Thursday, December 31, 2015

An Aspiring Artist Working at Old Navy-- And All The Positive It Brings

Today, I left work angry and upset. Which is particularly disheartening on a day where I came in feeling powerful, positive, excited for work, and proud of my sunshine attitude. Unfortunately, I left feeling picked on, negative, and downtrodden-- in addition to feeling anxious over the idea of the extra shift I picked up for tomorrow. 

Moreover, I come home to see so many of my hooper friends talking about #OldNavy, and how #ON has lost business from them due to a toddler's T-shirt (you can read about that here).

In the face of so much negativity, I want to take the time to go over the positive I have experienced working there the last several years. Since my original hire date, in November 2011, I have had my up and down days, like with any job, but overall I have had so much overwhelming gratitude for my job at Old Navy.

I have been supported as a #hulahooper, and aspiring artist. I have been coached, trained, and strengthen to be an above average valued asset. I've worked and continue to work with some of the most amazing people I have ever met.

I feel poorly that so many of my #flowartist #friends have decided to discontinue shopping there. I understand, however, I also feel compelled to mention I have seen several different retail shops make poor decisions when it comes to their designs on T-shirts and/or overall marketing. I've never worked at some of those places I have in mind (Target, WalMart, Children's Place, Claire's, etc), I do currently work for #GAP, Inc and more specifically Old Navy, and I love it.

I live in a place where the current #minimumwage is $7.25 an hour. I am paid above that, even though I am technically only an associate. It is my #experience that Old Navy takes care of their employees-- especially the #employees planning on making ON a #career. The #Utah Market in particular are #wonderful at being #supportive of their workers' outside endeavors. I've worked Active Sales Events #HoopDancing. I've maintained a #consistent, yet #flexible schedule allowing me to attend paying gigs, go to #hoop #classes, and attend #HoopCamp

A video I made over the course of 30 days, including scenes of me hooping at ON

Not only has Old Navy been ideal for me as a hula hooper-- valuing my off time, and being alright with me hooping on my breaks at #work, but it has been a #tremendous source of in my pursuits of #healthy #choices.

It's in that #spirit I've been inspired to try and write out #goals, #affirmations, #inspiring #quotes, and I even put up 2016's Friends Calendar, because I do have the current ideal work situation, and I feel genuiely #blessed to be able to work for a company for so long that continues to show me support as I pursue all my goals; in the hoop, in my career, in my personal life, health-wise and as an artist.  

I've been reading these daily. 
These are my resolutions, of sorts. I also want to learn to do a headstand. Like every year.
This year's Friends calendar. I love it! 
This month's personal goals. I need to go over to Jess' and pick out a book to read. 
Some oldies, but some #goodies
I guess, the point of this entry is to say, as I go into this New Year, I am so grateful for a job I love. It provides me #independence, #autonomy, #worth, #support, and a #bombdotcom discount.

Anywhoo, outside of work, and gearing up for a new #January, I am #celebrating the fact that the days are getting longer. We are still loving being in the new apartment. Whoot for day 8. And, slowly but surely, I have #faith that 2016 will be a great #NewYear.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Turning the Mundane into Something Extraordinary

Before leaving Oregon in mid-October we had got our names on the low-income housing lists in Eugene and Corvallis. When we arrived in Salt Lake City we did the same. We were told there was a 14-month waiting list for Eugene, a two-year waiting list in Corvallis, and Salt Lake told us 8 months.

So, great, fantastic, joyful news!

It looks like we found ourselves a new home (apartment) in Bountiful. It is an income restricted location, that is pet-friendly, clean, the same distance to my Old Navy from our current distance, a five-minute drive from Jess' house (a 2.1 mile walk is what google tells me), and a few minutes away from Mum-mum too.

I've spent the last two weeks up to my eyeballs doing paperwork, feeling grumpy and resentful at work, feeling overly tired while at Noni's, and the only time I've felt normal has been while at The Compound partaking in normal family routine. But, yesterday, I got a call confirming a time to pickup my keys to a recently available place, and setting up a time for me to come in to finishing signing my short-term lease.

I am giving myself permission to be happy and excited.

I am so excited for a million reasons. I think above all, because it'll be a better, healthier fit for Bradford, the cats, and I. I keep thinking about the last time I had a year as rough as 2015 has been, and how the proximity to The Compound really helped play a role in dynamic, healthy changes-- at the very least adding a different level of family support to our lives won't hurt in the least.

Since finding out the good news, things have moved pretty quickly-- Jess and Ian are gifting us some well-loved furniture, and I already have grandiose plans of staining/painting everything given to me. Our friend, Jamie, gifted us a glider and matching gliding ottoman, along with a blow-up mattress, some towels, and a padded ottoman that lids lift up (giving us a proper shoe area). I love the idea of getting old closet doors at the Habitat For Humanity Repurpose Store to turn into room dividers with some chalk-board paint. And, Ian and I both have Wednesday the 23rd off, the day I also get my apartment keys!

It's a small one-bedroom, however it is my hopes that we are able to create a safe, good space for us to better understand and get a grasp on our future plans. I want to continue on with Old Navy, hula hoop, and live my life as we decide what our next steps will be. I want to start walking/jogging again. I want to have a closer relationship with the Littles, and my best friend. I want to know that no matter what our future plan are we are spending out time here to the best of our ability.

I am sick of hating everything constantly, and ready to refocus on the good in my life, by being closer to the good in my life.

In the meantime, Bradford and I have been studying German in our spare time, and we have plans to do a self-lead math course together once we are in our new place. We've both been working, opposite schedules, but still manage to spend time together during the days' lulls. I've been reading on budgeting, accepting help when offered (for example, our friend, Geneva, gifted us an amazing food basket that we couldn't be more grateful for), and really enjoying studying with Bradford, and really look forward to creating a work space for us to continue learning together in our spare time.

Jess has been a phenomenal source of support, and help. I honestly feel so grateful for the reprieve her household gives me, and feel like I wish I was there more often, and I am excited that soon in my apartment that will be possible! She's also helped us get the basic things we'll need to survive in an apartment sans our things still in storage in Oregon.

I am so grateful things aren't feeling stagnant anymore, and that happier things are on the horizon. Though, I am still looking forward to the day I get to go home to Oregon.

By the way, here is a list of things that may help us out (people have asked).
House Stuff We Need That Would Help Us Out Like Whoa:
A borrowed working vacuum (a $40 expense we can't do at the moment)
Paper Towels
Happy Thoughts
Food basics upon move-in

Also, these pictures have been sitting in my drafts for months. And, I want to share them. They're, if anything else, great summer memories.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

I want my mommy.

There have been several times in the last five years I have grieved heavily over not having a relationship with my momma. Our relationship was never healthy.

It has hurt, and at times been impossible. Today, has been an accumulated amount of shit that keeps crashing down. One thing after another; boom, boom, boom. And, had she not have passed away this April I would have caved and called today.

As my chest heaves trying to catch my breath I keep thinking about her smell, and how regardless of my age (and my size) she would hold me at times as she soothed me with her words.

My mom knew how to stop a panic attack in me.

My momma did a lot of things wrong in her mental illness, and not many people knew her like her children did-- and, still loved her anyways.

She once told me that when she couldn't coach herself through a panic attack that she was having while at Dr. Schaeffer's office (Rod), and as she couldn't catch her breath he told her; "think about the first time you held Sarah." She said it was like really breathing for the first time as the air finally reached her lungs.

Today, I've been reminded several times why Utah is rough as shit for me (air quality, bad drivers, etc), I have been reminded of my back to back pregnancy losses, which in turn reminded me of all of my pregnancy losses, I felt guilty all day thinking of the things I missed with the Littles in my absence, I have felt guiltier wishing I was present this last year for Jess, I screamed at a complete stranger after being told that I wouldn't get paid until Monday (which my store will fix tomorrow, bless them), I have a lapse in my SNAP benefits (which is detrimental at this time), I have 77 cents to my name, and have for the last two weeks (outside of spending $20 on the babies, we continue to play catch up as we dig ourselves out of this hole), my storage unit has a lock on it by now, I haven't paid our car insurance, and outside the money Jess and Ian have given us we've had no gas money, and I keep worrying about when I finally will run into Marc (fuck you, Small Lake City) and the poor reaction I'll have after some of the scary things he said to Jess last year...not to mention the deep guilt I feel for ever having him around the kids.

I know and feel the positive things in my life. I am grateful for that. That doesn't change any of my other feelings today, and it doesn't change that I just want my mommy. I miss and want my mom. I want someone who knows me; the person who not only grew my physical body inside of her, but my soul as well, to tell me everything will be alright.

My mom and Cash shouldn't have left me at 46 and 49. And, I'd call my Dad, but it doesn't feel the same right now, because I hate feeling like a failure when I reach out to him (plus, honestly, I don't know where he's working this week)...I just don't want to be his 31 year old cry-baby. I love my dad, but I just want my mommy.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Wow, you have your own apartment? Yeah, it's probably nicer than my room at the Y.


This is my first post since the beginning of August. It's like every time I went to update we spiraled more, and there just never was a good time. Things are still rough, and up in the air, but that strengthens my love for being back at Old Navy Sugarhouse.

It is really hard being back in Utah, and if it's at all possible, Bradford hates it more than I do. However, I love my job, we have our cats, and we have a roof over our head. Things are hard, but we'll survive-- like we have been since April.

I wish I could say something more inspirational, or positive, but honestly the reality of the situation is exactly what I have already stated.

Anyways, I have other things I can update about: my sister, Amanda, is awful to me, I visited my parents at the end of August/the beginning of September (I did not care for my experience of South Carolina in the least), we did not have a Thanksgiving, we will not be celebrating Christmas this year, and my Facebook is deactivated until I can get my head on straight-- as it's that time of year that people become too much, and I can no longer handle social media.

Honestly, the only thing positive in my life, outside of Bradford, Schrodinger, and Gabriel, are seeing Jess regularly and being back with the Littles.

I feel like I should apologize for not having more to offer this blog entry, other than a slice of truth.

We aren't Mountain people, or big city folk.

We are Pacific Ocean and deep green Rain-forests. We are Bi Mart folk, and rain worshipers. We are quiet people that like to stay home, learn on our own, and cook good foods. And, we are without all those things. We are without a home (though we have a place to stay). We cannot afford good foods. I miss the ocean everyday, and Bradford misses the Oregon quiet.

And, that's what hurts the most for me-- Bradford. Bradford is working at Old Navy too. We are trying to keep afloat, but where I have the kids, Jess, and Ian-- he literally has nothing outside of me and the cats. He tries to hard to keep me happy, doing the laundry, the housework, and being a pillar of support as we guide ourselves through the madness that is extreme poverty, but at times we see no end, and that can be tough.

It can be suffocating.
We feel like we are suffocating.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A Bad Prick

I received an e-mail from a friend on Facebook the other day, essentially asking me; "do things get better?"

The question was in regards to ending a long-term relationship. And, honestly everything I could think of to say sounded cliche and trite.

So, I was honest. Regardless of how a relationship ended, or how you feel about the person with whom you are ending things with-- there will be mourning. And, with mourning that means there are good days, and bad days.

After said conversation through Facebook messenger I talked to Bradford about a lot of truths I have recently came to face. Bradford listened to me as I explained the reasons I stayed with Marc for so long, and listened to the list of fears I had over ending my relationship with him.

I think if it were any other person other than Bradford I would have felt self-conscience as I explained some of the conclusions I had drawn after meditating on it for a while. I explained how even though I had noticed big signs six months into our journey together that said relationship with Marc wouldn't workout, followed up by bigger things after a year of dating, followed up by one break-up, and boom, its four years later, and we've had a couple failed pregnancies...and, then there was no where else to go because our course had sailed so roughly.

But, why did I stay?

Yes, I cared for Marc, there is no denying that, but the caring feelings I had for him stemmed from our initial three months of online dating (prior to our 4 year relationship we had chatted online from April until July)-- I think I stayed, because even though so many things did not fit well for us (not to mention the monstrous and dangerous things he told my best friend about his mental illness), staying with Marc meant a certain level of security-- a home and financial security.

It sounds so shallow and awful to write even now, but it's the only thing I can think of as to why I would stay in such a relationship. And, being with me for Marc meant that he had a live-in someone who would take care of him-- which, is honestly necessary depending on his mental state.

And, I can honestly say that since I left Marc, all the fears I've had over leaving him, have come true.

However, I am alive, and I am surviving.

Sometimes, things are so hard all I can do is cry, and cry. Other times, things seem manageable. But, there is no denying that I am living in poverty.

Facebook does this thing where it shows daily memories of past posts on each day-- I am being reminded daily of what I felt was my hey day-- and, it does hurt seeing how different things are, and how far life has taken me.

In the one hand, I get to see how far I've come in the last year since moving to Oregon from Utah, in the other I went from working part time at Old Navy, getting a discount on my clothes, working full-time at the salon, living with Jess and Ian, having my Mondays with the kids, owning a home/queen of Primrose Cottage, having my own garden, being the healthiest I've ever been in my entire life, getting massaged monthly, and doing other things to care for myself, as I continued to pay off my student loan that was in deferment, and having very few worries.

To now I have been donating my plasma in a weak attempt to stay afloat. I have asked my work to give me more hours, but my hours still vary and are unsteady, and even though I am searching for a new/better and/or second job I am finding it difficult to do much with a bike that needs a tune-up, and our car that is on it's way out (our vehicle is in need of some much needed repairs).

In the meantime, every month we struggle to pay our rent, we are constantly $300 behind on our bills...and, even though Bradford has been selling off valuables, and I get paid the 15th and the last day of the month-- what really saved us last week was us donating plasma together. We earned $330 by donating fluids last week.

I feel like I should mention now that if you look into how much plasma is worth-- it will make you sick to find out how little one is paid in comparison to it's worth. That's why it is a donation, regardless of getting cash.

This week we've made $60 so far, and if I am well enough to donate again this week we will get another $80. Unfortunately, yesterday I had my first bad prick. My arms, both of them, are limp like spaghetti. I found out that my  hematocrit is low, and I may not be eligible to donate for a week or two until I am healthy enough.

And, I am not going to lie it's been very strange donating plasma to earn funds to pay my bills, on top of selling stuff, trading, collecting cans (in Oregon you get 5¢ on can and bottle returns) for returns, pimping hoops and classes, picking tons and tons of blackberries and making loads of freezer jam (for ourselves, and trades), and I fortunately landed a gig tomorrow working as fire safety for a fire performer at an old folks' home, but we also need to make the plasma donations to keep us floating.

It's weird, because you are doing something that allows others access to life saving medicine, but you're doing so in a clinic that sometimes feels a little sketch among every sort of type of person; school teacher looking for extra weekly funds, to Eugene street person who hasn't used deodorant in a long while.

After your first visit (which takes hours, and includes a relatively thorough physical) you enter yourself into the registry to donate upon arriving at the center, you are then given a brief health screening to make sure you're healthy enough to donate, and then you're set off into a room with these beds, and whirling machines, as the some random movie plays on screens above the beds (usually Armageddon).

This week's first donation was a bad prick. A girl named Sarah poked me in such a way that the entire time my donation was going on my arm was throbbing-- the machine whirls and an automatic tourniquet tightens as the blood is pumped out of you. During this time you're instructed to pump your fist continually to quicken the draw time. And, then you hear your plasma heat the empty bottle in a weird, sickening tinkling noise. After about fifteen minutes the tourniquet loosens it's grip, you can stop pumping your fist, and your blood is slowly returned into your vein and IV blood thinners to keep your blood flowing until you're completely done giving the amount to donate.

My donations always take about minutes. Bradford's always takes about 1:15 to 1:30.

Afterwards, you're drained, hungry, tired. The hardest part for both Bradford and I is afterwards when you have to wait five minutes and drink down a Powerade. We aren't big on sugary drinks, and this is particularly awful, as you can't leave until they see an empty Powerade bottle.

We are always freezing afterwards, we now plan what our after donation meals will be-- making things easy at home, and giving us an excuse to eat food we normally wouldn't be able to get, but we put a portion of our money earned towards food. And, we've been really good about sleeping, vitamins, and eating well.

It's thanks to our donating that we've been able to put gas in our car, brake fluid in it, buy razors, pads, shampoo, toilet paper, paper towels, ziplocs, and other non-food related grocery things (like new tooth brushes!).

We are fortunate, because we have access to assistance through FOOD for Lane County, and DHS-- today Bradford attended a class and was given a $30 gas card for showing up. Every time we do something new to try and better our situation we ask the people in charge what we can do to help ourselves out. We are not shy about our situation, and refuse to feel less than anyone else, as we try to regain our footing.

We take everyone's advice, and try to apply it when able. We take any person's help that offers, because we honestly need the help.

My whole point? I know that if I had stayed in Utah, and if I had stayed in my relationship with Marc-- I most likely wouldn't be going through a lot of this. It's an unfortunate truth that even though money doesn't buy happiness it does buy hygiene supplies, allows you the freedom to be more than a slave to living paycheck to paycheck, and it does provide a lot of comforts.

People with money get to pick their own meals, unlike us, and can afford organic, good, and local foods.

If I had stayed I would be unhappy in my heart, and there are a lot of hard draw backs about being back in Oregon.

I would still choose to leave Marc. I would still choose to move to Oregon. I would still choose to be Bradford's best friend. I would even choose yesterday's bad prick.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Booty Swing

Today is better than yesterday, but that's not really saying much.

I am feeling as optimistic as I can, however I am having the type of anxiety where I am battling back panic attacks constantly. Work ended up being a great thing, because we were incredibly busy, and keeping busy kept me outta my head, and present, however this morning I woke up and I already felt close to tears, and the idea of leaving the house was daunting, and difficult.

I am grateful that Bradford has been around, especially the last two days-- his calming presence matched with being ready with open arms for hugs, and yesterday, when I had two bawling break-downs he was there to listen to me sob, and reassure me while I was momentarily broken.

Adding to my hysteria has been this added sadness of really missing my mom. My step-mom has been upset with me, so even though I am really excited for my upcoming trip to visit my parents I have felt awful distance. So, I feel lonely, sad, and I am missing my mom. 95 days since she passed away, and it's still a fresh wound.

Honestly we're both down-- he's doing better than me at the moment, but he too has been struggling for a while. I think currently he's Mr. No Personality due to him being on day two of being covered in hives (he's having a severe allergic reaction), other than that he's been my support; we volunteered this week at the Lane County Fair, we both donated plasma together, he's been transcribing documents online as a way to try and generate income, and we've been applying to jobs and aid like crazy.

Moreover, we've been lucky enough to do some trades with friends to keep ourselves a little a float, we sold a couple of Bradford's things (and now can make rent), we are donating plasma again in the morning (which should take care of our phones, and comcast), I get paid on the last day of the month, we both have SNAP benefits (finally), we chose to forgo assistance from FOOD for Lane County for July (we thought we were okay, and felt like we should receive a food box unless in need) but will be getting one for August, and our friends are able to give us $20 for babysitting the other day.

We are doing everything we can, but I am close to saying the hell with all of this, and asking Colbi and Brett if we can stay with them until we can afford to move again. It would be cramped, and full of animals, and we would need to put almost all of our things in storage, but then we might have a chance in the next few months to get ourselves situated.

I dunno.

I do know that I am lucky that yesterday when Skye and Keith were picking Juliet up after a day with her I was fortunate enough to spend some time talking to them-- it grounded me, and made me feel less like a complete failure of a human being. And, Stephanie also came by yesterday, and that helped too.

I guess the meaning behind this post is really nothing than a moment to say we are trying, and working, and hopefully soon things will get better, and until then if you see me and I seem drained, tired, stressed, sick-- it's because things are stormy, and I feel weathered.

Anyways, I am hoping to be posting something other then a pile of sadness. Maybe in the next week, or two I'll have some new recipes to share. And, pictures.

And, hopefully the next time I post I'll have the good news of Bradford and I both finding amazing employment, or something. Fingers crossed.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Three Months. Just rough.

Everyone, please send me positive, strong Find-A-New-Job vibes for Corvallis.

It's not a secret that we lost our main source of income back at the beginning of April, since then Brad has sent out well over 300 application (we keep a running list), we didn't receive a denial about unemployment until June, Brad was JUST NOW able to get on SNAP, because there's been some note on his application, because he applied for Unemployment benefits.

We are on a waiting list for pretty much every single low-income assistance that is out there.

I love my current job, however this week I was scheduled only 10 hours-- I requested that I be off work by 1:30 on Wednesday (the time I am normally off) because I was working a volunteer shift at the fair. I requested Saturday off so I could babysit. Other than that, open availability. 10 hours.

And, I am just so tired. Tired of selling anything of value online (seriously, people suck most of the time and I don't want to work fucking retail on my off time). Tired of having my Facebook turned off every few hours to ensure my identity, because of selling my valuables online. Tired of having 40+ hours open availability and constantly getting less than 20. Tired of not being able to market my personal business the way I would like, or be able to schedule private lessons, because my schedule is NEVER finished remotely close to being on time (seriously if the week starts on Monday, I shouldn't be getting my schedule on Monday).

Yesterday, we spent well over 4 hours at the plasma donation center, because while we are waiting for energy assistance we got a shut off notice, so we sold our precious fluids just to keep our lights the meantime, every month since Brad has lost his job we've barely make rent-- depleting our savings for moving, selling my services and Hoops lower than they are worth just to get by, asking to be cross-trained at the restaurant to get more hours...and, I got my paperwork for the reproduction endocrinologist-- there's a $579 deposit due at the beginning of my appointment.

So, it would be dandy if Brad and I both got a decent job in Corvallis so Brad can finish his undergraduate work (Bradford took this last year off from school to become an in-state resident so he would no longer have to out-of-state tuition).

It's been a particularly rough three months. Dealing with this, dealing with the emotions that go along with my mother's passing, dealing with a partner that's depressed. Just rough.

Monday, July 20, 2015

'It's Part Of the Noise When Winter Comes It Reverberates In My Lungs' -- A Quick List of My Favorite Hula Hooping Videos

I have been meaning to put together a short list of my favorite hooping videos, which, as it turns out is harder to do than one would think. 


Mostly this is steaming from a need to dead-head an issue I encounter with a lot of newbie hoopers,and students which is often times we get this idea in our head of how hooping should look, and we try to mimic that. 

Flow is a state of complete immersion into an activity. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi says;"(flow is) being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follow from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you're using your skills to the utmost."

I have read different ways to encourage flow in others (that's a different topic on it's own), however often times newbie hoopers are not 
committed to finding their own flow, that there is a certain amount of expectation that someone else will come along and drop flow inside of them, and magically they're hooping like Anah, Rachael, or Christabel. The truth is, not all of us are going to wake up one day and have Brecken's masterful isolations down, or be as bold as Emma, have Baxter's balance (or blindfolded meditation down).

Hooping is moving meditation, and flow looks different for everyone, and when you're a newbie, or just interested in hooping it's a good idea to try and watch different kinds of hoopers-- doing this taught me early on in my hoop path, that I am never going to hoop like anyone else but me. I will never hoop like Gail, because I am Sari. 

That being said, here are some of my favorite videos showcasing different types of flow...

I actually don't know this girl. Her Youtube username is hadriabeth. I first found this hooping video when I was just becoming comfortable with my own newly found title of 'Hooper.' Today, it remains to be one of my favorites for a variety of reasons. She is using a "bigger" hoop, she is moving, she is having fun! This is a single shot frame, in a grassy area. She's not performing to perform-- she is dancing, and spinning art in the front of her apartments. To me, this is often times what hooping really looks like. Bomb music (she is dancing to Love Today by Mika), moving, smiling-- really not giving a damn except #hooplove.

I do not know this hooper either-- her username is victoria989 on youtube. I discovered this video a few years ago while making my entry for the Curvy Hoopers Video Challenge 2012. This video is actually what inspired me to try a slower flow for my own personal entry. This entire video gives me a man-crush; I love her flow, clean lines, and thoughtful movement. I love that this video isn't "perfect," but somehow always comes across as perfect to me. Matched with music by Pretty Lights it is sexy without being overtly sexual, and every time I watch it I can't help thinking of how strong, and beautiful the dancer looks.

I had the pleasure of meeting Matthias Elliot a couple of years ago at HoopCamp, and have been Facebook friends with him a little while longer. However, before Hoop Camp 2013 there was this awesome video, and it remains to be one of my favorites, because it is silly, it is full of body love (because you can't be shy and wear that and dance, right?), and I often share it with my male clients starting out, because Hooping IS f#$%ing Manly. 
I love Olive photobombing in the background on the Cyr Wheel at HC13': Matthias and I.

This is Nakotah LaRance my interaction with him online have given me the impression that he is a goofy, sweet guy. And, this is actually a music video that Nakotah was featured in for The Knocks & Fred Falke's song, Geronimo. I don't think there is a hooper I know that doesn't consider this a hooping video, honestly, because it is so bomb dot com. Hoop Dancing doesn't actually begin until about 1:40 into the video, and once six time World Champion Hoop Dancer, Nakotah LaRance starts to put his own spin on traditional Native American Hoop Dance it is a spiritual experience. 

Jessica Sparrow, was the first person to introduce me to the idea of "hoop space" it's because of her area (in this video) that she had deliberately cleared for hoop dance that my living room in Salt Lake City was left empty for hooping. It's a beautiful example of simplicity in flow being breath-taking. And, I love all of her deliberate movement. 

I shared this video with Jess several years ago, and she immediately pinned it in one of her boards on Pintrest. This is Leslie Loges, and I think the reason this video is one of my favorites is summed up simply by Leslie's smile at 1:45 into this video. This entire video always makes me smile, each time I watch it, but at 1:45 Leslie's grin is a reminder to me why I hula hoop. That smile is pure joy and love-- it's the feeling you get when you find your flow. It's impossible to feel sad when you're hula hooping, and this is always a reminder of that sentiment. 

This is me. Sari, or Sarah if you're a purist, of Buckleberry Hoops (hey my actual web-site is coming, bitches). This is a new favorite, and I feel silly adding it to this list, but for personal reasons it is a favorite. I love the work that Skye and Keith of Radiance Photographics put into it. I love that even though it's been well-over a year between this hooping video and my last one, I still had the courage to make it. Hooping makes me feel more comfortable in my body. It makes me feel strong, and even though this last year has been a vulnerable one, I feel that this video highlights a lot of the joy that has been ever present too. Plus, it really highlights the  beauty of where I live, why I love it, and why it feels apart of me. Hooping at home (Oregon) is the most satisfying and loving thing I do for myself. 

This video is a staple I show to students, and friends that are first starting out. I think Sandra SaFire did an extraordinary job really highlighting the key elements to improving; drop, drop, dropping. Often times, in the pursuit of "getting good" we look upon dropping the hooping, and messing up as failures instead of taking the time to see what went well, or how you can improve upon your 'mess up' in the future. This video taught me to love the sound of my hoop dropping instead of wincing, and kinda encouraged that goofy play attitude one needs to have the self-esteem to pick up your hoop, smile and keep going.  

This is a short video of a bunch of clips from Nick Guzzardo's hooping practice. I really encourage taping practices-- this provides you with the opportunity to document improvement, and watch yourself to note the things that went well. And, when you tape yourself during practice you sometimes get a fun video to share on YouTube to inspire others. Nick talked about how the solo dance part where the hoop got away from him was a hard thing to post, because he felt self-conscious and he shared it anyways. I think the reason this is a favorite is because admitting that something was hard, and doing it anyways, is beautiful. Go, Nick, go. 
Nick Guzzardo and I at HC13. I look like this, because as it turns out camping knocked up can be rough.

This is my Sammy. She is like that friend that you go long periods of time not talking to and when you reconnect you pickup where you left off. I think the reason I love this so much is for a variety of reasons. Mostly, steaming from the fact that I get teary eyed and full of pride because I see so much improvement, love, grace, and strength in this. I wish that Samantha Rogers was able to continue on in this year's Hooping Idol on I really think we would have saw some amazing things from her during the competition. In the meantime, this video has become a recent favorite (like the one of me), because it showcases beautiful Alaska, and a very happy Sam. And, I really love that. 

Sam and I meeting Jonathan Baxter for the first time. 

Anyways, there are tons, and tons more I want to share. More male hoopers, more tutorials, more friends, more joy. However, I just wanted to compose a short list of my favorites, because I've been meaning to for sometime. If you're curious about new videos following is a great way to stumble upon amazing things, so is Youtube and Vimeo.

Honorable mention videos on Vimeo:
Amy Hula Hooping with a GoPro

Also, newbies should check out Sarah Jordan's YouTube channel for a plethora of different resources.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

They Are Crazy.

Today I had a doctor's appointment with a practitioner that works in my new primary care provider's office. 

Today has been productive.

I walked away from the appointment feeling nervous, but more hopeful than I have felt in a long while, with new medication to try and better regulate my pain symptoms, and two referrals.

The first referral is to go see Dr. Austin, a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist. And, the name of the Women's Clinic for Laparosocpic Surgery for Endometriosis...though, there is no doubt in my mind that I have other issue(s) outside of PCos. I have suffered near debilitating pain constantly since my teen years, that has only gotten worse.

I went in, near tears the entire time. I told "them" that I have had 7 miscarriages; 3 confirmed, 4 positive home tests only to experience a loss prior to confirmation. I explained that my best friend, Jessica Stahle, is a midwife and that she has been apart of my support during all of this. I explained that my history of miscarriage started in 2006, and that a nurse practitioner with Planned Parenthood in 2007 diagnosed me with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, that I was diagnosed through a process of elimination of testing, and labs. I explained that with my loss in November 2013 I had weighed about 185, and yes, by the time I found out that my next pregnancy was ectopic I weighed 209, and today I weighed 236.

I did cry. I cried because I hurt a lot, constantly. That I have maybe five to seven days out of the month where I don't have pain, and that's it. I cried, because I am active, I am healthy, and I know I can be healthier, but I am doing everything in my financial power to eat good foods.

And, now I sob, because even though I love my body, and I know I am doing what I can to take care of it-- this is a good example of the difference in lifestyles I had in Utah, versus here in Oregon. Though, I feel my quality of life is exceptionally better here, there is no denying that I had a certain amount of financial freedom-- yes, I worked less, and made less money in Utah, I also lived with Jess and Ian most of that time, and they only ever asked me to pay them whatever I could afford to help out. Nothing more, nothing less. And, when I didn't live with Jess and Ian, I lived at Primrose Cottage-- Marc's parent's had the house in their name, and Marc paid them monthly.

I never had to worry about anything outside of paying my cell bill, working on paying on student loans, and paying off random stuff...everything else was taken care of because I either just handed money to Jess (whatever I felt I could part with), and the rest went towards self-care.

I took care of myself in Utah. And when I say I took care of myself I mean, I worked a job I loved. I spent the money to pamper myself on occasion (facials, or other random treats), and once a month I would get a massage. And, my food was organic (mostly), gluten free, and almost all my meals were not processed at all (my food didn't come to me in a box).

I simply can't afford to take care of myself. I cannot afford organic all the time. I can't afford gluten free foods, and I for sure have to eat processed things, because when you pickup food boxes you're just grateful to have food.

Anyways, back to the doctor's visit-- we talked about my facial hair growth, we talked about my dandruff and acne, we talked through my symptoms of depression, and anxiety, and, as always, the pill was pushed at some point.

Because when it comes to pelvic pain the cure-all is birth control.

Anyways, I feel excited, because I want medical assistance in trying to fix this situation. I want to have a child someday, for fuck's sake (not tomorrow, but before I am thirty-five), and I don't want to be in pain all the fucking time anymore. And, I don't want to be this major cunt to be around most of the time, because I am in fucking pain. And, I don't want to be over-weight my entire life.

I also would like the money to better take care of myself and Bradford.

So, today, feels like a win. I'll have some exploratory surgery, because I am so desperate to find out what's wrong, why not cut into my abdomen to try and see if endometrial cells are growing outside of the uterus. They probably are.

In the meantime, I have a couple of blogs in the draft box-- I am really behind on a few entries, and at this point they may be scrapped all together. I am waiting to hear back about the referrals (about five days), my next appointment with my doctor is the 12th of August. I already have my new medicine, and I really hope to see an improvement over time now that I have doctor's working for me. #ThanksObama

So, I am asking for extra well wishes at this time. I will let people know as I have things scheduled. The surgery won't be a big deal at all, however I am a wiener and I'll probably be nervous until it's over. I am also asking friends to send me job prospects for the Corvallis area, and places to live. Part of us trying to do better consists of one of us finishing school. And, I really want Corvallis to workout as a good spot for us for the next two years as I get a handle on my health.


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

"Mermaids don't lose sleep over the opinion of shrimp."

So, there has been a lot going on in a very short amount of time.

I think that this post will mostly focus on the good stuff zooming around.

-- I was featured on for the Hooping Lane County video.
-- My brother turned 25, and recently got engaged.
-- I was finally able to nail down a primary care provider that accepts my insurance, and is accepting new patients.
-- I have a doctor's appointment scheduled.
-- I vagged up and asked to no longer work with a manager that I don't get along with.
-- I recently put together a stand for my hoops that are for sale. Creating a lot more organization inside my home, and making me feel a little bit more legit outside while selling.
-- I have a Hoop Jam coming up for July 18th at Emerald Park.

-- I have a private lesson scheduled for this weekend.
-- We've been trying to gear things up for relocating to Corvallis since Bradford needs to finish his Physics degree.
-- Bradford and I have plans for a fancy Grocery Outlet date.
-- I need to be outside more, and swimming more.
-- I am spending the day with Brett and Colbi tomorrow. I am really stoked.

Then there's this picture (which I love):

Other than that, our most recent selling venture was at the 4th Annual Dexter Lake 4th of July Celebration. I sold more hoops this year, then I did the year before. It was a good time, and you can see how we spent our 4th of July in this video Keith made:

It's also neato, because nearly all the hoops (except for maybe one) I made in the video. Go team #BuckleberryHoops!

Monday, June 29, 2015

"Like Stars Burning Holes Right Through the Dark, Flicking Fire Like Saltwater Into My Eyes"

My most recent hooping video was published the other day, thanks to Radiance Photographics. I am honestly surprised that it got done so quickly! We ended up getting more hooping footage last Monday, and I am so excited that five days later Keith was messaging me to say that the hooping video was finished. It's crazy, because as Skye and Keith's friend, I know how crazy busy they are, especially this close to July. Thanks, guys! 

This is the first video that I've been in/made for a long while. My last video I made was called Hooping Out Sorrow. It was made in my living room in Salt Lake City, published on March 11, 2014-- I had put on the song Never Going Back Again, by Fleetwood Mac and let all the negativity spin outta me. I had found out the day prior to making Hooping Out Sorrow that my planned pregnancy was ectopic, 17 days after finding out my pregnancy was ectopic and 4 shots (the first two injections failed) of methotrexate later, and my then fiance dumped me a month prior to the date we were planning on eloping. 

I know I've dealt, and said all this before, but sometimes I need to remind myself everything that happened, the severity and extent in which things took place, so I can better forgive myself, and not feel guilty about the time I've needed to heal; physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

It's crazy, there is a sad truth about the bitterness left inside after experiencing two back to back pregnancy losses-- I've suffered from a creativity block, and at times it has made it really difficult for me to pickup the pieces of my broken heart, and move on.

Despite obvious weight gain in between my last personal hooping video and this newest hooping video, I feel strong, healthier, and proud of my body. In my video you'll see me about 25/30lbs heavier than my last video. Still, I am in my bathing suit, I have skin showing, and I am still dancing my heart out.

To quote Will Smith in Men Black; "You know what the difference is between you and me? I make this look GOOD."And, I do look good, feel good, and continue to see myself heal despite being in some weird constant state of grief over the last year and a half. 

#Curvyhooper #Happycampers #RadiancePhotographics #BuckleberryHoops
And, I am more grateful than I can even begin to verbalize, because Skye and Keith have really helped bring creativity and flow back into my life-- creating a safe place for me to spin up magic while tagging along for photoshoots, family outings, and a camping trip...not to mention, giving me the opportunity to play a special role in their child's life. 

This video was shot all over Lane County; Wendling, Oregon (East of Marcola), Hobbit Trails Beach in Florence, Oregon, Mt. Pisgah in Eugene, Oregon, and in Fall Creek, Oregon. 


Also, another neat little tidbit about the new hooping video, but my very first full length hooping video, that my mama helped film the day after my Hoopiversary was made to the same song-- a little over five years ago. 

Other than that, I know my last blog post was a lot of complaints-- things are still hard financially, but we are trying our best to be positive, and keep afloat...but, we are welcoming well wishes, prayers, positive thoughts, green candles being lit for us on Thursday, and are not above accepting baking goods.

Because, sometimes, cookies help, dude. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

"Towanda Righter of Wrongs Queen Beyond Compare!"

We finally heard back about Bradford's unemployment  benefits.

Bradford was denied.

My sweet-love, had started his position with Symantec last year right around the time we had started dating. He actually hates IT work, but he has a degree and experience working with computers. He needed to work, because prior to this he had been going to school at Oregon State University for two years, accumulating out-of-state debt. This job was part of his plan to fully become an Oregonian so he would no longer have to pursue his Physics degree at OSU as an out-of-stater-- there is something like a $14,495 savings in becoming a resident, and paying in-state tuition versus out-of-state tuition.

It's significant.

Things have been stretched thin and hard since April 14th when Symantec was doing huge lay-offs, and Bradford ended up being one of the people, of hundreds, that lost their jobs during massive layoffs. I played the supporting partner, and tried to help him see the positive; he actually didn't like working there, he made only okay money, but after paying our monthly bills, and paying on our student loans it wasn't like we were putting tons of money in savings.

I've mentioned in a previous post having a plan of action for this time-- I comforted Bradford, we discussed things, and we were hoping that through Unemployment he qualified for a program; Self-Employment Assistance Program (SEA), wherein Bradford would essentially get paid for six months for working on Buckleberry Hoops, instead of the traditionally unemployment benefits.

The loop hole that ended up having him get denied qualification for any assistance after waiting from April 14th until June 25th, is apparently something to do with how many hours he worked in the time he was there. I don't really understand the ins and outs of everything, but it is hard news that Bradford went from working full time to losing his position to not being able to get unemployment.

And, it's hard for me too. I feel like a failure, because as we approach July we simply cannot pay our rent.

After Brad lost his job, I went to mine and asked for more hours, and asked to learn different positions at the restaurant to try and cross-train to hopefully pickup hours that way too. I went from working 10 to 15 hours a week, babysitting here and there, managing my home, and working on my side business to working just under 30 hours a week, babysitting here and there, learning to delegate my responsibilities at home (which Jess will really understand how difficult that has been for me), and teaching Bradford how Buckleberry Hoops works; slowly teaching him Customer Service, how to use Facebook to get back to customers sooner, explaining to him how I want my website to look (and in one month from June 19th the domain name for my website will be mine again), teaching him how to build hoops, and basic hoop principles as not to send him into the community with absolutely no knowledge.

Between working at Izzy's and Buckleberry Hoops (blog, and cooking included) I work about 55+ hours a week. I am tired. And, I feel confused-- everything my very conservative upbringing has taught me makes me feel like a lazy, good-for-nothing.

Bradford and I keep taking turns feeling downtrodden-- it's a depressing feeling.

I keep having to remind myself that Bradford moved here with what he could fit in his little two-door car and drove from West Virginia to Oregon only a few years ago. He had nothing, but his cat, Schrodinger, a blow-up mattress, a computer, and his clothing in plastic garbage sacks-- deciding to move here to pursue a Physics degree a year after his mother passed. I moved here recovering from a complete life over-haul. I've been in some constant state of mourning since November 2013.

Building a life together takes time, we've only been together a little over a year, and even though things are hard now, I just keep trying to remind myself that when it comes to money-issues, things always seemingly workout. But, I can't get over this deepening ingrained feeling of how my 30s should look.

I am not married. I have not completed my education. I do not have children, and most likely cannot have children-- that 75% chance of motherhood not happening for me sans medical assistance is looking more and more true since being told that in 2007. I don't have a fulfilling, sustaining personal business and career I love. I am no longer a size 10, and I am just now starting to feel comfortable in my body again after a long time of feeling completely broken. I have medical debt that would stop a normal, healthy person's heart from beating.

I am in debt, over-weight, barely holding on, and on the precipice of losing our apartment, because during the first few months of Brad being laid off we've lived off of my 20 to 29 hours a week at $9.25 a hour, along with our savings for relocating to Corvallis for Bradford's Fall term, and kept Buckleberry Hoops afloat (I made some money, but mostly broke even on a few investments).

Brad has been trying to find a job in Corvallis, but now his car-- our only means of transportation outside my bike, is in dire need of care, and we are worried that if he does get a relatively decent being job in Corvallis he won't be able to make it back and forth.

Complaint. Complaint. Complaint.

 I am just worried. It's not like my friends aren't in similar situations. Bradford is doing what he can to help us make the money we need for rent in the next three days. I am working. And, we'll get by What About Bob style with some baby steps.

Today, I am sad. Today, is for resetting. Today, I am going to nap, go to work at 5, and then retry tomorrow. But, for today, instead of letting the grief overwhelm me, I will take a nap with my love, we'll break from this constant stress, and deal with out problems head on together, after a much needed brief break.

Peace out.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I'm On The Pursuit of Hoopiness and I Know Everything That Shine Ain't Always Gonna Be Gold. Hey I'll Be Fine Once I Get It, Yeah, I'll Be Good

Yesterday was a good way to kick off the summer. Solstice was over the weekend, and now that we are in the best part of the year I feel super grateful, and feel full of summer time excitement. 

Skye and Keith had a photo shoot out in Wendling, an old mill town that has been abandoned since the 50's. There are old building, and free standing old structures consumed with old-growth amongst the forest Northeast of Marcola.

While Skye and Keith worked with Sam King, and Mirandi Davidson, two of the models that have been featured in the Baby's of the Northwest calendar that is put out every year by Radiance Photographics, I walked Juliet around.

After a good portion of the shooting was done, Keith and I were able to get a little more hooping footage-- this time using one of my LED hoops I was unable to use while camping. It was so much fun, however since I am the a giant wiener, having Keith direct me in climbing onto one of the old structures to hoop was scary.

To be honest, my anxiety over heights made the experience something else. Even though I really wasn't very high up, and I had enough space to do some tricks-- I felt really dizzy, and nervous about moving around. I trust Keith when he says he got some good shots, but felt really silly over my inability to perform the way I wanted to on camera.

We also got a couple good clips of me on the edge of a cement wall. I did a little better in that space clearing good hand to foot passes, a few tosses, and moving a little more freely.

I am so excited to see the next video Keith puts together. It is a wonderful blessing being able to work on these types of projects, and I love working with my friends, who just happen to be artists too. And, honestly, the more I do it, despite my weight gain-- I feel healthy, strong, sexy, and good.

Hooping is still providing a positive, safe space for me to love myself and my body unabashedly. And, I can't think of a more wonderful tool to get you by in life.

After Skye and Keith were done shooting pictures, and things quieted down, and there weren't any people present-- Skye, Keith, Miranda, Juliet, and I were all able to strip down and enjoy the great outdoors, swim, and be varying different levels of nude without feeling ashamed or embarrassed, because it was only us there.

It was freeing, wonderful. And, oh, so Oregon.

Today, I've felt motivated and inspired watching my friends' work. When Skye and Keith first started Radiance Photographics things were slow-going. Skye worked her ass off nailing down gigs for them, and watching their business blossom, along side the e-courses I've been taking from Sarah Jordan, I have felt empowered!

I sat down today with a To Do List and I started doing.

I contacted different venues for selling Buckleberry Hoops. I met with a few clients, and sold two hoops. I practiced for my upcoming performance for the Festival of Eugene, emailed a woman I've been talking to about doing private lessons for, asked Skye if I can send in one of the hooping on Hobbit Trails Beach as a submission for, started the preliminary plans for the next Flow Jam we'll be hosting and Bradford and I talked a lot about me learning to delegate a little more of Buckleberry Hoops' responsibilities to him, and his role as my new business partner.

There are some days I feel like I am adulting pretty good; I can balance my day job with my personal business, help manage a household with my partner, be an okay friend, be in love, and pseudo play responsible.

And, when we were ending today, I choose to be relatively healthy-- using things I had on hand I was able to create this masterpiece:
Zoodle Goodness
I was lucky to have two zucchini in the house, and from there it was just a matter of being creative. Bradford bought me this little handy toy a while back when it was on sale for $4.97 on Amazon Prime, and I couldn't be happier with this purchase.

It takes no time at all to make "noodles"

Two Zukes
I found some broccoli and basil pesto in my freezer from when we received our food box. And, after finding some left-over fresh onion and tomato in my fridge, and added in a hand-full of cashews I felt like I had made a complete meal-- vegetarian, gluten free, healthy, inexpensive.
Steamed after being in the fridge, and chilling to be put in the zoodles
Thank you, FOOD for Lane County

The recipe ended up being something like: Two Zuchinni zoodled up, 2 Tablespoon pesto, 1/2 cup steamed broccoli, palm full of cashews, slivered onion and diced tomato (to your liking), and a little salt and pepper to taste.

You could also add bacon, if you needed it. No judgement.

Anyways, I am going to end this with some random finds on my crappy, old point and shoot :)

Outside Swisshome just West of Triangle Lake
Sweet Creek Falls in Mapleton, Oregon
My man enjoying some Oregon (it's kinda a rarity since he's allergic to Oregon)
My favorite two year old in the world!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Some of the Greatest Mormon Slop to Ever Slop a Slop. Or, Something Like That.

So, the following recipe isn't one I make to be "healthy". I make it, because it's fucking delicious, easy, and cheap-- just like I like most of my nouns.

This recipe is kinda what I think of when I think of some of my experiences in Utah-- Utahns, especially LDSers love casseroles. A lot. I think it's a combination of things; it feeds a whole mess of people, it's inexpensive, and there aren't many dishes to speak of afterwards to deal with during clean-up.

Yep, White Chicken Enchiladas are the perfect comfort food, and whenever I make it, I have to deal with lots of compliments. It's horrible. :P

What you'll need:
Mmmm. Mormon meals
A big mixing bowl
A casserole dish (this recipe will fit a 9" x 9", or a 9" x 11" Pyrex, if you want to make a 9" x 13" double the recipe)
A mixing device (like a giant spoon, duh)
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can shredded chicken breast
1 can diced chiles
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups cheese-- the original recipe I kinda copy-cated for this called for 1 cup Mozzarella, and 1 cup cheddar. I like to use whatever I have in my kitchen. Since we are broke we actually have a large bag of WinCo brand Mexican Blended Cheese already on hand. I spent less than $4 for the largest bag, ever.
Tortillas of your choosing. I always pickup locally made white tortillas, because they are an option at my WinCo. However, it's whatever you like.

Tear up your tortillas, and layer like a lasagna
What you'll do:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

In your mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients, and most of your cheese, reserving about 1/2 cup for the top of your White Chicken Enchiladas. In your Pyrex tear apart your tortillas and make a bed bed for your chicken/cheese mixture. You'll go back and forth, assembling your casserole like a lasagna.

Pop your enchilada slop into the oven for about 30 minutes, and make sure you keep an eye on it-- I have had these turnout perfectly every single time, but have been told by others attempting this recipe that there is a fine line between perfection, and rubbery cheesy melt disaster.

Serve a lone, or with beans and chips, or salad and rice. Do whatever. It's your life.
Anyways, I just wanted to share this, because it has become a Bradford favorite. And, since we received several of the ingredients in a Food Box at the beginning of the month we have made this twice this month, and neither of us have been too broken up about that. Normally, this meal costs my household a little less than $10 to make, and serves 4 HUGE servings (that's $2.50 a serving), but with FOOD for Lane County's assistance this ending up costing us a little less than $5 to make, twice.

You can make homemade comfort meals on a budget.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

"You've always been beautiful. Now you're just deciding to be healthier, fitter, faster, and stronger. Remember that."

January 29, 2015, Hobbit Beach, Florence, Oregon
Yesterday, Brad and I celebrated 273 incredible days of dating, or 9 months since our first date. Unfortunately, it looks like Brad caught whatever tummy bug I caught from the kids, so there was mostly a lot of resting going on around my house, but it was still terrific. 

My recent trip to Utah, matched with this monthly Anniversary celebrating we do, has given a deeper respect and understanding of the man I am with.

First, I feel like I should mention that Brad helped my trip be amazing, by simply letting me have it all to myself. 

My ex has some pretty extreme mental illness, and despite us no longer having a functional relationship last May everything was about him. All things last Spring was all about Marc, and how things effected him. So much so, that I very recently have been dealing with my resentment of him ruining my last days in Utah with my loved ones, and then later trying to paint it out as if they were our friends.

Last May while preparing to move things were incredibly grating and difficult, for a variety of reasons, the main one being I didn't have a second to myself, or a moment to even wrap things up with my family appropriately before moving from Utah to Oregon. I really feel that my recent trip, despite being short, really made up for some of the anger I felt about not saying goodbye the way I wanted to. 

Bradford missed me during my long weekend away, and I missed him. However, these emotions felt healthy, because I had no all consuming fears ever present in my mind while I wasn't with him during the duration of my trip. I didn't want to be with Brad to ensure his behavior continued being savory in my absence, I didn't have an all-consuming fear of him abusing drugs, or alcohol while I was cooking dinner for my family in another state. I didn't feel it necessary to worry about what he may be doing while I wasn't around. And, he didn't continually call, text, message, and hound me while I was away. 

 I guess, my deeper respect resonates with having this recent comparison in my mind. 

Before I left, Bradford and I both spoke with one another about some fears we had. Brad mentioned to me at one point, that while I was working one night he got this repeating scary thought in his head where he worried I would go to Utah, and decide to leave him to go back to overseeing Primrose Cottage and being responsible for Marc's general upkeep. Though, not rational, He was worried I would leave him for Marc while visiting Salt Lake City. I then told him my fear of being overly curious about the house. How badly I wish it was still my house, because I love it, and how I was worried I would run into Marc, and I would have little control of emotions, and would be unable to control my anger.

Just being able to verbalize these things with my partner feels like an unreal blessing.

Moreover, the last several months I have been blown away by the support I've received while addressing some of my immediate personal goals:
1) I am going in to take my written test for my Oregon license next week.
2) I have health insurance.

3) I have a list of therapists that take my insurance and their numbers so I can make an appointment.
4) I have brand new glasses, as all of my glasses have either bit the dust, or vanished over the last couple years. Hooray for seeing!
5) I have a new Polypro.
6) I am managing my own space, and helping Bradford prepare to rejoin the academic world.
7) I was able to take care of a bunch of legal stuff, and had my last letter on the 10th dismissing me from a mishap. 

8) I have a couch, kitchen table, small debts are being paid off (slowly but surely), and my kitchen is really coming together.
9) I have plans of building back up Buckleberry Hoops, especially in the Fall months as we settle into Corvallis living.
10) I have really focused on self-care the last two months over all other things. When I say 'self care' I don't just mean eating the right foods, or exercising a certain amount-- I wanted to place those goals on hold, and really focus on stressing less, and learning to manage my emotions a little better. 

***This was recently found in my draft box, and I felt I'd share since tomorrow (6-18-2015), is Bradford and I'd 1 year anniversary.