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I have been super stressed out lately. Term 3 is always a really stressful one and this is my third Term 3. I can’t believe this is my third year teaching in New Zealand already. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

I have two weeks’ holiday now. I am going on a conference in Wellington the first week. While I’m up there I will be seeing some friends who have moved away and hopefully Josh’s family, as well. There is a chance I could be an auntie during these holidays, too. I’m super excited. I will have to make more trips to Wellington as I will have a little baby to spoil. I have already started sending presents. I went up for the baby shower a few weeks ago.

Thanks for all the support on the poem in my last post. Perhaps I will write some more soon.

My parents keep trying so hard to keep up with the times. They want so badly to be part of it all – the internet, the smartphones, and being “tech savvy” (their words, not mine). I suppose part of it was forced upon them by their eldest daughter moving across the world. Technology makes it so easy to keep in touch with people these days that some days I can almost still pretend we are on the same continent.

I must admit that they keep me amused. Especially my mother who obviously has a much harder time with all this stuff.

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Here is exhibit A. She has learned to send pictures and now they come every day. This week I actually got a selfie for my parents. Trust me, kids… it’s a scary sight.

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Whenever I don’t blog for months, it becomes harder and harder to blog. Where should I start? What should I talk about? I’ve lost my rhythm. One of the biggest irritations has been my complete inability to take pictures. I took my DSLR camera around the world without taking one picture.

Here’s a short recap, mostly in iPhone photos. Because I’m so freaking hipster.

I went back to New York over the school holidays with my kiwi friend Claire to visit my family and friends.
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Have you ever been in one of those situations where you were supposed to call someone but you’ve left it just a little bit longer than you should have and now it is a bit awkward? Now you feel that you can’t call them so you decide to wait another day instead. Then tomorrow comes and it feels even more awkward. Maybe you’ll just run into them and this whole situation will be resolved for you. It doesn’t happen. Then you forget. An entire month goes by and you remember one day and now it’s even worse.

Blogging is my friend and I forgot to call it.
And now it’s totally awkward.

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My parents wanted to sell my car because now I’m in New Zealand. That’s a whole different story in itself. However, my parents asked me to help them list the car on Craigslist because they tried for an entire evening and couldn’t manage to get it figured out between them. I agreed to help because that it what daughters do but a whole heap of hilarity ensued in the process. I figured I just had to share our correspondence with you.

Mom & Dad

As a disclaimer, I would just like to say that I think my parents are amazing and I’m not trying to poke fun – just show how adorable my parents are. I’d like to commend them for how far they have come in their internet endeavours and I bet that soon they will be doing heaps more. Hey, my mom even got her own Facebook account last month!

The correspondence begins with some emails from my Dad:

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Now it’s just me and Josh in the house.

My parents and sister left New Zealand today and flew back to New York.

They have been visiting for about 10 days and we had nice time while they were here. I was sad to see them go again. It can be really hard sometimes living so far away. If I could move New York and New Zealand closer together, I certainly would.

My original plan when they left was to do a bit of “retail therapy.” You know, get some shoes and maybe a nice dress for myself. I wandered around the mall by the airport before taking the long 4 hour drive home but nothing was catching my eye. I wandered in and out of three different shoe stores and not one single shoe seemed to belong on my foot. I walked through different clothing stores but everything looked ugly. One thing looked nice for a moment but when I looked at the price tag I decided that it was ugly, too.

Haircut

So I decided to get a haircut instead. I am happy with my decision. Plus, I didn’t have to carry back a bunch of bags. If anything, I’m a lot lighter.

Adina

My parents brought me a bunch of nail polish over from America, too. Nail polish in New Zealand can be SO expensive. OPI nail polish is $26 a bottle (you can get it for $8 a bottle in New York) and Zoya is not even really available over here. I couldn’t believe just how much nail polish they brought me. I asked for some nail polish but my parents brought me a truckload of it! I’ll save that for another post because that will be massive!

Even my cat seems a lot more lonely without my family around. :(

My family finally decided that they would suck it up and take the long trip across the world to see me in New Zealand. They got here last Friday, the day after the first term of our school year here ended (we get two week’s vacation between terms) and are still here for another few days.

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We have been having a blast even despite my incredible talent to get sick pretty much right when they got here. I had to end up going to the doctor while they were here and I even had a fever on Easter. At least I’m feeling better now, though. The doctor gave me some sweet drugs.

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Josh was able to do some fun things with us like eat meat pies and take sweet scenic boat rides but unfortunately he had to go back to work. A plumber’s vacation is unfortunately not as long as a teacher’s vacation. Oh well.

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Hopefully now that I’m feeling a bit better I can actually enjoy the last few days a bit better instead of feeling like I want to just want to crawl up in a ball. I’ve got some fun events planned for us to do that I’m pretty excited about.

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I tease my family a lot – especially my mother – but I will miss them all when they have to go back to New York.

Cook Strait

I bet they’ll miss this place, too. Who wouldn’t?
Oh, and I guess they will miss me.

First of all, just a brief mention about the new look! I want to thank Nellie over at Studiobollical for designing this fabulous layout for me. Finally I have something that is a bit more “me” and a bit less “premade layout.” Ha!

This past weekend, Josh and I took a weekend trip to visit Josh’s dad again. He is working on the apple orchards around where we recently moved away from so it was nice to go back and see everyone else, too. I even got to pop back in to my old job at the supermarket dairy and say hello to my friends who were working there.

Our little weekend trip had two main purposes, though. We had to do some shopping and we wanted applejuice.

The shopping for me was clothes. I bought a couple new outfits as well as two nice pairs of shoes which I so badly needed. For Josh, his goal was to purchase a basic set of plumbing tools being that he recently got hired by a plumbing firm here in our new town. I couldn’t believe how much tools cost but then again I suppose Josh was probably thinking the same thing about my shoes.

But this post is mainly about applejuice anyway. I’ll gloat about my pretty shoes another time.

By The Bus

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It is that time again to sum up my year in thoughts and photos.
You can also check out last year’s post: 2010: What a long, strange trip it’s been.

January
365 [Day 13]365 [Day 3]365 [Day 19]Relaxation
- I ate my first crayfish.
- Donated blood in NZ for the first time.
- My greenstone pendant was found. Josh gave it to me the first day we met.
- I moved back to New York.
- I was happy to see Moko again.

February
My new waterbottle.More progress pics.I hate Zumba!Rose
- Got my camelback watter bottle and became addicted.
- Joined my gym.
- Went to my first spin class.
- Hit 30 pounds lost.
- Tried zumba and hated it.

March
NYC March 2, 2011Mom's 55thnailBaylee and Me
- Finally went to the Museum of Natural History after living in NY all my life.
- Actually spent some time in NYC and didn’t hate it for the first time ever.
- Mom’s 55th birthday!
- Got my first manicure and pedicure ever, haha.
- Started taking Baylee for walks.

April
New Haircut!!Visiting KaylaEaster!Erika and Rocco's Wedding
- Got my hair cut.
- Hit 40 pounds lost.
- Easter.
- Erika and Rocco’s wedding! <3

May
Holtsville Ecology CenterScreech OwlMother's DayNorth Shore Bike Tour
- Had an awesome trip to the Holtsville Ecology Center with Kierstin.
- Got addicted to Doctor Who.
- Helped my dad run a booth at a green energy convention.
- Mother’s Day
- My 27th Birthday!
- I reached 50 pounds lost on my birthday!
- The North Shore Bike Tour!

June
A man and his dog.3 PoundsNew PhoneBFF
- Hung out a lot with my family.
- Did the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, haha!
- Got my new phone. DROID!
- Had my going away party with my friends.
- Moved back to NZ.
- I missed our anniversary because I got stuck in Sydney. :(

July
uscottagelittle fiatFrench Pass
- Josh and I are finally back together again, yay!
- We moved into our little cottage.
- We went on adventures in our little Fiat.
- Went fishing at French Pass for the first time.

August
- I still didn’t have the internet.
- I borrowed a bicycle from Josh’s boss and biked into town.
- It was still winter so I was cold and still adjusting to the cold weather.
- Lack of internet = no pictures.

September
Josh's haircut!Josh's QuestTrying to SteepReflections
- Josh cut his hair.
- I got my job at the supermarket dairy.

October
Stuffed MushroomsWatching the RWCTrip To HokitikaMapua
- I got my teaching job which starts in January.
- The Rugby World Cup! New Zealand is victorious!
- Went to Hokitika to visit Josh’s dad who was working on a dairy farm.
- We got a hand blender.
- We cooked a lot.

November
burgerPotted Plants!math books:)
- Josh’s Kick Arse burgers are perfected.
- We keep trying to grow our garden with little success.
- I took a trip to my new school for a week and loved it.
- Finally reached 60 pounds lost.

December
Our BBQChristmas 2011SunriseMy Christmas Presents!
- The first BBQ of the year.
- Josh’s Birthday!
- My second NZ Christmas.

No Wordless Wednesday for you this week – you got plenty of beautiful pictures in my Christmas post to last a whole year’s worth of Wordless Wednesdays.

I got a lot of great gifts this year. It made me feel really bad because Josh and I couldn’t really reciprocate any of the gifts given our current financial situation. I can’t wait until my new job starts because then I can actually afford to do be a little bit more financially stable if something comes up and I want to be a bit more generous. Next Christmas, I’ll be able to actually buy people presents and I am already looking forward to it.

My family back in the states decided to pool all their money together and Western Union me the money to get myself a bicycle. My uncle, my grandparents, my grammy, and my parents all send me a nice chunk of cash that will get me a really nice bike. I am really excited to get a bicycle. It is something that I have been wanting for a long time ever since I got addicted to spin classes at my gym in New York all those months ago. I decided I am going to wait until we move next month to buy my bike since it’s one less thing to bring with us.

My Christmas Presents!

My mother in law got us an awesome BBQ! We love it so much and have already used it multiple times. It can even be used as a smoker and Josh even smoked some bacon and chicken in it for his work mates on his last day of work on the orchards before the Christmas holidays. We love it!

My Christmas Presents!

She also sent me a beautiful planner and a matching pen for 2012 which will really come in handy with teaching and keeping track of everything being that I plan on being a busy little bee once we move!

My Christmas Presents!

My mom saw on my blog last month when I was talking about cool things I saw on Pinterest and mentioned this clock. Well, she wanted to get it for me so she asked me how to order it online so I told her and she got it for me. :)

My Christmas Presents!

My sister sent me this nice bag since I’ll need something fairly nice looking to carry all my teaching books. She also sent me some nice shirts which she hid inside the bag.

Presents!

My brother in law and his girlfriend got us these awesome hand towels and also a beautiful bowl and serving spoons. However, I used the bowl and spoons and haven’t done my dishes and I’m not taking a picture of my dirty dishes for you. It shows you that I love the bowl though! They also sent us the most amazing fudge (also not able to be photographed because it mysteriously disappeared into our stomachs) and some jeans for Josh.

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My amazing internet friend Saskia who I’ve known through myfitnesspal and blogging (and now dailyfratze) asked for my address a while back so she could send me something for Christmas. I figured that she wanted to send me a Christmas card since some of my online friends had also done the same thing. However, she sent me these beautiful hand made ornaments! I remember her talking about them on her blog and she sent me some of my own!

My Christmas Presents!

I love them so much! :D

I also got a year’s Flickr pro account from Shannon. I have the best online friends ever! Now I can have space for all my pictures for another entire year.

My Christmas Presents!

Josh and I decided we weren’t going to exchange gifts this year because we couldn’t afford it but when I got home the other day, I saw that I had this new gaming mouse at my computer. Josh had been planning to get it for me anyway. I felt so bad because I actually didn’t get him anything but I decided that I would give him the mall vouchers that I got as a gift from my work for Christmas so that he could go buy some new shirts for himself because he needs and wants them. I was going to buy them for him myself but he likes to buy his own clothes so I figured that giving him the mall vouchers would mean more to him than me buying shirts for him.

He told me that all he needed for Christmas was to spend it with me and for me to always love him. Even if that is true, I still feel bad that I couldn’t give him the world on top of that, too. Maybe after my first paycheck I can get him a “I wanted to get this for you just because I love you” present. He deserves one of those.

What was your favourite gift from the holidays?

Things have been quite busy in our neck of the woods lately which is probably evident by my lack of blogging recently. Josh and I had a very exciting Christmas though and I finally have a moment to talk all about it!

The plan was to go spend Christmas with Josh’s dad who is working as a DOC (Department of Conservation) worker at the moment at the Abel Tasman National Park but we were nearly heartbroken to hear that the road in there was washed away in the recent storm and flooding.

Christmas 2011

Where there is a will there is a way especially for these kiwis. Josh’s dad decided he would just come pick us up for Christmas on his boat and so that’s what he did instead. Some silly washed out roads weren’t going to wreck our Christmas!

Christmas 2011

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It’s Thanksgiving.
I miss my family.

All day, I tried to think of things I was thankful for. I made a huge list inside my head and every time I got sidetracked feeling sorry for myself being so far away from my family on Thanksgiving, I went back to my list. I didn’t even know I could think of so many things that I was grateful for. It really helped me get through the day. Josh was really good to me too. At first I got all emotional and upset at him because I thought he forgot about Thanksgiving but he went behind my back trying to plan all these big surprises for me. Then I felt pretty awful for just assuming he was ignoring me or being forgetful about Thanksgiving. I guess we’re all human sometimes, aren’t we?

Last week, I mentioned how my mom is horrible at the internet (but learning) and how my dad was trying to get his email to work on his new droid. It still makes me laugh that my dad has a droid and it makes me laugh even more that he got a blonde joke app that he uses often to tell jokes to my mom and sister.

Well, my dad has ascended to the next level of being technologically savvy. I just received an email from my dad’s phone. He sent me pictures he took with his droid!

Of what, you ask? Well of his dog and of his boat, of course! What else do men take pictures of? Well, the rest of his phone probably contains ridiculous pictures of my mother but I don’t think he trusts me with those and he is correct in his judgement. Good call, dad.

Baylee is grown up!

I can’t believe how adorable Baylee is. Oh how I miss that face. I feel like just yesterday I was taking her for walks but that was months ago now.

Baylee

It’s a little bit crazy that her puppy face feels like just yesterday too but it was just over 2 years ago.

Dad's new boat

Here is my dad’s new boat. It was a fixer upper and my dad worked on it all of last winter while I was in New York. I think he put it in the water a few weeks after I left for New Zealand. I am still a bit sad that I never got to go out in the boat but I’m so glad my family got to enjoy it pretty much all summer. My dad deserves it and he worked so hard on it all by himself. I think it looks amazing.

Dad wins!

My mother isn’t very internet savvy. In fact, she’s probably one of the least internet savvy people I know. She is learning, though. I set her up with her own gmail account and we email back and forth quite a bit now that I live overseas and she reads my blog every day. She even knows that the “tweet tweet” on the side of my blog is a separate thing and sometimes if she clicks on it, it takes her to a separate thing that shows her more things about me although she has admitted that it doesn’t always work when she tries to do that.

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(I’m sharing this picture of my mom because I love it. It’s a spontaneous shot of her beautiful smile and I know it’s one she would never share because it wasn’t a planned photo and that’s just how she is.)

The internet baffles my mother. She doesn’t really know how to work it or navigate it at all. She can only get to the websites that I have set up for her by clicking them in the toolbar. She doesn’t know how to type them in herself and navigate there. Someone else has to do that for her. I bet she will get there, though.

Yesterday, I sent my mother an email about all of the clothes that I bought the other day. I decided that since she couldn’t see my clothes, I would give her links to them in the email so I put links to all the pieces of clothing that I bought so she could go to the website and see my purchases. I figured she would like that. Wow, did she ever. Today, I got a response with this gem in it:

I looked at all the websites you included in your e-mail. They were all wonderful! I have NO CLUE how you can make those websites just “appear” in your e-mail letter to me in BLUE like that. AND – then all I have to do is CLICK on the colored words and the website appears! This whole thing totally amazes me! You are sooooooo talented!

Yes. Yes, I am. I am amazing. If I ever want to boost my self esteem, I just send an email to my mother and I feel like I have this rare talent to bend the internet to my will. I think it is adorable how my mother thinks I am brilliant including links in an email.

My dad, on the other hand, has a droid and is trying to send me pictures from his phone. It’s not working but at least he is doing much better. He actually uses a computer on a daily basis and checks his email on his phone. He even downloads apps for his droid including his favourites which are an app that shows him the world time so he doesn’t call me when I’m sleeping (because he knows I am cranky when he wakes me up) and an app that tells him random blonde jokes. My dad lives with two blondes so this one is very helpful and especially hilarious when he tells the blonde jokes to my mom and sister and they don’t get them. Rock on, dad!

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(My dad is going fishing this weekend so here is an old picture of him with a fish he caught in hopes he’ll catch another like it!)

I have awesome parents even if they are a bit behind in the times. I bet in 30 years there will be some new thing that I won’t get and someone will be mocking me about it.

Yes, I’m pretty much back. I should have my own internet in about one more week. I’m very excited. It’s been too long but it has been nice to have a bit of a break from the internet, too. (Yes, I’m going to keep telling myself that.)

Today is my little sister’s golden birthday (well, it is in America). She is 25 years old on the 25th of the month. I didn’t even realize it until my mother told me on the phone. Well, I guess I knew it because she is two years younger than I am but it’s one of those things that you sort of lose track of because, hey, it’s your “little sister” and they sort of stay the same age in your eyes sometimes… does that make any sense? Logically she was 25 but it wasn’t clicking.

Sis

Happy Birthday, Corinne. I love you heaps and I miss you very much. You’ll always be my little dugger.

I spent my birthday on Wednesday going in to New York City with my family to celebrate my cousin Christine’s graduation. She graduated from Columbia University with her Masters in Social Work and I am so super proud of her.

Congrats Christine!

I was super excited to eat at Patsy’s. For some reason, dining in New York City never fails to excite me. I decided that I was going to eat whatever the heck I wanted since it was my birthday and also since I don’t have the opportunity to dine somewhere that cool very often.

Family

The food was amazing and I enjoyed seeing some of my extended family who I don’t normally see since they live so far away in Virginia. Did I mention that the food was really, really good?

Yay for Christine! :D

Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother's Day

I have a pretty great Mom. :)

Mother's Day

Here’s my mom with both of her lovely children.

Mother's Day

My Grammy even came over so we had even more moms in the house!

Sephora

I got my mother a bunch of nail polishes from Sephora. She is always getting her nails done and sometimes she brings her own colours. Also, she’s got an entire bucket of nail polishes because she does her own toes in the summer time. I thought it would be a great gift now that summer is coming.

I hope you all have a wonderful Mother’s Day! What did you do for your mothers? What did your children do for you?

[box type="shadow"]Question 23 of the BlissMB 30 Day Meme: Post a picture of your favourite relative/family member and share the great and tough times you’ve shared with the person. [/box]

Well, I obviously would pick my husband but I think that’s cheating since I got to actually pick him so I will choose someone else. My father. I love both my parents with all of my heart but I have always been Daddy’s little girl.

Wedding!

I think one of the best times I have shared with my father, or at least the most memorable, is my wedding day. Having him walk me down the aisle and sharing that last dance with me is something I will remember forever.

My dad has always been there for me through thick and thin, good times and bad. He is the first person that I think of when I need advice and the first person I want to talk to when something is wrong. If anything goes wrong in my life, my automatic reaction is to go running to my father and I know that he will always try his hardest to make everything okay again. He has always given me the best advice I have ever heard and has never, ever steered me wrong in my life.

One of the most important things we shared through my life is softball. I played softball since I was 5 years old and he coached my little league team every year until I played for my school teams. He taught me team work, sportsmanship, how to be fair, and all other social skills that are so very important in today’s world. Oh, he also taught me how to play softball.

When I made my school teams, he made sure that we always kept practicing. I was a pitcher and my dad and I would practice after my school practices and on the weekends. I worked hard and it was also fun to keep playing softball. My father taught me to be dedicated and to go above and beyond just doing the bare minimum of what is required.

Beach Dad

He never missed one of my softball games and he has never missed any part of my life where he should have been there. I know he will always be there for me.

Today is my Mom’s birthday. I can’t believe she’s 55. It is a bit surreal to me. I don’t view my mom as being old and I don’t think of her as being 55. She doesn’t look 55, does she? Not to me.

Mom's 55th

We celebrated her birthday on Saturday. My Great Uncle took us all out to eat at The Beachtree which is a really nice restaurant that we only get to visit a couple times a year. It was a really nice time. We all came back for cake with my Grammy and Joe (my grandmother’s best friend – they met at a bereavement group).

Beads

We all got her beads for her pandora charm bracelet. My grandmother got her two beads and my dad and I each got her a bead. My friend Kierstin’s family owns an awesome Irish store around here called Irish Crossroads so we went there to get our beads. My dad got her the beautiful birthstone bead and I got her the Irish bead. My mom loved them. My sister got her perfume that she wanted and drew her a really nice picture. It was really sweet.

My mom was really happy with her birthday this year and was even happier that my Great Uncle kept telling her that it was the 16th anniversary of her 39th birthday. It’s true and it just sounds a little better than saying “55th birthday.” Isn’t it funny what playing with words can do? My grandmother wasn’t having any of that, though. She kept saying HAPPY 55TH BIRTHDAY. My sister rubbed it in her face all day, too. My sister likes to tease my mom about her age. I didn’t say anything, though. I’ve been being reminded myself lately of how age is creeping up on me, too. I better not tease anyone because before I know it, they’ll all be teasing me. It’s not too long before I’m 30. That’s a bit crazy.

I was informed the other day by my mother that I haven’t blogged in a while. We can’t have an upset mother due to my lack of blogging, can we?

My life is a bit boring at the moment being that I don’t really know anyone here and I don’t have a job yet (but I’m working on that). My days have been filled with going for walks, cleaning up around here, and playing video games. I do a few other things but that’s what takes up the most time. Basically, I live a pretty boring existence at the moment. I keep myself busy but I am really just at the point where I can’t wait to have a job. Lately I’ve even been craving some schoolwork. I’ve been done with college for over 3 years now and I have this incredibly urge to do math problems. I guess that’s a nerd for you.

That being said, I have had some pretty neat things going on.

Our dinner. Crayfish!
Josh got some crayfish from his friend at work. This is probably almost $100 worth of crayfish and he got it for free. We certainly are lucky. Josh and I and another guy who lives here with us thoroughly enjoyed our yummy seafood. I was surprised at how much meat was in a crayfish compared to a lobster. I showed my dad, who is a fisherman and a lover of seafood, and then I felt bad because he has been craving some lobster.

365 [Day 15]
Speaking of my family, I got a New Year’s package from them this past weekend. There were 2 photo frames: one from my sister and one from my parents. The sisters frame meant a lot to me because I do miss my little sister. It was the perfect frame for us because since we are both adopted, we are not related by birth but we are sisters at heart. The other frame contained photos of my parents and sister from their last vacation to Disney. They also sent a Long Island calendar (which is hanging next to my computer) and two more pairs of jeans for me.

I am quite surprised at how much fuller (corrected by my mother from my adjective, fatter) my face is in the photo with my sister. It shows how far I have come already in my weight loss at almost 25 pounds lost. I have been tracking my calories and going for my walks for a few months now and it has, for the most part, paid off. I have been having a bit of a rough time lately keeping up with it and in the past few days after realizing I had just maintained my weight for the past few weeks I decided I needed to refocus and get more serious again. It has worked so far. I love how determined I am to lose weight right now. I hope this feeling and determination doesn’t go away. I have the friends I have made at MFP to thank for most of this.

Off to eat the 60 calorie fruit pop Josh brought home for me and enjoy the afternoon. :)

Yesterday our family dog died. Even though I wasn’t as close with Scruffy as my sister was and even though I don’t live at home anymore, he was my dog for over 10 years and I’m sad that he is gone.

Scruffy

Moko lost a friend too. Before we moved out of my parent’s house, they were pals.

Pals

I had a fantastic day today. My parents were kind enough to let me use their house for the afternoon since I wanted to have a party and my little studio apartment really limits what I can do. I hosted a BBQ and pool party with my friends in “that house I grew up in” and we had a fantastic time! We all went to go see fireworks at the beach at the end of the night.

Sunset Beach

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Josh and I had my parents, grandparents, and grammy over this evening to see our apartment since only my parents had seen it before. We watched our wedding video on our big projector screen, too. Yes, we finally got our wedding video. It only took a year to get it. Part of that was my fault because I couldn’t decide what songs I wanted in it. I finally decided and then it took however long it took to get done.

We made BLTs for dinner and had some fruit and cake for dessert. My grammy brought us some homemade cupcakes. I indulged myself in one of those but I was so good all day that I actually could fit it in to my day.

grammy's cupcakes

In fact, I’ve been doing TOO well on my new diet the past two days. I am shooting for eating about 1200-1350 calories per day because any less than that is not healthy either. Yesterday I only ate 840 calories and today, even with the cupcake and the BLT, I ate 700 calories. It has actually made me quite frustrated. It seems I’m either eating 4000 calories in a day or I can’t eat enough for the day. I’m going to keep at it, though. I’m sure that as I go along I will learn to keep better track and be right around the goal.

I lead the song at Mass at my Church. Recently, I have been asked to sing at other events such as weddings and funerals since so many people have complimented my voice. Today I sung at a wedding at my Church. It was really nice and I had a nice time.

After Mass, I went over to my parent’s house to help my sister learn how to use her new zune mp3 player. It is always a little bit frustrating because my family is so low tech (even my sister) but I am always willing to try and help them with their many little computer emergencies.

The problem today was that my sister decided to use some random cable to plug her zune into the computer. Being that it was jammed into the device and didn’t actually fit, the computer obviously didn’t recognize it. I tried not to laugh and told her (and my parents) that she needed the correct cable and that you can’t just plug anything that you can make fit into the device.

I tried to find a replacement cable since my sister lost the actual cable that went with her zune. I hope it is able to be shipped by the time they leave for their trip. They are driving down to Virginia at the end of this week.

Just a note: to get myself back on track, I’ve signed up for EcstasyMB‘s month long blog-a-thon. I’m excited.

For day 1 of the blog-a-thon, we are asked to simply write a letter to our mothers. For a lot of the other bloggers, I felt like it was a way of getting a lot of feelings out in the open or to just freely talk about how they felt about their mothers in general behind the anonymity of the internet. Well, my mother reads my blog. Do you know what? I’m glad. I’m going to write my mom a letter that I know she’s going to read and I don’t mind if you all read along.

Dear Mom,

Though you probably don’t know it, you have always been a source of inspiration in my life. From before the time I could talk, you filled my head with all sorts of amazing things. You were the first person that showed me that I could go anywhere without leaving my backyard, that I could travel somewhere just by reading it in a storybook, or that I could imagine anything that I wanted and none of it was wrong if it made me happy. You threw me the best birthday parties a girl could ever dream of – from moon bounces and carnivals in the back yard to pirate treasure maps that led to “real live buried treasure” in the sandbox if my friends and their little plastic shovels could dig it out for captain Caity. You made the holidays magical. I feel like they were even more magical than anyone else’s holidays and even Halloween had some cool tricks like the time you convinced us our house was haunted by a friendly ghost who knocked in the walls of the basement conveniently to yes or no answers and threw us candy.

I don’t think anyone else does as much as you did to make sure that your precious little girls enjoyed themselves in their lives. I’m not even talking just about kid parties and Santa Claus. When the time came to get through those hard parts of teenage and young adult life, you were right there with me, too – even when I didn’t want you to be. Those are the times that matter the most, though.

It’s every mother’s dream to have a little girl. I wasn’t always the most agreeable, the most clean (especially after mudpies or softball games in the rain), or the most thankful all the time – but I was your little girl. I hope that you know that I have always appreciated everything that you do even if I find words hard to express it at times. You have always been someone I have looked up to and admired. Everyone who meets you automatically loves you and there is definitely a reason why. Actually, there are lots of reasons why.

I only hope that one day I will have the chance to do some of the things that you did for me for children of my own and that they appreciate, love, and respect me as much as I appreciate, love, and respect you.

Forever,
Your eldest daughter, Caitlin

My mother reads my blog. Every once in a while, as with all things in life, mothers let us know what they think of things. I’ve come to realize that this is not always a bad thing and this is why my mother has access to my blog. Plus, sometimes it makes for a quite the humorous conversation – especially when it has to do with things online.

Yesterday, my mother informed me that I had not made a blog post in 3 days and that my blog had become boring. It was rather funny hearing that from my mother whose internet abilities consist of emailing her friends, sending out forwards, and clicking the link I’ve created for her in the bookmarks bar to find my blog.

She also informed me that my Wordless Wednesday posts are also boring! This made me very sad because I love taking pictures and I think that Wordless Wednesdays are fun. It’s like having a mini photoblog without actually having a photoblog! It’s my weekly photoblog! I guess my mom likes to read about my life instead. I can understand that… she being my mother and all. Now that I’ve moved out she probably misses me.

My mother also told me that my grammar was incorrect on my last post. She said, “It’s not ‘I sunk your battleship!’ It’s ‘I sank your battleship!’” Being the stubborn person that I am, I was determined to prove that although it might be grammatically correct, it was not the most common saying in the battleship world! Google helped me out.

Yes, Google. That’s what I meant.

Yankee Game (by caitysparkles)

I went to the Yankee game today with my family. It was a lot of fun and the Yankees won! My Uncle has been up from North Carolina this week and one of the things he wanted to do was go see the Yankees play. He lived in New York for most of his life and moved down there only recently.

Yankee Game (by caitysparkles)

I took so many photos today. It was pretty fun. I did learn something about myself today, though. In order to be a better photographer, I need to get over this petty fear I have and just take pictures of whatever I want whenever I want and not care what other people are thinking of me. Too many times I pass up amazing photo opportunities because I’m too scared of what other people think.

I need to learn from this guy.

Yankee Game (by caitysparkles)

That’s my uncle on the left. I was taking a picture of him and this random New Yorker just decided, “HEY! I want to be in a picture, too!” So he jumped right in! I need to be like that. Just do what I want! I could learn a lot from being like that.

365: 004 (by caitysparkles)

If you celebrate it, I hope you had a nice Easter. I did! Josh and I went to my parent’s house and had a really nice time. It consisted of playing some fun games with Easter eggs, getting some nice gifts (including candy – yay for my mom reading my latest blog post – and a reed infuser from my grandmother), and me winning the “guess how many jelly beans are in the jar” contest. Apparently I could have somehow cheated being a math major by doing some crazy math formulas with circumference and jelly beans in my head and winning. Ha!

Continue reading »

It was my mother’s birthday today. She was feeling too sick to even have us over for cake. I felt so bad. I was so excited to give her the present that we got her. Josh, my sister, my father, and I all went in on a present for her and we think she’s going to absolutely love it! Plus, the idea came from me (and from one of my coworkers) so I’m extra excited!

You want to know what it is now, don’t you? Well, my mom reads my blog so you will just have to wait! You can say Happy Birthday to my Mom, though! If she can figure out how to read the comments again, she’ll probably appreciate it. So far, she’s figured out how to click “CAITLIN’S BLOG” on the tab I put in her bookmarks browser. I think it’s adorable.

My mom told me once that she didn’t actually read what I said, but she loved to look at all the pictures that I wrote and it gave her a general idea of what I wrote. I couldn’t believe my mother was one of THOSE blog visitors – one that clicked out that X unless she saw pictures. Are you one of those blog readers? Well, I guess I’ll never know if you are because you won’t still be here.

I decided there are types of blog readers. This is my list so far.

  • Cling to your every word. These blog readers read everything you say no matter what. If they went away on vacation, they’ll probably still read the 7 entries from when you were away and comment on them all. They probably leave entire paragraphs, too, commenting on everything you said. They could probably answer trivia about you and score higher than your best friend.
  • Casual skimmer. These blog readers tend to read bits and pieces of the blog entry. Usually they’ll read the first sentence of each paragraph and read bits and pieces here and there. If something tickles their fancy or there is something that particularly interests them, they’ll probably go back and keep reading. They leave comments frequently too because they usually have something to say… being they have a general gist or a pretty good gist of what they’ve read.
  • The first and last sentence! These blog readers tend to read the first and last sentence. If there is a list, maybe they’ll read that. They’ll leave comments but they’re usually one liners and sometimes they’ll be absolutely irrelevant to what the post is about showing that they had not read more than two words.
  • No thanks. It’s not pretty. If there’s no pictures or fancy images, these blog readers are gone in 10 seconds. Their attention spans are short and they usually only comment on image posts and only about the images. The post is usually about the images, though, so they usually get away with it.

So, do you have any to add? Well, besides the mean commenters, of course, but we won’t add them.

I ruined my solid blogging fest since I reopened this place. I blogged every day since I reopened until I stopped for a couple days. I will have to try again next month to reach my goal of blogging each day for an entire month.

I do have reasons, though, aside from laziness. My grandfather has been in the hospital and is not doing well. He has an infection in his blood and I have been quite worried about him. I have been on and off the phone with my mother who has been in contact with the North Carolina crew who have kept us all posted on his situation. He is doing a bit better now that they know what is wrong.

I also had my hives come back. They are worse than ever. This time they were all over my body, even my neck and face. I felt like a hideous monster. I ended up finally caving to the idea that they are not stress related and going to see an allergist yesterday. Something is up with this. They’re not there all the time and something must be causing it. I had to figure out what. I didn’t want to have hives all over my body if there was something I could do to stop them.

The allergist told me that it was not something that I was doing and it was not an allergic reaction on the outside of any type given the circumstances. It was definitely something on the inside – something with my immune system having to do with my system. Not what I wanted to hear… that I’m somehow sick and have some sort of disease maybe? He told me I had to get bloodwork and we would go from there but not to worry too much because he sees it a lot and it could be nothing serous. (To me, all I heard was “It could be something serious.”)

This morning, a pattern finally dawned on me as far as my hives are concerned. I am not keeping my hopes up but I am definitely going to talk to my doctor about it. I had my monthly visitor and realized the hives appear every time alongside of it. Oh… there’s a thing for that and I fit the bill. Could it be? Could I have finally figured it out? I’m going to get my bloodwork done but I’m also going to call my doctor and see what he thinks about my thoughts. I just want to stamp a diagnosis on this damn thing so I can finally feel better and maybe start treating it.

I love how Josh left 2 comments on my last blog as “J-Boone Pickens” and “Surly J” to add to his recipe. It really made me giggle to see those. Hahaha. I just felt the need to point that out.

I’m feeling better today but my grandfather was in the hospital today. He is home now but he gave everyone quite a scare and is still very weak and not doing well. They ran a bunch of tests and such. I hope he keep feeling better. I hate being so far away. Most of my mom’s side of the family, including my grandfather, live in North Carolina.

IOGraphica - 2.1 hours (from 15-37 to 17-46) (by caitysparkles)

I found a really neat website that monitors mouse movements while you’re on the computer. This is what my movements look like when I browse the internet for 2 hours. I found it very interesting. What does yours look like? You can download the neat little program at IOGraphica.com. That’s my little find of the day.