Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Wifening Part Three – The RETURN of the Wifening

So, yeah... I am fully aware that I suck at being all "house-wife-y" for any consistent period of time. But lately? Lately I've been ROCKING it... I've been super domestic-like lately. In fact, I am now securely into double digits for times I've made dinner in my 9 1/2 year marriage. I’m pretty impressive... The Wifening is BACK ON!

This all started with the decision to refi the house... Only took 9 1/2 years for the hubs to decide maybe my name should be on the house too... I guess he’s finally sure that I’m sticking around... Honestly, he had never done it simply because it doesn't really save us any money. And even with the 15-year mortgage we are doing, that’s one year MORE than we had left on the original 30-year loan because we pay extra to principal every month. But because of other factors, we decided to go ahead and get this all done and add me to the title and the loan. So I’m gonna be a for-REAL-REAL homeowner! Weird.

So we have been running ourselves ragged the past couple of weeks getting the house pretty for the appraisal. Things like finally painting the bathrooms (something I've been wanting to do forever, but I am, like, REALLY lazy...), hanging up pictures that have been sitting on the floor against the wall they are going to go on, and cleaning (because again... Lazy.). My body hates me after all the painting and scrubbing and cleaning and go go go going… My couch misses my butt and my butt misses the couch right back. Our DVR is getting dangerously full of shows we haven’t had time to watch... BUT tomorrow is the appraisal and then we can relax again.

And in the middle of all of this, I finished planning and put on my bestie's co-ed baby shower, which I think went quite well. And she got a great haul of cute and/or useful stuff for the little munchkin, so that’s awesome. I can’t wait to see my new little niece (because besties are just extra sisters that you choose) in all her adorable outfits. She’s just going to be a squishy little marshmallow in some of the stuff and I’m gonna eat her up!!!!

During this process we were looking more closely at how much money we actually make and then wondering where it all goes every month... I can tell you right now - Stupid stuff that we don’t really need. And dinners out. So we decided to start being more aware of what we are spending money on... Like when I’m wandering Target - I now ask myself "Do I really need 5 pairs of cute socks with foxes and owls and raccoons on them?" Probably not. And diet cokes... I refuse to give up my love of diet coke for real, but no more single-serve bottles... Why am I paying SO much for less soda when I really should just go back to buying cans or 2-liters and keeping them in the fridge? Answer? I’m not anymore.

Dinner proved to be more of an issue... This girl? She’d be ok with eating frozen stuff or a can of soup or something every night. J? Not so much. The problem is - he is the cook in this relationship. Another problem - he gets home at least 90 minutes up to sometimes 3 hours after I do, so it REALLY doesn't make sense for him to still have to spend time cooking when he gets home. So we would end up running across the street for kebabs or Italian food or running to Del Taco. Such a money drain... So, the only solution came down to... Kelly has to learn to cook. Eeep.

The first week of our attempt to reign in the stupid spending, I made dinner TWICE. One night was Buitoni chicken and prosciutto ravioli and Buitoni pesto sauce. (Soooo not a sponsored post. I just LOVE the taste of the fresher pasta and they have the yummiest fillings and sauces...)The second time was chili and cornbread muffins. Ok, so the chili was from a can, but I spiced it up by mincing a serrano to put in it... Let’s not get crazy with the expectations of my cooking abilities...

This week? I've already made shredded beef tacos using the crock pot. I had to handle RAW MEATagain and chop up a bunch of peppers and onions. And then the crock pot took care of the rest. But still - HOMEMADE. Booyah. And they were delicious, if I do say so myself.
Put in gross raw meat - pull out deliciousness!

Tonight is going to be a return to the pre-made pasta with Buitoni Spicy Beef and Sausage ravioli (which is AMAZING - seriously, Buitoni, feel free to send me some stuff...) and marinara sauce. And that’s not all... Thursday (Wednesday is a day off because of archery and I won't be home) is going to be a second use of the shredded beef to make beef enchiladas. Even though we haven't had them yet, I feel fairly certain that they will be delicious.

This time on The Wifening, I actually sat down and made a list of meals that I feel secure in my ability to make without supervision (entitled: Meals So Easy Even a Kelly Can Make Them) and shared it with J to see which things he was happy with and which things he was less-than-thrilled about. I have gotten a FAR better reaction to my efforts this time... It's making him happy for dinner, me happy because he's not making stupid comments about how it's "just okay," our wallets happy because we aren't wasting $20+ a day for dinner out, and possibly our waist-lines happy because of healthier options.

I honestly don't know how long this will hold out... I'm hoping I can keep it going. It's just... As I said before... I'm LAZY. In a weird way, though... Because I will totally go for a hike, I spend hours at archery, I like going for walks... But after getting to work at 7 am (gross) and spending the day being busy - the last thing I want to do is make dinner. That's the main reason I have stuck with SUPER easy stuff so far. Maybe as I get further into it and start trusting myself more, I will start getting more adventurous and creative. For now - there's a dinner ready to eat (most nights) prepared by yours truly and that's good enough.

Plus, it entertains me to watch J have to do the dishes since I cooked... He hates doing dishes...

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Every Life is a Pile of Good Things and Bad Things...

So this year has gone really quickly… It’s been crazy and I don’t understand how it’s September already! I feel like it was JUST March – obviously, since that was when I last had a chance to post here… This year has been a mix of highs and lows – thankfully far more highs than lows.

The Highs:
- Getting a new job at work – this is the biggest reason that I have not written. I’m so busy that by the end of most days I am totally fried and just need to curl up on the couch and decompress. But it really is one of the highs – even with that. It’s definitely better to be busy than bored.
- Getting to see a lot of my family at our reunion this past summer – not all of my enormous family… But a lot. And I always love getting to see my grandparents…
- Going on an awesome, long horse-back ride at the reunion – it was just me, J, and the guide. We went off-trail, we cantered, we jumped a log while going up a hill… Our horses wouldn’t stop bucking and rearing and biting each other because both wanted to be in front of the other… But it was a beautiful ride and we got to see a TON of the property that we’d never seen before
The view from the top of the peak we rode to...
- My bestie is having a baby!! I love the crap out of her and am dying to meet my new niece! And I may or may not have a problem of buying cute things for her when I see them… I can’t help it……..

When I started this post a few weeks ago, I had a list of trivial silly “lows” here… Because, honestly, things are pretty dang good. Sure, there are frustrations and “woe, is me” pity party days, but when it comes down to it, the hardest part of most of my days is deciding what I want for dinner, so that tells me life is pretty wonderful. At that time, this post probably would have gone the way of about 20 other posts that I started and never finished in the past months that I’ve been absent here… But then the only “low” that really matters hit…

One of my coworkers passed away last week. It was VERY sudden and horribly shocking. It’s been so hard for all of us to wrap our brains around. And it breaks our hearts that he was alone when it happened. He was such a good guy… It’s hard to admit that he’ll never be here again. Last week was really bad around here… A lot of starting to feel ok and then having to remove his name from an e-mail template and having it hit all over again…

He worked for the company for 30 years and he touched COUNTLESS lives. In the days after we found out, the list that we were all trying to compile of “people that need to be notified” just kept GROWING. We wouldn’t be able to go more than a couple of minutes without thinking of someone else that needed to be on the list... And I am SURE we have missed people and it hurts my heart to know that they will find out far later than they should have or in a far kinder way than they should have.

The mark he has left on this company, this state, this planet… is HUGE. Everyone that we talk to says the same thing – “I really liked him.” It’s rare to find someone so universally liked. And so respected… If you were at the Staples Center last night, you would have been involved in a moment of silence in his honor before the national anthem at the King’s pre-season game. Simply because of his relationship with everyone there through work and sponsorships over the years… I believe there is going to be a moment of silence for him at the Angel’s game tonight… So many different companies, brands, groups, organizations, and people have all let us know the ways they plan to honor his memory.

He had a huge heart – we are still finding out things that we had never even known he did because he didn’t care about getting recognition – he just wanted to make someone smile. Even though he was never married and never had children - children LOVED him and he loved them. Whenever someone brought their kid in, they would inevitably end up down at his office. He volunteered his time at children’s hospitals… He was just such a good guy…

He was responsible for me getting to do some of the coolest things… Like going to see the Endeavour get towed by the Tundra, touching the Stanley Cup, and driving on the track in the parade lap for NASCAR races… Simply because he knew I would have fun being there. 

I don’t have the time it would take or the right words to honor him properly. All I know is that this has made me slow down a little, hold J a little tighter, be a little more thankful for everyone and everything I have, be a little more forgiving... The stupid stuff is a little less annoying. The happy stuff is a little more precious. And I really hope that I am able to hold onto that… To not let it slide to the back of my mind and go back to getting so irritated by the little things that really don’t matter… It’s something I think we all need to be reminded of sometimes. I just wish it didn’t take something like this to do it.

I guess I'll just end with one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite Doctor Who episodes:
"Every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don't always soften the bad things, but, vice versa, the bad things don't necessarily spoil the good things or make them unimportant."

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

It's Official!

My medal!!

It's currently hanging from my quiver... Hopefully it will get some friends added to it in the future! 

Indoor competition season is over, unfortunately... So now I have to decide if I want to compete in outdoor as well. It would require getting different arrows and re-tuning my bow, but it's either that - or no competitions for quite some time. Although, that's not really a bad thing for me at the moment because I'm still working on my new technique and still struggling a bit. My scores are definitely not what they were... I think I'm going to focus on that before I worry about competition.

I am really looking forward to the next set of competition now that we know more... Next year, we will definitely be competing more. We are even thinking of either going to the competition in Vancouver or the one in Nimes. Nimes is higher on my WANT TO list, simply because neither of us have ever been to Europe. When we told our cousin-in-law from Paris that the tournament was in Nimes - all he said was, "GO." Plus, our 10-year anniversary is next year, so it's a good excuse to take an awesome trip. If we do go, we will take a couple weeks and spend a couple days in England, Paris, and Italy around the tournament.

But I'd be happy with Vancouver too... When we took the Alaska cruise for our honeymoon, we left out of Vancouver and it seemed like a really cool place. We've been wanting to go back there again anyway... We'll see.

FOR SURE we will be doing California State Indoor and Vegas again next year. And we are adding in Regional in Northern California and possibly Nationals (which I think is in Kentucky or Ohio or somewhere like that.......). And if we decide to do outdoor - there are TONS of different tournaments to add in all summer! 

For now, I'm still enjoying the fact that I actually placed in my first tournament ever! Even though it really means absolutely nothing in the real world..... It's pretty cool in mine. :-)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

2014 Vegas Shoot!

Back when registration first opened up for the Vegas Shoot, J and I both decided that we were crazy enough to have our first archery tournament be… oh, I don’t know… Just the BIGGEST archery tournament in the WORLD. Because – go big, or go home, right? So we signed up with no idea what we were getting ourselves into.

As the tournament got closer, I got more nervous and excited and kept trying to research what to expect. I looked at how my scores leading up to it would rank me compared to last year’s scores… We got the California State Indoor Championship under our belts a couple weeks before we left for Vegas, but I still keep saying that that one doesn't count as our first tournament because it felt like just another day shooting at our normal archery range. Plus – they still haven’t released the rankings, so it’s not going to seem real until I see where I placed.

Luckily we have family out that way, so we didn't have to deal with what we later found out were the most MISERABLE elevator lines imaginable. Just picture it – every two hours during the day there are around 200 archers trying to get downstairs to get ready for their shoot time or get back upstairs after they are done. I feel sorry for anyone staying at the hotel that had nothing to do with the tournament. Sure, it would have been nice to have a room to disappear to in the breaks between the two of us shooting to put our stuff away or to lay down for a minute, but it wasn’t too bad.

We went on Thursday to the South Point to check in to the tournament and get our bearings. J had the 7 am butt-crack-of-dawn shoot on Friday, so we wanted to make sure we knew where to zombie-shuffle to the next morning. We found where we would each be shooting on Friday and Saturday and then wandered the trade show for a bit.

Friday morning we got there EXTRA early because J wanted to try to get on the practice lanes to warm up – I did the same that day before my 1pm shoot time, but after seeing how long you have to wait in line and how you really only get about 3-4 ends in the span of 45 minutes (there are constantly people leaving and coming in, so every end there are people taking down or putting up targets and it takes FOREVER), we didn't bother trying to warm up (other than stretching - GOTTA stretch!) after the first day.

 J's group day 1 and 2

My group Day 1 and 2

We had decided beforehand that we wanted to get to our shooting areas early each day so that we could have first pick of target position – we felt that starting with your target in the high position would be better because then when you move it to the lower position half-way through and your arm is tired, you don’t have to raise the bow up as high… We over-think things. A lot. But we each got our targets where we wanted them each day. And neither of us shot the wrong target after we moved them like we saw a few others do…. (BIG oops – shooting the wrong target = miss = loss of the points you could have gotten if you had shot the correct target) So that was good.

We had a “cheering” section on Saturday when my family that is local came to watch. I warned them that it’s not a super action-packed sport to watch, but they braved it anyway. There were also people from our local range that were there either to shoot or just to watch that stopped in each day. We were all constantly popping in and out of the halls to watch each other shoot and constantly checking the on-line rankings to see each of our people’s current standings.

We found out around 11pm Saturday night what our shooting times were going to be in the morning which SUCKED because I scored that horrible 7am shooting time. I told J on the way to the hotel in the morning that it was kind of a good thing because I was just too tired to care about being nervous. I shot my best round that day, so I was happy with it – it was closer to what my usual scores are. (I was having an off week… I don’t know if it was jitters or what, but I was pretty grumpy about how I was shooting all week) I shot a 285 (out of 300 possible points each day) Friday, 286 Saturday, and a 290 on Sunday which put me 19th out of 38 in my flight. No money, but I wasn't expecting to win anyway. I was actually pretty pleased with it because I moved up from pretty much LAST in my flight when they aligned them to the middle. And I was better than about 400 other people in my division, so not too shabby…

 You can't see how tired I am right now...

J got a 271 Friday, 256 Saturday, and 254 Sunday. He ended up 20th out of 35 in his flight. He had been having a hard time shooting lately, so he was happy for the experience and to not finish last.

Now I am working on basically completely relearning how to shoot because I picked up a couple new releases for my bow that are more traditional target releases. I learned with a wrist release and I was the only person I saw in my division still using one. But I knew that it would take a good chunk of time to learn a completely new technique and I knew I didn't have that kind of time before Vegas. And I really wanted to wait until I could go to the trade show and actually hold them in my hand to see which ones fit me best. I ended up going with a Stanislawsky release because it felt good in my hand and they had a blank bale set up where you could bring your bow and actually try out the release.

It hasn't come in yet because it was back-ordered, but I just got the e-mail yesterday that it shipped!! Plus, I had bought a different style one from another company that is meant to be used purely as a training aide and I have been using that since I got back. I was SHOCKED by how sore my arms and back are after using it – it’s a different set of muscles than I was using before. And I’m also a little embarrassed at how terribly I am shooting. I've gotten a LOT better already – the first day was ridiculous. I kept flinching because I had no idea when it was going to go off (which is actually a good thing…). J and I were cracking up after one particularly embarrassing shot where I not only flinched away – I also scrunched my eyes closed and cringed away from the bow… Not an ideal shooting technique…

Basically… We both shot with really cool people each day and had a really good time. It was an AWESOME experience. We came home with a much better understanding of what to expect at tournament, some new equipment, and very sore muscles… Now we are looking into several other tournaments around the country coming up, but we might be a little too late to get in them this year… We are also definitely thinking about going to a tournament in Vancouver next year! No matter what, we will DEFINITELY be going back to Vegas!!

Maybe we'll even be shooting in here with the championship division sometime.... :-)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Getting Out of My Own Way

Ever since I got my new bow – I have been shooting better than ever before. I have begun breaking horrible habits that I had never even come close to figuring out how to break in the past year of shooting…

Things like grabbing my bow – I am NOTORIOUSLY bad about this. No matter how many times I internally yell at my hand to stop grabbing the bow after a shot, I still would. EVERY TIME. Last Saturday I finally figured out what it felt like to let the bow fall. Not that it can fall on the ground – I have a finger sling that stops that from possibly happening, but you don’t want to do anything to the bow that could mess with the natural motion of the shot… And I just couldn’t get my brain to be ok with that. Until now… I still catch myself doing it occasionally, but I’m getting better…

Or “punching the trigger” on my release… You want a smooth, steady amount of pressure in order to have a smooth, steady shot… And I had a lot of trouble getting my brain to connect with my right hand (I blame it on being a lefty… me and my right hand don’t usually have to coordinate on many things...) in order to get that smooth motion. But now I am finally getting more smooth shots than not.

And it has increased my scores to levels of AWESOME that I thought I would never see... I keep waiting for the wheels to fall off, but they haven't! I’ve gotten more perfect triple bulls-eyes in the past two weeks than I did in the past year! I’ve been working on my mental game to break down the bad habits – I know my body knows how to make a good shot… I just have to trust it!

So I’ve been analyzing the breakdown of what is going on during a “good” shot and what is going on during a “bad” shot…

**Side note: I have those in quotes because I’m trying to break the habit of seeing it as “good” or “bad” and instead just seeing it as what it is – a shot. An opportunity to get a bulls-eye or not. Does it matter if I get a bulls-eye? Nope. Not really. I’m here for fun. Yes, I want to improve and that’s why I keep practicing and trying to do better, but it doesn’t REALLY matter. It’s not going to change anyone’s opinion about me as a person, so why should I let it change my opinion about me? If that even makes sense… Anyway…**

It’s kinda hard to really explain, but a “bad” shot is generally full of mental arguing, self-doubt, and name-calling. We are always our worst bullies… I would never tell someone they are an idiot for doing something simple wrong during a shot, but I’ve told myself that a million times. There’s a lot of fighting myself when I know that the shot just does not feel right and I should really just let down and start over, but my brain just keeps saying “Nah, I got this. Fight through it.” But those shots never turn out well… They just feel awkward and you end up frustrated and discouraged… Plus, there’s a much bigger chance that you are going to hit yourself with the string because your form is off. Which HURTS – btw.

Now a “good” shot? I love those. Those are the ones where you are calm and detached. Your body goes through the motions smoothly – nothing is forced. I told J the other day that a good shot feels incredibly graceful to me. He disagrees – his best shots feel the least graceful to him. There’s really no right answer (seriously – it doesn’t matter that he’s been struggling lately and isn’t shooting as well), everyone has to find their own, unique groove for it. But for me it feels beautiful. The positioning, the draw, the breathing… Smooth, controlled… Peaceful. And there is no mental arguing – no bullying.

In fact, I tell people all the time that they wouldn’t believe the stupid crap going through my mind when I’m shooting well. Yeah, I go through my mental checklist of what needs to be happening, but that’s secondary to my insane random chatter. Like the other day – for reasons I can’t even begin to explain – I kept thinking, “If Anne Hath-a-will, Anne Hathaway” and then giggling hysterically in my head. If I need to distract myself, I’ll start spelling state names… Or humming songs in my head with the wrong lyrics that make me laugh…It’s all about getting your brain out of the way and just letting your body do what it knows how to do.

With these break-throughs lately, I feel so much more prepared for the tournaments that I have coming up. My first one is tomorrow – it’s the California State Indoor Championships. Throughout January each archery range in California has had available times to shoot and then all the scores will be compiled to determine who the winners are. I’ve decided that I’m just going to look at it as just another Saturday at my usual archery range. I’m not going to get too fixated on the score or else my brain will start trying to take over. But between me and you? I have a REAL chance of getting a medal. Like, for real real. And I still think it would be awesome if I could get a new State Record – the one now for my division was set back in 1996. It’s about time someone beat it! But that’s a BIG-TIME stretch… I would have to have an almost perfect round, which I have not yet done… But who knows? It could happen…

And then we go to Vegas next month… I was looking at last year’s scores and if I can get myself into the right group – there’s a chance I could actually win some money! That is CRAZY-PANTS!! I just have to keep my mind in the right place and go through it one shot at a time!

And with her – I FEEL like a pro…

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Do I Look Happy? I Feel Like I Look Happy....


Look how pretty it is!!! LOOOOOOOOOK!!!!!!


Sidenote: No idea who that kind lady in the background is, so she is now a smiley... MARVEL AT MY AMAZING PHOTO EDITING SKILLS!!

We didn't think that there was a chance of it getting here in time for the tournament coming up in February, but HERE IT IS!!! I am SO excited!! I feel so professional now! 

I'm going to be spending a lot of time at the archery range so that I can be sure to get her broken in and get to know her.

Someone asked me how I know it's a her.... Simple - she's way too pretty to be a dude.

I think her name may be Scarlett....  

For the curious: It's a 2014 Hoyt Pro Comp Elite in Red Fusion. It's also love at first sight. Sigh...... :-)

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