A lot has changed in my life recently. I'm realizing now that I have more changes to make going forward. Hopefully, by sharing my journey I'll stick to it.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Pack Up and Go?

I had a quick chat tonight with a friend from college to catch up. We haven't talked much in a while. She mentioned that she's leaving in a month for grad school in Ireland. This is an amazing opportunity for her - a grad program that aligns with her interests in a country she absolutely loves that's less expensive than staying in her native city. I'm happy for her, I really am. But at the same time, I'm insanely jealous.

We're both the same age, but she's in a position where she can pack up and move overseas for a year. I, however, can't. I'm being hit with the sudden realization that I can't just pick up and go; decisions have to be made as a unit now considering both of our futures, hopes, dreams, and finances. Don't get me wrong, I love C and can't wait to start a life with him. I've never been much of a free spirit or one to do things on impulse. But knowing that's not really an option anymore is leading to a bit of a freak out. We're both open to relocating if it makes sense down the road, but unilateral decisions are out.

I know I'll be OK in time, but I need to know- Am I crazy for thinking this? Has anyone else had this kind of pre-wedding freak out?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

When You Need a Friend

I've been going full steam ahead on wedding planning lately, even working on things that can't actually be "done" yet (like seating charts and table numbers) so that when the time comes, I have the basic thing done and just need to make a few tweaks. Even though we're about 11 months out, we have a venue, two ministers, a dj, cake, florist, my dress, bridesmaids dresses, my shoes, my veil, and our wedding website is waiting in the wings for people to see when our save the dates go out. I'm doing all this now knowing that while unemployed, I couldn't spend all of my time looking for work, but that in a few weeks I'll be working full time, and then in August I'll be back in school part-time too, right up until a month before the wedding.

For the most part, I'm doing this on my own. Don't get me wrong, C will contribute to decisions if he has an opinion, and he will tell me if what I'm doing looks nice or not, and my mom is handling a bunch of logistics since we're getting married in our hometown which is 350 miles from where we live now, but when I'm copying addresses over or tying to figure out how to make things fit and look good in the process, it's me on the couch with my laptop (and maybe a beverage).

Let's be honest. I don't make friends easily. I do have a couple good friends, but I don't get to see them often. Only one of my close friends/bridesmaid K lives in the area, and our schedules often conflict. I got a chance to see her at our city's 4th of July festival, which was great, but while there found out she won't be able to go to a bridal show with me in a couple weeks like we had planned. In the grand scheme of things, I know it shouldn't be a huge deal. She has a work trip, we're both adults, things happen. But I don't really get to feel like a "bride" very much. My mom, FMIL, and FSIL went to a bridal show a couple months ago and had a great time without me, since I couldn't drive 6 hours each way for the afternoon. Even shopping for bridesmaids' dresses was fun but the saleswoman just stood there looking bored and the three of us ran the appointment by ourselves. I was the one zipping them in and out of dresses. We did that with each other in college, but going into a bridal store I expected interaction from the person trying to sell me something. I had bought my dress there as well and had a much better experience. I don't mean to sound like a spoiled brat, but I just want to feel special once in a while.

A lot of these feelings were brought to the surface by this post on A Practical Wedding. July's theme over there is Friendship. I love APW, and certainly agree that friendship and marriage are two things that need to be discussed relative to each other. But the level of appreciation and support that were expressed in that thread were hard to read. Intellectually, I know my girls love me, but it's hard when you're separated by hundreds of miles and crazy schedules. I'm not sure what the next 11 months will bring. I know everyone plans on being there for a couple days leading up to the wedding and that R feels bad about not being able to be around more. In the meantime, I'm not sure how to "fix" what I'm feeling.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


I finally have a new job (pending the background check and blah). A large part of me is finally breathing easier. I can't relax too much though, because I don't start until the end of the month. That means one more month of my savings taking a beating.

I'm also nervous for the job, but trying very hard not to let my anxiety get the best of me. That's happened before, but I have medication and coping skills on my side now. However, I'll be working in an industry I know nothing about in a somewhat supervisory role, with two days of training. I just have to keep reminding myself that the person who hired me saw something in me, and that is what I need to channel when I start on the job. It's also going to mean weird hours and personal sacrifice, but it seems like a better fit for me than other jobs I've had in the past. So for right now, I celebrate. Worrying can come later.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Riding the Rollercoaster

I've had a lot of thoughts the last few weeks that I've been struggling to put into words. I apologize that I haven't gotten anything else up in the meantime. I'm still working on getting those thoughts together, but I did want to talk about the rollercoaster that has been the past 24 hours.

I had been semi-following the news coming out of Texas on SB5, the bill that would severely restrict abortion rights in the state. Now, I'm not in Texas, but I am a woman, and that's reason enough to care about the outcome. I watched the live-stream of the state Senate floor for about 4 hours until it cut out, and then turned it a feed showing the crowd out in the rotunda. In the end, I ended up going to bed at about 2:30 am as the chaos continued in Austin and Senators argued over whether or not the vote counted.

I woke up this morning to the news that the vote did not in fact count. The women of Texas could maintain control of their bodies. Shortly after the Supreme Court rulings on DOMA and Proposition 8 were announced. While the Prop 8 decision could have gone farther, both decisions were good enough to celebrate. The day was 3 for 3 and it wasn't even noon.

But then, in the midst of the celebratory tweeting and facebooking, something else popped up. Miguel, the good-natured, chatty, wonderful food service employee at my alma mater had passed away suddenly in his sleep. We all remember Miguel as someone who would talk and laugh with you as he cooked your food, handle special requests in stride, and maybe even throw in a little ribbing during football season if you were supporting the "wrong" team. Most of all, he treated us as individuals, not the key to his paycheck, and even remembers many of us when we are back to visit. So thank you, Miguel, for all the good you brought to our campus. RIP, and who knows, maybe heaven is where the Eagles have a good season.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


I'm officially in my third month of unemployment. I've had two interviews out of dozens of applications. I'm watching my back account diminish while my motivation tanks even faster. I'm trying to push myself through everything that needs to get done, but it's hard to be cheery and hopeful all the time. I can't talk about applications or where to look anymore. It feels like an exercise in futility. I know I need to clean the kitchen and work on dinner, but taking a nap and ordering pizza sounds so much simpler.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Catching Up

Alright, alright, I know I've been away for far too long. Life has been ... life. It's swung between awesome and frustrating and crazy and awesome. The frustrating part can be summed up pretty quick - no new updates on the job search. Otherwise, there have been two pretty crazy/awesome weekends back to back.

Last weekend C and I took a wild and crazy roadtrip up to visit our families for Memorial Day weekend. We left bright and super early Saturday morning to drive the six hours up to Northern New York. We met up with my parents at the nursing home where my grandmother lives for a visit before heading to C's parents to settle in (yup, I stayed there for the first time, not as awkward as I feared), then had dinner with both of our parents at the restaurant of the hotel where we will be having our reception. Bad news: there was not a single item in common between the catering menu and the dinner menu. Good news: the food was delicious and the chef cooking that night also does the special events. C and I finished out the night playing cards with his parents. It was a mostly relaxed way to spend time with them without the pressure of feeling that we needed to have "conversation".

Sunday morning C and I went to church with my parents, hoping to have a few minutes to talk to the minister after the service, since she will be one of the two ministers marrying us. (That's a story for another day). Turns out, she was on her post-Easter/Pentecost vacation. We can't really blame her, it just sucks that we couldn't see her on one of the rare occasions we were there, but that's what Skype is for. For the rest of the day, (no really, from like 1-8ish) we went to C's grandparents's house for a family gathering. I got to get more familiar with some of his cousins that I had only met once before, and his grandmother and I get along great, so it was pretty good for the most part. We've been together for about 5 and a half years, so I'm not exactly new to the family, but I'm not really one of them yet either. We're getting there.

Monday morning we all lost track of time, so the crazy really jumped out. I finished packing and loaded most of our bags into the car while C was still showering, but with all of our efficiency, we still missed the parade due to a mix-up with the time. We got to the end of the parade route 10 minutes after the parade started, just in time to catch the ceremony. From there, we raced to my parents' house to help set up for their annual Memorial Day picnic. C's parents and siblings got to meet most of my extended family and we all ate way too much, and then we got back in the car to drive back home. Thanks to construction (because leaving an interstate down to one lane on a holiday weekend is a good idea), it took just over 7 hours, so the unpacking just had to wait until the next day. All in all, it was a good trip, just not one I'd want to make every weekend!

So this weekend (the week was nothing special - job apps, laundry, the usual) C had to go out of town, but instead of having the apartment to myself, my MOH/friend from college R who I haven't seen a good 2-3 years came out to visit. We text and Skype and FB all the time, but it was awesome to just hang out and catch up. And, since she has been feeling like a professional bridesmaid lately, she was SO MUCH HELP. She's signed on to be the mom/crazy aunt buffer, leaving my two other bridesmaids and one of my aunts to wrangle my truly out of control cousin and aunt. (Kid's fourteen and hit my mom last summer because she squished a bug on the picnic table. Her mama did nothing. Out. Of. Control.) Since my bridesmaid K lives here too, the three of us went bridesmaid dress shopping and had success. I didn't have a huge vision beyond the color so I gave the three of them a lot of leeway (L provided input ahead of time). Basically, I feel like they're the ones that have to wear them and they have been dressing themselves for a couple decades now, so as long as I don't hate it, we're good. I really like what we've ended up with. It's not what I expected, but it makes perfect sense for June, especially for a church with no air conditioning. R and K hit it off awesomely. After finishing up our shopping we grabbed dinner and hung out for a few hours. Also this weekend, I designed our save the dates (just need C to approve them - but R, K and I love them), and found a basket hanging out in our apartment that will work well for holding the programs. Ok, the programs don't exist yet, but we can't make those until the ceremony is written. We have a year still. I'm not freaking out yet, just accomplishing as much as possible. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013


That big, important meeting I mentioned that I had last Monday was a job interview. As much as I tried to downplay it, I was encouraged. I left feeling that it had gone really well, and I got my hopes up. I got the standard form rejection email Friday afternoon that I didn't get the job. And honestly, it wasn't my dream job. But it had a lot of potential. There were growth opportunities. And it would pay the bills. The hours would be long, but it would alleviate a lot of the stress that we have right now. So, the rest of Friday was rough and yesterday I binged on (wayyyy too many) donuts. (Not that I ate alone. C certainly ate his share.)

Now today, I have to brush myself off and keep moving forward. I'm in a much better headspace than the girl who burned herself cooking Minute Rice Friday night. It's time to get back up on the application horse and see what else happens. The law of large numbers has to take effect at some point, right?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Oh What a Week

My routine has been thrown in the toilet. I need to get it back before I lose my mind. I'm going to push to organize my life as much possible again, but with any luck, my schedule will drastically change in the next week or so. *Fingers crossed*

Much of last week was spent working to pick up the apartment and get it ready for my parents to arrive Thursday. Thursday morning, C had a later shift, so we went to the gym together. When we got back I baked and took care of some last minute cleaning. By the time my parents got here, C was at work. They took me grocery shopping and stocked us well (!) before heading back to the apartment to hang out for a bit. The four of us went out to dinner to celebrate both my and C's birthdays with Hibachi.

Friday my parents and I went shopping (ok, mom and I shopped while my stepdad wandered the mall and drank coffee on a bench) while C was at work. Our lunch was ColdStone and our dinner was homemade chimichangas and Spanish rice. Sorry I don't have pictures of any of that; we were too busy going way over our calorie limits for the day to take pictures. I did, however, manage to squeeze in a quick workout before my parents picked me up in the morning.

Saturday was another hectic day, at least in the morning. We both got up early and made ourselves pretty. After a quick stop at the store to pick up a hanging plant for my mom, we met up with my parents for an early Mother's Day/farewell breakfast. - Quick note about the hanging plant. Since my early college years, I've been buying my mom a hanging plant for Mother's Day to hang on the porch. My stepdad also buys her one in early summer. His always dies midsummer. Mine traditionally makes it through to fall. I have to keep buying the plants.

Anyway, after breakfast, my parents headed north and C and I went to my alma mater's graduation. I'm only two years out, so I had a few friends graduating, including my senior year roommate. It was an emotional roller coaster. There's nothing like realizing that I was in their position two years ago to cue the introspection. I also was moved to tears when the student speaker spoke. She was also a member of the Forensic Speech team while I was on it and in the years after when I came back to help coach and judge at tournaments. She joined my senior year, quiet and nervous and new. She dove in and learned quickly. She kicked ass. And then when she spoke at that podium under the tent, the pride over how much she's grown was overwhelming. She did a beautiful job. When I saw our coach after the ceremony, he completely agreed. Unfortunately, when I went to congratulate her, the sky opened up and it began to pour, so we had to cut things short. Luckily, she was the last person I needed to track down. By the time we back to the car we were soaked. My dress was completely clinging to my body in a way that leaves nothing to the imagination - and that was with an umbrella.

Sunday was pretty chill but filled with laundry. Monday I had a very important meeting that will have a big influence on the next chapter. Nothing is finalized yet. We shall see what happens. In the meantime, I have to wait and try not to stress-eat too much. I'm also going to try to get into a routine and work on posting a little more regularly so I don't end up with such huge posts and then cut myself short.

All in all, I had a good, if exhausting, long weekend, but I really need to get myself back on a schedule. I'm so lost without it.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Getting Back in the Groove

Good intentions have a way of getting the best of me. Of course, that is no reason to quit trying. Blogging, being healthy, taking care of myself -they all have slipped and struggled over the last eight months. Now, it's time for a clean slate. 

As far as getting back into blogging is concerned, I might as well get started. I actually scheduled this post to go live on my birthday at the time of my birth. I'm sure there's some sort of symbolism there. (Really, that's about 6.5 hours from the time I'm writing this so it's not like I scheduled a huge delay.)

C and I have settled into a routine, life has changed, and we've adapted our routine to fit it. In fact, things are going so well, that this happened in September. 
We're giving ourselves lots of time to plan since we want to go back to our hometown to get married. So, June 7, 2014 is the day we take the next big step. It seems so far away, but hopefully it will go fast.

I mentioned when I last posted ages ago that I had taken a job at a call center. It turned out to be very damaging. I had two chronic health issues dramatically escalate and started having panic attacks at work. Eventually, I made the decision to leave after just over a year. I'm still unemployed (and searching), but C still has income coming in and I had been able to build up some savings, so I'm OK for now. I'm still working to see that leaving this job is not necessarily failure on my part, just the inevitable result of a horrible fit. Square peg, meet round hole.

In my new-found free time, I've gotten more "domesticated". I've always enjoyed cooking and baking, but now I'm experimenting more and not restricting myself to quick and easy. Obviously quick and easy has a place, but slow and not too complicated can be so wonderful as well. 
All three of those meals (and more) came out of a kitchen so small that the oven door is about 2-3 inches away from the front of the washer when it's open, and is only about 6-8 feet long. So I don't want to hear your excuses about having a crappy kitchen.

Confession: I'm an emotional eater. The last few months have taken a toll on the scale. I bought my wedding dress in November (didn't intend to, it just happened), so I need to make sure I still fit in it a year from now. If I keep doing what I was doing, that's just not going to happen. The holidays happened and then stress got worse and, well, it wasn't pretty. To the tune of gaining back the 8 pounds I lost last summer/fall and then an extra 10. C and I have made a renewed effort to go to the gym and eat better (I'm in charge of getting veggies into us and we're both watching portions). I have the C25K app on my phone and I'm doing well so far. We're both using MyFitnessPal to keep track of what we're eating in relation to the exercise we're doing. I want to stick with this to form new habits, because when I am logging food, I think twice before I eat something to consider whether or not I actually want to admit to eating it. It helps me to put the junk down. I need to do that. But, it's also nice to look at the numbers and see that a little something sweet won't ruin the day or week.

So this is where I am. I'm working with what is and striving for what I want to be. Maybe I can make the two meet in the middle.