Friday, August 22, 2008

passing the time

as i exhaust all job possibilities for counselors in the greater greenville area, i'm coming up with a lot more free time than i expected. i've gotten my daily routine down to about 15 minutes of checking various employer & career finder websites and following up with places. this week hasn't been particularly good - no new job postings, and i learned that the sc state dept of mental health has put a freeze on hiring new employees. (about 75% of new job postings in my field come from the state, unfortunately.) looks like i might need a hobby!

yesterday afternoon i felt bored out of my mind, and i realized i hadn't left the house for two days. two days! i didn't have a reason to. i haven't had this much free time since summers in high school. for those of you wish you had more free time, i'm sorry for complaining about having too much of it. sometimes it can be fun - like when i have a project to do or events to prepare for. other times it's a bit lonely, and most of the time it just requires a tremendous amount of patience - like when i'm waiting to hear back from places.

as for hobbies, i've been making good use of the library card i got a few weeks ago. you may have noticed that my blogging (and facebooking) has increased. i've been using the small gym at our apt complex (might as well ellipticize while i watch food network!). i'm trying out new recipes without worrying how long they'll take to cook. i also got a magazine subscription to real simple, which i like a lot. not only are they fun to read, but they're great for crafts. i've had three blank canvas panels for over a year now. i'm not great at painting, so i've decided to decoupage collages with cut-outs from the magazines and other fun supplies like ribbon, jewels, glitter, and maybe some buttons. chris' comments on my works in progress were that he liked them and thought that their style looked "very mary droddy-esque." i told him that was a supreme compliment!

so until i find a full-time counseling job, consider me a freelance artist, amateur chef, and reader extraordinaire.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

south georgia weekend

chris & i went to ludowici, ga this weekend for his paternal grandmother's 70th birthday. it was a bit of a drive, so we met chris' parents in augusta to carpool part of the way. we had a great time and got to see kevin & kyle (chris' brothers) before they started college again. i'm still getting used to the size of his family. on my dad's side, i have one cousin. on chris' dad's side, he has nine cousins. this definitely keeps things interesting!

on saturday, we had a surprise birthday dinner for granny golden. i'm sure she suspected something when everybody was trying to convince her not to cook dinner and when groups of us secretly slipped away to set things up. we had it at a local seafood restaurant, and (like most of the weekend) i left the dinner table feeling completely stuffed!

mrs. cathy (chris' mom) & i literally finished decorating the room moments before granny arrived:
here are the children of mr. & mrs. golden, in birth order from left to right. mr. chris (chris' dad) is the oldest, then aunt brenda, uncle mark, & uncle glenn. they were trying to squash her on the couch!
chris & i got to take home these wonderful fresh vegetables grown in papa & granny's garden. our freezer is also full of peas, beans, corn, & pecans.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

first anniversary

on monday, chris & i celebrated our first wedding anniversary! it has been a wonderful year that has flown by so quickly. we celebrated with a special dinner at home, exchanged "paper" gifts, and watched our wedding video. here are some photos:

i used a recipe from a rachel ray cookbook we received as a wedding gift. it's supposed to be a "30 minute meal", but it definitely took an hour!

we didn't save our top layer of wedding cake because our caterer said it sometimes doesn't taste good and that she'd like to make us a fresh cake on our anniversary. unfortunately, we weren't able to make a trip to augusta for it. instead, i took a photo of our wedding cake to a local bakery to have them make a replica. they did a great job, and it was delicious!
this is a table of some memories from our engagement and wedding day. my gift to chris: a photo from our honeymoon, matted with our wedding vows & 1 corinthians 13. chris' gift to me: a notebook for poets with inspiring quotes & tips for writing.

we are so blessed and look forward to many more anniversaries together!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

the 'lympics

it's pretty obvious to most people that i'm not a big sports fan, but i have to confess that the olympic season is one time when i actually enjoy watching athletics for hours on end. i'm not sure if it's national pride or just the rarity of the games, but there's something special about all nations coming together to pursue perfection/greatness - it's a beautiful ideal.

chris can tell you that i am a lover of variety, and the olympic sports are nothing if not varied. there are events as classic as track & field, as modern as trampoline, as majestic as equestrian, and as everyday as beach volleyball. my absolute favorite is women's gymnastics. i was 12 years old the summer i moved to georgia during the 1996 atlanta games, and i remember watching the usa women's team win the gold medal after kerri strug vaulted on an ankle that gave out soon after her winning performance. the video still makes me cry!

i'm hoping there are some history-making moments this year. i have our american flags ready to wave...go usa!

Monday, August 4, 2008

there was no joy in mudville...

i was sad to read last night that long time atlanta braves announcer skip caray had died. baseball, both little league and the braves, comprised some of the formative experiences of my childhood. i loved playing baseball (usually coached by my dad), and we used to watch the braves together every night. i remember the worst to first braves, i know exactly where i was when sid slid, and glavine, smoltz, and avery were just three of my heroes. i used to dread when jeff blauser would come to the plate. baseball then was innocent for me. it was a perfect game, and i knew nothing about free agency, players unions, or performance enhancing drugs.

i remember my first game at old atlanta-fulton county stadium with my dad. we got there way too early to see batting practice, and i had a blast. all along the way skip, pete, don, and joe called all of the games. i hated listening to other announcers (especially during the playoffs; i still can't stand tim mccarver) because they weren't braves homers and it just didn't feel right. my parents would let me stay up late to watch the playoff games (life lesson: you can only stay up late for sports!), and i probably drove my parents crazy doing the tomahawk chop in the living room. i still hate the twins and blue jays, and it was *so* satisfying to finally win the world series in '95.

i guess hearing about skip really brought back some cheesy but good childhood memories for me. here's a perfect moment from my childhood, and one last tribute to skip caray. he truly will be missed.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

stop & think

if you have 15 min, this video is definitely worth your time.

Friday, August 1, 2008

draw your own conclusions

quick anecdote that goes with my earlier post: i stopped by the bank just now to get our cash for the month. we're on dave ramsey's financial plan, which encourages withdrawing all the cash you'll need for the month and using an envelope system with categories like groceries, entertainment, etc. i typically feel a little self-conscious cashing a check for several hundred dollars and then asking for bills in specific denominations, but i've gotten used to it over the past 8 months or so that we've been doing this.

at the bank, my cell phone rang right as i got to the front of the line. i didn't answer it, but it kept making noises to notify me of the missed call and new voicemail. the clerk helping me asked if that was my phone making the noise, and he seemed somewhat nervous as he counted my twenties at least three times. i was standing there waiting when i remembered my dilated pupils and wondered what conclusions he might be drawing about this lady coming for her wad of cash!

p.s. totally unrelated, the voicemail i got was from a place i'd submitted my resume, calling to set up an interview - yay!

new specs

i went to the eye dr. this afternoon for my annual exam. this was primarily to renew my contact lens prescription, but i decided i wanted a new pair of glasses, too. the ones i have now are several years old, and they're not ones i'm willing to wear in public. i opted for some cute rectangular frames which are rimless on the bottom edge - i may post a picture when i pick them up in two weeks. chris thinks i should consider lasik surgery in the future, but the idea of a laser beam burning off a layer of my cornea while i sit still in a chair is a little scary, to say the least.

at my exam, i also had my pupils dilated. this is optional but is a better method of screening for eye diseases. basically, they put in eye drops that paralyze a muscle that controls your pupils - so they stay wide open regardless of the level of light in the environment. so, for the next 4-8 hours, i look like the people in the soyjoy commercials: