Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Dear everyone,

I have not meant to neglect you. I have just been working 13 hour days. I don't really have time to BREATHE, let along blog!

But I have missed y'all, and I have some good stories for everyone. Sadly, I only have time for this morning's adventure.

You see, it is kinda freezing cold here.

See, FREEZING. And it was even colder when I left this morning!

So I go outside, and I know it is cold and all, but it is an absolutely stunning morning. So I was happy. Until I got in my car, and realized I had NO gas. I would be lucky if I made it to the gas station.

I did make it to the gas station, and then it went downhill from there.

Remember how I said it was cold? Well, it was really cold. Like, freeze my gas cap cold.

So I tried opening the gas cap by prying it open with my keys.

No such luck.

I decided, hey my water in my water bottle is definitely warmer than outside, I'll try that! And then the water froze on impact.


So I went inside the gas station and asked, pretty please, if they would give me some HOT water with which I would de-freeze my gas cap. They all laughed at me, but gave me what I needed.

So I got to start my morning out by freezing my toes off to put gas in my car. The lucky part is, the view was pretty amazing.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Winners!

We have the WINNERS!!!!

Using we came up with our two winners.

Sabz and Bailey, congratulations!

Sabz - you've won $20 credit to Made by Jewls

Bailey - you've won $20 credit to Pepper Ann's Locket

I would be SO stoked if I were you! I'll be contacting you by email (if I can!). If I am unable to get a hold of you, and don't hear from you within the next two days, I'll be choosing new winners.

Thanks to everyone who entered. I was happy to meet some new friends :)

And a special thanks to Shantel and Julianne. Thanks for making this giveaway a possibility!

Congratulations you two! I can't wait to hear what you purchased!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Gift Conundrum

Holy Crap this Christmas season is trying MURDER me!

Good thing I love it so much :)

I haven't written in a while due to working massive amounts of overtime. (Yesterday I clocked in 12 1/2 hours. Fun stuff, right?) But now, now I am going to write for a few minutes about gifts.

You see, gifts mean different things to different people. I never realized that until I got married.

Ever heard of the 5 love languages? (If you haven't, and you are in a relationship you MUST look into them. Talk about explaining a lot. You can find more info here.) Well, my husband's love language is gifts. I did not score a single "gifts" in the questionnaire. So to say that I do not understand this whole gifts thing would be a huge understatement. But once I realized how important it was to my husband, I started putting some effort into things.

For me, the gift is special if a lot of thought/time/effort is put into it (Quality time ladies and gentlemen. That is MY love language) And, for some reason, it is also incredibly important to me that it is a surprise. And, of course, because this is very important to me it is also nearly impossible to do. My husband is intuitive and nosey and has been trained how to put A and B together to get C.

Yeah. Que me doing everything humanly possible to make something a surprise.

Problem, my husband can read me better than an open book. I am like a narrated slide show. It is a problem. But I am determined, DETERMINED I tell you!, to surprise him this Christmas.

I've been going to great lengths, and doing my absolute best to be as sneaky as possible. Sadly, in all of his guessing, he has come close to guessing exactly what it is. He hasn't been dead on. But close.

I believe I might have threatened to murder him if he continued to make intuitive guesses.


I feel doubly sorry for my husband. He is actually quite easy to shop for. He likes things. Which is great! I know what video games, movies, clothes, knives, guns, electronics he likes.

I am not so easy to shop for. I would rather do things, than have things. He knows what kind of clothes I like, and that there are some movies I want. But it took a while for BOTH of us to figure out what in the world I would want! We finally decided on things that would help me do things. Like warm, waterproof boots for winter hiking.

How do gifts work in your family? Are gifts more important to some than to others?

DON'T FORGET! Today is the LAST day to enter the GIVEAWAY!!!! It is the perfect opportunity to do your Christmas shopping for the lovely ladies in your life!

(Linking up with: Monday Meet UpMake It Pretty MondayMingle MondayHello MondayMiscellany Monday, Tell me TuesdayLoving LatelyGFCSocial Stack UpTell Me About It Tuesday)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Hormones. Yuck

Hormones are horrible. I have not been a happy camper today. Emotional, cranky, nauseous, exhausted and cravings out the window. (And no, we are not expecting. Just in case you were wondering.)

So... forgive if me today's post is pretty much.... This:

I sent those texts to my husband while at the longest day at work ever.

So now, I am going to go and take my hormones and veg. Or workout. I haven't decided which....

But what I HAVE decided is that YOU need to enter the awesome giveaway! Check it out, enter to win and make your Christmas shopping a little easier this year.

(Linking up with: Faith Filled FridayFriday Favorite ThingsThat Friday Blog HopWomanhood With a PurposeWeekend Blog HopFeed Me FridayFriday ChaosHigh Five for FridayFriendly Friday Blog Hop)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Youer than You

Dr. Seuss sure knows what he is talking about! I have recently, with all this meditating and journaling, realized how much fun it is to be purely, authentically, genuinely ME. No worries about people liking me or being obnoxious or outspoken. Just me. Trying to be the best me.

No comparisons to steal my sense of self. No criticisms to destroy my peace. Just quiet acceptance of the fact that I have been practicing for weeks to make a Wookie noise, and all I can come up with is a dying seal, or that I have an unhealthy obsession with marshmallows; or that I can NOT let the bedsheets and blankets get all messed up. Knowing that I don't have all the answers, and that is the fun part. Knowing that I can try things out of my comfort level because I might look like a fool for trying, but I will love the learning anyways.

Acceptance of me. All of me. My short temper. My eating habits. My closet (it is part of me, ok?!). My creativity. My sarcasm. My jiggly bits.

Cause without everything that is me, all my faults and imperfections, I wouldn't have much of a story to tell. I wouldn't have any triumphs to do hilarious victory dances over, or downfalls to cry about. And my life would be as boring as vanilla pudding every day. (I'm lying. I love vanilla pudding. I just love pudding. Mmmm...)

It is amazing how much more time, energy and laughter I have found in just being me.

I think we should all try it.

AND if you haven't entered my Super-Awesome-Incredible-Fantastic Giveaway, you should! It is SUPER easy, and lots of fun!

(Linking up with: It's Almost Friday Thursday Blog HopBlack Tag DiariesFirst Day Of My LifePretty Little InspirationsLink and MingleIt's Ok Thursdayfollowers to friendsWhat I'm Loving WednesdayWhatenver, WheneverSo What)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My Very First GIVEAWAY

I am squealing like a little girl over here. I am so excited to do this giveaway today!

Remember this post by Julianne and this post by Shantel?

They are back, and this time they are EACH giving away a $20 credit to their store! (You may do a happy dance now, I'll wait.)

Welcome back.

So here is a little bit about each store:

Shantel and her store Pepper Ann's Locket:

I wear these earrings CONSTANTLY
My passion for all things crafty started at a young age. Seeing the women in my life put together something from nothing has always inspired me. Often times, if the laundry was stacked up and I needed a some shorts before school, my mom would run to her sewing room, cut out some fabric and whip me up a brand new pair. I will always admire the dainty crocheted lace my grandma and great-grandmother created to add an extra element of beauty to their everyday life. Sewing projects and jewelry creations filled many of the days in my childhood, and I feel blessed that I am still able to use these creative outlets as a form of release and expression.

Dabbling in a variety of crafty projects excites me more than I 
Gorgeous necklace given to me by Shantel. "Believe" is my favorite word!
I love how she personalizes her pieces just for you!
can express. I love working with paper, fabric, inks, clay, paints, feathers, metals, and all sorts of beads. At the present moment, I have been diving into jewelry making with my whole heart, and am loving it! I have been developing some hand stamped metal pieces, and have recently explored the sparkly fun of glitter glass. I have been putting together lots of earrings, and have even busted out the sewing machine and made some silky infinity scarves in lovely prints. 
It makes my heart insanely happy to be doing what I love for a living. Gradually, I have made the transition to selling what I create online. I simply adore everything about Etsy, and am thrilled to have my shop open there. For the past several months, I have also been able to participate in local handmade markets. There is a hum-- an electric spark that is tangible when you are able to compose an art & gift show that features the work of some seriously talented folks and provide the public with the opportunity to shop for these fantastic pieces. It has been a privilege to have my work featured alongside these great people. To stay updated on where you can see my work in person next, feel free to follow my Facebook page for regular postings on upcoming events and new pieces.

Here is some background on Julianne from Made by Jewls:

I am SO in love with these earrings right now.

These yellow earrings and I... we spend a LOT of time together

Made by Jewls sells adorable handmade jewelry and accessories. Julianne started her business over three years ago and has since turned it in to her full-time job with customers world-wide. Her creations can be found in boutiques all the way from Utah to Ireland. She grew up in Japan and so many of her pieces are inspired by their lifestyle and artwork. She loves browsing through local fabric stores for new patterns and designs to use with her earrings. She and  her husband are hoping to adopt, so a portion of each sale made in her shop goes to help bring their baby home. 

Ok, so here is what is up for grabs!

We will have TWO winners (that's right, your chances just got a little bit better)
One winner will get a $20 credit to Pepper Ann's Locket.
One winner will get a $20 credit to Made by Jewls

And, they are each offering 15% off exclusively to One Wish Short... readers!
Pepper Ann's Locket 15% off code: ONEWISH
Made by Jewls 15% off code: WISH15

 So, how to enter:
Go to Pepper Ann's Locket and Made by Jewls and tell us what your favorite piece is! For extra entries you can

  1. Like MadebyJewls, Pepper Ann's Locket and One Wish Short... of Paradise on Facebook. Tell us in a comment! (If you are already a "fan"  of one of us on Facebook, don't worry, "like" the one's you haven't)
  2. Follow my blog! (over there ------> in the sidebar. Either on Google Friends Connect or with Bloglovin') tell us in a comment
  3. Follow me on Twitter and tell us in a comment.
The giveaway ENDS December 10th at midnight, and winners will be chosen on December 11th! Don't forget to check back then to see if you've won! (I'll also contact you if I can.)

I sooooo wish I could enter, but as I can't, I am excited for one of you to win!

(Linking up with: Tell me TuesdayLoving LatelyGFCSocial Stack UpTell Me About It Tuesday)

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Mother of All Mondays

You know how everyone talks about how horrible Mondays are?

I think I just experienced a truly horrific, awful, straight from my worse nightmare Monday.

I promise, I have been trying to approach this with humor all day.

Until I cried at work four times.
Once under my desk (Yes the picture in your head is correct, a grown woman huddled under a large wooden desk trying to weep quietly so her co-workers won't hear) and three times in the bathroom.

It all started by falling asleep after my alarm. I still managed to make my hair look fabulous, but I absolutely picked the wrong pants to go with my "professional" button-up-under-the-sweater combo. I felt like I was twice the size I really am. 

When I got to work (late. Again.) I rushed to do some stuff, and then went to turn on my compter and... nothing. I tried for a good half an hour to turn that stupid, archaic computer on. I unplugged, replugged, checked wires, checked power strips, checked monitors, offered up sacrifices to the computer gods, did a rain dance, banged my head on the keyboard and even tried to bribe the beast. 

All to no avail.

People, if my computer doesn't work a good part of the company just shuts down. It is bad news. I am talking full on panic. So, when I finally approached my boss about this monumental issue it looked like he was about to tear his hair out. 

He asked to look at it. 

He pushed the "on" button. 

The *@$& thing turned on.

And that was just the start.

Imagine those movies where you see the person busy at work with the phone constantly ringing, people lining up with questions, crises happening left and right and no time to eat.  And you have my day, only without the cool background music.

Throw in an email from a professor that made me hyperventilate (you wish I was joking here, I'm not.) And knowing that I had the oral defense of my thesis at 5:00, and you have a nervous wreck who is willing to live under a bridge to escape everybody.

Somehow five o'clock rolled around, well more like 4:30, and I left the office to face the thesis committee. 

As I drove towards the University there was this stunning sunset, and I thought to myself, "No matter how badly or wonderfully this goes, tomorrow there will still be a beautiful sunset. And I can enjoy that and know that everything is ok. Unless it is raining. And then life just sucks."

And it does just suck sometimes, my friends. It can suck in a way that you get to your defense only to have some of the committee not show up. It can suck that you have to reschedule for later in the week, and they ask you to submit one, final draft before then. It can suck in a way that means you aren't finished when you thought you were. 

Life. Can. Suck.

But it can also have incredible sunsets. As long as it is not raining. Or snowing. Or anything else sucky.

A Pouty Me

A very, very sick me. (not crying, just incredibly sick)

A "on my tenth hour of work in one day" me.

I promise that tomorrow will be a better day. Mainly because I am hosting an AWESOME giveaway!!! (Be excited. I would kill to get my hands on what you could win!) Check back tomorrow for a giveaway. And check back later to hear about real life this Christmas season (in case you are getting a little fed up with all the perfect family memories currently being portrayed in many a blog).

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Stress Level + Serenity Saturday

Everyone handles stress differently. Heck, I handle stress differently depending on exactly how much stress there is.

Stress level 4 - slightly uptight, short temper, stress eating.
                   Scenario: a lot of work to be done, but only a little time. And most of the tasks are either boring or frustratingly involved and complicated. This level is not life threatening for friends and families, still have the ability to be extra nice to frustrating customers. Secretly have a bag of fritos in the desk drawer I am inhaling.

Stress level 7 - very tightly wound, all pretense of patience is gone, not eating at all.
                       Scenario: so much work to be done I start thinking about hiring two assistants (one to help me with the work at work, one to fold the mountain of laundry at home). Not only is there work at work, but there is so much homework at  home its like trying to swim through a lake sized pool filled with paper. No respite any where. No sleep either. Husband is in danger of being glared to death. Irrationality has taken over. Surviving on a diet of water and desperation. (irritating customers beware, I have a closet full of people  that used to be just like you.)

Stress level 10 - snapped, unsure of what emotions are being felt, tendency to laugh and cry simultaneously (for no reason), have surrendered self to the horrible inevitability of life.
                        Scenario: working 10 hour days, only to come home and do homework until 2:00 am. Not a dent has been made in the pile at work or at home despite the long hours of trying. Instead of stressing, I regress into an obnoxious child for a while. This includes making up ridiculous songs while I just simply do nothing, because nothing I do makes a difference. I often practice my growling or other animal noises. Husband is thoroughly annoyed because one wrong word can set me off into hysteria of either tears of laughter. Or both. All thought of eating is in the past.

Stress level 13 - I'm dead.
                         Scenario: I'm dead.

I don't know how y'all handle stress, but that seems to be my way. Poor husband has to put up with the brunt of the insanity. He handles it pretty well. Just another reason I am sooooo glad I married the man.

Ok, now it is story time. I am going to tell you what happened the other night, and you can guess which stress level I was at! Sounds super fun, right?! (I promise that I know you're not a 7 year old watching Sesame Street. Really.)

I had the privilege, no the honor, of working a 9.5 hour day (which wasn't as bad as the 10.5 hour the day before, but I digress). I drove home knowing that I had to do more work that night than I had any other night this week. The homework was like a huge monster under the bed, and it was time to take my flashlight and vanquish the beast!

Only, I was sick of the grindstone. And work. And homework. And I hadn't had time to shave my legs in over two weeks. (That is just wrong people. Just plain wrong.) So instead of doing homework, I took a quick shower, and shaved finally, and then lay on the bed and growled.

Yes, growled. As in tiger/lion/cougar growls. I am a horrible growler. When Stephen finally asked why in the world are you just laying there growling?! I had the perfect and logical answer for him.

"I am practicing my growls, because you growl better than me. And when we have kids, if I can't growl properly they will like you more and my life will be OVER."

Told you it was logical.

After growling I made up annoying songs and sang them loudly to my husband. And I laughed for about five whole minutes for no apparent reason. And finally, I settled down to read about the change in gender roles during Jim Crow in North Carolina. And write a paper. And write another paper.

So... what level do you think I was yesterday?

This is why the Serenity Project is so important to me right now. I really need to focus on breathing, de-stressing and being a happier, healthier me. This way I have a clear view of what I need to have more serenity.

Join in the fun! Add your link below on how you are going to try to achieve peace and serenity during this Christmas season.  We don't have any rules. I, of course, would love it if you would follow me. But you don't have to if you don't want to.

I hope to see you next week and hear an update on how the Serenity Project has worked for you.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Serenity Saturdays

I've decided that I really, really don't want to live my life stressed, even if I have a lot going on. So I have a new strategy! For the month of December my dear friend Jenna and I are going to be doing a Serenity Project. And I would love it if you guys would join us! Especially as the holidays are upon us and it is so easy to get swept up in frustration, anxiety and commercialism. I think that this is going to help me really focus on what is important during the Christmas season: Christ, love and family.

Here's what we are doing:

  • 10 minutes of meditation every day. That is 10 minutes of breathing in, and breathing out. Eyes closed, empty your mind and just breathe. As part of my meditation I recite my mantra. 

"Let it go. I am enough. I am strong. I am beautiful. I am loved. Let it go."
I repeat this, and any other "I am's" I need to hear over and over and over again. Feel free to steal mine or create your own, or just breathe.

  • Yoga - if you haven't done yoga before that is ok. You can just stretch and try to relax your body. If you have done yoga before and you don't have a lot of time, try doing just a few sun salutations. (I do three sun salutations before I meditate, which happens right before I go to bed.) If would like to do yoga, don't have a lot of money or a place that offers it near by here are my FAVORITE yoga dvds. These are incredible. The woman who does them is Ashley Turner. And She. Is. Awesome. (and no, I am not being paid to endorse her or anything). Below are some links if you would like to buy some of her DVD's. They are no more than $10.00
    • Yoga For Weightloss - This DVD is amazing. It might be for weightloss, but it is like a therapy session. You learn so much about yourself, and you let go of so much junk too. This is my favorite. It is about 45:00 minutes long. (if you want to lose weight while you do this, I managed to lose and keep off quite a bit of weight while doing this.)
    • Power Yoga if you are a newly budding yogi do not attempt this quite yet. This one is TOUGH. But I love it.It is around an hour long, and you will sweat and hold positions for so long that you'll think your hair just grew an inch.
    • Yoga for Stress Relief & Flexibility - this one is perfect for beginners or anyone needing to really let go and bbrrrreeeeaaaaattthhhhe. You can do the Stress Relief part (only fifteen minutes) or the Flexibility part (also only 15 minutes) or you can do them together. Either way, it is just the best.
  • Journaling - I think it is so important to just write out how we are feeling. Sometimes, when I start to write about how I am stressed/angry/sad/frustrated/irritated I can find out what is really causing the problem. Other times I feel that as I empty my worries and frustrations out onto the page I no longer have to carry them with me. They have been deposited into the bank. It doesn't make them go away all the time, it just makes it so much easier to handle. You can journal about anything you want. I know most of us blog, but what this exercise is for is to really let off steam. Nothing is off limits, no one is going to read it. Write what you want. Write what you need to. 

If you can't do all three, no worries! Do what YOU need to do. Do what YOU want to do. BUT if you only do one thing, pretty, pretty, pretty please meditate. Do it right before bedtime, or when you first wake up. Give yourself a few minutes of simply being - without stressing or worrying or kids or husbands or work. Just  be you.

Every Saturday you can report back here for Serenity Saturday. You can link up your post about what has worked for you, how you feel about it, what has changed and anything else you do to help maintain your mental health and happiness (or whatever you really want to do).

All I ask is that you link back here! You can take a Serenity Saturday button if you'd like (I took that picture myself, so I am quite proud of it.) I won't ask you to follow me, unless you want too that is, but I sure would appreciate it!

If it gets going and people like it, we can keep going even after December!

Tomorrow I will have the link up ready, and you can start it off by telling us how you plan on creating serenity in your life.

I hope you join us! I can't wait to hear about your journey.

(Linking up with: Faith Filled FridayFriday Favorite ThingsThat Friday Blog HopWomanhood With a PurposeWeekend Blog HopFeed Me Friday, Friday Chaos, High Five for Friday, Friendly Friday Blog Hop)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Woulda Look at that Gift?!

So, a week ago today was my birthday! And it was a great, wonderful, fantastic day! (And it was also Thanksgiving). So I thought that I would show you guys some of my wonderful presents. I did not get pictures of all of them (yet!) but here are a few:

My wonderful friend Ashley MADE this for me. Like... from scratch. Talk about talent (and patience!)

Adorable, right?! Now I have a good place for all my jewelry. I've known this girl since I was 13 and she has excellent taste, and she is hilarious. I love her oodles!

Yet another wonderful gift (that can hang on my jewelry holder above!) was from my sweet sister-in-law Julianne. I have been wanting one of these for weeks, and she totally surprised me with it!

My husband totally spoiled me this year with new clothes (YES!) and one of my favorites was this really nice dress from Down East Basics.

Sorry about the horrible "picture in the mirror" thingy...

My sister-aunt (we grew up like sisters, shared a room for several years and her kids call me "Aunt Nini") knows my weakness for office supplies. How amazing is this?!

My dad gave me some awesome gifts (among them, canned food, grape juice and fuzzy socks. All inside jokes and they were awesome!) But the best one was the movie Brave. He says he gave it to me because "I always do what I want, no matter what anyone else thinks." Thanks dad!

He wrapped it in a large, deceiving box!

You see that amazing artwork in the background of the above picture? My little siblings/cousins made it for me. They spent hours working on it (much to the adults satisfaction, they could make Thanksgiving dinner in peace!).

I love these kids like crazy. (the blondies are my little sisters)

Yay for new things! I officially have a One Wish Short... of Paradise facebook page! Go check it out, give it a like if you'd like (see what I did there?) You can also follow me on twitter. And I am looking for people who want to do some ad/post swaps (you don't have to do a post swap to do an ad swap). So if you're interested, let me know :) (Also, if you have a cause you are really passionate about, let me know! I would love to create more awareness for it.)

(Linking up with: It's Almost Friday Thursday Blog HopBlack Tag DiariesFirst Day Of My LifePretty Little InspirationsLink and MingleIt's Ok ThursdayFriendly FridayLovely Little Whimsy, Embrace the Camera, Currently)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

22 for 22

Guys, this is going to be EPIC.

Are you ready? I kinda stole an idea from Kaileigh @ Somehow Chaotic (thanks girl!).

So here is what's going to happen: I have 22 goals to accomplish before I turn 23. 22 for 22. Got it? I am really excited about these goals. Since making them I have started to feel more motivated and alive and excited! (too cheesy? I thought so... but it is how I feel, so we'll just have to deal)

As each goal is crossed off the list I will write about it and give you an update! You can check back to this post whenever you want to know where I am at. Feel free to come along for the ride. You can work on some of my goals, create your own or just cheer me on (I love me some cheering!).

So here we go.

My 22 Goals
  1. Read at LEAST 22 new books (Half of which have to be Classics)
  2. See the Grand Canyon
  3. GRADUATE!!!
  4. Run a 10K
  5. Take yoga classes for at least 3 months consecutively.
  6. Go to at least 5 new museums/art galleries.
  7. Finish my story.
  8. Learn how to make horchata (really, really good horchata)
  9. Crochet something useful/pretty.
  10. Go on a girls-only road trip.
  11. Go dancing with my hubby.
  12. Get a short story "published" (in print or on a website)
  13. 22 outings/visits with friends.
  14. Get a cat (this one is VERY important).
  15. Learn how to hula (not hula hoop, the dance).
  16. Make a quilt.
  17. Take a self defense class.
  18. Learn to ski.
  19. Go outdoor rock climbing.
  20. Go camping (more than once!)
  21. Watch 5 movies in French WITHOUT subtitles, and understand them.
  22. Get a massage.

I am taking suggestions for what books I should read (I've got a pretty big list, but I love to hear your suggestions!). I will be publishing this list as a page and will add to it when I can.

I am so excited for this journey! It is going to be a fun year. What goals do you have for yourself?

Also, because this was perfect timing on T-Swizzle's part:

(linking up with: followers to friends, What I'm Loving Wednesday, Whatenver, Whenever, So What)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

That One Time I had to Job Hunt

Hi Friends! 

I wrote the following post a few years back when I was desperately searching for a job for MONTHS. In my desperation, this is what I wrote. A dear friend of mine is on the job hunt (Go Ashley! I believe in you!) and so I thought I would share what I have learned about finding a job...

Filling out job applications is the ultimate test in optimism. Especially when it is your seventeenth or eighteenth application. I think my optimism runs out after the third or fourth “the position has been filled, we picked somebody else” email or phone call. After ten or so it's just an automatic reaction. “They're hiring? Ok, I'll fill out the application even though I know they'll just say no.” After the twentieth one it becomes something of an obsession. You end up saying to yourself, “The twenty-fifth time's the charm!” while scribbling away with your pen and thinking about adding a comic to the back to show them that you have a “great personality” 

When you realize that you're down to a dollar and you don't have any one whom you haven't already hit up for a loan, the job application process becomes your last hope. Filling out that application feels like running the last mile in a marathon, or pushing to the top of Mount Everest. You really don't want to have to explain about that three month gap when you decided to become a painter, or that two week job that didn't work out because your boss wanted someone prettier. You sigh over having to list references, hoping that if they are contacted they won't bring up the fact that you owe them money so "it would be great if you got a job so they could get paid back." 

Emotionally, filling out job applications tends to be about as much fun as being thrown on the rack. But let us not forget the actual mental and physical torment as well. I don't know about you, but I always have a hard time remembering the exact dates of when I worked where. So filling out an application is always a wonderful game of, “I'm pretty sure it was the nineteenth because I bought that shirt with my first paycheck and that was on the twenty-sixth.” 

And then there is the game of phone numbers. Now, I try to be an organized person. I have several business cards in my wallet that help with the filling out process, however what are you supposed to do when the company went bankrupt and you aren't sure where your old employer is? For all you know, they could be hiding out in Cuba. And as for addresses, sometimes I guess. I remember that there was this sweet little diner on the corner of First East, and that my job was half way down the block so that would mean it was at 150 East, right? At least it was in that general vicinity. 

I remember that once I had this notebook with all of this information in it. I also have a resume with various pieces of information helpfully put where you can't miss it. Sadly, neither seem to be around when an application has been placed before me. Sometimes you'll be out for a drive, desperately scanning the many business for a “Help Wanted” sign when you actually spot one. Now when you left the house, you really didn't think there was much of a chance, so you didn't come prepared. And now you have an opportunity to pick up an application and fill it out on the spot, and you have to start guessing as to where that dry cleaning store you worked at in college was really located. 

The worst part, hands down, is the part where they want you to explain why you're the best pick for the job. Now, if you're like me, you'd rather not have to explain why you are so awesome because you know, that in reality, you're not much of a hot shot. So you have to try to play up the fact that you enjoy watching people make fools of themselves, stating instead that you “enjoy helping others”. You have to make your strange obsession with pens, post it notes and paper clips sound like you are office oriented. And when it comes to standing out, you don't want to tell them that you have a collection of old books printed in a year ending in seven, but that you enjoy all that the world has to offer in terms of entertainment and learning. 

When it comes down to it, filling out a job application is really another learning experience. What you learn is up to you. I've learned that it is best to not fill one out in crayon, never list old boyfriends as references and when they ask you what your greatest asset is never, ever say that you have the ability to lick your elbow. They just might ask to see you do it, and I don't perform well under pressure.

I just wanted to let y'all know that I am looking for people to do ad swaps/post swaps with me. If you're interested, feel free to email me. 

(Linking up with: Tell me TuesdayLoving LatelyGFCSocial Stack Up, Tell Me About It Tuesday)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Not a Scrooge

I have so much to tell you guys! Like, what happened on my birthday/Thanksgiving, our fun little service opportunity on Saturday, my outing with a friend and so much more!

Unfortunately, I am in crazy-woman mode. And it isn't for hormones this time either. The holidays are upon us, and while everyone is celebrating and decorating (I wish I was one of those people... but that ain't gonna happen this year), I am pretty much drowning in work, work, work. Christmas means lots of orders to process, people to talk to, messages to reply too.... And it also means the end of the semester ( SO MUCH HOMEWORK!!!!)

Needless to say, I am wondering if there was any sanity on sale Black Friday and I missed it?

Don't get me wrong, I am excited for the holidays. I love Christmas music, decorations and this is the one time of year I can tolerate snow. I guess I am just fighting hard to stay afloat (I have so much laundry that needs folding, on top of everything else!), and when you are trying to not drown it is hard to get into the holiday spirit.

Don't worry, I will. It probably won't happen until December 18th (the day after the semester ends). But that is better than nothing!

I feel almost Scrooge-ish with all these blogs/pictures/tweets about Christmas trees and how much everyone loves this time of year. I envy the happy faces around the bright Christmas tree, the hot chocolate being shared and stories being read. I was getting depressed at my own lack of joy, when I realized that most of these people are in a completely different stage in life. I'm sure when I have little ones I will be working overtime to make sure they have happy memories of Christmas time. So it is ok that right not I am working overtime to stay on top of work and school. After all, this part of life isn't going to last long. Right?! (Everyone agree with me, or I might cry.)

So I am saying, "Hello!" to a ton of work, a lot of motivation, a little sleep and a lot of hope, faith, sweat and tears that I'll make it through this in one piece. The rest of you, enjoy your holiday happiness! I'll join you in a few weeks.

(Linking up with: Monday Meet UpMake It Pretty MondayMingle MondayHello Monday)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Isn't this time of year just a little crazy? I wish it wasn't. I mean... I love the family time, the good food and seeing people, but I wish it wasn't stressful. I think that is one of the reasons I try to get my Christmas shopping done as far in advance as humanly possible.

But that isn't what I want to talk about. 

What I want to talk about is my birthday!

I LOVE my birthday. I think it should be a national holiday. Sadly, this year it is a national holiday. Only it is a holiday about being grateful, and pilgrims and eating yourself sick... and it is my birthday. I was actually born on Thanksgiving day (my poor mother). It has been on my birthday several times since then (and every single time, my mom has been in the hospital or just released from the hospital. I am watching her like a hawk (Do you hear me mother?! NO HOSPITAL TRIPS THIS YEAR!!!!)

That's my mom, in the blue :) (Obviously)

As a Thanksgiving baby I feel like it is part of my calling to be as grateful as possible for everything. I am horrible at this... I wish that some good fairies had blessed me at birth with a heart over flowing with gratitude.

But they didn't. (Drat.)

My wonderful, incredible, HOTT husband!
However, I think that being grateful is more than just an attitude, it is a way of life. I believe that if we are truly grateful for the food we have, we will try to share it with those who have less. If we are deeply grateful for the wonderful man we married, then we will treat him with respect and love and do our best to lift him up. If we are humbly grateful for the love of God in our lives, then we will try to be an open conduit of God's love to others.

photo source

Gratitude is a lifestyle. And like healthy eating, "green" living or a pirate way of life, it takes dedication and practice and forgiveness. We have to forgive the times we are greedy, rededicate ourselves to gratitude and love and practice, practice, practice. (I am not entirely sure how a pirate forgives because as far as I can tell they just end up sword fighting and somebody walks the plank, but you catch my drift).

I am going to try and live a grateful life. It's one of those every day things. 

So today I am grateful for:
All forms of cold medicine 
Down Comforters
Cough drops
Beautiful Sunsets
A job
An awesome boss
My husband
My mom

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Dreaded Sickness

No, I'm not talking about small pox, or the black plague, or yellow fever.... I am talking about the most obnoxious, awful sickness out there: The common cold.

Maybe it's just me, but I think that sniffling for days on end, with a cough and sore throat is the worst. I'd rather have the stomach flu for one day and be done with it. But no, I get a nasty cold.


I spent yesterday in a snot filled, headachy, scratchy, hot and cold, no voice whatsoever haze. I didn't leave my bed unless it was to get more water (if my husband wasn't home), to use the bathroom or to take a hot bath. I watched several movies through half closed yes, pretty much an entire season of Scrubs and took lots of naps.

I didn't do any homework, or anything productive whatsoever. It was the worst day of a cold I have ever experienced. It was like cold+flu=misery.

Luckily, my sweet husband was there to take care of me. He made me hot chamomile tea, brought me soup, refilled my water bottle, kept people from bothering me (I am NOT a pleasant sick person, and no matter how much I love someone if they aren't my husband or my mom I don't want to see them) and did the sweetest, nicest thing ever for me last night.

Story time: I had the worst headache as I was trying to go to sleep. But I couldn't relax enough to fall asleep. I texted him that I needed him (he was in the next room, but whenever I get a cold I completely lose my voice for days. Work was real fun today... try being a receptionist who can't answer a phone.). He came into the room, and I whispered, pathetically I might add, that my head hurt and I couldn't fall asleep.

And even though he had a ton of studying to do, and his favorite show was on, he laid down next to me, pulled me into his arms and held me until I was pretty much asleep. He knows that I have a hard time falling asleep without him. Having him next to me makes it 10x easier to relax. And even though it was only for a few minutes, having him hold me made everything better. Even having the worst cold I've ever had.

Dearest friends, I married one hell of a good man.

(Linking up with: Faith Filled FridayFriday Favorite ThingsThat Friday Blog HopWomanhood With a PurposeWeekend Blog HopFeed Me FridayIt's Almost Friday Thursday Blog HopBlack Tag DiariesFirst Day Of My LifePretty Little InspirationsLink and MingleIt's Ok Thursday, Friendly Friday and Lovely Little Whimsy.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Extremely Productive... At Unimportant Things

I've been pondering on the wonderful, frustrating and time consuming phenomena that is procrastination. I am a master at it. And I have been trying to figure out why in the name of purple turnips I would EVER make my life harder... on purpose.

You heard me. Procrastination is adding drama and craziness and stress to my life. And I do it on purpose.

I never thought of myself as a "Drama Queen" (ok, don't ask my husband about this... with him I am most definitely overly dramatic. And sometimes when I am hungry I often say something like, "I'm about to DIE of STARVATION!" Alright, so maybe I am a little dramatic. But not in the I-cause-fights-for-fun-way. But in the I-like-to-use-a-lot-of-superlatives-and-proclaim-that-I-am-about-to-die-of-trivial-things kind of way.... If that makes any sense at all... Moving on!) but in procrastinating I am most definitely causing drama.

The problem is... procrastinating is just so fun! I mean, I can watch mindless, hilarious, endless episodes of Friends, Scrubs, How I Met Your Mother... I can surf the web, read blogs, stalk people on Facebook or watch adorable kitten youtube videos after adorable kitten video. The list goes on. None are productive or important or productive (yes, productivity is important enough to mention twice). They don't write my papers, fold the laundry, work out or anything.

But man are they fun! And, we all need time to let our hair down and enjoy life. So I am not saying they are bad. They are only bad when I am doing those things instead of doing homework, housework or just work-work.

Why do I procrastinate? Well... sometimes I just don't want to do the work. It is either boring or overwhelming or just... blah (I think it is mainly just overwhelming). So I don't wanna! And later on, when the procrastinating catches up I can feel all important because I am busy and stressed. Isn't that how most of us feel important? When we have a plate overflowing with things to do, not enough time and we can tell our friends, "I just have so much to do!" "I am so stressed out about it." "My to do list is endless."

It's like... being a productive adult has to be stressful and chaotic.

Who made that rule?! I want to know. Because I don't like it.

So, with all this pondering, I have started to understand how much simpler my life would be if I could just... do my stuff when I should and not procrastinate.

I would like to redefine "Adult" for myself as someone who is in control enough of themselves and their life to do the work when it needs to be done, has the power and knowledge of when to say "No" to things that they do not need/want to do, who doesn't overwhelm themselves in an effort to feel "important", and someone who knows how to slow down and enjoy this wonderful journey.

That sounds like a good kind of "Adult". If I can be that kind of adult, I think I'll stop wishing I was 5 years old again. (That was a good time...)

(linking up with: Tell me TuesdayLoving LatelyFlock TogetherGFC, Fact Is, Tell Me About It Tuesday)

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Monday, November 12, 2012

A Dance in the Most Unlikely of Places

Sometimes life gives you perfect moments.

Well... sometimes the love of your life gives you perfect moments.

For instance, last night... If you can't tell, I've had a rather rough week and some frustrating times. Last night was an emotionally rough night. I was feeling vulnerable and scared and overwhelmed.

As I was getting ready for bed, I stood in the bathroom waiting for the water to get warm enough to wash my face. I had some nice music on to help soothe and calm my tense mind and body. I turned around and ran straight into my husband's open arms.

He wrapped his arms around me, and started to slow dance with me. In the bathroom. To the perfect song. And as he moved me slowly in a circle, arms holding me to him, the tension started to melt away. My hand, made perfectly to fit in his, found it's customary place at his neck, fingers ruffling his hair. His hand found mine, and brought it to his chest.

We were so close to each other, so lost to each other, that it didn't feel like I was dancing in a bathroom on cold tile. I was in my fairytale. My head cradled in the hollow of his shoulder. Our hearts beating out the symphony of our lives in perfect harmony. Hope quietly blossoming all around me.

But most importantly was the certainty, the knowledge and the profound truth of the love that we had for each other. Our forever love. Our in-the-face-of-whatever-life-could-through-at-us love. Our God given, heaven sent, worked for, prayed over, stretched over long distances, love.

As the song ended, he kissed me. The perfect kiss for a perfect memory. I clung to him for a moment longer, and then he left to let me finish getting ready for bed. And after I watched him go, for the first time in a long time I cried happy tears. Healing, happy, hopeful tears.

It is amazing how much one dance in the bathroom can do for a person.

Also, Happy Veterans Day!
I am so grateful for the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much for this country. I am grateful for my husband's bravery, kindness, patriotism and sacrifice. 
We live in the land of the free, because of the brave.

Photo by Stacy Marie Photography

Photo by Stacy Marie Photography

(Linking up with Monday Meet UpMake It Pretty MondayMingle MondayHello Monday)

Friday, November 9, 2012

My Space (not the website)

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately.

Like lots.

I love blogging, but the past couple of days I just haven't felt the need, the urge, the desire (woah ladies, calm down. I'm not trying to get all sensual here) to blog. And here is why:

I was all thinking, "I have to make sure that I have lots of funny posts or people won't read it." Or "I need to stop with all this soul-searching. People are gonna get bored and hate me!" (Ok, maybe a little sarcastic on the last one there.)

But the point is, I stopped writing for me and started writing for y'all. Not that I don't love you guys (Hi new followers! We're best friends now!) it is just... this is my space. You readers read because for some bizarre reason you like what I have to say (or you like to mock me, both are fine.).

So, here is what has really been going on in my mind lately:

I HATE politics. Elections suck. It tried (almost successfully) to ruin my anniversary. Luckily, I am married to THE Man, and he made it magical.

Panic attacks. Not in the "I totally panicked" kind of way. Actual, hyperventilating, room spinning, heart pounding panic attacks. I hate them. I don't want them. We're working on making them stop.
I made this and hung it up at work. It makes me happy :)
School. I have a love hate relationship right now. Love: I turned in one rockin' thesis earlier this week. It was AWESOME. Hate: I have SOOOOOO much to do for another class I am afraid I may have to dive into the depths of my homework and only immerse once it has all been completed. Good bye beautiful world...

What's with laundry? It is like a never ending, monotonous nightmare. Can someone else just fold the laundry... Please?

I am SO tired. All the time. Where did my energy go?! I don't even have kids or a cat or a goldfish. What is up self?!

Friends. I miss them. I have actual, real life, live in the same city, love them to death friends. But I am SO busy all the time... I never get to see any of them. Ever. I hardly see my own family. It makes me sad...

Stress. It just keeps coming at me from different angles. I don't like it.

Fall. The colors are so beautiful! I have loved every second of these past weeks.

Photos were taken five minutes apart.

What in the world is going on with the snowfall right now? Seriously, in the last 20 minutes I have watched the entire parking lot get absolutely covered. If it keeps this up, I don't know if I'll make it home from work. I very much so dislike snow... (and all that white, feathery madness is SNOW people. Not "a mix of wintery precipitation. Sheesh)

But in spite all of this, I have so much to be grateful for. And this week, I am incredibly grateful for my husband. I love him so much. He has done everything for me. He has made me so happy and given me a wonderful life. Even when it feels like everything is going crazy, I always have him to be thankful for.

(Linking up with: Faith Filled FridayFriday Favorite ThingsThat Friday Blog HopWomanhood With a PurposeWeekend Blog HopFeed Me FridayIt's Almost Friday Thursday Blog HopBlack Tag DiariesFirst Day Of My LifePretty Little InspirationsLink and MingleIt's Ok Thursday and Lovely Little Whimsy.)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Two Years Ago Today

Dear Husband,

Two years ago today, I walked into the Salt Lake Temple a little late (as usual). You were pacing back and forth in the lobby, and the look of relief on your face when you saw me was priceless. That little look told me that I was most definitely marrying the man of my dreams. And that you, by some miracle, wanted to marry me as well.

That day was a blur. A blur of happiness, of the start of forever, of small mishaps, awesome pictures and a luncheon with close friends and family where I didn't eat a single bite. My dad wrote and sang a beautiful song and everybody cried. Your brothers each spoke and said some beautiful things. My family said some beautiful things. But honestly... I don't really remember all of it because I was so wrapped up in the new feeling of being your wife.

These past two years have held some crazy times. Crazy good, crazy hard, crazy bad. But it has always been worth it. Always. We made it through nine months of being apart while you served our country. We made it through moving four times. We made it through me working eight different jobs. You survived my cooking mishaps, and I learned to not panic when you were driving. You've gotten used to my OCD about the bed sheets and blankets. I've learned to not interrupt an intense game of Medal of Honor. We have learned that playing MarioKart is a good way to decide who is right (you... always. Because I suck at that game.)

We've been to Disney World, Disney Land, Six Flags, San Francisco, Monterey, Arizona, Las vegas and many pit stops on our move to and from California. You took me to my first rock concert, and I took you to your first opera. I watch action movies so that I can bury my face in your shoulder (I love how you instinctively pull me closer when something scary happens). You watch chick flicks so that we can cuddle (and sometimes you even admit to liking them, but I won't tell. That is our little secret.) We have enriched each others lives.

I can't wait for all of our adventures: traveling the world, law school, having kids, pretending to be grown ups. Our life looks amazing from here. And no matter what happens, I will be grateful that it happened while I was with you.

You have changed me. You have helped me reach goals I thought impossible. You have loved me more than I thought possible. You have sacrificed for my happiness, and made me happier than I thought possible. Thank you for "jumping" into marriage with me  two years ago. I can't wait to spend the rest of forever with you.

Love always,
Your Wife

(linking up with: Tell me Tuesday, Loving Lately, Flock Together and GFC)