91: Trying Hard and Eating Cookies

September 9, 2021

Movies from the 80s and 90s that hold up, horrible days that keep getting worse, boundaries with social media, Joy’s 44th birthday, and what we feel about our life’s purpose.




email: thisisjoyandclaire@gmail.com

Instagram: joyandclaire_

This is Joy & Claire Episode 91: Trying Hard and Eating Cookies

Episode Date: September 9, 2021

Transcription Completed: September 20, 2021

Audio Length: 55:07 minutes 

Joy: Hey guys, this is Joy.

Claire: And this is Claire.

Joy: And this is Joy and Claire. Sorry, I just ate Eat to Evolve too fast, so it’s like digesting came out in my voice.

Claire: We were just talking and decided to turn on record about 90’s kids movies that really held up. Miles watched Hook for the first time last night, Which if you guys for some reason haven’t seen it, it’s what would happen if Peter Pan grew up story starring Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook and Julia Roberts is Tinker Bell.

Joy: So great.

Claire: Gwyneth Paltrow has a cameo, which I totally forgot about.

Joy: Yeah, I remember that.

Claire: As young Wendy. And of course, Emma Thompson, right? Not Emma Thompson. Not Emma Thompson. Come on, Claire. Maggie Smith. Maggie Smith is Wendy and is wonderful. So just, star-studded cast. Really held up. I really love kids movies that really hold up. Also, Home Alone. Miles loves Home Alone. It just held up so well. So we were talking about other movies that held up, and I was thinking about – 

Joy: There times when we watched movies, like you were saying, ET. There’s parts though that I got traumatized.

Claire: ET was scary.

Joy: Like when they quarantine the house, that hits a little too close to home right now.

Claire: And the little boy gets really sick. And when you’re a kid, you don’t know what quarantines are. Mine know what quarantine is… womp wimp.

Joy: That’s depressing. But when Elliot is sick and sad.

Claire: Not really understanding what is going on.

Joy: When I saw another movie Old Yeller was so traumatizing. Disney was out to toughen us up as kids, and I think they over-corrected with trying to toughen us up.

Claire: I agree.

Joy: Because Old Yeller was so traumatic.

Claire: I think Miles would like Big. Do you remember Big

Joy: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Claire: I can’t think of any scary parts in that movie.

Joy: No scary.

Claire: Maybe just parts he wouldn’t get.

Joy: Yes, I was going to say, some –

Claire: Adult themes.

Joy: Very adult themes. But not too adult. It would just go over his head.

Claire: It would just go over his head, and I’m find with that. I feel like in the 90’s, that was assumed more. It was like, we’re going to still have this romantic story line, but we’re just going to let it go over the kids’ heads.

Joy: Totally. I think a lot of Disney movies are like that too where some of the comedy is more for the parents.

Claire: I really want Miles to watch The Karate Kid. I feel like he’d be into that.

Joy: [gasps] That’s a good one.

Claire: Because he’s so into taekwondo, guys. 

Joy: Yes, how’s he doing? Give us an update.

Claire: Okay. So, Miles started taekwondo at this point maybe six weeks ago. He’s testing for his gold belt next week. The first year, you go up the next belt level every two months, which is a lot faster than some other studios do it. Here’s my understanding. Someone can please correct me. Within the very, very, very many varieties of martial arts, there are just as many varieties of belt progressions. But for the most part, within your belt progression family – like within taekwondo, you all have the same belt progression. And even within that, different individual schools will have you go through those stages in a slightly different timeline. So at this school, it’s very much geared towards kids. Very much geared towards your first year is all about going from white to gold to high gold to… I don’t remember the next ones. I should know these things.

Joy: People will write in because I know there’s a lot of passionate people about this, as you should be. There’s a lot of rules.

Claire: There’s a lot of rules. So each time, you have to demonstrate masteries of certain skills, as well as have demonstrated certain behavioral things. Your teacher has to sign off on a form that says you’re being respectful at school. I think I already brought up how they do these attitude stripes where if you turn in a chore chart at the end of each week – 

Joy: No, you didn’t talk about this.

Claire: Oh, it’s awesome.

Joy: That’s great. Builds character, builds responsibility. 

Claire: Exactly. So you have a chore chart. You can go in and you check off however many days they cleaned their room or were respectful, practiced karate, used their listening ears. And then they’ll go through and be like, “Well it looks like you used your listening ears four days last week. Let’s try for five next week.”

Joy: And it’s signed off by the parents, I’m assuming.

Claire: Yeah, signed off by the parents.

Joy: So how much are you using this as leverage?

Claire: A lot. “Miles, just as a reminder, if you don’t do first time listening, you’re not going to get your checkmark on your chore chart.” He’s like, “Oh, I’m in.”

Joy: Wow.

Claire: Because he wants those stripes.

Joy: I love it.

Claire: It’s brilliant. And you know what, I don’t feel bad using that because this is a reward system that he – 

Joy: Exactly, and reward systems are good.

Claire: And he really identifies with it. 

Joy: And he’s being a little obliger. 

Claire: Yeah. Well, and he really identifies with it. And also, it’s very tangible to him. He has to have a certain amount of these attitude stripes in order to be eligible to go up to the next belt. So that’s kind of how they structure it. It’s very cool. If you’re in the Longmont, northern Colorado area, it’s called Ripple Effect. They have a location in Longmont, one in Johnstown, and one in Fort Collins. And I will also say that they have been – we just started this summer, but they have been, so far, I have been very impressed with their COVID protocols. They started mandating masks indoors weeks ago for the kids. They have a medical consultant that they work with to make sure that they’re updating their protocols consistently and that they’re using evidence-based protocols. For example, they used to take every kid’s temperature. And then they were like, actually our medical professional reviewed the data that we have, and in this instance with this number of kids and this type of a setting, it’s less effective to use a thermometer every time they come in. Instead, we’re going to switch to just doing hand sanitizing. They ran through this is why taking temperatures maybe isn’t as reliable as long as they’re wearing masks.

Joy: Science and data.

Claire: It makes me feel good that they’re really considering and being thoughtful. Like, we’re not just going to put random… not even random, but we’re not just going to put procedures into place just to put them into place.

Joy: There’s a reason behind it, and they have read the research.

Claire: Exactly. And they have somebody on staff who’s dedicated to that. I love that. And also, in certain parts, particularly in north Colorado and the counties where you get into northeastern Colorado, it does tend to be more conservative, which is fine. And also that comes along with more hesitation towards vaccinating. So it’s been great to see that they’re no nonsense about it. And they stream classes. Every single class also has a camera and a Zoom. So they’re like, if you don’t want to wear a mask, then you are welcome to do it from home, and you get the same credit from doing it at home as you do from coming in. Or if you don’t want to wear a mask because you’re not into masks or if you don’t want to come because you’re super hyper COVID conscious or your kid is feeling a little bit sick and you just don’t want to risk it, whatever. Every single class is streamed. All this to say, guys, I love this place. I would highly recommend if you’re in northern Colorado. It’s called Ripple Effect. Miles is doing great, and I’ll keep you posted about his gold belt progression.

Joy: Congratulations, Miles, that’s really fun.

Claire: He’s so cute, guys.

Joy: So cute. And he’s having so much fun doing it. I love the reward system. I think it’s so good for kids. And back to the movie discussion though, I would love to hear what people are watching with their kids. The movies that we watched – for me, it would be 80’s and 90’s, but truly the movies that we grew up with. I was like, do you know how, some of the movies I used to watch I got really scared and it wasn’t fun. It was not fun. Or you just don’t know how to process this feeling. Like, the Old Yeller. I don’t know how to process this. I don’t know what’s going on, but I know I’m upset and I don’t know what to do about it. 

Claire: Right. And I know this is scary.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: I wonder if Miles would be into Ghost Busters. I wonder if that would be too scary. I feel like it’s sort of –

Joy: The only time I got scared of Ghost Busters – and I was probably a little bit older when I watched it. I think the only time I got scared, because I loved Ghost Busters, but I also loved the theme song .That was really popular. Which, by the way, I did a Peloton ride this morning and they played the Ghost Busters theme song because it was an 80’s ride and I was very excited about it. But was the end when they have the dogs and the eyes are red. Even though now the Muppets aren’t that realistic, but that was scary. They showed the teeth and the eyes, and that kind of scared me. Or the hand that comes out of the chair and grabs her on the mouth. That part.

Claire: I forgot about that part. 

Joy: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Claire: I mean, the one part in Hook that we did fast forward past was the boo box where they put the guy in the chest and throw a bunch of scorpions in there.

Joy: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Claire: That was scary.

Joy: Yeah, it’s scary. 

Claire: Don’t want Miles to think about that.

Joy: Face value, I don’t want my child to think about that.

Claire: It’s not something that I want him to see.

Joy: Fair.

Claire: Fair. I don’t want him to know that that could be a possibility of a thing that could happen to him. Because that’s where he goes with it. He’s like, “Now, I’m thinking about being in a box covered in scorpions.” Yeah, valid.

Joy: That’s what you do as a child because you’re like, how would this happen to me? Okay. I want to check in with you on something because sometimes when you’re going through a rough week – AKA, me – I’m like, I just need to know that other people have gone to this point. And I know you have, and I know all the mothers out there are like, “Oh, let me just tell you.” So last week – and I said this on the Girls – which by the way, guys. News flash, we’re releasing episodes on Girls Gone WOD, This is Joy and Claire, and stay tuned for On Your Marks, Get Set, Bake! episodes. 

Claire: Eventually. Every day, I Google when is it going to come out.

Joy: Yeah, Eventually they’re going to release the next season We’re very excited about that, so make sure that you are subscribed on all of those feeds because we are releasing episodes on all of those feeds. And On Your Marks, Get Set, Bake! will be this fall whenever they release The Great British Bakeoff. But I said this on the Girls Gone WOD episode recently. So I recently lost a family member pretty suddenly. The stuff that was going on with my job happened this year. And then Cadet started having really bad allergies, and we didn’t know what was going on. We had to take her to the vet. It was kind of stressful for us because she got a hot spot. I’ve never had a dog get a hot spot. It was disgusting. All these health things were – any time something is going on with my pets, I get really freaked out. Because they can’t talk. That was stressful taking her to the vet, figuring out what was going on. She’s fine. She got an allergy shot. I just felt emotionally tapped out. I felt emotionally tired, having a bad day. So I want to hear from you. Tell me about a time when you’ve been like, “No more,” but then more happens. Like, here’s an example. Cadet comes home. She’s got her cone on. I kept saying to Scott, “I just need good news. I don’t want any more bad news coming my way.” Especially because this is my birthday week. I just want good news. And as I am putting the cone on her, she’s drinking a ton of water because she’s dehydrated. And when she got back from the vet, she tends to really tank her water. Immediately she lays on her bed and barfs everywhere because she drank too much water. She goes on her bed, no on the hardwood floor where it’s easy – she goes and sits on her bed and water, barf everywhere. And her cone was one, so it just fell back into her face. 

Claire: No.

Joy: It could not have been a more –

Claire: Disgusting way to handle that.

Joy: So I’m picking up the dog bed. Water is going everywhere. I didn’t realize it was just pure water. So I’m trailing barf water everywhere trying to get the cone – anyway. You get the point. Then as I’m cleaning it up, I look over and my cat is squatting outside the litter box – because she has a UTI. I can notice that from a mile away. Because when cats are squatting outside their litter box and squatting with no pee coming out, that is a UTI. She’s never had a UTI. The other cat usually gets them. And I looked, and as I am cleaning up barf water the other cat is squatting, has a UTI. And I was just like, you’ve got to be f’ing kidding me. It was one of those moments where I’m like, please tell me your story, if you have one. I think of when you were traveling and Miles threw up in the car seat as you were trying to get to the airport. [laughing] Your face.

Claire: Yeah, we were driving to the airport. This is maybe only the second or third time every in his life he’s thrown up in the car. It got everywhere in the car. We almost missed our flight because we had to pull over and clean it up. Not only that, but then five days later we had to get back in the car with all of the vomit things.

Joy: [laughing] Oh my gosh.

Claire: Yeah.

Joy: Oh my gosh.

Claire: So write us your stories please about your terrible, no good, very bad days.

Joy: Terrible, no good, very bad day. When you think that no more bad things can happen and then all of the sudden something else happens.

Claire: And you have to just almost laugh.

Joy: At that point, I was laughing. I had to. What else are you going to do? And Scott was at the pet store exchanging something. I just texted him and was like, “While you’re there, can you pick up some UTI food.” So yeah, that was my moment where I’m like, I just need to know other stories so we can laugh about it because then we won’t cry.

Claire: I have felt that way in the last couple of weeks I feel like for all the reasons. Where I just feel like, really, one more thing? I felt that way when the new Texas “heartbeat” law – because it’s not a heartbeat, it’s a fetal pulse. When that came out. And it just kind of feels like one more thing. How can we process one more thing? And then forget the things you have going on in your personal life. I think that’s the other thing about this is we have now been dealing with one thing after another after another after another in national and international news for more than a year and a half. So you know, forget what’s going on in your personal life. I say a lot more about political topics on my personal Instagram than I do on our podcast. Mostly because I have fewer followers and it’s just really hard – 

Joy: Oh okay. I was going to ask why. I don’t care, but I want to bring this up after you’re done is just about what we address and don’t address on social media. I think there’s intention around it and I think people can misunderstand that as we don’t care or ignoring the issues, and I have more to say about that. 

Claire: Yeah. I think that it can come across as not caring or ignoring issues. In reality, it sometimes is like, no, I just have so much going on in my personal life right now that I don’t have the space to hold for other people’s opinions and responses about this.

Joy: Exactly. It’s the other people’s opinions and responses.

Claire: That’s where I’ve been in the last two or three weeks. When it comes to Afghanistan, when it comes to the abortion bill. Those two situations seem like they are very on either side of the political aisle. On the one hand you have the Afghanistan withdrawal. I hesitate to even have an opinion about it because I’m so uninformed about everything going on in Afghanistan. Because, guys, 9/11 happened when I was in middle school. I grew up with all these horrible assumptions about Afghanistan. Only over the last couple of years have I really taken a hard look and realized, man, I grew up in a very impressionable time where the political conversation – and not just political, but the conversation in total about Afghanistan has been completely one-sided. I hesitate to make any judgement about what just happened and what is happening. Particularly the withdrawal, obviously, because that is the biggest thing with Biden and withdrawal and not wanting to only speak positively about the candidate we voted for. Because that’s not my stance. I have no problem criticizing Biden.

Joy: Which is interesting. Here’s the thing. Guys, listeners out there, we will say this all the time that we can talk about things that we’re passionate about and that we should all have an open dialogue. But we’re having a conversation between the two of us. It’s important that we at least open dialogue around this. But my whole thoughts and feelings is – someone recently came to our Instagram just to be provocative and pick at us for not talking about Afghanistan particularly. I didn’t feed into it. Because what I took from it, and granted this is one comment, for whatever reason the idea was, oh, we can’t talk bad about Biden because we voted for him. I’m like, that is absolutely untrue. Of course, we’re going to have opinions. But you, listeners, we love you so much. You don’t deserve every opinion that we have because that is something that is really private to us in a lot of ways. Just because we’re not having a stance publicly doesn’t mean that we don’t care. There are some things that I think using a platform is really good for. But it can also bring out the trolls and the people that psychologically drain me. And I need that psychological safety, and I need that psychological energy to do good to actually make changes.

Claire: Right. I think there’s that example, and there’s the abortion example. Which obviously I have advocated for abortion rights before on our Instagram. I have spoken about it on the podcast. That is an issue that I believe myself to be well educated on and I do have strong opinions about. Even still, I am not going to – I just don’t have it in me this week. There’s so much else going on in our personal lives. We unfortunately have been dealing with people in our close family with cancer diagnosis. Multiple people in a row. That’s really tough, and there’s so much that goes with that. Forget Miles starting kindergarten.

Joy: Right, kids starting school.

Claire: Just the stuff that happens in your day-to-day lives. It also gives me a lot of grace for other people who – I mean, our platform in comparison is tiny to what most “influencers” out there have. We are considered micro-influencers, if at all.

Joy: However, I would like to go on record that we should start a campaign, everybody, that we can replace Joe Rogan.

Claire: OMG. Okay, no. We are not going down that road, Joy. No.

Joy: [laughing] I’m just kidding. I digress, I digress.

Claire: Redacted.

Joy: Redacted. I apologize.

Claire: So there’s just a lot going on. It gives me more patience when I see what other people are or are not posting on Instagram. When I think, oh my gosh, this person should be using their platform for x, y, z. I can’t believe they haven’t talked about it. Then I have to stop myself in my tracks and be like, I don’t know what else is going on.

Joy: Yeah, give people grace. You don’t know what else is going on in their life, and they did not sign up to make their platform this megaphone for every single… there doesn’t have to be an opinion for every single thing.

Claire: But then, we also have said, “Use your platform to speak out against racism. If you’re not speaking up…”

Joy: I agree with that. 

Claire: And then, where’s the line?

Joy: The line is when you feel that you can do good from a place that feels good. And I’m not saying “good” like you have to be Pollyanna, but I’m saying from a place that you feel passionate about, that you have the energy to give, that you have the psychological energy to give. I think of Joy the Baker who her mom is white, her dad is black. And I will never forget, I almost take a page from her playbook from the standpoint of I remember when George Floyd was murdered, and she didn’t post anything on her platform around Black Lives Matter. Nothing, nothing, nothing. It was all just her usual Joy the Baker stuff. And I guess some of her followers commented and made some kind of comments about, “you should be” blah, blah, blah, blah, blah – and she made a story that was basically like, you don’t get to tell me how I am responding to this. Because basically they were saying, “Your dad is black” or whatever they were saying. It was just idiotic and ignorant about how she should be responding because she’s half black. She was basically saying, “I don’t owe you a response. And I am dealing with it in a way that you don’t get to know. I’m doing it on a platform that you don’t get to know about. You don’t need to know.” I loved that because it says so much. And granted, this is a completely different situation from two white chicks here. But what I’m saying is being thoughtful around what you share, when you share it, and using your platform when you feel like you do come from a place that is going to be helpful. Because I also think what comes with the territory is having to deal with the negative comments that come in. I think there’s ways around that. Turning off the comments section, whatever. And maybe we should just start doing that so that we can be more of a platform and call it a day.

Claire: It’s hard. And I think that the answer is that the answer changes.

Joy: I totally agree. And the fact of the matter is, I watch the news every single day. Scott and I are so cute. We watch the 4 o’clock news, the 5 o’clock news, and then we watch Lester Holt. It’s so funny how we have this old couple routine where we love watching the news.

Claire: Yeah, that’s very elderly of you. I love it.

Joy: It really is. And it’s just our life right now because he gets done with work since most of his company is on the east coast, so he’s done earlier. I’m not working full time right now. But my point is, we watch the news. We stay informed. We have a lot of opinions about it. And Scott and I have discussions, and that is someone who I feel that I can trust and I really respect his opinion about a lot of things. About almost everything actually. That is where I want to do the work to then say, how can I then make change? And what can I do, how can I show up to make positive change? But it changes. I agree. And I don’t know what the answer is. Is it posting every single day to get more fuel behind it? I don’t know. But that doesn’t always feel good.

Claire: Yeah, yeah. We don’t have the answer. Hopefully you guys never think that we are sitting here thinking, “Well, I have the answer.”

Joy: Yeah. To be honest – we’re not going to go into it because I think it’s just way too much going on – but yeah, I’m devastated and I’m angry about what’s going on in Texas, and I want to do as much informing and donating that I can. As far as Afghanistan, I’m really wanting to learn more and do my reading of the research. And I also really want to talk to my brother. We haven’t had a chance to talk over it, but he had multiple deployments and did some pretty intense missions over there. I think it’s important to hear from military too. I think it’s important to hear from all sides. But there were some days when I felt like, ugh, I can’t watch the news. I don’t like that all the time. We do need to stay informed, but I don’t want to be that “I can put my head in the sand” person because that’s also very privileged. So it’s just continuing the work and trying to be better every single day. If we can do that, I think we’re good.

Claire: Okay. So, Joy it’s almost your birthday.

Joy: It’s almost 44. 4-4.

Claire: Do you remember when we for years talked about sleigh ride to 40, and now we’re almost to sleigh ride to 50.

Joy: I do. It’s so funny. It makes me so happy to think that we’ve been doing the podcast this long. Sleigh ride to 40 was so fun. I had a great 40th birthday. I was in Hawaii. I’ll never forget. We went to Macy’s or some department store on the island, and we found this one-piece, hot pink bathing suit that said “goals.” Yeah, it was like “goals” on the front.

Claire: It was so cheesy.

Joy: It was so cheesy. And I’ll never forget that when we were there, I think it was drastically marked down. I wonder why. And Scott’s like, “You have to buy that.” We went back to the house and took a picture with it. I was holding a pineapple. It’s great. We’ll probably repost it just because it is a great photo, it’s a great memory. What’s your question? I’m sorry. I just went off the rails about sleigh ride to 40.

Claire: I don’t have a question. How are you feeling about your birthday coming up?

Joy: The weird thing is because I’ve had so much reflection time in the last few months, I almost forgot that it’s almost my birthday. Normally when life is going on and you’re in a normal routine and drama isn’t happening – I shouldn’t say drama. But crap’s not happening in your life. You’re more focused on the anniversaries and the birthdays coming up and you’re planning for it. Honesty, I’m like, oh my gosh, my birthday’s this week. I haven’t really planned anything for it and I haven’t really thought much about it. I feel fine about it. I do love birthdays, so we already have some small things to do. Scott’s like, “What do you want to do on your birthday?” I’m like, “I want to take the dogs to the state park, and then I want to go find a great cupcake. And I kind of want to go to Trader Joe’s and look at the fall stuff.” He’s like, “That’s a weird request.” But, you know, the fall things should be there soon at Trader Joe’s. Remember Casper?

Claire: Yes, I was going to be like, remember how we was like, “You’ve got to have your song.” 

Joy: Yes. You ritualize this.

Claire: What if your ritual was on your birthday? Play the Taylor Swift album. You go to Trader Joe’s. You come home. You set up all your stuff. And you sit there surrounded by your Trader Joe’s fall purchases and eat a cupcake.

Joy: I am very on board with this plan. So that’s probably what I’m going to do. So when this podcast drops, my birthday will be tomorrow. And I expect all the comments – no. I do love that though. Because I have the Folklore album and I have the Lover album. I think we recorded with Casper before Folklore came out, but in any event, ritualizing that sounds so fun to me. I can’t really think of anything else that I want to do. That just sounds great to me. Starbucks, a cupcake, maybe go get something at Ulta or Sephora. 

Claire: Maybe go get a manicure.

Joy: Ulta is in Target now, which is amazing.

Claire: Talk about – what if you go to the Starbucks in Target and then you go to the Ulta in Target.

Joy: [laughing]

Claire: Boom. 

Joy: Now that is heaven. Heaven has been upgraded.

Claire: Heaven has been upgraded.

Joy: Yeah. But I’m in a good place. This year’s kind of been crazy. Scott always tells me, which sometimes I’m like, ugh, “It can always be worse.” But can I just have a bad feeling today? Can I please sit in my oceans?

Claire: You’re like, “Technically, yes. But it could also be better, Scott.”

Joy: Yeah, exactly. He always says that. He’s always trying to cheer me up. He’s like, “It could always be worse, love.” I’m like, ugh, I know you’re right.

Claire: You’re not wrong. And you’re not right. Let me have my bad feeling. Let me have my mood.

Joy: Exactly. Is there a birthday that’s super memorable for you? Or do you just kind of love all birthdays?

Claire: Yes. My 21st birthday was my most memorable birthday. Because I was in Prague.

Joy: I feel like you told this story.

Claire: Yeah. So I never studied abroad, but most of my friends did. And you know, you typically study abroad during the first semester of your junior year. So my birthday is right around Thanksgiving. The year I was born, it was on Thanksgiving. I think last year it was also on Thanksgiving. Every 7, 8, 9 years, however it works with the leap year, it falls on Thanksgiving again. But it’s always right in that time frame. So for Thanksgiving break in college, I went to Prague. Some of my friends who were studying abroad all over Europe, we all just met in Prague and had my 21st birthday. It was so fun because no one else cared at all that it was my 21st birthday because in Europe that’s not a milestone birthday.

Joy: Right because you can drink when you’re 18 – or actually when you’re a child.

Claire: Right. Their drinking rules are a little less strict overall.

Joy: Oh, by the way, did you figure out how you pronounce ricotta?

Claire: Oh, so many opinions about this.

Joy: A lot of opinions.

Claire: Wait, can you play Tina’s voice memo? Because Tina @the_saltgypsy on Instagram, who is half Italian, had the answer for us.

Tina: Hey ladies, it’s Tina. Just listening to the latest podcast with Cassy Joy. I want to work for her now. But it is definitely not “ri-KOT-uh.” It’s “ri-COAT-uh.” Which, Brandon is right, it’s R-I-C-O-A-T-U-H spelled phonetically of course. So sorry Claire.

Joy: Sorry Claire.

Claire: Okay, so what I’m taking away from this, though, becuase I had a lot of comments from others as well who were like, okay, technically the Italian pronunciation is more like “ri-GOHT-uh” with a “g,” “ri-GOHT-uh.” But it’s also not “ri-KOHT-uh,” which is what Brandon says. 

Joy: [exaggerated accent] “ri-KOHT-uh”

Claire: It’s not “ri-KOHT-uh.” 

Joy: South Dakota, yeah.

Claire: It’s not like hola” It’s not like [bad Spanish accent] me llamo es Claire. I accept that Brandon’s pronunciation may be more based in the Italian pronunciation than “ri-COT-uh.” And believe me when I tell you that he is not saying [Italian accent] “ri-GOAT-uh.”

Joy: I would like to have his pronunciation on tape. [Italian accent] Ricotta. 

Claire: Yeah, no. He is not. Maybe now he will start.

Joy: Sorry, I digress. You were in Prague. You were having a birthday party at 21, but nobody cared because it’s 21 and you can drink when you’re 12 there.

Claire: Okay, so then we were in this bar and all I want at the time – in college, my favorite drink was mojitos – so all I wanted was to find a mojito. Well it turns out, that’s not a very popular drink in Prague. Believe it or not. And none of the bars even had clear rum. So we were going to every single bar that we could trying to find a mojito and we ran into some other Americans. Which if you have every traveled abroad, you know you just go nuts when you run into other Americans. And it’s not that uncommon, right? Americans travel extensively, so it’s not super uncommon. But especially when you’re out at the bars. So we ran into this group of American guys who were all from Vegas. At that point in my life, I don’t think I’d ever met anyone who was actually from Vegas.

Joy: You just go party in Vegas, yeah.

Claire: Right. I was like, “You guys are from Vegas?” And they all had snakeskin boots on.

Joy: Of course they did.

Claire: Weird. And the guys, he’s like, “It’s your 21st birthday!” So I was psyched because they were psyched. So then the guy bought me a drink. It was a shot of scotch.

Joy: No. You don’t shoot scotch.

Claire: You don’t take a shot of scotch. So I didn’t know what it was. He just handed it to me, and I just took it as a shot. He was like, “Yeah!” And I’m sitting there like [sputtering]. I’m like, “What did you just order me?” He’s like, “It was scotch.” What? Who orders someone a shot of scotch?

Joy: That’s gross.

Claire: So anyway, the whole thing was very memorable. And then what also made it very memorable is we ended up having this expat Thanksgiving, which I think I have told about on the podcast before. Where we went into this bookstore. It turned out to be owned by an expat who’s actually from Fort Collins. He hosted this whole big expat Thanksgiving dinner. So we went and had a turkey dinner. He was streaming the football game. It was very cool.

Joy: That reminds me. So I listen to this podcast called Working It Out by Mike Birbiglia because I love him. If you’ve never watched The New One on HBO, it’s great. He has this question that he asks all of his guests is, do you have a memory that plays continuously on a loop? It doesn’t have to be anything traumatic or anything. So what came to mind when you were telling that story is a memory that plays on loop for me. It was when I lived in France and I went to a dinner. I think it was a Thanksgiving dinner, and they tried to do an American Thanksgiving. Because I was friends with people who were British and this one gal who was from Scotland. They all tried to make this hodge podge Thanksgiving dinner. It was just really, really fun because everyone was from a different place. French people, too. I just have this memory of sitting around a table having this dinner with everybody and just being so content that I had made friends from all over Europe and just being like, “This is so cool.” That just kind of plays in my head. I always remember she and I would always – and I wish I could find her. I want to go back into my journals and see if her name is in there because I have this specific memory – and this was before Facebook, guys. It’s way, way, way, way long ago. I forgot her name, but I’d love to find her. She and I would exchange nail polish, but she called it nail lacquer. I always loved when she said “nail lacquer.” Do you have a loop memory?

Claire: I have a lot of them actually.

Joy: What’s one obscure one that comes to mind? I also have a memory as a kid eating those soft baked cookies sitting by our boat with all the neighborhood kids. I would make a sandwich of soft baked cookies and just eat them altogether. And Funions. Don’t know why. Just plays on a loop.

Claire: I mean, Funions are delicious. Oh my gosh, what is one? One memory I play on a loop a lot in my head – or that plays without my consent – 

Joy: Whether I like it or not.

Claire: Whether I like it or not. Is the last day of… probably, it must have been 2nd grade. Everything’s completely cleaned out and you’re just sitting in your mostly empty classroom and you don’t have anything to do. I remember doing the splits. I was sitting there in the splits.

Joy: Can you do the splits?

Claire: Absolutely not. Which I think is why I keep remembering this. I’m like, is this a real memory?

Joy: I know, sometimes I’m like, is this made up? Was this a movie that I watched, or is this actually a memory?

Claire: Right. I do remember that there was a period in my life, like before I went through puberty, where I could do the splits. Now my abductors are so tight from all of the crap that I went through with my pubic bone in my pregnancies that my abductors just spent however many years just holding on for dear live to my pelvis. And so now –

Joy: Just hanging on.

Claire: It’s terrible. Bad news down there.

Joy: I could never do the splits either, even though I was in dance and cheer my whole life. My God, I was so insecure about it. Because I was not flexible enough and I always tried so hard. It was one of those things where, you know, those girls that were just so flexible, they could just put a leg behind their head. I stretched every day. I sat in front of the TV trying to stretch, and it just never happened.

Claire: Okay, so the other thing we wanted to talk about today is a little bit about meaning and purpose.

Joy: Just a real quick lightning round of what you feel your purpose in life is.

Claire: Just quick lightning round.

Joy: I love it. Just make it a lightning round. I actually like that. 

Claire: What do you think is your purpose in life? Ready, go.

Joy: Ready, go.

Claire: I will say. Okay, on this topic of lightning round purposes in life and also back to karate. Every month, they have a word of the month, and last month the word was accountability and you have to fill out this worksheet. So Miles is filling out this worksheet. Which his handwriting is getting better, but he can’t spell or read. I just tell him. I help him sound out the words, but I ultimately tell him what letters to write still because he’s not even close to be able to try and spell things. The question was, “What do you want to be remembered for?” And his answer was, “Trying hard and eating cookies.”

Joy: Love it.

Claire: So that’s probably the best lightning round answer to that question ever.

Joy: I think that’s a great, great answer. I think kids have the best answers for that, by the way. Do you really want me to lightning round this? Um… meaning and purpose. I always go back to this. And this is where I just had time to reflect. I had a lot of reflection time, reevaluating what’s important in my life. I just keep coming back to I just want to leave the world better than I left it. And I kind of want someone to tell my story when I die. That’s my other ask. Someone just please tell my story. I’ve had this weird, especially losing someone in my family, I’ve had a lot of thoughts around the song – did you hear that? Scott just sneezed so loudly.

Claire: I heard a noise. Scott is famous for having incredibly loud sneezes.

Joy: And it scared the living hell out of me almost every time he does it. He’s in the other room. He knows I’m talking about him. Anyway, is the Lin-Manuel Miranda Hamilton song at the very end. “Who lives, who dies, who tells your story.” And I’ve just had this replay in my head of, who’s going to tell your story when you pass away? So that is where I’m like, I want to leave the world better than I left it, and I’d also love for someone to tell my story when I die. I mean, hopefully something funny. Don’t be all serious about it. Going on record.

Claire: Can I tell you something? I still have never seen Hamilton. 

Joy: Well, that’s okay. Eventually you will. I think a lot of people haven’t seen it. But it’s on Disney+ if you want.

Claire: I know it’s on Disney+, but I have this feeling that I want to see it on stage.

Joy: I get it. I get it. And I would probably feel the same way. I loved watching it on Disney+ because I already saw it in person. And so you kind of relive the moment of seeing it in person. I get that. I would probably feel the same way, yeah.

Claire: I feel like watching it on Disney+ is like watching the movie before you read the book.

Joy: Yeah, I agree. I agree. So I don’t judge you for that.

Claire: Okay, thanks.

Joy: You’re welcome.

Claire: Okay, Joy texted me a post from Instagram that was seven questions to ask yourself about meaning and purpose. I feel like in a lightning round format a lot of these answers are going to be pretty straight forward. Who depends on you and why? I mean, for me obviously it’s my kids.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: And it’s pretty self explanatory why they depend on me. Because they’re not independent.

Joy: Right, right. I think when you think of meaning and purpose, it’s also important, these questions of people, sometimes when they’re feeling down, they think of who needs them. Because I think when we’re feeling sad or we’re feeling lost is thinking about what you mean to other people too. So I feel silly because I don’t have kids. My animals, other people could take care of them. You like to think that dogs will miss you. I have this weird thing. Dogs will just love whoever they’re near. Certainly my animals need to be taken care of. And Scott would be sad if I wasn’t here. But he can get along without me. So really, nobody relies on me. Who depends on me. I’m totally kidding.

Claire: Someone else would take care of my kids. It doesn’t mean that they don’t depend on me.

Joy: That’s true. Yeah. So, fair. I have my animals and Scott because I make him coffee every morning. I mean, he would be lost –

Claire: I feel like you’re selling yourself a little short here, Joy. But this is a lightning round, so I’m not going to critique it.

Joy: Okay. I’m kind of tongue and cheek. I do have a good self esteem.

Joy and Claire: [laughing]

Claire: Nobody needs me. Whom… Oaky, this bothers me. Because this person went to the effort to use “whom” but then still ended it with a preposition. It should say “upon whom do you depend.”

Joy: Oh yeah.

Claire: Not “whom do you depend upon.” Come on.

Joy: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Claire: Upon whom do you depend and why?

Joy: I depend a lot on my friends and my parents, my family. I would feel so sad if they were gone.

Claire: I feel the same way. I feel like I depend on my mom a lot and my friends a lot. And I depend on my kids too. In the sense that they bring me a lot of levity and joy and purpose.

Joy: Of course.

Claire: How do you help other people in your community and the world?

Joy: So I think where I lightning round with this is I like to do something every day that is a nice gesture, but it’s just being thoughtful towards someone else. Whether it be send someone a nice text or a card or holding the door open for someone. I know this is very much like “look at me,” but I think in those smaller actions we can put good energy out into the world. Instead of every single day being like I have to be on the ground floor doing the dirty work, making the phone calls, those types of things. I think there are some great opportunities to do that, but I think doing something that’s generous – or I’ve been trying to be just more connected in my community or smiling and talking to neighbors when I used to just be “so busy” that I never really engaged. And then also just volunteering with Canine Companions has been so rewarding. I meet a lot of people that way. And educating people. Like the other day when I was taking Cadet out on a training trip, we were at Costco and someone stopped me like, “Is that a CCI dog?” I was like, “Oh yeah.” She’s like, “My sister had a hearing dog from CCI.” Because they do have a hearing dog program. She’s like, ‘It completely changed her life for the better. Thank you so much for what you do.” I’m like, oh, that’s so great. Because you don’t always see the benefit of what you’re doing, not that you do it for that reason. But it’s those small moments that I think are really important.

Claire: You don’t do it for that reason, but it’s still really validating. How do I help other people in my community and the world? I mean, I think about this podcast as a way that I try to help my community.

Joy: Yeah, that’s a good point.

Claire: And I try to be really supportive in my day-to-day life of other people by trying to have a really open door. And the way that I do that is by sharing on this podcast and on my Instagram, when I’m speaking to people one-on-one. I don’t consider myself to be an oversharer because I definitely hold a lot of boundaries, but I also do share things about myself that’s more personal than what other people do. And a huge reason that I do that is because I want to be someone who people can look at and be like, if she can talk about it so can I. Or if she went through that, then it’s okay that I’m going through it. And just take away a lot of the stigma around the moments that we go through in our lives.

Joy: That’s very important. I totally agree with that.

Claire: How do you take care of yourself?

Joy: Well, I take a lot of walks with the dogs. And I lay with the dogs. Self care is self care, whatever that means for you. I feel a little bit indulgent these days because I have a lot of time to take naps. I use the Brain.fm app all the time to take naps when I never used to… I was always one of those people that would be like, “I can’t take a nap. I can’t lay down and relax.” And now I’m like, oh yeah, I can actually take naps just fine. But really just being – I hate saying “nice to myself” or “gentle to myself,” but I am not as self critical. I think that’s what I’m realizing through this whole process is not being critical.

Claire: Yeah. I hate the phrase “be gentle with yourself.” As opposed to what?

Joy: Yeah. I think what tends to happen… I guess I’ll reframe it. I’m not letting the negative voices take over. That’s what I’m doing.

Claire: To be clear, I obviously know what people mean by that.

Joy: Totally. Yeah, it’s like “moist.” I don’t like it.

Claire: I know what you’re saying. I know what you’re trying to say. And for some reason, I just don’t like it. Like when people say, “you’re beautiful inside and out.”

Joy: I don’t like that phrase.

Claire: I don’t like that phrase. I hear what you’re trying to say. I’m very flattered, and I just don’t like that phrase anymore. I’m done with it. Anyway. How do I take care of myself? I don’t know. I don’t feel like I’ve been doing a very good job of that in the last six months. I think typically the way I take care of myself is through activities that have not really been available to me in the last year and a half, and that’s been really hard. Like through getting together with groups of friends or taking trips or going out and not having it be stressful. I can still go out, but it doesn’t feel care free. I’ve missed out on that a lot. So I think the biggest way I take care of myself right now is by trying to get to the gym. And the biggest part about that for me is not about working out. It’s just about being around a group of people in one of the very few ways that feel like I can see the same people in a safe way. Okay… how do you provide for yourself and your family?

Joy: Working. At some point, I’ll have another… full-time job? Yeah. I clean the house a lot. I love cleaning. Cleaning is my meditation. Don’t ask me to come clean your house. I like to clean my house. But yeah, I just do a lot of house chores to offset. I feel a little guilty right now just because I’m not working full-time. I don’t want to just be sitting around at home. Granted, I’m doing a lot of things. I help with food. I help with the chores. I help with laundry. I actually am one of those annoying people that folds the laundry when I get it out of the dryer. I’m sorry. Maybe I leave it out an hour, but eventually it will get folded and put away.

Claire: If an hour has gone by that I even remember that the dryer was running and is now done, that is a big… 

Joy: There were a lot of people that were passionate about that. We have a little ding –

Claire: We have a ding too. 

Joy: But yours is downstairs.

Claire: I know, ours is downstairs in like a cavern.

Joy: Yeah, it’s like in a cave.

Claire: Very easy to forget about.

Joy: We have a ranch-style house, and we hear it. But yeah, I get what you’re saying. Look, priorities, and you have to triage what’s going on in your house.

Claire: A lot of triage happening in our house. I think with this question it’s very easy to have those logistical, financial – 

Joy: Totally, that’s where my brain goes.

Claire: I think for me it is a lot of the way that I provide for my family is logistical and being the one who remembers – oh, it’s picture day on Tuesday, or, hey, don’t forget the… whatever. I can list examples. I also think that I am definitely the person in my family who is the most level headed, and I think that that is the way that I provide for my family is by being a pretty consistent person. Okay, two more. I think these are going to be a little bit easier lightning round. What are you passionate about?

Joy: I am passionate about dogs.

Claire: Every answer to every question so far has involved dogs.

Joy: I know. I just realized that. It’s true. Dogs and hanging around dogs and seeing dogs and meeting up with dogs. No. I do like being active. I like being outside, going on walks with my dogs. I like hanging out with my husband. Passionate, passionate, passionate. I love doing this podcast. I’m passionate about connecting with other people this way. Even though technically I’m an introvert, I feel like there’s a lot of the extroverted things I like to do around putting content out and helping people. I like doing therapy right now on BetterHelp. I swear to God, everyone on BetterHelp, the clients are just so amazing. I’m really enjoying life right now.

Claire: I am passionate about my family, my community, and food. And the environment. I’m really passionate about the environment.

Joy: I do like my husband, by the way. It should go without saying. I just feel like I’m at the Oscars and I forgot to thank Scott.

Claire: It’s like in Miss Congeniality when she’s saying, “That would be harsher penalties for parole violators, Stan. And… world peace.” 

Joy: And world peace. And everyone cheers. Like everyone’s so silent, and then she’s like, “And world peace.” Yay.

Claire: And world peace. Yeah, I’m very passionate about the environment, I would say. Last one. And you already kind of answered this, and we all already know what you’re going to say. What do you love doing?

Joy: Walking my dogs. Playing with dogs.

Claire: Bet it doesn’t have anything to do with dogs.

Joy: You know, I do love shopping.

Claire: That’s true.

Joy: And I do love doing makeup. These are all things that people probably already know about me. I love doing makeup. I love looking for products. I love trying new products. Fill in the blank, fill in the blank, all the things that you’ve known about me for eight years. Fill that in. That’s me. Lipstick, eyeshadow.

Claire: Lipstick. [laughing] Yeah, same. I like being outside. I like being with my kids. I like cooking and baking. I like hiking and skiing. I like being on the river.

Joy: Have you baked anything fun recently?

Claire: No, and here’s why. It’s because my oven is really crappy.

Joy: Is this the same one… yeah.

Claire: Last summer, my oven died. It just kept randomly turning off, and then it finally died. Even now, there is an extreme appliance shortage. Last summer, it was really bad because of the supply chain disruptions that happened because of COVID. We could not get an oven for months. And so we found one on Craig’s List. We bought it for $200, this contractor. It was a floor model that was in a show room condo that he had renovated. So it was a dinged up floor model, and it doesn’t have great insulation, so it makes the kitchen really hot when it’s on.

Joy: Oh no, yeah.

Claire: So it’s just really hard to want to bake in the summer.

Joy: Especially in the summer, yeah.

Claire: Actually, that’s the thing I’m most excited about for fall is getting back to backing. Because then I’ll feel like I can have my oven on again for more than like 20 minutes at a time.

Joy: I will say this is the first year, and I don’t know what the reason is behind this, but this is the first year that I haven’ threaded the days getting longer. I think it’s because I’m not working in an office.

Claire: Shorter?

Joy: Yes, thank you. I think it’s because I’m not working in an office. Because I hated being at the office when it would get dark. It just felt so depressing to be at work and then you’re leaving gat 4:30 or 5 and it’s dark outside. But I really don’t mind it, and I really have enjoyed the cooler mornings. That’s just a little appreciation.

Claire: Oh my gosh, I went on a hike on Sunday with my friend Amanda. Who is a podcast listener – hi, Amanda. And I first of all would like to bring up the fact that – so I’ve been hanging out with Amanda quite a lot. I still obviously see my friend Heather quite a lot. And those are probably the two people who I’m not related to who I see the most in real life. I mean, I work with Heather, so that’s part of it. And both of them knew me from my podcast and now we’re in real life friends.

Joy: That’s so fun.

Claire: Like, Heather I work with her, so it’s a little bit different. But with Amanda, yeah, she reached out. She was moving. She had lived in Boulder previously. She was moving into Longmont, and it’s been really great. We went hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park on Sunday, and it was freezing.

Joy: That’s the best.

Claire: It was awesome.

Joy: It feels so good.

Claire: I had a vest on. It was awesome. I love cold.

Joy: But this is the first year in a long time where I feel like I’m super okay with it. And by the way, Cadet turns in November 12.

Claire: November 12? That’s actually later than you were originally thinking.

Joy: It’s later. We were originally slated for August, so she would have turned in by now. She is pretty ready. She’ll be ready by November 12. Meaning, she’s got a few commands we could brush up on a little bit better, but Scott and I are already starting to talk about, man, we’re going to have to really plan something fun. We haven’t decided 100% yet, but I’m like, it has to be Disney Land. We have to just go to Disney Land.

Claire: Because you have to take her, right?

Joy: You have the option to ship her. I’m like, I’m not going to freaking ship her. No way. No way. Or drive her, no. We’re just going to fly her out on a plane with us. Because CCI has… you can talk to people about flying with a service dog in training on the plane without breaking the rules. But she’s super well behaved. It will be fine, and she’ll be good with it. But we’ll have to fly to San Diego to take her to Oceanside where she will turn in. And that is where I trained with JT, so it will be this weird full circle moment of going back to Oceanside where I trained and got JT and lived there for two weeks. It is an amazing, amazing place. So we’re going to have a lot of sadness when we turn that little girl in. But she’s off to bigger and better things. I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it. It’s one of those things where time has actually – it does feel like it has been 1.5 years. But at the same time, it’s like I can’t believe it’s already here.

Claire: I know.

Joy: That’s all.

Claire: Alright guys. Don’t forget, you can support the podcast by going to eattoevolve.com. The discount code is JOYCLAIRE15, even though it gets you 20% off your first order. And I am loving the fact that they update their menu every week. So every week, there is a few new things on there. I am a little bit sad that the barbecue brisket burger is gone, but I am excited for what’s next. I will also say, I think I’ve previously given the advice that if something has a potato salad in it, don’t put it in the freezer. I have had defrosted potato salad, and it actually was so good. The key was I took it out the day before, and I realized, oh, this has potato salad in it, and I just left it in the fridge for like 24 hours to let it actually defrost and I just ate something else for lunch that day and waited for the next day. And it actually defrosted fine. 

Joy: Good to know. Good tip.

Claire: These are the hot tips. I really highly recommend, you don’t have to have a recurring order. You can buy everything a la carte. I think it’s actually a little bit cheaper to get things a la carte than to get the whole meal deal depending on how much you’re buying. Just get yourself a half dozen meals, throw them in your freezer, have them on hand.

Joy: Yeah, get the paleo snacks, the grab-and-go’s are good.

Claire: Get yourself some jalapeño ranch to dip your carrots in.

Joy: Yeah, I was going to say the dips. I haven’t tried those yet. 

Claire: Delish.

Joy: And you support the podcast by doing that, so thank you guys. And tell a friend. Subscribe. Leave us a review. Thank you so much. Bye, guys.

Claire: Bye.

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