Living simply in the wild

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I sit down to write and this happens…

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I Sit down to write….and nothing comes out.

I Sit down to write…the dog needs to go out.

I Sit down to write….blank. blank. blank. blank.

I Sit down to write…”mooooommmmmm”.

I Sit down to write…scroll through social media.

I Sit down to write…Oh work! I need to create this thing for work.

I Sit down to write…nothing… nothing… nothing.

I Sit down to write… I need to quick pay the bills first.

I Sit down to write…didn’t I see something super cute on Pinterest?

I Sit down to write…youtube. A black hole.

I sti down to write…maybe I have a new email. Surely someone has sent something within the last 4 minutes.

I sit down to write…we have nothing to eat. Eating is more important, meal planning it is.

I sit down to write…doesn’t the garage need cleaned?

I sit down to write…We should definitly do some school lessons first. I don’t want my kids to be completely illiterate. I’ll want them to read my writings one day.

I sit down to write…I can’t write without a cup of tea. Put on the kettle. Forget about writing.

I sit down to write…research articles on writers block.

I Sit down to write…come on! Write!

I Sit down to write…”boys, stop fighting!”

 

I Sit down to write…11pm? Screw it. I’ll write in the morning.

 

I Sit down to write…nothing, there is literally nothing in my brain that wants to come out.

 

So I’ll just be quiet and still. It’ll come out when it is ready.

Transparent Tuesdays

So I know most of you won’t read this until wednesday, but because of the time change, daylight savings, the stars and the moon, and the fact that I just became aware of this Transparent Tuesday deal; I’m writing and posting tonight anyways. So just pretend it’s yesterday if you’re reading today. Confused? Me too. Let’s get to the point…

Social Media…the beloved, horrible, can’t live with or without it. It’s almost not an option any more. But how well you use it is. Us bloggers may be the worst at posting the awesome amazing wonderful parts of our lives. We crop out the less than ideal parts of the photos. We kick the dirty underwear out of the frame before we snap the photo. We lean a little bit to the right to get the sunlight to hit the right spot. We post pictures of our accomplishments and brags.

Know that it is real life…all of it. It is just not ALL of the real.

Of course I have the Real Reel here that I post on, with more of the raw details and struggles we go through. Social media is different though. It is such an amplifier of our highlights in our life. What I have an issue with is that then in turn we compare our behind the scene life to all these other Highlight Reels and it makes us feel so bad about ourselves and discouraged.

Rachel went and got a manicure, for half price, a free frozen yogurt. AND her boyfriend proposed.  Talk about winning!

Bobby just beat the world record for most kills in Call of Duty while changing the oil in his car.

Gloria is at the gym again. Working on her 6 pack and perfectly sculpted toosh. While I sit here eating another block of peanut butter fudge. Might as well eat that last brownie while i’m at it.

Sara organized the closets, waxed the kitchen floors, vacuumed the cars, and even cleaned under the couch cushions. All while her 5 children sang songs and spoke quietly and lovingly to each other ALL DAY LONG. Under the couch cushions is considered no-mans-land in our house. What goes in, never comes out. Ever.

Don’t forget the Fosters. They have their toes in the sand and drinks in their hand on their epic beach vacation, hanging out in their private, over-water bungalow, with a glass floor, unlimited sunshine, and golden tans. I’ll just sit here under this lamp, on my couch, while it rains.

Truth is, that’s all life! And it’s all wonderful! I love seeing peoples cheers and accomplishments. It’s just a little stake in the heart when you know Sara has this freshly cleaned out car and you have to quickly stuff the jackets, boots, and dirty dishes back into the car that fell out when you opened the door.

Don’t compare your Behind-The-Scene to everyone else’s Highlight Reel.

So, as long as I remember (being honest here, i’m a forgetful one). I’m going to help balance out this lopsided angle that social media plays on our life. It might be on facebook, or Instagram, or I’ll throw a quick blog post up. But we have many imperfections, and it’s ok to highlight them. I know i’m not alone in the messy kitchen, over piled laundry, holes in my socks. Yes, my big toe is starting to peek out of my sock currently. I have a pile of used tissue right next me because I’ve finally caught the winter cold thats been going around. AND my kitchen is a mess because I don’t feel like cleaning in for the 3rd time today.

Transparent Tuesdays

Transparent Tuesdays

My hope is for others out there who feel discouraged, who feel like they are failing and not meeting the standard of life. I want you to feel that you ARE doing enough. That no ones life is picture perfect like social medias try to portray. To know that just outside the frame of that 100% organic, homemade, made from scratch everything is a sink full of dirty dishes, a counter that needs scrubbed, and probably a child or two screeching in the background. You aren’t alone in your everyday to day struggles.

If you feel like jumping in feel free to! Post them to our facebook page or tag #TransparentTuesdays on instagram…if you’re brave enough 🙂

And no, I am not the creator of this hashtag. Another wonderful mommy blogger over at www.realfoodwithkids.com  came up with this. She’s doing amazing things over there, I’d go peruse her site if you have time. Or you could head back to facebook and stare at more Highlights. The choice is yours of course 😉

 

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2014 Year In Review: Infographic Style

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10 Alternatives to New Years Resolutions

A fresh start. A blank page. A new chapter. The new year brings in so much hope and motivation to make changes within myself. Then just a few weeks later I’m beating myself up because I didn’t stick with all these good intentions and goals that I set for myself.

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I think it a bit extreme that right after the time of year we are so thankful and giving is met with such critisizm and judgment…of ourselves. Setting resolutions about every negative thing about us. We look at ourselves with hatred and disdain and then create these resolutions to help fix what is wrong within ourselves.

So I’m not doing it this year. I’m boycotting New Year resolutions for 2015 and beyond. Why? They don’t work and honestly I’d rather look at myself with love then look at all the things I feel need fixing.  Thinking back there has never been a single resolution that I set for myself that I  actually stuck with all year long. So why would I keep setting myself up to fail!

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I’m not saying setting goals is a bad thing. In fact, i LOVE goals! I just think January 1st is a silly motivation factor for setting goals.

Get in shape…lose weight…save money…read more…meditate…eat healthy…give up junk food…travel…Why do I have to wait until January 1st to try and do these things?

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I no longer believe in New Years Resolutions. I believe in daily resolutions.

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10 Alternatives to New Years Resolutions:

1. Do Nothing.

Instead of frantically trying to figure out what to change about yourself this coming year…Do nothing. For just 10 minutes. Be still and certainly don’t set any New Year’s resolutions. In those 10 minutes you will have given yourself more then you will if you set some goal that chances are will fail at.

2. Create Guiding Words

Choose a couple of words to focus on for the entire year. Write them on the mirror, in a journal, on the kitchen sink. Just write them somewhere you look everyday.  Choose words that encourages how you want to feel and be. Words like: Love, passion, faith, courage, confident, sexy, grace, humility, creative, romantic, determined, calm…

3. Bucket List

Create a list of less then 5 things you want to do. This is not things like lose weight, or eat more vegetables. This is things like Help a neighbor with a project, skydive, go on a road trip etc… Make them DO-ABLE!

4. Rememberlutions Jar

Make a jar now that you can fill with memories, accomplishments, and gratitude over the course of the next 12 months. When something wonderful happens that makes you smile or if there is something that happens that you want to remember, write it down and stick it in the jar. It can be things so small as a stranger smiled at you to bigger things like ran your first marathon.

5. Set intentions instead

Goals tend to focus on fixing what is wrong. Intentions focus on ways we want to live.

6. Create a more and less list

This is really teetering on resolutions, so just be careful when doing this one. Write a list of things you want more of: alone time, date nights, hikes, reading. Then write a list of things you want less of: sugar, stress, Facebook.

7. A Gratitude a day

Grab a notebook and everyday simply write down just ONE thing that happened that day that you are grateful for. Please don’t wait until January 1st to start this one. Start it right now. This one simple change will have such an effect on the life your living.

8. Create 1 habit

It takes just 30 days to create a habit. By choosing 1 thing and sticking with is every single day for 30 days will create a habit.

9. Choose self love

Instead of trying to fix what is wrong with ourselves, let’s just choose love instead. Instead of creating goals around what needs to change within us. Create a list of things that are awesome and amazing about ourselves and work towards making these traits shine through.

10. Forgive

If you absolutely HAVE to set a new years resolution, set this one. Forgive ONE person for ONE thing that they’ve done. Even if that one person is yourself. It may not be the simplest resolution, but it could be the most important one you ever set.

Happy New Day To you!

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On Turning 10,957 Days Old

At 7,304 days old I entered into my 20s. Thinking this was the decade for me. I was finally out of my teenage years and I was so excited to see what my 20s would bring.

 

2009

To be honest, it brought with them just as many, if not more, mistakes then my teen years. It brought love, joy, marriage, children, many many moves, heartaches, friendships, and so much more.

Feb 2010

I know turning 30 brings on a lot of resistance from many. Even Ranger had some pretty big apprehensions about turning 30. For me? I won’t be turning 29 over and over again. I’m actually happy and quite excited to be heading out of my 20s. While I had many amazing things happen in my 20s I’m looking forward to seeing what the 30s are like.

2011

At 30 I’m feeling like I’m finally finding my place within myself, at least I’m heading in the right direction. I’m content with where I am, I’m not searching for the next. It truly feels peaceful here. Even though in my mind I still have a million things I would like to change and work on within myself, it’s the motivation that is different now. It isn’t this hungry frantic self clawing at being different and doing more things. It’s a peaceful tug in my heart, a gentle nudge in this direction and that. It’s far easier to listen when your heart is calm and easier to react to gentle nudges then the clawing beast telling you to change.

2012

Maybe this birthday is more optimistic then others. I love numbers, not in the dividing, fractions, multiplication of numbers. But in the way that numbers align and bring calmness. It’s my golden birthday which I find to be so soothing. Turning 30 on the 30th just seems like good measure.

To be honest having a birthday so close to Christmas and New Years has never been my favorite thing in the world. As I’ve grown up I’ve let go of being angry about it, it’s a silly thing to be angry about. I’ve never cared about gifts for my birthday, being so close to Christmas I always new that people had just spent a lot of money on Christmas gifts and probably can’t spend much more for a birthday falling a few short days afterwards. I’ve just always wanted my day to feel special. What brings on that special feeling? I’m finding out that it should have nothing to do with others, but has everything to do with myself and my attitude.

I’m looking forward to the next decade, the next 3,652 days. Things I will learn, the things I will do and accomplish within myself. The 30s hold hope and excitement for me. I’m excited to create many more stories in the next 10 years and can’t wait to share some with you.

(ohmygosh I will have teenage boys in 10 years, I may have just gotten my first grey hair, oy-vay.)

2014

2014

A Rangers ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

A Rangers ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

‘Twas the Night before christmas and all through the Park,

Not a creature was stirring, not even a lark.

The Stetson was hung by the stove with great care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

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The Juniors were nestled snug in their bags,

With visions of tree forts, slugs and steep crags.

Mamma with her tea and I with my beer;

Had just settled down & taken off my gear.

When out in the Park there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from my lazyboy to see what was the matter.

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To the Contact Station I flew like a flash;

Tore open the gates and threw up the hatch.

The moon reflected on the new fallen puddles,

Gave way to the doe and her babe in a huddle.

When what to my rain speckled glasses appeared;

But a mini ford ranger and 8 tiny mule deer.

With a little old driver holding a hiking stick;

I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.

More rapid then bears his coursers they came,

and he stood there saluting and calling them by name.

Now Dasher! Now Dancer! 

Now Prancer! Now Vixen!

On Comet! On Cupid!

On Donner! On Blitzen!

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To the tops of the trees just like a bird;

Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away herd!

As water that before the wild tsunamis flood,

head to the sky when they are met with mucky mud.

So up to the mountaintop the coursers they flew,

with a sleigh full of duty gear and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof;

The slipping and sliding of sopping wet hoofs.

As i grabbed for my light and was turning around,

Through the trees St. Nick came with a bound.

He was dressed in Olive green pants, shirt and hat,

A stetson, black boots, and a duty belt made him look fat.

A sack full of provisions was slung on his back,

 probably wishing he’d invested in a better hiking pack;

and he looked like a transient opening his bag,

All this rain really made the thing sag.


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His eyes-how they twinkled, his hair wet and soggy;

he had a glow i could see even though it was foggy.

His mustache lined mouth was drawn up like a knot;

He looked like he could be someones prison mug shot.

The stump of his pipe looked like it came from a tree over there,

I quickly scanned the man once over as I didn’t want to stare.

He had a chubby face and a fat little tum,

He even smelled like he’d been sipping some rum.

He was chubby and plump, a jolly old man,

A pacific northwestern and no sign of a tan.

He gave a firm handshake and kindly patted his deer;

It was then i knew i had nothing to fear.

He chatted along while he went straight to work,

Filling stockings with mag lights, and then turned with a smirk.

New stetsons for all and rain gear all shiny,

We can finally stop listening to the Park Aids all winey.

He blew his emergency whistle and out came his team,

I could tell from the tracks that they’d all been upstream.

He grabbed his paracord reigns and as he drove out of sight,

I heard him yell “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.”

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Being a Rangers Wife

IMGP1107Being a Park Ranger wife is much like being a wife of any other career. It takes patience, love, understanding and another dose of patience. But that’s just me, i need all the extra patience i can get.

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Being the wife of a Park Ranger varies greatly from state to state, park to park. Each wife inevitably has their own story.

This is what it is like for me:

Our life is in a constant sense of instability. Since landing a Permanent position we have a larger sense of stability then before, but in this career there really is never a time when we aren’t slightly concerned about where we will be in a week…a month…a year from now. The key is not to get let yourself become too comfortable somewhere.

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Being the wife of a Park Ranger requires tough skin. I’ve learned lately that not everyone views Park Rangers as the heros or the protectors of our States lands. I’ve come across a few who will not pursue any type of relationship with me because of the fact my husband is a Park Ranger. There are times where there is a lot of backlash with working for the state/government. There are always people who disagree with what is going on, whether or not we have any control over what is happening, it’s our fault and they will blame us forever. I’ve learned to feel people out a little bit before volunteering my husbands career choice to everyone.

Flexibility. When living inside of the park he works in it is quickly established that he’s never really off duty. If something happens at the Park late at night, he responds. If he’s dealing with a problem that extend past his shift then his shift is extended. This is also the case when not living inside the park as well. He does have times when he’s on call 24/7, and if he’s off hunting down someone who’s harvesting illegal mushrooms… he is going to miss dinner plans.

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Of course flexibility goes beyond the job. It seeps into the housing arrangements that is beyond our control. Most housing assignments are completely acceptable, but I have heard a few nightmare stories out there of houses that have been neglected for years. Mold and animals with free range of the house seem to be quite common issues.

Love of the outdoors. This is almost a given. Almost every Park Ranger I have ever spoken has told me that they just wanted a career where they could “be outside”. So on Rangers days off you can bet that he’s counting on going on a hike, or fishing, or on some adventure. (apparently Park Rangers don’t spend as much time as they thought they would outside and they need to get their outside fix on their days off as well).

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Solitude. It’s pretty common to be a bit secluded in this line of work. Living inside a park that’s miles from the nearest town is pretty common. A thirty minute drive the nearest gas station or grocery store isn’t uncommon at all. Even now that we live smack dab in the middle of a (very small) town, we still feel secluded. My guess is that all the neighbors have seen how many people have lived and moved out of this house that it’s hard to invest the time and effort to get to know someone when they will probably be moving out shortly. I totally get it.

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Fear. Park Rangers in Washington are commissioned law enforcement officers. They carry firearms, they have jurisdiction in their area to detain and arrest, to make traffic stops. You name it. As a wife, it’s scary. Seeing my husband strap weapons to himself before he walks out the door each morning is a bit of a wakeup call, literally. The stories he comes home with some days makes me want to pull the plug and convince him to go back to a safe desk job again. But his heart is in law enforcement and that is where he’s at right now. So I smile and be sure that he knows he’s loved and appreciated. I am thankful he is smart, quick on his feet and has been given the tools and training to deal with tough situations when they arise.

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There is so much more that goes into being a Park Rangers wife. Just like there is so much that goes into be a wife of a salesman, a repair man, a politician, a fisherman, a cook. It’s complicated at times, messy, hard, and completely worth it. We all do the best we can and when we do mess up we hope it will be met with grace and forgiveness. Just as we hope we will handle others mistakes with grace and forgiveness.

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I don’t appear in photos very often, i’m almost always on the other side of the lens. Having this many photos of me in one post has me quite literally feeling completely vain. You probably think this post is about you, you’re so vain…..

 

 

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