Monthly Archives: June 2011

Surreal

As I sit here in my apartment, everything is very slowly sinking in.

Tonight, I wrote up a moving week list. It’s two freaking pages long.

And no, I didn’t just list everything to pack. Packing is probably one of the things listed on there the least.

I have about a million errands to run tomorrow so that things go as smoothly as possible.

Deal with getting water turned on at new place, off at old place. Get mail forwarded. Maybe go get driver’s license changed. Start packing kitchen stuff. Reserve our Uhaul for Friday. (Speaking of which, is renting a Uhaul like renting a car where you have to be 25?)

And that’s just Monday.

I keep telling everyone that I’m fine with packing and moving by myself, but today, it seems overwhelming. I look around and holy crap do we have a lot of crap. Our apartment isn’t even that big. Geeze.

And I think it’s just weird to be moving into OUR new apartment by MYSELF. I’m picking up keys alone. Working on furniture arrangements alone. Packing and deciding what to keep and what to toss, alone. I think it’s just a lot to process right now.

I guess it wouldn’t be so bad if moving was all I was doing. But I just quit my job as well. No, no, no. Not questioning that decision in the least, but it’s still a little surreal and hasn’t sunk in. I keep thinking, “When is my next shift?” Or about what sale is going on or discounts. And when I drive by it hasn’t sunk in that I will only ever walk into that building as a consumer and I won’t be the one required to talk to customers. Again, very happy about this, just hasn’t all hit.

Also, I start grad school in just over a month. It’s all very weird. I’ve been out of school for so long that it is strange to look at the books I will be reading and studying and writing about and fretting over grades. But being a student isn’t the hard part. I will also be a teacher at the same time. And not to bratty 8th graders or know it all high school sophomores.

To college students. Students not much younger than me, and some possibly older than me. And my professors? They will be my colleagues. I will attend faculty meetings and hear office gossip. Being on both sides of the fence might be a bit of an adjustment for me.

And then there’s the fact that I’m currently a married woman living alone.

Mr. A and I have done long distance when we were dating, but that’s exactly it. We were dating. Now, we’re married with a joint bank account and shared responsibilities and shared items.

But I’ve been feeling like I just have an occasional weekend houseguest that already knows where the towels are and how I like my wine.

And I’m kind of afraid that since I’m moving us into the new apartment and that I will be the one setting it up and decorating and making decisions about where things will go and how the flow of the apartment will flow, that I’m going to feel some sense of claim to it. It won’t feel like ours, but instead, mine and when he comes home in August, I will get perturbed if he tries to move things or messes up my routine or schedule.

The worst part is just going to be not seeing him for weeks at a time. Luckily, I get to visit him and the second half will be spent in graduate assistantship training, so I should be kept busy and won’t be too lonely, but I know the first two weeks will be rough.

So for now, as I watch Sex and the City the show for the first time, and pack boxes and plan out my move, I will live in my surreal state and just try to enjoy it. I mean when else could I watch hours of this show, drink wine, take bubble baths, read books, and lounge around in yoga pants?

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Filed under A little More About Me, Freak Out Much?, Grad School?, Home Sweet Home, Life After College, Married Life

Closing the Chapter

Holy crap, I can’t believe it’s real.

8 months, lots of tears, anger, resentment, and stress later…

I am DONE with retail. DONE. FINISHED. NO MORE.

Yes, I’ve gone on and on and on about this. But this has been the BIGGEST part of my life this past year, so this is what I talked about.

It’s been one heck of a ride.

And yes, while I bitched and moaned about it, I’ve also learned a lot.

I’m much more patient with people working in stores or restaurants. I go out of my way to be nice and acknowledge when they have gone out of their way to help me or work with me. I tip higher and I do my best to be nice and friendly.

I’m also neater in stores and I put my clothes away after trying them on. No, I’m not saying everyone should do this, but being in that situation, I know most people won’t, so I just try to make their day a little easier.

I’ve also learned more about myself. Not all good.

I would never have considered myself an elitist, but when I had to work in retail after getting a degree that I worked hard for and making less money than my BIL who flunked out of college, I think I honestly thought I deserved better.

BUT, I also gained a new appreciation for jobs and opportunities and hard work and, most importantly, money. It doesn’t go nearly as far as it should and I honestly don’t know how some of my coworkers survived on their pay from that place. I couldn’t have paid our rent if I saved every paycheck for a month and didn’t spend a penny from them.

Even better? I’m so much more appreciative of this new opportunity and I will be working that much harder to not only be successful, but to excel and do my best.

But enough sap.

My boss ( my direct manager who I love), had me scheduled in one of my least favorite departments because she needed me to fill in, which was fine. But, then she comes over and tells me that I get to spend my last two hours in my favorite department, the home store. Even better? My two favorite people from that department were working, so my last two hours were full of laughs and fun and I just enjoyed the time I had left.

And my boss? She’s so awesome. She refused to say “goodbye” and we have a lunch date for next Thursday and she is treating me to lunch at this great Chinese restaurant in town. So she kept saying, “It’s not goodbye, it’s see you Thursday!” As much as this was one of my least favorite jobs, she might be THE best boss I’ve ever had and I truly will miss her. Hopefully we can go grab a drink now and then and share some Riesling since we both love it.

And as I left, I was happy. I did work hard today. I was nice to every customer, I helped them with any questions. I wanted to show that, yes, I am moving on, but that I have enough character to not just goof off for my last four hour shift. (I even far exceeded my sales goal! :)  ) Too bad I can’t still get that 20% discount…

So thank you for following along. This next year should be full of fun college kid stories, lots of grading and reading, and a much happier me.

Now to go drink and celebrate the closing of this chapter!

Have a drink with me tonight! I’d buy you all a round if you were closer. :)

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Filed under A little More About Me, Grad School?, Life After College, Life in Law School (even if I'm not in it), Working Girl

Adopted Family

Unfortunately, I don’t have a very close extended family. Both of my grandmas have passed away. I’ve never had a grandpa. My aunt and I, who I used to be VERY close with, have drifted after some tough and difficult situations and choices. All my aunts and cousins on my mom’s side live far away and we only see them at Thanksgiving or a funeral or wedding.

So while I love spending time with my parents and brother, I have missed the extended family time.

Luckily for me, Mr. A has a truly wonderful family, that since day one, has welcomed me with open arms and made me feel right at home. His granny went as far to say that I was always welcome back, even without him. And this was the first family event that I had been to. I love and miss that woman.

Mr. A and I have both lost our grandmothers that were very close to us. He was there for me as we watched my grandma struggle in her fight with ALS and he was there when she passed away. I knew what he was going through when his granny passed away while we were on our honeymoon in Mexico, so I tried to be as supportive as possible since I knew he was upset that we couldn’t be at home with his family. I almost hate saying “his family” and “my family”. It’s our family. Both sides are so incredibly loving and caring and open and welcoming. I couldn’t be more blessed.

So I was beyond excited when my MIL told me that Grandad, Aunt B and her husband J were going to come over for dinner. We were going to grill and watch the baseball game.

I’ve missed the family time and just laughing and enjoying company.

And Grandad is so funny.

He is 89 years old, still goes in to work every day. He’s healthy as a horse and only take a baby asprin everyday. Granny, however, was very sick and had heart problems. Well I guess she thought because she had to be so careful with her blood pressure, that if grandad’s blood pressure went up at all, it was a problem. When in reality, his blood pressure is perfect and if it rises a little, it’s a not problem.

Why am I talking about his health? Because he is a huge Cardinals baseball fan, but since last season when our team has been a little rocky and would give up big leads (like we did last night…), he said he couldn’t watch baseball anymore because his blood pressure would rise. Granny convinced him that he had heart problems too. It’s just funny.

But we figured with all of us hanging out and talking, he would be a little more distracted and so he could watch the game.

It was a good time. B and J had lots of pictures of all the cousins and our cousin’s adopted son from Africa. He is precious and love him and wish I got to see him more often.

This is really a rambling post to say I love family, even if it’s my “adopted” family. And I think I’ve spent more time with my MIL these past few days than I did with my husband. Oops? No. Not oops. It’s been a lot of fun and she has been doing so much for us and I know she needs some girl time, so I’m happy to do it. Did I mention that my flight is booked for Other State?

Yepp. I think July might be my favorite month.

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Filed under Home Sweet Home, Life After College, Married Life, Normal Family?

Favorite Summer Products

I am no fashion blogger or anything of the sort. I can appreciate pretty shoes and clothes, but until we have real money coming in, I will just have to stare from store windows and online catalogs.

This also applies to fancy makeup and beauty products. This girl here is balling on a budget. And I never know what things I actually need. Sephora and all its pretty things always lure me in, but then I get overwhelmed and leave.

But, I do have a few new summer products that I am LOVING right now and I thought I would share.

So, first up:

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Sunblock.

And this Neutrogena Dry Touch Sunblock is amazing. I am a very pale girl, and by looking at my parents, I never had a chance. Which means I burn incredibly easy. Mr. A and I sat outside for lunch on the first warm day and my arms burned after no more than an hour. So when I was going to a baseball game during a 100 degree day and my seats were in the sun, I asked what sunscreen I could wear all day and not feel greasy and gross. A couple people mentioned this one and I am hooked. I put it on in the morning before I drove up and I felt fine all day. Even better? No burn after sitting in the direct sin for about 3 hours. Go buy some. You will love it.

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This is Biolage Smoothing Gel.

In this Midwest humidity, my hair can get all kinds of crazy frizzy and this stuff helps a lot. It doesn’t make my hair feel like I have gel in and at least helps my hair maintain some smoothness and shape.

Add in this:

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CHI Silk Infusion and my hair will still be shiny, smooth, and straight. And that is one heck of a feat for my hair. And the silk infusion also helps keep my hair looking great since I have to flat iron my hair.

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Dove Ultimate Go Sleeveless

Folks. It’s hot. Like really freaking hot. Like heat warnings on the second day of June and oh my word what is August going to be like hot. And while we like to be all ladylike and think we just glisten, that no longer applies in 100% humidity. So yes, I sweat. But this deodorant is amazing and I love it. And it really does help make the underarms look better for all those tank tops and fun summer dresses. Never been so in love with a deodorant before.

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Australian Gold Forever After Moisturizer

I found this lotion last year when I was tanning to get ready for the wedding and Mexico. I needed some color so I didn’t look like a ghost in all the wedding pictures and so I didn’t scorch the second I jumped off the plane in the Mexico sun. But since I burn so easily, I wanted to make sure my skin stayed moisturized and didn’t look like leather. Also, this lotion helps the tan stay longer. Even better? It doesn’t smell like coco butter because I HATE the smell of coco butter. It’s not greasy and I use it as my usual moisturizer. Even has some aloe in it for when I inevitably turn my shoulders into lobsters.

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Nivea Kiss of Smoothness Chapstick

And I can’t forget about the lips. They burn just as easily and this stuff is amazing. Not sticky and goes on smooth. Even better, if I put it in before my lipstick, it just seems to make it look better.

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And I love summer wedges. No, these aren’t fancy, or even my favorite ones, but I love that summer wedges can dress up an outfit. And heels always make legs look even better. Also, the perfect way to show off those fun summer pedicures.

 

So what are YOUR favorite summer products? What are your must-haves for the days in the sun and staying cool?

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Filed under Happy little posts, Just having fun, Things I Love

2 Weeks Notice

Well folks, the time has come.

I tweeted a little mention of this, but in case you missed the most groundbreaking news since finding out Hunger Games would be a movie, here it is.

I. Have. Turned. In. My. Two. Weeks. Notice.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You read that right.

As of the 25th, I will no longer be working in retail.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes. This totally warrants lots of exclamation points.

And no, you aren’t losing your mind. I WAS supposed to be staying till July 8th.

BUT, then Mr. A’s bosses realized that he was much more capable than they originally expected a first year student to be, and gave him a huge raise. Boy hasn’t even been there a month!

So, after  laying out for Mr. A that he will be making FAR more than I would be, and since he works 40+ hours a week and I’m barely getting 15, we decided that I could go ahead and turn in my two weeks notice and just be done with the schedule that is already posted.

HECK YES!!!!!!!!!

So I talked to my manager and let her know that I wouldn’t be staying till July 8th like I had originally planned. I explained to her that I was going to ask for time off anyways since I would be moving by myself basically and then would only be working a couple shifts after and it would just be easier to have that whole week to pack and move and give myself some down time.

She took it pretty well. Said she would miss me, but since I have been honest with them, I think it went better than had I been sneaky this whole time about me leaving. She knew it was coming, but she was also happy for me.

And Sunday, I filled out the resignation form and turned in my letter and now I only have 6 shifts between now and the 25th. Between me and freedom from ever working in a retail store ever again.

And while this has pretty much been the worst job I have EVER had, I have learned a whole new respect for people working in any field that requires them to interact with the general public. I am incredibly nice to sales people and waiters and the girl who hands me my coffee at Panera and the guy who gives me my biscuit at McDonalds. I don’t think I was ever rude before, but I now make an effort to be nice and say thank you because I know how great it is to have a nice customer after a long horrible day filled with obnoxious customers.

So, I will have about a month off before GA training starts, so that will be nice to have down time to set up our apartment without being rushed and then I can go visit Mr. A in Other State whenever I want. And then when I get back, I will have about a week to relax and get my head together before training and then school starting. And I feel like I will need that time because grad school is going to be a big adjustment for me since I’ve been out for two years. And I plan on enjoying my time off. And relaxing on my back patio.

And to those of you who have been here since last year and have me so many words of encouragement, THANK YOU and on the 25th, I hope all of you will join me in a round of celebratory drinks because I couldn’t have gotten through all of this without. You lifted me up when I couldn’t see the light and you kicked me in the butt when I was just being mopey. So I sincerely thank you all and we can organize a cross country drink!

Now to get through these last 6 shifts because I will just be thinking, “I WANT TO BE DONE ALREADY!”

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Filed under A little More About Me, Grad School?, Life After College, Working Girl

A Weekend Update

This past weekend, Mr. A came home and, for once, I didn’t have to work the whole time. We hadn’t seen each other for about a week and a half, so it was nice to have him home with me, even though he moves things when he’s not the one living here…ahem.

And because I have apparently been living under a rock, we bought a webcam for my computer since Mr. A’s has one built in. We figured with him being gone for 7 weeks, it would be nice to get to see each other’s faces, even if it was just for a little bit when we talk at night.

Well, we tried it out last week.

You guys. It’s so much fun!

I had never Skyped before and never had anyone that was far enough away that it made sense to use it. Well, it’s a blast. Except I had to keep reminding myself that he could see me when I zoned out and would be tweeting or watching tv. And apparently I make funny faces and don’t realize it.

Downside? We usually talk right before which ever one of us is going to bed earlier, so I don’t look all that cute with my makeup off, hair usually in a ponytail, and my pajamas. Might need to work on being a little cuter for our video chats from now on.

But back to the weekend…

Friday, Mr. A’s boss was incredibly nice and since he knew he was coming home, let him leave early, so instead of getting here at 7, he shoed up at the door at 4:30, which was a very nice surprise. Except I was planning on cleaning up a little more, but oh well.

We headed out to dinner and had some drinks, which is always appreciated. We have also discovered that we both like flavored vodka with tonic, so as a way to save a little money on going out for drinks, we went and picked out a flavor we both like and headed home since he had a long day. My favorite bar makes their own infused vodkas, so I think I’m going to try adding some fresh fruit and letting it soak and see how that goes.

It was great to sleep in on Saturday, but I did miss having the whole bed to myself. And I think Mr. A forgot how to sleep with someone else in the bed since he kept trying to take my pillow and trying to push me out of the bed. We may have some adjustments to make when he’s back for good in August.

Our plan was to go grab some lunch and then go to one of the local wineries. They were showing the Belmont Stakes and having giveaways and such, so we thought it would make for a fun day. We had lunch and went to the store to pick up some cheese and crackers. We stopped by home to pack up and then Mr. A decided that he wanted to rest for a bit.

Well, of course, when we were finally leaving and heading to the winery, the sky turned a scary gray color and we decided that we didn’t want to get out there, get set up, and then it start pouring on our heads, so we ran by the store and bought a bottle of my favorite wine from that winery, and headed home. We made a makeshift picnic in our living room. Day drinking commenced and I may or may not have finished the entire bottle of wine on my own while Mr. A drank bourbon and diet. And I may or may not have gotten day drunk. Which may or may not be my favorite thing. :)

We had plans to go see the new X-Men, but after eating some dinner and our buzzes wearing off, we thought we would be struggling to stay awake and decided to save our money.

This weekend was basically me learning that we’re old and like hanging out at home. I’m hoping we can get a little more exciting this fall when we aren’t trying to still figure everything out about the town.

Today, I had to work a short shift, so Mr. A waited for me to get off and we grabbed an early dinner before he headed back to Mville.

And now that I’ve typed this all out, it really wasn’t all that exciting of a weekend, but I was so happy to have him home and for us to get to spend some time together at home. It seems like all the other weekends we have been gone to STL or somewhere and spent a good chunk of time on the road, so it was nice to just be a little more relaxed.

And I think when he’s in Other State, I will be craving a lazy night at home.

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Filed under Home Sweet Home, Life After College, Life in Law School (even if I'm not in it), Married Life

Home Alone

So I’ve talked a lot about the fact that Mr. A is gone this summer.

I’ve blogged it. I’ve tweeted it.

I’m working on not tweeting it constantly because seriously, none of you want to keep read 140 character laments about missing my husband. Eventually you would start rolling your eyes and telling me to get a life. So I’m trying to keep the “missing him” tweets to a minimum. You’re welcome.

Some of you have been very sweet and asking how I’m doing and all that and I thought I’d fill you all in on what it’s like to be living alone for the first time in my life. (I lived in a dorm with 300 other people around me and then when I moved off campus, it was a four bedroom apartment, so I’ve never lived truly on my own before.)

Strangely? I kind of like it.

But shhhhhh.

I feel guilty saying it.

And I do miss my husband. A lot, actually. He’s my best friend and about the only person I know that I can spend days and days with and not want to scream. That’s true love folks.

But I like coming home and having the place to myself and to do what I want. Not like Mr. A tells me I can’t do anything, but I guess just the feeling of not worrying about anyone else’s time frame or schedule or mood is nice. If I’m cranky after work, I can just come home and veg on the couch and not talk to anyone.

I’ve also been much better about keeping the apartment straightened up now that I’m home alone. No idea what this means since Mr. A is the neater one so you’d think I’d be more concerned with neatness when he’s home. Who knows. But the fridge and freezer are cleaned out and the bathroom is all shiny and my clothes are put away. Maybe I just have too much free time.

I should be working on packing. I should be going through the bags and boxes that never got unpacked when we moved here, so obviously those things just need to be donated or tossed because if I haven’t touched it or missed it in a year, then I’m not taking it to the new apartment. Don’t need to start off the new place with clutter. Please don’t report me to Hoarders.

Also, since packing will mostly be left up to me, I need to start working on it now so on moving day, Mr. A and I just have to move big stuff and we can get things put away quickly so all of the unpacking isn’t left to me. I don’t unpack well. (See: boxes and bags that haven’t been touched in a year…)

I’ve been watching a fair amount of Netflix. This would be awesome except that during my 5 months unemployment stint, I watched Netflix all day long, so the shows and movies that I still want to watch are limited. I need some more shows to be added so I have something new to watch.

A current downfall of being home alone is that I’m fairly jumpy and it doesn’t take much for me to be scared.

And the fact that a new neighbor moved in and he has an ankle bracelet doesn’t help me. I have to keep reminding myself that the crime couldn’t have been too bad or he would be in jail, let alone be allowed to move to a new apartment.

I also check that the front door is locked all the time. Never had a problem since living here, but knowing that I don’t have Mr. A here as an extra protection, I’m probably overly cautious.

So all in all, being home alone hasn’t been too bad.

BUT, I’ve gotten to see Mr. A on the weekends. Last week, I went to Mville with him after our anniversary weekend because I was off Tuesday and Wednesday. Next week, I’m off Tues-Thurs, so I will be heading there after work Monday and then driving up before work on Friday. So it’s not like we don’t see each other.

I think when he goes to Other State in July, then it will be different.

We went to Best Buy tonight and bought a webcam so we can video chat when he’s gone. He also wants me to put together our digital picture frame so he can take it with him.

Might sound bad, but I think he’s having a harder time with being apart than I am. We were apart for almost a year and a half while we were dating, and I was the one that was gone, so to me, a summer of separation with a few visits and knowing I will go visit him in Other State makes it not so hard on me. He’s been working his butt off at the firm, and while he loves the work, I think being stressed makes him wish he got to come home to his wife instead of his mom and brother.

That’s where we are. As I look around I realize that I have a lot of packing and I MUST start this week. This is going to be a beast to do alone. Anyone want to come help? I’ll supply margaritas and food? I’ll even make you your dessert of choice? Any takers? Bueler?

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Filed under Home Sweet Home, Life After College, Life in Law School (even if I'm not in it), Married Life

Mville

Mville and I have a love/hate relationship. And it’s more hate than love.

I remember being 17 and a junior in high school and visiting the town and seeing campus and falling in love. I had dreams of walking to class with my friends and living in the dorms without my parents watchful eye. Of football games and tailgates and fraternity parties and late nights and just lots of fun.

And a lot of undergrad was all of those things.

But it was also hateful roommates and classes and getting in over my head and being pulled form school for a year and going back and giving up a lot of free time for study time and being an RA and dealing with all sorts of crazy things.

And a lot of the shiny-ness of the school wore off.

I had some great times there. I met my husband and I learned a lot about myself. I grew up and, for the most part, I like who I have become.

But this town is something else.

It’s not that much south of my hometown, but it kind of feels like a world away. Just different ideas about things and how things are handled.

The school also left a bad taste in my mouth. I wrote this long rambling post about the fact that I will not be giving money back to that school.

And I’m used to coming back here. This is Mr. A’s hometown so it’s not like I’m never here.

But today, as I sit here, this has been my first time back in probably 3 months. And I had this weird thought that I would feel all sentimental about this place since I hadn’t been here in a while. And I’m sad to say, I didn’t. All it did was bring back the memories of the incidents and people that hurt me or that made me mad. I probably need to just let it go.

Especially since, at least right now, it seems like Mr. A might be able to work as in house council for the corporation he’s working for now. And even though I have shouted from the rooftops that I would never live here again, the opportunity is entirely too amazing for him to pass up.

So as I drove around today, I tried to put myself back into my 17 year old eyes and see the magic that I saw 7 years ago.

It helps some things have changed.

The Arby’s building is gone and that’s where the Chik-fil-a will be. Zaxby’s is building where the old apartments burned down a couple years ago. One of the old crappy dorms has been torn down and two more new and pretty ones have been built. Stores have changed. Restaurants have renovated.

And maybe, just maybe, if the town can change a little more in the next two years, I’ll be able to call Mville home. At least for a few years. But I will not send my children to school here beyond second grade. Luckily, Mr. A agrees and knows it will not be a permanent move.

Doesn’t hurt that tonight we’re going to my favorite Mexican restaurant for some of the best margaritas on one of my favorite outdoor patios. There’s always a silver lining.

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Filed under A little More About Me, Home Sweet Home, Life After College