A Tuesday Pep Talk

I’m a little down today. Coming off of the high of a good day on Monday, I am feeling a little defeated, like I am working too hard to be positive. It’s taking too much effort to remain in a positive place while going about my day. Today I’m going to be needy, I don’t like to need things, and hate when people put the responsibility on others to fulfill their expectations, but today I am needy. 

Today, I am going to need:

  • Good coffee, possibly with something sweet inside. 
  • Some healthy food. I am feeling like crap lately.
  • Seeing my people face-to-face. Email is not enough today. 
  • Comfy shoes. I am sick of my feet hurting. 
  • Laughs. Lots of laughs. 
  • Spurts of productivity, I want to hammer through my to-do list.
  • Continued confidence in my plan for moving forward with this program. 
  • A win. It can be small, but I need a win. 
  • My hair to not look crazy. 
  • The random aches in my back and thighs to subside. 
  • My ID badge to not strangle me. I hate that thing. 
  • Some inspiration. 
  • And just a pinch of kindness. 

I have control over most of this. Today it is up to me to push through and deliver for myself. Maybe I just need a pep talk, someone to remind me that I can get to the other side of the cloudiness. 

I may not be able to do this for myself today, but if you are in need of a Tuesday Pep Talk, allow me:

You can do this. Whatever you are facing is not permanent. You are strong, you are smart, you are talented. You will bust through walls, and through your tasks for the day. Take a few minutes to breath, to regroup and keep propelling forward. Eat something delicious, but also something healthy. Get the giggles with someone, cry if you need to, smile at someone you might not normally interact with. Set a goal, tackle a problem you’ve been procrastinating on. Today is your day and you are in control. Go do you. 

So what about you? What do you need today in order to feel successful on this Tuesday morning?

Just for Fun: 25 Things

Four years ago I wrote: Things You May Not Know About Me. A blog post, inspired by an US Magazine segment that I loved to read. Celebrities highlight a list of things that, generally, people did not know about them. I still remember having fun writing that post. Come to find out, my initial post got the details wrong, I listed 9 things and thought the segment was from People Magazine. Four years later a simple google search gave me the answers I needed. In an effort to buck up my spirits after a week that just seemed to drag me, kicking and screaming, we’re going to play this game again – just for funzies.

about me

We’ll be following the actual rules this time around, pretend this is US Magazine and that I am a famous celebrity you love to follow. Here are 25 Things About Me You May Not Know:

[ONE] My first car was an 89 Dodge Omni. It was a hand-me-down from my parents, my dad made me read the entire manual before I was allowed to leave the driveway, after which I had to show him that I knew how to change a tire. In exchange, however, he helped me paint glitter stars all over the ceiling and let me tape pictures of my friends all over the dash.

[TWO] I buy office supplies without any plan to use them. I love the different colors, patterns, uses, and the idea behind them but I have a hard time using them because I don’t want to waste them. Due to this, I have an endless supply of post-it notes and binder clips in my home office.

[THREE] I secretly love my freckles. I always have.

[FOUR] I got head lice as a preteen and it took over my life for an entire summer. We eventually narrowed down that I got it from the movie theater. I, now, can’t walk into a movie theater without feeling creeped out.

[FIVE] I’m embarrassed to admit just how many books I’ve purchased without opening or getting passed the first chapter of. I always have good intentions but lose interest incredibly quickly.

[SIX] I have a collection of stickers that I’ve been accumulating since I was in preschool. I just can’t bear to part with them.

[SEVEN] My mom and I had a booth at a craft mall when I was in college. We had so much fun developing products to sell and were pumped as we sold throughout the holiday season, but couldn’t keep it going after January. Sometimes we talk about taking a second stab at it.

[EIGHT] I can clearly remember the day when my feelings for Justin transitioned from friendship to something romantic. We didn’t start dating until two years later.

[NINE] I went on seven mission trips as a high school and college student. I’ve built houses for Habitat for Humanity, worked in a food bank, built a church foundation in Mexico, volunteered with Narcotics Anonymous, painted, cleaned, and done countless odd jobs that I can’t even remember.

[TEN] I was an elementary education major for two years in college. After going through a program orientation meeting where I was told about the certification process and student teaching I changed my major.

[ELEVEN] I have a subscription to TIME Magazine, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and Inc Magazine. I hoard issues, even if I have no interest in reading some of the content.

[TWELVE] I drink coffee purely for taste and caffeine. It in no way quenches my thirst, I have to have water nearby whenever I’m drinking that tasty concoction.

[THIRTEEN] I put way too much stock in my blog stats. I set goals, I do math on daily averages to see how I can meet my goals, and try to schedule posts to increase readership. I hate how that desire to see the numbers influences how I use this space. I’m trying to get back to writing for me, not for the numbers.

[FOURTEEN] At about thirteen years old, I transitioned from a regular ballet class to a pointe ballet class. I hated it. I loved dance and ballet was always my favorite, I was too clumsy for pointe and it really bothered me that I was no longer as solid of a dancer as I had been.

[FIFTEEN] Speaking of dance, I still dance in my head (and with my shoulders) when I hear a song that I had a routine to, oddly enough, the routines I developed myself are the ones I remember the least of.

[SIXTEEN] I don’t find most babies cute. Most of the time they look like a combination of an old man and a potato. Baby man-tato.

[SEVENTEEN]  As a kid my favorite movies were: Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Pretty Woman, Dirty Dancing, and Follow That Bird.

[EIGHTEEN] Years ago, my mom used to have decorative plates hanging on the walls of her bedroom. I used to wake her up on Saturday mornings by telling her the stories from the plates that I made up on the fly.

[NINETEEN] I get incredibly excited whenever a celebrity that I have tweeted or mentioned in a tweet likes my post. Like, nerdy, overly, embarrassingly, excited.

[TWENTY] I am incredibly nostalgic. I like to visit places that hold a memory or remind me of my life. The renovation of my high school was slightly disappointing, as it now looks completely different from the outside.

[TWENTY-ONE] When I was around ten years old, I fell in love with the Super Slicer infomercial. I would watch it over and over, mesmerized by the ingenuousness of the product. Eventually, my dad got so sick of listening that he bought me one. I never once used it. For years it sat in the back of the kitchen cupboard. For my bridal shower, he wrapped it up and sent it with my mother. I opened it in front of 75 women who were incredibly confused.

[TWENTY-TWO] Buying Christmas presents is one of my favorite things. I wish I had an endless supply of funds to buy thoughtful gifts for everyone in my life. I hate generic, random gifts, so I take a lot of time picking out specific items for people and I definitely notice when someone has taken the time selecting a gift for me as well.

[TWENTY-THREE] If you’ve made it this far, you are a champ. Or incredibly bored. I applaud you.

[TWENTY-FOUR] I have endless nicknames for my animals. Gusser Goo-Face, Allie Bear, BrunoPup, Bubbas, Peanut, Princess, Fatty, Handsome…

[TWENTY-FIVE] I have always believed that if you made it this far on this post that you should share 25 things about yourself. Do it!

Throwback Thursday: Adulting

I don’t want to adult today. I’m just not excited about doing anything other than laying on my couch, watching television with my dog. I wasn’t even going to post today, and quite possibly not tomorrow either. I just didn’t care.  As I hesitantly started getting ready for work, late of course, I was reminded of a post I wrote about adulting earlier this year. 

So, since I’m not very interested in adulting today, it only makes sense that I throw it back to February and Why Sometimes You Have to Add Hot Chocolate to Your Coffee

Feel free to wallow in your lack of desire to adult with me today! 

Morning Person: Made.

TheOn June 1st I set out on the journey of making time for myself in the morning, attempting to make myself a “morning person”. Read about it here.

I am a creature of habit, and over the last three months I have been developing my “morning person” habits. Waking up every weekday by 6:30am so that I have an hour to myself to watch Morning Joe, drink some coffee, and either write or work depending on the day ahead. Honestly, it was so much easier than I had original anticipated. Once the alarm started going off 5:45am it just became a part of my routine.

I get up by 6:30am, head to the kitchen to feed the cats, make myself a cup of coffee, grab my laptop or notebook, and plop on the couch in the sunroom to watch my morning does of MSNBC. Depending on the day ahead, I have between 30 and 90 minutes to spend however I please before having to get up and getting ready to leave the house. With the exception of Girls Weekend and vacation, this has been my morning for the last three months. I love it. Morning has become my favorite part of the day, I wish I had TWO hours every morning to myself, but getting up at 5am might be pushing it.

Today, I had to be a little flexible in my usual morning. Justin sleeps like the dead so I’m not usually overly concerned about the noise I make while making my coffee or watching the pundits argue on the TV screen. Last night, Justin took his cousin Sam to the Tiger’s game, they have been planning their evening for MONTHS. It was a big deal for both of them, their seats were practically on the field. They toughed out the impending rain storms that were headed our way and spent the evening cheering on their favorite baseball team. They came home just as I was going to sleep, so I didn’t have time to grill his cousin on his sleeping habits before I went to bed.

Are you a light sleeper?

Will my coffee machine wake you up in the morning?

Which couch will you be sleeping on?

Do you need anything?

He knew I get up early in the morning, so hopefully I didn’t surprise him but I am certain, my wacky ass woke him up at some point. I woke up a little early this morning in anticipation for how loud my alarm is, everything has seemed so loud and obnoxious since the second I rolled out of bed. Why is it that the second you want to try and stay quiet, that everything you do seems to be amplified by the fact that you are attempting to be quiet?

The bathroom door squeaked like a sound effect from a horror film, dropping the cat’s kibble in their dish might as well be dumping a bucket of golfballs on the floor, my Keurig is a spaceship taking orbit, and my office chair sounds like a lift in a garage. The poor kid probably thinks I’m nuts!

So, here I sit. In my office on the other side of the house, in the dark, trying to be quiet while typing and watching Morning Joe, feeling like a crazy person. I supposed today was the day I realized that I have been successful in my endeavor to become a morning person. I have established a routine so well that I go about it, even if that means I have to isolate myself in the corner to do so. And, quite frankly, I enjoyed my morning. Hopefully, I was able to go about my routine without disturbing my sleeping baseball fans.

I’m proud of the habits that I have built in the morning and actually have transformed 6:00-9:00am into my favorite time of day. I feel more productive throughout the day, I go to bed at a reasonable time, and don’t feel rushed in the morning as I am getting ready for work. I enjoy, and thrive on the structure and predictability of my morning hour.

And when my morning is out of the ordinary and unpredictable, I find it so fascinating that I write a blog post for all of you to read about it.

Enjoy your day, I hope your favorite time of day, whenever it is, is awesome today!

Chef Spaz

I am, by no means a chef. I can hold my own in the kitchen but usually that comes from my inclination toward improvising in the kitchen. I tend to have a very difficult time following a recipe. I don’t know why, but I get flustered, something gets burned, I don’t know what some of the words mean, and I end up stressed and sweaty by the time I sit down. Whew, following a recipe is a workout!

Lately, it seems like there are an abundance of services that send you materials or products in a monthly box – usually a subscription service. I’ve been curious and interested in about 98% of them but never could justify the cost in our household budget. In an effort to experiment and try new meals in the kitchen, I’ve been most interested in the meal service subscriptions, but still, I’ve never fired the shot and tried any of them.

Enter our super awesome neighbor.

Last week, I got an interesting text from our neighbor, offering me a “complete meal” but she needed to explain and that she was in the backyard. I debated whether or not she seemed like a the type to order a mob hit and then ventured toward the back of the house. She had received three HelloFresh meals that she wasn’t going to be able to use and was offering me one of them, I went for the beef stirfry.

A little nervous about what I was getting myself into, I put the meal into the fridge and gave myself a few days to work up to it. On Sunday afternoon, after three days of very little activity, I decided I needed  a good workout and went to the fridge for the HelloFresh meal.

hellofreshI followed the directions the best that I could, and for the record, the meal turned out very well even though I have no idea how to mince garlic, peel and prepare ginger, or how to chop bok choy. I only slightly burned the beef after becoming distracted by the slicing of vegetables, and only ended up with beef marinade on half of my body. While I felt like a supreme spaz, I managed to make a pretty decent meal. The directions were clear and had a few pictures to aid in the process, the recipe incorporated a couple of new foods into my world (bok choy, ginger, and jasmine rice), and gave me a new meal to add to my rotation.

Overall, I would say that the experience was a success. And yes, I was sweating when I sat down to eat. While I still don’t think that I could justify room in our monthly budget for a regular subscription, I do think that services such as HelloFresh could provide a solution for those that don’t have the time to shop on a regular basis and are looking to make smaller amounts of food. I was excited to have access to new foods, with very specific instructions on how to use them, it will undoubtedly be a source of inspiration as I plan meals in the future.

Lucky for me, that super awesome neighbor dropped off four more meals last night and I have a whole fridge full of new foods to try this week!

One box subscription service tried – 10,000 to go.


Coffee & Dog Farts

This morning the weather is as close to “up north” weather as we get in Metro-Detroit. It’s about 55 degrees, a slight breeze, and the sun is shining. All I need is a lake and no schedule to make it perfect. 

The birds are chirping and I’ve got a full cup of coffee, I’m huddled underneath my favorite purple blanket with the puppy curled up at my side. I’m feeling fresh and clean from my shower, my hair is slowly drying from the breeze coming in the window. It’s slightly chilly. 

I’m listening to Morning Joe replay the events of the last few days: Istanbul, Brexit, Trump, Hillary… 

I sip my coffee and hear a little snore out of said puppy. Then it hits me like a ton of bricks. Not puppy snores, but puppy farts. 

Nothing like an eye-wateringly dense puppy fart to break your coffee by the lake fantasy. 

There’s not much you can do when the puppy farts take over a room. You can pull your shirt over your nose, you can run, but you surely can’t hide. My love bug puppy is now getting side eye glances and I think he’s starting to pick up on his influence on the room. He doesn’t care. 

So here I sit, spending my morning hour with my shirt over my nose trying to sip my coffee in between puppy farts. 

This is the life. 

Suggestion Box

After spending over 11 hours at the hospital yesterday for what was supposed to be our “quick” treatment day I have a few suggestions for the University of Michigan Health System. 

1. I know that it would have the ability to cause mass chaos, but if you could include an estimated appointment time on the patient’s itnerary, that would be incredibly helpful. It doesn’t have to be time specific but I can tell you, from experience, there is a big difference between spending 4 hours and 11 hours in the hospital. Especially when the additional 7 hours were booked ahead of time. 

2. Can a “guest” get a more comfortable chair? I mean, dang, I know I’m not doing anything other than sitting there but good grief, something that leans back and maybe has wheels would be awesome. It would make moving out of the nurses way a lot easier too. I might be pushing it but a foot rest wouldn’t hurt either. 

3. Get your system together. Having to wait for blood work to get done throws off your entire day. If we are late for blood work then you’re late finishing your appointment which means you’re late to get to infusion on time which means the pharmacy doesn’t make your medication when it should and all you’re doing is waiting to hurry up and wait some more. The free bagels and coffee are a nice touch though.

4. More outlets in the waiting area are desperately needed. One power strip for an entire waiting room for two clinics is unrealistic. It’s 2016 we’re all wired. 

5. Don’t make your nurses do your dirty work for you. Our poor, awesome, amazing nurse had to break the news to us today that we were in for a much longer day than we had anticipated. She didn’t deserve to be at the receiving end of our frustration. She’s got other things to worry about, like appropriately administering important medications to patients. No big deal. 

In all seriousness, very rarely do I have anything to complain about after a day at the hospital, and most of this is just in fun. I could never explain how appreciative I am for the incredible team on the research staff that we get to see on treatment days. They make every appointment as enjoyable as possible. 

Yesterday was long, about 8 hours too long but it went by quickly. Justin slept through most of it and I managed to get a full day’s work in on my laptop. The staff had fun with us and managed to keep us in good spirits. I suppose there isn’t much more I could ask for. 

Except for maybe the more comfortable chair, I mean, really, Justin gets a fancy reclining chair. 😉