Jan 31, 2013

Name Change Process

After the church bells stop ringing, the ink on the paper has dried and you've finally gotten all your presents opened, it's time to start thinking about changing your name (if you're going to). Some people choose to change their name before they are married. I waited until after the wedding because it would automatically be changed when we filed our marriage certificate. That was the easy part!



Since the school year had already started by the time our wedding came around, things got a little bit more complicated. I had to change my name through the school then inform my teachers that my name changed. I also had to inform my job (on campus) that my name had changed so my payroll information was right. Still not too hard to do. I was happy that I got to take a new picture for my I.D. too because it showed my short hair and I wouldn't keep getting funny looks. When I went to go get my new license it wasn't too hard to change, although choosing the get it done on election day probably wasn't smart.

Slowly I keep discovering places where my name hasn't been changed. Each time it's a little more frustrating to get it changed because after 4 months I've gotten used to signing and saying my new name. I also don't have any form of I.D. any more that has my maiden name so that always makes it difficult to get things changed. I still have to get a new social security card because you have to have your name changed on basically everything else just to get a new card.

I never realized how many times I would have to fill out forms to change my name. If you're getting married, consider finding a place that you can fill out a form and it will help you change your name across the board. I didn't put too much thought into it but now I wish I would have because it has taken so long to get everything changed. The only thing that made me nervous about filling out those forms is that I felt like I was giving ALL of my personal info out to a place that I'd never heard of. That's probably why I didn't give a second thought to it.

The weirdest part of the whole process was still using my maiden name for almost two months after the wedding. We couldn't even begin to change my name on anything until we received our copy of the marriage license. That took especially long because our pastor forgot to file the marriage license right after the wedding. Luckily even though it was more than two weeks past the allowed date, they still accepted it. Dodged a bullet on that one!

What problems did you run into while changing your name?
xoxo,
Mandy

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{Insert Creative Thursday Post Title}

Today has gotten off to quite the interesting start. I have another post but I feel the need to link up for It's OK Thursdays after the way my morning went!

Its Ok Thursdays

It's OK...
..that I woke up and couldn't get my eyes to focus. It's already improved so hopefully it will be back to normal soon.

..that the bus I was supposed to get on at 7:30 came at 7:25 so it drove away as I walked up. I only had to stand for 15 minutes in 4 degree with + windchill instead of the usual half hour between buses.

..that a stranger fully leaned on me on the bus. Sometimes people just don't understand common. It's not okay that because of said uncomfortable situation my I.D. fell out of my pocket and I didn't know it.

..that I lost my I.D. on the bus after having just gotten it two months ago. Thanks CyRide office for being so nice, I'm still waiting on a positive confirmation but you found one matching my description so I'm confident I'll get it back.

..that the bank account we closed two weeks ago still hasn't been closed and we got charged an $8 fee for inactivity. Because of it not closing, my direct deposit from work hasn't switched over and my paycheck went into the account that was no longer supposed to be there. I called the bank and everything was fixed!

..that I didn't feel like doing my hair this morning because I'm 100% not a morning person. I don't have to work today and my hair is FINALLY long enough to put into a top knot again. Thank you college environment for being so accepting of this hairstyle!

..that I lost two followers. Although it makes me sad, I like having a fairly accurate idea of how many people are reading my posts.

..that I've had a major baking need lately even though we're trying to be more healthy. I will bake smaller batches and it gives me an excuse to actually make the recipes I've pinned on Pinterest. I smell blog posts..

..that despite having a morning that should have put me in a bad mood, I'm still really upbeat! I've been having a bad few weeks but that's helped me realize I really don't have the time or energy to sweat the small stuff.

..that I just had a bunch of people staring at me as I wrote this post. Campus tours are my favorite and I remember being in that same situation not too long ago (almost two years ago, wow)

What are you OK with on this Thursday?

xoxo,
Mandy

Jan 29, 2013

Patience is a Virtue..That I Don't Possess

Good morning all!

Some random, totally unrelated to the post photos from my weekend.


Wall decor project I started..

Mason jars are my fave..add glitter and I'm in heaven

Skyping my little friends from home..miss them tons

I can finally get my hair into a baby top knot and that's something to truly celebrate!

On to more important topics..

Basically all social media updates late at night can be attributed to some sort of emotional outburst (unless you just really like to write late at night). This post was written at about 1:30 a.m. because I'm frustrated and I also know I may not have a chance to write a post tomorrow because Tuesdays are my crappy days.

My one word for the 365 days this year was inspired. I'm still working on that, just struggling a little. But lately I've been feeling like maybe my word should have been patience. Something I've never been good at but I really need to get it under control right about now. Lately my frustrations and down right lack of patience has been causing me unneeded and unwanted stress. When I'm stressed my stomach takes the brunt of it (that's how I got a stomach ulcer in high school) and that's pretty disruptive to my day.

I'm working very hard to have more patience for the things I cannot change. Some days that list grows mighty high. I'm taking it day by day and not getting too upset if I lose my cool. 

Frustrations include:

- remembering Gage is still a puppy that needs training to remember my underwear and M's socks are not chew toys
He is a little over 6 months old and every time I think we have him broken of this bad habit he starts it up again. I guarantee he's eaten at least 10 pairs of my underwear over the last few months. I try to make sure all of my clothing is picked up but any time I slip he's sure to figure it out before I do. It's not like he's shredding the cheap stuff either.. He always loves to dine on M's socks.

- knowing that I can't force/change my husband to do things he doesn't want to do. 
I try not to talk badly of my husband to anyone but sometimes it's easier said than done when I'm upset with him. One thing I've quickly come to realize (but usually don't remember) is that he does things on his own terms. I can't force him to try something just because I saw some other couple do it. I can't make him care about the cleanliness of the apartment if he doesn't want to. Sometimes I need to remember if it's stressing me out and not getting done when I'd like it to then I need to take charge and just do it myself. He's his own person and so am I. We're still adjusting to life with one another, it's a process for sure!

-saving responsibly for my Canon T3i instead of using the money available to me right this moment
This has been a recent struggle that consumes my thoughts. Photography has been on my mind for at least four years steadily and I'm anxious to really get started. I know the camera isn't what makes the photos but I want to give myself the best opportunity for great photos. Altough money has been super tight since the wedding, we are finally getting back on our feet. Now that I've saved about half of the money, my want is overtaking my common sense. I know I could cover the rest of the cost with the money in our account but I also know we have bills to pay and groceries to buy. Temptation is a tricky, tricky deal.

-becoming a parent
This may be a broken record but I'm frustrated. I know what's right and I know what I want. They definitely aren't the same thing. End of story.

-karma
Some people just really have it coming to them and I have to have patience. I firmly believe in karma! If you're a horrible person, sooner or later it will catch up to you. Some peoples' sooner could come any day now. Kidding..sort of.

- knowing the return on things I work hard on will come some day
When I put 120% into something I get my feelings hurt when I don't see the results immediately. I know that return will come some day and the wait will make it all the more sweeter. Just working on the recognition of that!

Random post, over and out.

xoxo,
Mandy

Jan 28, 2013

Cara Box Reveal!

Hello friends!

It's time for something that I've been so excited for! It's Cara Box Reveal time :) 
This is my first time linking up and I loved it! Kaitlyn at Wifessionals is amazing for starting this and I hope you will get involved soon.

You get matched up with two partners, the one who is sending a box to you and the one you're sending a box to. There is an overall theme to the box, it must contain at least 5 items and an encouraging letter to your partner. The best part besides getting a fun package? You don't even have to have a blog to get involved! This month's theme was resolutions. I thought this was going to be really tough because some of our resolutions aren't something others can help us with. However, it was a fun challenge to put a box together that could really help someone with their goals.

I sent a box to Cheltee so you'll have to check her out to see what I sent! My other partner was Morgan from Modern Mommyhood and we emailed back and forth all month. I loved getting to hear about her daughter Mabel and see her gorgeous wedding photos! I was so happy to get to know such a sweet, upbeat woman who took the time out of her crazy busy schedule to get to know me. 

I was ecstatic when I got my Cara box in the mail!


All of the Cara Box contents..


Items 1-3 are Luna bars and some adorable nail polish. The Luna bars were for my resolution of getting back in shape. I had never had these before and they are amaaaaazing to say the least. I will definitely have to invest in more of these and they make a great before or after workout snack. The nail polish was so sweet because she thought it would be perfect for my trip to Florida. I will be giving myself a pretty in pink manicure before I leave!


The next item was a fantastic card that I can use for my resolution of keeping up with friends. How cute is that card!? This is perfect because I've gotten really into writing notes to friends lately. Also, this helps a small, growing business and that's always a plus!


The last item was a gorgeous camera strap cover! This is handmade by Morgan and she sells them in her Etsy shop. Hello, best gift ever! This one is for my goal of getting a dslr/finding my way in my passion. I can say that seeing this strap cover makes me absolutely excited to get my Canon T3i and go crazy!

Thank you Morgan for the best piece of mail I've gotten in a long time!! I hope all of you get involved in the Cara Box exchange because I would love to get to know you.

xoxo,
Mandy

Jan 25, 2013

Permed Bangs and Chubby Cheeks

Have you ever used those websites that take two photos and show you what your baby will look like? The babies always turn out a little weird but it's interesting to think about. I have no doubt that my babies will have the most pinchable cheeks around.

This is me growing up! There are a ton more photos but these are just the ones I already had on my computer. Some day I will drag out more to show you that I used to be cute!

Full on chipmunk cheeked baby..I bet people loved to pinch my cheeks!
My brother was the apple tree and I was the apple...my mom was a creative lady back in the day

Camping with my brother and cousin. We went camping almost every weekend when it was warm, it was one of my favorite things to do growing up!

I always pulled my shirt over my head. 

Who knows!

And clearly my brother was just awesome growing up..

Oh I'm sure my brother will just love me when he sees this. I'm sure that karma thing will get me back on this one.

Totally worth it though!

We were classy on Halloween, folks!



Playing in the sandbox on a family camping trip. Can't believe both these cousins are in high school now and fully taller than me by at least half a foot!

The most fun I've ever had painting anything. Splattering the walls with paint is as fun as you think it would be. 

I also had stylin' clothes back then and an unhealthy obsession with bandanas.

Do you have any photos from growing up that instantly put you back in time?

xoxo,
Mandy

Jan 24, 2013

Lollipop Moments

Today is a new day!

A hot, hot pink scarf and stretchy pants kind of happy day!

 I'm so thankful for that, yesterday was definitely not my day. But as I said it would, that mood has passed and I'm optimistic about today! It may be about 5 degrees outside with full-force winds but I woke up with enough time to make coffee before I had to get on the bus so I'm having a good day already!

Today is sort of a two subject post. I started writing a post yesterday but my mood got the better of me and I posted something else instead. It's something I really wanted to talk about so I want to try again today. The second part is just something I woke up this morning and felt I needed to work on.

A friend of mine wrote an article for our school paper that really hit home. You can read the article here but the basic point is called the lollipop moment. You'll have to read the article to understand why it's called that but it talks about how something so small that you do for another person may have a major effect on their life. Whether you know it or not, you change that person's path. 

That's huge! You changed someone's life by just taking a moment to do something small. How crazy is that?

We often get so busy in our own lives and daily struggles that we forget sometimes other people need that little boost in their day as much as you do. You may think "I just don't have time today" but it takes 30 seconds to do something small. I can tell you from experience, if you're having a stressful day, just reach out to a friend and say hello. That little conversation helps you just as much as it does them. Hold the door for the person behind you. Compliment a stranger! Make a card for a friend who is struggling. These tiny things take no time at all but have lasting effects.

The only enjoyable way to get through the ups and downs of life is to share them with others! We need to be there for each other daily. Talking through someone else's problems just may help you with your own. Random acts of kindness are the best way to brighten your day. You feel great doing them and the one who receives them will have a better day too! Don't wait for something to happen, just make it a part of your daily routine. Have those lollipop moments!

Now for the short subject I wanna get out there. Reconnecting with lost friendships is a struggle. You have to decide whether it's worth the effort and how it impacts your life. Over the summer last year I lost two friends whom I thought I was close with. It took many months to work through it all but I believe we're all at a place where we want to fix things. I've heard a ton of advice on both sides, mostly negative, but ultimately it's my decision. It's a lot easier to stop hating someone and just try to embrace things. 

Hate takes such a toll on your life without you realizing it. Most likely you won't even notice until you get rid of the hate. That's exactly how I feel! I hadn't realized how much it was weighing on my mind until it was gone. It has saved me a lot of energy to forgive and move on. Not something I do easily but I'm working on it. 

Today I'm making the effort to reach out and fix things. I hope you can do the same with your life!

xoxo,
Mandy

Jan 23, 2013

A Post For Myself

I've been feeling pretty blah today. Just one of those days where everything seems to be piling up and I'm having a hard time getting a positive outlook tonight. I thought about this post but then originally decided against it because who wants to read a post like that.

Then I remembered why I started blogging in the first place and this is my blog. So I'm going to write this post because it will be good for me to get it off my chest. Maybe I won't even publish it, I think even just writing it will help. Before I get some nasty comments, I realize life could be much, much worse and I know tomorrow will (hopefully) be a better day. I just need a way to release all of this crap before it continues to drag me down.

I'm still not over this cold/flu thing I caught the day after we had our date night. The typically monthly flood of emotions certainly isn't helping me any. I should be used to feeling crappy, I've been feeling crappy pretty much every day for almost 3 years now (since I found out about a supposed stomach ulcer). But it gets old after awhile and sometimes I just can't get my mind over matter. So being sick started this week off on a poor note. Not being able to find a sub for work while I was sick and having to expose the kids to whatever I had was also not a positive way to end last week.

Then I found out something is holding up my financial aid so I'm not able to get any of my textbooks until I can figure out what's going on. Considering I have two quizzes and an assignment due this week from the book, that should be fun to try and wing. Financial aid is such a blessing when it's working correctly but when something goes wrong it takes a miracle to get it figured out before things get really messed up.

The real origin of my issues lately is how lonely I feel. Adjusting to a new schedule each semester seems to get harder each time. My first semester I was with all of my friends constantly. Second semester all of our schedules changed but we still found time to hang out because we lived together. First semester of this year was hard because none of us live anywhere near each other so I saw some friends only once or twice over the whole semester. So far this semester, I know no one in any of my classes and my schedule is so far off from everyone (including M) that I feel like the only daily interactions I have are with the 2 & 3 year olds I work with. While those conversations are very amusing, I'm starting to feel like I'm all alone.

I struggle to meet new people. Once I know you, I'm a completely outgoing person. Until we've had a conversation, I'm so shy. When moving to college I only knew about 2 people on campus so I forced myself to make new friends immediately while everyone was in the same situation. That took a little courage but was so easy. The only problem is, after I made those friends I didn't really branch out and continue to make friends. All of my friends did. I was adjusting to M being around me all the time so I didn't feel like I had time. Now I'm really regretting not having made more friends.

I'm feeling left out and invisible. I feel like I'm a child putting it that way but when I think about it that's exactly how I feel. I try so hard to connect with people, to make the extra effort to be involved in their lives but I feel unappreciated and left out. Plain and simple. Feeling unappreciated is about one of the crappiest things you can feel. It makes you feel unimportant. I go through my days like no one can see me, with the slightest chance that I may see someone I know and feel a little bit better. I don't want to stop believing in people but I'm at a point where I need to take a hard look at all the relationships in my life and only keep the positive ones. I'm so tired of putting my all into this and feeling like it's one sided.

Part of the reason I wanted to join the blogging community is all of the positive things I've heard about everyone interacting. I felt like maybe I could find a great group of friends I would have never even known without this. There have been some amazing and helpful comments! But I definitely feel like there is a certain clique-y feeling to all of this. I've started to feel like the "thanks for reading" replies are a way to blow someone off and if that's all you can say you probably shouldn't reply. When you're a new blogger it's scary to put yourself out there knowing you're just going to get blown off. New bloggers, don't stop trying! Experienced bloggers, give a sincere response because we (newbies) can tell when you don't care.

People are busy, I understand that but if I'm clearly telling you I've had a bad day don't ignore that. People don't realize how much a simple how is your day or I'm thinking of you will make a difference. Someone who feels much worse than may not get that attention and you never want to regret not saying something to them. The little things make a world of difference when someone is having a bad day. I will get over this, it's just a bad day. Some people may be having a bad week or month or year so don't hesitate to do something small for a friend in need. And don't forget to stay in contact with your friends, even if it's a short conversation once a week.

I'm feeling a little better about this so I'm done now.

-Mandy

Jan 21, 2013

Blast From the Past

Hello lovelies! 

After sending out my Cara Box to Cheltee at Something About You and Me I remembered how much I love writing letters. M and I used to write letters to each other while we were dating because it was long distance for quite a long time. I couldn't wait for the chance to write another one.

Maybe it's just me but between all the emails, posts, texts, status updates, and all other electronic messages daily, seeing a little letter in my mailbox brings me right back to childhood.

Moving to college, getting mail (actual things of excitement, not junk) is one of the best things ever. We used to run to the mail boxes and get so excited when there was actually something there. I have the same enthusiasm/excitement every time I open the mailbox now.

One problem.

We never get mail. We will occasionally get a card from M's grandma or bills but even those don't come very often. Not enough to make me excited. So every time I open the little door I die a little inside  I get pretty sad. 

I've been debating writing this because I'm feeling a little like no one reads my posts lately and I don't want to have zero response to this. However, my love for snail mail makes me want to post it anyway.

If you love snail mail and getting/writing letters to people, shoot me an email. I would LOVE to "meet" other people on a more personal level that you can't always get through the blog. Even if it's just short bunches of encouragement, something you may want me to pray for, or something random because you love writing letters too.

Pen-pal me, maybe?

xoxo, 
Mandy

Jan 19, 2013

Last Single Night

It's a Saturday night and I'm sitting at home. I may be lame but at least I'm warm, it's a windy city out there! Sometimes going on is a hit or miss situation. One of my favorite nights I've had out here at school was my bachelorette party.

I was so reluctant to have my last single night out the weekend before my wedding because I thought I would be too stressed out to have a good time. To my surprise, it was the perfect distraction and I had a blast!

My ladies and my mom all got together at a local salon to get manicures and pedicures. Never had either done before and they were amazing! I need to invest in a pedicure more often :) Manicures not so much, it felt good but I love painting my nails so I think I would miss it if I got them done all the time.


Then we went out for lunch and it was amazing! I even got a free dessert shooter because my mom decided to mention it was my bachelorette party (Thanks Mom!) and it was delicious!

We headed back and I opened up gifts! After which we decided to watch Bridesmaids because it just seemed fully appropriate :) My mom decided to start a nerf gun fight which then involved her shooting all the girls. Too funny to watch their surprised reactions!

A few of my girls had to leave but we gained two more before we headed out for the night! Here's the tidbits of "appropriate" photos...

re-enacting the proposal




Being serenaded by Bull of Arc who have some seriously amazing voices! I was almost in tears, it was beautiful!


Horribly awkward, frat boy "stripper" that made me SO uncomfortable but we had a good laugh (clearly, I'm dying in the picture!)
End of the night!

Before and After:


 



(After is seen in above picture)





One of the best nights with my girls! Couldn't have had a better night de-stressing a week before the wedding (three days before we went home).

What did you do for your bachelorette party?

xoxo,
Mandy




Jan 18, 2013

Married Couples Still Do It

Date night that is.. Get your mind out of the gutter, y'all.

This post is a tad bit delayed because I'm still in the trenches battling this cold/flu that hit me the morning after date night. At least it's coming now.

Did you read this post from Kaitlyn at Wifessionals? Well, she challenged all of us to get up and have date night. Life can get pretty mundane and routine when you're married but you can't forget to have date night and enjoy the time you have with your hubby. It doesn't even have to take weeks to plan or a ton of money, check out her date and take a look at mine. Both took minimal planning (same day) and not much money.

I planned my date night because I wanted to do something special for my husband. He had to stay back home for a week while I came back to school because we both had to work. 

We haven't spent a full week apart in about a year and a half so that was a long time to wait.

Before you go rolling your eyes, the first 2 1/2 years of our relationship were spent long distance so now any chunk of time apart seems long to me!

I read Kaitlyn's post and was inspired to plan something for M.

Quick Pinterest visit to find a few acceptable recipes then off to Walmart to buy what I needed. Of course I didn't think about the fact that everyone and their mom (literally) would be out because it was the weekend everyone moved back to school.

Mental face-palm.

Rush through shopping and get back home to realize M is less than an hour away and I still have to make all the food and clean. Instant panic attack! I throw together some baked ziti, pickle roll-ups, ooey-gooey rolls (originally resurrection rolls but the name was too creepy for date night) then clean up as fast as possible.

We had a candle light dinner, dance party, froyo, and then watched movies together.

It. Was. Bliss!



Food:




Invitations:





 


Participants:





What happens when you still have to take your dog to the bathroom and it's freezing out..



The Setup:




Re-using some leftover wedding favors :)


And that was our date night!

xoxo, 
Mandy

If you post about your date night, tag #clubsexy on Twitter so we can all check it out!