Friday, May 31, 2013

May Cara Box Reveal

Cara Box
It's that time...another round of Cara Box reveals!
Check out the idea behind the Cara Box exchange over at Kaitlyn's blog Here
I loved this month's theme of, "where you're from"...or something like that.
The idea was to fill the box with items that your partner likes and enjoys, however, try to incorporate your own hometown into it, so we can all learn more about where we all come from. 
Fun right?!
This month I sent a box to the lovely Ms. Angie - check her out over at My So Called Chaos, and I received my box from the lovely Ms. Hayley - check her out at A Beautiful Exchange
I loved getting to know both of these girls this month!
Angie and I were on the same page as we're both animal lovers, and we're both on the west coast, in fact, she's not too far from me in Utah; and I learned all about North Carolina where Hayley is from! She tells me she has a southern accent...I need to figure out a way to hear it sometime. 
Cause I totally wish I had one. 
Anyway, I loved Hayley's box she sent me! She did amazing with the theme! 
 -Handmade soaps from The Foothills of North Carolina
-A coin purse purchased froma local boutique
-A silver ring made by a local youth artist in Chapel Hill, North Carolina
-A Paddywax tin candle used for aromatherapy, purchased at a local boutique
-"Seeds of Happiness," - leftover lumps of clay made into little smiles (see little green guy in the picture), with the story behind the project. So fun!
Thanks Hayley, for everything! I love all of it!!

Monday, May 27, 2013

You Know it's Summer in Arizona...

Memorial Day has often been referred to as the unofficial start of summer.

I got news...

It's been "summer" in Arizona for like, two months now.

You wanna know how I know it's summer in Arizona?

You're the only one at the archery range on a Sunday afternoon
(i.e., it's too freakin' hot to be hangin' out outside)

The roof is closed at Chase Field

You're parking priorities are now dictated by shade rather than proximity

Articles of clothing start coming off as soon as you get home from running errands

The dogs are wet

There's towels on my leather seats

...And an array of other things.

We're in for a hot one this year...I can feel it in mah bones!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Quan, 2, 3

About a year ago I was offered a full time summer internship with the 

Department of Economic Security.
The Department was embarking on a new project, and hired three interns to help start it.
Two of which, included myself and a girl named Quan.

When they told me I would be working with two other interns and gave me their names, I wasn't sure if "Quan" would be a girl or a guy.
I was hoping it would be a girl.
I like making new girlfriends.

Turns out Quan is a girl.
And we became friends.

And then after a year of working together, she left me last month.
And now I'm flying solo and I'm really sad about it.

So here's a list of 10 things I miss about working with my good friend Quan:
1.) Coffee time in the mornings

2.) Soda time in the afternoon - anytime between 2:15 and 2:30pm

3.) "Smoke breaks."
We felt slighted that the smokers in the office got to go hang out and smoke for a few minutes multiple times a day. So we decided to take walks around the capital a couple times a day and called it even.
Our favorite spot was behind the capital building where it's shady, and quiet, and has trees with eyeballs in them.
Can you see the Angel on top of the Capitol Dome?

4.) I miss coming around the corner and seeing Quan with a huge knife in her hand...peeling her fruit

5.) I miss her awesome artwork 

6.) I miss passing notes during meetings about the new One Direction CD

7.) I miss using her name to count to three
Actually, I won't even lie, I still do that.
Or using a combination of both her name and my name to count to one thousand
"Quan Townsend 1, Quan Townsend 2,..." 

8.) I miss having my own personal Microsoft Excel guru in the cube next to me every time I have a question about sorting, or filtering, or equations or whatever...

9.) I miss Googling cute guys to see who's celebrity crush is hotter

10.) I miss getting to work 20 minutes late, thinking I was the last one...and then Quan walks in, 25 minutes late, and then we laugh about it and complain about how full the parking garage is, and that (heaven forbid) we had to park on the left side, instead of the right.
I'm bad at parking on the left side.

I'm really bummed I don't have my work buddy anymore, and it must be showing.
The cash register lady in the cafeteria keeps asking where my "twin" is.
The lady from accounting that always flosses her teeth in the bathroom during lunch asks me how my friend is doing and that I "must be missing her."

But that's ok. 
Cause we can totally make this long distance relationship work.
I send her pictures like this...
...with captions like, "In case you've already forgotten what I look like."
We text each other when we find a good pop song worth sharing (i.e. Hot Chelle Rae "Hung Up"), and even though we're not in the same state anymore, I'm almost positive we're still on the same 
hair-washing schedule.

I feel like everyone should have a Quan.
Cause she's that awesome.
And I'm so glad we became friends in the time we spent working together!

Miss you girlfriend!!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Blog Everyday in May: Days 21 and 22

Day 21's topic of the Blog Everyday in May Challenge (which I clearly have not fulfilled): 
A list of links to your favorite posts in your archives

Some of my favs...if I do say so myself:

What my loved one says about me
My own personal filibuster
If I ruled Arizona
Veteran's Day 2012
I know why Romney lost the Presidential election
An apology from Nate, written by me
A serious grammar beat down
Don't ever yoga with your dogs

Day 22: Rant about something

Umm, so I've wanted to rant about something for a long time.
Scratch that.
I rant about something all the time in my head, and I've never been brave enough to rant about it in public...cause I don't want people to get all offended and be mean and leave anonymous comments on my blog.
Cause I don't have thick skin and you'll probably make me cry.
But whatever, I suppose today is the day.

I get really annoyed when national tragedies become a cliche.

It sounds really cold and harsh, but stay with me - there's a couple facets to this.

Firstly, what I mostly mean is when the tag line becomes, 
"Pray for Boston," or "Pray for Oklahoma," or "Pray for Newtown." 
I do think we should be praying when terrible things happen, AND I do think it's awesome that people want to bring awareness and unite all of us in prayer.

BUT...are you really praying for Boston? Or Oklahoma? Or Newtown? Or did you just post about it on your various social media outlets because it's trending, or because it's a nice tag line, or because you want people to think you're a good person, or because you think everyone else should be praying but not you?

Ugh, that sounds so judgmental just typing it, but you know what I mean right? Are you really praying for victims or are you just posting about it 'cause everyone else is?

Secondly, why are we only praying when a national tragedy strikes? 
Thirdly, why is it ok to pray when a national tragedy strikes, but any other time we as Christians, want to be vocal about our faith, it's considered unacceptable, or annoying, or preach-y, by the mainstream?
That tells me that our society says it's ok to tell people to pray when something bad happens, but it's unacceptable to tell people to pray about something that may not be the latest news headline, or to pray when good things are happening, or to even acknowledge that God answered prayer and thank him for how awesome things are.

Am I making any sense?

God is not a cosmic vending machine.
We shouldn't only be going to him when we need something.
Like help for Oklahoma, or Boston, or Newtown. 

Rant officially over.

I lied.
One more thing...
I hate it when men refer to inanimate objects as "sexy."
It's weird right??

Done now.

Later skaters.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Day I Got My Master's Degree

As you may know (cause trust me, I wasn't quiet about it) I finally graduated with my Master's degree a couple weeks ago.

Woop woop!

And boy does it feel good!

Remember when I was just starting and I was all nervous about not being smart enough...along with a bunch of other crap? Cause trust me, I worry about a lot of crap.
You can read about that HERE.

Good news - I was smart enough (just barely), I made friends, and I never showed up to the 
wrong classroom.

Woop woop!

I keep trying to tell Nate he has to refer to me, from here on out, as "Master Rissa."
So far he's not buying it.

Graduation was everything I thought it was going to be, in all its anticipated glory.
I wore a cap and gown that had wings, and tails, and capes, and made me look pregnant, walked across the stage with all eyes on me as the screen read "Carissa Ruth Townsend," I shook hands with a bunch of people on stage I've never seen before, and received a fake diploma that when opened reads "Your real one will be in the mail in 8-10 weeks"...or something like that.

And I loved every minute of it.

My friend Julie and I were blowin' up our Google chats errry day during work with a countdown leading up until the big day. 
We counted everything down.
Number of classes left, number of papers left, days til' grades are posted, and of course, days til graduation.
We even made bets on what the speakers might say in their speeches.
She went with, "never stop learning," and totally nailed it.

I was happy to have my family there on the big day...with the exception of my sister's fiance.
He missed the ceremony and I told him it made me cry.
Don't tell him I made that up though.

Daddy and me

Me and mom

The hubs
When we were taking pictures my dad goes, "Get in there Nate, you're the one who's gonna be paying for this, you need a picture!"
True dad's just glad it's not his wallet this time!
Nate has been never keen on student loans though.
He told me one night, "I don't get why this is so expensive. Can't you go to like, a community college or something??"
I hate to break it to you Nate, but you can't get a Master's degree at a community college.
Good idea though. 

My family, the King's!

My sister

The BFF Charlene

Hubs and Mama Townsend

My posse for the day...minus Charlene who was taking the picture =)
LOVE them all!! 

After graduation we all went out to lunch at Macayo's Mexican Restaurant.
Cause it seems like that's what you do when important things happen, considering we went there after my Bachelor's graduation, and for Nate and I's rehearsal dinner too.
What can I say, they make a mean mango margarita.

And after lunch for the rest of the day, I celebrated my taking a nap.
Cause I feel like I deserve a nap after finishing grad school.
Uncle Si had it right:

So now that school is over a few things have changed:
My house is way messier because I can't use house-cleaning as a homework procrastination tactic...and who really wants to clean their house unless it's to put off doing homework?
Also, I've come to the realization that I now have to do all the things I said I never had time to do during grad school.
Like cook, and work out, and stuff.

I won't lie though, some of my coworkers and the new interns were talking about all their summer classes that started today and how much work they have ahead of them this summer, and in my head I was kinda like, "Neener neener neener!"

Ahh, it feels good to be done! 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Why Arizona Will Knock Your Socks Off


I saw this link-up hosted by one of by bloggy BFFs, Rachel, earlier this week, and naturally, I'm fashionably late to this party!
But I love the idea and couldn't wait to join in!

The link is open for a few more days, so go check it out at Rachel's blog, Rachel's Country Roots or Chelsee's at Southern Beauty Guide.

I am an Arizona native.
Born and raised.
There aren't too many natives left around here because either, they all got tired of the heat and moved to the east coast, or all the mid-westerner's got tired of the snow and made their way out here.
Either way, we're a rare breed.
And nonetheless, I quite frankly, find Arizona to be the shiz.
Let me tell you why...

You don't have to shovel sunshine

Similarly, in the winter time, if you're enjoying your patio in 70 degree weather, in your shorts and a tee-shirt and you suddenly think to yourself, "Hey, it would be fun to go play in the snow!"...simply drive 3 hours and your wish will be granted

We have professional sports teams in every major sport 
Baseball, football, hockey, and basketball

Eric Church doesn't lie when he sings, " Arizona morning, where God paints the sky"

There's this really cool, really big hole in the ground
(i.e. the Grand Canyon)

There's more than just dirt here
Yes, Phoenix is the desert, but firstly, the desert can be way more beautiful than what may 
first come to mind; and secondly, there's actually even more than just desert here too!
Read about Kinder Creek HERE
Read about Fossil Springs HERE
Read about a weekend in Northern Arizona HERE
Read about Workman's Creek HERE
Read about quality desert time HERE and HERE

I truly could go on and on about all the hidden gems and neat things to do outdoors in Arizona. Since my husband is such a big outdoorsman, he seemingly knows every nook and cranny of this place, and I've been fortunate enough to tag along to most of them. Including my foray into hunting!
Read about this year's Javelina hunt HERE

We have wine
Sonoita, Jerome, Sedona, Wilcox, and so on.
It's marvelous.
Read about this years' wine festival in Southern Arizona HERE

We have low property taxes
I figured I'd throw that one in to sound grown up

We have awesome gun laws
As in, you can actually own them.
If that was too political for you...hopfully we can still be friends anyway.

We turned 100 years old last year

And I can't mention all the awesome things about Arizona without this one thing...
Actually, if I hear someone so much as utter those words in the middle of July...
I might punch them in the face.

Oh and also...if ever you're buying something online, or filling out a survey and you have to choose your state from the drop-down menu, Arizona is always at the top since it starts with "A." So it's really convenient not to have to scroll through 50 states to choose your location.
So you know, there's that too.

And there you have it.
I'm sure I missed a few bunch of things, but this should be a good start.

Go Sundevils! 


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