Coming and Going

It has been a busy summer. A busy June in particular. I keep telling myself and others that once I get past the Independence Day holiday it will all start to slow down and level off, I am starting to wonder if that is actually true.

The three weeks of Hospice training came to a close last week and now pending the completion of my final background check, I am ready to get started. I have decided to start at the main facility on the campus and then go through additional training to become a vigil and be qualified to work as a bereavement volunteer.

School is going well. Last week was midterms and I had no issue with the test. This week we are working on another case study.

Wedding planning is really picking up speed. The centerpieces are coming together and even Todd, “Mr. Hands off”, is getting excited and involved. It’s been fun. We are almost done registering, one store left. I received the bridal shower invitations last week and they are lovely! It is an artistic watercolor print with matching return address labels. We booked our honeymoon as I mentioned in my previous post and we have been buzzing about our trip. This month we do our taste testing at the venue and decide on linens.

For the fourth of July holiday we are having a BBQ at the house, like last year. Todd’s plant will be closed Thursday in observance of the holiday so that will give us opportunity to run our errands and ready the house for company. In the evening we will go over to the lake in the neighborhood to watch the downtown fire works, a nice perk to living so close to the city.

August will bring the bridal shower and a new set of classes. September, the bachelorette weekend, dress fittings and tux selection. October is birthday month in our family. Then before we know it November will be upon us.

 

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Honey we are going to the moon!

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Todd jumped on the bed this morning and excitedly exclaimed We got it! I was dead to the world two seconds earlier and replied with a foggy Huh? What?

We got the rental, the owner approved us! Still mostly asleep and with my eyes remaining unopened I exclaimed Honey we are going to the moon! It sounded cute and funny in my sleepy head, I think out loud it sounded more like mumble mumble mumble.

Todd and I have officially booked our honeymoon. We are going to D.C. and yes I realize this does not sound overtly romantic but you, my friend, do not know Todd and I, not really at least.

D.C. was an easy decision. Originally we talked about staying in VA and taking the metro into D.C. but in the end we realized we really wanted to stay in the city and be able to walk places. We found a charming rental blocks away from the Capitol, walking distance to all kinds of wonderful things. This is perfect for us.

You see Todd and I are not really beach people, we go over the summer because we live in Florida and it is considered sacrilege not to but we would never honeymoon at a beach. For our honeymoon we wanted it to feel very us. This does. With all the history and culture D.C. has to offer within walking distance of our doorstep it will be just right. Although we are both excited about all the museums and typical tourist attractions D.C. has to offer I am mostly excited about the not so obvious items on the agenda. For example, the Bookstore/Bar/Restaurant and the rooftop restaurant overlooking the entire city and parts of VA and Georgetown.

We are taking our honeymoon over the Thanksgiving holiday as I will have time off from classes and I am actually kind of excited that

1. it will be just Todd and I during our first Thanksgiving as a married couple

and 2. we will have one day of quiet exploration and rest during our honeymoon as undoubtedly everything will be closed in the city.

After Todd delivered the news this morning about getting the town-home we spent a few minutes hugging and high-fiving and I mumbled a few more nonsensical mumbles of excitement before Todd had to leave for work.

After properly waking up and washing my face I started thinking about our honeymoon and how much I really am looking forward to this trip with him. I understand why honeymoons are important now, at least for me, you need an escape after planning an event for over a year. You need time away to relax after everything that goes into making a wedding happen. Plus, of course, you need time alone with your new spouse to take in the excitement of being newly weds.

The fault in my will power, wherein cheap books make me a hypocrite

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I had no intention in reading The Fault in our Stars. In fact, I had quite deliberate intention not to. I did not know much about the book other than a girl has cancer and there is a love interest. It felt too obvious, girl has cancer, boys falls in love with girl, girl dies. So not only was I not going to read it, I was actively avoiding doing just that. I mean there are plenty of books I have no intention to read, like a book about how to raise milking goats. However, that is not to say if somehow my situation were to drastically change and suddenly milking goats became an important part of my families survival I would feel the same way about books involving how to raise milking goats.

No, this was different. I really was not going to read this book and no circumstances were going to change in my life that would convince me otherwise. That was until I was running errands a week and a half ago and saw a paper back copy for under 10.00. I think even after I bought it I still did not really intend to read it, not much of it at least, maybe just the first few pages to confirm that I was right and I will not like it’s guaranteed predictability. I think the only reason I even bought it was because it was on sale and it was a book. I have trouble passing up a good deal on a book. I once went to a going-out-of-business sale for a local book store and bought 15 books for under 6.00. I had mixed emotions about the whole thing, the 15 books for 6.00 that is. Although thrilled with my finds I felt a bit guilty profiting off a bookstore’s demise. I have a not-so-secret fear that one day book stores will be obsolete, a thing of the past, thanks to the advent of ebooks and the internet.

Back to TFIOS, so even after purchasing I am still standing firm on my decision not to read this book. That was until Todd and I had a very busy weekend and at the end of the day Sunday all we wanted to do before bed was read. Todd just finished Quiet. It is a book about being an introvert in an extrovert’s world. He picked up the last book in the Divergent trilogy as he never finished the series, he is in for some serious disappointment. I will let him come to that realization on his own. I, like always, have a few books to choose from. I am currently (still) reading Look Me in the Eye, as well as The Secret Life of Pronouns. After spending the last few weeks with my nose stuck in my texts for my classes and knowing the same fate awaits me this week as I study for my midterm I decided I wanted a fiction piece this evening. I want some fantasy that I can just read without having to think too much about. Then suddenly I remember, Well I have TFIOS and although I am sure I will hate it and it will be poorly written and expected I at least won’t have to use too much brain power.

I get through the first pages and I am mentally patting myself on the back saying You were right Jill, you should have never bothered with this one. There is no real build up in the beginning, it starts with girl has cancer, boy meets girl and a romantic plot line follows, typical. Not to mention I found the writing style to be  pretentious at times, making me feel that much more disconnected. With everything I have mentioned as reasons to put the book down, I chose to read on. What else did I have to do anyway? Plus it was serving its purpose as a distraction. A funny thing happened around page 30 though, I got interested. There were layers to this story that I was unaware of and suddenly page 30 turned into page 114. Go figure. I began reading this book 2 hours ago and I am now more than half way through. I am not going to say it is a great book, not yet. I will reserve final judgement until the end, specifically the predictability of the end. I will keep you posted though.

Public Opinion and the Media

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Todd and I have watched two documentaries in the last month that highlighted two different well known court cases. When given further information about each case the opinion I have always carried about both was completely turned on its head.

After the first documentary I thought, man that stinks for that girl, because of how the media portrayed her she really did not get a fair shake in the public eye. By the time we were finishing the second documentary I was feeling much stronger emotions.

The two court cases I am referring to are the Amanda Knox murder trial and Liebeck vs. McDonald’s (better known as the McDonald’s coffee case).

The documentaries we watched were Crimes of the Century, Season 1 and Hot Coffee. I am sure based on the titles you can figure out which case showed up in which documentary. Although there were huge take-aways from each documentary what I was most impacted by was the role the media played in each case. I would be willing to bet that everyone in America is familiar with one or both of these trials.

Amanda Knox, the sexual heathen who, with the help of her boyfriend, brutally killed her roommate while studying abroad. Um false.

Then we have the most frivolous of all frivolous law suits ever created. A woman spills coffee on herself in the McDonald’s drive-thru, sees an opportunity to make a buck and sues the company for millions. Again, false!

30 minutes into the Amanda Knox story it is pretty clear that this girl is innocent, by the end of the episode there is no doubt in my mind. Yet, some how public opinion has painted her guilty. How could this happen? How could we take a girl who is clearly innocent and make her into some sex crazed maniac capable of killing her roommate? The media. We only know what we hear on TV right? This case is a perfect example of how investigative reporting is dead. The news in this case acted more like gossip hounds, clinging to each tantalizing detail, than professional reporters. Here is the kicker, there is someone in prison for the murder of Amanda Knox’s roommate. He was convicted with DNA evidence! He was convicted of the murder before Amanda ever went to court! Why then was her case not thrown out, I mean they caught the guy!? You never hear that side of the story though and across America people think Amanda Knox got away with murder.

The Hot Coffee documentary left me floored. I can think of  a time in one of my Sociology classes where we talked about the McDonald’s coffee case and everyone in the room agreed that it was frivolous and wrong. It was just some morally shallow individual trying to get rich quick. Some people showed genuine disgust for this person. I am disgusted with myself. I formed an opinion about someone whom I have never met and without all the information. Shame on me. Shame on all of us. I would love nothing more than to share the photos of Mrs. Liebeck’s injuries in order to drive home the point about just how wrong we all are about her. I can’t. They are so graphic in nature I do not feel comfortable putting them on my blog. But I encourage you, I insist that you do even an ounce of research into this case. If you have a strong stomach Google “Liebeck burn photos”. Under Google images the third and fourth photos that appear are what was shown on the documentary.

Mrs. Liebeck suffered third degree burns to her pelvic region, including her who-ha. For those of you who are not familiar with burn degrees I have included a chart I found on Nelsonbarry.com,

burn chart

Mrs. Liebeck had to undergo skin grafting operations following her accident and was hospitalized for over a week. Not to mention the medical treatment needed after her operations. She and her family only decided to bring the case against McDonald’s once they realized the extent of treatment she would need and discovered that medicare would not be covering all of her treatments. McDonald’s pushed back against her claims as they had with over 700 other cases that were similar in nature.

I am not going to layout the entire documentary, go watch it if you want to learn more. It will absolutely make you think twice before ever using the term frivolous lawsuit again. Once again thanks to the news media’s coverage of this story the vast majority have formed completely ungrounded opinions of a woman who was injured and needed help.

– As an aside, the Hot Coffee documentary does not just focus on Mrs. Liebeck’s case. It is a documentary about tort reform and it will give you something to think about.-

The narration of these two cases by the news completely ruined public opinion of two women who did not deserve it , in my opinion. After watching both documentaries I felt conned. In my everyday life I have always been interested in allowing myself to make up my own mind about people. Just because my girlfriend or co-worker or even fiance does not like someone does not necessarily mean I share their opinion. I will listen to people I trust but ultimately I do not like to form opinions based on someone else’s experiences. Why should this be any different? When it comes to the news I have been skeptical as far back as I can remember, certainly since becoming an adult and even more so in the last five years.

It really bothers me that I was just one more person who at one point or another had thought ill of someone without having all the information. I was just one more person making things harder for someone who had already been through so much and it is not right. It isn’t like I have ever given much thought to either of these cases but if previously asked about them I would have said the same thing as everyone else, whatever I knew from the news.

I am sure sometimes the news gets it right but I am willing to bet that in just about every story they report on there is more to it than meets the eye. As a society we need to stop being so quick to judgement. I personally don’t want to form any opinions on misinformation and I don’t want my mind to be clouded by partial truths.

 

Inspiration from fellow INFPs

Todd and I were having a hypothetical conversation this morning and big surprise, it got my wheels turning. I like hypotheticals, I like to think about possibilities. It stemmed from a conversation we had about what I read the night before in one of my texts. I had to take an online exam today so last night I was finishing up the last chapter for the test, it was on relationships. He asked me how I would handle a certain situation that was illustrated in the text, specifically whether I would take offense and find the person in the situation being too critical? My answer was No.

In this particular case with what was being said, if it were me, I would see the situation as an opportunity for growth. I can at times be sensitive to criticism, such is the case with INFP personality types as I understand it, but that is not always true. I am incredibly introspective and take time to process things to see if there is merit in what is being said. This gives me the opportunity to try to look at the criticism objectively to determine whether there is an opportunity for growth.

Todd and I then got into a conversation about our different personality types and how he would perceive the situation. He is much more practical, a problem solver where, as Todd put it, I am much more introspective and philosophical.

Well later in the afternoon I was online.. I have been trying to find an excerpt from literature that can be used as a reading at our wedding. It is hard to choose, there are so many authors and titles to choose from. In my search today I stumbled across this,

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost. 

I knew immediately that it was Tolkien from the first Lord of the Rings novel. I grew up on Tolkien. It is quite lovely when you read out of its intended context and rather just on its own. I proceeded to do a search for other possible options by Tolkien, as we both are fans. What I found in the process of my search is that Tolkien, this amazingly talented writer whom I respect so highly is an INFP.

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It felt like a point for the INFP team! haha. Then suddenly I was curios, Who else?? I was baffled by what I discovered. I have always felt a sense of camaraderie with my fellow INFPs and after reading the findings, feeling connected to people whom I hold in such high regard made me feel so inspired.

So here are some of my favorites from the list..

First, the writers:

George Orwell: What I have most wanted to do … is to make political writing into an art. My starting point is always a feeling of partisanship, a sense of injustice.

J.R.R. Tolkien: I [am] a mere individual … with intense feelings more than ideas.

C.S. Lewis: [I have] a boorish in-aptitude for formality.

Virginia Woolf: My own brain is to me the most unaccountable of machinery – always buzzing, humming, soaring roaring diving, and then buried in mud. And why? What’s this passion for?

A.A. Milne: Even now when I see my name in the paper, I feel that the world is intruding unduly on my privacy. I ought to be anonymous.

Edgard Allen Poe (squeal!): (James Oppenheim speaking about Poe): Everything about him suggests introversion, self-immersion, mood, mystery. Everything suggests a man seeking his own soul.

Hans Christian Andersen: The whole world is a series of miracles, but we’re so used to them we call them ordinary things.

William Shakespeare: To thine own self be true.

 

The Musicians,

John FREAKING Lennon: If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.

Kurt Cobain: I just can’t believe anyone would start a band just to make the scene and be cool and have chicks. I just can’t believe it.

Florence Welch: [I] always want things to be perfect, magical or exciting. Things can’t be that way all the time so I’m constantly disappointed as well.

Morrissey: It’s so easy to laugh, it’s so easy to hate, it takes guts to be gentle and kind.

 

Finally my three favorites that I am so proud to be in any kind of category with,

Thom Yorke: Generally speaking, if people are prepared to stick their heads above the power pit, like Zinn says, and absorb what’s going on around them, it makes them think.

Andy Warhol: I’ve never met a person I couldn’t call a beauty.

Vincent Van Gogh: If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.

 

It was surreal in a way to see these people whom I have such strong admiration for and then read their words and think, Yeah, I get it. I identify with some more than others, but across the board to feel like I understand one of my idols on a deeper level than just their art or words or music that I have always been so inspired by, is a beautiful thing.

The right person and the right time

I have been thinking recently about the importance of timing. I read this quote a few days ago and have been reflecting on it ever since.

timing

It’s just another reason why I don’t believe in single soul mates. I counted, I have met 4 men (not including Todd he would make 5) that if the timing had been right could have easily been my “soul mate”. The funny thing is, I only dated one of them, the rest were all friends with chemistry that did not develop further (even though it was made clear by both sides that we would have liked things to develop) because the timing was wrong. In most cases it was never anything more than a kiss, some honest words about our feelings, an understanding that there was something there but for one reason or another we could do nothing about it.

Todd and I have had conversations about how he was and who he was in college and how I was and who I was when I was single and we have both agreed that we are not sure we would have liked those versions of each other. If we had met each other then it is very possible we may not have given each other a second thought. With all that we have in common and how in sync we have always been, we would have never seen it then.

Of course timing does not just apply to relationships, timing played a major role in my decisions about when to focus on work and when to focus on school. I know that had I forced myself to finish school my first time around I would be miserable with a business degree. I needed life experience to help build my confidence in my area of interest. I knew what felt right but I needed to grow and mature before I was ready for it.

When I was in high school and even in my young twenties I was always trying to figure things out, make plans. The irony is I had nothing figured out and I was really just chasing my own tail trying so hard to make square pegs fit in round holes. I didn’t get it at all. I was quite clueless about life.

There have been times in my life where things have just seemed to work without me having to do anything and I realize now it has a lot to do with timing. Things shouldn’t feel forced, they should happen naturally.

Meeting Todd helped drive home this point. My past relationships were all so difficult at times and I thought that was normal. They were all similar in that respect so I thought that was just how relationships were. Meeting the right person at the right time in both of our lives made me realize I knew nothing about what a successful relationship looks like before him.

I don’t have any regrets about what did not work out in life, just gratitude for what did and a better appreciation for how important timing is.

Sleepover # 1

We had our sleepover with our nephew this “weekend” (Thursday night). It was all he talked about the rest of the weekend. I will let the pictures I have tell the bulk of the story but I also have a cute side story,

So Thursday night at bedtime we read Isaac a book we had bought him about trains since that was the activity we would be doing the following day. After we finished the book we asked him to say his prayers because we know that is his routine at home. His started his prayers with “Heavenly Father..” like he normally would but he switched up the ending on us. After going over everything he was thankful for and asking for blessings for his family he said, “In Jesus name ice cream“. Todd and I just looked at each other and started giggling. He then corrected himself and said “Amen”. In his defense he was so worn out that he was half asleep while saying his prayers. Very cute. Then we gave kisses and he was out.

The weekend started on Thursday here

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After the beach we headed back to the city for our sleepover.

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After full night of basketball and movies we were ready for the train ride Friday!

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(the train was very loud when it pulled into the station, it was a bit much for little ears.)

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After the train we went home to get Lucy and then went to a park in town so Isaac could climb on the big old Live Oak.

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Saturday we went to my parent’s house with Lucy and created a water park in the backyard. Lucy loved it.