Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sunday Night Rambles

Hi fraans! It's Sunday night and I should be meal prepping and getting ready for the week but I decided that blogging sounded more fun. And because I'm the responsible adult that I am, I scratched my to-do list and meal prepping and all the things I should be doing, for the thing I would rather to It's a wonder why I can never get anything done that I need to.

So anyway, I've come to this place a couple times between my last post and now but I had a weird span of like, a week and a half where I was in one of those moods where everything annoyed me. Do you ever have those moods? Like, Nate keeps clearing his throat too annoying. I dropped my Q-tips on the ground and now have to pick them up and throw them away and reach for new ones; literally, so annoying. I started writing a blog post and I was like Rissa, this is boring why do you think people want to read this shiz? I annoyed even myself. So at that point I figured I should wait until I was in a better mood to write.

So here I am. I'm in a better mood. Ready to write. Although, I don't really have much to write about so bear (bare?) with me while I ramble on for the next few paragraphs.

First and foremost, I think I had a break-through this week, you guys. Let me tell you that there's this older gentleman at my work that works in a different department so I don't actually work with him, but I see him in the halls all the time...and I smile at him all the time like any normal, polite, friendly person would do, and he never smiles back. And because I have this unreasonably strong desire to have people like me, it actually really bothers me. Like we'll make eye contact and he won't so much as give me a smirk. Like what the hell dude, I am a delight why aren't you acknowledging me when I smile at you?? So, I decided to just stop smiling at him whenever I would pass him in the hall. I wouldn't even look at him. So I was on my way to the restroom last week and I took the corner and he was right on the other side and we almost ran right into each other and guess what? He said, "Oh sorry." HE ACKNOWLEDGED ME, YOU GUYS. Maybe I should just be less friendly in general? Like maybe my friendliness annoys people. Maybe too much enthusiasm freaks people out. Maybe if I tone it down (tone down for what) people will be more receptive to me.

Also side note, I just killed a spider that was crawling on my nightstand. I squished it in a tissue and then opened the tissue to see if it was dead (like you do) but it wasn't dead and it almost crawled out onto my hand but I squished it extra hard before it touched me. That was close.

Ok let's see, what else has been going on...oh, I went to the Dbacks game this weekend with my friend Sarah because duh baseball, but also because it was AJ Pollock bobble head night and I have an affinity for collecting bobble heads.
And because it was AJ Pollock bobble head night, they had a giant get well card for fans to sign since AJ is out for the season with an elbow injury. And like the fan girls that we are, we signed it.
"You're the best." Short but sweet right? Straight and to the point. Quick and dirty (that's what she said).

Oh yeah also, my friend Kailey had a birthday a couple weekends ago now and we celebrated by golfing. I use the term "golfing" loosely because firstly, we went to top golf, secondly, I would hardly call the motion I was doing, a golf swing. It was more like a weird jerk/whiff because half the time I missed the ball completely. But yolo, we drank lots of beer and had fun laughing at each other, so it was a good time.
Kailey brought her husband and Brianna brought her fiance and I brought my husband too, see:
Literally, this is my life. It's fine though, I'm good at being a fifth wheel. You know what I realized this weekend, actually? Nate works graves so he sleeps during the day right? I feel like this is sort of like having a baby. Sarah was gonna meet me at my house this weekend before the game and I had to be like, "Nate's still sleeping, can I actually meet you at your house?" Or if someone's picking me up for something I have to be like, "Text me when you're here, Nate's sleeping and if you knock the dogs will bark and wake him up." When the dogs do bark, unprovoked (like a leaf falling from the tree, for example) I have to feverishly whisper-yell at them to be quiet or else Nate will wake up. It's like, "Shhhh the baby Nathan is sleeping." He's the most sensitive sleeper you'll ever meet so I have to work extra hard at being quiet...which is not an easy feat for me because I'm naturally loud and kind of clumsy and I drop things often and I'm not very gentle with stuff. The struggle is real, you guys.

But anyway, it's now almost 10:00pm and if I don't meal prep at least for tomorrow I'm not gonna have any lunch to eat tomorrow and so then I'll probably make a bad choice and order a grilled cheese from the cafeteria for lunch (because yaaaas, cheese), and then after lunch I'll get hungry again and I'll be like whatever I'm gonna eat a whole bag of Gardetto's because I had grilled cheese for lunch so this day is already shot, and then I won't work out after work because the day is already shot, and then I won't ever lose any weight and I'll be destined for an overweight future and I'll probably have to get one of those sit-down scooters whenever I go to Costco because I ate too many grilled cheeses and can't walk around a Costco warehouse without having knee pain and running out of breath. So yeah, I'm gonna go prep some salad or something. 

Have a happy Monday, fraans!

 photo Carissa_zps53ecb502.png

Monday, April 4, 2016


I told Nate earlier today, "I want to blog something about our anniversary but I don't know what to write what should I say" and he goes, "That F**k. This f**king guy." ...That helps, thanks Nate.

Anyway, guess what today is (or tomorrow depending on when this post goes up)? It's Nate and my 7th wedding anniversary. SEVENTH. We've been married for seven years. Holy smokes. I always struggle a little bit because every year I want to write like, an anniversary post but I never really know what to write because like, a mushy sort of lovey dovey post isn't really my style, there's always marriage advice but I feel like that comes off preachy sometimes, there's always a "things I've learned in seven years of marriage" idea but that's not always what other people learn in their marriages so again, maybe a little preachy? So long story short, here I am, blogging without something to blog about. The struggle, I tell ya. So I think what I decided is to maybe do a little bit of all of the above? Because YOLO it's my wedding anniversary and it's my excuse to write whatever the heck I want to celebrate seven years of marriage right?

So, I like the number seven - it's my favorite number because not only is it lucky number seven but Nate's lacrosse number in high school was #7
Good ju-ju for our 7th year of marriage right?! But before we got to seven years of marriage we went through like nine years of dating (I know, basically forever) and those nine years of dating didn't always have the best ju-ju so, here's seven reasons why we've broken up and almost didn't make it to seven years of marriage:

1.) It's not cool to have a girlfriend and be in a relationship when you're starting high school
2.) It's Thursday (Thursday is break-up day)
3.) Carissa doesn't like PDA and it hurts Nate's feelings that she won't kiss him in the hallway when the bell rings
4.) Carissa's tired of fighting
5.) Nate's tired of fighting
6.) Nate's too possessive and it's annoying
7.) Carissa's an asshole and hangs up on Nate all the time so as to avoid fighting and talking about feelings

Life is rough when you're a teenager, you guys. For real.

I'm happy to report that we got all of our fighting out in high school and the couple years shortly thereafter. We've been fortunate enough to both have different life experiences that offer different perspective...perspective enough to realize fighting is exhausting and we just don't have the energy for it. That said, my number one piece of marriage and/or relationship advice I could give to anyone would be to pick your battles. Pick. Your. Battles, people. It's cliche but true. Does Nate have to have his firearm in our Christmas pictures? Christmas pictures? Yeah I guess so. In the long run, does it really matter? No. That's what makes Nate, Nate. Firearms in Christmas pictures and all.
Does it drive me freakin nuts that he leaves lights on in all the rooms he's not dwelling in? Yes. Is it worth a fight? No. Does it take a lot of energy to just turn the light off yourself? No. Problem solved. Does Nate hate it when I go on cleaning sprees and reorganize stuff and he can't find any of his shit anymore? Yes, probably. Does he yell at me for it and pick a fight? No.


When Nate enlisted in the Army and eventually was deployed in Iraq I became very aware of time.
He was gone for five months in basic training, then came home for exactly four weeks before his unit deployed to Iraq and just like that he was gone for another 15 months. I remember specifically, when he was home on his two week leave, we were trying to hang out one day and I couldn't get a hold of him, his cell phone kept going to voicemail. I was getting upset and getting mad thinking he just wasn't answering my call. I ended up just going over to his house and it turns out it was the same thing - he tried calling me and it kept going to voicemail; it must've been something with the phone line, neither one of us couldn't get through. I only had two weeks with him, how could I have wasted a whole day just because I couldn't get a hold of him on his cell phone??!! I was mad and I had to say to myself, this isn't Nate's fault, this is the cell phone service - why spend a whole afternoon upset and mad? Snap out of it. You only have two weeks together. 


I feel like marriage sometimes maybe gets a bad wrap (rep?). I hate when people make jokes about the "'ol ball and chain," or the "beginning of the end;" the truth is, marriage is the best. Is it hard? Yeah, sometimes. Is it the hardest thing I've ever done? No. Marriage is actually really fun. It's steady. It's reliable. It's trustworthy. It's comforting. It's bigger than you. 
You always have someone in your corner. Always. 

Junior high school seems like a long time ago, and it's weird to think it's been Nate this whole time, because my time with Nate doesn't feel like that long. The truth is, I don't really remember life before Nate. We went to Sunday School together, junior high and high school together. We grew up together, learned how to be in relationships together, matured together, he enlisted in the military, I graduated college; bought new cars, became adults...all together. 

The past 6 years of marriage have been pretty bad ass. But that's because Nate is pretty bad ass, and he makes me more bad ass. ...I'm lying, I'm not actually a bad ass at all, I just like to think that I am. I try really hard, but I just don't think "bad ass" is in the cards for me.

Nate's told me before that when he was overseas and they'd be conducting a mission, clearing houses and such, kicking down doors, they'd make sure everyone had someone's "6." That is, everyone was watching someone's back...they're 6. They were looking out for what's behind them, anything that might be trying to sneak up on them, attack them from behind when they're not looking, etc. Nate's had my 6 since since the 8th grade.

He's got my 6, I've got his: year 7

 photo Carissa_zps53ecb502.png

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

On Voting...or the Lack Thereof

You guys I have a secret I've been keeping for about the last 24 hours. I've been keeping it a secret because I feel shameful and quite frankly, it's a little embarrassing.

...I didn't vote on Tuesday.

There it is. You can start judging me if you want but you need to hear me out. Here's the thing, I actually tried to vote three different times on Tuesday. THREE TIMES. All to no avail. This kills me because voting is my jam, you guys. Like, I'm that annoying person that continuously reminds my friends they need to go vote and I sometimes (read: always) take selfies with my "I voted" sticker.
I love voting so much that I never mail-in an early ballot because it's just not the same as physically going down to my polling place and casting my vote. I've voted in every election I could since I turned 18 - primary, presidential, local, gubernatorial you name it I've made sure to vote in it. Ever since Twitter created the voting/poll feature, I vote in any poll that comes up in my feed cause dammit I just wanna vote. "Who should the Suns draft as a lottery pick?" No idea but I'm gonna vote on it. "Which proposed change from the NFL owners' meeting would bother you the most?" I don't really know but yolo I'm gonna vote anyway.

But I digress. So anyway, Tuesday morning like I usually do, I stopped in at my usual polling place on my way to work only to find it wasn't there. It took a page out of Harry Potter and like some Platform 9 3/4 shiz, it just disappeared. "That's weird!" I casually thought to myself. No biggie, I'll find somewhere to go after work.

Throughout the day I get texts from both my mom and my dad sending me pictures of the lines they waited in in order to vote. "Geez, I hope there's no lines by the time I get off work" I thought to myself. I proceeded to leave work a couple hours early to not only vote but also because I was going to a spring training game with Nate that night. As I'm driving home on the freeway Nate calls me, "I'm at the American Legion and the line is wrapped around the building three times. I'm not waiting in it." "This isn't looking good," I thought as I kept driving and began praying I could find a polling place without masses amounts of lines.

The short of it is - I couldn't. I stopped at two more places and found nothing but traffic jams, hoards of people, never ending lines, and not a parking spot in sight. If this were any other normal night I would wait in these lines but I only had about an hour before Nate and I needed to leave for the baseball game. So, as it pained me - I decided to go home.

This really hurts me because as much as I understand it's not technically true, I tell myself that every vote counts - including mine, and so since I didn't get a chance to go cast my vote against Donald Trump I'm gonna feel personally responsible if he gets elected. I feel like I let my country down, you guys. Nothing else makes me feel as guilty as not voting. Eating a whole box of mac and cheese in one sitting? Nah. Drinking a whole bottle of wine by myself on a Friday night? Never. Eating all of the chips I bought for Nate before he gets to have any? Nope. But not having voted? Killing me.

So if the general election is anything like this primary - that is, if Arizona decides to only keep 60 of what was 200 polling places open (SIXTY out of TWO HUNDRED)(H8 U, AZ), I'm gonna have to just pack it in the night before and camp it out. It'll be like P Diddy (is that still his name?) and "Rock the Vote" except this time it'll be "Camp the Vote"... cause that'll be the only way you'll actually be able to vote.

Thanks, Arizona.

 photo Carissa_zps53ecb502.png

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Choosing Post Titles is Hard: Sunday Night Edition

Hello and welcome, to the Sunday night edition of T is for Townsend. This is the portion of our show where I drink red wine and blog while simultaneously trying to catch the gnat that keeps flying around my head because I'm overly concerned about it going in my wine glass. Wine glasses are where gnats go to die, I'm sure of it.

Anyway, before I get into weekend shenanigans which, now that I'm thinking about it could be summed up like so: brunch, bridesmaid duty, antiques, wine, grocery shopping, and a Fixer Upper marathon, I just want to take a moment and acknowledge that this Snapchat face-swap thing is getting a little out of hand and maybe even a little annoying but please just look at how perfect this is:
I'm Randy Johnson you guys. RANDY JOHNSON. ...If face-swapping is wrong I don't wanna be right. 

Also, live update: I killed the gnat before it could fly into my wine glass and so now I can blog in peace. I know you're all as relieved as I am. 

So anyway, this weekend was a good one. A busy one. Actually I take that back only one day was busy and the other was not. Saturday was the busy day and it started with brunch (because how else should you start a Saturday am I right) with my frans Kailey, and Brianna, and Carlin. And also mimosas. Mimosas are my frans too. From brunch we went bridesmaids dress shopping for Brianna's wedding which was super fun, but in hindsight, what's not super fun is gorging yourself on brunch and mimosas and then having to go get measured and try on dresses. It's not good for the self-esteem. 

After dress shopping came antiquing. There's this antique show in Phoenix that's only open like, the third Thursday-Sunday of every month or something like that and conveniently I found out about it the week before and was able to plan a trip out there. So after a pit stop at Dutch Bro's for an afternoon pick-me-up we arrived at Sweet Salvage and channeled our inner Joanna Gaines.

There were two warehouses plus like, an outdoor area all full of treasures. 
And when I say "treasures" I truly mean treasures like for example a big huge sing that says Wine:
I didn't buy it because as I mentioned, it was big and huge and I don't have a big huge space for it in my house. In my soul, yes. I have space in my soul for wine always. Wine is my soulmate (besides Nate I guess), but logistically I have nowhere to put in my physical household. I was however, in the market for a vintage-y headboard and/or nightstands for my bedroom because I do have physical space for those in my household but alas, I didn't find any. I didn't walk away totally empty handed though because I found this awesome Insta account - Twenty6 Designs a few weeks ago and she happened to be at the show this weekend so I bought this awesome tank from her:
Go check her out (and her Etsy shop) she has some awesome stuff!
After I finished my day with these lovely ladies I met up with my friend Sarah for dinner and wine. We not only tried a new place but we also used Lyft for the first time. I went to call an Uber at like 6pm when we were trying to leave and there was already a surge charge for Uber. At 6pm. In Chandler. I was so annoyed I was like this is stupid and I downloaded Lyft and decided to give it a try. When you download it for the first time it gives you like, up to $50 in ride credits to be used within your first two weeks so I'm already a fan. I Uber/Lyft everywhere nowadays because my husband is a cop and I get the drinking and driving/DUI/ZERO TOLERANCE lecture often. I shouldn't say "lecture," "lecture" has a negative connotation and I know it's coming from a place of love and concern and caring, so maybe I'll use "discussion" instead. We have the drinking and driving/DUI/ZERO TOLERANCE discussion often. So, I figure I'll skip it altogether and just get driven around everywhere if I plan on having a drink. It's a win win, really. 

Sunday I only got up from the couch one time to go grocery shopping and the rest of the day I spent watching a Fixer Upper/Flip or Flop marathon. For the record, Fixer Upper and Chip and Joanna Gaines IS LIFE. 

And that brings us to this lovely Sunday evening. Now that this blog post is finished I'm gonna go catch the end of the Coyotes hockey game, then probably scroll through instagram a few more times, maybe check Twitter, then try and go to sleep but probably end up just laying there until 1am like I always do on Sunday nights. Is it just me or does anyone else have issues falling asleep Sunday nights?? 

Have a fantastic week, friends!

 photo Carissa_zps53ecb502.png

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Twenty-Nine and Lots of Wine

So I sat down this weekend with my dear friend Brianna and we were gonna blog together all afternoon (and drink too cause duh, day drinking and blogging on a Saturday). I had all these ideas in my head of posts to write and I kept saying, "Do I start out with a catch-up post? It's been almost two months since I blogged I feel like I need to start out with a catch-up post." But the truth is, I'm kind of tired of doing catch up posts. I feel like they can be boring. And quite frankly, that's the part of blogging that I've always struggled with a little - I just don't really think people care that much about what I do in my life. So, let's skip the "catch-up" shiz and just get right to the most fun thing that happened since I last came around these parts: my birthday. ...cause it's my birthday dangit and I wanna write about it.

I turned 29 (twenty nine holy smokes) at the end of February and to celebrate I took four of my BFF's up to Cottonwood and Jerome and we went wine tasting. ...cause if you had to guess really, what else would I do for my birthday other than drink wine? So we piled into one car on a Saturday morning and made the trek about two hours north of the valley.

We arrived in Cottonwood right in time for lunch (and lunch means it's socially acceptable to start drinking so yay for that). I was all worried about transportation because I've never been to Cottonwood and I wasn't sure how close all the tasting rooms were, like if you could walk to all of them, and I didn't want anyone to have to drive because then hello, then you can't drink as much wine but I didn't know if there's Uber in Cottonwood and there isn't because Cottonwood is like 3 square miles (I'm being dramatic it's bigger than that) but have no fear - there's a taxi service in Cottonwood, Arizona (I realize that was the longest run-on sentence ever but that's the beauty of a blog - no one's grading this).Yes, A taxi service. Singular. So we called her and she took us to downtown Cottonwood to get the party started. We asked her how late she works to make sure we had a ride back at the end of the day and she said "Oh yeah, call me and I'll make sure and pick you girls up. Maybe you'll be more talkative after some wine tasting." ....which is basically the understatement of the year.

So we had lunch at this place called The Tavern, shared a bottle of wine amongst the five of us, then walked to our first wine tasting stop - Fire Mountain Wines!
This place ended up being our favorite out of the three tasting rooms we went to - we loved the atmosphere and the wines tasted the best! Although that could be because we were the most sober at our first stop but whatever. We stopped by on our way out of town to buy a few bottles!

Stop #2 was a place called Pillsbury Wine Company.
After tasting six wines at Fire Mountain, we decided to go with five more at Pillsbury because yolo it's my 29th birthday right?
Needless to say we were feeling pretty dang good at this point in the good that we invited the guy sitting all by himself in the chair next to us to play Cards Against Humanity with us. He obliged and probably immediately regretted it. We also talked to the two elderly women sitting on the other side of us, who were BFFs and on a girls trip themselves, about all the places they travel together and how that's their "thing"...and then immediately we got all emotional and we're like "omg guys can that be us when we're 70 you guys can we do that can we grow old together can we be friends forever" You know, how drunk girls do. 

It was clear that at this point in the day we were in definite need of some food, so we found the nearest pizza place, sat down and just started ordering know, how drunk girls do. Pizza in the belly, a little water in the system and onward ho to the next tasting room.

Our third and final stop, was the Arizona Stronghold tasting room. The wines were "eh" but I'm not gonna lie, that's probably because the whole time we were there it was a little bit of a blur.

It was only at this time did we really stop and add up all the wine we drank throughout the day. It was a lot. Enough to make me drunk text my husband. He's all working, fighting crime, being a cop stuff and his wife is drunk texting him. I'm so annoying.
I swear, he loves me. 

After stop #3 we were smart enough to call it a day and call our cab back for a ride home. 

While we were waiting, there was a man (possibly homeless but whatever) that walked by with a bird on his arm. Like, a pet bird. So naturally we're like "Look that man has a bird!" and then he came over and talked to us and let us hold his bird and then when I tried to give it back to him he put it on my head. And I was like, a bird whisperer or something, you guys. All of us were. We were wine-drunk, bird whisperers in Cottonwood, Arizona. New life skill for my last year in my twenties.
We finally saw our cab arrive after what felt like 30 minutes of waiting. And by "arrive" I mean drove right past. And then turn around only to drive right past us again. So we were left with no other options (obvi) other than to literally run after this minivan in the street (it's fine, there's not much traffic in Cottonwood) yelling her name because hello, how else would she know who she's picking up right? She probably saw us in her rear view and kept driving to get away from us but hey, we may be drunk but we work out ok? And we caught up to that minivan. know, like drunk girls who workout do. Anyway, we requested a trip through Dairy Queen and she happily obliged. For that reason, we bought her an ice cream cone. Because people should be rewarded for transporting five wine-drunk girls in one mini-van. From there we ate our ice cream and serenaded her with Justin Bieber's Love Yourself because don't lie that song is the jam, all the way back to our hotel. 

We finished our ice cream, ran around our hotel room for a while, drank a little more wine (oops), and eventually decided it was time to walk across the street to the gas station for Cheetos and some water. We all got the same gallon jugs of water, so to distinguish whose was whose:

Eventually we fell asleep, woke up Sunday morning, packed up, and headed up to go see Jerome! Jerome is a huge wine tasting area too, but since Sarah was driving us back home that afternoon and couldn't drink, the rest of us can't really drink either because we stand in wine solidarity. If one person can't have wine, the rest of us shouldn't either right? We cruised through the town, found a cool spot for lunch, then checked out all the cool shops.
Before we knew it it was time to head back home - always the worst part of vacations/birthday weekends/girls trips...but probably the best part of blog posts because you're probably like oh my gawwwsh she has carried on for toooo long with this post. Maybe so but, it was the best weekend I've had in a long time and so much fun (and wine) was had by all. If you wanna see Kailey's vlog of the trip check it out here.

If the first weekend of the last year in my twenties is any indication of how the rest of the year will go - it's gonna be a good one! 

 photo Carissa_zps53ecb502.png

design + development by Strawberries and Wine