Monday, January 21, 2019

Deep Thoughts: Why I'm Not Tidying Up with Marie Kondo

Are you busy tidying up and folding clothes and deciding if things give you joy? I feel like I'm being part of the crowd right now, but I'm not taking part in the craze. There are multiple reasons why I'm not. 

One reason is I am somewhat of a maximalist. When I love something I really love it. I collect coffee table books, earrings, and apparently lipgloss. When I love something I love it hard! I find that there are a few things that give me so much joy I go all in. 

But I also try and go for quality when I buy these days. And I try and buy carefully which I hope leads to less need for a big clean out. Though I love trying new things, I tend to be fairly brand loyal leading to no need for excess. 

There are some things I learned when I read her book some time ago. Steve and I went thru all our paperwork and weeded out so much that wasn't needed. We looked at the girls' artwork and schoolwork with them and decided what to keep. And we went thru a bunch of our old photos to cull them down to the important ones. 

We are such regulars at the thrift stores that it feels normal to keep a bag always on hand for items to take in for donation. I usually feel like it's reasonable to donate a pair of shoes if I bring a new pair in. And clothing is something that I try to keep to a reasonable amount. I think it's okay to have things that you are really attached to, and things that come and go. As long as there is a balance of course. I guess you could call me maximalist with minimalist leanings! 

What do you think? Do you find it easy to purge? Do you deal with your possessions in a different more novel way? I would love to hear your method! 

Monday, January 14, 2019

Field Trip: Goodwill Outlet Seattle

 Have you seen the video Thriftshop by Macklemore? It was the first time I had seen the Goodwill Outlet in action and it made me curious. (and it may play in my mind when I'm thrifting) I have always loved the thrill of the hunt associated with thrifting, and this just seemed next level. I read up on other peoples experiences with an outlet and it doubled the curiosity. There were great finds, unusual finds, and just plain crazy experiences. It sounded like something I wanted to try. 

 Steve also decided that he was interested and it turned into a family day at the Goodwill Seattle Outlet. Our girls are gifted at finding cool things, Kate especially so. They both have their own style and know what they are looking for. They were ready to dive in and find the cool stuff. 

 Digging thru bins of thrift store clothing can be dirty work. Sam opted to wear gloves, and I saw some people there face masks. I was good with a good swipe with a baby wipe after. This place is huge, and there are a lot of bins to dig thru. There are major amounts of bins out in lines. And bins come out of the back all the time. 

We stuck to the bins full of clothing and shoes, though there are all kinds of things to be found. I picked up a huge dinosaur robot, but as it wasn't working I put it back. Kate found multiple pairs of shoes and we found tons of clothes and a blanket that we will keep in Steve's car for road trips. 

The pricing is by pounds and is weighed out when you check out. There are bags available but I think in the future we will bring our own...maybe even a big IKEA bag that we used to move Sam into school. It was crazy just how much we decided to buy, even after going thru our cart and putting stuff bag. Even crazier was what we brought home! 

Sam found this cute jumpsuit that is going to be so much fun when the weather turns. Kate brought home three pairs of shoes, there were numerous tee shirts and sweaters. 

The shoes I'm wearing are from the Outlet. Nine West booties that I'm guessing cost less than $5. And they look brand new. Our total for a cartful of loot? $44.32, and day of entertainment. What do you think? Is this something you would try doing? I'm excited for our next visit and curious what the find of the day will be. What would you expect to find? 

Monday, January 7, 2019

Deep Thoughts : Fresh Slate

How are you this New Year? Are you a resolution type person? I have to admit I have never really been about them. They just seem like another way to beat myself up if I fail again. And it seems there are very few resolutions that I tend to keep. 

There are however, some ways that others have been approaching this clean slate of a new year that I find intriguing. The first one was having a theme. Maybe the theme is to be fearless in most things. Maybe it's being gentle with yourself. Or maybe it's about making relationships priority. I love that this is a guiding principle that helps you with all your choices during the year, while giving you room to fail. 

Another way that some approach things is with a word of the year. This can be another guiding principle that gives you room to fail, but also guides one choices. I have done this in the past, with various results. I have chosen words that suggest taking more chances, and others that are related to motivation. They've both been helpful. 

But a friend posted something that really resonates with me this year. She just said "less." I've modified this for myself for the year. And in my mind that means this:

less comparison, more contentment
less striving, more doing
less business, more action
less mindless eating, more satisfaction
less mindless scrolling, more connection
less stuff, more meaning
less mindless aggravation, more movement
less detachment, more love

Thats what I'm considering this year. I'm hoping it will give me some direction in how I approach this clean slate. I get excited about it every year, and I hope that this year the drive to do things well will last. Do you have resolutions, a word or anything that you use to give your new year shape? I  would love to hear how others approach the year! 

(ps. All these photos were taken at Electric Beet Juice, a delicious local restaurant that has an array of healthy salads, sandwiches and smoothies!) 

Monday, November 5, 2018

Field Trip: Star A-Frame Tiny Cabin, Cedar Bloom, OR

On our recent road trip to the California Redwoods and back up the Oregon coast Steve and I had a few special nights planned. We planned to spend a couple of nights camping in his car, then a few nights in some funky spots.  One we were really excited about was in Cave Junction, Oregon with hipcamp

Steve found these incredible little cabins when planning for the trip.  Tiny little A-frame cabins with twin beds and with a roof that tilts up to form an awning.The Star A-Frame Tiny Cabin is located in Cave Junction, Oregon, a little town near the Redwoods. We loved how sweet and snuggly they looked and looked forward to something that seemed a little adventurous. 

We knew we were traveling in the off season so we expected that the many cabins,yurts and tent spots onsite might be vacant. What we didn't expect was to be the only ones there...on 100 acres. We were met by one of the hosts who explained the amenities, then left to our own devices. We hung out in the cabins for a while, enjoying the quiet then took a walk to the river. 

After dinner in town we were back at the cabin snuggled under comforters and woolly blankets enjoying the view of the stars thru the wall. We stayed warm even when the temperature dropped. And though I had to make a bathroom run to the composting toilet it was an easy walk from our cabin. 

The next morning Steve and I had time to relax and enjoy the cabin. Steve ran to get us coffee from Dutch Brothers and we spent time just hanging in bed with the awning up. Then we spent some time in the sauna, before showering in the gorgeous outdoor shower that overlooked the river. 

The only company we had the entire time were there was the two cats that live there. They followed us around everywhere, including the shower! 

Have you tried hipcamp? They have such a huge array of camping options, from tents to cabins to more unusual experiences. I love quick getaways in the Fall and Winter so we are bookmarking cabins as options for the future. If you are interested in trying them, you are welcome to use my code, TAMMYTHIELE to receive ten dollars off.  And let me know what you think! 

Monday, September 24, 2018

Deep Thoughts: Sunday Drives with Steve

 Today Steve and I decided to head down to Mt. Vernon and check out the Valley Made Market and do some goofing around. One of my favorite people, Kari of Render Skincare told us about it so we headed out. 

What started as one stop turned into many, which is what made today magical. We used to drive through this area more when Steve's Mom lived in Oak Harbor and a friend had a cabin in the area. Now it seems we don't get to explore there enough.

Today though we made it a point to stop at little stands on the side of the road. We enjoyed the drive thru the farmlands and the autumn color. We took time to talk and talk and talk. 

 We realized that this is our life now. This freedom to head out the door at will. To stop where we want and eat what we feel like. It feels almost like it did when we were newly married. And it feels good! We worked to make sure that we gave our marriage attention even with the girls at home. We are glad to say that we like each other and are excited for this time together. It feels crazy to say that we saw a movie, went to two markets, went out to drinks and dinner, and still got some things done around here. We feel energized and ready to make some changes. 

This doesn't mean we don't miss Sam. We talk to her daily and are gathering the next bunch of things to send to her at school. It just means we are doing our thing and enjoying it. It means we are happy that we worked to make sure we would be interested in one another when the girls moved out. I'm hoping this feeling lasts, as we are planning a road trip in October which will mean a lot of time together, and some tests (hello trying to give a guy directions!) And though I joked with Steve about our new demographic if we were taking Sunday drives, I think I could really learn to enjoy them. 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Deep Thoughts: Ch-ch-changes

Well it finally happened. This past weekend we took Samantha to Central Washington University to start her new life as a college student. It was an easy transition, and a really hard one. Getting on the road was the easy part as she is a pretty organized person. And she didn't balk at me too much for making a vinyl at work to announce our road trip. We figured all we could do to mark the occasion would make it fun. 

The ease was due in part to a facebook board for CWU parents where someone had the suggestion to buy IKEA zipper bags for transferring stuff. They were a huge help in packing and I know they will come in handy when Sam is bringing dirty laundry home! We also brought a bag of treats for the helpers we knew would be helping us unpack and move all her stuff. This is about when I think everything became real for all of us. The nerves hit and all the worries started including wondering if she was bringing too much stuff. 

 As a freshman she had the bonus of having 'movers & shakers' who came to the car in the line up and unloaded everything! We didn't touch a box. They took everything to her room  so all we had to do was check in and get a room key. It's such a smooth process which really helped since this is when the nerves really kicked in. Once all the boxes are in you just get down to it and unpack. Oh, and meet the roommate and realize this is your new "home."

It wasn't until the next day when we were about to leave that emotions really hit. This is when things became hard. There were lots and lots of tears and questions. It's hard watching your kid struggle, especially when you know they are doing the right thing. We just comforted her the best we could. There are two pieces of advice that I left her with and I have to say Steve and I are applying them to ourselves as well. 

The first is to be vulnerable. I often find other people will share with me once I start the conversation. She will definitely not be the only one fighting homesickness or struggling with this new normal. And talking about it can only make it feel easier. 

The second is to take it one day at a time. Thankfully CWU has a program where there are a lot of mandatory sessions freshman have to attend and a lot of fun things they can choose to. So far she has taken part in a color rave (where they basically spray paint on you while you dance!), attended a volleyball game, and is on a dodgeball team! 

The surprise has been Steve's response. He has been hit hard by her being gone, and is a bit off his game. I have been doing okay so far, but I know it will really hit me in the coming weeks. I have been fortunate to have great friends checking in, and will make sure to take my own advice and take things one day at a time. And soon enough this will feel like our new normal. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Deep Thoughts: Tracking Time

I know it's been quiet around here. I have been trying to figure out what to say about what has been going on. It's been a little bit of preparing, a little big of goofing around, a little bit of crying. Sam moves to college in two weeks and it's starting to feel real, yet still feel dreamlike. 

We've spent the summer trying to fit all the fun things in...swimming in the lake, visiting Seattle, hitting IKEA for random little things, and spending as much time together as a family as possible. 

And I thought it would be the big things that would be memorable. I thought I would be telling you it was the evening spent at the drive in that was amazing. Or the day Sam and I spent in Seattle at a Korea Beauty pop up. But it's actually been the in between times that have stuck in my mind. It's been listening to Sam and Kate talking and laughing upstairs. It's been random times in the car, all of us chatting and talking together. A spontaneous breakfast, or a random time of us all sitting together sharing a funny youtube video or story. 

I have been trying to stay fully present in the moment and stave off the sadness that I know is on the fringes. It seems that Steve and I have wandered thru parenthood making it up as we go along. We have no idea what things will look like going forward. Yes, I am really excited for Sam and all that college will mean to her. I am at the same time mourning a moment in our family that is coming to an end, much as I mourned the moment we realized our time of having babies was over. They are all too quick, these moments. 

So I try and stay present and let the emotions roll thru me. And if I'm quiet in this space it's because I am trying to get my bearings. I will be back. Steve and I have some adventures planned and I will talk about what life looks like when I have the words for it. In the meantime you will find me soaking up the good stuff and the last of summer.