Up and down and up and down...

So Trav and I sat down the other night to talk about one of the houses we had seen this past weekend... no, not the one that we both loved, but the one that I lovingly referred to as the "cotton candy hell" house. We're talking pink and teal here people. BUT it was a nice house, in great condition, with a roomy (though dated) kitchen and nice yard. The front is gorgeous, and the house is just generally well taken care of... except for the color scheme. Plus it is toward the bottom end of our price range, in a nice location. With the money we save sticking to the bottom of our range instead of the top, we would have so much more "breathing room" each month, and be able to better afford fixups. So after some debate, some "conditions", and much discussion, we have decided to put an offer on the house. We are meeting with our agent tomorrow, and submitting the paperwork.

I'm exciting and nervous, and scared and thrilled. I just want this search to be over with... I want to have our place.

Last night I was sick again... and I don't know if I actually have some sort of stomach virus/problem, or if the stress of the past few months has just really caught up with me. I might have to make a trip to my doctors soon. Hopefully with the next few weekends of distraction though, I will be feeling better.

Now here's my completely and utterly shameless plug...
If anyone would like to support your newly poor friends, and buy us a housewarming present, then head to Bed, Bath, and Beyond or Target and under the Registry section enter either Travis' or my name. It's technically a wedding registry, but we could certainly use any/all of it now!!! :-)

Hey, a girl has to try, doesn't she?

Ps. Also check out my hometown of Schnecksville... recently in the news.


just another manic Monday

Well, frustrating weekend behind me... this would still be a crappy rainy Monday. But its made all the better by the fact that we have "seen all there is out there" (who says that to you, really?!) according to our real estate agent, and as you've guessed... NADA. There was one we both really liked this past weekend, but as we were walking out, her real estate agent was walking in - with two offers. Lovely. Sometimes our agent Jim really annoyes me. I feel like he excludes houses that we might like, just to show off how much he knows about the areas. "Oh, well this road is way too busy..." or "No, this is getting to close to decline."
Sometimes I just wish he would let us be the judge of that.

For example, Saturday when we were done looking at the houses he had made appointments for that day, we headed back to his office, where he did another search. In the areas we are looking at, in the price range we can do, he pulled up 110 or so houses. Taking out the ones we have already seen (30+ by now), the ones that weren't in good condition, and then the ones that he didn't like for whatever reason... we were down to 2 houses. TWO F*IN HOUSES!!! I mean, are you kidding me?! It's just so frustrating. It's like we are are playing a game that we have no idea how to win. Half the time, I feel like I have no control, and that is really scary. Especially because I feel like there is this clock over my shoulder, tick tock- tick tock. I am trying to keep a good outlook... and I have been doing my own searches, sending emails to Jim with MLS numbers for bunches of houses. But by the time we get there, he has eliminated half of them at least.

On top of that was my loverly migrane headache last night, which made me nausaus. Luckily it was gone when I woke up this morning, but what an end the an already disappointing weekend. As for today, despite the rain and sunless skies, I am trying not to be too down. It's hard, because I'm just so frustrated... but I realize that there is still so much to look forward to. AZ is only about 3 weeks away. :-) That is one vacation that will be sooooo needed by the time it gets here.

Okay, well off I run to buy a new umbrella... and do my normal post-lunch walk indoors!



So today, I changed by computer's backgrounds. It was a beautiful New England autumn scene, with lots of trees in full color surrounding a pristine lake, with bright blue skies overhead. It was really lovely, and I hope I can find it next autumn, as I forgot to save the picture before making it my background (and as of today, changing my background). Now for the past few weeks I have been looking at said background with longing, missing the cool, but not cold... and beautifully sunny days of autumn past. But today I realize that spring is here! And chilly wet weather aside, I would probably do better to look forward to the spring/summer ahead of me, vs. long for the autumn that is past. Especially since this spring/summer brings so much to look forward to (see last entry or the one before that)!!
So, today I changed my background to an awesome beach pic, with once again - bright blue skies, but this time they are overtop of palm trees, rocks, sand, and surf! Very hot. It makes me even more excited for AZ and CA... if that is possible... then I was before. And as AZ is less then a month, about 3.5 weeks away... it certainly is high time for some excitement to ooze in. Plus it is always better to be excited for the now and the soon to be, as opposed to always longing for what was. Spring is the season to remind us of that.

As for other news... last week Travis and I found a house that we both REALLY liked. We put in an offer. However, our excitement/nervousness didn't last long, as Monday we got the call that the owners had already accepted a bid right before they got ours. So that was some disappointment. This weekend, however, we go out again... the search continues, c'est la vie, and life goes on. We know there is a house out there for us somewhere... and we have hopes that we will find it soon.

After this weekend and before AZ, I have a weekend of work to "look forward to" - April 9-10 is the next History Institute that I have previously spoken of, and I get to work all weekend for that. This one isn't so exciting in that it is still held in PA, but the topic could be fun (Korea). So that weekend is a toss up.
The following weekend (15th-17th), Trav and I will be heading out to Pittsburgh to pack up a UHaul full of his parents furniture (that is unneeded in AZ), to bring back to Philly with us... which will, at some point, be used to fill our new house. Very exciting that we will have couches, tables, etc, that we don't have now. Will be tiring though I'm sure... and perhaps a bit emotional, as it will be the final weekend we ever spend in his parents Pittsburgh residence. They already have buyers and closing is in May. Not such a big deal to travis, as it wasn't the house he grew up in... but it is the only house I have ever known them to be in, so I think it will be weird for me. After that, it is AZ! Very exciting.

Hmm, what else... Well, Monday I started feeling real sick in the morning (on the train, no less)... so much so that I got off a stop before my normal one to go splash some water on my face, heave a few times, and try not to vomit. I succeeded in case you were wondering. And all day I had hardly any appetite. Tuesday morning I felt better then Monday, though still not great. Still not much of an appetite. Yesterday I thought I was in the clear, didn't feel nauseaus, but still couldn't eat. At this point, I'm figuring that maybe if nothing else, this could turn into an okay diet... but by 8 pm or so, I felt real sh*tty and sick again. So we will see how today plays out. So far I'm feeling fine. Better appetite then yesterday, but I will have to play it by ear. Hopefully this odd little bug is really gone.

Oh, and three cheers for me... I have continued to go on my walk every day after lunch... including yesterday which was the first day I did it in crappy rain. And it continues to lighten my mood and up my energy. Yay for walks.

Well, that is enough of that. Back to work.


Spring "rebirthing".

So I am in an extremely good mood today! It feels like life is bringing me so much excitement lately. I have decided to stay with my job for a while, give it a shot to get better... which isn't really anything exciting... lol, but I just thought I would add that to keep all up-to-date. However I feel like so much other great stuff has come about, so I am not even worrying about the job stuff! (Plus my 10minute after lunch walks are doing WONDERS! Trav has even commented on how much happier I seem at the end of the day.)
So I'm just rambling here... let me take a moment, and just give you a "calendar" of sorts, and perhaps then I can actually type a cohesive paragraph. These are the upcoming things in my life that are making me excited, and keep me looking forward to all that is to come:

Tomorrow: No Work for Dr. Appt, but get to see my dad beforehand, Lauren and Laura afterwards.
April: ARIZONA!!! with Trav!, hopefully closing on a house!
May: Travis' Birthday, Megan's Graduation
June: Rochelle & Pat's wedding
July: California with Babs?!?!?!
August: My Birthday!, Cape Cod
September: Andy & Megan's wedding (Trav's brother)
October: 5 year anniversary

Hence my incredibly good mood!!!!!!!!!!
Plus, a certain friend of mine has just done the most incredible thing for me, which has made it possible for me to go to CA. She is the most amazing ever! So I have lots of things to look forward to, and wonderful friends whom just treat me amazing... what more could a girl ask for?! Really, life is very good right now. I can complain all I want about my job etc, but really I am trying to appreciate what i have a lot more. I have a steady income and health care (thanks to my job), and great coworkers. I have a loving fiance, and soon we will have our own house together. I have friends who do so much for me, and I get to look forward to exciting trips and fun to come with them.
I suppose the impending Spring helps... it always makes me feel a little more upbeat and excited about life when the weather starts to get warm again. Well, I have to get to work... but thanks to all the excitement, I have plenty of energy to expend!


blue walls

Well, sorry for the extreme quiet for the past week. It's been exhausting, but good.
Lets see... we spent last weekend at the house doing odds and end. Packing and taking boxes over, fixed the kitchen sink, cleaned the fridge... my parents came down and got to see the place. It was nice, especially because Travis didn't have to go camping. This past week was work and the norm, except that we headed to the house on Wednesday to take some stuff over. This past weekend was the longest though... friday night we were at the house until 2 a.m. pulling down the wallpaper border in our new bedroom... then Saturday we had to finish getting any scrapes of paper off the walls, wash them down, and then two coats of primer to get rid of the nasty corally pink walls (another 2 a.m. night). Then Sunday it was back to paint this time... 2 coats of a nice light blue, which turned out great. It was especially tough becasue we were both just burnt out from the long nights and long days, and were just hoping against hope that nothing else would happen to slow us down. Trav ended up having a small "tantrum" (as he called it later)... but once we calmed down and got working, everything went fine. We both love the color and it is the first big project we have done for the house. It was definitely tiring and hard work (your arms kill after a while!), but at least after we finish the trim this coming weekend, then we can start moving things into the bedroom. We will also be working on getting the kitchen all ready (which basically means giving it a little cleaning, and unpacking/putting away boxes of kitchen stuff). With both of those things done then we can basically be ready to move in. So the rest of our projects can be done at a more relaxed pace. :-) Thank god for that! The weekend ended nicely though, with the painting being done around 5p.m., we headed to Ro & Pat's to help them move a couch... then stayed and ate a great dinner and fresh from the oven, home-made chocolate chip cookies. Mmm. :-) I think that is one of my favorite desserts ever. So the weekend ended nicely, and there is so much more to look forward to!

This Weekend:
Hanging out with Ro on friday and having our fitting for her wedding (her-wedding dress, me-bridesmaid dress), Saturday hair appt and then heading to the house for more fix ups, Sunday possibility of my dad coming down and helping with switching the light fixture in our bedroom with the ceiling fan in the office/game room
May: Trav's 25th, Lehigh Graduation, and officially moving into our new place!!
June: Ro & Pat's Wedding
Rest of Summer: Cape Cod with Trav and his parents, CA with my Babwa?
Autumn: Trav's brother's wedding, our 5 year anny. etc etc etc. !!

Okay, I have to get back to work... but I will get back here sooner next time.

I am the "desk stealers" b*tch.

So originally I was going to write this whole article about my former-Ambassador officemate ("I'm sooooo important," he thinks to himself...), who it rather technologically inept, and therefore interrupts me 100x a day to ask stupid questions; because obviously his stuff is more important then what I am doing...

But, inspired by Krystel's away message: "Spring is a time of rebirth and regrowth, new beginnings, forgiving the past, finding that someone who makes you smile and laugh wholeheatedly in the newfound sunshine and most of all, Spring breaks ground for new beginnings and happier times!"
I have instead decided to focus on happier things that make me smile, and let go of my misgivings towards the Honorable Desk Stealer (as Trav and I like to call him... because when he came to work here, you guessed it, he wanted my desk), and try to ignore his constantly acting as if everything here isn't good enough for him... and just try to get along with him to the best of my ability. So bye bye anger, and hello new found relaxation!

Now we'll see how long this lasts. So, in the meantime... here are some funnies for everyone to enjoy, I hope they bring a smile to your face as well.

by Dave Barry, Nationally Syndicated Columnist

1. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.
2. If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be "meetings."
3. There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
4. People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.
5. You should not confuse your career with your life.
6. Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.
7. Never lick a steak knife.
8. The most destructive force in the universe is gossip.
9. You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight savings time.
10. You should never say anything to a woman that evens remotely suggests that you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.
11. There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is age eleven.
12. The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above average drivers.
13. A person, who is nice to you, but rude to a waiter, is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)
14. Your friends love you anyway.
15. Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic.
16. Thought for the day: Men are like fine wine.. They start out as grapes, and it's up to the women to stomp the crap out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with.

There is more money being spent on breast implants and Viagra than on Alzheimer's research. This means that by 2030, there should be a large elderly population with perky boobs and huge erections and absolutely no recollection of what to do with them

Children In Church
Jesus' Dad's Name A Sunday school teacher asked her class, "What was Jesus' mother's name?" One child answered, "Mary." The teacher then asked, "Who knows what Jesus' father's name was?" A little kid said, "Verge." Confused, the teacher asked, "Where did you get that?" The kid said, "Well, you know they are always talking about Verge n' Mary.
3-year-old, Reese: "Our Father, Who does art in heaven, Harold is His name. Amen." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A little boy was overheard praying:
"Lord, if you can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it. I'm having a real good time like I am."
A Sunday school class was studying the Ten Commandments. They were ready to discuss the last one. The teacher asked if anyone could tell her what it was. Susie raised her hand, stood tall, and quoted, "Thou shall not take the covers off the neighbor's wife."
After the christening of his baby brother in church, Jason sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car. His father asked him three times what was wrong Finally, the boy replied, "That preacher said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home, and I wanted to stay with you guys."
I had been teaching my three-year old daughter, Caitlin, the Lord's Prayer for several evenings at bedtime, she would repeat after me the lines from the prayer. Finally, she decided to go solo. I listened with pride as she carefully enunciated each word right up to the end of the prayer: "Lead us not into temptation," she prayed, "but deliver us some E-mail.
A Sunday school teacher asked her children, as they were on the way to church service, "And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?" One bright little girl replied, "Because people are sleeping." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Six-year-old Angie and her four-year-old brother Joel were sitting together in church. Joel giggled, sang, and talked out loud. Finally, his big sister had had enough. "You're not supposed to talk out loud in church." "Why? Who's going to stop me?" Joel asked. Angie pointed to the back of the church and said, "See those two men standing by the door? They're hushers."
A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin, 5 and Ryan 3. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake. Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson. "If Jesus were sitting here, He would say, 'Let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait.'" Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, "Ryan, you be Jesus!"
A women invited some people to dinner. At the table, she turned to her six-year-old daughter and said, "Would you like to say the blessing?" "I wouldn't know what to say," the girl replied. "Just say what you hear Mommy say," the women answered. The daughter bowed her head and said, "Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?"

A cardiologist died & was given an elaborate funeral. A huge heart covered in flowers stood behind the casket during the service. Following the eulogy, the heart opened & the casket rolled inside. The heart then closed, sealing the doctor in the beautiful heart forever. At that point, one of the mourners burst into laughter. When all eyes stared at him, he said, "I'm sorry, I was just thinking of my own funeral....... I'm a gynecologist" The proctologist fainted. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hope that brought a smile to your face. It certainly did mind! So here is my new "resolution", on top of trying to let go of my anger for the desk stealer... everyday after lunch, I am heading outside for 10 minutes. Just a quick walk around the block. I always feel guilty about taking 10 minutes for myself during the day... even though I'm always early to work, and never mind staying late, and 90% of the time take less then my allotted hour for lunch... but I figure, just taking those 10 minutes to get some fresh air and sun, and to just relax and think about anything other then work... well it will do wonders for me! So that is what I will do from now on. Okay, that's enough for now.


job confusion

So first off, let me just state for the record that I'm on the same page as Stella being a little disappointed in the "new and improved" easyjournal... although it is a little easier on the eyes, it isn't suddenly great. And I typed a long entry on the same day that I posted the Bush article... only to have the new easyjournal burp and lose the whole thing. Grrr. It was all about last weekend and all the people I saw (Stella, Megan, Laura) and how great it was to see them and all the other stuff I managed to do (Saturday visit a possible place for a wedding reception, get my hair cut before all the visiting, then chill with Ro & Pat in the evening... then Sunday Miyano, Hiro, and Yuilu came over for lunch). It was a busy, slightly tiring weekend, but very enjoyable.

A brief run-down: The reception place that we looked at was the Marriott at Philadelphia West, and it was gorgeous! Plus their packages are great... so now we just have to figure out the budget, and see what we can actually afford. If we can afford it though, I think we're going to really go for this place. Hmm... then haircut, and over to Lehigh. I was able to see Stella and meet pilot number 3, who is sweet and adorable and very good for Stells i think. It was just great to see the girl after so long. Then saw Megan, whom I also haven't seen in a while, and we talked and joked, and that was good too. Then Laura and the kiddies, and she is so preggers again... and I just love her little belly!!! It is so cute!! I can't wait for that baby to get here. I really miss those kids too, so i loved being able to pick them up and hold them for a bit. I can't believe how big they are now... it makes me so reminiscent for Lehigh, and sophmore year. Sunday Miyano and Hiro and Yuilu came over, and that was fun. Lunching and that adorable baby!

But okay, now on to my real reason for "being here".
So here is my current job confusion: as I've written before, I am not happy here in my current position. I feel like I am stuck in a job "no where" zone... as in there is no where to go from here. It is a small organization... big in that we have a vast network of scholars and an even bigger intercontinental web of member, but small in that there are about 10 of us staff in the office. And as I work under the title Program Coordinator, but am really basically the assistant to the VP, I really have no room for a promotion. What am I going to do replace the VP? No, I doubt that. The office is organized like this: Pres., VP, Office/Business Manager/Tech Guy, Book/Record Keeper, Secretary/Program Coordinator, Program Coordinator/Assistant to VP (that's me), Editor of our Journal, Assistant to the Pres., and two Research Assistants (who aren't really permanent staff anyway, but really working on a stipend). So, tell me where am I going to move up to? And compounding this is the fact that I find what I do a bit trite and boring, and that the recent addition of new responcibilities to my job, making me a Program Coordinator/Fundraiser and Grant Researcher, has done nothing to alleviate that as I am not interested in Fundraising in the least. Now obvious to anyone who has read any of my posts before, I'm not happy with this situation, and have been trying to find a way out of it. School has been put to the side, as Trav and my impending mortgage isn't going to pay itself, so I really just have to find a new job that only requires the degree I currently have, and perhaps some experience. I had pretty much decided that once our house was found, bought (as in closing complete), and moved in... basically that the whole mortgage thing was said and done, I was going to actively start looking for a new place of employment. However, here is where the confusion comes in. Today Mr. VP tells me that we got some new fundraising for one of the programs we do. We do History Institutes... weekend long conferences held in the suburbs of Philly which draw teachers from all over the country to learn about the history of a particular topic. This coming weekend we are doing the Koreas, for example. They are great weekends, which everyone enjoys, but they are a lot of work... and I am one of the people who always participates in them from the initial planning thru the weekend itself. Not my favorite way to spend a weekend, but all in all, not bad. So this new fundraising is specifically so that we may hold 3 of our 6 Institutes in the next 2 years, in cities other then Philadelphia... ideas including but not limited to Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Washington Dc.... and as it is very hard for my boss to clear his schedule for a friday through Sunday, he mentioned that most likely he wouldn't want to go, but would want someone else (or most likely two someones) to be able to fly out and run these weekends. And I would most likely be one of those someones.

There is also the fact that right now, this year being our 50th Anniversary, fundraising is huge. Our annual dinner which always sells out early, and always has a pretty big name speaker, is now looking at the possibility of getting... well, I can't mention a name, but a VERY big name to come out for the dinner. And we are getting HUGE sponcerships, in fact have already raised... in just the 2 months of 2005... over six figures, just for the annual dinner. And we are doing things that I didn't think possible, including billboard announcements, etc.
So here is my major dilemma: Do I put off looking for a new job because of the new opportunity that has arisen for travel, and the new opportunities that additional funding might present? I don't want to head off somewhere, and then hear from my one office mate that after I left she got flown to San Diego for the weekend to head up a conference, or that the Institute's name got out and consequently the business is just flooding in and that the Institute is growing... blah blah blah. But do I stick around with the possibility that perhaps nothing will change either... or that Mr. VP will decide to go himself and take the other Program Coordinator?

It's just frustrating that I finally decided to do something about my dissatisfaction with my employment situation, and suddenly this new stuff comes up to make me start from square one and completely rethink everthing. It's like I'm looking ahead and I see a split path ahead... one side leads to the same old same old, and the other leads to the type of occational perks that I've been looking for in a job to make it more bearable, almost enjoyable. Only I won't know which path my job has taken me down until long after my self imposed deadline... I'm willing to stick it out for another 6 months if it means the path of perks... but not if it leads to the same old same old. But how will I know which way we are going, until we get there?

Well this is incredibly long, and (speaking of work) I should get back to it!!!
But please people, I'm looking for imput!