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So much has changed…for the better!

I have been seriously neglecting this blog. I am so sorry! I check it almost every day to see what lovely posts others have shared, but quite honestly I’ve just been too busy or too tired to update myself.

That’s both good and bad, I suppose. Just 6 or so weeks ago I was dying to have something to do…I really had nothing going on in my life, no job, classes hadn’t started yet, and I was just really bored and feeling very frustrated and unfulfilled.

I would like to go back in time and slap myself.

Actually, not really. A half slap? Now I am so busy that I pray for some down time to…..just….do nothing…..everything….clean my house? Play with my dogs? Luna has taken up pooping on our rug again, so thanks for that, little miss. I’ve washed those darn rugs so many times I just threw them out. I’ll replace them eventually…they’re just bathroom rugs after all. I’m worried if I replace them now, she’ll still continue to act out and piss all over them…..literally.

I went back to school, something I was SO excited to do, something I was dying to do since I haven’t been able to go to school for three years. I’m really glad I went before, because if this was my first time in college, I’d probably have given up by now. Two of my professors are great, but extremely tough. One of them is beyond extremely tough (I feel like an idiot in his class) and most of my classmates and I agree he just doesn’t really care. He talks down to us if we ask questions, and in lab, he tells us what to do and then leaves the room for an hour or so. Most of the time we get through a few steps and then are confused, standing around asking each other what to do. When he comes back and we ask, he just tells us to look in our book.

There are other minor annoyances, like having to pay $80 to have access to a website to do our homework, and buying our own test sheets. Over all I’m just not impressed with this school and would really love to go back to my old one in Florida. But, unless I want to live away from my husband for a few years, that’s not an option. And I don’t want to do that, so stay at my current college I must.

But I was able to get a part-time job that I love and I’m very happy there. I’m working for the Boys and Girls Club, we run an after-school program for a nearby middle school and the kids can come to the “club” and hang out, we have activities to do and snacks to eat and we (usually) have a great time. In just three weeks of working there I’ve realized I really love working with this age group (11-13) and I’d like to be a middle school nurse. It’s a wonderful feeling to mentor kids and having them come to you with any type of problem they may have and feeling so happy when they tell you that you’ve helped them or seeing them take your advice.

I’ve also gotten more girly because one day, our boss decided to paint some of the girl’s nails and one of them wanted to do my nails (I’ve only ever painted my nails once, for my little brother’s high school graduation) and I realized I really liked my nails painted pink so I went browsing the local Wal-Mart for nail polish and found a glittery blue “Ice Queen” one….and yes, okay, it reminded me of Frozen and I wanted it. And now it’s on my nails and I keep admiring them and their prettiness and thinking maybe I should do this more often.

But definitely the hardest part in the past few weeks is my husband being away in training. THIS SUCKS. He left nearly three weeks ago and we have about two or three more weeks to go. We have no idea when exactly he’ll return. At first he was told he would be back in exactly 29 days, because if he is gone 30 days, the army has to pay us $250 for family separation pay, and they don’t want to do that. They would rather bring him back ONE DAY before that has to be paid. But they wanted to bring him and a few other soldiers out there early, so he will definitely be there over 30 days because the next flight out of the dessert they are training in is March 14th, but sadly that doesn’t mean he’ll be home that day.

I was fine at first, I missed him terribly, but I had work, school, and dogs to focus on and keep me busy. But then they took his phone away…….they said it’s because they didn’t want anyone to cheat and use their GPS when they were doing land navigation exercises, but my husband said they’re not doing those so they have no idea why their phones were taken away. So no communication except for a few minutes on Facebook now and then (thankfully he works with the internet so we can at least talk that way). We haven’t gone no-tech since basic in January 2011 so this part of the training is really difficult. I just want to hear his voice. They are taking lots of pictures of the guys training out there, which is awesome, but my husband is never in any of them. I comb every picture for a flash of his goofy grin or bright hair or silly faces he loves to make, but I never see one. Sigh. But hey, we’re only almost halfway done, so there’s more time to get his picture taken.

I guess on the plus side, I get to drive his car? So I get to pick between two cars, yay! His car likes to go fast….I like fast. I take the highway to work and the speed limit is 75mph and by the time my car gets up to 75 it’s time to exit and do 40 which makes me sad. Bumblebee’s car gets up to 75 before we’re even off the death ramp (as we have affectionately nicknamed entrance ramps here in Texas). And I don’t wake up in the middle of the night freezing because he’s a bed hog. Compromises all around because I’m still not use to being alone and I have a bad habit of pushing our dresser against the door (despite living in a very safe area), but hey, at least I can stretch out in the bed! ….after I move a dog or two out of my way.

So, really, a lot going on, but at the same time, nothing terribly exciting.

Oh! I got braces exactly one month and one day ago. If I don’t get this posted in the next 12 minutes, it will be one month and TWO days. I hated them at first……still kind of hate them I guess. They hurt and I talked funny for a few weeks (something some of my friends pointed out and picked on me for and made me even more self-conscious about them)…and I couldn’t eat much of anything and I LOVE to eat so I would pine away, looking at all the uneaten orange chicken on my plate and wondering if I would ever eat again (I was only slightly dramatic, I swear).

But, AGAIN, I lost about five pounds so now I’ve only got about twenty more to go!

My orthodontist has massage chairs in the lobby so that’s pretty nice. I wouldn’t mind if they kept me waiting for a few hours at my next appointment, because I’m in no rush to get these darn things tightened and go through the whole not-eating phase again. And I like massages.

Maybe I’ll lose another five pounds, though…..hmm….I could be down to my goal weight after four appointments. Or I could work out more. But hey, let’s not make any hasty decisions here.

My nails are REALLY sparkly……….

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Teacher’s Pet.”

Tell us about a teacher who had a real impact on your life, either for the better or the worse. How is your life different today because of him or her?

I immediately thought of my ninth grade science teacher, Mrs. Conlon. Sure, I’ve had many wonderful, thoughtful, caring teachers, but Mrs. Conlon stands out the most. I remember the very first class I had of hers, sitting nervously in the back of the room. It was the last class of the very first day of high school, and my other five teachers were a mixture of nice and strict. I was wondering what type she would be. She was writing on the board when we first arrived. But when she turned around to welcome us, I immediately liked her. She was friendly, warm, and had an eccentric air about her, which I loved. Biology quickly became my favorite class and this was when I realized my love of science. I joined the club she was the faculty leader of, the Science Club, and had some of the best times of my high school life.

I remember we made a float for the homecoming parade…and it gave me something to look forward to for months. Our school’s team, the golden eagles, were playing the rival high school’s team, the bears. We decided to build a cage on our float with a bear inside and golden eagle football players lovingly waving and cheering at the crowd. But wait, that’s too boring, I thought. When it’s our time to “shine” (a.k.a. the parade stops so we can dance around), why don’t we have the bear escape? And how about the golden eagles triumphantly beat it back into its cage, as we hoped to demolish the opposing team? No one wanted to be the bear, though. The costume was hot and it would be weird to shake and rattle the cage bars and then embarrassingly get “beaten” back into the cage.

Well, of course I had to volunteer. Who wouldn’t want to act like a bear?

It was awesome. It was so much fun. Mrs. Conlon was out there with us day after day, helping make our float and sewing together the bear costume. She really went above and beyond what was asked of her, she should have made us do all the work, but she was too nice to do that to us. When we had to come in on Saturdays just to make sure it was ready in time, she gave up some of her time off to come help us.

But that wasn’t all she did for me. We had some of my mom’s old friends living with us, and they were horrible house guests, to put it gently. I won’t get into them here because this is a post bragging about how awesome my old science teacher was, but let’s just say it caused the whole house to have a lot of tension with each other. One day, I arrived home from school and immediately the older daughter (who was college aged) starting picking a fight with me, I can’t even remember about what. Then her little sister (around my age, but she had dropped out of school) joined in with her, yelling at me and continuing the fight, and I decided to ride my bike back to school. I was a bus kid because my school was five miles away, but I didn’t care, because anywhere would be better than being home. And the library was always open late and I could hole myself up in there and read to my heart’s content until my mom came home from work.

After the bike ride up there (which felt like an eternity to a 15-year-old kid), I was brooding and fuming (as teenagers like to do) and was too upset to want to read. So, I went to find Mrs. Conlon. She was on her way to a meeting, but after seeing my face and hearing about how I rode my bike back up to school immediately after arriving home, she sat down with me and talked to me for over two hours. About the family, about my mom, about my brother, about my struggling grades, about anything and everything. I remembered towards the end of our talk that she had said she was on her way to a meeting and asked her about it. She told me I was much more important than going to a boring meeting and she would much rather have been sitting there talking to me.

I started to cry. I really felt like she was the one adult in my life that I could count on, that I could trust, that I felt really truly cared for me. She could have told me to go home, to go find a school counselor, to come back another day, anything really. She certainly didn’t have to blow off a meeting for me, that wasn’t in her job description. But she stayed and she talked to me and I felt better than I had in weeks. It’s been over 10 years and I still have fond memories of her and what an amazing, compassionate, incredible person she was. I came to see her occasionally throughout the years, the last time was when I started college in 2009, and she always remembered me, was always so excited to see me and catch up and genuinely seemed to care how life was turning out for me. I miss her terribly and she will forever be one of the most special people in my life, and definitely the teacher whom had the biggest impact for the best on my life. She instilled in me a love of science, she showed me compassion in a turbulent time in my life, she encouraged me to go after my dreams of becoming a nurse, and she taught me that it doesn’t matter where you came from in life, that you are still important and worthy and can do anything or be anything you want to be.