Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Recent Happenings

The month of October has simply FLOWN by! I feel a little dizzy from the ride, if you know what I mean?

I love autumn. I just kind of struggle with dreading winter as it approaches. This year I have tried to relax a little, enjoy the changing leaves & the fall activities. Mike & I had a blast the first weekend of the month, going to an apple festival & then a pioneer village. The next weekend we celebrated my dad's birthday with a full-on turkey dinner (bless my mom's heart - she'll fix anybody's favorite meal for their birthday!). The third weekend I took a much-anticipated trip to Tennessee to visit with some wonderful college buddies - the Dr. Pepper Group.

We all gathered at Christie & Ryan's house in Nashville. I was really happily surprised to realize that it was not nearly as long of a trip as I had anticipated. Stephanie rode down with me & we had a blast catching up. You know you are with a great friend when you can drive a little over 4 hours & not have a lull in the conversation :-) Rachel came down from Michigan with her three sons & that rounded out our party. All together we had five adults and eight kiddos. If Steph had brought her two boys we would have been outnumbered two to one!

We spent all day Friday conversating, looking at my wedding pictures, encouraging one another & catching up. It was great. That night we went to Opry Mills (the huge shopping mall) & the Opryland Hotel. We walked through all of the atriums - it is a beautiful place! After dinner at Applebee's we headed back to Christie's for some more visiting. It's amazing how much we find to talk about!

Saturday I was ready to head back to my husband, but I was glad for the time away. Just a little pinch of time apart makes me appreciate the time together so much more.

That day was the beginning of revival meetings at my church. I was more than a little frustrated about the timing of my schedule in relation to the meetings. I missed the first night b/c of the TN trip. I got to attend all day on Sunday, but then I missed Monday & Tuesday due to work; I missed Wednesday as well b/c it was my turn to help in the nursery. The Lord was still very good to teach me some things in Sunday's meetings. The speaker spent just a few minutes teaching about Martha & Mary, but it was enough to really convict me about the priorities I have concerning my time. Frankly, I am just working TOO MUCH! When we got married Mike left it up to me to determine if I would continue working my second job. It just 'made sense' to me to keep the job until my car is paid off (March '10), especially since Mike's job is so month to month right now. I thought that I could certainly juggle all of my responsibilities plus the extra work hours for the next few months, right? Wrong. So wrong. I hadn't even really prayed about it. It just 'made sense' to me, so I was doing it. I was so convicted about that lack of surrender. I was also convicted about the things that were not getting done b/c of my frantic schedule, my exhaustion, & my feelings of being overwhelmed. All of that to say, tomorrow night is my last shift at the second job. I am so happy about the additional time I will have to do what is highest priority in my life - getting to know my Lord better by spending time with Him consistently, spending more time with my husband (we are newlyweds, you know!), and managing our household better.

*do you get the feeling that a lot has been going on??? *grin*

So, after the meetings & the resignation had been handed in, I left work at my full time job Thursday evening to do some frantic grocery shopping before some other college buddies came to town to visit. Roxanna & Bekah got to my house around suppertime on Thursday & we visited, talked, shopped, & enjoyed each other until Sunday morning. On Friday we drove up to Lafayette to visit Becky b/c she couldn't get to my place. We enjoyed the day with her & her family, getting to see their new house for the first time. Then on Saturday we headed to the outlet mall & Bekah got some serious shopping done! Clothes, shoes & other goodies to help get her ready to go to the mission field of Japan in January.

Here's a pic of the four of us at Becky's house. We always have so much fun & so many laughs when we are together. Thank the Lord for the blessing of good friends.

And that's a quick recap of this month. Whooo! I'm a little tired :-) I think it's always a good idea to take a moment or two & think back over the last week, month, year & see what all the Lord has done & what all He has brought me through. By the way, exactly one year ago yesterday Mike asked me to marry him & a year ago today I was flying to Vienna to visit Missy - wow!

Kefir Update

I have officially made it through my first jug of kefir. I bought the unsweetened, unflavored kind b/c frankly, it has a lot of calories already! The first time I tried it I just about choked. My goodness - it is sour! I was in a hurry so I shoved some frosted mini wheats in the cup & tried to get it down like that. Not a recommended method, let me tell you! Since then, I think I have perfected my kefir smoothie skills. Or at least I've developed some kefir smoothie skills.
The first thing I did was buy some juice. We are not juice drinkers so I immediately began to worry about the money we were going to waste b/c the juice would probably never get drank. But I figured I would need at least a splash in each smoothie to help with the kefir's thick consistency. *shudder* After a little more thought I decided to freeze the juice in an ice cube tray. I kinda hate regular ice cubes b/c they melt and then your drink is watery. Yuck. And that's where my inspiration has ended. I just make a simple drink with my juice cubes, kefir, a splash of juice, & maybe just a dash of sugar. I don't really like it. It doesn't especially taste good. I'm sure I should branch out by adding some frozen berries. I bought some the other night I just can't decide if raspberries would go well with apple juice?
As far as whether or not the kefir is keeping me healthy, I guess so. I haven't been sick yet (thank God!). And with the way the flu is seeming to circulate this year, I am extremely grateful I haven't gotten it. An additional unexpected benefit of the kefir is that it seems to help keep my stomach working better. I won't elaborate, but it does seem to be beneficial.
I am still accepting suggestions regarding how to get the stuff down my throat - bring on any smoothie suggestions!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Works of God Monday

My last post was all about my crazy hectic schedule & I have to admit that I seriously wondered how I was going to get through all those hours of work. To recap, I worked 10 days in a row and I worked 3 fourteen hours days in a row. I was dreading it with every fiber of my being. I was afraid I would come down with some sort of illness (it always seems to strike when I am stressed). I was worried I would be too beat to enjoy my trip to Nashville, TN to visit Christy, Steph, & Rachel. I was worried. I was afraid. I was anxious.
And every morning my Lord met me at my bedside. I received grace & strength from Him to make it through each of those work days. And I didn't plod along, barely holding my head up. I was joyful; I handled difficult tasks with a smile; I was able to drive for hours without going to sleep at the wheel.
One of the friends in our group that usually makes our little reunions is Adele. I was thinking of her on Monday morning & how I would miss her this year. She was unable to join us due to the responsibilities of deputation as they prepare to go to the mission field of Slovakia. One of Dellie's favorite hymns is "Day By Day." As I thought of her the words to that hymn flooded my mind - especially the line that says, " thy days thy strength shall be in measure." That thought set the tone for the rough work days. As the hours ticked by I was reminded of truths that I already knew well (but needed to be reminded of). The Lord has never left me alone. He has never left me without the strength for the task that lies before me. I can never praise Him enough for the way He cares for me.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Are You Kidding Me???

Oops...I think that might have been my expression when I checked the schedule at my second job last Friday night. The work week there runs Sunday through Monday. I didn't have to report for duty last week until Friday night. I knew I was supposed to work Saturday and that was going to be my 11 hours for the week (5 1/2 on Friday night & 5 1/2 on Saturday morning). Wrong! I was scheduled a full eight hour day on Saturday. Ugh, but you know, I can roll with it was what I thought. Then I looked a little lower on the bulletin board for the next week's schedule. Major angry frowny face took over my visage at that point. I was on the schedule for Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, AND Wednesday. Six hours on Sunday plus 5 1/2 hours on Monday through Wednesday = 22 1/2 hours! That is just a little more than the 11 hours per week that my manager & I had agreed upon as the hours I would work. Ugh, ugh, double ugh!
One of the other pharmacy techs decided she would take a vacation this week. Plus our pharmacy manager is on vacation which means that we will be using floater pharmacists all week so there can be no scrimping on technician coverage. We only have two part-time techs including me. The other part-timer is a college student & she is 'overloaded' with assignments this week. So I get to tote the load! Today is my first of three 14 hour days and day #8 without a day off. *sigh* Do you feel sorry for me yet? 'Cause there's one more thing! At my full-time job my boss is on vacation, too. So the other pharmacist is covering all the hours - open to close, Monday through Friday - and he tends to get a bit grumpy, too. It's been all sunshine here today, let me tell you!
The bright spot in my week - Thursday Steph & I take off for Tennessee to get together with Christy & Rachel (college buddies). I'm very sad to leave Mike, especially since I will hardly get to see him for the next three days. It will be wonderful to catch up with the girls, though. And I'm so grateful my husband understands that.
How is your week shaping up? Anybody doing anything fun or fall-ish? It's a beautiful, crisp autumn day here with the leaves just starting to look colorful...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ok, so me sitting at my desk doesn't look exactly like this pic, but it's kinda close. Instead of tea, I've got some coffee. Instead of having my hair up in a bun, it's tucked under a baseball cap. Yep, it was one of those kinds of mornings. A little crazy, a little hurried, a little TOO MUCH, if you know what I mean.

And so now I'm sitting at my desk. The rush of the second run is over & I've gotten my office work taken care of. I am kind of just waiting for the fax machine to spit something out or for the phone to ring. *sigh* Yeah, it just rang & we have an add on dose! Something tells me that it could take a very long time for 3pm to roll around.

An additional 'yippee!' for today is that I have been chosen for a random drug test. Another coworker was also chosen & he left almost two hours ago & he is still not back. I anticipate sitting in a clinic waiting room for hours today. Surrounded by sick people in the worst case scenario. Let's just say I'm not looking forward to it. At all.

Did I mention that it's cold & raining, too? *sob*

I'm full of bright, cheerful thoughts today, aren't I?

Sooo...let's have some happy thoughts.

I don't have to work my second job this week until Friday & Saturday.'s almost like having the week off!

We had a SUPER weekend with our little festivals to visit & yummy food. Mike & I got to spend all day Saturday & Sunday together. It was great! A more complete post & maybe even some pics to follow soon!

Mike & I are going to have a friend (& possibly her boyfriend) over for dinner on Thursday evening. Such a fun thing to look forward to, plan for, & a much more motivating/fun reason to clean the house.

I got to go running yesterday. It was HARD!!! I had to take a break between mile one and mile two, but it was great to be hitting the track again.

Well, my coworker just got back so I guess I'm up for the drug testing fun.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Another Half Day!

Woot! Woot! I'm leaving work early!!!
I'm bumming out at 11:00 (only 46 minutes to go!) b/c I'm meeting up with my college friend, Erin today. I haven't seen her since last fall, so we have LOTS to catch up on. I've got my laptop equipped with wedding pics, her giveaway prizes, & a full tank of gas. We are both traveling about an hour to meet up in a town that we don't really know. I have been there several times b/c there is a hospital there that we occasionally deliver to. So I know where the hospital, a truck stop & a Starbucks are located. We should be fine! :-)

As far as other weekend activities are concerned - it's gonna be great! I sometimes struggle with fall, even with all of its beauty, b/c I know winter is coming. This year has been even harder b/c I feel like I kind of missed summer - the temps were cooler here, the wedding took a ton of time that I could have been outside, etc. So I'm trying to remind myself about all the fun & super interesting fall festivals that take place this time of year. Mike & I are hitting one tomorrow in a little town where he spent a lot of time as a child. I'm excited to see his 'old stomping grounds'. Then Sunday afternoon we are meeting up with my family to go to a park where they have a pioneer village all set up. We have gone to this little festival every year for as long as I can remember & it will be Mike's first time. Here's hoping for some warm sunshine to shine down on us!

What are your weekend plans? Anything fun or adventurous?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

NOT What I Meant!

Facebook is a dangerous playground for me to play in. I get on there & I just get overstimulated. It doesn't help that I only log in every month or so. The screen is covered with stuff & people are trying to chat with me & I just get a little skitzy, if you know what I mean.
Last night I committed a facebook no-no. I was chatting with three different people, talking to Mike (in real life), texting a friend on my phone & trying to change my status all at the same time. I thought the status thing automatically read, "Mary Ann IS..." However, it only reads "Mary Ann..." It doesn't seem like a big deal, does it? I typed in "wanting to hear some good news - anybody??" Meaning: I would love for someone to tell me some good news!
I was assuming everyone would read the sentence, "Mary Ann is wanting to hear some good news - anybody?" Instead it read, "Mary Ann wanting to hear some good news - anybody?" like I had some special wonderful tidbit of joy to pass on.
Well, we will just say that a lot of people misunderstood my meaning. I got a couple of phone calls. I got a lot of emails. It's just embarrassing. I don't have any good news to share. I am a false advertiser of good news. Except of course the Good News of the Gospel. If you have any questions about THAT, please do email, call, text, etc. I'd be happy to chat.


Last night I had Mike draw a name out of a hat (and yes, he was rolling his eyes the whole time) to determine who would be the winner of my first ever GIVEAWAY!

And I am pleased to announce that the winner is...

Which is totally sweet because I am actually going to get to see her tomorrow - haven't seen her in a year so this visit is much overdue.
Thank you all for participating. It has been so fun to interact in bloggy world. Aunt Ruth, I'm super proud of you for learning to comment (finally!). :-)