2016 Already?

Geez, time is flying by too fast. This year marks 20 years since Greg graduated from high school! 20 freaking years! I don’t feel old enough to say 20 years has passed for any milestone.

Yet, 9 years ago tonight I was in labor. My water broke at 6pm and my Mom drove me to the hospital. When I was checked, and confirmed my water did indeed break, I was already 2cm dilated. Within 13 hours I was going to meet my baby girl.

Amelia is turning 9 years old. And, every year (just about) I write how I can’t believe how old she’s turning. And, every year it’s true. I don’t feel old enough to have a nearly 10 year old kid. In my heart (and mind), I’m still 27. And, it seems I’ll forever feel that way (all the while thinking it’s only 1997). 27 was a big age. I had a kid. I got the man of my dreams. Moved three times with a baby. Bought my first financed car. A lot of big things happened when I was 27.

When Greg and I were engaged and planning our wedding, I befriend a lot of other ladies doing the same. Recently, I noticed that a lot of those friends have divorced. It made me look at my relationship with Greg and how ours differs from others; even my first marriage. And, I am thankful that Greg and I have each other and that we can be who we are without judgement. Granted, our marriage hasn’t been easy and we’ve had a lot of challenges – many that I knew about before we became parents and then husband and wife – but, the one constant that has been in our relationship is support and love. Greg supports me and the events going on in my life; whether they’re positive or negative. And, while sometimes I may not agree with how Greg is handling something, I support him. I also tell him what I think could be improved upon, and he’ll listen, but it’s the open communication we have that allows us to support each other.

2016 is going to have a lot of changes. Not sure on all of the changes, but things have already been set into motion. First, I’ve been taking an anti-depressant for about a month and I finally feel better (somewhat). I definitely don’t feel as ‘broken’ as I did before, and I am able to handle stressful moments a lot better. There’s still some work in progress, as a family, to be more balanced. But, that’s all to come as well. I’ve made an appointment for Amelia to see a child psychologist for some things. Amelia can be a bit much, and it’s more than just ‘normal’ stuff. I mentioned this to the psychologist and he suggested she come in and I agreed. I told Greg and he agreed as well. We’ve talked, off an on, about seeing a family therapist, but wasn’t sure how that would work with two difference insurances. I’m glad, though, that we finally have something scheduled. And, I suggested, to Greg, that it couldn’t hurt if we met as a couple with a psychiatrist. The doc felt so, as well, since Greg is on an anti-depressant, too.

Secondly, I have my weight loss surgery scheduled in March. It’s tentative, at the moment, since my ‘case’ hasn’t been submitted to the insurance company just yet. But, the doc’s office doesn’t see any reason why there wouldn’t been a rejection. I’m excited and a bit freaked out about this surgery. The exciting part is the changes that will occur; I’ll loose weight, finally, and keep it off. The ‘freaked out’ part is that I am permanently altering my stomach; there’s no going back once this is done. My Mom is excited that I’m made this decision. Greg, while supportive of my choice, was initially against it for himself. However, the idea has warmed up to him (which, I believe is in part to his anti-depressants), and depending on how it goes with me, he’s even willing to consider it for himself. In the meantime, Greg has been going to the gym three days a week and has changed his eating habits, including a drastic reduction in soda consumption. Granted, Greg and I drink diet soda only, soda was our ‘addition’. Since Greg has been on his anti-depressants, his soda consumption has decreased; he just doesn’t desire it anymore. The same is starting to affect me. I used to drink about 4-5 cans of soda a day (along with about 50-60 ounces of water), now I may have 1-2 cans of soda. I just don’t desire them like I used to.

Third, the office is moving. This won’t occur until the end of the year, but it’s still a big change. Additionally, we’re moving into a brand new building in downtown Baltimore (it’s still under construction)! I see this move as an opportunity for networking, and hopefully, advancement. The new environment will require me to dress professionally, which I am somewhat excited about since I’ll have a new body to dress.

It’s getting late. I’ll finish up another time.

 

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Change and Determination

2015 is going to be THE year of changes.
I know it is and I am determined to make sure it will be.

I have three goals this year:

Financial
Health
Career

Financial: as of today, I do not have any credit card debt. The only credit card debt in my name are the two cards that Greg and I share, but are under his name. My goal is for Greg and I to get pre-approved for a mortgage in 2015. My credit score took a massive hit this past summer and I’m going to rebuild my score as quickly as possible as well as start contributing to my savings account again.

Health: I’ve decided that I want to work on my health. The depression has had enough controller over the past two years that I am now going to take it back.  I am a person that enjoys group exercises and Zumba is looking more interesting as well as other group activities. In addition to beating this depression, I want to build up my endurance for the every day things; I’m tired of feeling tired and lazy. Healthy eating… well, I like my meats and potatoes. I’ll work on incorporating more veggies in my snacks and meals. But, must do so in baby steps.

Career: this will be the biggest challenge for me. I’ve become comfortable in my current role, though unhappy. I’m ready for a change in responsibilities and or role altogether but I lack confidence in my abilities. I suck at interviews because I just can’t sell myself. I’d rather tell potential employers that I’d rather my work speak for me. I want prove that I can do the job instead of saying I can do it.

I’ve taken a break on classes (only missed last fall) and I’m only 35 credits shy of graduating with a bachelor degree. I can do this! And, I know that having a degree will aid in my job hunt. Also, I’m going to reach out to the university for career development and help me work on my interview skills as well as where I can best apply my education and work experience to get me the career I want. 

I’m excited about this path and goals for 2015. Knowing me, I just hope I can keep myself motivated and pumped!

What are your goals for 2015?

When I can’t sleep…

I blog. Sort of. And play Words with Friends.

Why am I up at 2:30am? It’s not like I had a lot of caffeine today. On the plus side, I don’t have to be at work until 11 so I will be able to sleep in… Amelia permitting.

May is such a busy month for us; it’s been non-stop weekends since the beginning and I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon. Eventually, I’d like to write about Easter, my promotion at work, Mother’s Day, Greg’s 33rd birthday, and other events but I don’t know when I’ll have the time (unless I stay up until 2:30am every night).

In other news, I’ve switched schools and I’m now a student of the University of Maryland! My first class begins June 1 and it’s accounting– should be easy, right?

Greg and I have enrolled Amelia into a Summer Camp of sorts. It’s a private school that offers a summer program and it sounds awesome! I hope there are a lot of opportunities for volunteers or chaperones! In addition to the summer school, Amelia is enrolled in Pre-K at the same private school. I can’t believe my baby girl is grown up!

We’re still on for the cruise in November and we’re hoping to get a trip to Ocean City, MD sometime in August before school starts.

Amelia has been asking Greg and I every week since October if we’re going back to Disney World. We tell her that we will go back one day. However, we have a plan: a surprise trip for Amelia’s 6th birthday! We’re totally going be like the Disney commercials where the kids are told once they wake up. Unfortunately, we have to wait a year and a half but that gives us enough time to save for a stay at the Polynesian or Animal Kingdom Lodge.

House hunting is coming along. We are meeting with the financial counselor in June to move on to the next step and we hope to have a home by next Spring at the latest.

So, there is a lot going on in my little world.

Busy Bee

These past few weeks have gone by so fast!

My weekend with Michele was awesome! We hung out and explored parts of Maryland that I’ve never seen, or thought that I’d never visit. And, to Greg’s delight, I managed very well during the long car ride… all thanks to the iPhone 4 and its incredible battery life!

The adventure didn’t stop when we left! When we made it home, Amelia started having some kind of allergic reaction to something; she was breaking out is hives and or rashes all over her body. We took Amelia to urgent care and they had no idea what was going on (wow, what help y’all are) and prescribed a steroid to stop the inflammation. The medication worked, somewhat. Fortunately, we have an appointment with a pediatric dermatologist at Johns Hopkins Childrens Center this week; maybe we’ll learn what is going on with Amelia’s skin.

… … … … …

This week I have to take my final exam! I can’t believe I’ve finished my 6th class. If I earn an A for this course (which I currently have), then that gives me 5 A’s and 1 C and a GPA of 3.66. Not bad, if I so say myself.

… … … … …

We’re only 34 days from our first family vacation! I received some mail from Disney’s Magic Express, which were stickers for our luggage in order to have them delivered to our room when we arrive. Unfortunately, there was an error on our reservation which meant a new booklet needs to be sent. Boo. But, Amelia did have fun with the stickers!

Update 1.7

You know you need a vacation when your dreams involve both jobs!

This weekend we are heading out to Western Maryland to spend some time with my girlfriend, Michele. It’s going to be a girls weekend while Greg and Amelia are going to explore the area.

…. …. …. ….

We are only 45 days away from our Disney Vacation! We still need to figure out how we’re getting to the airport and back, but that’s a minor detail.

I’m still looking at stuff to buy for the trip; I want to make this trip as memorable as possible … and not spend an arm an a leg. I feel an itch to do some craft-y projects coming on, but I’m not sure if I’ll have the time to commit to them.

… …. …. …

School is going well. There are only 2 weeks left of the current course and then I start a new 8 weeks course.

A part of me is curious as to how long I’m going to keep this (being a student) up; am I going to finally earn a Bachelors Degree or will I eventually stop due to a chaotic life (work, new baby, etc). I’d like to think that I am going to be able to finish this ‘project’, but I also don’t want to set high expectations. As for now, I’m still going strong and don’t foresee any reasons to ‘take a break’.

… … … …

iPhone 4. OMG! It’s breath taking amazing. It feels good in the hand, looks good to the eyes… It’s … Perfect. I love the glass front and back, it cleans so well! You can totally see a difference with the new retina display; everything is so sharp and clean!

Oh, and the 5 MP camera with flash (that actually works) is worlds better than the camera that was on the 3G. Also, the videos that are recorded are nice and sharp (I’ve uploaded several videos onto YouTube and Facebook).

If you’ve been on the fence about upgrading to the iPhone 4 — do it! You will not regret it.

Monthly Update

It’s (almost) Summer time which means POOL TIME!

I love swimming. Like,  borderline addiction, love. And, I am so excited that Amelia is potty trained because that means we will be spending every free moment at the community pool!

We took Amelia on Monday for her first swim. She didn’t care for it at first but with in minutes she was jumping off the side of the pool! See for your self:

Or, better yet, watch a clip:

As you can tell, we have a camera that we can take underwater. Actually, it’s a underwater housing unit that we bought for my point and shoot camera to use on the cruise but never had the opportunity.

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As previously mentioned, May was one helleva busy month. I had a photography gig and shot for 56Kay (all the pictures on their site were taken by me) and ended up meeting Matt Beilis (you should also check out his YouTube page; he’s awesome).

Matt Beilis and his band:

(I have a thing for drummers)

I love going to live shows; they’re so much fun. And, I get to meet and hang out with really awesome people.

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School is keeping me busy… sorta. This particular course is kinda on the too easy side, so I don’t really pay that much attention to the lecture and breeze through the lab and quiz. I’ve maintained an A for the course without much effort. The next two classes that start next month are going to much more challenging as one of them is psychology.

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The photography gig at the local hospital is going well. The commissions are starting to roll in and each week is a nice surprise! It’s kind of funny (in the non-haha way), I’ve noticed that I generate more sales in the two days that I work than the other chick does in the 5 days that she works (and she’s been working as a photographer for 2 years). I don’t know if it’s because I’m more sociable to the new parents, or that I (possibly) take better pictures. Though, it’s not like I am complaining, but a thought of interest that occurred to me.

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We’re 3 months and twenty some-number of days until we arrive at Disney World! Amelia is getting so excited about meeting all her favorite characters. I’m starting to get a little excited as well, though I think it will really sink in once we reach August…. which at the rate the  months are flying by, it’ll be here soon!

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We don’t have any concrete Summer plans. I was talking to my Mom about taking a girls trip to Ocean City, MD during the week at some point and she’s keen with that idea. The reason we’d visit during the week, aside from obvious reasons: cheaper room rates and low crowds, is because I have a shit load of vacation days to use; like in excess of 20+ days. And, it’s totally sad that I had a mild anxiety attack when I calculated and confirmed with HR how many days I have left… because I don’t want to miss work. I’m a freak. I know. It’s just that I hate having work pile up while I am gone. Because there isn’t anyone to replace me when I am out. Talk about job security, right? So, I’m going to have to find something to do and go to during the week to burn off some days. Joy.

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I’m enrolling Amelia in dance classes this summer!

Recap

It’s been a busy week for me. Thankfully, the weekend job was on the light side. I did learn, however, that one of the babies I photographed on Saturday ended up going into the NICU so the mother was very thankful that we were able to get pictures done.  Though, I should add this mother was a drug addict and the baby boy was going through withdrawals. Sadly, this isn’t the first mother I’ve met at the hospital that has a baby going through withdrawal. Unfortunately, the hospital that I am assigned to has a predominate population of drug addicts, low income, etc.  I don’t judge them because there’s no point.

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On Saturday we went to our park, Ft. Smallwood, and did our bi-weekly grilling which consisted of a marinated pork loin, chicken sausage, hot dogs, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, and a marinated London broil. We cook this much to feed us as our lunch and dinners for a week.

Amelia had a good time, as usual.

Mimi just chilling

It was really windy on Saturday so we ended up on the other side of the park.

We were to meet with some friends of mine but we had to reschedule.

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So, I should be working on my school paper but I’m not. Instead I am filling out job applications to work as a civilian in the Federal Government. It’s not my first choice of a career given the reputation of Government jobs, but it’s one that I know will allow me to provide for my family (current and any future additions). Also, I’m hoping my Bachelors in Business Administration will score some bonus points!

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Speaking of family… Greg and I are I guess what you can say as “trying to conceive” for our second. Amelia is ready to be a Big Sister — she’s even telling everyone that she has a baby brother on the way!! She must know something that I don’t. LOL Though, we’re not really trying but more like … if it happens, great; if not… then at least we tried.

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Our Disney trip is only five months away! I am excited about going this time as opposed as last year. Also, we’re taking my Mom (or treat) and she’s even admitted to be excited even though she’d rather we save our money for a house. I’m just eagerly anticipating the free dining promotion to be announced, which I was able to take advantage of last year.  I have already made our “ADR’s” (advanced dining reservations), even to the places I didn’t think I’d actually get a decent time for!

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Our weekends are starting to book-up with plans. We have a few photography gigs beginning in May and throughout the summer, a college graduation to attend, the monthly RSC’s, a few air shows to participate in, as well as a few visits to the beach (hopefully). I like having plans in advance; it gives me something to look forward to and will help the time go by fast.

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This weekend is Greg’s 32nd birthday! A few weeks ago I made dinner reservations at Fogo de Chao.  My friend Jay and his wife, Leslee, go on a regular basis and love it and one night I was chatting with Jay and he really recommended it so I made the reservation. I’ve also ordered a cake from my favorite bakery, Sugar Bakers. I ordered Greg’s favorite cake, Red Velvet, in the shape of a baseball. The cake should look something like this:

But much prettier. I plan on surprising Greg with the cake, though I’ll probably end of giving it to him early since I am picking up the cake on Friday.