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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Education Schmeducation

I am of the mindset that a college degree - the degree itself - is overrated. I have my Bachelors of Science in Marketing, and it was adequately over priced. Still paying for that precious little gem! I love the college experience - moving away into the dorm, the new friends, the parties- basically the social aspect. I fully see all those benefits in the lives of college aged students. And don't get me wrong, I fully believe in going to college. My point is that nowadays, a bachelors degree is basically a must have, similar to a high school diploma. Unless you work in a highly specialized field, like nuclear engineering, it doesn't matter what field of study you choose. Employers just want you to prove that you were dedicated enough to give it the old college try and make it through another 4 years of school. It just seems that to jump through all those hoops just to have a piece of a paper is a little silly.

I work at a public utility company in the marketing and business development field. Some of my colleagues who work in our customer service department have the following types of degrees: economics, social work, and elementary education. Yet here they are working at a utility company instead of working in their field of study. I actually started my college career as a political science major. Which leads me to another benefit I see with the whole college experience, taking classes to help you understand what you actually want to do with your life. I graduated high school at the age of 17 - didn't turn 18 until a month into my first semester in college. I was not one of those special people who grew up "just knowing" what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I've always had an interest in law - hence the political science major was born. Long story short, I ended up in the advertising field with a marketing major. It has worked out well for me so I can't complain too much.

I know I just said I think a college degree is overrated, but I meant that in the sense that you are just required to have one now. I might be contradicting myself here but I'm actually one of those weirdos who loves going to school - which is the entire reason I am writing this post. I am seriously contemplating going back to school to get my masters degree. I have even toyed with the idea of going to law school to get my J.D. Wouldn't that be just totally bat shit crazy of me at 27?? I would be the oldest person in the class! I can't help but think I would just love to finally fulfill that dream though. I've done all the research and figured out step-by-step everything that I would need to do to get started, but I just can't seem to make the first move. Am I scared? Hell, I don't know, but for whatever reason I've been thinking about this for about 2 years now and not made any moves. I still am paying on student loans from undergrad, which also factors into my decision. Let's face it - getting an education (especially in law or graduate school) isn't cheap! And I work full time! In order to efficiently complete law school in a reasonable amount of time before I turn 50, I would have to quit my job to go to school full time days and I guess find a job working nights? Okay so maybe I haven't thought that far ahead yet. I can't leave a job where I'm the breadwinner to pick up a job at Target for a couple of years. Can I? Can I leave my job where I have free health insurance? Keep in mind, that I'm not married so I can't just pick up on Skye's insurance because we don't have the same last name - lame! A career is law is also very much a full time commitment. Here I am at 27 hoping to get married soon...and start a family within the next 5 years for sure. Should I set aside that current dream to fulfill my childhood career dream? Classic female dilemma - do you strive for a well rounded family life or career life?? So many unanswered questions!!

What are you thoughts on higher education? Should I take the plunge and go to law school?

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Countdowns are ON!

I have a couple of countdowns going on right now that I want to share with you! December is always a busy time of the year with holiday parties and events, plus you have to squeeze in shopping and family Christmas time. Our anniversary is December 15th so that usually gets breezed over because it's so close to Christmas - note to self don't make your wedding day this close to Christmas when we finally decide to make it official!

3 WEEKS Until Skye's Graduation from the Police Academy!! We've been going at this stressful academy since July so I am relieved (as I'm sure he is too) to see the end in sight!

13 work days until I get 2 days off - to celebrate Skye's Graduation!

13 work days until mine and Skye's 7 year anniversary! Same day as his Graduation. May he be showered with gifts and love that week! Love his little heart for putting up with me for so long..maybe after the 7 year itch comes getting hitched???

THEN, only 4 days in the following work week because that's the week of Christmas!

We actually attended a sweet little wedding over the weekend. I love weddings! There's so much joy that occurs on a wedding day, it's so contagious. I guess I should say, I love receptions. I've only been to a few actual wedding ceremonies that I enjoyed, the receptions are the fun part. The bride put together the absolute cutest little table gifts too. It was a country style wedding, held in a barn type setting. You've seen the kind where the bridesmaids wear cowboy boots. Complete with Natty Light beer and cornhole! It felt very casual and comfortable. Usually the overdone country theme is not my style, but I really enjoyed and fell in love with this one. So fittingly enough, the table gifts were little horse shoes with a tag attached. I loved that idea of offering good luck with the horse shoes to all your guests. Here's a pic -


I wanted to show you my cute new dress and new sparkly gold eyeshadow that I showcased that evening, but of course I didn't get any full length dress pics and this picture makes me look super pale. Here's a small glimpse of my cute dress and new eyeshadow- I swear it looked better in person!

The bride and groom are both a quiet and reserved pair, so I was pleasantly surprised when their reception was a blast! And I continued the Thanksgiving weekend tradition of stuffing my face as I had 3 pieces of wedding cake! THREE! I'll be visiting my friend, Mr. Gym tonight to work that situation out.

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday! Mine actually was ideal this year. This might be Skye's last Thanksgiving off for a while so I'm glad we decided to do it our way this year.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tilly's Christmas PJs

Check this cute girl out! She cuddled with her mama last night in her cute little Christmas PJ onesie from Target. LOVE 'em! She's one of the loves of my life!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Family + Holiday = Drama

Oh, the holidays! Typically Skye and I are rushed to visit all of our loving family members over the holidays. We usually go to my dad's for an early lunch, then my mom's, then to visit with his dad's side of the family, then his mom's maternal side of the family and lastly end up at his mom's paternal side of the family. (Not to mention the fact that I do not usually get to see my grandparents because there just isn't enough time in a day. Hiding this sentence in a parenthesis counts as me "not mentioning" this.) We make our way from Clinton, to North Knox, to Farragut and usually end up in Friendsville - and for those of you outside my little area that's at least an hour drive time one way.

This year a blessing was bestowed upon us in the form of a new work schedule for Skye! He is actually getting the day off on Thanksgiving, but will have to go back to work on Friday. He is also under the stress of writing a 20 page research paper before he graduates the academy on December 15th. So needless to say, we cannot be running all around town when he needs to be focused on his paper, and we cannot be staying at his papaw's house until 10pm (with an hour drive home) when he has to get up early for work. I, for one, was thrilled that we did not have to play the holiday hustle and bustle this year. I despise that with a passion! We will probably make ONE stop within my family on Thursday to eat some Thanksgiving food, and then meet up at ONE stop with his family on Sunday. I am perfectly content with this plan, and very much looking forward to relaxing and enjoying my time off work!

Sounds pretty drama free this year, right? Well hell you know that's way too easy for me!! I found out today that my dad got married this afternoon to his gold digging fiance. I knew this was coming...for one because they got engaged last February so I begrudgingly assumed that marriage would follow...and for two because she let the cat out of the bag last week while my dad was in the hospital with his heart attack. I know this sounds horrible, but I'm going to go ahead and admit to you that my brother, dad and I got into a HUGE massive blow up fight over this "secret marriage" bullshit just last Monday while Dad was still in the hospital. I told my Dad that I would try to be happy for him....so that's what I am going to try and do. That is, after I vent all my frustration out here of course.

Let me break this down for you -
This all started back in October of last year. My dad had been acting fishy for a couple of months so we maybe suspected that he had a girlfriend. I was excited for him because I have never wanted him to be alone once my brother finally moved out. I had visions of a youthful, but appropriate cute lady friend for my dad who would take me shopping and be a good match for our family. WRONG! My dad asked my brother and I to go to dinner one night to meet a friend of his...aka his girlfriend. Again, I'm looking forward to this meeting. I walk into the restaurant we are meeting at and see my dad, see my brother, and see this GIRL sitting by my dad. My dad is 48 and this chick looked to be in her early 30's. I was immediately taken aback and a little disgusted. I just didn't think my dad would turn into THAT creepy old guy. Despite my first reactions to their obvious age difference, I thought that maybe this girl would be very mature for her age and a nice fit for my dad. WRONG AGAIN! She's an immature, emotional, recently divorced secretary with two young kids. The more I learn about her, the more turned off I am about this relationship.

Some time goes by, and I do not have much interaction with this girlfriend. Then all of a sudden I'm out of town in February and I find out VIA FACEBOOK that they have become engaged. Talk about flipping the fuck out...I called my dad and tore him a new one. I was furious and embarrassed and confused and still disgusted.

Let me refresh your memory by saying that my parents divorced when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade. Since then, my mom remarried when I was in about 6th grade but my dad has never so much as introduced us to a girlfriend. Then out of the blue, comes the girlfriend from Hell. She says inappropriate things, cries over any cross eyed look my brother or I send her way, tells my dad that we are brats, and has 2 kids that I have no intentions of getting to know.

So again, a couple months go by giving me time to adjust to this new engagement situation. I spend more time with this girl only to find out that she's actually 29...three years older than me. DIS-GUST-ING! I just cannot find a good reason to keep giving her chances when all I really want to do is hate her. Sure there are times when I can have a fun conversation with her or share a laugh, but mostly I find myself questioning her motives and my dad's sanity. Can we say mid-life crisis????

So today, my dad texts me to "let me know first", since I have often found out their business on Facebook before I've been told, that they went to the courthouse and got married. Gag. But I promised him last week that I would try to play nice. So I text him back with a simple - congrats. There are no words to describe my true feelings. Instead of being an emotional wreck, like his new wife, I'm void of emotion for this situation.

On a better note, I am definitely feeling a good raging work out coming on tonight! Nothing says Happy Holidays like the forceful interference of a new family member!

Monday, November 21, 2011

I'm all VOL

Who doesn't love a good football game? The Vols had a good one this weekend! We managed to beat Vandy in OT. And we managed to have a little (or a lot) fun!





The boys' last football game before they graduate...from now until eternity they will probably be working traffic for the games. SAD FACE!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thursday Things to Love

1. Dad is feeling pretty much like his old self again. It's amazing how the man just had a stint put in his heart less than a week ago, and today he's out running errands. C-R-A-Z-Y! He's my very favorite guy and I'm beyond thankful for his (so far) speedy recovery. I feel like I can exhale deeply....until December 6th when he goes back for a check up.

2. TODAY IS MY FRIDAY AT WORK! I'm off tomorrow to go see the Twilight - Breaking Dawn Part 1 and do a little shopping with one of my good friends. I'm excited! I can tell it's my Friday, and that I desperately need it to be my Friday, because I left the house this morning with my shirt on backwards and my watch upside down. On the drive to work I kept wandering why my shirt felt tight in the boobs and my watch didn't fasten right. Things that make you go hmmm....


3. We are less than ONE MONTH away from Skye's official graduation date from the police academy (28 days to be exact). Hallelujah!! From December until April our world will be a whirlwind of changing shifts and training officers, but after April we will be able to start getting used to his new schedule and begin to adjust accordingly. Plus, I'm so majorly proud of him for doing this! These 6 months have flown by!

4. Jodi Picoult - Love, love, love her books! I have read 2 of her books in the past 2 weeks. It's funny how sometimes I can't find the time to do jack shit, but get my nose stuck in a book and I can't put the damn thing down! Last week I was hooked on The Tenth Circle, and this week I'm addicted to Perfect Match. Her writing is so intriguing and there are always so many twists and turns to keep you guessing. Fair warning though, her books are always centered around high controversial public topics. For example, The Tenth Circle was focused around the rape the of a teenage girl, and Perfect Match is about child molestation. Those sound like disgusting topics, but the story is usually told from multiple points of view and cause you to question your own beliefs and put yourself in the character's position. If you are looking for a new read, I would highly suggest you start on her!

5. This Luke Bryan song...love it!






Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Makes My Day

Nothing makes my day like seeing a happy picture of my sweet baby girls!

Definition of Stress

How do you define stress?

Over the past year, I've been through a great number trails and tribulations in my life. Stress is a side effect that I am greatly accustomed to. I try not to be a worrier, but I ultimately can't help it. I have said and still strongly feel that these difficult times make me a stronger person. It's a little hard to maintain a positive attitude at times. Today being one of those days.

My dad suffered a heart attack over the weekend. My 48 year old, seemingly healthy, dad is now possibly facing a by-pass surgery right before Christmas. They went in and did a stent to repair the artery that was 100% clogged on Saturday. They did see more blockage, but they were unable to do anything at that time. Now, we wait. In 30 days he has to go back to have another heart cath to see the extent of the remaining blockages and determine if a by-pass will be needed. STRESS! He did get released from the hospital this morning, and they did say that all the blockages were 100% fixable. This is good news, and I was relieved to see him acting like himself and walking around yesterday afternoon.

On top of this terrifying information, I learned that my dad was planning on secretly getting married in 10 days to his fiance - whom my brother and I despise. Now I know that he's a grown man who does not need permission from his kids to get married. I want him to be happy - I do! But this girl - whooowheee she's caused some problems since she came into our lives. (This is a a full story that I will need to get into in a later post and reveal all the crazy antics). Plus, she's 30, which just seems disgusting. My dad has turned into one of THOSE guys, and I hate it. STRESS!

In addition, my car has been in the shop for the past 2 weeks. Of course, they found all kinds of shit wrong with it. I go to pick it up yesterday afternoon - dropped a smooth $3,000 on it (no big deal, just a month before Christmas!) You guessed it...there's more trouble coming! I get it home just to realize that pieces are missing, they didn't change my tires (which they charged me like $600 for), and I now have black dirty finger prints all over my light grey upper interior. Furious does not even begin to describe my feelings at this point. STRESS!

So that's just a weekend size portrait of how my life adds up these days. I think that God wants me to be made into a bodybuilding monster woman with all this added "strength" He's throwing my way. Looking forward to the day when a girl can catch a break around here...

When you say your prayers or send out your good vibes today, keep me and my family in mind. Stress is creeping in and I can feel my body physically rebelling against me. I need a positive spin. I need a vacation from STRESS!

On a side note, let me make it VERY clear that I am beyond thankful that my daddy is alive and healing well on his road to recovery. I didn't mean to take away from the fact that all the prayers and thoughts I've received over the weekend have helped immensely! My dad is a fighter and I know he will make it through this without so much as batting an eyelash.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sister Wives - For It or Againist It?

I feel like I'm stuck on this whole marriage topic over the last couple of months. I CAN'T HELP IT - IT'S EVERYWHERE!

However today, it's a different kind of marriage (other than my own) that is on my mind. As you may remember from a previous post, I watch that damn Sister Wives show. Just another one in the list of my guilty reality TV pleasures. I've been watching it from the beginning, really at first just to see how "weird" they were. Turns out, they are pretty normal - aside from the actual sister wives and 20 kids in the family deal. And the 20 kids is not abnormal, if you consider those Duggars. 20 kids, ONE MOM....scary thought. I spent a little quality time with my DVR last night, and caught up on the most recent episode of Sister Wives. Kody, the husband, was talking to the kids about the LDS guy Warren Jeffs who was the bad poster child for the sister wives religion. He was the one who married the underage girls in multiples and didn't give them much freedom, made them wear the Amish style clothing, with their hair pinned back, etc. Basically he gave most Mormons and polygamist families a bad reputation. He has since been arrested and sentenced to live in prison +20 years. I think they made a lifetime movie about it too. Kody and his wives were talking about how different their family life is from the lifestyle of Warren Jeffs and his wives. Now, I don't know the Browns personally and I'm not a polygamist or Mormon. However, and I've mentioned it before, it does seem that they have a fairly normal lifestyle. It works for them. 20 kids spread over 4 wives, one or two nights a week with your husband - some of that doesn't sound half bad.

I realize I'm generalizing their lifestyle in a huge way, and I mean no disrespect in doing so. I'm sure there are plenty of details that I do not begin to understand.

I live in East TN - so I'm not in contact with this plural wife lifestyle at all. Typically, I'm the kind of person who is very liberal when it comes to these types of issues and I say to each his own. I have lesbian friends who I feel deserve the right to be married just as much as I do. I don't feel that two women being together destroys the sanctity of marriage. I tend to feel that a man who cheats on his wife constantly is the portrait of destroying the sanctity of marriage. I'm pro-choice in most aspects of my life and decision making. I really do feel that we were given the blessing of free will so that we could make these types of choices for ourselves. I'm very much pro-gay marriage, and I guess that leads me to believe that I'm even pro-plural marriage. How could I be one way but not the other? Watching the Browns on TV has opened my eyes to other types of lifestyles that work for people. East TN is a small community located smack dab in the middle of the good old Bible Belt. Growing up here, I would say I've been blessed with parents who are open minded enough to allow me to make difficult decisions about my choices and my lifestyle on my own, with some guidance. I know plenty of folks who were not blessed with a liberal and open family, like mine. I hate to say this, because I LOVE being Southern, but in the South we aren't quick to grasp onto change. Hence the Civil War, desegregation, equal rights for minorities and women, and gays. We all know there is sometimes truth under the root of these southern stereotypes. However, I luckily have all my teeth and wear shoes on a daily basis. And yes, I am even lucky enough to have running water :)

Sorry to get off on a tangent there...
Kody and his wives have taught me that I am capable to even more acceptance than I realized. I've never had a problem with gay people, black people, mexican people, white people, lesbian people, rich people, poor people....any kind of people really. I'm pretty tolerant. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that going into watching the Sister Wives show that I did have a preconceived notion about polygamists. However, now I feel more enlightened. I've chosen to date someone for almost 7 years now and have yet to marry him. We've lived together "in sin" as Southern Baptists like to tell me, for several years now. It works for us. Just because a certain lifestyle isn't what I choose for my life, doesn't mean that it won't work for others.

Why do you think that's such a hard concept for everyone to grasp?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thankful

Thanksgiving is always a time of the year when you can't help but reflect on your life and see how lucky you are. I know this should be done more than once or twice a year, but life happens and we all fall into the pattern of forgetting just how good we have it sometimes. Today, giving thanks has been on my mind.

Years ago, when my brother and I were youngsters we would put on these cheesy Thanksgiving plays for our family before dinner. I would dress up like an Indian and he would dress up like a pilgrim and we would re-create the first Thanksgiving dinner. Then we would gather our family, hold hands and go around in a circle saying the most important things we were thankful for that year. It sounds corny, but the tradition actually stuck and we still hold hands in a circle and tell what we are thankful for. Luckily for everyone, we stopped doing the actual plays around middle school age. :)

I hate to admit it, but now that I'm an adult Thanksgiving has become more of a hassle than anything else. My parents are divorced, Skye's parents are divorced and our parent's parents are divorced. Basically we spend one whole day visiting family within a span of about 60 miles. We briefly eat everywhere, but we don't really get to stick around one place long enough to enjoy the company and share thanks. In recent years, I have actually missed my family's thanks sharing circle. It makes for a long day to start on the road for breakfast and not get home until ten or eleven at night. Usually, Skye and I get into a disagreement about who's family we should visit first, etc. It turns into a down right mess and we tend to forget the reason we are traveling to visit with our families. This year will mark a new tradition for us, the first year of many to come. Skye will have to work (at least half a day) on Thanksgiving and the day after. Being a police officer doesn't exactly equate to holidays off. Of course, growing up with a cop daddy I know these things and I am prepared for it. I don't mind it at all, and as hateful as it sounds I'm excited to have an excuse not to run the roads. Christmas will be very much the same way. I have always said too that once we have kids I will not be packing them up and driving all over God's green earth for holidays. If people care about seeing us, they can come to our neck of the woods sometimes too. Luckily, Skye's new job situation will give us a jump start on a hopefully less stressful holiday season. And for that, I thank him! (haha Tosh.0 humor for ya there!)

I know all of that sounds whinny, so I want to make up for that by saying the following-
I am thankful for my life and good health, despite a little bit of a rough year. I'm still kickin'!
I am beyond thankful that I have a family who wants to fight for my holiday travel time to see me.
I am overly thankful that I have an amazing boyfriend who wants to spend holidays with my family too and not do the separate holiday thing.
Words cannot describe how thankful I am for my precious brother who will be working at the fire hall on Thanksgiving, keeping families safe who accidentally burn their turkeys :).
I am truly thankful for my 2 pups who will be overjoyed to see me come home after a day of holiday running.
I am thankful for delicious holiday food - Thanksgiving is not my favorite type of food, but somehow that never stops me from stuffing my face.
I am thankful that I can afford my gym membership, and hopefully thankful for the energy that I will spend putting it to good use after the previously mentioned face stuffing.
We are blessed to have a beautiful new car that we can use to drive us across East TN to visit our families in comfort and style.
I am overly thankful for Skye's new job - 1 month until graduation from the academy!- working holidays is minor in my world, compared to the good that he will be able to offer our community during his tenure.
I am recently thankful for this blog. Even though nobody reads it probably, it gives me an outlet to bitch, boast and moan and I need that sometimes!

Lastly for today, I am thankful for No Ordinary Blog Hop which I have joined this month and I hope to gain some followers and some awesome new blogs to follow! Check it out! Their montly theme for November is Thankfulness - which helped to inspire me today.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Adventures in Babysitting

Tonight I am embarking on a babysitting adventure. Takes me back to my 16 year old days of watching kids for $8 an hour. Also reminds me of the days that I used to be obsessed with reading The Babysitters Club books. I wanted to start my own babysitters club until I realized that some kids are crazy! Anyhow, babysitting is an excellent form of birth control for me. And since I've had the ultimate baby fever lately, I gladly accepted the responsibility to babysit Cayson. I've mentioned him before, but in case you missed it, Cayson will be 3 years old in just a few weeks. He's a precious little boy that belongs to some of our best friends right now. Cayson's dad is in the police academy with Skye. He's a lil' puddin' face doll!
As much as I have been wishin' my life away these days, I feel confident that this babysitting gig tonight will clear that up for a while. Children tend to gravitate towards me and I'm not sure why. It's not that I don't like kids, it's just I feel like I have a low tolerance for their behavior sometimes. I have never been on my own with Cayson, so he has yet to try my patience. He's a cool kid so I'm looking forward to getting some time with him, away from his parents so we can bond :) He calls me "My Mouse" because he can't pronounce Nikki. He hears Nikki, thinks Mickey - like the mouse, hence my mouse was born. He's potty training too....so wish me luck!

On another note, here's a shot of my 2 babies last night just lounging with mom on the couch. Tilly always has demon eyes in pictures...hmmm...wonder why that could be.
Happy Weekend!