Casual Fridays 7/24/15

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Happy Saturday! That means it is time for the latest installment of Casual Fridays (Saturday morning edition), my weekly chat post – no structure, no rules, no prompts, anything goes.  And please also check out Casual Fridays over at Helen’s blog, Good Woman.

Let’s get random…

Ah, another leisurely Saturday morning. My kids are at a sleepover and my husband is at work. I got up and put on yoga pants and an old t-shirt and was about to take Rusty outside to put him on the zipline. I opened my front door and I saw that my neighbors directly across the street were having a garage sale. People here get really excited for garage sales. They will camp out in your driveway at 5am (even if you post “no early birds.” Early birds don’t care). So what do I see this morning as I step outside in my lounge-wear and bed-hair? Total strangers pulling off the road and parking half in my yard to go browse the deals across the street. I may have had an octogenarian “get off my lawn” moment. Rusty’s zipline time also had to be cut short because the activity in our yard and across the street was giving him fits.

My older daughter has middle school orientation next week. She starts sixth grade. Her fifth grade was technically middle school but they were in a separate building and didn’t have all of the activities the older kids did. It was more of a transitional year. Sixth grade is full-fledged middle school. She will be in the same building with the seventh and eighth graders. She will get to start band. Sports and cheerleading start too, but she’s not into those. The band room and cafeteria are actually in a building that the middle school shares with the high school. She will change classes every period. She will have a locker. There will be more dances and socials. I am not ready for any of this.

My younger daughter starts second grade. Her new teacher is an old high school classmate of mine (who I actually like, ha ha) and I’m hoping that is a sign of a better year to come. We did find out that her “boyfriend” is not in the same class so she’s pretty upset about that.

Work continues to be busy and challenging but I am managing well. I had my first poor fetal diagnosis this week and I had forgotten how truly awful those are. My patient is distraught and she basically cries every time I talk to her. I’m not the kind of person who easily leaves work at work in these situations. I carry some of that with me, I worry about her. I wish I could lessen her pain but I know I can’t. I seem to be her go-to person to call so I guess I am helping her in some way.

Thursday (the day I gave her the diagnosis) was the most draining day of my week. I came home from work that day to two loving kiddos and a husband who had made my favorite dinner and bought me some Dove chocolate. They cast some sunshine on an otherwise gloomy day and I have no words to express my gratitude.

We have a quiet weekend on tap, just the way I like it. We may start some school shopping if I can muster the energy for it. The school supplies are easy, clothes and shoes are more difficult. My kids are both hard to fit and the new middle school dress code is ridiculous. School starts in just under three weeks so I have to decide if I want to be proactive or procrastinate. Procrastination is typically my default.

Have a wonderful weekend and upcoming week, everyone!

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Casual Fridays 7/17/15

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Happy Sunday! That means it is time for the latest installment of Casual Fridays (Sunday morning edition), my weekly chat post – no structure, no rules, no prompts, anything goes.  And please also check out Casual Fridays over at Helen’s blog, Good Woman.

Let’s get random…

So instead of getting closer to Friday this week, I actually got farther away… it’s Sunday morning. Fail. I debated whether I should post at all but I thought if I skipped the post altogether it would be an even bigger fail. Then I wondered if I should change the name – after all, it is no longer Casual Friday if I am posting on Sunday. But then I decided better late than never. And it’s my blog anyway so I can do what I want. Even if it doesn’t make sense to anyone else.

My job continues to suck my energy like a leech, but things are getting better. I think. By the end of the week, things felt like they were settling a bit. I didn’t feel quite so frazzled. I have a lot of patients next week but I have Wednesday blocked for office time so that is the beacon of hope to which I am clinging. I’m determined that next week will be a better week.

Yesterday was my younger daughter’s birthday. Seven years old. My memories of that day in 2008 are still clear and vivid. It’s hard to believe seven years have passed. Caitlin is my sweet, impish little sprite – a ball of energy and light that just goes at life full force.  She says things on a daily basis that make me laugh and warm my heart (or sometimes scare me, as I feel like the teenage years with that one are going to be a challenge). I am constantly reminding myself to learn from her and see the world the way she sees it. So a day celebrating her is always a good day.  And she did have a good day, full of love and presents and cake and ice cream.

We did something really fun this past week – a sleepover at our local zoo with both scout troops. Between the kids and parents, we had 30 people. Being an animal lover, the zoo has always been one of my favorite places. And it’s a favorite of my girls, too. There were activities for the kids through the evening and then we did a hike through the zoo after dark. It is such a pleasant place after the crowds clear out. We took a flashlight tour of the herpetarium (the reptile house). We slept outside under the stars. The only bad part of this was that it was crazy hot and humid – but after about 1am, the humidity broke and it was comfortable. It was pretty amazing gazing at the stars and listening to the sea lions bark and the lions roar. We were up by 6am and had breakfast. Then we took a morning walk through the zoo and got to pet the stingrays. It really was one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences that I know both my girls and I will always remember.

Before the night hike, we were sitting on a balcony over a lake doing a frog watch. Basically, the guides played various frog sounds for us and then we all went silent and just listened to the sounds of nature. I sat back in my chair and looked up at the sky, lost in the vastness of it. It was mid-evening and with the humid haze there weren’t many stars out yet. But I saw one and I focused on it. Wrapped up in the sounds of the frogs and birds and insects, I had a conversation with that star in my heart, trying to glean its wisdom. I felt connected to the universe and my soul felt full. I was so thankful for that moment of peace and clarity. I have thought about that moment often during my busy week.

Well, I have to get on with my Sunday. Cleaning and laundry, so exciting. I am also going to take my girls to see Minions this afternoon. Have a wonderful weekend and upcoming week, everyone!

Casual Fridays 7/10/15

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Happy Saturday! That means it is time for the latest installment of Casual Fridays (Saturday morning edition), my weekly chat post – no structure, no rules, no prompts, anything goes.  And please also check out Casual Fridays over at Helen’s blog, Good Woman.

Let’s get random…

This Friday-post-on-Saturday may become a thing. Stay tuned.

What a week. I scratched and clawed my way through the last five days, a little beat up and bruised. I haven’t been so glad for Friday in a long time, welcomed it like a long-lost friend with a great big bear hug. You know that feeling of elation when you feel hopeless and lost and then you see the light, a beacon calling you home? That was me yesterday at 5:30 pm.

So, my first week at the new job is over. Thank the heavens and stars and the Force and God and all of the rest of the dieties. To say that it has been a stressful week is a gross understatement. It was physically and emotionally draining. #overwhelmed. My first two days were fraught with complications. Nothing about my transfer went right. Well, one thing went right. My parking transfer went smoothly. So, yes, the highlight of the first two days was that I was able to swipe in/out and didn’t get trapped in a parking garage. It was all downhill from there.

Getting my computer access to programs vital to my work was nothing short of a nightmare. I spent an obscene amount of time on hold with IT. When you work for a large university and you are on a first name basis with the IT guys, you know you have problems. Ed and Adam are my new besties. Ed got to the point where he would answer my call and say “hey girl!,” his smile evident in his voice. Fortunately the major computer issues were solved on Wednesday. I missed my besties after that.

My new job is incredibly busy. Since I am the only genetic specialist in my very large department/division, my phone rings constantly. I have a lot of patient calls to make and also patients to see in my office. There were several snafu’s this week, complicated problems that were dropped in my lap because of misinformation or poor scheduling practices in the department. I am proud to say that 1) I handled them and 2) I handled them with grace. Mostly. I came home exhausted every night and fell into bed in a useless heap but I made it through. I survived. Things will get better. Things will settle. I am meeting with my office manager next week. There is much education and organization to be done but I am up for the challenge.

In other news, we have seen a ridiculous amount of rain this week. I have also been besties with my umbrella.

We have also been dealing with the sickies this week at home. My younger daughter has had a bad allergy flare up. So we switched from maintenance medication protocol to all-hands-on-deck medication protocol in a war against the mucus. My older daughter had some kind of virus that resulted in two days of fever and general yuckiness. By week’s end, both were feeling better. Add Walgreens to my list of besties.

I still turned words, stories, plots, characters, etc. in my head during my commute time (which was really the only quiet time I had all week). But sadly, I got no actual words to paper or computer screen this week. I was just too exhausted. While this makes me sad, I am trying not to feel hopeless. My challenge is to figure out how to make it work, how to carve out the time, how to find the balance. I mentioned I love challenges, right?

We have a busy weekend ahead so it’s time for me to get to it. Have a great weekend and upcoming week, everyone!

Casual Fridays 7/3/2015

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It’s Friday! That means it is time for the latest installment of Casual Fridays, my weekly chat post – no structure, no rules, no prompts, anything goes.  And please also check out Casual Fridays over at Helen’s blog, Good Woman.

Let’s get random…

It has been an emotional week for me. It was my last week working at the lab. Having been there for four years, I got quite comfortable and made wonderful friendships. Even though I am excited about my new job, it was hard to leave. My farewell party was Wednesday but I spent the whole week saying goodbyes and preparing for the separation.

I also spent the week preparing for my new role in the clinical realm, perusing medical literature to update myself on new prenatal tests and planning out my counseling techniques. Old dogs can, in fact, learn new tricks.

Since tomorrow is the 4th of July, today was a work holiday. It was a dry, sunny day – one of our first in a while. My husband worked so I spent the day with my daughters. This is always a treat. They have hit that point of the summer where they are using the dreaded “B word”…. bored. Swim lessons are over, they miss their school friends, the novelty of summer is wearing off. Today we had some outdoor time, some creative time and some reading time. Reading time is my favorite.

My eleven year-old daughter is anxiously awaiting the release of the next (and last, I believe) book in The Land of Stories series (by Chris Colfer) on July 7. She is completely captivated by these books and it warms my heart to see that.

Both of my daughters are anxiously awaiting the release of the Minions movie. Confession: so am I.

I want to wish everyone a fun and safe 4th of July weekend. Be especially careful if you use fireworks at home with your children. Also, please be mindful of your furry family members. More pets go missing on July 4th than any other day of the year because they are scared of fireworks.

Have a great week!