June Observations

June Highlights:

  • We put in our air conditioners! That deserves its own bullet point.
  • Tball. I just love it. I was bummed because there were a few rainouts and Wolverine was sick for one of the games, but I have a blast watching all the little kids play. Wolverine is much more into it this year versus last year, and its fun to see him excited and into something.
  • Father’s Day. I’ll celebrate Mr. O for any reason, but I especially like to celebrate him as a father, because he is an incredible dad.
  • Wolverine got a reading award at school…
  • and even better than that…. he graduated kindergarten! He is so grown up now!
  • I’m actually keeping up with my 365 photo project. As of today, I am on day 148.

Stinky June Moments:

  • The few bad weather days in between the awesome warm and sunny days.
  • Everything happening at once. Every project I am involved in between work, school and my personal stuff is all HAPPENING RIGHT NOW. I have no clue how I am going to accomplish everything.
  • Getting excited about a possibility only to find out it is no longer possible. Sigh.

Other Mentionable Moments:

  • My friends Thien, Amy S,  Audrey, Daisy, Chris, Trueblood and Trish all celebrated birthdays. My brother and his wife celebrated a wedding anniversary, and so did my good friend’s E & C.
  • J and J are getting married tonight! And I am very excited about getting dressed up and spending time with my friends.
  • My friend Linsey and I are working hard on our business venture. It is a LOT of work, but I’m enjoying the process.

I’m looking forward to____ in July:
I’m graduating! This coming residency will be magical, I’m sure. I get to spend ten days on an island with incredible like-minded creatures. I can’t wait to be with my friends again and absorb everything possible from my last residency of graduate school. I am so excited about being a TA, giving a seminar on my third semester project- The Story Behind the Status, doing a public reading, workshopping my newest story and giving a graduation speech. I’m excited to celebrate the birthdays of so many people I love. I can’t wait for Wolverine’s party. I’ll be happy to come home from residency and jump back into my “normal” life with Mr. O and Wolverine. I’m also pretty pumped to make the grand announcement about my new business venture.

Overall Thoughts:
I liked June a lot. There was a lot of nice weather, a lot of time spent outside. It was a busy month filled with errands and birthday parties and school/work/business/life stuff, but I can’t complain about being busy. It was overwhelming, but filled with mostly good happy things. I consider myself very lucky.

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Want to know more about my experiences in 2012? Check out the previous months: January and February and March and April and May

May Observations

May Highlights:

  • I went to Augusten Burrough’s reading and book signing in Boston with the lovely Michaela.
  • Mr. O and I also went to Fenway park
  • My thesis is 100% complete. Wow. I don’t even know what to say about that.
  • I found out I’m going to be an auntie again for the 5th time!
  • One of Mr. O’s closest friends baby was born. I’m so happy for N &J!
  • And to keep the baby theme going, we found out that another one of Mr. O’s closest friends is having a baby in November!
  • I’m actually keeping up with my 365 photo project. As of today, I am on day 118.
  • Mr. O and I found a bunch of four-leaf clovers this month. Wolverine actually found his first four-leaf clover–all by himself too– although it was hacked a bit by a lawn mower. Either way, that’s pretty cool for a 5-year-old. I didn’t find my first clover until I was 24!

Stinky May Moments:

  • It was a slightly gloomy month with the amount of fog/rain/clouds we had this month.
  • This month was full of a LOT of last-minute mini revisions. Lots of lists and organization to figure out what else I needed to get together. Plus, I spent a lot of time at the post office getting things mailed out to the right people.
  • For years now, I keep forgetting to buy my parking passes for a Sox game THE WEEK BEFORE THE GAME!!!! I seem to always think I can buy them a day or two before the game. This is not the case! You must buy them one week before the game for a SIGNIFICANT discount. Otherwise you’re just going to waste money on the day of!

Other Mentionable Moments:

  • My writing group is meeting at my favorite Vietnamese/Cantonese/Cambodian restaurant this evening. Yum yum yum.
  • My mom celebrated a big birthday this month. It was also Ryan S. and Ryan G.’s birthday; they are married to two of my close girlfriends and I love them so.
  • My friends Holly and Ryan celebrated their second anniversary and it was also the sixth anniversary of my best friend’s parents’ wedding.
  • Holly also found out she was having a boy!

I’m looking forward to____ in June:
The strange thing about this section is for once I don’t have much to write about! I have a bunch of friends who have birthdays this month, so maybe there will be some get-togethers, but honestly, there is almost nothing planned! I have a wedding to attend on the 30th, and we’re taking Mr. O’s sister out for a belated birthday dinner this weekend. I do have more to do in preparation for school next month, but it looks like the rest of June will be relaxing. I expect to be watching a bunch of Tball games, playing at the park and enjoying the nice weather.

Overall Thoughts:

I think May was a really nice month. The weather is getting warmer, which I absolutely love. That being said, it was kind of gloomy and rainy for much of the month, and that was no fun. Overall though, I spent a lot of time outside– at Wolverine’s Tball games and cookouts for Mother’s Day and Memorial Day and trips to the park. I can’t believe I did so much school work and actually MAILED IN my completed, approved thesis to Fairfield. I’m done? Really?

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Want to know more about my experiences in 2012? Check out the previous months: January and February and March and April

April Observations

April Highlights:

  • Easter was fun. Wolverine woke up to a note from the Easter Bunny telling him that he hid Marvel eggs all over the apartment. So at 6:30 in the morning, there was an egg hunt! Then we spent the afternoon at my mom’s (and had another egg hunt) and the evening at Mr.O’s parent’s house. It was a nice day.
  • Revising my thesis. I’m telling you, the process of revision is such a wild experience. I’ve learned a lot about the type of grammatical mistakes I continuously make and also about my strengths. I wrote an essay in the second person for the first time this month, and it actually made its way into my thesis with almost no revisions needed. How cool is that?
  • My very good friend T had her baby . He is handsome as can be. There have been so many baby girls born the past few years in my life, so it was nice to cuddle a little boy.
  • I’m actually keeping up with my 365 photo project. As of today, I am on day 88.
  • I started a Project Life Scrapbook! I’m sooooo in love. I need to hustle and start printing the photos I have that I want in there. Yes, I’m a sucker who instead of just starting it when I got it, decided to go back to 1/1/2012 to begin the book! Sigh. There is a good chance that I’m a bit obsessed with this project since I look at the book every single day and make the most minor tweaks here and there. Oh, well… there are worst things I could be obsessed with.
  • Wolverine started Tball again this year. He is so cute in his uniform, and he gets to be on a team with his best friend from school, so he is pretty excited.

Stinky April Moments:

  • Well, it wasn’t the healthiest month, but I wasn’t too sick either. I had a few doctor’s appointments to attend, and then I had what seemed to be the stomach bug which never disappeared. I had a belly ache for a few days, it went away, and then it came back! A few headaches here and there… Things like that. But the good news is that I am healthy, and all my appointments have had great results.
  • So many work trainings that last all day. Enough said!
  • This is my thesis semester. Boo. It is a lot of work. (I’m thinking this might be here every month until I graduate).
  • Seriously though…this is my thesis semester. I had to hustle so much this month, I though it necessary to put it in two bullet points.

Other Mentionable Moments:

  • It has been two years since my friend Robert was killed in Afghanistan. This month, our friend John finished police academy and all I could think about was how proud Robert would have been of him.
  • My niece turned NINE years old this month. She came into my life when she was three. Let’s just say, I’m having a hard time with this growing older thing. I want her to stay little forever.
  • My oldest brother had a birthday and so did my friends Elizabeth, Mike and Casey.
  • Cookouts! We went to two cookouts this month and we used our own grill a few times. I love cooking on the grill.

I’m looking forward to____ in May:

  • Another one of my pregnant friends is due to deliver in May… after her, I will have to wait until July for the next baby.Boo.
  • Finishing my thesis. I have to turn in my completed thesis this coming month. There are no more revisions. No more decisions of what to put in and what to leave out. Seems surreal. I’m waiting to hear back from my mentor of any final revisions and then it will be 100% complete.

Overall Thoughts:

April was a much better month than March and February. I didn’t feel as down as I did those two months. I’m sure it helped that the weather was nicer, so we went to the park a bunch of times, took a few walks and played in the yard quite a bit. I don’t know how I managed to do as much work as I did for school (and work), but I got a lot done. I don’ t have much to say about April. It went by very fast, and since May is one of my favorite months, I’m just looking forward to it!

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Want to know more about my experiences in 2012? Check out the previous months: January and February and March

March Observations

March Highlights:

  • Vacation! Mr. O, Wolverine and I went to New Hampshire for a long weekend. I love vacations.
  • The Emerson’s came up from GA for a week, and Mr. O finally got to meet the Mr. and Mrs. I wish I could have spent some time with Toddler Emerson seeing as how it has been over a year since I’ve seen him, but I can’t complain. It was amazing to see my friends. I love them so much.
  • Actually writing new material for my thesis. Not only that, but I’m pretty excited to find new uses for old material which I wasn’t planning on including. Even if the essay doesn’t appear in its original form, paragraphs have been brought to life in new essays.
  • My eye doctor is extremely pleased with my healing after the Lasik surgery last month. I’m pretty pleased with it too.
  • My friend Doodles (not her real name) had her baby! A healthy little baby girl was born on 3/22/12.
  • I’m actually keeping up with my 365 photo project. As of today, I am on day 57.
  • I went to the Blog Better Boston Conference at the Google offices and FINALLY met my blogger friend Kate. I also met new friends like Sara and Lindsay and Germana.

Stinky March Moments:

  • My boss’s husband passed away…and her dog too. Her husband was young and healthy and loved and he died too quickly. I was incredibly moved by his death, and wish there was something I could do to change the past few months in her life. I can’t. Then her dog died. This sucks.
  • A few other acquaintances–family friends–passed away.
  • I got a vicious migraine at the beginning of the month. I haven’t had a bad one like that in quite some time, so it was very scary.
  • This is my thesis semester. Boo. It is a lot of work. (I’m thinking this might be here every month until I graduate).
  • I had to get an old filling fixed. I like my dentist, but I don’t love dental procedures. Actually, I had a whole bunch of doctor appointments. Same goes for them. I like my doctors, but I’d rather spend my time elsewhere.

Other Mentionable Moments:

  • March 12 made one year since I was hit by a drunk driver. I’ll be honest. I was happy to make it home unscathed that day. I’m proud to admit no one under the influence has driven into me this year (so far- fingers crossed.
  • My god-daughter/niece turned two years old this month.
  • My wonderful friends Ashley, Michaela, Jessica, Jim, Gail, Mr. O’s mom and three of our friend’s children also had birthdays. This month was full of birthday parties and baby showers.
  • Mr. O did my taxes for me. I mailed them in, and then they mailed me a refund! Woot Woot.
  • Wolverine built a pretty fancy Leprechaun trap. We actually thought it worked and we caught a leprechaun, but when we opened up the trap door, we realized the leprechaun was too smart for us. He somehow stole all the gold and escaped! We will get you next year, Lucky!
  • I finally got a massage that Mr. O’s family bought me as part of my birthday present (in September). That was nice.

I’m looking forward to____ in April:

  • Mr. O, Wolverine and I are going to the Museum of Science in Boston. I’ve wanted to go for a very long time now. It even found its way onto my current 101 in 1001 goals list.
  • Another one of my pregnant friends is due to deliver in April… on my brother’s birthday actually. There are a lot of birthdays coming in April.
  • I will be reviewing my first book for TLC book tours. Look for it at the end of the month.
  • Finishing my thesis. Or at least being SOOOOO CLOSE to being finished. It needs to get approved during the month of May, so I pretty much need to be 100% done editing my creative writing and my critical introduction before I turn it in for approval. I can do this (fingers crossed).

Overall Thoughts:

Like February, March was just an okay month. I felt pretty overwhelmed all month, but I survived. I am so thankful that winter is over. I love Spring and I look forward to the days getting longer and the temperature getting warmer. I’m actually so done with this month. It’s not like I hated February and March, I just didn’t enjoy them. I loved cuddling on the couch with Mr. O, building the leprechaun trap with Wolverine, going to the hospital to meet and hold (I love holding newborns!) Doodle’s new baby and the Blog Better Boston Conference. It’s not like there weren’t good moments. I’m just glad the month is finished. I’m ready for April.

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Want to know more about my year? Check out the previous months: January and February

February Observations

Can you believe February is over? I honestly cannot. I feel as if it was just New Year’s Day, but two whole months have passed. Last month I promised you that I would be recapping my months for all of 2012, so since I like to keep my promises, here is February…

February Highlights:

  • I got LASIK eye surgery, and everything went so smoothly. I can see! This experience has been incredible, and I feel so fortunate for my great vision.
  • Getting my first thesis packet back from Kim Dana Kupperman. She is an incredible mentor to work with, and I am so pumped for this semester.
  • I signed up for Statejoy’s Fierce Love Course. I know I barely have time to sleep, and this is another thing I will need to make a priority, but you know what? I think it is a great decision. It is about time I make myself a priority in life. Plus, the lovely San and I decided to be Fierce Love buddies and keep each other in check.
  • Mr. O and I ate lobsters again for Valentine’s Day, but this year we shared the meal with Wolverine and my parents.
  • I started my 365 pictures goal for my 101 in 1001 challenge.
  • My resolution for the month was to Purge! I kicked ass at that goal this month. I can’t wait to share all the pictures with you next month.

Stinky February Moments:

  • Mr. O’s car has been giving him a bit of a hard time.
  • This is my thesis semester. Boo. It is a lot of work. (I’m thinking this might be here every month).
  • I feel like I did quite a bit of laundry this month. It isn’t so much that laundry is a bad thing, the problem is that Mr. O has pointed out to me (quite fairly) that my ironing skills are so-so at best. Que sera, sera. I tried.

Other Mentionable Moments:

  • My grandmother turned 101 years old this month.
  • My wonderful friends Sarah, Monica, Jim, Jenn, my cousin Briget, Mr. O’s sister, and my best friend’s mom all celebrated their birthdays.
  • It is a Leap Year! I’m obviously unsure of what today will have in store for me, but I’m planning on making the best of it. I think Mr. O and I are going to write a note to us to be read the next leap year. That should be fun.

I’m looking forward to____ in March:

  • Mr. O, Wolverine and I will be taking a weekend away in New Hampshire.
  • Going to the Blog Better Boston Conference and meeting my lovely friend Kate (and new friends too!)
  • Kicking ass with the new writing I need to do this semester.
  • Putting effort into the Fierce Love Course.

Overall Thoughts:

February was an okay month. Everything seemed so busy. I have a lot of work and a lot of schoolwork to get done. Not sure how I am going to accomplish it all. Mr. O and I have been settling in quite well, and I love our routines and everyday life stuff. I’m worried about my friend whose husband, sister and niece are all extremely ill. I can’t wait until all my friends start having their babies! I’ve got one coming in March, one in April, another in May, one in July and one in September! I love infants. I can’t wait to hold one. Not much more to really say about February. It was a busy month. I felt a bit overwhelmed all month. It was a nice month though, not bad at all…just looking forward to March. I can’t wait until Spring is officially here.

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Want to know more about my year? Check out the previous months:
January

365 Photos Week One

So, one of my goals on my new 101 in 1001 challenge was to complete the 365 day photo challenge. The point of it is to photograph an entire year of your life… And if you know anything about me, I’m sure you know how much I love pictures. I originally wanted to start this on my anniversary as I thought that would be a great way to frame the project, but the anniversary has come and gone, and I forgot about the original goal.

But that is okay. I’m kind of glad it didn’t work out, because I think I have a much better frame now for my project. I started my 365 picture project on February 4, 2012, which was the first day I was able to see. Yes, I could see with glasses prior to the 4th, but I got laser surgery on February 3rd, and I can’t tell you how much it has changed my life so far. I won’t bore you with these photos on a daily basis, but I think it would be nice to post them weekly. So here is week one (I’m a few days late for posting this)!

Are you doing (or have you done) a 365 day challenge?

Also, I wanted to send a HUGE Happy Birthday shot out to Sarah, one of my absolute closest friends in this whole wide world. I love you so much and I hope you have an amazing birthday!

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Day 1: My eye the day after LASIK

 

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Day 2: The cutest hat I saw advertised in Real Simple (Yes, I take photos of items I like in magazines instead of ripping them out like I used to!)

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Day 3: Learning how to make meatballs…

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Day 4: Getting ready to do some baking

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Day 5: My yummy smores pops I made the night before

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Day 6: The important things in life right now. Sunglasses and eye drops

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Day 7: End of the week wind down dinner- Asian Mojito

one hundred and one

One hundred and one years is quite a long lifetime. Today is my grandmother’s- my memere’s- birthday. She is 101 today, and looks as beautiful as can be. Happy Birthday, Memere. I love you.

january observations

So last week I mentioned how I always want to do an end of the year recap, but I never seem to make time for it in January. I’m going to try to work around that for 2012 and better prepare myself. I’ve decided to end each month by writing a post which recaps the highlights (and pitfalls) that happened during the month. That way, at the end of 2012, my year will already be summed up for me.

January Highlights:

  • Mr. O and I did the Polar Bear Plunge. It was my second time and his first.
  • I was chosen by my fellow classmates to be the graduation speaker in July!
  • Officially living with Mr. O
  • Finding out that Kim Dana Kupperman would be my thesis semester mentor!
  • Mr. O and I celebrated our anniversary
  • Finding out another super duper close friend is having a baby!

Stinky January Moments:

  • I got sick right after I came back from school. Which means that I needed to take more time off of work after just being away for ten days.
  • One of my very close friends who is pregnant fell at work and needed to be admitted to the hospital for a few days. Now she is on home rest for the rest of her pregnancy. But, things seem to be okay. She is still having a lot of issues, but the longer the baby stays inside, the better things will be. Stay in, baby. It is cold out here!
  • When we moved, it was the day after a huge snowstorm, and Mr. O’s old landlord didn’t shovel the walks or the driveways. Not fun.
  • Starting my thesis semester. Boo. Now, I could have mentioned this in the highlight section, as it is exciting to even be in my final semester of graduate school, but I chose to put it in the stinky section for a few reasons. 1)It means I’m going to have to work my ass off this semester. I’m lazy. 2) It means that I am going to graduate, and as cool as it will be to have MFA, I’m going to desperately miss my writing program.
  • A person I care about found out that both her husband and sibling are very sick. I need my blogging friends to rally their positive, healing thoughts together to send good energy their way.

Other Mentionable Moments:

  • My handsome nephew turned four years old.
  • His mother- my sister-in-law- also had a birthday.
  • My mentor from last semester celebrated another year of awesomeness as well. Happy bday PK!
  • I finished my final residency in graduate school. Yes, I still have a residency in July to attend, but it will be a bit different since it will be my graduation residency. In July I’ll have to teach a seminar, give a reading of my work and graduate! It was an interesting residency since the septic broke on the island where we stay. But they were kind enough to put us up in hotels off island, so I can’t complain.

I’m looking forward to____ in February:

  • LASIK eye surgery! I won’t lie; I’m quite nervous about this one.
  • Valentine’s Day. Last year Mr. O and I had a perfect VDay. This year Wolverine will be joining us, so I’m sure it’s going to be absolutely epic.
  • Kicking ass with the new writing I need to do this semester.
  • A baby shower for one of my close friends
  • A handful of birthdays for people I love a whole lot.

a look back, a look forward

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Happy New Year Y’all!

I hope you had a safe and happy New Year’s Eve. The lovely Angela Noelle was kind enough to share these 1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
Polar Bear Plunge on 1/1/11. Broke my foot. Traveled to PA and VT. Ate pho. Got my first real grown up tree. This list could go on an on and on.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn’t really make NY resolutions. I followed a Cuban tradition of eating 12 red grapes and making 12 goals or intentions as I like to call them. I think I did really great with my intentions. I did the same tradition again this year with Mr. O. Thank you Daisy for bring that into my life.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No, actually, I don’t think so. But I do have two nieces who turned one this year, and now I have three close friends to me pregnant, and another real good friend too!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My sister-in-law’s grandfather. He was close to our family, and I do miss him when we have family gatherings. Plus, I didn’t like to see her hurt.

5. What countries did you visit?
Just the United States in 2011!

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you didn’t have in 2011?
I have everything I need. But one thing I will get in 2012 (well, unless something goes drastically wrong) is a DIPLOMA!! I’ll have my MFA 🙂

7. What dates from 2011 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
The day I first saw Mr. O, and then every day between that and the first time he told me he loved me. It was the perfect beginning to a relationship.

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?
My 3rd semester project. I also felt very proud when I was elected by my peers to be our graduation speaker. Losing a little weight (to a # I hadn’t seen on the scale in a decade) although, I haven’t checked my weight in the past few weeks, and god knows I’ve gained a few pounds.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Failure? Hmm. Nothing. If there was any time that I “failed” I definitely learned from those moments, and I can’t consider learning moments failures.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I broke my foot on 1/4/11.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Vacations? I like the iPhone, although I wish I didn’t drop my Droid in the ocean.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Mr. O. He is kind and loving.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Ha. I get appalled by people who are disrespectful. I sometimes feel sad FOR people when they act pathetically, but I’ve learned to not give any emotional response to people who don’t deserve it.

14. Where did most of your money go?
The house fund. Or: school, vacations, Christmas and birthdays

15. What did you get really excited about?
Being in a happy, healthy relationship. Surprise presents from my guy. Our vacations, especially when Wolverine came with us. Learning how to cook.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
A song I love from John Legend

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
Happier
b) thinner or fatter? 
Thinner
c) richer or poorer? 
Richer. House money safely in the bank and no credit card debt (well, after I get paid this week to finish paying the damn Christmas gifts)

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Write more.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Care about other people’s actions/thoughts. I only want to care about my own actions, and those of the people who are vital in my life.

20. How will you spend Christmas?
I spent it with Mr. O, Wolverine and both our families.

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?
Oh, yes, yes I did. And if you couldn’t tell that from reading this blog, please get your vision checked.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
I don’t like television that much, but surprisingly, I loved New Girl and XFactor.

23. What was the best book you read?
Oh goodness. I read so much for school, I honestly do not know. I think my favorite thing I read was an essay at school in a workshop. I’ll remember the name and edit the blog when I do.

24. What was your greatest musical discovery?
SAde and John Legend together in concert. YES!

25. What did you want and get?
Two fantastic guys: Mr. O and Wolverine.

26. What did you want and not get?
In 2011 I received more than I could possibly ask for.

27. What was your favorite film of 2011?
Tough one. Well, we went to the theaters to see Transformers and Hangover. Those were good.

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 26 and went out with a bunch of great friends. Mr. O, my bestie and I went to lunch and the batting cages on my actual bday.

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Buying a house is not as fun as it seems 😉

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2011?
Stop trying to look “pretty” and feel “pretty” in what you already own. I guess I’m learning to dress in my own style, and not feeling like I have to wear the same thing as everybody else? Does that make sense?

31. What kept you sane?
Having great people- especially Mr. O and Wolverine- around me.

32. What political issue stirred you the most?
Osama Bin Ladin getting killed. After you have a friend die overseas, it is tough to understand the “War” as well as you thought you once did. Then to have the #1 Most Wanted person killed, it’s kind of like…What Now? Does his death justify my friend’s? And I personally can’t celebrate easily in another person being killed, so I had mixed emotions about that in general.

33. Who did you miss?
I missed Mr. O while I was away at school. And Wolverine, especially him this time around. People talk about the quirky things their kids say and do and it really makes me wonder what he is doing, and how school is and what books he is reading at night etc. I miss Poppa (my SIL’s grandfather) around the holidays and family parties. I miss Robert a bunch. I miss my dog Khiva here and there even though it has been 4 whole years since she has passed away.

34. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
Every single thing is a choice. Everything.

35. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
In this life, we all know
Friends may come, and they may go
Through the years I know
I will stay

thoughts, but mostly questions…

Days Until 2012: viaSo there have been a bunch of food, pictures and Christmas trees on the blog in the past two weeks. It’s time for some words.

  • I think I completed my goal this year in regards to buying all my presents before my brother’s birthday (12/13). I’ve got 6 important birthdays and Christmas all within one month. It is not easy financially. I’ve got to be organized when it comes to shopping.
  • I think I mentioned that I finished my 3rd Semester Project: The Story Behind the Status. I was so excited for it to be complete, but I felt so strange the next day. Like, “What now? What do I do now that is complete?” Well, I have quite a bit that I can do now, so I’m not concerned, but it is sad to see the project completed. I know I can do more with it in the future, I just need to buckle down and finish my thesis now.
  • Thesis? Ugh. What shall I write about in my thesis? Here are a bunch of possible ideas that I have: 1) I could have written a memoir if I didn’t spend my time doing ________. 2)The process of buying a house 3)The important of integrating grapefruit, yogurt and cookies and cream chocolate into your diet. I could really use suggestions. What would you guys like to see me write about?
  • There are a lot of blog related things I need to do, like redesign this blog, or launch my new self hosted 101 in 1001 goals blog. Who wants to help me?
  • Also, does anyone have any suggestions of things I can try cooking for dinner? How about a chicken or pork recipe? I haven’t cooked with those much, so send them my way!
  • Anyone have freelance writing opportunities they want to share with me? I need to beef up my income a little, so point me in the right direction guys.
  • My anniversary with Mr. O is next month. What should I get/do for that dreamboat?
  • I love the tv show The New Girl.
  • I miss me some Gray’s Anatomy. I haven’t watched it once this season.

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christimas Tree

Days Until 2012: via I am super proud to announce that I have my very first real Christmas tree since 2006! Oh, and it’s my first tree with Mr. O and Wolverine too.

Oh… and… today is my brother’s birthday! Happy Birthday Brother!

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and so begins the birthday season…

via

First- I’d like to say Happy Birthday to my boss! Her birthday officially begins what I  consider “Birthday Season,” which happens to be the rash of birthdays from the beginning of December to the middle of January.

Second- I would like to let you folks know that you are definitely 100% going to want to come check the blog out first thing tomorrow morning (okay, fine… after you eat breakfast is good too). I’m hosting my first ever giveaway on Reinventing Erin. I did a couple giveaways/reviews on my previous blog and really enjoyed it. I’m going to be all suspenseful and not share any more details until tomorrow, but I think it will be a fancy-shmancy-fun time.

Third-Can I just take a second to say how grateful I am for Porochista Khakpour? She has been the most ultimate kick-ass mentor I could have even dreamed up. Like seriously…. my imagination isn’t cool enough to produce a better teacher. She has been super supportive and encouraging. She is totally easy going if I want to change things around or if I need another day to finish my drafts. It has been a pleasure. I looked forward to all of our phone calls and also all her responses to my work. I will truly miss working with her next semester.

Fourth- Well, there is no fourth… Today I am going to spend some good, relaxed quality time with Mr. O and Wolverine. It is time to start my Saturday the best way possible- making breakfast for my two favorite guys.

double dose of erin

Two posts in one day? After not posting for over a week. Gosh you guys are getting spoiled. Because I’m a nutjob, I’m attempting another round of NaBloPoMo this month. (Seriously, what the HELL is wrong with me?) I’m going to try to keep this focused. When I mentioned earlier that December really isn’t the most wonderful time of the year, I forgot to mention that New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are both probably in my top 5 days of the whole year (the other two being my birthday and ehhhhhh, the Fourth of July and Christmas might be tied for the final spot).

Anyway… I’m going to try to do a countdown until the 2012 on this blog. Who knows what I will post. I’m not doing anything nuts. Ideally I’d like to post things that make me happy or grateful or lessons I’ve learned or goals for myself… but you might get some complaining too. Oh the suspense!

Image originally found via Google Images via here

So today begins it all. I’ll keep it simple- My goal for this month is to actually succeed with this project. I’ve got 31 days until we reach 2012. Wish me luck.

Oh and before I finish, I want to tell you guys to head over to Erin B. Inspired’s blog. I’m being selfish by posting this, because I’d love to win her giveaway, but oh well… you guys should check it out too.

it’s the most wonderful time of the year

This post probably will have nothing to do with December being “the most wonderful time of the year,” because in all honesty, I think that’s a crock of shit. Late spring/early summer is the most wonderful time of the year.

But anyway… I really wanted to sing you a song.

WAKE UP, WAKE UP, WAKE UP….. IT’S THE FIRST OF THE MONTH. (Maybe one day I will actually post a video of me singing that…)

Yup, that was it. I typed up a whole blog post for you, and accidentally deleted the majority of it, so I decided to just keep it short and say what I meant to say:

It is the first of the month, and while it is hectic, December is a beautiful month. It is filled with birthdays of some of the most important people in my life, the holidays and another upcoming residency for school. My graduate school career is quickly coming to an end (how the HECK did that happen?), so I’m going to really try to cherish this last residency.

Here is to the month of December. I hope it brings beautiful moments into all of your lives. I have high hopes for this month. I sense the beginning of a special time in my life, and I know that no matter what happens this month (or in the next 7 months until I graduate), everything that happens is meant to happen.

Cheers.

living with intention

Last week I had a mini breakdown.

And by mini breakdown, I mean that I pretty much freaked the heck out from Thursday am to Friday night. This happened last month too, and while I very much wish I could pin it on PMS or something of the sort, I just can’t (although there was a full moon- just saying). I’m the type of person who likes to understand why things happen. I believe that there is a “reason” for everything, and it honestly makes me feel so much more comfortable and calm to know how things are related. For example, if I don’t take my vitamins or I start eating food with a lot of whey, my joints will begin to really hurt. So, when I feel like my world is crashing down, I like to understand why I feel like that.

The problem is… that there are no problems. I’m very, very fortunate to be as happy as I am in my life.

I am head over heels in love with my boyfriend and his son.  I love every single moment of our lives together, and cherish every single step we take towards our future, like buying a house with Mr.O or reading stories and bedtime kisses with Wolverine. Even more than that, I couldn’t ever thank Mr. O enough for the support he gives me in times like this. He is nonjudgemental and loving and kind. More importantly, he doesn’t make things easier for me (which drives me a bit crazy, but this might be the most important aspect). When I am sad, I want to immediate relief. I want Mr. O to play Prince Charming and have him swoop in and make everything better. But he won’t. This is what I’m grateful for. He is smart enough to understand that I need to fix my own emotions; he can support and encourage me; he can hug and kiss and hold me, but I am the only one who can change my life. This is what makes my heart flip and flop for him. He probably hurts to see me sad, but he doesn’t bandage over the sadness, he lets me experience it and move past it. He makes me feel confident enough to know he won’t leave me, and he firmly reminds me that I am absolutely not “crazy” when I claim that something is really wrong with me. This true love.

I am a student in the greatest creative writing graduate program ever. I am working with a kick ass, incredible mentor this semester and am very proud of my critical project I’ve created this semester (Side note: today is the last day to submit to The Story Behind the Status, so if you’re interested, get a move on!) I will be graduating in less than 8 months, and I’m kinda bummed about it. I wish I could get my MFA, but stay in the program forever (and not have to pay for it). Thank goodness for our Alumni Association!

I have some pretty amazing friends and family. I’m lucky to have people around me who support me and usually do not question my decisions, etc. It is nice to know you have people in your corner. I’m so glad to have friends that I can pick up with easily even if we haven’t spoken in a while. I went out last Friday night (which is what helped kick me out of my melt down) for my best friend’s birthday, and was able to spend time with a handful of other friends who mean so much to me. Plus, I had a FANTASTIC margarita.

I work for a great company in a job that I’m good at.
I changed jobs the month after I started graduate school I went from working in the HR field for 8+ years to a medical software company where I would be training clients. There was a pretty major pay increase and I love to teach, so I thought it would be perfect. There were a lot of people who didn’t think this was the best decision, and I do understand why. I needed to devote my brain to school, and by changing careers, I couldn’t give school the attention it needed. It felt like I went to school during the day (for work) and then came home and went right to school (for school). There was a LOT to learn in my company before I could start training clients, and by the time I got home, I felt mentally EXHAUSTED. The company is great, and the friends I made there are great, but it isn’t where I needed to be in my life right now.
However, I know now that going to work there was one of the best things that ever happened to me. In my time there, I completely paid off my credit card debt, and I met the man I will spend the rest of my life with.
But, I needed a change. So my “fairy godmother” (aka my current boss- who also happened to be my old HR boss) contacted me one day in May and presented a golden opportunity- a job that was the next city over from my house (meaning a daily commute of about 30-40 minutes total instead of the 3 hours daily at the medical software company), with a salary that I was very pleased with, a job that I’d be creating from the ground up and best of all, in a field where I KNEW MY STUFF. Did/do I have a lot to learn here? Absolutely! I’m actually working soley in one area of human resources that I was never involved in before, but I GET it. That is the amazing thing. I understand it all, and the things I need to learn, well I absorb them easily. It isn’t my dream job. I want to be standing in front of a college classroom challenging them to WRITE! But for now… it is exactly what I need. I feel safe and secure here. I love having my “fairy godmother” for a boss. She teaches me, pushes me, trusts me and is a really great friend too. Do things get hectic here? Every Single Day. Does it work for me right now? You betcha!

So why the meltdowns? Actually, why the multiple meltdowns? I had one last week, one in the end of September and then again a week later in the beginning of October, and umm, I think I had one in June. Why?

When I breakdown, I feel like my world is crashing around me. I know that it isn’t. I mean, I’m rational enough to understand that things are great, but then acknowledging that makes me feel even more nuts. If things are great, then what the F U C K is wrong? Am I crazy? Like legitimately, I mean that. Is something wrong with me? My thoughts are like a carousel and I obsess and I freak out and imagine all the bad things that could happen and then I imagine how I would feel if they would happen and then I think about all that is wrong with the world and then I think about how nuts I am being and then I think about how much I don’t like myself sometimes and then I just cry.

and cry…

and cry…

and do some more crying.

Mr. O made a very valuable point on Friday. When I get in freak out mode like that and cry like a nutjob, it is as if I’m a little kid who is inconsolable. You know when kids start to cry for whatever reason (they don’t want to eat their dinner, someone said something mean to them on the playground, it is bathtime, etc) and then they can’t stop crying. And the crying gets louder and the breathing gets all crazy and they get themselves to the point where they could almost throw up? Yeah, that is what happens to me. I was so interested when he said that. He is SO correct! Let me tell you one thing about Mr. O… he gets me to THINK sometimes. That is EXACTLY what I do. I get to the point where I am absolutely inconsolable, and because of this, even if I pull myself out of a crying fit, the sadness will linger for a good couple days.

Now, the freak out at the end of September was justified. I understand why I cried like a maniac. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the one in October was probably the remaining emotions from the September freak out. But I do not understand my freak outs last week and in June.

Do you think I’m being nuts writing an extremely long blog post about four crying incidents? Because if I didn’t make this clear enough, these incidents didn’t FEEL like temporary moments of sadness. They FELT like the end of my world as I knew it. Dramatic? Yes. But was that how it felt? Yes. I am extremely uncomfortable feeling like this (I’m also extremely uncomfortable with the amount of adverbs in this post). A few years ago I had a period of pretty severe depression that lasted almost a year I’d say. Obviously depression is unexplainable, and just happens. But it feels horrible and scary (actually terrifying is a better word) and unending. So, for the record, I never, ever, ever want to feel like that again, and take my mental health very seriously. These four mini breakdowns felt like that depression. And THAT is what terrifies me.

I don’t want to scare you guys. I feel remarkably better. I feel safe and normal. But I do feel cautious. Was it a mini bout of depression? I don’t know. Probably not. It was probably just an overwhelming moment. While my life is truly blessed, I do have a lot of stress. All of the blessings I noted above can be overwhelming. I’ve got deadlines for school and projects I’m behind with at work. I’ve got houses to look at and disappointments when my favorites go off the market. I’ve got friends I don’t see, things I don’t do.

It all adds up.

And then I usually break down.

Why the hell am I writing all of this? Who knows. I guess I just want to be real. I can’t do everything. I can’t be everything. I’ve got to take everything one day at a time. I just want you to know that this is who I am. I wrote a post a week or so inspired by Ashley of all the things I don’t do. I’m not Wonderwoman. To me, my life is perfect…it is everything I could have ever wanted. But that doesn’t mean I can’t get overwhelmed at times. Because I do.

I wish I could sum this up better– present you all with the key to managing life, paint a pretty picture– but I can’t. If there is anything that I have learned this whole year is that our life MUST be defined by ourselves. Am I crazy? Not by my standards. Am I happy? Yes, by my standards. Is my life where I want it to be? By my standards, you betcha. I’m still going to have tough days here and there. I won’t always understand why. But it’s a part of life I need to accept, acknowledge and experience. And once I learn how to do that…. I will feel better.

Oh, and side note. I want to thank you. My blog followers always amaze me. You guys are some of the most supportive, caring individuals. You too make my life better every day. I couldn’t do it without you.

i just don’t..

Inspired by Ashley and Becky’s posts, I decided to also share all the things I don’t do.
Ashley wrote about the mask of perfection, in the sense that, while there are so many wonderful things she has experienced or witnessed via blogging, she also see so much “perfection” on blogs that just seem too good to be true. She suggested we “declare ourselves rife with imperfection” (love that phrase) which I think is just the greatest thing we can all do. Here goes nothing…

  • While I do actually work at my 101 in 1001 list, I never update the blog. This drives me insane personally, because I take notes and take photos; all I need to do is post them. My first 101 list ended on 10/1/2011, and my second one started 10/2/11. I haven’t even posted or updated anything about the new list! I’m so behind schedule.
  • I don’t write nearly as much as a graduate student (in creative writing) should. I hate to admit it, but it is true. That is something I have been working on very hard this semester, and I should probably pat myself on the back and admit that it is slightly getting better.
  • I haven’t been on the 20SB site in forever. I love the community and what it has grown to be, but I’m neglecting it.
  • I buy birthday, holiday, new house, new baby, new job, congratulations, thank you, retirement and sympathy cards all the time. When I need one, I usually fill it out and address it. Then it sits somewhere stamp-less for way too long. I just found a card for one of my friend’s who got an awesome job in May. It is November and it was never mailed.
  • I don’t know how to cook very much. I can cook killer breakfasts: anything with eggs, pancakes, waffles, french toast, cinnamon rolls, monkey bread.  I make a mean spaghetti, great chow mein, mac and cheese, oh yeah I made a great salmon (like twice) ehhhh… I can grill stuff good too. I sear a tuna like a  pro. Basically, I’ve been learning how to cook. Mr. O has been helping me learn, and I’m excited about it.
  • I don’t spend as much time with my grandparents as I would like to. I know how important it is, and I just need to put more effort in.
  • I don’t comment on blogs like I used to. I read every single post in my reader, and I “star” so many of them so that when I have a chance I can go over and comment. But 1/2 the time I never end up doing it. 🙁
  • I don’t ever complete a NaBloPoMo. Ever. I’m on day three and going strong though, so I’ve got hope for this month.
  • I don’t clean my apartment like a normal human. I’m hardly ever there, so I tend to just let things pile up until it is a big mess and then try like hell to attack it all at once.
  • I don’t do my laundry more than once a week. In fact there is a good chance that I do my laundry every other week. How? Well, I’m fortunate to own a LOT of clothing. The only thing that stinks about this is that I usually do a LOT of loads all at once.
  • I don’t get my oil changes on time… EVER. I wait and I wait and I wait and then the guilt piles up and finally I get it done.
  • I don’t send attachments in emails. Most of the time. I’ll send an email out at work that says something like, “reference the attached email,” but then forget to attach it.
  • I don’t remember half of what I am supposed to. It is sad, but true. Lists keep me sane.
  • I don’t complete 98% of the DIY or craft projects I aim to. I still however love to shop at Michael’s and AC Moore.
  • I don’t watch Grey’s Anatomy this season. It is my favorite show, but I just can’t remember to put it on.
  • I don’t wash my hair everyday. If I did it would be stringy and gross. However. If I go more than 48 hours without washing it, it will be ridiculously greasy. It’s a lose-lose.
  • I don’t floss as often as I should. I’ve got no excuses for this one.
  • I don’t write in my diary. I like my diary, but between school, this blog and the talking I do with friends and family, there isn’t that much more to say.
  • I don’t wake up early enough for work every single morning, which in turns make me rushed and almost/sometimes late.