Peanut Butter and Jelly

Jason and I have been married for ten years this summer but we have been together for nearly fifteen years now. That’s a lot of life to travel through together and I am thankful to have my best friend by my side. We mirror each other and have often been each other’s subject of lessons learned in our life together. I am so thankful that we have found a partnership that can stand up to the many tests of time.

My husband and I are very different. He is 6’ 4” I am 5’. He likes indoor activities. I like outdoor activities. He likes to watch sports. I enjoy HGTV and finding DIY projects for us to do together. He allows me to make him “honey do” lists of things I need done around the house. Yet, he will do them only when he is darn good and ready! In turn, I have learned to be patient and thankful that he is here to do them for me in the first place.

He prefers to spend quiet weekends at home. I would rather go out and enjoy friends or activities together. He travels for work, a lot, and I work from home. We have opposite view points on many issues from politics, to how many dogs we should have. As a matter of fact, we are so different, that I believe we are like Peanut Butter and Jelly.

Jason is for sure the Peanut Butter in our relationship. He is the solid foundation on which I share all my flavorful and creative ideas and he does his best to help me make them work. I am the Jelly that adds the flare to our relationship. Sometimes I’m the sweet Strawberry Jelly, other times, I am spicy Raspberry Jalapeno!

I know without the balance and grounding, hearty substance of my husband; who is always his Peanut Butter self. I would be sweet but not satisfied. I really do appreciate and need his foundation of strength and stability. I believe, he also enjoys the joyful energy I bring to the table. We balance each other in many ways but sometimes our tendency to be so opposite brings challenges to our relationship. Yet, so far, they seem to be the reason we work together so well.

No matter how opposed we are, we seem to just know that this is who we are supposed to be traveling through this lifetime with. Even on days I want to tuck into a cannonball and take him out at the knees. 😊  Hey, some times marriage and life can be hard. Even when you love each other, there are days when we don’t particularly like each other.

Knowing that, even on those challenging times when life throws us curve balls or does its best to shake up our foundation, we know we are meant to be together. That random rattling of our foundation actually works to smoosh us together, mixing us up until we are a blended combination that is inseparable, just like Peanut Butter and Jelly.

I know that I am blessed to have found someone who fits me so perfectly, even as opposite as we are. This brings us both opportunities to grow exponentially in many ways. We are both great individually but, put us together and that’s where the magic happens. This is how we expand our possibilities. By accepting our differences and working together to build a relationship; we have sandwiched a beautiful life together.

I think it’s fun to think of different ways to describe or explain complicated matters like relationships. What analogy would you give your marriage or relationship? I would love to hear them!

Wishing you an abundance of joyful blessings,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

@emyminzel

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters

Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

Ode to Coffee.

Coffee, oh coffee, I love you! I will not lie.

I think you taste the best when you come from a Fair-Trade guy.

The smell of the beans and first whiff of morning brew…

I will not, cannot lie! Coffee I love you.

 

Coffee you make mornings bearable for this mama bear.

Even on days I want to pull out my hair.

I like that you are a reliable as the sun

Because today I gotta run.

 

Coffee you are great, piping hot or iced cold.

I love your rich flavor and how you make me feel bold.

Straight up black please! No need for sugar, or creamer fufu…

Coffee, oh coffee, I love you.

 

No other beverage helps me seize the day

Coffee you just get me, we are on the way!

A new Monday is here and you’re here for me too.

Oh, coffee oh coffee, I love you.

 

Wishing you good coffee, and an abundance of joyful blessings,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

@emyminzel

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters

Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

In mid-pursuit of Dreams, Goals, and Aspirations!

I have a wide range of interests that keep me busy, my day job is rewarding and makes me feel purposeful, yet I still feel pushed by Spirit to do more. I have been writing books with my Adventure Sister Stacy with the hope and purpose of helping others grow, and learn, in ways that are helpful in everyday life. We would like to use our series of books to promote the importance of working together while encouraging our differences, in sisterhood, family, friendship, and in all areas of life while caring for each other and the planet.

We have been pursuing this goal for several years and we are smack dab in the middle of working hard for no ‘reward’ except the reward is that it feels right to our souls. It is the heartfelt passion and our will to help the greater good with our writing that keeps our project moving forward, one baby step after another. We are determined to make it happen.

I also have dreams of traveling the globe far and wide, gaining experiences of other places and cultures while writing about it on my hobby farm that will rescue farm animals, bees, chickens, cows, donkey, goats, you name it. I dream that this farm will be fully functioning while being surrounded by a magnificent permaculture food oasis for my family complete with a Walipini for winter gardening. You’re probably thinking “You’re nuts girl! Do you know how much work that is?!”

Yes, I do. I am aware of the insanity that drives me forward, it is my crazy creative life that keeps me dreaming these goals. I feel the pull to add in a little mix of corporate to my creative goals, I have been moved to explore the political world feeling the need to stand up to the injustices I see and now I am considering a run to represent my local district. Because why wouldn’t you add more work on top of the work you already have?!

During my spare time I refinish and repurpose old décor that can be brought to life and funkdified into something wonderful. I have a whole basement workshop full of half finished projects I would like to complete so I could sell them in a small boutique for extra travel money. Also, I create random pieces of art when called to do so. Did you see that?! Squirrel!

Is it possible to be a State Representative, Therapist, Author, Sanctuary Farmer, Permaculture enthusiast and Artist all at the same time? What keeps me holding on to these dreams while some of them have nothing to do with the other? Could I possibly find the time, money, and energy to pursue all of them? Would Spirit give me the desire to do all these things if it weren’t possible?

It would be possible to write and have a farm sanctuary that would be a dream come true. Yet like most people I still have a day job that pays the bills and we all know that’s just a little important if you like to eat. Like I said, I enjoy my ‘job’ it doesn’t feel like work because I find it rewarding. Yet I still aspire to do so much more, to live more sustainably in a way that supports my inner truth. Would I still be able to give my family and friends the time and attention they need to keep healthy happy relationships in the pursuit of my truth?

What goals are truly attainable? And which goals should I pull my energy from? I believe time is the most precious commodity humans are given, so I would like to put my ambitions into the things that will have the best outcome for my highest and greatest good. I am human and do not know what the future will bring, but I do know what I would like my future to look like. Goals, dreams and aspirations are good to have right?!

My husband is not on board with my hobby farm dreams unless he is guaranteed not to have to do any of the work. I understand this because these are not his dreams, they are mine, and it would not be fair to push them on to him and take up his time that is also his commodity to do with as he pleases. He still loves me, encourages me, and supports me in pursuit of my goals, and that’s what matters. I also realize I cannot achieve these goals alone.

Do I take the dreams and goals I can accomplish by myself and run with them? Do I then sacrifice the rest of my goals to the boulevard of broken dreams where what if’s live forever? Or… do I get to work recruiting the help I need? Did you know I hate to ask for help? Insert exasperated sign here. The self-imposed drama I tell you! Stacy just reminded me that the more I believe my dreams will come true the more likely they will be manifested! I know she is right. I must insist and persist, if I want them to exist!

I believe in manifestation, yet lately I feel that maybe I am trying to manifest too much??? Is that even possible to have too many dreams? I call BS on that thought. We are only on this planet for a short time, there is only so much we can accomplish that’s why what we chose to spend our time doing should be purposeful and meaningful. I believe we should pursue the things that bring us joy, contentment, and purpose that will fill our souls with resolve to persevere because it is your dream and you must.

To live in my integrity while it feels like I am chasing squirrels I will call on the spirit of my Dogs to see me through to fruition. Dogs are a great representative of dedication to what you love, they are steadfast in what they believe in and that is usually you. They are consistent, persistent, and insistent every day as reliable as the sun. If my dogs can believe in me so wholly and my families support is consistent, why can’t I believe in myself the same way?

These dreams are a way to support myself through living with purpose, to live in integrity with my beliefs feels vital at this point in my life. I believe the things that call to my soul and tug at my feelings, are my callings, they should at the very minimum be pursued until I clearly see that path isn’t for me. To know that I could fail but keep my hopes up that I will not. I see that Billy goat portage in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area is once again a poignant lesson in my life.

Billy goat portage was hard, very difficult for both of the Adventure Sisters, we did not anticipate the physical, and mental challenges that it gave us that day. We had brought so much stuff that we had to travel this difficult path six times to bring all our gear to the next portage. The Billy goat portage path taught me I am capable of doing way more then I think I can. It taught me that by keeping my head down in pursuit of just making it to the end, watching my footing and being careful not to trip up, I made it to the other side just fine. Having to travel that same obstacle six times makes me laugh in the comparison of persistence and dedication most goals and dreams require.

When Stacy and I got to the five-star campsite we were exhausted and starving we would spend the next five days nurturing our beaten and battered bodies while basking in the sun and floating in the lake, enjoying each other’s company and eating very well because we carried a ton of food in! It was the most rewarding vacation full of pride in our accomplishments, the teamwork built our trust and proved to us both we could rely on each other when it was difficult.

I have a team around me that will do the same, so I feel I must pursue each one of these squirrely dreams until the sucker really truly gets too far up the tree and away from me. If it does get away I will then know it wasn’t my path, keep going on the journey where the doors open, there is no need to break them down the ones meant for me will be ajar.

So here I go again chasing garden squirrels today too, excuse me while I go start my petunia seeds! I love to play in the dirt in the middle of a Minnesota winter. It brings me joy.

Be consistent, Be persistent, Be insistent ~ Congressman John Lewis

 

Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in. – Senator Bill Bradley

Wishing you an abundance of joyful blessings,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

@emyminzel

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters

Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

*Disclaimer ~ the photograph used in this blog I found many years ago on the internet and do not know who to give photo credit to. If by chance it is you I would gladly add your name to the photo that moved my soul.

Thank you Tempur-Pedic!

Anyone who’s been married for a longer length of time knows that marriage can be difficult somedays. Just like in all areas of life there are ups and downs in relationships that can test your patience, tolerance, and make you go slightly mad. My marriage is no different and not immune to a few battles of wills through our years of matrimony. I’ve mentioned before my husband and I are as different as night and day, this leads to butting heads when we feel we are in the right or being slighted by the other. We are both suborn as a bulldog, we will dig our heals in until we get our way or there is a compromise to be made.

During these tests of wills and wits we have had times when we most definitely do not want to see each other much less sleep next to each other but we always do. When we are so steaming mad and feel like the guest room seems like a tempting escape we never go there. The reason we stay sleeping together when the guest room calls, is our Tempur-Pedic mattress. We are both so stubborn that neither of us are willing to give up our individual love affairs with our king size Tempur-Pedic mattress. We both LOVE it.

It seems silly that something as inanimate as a mattress could have an affect on our relationship, but it does. We both sleep very well since we bought it so neither of us are willing to give up our comfortable sleep because the bone head sleeping next to us made us mad. Besides if one of us really did move into the guest room, the other would probably be extremely obstinate about the temporary abandonment. That decision to leave would most likely then cause another rift in the force of our relationship.

Thank you Tempur-Pedic for making a mattress so comfortable that it has kept our marriage together on the nights we would like to hang each other off the roof by our toenails. Our inflexible bullheaded determination to keep our comfortable night’s sleep has also been at times the catalyst that keeps our marriage together. Isn’t this the epitome of what marriage can sometimes be about anyways? Being so darn stubborn and unwilling to quit or fail that you just keep keeping on.

Being determined to get what you want while not giving up something you love is part of making a marriage work. Being willing to compromise just enough that you are able to hold true to your needs and values. By staying together even if it was just for the pigheaded determination to get a good night’s sleep, it also cements our dedication to each other even at times of difficulty. It is because neither of us being willing to leave that solidifies our trust and faith in each other.

So, thank you Tempur-Pedic, from this married couple, you have no idea how many times the comfort of our mattress has spared us from the valley of separateness that could have been instilled between the hallway from the master bedroom to the guest room. The power of a cozy night’s sleep on our Tempur-Pedic mattress, has held us together for better and for worse, in sickness and health, we are thankful for each other and for you!

P.S. I am not a paid spokesperson, advertisement or affiliate of Tempur-Pedic just a well-rested, happily married customer.

P.P.S. For real….We love our Tempur-Pedic!

Wishing you an abundance of joyful blessings,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

Twitter: @emyminzel

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters

Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

The Adventure Sisters on Instagram
@stacycrep

6 Lessons from my husband ~

Women are from Venus, Men are from Mars is an especially fitting statement when it comes to my husband Jason and I. We are opposite in most of our characteristics from our height difference to our perspectives on life, we are just plain different. They say opposites attract because they find their differences fascinating if they can get past them and except each other for who they are on the inside. Because you love that person you should be able respect their right to their own opinion even if it is the opposite of yours. The love we share is an anchor that lets us see other view points by being able to listen with respect.

That does not mean there is no debating! We often contest each other’s opinions if we strongly disagree with the topic. There are also times we must agree to disagree. However, there are times while pondering his different ideals that they change some of mine. Often it is the way that he does something, that wears off on me when I see the results of his actions. Just because we do things differently doesn’t mean they are wrong, yet after years of practice, I cannot argue with the results. Being as different as we are, there are outlooks and actions that have been rerouted in my life because of my husband’s example. I am very thankful for his examples of;

Forward Thinking: Patience was not ever my strong suit, I have a low tolerance for waiting for what I want. Sometimes I would even give up on goals because I was not seeing results fast enough. I have learned from my husband’s example of sticking with your goals, that patience and persistence do in fact pay off. Even on the days you’d like to punch yourself in the face or shoot yourself in the foot instead of persisting, you must persist. This leads right into the next lesson from my husband which is dedication.

Dedication: Not only to the people you love and the career you wish to excel at but also to what is important to you. Nobody can tell you what it is that you want to dedicate your time and effort too, but it is up to you to act on the goals that tug on your heart. It is also okay to have something for only yourself that you dedicate your time and effort to, it does not have to involve other people. If collecting stamps make you happy, do it with your whole heart, no explanations or apologies needed.

Be Generous: My husband is generous with his financial support and gifts, and also with his time and effort. Time and effort are often times more valuable than other generous contributions. I now see that the quality gift of time and effort can be much more valuable than money. When my husband he goes beyond his comfort zone to build me a bench or table with up cycled items, when he changes oil, or snow blows the driveway and in so many other ways he is there for me, I feel very loved. His generosity extends to his friends and family, he is willing to help others who needs his set of skills, he’s also a great IT guy.

Its Okay to say NO: There is not too much explanation needed for this one. Yet it took me a while to learn from his example. Help someone if you want too. If you don’t want too, or you have other reasons, it is okay to say no and leave it at that. No is a perfectly acceptable answer to something you do not feel right about.

Stand up for yourself: If you are feeling taken advantage of, bullied, manipulated or any other uncomfortable situation stand up for yourself. It matters to your self-esteem, self-worth, and self-respect to have firm boundaries of how you allow others to treat you.

Research stuff: He reminds me that you’re smarter than you think you are all it takes is a little extra effort. In this age of instant information available at your fingertips, its your own fault if you don’t use it. If you are looking to purchase anything, read the reviews first, it saves time and heart ache. If you want to vacation, change careers, be informed about politics or the environment, or want to know anything, research it to your best ability, look for the good and the bad so you are prepared for both.

As residence of Mars and Venus, Jason and I value different actions and abilities. Now that I’ve had plenty of time to observe the differences, I can incorporate the things that I find value in. I am very thankful for these qualities he’s helped me to improve in myself, it helps me to want to inspire him in positive ways as well. I am thankful for my husband and his life lessons that help us grow together and keep improving ourselves for the future.

What have you learned from you’re loved ones that’s changed you for the better? I’d love to hear from you!

Wishing you an abundance of joyful blessings,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters

Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

The Adventure Sisters on Instagram
@adventuresistersbwca

Please help us by signing this petition to Save The Boundary Waters Canoe Area of MN.

https://www.savetheboundarywaters.org/tell-department-interior-and-bureau-land-management-protect-boundary-waters

How do we honor our inner child?

I am continuing the conversation of honoring different aspect of our personalities that we may not like to acknowledge. The inner child is one part of my personally that intrigues me, maybe because mine seems to be asking a lot of me lately. It demands I spend time doing things that I love, not just the things that the adult part of me thinks need to be done. Like work, laundry, dishes, and other insanely boring chores of life that seem to steal my precious time, keeping me preoccupied with monotony. In short, lately I have found being an ‘adult” alllll the time is horrifically boring!!! This is when I feel the tug of my inner child the most. She seems to say day after day, “Girl, there’s gotta be more to life then this! Let’s go find it!”

“Heck yes. Let’s do this!” I, answer back to that little girl who just wants to have fun.

Then my adult voices says; “Mmmmhmmm sure, right after you vacuum.”

Gah!!!! Round and round we go, match for match, day after day. Until somethings gotta give. It’s odd to talk about playing as an adult, is it not? The adventures I have experienced with my soul sister Stacy in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area have let me feel free enough to remember how to play again. Is it only me? Or do you have days when wearing this adult version of my meat suit/body feels just plain weird?

My body gets older, my hair is graying, and there are life lines around my eyes. Yet there are times I feel so honestly inquisitive, full of love and trusting of life that I can feel the innocence of my childlike soul still shining inside. It makes me feel like playing outside, letting my hair down, and getting creative. At times I yearn to belly laugh until it’s hard to breathe and my face hurts.  Surely this is not too much to ask for?! As Stacy likes to tell me “I make the rules for MY life!”

I like the way you think sister friend. So, this is the new rule. I choose to listen to the little voice calling, I will call her my ‘inner child’ because it seems fitting. I will honor her needs because she is part of me, the best part if you really think about it. The innocence you once had as a child is still in you, it is where your hope lives. You cannot deny the importance of hope!  This is the part of us that if nurtured, will ensure we make the world a kinder place. There is no fear or violence in hope or innocent children, this part still lives in you and we can choose to nurture it.

I do this by adding play and whimsy to my life, in simple ways. I love to write, it feels like creating art and allows me to express myself. When I am with friends and family we like to play board games or interactive games at gatherings, bowling or hiking. It brings us all together to ‘play’ and build relationships with occasional team building skills mixed in. If I am by myself I might embrace the feminine part of my inner child and get girly. I will give myself a pedicure, or a facial, put on a hydrating mask and fully embrace the beauty rituals I use that make me feel good.

When in the Boundary Waters Stacy and I take blow up inner tubes put them around our waist or sit in them and float in the sun giggling and chattering away like best girlfriends do at any age. We would go ‘exploring’ in the forest on trails, hop in the canoe to find what we haven’t seen before just for the sake of pleasing our curious inner child. We often find the beauty in the simple things the Universe offers noticing the wonder of how moss can look like a teeny tiny forest all its own.

I might choose to go outside and play in the garden, well not today, its January in Minnesota. I can plan; scratch that… ‘plan’ sounds too much like work… In the winter I love to take the opportunity to dream and create a beautiful new garden lay out. I love to use color pencils and draw where the plants might go so I can visualize it. I love how each year is different and gives me the ability to get whimsical by using my artistic creativity in a fun playful way.

If I change the way I think about things, the things I think about change. I find how I feel about things is all in the attitude I bring to them. I don’t just have a garden that I must weed. I choose to see and enjoy my garden as a continuous work of art, the effort I put into it or not shows. Isn’t that true of all relationships? Even the relationships we have with ourselves?

If we choose to not nurture any part of ourselves, or relationships we cannot fully enjoy life’s offerings or its many infinite destinies. Why would fun show up for us if we are not able to embrace the richness it brings to our lives? Why deny any parts of yourself by not recognize the vulnerable part of you that needs to be heard, seen or validated in any aspect of your personality?

Aren’t the neediest parts of you the loudest and hardest to ignore anyways? Just possibly could these be the parts of ourselves that cause us to act out as not our best-self, causing unnecessary drama when you ignore it for too long? What if we tried to sooth that inner child, fulfill its needs, so we can move on from these triggers?

What’s the worst that could happen if you looked these tendencies right in the eye and asked. “What do you REALLY mean by that feeling? What do you really need?”

What if you had the courage to wait and listen to the answer? Oh boy! How exciting it could be to find out what it is you truly want and need! After all, you’re an adult now and you get to make the rules for your life. As an adult give yourself permission to admit when we just need a hug, admit when you need to feel validated and heard. It is okay to speak up when we aren’t feeling loved in a way that you can comprehend, or even if you need some attention. Your inner child is part of you, to deny it is to deny yourself.

What does your inner child ask from you? Is it to come out and play or is it demanding more? The inner child in you has plenty of hope and courage for today and the future. I can hear them calling, I know you can too. I’d love to hear your thoughts on inner child work. Feel free to comment below!

Wishing you and abundance of Love, Laughter, and Blessings,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters

Stop and smell the flowers…

I recently came down with a doozy of a cold, the day I felt it coming on, I started taking a homeopathic remedy containing zinc that were rapid melt tabs. It was supposed to lessen the severity and duration of my illness. But what it did was rob me of my sense of smell completely for a week now and I am still not smelling the same as I once did. This over the counter remedy has had FDA recalls on some of this company’s products for this exact reason, although I did not know this until it happened to me of course. After a google search I learned over load of zinc in your body can steal your smell and taste sometimes forever! There are lawsuits against the manufacture that claims these products are safe when they can harm you for a lifetime.

Today I sense some of my smell working slightly, I was able to smell strong odors finally and I was ecstatic about it. I had taken my nose for granted, not understanding or appreciating its function and the depth it adds to my life. When you cannot smell your sense of taste is severely diminished, I love to cook, and I really love to eat, I find contentment in my kitchen. Can you imagine what it would be like to love the smell of your fresh brewed coffee in the morning and when you go to pour a cup you don’t smell a thing and the taste is bitter and blah. Just like that, one of my favorite rituals was snatched away because I took an over the counter medication that was supposed to help me. I feel duped and livid all at the same time.

I used to think “Oh man, it would be terrible to be deaf or blind.” And it really would be! I never once thought of how I would feel if I could not smell or taste. Here I am telling you what it’s like, it’s also awful. I do not get to sniff my husband and tell him he smells like home. I do not get to smell coffee, bacon, essential oils I love to use or even the smell of my beautiful daughter. I would miss the smell of clean clothes fresh out of the dryer, soup simmering on the stove, smoke from the wood stove or smoke if the house was on fire for that matter. I also wouldn’t be able to enjoy the perfume I just got for Christmas. Or Christmas cookies, I can tell they are sweet but that is it, I do not taste the creamy peanut butter and chocolate in them only the taste of sweet. So sad. If there were a gas leak or fire I would not be able to tell or if I stink to high heaven I would not know. That is horrifying.

I feel lucky that I sense some of my olfactory coming back to life. I am very hopeful that this is temporary, and my body knows how to fix what I broke. Until this happened I never thought once about the richness the sense of smell brings to my life, have you? Sure, I wouldn’t have to smell bad things, but that also means I could not tell if my food was spoiled or if I stepped in dog poop either. Here is my cautionary tale, please be careful of the things you put into your body even if it says homeopathic or natural. Research it first! As my husband likes to remind me “arsenic is organic too, that doesn’t make it safe.”