Monday, September 23, 2013

B.E.A.V.E.R.S.

I am now working at a traditional, four year university. Our students (typically) start right after their high school graduation and live on campus. Life for them revolves around classes, homework, activities, sports and trying to figure out how to live on their own without their parents breathing down their necks.

Watching these students get through their days reminds me so much of my time at Buena Vista University. I still look back and can't believe I made the decision to go away to school; to actually plan on spending four solid years away from Glenwood and my friends. I don't think I saw it as a permanent thing - I would go there for awhile, and if I didn't like it I would transfer to Bellevue University and move home. However, the night before I left, when I was saying goodbye to my peeps, Matt Boone told me I wouldn't make it and I would be back before the first semester ended. Well, that's all it took to make me decide, 100%, I would not move back home until I had a Bachelor's Degree under my belt.

I spent the first three years of my time there completely absorbed in my new life. I still remember how I met my first friend, Jaclyn. After my parents left me, I was so lost. I was already homesick. I knew I wasn't going to make it. Matt was right. Then I ran into Jaclyn in the hallway. "Will you go to Wal-Mart with me? I don't know where it is?" she asked. "Um sure, I know right where it is." I agreed. Anything to get me off that damn campus.

I did not know where it was. We got so lost. But it was perfect.

After that, I made more friends. Toni, Maren, Katie, Alicia, Kelly, Cindy, Jenny, Mindy, Trisha. My floormates became my family. I joined the student newspaper, The Tack, and became completely obsessed with it. My newspaper staff became my family: Eric, Kelly, Jeff, Adam, Micah, Courtney, Teri. Courtney would also become my roommate my last two years.

By my last year at BV, my interest was waning. I was ready to move on. The only thing I really cared about was coming home on the weekends to hang out with the boys and running the newspaper during the week. Classes took a back burner, and I barely skidded by to graduate. I look back at that last year and wish I had done things differently. I still have reoccurring nightmares where it's finals week and I am not prepared.

But hell, you live and you learn. It's pretty easy for me to talk to students now and be like "Dude, I get it. You're sick of school. Just fight through it, and don't do anything you're going to look back at in ten years and regret. Cause that sucks."

That's right. This year marks TEN years since I graduated from BVU. But I am sure I can still do the Beaver Train like no other.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

A weekend

I've had an exhausting weekend, so that headline is as creative as I can get right now.

Friday night I saw Bret Michaels for the sixth time. It was the best one yet.



He grabbed my hand three times from the stage, which I think means we are married in some cultures. I hope he is okay with me cheating on him (but I am sure he has cheated on me already). 

Saturday my niece Sophie came and spent the night with me - we started our adventure by going to the theatre to watch The Wizard of Oz in 3D. 


I've seen this movie twice now in theatres during re-releases. The first time I just quietly watched, without speaking along with the dialogue and without singing along with the songs. However, Sophie told me right from the beginning "I'm going to sing along with the songs because I love them." So I figured what the heck. She also spoke most of the lines. It was awesome. I can't believe she is 4 and has the entire movie memorized!

When we got home we watched more movies and ate supper, then went for ice cream. It was a nice relaxing night. And she slept until 9:30a when her dad came to pick her up. Um easiest child ever to care for? I think so.

Today I wanted to finish my 100 mile challenge - technically I hit 100 miles earlier this week, but a glitch in my Nike app cause some miles not to count into the challenge. I really wanted the actual challenge to read 100 miles, so I went out to finish today. And I nailed it!

After that I hung out with Coop and Chan for awhile.


Then I met Janelle for dinner and now I am watching the Emmys and trying to get rid of a terrible headache.

And in case you guys were wondering, at this exact moment next Sunday I will be in the Bahamas. Hells yeah.




Thursday, September 19, 2013

Fight on Glenwood, we're all behind you

Ah, Glenwood. No matter what, I love that town. I know every nook and cranny, every alley and the ins and outs of it. I love that when I tried to go for a run in town, I got stopped by three people I know, had to stop in and visit my cousins, and got interrupted by a woman who needed help finding her cat (and then ended up running to the Chinese place ((the best chinese place in the world)) and meeting my sisters for lunch anyway, so the run was immediately negated).

This is Glenwood's Homecoming week, so for several days now I've seen all the Facebook postings of kids all dressed up for Spirit Week. This weekend's posts will be from the parade, the football game, and of course coronation. Coronation in Glenwood is a huge effing deal. I still remember each dance and each dress. Including senior year, when my date ended up hating my guts by the end of the night and spent the rest of our senior year badmouthing me to everyone who would listen. He has since come out of the closet and seems to be very happy. I hope he has forgiven me for ditching him and dancing with my ex all night.

For me, Homecoming during high school was pretty innocent. I didn't drink back then, so I would usually go to lunch with my friends when school got out on Fridays and then go to the parade and then go to someone's house (usually Leslie's) to wait for the football game to start. The next day I would work at Kaiman's during the day, then head home to get ready for the dance and wait for my date to pick me up (or dates...one year was a girls year).


After high school, Homecomings got more interesting. Alcohol helped. I went back on the Friday of Homecoming every year forever, it felt like. I usually ended up at the Kegler in the middle of the day, and a few hours into my drinking party my dad would come down and take my car away from me.



The last Homecoming I went to was my ten year reunion four years ago. I am just too old now to deal. I'll leave that up to the kiddos. However, Glenwood - you better watch yourself next year. I'll be back. Even though I have this weird feeling I will end up spending the evening alone with my BFFSFG Zach at The Junction singing karaoke by ourselves (but how much freaking fun would that be?)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

F.A.Q.

I feel like I have been answering a lot of questions lately. So I thought I would type up a list of serious questions I have had to answer in the last 48 hours. 

Jen, aren't you sick of being single?
Nope.

Don't you get lonely?
Nope. Actually, 90% of the people I know who are in relationships aren't that happy. So I prefer to be happy all the time and actually feel at home in my home, so I'm good. And don't worry, I have plenty of sex.

Are you on birth control?
Um yes. And I have a bum reproductive system, so I think I'm good.  

Don't you want kids, though?
Not really. I'm not opposed to kids, but I am pretty opposed to being pregnant (since the one and only time I have ever been pregnant it almost killed me, you'll have to forgive me if I'm not exactly pumped at the thought of letting a spawn invade my uterus again).

Why are you and Nick so close? 
Because he's awesome and I'm awesome, so deal with it. Why wouldn't we be so close?

But doesn't his wife hate you? Does she suspect you are hooking up?
If Hannah does hate me, she covers it up very well. I am pretty much a member of their family. And I think she secretly likes that I will do the things that she doesn't want to do with Nick (like go to dirty rock concerts or scary movies). And if you have ever been around me and Nick, you would without a doubt know we have never and will never hook up.

Are you seriously following him to another job?
Yes I am. I am very excited about my new job, and I wont let anyone get me down about it, so stop trying. And if any of you thought Nick and I wouldn't end up working for the same company again, then you are dumb. Good people flock to good people, and Nick and I are good people. Besides, he followed me to BVU and the casino, and now I've followed him to Kaplan and Midland. We're even.

Well how much money are you making there?
None of your damn business. I will be making enough to pay my bills and keep myself all Coach'ed up, so don't you worry about it.

Why do you buy so much Coach?
Shut up. I buy all my clothes at the Goodwill, so I can spend as much on purses and handbags as I want.

Have you gained any of your weight back? You know that most people gain weight back. 
Seriously, shut up. I have gained back a little, but not enough so that my haters can laugh behind my back. I am in complete control of my diet and workout schedule.

Are you still running?
Yes. I will run more now that the weather is nicer and I will have a gym membership again.

Do you have loose skin?
Yes, and it really sucks and is ugly so thanks for bringing it up.  

Why do you and Missy hang out so much?
Oh my God...quit judging me. Missy and I are best friends, so when I'm not with Nick, I'm usually with her. Unless I'm with your mom. (I'm not good at your mom jokes.)

Are you happy with the castings choices for Fifty Shades?
You bet your ass I am. 
 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Word barf

Hi all. This is going to be one of those blog entries where I just spew out stuff. Buckle up for a good time.

I cannot get on board with the pumpkin flavored everything that comes back into our lives this time of year. I won't even try it. I assume I do not like pumpkin flavored things.

I love Simon Cowell. He was on Ellen this week, and he just speaks so matter of factly about him knocking up his best friend's girl. "These things happen," he says. I love it. It's true.

I will be wearing cowboy boots tonight.

I am nine miles away from hitting my goal (and Hannah's goal, and Nick's goal) of running 100 miles before we leave for the Bahamas.

In a few weeks I'm meeting up with girls from high school for a mini reunion night. I'm so excited, even though the messages have already started drudging up embarrassing memories of my past. I will dish out some of their more embarrassing stories too, don't you worry!

I am sick of not having health insurance, so I'm putting a stop to that starting Monday. I start a full time job! I'm so excited to have all the free surgeries I want. I'm gonna start with that laser eye surgery.

The extra skin around my stomach is really starting to give me issues. No amount of planking is gonna fix this shit. I may have to start running in Spanx. 

Okay, I have to go meet my mom for lunch. I will probably need intensive therapy after this.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I will never, ever, ever...

The other night I had exactly three beers, so I was drunk. And of course, that meant I was asking ridiculous questions. I asked Nick and Hannah if there was anything they could safely say they would never do. Hannah said she would never sky dive. Nick said he would never eat a waffle taco from Taco Bell. Hannah said she couldn't say the same.

I agree, I will never eat a waffle taco. There is nothing appetizing about that thing. I will also never eat a Doritos taco. Although it does basically look like a mini version of Ebmeier Nachos, which I love, there is just something about it that won't allow me to order it from Taco Bell.

There are other things I can safely say I will never do.

I will never, ever, be able to swim. I'm 33. Clearly too old for swim lessons, and also, since I have managed to get this far in my life without swimming, I think I can manage for the rest of my existence.

I will never eat breakfast from a fast food restaurant. Yes, this is similar to swearing off waffle tacos, but I am also branching out and including all fast food places that offer breakfast items. SICK.

At this point, I think it is safe to say I will never run a full marathon. Too hard.

I will never go back to school. I am already a master. Leave me alone.

I will never go to Japan. Or China. Or Vietnam. No thanks.

And apparently I will never warm up today, since I am freezing - my office has the air on full blast. I know it's 100 degrees out, but it does not need to be 62 degrees in here. And the idiot at the desk next to me just turned her fan on full blast, which puts me at a toasty 45 degrees. Not okay!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Alligators, hedgehogs and snakes, oh my

This (long) weekend was a goodie.

Since I am still part time (someone has to hire me soon, right?) I had Friday off. I did my usual of sleeping in, working out, interviewing for a job, rewarding myself for being awesome at said interview, etc, before meeting up with Missy to go to the free country concert at Turner Park. One of the artists was Danielle who was on Team Blake on The Voice and won, but sadly he did not answer the tweet I sent him saying I was watching her. (I'm constantly trying to get celebrities to tweet at me.) (Bret Michaels has twice.) (Just saying.) (Remember when I met him?)

Saturday Miss and I walked with Alby at the Ovarian Cancer walk, and then we went to breakfast (duh).

Okay.

So yes, I am back on Weight Watchers, so I attempted to order a low point meal. My attempt was good, with whole wheat pancakes, one eggbeater and one turkey sausage patty. That whole meal was like 6 points, so I okayed myself to order 6 points worth of hashbrowns for a 12 point meal.

It was okay. But breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and that just did not hit the spot. So I need to budget points to splurge when I go out for breakfast, because I ain't playing that way no more.

After that, it was Gavin's birthday party time. I was way more excited than him, or any of the kids, or anyone in my family.

You see, we had hired Wildlife Encounters (http://wildlifeencounters.org/index_files/BirthdayParties.htm) where my buddy Kip works, to come and do a show at the birthday party. They bring real, exotic animals to the party and teach the kids a little something something about each one, but also the kids get to pet and even hold some of them. It was awesome. The kids were a little freaked of the scarier animals, but they warmed up eventually.

Now, my plan was to kinda sit back and let Gavin run the show. But when he had a panic attack about the alligator (which was the first animal), I realized I was gonna have to put on my brave face and hopefully get my nephew to touch some of these animals. Which is how I ended up in positions like this:

Okay, so this isn't much of a brave face.


I would have NEVER allowed a snake to touch me, so it's a good thing Kip gave me no warning and just dropped it on my neck. 

The party was great, and I highly recommend Kip and his team for birthday parties. He puts on a great presentation and he has a great personality that works well with the kiddos. 

After that I met my long lost buddy Zach in Glenwood for a few cocktails and to catch up. And then I went to Nick's to watch the end of the Husker game with him and Hannah, and listen to Cooper come up with excuses every five minutes as to why he didn't need to go to sleep. (His excuses were valid though - I mean, wouldn't you freak out too if you heard random fireworks on a September evening?) (There were no fireworks, though.)

Sunday was spent working on painting some letters for a kid named Hunter (camo patterned letters for a kid named Hunter) and obsessively watching 90210 on Netflix.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Starting over again

Remember when I was on Weight Watchers? I loved it, and I still speak highly of it. The program changed my life. I was on it for a year and lost 90 pounds. 

And then I thought "I got this" and quit. 

And then, over a year later, I've put back on 13 of those 90 pounds and I decided that no, I don't "got this". 

13 pounds, in the grand scheme of things, isn't a lot. I haven't even gone up in any sizes in any of my clothes. However...I don't like it, and I'm gonna stop it. 

I rejoined Weight Watchers last night, even though I shouldn't be spending money on stuff like that. But I knew I needed help gaining control, and I trust the WW program. 

I started WW without a clue in the world as to how to do anything. I weighed A LOT more, and the weight flew off without much of an effort on my part. I seriously just started cutting out some crap and watching my portions, and boom, 90 pounds were gone. 

It's harder now to drop weight, and I know the 13 pounds won't come off easily, or as quickly as they did before. And I'm okay with that. I just want to feel like I have some control over my eating. Also, I want to see my activity points adding up. Yes, I run with the Nike app, so I collect Nike fuel or whatever, but let's get real. I don't even know what that means. There is something about collecting activity points, and knowing I can eat them later if I want, that makes me feel like everything is worth it. 

So today was day one on WW, and my weigh in days are Thursdays, just like before. Today I have one point left and I earned 9 activity points, and I am starving. But it's late...I don't think I need to snack. So I'm going to drink some water and go to bed!

Look at me, being a good little Weight Watcher! 

Monday, September 2, 2013

5 day weekend - wait that's like a normal person's work week

I had a five day weekend. Being part time kinda rocks, but I am anxious to get myself in a full time job. I had a good feeling about last week, and I got five call backs - I have an even better feeling about this week, so let's get this rolling, universe!

Here are some things I did with my five days off:

  • I went to two concerts - Chicago and Goo Goo Dolls.
  • I rode on a party bus. Yep.
  • I stayed up really late.
  • I slept in really late.
  • I changed my hair.
  • I went to two Goodwills and bought an awesome Taylor Swift shirt.
  • I went to Scheels and got my hoodie for the Bears-Vikings game in December.
  • I have a really small apartment, but I am trying to make theme scents in each room, so I also went to Yankee Candle.
  • I spent Labor Day with my family in the wood, where I lost the bean bag tournament and Alex threw up on my Tay Swift shirt.
  • I realized how cute Missy and I are.