Tuesday, June 30, 2009

We're Moving!

I wanted to wait until I knew for sure, but since the signed lease is laying on my table I guess I can make it official...We're moving! It's just across town. Even closer to the elementary school than we are now. Livvy will be able to ride her bike or walk to school. The house itself is a 3 BR, 1.5 BA brick home with a completely fenced back yard and small inground pool. For the first time ever, I'll have shade trees and a yard I can relax in. Even more importantly (at least to me!), I'll have my very first dishwasher!!! For those of you who know me, you know I loathe doing dishes more than any other household chore and I have never had a dishwasher in my entire life. I am definitely excited about that. The house also has a sunroom which I plan to make good use of. I've always wanted a sunroom. Toby is happy to finally have a room for all his "babies" (aka guitars to us regular folk). The plus for me is that by him having his own room for his "children", I get to have a real bedroom instead of a bedroom/music room. :)

Until we decide whether or not we want to make southern Indiana our permanent home, we're only renting. But the landlady has offered us the option of buying at a later time if we want to stay around here. For now, we're really excited to be gaining more room (the new place is nearly twice the size of our current house) and to have the option of either staying or leaving the area depending on what comes our way.

We'll be cleaning and doing some minor painting beginning mid-week next week. Then we will move all our things the following weekend. We're all dreading the move itself, but looking forward to being settled in the new place. The yard needs some straightening up and the flower beds are screaming for bright colored flowers, but we hope to be settled by mid-July. I start back to college in August and Liv begins the 5th grade that month too. So we're hoping to get settled in time to have a few weeks of summer left to enjoy without the headaches & stress of moving.

I can't hardly wait to have our first cook-out! I LOVE having family and friends over for cook-outs and get-togethers, but I've never had the space to entertain the way I would like. The new place has a LARGE formal dining room so I've already been getting hints from family that I might be the new holiday dinner hostess...which is fine by me. I love that kind of thing!

As for our out-of-state family (if any of you read this), we will soon have an extra bedroom and plenty of other room for airmattresses and sleeping bags. This means we expect company :) We miss a lot of our family so much and we know the cost of travel keeps a lot of us apart. We hope that you all will feel welcome to skip the hotel expense and stay a few nights with us when you come in to visit.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Father's Day

Well, I got my diploma situation straightened out and should be getting the actual diploma in the mail in the next couple weeks. THANK GOODNESS!!! Of course, even after nearly giving me a heart attack, frustrating me to tears and causing me to contemplate if I could actually harm another human...I didn't even get an "I'm sorry for the confusion." from the lady in the Registrar's office. Oh well, it's fixed and that's what's important.

I'm off to look for a good dessert recipe to take to a Father's Day cook-out on Sat. I'm sick of the usual ones I make so I'm going to dig through my old recipe books in hopes of finding something new and different to take with me.

Speaking of Father's Day...I love Father's Day! It's the one day a year that Dad lets me give him loads of attention without going "Awww, that's not necessary" :) My dad is great! Only as I've gotten older have I realized the importance of our dads in our lives. Most dads are more silent than our moms and most spend many hours at work and few hours playing with us as kids. However, as I've aged, I have began to notice the impact of my dad on so many areas of my life. From the way I view the work ethics of men to the example I expect Toby to set for Liv to the times I catch myself sounding like dad when I tell Liv something to the "words of wisdom" that he gave me that I pass along to her (such as "If it were easy, anybody could do it.")...dad's impact is obvious in my daily life.

I also enjoy Father's Day because I get to watch Toby being honored for being the great Papa he is. I love watching Liv pick out a card or make him a gift. He IS a great Papa and it's great to be able to honor him for the awesome job he does.

Another great "dad" is my father-in-law. A mostly quiet, mellow man with an insane sense of humor and the ability to stand like a rock beside you through anything. We joke with Toby that he is "just like his dad"...but in reality - I always hope and pray that is true. His dad is a remarkable father and a true patriarch of his family. If Toby grows to be "just like his dad" I will be a very lucky lady and Livvy will be truly blessed with an incredible dad.

So, HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to the 3 fantastic fathers I know! Thanks Dads...for all the laughs, the sacrifices, hugs, kisses, wiped tears, for always having our backs, giving us encouraging smiles, being courageous when we were scared and for always being the rock when our world wants to crumble! We may grow up, but we never outgrow the need for our daddies! Love you guys!!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Some days you just need a "scream break"

Years ago I worked with a woman who was completely eccentric and 100% enjoyable to be around. Her name was Ellen. I still remember her vivacious personality, her bright red hair and her outlandish outfits. I also remember that she was one of the first people I'd ever met to take a chance on me and what I might be - pushing for and giving me a new position with the company that she and I worked for that I was in no way qualified for, but excelled at and loved. Perhaps what I remember Ellen the best for was her hilarous need for "scream breaks". She firmly believed that sometimes what we all need is a few seconds break to just scream at the top of our lungs, shake off the stress of the situation and jump back in. Working along side her I became use to her "outbursts" and began to see that she might actually be on to something. Later on, Ellen was diagnosed with a very serious illness. I still remember when she took the call from her doctor in my office. She listened and "uh-huh"ed. Then hung up the phone and said, "If you'll excuse me, I believe I need a scream break." A little later she came back in and relayed the bad news her doctor had given her, but she took it all in a stride and kept right on going.

Today, I emailed a lady at Ivy Tech and asked her when I was suppose to get my actual diploma since it had never arrived in the mail as I was told it would. She emailed me back to say that after auditing my transcript I did not meet all the requirements for graduation because I was missing a science class that was needed. First of all, one would have thought if this was the case someone would have mentioned that BEFORE I was invited to the graduation ceremony and honors dinner and BEFORE I was sent my honors certificate with a letter saying my diploma would be following in the mail. Secondly, one would also think that when, during the graduation application process, they meet with their advisor and program chair and are told that they are "good to go", those individuals would know what they are talking about. A normal person who emails her advisor and says "Will this course satisfy this requirement?" and is told "yes", would assume that they can trust what they are being told by this paid college employee. Of course, I've never been accused of being normal or of anything in my life coming without considerable argument and fight.

Now, I fired an email right back to this lady letting her know that I DID take a course approved by both my advisor and program chair and asking why no one had said anything until now about this. It may turn out to be a complete mistake on their part and they may cheerfully (this part I sincerely doubt) put my diploma in the mail tomorrow. However, in the meantime, I am left wondering what the heck is going on and feeling completely deflated.

It's totally stupid to be this way, I know that. I am enrolled this fall in 2 classes that will make the requirement even if the one that was suppose to won't. So I can still get the diploma this fall. BUT, something about the way the lady said she could send me a "techinical certificate" just pissed me off. Like I worked my butt off for 2 years to get a stinking "techinical certificate" because I was one class shy of an associates degree? I know I'm being silly, but I felt so good having this one accomplishment under my belt and heading onto the next step. I feel like that has been stolen from me in some way (even though it really has only been delayed at worst).

Anyway, I'm frustrated, irritated, and aggrevated...and, as I sat here fighting off the tears that only spring to life when I'm mad enough to strangle someone, I thought of Ellen and her scream breaks.

Today, Ellen, I think I need a scream break.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Why, yes, I really do love reading...

For Mother's Day, Toby got me a PLAC card. In Indiana, this is a state wide public library access card which allows me to get a library card from any library in the state. I know some of you are probably thinking "GEEK!!!!" But I am in heaven!!! Livvy and I have been checking out books by the truckfuls :)

I'm also getting to add to my list of favorite authors because I have so many more choices! Here's a few of the authors that I've recently been reading and loving:

Karen Robards -- I stumbled upon Robards while looking through our little town library's limited selection for something to read. I love her books. They aren't real deep and they're usually a quick read, but I still love her characters and the way she tells her story.
Nora Roberts -- I've been a fan of Nora's since before Livvy was born. While I was on bed-rest, one of my aunts brought me a sack of Nora's books to keep me busy (and minding doc's orders :). The rest is history. My most recent read of Nora's was Divine Evil. A very good book and unlike most of her other stories. One of my all-time favorite books is Montana Sky by Nora.
Catherine Coulter -- If you like CSI and crime mysteries, you'll love her FBI Thrillers series. I didn't realize these were a series and I've read 2 or 3 of them out of order, but it doesn't really matter because they aren't completely dependent on one another. She's another author I only recently came across but I am quickly becoming a big fan.
Linda Lael Miller - Miller is another author that I was turned on to by my aunt while behaving myself during my pregnancy :) A lot of her stuff is historical romance fiction. However, recently I read Deadly Gamble and Deadly Deception - a series set in modern times with a mystery storyline and also a supernatural element. Mojo, the main character, is great!
Stephanie Meyer - I LOVED the Twilight series. This series is completely NOT what I would normally read, but I picked up the first book just to see what all the hype was about and I was immediately consumed by the series. I'm currently reading her latest book, The Host. It's way different than anything I usually read and the jury is still out as to whether or not I really like it.

I also really liked The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. I loved the Harry Potter series almost as much as Twilight and would love to read all 7 books again, but haven't stopped finding new stuff to read long enough to take the time to reread a series :) Another all time favorite of mine is The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller (I've read this one over and over and I always cry).

In addition to The Host, I'm also working on reading Cane River by Lalita Tademy right now, browsing a Low-Carb cookbook and trying to decide which Karen Robards book to delve into next (Maggy's Child or One Summer).

My college classes start back Aug. 24th and at the beginning of July we are making a big change in our family (which is topic for another blog later). In the meantime, I am taking every opportunity to immerse myself in all the stories I can possibly soak up. In the meantime, if you have authors and books that you love...feel free to share! I'm always looking for more authors to add to my list of "favorites".

Happy reading!!!