Friday, June 23, 2017

Getting my life together

I'm not sure what happened the other night, but I went into a complete panic mode. Even though I am content with my life, I feel like there is some opportunity to be better. I mean, obviously I am not perfect so there is clearly room for improvement. So I literally just sat cross-legged in the middle of my bed and thought about what I want to improve upon:

1. I want to be out of debt.
2. I want to be at my goal weight. 
3. I want to be in a job I feel really passionate about. 

Okay, so to explore those a little more....

1. Debt. I have some credit card debt, my school loans and my car payment. I have mixed some methods and developed my own, specialized, Jen plan on how to be out of debt in the next 3.25 years. So that one will (very slowly) be crossed off the list.

2. I always pretend I am dieting and working on hitting my fitness/body goals, but am I really? I eat whatever I want. I need to develop a meal plan and stick to it. The fitness part I have down, but really that's not even a part of it.

3. This. A job I feel passionate about. I like my job at Clarkson, but I am just content. I need to figure this out.

I turn 37 next month, so I have set a goal of having all of this figured out by the time I'm 40. So July 2020. Does anyone have some helpful advice? Hard truth advice? Previous experience advice?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Waxologist to the rescue!

I have been struggling with my eyebrows lately - I got super obsessed with the idea of microblading, but that is so expensive and I don't really want to go that route. I knew I needed to just find a good, local, dependable wax artist who would put up with my crazy and also maybe help me work up the nerve to wax other regions. So I googled "best eyebrow waxer in omaha" and found Deb at Waxology.

I love places that have online forms to request an appointment, and she did (score one point for Deb), and she texted me the next day (score two points for a text and not a call). We made an appointment for Monday evening. Her menu has every single place you could ever want waxed listed, but I just told her we would start with my eyebrows and see how it goes.

I got there and found her area easily enough. It was a little weird, however, because it's not like she is in a salon - she just rents a space in this suite. So when I walked in I didn't know where to go, and I saw a few people but no one offered to help me. Maybe my bushy eyebrows scared them off. Anyway, I found her and her little space was very comfortable, It had a place for me to lay down with the paper across it, just like in a doctors office. It smelled nice in there and she had a TV on. We introduced ourselves, and I told her to just do what she needed to do to make my eyebrows pretty. She had me lay down, and while staring at my face, she asked if I wanted to have my nose hairs waxed as well. UM YES. I, for some reason, have a hairy nose (thanks Dad) and I have struggled since I was 12 with it. Without hesitation, she stuck two balls of wax up my nose and then got started on my eyebrows.

I have gotten my eyebrows waxed 12899 times in my life (I mean, I'm pretty hairy, and my eyebrows root somewhere deep in my soul) and it stings bad. But with Deb, it didn't even hurt at all. And she gave me no warning at all when she ripped the wax from my nose - but that didn't hurt either! I mean, it didn't tickle, but it did not make me cry like I thought it would.

I, of course, shared too much with Deb and immediately considered her a close friend. Which means I plan to have her wax my more southern regions. I have never been able to work up with the nerve to do this, but I think I am there. I have had several friends do it, however, and they say while it hurts like a bitch, it is worth it. So...I'm going to do it. Maybe. I will. Sometime.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Father's Day weekend

I had a really super great weekend. I ate some good food, relaxed, saw some good people and it all ended yesterday with a fun family get together to celebrate Father's Day.

I don't know when I became the shortest person in the world. 
Everyone except Mark and Dylin

Friday, June 16, 2017

Brace Face - Tray 7

Nothing is really changing right now, but I told myself I would document every tray so here you go.

I have my trays on in these pics, so you can see the shiny plastic. Sorry. Deal with it. I just finished my coffee and don't want to take them back out for a picture.

Everything hurts with this tray. Normally just the first day or two hurt, but this tray has felt tight every single day. I have gotten a little lazier with remembering to put them back on after I eat, so I need to reel it in with that. I've also noticed with this tray that my lisp is back, especially when I am trying to rap.

I want that pushed back tooth to come forward. I can't wait for that to happen. I will feel much better about my snapchat videos when that tooth comes up to hang with the others.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


I hateeeeeeee when I don't get to blog. I've just been so busy lately that I haven't made the time to write about why I'm so busy. I'll try to catch up now.

Sidenote - let's get real - I'm not that busy. I just hate using a computer at home, and I hate blogging from my iPad.

  • Concerts: In the last few weeks, I've been to Stir Cove to see Vince Neil, and then Nicole and I went to New Kids on the Block at the Clink Center. I miss Motley Crue something fierce, but Vince alone is not going to help that. And the last time I saw NKOTB (also with my sister) was more than seven years ago - they've still got it. 
  • Fighting: I went to see VFC fights with Ryan, Natalie and Miss. Also, I'm still kickboxing, and I just committed another year to that program. Also, I'm constantly dealing with family fighting, but that's a blog for another time.
  • Moving: Like I mentioned above, kickboxing is still on my agenda, and also I'm trying to get 12k steps per day due to a work challenge. I'm actually killing it at this. Also, Missy and I went hiking at Hitchcock this past weekend and that workout was NO JOKE.
  • Television: I tried to get into Bloodline on Netflix, and I just can't. Who loves this show? Does it get better? Also, after giving up on Orange is the New Black last season, I restarted it and got completely hooked. 
  • Planning: Missy has an entire list of summer fun events, and I just made plans to go camping with Nick's family over the 4th. 
  • Budgeting: I completely reworked my budget yesterday so I can have more control over my finances. 
Nicole and I at NKOTB
Hiking out guts out

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Brace Face - Tray 6

Man, these things just keep getting tighter and tighter.

This was my first road trip with braces, and it was not fun. I always felt disgusting. It was very good timing that right when I got home, it was time to switch to a new, clean, beautiful, tight as hell tray. 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Memorial Day - Oklahoma City roadtrip

Natalie, Ryan, Missy and I headed to Oklahoma City for our annual roadtrip. We left Saturday morning and got back Monday night around 1030pm, which was way late for my brittle, old bones, so I am still trying to get my life back together.

As usual, we crammed a lot of touristy things, laughs, Ryan's farts and good food into the three days we were together.

First stop was the Equality House in Wichita, Kansas. The Westboro Baptist bullshit haters house is across the street, but I don't want to post a picture of that. 

Ryan and I were very excited about the Eisenhower museum. Natalie and Missy, not so much?

We stopped to see this Indian statue. 

We stopped at the Oklahoma State and Oklahoma campuses to stalk their football fields. 

Giant soda pop, beautiful sunset on Route 66.

Mickey Mantle statue in Oklahoma City. 

Route 66 museum.

Cowboy Museum. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Brace Face - Tray 5

Day 1 of Tray 5 was no fun. Are you noticing a trend here? I whined about it on Instagram and posted this photo, and Invisalign (the company) commented and told me to stop whining. JK, they told me the pain means it's working. Which I already knew, but just let me whine, Invisalign.

Tray 1 on top, Tray 5 on the bottom

I changed trays on Saturday, and it was a rough day. I went to dinner that night with friends and I was pretty uncomfortable. But, as usual, as they get looser it gets easier. Yesterday I had bad headaches all day, but I think it's because I stared at spreadsheets and reports all day long and barely moved from my desk. 

Even though I have 23 trays left, I feel like this is going fairly quickly. I'm pretty happy with the way things are going so far. 

I also made my first payment. I was able to finance all this, and I have two years to get it paid off without interest. 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

I just don't get it

I just don't understand why things happen the way they do sometimes.

God must have his reasons.

This morning, a co-worker, who I didn't get the chance to know very well but what I did know I loved, died. She was 49.

Six weeks ago she was flying past my office with her beautiful dark hair, on her way to the kitchen to make her oatmeal. Whenever I hear the hallway door open and hear keys rattling on someone's hip, I think it's her.

A diagnosis of lung cancer and a life-sucking brain tumor later, and she's gone.

I just don't get it.

I never told her how beautiful her hair was. I wish I had.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Weekend roommate

Nick came in on the train this weekend, and I didn't realize how much I miss him until I had to take him back to the train station on Sunday morning. But a lot happened between pick up and drop off, so wipe those tears, sensitive Sally.

Friday night I picked him up around 1030p from the train station on 9th and Pacific. I would be lying if I said I felt completely comfortable there. But I would also be lying if I said the people watching wasn't spectacular. We went home and watched some tv and then went to bed. We had a big day the next day, plus we are both old and go to bed early.

Saturday we got up nice and early and went to Shirley's Diner, one of my Omaha favorites, for breakfast. Then we headed to Midland for graduation. A lot of "my" students were graduating, along with our good friend Matt, who we lovingly refer to as MB3. After that, we went back to Omaha to run some errands (Target, Husker Hounds) and then we went to Nick's little sister's graduation party.

It is so weird to me that I have known Bekki and Hannah their entire lives. I remember the first time I ever saw Bekki, at Roosenblatt Stadium for a baseball game. Dan and Lisa couldn't take her out of Nebraska when she was brand new.

Anyway...after the party, we went to dinner with Mama Jan and Dick at Maria's, where I had one margarita and got wasted. Then we went to Hy-vee so Nick could get some good beer to take home with him, and then we went home for a rest. But only a small rest, because then we were on the go again to meet MB3 and the rest of the Midland people for some drinks and merriment.

THEN we went home. And then at about 445am we got up and headed to the train station and I got sad.

After I dropped him off I napped a little bit, and then went to church with Nicole's family. After that, we had a Mother's Day brunch for my mom, aunt, grandma and sister.

And of course, because I suck, I didn't take a single picture with Nick this weekend. But here's one of me and Paul.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Brace Face - Tray 4

I hurt today. Tray 4 hurts.

My changes aren't huge, but I can tell things are moving.
Day 1 on top, Day 31 on the bottom

Day 1 vs Day 31
I can tell things are moving on the bottom. My little teeth that were hiding behind others are starting to poke forward.

Anyway, like I said, tray 4 is rough. Today is Day 1 with it, so I knew it would suck, but it sucks further back in my mouth rather than just up front where it did with the other trays. 

I had my first follow up appointment the other day, and my dentist was happy with how things looked. She did use a little grinder and "shave" my teeth a little. I could definitely go the rest of my life without ever hearing that sound again, but she told me more would be coming in my future. Awesome.  

Monday, May 8, 2017

Boone weekend at the compound

What a lovely, lovely weekend.

Friday I left work early and headed east to the compound. I stopped in Des Moines (tacos, duh), and got to Nick's around 7pm. It was just him and Cooper at home for the weekend, since Hannah and Chandler came to Omaha for her brother's baby shower.

Everyone knows Chandler and I are kindred spirits, but I was actually pretty excited to have some quality time with Coop this weekend. And Nick, of course. We ate dinner, and Cooper went to bed since it was pretty late (after downloading a ton of new games on my ipad, of course), and then Nick and I watched a scary movie that kept me up all night long.

Saturday we got up, and I took Cooper to soccer while Nick went to work. Being a soccer mom probably is not in my future, but I think I did a pretty decent job of making friends and yelling. After that, we met Nick for lunch at Subway, where Coop tried his first Subway sandwich and realized they are amazing. Then Nick went back to work for the graduation ceremony, and Cooper and I ran home, changed, and then went to the ceremony ourselves.

After that we went to HyVee to get him and Chandler fidget spinners, and then we finally went home and my single-mom life was done. I think I did a pretty good job of keeping him alive all day.

Cooper and Nick went fishing for awhile, and I got a little workout in. Then, we all went to this place, River Rock Cafe, for dinner. It was really busy, but totally worth the wait. The pork tenderloin was bomb, the cheeseballs were bomb, the steak fries were bomb.

After dinner, we walked a little bit around the river, and then went home to have a fire pit and roast marshmallows and make s'mores. Sitting around a firepit is my favorite thing in the world to do.

Sunday I got up early and headed home to have a birthday lunch with my sister, and then went to bingo with Gram, of course. I feel a little unorganized and like I need to get my life together, but it was a perfect weekend so I wouldn't change a thing.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Happy Friday!

This has been a long, emotional week. Things at work have been bananas, things at my side gig have been stressful, and putting yourself out there is scary. But guess's Friday, so we made it to the weekend, people!

I am heading to Nick's this weekend to hang with him and Cooper. And guess what? He is coming here next weekend! #doubleboonetime

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Brace Face - Tray 3

I switched to my next tray on Sunday afternoon. 2 down, 26 to go!

Day 1, Day 21
I am only 1/14 of the way through this process, but I feel like I'm an expert already. Before popping my new tray in on Sunday, I smoothed out all the rough edges and took a few tylenol. It was super tight, but I love knowing that I'm getting straighter teeth and it's doing what it is supposed to be doing. On Sunday, I took tray 28 out and compared it to tray 2, which I was putting back in the container and marking as done (the dentist told me to save them...I don't know why? It's kinda weird). I love the idea that my teeth will look like that by February! (I math isn't great.)

Some new things I've noticed this week -
1. I can now pop them in and out without looking in a mirror.
2. I am going to have to just give coffee up completely. I am not supposed to drink hot things with them in (or really anything other than water), and I don't drink coffee fast enough to finish it during my breakfast.
3. I take my trays out for about 45 minutes a day. Yes, I added. Some days, like last Friday night at the volleyball fundraiser, they were out longer. But I think I'm doing an okay job on that front.
4, Chapstick has become my main squeeze. It kind of was before, anyway, but now I feel like I need it all the time.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Weekend minutes

It was one of those weekends where I felt like I had a lot going on, but I also managed to watched like ten episodes of Veep, so I must have found some spare time there sometime. Probably because I did not work out once.

Friday night I left work a little early to take stuff to our graduation venue, then I ran home, changed, then drove the 45 minute journey to Fremont. I had not been there in a few months, and the last time I went I didn't drive, so I was convinced I wasn't going the right way. I listed to my new obsessive podcast, Up and Vanished, during the drive.

I was going back to my old stomping grounds, Midland University, to attend a fundraiser for volleyball. Nick's little sister, Hannah, is attending school there so I went to fill a spot at the Boone Family table.

Also, I was reunited with some of my old coworkers and catching up with them filled my heart with something I didn't know was missing.

I miss my old team at Midland so much. I am really happy at Clarkson and I like my job, I just miss my girls. And Paul sometimes.

Saturday morning I had to work; we had Clarkson's graduation ceremony. The entire thing went perfectly. I kept waiting for a mishap, but nothing happened. It was glorious. After that I did my grocery shopping, laundry, food prep, etc, and managed to watch an entire season of Veep, and I also watched a bunch of serial murder stories.

Sunday I had brunch with the girls (Emily, Missy and Katie) and then went home to watch more Veep before heading to Glenwood. As part of the alumni board, I had to go to the awards ceremony for the high school seniors. We were giving out five scholarships. I really wanted to grab each of those seniors and ask them one billion questions about what they are doing with their lives after leaving GHS, but I realized it wasn't my business and their parents might get weirded out by that, so I just left.

Then I went home and watched more Veep. I need the weather to get better so I quit watching so much television.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Brace Face - Tray 2

Well, I survived my first 10 days with Invisalign. Last night I switched to Tray 2.

The first two days weren't fun at all. My top tray went on just fine, but putting my bottom tray on hurt every time. Of course, my bottom teeth are way more jacked up than my top. I would get the back teeth lined up, but then sliding it down on my front teeth hurt bad.

I also experienced some discomfort with the trays rubbing on the inside of my mouth. I used a nail file to smooth them out, and then it was just fine. On day three, everything seemed to change. I was good. It didn't hurt anymore, and getting them on and off were no trouble at all.

I am eating less and drinking less soda, since I have to take them out to do both. I was a bit nervous about eating out with these things, but that was pretty easy too. I just snuck to the bathroom right after I ordered, then snuck back after I got done. These things have really helped with my evening snacking problem, also, since I do not want to deal with taking them out again to snack.

Last night I switched to my second tray right before bedtime, and I'm a little tight/sore today. It's not a bad as I was thinking it would be, though. Even though you can't see anything yet, I can certainly feel that things are changing.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter weekend

What a lovely, lovely three day weekend. I'm a little peeved that I don't get a 4 day weekend anymore (damn you Midland for spoiling me) but I will definitely not scuff at a three day break.

Friday I got up and went to kickboxing, ran some errands and then went to dinner for my grandma's birthday. She's 81. I hope she lives to 181.

Saturday I got all my meal prepping and house cleaning done, since I knew Sunday nothing would get done. I also got a lot of stuff cleared off my DVR, because you know, priorities. Saturday night I got to go down to Mama Jan's and hang with Nick's family.

On Easter,  I went to church with Nicole's family and then had lunch at Mom's, then dinner at Dad's.

This was absolutely as good as it was going to get.
At Dad's, we had an easter egg hunt for the kids, and Alex filled his basket to the brim with eggs. Then he ran in to go to the bathroom, so Kate and I took his basket and rehid all his eggs. We thought it was hilarious, but his little confused face made me feel really bad. Luckily, he thought the Easter Bunny did it. "That bunny tricked me!"

Oh, and because why not, we lifted the trampoline up over fences and carried it to the other side of the yard.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Brace Face - Day 1

My bottom teeth have bothered me for a long time, but I knew I didn't want to walk around with braces. I was kind of interested in Invisalign, but assumed it wouldn't work for me.

With my new insurance I needed to find all new doctors, so I found a new dentist that seemed very holistic and advertised about "pain free dentistry". Obviously I am a giant wimp, so if something says painfree, I am all in. So I made an appointment at Dentistry for Health (you could make the appointment online - even as a new patient - which won even more points for them.)

My first appointment, on March 13th, was just a consultation. I talked to my new dentist about my lack of confidence because of my smile, and she said I would be the perfect candidate for Invisalign. I went in a week later for a cleaning. Then I went in to fill two cavities. Then, just two days after that, I went in to get the molds and pictures done to send to Invisalign.

Of all the appointments, getting the molds done was the most uncomfortable I had been in that chair. The way they shoot the material into your mouth can only be described as a caulk gun, and it's pretty disgusting. Then when they try to pull the molds out of your mouth - YIKES. It didn't hurt exactly, but I was fairly certain they were going to rip all of my teeth out. But before I knew it, they were done, and my digusting molds and pictures were sent off to be analyzed. I was told they would call me in 3-4 weeks when they got everything back.

So imagine my surprise yesterday, just ten days later, when I got the call everything was in and I could come in later in the day. I set an appointment to go there over my lunch break, and I got SO EXCITED to start this new process!

When I sat down at 1230p, my dentist immediately set to work putting "buttons" on several of my teeth. Basically, these were little teeth colored adhesives to attach to the trays. This process was uncomfortable, but not painful. Then we popped my first set of trays in (TIGHT, but okay) and I was sent out the door with boxes and boxes of my 28 sets of trays. I wear each tray for 10 days, so I was making a 280 day commitment.

The rest of the afternoon was weird. I felt like I was constantly pushing and prodding my trays with my tongue. I have never been more aware of anything. I had trouble talking. I went to kickboxing like usual, but my mouth was really dry and the trays were scratching the inside of my bottom lip, so it wasn't that awesome.

When I got home, I was so excited to take them out for a little while and eat dinner. However, I got them out and my teeth felt so weird with those buttons on! Eating was a challenge. I ate quickly because it felt so weird and I wanted to get it over with. Then I popped the trays back in. A few hours later I got hungry, but there was no way I was dealing with removing them again, so I just laid there hungry.

I have read a lot about these things, and most people say once I get used to them this will be better. I certainly hope so, because so far my less-than-24-hours experience has not been fun.
Brace Face, Day 1

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Book Review: 1,001 Ways to Slow Down

1,001 Ways to Slow Down is a list book of just that - ways to slow down. It not only offers several (SEVERAL) tips on ways to slow your roll, but also different activity lists, movies to watch, and other methods of calming down.

I had been feeling pretty anxious and a little all up in my head when I got this book in the mail, so it did come at the perfect time. I took a pen and marked some of the tips I felt really touched base with me (such as "skip a workout if it means hanging out with loved ones" and "slow down when driving" and "is the light going to turn green faster is you inch up on it?"). Some of the tips seem a bit silly ("sharpen a pencil with a knife") but for the most part, I found the tips very helpful. They made me stop and think about how much I do rush through life. I am rarely ever "in the moment", rather I spend time thinking about what comes next.

Ironically, as I got further into the book, I got a little bored with the list and wished I could put the book down and wait until I needed to slow down again to pick it up. But I couldn't, because I had a review to write. So I hurried through the tips to slow down. So...basically I wish I could have just stumbled upon this book and picked it up when I needed it. It's a good book to keep on your shelf for those days when life gets the best of you and you just need to chill.

Available on Amazon
Available on National Geographic
Available on Barnes and Noble

About the author, Dr. Barbara Ann Kipfer

Dr. Barbara Ann Kipfer is the author of 14,000 Things to Be Happy About and the Page-a-Day calendars based on it. She has written more than 60 books, including 1,001 Ways to Live Wild, The Order of Things, Self-Meditation, Instant Karma, 8,789 Words of Wisdom, The Wish List, and 4,000 Questions for Getting to Know Anyone and Everyone, and she edited Roget's International Thesaurus. She holds PhDs in linguistics, archaeology, and Buddhist studies. Dr. Kipfer is the Chief Lexicographer of Temnos and has worked for such companies as, Ask Jeeves, and

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The one who got away?

There was this guy, several years ago. I don't think of him often, but the other day, I was driving to Bartlett, Iowa to go to church with my family, and a song came on the radio and I was instantly taken back.

Sometimes I love that music can do that to you - take you back to a specific memory, a certain place at a certain time. That morning, however, I hated it.

I remember the exact moment when I ruined that relationship. I was at a bar, and I invited him out to play darts. Was I interested in him? Kind of, but I liked someone else more, and I was using this guy, we'll call him TR, to make the other guy jealous. Other Guy was at the same bar.

TR and I played darts, and we flirted, and he told me how much he liked me. I acted interested, I flirted harder, I lost on purpose at darts (I didn't have to try hard to lose...). Other Guy was watching.

Towards the end of the night, I went up to the bar to pay my tab, and Other Guy approached me, asking about TR. I played it off like he didn't mean anything. TR walked up behind me and put his arms around my waist. I wrinkled up my face in disgust, to show Other Guy I wasn't interested. But TR was much taller than me, and had a perfect view of my disgust.

"Oh, I see how it is," TR said. He let me go and walked straight out the door.

That wasn't the last time I talked to him, or even hung out with him. But it was never the same, and he made it very clear he wasn't interested. Which of course made me interested. So when things with Other Guy ended, I tried to win TR back. I even...asked him to be my boyfriend. And he laughed in my face.

I don't know that he's really the one that got away; I don't think we would have really made each other happy. But I hate that I hurt his feelings that night. And I hate that he hurt mine later.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Wellness Check Week 21

What did I do this week for my own personal wellness?
I've been working hard this week to find inner peace. To just accept that things happen for a reason. I've spent some time praying, and I am trying really hard to just trust.

On a less serious note, I also am continuing the process of getting Invisalign, and I went and got my annual physical done (finally). Also, I am working really hard on not snacking - just eating a meal and being done.

Non-scale victories?Nothing really this week. 

Scale victory or nah?
The scale treated me well this week.

Progress toward October 19th goal of 30 pounds - 13 pounds to go

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

5 things I will never do

1. Run a marathon.
2. Learn to swim.
3. Eat onions on purpose.
4. Get a flu shot.
5. Have a baby.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

5 things I thought I would never do...

...but I did!

1. Run a half marathon. Or run three half marathons (but never again...)

2. Complete a "bootcamp" type work out program.

3. Run a Disney-themed race.

4. Get lasik surgery.
5. Use a passport.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Book review - May Cause Love; An Unexpected Journey of Enlightenment After Abortion by Kassi Underwood

Kassi Underwood was 19 and in a long distance relationship with who she thought was her soul mate, Will-B, when she found herself pregnant by another man. Well, "man" may not be the right word for the druggie, lost guy she had started sleeping with. Although being a mother was always her main game plan in life, she decided to abort the baby, as the time and situation were not ideal for raising a baby.

What happened next can only be described as a downward spiral; an intense plummet to rock bottom. Finally, during an overseas trip, Kassi decided to get sober and start dealing with everything she had been through. Then, on the three year anniversary of her abortion, the father emailed her to tell her he was having a baby with another woman - and the name they chose for their daughter was Jade, which is the name Kassi has always dreamed of her first daughter having. Kassi became slightly obsessed with the new Jade, and finally, six years after her abortion, she began a journey of healing that took her to different places - a Catholic retreat, a Buddhist, a weekend of silence, conversations with several woman across the country - and while the pain will never go away, Kassi at least ended the book with a feeling of hope. 

Do you ever feel like you were meant to see something, read something, hear something? I feel like this book came into my life for a reason. While I did not abort a baby, I misacarried eight years ago. I've struggled with this for eight years now - constantly asking myself why it still affects me, after this long, when I was only pregnant for eight weeks. But so much of what Kassi said rang true to me - and even though our stories are very different, so much of the pain, mourning and regrets are the same for anyone who gets pregnant, but doesn't get to raise a child. 

At one point in the book, while Kassi is going on her healing journey, she is told that she will always be a mother because at one point there was a life inside of her. I like the thought of that. I have been a different person since that lunch break when I ran home to take a pregnancy test - and it's because that day I became a mother. Even though I am not having kids and I will not become pregnant again, no one can take that title away from me.

I highly recommend anyone who chose abortion to read this book, but also anyone who has suffered from a miscarriage. Also, anyone who has strong opinions on abortion, in either regard. You may be surprised by what you read.

To buy this book:
HarperCollins     Amazon     Barnes and Noble

Author sites:
Website     Facebook     Twitter     Instagram

Kassi Underwood

Friday, March 17, 2017

5 Things I am grateful for this week

1. Density sets at the gym. I LOVE THEM. I can't move.
2. My mom and my sister, who both celebrated birthdays this week.
3. Hearing one word and having everything click.
4. Reading in bed before I go to sleep.
5. Scandal is everything.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Wellness Check - Week 19

What did I do this week for my own wellness?
I've been in bed by 10p all week - not asleep, but reading or watching a show. I'm reading a really great book - May Cause Love by Kassi Underwood. I'll be reviewing it on this blog next week!

I also had another appointment with my therapist yesterday. I feel like I have said everything I need to for right now, so I am going to put those on hold. I can't just keep repeating the same things, that makes no sense and it wastes both of our time.

Also, I went to the dentist to see about getting Invisalign. I go back in on Monday, and I'm hoping I can get it to work out financially (This is where having a husband and a dual income home would come in really handy. Damn my single lifestyle choice!).

Non-scale victories?
My pants are SO loose. I'm starting to look homeless again. Luckily it's getting to be skirt season so I can pull out all my awesome warmer weather clothes.

It's Week 10 at Farrells (our sessions run for ten weeks, usually with a two week break in between - there are still classes, but they are "Fit Students" only, no 10-week bootcampers) so the workouts are so tough. On Tuesday we did 45 minutes of density sets for lower body (Basically density sets are where you go 10 reps of 4-5 exercises at extremely high weights - then you repeat that round 5-6 times. So we did three density sets, taking up the entire 45 minute class). Tonight we will do 45 minutes of density sets for upper body. I LOVE density sets; it's fun to see how high I can get. However, I haven't been able to walk for two days.

Scale victory, or nah?
I had a very small scale victory this week.

Progress toward October 19th goal of 30 pounds: 14.6 pounds to go

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

What's not working in my life?

  • Certain family relationships.
  • My lack of activity during the day. Currently, my ass hurts from the amount of time I have been on it.
  • My weight - I am way up from where I would like to be. But that is because...
  • My eating habits suck. 
  • Nick lives four hours away from me and I hate it. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

What's working in my life?

  • My job. I love my job. The only thing I wish was different is that I would like to be on my feet more. I truly have a desk job. I am hoping when the weather gets nicer, I will be able to walk outside during my breaks - especially since the Blackstone area of Omaha is developing so much. 
  • My home. I truly love my tiny little apartment, and I feel so at home when I am there. I feel completely safe, comfortable and myself. 
  • My relationships. 
  • My friends. I know I am not the easiest person to get along with, or put up with. But my friends do a stellar job. 
  • My Sundays. Typically, my Sundays consist of food prepping, catching up on television, and then going to bingo with my grandma and company. Seeing my grandma every Sunday has become a habit I don't want to change.
  • My workouts. I love kickboxing and my strength training days at Farrell's.

Friday, March 10, 2017

5 Things I am Grateful for this Week

1. My heart. Some people may see me as a sucker, but that's fine. I have a good heart, and I care about people. Now I just need to work on protecting my heart and giving myself boundaries.

2. My treadmill. It's old and rickety and I feel like I have to work harder on it than the fancy treadmills at the gym, but that's probably a good thing, right?

3. Riverdale on the CW. You guys. Watch it. It's already been renewed for Season 2, and it is SO GOOD.

4. Jay Cutler being released from the Bears.

5. My daily "love you" texts from my dad, even when I know he's annoyed with me.

I didn't do a wellness check in yesterday, because, frankly, I'm becoming one of those scale-obsessed people again and I need to stop. My wellness check ins are fucking with my wellness. I will figure out something by next Thursday.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Nashville, Logan and Bingo (again)

I feel like I packed a lot into this weekend. 

Friday night I kickboxed, then did some cleaning and watched some Nashville. I am so obsessed with it, but I rejected it from the beginning so I'm starting from season 1 on Hulu. No matter how much I like the show, I still just cannot stand Hayden Panettiere for some reason - she is the only reason I rejected the show from the beginning. 

Saturday I had a work event - it was a trivia contest for an alumni fundraiser. We did not win the actual trivia contest, but we won best themed table! Let's Get Quizzical. It was a lot of fun, and I might start wearing leg warmers all the time. 

After that, I met Kate for lunch and some errands, and then I met Missy, Ryan and Natalie for some basketball at Big Red Keno. 

Sunday I woke up at the asscrack of dawn to meet Dad in Glenwood - he was hauling a treadmill for me that Mom was giving me for free (I like that price). After that I managed to get all my food prep, laundry and Sunday chores done before I went and met Zach to see Logan. I won't spoil it, but I bawled like a baby at least three times during the movie, and when I wasn't crying I was hiding my eyes. It was quite bloody. 

After the movie, I went to WalMart to buy Ryan his treats, and then went to bingo. This week it was Tammy, Grandma, Ryan and I. It was a weird night. Like one lady started banging her dobbers on the table because the game wasn't moving as quickly as she thought it should. Bingo bitches be cray. 

Friday, March 3, 2017

5 Things I am Grateful for This Week

1. Farrell's, which kicks my ass every single day. I am back into a really good groove with my working out and I try very hard to go to Farrell's every weekday, even if it means I have to go to the 6:30p class.

2. The Glenwood Alumni Association. I am a relatively new member, but in the short time I have been there I have gotten so pumped about helping out my hometown and my high school. The people on the committee are all really great to work with, and I've gotten to know and communicate with so many people.

3. Mom's hip replacement surgery on Tuesday went really well, although she is in a lot of pain now. But I assume when you get your natural hip taken out and a metal one put in, I imagine it doesn't tickle.

4. Me, Nicole and Kate have talked every day this week. I am sure they don't know how much that warms my heart.

5. Finally, I tried therapy this week. I get some free appointments through my insurance at work, and I was feeling very anxious and overwhelmed, so I took advantage of one. I absolutely loved my therapist. The last time I tried therapy was back in 2007-ish, when I was working to get over someone. The lady did not help me at all, but I rescheduled with her anyway. She told me she would call me at a certain time - like Saturday at 4pm - to check in on me between appointments. She did not call, and I got really mad and called and cancelled my second appointment. Then I got a bill for it anyway! I have had a really bad taste in my mouth since then, but I'm glad I tried again because I already feel better.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Wellness Check - week 17

I missed my March 1st goal.

Let's just get that out there first.

I'm disappointed, yes, but I will say that I am happy to be as close as I am, considering I really lost nothing for two weeks. I'm keeping track of this leg of my weight loss journey in my bullet journal, and I've got to put "down arrows" 8 weeks in a row. It hasn't always been a lot (hello .2 of a pound week), but it's always been down. And I refuse to feel bad about that!

This week - down 1.4 pounds
March 1st goal - missed by .8
October 19th goal - 14.8 pounds to go

April first goal - lose 4.8 pounds (I'm just adding what I missed this past month, as I am hoping to be 20 total pounds down by April 1st.)

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

10 Things

10 things that make me really happy

1. Bates Motel. I just love that show, even though it freaks me the fuck out.
2. Taylor Swift songs.
3. Crushed ice and fountain soda.
4. Feeling totally exhausted and spent after a kickboxing class.
4. Flip flops.
5. Cookie Jam.
6. Old school Mario Brothers and friends who will play it with me.
7. When my grandparents call me.
8. Texts or snapchats that aren't responses.
9. Movie theater popcorn.
10. Listening to podcasts while on a long walk.

Monday, February 27, 2017


I am really struggling with some personal stuff lately.

I am stressing out about family issues, even though not a single one of them is really "my" issue. All of my relationships are fine. But other people's relationships are strained, and that makes me stressed out because I don't want anyone's feelings to get hurt. But I seem to be the only one who really cares about hurting feelings, which stresses me out.

All of this is causing some serious anxiety and stress for me, and I do not know what to do about it.

How do you calm down when you are all worked up? I am on google looking for tips now.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Celebrity deaths

If you know me in real life, you know that I take celebrity deaths very, very badly. I think this is mostly because I have never experienced a real loss in my teenage-adult years, so I have little to no perspective when it comes to losing people.

Last weekend, when Nick and I and the boys were at Buffalo Wild Wings, I couldn't help but think about one of the times we were at BDubs in Omaha. The boys were doing their thing, Hannah and Nick were talking and I was watching the TV on one of the far walls. All of a sudden, breaking news....Whitney fucking Houston = dead. I lost my mind. I was hoping that our return trip to BWW wouldn't equal another celebrity death.

The first celebrity death I remember really feeling passionate about was Lucille Ball. I don't know why. I was only 8 years old when she died, but I remember being really affected by it. I dreamt about her a lot, and just couldn't seem to shake off her death.

Some other celebrity deaths that have rocked my world are:
1. Paul Walker. I was in Minneapolis with Missy when Paul died, and we were on our way to meet our friend Adam for dinner. I couldn't even speak. Luckily both Adam and Missy know what a spaz I am so it didn't seem to affect them (or I was playing third wheel and they didn't even notice I was there, anyway).

2. Cory Monteith from Glee. I am still not over this one, even a little bit. I was lying in bed when I got a text from my friend Jill. All it said was "Glee kid dead." I guess Jill wasn't affected as much as I was.

3. Amy Winehouse. I am such a fan of her music. I am so sad we will never hear more.

4. Brittany Murphy. Jill and I were at Walmart when one of us got the news on our phones (probably me - I am pretty sure Jill was still using a flip phone at that point).

5. Whitney Houston. Besides the meltdown in a Buffalo Wild Wings, I went home that night and melted down again. I spent the entire night youtubing her videos and crying. I still haven't stopped listening to "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" on repeat.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Another weekend at the compound

I spent this past weekend with Nick's family on the compound, but I did not take a single picture. What the hell?

Anyway, I took Friday off so that I could get some things done in the morning and really take my time getting to Mount Pleasant. I left Omaha around 1p, so I could actually get there right about the time they were all getting home and spend the evening with them. Also, so I could run through Taco Casa in Des Moines and bring dinner for us all.

I got there and we ate, and Chandler gave me an amazing valentine. (A rock. It's pretty.) Then we sat down to play some board games. We started with Sorry, and then moved on to Life, which is RIDICULOUS. The game has changed from when I was a kid, and I HATED it. So then we played Sorry again.

Saturday the boys had swim lessons, and then we hung around at home for awhile. Hannah, Chandler and I went on a walk because the weather was amazing. It was nice to see their neighborhood, even though I hate everything about it and want them to move home already. After that, Nick and I took Coop and Chan to see The Lego Batman movie and to dinner at BDubs. Nice little night out!

Sunday I got up and played some more games of Sorry with Chandler, and then I needed to leave because I was holding up their day - Cooper and Chandler were itching to get to Walmart to spend the money Grandma Achenbach sent in their valentines. I stopped for tacos on the way home, too (shut up, don't you dare judge me).

I got home around 230p, and found out I can get all my laundry and my food for the week prepped in 90 minutes. That's pretty amazing!

I loved my weekend with the Boone's, but I'm really ready for them to be closer to me. I can handle a 2.5 hour drive, but this 4 hour crap is for the birds.

Wellness check - Weeks 15 and 16

Sorry I missed last week. I was off on Friday and had stuff going on, and the days have just been flying by. However, there is basically no news to report.

I am down .7 of a pound since week 14. Two weeks and less than a pound lost! NOT GOOD.
2.4 pounds to go towards March 1st goal - probably not going to happen!
16.2 pounds to go towards October 19th goal - this will still happen.

I mean, obviously I know what I am doing wrong. I had tacos twice last weekend. I had popcorn at the movies. But also, I'm old and the pounds just don't fly off like they used to.

I need to just refocus, which I have done this week. When I got back from Nick's on Sunday, I was actually 1.5 pounds up from where I was this morning. So I am actually just relieved I was able to reel it in and get back to where I was at this equal with last week's weigh in.

This week will be better.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

New love

I have a new love.

He's bigger, in all ways. His brain holds so much information it's overwhelming knowing I will never reach the end of it. He's bright, beautiful and will help me reach new levels like no one before him.

I had to let go of an old love in order to make room for this new one in my heart, but he is worth it. I'm thinking, truly, that this love will last a long time and, so far, I have no regrets whatsoever in bringing this new deliciousness into my life.

I wonder if my new iPhone 7+ feels the same way about me.

P.S. The new levels I will reach are on Cookie Jam. Level 2581 and still going strong.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Wellness Check - Week 14

This week was kind of a bust, but the scale did not move up, so I am happy!

Down .3 from last week
2.9 to go for March goal
16.9 for October 19th goal

I am not really sure why the scale barely moved this week. I've actually been eating better than before, and my workouts have been amazing and consistent. I'm not going to spend too much time worrying about it, though, because all of my clothes are fitting so much better and I just feel better.

I am trying really hard to eat well until next weekend when I go to Nick's house and make two Taco House stops in one weekend (shut up, I deserve it.)

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Gavin Robert Wilson

Gavin was my first nephew, and he's always been one of my favorite people.

My sister and her first husband got divorced when he was 1.5 years old. So for almost nine years, Gavin went back and forth between the two. Sometimes this was okay; sometimes Gavin would come back and it would take hours (or days) for him to get back to normal.

In the past few years, it hasn't been good. Gavin spent more time upset with his biological dad than he was happy. He questioned things he did; he asked questions a ten year old shouldn't be thinking about. It came to no surprise, in September of 2016, that Joel decided he was done being a dad and gave up his rights.

While it came as no surprise, I still can't believe someone would actually give up the right to hang out with this goofball (warning:overload of adorable Gavin pictures to follow):

So Joel's lost is our gain! On Wednesday, Nicole's second husband (and dad to Alex and Quinn) adopted Gavin. Gavin changed his last name to Wilson (Nicole's maiden name, obviously,) (he felt a little weird about taking Cherko as a last name, which is understandable since it's a lot of ask of a ten year old to change his identity anyway).

We celebrated the day by starting at the courthouse, then moving to Dad's for a brunch celebration. Chocolate chip pancakes, #squadgoals tshirts and knowing that legally Gavin is done with Joel made for a pretty stellar day.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Me-time, movies and bingo

This weekend was amazing and exactly what I needed to reset my life.

Friday night I rented Florence Foster Jenkins from Redbox (Meryl is nominated for best actress) and worked on some low-carb recipes that I didn't end up liking and just threw away. But at least I tried!

Saturday I went to see Lion (Best Picture nominee and SO GOOD), then met my sister's for lunch at Ruby Tuesday (finally got to use my gift card) and then went home and meal prepped, worked out and played Nintendo all night. It was AWESOME. Then I went to bed and finished reading my JFK book. Seriously, sounds nerdy and boring, but I was so so happy.

Sunday I went to see Moonlight (Best Picture nominee, I didn't really enjoy it) and went to the library. Then I went to bingo and finally won! It was only $10, but it basically paid for my evening and my grandma entertained the hell out of me all night.

I went home after and watched the last 8 minutes of the Super Bowl, then went to bed with my new book about Debbie Reynolds.

I feel relaxed, happy and ready to take on the week! Happy Monday, folks!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Wellness Check - Week 13

Down 1 pound from last week
February goal - check!
17.2 to go for October goal
March goal - total of 16 pounds loss - 3.2 pounds to go

Well, clearly from the numbers above, my weigh in yesterday morning went well! I am very happy I hit my Feb goal, and am excited for March's, even though I am terrified again.

Just a few more goals I have set for this month -
1. Attend kickboxing/strength days more often. I go pretty regularly, but sometimes I get distracted and just go to the gym instead so I can be closer to home and start earlier. But I definitely work harder when I have a coach/instructor at the front of the room pushing me.

2. Work at getting more good, pure proteins in my diet. I've gotten pretty lazy and have been eating a lot of red meat and protein powder - time for the goods again (chicken, turkey, etc).

So, to recap - I am 12.8 total pounds down. And tonight is TGIT, so basically my life rocks right now.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Funny Bone, Derby Races, Damsels and SAG Awards

This weekend was a busy one. I am hoping next weekend is a little more low key, and so far it's looking like it will be.

On Friday Ryan, Missy, Natalie and I went to the Funny Bone to see Chris D'Elia. He was on the show Whitney, which is where I discovered him. I wonder if that show is on Netflix? Anyway, he was super funny and the food at Funny Bone was super good.

It was an early night; I was home by around ten. Saturday morning I got up an went to a LuLaRoe party with Kate (valentines leggings for the win!) and then we went to Dad's real quick to see Alex, who was too sick to go to Gavin's derby car race thingy. I can't imagine he would have handled that very well, anyway. Anyway, then we went to the Catholic Church for the derby car race, which made me feel a bit cult-y and also happy I don't have a son involved in the Boy Scouts.

After that I went grocery shopping to buy all non-carb foods, and then I finally got a little time to myself to catch up on TGIT.

Sunday I got up and worked out and then had some people over for a Damsel in Defense party. I went to one of these parties a few weeks ago, and I bought a stun gun. Now I'm obsessed with getting every woman in my life a stun gun, or a pepper spray, or something to make them feel powerful and safe. After that party, I had people over for the SAG awards. This is the only awards show party I am hosting this year, and I can't lie that it's a little weird. But considering how judgmental and how I just stare at Twitter the entire time, anyway, it's probably better I just watch on my own.