Sunday, September 30, 2012

This Study Thing is Harder Than I Remember

As you all know, I've started online classes toward getting certified as a medical transcriptionist/editor. (If you didn't know, you should read this.) It's going to take me a little while to figure out a good balance between studying, blogging, and living. In the meantime, I'd love to introduce you to one of my bloggy friends, Ms. Morgan! I started out reading her blog because she's currently living in Portland, Oregon (my hometown). I found her blog right about the time when I was being hit with some pretty severe homesickness. Her blog was a way to cope with my Portland withdrawals, and in the process I got to know a really great person. Without further ado, I give you Ms. Morgan herself:

[1] Your name, name of blog and when you first started the blogging:
Ms. Morgan (I started using this moniker because of all the emails I'd get for "Mr. Morgan". My current blog is Ms. Morgan's Reality Check (started earlier this year) but I've been blogging since 2008.

[2] How/why did you first start blogging?
I first started blogging a few days after my 27th birthday; (at the time) being only three years away from 30 I was starting to question who I was as a person, if I was where I should be in life and needing a new way to express my thoughts. It started as "Surviving 20-Something" and over time has morphed into my own Reality Check.

[3] How would you describe your blog?
It's a little bit of everything. Sometimes fashion focused, other times a foodies delight and then more often than not a personal journal as I explore being almost 30 and still single (in the not married sense, I do have a special someone in my life now).

[4] What do you do when you're not blogging?
I'm assuming you mean other than Facebook and Pinterest? Haha. I'm an Assistant Director of Student Life at a College in the PNW so I work a lot. On those rare occasions of "free time" I try to spend long distance quality time with my beau, lots of family get togethers and for "me time" I (attempt) photography.

[5] Describe your ideal (blog) reader.
Someone who either has been through the life lessons I'm exploring (or is in the process too). Someone who enjoys a good giggle (I do what I can) and loves sharing ideas.

[6] What are your favorite types of blogs to read?
Ones that have a creative writer, funny ones, and food blogs are probably the biggest.

[7] What is your favorite post (of your own)? Why?
Of my photography/travel pieces it would have to be my Workation (when I went to Florida for a conference and managed to find time for so many fun things - like feeding a giraffe, seeing the Atlantic ocean, etc) but if you're looking for a sample of my humor and love life check out "Dating the Last 4 Months" just remember too that the BF in this post isn't the current BF.
[8] Have you ever thought about blogging about a different topic? If so, what? If not, why not?

For a while I had a separate food blog (Epicurean Enthusiast) but I realized I was neglecting it too much so merged most of those blogs into Reality Check's and now do my best to not neglect the single blog I have.

[9] Anything else you want to tell my readers, about yourself, your blog, or about the world?

I'm open for guest blogs, guest giveaways, and love advice. Haha.

Thanks for visiting, Ms. Morgan! If you'd like to see my answers to the above questions click here!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Adult Learner

Big news! I'm going back to school! Well...sort of. Online school. I'm get to take classes to become certified as a medical transcription editor. Basically I'll be learning medical terminology, typing skills, and editing skills for speech recognition programs. It's going to be tough, but I'm really excited about it.

If any military spouses are interested in getting free certification education, you should really look into MyCAA. I had an interest in medical transcribing so I went the long route. I researched accredited programs and looked into costs first. I found Career Step and liked their program and cost best. The mister and I were fully committed to the idea and were ready to pay out of pocket for the whole thing. But luckily I entered in my initial information before sleeping on it. I got an email from an academic adviser who literally walked me step by step through the MyCAA application process. It only took a few easy minutes to input my educational goals, and (when that was approved) my financial aid request. Turns out my education is going to be paid in full! Honestly even if you're not military, like I said, it was the best program that I found for the price and they have financial aid options available.

I'm super excited and a little nervous about an independent study online education. I'll really have to work to keep myself motivated especially through the hard parts. Pray for me, send good karma, cross your fingers! I'll need all the positivity I can get.

I started my initial research on Tuesday, got in touch with my adviser on Wednesday and was approved and registered on Thursday. Crazy right!? Career Step has a referral program, so if you're interested let me know and I can put you in touch with them. You'd help me out and get hooked up with a great adviser who makes it painless and easy for you.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Please Tell Me I'm Not Crazy

Will has been working 12+ hour days for the last couple weeks. Not only that, but he's on a weird swing/night shift. At first I stayed on a traditional day schedule, but we really didn't see each other. It's easier for him to stay up and spend time with me than to wake up early to spend time with me before work. So now we're never quite sure what day it is and we sleep through most of the daylight hours. It's been rough, but supposedly he'll be on a traditional swing shift again soon.

I read this post and found myself nodding along in agreement. The only difference is that I'm not in school...yet. (More on that later...) Half of the people who know I'm a stay at home wife are total awesome about it. They say enjoy it while I can because it's not a luxury a lot of people get nowadays. The other half are super judgmental and try to audit my days. It's hard not to be offended when I get the question "But what do you do all day?" I usually answer with a joke ("I hang out, play video games, and wait for the mister to get home.") or I'll be vague ("I take care of the house and stuff.") I refuse to give you a play by play of my day. It's none of your business and I don't answer to anyone but myself...and my husband. We're both happy with my not working. I'm home when he comes home from work and guess what? We spend a lot of quality time together. I have a man who can, will, and has been sent off for months at a time. I want to spend as much time with him as possible while I can.

The mister and I did some intense laundry last weekend. I'm talking all the sheets, towels, and rugs in the house. Well, I handed the freshly cleaned rugs to my husband when we got home and sent him to put them down. Please tell me what's wrong with this picture:
I called him into the bathroom and told him to fix the problem. For the life of him, he couldn't figure out what he did wrong. In fact, in the picture he's motioning to all the things that aren't wrong. I'm hoping I'm not super anal crazy and you can see what he did.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Rain & Lunch

Today Sarah and Lindsay moved onto their next destination (Roma!). Before they left, we set up a visit to a vineyard. Unfortunately the rain derailed our plans. I was thrilled though because I got to play in the rain with my new rain boots (from Christmas) and rain coat! Turns's not a raincoat. It soaked the rain right up.

rain gear

When I was done running around, we piled into the car and went to the golf course for an early lunch.

We ran by the mall so Lindsay could get some new tops to replace her ones that were falling apart before taking them to the train station. I absolutely loved spending the last few days with one of my favorite people in the world. And as a bonus I got to meet a really cool new person!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Aviano & Venezia

Sarah, Lindsay, and I stopped by the Aviano Market to browse the booths. A lot of things caught our eyes but the internal debate of want v need stopped us from buying anything. I do wish that I bought a straw fedora. While I was trying it on my contact decided to bail out so I got distracted by trying to get it back onto my eye. It wasn't until later that I remembered that I was interested.

Aviano Market

After a quick coffee stop, we went to Sacile train station to start our Venezia day trip! My former roommate (Tawny), Sarah, and I were thick as thieves during my last semester of college. Sarah and I were definitely missing our Tawny so we brought her along for the adventure.

Venetian graffiti

We had lunch at a little ristorante that had a little lunch buffet. It was delicious and perfect for our poor starving stomachs.

Ostaria Al Vecio Pozzo
Santa Croce, 656
Venezia, Italia

I finally found a genuine Venetian mask during our wanderings. A man was actively making masks right there in the storefront as we browsed so I know it's not one of those mass produced replicas. I loved so many of them, it was a matter of figuring out which one I loved the most.

Venetian mask
Calle del Cristo
San Polo, 2210

I've also been looking for some art of Venice. I was checking out some of the street vendors, but we happened past a small store with etchings that caught my heart. I couldn't pass them up. Not only are the etchings made with handmade copperplate engravings, the paper it's printed on is also handmade. The saleswoman was also telling me that the frame was wrapped with hand marbled paper. Could she have been pulling my leg and feeding me lines about the handmade art? Sure. But I got a good vibe from the store and went with it. The etching I picked was the only one with a green and blue color scheme. The rest were nice, but I have a soft spot for green and blue.

San Lio n. 5765 Castello
30122 Venezia, Italia

When we made our way to the Rialto Bridge, it was packed...more so than the last time I visited. This time there were vendors lining the streets leading up to the bridge so it was a battle to make our way through the crowds at some points. Same with St. Mark's Square. We snapped some pictures and tried to make our way back to the train station. We got horribly lost and ended up in the most random part of the island. After a lot of map consultations and shrugging we eventually found our way. Isn't that how it always goes when it comes to Venice though?

Rialto Bridge
ruined picture
Venezia, Italia

Monday, September 10, 2012

Ech's First House Guest

This week one of my nearest and dearest friends, Sarah, came to visit! She's doing an Asia/Europe backpacking trip with her friend, Lindsay, and they stopped in to spend a few days with Will and me.


The day they came in, we invited over our friends (Pierce, Jasmine, Marc, Jessica, Ben, and Drake) for a good old fashioned American barbeque. After dinner we busted out the beer pong table and hilarity ensued.
Background info: Back in the college days, Sarah and I were quite the beer pong players. I was hit or miss with my performances, but Sarah was consistently good.
Sarah insisted that she had only played a handful of times since college and would be very rusty. It took one game for her to get into her groove. At one point she was on a 5-game win streak. Rusty, my ass! The guys were accusing us of bringing in a ringer to run the table on them.

beer pong

Some of the group had to work in the morning; so to run down the night the rest of us went to our landlord's bar next door for beers and talks. It was a good ice breaker for all of us. You know you have a good group of friends when everyone can hang out and click without a lot of awkwardness.