Sunday, February 28, 2010

O'ahu Slideshow

Because I know you've all been itchin' at the bit to see my amateur photography skills, I have finally put together the first of many slideshows from my life in Hawai'i! You're welcome ;)

But seriously, I'm weeding through 1,000+ pictures and trying to choose my favorites so as not to make each show 10 minutes long, and boring, but it's going to be hard. And will probably take a month for me to complete all of them, haha. If any of you are planning a trip to Hawai'i, well... ever, I would love to give you tips of must-do's; I absolutely love talking about the islands (as if you couldn't tell, right?). Better yet, take me with! I would love to be your personal tour guide!

Note: I can't label the photos without paying, but the first three photos are the view from my dorm room. Diamond Head Crater is the peak on the left, Pacific Ocean in the middle (2 miles from my door), downtown Honolulu on the right. The last picture is the front of campus, Chaminade University of Honolulu.

Enjoy O'ahu Part 1...



Hope y'all had a wonderful weekend and an even better week with your loved ones!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Feel Good Friday

It's that time of the week again: Feel Good Friday!

This week, I'm going to write about something that made me smile for The Girl Next Door Grows Up'smeme...

And that would be: Catching up with my best friend (HI, CARY!)! Cary and I met move in day of our freshman year at college and the rest is history. Even though she transfered to a school in Boston after the first semester, it's as if there is no distance between us. We both hate talking on the phone, so we don't talk as much as we'd probably like, but when we catch up, we always pick up right where we left off. True sign of a good friend, no? She really is the best. So supportive, so genuine, so accepting of me and my nutty ways. And is there for me at the drop of pen. We are polar opposites, but mesh so well. And her family is just as awesome! A rare find, I tell ya ;)

But the best part about catching up with her this week was that it was yesterday. I got a random text from her that said, "HI FRIEND!" As if she knew I had a lot on my mind and needed to hear from her. And boy am I glad it happened when it did.

So Carebear, thanks so much for checking in with me when you did. It meant the world to me. Now hurry up and move to Chicago so we can see each other more than once a year, k? LOVE YOU!



I'm (almost) too Embarrassed to Admit...

... That I am deathly terrified of birds/anything with feathers (especially if it flies). I'm sure it pays to be an onlooker when I'm walking down the beach or through the park and a bird gets within 10 feet of me. Let's just say loud stomping, clapping, and spitting are some tactics to scare them away. Or I scream and run in the opposite direction. Whatever works.

... That the kids I babysit for tell me to cover my nose and mouth when I change their diapers because they know that I will gag. Babies bums are no problem, dissecting a cat doesn't even bug me, but give me the hiney of a kid of at least two years in age and I'm dunzo.

... That my nighttime routine consists of: vick's vaporub under the nose, vaseline lathered on the lips, honkin' piece of plastic in the mouth to stop me from grinding my teeth, and a blanket totally wrapped around my eyes. Lucky hubby I'll have ;) At least I don't sleep in a flannel nightgown... or do I?

... That if I wanted to, I could eat an entire large pizza from Donatos in one night and not get sick. And now you all know why I gained those 29581 "unexplained" pounds.

... That I want to punch people who spell ridiculous as rediculous. And don't know the difference between to, too, or two. Or lose and loose. Or clothes and cloths. Or those who spell Marianne/Merri Ann as Mary Ann. So lame.

... That the sound of chewing gum chomping makes me cringe more than nails on a chalkboard.

... That I always speak before I think. Yes, you read that correctly. I Speak, then think. My friends think it's hilarious because it's so mind-boggling that someone could be so uncensored. I think it's social suicide, but do little to change it.

... That I am obsessed with Roseanne. Sometimes I stay up way later than I should just to watch it on TV Land. I hope to God I have that kind of humor when raising my own children. She has the best one-liners and her retorts to her children's questions inspire me.

... That I fall over. A lot. Yesterday at the library I lost my balance when I walked into the bathroom stall and slammed into the wall. I'm quite familiar with the walls of stalls (and floors) at bars... but the library was a new one. I also run into walls, a lot. I'm considering suing my eye doctor.

... That my wingspan is shorter than my height. So what if my pants are flooders (after a run in the dryer, they usually are) and my shirts cover my hands, you got a problem with that?

... That I crack myself up. Like this post; I think some of it is pretty darn witty, even if it's not.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Inspiration





"We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give."
--Winston Churchill



I Can't Get No Satisfaction

This post will probably be one of the hardest I will ever write. But it's something I feel I need to do; if anything, for my own good. It's something I need to get off my chest, and since I don't have the funds or time for a therapist, here I am.

This isn't an easy thing for me to clue others in on because I have a tendency to keep a wall up bigger and stronger than the Great Wall of China and rarely let people see the "real" me. The me who hides behind a tough outer shell. The me that cracks jokes to mask the pain. The me that has been suffering from depression for the past 14 years, but never remembers it being as bad as it is now.

When I think back on my life, I realize how blessed I've been. But I don't always see my life as having been a happy one. Not because I've been less fortunate or had horrible obstacles to overcome, but because of this damn demon in my head called depression. My mom always talks about my childhood as if I was a super bubbly, always smiling and giggling little girl who loved to play in dresses and be with my dad. And while I did love my dresses and was a major daddy's girl, I seem to recall my childhood much differently. Much of my childhood was spent dealing with embarrassing medical issues and always feeling like the black sheep of any group. I was diagnosed with depression when I was nine and have been on and off medicine ever since. And I've also done a pretty good job of hiding the pain.

In grade school, I had a couple friends, but they changed every year. I remember being the butt of many jokes. Boys laughing hysterically at the notion that I had a crush on them and thought maybe, possibly they could have one on me. Even one kid going so far as to draw a picture of him killing me (true story, and his punishment was so offensively miniscule that I'm still bitter). I often told lies to try to make myself look cooler, in the hopes that my peers would want to be friends with me. Being young and foolish, little did I know that this idea would always backfire.

So when it came to choosing a high school, I chose the rival high school to where most of my peers were going. I wanted to start fresh with a group of people who had no preconceived notions about me. And I was SO happy with my choice. I was satisfied. For awhile, at least. Freshman and sophomore years I loved. I played tennis for the school, I became a basketball manager, then football manager, and had lots of friends. Out of the 196 people I graduated with, I can honestly say I liked all but maybe 5 of them. I even had my first "boyfriend," even though he broke up with me two days later online. If only he knew, at that time, how happy those two days made me. Not because he was the best thing in the world and I couldn't imagine anyone better, but because it meant that some guy actually LIKED me. Then came junior year and I was ready to move on from high school. I got sick of having zero social life because I was against drinking and smoking weed and all the other people I socialized with weren't. It didn't make me think less of them, but I know it strained our friendships because they would all hang out together outside of school, and I was usually the "in school" friend. Some girls still found it necessary to make fun of me, but I just let it slide.

Problem number 1: I let everything slide. I have for years and I don't see any end in sight. I rarely defend myself. I let people walk all over and act like whatever they say to me or about me has no impact. And then I go home and eat an entire large pizza and sulk in my sorrows. Not because I feel bad for myself, but because I hate myself for not being stronger.

Back to high school... so by senior year, I was dying to get out. My dad started subbing at my school the fall of my senior year and I hated it. I felt like I couldn't go anywhere or do anything without my parents knowing. I just wanted my own space to escape. The satisfaction of high school had worn off when I was only 50% through it. But I set my sights on college and thought, "this is my time!" I was going to go into college being more laid back, more out going, less expressive about my opinions and essentially morph myself into the person I thought everyone would want to be around. Or so I thought.

College was awesome, don't get me wrong. But I don't think I realized how much I loved it until I graduated. Unfortunately, that seems to be the story of my life: I recognize the satisfaction of the moment when it's too late. My roommate freshman year and I DID NOT get along. At all. After the second week, I didn't even care to get along, because by that point I had walked in on her twice having sex with a guy (different one each time) she barely knew. Apparently homegirl didn't get the memo about putting a rubber band on the door knob as code to not come in. But I had beef with a roommate every year. And while it was easy to blame them at the time, I have major feelings of regret for the way I acted. I know I'm not easy to live with and I know I was an abrasive bitch to all of them about little things. Trust me, if I could go back in time and change one thing, being a better roommate would be it.

Again, I sought to find satisfaction in life. What would make me happy? Well, I thought majoring in Intervention Specialist (special ed) would make me happy, but that joy was short lived, so I switched to journalism. Journalism was a great plan for a few years, and then that joy also wore off. Nothing seemed to make me truly happy.

And, like most colleges, UD was a major party school. And I was kind of over the party scene by the end of my, you guessed it, sophomore year. My sophomore year was a crazy one. I blacked out for the first time ever (not a proud moment), I had a couple concussions, I was roofied-- which I blame for my dislike for getting drunk more than twice a year now-- (remember that time I fell of the counter, Mom? A jackass frat boy slipped some drugs in my drink...), and I had mono. All of that happened in three months. Hawaii couldn't have come at a better time (my second semester of sophomore year was spent there). But come junior year, I was ready to move on to bigger and better things, again. What is it with being sick of school 50% thru? I thought moving on would be where my satisfaction lied. But as history repeats itself, that hasn't been the case.

In the past 10 months, I have changed my career path entirely, graduated college, moved home, started working towards nursing school, been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, gained 35 pounds, and been diagnosed with a worse case of insulin resistance than initial tests revealed. And while my life is far from awful, I just can't seem to find happiness. My mom asks me all the time why I'm not happy and all I ever say is, "I don't know, but I'm not going to a therapist" What I really want to say is, "Because my brain is effing messed up and I have serious issues even I can't put an effing finger on." I still don't want to go to a therapist though, mostly because I hate crying and feeling like, "whoa is me, my life sucks."

I've always been incredibly insecure about my looks, my weight, my personality, my everything. And unfortunately, it's only grown worse the older I've become. I have yet to have be in a real relationship. I have an immense fear of relationships, with friends and men, and have a fear of men in general. I don't trust anyone. And I have an incredibly hard time letting anyone get close. Not a good thing for someone who is almost 23 and longing to find "the one". I have always been mature beyond my years and, until recent years, never realized how detrimental that attribute could be. I wouldn't say it made me socially backwards, but it certainly made it much more difficult to fit in. I watched friendships come and go and I was left in the dark wondering, "What went wrong?" Unfortunately, this trend continues. As extroverted as I can be, I tend to be a loner. I ostracize myself for reasons even I can't understand. Maybe it's a fear of being let down? Being taken advantage of? Or, most likely, it's because I am not happy with who I am, so why should I expect others to be?

The hardest part about depression is knowing that I'm depressed. I get so mad at myself for taking all the wonderful blessings I have for granted. I become even more depressed knowing that I am never happy. That life, essentially, is just never enough. It's such a vicious cycle, one that even medication has a hard time helping.

The point of all this is: when will it ever be enough? When will I realize how awesome my life really is, how great my friends are, how supportive my family is? When will I stop taking everything for granted and be happy in the moment? When will I find my satisfaction?? I always say when I am a mom, a wife, an RN, living on my own; all of that will make me happy. But will it? Or will this demon continue to control my life and I will continue neglecting the fact that my life has been richer in 22 years than most peoples' are in a lifetime? Only time will tell.

**I didn't write this for attention, or sympathy, or words of encouragement. In fact, I'm tempted to turn off the comments all together (but that seems a bit drastic). If no one has anything to say, I'd be completely OK with that (on this post only ;)). I wrote it to get it off my chest, because it has become a serious issue in recent months and I needed to get it out. I have so much more to say, but am having a hard time finding the words. I hope they come in time. If you feel the need to comment, by all means, do so. But if I don't respond, like I usually do, it's not because whatever you had to say wasn't appreciated; but because I'm awkward, hate being the center of attention, hate having sympathy, and chances are I just can't find the right words to respond. But please know that your comments, negative and positive, are always appreciated.**

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Week in the Life

I've seen other bloggers post what their day-to-day schedule looks like and I usually find it interesting to see how much one person can do in a single day. Since my mom and I always "argue" about how infrequently I am home (she thinks I'm home 'a lot'), this post is for her. Because I like to prove her wrong.




My weekly schedule:

Monday: babysit 9-2 for two boys and a girl (ages 4, 3 in May, and 10 months). That night, I then either work out with my trainer at his gym or go do cardio at LA Fitness.

Tuesday: babysit 8:30-4:30 for baby boy J (7 months). I try to workout this night, too. That is, if my trainer didn't kill me the night before.

Wednesday: babysit 8:30-12:30 for my cousin's two year old twin boys. Volunteer in the NICU 1-4:30ish. Babysit 4:30ish-at least 8 for the Monday gang.

Thursday: In the morning I'll either sleep in, workout, do homework, or babysit if asked. I then have class 45 minutes away from home from 3-7, so I'm really gone 2-8.

Friday: Though not a set day, I usually end up babysitting at some point on Friday's. I try to squeeze in a workout and volunteer in the NICU 3:30-7:30.

Saturday and Sunday: varies. Usually I babysit at some point (like this weekend I'm babysitting Saturday and twice Sunday) and ideally I'll get at least one workout in (if I'm not feeling lazy... which happens. A lot.) or I just bum around the house.

So you see, Mom. I really am home only during the evenings... which just happens to be the same time you're home.

If someone had told me last summer I would be this busy a few short months later, I never would have believed them. But I have been so incredibly fortunate to have several families who trust me with the care of their children and it allows flexibility with my school and volunteering schedules while still making some moolah. I don't know what I'm going to do once I start nursing school...

And P.S.... I've been forcing myself to blog this week. Even if it's the most mundane crap, I need to do it. Writing has become such a great outlet to relieve stress and I'm really glad I've stuck with it thus far. I have some better post ideas in mind, so bare with me, if you will ;)

Happy hump day, y'all!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Breathing? Then you too can be a judge on American Idol.

So much for not blogging for a while, huh?

Anyhoo, I'm watching American Idol right now and all I have to say is...

Ellen Degeneres is to American Idol what Charlie Sheen is to marriage: a nonsensical, horrible combination.

And the show will not be the same without Simon Cowell. Just my two cents ;)

Which contestant has YOUR vote?


Monday, February 22, 2010

I (don't) get it...

**WARNING: This post is all over the board. If you can't appreciate A.D.D. (diagnosed. explains so much, eh?) don't read ;)**

I get the phrase "The grass ain't always greener on the other side."

Because it's really not. Case and point: graduating from college and becoming an "adult." So totally over-rated. And I really wish I had realized this prior to graduation. I was the girl that was ready to move on after sophomore year. That's not to say I didn't love college, because I did. Trust me, some day I may get the guts to share some of my crazy stories from nights of a wee bit too much alcohol. Like the fact that I got kicked out of the same bar once a year. I have wonderful memories and even more wonderful friends that I would have never met had I not gone to UD. I was just ready for bigger and better things; or so I thought. And now I am an adult. I pay more bills. I'm rarely home (although my mom (for whatever reason) doesn't agree with that, do you Mom?). And I have to schedule a time to see my friends; as opposed to walking through their front door at all hours of the night. Being an adult is all that bad, but I just wish I had taken the time to live in the moment and enjoy all that college had to offer.

I get why most parents could be out of milk and bread, but by golly that wine fridge WILL be stocked.

I'd love to see statistics for parenthood induced drinking. Sometimes we all need a little somethin' somethin' to take the edge off... no judging here.

I get why some people are obsessive about maintaining a healthy body.

Is it something I will ever do? Probably not, not obsessively at least, given my track record. But I understand it now. Losing weight sucks. Working out sucks. Avoiding all the foods you love SUCKS. But you know what sucks even more? Being fat. Feeling like the world is judging you with every step your jiggly thunder thighs make. That really sucks. So I try to make healthy choices. So my doctor doesn't go into cardiac arrest next time I tell her what I eat in a normal day ;) And I only have 30 or so pounds to lose. I just can't imagine how it is being morbidly obese; and I hope I show a little more compassion to those who are.

I don't get when it became socially acceptable to tell a total stranger they look like death. Really? The glasses on my face should be a pretty clear indication that I have eye sight correction, so I DO know what I look like. I don't need a reminder that road kill has more life to it than I do some days. I don't walk up to random strangers and tell them their outfit makes them looked like a beached whale, so I expect the same respect. Please and thank you.

I don't get the point of the Olympic "sport" (I use that term loosely) curling. Is it like bocce ball on ice? And how does one go about acquiring such a knack for curling? It's just so odd. Twenty bucks says the man I marry is a curling playing paleontologist. Any takers?

I don't get why people put it all out there on facebook. Drama, mundane thoughts, etc. Especially if it involves indirectly telling someone how much you don't like him/her. A HUGE pet peeve of mine. If I cared enough, I'd probably give serious thought to mailing each of my "friends" who fall victim to this a diary. Because really, that's the only appropriate place in which it should be written. Not on a social networking site.

I don't get why the media thinks we (still-- I never did) care about Tiger Woods. I have no more words for this, other than WHO GIVES A FLIP???

And I don't get why some people just can't appreciate sarcasm and honesty. I'm insanely sarcastic (as if you haven't noticed). I'm insanely honest. And sometimes I am labeled an insane b****. An unfortunate misunderstanding, if you ask me.


Wishin, hopin, thinkin, and prayin...


**This picture has absolutely nothing to do with the following words, it's just one of my favorite non-Hawaii photographs that I have taken and I wasn't in the mood to rip something off of google images :)**

Quote of the Day: "He who has HOPE has everything" -- Arabian Proverb

Song of the Day: "Undiscovered" by James Morrison. P.S. If you don't know this talented musician, you should. I am obsessed and have him pumping through the stereo often.

Of course, this better fits the theme of HOPE (and the title ;))...


I probably won't be blogging much this week. I babysit 12 times in the next 10 days, I have a major Anatomy exam (cardiovascular system, ugh) on Thursday, and, quite, frankly, I don't really have anything interesting to blog about (assuming all my other posts have been relatively interesting). So unless I think of something terrific, or one of you fine ladies has a special request, the only time you'll here from me will be from commenting on your blogs!

Side note: The three days off were exactly what I needed and this week has already started off on a better note :) My Monday morning rugrats were angels today and not once did I have to remind them to turn on their listening ears. I don't know if it was because they hadn't seen me in nearly two weeks or if I was just more relaxed, but it was such a delightful time with them today. Jeseca, if you're reading this, I'm so glad you took a chance and responded to my craigslist ad :) I love G, JT, and M!!

I'm hoping all of you have kicked off the new week on the right note!! Prayers that we all have a good and safe week!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Celebrating!!!



I've slacked on posting the positive little things that made me happy that past few weeks, but this week's Feel Good Friday seemed like a must.

Because I LOVE making lists, I am going to bullet five things that made me smile this week; so here it goes...

1. Today, Saturday, and Sunday I have absolutely NOTHING on the schedule. I can spend more time with my family, I can WORKOUT, I can visit with friends, I can sleep in, I can do WHATEVER I WANT. This is the first time I have had more than one day off in a few weeks and I plan to enjoy every. last. second. of it.

2. I was able to spend some time with two of my favorite cousins (Molly and Bridget) and their amazing kids. These beautiful women are technically my "third cousins" (our parents are first cousins) and I am so thankful that we all grew up together. How many people can say they are close to their very-extended extended family? I really am fortunate to be so close to so much family. It makes holidays that much more fun :)

3. Molly's baby girl, Caitlin, is the most GORGEOUS little girl I have ever seen. Seriously, I am obsessed with her. Molly probably thinks I am a nut case, but this little girl just melts my heart (her two boys do a really good job of melting me, too!). When I was released on Monday from babysitting the three girls, I went over to Mol's house so she and her hubster could go to dinner for V-Day (which I was so happy to do! Her husband is a college basketball coach and they don't get to do date night nearly enough). Anyway, I'm stressed, overwhelmed, and in need of a stiff drink when Molly opens her door with Cate in her arms and I see two of THE BEST, MOST BEAUTIFUL smiles in the world. Seriously, I felt 239482309482 times better the moment I got there. I should've gone over after my exam on Wednesday ;)

4. I have been told multiple times this week that I am funny. I'm really awkward when I receive compliments. I tend to get embarrassed and unsure of how to react. But this is one compliment that I absolutely LOVE hearing. I love the thought that I've made someone else smile. I'm sure many feel the same sentiment: being told you're funny NEVER gets old.

5. This is so lame, but made me so happy. Wednesday night I was exhausted and could barely keep my eyes open but needed to take my Anatomy exam online. I had no clue how I'd take a 50 question exam with my current state of mind, but it was a must. Well, the Good Lord must have realized I couldn't handle bombing another exam, because the test was completely screwed up, I could only see 11 questions, and half of them didn't have any answer choices. Alas, I couldn't take the exam. I was SO HAPPY! Even though the prof is going to figure out another way for us to take it, I don't even care. The fact that I didn't have to take it at that time was such a high point of the week!

6. It's sunny here!!! I don't know what winter is like besides in Indy and Ohio, but a sunny day in the winter is DEFINITELY cause for CELEBRATION! It is so ugly and dreary 99% of the time, but today is a BEAUTIFUL day. (And yes, I realize I posted 6 and not 5 things, but I was having too much fun!)

A BIG thank you to The Girl Next Door Grows Up for hosting such a wonderful and uplifting meme each week. I really needed something like this this week, to remind myself that it hasn't been a total bust.

If you are new to my blog, WELCOME! Thanks for stopping by!!

I hope you all have a wonderfully awesome weekend!!


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

In need of a Smile?

I'm sure most of you have seen these, but they ALWAYS make me laugh!




Sidenote: Is is possible to train your kids to always speak in an accent? Because a child with a British accent is swoon worthy. Or maybe that's a bad idea; I'd probably think it was too cute and they would get away with murder.



Personal favorite moment is at or after 38 seconds.

Positive Posts

I like to think of myself as a pretty positive person. I like to find the upside to most things and hate to be a negative nelly. But for some reason I don't feel like that has been very well reflected in my posts. Maybe it's because I've taken on more than I can handle and am struggling to find a balance or maybe I am delusional and not as positive as I think. Regardless, I don't like it. So, for the next week, I am going to write nothing but positive and uplifting messages. I need to start appreciating the simple things and remind myself that people are in far more dire situations than I. Hopefully this will become habit and will extend past a week, but for now, 7 days of nothing but optimism :)

Pass the Vino

*This is a major "debbie downer" post; if you don't want to hear complaining, don't read it.*

It's 12:45 and I am drinking wine.

I rarely, RARELY drink. But this has been the most off week I have had in years.

Today's test, overall, went well. I scored an 82.4% (which is above the national average). I was in the 95% percentile for three of the sections. And then came the science. Which I failed, by 3 points. And I wouldn't say it is due to a lack of intelligence. Silly me just didn't realize I needed to know what kind of rocks form islands, or how to know which element would transfer electrons to form an ionic compound in order to become an RN. Never mind the fact that I scored 15 points higher than the national average in Human Body Science and a whopping 35 points higher in Physical Science. That doesn't matter at all; not to them at least. They only care about the overall for the section.

Since I failed that ONE section, they won't even look at my scores. I must retake it on March 25. The application deadline for the program is April 1. So, basically, next time is my one and only hope.

I also got my car stuck in a foot of snow. And yesterday I overslept by an hour, resulting in me being 40 minutes late to babysit. And you already heard about my experience taking care of three girls. Also, my schedule has been so ridiculously chaotic that I haven't been able to find the time to workout in over a week, which is making me feel like a tub o' lard yet again. And given that my parents have looked at me and said, "You don't look good. You look past the point of exhaustion," wine was the only logical way I could think to relax.

And did I mention that Lent starts today and I have chosen to give up pop (soda for all you weirdos ;)) AND sugar? Only for God would I give up my drugs of choice.

So while expletives run through my mind in rapid succession, I'm toasting to you, my dear readers, for your words of encouragement and prayers to God. I truly, truly appreciate it.

Cheers!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

As if I needed another reason...

... to ship myself back to the islands...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20100216/sc_livescience/happieststateshawaiimovesintofirstplace

Also, I have my TEAS test tomorrow (the entrance exam to get into nursing school). If y'all don't mind, could you please say a prayer to the Man Upstairs that I do really well on it? The program is really competitive, so the better I do, the better my chances are of being accepted. Thanks, darling's. :)

Smooches!

Monday, February 15, 2010



the snow has been falling nonstop since I woke up at 8.

pandora.com is pumping out the sweet sounds of Jack Johnson and the like.

I am feeling more confident with my preparations for the nursing entrance exam I take Wednesday

and in two hours I will be released from the chaos that has been the past 5 days of caring for three girls. and then I am going to go spend time with my cousin's children, to remind myself that I still want my own someday.

God is SO good.

Wishing you a blessed day :)


Image from Google Images

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Things that make me happy

For fear of being too debbie downer on here, I thought I'd highlight the little things that bring me joy...



~Sunshine
~Good music (Frank Sinatra, Norah Jones, Michael Buble, big band music, Billy Currington, Carrie Underwood, Adele, Duffy, Colbie Caillat, Journey, Bon Jovi, Richard Marx... basically anything. Except Lady Gaga. I can't stand the "woman" (or whatever she is)). I couldn't go without the radio, Pandora, or my iPod.
~Reuniting with my friends (I don't see them nearly enough)
~Traveling
~The beach/ocean. Hands down, the one place that always brings absolute peace to my soul.
~My family
~A really good glass of wine
~A good book.
~Pretty people.
~Driving with the windows down. As long as it's at least 60* and not raining, my windows are down. Even if it is 110 outside.
~Blogging :)
~Getting comments on my blog :)
~Weddings (I may or may not already have mine planned out.)
~Spring/Summer/Fall
~Photography (especially black and white)
~Thunderstorms
~Being OUTSIDE!
~God
~Children (in case I haven't made that clear)
~Flowers (my faves: Gardenias, Peonies, Tulips, Hibiscus, Orchids)
~Chocolate
~Ann Taylor LOFT
~A good pair of shoes that make me walk with a little more confidence. (Especially these little beauties (I wear them slightly differently) that I practically robbed from DSW. Originally 119... I paid 40. Which reminds me... I also love...)
~... Bargain shopping!

Sorry, this is a boring post, but I like to remind myself of the little things in life so as to not take them for granted.


Who's the next American Idol?

I haven't watched American Idol the past couple seasons, so I'm not sure what's made me sit down and watch it every week this season, but now I'm hooked and already have chosen the winner.

This man:



He took a song that was decently successful and made it 100 times better. Youtube search his name and there are plenty of other songs he's put his own spin on as well (I'm loving the Michael Jackson medley (with Cathy Nguyen) and his version of "Sunday Morning"). Now if only I could find a full version of this cover...


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Why I Refused to Work for American Media

As you know, I earned my BA in Journalism last May. You also know that I am not pursuing a career in journalism. It certainly isn't because I don't enjoy writing. I love it. It's such a wonderful way to express ones creativity. However, when it came down to it, I didn't see myself writing for a career.

For one, the newspaper industry is dying. It is all going online, and more papers are closing than hiring. Not that I would have ever wanted to work for a newspaper (horrible hours, not a guaranteed job, crummy pay, etc.), but it is a source of print media, nonetheless. And a job would have been a job (especially today).

Two: most print media outlets won't even consider hiring someone unless they had solid internship experience. I had none. And not by choice. Journalism internships are hard to find. Unless you want to live in NYC for the summer... but then you have to pay rent and the internship is unpaid. And seeing that I my money tree in the backyard is dead, this wasn't realistic.

Three: My dream journalism jobs would be writing for a fashion magazine, reporting on human rights, or doing foreign correspondence, such as war coverage. That pretty much leaves places of residency to New York City, Los Angeles, or DC. Had I become a foreign correspondent, much of my time would not have been spent in America, though. Awesome at 22, but if I wanted that as a career, the lifestyle is not very conducive to life as a wife and mother. At least not to life as the wife and mother I hope to be.

And while all of these are valid reasons to choose another career path, my biggest reason for stepping away from journalism is this: I absolutely despise all that American popular print media stands for. It is so biased and contrived that I could never feel good about what I was reporting. Do I watch CNN? Absolutely. But I still don't think they report on issues that matter 85% of the time. They get fixated on trivial topics. If I want to read about Tiger Woods (I don't), I will pick up PEOPLE. I don't want to hear about which celebrity did what on what is supposed to be a NEWS station. Quite frankly, I don't give a hoot about the fact that the Obama girls got a swing set in the White House lawn. Nor do I care how often they visit Hawaii annually. Or that they got a dog. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if, by the end of 2012, we get a report on how often the president frequents the restroom in a day. That's how mundane some of the stories are. It's not news. And if that's all the media can think to write about regarding our "leader," to be honest, it kind of lends proof to how little Mr. President is doing for our country. But that's another post for another time.

I do care about the rising level of people in poverty in this country. And the fact that women still make .75 to every man's 1.00. I also care about the rise of drug and human trafficking (especially in the good 'ole U.S. of A); the rise in teen pregnancies and the decrease in the number of high school graduates; the numerous horrible education systems in this country, especially in poverty-stricken areas; and the amount of murders this country has annually. Did you know that Great Britain, on average, has less than 300 murders annually? Here in America, we average in the tens of thousands. And yet CNN and the like prefer to talk about Balloon Boy (for what seemed like forever) and whether or not Brangelina will be adopting from Haiti. Don't even get me started on the Michael Jackson coverage. So unless you read The New Yorker regularly (which most Americans don't), you aren't getting stories of much substance. I'd like to hear stories regarding the amount of people on welfare (and how many of those are abusing the system); more about the genocide in Darfur (and why the U.S. government is the first to rescue earthquake victims-- which is important-- but is doing little to save the small African region that has roughly 500,000 genocide victims and rising. That's not even including those that are displaced.). I care about the mistreatment of women (especially in areas such as Africa and the Middle East); and hardcore facts about the Iraq war (but one must turn to a non-biased book to get those kind of details... check out Imperial Life in the Emerald City if you're interested.) Not all news needs to cover such heavy subjects. There's plenty of positive news stories I'd love to hear; stories of hope. But, clearly, the First Lady's new hairdo takes precedence (just google 'Michelle Obama's haircut'- the first website is from cbsnews.com).

Now, that's not to say that ALL print media is worthless. And I'm not saying that the news stories we hear are never important. But the mundane far outweigh the real hearty stories that inform people about local and global issues about topics that need not be taboo. The popular print media relies too heavily on what they know, but it's the 21st century and time to branch out. Since most journalists start at the bottom, I would've been one of the many that is forced to write about issues that, in the grand scheme of things, are of little importance. While this may not be an issue for many, it is for me. A big issue. I can't write about something I'm not passionate about. So why be employed by print media? I'm better off getting a job I am passionate about and write on the side, for my own pleasure, about topics that I care about. And that, my friends, is precisely what I have chosen to do.



Text from the Madre

"Hey, eharmony is free until the 15th... maybe take a look at it... never know!!!"

Is it pathetic to be on eharmony at 22? Given the amount of people that suggest it to me, I'm guessing no. She has a point though, I don't ever know. And considering my social life is nonexistent and all my time is spent with people under the age of 10, perhaps it's not a bad idea. Decisions, decisions.


Thanks, Mimi. You're always lookin' out for me. ;)


Friday, February 12, 2010

Dating advice from a 6-year-old

Quotes from the 6-year-old I'm taking care of from the past four months.

"Marianne, how many boyfriends do you have? You should have more than one in case you get in a fight."

"Are boys all over you? I think so, you just can't admit it. I'm sure they are. They should be. You're too old, if they aren't."

"Marianne, how many boys have you kissed? I've kissed 5." "Oh, A, you've kissed more than me." "Oh, I'm sorry. That's sad. My bad."

And the best...

Her 8-year-old sister was talking about the valentine her "boyfriend" gave her. I started chuckling (I have my own opinions about this new phenomenon of "dating" at 8, but they aren't my kids. Let's just say that my kids better think the opposite sex has cooties until they are at least 12.). ANYWAY... so I'm chuckling, and her 7-year-old friend looks at the 6-year-old and me and said, in complete seriousness, "Don't worry, one day you'll have a boyfriend."

Still trying to decide how to react...


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Diapers and Prozac

Murphy:


Yes, folks, my 2 1/2 year old fur baby wears a diaper. I know the little shit is potty trained because it took FOR-EV-ER to get him to do it (thank GOD we got him in the summer, because otherwise I would've looked into bladder removal), but he finally learned. And didn't have any issues for the next 18 months. And it's obviously not due to him being of geriatric age and suffering from incontinence. No, it's because his hyperactive, half poodle, neurotic self let anxiety get the better of him and decided that lifting his leg on every. single. corner. of the rooms he's allowed to go in was acceptable. So now that our family room could stand to have the carpet and furniture replaced, I marched over to the pet store and bought him a diaper. And upped his medicine. Oh yea, he's also on Prozac. And receives 3 pills a day. He also wears a seat belt in the car. Ridiculous, right?

(Muffin as a wee-one)

Fortunately, Murphy is beyond sweet. He's half poodle, half bichon and loves to give hugs (he literally wraps his legs around you and lies his head on your shoulder) and be held. He's quite prissy though and prances along rather flamboyantly. He's a giant wimp, too. He lets his little brother bully the crap out of him, to the point that he comes over and crawls into my lap for protection. Oh, and at 11 a.m. every Friday from May-November, the state of Indiana tests its tornado sirens. Murphy howls like a coyote. Actually, it's kind of like high pitched singing. If I do it, he'll mimic me. He's actually doing much better and doesn't wear his diaper as often anymore. He has some weird antics, to say the least. And we blame this dude:

(Macklin)

Macklin. The sweetest dog I have EVER met. He is my baby and a giant momma's boy. He's 2 (TODAY!) and is half bichon, half cocker spaniel (the best mix I've ever seen!! I want another one, but they are wicked hard to find!). Also accused of being born to pot heads. He is so mellow. And hasn't a care in the world. You can do whatever you want to him and he just lies there. He walks around like "Doedie Doe, this is the life." He LOVES to be held on his back and curled up like an infant. Actually, he just loves to be held, period. He will come up to me and scratch at my legs until I pick him up. I've never seen a dog with such mannerisms. And the cutest little thief I've ever seen. Socks, underwear, laundry, towels, shoes (he doesn't chew them, he just nudges them around). He wants it all. At least he always takes it to the middle of the family room so we always know where to find it.

(Magoo as a babe)

He's also a little brutus. He his super protective of me and "attacks" Murph if Murphy is getting lovin' and Mackie isn't. Or he'll steal Murphy's toy, lay on top of it, and go back to whatever toy he was playing with. And heaven forbid Murphy have a pretty scarf on after he gets groomed. Macklin yanks that puppy around the house until the scarf comes off... because all the ones in the toy basket aren't good enough, apparently. And he steals his treats. He's all bark, no bite, though. If someone comes to the house, he'll bark and bark, then run away with his tail down once they are close. And he's terrified of kids. He hides behind me, tail tucked in, growling. He would never hurt a kid, he's just scared of their size. And acts like a freakin toddler meeting the babysitter for the first time. Once Mack entered the household, Murphy went berserk. One's as mellow as the hippies at Woodstock and one's as neurotic as Kate Gosselin. They love each other and get depressed when one goes to the groomer and the other doesn't, or whatever the scenario, but he's also the reason that his brother wears a diaper. And is on Prozac. No doubt about it.

(Best buds!)

All Images are my own

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Billboard of the Day

Compliments of some private business owners in Minnesota:



Funny, no?



10 Random Facts about Moi

1. I'm more comfortable socializing with adults than I am with people my own age. Crap, I just realized I fall into the "adult" category. OK, I'm more comfortable socializing with people at least 4 years older than me.

2. I'm a goody-two-shoes and proud of it. I didn't drink until college, I've never so much as even touched a cigarette (nevermind any other drugs), and I'm saving myself for marriage (or at least until I'm with the man I know I'm going to marry); And I'm clearly OK with the world knowing that.

3. I sleep with a blanket totally wrapped around my head. I like it to be as dark as possible. Much like I prefer my chocolate. And men..... kidding ;) (My mom's going to be embarrassed when she reads that)

4. I'm addicted to crime shows. And I'm not talking about CSI and Law & Order. I mean real crime shows. Investigation Discovery channel is my favorite station. That Keith Morrison, he's so captivating (note the sarcasm). But really, I think I worked in forensics in a past life. My obsession is probably borderline disturbing.

5. I think I'm funny. Probably more so than I truly am. I hope to bring more of my humor out in my writing.

6. I never had a growth spurt. I just consistently grew for 21 years.

7. At 5'9, I'm one of the shortest of my girlfriends. Two girls are 5'10, one is 6'1, and one is 6'4. Amazonians, I tell ya!

8. I'm a conspiracy theorist about dinosaurs. I believe they were real, I'm just no so sure about the size paleontologists claim they were. "But Marianne, there are bones!" Yes, I know, but there's also video evidence Neil Armstrong walked on the moon and the Holocaust is one of the most photographed events in history and yet there are conspiracy theorists about that. Those two conspiracies are nutty. Mine? Not so much. So I stand by my thoughts. Because of this, I will most likely marry a paleontologist, or have a son that wants to be one. I've accepted that. And I probably just lost a couple readers, haha.

9. I LOVE to read. And, big shocker, prefer true stories about crimes. Or anything written by a journalist, especially if it's about the Iraq War. Like Tell Them I Didn't Cry, Imperial Life in the Emerald City, and In An Instant. Crime story I loved: Prophet of Death: The Mormon Blood Atonement Killings. I read those four in college and couldn't put them down. But I pretty much love any and every type of book. Jen Lancaster's books cracks me up.

10. I'm insanely independent. Personally and politically. I like to do my own thing without reporting to anyone and I have a hard time asking for help. I also hate being asked 24/7 where I'm going and when I'll be home. This is probably one of the reasons why I've never been in a serious relationship and why living at home again has been a challenge. And, politically speaking, I vote for the person, not the party. Unless both suck. In which case, I lean republican. And now you know who didn't get my vote in November 2008.



WHAT"S A FUN FACT ABOUT YOU?!?


Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

We all need a little motivation or uplifting words more often than most probably care to admit. I've decided that every Wednesday I am going to post a positive, inspirational quote to help get through the last half of the week.




Remove those 'I want you to like me' stickers from your forehead
and, instead, place them where they truly will do the most good --
on your mirror!

~ Susan Jeffers~


Happy hump day to all of you BEAUTIFUL readers!

Image from Google Images

Monday, February 8, 2010

Hawai'i: More than a beautiful chain of islands



*This will be broken up into multiple posts and pictures will be added ASAP =)*

Growing up, I remember being fascinated with Hawai'i. Whenever we put in a trade request through our timeshare, I'd always scream HAWAII at the top of my lungs. Of course, I had no concept of how expensive it was, and still is, to go there (from the Midwest, at least). I assumed I'd be one of the millions who chooses it as their honeymoon destination and that would be that. After all, my parents were in their 50's before they were able to go for their first time, when they celebrated their 25th anniversary.

Little did I know that when I chose to go the University of Dayton, my dream of going to Hawai'i would happen sooner than I could have ever imagined.

My first weekend there I was hanging out in my brother's room and met one of his friends who said he was going to Hawai'i in the spring semester. Obviously I asked 9 billion questions and HAD to know how the heck one goes about doing this. I COULD NOT contain my excitement. UD is one of three universities in the U.S. that was started by a catholic denomination of priests called the Marianist Brothers. The other two universities are St. Mary's College in Texas and Chaminade University of Honolulu in Hawai'i.

The geniuses at these three schools decided to set up exchange opportunities so that their students could experience a semester at one of the other two schools. Sorry, Texas, you were never even considered in this thought process. In December of 2005, I applied to the program and crossed my fingers that all would work out. I received my acceptance letter around Valentine's Day 2006 and tried to figure out a way to contain my excitement for the next 11 months.



January 10, 2007 was the first day of the BEST four months of my life. After a LONG day of traveling (I had to stop at both DFW and LAX), I finally landed in Oahu. It was night, so I couldn't really see the beauty of Hawai'i, but I knew I'd be able to soak it in in the morning. As the driver pulled Onto campus, I was stunned with how beautiful it was. E komo mai ('welcome' in Hawaiian) is what the sign read, as I stared at the gorgeous campus nestled in the mountains. When I woke up the next morning, I couldn't believe my view. Out my front door was heaven. To the left was Diamond Head, straight ahead was the gorgeous Pacific Ocean, and to the right was the skyline of downtown Honolulu. I was two miles from Waikiki Beach. I knew this would be an unforgettable opportunity, and one I thanked God for daily.

I'll touch on classes more in a later post, but suffice it to say, I often chose the beach over school. My grades from my semester there weren't factored into my GPA, so I was not about to let school get in the way of my time in paradise. I did have a job working in the career services office, but I still found a way to go to the beach 5 days a week. When you have one of the most famous beaches in the world two miles from your front door, it's pretty easy to walk past the professor for the class you're skipping and not feel guilty.

But it was more than just four months of fun in the sun. I LOVE everything about Hawai'i. I love the people, I love the culture, I love the language, the food, the history, the natural beauty, the music, EVERYTHING. Even though it is technically part of the U.S., Hawai'i is as Asian as Japan or China. The only thing American about Hawai'i is the currency, the government, and the common language. I really immersed myself in all that Hawai'i has to offer; I didn't want to be another ignorant tourist who thinks the land is all pineapples and lei. And you won't believe how beneficial that ended up being for me. I received SO much more respect from the locals. When you're willing to sit and talk story with natives and learn to history of the land, you become one of them. They appreciate you so much more and take you in as one of their own.

My love for Hawai'i goes above and beyond the beauty of the islands. It will forever be a part of my life and I would be honored to be able to go back and live there for a couple years. I have never had an experience quite so fulfilling in my (almost) 23 years of life and I will forever consider Hawai'i my second home.

Image is my own. Hibiscus blossom in Hawai'i

Monday's Musings

1. In case you missed it: the Indianapolis Colts lost the Super Bowl. And the local news is probably going to talk about this from now until next season. Personal favorite moment from the game: the Doritos commercials; "Two things: 1. Don't touch my Mama. 2. Don't touch my Doritos." SO CUTE! And the dog collar ad was hysterical.

2. I made it to Ohio over the weekend! Hence my absence :) My friends pressured me into leaving Thursday night after class, so I would get there before the snow storm. It was such a good decision and I am so happy that I was able to see my friends for the first time in 9 months. But how I managed to survive 4 years at UD with the crazy people I call my friends is beyond me. They take partying to another level. Friday the ice and mass amounts of snow rolled in, but we didn't let it deter us. And I did make it back in time to babysit Saturday night; but that's not the kind of drive I EVER want to do again. I saw 22 cars on the side of the road within an hour and a half; 3 semi's and 3 cars with people still sitting in them. But I made it back fine.

3. Thursday-Monday I am taking care of three (rambunctious) girls (8,6,4) while their parents escape the cold for a long weekend. I've taken care of them like this before, and they all got sick and missed the whole week of school, so here's to hoping things run a little smoother this time.

4. PBS is the only station my kids will be allowed to watch in their early years. I refuse to let the kids I babysit watch Nick or Disney, even when they relentlessly argue, "BUT MOM LETS ME." I've watched the shows on said channels and when a four-year-old uses the word sexy in the proper context (or at all, for that matter), time to say peace out to Hannah Montana and iCarly. And I LOVE that PBS has educational value to it. Although, I take that back, most Nick Jr. shows I'm OK with, like Little Bill. Again, educational value and cultural diversity.

5. I'm picking up another set day of babysitting, possibly two. This will put me at babysitting Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday x 2, and Friday. And then the weekends vary. And I am still volunteering 8 hours/wk (W/F) in the NICU. Thursday nights I have class for four hours. And I still need to pencil in working out a few times/week into there somehow. I'm slightly overwhelmed, but I suppose I'd be this busy if I had a full-time job, no?

6. We had 7 inches of snow Friday-Saturday. From tonight until Wednesday we are set to get another 4-8 inches, plus blowing/drifting. Now, you all know I HATE the cold, but I'd rather look at pretty snow than dead brown grass and leafless trees, so I guess I'll take it.

7. I have to take the TEAS soon. It was supposed to be on Wednesday, but the company is having issues and it has been pushed back. This exam is required in order to apply to the nursing program I am most interested in. Fortunately, the study book makes it seem easier than the SAT and ACT, and I did OK on SAT and really well on ACT, so fingers crossed this goes just as well.

8. How's life treating YOU???


Quote of the Day: One of my favorite kids that I take care of, G (I won't be using full names, since their parents don't know about my blog- I wish I could post pictures of their cute little faces too, but again, not my kids ;)) , just turned 4. Today I overheard "I think this puzzle piece goes here. Oh, no! My hypophethith (hypothesis) was wrong." I asked where he learned that word, he said, "Dinosaur Train, of course!"

I think that's all, for now. Coming up: I'm just going to post about Hawai'i and ad the slideshow at a later date. I feel like I need to explain my obsession and prove I have a legit reason since I mention it so often.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Murphy's Law

I joke a lot that anything that can go wrong in my life, will. Nothing ever serious or life-altering, but petty little things just don't work in my favor very often. Like, if I am running a couple minutes behind and have to drive across town, I will, undoubtedly, end up getting stopped at every single stop light. And 9 times out of 10, if there is the world's slowest driver on a two lane road, you can find me right behind him. Or if there is a slick spot in the road/on a sidewalk, I will find it and inadvertently contort my legs in a position that is beyond unnatural. Twenty-two years of this nonsense and I've learned to expect it. And do nothing more than laugh. It is quite funny, and how can I not laugh at the fact that I am notorious for face planting? It is what it is.

So of course, the one weekend I plan to socialize with people above the age of 4, the weather men (weather persons, for you politically correct folk) in the area are predicting, and I quote, "The biggest snow storm of the season." Well duh, Marianne. How foolish of you to think driving to Ohio in the middle of winter would ever go off without a hitch. And the bigger problem is that I may be able to get to Ohio ahead of the storm, but I have a commitment back in Indy that I can't miss Saturday night. And, again, Murphy's Law would let me get to Ohio, but not get back to Indiana in time. Fingers crossed my reunion with some of my favorite college buddies (for the first time since graduation in May) is able to happen. But if not, my mother, the comedienne, said, "Well, you can always drink vodka and lemonade here." At least I have her approval.

Peace. Love. Happiness.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Highlight of the day, possibly the year:

My 87 (almost 88) year old great uncle has joined facebook. EIGHTY SEVEN. On Facebook. I absolutely love this man.

My grandmother, who is the same age, asks me all the time, "Marianne, so you can look up anything on that there computer? Anything you want? And you get a good answer? What is this 'google thing?'" And let's not forget the time I told her I would print my aunt's boarding pass out. She about had heart failure. "WHAT? Print it out? Well you can't do that, you have to get it at the airport, don't you???" Yes, Grams, the printing press has now entered the home. You just can't help but love her sweet little ole' self.
But I digress...

Uncle Mac, you are the hippest person I know, I love you.

I love your kids like they are my own...

Growing up, there were two things I wanted to be: a mother and a nurse. And while I temporarily lost sight of the nursing dream in the high school and college years, my desire to be a mother has never changed. I remember begging my mom for a little brother or sister all the time. There's pictures of me when I was six feeding and rocking a family friend's baby to sleep. I look like a mini-mom. And my love for children has only grown over time.

When I was 10, I took a babysitting course through St. Vincent Hospital that my parish was offering. I learned how to change a diaper, do CPR and the Heimlich maneuver (thankfully, I've never had to do either), and lots of other useful tips. When my cousin and his girlfriend welcomed their son on Halloween 1998, I was praying they would use me as a babysitter. So when JJ was probably around four months, they had me go over to my aunt and uncle's and take care of him (my uncle stayed, in case I needed him). And let me tell you, JJ did one heck of a job indoctrinating me into the life of a babysitter. To put it mildly, little man's digestive system apparently was working in overdrive. But I survived and wanted to keep taking care of kids. People in my neighborhood started calling and pretty soon, at the tender age of 12, I was babysitting all. the. time. It was my summer job for eight years. I wish I would have kept track of how much money I've made of the years.

Thinking back, I can't believe people would trust such a young girl to babysit. At 13, I took care of my neighbor's three kids who were three, two, and one. That summer, I took care of other neighbor's infant son and her two other sons, who were seven and eight. Every time she came home, the baby would be asleep on my chest. That was the only way he would sleep; he hated his crib. She called me the baby whisperer. It probably helps that I have always been more mature than most people my age, but now that I am to the age where I am starting to really, truly think about marriage and parenthood, I just can't imagine trusting a 13-year-old with the kinds of responsibilities I had at that age.

In high school, while every one else was going on dates, partying, and getting into trouble, I was making loads of moolah from babysitting three to four days a week. I absolutely comprised my social life, but I didn't really care. The party scene wasn't for me. I'm a goody goody through and through. And I formed lasting bonds with families I absolutely adore. And families that trust me more than anything and gave me wonderful recommendations for the few times I've had a "real" job. I took a stab at jobs where I had to pay taxes (I had three jobs at school and the summer of '08 I worked at Stein Mart), but I always come back to babysitting.

When I decided to go to nursing school, I was struggling to find a job in Indy that would be totally flexible with my schedule. After being a major bum from May-October, I pretty much realized babysitting was my best option. But since my former kids were old enough now to take care of themselves and I lost connections while I lived in Ohio the past four years, I turned to craigslist.com, and what a great idea that was! I met one of the greatest families I have ever had the privilege of taking care of. I adore their two sons (4, 2.5) and daughter (9 mos). I spend a minimum of 10 hours with them a week, but usually upwards of 18. I love the kids like I know I'll love my own. Two of the other three families I take care of came from word of mouth... family and friends recommended me. And the third is for my cousin. I have four wonderful families I help out weekly. And I've also had the honor of playing mom for a week to three rambunctious girls (who I am also taking care of for five days next week!).

So as I've rambled about the past 11 years of my life and how much of it has been spent with other people's children, I realize one thing: I am going to be beyond prepared for parenthood when the day comes. I've babysat ages six weeks - 14 years. Babes with colic and back talking teens. And while I know full time motherhood is going to be more work, I think I'll be ready. I feel so incredibly blessed to have had these experiences and that people trust me to care for their kids. It is a huge compliment. And one I truly appreciate. And it's no wonder I have also chosen a career where I plan on working with babies. It's my comfort zone, without a doubt. So while I finish school, I am going to continue caring for the kids I'm with now and enjoy every ounce of time I have with them. Because Lord knows by the time I'm out of school, the babysitting days will be over and my next degree pursuit will be for the M.R.S., with kids soon to follow.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Dang, making blogs look pretty can be time consuming!

How do you moms do it? Seriously, this blog thing is a lot of work to get going! I mean, I'm busy, but I also have my nights to me and only me, I just can't believe some of you ladies have the time to take care of the kids, the hubby, AND do this! Superwomen, that's what y'all are. And should probably be up for canonization in the after life.

Anyway, a HUGE thank you to sweet Merri Ann for giving me a heads up on how to create a signature! Now my signing off doesn't look as dumb :) Thanks, Merri Ann, I really, really appreciate it! And I added my email to the sidebar!

Hopefully as time progresses, the looks (and writing, haha) of the blog will continue to improve.

P.S. Please tell me if my signature is kind of hard to read, I couldn't decide...


Monday, February 1, 2010

Calling on God.




God is good. This prayer certainly brought me peace and all things are back to normal :)

Image from Google Images

Photography

I absolutely LOVE photography. It's one of my greatest passions, and while I certainly don't claim to be good at it, I enjoy it immensely, which is all that matters, anyway, right? So while I'm working on transferring nine billion pictures from the past four years over to this computer (which will give me more to blog about), I decided to create a slideshow of some of my favorite photos. They are all from either New York City or Hawai'i -Oahu, Kauai, and Maui. The pictures from Hawai'i are just a prelude to the massive slideshow that I will be posting soon. And just a side note, the black and whites look a little off in color because I *gasp* used a film camera, not a digital, so I obviously had to scan them in and the scanner made the pics look a little goofy (technical language) Anyway, hope you enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by!
XOXO

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