For as long as I can remember, I've had a giant mole on the back of my neck. The mole has never bothered me; in fact, I've always kind of liked it. I always thought it just looked like somebody stuck a dark brown pencil eraser on the back of my neck and um, if we're being honest, I've always thought it was kind of sexy. Marilyn Monroe had a sexy mole, why can't I have a sexy mole?
Aside: it turns out the word "mole" isn't sexy when you use it seventeen times in a row.
For many years my aunt (who is a nurse) has been telling me I should get my mole removed "because why not?" or something like that. I never wanted to get it removed because 1) it wasn't suspicious, and 2) I didn't want to pay for somebody to slice into my neck just for fun. But now that I work for a doctor I can have fun elective cosmetic procedures like that at no cost to me. So, when Keith told me my mole was "gross" I decided I would get it removed as his Valentine's Day present, because I am a good wife and also it was free.
So that's why on Tuesday I had NECK SURGERY. TO REMOVE HAROLD.
Do you see Harold?
CAN YOU SEE HIM NOW?
CAN YOU SEE POOR INNOCENT HAROLD POKING UP OUT OF MY PERFECTLY COIFFED HAIR??
HOW ABOUT NOW??????
After reviewing these pictures I'm now convinced that our wedding photographer photoshopped Harold so that he wouldn't be the focal point of all the pictures taken of the back of me. I guess I should thank Kristina, but also like, poor Harold. It's not his fault he was so unsightly.
Back to the story of my surgery. Tuesday morning I got shot up with Novocaine which was supposed to burn but I didn't feel a thing. As in, the doctor said, "You're going to feel some burning" and after a minute I was like "Ok when are you going to start the injection bc I feel nothing" and he was like "Um I'm done" and I was like "I AM AMAZING I FEEL NO PAIN."
I was pretty nervous for Harold to be cut off because it just sounds super gross, but I literally felt nothing. It's like how I imagine an epidural to feel, except there wasn't any afterbirth and also I don't think anybody cared if Harold slipped and fell on the floor. Also nobody weighed him or congratulated me.
So Harold got shipped off to a path lab, I got two stitches in my neck, and I spent the rest of Tuesday telling everybody I could find that I'd just had neck surgery and I don't think anybody found it as funny as I did. Also nobody thought it was a big deal. Apparently getting moles removed isn't commonly referred to as "major surgery." *Shrug*
After the procedure I texted people about my news and found that everybody who knew Harold thought he was disgusting and said THANK GOD I finally got rid of him. My sister even told me she thought it was weird that I kind of miss him because he was so gross. I literally had no idea so many people had such strong feelings about him until I got rid of him. Is it normal for people to have such strong feelings about a piece of your skin that isn't hurting ANYBODY (except me when I would get my hair done and the hairdresser wouldn't know about my mole so she would comb the hair onto my neck and scrape him)?
The worst part of the process is that the bandaid hurts like a mother. Whenever I peel it off to apply some ointment or check on what's left of Harold I feel like I'm ripping off two layers of skin. I have pictures of how red and angry my neck is but I'll spare you because I'm a nice person. I'm also sparing you the pictures of the blood and the stitches so you all owe me big time.
The stitches come out on Friday and then I won't be able to milk my "surgery" anymore and I'll probably have to stop snapchatting about how upset I am over losing Harold. Apparently it's "annoying" and "juvenile" and "gross."
And I'd just like to say that I'm very thankful that I have a job that allowed me to have this done for free.
My weekend mostly consisted of driving back up to SLO to see my family to celebrate my mom and Grandma's birthday. I wish Sami still did weekend shenanigans so everybody could link up, but I'm sure other people are already doing some kind of weekend link up. Maybe I'll steal Sami's thing and start "The Other Weekend Shenanigans" and trademark it. Would you link up? Let's gauge the reaction of the public to this very spontaneous idea that I've had in my brain for a while but never voiced.
Anyway. Saturday morning I was up at 4:55am (4:27 really, thanks to General Patton and his incessant morning meowing) getting ready to make the 4.5 hour drive to see my family. Keith and I left the mountain at 6:48 and made stops for Starbucks and gas. I only mention this because I want to brag about how I got a green tea instead of a toffee nut latte. I knew I was going to be cheating on my new healthy lifestyle that afternoon but instead of saying "SCREW THE WHOLE DAY!" I figured I'd be good where I could. I also packed a bunch of healthy snacks for the drive so like, go me.
made it to SLO in a record 4 hours and 12 minutes, and had time to kill, so we hit up TJ Maxx, Home Goods, Sephora, Barnes & Noble, MAC, are you bored yet?
Once we made it to my Grandma's house, my sister Angenette (who is getting married in July!!!!) and I headed to the kitchen to get started on the important part of family gatherings: Snapchat.
Keith hung out with Katelynne and he did not look creepy at all.
I made Grandma's 7 minute icing for the cake, and omg you guys it turned out better than it has in MONTHS. It didn't melt at all! We added the sprinkles because they're Katelynne's favorite and there's nothing better than seeing a 3 year old see a cake with sprinkles on it.
During dinner we were serenaded by Katelynne. Somehow she learned a couple of Kelly Clarkson songs and she LOVES singing them. And we love hearing them. So it's a win-win.
Kynlee learned how a cell phone works and she picks up a phone, holds it up to her ear, and just grunts. It's pretty cute! She butt dialed me earlier this week so I like to say I was her first phone call.
Even though we went up to celebrate my mom and Grandma's birthday, the weekend was really all about the little girls, obviously.
Grandma and I had a very touching conversation about how close we've always been, and I told her how much I love her and how thankful I am that she's been here for so long, and she told me how glad she is that she has so much family close by to see her so often. It was extremely touching, but it was cut short by her saying how thankful she is for my mom and then asking where my mom had been that day. My mom had been there the whole day, and they'd had conversations together, so that was really very heartbreaking. But it was still a wonderful day.
We headed home around 9:45 and OMG you guys it was exhausting!
We made a stop at In N Out because, duh, and I decided it was ok to treat myself while still being SORT OF healthy so I got a protein style burger. DO WHAT YOU CAN.
After In N Out we succeeded in being cut off by some gangsters and then they drove right next to us and leaned out their windows and flipped us off and screamed obscenities at us and I legitimately thought we were going to be attacked, but we were fine. We made it home around 2:30am and THAT WAS MY WEEKEND PLEASE TELL ME HOW YOURS WAS THANKS BYE.
We are three weeks into the new year, but it's never too late to implement new strategies to make sure you're the most confident version of yourself. This year is the Chinese year of the rooster, and there are specific qualities and characteristics associated with this year. Those qualities include being honest, observant, hardworking, punctual, and ambitious. I'm going to share a few ways I plan on embodying the rooster because it's good for accountability and inspiration!
Think it through.
You know how sometimes people will ask you a question and you tell a little white lie without really thinking about it? Somebody tells you they like your shirt and ask where you got it and how much it cost. I usually respond by saying, "I got it at Old Navy - it was on sale!" Adding the "on sale!" bit makes me feel less likely to be judged for splurging on something, but it's a pretty pointless thing to do. Or if somebody asks you to go somewhere you really don't want to go, so you make up a reason.
All these little white lies are pretty pointless. This year, I plan to work on being more honest in everything I say and really thinking about the things I say before I say them.
Seeing, not just watching.
When I'm in my car I have to pay really close attention to a certain area of my windshield, because the way the car was made there's a huge blind spot that makes it hard to see when cars are turning left from oncoming traffic. I have to remember to see everything about me and not just watch. I need to be more observant. I have so many of these blind spots in my life, as well! What I am going to work on this year is appreciating the little things in my life, and remembering them. I'm going to write them down and keep them all together, so when I'm feeling sad or overwhelmed or when it's one of those weeks, I can go through the little joys that make up so much of the big joy in my life.
Make hard work seem like you're hardly working.
My job is often overwhelming. I work at a doctor's office and it should come as no surprise that people really want to be taken care of when they're sick. I know when I go to the doctor I expect a level of professionalism, and it's a bonus when the people who are taking care of you really make it obvious that they care about you and that you're not being an inconvenience for breaking your leg. This year my goal is to smile more often than frown, and figure out more ways to multitask.
Want it, and make it happen.
Like everybody else, I want to lose weight this year. I've talked about that in this post already, but it's never a bad time to update on your progress and share what's been working for you. I've found that losing weight really comes down to how I manage my time. I need to use my evenings for a jog on the treadmill, some lunch prep for the next day, and time to slather on my nighttime lotions and potions before snuggling on the couch with Keith and binge watching more Dexter. I also need to limit myself to one or two episodes so I can go to sleep at a reasonable time. If I stay up too late, I'll be grouchy at work, and my above goal of being a pleasant face to see at work will never happen! Doing this will make me feel better about myself which will make it so much easier to be joyful the next day, as well. (See, it all comes together!)
However, it's important to make sure these goals are attainable. So, I can't beat myself up for every time I mess up. If I have a late night at work and don't get a jog in, that's ok! If I decide the jog is important but then can't make our lunches, that's okay! Keith can take some soup or make a sandwich and I can come home to make a salad, which is I often end up doing. You can't do it all, but you can and should do some.
Be on time for your self.
None of the above goals will happen if I'm not strict about when I go to bed and how I go to bed. This isn't a selfish goal, even though it might seem like it! Going to bed early ensures that I get a restful night of sleep and that I'm not a grouch. Going to sleep on a comfortable mattress gives me a better night of sleep so I truly do feel refreshed in the morning. It makes it easier to stop hitting my snooze button (sometimes even getting up BEFORE my alarm!) a million times and therefore makes my mornings less hectic. I can have fun putting my makeup on and then I feel good going into work and getting things done.
2017 is going to be our year. Who is us? ALL OF US! This year is going to be wonderful in so many different ways. Who knew a rooster could help you accomplish all these goals? Who knew a rooster was the key to success in 2017?
Special thanks to leesa, a company who clearly believes that accomplishing your goals and becoming a more confident person begins with a restful night of sleep! Learn more about their mattresses here.
-Big grocery haul once a week for the necessities. I try to buy smart, meaning things I can make last for a week or two. Most recently I've made 5 boneless skinless chicken breasts feed us for two weeks! I shredded the chicken and used it in burritos and salads and even added some to soup for a little extra protein. I found a great deal on blackberries so I bought 4 packs of blackberries and I've been using like, 6 a day so I don't run out too quickly. I started using only half a banana in oatmeal. Just little things like that.
....oh, and I buy the boxed wine because it is SO cost effective!
-iBotta. iBotta is an app you can download that will tell you all the things at a certain grocery store you can get a rebate on. I usually get a quarter for buying milk, a quarter for eggs, a quarter for carrots, etc etc. The biggest rebate I got was when I bought beer and fruit... they gave me $4 back! Of course, had I not bought those things I would have saved $11 but that's beside the point. I have a link if you want to try iBotta using my referral code: it's cosflah. Just go to ibotta and enter it in somewhere and I think we both get stuff. Yay! (I haven't gotten anything back yet but I attribute this to the fact that I just don't shop very much.)
-I try very hard to use my reusable bags. In our state if you want a bag it's 10 cents a bag. That adds up! I'm really trying to bring my own bags so I don't run into that issue.
-All of the water. All of the tea. For a while I was drinking 2-3 cans of Diet Coke a day. A DAY. I was also buying expensive coffee creamer to put in my 5 daily cups of coffee. This was making my body fat and my wallet skinny. So I just said no to all of it. I drink green tea instead of coffee in the morning, and I drink plain old iced water during the rest of the day. This has saved me money and I've noticed a physical difference, but that's a post for another time.
-Opinion Outpost. Some random YouTube video I was watching suggested Opinion Outpost as an easy way to make some cash, and so far it seems pretty legit. I've been doing these surveys here and there for about two weeks and I've ALMOST gotten $10! I kind of want to laugh at that, but $10 is $10! I have a referral code for this, as well. Here you go.
-I started making all of our food at home. Now for breakfast Keith gets overnight oats and I get either a pack of cranberry flaxseed oatmeal with blueberries or banana (although tomorrow I'm trying cottage cheese instead of oatmeal), I make us each a big filling salad for lunch, and then for dinner it's either another salad, a sandwich, some eggs, a chicken and veggie meal, or burritos. So far we've only eaten out twice, and that was after church both times. Hey, we'd made it to church, we deserved a reward! But eating at home is a huge saver. I like that it kind of forces me to come up with things that will work for a meal. And I know that pretty much whatever I make I will eat, and if Keith doesn't like it he will find something else.
-I became a quitter. I quit hulu. I quit my bank because they charged me a monthly service fee of $12 and I thought that was bogus. I quit paying for the karaoke app that I NEVER EVEN USE. I'm just trying to quit things all over the place.
-I've been seeking out new ways to monetize my blog, but that's hard since most of my family doesn't know it exists. I'm too afraid to post about it on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. It's just my silly blog that I've had for 3 years and I don't really want them reading it. I will literally tell strangers on the internet everything about me but I don't want my family to know that I tell strangers on the internet things about me. Or that these "strangers" and I visit each other and have multiple times. Anyway, all of that was to say that I'm keeping an eye out for sponsorships, collaborations, pretty much anything. So throw it at me!
-Staring at my savings account. When I look at my savings and see the number go up slightly every month I get really excited and I don't want to spend any of it. Plus, Keith and I are in the very beginning stages of planning a trip to Italy and the surrounding areas this fall and I want to save allllll my pennies for gelato and wine!!
-Winning the lottery. This isn't so much a strategy that I've actually implemented, but it like, really sounds like it would be helpful.
What do you think? Would you adjust anything? Can you add anything?