Puppy Update

I’m going to be completely honest with you I did not have time to write a blog post this week. I just have not had time to write and I do not have any prewritten posts ready. I am sorry.

Instead of trying to crank out a post that might not be very well written I am just going to give you a few updates on my puppy. I apologize to all the cat lovers out there.

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He’s talkative

When we picked him up the first day the woman warned us that his mother was a talker and corgis have a large personality. Boy is that true! If Thor doesn’t get his way, if he’s hungry, if he’s feeling tough or pretty much any other emotion. You will know it. Although he doesn’t bark much he’s constantly talking.

He’s almost potty trained

Yes, you read that right. He has had very few accidents recently and is getting very good at going to the door and whining when he needs to go out. Occasionally he lifts his leg a little when he pees. I am so proud!

He’s a chewer

Anything he can get in his mouth goes in his mouth. Since he still has his puppy teeth his nips can be pretty painful. We are working on it though and he is getting much better at understanding no. Even if he does wait until you aren’t looking to do it again. Little stinker!

He hates his leash

He will not walk on a leash. He will completely spaz out of we try. We worked on it a little yesterday but we still have a ways to go. A long ways.

He’s kind of weird

Sometimes I really wish I could understand what he is thinking. He is very clumsy and sleeps in the weirdest positions. Sometimes it feels like he stares right through  you and for no reason!

He’s the best

Even on on the days he is naughty or gets up a million times at night, he is simply the best. I like my adorable dork to pieces.

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Thanks for reading! I promise to have a real post next week!

 

The Sloppiest of Joes

I will be the first to agree that the last few months have been touch. Not just for me, it seems to be a tough time of year for just about everyone. Sometimes tough times call for comfort food so let me share one of my favorite twists on the standard sloppy joe. It involves Chicken Gumbo soup and a whole lot deliciousness.

First, let’s not fight over whether it’s called a Sloppy Joe or a Spanish Hamburger or whatever else. Let’s just agree it’s good and move right along with the recipe. Here is what you will need:

One pound ground beef
One small onion, chopped
One stalk of celery, chopped (optional)
One can of Chicken Gumbo Soup
Ketchup (to taste)
Mustard (to taste)

Brown the beef with the onion and celery. Drain. Add the soup and simmer for five minutes. Add ketchup and mustard to taste.

Yes, is is that easy. Plus it’s souper good! Pun intended. Enjoy!

Things you hear when you get a puppy

I am officially the mother of the cutest little puppy on the planet. Seriously, he is absolutely adorable. I may be a a little bit bias but look at this picture and tell me I’m wrong:

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He’s not perfect. He’s still working on potty training and sleeping through the night. However, he is already doing better than I thought he would be at this point. Although he does have a chewing problem. Meaning he literally wants to chew on everything and I mean everything from hands to furniture. We’re working on it.

Anyway, prior to bringing Thor home and over the past few days there are few things people have told me about my new baby. Some of the tips and compliments were appreciated while other things surprised me.

First, there is the obvious. Tons of compliments about Thor’s unbelievable cuteness. And who can blame them? He is adorable as most dogs are.

Then there are the training tips. Most of these are super helpful. As a first time dog owner it’s great to know what works and tips to make my life easier. Thor, like most puppies, is a troublemaker and it’s reassuring to know not just what is written on training websites but also what has worked with other pets.

It’s the input I received prior to getting Thor that surprised me the most. People are very opinionated about dogs. Let me explain. (I promise to try my hardest not to over explain).

Not surprisingly people prefer one gender of dog over the other and they are not afraid to tell you why. Just bringing up the topic of a future pet elicits this list of reasons why this gender is better and don’t even consider getting the other gender. That would be a huge mistake.

Then there’s the name. Some people believe there are only certain types of names that are okay for dogs and this is why. It’s tough to pick a name for your pet and when we finally settled on Thor, not everyone was thrilled. People are not afraid to tell you they don’t like  your pets name and why.

Finally, there are the questions about where you get your puppy and the breed. Are you rescuing the puppy? Why  or why not? Did you know those dogs are some of the best behaved because they are so grateful to be rescued? Did you know that those dogs have the most issues because of their backgrounds? Did you know that breed has this big problem?

It’s a lot to think about. Fortunately, I am super happy with our decision. I know my little corgi is going to be a lot of work, especially while he still gets up at night and works on his potty training. But also he’s a ton of fun. While he only weighs about three pounds he has a huge personality with the perfect amount of weird. I love you Thor.

 

Reflections on my First Mixer

This past Saturday I skated in my first ever Roller Derby mixer. I was a little nervous beforehand. Not only have I not skated in very many bouts yet, but also skating with new skaters is always interesting. Building the trust and learning the way they play can be challenge.

I’m am thrilled to report I am extremely happy with how things went. For the most part I skated pretty well and as a league we pulled off our home mixer like champions. I am so proud of my team and of all the skaters who joined us for the 2017 Big Top Brawl.

It was hot. We skate in a hockey rink so there is no real way to cool it aside from crossing your fingers and hoping for cooler weather. Fortunately on the day of the brawl the weather was cooler,. However it was  still humid and it was still very warm in our facilities. Very warm.

I learned so much. We had a TON of fantastic skaters from all over skating with us and it was absolutely fantastic to learn from them. I wish there was a way to soak it all into some fancy derby sponge and then sift through it later so I don’t forget anything. There were so many times I watched those amazing ladies out there and just wished I could have one ounce of their talent some day. Goals.

After two bouts I was completely exhausted. However, I had SO much fun. Every time I get to play derby I love it a little more. On top of the sport itself being amazing, there is always so much derby love at every event I go to. The Brawl did not disappoint.

Thank you to all the skaters, officials, NSOs, coaches, fans and supporters that made the 2017 Big Top Brawl a success! A special shout out to my family, my friend Ben Vanden Boogaard and his fantastic girlfriend for making the trip to Baraboo to see my skate! It’s safe to say my first mixer was a success!

The Timeline Trap

It’s really easy to set goals and timelines for yourself. It’s the follow through that gets tough. Lately, I have been realizing how unrealistic timelines can be and not meeting those ridiculous timelines can result in unnecessary unhappiness.

It’s easy to say you’ll be married and settled into your first home by the time you are 25 or you’ll graduate college in four years when you are a naive 16 year old.

Even when you have had a taste of the real world, it is still easy to fall into the timeline trap. Has anyone ever told you that in order for them to have kids “on time” they need to meet “the one” tomorrow because they need to be dating for this many years and married that many years before they have kids? That’s a lot of pressure to put on yourself.

Now, before I go on I am going to stop myself so I don’t start overexplaining. Here’s the message I want to get out: Let yourself breathe. Do not commit yourself to a crazy timeline. Time passes faster than you think and life gets in the way more than you would like it to. Very few people follow the cookie cutter version of life that seems so attainable when you are young. So live life, don’t plan it!

The Emotions of Moving

Setting aside completely all the anxiety and frustration that goes into finding your new home whether it be an rental or purchase, there are a ton of emotions that come into play when you move. It starts when you begin packing the boxes and stays with you at least until your new residence begins to feel like home.

Now I would like to point out I did NOT help move any of the my things this time. I had to be out of time on moving day and my boyfriend’s parents and a few of their friends stepped up like little magical moving fairies. I will be forever grateful. However, even with the help I still experienced all the fantastic emotions of moving. Let me elaborate.

Excitement

After a year of my absent landlord and old green bathroom bathroom I was absolutely stoked to be able to wave goodbye to all issues I was dealing with and start new. I have a new space to decorate, set up and make my own. Change can be fun and inspiring. Plus, having a sink that was made after 1960 is a plus.

Dread

Packing sucks. I have so much stuff and it becomes super evident as I packed it all. Then I had to take my bed and my shelves apart. Then there’s the cleaning. So much cleaning. Not to mention moving all of the boxes and furniture. Granted, I didn’t have to move anything this time but I know the feeling of dread that comes over you when you see how many boxes there are or if you’ve been moving things for awhile and there is still more. There’s always more! I don’t want to shovel in the winter and I won’t want to mow the lawn. What was I thinking? I don’t want to adult!

Anger

Could I honestly have any more crap? I get so mad at myself for all the crap I own every time I move. It’s too much. My new closets are smaller then my old ones so I need to organize things differently which makes me mad. And I’m guaranteed to let out a curse word or two if I stub my toe on one of the millions of boxes I’m trying to organize. Is there ever an end to the unpacking? Will this ever all be organized? Never again! I will live here forever!

Joy

Look how cute my new place is! Check out the sun porch! Have you seen the water pressure in the shower? Hell yeah! When things started to click into place I could not have been happier. All the doors lock, there is a yard and I don’t have to live in my old apartment anymore. Yay!

Sadness

I was excited to leave my old apartment. I couldn’t wait. But there was still that moment of sadness when I left my keys behind and shut the door. Change can be inspiring but it can also be tough. I feel old as I start the next chapter of my life. I’m also scared. Did I make the right decision? What if there are issues with the new place? What if?!

Hope

Change can be tough, but it’s all going to be okay. It’s exciting to moive into my first house even if I am renting. Now I can finally get my first dog! There is added responsibility but also it’s great to learn while some of the responsibility is still the landlord’s. I can do this. I can be a grown up. Watch me!

Did I miss any emtions? I probably did. Anxiety is another emotion I will feel consistently until all the unpacking is done and everything is settled. I’m sure there is more. I’m ready to get off this roller coaster of emotion. The new place is 99% put together and I cannot wait until it’s done.

Usually it’s exciting to think about having my own house someday, but for now I don’t really want to think about it. That will be one hell of a roller coaster. For now I will enjoy my yard and search for a puppy.

Five Lessons Twentysomething can Learn from Wonder Woman

Two nights ago I finally saw Wonder Woman. As someone who normally gravitates toward Marvel films I wasn’t sure what to expect. Yes, I had heard multiple raving reviews of the film, but I think it’s important not to go into a showing with your expectations too high. This has ruined movies for me in the past.

Mind. Blown. I love this movie. It is incredibly well done. Gal Gadot, Patty Jenkins and the entire cast and crew did an amazing job creating this film. I left the theater feeling incredibly entertained and inspired.

Now that I have had a few days to process and continue to appreciate the film I have a few takeaways for all those Twentysomethings out there.

***SPOILER ALART*** While I won’t be giving away the ending I will be referencing parts of the film so if you have not seen it yet and want to be completed surprised, STOP READING!

1. The Outfit Matters

“How can a woman possibly fight in this?!” Diana asks this questions about one of many outfits she tries on to cover her Wonder Woman outfit and blend into 1940s London. Now, I don’t think any of us out there are looking for the perfect outfit to fight the god of war, but what you wear is important. If it is uncomfortable, restricting or it doesn’t suit  the activity you will be doing in it then it isn’t the right choice. Find what works.

2.Choose to do something

When Diana says she wants to help fight the battle raging in No Man’s Land, Steve tells her it’s not what they are there for but she fights the battle anyway. Sometimes you have to choose between doing something and doing nothing. Always do something. Act, don’t standby.

3. Be prepared

It is always better to be prepared. Diana’s mother is hesitant to let Diana learn to fight at the beginning of the movie, but she eventually gives in and its a good thing she does. Diana learns to kick some serious ass. It is always better to be prepared for whatever you are facing whether it’s a tough test or interview or a simple recipe. Be prepared, don’t make it harder for yourself before you start.

4. Be a leader

“What I do is not up to you.” This is Diana’s response when she enters the gala in search of General Ludendorff and Steve tries to stop her. Be a leader. No, I’m not asking you to chase a villain. Heck, I’m not even asking introverts to leave their comfort zone to become a vocal leader. Be your own leader. Don’t let other people make your decisions.

5. Believe

“Maybe it’s not what you deserve, but what you believe.” Steve Trevor says this to Diana when the war around her rages on and she begins to lose faith in mankind. It is important to believe. Believe in yourself and you can do amazing things.

These are only a few of the takeaway that can be found in Wonder Woman. I encourage you to see the film. I promise you will walk away feeling inspired and ready to take on the future.

 

 

 

Confessions of an Overexplainer

I overexplain everything. Sometimes I can’t stop the words from coming out of my mouth, but most of the time I feel a need to keep talking. Even when I see comprehension or boredom on the face of the person I am conversing with I still keep talking.

The thing is I think I may unintentionally insult people, confuse them or annoy them. So give me a minute to explain these situations to you.

When I go on about something you may have done incorrectly…

I’m not trying to belittle you or continue to point out your mistake. I realize that is probably how it comes across but that’s not what I’m trying to do. I just want to explain it especially if there is one small detail you missed or clarify something to prevent you from making the same mistake in the future. I’m trying to help you.

When I keeping talking about a mistake I made you pointed out…

I want to explain to you why I did what I did even though it was wrong because I want you to understand why it happened. I also want to clarify the issue so I can fix it moving forward.

When I give you the world’s longest answer to a simple question…

I feel like it makes more sense if I give you an abundance of information instead of an abbreviated version. I just want you to get the answer you seek.

When I offer an excuse for ordering fast food instead of making dinner…

I feel guilty for doing it and I need to explain to you that I don’t always do it. I’m not lazy and I can cook. I just want you to know that.

When I ask you for a favor and explain why I need it long after you have agreed…

It’s because I don’t want you to think I’m trying to take advantage of you. I want you to know just how much I appreciate it and how great you are.

I think it’s safe to save I have a problem. Fortunately I have finally stopped denying it and plan to work on it moving forward. So please if I babble at you and continue to explain something that does not need to be explained please do not be offended, annoyed or insulted. Bear with me as I try to break the habit.

 

Things Can Change

It’s been one heck of a crazy year. So many things have changed for me. Fortunately, most of those changes are for the good. As twentysomethings we’re at that time in our life where big decisions are made, change is commonplace and we’re all navigating vastly different courses.

Around this time last year I was terrified. Not only was I changing jobs less than one year after accepting the first position of my career, but one of the factors in play for this decision was my boyfriend. Now, please don’t miss understand me, I was smart with this decision. I made sure to find a job in my field, that I wanted and where I got a raise.  However, Mike’s location did play a factor and it was scary to include that in my decision making process.

The first two months were a HUGE transition period. First, adjusting to living under someone else’s roof which Mike’s parents generously offered me while I was apartment hunting and then setting up the new place while acclimating to a new type of position and worrying that I had made a mistake and I would find myself alone and heartbroken in my boyfriend’s hometown.

Fortunately, here I am a year later and my heart and my life are still in tact. There have been a few bumps and curves along the way, but that is to be expected. Despite the frozen tundra that enveloped the apartment when the heat went out and the ant invasion of 2017, I am moving soon to a pet friendly house where I can finally own my first puppy.

Over the last year I ran my first half marathon, bought my first set of brand new tires, attended a Packer playoff game and became a derby girl. I built my first 3D puzzle, published another poem and stayed in my first all-inclusive resort. I even cleaned out my closet.

Looking back over the last 365 days, it feels more like a lifetime. I am proud of all that I have accomplished and to have learned from the mistakes I made. The move was scary, but ultimately the right decision for me. Thank god! Things can change and that’s okay. Embrace the changes, attack the challenges and live life to the fullest.

To everyone that has Feels Good at First stuck in their head, here you go:

20 Animal Photos that Perfectly Illustrate Adulting as a Twentysomething

Recently I have gotten the sense there are a number of people out there having a tough time right now. I’m not sure if it’s the pollen or the time of the year or what the issue is. However, I thought it might be a good idea to post a few animal photos to try to put some smiles back on the faces of those having a tough time.

So I scoured all my files and gathered a bunch together to help illustrate adulting as a twentysomething told through animal photos. I hope you like them and, most importantly, I hope you smile. Enjoy!

1. Me right after I graduated college:

Who me?

 

2. Actual photographic evidence of me trying to stand out on my resume so someone will hire me into an entry level position:

Trying to stand out on your resume

3. She’s looks like doing it better than I am. Should I be doing what she’s doing?

Should I ge doing things like her

4. If I pretend I know what you’re talking about maybe you’ll drop it and then I can Google it later.

IfI act like I understand will you stop asking ahrd questions

 

5. Me when I successfully make a recipe: “I’m an amazing cook! Feel free to call me Betty Crocker!”

I'm an amazing cook

6. Me suffering through a recipe gone wrong: “This tastes like crap. I am never making this recipe again. Maybe I should just run out for take out?”

Less than average cooking skills

7. Please may I take a break from adulting?

Can I take a break from adulting

 

8. Me when I unload the dishwasher: Nailed it! I am the queen of being grown up!

Nailed it.JPG

 

9. There are not enough hours in the day to get everything done.

Too tired

10. Free food! It’s a miracle! Take some and run!

Because I suck at cooking.JPG

 

11.  Must escape! Can I go back to being a kid again?!

Must escape responsbilities

12. How I feel  as I look into my 401k options. 

Approach with caution

13. Me after I wash and fold all my laundry in one day: “Check me out! I’m a real adult!”

Can the weekend last forever

14. Eats one salad. “I’m so healthy! This means I’m covered all week right?”

I ate a salad I'm so healthy.JPG

 

15. I cannot be bothered with cleaning today, it’s imperative that I just sit here and do nothing.

I just don't care anymore.JPG

 

16. Actual footage of me leaving the office on Fridays.

TGIF

17. When you’re the only twentysomething in an important meeting.

Is it obvious that I stand out

18. Me on pay day while I wait to be handed my check.

I did it.jpg

19. If I dress the part and try to look as cute as possible maybe no one will know I’m nervous.

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20. But WHY am I no longer allowed to have winter break?

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That’s all folks! I hope these photos brought at least a little joy into your day. Have a wonderful weekend!