Friday, December 6, 2013

12/6/13: Thanksgiving Break...

So Thanksgiving break in California...It was a pretty crazy weekend because we had about 14 people over for Thanksgiving dinner which meant a lot of cooking and baking but with only Emma, Corinne, Dave, me and my parents.  Usually we have about 6 more helpers when everyone else is home.  But it was worth it because we ate so well!!

So the first day we got there was strictly business--dentist appointment, haircut appointment, and all the things I like to do at home.  Now, you have to understand that I never do anything to my hair.  Like, the craziest thing I've ever done is get highlights, and I only did it because my mom wanted me to try it.  I ended up not really liking it and as soon as I could, I tried to get it back to my natural color.  So my bangs have been exactly the same since I cut them like 8 years ago to the side.  But I was ready for a change, and didn't want to change my length, so I did bangs this time!  I love them, and I'm surprised how much it doesn't bug me that they're in my eyes all the time.  The things we sacrifice for beauty, right?

Sorry about the selfie <--, but I was the only one around and I HAD to instagram it.

It's tradition for my family to see a movie on Thanksgiving day or go to the beach.  Since it was a little bit cold this year (not for me, obviously, since it feels like it's 150 degrees like ALL the time...), we decided on seeing Philomena.  It was based on the true story of an English orphan who got pregnant as a teenager and was living with nuns so she was forced to give up her child.  Not only did they force her to put up her child for adoption, they made a business out of it by selling the children and convincing this girl that this was her punishment she needed in order to be forgiven for her sin of not being chaste.

It was pretty serious, but I absolutely loved it.  Judy Dench was the main character and she did awesome.  So funny.  I would highly recommend it if you're in the mood for a great movie, if a little bit sad.

Best part of Thanksgiving if we're being honest.  Artichoke Dip . Cranberry Salsa.  Chips and Guacamole.  Vegetables and Dip.  The works.

After the movie we came back and set the table (we were really proud of our hard work on our flower arrangements).  Usually Annie does the flowers, but she was missing so all of us did it together.  It worked out alright.  I guess you can decide for yourselves?

I don't have any pictures of the actual thanksgiving dinner, but it was delicious and we had Steve and Alicia and their kids as well as Grandma and Grandpa Penrod over.  We were all exhausted by the end of the night after cooking all day and doing dishes all night, but it was a good time with everyone.  

After dinner, the kids wanted to play Just Dance because Steve and Alicia's kids are little dancers!  They had a lot of fun and even Dave and my dad got up there and did it.  It was an 80's song that inspired them I think.  They got pretty into it (see above^^), and it was so funny to watch.  Sorry Dave!

The day after Thanksgiving we went to my grandparents' house to help them decorate for Christmas since my grandma's hand is in a cast after a recent surgery.  It was so fun to see all her decorations up close and get to ask her about where all of them came from.  

Decorating the tree was my favorite :)
This isn't a Christmas decoration, but it says "Instead of my Prince, I seem to attract
the short, dopey guys."  I just thought it was hilarious, haha.  

This is one of my grandma's nativities.  It's made completely out of rocks that this lady in Idaho collects and polishes and paints.  Isn't it awesome?!  My mom wants one so so so badly.  

My grandpa has had this saddle in his family room as long as I can remember.  I think I have pictures of me on it as a baby.  He used to ride horses and he loves this saddle--as do all of his children and grandchildren.  Since this was Dave's first time at their house he needed the inaugural saddle picture :)

On the way home from my grandparents' house, we stopped at the Cheesecake factory since we were all pretty hungry, and the cheesecake we got for dessert was fantastic!  It was a s'mores cheesecake!  What?!  Delicious.  

Then we had my 22nd birthday since I wouldn't be in California for December 4th.  My parents got me a pasta roller for home-made pasta!  I had asked for it because I've loved it since my cooking class last year.  I haven't had a chance to use it yet, but I hope to ASAP.  

After Thanksgiving the week got a little more relaxing visiting friends and watching movies and doing puzzles like the one below :)

Then we headed back early Sunday morning and got home just in time to fall asleep and wake up in time for school in the morning.  It was a pretty good Thanksgiving all around :)

12/6/13: Heinz Time...

So my fifth grade teacher used to call the catch-up times in class "Heinz time".  Get it?  Ketchup time...? ha.  ha.  Well, I think it's funny.  The point is that this blog is going to be all over the place to get caught up.  Where to begin...?

We left off with me spending like 5 hours writing my thesis intro and lit. review.  It actually wasn't incredibly difficult--just tedious.  It took a long time to be make sure all my research has been thorough and my thesis makes sense conceptually within the different theories I'm using.  It's pretty amazing to have a draft of my thesis done in my first semester of grad school, so I'm not complaining.  It's awesome.  Today is the next section--my methods.  So after this class (which miraculously I'm attending...) I'll be spending the rest of my day in solitary confinement pumping that thing out since I haven't started and it's due tonight.  Yayy...

I have some people asking me about my pain since it's been a while since I updated.  The drug-induced menopause HAS HELPED immensely.  I went like 2 weeks with no pain meds at all and that's better than I expected!!  My pain has gotten SO much better which means it must actually be invisible endometriosis, despite our skepticism.  Because it's worked so well, I'm going to be getting my second shot today (the current one is wearing off since it's only a month's worth of medicine) which should last for 3 months.  Then I'll get one more 3 month dose and from there we'll either have to get pregnant or the endometriosis will most likely come back.  ...We'll cross that bridge when we get to it...

So I started seeing clients!!  I was pretty nervous for my very first client, but I feel like there's so much support in this program.  While I was waiting for my client to arrive, I was freaking out and there were some second-years in the room with me helping me relax, giving me ideas of what to do in the session, reassuring me, and basically, helping me feel like I can do this.  It was so nice :)  That first session was a little scattered and I felt like I was anxious and all over the place, but it's gotten better since then.  I've been able to keep my sessions slower and more focused and overall, I absolutely love it!  I'm glad because I've been really worried about my ability to empathize and I've found that it's coming easier than I thought.  I still have times where I just can not understand some of my clients, but that usually means there's just something I need to work through about my own beliefs and expectations of people.

I have a lot of clients (more than most people start out with) because I've asked the clinic to give me as many as possible in case I need to get pregnant for my second year.  I want to be as close to done with my thesis and my 500 hours as I can before that happens.  I'm sure you can understand why.  As bad as menopause is, I imagine pregnancy will be much worse.

So overall, seeing clients has been awesome.  I do feel slightly under qualified because I just feel like I have no idea what to do most of the time.  But it seems like just being there for the clients and letting them have someone who listens to and cares about them is pretty healing.  That's comforting, right?

After starting to see clients, we had Thanksgiving Break!  Hallelujah.  I was so ready for that.  This year is my family's turn for Christmas and the in-law's turn for Thanksgiving, but Dave's family lives on the east coast so we can't afford to fly out there--especially just for a day or two.  So we decided to drive down and be with my family since we didn't want to be alone on Thanksgiving.

I think I'm going to split this blog right here because Thanksgiving is a lot, and this is already pretty long.

 (to be continued....)