Tuesday, March 25, 2008

10 on tuesday (27)

I haven't done a 10 on Tuesday in quite some time. A few topics have been interesting lately but I just haven't played. This week's is 10 Things to Do Before You Get Married.
  1. Spend some time alone. I think everyone should feel comfortable being single and being alone. I'm not saying that's preferable to being with someone. It's just that you never know what the future will bring and not being comfortable with your own company can lead to poor choices during tough times.
  2. Discuss the important things. Kids. Where you want to live. Finances. Goals.
  3. Personally, I wanted to own my own home. I realized that as much as I wanted to meet the man of my dreams and ride off into the sunset, I wanted to have the opportunity to own and decorate my house (my way) first. I'm very glad I've gotten the chance to do that.
  4. Be able to take care of yourself financially. Again, you never know what the future holds. My mother, being a single parent after my dad's death, couldn't emphasize this enough. I think a lot of people stay in dysfunctional relationships for monetary reasons.
  5. Get to know each others' friends and family.
  6. Get an education.
  7. Take a trip together. Stressors surely come up during even the smallest of trips. See how you handle them together. Or do some sort of joint project. Anyone need one? You can redo my bathroom.
  8. Have an uncomfortable conversation. Surely there's something that you need to discuss but are scared to. Push your limits because life will certainly throw you more uncomfortable dilemmas once you're married, living together, with child...
  9. Make sure you're really in love. The kind of love that will last through all these other things going wrong. Love that will be there when you're old and saggy. Love that will be there when you want to shake him. I tell The Boyfriend that I want to squeeze him much more often than I want to shake him. I think that's success.
  10. Plan a wedding. Ahhh! If you want to do this, I'll help. But, please, please, let me rest awhile first.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

hoppy easter

Some trivia for today?

Eostre (Ostara) was the Anglo-Saxon goddess of the spring and the dawn, and her name is the origin of the word Easter. Every year at the vernal equinox, people held a festival to celebrate the goddess. Eventually the Christian holiday celebrating the Resurrection was combined with the pagan festival to form Easter. According to legend, Eostre saved a bird whose wings had frozen during the winter by turning it into a hare. The hare became her sacred companion, retained its avian ability to lay eggs and over time developed into our modern-day Easter Bunny.

(from uncommongoods.com)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

wedding cakes



(The Brother's is a Craftsman tool box, complete with real and chocolate tools.)

Monday, March 17, 2008

weddings are exhausting

Ok, and they're fun, too. The Brother got married on Saturday but the festivities started Thursday night and finished up last night. It was exhausting indeed. He had his bachelor party on Thursday night and the girls came over to my house for a little booze and pizza and girl talk. It was low key and fun.

On Friday we all got manicures and pedicures. Not all of us...just the girls. The guys recovered from the night before. Then I picked up the best man from the airport and we headed down to the wedding location for the rehearsal. Things were starting to feel real at that point. I opened the door to the reception room and all the tables were set up and place settings were starting to be laid out. After a brief anxiety attack (not really, but it did freak me out a little), I closed the door. We all headed back up to the SIL's parent's house for the rehearsal dinner. Yea for BBQ! I think our yankee guests enjoyed that as much as the locals. It was a fun evening, so nice to see everyone together.

Saturday morning was hair and make-up. We crammed in a quick lunch and headed down to get dressed. After that, everything just flew by. Everyone said how beautiful the ceremony was...and none of the wedding party fell down the stairs. Whew. The vows had just enough tears from all the right people, and I didn't sob like a baby. Another whew. We took more pictures and made it upstairs for a little mingling before dinner. There were all the special dances, the Grand March, the cake, toasts, the bouquet and garter tossing and suddenly it was time for the last dance and blowing bubbles as the happy couple departed in a horse-drawn carriage. I was so surprised at how quickly everything went by but was happy that it all went so smoothly. Happy wedding, The Brother and SIL. I couldn't be happier for the two of you.

Oh, I caught the bouquet. It was rigged.

The Boyfriend caught the garter. It was not.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

the important things (to varying degrees)

I don't know about you, but sometimes I get too busy living to have time for writing. This happened to me long before I started blogging. Believe it or not, it's actually easier for me to keep up with post-blog (and that's really sad when you consider my lack of substantial posts as of late). So, after scrolling through, it appears that I haven't written much in the past month. While each of these topics probably deserves (deserved) its own post, I'm just going to lump it all together because I have a few minutes to spare here.

My birthday--Good. Thirty-one is a little freaky. Turning 30 was weird but I guess I grew accustomed to it. It's a nice round number. And now it's the past. I've had several moments lately where it's apparent that I'm (we're) getting older. That, too, is weird. I compare my timeline to that of my parents' generation (and some people's today) and I'm overwhelmed at what some people accomplish at such a young age. I could not imagine being 31 and having multiple children and a several-year-long marriage. I'm so glad other people make that work for them. Lately I've also been struck with the thought that I wish I could go back and tell the cjh of a year ago (a few years ago? several years ago?) that everything will work out. Not only that but everything will work out for the best. Just like it's supposed to. Now if 31-year-old cjh can keep remembering that...

Valentine's Day--Oh, to just have a Valentine. But I realized that I'm just not a huge fan of the day, even with someone to love. My someone was sick that day but it didn't matter. It was our first Valentine's Day (like so many other firsts in our first year) so that was good enough. It was also very exciting to be able to give gifts (receiving's not bad either).

Work--Things are getting rearranged with my projects. I'm finishing up the one study I've been working on for nearly two years. It will all be over at the end of this month. Sort of. With all change (even change you think you really, really want), there are mixed feelings. I've been so tired of this study and really wanted to get back to working in psychology/psychiatry. Now that it's coming to an end, I've realized (even more) what a good team we've had. I'll miss my co-workers even though I only saw most of them a few times a year. And I'll miss some of my sites. This is the longest I've worked on a project where they're developing a new drug. I sure hope it works out for the company as well as the people who have the indication. Because of all of this transition, I've had zero down time. I'm just now starting to dig myself out of the work hole I've been in for weeks. (Perhaps I'd be closer to getting out if I weren't blogging right now?) I'm going to be working on a COPD study part-time. Local sites. Definitely not going to London for the meeting. I got an e-mail about that meeting this morning and realized that I really am disappointed I'm not able to go. And then the majority of my allocation is up in the air. I may be working with an old co-worker on a depression study. If that happens I'll have half Texas sites and half California sites. Sounds good to me.

Shreveport--Yeah, it deserves its own category. To some degree I am going to miss the people there. Oddly enough. And I'm going to miss being so near an Ann Taylor Loft. And some of the restaurants. If you haven't already heard it, I've got to tell you the story of my last day there. I was very excited about it, as you recall. So I finish up with my site, say my good-byes, and walk out to my car (a Cadillac on this, my last trip). I thought I may cry...out of joy. Seriously. I make it to the airport and the Hertz ladies are sad to see me go. One of them hugs me good-bye. I go to check in for my 4:50pm flight. It's been cancelled but my ticket prints out and it says 5:30. No big deal, I think. I go into the bookstore where the man gives me a free tote bag because it's my last trip there. I go through security where the second person who looked at my ticket says, "This is for tomorrow." Holy crap. It sure is. For tomorrow. For 5:30. A.M. O.M.G. I go back to the ticket counter where I learn that there are no more flights--on any airline, to any destination--until the morning. Something about the terrible storms moving through and overbooking. Again, OMG. Sometimes I really hate having to problem-solve. I was supposed to get in Thursday night (to our big airport), get home, pack, sleep, and head to our small airport at 9am Friday morning to go to Vegas. At first I decided to suck it up and stay. I called our travel agency and they booked a hotel near the airport. I called said hotel to have them pick me up. Then I decided to just drive home (thanks for the suggestion, The Boyfriend). Good thing, too, because when I called the hotel back to let them know they shouldn't pick me up and they can cancel my room, turns out they were overbooked anyway and I never had a room. Swell. So I rented a car one-way, drove the 6 hours through all that weather, and made it home by around 11pm. Turns out that having to rent that car? Allowed me to have the same rental car twice (not the Cadillac, an SUV I had months before). So. Glad. To. Be. Done.

Volunteering--Survived all the trainings and observations. Turns out that the most time I needed to devote there coincided with the busiest time for work. Yeah, that sounds about right. But it's going great. I'm glad to be back doing something with kids and in mental health. It's like I have an extracurricular activity again. I'll have to devote an entire post to this one. It deserves it.

The Boyfriend--Who surely doesn't deserve to be so far down on this list. I think things are going swimmingly. We had this Vegas trip last weekend that was partially for my work but, as it turns out, mostly just to run away briefly. It was a great trip and couldn't have come at a better time. It had just the right amount of fun and just the right amount of relaxation. He sneakily bought tickets to O. Fantastic. So glad we got to see it together. And we ate in a fabulous Parisian restaurant for dinner. Also had quite a good brunch. He's a very nice boy.

Weddings--This will get it's own recap on Sunday or Monday I imagine. My brother is getting married on Saturday. Thank God I don't have PMS because the last few days I've been briefly overcome with emotion if I think about it all too long. I wisely invested in waterproof mascara yesterday. It is surreal. I guess you just get so caught up in the practical aspects, all the planning. I realized on Sunday that I'll be seeing people I haven't seen in awhile. That it's going to be a big party. That it's THIS SATURDAY. Sheesh. Ok, I can't write anymore. I need to go take some deep breaths. And then maybe dig myself out of that work hole a bit more. But there you have it. A real post.

Friday, March 07, 2008

for the weekend

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(Again with the praising of the tiny Jesus... Not that I mean to imply that the Baby Jesus is going to Vegas since I wrote "Baby" in that sign up there. Because, really, I don't think Vegas is an appropriate place for the Baby Jesus. Or maybe because of that, it's the most appropriate place. Whatever. I'm going to Vegas. I may or may not see the Baby Jesus there.)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

elation and recap

Tomorrow? It's my last day to work in Shreveport. Perhaps my last day in Shreveport ever. Yeah, I'm pretty excited. Still overwhelmed with everything I have to do by the end of the month, but excited. Wheeeee!

Ok, so after posting that first part I got to thinking about my time here. I've been coming to Shreveport for a little over a year. Here's the breakdown:
  • I've spent about 90 days here during that time.
  • I've spent 74 days on-site. That means I've been at this office about 30% of the days they've been open in the past year. No wonder the front desk people know me.
  • Two Hertz employees also know me. They know my pattern. If I stray from it by taking a later flight or coming into town a day early, they comment on it.
  • During all my trips I don't think I've ever had the same rental car twice.
  • I've stayed in 7 different hotels here including the probably haunted B&B.
  • I've met one pseudo-celebrity and rode on a plane with another.
  • One woman at the Continental check-in area also knows me and comments when she hasn't seen me in a few weeks.
  • I've seen 3 employees go and two come in my little area.
  • I've complained on the Hilton website 3 times about the poor service. I think I've maybe complained about a hotel one other time in the almost 3 years of constant travel.
  • I've gambled away one dollar.
  • I've purchased several items of clothing for myself. And gifts for others. And supplies for craft projects.
  • I know my way around town. (Wouldn't you be concerned if I didn't? I've only spent 3 months here.)
  • I felt like there was some sort of reason for my coming here (outside of work).
  • I'm not so sure there was. If anything, coming here has contributed to my stress and put some on my relationships as well.
  • I had two blind dates here. I chose not to have any second dates. Definitely not the "higher" reason for my coming.
  • But I've gotten a lot of praise and recognition from work. And a few giftcards.
  • And I've learned a lot and gained a ton of experience.
  • If faced with a similar "opportunity" again in the future, would I take it? I'm thinking no.
  • So, so glad to be finishing up.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

praise

Amidst all the craziness that is currently my life, I had my evaluation today. Yea for praise!