Mrs’ Suggestions for Getting Through Sadness

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Brief moment of happiness…

I originally started writing this blog post before the election, in response to the killings in Baton Rouge and Minnesota of two black men, and the ambush on the Dallas police department that happened all in one week in July. Those events impacted me greatly and it took me a few weeks to gather my thoughts and have the hindsight I needed in order to write a post about how I get through tragic and sad events. Then the election happened and I, like many people, sunk into a depression I have not known since high school. Finishing a post with my tips for handling something sad became impossible while I was so deep in the throws of it. The voice in this post has changed drastically since I began writing it, but I still feel strongly that I need to share it because even if you aren’t being weighed down by something sad right now, there could come a time in the future when these suggestions could come in handy. And to be honest, writing about my own pain has helped me tremendously.

First, I let the grief that I am feeling consume me. I don’t push it away or try to ignore it. I cry and cry and cry as many times as my soul needs to. I am honest with myself and those around me that I am having a hard time processing the emotions and grief. I don’t hide it. I spent two full days, once the day after the tragedies in July and once the day after the election, in bed allowing myself to feel so sad that I couldn’t do anything else but sleep or cry.

The most important part about this suggestion is knowing when enough is enough. Initially for me it was one day, but for others it could be a couple of days. Since the day after the election, I have had moments where I need to come back to this part of the process, but now I only let it last a few minutes. Once I’ve let myself have that one day (or a few minutes), I force myself to start living again. And make no mistake, “living again” may look the same from the outside but it certainly does not feel the same. I adopt the “fake it till you make it” attitude of living. I push myself through the motions of my day, day after day until more moments of my day resemble my real life than not.

Note: Allowing yourself to be so consumed by grief for so long that it begins to affect your relationships or job is not healthy. If you ever find that you are in a situation when the grief has such a hold on you that you can’t determine when enough is enough, I highly suggest seeing a therapist. Sometimes a tragic event goes so deep into your core that any tips or suggestions I could give you, won’t be enough to pull you out.

Second, I take a hiatus from anything that might reopen the wound and upset me again. For these most recent events that means the news. For a break up that could mean a break from social media. For a death that could mean a break from anything that reminds you of the person who passed. It doesn’t take me long to pinpoint the things in my life, during a sad situation, that would bring back the anger and sadness I have felt. It is better to turn inwards and focus on healing myself, and making myself stronger so that someday things like the news, or a picture of a loved one that has passed won’t send me back to day one of my grief.   

Third, I focus on smaller events and moments rather than the big picture. Looking too far into the future can be overwhelming and getting from now to then can seem impossible. Instead, I make a game plan for how to get through the next week, or the next day or even just the next 15 minutes. Focusing on smaller amounts of time help me cope because eventually they add up and before I know it, I will be at that moment in the future that felt impossible to get to at one point.

Fourth, I listen to any kind of music. And I turn it up loud. I let it wash over me and allow me to have some peace from the pain even if it is only for a few minutes.

And fifth, I watch videos, look at pictures of things that make me smile, or do little things that make me happy. Pictures of babies, videos of animals, enjoying a delicious cup of coffee in my favorite corner of the couch, watching a kids movie while eating my favorite ice cream, pictures of sunsets or places I want to travel to are all little moments of happiness that I cherish when I am sad. I make sure to be present in those moments and to savor how happy they make me. I use them to remind myself that the world is still full of love, beauty and happiness no matter how dreary it may seem now.

I’ll admit, though, that sometimes getting to the point where I can even think about listening to music or doing something I enjoy takes a while. Sometimes I just have to focus on the first three things until the dark cloud parts enough that I can appreciate the power of music or a picture of a baby smiling.

Most days these last few weeks I have had to run through all five of these things daily. It can be exhausting but I will keep moving forward. I will focus my sadness and anger on things that will help others continue to move forward as well. I will call local representatives and senators to remind them that millions of people, including myself, chose acceptance, equality, and most of all love on November 8. We won’t accept an America that is anything less. I will volunteer with immigration services. I will donate to women’s rights foundations. And I will continue to live in the place in my heart that knows that one day I will wake up and the dark cloud of grief will be gone, my smile will be genuine all day, the future won’t look dull, love and progress really will be the winner and life will be life once again.

Reading with Mrs: Extraordinary October!

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Extraordinary October by Diana Wagman

4 out of 5 stars

Recommended: Yes!

I devoured Extraordinary October in less than 36 hours. In fact I stayed up until 4 am one night because I just had to know how it ended. It has elements that readers of other popular young adult fiction will find familiar (a love triangle, a discovered alternate world, a secret family history), but the different species of characters and fantasy elements made the novel feel very fresh. I’ve grown accustomed to the edginess in Diana Wagman’s writing from her other books and was surprised to still find hints of it in her first YA novel. She had my heart racing in anticipation of what was behind the door, or around the corner—more than I’ve experienced reading other YA novels. There have been rumors that this is the first book of a trilogy and I really hope those rumors are true. I am not ready to leave this fantastical world that Diana Wagman has created!

Mr & Mrs Are Going to Argentina!

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Cementerio de la Recoleta–Photo by Frank Garza

This weekend Rob and I head down to Buenos Aires, Argentina to visit a good friend who lives there. I am excited to experience a new, vibrant culture, enjoy some warm weather and spend time exploring Buenos Aires with an almost local! Mostly we are going to defer to our friend’s judgement on what to do and see but there are a few things I am hoping we can squeeze into our itinerary!

1- Learn how to dance the tango or just watch a tango performance!  Tango is such an intense and sensual dance and it has always intrigued me. It originated along the border of Argentina and Uruguay so what better place to learn it or experience it than in Buenos Aires!

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The Tango– Photo by Frank Garza

2- Tour Cementerio de la Recoleta! My interest in cemeteries is not something you would expect if you know my personality. I hate all things scary or spooky. But I love cemeteries. I am especially drawn to and fascinated by older cemeteries where the gravestones mark graves that are hundreds of years old. I also find older cemeteries incredibly beautiful. I know that this cemetery won’t disappoint in terms of beauty or intriguing inhabitants (it’s 284 years old!), and I can’t wait to experience it.

3- Attend a dinner party!  Apparently there is a culture of opening your home and cooking dinner for strangers in Buenos Aires. It is exactly the type of thing I like to do when I travel– explore the city like a local would.  

4- Experiencing Feria de Matadores!  This is probably the most touristy thing I wouldn’t mind doing. It sounds like it could offer a lot of history about the city and the culture, with a good mix of local flare.

Have you been to Buenos Aires? What do you suggest I see, do, or eat there?

Mrs’ Other Favorite Thanksgiving Dish!

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Rob and I are hosting our first Thanksgiving/Friendsgiving celebration on Wednesday. We are both excited and nervous. We split up the menu between our friends and ourselves so we don’t have the pressure of cooking the whole meal, however we are in charge of the turkey. So we’re crossing our fingers that our first try turns out alright!
Last year I was excited about enjoying my fairy godmother’s famous grits, but this year I am looking forward to another family tradition- raviolis. For many years we celebrated Thanksgiving with my mom’s extended family at a restaurant in the Bay Area, La Hacienda Restaurant (which is now closed) at the La Hacienda Inn, and the first course they always served were raviolis. So raviolis and Thanksgiving go hand in hand for me. Since we stopped celebrating at La Hacienda, it has been years since I’ve had raviolis on Thanksgiving. So I decided to bring back the tradition this year for the first Hunter Family Thanksgiving! We will be making the dough, the filling and the sauce by scratch using the Meat Filling recipe and Bolognese Sauce recipe from Joy of Cooking. I hope this new tradition lives up to the previous one!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Hydrating with Mrs!

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Black line marks 70 ounces!

I love water. It has been my drink of choice over soda or juice since I was young. In high school and college my room and car were littered with plastic water bottles that I was constantly reaching for, for a drink. When reusable water bottles became the craze, I bought four in one year! But even with this gusto for drinking water, I’ve never felt like I was drinking enough. Or at least I’ve never felt I was drinking enough, consistently. Recently I was chatting with a friend who drinks a gallon of water a day and I finally got the extra nudge of inspiration I needed to make more of an effort to drink more water.
I did a bit of research to determine how much I should drink in a day because a gallon seemed like too much for me. I found this article on Web MD stating that we should be drinking .5 to 1 ounce of water per pound of weight per day. .5 ounces/pound is 70 ounces of water per day for me and that seemed like a more reasonable goal for me to start out at.

I knew I didn’t want to keep track of how many ounces I’d had each day by remembering or writing them down. I had planned to use my friend’s trick–fill up a clear water bottle with the amount of ounces to be drunk that day and use that as a visual guide to track my progress or lack thereof depending on the day. However, I love cold cold water and I couldn’t find an insulated 70 ounce water bottle. Instead, I bought a gallon jug of water and marked it where 70 ounces is. I fill it up every night to the 70 ounce line so it has time to chill and then, in the morning, I use the jug to fill up my 20 ounce insulated water bottle. Win win! (thanks for the idea Rob!) I can monitor how much I am drinking and have cold water all day long!

Day one of trying to reach this new goal was October 24, and since then I have reached it only 75% of the days. I thought it would be hard to drink that much water, but what actually hinders my success is when I am away from home all day or if my routine is altered at all (like on the weekends). I came up with a new plan yesterday to help me reach my goal 100% of the time. I divide my typical day into four four-hour segments. At the end of each segment my goal is to have finished 20 ounces of water. So for instance, by 2:30pm I know I should be done with 40 ounces and if I’m not then I need to step up my game. TBD on if this helps me drink 70 ounces more consistently.

In regards to effects on my body and health, I’ve only noticed a difference in two areas. First, my skin feels more hydrated than it ever has before. So much so that if I have drank 70 ounces consistently over 2-3 days, on day three or four I feel like my skin glows. Second, my snacking tendencies have become almost non existent and I am less hungry during the day. I definitely believe now that I confuse the hunger feeling I get for meaning I should eat something when in reality, a good portion of the time, it is my body telling me to drink something. I haven’t lost weight but I could see how simply drinking a lot more water during the day could be a great first step for someone who wants to lose weight.

I am going to keep working towards reaching this goal 100% of the time and I hope that other areas of my health (like my mood or my energy levels) start being affected as well!

Reading with Mrs: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child!

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Thorne based on the story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne

4 out of 5 stars

Recommended: Yes!

I was cautiously excited when I heard that there was a new Harry Potter book coming out because I wasn’t sure about reading a script. But I was pleasantly surprised that I thoroughly enjoyed it! While the play wasn’t written by JK Rowling and the story it was based on wasn’t written solely by her either, the spirit of her writing and the original books was present in every line I read. Most of the time I forgot that it wasn’t completely her story. In the end, the script format wasn’t my favorite (I definitely found myself longing for a more descriptive telling of the story), but I loved having Harry and the whole crew back in my imagination and my life.

I also enjoyed that the focus of the story was on the next generation. It felt familiar but also fresh. If you have been missing Harry Potter and his world, I would definitely check out this book. AND I just learned that the play is a two part play so I am looking forward to them publishing the second part as a book as well. And who knows, maybe in mine and Rob’s future travels we will get to see it performed in London!

Mrs’ Favorite Emoji Texting App!

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I was recently thinking about how far the art of texting has come since I started using it more than 10 years ago. From having to press our keypads two or three times to find the letter we wanted to having emojis and ways to ‘like’ a person’s text. Recently I have been texting without words, instead using an animated emoji of myself to express my thoughts and feelings. The app that allows me to do that is Emoji Me and it just so happens to be one of the apps that Rob and his business partner created.

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It is similar to Bitmoji in that you create an emoji of yourself. You choose your face shape, nose shape, hair color, hair type, eye color, skin tone, etc. The main difference however is why I prefer using Emoji Me. Your emoji in Emoji Me is animated! You can text people an emoji of you smiling, winking, crying, doing a silly face, flipping someone off, waving, blowing someone a kiss and much more! 

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I honestly use an Emoji Me emoji in almost all my text correspondence. And since I love the app so much, I am giving away my favorite emotion, “Make it Rain”, for a limited time! Just go to the iTunes App Store app, scroll to the bottom, click ‘redeem’ and enter in one of the codes below. Once you’ve tried it out, post a pic of your emoji “making it rain”, on Instagram and tag @MissusAdventure and @BigEmojiApp in the post. A random winner will get a bundle of all the emotions available + access to future emotions!

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“Make it Rain” codes*:

LNWXKA693YLR

7LLHYMERFY3P

LWFL4YTFHNPP

7E3RF6RJRJWE

4XTXYAEL3P6K

*Only one code per person will work. Keep trying the codes to find one that hasn’t been taken. If they are all used up, let me know and I can post some more!

Reading with Mrs: Becoming Nicole!

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img_0590Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt

3 out of 5 stars

Recommended: Yes

Nicole’s story piqued my interest before I knew there was a book about it. I had heard about the adopted, identical twin boys and how one of them had known very early on that they were born into a body that didn’t match who they felt they were inside. To me it sounded like the perfect example of how a person’s identity is formed by nature more than nurture. So I was very intrigued to learn that in fact our identity is engrained in our DNA and in our brains long before we are born and that it is not connected to the genitalia we are born with. That fact got me thinking a lot about gender and our society.

Reading about how Nicole, her twin brother, and their parents handled the situation in their own family and how they navigated through society and the bogus rules that it sets forth was inspiring. Unfortunately the research-oriented writing style wasn’t my favorite and I found myself absentmindedly reading through some parts without absorbing it. All in all the story taught me a lot and helped me form some new opinions on gender and our society. I would recommend it to everyone.

PSA: Mr & Mrs Want YOU to Vote!

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I am not usually one to be public about politics, but there has been so much negativity surrounding this election I feel compelled to do more than just vote. This election is hands down one of the biggest elections that our generation has seen and more than ever before, every. vote. matters. And while, I’ll be honest, it pains me to say this, no matter who you are voting for next Tuesday, get yourself to the polls and do it.

If your excuse is that you don’t want to wait in line: many states offer early voting so that you can avoid the lines on election day. If your excuse is that your vote doesn’t matter: there are many more swing states in this election than in years past, so your voice could be the deciding factor. And if your excuse is that you are not happy with any of the candidates: there are House and Senate races going on on the local and state level that are just as important as the race for president. So at the very least, get to the polls next week and vote for a congressperson.

No matter who wins next Tuesday, our country is going to feel like a very different place next Wednesday morning. Personally I hope it feels like a more positive, compassionate, kind and woman-lead country, but that’s just my opinion.

Mrs is Flipping a House: Final Update!

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img_3245We are finally, completely done with my first flip! After three months and six days, it feels amazing to have my first project wrapped up. My next step is to go back to the drawing boards and figure out what direction I want to take my career in now. A month ago I was itching to start looking for the next house to start flipping, but when our initial buyers for this house backed out unexpectedly I decided there was no need to rush into anything. And now I am wondering what would be better for my career and mine and Rob’s life: go straight into flipping another house or start building up my buy and rent out portfolio? The answer is…TBD!

My first priority, though, is to take a couple of weeks to catch up on paperwork and enjoy the simplicity of life without a house to rehab and sell.🙂