Monday, December 15, 2008

Make Decisions for Me, Please

So, I'm at a loss. I can't possibly decide. I've been wrestling with this for over a year, and now I leave it in the hands of any random stranger that comes across this blog and stops to vote.

A few weeks ago, I applied for graduation at BYU (yay, me). I applied as a Sociology major with a Political Science minor.

But as most of you know, I ended up living in Tennessee. I had a total of 5 classes left in order to graduate with both the minor and the major. The major is done. I had 2 general eds and 3 minor classes.

So here is my question. I've only finished one class since arriving in Tennessee (I'm a loser, sure, but I'm also working 40 hours a week and have a calling and its nice to see my husband from time to time). All my classes have to be done by April 3, which leaves 3 months after Christmas. Is it worth it to keep the minor? I could, easily, drop the minor, and instead of having 4 classes to take in 3 months I'd only have 2. It would be so nice, and honestly that's what I kinda want to do. But then I wonder if that minor would make a difference some day. Considering its political science, it probably never will. I have no real interest in working in politics. I just love it as a hobby. And online classes are not nearly as exciting as lectures. But maybe, my head tells me, maybe it will matter some day.

Here is the other thing: I AM GRADUATING IN APRIL. Waiting until August is not an option. My brain is entering into a post-baccalaureate phase. Thoughts of grad school and other exciting post-bachelor's-degree-married-for-almost-three-years events have begun to swirl around in my head. Come April, I must be done. I question my capability to do so if I keep the minor.

So what do you think? Keep the minor, because it will be worth something some day and figure out a way to finish by April 3. Or drop the minor, because its just a poli sci minor, and finish free and clear with much less stress, because the Bachelor's degree is really what counts (and heck, its a Sociology degree, so its pretty broad anyway, and almost requires a higher degree to do anything with anyway).

I need your brilliant thoughts.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Trim Up the Tree

This past weekend we finally got around to putting up our Christmas tree. Tragically, the past three years we have used a fake tree, and will probably continue doing so for a little while longer. First, our apartment complex doesn't allow real trees because they are a fire hazard (tragic). But also, it is just easier to use a fake tree. It was $20 and we're using it for the 3rd year (like $7 a year, right?) and never spend Christmas at our own home. We're always gone for at least two weeks. So fake it is--for now. We are both real tree people, so we'll get there one day.

Date Night: We went Christmas shopping for hours that night. And completely struck out.

When we got home (after Starbucks hot chocolate, that is) we got down to business.
Our ornaments:
Chris hanging his Cubs ornament.Our newest ornament! From our vacation in Sun Valley, ID.
Finished living room. I know, its dark. With the stuff on the sliding doors, I can't open the blinds, and we don't have any overhead lighting (Southern thing? I don't know).
So its fun to have our home all festive.
I'll be in Idaho in 10 days.
I cannot wait to see my mommy.
And daddy.
And there is snow there.
It only rains here.
Forever.
Only rain.
Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sweet N' Salty

My husband is wonderful. He's also hilarious--even when its not on purpose. We have an advent calendar thingy that has 25 little cupboards. Each day counting down to Christmas you take out whatever is in the corresponding cupboard until you reach Christmas day (ok, everyone knows how an advent calendar works). Anyway, my dear husband was going to put something in one of the little cupboards last week. He came to me and said it was my day to open that day's cupboard, but to be careful taking my prize out.

This is what I found:
Turns out he wanted to give me chocolate, since I adore it. But the only chocolate in the house were the M&Ms in the trail mix. So he picked the M&Ms out, but they were covered in salt. So he proceeded to rinse off the salt, forgetting the whole "melts in your mouth" thing M&Ms do. So I ended up with wet, runny M&Ms.

But it was chocolate.
So it was delicious.
(Yes, I ate them. How could I not?)
~
Isn't he sweet?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Gettin' Feisty

So I've been looking at the Young Women's lesson I have to give on Sunday. Its my first one. I'm a little nervous. Young Women's is different here. There aren't any tablecloths or cute hand-outs, just straight-talk lessons and girls who need it, amazing girls who have no idea what its like to have 75% of your high school be the same faith as you. Anywho . . .

My lesson is on money management, and after a news story I read and an email I got, I couldn't help but think that UT should have attended Young Women's.

Let me explain. But I warn you, I just may get feisty.

The past few weeks at UT have been full of cost-cutting plans. UT claims they are "energy-saving" plans, and to some extent I'm sure they are, but mostly because energy costs so much. For example, campus buildings will be kept at 68 degrees over the winter, and 76 over the summer. No personal heaters or fans are allowed. There is also a mandatory freeze on hiring, renovations, furniture and equipment purchases. And a "moratorium" (aka: a suspension of activity) on new academic programs. In the meantime, the freshly-fired head football coach, Philip Fulmer, just got a new gig as the "special assistant to the President" of the university. He gets to walk away with his $6 + million contract buy-out and continue to earn an income of who knows how much--at least the upper 6 figures I'm guessing. Fulmer's job? "Developing and enhancing strategic relationships for the university." Really? I mean, really? I'm sitting at work in 2 jackets and my coat, wondering where my gloves went, and UT is keeping Fulmer around, after paying his buy-out, so he can schmooze people who would probably give money to UT anyway and who's money won't even leave the athletic department? Really? When my husband can't even make copies for the undergraduate classes he teaches? Really? Really?

I'm teaching a group of teenage girls to tell the difference between necessity and want this Sunday. I'm teaching them to learn to be happy without non-essentials. UT should have had a Young Women's lesson or two.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

7 Things

I used to like Hannah Montana. I admit it to few people, but I did. I still like some of her songs, but these days I can't stand Miley Cyrus. That girl is everywhere and getting too famous and dating 20 year old models.

But that's not really the point.

The point is, there is one song of hers I still rather enjoy (forgive me for this one), 7 Things. I think its catchy and the lyrics are cute.

So I thought I'd come up with my own version (in reference to my hub, of course).


7 Things I Hate About You

1. You're the good-looking one in this relationship.

2. You break my ribs when you try to tickle me.

3. You banned Celine Dion from playing in the car when you are in it.

4. You mock me for not putting the toilet paper on the holder.

5. You never buy yourself anything; you'd rather shop for me.

6. You cook dinner every night.

7. I can't help but love you no matter what.


I Probably Should Mention the 7 That I Like

1. You're smart. You say you aren't, but I read that 50 page paper. There's no denying it any longer.

2. Your ambiguous hair and eye color.

3. You put up with me, including grouchy car rides, John and Kate Plus 8, and how I always email you articles about the Penguins that I deem "cute".

4. You split Dr. Pepper with me at 11:00 at night when I claim the caffeine won't effect me and then I wind up singing "7 Things" and dancing in the kitchen--and you laugh.

5. I can say anything to you, and you always understand, think its funny, or sympathize, depending on what the said thing requires.

6. You are funny--that genuine classic funny that doesn't require sarcasm or negativity.

7. I can't help but love you, no matter what.

Ok, mine doesn't flow as well as hers.

It's the thought that counts.


Love you, babe.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Perspective

I was so grouchy this morning in the car.
So complainy.
So woe-is-me.
So ridiculous.
Then I flipped through The Alchemist.
"When each day is the same as the next, it's because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises."
Funny how the Lord teaches lessons, even through Paulo Coelho.
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Monday, December 1, 2008

It's Like We Never Left

Its feels that way sometimes. You know, when you're looking forward to a trip for so long and then in a blink of an eye its gone--and suddenly you're back at work talking to endless panicked parents whose child's high school transcripts haven't been sent yet even though today is the deadline and their child is distraught because they have wanted to go to UT since the womb--the WOMB I tell you! (Don't even think for one second I haven't really heard this.) Anyway . . . today it almost felt like we never escaped Knoxville in the first place.
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Almost.
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We actually have proof that we did get away for a few days.
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Our drive up was a relatively uneventful one . . . except the part where we thought we were going to Virginia. I don't know how many of you are familiar with the interstates out here (oh, how I miss the simplicity of I-15), but our plan was to go up I-75, through Lexington, KY, to Cincinnati, then jump on I-65 through Indianapolis to Lafayette. Simple enough. C's mom asked us to call when we reached Lexington (exit 115) so she knew we were still alive. I was driving the first half, so I was watching for Exit 115. After a long while, I realized the exits were no longer counting up. And where did all the signs for Lexington go? So I said "Uh, C, where did Lexington go?" There were a few tense moments and frustration and I felt like an idiot and I was wondering if we were going to spend Thanksgiving in Virginia. Then we saw a sign for Louisville, KY. Turns out I turned onto (except I NEVER turned, thank you very much) I-64 west at some point. So we went through Louisville then straight up I-65 through southern Indiana and on to Lafayette. Turns out I actually did it on purpose, because with traffic the way it was in Cincinnati, we actually reached our destination faster by going through Louisville--so there.
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Upon our arrival we were met with a giant box in the living room. To our knowledge, C's entire family except his sister S would be at Thanksgiving this year. S is the last Connolly kid still at BYU. She told us she didn't feel like flying home and would just stay in Provo. All the siblings gave her a rough time for not coming out and there were even moments of anger toward her (all in love--we wanted her here). So back to the big box in the living room--turns out it contained a special guest:

video

It was hilarious. We were happy S came and C was able to enjoy his first Thanksgiving at home since he was a senior in high school--with his whole family present.

C helping to set the Thanksgiving feast

Beautiful Conn sisters ready to eat



Mandatory self-taken picture

Sammie doing what she does best--looking cute so you'll give her human food

Post-dinner nap time

On Thanksgiving night we pursued a little trivia.

Memo to me: never play Trivial Pursuit against C's dad, who knows ridiculous amounts of random information that no person should really know, especially when the said Trivial Pursuit was made 5 years before you were even born.

On Friday we participated in the long-practiced ritual of Black Friday. We went to a store called Gordman's, which is a fun clothes store, at 5 am. It was a little insane and I don't plan on ever doing it again, but it was the first time either of us had done such a thing, so it was a fun experiment. We were home by about 7:30 and I proceeded to sleep until 11. Then we saw Twilight (see previous post) and after that we headed to the mall--for a long time. After dinner, we made it back to Gordman's and finished the night around 9:00 at TJMaxx.

Saturday we got time to relax. In the morning we took some family pictures (see below). By lunch time I was back in my PJs and planted on the couch, where I would remain until I went to bed (for the record, I did get up to get enchiladas, and ice cream, and to visit C in the computer room where he was working on his 50 page paper). Me and various mixtures of his sisters watched a whole day's worth of movies: Rocky IV, Harry Potter 5, Persuasion, and Cinderella Man. It was a nice relaxing day--exactly what I needed before driving home on Sunday.

When we woke up on Sunday morning, we were greeted with this:

I think Indiana was giving me a little gift to remember it by.

The snow was beautiful and a welcome sight for an Idaho girl--except we had a 7 hour drive ahead of us. The trip home was slow, and I actually watched a truck roll over in front of my very eyes, but we made it and it was so nice to get back to our little home.

It was a great holiday and I'm so happy we decided to go and grateful for C's parents for providing such a great Thanksgiving!

But now I'm back and work . . . and it's like we never left.