Day to Day Life

It’s been a busy season the last few weeks. Saturday we had a family get-together, today I hosted my sister’s baby shower at work, and this weekend I have one more baby shower. Plus Sean is finishing his semester up, so he has Finals and papers. Plus my dogs pee and poop on everything. Plus, every time I get a second to relax I usually just end up falling asleep.

Work has been busy too. There’s supposed to be some changes and I’m supposed to be learning a new position soon. I’m excited for that, but just have lots of loose ends to tie up before that. And I won’t be working with my work buddy as much anymore either. I’ll be moving a whole two cubicles down from her. :'(

The parties have gone well, and I’m excited to become an auntie soon! I’m not sure when my husband and I will start thinking about kids. Probably when he’s done with school, which will be pretty soon. I also want to take a big trip and just enjoy each other for awhile. Ever since we’ve been together he’s been in school, so it’ll be nice to just be able to spend some time together getting the house how we want it and maybe taking some small trips out of town. One day I hope we’ll be on the same work schedule, but for now we’re lucky to have his job even though it means he has to work every weekend.

There’s so many things I want to be as a person. I want to be successful at my job, athletic, a successful writer, a faithful follower of Christ. I want to be clean and organized. I want to be a good cook. I want to have an influence on people. It seems like most of those things aren’t things that happen overnight, but things you work at every chance you get and it just develops as part of you after like ten years of trying to be more disciplined at it.   I make small attempts to grow in all these areas, but I could definitely make bigger attempts in most of them. Maybe tomorrow. Just kidding ;)

I’m also happy to report to anybody who doesn’t know that I’m going to be an aunt two times this year. Once next month when my sister has her baby girl. And once in November when my brother and his wife have their baby. It’ll be fun to get to see them grow up together. I just wish my brother lived closer by so I could see them more. It’ll be fun to see him as a dad though. And to spoil those kids every chance I get!

Anyways, that’s it for me. Anybody else have anything exciting going on?

I Know Why He Loves His Chicken Fried

Have you ever heard the song “Chicken Fried” by the Zac Brown Band? I used to think that song was a little silly – like how he relates military protecting our country to him enjoying the small things like his chicken fried, and a cold beer on a Friday night. Boy do I regret ever thinking that. Wow, are my eyes opened.

Tonight my husband made me a delicious dinner. Cuban sandwiches, and now I understand why the Zac Brown Band loves their chicken fried. I can now die a happy woman because this sandwich was so delicious. I’m not sure why my husband doesn’t cook more, because I tend to cook a little more out of the two of us. But, I guess when he does it’s worth it. My marriage has taken on new meaning because of my delicious dinner. Thanksgiving has been put to shame. Anyways, I hope you’re having a good Monday night. Enjoy your chicken fried!

When people encourage you to write this is what happens

So a friend was encouraging me to keep writing fiction last night. This is just a short writing exercise, but here it is:

She had her suitcase packed, she was leaving for good this time. This whole past year had been nothing but an embarrassment for her. She had been too shy, then been too rebellious. Why couldn’t she just relax and be herself? When people knew the real her they  liked her, they actually loved her. I know I did. But, I couldn’t tell her to stay. We were both in 8th grade and I obviously also couldn’t let her go, but I had to think of something.

I had seen Carol pack her bags and pretend to run away from home with Bobby in an episode of the Brady Bunch, but I didn’t think that would work with her. What could I say? What could I do?

“Why do you have to leave? If you really want a fresh start, can’t you just change schools?”

“I can’t ask my parents to move so I can switch schools, there’s no way they would go for that.”

“Well… maybe you could pray that they just decide to move on their own,” I suggested. I knew that probably wouldn’t fly that well with her, since she wasn’t into God or prayer, but it was something I believed in, so I had to give it a shot.

“That’s stupid. Why would God care if I run away or switch schools or anything else?”

“You’re right,” I said, “In fact, he probably would just want you to be miserable anyways.” Somehow my reverse psychology/sarcasm could get her thinking sometimes.

“Just give me a week to pray about it, and we can see if your parents want to move or the school spontaneously combusts or something. Can you please make it one more week? You know this week is important to me with the play coming up and all. So you’re just going to feel selfish if you end up ditching me on the biggest week in my middle school life.”

“Fine. One week. One week of me hanging out and talking to you and only you at school. And then, if nothing changes, I will take matters into my own hands.”

That week passed too quickly and too slowly all at the same time. Everyday I was looking for some miracle, something big to happen to let her stay. Not just for her, but for me too. I cared about her a lot, I’m not even sure in which way, but I knew that I would be miserable if she left. Wednesday rolled around and nothing major had happened. Before I knew it it was Thursday evening, the night of my big play. I was a little nervous but also very distracted. What would I do if nothing happened? God had to come through for me or for her in some way. She texted me that she was on her way to the play. I was rehearsing my lines one last time, when suddenly an alarm went off telling everyone to evacuate the school.

We stood in the parking lot having no idea what was going on. There was no way this was a fire drill, not with parents coming so soon to watch the play. A bomb threat maybe?

“Hey what’s going on?” she tapped my shoulder, scaring me out of my thoughts.

“I don’t know, we were just running through our lines when the alarm went off.”
She looked at the ground playing with her feet.

“Sorry for the inconvenience, everyone,” Principal Schultz said. “I was doing our annual inspection of the building, when they told me that we have termites. I asked if we could at least hold off on evacuating the school until tomorrow afternoon, but they said there was no way they could let it go on for two more days without reporting it to the city. So, unfortunately, our school is officially closed for the time being. Classes are cancelled tomorrow – we will update all of your parents as to what you will need to do as soon as we figure it out. For now, please go home.”

A wave of relief washed over me. Termites! It may not have been a spontaneous combustion, but hopefully this would be the answer I was waiting for!

I Wish Life Was Like a TV Show

I was watching Gilmore Girls this week with my husband. It was an episode where Rory’s ex-boyfriend Jess shows up to see Rory. He’s a high school drop out that she hasn’t seen in awhile, and comes to tell her that he’s written a book and is working in a small publishing company that a guy he knows started. As I watched, I let out a sigh and my husband asked what was wrong (yes I am that dramatic). I asked how he – a high school drop out and bum in the earlier episodes- wrote a book and is working in publishing. I mean, I’m an averagely motivated person. I could be more driven and focused, but I do try hard and come back to pursuing the things I want over and over again. I haven’t written a book. I don’t have a job working for a small publisher. He just rolled his eyes at me and told me it was just a TV show.

I know it’s just a show, but it’s so frustrating to see things on TV that don’t seem like a real possibility in life. Who do all these jobs go to? How do they even get there? In the movie Postgrad also starring Alexis Bleidel, she gets super frustrated because she’s worked hard in college and can’t get a job after. That was my life! That was the life of most of my friends. Unlike Alexis Bleidel, however, it didn’t end with us getting our dream jobs after a tough summer. Instead you work and work and work and life still seems like an unclear path. And this is true for, I think, the majority of people. You go through college, working hard, excited about your future and what you’re studying and then when you get out, all the structure you’ve had for the last 16 years is out the window. There’s no clear cut, do this and get an A. A lot of my friends who have the careers they worked hard for in college aren’t even happy in those careers. So, I guess I’m stumped. I don’t know how Alexis Bleidel can do it in Gilmore Girls and Postgrad. I guess it’s my own fault for not going to Chilton and Yale like Rory.

How do you feel about your job? Did school prepare you for this? Is there a career you want but have no idea how to get to?

Just sayin’ hey

It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged. Yes, I know, that’s the understatement of the year.

I don’t have anything in particular to say, but was just looking at my blog and thought I’d check in. Since the last time I blogged, I’ve gotten married and bought a house! And we got a dog named Sushi.

I guess I’m at a bit of a holding place (isn’t that what people say?) as far as pursuing all of my dreams in life goes. I took a couple classes and thought about pursuing Physical Therapy – but am at least on hold with that, but may not pick it back up. I still want to write or edit or own a bookstore one day, but I guess I just don’t know the best path (or any) to follow to do that. So, this is me attempting to write again.

i guess that’s all for now.  :)     :-P    :-/    I’d love to hear any comments or feedback on writing/editing or anything else for that matter.

Writing Exercise, Sentence Stealing

Here is the first part of a short story I started. The prompt came from Poets &

Sentence Stealing:

In Writers Recommend, author Alix Ohlin writes: “When I’m in direst need of inspiration, I do what I call ‘sentence stealing.’ I find a sentence from a writer I admire and write it down. ‘In the beginning I left messages in the street.’ Or, ‘Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.’ Then I write my own version of the sentence, focusing only on its rhythms: by which I mean, replacing a noun with a noun, a verb with a verb. What’s left is a ghostly echo of the original sentence with no relationship to its actual content. And I follow that new sentence wherever it takes me, down the road to an unfolding story.” Using Ohlin’s method, write a story of your own.

Taken from Rebecca Stead’s “When You Reach Me,”: (P.1): “So Mom got the postcard today.”

Well, we finally got the bill yesterday. It all happened one week a few months ago. I had just finished my last day of work, and it would be two weeks until I started my new job. I would also be starting school again, for the first time in years, that fall. Sean had finished his Bachelor’s degree, and he had given his two weeks notice with a month off before he started his new job. We didn’t have anything planned for that week, we just figured we would lay around – maybe take a couple of day trips. But, when his cousin offered to watch our dog, we figured we could go out of town. And with the extra money we had been saving, plus (I’m not proud to say) but the room we had on my credit card – we figured we could take an impromptu vacation.

We made a list of nearby places we could go for a couple days – spending a reasonable amount of money. Then that night, I lay awake all night. All I could think of was the amount of responsibilities we were about to encounter in our lives. We were both starting new, more time consuming jobs – really it was going to the be the beginning of his career. I would be busy practically for the next three years after I started school again. And at some point, we would probably eventually buy a house and start a family. When would we have a week to just be irresponsible and doing something crazy again?

So the next morning I threw some things together in our big suitcase. I grabbed everything from sweaters to swimsuits. There was no plan. I grabbed all of our toiletries and even our towels and sleeping bags – because I had no idea where we would be staying that night. I rolled everything up, and somehow managed to fit all of the necessities into our suitcase. I woke Sean up, telling him just to get dressed and that I had a surprise for him. While he was in the shower, I called the taxi. There was no use leaving our car parked in a garage for a week, and I wasn’t telling anybody we were leaving town – so a taxi was the best option. He got out of the shower, the taxi showed up, I grabbed our bag and out we went.

“To the airport,” I told the driver after Sean and I had both gotten in. As we rode, Sean said, “Did you get us tickets to somewhere while I was sleeping or something?”

“Not exactly.”

“You booked us a room somewhere and we are on standby for the tickets?”

“Wrong again.” My cheeks began to flush. I wasn’t sure if he would be thrilled about my crazy plan.

“Okay, so why don’t you tell me what’s going on?”

“We are going to the airport. I packed everything we could possibly need. I did the math, and have an idea in my head of about how much we can spend over the next five days. We are going to the flight attendant and going the first place they have two tickets to in the US.”

“Oh, okay. That’s all.” Sean laughed maniacally. “I thought maybe you had gone and done something crazy.”

“It’s not crazy. We have both always wanted to travel more around the United States. We have smart phones, we can book a room, or a hostel, or even a campground wherever we go. You and I both have friends and family around the country. We will be fine.”

“Okay,” Sean said sounding like he was trying not to lose it. “You take the lead on this one. It’s your plan, you make it work.”

The taxi pulled in front of the curb at the Mccarren airport. Sean grabbed our giant, heavy suitcase – I’m not even sure why he was being that gracious towards me. And we went in. I went up to the first airline I saw and got in line. Sean stood just behind me, probably hoping I would back out. My heart beat quickly, and I tried to swallow but my mouth was too dry. Where were we going to end up? Alaska? Hawaii? New York? Nebraska? What if we wound up in the middle of nowhere, with no place to stay? Just as I was about to back out, the woman at the airline desk called the next in line.

“Hello. Name please?” she asked.

“Well, here are our id’s. We actually don’t have a reservation yet.”

“Okay. I can make you a reservation, where are you trying to get to today?”

“Um… actually, we just want to fly to the first place you have two available tickets to,” I answered. My hands were shaking. I felt like a complete idiot.

“Okay,” the woman eyed me suspiciously. She probably thought we were two criminals running from the law or something.

“Let’s see. It looks like we have two available seats on the noon flight to three different places.” She paused as she focused in on the computer.

“Do we want to pick out of three places or just have her pick randomly?” I asked Sean.

He thought for a second. “Well, this is your crazy plan, so you can choose overall, but I would say that this has been crazy and spontaneous enough and that we should be able to at least pick between three places.”

Well, if I let her pick we might end up somewhere expensive or just lame. I guess it wouldn’t hurt to hear the three options and pick the best one.

“Alright, here we go. Are you ready for your choices?” she asked amused at our situations.

“Yeah, go for it.”

“Okay, we have a twelve o’clock flight to…,”she paused for effect, “Phoenix, Salt Lake City and Atlanta, Georgia.”

“Well, it looks like we are going to Atlanta, Georgia then,” I said.

“Okay. I will just need a credit or debit card for the payment.”

Keep On Keeping On… Whatever that means

So bloggees… it’s been awhile. After my last post, I decided to focus on a short story I was preparing for a writing contest. I felt good about the story, but was not one of the winners. Since then, I’ve ran a half marathon, gotten a dog, and continued to work on planning our wedding :-P.

I found the writing contest on the Poets & Writers website, and it seemed pretty competitive. The winners were all older than me, and I’m sure had more education as well. I’d like to enter a less competitive writing contest before the year is over or submit my work to a local publication, but I haven’t done much research on local publications yet. If anybody has suggestions for either.. I’m open to hearing them. I’ve done a little research looking for less competitive or local writing competitions, and didn’t have any luck.

I’ve been feeling a little discouraged about things lately – Sean & I are 4 months away from our wedding with lots still to do. It seems like the list is never-ending. No matter how much we work, or how tight we are on our budget – there’s still more to save and more to plan. I’m not really sure why I thought a year long engagement was a good idea, but I’m sort of ready to just get hitched and move onto the next part of our adventure. I’m excited to see our wedding plans come to life, and for all the fun stuff the next few months will include – but I’m just going to be very ready for my ‘event planning’ days to come to an end after that. Anybody else wish they had had a shorter or longer engagement? Why? A bigger or smaller wedding? What would you change if you could go back and do it over?

On a positive note, my fiance is one semester closer to getting his degree! It’s been stressful though trying to plan the wedding, have a full-time job, having Sean work full-time and be a full-time student. But through all the stress (and fights that come with the stress) – it’s been worth seeing Sean excel in school and begin to see his own potential. We are both probably going to end up being life-long learners – one of us will probably always be in school or at least for the next ten years, but it’s cool to see him begin to dream about what graduate school could look like. We both have big dreams for the future, I want to continue writing and would eventually like to go back to school for writing or to become a professor, and Sean (among wanting to do other things) would like to be a history professor. He works so hard (and gets way better grades than I did) and is dreaming about going to some of the best schools. I’m a little more jaded and cynical about thinking I’ll actually get into the right program for me one day or get my writing published – but I guess that’s why we go well together. I dream big, but don’t think I’ll ever make it. Sean dreams big for both of us, and then says – ok, now let’s go do it!

We’ve been working really hard. I know it’ll all pay off in the end – for the wedding, for school, for future jobs, for writing, for our future family… but sometimes I could just use a little payoff and encouragement now. I need like an advance pay-day in encouragement ;). So, that’s it for us. Sorry – no actual writing or writing example today, but hopefully soon. We are just chip-chipping away at life, and keep on keeping on. I go between wanting to savor where we are at, because I know I’ll be nostalgic for it in like 6 months already, and just wanting to get through it. Being grateful and savoring the moment is definitely I should be working on. I’ll take any advice or any comments today, I’m open to it all!