Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Week in Preview

For a slight change of pace I will now to make a to-do list for this week. Later on, I'll report back with progress and a recap at the end of the week.

  • Clean upstairs.
  • Clean the car inside and out
  • Mow the lawn
  • Balance the checkbook
  • Dog Park
  • Clean the bathrooms
  • Possible errand with mom
  • Shopping for fabric to make new basement curtains. 
  • Work 
  • Kick booty at trivia :)
  • Clean downstairs
  • Making of aforementioned curtains, if fabric is procured
  • Starting of soon-to-be front porch herb garden seeds.
  • 30 minute workout of some kind.
  •  Dog park
  • Clean/organize master bedroom closet and drawers
  • Painting of soon-to-be front porch herb garden containers.
Wish me luck!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Really Good Friend

Today, like many other days, I find myself thankful for a really good friend.

Over the past week I've really been a little low. Last year when I quit working full time I was so relieved to be free of a place that I hated that I didn't really stop to wonder what I would do with 5 days every week at home. We don't have kids yet, and let's face it, I was more than accustomed to spending 40 hours every week at work. And really, if you consider lunch breaks and commute I was really spending like 50 hours every week. That's a lot of time to fill at home.

But I did just fine. The newness of freedom kept my spirits up, and my house was in dire need of some rigorous cleaning. Then the law firm came and I was back to working 3 full days a week. Then the holidays came. By the time we got to January I was just reeling from the Christmas whirlwind and trying to get my house back in order. In February, more changes at the law firm, which meant for me, more days at work. I really wasn't feeling at all like I wasn't busy enough.

But since vacation the law firm is finally managing the accounting side of the business on its own. This is what I've been hoping for so that I can phase myself out. I am after all only a consultant. As someone once said, it's my job to work myself out of a job. :)

What I thought would make me happy, giving me a little more time around the house to finish up some bigger projects has actually been causing me quite a bit of anxiety and soul searching over the past week. I thought the additional free time would allow me the opportunity to catch up with some people that I've lost touch with recently. And I thought it would be comforting to know that I would have time for absolutely anything I wanted to do. But then I realized that the to-do list I thought I had is really not nearly as full as it was in my brain, and the people I've lost touch with don't seem to have time to rekindle. Suddenly it was as if I was facing day after day of solitude with nobody to share it with, or to help me break it up. And I'm not really the type of person that just loves to spend time alone. Really, I'm quite the opposite.

I tried expressing my feelings to several people, because talking is how I sort things out. I don't usually need the other person to participate in the conversation, I just need to talk myself into the solution. My husband manages to do all of this in his own head. That just makes me feel crazy, and I never accomplish anything. So instead, I bounce it out loud, off another person. Or more accurately 3-4 people.

On Tuesday I started bouncing my thoughts around and by the early afternoon I was really quite in despair. I was convinced that I'm the only person in St. Louis who is 20-something and doesn't work but also doesn't have kids, there is no way I will ever find a place to meet new people or make new friends who have the same interests, and I am so different now from the friends I once had that I was sure I'd lost them. I was just positive that my life would dwindle down to being the size of a thimble within two weeks. In less than a month I would be resistant to driving anywhere further from home than the grocery store and I would become a complete stay-at-home blob.

And that's when I called her: a really good friend. I just word vomited everything I was thinking and when I was done ended with "I'm sure I sound really whiny but..." and she just calmly and gently told me that there was nothing to worry about. She talked me through the time I have blocked aside for cleaning and household chores, and the additional time I want to block out for new things like a garden. And then she reminded me of things I do on a regular basis that I had discounted or forgotten about. Then she said the unspeakable: that it was okay for me to take a day now and then for myself. *GASP*

She suggested places I might meet people, and told me how she had gotten connected when she moved to a new city (which passively made me feel like a boob since I still live in my hometown). And most importantly she called me out for being lazy about some things that I really do need to take responsibility for. **Please note, those are my words not hers. The message was clear but she is so much kinder than to phrase it like that. **

After our conversation I did a little more bouncing of thoughts. Some with myself as I had free time, and some with my husband or again with my really good friend. Now when I think about the possibility of actually being a full time stay-at-wife, and hopefully in the future also a stay-at-home mother, I don't panic about how empty my days will feel and how alone and unaccomplished I will be. Now when I think about it I look at it as a bounty of challenges and opportunities. And while it is hard to let go of some of the excuses that I've been using, it might actually be fulfilling to accomplish some of those long-set goals.

I'm so very thankful for my really good friend. I can't imagine anyone who could have delivered the same message with as much kindness, concern, and love. Of the people in my life that I could never live without she is certainly at the top of the list.

I wish everyone could have such a really good friend.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Back to the Grind

It is amazing to me how much an upcoming vacation can add to a to-do list. 

Ken and I just got back from a week in the Caribbean. And let me just say, if you're jealous about that you're going to be even more green when I tell you it was fantastic! I can sincerely say I have no complaints to lodge about last week except perhaps that we lost our waterproof camera on the journey home, and therefore have no record of several days.

Well preparations for a week of vacation seemed innumerable. First, the law firm that I consult for part time needed a lot of prep work. Apparently there is a lot there that I am still responsible for, even though I've really been trying to phase out. So there went 2 really long days. Additionally the week before vacation was also a remodeling week at my mom's church. This had me on the hook for the tearing down of two walls, and the painting of a new room (which at the beginning of the week was actually 3 rooms). Plus, Wednesday morning I was in a car accident. Nothing serious, but a fender bender good enough to make my back and neck stiff for days. Good thing I had vacation coming up right?

Saturday was finally a day to relax. I started packing and cleaning up the house a bit. Then Saturday night we had scheduled plans with my Bestie and her husband, who were in from Chicago. Of course then at dinner we find out that THEY ARE EXPECTING THEIR FIRST BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And Lord knows then I needed to have all of the details and so we sat and talked until nearly 10:00. I know what you're thinking: What's so bad about 10:00? But we had 30 minutes to drive back home, and a 6:00am flight. And by the way, it was daylight savings time weekend which means one less hour of sleep. So we were in bed at 11:00pm and up at 2:00am which was really 3:00am and at the airport by 4:00am and completely exhausted by 9:00am. But who cares if you're exhausted when you can sleep as much as you want for a week!

We cruised to St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, and St. Maarten on a Carnival cruise. The week was completely full of great weather, even better food, and the best company we could ask for. For the first time we chose to vacation with some friends of ours, instead of taking the time for just the two of us. I'll admit, I was a bit nervous, because although I've known this girl for going on 15 years, I wasn't sure how they like to vacation, and whether her boyfriend would really enjoy having us around. I should have known we would have nothing to worry about. By the first evening on board we had all established a "We're doing whatever we want, if you want to come great, if not see you later" attitude. And we were all perfectly happy with that. No hurt feelings if we weren't doing the same thing. No whining or arguing about appropriate activities. Just 7 days of relaxation and fun.

In St. Thomas and St. Kitts we spent some time on the beautiful beaches. In Barbados we intended to tour a rum distillery or a sugar cane factory, but we were so late getting up and getting breakfast that by the time we were off the ship we didn't have enough time left in port. St. Lucia was a zip line tour, which I highly recommend despite my great fear of heights, and in St. Maarten an amazing morning snorkeling followed by an up close encounter with dolphins on our return water taxi trip. Sadly any pictures of that were lost with the waterproof camera :(

So although we had to leave paradise, I'm happy to be home. And I'm feeling really refreshed and ready to tackle my to-do list for the next few months.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Joys of Pet Ownership

As you know, or maybe you don't know, I am the proud owner of two hounds. Let me give you a recap of their story, and then I can enlighten you to my latest joys of pet ownership.

My family has always had a dog. Sure there were years along the way between pets, and some years with absolutely terrible dogs, but always there has been a 4-legged friend in my parent's home. In August of 2010 we had to put down our family Golden Retriever. It was I think the hardest decision that my mom has had to make. Brandy was the best dog. Seriously I know everyone thinks their dog is the best, but this dog really was top notch. She was smart, gentle, affectionate, and well behaved from the day my mom brought her home. And despite what I, my dad, or my brother may think, she was my mom's dog. But, she had gotten old, and her eyes, and hips had gone, and her last months were spent barely moving around and falling down the stairs on several occasions. Putting her down was the hard, but right thing to do.

I was heartbroken.

As we drove home from my parent's house that evening I told Ken. I need a grief puppy. I like to think he was in full support of this. I'm probably a bit delusional. :)

So I started the search for my grief puppy. Along the way Ken and I decided we should get two dogs, as we were both working full time and the dog(s) would be spending a lot of time home alone. Thus, having two dogs would mean each would have a friend. Next it came to choosing a breed. We made a list of the attributes we wanted (or didn't want) in a dog. Short hair was a must, a larger breed, an easily trainable dog, a working breed that has a majestic look. We also wanted a dog good with small children, that was somewhat territorial but not aggressive.

Our search led us to the Black Mouth Cur. Most people have never heard of this breed, and think our dogs are some kind of Boxer mix. That's a pretty good description.
 After some more searching I located a few breeders in the southern US. Mind you, we live in Missouri. After some feeler emails my hopes of getting a grief dog soon were plummeting. The earliest we could get on a waiting list from a breeder was for a litter they were planning on in July 2011. So we would have to wait 8 months to find out whether or not we might get the last pick of a possible litter. I was devastated.

Then I got a phone call. A breeder in Mississippi called to tell me that they had an unpublished litter that would be weaning soon. They hadn't sold any of the pups as they were breeding to keep some of the pups themselves and we could have first pick of the litter! A miracle. We picked our dogs from photos and I began the countdown. The only problem...the pups would be ready to pick up on October 15th...which would have been great except we were getting married on the 16th. That definitely wasn't going to work. So we asked the breeder to hold the dogs for another two weeks, and on October 30th we set off to get them.

We drove almost all night, stopped for about 6 hours rest in a hotel, got up early and finished our trip down on Saturday morning. We got to the breeder around noon, got our pups and turned right back around and headed home. With only a few stops we made the 10 1/2 hour drive and crashed into bed around midnight. It was a brutally long driving weekend. And after 20+ hours in the car it appeared the pups didn't even like us. But they were soooooo cute.
Now, Artemis and Apollo (names that we stewed over for a good 3 weeks...and by stewed I mean argued) are 18 months old. They are not the world's best dogs They bark and are loud and sleep on the sofa when they aren't supposed to. Artemis jumps the fence and Apollo never listens. But they are certainly still my favorite. And they still provide the joys of pet ownership.

As mentioned above Artemis has a nasty habit of clearing the fence in the backyard. Then she is free to run about the neighborhood barking her high-pitched bark and refusing to come back home. So as of late she has been on a strict leash regimen when outdoors. On Saturday I had her outside for an extended potty break. She had been cooped up for two days since it was cold here, so I thought I'd give her a little time to roam the yard. Apollo wanted to play, so I obliged them both. Artemis however pulled a little hard on the leash when I wasn't expecting it, and I lost my grip. She was free, so to speak. She didn't seem to notice and I thought she might stay put. I was wrong. It took all of 5 seconds for her to be out of the yard. Normally I would let her roam, but I was worried that the leash would get caught and she would hurt herself, so I went inside to get Ken. I put on my coat, shuttled Apollo back inside and headed out to the back. Artemis was tearing full speed through the common ground behind our fence and into the woods. As I reached the back gate and started after her she reemerged from the woods. She came slightly towards me at my call, and then stopped to turn back and pick something up off the ground. I assumed it was trash. People are always throwing trash in the common ground.

I walked slowly towards her, trying my best to coax her back to me. Then I realized: she didn't have trash. She had a bunny. Yes. A bunny. A cute little bunny. And she was trying her hardest to bring it to me. Well, I think she was trying to balance wanting to bring it to me and wanting to play with it. *shiver* I started yelling for Ken, who was still in the house getting his boots/coat on. As he headed out the back gate he looked to where I was standing, maybe 15 feet from Artemis, and said "Get her." I simply replied "She has a bunny." Enough said for Ken. He knows me well enough to know there's no way I'm going any closer if I don't have to.

So after maybe 2 minutes of Artemis picking it up and dropping it repeatedly while sort of running in our general direction with it, she dropped it close to my feet. I walked over to it, not looking down, and stood next to it. She came over and sat down in front of me, looking as proud as can be. Chest puffed out. Eyes squinting shut. I swear she was beaming and smiling. Oh Lord. I told her good dog and gave her praise, and Ken picked up the rabbit and told her he would cook it for her.

I think at this point we both assumed she had just found the thing lying in the grass. As I began to point out the nasty points of dressing a random rabbit she found in the woods Ken paused and we had the following conversation.

Ken : "I'm sure it's like a month old...wait...maybe not."
Me : "What do you mean 'maybe not'."
Ken : "It just peed." He touched it (yes with his bare hands) and continued "It's still warm. Hot even."

I just walked on towards the house. I was so grossed out! Before we went in the house Ken declared his determination to learn how to, and then dress the rabbit. And he stopped to take a picture, so people might actually believe us.

And Saturday evening as we sat inside I realized: Artemis is a hunting dog and so as far as that goes she did good. I just hope she doesn't do good anymore. :)
*Note - The dog is really bigger than the bunny. The camera angle was just off a bit.*

Friday, February 24, 2012

February 22, 2012

I realize that I'm actually writing this post on February 24th, HOWEVER, I meant to write it on the 22nd but I was really busy. :)

February 21, 2012: The day before my birthday.

Like any (I think) normal person, I enjoy getting to celebrate my birthday. I don't necessarily enjoy getting older every year (most years I do, but not every one) but I like to get the cards in the mail and the Facebook wall posts and the celebratory meals and attention. I'll admit. I like it a lot.

I have noticed however, that the older a person gets the less people think celebrating is important. Maybe once you're hitting 40 you do want to forget about your birthday altogether, but certainly 21 year olds disagree, and I highly doubt even 25 (or 26) year olds think that. If you couple this ebbing celebration level with the emergence of technology you get what I consider to be a travesty: birthdays now pass with no paper cards in the mail and no phone calls to sing an out of tune rendition of Happy Birthday. They fly by with Facebook posts and belated text messages.

Does 1/2 a thought still count? What happened to taking a moment, and a dollar, and sending someone a birthday card the good old fashioned way? What happened to recognizing that the people in your life who are over the age of 15 might still like to have a birthday party that they didn't have to plan for themselves? And while we're at it, a birthday 'gift' doesn't have to cost a fortune. But it can be well thought out. Is that too much to ask?

As Wednesday was approaching this week I was struggling with all of these...concerns. I already knew I wasn't getting a traditional party because I hadn't planned one for myself. And while I did have lunch plans with my mom I was facing down cooking my own birthday dinner. As Wednesday was approaching...

February 22, 2012: My 26th Birthday

By Tuesday morning I was in a complete depressed funk about how bad my birthday was going to be. Seriously. Nobody was going to remember it except my parents and there wasn't going to be a party or cake or presents or anything a birthday should have.

Boy was I wrong.

Tuesday as I was driving home from work my mother-in-law called to invite us over for dinner on Wednesday. And she was making lasagna, my favorite. Sweet, I don't have to cook my own birthday dinner.

Tuesday evening when I got home there were 3 cards in the mail. The first from my grandmother. She sent a sweet note and one of her favorite recipes for Pecan Rolls. I love to bake and eat sweets. It was such a sweet thought for her to send me one of her favorite recipes, and it just proves my point that a gift need not cost a fortune. The second card was from my aunt and cousins. As I opened it out fell $10. $10 isn't a lot, but it is almost exactly the cost of a box of cake mix and a jar of frosting. So there we have it, my birthday cake...some assembly required. :) The last card was from my Bestie. She had mentioned that it was coming, so it wasn't a complete surprise but what was inside was. She sent me a gift card. I know some people, Bestie included, prefer not to give/receive gift cards because they don't seem personal but I disagree. This was the most thoughtful gift card. It's store specific, and Bestie even knew how much the item I want costs. She sent exactly the right gift card amount. I don't see how that could ever possibly be misconstrued as 'not thoughtful'.

Wednesday morning: the day of truth. I got up relatively early. Then I gave myself a present: no chores on my birthday. In hind sight this wasn't the best decision as I had already neglected the chores Monday and worked on Tuesday so the house was looking a little gross. But still, it was my birthday and I was determined to have a day off. So, morning off: check! Then lunch with my mom. We went to this little tearoom in a tiny little town about 30 minutes from my house. We ate our soup, salad and sandwiches in front of a fire and topped them off with delicious desserts. It was 2 hours of relaxing atmosphere, good conversation, great company and good food. A perfect lunch. And the whole time my phone was buzzing non-stop with phone calls and text messages wishing me a healthy happy birthday. I honestly had no idea so many people would remember and care.

After lunch, and some fancy transportation finagling we took the dogs to the dog park. The weather was beautiful. And the best part, my college roommate made the trip to the park to see me. Just to give me a hug and wish me a happy birthday. And to pass along a bottle of her favorite spiked apple cider. :)

After an hour or so at the park and a bit more car rearranging we headed to my in-laws. I immediately observed a pile of stuff in the middle of the living room floor under some blankets. This is the traditional method for wrapping large gifts :) I assumed the box under the blanket was a new vacuum. It was something I had asked for a while back.

We chatted for a bit and I waited until the lasagna was in the oven baking to remove the blankets. And really, my mother-in-law couldn't wait anymore, so she grabbed one side and pulled them back. What was under the blankets? Well it wasn't a vacuum. It was four medium sized boxes from Crate & Barrel. It was new dishes. And these aren't just any dishes. These are beautiful, white, pristine, not-chipped, matching dishes that I have been petting at Crate & Barrel for a while now, saving up my spending money to buy for myself. I was like a little kid on Christmas. I opened each box and took out one piece. I made a place setting on the floor. I hugged the dishes and just basked in their fabulous-ness.

The next gift was from my husband. Now, here I already had a pretty good idea what I was getting. I don't, in general, care for surprises. I like to have a plan. So a week earlier Ken had spilled the beans that he had already gotten me a present. I spent the next hour or so badgering him with questions until I deduced that it was a cookbook. :) On Wednesday evening he gave it to me. But it's not a cookbook. It's a 1,000 page baking and pastry textbook from the baking/pastry classes at the Culinary Institute of America. It's step by step instructions, pictures, and recipes for cookies, cakes, pies, tarts, wedding cakes, spun sugar, chocolate and EVERYTHING else you can imagine associated with baking. In short, it's amazing.

As we sat down to dinner I was pretty much in heaven. Everything on my to-buy-for-myself list had been covered by the gifts I had received. Everything and then some.

After dinner, my brother-in-law obliged me to two sets at Euchre. As we were playing I was thumbing through my new baking to-do list and I mentioned that as soon as I could get the ice cream making attachment for my stand mixer I could make all kinds of ice creams with the recipes in this book. My mother-in-law simply suggested I take her ice cream maker - she never uses it anyway. Then she went down to the basement and came back with a like-new mixer and two boxes of rock salt to go with it! She said, you can 'borrow' it. :)

As we drove home I contemplated the differences in my expectations on Tuesday morning and what I actually got on Wednesday, and I scolded myself for having been so negative. I think I had worked up in my mind that my birthday should be something like "My Super Sweet 26" and then had decided if it couldn't be that it would be terrible. But I was so wrong. There was no 100 person party. There was no fancy birthday cake with my name piped in red (although I did bake myself a little something). But there were people I loved. And there were thoughtful gifts that I really wanted and none that I had to fake a smile and look for the receipt. There were calls and cards and messages from all across the country wishing me a happy day. It was so much more than I could have really ever hoped for. And today, Friday, I still feel so blessed and lucky.

What a great day!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Shame? -or- Pride!

In the past week I've really been struggling with my attitude towards my destiny: should it be pride or shame?

I realized that nobody should ever have to be embarrassed about who they are or what they do. This is my life, and really it is nobody else's business. But that isn't necessarily a realistic concept. Other people will always be looking in and telling me what I 'should' do or how I 'should' be. So really all I can control is how I feel when they do.

This weekend Ken and I were in the pet shop on Sunday, and there was the CUTEST little kitten for adoption. He wasn't even the size of a can of soup. As we were buying a massive bag of dog food for the mutts (who were with us in the store) I asked about the adoption process. The cashier informed me that I could fill out an application (of which several were already waiting for the kitty) and then if I was selected the costs would be $100 for the pet, spayed with shots etc etc. I declined the application as I was only mildly curious and because, I flatter myself, I'm mature enough to not get a new pet just because I'm feeling my biological clock ticking louder on my birthday week. At any rate, as we were driving home I observed something out loud. On paper, we probably wouldn't have the most suitable home for a new kitten because we have two large dogs. Not whether we would love the cat, or provide for it well, or make sure it has food/clean litter/water/toys, or keep it healthy. But based solely on the fact that we have dogs when someone else may not. This line of thinking juts kept spiraling until at one point Ken suggested that if I really wanted the kitten we could just omit that we have dogs on the application. That's when it hit me: For other people to not judge negatively we would have to, in essence, hide who we are.

Yesterday, Monday, I had a similar experience. The new Vice President of Alumnae Relations for my college sorority sent an email to all of the registered alumnae, of which I am one. The email was a feeler for interest in a mentoring program between graduates and current students in the sorority. I should break here to say that joining my sorority was one of the most serendipitous and best things of my college life, and whenever I am given the chance I like to give back, so that other girls might have the same experience I did. So needless to say I thought a mentoring program would be great! Where do I sign up?? I followed the link given to a sign up sheet. Across the sheet were column headings as follows: "Name" "Major in College" "Industry You Work in Now".

As I read down the list, and observed the names I realized that I don't work in an 'industry' now. I'm a housewife. Sure I work part-time as an accounting/finance/bookkeeping consultant, but I'm my own boss, and I still don't know what industry you would call that. As I sat staring at the screen a thought occurred to me: What if they don't want me to mentor because I don't have a job? What if 'they' determine that I don't have anything to offer because I 'just stay at home'? It may seem silly, but I really was embarrassed. I thought of ways to change what I do to make it sound better. I considered putting my title from my old job. I considered not participating at all. That's when it hit me: For other people to not judge negatively I would have to, in essence, hide who I am. 

While mulling these thoughts over in my head I came to a conclusion. Well, two conclusions technically. If having the dogs means I can't have a cat, would I then trade them for a kitten? Absolutely not! So then, there's no need for me to be embarrassed or ashamed that I have them. They are great. They are a part of my life and my family. If someone else determines they are a hurdle to adopting a new pet then that someone else would be missing out on a loving home. And if staying at home and working for myself means that I can't participate in a mentoring program does that then mean that I would rather be back in a job that I hated, or unhappy in another job just so I could be a mentor? No! That's a ridiculous thought. I realized that really I have nothing to be ashamed of. If other people can't recognize that who I am and what I have to offer hasn't changed because I left the workforce, then they wouldn't be open to learning anything from me anyway. And they would be missing out on a mentor that has real life experiences and knowledge to share.

While at the time each of these situations made me first feel ashamed, and then angry at the small-mindedness of the world I am thankful that they happened. And as much as I tire of getting beaten over the head with a concept, I'm thankful that they happened back-to-back. They have helped me to realize that I can be happy with who I am, and I can be happy with what I do. And really, that I can stand tall and proud despite what the world might think.

So today this is how I fill out that mentoring sheet:

"Valerie" "Business Administration - Finance" "Self Employed Business Consultant" :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

In the oh-so-wise words of Thumper "If you can't say something nice don't say anything at all."

So as far as this Valentine's Day is concerned all I have to say is  ...

The Midwest Doldrums

So I've been AWOL for almost two weeks. It wasn't intentional, it just happened.

This lovely blog tells me that my last post was on February 2nd, which my trusty calendar informs me was a Thursday. I honestly wish I could think of what has swept me up in the 288 hours since then, but I can't. I can only chalk it up to the Midwest Doldrums; or in other words: Life.

I'm sure a lot of super interesting things have happened in my life since February 2nd. Um...we finally put up the door for the basement bathroom thus making potty breaks no longer a team sport. Oh! We had some friends over for dinner and conversation, which was the highlight of the week. And we threw a little last minute shin-dig for Super Bowl since our normal Super Bowl soiree was cancelled as the host/hostess were on vacation. So by my calculation that covers roughly 9 of the last 288 hours. :)

The remaining 279 hours have been consumed by everyday nothing-ness. Work, cleaning, eating, sleeping, TV etc. Nothing fancy. Nothing exciting. The plain old ups and downs of life.

Lately my sleep schedule has been all kinds of messed up (hence this post at 2am). So I've been staying up until all hours of the night because I simply cannot fall asleep. And obviously my midnight endeavors must be relatively quiet as Ken still has to get up early, so I can't say they are all that productive. Then as a result of my late nights my days are half eaten by sleep. So I have routinely been finding myself in bed past 10am. That really puts a damper on productivity as well. So it's a very vicious and unproductive cycle. All in all I'd say at least 120 of those missing hours belong to my bed.

In addition to, or perhaps on account of my crazy interrupted sleep schedule I've found myself a bit lacking in motivation. Really this minor slump is no surprise to me. It happens every year at this time. Seasonal depression is the technical term though I prefer to call it the Winter Pits. It's those last dreadfully long weeks of winter. This year it hasn't been so bad, as the weather in good ole' Missouri has been uncommonly warm. But as if right on cue the weather has taken a turn to towards bitter cold forcing me to hibernate inside. And of course it wouldn't be February if every day wasn't overcast or just plain dark outside.

Blah. I hate this time of year.

I did finish part 1 of my Bestie's 2008 Christmas present. I have been keeping the house clean, although this week's snowfall has led to trails of little paw prints on the floors. I have gone to work on the days when going to work is required. Ken and I have enjoyed some time with friends. All in all a nice long stretch of life.

Hopefully in the coming weeks we can get some excitement in here to liven things up.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Two of Two

Needless to say I never got back to posting this yesterday. After my enlightening lunch events I spent the afternoon working on that extra long to-do list. Then we, Ken and I, took the dogs to the park, ate dinner, and watched a little TV. I had some little bit of work to do to prepare for a meeting today and then we hit the sack. Exciting, I know.

But never fear! Post two of two will finally get its fifteen minutes of fame.

About a week ago I was talking to my mom on the phone. She was giving me a recap of a seminar she had been to at church. As she was talking through the events, she came to a joke which went a little something like this:

A Diary Entry - The Same Day.
  "A Woman's Diary: My husband was acting so strange today. I was out shopping all day with friends, and I think he was mad that I got home late. I asked him if he was mad at me and he said no. But he was being so distant and quiet. I thought maybe a nice dinner would help smooth things over. He agreed and we went but he barely said 5 words all night long. I asked him what was wrong and he said 'nothing'. The drive home was the same: just silence. I think he must not love me anymore. We went to bed and he fell right to sleep. I don't know what I've done wrong. I cried myself to sleep. I don't know what to do."

"A Man's Diary: Boat motor won't start. Can't figure out why."

By the time my mom finished the joke she could barely speak for laughing. Only at 25, and being married only a year I didn't really find it that funny. No. Actually I found it quite hopeless. She tried to explain why it was funny; clearly it applies to so many men and women that it is amusing. Clearly it's an indication that silence and brooding doesn't mean a man doesn't love his wife. Clearly.

At any rate, as this situation applies so broadly it can be no surprise to hear that it rung true for me as well. But that's not the fairy tale marriage I was going to have! What?!?! Never! My husband is going to be sensitive and caring and affectionate and in touch with his emotions.  And he is going to be all of those things even if it kills me!

So fast forward to Tuesday night. As I said, I moped around ALL day, and so when 9:30 rolled around I decided I would straighten up the house a bit. As Ken must get up before the sun every morning, he announced he was going to bed. I was tidying up the dining room, and as I was putting some mail in the office I walked past the bedroom door and observed that Ken was not sleeping but playing games on his iPhone. So I climbed in the bed next to him to give him some grief about it being bedtime, and that saying "I'm going to bed" indicates sleep, not fun and games.

What I had intended to be a short teasing session turned into nearly 90 minutes of teasing, joking, innuendos, laughter, grammatical errors (which lead to more teasing and laughter), and just plain fun. At one point I was laughing so hard that I was literally crying, and even after several minutes and Ken repeatedly asking "Are you done?" I was still tickled by it.

Those 90 minutes restored my faith in my dream marriage. They indicated to me that the lines of communication don't have to be cut forever just because Ken is a man and I am a woman. Granted, he wasn't writing me lines of poetry or serenading me with love songs. It wasn't that kind of romance. But it was the kind of romance we had when we first met. And the kind that endured while we were dating. It was a 90 minute reminder of the things that I love about Ken and the things that made me fall in love with him in the first place. When life gets in the way of romance sometimes it is hard to remember those things. When silence becomes the majority of communication it can be hard to know if you're being heard, especially when you know that neither you nor your spouse is good at taking hints.

I try very hard not to give out relationship advice. First of all, I have no idea what I'm doing, so who am I to give advice. I'm just winging it one day at a time. Secondly, probably the wisest thing anyone ever said to me about relationships came from a barely 21 year-old newly married man. He said "You know, it doesn't matter what other people say about our relationship. We are the only ones in it, and we know that it's real." After pondering on that I realized that really, the best people to give relationship advice are the people inside the relationship. But today, I have to give in.

Take my advice. Cherish those moments when the world drops away, whenever they happen to sneak in. Think about them often, and instigate them whenever you can so at the end of the day both of your diaries can be about the same brief, smiling moments.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

One of Two

Today I feel compelled to write two posts. Technically I could fit everything in one, but I feel the subjects just don't mesh. They each need their own fifteen minutes of fame. And so here we are, post one of two.

I would like to thank God for reminding me today that destiny waits for no man, or in my case, woman. Over the last week my mild case of the common cold has completely demolished my self-motivation. Wallowing in my own pity for five days has finally caught up with me, and yesterday I couldn't even make myself take a shower. I just moped all day. And I do mean ALL day. I did not accomplish a single household chore, and dinner, while delicious, was a freezer -> oven -> plate ordeal into which I put roughly -2 effort.

Today I woke up feeling almost entirely back to normal. And yet still not at all motivated to put my home back in order. And lets face it, keeping an orderly home at this juncture is a very large part of my destiny. So today I've been consulting my bag of procrastination tools, and putting off cleaning as long as I could.

I use a system of index cards to track the chores that are on my to-do list for the day. It's a sort of living to-do list that rotates daily. It is a wonderful system that works remarkably well for me. It keeps my home looking like something from a Better Homes and Gardens photo shoot about 90% of the time. However, when I break the routine the cards can pile up quickly. My first procrastination was to take out all of the cards I've neglected since last Wednesday and lay them on the dining room table. Let me tell you, there are a lot. Seeing them laid out and staring at me in all of their unfinished glory did not inspire me to be productive. Actually, it just made me feel even more determined not to do anything. I managed to appease my guilt by folding one load of laundry (which is no feat since there are still 3 that are already washed and dried, and another two worth of dirty laundry that I've let pile up). Then I convinced myself I was feeling run down, and not to push myself too hard lest my weakened immune system take a turn for the worse. So I took a short break, and then tackled my next big feat, the sink full of dishes. After five minutes of laboriously loading the dishwasher I deemed I was ready for another break, and lunch.

To satisfy my craving for something rich and sweet I brewed myself up a pot of delicious chocolate hazelnut coffee. It's my new daily indulgence. I like a little coffee with my cream and sugar, so I went to the fridge to retrieve the all-important CoffeeMate. As I lifted the bottle from the fridge door I gave it the routine two quick shakes just to froth it up a bit and wouldn't you know, the cap was open. Not completely open, no, that would have been too obvious. It just wasn't clicked completely closed. Of course little drops of non-fat French Vanilla went everywhere. Inside the fridge, on the floor, down the mustard and salad dressing bottles. Everywhere.

With a sigh, a very loud somewhat annoyed sigh, I started cleaning up the mess. As I was debating whether I should clean up the mess on the floor or just call the dogs into the kitchen it dawned on me: this was not another mess to make me feel overwhelmed. This was just God, with His ever-changing sense of humor reminding me that procrastinating isn't just going to leave me with a messy house at the end of the day; it's going to keep my destiny from advancing one more step. The realization almost made me smile. Almost. I was at a smirk, and on my way to smiling when I bent down to paper-towel up the mess from the kitchen floor. Yeah, the situation there is not anything to smile about. Yuck!

As I finished mopping up the majority of the mess at the fridge, and then the mess that had dripped down the bottle and onto the countertop I realized that being at home, like any other job, is still work. There are days that I am so thankful to be at home and days that I think back on the corporate world and I rejoice that my destiny doesn't lead me there. But, there are still days when I think my boss is a jerk (which leads to some very interesting introspection) and days when I wish the weekend would just hurry up and arrive so I could take a break.

It's refreshing in a way, to have a day where doing nothing is not really an option. It reminds me not to take this life for granted. Not to get too relaxed and forget that living this destiny is a blessing, but being a blessing doesn't mean that it is effortless. So now, after stopping by to record this little epiphany I'm off to finish up my chores. If I can manage them before the husband gets home I'll be back for part two of two.

And part two of two is great! Trust me :)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

In Sickness and in Health

I feel that I must dedicate this post to my husband Ken.

For the last week (though it has certainly felt like an eternity) I've been sick. I awoke last week with a scratchy throat which then mutated into a runny nose. By the end of day two I couldn't breathe out of one nostril and I felt like there was a 200 pound brick lodged inside my head. In this miserable state I continued for 4 days.

In general I am never sick. I can't really remember the last time I had any kind of cold or flu symptoms that lasted more than one day. I think I must have been in high school. That being said, I'm a terrible sick person. I'm unaccustomed to it, and therefore I react very very poorly.

So, for the 6 days now I've been lying about the house (for the most part), whining about my head hurting, or complaining that I don't feel well. And Ken, well, he has been waiting on me hand and foot the whole time. He has responded to all of the complaints with the appropriate level of sympathy and concern. He has refilled the hot tea when my cup was empty. He has cooked dinner, administered medicine, and pampered me through my illness.

Yesterday was by far the worst day. And as I have discovered, being self employed does not necessarily make me exempt from work when I am sick. After getting up and getting dressed I was feeling exhausted. After the 30 minute drive and a few hours at work I was barely functioning and my head felt like it was going to explode. My condition only got worse, and my complaining louder as the night went on. Hey, I said I was really bad at being sick. But still Ken put up with it. Following me to bed super early, and lulling me to sleep with a scalp massage and a back scratch (which are definitely two of my favorite things).

So this morning, as I feel better I thought I must post about my awesome husband. Who really stuck with me, through all of the whining, and nursed me back to health.


Thursday, January 26, 2012


I'm sure most people would be happier paying fewer taxes. Well in general, you'll not find me supporting this mantra. While I'm not a proponent of over taxation, I do understand the importance of paying taxes. Taxes fund important things like highways and the postal service. In addition, imagine what the National Debt would be if we eliminated taxes completely!

However, this month I find myself wishing that we, as Americans, had fewer taxes. I say this, not because I feel myself overburdened, but because this year I found myself preparing tax forms for some of my clients. I must say, I hate tax forms. Seriously.

In the past I have worked hard to limit my interaction with tax forms. Now, on my current hiatus from the real corporate world I find myself face-to-face with things I've never even heard of!

Forget W2s and W4s. In the last week I've found myself tackling K1s, 1099s, 1096s and a million things in between. I think here it's important to understand two things about me: 1. I'm smart but 2. I am NOT a tax accountant. I'm not even an accountant. I'm a financial analyst. If you need a budget, I'm your girl. If you need a profitability analysis I've got you covered. If you need basic bookkeeping or accounting process I can manage. If you need tax advice, I've got nothing.

But here I am all the same. My clients need my 'expertise' and so I find myself facing down the learning curve of tax forms. Actually, I've been facing down that learning curve all week. And today, I find myself at the top. :) I have conquered the tax forms and I now realize that in reality, it wasn't nearly as difficult as I had worked it up to be. Mind you I've not really taxes in general, which is why on Saturday I'll be meeting with my H&R Block specialist to complete my own personal taxes. But I do feel accomplished, and proud that I've at least learned how to issue all of the tax forms that small business owners need to be in compliance with the IRS.

At the end of this informative journey I am happy to have learned what I have learned. But as I said at the beginning of this post; if Americans had fewer tax forms, I wouldn't complain. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Spring is in the Air in January

The Midwest winter this year has been anything but winter-y. There has only been one snowfall thus far and we have had more days with a temperature above 50 degrees than we have had mornings with frost on the ground. Don't get me wrong, these temperatures aren't all bad, but I like Winter. I like the chill in the air, and the way the ground looks covered in a blanket of undisturbed snow. I also love the way Winter temperatures inspire a whole new menu for dinner. I mean who wants to eat chili when it's 60+ degrees outside?!?

I also find myself wondering at these seasonal swings. I mean last night we had tornado sirens at 3:00 in the morning. What is happening when a phenomenon that used to be 1. rare and 2. confined to summer months devastates an area all summer and then comes back for more in January. I don't have a fear of severe weather. I'm personally probably closer to being a storm chaser than hiding in fear. I love the awesome power that is displayed in tornadoes and lightening. But I am also sensible of the complete destruction that acts of God or natural disasters can leave behind. And really, the Midwest has had enough in the last year.

Of late I've found myself reading several articles aimed at explaining away the strange weather patterns over the past few years. As a result I only find myself wishing that meteorologists were ever close to being right about anything :). Some say global warming is to blame; others say La Nina. There are of course those who believe God is punishing the wicked; and still more who cite gravity, tectonic plates, and underground volcanoes.

I don't know what to believe. But I do know what I wish. I wish for four seasons, in a row, that exhibit the correct seasonal weather. A taste of Winter so we can appreciate the Spring. The rains of Spring so we can appreciate the dry, warm air of Summer. The blistering hot Midwest Summer so we can all breathe a sigh of relief at the change to Fall. And the falling leaves to ready us for another taste of Winter.

Let's not be in such a hurry to get back to Summer that we forget that each season has a purpose. And let's hope for a few inches of snow. For a snow-day home from school and an excuse to go sledding until we're numb and then thaw out with a bowl of soup and a cup of hot chocolate. Because really, that's what Winter is about.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Time Flies When You're...Busy!

I feel like this week has just flown by. I'm not sure where it went, but it sure got there in a hurry.

I'm hatching some pretty big plans for the upcoming weeks. We are trying to get a cruise planned for March, and if that happens I'm going to need to put some extra effort into getting bikini ready. * Le sigh. Other than that on the agenda is an attempt at finishing up my spring cleaning, trying to get the last few things done on the basement remodel (apparently other people won't use a bathroom with no door...go figure), introducing myself to my pasta maker, and keeping the regular cooking/cleaning/part-time work caught up. I know it's going to be a busy couple of weeks, and if this week was any indication they will be flying by.

I don't know why I thought life would just miraculously slow down after the holidays, but I did. So needless to say I'm a bit disappointed that it hasn't. Then again, I do love to be overly busy. So here's to new diets, new workouts, and new recipes interspersed with old routines. It's like a New Year's Resolution, just a bit delayed.

And for the record, the only things I actually resolved to do this year are turn 26 (which I am confident I can accomplish in the first quarter) and finish my Bestie's Christmas present from 2008. And, if I manage the second resolution I will be ecstatic and there will be pictures! :) So, here goes!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

This is Work!

I never really put much stock in full time stay-at-home moms. I was raised by two parents who, for as long as I can remember, always worked full time. From a young age I saw my mom balance a full time career and a home, and I assumed that anyone who only did one or the other had it easy.

When Ken and I moved in together my mom tried to warn me that keeping up a house was a lot of work. I didn't listen. Then, as I realized she was right, I was in denial. And so for two and a half years I did sporadic basic cleaning thinking it was sufficient. I also picked about 2,000,000 fights with Ken about whose responsibility it was to do the minimal sporadic cleaning. Obviously I didn't think it was solely mine. I was going to work all day every day just like he was.

Fast forward to: epiphany. For 4 months I've been working hard to get the sporadic cleaning up to routine cleaning. And I've added in more routine cleaning thinking that I could manage a sparkling home. Now, after 4 months of not working full time I am finding out that truly keeping a clean and orderly house is definitely a full time job. On Tuesday I got up at 8:00 to begin my 'spring cleaning'. I see no reason to keep putting it off until spring. So, I started in one corner of the house and started working my way out. Clean the bathroom, that's pretty standard. Clean under the sink, and inside the medicine cabinet. Clean off the baseboards, and the door. Check. Check. Check.

Next the bedroom. Change the sheets. Vacuum. Move the furniture to clean under and behind it. Ok. Now I'm starting to realize that some of this stuff is nasty. I can't believe I haven't moved my bedroom furniture in 3 years! Now clean the drapes. And the mini blinds. The mini blinds! They used to be white! And I thought they still were until I got up close to them. Again clean the baseboards, walls, and door. By 11:00 I had done two rooms and two loads of laundry, and was wondering if I was the only person not seeing a dent. At 12:30 reinforcements arrived. By 4:00 we had tackled the 3 bedrooms and kitchen and they were sparkling. But I was exhausted, and it was time to switch gears to the dog park and dinner.  I had a partner and we had barely gotten through half of the house! And I had ignored some of the major areas: the closets.

I'm still amazed at how much cleaner my house looks and feels. And I'm amazed that it can look and feel cleaner as I thought it was already pretty clean. Yesterday I tackled the dining room and living room for a good dusting and cleaning the floors, but the mini blinds and draperies are still to be done. And I've not even touched the basement yet.

So I would just like to say this: To all of you lifelong stay-at-home moms out there, wow! I am so sorry that I ever judged you as not working as hard as corporate moms. And to you corporate moms who balance two full time jobs I don't know how you do it. And finally to all of you children, regardless of your age, however your mom managed it please try to recognize now how hard she was working despite what you might have seen. Trust me, she was sweating up a storm!

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Dog Park

So recently the dogs have been making daily appearances at the dog park. It is a relatively new adventure for all of us, but since Artemis only views our short 4-foot chain-link fence as a challenge it seemed better than locking her inside the house at all times.

So after some Googling and some stereotypical government employee hassle we landed ourselves at a very nice very free park. For the past ten days the dogs have really been acclimating to the addition of so many other dogs. For the most part, they do well. Apollo struggles with being a bit of a bully, and between the two of them they bark more than all of the other dogs combined, but they seem to play well, and every day they are more relaxed. Until yesterday...

Ken and I were logging a particularly mild winter day with the dogs yesterday. And they were behaving extremely well. After about an hour they were looking fairly tired, but some of their favorite running mates had just showed up and we were going to stick around a while longer. Enter the problem: a hyper-excited bull terrier with it's owner dragging behind it.

This lady, who's name I do not care to ever know could barely keep her dog on the ground as she got out of the car. The dog was lunging and jumping and making this incredibly odd and abnormal sounding shrieking noise. Every dog in the park (about 15) was at the fence staring. We talked amongst ourselves about "Surely she's not going to bring that dog in here" and "I'm sure she will keep it on leash with it acting like that". And my wise husband suggested we should just leash up and leave then. But as the rest of us were sure this owner wouldn't release the dog, we stayed. Mistake #1. Before the dog was even inside the gate there was a fight. And not a playful, this is fun, get the ball kind of fight. So, bull terrier, owner, and very small toddler about to enter the big-dog dog park retreated a bit. As we tried to wrangle our dogs from the commotion, the bull terrier was again released into the park. She made a beeline for Darby, a 30ish pound collie mix. Now really, there's no strength comparison between the two, and everyone could already see the attitude of the bull terrier was not going to lead anywhere nice. Well almost everyone.

And so the bull terrier lunged at, and successfully pinned the resisting Darby. Amongst the snarling/growling/yelping/barking Ken managed (I have no idea how) to get a grip on the bull terrier. Darby ran for safety under a bench and I realized then that people were talking and yelling. I looked at Ken, who seemed whole, and heard from behind me "You need to get your dog under control! All that barking and chasing is what started this!" Clearly I anticipated someone to be letting the Bull's owner know that we all didn't appreciate her introducing her dog in that manner. But what?!?! No. The Bull's owner is busy yelling at Ken to let her dog go, while Unhelpful Bystander #1 is giving Darby and her owner the what-for! Are you serious! Meanwhile Darby is now leashed so Ken hands the bull over to her owner, who immediately lets her go.

And this time the target is Artemis.

Oh no you didn't. Honestly my first thought was 'If your dog hurts mine I'll kill it'. But then I didn't need to worry. Apparently Apollo lives by the code of "I'm the only one who picks on my sister". So begin fight # 3. After Artemis' second yelp God help me I was going to calm that Bull down. Again, somehow between Ken and I we got the fight broken up, Artemis out of the fray relatively unharmed, and the Bull back to her owner. By this point the Bull isn't even wearing her collar anymore because it was on so loose that when Ken grabbed at it it slipped right off. Wow Lady, just wow.

And now, Unhelpful Bystander #1 is ranting about how my dogs are just as bad as Darby, and how it's their barking that started all of this. Um excuse me? Thank God and my mom for teaching me and giving me the strength to hold my tongue. We leashed the dogs and left. As we were leaving I turned to see the park. Two dogs were left: the Bull, and Unhelpful Bystander #1. Ten dogs were cleared out of that park by one ill-behaved dog. And the best part the Bull was right back at it, lunging and snarling at Unhelpful Bystander #1's dog.

As I was discussing this with my mom yesterday she observed that the dog park is very much like life. There are always people who can work out their differences in peace. Always people who can all get along. And there is always someone who brings the fighting and trouble with them, and leaves wondering why everyone else is always fighting.

What I have learned from this: 1. When the Bull shows up next time we will be leaving pronto, 2. I  will protect my dogs from other people and other dogs without being afraid, 3. The people who are responsible will never see that they are to blame, and I will never convince them, 4. I pray that I am never that person.

So please, if you take your dog to an off leash park, don't ruin the experience for everyone else if your dog can't behave. You don't have to stay away from the park, just keep your dog on a leash.

What's My Destiny?

It is funny how something that is seemingly set in stone can change in an instant. I have always thought that my destiny was set. I'm a firm believer that God has already numbered my days, and that He knows them all. I've been a firm believer in that since a young age. I think it was spurred on by the copy of "Footprints" that hangs in my parents house. Each morning as I got ready for school I would brush my teeth and see the copy in the mirror. I bet I have read that thing 10,000 times. Anyway, if you had asked me 5, 10, or 15 years ago what I thought my destiny was you would have gotten three very different answers. And if you ask today what I know my destiny is you might wonder if the same person had answered all four times. But what I have come to realize it isn't that my destiny has changed, it is that I am in tune with the Master's plan now.

Finally God and I are on the same page, at least about this.

My destiny is not glamorous in the traditional sense. But to me today it seems the most amazing prospect on Earth. Four months ago I had an epiphany (in the literal sense). I was exceedingly unhappy at work, and my husband had been pushing and pushing for me to just find a new job. But I just couldn't do it. Over the course of a few weeks, God started to show me why I was so unhappy. In a nutshell: I was forcing myself into a destiny that I created, instead of the one He had prepared for me.

Let me tell you, that's not an easy epiphany to accept. My whole life I had envisioned myself doing exactly what I was doing four months ago. Working, having a career, balancing my corporate awesomeness with my family. Being just like my mom. So you can imagine that it hit me like a ton of bricks to find out that wasn't my destiny at all. No, my destiny is much greater. My destiny is to devote my life to my family. To become a stay-at-home mom, to have twice as many kids as I originally had planned. To do it with no corporate distractions, and with all my heart, soul, and mind.

Surprisingly for a girl who had fully intended to make good on her dreams of corporate grandeur I took the news quite well. I think. After several weeks of resisting, and asking myself and God how my destiny could have changed so drastically so quickly I began to think about what it might be like. And one morning I woke up and knew that God was right. And for the first time in as long as I can remember I felt at peace, and happy. Not a momentary kind of happiness, but a real, all-encompassing happiness. So, I quit my job and started acclimating myself to the stay-at-home life.

So that's what this blog is really about. It's about me, learning what it is to live out a real destiny, one day at a time. I don't really know what I'm doing, or how to do it. I'm just figuring it out as I go. And I hope one day, this blog will be a tool for me to look back and see where I started, and how far I've come.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

About the Author

I find that it is customary for me to share about myself in case by some miracle other people care to read this blog.

Let me start with the super boring first 20 years of my life. I'm the youngest of two children. I always behaved, followed the rules (I really hate breaking rules), got good grades etc. Golden child might be a good descriptor, but it really was more out of inherent nature than out of effort. From a young age I dreamed of being a lawyer; Abby Carmichael to be precise. From an older age I realized the time and money that law school would cost. *Shudder. Then I discovered that I truly have a love for corporate (and personal) finance, and a gift for accounting. I just like numbers. Not math mind you. Numbers. I guess it is no surprise though, as my life friend/confidant/mentor/role model/mom has had a career in finance for over 20 years. Although I must admit that I find the basic accounting rather mundane.

So, at the ripe old age of 18 I headed off to a tiny university in the Midwest to major in Finance. I joined a sorority, one of the best decisions I ever made in college. I suffered through 4 long years of grueling classes and survived thanks to an amazing Jr./Sr. year roommate and my sorority sisters. There was a great comfort in knowing they were all suffering too. By the end of my senior year I was convinced that law school wasn't for me (there was no way I was suffering for another 3 years) and I was eager to graduate and start my glamorous career in finance.

Enter the first hints of my destiny: Ken. Here I should rewind to that young age when watching Law & Order was like watching a window into my future life. Between that time and age 22 I went on exactly ONE date. And even that was a friend in high school who decided my high school experience wouldn't be complete without dinner and a movie with a boy. I'm not sure that even really counts. Dating and boys were never really my thing. I was always more focused on other things to think boys were worth the trouble. And I wanted to save myself for marriage. And the biggest reason: I thought boys were complete idiots. That's right. Right up until I met Ken, and even after I met Ken I thought all guys were dumb.

The story of our first meeting we will have to save for another day. In hindsight it really is all of the things a fairytale introduction should be. Suffice it to say that we met in March 2008 and got hitched in October 2010. Relatively speaking it was all quite rapid for a girl who had never been on a date before. Even my brother, who has never to my knowledge commented on my life, voted we were moving too fast. At one point he told my mom to tell me to slow down. Ha. Thanks bro.

In September 2008 I found my first adult job. I must admit, it was severely lacking in the glamor I had been dreaming about. But, my parents stopped hounding me to get a job, so it's not like there were no benefits. It was good for me though. I had more work than any one person would ever want, and I attacked it every day. I was so eager to improve, do better, do more, and be the best. In July of 2010 I got promoted from my first position to a better, more 'me' position within the same company. The second position was by definition my dream job (at least at age 24). I was an analyst. Tasked with the complex mission of ferreting out sales opportunities and underused resources. I was ecstatic. But after a time I realized that the job on paper and the job in reality were not the same. I'm sure that's true with every job.

I became more and more dissatisfied with my position and I started asking myself why. Then I found the answer to that question, and it has led me here. And really, if you're reading this it has led you here as well.

So now friends, if you're out there, we will be embarking on this destiny together. Well together in a sense that is. Hold on tight.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

So Blogging...

I'm not sure even really what blogging is.

Is it a journal? If it is a journal then I should be writing to myself. In which case it's really just a physical representation of hindsight. And in that case I'm not so sure I want to record all of my failures along with my successes. I'd much just rather look back and see that I was completely perfect. Then again, if it is a journal it is most likely private. And if it is private then I can air as much dirty laundry as I please. And venting some of that may, in the end, mean a happier marriage for me and my husband. But to take that further, I hardly think something private would be intentionally posted on the internet...

So then, is it a story? Is it just a story of life? Just a non-fiction mundane depiction of all of my activities? I think it must be something more than that. I mean, no one says "Boy I just can't wait to read a mundane story". So to avoid the label of mundane it needs excitement. It needs adventure. It needs mystery. Well my life has little of those things to offer. I'm just an average girl after all. Now we're entering the world of fiction. All fiction has at least one of those elements to intrigue the reader. But personally I've never had the imagination for fiction; nor the stomach for it. I much prefer the truth, whatever it comes out to be.

I guess a blog is just that: a blog. A public record of the not-so-private daily dealings of life. So hold on. Because you're about to experience the not-so-private dealings of my life. Get out your 5-hour energy, you're going to need it. There's no above-average excitement here. Not mystery or intrigue. Just a girl - well I guess technically a woman - learning how to live her destiny.