Tuesday, July 17, 2018


Another day, another radish-ulous* conversation with Binderclips. 

Binderclips and I have been trying to focus a bit more on eating healthy and eating more veggies. I used to love crunchy carbs (like chips and pretzels) but whenever I crave them now, I eat some crunchy veggies instead. Because of this I've been packing our lunches with tons of veggies, but I get bored with the same old mix of carrots, celery, cucumbers - so, I switch it up. That's totally normal...but what is not normal is how Binderclips responds to change...in general.

Yesterday, I packed both Binderclips and I radishes. Around mid-day I get the following text from him (his texts are in gray):

At this point I'm thinking 'all he has to do is not eat them, if he doesn't like them'....but is it that simple to him? No. No it is not.

Then he sends me the following bitmojis, because I believe he continued to eat them....

Because I'm genuinely confused I respond with:

If you are imagining me responding to his "Don't Play" bitmoji by looking at my phone with a "you want some of this!?"** look on my face...hoping he can feel it through the phone or telepathically, then you are on the right track.

Today, I packed a few radishes in his veggies on accident (seriously, I have all the veggies in the same container and grabbed a few on accident when I was packing his veggie snack bag).

He takes the bag of veggies out of the fridge to put into his cooler and sees the radishes. He gives me a look, that can only be described as a look you would give to someone that has just slapped you across the face (in other words, in complete and utter shock),  then says "This is like a middle finger...in veggie form. Seriously!?"

Our girls look at the bag confused, because they have no idea what he's talking about (and have no idea what the middle finger is or means).

He looks at them and says "It's not a big deal. Your mom is just trying to put me in anaphylaxis." Then looks at me with a "you're seriously trying to kill me" type of look.

He's not even allergic to them, people...he's just THAT dramatic. I just start laughing in response. What else can a person do? Especially when dealing with someone so insane in the membrane...

There were maybe two in there people. TWO. Yep, it's a veggie middle finger alright. He's crazy.

Let's hope he survives the radishes today...and I survive his craziness. Wish me luck! Later gators!

*See what I did there? it's a play on ridiculous ;)
**Link to explain what this looks like, even if you are not trying to get into a fight with someone...but let's be clear, I was looking at my phone wanting to fight Binderclips in THIS case.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Wyoming Trip

 *The pictures included are pictures we took on our trip to WY

It's been a long time since I've posted anything....almost 2 years!! Where HAS the time gone?! My kids are getting older...I'm getting older...Binderclips is getting older. It's weird...

If you would have asked me 17.5 years ago where I'd be now, I would never have imagined that I'd be where I am. Why am I thinking about 17.5 years, specifically? Well, I met Binderclips 17.5 years ago. This year we will have been married 10 years. 10 YEARS!? At that point, the day we were married was one of the most impactful days of my life. It remains as one of the most important days to me. I don't know what I did to convince such an amazing man to want to marry me, but I did.
Falls Park - Sioux Falls, SD

Then my kids came along. First my oldest in 2011. The day she was born was a day of complete change for me both physically and emotionally. If I had to put words to describe the metamorphosis I experienced the day she was born, it was a likeness to ice melting into water. Not only did my state of mind change, but my physical state of being changed. A clearness in both that allowed me to value something outside of myself because it was a part of me...made up of me... and Binderclips... combined. There was a clearness of understanding that I was not only responsible for myself, but for this little beautiful being for the rest of her life. A softness took over me that taught me, quite instinctively to be a nurturer and a giver.

Then, my mom passed away...right around the time my daughter was 6 months old. She passed away unexpectedly in my home, while visiting. It was truly heartbreaking. The moment I realized she had passed away, everything changed. Every. Single. Thing. From the moment before I learned she passed away to the moment I realized she had, I was a completely different person. First, my heart broke into a million little pieces that I sincerely felt (at the time) couldn't be put back together. In fact, from that moment on, for what seemed like years, I felt that way. I went (and still go) through the full gamut of emotions that you feel while grieving (it's a process that never really ends). I was so sad that I felt bad for having my daughter, not because I regretted it or thought I made a mistake, but because I knew she would feel the same pain when I pass away some day. I was mad that she had left, for a while. I mourned the relationship that could have been. Now I forgive her...for leaving me too soon...for making mistakes...and have a deeper understanding and compassion for the choices she made while she was here.

Mount Rushmore

The next biggest change came, again, after giving birth to my second daughter. The state of change that occurred when I had my oldest, happened again with my youngest. You become more aware of life. More present. More thankful. You learn to live and lead and most importantly, love deeper than you ever have before.

This takes me to this year. This year has also been a huge year of change for me. Not because things have changed around me, but because they have changed within me. I turned 40 this year and what did I want you ask? I wanted to go "home", to remember my roots, to re-explore significant geographical points to remind me of being a child....and that's what I did, with my family.

We took a trip to Wyoming, the state I was born in. I left there when I was 12, leaving my brother and my father behind to go live with my mother in Michigan. It was a decision I haven't talked about before and, to be honest, I'm not sure I want to. I missed my dad and brother when I left and all I can say is that a mother has a very strong hold on the emotions of a child...especially a mother who is only seen by her children during the summers.

Devils Tower
Anyways, the trip to WY changed me. I was able to see some relatives that I haven't seen in 25-30 years and meet some that I have never met before. Driving out there from Michigan was very reminiscent of my childhood. We saw some really amazing sights that I hadn't seen in a long time; Sioux Falls, Badlands, Mount Rushmore, Devils Tower, the Great Plains...but the most reminiscent
things were the sight of the Black Hills as we drove into WY. I remember seeing those hills on every drive to and from Michigan. The sight of them literally brought tears to my eyes.

Seeing my family also impacted me greatly. We stayed with one of my cousins and we realized that we are extremely similar. One of the ways we are most alike is in perspectives on life. She believes you can do anything you put your mind to and so do I, down to my core. But it's not only her that thinks this way, it seems to be theme across my father's side of the family. Whenever presented with a challenge of any capacity, it seems our first thought is "I can do that". There is never a question of what might stop us from completing something, instead we just move forward with confidence and enthusiasm. I always thought this was a trait specific to me, but after having spent time with my Uncle, Aunt and cousins in WY, I'm sure it's a genetic trait.

I also realized we are story tellers, some of us, at least. We love to talk about our experiences and laugh about them. The simplest interaction can result in the funniest of circumstances and we love to share the joy of laughing (either with us or at us) with you. This is definitely genetic too.

Things I learned on our journey:
1) My Uncle's stories are the best
2) My Aunt's hugs are the warmest and the most loving (much like the way I remember my mom's hugs being)
3) My cousin is a badass hunter and has and will continue to do great things
4) My other cousin is like the sister I never had and she can do anything she puts her mind to

My family
All in all, the journey back home reminded me to be authentic to who I am. It motivated me to continue to challenge myself, because I can do anything I put my mind to and also to keep telling stories because it's just what we do. I feel a new sense of purpose and belonging that only could have been realized from this type of trip "home". Thanks to my family for the reminder of who I am, I'm so proud to call you family.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Jack Hammered?

Budweiser. He drank it from the time he woke up to the time he went to sleep. He even drank it while driving...always. He was such a high functioning alcoholic that he passed sobriety tests when pulled over, which, wasn't very often because he drove like he was sober even when drunk. He kept beer in his truck and when he took breaks at work, would go out and sit in his truck and drink it. He always smelled of beer to me. I'm not sure how he stayed employed, honestly, but he managed to hold down a job at MichCon for a long time. Up until a couple of years ago, I cringed when I saw Budweiser anywhere. It reminded me of him.

His name was Jack.

He was my Mother's second husband, for not even 24 hours. Let me back up for a moment and share some other things with you prior to getting to that. On the weekends, Jack would stay in the master bedroom and literally not come out, not even once. There was a master bath and my mom would bring him food and beer. I'd go in occasionally to say hi to him. He always seemed off. Although, I never could place my finger on it. Although, the night of their wedding it all came together for me.

The wedding itself went well, but after the wedding things took a turn for the worse. It was after the reception actually, but no one could find Jack. My mother was frantically looking for him everywhere. He was eventually found in a compromising position with one of the bridesmaids. It was then that my Mom shared that he was high on heroin and then that I realized that's why he seemed off on the weekends. He'd basically go on drug binges in the master bedroom every weekend.

Anyways, after finding him with the bridesmaid, my mom and him went their separate ways. And by that I mean he kicked us out of the trailer we lived in with him and we moved into a trailer in a different trailer park. We lived there for two weeks (or something close to that) without utilities. This happened during my sophomore year of high school. I believe he died a couple years after that of Hepatitis C, most likely, from sharing needles.

I made this for my mom and find myself thinking of this often...and especially with this post.
Why, if Jack was such a negative influence, would I share this with you all? Well because I've been thinking about it a lot. Not because I'm lamenting about my past but because I'm thankful. Thankful of how situations like this helped me grow. In fact, I'm still growing from them. Even negative past experiences can impact us in the most positive of ways. I'm fortunate to have a great family and friends that I love dearly. You people are the best. Thanks for being a part of my life.

Later gators!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Last Year vs This Year

Hello out there!! I'm sharing something I never thought I would in this post...pictures of me in a bathing suit!! Deep breaths....deep breaths....ok, here I go...

After having my kids I focused on them more than myself (something I think lots of moms can relate to). Although, while I didn't focus on my physical appearance at that time I learned a tremendous amount and grew emotionally. My mother passed away during that time too and it was (and is) an incredibly difficult situation to go through. Your mom is there and then...she's gone... forever... You will never hug her or hear her voice again. People who place judgement on those grieving should let that sink in for a moment...and that's all I'll say about that. I will say, the grieving process (for me) has resulted in growth in many ways.

Looking back I realized I needed the time to focus on introspection and internal growth. I am thankful that I focused on that and am happy to say I'm back to focusing on my health and feeling confident in my (2-Baby and 2-Laparoscopic surgeries) body. 

When I met Binderclips I was in great shape, but I focused on muscular strength more than anything. My approach now is to address all the major components of fitness (I do have a couple degrees in this stuff, after all); body composition, flexibility, muscular strength & endurance, and cardiovascular endurance. Since I've been back to it  - I run, do yoga, weight train (I do not belong to a gym and mostly train at playgrounds - some of the best and most fun workouts I've ever done), do HIIT/tabata, I try to pepper in pilates, barre, & suspension training (TRX), and watch what I eat also (although I could improve in that area greatly).

I'll be perfectly honest, folks, sharing pictures of me in a bathing suit is terrifying. I took these pictures to review by myself and see my progress over the last year, I did not plan on sharing them. However, I think I need to for a couple of reasons:

1) My goal is to continue to improve how I feel & look, so I need a time stamp to measure progress against. Here I am now, I can't wait to see if I can make more progress in the next 6 months to a year and after.

2) If I can motivate others to make positive changes in their lives, that would be awesome.

3) And most importantly - I can show my little girls what beauty is; being confident, strong, smart, courageous and to be passionate about the things they love and life in general.

So, here I am...before picture was taken in May of 2015, the after pictures were taken within the last couple of weeks.

I'm going to keep working at it and I'll keep documenting my progress too. I hope you get something out of this post. :)

Later gators!

Full body
Close up of the abs

Monday, July 18, 2016

Hulabuns Paradigm Shift

Life Lessons; some are hard and some are not so hard. But are they equally as important? Absolutely.

Having kids has really forced me to dig deep, really look at what emotions exist inside and why they remain there. Within the last year I've realized something; I no longer try to succeed at things because I want acceptance from others. I mean, of course I don't want to be an outcast...but I don't do things to hear others give me praises. I do them because internally I want to succeed, for me. Crazy, right?

Something changed in me over the last four years, since my Mother's passing...I became more self-reliant and confident. Is this because she is no longer there to give me encouragement? I don't know because a lot of what motivates me today are the things she used to say to me that weren't so nice. And let me correct that last statement by saying that "she" didn't say them but her "addict/bipolar self" said these things. Regardless of who said them, it still hurts to think of these things, however it also has pushed me over the years to succeed at things. I know my mom (minus the drugs/alcohol/bipolar episodes) would have been encouraging and kind. But here's the thing - she wasn't dealt the fairest of hands. During her life she experienced tough times and didn't always make the right choices to overcome them... or didn't have the choice.

In my life I haven't really felt a wave of positivity behind me propelling me forward. Is that because it didn't exist or because I didn't perceive it in that way? I'd like to think it was the latter. I now perceive many of the negative happenings in my life as very positive things. Had I not experienced the downs early on, I would not fully appreciate the ups that I experience today.

Again, and again the word perseverance comes to mind. I remind myself of it, almost daily. I didn't have it as bad as others have, nor did I endure physical abuse - I am thankful for these things. I am driven not only by my ability to persevere in my circumstances but also by seeing others do the same having been given harder circumstances. These are the people I look up to.

Also, I am thankful that this journey of grieving has helped me grow and that my children and Binderclips motivate me to continue to learn on this journey called life.

I hope all is well out there and that you got something from this post. I, at least, got it off of my chest and am feeling better because of that.

Later gators!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Back to Blogging?

Helllllooooooo!! I can't believe it's been soo long since I've blogged. Having two kids has been absolutely the BEST thing that could ever happen, however that meant I had no time for blogging, unfortunately. Now, I know what you are thinking "did she give her kids away, so that she could get back to blogging?" The answer is no, no I did not....I mean, I've thought about it...but...have not followed through with it...yet.

Anyways, what have you all been up to out there???!!! Pretty exciting stuff, I'm sure. Most likely, much more exciting than me. Really I just wanted to see if anyone still actually follows me with this post. I'm going to try to post every once in a while and more frequently if I'm able.

So, I'm going to start back with 5 facts about myself that not many know...and because that might be slightly interesting? We shall see. 

1) I used to dream of being a basketball player when I was in middle school. This is strange because: 1) I'm not tall and 2) I've never played on a team...EVER.

2) I'm giving up on mean people. That's right, if you are someone who is not kind (to me or others), I don't want to be around you. I've been around some really awful people in life and didn't have a choice in a lot of those situations, but now I do and I'm choosing not to do it anymore...because I don't have to. So there.

3)  I can do anything I put my mind to...and so can you. Why haven't I done anything really amazingly great then? I have. I have had 2 little ladies with 1 amazing man and I try to do nice things for others. That's my great contribution to the world. 

4) One of my favorite sayings is "Where there's a will there's a way" - I live by it. I believe this to be true down to my bones. 

5) I used to be unkind and self-centered...maybe I still am, but I try not to be now. I had the opportunity to learn some invaluable lessons growing up, but some of them made me a cold person for a while. I used to blame how I acted on the things that happened in my life, but have since realized that, while my experiences did have an influence on who I am, they did not make me who I am. I decided that I was going to live in the now and be thankful for all I have and not dwell on the past.

An oldie but goodie of Binderclips and I...I owe everything to this guy. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Eye Patches R' Us

Since I have a patch on my eye currently I figured I'd repost one of my favorite posts from 2010. Oh, why the eye patch you ask? My 3 year old, let's just call her "Dagger Hands", tried to claw my eye out. Ok, ok....that's not true. She accidentally poked me in the eye the other day. At first I thought she had just scratched my eye, but no. She actually cut a small piece of the white of my eye off...but not completely off, so there it dangles (being flip-flopped around each time I blink). Sound painful? It is. Any who, I hope you enjoy the repost below!

Originally posted 10/28/10

Hello out there in blog world! So, what's going on with you guys? It seems like I'm forgetting something....oh that's right! I almost forgot that Halloween is just around the corner. Geesh! Thank goodness I have an idea for coming up with a costume in a pinch. You must hear about it! 

First, a reminder that, I can be pretty... but, only when I want to be (well, when I'm having a good hair day - naturally curly hair makes for lots of bad hair days, by pure luck my hair looks ok today). Ok, so I was saying...

Mmmmmm, look a chocolate muffin!

What's this? Oh a chocolate chip*! Hey, I have an idea...

...if I put it on my tooth like so, maybe it will look like....
...I have a missing tooth.** HA! Success! And I'm soo scary that Turner can't bare to look at me anymore. Hmmmm, what else could I add to this to make it a full costume?

How about a scarf from the closet, an eye patch (doesn't everyone have an extra eyepatch laying around??), and a hook made out of foil?? Now all I need is pirate talk!
Only a nancy-pants can be keelhaulin' on the treasure chest.
 I shall hornswaggle that reef monkey with my anchor. By the foul bowels of Davy Jones! Arrrrrrggggghhhh!***

 In addition, all I have to do is put on the a white button up shirt (I'm thinking tuxedo style) and some tight, black capri pants, funky tights, well and some jewelry and WALA!! Now, if you find yourself in a pinch you can come up with a costume and everyone loves pirate costumes (and if they don't, they should)!! (Plus, you have an excuse to talk like a pirate the entire night!)

Happy Halloweening everyone!!

Some Halloween Facts:
-Ancient Celts thought that ghosts/spirits wandered the streets on Hallows Eve, because they didn't want to get recognized as human by them, they would wear masks/costumes.
-Halloween is the second most commercially successful holiday, Christmas is the first.

*Any dark foods can be used, i.e. fudge, chocolate cake, etc. They also sell black wax just for this purpose, however I find that food is much more fun - and tasty!

**For Binderclips' sake I feel it should be noted that he hates this post, specifically the pictures of me with the chocolate chip on my tooth. He told me "you're pretty and I don't like seeing pictures of you like that" - which, is actually kind of sweet. That's why I posted a picture of me beforehand - for his sake, just an FYI.

***The pirate quotes above are randomly generated from this site, which I linked to in another post referring to gangsta talk. Check it out!