Wednesday, January 26, 2011

We have a live one

On the hook, for dating that is. For the first time in a long time, I am actually optimistic about this one.

At first I was going to call him Contractor but DC said that was too long. So, after some thought, we will refer to this one as NoDIY - for no do it yourself since he is a contractor. In other words, if you read the Christmas letter, I am following my brother's advice.

So, we met on Match's website. We had just a few emails back and forth before he gave me his number. Two days later (Thursday) we were able to catch up via phone. All I can say is Thank God for free Mobile to Mobile minutes or I would be in serious trouble. As of Monday, we have spent 195 minutes on the phone. Of course last night’s call was probably around two hours. So, Thursday night was the first time that we talked and then we met Friday night for a drink after I got off at Lowe's.

Long story short - I had a great time. We just chatted away and then for part of the night we ended up playing pool with some other couple that was at the bar. For the record, I might be good at math but I don't get the degrees in pool and I suck. We were enjoying the conversation so much that suddenly it was almost 2 a.m. and time for the bar to close. Uggggh! We ended up talking in the parking lot until 2:30ish before we went our separate ways. He called a little before 3 to make sure that I got home ok. I think even then it was another 10 minute conversation. All I know is that I was finally in bed by 3:30 am and that alarm forcing me out of bed by 630 am really, really, really sucked!

So the downside of everything right now is that he is working on a job in Dallas. He is planning on staying up there this weekend so I won't get to see him for another week. He invited me to come up for the weekend but I don't know if I am ready for that. Part me wants to go because I don't want to wait two weeks to see him but the part doesn't like the pressure that comes with going out of town so early. Decisions, decisions.
But, for the time being, enjoying the conversations and I am definitely excited to see where things go with NoDIY.

Back on Plan

Well, as I told DC, my weekends seem to be where the problems lie.  Obviously I am hardly spending anything during the week. 

 Diet - It was good.  I had supper at a friends house so not really sure on the calorie count, but it wasn't a huge serving and was pretty good.  :)
Exercise - I got my 4 mile loop in before I headed to my first knitting lesson. 
Money - Pace yourself kids, 0.25.  Yes I spent a whole quarter today.  My lessons are free and Ms. M use to teach in Mexico so she had a ton of free yarn and needles I could use.  :)
Cleaning - Not too much to be done.  Picked up things laying around and that was about it.

Tuesday - It was not a good day eating.  It wasn't that I was eating out or anything, just not the best choices.  I had ice cream in the freezer and I don't think that was a good supper selection.  LOL  But, the positive is I am still Doughnut free!
Exercise - It was a Lowe's day, so nada.
Money - I was a big spender today compared to days past, but it was all budgeted.  I spent $0.25 on my Diet Coke, $33 and change at Walgreens for female supplies (emergency) and more allergy meds, and $50 at Petco for the 40 lbs of dog food.  Finnegus was starting to get hungry.
Cleaning - Nada

Monday, January 24, 2011

Epic Christmas Letter Failure

So, the annual Christmas Card Letter was wrote and in an odd twist, it never got mailed.  So, please do enjoy what you should of received in the mail.  :)

Season’s Greetings and Happy 2011!!!
In true fashion, I am late with everything so I hope this letter finds you having had a blessed Christmas and a great start to 2011! To kick off the New Year, here is my rendition of an old song to catch you up on my 2010….

Twas the first month of the New Year and Santa brought to me….Relief. In January, I had surgery to fix a deviated septum and a few other sinus issues that was resulting in chronic sinus infections. I was blessed to have my Aunt Jo Ann come to Austin and be my mom for the weekend and help me right after the surgery. The doctor declared the surgery a success and so far, no sinus infections!!!

Twas the second month of the New Year and Santa brought to me…a Godson! In February, Kim and Travis became the proud parents of Maddox Vincent. I was blessed to be able to make a quick trip back to Nebraska to enjoy his first couple of days at home. I also call it my 24 hours of why being a single parent might not be a good idea as Maddox was not a happy baby his first night home.

Twas the third month of the New Year and Santa brought to me….a Cruise! In celebration of my Aunt Jo Ann and Uncle Oak’s 50th Wedding Anniversary, I was able to join them, their entire family, my parents and a few others on a 7 day cruise to Jamaica, Cayman Islands and Cozumel. It was a great time with family and I forgot how relaxing reading a book and doing nothing was!

Twas the fourth month of the New Year and Santa brought to me…a trip to Nebraska! I was able to make it back to Nebraska for Maddox’s Baptism and was also blessed to see most of the Schmidt family at Uncle Ron & Aunt Sharon’s 50th Wedding Anniversary.

Twas the fifth month of the New Year and Santa brought to me…time at Camp Curtis. I still try and make it to the Curtis Lake Cabin, although this summer I didn’t make it as often as I would of liked. It is just a relaxing time and you just never know who you might see! (There have been Elvis sightings in the area!) I definitely have a great time with family and usually end up with a story or two!

Twas the six month of the New Year and Santa brought to me…Vet Bills. Okay, the standard annual checkup bills. I am still the proud momma of my fur babies Guinness and Finnegan, or Finnegus as some refer to them. Guinness turned five in July and Finnegan turned two early in the year. Finn of course is still 100% puppy and continues to reinforce the fact that he was a termite in his previous life by eating anything wood he can get his teeth on (Crepe Myrtle tree, privacy fence, the house and bed posts). Guinness still tends to act annoyed with Finn most of the time, but it is just an act. You will see Finn with a scarf most of the time so family and friends can tell them apart, hence the name Finnegas, because without it, most cannot tell them apart.

Twas the seventh month of the New Year and Santa brought to me…another anniversary at NFP. I am still working in the Technology Firm Services department and continue to adapt to whatever they throw at me. I think I hear the phrase “Jenn has the bandwidth…” entirely too much. Of course with the anniversary I also will start earning more vacation in January. Yeah me!

Twas the eighth month of the New Year and Santa brought to me…more Crummy Dates. Yes, I am no closer to being married, so you can stop asking that question.  If you don’t read my blog, you might want to go check out the top ten reasons I am still single ( I can assure you, I could add to that list since then. My worst date for the year, a second date that was an hour and a half car ride (one way) to go to Simulcast Horse Racing. I can assure you that had I known that was the plan for the evening, I probably would have passed.

Twas the ninth month of the New Year and Santa brought to me…another year at Lowe’s. It is hard to believe that I have now been at Lowe’s for two years. I honestly enjoy my time there and am blessed to have a set schedule of days and hours to work. I took over as coordinator for the Kid’s Clinic held every other Saturday and love the time off the register! One of these days I’ll be done with the house and not need the discount. 

Twas the tenth month of the New Year and Santa brought to me…a visit from Big Country & family, aka Cousin Troy and family. It was great having them visit and see some of the sights around Austin. Of course, it was complete with trips to the Outlet Mall, The Salt Lick and seeing the Congress Bridge Bats.

Twas the eleventh month of the New Year and Santa brought to me…a LOT of Company!!! A house full was had the weekend of the Texas A&M vs. Nebraska game. 16 of us made the trip to the game and thankfully not all of them stayed in my house! My parents, Travis, Kim and Maddox stayed through the Friday after Thanksgiving. It was a blessing to have them be able to stay so long and Auntie Jenn loved all of her Maddox time.

Twas the twelfth month of the New Year and Santa brought to me…an End to a great year! The month ended with a visit from my friend Melissa for New Year’s Eve. I officially became a Texan this month with the purchase of my first Cowboy Boots. Work on the house is coming along and now it is more of things that I would like to do versus have to do. My brother Travis says I need to start dating (although he used another word I won’t put here) a contractor to make some of that happen. LOL

2011 is going to be a great year and I already have a lot of fun things planned! Of course, before you ask, when is your next trip to Nebraska – I ask – when is your trip to Texas? I mean I have been here for four years now?!?!

Love y’all and miss you bunches!

Backward Weekend

So, I have determined that for the most part, weekends are my downfall and where the problems lie.  I spend more money in a weekend than I probably do in an average week.  I had my debit card in my purse which resulted in way too much impulse spending.  Urrrrrggggg.  I stayed out way too late on Friday night and spent the rest of the weekend trying to recover and as a result, zero in the workout category.  Cleaning was probably my only bright spot and I did pick up around the house, cleaned the floors and washed Finn's lower half because he managed to become a mud ball on both Friday night and Saturday afternoon.  On the bright side of the weekend - I did have a nice date on Friday night with a new guy.  :)  More to come later on that. 

Friday, January 21, 2011


That is what today is.  Yesterday started out as an okay day and then just took a drastic spiral at the end of the day.  At this point, I don't know what I am going to do.  But enough of that for now.  I couldn't shut my brain off last night when I did finally go to bed and it was still after midnight before the alarm went off.

So First things first - today was Weigh in Day.   187.6 is the official number.  7.6 to go.

Summary of Day 3:

Eating - I did okay. D2ND  but we are starting over on the darn Vending Machine.  I had a salad from Freebirds for lunch so I am not sure if that was good or bad.  I did have just a baked potato for supper, so hopefully it balanced out.

Exercise - Negative.  It was too darn cold - or that was my thinking.  I was exhausted when I got home and took a nap.  I was going to open mail, eat supper and then walk the dogs for a bit.  Maybe I should of just skipped the mail and leave that to Saturday's.  Needless to say - no walk for me or the dogs.  :(

Cleaning - Nada but really wasn't much to be done outside of unload the dishwasher.  That can wait another day.
Money - Well, my spending was $0.50 on two sodas, $50 on the vending machine and $6.62 at Freebirds.  That is the positive. $25 went to the Kohl's debt gods. The negative is that a tight budget needs to find more ways to be cut.  My saga of credit card debt and the hands that bind continue.  Target - well they got me this time.  I was on back to back 6 month lower interest plans, well in December, I came off the last one and didn't realize it.  So, my payment wasn't automatically made to them.  They called me about two weeks after the fact and I paid them.  Then I made my payment in January.  Last night I opened my new bill.  I missed a payment in their minds and now I have a 29.99% interest rate to go with a $170 payment.  That is a $100 more each month I need to come up with just to pay them the mininum, never mind attempting to make a dent.  The monthly interest charges almost equal my monthly budget for food which is a mear $150.  Seriously considering the word bankruptcy.  :(  I can't win if I tried.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Survival - Day Two

Front View - Day 2
So it is time to put it out there.  These are not photos that I am proud of but they need to be out here, they need to be seen, I need to be accountable for what I look like!  Now we are going to kick it into gear and say hello swim suit!

Side view - Day 2
Summary of Day 2:

Eating - I did great!  D1ND (Day 1 no doughnuts) and D2NVM (Day 2 no vending machine), yes the small victories that I have but are needed for success! 

Exercise - Definite success here!  I took the dogs for a 4.1 mile walk in 1 hr, 5 minutes.  Not too bad if I say so myself!

Cleaning - One load of laundry, vaccummed, mopped a couple spots on the floor and washed dishes by hand!

Money - It was a HUGE day of spending!  $0.50 for Diet Coke and $3.47 - I got a small bag of flour, $.99 pack of pens for Lowe's and a $1 package of Butterfingers.  Had one and the rest went into the freezer.

Overall - I think I can say - winner, winner Chicken Dinner!

Survival of Day 1

Now I admit that I was over half way through day one when I blogged yesterday, but at the end of the day, I survived and made it all the way through, relatively unscathed. So here is my summary for yesterday:

Eating - Outside of breakfast, it was a great day! I avoided the vending machine snack trap! My breakfast - darn doughnuts got me. I am going to challenge myself and see if I can make it the next 20 days without one. Darn crazy addiction. If anything - I at least know what will be a good lent sacrifice!

Exercise - Since it was a dual work day, I was pretty limited on what I could do. That said, I still managed to get in a 1.2 mile walk with the pups before I headed in.

Cleaning - Not anything to report, well unless you count having to give Finnegan a bath last night. In his true boy fashion, he found the mud last night in the back yard! So, for the consecutive day, he got a bath!

Money - Overall, I would say it was a great day! I like to use the Latte Factor (coined by David Bach), if you take that purchase and multiply it by the number of days in the year - is it really worth that expense? My total outlay yesterday was $2.27, of which $1.77 was for doughnuts. Now if I got them every work day for a year - I would have spent $460.20...definitely not worth the cost to my middle! The other 0.50 was for my two Diet Cokes. Definitely a good day and not having debt cards in my purse is working!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Well we are officially 18 days into 2011 and my motivation is already waning for the New Year's Resolution Goals.  Now I admit that three days of cold and rain did not help any motivation at all but that is winter.  What should be surprising about that.

Then again, the more I think about things, I really can't say that my goals are waning, my effort to some degree is waning.  I get frustrated and tired of things being the way they are.  I have these goals out there and I seem to get frustrated because I can't hit them and then I either lose focus or just give up.  So, is it that my goals are just too big?  Or do I need smaller goals to go with it?  Maybe a combination of both? 

So, my original goals for 2011 were as follows:
  •  Reach a healthy weight I can maintain by year end
  • Maintain $1,000 in savings as an emergency fund
  • Get off my happy meds
  • Walk the dogs consistently
  • Pay off credits cards and/or put a significant dent in all my debt
  • Take stairs
So, obviously a few of them are easy to obtain.  The stairs, well I work on the 3rd floor of my office building and with the exception of twice, I have take the stairs both up and down every day, multiple times.  Some days I even throw in a hike up to the roof top access, all the way back to ground and then back to my floor.  Now, when it comes to Vegas - we might need to reconsider.

Walk the dogs - again another easy one.  Yesterday we logged 3.0 miles in the sunshine.  Both they and myself needed it.  Being cooped up in a house because it was raining and they couldn't run and play made for some extra energy for all of us.

The emergency fund and debt - that I am reaching out to my online group for support.  If I put my debt here and made it known, I think a few people would have a heart attack.  I do know that when the day comes that I dig out of this, still own my house and my car, I might have a case for writing my own book!  I definitely have some yearly calendar ideas that I think would be much more useful to managing daily to do's, bills that are do, debt, etc.

Finally, the healthy weight is where you mystery readers all come in.  I know you secret lurkers are out there.  Weight Watchers isn't working for me.  I "know" what I need to do and just don't log my stuff.  I figure I can cheat today and tomorrow I'll make up for it but then tomorrow comes and I cheat again.  A vicious cycle that never ends. So, I have set some smaller goals so that healthy weight doesn't seem so far off.  The first is 180 by Feb 10th.  That gives me 24 days.  The next is 170 which is by mid April, again far enough out. 

Now - how can you help me?  First, I am going to do my best to post my updates on the following every day summarizing how I did the previous day: Eating, Exercise, Cleaning and Money.  Knowing you read this helps!  Secondly, I am going to post my weekly weigh in and Photo! Knowing that my fat rolls are out here for all the world to see, well if that doesn't motivate me to lose them faster, I don't know what will.  On a monthly basis, I also provide my inches and loss to date.  It might seem like too much or not enough to you but for me I need it.  I work with an office of guys that might not even notice if I chopped my hair let alone discuss weight loss and I live by myself and outside of those brown eyes of Finnegus begging for a walk, no one cares in that house what size I am. 

So, we are going for blowing the waning out of the water and hopefully y'all can kick my ass along the way!

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Hits Keep Coming

They always tell you God has this Master Plan for you and that he does hear your prayers. He might not always answer them in the time frame you ask for them but the answers will come with the time. Last night, by the time I got home, I was 100% a mess. I can't tell you the last time I actually had done it, but last night I just found myself sitting on the closet floor crying, and crying, and crying. If this is God's Master Plan for me, I have to say that it really sucks up to this point and when is something good going to land in my world? I mean really is it too much to ask?

So, let me back up to the 30th of December. See, that was the day that my heavy foot caught up to me. I was in the middle of a pack of cars and thought if I go with the flow, I'm okay. Not so much. Because Officer Friendly was in such a holiday spirit, I received a $235 speeding ticket. $105 for just the court cost. Lucky me.

Then Wednesday was date number three with Turtle. I haven't blogged about him up to this point just because one date wasn't enough and well, I was just sitting on the fence with this one. I had a nice time with him when we went out but that romantic connection just didn't seem to be there. But, I figured why not keep going and maybe things would change. Of course, when we did go out, Turtle was a gentleman, we always met at the location we were going, always paid but on the same front, just seemed to always be nervous and uncomfortable. I think that is probably why I kept going back out, just to see if he would relax. He definitely was not one to talk on the phone. Heck, we had to do a change of plans for date two, that conversation last two and a half minutes. It was strictly the information about the date, no how was your day, etc.

Fast forward to Wednesday night, we ended up going to see True Grit. Now, he chose the movie (he had already seen it once) and the location. It was a new movie theater in the Domain and let's just say I was not aware until the next day that the tickets cost $29 per person! You had an assigned seat that was almost a recliner and really you could almost lay down it reclined so far. It was a nice place but I don't know if one needed to go that far. Anyway, he walked me to my car and we chatted for a minute. Then out of the blue came "May I kiss you?" I was stunned and I don't want to say I laughed in his face but did laugh and was like you are really going to ask? Is this what it was like to be courted in the 70s? They ask to kiss you? I mean really?!?! Unbelievable. I agreed, got a peck on the lips and then he ran like a little school girl, or so it felt like.

I was talking to my mom afterwards and was laughing and crying at the same time. If God's master plan is at work here, it seems like a cruel joke. I love kids, I want to have kids of my own and why can't finding a man seem to be ok? Why does it have to be so hard? I am so done with this dating thing. I mean maybe it is God's way of telling me to embrace single life and not deal with it? It was just a huge let down.

Then came yesterday. I feel like I am in a movie about a series of misfortunate events and I am playing the lead role. I have previously blogged about how my job continues to change for the worse and how I was trying to ride the tide. On a daily basis I take at least two calls, if not more, of people grumbling because they don't like the new log in process and just want to bitch. It honestly wears on a after awhile. Of course, I take the majority of the calls so I catch a majority of the bad calls. Take for example this week. Right now, I have closed out 71 tickets this week with two others closing out a total of 48. Seems even.

To help with the situation I have made some recommendations. Three months ago, I provided a list of questions for them to add to the reminder list to make things easier for the clients. Finally in December, those were approved - but nothing has been updated. I also suggested the beginning of December they remove a link that provided no useful value outside of cause confusion and frustration, again approved but nothing has been updated. Then right around Christmas, given the calls of people bitching and biting my head off on a daily basis, well I asked that if the team didn't want to do it, I wanted my calls recorded. I wanted the powers that be know how I am treated on a daily basis.

So, regardless of me trying to improve the situation, nothing has changed. That is until yesterday. Apparently a couple of reps have complained to the higher powers about me, probably the same ones that bitch at me. But regardless, I have determined that the Company values the paying members more than their employees. I was given two options, I can switch roles to a Data Administration role - which to me is a demotion of sorts because the current job requirements are that you need a high school diploma. Or, I mandated to have my calls recorded, my boss listening to them and provide direction on how I can better defuse the situation. Seriously? WTF? I honestly have never worked for a company in which people were allowed to call in and belittle people like what goes on here on a daily basis. I had one guy tell me that because I was an hourly associate, I cannot appreciate that time is money!
In three years I have gone from a job that I loved that had a few kinks to a job that I honestly understand why people say they are just putting in their time. If I am not valued as an employee, why would I want to care about the job I do.
So, that was my melt down. Dating sucks like no other. My job sucks like no other. Embracing the suck is not working for me people. I like to believe that most days I am glass is half full type person but yesterday was my glass was empty and I hate life day. I really questioned God and His master plan too. I don’t know if I would say I am better today about things, more I have chose to just not feel.