Monday, January 19, 2015

Organization

When I decided to create the 40 Before 40 List, I knew that the key was going to be being organized about it.  Organization is not always one of my strong points and sometimes I can be a little fly by the seat of my pants when it comes to life outside of the office.

I figured the easiest way to do this was a create a book, a book that is just for my 40 before 40 items.  I wrote the main list in this book and then have assigned each number to its own page.  On those pages I can write in the details.  This could be the research that I'm doing for a particular item or the date something is scheduled.  I thought this would keep me organized and would be almost a journal of this journey.  I'm happy to say that I already have about 5-10 items that are in the works.

I also got an awesome response from friends who wanted to do certain items with me.  So, if someone said they wanted to join I wrote down their name on the page for that item.  It was the easiest way to know I wouldn't forget someone and perhaps help them do something on their wish list. 

One that got a lot of response was a book club.  I've wanted to be part of a book club for a long time but the hardest part has been finding a club.  When so many local women said that they wanted to do a book club too I figured I would take it a step further....start a club!  I'm happy to say that there are about 10 people who are going to join in the book club and we should have our first book picked this week and our first meeting at the end of February!

Happy reading!!!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

My family

Sometimes there is a picture that is just so fantastic I can't stop looking at it. I was lucky enough to capture one today. 
This photo slays me to the deepest part of my heart and soul. It is so filled with happiness it's impossible not to smile when you look at it. 

I fell in love with that man when I was just a 23 year old girl. It's crazy to think how young I was and yet for the first time I really knew this was the man I would spend my life with. Now, almost 17 years later I could not feel any more certain about that. 

Then there's that little boy we made. I dreamt about him before he even existed. Although, he didn't make me quite as crazy in those dreams!!  When he smiles and laughs and tells me he loves me, well no dream was ever as good as that feels. 

I'm so happy to be the Belle of these Balls. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The List

I decided that I really wanted to make a list of 40 things to do by the time I'm 40. Some are things I've never done, some are things I haven't done in a long time, others are just to do list lingerers. 

Here's the list in no particular order. If there's anything you want to help with or participate in let me know. 

1. Fire a gun. Handgun style in a shooting range. 
2. Take a hip hop dance class. 
3.  Reread Hamlet. 
4.  Visit Yosemite. 
5. Skinny dip. 
6. Take a guitar lesson. 
7.  Write a letter to five people that have influenced me. 
8.  Go wine tasting in Napa. 
9.  Cook a 5 course meal for friends. 
10.  Take an improv class. 
11.  Knit 10 items. 
12.  Go to New York with Bill. 
13.  Take a solo overnight trip. 
14.  Keep a blog for the year. 
15.  Take Leyton to Modoc County. 
16.  Put $100 on one hand of blackjack. 
17.  Bake Christmas goodies. 
18.  Organize Leyton's crafts. 
19.  Get a tattoo for my Dad. 
20.  Have a Halloween costume party. 
21.  Participate in a fun run. 
22.  Take Leyton to Disneyland. 
23.  Swim the Donner Lake open water event. 
24.  Visit Humboldt. 
25.  Go dancing with girlfriends. 
26.  Join a book club. 
27.  Go whitewater rafting. 
28.  Get SUP certified. 
29.  Write Bill a love letter. 
30.  Pay it forward at least 5 times. 
31.  Put my Grandpa's recipes in a cookbook. 
32.  Take Leyton to a live concert. 
33.  Go ice skating. 
34.  Organize a Christmas program at elder community. 
35.  Volunteer for Alzheimer's Association. 
36.  Sit by campfire on the beach. 
37.  Read at a stand up poetry event. 
38. One no buy month. 
39.  Ride in a helicopter. 
40. Celebrate my 40th in Vegas with friends!!!

Ready, set, GO! 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Back

Tonight I sit in a cabin in Kingvale. It's a small cozy a-frame that you have to walk into through the snow. 

My son has a cold and a cough but I'm trying my best not to let it get me down. I also forgot nighttime diapers and jerry rigged some pads in a shower cap which either makes me MacGyver or means I should put more money in the "therapy" bucket. 

Tomorrow I turn 39, my last year in my 30's. I'm excited. Turning 40 in a year doesn't bother me at all, in fact I look forward to it. I feel like with each passing year I embrace myself more and appreciate life in a different way. 

I took over a year break from writing and just LIVED. I didn't worry about what I was writing next. I didn't worry about sugar coating my failures or celebrating the good. On the same token though, I missed it. There was a big space there that I knew could only be filled by writing again. So, I'm back. I'm going to celebrate this next year with a bang and want to document it along the way. 

Here's to 39 being the best year yet!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Phew

I'm having such a hard time with this blog thing.  I'm not sure why.  It's just the LAST THING I think about doing each day and well most of the time...I just don't think about it.  Here's one thing I miss though, having some sort of documentation or journal of Leyton.  It's a great way for me to write stuff down and remember little things that he does.  I always think I'm going to make a book for myself one day with it...but then I wonder if I'm going to do that.

Then I think maybe I put too much out there as well with regards to Leyton.  What if he doesn't want to look back and know that anyone could have read this stuff.  He's getting older and I have to respect that.  I don't want to embarrass him.

I also feel like I fall heavy on Instagram right now.  It's a great way to document with pictures and a single line of text.  It's easier than writing paragraphs of stuff.  But I like writing.  And so the struggle begins.

So I have decided for a time to just keep it simple.  Post very simple, write more when I feel like it.  Share about Leyton but also be careful in what I am sharing.  He's a funny kid in a funny place right now and the stuff that makes me laugh I want to write down and cherish always.  I'm not going to worry about whether or not each post has a picture or will matter to someone.  I'm going to post more for me for a while and see where that takes me.

I leave you with this little funny.  Around Halloween we discovered that Leyton loved the song Ghostbusters.  I decided to show him the movie.  It's not the most age appropriate but not terrible either.  He loved it.  However, when he would watch it he would get bored and only make it about half way and yet would always want us to start at the beginning.

One day he finally made it to the end and was introduced to the Stay Puffed Marshmallow Man.  And then they shot him with their lasers and he cried.  He was SO UPSET.  From that point on he would get upset each and every time it got to that scene in the movie.  He would cry every time.  We finally had to discuss that it was just a movie and that if he didn't like it we would need to stop watching it.

I love my sensitive marshmallow loving kid.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Bring it on!

I like a challenge.  A challenge typically helps push me to a goal and keeps me from giving up.  Now, have I completed every challenge that I have set my mind to...nope.  However, what I have found is when I post online and tell the world I am doing something...it keeps me going.  There is this part of me that knows if I give up I am not only letting me down but I feel like I'm letting all of you down too.  That's what helped me through the 30 day Green Boheme Challenge and the 90 day Summer Challenge.  I knew you were rooting for me and reading about what I was doing and helping me stay on track and excited and motivated.

As you've read..life has been tough lately.  When life gets tough I put myself on the back burner and tend to use food as a support.  Food doesn't support though.  It makes me feel good at the first bite but with each unhealthy bite after that I feel ashamed and mad at myself.  So, right now I am way off track.  I don't know how much weight I have gained because it was easier to avoid the scale than face the music.  I see it in my face though, in the way I feel, in the tightness of my clothes.  I just don't like it and I'm ready to make a change.

It's a big one!  Are you ready?  I am!

Starting on November 1st I am going to go raw/vegan for 6 months.  Yep, you read that right...SIX MONTHS.  I felt soo good when I was eating this way so I want to do it again.  Only I know that 30 days is not going to cut it.  I've had way to many years of bad habit to break them in that short amount of a time.  With the help of The Green Boheme community and Chef Brooke I know I can do this.  I want to do it to get healthy.  I want to do it to see what happens to my body in 6 months of eating this way and then be armed with so much information that I will know exactly which path to take after that.

On October 31st I'm also going to go and have some detailed labs drawn.  It's easy on the outside for me to see how this diet affects me physically, but I want to see how it affects me MEDICALLY as well.  Of course I will share all of this with you because if there is one thing I am good at..it's over-sharing!

I'm nervous, I'm excited and I'm ready to see what the next 6 months has to offer!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Health Care

This post is going to be a bit different for me.  Typically things are a bit more personal but today I wanted to talk about something that has been in my head as of late.

Health care.  Yep, I'm about to go there.  Let me start by saying that I am NOT POLITICAL at all.  I don't follow a certain party, I am not for or against a person in office.  Why?  Well because I've always kind of thought you can't believe what you hear, so unless I know you..I'm not going to take your words for fact or truth.

Anyway, I do however work in health insurance and feel like I can speak from a place on the inside...not just the outside looking in.  I've been managing health insurance products for small groups for over 5 years now.  In those 5 years I have seen rates change DRAMATICALLY.  There was a year that every group I had saw a 25% or more increase in their premium...in ONE YEAR.  If you had asked me I would have told you that something needed to give, something needed to change.  So when Obama Care came about I was not for or against it.  I needed to see how it played out.  I did see some good in it though.  Did we need to get rid of pre-existing conditions?  Yes.  Why?  Well, because why have insurance at all if the sick can't even be covered?  Did we need to get rid of lifetime maximums?  Yes.  Why?  Well, very similar to the above.  There are people out there that were running out of health insurance for using it so much....but I'm pretty sure they were using it so much because THEY NEEDED IT!  Did we need to cover kids till 26 on their parents plans?  Nope, not really.  Get them on their own, get them to be more independent.  Sorry, I went off my parents plan at 18 and I TOTALLY survived.  Ultimately though I agreed that we needed to find a way for more people to be able to get health insurance and hopefully do so at an expense that wouldn't kill them.

Speaking from a business standpoint though I do not see how this is going to work out.  The way the rules are right now a small business of 50 or more people MUST provide health insurance and must pay for 50% of it.  Problem is, part timers count towards that number.  I have a business that now must provide health insurance because he has enough part timers to reach that 50 mark.  This is going to cost him over $66,000 a year!  For many companies, this is going to break their back and make them go under.  Or, it's going to cause small business to fire people so they stay under 50 and only hire young because they are cheaper to insure.  Also, for all of you out there with employers who are paying for your plan and complaining about how they do nothing for you and your medical insurance sucks...SHUT UP.  It is NOT your employers fault.  Truth of the matter is you probably have no idea how much insurance even costs in the first place and don't even know how your plan works.  I didn't.  Six years ago I was in your shoes complaining and I have learned that you shouldn't complain when you don't know the facts.  I hear people all the time who have to go on COBRA and bitch that it is so expensive.  Actually, it's just the full cost of your insurance.  You are now just paying your part AND what your employer paid.  Health Insurance is expensive and it's not getting any better.  For SOME prices will go down.  For those that are eligible for subsidy, well it will definitely go down.

I'm not one to say I want to mooch off the government, but damn the subsidy doesn't make sense either.  Let me give you an example.  If I go look on Covered California and plug in my family and what we make...we qualify for subsidy.  Thing is though, we can't get it.  Why?  Well, my husband's employer allows dependents to be on the health plan.  Only...they pay nothing for dependents.  That is typical.  There are very few employers out there (I know of none) that pay for dependents and good lord if your employer does then NEVER LEAVE.  So, what that says to me is the government or state thinks I don't make enough to pay for my health insurance but won't help me out for it because I'm eligible for something else...even though I have to pay for that 100% out of my own pocket.  It just doesn't quite make sense to me how this is going to help families that ARE working.

Needless to say, there are benefits and there are drawbacks.  I'm in it and I see it and I'm here to say...it's not all fair.  No matter who you support, this is not going to help everyone.  Did we need change?  Yes.  Do I think that this is the answer?  Nope.  I just don't honestly see how it's going to work out.  We live in a world of supporting small business and yet this is going to do the exact opposite.

That is my political rant for the day.  It probably will never happen again.  Oh, and if your employer offers health insurance...please go thank them and quit bashing them because chances are....it has nothing to do with them and everything to do with the cost of health insurance.