Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Year in Review

*disclaimer: for all you non-bloggy folk, the words in pink provide a link where you can find the original blog post

I realize you probably rolled your eyes at the mere title of this post, seeing as how every single one of your social media news feeds is probably inundated with some variation of a 'year in review' post but what kind of a blogger would I be if I didn't do one myself??...Not one of the cool ones that's for sure.

It's actually times like these when I'm really happy I have a blog, because I can literally go read about my entire year... which is really helpful when all the years start blending together and you can't really remember what happened in what year. 
Is it just me or does January 2013 seem like a loooooong time ago?? 

It does, but per the above paragraph, thanks to my blog, I know that it got really really cold last January. Like, 29 degrees, colder-than-Alaska cold. And that's cold for Arizona folk. I also know that my husband killed a Javelina on the very first day of 2013
...and then skinned it in our front yard. We never got any nasty grams from the HOA so it appears none of our neighbors lost their cookies over it.

In February I tried my own hand at Javelina hunting, and since I camp up empty, I just talked about  my outfit instead. Another Valentine's Day also came and went and I reflected on things that have (or haven't) changed between Nate and I.

March came along and Google tried to pull a fast one on me and deleted my blog. And then when it came back I blogged about how I almost lost my blog...with clever Gloria Gaynor references laced throughout. More importantly, my precious little niece Miley was born in March.
  ...She came in like a wrecking ball.
So sorry. Couldn't resist.
And then there's this picture that's not from March but it just melts my heart, because Miley is so dang cute, and her and uncle Nay Nay together are even cuter.
In other political news, Rand Paul staged a good 'ol fashioned filibuster in the Senate in March, and I wrote about what I would talk about if I had my own personal filibuster

In April Nate and I celebrated four years of being married by taking a trip to New Mexico to see George Strait in concert on his farewell tour. I also had Nate take over my blog for the first time. That was fun. Oh and I graduated from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizadry.

In May I had another graduation of sorts, my Master's Degree. No big deal.
I also enjoyed another weekend in the vineyards wine tasting in southern AZ, threw a surprise bridal shower for my cousin-in-law, and had to say goodbye to my work BFF.

I kicked off summer by hanging out with Taylor Swift in Glendale, and camping at Bear Canyon Lake. 
Nate also helped me realize how much Gunther and I are the same. Speaking of Gunther, the dogs took over my blog for the first time in June too. They're a hoot.

July brought with it another fantastic 4th of July complete with sparklers and a new NRA shirt. I also dragged Nate to a baseball game and we waited in the 100+ degree heat for a free t-shirt. He was pretty happy about that...not. We went to California to watch my cousin get married, took our annual hike to Kinder Creek, and I wrote more about my dogs and things they never think about.

In August I went on my first archery deer hunt, enjoyed shark week, and came to terms with everyday decisions I'm really bad at making. 
...Newsflash: it's January and I'm not any better at making said decisions.
I welcomed September with Brian Littrel and the Backstreet Boys and discovered a few Backstreet solutions. I also finally got the nerve to ask a few questions I was too afraid to before. I gave aerial yoga a try, threw a few first world fits, and got into my first car accident.
September was busy.

In October I met Luis Gonzalez and took a vacation to Dallas...that the government ruined.
We still managed to have fun though...cause, duh, we always do.
We dressed the dogs in Halloween costumes too, cause duh, we always do.

November came along and I recycled my favorite post I've ever written about my favorite veteran for the 2nd year in a row. I wrote about 7 things I won't blog about, and went on my first rifle deer hunt.
Arizona State University beat, ahem, that other team down south...
...beat 'em good.
...and won a PAC-12 south title
It was a good year to be a Sun Devil.
It's always a good year to be a Sun Devil.

Before we knew it December was here and the holidays were in full swing. We took Christmas photos, went to the Princess for ice skating, and cut down our own Christmas tree. We laid low and spent Christmas day together, and I finally watched The Christmas Story. Or is it A Christmas Story?

Aaaaand that might be a new record for the longest everrrrr it's taken to put together a blog post.
But you were worth it, 2013.

Cheers to 2014!

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Monday, December 30, 2013

December Rewind Part Deux

In an effort to knock out as much of December 2013 as I can before 2014 arrives, I give you:
...Part deux (that's "two" for all you non french speakers out there)
Check out Part Un here

One of the most feverish debates of the holiday season is your Christmas tree:
Real or fake?

In the Townsend household it's really not a debate. Real tree's the way to be.
All day errry day. If it were up to Nate however, it'd be a fake tree. ...Good thing it's not up to him. We took it a step further this year and instead of opting for just a real tree, we (and when I say "we" I really mean me) decided to actually go cut one down from the forest.
I dubbed it:

Operation Townsend Tree Acquisition
In order to successfully complete this mission you'll need a few items:

1.) Security clearance from the government
i.e. a permit from the Forest Service

2.) A topography report
i.e. a map detailing where Christmas tree cutting is permitted
...provided by yours truly, the Forest Service 

3.) Special intelligence
i.e. what species of trees are permitted to be taken

4.) Dogs, to track the scent of your desired Christmas tree
Just kidding, I don't think that's really a thing.
We just brought ours so they could have a fun day. 

After walking...and walking...and walking, and seeing nothing but Ponderosa Pines, we finally stumbled on this beaut of a Spruce tree. Seemingly the only one in the entire Sitgreaves National Forest.
And since Ponderosa's aren't very Christmas tree-like, we didn't hesitate in taking the axe to the Spruce.
And when I saw "we" I really mean Nate.
And when I say axe I really mean hand saw.
Cause we...er Nate, was sans power tools.
If you looked up the word "manly" in the dictionary, you'd see a picture of Nate cutting down a tree in the Forest and hauling it out on his shoulder.
Kind of like you see above.

Manly men for the win.

Anywho, to make a long story short, you saw the before, now here's the after:
It's crooked, and really bushy on the bottom, and too big for our living room, but I don't even care cause we searched, and chopped, and transported it all by ourselves.
And when I say "ourselves" I really mean mostly Nate.
I mean, I helped with the searching, but he did all the chopping...and all the other hard work involved.

Real trees for the win.

Operation Townsend Tree Acquisition was a success.

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

December Rewind Part Un

Hey guys.
It's me. Carissa.
You may not remember me, since I basically haven't been around for the whole month of December.

...And on that note, I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your guys' well wishes and support on my last post (technically I guess it'd be the post before last, but who's really counting?)
The blogging community and blog friends are some of the best support and encouragement a girl can find, am I right?! So thank you to everyone who reached out, 
it really makes me feel nice and warm and fuzzy inside (insert smiley face emoji with hearts in its eyes here).

Sometimes crappy things happen and all your bloggy ju-ju is gone, and then sometimes you have meaningful conversations with the right people and you feel better and you feel things are moving forward, and suddenly you also feel your bloggy ju-ju start to come back. 

And that's where I'm at.

That said, I'm going to try and cram a months worth of action into a couple days since the new year is right around the corner (say whaaaat?!).

Ladies and gentleman, I bring you:
...Part Un (that's "one" for all you non french speakers out there)

Earlier in the month my parents, and Nate and I went to the Scottsdale Princess Resort for their annual Christmas at the Princess celebrations. It was lovely, and beautiful, and Christmas-y, and I for one, enjoyed pretending like I'm rich enough to hang out at the Princess on the reg.
Maybe someday.

We went for the ice skating since, last year we tried out the rink at City Skate in downtown Phoenix and wanted a change of scenery this year.
We got both a change of scenery and a change of heart in that my mom decided she would actually try ice skating this year.

Breaking news: she survived!

Granted, she clung to the railing for a good part of the night, but this Michigander sure got the hang of it by the end of the night.
In fact, we voted, and by unanimous decision (well except for my dad), determined that she was actually better than my dad, who skated last year.
He'll probably actually disagree with that, but he paid for dinner so we didn't protest too much.
Speaking of dinner...
after we finished ice skating we enjoyed some Mexican food (and drink(s)!) outside at one of the resort restaurants with our own fire pit thing-y with marbles instead of charcoal...or whatever else you use for a contained fire.
You know things are getting fancy when your fire has marbles in it. 
That, and when your dinner comes it's the size of an appetizer.
Why, the more expensive the restaurant the more chincy (sp?) the portions??
Me no likey.
...the portions, not the food. Or drinks. Me likey the drinks.

After dinner we walked around the resort and looked at all their Christmas lights on display, watched a humongous, flashing, musical Christmas tree light up to Christmas music, and enjoyed a few 
more cocktails.
Or hot chocolate and Bailey's.
Or both.  

After we finished enjoying all the Christmas-y goodness of the resort we stopped and looked at Christmas lights on the way home...of which I only took one picture:
Buuuut I'm pretty sure that's the only picture we need right??

I have Christmas tree hunting, Christmas day, and other miscellaneous December-ness coming, so don't touch that remote!
...kidding, this isn't television. Or a cheesy 90's infomercial. 
If I was really concerned I suppose I could say, don't touch that mouse! Or track pad! 
But I'm really not that concerned.
This entire paragraph really, was uncalled for.
Sometimes I have a hard time ending blog posts, and I feel like that's becoming obvious right now.

Sooooo, bye!

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Love, the Townsends

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Let's Talk About Feelings

I’ve started this post a total of four times on four separate occasions over the last three weeks or so.
Each time it began different, continued differently, and was never finished.
Quite frankly, I really just don’t know what to say.

I don’t like to talk about feelings.
Unless its joy, happiness, or love, I don’t even really like to feel feelings.
Sadness, anger, frustration, sorrow, grief – I don’t want to feel those. But who really does? I usually do the best I can to avoid those feelings and I have to say, I’ve gotten pretty good at it.

But something’s happened, and it’s forced me to feel all these things and there’s no avoiding it this time.

I hate to be that person that talks a lot without actually saying anything. The one that tells you all about how upset I am, but not about what’s making me upset.
I am going to be that person though, because I also don’t believe in airing dirty laundry on the internet.
Especially when it’s not my laundry, nor my choices that soiled this perfectly clean load of laundry.
Even if that dirty laundry affects me and my world, it’s still not my place to hang it up on a clothes line for all the internet to see.

And that’s why I haven’t been around here lately.
Because I’m stuck feeling all these things that are breaking my heart, but I can’t come to this space and tell you about it, nor can I come to this space and act like nothing’s happened; there’s enough of that pretending going on already.

I don’t even really like to write about feelings…at least not for publication.
 I’m afraid it looks like a desperate cry for attention. 
I’m afraid this looks like a desperate cry for attention.
It’s not.
I just needed to tell my favorite blog friends why I haven’t been around.
I just needed to get this one post off my chest, for my own sake, before I can continue blogging and trying to be funny or creative or come up with post ideas again.

Because funny, and new ideas, and creativity is far from where my head is at.
Far from where my heart is at.
But my hope is that after I hit “publish,” and this post is out there for all of blog world to see, that I might be able to climb out of this blogging valley and get my inspiration back.
Get my blog back.
Because I miss it.

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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Operation Fitness Link-up #2

It's that time again, linking up with Sarah on this lovely Sunday for the second installment of Operation Fitness Link-up! And guess what? I actually put a little fitness into my life this week. 

I know, I wasn't sure it was going to happen either, but with the help of a few accountability partners and this link-up, I think I've finally found some motivation; it's still slow-going and we're definitely starting small, but nonetheless, it's there.

I purchased a Groupon a couple weeks ago for 10 classes at a local yoga studio that offers a variety of classes beyond only yoga. I mentioned in my last post how I wanted to take advantage of Groupon in lieu of paying for a gym membership, and so far it's been working out (no pun intended) nicely. I had a friend purchase the same Groupon so we've been taking classes together.

Zumba has to be one of my favorite things! I look ridiculous doing it, but it's whatevs cause it's a good workout and it's so fun! Although, if there's only four people in the class on a Monday night, it can make things pretty awkward. You want to be lost in a sea of Zumba-ers so you can pretend no one, including the instructor, sees you, and you can't really do that with only four people. 
Surely they see me, in all my ridiculous-looking Zumba glory.

I also mentioned in my last post that I wanted to get serious about Yoga. 
I'm not quite "serious" yet, but I pinned a crap-ton of Yoga pins on Pinterest and bought an actual pair of Yoga pants. ...So I'm getting there.
One of the pins I found was this "Backbend Sequence for Anyone Who Sits All Day."
I did the sequence a few times over the last week and it hurts sooooo goooood!
I'm extra aware of my posture while sitting at work in my desk chair now and it makes me want to come home to do this sequence even more. ...cause I have pretty terrible posture in my desk chair. 
Womp Womp.

My challenge for myself this next week will be to go to a few classes on my own. For some reason I'm really weird about this and I'm always afraid to go to a class by myself. With busy schedules and the holidays it's not always easy to attend the same classes with a friend, so I just need to quit being weird and do a class (or two) solo!

Am I the only one with this fear? Do you try new things by yourself with no problem?

Thanks again, Sarah for hosting!

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