Monday, August 29, 2016

My first weekend at the compound

Well, this weekend I packed up my little car and made the long trek to the other side of the world to see Nick, Hannah and the boys. I refer to Mount Pleasant as a compound. When Nick decided to move there, I envisioned the town like the compound on the HBO show Big Love. I was a little off. Not much, though.

I stopped in Des Moines at Taco Casa on the way, 1, to break up the drive a little bit, and 2. because tacos, duh. I was listening to a new podcast my friend Katie told me about, where these two grown ass men are reading the Baby-sitters Club books and discussing them. It made me die laughing more than once, and made me very excited to re-read the series myself and blog about my book reviews.

Yep, I am starting a new blog about it. It can be found here.

Anyway - so I finally made it there just after 8pm, after a series of u-turns to finally find the right neighborhood (I swear my eyesight is falling apart again). I was so excited to see everyone, and immediately settled down for a game of memory with my two favorite Boone boys.

Saturday morning Nick and Chandler showed me around the town and Nick's new place of employment, Iowa Weselyn University. Then we had a pizza party for lunch (they have a BREADEAUX PIZZA in Mount Pleasant). I laid around for awhile while they all unpacked (what, I was on vacation, I didn't want to help) and then Nick and I packed up the yeti to head to Iowa City to see Thomas Rhett and Blake Shelton at Kinnick Stadium

I seriously hate the Iowa Hawkeyes. But I'm really glad they lent their stadium out for this concert. I didn't realize I was a Thomas Rhett fan until Saturday night - I need to get better about actually knowing who the artist is singing the songs I am rocking out to. Mr. Rhett also brought Ashton Kutcher out on stage, and he is even dreamier in person than on the television.

Blake Shelton was so amazing. I always liked him, but now I am obsessed. He's just so hilarious and hot and funny and handsome and I just wanted to spend some time licking him.

I'm so glad my first time at Kinnick Stadium was to see Thomas and Blake, and not the Hawkeyes. Because I HATE THE HAWKEYES (that's for you, Ryan, if you are reading this).

We got home kinda late (well, late for my granny ass - it was like 1230am) so I passed out and woke up the next morning to find all four Boone's just hanging out in the living room. I still hate hate hate that they live four hours away from me, but I am glad to now know where they live and what their house looks like. I still will not move there, so if anyone is placing bets on that, get ready to lose.

Sunday I left around noon, and started the long trek home. I stopped at Taco Casa on the way back, 1, to break up the drive a little bit, and 2. because tacos, duh.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Highs and Lows from this week

High: I am getting more comfortable at work, getting to know more people, and I even got to participate in orientation today which meant doing my favorite thing ever - sitting around with total strangers and making them answer questions about themselves.

Low: It rained two evenings this week, so I couldn't go to my favorite new trail in Omaha and had to go to the gym instead (I'm taking a Farrells/kickboxing break right now).

High: On one of the nights it wasn't raining, I did get to go to my trail and finally really explore it. It is SO LONG that I am still trying to figure out exactly how far to go before I turn around.

Low: Missy and I have committed to doing a 9/11 tribute stair climb when we are in Colorado - it's on that Sunday morning, at Red Rocks, and we will climb 110 floors - the same amount as the twin towers. To prepare for this, I decided I should work out on the stair stepper machine at the gym. I had this idea that I would do a 50 flight of stairs workout, and then I could just assume that doubling that will be what I have to do on September 11th. Guess how many I made it in real life, before I started spitting and puking? 14. Then I tried again the next night and I made it 18.

High; Last night it also wasn't raining, so I met up with Missy and Katie and we took a four mile walk to explore Missy's new neighborhood.

High: Pretty Little Liar's was BANANAS this week, and next week will be even more bananas.

High: Speaking of PLL, this week we had a community meeting at work, where I had to stand up and introduce myself as a new employee. So, in front of probably 100 new coworkers, I introduced myself and said that one thing about me is that I'm obsessed with Pretty Little Liars, and please come talk to me if you watch, too.

High: I tried Hog Wild BBQ with my sister Kate earlier this week - the commercials had me very interested. It was pretty good!

High: I am leaving work today and heading to the compound of Mount Pleasant to see the Boone's, and then Nick and I are going to see Blake Shelton tomorrow night in Iowa City.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Say my name, say my name

Obviously, since I just started a new job, I have been introducing myself a lot. I have introduced myself the same way since I was about 10 years old:

"Hi, I'm JenWilson." JenWilson quickly, almost as if that's my first name.

I've always been a Jen. One n. My mom picked the name Jennifer because she wanted people to call me Jenny, but that never stuck. I've always been Jen. One n. (There is a difference, and I will correct you.)

However, since starting my new job, everyone has called me Jennifer. I'm not sure if it's because there was about a month between when I accepted the job and when I actually started, so they had gotten used to referring to the new girl as Jennifer or what the deal is, but no matter how many times I refer to myself as Jen, I get called Jennifer.

So...I've been questioning my whole life.

A few weeks ago, Gavin was at my apartment and he was drawing on the chalkboard I painted on my pantry door (shhh, don't tell my landlord), and I asked him if he knew how to spell my name. He looked at me like I'm a moron (he is almost ten, jeez Aunt Jen) and wrote J E N on the door. "Well, my real name is Jennifer, can you spell that?" He looked at me like I told him I had 11 toes. "Jennifer? No one calls you that."

Right, Gavin? I know. So that's why I probably look like a moron at work, because when someone says "Jennifer" to me, I have an extremely delayed reaction.

Last night I went to Nick's mom's house because she has Chandler and Cooper this week. I haven't seen those boys in WEEKS, so I was dying to get down there and hang out with them. Jan made dinner, and she was like "Jennifer, here's your bowl, help yourself." I went to dish some chili into my bowl and I glanced down at Chandler. He was staring at his grandma, and then let us know that he is not used to hearing me called Jennifer.

Jan has always been one of the few to call me Jennifer. My mom does every once in awhile, and my dad/Peg do when they are pissy pants about something, or when I say something wildly inappropriate (so often). And recently Missy has started, but I think that's because I like throwing a "Melissa" at her every so often.

When I meet another Jennifer, I always call them Jen. Now that this name confusion has entered my life, though, I will be sure to ask them what the want to be called and how many n's they prefer.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

August shananigans

I've been up to some stuff lately.

Missy and I ran in a Foam Run, which was interesting. For some reason I thought it would be more glow-in-the-dark-y, but it was really just running through soap, which was cool too.

I went to Rick Springfield at Stir Cove with these yahoos.

Miss and I took our annual trip to the Iowa State Fair.

There is some exciting stuff coming up, too - Blake Shelton concert, my first trip to Mount Pleasant to see the Boone's, Labor Day weekend, and I've got some big trips planned for September.

My new job is going really well, and I love being back in Omaha. My commute is nothing and I am saving millions of dollars on gas.

All in all, I'm in a pretty good place right now. I've even come to love my new cats and I think I'm officially a cat lady.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Poop Deck

One time, when we were both working at Kaplan, Nick was getting his windows tinted on some new car that he bought. I have no idea which car, and I'm sure it was like ten cars ago anyway so who cares.

Anyway, after work he needed to be driven to the place to pick up his car, but there was a weird gap of time in between - like we got off at 4p, but his car wouldn't be ready until 5p. So rather than me just dropping him off and him playing on his phone for an hour, we decided to go to this weird bar called the Poop Deck, which was right next to the tinting place.

So after driving to work together, working all day together, having lunch together and then driving to the tint place together, we went to the Poop Deck and bellied up to the bar.

About 1.5 beers in, the bartender interrupted us.

"I'm sorry, but I have to ask...are you guys like old college friends? People who haven't seen each other in awhile?"

Nick and I looked at each other funny. We told him we see each other every day and had literally just came from hanging out for like eight straight hours.

The bartender was so entertained with the way we were acting, talking and laughing like we were long lost friends, anxious for the time we were spending together.

I think we should go back to the Poop Deck next time he visits home.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

If you could do it all over again...

If you could go back and restart your life, right at the point where you graduated from high school, would you? And what would you change?

I don't think I would honestly change anything, because I believe everything works out the way it was supposed to. But of course, I've always wondered what would be different if I had made other choices - everything thinks about that stuff, right?

Like if I hadn't chosen Buena Vista. I wish I had known then what I know now - that I should have applied for more scholarships, that I could have gotten my gen eds done before going to a private four year expensive-as-hell school, that I should have taken summer courses to get done sooner - but I loved my experience there, and I am proud of my degree. And I love that it's something my sister and I, and Nick/Hannah and I, will always have in common.

As far as my career goes, I think my background gives me a unique perspective on everything. I can bring my casino experience into my every day life, but I 100% think higher education is where I belong. However, going back to everything happening for a reason - my 20's were so much fun because of my job. I wouldn't have had the crazy experiences and memories that I do if I hadn't started my adult life working there. But now? There is literally no way I could still be doing that job now, or ever go back to it. I'm an entirely different person.

And of course, my personal life...maybe if I hadn't made some of the choices I did, I could be married now, with kids, in a house, on the PTA....but nah. I just do not think that's for me. And regardless of anyone's opinion on the matter, I seriously love my personal, private life and all of the people in it. I get enough little nugget love from nieces and nephews and friend's kids. And I sleep soundly at night with no interruptions unless the cats get into something.

Edit: I would not have adopted those fucking cats if I could go back and change something. They are bitches.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Hello August

And just like that, July is gone.

June and July were like a blur to me. I was just waiting....and waiting....and waiting....for the heartbreak of Nick and his family leaving to hit. And then it hit and it was...anticlimatic? I still talk to him daily. I am sure I will see him soon.

Anyway, since that is over with and I survived, I feel more normal and put together. I was waiting to fall apart, and since I didn't, let's move on!

  • I am so close to being done with Grey's Anatomy - and it's all I can think about. And since I work at a healthcare college now, I'm even more convinced I'm pretty much a surgeon already. 
  • My birthday came and went, and it was wonderful like always. I pretty much celebrated the entire week - Monday night I went to dinner with Bill, Heather and Kate; Tuesday night I went to dinner with Katie; Thursday (my actual birthday) I went to dinner with Ryan, Missy and Natalie; and Friday I went to dinner with Kate again. Saturday I visited all my parents and ate dinner with Mom, Aunt Tammy and Kate. It was a lovely way to turn 36.
  • I started at Clarkson on Monday, and my first week of work went well. These first few weeks of any new job are just so awkward; trying to learn everything and trying to figure out who is who. It is just so weird having a commute that only takes like 15 minutes, rather than 45! I am able to sleep a little longer and stay up a little later, which I love of course.