Christmas has come and gone. Here it is on the eve of a new year. 2011. Wow. Can't hardly belive it. It seems like the new year always sneaks up on me. What a year it has been. I have so much to be thankful for and I count my blessings each and every day. The past six months have been full growing pains and new experiences. It's been trial and error. Mistakes were made and lessons were learned. I graduated with my Master's degree. I moved to Maryland. I found a job and I work in Washington, D.C. I've struggled and I've triumphed. I have a lot to be proud of and I have a lot to love. Today my heart is overflowing and I am excited to start a brand new year full of hope and promise. I will continue to make each day as good as it can be, learn from my mistakes, and live my life to the fullest in pursuit of happiness.

Happy New Year each and all!


Thanks for your patience.

I know I am over due for an update. My apologies.

Ok, now for the much awaited update on life and love in Maryland.

I feel like a lot and yet not so much has happened since my last post. Let's start with Halloween... Al and I dressed up as an Oompa Loompa (AL) and Willy Wonka (Me) and attended the annual party with some good friends in Fredrick, MD. It was great fun.

We have basically been doing our thing. We've spent time getting our place the way that we want it. We finished buying and hanging some art work. We've been enjoying the beautiful weather and having some adventures here and there.

Last weekend we ventured to Gettysburg. It had been since 8th grade since both of us had been there so we thought it was time for a trip. It was a gorgeous day for it and we had a great time seeing the new museum/visitor's center and doing our own auto tour. I will certainly remember it more now that I'm older and not a silly teenager who is more worried about who my best friend is than who fought and died on those fields.

This weekend, we gave back a little big by walking in the Help the Homeless walkathon. Community Connections was a big player and I got to spend some time with my co-workers and Alan joined us as well. So, we spent Saturday AM in DC. Then we hit up a museum and headed back home for some quick R&R before Al had to dive at the National Aquarium.

Today we have been relaxing and catching up on some odds and ends of things. Tomorrow it is certainly back to reality. Thankfully it's a short week for both of us. Mom and dad have decided to join us out here for Thanksgiving this year since we can't come home. They will arrive on Thursday evening. I am very much looking forward to some quality family time for the holiday. It's one of my favorites. I have so very much to be thankful for this year. :) I am truly blessed. More on that later...

Work is trying. It's a challenge every day, but I'm hanging in there and learning more than I ever thought possible. I'm almost up to a full case load (25 people) and enjoying it for the most part. I think Alan said it best the other night when he said that there is a huge learning curve and I'm smack dab in the middle of it. So, I'm certainly looking forward to another 6 months from now when I'm a little more comfortable with what I'm doing.

I think that's about it for now. Thanks for tuning in, and again, my apologies for slacking. More to come soon!


Home Sweet Home

Ok, so it wasn't quite Huntington, but I did get a mini vacation in Indiana for some fun with family and friends last weekend. I realize that it's sort of old news, but it's been a busy week (what else is new?). So, Alan's cousin was getting married and we decided to take a bit of time off work and make the trip home to Indiana for it. What a great time we had! Alan had actually been in North Carolina that week for work so we met up at Midway and his parents picked us up. We stayed in Lowell on Thursday night, the wedding was on Friday afternoon. We had a blast dancing the night away and catching up with his family and friends. Saturday we headed to Aurora to pay a little visit to Craig, Em, and my favorite three year olds. We all made a trip to a nearby pumpkin patch and helped the boys pick out pumpkins. Alan and I got some goodies for us to bring back to MD with us - popcorn and some apple butter. We spent the night just farting around and having fun. Sunday we drove back to Lowell to have a bleated birthday brunch for Deb's birthday. Sunday was for relaxation. We needed it! We flew back to Maryland a 7AM Monday morning. Back to the cold and rain. I went to work for part of the day and came home and crashed! It was a weekend full of fun and one I know I won't forget any time soon. There is just something that is so comforting about being back in Indiana. Good times!

Alan and I at the wedding.

Alan's mom, Debbie and I at the wedding. The whole Rosenwinkel gang! Hubba Hubba Hudson and a prospective pumkin. Happy Fall!
But, here I am, back in Annapolis. Another week has come and gone. Another weekend has come and gone now too. It's been a quiet one for us. We did some odds and ends of things we've been meaning to catch up on. I have not been feeling too well the past couple of days. I think the change in seasons is starting to get to me. I've been taking vitamin C and hoping it doesn't turn into a full blow cold. Not sure whether Mother Nature is ready to make up her mind just yet whether it's fall or still summer. It's been back and forth. I'm ready for it to be chilly and crisp. Let's see it, Mother Nature!

This is random, but I just want to say how nice it is to have a paycheck! :) I work hard for it, but it's a great feeling!

That's it for now.



This seems to be a very popular theme in my life as of late. I think I have fallen asleep on the couch almost every weeknight the past two weeks. Work is kicking my butt still. Fortunately, my weekends have been very low key, so I have been able to take the time to recover and get some things done that I have been missing out on during the week. It's a big adjustment, but I'm ready to be adjusted so I can stop missing out on my precious time in the evenings. We'll see how many naps I take this week.

Things are becoming routine quickly though. I feel settled at work enough that some of the new excitement has started to wear off and the harsh reality has started to take its place. I felt very overwhelmed this week, but dealt with that and am using the weekend to recharge. It's been a nice and quiet weekend. Alan has been gone diving for most of it, so I've been holding down the fort at the apartment (and by 'holding down the fort' I really mean holding down the couch). I've been able to get some things done and I've done lots of relaxing. The weather has finally broken a bit. It was crazy hot at the end of last week. We were working on breaking a heat record. Boo! I'm SO ready for fall temps to get here so I can bust out my pants and cozy sweaters. I love fall!

This week I'm fending for myself. Alan is headed to North Carolina for work this week and then we are meeting up at Midway on Friday night. We are headed back to Indiana briefly for his cousin's wedding this weekend. I am very much looking forward to it. I am excited to spend some time with his parents and family. Should be a great weekend! Now I just have to survive the next 4 days until I get there. They are jam-packed with clients and all kinds of things. So, I'll certainly be ready for that plane ride on Thursday night!

I think that's about it for now.


Working girl.

My first official work week has come and gone. Week two has just passed as well. It is an absolutely gorgeous weekend, and I'm enjoying it! It seems hard to encapsulate the past two weeks into the words on this page, but I will do my very best. First off let me try and describe how I feel now that they have come and gone. Just the other night I was remembering back to June and July when I was scrambling around trying to finish up my degree and get things in order to move my life 700 miles away. It was craziness as I'm sure most of you remember me describing to you. I remember wishing to myself at times that the next few months would just simply be over and I could be past all of the upheaval and roller coaster of emotions that I knew would accompany it. But, alas, that is not how life works. You can't just skip time and fast forward to the good parts. Without all of the dissonance and uneasiness in between, the relief that comes wouldn't be nearly a greatly appreciated. So, that being said, I have felt a great deal of relief in the past few days. I feel at home in Maryland and at my new job in D.C. The job was the last big piece of the transition puzzle. Now it has fallen into place and into my routine. I feel more at peace than I have in a while. I also want to say a special thanks to all of my amazing family and friends who has helped me through this. I wouldn't have been nearly as successful without all of your love and support. It means the world to me. And my dear Alan is amazing. He puts up with the waves of emotions, the crankiness and the random tears, like a trooper. He's such a huge help and support. My best friend. Thank you.

The job is going really well. So far I've been doing a lot of trainings and shadowing my fellow teammates to see what they do and how they do it. I have my own caseload now. Three new clients in all. Things are starting to get busy, which is nice. I'm enjoying the down time when I have it because I've been told that it doesn't last long and I'll probably never get it back once it's gone and I have a full caseload of 25-30 peeps. I really love my supervisor. She is great. She gives me space to work, but is always there if I need her. I also really enjoy my teammates. They are crazy busy women, but we've had some chances to talk and get to know one another. We are all about the same age and that's nice too. I'm learning DC and what it's like to work in the big city. It's a scary place at times, but I'm getting used to it.

I've been adjusting to a schedule and just being up and doing something for 8-9 hours a day. It's a big change from the past two months of vacation. Being a working girl absolutely got the best of me several nights this week. I was passed out on the couch by 9 on several occasions. To try and curb that, Alan and I decided a date night was necessary last night. So, we went to see Eat, Pray, Love and then to our favorite Italian place for some grub. The movie was marvelous! It was everything I expected and more. The book is probably in my top 5 favorites of all time. Now that's hard to do! I love Julia and she was perfect in the role. So, it was a great ending to a long week. Today, the weather is beautiful and we have been farting around doing a little bit of this and that but mostly nothing. Just the way we like it. Tonight Alan is off to dive at the National Aquarium and I'm spending the evening doing what I please. Perfect!

Life is great! :)


Last day of freedom.

Quote of the day: "Life is not merely a series of meaningless accidents or coincidences. But rather it's a tapestry of events that culminate in an exquisite, sublime plan." – Serendipity

This is a quote that I absolutely love. It helps to remind me that life has a direction and that all you need is a bit of patience sometimes to let it run its course and go wherever it's taking you.

Today is my last official day of freedom. I start my new job tomorrow! I'm ready! It's funny how when I was in school, I would have given my right arm or pretty much any body part just for a day of pure, guilt-free freedom. Well, now I've had about 5 weeks of it. I'm absolutely thankful for that. It has been wonderful. BUT, I am indeed a creature of habit who needs structure and a regular routine. It's time to get that in place and start this last big piece of the new chapter puzzle. Time to make some of my own friends and build my own network out here in Maryland. I miss that terribly. Tomorrow. Tomorrow.

It's been a nice, relaxing weekend. Today should be more of the same. The weather has been amazing. Come on fall! Yesterday Alan and I spent some time downtown Annapolis and just wandered. We visited the state house and there was a little art festival going on. Basically we just wanted to get outside and enjoy the weather. It's another gorgeous day today, and we have nothing specific on the agenda except a batch of waffles for breakfast. Speaking of which, my stomach is growling and it's time to go cook!

Enjoying my last day of freedom before work starts tomorrow! Hope everyone else is enjoying their extra day off!


J-O-B (!!!) and other ramblibgs.

Ok, I've totally been a slacker and haven't posted one of the biggest pieces of news on here since it happened on Tuesday, August 24 ... As the title of this post implies, I GOT A JOB! I am officially employed! WAHOO! What a huge relief and sense of accomplishment! I have really been basking in those great feelings the past few days.

I will give you a brief update for now and you can continue to follow as I start my journey into the working world. :) I was hired at a non-profit agency in Washington DC called Community Connections. You can certainly search them if you just type that in to get a better sense of where it is and what they are all about. Basically they provide a number of services for individuals in DC who suffer from mental health issues as well as other problems like substance abuse, homelessness, and chronic illnesses. I will be working on a team of 8 people as a clinical case manager. This means I get to do a little therapy and a little case management mixed together. It's really a perfect job for my interests and what I have experience with. I will be seeing clients in office as well as meeting them in the community. So, I will certainly get to know DC like the back of my hand. I have a long way to go before that happens though. Yikes! I'm working specifically with a population who struggles with mental health problems and substance abuse problems. YAY! I love addiction! No. Really. It's one of my passions, oddly enough. So, I will be making the commute into DC each day. People out here tend to look at me like I'm a three headed monster when I tell them that, but I think it'll be ok. It will certainly mean long hours and annoying traffic, but I'm 24 and as unattached as I'm ever probably going to be, so I say why not do it. Never in a million years did I think I'd end up working in a big city, let alone our nation's capitol. I officially start work on Tuesday, Sept. 7! Wish me luck!

So, that's a brief update on the job hunt. My apologies for not posting sooner. It's been a little crazy around here. Mom and dad just left after spending almost a week here with us in Annapolis. It was a bittersweet parting. They headed this direction last Saturday and brought a trailer with the rest of my stuff. Again, I HAVE A LOT OF STUFF! We worked hard unloading and hauling it up to our 4th floor apartment. Then we got most stuff put in a spot and settled in. I didn't realize how much I missed some of my things until they were here. Alan and I still have some sorting and such to take care of, but we are loving the way our two lives are coming together as one!

While mom and dad were here we treated them to some delicious Italian food from Italian Market which is just around the corner. We headed into DC to do a tiny bit of site seeing from the car (it was SOOO HOT!) and met up with my cousin Russel for some fun in Chinatown. Russel has lived and worked in DC for quite a while now, so it was really great to catch up with him, and he will certainly be my go to guy for any DC questions! It's nice to have some family close by, no matter how distantly we are related. After our exhausting DC adventures, we had a day to just relax and fart around Annapolis. Alan and I showed mom and dad around downtown for a bit and then headed for some yummy seafood. Can't visit Annapolis and not get some crab! So, we ate at this fabulous little place off the beaten path and had a really great time. The food was DELICIOUS and our waitress was one of a kind. On mom and dad's last day in town we ran some errands and relaxed then grilled some steaks and watched a bit of The Great Outdoors before crashing.
Now it's back to just me and Alan. We are looking forward to having the long weekend to relax and continue settling stuff in. Then it's work for me on Tuesday! WAHOO! Hope everyone has a nice Labor Day weekend!


Quote of the day...

"Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens." - Carl Jung


Rainy Sunday Catch Up

I woke up to the sound of rain this morning and it is falling once again. Nothing like a rainy Sunday to get caught up on life - laundry, dishes, emails, phone calls, etc. Alan is off dive mastering at dive class this afternoon, so it's just me and the house plants.

So, I had a big interview on Friday at an agency - Community Connections - in Washington DC. It is located on Pennsylvania Ave just a hop skip and a jump from the Capitol. You can actually see the Capitol from the office. It was supposed to be an all day interview/shadowing kind of deal, but ended up only being an initial interview with the Associate Director for Community Support Services. The position's official title is Dual Diagnosis Clinical Case Manager. The agency uses an integrated system of therapy/counseling and case management. This means I get to do both! This is fantastic. So, I would be in charge of a caseload of 25 individuals with both mental health and substance abuse problems. I'd see them in my office (how cool!) and in their homes. Long story short, this is a fantastic agency and I am really hoping to land the job. Turns out that I have I will be shadowing the supervisor of the Dual Diagnosis team and then have a second interview on Tuesday. I have a really good feeling about all of this. The best things in life ARE worth the wait! I think it is meant to be. I will say though, never in my life did I imagine that I would be working in downtown Washington DC a few blocks from our nation's capitol! Pretty cool huh?

On other fronts, Alan is back from a work week in Kentucky. I'm very glad to have him back. It was a bit of a rough week. There were a lot of things coming my way all at once, and I had a bit of a freak out moment. It just needed to happen. Lots of changes are happening in my life, and I think most of them have finally sunk in. It's just all a lot to swallow. I'm still working on the balance between independence and my partnership with Alan. It's all new, and definitely an adjustment. But, I absolutely couldn't be happier. I really love the choices that I've made that have brought me out here. It's difficult at times, but I'm making it work. It's just those darn growing experiences that are hard to make it through. haha. Who needs growth? Well, we all do. So here's to going for it! No one ever said life was easy!

So, Friday night he came home and had a fun date night all planned out. We ended up at Cheeseburger In Paradise for dinner and then had some fun playing some miniature golf. It was great! Yesterday we got to hang out and just relax together and then headed into Baltimore for another afternoon of diving at the National Aquarium.

I think that about sums it up. Another post after my big day on Tuesday!


Adventures, etc.

Let me start with Friday...
Friday was the one year anniversary of when we lost Ann. It's a day that I will never forget and one of the worst in my life to date. But, after a good cry and discussion with Alan about it, I decided there was no point in moping around all day and being sad. Ann would not have wanted that. She would want us to be happy and celebrate. So, after pondering what I wanted to do that evening with Alan, I decided what a better way to honor my beloved Auntie Gold than to spend the evening cooking with my amazing other half? So, I decided I would teach him how to make lasagna just like Ann taught me many years ago. And, to top it all off we decided to make some of Grandma's amazing chocolate chip cookies. While we were cooking I was sharing some of my fondest memories about baking cookies with Grandma and Ann when I was growing up. I even had Alan taste some vanilla, which I learned early on smells delicious but does not have a taste to match. The cookies turned out beautifully! They would have been proud. Earlier on in the day, I even caught a bit of a classic movie and one of Ann's favorites, When Harry Met Sally, on TV. It turned out to be a perfect evening and one that I know Ann would have enjoyed. I'm sure she enjoyed watching us cook together, something we do almost every night, and laugh and enjoy life in our new home.
We had plans to get up Saturday morning and head to Harpers Ferry, WV and go tubing down the Potomac River with Dan and AJ, some friends of Alan's who are now friends of mine. Let me just tell you it was an absolute blast! Alan has done some white water rafting as well as some tubing down the river here in WV with his co-workers, and he wanted to go again so that I could join in the fun. I'm so glad we did! It turned out to be somewhat overcast, but it was beautiful. We had our own tubes, complete with head rest and cup holders from beverages, so that made things significantly less complicated. We packed some coolers and launched ourselves down the river. We hit some rocks and some small rapids along the way, but it made for a great Saturday adventure. After grabbing a quick bite to eat and a shower, we headed into DC to meet up with some friends of mine in Georgetown. My dear friend Laura (aka, Fuzz) and her sister came to visit some friends, and we got to catch up with them while they were here visiting. It was so great to see familiar faces. Plus, now I know another Midwest transplant that I can go into DC and do things with! So, we ate dinner at this fantastic little rowing themed place right off of Georgetown's campus. Then he decided to head into DC and tour some of the memorials at night! Again, we had a great time! Alan was in heavan as our personal tourguide, and we got to wander and chat and catch up. It was the perfect ending to a looooooong and exhausting day.


We got the chance to relax for a little bit on Sunday, but Alan was scheduled to dive at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. So, we made plans to buy a couples annual pass and then wander around the aquarium for a bit before he had to go dive. He has had the change to dive here 3 times (I think..) before, but this is the first time that I've been able to be on the other side of the glass watching. I've never seen him dive before. It was SO fun! It was truly beautiful getting to see him swim with the fishies and help out the other divers. I was his fanclub and photographer for the afternoon.

Even though I was exhauted, it was an amazing weekend! We had so much fun and this is exactly the type of adventure we love having together. It's what drew me out to the East Coast. I'm not sure I even thought it was possible to be THIS happy. I am absolutely loving it. It comes with it's fair share of work and unsettling things, but adventures are worth it!
So, now it's Tuesday, and Alan is gone to Kentucky for work for the week. He'll be back on Friday evening. I've decided I have to put my big girl panties on and find some things to do. So, I spend yesterday evening renting some movies and just relaxing, which was grand. Today I did some laundry, cleaning, and watched the last movie. I'm about to head off to Michael's to find something worthy of and art project. I think I've decided I need another hobby. For the time being I have some serious time on my hands. I can only watchin SO much TV before I feel like my brain is rotting and I need a break from reading. So, I'm going to go see what kind of trouble I can get into this afternoon and feed my artist within. :) Wish me luck!



Someone told me today that some of the best things in life are worth waiting for. How true! But, how often do we forget that? This world is obsessed with having exactly what they want exactly when they want it. People can get caught up in the fast-paced life we all have to live to keep up with the chaos swarming around us on a daily basis.

But, waiting, when it comes right down to it, certainly has its perks. It's what I've been doing since I moved. I've been waiting for a job. Don't get me wrong, I have not been idle by any means, but mostly just waiting for something to come through or out of all the hard work I've put in to the search. Waiting can be exhausting. I call people and leave message, but to no avail, no one calls me back. I am trying to think of this as a vacation, but selling that to my bank account is a different story. Something will work out. That I know. Will it be my dream job? Maybe. Maybe not. Someone else told me (I seem to have an abundance of very wise friends who are supporting me, and I'm thankful for them)that my first job may not be in the locale of my dreams, but to take it and shine and that will open up opportunities more to my liking. A great tid bit of advice that I have faithfully tucked in my cap.

It's tough starting a new chapter of your life. I'm still waiting for a huge part of that chapter to open up. I feel confident about the closing of the last one. I made sure to soak it all in and make the most of it. I'm proud to say that I accomplished that. No regrets. However, it's much harder work to open this new one. As mentioned above, I'm not sure I could do it without my amazingly patient, compassionate, and loving other half and my dear friends and family who are always ready with a listening ear, dry sleeve, tid bits of wisdom and endless support. A heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you!

So, for now, I continue to work and wait for a job. In the mean time I am still exploring Annapolis and settling in to living with Alan. I'm enjoying life and taking deep breaths as needed. :)


Thoughts over coffee.

It's Tuesday morning. The sun is shining through the window. I am sipping a delicious cup of coffee and Damien Rice is helping me regroup before I start my day.

First let me recap the end of last week.

Friday - I had an interview at St. Luke's House in Bethesda, MD. The position I applied for was a residential counseling position meaning that I would be doing counseling, teaching life skills, medication management in group homes for individuals with psychiatric disabilities. The interview went really well and they want me to come for a second interview. It's definitely not my dream job, but I think I would have a really hard time turning it down. I can't keep 'beggars can't be choosers' out of my head. So, I've digested that and would be willing to accept it if nothing else pans out. It will just be a timing game.

I don't have all of my eggs in one basket though. I think I ended up applying for 3 more positions in Washington DC last week after I discovered that DC's licensing requirements are different than Maryland (Duh!) and I can actually do mental health counseling/therapy there instead of having to have a license that I am not eligible for like I need in MD. So, that was good news. I have just started searching out some places in DC to apply for, so we'll see what they have to say.

I think that's the major update for the job hunt. I'll definitely post more when I know more.

As for the weekend, it was a blast. Al and I spent Friday night farting around, making stir fry and we watched Valentine's Day. Decent movie. Saturday we ventured over to a friend/co-worker of Al's (Jen)for a little swimming, hanging, and grilling. Jen and her husband are from Michigan, so it was comforting to be around some fellow Midwesterners. We had a great time just relaxing and talking.

Sunday we were lazy and spent most of the day on the couch watching Season 2 of Friday Night Lights. Al is totally hooked! :) I love it! We ended the evening with a swim in our own pool and some grilled steaks, peppers and onions, and green beans. It was delicious!

So, I have officially be a Maryland resident for over a week now. Things are starting to sink in. Slowly but surely. I have quite a bit of time on my hands to sit and think about all that I have accomplished and what all has changed in the past few months. At times it's very overwhelming. But, I have things to keep me busy and today's agenda leads me to Borders for one of my favorite past times, wandering around a book store for hours on end. Plus I have a gift card! ha! Gotta love it. I also need to research the library. Getting a library card is definitely on my list of things to do also.

That being said, I'm going to finish my cup of cofee and a few more emails then hit it!


Job Hunt.

This morning I woke up early and made my way to Columbia (about 40 minutes from Annapolis) to my first inverview of the week at Humanim, Inc. This is a non-profit agency that does work with individuals with disabilities. I think I mentioned it previously, but I found out before today that there were no official full-time positions open for the job that I had origionally signed up to interview for. People are all processing and there is a slight chance that someone may not want the position. But, I decided to go do the interview anyways for the practice and the opportunity. Good thing I did. Before the interview, Te'Coyia offered me information about another position within Humanim and the contact information. She offered to pass on all the informaiton from our interview. So, the interview went really well. Good questions, and I don't think I said anything stupid. haha. So, afterwards, she introduced me to the person who is looking for people to work in their day programs. She said she would be in touch. So, not a total loss today. Gained some inverviewing experience and have another potential job lead.

So, that leaves me back at the apartment. Yesterday I decided needed to be a day of rest, so I did just that. I got in a beautiful nap and then lounged around most of the day. It was much needed, and I feel refreshed. Last night Alan and I officially added me as an occupant on his apartment lease and got some stuff figured out at the leasing office. Today I have some odds and ends of things to do, but basicially just relaxing. Al is working late, and I am gearing up for another interview on Friday @ St. Luke's House, another non-profit.



I am sleepy this morning. But, it is glorious to be able to sleep in and not really have anything to do that is pressing. I feel like a nap will be happening later. The past month is catching up with me. Today is a take it easy and relax kind of day. Yesterday I finished unpacking and putting away the things I brought with me. I updated my resume to reflect my completed degree (YAY!!!) and got that all ready. Tomorrow I have my first interview at Humanim in Columbia, MD. I called to confirm my interview and found out there are no more full time positions, but I am still going for the practice and experience. You never know. Friday I have my second interview at St. Luke's House, Inc. over in Bethesda, MD. I'm much more excited about this interview. But, I'm still on the job hunt. Keep your fingers crossed for me! Eeeep!

Today's agenda is up in the air. I may go drive around and do a little exploring of Annapolis. Job hunting. Napping. We'll see what else happens! :)


Hello from Annapolis, MD!

It is Monday morning, and I am sitting in my apartment listening to some great music and sipping a cup of coffee. My list of things to do is zooming around in my brain, but before I start on all of that I wanted to take a chance to update my blog.

Let's start from the beginngin... It's been a crazy month or so, and the last two weeks have been some that I will never forget. I have officially closed another chapter of my life and am working on opening the next one. I graduated with my Master's in Counseling on Saturday, July 24. It was a bittersweet day, but I can't imagine how it could have been any better. I was surrounded by people who love me and have supported me through thick and thin. I can't tell you that I feel any differently now that I can write my name as Marla B. Alexander, M.A., but I hope that when I get a job it will sink in. After graduation, Alan and I spent the week spending time with family and friends and packing up my stuff in Muncie and getting it ready for the big move to Maryland. It took a lot of hard work - blood, sweat, and some tears - to get it all sorted through, packed, and in the right pile (Maryland now, Maryland later, Storage, Goodwill). On Sunday (July 31) we made the trip together to Annapolis together with about 1/16 of my life's posessions. We stopped in Pittsburg to do some siteseeing on our way and had a great lunch. Yesterday we spent most of the day out shopping and picking up things we need to make his apartment our apartment. IKEA is amazing! So, we got back to the apartment exhausted and with significantly lower bank accounts. However, we are pretty much set with things in the apartment. The rest of my stuff will be coming with mom and dad in about a month! It hasn't really sunk in yet. But, I haven't really stopped smiling since I arrived. This is so exciting and much less scary than I origionally thought. I can tell you that I truly feel like a grown up. I have been one for quite some time, but the 'real world' is calling my name and I'm so close to being a part of it. Now, I just need a job!


Letting Go Take Love

To let go does not mean to stop caring, it means I can't do it for someone else.
To let go is not to cut myself off, it's the realization I can't control another.
To let go is not to enable, but allow learning from natural consequences.
To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.
To let go is not to try to change or blame another, it's to make the most of myself.
To let go is not to care for, but to care about.
To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive.
To let go is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.
To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to affect their destinies.
To let go is not to be protective, it's to permit another to face reality.
To let go is not to deny, but to accept.
To let go is not to nag, scold or argue, but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.
To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires, but to take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it.
To let go is not to criticize or regulate anybody, but to try to become what I dream I can be.
To let go is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.
To let go is to fear less and love more.
Remember: The time to love is short.
(author unknown)


Journal Article!

I am officially published! :) Check it out!



Kodak Moment.

This is a picture from Valentine's Day when Alan planned a brilliant surprise and showed up (aka he flew 700 miles from Annapolis just to be with me on Valentine's Day and kept it all a secret!) at Scotty's in Indianapolis instead of my dear friend Chris. He's truly amazing!

Too long.

I really should update my blog more often. I was just sitting here looking back over some old posts from the past couple of years. It's nice. I feel very nostalgic.

Here is a quick run down of what's going as of right now...

1. The sun is shining and Spring is right around the corner! I can smell it!
2. I just spent a week (spring break) in Annapolis with Alan and we had an amazing time right up until the end when we both ended up sick.
3. I'm still sick, but starting to feel better.
4. I'm looking for a job in Maryland and am moving out there for a grand adventure in August after I graduate. I have some good leads, so keep your fingers crossed for me!
5. I have 129 days until I graduate, and obviously I'm counting them down!
6. I'm excited about my birthday coming up on Saturday. Year 23 had it's great moments along with some tragic ones, but I'm excited to see what year 24 will bring! I will be spending some time with Andy and then heading out for a Goddess treat and then dinner with mom, dad, and Toby.
7. Tomorrow I am taking a content exam to make sure that I have absorbed all of the wonderful knowledge that is appropriate for a Master's student who is allowed to graduate from Ball State University.
8. I have the most wonderful boyfriend in the world!

I think that about sums up what I can think of right now. Enjoy!