Posts Tagged With: friends

Libraries, Cheesecake, and Chandler Bing

Our Christmas Tree. We received our amazing Yoda tree-topper for Christmas, but our tree is only a few feet tall. Next year we might have to upgrade to a bigger tree to better accommodate Master Yoda.

Life has a way of slipping by when my back is turned.  I can’t believe it’s 2013 already.  Sam wrapped up his first semester of teaching a few weeks ago, and he is happy for the break.  His first semester went well, though his coaching duties made it very busy.  I started my new job at the end of November, and I wrapped up the semester on December 21.  It feels like I hardly worked at all before Christmas break, and I haven’t gotten a paycheck yet, so I can’t really tell how work is going so far.  I enjoy my job, but it’s a little underwhelming.  I only work four hours a day and each of those four hours is spent either bending over a copy machine making sure staples don’t snag or migrating back and forth between my desk trying to look busy.  I work very quickly and there simply isn’t enough work to take up my time.  I work with great people and the work isn’t hard, so I’m not trying to complain or anything.  Maybe that’s the problem– the work isn’t challenging.  After slaving away for A+ grades in college, I feel underutilized running a copy machine.  It’s the same work I did in ninth grade working in the principal’s office for P.E. credit.

(Thank goodness they let awkward, nerdy girls like me get P.E. credit working in the office.  They saved me from a year of changing my clothes under my clothes and going to my next class all sweaty.  I did end up having to take a semester of P.E. in 10th grade, and I’m not kidding about this: my friend, Erika, and I would bring athletic pants to school in our backpacks and wear them over our jeans so we wouldn’t have to change for gym class.  Our P.E. teacher would always have some random activity planned, like volleyball or indoor soccer.  She even let us try archery– that lasted about twenty minutes until she realized giving a bunch of high schoolers bows and arrows and letting them go at it might not have been the best idea.  For those that didn’t want to participate in the activities, she let walk laps around the gym.  As long as we were constantly moving during class, we got credit.  That’s how Erika and I spent a semester walking laps around a gym wearing jeans and sweatpants at once.)

Anyway, I actually have an interview scheduled for Monday.  There’s an opening in the high school library for a library aide, and I really want it.  The position is full time and would be much more interesting work.  I’ve always loved libraries; I see them as a haven.  It’s where I always go when I need somewhere very quiet and safe. I don’t know if the job will work out because there are several other applicants who probably have a lot more experience than me, but I’m going to try anyway.  There’s also a full-time secretary position that I applied for, too.  I guess you could say I’m casting my nets far and wide.

Sam and I don’t really know what’s going to happen in the future… We don’t even know where he’ll be teaching next year.  That makes it hard for me to settle down and commit to things like this, but I’m learning to take everything one day at a time.  A few months of experience is better than no experience at all.  I know whatever works out will be the right thing.  I’m still very excited about the idea of trying a new  job soon… We’ll see what happens.

So much else happened last month!  December was very busy for us.  We celebrated our first anniversary on December 18!  Sam bought me a gorgeous necklace from James Avery that matches my wedding ring perfectly.  I was shocked… I didn’t even hint for it!  He picked it out all by himself and I absolutely love it.  He knows me so well.  We enjoyed a dinner at Carino’s Italian (that’s our go-to restaurant; not only is the food delicious, but it’s where we went on our first date, the night we got engaged, and the night we got married).  Then, we went and saw The Hobbit together, which I loved.

December 19 was our chinchilla Rigby’s first birthday.  We got him his favorite toy (a bundle of sticks he enjoys chewing to bits) and spoiled him with treats all day.  We love the little fuzzball.

On December 21, the world was supposed to end.  As a joke, Sam and I invited a bunch of our college friends to an “End of the World Afterparty” to celebrate, and they all showed up!  We ended up having eleven people in our tiny apartment, and most of them stayed the night.  It was a blast!  We ate a ton of food and played party games.

Sam and Ian were a little exhausted the day after the party. (Sam is the Korean on the right, Ian is the Korean on the left.)

The next day, we went antique shopping in downtown Waxahachie.  Then, Sam’s brother and his family arrived from Indiana on their way to Austin for Christmas with Sam’s family.  We joined them the next day and spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Austin. I did a lot of baking for Christmas!  I made a Christmas Checkerboard Cake using the same technique I used for my original Checkerboard Cake.  I also made my first apple pie!

The family helped celebrate my birthday and my niece Lizzy’s birthday (mine was on the 26 and hers was on the 28) by making us a panda cake!  I was beyond excited when I first saw it.

Lizzy even made me a Hello Kitty panda on the Hello Kitty dress-up app I downloaded onto my iPhone for her.  She accidentally upgraded it to the full version for $1.99 because I was dumb enough to let a kid who can’t read yet play with my phone.  Oh well, at least I got this:

We drove to Abilene to see my extended family.  We ended up playing games and I found time to see Les Miserables, which I also loved.  We made it home in time for Sam’s brother to pass back through on the way back to Indiana.  For New Year’s Eve, our friends Ben, Camille, and Anthony came over to celebrate.  We watched the ball drop online and I made my first cheesecake.  I tried a recipe from Betty Crocker for chocolate covered cherry cheesecake and it turned out delicious!  Everyone liked it.

Our house has finally started to quiet down. It’s a wreck and I have a ton of cleaning to do, but it was worth it to see so many people we love.  Now, I’m relaxing and watching Friends.  I actually saw my first episode of Friends during Thanksgiving when my older sister, Taylor, was watching one of the Thanksgiving episodes as a re-run on TV.  I know, I know– I’m about a decade late to the party, but I absolutely love this show.  I’ve been watching low-quality episodes online, and the box set is definitely going on my Christmas list next year.  The show is just so well written and the acting is great.  I’ve become emotionally invested in the characters.  I cried when Chandler proposed to Monica; it was just so sweet.

That brings me to my final point: Chandler Bing is one of the best men in television history, hands down.  He’s definitely my favorite character on the show.  He has such a kind heart and he’s hilarious.  He’s been through a lot of difficult circumstances, but he manages to laugh about it.  He’s good at making people feel better or calming people down when they’re stressed or scared.  He’s goofy and cute.  He reminds me a lot of Sam, which is probably why I like him so much.

So, happy 2013!  Watch this clip of funny Chandler moments, and let yourself laugh.  :)

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Letdowns and Upsides

This morning, I woke up with a huge headache, the kind that makes it hard to stand up and turn on the light.  However, I rolled out of bed and turned on the light anyway because I didn’t want Sam to be late for work.  Every morning I wake Sam up at 6:30 and get him ready for the day.  Sam is not a morning person, and if it was up to him, I think some days he might go to work in his pajamas or just not go to work at all.  (Just kidding, Sam has very good work ethic.)  I mostly like to get him ready for the day because it allows me a half hour every morning to just be with him before the day gets crazy and he has to drive off for 12 hours.  I like putting my hand on his sleepy face and whispering in his ear that it’s time to wake up.  I like helping him button his shirts while his eyes are still half shut.  I just think it’s cute and I don’t like wasting time with Sam.  This morning, though, he saw me grimacing as I laid out his clothes and sent me straight back to bed.

After he left, I had to send my friend Jessica a message explaining why I had to turn down this amazing internship she offered me in Dallas.  I truly felt terrible rejecting the internship, but it was too far away and life is just too rocky for us right now for me to be driving that far for an unpaid internship.  I need something a little closer to home base to keep an eye on things.

Without going into too much detail, Sam is having a rough first year of teaching (I know, I know… what first year of teaching isn’t rough?).  We’re currently facing some big decisions that will affect us and our future family for many years to come.  Sam even mentioned that he’d rather me not work right now and take care of things at home because we have so many things to work out.  I’m glad to take care of our family and it’s my number one priority.

However, I haven’t stopped casting lines to see if I can get any bites.  I had a big bite today while I was in Wal-Mart grocery shopping.  A man from ITT Technical Institute in DeSoto, TX called because I applied last week for a position as a library assistant.  He seemed very interested in my resume.  When he described the job, it seemed like everything I wanted: helping students, conducting research, organizing books… It sounded great, until he mentioned the hours.  12-9, Monday through Friday.

If I wasn’t married, I would’ve jumped on it in a heartbeat, but I made a commitment when I married Sam to no longer think selfishly.  I have to include him in all my thoughts.  We’re “one flesh,” after all.  So, I told him, no, I couldn’t work evening hours because I wanted to spend time with my husband, and he said he understood and promised to keep my resume on file in case any daytime positions became available.

So, I’ve had a frustrating day.  I keep running into dead ends: either flat-out rejections or opportunities that I have to turn down because they’re not right for us right now.  Some of you might be thinking, “You shouldn’t take a backseat to your husband,” or, “You should work whatever job you want to work.”  Those are valid concerns, but that’s just not how our relationship works.  We’re a team, and there’s no room for “me” thinking.  Sam goes to his job every day and works hard to make money for us, and I would do the same thing if I had a job right now.

This whole experience has been a lesson in humility.  I used to be a straight-A student with a great job… Take that away, and who am I? That’s the question I’ve been coping with, and I’ve found some interesting answers.  I’m a creative person.  I like taking care of our house and cooking dinners.  I like reading and writing.  I like playing with Rigby and learning new things.  Those things will be true no matter where I work or how many degrees I earn.  I can’t put my self-worth in money, because money is fleeting and will one day be spent.  I choose to put my self-worth in love and let everything else fall into place.

No job for now.  I’m still looking, but I’m not in a hurry or panicked anymore.  We’re going to be okay.  God has provided us with so many blessings, and he’ll provide the right job when the time is right.  In the meantime, I’ve had time to get to know myself and that’s a wonderful thing.

Here’s a peek at our “Blessings Board” and a few of the people we’ve gotten to see since we moved.

Sam with our good friend Will, who is currently living in New York City. We were lucky to snag a visit with him as he was passing through Dallas.

My friend Morgan who has been a loyal friend through many, many years. Not only is she adorable, but she’s living here in Waxahachie while she’s going to college so I get to see her often.

This is Sam with his mom, Sue, and his sister, Sara. They came up to Maypearl to watch Sam coach one of his football games. It’s always nice to see family, and it was especially nice of Sara to bring Sue up all the way from Austin. Sue is struggling with the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease, and each visit with her is precious.

This is Jeremy and Rebecca posing with giant chess pieces. They are some of our best friends from college, and we were lucky enough to get a visit from them last weekend.

That weekend, we also got a visit from Jeremy and Erica, some of our other wonderful friends! They gave us some awesome housewarming gifts and came over to share soup and talk. We are so lucky to be friends with these people!

Those pictures don’t even cover the visits we’ve had from our friends Ben and Camille or from Sam’s brother, Scott, his wife Chrissy, and their kids Johnathon, David, and Lizzy.  I’ve never been an aunt before and I love seeing my niece and nephews!  I love Scott and Chrissy and they are definitely role models for Sam and I.  It’s also always wonderful to get visits from Ben and Camille because they love to hang out and have fun with us.

Good news: my headache is feeling better. There are plenty of other upsides to life, and most of them involve the people I love most.  I guess that’s the most important lesson I can learn: happiness in life doesn’t come from money or success, but from the people you share it with.

Categories: My Life | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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