25 August 2014

Happy New Year!

Yes, yes, yes - I know, it's not January 1.  But for those of you who work in education, you know that the year really begins with the start of the fall term.  Today was the first day of classes at the institution where I work.  Also, the institution where I am finishing my dissertation.  Also, all of the school districts in the DFW area.  Back to school today for everyone.  It's been awhile, I haven't written, I've totally slacked off in this area.  I'm going to try to be better about writing going forward, but I can't make any promises.  So what's been going on?

1.  I successfully defended my dissertation proposal and I should be defending the full dissertation in late October.  Yikes!  I'm almost done.  I can't believe.  I still have a list of things to do to be finished, but I'm getting there.

2.  Getting more settled in my job.  I love my job.  I started last November at my new institution.  It's challenging and rewarding and I really like going to work every day.  Even now, when it's been so crazy busy and I'm trying to keep my head above water.  I love it.

3.  Entertained and traveled.  My parents, sister, niece, brother, and soon to be sister-in-law came to visit in May.  In June I hopped a plane and went home.  Both trips were fun.  I always wish I have more time and this time was no exception.

4.  Dated somebody.  And now it's over.  I mentioned some of our dates on facebook but I didn't give too much detail.  It's over now though and I feel okay talking about it.  I'm the one who decided to end it after all.  I don't think we were destined for long term anyway.  He wants kids, I don't.  Right there is a big red flag in terms of compatibility.  But I wasn't the one who needed to get moving in that direction, since my plan is to not have kids.  That wasn't the issue that made me re-evaluate where we were headed.  We had very different ideas about other things that we agreed were not conducive to a long term relationship so we parted amicably.  It was sad and I was disappointed, but because I'm not brokenhearted I know I made the right choice there. 

5.  I'm getting ready for my trip to Hawaii.  Yes - Hawaii!  Squee!!!!  I cannot even begin to describe how excited I am for this trip.  I booked a day trip to explore the island including stops at Pearl Harbor, the cultural center, and the Dole plantation.  Pineapples for everyone!  I also booked my luau dinner experience.  i have activities planned, but I also plan on spending plenty of time on the beach, relaxing and soaking up the sun.

6.  Ohio State vs. Michigan.  I hit the lottery - well, the alumni ticket lottery at any rate.  I've managed to land tickets to the OSU/Michigan game in November.  But it's Thanksgiving weekend and flights are outrageously expensive.  So I'm on the fence about going.  I know!  It's Ohio State/Michigan!  I need to go.  I'm so torn.

7.  My Weight Loss.  I'm down another few pounds.  I had plateaued for awhile so I decided to go back to Weight Watcher to help me with the last 15-20 pounds that I want to lose.  It's working, I've lost almost 5 pounds since I started back a couple of weeks ago.  I'm fine where I'm at, but I want to lose just a little bit more.  When I started this weight loss surgery journey 18 months ago I never had a number in mind - a final goal weight if you will.  What I did have in mind was a size.  For me, that's a size 12.  I'm currently a 14, so I'm almost there.  That last 15-20 pounds should get me there.

Here's to a new year! 

15 June 2014

I Go Back

Fifteen years ago I graduated from college.  I happened on Fairfield University completely by accident, but the moment I stepped on campus, I just knew.  I knew it in my bones that Fairfield was where I needed to go.  I had an amazing four years there.  I met some wonderful people and made friends for life.  This June was my fifteen year reunion.  There were some notable absences (Mary & Erin you were missed!!!), but it was fun weekend and it was so easy to slip into conversation with the people I went to school with.  Campus has changed a bit since I graduated, but it is still one of the prettiest campuses I have ever seen, and you all know that I have seen many many college campuses.  

 It was a jam-packed trip home that weekend.  I flew into Boston on Thursday and took the train down to Providence.  That night my sister and I had dinner with my best friend, Michaela.  We're all June babies, so we went out to celebrate - sans kids.  Adult beverages were consumed and we had a great time.  Friday I took off for Fairfield.  I was excited for reunion, but I also had some other people I wanted to meet.  Going back to my NEACURH days, I met a young man named Will Johnson my sophomore year of college.  He was a student at Northeastern and the president of their Resident Student Association. I met him through Kyle, who was the NEACURH director at the time.  Now I'm a tall girl, and Will has about a good 6 inches or more on me.  I remember after I won the bid to become National Chairperson.  I hadn't told anyone.  It wasn't public knowledge yet.  We were at UW LaCrosse and I saw him and the other Northeastern folks moving into their building for the conference.  I ran over to him to give him a hug and whispered that I'd won.  No word of a lie, he picked me up off the ground.  Nine years ago he started working at Fairfield so I've had the chance to check in with him from time to time.  It's always good to visit with him.  I can't believe we've come as far as we have.  So crazy!

After my visit with Will, I had lunch with Kathy.  Kathy is the mom of Bob and Lauren.  When I baby sat them, Bob was 4 and Lauren was 3.  Lauren just graduated from high school.  Sigh.  It was so great to catch up with her.  Kathy and I have corresponded through facebook but I hadn't seen her in 15 years.  Then it was on to the reunion.  We had a class event on Friday night and then a great family day outside on Saturday.  I got a little sun, of course.  They had food trucks and ice cream and music.  It was a nice way to spend the day.  I drove back to Rhode Island that evening because Sunday was shaping up to be a busy day.  Breakfast with the cousins, a visit to my dad's, lunch at mom's, dinner with friends, and then finally sleep.  For the first time on my vacation, I was able to sleep in Monday morning.  It was a nice, lazy day.  

The highlight of which was surprising this girl when I tagged along with grandma to pick her up from day care:

Tuesday was a travel day and praise the travel gods that Jet Blue was able to do a same day change and I was able to change my flight from the 7:30pm to the 1:40pm.  I was not enamored with the idea of landing back in DFW at 10:45pm and then getting up for work the next day at 5:30am.  Getting in at 5pm meant I had time to get settled and go to the grocery store before going to bed.  When I landed in DFW at 5pm, I got a notification that the flight I was originally supposed to take was not going to leave until 9:30pm.  That flight didn't end up getting in until after 1am!  Dodged a bullet on that one.  It was an action packed vacation, but a fantastic one nonetheless.  I was reminded how much charm Fairfield has.  I always love visiting.  I need to get back more (Megan, I promise it won't be 10 years before I see you again).  No more travel for awhile, not until October when I head to Hawaii...

08 December 2013

The Single Life

Dating is terrible.  And it's hard.  And tiring.  Don't get me wrong.  I love my life.  I've traveled all over the US.  I've lived in a lot of great places.  I have friends and a wonderful family.  I have a job that I really like (it's brand new, so I think it would be disingenuous to say "love").  I have a great apartment, family and friends nearby, and two sweet rescue kitties.  I'm about to finish my doctorate degree.  I have a lot to be thankful for.

I would still like to meet someone though.  And before you all jump in and say, "just wait, it'll happen in time".  Please know that I have been waiting for over a decade.  I think that's long enough to reasonably discredit that sentiment.  It doesn't always happen in time.  I've tried online dating with little to no success.  More recently I attended a match.com event.  This was actually kind of fun.  I met some nice people, painted a picture, had some wine.  I didn't meet anyone specifically at that event, but I'd definitely do it again to meet more people.  I've had less luck online only.  It's not that I don't reach out.  I'm not just waiting for guys to contact me.  The ones that do contact me do not at all meet any of the parameters I set in my profile.  I'm not being overly picky either - I promise.  The few parameters I do have - they don't meet them.  Or there are the ones like the guy who emailed me tonight who basically wanted a random hook-up.  Yeah, no.  Not going to happen.  I've had friends set me up - that hasn't really worked out either.

I will say, I can look at the bright side.  I know that I don't want to have kids so my biological clock isn't ticking and I'm staring down the barrel of the end of my child-bearing years.  I do think that my not wanting kids is limiting my dating options.  It eliminates the ones who don't have kids and definitely want them.  

There are things I'd like to do though and not be single when I do them.  I'd like to travel to Hawaii in 2014.  A gift to myself - for the weight loss and for the doctorate.  But I'd rather not go alone. 

31 October 2013

Happy Halloween

I love Halloween.  The costumes, the creepy music, the costumes, the movies - I love all of it.  My uncle introduced me to horror movies when I was a kid (it's been 30 years Uncle Chris, mom can't yell at you now).  We started with the Halloween series.  Granted, I watched most of it from behind my hands, but there is nothing quite like being deliciously scared to death, yet knowing you are completely safe at the same time.  Halloween will always be my favorite of the scary movies.  But there are plenty of others out there as well.  Here is a great montage I found on youtube.  Enjoy your Halloween and Be Safe!


Thank you all for joining me this month on my blog challenge for 31 for 21.  I didn't make it every day, but I got most of them in.  I hope you enjoyed following along.  Starting tomorrow I will be posting weight loss surgery items back on my other blog: http://nichole-myjourney.blogspot.com/.

Other items will continue to be posted here - for example, what I'm up to in Texas!  Happy Halloween all!

30 October 2013

An October Tradition

I post this video every Halloween.  It's one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite Halloween movies, The Worst Witch.  If you've never seen this movie, please do.  It's perfectly 80s and features a fun cast.  Happy Halloween All!


29 October 2013

It is a Truth Universally Acknowledged...

And so begins one of the greatest novels of all time (and my personal favorite).  First of all, thank you Mrs. Williams for requiring us to read Pride & Prejudice.  I have re-read it many times in the intervening years and it is still my favorite novel of all time.  My all time favorite adaptation is the 1995 BBC version with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth.  Swoon.  I choose to forget the Keira Knightley version exists.  No offense to Ms. Knightley, but I feel she was horribly miscast as Elizabeth.  Rosamund Pike as Jane was perfect casting, but they missed the mark with Lizzie.  Anyhow, my second favorite adaptation is the Emmy award winning Lizzie Bennet Diaries.  Have you discovered this yet?  You haven't?  Take a peek at episode 1.

And it only gets better!  Amazing cast, funny, smart, and it moves quickly.  You will not be disappointed.  I promise.  So, go watch all 100 episodes, right now.  Then come back.  Seriously, I'll wait.  

Are you back?  Did you love it?  I told you so!  Now since you loved LBD, I'm going to let you in on a secret.  The amazing people who brought you The Lizzie Bennet Diaries have started on Emma.  Welcome to Emma Approved:


And bonus?  They tell you where to find all of Emma's amazing clothes.  So if you're an Austen fan, then please, do yourself a favor and check out The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and Emma Approved.  LBD is finished - 100 episodes is all you get.  Emma just got started though and new episodes are released every Monday and Thursday at noon.

28 October 2013

Monday Day Book

I am thinking … that I can't believe I only have 2 more weeks left in Boston.

I am thankful for ... this new opportunity in Texas.  And the idea of a winter without snow.

I am reading The Widow Waltz by Sally Koslow
I am hoping …that I can get a good night's sleep tonight.  Katia decided that 3:45am was a great time to play with the moving boxes and try to peel the tape off.

On my mind ... trying to remember my keys when I leave work today.  It's not fun to get on the train and realize you don't have your pass...

I'm learning ... to pick my battles.  I have a short time left at my current position and there are things not worth causing a fuss over before I go.

Noticing that ... it's getting darker earlier. 

From the kitchen …lunch with two co-workers at Abe & Louie's.  I can vehemently recommend the Lobster Club Sandwich with the Sweet Potato Fries.  It will also be lunch for the next two days.  I will say, another perk of the surgery is that I have leftovers for days.

Around the house ... packing everything up to bring over to the storage unit this weekend so the movers can do their thing.  And once I am out, apparently downstairs becomes a play room.

One of my favorite things... Sofia the First.  Seriously, it's growing on me, along with Doc McStuffins.  I will now have both theme songs stuck in my head for the next few hours.

27 October 2013

Busy Busy Busy

Life has been crazy busy the last couple of weeks.  But we're coming up on the home stretch of the blog challenge and I am determined to post every day until Halloween.  Why so busy?  I traveled the previous two weekends.  These were trips that I had planned long before I had even considered moving back to Texas.  I'm glad I went, but the this weekend and the next two are going to be jam packed.  This weekend we had my niece's first birthday party which meant yesterday was a whirlwind of activity and I am savoring not having much to do today.  I hit the gym early and then ran to Target and CVS.  I did some cleaning around the house, paid bills, etc.  Now I am enjoying some relative quiet and down time.  Next weekend my sister and I are cleaning out my storage unit and doing some cleaning and organizing.  We also have a family party and I have Taco Night with my friends.

I've had several people ask, how has the weight loss been going?  It's going great.  I'm down another few pounds.  I am looking forward to my move to Texas and the ability to get in more than 2 workouts a week.  The only down side, and the only negative that I've had from the surgery is the hair loss.  Ugh.  I'm not going to complain too much about it as there are definitely worse things, but it's noticeable to me and I'm not feeling great about it at the moment.  Other than that, I feel really good.  Great, actually. I was hoping to not have to buy some clothes for awhile, but I've had to go out and get a couple of pairs of pants for work.  And, I had to buy one size down.  That felt pretty darn good.

Current Stats
Previous Weight: 225.2
Current Weight: 222.6

Lost: 2.6
Total pounds lost since 26 June 2013 (270):  47.4  

21 October 2013

How firm thy friendship ... OHIO!

At the gameI had the opportunity to go back to Ohio this weekend.  It was my first game since I was a Master's student back in 2000.  This was my first year as a lifetime member of the OSU Alumni Association and as such was able to participate on the Football ticket lottery.  Most who apply do get a ticket and it was my first year, so I had no expectations.  Just a few wishes.  1.  I wanted a conference game.  I didn't want my first game in over a decade to be OSU vs Ohio U and to walk away from a game where the score was 42-0.  2.  I didn't want the game to be too early in the season.  The sun and I are not very good friends and I didn't want it to be sweltering.  

Well, imagine my surprise when I got the notification that I had gotten tickets for OSU vs. Iowa.  A conference game!  And it as homecoming!  I was so excited.  It was a great game.  My friend from grad school - Jamie - came with me.  We were up pretty high, but it didn't matter.  We were part of the sea of scarlet and grey.  I've been to a Patriots game.  I've been a Pats fan my whole life and I went to my first game this year.  It was exciting and Gillette Stadium was very nice.  But there's just something about college football.  105,000+ screaming fans in the stands.  There was 1/10th of the population of my whole home state of Rhode Island in that stadium on Saturday.  

Despite the freezing cold - my hands were going numb, the game was incredible.  I had fun cheering on my beloved Buckeyes knowing that I was in the stadium with other students, alums, and fans who all wanted the same thing.  A good game and a good win. Tied up most of the time, OSU pulled away in the fourth quarter for the homecoming victory.  


18 October 2013

The Stars at Night

Are big and bright...do you know the rest?  Deep in the heart of Texas... I had decided once I moved back to Boston last year that in a few years, if the right position came up in Texas or North Carolina, I would move back to the South.  Well, that day has come sooner rather than later.  An excellent opportunity has presented itself so I am packing up and heading back to DFW.  More FW than D this time as the school I'll be working for is in Fort Worth.

This all happened very quickly and there are moments when I can scarcely believe that its happening.  Fortunately, the apartment complex that I used to live in (and loved) had a unit available, so housing is taken care of.  Where am I going to live is usually the biggest question.  This time, that was the easy part.  The difficult part (or one of them any way) was telling my current employer that I was leaving.  I really like my current job and the people I work with, so telling them was not incredibly enjoyable.  The other difficult part will be leaving my family and my super sweet niece, Rayla.  Fortunately at 11.5 months she's already a pro at Facetime.  Another bright spot - almost all of my possessions are still in storage where the movers left them when I moved last year.  So we're pretty much just reversing the process.  And all of this is happening in about 3 weeks.  3 weeks!  Crazy.  I told you this happened very quickly.  Fort Worth, here I come.