Corn Maze!

Every fall, there are people are getting in the mood to be scared, putting up creepy decorations, looking for costumes or splurging on candy; most people have a favorite Halloween tradition. And let’s face it, many people start “getting ready” before October gets here. For me, my favorite thing about fall is less about Halloween and more about it actually being fall: corn mazes. Seriously, I cannot get enough of them!

Maybe it’s from growing up in Nebraska, which I think at least ties (if not flat out wins) for Corn Capital of the U.S. Maybe it’s because I love mazes, like remember those puzzle books as a kid – yeah I loved that. I also decided if I ever won the lottery, I would have a hedge maze like they have in the movies because I love mazes so much. In fact, the “corn” aspect isn’t really relevant. But it’s not like there are tons of hedge mazes spanning over several acres to check out. 😛

Every year I have to do at least one corn maze. Sometimes it’s when we visit Nebraska for Halloween. And sometimes it’s here. In 2015, we did a corn maze in Colorado. It was massive and had overlooks (and I want to go again this year!). At the time we were with our niece and nephew who were four, so we didn’t get to really try to find our way out as much as follow curious kids around, enjoying the time with them and also making sure we didn’t actually get lost (because they’d tire much faster than we would by ourselves!).

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Ten Pounds Later, My Weight Finally Bothers Me

When I zipped up my big winter coat, a red coat that I absolutely adore, it was uncomfortably snug. I had to suck it in to zip it up, and even then I was afraid of busting the zipper. At the time I was all wired up to my Holter monitor, so I tried to write it off as the wires and monitor adding the extra padding. But a part of me knew it couldn’t possibly add that much.

I’ve never really struggled with my weight. Actually, that’s not true. I’ve never struggled with gaining weight. Almost all of my struggles have been maintaining or keeping weight on due to several health factors (metabolism, heart issues, a bone disease that actually does play a part in build, and a stomach disorder) that have kept me underweight my entire life.

Back to that zipping up. I felt horrible. Embarrassed, ashamed and ugly even though the weight gain doesn’t appear noticeable in terms of looking at me. But my coat didn’t shrink and then I confirmed it on a scale. In the last four months (since I don’t weigh myself regularly and have not needed my coat, the last time I weighed myself was four months ago) I have gained ten pounds. Probably not a big deal for most people but I’m under 5’4” and my previous weight was around 117 pounds, so I’ve gained ten percent of my entire body mass, and I can guarantee it isn’t muscle.

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A Romantic Trip of Firsts: Wyoming, Montana, Yellowstone, Dinosaurs, Sitting Back

Last week my husband took me on a special (and surprise!) romantic trip. I knew it was happening as far as, “We’re going somewhere, so pack,” but beyond that I knew nothing. And that’s the way I wanted it! It struck me after, when thinking about what a wonderful and monumental trip it was in terms of firsts, that this is the first overnight trip my husband has surprised me with. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t planned a lot of romantic overnight trips, it’s just that I was “in the know” about where we were going and what we doing. And he has done surprise trips too, but they’ve been day trips, so this was incredibly special to me. I love being surprised and may not be the easiest to surprise.

Final Destination!

My husband just showed me the weather while blocking out the place, and I knew we were driving and not flying. I figured this meant wherever we were going would be no more than nine hours away. And based on the weather it was going to be COLD. Automatically my mind went north, so Wyoming. I figured it would just be a mountain excursion (they have mountains in Wyoming, right?) like our trips to Estes Park. I wasn’t really thinking what could possibly be in Wyoming because A) that defeats the purpose, I wanted to be surprised, and B) I didn’t know if we were going to Wyoming. When we surprise each other we are allowed to mislead one another, so he could have been totally trying to throw me off our actual plans.

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Collecting Guilty Pleasures

Anyone who knows me knows I have a reading problem. Or more accurately, the problem is I don’t have enough time to read everything I want to. And I don’t just want to read “the good stuff” but the stuff I loved growing up – even though I see just how awful the writing is now. Or if the writing doesn’t suck, it’s just so juvenile that it’s embarrassing. I call these my “guilty pleasure” books.

I have a bunch of series in my guilty pleasure wheelhouse. The ones that took the spotlight were Fear Street and Sweet Valley High, and once I collected all of the books in those series, I went on to collection Sweet Valley Junior High, Sweet Valley Senior Year, Sweet Valley University and Elizabeth. Having finished those I am collecting Christopher Pike books, Buffy the Vampire Slayer novels/books, Angel novels/books, Sweet Valley Twins and Friends (sixth grade), and my first love and what got me hooked on reading, The Boxcar Children.

If that sounds like a ridiculous amount of books, you’re not wrong. I have collected (in good to like new condition) 468 guilty pleasure books from the series I have completely finished. The series I’m now working to complete would total 531 books, and out of those I have collected 442 of them (and counting, I have about ten on the way, but until I see there condition or receive I don’t count them).

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A Therapeutic Match

Last year, I sought out therapy again. I felt like I was on the verge of melting down between my PTSD going off the rails for the first time in years, the subsequent depression and also dealing with a great deal of crap all at once. I’m not ashamed of being in therapy. I respect people who get therapy because I honestly feel like most people should at least once or twice in their lifetimes. It’s seeking out help to give you the tools to be happier, healthier – steadier.

At the time however, I wasn’t feeling it. I even thought about writing a blog called “Are We Clicking?” because the therapist I was paired with… I just didn’t feel comfortable. I haven’t done therapy in years, but I consider myself an old pro, and I was seeking this out. It wasn’t a case of stage fright or shyness or embarrassment, and it wasn’t because I was so low at that point. I just could not get comfortable, I wasn’t confident that this therapist was the right fit for me.

I felt really bad about it too. Because the therapist was super nice, and a good listener. In fact, when deciding to discontinue therapy with her, I couldn’t even come up with a good reason beyond: “We’re not a match”; “You’re really nice, but I’m just not comfortable opening up”. For a few months, I didn’t seek out anyone new. I should have, but didn’t. I think part of this was embarrassment because I had no idea what had happened with the last one. Her background was perfectly matched to mine. She was nice, open, safe… why couldn’t I make it work? There have been times when I discontinued therapy, either because I felt I met my goals or even something more practical like relocating, but with the exception of one other time, I’ve never just “not felt it” and wanted it to end before it really got started. Continue reading

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