December 30, 2010

Life As I See It, Right At This Moment

It has been one of those weeks. You know, one of those weeks. The kind of week that sneaks up behind you, trips you, throws a bag over your head, kicks you a few times in the ribs, jumps up and down on you a little, and then, when you finally pull yourself to your feet again, follows you for a couple blocks and does it all again. Oh yes, one of THOSE. If it could possibly go wrong, this week, it has. The heater in my car is broken, there is something painfully wrong with my knee, the apartment is a mess. I broke one of my favorite coffee mugs, I've had a headache for three days now, and our plans for New Year's Eve went up in smoke. I could go on (and on and on), but suffice it to say it's been a long, bad week.... and it's only Wednesday.
When I hit a slump like this, I always have a tough time pulling myself to my feet and forcing myself to break the streak. I know that a lot of people in this situation would simply sit themselves down for a little pep talk and tell themselves to think positively. For me, though, it tends to take some outside force to end a slew of crappy days -- either a fortuitous event that comes along and turns things right around, or some realization that forces me to stop feeling so bad for myself. Luckily, tonight I stumbled across that little trip-wire and was smacked in the head with a lesson in perspective: no matter how bad things are, they could always be worse. It sounds cheesy but it is so true -- it's what I realize every spring night that I lie back on the warm pavement at night and stare up into the massive expanse of stars. Life is so much bigger than all of our little problems, even when several little ones snowball into a big, ugly pile of problems. It's time for me to be grateful that my life is as good as it is, because in the end, that always turns out to be good enough.

December 27, 2010

You Know, Santa Claus and Ho Ho Ho, and Mistletoe and Presents to Pretty Girls

Ah, the day after Christmas let-down -- always such a bummer. After a month preparing, Christmas day flies by so fast, whizzing through in a flurry of bows, gift bags, and enormous amounts of food. Despite its sheer speed, this year was wonderful: Dan and I were able to spend time with each of our families, a fairly impressive feat considering we visited five different houses of people during the day. Christmas eve was absolutely as stressful as I expected -- a long night of wrapping all the gifts for our families, baking my favorite sweet potato casserole, hustling Dan off to bed so that I could finish wrapping and stuffing his stocking, and laughing at the cat as he hid under bags and pounced on the ribbons I was curling. Once everything was under the tree, I curled up in bed was practically asleep before my head hit the pillow... which explains why despite setting my alarm for 7:00, Dan and I overslept by over 2 hours and were incredibly late to my mom's for breakfast. We headed to my dad's for lunch and then Dan's parent's house, had dinner at his aunt's house, and then stopped by his uncle's before finally heading home to clean up our wreck of an apartment and, again, fall into bed. Everyone seemed to love their gifts and Dan and I were excited to receive some wonderful new things ourselves. I got one of these:

and one of these:

and a few of these:
to feed my baking habit. Dan also got one of these:

from yours truly and don't tell him but I'm pretty excited about it too -- I can't wait to set it tonight and have it ready to go by the time I'm leaving for work in the morning. I also got some wonderful cookbooks that I can't wait to start using, a great comforter to keep our bed all snuggly and warm, a hot glue gun (from my ever practical mom - love you!), oh and one fabulous pair of these:

Love them!
So all in all it was a wonderful day and we had a great time sharing meals with our various families. Unfortunately, tomorrow it is back to work for a long week -- the other lady who works in my department is on vacation this week, so I will be all by my lonesome! I'm crossing my fingers that it will be a quiet week and I can handle everything on my own. Can't believe that we have less than a week left of 2010!

December 22, 2010

Stocking Stuffers

I feel like it might be a little early in the game to resort to the "random things on my mind, bullet point style" post, but after an early morning at the gym and a ridiculous day at work, that's about all my feeble little brain can handle. It's Wednesday, what can I say?
 -- I've discovered that there are few things in life sweeter than finally getting a pandora station to figure out what the heck it is you actually want to hear. After a long process of likes and dislikes and (for me, at least) yelling at the computer, hearing more than two good songs in a row is like a Christmas miracle. It's only taken two weeks for the darn thing to figure out that the most important similarity among Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson, Miranda Lambert, and Katy Perry is not, in fact, "interweaving vocal harmonies."
 -- There is a direct correlation between the number of days you work every week and the sheer wonder of having a day off from said work. When I waited tables I typically had several days off a week, and while I looked forward to them, it was with nowhere near the amount of anticipatory thrill that enveloped me this weekend. Monday did indeed live up to my expectations, despite the fact that I battled crowds and the turnover of merchandise from Christmas to Valentine's Day (I kid you not). Unfortunately I don't get a day off for Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve, but I'm counting the days to Martin Luther King Day!
 -- I am moderately concerned that when D leaves (oh did I not mention that deployment? There will be a post forthcoming.... when I am able to organize my feelings on this topic.) and I have no one to hold me accountable, I may eat pasta every single day. I had a bowl last night for dinner and I am already craving more. Not a good sign for the future... or my hips.
 -- On a related note, "D" has requested that he be referred to as "Dan." He's not into the whole letter thing. Something about thinking he's good enough for a whole name....
 -- I am seriously excited to spend our first Christmas in the new house -- it will be the first time that Dan and I will be together the whole day and I can't wait to share it with him! He has been teasing me with my presents for days, and he has some pretty great gifts to open himself -- if they all get here in time!
 -- Since when did all the "easy people" on my Christmas list become hard to buy for? I've never had trouble coming up with ideas for my mom or my step-mother, but these two ladies have inspired several sleepless nights in the past few weeks as I stressed over what they might like. Thankfully I finished both of them up on Monday and I think they will love everything they are getting!
 -- I leave you with this lovely bit of Christmas cheer... doesn't he look thrilled?
December 18, 2010

The Christmas Crunch

How on earth did Christmas sneak up so quietly? Apparently this year no amount of jingle bells or horribly overplayed songs about a hippopotomus were successful in alerting me to this holiday's rapid approach. The tree is lit but not decorated, a few presents have been ordered but not delivered, and I have more baking to do before Christmas eve than Keebler. When I was little, this season was filled with adorable art projects, chocolate advent calendars, sticky gingerbread houses, and class parties. My biggest worries were whether the tree was evenly ornamented and making sure we had a big enough carrot to leave out for Rudolph (yes, my poor father was forced to gnaw on a huge carrot every Christmas eve to keep the magic alive) Now, the days leading up to Christmas are filled with stress instead of excitement, as I struggle to pick, afford, acquire, and then wrap the perfect gift for everyone on my (rather long) list. To me, the best part of this whole holiday is making it wonderful for those around me, which means that all this effort more than pays off in the end, but it also means that I often get a little lost in the pressure. This, combined with my finely honed procrastination techniques and my inexplicable impairment when it comes to wrapping even the squarest of things, always results in a sleepless Christmas eve. I'm surprised I've never run into Mr. Claus himself as I stumble blearily to bed each year in the wee hours of the morning. This year, though, I feel more behind than ever, and now with a week to go the marathon begins. Luckily I have Monday off to get things done, but I don't doubt that come midnight on Christmas eve you will find me spread out on the living room floor, clutching my cup of coffee like a life raft in a sea of bows and wrapping paper.


December 17, 2010

Hello, World!

Well hi there! Welcome to my very own shiny new corner of the internet. The walls are still a little bare, but I'm pretty excited to start unpacking my boxes, setting out a few throw pillows, and making this a cozy spot to call home. I feel like this blog has been in the planning stages for so long, it's a little shocking to see it actually displayed on my computer screen and more than a tiny bit frightening when I realize that now I'm expected to actually update it once in a while (let's just say that my old livejournal and I had commitment issues). But in all honesty, I've been anonymously creepin' on loyally following so many lovely blogs for so long that even my fiance thought it was time for me to start my own. So here I am, inching out from behind my (rather comfortable) rock and taking a leap of faith!
A little bit about me: there have been quite a lot of new developments in my world during the past year, which means that although I couldn't have guessed I'd be where I am now, I am truly loving my life in this moment. At the end of April, after almost five years of dating, my wonderful amazing fantastic then-boyfriend (hereafter known as D, for lack of a more creative moniker) proposed to me. He is an officer in the army, my high-school sweetheart, my best friend, and (who knew?) has a pretty neat talent for picking out gorgeous rings. About a month later, I graduated from college and moved home to my mother's house, a waitressing job, and a future of interminable job applications. I've known for years that I want to go to law school, but as I approached the end of my undergrad years I decided that a year or two off from school would benefit both my bank account and my stress level. Dreaming of the perfect paralegal job to combine my love of law and my need for an impressive resume, I hit the classifieds hard. Over the summer D and I found a great apartment and signed our first lease together, a move which knocked me directly into adulthood: do not pass go and don't even think about using that $200 for anything but rent. Soon after, I was offered a job (with a salary! and benefits!) at a bank, and even though bank ≠ law firm, I decided to go for it. So far I am loving my work and my fabulous coworkers, adjusting to my new schedule, and trying desperately to make the contents of my closet fit "business casual." Living with D has been an exciting adventure, and I love coming home to him and our crazy cat each evening.
It seems, however, that as soon as life gets good... it changes. There are some big events coming our way in the near future (including a wedding and a deployment), so stay tuned as I ride this little rollercoaster known affectionately as my life. I am so excited to share it with you!


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