Saturday, December 9, 2017

New Everything

I feel like we just did some kind of life swap. It's exciting, but also unnerving. I get a little spooked when life throws too many changes at me, and even good stress is stress. I started mentally cataloguing the things that have changed in our lives recently, and taking smaller things out of the equation (such as the renovations we're making on our house, Trinity learning how to drive, etc.), here's what I'm trying to adjust to:

New Career: Not for me, but for Clint. He went from being a train conductor and engineer to a 7th grade math/science teacher. Though this has been a mostly positive change for our family, it has come with it's share of stress (having him buried in school work, his exhaustion as he copes with his new position, etc.).

New Home: You already know about this one. But one thing worth mentioning is that though we moved only 29 miles away, 9 miles of it is straight up a mountain, which means our new house is in an entirely new climate.

New Car: Because of the above-mentioned new climate, we need a smaller vehicle with more maneuverability for narrow, curvy roads, yet something that can get us through the snow. I wanted a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. I adore Wranglers. There's just something so classic and timeless about them. Unfortunately the crash rating for the Unlimited is only a 2 out of 5 for the passenger (3 out of 5 for the driver). This was an instant deal breaker. So we ended up with this:

This is a 2017 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk (crash rating 4 out of 5). It has everything on our wish list. It's a 4-wheel drive with a tight turn radius and has special settings for the snow. And yes, we got it in hyper green! I'm not a silver or beige car-person. Best part is we never had to go to a dealership. We found everything we wanted online, and the dealership came to us! We signed all of the paperwork at my work and they delivered us our car. It was pretty crazy showing up to work in a minivan and leaving in a brand new Renegade.

New Dog: This is Gus.

When we moved to the mountains, George (our German Shorthair Pointer) became an absolute terror. Clint's dad has always had a soft spot for George, so he decided to take him. Giving up George left us with only one dog, and Beans gets pretty lonely while we're at work. So we got Gus. It was Clint's idea to go with a Corgi again because of how much we loved Cricket (our old girl who died last year). So far Gus is too adorable for words.

New Diet: I haven't eaten meat since June 22. In less than two weeks I'll be at the half-year mark. I really want to tell you all the cliches such as "Becoming a vegetarian has changed my life!" and "I have more energy than I've ever had before!" but the latter is simply not true, and mostly I just miss meat. Trying to cope with all of these life changes without any comfort food kinda sucks. I've decided to give myself one cheat a month now for fish only, but this doesn't help much when what I really want is a McDonald's double cheeseburger.

New Perspective: I've touched upon this on past blog entries. Ever since the accident the idealist in me has been chipped away a little, and I view the world through a more cautious lens. It's not a bad thing, it's just different.

I think that covers the major "new" things. I did buy a new set of pajamas that I really like, but that's probably not worth its own heading.


  1. That's a great color for a car! I love bright colors like that. I really want my next car to be lime green or purple. And Gus is SOO cute!! ^_^

    I didn't realize the move was only 29 miles. That's not so bad. Small town life without being too isolated. I'm actually thinking about eating less meat. I don't want to be strictly vegan, just maybe 50% vegan, work my way up to 75%. :P

    1. Krystal, the Jeep Unlimited I had picked out was purple! I swear you and I love the same colors. I still remember your living room being the same shade of green as mine.

      Yeah, we're actually not isolated at all. Downtown LA is only 90 minutes away from where we live, but we have major cities (such as San Bernardino) 25 minutes away. Even locally, we have a Stater Bro's (big chain grocery store) and a McDonald's about 10 minutes away. It's just our town itself is really, really tiny, and with all the trees and old family-owned businesses, it's got that small-town vibe.

      I didn't really sell the whole vegan lifestyle much in my post, but there are a ton of benefits (i.e. I lost ten pounds without even trying). There are some awesome facebook groups out there too to help out beginners. At this point I'm 100% vegetarian, but only about 70-75% vegan. I still eat dairy and eggs on the weekends. If you want to eat less meat, maybe you can try being a pescetarian instead of a vegetarian?

  2. We have a Jeep Renegade! Matt got one about two years ago. It's the most gorgeous shade of blue with all the bells and whistles. He loves it! When we got it, it was because up to that point all we had were two small cars. One was falling apart and the other was my little Veloster. Neither were good for the winter weather. We needed serious 4WD. Besides, he'd always wanted a Jeep and though he had been set on the Wrangler, I was able to talk him into looking at other models. I don't like the Wranglers, I always feel a little unsafe in them.

    I just caught up with all the things going on with you. I've been a little lost in my own head lately--it's made me a terrible friend. I'm a little sad to read your optimism has chipped away a little. Not sure I can really explain that reaction, except that you've always been so upbeat and cheerful. Something I've always admired about you. But honestly, I think what happened with the accident would do that to anyone.

    On a last note, that dog is ridiculously adorable!

    1. I lost my entire reply to this, so I'm going to make this one short.

      First, blue is my favorite color! I almost chose blue for our Renegade. But then the hyper green started making eyes at me, and I couldn't resist. So glad to hear that Matt loves his Renegade after two years! Oh, and interesting that you've always felt unsafe in Wranglers, given that the research actually confirms you wariness. Safety was top priority for us this time around. We even added a brush guard bumper to our Renegade just for extra measure.

      Second, being distracted doesn't make you a terrible friend. I've been in my own head for as long as a year, and I probably sucked as a friend too. But you know how this works...we're both here eventually, ready to pick up where we left off. :P

      Third, I said some comments about the upbeat/cheerful thing, but I can't seem to recreate those thoughts anymore. So I'm just going to conclude this reply and swing by your blog to read your latest. ;)

      (And yes, Gus is the cutest!)

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