Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Better Late Than Never!

I hate making New Years Resolutions, so, since it is now the end of January, here are my goals for 2009:

1. To put money into our online savings account at least once a week. This really shouldn't be a goal since this is the whole reason Greg is doing the job that he does, but, we have fallen off the bandwagon.

2. To apply for our passports. Because we never know when we may actually go on a real vacation somewhere warm and tropical! Actually, I filled out the apps when we were in OK over Christmas break and when we went to turn them in and get our picture taken the office was closed. Those apps have mysteriously disappeared. Maybe I should be looking for those instead of blogging since they do have some pretty personal questions on them!

3. To read all of Sophie Kinsella's books. Just because.

4. To write at least the first section of my book. It's going to have 4 sections instead of chapters in case you were wondering.

5. To loose 25 pounds. I've already lost 3!

6. To finish the Harry Potter series. I got a little burned out but I'm ready to pick up the pace again. Please don't tell me who dies in book 7!

7. To pay off our Gordon's account. Because my goal in 2010 is to be completely debt free!

8. To grow my hair out longer. Yes, I know this is technically out of my control.

9. To deep clean the camper at least once a week. Only because I have a neat freak husband.

10. To actually get the pictures that are taking up space on my laptop printed, labeled, and in a photo album. I'm dreading this one. I used to be so organized, but apparently slacked off somewhere around 2006.

What are your goals this year??

Monday, January 26, 2009

To knit or not to knit, that is the question

A few months ago I was at my friend Brittney's mom's house. Her mom's name is Cathy and when I mentioned that I was kind of cold she offered a scarf for me to wear. It was the most beautiful scarf I had ever seen. It was extra wide so when I had it draped over my shoulders it literally hung down to the middle of my back. It was also so long that it hung down to my knees on both sides. It was gray with white fringe and white pockets. I absolutely fell in love with it. Cathy told me that her grandmother made it for her. I asked if I could pay her to make one for me and Cathy told me that unfortunately she does not knit anymore.

Ever since then I have been on the prowl for a scarf that is similar to that one. But my search has been unsuccessful. I'm so desperate for this particular accessory that I have almost decided to take up knitting. I even went as far as to google "learn to knit" online. I read some helpful information about purchasing the proper tools and found some online patterns. My problem is that I'm not exactly sure how much I would like the actual art of knitting.

I told my husband about my plan and he said that if I take up knitting I have to get rid of all of my jewelry making supplies since our space is limited. And by "get rid of" I'm sure he means "put into storage". Which I would have no problem with since there are no bead stores here. But I hate to be the type of person who is constantly starting and quitting hobbies. After all, I am supposed to be writing a book (of which I have only wrote a measly 5 pages). So, the big questions is, to knit or not to knit?

Now, the day dreamer in me sees myself as falling in love with knitting, and making beautiful scarves that people will literally stop me on the street to ask where I get them from. I'll open a new Etsy.com store selling my fashionable scarves at $50 a pop. Get the picture? But the reality is that it takes this gal a couple of months to make a set of drapes on a sewing machine. So I just don't quite know what to do....

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Never Mind

So in case any of you reading have every wondered what it would be like to live with or be a contractor, let me just give you a tiny glimpse into my world! We choose to live in a Fifth Wheel which is basically like an RV because on any given day, at any given time, a contractor can be told they need to be in a different location within a few days. So, a Fifth Wheel beats living out of a hotel, and I feel like we aren't just "throwing our money away".

Right now we are in Lamar, CO and I think we will be here until March but we could also be here until June, or they can tell my husband he needs to be somewhere different next week. We just never know. This was the main reason I quit my job and we sold our house and put basically everything we own in storage. Some people would probably be a little stressed out if they knew their world could turn upside down within a matter of a few days. But since we live full time on the road, I really would welcome the opportunity to travel more.

However, this is where I will also put my foot in my mouth. One of the main guys that my husband is working with right now is moving to Hawaii in February to become a site lead for GE. Greg has told him several times that if he needed anyone over there to please let Greg know. This was supposed to mean that we would like to come over there for a month or two. Well, this is how it apparently was interpreted: My husband calls me yesterday morning and all he says is this, "Do you still want to go to Hawaii?" Well, yeah! But he doesn't tell me the whole story until after I say "yes". After which he proceeds to tell me that there is a position open with GE (he is a contractor now and is not employed by GE) that the guy here thinks he can get Greg hired on. And, since it would technically be less money, there was also a job opening for me as a data entry person. Basically we would both be working in HI making the same amount of money that we do now but minus the whole traveling part. But here was the kicker. We would be LIVING in Hawaii until at least 2014. Now, I know it's probably easy for someone to say they would move to Hawaii in a heartbeat, but to actually do it is another thing.

So yesterday I spent all day stressing about this huge life change and looking up information about Maui online. Housing is so expensive. One can literally spend $250,000 on a "house" and all they will get is maybe a stand alone home that is 500 square feet or more than likely a condo that may go up to 750 sq. ft. That didn't appeal to me at all. Then, we have a dog, and Hawaii does not have rabies, so they make incoming animals from the mainland be quarantined. Which not only made me feel so sorry for our precious Shady, but we would have had to get a microchip implanted in her prior to moving, and then all the necessary forms/paperwork. Another thing was that my husband said we would sell our truck AND our fifth wheel. Which made me sad because we had talked about turning it into a lake place one day, but whatever. Do you want me to keep going? OK. We would have had to ship my car to HI which from OK would have probably been a few thousand dollars. Then, since everything we own is in storage, we would have had to probably spend a good week going through everything, re-packing them into pre-sized boxes that would actually fit into a crate to be shipped. We would have literally had to either sell or give away probably half of our belongings.

Along with the reality of the impact this move would have on our lives, I had other worries as well. We wouldn't be able to just drive to Oklahoma if we wanted to so we wouldn't see our family and friends except maybe once a year. I was afraid we would be working so much that we wouldn't even get to enjoy the island anyway. I'm scared of tsunami's and earthquakes. What if the two volcanoes on the island suddenly decided to erupt? The cost of living is higher. Etc, Etc, Etc.

Last night we talked it over ALL NIGHT LONG and still went to bed not knowing what would be best to do. This morning my husband texted me from work and said that with GE he would be sent to more schooling and he would be more qualified which could advance his career in the future. So, I told him if he thought we should move, then let's do it. And then I cried. I knew that I had a lot on my plate prior to moving and that I would be super stressed out until we lived in Hawaii for probably a month.

I decided to go to the library and load up on some books on Hawaii. I have all the books in my arms ready to be checked out when my cell phone rings. It's Greg. Calling to tell me that they had already filled the position and that we weren't moving.

That's the life as a contractor.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

This is hard stuff

Some of you may recall me writing a few months ago about my work-out plan. Well, I'm sad to report that I have fallen off the bandwagon. About November I got so discouraged because I wasn't seeing any changes in my body that I made excuses to not go to the gym, I quit going to yoga, and was easily persuaded to not attend Nia classes. But, with a new year comes new beginnings, so I told myself that when we came back to Lamar after our Christmas vacation that I would join Curves.

What I hadn't planned on doing was joining Weight Watchers. But, I happened to see a commercial about a free week trial on TV, and coincidentally, the next day my friend Krissy blogged about how she was going to start on WW. So, I decided to throw all caution to the wind and make a go for it. Last Wednesday was my first day on WW, and let me tell ya, it was majorly hard! For those who are not familiar with WW, they use a point system. The way it works is I type in the computer (because I'm doing the online version) what my age, height, and weight is, and what my goal weight is. Then they base a daily amount of points for each person. My daily point level is 20. They also have flex points. I have 35 flex points each week and I can use those all in one day or spread them out. Another cool thing that WW offers is activity points. I enter in my activity, be it walking on the treadmill or vacuuming for twenty minutes (not like that applies to me anymore), and the system calculates how many points you have earned. Once you use your flex points for the week, it begins subtracting your activity points.

Now that you know the process, let me just tell you; my first week was extremely hard. My first day alone I ate 39 points. Wow! And for the first three days I literally went to bed feeling like I was hungry. My initial reaction was that I hated WW and that I just wanted to EAT!!! That was when I realized that that is exactly what my problem is. I kid you not, I can eat pretty much the same amount of food as my husband. Not good. What is ironic is that before I got married, I would literally have people ask me if I have eaten anything recently, or if I wanted some extra food. I used to be that skinny. Also, people always warned me that one day my metabolism would catch up to me. They were right.

Yesterday was my last day of my week. And really, by the last few days, I didn't feel like I was going to bed hungry. And surprisingly I didn't even eat into my activity points (which came from going to the gym and walking on the treadmill for 45 minutes). Believe me, I was pretty stoked to "weigh in" this morning and see that I had lost 4 pounds!!!! My ideal goal from the beginning is to loose 25 pounds. I'm so excited that it looks like I am well on my way to achieving that goal!

Today I finally signed up for Curves. I love that you get a complete work out in in thirty minutes! And next week my yoga classes start up again! I honestly can't wait! Visions of being able to fit into my favorite Lucky jeans again, as well as a sexy new bikini, are really helping me trudge along!

Please keep your fingers crossed for me and I'll try to keep everyone posted on my success!

Monday, January 12, 2009

My First Award!

Wow! I won a blog award! Sweet!

After winning, here's what you do:

1. Thank the person who was so thoughtful for giving you this award by linking their blog to this post.

2. Put the logo on your blog or post.

3. Nominate 10 blogs which show great attitude/gratitude.

4. Link your nominee to your post.

5. Comment them to tell them about the award they've won.

My Award comes from my friend Krissy, who I would post a link for but she's a private blogger. However, my awards go too:

1. Jesse's Girl

2. Lanae Photography

3. brandi girl

4. Tri's, 3 Kids, and Life

5. my28thyear

I'm bending the rules and only linking 5 because, well, I'm too lazy! ;)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Deep Thoughts From Starbucks

As you saw from my pictures below, I had the pleasure of meeting up with several college friends of mine at Starbucks over Christmas break. I for one am a complete sucker for coffee shops. I was in absolute heaven that evening because I have always wanted to just "hang out" and talk to friends in a coffee shop. I think I may have watched one too many episodes of Friends. Unfortunately, I rarely get to do just that. So I was pretty pumped that after dinner we moseyed on over to the famous coffee chain to continue chatting it up!

One of our conversations was actually brought up by yours truly. And that was that none of us who were sitting in the group actually thought we'd end up doing what we are currently doing. For instance, I never in a million years thought I'd be living in a 5th wheel being a domestic diva. Another friend was working in insurance and she never thought that's what she would be doing. Another one was back in school getting her masters in a completely different field from her Bachelors. To sum it all up, we are all educated women with college degrees, yet none of us were actually "using" our degrees.

I remember in high school I applied for college because it was the norm and what high school graduates are "supposed to do". When I started school my major was in counseling. Unfortunately for reasons much longer than I care to bore you with I changed my major. And honestly I picked a major that was "easy". I thought, I'd love to own my own boutique or be a buyer for a corporate company. But, my two roommates were also Retail Merchandising majors, so for all I know, maybe I was just following them. (And for the record, I still think those would be amazing jobs!)

Now fast forward to the present. I constantly hear successful people say to do what one loves. Have a passion for your job. Well, when I was in high school, I only had two loves. One was acting. But I immediately dismissed the idea of trying to make it in Hollywood because I didn't want to be a "starving actor". I'm just not a risk taker and wanted to make sure I was financially taken care of. The other thing I really enjoyed was reading. I also loved to write. I always did well in English and my favorite class was creative writing. I kept a journal pretty faithfully while I was in high school but for some reason didn't make the time to do so once I was in college. Another idea that crossed my mind when I was in high school was to be a journalist. But not for the news. That was too boring for me. No, I wanted to work for a fashion magazine. But, again, that required moving because fashion magazines aren't based out of Oklahoma. So I dismissed the idea. Now that I'm steadily approaching my ten year high school reunion, I realize that what I did was limit myself.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not feeling sorry for myself or thinking that I made a bad choice by getting my degree in Retail. I had a great college experience and made wonderful friends. But what I can do is learn from my experience. Hopefully several years in the future I will have a child who will be graduating from high school and I can share my reflections with them. If they do not want to go to college straight out of high school then I will fully support them in finding out who they are as a person and what they want out of life.

With that being said, I've decided, with the encouragement of my "Starbucks Gang" to write a book. And really it seems to make sense to me. I distinctly remember when I was in elementary school saying that I wanted to write a book then, as well. And I was inspired by (go figure) a house. In my mind, I would write a book about two best friends and all the mischief and adventures they would have in this particular house. However, I spent more time on drawing the title than I actually spent on writing. Hey, like I said, I was only in elementary school!

So, although I say I'm going to write a book, I may start and completely hate the process. If that's the case, then I'm not going to force myself into doing something that I don't have to do. But, I've already thought about some key characters and a plot. However, don't ask what I'm writing about! I think my story line is pretty original and I don't want someone to take my idea and run with it. Of course, it's going to be a Fiction book and will more than likely be considered chick lit; which is my fave!

Being the consummate day dreamer that I am (which is not a bad thing, I'm really hoping that characteristic will help me with this whole process) I already have visions of the New York Times Bestsellers List, book signing events at Barnes and Noble, and a phone call asking if someone amazing can turn my book into a screen play. Hey, I'm just sayin'....It can happen!

100th Post

Today is a landmark! I finally reached my 100th post! Go me! As you can tell from the date though, the eager beaver in me has been working on this list for quite some time because I thought I would reach this point in my blog a lot sooner! Oh well! So, here's 100 random things about me! Enjoy!

1. My name means Happy
2. I love wearing fake flowers in my hair!
3. I would be a happy camper if I could attend a yoga class every single day.
4. I'm pretty sure I've never been kissed under the mistletoe.
5. I have a bachelors degree in Family and Consumer Sciences with a concentration in Retail Merchandising.
6. My husband and I literally met on a street corner.
7. In college, I had the coolest beta fish named Sushi. She would literally jump for her food. No lie!
8. I love seafood.
9. I didn't change my first diaper until I was 26.
10. I have a huge weakness for popcorn. Once I start, I can't stop!
11. I can only swim if I know my feet can touch the bottom. Otherwise I completely freak out!
12. I want to get invisalign or braces before I turn 30.
13. My husband and I have flipped three houses.
14. I'm trying to learn about the stock market.
15. I can french braid my own hair, but not someone Else's.
16. I have an extremely weak stomach when it comes to seeing blood. I discovered this my senior year in high school. I had the opportunity to watch a live open heart surgery and literally had to quit watching because I thought I was going to pass out. Then, the same year, I was the typical "girl" who threw up in front of my entire biology class while we were dissecting frogs.
17. Thanks to the dynamics of step-families, my husband and I have a whopping 18 nieces and nephews combined (2 of who are older than me! lol!).
18. I've never been to a chiropractor.
19. I had lasik surgery and now have 20/15 vision!
20. I love hosting parties! Be it bridal showers, bachelorette parties, baby showers, etc!
21. I collect crystal. (Fifth Avenue "Portico" in case anyone is curious!)
22. I'm pretty dog prejudice. I have certain breeds that I like, other than that, I'd prefer to cuddle with a cat!
23. My parents didn't allow me to wear make-up in high school. (Of course my friends would sneak me their reject mascara and powder).
24. When someone I know gets married, the girl in me always hopes that I'll be a bridesmaid. It doesn't matter to me if we're very close or not, I always hope they just need someone as an "extra". My husband says I'm a freak, but I just want to wear a pretty dress and get my hair and make-up done!
25. I love MAC make-up.
26. I am pretty good with a map and have a fairly keen sense of direction.
27. I love calling to win prizes from radio stations! (And yes, I've actually won several things, including tickets to Jessica Simpson and Kid Rock live in concert)
28. One of my favorite places is Wintersmith Park in Ada, OK.
29. I love singing along to the "freecreditreport.com" commercials!
30. I actually think it's fun to roll coins into wrappers.
31. I regret not hiring a professional photographer for my wedding.
32. Along those same lines, I love looking at photography and reading photography blogs. However, I don't think I could ever be a professional photographer because I just don't have that "eye" if you know what I mean.
33. I sold Avon in college as a "side job" but am pretty sure I never actually made any money with everything that I bought.
34. I paid my own way through college and it killed me when I had to take out a student loan to pay for my last two semesters. (Luckily I paid it off a few years ago when we flipped one of the houses I mentioned above!)
35. I love going to dance recitals.
36. I've never been in a car wreck while I have been behind the wheel.
37. I have to sleep holding a pillow. If I am someplace where there is only one pillow available, I will sacrifice having one under my head just so I can hold it!
38. I lived in Oklahoma for most of my life and have never seen an actual tornado.
39. I don't know how I ever cleaned before the invention of Clorox Wipes.
40. Along those same lines, my husband is the one who showed me the proper way to clean a toilet.
41. I absolutely love movie trailers. I'm really frustrated if we actually go to the movies and I've missed all of them.
42. I am a fan of sunscreen! It surprises me that people don't know that one can still get a tan while wearing sunscreen.
43. I have to have a recipe to cook by. I'm not one of those people who can just throw something together and it tastes amazing.
44. I don't hold my pen the "right" way.
45. I used to be afraid of the oven.
46. I have never been camping. (I don't think our 5th wheel counts).
47. The thing that Greg and I argue the most about is the temperature. I am always cold!
48. When I was little my hands were always calloused because I spent so much time playing on the monkey bars!
49. I have never been able to do the splits. And believe me; I was always trying!
50. My 10 year high school reunion was last year. Unfortunately, we didn't bother having a reunion.
51. I fully support adopting a pet from an animal shelter rather than paying a breeder.
52. My mom made me learn how to type when I was in elementary school.
53. I've never had a flu shot and have never had the flu!
54. I really enjoy driving around and looking at houses.
55. My dream car is the Chrysler 300C.
56. I am pathetically addicted to facebook.
57. I never used to be the typical "shoe" girl, but as I'm getting older I'm beginning to appreciate their awesomeness. I wish I could buy a new pair every week.
58. One of my favorite stores is Ross. I just never know what I'm going to find there.
59. I think my husband and his father make the best bar-b-que, hands down!
60. I listen to the radio all the time and love singing along if I think no one can really hear me.
61. I have always been told that I look younger than my age, but that I act older than my age.
62. I love to read.
63. I used to be scared of clowns. In fact, I still think Ronald McDonald is super frightening to look at.
64. My favorite color changes about every five years. Current fave: green
65. I really want to learn how to write in calligraphy. I even have a book and am trying to teach myself, but since I don't hold my pen "right" to begin with, it kind of hurts my wrist.
66. I am a control freak and honestly would rather do tasks by myself.
67. I have no clue how to drive a standard. I've had two different people try to teach me and both times were pretty disastrous.
68. All of the TV shows that I like to watch are "reality" TV shows.
69. I have always wanted a tattoo but can't seem to commit to one.
70. I have an amazing friend in Germany that I email at least once a week, if not more!
71. I can easily waste away hours playing Mahjong on the computer.
72. I used to love hula-hooping! Hmm....
73. I don't really like candy; I prefer an actual dessert!
74. Going with the dessert theme; I prefer whipped cream instead of ice cream on hot desserts!
75. I would love to one day host a foreign exchange student.
76. I'm going through a phase where I want to wear dresses all the time...but have no place to wear them!
77. Hubby and I have to sleep with a noise maker on. We don't go on a trip without it!
78. I've taken a liking to wearing fake eyelashes. Hey, if all the stars can do it, why can't I?
79. I always order my lattes and cappuccinos decaf.
80. I love garage sales! Things I look for at them include: jewelry, books, and home decor.
81. I hate driving in the rain.
82. I don't really like the sight of kids running around in just a diaper.
83. Unlike most women my age, I actually don't mind wearing pantyhose.
84. I cannot stand the smell of cigarette smoke. Yuck!
85. I avoid parallel parking at all cost.
86. I can make a darn good cosmopolitan.
87. I tend to be a little intimidated by people who have strong opinions about...everything. I'm more of a "go with the flow" "let me live in my own little world" type of person.
88. I am scared to death of spiders. Just thinking about them gives me goose bumps!
89. I love to make lists! Such as: my menu for the week, grocery list, to do list, etc.
90. I think no one can sing a love song quite like Bon Jovi!
91. Runny egg yolks make me want to gag. I typically stick with egg whites if I have to eat an egg for breakfast.
92. I always dread going to the post office. I haven't quite figured out why, though.
93. I really think that couples should be together at least a year before they get married.
94. Remember those 3D posters that were so popular in the 90's? I was never able to see the pictures in them.
95. I cannot stand HGTV. Mainly because my husband can watch it 24/7.
96. I will probably never understand why some married couples have separate checking accounts.
97. I am absolutely horrible at math. The calculator was invented just for me.
98. My favorite holidays are the Fourth of July and Halloween!
99. My high school graduating class consisted of a whopping 12 people.
100. It was extremely hard for me to think of 100 things to write about myself. I literally worked on this list from January through October.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Christmas in Oklahoma!

It is true that a picture is worth a thousand words. So I'm posting several pics to show just how much I enjoyed going "home" for the holidays!
Seeing my pregger friend Shannon!

Hanging out in STARBUCKS in ADA with some college friends! (If you have ever been in Ada, OK, you would understand!)

Spending Christmas with our nieces and nephews!

Ice skating with these gals!

Getting all dolled up to watch the New York City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular with Misty!

'Nuff Said!