Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Umm...is it fall?  In July??  In the Midwest???  Well, whatever the case, I just want to say that I have loved having the AC off and the windows open.  We ate outside the other night, and I can say that I felt slightly chilly.  It was glorious.  Now all that I need is for Starbucks to get their delicious Pumpkin Spice Latte going and it'll be official.

In other news, my bathroom is finally completely finished, decorated, and clean!  It seems like it has been a long time coming, but feast your eyes on the end product.  I love it, and I have definitely been enjoying bath time without that terrible glass shower door.

The Before
The after!
This week I will be headed up to Chicago with a good friend and her daughter ti participate in the Diva Dash!  I've never done a race like this, and to be quite honest I don't think I'm prepared for it.  My running has been sporadic at best.  Hopefully I don't kill or embarrass myself in the process.  I am excited for a weekend with the girls.  Although, it will, of course, be too short.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Weekend Update!

Hello all, and happy Monday!  I tell you what, while I hate this furlough and my pocketbook is definitely hurting, I sure do enjoy my long weekends.  I only have a few more weeks before I start my student teaching and working, so I am enjoying as much time off as I can.  Those 16 weeks are going to be rough!

Since our bank account has been lightened by the 20% cut in pay (thanks, stupid sequestration), we decided to catch up on some Groupons that we had previously purchased.  Friday we had a date night at the Melting Pot.  I always thought it was silly to pay more to cook your own food, but I will admit it's pretty great for date night.  It's a long process, which gives us plenty of time to talk and reconnect through such a hectic week.  I think this is one of many "secrets" to a happy marriage, so I was glad to get a great meal for half off, thanks to Groupon.

I know this is going to make me sound like a crazy dog person, and while I would agree with you, it was a really great day.  On Saturday, Joel, me, and the dogs went to a Pug Pool Party.  It was amazing.  I can't get enough of the cute little suckers, and there were about 30 pugs there.  My boys love to swim, so they had a blast.  It was a great afternoon, and my skin got an actual tan.  Miracles do happen!

Sunday we met friends for a local diner and had a yummy brunch.  Then we had a Groupon for bowling, so we finished the afternoon at the lanes.  It was a great weekend.  Too short, of course, but really great. 

Joel and I had some great quality time together, which we need to stock up on come mid-August.  I just hope I can make it through the grueling schedule.  They really should pay student teachers something so that they don't have to work on top of learning the teaching ropes and having a ton of work associated with it.  I am basically going to have all of the duties of a teacher while also putting hours in at work.  While I am thankful I have this wonderful opportunity, it's going to be rough, to say the least.  Hopefully the military keeps him with me during most of this time so he can help with other necessary duties.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Better Late Then Never

Please forgive me, but I've been at home sick the past few days.  I finally made it in to work today, but I'm barely hanging on.

This past weekend was pretty low key, but was a blast, nonetheless.  My lovely friend K knows how to rock the summer, and she invited us over for food and karaoke.  Yes, I said it...karaoke!  Joel has had a karaoke obsession since his station in Japan, and I love to sing, even though I am terrible at it.  So even though I have a terrible voice, I thought since this update was so plain and boring, that I would love some embarrassing evidence of my night.  Before anyone wonders, yes, I was completely sober.  And yes, I am so gangsta that I rapped to Nelly.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Who am I?

How in the world is it the middle of July already?  I swear, the older I get, the more quickly time passes by.  Sometimes, I wish it would just slow down so I can savor those moments that I want to remember forever, and imprint them in my mind better.

So, tomorrow will officially mark one month until I start my practicum, which will be the last semester in my Masters Program.  Bless my boss, because he is willing to let me work around that to get some hours in so that I can still earn some semblance of an income while I am doing this.

I have such mixed emotions about my program ending.  I have to say without a doubt that I love all the experience and time I have put in with these kids who have special needs.  Ranging from Down Syndrome to Autism, being with these kids have taught me so much.  And even if I may not use my degree to teach in the near future, I believe that my program has made me a better person, and I vow to at least continue to volunteer with Special Needs Organizations in order to try and make their lives just a little better.

However...professionally, I am struggling so much.  I continue to feel down on myself, and I'm not sure how to pull myself out of the professional funk I'm in.  I loved my job working for the Army.  I felt like what I did directly impacted the warfighter, and although I am against war, I am (obviously) pro service members.  But, I always thought I'd take my Poli Sci Degree to Washington and use it to change this world for the better.  I truly believe it is one's mission in life to leave this world a little better than they found it, and there are some issues I am truly passionate about.

When I married Joel, well...this may sound like a broken record now, but I felt like my career and my aspirations were put on hold.  I know "that's what I signed up for" and I knew that was a possibility, but I didn't think it would hurt my self esteem this much.

I make a decent wage and I still work for the government.  I enjoy the people I work with, and the work I do isn't bad.  But, I don't feel like what I am doing is making an impact.  I know I am capable of more.  My boss has been incredible and this job has been very low stress, which has been a blessing since I have been doing my Masters full time as well.  But, I feel like a part of me is missing.  And I don't know what to do about it.

I don't know how to fill that void right now.  I don't know if I can fill that void as long as I'm subject to the Air Force's whims of moving often and to who knows where.  I guess I just really needed to get all of this out.  Friends here don't understand, and I don't have any kind of mentor to look up to for advice.  And Joel, bless his heart, feels terrible that I feel this way, and he doesn't need that burden, either. 

I just wish there was a crystal ball that God would hand me to show me which way to go and where this path is leading me.  I have issues with not being in control of things, and I have to say that as a military wife, there is little I can control.  Where am I going to live next year?  What am I going to do?  Will I have friends or family nearby?  Who am I?  What defines me?  Who knows... 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Portland - A Recap (Part 1)

So, even though Joel was born and raised in Portland, this was only my second trip to Oregon.  When I went the first time, it was before we were married (or even engaged) and during Christmastime, which was filled up with his family events rather than sight seeing and vacationing.  I know my in-laws would hate to hear this, but I much preferred my July experience over my December one.

I've always experienced hot, humid summers in the Midwest.  Joel kept telling me how nice it was without humidity.  Well, one point for Oregon, because it was glorious.  Every morning we ate breakfast and drank our coffee out in the backyard.  There was no sweating, no hair frizzing...just warm, pleasant weather.  It was indeed very, very nice.

But, they weren't kidding when they called Portland the hipster capital of the world.  While I embrace some of the hipster culture (al fresco dining, taking my pooches out and about, and local markets), I felt a bit out of place there.  Like I wasn't cool enough to join the popular kids.  I know how odd that sounds, but despite feeling like an outsider, for the most part the people of Portland were friendly enough and I had a great time.  Well, enough of that, right?  Picture time!

The Grand Canyon!  From the plane, of course.

Beautiful mountain.  We don't have these in the midwest!

My sweet in-laws.


These were fandomly done in some fancy schmancy neighborhood.

Happy 4th form us!

Of course, Voo-doo Doughnuts!

Me and the hubster, happy to be home.

Beautiful city views.

The infamous Powell's bookstore.
On the plane, sad ot leave.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Back from Portland

Coming back East is no joke!  We actually got back late Sunday, but I volunteered at an event Monday (that I had to be there at 6am for), so it's kind of like this is my first day back...right?  I had a great time in Portland and at the event.  While I always believe volunteering is good for the soul, I had an added bonus of meeting someone amazing an unexpected yesterday.  I'll do a full recap of everything soon, but...can you guess who this guy is???

Possible the largest (and nicest) guy you could ever meet!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

My time in Portland...so far.

Portland's been great!  Travel was pretty uneventful, minus a slight mechanical delay during our layover.  We haven't really done much in Portland, actually, (just to the Rosa Gardens), but did a nice trip out to Multnomah Falls and the Columbia River Area.  Tomorrow we plan on visiting downtown Portland, which I am really excited about.  I'll recap in greater detail later, but here are a few pictures of our day.