Monday, December 30, 2013

a sad loss...

I told you in a recent post that we were eliminating our cable and going with network channels and Amazon Prime.  Honestly, I was sadly a little nervous about the whole thing because I watch way more TV then I'd like to admit, especially when Mike is out of town.  I'm also a BravoTV-junky, National Geographic-junky, an Investigation Discovery addict, & I loved having a DVR to record all "my shows" and watch them when convenient for me.  In one respect, I was happy to eliminate my BravoTV addiction…why do I watch the Real Housewives franchise again?  Aye yia yia.

Honestly, bottom line was that our cable was now around $70/month and I give cable companies one chance to offer me a lower rate.  If they can't work with me then sayonara.  Oddly enough, after I officially cancelled I got two phone calls from the cable company telling me the lower rate they could offer me.  Too late folks!  We could get Amazon Prime for $75 for the E.N.T.I.R.E. year and also get other perks like free 2 day shipping and borrow one kindle book per month.

What I have found in the short time we haven't had cable??  We watch less TV…I know, I can't believe it either.  Amazing concept, don't you think? (insert sarcasm here) ;) But it has stemmed a new found Pinterest addiction but hopefully now I'll have time to make all those DIY projects I've been pinning.  Maybe I am a "crafty" person after all?…Time will tell.

Depending on how Amazon Prime goes, we may also get Netflix.  I've heard they are very similar but we know of one show in particular that we can't get on Amazon Prime but can get on Netflix(Breaking Bad…yes…we live in NM and have never seen an episode)

Pretty riveting news to report to you all, don't you think? ;)
Any favorite shows or movies on Amazon Prime that you think we should check out?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I secretly love

I secretly love beauty blogs, fashion blogs, and makeup/hair tutorials.  This is a little odd probably since I'm not really a glamorous person I don't get "gussied up" every day but I still love them.  I don't think I could ever be a beauty blogger myself, but I'm so happy there are others out there who are good at it because reading their blogs make me happy!

Here are my top 3 in case you're interested:

The Small Things Blog (amazing hair tutorials)

The Lauren Elizabeth Blog (this is the sister of Kate from The Small Things Blog - love her style and her writing)

Maskcara (love the makeup tutorials on this one)

Do you have any favorite beauty or fashion blogs you think I should be viewing?  Tell me in the comments section!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Here's some randomness for you

Yep - as the title says, here are some random thoughts, comments, & feelings from yours truly…

1) I don't understand why parents feel they have to compete with each other.  It's interesting to me how parents of similar age children are discreetly trying to 'one up' each other on what their child can and cannot do.

2) It pains me to see my friends and family not making healthy decisions.  No one can be perfectly healthy all the time(i.e. my addiction to sugar) but I just want everyone to be on this earth as long as possible so I can enjoy them.  :)

3) The next time someone asks me why I'm not having children, I'm going to break down in tears and tell them I'm unable to have children.(which, to my knowledge, isn't true by the way ~ it's a choice my husband & I have made)  Maybe they'll learn their lesson on asking questions like that.  Also, please don't give me a facial reaction of "pity" when I tell you I'm not having children…I'm very happy with this decision!

4) To go along with #3, just because I'm not going to have children doesn't mean I don't like kids.  Period, end of story!

5) I don't understand why we can't just be happy for each other and respect each others decisions.  Why do we have to place judgment on someone's decision if it makes that person happy?  For example, if someone gets a promotion at work, why do we have to talk behind their back on why we think they should not have received the promotion?  Why can't we just be thrilled and happy for others when they are thrilled and happy about something?

6) This is absolute truth in our household ~> Rules for Non-dog owners who visit and like to complain about our dogs:  a) They live here, you don't. b) If you don't want dog hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. c) I like my dogs a lot better than most people. d) To you, it's a dog.  To me, he/she is an adopted child who is short, furry, has four legs, & barks.

7) To go along with #6, I adore my dogs and they are absolutely, positively, 100% spoiled and I'm proud of it! :)

8) To accompany #6 & #7, although I love Stuart, I will probably never get another Shih Tzu again.  I think he's adorable and I love all his quirks but he definitely has characteristic of a shih tzu: stubborn & short tempered.  ;)

9) I can be a pretty matter-of-fact & blunt person, especially when it comes to offering opinions to my family & friends.  Yes, this has gotten me into "trouble" before.

10) The dynamics with my family can get out of wack sometimes and I've learned to realize that most families have had times of wackiness.  It can't be rainbows & butterflies all the time, can it?

11) I realize social media is the way of the world these days and I'm not super educated when it comes to politics, but it does drive me crazy when people blast and put down other political parties or others moral beliefs in their social media accounts.  Would you really say something like that to a friend in person if they had a differing belief?  Can't we respect the view even if we disagree with it?  Yes, I have blocked people from social media because of posts like this.

12) Mike and I have separate bank accounts and put a certain percent of our money into our joint account to pay for "joint" bills each month.  If a purchase of something is going to be over $100, we talk about it.  Anything less than $100, we aren't required to discuss it with each other.  This plan works for us and I can't recall a time we've ever argued about money.  Key words…'this plan works for us!'

13) When you feel you are correct about something and later find out you aren't actually correct, just admit it.  Can't we be gracious about being wrong about something and acknowledge the other person was right?

14) I know people who were sexual abused/assaulted, as a child or as an adult, and it is devastating to me to hear that they endured this.

15) For women specifically, why do we have to "read" into everything and make it more than what it is.  During our pre-marital counseling, this is something I had to work on and something I continue to work on.  If I ask Mike if something is wrong and he says no, then leave it at that.  Maybe he just woke up on the wrong side of the bed and is generally cranky today.  Let it go Kirsten!

16) There are honestly about four people in my life that I can truly trust to keep a secret.  If I ask him/her to please not discuss this with others, I'm positive these people will keep it completely to his/herself.  I'm sad that this number is only four.

17) Mike and I agree that we could never go on the Amazing Race with each other.  That just has disaster written all over it!  That said, I do think my Dad and I would be a good team.

18) Ranger(our german shepherd police dog) has been "attacked" numerous times by Stuart(shih tzu)…a) I'm surprised Stuart is still alive, b) It's mind boggling to me that Ranger doesn't fight back.

19) I'm a relatively easy-going person but there was a time that I was someone you had to walk on pins & needles around because you never wanted to endure the wrath of Kirsten.  Not many people know that person but if you ask my friend Jen(we've been friends since 7th grade), she could tell you all about that wrath.  How she is still my friend, I will never know…I was a tough cookie sometimes.

20) I 1,000% believe that if you want your husband to do something or react a specific way when you tell him something, you MUST tell him exactly what you need.  Why are you indirectly pressuring him to "guess" what you want?  Tell him for goodness sake!  If you want him to ask how your day was, tell him you appreciate when he asks how your day was.  Ladies - we put way too much pressure on our husbands to "do things right"(per our requirements of course) when we don't even tell him what we feel the "right thing" is.  Hope that makes sense!  Saves time and heart ache if you just tell him what you need.

21) Mike and I are getting rid of cable and having network channels and Amazon Prime only…and honestly, I'm embarrassed to admit how tough this decision was for me.

22) I strongly dislike when people disappoint me or if I disappoint others.  Don't commit to something if you can't fulfill your committment.

23) I'm convinced people who are perpetually late don't want to break their image of always being late. Honestly, I feel like people who are always late are people who fail to plan(if you know the time to arrive, how can you not plan in advance to be on time?) and frankly I think it's a little inconsiderate & disrespectful to the people hosting or the people who showed up on time.  Santa Fe'ans, as a whole, are perpetually late ALL the DANG time and it really annoys me. (but there's nothing I can do about it so oh well)

24) Generally speaking, I think people take life way to seriously.(trust me, I do too)  Let's make an effort to not sweat the small stuff and enjoy the time we have with the people we love.  Be yourself, don't take so many things personally, and don't be sorry for who you are!

It's interesting how this post turned out as I read back through it.  Guess I took randomness to a whole new level.  :)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

feeling sappy & blessed

On my commute to the airport just now(I'm taking a day trip for work to one our home offices), I started thinking about work. I sort of miss having to drive to work because I always used that time to gather my thoughts and prep myself for the day. Anyway...I got to thinking about my career & how stinking blessed I am. This isn't a post to gloat about how lucky I am but to reflect on the opportunities my work has provided me. Here's my list:

- My company has allowed me to be a home based worker for over 5 years now. With this comes many other commute, no need to shower and get ready for work, work in my PJ's, work just about anywhere with Internet, get to stay with my pups all day, and most importantly, I have had the flexibility to move when my hubs has changes jobs. 
- I've had the opportunity to travel with work...from NE to IL to the Philippines. I love to travel so this is a bonus in my eyes.  
- When I come back to NE to visit my family & friends, I get to work from the actual office. I don't have to take time off(unless I choose too) and working from the office always re-charges me. 
- I would argue that my time off bank is amazing. At 10 yrs with the company, I get 29 days off a year. This allows Mike and I to travel basically as often as our budget allows. 
- Speaking of benefits, I feel I am paid competitively and I have great health benefits. 
- Aside from the bonus of traveling, I have been given many career opportunities. If I counted correctly, I've changed jobs 7 times, 5 being promotional opportunities and 2 being lateral changes. Except for one, I applied, interviewed, & completed a "project" for each opportunity. Although being remote has its limitations, I have changed jobs twice since being remote.  
- I feel like I am challenged on a daily basis and I feel I am empowered to make decisions and voice my feedback. 
- I can't say I've had a "bad" supervisor either. I think I've reported to about 10 different managers over my 10 years and I really can't complain about any of them. 
- Have I mentioned I have some pretty superb co-workers and I have met some wonderful friends through work. With said friends, I played a crap-load of volleyball when I lived in NE. :)

Hopefully I've covered everything. All this said, work is certainly not always flowers and butterflies. Like all people probably(unless you're Mike and don't have one bad thing to say about your job-that could be a whole different post) I've had some low times and frustrating times. I've made mistakes and I've learned from them. But overall, when I look at the entire picture, I'm pretty darn blessed. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Here are a few quotes that have resonated with me lately so I wanted to share.  I actually found the 1st one in the Drafts section of my work email.  Sometimes I'll just throw things in my Drafts so I don't lose track of it and it was a happy surprise when I found it yesterday.  I came across the 2nd quote on Facebook via a person in the fitness industry I follow.
Good Stuff!  Hope you enjoy!

You can be the most beautiful person in the world and everybody sees light and rainbows when they look at you, but if you yourself don’t know it, all of that doesn’t even matter.  Every second that you spend doubting your worth, every moment that you use to criticize yourself, is a second of your life wasted, is a moment of your life thrown away.  It’s not like you have forever, so don’t waste any of your seconds, don’t throw even one of your moments away.
~C. JoyBell C.

People are often unreasonable,
irrational, and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway. 
If you are kind, people may accuse
you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway. 

If you are successful, you will win some
unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies;
Succeed anyway. 

If you are honest and sincere
people may deceive you;
Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating
others could destroy overnight;
Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness,
some may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today,
will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.

Give the best you have,
and it may never be enough;
Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis,
it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway."
~Mother Teresa

Monday, June 24, 2013

Chicks N Chaps

Since mid-April, I've been volunteering on the planning committee for an event called Chicks N Chaps at our local Rodeo de Santa Fe.  The event was last Friday to coincide with Pink Night at our PRCA rodeo.  You can read about Chicks N Chaps here.  It was a really fun day and I hope it happens again next year because it's definitely something I'd like to be part of again.

Not only does the event raise awareness about breast cancer and raise funds for a local organization (our recipient organization was Breast Wishes), but also educates women about the rodeo.  There are many misconception about the treatment of animals at rodeos and also a lack of education about the events themselves.  We provided a 'Behind the Chutes' tour, roping lessons, & education on barrel racing(w/ a barrel race on stick ponies).  Although I didn't rope the stationary hay bale with a cow head on it, I got close.  :)

If you're interested in looking at pictures of the event, you can see them here.  I'm in pictures 67, 149, 150, 151, 167, 168, 169, 170, 184.

It was a great experience and I met a lot of great people on the planning committee and at the event.  There was also a videographer at the event so once the video is published, I'll share that as well.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

a Mumford & Sons experience

On Thursday evening, Mike and I went to, what I would venture to guess, the biggest event in Taos, NM history...Mumford & Sons!!
The concert was sponsored by the Taos Solar Music Festival and it was in Kit Carson Park across from the Taos plaza.  Taos has a population of about 5,700 people and they sold 8,000 tickets to the concert. Taos is about 1.5-2 hrs from Santa Fe and Mike's field office is located in Taos so I met him in Taos at a friend's house after I got off work.  I arrived around 5pm, we went to dinner, enjoyed a cocktail at a friend's house, & then our friend dropped us off at the end of the line to get in around 7pm.  There was a rain/lightening storm at the same time the "doors" were to open at the park(6pm) so everyone that was in the park got kicked out because there were concerns about lightening.  It took us about an 1.5 hrs to actually make it through the line and into the venue.  By the time we got in, one of the opening bands was already playing.  Mumford & Sons came on around 10:30 and were done around midnight.  The concert was SOOOOO good and I was quite impressed with how organized everything was for such a small town.  We had to stand in line for a while but that seemed appropriate and expected due to the weather.

 Yes, I realize my head looks gigantic in this picture.

We gradually made our way closer to the stage.  My only wish is that I had been about 6 inches taller for the evening.  :)  Or that all the tall people in Taos weren't standing in front of me.  

I subsequently went to iTunes the next day and downloaded Mumford & Sons most recent album.

Here's a few songs that I'm loving right now:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

guess what's coming to our area?

We live about 5 minutes away from a shopping area which has Target, Starbucks, Albertson's, Best Buy, TJ Max, Petsmart, etc.  About a month ago, we noticed that the sushi restaurant located in that area closed but they were doing construction on the building.  At the same time, we noticed they were building a brand new building right next to the former sushi place.

A month or so after that, Mike and I both saw the Buffalo Wild Wings signage on the old sushi restaurant.  Our first reaction was, "that's sort of cool."  Although neither of us really love Buffalo Wild Wings, it will hopefully be a new/fun place close by to have drinks w/ friends or watch sporting events.  Seeing the sign also reminded us of an experience we had at the BWW in Lincoln.  I can't recall who was with us but we sat down to order some wings and they were out of wings...huh?!  You are Buffalo Wild Wings and you're out of wings?  I'm not really sure how that happens...wouldn't you race to a grocery store and just buy some??

I recently drove past this area again and the sign on the new building next to BWW said Panera!  Suhhweet!  This really excites me because I really enjoy going to coffee shops and spending a few hours reading, blogging, drinking coffee, etc.  I've also hoped for a restaurant that carried yummy bagels so now I get to read and eat my delicious bagel from Panera.

Santa Fe has some of the best food I've ever consumed.  The restaurants are amazing, unique, and have great ambience but sometimes a gal just craves a chain restaurant.  Life would really be complete if Santa Fe got Mr. Goodcents, Bison Witches, Taco John's, & Runza!!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

90 mile bike trip on the White Rim Trail in Moab, UT

Back in March, in last-minute-sort-of fashion, we decided to join about 10 others(and a 6 month old baby<~yes, you read that right!  Baby & parents did amazing on this trip!) on a 90 mile bicycle trip in Moab, UT.  By last minute, I mean we literally did one "training" ride of 5 miles to prepare ourselves for 90 miles.  Real smart, don't you think?

We drove to Moab on Tuesday evening, I rented my bike on Wednesday morning,(Mike already had a bike and my bike was a Target special and would have lasted 2 seconds on this trip) and we descended into the canyon on the White Rim trail on Wednesday mid-morning.  The mileage was broken up as follows: (approximately)
Day 1 = 30 miles
Day 2 = 15 miles
Day 3 = 30 miles
Day 4 = 15 miles

We had three support vehicles that carried all of our gear(camping, clothes, food, water, etc).  We rode all the miles for the first day and we actually felt pretty good.  The 2nd day was crazy windy(like sand blast your face windy)and pretty chilly so we loaded our bikes and rode in the truck for the last 4 miles or so.  We rode the entire way on Day 3 but that evening was also crazy windy and chilly so we did not have good sleep.  Mike and I opted to ride in the support vehicle the entire last day and I was more than ok with this decision.  If I recall, there were four major climbs and I managed to skip all of them except'll see me walking my bike up in the slideshow.

For not training at all, I felt we did pretty good.  This trip put the bicycle-bug in me and a few weeks after this trip, I upgraded my Target special to a "real" mountain bike, which I've been loving and riding often!

Here are some pictures of our trip - the scenery was more than incredible and the people we were with were superb, fun, & very encouraging to an amateur like myself!  I hope we get the opportunity to do this again in the future.

**I'm sort of obsessed right now with the song playing in the slideshow and I kind of think it fits the I'm a bad a$$ feeling I felt during this trip.**  :)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Cinco de Mayo in Puerto Vallarta

Ever since I turned 30(remember when Mike surprised me w/ a trip to Europe?!  I'm still baffled by how he pulled that off), we've made it a tradition of traveling for our birthdays.  Mike's birthday is in February and mine is in May so the timing works out well when we are determining our travel plans each year.
This year for my birthday we went to Puerto Vallarta.  We had a super was a perfect mix of activity and relaxation.  Why wouldn't I want to spend my birthday, Cinco de Mayo, in Mexico?!!  :)  A couple of our friends from NE joined us from Saturday-Wednesday and it was so great to see them and spend time with them!  Since they were leaving Wednesday,(we stayed until the following Saturday) we wanted to pack in as much stuff as we could so they wouldn't miss it.  It was such a great trip and a fun new place to experience.

I'll spare you the details of how we spent every single hour of every day but I will share some of the pictures.  I've been playing with the slideshow feature on our computer and it turns out that creating a slideshow is super simple...who knew?!!  They really make technology easy these days.  I even put a fun and boppy song to it so make sure your sound is on!  :)


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

a 4-legged furry children update

I know exactly what you've been thinking lately...I'm dying to hear an update on Kirsten's dogs...well...wait no longer!!
Ok, ok - I know that thought never crossed your mind but you're going to get an update anyway.  :)

Boulevard ~
I've mentioned this to a few people but the bottom line is this => Boulevard is becoming a crotchety old man.  It's so funny to see a dogs personality come through.  He just isn't havin' it lately and he's not afraid to "voice" his opinion.  My dogs get fed twice a day and meal time usually lasts an entire 30 seconds so I wait in the laundry room as they eat.  Stuart's food is in a trashcan with a lid that can be flipped open or pushed in.  Ranger and Boulevard's food is either in a big bag on the floor or in an enclosed dog container.  So...Boulevard finishes his dinner and, while I'm standing right there next to him, he'll walk right over to the bag or Stuart's dog food container and start chomping away.  Really Blvd??  Hello, I'm standing right next to you and I see what you're doing.  Then he doesn't even respond when I firmly but politely SCREAM, "No!"  I literally have to drag his head out of the bag.  Good grief!

Crotchety old man example #2:  I think you all know our dogs are most definitely indoor dogs.  Occasionally, I'll leave Boulevard outside in the backyard for a few hours.  My office is on the opposite side of the house but when Boulevard is sick of being outside, he'll start barking.  Ugh!  The reason this is so odd is because Boulevard is generally not a barker.  Other dogs can be barking like crazy at him but he doesn't bark back.

Crotchety old man example #3:  Mike and I have been going on bicycle rides more often after work and when we put our bike clothes, tennis shoes on, and fill our water bottles, Boulevard knows something is up.  Unfortunately, he thinks anytime tennis shoes are put on that it means he's going on a walk...that's not always the case.  If we haven't started our ride yet, we will occasionally hear him howling from inside the house.

Crotchety old man example #4: When we travel, we have a house/dog-sitter stay at our house and watch Boulevard and Stuart.(it's less expensive, better situation for the pups, and more convenient for us) The dog sitter reported that Boulevard peed on the floor almost every night and pooped on the floor once.  I mean??!!!  This is so out of the ordinary for Boulevard that I assumed he was sick or something.  Good grief Boulevard ~ what happened to our angel dog?  I'm happy to report Boulevard is just fine and has had no accidents since we've been home.

It seems, similar to humans, dogs may just get to a point in life where they think So what?  Who Cares!!  I'm just going to do what I want.  Don't get me wrong, Boulevard is definitely still the angel out of our three monsters but it's interesting to see how he changes as he gets older.  After all, he is 8 years old now and that is considered a senior dog.

Stuart ~
I have this posted on Facebook but I think it's so funny.  I came across these birthday hats when I was grocery shopping.  About every hour on the hour that day, I was putting a hat on Stuart.  I think Ranger was home with me that morning and I was putting the hat on Ranger as well.  Mike came home for lunch and I wanted a group picture of me and the dogs.  I put the hat laying on the floor next to me in the picture on Boulevard and he instantly ripped it off.  Stuart was on the run probably thinking This crazy lady and her hat...won't she just leave me alone?  But Stuart is easy to over power so I captured him before he got away.  I put the hat on Ranger and he tried the I'm going to lay down and try to paw this hat off.  Needless to say, it all amounted to a comical picture for Stuart's 6th birthday!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

a special milestone

Well...I never intended to ignore this blog after I started my other blog but I've been spending quite a bit of time writing for that blog.  I actually have an "exciting thing" happening for that blog's that for a teaser?...stay tuned!

Aside from a fitness focus in my life, I did cross a milestone.  I crossed my 10 year anniversary with my company in February.  Can you believe it?  10 years at one company and over 4 years working from home?  Honestly, my company has been so good to me...I've had many opportunities and have advanced within the company.  I'm really enjoying my current job and the exciting things on my development plan for 2013!  :)  It's weird to think that my initial job was supposed to be about 6 months and then I was going to go to law school...LOL...that obviously didn't happen.  God works in mysterious ways!(or not that mysterious)  Similar to some of your experiences probably, I've had real low times and I've had real high times at my company.  I'm in a super place right now!

With each milestone anniversary, my company lets you pick out a gift.  I debated between practical or sentimental and went with sentimental.  I went with my very first Tiffany necklace!  I was so excited when I received it.  Each time I look at it, it'll remind me of my 10 year milestone.  Since this was my first, and likely last, Tiffany necklace I'll ever receive I decided to document my reveal.  I'm loving it!

P.S. Mike said he's going to steal the box if he ever buys any jewelry for me in the future...sorry buddy...I'm on to you now.  You can't fool me!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

what's new with me right now

As you may know(or not), I went through some personal struggles near the end of last year.  Struggles meaning I was feeling sad a lot, not happy with anything I was doing, didn't feel important, felt a little lonely(Mike had been traveling quite a bit and I had been as well), wasn't working out consistently, didn't feel I had any hobbies, etc.(As you can tell, I was horrible really pleasant to be around...just ask Mike)

So, I headed to Nebraska for a couple weeks while Mike was away for work and that trip really kick started my "turn" out of my funk.  I was getting re-focused at work, getting quality family time, getting quality friend time, was shedding some tears with said family and friends, etc.  All this leads to what's new with me today and some changes/new endeavors I've made:

1) My Mom came to visit for Christmas week and it motivated me to re-teach myself how to crochet.  I'm happy to report I picked it back up and am currently working on a scarf.  I like it so much that I took my project to the car dealership while they were conducting my oil change and tire rotation.

2) I started another blog.  You can read about why I started it by going to the blog.  You can find Healthful Pursuit of an LEO Wife on facebook, twitter, & pinterest too.  Check it out!

3) I'm going to start volunteering for an after school reading program for the United Way of Santa Fe County.  I'm super pumped for that too - I start Monday.

There you have it ~ a few small changes and additions to my life.