I have a major addiction to Diet Mountain Dew. I'm addicted to the flavor, the sound of the can clicking open like tap-dancers on the floors of heaven, the cold liquid running down my throat like a fresh spring, the jolt of energy I get after it merely touches my lips. It's pretty amazing. However, I have decided to give it up for Lent. This is a big sacrifice, and it has been a long time coming at that. Recap: Lent during Freshman year: Gave it up with success. Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years: Fail. Call it stress, call it lack of will power. Whatev. We have an unhealthy relationship. I realize that. Anyway, I'm going strong so far. And the bonus? It solves the "lack of sleep" pattern, as described in a previous post. Apparently 6 cans throughout the day (yes, past roommates: it's gotten that bad) has put my body in overload, and it forgot how to wind down. Who knew? So while I'm missing my liquid gold, my sweet sleep is pretty great.
Let's add another major event to this week: My nieces have arrived! Little Miss. Evelyn Rose was a whopping 4 pounds, 13 ounces, and Clara Mae was 5 pounds, 1 ounce. I am so excited to meet them!! Sadly, I have a few exams that are consuming my life this week, but I'll get to see them Thursday night on my way back from the cities. I'll post some pictures of their pretty little faces then! What a wonderful blessing!!
This past week was full of positive and negative events. A whirlwind of emotion, if you will. In other words, there were tears shed. Let's recap:
I was sicker than a dog on Saturday with the G.I. flu (not pretty- believe me), so I was practically passed out on the couch all day and night, in between trips to the bathroom. Thankfully, because Ceej had gone snowboarding before the drama started, my mom came over and spent the day with me. Candles. Lifetime movies. Face wiped with a damp cloth after vomiting. Toenails painted. There is hope here.
Because I was ridiculously ill on Saturday, the day that I had planned to complete a bunch of assignments due Sunday in order to spend the day with my Valentine, I actually had to do them on Sunday. Sadly, our first valentine's day was cut short. Not that I'm all about worshiping February 14th, but I was so looking forward to a day dedicated to my lover. We were able to go to church and pancake breakfast, and we watched a movie later at night. I am thankful for that. However, our day of Action City, Chaos Water Park, out for dinner, and to the theaters was not an option. I was crushed. Especially because it was forfeited for barfing up bile.
My dear friend Jess had a baby girl!! Brinnley Louise was born in the wee hours of February 16th weighing in at a whopping 5 pounds, 15 ounces. I was just visiting the teeny peanut, and she is gorgeous. I love her! Mom and babe are both happy and doing well. Gia was sent home. Vienna stayed. What. the. heck.
I have an online exam, equal amount of homework as is normally assigned, and 2 exams next week. Does time increase on demand? Nope.
Someone got a hold of our debit card numbers and was on a little spending spree in Chicago. Sweet. Thankfully, my wonderful husband took on the duties of all of the identity theft & banking stuff. Also thankfully, we'll get the $400 back. What a jerk face!! We did get a laugh out of the experience, as my father-in-law happened to be taking a walk by our house when the police officer was coming in... you should have seen the look of panic as he was frantically questioning the police officer while walking up to our doorway. Poor guy!
I've been having mega trouble sleeping... and have a very inconsistent routine right now. I don't do well with that. An example, I was up until 2:30AM, awake at 9:30AM, then in bed at 11Pm, up at 4:30AM. My body is confused and mad at me. I don't like it.
Anyway, being that it's only Wednesday, I'm pretty much ready for this week to be done. F'real.
I love to share my small joys with you. Today is no exception. Over the course of the past few months, my neck has been feeling a little tight, although not painful at all. After a drive from Eau Claire to Rochester, Rochester to the cities, and the cities home, and being on the phone the entire time, my neck was especially sore. Perhaps it was because in the car, I sit like this: I decided to go to the chiropractor, who adjusted my back and told me to sit and look like this: (Okay, okay... not really look like her. Who is that seductive while sitting in an office chair? I guess I'm close when I'm wearing my Snuggie.) So anyway, I've been really trying to stand more like this: Although it's hard because I talk on the phone like this: I decided I needed a hands-free device, although I lacked the extra funds necessary for such a contraption. Before my trip to Rochester I accompanied my husband to an automotive shop to buy new windshield wipers (Note: I am purposefully withholding the name of the automotive shop because I fear so many of you will go and swarm them with an overwhelming amount of customers). Anyway, while Ceej was taking care of the wiper business, I browsed the clearance rack (which is to be expected), and what did I find? A hands free device for any phone!! And how much was it?! $2.99!! YESSS. I was delighted. I took it up to the counter with a slightly-too-large smile on my face. He rung it out, I had my $5 bill ready and waiting. We made eye contact. "That'll be five cents, please." WHAT!?!?!?!??!? FIVE CENTS?!??!?! My smile drooped slightly in confusion, my eyes grew wide. I glanced at Ceej with a look that said "we better take it and run because this guy is crazy," gave the man a nickel, and scurried out of there before he changed his mind. I was on cloud nine the rest of the day. And it works wonderfully. SUCCESS.
Mondays have become my favorite days. You may be wondering why I love the notoriously hated first weekday, and I will explain. I love Mondays because Ceej and I have developed the most wonderful routine that I wouldn't trade for the world. Every Monday I work out in the morning and then go to the good ol' Altoona Public Library to study until 6:40pm. Then, I eagerly drive home to something like this: At 7pm Ceej and I enjoy a lovely dinner (pictured above: homemade french onion soup) while watching the Bachelor. We are hooked. And it is marvelous. Folks, we're not pretending to be fancy. We're just lovin' life.
Oh happy day! Since school started, Ceej and I have been really missing spending quality time with one another. Therefore, we jumped at the chance to take a mini vacation to Eau Claire's very own Metropolis Resort. You may not be impressed, but we had the most fantastic time! There was a special going on for 2 tickets to the water park, 2 drink tickets, 2 dinners, 2 tickets to a comedy show, a room, and of course the breakfast buffet the next morning. I have been excited for it for weeks, and it definitely lived up to its expectations! Here's how our day went: We checked into our hotel room around 1pm, went to the water park for some splish splash fun playing water basketball and riding down the slides, went back and got ready, met up with our friends Mitch and Laura for dinner and the comedy show, laughed our butts off, went to the Aqua Lounge (hotel bar) for a few hours, met 2 new friends named Paula and Dave whom we now love, saw a magician who was only a little creepy but really magical do some tricks, tried to go go-carting at Action City but let little kids go ahead of us at 10:50 and then got turned away because they closed at 11pm, went back to Aqua Lounge until... late/early (whatever way you want to look at it). We had so much fun! It was amazing (and very much-needed) for me to 1.not study 2.not feel guilty about it and 3.thoroughly enjoy spending quality time with my husband! You may be wondering what the above and below pictures are representing. Well, apparently whenever you bought a drink at the comedy show you were given tickets to be put in a drawing. They forgot to give us them for a few drinks during the show, and being the winner-lovers that we are, we confronted the bartender about his lack of respect. He handed us a handful of them! YESSSS. Turns out, it was just us and our new friends Paula and Dave who were present for the drawings. They kept drawing, we kept winning! Our prizes throughout the evening: 6 passes to Chaos Water Park, a $30 gift certificate to Action City, 4 Miller Lite t-shirts (see below), extra free drink passes for everyone (regarding the go-cart incident), and I think that's it. Were we happy? OH YES, we were. To sum up, we had a great time throwing our responsibilities aside for the day and night. I can't tell you how wonderful it was! Life gets busy. Time together gets more and more scarce. You can almost forget how much FUN you can have with your spouse because everyday obligations get in the way. I love Ceej so much, and I feel so blessed to be married to such a wonderful man. He is truly my best buddy, and I'm so thankful for the opportunity to spend the weekend with him in such a carefree, fun-loving environment!
A new gift idea for your loved ones: Graduate School Barbie (TM).
Graduate School Barbie comes in two forms: Delusional Master's Barbie (TM) and Ph.D. Masochist Barbie (TM).
Every Graduate School Barbie comes with these fun filled features guaranteed to delight and entertain for hours: Grad School Barbie comes out of the box with a big grin on her face that turns into a frown after 2 weeks or her first advisor meeting (whichever comes first). She also has adorable black circles under her delightfully bloodshot eyes.
Comes with two outfits: a grubby pair of blue jeans and 5 year old gap T-shirt, and a floppy pair of gray sweatpants with a matching "I hate my life" T-shirt. Grad School Barbie talks! Just press the button on her left hand and hear her say such upbeat grad school phrases like, "Yes, Professor, It'll be done by tomorrow", "I'd love to rewrite" and "Why didn't I just get a job, I could have been making $40,000 a year by now if I had just started working with a Bachelor's. But noooooo, I chose to further my education, I wish somebody would drop a bomb on the school so that I'd have an excuse to stop working on my degree that's sucking every last drop of life force out of my withered and degraded excuse for a soul..." (9V lithium batteries sold separately)
Grad School Barbie is anatomically correct to teach kids about the exciting changes that come with pursuing a higher education. Removable panels on Barbie's head and torso allow you to watch as her cerebellum fries to a crispy brown, her heart race 150 beats per minute, and her stomach lining gradually dissolve into nothing. Deluxe Barbie comes with specially designed eye ducts. Just add a little water, and watch Grad School Barbie burst into tears at random intervals. Fun for the whole family!
Other accessories include:
Grad School Barbie's Fun Fridge (TM) Well stocked with microwave popcorn, Coca-Cola, Healthy Choice Bologna (99% fat free!),and a small bottle of Mattel Brand Rum (tm).
Grad School Barbie's Medicine Cabinet comes in Fabulous (pepto-bismal) pink and contains Barbie sized bottles of Advil, St. Johns Wort, Zantac, and your choice of three fun anti-anxiety drugs! (Barbie Medicine Cabinet not available without a prescription).
Grad School Barbie's Computer Workstation. Comes with miniature obsolete PC (in pink of course), rickety desk, and over a dozen miniature Mountain Dew cans to decorate your workstation with (Mountain Dew deposit not included in price. Tech support sold separately).
And Grad School Barbie is not alone! Order now and you'll get two of Barbie's great friends! GRADUATE ADVISOR KEN, Barbie's mentor and advisor in her quest for knowledge, higher education and decreased self esteem.
Grad Advisor Ken (tm) comes with a supply of red pens and a permanent frown. Press the button to hear Grad Advisor Ken deliver such wisdom to Barbie as "I need an update on your progress," "I don't think you're ready to defend yet", and "This is no where near ready for publication."
Buy 3 or more dolls, and you can have Barbie's Thesis Committee! (Palm Pilot and tenure sold separately.)
REAL JOB SKIPPER, When Barbie needs to talk, she knows that she can always count on her good friend Real Job Skipper (tm), who got a job after getting her bachelor degree. Press the button to hear Real Job Skipper say, "Sometimes I wish I went for my masters degree" and "Work is so hard! I had to work a half an hour of overtime!" Real Job Skipper's Work Wardrobe and Savings account sold separately.
WARNING: Do not place Grad Student Barbie and Real Job Skipper too close to each other, as there have been several cases of children leaving the room and coming back to find Barbie's hands mysteriously fused to Skipper's throat.
Okay, okay... this is both slightly dramatic and severely pessimistic, I know. We can't always be a ray of sunshine! Let me vent, people!
Note from 12/7/11: As I wrote in my comments from last February, I didn't make this up myself. I was procrastinating one day and Googled "grad school jokes" to humor myself. Life's simple pleasures. I loved that one so much that I had to share :). Thanks for the compliment of thinking I was capable of that, though. The Barbie is actually a 50th Anniversary edition of her, because all 50 year olds are very wrinkly and have gray hair (haha).I just searched "ugly Barbie," and that's what came up! I never meant to claim that I wrote this. I have attempted to find the original source but cannot as it is wide spread across the internet by hundreds of people who have not sourced it. I am sorry to the original author! I am only including this disclaimer because of some Negative Nancy's out there. I posted this for my friends and fellow graduate slaves, not you, Nancy. If you don't have anything nice to say, just don't say it. That's learned in Kindergarten and not grad school, though. Thank you to everyone else with the fun comments! I have just finished grad school officially and am about to enter the working world!! There is an end in sight, I promise!! Until then, good luck to you!
After being crazy in love for a decade, we officially became a family on May 23, 2009. We are thrilled to be married and enjoying this exciting time in our lives! Ceej worked as a Journeyman plumber and is now bidding jobs for a local plumbing company, and Em graduated from UW-Madison in December of 2008 and is in the Masters of Occupational Therapy program at the University of Minnesota to be completed in the Fall of 2011. Our sweet baby Hazel Leann arrived April 1, 2011 (no foolin'!) and is the biggest joy and blessing we didn't know we needed. Life isn't perfect, but it sure is wonderful - We're truly enjoying every new second of God's awesome plan for our lives!
Pictures credit to Forever Photography (family/baby) and McManigal Photography (wedding).