Snapshot September: Cousins!

This afternoon after my interview in Indy
(cross your fingers and toes for me!)
I got to spend a few awesome hours with these two people:

mandm

My cousin Mike was in town for an interview of his
own and his beautiful wife Milena tagged along!

It was great to see them, and since they hopped out to Indiana
we’ll have to look into hopping out to Colorado at some point too :)

Blogger’s Block

 (Found via Pinterest/Image Source)

So you would THINK that with something like Snapshot September it would be a “no duh” kind of month and a “will get back into blogging” kind of month.  Turns out not so much… I’m going to be straight with you guys — I’m in a bit of a funk.  No, let me rephrase that, I’ve delved into a pretty deep funk and am working on climbing out of it, so please be patient with not getting a whole bunch of pictures this month like ya did last year.  I’m going to do my best to do what I can with the last couple weeks of the month, but being motivated to get on a write, let alone do too much else.  Not gonna lie, some of it is wrapped up with a minor depression about being back in the States (Friday marked one month back), and then there’s all the stress that is typically tied with moving into a new place/getting set up/establishing a new routine/searching for a job/other things…  As stated above, everything doesn’t need to be talked about, and I definitely agree in regards to blogging.  Somethings just shouldn’t be online for the world to see.  Or at least I’m not comfortable sharing those types of things.  For family who reads this blog, please realize that we’re OK, nothing huge and life changing has happened, I’m just personally going through a readjustment period — I’m pretty sure that JP would be reacting similarly IF he wasn’t so busy at IU.

On the brighter side of things, the weather in Indiana is finally beginning to feel like Fall — we BOTH sported sweaters today and we had an awesome afternoon thunderstorm.  Over the weekend one of my beautiful cousins on my mom’s side joined the “old marrieds club”, and tomorrow I will get to see some more of my cousins (from my dad’s side).  Also, everything pumpkin is coming out — I made a pumpkin-bacon-beer soup for dinner (good, but needs some tweaks next time), the Chocolate Moose has pumpkin ice cream again, and I’ll be getting my annual Starbuck’s PSL at some point.  It’s Fall, one of my favorite four seasons, and I have an awesome new project launching with my sisters soon.  So, I just need to hold onto the good things and pray about everything worrying me now.

I’m going to go by this other thing I found on Pinterest and press on tomorrow, and hopefully a little of this blogger’s block and a bit of this funk will be lifted.

kushandwizdom | Tumblr(image source)

Night Internet!

Friday Fives: What it’s like being Married to Graduate School

As many of you are aware John Paul and I have been married for five years now.  When you marry someone you get everything about them, you deal with wars over cold toes in bed, their taste in food, their family becomes your family, and if you happen to be married to someone going for a (or several in some cases…) advanced degree you also marry the process that goes into earning a PhD.  This also means that your life is pretty much planned around when semesters start, ends, when spring break is this year, test dates (for both your sweet sweet lover and the undergrads they teach), submittel deadlines, conferences, study/teach abroad opportunities, prelims/comps, dissertation writing, etc.  It can be a LOT to deal with.

So back to that part where we’ve been married for five years — for those who don’t know, JP and I got married the first of August 2009, honeymooned for a week and a halfish, he defended his MA thesis, we moved to Indiana and he started the PhD program and Purdue all within the first three weeks of wedded bliss.  Fast forward to halfway through our time in Hamburg, JP decides that he want’s to move to another more Germanic Studies geared program and applies to IU, and of course he gets in.  And now we’re back at IU after a wonderful year in Berlin.  Needless to say, the last five years have been very very full for us.  All the while I’ve played the part of wife to the graduate student, meaning that I think I’ve figured out a thing or two about how to do it and how not to do it so we’re both more or less happy with life most of the time. So internet, here are five of the things the last five years have taught me:

one// You CAN survive on one small graduate studies salary. When we moved to Indiana I was freshly out of school with my Bachelors in a VERY lucrative field.  Didn’t matter because not only was the economy in the *ahem* crapper, but Indiana was hit pretty hard.  For the first couple months we survived on what savings we had and JP’s humanities stipend from Purdue (and let me tell you, Purdue does NOT fund the humanities very well…). I did end up finally getting a job at Michael’s (which looking back was more stress than it was worth), and given we never knew how many hours I would work from one pay period to the next, we pretty much stuck with the stipend for budgeting.  Were we living in the “lap of luxury”, no, but were we making it every month on less than $1200? yes we were.  We had a roof over our heads, heat in the winter, gas in the car, and we were able to do a few fun things like movies, dinner and going to Indy.  We just had to budget it :)

two// Your spouse WILL be on the grumpier/stressed out side.  This can be for any number of reasons, but the important thing to keep in mind is that you are NOT (99% of the time) the cause of it.  Yes you have stressful things going on in your life, but most of the time the non-academic spouse won’t get an email 90 minutes before a meeting that was only mentioned in passing by a faculty member OR get reminded that they were SUPPOSED to have turned something in that was also mentioned in passing, causing the day (homework, grading, and home obligations) to be completely shaken up.  Seriously, this happened just yesterday, so instead of a nice lunch together and going with me to Hobby Lobby to look for print frames, JP had to write a quiz, pack in doing a translation for one of the dead languages he’s taking this semester, and go to a (pointless – my words) meeting all before class. Oy.

Back when I was new to this whole being-married-to-a-grad-student thing, things like this would bug the hell out of me and I’d get offended by his stress and grumpiness levels, which in turn just made him even more stressed out and grumpy!  Then once I *finally* figured out that I wasn’t making things better I learned to roll with the stress and have become the “zen center” of our lives.  Does this mean that I’m not allowed to be stressed-the-what-out or grumpy either?  No of course not, but I found out that being zen-y and supportive has made his life much better.

three// Do not take them saying “No” or “Later” personally.  Again, this was something that really got to me when we were first married.  Like really got to me, and might have spurred a few major pout sessions and/or fights… yeah… not my proudest moments.  There have been times when there have been things, usually mid-week, though also on weekends, that I’ve really wanted to do, but due to the workload/stress levels just weren’t possible.  I’ve (thankfully) learned that even if he says that something isn’t possible, I’ll usually be surprised later on and we’ll do something awesome.

four// Schedule schedule schedule.  This has a couple of different parts associated with it.  First off, realize that your life will be split into two calendar-wise: the university’s academic calendar and the one that everyone else uses.  This means that you will need to be on TOP of everything.  For this reason we both have planners AND one of those desk pad calendars that hangs on the wall next to our computer.  As long as things get written down somewhere we’re good!

five// Grad School is TEMPORARY. This is a mantra that you’ll not only end up telling yourself this, but this will be something you’ll need to remind your graduate student spouse, because, let’s be honest, there will be times where it will feel like grad school will never end, but like most things it will.  You just gotta keep your chins up until then.

Snapshot September: Hot as Hell?

Today marked the first day that I decided
to put on a sweater!  Granted, it wasn’t THAT cold,
and the high in Bloomington was still 70F/21C,
but garsh durn it, I wore one!

I am SO ready for the fall weather to get here.
Come on Indiana, it’s mid-September already!

However while I was running errands, one
of the banks in town seemed to disagree with me:

hotternhell

Apparently the Old National Bank on the east side
of town thought the weather was more on the hellish side temperature-wise.
(also, I was in line at the light through two cycles and this reading KEPT popping up!)

Snapshot September: High Caliber Reading

I can’t tell you how excited I was about coming back
to the pretty awesome system that is the
Monroe County Public Library.

I’ve probably already pulled out about 25 books
(mostly graphic novels and cookbooks) since we returned,
and have already blown through 5ish novels.

Here’s my current not-so-scholarly read:

4thZombie

Classy no?  This the the fourth book in the series, and I’ve found
all the books to be enjoyable.  It’s a different take on the whole
zombie sub-genre, and unlike other books classified as paranormal
romance, this series doesn’t have the embarrassing things :D

There IS a big ick-factor, but I’ll leave that for you to find out.
Personally, I enjoy it.

But then again, I’m weird like that.

Snapshot September: The Accidental Tardis

One of the bigger furniture items JP and I talked about getting
once we got back to Bloomington was a nice big file cabinet,
so while he was in class the first week back I stopped
in at a couple office supply stores to look at some and
found out just how much new ones run.

While we were at our local Habitat for Humanity
picking up a killer deal on some bookshelves for our home office,
John Paul picked out a nice vintage-y wooden file cabinet.
(turns out the thing was previously owned by IU)

When we got it it definitely needed a facelift
from the dark green scratched paint, so we sanded it down,
and painted it:

atardis

After we got done with the first coat (picture above it after the second),
JP stepped back and went “oh crap, we have a Tardis now.”

That was SOOOOOO not intentional, but it is what is it ;)

Snapshot September: On the Sauce

Last week I filled my freezer with a WHOLE bunch of
chicken thanks to Sam’s having a deal at a buck a pound,
today I’ll fill it and my belleh with homemade red sauce:

sauceThe front pan contains sauce with sausage added,
the content of the pot in the back will be divided and
frozen for meals to come.

We’re also giving a gluten-free pasta a test run tonight,
since at my last doctor’s visit in Berlin it was mentioned
that it might be a good idea for me to go
mostly GF.

Snapshot September: D-d-d-DANGA ZONE!

So, we got a new board game today!

dangerzone

Archer happens so be one of our favorite adult cartoons,
so when we saw that there was a game Archer themed JP and
I raced (well, after checking Amazon’s price first…) to our local
game shop to pick it up.  Turns out we got an even better deal
because we had a BUNCH of points to knock the price down!

Looking forward to playing this, and hopefully
at one point we’ll be able to convince enough people
to come play with us
(insert creepy twins from The Shining here)
so we can play with all eight characters.

Naturally, I claim Pam.  ;)

How is it September already?!

Ok, ok, I know how it’s September, but I thought July rushed by, then August zipped by at double the speed and now we’re through the first week of September already!  That said, my (over a) month of not really blogging is going to come to an end, and we’ll get the Snapshot September 2014 series going this evening, albeit a week late — I really didn’t anticipate moving being a crazy as it turned out to be.  You’d think after five years of crazy Augusts I would have known better by now, but nope, apparently I haven’t learned :P

Anyway, all things considered while moving into our new digs in Btown – side note, this is the MOST SPACE JP and I have lived in since we’ve been married, and it is awesome! – the move-in process itself wasn’t too bad aside from unloading the truck in high heat and humidity (I looked up the weather and we were nearly as hot as Houston that day!).  Also we’ve been working on acquiring some much needed extra furniture for the apartment.  We lost our couch to mice in the storage unit, so we treated ourselves to a brand new one thanks to an awesome Labor Day sale going on.  We also have a new antique dining room table, and four new-to-us bookshelves I scored at our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore location.  Nightstands, a second desk and dining chairs are still on our to buy list.  Aside from said bookshelves, we’re hoping to buy along the lines of investment pieces.  Time to decorate like grown ups.  Also, when we’re finally more or less set up I’ll be doing a video tour of our humble abode :D  Oh, and I’ll start vlogging again soon :)

The semester at IU seems to have gotten off to a good start, John Paul is happy to be teaching again, and seems to be enjoying taking not one, not two but THREE dead languages this semester.  I’m still in the process of trying to find a job.  I have a couple of decent leads, and I’ll be sending off a TON of resume and cover letter combos tomorrow.  So heeeere’s hoping.  Now I’m just waiting for the weather to turn the temperature down a few notches so I can sport boots and a sweater, then it will be time for all things apple and pumpkin related.  Also, I’m waiting for appropriate weather before I get my annual pumpkin spice latte ;)

Ok, time to find the camera so I can get a shot in today and get the whole Snapshot things going.  More good things coming in this space soon, INCLUDING all the awesome stories about how the Grand Fifth Anniversary Adventure went! (spoiler: it was amazing!)