Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The storm before the calm, or something like that.

I know that I have not been posting as much as a good blog etiquette dictates (not that I really care about blog etiquette).  To tell you the truth, it will probably remain that way for the next month or so.

People told me I was being brave for starting a new job and moving all within a few weeks of each other.  I though the "brave" part was moving into an apartment that I have never seen before (more on that in a moment).  People move and start jobs all the time right?  I don't know how they do it.  My OCD is kicking it into high gear and I am stressin' out!

 True story, last Tuesday I had a complete melt down because I couldn't find a pair of pants.  Okay, really it was about a lot more than the pants.  I thrive on structure, and routine.  I have felt like my world is completely unstable these past few weeks, and when I couldn't find a specific pair of pants that I wanted to wear to work, I lost it.  It was my breaking point after weeks of so many unstructured life changers.

Who wouldn't be stressed if this is what you looked at when you walked in the front door?

What on earth could be so unsteady?  Let's start with the employment situation.  Around late March I received a message from one of my former co-workers (who is absolutely amazing, by the way).  She told me that her current employer was creating a position that I would be absolutely perfect for and I should send my resume right away.  I originally turned it down because of the hours.  A few days after I turned it down I received a second message that said I could have flexible hours and a decent amount money.   I decided that was appealing so, I sent in my resume.  Not to sound conceded, but I pretty much knew that I was going to get an offer because two out of the three people making the hiring choice were people that I worked with at my (then) current company.  Almost two weeks went by before I was called in for an interview.  At my interview I was warned that they didn't have a hard start date, but they would keep in touch.  I completed some back ground check information and waited another two weeks before I got an email saying that they wanted me, but they are waiting on a few things and if I just sit tight for a bit they will reach out with an offer letter.  Then a week and a half after that I got a call with an official start date.  Let's recap, I went about 6 weeks being unsure of a job that I was "a shoe in for".   That's a little stressful!

Then there is the whole moving thing.  You have all heard my sob stories of how small this place is and how I have only stayed because it is so cheap, so I will spare you those details.  I received a lease renewal in the mail with a notice that rent would be increasing by 20%.  Not cool!  20% is a lot, and this place is not worth it.  So we started apartment hunting.  I found a few places on craigslist, but no one was getting back to me.  I put Dean in charge of contacting them and he succeeded.  Slight catch, they would only show the place between 11 am and 3 pm Monday through Friday.  That put me in a pickle since I worked 8-5.  So, Dean went, with his iPhone, and took a video.  A very shaky, hard to watch with out getting sea sick video.  When I got home from work he drew me a map and we decided to go for it (GULP).   Yes, I agreed to rent an apartment based on my husband's opinion and sloppy cell phone movie.  That is stressful! Also, I earn killer wife points!

 Oh but it gets better!  You see, we had until the first to tell our current landlord if we were moving out, or renewing at 20% more.  The first came, and still no word from the new landlord.  I knew he got our application, because the check I sent for the application fee was cashed.  When Dean called he was told that they just needed to check our references and the application should be processed in no time.  "No time" turned into an extra week.  Meanwhile our current landlord is showing  the apartment and the new apartment was re-listed on Craigslist.  Awesome.  I was freaking out!  I was making plans for storage sheds, and finding friends with couches and trying to find people to take the cats until we found a place because I was convinced that we would be homeless in three weeks.

It all ended up working out in the end (like Dean told me over and over again).  As of Saturday we will live in a much bigger apartment with a full size stove and plenty of storage.  I know that everything will settle down and I will have a normal routine again.  When that happens, I will be hopping right back on the blog-o-sphere again.  Don't you worry!

But first, let me get out of this corner I packed myself into...
I look far to happy to be packing

Saturday, May 25, 2013

I made a stranger cry happy tears

If you haven't noticed, I haven't been around much this week.  That would be because if my new job. I started on Monday and have been in training all week long.  The training required some travel for the later part of the week.  I was not looking forward to the trip home this morning. I had little sleep, I was tired of sitting already, and it was busy because if the holiday weekend.

 Lunch today was "travel food" you know those random selections of "restaurants" they have at airports and thruway rest stops?  Yeah that.  I was attempting to find something remotely healthy to eat when I noticed a mom with two small children in tow.  The kids were adorable   There was a little boy about two and a half years old. He had bright blue glasses, a killer smile, and messy blonde hair. His little sister looked to be about 8 months old.  The mom was alone, and obviously had her hands full.  As I sat down to eat my $13 tray of fried food (yeah, I gave up on the healthy search), something in me wanted to help her.  I thought about offering to feed the baby so mom could enjoy her lunch, but I thought it would also be a little strange.  I finished my meal and and tossed my trash, but I still couldn't shake the feeling that I needed to do something to bless her somehow.  My co-worker said she wanted some coffee, so I followed her to the line for Starbucks. I grabbed a $5 gift card and a napkin.  I stole a pen from my co-worker and wrote "I know that traveling with little one can be tough but I wanted to let you know you are doing a great job!  Use this to treat yourself. You deserve it!"   I folded the napkin over the gift card walked up to her and stuttered "um.. Hi, I know this seems strange but I wanted to give you something" And placed my simple gift on the table. I had intended to turn around a walk away before I could see her reaction, but the sweet boy dropped his toy truck so I was there long enough to pick it up.  With tear filled eyes, the mother looked at me and said "you have no idea how much this made my day. Thank you". 

Now, I have mentioned before that I am extremely shy.  I panic when cashiers ask me if I found everything alright.  The thought of having conversations with strangers scare the poo outta me. So, with that being said, I am not telling this story to toot my own horn and say "hey everyone look how cool I am I was nice to a stranger!"  I am telling this story because I learned a serious lesson today.  Just because something is really scary doesn't mean that it shouldn't be done.  Small acts of kindness can have a huge impact on someone's life.  I really didn't want to see that lady's reaction. But now, I am really glad I did.  It proved to me that I should step out of my comfort zone more often.  You never know, maybe someday I will be traveling alone with my two kids and could be in the need of some serious encouragement. I would love for some one to tell me I am doing a good job when I feel hopelessly overwhelmed.  

Anyway, I have rambled enough in this post already and i am not even sure if I made my point. But I am done. Typing posts on my iPhone is no fun. Please note that this is completely unedited and not proof read. Also, my thumbs are numb. 

Enjoy your weekend lovies!! And see if you can encourage a stranger. I promise you that it is so worth it! 

Monday, May 20, 2013

How about we help the homeless instead of "#Fitch-ing" them?

I tend to steer clear of potentially controversial topics when I blog.  I don't like starting debates over things on social media because confrontation makes me uncomfortable (even if I do handle conflict well).  But something that makes me even more uncomfortable, is devaluing human beings.  Which brings me to the whole "#Fitchthehomeless" thing.  If you are unfamiliar with this movement, watch this YouTube video

This video has pretty much gone viral.  A lot of people that I respect have been re-posting it with support.  (blindly re-posting things on social media is a whole new soap box for a different day) At first I thought that it was pretty cool, but didn't really put much value into it.  After a second or third viewing, it left a horrible taste in my mouth.  

I have never been a huge fan of A&F.  The combination of their high price points, phonographic catalogs, and the overpowering smell of cologne has been kind of a turn off for me.  Not to mention that their largest article of women's attire would only fit over one of my calves.  So when I did my research and discovered that the accusations against Mr. Jefferies (A&F's CEO) were true, I was even more displease with the company.  No one should ever judge or discriminant against another human being simply because of their body type or high school popularity rankings.  

With that being said, the guy who made this video did almost the same thing.  In fact I would even say that he is agreeing with Mr. Jefferies by saying "yes, the homeless are not good enough for your clothes" I will say that the idea behind the motion is innocent and that he had good intentions.  It is great to donate clothes to the homeless and to raise awareness of A&F's misconduct.  But, he didn't really go about it in the best way.  Not to mention, this campaign implies that homeless people should and will wear whatever we give them and be thankful. It seems to say: I won’t wear this garbage, but they should, in order to prove my point because they fit the proper stigma to do so. I am not OK with this. If a point has to dehumanize men and women to be made, it’s a point not worth making.

Can you imagine any other people group where exploitation for the sake of tweets and Instagram pictures would be acceptable. What if people said “We’re going to pass out these clothes to Indian people only, to stick it to this guy! We’ll show him! He’ll be so mad Indians are wearing his clothes!” I’m confident that wouldn't go over well.

Rachel Karman is a social worker with the homeless people of skid row.  When she was asked her opinion of the matter she decided to show the video to some of the people she works with.  Here are some direct quotes from the homeless of Skid Row.

“Wow, that CEO guy is a bad dude.”
“Why the h*** would he pass out clothes to us that he said date rapists wear?”
“I’ve seen my nephew wear that brand of clothing and he’s not a date rapist.”
“It doesn’t look like he is explaining what he is doing to anyone he is giving clothes to. That’s not right.”
“Why isn’t he talking to people when he gives them the clothes? I hate it when people who think they are do-gooders act like that.”
“Why did he just give that large man those tiny pants? I thought he just said they don’t make those sizes? That doesn’t seem very helpful at all.”
“He’s not even asking if he can film them, does he think this is a zoo?”
“Why would we want our ‘own brand of clothing?’ Especially clothing he said 'douche bags' wear.”
“I’m not interested in being this guys billboard or social cause, unless it’s to get people homes.”
“We may be homeless, but that doesn’t mean we want to wear 'douchey' clothes to prove a point—what purpose would that serve, to dehumanize us even more than we already have been?”
“If someone walked up to me to take a picture of me to put on the Internet, I would be really pissed off.”
But the comment that I think sums up everything that needs to be said, was this, “Well, that sort of hurt my feelings.”

*please note that I am aware that I have not cited any of the sources of my information.  This post was saves as a draft for a few days and I unfortunately lost all the tabs I had open before I could link them.  I have learned my lesson and will always link right away going forward.  

Saturday, May 18, 2013

27 things in 27 years

I have not been great at this whole "blog every day in May thing".  I would apologize, but I am not sorry.  Life has simply been too busy, and I would rather get stuff done then stress about when I am behind.  I have found a small spinet of time this morning to type my thoughts out.  I have been reflective all day.  I am no where near where I thought I would be this time last year.  I wanted more, I wanted to do better, and to be further along in life.
But sometimes you have to stop, and look back and realize you've come along way. Today, May 18th, I turn 27. And frankly, I have come pretty dang far.

Thanks to the inspiration from a whole lot of bloggers, I’m taking this opportunity to follow suit and celebrate my 27th birthday by reflecting on what I know is true.
1. Not everyone is going to like you, and there is nothing wrong with that.
2. Showing emotion is not a form of weakness.  Knowing when to show it is a skill.
3. That thing you are stressing about that happen with that other person, 98% of the time you are the only one worrying about it.
4. The taller a pedestal you build for some one the harder they fall.  Everyone is human, show them a little grace. 
5. It's never a bad time for a dance party.
6. Boring, tedious tasks (like making a shopping list) are a million times better if you do them in a fun color.  
7. Things will always change, it is inevitable.
8. There is no "defining moment" of adulthood.  You simply become wiser and more mature as you age.
9. It's okay to be very picky about your friendships, you are more valuable than you know.
10.  Love is greater than distance.
11. You don't have to wholeheartedly believe everything that has been hand fed to you.
12.  The answer is always "more cheese".
13. You don't really need to buy that third pair of black flats..... unless they are on mega sale.
14. Take your idea of "one more drink and I will be fine" and subtract 2.  Trust me you will feel better in the morning.
15. Starbucks is overrated.  (yes, I said it)
16. Debt is bad.  No really, it is. If you can't pay for it now, than you cannot afford it. Period.  Also, points on your credit card is not worth charging a new TV.  Just a smal FYI. 
17. If a relationship has to be hush hush, get out before it's too hard to walk away.
18. God loves you because you are you, not because of anything you have said or done.  He will also never stop loving you because of anything you have said or done.
19. The best way to get something is to ask for it.
20. You can learn something from every one, as long as you have an open mind.
21. Don't deprive yourself of something better for you just because you are afraid of letting others down.
22. Money really won't solve all your problems.
23. ALWAYS remember to close your sunroof if the forecast calls for rain, even if it looks sunny out.
24. Be thankful for the difficult times in your life, because it makes you appreciate what you have now.
25. Don't focus on being rich, focus on being happy instead.  That way, you will learn the value of things, not the price.
26. Stepping away from social media will not kill you.
27. Making a list of 27 things the morning of  your birthday is difficult, especially of you just want to go shopping already!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

If walls could talk...

I was doing really good for the "blog everyday in May" challenge until just recently.  Then I just slammed the breaks.  There are some pretty good reasons for that, and this has been a really stressful past two weeks, but since I am not here to give you excuses, I am not going to share those reasons with you.  At least not now.  I'm sorry, I have never been a fan of  vague blog posts, but now that I am writing one I understand why they are done.  Just know that all is well and I am A-Okay.

I will share with you one of the reasons (although a small one, it still adds to the pile).  We are moving!  This is actually really good news.  Right now we live in a tiny little apartment I moved into 6 years ago (wow I am really surprised I stayed in one spot that long!).  It's cute and cozy for one.... way too small for two.  We never actually planned on living here after we got married, but then again we didn't really do the whole wedding thing according to plan.

We just started packing a few boxes this weekend.  Although I often complain about these living quarters,  packing things away have turned me into an sentimental bag of emotions and I realize I am really going to miss this place.  Ironically, today's writing prompt is "What do you miss?".  I may be breaking the rules by telling you I will miss this place, but rules are meant for breaking anyway.

We pack the important things first.

I have done a lot of growing up in this apartment. This place put an end to my couch surfing days. So may choices have been made here, so many tears have been cried here, and countless bad dance parties have taken place in the hallway we call a kitchen.  My first night here I slept on an air mattress.  I realized that I was in love with Dean in this living room.  He came to my house to say goodbye after spending the summer in Rochester before living in Malta for a year.  I watched him walk to his car through the huge living room window and I broke down and cried.  When I finally figured out why it hurt so much, he was already gone.  He asked me to marry him two years later.

Dean and I had our first kiss in this kitchen.  We put up our first Christmas tree in this living room, he nursed me back to health in the same bedroom I wrote my first blog post in.  I made life altering choices while showering in this bathroom.  It is  bitter sweet to be leaving.  If walls could talk, I would love to hear them tell the story of one lonely, lost, hurting girl and how she became who she is today.

Friday, May 3, 2013

I Wanna be a Hippie, but I Forgot How to Love.

Points for you if you understand the reference in the title of today's post (not that the points actually mean anything, kinda like in Who's Line)

Any-who, it's the third day in May, so that means today I shall tell you what makes me uncomfortable.  There are two things that come to mind when I think of being uncomfortable.  They are A) being forced to socialize with strangers and B) heated political/religious arguments (especially on social media).  Unless you are talking about being physically uncomfortable   In that case it's wedgies, hands down, but that is self explanatory so let's talk about A & B.

It may be hard to believe, but I am extremely shy.  I know that I may come across as super friendly and out going, but there is the safety of a computer screen in from of me, meaning I don't have to make eye contact or maintain small talk.  Once I warm up to you (or have a few glasses of wine, whatever comes first) I love making new friends.  I do better in small groups.  The phrase "safety in numbers"  does not really apply to me.  Random tidbit of knowledge: I drove to my Sr. homecoming dance (all dressed up and hair done) and then turned around because I was way to freaked out about the socializing I would have to do.  I spent the evening in my Pjs with my hair all pretty, eating popcorn, and watching Anne of Green Gables with my awesome home schooled friends instead. (my best friends in high school didn't go to my school.  This was crap in my opinion and I begged my mom to let me be home schooled.  She said no)

This brings us to political/religious arguments.  This has only started to bother me for the past few years.  Maybe because I actually have my own opinions now and I don't want to be force fed.  I can fully respect your opinion on controversial topics, even if it differs from mine.  However, let;s agree to disagree.  This mostly applies to social media.  Unfortunately, some people (not all) do not check facts.  Therefore, they can be easily influenced but all the hype found on Facebook or twitter or wherever.  I am glad you think that meme is cute, but it will not change my stance on gay rights, abortion, gun control, what have you.

Now that I am nice and riled up, I need to get back to work.     Speaking of work..... I gave my two weeks notice today!  This is a happy thing.  I will explain more in a later post, but for now.  I will celebrate.  Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Hey, I am good at things!

Today I should be educating you on something that I am especially good at, and after dealing with some writer's block, asking Dean what I am good at, and texting a few friends, I have realized that the things I am good at are kind of hard to teach.  That or I am just a crappy teacher.  So, in typical Katie fashion, I will write you a list of things I am good at.

ONE.  I am great at what my co-workers have come to call "Office Charades".  I have this thing where I brain farts and forget what normal things are called, so I act them out.  For example, the stapler becomes "that paper-putter-together-thingy".  I will say that and make a stapling motion with my hands.  It's a great party trick.

TWO. I am a talented car dancer.  Okay, maybe I am not really.  Once, I was dancing to a Lady Gaga in the car - Just Dance, actually.  A cop ended up pulling me over because he thought I was having a seizure.  I am not exactly sure how he thought that I was controlling the car if I was having a seizure, but it's still a funny story.

THREE. I am really good at getting sales on clothes.  I am extremely cheap frugal when it comes to buying clothes.  Even my wedding dress was on mega sale.  I shop sales, sign up for email alerts at my favorite stores, coupon, and make friends with sales people.  Seriously, I have a hard time spending $13 on a top...it's just not "Clearance" price to me.

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FOUR.  I am really good with children.  When I was younger, I was under the impression that all females were good with children.  It wasn't until I was older that I noticed that not every one was.  I am not sure what exactly it is about working with children that makes it come so naturally to me.  It just does.  I think it may have something to do with the fact that children need structure, and I am a creature of habit.  It could also be their innocents, and my desire to keep them that way.  What ever it is, I am thankful for it.

FIVE. I am a master list maker.  I am convinced that I can rule the world if I make a detailed enough list.  Usually, they end on increments of five.

Oh, in case you are wondering what my favorite people think I am good at, here is what they suggested I write about:
Motivating my husband
Packing a house
Shoe shopping
Making enchiladas
Long distance relationships
Being Proactive
Being frank with people

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Story of my life in 250 words...ish

Some thing that I was hoping to come across in the near future was a daily writing challenge or prompt.  Well, I found it sooner than I thought I would.  Enter Jenni from Story of My Life .  She has come up with the "Blog Every Day in May Challenge".  Yes, 31 writing prompts for each day in May.  Will I do them all... heck no techno!  But, I will do what I can.  Today's prompt is to write the story of your life in 250 words or less.  I tend to get kinda wordy when talking about my life, so I will do my best to keep it short.

Me at the age of two

I was born on May 18, 1986.  My mother was 22, single, and about to become a serious drug addict.  Somehow she managed to maintain custody of me, and we lived with my grandfather until he died when I was 8.  After he passed away we packed up everything and moved in with complete strangers 6 hours away in Pa, so that my mother could stay clean for real this time (it worked for over 10 years).  I learned to deal with death at a young age; my small high school (300 students for grades 7-12), had 17 student deaths in a 5 year span.  All but two were car accidents, and only two of the accidents did not involve drugs or alcohol.  Dealing with death forced me to look hard at my faith and I decided to go to a teeny tiny Bible school when I was done with my formal education (that's how I ended up meeting Dean).  I ended up only lasting 3 semesters; it was the best mistake of my life.  When I left I hit rock bottom fast.  It took me about 3 years to get my life back in order.  Dean and I started dating around that time (I was 25) and  we were long distance until 3 months before our wedding on October 14, 2012.

And that should bring you up to date.  222 words, not shabby!   Of course there are a bunch of stories and details in between.  But, that's what this blog is for.