Thursday, April 21, 2011

Happy Birthday, Husband!

In honor of my husband's first birthday since we got married (our first anniversary is fast approaching) I thought I'd dedicate a post to him.

He made my first birthday as a married woman spectacular. I'm attempting to do the same. It's a busy week for him at school and things haven't exactly been stress-free in the education world recently, so on the menu for tonight and this weekend is relaxation. I'm making one of his favorite meals so that we can unwind at home tonight, and you'd better believe there will be presents galore. That is, if three carefully chosen and lovingly gift wrapped presents and a card count as galore. Then, for Easter we're heading to the Metroplex to visit my family where there will be more delicious food and fellowship. I'm also hoping there will be time to improve my Wii bowling average, play with my cousins, and maybe watch a movie. :)

Other than making my birthday a blissful day to remember, here are a few more things I love about my husband in no particular order:

1. He makes me laugh. A lot.
2. He's been helping me adjust to working while finishing my Master's by doing more around the apartment.
3. We can enjoy being together even when we aren't saying a word.
4. He's the first person I want to tell about my day, and I love coming home to hear about his.
5. He's passionate about music and teaching, and he gives 110% to his students.
6. We both enjoy eating out, but we're also both budget-conscious.
7. Our Friday night movie nights are becoming a tradition, an inexpensive weekly date night.
8. Last week when I forgot to mail the Netflix movie back in time to get a new one by Friday, he got a Redbox movie for us to watch instead. Thus, he is thoughtful and does sweet things to make me happy.

I hope he has an amazingly wonderful birthday, and I hope you all have a blessed Easter weekend!

Friday, April 15, 2011

First Paycheck, I Hardly Knew Thee

I got my first paycheck today, and then I immediately spent a large portion of it on work-appropriate attire. Don't worry. I discussed the decision with my husband, and we're looking at the splurge as a start-up cost for jump starting my career. In related news, the company where I work redefined their dress code last Friday to exclude any denim, so the pants I was super excited about are going to be exchanged for a black pencil skirt. One of the reasons I loved them was their affinity to jeans, only dressier, but the new professional attire rule is probably for the best.

One reason dressing professionally is so important for me is my youthful appearance. If you've ever discussed this topic with me, I have probably hyperbolically compared myself to a twelve-year-old. That's a slight exaggeration, but I do often feel like people assume I'm younger than I am. That's a problem, since I'm young enough that if people subtract years from my age, my tenuous grasp on authority slips into oblivion. I thought that the wedding ring might tip people off, but my petite frame and youthful expressions negate any attention paid to my ring finger.

All in all, shopping for dress clothes was a necessary process, but I fully intend to avoid the mall for the next several months. I got enough of the "shopping experience" at the dozen stores I browsed today. Have a blessed mall-free weekend. Unless you enjoy that sort of thing. In which case, I don't understand you, but I still wish you well.

Friday, April 8, 2011

I Should Be Writing Right Now...

But I think blogging counts as a form of writing, don't you? Since I haven't blogged about my school life recently, I thought I'd update you on some current writing projects. Even if it isn't on my official "To Write" list, blogging may just help me formulate my plan of action for the next week.

I have two essays due next week, one a rough draft for my Dante Studies course due on Monday and the other a final draft Bibliographic Essay for Middle English course due on Thursday. Oh, and I am in the reading/researching phase of my final analysis paper for my Feminist Theory course. Would you like to know the topics of each of these brilliant compositions? Of course you would.

My Dante paper is about the character of Beatrice and how her affinity with multiple descriptors places her in a unique category. For example, she could be compared to an angel, a saint, an allegorical figure representing Trinity, or a courtly lady, but she is not encompassed by any one of those categories. Rather, she is an amalgamation of several literary tropes, and as such, she stands alone.

For Middle English, I have compiled articles about the poem Pearl and I am focusing on the Pearl-maiden's shifting identity as a courtly lady. This assignment requires more synthesis than original work, so my goal is to show how different critics are in conversation about the courtly lady aspect of the title character.

For Feminist Theory, I am engaged with Gilbert and Gubar's Madwoman in the Attic, and it is as awesome as the title implies. Basically, their work traces elements common to female authors in the nineteenth century and engages with cultural stimuli for the dichotomy of female characters portrayed as either angels or monsters. I love it so far, and I would love to further discuss this topic with anyone interested.

That covers my grad school writing, but a large section of my brain is also currently consumed with the technical writing project I am working on 2 1/2 days per week.

Think good thoughts and offer a prayer that I don't allow technical writing jargon and natural gas lingo to slip into my Literature assignments. I'm partially kidding, but really, I feel like I have a divided mind these days, and I am looking forward to this summer when I can focus on one writing project and read during the evenings (dare I write it?) for FUN.

I still love my English Lit studies, and I am interested in the assigned reading, but balancing technical writing and term papers isn't appealing as a permanent situation.

Tonight I'm taking a break from all of the above to eat out with my husband and watch a Netflix movie, so I'd better buckle down and produce pages of articulate analysis about Pearl. Fun fact: the unknown Pearl-poet also wrote the popularly anthologized Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. You're welcome for that dissemination of knowledge.

Have a blessed weekend filled with something other than forced writing!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Healthy Stress Baking

Those of you who know me from my college days know that I like to bake, especially when I should be doing a million other things. The longer my to-do list becomes, the more I want to pull out some flour and sugar and make a mess in my kitchen. That said, although I am really loving my new job, my days have become more hectic, and term papers are looming in the near future. So, last weekend I baked.

Because I am now a mature wife of almost a year, and most of the food I create is consumed by two people (Husband and Me) I needed to channel my stress baking habit into healthier foods. Enter one of my new favorite blogs with a healthy whole wheat bread recipe. This is where I confess that I am a blog-stalker. While I am never more than one person removed from the blogger, I do not actually know all of the bloggers who I stalk. I feel better now that I've cleared the air about that.

The new favorite blog is summer harms and I found her through a mutual friend's blog. I think we would be friends if we had a chance to meet. She loves cooking and babies. Enough said. The bread recipe is honey whole wheat bread and you should make it. It has good things for you in it, and it's really yummy.

Another confession: I am cheap. I used to describe myself with the more positive term "frugal," but I have since come to terms with my bargain hunting obsession. Thus, investing in two types of whole wheat flour and flax seed goes against the grain because the cheaper staple all-purpose flour costs significantly less. However, the investment in my health (and my husband's) was worth it. I've since made whole wheat pizza crust for calzones, and not only were they healthier, the crust tasted richer in my opinion.

The summation of this blog is that I think you should go buy some whole wheat flour, indulge in stress baking, and then feel healthy eating your delicious baked goods. Have a stress-free healthy week!