Sweet Dreams! We’re Sleeping "Green"!

Wifey and I have had “NEW MATTRESS” on our wish list for over 5 YEARS now! We have kept putting it off for multiple reasons. Mainly, our sleep wasn’t a priority in the grander scheme of things, especially when it came to divvying up the budget. Next, we didn’t want another box-store-bought, made out of plastic, make your house smell like you spilled a can of paint in it for two weeks, kind of mattress! So why did we wait so long? BECAUSE ALL NATURAL MATTRESSES ARE WAY TOO EXPENSIVE, RIGHT!? That’s what we thought, until I scrolled past www.mygreenmattress.com


Let me tell you why I fell in love with The Quality Sleep Shop IMMEDIATELY. When you first visit www.mygreenmattress.com, you’re not met by some faceless company. There was the owner, Tim “The Bed Head”, his family, and a header that read, “my kids…my testers”. Must be a cutesy front to lure in hippy tree-hugger parents, right? I kept clicking. There was Tim and his wife, explaining why they decided to CREATE a mattress for their chemically-sensitive daughter. (Insert eye-roll, and “get a load of these people” gesture) These MUST be actors, right? I decided I had to check this store out myself. Road trip!
Wow. There it was. The Quality Sleep Shop. Just like it looked on the website. And we were greeted by Kyle, a salesperson that didn’t immediately walk us to the most expensive mattress in the store. I must add, salespeople usually strongly dislike Wifey and I. We do our research. We do NOT buy junk. And, we ask a LOT of questions! But Kyle didn’t break. He stuck with us for almost an hour, making sure they would BUILD the perfect mattress for US. We were able to see and feel every single fabric and fiber that our mattress would be made from! Funny, they have a competitor’s mattress (the brand name rhymes with Schmempurpedic) dissected right there in the show room, so customers can compare the construction of a rival’s mattress. You could literally go to Hobby Lobby and build a Schmempurpedic yourself for less that half the cost of what they charge! I could not believe the difference in quality, and more importantly, the difference in COST! By now, I was REALLY starting to love this business! And if Wifey was convinced, you KNOW this place is legit! 
Just then, I heard someone walk out of the workshop and turned around to see…that “Bed Head” dude Tim himself! Wait a second. The owner of this Company is actually in the workshop, hand-crafting these mattresses, just like he said on the website? Was I getting “Punked”!? Within seconds, I knew that wasn’t the case. Tim was happy to walk through our options once again and help us make a decision. Wifey was STILL hung up on changing one small detail of our mattress. (I was thinking, “REALLY!? COME ON ALREADY! WE’RE THIS CLOSE!!!) Tim simply said, “I can make it that way. No problem.” Let me tell you, I was mentally chest-bumping and high-fiving Tim while jumping on a mattress like schoolgirls having a pillow fight! SOLD!!! USA!!! USA!!!!
Oh, did I mention the fact that the mattress we ordered was HUNDREDS, and in some cases, THOUSANDS of DOLLARS CHEAPER than any other place we shopped!? How is that possible!?!? Two words. Factory. Direct. Okay, what does that mean? That means that Tim buys the materials. Then, he and his crew HAND-CRAFT your mattress right there in the shop! There’s even a window in the show room, so you can watch them construct these custom, quality beds! From their workshop to your door. No middle-man. More importantly, NO DOUBTS that you couldn’t find a better made mattress! You know EXACTLY what you are buying when you buy from The Quality Sleep Shop! One thing Tim said that stuck with me was, “I’ve been doing this for over 20 years. If there was a better product out there to put in our mattresses, I’d be using it.” Wifey’s smile got wider, and I breathed a sigh of relief. 
NO, I never met Tim before I walked into the shop that day. This is not some sneaky, paid plug for www.mygreenmattress.com. Note: I have never, ever did a product review or plug. I’m too lazy. In this case, I couldn’t wait to tell you about The Quality Sleep Shop! We bought the safest, best quality mattress we could find, at less than half the cost of anything else we had seen! All this from a family guy, so obviously passionate about bringing you the best product he can at a price you can afford. I know that sounds like a fairy tale, but it’s not! It’s rare nowadays to find a LOCAL business like this, ran by a person that sticks his face and his reputation out there for all to see. Why does he do it? Because he can. Tim uses products like cotton, wool, and latex. Those are materials I can pronounce. When our mattress arrived, and the plastic was peeled off, we could smell…nothing. No noxious fumes, off-gassing and stinking up our house for weeks! There is absolutely no doubt that our kids’ next mattresses will be made by The Quality Sleep Shop. It’s only fitting, seeing that out next kid will probably be made ON a mattress made by The Quality Sleep Shop;
Before we left the store, I told Tim, “It just feels right buying from you.” And you will too. If you’re in the market for a mattress for yourself or your kids, do yourself a favor. Before you buy from anywhere else, go to www.mygreenmattress.com

Renewing My Vows, Or Else…

Why am I always chasing THIS guy!?
If you think the following sounds familiar, you’re right. Most of it is taken from a post I wrote back in 2012. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I fucked up again…

Ever since I can remember, I was known as the funny fat kid. I would go on some fad diet and lose weight, but then I was really just a “skinny-fat” funny kid. This has been going on for over 20 years. About 6 years ago, I was in what I considered to be the best shape of my life. I weighed 185 pounds, I had 12% body fat, I was strong, and I could run for miles. Then, I had an injury. Nothing major, just a busted wrist. But, it was the beginning of my next downward spiral. I let all those good habits and hard work get spoiled by bad habits and laziness. My past time became grilling and drinking beer. I put on 30 pounds, again. For these last few years, I had gotten back in the habit of exercising. Not as much as I should have, but at least I was moving again. But, the grilling and drinking kept those 30 pounds right where they didn’t belong…hanging around my mid-section! In 2012, I got “inspired” again. I essentially went Vegetarian and got into Yoga. Like magic, I dropped those 30 pounds, again, in just under 4 months. Fast forward to 2013. Bean was born. I worked more hours that year than ever before. Good habits reverted to bad, and guess what? I gained those 30 pounds right back, again. 
(I think I see a pattern here;)

I received a little “Wake-Up Call” yesterday in the form of a slap in the face from two different Doctors. I won’t get into the boring details, but I have been shirking off obvious health issues for a few years. I don’t need medicine. Nothing’s going to happen to me, right? Wrong. I was basically told the only reason I haven’t wound up ON the ground yet is because I am still (relatively) young, and still in (relatively) decent health. My body has been able to cope with itself. But my baseline for “healthy” keeps getting lower and lower. Holy shit. This is real. I can’t ignore “it” anymore. 

I realize that I have rarely been motivated by being healthy. I have just focused on losing a few pounds, not eliminating all the factors (like the gallon of Monster I was drinking every day) that are keeping me fat and unhealthy. Poor me, right? Maybe this is just how I’m supposed to be. Tired, sluggish, achy, hung-over feeling, overweight, shameful and guilty because I just can’t do what I know has to be done. Complete failure. Again. (I think I see a pattern here;)

I lost my Mom at the age of 55 to lung cancer. I am already 40. When I am 55 years old, Buddy will hopefully be in college. Bean will be graduating from High School. There may even be more of “them” someday:) The thought of me being IN the ground by then is terrifying!

Will I stick to my guns this time? There’s no choice. Yes, I have said that before! But then, the motivation was more about fitting into smaller clothes. This time it’s a matter of increasing my time here on the planet ABOVE ground. I have to do this for my family. Most importantly, I have to do this for me. My self esteem. My confidence. I want to feel comfortable in my own skin for once since I was a kid. I want to meet my children’s children. Finally, I want to look back fondly at the funny fat kid, smile, and wave goodbye. 

Monster Lesson #1

See. Not all monsters are bad:)
Snot-nosed Buddy awoke from a nap, obviously shaken. I always ask him, “How did you sleep? Did you have any dreams?” His usual response is, “Pretty good, Dad. The Pterodactyl….(Insert any Dinosaur or Pirate story here)” Although this time his response was, “Are monsters scary?” Oh boy. I knew this question, or one like it, would pop up sooner or later. Once again, I had procrastinated on preparing a speech. I let out a nervous giggle, in attempt to downplay and diffuse his fears. Then I did what I do best. I started babbling. 

“Sometimes, monsters ARE scary Buddy. But most of the time, we think monsters are scary just because they’re different. They might look different, or act different, so we’re afraid of them. But sometimes, those monsters can be silly and funny! They might even be your best friends!” I went on babbling through the wardrobe change, with the intent of convincing Buddy there was no reason to fear falling asleep. That would be MY worst nightmare! Thankfully, he ran out of the room yelling, “I’M A PIRATE!” Phew! Crisis averted. I left the room with a victorious smirk on my face. Then I really started thinking about the first few sentences I blurted out. 
Did I just teach Buddy a life lesson? 

Of course he’s too young to hear about the “real monsters” that walk the Earth. That’s my job to protect him and teach him how to spot the real ones as he grows older. Meanwhile, the first time Buddy sees a PERSON that looks different than he does, or acts different than he does, and asks “Is that PERSON scary?”, I have my speech prepared. The speech is titled: ‘Monster Lesson #1’:)