Another-Another Anniversary

I just “celebrated” my 6-month anniversary at my job. I’m enjoying being out and interacting with other adults each day. The work is fairly easy and I am hoping to go back to school and move up to more challenging work eventually.

I’ve been thinking lately that I’d like to start a new blog – something different. I’ve thought about things involving chocolate, or running, or being a retired military veteran’s spouse, or ??? I don’t get around to writing for this one much lately, so we shall see.

The kids are doing well: the oldest is a freshman in college, the second a dual-enrolled college/high school student, and the youngest just a smarty pants. He won 1st place in his category at the county science fair for the 2nd year in a row. Hubby is teaching for his 2nd year at the local middle/high school and is still finding it challenging, while also working very hard at getting our house built. I can’t wait until it is finished!

I’m sure the 2nd 6 months will go by as quickly as the first 6. Here’s to hoping 2011 will be a great year all around!

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Working Woman

I was hoping to say that my first week of work went without a glich. Well, work-wise, I guess I can say that. But the 45-minute drive presented the glich this week.

Day 1, I met the temp that I am replacing. She has been there for 9 months and came on board with no pass-down, no training, nothing. She knows what it was like when she started, so she is trying to make it a bit easier for me.

Day 2, 10 minutes away from the house, two doe ran in front of my car. One didn’t make it to the other side of the road. And our Ford Focus didn’t make it very far after that either. It is in the shop being repaired, so it will get its second life. I think the deer went home with someone and made a nice meal. I felt badly and was a little shaken up afterwards, but there isn’t much I could do about it. With our oldest son buying his first car, we actually have an extra car now that he isn’t driving the Ford.  But for now I am driving our gas-guzzling Sequoia to work. It is actually my car, but we decided that with that long of a drive to work, that the Ford would be better to drive.  Except it’s not as tough with the deer.

The rest of my week went well, learning new things. The best part of it all is that I get a 3-day weekend through the summer. I work an hour longer each day, but having Friday’s off is awesome!

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The Final Countdown

In less than 60 hours, I will be in my new office starting a new phase of my life. I found out yesterday that I already have an e-mail address at my new job, and I haven’t even started yet.   I’m pretty excited to be back in the workforce but hope I don’t stress out about the house.  I have been running it full-time for the past 18 years, so it’s gonna be hard.  But then again, I may be too exhausted to notice the laundry is piling up or the dishes haven’t been washed in days.  We shall see.
The past couple of weeks have been great to have before I begin on Monday. I drove “home” to Gulf Breeze/Pensacola and then spent a couple of days on the beach with my sister, her 2 boys, my mom, and my youngest son. We watched about 6 different fireworks shows from the balcony of our condo on July 4th.  My daughter and her grandmother drove up to New York for the week to visit a friend.  They are on their way home today after stopping in DC yesterday. My daughter has never been there and wanted to see the monuments, etc. I think she has enjoyed having my mother-in-law to herself for a few days, but I will be glad when she is home to spend my last couple of days of “freedom” with her!  My husband and oldest son stayed home where they worked on preparations for building our new house.  The land is cleared and leveled and the foundation should be poured pretty soon (yay!).
My oldest son hit another milestone yesterday when he bought his first car, a 1999 Chevy Cavalier. It looks like a great first car.  At least it was manufactured after he was born.  My first car was 15 years older than I was, but it was pretty cool, a 1955 red Plymouth Savoy.  My dad was in an antique car phase and also bought a 1955 pink and white Ford Crown Victoria, a 1962 aqua and white Chevy Nova, and a 1969 Mercedes-Benz.  I got to drive them all while I was in high school; my friends never knew which car I was going to show up to school in.

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Another Anniversary

Amazingly, a year ago today we moved into our new (temporary) house here in Florida.  Moving to a new place always distracts me. I have to unpack, learn a new city, make new friends, get into a new routine, etc. This move has been different in that we weren’t able to unpack everything because we are building a new house – our final dream house. We are in a house, but it just isn’t quite big enough for all of the wonderful things we’ve collected over the years. So, we built a garage on our new property which is packed full of many things I miss on occasion but I know I will see again one day.

I continued blogging when we moved here last year, but somehow things distracted me more and more, and I stopped.  And soon I will have a huge distraction – I will start a full-time job in 2 weeks.  I haven’t worked full time in a very long time.  Since we moved so often with the military, we decided that I would stay home with the kids – which began 18 years ago when our oldest son was born.  I had part-time work here and there, mainly when the kids were in school. 

I can’t believe it has actually been a whole year.  And so much has happened, and I did not blog about it.  To pick up from last fall’s blog, the kids of course continued to their next sports:  soccer, basketball, and soccer and my oldest earned MVP for the season.  My sister and her family came and spent Thanksgiving week with us – that was a wild week with 9 people in our house.  I decided to try out a little volunteer work and became the secretary of the Fort White Middle and High School PTO.  I also decided to start a bunco group with my mil and sil and are slowly getting a group of us together once a month.  It is a lot of fun to take a break from life and goof off a bit.

The new year started at the county science fair where my youngest won overall best of fair for middle school; he then went to regionals a month later and won the same thing.  Spring sports were baseball, track and field, and track and field.  All 3 lettered in the varsity sports they played, even my youngest as a 7th grader in track and field – he was so excited.  In March, I became the mother of 3 teenagers when my youngest turned 13.  He is nearly 6′ 2″ tall and may act like he’s 13 but looks nothing like it.  During this whole time period, I searched for jobs and interviewed for 3.  The day before my 40th birthday in April, I applied for one last job before my sisters and mother surprised me with a visit from their homes in Arizona and Louisiana.  They all flew in and arrived at my oldest’s baseball game with balloons and presents in hand.  The biggest surprise was that they had arranged for the 4 of us to go on a weekend cruise.  It was awesome! 

A month and a half later, I received a phone call for an interview at a local college for the position I had applied for the day before my birthday.  I spent an entire day interviewing with 6 different people.  I was told it would probably be 2 weeks before they’d make a decision – less than a week later, they called and asked if I’d like to join the team.    The best part of it all, is that my boss-to-be is on vacation, so I don’t start for another 2 weeks.  So I’ve had the chance to wrap things up around the house that I’ve been putting off, and I also get to spend time with my mother, who flew back in a month ago to spend part of the summer with us.

Many other things have happened over the past 8 months or so (we discovered my youngest has a freckle on one of his eyes, my daughter got her learner’s permit and is now taking driver’s ed, my oldest graduated from high school and got a partial scholarship to college, my kids earned straight A’s all year – except one B one semester from my youngest, our Corgi was hit by a car and died a week before his first birthday, we adopted a sweet abandoned American Bulldog puppy who fought parvovirus, and we are adopting another Corgi in a couple of weeks who is the half sister of our first one.)

And life goes on …

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Over the Hill

That’s what the balloons said at my surprise birthday party almost 2 months ago.  I celebrated the big FOUR – O.  I don’t really feel any differently now that my age begins with a 4 instead of a 3, but there’s something about that zero at the end that does something.   Why is it cool when you finally reach double digits at 10 and then awesome when you reach 20?  But 30 and 40 have been different for some reason.  And it’s not that 40 sounds that old, but…

1. My oldest son graduated from high school a couple of weeks ago and turned 18.

2. My youngest son just turned 13 (three teenagers – that may put me in my grave faster than turning 40😉.

3. My daughter (in the middle) is getting asked out on dates.

4. My husband is talking about playing with “our grandchildren” one day in our new front yard – that better be a very, very long time from now!

5. My legs start hurting when I sit on the floor too long.

6. My back hurts if I sit or stand too long.

7. The baby pooch came back 5 years ago and won’t go away.

8. I can’t stay awake past 11 pm much anymore.

9. Drinking caffeine too late keeps me awake at night (it never did until a few years ago).

10.  A few gray hairs have started showing their ugly selves.

11. I have a hot flash every once in a while.

12. I hate the wrinkles that are slowly appearing on my face.

13. And the sagging skin on my neck and other places.

14. And the age spots.

15. My shop-til-you-drop end time comes sooner than it used to.

16. My failing memory is getting worse and worse.

17. There are a lot more creaks and cracks when I sit down and stand up.

18. Fried foods kill my insides more than before.

19. I don’t get carded when I buy alcohol  – well, I never really did in my 20’s either.

20.  Bingo sounds fun!

Wow, this list is starting to make me feel old!  But at least…

21. I still have my eyesight (well, I cheated a few years back and had laser surgery – but I don’t need reading glasses…yet).

22. I can still hear the dogs barking down the street in the middle of the night, so no hearing aids needed yet either.

 23. I’ve been asked if my children are my siblings (I always love those people!) – it also helps that they are all taller than me!

24. I can still run – without it hurting too much.

25. I don’t have to ask my kids about the latest electronic gadget or website because I usually know before them.

26. My kids think I’m cool!

27. My kids’ friends think I’m cool.

28. My hubby still thinks I’m hot:)

29. Someone was surprised last week when I said I was 40.

30. If I don’t look too closely in the mirror, I sometimes feel like I’m in my 20’s or 30’s, depending on the day.

31. My kids like to hang out with me.

32. I have friends who are planning marriages for their kids – I hope that’s a bit farther into the future.

33. I have friends who are grandparents – I can wait a bit longer for that too.

34. I can get down on the ground – and back up (even with the creaking and cracking!)

35. I can still dance.

36. And party (as evidenced on my birthday cruise!) – but I wouldn’t want to do it every weekend!

37. My mind still seems to be pretty sharp – at least in my mind.

38. I’m not quite middle aged (life expectancy for an American woman is about 80.7 years).

39. I am healthy.

40. And I have a wonderful family who doesn’t care how old I am😉

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Welcome to “Florida” Fall

Well, we had a bit of a change in temperature when fall officially hit last week – 50-degree temps in the morning.  It was a wee bit chilly for this southern girl, and I had to put on a sweater to go out at 7:30 in the morning to feed the animals and get the newspaper.  But by mid-day, it was back up in the 80’s! … Welcome to “Florida” Fall!

We have been non-stop since school started.  The oldest started practicing with the football team just about the time our feet hit the ground when moving here in July.  He lasted through the first 4 games of the season with less than 10 plays total among the games.  Since he didn’t grow up here and was instead being moved around the world with a military father, he is not as well-known here and hasn’t been playing with these kids here, so …  He is a senior and does not need to be standing on the sidelines as there is no “Next year” as the coaches seem to use as the typical excuse when asked by a parent whose kid just stands during lots of games.  So, he switched to cross country and is loving it especially since he is in every play :)  He’s trying to better his 5k time from Virginia last year and is getting very close.

Our daughter was recruited by the volleyball team and is playing her first year on the JV team.  She has learned a lot, as have I – the rules have changed a lot since I was in school – and has improved in the short time she’s been on the team.  Her height has been a big factor in some success; but it’s her confidence that is always good to see after being confused at times in the beginning.

The youngest finally got the football position he has always wanted – quarterback.  He’s got such a strong arm, however, that his middle school teammates can’t always catch his passes.  So he’s having to learn to adjust some.  We’ve got one month left with the fall sports season, and then we get to find out what they’ll want to do in the winter.

I am feeling a bit more settled especially since all the boxes IN the house have been unpacked, but then we still have a corner in our garage (covering about 1/4 of the floor) stacked with boxes that I haven’t even looked in.  So that is my next project.  I hope that my master bathroom towels are in there; we’re using guest towels, but I miss the ones that match our ensemble.  Not that my husband could give a hoo-ha, but I am one of those OCD (CDO) people that like certain things in their places. 

This weekend is a rare one – and that is why I am finding time to blog – in that none of the kids had a game yesterday or today, and no one HAS to be anywhere in particular.  I am loving it!  But I am thinking of all the things I didn’t get completed last week – making an appointment with the vet (the dog needs some shots, a couple of weeks ago), calling the eye doctor for my youngest who is saying he can’t see the board in some class rooms (ugh!), balancing the checkbook (6 months in arrears – I’ve never been that far behind!), etc.  But for now, I will breathe and watch some college football and enjoy my family on this wonderful Florida Fall day!

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Florida Living

I got to ride one of our horses today!  It was so cool.  I haven’t ridden my own horse in over 25 years (oh my goodness, I’m old!).  My family had a 17-hands high Appaloosa when I was around 12 or 13.  Sergeant Tommy was kept  out in a little country town, a little bigger than the one we’re living in now; it was more than a 30-minute drive from our house.  My parents would take my sisters and me out there every once in a while to ride him.  Now we have 2 horses, right in our own backyard!  It’s so weird.  I love that I get to be a little bit of a city girl but get the bennies of living in the country too.

After all that fun, we plopped down to watch some college football.  Since my mother-in-law is out of town, she offered up her University of Florida game ticket for tonight, so our boys went to watch the game at the stadium.  They were so excited; they cleaned the car and decorated it all up with orange and blue window paint.  Even though it wasn’t an even match-up, I know they had a good time.  There’s just something about being in a stadium, football, baseball, whatever, that is just so energizing.

My daughter just asked me, So what are we doing Sunday and Monday?  I’m thinking, Not much, right now.  A Netflix movie, a walk through the neighborhood, maybe a family board game… sound good to me.  I love three-day weekends!

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