Thursday, July 28, 2011

Vacation is a Beautiful Thing

So I am sure that by now you are all madly wondering how I spent my four day vacation last weekend. To appease you all, I will share the details [minus specific names and places to protect the innocent...or whatever]. I arrived at my destination Friday around lunch. Shortly thereafter, me, person L, person T, and person D went out to this outlet mall that wasn't far from the location, and I never knew it existed! I was very upset about my ignorance. At any rate, we had fun in a few of the stores and it was great, even if we were melting by the end. After that, L and myself went to help set up at a little open house for a girl I grew up with who had just gotten married. I hadn't known ahead of time that this would be included in my weekend, so it was a wonderful surprise to be able to see her again and her family as well. Then we went to a classic sandwich place in this town and I had the single most delicious club sandwich ever. So SO good. Then we raced back home to change our clothes to head over to the open house, where we were social and pleasant right up to the end, and then we helped take everything down again. That night I slept in the most AMAZING bed that has ever been created and can I just insert here what a blessing it was to be able to sleep deeply and straight through the night and to feel so refreshed in the morning? That is so rare for me and it was nearly miraculous. Thank you, amazing bed. I miss you already.
ANYWAY. Saturday I woke up all on my own--still early, but no alarm = okay with me--and had a hole-in-the-wall for breakfast, which is always a fun treat, and then I lounged about the house while the rest of the gang did what they had to--I had specifically requested that they do exactly what they were already going to do and not worry about entertaining me, as I was on vacation purely to "just be" for a few days--and really enjoyed that. Around noon, L and I went to go get pedicures. See, I had never had one and that little detail somehow escaped from my mouth while we were at the outlet mall. L was appropriately astonished and said we would take care of that. So off we went for my very first pedicure. Oh my gosh, people. If you have never had a pedicure, you have to go and get one. My feet, which are historically ugly, are now smooth and soft and gorgeous, my nails are radiant in their new shade of "I'm not really a waitress" [yes, that was the color I picked], and I already want to go and get another one. Thank you, L, for opening my eyes and showing me just how blind I have been. After that little jaunt to heaven, we went back to the house to catch a nap, and then G, L, D, M [a lovely girl whom I enjoyed meeting very much], and I [uhh, can we SAY third wheel? oh well. good thing I'm not awkward.] went out to eat at Red Robin [YUM], browsed at Barnes and Noble [dangerous], and saw Harry Potter again. [I do realize that I neglected to post on Harry Potter. I shall amend that soon.] I cried more this time than last time, probably because I was more awake, and had a really good time. Especially since L, M, and I shared a popcorn, seeing as how we three agreed that when you go to a movie, you ought to have popcorn. The boys didn't care and we didn't care that they didn't care.
Sunday I slept in again [bless you, bed], then ate some of the most amazing French Toast that was ever called French Toast [thank you, G. I bow to the awesomeness that is your French Toast]. After that we went off to Church a little early so D and L could rehearse with the choir, which suited me just fine as I wanted to say hi to some of the old gang I used to know who was in the other ward. I got to see some and it was awesome. Church was great. Wonderful talks, spiritual nourishment, and a lovely combination of social mingling, family catch-ups, and flat out gossip. Perfect. Then I went and visited my dad's cousin that lives in the same town and had a lovely hour or so with him, his wife, and their two girls still at home. I love those guys. They really feel closer than they are. I wish I had set aside more time for them, but oh well. Family understands. That night we had one of my favorite dinners from this particular household: Japanese Chicken and Rice. I have the recipe now and I will attempt to recreate it. I am not hopeful. Since I am a movie buff [okay, okay, a movie freak] and G loves that I am, he always makes me watch movies when I'm there, quizzes me on movie soundtracks, and shows me the latest trailers. It's great. He's such an enabler. Anyway, I saw Alice in Wonderland and the Adjustment Bureau, both for the first time, and naturally, we had popcorn. I was pleasantly surprised by both movies, and enjoyed the down time.
Monday I did NOT sleep in [well, okay, a little, but only compared to my normal waking hours] and went with L and her friend D [not to be confused with her son D...or her other son D....] to my favorite little park in the area, where they have a 1.5 mile loop around a pond. We walked it twice. I still hurt. But it was soooo worth it. The exercise is good for my body and the conversation was good for my soul. After that, we went back to the house, ate and showered, and I left, stopping by my very favorite cemetery for a bit and making sure to drop my my favorite ice cream place of all time and getting a malt before hitting the road. I made excellent time getting back here [thank you, other drivers, construction people, and sneaky police for not hindering my journey] and met up with my mom and sister at the mall, where we shopped for a bit, then went home and did nothing else. Awesome.
So that was my vacation. It was short, it was sweet, and it was just what I needed. Here's hoping that the little escape was enough to keep me going for a while. Sometimes you just need to get away, you know? I recommend it, even if it is only for a few days.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Little Update

Well, it has been a very VERY long time since I have written anything on here. I chalk it up to the fact that 1) I lead a very dull life, and 2) I did not have internet for a long enough time to put up a blog post. But due to changes in my situation that you will learn momentarily, the latter is no longer the case. But the former is still true. Oh well. 1 for 2 is okay.
So the last few months in a short recap: I am still working at my job, still struggling to have a positive attitude about it, and still wishing I got out of the office more. But because eventually the one who persists wears down the opposition, I will be taking up a couple of hours as an athletic trainer at my old high school as part of my job. I am really excited about this, as I can get out of that blasted office AND be an athletic trainer again. AND it's my old school. BONUS!
I have decided to proceed with getting a Master's degree in athletic training. I want to have a job working with collegiate athletics, if possible, and in order to do that, I need a master's degree. So I am taking the GRE on August 4th and will apply to graduate schools after that. It's been hard trying to figure out where to apply, where I might want to go, and accepting the fact that I have to go back to school when I was so keen to get out. But I need to do it in order to progress at all in my career, and since that is all I have at the moment, that is what I will do. I feel good about it, at least in theory. Whether or not I continue to feel good about it will be up to my ability to understand the Lord's will for me. =)
In conjunction with THAT announcement, I have moved back home with my parents to save money for when I am no longer gainfully employed and on the receiving end of an actual salary. We're painting my old room, which was a very bright blue from when Jen had taken over that room during her time in high school. It will now be a very pale shade of green. I'll post before and after pictures when it's done. For the time being, I am sleeping in what Sarah and I have entitled my "Spare Room" which is actually Jen's room. It is bursting with boxes and bins and bags and until I officially move into my room, I will continue to fight to find clothing every morning half asleep, hoping I don't knock anything over. AND I have bought a new TV. It it was about time as the one I had inherited from my brother and his wife had blown up a few months ago and I have been living with a very tiny, older than Jenny TV ever since. Not cool, particularly for someone like me who is a TV junkie. My new TV is 32 inches and a flat screen. Ahhh, so happy.
The summer has been ridiculously hot here, and I have been working all through it. But I managed to take a weekend vacation here and there, and I'm actually leaving later today for one. YAY. Anyway, I was in Chicago for the 4th of July, as always, and this year I enjoyed "teaching" Carly to swim and establishing myself as her favorite aunt. [This is not bragging, this is truth. She calls for me whenever she video chats with my parents]. I love that girl. =)
In other news, I completed two books recently. The first took me 5 weeks, the other 6. I have NEVER written anything so fast. It's been awesome. I have more lined up, but studying for the GRE comes first. Then I can be all creative and fun again.
And just for kicks and giggles, any fans of the book Austenland by Shannon Hale out there will be as delighted and squealishly [I just made that up] excited about the fact that is being made into a movie starring Keri Russell and JJ Feilds. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!
Okay, I think that will serve as a proper update. I promise to share more things more often, especially now that I can do so. If you're even interested anyway. If not, too bad. =)