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_sheenarae _sheenarae

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sheena  exploring trails, good food, and collecting memories instead of things. Sheenajibson@gmail.com

http://www.inthelittleredhouse.blogspot.com/

It’s 11:40pm and our car smells like stinky feet and armpits and a dog who didn’t drink enough water today 😳 We are all just a little bit achy and a big bit tired and have a few new scrapes and bruises on our wimpy winter skin. Have the kids changed their clothes? Did I even bother trying to get the mud out of my hair? (I’m actually not sure, and no- that’s what hats are for). We are driving home into a snowstorm wearing sandals and new sunburns and I’m sitting here thinking the good life isn’t very glamorous....but I think that’s what makes it so good.

Well look who finally decided to show up....better late than never I guess.

February 2018. The winter that wasn’t.

Made some friends on our run. Literal words out of his mouth “this is the bessssst!”. It must be time for another....

{Part 1/3} Hello again from this little world of squares! 2018 hit and I realized man, this social media thing makes everyone weird, and found myself needing a break. [@jibnut80 broke my social media fast to bring you some pretty great material though 😂] Thank you a million times for all the birthday wishes- I read every single one and decided you all are way too nice. It blows my mind a little bit that anyone sticks around here and cares what I have to say- so thank you 🙏🏼 Life has been good- busy- but all with good things. We’ve lost some steam on the house- sometimes I trip over a box and think- oh yeah maybe I should unpack that. Nah. We may never get around to things like light switch covers or painting the trim....first world problems, right? As much as I’m a summer time girl- I’ve been missing the snow this winter. We’ve been celebrating even the tiniest storms and driving up to the mountain looking for hidden pockets of powder in the trees....

{Part 2/3} I’m settling in at work. I have learned exactly one million things since I started in October (FYI, you learn NOTHING in nursing school🤔). I work in the progressive care unit (step down ICU), and while it’s not a job I imagined I’d have when I began this journey- it’s been the best place for me to start. I see just about everything-each shift is different than the one before. I have learned so much from my patients- not directly-they are usually too sick, confused, or sleepy to tell me anything worth mentioning (or appropriate 😂). But let me share how they have shaped my thoughts on this whole thing called life. Most of them are in the process of dying- it’s usually not immediate- maybe months, maybe still a year or two, but I have taken care of more than I can count who are on the very steady downhill part of life. Many will need constant care throughout this process. Does it make me think about death more? It doesn’t; the opposite actually....

{Part 3/3} In yoga this morning my instructor said pick a word to focus on today. As I lay on my mat listening to my breath-sweat stinging my eyes, I thought “ALIVE”. I am alive! This is what my patients have brought to my focus these last few months. We went to the desert for my birthday so I could fill up my thirsty winter soul, and every step through the sunshine I thought, I am the luckiest girl to have this body and soul-everything works and moves and lives and loves! Am I honoring that every day? I’ll tell you that I am trying. Trying to cut out things that are wasteful, useless, or suck my time away. Trying to make sure my actions are intentional, and have a purpose. Trying to focus on what is happening right NOW; not getting lost in dreams of the past, worries of the future, or squares of other people’s lives. Because THAT, is not living my friends. I’m the ripe ol’ age of 35 now, and I figure I have 66 more years to fill with all the goodness I can get within my reach. I am alive 🙌🏼

I’ve hacked my wife’s account to wish her a very Happy Birthday! 🎉. I’d love nothing more than to have all her friends and family do the same. What do you like about Sheena?

Raise your hand if you made some kind of food related goal for the new year?👋🏼Between being kitchenless for a month and eating anything that could go in the microwave/cold cereal, and then eating my body weight in cheese over Christmas, I was ready for a big change.

There are a million and one different diets out there right now, and thanks to the internet you can read about them all at once. Add more of this. Take out that forever. Eat only _____. Some seem awesome for a temporary change, some I don't understand, almost all of them stress me out. For me personally, I am hesitant to cut out entire food groups. I have tried several different "diets" over the years, and have found I do best eating a little bit of everything--I'm happier, I feel better, I perform better out on the trail. But something I know I can always do better at is eating more plants. The older I get I am realizing you really can't eat too many veggies. I just started reading a book called "How Not to Die" by Dr. Michael Greger. The book (all 500 pages of it) dives deep into the benefits of a plant based diet (not just veggies, but fruit, whole grains and beans). We all know we should be eating more of these things--but this books dives into the science, and tells us WHY we need to be eating more. I'm not going vegan anytime soon (I mean, pizza and ice cream and stuff) but there is always room to eat more plants. If you like food, and you like science than you will cruise through the book--it is FASCINATING—our bodies are the coolest.

I have also been trying to be better at doing a little meal prep here and there so I always have easy lunches to throw together at home or take to work. It's so easy to take all the veggies in your fridge, drizzle some olive oil and salt on them and roast them (425°). Keep them in the fridge for a few days to throw into your lunch. The roasting brings out such a different flavor in everything, you really don't need to add much to it. Today I ate them with quinoa, roasted chickpeas (olive oil, salt, smoked paprika, turmeric), hummus, goat cheese, and parsley 👌🏼 How do you fit more plants into your day? What are some resources I should check out? 🌱

If I had to choose one word to sum up 2017 it would be WORK. I worked my 🍑 off in so many different areas of life, and questioned if I’d even live to see 2018 😏. This year was full of SO MUCH GOOD- but it still picked me up, turned me upside down and shook out allllllll of the emotions. But when I think back and dream about my garden (and constantly plan out my next one) I have to remind myself that all of that work- all the digging, sweating, and dirty hands eventually lead to a pretty magical harvest. So here’s to 2018- I’m carving out lots of playtime, but I’ll be sure to keep my hands in the dirt. 🌱

‘twas a very merry day ✨

....and to all a good night!

Merry Christmas! This Christmas season has been a bit of a whirlwind and I found myself stressing over the silliest things like not having a mantle yet (I mean, how can Santa come with no mantle 🙄) and the fact that I only made one batch of Christmas cookies instead of the usual ten, and still having stacks of boxes in corners and wondering where everything is (let’s all agree that these are the lamest things to stress over). But then I sat down on the couch yesterday next to the fire, looked out the window at all the new snow with Frank Sinatra singing something snazzy in the my ear and realized HEY! Santa doesn’t care about mantles, I don’t need hundreds of cookies, and these two 👆🏼 don’t care about boxes everywhere. Despite the chaos, I have no doubt I will look back on this Christmas and remember that it was the year I had my big “ah-ha” moment about the things that really matter most at Christmas- we are all together....therefore everything is perfect. I didn’t get a Christmas card made (where is my computer anyway?) - so consider this your virtual mail- 2017 was quite the year! We climbed some mountains, explored the desert, played in the ocean, I graduated nursing school and started work as an RN, Robby and I celebrated 15 years, we packed up and moved into a giant messy construction zone that is slowly but surely turning into home, and these kiddos just keep growing into smart and funny miniature adults. Life is pretty good. Merry Christmas from my family to yours! ❤️🎄

oh there’s no place like home for the holidays....🎵

The tradition of cutting our own Christmas tree is one of my favorites.... but even better than that is forgetting to take the carrier off the top of the car, and having to strap a tree that’s just a tad bit too big to the side of the carrier so it hangs off the back and we cross our fingers it stays on the whole drive home (don’t worry, it did). Modern day Griswolds.

tis the season🎄(although we could use a little more snow)

Life is just a bit blurry lately.....we have spent the last 6 weeks emptying out an old house down to it’s skivvies, and slowly dressing it back up with paint, new floors, and a kitchen that should be done(ish) next week(🤞🏼). We officially moved in last Saturday and have been camped out on the floor, living out of boxes- most of which are spilling out their contents into neighboring boxes, forming giant piles in every room. But, even in all the chaos, yesterday I saw the teeniest tiniest reflection of normal. My training at work is wrapping up, so I switched over to nights this week. I saw my kids off to school in the morning for the first time in forever, worked on unpacking my closet because my room finally has a floor, thought about doing some homework but instead ended up going for a run (this is all too normal for me). It was only a few miles but my face was in the sun and my feet were on the dirt so I was smiling and flying and feeling like everything was perfect. Back home I threw some clothes in the wash, and then stood in my skeleton of a kitchen, squinting so I could picture how it will be when I make cookies and Christmas dinner (but really at this point I’ll be happy to have running water and a place to fry an egg). I asked the kids what they learned in school (“nothing”, obviously), and we shared a snack before I dropped them off with dad to climb and I headed down to work. So it was a pretty regular day- nothing monumental, and not a day I’ll likely dig up in my memory- just an ordinary, everyday kind of day.....it was the best. (Now excuse me while I go dig through a garage pile to find my Jetboil to make some tea).

What is balance? To me, it’s this mythical creature I’ve been seeking out for the past few years. Sometimes I think I’m close to having it within my reach; other times I feel like I might as well be looking for unicorns (which I may be more likely to find some days). But what I am certain of, is that it’s absolutely impossible to have a perfectly balanced day or even week, or....in my life right now, I don’t think I will even find balance in a month’s time. What I am starting to realize- or at least it’s what I’m telling myself- is that I don’t believe true balance comes until the very end, when you look back after a hundred and one years and say “look at everything I have done! I worked really hard, but I played a little bit harder. I went through seasons of eating a lot of brownies and pizza with my kids, and times when I ate locally grown organic non-GMO quinoa. I remember times I climbed mountain after mountain and rode my bike for hours....and then there were times I had to take a nap in my car before I could go in the grocery store (to buy stuff for brownies, obviously). What a happy, and well balanced life I lived!”
If I stress about living my life with everything in perfect balance, I may never find it. So I’m just going to sit here with my feet up, eating my brownie, and wait for balance to catch up with me, and even everything out🤞🏼

I just completed my third week working as a brand spanking new nurse in the Progressive Care Unit. Life has been a whirlwind this past month (how is it November?!) but even with everything going on, I have been enjoying learning the ropes of this new adventure (soooo many ropes!) There is an overwhelming amount of information to take in, and I learn exactly one hundred and one new things everyday caring for people who really aren’t doing so great. Yesterday I sat in a room full of doctors and social workers as they told a forty year old mother that she had cancer in her brain, and probably only had about 4-5 months to live. It. Was. Well....there are just no words for a situation like this. I know I will get to the point with my job where I have seen and heard everything, and won’t let these deep heavy moments consume all my thoughts when I leave the hospital. My hope is to instead take these times where I watch others suffering, and use them as fuel to fire my own life, living each day with more purpose and intention in all that I do. I feel like the least I can do for these moms and dads, sons and daughters, is pass on the lessons and light I have gained from them. Four to five months to live- can you even try to imagine that? In four months we will be settled into our new place, the holidays will have come and gone, I will have had a birthday, and I’m hoping we will have spent a handful of days in deep fluffy powder. It seems so far away, but really, it’s nothing. A blink. I hope that through these next few weeks of navigating through the stress of this new job, moving, and trying to keep myself mentally together, I can remember that each and every day, every minute- as crazy as they may seem- is such a gift. Every blink, every breath; how lucky I am.

👻👻

One week ago I was chasing my kiddos down the trail on two wheels (I spy my little purple dot up ahead) and afterwards we refueled on chips and 99 kinds of salsa. Since then we’ve managed to rip the carpet, surprise linoleum underneath the carpet, every last piece of the kitchen, wallpaper (😩), baseboards and trim out of our “new” house (and we would have dropped dead by now if our friends hadn’t jumped in and helped along the way). It now sits empty, ready for paint and floors- it’s crazy what can be done in a week! I am ready for a nap, and maybe a brownie, and then another nap. And maybe while I’m sleeping I will dream up a plan of what we are doing next- we are kind of making this whole thing up as we go 😂

We aren’t the best at selfies....but- I spy a happy/tired/crazy/bursting at the seams with excitement family and a new [old] house! This is sure to be our biggest adventure to date- lots of projects, super late nights, endless takeout, all to make our home sweet home 🏡❤️

Even though summer has my heart, and fall is pretty super duper, I kinda sorta accidentally let my mind wander into winter last night as we climbed up high and picked out imaginary lines ❄️⛷🏂

Here’s a conversation topic to get the wheels really turning in your brains before we head into the week. I am having a hard time grasping the devastation and loss that are results of the Santa Rosa fires. We were talking about it as a family tonight, and the first thing we decided is that we have absolutely NOTHING to complain about- we all agreed on that. Then Robby and I posed this question: what would you do if a fireman showed up in the middle of the night and said you have 15 minutes to leave- what would you grab? The kids listed everything- food, books, blankets, luckily we have camping totes loaded and ready to go, bows and arrows for hunting (I’m not sure where they thought we were going), and of course the dog and cat. We agreed it was a good list. Then we cut the time down to 5 minutes- what would you bring? The list was significantly shorter. And then, we asked the nearly impossible....what if we had NO time?! What if they said leave NOW? A pause, quiet.....hmmm... None of our “stuff” really matters, does it? Not at all. All we need is us...(and the dog and cat of course).

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