2010 Resolution Wrap-Up

>> Friday, December 31, 2010

I know I've been missing for about 4 months from this blog. I guess life caught up with me. The new job is still going great, but I am having a hard time balancing work, working out (which is pretty much non-existent at this point), cooking dinner and home life. I am going to make a greater effort to become better at these things in 2011. I thought I would go over last year's resolutions and see how I fared. I'll post new resolutions after this. Hopefully I still have some readers out there!!

These goals are simply for my own health and quality of life.

For my health:

  • Continue to work on my strength training. My personal goal is to do shoulder presses using 20lb dumbbells! I got to this point, but have lost all my strength. I quit working out completely about two months ago. I got too caught up in my new work schedule.
  • Work on my endurance through gym classes, cardio and running. Bonus: run a 5K.Make a conscious effort to reduce my sugar intake through sweets and processed foods. (Thank goodness the Christmas cookies are gone!) I did pretty good with the sugar for about half the year. I lost it all in the last part of this year. I tend to eat more sweets when I get stressed. No 5K for me, but I was good about the gym classes until I started this job. The times conflicted with my schedule so I have been lost as to what to do next.
  • Plant an organic summer vegetable garden again. We planted, but it was late in the summer. We didn't plan this one out as well as we should have.
  • Get a physical so I know my exact health statistics! Didn't do it!
The financial health goals are absolutely necessary and essential. These are more "musts" than goals.

For my financial health:
  • Jason & I must both get jobs Bingo! We nailed this one! I started at a temporary place in March, then found a permanent job in August. Jason started a permanent job in August, but it turned out to be a bad fit for him. We are thankful that it got us through a rough year, though. Luckily, he found a new place to work and will start his new job on January 3. We are both excited about this opportunity!
  • Once we are both employed, live off of Jason's salary. Put all of my earnings into our savings account to rebuild and start to pay down my student loans and mortgage. I'm paving the way to get those monkeys off my back! We have done surprisingly well with this one. While we are not living completely off of Jason's salary, we're close. We have a monthly goal to save and are doing it fairly well.
  • Continue to prioritize the things that we deem important enough to spend our hard-earned money on. No blowing money unless we deem that purchase important. We more than aced this one! We are misers when we need to be. Our year of unemployment opened up my eyes to all the unnecessary things in life. It really helped us distinguish between the wants and needs.
Getting to the home health & fun goals will completely depend on the financial goals. Provided they are met, we can continue down the line to those below.

For my home health: These were put off most of the year because we were unemployed.
  • The Massive Living Room Project will include: a ton of paint, the wood flooring we have already bought but needs installing, building a hearth for our fireplace, replacing the ugly tile with slate tile on our fireplace and hang up some darn pictures! Bonus = Buying more furniture. Didn't even come close to getting to this one done.
  • The Kitchen: paint, deep clean the tile. Bonus = painting the cabinets We started this one. We got the kitchen painted and will stain the grout on the floor next. I am still undecided on what color to paint the cabinets.
  • The Master Bedroom: paint and hang photographs Nope
  • Bonus: Formulating a plan for the Master Bath Nope
  • Extra Bonus: Attempting some landscaping Big nope!
For fun:
  • Plan - and go on - another ski trip! Not a chance
  • Go to a live concert that Jason & I really want to see (not including Texas artists since we've seen them a million times) Nope!
  • Visit our friends more often! We tried, but avoided any functions that involved spending money for obvious reasons.
I know that most of my resolutions were a bust, but I'm not going to feel bad about it. Jason & I had a rough year together financially and we were able to pull ourselves out of it without any negative repercussions. I still have my husband, my family and my home so I have much to be thankful for in 2010 and much to look forward to in 2011!

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Dance!!!

>> Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Oh my gosh, I just saw this video on Dooce and just had to share! If this doesn't put you in a good mood, then nothing will! Also, just like Dooce, I would love to be born with a little rhythm. Enjoy!!!

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By request, an update

>> Monday, August 23, 2010

Hello all!

I have totally lost track of this blog in the last week. My new job is going great so far. My new boss is absolutely wonderful and so easy to work with. This job is such a change from the stress I had before at my last position. Sure, there's a LOT to do and a LOT of things to catch up on, but it's not stressful in the same way. Going from commission to salary took quite a weight off of my shoulders. Now I know what I will make each month without freaking out about how much I am selling. This morning I will start my second week and.......I'm actually excited!

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Happy Friday Peeps!

>> Friday, August 13, 2010

I realize today is Friday the 13th, but I have no suspicions today! Today is the last Friday I'll ever work at my current job. Tomorrow is my last day EVER. You have no idea how ready I am. I would love to skip out on the last two days entirely, but I just feel too bad about it.

I know, I'm a wuss.

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Ten on Tuesday

>> Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Almost forgot! Here's Ten on Tuesday for y'all:

1. Do you have an innie or an outie?
Innie

2. What kind of milkshake do you order?
Chocolate....mmmmm.....it's been a long time since I've had one.

3. How often do you repeat outfits at work?
About once a week. I'm pretty low on clothes right now.
 
4. What are your feelings about thank you notes?
I like them and should probably write more of them. 
 
5. Do you like spicy food?
I LOVE spicy food!
 
6. How many toilet paper squares do you use?
I have no idea. I take enough to make a good wad. I know I'm an overuser of toilet paper, but I'm pretty crazy about being and feeling clean.
 
7. Were you in Girl Scouts?
Yes, I made it to Junior Girl Scout. I didn't go to Cadettes because I decided that sports would be more fun.
 
8. Notebooks/Journals: College ruled? Wide Ruled? No lines? Spiral Bound? Plain front? Decorative?
When it was for school, I likes spiral-bound, college-ruled notebooks. Now, I don't care what the rule it, but I still prefer spiral-bound.
 
9. Do you snack throughout the day? What do you pack for snacks?
I really like to, but it's hard with my current job. I usually do try to pack snacks; usually a granola bar, fruit or almonds. 
 
10. What is your favorite month? Why?
December, because I love all the hustle and bustle of Christmastime.

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Doing better.....

>> Sunday, August 8, 2010

Now that Jason has completed his first week on the job and I start my new job in just a week, I have breathed a sigh of relief. On Saturday, Jason and I were cuddling and being snuggly and I something hit me: so much tension between us has been released. Although we love each other with all of our heart, financial troubles are still tough on a couple. For the past year, there was an unspoken tension between us. We were always on edge. This played out in our marriage as shortened tempers and continual stress. Neither of us could relax knowing that we were going through yet another month of no income and no job prospects. There were a few events that we argued about something insignificant, only to apologize later realizing that the argument was pointless and caused by stress. Even though our worries are far from gone, we both feel so much better. We can see an end in sight to our immediate financial issues. Later this month, as we figure out exactly how much each of us will bring home, we will work on a budget to save more money, pay off student loans quicker and give each of us a little fun money. After that point, I think we will both feel much, much better.

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Ten on Tuesday

>> Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It's time for 10 on Tuesday again!

1. What is your current favorite television show? Since it's the summer, my fave is The Closer. I've been following it since the first episode and I love it!
2. Apple juice or orange juice? Definitely apple
3. It’s Shark Week on Discover Channel. Do you watch? Why or why not? I don't watch mainly because I had no idea it was shark week. Now I choose not to watch it because I'm not interested.
4. What are the non-blog websites that you visit regularly? Some news site for Dear Abby, local news, Facebook
5. What is your favorite way to prepare green beans? Asparagus? Potatoes? Carrots? My favorite way is for someone else to prepare them! Ha! I love green bean casserole, I don't care much for asparagus, I like potatoes baked with a bit of butter and I like my carrots raw or in a soup.
6. What is your favorite flower? Roses and tulips. That's right, I picked two.
7. How do you feel about handkerchiefs? Nostalgic. I have a bag full of my great-grandma's handkerchiefs. Some of them are so beautiful. I should really figure out some way to display them.
8. If you could only shop at 3 stores for the rest of your life, what would they be? (You probably should include a grocery store.) HEB (because it's cheaper than Whole Foods), Nordstrom (it has everything) and Home Depot/Lowes (whatever is around). That way, I have food, clothes and tools and appliances.
9. If you could only use wine for one purpose for the rest of your life, which would you choose? To cook with or to drink? Drink....duh. What a dumb question. Who the hell would choose to COOK with wine rather than DRINK it?
10. What’s your bedtime? I try for 11, but don't get to bed most nights until 12.

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More News

>> Monday, August 2, 2010

Remember how I told you that Jason had finally found a job? He starts on Monday and I am very excited for him. One, because it gets him out of the house. Two, because we get another paycheck. Hooray for more paychecks!

But wait.

There's more news.

I got a new job too. At a baby/children's store. This is one of those jobs that literally fell into my lap like it was meant to be. I was working at the store and trying to sell a woman an expensive handbag. Out of the blue, she asked me if I liked my job. I decided to be honest and told her that it was an okay job, but it wasn't what I wanted to do. I said that "sometimes we gotta do what we gotta do" as the saying goes. She asked me what I wanted to do to which I replied "marketing" and she told me that she was looking to hire someone for a marketing position. I took her card and said I'd call her to follow up.

Now let me interject here. When I worked in outside sales a few years ago, I had employers constantly give me business cards and tell me to call them. They were always hiring. As you can imagine, by the time I called, they weren't as serious as they seemed to be. Having this past experience gave me very low expectations for this particular offer. Regardless, I made the phone call. She wasn't available. So, I emailed instead.

Bingo!

She invited me in for an interview. I looked up the company and got a little information. I really wasn't sure exactly what was expected as I didn't have a written job explanation. So, I went in cold turkey. Isn't that against what they teach in Interview 101? We got along wonderfully and I interviewed (very casually, I might add) for a little over 2 and a half hours. I'll be working in another retail establishment, but I'll be more in the back. I won't have to sell, there's no commission, and I have steady work hours. From what I gather, I'll be in charge of marketing, vendor/customer relations and various store operations. My position is being written essentially by the owner as we go. I'm the first salaried employee they've ever had on their team. I'm really excited about the opportunity! The best part?

I work 9:30 - 6:00 Monday through Friday and will probably work every other Saturday. On the weeks that I work on Saturday, I get a day off in the middle of the week. Not too bad, huh? The gig is 12 miles closer to my house, too. How could I say no? And to top it all off, when I accepted the job, the owner told me, "I feel like I've been waiting for you forever!" Isn't that the nicest thing anyone could say? I start August 16th and can't wait!

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2 years down, the rest of our lives to go!

>> Friday, July 30, 2010

 This was the status I put on my Facebook. On Monday July 19, Jason & I celebrated our 2 year anniversary. It's been one hell of a second year of marriage and we are so thankful to have made it through. Through lost jobs and financial difficulties, we have come through the year from hell just as close as ever. God may test us, but He has been good to us.

We decided to try out The Vineyards, which is a little restaurant not too far from our home. Since we are still in our "scrimp" mode, we didn't go crazy on the food and wine. We both had the Salmon Crema, which consisted of grilled salmon brushed with pesto atop a bed of linguine. It was wonderful. The salad we had beforehand was simply divine. They have a special olive oil dressing made with poblano peppers, feta cheese, cilantro and a few other things. I know it sounds like an odd combination, but it was one of the best dressings I have ever had! That's saying a lot because I typically don't like many dressings at all. After dinner, I had a glass of Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Tawny Port and Jason had the 10 year. Mine was worth the extra $5 by far. The best part? We were overpoured! As we enjoyed our wine, our waitress encouraged us to walk the grounds. We walked down the stairs - carefully, I might add - and then under the rose-and-grapevine-covered walkway.

Check out the grapevines wrapping the rose stems:

We then took the opportunity to take an obligatory self-portrait:

Then we walked through some rosebushes and I tried to get a picture at night (not too successful):

At night, the spiders come out so we really had to watch out for webs in our face! On our short walk, we also saw two restaurant kitties (yes, they had food dishes) and a toad hiding from us:


As we headed back into the restaurant, our waitress caught us as the door and offered to take our picture for us outside. I thought that was so nice! So here are two of the pictures. Sidenote: Jason had already finished his wine, so she refilled it with the house wine so his glass wouldn't look empty!

When we went in to pay the bill, there was only one other couple left. Somehow, we started talking as we toured the rest of the building and it turns out that they were married exactly 2 years ago, too! And the husband's name was Jason! We were at the restaurant for a couple hours, but it didn't feel long at all. We really enjoyed taking our time and we weren't rushed at all. It was such a wonderful night for both of us. So again, happy anniversary to us (and to Jason & Lacey in Houston, TX!)!!

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In other news......

>> Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I finally cut my hair. I looked back in my planner to see when my last appointment was, and it was in May 2009. Yes, that's right, it has been over a year since I cut my hair. I've always been lazy about getting haircuts because I just hate paying for them, yet I'm very picky about who touches my hair. One would think that cutting my super-fine, super-straight hair would be simple, but it's not. One mistake is very obvious, so I'm very careful of who cuts my hair. Anyway, I may be lazy about getting my haircut, but I'm not 14 months lazy. I couldn't justify spending money on something so trivial when Jason and I were saving and scrimping every bit of money we had. I felt so guilty getting this done that I almost talked myself out of it. But I digress. Several people I know go to Folawn's, so I decided to try them out. I paid $45 (non-gratuity salon) for a cut and style and I'm pretty happy. Thanks to Becca at Folawn's! Here's the before picture:


I know, I know. This looks like a Myspace self-portrait circa 2005. You should all know that this is the only place I am posting this picture. This will not show up on facebook, you have my word! Jason wasn't around so I had to do it myself. Surprisingly, taking self-portraits is harder than it seems. I cut off about 4 inches, but I forgot to take an after picture. So you get a group picture taken on the same day. This was a gathering of friends welcoming our Maryland friends back to Texas. This was taken just outside of Alamo Cafe.


Now that Jason has a job, maybe I won't feel so bad about getting it done again. :)

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It's good to be a cat

>> Tuesday, July 27, 2010

One day I was doing laundry and cleaning up around the house. In my hurry, I put a pile of clean sheets on top of the dresser and went back into the bathroom to finish scrubbing. When I came out of the bathroom, ready to put my sheets on the bed, this is what I found:

This cat has never jumped on our dresser before, but I suppose that the sheets proved too enticing. Notice the look he gives me. He seems to be saying, "What? WHAT? Finders keepers, lady!"

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Ten on Tuesday

It's been awhile since I've done a 10 on Tuesday, so here goes!

1. How do you take your coffee on an average day? How do you like your coffee if you’re spluging? I don't take coffee on an average day. Sometimes in the winter I'll calorie-splurge and get a caramel macchiato, but it's more for the sugar high than the caffeine.
2. What is your genre of books to read? I'll read just about anything. I have been into things that apply to my life lately, such as health books.
3. Where do you want to retire, if you could go anywhere? Somewhere near family, the coast and with lots of land and no neighbors.
4. The 17-year-old you is told to write a 10-minute speech. What topic would you have picked? Oh goodness. The 17-year-old me would have stressed about it because teenage me was not a public speaker. I don't have a clue what I would have spoken about. I couldn't tell you what 31-year-old me would choose.
5. What word describes you best? Perfectionist. I hate to fail and I am extremely hard on myself.
6. What is the next “event” that you are looking forward to? (ex.: vacation, moving, date, job change, etc) Jason starting his new job on Monday. Then, setting a vacation date.
7. Do you like to discuss controversial topics or do you prefer to avoid those types of conversations? For the most part, I avoid controversial topics because they always get heated and I get uncomfortable.
8. Would you rather add 4 free hours to each day, or add 1 extra day to the week? That depends on whether the extra day was also free. If so, I'll take the extra day as long as it's part of my weekend.
9. If you created a sports team; what would your colors and mascot be? Something ridiculous, like Pink and Blue Redfish.
10. If you had to be a teacher, what subject would you teach? Realistically, science. But I would love to also teach business.

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Why hello blog world!

>> Monday, July 26, 2010

Oh, where to begin? So much has happened since I last blogged. Let's start with the July 4th holiday, shall we?

July 4th happens to be my cousin's birthday. When her sisters were in elementary, she convinced them that the entire nation celebrated her birthday, therefore making her the most special girl in the United States. She denies it to this day, but her sisters uphold the story! Here is my cousin, Tiffany, with her birthday apple pie:


Seated next to Tiffany, to her right, is her son Zachary. His birthday is July 7th, so he got to blow out candles on homemade peach ice cream!

A family friend showed up unexpectedly and his birthday happened to also fall on July 4th. My family wasn't going to let him hang out without singing happy birthday, so he got the most ingenious "cake" ever! I can't remember his name (what? It was like 21 days ago!), but here he is blowing out the candles:

Isn't that the coolest summer birthday "cake" ever? It was perfect! We ended the night on top of the roof watching fireworks from all around the city. I forgot to take the camera up there.....oops!

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Soooo.......

>> Friday, July 9, 2010

Jason got a job! He's been working on this company for weeks and finally got an offer. Words cannot express how relieved and excited we were upon receiving the offer letter. He starts August 2, giving him a few weeks to get some things done around the house. We are SO ready to get our life back!

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:)

>> Sunday, June 20, 2010

I bet all of you thought this was going to be a Father's Day update. Well, it's not. Yes, I called my Daddy and wished him a happy Daddy's Day. I promise I'm a good daughter. Most of the time.

Sorry for not updating this blog thingie I have here, but my life is just SO DARN EXCITING. It's tough trying to manage sleeping and working you know. Plus, I manage to get in a little gym time which takes up more time. Sometimes I even get to see friends! Hooray!

I actually have no excuse other than sheer laziness. There hasn't been a whole lot going on lately. My brother is here in town working on his Jeep with Jason. I think they are on Day 6 of putting in a lift. This doesn't include the entire night they spend working on it as well. They came home at 6 in the morning that time. Hopefully, they will be able to get the new Mud Terrain tires on tomorrow. Don't worry, I'll post all the pictures and accompanying story with it soon. I know ya'll are sitting on the edge of your seats waiting for this story!

Other than that, work has improved somewhat. It's still a struggle, but I guess all jobs are at times. The only thing that has really suffered is my cooking. Since I get home so late most of the time, I don't cook as much as I did before. I have to really plan to cook a meal in order to make it happen. And since Jason and Houston have been working on the Jeep all week, I haven't cooked a thing since they haven't been home at all. I'll try to find some new recipes to make and I'll post them if they are successful. I mean, it's not like I'd ever post something that didn't go perfectly.

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Work Updates

>> Friday, June 4, 2010

I haven't updated about my job since The Day That I Wanted To Hide, so here's what's happening in my world. Work is a constant battle of my emotions. Some days, I sell a lot and go home smiling. Other days, like today, I had so many returns that I went home feeling down and dejected. Today, and the last few days, have been just like the former. I am such a perfectionist at heart that I feel as if I must do everything well. If I don't do it to my standards which are usually ridiculously high, then I get very upset and feel like a failure. On top of that, working on commission can be very stressful. Knowing that selling just one or two more things can make a major change in my paycheck is hard for me. I stress so badly because I know that I'm the sole income provider right now and every little bit extra counts. I try not to think about it too much, but it's very hard not to do just that. But tomorrow is Saturday and that should be a good day!

In other work-related news, our department had a visit from our Regional Manager. My own manager had never met the RM since he was new, so I was a little nervous. But......he told my manager that he couldn't believe I had only been working there for three months. He was impressed by the amount of product knowledge I have already. That made me smile!

Also, I had a customer come in a few days ago that was looking for a small, inexpensive item. She told me that I was so nice the entire time I helped her. She couldn't believe that I could spend that much time on her even though she spent so little. She wanted to tell my manager that she was pleased with my service and even wrote a note to our Store Manager. Isn't that awesome? Those are hard to come by! I love customers that appreciate the service I give. :)

So even though I had a sub-par day today, I do have other things at work to be thankful for. I'll try to remember that the next time I have a yucky day.

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Ode to a Shedding Cat

>> Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I got this by email from my dad, but I could have written it myself to Cassius.


Ode to a Shedding Cat

I think that I shall never see

A cat that sheds as much as thee

Thy fur that sticks is all around

On chairs, on mats in little mounds

I sweep the floor, you shed some more

I wash the rug and you just shrug

You should give thanks I tolerate that

Or you would be a crew-cut cat.

-- Author Unknown

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Yard Visitor

>> Wednesday, May 26, 2010

We have recently discovered that our yard isn't alone. It's not just the neighborhood cats and flying birds that like to hang out in our yard. Now we can also add cute, little fluffalicious bunny to the list (aka cottontail). He's been hopping around in our yard, nibbling our grass and just spreading his cuteness around. See how cute he is?

That picture was taken before we had done some major weeding. I saw him again today so I decided to go outside and get a few more pictures. He let me get 5 feet away from him before he scampered under the fence! Don't pay attention to the dead spot in my lawn.....just look at Mr. Cottontail:

While I was outside, I tried to play around with my digital macro setting. Be forewarned, I am NO photographer nor do I claim to be. These were the best of about 20 pictures I took outside.

This was of the bouganvilla in my front lawn. I was trying to get the little yellow flowers inside the bloom into focus, but I never could get them. The camera was trying to focus on stamens (I guess that's what they are?) in the center of the photo. The hard part about this macro setting is that you have to hold the camera really close to the object and the object must be something really small and intricate.

I liked the texture of this one. It was a piece of some ground cover in the front yard. I just held the camera up really close and was able to get the texture just right. Not too bad for my first time messing around with the setting.

This one isn't great, but I was trying to get the center in focus. I guess it's not too horrible.

I love our rosebush, so I had to capture the newest buds to appear.

This is the best photo I took in my oh-so-humble opinion. I took several pictures of this fly, but the wind kept blowing the stems making it hard to get anything to focus. This is the only photo where the fly wasn't blurry. I think my hands are a bit shaky as well. I don't think I have to tell you that these photos are completely raw and unedited.

I'd love to take some photography lessons and get a DSLR. I think it's a fun hobby that I could be good at, but I just don't have the money or time to invest in it right now. What do you guys think?

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Ten on Tuesday

>> Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ten on Tuesday from Roots and Rings:

1. What is your favorite piece of furniture in your house?
Our bedroom furniture. The mattress is nice and comfy, the bed is king-sized so both of us ridiculously tall folk can sleep well. Plus, the mirror on our dresser is tall enough for Jason!
2. If it was raining so hard on a Saturday that you couldn’t leave your house, what would you spend the day doing?
Probably reading on the couch with the cat in my lap.
3. What was your favorite candy as a child?
Lemonheads
4. Did you get an allowance? What was it based on? What did you do with it?
I know that I got an allowance based on chores, but I really don't remember how much it was since it was sporatic. I probably saved it all because I was a tightwad.
5. Do you have a favorite Etsy store?
Nope
6. Do you prefer time with family or time with friends?
Family. We don't see each other enough.
7. Looney Tunes, Tiny Toons, or Animaniacs?
Looney Tunes!
8. Best daytime talk show: Oprah, Ellen, The Doctors, Tyra (ha!), Dr. Oz, or Dr. Phil?
I guess Ellen. I don't really watch any of them.
9. Would you rather have the power of invisibility or the ability to fly?
The ability to fly. It sounds much more fun.
10. Name 1 thing you love about being an adult.
Marriage.

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The good and the bad

>> Sunday, May 23, 2010

First, the good: I had a really good day at work today. I sold more than I had all week. THANK GOODNESS. It's been such a slow week that even Saturday's numbers were worse than a bad Monday. Seriously! So that was good news!

Now, the bad: The first person I sold a handbag to today was someone that I didn't ever want to run into. And I mean EVER.

Let's flashback 5 years, shall we? I was working for a certain company in the staffing industry. After college, I was lost in what I wanted to do and got an interview with a lady at a different staffing company. The job fell through and I didn't hear from the lady for months. Then out of the blue, she called me from a different staffing company. She had changed jobs and offered me a position at the office. I really didn't want to do this type of work, but I agreed to try it out thinking that I could move onto something else if I did this job. Staffing wasn't so bad at first. It was fairly manageable and my coworkers were nice. Slowly, the work load was elevated and our company was given goals that were impossible to attain. My workload suddenly increased by over 100% and demands were made that were hard to keep up with. And when I say that the workload was getting too hard, I speak for all at the company. On top of this, I had just started grad school and was balancing this full time job with 3/4 time grad school at night. In the middle of this, a new salesperson was hired. This salesperson was new to sales and had recently left the police force. Yes, you read that right. A former cop decided to go into sales. Can you picture a salesperson/former cop interrogating employees (unintentionally) and nearly bullying companies to give her job orders? And then once this person left and I had to fill the job, suddenly there really wasn't a job that was open. Maybe, this person was a little too forceful in acquiring job orders and when she left, suddenly these companies grew a spine and told us "NO JOB" over the phone. Yeah, that's pretty much how it was. The really bad part to it all? She was the owner's "pet" employee. They got along too well and he thought she could do no wrong. She made my horrible job even more stressful and drove me to meltdowns at home frequently. Finally, I was let go from the job. My direct boss didn't support this decision, but she had to go with it since the owner had made his decision. I believe that I was let go as an example. I wasn't heartbroken over losing my job since I was already miserable, but I was really disappointed. I had gotten into a job that I didn't even want and then was let go because it was probably obvious that I didn't want the job.

If you haven't guessed that the person I sold a bag to this morning was the saleslady in the story, then you need to have a couple more glasses of wine so that my story begins to make more sense.

Fast forward to this morning: I saw a woman walk into my department looking at an expensive Coach handbag. I asked her if she needed help and she said she knew she wanted that bag, but she wanted to look a little more. Then she told me I looked familiar. She looked vaguely (and I mean really vaguely) familiar to me, but it was more because her profile resembled someone I knew. Then she asked me where I worked before this. I told her a certain staffing company (not the one mentioned above) and then I interned at another company. She still looked puzzled and asked me if I worked at Staffing Company Mentioned Above. I told her that I did a long time ago. She looks at me and says, "I'm Tina! Remember me?"

The wave of emotions that rocked through my body at that moment are indescribable. That part of my life was so miserable, I never wanted to remember it again. Or her. And I feel bad for saying it because she's actually really nice. I get along with her as a person. But working with her was hard. To add insult to injury, the Staffing Company Mentioned Above had merged with two other companies and now had 4 offices. She's now the Branch Manager of one of the locations and earns way more than she did before. On top of it, she's gotten married and has a baby.  Just seeing her was enough to send me over the edge. But hearing that she's really successful and is able to do the things that I want to do now just hurts. And I was embarrassed to have to admit that after 8 years of schooling, I'm working in retail. I've essentially gone nowhere. I really wanted to punch a wall this morning. It took every ounce of strength that I had to keep a smile on my face and look comfortable speaking with her. It was so freaking hard. I wanted to break down afterward, but I held it in. On top of it all, I have a bad feeling that she's going to return that bag.

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Ten on Tuesday

>> Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hey, it's 11:00pm. It's still technically Tuesday! Better late than never!

Ten on Tuesday from Roots and Rings!


1. If your name was a verb, what would “to Stephanie” mean? (Insert your own name though…)
To rock something out! For instance, I totally Stephanied those shoulder pads with my leg warmers!

2. What myth have you always wanted to prove or bust?
That you can't go backwards in time, only forwards. Oh wait, maybe Stephen Hawking has already done that? Did I lose anyone with that one?

3. If you had the ability to get a message out to the entire world, what would you say?
Huzzah! Just kidding. How about letting the entire world know that Stephanie has now become a verb?

4. I know you’ve answered a similar question before, but it’s been awhile. Please name your current top 10 blogs.
Um....read my blog list. I don't really play favorites. Plus, with my time so much more limited nowaways, I don't really read as many as I used to.

5. Do you have a junk drawer?
Yes, it's in the kitchen with random household stuff. Jason also calls my nightstand drawer a junk drawer.

6. Bottled water or tap? 
Tap so I don't waste the plastic.

7. As a kid, did you have a favorite Biblical story?
Noah's ark was always a good one. I also liked the Zaccheus story from the "Zaccheus was a wee little man" song.

8. What is your favorite black and white movie?
I don't really have one. There's some cool ones that I've seen, but they're pretty random. "The Parent Trap",  "Memphis Bell". "Young Frankenstein" and "Gone With the Wind" come to mind on my list of black and white movies that I've seen.

9. Aside from your engagement/wedding rings, what is your favorite piece of jewelry that you own? Does it have a story behind it?
I have a lot of jewelry, so it's hard to pinpoint specific pieces that are my absolute favorite. I have several from my grandmother that are especially sentimental. I have a locket that bears her initials that she gave to me when I was in high school. She wore it when she was in high school so many years before me. The locket was originally her Aunt Amanda's locket and was given to my grandmother when she was old enough to appreciate it. My grandmother and her aunt happened to have the same initials. I like the history behind it; plus, it's really, really old!
10. What sports/activities do you hope your kids will be involved in? (Answer for both a boy and a girl)
I just hope my kids are active. I really enjoyed volleyball, basketball and tennnis. I hope my future children play what makes them happy.

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Passion?

>> Saturday, May 8, 2010

I've read so many articles about jobs and how to find your "dream job", that job that embraces your true passion. But how do you find that passion? I've read things about this, but I can never come up with anything for myself. I'm afraid that I won't like something in 6 months and will have to start over. I truly have no idea what makes me tick....what makes me want to get up in the morning and go, go, go! Part of this could be that I feel very dejected as far as the job market goes. It seems that I qualify for nearly nothing and am over-qualified for nearly everything. I've done so many different types of jobs and yet none of them were great. I never woke up and really wanted to go in to the office. Currently I work in retail to get some income to keep Jason and I half-way afloat, but it's something that I don't love. It's stressful, since I'm in a commission-only position. It's also hard working around others that are 10 years younger than me making more money than I am with a degree and a master's degree. Does that make me sound full of myself? I hope it doesn't, but that's how I feel. Some days, work is pretty good. Others, it's tough when I know I'm not coming home with much money. It's even tougher knowing that there aren't any more job prospects for Jason and that I am the sole source of income for the time being. It's not a good feeling. But back to the original question at hand....what is my passion? How could I spend so much time in school and still not know where I fit in? It makes no sense at all! How do you figure this out? And how do you find a job that embraces it? I know that the job market is terrible, but I am so freaking tired of hearing about it. What do you do when you were out of a job for 22 months and then took a retail position? Where do you head next? What can I possibly do to change our current situation? I'm seriously out of ideas.

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Update, anyone?

>> Saturday, May 1, 2010

It's been awhile since I've done an update, so here's what's been going on (in bullet points, of course!):

  • Work has been going pretty good. I'm doing well according to my 45-day review and am improving daily. I'm no longer the newbie since they have hired someone else in my department. Hooray! The constant changing of my schedule is harder than I remember and I frequently get tired. When I close and then open the following day, I don't get 8 hours of sleep. My poor body needs 8 hours (no less!) to function well. I've taken two 2-hour naps so far in my quest to catch up on much-needed sleep.
  • Somehow, even though I have a crazy schedule, I have managed to stay in the gym. I'm still attending Body Attack, Body Pump, Body Combat and Step. It's been hard to fit them in, but I'm able to go several times a week. I'm getting better at each class and I'm able to follow the motions with much more ease. I did fall in Step class this week, but I didn't hurt myself. It was toward the end of class and I was exhausted. I was jumping over the step quickly when one foot touched the other. It was just enough to set me off balance. Then, it was like I fell in slow motion. I landed on my butt fairly softly and laughed. The best part? No one noticed because I was in the back!
  • Still no job prospects for Jason. He's been looking, but there's not much out there. His mood has been very up and down and some days it's hard to deal with. As long as he keeps himself busy, he's okay. I've been trying to keep him motivated to get things done to make himself feel productive. So far, so good.
  • Luckily, with my paycheck we can live the exact way we are living currently (the horror!) for another 18 months. My paycheck doesn't cover all the bills currently, but's fairly close. At least that means we can stay in our house for now. Thank goodness.
  • Our garden isn't looking good. The soil that we brought in last year has mixed too much with our original soil. It's now a compacted, thick soil that is making it hard for the plants to establish roots. Also, something is eating a few of the plants. I have no idea what they are, but it's not the pill bugs that we had last year. This time, it's eating the leaves, not the stem. The squash is the only plant that actually looks pretty good. I think we'll have a good harvest from it.
I think that's all there is to talk about. If you made it through my jumbled train of thought, I applaud you! And now my friends, I must get dressed to go to work. On a Saturday. :(

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Ten On Tuesday

>> Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It's Chelsea's Ten on Tuesday!

1.  What two cities should be moved closer together?
San Antonio & Rome. I've always wanted to go to Italy! If the cities were close, I wouldn't have to worry about time changes, jet lag and taking extra time off of work.

2. What was the first plane ride you took?
I took a plane from Corpus to Dallas when I was 13. I was terrified to go by myself, but I really wanted to see my best friend and we hadn't seen each other in years!
3. What continent would you most like to visit?
Africa - we have jungles, beaches and pyramids.
4. What’s your favorite place to window-shop?
Pottery Barn. I just LOVE their stuff!
5. What’s the least fun you’ve ever had at a place specifically tailored for fun?
When I was in middle school, my parents took our family to Schlitterbahn. I got really sick while I was there and had to sit out most of the rides/slides.

6.  You’re stuck on an island with plenty of food, a companion, and a relatively stress-free lifestyle. What do you say when the rescue ship comes? 
I say, "Hooray! Showers!"
7. Which day of the week do you look forward to most?
Since my schedules rotate, it's whatever day I have off that week.
8. What’s your favorite place to enjoy the great outdoors? 
Anywhere that Jason is with me. I like exploring new places with him.

9. What’s on your “to do” list this summer? 
I don't really have a "to do" list this summer until Jason finds a job. Everything is on hold until that point.

10. Which natural disaster freaks you out the most?
Tornadoes. Thank goodness we don't really get them here. It scares me because there's never enough warning and you could lose everything in an instant.

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Birthday and Putt Putt

>> Friday, April 16, 2010

I'm late on posting this, but on Good Friday, a group of friends and I celebrated Shana's birthday. It was her 29th (*gasp!* I'm posting the truth on the Interwebz for all to see!!!)  birthday! We met at La Hacienda de los Barrios to scarf down some Mexican food and margaritas. Here's me and the birthday girl:

 Shana's favorite dessert is brownies and ice cream. Let me interject here to tell a (relatively) short story. A few months ago, Jason, my brother-in-law Brandon and me visited Shana for a weekend. I thought I'd be a good friend and bring homemade brownies. Now, let's just say that these brownies were kinda sorta awesome. I melted chocolate for these brownies. I melted Guiridelli chocolate for these brownies. And you know what? Those brownies were gobbled up by the four of us. So fast forward to now. I ask Shana what kind of cake she wanted me to make for her birthday. She said she really just wanted brownies and ice cream. "Okay", I think, "I can do that". Then she says, "just make the box brownies. They taste the same anyway".

What? WHAT? Did my friend just insult my baking? "They're just easier", she explains.

 I enjoy baking and I like the process, so I don't mind making things from scratch. But I complied with my friend's birthday request. I bought a box of brownies that specifically called for a 13in x 9in pan. Now here's where the story gets interesting:

I got home after a long shopping trip and got the mix out. It called for vegetable oil. Oh crap. I didn't have any vegetable oil. I only had olive oil. Wait......olives are a vegetable, right? Olive oil should work. It will taste fine. I think.

So I made the brownies with olive oil. The batter tasted a little off, but I wasn't sure if it was just me. I baked those suckers and set them out to cool. Then I notice that they look flat. At this point, I have to be at La Hacienda in a few hours. I don't want to leave. I don't want to do anything. So I don't. I took those sprinkle-laden, olive oil filled brownies to the birthday girl along with some Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream. My mistake was informing Shana of my mishap before she actually ate any. Oh well! That's what she gets for making me make BOX BROWNIES! So here we are lighting the flat brownie:
Do you see how much glass there is over the brownie? Seriously, I was embarrassed to even admit I made it. I made up for it by making her blow out all 29 friggin' candles. Ha!

Dinner was great and no one even complained or turned away the olive oil brownies smothered in vanilla ice cream. Jason and I stopped to take an obligatory photo:
We got a shot of the entire group before embarking to putt putt. We lost a few people on the way. Something about being tired and crabby and working was said, but I chose not to listen to such conversation.
After losing a few people, we were down to eight, making two teams. Here's team RASH (or Robbie, Adam, Shana and Jason. Nope, I have no idea how that spells rash.):
If it helps, the dude being sensual with the putter made it up. Here's team JSBD: Jason, Stephanie, Brandon and Devona. So we may not make up a word, but at least we know what we stand for!
Here's what a 6'8" husband looks like holding the longest putter possible:
Surprisingly, it fit him better than expected. My camera's wide angle lens, however, did not fit him as well as expected.

After 18 holes, I lost by some ridiculous amount. I kinda suck at putt putt, but at least I didn't lose my ball in the water. That would have been worse. Here's Shana with her boyfriend, Adam. Aren't they cute?
And here is my evidence of spousal abuse. I do believe that a putter counts as a weapon!
After smacking him into his place, Jason and I took a lovely picture together:
Happy birthday Shana!

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Healthy Chili Rellenos

>> Thursday, April 15, 2010

I really like chili rellenos, but they are so unhealthy. Chili rellenos consist of Anaheim or Poblano peppers that have been broiled so that the skins can be removed and stuffed with either cheese, meat or a combination of both. But it doesn't stop there. After the chilis have been stuffed, they are battered and fried! Holy calorie overload! I decided to try my hand at a more healthy version. I scoured the Interwebz, but couldn't come up with anything. So, I put my mind to work. These are a combination of my Stuffed Bell Peppers and tacos (sort of). Oh and beware, these babies are nice and spicy! If you don't like heat, leave out the cayenne. And if you want to cut down on the fat even more, leave out the cheese or use reduced fat. Here's what I came up with:

Steph's Healthy Chili Rellenos

6 Poblano or Anaheim peppers
1 yellow onion, diced
2 large cloves of garlic (or up to 4 small ones), minced
1 lb 97% or more fat free ground turkey
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 can black beans, rinsed (I use Sun Vista salt-free)
Jalapeno-Jack cheese (I didn't measure, but I grated a 1in x 2in x 1.5in piece of Organic Valley, roughly 1 to 1 1/2 Tbsp per chili)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Fill a large pot with water and put on the stove to heat up. Cut a "T" into each pepper carefully. Try to remove the ribs and seeds from each pepper. I had to shake mine into the sink to remove more seeds. Put the peppers into the pot of water. When the peppers are softened, take out of the water using a tongs and lay on a towel to dry.

Meanwhile, heat a pan with 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add garlic and onions and cook for a few minutes. Add in the turkey and cook until browned. Put in all spices and the jalapenos and cook for a few more minutes. Finally, add in the tomatoes and beans and cook until thoroughly mixed and heated through.

Mist a glass cooking dish (or two in my case) with non-stick cooking spray. Carefully lay the peppers in the pan(s) and fill them with the meat mixture. Sprinkle a little cheese inside each pepper and bake for 15-20 minutes.

By the time I had added the spices to the pan, Jason had already come into the kitchen to tell me that it smelled really good. Then, I let him sneak a piece of turkey and he LOVED it. Here's the chilis right before I put them in the oven:


 And here's one on my plate served with brown rice and sliced avocado:

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First rose of spring!

>> Wednesday, April 14, 2010


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Eclipse

>> Tuesday, April 6, 2010

So after reading and watching New Moon, you'd think I wouldn't have wanted to move on to the next book in the Twilight series, Eclipse.


 But I did. I was curious to see how things turned out. While I was in the lunch room at work a few weeks ago, I overheard two girls talking about New Moon. I had just finished reading and watching it, so I told them that I was so disappointed in it after liking Twilight so much. They assured me that Eclipse was so much better and that the fourth book was their favorite. And you know what?

They were right! The Edward/Bella connection was back on with Jacob thrown into the mix. The drama was there. The action was there. I finished the book in about 3 days. This time, Edward feels horrible for leaving Bella and promises to never do it again. Jacob, though he knows that Bella's true love is for Edward, still cares for her and finally professes his love for her, knowing that she will never feel as strongly. While in the midst of an impending vampire attack, Jacob guilt-trips Bella into kissing him and she does. She then realizes that she's "in love" with him, too, but still not as much as she is in love with Edward. Bella finally agrees to marry Edward, but there's no wedding in this book. I guess that's in Breaking Dawn. The good thing about this book is that the storyline about Victoria (a vampire who's mate is killed by Edward in Twilight) wanting to destroy Bella is finally addressed. Overall, this book was just so much more well-written than New Moon.The romance is back and I seriously can't wait until I read Breaking Dawn!

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Creep Alert!

>> Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I have to talk to a lot of customers on a daily basis, which I have absolutely no problem with. It's fairly easy to strike up a small conversation with someone in my type of work environment. However, sometimes it's the customer that catches me off-guard rather than vice versa. Here's what happened:

I was finishing up with another customer and filing away some paperwork when a late 40s-ish man randomly walks up. He's dressed almost too casually in his jeans, flannel shirt (hello! It's 80 degrees outside!) and fishing-type floppy hat for the day. He walks right up to me and says "Hey there!" like he knew me well. I politely said "Hi" because I thought maybe he did know me. Maybe I had sold him something before and my memory failed me. After all, I'm not exactly well-known for remembering names. I thought I'd stick around to see if I could jog my memory. So then he begins talking to me about everything from the weather to politics to global warming. I kid you not. He left no room for me to say a word other than the occasional "uh huh" and "yeah". There was no escape! And then he dropped a bombshell on me:

He said to me, in a distinctly confident way, "You're a natural blonde."

I replied, "Yes.....". I mean, what else am I supposed to say here? Where did this question even COME FROM???

Then he said, "Want to know how I know?"

Oh God, no I don't. I have no idea what the look on my face was. I didn't want to know how this question was going to be answered. Can you guess what I was even THINKING? The first thing that went through my head was that he hadn't seen me naked and he wasn't going to. Gross! After the initial shock in my head, I cautiously asked, "How?"

He simply pointed to his eyebrows, indicating that my eyebrows are naturally blonde and that I hadn't colored them.

Seriously, what the hell? You can't imagine how relieved I was at that point to have another customer ask me for help. After answering that person's questions, I hauled booty to the other side of my department and wouldn't go back until he was gone. Normally I might have called security, but his wife and daughter were in the department and they were normal. (Or so it seemed.) I guess he was bored. Geez, can you say creep alert? I was never so happy to see anyone leave in my life!

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Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

>> Monday, March 29, 2010

Did anyone get a chance to see that show? I forgot it was on and forgot to set the DVR. Fortunately, I was able to catch a piece of it online. It looks so informative and I hope that it gives the general public a wake-up call in regards to what they put in their mouth. So much of our food is over-processed and packed with crap. I think if people really knew what they were putting in their bodies, they would think twice. You can see the first episode HERE but there are a few commercials. The second half of the episode is also on that page. I hope that everyone finds this show interesting. Although I am nowhere near perfect in my eating habits, I like to arm myself with as much knowledge as possible. What do you think?

It's on Fridays on ABC at 8 Central time. 

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New Moon

>> Saturday, March 27, 2010

I finally read New Moon. And I watched the movie. And I was disappointed in both. Let's start with the book.

Where do I even begin? When I read Twilight, I was amazed at how much I actually liked the book. I thought it would be kind of young and teenager-y, but it was a quick and interesting read. I couldn't put the book down. New Moon was also a quick read, but it wasn't all that interesting. Let me just summarize the entire book in bullets:
  • Bella and Edward are in love, but Edward wants to keep Bella safe so he leaves her alone and leaves town along with the entire Cullen clan.
  • Bella then does stupid things like riding motorcycles and cliff-diving so she can hear Edward's voice in her crazy head.
  • Bella plays with poor Jacob's emotions by spending time with him and leading him on.
  • Oh dear, Jacob is a werewolf. How do these things happen?
  • Edward things Bella died, so now he has to go off himself. Nevermind the fact that he doesn't really try to find out the truth himself.
  • Bella saves the day and is promised that someday she will become a vampire.
  • Edward asks Bella to marry him.
That's about it folks. There's not a whole lot of content to read in that book. Lame, lame, lame. Edward is absent throughout most of the book. Bella comes off as whiney and weak which is highly annoying. The rest of the Cullen clan is also noticeably absent from the storyline and Victoria makes an appearance. What's annoying is that while Victoria is mentioned, there's nothing more to the story than just that. At the end, Jacob is left hanging and Edward promises to never leave Bella again. Frickin' bite her already dude! Geez, this is getting drawn out.

So after reading the book, I decided I would spend a whole dollar at Redbox to rent New Moon. Knowing that the book was pretty lame, I didn't expect much from the movie and I wasn't disappointed. The pluses to this movie are:
  • The make-up was much better this time. No overly pasty white vampires. 
Oh wait. That's the only plus because the storyline was LAME. This won't stop me from finishing the series, though. I keep hearing that the last two books are better, so I guess I'll put a hold on them in the library. We'll see. Does reviewing the Twilight series make me sound like a reminiscent teenager? I sure don't want to go back to those days..........

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Bad, bad blogger!

>> Friday, March 26, 2010

Well, we knew this would happen. I got a job and left the blog in the dust. Where to begin?

In my last post, I left off on the day I got really sick. Damn you Oak Pollen! So the allergy problems made for a crappy first few days at work. I was constantly excusing myself to go blow my nose behind the scenes and stuffing peppermints in my mouth so I could quit coughing for a few minutes. It was not fun at all. Despite that, I did pretty well. My feet believe otherwise as they have major blisters on them. I don't own any really comfortable shoes that are cute and will allow me to be on my feet all day. Where do I find such things? Oh, did I mention I have a narrow foot and I walk out of any shoe that doesn't have a strap? Yeah, this will be fun.

After those first few days at work, Jason & I got a sad phone call. Our friend's father passed away and the funeral was in a few days. Luckily for me, I was off of work. I didn't know how I was going to get off work for a non-family member. Especially since I had just gotten off work for a funeral two weeks beforehand. Unlike the last person to pass away, this person got to live a long, full life. He was known as "Grandpa" to everyone. Jason served as a pallbearer in the funeral because he was pretty close. I'm going to tell a funny story about Grandpa that Jason once told me. But first, a little background. Grandpa lost most of his hearing years and years ago. He can hear low voices sometimes, but in places where there is a lot of background noise, like restaurants, he can't hear a thing. Keeping that in mind, Grandpa and several other people (including J) decided to go to dinner at a steakhouse. Everyone knows that when a waiter/waitress comes to your table, he/she pretty much asks the same thing in the same order. So here's how that conversation went down:

Waitress: What will you be having?
Grandpa: Steak.
Waitress: And how would you like that cooked?
Grandpa: Baked potato. Cole slaw. Iced tea.

And that was it. The waitress had a confused look on her face and Grandpa never knew that he missed anything. Isn't that hilarious?

Aside from that, it's been work, work, work. I'll try and get better at this. I'll have a book and movie review up tomorrow, too!

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What a freaking week......

>> Sunday, March 14, 2010

I started my new job this week. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were to be training days. Oh, Tuesday was such a long day. There were five of us in a room learning all about our company's values, our expectations and such. I wondered why I took the time to read the employee rules online beforehand since we went over each one in detail. After sitting in a classroom for 5 and half hours, I was ready to go home. I get so antsy when I'm supposed to sit still!

Wednesday was another training day which wasn't quite so bad. Except for the girl next to me who knew it all. She had worked for the company many years ago and recently came back. Therefore, she felt the need to get ahead of our "teacher" and talk to me while he's talking. It was a tad annoying, but at least I made a friend in another department. That will come in handy one of these days.

Wednesday morning, before I left for work, Jason told me about an email I received the night before. A friend of mine had lost a 5 and a half year-long battle with breast cancer. It was devastating news. My friend was so young. She was always full of life and hope. Her faith was so strong that it inspired me. Twelve years ago, I caught the bouquet at her wedding. Now, she was being laid to rest in that very same church that she got married in. It was such a sad, final moment. I skipped my third day of training (with permission, of course) to go to her memorial. Wednesday and Thursday were pretty rough for me. Seeing a friend leave this world always makes me contemplative. Hug those you love now because you never know what could happen tomorrow.

Friday was my first day in the new job. I think I did pretty good. I still have some on-the-floor training to do, but I didn't do too bad for my first day. I came home feeling kind of yucky and I had feet that hurt so freaking bad! I'm not used to being on my feet all day anymore. Then, I woke up with a bad sinus headache on Saturday. Not good. Luckily, I didn't have to be at work until 3, so I laid around the house and tried to get some rest while Jason and his Dad worked outside on a water line.

I got to work feeling a little better, but definitely not myself. I finally got to meet all the girls in my department and they are all so nice and helpful! From what I hear through the grapevine, I got into a very good department. Thank goodness! Saturday went pretty well, but I came home with two new blisters on my feet. I've got to find some flats to wear to work! I came home sneezing, sniffling, coughing and expecting to fall asleep fast. I got to bed about 11:30 and was still awake at 2am. My darn nose wouldn't stop running, so I couldn't breathe. My throat hurt too bad to sleep with my mouth open. It wasn't such a good night for me.

So here I am on Sunday, my day off, and I feel miserable. Seriously, what the hell? I think I may have to dose up on some Benadryl on top of the Zyrtec I've already taken. I also think a nap is in order for this afternoon. Hopefully, next week is better!

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Ten on Tuesday

>> Tuesday, March 9, 2010


1. Of your current hobbies, which would you choose to spend more time, money, and effort on? Why?
I think I'd spend more time/money on gardening. There's tons of flowers and landscaping type things I could spend a lot of money on!


2. List the two other hobbies/habitual activies (not chores) besides the one listed above that you regularly do now and didn’t choose in question one.
I guess working out would be my only other hobby. Unless you call home improvement a hobby. I don't. I call it a chore.

3. Why are you spending time on the above two hobbies/habitual activies at all if you really wanted to spend your time on the first one you chose?  …or to put it another way, what are these two hobbies/habitual activities fullfilling that the first one doesn’t if you don’t want to put all your effort into the first hobby?
I think it's pretty obvious what working out fulfills. Gardening just doesn't do the same thing. I think there's way more money that I could spend on gardening rather than working out, which is why I made the above choices.

4. Ready John 3:16 in the bible… In what way does this passage affect you?  What are your feelings towards these words, positively or negatively?
This passage is the very essence of Christianity. It's what I completely, wholly, absolutely believe. The passage makes me sad to know that Jesus gave His life for us, but happy because I know that I will have eternal life through Him one day.

5. M&M’s: nuts, no nuts, or peanut butter?
No nuts, but I'm willing to give those coconut ones a try.

6. Putting away the feeling of pride being a bad thing; what secretly/openly are you proud about yourself?
The rate at which my fingernails grow. It used to annoy me when I was a kid, but now I'm happy to flaunt how long they get. Most of the time I'm just too lazy to trim them down!

7. Given one room in the house to do with what you want, not changing the actual size of the room and with all the money you would need, what would you do, and be specific?  (this can range from bouncy floor,walls & ceilings; to hard wood floor with wood paneling and purple ceiling with a chair; to nothing)
So many possibilities! What I'd really like to do would be to build an outdoor room! I really want a covered back porch with furniture so that I can sit outside without squinting and dying of heat.

8. What’s the next movie you’re going to see?  Not what you’d LIKE to GO see, but the next movie you realistically are going to watch.
In the theater? I haven't a clue. The next movie I want to rent is The Blind Side as soon as it comes out. I really would like to see it.....especially after seeing Sandra Bullock's speech after winning Best Actress.

9. Use the keyboard only and make your best smiley/funny/cool face –> like this! 8^)
I seriously don't get past :). I'm just a little too boring I suppose.

10. What makes you cry? What makes you pray? What makes you laugh?
Apparently, Oscar winner speeches make me cry. And sad movies. And sometimes sad commercials. And a few songs. Nothing makes me pray except myself. I try to pray every night before bed and let God work. Sometimes, it's hard to put all my trust in Him, but he hasn't failed me yet. The hardest part is knowing that sometimes the answer to my prayers is no. Jason makes me laugh every day. He just cracks me up! 

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News

>> Friday, March 5, 2010

Well, this is my 200th post! I never thought I would have lasted this long in the blogging world! So, I've been saving up this post so that I could hopefully post some good news. I'm not unemployed anymore! I'm not making what I really want to make and the commute is long, but I'm excited about the opportunity anyway! Now we just have to get Jason employed, too..........

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Book Review: Freakonomics

>> Wednesday, March 3, 2010

So, I'm a little late to the game in reading this book, but I finally read Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner.

 
Now, don't stop reading. I know that this book sounds remarkably like that evil class in college, Economics. And yes, this book is written by - *shudder* - an economist! However, this book was far from boring and really.....far from economics. It's about a lot of random situations in America and the things that caused them to happen. Does this sound interesting? No? Well, you are missing out. I don't necessarily agree with everything the authors write, but I do find their viewpoints very interesting. They look at situations, such as the falling crime rate in America, then talk about possible reasons for the outcome. The reasons are not really what you would expect and will probably surprise you! It's kind of similar to the whole butterfly wings can cause a hurricane theory. The point of the book is not to change your beliefs, but rather to look at things from a different perspective. It's a fast, easy read and I highly recommend it!

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Ten on Tuesday

>> Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ten on Tuesday from Roots & Rings!

1. If you were given an hour to use a $200 Amazon gift card, what would you buy?


Probably a random list of books. My taste is pretty eclectic. No, I can't name any one in particular because I'm sure it would be totally different knowing I only had an hour to choose.

2. Are there any fairly common foods that you’ve never had?

Probably not.

3. What was your favorite way to use your imagination as a kid?
I'm not really sure how to answer this one. I remember playing Barbies and making up home stories. I also remember playing "pirates" with my sister and brother. We would each stake claim to a tree which became our "ship" and would pretend to shoot canons at each other.

4. What’s your favorite state? Why?
Texas. Duh. Must you ask why? Well, because we've got everything we need here. Beach, mountains, grasslands, woods.......

5. If it was our culture to have our parents choose our spouses, do you think yours would make a good choice?
Yes. They both love Jason, so obviously they have great taste!

6. What’s your favorite herb?
That's a toss-up between basil (fresh) and rosemary.

7. If you could have dinner with one celebrity, who would you choose?
Right now, I'd pick Chelsea Handler. I could use the laughs!

8. What’s your favorite Disney movie?
The Little Mermaid. Hands down. I could probably still recite half the dialog correctly.

9. If you had to listen to the same song over and over for 24 hours, what song would you choose?
That's painful! For some reason, the first song that pops into my head for this is "Deacon Blues" by Steely Dan. It's soft, jazzy and melodic. I'd still be sick of it by the end of 24 hours, but at least it's nice enough to sleep through. Yes, I'm aware that was a pretty random song to choose. Bonus points if you can name the lead singer. (Click here to hear it on Lala- will be a  pop-up window)

10. How do you order your steak?
Medium rare mostly. I really do like it pink/a little red in the middle. Yum. Pure deliciousness.

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It's Friday.....

>> Friday, February 26, 2010

And I don't have a solution for "The Situation" yet. (Not to be confused with Jersey Shore. Ugh.) There are a couple things in the pipeline, but no official word yet. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers. :)

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Winter garden update

>> Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I've forgotten to take pictures because there wasn't much to see, but we lost most of our winter garden after a hard freeze we had a few months back. Jason & I had taken care to cover the plants every time, but it just got to cold. All that was left was broccoli and carrots. We knew the carrots had done okay since we had pulled a few. The broccoli, on the other hand, was stuck in some sort of time warp. It hadn't grown (or died) in a long time. After we had some warmer weather a few weeks ago, I peeked out the window and was surprised to see there was little broccoli heads growing! Here's a picture of it:

 

This was taken as Jason cut some off for our dinner! The carrot plants still look good as well, but they are definitely ready for picking:


  

And then we had some funny-looking carrots that actually looked a little naughty!



We'll be enjoying carrots and broccoli for some time!

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Reality just b*tch-slapped me in the face

>> Tuesday, February 23, 2010

On Saturday, my sister and her friend Sarah were in town. We visited my cousin and then spent the afternoon at my grandma's house. I hadn't seen her in quite a while and neither had my sister. After I dropped my sister off, I came home to an empty house and decided to take it easy and watch some shows on the DVR. It had been a pretty good day.

Until Jason came home.

Remember when I said that we had roughly 8 or 9 months left of savings to live off of? Well, reality suddenly hit Jason. He has a company that wants to hire him, but is trying to find an open position. He should hear something about that this week. He has also applied to a few other places which we should also know about shortly. So J told me that if nothing pans out in the next two weeks, then we had some really important decisions to make. Here's what he told me:

  1. Find some type of job that would pay enough to keep us afloat. (Easier said than done, obviously)
  2. Find a renter so we can rent the house out and live with his parents in town.
  3. Sell the house so we don't ruin our credit in case we lose the house in 9 months.
  4. Turn off everything, move in with Jason's parents and hold onto the house for a little longer provided we both find minimum wage jobs.
Now you may thing that the last thre choices are drastic. So did I. Believe me, I didn't want to think that this could possibly happen to us. But Jason's right. In this economy, it would take us nearly 9 months to sell our home and hope that we got what we paid for it. Renting would be hard because of the price we would have to charge in order to make the mortgage payment, taxes and insurance and not lose money. Finding a minimum wage job would help us hold onto the house longer as long as we could get our absolute minimum bills paid (mortgage, student loans, insurance, etc.) but it would still mean moving. This is such a harsh reality that has hit me in the face full-force.

How could this happen to us? We don't have any debt but our mortgage and student loans. We've always paid off our credit cards. We're both educated with degrees. The sad reality is that our economy stinks. And it's something that we can't change no matter how hard we wish it to be different. I know that many other families have been in our situation, but I don't know any personally. That part makes it hard because we feel very alone.

My plan is to call up some friends and see if they can get me hired at least as part-time help.  I don't want option 1 or 2 to happen. I've waited to do this because I keep hoping that I will get hired somewhere. It's hard for me to do this because I worked so hard to finish my Master's degree. I thought I would be doing something more. But things are what they are and only Jason and I can change. I am hoping that by the time this post is up that I will have something to report. Please keep Jason and I in your prayers. We are going to need them.

P.S. For those of you who just started reading this blog, the bathroom renovations had been completed for quite a while. The materials had been bought way in advance with money we had put aside for that project.

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Allison's birthday

>> Monday, February 22, 2010

Remember when I mentioned that I had two parties to go to the weekend of Valentine's Day? One of those was to go to my friend Allison's 30th birthday. She just says that it's her annual 21st birthday celebration. Jason wasn't feeling well that night, so I went solo. We met at Luna to see Ruben V play. He's an awesome Texas blues guitarist.....amazing. You have to see him in person if you live in the area. Anyway, here's a pic of the birthday girl and I:

 

I look so weird in that picture! What is wrong with me??? I found it funny that we both grew our hair out at the same time! I also finally got to meet Allison's new boyfriend Markus (left) and her brother Todd and sister-in-law Allison. The brother and sister-in-law live in another state so I've heard the names for years.

 

I had a great time meeting her family and boyfriend and loved hearing Ruben V for the hundredth time!
The next day, on Saturday, Jason and I went to my cousin's 25th birthday party. It was a crawfish boil. I enjoy seafood, but I've never tried crawfish. They just look creepy. The birthday girl, Becca, made me try a piece and it was okay. It was kind of spongy like crab, but luckily it was spicy from the sauce. No, I didn't such the head. Gross! I only got one picture of the birthday girl and birthday boy (Brian - never met him before):



You gotta love that Texas-shaped cake! It even had little margarita candles on it! Even though I hadn't planned on staying a really long time, Jason and I were there until most people had left. We got a great visit in with Becca and her husband, TJ. Thanks for inviting us guys!

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