is a veteran. A combat veteran.
He probably won't tell you that but I will because like most veteran's, he never did it for the glory, but I think he deserves some.

He probably won't tell you about his 15 months in Iraq, where he lived the wars that are now in our history books, but I will. Missions all day, missions all night - heavy on the fire fights, light on the phone calls to home. Talk towards his good ear because gun fire blew out hearing in his other. I spent a lot of time at the post office mailing flat-rate boxes full of his favorite candy, and he spent a lot of time in an up-armored Humvee manning the 240 Bravo. I carried my cell phone with me wherever I went in case he called, and he carried his M4 in case duty called.

He won't tell you about all the doors he kicked down, houses he cleared, or terrorists he chased but I will. Because that seems like a scary job but "afraid" was never a word I heard him utter.

He won't tell you about all the "hearts and minds" they earned, or how they built up an entire Iraqi police force but I will; because that's borderline bragging and while Nate doesn't brag about his life of service, I do.

Nate probably won't tell you what it's like to roll outside the wire every day and never know if a buried IED somewhere is about to blow you away at any minute - and neither will I. Because I don't know what that's like, but Nate does. I don't know what death smells like but Nate does. I've never had people actually trying to kill me but Nate has. He won't tell you about all that stuff though. He barely tells me.

Sometimes when we go to baseball games and the PA announcer comes on and tells military service men and women to stand and be recognized for their service - Nate doesn't stand. He doesn't want to be recognized but I want him to. Because I heard the monotone in his voice on the phone and I saw the tired in his eyes when he mailed me photos and while I don't know much, I know that war changes a person and they deserve credit for that sacrifice. Nate won't call it a sacrifice but I will.

He won't take the credit but we'll give it anyway.

Happy Veteran's Day and thank you to all those who have served our great nation.

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Sunday, November 5, 2017

There was a St. Bernard in the Drive Through and other Fall Things

It is November, people. NOVEMBER. I hate to be the person that's like "omg it's already November time is flying waaaaa!" but like, omg it's already November and time is flying.

I haven't been doing a whole lot since the summer time because as I told you all, summer is my favorite and so I often feel a pressure all season long to like, do all the things. And so we usually end up doing all the things, which means camp trips, day trips, vacation, pool days, birthdays, and generally just sweating your ass off for four months straight. That wears a girl out you know what I mean? So when fall and cool weather start to roll around I feel like I finally have permission to not do things. Like, it's ok to not have any plans all weekend and sleep in and drink coffee until noon and watch college football and never brush your hair all day long. Not every weekend has to be a grand adventure and I finally start to accept that in the fall and winter.

So while the Townsends haven't been up to much, here's what has been going' down these days:

Hunting season has been in full swing - this is good for both Maycee and Nathan because both dream about hunting animals in their sleep. Maycee cashed in during dove season in September and Nate harvested a deer in October.

I put up Halloween decorations...
...dressed the dogs up in costumes, per the usual. Halloween 2017 brought to you by Gunther the tuxedo-wearing "dapper dog" and Maycee the angry, side-eye-serving pineapple.
Then I swapped Halloween for fall and Thanksgiving decorations because that's the order in which the holidays go - Halloween, Thanksgiving, THEN Christmas. So all you Christmas-happy people with their Christmas trees up bopping around to Christmas music need to pump the brakes. It's not time for that yet. 

I took a road trip a few weeks back with two of my girlfraaans Kailey and Brianna down to Benson, Arizona to explore some underground caves and they did not disappoint. Although, what was disappointing is that you can't take pictures or video in the caves because then how are you supposed to blog about a road trip to underground caves in Benson, Arizona but have no pictures to include in your post? Life is really unfair sometimes.

The other night Nate and I went to go get Chinese food and as we were waiting in the drive through, the car in front of us had a big 'ol St. Bernard in the backseat and it was the highlight of my day.
I have a thing for big dogs and I always wanted a St Bernard as a kid (especially after Beethoven circa 1992, let's all be honest with ourselves) but my mom told me no because they drool too much. As an adult, I can now understand this. But I mean, LOOK AT THAT FACE. IT'S HUGE. AND SO CUTE. But anyway, this is nothing of significant importance but since I'm all about the little things in life I thought I'd include the time I saw a really cute dog with its big head sticking out the window in the Chinese food drive through. 

This weekend we had out of town guests stay at our house for a wedding which was fun because we don't usually have house guests because our house is so tiny but yolo we made it happen and we had fun. We all went shooting in the morning, then wedding-ed in the evening and a good time was had by all. 
 Targets gotta match your gun you know what I mean?

And that about brings things up to speed around here - to November. Which comes after September and October. Man, it's already November and time is flying!

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