Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

Muse-ic Mondays

There are few things that satisfy me more than coming across a new song that stops me in my tracks. I described this on Facebook as a song that makes me catch my breath then sink into a soulful stupor. I miss music. I miss singing and spending a large chunk of my life at live shows. I have (slowly) been growing more content with a simpler life, which includes buying less music and attending less concerts. I admit, this is painful at times. However, through the self control of not buying any album that catches my eye, I have found joy in finding "that song". A song that inspires me, a song that momentarily changes my environment, be it blurring out the madness or enhancing the beauty of my surroundings. Limiting what I can buy has helped me hone the ability to seek out something more beautiful. I find this inspiration online, through friends, stopping to observe people playing for free in the parks, or often scoring my favorite shows & films. My iTunes is slowly becoming reliable when I turn shuffle on... I'm sure some of you understand what that means. :)

My most recent find is Laura Izibor, a 22 year old powerhouse from Dublin, Ireland. Her music is beautiful. Just listening to her makes me want to go be creative, pronto. She is currently guest starring on One Tree Hill, and I assume she will be the next artist picked up on the fictional record label of the show. OTH is not known for being the highest quality show on tv (which doesn't stop me from loving it), but I would have to say I respect it's use of music more than any other show I have seen. If you are looking for good music, just check out:

To see her performance of this song on the show, I have also posted the following:

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Food Coma

In addition to this lunch, this weekend has given me the opportunity to consume:

(but with Butternut Squash Ravioli, since we couldn't find any of the pumpkin variety)

Also, tonight we made Spaghetti with Shrimp & freshly made pesto, as well as homemade Pecan Pie ala mode.

My belly is happy. Yum.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Decisions, decisions

I have been asked by many people how it feels to be 29. Did I freak out? Not so much. Did I feel old? In the big picture, I'm not even close. The best answer I can come up with is that I felt ready. Ready for what, specifically, I still can't answer satisfyingly.

I am ready for change. I am ready to focus. I am ready to talk about when I want a family (though not nearly ready to have one). My biggest push, which covers all of the above, is that I am ready to think about what I want to do with my life, and how to best accomplish that. I am vague, I float, I have many interests. Therefore, being ready to make a choice is both liberating and terrifying. Yes, liberating might sound like a strange word to describe an outlook on life that is more open/free, but I find it can be a trap. Without focus, I have limited my potential, which becomes glaringly obvious every time I need to find new work and must start from scratch. However, I feel I am working towards a happy balance. I am teetering on options that will both provide me with a career, but keep my options open to wherever life takes us. I love my job now, but a nanny is not a career. These adorable girls will get older, the need for me will diminish. While this position has been wonderful, I know that I need to take steps forward now so I will be ready when this season ends. Thankfully, it is a job that is flexible enough for me to work towards another career while I continue as a nanny. I am blessed for that.

Here is my dilemma... which path to take?

1. Enroll in a nursing program to become an RN. This is an idea that has danced within my subconscious for many years. I have been drawn to the idea of the job but never thought that an opportunity would arise. With James in school, it didn't make sense to even approach the idea. After my first surgery, as I was job hunting, I began to peruse the courses I would need to take. I finally mentioned my thoughts to James, and he was in full support of the idea. I enrolled in my first prerequisite and emerged with a nearly perfect score. There was a sense of pride, a joy in learning something that could make a difference. My interest grew stronger.

Pros: In many ways, this is a safe bet. School, certificate, job. This field has a demand, there is stability, the pay is solid. My hope would be to eventually work within Pediatrics. I love children, I am good with them, and I feel it would be a place that I could serve others. I see a deep need for nurses who care, and I have been told that is a common problem. For the future, there are also many positives. When James and I finally do start a family, schedules are flexible. The benefits are fabulous. There are many avenues within nursing. I could use my knowledge and skills in so many different positions; hospitals, schools, private practices, etc. Our future locations are uncertain given both James's future as a Professor and our desire to work overseas. Nursing would give me opportunities both locally and abroad. I would know where to look, and I could stick with this job (however it manifests) until I retire, should I want that. It just makes sense.

Cons: Starting from scratch is scary. That is simple. I worry about entering into a program and investing my money without knowing how I will perform. I worry that i will struggle emotionally with the position as I can be far too empathetic. I am not sure if my fear of needles will hinder me. It figures that literally nothing makes me squirmy (vomit, bodily fluids, disease, etc), but one tiny needle can make my heart pound. Perhaps I will get past it... perhaps it will be my achilles heel. I have always struggled with my health and while that helps me understand patients, I also worry how well I would hold up against the germs. All what ifs', I know. Silly as it is, my biggest fear is the regret of turning down my other option.

2. I have considered going full-time with my photography. That has obviously been a desire for years. I feel that I have come into my own over the last few years, but I can't progress any further unless I take the plunge. I know what my limitations are, and going full time would free me up to push further. I have found a few small business courses. I have found workshops to attend. The idea excites me.

Pros: This is something I know. I could love it. I have experience, and I'm pretty good at it. I feel with some education I could be... legitimate. The investment would be large, but potentially so would the pay off. I would be my own boss and not deal with much of the BS that I find in most jobs. I could fully tap my creative side and fewer things bring me more joy. I technically could do photography anywhere. My schedule would be completely flexible. In the future, with a family, it would smoothly line up with the schedule of a professor.

Cons: Starting a business is not safe. It is a lot of money to invest without knowing how it will come back. I would enjoy learning more about my passion, but likely never get to learn another one. Transitioning to another city/state/country would not be impossible, but it would be very difficult. It would be completely irresponsible to invest that much money into something unstable before James is finished with school and has his own steady job.

My main concern is that I do not want to romanticize these choices. I have more people tell me to go with photography, but that tends to come from the more "sparkly" perspective. It's trendy, it's artsy, and I would get a lot of great toys. Trust me, that appeals to me, but I want to leave that out of the mix. I think both are important, both can be fulfilling. Frankly, I know that I may not have to choose. I could easily do nursing now, and go back to photography full time in the future, when I have learned a new skill and I am financially more stable. It would not be so easy to do both the other way around. Realistically, if I had a thriving photo business, I don't see myself going back to school. So I ask myself, do I take advantage of this opportunity to learn now something new and valuable now, or do I pass it in order to build my current talents sooner? Will I regret benching my creative side for the time being? On the flip side, would I deeply regret missing my chance to learn something new while I still had the time/means?

Truthfully, I think I already know the answer. I just needed to talk it out.

Grrr. Sigh. Etc.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Music Mondays - guest DJ

I am ssuuuuuuuper excited to tell you that, thanks to my mom, I have taken on a job/been given a gift that has payed for a flight to Virginia Beach next month! Woooohooooo! I am very excited to spend a weekend with my friend Jessica. We will chill. We will cook. We will drive to Wilmington and indulge the giddy teen inside of us. Also, I'm sure we will listen to A LOT of good music. Jessica shares my deep and eclectic love of music, so in honor of the good news, I have asked her to choose today's Music Monday tune. Jessica loves this song because of it's funky vibe, and recommends playing it while making something delicious in the kitchen. Don't mind if I do!

In other fantabulous news, my trip to the Doctor this afternoon was quite successful. My splint has been removed, I get to wear my boot, and I have started 25% weight bearing. I will be building upon that over the next few weeks. My next appt is on November 15, and at that point I should be cleared to walk without crutches and start my strengthening exercises!

Today and got to gimp around and enjoy the crisp, fresh, autumn air. It was well with my soul.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Will work for sanity!

Yes... I'm too tired (in everyway) to even retype this, so I'm posting a screen shot:

Life is hard. I'm totally willing to make yours easier... for a small sum. :)
Donations are also accepted. But why not get something out of it?? ;)

(Keep Briana Sane)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

To Sir with Love

For those who don't know me well, they might find it odd that my most loved and excessively used nickname for James is something as formal as "Sir". It is typically spoken with a slight lisp and a very large grin. I myself thought is was one of the more random habits to have surfaced, until the fateful day I revisited this video:

Again, for those who do not know me well, I would like to clarify I do not find my husband akin to Rasputin. I just really really love Bartok the bat. I quoted him a lot in college and it brought me great joy. Upon making this connection, I realized my calling him Sir meant that I was so happy, I brought out one of my favorite quotes without even being aware of it. This makes me smile. :) It also tempted me to respond to misunderstandings with "oh sure, blame the bat, what the heck", but I think I will hold off on that for now. ha!

For our one year anniversary, James bought a journal for us each to update every year. It is where we write it all down. The better and the worse, our hopes and our fears. We are only a few years in, but already I enjoy reading through our yearly expressions and seeing how things have change, how we have grown. I am a bit behind this year with everything that has happened, so I have been thrilled to have this time where I am forced to rest. I have sat, focused, reflecting, and enjoying every moment of it. I realized as important as it is to write the thoughts for each other, I don't always want to stop there. I have been reminded lately how much I cherish what I have with James, and how rare that has become. I would like to take a moment to say publicly what I say at home everyday... I love James, more than anyone or anything in this world.

I love that James is my family. For me, the word family has mostly been laced with pain and bitterness. When we got married, I breathed a sigh of relief that WE were a family, and for once that word was so sweet. Our home is a place where each is safe; safe to love, safe to struggle, safe to be imperfect, and safe to trust the other to redirect when needed. Though our attempts are nowhere near perfect, we try to remember to put each other first instead of fighting for what we want ourselves. That simple question of "how can I serve this person" is not how we are naturally geared, but the more natural that comes, the less headache comes with it. :) I love knowing that James is here. He is present. I love that we can have our own traditions. I love that he is not afraid to break off from his old life and make our family OURS. I love that we each play our own roles within our marriage, and that we are learning how to respect and value those roles equally. I love that I don't like sleeping without him there next to me. I am excited for our family to grow... even though I don't want that for a little while longer ;) ha.

I love that James is my best friend. I love that he encompasses those things that are the most important to me within friendship. Honesty, open communication (even if it's awkward), support, and accountability. I love that he can make me laugh, really hard, and consistently. I love that there is not a thing in the world that I can't tell him. I appreciate that he knows when I am being silly just to make him shake his head at me... and promptly shakes it with a straight mouth but a glint in his eye. I love that we can dance like muppets around the kitchen. I love that he doesn't let me win any game we play AND that he is not a sore loser considering how often I kick his trash at scrabble. I love that I can sit in silence with him in the car, for an hour, and feel at peace. I love that he lets me dream while he keeps his feet on the ground, and I love that with that balance we can make those dreams come true.

I love that James his own person... and that I have remained mine. Naturally marriage changes people, there are traits within each of us now that older friends are not sure what to do with.... and I'm perfectly ok with that. However, we still know who we are. I enjoy that we can take trips solo, indulge in separate hobbies, and essentially hold on the IMPORTANT pieces of ourselves from our past. You know, those things that drew us together in the first place? ;) I love that we can disagree. I love that after all these years we can debate, get flustered, and hold on strong to our differing opinions... and then give each other a kiss. I like that I can tell him to stop being a turd, he can tell me stop being so sensitive, and we know we will each still stubbornly be ourselves... but try to ease up a little. I love that we have balance. It's what makes us successful in many ways. We can be our own people while still respecting what we have together. We can respect our separate interests while keeping our life together the main priority. I am beyond blessed for that.

I love that James is a good man. I am beyond blessed to be married to someone as honorable as him. James is honest. If integrity could ooze out of someone, I would recommend a good majority of the world to come touch him and hope it rubbed off. He is hard working, and that word almost doesn't do him justice. James has one of the most respectable work ethics I have ever seen. He comes across harsh to many, even myself at times. A practical man, he is characteristically calm and matter-of-fact. There are times this drives me bonkers... then I remember it's just what I need when I am in a fury of passion or sentiment. I love that James has mature priorities, and I love even more that he sticks to them. He is responsible. He has taught me so much. I love that he is tender, but reserves that for those who deserve it. He is choosy with who he lets into his life, and he protects me from those who have not deserved their place in mine. I love that he is confident, but not above reproach. I love that he doesn't put up with bullshit. I love that I need to stop myself here or I will go on forever.

I love James. I just figured it was time to let you all know what I meant when I said that. :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Oops... I did it again

I had a very believable dream dream that I blogged, so I completely forgot to update. Wooooops. :)

I have so much to update. The last of my VERY late "what I did this summer" stories, surgery updates, etc. I have a few things to do, but I'll be back throughout the week!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Music Monday- Legs & loves

Thanks to Jen and my lame leg, I was able to enjoy one last game at Fenway this weekend. The fact that it was closing day, sox/yankees, and the sox WON, made it that much sweeter. I enjoyed hearing this song one last time as Papelbon walked out to close the game and bring the sox a much welcomed/celebrated victory.

I was stuck between this and Dirty Water, but I realized that being the week of my surgery I needed to include that song that best summed up EVERYTHING... so the lyrics "I lost my leg" naturally won over. Lastly, the clips of Boston in this video make me happy. I love Boston. As confirmed while watching The Town this week, after just over 1 year living here, I am so in love with this city that I am proud and giddy when I see it get the love and attention it deserves.