Friendships

Isn’t it funny how friendships change over time? When you are young, it’s about how many friends you have and if they are in the “right” group. In our late teens and early twenties we worried about how many Facebook friends we had. We worried about who exactly these friends were and if they were of the right type of people. We would make sure to take pictures with the “right” kinds of friends and “forget” to take pictures with those who we really loved, those we thought society wouldn’t approve of. As we age, we come to learn truths about life. That friendships are not group en devours. Yes, you can have a really great friend group, but those life changing friendships happen between individuals. As you age you let go those friends who seemed so cool, but really only made you feel bad about yourself. You stop caring what your friends look like, and only focus on who they are and how they make you feel. You feel happiness because you’ve learned to accept anyone into your life who makes it better, and kick anyone else out who doesn’t. There is a slight remorse about all those friends you let slip past you, not “cool” enough at the time. You wonder how those friendships would be now if only you weren’t so bitchy and didn’t care so much about what “others” thought at the time. At twenty something you are grateful for those things you have learned about true friendship and hope you are able to keep it up; maintain those that you already have and be fearless in making new ones.

Mint.com, Budgets, and Meal Planning

In preparing to try to have a baby this fall, my husband and I wanted to seriously sit down and look at our finances. I fell in love with the site Mint.com. It automatically takes all our financial info from all our accounts and puts it together on one page. It also has great graphics and easy to use interface. The first month we just lived life and let Mint.com track how much we spent on various different things (groceries, home goods, debt, going out, etc. . .) We learned that we LOVE going out to eat and easily identified areas that we could try to cut back on to save money. We set our goals and were happy.

 

It’s the end of month two and while we set goals, we didn’t meet most of them. We did manage to spend ZERO dollars on ATM fees (yay) but spent just as much on going out as we had the month before even though we were putting a conscious effort into not doing so. Blah. To try to correct this for next month, I am going to attempt to try a very grown up thing, meal planning (gasp). I’ve always thought the idea of meal planning sounded silly, but I now see it’s merit. It seems like it’ll be a great tool to not waste food and to avoid those dreaded sentences, “What are we having for dinner? Let’s just get take-out.”

The positive thing though is that even though we didn’t meet our goals, we have plenty of money to work with if we could only have better discipline. My mind excites with the possibilities of what we could do with all that money if it wasn’t being spent on Chipotle and Red Robin. Here’s to hoping we meet some of our goals next month!!

 

What are your favorite meal planning sites or ideas? I’d also love any tips to sticking to a budget!

Hosting the Holidays

This year I decided to give my husband his greatest holiday wish, the wish he couldn’t help but gripe about each year. We hosted Thanksgiving AND Christmas at our home. That’s right folks, we cooked a turkey AND a ham in our very own oven with no help from the folks. They didn’t think we could do it, I knew we could.

Holidays were typically spent deciding whose family we’d dread less (typically mine), travelling to places we’d rather not go and eating food we’d rather not eat. He rarely, okay never, wanted to spend the holidays with his family (they are all little balls of hate and anger, Merry Fucking Christmas right?!) and I then felt an obligation to spend the holiday with my family if we weren’t spending it with his. It sounded crazy to not go to someone’s family’s house, who does that? Drug addicts, musicians, and people in prison must be the only ones who don’t go to the obligatory holiday dinner right? One Christmas we pulled out the big guns and lied (gasp) to each of our families saying we were with the other. That Christmas we enjoyed a great dinner at Sherri’s bar with our friends and few other secretly free souls. Each year he’d ask to just stay home, host dinner at our home, and each year I said no.

It’s not that I didn’t want to cook, we love cooking together. It’s not that I didn’t want to have people over, I love entertaining. Truthfully I’m not sure why I didn’t want to do it. Maybe I felt some pressure as to who to invite, no side of our families ever get together (his mom, my dad, my mom, three separate families). Maybe I didn’t feel grown up enough. Maybe I cared too much about what other people thought, I tend to do this. No matter the reason, I decided to give him his wish and we committed to hosting both big holidays. We invited all of our families to each event, went shopping for large hunks of meat to be put in the oven for an obnoxious amount of hours and then relaxed.

Hosting was less stressful and more fulfilling than I thought it would be. It was lovely to be in our home for the holidays, how comforting and enjoyable to no longer a guest in someone else’s house. It was even more lovely to eat deliciously prepared, real food instead of the frozen food my grandmother is akin to serving in her old age or the “ham” from the deli section of Walmart my mother says she enjoys. But what was most lovely was that I felt so much that I was celebrating with my family, my husband and myself and whoever else wanted to join. This was a great feeling and I’m glad I could feel this before we bring kiddos into this family. I’ve been becoming more and more of myself outside of my family (isn’t this one of the biggest achievements of your 20’s) and ripping off that holiday bandage was so freeing. I was reminded yet again, that I can do what I want, feel how I want, and enjoy life my way, no longer burdened by my past or family’s expectations.

It was also great to see the surprised look of relief on our families faces when they ate the food they had yet to believe we could actually cook well and although I learned lessons about independence, image of self, blah blah blah, the best part of hosting holidays is all the leftovers you get to keep and enjoy, haha!

Age: 26

I’m 26. That’s a weird age. I’m still in my twenties, still classified as young on the spectrum on human life. I graduated college four years ago, far from all night parties and constant junk food, but still far from doing my own canning and gardening. I do not yet have children, but I am married. 26 is a year where you are pretty confident you have figured out who you are, but also can’t ignore that nagging suspicion that you really have no fucking idea. A year where you can now see the rest of your life as stages of progression and no longer divide life simple into college and after-college. You probably have a stable enough career and possibly a marriage that allows you to start planning for the future. You’re talking about what types of cars would be the safest for your un-conceived children. Looking at various savings options no longer sounds dorky to you. You are now caring for things in the best way possible is good, but feel little consequence yet for living in an unhealthy manner; you’re impacting no-one else yet and youth is still concealing your future state of health. Learning how to nurture both your body and your home becomes top priority. I feel this is the prime time to start gaining some better habits before the chaos of a family impact my life, before my decisions affect not only myself but also my offspring.This is my week one of getting ready for real adult-hood. Here is to me becoming Fun, Frugal, Fit and Family Friendly https://discoverwandering.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/starting-the-fun-frugal-fit-family-friendly-leg-of-this-race/

How to Not be an Annoying, Fucking Intern

I am a teacher at a private school. Our model is much different than public school so we hire certified teachers as interns so that they can learn our model and the administration can see if they would be successful as a teacher at our school before they have the responsibility of having their own classroom. We started this program last year and I have had a few interns in my classroom. One of them I loved and is now a great teacher at our school. One was a crazy person who said they would give a student a tracheotomy with a pencil. For obvious reasons, she no longer works at our school. We currently have an intern and she is really fucking annoying. I have come up with the below list to help interns of any kind make sure their internship is successful and to help them prevent becoming an annoying, fucking intern.

1. You are an intern. Interns are generally hired to learn because they do not yet have the skill set to get a real job. Because you are an intern and are not yet a real employee, you should do as The Rock says;       

No one yet cares about your opinions. Do not argue with the person training you. They know more than you do and even if they don’t, they probably have the power to determine your fate at the company so shut up you stupid asshole.

2. Understand personal boundaries and prove you have manners. It would be wise to ask permission before just taking things off of other people’s desk. Manners were invited quite a while ago, probably like 100 years ago or something, but in case you missed the lecture on not touching other people’s shit, here is a public service announcement to help illustrate the point.

http://www.collegehumor.com/video/6415066/dont-touch-my-shit-with-leighton-meester

3. Try not to be so horribly awkward with your body movements. If you move like a weird dinosaur with joint problems and fling your head, neck, and limbs around like you don’t have bones, people will not want to work with you. In you are unsure of how to properly move your body, you should enroll in a Victorian etiquette class and practice walking with a book on your head or maybe watch some more Honey Boo Boo because those pageant girls sure are graceful. 

4. Know what career you have entered and discuss your life accordingly. For example, if you have decided to become a teacher, a job where your duties involve the safety and growth of children, it is unwise to share stories about how you leave your own child in the car for hours while grocery shopping and use Benadryl quite frequently to sedate your child who won’t stop wanting to play with you. Oh, it’s also not as hilarious as you think it is that your child has gotten kicked out of 5 preschools. Understand the skills required for your chosen career and try not to discuss how horrible you are at demonstrating those skills.

5. Take an IQ test and understand how smart you are. After the test, you will know if you are an idiot or not. If you are an idiot, it’s ok, idiots can be successful too. You just need to work really hard, understanding that most people are smarter than you, and trust those much smarter people to guide you. If you are not an idiot, congratulations!! You will probably go far in your chosen career path and will be chosen to help guide many stupid idiots. Way to go you!

 

Those are the top five things you should do if you do not want to be a annoying, fucking intern.

What a Painting Class Taught Me about Birds, Independence, and Motherly Love

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My Creation Inspired by Birds

I have always been fiercely independent. At my best I have been described as driven and determined, at my worst selfish and cold. But it’s really just independence, nothing more. I love being around people, I just know who I am and want to walk on my own path through life. Feeling free and uninhibited by outside sources is my favorite feeling. A bird epitomizes my inner spirit. Except for the responsibility to keep themselves fed, watered, and safe, they are completely free. Able to fly away from any strife, any places unsuitable for happiness.  Except for my job and husband, I am completely free and loving the lack of burden that this time in my life is allowing me. Yet I still envy those swallows. Riding the wind without having to answer or ask permission from any other creature and seeing the world away from all the clutter of modern life.

My mother and I have definitely had our ups and downs. Mostly because of my independence and not wanting to be told how to live and my mother’s desire to mother and guide me. Now that we are both a little older, we have forgiven all of the past and now just enjoy rebuilding our relationship and spending time together. I allow her to be a doting mother and she allows me my space. In honor of our new relationship, I took my mom to a painting class for Mother’s Day. She loves crafting of all kinds and I am always fond of the idea of giving memories rather than things for gifts. We could share our interest in art and spend some good ole’ mother/daughter time together.

I loved the feeling of the building as soon as we got there. The studio was in an old building in downtown Tacoma that had been turned into lots of little shops. There was a candy store, a book store, and an antique shop just to name a few. I loved the community energy of the place and the feeling that this place was different, definitely not a mall or a Target.  The art teacher at Blue Octopus Gallery http://www.theblueoctopus.com/ had many inspiration pieces out for the students to copy. I spent awhile trying to decide what to copy. Then I felt a sudden energy and knew I wanted to create something of my own that mimicked the inner feeling of the moment. I have just recently moved into a new apartment and was still putting together my decorative scheme. I remembered a blue ceramic piece that was sitting in my living room. A bird. This was the perfect representation of who I was, especially in my mother’s eyes, and reflected the connection to nature I have always felt and wanted to bring into my home.  I felt this ceramic bird in my living room was symbolizing how I was feeling at this place in my life. Freedom. Liberty. Self-Reliance.

Painting with my mother allowed me to calm my restless wings for awhile. Ironically my mother chose to also paint a bird. A flamingo. A bird much more comfortable living in groups, surrounded by the safety and comfort in numbers. It was encouraging seeing her determination in painting the difficult aspects of her flamingo. Allowing her to give me tips and techniques was nourishing to our relationship. After the class, I felt closer with my mom. I felt fulfilled as a creator. I felt in-tune with that deep, down, inner part of myself that only truly comes out when in the deepest most meaningful experiences. I felt closer to learning how to be both independent and connected.

Magic Mike

Last weekend, we had girls night! It started with dinner and drinks and then, like any good heterosexual women, we headed to see the good ole’ stripper movie “Magic Mike“. I’ve never thought Channing Tatum was attractive. I’ve always thought  he  had a rather, well, um. . . special looking face. Ok, ok, that makes me sound horribly un-kind and I know I’m in the minority, but it is what I think! His character in “The Vow” was super sweet and I thought “21 Jump Street” was hilarious, but I have never understood why he is considered a heart throb.  But I couldn’t turn down a night with the gals so I tagged along. We love the theater near us because they have red leather, automatically reclining seats. So comfy!

As you can see behind us, the crowd was FULL of women. There was only one poor man in the entire theater whose girlfriend had dragged him to the theater. Ladies, do not I repeat DO NOT, make your boyfriend or husband watch this movie with you. They will hate it and you’ll be super uncomfortable! The man left for almost half of the movie, poor fellow. If you don’t have friends or friends who like strippers then you can just come by yourself. We had a seventy-something women sitting in our row who did just that. Way to go her!

The movie was really anything but magical. While Channing Tatum has a killer body, do you see how I didn’t say hot face, and is an incredible dancer, I was hoping for more from the story line. At first, it seemed like it was going to be a sweet romantic stripper movie (silly me for thinking this existed right). A stripper who desires to be a custom furniture maker meets the right girl and changes his life around. Sounds sweet right? Nope. The story line was horribly undeveloped and was disappointing as it really had the potential to be so much deeper. Nevertheless, it was a fun girls night and while I wouldn’t recommend it as a classical movie, it is a great movie to see with friends. Overall, a horribly fun movie, pun intended.