<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Archive: April, 2008
 

Archive for April, 2008

Last couple days

April 29th, 2008 at 01:44 pm

Well, I avoided paying for parking today by staying in my friend's dorm instead of going back to the hotel. BF was at work all night anyway, so it worked out. I finished up my last paper and went to sleep. I'm now on my way to take an exam, then I'm done for the day.

I'll take a bus back to the car, and drive it to the hotel. Tomorrow I'll take the car to my apt and take a bus downtown, because I need to drop off my keys and stuff while I'm there. Yay fun Smile

The rest of the day's plans? Study study study.

Last exam is tomorrow!!!!

Last week is going to be interesting.

April 28th, 2008 at 01:49 pm

Well, I'm officially moved back to Ohio. BF's apt is still a bit cluttered, but we're working on it slowly but surely. A little more reorganization is necessary, but that will come soon enough.

As for this week, I have an exam tonight at 6. I also have to get a couple papers done before then. So today will be busy. I also need to walk down to the library to print out notes so that I can study them on the 2 hour car ride back to PA.

BF works in PA all week, and will be staying in a hotel. I get to stay with him, since I have no furniture in my apt. No cost for either of us, but gas and parking might get a little pricey. Today, BF is going to drop me off downtown, then I'll take a bus back to my apt and get the car (which has been parked there since saturday), then I'll drive it to the hotel.

Tomorrow I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I'm only going to be down town for 2 hours. I dont want to drive it all the way back to my apt because the traffic is awful and I'll be having hour long waits. The gas situation would suck as well. But at the same time, I dont want to have to pay to park downtown 2 days in a row-- it would run me about $5/day. I guess the question is how much gas would I be wasting to park it elsewhere and take the bus back downtown? Hmm. I'll figure somehting out. It seems silly to pay for parking downtown if I still have an active bus pass.

I went to Marc's yesterday to pick up some food to bring with me to the hotel room. We have bread, peanut butter, and things of the like. But I also picked up some bananas and goldfish crackers. That should hold us over for a few days.

BF and I haven't gone out at all this weekend. We're both so broke, there's no way. haha. We made dinner at home on saturday night amidst unpacking. We had lunch at BF's brother's yesterday, and had sauerkraut and sausage for dinner last night. Had leftovers for breakfast this morning Smile

On the good news front, I miscalculated how much money was in my checking account, and have about $30 more than I thought I did. I like accidents when they're like that. Kind of like a happy suprise in the end!

So the plans for today? Get these papers done. Do dishes and unpack a little more. Go to the library and print out notes. Study on the way to PA. Take exam. Take bus back to car, then drive car to hotel. Relax Smile

Hope everyone has a great day, I'm going to get mine started!

Officially moved in.

April 26th, 2008 at 11:28 pm

Well, after thee worst weekend possible, I've finally got all of my things moved back to Ohio. Yesterday was quite the day. Hideously annoying and way too expensive.

I drove back to Ohio because I had some things to get accomplished. I had to go to the library to write up a poster needed for this morning.

The first problem was that I apparently still owed the $26 fee that I paid before moving to PA 2 years ago. Ugh. They didn't have my payment on file, so I had to pay it again. Just to get on the computers.

The time limits on the computers at the library were foreign to me. Long story short, 2 hours of work got erased when MS Word closed on me. So I had to get my time extended and redo it all in 30 minutes.

I went to Borders to return my book, and they gave me credit back on my Visa, which was great. There's another $19, which almost makes up for that $26 fee. Sigh. I guess it'll be worth it in the long run. I'll definitely check out books on a regular basis.

The move went fairly smooth. I wont get into the gory details of how crappy my day was, but I'm here in Ohio with BF, so things are are much better. His apt looks like a storage unit, but it'll end up okay. We need to reorganize and drop some stuff off at my mom's tomorrow.

We're making dinner in tonight, then possibly going to his parents' to watch a movie.

Well, time to eat! I'm starving. Everyone have a good night!

NSD and extra money :)

April 24th, 2008 at 06:15 pm

Well, today is a No spend day. So I add one more dollar to my challenge money. That makes... $128.98. Coming along nicely...

I got a free lunch today. I was nominated for oustanding student leader of the year. Didn't win the prize, but I didn't have to pack! And I'll probably be full unti later tonight. haha. I always eat so much at functions like that.

I just got home, and I have the rest of the afternoon to pack, clean, and pack. I think tomorrow I'm going to drive back to Ohio. It'll give me one trip of my stuff to take back with me, and there are some supplies there that I need to utilize to finish my poster presentation for saturday. And I can do my laundry for free there as well Smile

I cant believe that in 2 days I'll no longer be living in my apartment. Or in PA. I've been gone 2 whole years. It hasn't seemed that long at all. I also cant believe that I'll be at the beach in 8 days!!! I'm so thrilled Big Grin

I still have about 2 papers to write, and 2 more finals to take before wednesday. I'm still remaining somewhat calm, but it's still quite a bit to do!

I sold a couple of my books today. The only ones I really wanted to sell back-- my government book, and sparknotes for something I read in english last semester. I got $32.75. Half gets put in my challenge money, the other half goes to pay off my CC. So $16.38 goes to both, bringing my challenge money up to $145.36. I'm pretty excited about it, I must say. If I had any more I wanted to get rid of, you better believe I would. I really need the money right now :/

I realized that I bought a book at Borders and dont need it (its the Psychology GRE subject test prep book), so I'm going to return it. I still have the reciept, but it's after 30 days since I purchased it. So they said they would give me a giftcard with the amount. I guess that works. I'd rather use the giftcard to get a book I want/need rather than one that I dont. So I think I'm going to return that tomorrow. And perhaps get a new book Smile A sort of congrats present for finishing the semester. haha.

I also want to stop by the consignment shop in Ohio to drop some stuff off. I cleaned out my closet... no harm in trying to get some money for the clothes I dont wear anymore.

Well, I think it's time to get packing. So much to do! I hope everyone has a good weekend!

Some good news.

April 23rd, 2008 at 09:50 pm

My day started relatively early. I have to do some homework, then I hit ALDI as soon as it opened to pick up a few things. Peanut butter, bread, and a 6 pack of V8 juice. Pretty much lunch food. I had no lunch meat, and the peanut butter will keep without refrigeration when I'm staying at the dorm with my friend a few days next week. I obviously, then, did not have a no-spend day. But the good news? I only spent $4.97. I ran home, packed my lunch, and then hopped on a bus.

Class was fine. I took my exam, and I did better than I thought I was going to. Much easier than I had anticipated. So that's good news as well.

The best news? I got a call from the registrar's office of the university I'm attending this summer, they were letting me know that I had been granted Ohio residency. So the remainder of my undergrad education is going to be about half the cost than it would have been otherwise.

So I have to finish up my semester and get things all settled to move. Coordination has been a total pain in the butt, but I think everything is going to work out. My mom's friend has a truck with a trailer, so I'll have plenty of room. It seems I'll have plenty of helping hands, or at least a few.

We're trying to finish up planning for our vacation next weekend. It seems it's going to be somewhere around $130 for gas per person if we take my mom's SUV. The room is going to be about $72 for all 3 nights per person. So that leaves me a little less than a hundred to cover food and drink costs. I have one bottle of wine that I'm going to bring. I think I have another at my mom's. So I should only have to buy maybe one more [cheap] bottle and perhaps a 6 pack of sorts. We're also going to hit the grocery store and buy food to bring with us. Sandwich stuff, fruit, snack food, things of the like.

I really need to start work as soon as I get back. Bah.

Well, I should probalby get back to homework. Everyone have a good night!

Unexpected NSD!

April 23rd, 2008 at 02:24 am

So today was yet another long day. But the good news was it was a No spend day! I packed my lunch, went to class, then the psych club meeting. After that I hopped the bus home, choked down some ramen, then drove to the bar to meet a friend that was in town. We had a couple beers, a couple appetizers. It was really nice. I've been stressing out so horribly because of finals, moving, and wrapping up the semester. Having a couple drinks was well worth it. And he paid Smile So it was an unexpected, and quite pleasant NSD. That means one more dollar for my Challenge money... bringing me up to $127.98.

I'm also getting really good at driving the manual Smile

I did take up time that should have been used for studying to go out, but at this point I've become apathetic. Sure, I care about my studies still. But I've gotten A's on everything up to this point, and there's no way I'm going to fail anything.

I have one final tomorrow, another on thursday. I've been studying my butt off (though it still unfortunately has seemed to retain its size). I still have about 3 papers to write, and I'm hoping my friend calls me so I can do an interview with her tonight. I really need to write this paper...

Tomorrow should be a cheap day. Not a NSD because I really should hit the grocery store. I've put it off, but at this point I at least need to go pick up some peanut butter. Maybe another loaf of bread. I've got enough to make 2 more sandwiches. But I'd like to have some for next week. I'll be staying in the dorm with my friend. I can even keep PB&J there. haha. Some snack food would be nice too. Basically anything I can pack in my lunch.

Speaking of packing, I have to get that all done by saturday. Mom is bringing a truck with a trailer. She has a friend that owns one, so there should be no problems getting it all down in one trip. I have my boxes, I just have yet to actually pack a whole lot. I have to split up my books so the boxes aren't all so heavy. That is going to be an adventure, but I'll probably get the bulk of my packing done on friday. I have the whole day off.

Well, time to get to more homework. So much to do! Hope everyone is having a good week!

Monday. Sigh.

April 21st, 2008 at 01:33 pm

Well, it's my long day. I woke up at 7:30 this morning. I had to pack my lunch. I didn't go grocery shopping, so I hard-boiled 3 eggs and made egg salad (which will give me at least a couple sandwiches). I also made tea and put it in the cleaned-out pop bottle I had from yesterday. Those I'll be taking with me on campus. I will have to buy dinner, but I'm thinking fast food. Cheap.

I added up how much I'm over budget this month... not so hot. About $200 over. Bah. Between a trip to the liquor store, eating at restaurants 2 times too much, too many little things here and there, and buying Cranium at walmart the other day, I went over quite a bit. So I'm trying to spend as little as possible now. I'm thinking the dollar menu at wendy's is calling my name.

My mom owes me a little bit of money, my friend too. So I'll have another $30-40 here in a bit.

A friend messaged me today and said he was going to be in town tomorrow for a job interview and wants to grab a drink afterwards. So I'll be spending at least a few bucks on a beer. Wont be able to stay for 2 even if I wanted because I have way too much to do, but at least I have the car this week. BF is in Texas for job training, so he let me drive it back to PA. Lucky for me, that means errands dont take forever. I can get around. woo!

As for today, I have class, then I need to finish up one of my paper (at the least), try and study for my government exam on wednesday, and then I have another class. Then more studying.

Wish me luck. I really need to survive the next couple weeks.

Back in PA, and bracing myself for quite a week.

April 21st, 2008 at 01:40 am

Well, I spent a few days in Ohio and had a really good time. Despite the fact that I got NO homework done while away, I got a considerable amount of things accomplished. Including:

*Hanging out with my dad.
*Scheduling classes.
*Getting my new student ID.
*Turning in my residency form.
*Putting in a job app.
*Going to staples to get the supplies for my poster.
*Getting boxes.
*Doing a job interview.
*Getting a job Smile
*Relaxing, as was much needed.
*Successfully driving a manual 2 hours away.

I'm not going to get into the gory details, but I did manage to get a job. A restaurant downtown that seems really nice. I like it. The atmosphere seems like one that I'd want to work in, and I'll be working mostly daytime. Other advantage? My interview was in the evening, and the owner of the place bought me a couple beers. So I drank a little cheaper that night Smile

I definitely spent more money than I should have this weekend, but at this point, I have bigger things to worry about. We didn't really do dinner out much, but lunch and general spending were at a high. I did manage to find a couple really cute tank tops at this nice consignment shop, that totaled $12-- well under my clothes budget for the month. Those I'll be wearing on vacation.

My friend from PA came down to Ohio too, and I showed her around my hometown. It was nice. A change for her, and exciting for me.

I got the boxes free from BF's former work. I got a LOT of them, too. He used to work at a place that sells office furniture, and they had an abundance.

So here's the plan for this week:

*4 papers to do.
*1 poster that I need to get together.
*2 finals to pass.
*1 apartment to completely pack by saturday.

It's going to be rough, but hopefully after this break I'll find my second wind!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

In Ohio and stress-free (for the most part)

April 17th, 2008 at 01:34 pm

Well, mom picked me up yesterday from PA and drove me back. I got to spend some time with dad, but then went back to mom's to do laundry (for free! yay!). Got to talk with mom a bit.

Her and stepfather are trying to settle a dissolusion, so they're budgeting and whatnot, because my mom likely will be moving out of the house with my brother and sister. She cant afford to live in it only on her income, and I think she wants out anyway.

We were sitting down and figuring her budget, and it's amazing to me just how much she spends on things like groceries and utilities. Granted, my mom can budget really well (I learned everything I know from her), but I always forget that there are more people living at home. Also, her taxes are outrageous. She gets taxed about a third of what she takes home each year. I dont get it. She's a business owner (technically), as she owns her own insurance agency (though it's still a part of the larger insurance co.) Still, it seems like a lot, and when it all comes down to it, she really doesn't make a whole lot of money at all. It's kind of sad, actually.

So I'm going to help her out as much as I can-- with making meal plans and getting my sister out of the house more in the summer so she isn't sucking up so much electricity in front of that TV.

My parents have a LOT of debt. It's kind of ridiculous to me how they live life beyond thier means. Granted, I know that the bulk of it is my stepfather, who, for instance decided to buy a BMW when he had a perfectly fine mustang that was paid off. My mom drives an SUV that is rusting through (quite literally), seems to have little things go wrong with it all the time, and has twice the miles. It's also paid off. Mom's glad she doesn't have a car payment.

My parents do have a camper, and rent a campsite every year, they have multiple TVs, DVDs, my stepfather has a ridiculous amount of music equipment (which is fine if you play out, but why in the world do you need a whole PA system to play guitar by yourself in the basement?). I would call him the quintessential American consumer. He determines the quality of life by how much stuff he has. That probably explains why he never put any effort into having good relationships with his wife... or any of his children. He's the kind of guy that thinks because he puts a roof over our heads and buys us impressive xmas presents that he's showing "love." It's kind of repulsive, I must say. I'm SO happy my mom is leaving him. She should have so many years ago.

But she is going to have a rough time financially. I think she can handle it. She's a pretty smart lady. And I'll be there to help out as much as I can.

As for myself, yesterday was no NSD. It was so nice out, and I really wanted a rootbeer float Smile It was well worth it. Today may or may not be. I'm at BF's apt right now and he's at work. He needs to go grocery shopping. haha. I had oatmeal for breakfast, but I'll probably get lunch out. I have some errands to run.

I have to stop by the university I'll be attending over the summer, and sort things out with them as far as my residency and scheduling go. Then there's a restaurant downtown I'm going to walk to and put in an application at. I need to find a job. I want to work day shifts mostly. My mom's friend is offering me an office job, which the hours wouldn't be bad, but I wouldn't make a whole lot. $8/hr, 20 hrs a week. I'd have to get something on top of that, and I really dont have the time. I think I'd make a lot more working at a restaurant or getting more hours. We'll see. If I can get a job at this restaurant, I dont mind working one or two nights a week. We shall see.

In other news, dad and mom both said they'd help me out with my books this summer! Woo! That's one less thing I have to worry about Big Grin

$20 Challenge and going to Ohio

April 16th, 2008 at 11:03 am

Yesterday was another no-spend. I packed my lunch and made dinner when I got home in the evening, so that's $1 for my challenge money. We're up to $126.28.

I'm hoping today may be another, but we'll see. On the list of things to do:

*before I leave for the bus, I need to straighten up the apt, because mom will be here and will scrutinize. I also need to shower and make myself pretty Smile Also, I need to pack up some clothes so they're ready to be picked up later.
*after class, mom is picking me up, we're running to my apt to pick my stuff up (so I dont have to carry it on the bus), and then driving back to Ohio. Yay!

Once we get there, I'm supposed to be going to dinner with dad. That should be free, but I dont like to count on such things. After that, I'm not sure what I'm doing. Likely hanging out with BF, whom I miss quite a bit. Cant wait to see him!

Tomorrow I need to go down to my old university, hand in my application for Ohio residency, and try to schedule my classes (or at least get into a position where I can do it online). Have to work this payment thing out. I've never taken summer classes, so I'm not sure when payment is due and all that.

I need to file my fafsa-- not that it counts for the summer, but I need to get it in regardless. And mom actually has her taxes done. It's amazing.

Also this weekend I need to pick up boxes, and the supplies to make something similar to a science fair project. haha. It's going to be a poster presentation of research I'm doing, but I have to get one of those board things and construct it. Fun fun fun. That will cost at least a good $10-15, with all supplies. But we'll see what mom has on hand as far as materials after the board.

I also (desperately) need to do my laundry at my mom's. I think I've held out for about 2 weeks at this point, trying to wear clean things. Starting to run out of the bare essentials tho Smile

Other than that, I guess there's a big "yard sale" on campus on sunday. I'm going to go and try and sell some stuff if I can get a hold of someone with a car to pick me up. I'd like to get rid of that microwave, but taking it on the bus doesn't sound like much fun. We'll see. I might just list it on craigslist.

I think that's it for now. Just have to get my day started! I'm hoping this weekend isn't too spendy, given I'll be out of town. Thursday night I'm going out to the bar to do karaoke. I'll have to keep my drinks to a minimum (usually do anyway if I'm drinking, but ya know). I'm looking forward to a little fun in these stressful times regardless!

Everyone have a great day Smile

One day at a time...

April 15th, 2008 at 11:06 am

Thankfully my long day is over, and I have seeing BF tomorrow to look forward to Smile I didn't really get a whole lot done yesterday (outside of going to classes from 11:00am-8:30pm), but I'm not too worried about it. I'll get much more accomplished today.

I've got class from 9:40-12:50. Then I've got a psych club meeting at 4:30. Gives me a few hours in between to get some stuff done. I'll be bringing my laptop to campus today. Let's hope I can finish one paper before I hit the hay tonight.

So I had to schedule to take my government final early (it was set to be May 2, but I'm supposed to be on a beach sipping drinks and getting sun that day), and my prof said I should schedule it for next week (the week before finals). This is both good and bad. I have another final that a different prof is giving on thursday. I'm taking my government final on wednesday now. So I have 2 finals next week. gaa! The upside is that they're not all in the same week. The downside? Have to get studying. Now. sigh.

Bringing my peanut butter sandwich for dinner last night worked, except I dont think I packed enough to go with it. I was starving by the time I got home. Ah well. I still saved some money... except that when I stopped at CVS to buy razors, I also bought a bit of candy. At this point, I'll take anything that makes me just *that* much less stressed and swallow the cost. Besides, I got cream savers that taste like apple pie, strawberry cheesecake, and cinnamon buns. Had I actually bought a peice of each? Much more than $1.50, and much more calories too Smile hah.

That was the only spending yesterday. I took a look at my numbers, too, and it seems that unless my last 2 bills come in being less than I anticipated, that I'm going to be slightly over budget for the month. Bummer. It was that trip to the liquor store that killed me... well, and 2 nights out at a restaurant.

Speaking of which, I'll be in Ohio tomorrow through the weekend. My biological father is in town. I've had a really rocky relationship with said father, who has been virtually non-existent for the last 10 years or so of my life. Yo-yo fathering is what I like to call it (goes away, comes back for a month, goes away for months, comes back for a month). I saw him for the first time in 6 years over the summer when I went on my road trip. He apologized and explained, and we've started talking since. My brother was living with him for a while before he left for basic training (not the one that is in the hospital).

So he's in town, and I'm going to Ohio to see him, as well as spend some time with my friends and family back home. I'll be doing some karaoke with him on thursday night (he's always been a fabulous singer. I picked up the gene apparently). It should be fun. He wants to meet BF, who will meet him tomorrow.

Funny sidenote: I was talking to BF about going to dinner with my dad tomorrow, and he asked where we were going... because he doesn't want to spend all that much money and it's his mom's b-day today, and they're going out to dinner. I guess I'm proud that he's actually saying "no," and capping down on his spending, or at least being aware of it. But I was told by a little bird that dad was going to be covering the meal, so no problems here Smile

Today should be a NSD. I'm packing my lunch, and should be home by dinner time. I cant think of anything that I need to buy, so a cheap one it will be.

Other than that, I'm just trying to get all of my things together to get my school schedule straight for the summer. I have a trip to make to my old university. I need to turn in this application for ohio residency (ugh). I still have a liscence and vote in Ohio... going to be there for a while now. TAKE ME BACK, OHIO! I feel like the state broke up with me...

haha.

At any rate, I should get this day started. The sooner it gets going, the sooner I get to tomorrow... filled with fun and excitement and seeing BF Big Grin Have a good tuesday, everyone!

Losing it. Trying to remain optimistic.

April 14th, 2008 at 12:04 pm

I'm trying my hardest to remain optimistic in these times. I have about 2 weeks til finals, 6 papers to write, 5 tests to study for, an apartment to pack, and it seems not nearly enough time to do it all. I've been in a super blah mood for the last week. I'm really stressed out.

What I do know is that fretting about it doesn't get my work done, so I just have to bite the bullet. Sigh. Why on earth do I take on so much every semester??

In financial news, BF too has been stressing-- about money. He's set himself on a budget as of this weekend. I still have yet to see his numbers, but he makes far more than I do. His budget it $100/week (including food and gas). For me, that's a lot. haha. He mentioned some bonuses and things that he has coming up, but I reassured him that just because he has more money flowing in doesn't mean he should increase his budget... he has CCs to pay off, afterall. So we're going to work on spending less. Together. The restaurants are what kill us. We need to start cooking. I think once the weather gets warmer, we'll have more free entertainment (we love to hike and take walks, and I love picnics in the park), or at least cheap entertainment.

I still want to go over his numbers, but he's a bit shy. He says he's embarrased of how much debt he has. I dont think it's something to be ashamed of, per se. It seems we all fall into that trap. It's having the courage to get out of it and make sacrifices that really counts. I'd introduce him to our community here, but then how would I talk about him all the time? Wink

Mom got a letter from the university I'll be attending over the summer. I've been accepted and all that, but they said that they've determined me an out of state resident. Ugh. So I have to petition for Ohio residency. Hopefully it'll work, or it's going to make my semester there far more expensive. Sigh yet again. Lucky for me, I'm going to be in Ohio thursday afternoon, so I'm going to head down there and try and schedule my classes, turn in my application for OH residency.

I had 2 NSDs in a row Smile That adds $2 to my challenge money. I'm now up to $125.98.

It's climbing along nicely, though I'm hoping I can keep it up for the rest of the week. Today I'll likely spend at least $5. I have to buy dinner on campus, which means my weekly subway trip. I wish there was something I could bring that would stay good all day. Guess I could pack a peanut butter sandwich... or some oatmeal. haha. Maybe I will do that. I'd love to be really under budget on my "food on campus" category, because I'm so over budget on my entertainment expenses. I haven't spent any money on clothes yet this month, so there's still $30 hanging around there. But vacation is coming up. Who knows... I got some killer american eagle coupons in the mail. I wouldn't mind buying a new tank top 30% off. And I saw imitation AE shorts at walmart that I'm thinking of checking out. Much cheaper than the ones I would buy at the mall (I think only $10), so I'll have to try and make a stop there at some point.

It's my long day, and I'm not looking forward to being on campus all day long. I have to stop at the public library and pick up a movie I need to write a paper on: "China's Lost Girls." Should be interesting. Just trying to get all this stuff done. Sometime this week I need to pick up boxes to do my moving. I'm hoping they aren't too expensive, wherever I get them. I have to finish packing my books, my school supplies/stuff, my dishes, my bathroom stuff, and my clothes (though these are all going in trashbags). I'm sure there's some other stuff that I'm forgetting, but I really dont have much anymore. I want to donate some of the books that I dont really want anymore and cant seem to sell on amazon. I'd love to have a yard sale, but I really dont have all that much to sell.

I do want to sell my microwave. It was the ex's, he left it, but BF has one, and I really cant stand this microwave. And I could definitely use any extra money I can get. Maybe I'll keep it around *just in case*. Dont want to screw myself over like last time... ah well.

10 Things I wish I had known before college.

April 13th, 2008 at 01:11 pm

Highschool graduation day. Rows of folding chairs and people that I had hoped never to meet again. Especially the backstabber sitting next to me whose last name happens to follow mine alphabetically. What was I thinking as I mindlessly waited for them to call out to me, hand me a peice of paper, and give me a pat on the back? "I cant wait to get the h*** out of here." What should have I been thinking?

Well, here's a list:

10. "I'm a wishy-washy teenage girl and will change my mind six million times before deciding on a major." As a naive 18 yr-old, I always thought I knew exactly what I wanted. I never gave myself enough room to explore, and I lost quite a bit of time because of it. I wish I would have known to stay tentative with my area of study. But of course, I got quite a bit of scholarship money from my department.

9. "Education is not spelled d-r-u-n-k." I was lucky to have gotten all of this out of my system in my first couple semesters (well before I turned 21, but that's beside the point). I never failed anything, but I certainly didn't do as well as I should have. That had more to do with my attitude, which brings us to...

8. "Because I will change your mind, and dont know what major I will end up with, I MAY GO TO GRADUATE SCHOOL." This is an important one because I had not thought twice about my GPA, or how many activities I was involved in outside of my classes. I worked, and I went to class, and pulled off decent grades without trying. I wish I had maintained the passion and effort I put into school now throughout my entire college career.

7. "There is no class on dating the male--or female--variety. So I should quit studying it so hard!" I have to say that I let myself get a bit distracted... haha. Well, that may be an understatement, but it made my life incredibly complicated. My grades suffered for this about as much as the constant drinking did, but I think it also taught me a few things about relationships. I think had I focused on school more than boys, I would have been better off.

6. "Following boys out of state is not an easy way to get out of mom's house... if we break up. And we will." I will preface this by saying that moving to PA is easily the best thing I've ever done for myself, but not for the reasons intended. I think had I just looked for a change, and followed my own dreams somewhere I would have been better off. Instead, I became dependent of someone who was ultimately NOT to be my future husband. Independence is a wonderful thing, but I didn't really accomplish it when I followed the ex. When we broke up, I was left more or less incapable of taking care of myself. There were things I should have definitely thought through a bit more.

5. "Education is an investment. And an expensive one." I was no stranger to the idea that college was expensive. What I had brainwashed into me, though, was that loans are evil, evil entities that suck the life right out of you and should be avoided at all costs (thanks mom). Now, I agree. haha. But I've found they are a necessary evil. The smartest thing I ever did in my college career was quit my job. I've been in financial hardship ever since, but it has allowed me to do so more-- like starting/joining clubs, going to outside lectures, and in essence allowing my to pump up my resume and CV like a woman on a mission. Getting into a good grad school will be invaluable, well, it'll pay off eventually. haha. 7 years down the road when I get that other fancy peice of paper that reads PhD.

4. "I have no idea who I am, and will change more every year." I was a pretty mature girl when I graduated high school. Now when I look back, I laugh. I had no clue what I wanted. I think it took me a while to adjust to the change. My first year of college I wore oscar meyer weiner men's PJ pants (this is why I'm called Pajama Mama) and a power rangers track jacket to class every day. And I did NOT live on campus. I can look at myself now and see a major difference. Not just because I get dressed in the morning, but my attitude about life, school, the world is drastically different. I'm not that silly girl anymore. I'm someone completely different.

3. "Letting a boy get in the way of me doing what I really want is unacceptable. And because he would, he is not worth being with." I almost made this number one. As I have regretted letting my ex tell me not to study abroad for a good portion of my college years. I listened. And I still have yet to leave the country. Because I was too afraid he would be right-- that we would break up. But I didn't realize then that if he is telling me not to do something that I really want to do because he's afraid we'll break up, we probably should. Because he was too selfish to love me.

2. "Love isn't always enough." This kind of goes along with number 3. Because boys were such an integral part of my life throughout college, I would have saved myself many hours of grief (that could have been used productively... say... for studying) had I known this little bit of information. It took me a few messy breakups to realize that you cant make things work just because you love someone. There are some people that are just incompatible. There are some that are just too selfish or stubborn. Also, love is not a feeling, it is an action-- that needs to be performed by BOTH parties.

1. "I will not be a child anymore one of these days." This is the one that I'm struggling with most right now. I'm not a kid anymore. I think many people even at my stage in education might still be, but I'm not. And it's strange. As a teenager, I had fantastical ideas of what it's like to be an "adult." I thought I already was one (far ahead of my years). But I'm starting to go through that transition, to really think things through, and I have enormous responsibility. I've had this blog since Feb 2006-- right before I first moved to PA. You all have seen my journey. You've been there. And I'm starting to be a grown-up now. It's scary. And it's wonderful, and beautiful. And I never would have expected it. I think I could have made much better decisions in my life, especially financial ones. Some of the mistakes I made in my teenage years are coming back to haunt me in my adult years. Lucky for me, I'm able to handle them. I guess that means I'm doing a good job as a grown-up, right?

Clarification on "Hookah"

April 12th, 2008 at 10:16 pm



For those of you who have asked, I wanted to write a separate blog to explain what a hookah is. It's a device, originated in India, that is used for smoking. A sort of pipe. I would say it is akin to a "bong," only because the smoke is filtered through water, and pulled through a hose.

As to what is put in the hookah, traditionally and in my case, shisha is used. Shisha is a mixture of tobacco, flavoring, and usually molasses. It is absolutely not illegal in this country. You can buy it at many tobacco shops, or at a hookah bar (usually where I pick mine up). There are hookah bars all over the states (3 I know of just in my area), that legally run, and people can get together and smoke incredibly yummy flavors. I've had everything from mango, passionfruit, sweet melon (probably my favorite), cappucino, pumpkin pie, apricot, coconut, etc etc etc.

Because it's pulled through water, it's not quite as harsh as a cigarette. It also tastes FAR better. I'm not a smoker, nor will I ever be, but I do love a good hookah every now and again. It's relaxing, it's fun to get people together and smoke and talk, or drink.

Now, there is still nicotine in the tobacco that you would be smoking. I'm not advocating the use of hookahs or saying that anyone else should be doing it, I'm just merely explaining what it is. And also clarifying that I do NOT put illegal substances in my hookah, nor would I be stupid enough to talk about a drug habit on the internet. I only use tobacco. Anything illegal that I could put in my hookah would make it taste bad, and that just kind of defeats the purpose for me. I know that there are people out there that have done so, but I do not.

If anyone has any other questions, you can consult the almighty of almighties-- wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hookah

Weekend spending and musings.

April 12th, 2008 at 04:54 pm

Well, today I'm staying in. So it should be a minimal spending day. I'm trying to decide if I should do laundry today, tomorrow, or just put it off til wednesday or thursday when I'm in Ohio at my mom's. We'll see. I'll probably put it off and wear some stuff I haven't in a while. haha. It'll save me about $5.

Yesterday was a bit spendy. BF and I went to the liquor store, as I had no wine and really wanted some. I ended up buying 2 bottles (I couldn't decide between them and I like having wine on hand anyway) and a bottle of generic Bailey's. Because I love it in coffee. It'll take me a while to use the whole bottle. That trip ended up costing me about $40. Which is a big ouch. I really should have just stuck to one bottle, but hey, this saves me a trip to the liquor store for a looong time.

Aside from that, we went to the grocery store. I needed to pick up just a few things for my lunches this week. Though I forgot that I'm only going to be packing a lunch 3 times this week (I'll be in ohio from wednesday evening til sunday). Because of that, I didn't really buy anything to make "dinner" food. I'll just scrape together what I have at home. Not to mention, BF bought some stuff, and as usual left most of it at my place when he went back. So I've got some snack food as well.

My tax return cleared, and I finally decided what to do with it. I put $300 toward my CC. Then I put $100 of it in my emigrant account for my china trip, along with the $3 in NSD money I've accumulated thus far this week. Hopefully today will be another. I think it really depends on the laundry situation, and how desperate I get for clean clothes. lol.

This brings my challenge money up to $123.98. Woo! And still rising!

Other than that, today is a clean and homework day. We had a couple people over last night and we drank some wine, smoked the hookah, and talked. It was a good time, though my friend seemed to be a little bit snippier than usual. bah. Oh well.

I've been really stressed for the last week, with all the things I have to do. BF leaving didn't help. It seems that when he's around, it's so much easier for me to forget about all my work, and I'm so much happier. But he and I both know that I have things to get done, so he went back to Ohio about an hour ago. I miss him already.

At any rate, I should get going. I have an apartment to clean and a great deal of homework to get done. I did manage to finish one paper yesterday, and make a denet amount of headway on another, but there's still quite a bit left to do.

Everyone have a wonderful saturday!

The pressure is on! And my tax return...

April 11th, 2008 at 01:24 pm

So it's nearing the end of the semester, and because of it, I'm going NUTS. I have about 8 papers to write before the end of the semester. Which is in less than 3 weeks. Scary. Lucky for me, I'm almost finished with one of them. Granted, I also have to study for my exams. Gaaa!

BF is going to be out of town most of next week, but I'm going to be in Ohio from wednesday to saturday because my dad is going to be in town from Colorado, and he wants to hang out. Thus, I'll be skipping class on thursday. But next sunday I'm doing the walk for MS in the morning, and then the psych club has stuff going on in the evening. BF will be at drill. Then the week following that weekend, BF will be in TX for training for work. Then I move.

So I need to get my hands on some boxes. I really need to finish packing. My moving day is in a little over 2 weeks. Bah.

Speaking of moving, mom is NOT doing good. At all. I cant wait to move back. I really cant.

Now as for my tax return... It's getting deposited, and shows as pending in my online banking. $596.10. Not a bad chunk of change, though less than last year. I'm still waiting on the state, but I think I messed it up so bad that there may be some issues. This is the problem with not knowing what you're doing.... Either way. I've thought about it, because I want to use as much of it as I can to pay off my CC. But I dont think I want to put the entire thing on that, because I still haven't found a job in Ohio, and I dont want not be able to pay my bills there. So I think I'm going to put about $300 on my CC. And about $100 into my savings, and let the rest sit in my bank account. Or maybe put the rest in my savings so I dont have a bigger number lingering in my bank account. I tend to spend much more freely knowing that I have "enough to hold me over" in my checking. I can withdraw from my savings account whenever need be.

The good news is that I actually (sort of) get to enjoy my tax return this year. Last year I used half to pay for my wisdom teeth to get taken out. The other half went to the ex's iPod. Ugh. He got me a promise ring, and I bought him an iPod. I think he got the better end of the deal. Especially since I wont wear my ring. It's super pretty, but a promise ring from the ex is not something I want to wear anymore. And I have no idea what to do with it. Anyone want a pretty ring? I'll offer it up for $200, maybe even $150. haha. I'd love to sell it. Dont know where though. Ebay maybe? I dont have paypal. Meh. We'll see.

At any rate, everyone have a fabulous weekend! I'm going to try and get some work done!

Cooking Fun :)

April 10th, 2008 at 11:16 am

Well, yesterday was not a NSD, but considering my day I was happy with that. I got out of class around 2:00, and had a really strong urge to try and make ethiopian food. I may have mentioned before that last week BF and I went to an ethiopian restaurant, and really liked the food. So I hopped online, found a few recipes. The bread that they eat uses a specific flour (teff flour), and the only place I could find that had it was whole foods. So I hopped a bus to that area, and started shopping.

Now. I love Whole Foods. They have an amazing selection of organics, naturals, you name it. However, it's very pricey. I had relatively few items to buy to make all this. I ended up buying 2 small bags of teff flour (I wasn't sure exactly how much I was going to need because I needed to find a new recipe). Which were $6 each. The good news is that I have plenty left over which means I wont have to buy it again for a quite a while. I also needed to pcik up some paprika and turmeric, a head of cabbage, and a few sweet potatoes. Once again, everything was a little pricey.

Beyond what was on my list, I needed to buy some more honey. I looked at thier selection, and stuck to the basic stuff. The regular non-organic was $3.69 or something, and 12oz. The organic 24oz. was $5.99, so that's what I went with. I wont have to buy honey for a while either. haha. The only other goodie I got was some tea. They carry yogi tea there, and it was just over $3-- mayan cocoa spice tea. It's sooooo good. Totally worth it. All in all I ended up spending about $40 at Whole Foods.

I also made a trip to Rite Aid earlier in the day because I needed to get some anti-itch lotion for my elbows (I have very dry itchy elbows, and I've been getting these little bumps). My mom reccomended I use this aveeno lotion, and I bought the rite aid brand stuff with the same active ingredient. I also needed to get some face wash-- as the summer months are coming up, and my face tends to go from dry to oily with the coming of warm weather. And I haven't owned facewash for months.

When I got home, I started cutting up onions, as BF was on his way home. I had him stop and pick up club soda-- the only ingredient that I hadn't picked up. Then I spent some time cooking. I made Doro Wat (a thick stew with chicken and onions mostly), and a cabbage and sweet potato alicha (not so stew-like, sauteed cabbage and potatoes with yummy spices). BF helped, and we had a good time. Especially when it came to the Injera (the bread). You make it in a pan, and it's thinner than a pancake, but thicker than a crepe. We had to do a lot of trial and error to get the consistency right, but we ended up making a lot more than we needed, so we still ended up eating the good ones Smile

After finished, we sat down and ate our food-- which proved to be delicious! Our injera was certainly not authentic (I dont think they had club soda in traditional ethiopian culture. haha), and I cant say the chicken dish was entirely either (the page I got it from used cayenne pepper instead of the authentic ethiopian pepper). But it was rather inexpensive. One might think that $40 is a pretty expensive meal, but really once you have all the spices, the only ingredients you may have to buy that are not always on hand are the cabbage and potatoes (and chicken)-- because I usually have onions on hand. I already had chicken-- though I used tenders instead of the whole chicken the recipe called for. I'm sure it would have been better, but eating chicken off the bone with a peice of bread proved to be difficult when I tried it the first time.

I stuck to peices that could be picked up easily, as you dont use silverware to eat ethiopian food, but you tear off peices of this spongy pancake-like bread to pinch your food and eat it. It's so much fun, something I'd like to have people come over and eat Smile

May have not been gourmet ethiopian cuisine, or even completely authentic, but I thought we did pretty good for our first time! After eating, we cleaned up the kitchen, then laid down to watch some scrubs. It was a fantastic evening, I must say. Much needed Smile

As for today, should be a no-spend day. I have class all day, and a presentation, and then a lecture. It's going to be a long one. Well, everyone have a good day! The week's almost over!

$20 Challenge

April 9th, 2008 at 11:45 am

So I had another NSD yesterday, so that's $2 for the week added to my challenge money (bringing it up to $22.98) I'm going to wait til it accumulates a bit to actually deposit it inot my account, but I'm keeping track nonetheless. Today should be another, or at least I'm hoping. I've got class, and then I'll be going home to do homework. I was thinking of possibly stopping at the grocery store on my way home, as I'm running out of foodstuffs, but I think I can hold off for now. I just have to actually cook.

Last night I made BF and I stirfry, and then we did work, then a friend came over to hang out (she's been going through a rough time lately). But I think tonight is going to be alone time for BF and I. We have gotten hardly any time to just hang out and chill-- despite that he got to PA much earlier than expected. I guess we did take a walk in the beautiful weather downtown when he first got here, because I had a meeting to go to for a bit. We went in the toystore, it was huge! Great fun just being silly and walking around. Fabulous time. And free!

At any rate, I have to get my day started. Everyone have a good one!

Tests, NSDs, and $20 challenge begun (again).

April 8th, 2008 at 11:02 am

Alrighty. Yesterday ended up being a no-spend day because I skipped my afternoon class. Thus I ate dinner at home. I just needed the break, and it seemed silly to go and sit downtown all day for one class in the afternoon (my other I didn't have to go to because my prof is letting me take the test today). I did go to my nightclass, because I had a test, and I dont think I did as well as I usually do-- because it was a harder test, I didn't study nearly enough, and I couldn't concentrate. Ah well. I've never gotten anything below an A on one of his tests. I'm thinking maybe this one will be a B.

So that's 2 NSDs in April, maybe a 3rd today. I've got my 2 classes, the test I have to make up that I missed yesterday, and a psych club meeting. BF is supposed to be in PA today, so he may be swinging by downtown to pick up my keys before heading back to my apt. We'll be cooking dinner in tonight. We spent waaaayyy too much money eating out at restaurants last week. Though we did have a fabulous time.

I decided to pick up the $20 challenge once again. I'm going to deposit all my challenge money into my emigrant account, and use what I accumulate for a planned suprise trip with BF to China once he gets back form Iraq (week long). He really wants to go over and see it, and I've still yet to leave the country. sigh. I priced tickets. It seems we can get packages that start at $1700 a person, but I'd rather budget higher, so I'm saying $5000. Why not? haha. Jan 2010 is a long span of time to save... though I'm not entirely expecting to save the whole $5000. I figure if I shoot higher, though, I might strive to save more. So system stands thus: If I'm under budget, that money goes to the credit card. Any extra money coming in will be split down the middle-- half to the card, half to the challenge. I think once I have an income, though, I'm going to increase what I pay on my card monthly anyway, and factor that into my budget. If I have a NSD, a dollar goes into the challenge. If I work out, a dollar goes into the challenge. Wish me luck!

This week is going by quickly, but it seems like I'm not getting nearly enough done. My concentration was totally off yesterday-- been thinking about my brother a lot, but I realize there's not much I can do until I'm back there, and he's out of the hospital. Guess we'll wait it out. Ironically, we started going over schizophrenia in my abnormal psych class last night. Maybe learning more about it will help me know how to handle it best. We'll see, I guess.

That's all I've really got! I need to study for this test and pack my lunch so I can get to the bus on time and be prepared! Everyone have a great tuesday!

New Week.

April 7th, 2008 at 12:56 pm

It's hard for me to look at my calendar. A whole week in April has gone by, and yet I feel like I've done NOTHING. Yesterday wasn't nearly as productive as I thought it would be, but I got some serious cabin fever. I feel like I've been working on overdrive for some time now. Okay, I have, and it's my fault for biting off more than I can chew, but at the same time, I'm still doing okay.

I just needed to take some "me time." I haven't pampered myself in soooo long. Hell, I haven't even put on makeup in over 2 weeks. So I decided that I would take a shower (not so much pampering, but felt nice anyway!), even shave my legs (now, that's not as frequent an activity. lol), paint my toenails, and straighten my hair. The toenails alone felt like pampering. I feel so purdy now Smile

Afterwards, I was going to watch an episode of Scrubs, but I ended up watching all of Disc 1, Season 2 of Scrubs. lol. I just love that show. So funny, so heartwarming. And the best part? It makes me think of BF and I's first "date"-- well, it was more like an eat chinese food and watch scrubs kind of date, but it was amazing nonetheless Smile What can I say? We were just comfortable as can be from the beginning, and it seemed to have sparked something beautiful Big Grin

As for spending, yesterday was a no-spend (though it shouldn't have been... I need to do some laundry. lol). Today I'll be buying my dinner, though I'm going to keep it under $5 this time- only getting the mini sub and packing the rest of my dinner, or getting the kids meal at subway. I need to get back to eating healthy. I've been slacking hardcore.

In bad news, I talked to my mom last night, and my brother (who is paranoid schizophrenic) is back in the hospital again. It seems he was canvassing our neighborhood with flyers telling us we were all going to die (no, I'm not joking). Luckily my mom called the right people, but he's back at square one. She thinks he hasn't been swallowing his pills when she gives them to him (he doesn't think he has anything wrong with him, and the pills make him sick). She's not very forceful about it, though I cant blame her, the more you push him, the more he fights back. He's not violent, just not really in this world, so to speak. But we're not sure what's going to happen when he gets out of the hospital. Mom doesn't want him living at home if he's not going to take his meds (and I dont blame her) but I really cant stand the thought of him being institutionalized permanently. He'll never really be a part of society again, and he can be okay if he takes the meds (as much as I hate him having to take them). I'm glad I'll be back in Ohio next month to try and help with the situation. Guess we'll see how things go...

Well, time to get my day (and week) started! Everyone enjoy!

It's a shame... :)

April 6th, 2008 at 01:18 pm

Sunday means homework homework homework... Too bad it's so nice out... I'd love to be out doing something else. Ooooh well...

Ethiopian food and weekend spending.

April 5th, 2008 at 09:30 pm

This week has been a pricey one. BF and I are both exhausted after our days of school and/or work. Consequently, we've been dining out more than usual (after declaring that we were going to cap down on it. lol). Now, BF paid for all but today's lunch-- I insisted. We went to an Ethiopian restaurant because I needed to for a project I'm doing for my regional studies of Africa class. We really liked it, but it was a $40 bill after tip. I also went out to dinner with my friend on tuesday, and bought my other friend a big peice of chocolate cake to go while I was there (3 of her teeth were accidentally knocked out earlier this week and she more than deserved it). So I've already exceeded my entertainment budget for the month :/ Lucky for me, I'm going to be so busy that I dont really have time to go out. And BF and I decided (again) to start cooking at home.

In other news, I got my gas bill, and it was about $20 more than I had expected it to be. Not sure why, I thought I shut my heater off a while ago, but oh well. I guess we'll see when the last bill comes in. I still need to call the gas company anyway. I haven't had my heat on for about 2 weeks now. I wonder if the cold beginnings of march just meant it was that much more. Meh. Who knows.

In good news, I've hardly spent any money on groceries in the last 2 weeks. I only got a few items this week, and BF paid for them. He's been paying for a lot lately, and I'm not really sure how to feel about it. True, he makes much more money than I do (his argument), but that's not difficult given I dont have a job. lol. At any rate, I'm saving a tremendous amount on groceries (not that I'm buying a whole lot anyway). Still trying to use up what I have in the house.

At any rate, BF went back to Ohio a bit ago, so the rest of the weekend should be no-spend, mostly because I wont be leaving my apt. haha. That, and I have a lot of homework to get done. I've got 2 tests and a presentation to do this week, so it's going to be a busy one!

That being said, I should get started on all that work! Everyone have a good evening!

Yay for the weekend!

April 4th, 2008 at 01:38 pm

School is over for the week, I just have a bagillion things to do. I got home after class last night and started doing some packing. I went through my closet and weeded out the clothes I'm going to try and consign, and those that I'm just going to donate to goodwill. I also packed up my winter clothes in a trashbag (and labeled it properly).

I got the 2 rubbermaid underbed storage bins out of my storage space, and used one of them to pack some books. I fit quite a number of them into one of them, but I have soooo many books. I found a few that I listed on amazon. One of them actually sold last night, so I'll be shipping it off today. That's an extra $6.00 for me Smile One of the others was a statistics package that I got... and they unlisted it because I wrote down that it included a solutions manual. Apparently that kind of thing isn't allowed to be sold, but it's a STUDENT solutions manual.
Thus I have to re-list it... Still, I'm pretty happy that I sold one of them! I'm still going through and deciding if there's anything else I want to list.

The other bin I'm going to use to put all of my paper stuff... I'm in the process of cleaning and organizing the desk in my kitchen. It's a looong process. Not only am I a horrible packrat, but I let all of those "important papers" and anything I dont want to throw away accumulate. Needless to say, I've got a lot going to the recycling bin.

A few things that I found when I was looking through were things like old valentines cards from ex boyfriends. lol. THATS how bad it is... but I think it's time to let those things go. I'm a super-sentimental and nostalgic person, but I think what I have in the now is good enough for once, I can throw all of the little peices of my past out. I dont need them anymore Smile

BF should be getting off work fairly early today. We're going to hit the post office, and I'm going to buy some boxes. Not a ton, but at least a few, because I want to have some stuff for him to take back to Ohio this weekend. I'm trying to get as much packed as early as I can. I figured I could start with my books, because there are so many, but I dont really need all of them right now. haha.

I have a few bills to pay today, and I think I'm going to pay $100 off my CC.

I got an annual statement on my variable life insurance policy yesterday. The first thing I've ever recieved from them that was remotely readable. haha. Apparently on top of my $50,000 I would get if I died (I guess I dont really get the money. haha), my policy is worth $270.14 right now (it's like a mutual fund type thing). I've had the policy for a few years now. It's nice to see I have something resembling an investment (even if it's just my life insurance policy).

Either way, I should get going. I've got TONS to do! Everyone have a good friday!

Dropping the bomb, finally :)

April 3rd, 2008 at 12:29 pm

So I've finally hit April, and that means I hardly have time to breathe. I've done okay this week so far, spending wise. Only because BF paid when we went out yesterday (he's so sweet). He got off work earlier than he has in months, so we ended up going to dinner, bringing our laptops and work. He had reports to write up, and I had things to study. It was so nice to sit and eat dinner and do work, and enjoy time with one another (taking a break from our work every now and again to talk).

After the restaurant, BF decided he wanted to go to the hookah bar, so we did, and had a couple beers and smoked some yummy honeyberry shisha, and did yet more work (and took more breaks and talked).

We got home about 10:00pm, and headed straight for bed (rather relaxed).

But I didn't spend a penny. I always feel bad when this happens. I mean, why should he pay for everything? I guess in the end it's both of us spending money (given that we plan on getting married some day... perhaps even soon).

So I guess it's time to drop the bomb here. BF and I, though we've only been together a few months, are talking about possibly getting married before he leaves for Iraq in January. Gasp! We're still talking about it, and we wont make any decisions for many months now, but the way things are going is just amazing, and there are a few practical reasons for it as well.

My main concern is that if something happens to him overseas I wont have any control whatsoever. Not to say I'll have a great amount of control regardless, but the military looks at the girlfriend of an injured soldier, and she's a girlfriend. I cant even get into a hospital to see him. I'm not "family." The military looks at a wife, and that's a whole different ball game. I've heard from others in the past that they were so happy they got married beforehand because it made taking care of the paperwork and the injury so much easier.

On top of that, there is a financial benefit. They'll not only pay him a little bit more if he's married, but they'll send me money on top of it (which I'll likely throw in a bank account because I'll be working). When it comes to that, it's a real benefit.

The other thing, that we've both talked about, is that getting through that year that he'll be away will be easier if we're married. It's a whole different level of commitment. Now, I think the end result would be the same regardless of whether we're hitched, I just think the wait will be easier knowing that I have nothing to worry about. Things would just feel so much certain if we were married.

Now, we've talked through the "what if's" and decided we'll have a very small ceremony if we do decide to get married, and it will likely be on Christmas-- so we can get both families together, and it'll be inexpensive, but intimate.

Needless to say, we're both pretty giddy at the idea of getting hitched, and we both think that if things are still going as well for us as they are now here toward the fall that there's a good idea we will get married, scary as that sounds! haha.

Well, let the "you're crazy's" flow! I've gotta get going Smile