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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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Confess Your Unpopular Opinion

So every now and then there's some fun hashtags that get to trending on Twitter and "confess your unpopular opinion" is one of them. I'm always tempted to join in the fun but on Twitter, I feel a little silly when I tweet things out because I feel like I'm just talking to nobody. I'm on Twitter probably more than any other social media platform but it's mostly just to read things, get news, and laugh at college football memes. I don't necessarily do the tweeting, I just read all the tweets. I'm like a Twitter creeper, I guess. But anyway, as soon as I feel like it's too weird to join in on the Twitter fun I remember hey, that's what you have a blog for!  So, in today's edition of T is for Townsend I'm about to confess my unpopular opinions. Get ready.

1.) Beyonce is not that cool.
I probably shouldn't have started out with this one because it sounds so harsh (and might bring me death threats) but I'm just not impressed with Beyonce.

2.) Avocados aren't that good.
I've actually never said this one out loud before so it feels good to finally get this one off my chest. I will eat guacamole until the cows come home but a plain jane avocado just doesn't do it for me.

3.) Avatar was stupid.
Like, the movie.

4.) I think it's weird when famous people die and regular people are like, really emotionally affected by it as if they really knew that person.

5.) A hotdog is not a sandwich.
I actually thought this was the general consensus but my coworkers and I got in a fight about it recently and I was the only one who said no, a hotdog is not in fact a sandwich.

6.) Speaking of hotdogs, they're better when they're burned.

7.) I don't like Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes.

8.) Women's bathing suits get smaller and smaller every year and I'm not about that life. I just want full coverage bottoms is that too much to ask?

9.) Golf is not a sport.
It's a skill. But not a sport.

10.) The Prisoner of Azkaban was the best Harry Potter book.

11.) I don't understand why everyone hates Nickleback.
I didn't think they were that bad.

12.) Hard copy books > ebooks

What are your unpopular opinions?!

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Sunday, October 8, 2017

I Like Summer the Best

I feel like as a 30 year old, white female...and a blogger nonetheless, fall is what I should be looking forward to the most right now. Mornings and evenings are cooling off (hallelujah), Bath & Body Works has their fall candles out in full force, and Halloween is a mere few weeks away. But the honest truth is I love summer and I'm really sad to see it go.

The thing is, I don't love the summer heat, but I love summer activities. I love to swim in any body of water I can find and you just can't do that in the fall and winter.
I love to fish, but the fish don't bite in cold weather like they do in the summer.
I love northern Arizona, and camping, and exploring, but the forest roads close up north come November.
I love being able to just throw on some shorts, a tank top, and flip flops, but dressing myself is way more complicated and involves way more pieces in the fall.
I love baseball and baseball is summer (Fall if you're lucky).
I love that berries are always on sale at the grocery store, 2 for $5. You can't find berries on sale 2 for $5 dollars in the fall and winter.
Summer hosts the 4th of July.
The 4th of October, or the 4th of November aren't as fun as the 4th of July, be honest with yourself.

This summer was a really good one for me and like I said, I'm really sad to see it go. There's no more bathing suits draped over the side of my bathtub every weekend. My truck doesn't smell like wet dog anymore. I love the smell of cinnamon and pumpkin spice, but I already miss the smell of sunscreen and chlorine in my hair. I love the sound of Al McCoy calling another Suns game, but for now, Greg Schulte is still on the radio calling Diamondbacks games in October.

Weekend road trips, fishing in the dark, one great big vacation, lots of pool time and Route 44 Diet Coke's with cherry flavor and easy ice, monsoons, haboobs, and all the other summer things - I'm sad to see them go. So, while we all usher in fall and cooler weather with open arms, I bid summer the fondest adieu.

It was a good one.

Summer 2017 from Carissa on Vimeo.

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Sunday, October 1, 2017

It's been a while - 2017 Edition

Alright well, this is a little bit weird here because this is the first time I’ve written a blog post since mid-July. Today is October 1st. I’m not for sure, but I think that might be the longest I’ve ever gone between posts here at T is for Townsend. I’ve actually come here a few times throughout the summer and started writing some things but nothing ever came to fruition. The truth is I’ve been having a little bit of an internal struggle over here with this blog.

I would get the bug to write, so I’d start, and then I’d stop because I just literally couldn’t think of anything to say or couldn’t get in a good flow. I’d chalk it up to writer’s block.

More time would go by and I’d be like, ‘oh hey look at all this fun stuff I’ve done this summer let’s write about all of it!’ but then I’d start going through all my pictures and I would get overwhelmed with sorting through photos before I’d even begin writing. Which sounds silly, but maybe not because my mom told me a story this summer that goes like this: she used to color in those adult coloring books all the time. She ended up stopping because she said she had too many colored pencils to choose from. She would get so overwhelmed with the amount of options she had, that she couldn't decide on what colors to use so she just stopped coloring. This resembles my problem in that her colored pencils are my photos. I had so many photos to sort through and choose for a post, it became overwhelming so I just stopped posting.

I would also get to cruising old blogs I used to follow and suddenly feel inspired so I’d sit down and try to write something, but then I’d start thinking about how much the blog world has changed and I’d get discouraged and self doubt would creep in and I’d be like why bother? Who’s reading your blog anyway? What other blogs are there to follow anymore anyway? What's even the point of your blog? Do other people even really blog anymore? Where do I find all the bloggers? Where did they go? How deep do you have to dig through sponsored posts and carefully placed paid advertisements to find the actual blog posts anymore? There’s a way bigger web of questions weaved in my head but I’ll stop there and spare you the confusion. Bottom line is, I’d ask all these questions of myself and talk myself out of coming back to this space because I had decided in that moment that there was no point in it.

A few times thereafter I’d think about how I miss my blog and miss posting regularly but then I’d think about actually sitting down and coming up with a post and I just wouldn’t feel inclined to actually do the work. I thought maybe that post back in July was it for me. That blogging and writing just wasn’t my thing anymore. 

So, to test this theory and see if I was really ready to close this chapter, or if I was just in a weird headspace, I started writing in a journal every night. Now, before you roll your eyes and be like seriously Carissa how old are we how cliché are we going to be right now – I totally acknowledge that a journal sounds terribly cheesy and cliché and almost kind of cringy but I can't call it a diary cause that's even more cringy. I started writing in a journal because I remembered back in college I took a creative writing class and we’d always start the first 20 minutes of class just writing in your journal. No prompts, no rules, no requirements just kind of write whatever comes to your mind. I decided to do this on my own every night wondering if it would get my creative juices flowing, or help shake the rust off, or remind me what it feels like to actually write something. No pressure to be clever, or creative, no photos to sift through, just write down the thoughts that come to your head.

While I was in the midst of creating this habit I happened to read an article that was about setting boundaries and rules around the use of technology in families, for example, how much time we spend on our phones, how long we stare at the myriad of screens and devices we have, stuff like that. The author mentioned how they strategically place things around their house that promotes creation vs consumption for their kids; things like crayons, drawing paper, books, musical instruments, etc. This stood out to me – the idea of creation vs. consumption and I really got to thinking about it. 

This blog used to be my creativity. It was where I’d come to write things, to put ideas into a blog post and create something. In the absence of something like that I thought, what kind of things then, have I been creating? Nothing really. I’ve mostly just been consuming. Consuming news, mindlessly scrolling through social media, keeping up on my favorite tv shows, watching too much baseball, etc. 

So long story short (lol that was not that short but whatever), I’ve been wondering like, maybe writing and blogging might not necessarily be what I feel like doing lately, but maybe it’s what I should be doing. Maybe it’s what I need to do. Creativity over consumption. That’s going to be my new mantra and I’m going to start first with this blog so bear with me as I shake off the dust or take too long to sort through my photos. 

Speaking of photos here's one of me and Gunther snuggling to make up for all the words in this post.

Meet you back here in less than 2.5 months!

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Monday Thoughts in no Particular Order

So, work has been really busy these last few weeks. Like really really busy, but today we got out basically on time so I came home, took off my work clothes, poured a glass of wine and suddenly I was in a writing mood. So here I am, already slightly buzzed here to talk about nothing in particular. Ergo de facto - this one might be boring but yolo right?

You know what I've been thinking about lately? I really feel like the battle between good and evil lies on the 60 freeway when the far right lanes merge. Those who stay the course are good. Those who ride in the lane that they know ends just so they can get ahead of everyone and cut people off are evil. It sounds harsh but I'm just gonna keep it real with you right now. Some tough love is in order OK? Because as I sit in my lane, minding my business, waiting my turn being a good and courteous and vigilant driver, and I watch cars whiz by me to my right I get a little upset. Those cars represent what's wrong in the world. Those cars, if they went to Hogwarts would probably be sorted into Slytherin. Those cars probably killed Mufasa. Those cars are probably vegan and hate bacon. The bottom line is yes, it probably hurts to hear this and yes, it's probably wrong of me to judge so hard but really, I just don't like your style. Wait your turn like everyone else on this freeway mmk? "We've all got light and dark inside of us; what matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are." -Sirius Black, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - because it seems appropriate right now.

On a happier, less judgy note, do you wanna know what my favorite songs are right now? Probably not but I'm about to tell you anyway. In no particular order (except the first one, the first one is first cause it's my fav right now)
1.) "Lights Shine Bright" -Toby Mac
2.) "Thunder" -Imagine Dragons
3.) "Bleachers" -Jillian Jacqueline
4.) "I Could Use a Love Song" -Maren Morris
5.) "In the Blood" -John Mayer
6.) "Old Church Choir" -Zach Williams
7.) "You Look Good" -Lady Antebellum
I'll stop there cause 7 is my favorite number...irrelevant to this blog post but nonetheless, a fun fact.

So Aaron Judge is an outfielder for the Yankees and he's six foot seven inches tall. Did you know that? If not, that really surprises me because I feel like you can't read news or watch baseball without being reminded that he's 6 ft 7. It kind of reminds me of when Brock Osweiler was at ASU and you couldn't watch a football game without someone mentioning that he's 6 ft 8. My dad and I used to text back and forth during games and count how many times someone said "6 ft 8." In hindsight that would've made a good drinking game.

In other news, we have a cricket problem at our house right now. Like, we're cohabitating with them, basically. And it's a problem because I'm killing at least like, three a day. I feel like that's a lot but maybe I'm being dramatic I dunno. I've strategically placed shoes in various spots around the house so that I'm always ready to kick some cricket ass. I'm like a cricket slayer you guys. So we sprayed our house over the weekend and while I look forward to relinquishing the duties that come with being a cricket slayer (i.e. squishing them), I'm definitely keeping the title. Cause anything with "slayer" in it kind of makes me feel bad ass. Ironically though, I think the word "slay" is overused and needs to be retired. Like if I hear one more "yaaas girl SLAY!!" I might lose my shit. But not the "yaaaaas" part I still say "yassss" all the time. Usually via text. When I get really excited about something. Like when my mom changes her bitmoji outfit and now our bitmojis have matching outfits, for example.

So can I just say that this is my absolute favorite meme right now:
I use it all the time at work - mostly because Nate doesn't think it's funny - but my coworkers and I say it for everything. When someone schedules a meeting to talk about meetings - y tho? When you just sat through an hour long meeting that could've been an email - y tho? When your laptop won't last longer than an hour when it's not plugged in - y tho? When all the conference rooms are booked - y tho? When you're in email jail - y tho?

So anyway, I've rambled on for far too long now - if you've made it this far - y tho? I'm kidding that was a joke but I couldn't help it. What I meant to say was, if you've made it this far - congratulations because I'm very aware this post was boring and all over the place but hey, "happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." -Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. That doesn't really apply here but since we started off with a Harry Potter quote I figured we'd end with one.

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Sunday, July 2, 2017

My AC Went Out Twice in One Week, and Other June Things

Before I write a new blog post I usually go back and read my last blog post just to like, I dunno, get myself in the blogging mood but when I looked at my last blog post tonight I realized it was on May 22nd which means I've gone over a month without blogging. Oops didn't mean to do that. That was also a really long run on sentence so oops didn't mean to do that either.

So this is def gonna be a catch-up post but you know what, I'm not gonna feel bad about it cause, 1.) I haven't done one in a really long time, and 2.) I read another bloggers' "life lately" post the other day and it reminded me of blog world circa 2013 and I kind of miss those days when bloggers actually wrote about their lives and not just surface-y sponsored posts or tips on how to get the most likes on your instagram; and so it kind of inspired me to do my own life lately post. ...This was also a really long run-on sentence, I'm not off to a good grammatical start today.

So I think the first official day of summer on the calendar is like June 21st or something like that, but in Arizona we all know that summer starts in like, late April. We cruised along with a pretty temperate May and then, I dunno about anyone else but June kicked my ass. Like, I know it's hot here and we prepare for that every year but like, June was really REALLY hot and it just kind of felt like we were under siege for the last month. Like, we were under attack from Zelda the Fighting God of Heat and Sun and Fire and Hot Things.
My AC went out in my house twice in one week - once actually, was on a day when I was working from home because the AC went out at my work. If that doesn't make you want to crawl into a hole and not come out until November, I dunno what will.

The only remedy for four weeks straight of 110-120 degree heat is the pool. So that's where I've spent a lot of my time so far this summer, per the usual.
We've also been up north a few times so far - once for a quick day trip over Memorial Day Weekend, and once for a camping trip with my parents. Both were equal parts fun - one was definitely hotter than the other as we found ourselves moving our chairs and coolers chasing the shade as the sun moved. The dogs however, didn't take much notice of any heat during the former - we took them up to Blue Ridge Reservoir for an afternoon and didn't actually plan on having them get wet but as soon as the leashes came off they made a beeline for the water and it was all over.
Maycee was the former 4-year-old version of herself and would not. stop. fetching. sticks.
Small sticks, jagged sticks, skinny sticks, sticks so big she could barely hold her head up - Maycee doesn't discriminate when it comes to sticks...
...and if you don't throw it back in the water quickly homegirl will cut. you. 
We took the long way home and what was only a one-day trip, started to feel like two. I love it when that happens.

Our camp trip was actually two days and we still jam packed it with as much kayaking, corn hole, fishing, and napping as we could.

The moral of the story this weekend was 1). No one can beat my mom at corn hole, 2.) Even in northern Arizona you still can't escape the heat that was the month of June, and 3.) Spray sunscreen is ineffective when applying in wind and you'll end up with patches of sunburn on your legs and they'll peel approximately two weeks later. Patches of your legs will peel. It'll look real good, I promise.

Nate's birthday came and went - as per the usual during the month of June. Except this birthday probably wasn't the best one because it was actually the second time our AC went out. So he spent his day sleeping (that night shift tho...), then waking up to a 90 degree house. Then climbing on the roof in 115 degree heat to fix the AC. That's a rough birthday if you ask me. But we celebrated later that weekend by catching a bunch of striper fish (s t r i p e r, not stripper get it right) at Lake Pleasant.
I just want the record to show that I caught the first three fish before anyone else did. That never happens. So while Nate still beat me and hauled in 16 and I caught 9, I still caught the first three so there.

I also went on a horseback ride with my mom and my sister because riding horses is my mom's new favorite thing. But the problem is that horses are not my favorite thing and in fact, scare me. But I agreed to go ride a horse because she promised me breakfast and mimosas afterward and you can't just say no to breakfast and mimosas.
Sunsets, and happy hours, and smoothie bowls about round out the last of June...

...and July is already off to a good start because what is summer without walking to a baseball game in 110 degree heat??
...yolo, worth it for a fireworks show. And a Dbacks win. And apple pie nachos.

Let's do this, July!

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