Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Winsome, Losesome

Almost two weeks ago now, I wrote out my agenda for Spring Break.  Here is the follow-up to show how NOT productive I was.... or was I?

Agenda for Spring Break, which begins this Friday afternoon:
  1. Finish happiness challenge, or at least really keep up with it  (Failed miserable.  Accomplished nothing with this.  I suck at blogging.  I'm sorry.)
  2. Write and send out ALL thank you notes from the wedding (I'm such a bad bride.)  (One third check - I did all the envelopes, labels, and stamps, and wrote about 10 cards.  I still have quite a ways to go.)
  3. Spend many hours with Rebecca, Phillip, and baby Carter in Fresno (Check!  Well, it was about 7, but it was glorious.  I missed my friends so much!)
  4. Miss Erica, Mat, and baby John LIKE CRAZY!!!   (Major check!  I missed them LIKE CRAZY CRAZY!!!!!!)
  5. Go visit with the parentals some time that week (Check!  I went down to my grandpa's house actually on Saturday so I got to see my family, hang out with Grandpa Jack AND eat dad's killer burgers!)
  6. Eat lunch with the wonderful Mother-in-Law  (Check!  Well, no lunch was involved, but it was even better.  She took me dress shopping!  I got two adorable Easter/Multiple Weddings dresses and my shoes for Erica's wedding.  Hooray!)
  7. Mop the floor and actually put ALL the laundry away (if it'll fit)  (Sorta check.  I didn't mop any floors, but with Graham's help I did get all the laundry put away yesterday!)
  8. Kiss my husband  (Duh!  Like a ton!)
  9. Bake something new (maybe a couple things)  (Check and check!  I made honey bread early in the week and made two lemon meringue pies on Friday morning.  Something I learned this week: Lemon meringue pie should not be stored in the fridge for too long.  They were pretty, but by Easter the crust was complete mush.)
  10. Read at least one book  (Check!  As seen below I read Water for Elephants which was amazing.  I'm going to start Tuesdays with Morrie tonight or tomorrow.  Trying to get back on the wagon.)
  11. Watch the Pride & Prejudice mini-series and not drool too much over vintage Colin Firth  (Fail.  I did finish Samantha Who?, Doctor Who, and Greek though.)
  12. Sleep in!!!  (Check!  I did a bit.  I was finally sleeping until about 10 on Friday.  It was 8 am rises the rest of the week, but it's the not having to set the alarm that is most satisfying.)
  13. And I guess I should probably plan for the final 6 weeks of the year... maybe.  :)  (Yeah, maybe.  I planned out my lessons for the first day back and thought a TINY bit about what to teach for the rest of the year.)
Alright, in addition to this, I also applied to a library job in Sacramento, got my named officially changed at the DMV, did an unhealthy amount of Modcloth shopping, got about 4.5 bottles deep into my 6 bottles of Wine Club wine, and gained two pounds.  I'm sitting here eating my Special K right now and I'm certain that within a week, I may turn this into a dieting blog as well.

Have an awesome Tuesday!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The show must go on.

I finished Water for Elephants yesterday morning.  So good!  Please PLEASE check this book out for something quick but so heartfelt and descriptive.  Sara Gruen went to great lengths in research to create this glimpse into Depression-era circus life, and she is phenomenal.  With the movie coming out this week, definitely try to read the book first.  You know they'll destroy it on screen, plus I'm not overly thrilled with the casting choices.  I have a couple discount Fandango passes that we've been saving for the event, so after the hubby and I go see it next week, I'll let you know.  In the mean time, you can check out my official review up on the book-a-week in review page.

Spring break is officially underway and I'm ready for a change of pace already.  It's mostly because instead of sitting at home in the evening stressing about how much I hate my job, it's not stress all day long about how much I need to keep my job.  It's a scary couple of months ahead of me now, but hopefully we will come out at the end with good news.  Prayers would be most appreciated. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Welcome to the Club

Ahhhhhhh teaching.  Man.  I'm am practically INSIDE the fence on whether or not I like this business.  As of now I have the fullest intention to pursue my Master's in Library Science after Graham is done with school (hopefully two years).  Lots of library jobs are available right now and they massively range in salary.  Fun fact, though: If I eventually get a job as a director a city library, I make over $100k, which is way more than I would make after 25 years of teaching AND I'd get to smell books all day.  Could be pretty awesome.  I"m applying to be a volunteer at the Tulare Public Library this year.  It would be really productive to rack up some hours during the summer.

Graham also was AMAZING and offered to sign me up for the Food and Wine Magazine Wine Club.  A fancy package of wine (plus a free $100 restaurant gift card) will arrive at my door Monday afternoon.  Man, I wish it was today!  I could use an evening of unwinding.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I'm still happy, I swear!

I get hung up on those happiness challenges that require updated pictures.  When I get home from work, I hit the couch, grab the computer, start the Netflix on the TV, and stay... for four hours.  I don't want to get up and go plug in my camera.  :)  Anyway, this is just a post to say, I am certainly still happy and certainly still challenged every day, but the happiness challenge will continue soon enough.  It IS nice to hear from my hubby and parents and friends that they miss my blog. 

I haven't been reading.  This sucks.  I was finally going to complete a year of a New Year's resolution.  Lame.  I'm starting Water for Elephants this week because Graham and I want to go see the movie soon.  It's in present tense, which always bugs me, but I'll manage.  Anyway, should have an update later.  Maybe I'll read SO much during the summer that I'll be able to average out again.

Work has really been stressful the past couple of weeks, but Counseling has finally worked some magic and will remove one of my most problematic students after Spring Break.  That lowest level class certainly has more challenges without her, but I'm hopeful that things will improve enough to survive the rest of the year.  If anything, I've got a couple students who learned something.  Keep praying for me, though.  It's no picnic.

Agenda for Spring Break, which begins this Friday afternoon:
  1. Finish happiness challenge, or at least really keep up with it
  2. Write and send out ALL thank you notes from the wedding (I'm such a bad bride.)
  3. Spend many hours with Rebecca, Phillip, and baby Carter in Fresno
  4. Miss Erica, Mat, and baby John LIKE CRAZY!!!
  5. Go visit with the parentals some time that week
  6. Eat lunch with the wonderful Mother-in-Law
  7. Mop the floor and actually put ALL the laundry away (if it'll fit)
  8. Kiss my husband
  9. Bake something new (maybe a couple things)
  10. Read at least one book
  11. Watch the Pride & Prejudice mini-series and not drool too much over vintage Colin Firth
  12. Sleep in!!!
  13. And I guess I should probably plan for the final 6 weeks of the year... maybe.  :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Proof of Happiness: Day 20

Define happiness in your own words.

Happiness, at least to me, is living without worry.  Obviously there are always some things worth worrying about like paying bills or making sure the car runs, but the foundation of a happy life has no worry.  This lack of worry--deep, scarring worry-- comes first from God, who straight up tells us not to worry about anything, to just pray about it.  In light of my grandmother's passing, I am starting to become more accepting of a life after this place, and knowing where I am heading helps ease the worry.  Secondly, I have a family - including my husband - who love me unconditionally.  I am not worried about where my support will come from.  I know they are there.  

When I was in high school, I was genuinely happy.  I was not worried about college acceptances (I wasn't applying to any Ivy Leagues so I knew I was okay), my family didn't have financial worries, and things were set.  When I went away to college though, I was on my own and responsible for myself.  I started worrying about money, credit card debt, grades, workload, social life, long-distance boyfriend, respect for my parents' wishes, and so forth.  This is where the UNhappiness set in.  Even after moving schools and alleviating much of that worry, I still wasn't happy.  I started piling on the things to fret over (I can't get a boy to commit; I can't catch a break with this professor; I'm not the first choice for this job; Should I really be a teacher? etc.), and I think it's obvious that this was the time when I was furthest from God.  

Finding Graham and finally grasping that he was not lying when he said "I will always love you," that he wasn't kidding when he said "Will you marry me?" and that he stood up there with me and said his vows, (yes it really took that long) I finally understood that I don't need to worry when it comes to him.  That is when I started finding true happiness again.  At the same time I started growing closer to God.  It has made such a difference.

Of course we still have things to worry about, but that deep worry that hangs over head, that's gone now.  I am finding my way back to happiness.  Over the next month or two when Graham and I start worrying about my job security and how we'll pay our bills, I know that that happiness is still there, because that deep worry is gone.  This isn't a sappy answer, but it is what I thought of and have developed into a really good theory for myself.  Happiness is very different for everyone, but feeling safe and secure is important to me.  I am no longer worried because I have my Savior and I have the man He made for me.  Nothing can stand in our way.

A Break From the Happiness - Sort Of

I'm taking a break from the Happiness Challenge to post this really great article I just read.  I got the link from Shondra, the amazing mommy blogger at Walk With Me.  Definitely worth passing along.  It's a brief explanation on how to "date your spouse" but it is completely applicable for unengaged daters as well.  Give it a read!  Link below.

For me, it means I'm going to have to watch even more baseball, but we'll both be happy doing it!  Especially if the following week we get to have Japanese food and ice cream for dessert.  :)

The Best Way to Date Your Spouse

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Proof of Happiness: Day 19

Something you found while searching "love" on Tumblr

The Story Behind It--

I hate this Tumblr thing.  Bleh.  So I just google image searched "love" ... and I didn't like what I found there either.  This is a picture that describes part of what I love.  If you haven't picked up on my obsession with Pride & Prejudice yet, well, you obviously don't read too closely.  I really do love England, especially the countryside.  I have a huge movie poster of the film hanging right about my work computer so that I can look up and their lovely faces and that lovely scenery each day.  This picture is something I love--the English countryside.  I think I would honestly be happy forever if I got to live in a beautiful home like this, drink tea, eat chocolate biscuits and write more amazing love stories. Like, I would like this view from my living room window or the small deck out back where I sit and read when the weather is nice.  This is obviously impossible, but man, I would love this!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Proof of Happiness: Day 18

Something on your dash that makes you happy.

The Story Behind It --
Again, this happiness challenge was supposed to be done on Tumblr, which I hate more and more each time I go there.  I don't have a dash on Tumblr but I do have a dash on Blogger, so I'm going to share something on there that makes me happy.

My cousin Amanda's blog! 
The Forever Endeavor
She's fabulous and really great at this blogging thing!  Check out her blog because it really does make me happy, and it will make you happy, too.