102: Gravy Piñata Season

November 25, 2021

Thanksgiving plans, Black Friday shopping ideas, Claire’s birthday and adjusting to new schedules.

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This is Joy & Claire Episode 102: Gravy Piñata Season

Episode Date: November 25, 2021

Transcription Completed: November 29, 2021

Audio Length: 40:33 minutes 

Joy: Hey guys, this is Joy.

Claire: And this is Claire.

Joy: This is Joy and Claire.

Claire: Surprise.

Joy: Surprise! Wait, is it a surprise?

Claire: I hope not. If you’re surprised by this, then you might be listening to the wrong podcast.

Joy: I just always love that we get to entertain on Thanksgiving. Well, I hope we’re entertaining you on Thanksgiving. I hope you’re waking up maybe before your family and took a walk to get away from your family. Peace and quiet is us.

Claire: Or maybe we’re playing to your whole kitchen right now.

Joy: Hi family.

Claire: In which case, hi family. 

Joy: We’re Joy and Claire.

Claire: We are insert your family member’s name here’s podcast friends, Joy and Claire.

Joy: We are the friends that you hear about all the time that people are like, “Oh yeah, my friends Joy and Claire.” “You mean podcasters?” “Yeah, they’re our friends.” You know that picture everyone sends us about the girl sitting in front of the group of friends sitting there like she’s listening? That’s what it’s like. 

Claire: That’s how it feels when you listen to a podcast.

Joy: Yep.

Claire: And we embrace it, guys. We appreciate that about you.

Joy: I love that.

Claire: We feel like you’re our friends too. It’s true. So happy Thanksgiving if you are in the US. Remind us what your favorite Thanksgiving food is.

Joy: I can’t remember if I have a consistent answer on this. I do love pumpkin pie. I feel like that’s a very polarizing food. People either love it or hate it.

Claire: I just feel like pumpkin pie, pumpkin in general, has become a topic.

Joy: Yeah. I love pumpkin pie just plain. I don’t put anything on it. No whipped cream. Or, I guess, do people put ice cream on it? No. Is that a thing?

Claire: I hope not.

Joy: Whatever toppings you put on it, I don’t. And I also really enjoy stuffing. I probably think that’s my standard answer every year just because I love a carb.

Claire: I love a carb. I love a carb soaked in butter and broth.

Joy: Just the best.

Claire: I love pumpkin pie, but I also love whipped cream. I think you should have almost equal parts whipped cream and pumpkin pie.

Joy: Really? Okay. That’s a way to do it.

Claire: But not Ready Whip. Real whipped cream.

Joy: Okay.

Claire: And I don’t sweeten my real whipped cream. A lot of people add a little bit of powdered sugar or vanilla. I just do straight up heavy cream, whipped. Delicious. Love pumpkin pie. My favorite is gravy. 

Joy: Which always makes me think of the Cherie Chan –

Claire: Cherie Chan.

Joy: Cherie Chan gravy piñata.  Yes, how can we forget that story?

Claire: In case you don’t know what we’re talking about, it would have been 7 or 8 years ago now, probably 7 years ago. I took my CrossFit Level 1 right around Thanksgiving. And Cherie Chan who we love was one of my instructors. She was making small talk with the people in line as we were waiting to check in. I don’t even remember how this conversation went down, but long story short by the end of the conversation I was recommending to Cherie Chan that she dangle a piñata full of gravy above her Thanksgiving table so that people could swat at it to release gravy into their meals.

Joy: Which is genius.

Claire: I mean, I still think we should – the only flaw with that would be your piñata would have to be edible because the piñata would fall as well. But if your piñata is made out of puff pastry or something.

Joy: Right. I feel like this would be a really good challenge if we were to just go ahead and cross over into our On Your Marks, Get Set, Bake! podcast. We should just put a bug in the ear of the judges for that show. Because we know they’re huge fans of ours.

Claire: They are.

Joy: And they listen to every single show that we do.

Claire: Of course. Right, like a hot water crust pastry piñata full of gravy.

Joy: Yeah, how would they not do soggy bottoms with that? That is the challenge. You guys figure it out.

Claire: It would be very challenging.

Joy: I’m not a baker. It’s up to you guys to figure it out.

Claire: It would be very challenging to be able to suspend it from the ceiling.

Joy: [laughing]

Claire: We have our work cut out for us, random bakers of podcast land. So you’re going to your parents’ house for Thanksgiving this year?

Joy: Yeah, I’m going to my parents’ house tomorrow in Westcliff. So we’re recording this on Monday when you guys are listening on Thursday. My twin brother, my sister-in-law, and the kids are all going to be there. They flew in today, and they’re going to be at my parents’ house all week. It’s a big deal. It’s a haul. It is a haul. My parents live not close to an airport. So the fact that they hauled all the kids to Westcliff to Thanksgiving for the week, it’s a big trip for them. We’re really excited to see everybody. My mom is just going to be beside herself. Because any time the whole family gets together, she just loses it. Throughout the weekend you can just catch her off in the corner looking at everybody. You can just tell she’s soaking it in.

Claire: Aw, your mom.

Joy: Yeah. Just being like, my family’s all together. And I guarantee you at one point in the week, she’ll –

Claire: She’ll just spontaneously burst into tears?

Joy: Yes. And I’ll be like, “Mom, what?” She’ll be like, “This is just the best gift I could ever ask for.” She’ll make some statement about how you don’t need gifts. This is all you need. And I’m just like, “I agree, mom.” And it’s the best. I’m sure my dad will have something to do with the kids that will likely get everyone into trouble. And by that, I mean I could just see my dad being like, “Let’s take the ATVs,” and he’ll just take all the kids on ATVs and roam across people’s yards and not think twice about it. But that’s my dad. 

Claire: Love that.

Joy: Good memories. We’re going to create some good memories, have some good food. But yeah, what are you guys doing?

Claire: We are going to be at my dad’s house. For those of you who have listened for a while, you know my mom lives 5 minutes away from me and my dad lives about 20 minutes away from me. We get to see my parents a lot, which I really don’t take for granted. So we’re going to be over at my dad’s house doing Thanksgiving with my kids and most of my immediate family. All but one of my brothers lives here. I have a twin brother also, which every time we mention this – yes, Joy and I both have twin brothers. Joy’s twin brother’s name is Jay, and my twin brother’s name is James. We did not know this about each other when we started podcasting.

Joy: It’s just a great coincidence and a funny coincidence because everyone always freaks out. There’s always one person that freaks out about it. We’ve been doing this for eight years. We’ve mentioned it at least 5,000 times. But it’s okay, we’re getting new people all the time apparently. 

Claire: And we don’t bring it up all that often, so you really have to listen. So Joy and I both have twin brothers. I also have a lot of other brothers and sisters. I have a really big immediate family because my parents are both serial monogamists and have both been married several times.

Joy: Did you say serial monogamists?

Claire: That’s what I call them. 

Joy: How many times has your dad been married?

Claire: He’s currently married to his fifth wife. 

Joy: Fifth. And your mom?

Claire: Third. Third husband, yeah.

Joy: The more the merrier, you know. The more the merrier.

Claire: The more the married, or…

Joy: [laughing] I didn’t mean that.

Claire: No, I did. My mom only has me and my brother. But then my dad has – okay, you guys ready? My mom has two biological children, me and my brother. Her husband has three biological kids who are all boys. They are all a little bit older than me, and they all live in the area. My dad has four biological children. So me and my twin brother plus I have two older half-brothers from a previous marriage of my dad’s. And then currently, his current wife has a son and two daughters who are younger than me. Along the way – so my mom was my dad’s third wife. He was married again in between my mom and his current wife. That ex-stepmom had a son and a daughter who I really grew up with. I mean, they were married from when I was 11 until I was 18. We lived with them all through middle school and high school. I don’t keep super close in touch with them anymore, but I grew up with them. An ex-stepbrother and an ex-stepsister. And that’s it. My stepdad’s three sons and my two half-brothers are all married with kids. And then Brandon has two sisters. He has an older sister and a younger sister. His older sister is also married and has a daughter. We have 11 nieces and nephews I want to say.

Joy: Yeah, that’s a lot.

Claire: And the oldest one is 9. 

Joy: Okay.

Claire: So they’re starting to get older. But the majority of them are in the 5–10-year age range. Which is really fun because now they’re old enough that when they get together – they just had this experience for the first time this summer. Because Evie is finally old enough to really play by herself. It was the first time that we all got together and the adults could just kind of hang out and the kids could just play with each other in the background. I was like, oh my gosh, I feel like I’ve unlocked the next level of my life.

Joy: Oh yeah. Because oh my gosh. I remember how much fun my parents would have when we could just go off on our own.

Claire: The rest of your life begins, truly.

Joy: Yes, and it’s so fun.

Claire: It’s so fun. It’s so much more fun for them. So much more fun for you as a parent. So if you are a parent listening and you feel like you are in that phase, really from 0 to about 2-2.5, depending on your kid, maybe a little bit longer, you can have them out of your sight, but you need to have this awareness of all times of where they are and what they are doing. And Evie, I still want to know where she is, but I don’t feel like I need to have her in my line of sight all of the time anymore. It’s amazing. A switch flips. I think when it comes to parenting, there aren’t a lot of switch flip moments. A lot of them are very hard-fought slogs. But the first time that your kid can play in the other room and you realize they’ve been in there for 10-15 minutes and they’re doing fine. Oh my gosh.

Joy: Right. You’re not worried that silence equals something devastating has happened.

Claire: Exactly. You’re like [singing heavenly note]. It’s like the first time also that your kid sleeps through the night. The first time your kid plays for like 10-15 minutes in the other room and they’re fine, you do have this moment of [gasp] it’s been 15 minutes and I haven’t heard anything, and you go running in there only to find that they’re just sitting there being fine. And then you’ve ruined it at that moment, by the way. Once you appear in the doorway, the moment has ended. You just completely ruined it for yourself.

Joy: Right. You have broken the seal.

Claire: You have broken the seal. You have made eye contact with the enemy. Like, one thousand percent. It’s the same thing the first time your kid sleeps through the night, and you wake up in the morning and you’re like [gasp], are they breathing? You run in their room, and then they’re fine. And now you’ve ruined it.

Joy: And you’ve also broken the seal.

Claire: You’ve broken the seal. But there are a few of those moments where all of the sudden you realize they just did it on their own. And you have this moment of panic every time. “Something’s wrong!” And then nothing’s wrong. You can just do that now. To be clear, the first time your kid sleeps through the night, they can’t just do that now. 

Joy: Right. It just doesn’t happen forever and ever.

Claire: For sleeping, that’s not how that works. But for playing in the other room, it kind of is.

Joy: Yeah, yeah.

Claire: So that’s nice.

Joy: That’s so fun. So you guys are going to have a big family – are you going to make the sweet potatoes for your dad? With the marshmallows because that is what John Hay wants.

Claire: Yes, I am. With the marshmallows. Because what John Hay wants –

Joy: John Hay gets.

Claire: John Hay gets. Regular size marshmallows, not mini size marshmallows. I have to make a special trip – we buy our groceries at Whole Foods because that’s the kind of people that we are. I wish I didn’t have to buy my groceries at a subsidiary of Amazon, but there’s not another option in my town. I mean, there’s a Soopers and Safeway and that kind of thing, but there’s not another organic, natural grocers option.

Joy: I’m just curious. Out of pure curiosity curious. 

Claire: I hear you.

Joy: Do you feel like Whole Foods – are you more concerned about the quality of the ingredients, or why do you choose Whole Foods over King Soopers? King Soopers and Safeway for those of you who are not familiar with those chains, it’s just whatever your local grocery store is.

Claire: Safeway is like an Albertson’s. They’re owned by the same company. Yeah, we try to buy organic and natural as much as possible. And when it comes down to it, they just have more options. I, over the course of my life, have many times done comparisons where I will buy our normal groceries at Whole Foods, and then the next week I’ll go and try to buy the same things at King Soopers, Kroger. And the organic prices at Kroger are not any less than the organic prices at Whole Foods. So yeah, there’s stuff like spaghetti or whatever that I’m not worried about that might be a little bit more expensive. But it’s not worth taking two trips. And also, especially when you get the 365 Whole Foods brand, their generic brand, they have really competitive prices with the Simple Organics brand at Safeway.

Joy: Yeah. It really is, did we make a deal with the devil because of Amazon, but the prices did go down pretty significantly.

Claire: They did. 

Joy: Freaking Jeff Bezos is ruining us all.

Claire: That free grocery delivery is a game changer. That grocery pickup is a game changer. And Whole Foods, as a whole, having worked the natural products industry for a while, they are great about getting local, about sourcing new, upcoming brands, about really prioritizing – they are in a position to really define the market, and they take that responsibility seriously.

Joy: I’ve seen that where they’ll have pictures of the people that created this product, and you’re like this is where they’re from. I really like that. Because I’ll be like, oh my gosh, this is a local product and I’ll be more inclined to buy it.

Claire: Exactly. You know, we could get into the ethics of that all day long. And we do try to buy – we do our cow every year. we were part of a chicken CSA for a while and that didn’t work out. We grow a lot of our own food in the summers. We try to get the local options as often as we can. So even within ultimately giving my money to Jeff Bezos, I try to be conscious of buying as local as possible. I wish there were better options.

Joy: I know. It’s one of those things where it’s kind of like how much – we should take to somebody who knows more about this. I feel like Mark in Thailand would be a good person to talk to about this. But on what level – because I always remember him saying, our individual decisions aren’t always the game changers. How much you can get involved in your community and local farmers and buying local, it’s not going to be the plastic straw thing that’s going to change everything.

Claire: It’s also, what are you willing – not even willing, but what are you able to do in your life? I’m not able to go to three different grocery stores every week to do the hyper local. I could drive to Boulder and go to the hyper local market. I’m not willing to do that.

Joy: It’s not feasible for your life. 

Claire: Exactly. Maybe there will be a time where I can do that. I could, even in Longmont, go to two or three different locations at different stores and ultimately I’m really not willing to do that. It’s similar when it comes to, I think for a lot of people you see this for clothing choices maybe. I haven’t bought a brand-new item of clothing that was not second hand – or maybe I should say, less than 10% of my clothing purchases at this time in my life are brand new. The majority of them are second hand. I put a lot of effort into that, and it’s something that makes sense to me. I can use Poshmark. I can use apps. I can use whatever. But it’s a lot of work. If you need something right then and there, that’s not an option. Some other people who don’t have the time or the kind of thought process to put into that, that might not be worth it to them. I say this all the time, when it comes to our individual choices – supporting the local economy, supporting sustainable business, supporting insert whatever sustainability initiative here – when it comes to our personal choices, any one individual, even any group of individuals, you’re probably not going to move the needle. Because the reality is that the waste of resources and trash and everything that’s happening at corporate levels around the world is the problem. It’s not an individual. It’s the capitalist system of exploiting the earth’s resources. But why your individual choices do still matter is because those choices and being in that conservation-minded mindset will ultimately spark your motivation to get involved with local issues and get involved with regional, national, political issues that will ultimately move the needle and can influence policies around carbon, policies around extractive resource use. That really is what matters. And so that’s why I never want to tell people, oh it doesn’t matter if you use reusable grocery bags. Even though there are studies out there that say cotton grocery bags are just as resource intensive as single-use paper grocery bags. But if that is what allows you every week to have a moment of recognition that, yes, this is important to me and this is what keeps you in that mindset every time you go grocery shopping, that’s worth it, I think. Even though the cost-benefit of that in the actual scheme of resource conservation might not be there.

Joy: Yeah. And I don’t want to turn people away from doing those things at all. I just think that people like us that are very aware of the environment and what we can do to help will sometimes feel overwhelmed to say, does this even matter? Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes is does. But I think the effort is what matters and that you can continue to look for ways to contribute. And let me just be clear, don’t be using plastic straws.

Claire: But plastic straws even are not black and white.

Joy: I’m not advocating for them though.

Claire: Right. That can be an accessibility issue too. There’s not a black or white, do this or do that, and that’s what it comes down to. And also, in a way, it kind of is the thought that counts if you are able to look at it that way and let that motivate you to get involved at a larger scale. On that topic, this would be a great time to talk about Black Friday. 

Joy: Sure, yeah.

Claire: I always post about this on Black Friday, on Prime Day, on any of these days. There are a lot of sustainability influencers out there who will really say, do not give into Black Friday, do not get on that bandwagon, you’re just buying into consumerism. And that’s not untrue, but at the same time it is a good opportunity to get things that you otherwise might not be able to afford. And they don’t even have to be necessities. It’s not like, diapers on sale, go ahead and buy them. It’s like, hey you work hard, and who am I to tell you that a new TV isn’t going to increase your quality of life? I’m not here to make that judgment call. What I am here to say is go into it with a plan because then you’re less likely to make impulse purchases. And the sooner you start shopping for your friends and your family, the more options you will have in terms of finding and seeking out local options. So my advice might be make a plan for Black Friday, know what big-ticket items you are really going to focus on, and then let the smaller things happen over the next few weeks as you’re out and about shopping for groceries. Stop into that little boutique that’s in the same shopping center as your grocery store that you’ve always meant to visit. Reach out to that small batch maker on Instagram. 

Joy: Look on Etsy. These are all bigger, more well-known sites that support local artists.

Claire: Exactly. I don’t necessarily think that anyone needs to be doing 100% of their Christmas shopping on Black Friday on Amazon. But you know, make a plan. Try not to get sucked into the impulse buy because it’s a good deal. 

Joy: Yes. And the allure of it and the marketing because that’s really what it’s all about. I was looking on Oprah’s Favorite Things for Christmas. She does it every year. And she actually has a list on Amazon that is Black-owned businesses. So even on Amazon, if you have to do Amazon as an accessibility thing or you just don’t have access or I don’t have time. I run out of time and Prime is faster. They even have a list of Black-owned businesses on Amazon. So it’s like, okay, just do what you can to be a little more mindful.

Claire: Right. Seek out those opportunities within whatever you have to work with. There have definitely been years in the past where I use Prime Day to buy a new car seat or we got a Roomba a couple years ago, stuff like that where I’m like, I’m not going to buy a car seat at the local baker. I literally can’t. That’s a safety issue. There are also those purchases where you aren’t going to be able to find a local artisan who is making big screen TVs.

Joy: Right. That’s fair. I mean, I don’t know if you guys are listening to the Busy Philips podcasts. It’s one of my favorite podcasts. It’s just chit chat. It’s kind of like ours. Her and her friend Caissie interview some famous people. It’s called Busy Phillips is Doing Her Best. But she recently started this kick of buying nothing new for a year. So she’s very into online auctions right now, which is hilarious because half the time she’ll be on an auction during the recording. I’m like, guys, this is not good podcasting. But it’s great. It’s a good message. And she’ll confess, “Hey, there’s this one thing I had to buy new because literally I couldn’t find it within a day used.” That’s fair. But to do that for a year, it’s pretty extreme for a lot of people. But I think, wow, that’s a pretty cool thing. Because she obviously could afford anything she wants new, but she’s putting in the effort just to be mindful about what she’s purchasing.

Claire: Did you know she has her own Poshmark closet? You can shop from Busy Phillips’ used clothes?

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: I have almost sent it to you so many times.

Joy: So great. Her style, I should actually look because – I don’t know if we’re the same size. But her clothing is exactly what I would wear. She has the cutest style, and she donates everything to charity. I think that’s just amazing. 

Claire: So if Black Friday is your deal, don’t feel guilty. But also, make a plan. We have been meaning to send out a gift guide. I hope I make that happen this year. We got some amazing – so many of you. We asked for links if you guys have businesses, and we got so many. So at the very least, I would like to at least compile those into a blog post so you can support people in this community. Maybe I’ll get that done by Thursday.

Joy: Let’s do that for our newsletter. Do we still have a link to sign up for it?

Claire: Yes, we do. I will put that on Instagram today, Thursday, Thanksgiving. So you can look it up in our Instagram stories and you can sign up for our newsletter. If you were previously subscribed, you’re still subscribed. 

Joy: We just haven’t done anything in a while.

Claire: If you really want to make sure you’re subscribed and you can’t remember or you feel like, “you know guys, it’s been so long, I don’t trust it,” go ahead and just resubscribe if you want to. Yeah. And we’ll work on getting that together because it is really fun to be able to showcase the different businesses and different products that our community members make. So cool.

Joy: There’s something else on Friday that’s a big deal. It’s your birthday.

Claire: Oh, [laughing].

Joy: You looked at me like you had no idea.

Claire: I was like, what? My brain was so in gift guide mode.

Joy: It’s your birthday.

Claire: Yeah, it’s my birthday. Happy birthday to me.

Joy: What are you going to do? What’s your plan?

Claire: I don’t know.

Joy: You said you wanted to hang out, have someone clean your house, and you just want to have snacks. I think that’s a great plan. You’re going to be all tired from Thanksgiving, and you just want to hang out.

Claire: Honestly, the least amount of effort I can put into this is really what I’m looking for. I don’t want to have to make a single decision all day. I want to just wake up, have someone hand me a cup of coffee. I want to sit on the couch and look at Instagram while I watch Harry Potter and someone brings me cheese.

Joy: I think that sounds perfect.

Claire: I think it sounds really amazing. That sounds like an ideal day to me, frankly. And that’s the goal for your birthday, just an ideal day.

Joy: Do you ever think about the past year when you’re another year old? Or are you like, we’re just moving forward?

Claire: I do. This year, again, just feels like a time warp. Like, what was even happening this time last year? I don’t even know. I’m feel like this year for me – it’s impossible to not just define it by global events. And I really look forward to a year that’s not like that. I’m tired of having so many global events. I think this time last year, the vaccine was about to be approved. We were all so hopeful that was going to be the end, and it didn’t turn out to be the end for a myriad of reasons.

Joy: We were also very, very relieved over the president.

Claire: Yes, we had a new president. But I feel like a lot of the things that I thought were going to be head and shoulders better in 2021 just didn’t ever get there. I am really grateful for my new job. I am grateful that my kids are doing well. I’m really grateful we still have Maxine. I’m grateful that Brandon got a new job this year too. We have had some change, a lot of change.

Joy: How long is Maxine staying?

Claire: That’s a great question. Okay, so for you guys who don’t know, Maxine is our au pair. She’s from Brazil. She moved in with us in January 2020. Obviously, we had no idea what was about to happen. We are so grateful for her. If she had not been here, I would literally have had to quit my job. We did not have a situation where – Brandon is a nurse. He is not working from home. The schools were shut down. And at the time, Evie had just turned one at the start of the pandemic. You can’t work with a one-year-old. You just can’t. 12-18 months is the highest maintenance phase. So we’re so grateful she’s been here. She and Evie are just like two peas in a pod. We really lucked out with her. For those of you who might be wondering who we used, we used the agency Au Pair in America. Which we had a good experience with them. I also have friends who use Culture Care that have had a good experience. They’re all pretty much the same because the program is federally regulated. I have just noticed that some programs are more popular in different parts of the world. So if you’re looking for an au pair who is from a specific country, I can’t tell you which agencies are more popular in which regions. But I have just noticed – for example, Au Pair America was really the majority of au pairs are from Central and South America. Also, she speaks Portuguese. And no, she has not taught my kids Portuguese. And also, obviously, she speaks English.

Joy: Wait, she speaks Portuguese, and what was the second part of that?

Claire: And no, she has not taught the kids Portuguese.

Joy: Oh, she hasn’t taught them. Okay.

Claire: People are always asking that. Do your kids speak Portuguese?

Joy: Interesting.

Claire: Maxine came here to learn English. She didn’t come to teach my kids Portuguese. 

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: If we had wanted her to, she probably could have. But I was like, I don’t need my kids to learn Portuguese.

Joy: Right.

Claire: So her au pair visa, you can only renew it a certain number of times. She actually is in the process of enrolling in school, and she’s going to be transferred onto a student visa. So she will continue living with us and she’ll be going to school. That’s really exciting.

Joy: So where is she going to go to school?

Claire: She’s taking more English classes. I forget the name of the school. It’s like School of the Americas or something. 

Joy: It’s online?

Claire: It will be in person. In order to have a student visa, you have to be a full-time enrolled student in a physical school.

Joy: Got it.

Claire: And yeah. So she’ll be here. We’ll be supporting her with that. She’ll still be involved with Evie. Miles is in school, so she can help to pick up and drop off, but for the most part kindergarten – he kind of does his thing in kindergarten. So yeah, so she’ll be with us I don’t know how much longer. It’s kind of up to her. We want her to stay here as long as she wants.

Joy: Yeah. I was going to say, that’s going to be a really difficult transition because she’s been with you for so long.

Claire: And she moved in with us when Evie was 11 months old. So Evie doesn’t probably really remember life without her. I have really thought a lot about what are we going to do and how are we going to explain that to Evie? And as Evie gets older and older, it will get easier to explain. Or maybe she’ll just stay forever. I’m fine with that.

Joy: You’re like, “You live with us now.” It’s great.

Claire: Sorry to your mom. To your actual mom. It is funny because she is 26 or 27. I’m her host mom, but I’m only 8 years older than her. So sometimes that dynamic is just kind of funny. I feel like her big sister.

Joy: Has she been home to see her family at all?

Claire: That’s the main thing is she hasn’t been able to go home.

Joy: Oh wow. 

Claire: Because of her visa status, she can’t leave and come back.

Joy: Okay.

Claire: So she’s here legally, obviously. It is completely legal for her to be here. But she can’t leave and come back. Up until recently, when the borders just reopened on whatever it was, November 8, her family couldn’t come here either. And so her mom is probably going to come visit in January or February, and that will be the first time she’s seen her in over two years. That’s been difficult. And she can’t leave and come back at all. We wouldn’t be able to go on a family vacation to Mexico with her or anything. It’s been interesting learning more about the visa restrictions that America has.

Joy: Yeah, that’s crazy.

Claire: They’re intense.

Joy: Well I hope she gets to stay for a long time.

Claire: I know, me too. We’re lucky to have her. Please, if you guys have questions about the au pair program, people always have a lot of questions. Isn’t it awkward? What did you look for? Reach out, and I’m always happy to chat about that. Send us an email thisisjoyandclaire@gmail.com and I’m always happy to provide some insight. We really lucked out. I have some friends who have had less great au pair experiences, and Maxine certainly has friends who are au pairs who have had less great experiences with their host families. I think at the end of the day, if you treat your au pair like an adult, you are clear but not overbearing that you’re going to be fine. I mean, it’s awkward, but it’s awkward for both of you. So you kind of just have to ride that wave. 

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: It’s not that bad.

Joy: And then you get used to it and it’s fine.

Claire: Yeah. It’s great. I really am glad that we decided to do this with her. I literally can’t imagine what our lives would be like if we didn’t have her. Anyway, so all that to say that for my birthday, as I’m reflecting on the year, yeah there were some big headlines. But it also just feels like this year was very monotonous. I still miss leaving the house.

Joy: And because of your new job schedule, you’re going to be doing an at-home gym workout which you’re not super jazzed about. I know how much leaving the house – but also, you get to leave the house for your job.

Claire: So I’m going into work – so my office is in Denver, which is about a 45-minute drive from me. I am going into the office right now one or two times a week. Kind of just to get onboarded. It’s so much easier to learn stuff when you’re in the office. And the office is kind of closed. It’s closed in the sense that no one is required to be there. But you can go in if you want. So there are a hand full of people who go in that live nearby who just like to come in. It’s a really cool space. They have a really cool setup. They have a lot of perks. And the perks are still in action. They have a barista who comes in every day, and you can get a free latte. Amazing. That’s enough to get me down there, frankly. They have a cool gym. Anyway. So I’m going in a little bit. But I haven’t been able to go to CrossFit. I just had to cancel my CrossFit membership because at my last job, my gym was right near my office. CrossFit Roots, which I still absolutely love, was right by my office. CrossFit Roots recently moved because their landlord basically ended their lease without consulting them and leased the gym out from under them to a different company.

Joy: I can’t believe that happened. 

Claire: I know. They wrote about this in the Morning Chalk Up, so I know that it’s public knowledge. I know this isn’t an insider dish I’m not supposed to share.

Joy: Right. 

Claire: But basically that area of Boulder is really changing quite a lot, and apparently the landlord wanted a more traditional warehouse tenant rather than a gym in that space. Which I also don’t understand because there’s a gigantic gymnastics gym next door.

Joy: Yeah, and they’ve been such great tenants.

Claire: And they’ve been there for ten years. So they ended up having to move. They found a space only 1.5 miles away. At my previous job, I didn’t have as many meetings, so I could make it work to go to the gym even though it was a 2-hour commitment roundtrip. Because then I could just finish getting my work done later on in the evening and kind of balance it out that way.

Joy: Little more flexibility, yeah.

Claire: At this job, I have so many dang meetings. So maybe that will kind of settle back down when the holiday rush is over and when I’m not just being added to meetings for the sake of visibility.

Joy: Right. 

Claire: And training. So we’ll see. But for now, I don’t have the ability to leave in the middle of the day for anything else other than picking my kids up from school.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: And the fact that I was able to before is pretty remarkable. So I’ve been doing at-home workouts. I’ve been sharing a lot about it on my personal Instagram. I started with a Gym Jones program. Which Gym Jones almost feels like a precursor to CrossFit. They are known for being very intense. They are known for training like Chris Hemsworth for the… come on, Chris Hemsworth.

Joy: Yeah, he’s the –

Claire: Thor.

Joy: Thor guy.

Claire: Right, Thor? That’s that actor.

Joy: Marvel maybe?

Claire: They train a lot of the celebrities. They’re known for training celebrities –

Joy: Not the cult leader Jim Jones. 

Claire: No, Gym like a gymnasium.

Joy: Oh, okay. I was thinking like Jim Jones the cult leader. That’s not a great name.

Claire: Maybe they wanted to play off of that. I don’t know. I don’t know the history of this gym. People are probably screaming at me because they are well known. They’re very well known in the functional fitness space and the body building space. They’ve been around forever. They’re known for being very intense. They have a bunch of at-home programs. So I tried that because I thought, hey, CrossFit’s intense. I want that intensity. And the program that I signed up for was like 60-90 minutes per day, and I just don’t have that amount of dedicated time. That’s the problem.

Joy: That’s a lot.

Claire: If I had 90 dedicated minutes, I would just drive to CrossFit.

Joy: That’s a lot of time.

Claire: So much time. But that main thing that I struggled with about it is their ethos is very, “Go hard. All or nothing.” Which is what they’re known for. But because of that, and also, I very much know it’s a choice for me to buy into that or not. But I’m also a very extrinsically motivated person. If you come at me with that sort of mindset, I’m really going to really want to take that on. A lot of times, I would skip workouts. I tried it out for probably about a month, and I skipped a lot of workouts because I can’t give 110% to this workout, so I might as well just not do it. And that is kind of their ethos is if you can’t commit 100%, then why are you even here? I could not hang with that. I was like, oh okay, I guess I can’t commit. I’ll just go sit on the couch. We talked about this a few weeks ago that sometimes I feel like if you tell me, “just move when your body wants to move,” then I’ll never move. I’ll just go back to bed. And then also guys, I know about Street Parking. Every single person is like, “Try Street Parking.” I am well aware that Street Parking is out there. I’ve tried Street Parking before. I liked it. I have all the equipment. The thing that I don’t like about Street Parking is that I just can’t force myself to do metcon after metcon by myself. I have found that I respond very differently in terms of motivation depending on the environment that I’m in. If I’m in a CrossFit gym, give me CrossFit programming all day long obviously. When I’m at home, I am more likely to stick to a program that is a little bit more body buildingy. And what I mean by that, free weights. Where you can kind of work through some sets, but you’re not building up to this big metcon all the time. So I started using the Hungryfitness monthly programming. Which I’m really liking so far. I’m really liking Michaela also. She’s just so approachable. And their whole community is very, make it work for you. I think more than half the people who – I guess I should say, they really write stuff for a community of working moms, for working parents. That’s who their target is, people who just need to get it done in the garage. So I’m liking it a lot so far. I’ll keep you guys posted. It is very sort of body building structure.

Joy: Yeah. I’m looking at their Instagram. It looks very intense.

Claire: So you have two lower body days a week and two upper body days a week, and then probably two of those will also include a HIIT burner at the end. But other ones, you kind of just have a little ab cash out. Which I don’t always want to do a HIIT burner. I don’t always want to be running 200-meter repeats down my street.

Joy: No thanks, yeah.

Claire: No.

Joy: No thank you.

Claire: No thank you. Yeah, she’s just been really great and really approachable. And then my other big, exciting piece of news is that I signed myself up for a surf retreat in May. And so that’s kind of why I’m digging so hard into – in other times in my life, I would have thought like, you know what, I just don’t have time for regular workouts right now and that’s not a big deal. They’ll come back. I think something that’s been huge for me in the last five years is getting this perspective that I can take a couple months off from working out and nothing bad is going to happen. The workouts will find their way back into my life. Right now, I have this trip planned for May. So it’s about six months away. I really want to be really physically ready for that trip. And of course by that, I don’t mean anything about like, I don’t need to look a certain way.

Joy: Bikini bod.

Claire: By bikini bod, I’ll be wearing a full wet suit, thank you. I just want to know if I’m going to embark on six straight days of something that I don’t want to be held back by not being strong or not having the endurance to hang the whole time. That’s kind of my focus right now, and that’s why I’m really focused on finding a workout program that will work for me that I can stick with because I feel like I’m kind of training for this trip.

Joy: Love it. I think that’s great.

Claire: I feel like I just talked for so long.

Joy: No, it’s great. It’s your birthday week. You gave us all the updates. They’re important updates. I think that’s a wrap on Thanksgiving 2021. 

Claire: Yes.

Joy: Everyone can tag us in your food pictures. Because we’re going to see them anyway, so let’s just see what you made. That’s all you see on Instagram on Thanksgiving day is all the food photos.

Claire: I used to hate it, but now I love it.

Joy: Now I love it.

Claire: Show me your food.

Joy: We know that that is what people are excited about. And most likely it’s some traditional meal. Maybe not. Maybe it’s a brand-new thing. Maybe you’re just going off script. Just tag us in some photos because we’re going to see them anyway, and we would rather see them from people that are in our community.

Claire: Yes.

Joy: And we’ll get on that gift guide.

Claire: We will. One of us will. Someone is going to do it. Alright guys, well you can find us on Instagram @joyandclaire_. You can find us online joyandclaire.com. You can email us thisisjoyandclaire@gmail.com. Find us on iTunes, on Apple, on Spotify, on wherever. Rate us, review us, share us with a friend. Like our stuff on Instagram. It’s amazing how much just liking our stuff really does for our visibility. Send us a DM if there’s anything you want to hear from us. Don’t forget, we have two other podcasts. This is the semi-final…?

Joy: Final. It’s the final week.

Claire: It is the final.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: It’s the final week of The Great British Bake Off. How did that happen?

Joy: Yes, I know.

Claire: So don’t forget, we have our Great British Bake Off podcast, On Your Mark, Get Set, Bake! And then also check out Girls Gone WOD podcast, which has been back up and running now for a few months. There’s so much Joy and Claire to be had.

Joy: And we need feedback too because we may be arranging… the reason that we put Girls Gone WOD back up is to see what people are wanting to hear more about. So really, we do listen to what you want to hear. So please send us an email if you have feedback. Or if you’re just like, “No, I like what you’re doing,” that’s great too. But we do listen to what you have to say about what you want to hear.

Claire: Okay guys, we hope you’re having a great Thanksgiving. If you’re not in the US, happy random Thursday in November.

Joy: We’re eating a lot of food. I hope you are too.

Claire: We’ll talk to you next week.

Joy: Bye, guys.

Claire: Bye.

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