Got to go water skiing a few times!!
My sister AND my sister-in-law both had adorable little babies!!
So many fun times with the nieces and nephews!!
Had some serious laugh attacks!
Played my first game of golf with my siblings!!
What an awesome family I have!! I love them so much.
I had such a good time in Utah and am ready to head back to Montana!!
P.S. My sister Angela (the other writer on this blog) is one of the ladies in my family who just had a baby, so she will be out of commission for a bit. She is doing well though and will be back soon!!
Everyone has their own hobbies and one of mine happens to be running. I love running!! I feel like it's the easiest way to get a lot of cardio in in a short amount of time (which I need to calm occasional anxiety). Recently as my life has been changing, I have been thinking about how lucky I am to be able to run. I can run for a while basically any time I want. Because I am lucky enough to take advantage of this, I run quite a bit.
Right now I am conveniently on a family trip with one of my sisters that also lives in Montana. As we were talking about fitness and other things that we do to exercise, I said, "I've really been wanting to do a half marathon." And she replied, "well, let's look for one in Montana." The thought of actually looking for a race that I could run made me so giddy. It was difficult to contain my excitement because this has been something that I have been wanting to do for years, but just haven't signed up and trained for one... As we googled races in Montana, I immediately found a race that had a half marathon and a 10k race. My little sister agreed to do the 10k with me as I did the half marathon and I was so excited!! This is us signing up for the race :)
I am so excited to finally train for something I've wanted to do for a long time!!! Now it's time to find the best training program. Any advice would be appreciated as I start my journey to run further and further.
I’m always looking for fun and easy ways to save on the things that I buy regularly like groceries. I will list a few of the things that save my grocery bill each month. We only spend about $400 a month on groceries for our family of 4. When our family expands to a family of 5 next week, we plan to expand our budget to $500 per month.
1- Beef: Whenever I make something with ground beef, I always use less meat and supplement with black beans. When something calls for 1 lb of ground beef, I use 1/2 lb and a can of black beans. 1 lb of ground beef costs $2.99-3.99. A can of black beans is about $.69 (sometimes cheaper if bought on sale). So you can save anywhere from $1.80-2.80 per meal! Which totally adds up :)
2- Chicken: I use less chicken then any recipe calls for. I will either cut the chicken into smaller pieces so it goes farther, pound it out so that it looks bigger and flatter, or slice the chicken length wise to make it look like more chicken. There are times when chicken goes on sale for $1.29 per lb at western family stores. Wait for the sale and stock up!
3- Use everything in your refrigerator! I buy less than what I think I need at the store. If I run out, oh well, I improvise and try to think of something else I could use/eat. This saves SOO much money. I hardly EVER throw anything away.
4- Don’t Shop: Sounds weird, but see how long you can really go without grocery shopping. Staying out of the store saves BIG bucks. I refuse to go shopping more than once per week...sometimes I will go longer than a week without returning to the grocery store.
5- Use Less! You only need about half a pump of hand soap when you wash your hands. Use less laundry detergent, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, toothpaste, you don’t need as much as you think. Buy in bulk! We’ve had the same soap pump for 3-4 years and we just refill it with bulk hand soap. I wash my makeup off with a face wipe every morning and I only use one side, then I fold it up and use the other side the next day. This saves me about $4 per month.
6- Only buy when on sale: I ONLY buy butter when it is on sale for $1.99…then I bulk up and buy tons of butter and stick it in my freezer. I only buy grapes when they are $1.99 or less per lb. There are certain things that I refuse to buy unless they are on sale.
There you go! Those are the things I do to live on a super tight budget and more often than not, we totally stay within our budget!
No matter what anyone says, THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME. Growing up in Utah, I have felt indifferent to living here. In fact, growing up, I looked forward to the day where I moved to another state and lived in my own area for a while. I had always imagined that I would move to a big city, get an amazing job, and be very successful.... Well, the move definitely happened, but to a place that I never expected to live. I didn't realize how familiarity with my location, the city life, family, and friends impacted my life so much. I always took that for granted. Isn't that funny? Because now I just laugh at myself with how lost I am and how unfamiliar with things I am ALL THE TIME. I also have a lot of free time (because I am unemployed) which has never happened to me. Like ever. So now, I'm exploring who Rachelle really is because I have the time to sit down and really think about it. In all of these thoughts, I have come to realize that relaxing over the past month has been theraputic for me, but I am ready to get a job and have some structure in my life. Because I have not been able to find a job yet, I came home this week so that I could visit my family and friends. I don't have a job schedule to follow, so I thought I would take advantage of my free time. Let me tell you how nice it's been to be in familiar surroundings again!! My goodness!! It's been amazing :). In the past week, my sister-in-law and brother had a baby, I've visited friends and family, I've gone to the movies, boating with family, shopping with friends, and gone out to eat! I mean what more can a girl ask for??
Here is my cute new little nephew. He is named after my oldest brother, Brennon :)
I have had such a good time here at home. It's been a rejuvenating trip, and although there are so many good things about home, I have to remember the good things that have been happening in Montana and hold on to them... Because if I don't, I'll never go back! haha... So, here are some things that I have been thinking at home in Utah about Montana. In Montana, I have felt more peaceful than I've ever felt and am trying to slowly adjust to a new lifestyle. I feel like an alien and also feel like I don't speak the right language, but I am slowly becoming familiar with the lingo and activities that people participate in there. Change is hard, but as time continues on and Montana becomes my new home, hopefully it'll be worth it! I hope I can continue on and adapt to the new culture there as I continue to live a new life because life is supposed to be enjoyed!! Who says you can't have two homes?! Utah will always have my heart, but with time, Montana will become my second home. I will learn the ways of a country girl living in country land.
My little Chloe turned 2 last week! It was such a hoot throwing a party for some of her cute little 2 year old friends. There were some hilarious moments. One of my personal favorites is when the ice cream cone piñata got broken and all the candy fell out. All the kids ran to get the candy, but Chloe cried because daddy just broke the ice cream cone!!! Hahaha. There's a learning curve when it comes to pinatas...who knew? Pin the cherry on the ice cream cone was a hit. You have to adjust rules for 2 year olds....we didn't blindfold them. Most of them didn't know there was a right and wrong place to put the cherries. So the closest person won.
Here is the order in which the party went:
-Dance Party to Pink Fong Music (YouTube).
-Coloring Ice cream cone.
-Piñata (Ice cream cone shaped)
-Pin the Cherry on the ice cream cone
-Picture of 2 year olds holding balloon ice cream cones
-Cake and Ice cream
As guests were arriving, we had some Pink Fong music playing so that the kids could have a fun little dance party to "Baby Shark Doo Doo Doo". If you've never heard that song, you NEED to look it up, it's hilarious. Parents were also invited to the party....I just invited 6 of Chloe's closest friends so it didn't turn into mad chaos with a million 2 year olds running around. Then the kids all colored an ice cream cone that I printed for free. You can find free printables online. Then we did the piñata ($10 at Zurchers). The kids couldn't break it with the safe little rubber bat we had them use. So we eventually had my hubby break it with a stronger one. Then it was time for Pin the Cherry on the ice cream cone. I just drew and colored an ice cream cone and made cherries to put on it. After the games were through, we took a picture holding balloon ice cream cones and then went to open presents and eat food. The activities only took about an hour total.
The theme of ice cream cones was inspired by Chloe because she LOVES ice cream more than anything in the world. She asks for "ikeem kone" for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We baked cake in ice cream cones so we could have little cupcake cones. We were thinking of shaping some ice cream into the shape of an ice cream cone and cutting it like cake, but we didn't have enough time to prepare it. The sandwiches are PB&J and PB&H. I decided it'd be cute to shape them like ice cream cones too....why not? With the circles, I just took a round cookie cutter and cut out the sandwich after it was made. With the cones, I just cut off the top round part of the sandwich so it's kind of a square, and then cut those diagonally. I figured PB&J is a very 2 year old friendly food. It seemed to be a hit with the kids :) Then I made a few grown up sandwiches with chicken salad on them. We also had 5 different flavors of ice cream available when it was time for cake and ice cream.
There are thousands of thoughts that run through my head daily. Thoughts that range from "I'm too tired to wake up right now" to "I wonder how electric heat is created" and many more... So what makes these thoughts feel like they exist outside of my head? And why do I dwell on certain ideas as opposed to other thoughts that pass through my mind very quickly?
In Psychology Today, Nancy Colier states:
What makes a thought feel real is the attention we bring to it. We make a thought into a solid object by focusing on it and relating to it as if it is an event happening in the world somewhere.
So, when I'm focusing on something in my mind, the more focus and time that I put into that thought builds it up on the scale of importance and makes it real to me and ONLY me.
Let's put this concept of attention to thoughts into context.
When we decide to focus on a thought and give it more attention than other thoughts, communication is a healthy way to express yourself. Whether it's a frustration or something that we cannot stop smiling about, communication helps those thoughts become a reality to other people, and we feel validated because our own reality soon becomes their reality as well. If we don't communicate our thoughts, we are essentially living in our own realities where we think that no one understands us and it becomes so lonely.... So why do we do that? I know that I'm a people pleaser and that's why I hold a lot of frustrating thoughts that I give attention to inside. I also know that when I have communicated them in a helpful manner, life has gotten better. Communication helps my mind calm down and becomes more open to creative thought flow. I am more at ease knowing that people know my honest thoughts. So rather than holding attention seeking thoughts inside my mind and dwelling on them only to bring pain and frustration, I can choose to let go of my thoughts and bring people I care about into my reality. The complication of emotional, attention seeking thoughts should be shared in order to feel more validated, create more honest relationships, and to know who we and the people we care about really are.