count your blessings.

by Janetha on November 29, 2011

in recipes

i had a mini-meltdown this afternoon.

okay, i am being modest. i had a full-on bawl session pity party for myself this afternoon.

it wasn’t pretty.

allow me to elaborate.

i got home from work a little bit early today, so instead of getting a head start at the gym, i decided to be a responsible adult and call about a few medical bills i had received in the mail. a few medical bills that i thought, without a doubt, were sent to me erroneously.

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you see, i have had three procedures in a row: an endoscopy, a CT scan, and a colonoscopy. i knew i was obligated to fulfill  my $1,000 insurance deductible, so i set up a few automatic payments with the hospital on the day of my first procedure (back in september) to take care of the deductible.

in the meantime, i received a few bills and i called about them. i was told that the bills were actually sent before the hospital/my insurance company/my doctor’s billing office was aware that my deductible had been filled (via a payment plan) and to disregard any additional bills i received related to an of the three procedures. sweet!

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so naturally when i received a few more bills in the mail that were dated mid-november, i figured it was a mistake and they had sent the statements out prior to my final payment that i paid on november 25th.

out of curiosity and for peace of mind, i decided to call on the few bills i had to make sure everything was covered.  that’s when things started going downhill…

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long story short, after forty minutes on the phone with multiple offices, i found out there was a billing error between the hospital and my insurance.. and i actually still owe my doctor’s office almost $500.

oh, and that’s not counting the 20% i have yet to be billed for the blood work i got last wednesday. or the ultrasound of the lump in my boob. or the colon study i am scheduled to go in for on thursday. or the molectomy (yes i made that word up) that i got a few weeks ago.

after realizing all of this, i just got unbelievably frustrated. and mad. not at the insurance company or the doctor’s office. i got mad that i have so much shit wrong with me lately. i started thinking about all the issues i have had lately.. colon problems, boob problems, mole problems, skin problems.. and i had a bad cold on top of it all that i am just barely getting over. it totally overwhelmed me and i burst into tears.

i was most definitely overreacting and the pity party was definitely an “in the moment” type of thing.. but damnit, i was pissed! i try so hard to be a really healthy person, and i keep having problem after problem. i keep forking out money left and right. $1000 deductible here.. $40 copay there (and there, there, and there!).. 20% out of pocket on 7 other bills. UGH. all i could think about was how i would rather spend (or save!) that money.

i am ridiculous.

my dad told me to be grateful for the fact that i do have insurance coverage (i bought my own policy because my employer doesn’t offer it.) my mom told me to take deep breaths. marshall gave me a hug, i changed into my gym clothes, and i headed to gold’s to complete my lower body workout. my shuffle was dead (go figure) so i was left to my thoughts throughout my whole workout.

and my mood changed.

something my mom always says is, “it’s just money. i’ll make more.”  this quote really sticks with me every time she says it. i started repeating this over and over to myself while busting out some reps on the leg press. it calmed me down.

i started in on my bulgarian split squats and was pleased that i was able to increase my weights.  and then i thought about the other things that i was pleased about. i filled my brain with all the lovely things in life that make me happy.

i counted my blessings.

  • i have an incredible job that WILL allow me to make more money. these days, a good job is hard to come by and i know i am very blessed to hold the position that i do and work for people who genuinely care about my well being. they also employ marshall.
  • i have a supportive husband who loves me even when i am completely ridiculous on a regular basis. and who will cook me dinner when i am feeling blue.

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  • i have a close-knit family. through the years, i have learned that not everybody is super tight with their family, and this luxury is not one i should ever take for granted.
  • i have two cuddly pups who have unconditional love for me and always cheer me up.

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  • my friends—both near and far—are the absolute best. they make my life worth living.
  • all the problems aside, i really AM a healthy person. i do have a few minor problems that have all presented themselves at once (when it rains, it pours!) but none of these problems are life-threatening and i will get through it.
  • because marshall and i both are able to work, we are in a position where we are able to own a home and vehicles (okay, a mortgage and a loans, but you know what i mean), buy groceries, pay for health insurance, and are still able to save money.

putting things into perspective, i realize i am blessed.. and my mom’s right. it’s just money, we’ll make more. and hopefully i won’t have any more health problems to spend that new money on… knock on wood.

oh. and because sometimes counting your blessings just doesn’t completely fill in the bad mood cracks.. you can always make cookies to seal the deal.

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yes. i did it again. i am cookie obsessed. oh! nuts sent me* these minty chocolate chips with a festive holiday candy coating. today is national chocolates day. these cookies were meant to be.

chewy chocolate mint chip cookies
makes 30 cookies, adapted from this recipe

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ingredients:

  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup + 1 TB evaporated cane juice or white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1-2 TB milk
  • 12 oz candy coated mint chocolate chips

*to make these extra minty, add 1/2 tsp mint extract at the same time as the vanilla.

directions:

  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees (f).
  2. in a small bowl, combine flour, soda, and salt. set aside.
  3. in a standup mixer or in a bowl using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugars until smooth.
  4. add cocoa powder and vanilla, mix well.
  5. add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one.
  6. slowly add flour mixture.. a little at a time.. letting it all mix together a bit before adding more.
  7. add milk one teaspoon at a time. use as much as you need so the dough comes together. it should be sticky but not wet. i wouldn’t recommend using more than 2 tablespoons.
  8. fold in mint chips with a spoon.                                                             IMG_7645
  9. use a cookie scoop (or a spoon) to scoop large (about 2 TB) dough balls onto a cookie sheet lined with a silicone mat, parchment paper, or cooking spray.                                           IMG_7647
  10. bake for 10-12 minutes. when done, cookies should be firm around edges but still a bit “raw” on top.  do not overbake.                                                 IMG_7649
  11. let cookies cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack where they can cool completely.
  12. enjoy! store leftover cookies in an airtight container to preserve freshness and chewiness.

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these cookies are good. like.. reallyreallyreally good. these are the cookies that would be the outcome if a girl scout thin mint and a really chewy chocolate chip cookie had babies. on christmas.

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i am off to cuddle up with three of my blessings.

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have a great night!

Q~

what is one of your blessings?

xo. janetha g.

*oh! nuts sent me the mint chips for free to bake with. i wasn’t compensated for this post. i have a serious cookie baking addiction.. which leads to a serious cookie eating problem. send help.

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Theodora November 30, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Ugh. Medical billing is so goddamn confusing, too. You are right–you are very lucky to have mama b, marshall and your health–but it’s okay to complain sometimes too :)

Barbara November 30, 2011 at 8:20 pm

sending you a big hug Janetha! I hate when things like this happen! I love the change of perspective you have! xoxoxo
Barbara

pure2raw twins November 30, 2011 at 8:25 pm

I know we are late to comment on this but just wanted to say we are sending lots of hugs your way!! you are such an amazing person and we are so blessed to have come across your blog!! hang in there girl :) things will work and you have a great attitude about it all. xoxox

Melissa @TryingtoHeal November 30, 2011 at 8:53 pm

I feel you completely lady. I’m dealing with digestive issues, doctors bills, meds and word problems to boot…so yeah. But, I am blessed that I have a supportive boyfriend to help calm me down, a cat that will provide me with continuous love no matter what, and a love for something that I can do anytime and anywhere.

Christie November 30, 2011 at 9:50 pm

Love this post and LOVE momma bs quote. SO true. I needed to read this with things that have been going on lately. Thanks for sharing your meltdown with us and helping me possibly avoid yet another ;) ha!

My blessings… so many to choose from. I try to consider every aspect of my life a blessing. When a bad situation arrises I just try to remember, it could always be worse. Sometimes easier said than done, obv.

Lara November 30, 2011 at 10:02 pm

I’m so sorry you had a rough day, JBean. What your mom says reminds me a lot of something my mom says: “If money can fix your problems, then you don’t have any problems.” I try to remind myself of that when I get stressed out about finances.

Plus, how could anyone put a price on all the puppy love in our lives?! :)

Kris December 1, 2011 at 12:09 am

you have One Smart Momma. “it’s just money, I’ll make more” is one of the best perspectives you can have.

I learned a couple years ago, you can only do what you can do! with a full time job, it took me 2 years to pay my $37,000 hospital bill – boy did I breathe a sigh of relief when I paid that last payment! <– just a couple months ago! I figured out how much I could pay each month, and told them. that. is. all. I. can. do.

one thing I can say, though, you were NOT overreacting. you reacted, helped relieve some of the immediate stress and shock, and then recovered! happens to the best of us – the perspective is always there, sometimes you just NEED to vent a little. <3

Susan December 1, 2011 at 8:47 am

I’m so sorry about your rough day dear! Money stress is the worst. But you are absolutely right – we are so blessed! And I believe that wealth does not just come in the form of dollars and cents. We have to measure it in other ways as well. Like the amount of love from family and friends. I’d feel pretty poor if I didn’t have that!

Tiffany @ Snack Snark Bark December 1, 2011 at 9:14 am

If I didnt have to worry about money, I wouldnt have that much to worry about. I am stressing about it every day since I am taking a huge pay cut on a job that I will be in for five months without all my benefits I used to have so I feel your pain (I’m praying and crossing my fingers I dont get sick within the next few months) Some days you just need to let it out and you are lucky to have all those wonderful things in your life. Health and family are definitely more important than money, hope things pan out for you and as always sending hugs your way :)

PS-If you didnt post this, I wouldnt have called about my insurance benefits I may be able to get so thanks :)

Katie December 1, 2011 at 9:16 am

Big hugs!! I had the same meltdown when I was paying hospital bills after having Adrienne. No fun – but like you said, so much to be thankful for! I feel so blessed to be able to stay home on a snowy day like today. :-)

Melissa December 1, 2011 at 10:56 am

I’ve had similar meltdowns lately. I keep having tests run and run and run and no answers. I just want to be normal again.

It’s like I said yesterday, there are just some things that are out of my control, no matter how hard I try. I can try to be positive and realize all of the good in my life, which you are doing.

It’s hard, I have to keep reminding myself that I could be a lot worse off and that I do really have quite a bit to be thankful for.

Lisa December 1, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Sometimes it all just comes to a head. I have moments like that when everything has piled on top and one more thing sends me over the edge. Hang in there!! :(

Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) December 1, 2011 at 11:14 pm

An enormous hug to you. What I love is that you do realize how blessed you are. But you are someone who deserves to be blessed. And to have an occasional meltdown. Love you.

Kelsey December 3, 2011 at 9:52 am

Meltdowns are totally okay! And I’m super glad you’re okay! Penny sends you kisses. Big wet sloppy dog kisses.

Sara December 4, 2011 at 9:04 pm

I know the feeling! Been injured or ill for 2 months now, it’s so frustrating! Good to look at the positive :)

Katie December 20, 2011 at 12:12 pm

I know I’m late to this post, but I can totally relate. I went through some major insurance drama about a month ago with my chiropractor when it turned out that the insurance company was denying all my claims–after I’d been going every week for two months. Not good news, especially since I’d been trying to get through my deductible so I could start taking care of some other things. Good for you for keeping a positive attitude about it and remembering to count your blessings! Sending you happy, healthy thoughts! xo

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