Monthly Archives: May 2011

An Amazing Year

Today, I celebrate my very first (and only first) wedding anniversary.

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I married my absolute best friend.

To this day, I still wouldn’t change anything about our wedding day. I get all smiley and nostalgic just thinking about that day.

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It was a beautiful early summer day.  Blue skies. Warm, bordering on hot, weather, and all our friends and family surrounded us as we committed our lives to each other.

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But that was a year ago. And believe me, A LOT has happened in this last year.

Those of you who have been reading since then, you’ve been following my journey and seen all the ups and downs.

There are times I think that we experienced more than other newlyweds, but then again, I think I just wasn’t expecting all the new challenges that were to come.

We moved to Ctown in July since Mr. A would be starting law school in August. This would be the first time we, as a couple, had a place. I had basically lived with him since January, but I still had my own apartment for those days when I was stressed or upset or just needed some space. But moving into a small two bedroom apartment kind of eliminates the chance for separate space.

This was also the first time Mr. A had moved away from his hometown. Since he attended undergrad in Mville, he had always lived close to his parents and family. Now, I’m in no way saying Mr. A wasn’t independent, but he was always used to having that family support system no more than 5 minutes away. When weather was rough, or he wanted a home cooked meal, or even just to do free laundry, he could always come home. So it was an adjustment for him as well.

Our relationship has always been strong. We talk about problems and we work through them. But poor Mr. A is kind of a neat freak and he just happened to marry a girl who was used to living out of duffel bags and was a little messy. Clothes in closets and drawers was a bit of a foreign concept to me. We had more roommate issues than anything. Cleaning up. Doing chores. Those kinds of things.

During all of this, I was looking for a teaching job. I had some experience, not much, but some. I had glowing recommendations. And I was eager and new and ready to work. Unfortunately, I graduated with an education degree at the worst possible time.

So I moved on. I figured, okay, teaching isn’t going to happen this year, but I’m smart and have a good resume, I will find another good job easily.

Yeah, not so much.

I was unemployed for nearly 5 months. It was a terrible 5 months. I won’t go into it all, you can read all those posts if you want, but it killed my self esteem and I was a wreck.

All the while, Mr. A started law school and could really have used a wife that was in a better state to be more supportive. I tried, and I was good at it at first, but quickly it all unraveled, and he was trying to keep me from falling apart.

I finally found a job, but not a good one. I was underemployed and working in retail, which is the worst possible job ever. (Might be exaggerating, but it’s definitely the worst job that I’ve ever had.) I was happy to be working again, but that quickly faded when I was being treated like crap. I have a new found respect for anyone working in retail and I am as nice as possible to all of them.

Mr. A then got pretty sick during his second semester of law school. This involved lots of doctor’s visits, 5 small surgeries, and one horrible night in the emergency room. Luckily, he is doing great now, but it was a lot to handle at the time, especially when he was still a first year law student.

Finally, he finished his first year. And not only finished, but has two truly amazing summer positions that will give him such fantastic experience and connections that I can’t even express in words how proud of him I am.

And while, yes, I am still currently working in retail, my last day will be in early July. And in August, I will start working on my M.A. in English literature. And not only that, the school has offered me a graduate assistantship that has me teaching two English 101 classes and in exchange, they pay for my graduate school. I am finally working my way back to being proud of myself and I cannot wait for this next chapter of my career to begin.

And through all of these ups and downs, my husband has been there for me. We have grown as a couple. We are closer and have learned to rely on each other. We support each other 100%. We stand by one another and give words of encouragement on those days that it seems impossible to keep going.

My husband is everything to me. And no, this doesn’t mean that I just do whatever he says or that I can’t have a life without him. Believe me, he will be the first to tell you that I do not give in easily or without a fight. And I’ve actually enjoyed having some time alone. Everyone needs time to themselves and I’m using this time to rejuvenate before the fall.

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But I do miss him while he’s gone and I couldn’t be more excited to spend many many more years with him. And while this first year was a doozy, I think this next year will be great for us as we learn even more about each other and grow together as a couple.

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Happy first anniversary to us. I think we will toast with a well deserved glass of champagne.

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Filed under A little More About Me, Learning More, Life After College, Life in Law School (even if I'm not in it), Married Life, Pictures, wedding

Domestic Goddess in Training

I am not domestic. I’ve said it a hundred times on this blog. I hate cleaning. I can cook, but I don’t really enjoy it and I’m not good with just making up recipes. I would love to decorate, but since I knew we were leaving in a year, I didn’t put much on the walls here. So apparently nesting isn’t my thing either. I’m a little messy. Not dirty messy, but clothes and such messy. I don’t go on cleaning binges. Cleaning doesn’t help me relieve stress. I’ve always loved to bake, but I have to be in the mood and sometimes get flustered when I don’t know what a recipe wants me to do.

But, I’m working on it.

Last semester (and yes, because of law school, and soon to be grad school, I still count our lives in semesters. Can’t wait for THAT to end), while I was unemployed, I tried my hand at meal planning and cooking new recipes. I had the free time and thought I should do it since Mr. A was in school.

I liked it sometimes, but meal planning was hard for me and such a pain in the butt. I wasn’t good at creating a meal plan that contained similar items, so I would end up spending a small fortune on ingredients that i would use for one meal and then it would go bad. And we were on a limited budget, so spending $150 a week just on groceries wasn’t going to work.

But I enjoyed cooking some meals. The beer braised beef recipe was delicious. Melissa’s bruschetta recipe is still a staple in our house. (Add some goat cheese for a different twist. But her directions are flawless!) Life of a Doctor’s Wife guacamole is fantastic. Spicy turkey sloppy joes are one of my favorite.

But then I got a job. Worked weird hours. And so meal planning and extravagant meals ended. Lots of frozen things were cooked.

But now, that I’m home alone most days, I have this weird desire to cook again. My husband is a really fantastic cook. He created an amazing curried chicken penne dish from scratch and without a recipe. I think I might want to try new recipes again when I’m home alone so that I don’t feel the pressure to make something wonderful for him. If it’s bad and it’s just me, then I can make some mac and cheese and move on.

Also, I’m trying to eat healthier. I know I can’t cut out carbs, at least not entirely. When I tried the first two weeks of South Beach, my husband said I was the meanest person ever and very quickly wanted to shove a loaf of bread down my throat so I would calm down.

But I’m making small changes.

Like tonight’s dinner. It’s whole wheat hamburger helper stroganoff with ground turkey. It’s really good and cutting out a lot of the fat and other things. I still shouldn’t eat the whole thing, but it’s a start.

And a small tip from me: As soon as you scoop out as much food on your plate that you should eat, immediately put the leftovers in a container, even before sitting down to eat. This way, you can’t easily get seconds when you don’t need them and you won’t be tempted to snack, or pick, at the remaining food. It’s helped us a lot with portion control.

Tomorrow’s breakfast will include Greek yogurt, fresh blackberries, and granola. Might even add some protein powder to make sure it fills me up for work.

I’m also feeling more of a need to clean around here since I’m alone. You would think I would be more tempted to clean when Mr. A was home, but I’ve been neater since he’s been away.

It’s all very strange. But maybe it just shows that I’m finally coming into this whole being married thing. We’ve had the relationship part down. I just needed to work on realizing that I no longer live in a dorm room. Basically, I needed to grow up some.

But don’t worry. I would still eat popcorn for dinner if I wasn’t so aggravated with my pant size.

Also, what are your favorite recipes? Tips? Ideas? Were you always a domestic goddess, or did you have to work at it like me?

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Filed under Home Sweet Home, Learning More, Life After College, Married Life

Something Fun

And we’re off on our crazy adventure of a summer.

Mr. A has worked very hard this semester. On top of backstabbings and general first year stress, Mr. A also had some pretty rough health problems flare up. I think he had something like 5 or 6 small surgeries/procedures where he had to be put under general anesthesia. And that’s not even counting the 8 hour night in the emergency room and the doctor’s visits and the general not feeling well for much of the first part of the semester.

I felt he deserved a small little token of my appreciation.

I bought him a couple of his favorite cigars and some crafts beers and took him out to dinner. I wanted him to have a couple days to relax before he headed to his first summer job.

Nothing too fancy. Nothing that was a big deal. Just something small.

But that’s not the only thing we have to celebrate.

On Memorial Day, May 30th, we will be celebrating our first wedding anniversary.

I have a whole post planned for it, but it has been one heck of a year. And, I think, we both deserve a little fun and celebration.

I had originally been planning maybe going to one of the local wineries and enjoying the sun. Maybe going to a nice dinner.

But this weekend, Mr. A surprised me. He said that we would be going to STL, getting a hotel room at one of the nicer ones downtown, going to a special dinner, and then going to a baseball game on that Monday, exactly as we did one year earlier. The fun of getting married around a holiday is getting extra days off to spend time together.

Since I had an e-mail with a discount to book a hotel through one of the booking websites, Mr. A asked me to book the room. He mentioned a couple hotels- one we’ve been to and loved, and another very nice one. I started looking at prices and upgrades and what was available. And then it hit me. Why not go back to the hotel we stayed at on our wedding night?

Through the travel site, the hotel was a little more than we were planning on spending. We may want to have a nice weekend, but we can’t just splurge and spend all our money on extravagant hotel suites.

I still wanted to see if it was possible, and lucky me, the hotel’s website had a special going on and I got the room for a deal.

So so so excited. The room and hotel was amazing. And now I have a surprise for Mr. A since he doesn’t know where we’re staying.

And one other little present.

Mr. A wears suits, or at least dress shirts and ties, every day for work and will do the same for his second externship. He dresses up nicely and actually prefers dress shirts to anything else. So I ordered him some brass shirt stays and had them engraved. Nothing big, but something so he knows how much I love him.

That’s our fun for now. I have no idea where we’re going for dinner since Mr. A wants to surprise me with that detail. I think he’s just thrown that I won’t tell him where we’re staying.

P.S. We’re also getting breakfast in bed on Monday.

P.P.S. Also can’t wait to eat our wedding cake! (Hope it’s still good. It sure was delicious last year!)

P.P.S.S. Wishing we were going back to Mexico, but maybe next year…

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Filed under Happy little posts, Just having fun, Married Life, wedding

Migraines: Might hate them more than spiders. Maybe.

Last week sucked. Big time.

I had 5 days straight of migraines. Bad migraines. And I still had to work. Under fluorescent lights and music that sounded like it was blaring in my ears. It was pretty much terrible. And my pain meds didn’t do anything for it.

My migraines started in 5th grade. I had a teacher who, for some reason that I still don’t know, really didn’t like me. And while this is going to sound totally douchey, but I was a very good kid and had straight As until the 5th grade. Again, we cannot think of any reason that she picked on me, but she did. (Also, as a teacher, I very rarely think teachers are actually picking on a student and I know there are times I was a pain or deserved a teacher to get on to me, so know I’m not being subjective.) My parents never had parent teacher conferences. They didn’t even go to the ones that the school gave days off for because they just didn’t need them. But they had 7 with her in one year.

I didn’t find this out until recently, but apparently one of these meetings, my very calm and level headed dad was yelling at her and such. I would turn in an assignment, she wouldn’t really grade it, give me a D or and F. Even if I got everything correct. My dad demanded to see tests along with the grading guide and had proof what was happening. All very dramatic for a 10 year old who hated getting in trouble and was terrified of her teacher getting back at her.

So the migraines were stress induced. I missed a lot of school. There was an embarrassing incident where I got a migraine, went to the nurse, and at the time I was prescribed codine, took my meds and then went to P.E. where we were doing our track unit. So I had to run a bunch and didn’t know my medicine caused muscle weakness and I collapsed on the field. Middle school was a blast, ya’ll.

As I got older, I got them every so often. Maybe 4-6 months apart. Not often.

Until college. My sophomore year they picked up. I was waking up in the middle of the night with excruciating and nauseating pain. I was having headaches a lot and I finally went to the doctor when I had 9 migraines in 3 weeks. They put me on a medicine that lowers blood pressure to take daily and prescribed me a migraine pain medicine. The daily medicine worked and all was fine in the world. I would still get a migraine occasionally, but the other medicine would work if I took it early enough. Add in a dark cool room with a cold wash cloth on my head and it would go away.

All very manageable. Until 2 months ago.

2 months ago the migraines started picking up. Headaches were coming almost every day, and if they started in my eyebrow area (where my migraines are when I get one), I would take something for it. Before last week, I had about 10 full migraines in the last two months. Then, last Sunday I believe, I got a migraine that wouldn’t go away or get better no matter what I did. For 5 days, it was constant pain and trying not to get sick and taking medicine to at least try to stop the headache where it was instead of it getting worse. 5 days of working in my own personal hell. 5 days of coming home right after work, eating toast, and going to sleep at 7pm. 5 days of my husband’s last week before he left for his summer associate thing and all I could do was moan and cry and sleep in hopes that I would wake up and it would be gone.

In one crying fit before work, I joked that they would make a Grey’s episode about me because my head was either going to explode or I was going to perform a self lobotomy when I tried to cut out the front of my own forehead. I told him that he had to make sure Derek Shepherd performed the surgery on the show and that he acted very sad when I died since no one survives either of those options. Then I cried more because it hurt to cry and all I wanted to do was scream, but since blinking hurt, I figured that would be awful.

(Wow this is already longer than I mean for it to. Hang in. )

So I went to the doctor on Thursday. (Which was really hard to find on my insurance since my insurance people apparently think when I ask for a general practitioner I really meant a sleep disorders specialist and an optometrist.) She was lovely and nice and we talked. She performed some neurological tests. Which if you haven’t been put through them, are highly amusing and I wish I knew what different ones told them. (Like, what does my ability to run my heel down the back of the opposite leg tell the doctor?)

She then told me that my right eye droops a little. Talk about making someone self-conscious. Since I had never had a CAT scan before and with the slight eye droop, she wanted me to get one. She also gave me a prescription for an anti-depressant that also works to prevent migraines and she also prescribed Imitrex. Thursday I still had a migraine. Friday, my head still hurt, not a full out migraine, but still annoying. Saturday I still had a slight headache, but I didn’t take anything except my preventatives in case I had created rebound headaches. And yesterday, not a headache at all. Didn’t wake up with anything and it was glorious.

Today I went for my CAT scan. Much less of a big deal than I thought. I thought a CAT scan was the whole in the tube thing, and it wasn’t. They gave me an IV of contrast that gave me a weird taste in my mouth, but not a big deal. They said my doctor should call me within the next day or two.

So that’s what i know. My new preventatives seem to be working. I still have a slight headache today, but I think that’s lack of sleep and staring at this computer screen longer than I intended to. Hoping the migraines stay away and I can continue without the awful pain.

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Filed under A little More About Me, Learning More, WTF

Playing Catch Up

Yeah, I’ve sucked at blogging. Lots going on. A crazy work schedule. Spending time with Mr. A when he needed a study break. Add in my current migraine problems, and well, blogging got put on the back burner.

But I shall catch you all up and then try to be better at this.

- This summer? Still going to be one heck of a whirlwind. Mr. A’s last final is Friday. I get off work at 1:45pm and then will be making sure he doesn’t drown in bourbon while celebrating the end of 1L year. I am off all weekend and he heads to Mville for his summer associate position. I’m excited for him, and actually kind of looking forward to a couple days on my own. But I know about 2 days in and I will miss him terribly and want him back home with me.

- Speaking of end of 1L year, should I get him some sort of gift or what the heck do I do to celebrate that?? HELP. Our one year wedding anniversary is May 30th, and I have a small gift for him for that, but now that our finances are a little more stable, I want to do something for him, but no idea what. Help and help now please!

- My head is throbbing. I am on day 3 with a migraine. And in the past 2 months I’ve had about 10. Which, in case you don’t get migraines, that’s a whole lot of migraine. I have two theories. I think I have built up an immunity to my preventative and I think it probably needs to be upped. Also, because I keep getting headaches, I keep taking my medicine for when I get one. Which means I’m probably creating rebound headaches for myself. Which is truly a vicious cycle since taking pain meds creates them, but once you get them, you take more pain meds. (and no, I’m not on oxycontin or something like that and I don’t want to be taking them) I can’t NOT take something when I’m at work because the pain will intensify to the point where I get sick and then can’t do anything but sleep the rest of the pain off. And like today, I have an 8hour shift that I can’t really call in sick on.

- Again, I think my head might explode today.

- Went home last weekend. It was nice. Nothing too special. Might be Mr. A’s last chance to go until August, so we took the time. We spent time with my brother and his girlfriend and it was a lot of fun, as usual. And his girlfriend’s dog? HUGE. And I love him. His name is Bernie and a big baby. He’s a boxer and mastiff mix. His head is giant. And while I did turn and walk the other way when I walked up to the door, expecting my brother’s cat and Bernie’s giant self showed up, but he’s super sweet. And I want a big dog, but a nice big dog.

- I am really excited because this summer I think i will get to meet at least two blogger friends, maybe 3, and I am pumped. And if I get to meet you too, just know that I can be shy and awkward, so let’s pretend it’s a blind date, give me about 20 minutes to calm down, and we’ll be peachy. haha (I’m now sure these ladies are trying to find a way to be out of town….)

- Work is driving me insane. I have 40 hours next week, which is completely unheard of for an on-call associate. And while I will enjoy the paycheck, I will have to work very very hard not to stab someone.

- I want to write blog posts about real stuff, but I think of them when I’m going to bed. I write them all out in my head. I even rearrange paragraphs and ideas and all that. But then when I wake up, I forget all about it. I might remember the main idea, but I forget everything else. It’s a problem. I swear I’m not vapid and dumb and only know how to write brain dumps. Just a lot going on, but as soon as Mr. A leaves Sunday, I’ll have all sorts of free time that will need to be filled with blogging since it’s free.

- I’m in search for the perfect bag/backpack for the fall. I keep thinking that i don’t want a backpack because I’m afraid I’ll look like an undergrad, but not sure. I think I want a briefcase-ish bag that has a long strap that i can wear across my body. I had one similar in the past, but my books were so heavy that it was uncomfortable. But since I won’t be taking as many classes and I figure they won’t be on the same day, it might not be as bad? Ideas on where to look would be helpful.

-Again, seriously need ideas on gifts for Mr. A or what to do this weekend. HELP ME not fail at wifely duties. :)

- Also, any questions you guys have for me that you want me to blog about? If I can’t remember my own ideas, might as well get some ideas from you smart people.

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Filed under Blogging, Grad School?, Happy little posts, Life After College, Life in Law School (even if I'm not in it), Married Life