Friday, December 31, 2010

Resolutions

Being that it's New Year's Eve and all, I suppose that I could figure out exactly what I plan to resolve in 2011. I don't know why I make resolutions for myself every year because I never ever follow through with them. BUT THIS YEAR IS GOING TO BE DIFFERENT, I KNOW IT IS!

I really like to make resolutions because it helps me to reflect on things that could use some tweaking in my life. And I like to set goals. And I like to write lists. So there you go.

1. Diet/Exercise
-Blah blah. This is on everyone's list every.single.year. But this year really might be different, and I have some basis for this belief. Back in my senior year of high school, I resolved to work out more frequently and eat healthier - and I actually kept up with it for almost two full months! Why? Because my friends and I were going on spring break. I had something to work for. Now that this impending wedding is actually coming (can you tell from my last posts that I can hardly believe we are REALLY getting married soon?) I think that I'll have the motivation to really do this. Not to mention that I've been eating so horribly as of late and haven't been feeling well as a result (I think).

2. Organization
-Now that we have this new house, we need to start taking care of it. I've done an okay job of doing a decent cleaning of the house about once a month. But it is NOT enough. This house is small and the clutter should probably be dealt with on a daily basis, not to mention that sweeping and washing floors should be a top priority with this messy cat living with us. I'd like to get more organized & get on a cleaning schedule so that we aren't living in clutter and filth.

3. Apply to Grad School
-Decision has been made. I've tossed it back and forth a lot, but I know that career-wise, I won't get anywhere without it. And why put off the inevitable? Getting in is another story...but I'm hoping I'll be good for that. Not much I can do anymore! I think I'm going to try and whip out my apps by the end of January or beginning of February, so the GPA I have now is the one that everyone will see.

4. Graduate and Get Married!
-Need I say more?

It's funny though. I am usually pretty anal about planning out my life. But the latter half of the year 2011, like after the wedding and after school, is a HUGE blank slate. I don't know where I'll be going to grad school (again assuming I get in). I don't know where I'll be working (I hope I won't still be waitressing). I don't know if we'll still be living in this rental house (could we possibly be looking to buy?) I just DON'T KNOW!! It kills me. I am so not good with unpredictability.

So I can at least resolve SOME things for 2011. But I think that most of it is going to be surprises after surprises. Bring it on.

And Happy New Year to all of you!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Reflection

Of course silly me carries around a camera ALL holiday long and doesn't take a single picture. Maybe I'll be able to add some others later (snagging them from other family perhaps?) But anyway...

This Christmas was about as eventful as they come. In fact, all of the celebration OFFICIALLY ended today. Phew. Needless to say, I'm exhausted. But we had a lot of fun and in fact, I have dubbed this Christmas as one of my favorite ones ever.

Things started off a little shaky at first, because the planning aspects of the holidays are always annoyingly stressful. Now that Mark and I live together and are getting married in less than six months (OMG) we have to basically map out how and when we are going to spend time with the various members of our family.

Christmas Eve: The plan was to head to church with my family, and then go eat dinner with Mark's immediate family and Uncle - nothing too fancy. However, once we finally got to church, we realized that we definitely were mistaken in making these plans. It took us nearly 45 minutes to get to church from our house, and then the drive from church to Mark's parents' would be an hour, and then another 40 minutes from their house back home? NOOOOO WAY. So we decided to change our plans last minute and go to my Aunt and Uncles house for snacks/desserts. It was kind of nice because we were spending time with my Dad's side of the family, some of whom we don't usually see on Christmas. My aunt brought out some old pictures and my Dad's yearbook from 8th grade. Hilarious!

Christmas Day: Since we changed all of our plans for Christmas Eve, we also had to tweak our plans a bit for Christmas day as well. Instead of starting at my parent's and ending up at Mark's, we swapped it to make it a little easier and to be able to spend more time with both families.

And may I just say that having our own house is pretty awesome on Christmas morning. We slept in until after 11. No waking up at like 8 AM to open presents! How wonderful is that!? Although I'm sure that will change shortly in the next few years....(squeal-BABIES-squeal).

We went over to Mark's parents' house in the morning (it will be easier when I can call them the in-laws, won't it?) and had some breakfast and opened presents with his sister and little niece. SO CUTE. I wish I had some pictures to share. We hung out some more until just when the extended family came over - then basically we had to say hi and bye so that we could head over to my family's dinner.

Of course it just so happened that the dinners fell a little bit too far apart, so when we got to my parents' they were just cleaning up dinner. We ate and hung out, played games, opened presents, and had a really good time. By the end of the night we were exhausted, but very happy.

December 26, 27, 28 - No holiday break for us! We had to get up and get going right away, meeting back at Mark's parents' house so that we could head out and visit his mom's side of the family about 4 hours north. Mark's sister changed her mind at the last minute and she and his niece joined us for the journey. We ended up having to take two cars instead of just one but Mark & I actually had a lot of fun on the ride up. We sang songs and played 20 questions which I was awesome at and he was terrible.

To spare you all the details, there was TONS upon tons of family time, game playing, chatting, eating, and so forth. Very enjoyable, and eventually very exhausting.

I am happy to report that I'm really getting the hang of euchre. I think I know all of the rules now.

We finally just got home a few hours ago and I am about ready to crash. Yes - it's 5:30. What's it to you?

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas & wishing you a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Lucid dreaming,

Mark recently bought the movie Inception on blu-ray. We had seen the movie in theaters and it was even more amazing a second time. We were able to pause and discuss and watched a pretty neat special feature that talked exclusively about dreaming and the human subconscious.

Since watching the movie, and especially the commentary about dreaming, Mark and I decided that we want to try and learn how to lucid dream. For those that don't know, lucid dreaming is when you realize in the dream that you are in fact dreaming, and can take control of the dream from there.

It sounded simple enough. I've always been fascinated with dreams and I really enjoy learning more about them. In fact, even as a child I was able to occasionally recognize I was in a dream, but I never attempted to change anything about the dream. About as close as I've ever gotten is being able to wake myself up if I'm in a dream that I don't like. But last night was my first go with actually CHANGING something, and it was actually pretty challenging.

The dream started in the middle of something (like any other dream, as they state in the movie, never begins at the beginning. You are always right in the middle of the action). It's a sunny, summer day. I'm outside at the curb taking out the garbage. I'm arguing with the garbage man because he refuses to take one of my bags. He says "I'll come get it next week." Before I can argue further, he drives away. I begin walking toward a house. This particular house has one of those porch-type entry ways when you walk in the front door. I walk through, but I stop short of actually going into the house. I think to myself: "Is this really MY house? This doesn't look familiar. I don't want to waltz into somebody else's house unannounced." I step back outside, thinking that maybe this really is my house. I walk back in and look around the porch area. There is a bookshelf with framed pictures on one side of me, and a windowsill with a green leafy plant on the other side of me. I look at the pictures and realize that I do not know any of the people posing and smiling for the camera.

Because I realize that I'm in an unfamiliar place, I know that I'm dreaming.

At this point I am suddenly really excited. This is what I've been waiting for! Ever since we watched the movie I've been more sensitive to remembering my dreams when I wake up, but this is the first one where I recognize that I'm dreaming while I'm in it. I decide that I should try to do something, to change something! I stare up at the plant on the window sill. I decide I'm going to make it change color. I strain while I'm looking at it, like I have some sort of magical Matilda-like powers. After some time the green leaves gradually change to a light pink color. I did it! And surprisingly, I think to myself, this wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. I expected the plant to change color precisely on my command.

I then decide that I might as well go into the house, since this is my dream after all. I walk into the house and up the stairs, and from that point things get blurry, and the dreams continues on elsewhere, and I revert back to not knowing I am dreaming.

I'm really surprised that I had so much trouble taking the reins of my subconscious, and obviously KEEPING the reins was even more difficult because once the scene changed I totally forgot that I knew I was dreaming...if that makes sense!

I hope I'll get another chance tonight to practice some more.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tuxedoooos

Mark and I were a bit at odds with each other about when to start buckling down on the wedding plans this month. I finished my exams last week, and he finishes his this week. He however, NEVER does homework - or very rarely. And I wasn't asking for much. I planned the afternoon so that we could get things done quickly and efficiently. But nooooo he has to be a bit of a baby about it and the plan was to simply head over to his dentist appointment and then head home.

And then the dentist discovered a cavity and he had to be back at 5:30 pm. HA. Fate works in my favor yet again. (Although of course I sympathize that my poor darling has to get a filling. He is slowly regaining feeling in his mouth as I write this).

The plans didn't go quite precisely as I planned, but it was close enough. I had originally wanted to eat at an italian restaurant that I found online that had potential for our rehearsal dinner, but instead we went to Boston's since we were in the neighborhood and it's Mark's absolute favorite. YUM. Although I felt a little pathetic because I had just taken my sister there yesterday for her birthday lunch...
Yesterday I ate the pizza lunch. WAY bigger than this picture appears. I still have 4 small pieces waiting for me in the fridge.
Today I had a reuben. Can I just say that sauerkraut = love? Next time I'm considering asking for a side of kraut to indulge in. Mmmmm.

After Boston's and after we had dropped off the latest payment to our venue, we went over to Men's Warehouse to pick out tuxes.

HA! IN YOUR FACE, PRESIDENT TUXEDO! I don't know how you got my e-mail (*coughcoughDAVID'SBRIDALcoughcough*) but because of your persistent annoying messages that for some reason have no visible option to unsubscribe from, I refuse to even consider you for our tux rentals.

Mark was a little indecisive at first and so we only left there with a "pending" sale instead of putting down a deposit, but he wasn't exactly sure how much his groomsmen are willing to spend and so we just left it at that. Here are the colors/styles we chose though:



Charcoal for the groomsmen and jr. groomsmen/ring bearer (my brother will be 11 at the wedding so it's not really appropriate to title him "ring bearer" but he will essentially have the same duties); black for the dads and my other two brothers; and white for my groom :) I think the charcoal should go really nicely with our watermelon bridesmaid dresses.

I'm feeling very accomplished after all of this. Things on the wedding front are looking up!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Another semester flies by

It is really hard to believe that this semester is over. I feel like I say this every time a semester ends, but this one literally FLEW. I don't think there has ever been a semester that has gone by so quickly. Maybe it's because this was my first semester where I only had to take 12 credits instead of 16. Maybe it also has to do with the fact that I very very VERY rarely ever attended my 1 pm class (and yet I went to my 8 am and ACED it by the way...)

Either way. It's over. And now there are only THREE classes standing between me and my bachelor's degree. Holy cow. What am I going to do next?

The craziest part in thinking that college is almost over is thinking back to the fact that Mark and I met only two weeks into my very first semester, freshman year. I've spent my entire college career with this man, and after it's over we're getting married and I'll be spending the rest of my life with him. Just crazy.

This is us around Christmas 2007...3 years ago now! I tend to think I look the same except that I decided to dye my hair strawberry-blonde. Mark looks different to me though. It must be the lack of beard and the shorter hair. We are just shy of 22 (him) and 19 (me) in this picture.

When we met, everything fell into place. And now we only have 6 1/2 more months to wait until we are officially married. Amazing. I've been so blessed.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I am so gross

I can't believe I went out in public the way I did today. It's almost embarrassing.

But I'm a college student, so I can wear pajamas and a dirty old baseball cap and not shower. No one cares. They probably care even less considering I look a good 3-4 years younger than I am anyway.

While some people may feel appalled at this grungy pajama/sweatpants/hoodie trend, I welcome it. I love it. I can't believe that I only have one more semester left to be dirty and sloppy in public.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Unprecedented Procrastination

I know that I've complained of my procrastination in this blog before. But the level that I'm at right now has reached epic proportions.

I have a Health Psychology exam at 8 am tomorrow - and am just about 1/2 way through my study guide.

And I have a research paper due tomorrow that I STARTED today at 1 pm. I'm on about page 5 at this point and I'm aiming for 8-10. It's actually supposed to be more like 14 pages but that's not going to happen, guaranteed.

The sad thing is, Mark & I also watched Dexter, got Chinese takeout, watched Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and now I'm wasting time on the internet.

What am I doing?!?!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

This cat,

he's never going to leave this tree alone. note the bent branch he already ruined.



and then he tries to escape under the tree. HA! like i can't still reach you with the squirt bottle.

Christmas is coming!

We're now in the home stretch: Christmas is only a few weeks away! I could not be more thrilled for a few different reasons.

1. It's the last week of school, and final exams are next week. Wahooo! Only sad part is that I have two more papers to finish, but I'm trying not to let that get me down.

2. Our tree is up and decorated! Mark & I went to Target a few days ago and picked out some ornaments, and then we dragged the tree down from the attic yesterday and put it up. Tricks is already messing with it a little bit (I found three ornaments on the floor and one in his litter box this morning) but it wasn't knocked over or anything so fingers crossed that it will stay intact! Here's a picture:

I am in love with it. Especially partial to our little heart in the center :)

3. Round one of Christmas cookies have been baked! So far we only made traditional chocolate chip - and a few minus the chocolate chips for me to eat. I have to admit that I ate a LOT of cookie dough last night. And it was delicious.

4. The first snow of the season was TODAY! I woke up and peered out the window to see some flurries and could not have been happier. I'm not a huge fan of winter, but I always welcome snow around Christmas time. It just doesn't feel like Christmas unless there is snow on the ground.

Hope everyone has a very merry holiday season!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving yesterday!

Mark and I had a pretty long day. We started out the festivities with my side of the family, my dad's side to be particular. We hadn't spent Thanksgiving with my dad's side in about 5 years so that was nice to be there with everyone. The event was held in a church room that my dad's cousin and his wife had rented out, and there was a TON of food. I'm actually a little disappointed that I got full so fast. I wanted to eat more!

After that we headed over to Mark's mom and dad's house for dessert and relaxing. It was about an hour drive from our first stop, so that was a little rough, but of course worth it to be able to spend time with both of our families. We spent a few hours there as well before heading home for the night.

Mark wasn't sure what to do about his Black Friday work schedule. He needed to be at work by 4 AM (he has the past few years) and this year he attempted to stay up all night instead of sleeping for 4 or 5 hours. Needless to say, he's already fallen asleep on the couch next to me. Poor guy :(

I am not a Black Friday shopper. I won't rule it out completely in the future when I actually HAVE some money, but I have a feeling that I'd rather finish my shopping in early November or the week before Christmas than get up super early and try to beat the crowds. Christmas shopping this year is going to be a bit difficult for us, and we're going to have to be extra creative to make up for the lack of funds.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Pt.1 Review

I want to read over some other reactions to the movie before I said my piece, and as always, it is difficult to hear reviews from non-readers vs. readers, critics vs. fans, and so on.

And yes, there will be spoilers. Be warned.

Overall, I felt like the movie was okay. It did a much better job than I anticipated and didn't stray from the text too much. The changes that they made were pretty well necessary from a movie standpoint (ie - not using the polyjuice potion when they were in Godric's Hollow was totally understandable for the movie, but obviously impossible from the book's standpoint).

The trouble is that the first half of the book is SO VERY complex. There is so much going on, not just action and danger, but a lot that needs to be discussed and explained and pondered - the first half is not so much of Harry, Ron, and Hermione DOING anything but talking about and trying to figure things out. And while that makes for a great and interesting book, watching some people sitting in the woods and talking about what to do next just gets kind of boring at a certain point. And they didn't explain nearly half of what they needed to. They didn't even tell us what Snatchers are, and they are the ones that capture and take them to Malfoy Manor!

I'm not trying to say that they should have taken out a lot of the dialoge and explanations - they are absolutely essential and in fact there was even more that the audience wasn't getting. The anger and resentment that Harry feels towards Dumbledore for example, was hardly noticeable in this film. The pure anguish that Hermione feels when Ron leaves was truly lessened (in my opinion) by the scene where Harry tries to cheer her up by dancing with her.

Things I loved about the movie:
-The opening scene of Hermione erasing her parent's memories of her. LOVED. She only spoke about it in the book, so seeing it really happen was really fabulously done.
-The acting. Always really good. The portrayal of Bellatrix is always particularly good, but of course I think that woman is a well experience actress. The portrayals of Harry, Ron, and Hermione were good too.
-Introduction of Bill. I'm glad they didn't try to breeze over this like we've always known he's been around (even though readers have obviously known). I actually giggled that they really introduced him. I half expected them to have it be someone else's wedding that they were attending.
-Bathilda Bagshot. She definitely creeped me out. That was really good. I do wish that we would have seen the snake actually coming out of her instead of a quick shot, then back to Harry, and then when we got back to her the snake was already out.

Things I wish would have been different:
-Harry should have taken back Mad Eye's eye and buried it.
-They shouldn't have been RUNNING from the Snatchers. They are wizards for crying out loud! In the book they are simply cornered in their tent with no where to go, so they have to come out...but I guess the movie preferred to incorporate more action. If they wanted to do that, I would have added some dueling and guerrilla warfare type - hiding behind trees and whatnot.
-Hermione's torture. She was supposed to be a lot worse off than she ended up. She seemed to come out of there practically unscathed, just shooken up. I was expecting bruise and blood and nearly passing out from pain.

All in all, it was a decent movie with what they had to work with. But like I said - the first half of this book is not terribly exciting except for a few sequences of action here and there. The rest of it really came down to thoughts, emotions, and dialog between the characters. And a lot of very complex horcrux and other wizard-like themes.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Procrastinator

I convinced Mark that we should eat McDonalds for lunch today, even though we just recently watched Super Size Me again and I am in the process of writing a paper on it that's due tomorrow. I don't know why I insisted on it either, because now my stomach just feels sickly and is making creepy gurgling noises.

I am very slow to jump on my own healthy eating bandwagon. I have goals for myself in place, that need to be accomplished before the wedding, which is coming up SOONER than anticipated. Who would have thought once I backed away from staring at my countdown ticker all the time that things would actually start moving?

Mark should be home soon and then we're going to the grocery store. I've mapped out three different sections into our grocery list, so if we have the money, I plan on making some good choices.

I was just trying to enter my ultimate-hopeful-eating for the next few days in My Plate, based off of a diet I found on SELF (again), but it's telling me I am getting WAY too much protein. Like 70-90 grams when they are recommending I get only 38. So I'm a little confused about that. 38 seems a little low to me anyway. One 4 oz chicken breast is like 24 grams of protein on it's own.

I hope I really just suck it up and change my habits soon. I don't know what my deal is.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

More House

While I am procrastinating writing a paper (2 pages down!) I figured I can post some more pictures of our cute little house that I have been neglecting.






It's so teeny tiny in here! But I am loving it anyways. If only I could rake in some more cash so that we could decorate and maybe actually have a REAL table instead of just two chairs (our normal table is too big for that teeny kitchen!)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Whoa!

I am one of those people that gets totally and completely UNNECESSARILY stressed when given a certain situation.

Today I had that interview that I was debating even going to, for another waitressing job at a pizza place. And yet again I was miraculously hired on the spot. I was incredibly confused. How can I possibly go from four months of nothingness to one week and getting two jobs. And I don't think I have time for both, come to think of it. But I accepted. What should I have done? Go to an interview, get accepted, and then turn it down on the spot? That would have been a complete waste of time.

I guess I don't know for sure if it will be a total loss. The owner/manager claims that he would like me to work 30 hours, but I doubt that will happen. I don't know how many hours I'll be scheduled at the other restaurant though. SO - I could maybe be okay with both. I don't like thinking about making the awkward conversation of changing availability and possibly quitting one and so on. It stresses me out. And I don't even know these people well yet! I'm barely trained/hired. It is very unnecessary for me to be worried about these things. I need to do what's right for me. But alas, I am stressed.

I guess I will have to try and relax and see how things unfold...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Recap

Halloween is nearly over now, and it really was nothing too special this year. In fact, we did just about nothing. I really wanted to plan a Halloween party to throw in our new house - but it's just so small in here. I'm not really sure how that would work out. Maybe I'll just aim for some sort of shin dig around New Years and see how that goes.

Last night Mark and I finally carved our cute little pumpkins. He did an awesome job and mine is totally horrible. Based on that description I'm sure you can guess which is mine and which is his in this picture:
Haha. Mine is TRYING REALLY HARD to be Harry Potter but I don't think it's working. We have them out on the porch now. Mark said he actually laughed when he got home from work today when he saw mine again. I am so unartistic, it's not even funny.

Today I worked and had lots of tables for the first time. I worked from 9-3 and then stayed a half hour to help clean up a bit and made $72! Then I had to tip out, but still. WOW. And I had less tables than some of the other girls since it was only my first day on my own for real. I can't imagine how much someone at a more expensive restaurant could make in tips, especially one with lots of alcohol. Holy cow.

In celebration of my new job, Mark and I went out to dinner at Chili's. Nothing fancy, but it was just what I wanted. I was SUPER hungry considering that I was busy at work all day and didn't get to eat anything since a Pop-Tart at 8:30 AM. That part of the job will take some getting used to. I don't like to miss meals!

So tonight the only thing left to do is watch some new zombie show on AMC (I think) tonight. I've already been watching The Munsters and The Addams Family marathons, and I watched Hocus Pocus and The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown recently too. I'm content with that for Halloween 2010 :)

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Interviewing?

In my distress of not having a job before I just got my last job, I went on an application spree for a good few hours last weekend and have gotten several calls back since I got my new job. I talked things over with Mark and we both figured that it might be a good idea to keep my options open and not to simply push aside these other jobs just because one finally accepted me.

So, I set up an interview today at a pizza place near my college. I don't know much about it other than I believe it is restaurant-type, maybe a cross between a Pizza Hut and California Pizza Kitchen? I'm not sure how fancy or expensive it is either. Frankly, I'm really nervous to go. I feel like I'm not going to know what to say because I technically have a job. And if they hire me on the spot, then I really don't know what I'll do because I'll have no idea which job I'll like better and which one I'll want to keep. I almost want to go in at this point with the mindset that I'm looking for a second job. I'm just not really sure how to go about it. It's making me a little anxious. Since I have a job, it's not crucial that I do awesome at this interview, but if it pays better I guess obviously I'd want to go with it. It is further away from where I live though.

Ugh! Why can't anything in life just be simple? I'm probably overthinking this. I should just relax and stop worrying. Everything will turn out how it is supposed to.

PS - I had my first few tables yesterday! 4 tables and I made $15! That's pretty nice if I do say so myself.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Finally snagged one

FINALLY after four months of job searching, applying, interviewing, and being rejected (more times than I would have liked) I finally snagged a new job! The timing could not have been more perfect as this past weekend I finally broke down mentally and just could not handle the current state of my work and finances. We were seriously about to run into some trouble paying bills, but now everything is going to be taken care of - at least I hope so! It's very nice to know that God is always looking out for me and comes to my rescue just when things are getting too much to handle.

Recently I saw a sign up at a local coney island that stated they were hiring. I was on my way to work at the time and couldn't stop, but I went in a few days later to apply. They had already hired all the people they needed (what??) but still let me fill out an application. I also had to wait a good ten minutes for them to print another one out for me, so I guess perhaps that looked good on my part.

A few days later I got a call back, which I was very surprised. As I was leaving the day I filled out the app I asked how many positions were available and they told me none. But anyways, my interview was set up for today.

It was definitely the easiest interview I'd been on yet. Even easier than the Tim Horton's job I turned down...which I'm glad I did in retrospect. It was the right thing to do. The interviewer literally asked me one question - if I had any waitressing experience. And I said no. And she said "That's alright, it's easy" Bam. Done. Okay then? I'm not complaining.

It seems that the very day I went in to fill out the application, another newly hired girl decided to quit (after I had left). If that isn't God working things out for me, I don't know what is.

So I'm hired! I start training on Wednesday. I do still work at DQ this week, so I'm trying to decide whether I should just quit or should keep working Tues/Thurs nights until I'm laid off. I don't think I plan on going back next year, so I might just go ahead and quit. I'll have to decide soon though since I'm working tomorrow!

I hope this means things will be looking up for me. Of course it isn't the most ideal job. I really would have preferred something career related, but lately I'm not even sure what career I'm leaning towards anymore. Waitressing was my second choice :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

STILL 8 more months to go.

We're just about to 8 months away from our wedding and I'm feeling really anxious about it. I'm so TIRED of waiting for it to get here, and now we still have 8 MORE MONTHS? Sigh. It feels like it is never going to get here.

Maybe I'm kind of bummed because we are getting closer to the two-year-mark of our engagement, and although I'm obviously so happy that we are engaged, I can't believe it's been TWO FULL YEARS and still we are not married. Yes, we're young - or at least I am, ha ha ha. Mark's getting old. HA HA.

...But I'm impatient. And planning a wedding for this long is enough to pull your hair out. (Although I should note that we haven't been planning for the two full years - we didn't start looking at wedding stuff until the following summer 2009...but that's long enough in my opinion too!)

The really sad thing is that we still have a ton of stuff to get done and I have zero motivation to do it. Sometimes I wonder if we'll really ever get married, or if some kind of end-of-the-world apocalypse will come swallow up the earth before I even make it to my hair appointment.

Our Save-the-Dates are going out in the mail soon though, so maybe that will make things feel more real. Hopefully I'll be able to send them out by next week or the week after. I really want them out before they get lost in the slew of Christmas Cards people still somehow give and receive even though it feels so old school what with the interwebz and whatnot. Oh well. People are sentimentalists I suppose. And who am I to talk, I'm sending out Save-the-Dates in the mail aren't I?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fun day!

Yes, it was sweetest day today, but Mark and I actually do not believe in celebrating this made up holiday (isn't Valentine's Day enough?). I won't even capitalize the day, further displaying its lack of importance to me.

However, that doesn't mean that we didn't have a FABULOUS day today! The weather was absolutely gorgeous and we were up and at 'em pretty early (9:30 am...kind of early?) and headed to little brother #3's hockey game, followed that afternoon by little brother #1's football game. Little brother #2 plays soccer, but no games for him today. He did hang out with us in the stands at the football game for a while.

Because we were back in my hometown for the day, I came to the realization that we just HAD to go out to a cider mill or apple orchard of some sort and pick pumpkins. We moved about a half hour south, closer to the city, so cider mills and farms and orchards are quite a bit further away from us than they once were.

Since it was such a split second decision to head out somewhere, I didn't have my camera, but I managed to snap one picture of the pumpkin patch with my phone.
It was pretty sizable. We made some good picks that I thought were decent sized pumpkins and they only cost us $7 each! There were $10 or $14 pumpkins out there somewhere but apparently they must have weighed 20 some pounds. Good deal if I do say so myself. We also picked up some cider and donuts - heavenly! I don't often go to this particular cider mill but I am definitely adding it to my top picks. It was really crowded though. I'm sure a lot of orchards and mills were crowded considering how gorgeous the weather was.

We decided to pick up pizza for dinner and watch the movie "How to Train Your Dragon," which was very cute! I really liked it a lot. Definitely worth watching if you like cutesy kids type Pixar-ish movies.

All in all, a very fun-filled day. I'm definitely tired and think I will be going to bed early tonight! There's lots of homework to be done tomorrow that I didn't get around to today for obvious reasons :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Oh and another thing

My laptop died. YES DIED. I knew it was coming soon...but I didn't expect it would be THIS soon. It all of the sudden totally stopped working last Tuesday (almost a week without it now??? how have I been surviving?) Luckily Mark knows a thing or two about what to do when such things happens and he was able to save my hard drive and get all of my documents and pictures and things off of there so at least I didn't lose anything important.

...besides the level of comfort that is achieved lounging on the couch with all the world at my fingertips...

But anyway, I'll have to survive. Mark is insisting that we should just go ahead and buy a new one right away, but it feels a bit premature to me. I don't know if I'm just still attached to my old laptop and can't let it go yet, or if I'm worried about having yet another bill to pay for (because I certainly don't have the real funds for another), or what the deal is. Maybe we'll check some out this weekend, or maybe not. It definitely is going to be a pain that I don't have it for school because this is the first semester that I've been pretty much exclusively using it to take notes, but I guess that's the way life goes sometimes.

Disappointed :(

I don't think my plans for the SELF challenge are going to work after all :( Just a few days ago Mark and I decided to go to the store and get some groceries and I figured perhaps I could go ahead and grab the ingredients I needed for the recipes.

After buying about half of the ingredients needed, plus normal everyday food, plus toiletries, our bill ended up being WAY TOO MUCH. And we even had $13 worth of bottle returns!

So now it seems that I am not able to go to the store and finish purchasing the necessary foods to follow this diet.

GAH! Plans foiled again!

Because I do have quite a few of the things I need to make the lunches though, I will try my best to post about how those are going. Otherwise, I'm stuck with eating what we can manage to afford. It really stinks being broke college students sometimes.

You know what our biggest problem is? FAST FOOD. It's horrible on our wallets AND on our health (though Mark has a super-fast-metabolism and doesn't carry and inch of fat on his bones, so I think I absorb the fat from my meal and his). I've been trying to cook more, but when schedules get hectic it's always easier to just pick something up. That has got to stop.

Lunch today?
And dinner on Saturday?

Yep. Things aren't looking good for my arteries.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Organized!

I've now organized everything I need to get organized in respect to my diet for November. The way the SELF meal plans work, is that you can choose meals from Month 1 during the first month, Month 1 & 2 during the second month, and all 3 during the last month. This idea isn't exactly going to work for me because I simply don't think I'll like a lot of the meals offered, so I combined some meals from 1 and 2 for all areas except snacks. They all are separated into the same amount of calories anyway, so I don't really see the difference.

I also took into account what groceries I would need to buy and tried to make substitutions and find meals that have like ingredients. So these are the meals that I have come up with:

Breakfasts:
-Southwest Frittata
-Apple-Cheddar Melt
-Portobello and Pesto Egg Scramble
-Banana-Pecan Cereal

Lunches:
-Turkey & Hummus Sandwich
-Pesto Chicken Wrap
-Lentil Soup with Cheese, Fruit, and Crackers
-Salmon Salad Sandwich (I plan to substitute tuna)
-Spicy Roast Beef Wrap

Dinners:
-Spiced Salmon over Brown Rice
-Farfalle with Veggies in Creamy Marinara
-Pesto-Portobello Napoleon
-Asian Cod & Snap Peas
-Sausage Ravioli Toss

Snacks:
-Cottage Cheese with Cucumber
-Banana Roll
-Cottage Cheese, Nuts, and Banana
-Crudités & Hummus

Treats:
-York peppermint patties
-BBQ potato chips

Sounds pretty good, right? I think I managed to find some of the tastier and simpler meal ideas. I did not delve into the Month 3 meal plan yet so there may be even more treats to add come December and January.

Since I'm sure that rotating 5 different options for each meal time over the course of a month will get boring, I'm sure I'll come up with some extra ideas for meals as well. A simple grilled chicken dish for dinner, or a bagel or English muffin with peanut butter for breakfast will have to suffice for busy days.

My next tackle is to prepare myself for the work out portion of the challenge. This will be equally as difficult for me because I do not exercise very often. We'll see what we have to work with in that area soon!

Monday, September 27, 2010

A new idea!

I have an idea for a new blog segment that I'd like to start up soon. I'd like to title it "I really want to lose 3 pounds" in honor of Mean Girls, but we'll see how it turns out. I'd actually like to lose MORE than 3 pounds, but I'm sure you get the picture.

My plan begins here with emptying my cupboards, refrigerator, and freezer over the next month. That will be no easy feat in and of itself. The main purpose of that is to keep myself from spending any other money on groceries, because starting in November I'll be following (as strictly as I can) the 2010 Self Challenge (which you can learn more about at self.com).

Basically the Self Challenge is set up to give you meal and workout plans for three months, and you set your own goal as to how much weight you want to lose, or some other type of goal. I've sort of attempted it in the past but the meal plan always got to me. Of course now that I'm the major grocery shopper in the house, I can more easily make these meals (although there is no telling if I'll like them or not?)

I'm hoping that through November, December, and January I'll get a good grasp on my health. After staying strict to the diet for those three months, I'll go back to a normal meal plan that I'll make up myself, still staying away from junk foods and continuing to work out. These are my goals anyway. Overall I'd like to lose ten pounds, which seems like a lot, but if I do it will put me back to my weight in high school and I'd be very happy with that.

This is not to say that I am overweight right now. I'm not. But gaining ten pounds since high school is obviously not a healthy thing, and I can't just lead a lifestyle where I'm gaining some ten-odd-pounds every 3 years. That's just setting myself up for failure. I feel like I have a lot of motivation that lies within my wedding dress, which accentuates my stomach QUITE a bit - and I bought it over a year ago, so that's also pretty depressing that it doesn't look as great now as it did when I first bought it.

I think that I'll probably use labels for the segment so that those posts can be easily found in the sidebar. I might also use labels for anything wedding related as well.

SO! Hopefully within the next few days I'll get some pictures of my cupboards up here so that you all can see all the food I have to somehow make do with for the next month!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Nerdy Samantha wants to show you something


EEEEEEEEEEEEE

I think I am going to need to at least reread the first half of this book before November 19!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Squeee!

So I don't want to jump the gun on this, especially because I'm not eating as healthy as I could be.

BUT

I worked out.
TWICE
this week alone.

And it's only Tuesday! Am I on a roll or what? Yesterday my sister and I did the 30 day shred, and today I had an exam so after class I went over to the gym and used the elliptical for 20 minutes. I also think I'm going to try and do Pilates before I go to bed. I know it's not the GREATEST amount/quality of working out possible, but it's a start!

Food is my nemesis though. And wouldn't it be just like Mark to call me up five seconds ago and say "I know you're trying to eat healthy and all, but I'm going to McDonald's...do you want anything?" I said no and hung up quickly. But I'm EXTREMELY tempted to call him back. I did eat lunch about two hours ago. But I'm kind of hungry now. Would a cheeseburger really kill me?

I'm getting hungrier by the second just thinking about it. I could just use the opportunity to eat a VERY early dinner? Maybe?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dentist = :(

I finally made it out to the dentist today after avoiding it as long as possible. It just so happened that last week, my mom and sister went in to the dentist, and one of the receptionist somehow brought up in conversation that I hadn't been in a year....

Yes, I had been avoiding the dentist. Who wouldn't?

So naturally, as it had been quite some time since my teeth were professionally cleaned and checked out, and I'm not huge on flossing, it was a treacherous experience. I was a bleeding mess. I STILL feel like all I can taste in my mouth is blood. And my gums are a bit sore. I guess I'm having some issues in certain areas with gingivitis, which means I REALLY need to jump on the bandwagon with flossing. Ugh.

Not that I have anything against flossing, but it's always so painful and I often get the floss stuck between my teeth and proceed to go into a panic state. I've never actually yanked my tooth out with a bit of floss, but it could happen, right???

I promise I'll be better about my dental health. I even made my next appointment while I was still there, so no avoiding it for me! Six months from now I'll go back into that office and I WON'T come out sore and unhappy.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Unhappy already today...

While I'm glad that I don't have school very often this semester as I'm finishing things up, I'm not glad that I have 8 AM class. It never used to be a problem when I was living at home, but living with Mark is a different story. Our house is small, and we run on two different schedules. It also doesn't help that we are both light sleepers.

Last night, for example, Mark worked a midnight release for a video game. I hate when he works those. First, I'm freaked out when I come home to an empty house. I try to just leave all the lights on for as long as possible, but eventually I have to go to bed. I was anticipating waking up around 6:30, but falling asleep just wasn't happening. It stresses me out more to know that I need to get to sleep soon all while my mind is racing at every tiny creak in a pipe or whatever other noises a house can make.

When he gets home, he comes into the bedroom to check on me (since of course I've been texting him to hurry up and get home, lol) but by that point I finally DID fall asleep and now was interrupted.

THEN after he plays a few hours of this new video game I am awoken by the sound of the shower running and him coming to bed.

Finally, my alarm goes off. I need to make a split second decision. Go to class? Sleep? Is class really important? Is sleep more important? Where do my priorities lie?

I know in the real world I could never do this. If I have to wake up for work, then I have to just do it. But school feels like there is some leeway there.

I chose to sleep. I was irritated, exhausted, getting a headache, and just didn't feel that I could muster the energy to have to get up, get ready, eat breakfast, and drive there. And then stay there until 3 PM.

Of course then my mind begins racing again. I fall in and out of sleep because I'm worrying about what's happening in my class. When I finally wake up I am so irritated and unhappy with myself. Not so much that I skipped the class, but that I didn't prevent this lack of sleep from happening in the first place. Why was I so scared to fall asleep?

I wonder if there is such a disorder as something to do with sleep and anxiety. If so, it seems like I have something like it.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Registering, take one

Mark and I both had the day off today, so it was a perfect time to go out and start one of our wedding registries. I had started one at Target online only, but have gone back and forth about it since, and I'm still not sure if we'll actually go through with that one. Like my mom said, it would be very beneficial to have Target gift cards on hand for grocery and essential items, but I'm not sure about registering there as a whole. I've heard some negative things about them, particularly in regard to their return policy. So that will be determined later I suppose.

So today we hit Bed, Bath, and Beyond - I think a pretty common choice for most engaged couples. For the most part it was a good experience, but there was some headache involved for both of us. First, I didn't anticipate that we would take so long to make decisions on certain items. I should have suspected this in the first place because we've gotten into plenty of disagreements when purchasing items before, but the thought didn't really cross my mind. Second, I wasn't aware that we'd have an associate hold our hands nearly the ENTIRE time we were there. Granted, he was helpful in setting up some place settings for us so that we could choose our flatware, ect...but then he proceeded to lead us around the entire store, trying to get us to buy all sorts of items on a whim with no discussion and not searching out other options. It just seemed sort of crazy. I'm sure he has a great idea of what the best items out there are, but I also have an idea of the people that are going to be purchasing these gifts and some of those super expensive items just aren't practical for us...I wouldn't know what to do with them

Once he finally cut us loose, we were relieved but also exhausted. We only spent about ten more minutes in the store before we decided to call it quits for the day. I assume that we'll go back some weekend in the near future to finish up what we can and then move on to the next store - whichever that may be.

I am pretty excited about the dinner ware and flatware that we chose. Looks like our kitchen and dining theme is going to be neutral, which I really love considering the living room and bedroom are both black and white. Although we both love black/white decor I can't take much more of it - but these earthy tones should turn out really nicely. I can't wait to figure out more of what we need/want!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Senior Year!

I can't believe that today was the first day of my SENIOR year of college. It feels like my senior year of high school was just yesterday. It is really amazing how quickly time flies.

I'm a bit nervous already for this school year. Even though I am taking less credits than usual (because I only have so many left - yay!) the pressure is on for me to get my grades up as high as I possibly can. I'd really like to SOMEHOW raise my GPA about .1-.2 points. Over the summer I only gained about .03 points so that wasn't very helpful.

My classes seem pretty difficult too (but don't they always). I'm completing my capstone course this semester, which for lack of a better explanation, is like the end-all-be-all course that you take for your major. Kind of like the "final requirement." I already have an oral presentation on an article due in TWO WEEKS! It is partially my fault because I signed up for that slot, but the schedule corresponded to specific articles and that one sounded interesting to me, so what's a girl to do, right?

I also have a health psychology course, which I am excited for. We're watching "Supersize Me" and writing two essays on it. That should be fun. I also have an intro philosophy class which seems ridiculously hard for a 100 level course. Or maybe the professor is trying to scare some people off because we didn't even have enough desks today and some people had to sit on the floor. I think he also assumed we were all in our first year and never have written a paper in college before. There - I feel better already.

I decided on a whim (again with the whims?) to change around my winter semester classes too. I was registered in a random sociology class and the more I thought about it, the more I don't care to take it. So I opted to switch it to an intro anthropology class because I really want to take anthropology and haven't yet. And it's my last semester, after all! In turn I had to swap an American Lit course for a British. That's fine with me; I don't really have a preference one way or the other anyway. It's the last English course I need for my minor so whatever is around I'll take. I wanted to find a way to fit this one English class called "Blogging as an English Self-Narrative" but it didn't really fit. I'm taking another Psychology course instead. Though come to think of it, I don't actually "need" that Psych course for any specific requirement...maybe I'll swap that out on a whim too, at a later date. How fun would it be to take a class on blogging?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

OM NOM NOM


Could it be? Could it be possible to be addicted to delicious morsels such as these? The crunchy, melt in your mouth, homemade chips & the fiery salsa that leaves my tongue and lips burning and aching for more? Trini and Carmen's in Waterford is by far my absolute FAVORITE Mexican restaurant for this very reason - the chips and salsa.

Yesterday I had some testing for a position I'm applying for and so I was in the neighborhood, and how could I resist stopping by and picking up a carry out? Little did I know that when I ordered the largest portion of chips and salsa they could offer me I would be coming home with a grocery bag full of chips and at least 21 ounces of salsa. Needless to say, I am in heaven. My tastebuds are in limbo though - how can something so spicy and almost unbearable be so delectable? I have to take breaks now and again from my chips and salsa eating frenzy, but I think the little buds are starting to get used to the heat.

If I don't even end up getting the job I'll be upset for multiple reasons, as you can see. Waterford just isn't remotely close enough for me to justify driving out for my weekly chips and salsa fix!

Now of course, they do have other food which I am also fond of. Don't you worry your pretty little head about that! But if I could just waltz in there and order a huge heaping helping of these chips with the hot salsa on the side (though the mild is also good, but not as tantalizing) I'd be set.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Pessimistic

Remember that interview I had in July? That interview that feels like an eternity ago? Well, I didn't hear anything back yet. They told me three weeks and they would contact me, and to "be patient." When someone says "be patient" like that, doesn't it seem that you should exactly be calling them up and bothering them about if I got the job or not? But three weeks exactly from my interview date was Thursday, and now it's Saturday. I have another juvenile testing session for the another local county on Monday afternoon so I suppose Monday morning I'll call the first county's office and see what's up.

I don't know how I feel about it. I don't feel any certain way, which is maybe a good thing, but maybe I bad thing. Since it has been such a long process I feel really detached from the whole idea of actually getting the job. I'm hopeful, but not exactly optimistic.

I'm in somewhat of a bad mood right now. I had a hard time making the choice this morning of whether to go with Mark to the Woodward Dream Cruise like we planned. First of all, it's supposed to rain all morning - in face just peering out right now I can see some sprinkles on the window pane. Secondly, I feel like this is going to be a guy thing because we were going to be meeting his dad. Mark also explained last time it was him, his dad, and his dad's work friends. What I really wanted was for it to just be me and Mark doing something fun together and taking in the scenery. I just decided to stay home, after all. We are planning on going to Somerset Mall today probably, so that'll be something I guess. Maybe I can convince him to take me to PF Chang's.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Cheated a bit...

Operation Frugal Samantha didn't work out as well as I had hoped. I know, I know...that wasn't very long ago that I pledged to be "frugal." But I did make some credit card purchases as I await my next paycheck.

Sorry :(

They were decent purchases though. Thursday night Mark and I went to TGI Friday's for dinner...and oh my gosh...that place FILLS you up. For not a small fee, either. We mistakenly got an appetizer because I was famished, and while it was very delicious, we probably could have walked out of there satisfied from just those. Last time we went I ordered that 3 course dinner thing and was about to explode, so I'm glad I didn't have to endure a dessert, but let's just say we had plenty of leftovers.

After that we went to Target and looked around at random stuff - by random stuff I mean pretty much ever inch of the store. I am considering going back soon because there was a really cute tunic sweater that I am interested in. And I found some possible bridesmaid's shoes! However I'm holding off since the dresses are not even picked out yet. Once we go in a couple weeks and I at least settle on a color then I'll maybe check back and decide on those. Mark didn't think they were cute. We never agree on fashion related things, though.

I ended up buying some face wash, a birthday card for my dad, and some Dr. Scholl's insoles for Mark. All legitimate purchases.

I have the day off today so I am about to play The Sims. I also have a long list of chores to accomplish. I'm not heading over for my dad's birthday until tomorrow afternoon, because I believe the plan is for my parents to go out to dinner alone tonight. And I think that is a very nice idea.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Check - Officiant

So we finally decided to book an officiant for our wedding and I could not be more relieved. This search was seriously getting to the point of annoying. Mark was thinking about just choosing a random person off the street to do the job for us. I don't know why we had such a struggle with it, but I'm so happy that it's over now. All we have to do is send in the deposit and then we'll start formulating the ceremony and vows and such. I think that we'll probably end up doing a sand ceremony, though I'm not sure yet. I doubt that we'd be able to use a unity candle since it is outside and could be windy (and would they allow candles near the garden or would it be a fire hazard?).

I've also chosen a couple dates to go out and peruse bridesmaids dresses. We'll have a preliminary shopping outing two weeks from now, just to find some we like and narrow things down. I wrote out a list of about ten dress styles that I liked from David's Bridal, so if they have them in stock I'll have whoever is able to come try those on and then go from there. I'll also choose the official dress color, which is pretty exciting. I hope they have the shade of pink I'm looking for. Then the last weekend in September my NY bridesmaid will be flying in so we'll retry on the finalists and make the decision then.

I feel like I haven't made any big wedding decisions in a long time so I'm pretty excited about this. I also plan on doing some cake tastings before school starts back up, and maybe we'll even be able to book that too!

Once we send out our save-the-dates in October it will really start to feel real. I'm so excited to send those out. I never thought I'd see the day.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Operation Frugal Samantha is a Go.

I have a plan in place. I have new tools in which to utilize my plan. So here I go! No more addiction to grocery shopping and target and fast food for me. I am about to become a coupon snipping, calculator calculating, money saving kind of girl.

I started using mint.com recently and I think I am in love. It puts everything right in one place, even my debts, and so I can track budgets and even goals I have set up.

I was also chatting a bit with a family friend who told me about some great sites that help in the frugality process. I've only checked them out briefly so far, but they seem pretty neat. Once I get the hang of them more I'll post my recommendations here.

This month my goals include absolutely NOT using my credit card under any circumstances; NOT taking any money out of my savings account; and not going out to eat. That last one will be a bit difficult because I have a birthday gathering to attend Friday night and I might have to cheat a little bit. But I'm going to stick to my guns on that credit card one. I'm entering my last year of college which means this time next year I'll have about a trillion dollars in student loans dumped on my head, and I'm not going to have more debt than necessary.

Here's an interesting question - I've had my credit card since 2008, and it's a student credit card so it has a fairly low interest rate. It doesn't expire until 2012 though I'll be graduated in 2011. Do I still get to keep the low interest rate I'm at right now? I really hope they wouldn't change it on me.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Emelia Faith has arrived.

Mark is now and Uncle and I am now and Aunt! (For the most part, of course I am not officially by law an aunt until 321 days from now, but as far as this little girl knows, I am her aunt :] )

A new baby is just such a wonderful blessing and I cannot say enough positive things about it. It's so amazing to wonder what this little girl will be like when she turns one, or what her favorite color will be, or who her friends from school will be, and if she'll like to play sports or dance or sing. She's so tiny and precious. She's an incredible thing to see.

Then it makes me and Mark wonder what our future baby is going to be like. We're a little preoccupied with that thought right now. Particularly the thought of WHEN will he/she arrive into our lives and hearts. When will he/she begin to exist? When will we be ready to open that door?

I hope relatively soon. Of course, there is much to do before that time and we can't lose sight of that. But seeing a tiny little amazing gift that God gives to the world like that makes it very easy for my mind to wander away from the present and into the future. As if I wasn't already preoccupied with the future enough!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Tired of school.

I really am beginning to regret taking two classes this summer. It shouldn't really be a big deal, I am just SO over anything school related right now. For example, I have a paper to write that's due on Tuesday - it's a pretty big deal I would say. The paper is on a self-modification project of our choosing. I chose exercise. It started off okay, but then I pulled that muscle in my back, and so the last week of my intervention was kind of a bust. I'll write about the reasoning behind why I failed at the end and how I believe everything would have continued to work well had I not hurt myself.

But I don't feel like writing it. For a one major reason:

The paper is in APA format. Now, I don't know how many of you are familiar with it - maybe you like it, I don't know. But I for one DO NOT like APA in the slightest. And it seems to be all psychology courses ever use (wonder why haha).

It just seems to change too often. There is a sixth edition now. I swear last semester we were using fifth, weren't we? Or do some of my profs just not follow it precisely? All I know is I've never heard of a running head before; and cover pages feel like such a waste of time/paper.

I found this video though, and it has been helping me so far. I'm about 3/4 of the way through it, but it requires that I actually start writing the paper at some point, so it is paused for now.

In just 9 short months my undergraduate career will be over! I cannot wait.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

So annoyed.

I don't know what it was, but somehow I pulled a muscle/rotated a disc/something happened to my back while at work. I was pouring strawberries into separate containers at work and then bent down to put them in the freezer. A few minutes later I went out to wash the windows and tried to bend over, and pain just totally stopped my movement. I can't put my finger on which of those activities did it, but now here I am stationary on the couch ALL DAY. It was feeling okay yesterday but sleeping on it was extremely uncomfortable and left me feeling pretty bad.

Hopefully it clears itself up quickly, because I have a lot of stuff coming up next week!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010

My would-have-been wedding.

Today would have been my wedding day. I've been wondering all week what I would have been doing, how I would have been feeling, and it's been a really strange feeling. Maybe I would have been having breakfast with my bridesmaids right now, and then on our way to get our hair done, or nails, or make-up. I would probably be totally nervous and freaking out right now.

A few months ago I was really struggling with changing our date, and if this day had come back then I think I would be a wreck over it. But right now, I'm at peace. I'm happy about our new date. It is still really far off, but I know that overall it will be better for us to have this time to finish school, to save money, and to continue planning.

It's still a weird feeling to try and picture myself walking down the aisle today. I least I know the weather would have been beautiful. Maybe even a little too hot. The ceremony would be starting in about 5 hours. That's so crazy!

I just can't wait until June 25 gets here. For now, I'll enjoy the planning process - and engaged life, of course!

Friday, July 16, 2010

More house stuff!

I actually cleaned something and took some pictures of our living room! For now they will serve as "before" pictures due to the severe lack of decor and, sadly, color. Mark is very into black, and I like a lot of black and white myself, but I'm a color person too and we definitely need SOME room of the house to stand out with a little color! (you'll see what I mean when I get more pictures on here).






The second to last picture is funny; you can see the bottom half of my kitty running into his blue playground thing which I neglected to have in the picture because it is SO battered and ugly :)

The two shelves on the wall came with the place. Notice all the black (like I said, we like black but it's getting a little ridiculous). Black couch, black tv stand, black tv, black shelving....black everything. The walls are tan/neutral in every room and we aren't allowed to paint, but they did say we can hang up whatever we want on the walls so we'll see what I can manage (and what budget will allow, of course!)

Tomorrow Mark has orientation for school and then we are going to go to Ikea to look for a new kitchen table! When I post the "before" kitchen pictures you will see what we're working with....very small, but cute nonetheless.

I am loving this house.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Some house pictures!

Okay - so I finally managed to get a FEW pictures of the house so far. We are planning on staying here for at least 2 years so there will definitely be some decor/new stuff added to it as soon as we can afford it!
Front of the house


Closer up (don't mind the tiredness! it was a long haul)



Moving all our stuff inside with Mark's sister!

I also just took some pictures last night of our living room area, but unfortunately the camera died so I will have to post those later! I'll try to get more of the other rooms of the house too but of course we're always kind of messy. haha.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Boo! Need to post more...

I haven't posted ANY pictures or anything at all about the new house! I am planning on doing that today. I need to get to cleaning some stuff and then pictures there will be!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Whirlwind summer

We're already half way through June and I can hardly believe it. Where is the summer going? It is possible that summer will begin to slow down a bit more once we head into July, and I certainly hope it does! I have one more class tomorrow and have a paper to write for a final over the weekend, and so that class will be over and my new one will be starting up. The new one will definitely help my crazy schedule because its only twice a week instead of three times like my current class.

After this week I'll have only two weeks left of my internship, which I can hardly believe! I will honestly be really sad to leave and will miss it a lot. I am getting that feeling toward the end where I am itching to just get the end over with, but if the end was not arriving I don't think that I'd be experiencing this feeling at all. It also has to do, I'm sure, with being just plain busy and therefore tired when I get in to work.

Dairy Queen is the other usage of my time, and since we've moved it already feels like a hassle to get into work on my scheduled days. With the economy being as it is I don't want to quit and assume I'll be able to find another job, but in the same I do just want it to be over with because all this driving a half hour to get ANYWHERE I need to go is starting to make me a little crazy!

I did apply for a new job that I heard of from another intern, a Youth Specialist position in a local county's Juvenile Justice Center. It would definitely be along the same lines of the internship I have now, just working with kids in a different setting. I've already submitted the application so now I just need to set up an appointment to take some sort of testing - not sure what it is about, maybe literacy? I don't know.

I really wish I had some more time to do fun things. Whenever I get a chance I've been trying to make more wedding plans, as we are just about a year out now (which is crazy by the way!) and I'd like to have just about everything finished this summer (at least major details). Now that I'm getting so close to having almost everything booked I'm getting sort of nervous for the smaller details to start up. I'm planning on having this weekend to OFFICIALLY finish the guest list, get the number of save-the-dates/invites needed, and choose the engagement picture(s) to put on the save-the-dates and order them! And then next week we are meeting with another officiant so hopefully that goes well too.

Over the weekend we had Mark's sister's baby shower and my sister's graduation party, so that was pretty busy but a good time. This weekend is my cousin's graduation party, working, and then Father's Day events so another busy weekend ahead. I'm pretty excited to have a day off on Sunday though even though there are some Father's Day like things to attend to.

Not much else is happening in my world. I hope that I won't be consumed by working and school very soon so I can enjoy some summertime relaxation!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

All settled in

Wow, I can't believe I FINALLY have some time to sit down and write about moving into our new house! It's been a week since move-in and we just about have everything settled and unpacked. Since the house is small we still have some issues with making sure things fit right, but we are definitely on the right track!

Moving day was pretty exhausting. It was hot outside and we had SO much more stuff than I realized. Plus it was a pretty long drive to Royal Oak.

I had a potentially catastrophic moment with Tricks too. We packed Tricks away in the same box that we have had since we adopted him, which I'll admit is getting a little small for him. He was already unhappy for the day because we had to shut him in a given room while we moved stuff because the doors were all open and he would have ran outside. So poor kitty was EXTREMELY unhappy during this ride. I had him buckled in to the front seat with me, both of my windows down, and he was just meowing and crying and scratching at the box for a good long while. He was really starting to get worse, really attacking the box with his claws and shaking it, and so as we're driving down 75 I get into the far lane and start going 80/85 just so that I can get there faster. At this point now he is FREAKING out, the whole box is going nuts, and the top of it looks like it is about to pop off. I'm really nervous because my window is down and I don't have automatics so I would have to crank it back up. All the sudden he bursts his entire head through the box, making a hole, and then is totally stuck, choking himself, can't get in or out. I started bawling my eyes out and pulled over on the side of the freeway so that I could roll up the window and free him, and Mark came and took Tricks out of my car and kept him on my lap the rest of the way. It was SO scary, I thought he was either going to choke himself or jump out the window!

That was maybe the high-light of the moving experience. Everything else about it was just hot and sticky and a pain. I'm amazed that we were able to fit so much in here. Thank goodness for the attic. We had to pack away a lot of random stuff to keep in storage. There is a really nice linen closet though and some great cabinets in the laundry room too.

We haven't really accessed our area yet just because of us being busy unpacking and working and all that stuff. I really want to make sure to hit up a lot of new places in downtown Royal Oak soon though. Yesterday we went to downtown Ferndale to a little restaurant called "The Flytrap" which, when I learned it was features on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives (one of my FAVORITE shows), we just had to go! It was pretty interesting. Small menu, kind of interesting items, not really conventional at all. It was good. I wouldn't go back often, but I'd go back to try something new.

The next thing that we need to do is find a kitchen table. The one that my aunt and uncle gave us just doesn't fit in here, we need a two-seater and hopefully the plan is to just find a table that already matches the chairs so we can save money in that respect. We also really want to purchase a grill and we are hoping to plan a housewarming barbecue sometime before the end of summer.

I'm greatly considering planting a garden as well, as long as money and time allows. I don't think seeds are very expensive, but at least for now there is a lot going on and I wouldn't have any opportunity to set aside a day to just plant and weed and water. Hopefully in the future when my internship ends. Although I'm so sad about it, at least I won't be so busy.

Today was my first day off where I didn't actually have anything to do! (ie: moving, graduation, ect). I did have to catch up on some laundry, go grocery shopping, and finish a project for school, but now that is all done and I can finally relax. Mark is getting off work in about 2 hours and we're going to try and hit Bed Bath and Beyond before it closes and then go to Steak & Shake for dinner. Again, not really utilizing our new fun downtown location, but Steak & Shake has been a craving of mine lately. :)

Tomorrow I am hoping to attend a new church that is closer to around here, and is also one in which I've e-mailed the pastor a few times and am considering meeting with him about our wedding. Hopefully it goes well. Then it's Sabrina's high school graduation, which will be very nice and I'm really glad that she has found some direction for her life after high school already. I wonder if being at the graduation will spark any memories of my own? I hardly remember any details of it anymore other than walking and it being hot in there.

I think that I've out-blogged myself today. Will update soon.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Gorgeous Day!

Today Mark and I had our engagement pictures taken at Meadowbrook gardens and around the grounds. It was BEAUTIFUL outside, super sunny and very warm. I was really stressing out about it at first and things felt a little awkward in the beginning, but after the first few shots it was very comfortable and SO much fun. Our photographer, Amy, is great - very personable and had some really fun and cute ideas. I can hardly contain my excitement to see them!

We had never been to Meadowbrook before (and still didn't go inside) but it is definitely a goal of mine now. I can't believe how amazing it is there. So beautiful and, well, historic. In fact, Amy talked to us about having her ceremony there and now I am extremely tempted to check things out and maybe switch our ceremony site. I don't know how big of a problem it would be; right now our ceremony and reception are both at Tina's Country House and we would definitely keep our reception there, but would it be breaking contract to change ceremony locations? And would our budget allow for us to use Meadowbrook? And is the date even available? I won't get my hopes up about that right now. I'll just continue being excited about our pictures, and I can't wait to choose one for save-the-dates!

Next weekend is moving weekend, so there is still a lot to pack and so much work to be done, not to mention some homework I've been neglecting.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Very excited!

So after our original troubles in finding a place to live, Mark and I recently checked out another house and it is the one. It's super cute and tiny but very new inside and in a great location - just a mile or two from main street in downtown Royal Oak. It has two bedrooms, one bath, a spacious attic, a newly remodeled kitchen with newer appliances, and a laundry room with a FULL SIZE (not stackable like we have now) washer and dryer. And a backyard with a shed. And we were able to talk them down a little for the rent. And there are CEILING FANS which I am thrilled about. It's a very fair location too because it is about 20 minutes for each of us to get to school, me going north and he going south. It's very close to Best Buy for Mark but not so close to either of my workplaces, though the internship will be over soon and then it'll be just me and DQ. I will probably start looking for a new job, though I'd prefer an internship and then you never know how much you are paid (if it all) so this will be a little challenging. I'm a bit nervous about it but I know everything will work out in the end.

Tricks is fully healed from his neutering and the lack of testosterone has not seemed to calm his craziness one bit. I guess he just has a boisterous kitten-like personality, but he does seem to be warming a little bit more and will occasionally cuddle up with us.

My summer class has started and so far it's alright. I've had this professor before so I knew more of what to expect with her. So far we're reading from an anthology and for whatever reason I've read a lot of the stories already. I'm more excited to get on with my other summer class, which is a psychology class that I'm hoping I can get some info about an internship I've heard pairs with it. We'll see what happens with that.

Wedding planning is at a standstill for the time being as I am just a little unmotivated about it. I don't have a whole lot more to do but I'm sure when we hit the one-year mark I'll feel more apt to kick myself into gear about it. I have all the major plans set so I'm not concerned. In two weeks we'll have engagement pictures so that's something I guess. I'll need to get my hair cut and figure out some outfits coming up here soon!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

busy weekend!

Well, after that last post things didn't really go so well as far as eating healthy and exercising. Once I finally didn't have anything official to do with school, I hopped aboard the lazy-train and have been riding it ever since. Sad. I have technically been eating less though. Since a few days ago I've been feeling kind of nauseous & having stomach aches after I eat. The first day it threw me off but I'm kind of getting used to it now. I still have some lingering drainage from my cold a few weeks ago so maybe I'm just slow to recover.

This weekend has been very busy for us. Tricks had to go to the vet yesterday and get neutered, so Mark and I dropped him off pretty early in the morning and were supposed to pick him up around 3 or 4 but he was still groggy from the anesthesia and so he had to stay at the vet until 6:30 PM. We dropped him off at like 8:30 AM, so that was a long time to be without my little kitty! In between that, Mark and I went house/apartment hunting which was absolutely miserable. All of the cheap apartments we found were really spaced out from each other and we somehow were stuck in traffic the ENTIRE time (mostly from construction). The first apartments we found were cheap and really nice but didn't allow pets. The second place we went to we had so much trouble finding because the address when put into google maps wasn't coming up right. By the time we got there we found that they have too many stipulations for us, such as proof of making 3 times the rent per month, and only had a few apartments available that were smaller for more money. So that was out.

We tried going to my college to see if there were any recommendations for off-campus housing which there weren't. I bought my books for one of my summer classes which totaled $77! Ugh! And those were novels! I should have went to the library, but I like collecting non textbooks so I guess I shouldn't complain too much.

By the end of the day we were so irritated with the apartment search that we called a real estate agent and had her search for some houses for rent. There was only two on the list that she pulled up in our price range, and we visited one today which was just terrible on the inside. Crossing our fingers that number two will look much better!

On top of all that, I went out to Ann Arbor today for Alyse's graduation party and for some reason, though we weren't there for too long, I just feel exhausted now. I work tomorrow at 4 so I plan on relaxing for the beginning of the day in my sweats :)

I'll spare the rest of the details of the weekend as this post is already getting awfully long.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Not bad so far!

Hi! Just wanted to make a quick check-in while I'm on lunch. So far, so good! Today is set to be pretty long, and I was lazy this morning so my breakfast didn't go as planned, but here's what I've got so far:
Breakfast - Nature Valley Bar, water
Lunch - Roast Beef & mustard on multigrain, apple, string cheese, water
Dinner - Think I'm going to get Subway while I'm studying at school.
Snack - Celery & peanut butter, yogurt, and milk

I plan on doing the 30 Day Shred a short time after I get home from my exam. It starts at 7, so hopefully I'll be home by around 8 to get it done with!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Day One!

My workout and healthy eating endeavors begin today (for real this time) and so far so good! I'm trying to also make this a joint effort in taking care of Mark, too. That definitely helps because I am usually more apt to care for someone else than myself, especially him, so when he gave me the smallest inch of opportunity I decided to run with it. I know that this site does not tell exact calories and fat, but I like it anyway:
http://www.mypyramidtracker.gov/planner/ It's helpful because I make sure that I'm eating enough from each of the recommended food groups. Plus it's easier to use than sparkpeople.com or other such sites because it gives you a basic estimate and you don't have to search through a million listings of different foods. Eventually I may go back to sparkpeople because it gives you some good nutrition reports but for now I'd like to keep it simple.

I put in Mark's information and it stated that he should be eating 2600 calories a day! That's so much, especially for him. The main problem for both of us is that we don't eat breakfast very often. So, this morning I got up when he did to run to the kitchen and try to get him to eat something for breakfast and pack a lunch for him, instead of him running to McDonald's and getting something unhealthy. I made a bagel with cream cheese and packed some almonds, granola bars, and chips in a lunch (he doesn't like sandwiches unless their are toasted and fresh, the pain in my butt), and as I was trying to help him carry stuff out the door I dropped the bagel face down in the carpet :( And it had some nasty lint and hairs on it. Guess I need to vacuum...

Well, I tried. I came back inside and Tricks was eating cream cheese off of the floor. He's been very hyper since then, running around like a crazy person and trying to jump on the walls.

For myself, I started off by eating an apple and perusing my favorite websites. Then I did the 30 day shred, level one. And then I ate some real breakfast of scrambled eggs. I have the rest of my meals for the day planned too - sandwich and soup for lunch; meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and veggies for dinner. If I'm still hungry I'll eat half a bagel and some juice for a snack later on.

I noticed on exercise TV that the 30 day shred level one will no longer be listed as of May 3, which means I'll need to go out and get the DVD. I figure by then maybe I'll be ready to start level two. I'm a little scared of it!

My plans for the rest of the day are just to study, study, study. I'm so unfocused right now but hopefully I'll be able to get a really good start before I need to run to the bank and to the store later on. Tomorrow I'm interning until 3 and then going to a review session for the final from 4-6, so hopefully that will help me out too. If I get 100% on this exam I could end up with a 3.6. in the class. That's aiming awfully high. But I'd love to get an A in the class.