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!