Sunday, December 11, 2011

Last sign-off before Christmas!!

It's been a productive Sunday of Christmas shopping, gift wrapping, laundry, housework and errand-running and all morning I told myself "don't forget to take 5 and update the blog!" but now that I've fired up the laptop and sat down to do it, I realize there's not much to update with!  So, this is the proverbial "randoms happs" blog entry which is just a compilation of the thoughts that compose of my crazy life lately.

A couple of weeks ago, my mom and I discovered that her dog, Angel, has 2 types of malignant cancer.  Needless to say, the news was (is) devastating since Angel (like most pets) is part of the family and has been my mom's greatest companion for the past 12 years.  Well, the prognosis is not good.  She stopped eating dog food and now eats a diet consisting of straight up people food which she may or may not even eat.  Heck, she eats better than I do on the average day but you know what, we'll do whatever it takes to prolong her life past the "few weeks" the vet suggested.  She's worth every struggle.

As if that news wasn't enough of a blow, the family cat also decided that her 18 years on this planet was all her little frail body could handle.  She was put down this past Friday and of course, wrecked my week and my mom's as well.  That cat saw me through high school (many moons ago), college, and many other pivotal points in my life.  She was always the first one to come to me whenever I came home.  R.I.P. sweet girl...

On a lighter note (hopefully), I'm still waiting on the results of the hormone testing that the Naturopath had me do.  I'm not quite sure what to expect.  At this point, I think I'm basically looking for something to be blantantly wrong.  You know, that "a-ha" moment when you pinpoint something that has been the cause for all your issues.  I could only be so lucky that one simple saliva test could reveal the foundation for my hormonal issues that I have endured my entire adult life, but one can hope, right?

In the meantime, I am still adhering to the vitamin and supplement regimen that the Naturopath put me on.  I've even added wheat grass into my daily routine.  One scoop of powder mixed with juice daily.  It's fairly nasty tasting but it's beneficial to my overall health so I'll choke it down.

Work is going well.  I'm averaging about 52 hours a week between 2 jobs but the trade-off for my lack of sleep and social life is a nice couple of paychecks to look forward to weekly.  I will be working Christmas day at the hospital so the family and I will celebrate Christmas on the Eve.  I'll see how I feel after the first of the year.  It's already starting to burn me out but that down payment on a house isn't going to find its way into my checking account on its own so it's up to me to make it happen.

I guess that's about it for the random happs around here lately.  Nothing too exciting but its an update nonetheless.  Then again, nothing is ever too exciting around here these days since I mostly just feel like a working slave to society...but at least I haven't lost my sense of humor!

Have a fabulous Christmas, friends! xoxo

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hey friends!  I'm squeezing in an update here on this restful Sunday off!  I can't remember exactly where I left off last (and am too lazy to go check) but I survived my first week at the new job.  It was sort of chaotic as first weeks on the job usually are, but I'm learning quickly so that's a relief.  I've managed to score a few extra days on the schedule at my other job so I'll be working Thanksgiving and Christmass (boo!) and a few more days over the weekends as well.  It's definitely A LOT on my plate but it keeps me super busy and the extra money to buy a house will be sooooo nice!  Let's just hope I don't burn out quickly but for the time being, it will be manageable.

I saw a Naturopath for the first time a couple of weeks ago.  We went over a ton of things, mainly this persisting lack of energy/moodiness feeling over the past few months and she suspects that I may have a thyroid problem to some degree.  So, she loaded me up with some vitamins and supplements to take, as well as a shot of B-12 which supposedly helps with energy and mood stability.  I was sent off with a test kit which will test my hormones.  It uses saliva samples instead of blood.  The samples are collected 4 times during the course of a day (since hormone levels fluctuate throughout the day) and then when all 4 are collected, I seal up the kit and mail it to the lab.  Pretty cool stuff!  Anyway, the results take about 2 weeks and they will call me to go over the results and we'll go from there.

In the world of school, I got an e-mail about a week ago with the next test date for the oral comprehensive exam.  As luck would have it, it's December 12th, right in between the crazy holidays!  Needless to say, I wasn't too thrilled to have to coordinate the Holidays, a new job, an old job and the biggest test of my life all during the same time, so I blew off the e-mail until I could reach a decision.  After going back and forth with it, I've decided to tell them I will not be able to make the December 12th date and will wait until next year for a new test date.  I agonized over that decision but it's just the best decision for me at this point.  I need to save myself from insanity and adding more to my plate at this moment just isn't a wise thing to do.  Not to mention, I don't want to make the same mistake twice and fail this thing a second time because of lack of preparedness/time to study.  I have to say I feel like the weight has been lifted.  I can focus on work for the time being and maybe even have some time to actually look forward to the Holidays! 

Oh, this weekend marks the one year anniversary of me being back in California.  I just can't believe how much time flies.  It's just crazy to think about...

Have a Happy Thanksgiving friends!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bumbling Updates - OMG it's November!

Hello, friends!  I cannot believe it's November already!  Every year goes by faster and faster as you age but this was ridiculously fast.  I've been living back in California now for nearly a year to the day and things are finally looking up for me.

Starting next Monday, November 14th, I'll have a new job at a local Country Club!  It's ironic because it's with the same Country Club I interviewed with back in July but got turned down when they chose someone else.  Well, yesterday they called me out of the blue and explained how a brand new position has just opened up and they remembered me and thought I would be a perfect fit.  It's nice to know that there are some decent, thoughtful people out there because let me tell you, I've been through the ringer numerous times this year with sketchy interviews/companies.  Anyhow, they offered the position to me on the spot so I start next week!

I plan to keep my other job at the hospital and tell them I will only be available on weekends.  I make a decent enough salary there to justify not leaving.  Plus, I need to earn and save everything I can if I want to make it to my house-buying goal next year.  So, this should work out *fingers crossed*.  I'll likely have little free time and working weekends will interfere with a social life (or current lack-thereof anyway) but I'm the type that works better with more on my plate.

In other news, I took it upon myself to find a Naturopath who specializes in hormone therapy and treatments.  Lately, I have been so up and down hormonal that I just feel like something is wrong that is just exacerbating this PCOS condition.  So, I have that initial 90 minute consultation tomorrow which I suspect will be very similar to the initial consult with the Reproductive Endocrinologist last year.  At this point, I'm just looking to be healthier, feel less hormonal, and perhaps even find ways to regulate cycles that have always plagued me one way or another.

I'll update again when I can.  Although, I expect the next few weeks to be hectic with work and the upcoming Holidays - yikes!  Hope everyone is doing well and looking forward to the Holiday season!

I'll add a little photo that I took this morning just to give you an idea of where I live.  In the background are the San Jacinto mountains which are just about a 25 minute drive to the base of the mountains.  Below that is Palm Springs.  One of the things I missed about living in the South was the lack of mountains/hills.  Makes for a really tough sense of direction!  Anyway, this is where I live and it can be so beautiful :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October Fun!

Can you believe it's October already?!  Where has this year gone?!  As of today, we're finally seeing some mild temperatures which for here, in the desert, means temps in the double digits instead of triple.  As much as I'm a summer girl and love warm weather, I can safely say I'm ready now for Fall!

A very close friend of mine just flew into town today and is staying for the week.  Unfortunately, I won't be able to see her until Friday after work but I'm very much looking forward to it!  It will be nice to do some catching up and spend time together, especially since she just went through ( or shall I say 'going through') a recent break-up with a long term partner.  She was truly there for me to give support and encouragement through my divorce so I'll try like hell to return the favor for such a wonderful friend that she has been over the past 10 years.

In other non-related, graphic news, I have a bit of a dilemma currently in the world of 'woman-hood'.  I seem to have a mysterious period currently that has warranted a bit of extra concern.  Skip forward here if you believe in such a thing as 'too much information' or 'TMI'.  I've passed extremely large blood clots over the past couple of days in conjunction with some heavier than usual cramps.  I typically have non-eventful periods but for some reason, this one is like a wrecking ball straight to the girly bits.  I'm going to wait it out a day or two and see what happens but if this massacre type activity continues, I may pay a trip to the ER.  With PCOS, it's likely that's part of the culprit and a period every now and then that is out of the norm is probably typical so it's not too much of a concern yet.  At least...I can still function, that is.

As for my previous blog entry about my apparent 'smothering' episode, I'm fairly certain that is over now.  Maybe it was a moment of weakness or perhaps the PMS-like gibberish that spews forth from one's mouth when the period from hell is about to start, hell, I don't know but it's over now.  We had a great talk, and I do mean GREAT (thank you to my wonderful family therapist I saw last year who helped me to truly speak my feelings) and things are back on course with my man and I.  I just can't begin to explain how lucky I am to have him in my life.  He's so supportive despite my rollercoaster-type of ups and downs this year and I truly love that he's always there for encouragement and support.  Far more than I could ever ask for someone to be in the past. 

Oh, I've forgotten to mention this in the past few blog entries but there are some blogs that I read that I just cannot seem to comment on!  It drives me nuts!  So, if you don't seem to hear much from me, then I probably just cannot leave a comment on your blog.  Poo.  I'm so sorry but I truly try to keep up with you and the happenings in your lives.  That's all for now, friends!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Smothered Hash Browns, Yes Please! Smothered Relationship, No Thank You!

I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with the Waffle House restaurant, but it's quite popular down South and in parts of the Eastern Coast.  It's a cheap and dirty equivalent of IHOP, yet in my experience, it tastes much better after a late night out bar-hopping than it actually does for sober breakfast purposes.  Anyhow, they have an option there to serve their hashbrowns "covered and smothered" where they basically throw everything on there except the kitchen sink.  Quite tasty at 2am when the buzz is wearing off and you're about 47 minutes away from passing straight out.  However, I like my hasbrowns this way, but definitely NOT my relationships...


When one goes from the busy dating pool, to marriage at 27, and then back to the dating pool at age 32, it's a bit confusing to say the least.  I've found that the real challenge now that I've plunged off the high-dive back into the pool is finding the balance between maintaining my personal life (i.e. work, school, friendships, day-to-day grind, etc.) with a healthy relationship.  Seems easy enough in theory, right?  I mean, in my early twenties, I managed to hold down TWO jobs, full-time college courses, mild partying, friends, AND a boyfriend quite effortlessly.  Allbeit, I can guarantee I didn't sleep much, if hardly at all, and to what degree those "relationships" were healthy and stable is highly questionable.  So, I guess this post is more to seek advice than anything else because after consulting a few of my IRL female friends on this topic, I still feel bewildered by it all.


I've been dating someone now for the past four months.  I was set up with him by my mom who works at the same company he does.  Mind you, I was VERY apprehensive about dating at the time she set me up but I trusted that my mom (of all people) wouldn't steer me wrong with some loser, so I went with it.  Well, guess what?  He's everything she said he was and more!  Great, huh?  Now you're thinking "so what's there to complain about?". 


Well, truth be told, as the title suggests, I feel a bit 'smothered' here lately.  It's not that his intentions aren't good because trust me, they are!  However, I've always been a very independent person and my philosophy on dating is that you can have a healthy relationship without constant bombardment of personal space.  In fact, I'm the type that would rather see my SO maybe 1-2 times per week and talk on the phone maybe 2-3 times per week - anything more than that and it's a bit overwhelming in my book.  Sounds reasonable, right?  I'm by no means a needy person whatsoever and expect the same trait in my SO.  However, he calls me at least once a day, sometimes twice a day.  And, he would like to see me every day if he had it his way.  I don't know if it's just me, or if this is a bit excessive?  I feel a lot of pressure to keep up with this sort of "schedule" but sometimes I feel like it's just my own personal struggle.  It's not that he's checking up on me or acting posessive or whatnot, he's just quite honestly thinking of me and so picks up the phone to call and say "hi" - simple as that.  I enjoy the excitement of relationships and he completely adores me and complements me every day but quite honestly, I'm not used to that!  I'm a firm believer in the notion that a new relationship does not have to consume your every moment and transform the person that you are.  I'm a realist and quite frankly, I've watched too many friends fall into the "I have a new boyfriend and now I'm dropping everything for him" routine - blech!  I don't know how they allow that to happen as just that thought alone makes me suffocate a little on the inside.  I mean, come on.  Day-to-day life still exists, I still work, have obligations, school, friendships to maintain, etc. so I don't feel the need to make a dating relationship the root of my essence.  Know what I mean?  I think the problem here is that he enjoys making me the center of his entire universe while I'm, quite simply, just not like that.  And now that I've typed out the previous sentence, I'm really not even sure if you can even call it a "problem" to begin with.


Now that you're thoroughly confused and this post has turned into a novel, I just basically am torn with where I stand.  Are my 'smothered' feelings validated?  I know I need to sit down with him and let him know how I feel but I've played it over in my head and am beginning to realize that there's no easy or graceful way of saying "ok, buddy, I need some space, let's slow down..oh, and don't call me so much" without sounding like an unappreciative B*.  Or is there a way?  I honestly never dreamed I'd be sitting here blogging about a relationship where I'm actually complaining about getting doted on too much - typically in the past I've had relationships where I'm teetering on the last rung of the ladder so it was always a non-issue.  Now, I'm at the top of his priorities and yet, I'm feeling strangely overwhelmed.  Is this legit?  Don't get me wrong, I fully and completely appreciate his attentiveness and loyalty, believe me, I do!  I went too many years feeling like an afterthought so I'm thrilled to be at the forefront of someone's concerns.  However, I'm just a bit rusty with dating and well, having trouble figuring it all out again.  Advice?

//SIGNED//
Uncovered Hashbrown

Monday, September 19, 2011

Photo Shoot Faves

So, here's some of the photos from the shoot with Amy a couple of weeks ago.  I uploaded most of them to my Facebook but I'll put a few here that I didn't share there.  I don't want to sound self-absorbed or conceited or whatnot but, I'm so, so, so glad I had this done!  This past year has been an emotional train wreck for me and despite the stress-induced weight loss, I've had a lot of trouble finding ME again and I seem to have lacked the ability to feel good about myself which is VERY unlike me.  So, please understand I don't go around "posing" in front of cameras on the regular, but my expressions and emotions captured in these photographs are very true and real and genuine.  And that...I'll cherish forever.  Enjoy!












I can't emphasize enough just how much fun I had at this shoot.  Not only did I get some great photos but my photographer Amy, is truly one of the sweetest people I've ever met!  She made me feel so comfortable and warm and, well, like ME again!  So, a million thank-you's to her and her husband Mike for watching baby Jackson for 45 minutes while we went off galivanting into the "woods" to capture these photographs.  Memories made, indeed, and I hope to remain great friends with her!!

Until next time, bloggers...

 

Monday, September 12, 2011

House Hunting & Other New Adventures

Ok, so the title of this entry may be somewhat misleading but it's fun to dream, right?  Actually, I said earlier this year that one of my next goals is to buy a house or condo and that's still very much on my radar.  How soon it will happen, is probably a little farther off the radar than I would hope.  Ever watch Suze Orman?  She's that financial analyst/guru and does a great job on her TV show of picking people's financial situation apart and telling them "no" when they want to buy something that's just not 1) smart 2) feasible and/or 3) realistic.  *Sigh*.  Well, Suze would pick me apart for my desire to own a home without the lump sum to put down or the 8 month "emergency fund" you need in case something goes awry.  However, I digress.  How can you NOT dream when the housing market is at an all time low?  I mean, houses in the area I'm looking at easily went for $350k+ a few years ago.  And now...listings for those same houses at $200k or less!  Talk about crazy exciting!  We'll see what I conjure up over the next 6 months or so...

In other related news, my mom has enlightened me on a business opportunity that is worthy of further investigation.  Through a contact of hers at work, she learned a little about running, owning and operating a private Courier service.  Since her company (and so many other companies out there now) are downsizing, hiring less, cross-training employees to other positions, "leaning" out their resources and people etc., many businesses have turned to external Courier services as a means for transporting their documents, equipment, people and more.  It's a simple premise, really.  You drive said items from one location to another, from client to recipient's destination.  The start-up for this is nearly nothing.  Literally, all that is needed is a reliable vehicle, a cellular phone and access to a computer/printer.  Needless, to say, the room for profit and the next-to-nothing start-up cost is very appealing.  I've purchased some resources that give further instruction on how to start-up a Courier service and where to go from there.  With school still looming (for another couple of months, anyway) and work, I may put this on a short hold but after that, I really plan to go full steam with it.  It's exciting to me and well, doesn't everyone want to be their own boss?  I sure do!

That's about it for my latest news.  Of course, I'll come back and revisit these two main topics on the agenda in a few months and see where I'm at with each of them.  As one of the world's worst procrastinators, you, my readers must cattle prod me and see me through!  

As mentioned in my previous blog entry, I had a photo shoot with Southern California's greatest, most talented photographer and friend, Amy.  Meeting her, her husband Mike and sweet baby boy Jackson was the highlight of these past 6 months or so.  I'm so thrilled I got the chance to meet up with her and take some amazing photographs that I'll treasure forever.  I'll post a glimpse of those when I receive the CD so stay tuned! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bouncing Back

I've been looking back at past blog entries and realized that I sort of have the "peak" and "valley" affect when it comes to my blog entries.  One is happy, the next...not so much!  I assure you, I have a pretty great life overall so I don't mean to be such a Debbie Downer at times.  I'm just my own worst critic, I guess, so sometimes I tend to be a little hard on myself.  Onward and upward...

Anyway, I cannot believe how quickly this year has gone by!  I mean, it's nearly September already!!  September was a rough month for me last year and to say I went through a wave of emotions last September would be putting it mildly.  It's been nearly a year to the day since Bobby and I separated so I can't help but notice that.  It's also been 9 months since I moved back to my home state of California which I'm still so happy about.  After moving around the country for the past 8 years, I'm finally home again.  I've gotten the chance to visit family and friends which is really so nice.  I used to long for the days of being able to take a quick drive to see them and used to dread arranging plane tickets and coordinating time off work just to do that but now I don't have to sweat it.  I'm so thankful!

Work is going well.  I'm still classified as a Per Diem employee which is basically a fancy word for Part Time but as luck would have it, I've been able to pick up extra shifts so technically I've been working Full Time hours.  Even better is the possibility of going to Full Time here soon pending a coworker's resignation from her position to move to Santa Barbara with her boyfriend.  I'm already next in line for her spot since my boss has already asked me if I want it.  Do I want it?  Ha!  Does a bear sh*t in the woods?  Of course I want it!  I'm also loving the idea that their health insurance is through Blue Cross so it's awesome insurance but best of all, it's free for employees and dependants!  Yet another expense spared so that's a double bonus.

In other news, I have arranged for a photo shoot with an E-friend of mine, Amy, who is an excellent photographer!  She lives not too far from me and we have arranged for a photo shoot on September 4th.  I'm beyond thrilled to meet her in person and feel so priviledged to have her as my photographer.  I scored a dress today for the shoot which I think will work well.  It's been so long since I've had professional pictures done so this is loooong overdue!  It's time I do something for me, ya know?  Plus, I've been working semi hard at losing weight over the past year and a half and now I feel like showing it off a bit.  27 pounds and still losing.  Not to shabby, eh?  I feel GREAT!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Failing

This morning I took the oral comprehensive exam for my Master's Degree and to say it went worse than expected would be a dramatic understatement.  This is the exam I have worked nearly 3 years for; the exam that confirms my knowledge of the entire program; the last stepping stone to getting the degree.

Well, guess what?  I didn't pass it.  I am at a loss right now.  I really thought I had studied myself into the ground for this exam and truly felt I had refreshed my memory with concepts I learned years ago, in various classes along this road.  The truth is, they just didn't feel that I had through enough knowledge to grant me a passing score.  Did I directly fail?  No.  Not on paper, not in writing, but *I* feel like I failed it and I'm not the sort of person that allows failure to enter my life.  This does not sit well with me.

I can re-take the exam in October.  Until then, there's not much I can do about it except to continue studying and ensure this doesn't happen again in October.  As much as I'd like to blame someone or something else, it's entirely my fault for not being as prepared as I could have been and that plagues me to no end.  But, I guess what bothers me more is the idea that I thought today would mark another chapter closed in my life but now it is left open.  I'm indifferent about it.  I wanted so badly to be "done" and move forward but plans have changed entirely.

I will spend the next couple of months continuing to study.  What angers me is that I was missing files from the first two core (important) classes I took at the beginning of the program back in 2008.  Well, actually, they are not "missing", but located on an external hard drive 2,000 miles away from me and the "owner" of that hard drive purged the files from the hard drive months ago.  So, I was missing a large portion of study materials.  I cannot or will not blame him.  He didn't know I would ever need those files again.  I will re-purchase those textbooks from the courses (as much as it kills me to say that) and start from scratch using those books and new notes.

Let me end this by saying that I know I am not a failure.  This is just a minor setback.  I realize that not many people can say they have come this far in their education and the fact that I completed all of the coursework with next to a 4.0 GPA is an amazing feat in itself.  I am proud of myself for coming this far and well, if it takes me a little extra longer to make it to the finish line, I'm ok with that. 

Until then, I'm keeping the faith and remaining optimistic.  I've been through some really rough times in my life, particularly in the past year, and this is just one additional hurdle to get over.  If anything, it's building my character and strength...two things that challenge me every day.  If you read this, thank you.  Support means everything to me.

By the way, yesterday I turned 33 years old.  I can only hope that 33 will treat me better than 32 did.  It has to, right?  If it doesn't, well I'm at the end of my rope...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Updates On Me + 30 Pictures!


Hello, friends!


I'm so relieved to finally have a few moments to properly update my blog and do the "30 pictures" that I saw on my friend Melodie's blog a few months ago.


Anyway, as of last week, I'm officially finished with classes towards my Master's Degree!  I haven't received my final grade for the class yet but according to my calculations, I have an "A" which subsequently estimates my overall final GPA at roughly 3.90.  A 3.90!  I didn't graduate high school with a GPA even close to that and sadly, my undergraduate GPA was not quite a 3.0 (thanks to an "active" social life in my early 20's, lol) so I'm beyond pleased with how my efforts and hard studies have paid off this time.  Now, all I have left is the Oral Comprehensive Exam on August 11th (the day after my 33rd birthday, ugh) which will be conducted via webcam so I'm spared the cost of flying out to the campus in Arkansas to take it in person.  Assuming I pass that, I'll be officially a Graduate School Graduate!  haha.


Ok, so on to the fun part which is this picture thing I've been wanting to do.  I figure my blog could use some "spice" with pictures and well, it's just plain fun to do this kind of thing.  Plus, it gives you, my fellow blog follower, some sort of additional glimpse into my life, interests, what makes me "tick", etc.  So...enjoy! :)

Pic 01 - A picture of yourself with ten facts:

1.  I despise cold weather
2.  I served 4 years in the US Air Force
3.  I have an A.A.S. in Electrical Systems, a B.A. in Communications and a M.S. in Operations Management
4.  I'm terrified of heights yet I've gone skydiving once!
5.  Ignorant people annoy the crap out of me
6.  I'd love to start an animal rescue sanctuary some day
7.  I'm much more of a giver than a receiver
8.  I WILL write a book and have it published someday
9.  I don't take anything for granted.  Ever.
10.  I believe true friends are hard to come by and when you find them, hold on to them for dear life!

Pic 02 - A Picture Of You and The Person You Have Been Close With For a While


Pic 03 - A Picture Of The Cast From Your Favorite Show


Pic 04 - A Picture of A Habit You Wish You Didn't Have


Pic 05 - A Picture of Your Favorite Memory

(Old school 6th and 7th grade memories!  I'm the one w/ the blue "fanny pack" in the top pic and the bottom one I'm wearing the hat looking disgusted at my mom taking first day of school pics, haha!)

Pic 06 - A Picture of A Person You'd Love To Trade Places With For a Day

(Jodi Picoult.  I'd love to be a famous writer for a day and I love her books)

Pic 07 - A Picture Of Your Most Treasured Item
(This is the award I received for Maintenance Professional of the Year in 2006.  My proudest moment in the Air Force.  The banquet was held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and that night lives on in my mind forever.  Oh, that's an old picture of me in the background ;)

Pic 08 - A Picture That Makes You Laugh


Pic 09 - A Picture of The Person Who Has Gotten You Through The Most

(My Mom <3 )

Pic 10 - A Picture With The Person Whom You Do The Most Messed Up Things With
(This group about covers the criteria for "messed up" things.  Co-workers.  Go figure, lol)

Pic 11 - A Picture of Something You Hate
(Government spending and the overall current economy.  Nauseating.)

Pic 12 - A Picture of Something You Love
(Havaianas flip flops.  If I could wear them all year long (and to work), I would!)

Pic 13 - A Picture of Your Favorite Band Or Artist

(I like the "older" alternative bands.  Today's music just isn't the same!)

Pic 14 - A Picture of Someone You Could Never Imagine Your Life Without


                                    
(My Mom <3)

Pic 15 - A Picture Of Something You Want To Do Before You Die

(write and publish a book!!)

Pic 16 - A Picture Of Someone Who Inspires You


 Pic 17 - A Picture of Your Biggest Insecurity


(Regardless of how much weight I lose, it's still there!  The dreaded cellulite :/ )

Pic 18 - A Picture of You When You Were Little

(this was about age 5-ish, I think?)

Pic 19 - A Picture of Somewhere You'd Love To Travel


 (Bali, Indonesia.  It's beautiful there and I'd love to experience the culture)

Pic 20 - A Picture of Something You Wish You Could Forget


(This test and others like it.  And the pain caused by infertility)

Pic 21 - A Picture of Something You Wish You Were Better At


(drawing and painting - I'd love to have the "eye" for this kind of stuff!)

Pic 22 - A Picture of Your Favorite Book


Pic 23 - A Picture of Something You Wish You Could Change


(To have my baby girl Tiki back in my life *sigh*)

Pic 24 - A Picture Of Your Day


(Sunny, clear, high of 104 degrees today!)

Pic 25 - A Picture Of Something That Means A Lot To You

(This photo represents numerous things in my life and the things that have led up to my life now.  I think I explained this photo better in a previous blog entry and why it is the photo for my blog background)

Pic 26 - A Picture of Yourself and A Family Member


(My brother, my neice and I)

Pic 27 - A Picture of Something You're Afraid Of



(Heights!  Even watching something on TV involving heights makes my hands clammy!)

Pic 28 - A Picture That Can Always Make You Smile


(my life for 4 great years!)

Pic 29 - A Picture of Your Favorite Thing To Do During Summer


(Sip a nice cold beer on the beach!  By the way, my hair was WAY short in this pic)

Pic 30 - A Picture of Someone You Miss



(My daddy who has been gone for over 25 years.  RIP daddy.  I miss you  <3)


Well, that's it friends!  Whew, that took forever to complete and I certainly admire my fellow bloggers who can keep their blogs updated much more often than myself.  Hope you enjoyed my pics and now I'm off to catch up on you!


 




Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I Found Happiness Again

The title says it all.  These days it seems that things are turning around for me and coming together so nicely, it almost feels surreal.  I've been living back in California now for nearly 7 months and the difference between present day and 7 months ago is so drastically different -- I feel amazing and humbled by everything I've been through and overcome. 

I have several things going for me right now.  I am nearly debt-free and by "debt-free" I mean ZERO credit card balance (which isn't overly outlandish anyway) and my SUV that will be fully paid off in July.  I am slotted tentatively for my oral comprehensive exam in late July and my current (and last) class required for my Master's degree is surprisingly easy and will be over with in mid-July.  When these obstacles are finally overcome and done, I can finally focus 100% on me which is something I haven't gotten to do in a very long time.  I would like to begin house hunting later this year, provided the market is still at bottom.  It sounds silly, but in my own little world, I feel like I'm almost to the top of Mt. Everest!  I should also add that I have lost 26 pounds over the past year which has been a huge accomplishment for me.  Having PCOS makes weight loss really hard but I'm now one pound shy of my initial goal.  I plan to add on another 10 pounds to my goal since I still carry some unwanted flab around the mid-section.  But, all and all, I'm so ecstatic to have reached my first weight-loss goal and I feel great!

Thankfully, I've had some amazing friends to lean on for support through this rough journey and my mom is absolutely my rock.  I truly hope that someday I will be just as great of a mom as she has been to me.  That's my goal, anyway.  Speaking of mom, I truly owe her the world for setting me up with such an amazing man.  He's so sweet and gentle and caring and I truly feel that he might just be the missing piece to my puzzle of life.  Talk about finding someone when I was least expecting it -- this one takes the cake for that phrase!  For now, I'm just taking everything for what it is, good or bad.  As luck would have it, it has been mostly good in my life as of lately which is a welcomed (and much deserved) surprise!  I just hope things continue to progress in a positive tone when it comes to my personal and professional affairs. 

I don't ask for too much out of life, I work hard for everything I have and NEVER take anyone or anything for granted.  Living by these mottos has allowed me to find happiness again...something that has been missing for a long, long time.

And just because I love her so much and owe her the world...here's my rock and I this past Mother's Day.  Love you, mom!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Assholes & Onion Soup

So, I promised myself when I started this blog that I would keep negativity to a minimum and forego all ex-bashing, but ... I lied.  This one's just too good NOT to share.

Even though Bobby and I are on speaking terms (though allbeit very infrequently), we communicate out of necessity most commonly via text message.  Ahh, yes, gotta love the digital age.  Anyway, a couple weeks ago he sent me a text concerning the topic of money.  For the record, I do not receive alimony or anything of the sort from him but I do, however, want my fair share of things.  I'm not stupid, just the same as I'm not greedy - it's just fairness.  So, since I walked out with literally the clothes on my back and a few keepsakes, "we" agreed it fair if I receive half of the value of all of the furniture, belongings, etc. we purchased during the course of our 4.5 year marriage.  Fair, right?  I drew it up in the settlement and he complied.

So, he sent a text to tell me my monthly check was in the mail a bit early and post-dated for June 1st.  Excellent.  Thanks.  Then, he proceeds to tell me how his finances are going, making it seem as though these monthly checks are really putting him out, financially.  Riiiight.  I know how much money he brings in so despite me reaching through the depths of my soul, I failed to find even an ounce of sympathy for him.  Not to mention, if you knew what these monthly checks amounted to, you would NOT consider it a justifiable figure for 4.5 years I gave to him.  For sake of conversation, I'll just chalk it up as gas money, basically.

At the end of the text "conversation", he proceeds to say something to the effect of "I miss your paycheck".  Excuse me?  Thanks buddy, I miss you too.  I didn't know that in addition to my onion soup that day, apparently I had also ordered up a side of asshole. 

If you found as much comedic relief as I did in this post, you are a saint!

Love,
Amanda  xoxoxo
P.S. I look better now than I ever did when I was with him and I also bring in a better paycheck.  Eat your heart out Bobby. *winks*

Monday, May 16, 2011

Latest Random Updates

Where does the time go?  Sheesh.  I'm sitting here thinking how I had so much to update my blog with but as I type, it's really nothing too noteworthy after all!  haha.  Actually, I just finished a class and have a short week-long break before my next and final class starts up May 24th.  I'm sooo freaking excited to get on with it and finish strong after this 2.5 year on/off journey to finish up my third and effing LAST degree! ha!

I know after that's over, I won't be 'out of the woods' yet since I have to complete my oral comprehensive exam in late July sometime.  However, the nice part about that is school will be completely cleared from my plate by the time my birthday rolls around in August~woot! 

In other related news, work is well and I'm still gainfully employed.  My vehicle will be paid off in July and I almost have my one and only credit card down to zero balance so the prospect of being debt free in just a few months is exciting to say the least!  I'll begin looking around at condominiums and houses soon after that with the goal to purchase by early 2012. 

As far as the dating scene goes, I have gone out a few times with the guy from my mom's work.  His name is Charles and I have to say it is refreshing to go out with someone so stable and on the same page as me in terms of goals and aspirations.  Truthfully, I'm not actually wanting to be in a relationship but if the cookie crumbles that way with the right person, I'm definitely not opposed to it either.  I'd like to be at 100% mind, body and spirit before I offer that piece of me to someone else.  It's only fair to both parties involved.  BUT, I digress.  At the moment, I'm just taking it for what it's worth.  It's nice to have a man around to go catch a movie with (or drinks or dinner etc) and he gets my personality which isn't always easy to do! haha.

I guess that's about it for now.  Just working away and keeping life balanced.  That's about all anyone does, right?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dating

It's a recurring topic amongst those I know and lately I've been fielding the question of "so, who are you dating?" a lot lately.  The truth is, I've been on a few dates, none very recently, but there's just no one I'm particularly interested in at the moment.  Perhaps that's due to a crazy upcoming work schedule in addition to me being neck deep (on a good day) in school work which will ultimately lead me to a Master's Degree with just one class left..woot!

I don't know.  Maybe my head just isn't in the game and maybe there's a little sliver of me just isn't ready to truly set upon the dating path.  I'm thinking it's more the first part of that hypothesis.

Anyway, so my mom (of all people) has taken it upon herself to fix me up with one of her co-workers.  I had my reservations intitially, but since have let my guard down and decided to let good ole' mom play matchmaker.  Admittedly, I'm fairly excited about it.  He has all of his 'ducks in a row' which is a plus. Ya know, financially and mentally stable, owns a home, educated, sense of humor, tall, and best of all...single.  Well, this is all according to mom who is typically a trustworthy source.  The truth is, I haven't actually spoken to him outside of the speakerphone conversation that my mom conducted with me while he was in her office...(yeah, awkward!).  She has relayed me the proverbial phone number so I guess I know what to do now...

As usual, I will report back my findings once the phone conversation(s)/date(s) are under way.  For the time being, I'm in good spirits and the fact that my own mother is also my matchmaker, is entertaining to say the least!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

PCOS Treatment and Awareness Petition

If you're reading this, please click on this link PCOS Treatment and Awareness Petition to sign your name on this petition to promote education, awareness, medical insurance coverage and proper treatment of those diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.  Yours, truly is signed as number 10530.  It would mean a lot to me and the PCOS community of women if you could please take a few moments to read and sign.  Thank you very much for helping and supporting the awareness of this disorder that I and many other women suffer from! xoxo

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Numbers Game

I feel like I haven't updated my blog in forever.  I honestly don't know how people find the time to keep up sometimes when I can barely keep my head above water most of the time.  Anyhow, April has been a tough month on me.  Filled with birthdays and anniversaries and generally things that I don't care to rejoice in lately, but can't avoid thinking about either.  And, whenever you think of birthdays and anniversaries, you're generally dealing with numbers so that's what this random update is about.  So, here they are, some fun, some not so fun.  Some I can't block out or wipe away and others I eat, sleep and breathe every moment of my life...

11 - weeks left until I graduate with my Master's Degree
8  - the total number of years it will take me to complete an Associate's, Bachelor's and Master's degree
4 - years I spent serving my country in the USAF
15 - this June, marking how many years since I graduated from High School
10 - the number of both prescription medications and OTC supplements I take daily
5 - if things were different, that's how many years I'd be married as of this month
33 - how old I will be this year
40 - how old my ex husband just turned
2 - years since my ex husband and I first started "trying" to get pregnant
8 - days since he had a vasectomy and actually told me about it
2 - months I've been officially divorced
3 - months until my car is paid off!  (woot)
4 - the number of dress sizes I've lost in the past year
21 - the number of pounds I've lost in the past year
2 - the number of times I've cried in the last month
25+ - the number of times I've cried in the past year
30+ - the number of times I've been punched in the ovaries (figuratively, of course)
9 - on a scale of 1-10, 9 is how I rate my own strength
10 - years since I met my best friend
4 - number of times I saw her this month
6 - number of months I'll go before seeing her again
5 - approximate number of times I've gone on Facebook this year
2 - times per month I contemplate removing the text feature from my cell phone
2 - times per week I have a serious (and I mean SERIOUS) chocolate craving
1 - one life to live to the fullest

And I fully intend on continuing to pursue that last one!  Ok, off to bed.  I'd love to update with more but my brain is like oatmeal right now and I'm typing with one eye open.  Someday...ok, like as in 11 weeks, I'll have more time to update my randomness blog and incorporate some of my usual wit and banter, and less time investing in my silly little education.  I think 8 years of my almost 33 years of existence is ample time spent frying my brain with secondary education text book mumbo-jumbo overload.  Whattaya think? haha...

Kisses,
Amanda

Monday, March 21, 2011

Symbolism

I never quite explained the photo of that pretty little drink, did I?  Well, I chose that photo for my blog header because it’s quite symbolic of a few things.  First off, that’s a delectable Florida Hurricane made with Rum, 151, Coconut, Key Limes, Grenadine, Pineapple and a splash of a few other addictive goodies.  It was the mixed drink that took my Key West, Florida virginity. ha!  That was also the trip that Bobby was supposed to go on alone for business.  Instead, he sneakily called my work 2 days beforehand to get the approval for me to be “out” for a couple days because he had already booked me a ticket to accompany him!  It was also the mini-vacay that just so happened to be right before our 4th wedding anniversary last year.  I loved every second of his spontaneity sometimes.
Anyway, we sat down to eat burgers after a day of cruising around famous Duval Street, seeing all the sights, people-watching, goofing off and whatnot.  We conversed about nothing in particular, yet everything at once – a typical conversation for us.   We kinda threw around the idea of wanting to move to the Keys someday.  We had lived in Northern Florida before, but never that far South.  Yes, it is hurricane alley down there, but that’s just how we rolled – sporadic, spontaneous, fruity, rebellious – a little like my mixed drink, you might say. 
Well, that conversation also led to other topics, such as the topic of children.  Not the first time it had come up, but definitely one of the most telling in terms of reactions.  The topic itself always seemed to “frighten” him in some way, and each time it came up, he seemed increasingly withdrawn.  I could sense it.  That’s when I confided that I thought there might be something wrong with me, you know, in the “girly” region that might indicate foreshadow our troubles ahead… 
I took a photo of my drink that afternoon and now, I’m glad I did.  As silly as it sounds, it’s probably the most inadvertent, yet most symbolic photograph that I’ve ever taken.  It was mixed with emotion and fear, bitterness, denial, doubt, skepticism, greed, betrayal and love – all of the things that now symbolize the past year of my life.
Our one year anniversary of that trip passed recently and this picture speaks a thousand words to me, every time I look at it.  I’m glad I have the opportunity to share it here and what it means to me. 
Here's another photo of a Key West sunset that I snapped during that trip to leave you with.  Maybe someday I'll have the chance to go back...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pills

Seems I swallow a lot of them lately. Both, in the literal and figurative sense.

For the most part they do me good but some are tougher to swallow than others. Like for example, the pill I've been avoiding which is to change my married name back to my maiden name. I wanted this from day one, when I filed the divorce paperwork. Just made sense to restore my birth name, as if it's wiping away a memory. It's just the angry cloud that looms over my head. Heck, I still have bills and credit cards gimmicks that come to me in my maiden name and I haven't used that last name in nearly 5 years.

Maybe it's a sign. A sign that I should just swallow the damn pill already and just let it all go. I'm finding a lot of things these days are tough to do. Every time I turn around, there's a new pill to swallow and something else to "let go" of. I do sit back at times and wonder. Wonder what the future has in store for me and when, just when does swallowing pills get any easier? Unfortunately, I don't have that answer and probably won't for some time, but had I known my medicine cabinet would turn into the world of wonder, I think I may have been better off leaving it shut. Some pills you just can't avoid. And sadly, most dark clouds that taunt, don't just go away on their own.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Heartbreak

It's a familiar feeling for most in this world, but to varying degrees.

But recently, an internet aquaintence in the blogger world experienced the most devastating loss a woman could possibly feel -- the sudden and unexplained loss of her infant daughter. A thought that no one would even want to think about, imagine, even believe it could happen to them or someone they know. She was taken too soon and seemingly, without purpose.

This tragic incident got me thinking. How many times do we as human beings complain? We complain about traffic, the guy that cut us off on the freeway. We complain about homework and tests and the frustration of deadlines. We complain about work and co-workers. We complain about siblings, spouses, children, parents, friends and people we hardly even know. We complain about other random people and we even complain about their complaints. Why do we take these things for granted?

Why even complain when you know deep within your soul that you really have nothing to complain about? When you consider that your complaints are absolutely trivial and in the grand scheme of things, you're complaining really just to satisfy a momentary set-back in life or to justify some inner annoyance at the time. At least you are on this Earth to complain in the first place.

Consider the next time you feel the urge to complain. Is it worth it? Are your children in good health and resting peacefully while you complain? Are you and your family and friends in good health? Do you really have reason to be complaining about whatever it is you are complaining about? Is your heart broken in any way?

I've started to realize that there are bigger things in this life to be thankful for. There are events which we can and cannot control. Lives can change in an instant. People enter and exit lives for reasons. Some reasons are a part of God's plan for something bigger. And other reasons go unexplained. And just when I start to think the world is crashing down around me, I have to stop, take a time-out and realize that I know in my heart that I really have everything to be thankful for. Not everyone has that luxury.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Schmalentines

Well, just got a call back from the HR gal and guess what? Breaks don't exist apparently. That's right, the job went to someone else. That someone else happened to be the wife of a dude that works there already. I was in shock that the HR gal actually told me that but not so shocked because that's the "Real World" for ya. The "good ole' boy" system - where you get a job based on who you know and has nothing to do with your qualifications (or lack thereof). Sadly, I know the process all too well. I was that wife who got a job based on this exact scenario. And, I know at the time I wasn't the most qualified candidate and that I possibly ripped it from the hands of someone more qualified and more deserving. It just plain sucks. I know I rocked those two interviews to pieces. NO ONE is/was more qualified than I am so that just goes to show it's all about who you know. This wouldn't have been such a blow to the girly parts if this job didn't pay so well or have awesome benefits. I feel like the pot of gold was snatched from my hands after waiting patiently for over a week to claim my prize. FML :/

To top it all off, I greeted the door this afternoon after the bell rang and there was a box on the doorstep from 1-800-Flowers, so excitedly I picked it up and as I read the name and address on the box, realized it was for my neighbor.

Yeah, Happy Valentines Day to me.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Breaks

Wow oh wow has time passed. Here I thought I was keeping up and maintaining and what do you know, it's been nearly a month since my first post!

Think I can safely sum up the last few months with one word; Hectic. But, what else is new? That's been my life for the past 32 years and well, I'm still wondering where my "break" is. Does such a thing even exist? Despite all of my life accomplishments, I still continue to feel as though I'm in a perpetual state of sitting idly by at the start line. I guess that's what you get when you feel like you've worked so hard at "starting over" that you take a look back and realized you have yet to pass the starting line. Make sense? Probably not, ha! For now, I'll chalk it up to the quicksand effect that has taken a hold over my life lately. It seems, no matter how hard I try to get out of it, it just sucks me in and drains me physically, mentally and emotionally.

I guess it's all relative to what you perceive as moving forward. I mean, I'm knee deep in class right now with a midterm this weekend (already!) and the job outlook is slowwwly looking a little more promising. I interviewed yesterday with a local hospital here. The job itself is fabulous and the pay leaves me absolutely salivating beyond all realistic belief. Progress? Yes, especially since they called me back today for a second interview on Friday! Imagine that, someone is interested in what I have to offer. What a novel idea and such a drastically different feeling than I have experienced in recent months. I'll be patient like always and of course update on the outcome as soon as I know...

Maybe a break is in store for me. Of course, I never hold my breath for such a thing since I've never, ever had any such luck on my side but I take each day for what it's worth and count my blessings that seem so far and in between. I guess my one true saving grace is that I've always found the little things in life to make me happy. I'll continue to live by that grace, as sometimes that's all I have.

Thanks for reading, dear friends.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Testing...Does This Thing Work?

Alright, alright, so I had this Epiphany tonight on this 2nd day of January, 2011 (I know, epiphany...crazy talk, right?). I mean, as a 32-year-old "career student" with an undergrad degree in Communication (emphasis in journalism) who should just take up part-time term paper writing for a minimal fee, I thought maybe I could put those writing talents to work and officially start a blog. You see, I have been a blog follower (though self-admittedly not very religiously) of several friend's blogs but never fully developed my own until now...

I figure, this is a great avenue to let out my emotions and express my feelings in hopes that I can embarrass myself repeatedly in front of my blog follower friends and family (ok, well, kidding on the embarrass part but you get where I'm going). Well, the fact of the matter is, the year of 2010 was apparently just plain and simply, not my year. I mean, it started off with a bang. Work was fantastic, my husband's career was really on the move. We traded our brand new rental house in the suburbs "digs" for a super fancy and ultra "plush" condo on the beach. He graduated from college with a Bachelor's while I continued working feverishly on my Master's. Our efforts to "finally" begin to expand our family were fully underway and then BAM, like a bat out of hell, the first whammy came.

To make an extremely long story short, after about a year of trying to get "knocked up" with no success, I decided to go to the next level and made an appointment to see a Reproductive Endocrinologist (for when those dang OB/GYN's just ain't cuttin' the mustard). At my initial consult in June, a review of my family history and after numerous blood tests and getting poked and prodded around, the RE confirmed what I already suspected and I was diagnosed with a relatively common disorder which (among other things) effects women's fertility and consequently, my own. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is the name of it. It is characterized by insulin resistance and is the precursor to diabetes and obesity. And yes, like the name suggests, I also have multiple little cysts that have set up shop on my ovaries on a somewhat permanent basis. I can thank my lovely genetics for that precious gift which is partly responsible for this disorder. The other part is just plain ole' nasty luck. No, there is no cure for PCOS but yes, there are multiple treatment options that don't involve plowing into my girly parts or anything of the sort. Nah, but seriously, it's under control with the help of modern medicine and other than a few pesky symptoms now and then, it really is manageable with diet, exercise and a few OTC herbal supplements of choice. Overall, I am in FANTASTIC health so no real worries there...for now.

So, now that I've shocked your system (for those who didn't know), let's move onto the #2 whammy (which was assisted by whammy #1); my split from my husband of 4 years. Before I move onto the male-bashing portion of this post (ha, kidding!), I would like to express my sincere regard for any other couples out there who have struggled with the idea of having children or not. It is such a difficult struggle to go through, particularly when one partner is into the idea and the other isn't fully committed to it, or in my case; he "changed his mind". I will not go into detail about that struggle between us (perhaps, another day if/when I care to re-live those emotions again) but for now, I respect him for his choice and I can only thank him for giving me the freedom to move on and more importantly, the ability to *hold on* to something very precious to me - the possibility of being a mom someday. Whether or not that actually happens is really in God's hands at this point. But, it's fun to think of the possibilities nonetheless and maybe you can follow my crazy journey, wherever it may lead.

My goal here is not to focus on one specific area in my life or one particular direction, but rather, it is intended to provide a little glimpse into who I am, and what my life consists of at any of my random moments in time. And, let's just be blunt, I've kept my private life a little "too" private over the years and well maybe I owe it to someone, somewhere to be a bit more open with the things I share. I titled this blog the way I did because quite honestly, my life right now is yet another blank canvas. I've done and seen and lived a lot in the past 32 years and none of which of my life experiences I would trade for the world. I'm proud to say that I'm ready to move forward and see where this crazy, random world takes me. And maybe, just maybe I can be an inspiration or provide some guidance to someone else out there following my blog.

Please bear with me as I get this ball rolling. With work opportunities pending right now (like the dark cloud looming over my unemployed head) and school starting up on Jan 18th, I'm not quite sure just how much "spare time" I will have to update my blog. But, I do know that if you've made it this far, KUDOS to you and you can now put the kleenex away (ha ha ha). Cheers to post #1 and here's to many more!