Thursday, July 24, 2014

One Year Down

Holy moly, we're coming up on our first anniversary here in Texas! I think we closed on our house like July 30th or 31st of last year. I've heard that a moving trend is as follows: the first year is terrible, the second year is a breath of fresh air and a feeling of "maybe I can do this", and by the third year you love it.

Accordingly, this first year was supposed to be terrible.

Now, rewind to my first year of marriage. How many of you all heard that the first year of marriage is the hardest? So much for well wishes and words of encouragement-- that little did bit gets thrown into the mix more often than it should! Having heard at least a thousand times how hard the first year of marriage was going to be, Yosh and I often made comments before reaching our first anniversary how we didn't know what anyone was talking about! We felt like we were nailing it and that we must be the anomaly. Can you believe we even enjoyed our first year?

But there is something- actually A LOT- to be said about perspective. A couple of our first year issues that immediately come to mind: I remember giving Yosh the silent treatment a few of those days, we fought over whether or not Yosh would come to my family reunion with me (he did come), or my mission reunion for that matter (he didn't come), and we didn't agree on curfew (Yosh loved played Halo with his buddies at their apt til 3, 4, or 5 in the morning::).) This is just my side of the issues- who knows what Yosh could add to the list. All this to say, that while in our state of "nailing it", we were doing a lot of growing and figuring out how we were going to function as a couple. We have come a long way from those days. But in the present, it was all we knew and we spent a lot of days where we were on the same page and all through the year, we still enjoyed each other's company. Our first year was far from a living hell. Please take strong note of my next comment: I hope to not have to go back to my first year of marriage. Fingers crossed this is my only marriage. Fingers crossed that Yosh and I maintain our relationship so that we're not at a crossroads where starting over is the only remedy to saving our marriage. That first year was a great building block and necessary step to be where we are now, but...been there, done that.

So, having completed our first year here in Texas and while still lacking perspective, I can honestly say it hasn't been that bad at all. In fact its' been good. Our family is thriving, I'm learning a lot about myself, I've taken good care of myself despite not being surrounded by familiar people and places, and I'm not completely depressed and ready to throw in the towel. I can also say I've met a lot of great people and have found a lot of things I genuinely enjoy and appreciate about Austin (the food and water activities.)

Would I move to SoCal if the opportunity arised?
In a heartbeat without a second thought.

I'm curious what my take will be on year one when we have a few more years under our belt.
But for now, I'm looking over the last year with a good taste in my mouth and without too many complaints.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A New Era

Sometimes I'm surprised by the things that weigh me down, the sources of my stress.
And starting a couple months ago, I've felt heavy in an area.

Kaia starts preschool three days a week in the fall, which opens up a lot of my time. While this should leave me exhaling a sigh of relief, I'm not feeling that way. To me, it sounds like extra hours to clean the house and do laundry and have a quiet house with no one to talk to. That specific routine right there….sounds like torture. In an effort to escape that type of work, I'm sure I would be much more likely to schedule tennis lessons followed by boxing classes followed by a lunch out. That sounds like a luxurious schedule, but I feel like that'd pissing my time away. I'm not a self-motivated person and I won't be productive unless held accountable and I'm not happy unless I'm at least semi-productive. So all this puts me in quite the pickle.

Although, not really. Because it's very clear to me that I want to:
a) be productive
b) be in a situation where I have accountability
c) interact with more adults
d) do something I enjoy

Realizing these intentions has been a little overwhelming. I feel like the world is mine and I'm free to do whatever my little heart desires and chase any dreams I choose. But it's interesting to broach that subject again after having laid it to rest when I decided to be a full-time stay at home mom almost ten years ago. In reopening the subject, I haven't been sure where exactly my interests were. It has been hard for to distinguish between enjoying being a consumer and desiring to be a  provider. For example, I really enjoy fitness. But does enjoying it from a consumer perspective transfer over to wanting to be a provider of that? 

So, as I thought through my options, fueled by zeroing in on things I already loved to do, I started narrowing down my list. And finally, I came to a conclusion. It is something I've always wanted to do. If I remember correctly, it's what I started saying I wanted to be right out of high school. And that is I want to be a high school teacher, specifically an English teacher. And now even more specifically, a creative writing teacher.

I still remember being five months pregnant with a Teach for America folder in my hand. I was in one of the bathrooms in an English building at BYU. That isolated moment stands out in my mind as the one where I knew a professional career wasn't the path for me. I knew I wanted to be a full time mom to my little Dallin B and there wasn't room for those two dreams to co-exist. That was a sad realization for me. I knew which dream I wanted more and made my decision accordingly.

Fast forward to now and I'm realizing something: life is long. Shawni from always reminds her readers of that. Right now I'm understanding that quote with more depth. When I decided to not teach, I thought that was a decision that buried my dream and laid it to rest. But now I'm understanding more about right timing. Life is long! and while the timing wasn't right then, the timing to advance towards that goal is now right.

That desire to teach has never left me. And all of a sudden I'm excited at the thought of this becoming a reality. It has been growing and growing since I started re-watering the idea.  I'm not the most ambitious person but thankfully I married a very ambitious partner. One that not only supports me in my dreams, but works to make to help me achieve them. I have been very intimidated by the process of getting certified and figuring out where to go from here, but that's one of his strengths (doing footwork and research). 

I just finished filling out the application to the local community college. Tomorrow I'll get to set up an appointment with an advisor and then we'll start blazing the path.

Ultimately, I don't know where this is all going to lead. I'm not head strong on the end result. I don't know if I'll ever be a full-time teacher or not. But I do know right now I'm getting on the path I'm supposed to be on and am going to enjoy the journey of growing and developing. Corny? Yes, but isn't life one series of realizing truth in cliches??? For me, it has been.

Felt bad that I had to cut this lady's head off, but my techy skills are limited. And the words were most important to me. I was super inspired by what she had to say as I feel like this articulates the process I've been through the last few months.

from Humans of New York:


Thursday, June 26, 2014

SoCal Ragnar 2014

The invite to run with Team Ragnizzle Fo Shizzle was extended, and then politely declined, in October.
But come March, either FOMO (fear of missing out) or spontaneity was kicking in full gear and there was no way I was not going to be filling one of the two remaining open spots. 
I like to think that provided just enough friendly peer pressure for Laura to jump on board.
And with that our van was filled:
Captain Kady (she demanded we called her that at all times)
Katie Peterson (not to be confused with Kady Peterson)

My only regret about this van is that it took a bit longer than I would have liked for Team Hooper to open up and let their true light shine. I don't know what's in the water up there, but they are some funny folk!
I enjoyed many a good chuckles because of them!

Now, would you like to know the biggest difference between this Ragnar and last one?
(Besides Kady not cussing anyone out.)
(And besides the fact that was actually a SoCal route instead on Inland Empire, as Laura so kindly pointed out.)
The big difference between the two was I actually enjoyed the running portion of this whole thing called Ragnar also!
Or maybe I'm just writing this far enough out that I've forgotten my misery.
But I really think I enjoyed it.

I was runner 5 and my legs were:

Highlight (i.e.: what I still remember) from each leg:
1) dancing and singing to Calvin Harris's You Used to Hold Me at a street corner
2) trying to walk up a hill and a runner coming and saying, "Let's do this." Needless to say, I got my booty in gear.
3) I chose not to be scared of running too fast and just let her go! I got a personal best of a 7:48 pace. 
And dang that felt good!

Lowlights of trip:
Kady not cussing at anyone.
Kady not refusing anyone a good d-u-m-p.
Kady not refusing anyone specific food in the car.
And finally…Kady not cussing at anyone.

We met up with our other comrades to cross the finish line as a team before partaking in a blurred night of dinner and karaoke. So blurry that I don't even remember the karaoke. Although something about Jono and a risqué rendition of Whatta Man is slowly coming to mind…

Van 2:

Still anxiously awaiting for Kady to put together another run or us!
(so that I can tell her no until the week before…)

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Truth About Texas

….is this.

I, myself, don't personally mind Texas.
But my body, on the other hand, seems to have a strange aversion to this place.
Case in point(s)? 
At the ripe age of 33 I have developed allergies. For the first time in my life. 33 years of living in a variety of places and I was as healthy as a _____ (what's super healthy?) But now, in Austin TX USA,  I am experiencing allergies. Is this completely bizarre to anyone besides me? My throat hurts, all I want to do is sleep, I can't breathe, etc etc.
How is one to live like this?
Especially after having lived somewhere where she experienced 0 of those symptoms?
Now, that alone might not seem reason enough to up and move "due to health conditions". 
(Although don't be fooled, when push comes to shove, I'm going to being playing that card like the Ace of Spades. Hashtag killa. Hashtag can't argue with health.)

Next point:
Flared booty acne.
I mean, try to get past the point that I have booty acne in the first place…
(which I was doing just fine at in my previous place of residence.)
But now it seems to be enflared. 
Which doesn't leave ignoring as an option.

And isn't booty problems where we draw the line?
Like, fine-- mess with my breathing, my energy, my throat.
But my booty?
Huh uh, oh no she din't.

And this is why it is not meeee that has a problem with Texas….
it's just my body.
And can't nobody argue with the body.


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