Friday, April 27, 2012

Beware: randomness ahead

Hello, hello! I haven't posted since the 13th, and to say my head is clogged with words that need to get out is an understatement.

Why did I think taking SIX graduate courses was a good idea? True, my classes are not MBA level difficult, but they are still pretty time consuming, and six was probably pushing it.

I will make it though. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I only have ... 6 assignments, 1 2500 word paper, 1 final test, 1 portfolio, 2 lesson plans, 1 final meeting where I verbally defend my knowledge of the course standards, and a professional development to write and then I'M DONE!

Yeah, typing that out was a little overwhelming.

Other than that, things are okay. I'm hanging in there. I need to get better at reaching out to the people around me when I get stressed or down about something. Sometimes instead of handling the stress, I just ignore it, and as Celia said once... "If you don't take care of the stress, your body will."

Besides classes - work is going great. I haven't worked as much at the Agency this month because I just haven't had time. Subbing has kept me pretty busy, and I'm really excited to finish up next weeks classes so I can sub everyday.

Running is not going so great. I'm struggling to fit everything in. If I was morning person this problem would be solved, but I am a total bear in the mornings and each time I have tried to run in the AM it was a complete failure.

I'm planning on doing 2-3 runs this weekend (one today) and hopefully Zumba Saturday morning. This week I ran one 6 mile run on Monday and then I did the Grand Blue Mile on Tuesday. After that, classes took over my life.

I'm tired. I'm ready for summer. I'm frustrated with so many things. I'm trying to ignore the things out of my control. I'm trying to keep the smile on my face.  I'm being very vague right now.

So, yeah. This was my random update.

How have YOU been?? 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Looking forward

I love this Looking Forward feature that Lisa sometimes does on her blog, and today I am stealing borrowing it!

Today ... I am looking forward to happy hour and dinner with my parents afterwards! Today is my little sister and my Dad's birthday! Yep, they both have the same birthday (best birthday present ever to my dad 26 years ago!) and I think it is the coolest thing! I hope they enjoy sharing a birthday. ;)

Next week ... I am looking forward to seeing Jimmy Buffett in concert! We're heading to Buzzard Billy's to tailgate/drink beforehand, and I'm beyond excited! What a great perk in the middle of the week!

This month ... I'm really looking forward to Books 'n Bars being at Americana for brunch on a Sunday! I love their Sunday brunch, not only because it's extremely delicious, but because they have a bloody mary bar that rivals my other favorite bloody mary bar in town (Front Row) and I love me a rich and spicy bloody mary. ;) The book is also one that I am EXTREMELY excited to discuss! This month we're reading Loving Frank, which.. I, well, loved! Last night I discussed the book a tiny bit with a friend of mine that was out last night for happy hour and it got me really excited all over again. I wish I could reread it, but I just read it January and that wasn't that long ago, so it would be kind of pointless.

Next month ... I am looking forward to attending Rockfest in Kansas City with a big group of friends. This is a total last minute decision for me (not unusual) and I cannot stop thinking about how much fun it will be! I used to live in Kansas City, so I jump at any chance to head back down there. Plus, I have never been to one of these concerts (it's similar to Lazerfest in Des Moines) and I have only heard people rave about how much fun they had. Caaaaan't wait! ;) Plus, it's the weekend right after finals, so I will be ready CELEBRATE!

This year ... Oh, gosh. I am looking forward to so many things this year. Vegas in October for Lesli's birthday, Dam to Dam in June, some interesting classes I'm taking later this year, possibly traveling to DC to see Becky, moving into a new place (hopefully a house)... so many things going on this this year!

What are you looking forward to lately? Hope everyone had a good week!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Bullet update!

This is going to be a bulleted update. You don't mind, right?

  • Time is flying by. I cannot believe it is April 9th, Easter is over and I have only about a month to go for this semester. 
  • Speaking of this semester. April is a total pain in the ass. There is SO MUCH going on and now is the time I am really kicking myself for trying to tackle 6 classes and not do more at the beginning of the semester. 
  • Training is going fantastic! I could not be happier! I just wrapped up my third week and on Saturday I did my longest long run, 5 miles. I ran all five miles in under an hour and I'm so completely shocked at myself. Saturday was the first time I really felt like I, for sure, could run all 12.4 miles of the race and make it under 3 hours. I'm definitely not as scared now, which feels so amazing.
  • I recently planned out the rest of my graduate program and I am so bummed that this semester will be my last semester substitute teaching regularly throughout the week. :( In the fall I have classes during the day Monday-Thursday. I'm grateful I will have Fridays to work, but I know that is not enough. I'm going to really miss it. 
  • After that fall semester, I will be student teaching (so, one year from right now) and I am really nervous. Like, really nervous. I'm glad I still have many months to mentally prepare. 
  • I'm reading Fifty Shades of Grey (yeah, I couldn't resist all the hype) and boy, oh boy... Ummm, I get it now. I completely get it. 
  • I'm actually reading the book on my Nook! It was cheaper, and I didn't care to have the physical copy, so it made sense. I'm a little annoyed though, because it's not lendable. I just don't understand that. We already can only lend them out once, so why not make them all lendable?? 
  • Easter went well, but I ate way too much food. In fact, the entire weekend I ate horribly. Friday night after Zumba we went to Rock Bottom, where I fell in love with a new Cherry Wheat brew they have (omg, it was so good) and then on Saturday I had Mexican while working with a client, and then Sunday was Easter, so... Easter dinner, which included ham, party potatoes and other deliciousness. 
How was your Easter? Anything new going on in your life? 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Book Club Friday

Happy Friday!! Happy Good Friday, in fact!

Do you celebrate Easter? My family doesn't go to church regularly, but I have been attending the Unitarian church with my group of girlfriends, so we are going to the 9:30 service and then after that I am headed out to Dexter to my grandmother's for lunch/dinner (linner?).

Today I'm linking up with Heather for Book Club Friday and this week I'm talking about One For the Money, the first book in the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. This series is an extremely popular women's mystery series and once the movie with was made (with Katherine Heigl) I knew that at some point I was going to need to pick up the first book. This type of series is not really my thing, and I rarely read murder mysteries, but I was curious.

I wish I could say I totally enjoyed it, but I didn't. I found parts of it to be really cheesy (which, I guess, was to be expected) and at times I felt like it really crawled by. In fact, I think I was reading this book for a few weeks (while reading other books). By the last 80 pages or so it really picked up for me, but that is probably because the romance part of it began to pick up. The book ended with a little romantic cliffhanger so I'm sure I will end up picking up the second book in the series just to find out what happens with that! Maybe that book will hook me?! Clearly I'm a sucker for romance.

Are you a fan of the Stephanie Plum series? 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Books 'n Bars (10)

Last Friday we had our TENTH Books 'n Bars meeting at Goodsons in Beaverdale!

For the month of April we read Lolita by Vladimir Nabakov, which is a controversial and commonly banned book worldwide. I was really excited to read this book, because I knew it was written in a very Russian style (which I am not very familiar with!) and was... well, controversial!

Lolita is about a man that seduces and maintains a relationship with a young girl, whom he calls a "nymphet." The story is primarily about their love and relationship. If you can get past what it IS, it's a good story... unfortunately, I could not. I could not fathom this and I did not really care for the story at all. Much like Middlesex, I thought the writing was phenomenal but I think I knew too much going into the story. I knew what Nabakov was trying to do, and it just didn't work for me. I wish I had gone into the book not knowing anything at all. Maybe then it would have had a chance with me. (Doubtful, though).

Once again, the group was pretty split with slightly more people disliking the story than liking it. The conversation was awesome though, and I loved the different perspectives everyone brought to the table. With uncomfortable stories like this, I think it is necessary to segment the elements out and discuss the writing, the content, the writing style... etc, and I think that is what I enjoy most and take away from books like this. Books, where I don't necessarily enjoy the subject matter, that is.

Besides the book, we did meet at a very popular Beaverdale bar called Goodsons! I had actually never been there! When we're in Beaverdale we usually go to Saints, so it was nice to branch out! My favorite feature of this bar was the chalkboard table tops, and then of course the panini's (I had a buffalo chicken panini, unfortunately I forgot to take a picture).

For the month of April we are reading Loving Frank by Nancy Horan. I am SO EXCITED about this because I read this book in January and absolutely loved the story. It's about the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright and his first mistress (yes, I said first) Mamah Cheney. The story was captivating to me and I haven't been able to get it out of my head since, so discussing it will be fantastic!

We're meeting on Sunday April 29th at 11am at.... Americana! Sunday Brunch! Bloody mary bar! Mimosa bar! Books! My heart is happy. :)

Check out the invite here. We would love to have you if you are interested! Everyone is welcome!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

March is a wrap!

Whew. March is over and it flew by for me (as they all seem to do lately). I'm really not excited about it being April. The semester is over at the beginning of May and the last month of the semester is always *insane* with everything coming due all at once. Considering I am a procrastinator, this sends my head spinning in all directions. (Yet, I realize it is completely my own fault).

But, let's recap March, shall we?

At the beginning of the month I set some goals for myself, much like I did in February

About halfway through the month I made a few changes though and most of the goals were no longer relevant. For example... I decided to start training for the Dam to Dam 20K (I know, who AM I?) so that wiped out the "finish C25K" goal but I would still consider that goal as passed because I'm running so many miles each week. I began my third week of training this week and I can honestly say I'm enjoying it! I'm running 4 times a week, the first two weeks a total of 12 miles each and this week is a total of14 miles. This third week has been a little bit rougher, but I think that's just because I'm tired.

In other areas:

Agency work: I made a goal for myself to work 60 hours (which fulfills my 15 hr/week commitment) and I blew that goal out of the water by working exactly 100 hours (I knoooow). Hopefully that sets me up to be able to slack a little through April... I always admired the folks that do this job full time (cough, cough, Angie, cough, cough) but now I admire them even more! On a regular schedule, that job is hard!

Reading: I wanted to finish six books, but I was only able to get in five. (Only... that's kind of funny. Five is still a lot of reading). If you're interested in what books I read, check out my Goodreads page.

Subbing: I was only able to sub 4 1/2 days. With Spring Break in the month of March it was just too difficult.

Classes: I might as well accept that I am a procrastinator and will put things off until the last minute. I work better under pressure anyway.

Health: I stopped counting calories! It just wasn't working. I know I was eating the wrong kinds of calories, so I decided to hop on the Weight Watchers bandwagon and start counting points. I'm not a member for Weight Watchers, though. I'm just trying it out to see if I like it. I'm in my third week of counting points, and I have to say, I enjoy that all fruit is no points. ;) 

I'm not going to set any specific goals for April, besides to keep doing what I'm doing. The changes I made in March seem to be really working, so instead of adding more to my plate, I'm going to keep it simple, keep doing what I'm doing and just try to make it through this hectic month.

Other exciting happenings in April:
  • My dad and sister's birthday is the 13th (yep, they have the same birthday!)
  • The entire fam is going to see Jimmy Buffett (we got 7th ROW!) on the 17th! I cannot wait for this! The entire reason I am such an oldies fan and a fan of musicians like Jimmy Buffett is because of my dad!
  • Easter! This year we're celebrating with lunch at my grandmother's house, with probably church in the morning.
  • Books 'n Bars this month is at Americana on a Sunday morning! I'm kind of excited about this one. Americana has an awesome bloody mary and mimosa bar... yuuummm! (look for my review of March's Books 'n Bars tomorrow!)
  • My subbing availability is almost already full for April and May and most of them are at my favorite middle school - I LOVE THIS. 
That's really it for me. How was your March? Any exciting news? 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Book swap!

I cannot resist a good book swap. I love when bloggers host swaps and have to stop myself from signing up for each one, but I never resist the book swaps. Obviously, since I have done two of them so far this year!

This swap was hosted by Heather and Katie again, and this time I was paired with Heather from Keeping up with the Giffords!

Heather sent three books that all look amazing! One of them is my favorite and I actually didn't own it, so that was perfect! She also sent coffee (smart girl) and Fiber One brownies, which are yuuuummy! 

The day her package came I also got two other packages from bloggers. This felt like Christmas when I opened my mailbox!

I think I squealed out loud! 

From Becky, I got some coffee from Starbucks. She remembered that I wasn't a fan of Starbucks, but when they came out with the blonde roast I was converted! How sweet!!

From Molly, she sent me a new book (which I also have not read!) and some baked goods! Zucchini and chocolate chip cookies! They were delish!!

Thank you so much ladies! This completely made my day!!!

Today I am also guest posting on Nikki's blog about my career so far! I'd love it if you checked it out!