Thursday, March 22, 2012

Getting to know you, getting to know all about you...

I thought I would do a little "getting to know you" questionnaire so that you guys can get to know about me and so I can look back on this later when I'm older to see the person that I was.  I hope everyone enjoys!  Is there anything you guys want to ask me?  Let me know!  I'm an open book.

1.  What was your favorite food when you were a child?
Hands down this was spaghetti.  Pasta is still one of my favorite foods today, but there was something about my mom's pasta and garlic bread that made the whole house smell like an Italian restaurant.

2.  What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?
It's a song that I am sure no one has ever heard of.  It's called "Devil Take the Hindmost" and it is from Andrew Lloyd Webber's Love Never Dies.  I am a bit of a musical theater junkie.

3.  What is one of your favorite quotes?
"Trust, but verify."  This quote has served me well.

4.  What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity?
Indoor it would have to be reading or watching tv.  Yes, I know, I am kind of boring that way.  Sometimes I really have to motivate myself to get off of the couch.  Outside it would be swimming.  I don't know if it was because I had a pool growing up or because I grew up in Indiana far away from an ocean, but I love being in the water.  The ocean, lakes, pools...doesn't matter.  Plus, both pugs have their own life jacket and love to join in.

5. What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
Mowing the lawn.  Hate it!  Plus, Joel had to be environmentally friendly so we bought a rechargeable mower that can only do about half of the lawn before it dies.  And it takes 12 hours to recharge, which I found out about late Sunday afternoon.  My yard looks awful!  Yes, I think we are "those neighbors" now.

6.  What is your favorite form of exercise?
Probably just walking it in the fresh air.  I feel like I don't get to do that enough, but it is so nice when I do.  I also really like Zumba, which I know is just a new fad, but it's pretty fun and one helluva work out!

7.  What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?
A cool/warm fall evening when the trees have just turned colors.

8.  What’s your least favorite mode of transportation?
A bus.  All of the stops are super annoying.

9.  What is your favorite body part?
Not sure if this is my favorite on other or myself, so since it is my questionnaire, I am going to say on others.  I like one's arms.  They hug you when you need it, hold you close when something tragic has happened or you've had a bad day, or they protect you when you are scared.

10.  What sound do you love?
Rain drops.  Proves I am a spring baby, I think!  There is nothing more relaxing than a rainy afternoon.  The waves of the ocean come a close second, though.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Living the Dream

So, remember in January when I was so excited that I finally landed a job?  Looking for a job in suburbia, for lack of a better term, sucks.  Even with all of my qualifications, (hey, I think seven years working in a high stress military environment gives me some credibility) I was either way over or under qualified for everything I applied for.  I couldn't even get an intern job at the history museum and I have a freaking Bachelor's degree in History!  Boo...

Well, work has been fine.  Nothing fancy, and it only paid "ok."  But, yesterday, I got the call I have been waiting since we moved here for.  For the next, well, foreseeable future, I will be spending my days doing work for a non for profit organization that works with children that have Down Syndrome.  Yes folks, this is my dream job.  I know I am getting my Masters degree in Special Education, but I really wanted to work for an agency like this.  They hold 60-ish events each year to celebrate and support those that have DS.  I couldn't imagine a better place to work.  While I felt like I made a difference working for the army, I will now be able to see that difference that I hope to make.  To make a child laugh and smile is a gift from God, and that will be my life starting in two weeks.  I am truly blessed.

In other news, I have been back on the workout train.  Without mentioning my actual weight, I have put on way too many pounds since marrying my love.  And while he's away, I am going to work on getting that figure back.  Our local radio station is doing a weight loss challenge where the winner gets a free trip to Jamaica.  Awesome, right?  And if that's not enough motivation, they also gave away a free month long membership at one of the local gyms.  A girl that I work with, who is fastly becoming a dear friend, decided to sign up with me as a team.  It's been great having a workout buddy, and so far in the first week I am down 2.2 pounds.  Whoo hoo!

Joel is doing just fine.  I miss him like crazy, though.  He's only been gone a little over two weeks, but at least I have been keeping busy.  Between school, work, the gym, and occasional time with friends, not to mention taking care of our zoo at home, I've stayed pretty busy, which I think is key.  I've noticed two occasions where his absence is much more noticeable than other times.  When I either get up in the morning or go to bed, and when I get some news I want to celebrate.  Getting up because he normally handles the dogs (which I now do), and of course going to bed alone is never fun.  Well, Pugsley sleeps in the bed, but that's a little different.  But, it was really hard to have such exciting news and not be able to just call him and tell him about it or to go out to dinner or something to celebrate.  Those are the times that are the hardest on me.

Other than that, life is good!  The weather has been amazingly beautiful, I scored another A at school which keeps my 4.0 intact, the house has been good to me, and somehow I am keeping it all together while Joel is gone.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

These are a few of my (least) favorite things.

Ok folks.  Time to get personal here.  Since Joel has been gone, I have been a little sensitive to things that people say/think/do.  So, in an effort to make some people aware of things that they may do that maybe aren't so nice, I have compiled a small list.

1.  If the person you are talking to loves where they are from, don't proceed to tell them how much you hate said place.  I happen to love Indianapolis (where I grew up) and was so excited that they put on such a good Superbowl weekend.  They were voted one of the best Superbowl cities, and handled the event with class.  So, if I tell you how much I love and miss my home state, do not tell me how much you hate it there, how stupid it is, etc.  It is frankly a little rude.

2.  Along the same lines, don't openly bash a friend's religion.  I am Catholic.  While I do not believe everything that the church teaches (or sometimes does), do not tell me that you think Catholics are perverted, that Mass (which I find much spiritual satisfaction in) is boring, or that we are trying to impose our beliefs on everyone (i.e. the birth control controversy).  It is a fundamental right to practice our religion.  While the church does not believe in birth control, I do.  I am a birth control user, and believe that if it was God's will for me to get pregnant, then I would be.  But, I believe that the church has the right to their beliefs, and so I support them in trying to fight for those rights.  That does not make me small minded.

3.  I understand that Joel isn't gone forever or getting shot at every day.  But, that does not make this deployment easy on me.  I am missing my best friend every single day that he is gone.  I wake up alone, sleep alone, and eat dinner most nights alone.  My loneliness does not go away because someone else has it worse.  Someone else always has it worse.  By you telling me how it could be worse does not help me.  So please stop.

4.  Not everything has to be a contest.  If I say that I did something, you don't have to tell me how you did the same thing 100x better.  I am proud of my accomplishments.  I love when friends share stories, because it is great to be able to relate to someone, but you don't always have to be better than me.  I promise I'll still be your friend if you are not better than me.  But I might stop if you continue to tell me how awesome you are.

5.  Also, what is up with being fake all of a sudden?  Why tell me one thing, and then act in a completely different manner.  Just be real with me.

6.  What is up with entitlement?  That's all I really have to say about that one.  No one deserves anything that they didn't work for.

Whoo...I feel so much better!  Any pet peeves that you are dying to share?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

My Week: A Recap

Joel successfully made it to his final destination, and the deployment has officially began.  Luckily, the good people at United Airlines allowed me a gate pass to send him off.  Everything was going fine, and it seemed fitting our last "meal" together before he left was coffee at Starbucks.  Somehow, Starbucks always seems to wiggle its way into my milestones.  Everything went well until they called for his plane to board.  I'm not going to lie: I cried the ugly cry.  You know that cry, the one that leaves you making noises that don't sound human and makes your face all puffy?  Yeah, that was me at the airport.  Luckily it was pretty apparent what was going on, and no one gave me too weird of a look.  Things have gone better since then.  Joel leaves quite often to go TDY (meaning on temporary duty), so a few days seem like normal.  I think reality will hit in about a month, or when I have to mow the grass.  Whichever comes first.

St. Louis has had some crazy weather lately.  Or at least I think it has.  I remember Februaries in Indiana being bitterly cold and usually pretty snowy.  This week it was in the sixties and I walked the dogs without a jacket on.  And then there's been the tornadoes.  Those are not so fun when you sleep alone.  The sirens go off, they make the dogs bark, I wake up.  Then wash, rinse, and repeat.  While I grew up with tornadoes (my mom's house has had damage twice), it is a little different now that I own my own home and am all alone.  I walked around, and luckily there was no damage of any kind.  Let's hope those occurrences stay to a minimum.

I had another day of observations.  I swear, I love those kids already.  Each time I go to my class, I realize that kids with special needs are just kids.  They just want to be loved and believed in like any other kid.  In one of my special ed classes, we watched a documentary called "Without Pity" which basically said that these kids get enough pity.  And I think it reigns true.  These kids are teaching me not to pity them, but to love and teach them.  It only reinforces my desire to learn all I can and to love what I do.  And every time I get a spontaneous hug from one of them, which happens at least once every time, I just smile.  Things like that completely reinforce my feelings of this is what I am meant to do.  To not only love what I do, but to make a difference.  I feel very blessed because I have the opportunity to go back to school and change careers.  Sure, I hate the papers I have to write and the long evening classes, but all of it is to teach me how to be better for them.  God is good, but sometimes he is extra great.