Friday, November 8, 2013

Time for a Change

So. 

This blog is due for a change. The only makeover it has had was two... Geez, almost three years ago when I changed up the pictures in the header. Before that... It was whenever I won a free layout.

I'm thinking it is time for some rebranding. Moving past the pearl-dazzled sorority girl phase of my life and being more in tune with where I am now. Changing pictures and titles and everything.

I appreciate all of you who have stuck around for so long, even without me posting. I am hoping that making this a better reflection of my every day life, that I will be more inspired to write regularly. So PLEASE, bear with me, and if you like the changes invite your friends to check it out.

Monday, October 21, 2013

So... I suck.

I truly wanted to keep up with the 31 Day Challenge.  And I would have - if I hadn't gotten such great news that it took every second of my time and became my top priority.

I left my teaching position in June but didn't expand my job search beyond education until the end of August/beginning of September.  By mid-September I had to come to terms with the possibility of working part time for a while until a full time position became available.  I went to job fairs and printed resumes; I interviewed for insurance sales that required a very large financial investment (that I definitely did not have) on my part, and for other positions in which I knew I would be miserable.  I was told my B.A. in Political Science meant nothing and that if I wanted to prove that I wasn't a "bored housewife" (true quote), I needed to go get a certification from a tech school to work in billing or coding in a hospital.

Then I interviewed at a non-profit for a part time administrative assistant position.  I thought it went well.  I didn't hear anything for a week, so I wrote it off. I applied for roughly 10 jobs every day for a while, and even used a staffing service. I received a rejection from a tutoring company because I didn't meet their needs (when I taught economics and government and am certified for all social studies for grades 6-12 in Georgia... WTF).

Then, I saw a listing on Monster for a part time retail position.  I swore it would have to be a great opportunity to get me to go back to retail, and it was.  It was for a company I worked for briefly during my student teaching and beginning of my teaching career, and it was for a key holder position.  If you don't know what that is, it is a pseudo-managerial position, but with less stress.  They called and we set up an interview.

A day later, that non-profit called back and scheduled a round two interview.  I agreed to that as well, thinking at least I would get one of them.

I interviewed at the non-profit on Thursday afternoon and thought I blew it.  I called my friend who works for a different segment of the company and was venting when they called to offer me the job.

I still went to the interview for the retail position the next morning.  I was offered that job the following Monday. 

I accepted both.  Which means I am working constantly and have had to get a planner (complete with a menu planning section) to manage all the household schedules since Mr. Firefighter and I are both working two jobs.

Oh... and I accepted a position as Vice President of Fundraising for my sorority's alumnae chapter.  To plan our annual fundraising efforts.

Stick around, I promise I will be posting more regularly when I get into my new work groove and can do more than come home and fall asleep.  I was off from both jobs today and have literally been on my sofa with Preppy Pup watching tv and napping all day, and finally got up enough energy to pull out my laptop.  So I'm here... just busy. :)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

31 Days of Newlyweds - A House Divided






We are a house divided.  My husband (and both of our families) are UGA fans/alumni.  I attended UT before transferring back.  Now, I was raised a UGA fan and disappointed my entire family when I didn't even apply there, so I root for them unless they are playing UT (and Mr. FF roots for UT, fair is fair). 


But today?  Butch, please.  I'm wearing my orange and white (grey out be damned - as one of my facebook friends pointed out, UGA is known as the silver britches, and I wouldn't want to confuse anyone in Georgia stupid enough to truly believe I meant my grey as support for a wrinkled nasty old bulldog).  Divorce papers may be filed, but I WILL support my team.



Friday, October 4, 2013

31 Days of Newlyweds - Communication






Okay, so sometimes I assume things.  More than sometimes.  I am often the one who believes her ideas are the most obvious, most sensible, so therefore everyone else should CLEARLY see this without her having to explain.  Assumptions.

I've been doing a lot of assuming lately, and as the saying goes, I've been making an ass out of myself and my husband at the same time. 

When you get married you tend to think that the other person, since [hopefully] they know you better than anyone else in the world, will always understand what you want and need without you saying anything.  That holds true some of the time.  Mr. Firefighter will rub my shoulders when he can tell I'm tense or stressed, and I know that some days I should go ahead and pour his bourbon and coke when I hear him pull in the driveway.

But the rest of the time?  We need to talk to each other.  We need to explain our feelings/experience/mindset/etc. in order for the other person to know what's going on.  99% of our arguments, big and small, happen because we are assuming the other person knows or understands something that they don't. 

I was reminded today that a store I used to work at opened every day with a "5 Minute Chat."  That seems to be a really good idea for a marriage as well, no matter how new or old.  Take five minutes and talk about your days, your current moods, and what you want to do with the rest of the day or night.  Slowing down and taking the time to do this prevents countless miscommunications and misunderstandings.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

31 Days of Newlyweds - Making It OUR Home, Not Yours Or Mine






Mr. Firefighter and I only "officially" lived together for about a month before the wedding.  I had clothes and other things, mainly kitchen items, that I had slowly been moving in since we got engaged, but most of my things stayed at my house.

To explain how this move went down, you need to know that Mr. FF has owned his house for 7 years.  He was married previously so all of the remnants of that marriage that he, like most men, don't think of remained in the house... along with all of his other boy stuff.  Y'all, I have a go-kart and an inflatable play house and a scooter in our sunroom right now.  Next to the "party wall" that has signatures from all of the ridiculous parties he hosted when he was 21 - all hilariously inappropriate and we are finally agreeing (i.e., I am explaining that his son will soon be able to read them and that will NOT be pleasant.) to paint over it soon.

There were a lot of ghosts to overcome and compromises to be made.  Most of the furniture in the house is his - some is great, some is, well, bachelor appropriate.  I can make it work.  Remnants and things that triggered the "ghosts" in the house to me went, after a lot of discussion on WHY they upset me. Guys seriously don't think the way girls do.  Paint colors will slowly be changed.

My favorite thing?  I have a spare bedroom as a closet.  My least-favorite thing?  Besides my lack of a pantry in the kitchen, that my bedroom-sized closet is also home to Mr. FF's "trophies."  Not to be confused with all the sports memoribilia (soon to be packed when the room is redone) in the OTHER spare room.  These are the trophies with eyes.  Or, in one case, skin and rattles.  I did the impossible.  I convinced him to share his man cave (although one could argue the necessity of a man cave in a bachelor's house, but whatever).  An entire day of "Why do you need this many clothes?  Why can't all these shoes go to Goodwill - you just need a pair of black, a pair of brown, running shoes, flip flops, and boots.  Done.  The rest can go.  SEVEN black skirts?!  SEVEN?! HOW MANY DRESSES ARE THERE??? etc.." and my clothes (my biggest possession not in storage) finally have a home.

Keep in mind, this has taken over three months.  Our dining room area still has piles of clothes to be listed on eBay, purses to be sorted and put away, and other odds and ends.  And I still have my classroom packed away in a storage unit.  But progress has been made.

There have been a LOT of arguments that could have been avoided had we not assumed the other knew how we felt.  Many of our compromises started with a glass of wine/ vodka tonic with extra lime in my hand and a Jack and coke in his.  Many included bartering.  Many are ongoing. 

It takes work to combine two lives.  Especially when the two lives belong to two STUBBORN people.  But making a life together, one shared life, requires a shared space.  One each person feels equally at home in.  And while this house may not be my first choice, and I can't wait to find a new space that is truly ours, this is home.  Anywhere can be a home - and it goes from "house" to "home" a lot easier when you're working together.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

31 Days of Newlyweds - Honeymoon Phase




Y'all, Mr. Firefighter and I seriously had one of the best honeymoons ever.  Were there some things that we wish had gone a tad differently?  Of course.  But overall, we had the time of our lives.  We went to Cancun for a week and stayed in a beautiful all-inclusive resort.  We actually were very budget-conscious when we picked our honeymoon and went through Groupon, but it turned out to be a GREAT decision.  We went jet-skiing, snokeling (which, if you've ever gone on an all-day adult-only snorkeling trip, you know is more party than snorkel), got a couples' open-air massage, and went to see Mayan Ruins in Chichen Itza (my history nerd took over that day).  We also really enjoyed our private beach with canopy beds and VIP pool that we shared with resident peacocks.  Yep, peacocks.

I say all this to explain that it truly was magical. That "honeymoon phase" that everyone is always referring to?  This was IT!  We were THERE! We were alone and on our own and in bare minimum contact with everyone back home.

But.

But we had tiffs.  And mishaps.  Convincing your husband of less than 48 hours that the entire souvenir budget doesn't need to be spent in Atlanta's amazing duty-free shops while you have a BLAZING migraine from staying up all night packing (and I mean until 4 am when we left to drive to Atlanta) is loads of fun.  And that magical massage?  I (due to not working out in 6 months per doctor's instructions) had a HORRIFIC reaction.  All the lactic acid in my muscles worked its way into my system and that caused so much pain I doubt I could ever describe it.  It literally hit when I was in the middle of getting ready for our special "honeymoon only" dinner.  I dropped my hair dryer and sat on the bathroom floor feeling like I was going to die from the aches and pains and nausea.  Imagine the worst flu-like symptoms ever, then multiply it by 100.  You're getting close.  Oh, and after Mr. Firefighter managed to get me downstairs to our beautiful private dining room, I ordered water and a diet coke with lime to settle my stomach - he ordered Jack and diet coke.  They brought us both Jack and diet.  Never has an unintentional sip of alcohol made me want to die more.  I was seriously facebooking my maid of honor (yeah, I was THAT upset that my phone went to dinner in case I had to make any last calls to loved ones) asking if she thought I was pregnant when Mr. Firefighter realized what happened and why I was so ill.

I guess this is my long-winded way of saying that, just like your wedding, nothing afterward will go exactly as planned or expected either.  It will be great, it will be wonderful, it will be a blast to look back on - but even a honeymoon phase can require a little "grin and bear it" to get through.  But you know what?  You now have a partner who is holding your hand through it all.  And that makes ANYTHING worthwhile.



P.S. Please ignore both my husband's look of constipation - he lost his sunglasses and we hadn't gotten him a new pair yet - and our blinding white skin.  What looked tan for our wedding clearly had a way to go.


31 Days of Newlyweds



So when reading Sarah's post here, I decided to do link-up to The Nester's 31 Days of 2013 as well.



I'm going to be writing about all the expected and unexpected experiences of a newlywed, including reviews for some things and rants/vents for others. 

Clearly, I'll be playing catchup since I'm a little late linking up, but hopefully this will also be the kick in the pants I need to begin blogging more regularly. :)


Background:

-If you're new, I am a 20-something newlywed (2 months and counting) in love with her firefighter/EMT husband, her adorbs stepson, and her min-pin, Preppy Pup.
-I am constantly amazed at what this "honeymoon phase" brings.  Some days, I am on cloud 9, and some days... I feel like I've been slapped in the face with a new, and usually unwelcome, experience.
-I am currently on the job hunt after leaving education.
-I attended the University of Tennessee, but returned home to finish my degree, and somehow married into a University of Georgia family (this weekend's game will be my own personal hell).
-I'm trying to branch out in my blog "tone" from what I've been used to writing and write more "real" - and by that, I mean the way I talk to my girlfriends.  There will be a little more snark, more adult language and references, but since my mindset and conversations have changed since I started this blog, the blog should follow.  Or else I'm not keepin' it real, right?





**Oh, wedding photo credit to my wedding photographer: Swamp Fox Photography.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Weather

I know... it's a cliche.  But I'm still going to talk about it.

I read an article in a magazine today that says women tend to eat more this time of year because bathing suit season is over and we feel like we can "let go" and snack on unhealthy items now.  I don't know where they are, but it isn't Alaska (which is currently an AMAZING 55 degrees), and it isn't 1936 when summer ended on Labor Day and people took off their bathing suits to put on sweaters (not a historically accurate wardrobe comment, I know).  It was over 80 degrees here today, and I'm going on day 8 without insulation on my AC ductwork (meaning there isn't a whole lot of point to running my AC - thank goodness for ceiling fans!).

I could care less about snacking, since I did that anyway, even during swimsuit season.  I am tired of starting to sweat as soon as I start to dry my hair.  I am tired of heating up my whole house to make banana chocolate chip muffins.  I am tired of sticking to my sofa and not being able to cuddle with Preppy Pup (Mr. Firefighter is on hour thirty-something of a 48-hour shift, so Preppy Pup is my only option).

Is it so wrong that I want to be able to go to a football game and need a scarf?  And to enjoy my coffee/tea/hot chocolate in the morning rather than feel sick looking at our Keurig?  Or to want to pull out my boots and jeans and slouchy sweaters and put away the shorts and sundresses?  I want to put out my burlap wreath, and buy a new fall monogram flag (our hot pink and lime green and zebra print flag isn't going to work much longer), and be able to sit outside and grill without swarms of gnats and mosquitoes.  To have my glass of wine NOT get too warm to drink before I have time to take two sips.  To carve pumpkins and boil peanuts and make comfort food in my crockpot.

I NEED weather worthy of this outfit... and this outfit.  Jewelery and jeans and scarf, check... but if anyone would like to donate to my Game Day outfit fund so I can purchase the sweater, boots, and bag, just email me. ;)


What are YOU looking forward to in the coming months?