Heading for the Beach!

Tonight I was getting ready to go meet some friends for drinks, when my dad calls and asks, "How do you feel about going to Florida next weekend?" Let me back up one second...my dad is an accountant and there's some big deadline on March 1st before the really big April 15th date. He usually takes a small vacation before the 15th to relax and re-group before getting stressed out all over again. His original plan was to come see me in Boston. He hasn't been here yet to see my place, so we were going to hang out and have some quality father/daughter time. However, we both decided that we would rather go someplace warm, so my dad told me to pick the place and he'd foot the bill. Aren't I lucky?? So, I decided on Sanibel Island/Bonita Beach area. I've been to Naples, but not to any of the islands in the area. I think it will be nice and relaxing, probably not quite as warm as I'd like it, but I'll take 78 over 20 any day of the week and this point. (see last post for more on me and the weather!). So, that's that. I'm going to Florida in a week!!! I couldn't be happier.

Quite a good deal

A friend of mine is trying to quit smoking. We all are very into Behaviorism because of where we work and so he decided to make up a behavior plan for himself to make himself quit smoking. This is all very good for him because smoking is horrible for you, but it turns out that this plan will also work to my benefit. He's decided that I will be his manager and that every time he smokes, I get $3. This way, he's losing money by smoking and so it should become less and less reinforcing as time goes by. So far I've made $9 from this deal and I couldn't be happier. Therese gave me the good idea of saving some of the money so that in 3 months when hopefully he's kicked the habit, I can take him out to dinner to celebrate. The only other things that I have to do is try and talk him out of smoking when he gets urges and have a weekly meeting to go over things. Clearly, this is serious stuff. I just hope it works because I'm really not a big fan of smoking until your lungs turn black.


Normalcy is Great.

My life is finally feeling like I want it to, like I am really in control. I've come to accept the fact that I have indeed graduated from college, but life isn't over. The whole full-time employment thing isn't half bad, and when you add a little grad school on the side, my life couldn't be more ideal. I have a job doing what I like that pays the bills, but there is so much room for exploration and growth that it almost makes me giddy. I've settled into a routine, (I'm usually not one for routines, but this I feel is a good thing right now) but I know that this routine isn't going to last forever because I still have lots 'o stuff I want to do. That being said, the right here and now is great. My life feels normal.

I am also anxiously awaiting the changing of seasons. I realize I still have a good month left of really cold weather, but there is an end in sight. There has already been much talk within my group of friends about cook-outs and weekends on the Cape. I can't wait! I do enjoy actually experiencing all of the seasons, but my appreciation for winter is about done. Lets get on with it so I can play outside.


Girl's Night In

This past weekend proved to be a bit crazy, perhaps even bordering on out of control. Because of the events from the weekend, Carrie, Sarah and I have decided that there needs to be more girl time without the guys. So, to start this off right I'm cooking dinner tonight for just the girls. Both of my roommates are gone this week, so that leaves me in the house all by myself. I love some alone time, but if I'm here for a week alone, I think I might go crazy. I just got back from the store and I'm planning on making some sort of chicken breast tonight (I haven't decided what I want to do with it yet, but I'm sure something will come to me by the time I start cooking.) I also got some wine..."2 buck chuck" from Trader Joe's. If you haven't had this before, you must. It's only $2.99, but it tastes divine. There have been studies done with it and professional wine tasters think it's some great, expensive wine, but really it's just good old Charles Shaw Chardonnay from Trader Joe's. If you're looking to entertain a lot of people with wine, it's definitely the way to go. So, that will start us off for the night. Who knows what will happen after dinner, but I know for sure we have lots to talk about.


Random Ramblings
  • It is absolutely gorgeous outside. We are talking 55 in the middle of February. Usually I'm all about having 4 seasons in a year, but I think that I'm definitely ready for Spring to get here. I can't wait for the longer days and cook outs and playing outside.
  • My dad sent me flowers for Valentine's Day. I should be grateful, and I was, sort of...but I know how much it costs to send flowers on Valentine's Day and when it comes down to it, I would have just preferred the money. That sounds heartless, but if they wouldn't jack up the prices for a Hallmark holiday, than I wouldn't mind so much. But, I'm sure he paid and arm and a leg for the dozen roses.
  • I haven't done laundry in over 3 weeks. You would think that would be a problem, but it's not. I have come to the conclusion that I have a ridiculous amount of clothes...more than any person should ever own. I was considering giving some away, just so I felt a little better about myself. There is no need to own as many clothes as I do.
  • I've been running a lot lately and it feels so good. I'm sleeping wonderfully and waking up feeling very refreshed. I also tried on an old pair of jeans and they fit like a glove again. Very exciting stuff I tell you!


Let it snow!

I just got in from my night out and the snow has started. It's supposed to snow anywhere from 8 to 14 inches. I'm hoping it's more towards the 14 inch side. I absolutely love snow, especially lots of it. Judging from past storms, the road crews out here are pretty good about clearing the roads...I just hope they are all cleared so that I can carry on with my day tomorrow. I think plans are in the making for an afternoon sledding adventure and then I'm 90% sure I'm going to the Celtics game tomorrow night.


I love New Englanders...no really, I do.

I like to travel, but today I had one of the most enjoyable trips back to Boston. I don't know if I was wearing a sign that said, "I went to a funeral today," or if I just looked really approachable and friendly, but it seemed like everyone I was around was both nice and chatty. It started with the flight attendant on the Springfield to Chicago plane. She was much more chipper than the average flight attendant when I got on the plane and then commented on my cute, green bag as I was getting off the plane. Then, as I was getting on the next plane I saw that I had the middle seat between two guys. The guy on the aisle was still standing, so I politely and somewhat jokingly told him not to get too comfortable because I was sitting in the middle. We ended up talking the whole way from Chicago to Boston. He lives in the next town over from here and has lived here his entire life. He was extremely nice and offered lots of advice about living out here and mentioned many places for my friends and I to try on our weekends and vacations. He had two young children, 3 and 1, and I almost offered up my babysitting services (I miss hanging out with "normal" kids), but I didn't want to cross the line into "strange girl" category. We continued our conversations all the way to the baggage claim where we said our goodbyes. Then, as soon as I walked out the door, a very friendly woman and her husband asked me if I had seen the Framingham bus. I told them that's the one I was waiting for, and no, I hadn't seen it and once again we started talking. To me, this couple seemed like the type who now have children my age and are very interested in the young adult segment of the population to try and get a feel for what the future will hold. They were very interested in my work, my future and where I came from.

Everyone I came across today was from the New England area. Typically this group of people doesn't have the reputation of being the friendliest bunch. However, each person that I interacted with today was a joy, and in a small way helped to make a really rough day that much more bearable.


A Tribute to My Grandpa
This afternoon, as I was driving home from work, there was a message from my dad that said to call him as soon as possible. I knew that good news was not going to be shared when I called him back, but I was definitely not ready for what he told me.

My grandfather passed away this afternoon. He was a retired farmer and liked to go to cattle sales to follow the trends in the market. This morning he collapsed at such a sale and now he's gone.

I'm still numb from the news and trying to process what has happened. I just saw him 2 weeks ago when I was home for vacation and he was in such great spirits. I had never seen him play cards before, but at this particular get-together he was just as competitive as the next person. He had always been quite the jokester and was in fine form on the night I last saw him. He, my dad, and my brother were making plans for a summer trip out to Montana and Grandpa had said that he also wanted to go to Canada while they were out there. He loved to "see the country" and didn't take for granted any of this earth's natural resources. The picture above is from this past summer. Me, my dad, brother, and grandpa went to San Francisco and then drove up the California coastline into Oregon because my grandpa wanted to see the California Redwoods before he died. He was like a little kid in a candy store, so amazed by the giant trees and wanting to see more and more. At the time I had dreaded the 10 day family vacation, but today I am more grateful than ever that I got the chance to spend some quality time with a man I loved so much. He will definitely be missed.