Showing posts with label Real Life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Real Life. Show all posts

Thursday, May 16, 2013

What's Up With Me Lately?

Maybe you've noticed, I haven't been blogging as much as I used to.  Time, you know?  It's just so stinkin' limited around here.  Mostly because I work 3 jobs - 1 full time, 1 part time, & 1 bookbinding business & I have a medical resident-husband (meaning, I have a 4th job as homemaker too).  Plus, bonus, I'm going BACK to grad school.  Why?  Because I'm nuts that's why.

I just started this week, but I'm going to Penn State - World Campus.  That means it's Penn State, but online, which is going to be interesting.  I'm enrolled to get a Graduate Certificate in Statistics, & I have plans to possibly go on for a masters when that's done (but that depends on the fellowship match results etc).  The cert will take a year, and the masters would take another year on top of that if all goes according to plan... a little longer if not.  I've been saying for a long time that I should have done something with math.  I originally went to college wanting to major in accounting, but after one really bad teacher, I changed it to law.  Then after being a paralegal for 3 years discovered I don't like law at all!  Woops!  Got a masters in public administration.  Got a job at the U.

Now, both my full time job & my race timing job involve a lot of data management.  Like, that's pretty much what I do... database development & management basically.  With a little finance thrown in.  I love data!  I love numbers!  I love manipulating data.  Thus... I'm getting some education in that field everyone seems to love to hate, stats.

Anyway, so there's that, I'm back at the school thing.  Also, I just don't have that much to talk about lately.  Life is in one of those stagnant phases where we're just hangin' out.  We've decided not to really do anything with our new condo since we wont be here but a year.  We are also completely lacking in the things that I assume most people our age are consumed with - working on the house/yard &/or raising kids.  So the majority of my days look basically the same.  Side note, have you heard this?  Anyway, that doesn't leave that much to blog about on a regular basis.

I have been crocheting a lot, & I have a big project coming up to show you tomorrow.  I also know of approximately a whole classroom full of babies being born soon so I'll have some things that I'll be whipping up for them... Then hopefully there should be some fun things happening this summer that I may blog about, you know, weekend trips & such.  Plus of coarse I'll be letting you know when there is anything cool happening in my shop, so my blog posts wont be stopping completely, they just may or may not be as frequent.  I'm not gonna stress about it, you shouldn't either :-)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Confessions & Going Through a Medical Match as a Spouse

Apparently, match time for 4th year medical students is coming up.  They have submitted their rank lists and are spending a few tense weeks anxiously waiting the day when they find out where they matched for residency.  I remember this time so clearly, like it was yesterday.  I wasn't too nervous actually.  I really wanted to move, but didn't really care where to.  My husband (then fiance) did not.  He ranked #1 for us to stay here in Michigan, and he was really hoping to get his first choice.

I forgot my camera (a sign?) & thus have no pictures of match day, so you get one of med school graduation day instead
I wanted him to get his first choice too, but more for the sake of his pride than in order to actually stay.  I've always lived in Michigan.  I'm surrounded by people from other places who constantly say things like, "well where I'm from....." & I say, well, I'm from... here.  *Lame*

I always imagined that I'd move away.  If I hadn't met B I would have.  I would have either moved to a different city in the US to work for another university, or I would have moved to Saudi Arabia when I had the opportunity when KAUST opened to work there for a while.  I never thought that here was something that great.  But really, is any place?  Doesn't everyone kind of think that about the place they grew up?  Once the newness wears off of a new place it's all just the same-thing-different-day again right?  Anyway, so I was half hoping his letter would say we were staying & half hoping it'd say we were leaving.  I didn't worry too much about it though.  I just daydreamed about getting to go on an adventure & move away to a whole new city.  I looked at houses & condos online in our #2 & #3 towns.  I looked at other houses & condos in our town too because we had said we'd move from our house to someplace nicer if we stayed.  But really, the time went by fast for me.  We were planning our wedding, & I guess I just had a lot of other things going on, so I didn't stress about it too much.

So match day came, and the whole experience was pretty anti-climatic for us.  I didn't even remember to bring my camera if that tells you anything.  We matched here.  We were staying!  B was pretty happy.  I had to let it sink in.  I had to let go of the *dream* of leaving & embrace staying.  It took some time.  I eventually got excited about finding a new place to live in our town... but I couldn't find anything that we could agree on, so we stayed.  So the next time our lease ended I tried again, and was excited to find us a new place, and we stayed AGAIN.  But now finally we are out of there & moved to our nice new condo.  Hooray!

I feel like God's been teaching me a lesson of WAITING lately.  I've been feeling so envious, so much like I've fallen behind.  WAY behind.  In so many ways.  How is it that just when I get a new place that I love I start to feel like even that isn't good enough?  Two of the major things I wanted to do in it I'm now not able to do.  It all just makes me feel deflated.  Like my balloon of hope has been pricked with a needle & all my joyful air is seeping out.  Being "married to medicine" creates a different lifestyle that not many others can figure out or understand.  It's hard to shake the feeling of being constantly in transition, unable to "settle down".  So if you think everything will be settled after residency match, just know that it's not always the case...

We have another match coming up this year.  Again.  Already.  Didn't we just do this thing!?!?  I'm way more anxious about this one.  Like 100x more.  Why?  Because I want to STAY.  I love my race timing job, I don't want to leave it.  I know exactly where I want to live, where the best neighborhoods are, the best schools.  I have some great friends that I don't want to leave.  My family is near here & would possibly help with future babies.  Funny how fast things can change isn't it?  But, B wants to keep his options open.  He wants to check out lots of programs for the fellowship that he's interested in & just choose the best fit for him.  He will rank his choices, we will go wherever he wants to go.  It is what it is.

I will say that I am saving up my vacation days so that I can go to some of these cities this time around.  I didn't go to any of his interviews with him for residency, so getting to go check these places out will be a lot more fun.

So, I have to assume that whatever happens is what is supposed to happen.  I didn't want to stay here before & we did.  Things turned out wonderfully for me.  I am in a much better place now than I was at that time 2 years ago.  I have to believe that if we leave here this time that things will work out for the better for us there than they would here.  I have to remember that my husband & I are a team & this medicine thing is a big part of that.  So I guess that's my advice for myself & anyone else who is going through a match with their SO this year.  Maybe you're happy with the results, maybe not so much...  Just remember that whatever happens is happening for a reason & will turn out for the best.  God has a plan for you too, not just your medical SO.  You may not have had any say in the rank list or what the computer algorithm spits out for your new city, but God does, so put your trust in Him that He knows what He's doing with it.  That's what I've been working on doing this go around :)

I'm linking this post up to Medical Mondays!  If you're here from there, HI!!!  And welcome :)  So glad you are here!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day is the Anniversary of Our First Date

Today is the anniversary of my husband's & my very first date.  It was on Valentine's Day, 5 years ago.  He called it "Singles Awareness Day" when he asked me out.  Yes he did, I'm not kidding.

engagement pic by Pure Amour 2010

Let me back it up a bit.  Just so you know, I actually asked him out first.  Don't let anyone tell you that you shouldn't let guys know when you like them.  It worked for me, & I know for a fact he would have never asked me out otherwise.

I worked in his medical school's admissions office.  He did some volunteer stuff for our office, and would often come by to eat the candy we had out in a bowl at least a couple of times a week.  He always ate the banana laffy taffy.  (No one like banana laffy taffy, so there was always a bunch of it... grooooss!)  Anyway, I thought he was cute & developed a giant crush on him.  Pretty sure he had no idea who I was other than a random girl in the admissions office.

Our first trip together - Mackinac Island 2008

One day I decided, "aw, heck with it, I'm just gonna email him".  So I stalked him on our university directory to get his email address, and wrote out an email that basically said "I have a giant crush on you.  Here's my number.  Call me maybe?"  That's not even a joke.

I sent it off to my good friend (who was later our maid of honor in our wedding) & said, I'm about to send this, what do you think?  I waited for a response.  And waited.  I don't know how long I waited, but I got impatient & thought enough was enough.  I figured even if he had a girlfriend or didn't like me or didn't know who I was, it'd be okay because everyone likes to hear that they are liked right?  So I went ahead & pushed the send button, and then about passed out.

Boston 2008... we need to go back!

About 10 minutes later I got an email back from my friend.  It said "DON'T DO IT!!!!!!"  Opps.

I find out later, that when B received the email, he thought it was spam.  He showed it to a few of his lab-mates, and they all said, "uh... I think that's real".  Awesome.  So my email got displayed to a bunch of people I didn't even know.  How stinkin' embarrassing!

Biking the Golden Gate Bridge on our honeymoon 2011

And that's how it came to be that he asked me out for Valentines Day.  He actually said something along the lines of "What are you doing for Singles Awareness Day?  I think I'm doing this...."  I was totally confused.  Like, is he asking me out?  So I said something like, "that sounds cool..."  And from there a date was set up (YES!)

We ended up going out for Thai food, so we now always have Thai food on Valentines Day.  For all the stress sending that email caused, I think it turned out okay :)  So glad I wrote it & so glad my friend had a lousy email response time that day.  :)

Wedding pic by Pure Amour 2011
And just so you know, B does still have that email I sent him.  No I am never posting it on the web.  No, never.  Just.  No.

I linked up!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Being a Godly Wife: Honor

I recently discovered the most amazing blog that is focusing on a timely subject for me.   Jac at babEblessings has started a series about what it means to be a Godly wife.  How that looks in real life & how to get there.  Last month, she focused on faith, and this month, she is focusing on honor.

My husband & I have been married for about a year and a half.  We are currently halfway through his medical residency.  We just went through a residency match a year and a half ago, and we'll be going through another one this year.  Translation: I have little to no control over any of the big decisions for our lives right now.  This is super stressful.  How do I often deal with stress?  Cleaning, overextending myself, and being a grump towards my wonderful hubby.

Thus, thinking about honoring my husband has been flashing on my radar recently.  So when I saw this series, I knew I wanted to think about it more clearly (in a way that I could write it down).  Jac asks in her post (go read it, really!) for us to come up with three little things that we can do as ways of honoring our husbands in our everyday life.  It actually didn't take me long to come up with my three things.

The three things I can do to make my husband feel honored are:
Watching my words
Relying on him
Trusting his word

1) Watch my words - The ones I speak & the ones I think.  Finding other ways to express myself with love :)  Also making sure I check myself when I'm hanging with friends & make sure it doesn't turn into a bad-mouthing-our-husbands-thon.  This actually is not a huge problem in my groups of friends, but I want to be conscious of it nevertheless.  Just making sure not to say anything about him that I wouldn't say if he were standing there.  This past weekend I really tried to focus on "being nice" when we were moving.  I knew I was going to be stressed & I really wanted to try not to take it out on him.

2) Rely on him - Maybe it's because my husband is a medical resident & thus not always around to do things, or because I tend to be more "handy" than him, or just because I'm neurotic, or I was single too long, but I almost never think to ask my husband for help.  I basically feel personally responsible for holding our lives together in every way.  This shouldn't be the case.  I need to remember that I'm part of a team now & not a one-women-show.  That my husband can have responsibilities too & that I can rely on him to do his part.  I run around doing everything while feeling bitter that I'm the one doing everything yet not letting him do things for me.  Gah!  My idiocy reveled!  I need to count on him more.

3) Trust his word - I do trust him completely on the "big things" like that he acts & makes decisions for us out of love & wanting the best for us for the long term.  But for this I mean more of the every day kind of things.  Like when he says he'll clean the kitchen or put the laundry away or something like that.  He's trying to make things easier for me, but I tend to want things done like, yesterday, & if they aren't done according to my arbitrary timeline I'm getting up & getting whatever it was done since he didn't do it fast enough... then he is mad that I didn't let him do what he already said he was going to do.  I need to trust that he's going to do what he says he's going to do & not impose my timelines on him doing them; just let him do it on his own timeline whenever possible.

I know these are all "me" problems even though in my head I can twist them to be "him" problems.  We all have different things we need to work on in order to honor our husbands because each of us & each of our husbands are different.  How my husband feels honored is likely going to be different from how your husband feels honored.  These three things are things that might not come naturally for me that I know would make my husband feel good & honored & loved, so that's why I chose these.  Jac's are different.  Except we share the words one :) 

What are three little things you could do every day to honor your husband?


Friday, February 1, 2013

Moving is a Pain in the Rear - Here's A Few Packing Tips

Gahhh moving!  I know I've moved a lot, but moving is still tough.  One of the worst parts for me is living with the boxes all over the house while packing.  That & figuring out HOW to pack.  What should go in the box first?  What size boxes should we use for what?  Oh & packing the kitchen is always a nightmare!  Packing for this move, my mom & I both were collecting boxes from our workplaces to use for packing, so I had a lot of different sized boxes to work with.  But they came in a little at a time.  So I packed a little at a time, over the course of the last month.

At the same time as packing, I was purging, and painting furniture.  I wanted to make sure everything that we brought into the new place was ready.  Oh my gosh I have been reeeeally busy.  But I wanted to talk today about the order of packing for a big move.  We don't have kids, so if you do, you may have to make some adjustments or additions to my list, but generally, this is what I, in my moving experiences, have found to work best.

3 Weeks Out: First things first, the easy stuff.  Things that you only use once a year, or wont use for another 6+ months.  The first things I packed up were my seasonal things, and my "junk drawers" in the house.  My dry sink for example is kind of a junk drawer for us.  I keep seasonal wreaths in it, Scentsy scents, lightbulbs & the like in there.  That all got packed up right away.  I also packed up videos, books, nick knacks from all our rooms.  Things that we don't USE but are just there for looks.  In keeping with this, I also cleared things off the walls.  Took down everything on our decorative shelves, photos, paintings etc.

2.5 Weeks Out: Next came the craft room/office.  I packed up everything that I didn't KNOW I was going to use before moving.  So that pretty much meant everything except my bookbinding supplies & some yarn & crochet hooks.  Everything else went in the boxes.  I also packed up small appliances in the kitchen.  Things like our food processor, griddler, coffee grinder, & blender.  Everything that we don't use every day, and could survive a couple of weeks without... the coffee maker stayed out, obviously.  Can not survive without that...

2 Weeks Out: I moved into the bathroom & did the same thing.  Packing up everything that we don't use every day.  I went a couple of weeks without doing my nails, because that was all packed up.  No facial masks for a couple weeks.  I packed up my hair straighteners & curling irons & just kept out my blow drier.

1.5 Weeks Out: I hit the linen closet.  Packing up all our bedding that wasn't being used.  All the towels that weren't being used. Blankets & board games which we kept in there too.  We also took down our "pantry" & started going through food we'd eat & not eat in the coming week.  I packed up some baking supplies that I wasn't going to use & things like spices & some cooking utensils.

Weekend Before: We worked on the garage this past weekend.  Our garage leaks,  like water seeps in under the walls.  So the things we put in there to store 4 years ago are all pretty well ruined... we just never got around to taking it all to the dump a couple of miles away.  We also had some things in the house that needed to go.  A few trips to Salvation Army, and $80 spent at the dump later, we have a pretty cleaned out garage & spare room & I feel so much better about life...HUGE weight lifted off my shoulders!

Last Week Before Move:  By that time, it was getting to be crunch time.  You know, when you have to start getting ruthless. Because we're crazy, we started moving everything into the living room/dining room, which is where the front door is.  Boxes & furniture & literally everything has been being piled into the living room.  We took apart furniture, like our sectional couch & our bed frame.  We boxed up food from the kitchen that wasn't on the menu for this week.  I did as much laundry as possible.  It's been busy!

Now, all we have out & not packed away is things that we are going to be using in the next 24 hours.  Everything else is packed... even that coffee maker, we'll grab some from Biggby Coffee in the morning.  Wish us luck on our big move!

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Big News! We're Moving! Woot!

Ohmygosh Ohmygosh Ohmygosh!  We are moving!  DoyouunderstandhowexcitedIamaboutthis!?

Mmmmm excited~

The neighborhood we've been living in for the past 4 years has been going through some changes, and I finally got hubby to say that we need to move.  Hunting for a rental in January is not very fun folks.  Especially when you want to get out of a rental-heavy college town & move to a beautiful, but mostly owner-occupied community.

We looked at three houses in the town that I really really wanted to live in, but they were all too small & kind of poorly laid out.  Technically, the square footage was more than we have now, but the spaces just wouldn't work for us.  So then we looked at six condos in the town just south of that town, and we found our keeper!

An example of the condos

We applied, and got it!  I'm pretty pumped!  The condo has 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a library.  The kitchen is much bigger & prettier than we have now as well.  It also has a usable garage & is in a great little community.  Plus it's close to our work, maybe a 15-20 min drive, and it's close to my above mentioned favorite town ever, maybe a 10 min drive away. It's really a good central location.

I was going to try to wait to tell you all until the move happened, but I just couldn't wait... too excited!  We still have some time 'till we actually go, but we'll start packing this weekend because packing sucks & takes forever.  I'll give you a tour after we get there.  Woot!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

8 Ways to Keep Warm When it's Freezing Outside

I don't know about you, but I live in the frozen tundra that is Michigan.  It's cold here right now.  However, my husband & some of my friends tend to call me an Eskimo because I don't like to turn the heat up very high.  I've said this before, but I just picture dollars flying out the windows whenever I hear the heater kick on.  So, I'm quite educated on ways to keep warm in the wintertime indoors.  I figure, it's winter, you're SUPPOSED to be a little cold.  You're supposed to have to snuggle up & drink hot coco & such right?  Yea.  So here are 8 ways to keep warm in the wintertime.

1) Put on a sweater! This is obvious.  I am of the opinion that if you're able to walk around your house in a t-shirt in the middle of winter, you need to turn the heat down.  True story, put some clothes on.  Here's a cute option.

Target Cardigan

2) Take a bath, or a shower.  There was a winter maybe 6 or 7 years ago in which my heat was broken for about a month.  It was see-your-breath-indoors cold.  I took a TON of hot showers & baths that winter.

3) Invest in a really warm comforter, or an electric blanket.  I tend to be really warm at night, & I don't like to be hot, so we turn our heat WAY down at night.  But we do have a toasty warm comforter (from Ikea- they are not lying when they say that a comforter is warm!) and it works wonders.  We also use flannel sheets.  These aren't for everyone, but they work for us.  Electric blankets are a great option as well.

Mysa Stra warmth rate 5 from Ikea

4) Make some slippers, or buy some.  I made some crocheted slipper socks that I wear over my regular socks at home.  I also have an old pair of Ugg slippers that have held up for years.

5) Heat up a hot water bottle.  I really want one of these.  They are cute!  I'd probably stick it down my shirt & hold it to my chest, not gonna lie.  Plus then I could use a cute water bottle cover like this one!


6)  After you do some baking, let the oven cool down with the oven door open.  This may be getting into crazy lady tips, but I totally do this.  It does help heat the house up for a little while, but we have a small house.  The oven needs to cool down anyway, might as well let it leak it's hot air into the house.

7) Get some fuzzy blankets.  We have this one from Bed Bath & Beyond & LOVE it.  Unfortunately, my dog loves it too... he thinks it's his.  Anyway, we're always under a blanket at home in the winter.  These ones are so fuzzy & soft to touch, we want to be under it anyway!

From Bed Bath & Beyond

8) Get some fingerless gloves.  I got some from Target for super cheep, and I made myself a couple of pair too.  These are great for wearing indoors.  While you're at it, wear scarfs too.  It's amazing how much a scarf will warm you up!  And bonus, they are actually really fashionable right now.

Fingerless Gloves by Me!

Do you have any other ideas of ways to keep warm inside in the winter?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Best Things About 2012

Last year, I did a post in which I talked about the 6 best things that had happened to me that year.  I figured I'd come up with a list of bests from this year too.  This year's list is quite a bit different than last year's though.  There haven't been as many big moments, but many more smaller, great moments.  That's been the result of:

1) Brendan finished intern year!  In July, he started his second year of residency, which has been quite a bit better than the first.  We haven't had nearly as many months in which we haven't had any days off together.  Which means that we get to do things together sometimes which is a nice change. Now, he's half-way done with residency, and we'll be figuring out where we're going (or staying) for fellowship by the end of 2013.

2) We went to St. Thomas!  This was our first tropical vacation together.  We stayed at a great all inclusive & had fun with friends & family for one of B's friend's wedding.  It was a very relaxing stay... can't wait for our next tropical vacation... someday...

3) I started my bookbinding business!  Starting my little etsy shop has been really fun & quite the learning experience.  I'm glad that I decided to take the leap, using money from my part time race timing job to start up the business after I had paid off my student loan.  I feel like I've been able to start it up in a fiscally responsible way, which makes me feel good about it.

Photo from The Mitten Wife (Meredith) also at Meredith Allyn Photography

4) I met some new friends!  In a round about way, through this blog kinda, I met a great group of girls, who are all wives of residents in our town.  I'm so happy to have met all of these girls who are going through a lot of the same things as we are.  It's nice to have others around who understand when you just need to complain about residency being crappy without being told "it'll pay off" someday.  We also understand each other's sometimes crazy schedules & random ability or inability to hang out at awkward times.  It's amazing how much it really does help having friends who understand & are going through the same things.

I'm not sure what kinds of great things 2013 has in store for us, but I'm hoping that it is just as nice as 2012 was.  Here's to a happy new year :)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve Day

Oh my gosh I've been so busy this past week!  I don't think I've ever procrastinated this much with Christmas before.  I literally bought most of the gifts I'm giving over this past weekend.  I haven't made any Christmas cookies except for the bars that I brought to a cookie exchange with girlfriends and some that I made for the dogs (Mojo & my parent's dog, Bailey) as gifts, but those don't count because they are mostly made of flour & peanut butter... no sugar = no human cookie.

We purchased our tree a little over a week ago.  It's a lovely Douglas Fir this year.  Last year we got a Blue Spruce.  I like the Fir better.  It smells amazing!  I'm sitting right next to it as I type & breathing in it's wonderful scent.

I've been wanting to get a family picture with the tree, but we quite literally haven't had the time.  We'll get one eventually, maybe around New Year's.  Brendan's Dad is coming to town so maybe we'll have him take one of us so that we don't have to mess with the camera timer :)

You probably didn't see it, but I have included this little ornament on our tree this year, it's up near the very top.

That is a cut from the trunk of our first tree, last year.  I'm hoping to take cuts from our trees every year.  I am planning on buying some number stamps, so that I can stamp the year on each one.  Obviously, we got our tree off a lot, rather than cutting down our own.  That's why there's the hole in the middle, they drill holes like that in order to stand the trees up on their stands in the lots.  I would like to someday go cut down our own tree, but at least I know our trees are harvested  locally still, I like to support that.  Ours come from a little family operation.

Once again this year, hubby has to work.  He's on intensive care too, so that means long crazy days for him, and even a "call" night later this week.  Which means he's there all day.... AND all night... and will come home the next day.  Everyone in his program gets either a 5 day break for Christmas or a 5 day break for New Years.  You'd better believe I'm not thrilled he got the shaft both years so far with getting New Years.  Next year he'd better get Christmas...

So I'll be hanging out with my extended family for the holiday.  We'll put off Christmas dinner tomorrow in hopes that he'll get off work in time to make it for dinner.  My little brother is in town from Arizona, so we are super happy to have him here to join us, but I'm still bummed my husband will be unavailable.  We'll have our own "Christmas morning" later this week, probably the 28th.  Such is the life of a resident's wife... I'm sure we'll be celebrating holidays on off days forever.

I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas!  I will be working on eating tons of cookies that others have made since we have none in our house, and drinking wine & hanging with the little brother.  I will post again later this week with some fun gifts that I made that I can't quite share yet since I don't want the recipients to know about them!  I'll leave you with this...  Just a little reminder what Christmas is really about... that Jesus was BORN to us specifically so that he could die FOR us.

One last note, I'll be having an after-Christmas sale on Wednesday in my handbound book shop!  Use code DAYAFTERCHRISTMAS12 to get 15% off your purchase on December 26th only!
The Life of the Wife

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sometimes, a Vacation is in Order

As I told you guys yesterday, my husband & I just returned from vacation.  From mid-week last week through mid-week this week, we've been hanging out in St. Thomas at the all inclusive resort, Sugar Bay.

It. Was. Lovely.  And needed.  Sometimes life can get so stressful when there's one resident in the family & one girl with 3 jobs.  At times I can feel so jaded & life start to feel stagnant.  Does anyone else start to feel this way?  Day after day of working & keeping up a house & it seems like nothing ever really changes & you're just working for nothing?  When I start to feel like this, I know it's time for a vacation.

I came from a family who took regular vacations.  We went camping for a week every single year when I was growing up.  We also took bigger vacations including cruises, and trips to Arizona to visit grandparents, and trips to Disney & Chicago & such.  I was so lucky!  My parents always said that you work so that you can go on vacation.  Pretty true that is :)

So while we wont be doing big trips like this one every year, I do think it's important to take regular time-outs from everyday life to take vacations.  Even smaller ones like the ones we've taken to Traverse City can help.  I don't really know for certain what it is, but going away helps to free your mind from all of the repetitive days & thoughts that go along with them.  All the worries that you get into a rut of worrying go away when you're on vacation.  Then, at least for me, most of the time, you feel better when you go back to work.  More ready to work hard, more ready to get things done & make the most of your time in the office.

So now I'm back, I'm renewed, & I'm ready to get down to business... which is good, because I have a lot of work ahead of me!  The holidays are coming up, which I'm hoping will be a big time for my shop. (Psst!  If you haven't seen them yet, I announced my buy-by dates in order to have your purchase from my shop arrive before Christmas!  Check them out here)  I also have my first two craft fairs coming up.  One the Saturday after Thanksgiving

Flint Handmade Holiday Craft Market

And one two weeks after that


So there's still SO much to do for those.  I'm also hoping to bring you guys some more crafts & holiday related posts in the next couple of months, which I haven't done as much lately since I've been focusing much of my craft time on working races & working on my books.  There are also a few small changes happening in my full time job, so I have some work ahead of me with that as well.

So much work & hope for good things on the horizon!  I'm totally recharged though & ready to share with you all!  I hope you'll stick around to join me ;)

Check out my facebook page today, I have a question for you about vacations... it's a question some friends were talking about while we were in St. Thomas....

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Me Myself & I Link Party

Here we go!  This is my first time linking up to this link party, but it looked like such fun that I wanted to tag along! 

So here we go!

1)  When you're feeling down, what do you do to pick yourself up?

Sometimes I'll clean, being in a clean space is very calming for me because then there's not "work" staring me in the face that needs to be done.  I also will do something crafty, go for ice cream, bake something, or watch a funny movie.

2) If you had to live in a different time period, which would you prefer?

I think that I'd like growing up in the 40s or so?  It seems like a dreamy time...

From here

3) What's the most creative Halloween costume you've ever worn?

Oh my gosh I don't think I've ever had a creative one.  They've always been lame.  However, one of my roommates in college was "hot" once.  It was hilarious.  We found this red unitard thing at a store, it was actually kind of awful looking & she tried it on just to be funny.  When she came out of the dressing room I was like "oh that's hot".  Then somehow we decided that she should wear it for Halloween & be hot.  See how funny this is?  Every time someone would ask her what she was she'd say, "I'm hot!"   I wish I had pictures...

4) Five weird things we wouldn't know about you without being told

* I'm horrible (really really bad) at speaking in front of groups
* I have a BS & an MPA degree
* My baby-fine hair never grew up...
* I've run 3 marathons & a whole bunch of halfs
* I have 3 jobs currently

5) What would you tell your 16 year old self

Don't expect a college degree to be the "golden ticket" that everyone makes it out to be.  It's not.  Not by far.  Also think long & hard about what you want to do when you're done & the consequences of those decisions.  (aka, business, engineering or nursing would be better choices than law & public administration if "getting a job" is what you're going for.  Oops)

This was kind of fun!  Want to join?  Answer the questions then head over here to link up!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Why it's Great to be a Morning Person

Maybe you noticed in this post, I get up about an hour & a half before I have to leave for work.  I'm usually all alone during that time, & it really only takes me about 25 min or so to get ready for work, so about an hour of that time I actually could be sleeping if I really wanted to.

But, I have discovered I actually LIKE getting  up early.  I like that quiet time in the morning to myself.  It's one of my most productive times of the day.  I anticipate that I will do this my whole life.  Once we have little ones it might even become more important for me to get up early & have a little me time.  I'm not a late-nighter, I'm an early-morning gal.

At the bean in Chicago in the early morning.  Ever seen it with no one else around?  That's me under there!

What is it about the morning that I love so much?  I love the quiet, the sun rising, the hot coffee to sit & sip.  I love watching the local news while I sit in the morning.  I love feeling a sense of accomplishment, getting many things done in the early morning before many people are even up.

When I get up early, the day seems to last longer for me.  I know it's not really true, but when you've been up for 6.5 hours by the time noon rolls around (rather than having been up only 2 let's say if I got up at 10) the day just seems longer, even though I might go to bed earlier than that person that got up at 10.  I'm just more productive in the morning.  If I stay up late, it's probably just that I'm watching a movie or something.  Not likely that I'm being productive.

I think the thing that I love the most about morning is that there is so much possibility in the morning for that day.  The knowledge that I can make that day be however I want.  It's a great time for me to get moving & get things done that I want to get done that day so that I don't have to worry about it later.  As you know, I'm a do it now kind of person.  I don't like having "things to do" hanging over my head.  It makes me stressed & uncomfortable.

New Jotter Available in shop.  Done entirely in the mornings!

I do a variety of things in the early morning.  Sometimes I workout, doing a Pure Barre DVD or going for a short run outside.  Sometimes I write a blog post (like today!) or read some blogs that were posted the day before.  Sometimes I work on some books for my etsy shop.  Sometimes I'll get dinner going, throwing something in the crock pot.  Sometimes I'll clean or do laundry.  Some days I do my Bible reading in the morning.  I always have the news on in the background, but I'm never just sitting in front of the tv in the morning.  I've always got something to do.  There really isn't that much time in the day, I have to use what I have in order to be productive & get my day off to a good start!

I'm not saying that everyone should be a morning person.  I totally get it that a lot of people aren't.  I'm not a night person, but many people are.  It is very rare that you'll see me up 'till 2am.  Even midnight.  I'm usually in bed between 10 & 11.  It works for me.  I'm not the girl who will stay up late working.  I'm the girl that will get up early instead.  And it's true that getting up early isn't always easy.  I hit my snooze button sometimes too.  But I know that getting up early is what works for me, so I get out of bed & shower & by the time I get out of the shower, I'm good to go!

If that doesn't work for you, that's ok.  I think that everyone kinda knows their most productive time of the day.  If you don't know it, you really should find it.  And take advantage!  Use that time to do your best work!  If it's your lunch break, go ahead & write your blog post at lunch time.  If it's late at night, arrange your schedule so that you can stay up late & use that time wisely.  If you can get your productive time by yourself, you'll find yourself getting so much more done in your day just by using that hour or two to just do it!

Are you a morning person or a night person?  What's your most productive time of day & how do you make sure you get to use that time to your best advantage?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Day in the Life... A Peek at my Day - Yesterday!

I sometimes wonder about what other people do with their time.  Kinda like how I wonder how people spend their money.  Like how I wonder how people raise kids.  There are times when I'm sitting around doing nothing & thinking, do other people do this?  This sitting in front of the tv for 2 hours?  This taking a nap on the couch stuff.  It's probably not possible with kids though huh?

Not to say that's what I do with most of my time.  Most of my time is spent being crazy busy.  You may know I have three jobs.  One full time, one part time, and one for myself.  Maybe you wonder how I juggle them?  I thought that I'd give you a little "day in the life" post.  I've seen other bloggers do them periodically & they are kind of fun.  So I thought I'd whip one up for you.  So no pictures today, just information!  This was my day yesterday, Monday, August 13th.

5:35am - Wake up
5:45am - Out of bed, shower
5:55am - Turn on the news, get to work on some books for the shop
7:00am - Realize it's 7, run around to get ready for work & eat breakfast
7:20am - Leave for work
7:45am - Park, walk 3/4 mile to the office
8:00am - Arrive, work day begins!
11:30am - Lunch time.  Eat at Panera, bring along a library book for a little brain break
12:30pm - Return to the office
2:00pm - Work meeting
4:50pm - Hurriedly change in the office bathroom
5:00pm - Leave work!  Walk 1/2 mile to the start of a 5K race we're timing
5:10pm - Arrive at start/finish.  Help set up & register participants.  Make sure equipment is running properly
6:50pm - Race begins
8:00pm - Race ends, pack up!  Eat some of the post-race food-stuffs
8:30pm - Outta there!  Head home
8:45pm - Arrive at home
9:00pm - Cleaning time... Clean the bedroom.  Clean up the kitchen. Throw in some laundry.
9:45pm - Collapse onto couch. Check email
10:15pm - Go to bed

Wow that was a pretty busy day.  This day was a little exceptional because of the race after work, which only happens a few times a year, but usually during that time I'm at home making dinner, cleaning up after dinner, and working on Etsy stuff or blog stuff or cleaning the house.  In the mornings sometimes I'm writing a blog post (like this morning, it's Tuesday morning 6:15am as I type) sometimes I'm cleaning, sometimes I'm working on a journal for the shop.  I feel pretty productive in the mornings, so while I could skip all that & sleep in longer, I feel like I'd be missing out on some crucial time for me.

I am pretty busy.  I have to really plan out my time for certain things.  For example, our house is being inspected on Thursday.  Our town requires rentals to be inspected every 3 years.  Because of this, I have a schedule written out for hubby & I to get all of the rooms in our house super clean by Thursday morning... plus the yard work done.  I want to make sure that we look like the good renters we are!  I do a ton for this house, even though sometimes it's not my favorite place to be.  Having a clean place for them to inspect without a lot of clutter should be helpful to them as well so that they are able to see everything they need to without having to move our junk around.  I'll let you know what happens with the inspection next week!! :-)

So how do you juggle your time?  Are you a list maker like me?  How do you do it with kids!?!?  If you've done a "day in the life" post recently link it up in the comments so that I can go check it out!  I'm always curious about these things.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Getting Over It: "Having a Baby will Ruin Your Life"

I'm apparently having some kind of midlife crisis.  (A 1/3 life crisis?)  Maybe it comes with turning 30.  Plus the realization that so many people that I know, that I grew up with or who I'm friends with or used to be friends with, are having babies... or did so a long time ago & their babies are no longer babies or toddlers & are actual children or even pre-teens.  How the heck did this happen!?

Growing up, it was drilled into my head.  Sex is bad.  Sex = babies & a baby will RUIN YOUR LIFE!  Life will = up in smoke.  Babies are expensive.  You can not afford it.  Babies cry all day & all night.  You don't sleep at all.  They take over everything.  Your life must revolve around them.  They are needy.  They get sick.  They ruin your things & your clothes & your body.  You will never again have a moment alone.  You will not be able to do anything you want to anymore.  Do not get pregnant!  Your life will be over.

Pottery Barn Kids

Put that paragraph on repeat for about 10 years or so.  It's no wonder babies completely & totally freak me out.  Children too, I have no idea how to talk to a child.  I look at them awkwardly & they look at me, then turn their attention to my much more interesting husband... the pediatric resident who hangs out with kids all day.  I've always wanted kids.  I still do.  But I still kinda feel too young.  Would people look at me funny as I walk around town with a giant belly?  Would they ask if it was an accident?  Would it ruin my life?  Plus, babies turn into teenagers.  I pass teens in the mall & think about how they used to be cute babies & now they're.... awkward TEENS!  Eack...


At what age are you supposed to forget about the ruin your life bit & suddenly be thrust into the babies are totally awesome camp?  I think I'm getting there, just more slowly than others.  I still think that it will be all of those things I said above except for the ruin your life bit.  Expensive.  Crying.  No sleep.  Taken over.  Needy.  Sick.  Ruined clothes, body.  One of our friends who recently had a kid said the other day that it's "so much harder" than he thought it'd be.  I don't know, I think it'll be pretty borderline impossible, so if it's harder than I think it's going to be, I don't know how I'll survive.

But then, maybe it's like residency.  Everyone talks about how awful it is.  How you'll never see your spouse.  How they are so absorbed in their own hospital related lives.  And when you go through it, it's all kinda true, but it's not really as bad as you think it's going to be in some ways... and in other ways it's worse.  You just can't really explain how it is to others, so you say all those same things that you were told about how it is, even though it's really kinda something different.  There's just no way to REALLY explain it, so you explain the only way you can.  So maybe it's like that.  What everyone says is kinda true, but mostly they just can't think of any other way to explain it to someone who hasn't experienced it yet.  And so, it's hard, & it is what they say, but not really, and it's not really the same as it's all made out to be.

That's kinda what I'm thinking might be the case.  It's all the hard things they say, but it's gotta be awesome too, which is why you are able to do it even though it's hard.  I'm coming around.  Coming around to the place where I can think about thinking about having a baby.  Coming around to peeing on a stick with hope & not fear.  Coming around to becoming pregnant & going to tell my parents with joy rather than with dread.  When I'm asked when we'll have a baby, I now just say "not today" rather than giving the asker a look that says "you must be joking" while saying "not for a long long time".

It's more of a "someday fairly soon I think, maybe" kinda thing now... but still... not today.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What I Want & An Argument Against the "Back-up Plan"

My post the other day about jealousy, the difference between wants & needs, and priorities got me thinking.  Then I read part of Lisa from Marketing Creativity Success Series which asked me what are the things that I most want.  She asks for a list of the things you most want for each category of having, being & doing.  She asks for 10 in each, but I only got 8 really good ones.  I thought I'd share what I came up with.

I most want to HAVE:
An amazing relationship with my husband & family (& dog!)
A house with a yard that's mine & that I'm proud of
Satisfaction with my career/job
Enough money to feel comfortable
A close relationship with God
A close relationship with friends
A business I can be proud of

I most want to BE:
Loving & forgiving
A good wife
A good daughter
A good mother
A good business person
A good friend
Someone others can look up to

I most want to DO:
Go on a vacation every year
Build a great creative business
Continue my part time job race timing
Move out of the house & town I'm in now
Have babies! :)
Possibly homeschool??? (Not sure if this is realistic or not, much research needed)
Learn how to market my business well
Work from home (+ races on weekends)

In church last weekend the talk was on commitment.  About how in our culture, there's not much of it anymore.  Maybe that's true.  Sometimes when we commit to something, we really do need to follow through to the end.  Sometimes we don't think the end will take as long to come as it does, or sometimes we think it'll be easier to get there than it is.  I want to be committed.  I want to be committed to the things that I enjoy & I prioritize & are BEST for my family.  I want to be a giving person, but not too giving to the point of detriment to myself.

One of the things that was talked about regarding commitment was that we usually have a "back up plan" when we have a big idea that we're not sure if it's going to work out or not.  And almost every time we have a back up plan, we end up using it, because the urgency of the big plan working out is gone or at least smaller.  I think that maybe we might spend too much energy worrying about IF it doesn't work out, when we could spend that energy on MAKING it work.

These are the thoughts I have swimming in my head today.  If these are the things that I most want, I need to make them happen.  I need to stop worrying about the other things, and focus on these.  Save my money for these, spend my time working on these, learn more about how to DO more for these.  Action is important.  It does no good to KNOW something but not DO anything about it.

Are there any priorities you have lost focus on?  Any commitments you need to re-commit to?  Any back-up plans you should consider chucking out the window?

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What a Perfect Summer Day Looks Like for Me

Oh a perfect summer day.  What could be better?  Have you had any perfect summer days yet?  They can be hard to come by, especially around here... the unpredictable weather in the midwest combined with the crazy work schedules my husband & I keep make them rare.

Honestly, I live in Michigan, so the perfect summer day just would not be perfect without it being on the lake shore.  And not just any lake shore.  For me, it basically has to be Lake Michigan.  Did you know that I worked the summer after college at Grand Have State Park right on Lake Michigan.  I biked to work all the time.  Hung out on the beach every day.  It. Was. Glorious.

However, I think the beach in Holland is my favorite.  So my perfect summer day would be there.  The lake is imperative.  Also, my husband would have to be with me.  He's ok, I like him a little bit *wink* so having him around would be good.  Our bikes too!  We would spend part of the day biking up Lakeshore Drive.  It's long & winding & beautiful.  I love biking!  The wind in your hair & your wheels flying... oh it's been a while since I've done that, I miss it, it's so lovely.

From here

After our ride we'd get some ice cream.  Summer is just not the same without ice cream.  I pretty much need it every day.  I'm not even kidding.  A summer day without ice cream is just... wrong.  Of coarse, it can be frozen yogurt too, if it's the good kind, the kind that tastes like ice cream.  That's cool too.  Ice cream with less calories = awesome.  So, we'd stop for a cone before chillin' some more on the beach & running into the water to cool off.

In the evening, we'd do a little window shopping in town.  Maybe stop in a few places if we see something we like.  I haven't been there in ages, I'm sure it's changed some.  Then we'd go out to eat somewhere on the water.  Someplace with a patio & we'd sit outside as the sun went down.  Drinking some wine or some margaritas.  Eating some fresh-lake seafood maybe.  Soaking in what's left of the day & feeling happy before taking a walk with our toes in the sand then heading to the car to go home.

Doesn't it sound like a perfect summer day?  It does to me.

Monday, July 30, 2012

How Does "Everyone Else" Do It? Jealousy & Me - We Aren't Friends

I had a "blue" day this weekend.  I'm usually pretty happy... probably annoyingly.  I don't really worry too much about things, and my life is pretty awesome, so it's not to hard to stay positive.  But sometimes, all my worries hit me at once & I feel down.  Yesterday was one of those days.

I can't be the only one who wonders like this:  How in the world do other people do it?  I often find myself wondering:

*How much money do they make?
*How the heck did they buy that house?
*How do they have so much cool stuff?
*How do they afford day care?
*or... How do they afford him/her staying home with the kids?
*How do they afford kids in general?
*How did they get that job?
*How is their house always so clean?
*How come their lawn always looks amazing?
*They are younger than me!?  How the.....
*Why does "everyone" have a smart phone but me?
*Didn't they just get a new car 3 years ago?
*What do they make for dinner?  I'm so sick of coming up with things to eat for dinner!
*How do they stay so thin?
*I want beautiful hair like that!!!
*How do they make the time for fill in the blank?
*Why am I 30 & still feel like I'm "just out of college" in life?  Maybe I should start telling everyone I'm 25 instead?  I could pass I think.

DRIVES ME CRAZY!  (Am I driving you crazy too right now?  Likely.)

I know the answer to all of these questions.  I know I do.  It's about priorities.  What one person thinks is very important another person doesn't.  But even though I might be concentrating on things that we think are the most important for us at this particular time, that doesn't mean I don't wish I could have those other things too.  My concentrating on the most important right now can lead to other things I "want" to have to be pushed aside for "later" or "someday" or maybe not ever at all.

It's not that I don't want them, because I obviously do.  I want a smartphone, yes I do.  But, they are expensive, and at this point, I don't NEED a smartphone, thus that money is better used for other things or for hanging out in our savings account waiting for the house we'll eventually buy & the baby(s) we'll eventually have.  A smartphone is not a priority at the moment for me.  Darn I still want one though *pout face*.

I don't work out as much as I used to.  It's not as much of a priority.  Yea, I could be more super-buff & in shape... I would love that... but I've been concentrating on my 3 jobs lately, which doesn't leave a whole lot of room for that.  So am I super jealous of all the super buff gals, yep.  But I have to remind myself, totally my choice here.

From here

Technically, I could have all of those things.  I could.  Well, maybe except the figuring out what to make for dinner part... although, if I wanted to spend tons of money on groceries & tons of time in the kitchen I could come up with a lot more options, so I guess I could have that too.  There just isn't enough time in a day for everything.  There isn't enough money in the world for everything.  We are not the Jones' & we don't have to keep up with them either...

From here

And I'm jealous.  Ugh, I hate that.  I hate feeling jealous.  This happens to everyone though.  I know I'm not alone.  Maybe people I'm jealous of are jealous of me for something else.  Likely.  (Darn Facebook & your making everyone's life look amazing!)  I don't think I have problem being happy for others who have things that I want, which I'm thankful for.  But that stinkin' green eyed monster always makes me wonder...

Ba.  What does the Bible have to say about this.  Um... a lot.  And it's not pretty.

"You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions" James 4:2-3

"For you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?" 1 Corinthians 3:3

“You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's.” Exodis 20:17

True story.  Really, I have a lot.  I'm very blessed.  Especially compared to so many needy others in this country & others.  So many orphaned children.  So many hungry.  So silly of me to want MORE of what others have when I have so much.  And yet it's there.  He is enough.  He will not let me fall.  I know I have & will always have everything that I need, but not everything I want, because I am human, & I will never have everything the world can offer, but I will always have everything He offers.

It is something I'm working on.  Something I think will always be a battle.  Some days are better than others.  Some days I'm crazy thankful.  Some days I'm crazy jealous.

I pray my thanks.  I pray my needs & wants if He wishes them for me.  I pray for strength.  I pray for contentment & patience.  I pray for love to give & receive.  Life's too short for anything less :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Trip to Traverse City & Sleeping Bear Dunes - I Love Northern Michigan!

Maybe you noticed that I wasn't around much this past week.  I wasn't on Twitter or Facebook or blogging much, except a couple of post I had pre-wrote & scheduled to go up.  I was back early this week to work a race on the 4th & was back to my full-time gig yesterday.

Where was I last week then?  I was up in Traverse City Michigan with my hubby!  He got a couple of days off between intern year & starting his second year of his residency, so we decided to take advantage & go on an "anniversary" trip.  We only had a few days, so it had to be someplace close, so we went to TC.

I love Traverse City.  I travel up there for work multiple times a year, but I unusually don't really get to stick around & have fun, so this was a great relaxing trip to one of my favorite Michigan towns.  Our state really is quite beautiful.  I sometimes feel like we just live in the boring corner of our state... head an hour up north or a couple to the west & it's beauty beauty beauty everywhere you look.  Traverse City is in the northern western corner of the lower peninsula of Michigan along Lake Michigan if you didn't know.

We did a ton of stuff while we were up there, including a minor league baseball game, wine tasting, and dune climbing, checking out historic sites, and dipping our feet in the water at the beach in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.  I think we had the most fun at Sleeping Bear.  We climbed this giant dune:

It doesn't look that big in this picture actually, but it really was huge.  It was a 1.5 mile walk from the bottom of the dune to the lakeshore.  We had to take lots of water & took breaks in our climbing to drink.  Once you got to the top of the dune & turned around, here was the view of the smaller lakes just behind us.

Beauty see!  From the top there, we discovered that what was the top of this dune wasn't actually the "top" & we were still about a mile from the shore of Lake Michigan.  We climbed a couple more dunes, but didn't make it to the lake.  It's mega hard climbing all sand dunes!  It was hot too!

Such a great time!  The other amazing thing about Traverse City is all of the great winerys.  Every time my husband & I go up we go wine tasting.  We had a great time again doing that, and bought a few bottles of wine to bring home as well.

Now my husband is a Second Year House Officer at the hospital!!!  Woot!  Supposedly, this year is supposed to be so much better than last year, so I should be seeing more of him, which makes me happy!  Actually, his rotation this month seems to be pretty great in that he gets almost all of the weekend days off... this is a crazy concept.  A weekend day off in general has been hard to come by for the past year, but BOTH Saturday & Sunday in the same week?  Multiple times?  It's gonna be totally weird.  Haha!

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