Where in the world is Kim Reynolds?

Governor, I’d like to chat.

Governor, I’ve been sitting here trying to find the words to write this. I know so many of my friends and community members disagree with what I’m about to write. I know there will be plenty of people commenting disputing and tearing apart every line I write. I know I’m opening myself up for attack.

And I still think it’s worth talking about.

Ms. Reynolds, I am a loyal follower of yours. I don’t agree with every decision you make. I didn’t and I won’t vote for you. However, I can respect how difficult your job is. There is no right answer. There is no way to make everyone happy – beyond just happiness, the decisions you and your administration make can make or break Iowan’s families and small businesses for months and years to come. I know you don’t take any decisions lightly.

Like I said, I am a loyal follower of yours. I watched every daily press conference you held for weeks on end in March and April and May. I have the state’s coronavirus dashboard pulled up multiple times a day. I watched trolls drag your name through the mud on Facebook live, accusing you of ruining small businesses when you were just trying to do your job. Your name has been raked through the mud in a way no one deserves.

The numbers don’t lie, Iowa is behind. Iowa is not doing well at all. That’s not a secret. The numbers are growing. Hospitals are surging. Flu season is coming. Pandemic fatigue has us at war with our neighbors and families. Iowa is in desperate need of a leader.

Where are you Kim Reynolds?

I don’t mean that to come off as inflammatory, truly.

I’m scared. I’m scared for my friends, my family, my neighbors, for total strangers. I’m scared and I’m looking for a leader.

Where. Are. You.

Where is the daily press conference now that we need it more than ever?

Do you remember the zones? The charts and numbers and monitoring tools? You promised me this was under control. You promised that there would be further closures if it was indicted. You promised that there was an entire team behind every decision you made.

Where are you now? Where is that team? Where are you now that over 30,000 Iowans are currently actively positive with the coronavirus? (see source here)

The good news is, I found you.

I’ve searched the news. I’ve searched your Facebook page and I found you.

I found you campaigning for Donald Trump.

I found you campaigning for Joni Ernst.

I found you campaigning for Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination.

I found your last press conference held on October 7th addressing Donald Trump’s COVID -19 diagnosis.

I found you at Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Nebraska.

I found you posted a video with Joni, the caption read, “On Duty for Joni Ernst!”

But Governor, who is on duty for Iowa? Now that we need a leader more than ever?

Where are the daily press conferences?

Ms. Reynolds, have you been in a COVID unit since the pandemic started?

You talk about all of the open hospital beds and ICU beds but do you have the nurses to take care of the patients in those beds?

Governor, I can easily see how many ventilators are available in the state of Iowa at any given second, but how many respiratory therapists do you have on standby to operate those ventilators?

Finally, I don’t know what I want from you. I don’t know if I want you to shut down Iowa, I don’t know if I want a mask mandate. I don’t know.

Ms. Reynolds, I don’t know what the right answer is; but you should know.

You have one of the most difficult jobs in the state of Iowa right now. I sincerely pray for you and your administration. I pray for our leaders to make the right decisions. I don’t want you to fail even though we don’t see eye to eye.

I just want you to show up for Iowa.

Sincerely, A COVID ICU Nurse

*To my followers, I’m aware this breeches my “no politics” promise I made to you. I felt it needed to be said. Please feel free to stop back tomorrow for regularly scheduled programming*

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Flex Your Comeback Muscle

I just have a few quick notes to jot down before I fall asleep. I wanted to let you in on a little bit of the thought work I’ve been training my brain with.

I’ve been very open and honest about my health journey with you all recently and the thought work, introduced to me by Elizabeth Benton, is really helping me more than any diet plan could.

I ate way too much today. I ate out, I ate fried greasy food, I ate lots of it followed with ice cream. While I’m not proud of my choices I made today, I’m allowed – I’m not restricting – but I feel like total dog crap. I don’t feel good when I eat like this. I was not intentional, I didn’t have a plan, it was my “cheat day.”

Like I said, my stomach is rolling, I feel like I could puke, I just feel so heavy. I haven’t felt this way in weeks. While I’m not depriving myself, I’ve been mindful and intentional until today. It’s like my body is in shock. I feel gross.

I thought to myself, “what a waste of a day.” A day like today would be enough to derail me from any traditional “diet” plan. Then I remembered:

The hard lessons are just as important to learn.

Today was not a waste. Today I learned what not to do, I learned how not to eat. I learned that if I eat junk food, I feel like crap. I learned that nothing tastes as good as I feel when I fuel my body intentionally. I learned that I don’t want to feel like this. I may want greasy fast food, but I don’t want it more than I don’t want to feel the Way I feel right now.

Today was just as important in my health journey as the days where I’m up in the gym at 5:30 and I’m breaking my fast after 12 pm with Whole Foods that I chose. Today was just as important as when I home make my favorite sugar free natural coconut and medjool date ice cream and hit every macro!

So I challenge you, find the lesson in today. Find the lesson in your hard season, in your struggle. Is today making you stronger for your bad days?

Think about if you’ve ever quit a diet: How many of you have said “Aw shoot well I’m already off the wagon, might as well just stay off.” or “Might as well eat the bag of chips since I screwed up anyway.” What if you had a really strong comeback muscle that just allowed you to bounce back and not let the past define your choices? What if it was easier to bounce back than it was to fall off the wagon? Unless you practice getting back up when you get knocked off, you will never learn how to..

I just talked about this in yesterday’s post: I fell off of the debt free journey wagon. I’m working on building back my comeback muscle to get right back on. I’ve been knocked off before, this isn’t my first rodeo. I know where to start. I know what budget items to cut down on. I know what to do because I’ve been here before.

“I get knocked down, I get up again, You’re never gonna bring me down!”

Now I get to practice flexing my comeback muscle – the muscle that doesn’t let me give up when I’ve had a hard day or hit a speed bump. The comeback muscle that gets me back in the game. The comeback muscle is just as important – if not more important – than the smooth sailing muscle.

For more on the thought work I’m immersing myself in, check out Elizabeth Benton’s book: Chasing Cupcakes – I HIGHLY recommend her book, her podcast, and everything she puts out into the world!

Here is the Amazon link to her book: https://amzn.to/2TBAQKn

And check out her Primal Potential podcast!

Thanks for reading friends!

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Off the Wagon

Okay folks. I’ve brought you along thus far in our debt free journey so in total transparency, we have fallen off the debt free wagon.

Some of this was intentional, some unintentional. We did take a break this Summer. We rewarded our hard work of paying off $30,000 in 6 months with a bathroom remodel. It mostly started off as a “pay as we go” project but I’m sitting here adding up the numbers shaking my dang head staring at about $4,000 we owe between the plumbers and a Home Depot card. We did pay as we went up until this month when the plumbing bill was about $700 more than we had planned.

But…I also bought a bike…and I didn’t like that one so I bought another one…then Craig bought his bike…then we needed helmets…then we got some more medical bills in the mail…and then on and on down the rabbit whole we went. We had a fun and luxurious Summer but as you read in my last blog post SUMMER IS OVER. The Friedmans are hopping back ON the debt free bandwagon.

What’s slowing us down? PAYMENTS. These medical bills are massively cramping our style – paying about $400 – $500 a month just to stay out of collections between 3 different hospitals. They’ve gotta go.

This Home Depot card is next up on the chopping block – I know it’s 24 months interest free financing but I HATE saying we have credit card debt.

I’m sitting here, dreaming about next Summer when we can buy our electric mountain bikes and it just isn’t going to happen when we’ve got all this debt staring back at us.

Back to meal planning.

Back to budgeting.

Back to intentionality.

Back to streaming Dave Ramsey 24/7

Back to picking up extra shifts.

Back to the basics friends! The good news is, if we pay off as much debt as we did in the first year of Dave Ramsey, we will own our vehicles free and clear for the first time in our marriage by this time next year. We could be consumer debt free in one year guys! I can’t wait to set and crush our goals and get creative!

Thanks for reading guys! Have a great day! Cheers to being smart with our money!

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Saying Goodbye to Summer 2020

I came to a sad realization as I was scraping snow and ice off of my car the other day. Summer is over. Very over.

Seems like yesterday we were splashing around the pool and having a blast on the bike trails. Although sad, Craig and I were chatting about it after one of his late nights in the combine: we truly feel like we made the most of our Summer.

Summer 2020 will be remembered as the year we fell in love with biking. The summer I bought my first real bike, the summer we first got our hands on an electric mountain bike, the summer Craig and I found a hobby that we love.

We bike with Craig’s parents and his sister, we biked with my brother and my mom, my niece came along for a few rides too! We can’t wait to spoil Carver with a “real bike” for Christmas (shh! Don’t tell!) and we can’t wait to get back on the trails next Summer.

Summer 2020 will go down as the first year we bought a pool! You can bet every Summer – from June until September – there will be a pool up. It was so hard to FIND ONE! I’ll remember that too!

So much bonding happened in this pool – the boys got braver every afternoon we spent in it. They started off with floaties and goggles and by the end of the Summer they were splashing around without any help! Craig and I loved catching up phone free with a nice cold drink on a hot afternoon. Best investment we could have made!

One bittersweet part of 2020 was that darn bathroom remodel! (which still isn’t done by the way) So many ups and downs and lessons learned throughout the remodel! The biggest lesson: Take your budget and add a few zeroes on the end!

P.S. We still don’t have a door on the bathroom.

And finally, Summer 2020 will go down in history as our best Summer yet. Craig and I, as cheesy as it sounds, really grew together this Summer. We are truly stronger and more in love than ever. *cue the awwww!* So as we talked about our Summer 2020, with all the nonsense of the world dragging us down, it was somehow our best Summer ever. We know we made the most of our Summer with the time that we had and even with all the COVID restrictions in place.

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It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas…

I was super not prepared for snow on the ground this morning. Snow on the ground when you have kids in school means digging out hats, gloves, boots, snow pants, THE WHOLE WORKS. I was super not ready. So I spent the morning on Amazon, Carhartt, and Target trying to clothe my family.

First up, to Amazon because I know exactly what boots I want to buy for Carver. He got the same ones last year, just needs a new size upgrade. I highly recommend these boots (obviously) because I’m snagging them again this year. They velcro nicely and are lined with sherpa for the extra warmth. They’ve got girls colors too! I’ll be getting a pair for Gannon too here in a few years! Also note – these boots are ranked #1 in girl’s snow boots and #1 in boys snow boots in the entirety of Amazon! HERE IS THE LINK: https://amzn.to/37HTdFH

Next up, I’m so over scraping my windshield – especially after overnights. I have to park further away at this job so I can’t just run out and start my car quick before I get off of work so I’m investing in one of these hickey doos to cover my windshield on overnights. It’s got amazing reviews but I’ll let you know what I think of it once I’ve used it a time or two. Here is the link: https://amzn.to/35vHPtQ

Next up, boots for mama. I’ve been buying these Bear Paw boots – I wear a size 12 W and the 12 fits me great (even with my wide calves!) and I wear these every second I set foot outside whether they go with my outfit or not. Yes – they are expensive. YES I will continue buying them every winter until I die! The boots from last year will be more of my “muck” boots and this new pair will be prefect for nicer outfits. I wear them with sweatpants, leggings, dresses – comfort above all else and these are DAMN comfy! HERE IS THE LINK: https://amzn.to/3owLlNp

If you don’t like the taller version, here’s a link to a shorter version – a little cheaper, a little shorter, and more color/sizing options. I personally prefer the TALL boot because I never want snow in my boots – even when I’m in a snow drift. I usually get a black pair every year too! HERE IS THE LINK: https://amzn.to/37HmAIj

AND another item (that I think would make an awesome gift) Is Prestone De-Icer Spray! This cuts my scraping time in half. I go through cans pretty quick so it’s nice that amazon sells a six pack – bonus – it also has a scraper attached. This is a winter staple for me – I get so mad when I don’t have any. Craig always steals mine out of my car if he’s out so I’m stocking up for sure! HERE IS THE LINK! https://amzn.to/3jtV6b9

Okay! That’s enough ordering for one day – not to mention the Carhartt order I’m putting in for Craig and the boys but BONUS – they give discounts for nurses, military, first responders, and fireman – a full 20% discount! That will be a separate blog post. Thanks for reading guys!

If you ever purchase any amazon products from MY link, I do get commission. If you buy, let’s just say, $150 worth of other stuff while you’re on Amazon by following my link, I also get commission on those things you purchase. It’s a way to support my blog and it is a way to score some great quality products. I just want to be honest with you guys. I would have raved about these products even if I didn’t make any money off of it.

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Hey, me again.

Oh hey, just Kalissa again, starting out another blog post apologizing for my absence on the blog! Thanks for checking back anyway! Let’s jump in!

First of all, shout out to my main squeeze Craig Alexander – I didn’t realize how much I am able to get done when he’s around. I blame my lack of blog posting on his late nights in the combine because he usually allow me some time at night to just write blog posts while he manages the gremlins. Also, Craig turned the big 2-7 this past week on Tuesday! We celebrated with RAIN on Thursday and Friday – lots of it – so he’s been home more this weekend – most of the day today. Harvest is still in full swing! We got snow here today but not enough to deter any harvesting tomorrow.

The way my schedule worked last week was NICE – I had several days off in a row and was FINALLY able to get caught up! As of 8 pm on this day, October 25th, ALL OF THE LAUNDRY IN THE FRIEDMAN HOME IS PUT AWAY and CLEAN! Can you believe that? I sure can’t! It won’t last long but I felt it was worth sharing.

I’ve taken loads and loads to the thrift store so the house feels much lighter, more organized. I’m working on clearing out the basement and freshening it up with some indoor toys/equipment so we can hang out down there this Winter with the boys just to switch things up. I was going to order mats for the floor but Carver has stolen and lost ALL of our tape measures in the house.

Carver was hilarious today – he told me “Mom, I need some alone time away from the baby.” The baby was Gannon and Carver was being forced to take a nap with him – in fact the entire Friedman clan got a solid 4 hour nap today! We are all feeling refreshed!

My health/fitness journey is still going strong – I’ve noticed some REAL differences in my appearance, my energy level, my mood, I just feel so much lighter. I’m still meeting with my personal trainer every Thursday to get my butt kicked into shape.

My wonderful sister in law Lora let me borrow her big fancy camera to dink around with so I’ve been diving head first into photography, ISO, aperture, and all that jazz trying my hand at photography. I snapped this picture for my sister’s twin announcement! THAT’S RIGHT, SHE’S HAVING TWINS YA’LL!!

It’s tempting to just stick with what I know – which is taking pics on my iphone – I got this one of mom and Rosie cross stitching the other day. But I’ve ALWAYS wanted to really try photography so I’m pushing myself to learn something new!

Also guys, like if you see me fill up with gas at Kwik Star, you can BET I’ll be buying this fabulous combo too: Caffeine water and these delicious greek yogurt bars! These are a few of my favorite things!

Also, someone asked for the amazon link to my favorite razors I posted awhile back so here it is!

I’m also loving these razors my mom recommended from Amazon. I went from using Bic’s single blade razors to this, and I AM NEVER GOING BACK YOU GUYS! You get 9 razors for like $11! One razor lasted me 2 full months and was just as smooth as the first time I used it! Seriously, give it a shot! Here is the link: https://amzn.to/3gcllCq

Thanks for reading friends, see you next time!

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