Sunday, November 13, 2016

Good Things vol. 2

Hi friends. How's everyone holding up? Are we making it? It's been a brutal week...and I don't think I need to mention why. We all know why, and I think we're all pretty drained no matter what side of the fence we're on am I right? I can speak for myself when I say this week has been a lesson for me. A lesson in self control, a lesson in grace, and...self control. Social media has been particularly ruthless but like the sucker that I am, I haven't been able to look away. Like, I know it's gonna be bad and I know I'm gonna get upset but I keep scrolling. Things really started to get to me by the end of the week and I just sort of felt like I needed to come up for air. Some fresh, non-political, good air. So, in light of the last post I wrote when I needed similar encouragement, this is going to be a "volume II" of sorts, of an incomplete list of things I really really like because when you're feeling frustrated and less than loved, brainstorming a list of things you do in fact, love, is a good remedy. So let's do the thang, shall we?

An Incomplete List of Good Things that I Really Really Like

1.) Leftover Halloween candy

2.) Driving with the moon-roof open

3.) Spinach Ravioli from Costco

4.) Sunsets in Arizona

5.) The fact that when I call or text Nate, his ring tone for me is the Harry Potter theme music

6.) $5 Hot N' Ready pizzas from Lil C's (that's Little Caesars for those of you who don't frequent there more than twice per we may or may not do)

7.) When Nate is trying to put something away it its place and it won't quite fit and he says, "Git in yer hole" and I laugh every time

8.) Finding elk or deer in the woods and when you spot them they just stare back at you like, "Come at me bro."

9.) Open bars at weddings

10.) Doing the Cha Cha Slide at weddings

11.) Weddings

12.) When they serve Mushroom Bisque soup at work in the cafeteria

13.) Catching Blue Gills

14.) The smell of Ponderosa Pine trees

15.) The word "amalgamation." I learned that one from my boss. She's full of fancy words.

16.) How whenever I hear the song "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC I'm immediately back in college at Sun Devil Stadium watching Sparky stomp the bus. ...Good times.

17.) Weekly newsletters from Yoga with Adriene

18.) To-go wine glasses

19.) Gunther laying right next to me as I blog this right now

20.) Maycee giving me stink eye as I blog this right now ...she's an independent woman with a little attitude and I admire that about her

Let's have a good week , k friends?

"...Maybe right now instead of giving someone a piece of your mind - it's far better to give them pieces of your heart." - Ann Voskamp

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Reavis Ranch

I'm gonna be honest with you guys and tell you that I actually tried to come blog last week but do you want to hear what happened instead? So I grab my phone, my USB cord, and my glass of wine and I make my way into the computer room, all ready to blog and drink wine. I plug my cord into my computer to download my photos and I get an error message that says hey! You can't do this because your phone has a passcode and it's locked! Weird, I thought to myself as I typed in my passcode and continued to get the same error. So I Google it and Google tells me that oh it's something to do with your "trust" settings and you have to have your phone "trust" this computer and you need to do it through iTunes (my phone has trust issues apparently?). Ok, I say to myself as I open up iTunes to do as the Google tells me. When I do so, I get an error that says hey! You can't do this because this is an unrecognized device! Ugh, okaaayyyy so I Google this error message and it tells me that no biggie, you simply need to restore your phone! So I follow the directions only to get an error message that says hey! You can't do that! Your version of iTunes is out of date! WHAT THE FRICK, APPLE. So I Google iTunes to try and find the newest version, begin to download it only to get an error that says hey! You can't do that! Your operating system is too out of date! KILL ME, APPLE. So I Google the newest OS X operating system for my computer, find it in the app store, begin to type in my Apple ID and password only to get an error that says hey! You've tried to log into your account more than once! You need to reset your shit! So I start to reset my shit and Apple tells me oh yeah this can take a few days we'll send you an email when your shit is reset k byeee. And that's how it ends.

After about a week, an online chat with Apple Support and a few downloads later we're back in business (so far fingers crossed knock on wood) and I'm here to tell you about that time I backpacked 18 miles into Reavis Ranch. Now, this was two weekends ago now but please know, the journey is still fresh and the physical pain still radiates in my left knee and the scars are still visible in my purple toenails, for example. Yes, I said purple and yes I'm scared that perhaps they're gonna fall off. TMI probably, but I have to paint the whole picture for you guys.

So me, two of my BFFs Sarah and Charlene, and Charlene's husband Colin, made the trek on a Saturday into the Superstition Wilderness in search of Reavis Ranch!

Look at us all fresh faced, pre-blisters, knee pain, hip pain, shoulder pain, and so on and so forth.
We weren't 10 yards out of the parking lot yet when, as we began walking I hear Colin behind me, "Oh shit that's a snake. OH SHIT THAT'S A SNAKE!" I turn around and sure enough, a big 'ol snake chillin' on the side of the trail. ....oh cool, hi snake, please, lead us on to our journey to Reavis...or don't, and stay right there and please don't follow us k thx.
I wish there was a more creative way to tell you about the trip other than that we walked. For a long time.
We walked, and then we took breaks to eat snacks and run from wasps, and then we walked some more. As we were walking we encountered a man whom we named Amos because we don't know his real name (I think it actually might've been Bill based on the sign-out sheets at the trailhead on Sunday, but Amos is way more fitting) and he was probably in his 70's and had a long white beard and wore khakis and a button down shirt and told us all about how he's hiked over 2,000 miles up and in and around the Grand Canyon and basically everywhere else in Arizona. Sarah and Colin ran into him first and because Charlene and I (mostly I) were bringing up the rear we arrived just in time to hear the conversation about 2,000 miles as he's all cool and calm and collected and I walk up panting and sweating and wondering if we're even halfway there yet. As we said goodbye to Amos and continued our walking Colin's like, "Does anyone else feel like a bum piece of shit right now??" And we laughed and laughed.
We pulled over for a break about 2/3rds of the way there to double check the map and make sure we're headed in the right direction. As I was putting my pack back on, tired, knee pain setting in, and slightly hangry, it was at this moment I said, "All I know is I'm never believing Sarah again when she tells me the trail is 'basically flat the whole way.'"
"Basically flat the whole way," as we're 2/3rds of the way through hiking up and down a mountain. Up and down. Not flat. Up and down. And we laughed and I wanted to cry inside and that was the joke the rest of the weekend. Love you Sarah, but your describing skills need some work yo.
After about six hours of hiking we eventually made it to our camp spot, hallelujah. We pitched our tents, took off our boots, and started making dinner. I have to say, my chicken Fettuccini Alfredo freeze dried meal was BOMB.COM and literally the best thing you've ever tasted after hiking for a whole day. With a full belly and tired feet (and also a tired whole body) I couldn't help but call it a night.
I was exhausted and the thought of doing the whole thing over again the next day quite frankly gave me a little anxiety. This was my first time backpacking and that's definitely a realization that hits you - once you're to your destination, there's no other way out except for your chevro-legs! No one can come pick you up or drive the car around, you gotta hike out the same way you came in.

After a night of tossing and turning thinking about said journey, we woke up, packed up, Charlene and I walked down to the creek to filter and refill our water, and just like that we were off again!
On our way out we stopped at the apple orchard. Reavis Ranch actually has a rich history - it used to be a homestead, built by Elisha Reavis in the 1800's. The apples that grew in the orchard, he transported into different areas in the region and that's how he made his living. We were exhausted and running low on daylight on our way in Saturday, so we didn't have a chance to stop by, so I'm happy we were able to do so on our way out!
After we enjoyed the orchard, you guessed it - we kept walking. And we walked some more. We walked for nine more miles on Sunday. 
It was actually a real treat because it started to rain a little bit on our way out. I wondered, "Should we pull over and cover our packs?" Nah, we thought collectively, since the rain in Arizona never lasts more than five minutes. But this rain was a steady one and we eventually had to stop and put our rain flies over our packs, and put on our ponchos and rain jackets. It actually made it really nice because we had cloud cover, the temperature dropped, and the rain was actually like, a pleasant, consistent sprinkle. It was almost like it was our reward for working so hard on Saturday!

It probably took us (more like me, and everyone else had to wait for me) an extra hour or so to make it out of the Superstitions on Sunday because I was going so slow. My first time hiking that distance (18 miles round trip) and my first time carrying that weight (30 lbs.) on my back proved to be a challenge and boy did I hobble across the finish line. I realize people do this all time and 18 miles is probably nothing and 30 lbs is probably nothing but I'm a beginner so let me be dramatic this time mmk?! If anything, the pain and everything was worth it because I got like, 36,000 steps in one day alone and I totally spent the week at the top of my Fitbit leader board. So that makes it all worth it. 

But really, it was an awesome trip, a new experience, a tough challenge, and something I would definitely do again! ...Maybe not like, 18 miles again, but like I dunno 10ish perhaps? It's a cool feeling to have everything you need strapped to you and your only mode of transportation is your legs.

So, 18 miles down, only like 1,982 to go to catch up with Amos...

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Monday, September 12, 2016

You Should Just Go Home

The other day I was texting with a couple of my girlfriends in our group chat and like we usually do, someone started complaining about work. The other responded with, "you should go home." It was at that moment that I realized "you should just go home" is actually our solution for everything. Not feeling good? You should go home. Work is annoying? You should go home. Whatever your problem and/or dilemma is, going home will surely solve it. So in case you too, need reasons to just go home here's 20 of them:

1.) It's cloudy and/or raining and you want to enjoy the day at home...not at work

2.) Your monthly wine subscription is being delivered today and someone over the age of 21 needs to sign for it

3.) You ate too much at lunch and you need to unbutton your pants. ...You can't do that in your cube, you should go home

4.) You forgot a snack. Let's be honest how productive are you really, when you're hungry?

5.) Your avocado turned brown already and you need a fresh one

6.) Aunt Flo is in town

7.) People are sending you stupid emails. Run away from the stupid emails. Go home.

8.) You're tired. Go home and lay down.

9.) You have a headache

10.) Your Bath and Body Works 3-wick candles are being delivered today and you don't want them sitting outside in the heat because they might melt.

11.) The Diamondbacks have a day game. You can't watch a baseball game at work. Go home.

12.) You checked the score of the Diamondbacks game and they're losing and you need to go home and wallow

13.) It's too hot outside to go to work

14.) It's too cold in your office to be at work

15.) You want Costco spinach ravioli. They don't sell Costco spinach ravioli in the cafeteria; you should go home and make some.

16.) You miss your dogs

17.) You used all of your data. You should go home where there's wifi

18.) You spilled coffee on yourself at 9am and you might as well just give up on the day. Go home.

19.) Your dog stepped in shit and then jumped on your bed and you need to go home and wash your comforter

20.) People are still talking about Colin Kaepernick. DEF TIME TO GO HOME.

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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Weekend Things

As I came to sit down and blog tonight, I grabbed my phone charger so that I could download pictures from my phone onto my computer and Nate goes, "Uh-oh are you going to take more wine selfies?" And then proceeded to make stupid faces trying to imitate me taking wine selfies, I guess. For the record, I don't make stupid faces when I take wine selfies and the only reason I take wine selfies is because when I snap my friends pictures of me drinking wine they usually snap me back, pictures of them drinking wine because my friends and I are usually on the same alcohol consumption schedule and so it starts to feel like a virtual happy hour and who doesn't want to partake in a virtual happy hour with friends?? Haters gonna hate...Naters gonna Nate.

This weekend has been a good one. Saturday Nate and I woke up at 4:20am to go bird hunting with his dad, brother, and two buddies. When you wake up at 4:20am and don't get a nap when you get home, it makes for a long day. Which is good and bad because I'm tired and slightly cranky but good because it makes for a realllllllly long day...and the longer you can make the weekends feel, the better.

We ended up leaving with a pretty successful morning under our belts.
I should probably say "they" more than "we" because I'm the only that didn't shoot any birds. So really, I didn't actually contribute at all, to the success of the morning. But hey, not shooting any birds means not having to clean any birds soooooo silver lining?
Bird hunting with me usually sounds something like:
Anyone I'm hunting with: "Rissa overhead"
Me: "Where??!"

Anyone I'm hunting with: Rissa, on the left!!
Me: "Wait, where?!!"

Anyone I'm hunting with: "That's all you, Riss, high flyers over top!"
Me: "Ahhh I wasn't ready!!"

Anyone I'm hunting with: "Rissa coming in on your your right!!"
Me: *shoots* ..."swing and a miss"

For the record, I've never claimed to be good at this, but I go anyway cause it's fun and pumping my shotgun when it makes that "chkkk chkkkk" noise, is probably my favorite part.
Nate keeps trying to console me telling me he didn't shoot any birds his first year of Dove hunting either so I'm holding tight onto my second year of Dove hunting.

Saturday afternoon, despite my lack of naps, really turned out to be a good one. I got a new firearm, a new purse to carry it in, a bunch of accessories for it, and went to the shooting range to shoot said firearm. I went to Nate earlier this week and told him I'd been thinking long and hard about wanting a firearm I could carry with me and bada-boom-bada-bing by the time Saturday rolled around I had a new concealed-carry weapon. Perks of being married to a firearms enthusiast, I tell ya.

Sunday was pretty low-key - Nate and I tried a new breakfast place, went to my parents house for a little bit, then came home and I finished watching the D-backs game, started watching the Cardinals game, and then started blogging. 

In the midst of today, a Sunday, when a lot of people aren't paying too much attention, it's the 15th anniversary of September 11th. 9/11 is always an emotional thing for me - I force myself to watch all the videos, the montages, the tributes, the moments of silence, because it's important to never forget. I cry at all of them; all the stories, all the details - but I make myself watch them - all of them, because it's important to never forget. When I was a kid I remember my dad telling me, "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything." I stand for freedom - for the United States of America. For democracy. I stand for our colors, for our resolve, for the best country on the face of the earth. I stand for the National Anthem. I stand for us, because we're far from perfect, but I challenge you to find somewhere better. I love being an American. I hope you do too.

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Friday, September 9, 2016

Deep in the Heart of Texas

Do you want to know some good and bad news from today? I have a subscription to a wine company that delivers wine to your door every month, but lately I've been skipping each month because I don't want to spend the money on it. But this month I forgot to skip so the bad news is, I had to spend the money on it, but the good news is I had three bottles of wine delivered to my house today.

But anyway, I'm not here to talk about my wine subscriptions (Although the labels on these bottles of wine are so cute I could probably talk about that some more), I'm here to talk about our journey to where the stars at night are big and bright (clap, clap, clap, clap) deep in the heart of Texas. One of Nate's best friend's, Justin, got married last weekend in Paris, Texas and Nate was on Best Man duty for the occasion! So, we flew into Dallas on a Thursday night after work with our good friends Jake and Stormy - one of whom was also on groomsman duty for the weekend. We got into Dallas late so we decided to stay the night in there before making the two hour trek up to Paris. It was probably a good idea because by the time we found food, ate dinner, and got to bed it was past 1am and we were all in that like, tired-drunk phase. You know like when you're so tired you start acting drunk? Like, you start naming raccoons that you find in the rain gutters. This actually a real-life example because there was a raccoon waiting to greet us in our hotel parking lot and we named him Harry Hines the Nasty 'Coon.
And then we brainstormed things that rhyme with Harry Hines the Nasty 'Coon, like for example, Harry Hines the big fat moon. Harry Hines is a big monsoon. Harry Hines loves to spoon. And so on and so forth. You probably shouldn't drive when you try to rhyme things with the name you gave to a raccoon in a gutter.

You may recall, a few years ago I took a trip to Dallas with a few girlfriends to go visit the George W. Bush Presidential Library...except the government shut down the day before we left, so instead of actually visiting the library and all it had to offer, all we could do was look through the windows. Exhibit A:
Check out the post here.

So, since we were only in Dallas for a few short hours last weekend I made it my personal mission to make it back to the library and actually go inside. Good news: mission was successful! We went inside, visited the oval office (or at least an exact replica of it but I'm still pretending it was the real deal), and took our time looking at everything that was there.
If you haven't been to a presidential library - you should go. It sounds lame and probably a little boring perhaps, but I promise you it's not. Actually, I shouldn't promise because I realize people have different interests so maybe not everyone will find it interesting but yolo, I do. Nate and I visited the Ronald Reagan library last year and comparing the two, they were equally as cool but very different experiences. The stuff at the Reagan library was the stuff I've learned in history class and in books - the Bush library was the stuff I lived through and remember experiencing. 
...for example calling the Pentagon from my Oval Office and requesting General Petraeus bring me wine and mac and cheese.
Actually, that never happened. Presidents can't drink on the job. Actually, that's a lie too - I watch Scandal and there's definitely alcohol in the Oval Office. But I'm getting distracted anyway, we perused the Library and enjoyed every single bit of it. I got asked if I was Nate's sister, then got asked if I was his daughter but whatever, it was a still a good time! 

After we finished at the library Jake and Stormy came and picked us up and we made the trip up to Paris! We drove for two hours, checked into our hotel, met up with Justin, perused Wal-mart for some fishing gear ('cause you can't fit fishing poles in your checked bag and Nate can't be anywhere without fishing gear when there's a potential for fishing I suppose), and before we knew it, it was time for the rehearsal dinner. We enjoyed a family style fish fry at a place called...the Fish Fry. When the server came around she asked us if we wanted fish, fried shrimp, boiled shrimp, grilled chicken, or kaybob. I said, "I'm sorry what was the last option?" and she said, "a know, like a meat skewer." Ohhhhhh a KABOB. Texas accents are confusing, you guys. You can imagine we used "kaybob" and "meat skewer" at every possible inappropriate time for the rest of the weekend. 

So anyway, we ate our bottomless fish (and shrimp for me - I'm all about dat shrimp life), caravan'd out to the venue for the rehearsal, rehearsed (well, Nate, not me), and then fished in the pond on the property. You can't see it in the picture, but there's a big 'ol pond between those hills. 
Nate got a little baby one, I didn't get a little baby one, or a big adult one, or any sort of one because it was getting dark and I kept like, over-casting and getting my hook stuck in the grass on the other side of the pond because I couldn't see. Oops.

Saturday morning, wedding day, Nate and Jake and Justin went back to said pond and fished all morning and caught like a bajillion fish, and Stormy and I went to go visit the Eiffel Tower. Yep I said it, the Eiffel Tower.

Ok, slightly different Eiffel Tower but still, the Eiffel Tower.

Next door to the (Paris, Texas) Eiffel Tower was a cool Veteran's Memorial, so we took our time and walked through that.
Then we cruised downtown Paris (I use the term "downtown" loosely) and walked around the shops.
We relaxed for most of the afternoon and before we knew it it was wedding tiiiime!! ...but not before Nate had to catch another fish. Word on the street is, 30 minutes before the wedding he tried to make a breakaway for the pond again - Justin gave him 5 casts and then he was cut off. ...he caught a catfish on the third cast.
You can't even be mad at that. 

The wedding was beautiful and lovely and Justin's dog got walked down the aisle so it really doesn't get any better than that. 
When we drove home some of the bugs that were flying around made it into the car with us. When we all noticed it Nate was like "Don't you hate it when a gnat dive-bombs your throat and it gets stuck back there and you can't stop coughing?" Jake and Stormy had never heard of such a thing, but it happens all the time when you go bike riding (or maybe it doesn't and I'm doing it wrong, I dunno). Not even 5 minutes later, a gnat dive-bombed Nate's throat and he was coughing and gagging and hanging out the window spitting and stuff. It wasn't funny...but also really funny. And ironic, and funny. And then we all closed our mouths the rest of the way to the hotel.

Sunday was a travel day. Drove two hours back to Dallas, flew one hour to El Paso, waited for two more hours, flew another hour to Phoenix and we eventually made it home. 
...but not before Nate threw up twice during the flight. And then he packaged it up and sealed up that barf bag so nice and neat like he'd done this before. It was gross but a little funny.

...And that was all she wrote. You probs don't care about my trip to Texas, but I do because it was fun and we laughed a lot and got a lot of inside jokes out of it and I just feel like when you come away from a trip with a lot of inside jokes, that means it was a good trip. 

As always, sad when vacation ends, but happy to be home!

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