Thursday, January 10, 2013

Sort of Here

I don't even know when I blogged last. October 2012? I got busy, lost interest in this blog and also have been feeling more private with my life lately. In a sense, this blog has become a personal diary and anymore, I am feeling like less is more when it comes to the Internet. I've always been careful with what I say...but sometimes that holds me back from writing what I want. Truthfully, I may make this blog private and create a new one that doesn't focus so much on my personal life. Not sure but it is a thought.

So much has happened since I last wrote. Big things always seem to happen when I stop writing. Maybe that's the problem. haha

  • Early November -- My 101 year old Granny was in the hospital for a blockage in her intestine. Since she was at a hospital nearby I was able to visit her frequently. Thankfully she recovered and is doing well. Whew!
  • Presidential Election -- I was relieved to have that over with to say the least. However, it isn't the end of politics and there will always be bickering. *sigh* 
  • December -- Busy time. Granny got moved closer to us. She has had a hard time transitioning, which I don't blame her. It has been great being able to see her frequently. I'm hoping she will be able to get more involved and get comfortable living in the retirement community. 
  • GRADUATED, finally!!!!!!! On December 8th, 2012 I became a Master. Not a hooded one yet ;-) That comes in May. My Mom, Dad, Granny, my boyfriend and I had a good dinner at a favorite restaurant. I loved celebrating with all of them (wish my sister and her husband were there!) - I love small intimate celebrations. 
  •  I will say it feels great to be done but there is much uncertainty ahead. I am ready to be done with subbing... So ready for a consistent schedule, consistent pay and room of my own. So with that said, towards late spring/summer I will be looking for jobs with a passion! 
  • Christmas was very good but fast. My sister and her husband came down from WA to celebrate. They were here for about 4 days. We packed in lots of fun -- baking, going to Zoo Lights, watching Christmas movies and general laziness. I wish I could see them more often but I am grateful for the time that we have together.
  • New Years Eve.... While some might think it was absolutely boring, I had a the best day! I spent a good majority of the afternoon shopping with my lovely friend Jennifer. We went to all kinds of stores. I lusted after many items in J. Crew and Nordstroms. I was pretty good at not going too overboard (the looming thought of paying for health insurance, along with student loans... and not getting many sub days certainly keeps you from going crazy with $). Anyway, then after our shopping adventure, I spent a relaxing afternoon with Brian... then mustered the strength to drive home around 8pm so I could hang out with Mom. We stayed up until 12, of course... and we had no choice as it sounded and looked like the 4th of July around here! Awesome low-key, no drama, filled with special people type of day!
This month
My goal this month is to create some sort of routine. I really feel out of place and like I'm on a never-ending vacation. I mean, it's nice buuuuut it certainly doesn't help with the finances. I do have a couple sub jobs lined up and hopefully I will get a few more. I need to also fix my resume, write a cover letter, continue helping dad with all kinds of things, and look for jobs. Oh, I also have some clothing items I am hoping to sell through Craigslist. I need to work on that too!

We shall see what this year holds.... The past two years have had lots of very lows and very highs. I'm feeling mixed about this year already. Just one day at a time, right?

Here's to another year of ups, downs, and a whole lot in between!

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Ah... It has been two weeks since I last wrote on here. I have thought about writing several times, but at the same time just haven't felt like saying a whole lot. I've sort of been quiet online lately and I like it. Truthfully, I'm so-so on sharing my life through statuses and blog posts. I do like my privacy and also don't think that everything one thinks and does must be posted online either. I have been busy too in these past few weeks, which has been nice for a change since this subbing season is painfully slow. I've been collecting data for my action research report over the past two weeks and have what I need now in order to start writing the last few sections in my paper. It has been great being involved in my ESOL mentor's classroom; she always makes me excited about teaching and education. I wish I could team teach with her!

So what has been going on with life lately? For the most part, things have been pretty good. Since I don't feel like being overly creative right now I'm just going to make a list....

-- Happy happy news: My brother-in-law returned from deployment earlier this week. We are SO thankful to have him home safely. My sister is thoroughly enjoying having him home of course. She has been very strong through these past few months and their relationship has grown too. I can't wait to see both of them!

-- My boyfriend's medical test results came back quickly and he is fine. Thank goodness! I feel so relieved that he is healthy! So what happened over Labor Day weekend was not from anything serious. Whew.

-- Speaking of test results, I am pleased and relieved to say that my boyfriend's father does NOT have cancer in his lungs. So maybe my intuition was off that day or my feelings were for something else (gotta love the subconscious).

-- Received a post card from a soldier that I been writing to for awhile. A friend of my sister gave me his address because he was not getting much mail. Anyway, I was totally surprised when I opened my mailbox this week and found that! He told me how much he appreciated the support at home -- as it is horrible in Afghanistan  Seriously, anything we can do to help these men and women is needed. I can't imagine how strained they must be mentally and physically.

-- I am getting closer and closer to being done with this degree! Yay! December 8th is my last day; I give a presentation and then I am d-o-n-e!  (and when I say done, I mean until I can figure out the finances for the next degree..hahaha)

-- Still contemplating the SLP career. Hoping to do some observations next month.

-- I've started working out on a fairly consistent basis. My friend in AZ and I have come up with this plan to text each other after we have worked out as way to stay accountable and to not feel like we are on our own. This has been so helpful to me! Plus it is fun sharing workout ideas so it keeps my interest a lot more than if I were attempting to do this alone. My physical goals are to have more endurance and upper body strength. For now I am focusing on my arms -- love doing those workouts! I have used a few from Pinterest too. Once I get to 14 days of working out (not consecutive but just total) then I am allowing myself to buy one bottle of Julep nail polish. Monetary: yes. Motivation: it's helping!

-- Overall I have been good about not spending too much. Trying to save as much as I can right now and also because my dad's birthday is next month and Christmas is not too far away either. Everything adds up so I am trying to be more mindful of purchases.

-- Wondering what to do if subbing continues to be this slow. I'm not getting any calls and all but one sub job I am requested for is a full day, rest are half. I'm thinking of going to a temp agency to see if I could get some sort of data entry job (had a fabulous one five years ago for the summer). I really do need more income especially once I turn 26. Ah... it's only October so we will see what happens.

-- I'm happy about our Warrior football team having a 7-1 record. Unfortunately they lost last week. They have a game at home this Friday so hoping they can rally together and win!

-- Am loving that our house is all decorated for Fall! :) I put up the decorations this week and it has certainly made our home cozier. We have lights around the front window, mantel and in the kitchen window. The added light helps on the dreary days.

-- Loving Fall foods: stews and soups. Mmm... Actually, I eat soup year round so that isn't anything new but we just cook it more during this season and winter.

--Yes I still need to load a few more weeks of garden pictures. Gah, been terrible at that! I'll admit, I am feeling lazy about dealing with my pictures. I take so many that I overwhelm myself. haha Still have several more to load from summer onto Facebook. While people may enjoy seeing these pictures, I put them on here and FB primarily for myself. I like having a record of what has happened over the year(s).

-- A little part of me wants to start a fashion blog. No, not to get sponsors or have a thousand readers but as a way to improve my style... and it is fun being girly. I don't know when or if I will do this. Just a thought!

Think that is about all for now... I've covered several bases. Hope that you all are having a good Fall and October -- that or a good Spring depending on where you might be. :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

An Accomplishment

Credit: Carolyn Cochrane via her Etsy shop
This week I had the opportunity to conquer something that has given me some anxiety. While it is not a big deal to some, it was and has been to me.

On Tuesday afternoon, my boyfriend had an appointment at a hospital on the other side of the city. Since he was also getting lab work done he had to fast for 12 hours. When I met him at work he said he was feeling okay but not great and we decided that it would be best if I drove. I had known this was potentially going to happen so I had been mentally preparing myself (and yes worrying haha).

I will say I was quite nervous, to the point of feeling like my mouth was full of cotton and I had a multitude butterflies in my tummy. I had no choice though. I knew I had to do get over some of these fears/anxieties:

-- fear of driving on big freeways/merging/lane changing
-- fear of driving with a male other than my father (years ago I drove with a critical male and I absolutely  hated it)
-- not only did I have to drive to these appointments but had to sit through them as well. So also my anxiety of hospitals/medical stuff had to be challenged as well.

Yeah silly sounding I am sure, but these things have weighed me down. We all have weaknesses, right?

In regards to driving, Brian was an excellent passenger and was calming (as he is for me in general). He was able to direct me how to do each part. I also tried my best to think about it like subbing "one chunk at a time." Luckily, I was familiar with the freeways from our trips this summer (all but one) but just had not done them myself before. The traffic wasn't too bad either on both ways so that greatly helped me to breathe a little bit. I was so relieved to get to the hospital and then to get back on our side of town!

His appointments weren't too bad either thankfully and I was able to manage fine. Brian really appreciated me being there for him and so I am glad I was able to give him some peace.

As for the whole experience, I was able to get through my anxieties and found that the driving wasn't so bad after all. I felt so relieved after it was over with -- now, I feel more confident. It's great to be able to tell myself that I can do things that I feel are difficult and am capable of overcoming. This year has really been teaching me how to break through the limits I have placed on myself.

Along with all of this I feel even closer to Brian. He has been very good for me and to me. Ever since we got together he has pushed me outside of my comfort zone (in healthy ways - we are fairly like minded individuals). He's helped me to grow in positive ways. I'm stronger because of him - not because I haven't been on my own but he has made me better. I'm so blessed and honored to be with him and cherish each day we're together.

It's been a good week so far. Hope all of you are getting stronger too by one step at a time or chunk. However you prefer. ;-)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fill in the Blank Friday: Lasts

Wow October 5th! How did it get to be that already? Seriously. October. We're two months away from this year ending and potentially getting closer to a Zombie Apocalypse  ha. ha. Suppose they'll forgive my student loans? That would be awesome! Ugh yeah... Finding out the big bad # of debt was a bummer this week for sure. I've been kind of stressed this week in terms of finances (plus it did not help that it cost $261 for new lenses for my glasses. Yes. Lenses). Somehow the loans will get paid -- just am anxious to get it all zero-ed out so I can start on my next educational adventure. We'll see though. I think I just am feeling a little ADD these days and am wanting to change something (*positively*) in my life. Maybe I'm just addicted to that feeling of starting over and freshness. Kind of like getting a whole new planner and admiring its crispness. Anyhow... I am in a rambly mood... I will go onto the "Fill in the Blank Friday." I haven't done this for awhile - as Sara says, she's lost her mojo for blogging. So have I. I'm still trying to find it out "there" ;-)

Thanks Lauren for the blanks & this image!
1. The last thing I ate was   Raspberry Chobani 0% fat yogurt. SO good! Now, this is a real addiction folks! I eat it for breakfast, snack, lunch, and amazingly: dessert. Just thinking about it makes me want another. haha 

2. The last time I went to the beach was   September 1st. Unfortunately, it was not the best beach trip ever -- it would have been pretty awesome had an emergency not occurred. Oh well. Things just happen and you go on with it! 

3. My last vacation was to   Southern California for a week in August. Went to a cousin's wedding in Newport Beach/Bay (such a fun day!) and then went to Disneyland 2 days, Hollywood Tour and Universal Studios.

4.The last place I drove was   to take my dad to the doctor's office then we went over to the mall so I could get my new work pants re-hemmed. Productive morning on this beautiful Fall day!

5. The last song I listened to was ... Oh good question. I generally have the radio on when I drive but I didn't this morning with dad in the car. So last night coming home from work was the last time I listened to music. I flip between 95.5 (modern pop music) and 99.5 (Wolf/ country music). Anyhow, it was some song from one of those stations! haha

6. The last thing I watched on TV was   the Presidential Debates. I use my actual TV for Netflix 90% of the time, however. Currently Mom and I are enjoying the old show "Coach." I remember it being on TV when I was really young so it's fun to see it now. We laugh a lot!

7. The last time I said "I love you" was to Brian. :)

Happy Friday everyone! I'm looking forward to hearing a football game tonight at my old high school. Hoping for another exciting game :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Changes Ahead

As I sit here I am listening to the swaying trees and swirling leaves rustle around outside. Grateful that the house is filled with light from the sunshine. Today truly feels like Fall. 

This windy change in weather makes me a bit apprehensive, however. While I might sound crazy -- I feel these distinct days are a sign of future changes in life. There have been several times in my life where the weather has changed suddenly (typically blustery and/or stormy) and I feel it in my core: something is not going to be the same in the near future. And it does. Most notably was my breakup with my first boyfriend in 2007. Around that time there was gusty, cold, dark and gray weather. As the wind blew all around me, I felt like life was chaotic just as the weather was then. My intuition was right in knowing life wasn't going to be the same.

Unlike that time, today is not dark and dreary but it feels bittersweet. While I could be wrong (I hope that I am), my intuition is alerting me again. Why? My boyfriend's father is getting a biopsy on a lung this afternoon. I feel somewhat hopeful but yet worried all at the same time. After what we have been through this summer, I know so well how fast everything can change. It's like sand. You can hold those minuscule particles tightly in the palm of your hand, but at some point a few start to fall through the cracks of your fingers... then a few more...That sense of security/stability can be gone within a matter of weeks. What can be so close to us can be gone ever so quickly. We have so little control on what happens to us and others. With that said, my heart is a bit heavy today.

On another note of change...

Here it is: I am thinking of a new direction in the education field. Several months ago, a doctor of speech pathology gave a presentation to a class a I was in. Ever since then I have not been able to stop thinking about that profession. Of course, these thoughts come at the end of my nearly completed Master's degree in Education (which has skyrocked my debt - just found out how much I owe the 'gov munt' yesterday)... 

The truth is, I feel like I don't belong in the mainstream public education classroom. After 2+ years of subbing, I have found that the mainstream room is confining. Don't get me wrong, I do love teaching and I love children but I lack passion in both in the public system. There is a lot of good that goes on, but I also see so many areas that aren't right. I also have found that I prefer to work with specific groups of children versus a variety. I think that is what led me to getting my ESOL endorsement. I discovered how much I enjoyed helping ELLs and see a real need to advocate for them. When I did my ESOL practicum, I felt a new sense of joy and passion for teaching, which I had nearly lost. I would love to my own ELL classroom and maybe someday I will. Next year if I am lucky.

Along with my love of ELL students, I have become curious about speech. Here's a fun fact about me: I am obsessed with people's mouths. My intermediate family knows this -- and I probably gained interest in mouths due to my sister (I love her cute way of talking, she has a unique emphasis on the /s/ and /ch/ sounds). When I watch TV or meet people anywhere, I am quite observant with how they talk and produce sounds. I love the different shapes of mouths, the way teeth can be arranged, and the physical aspect of how speech is created. 

Where does all this leave me then? Well, if I do decide to go for my Master's in SLP I will have to commit to about 3 years of schooling. I have looked at two universities (one being where I am going now) and there is much work to be done. It would challenge me in all kinds of ways. However, I have a decent amount of debt to pay as it is and more schooling = more debt. 

Since I am still in the deciding phase, I am doing what I can to get information from professionals to see if it is  something I want to pursue. I contacted a SLP that I know at a school and am hoping she will allow me to observe her. So.... we shall see where all this leads me. 

A near-future goal is to get some sort of full time job (even temporary, 6 months would be great) and work hard at paying down my debt. What kind of a job, who knows. I am hoping to sub as much as possible this year but am pretty sure this year will not be as lucrative. Basically, life is TBD. As usual though, right?! 

All I know is that my heart has changed towards education and I need to be enthusiastic about what I do. I want to help kids in some way shape or form. I'm glad that my feelings there haven't changed. I just hope that whatever I do, I am happy doing it because kids need as much positive input as possible. 

So, those are the thoughts on my mind on this Fall day. A heavy heart and a mind full of thoughts. I'm going to take a cue from the sunshine and have hope.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Little Bit of Color -- Week 9

"One who plants a garden, plants happiness." --Anonymous

Catch Up: 8/6/12

These pictures were taken later in the evening because I had just come back from Spokane with Brian (we were there for his mom's memorial service that weekend). Coming home to this bunch of garden fluffiness was great! 

If you look closely you can see a mini pumpkin :)
Love the perspective of this picture and the one above. Such big leaves!

Yellow zucchini!

Pretty amazing how big everything was at the start of Week 9, huh?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Delight -- Week 8

"A garden is a delight to the eye and a solace for the soul." --Sadi

Catch Up: 7/29/12

These pictures of the garden make me laugh! I remember getting to this week and saying "Whoah!" I mean, look at all that growth!! We got a kick out of seeing my mini pumpkins take over the garden. Next time they will be planted elsewhere. haha 

Big leaves for lil pumpkins

Hip hip hooray for grape tomatoes! Grow!

This concludes the 2nd month of garden growth :)