Monday, October 17, 2016

the easy life vs. the best life

i've been thinking a lot about "the easy road" lately. i put it in quotations because what is easy, really? in thinking of my own situation, sometimes school is easier than work, but in many ways work is a lot easier than school. 

a lot of times people tend to view going back to school as taking the easy road. while other people are still working a full time job, i'm living it up and partying in college, right? i've even heard someone say they wish they could go back to school & have time to nap. i have to chuckle at the fact that anyone could think "grad school" and "naps" go together at all! in reality, grad school is way more time consuming than the full time job that i left, even when i was working ridiculous amounts of overtime.

the easy road for me would have been to stay in my full time job where i knew what to expect, i had a routine down, i made enough money to live on, and i could clock out on nights and weekends.

the easy road would have been for me and Thomas to have stayed in the house we already owned and in a town where we already had connections.

the easy road would have been to not pay a crazy amount of money for grad school right after paying off a crazy amount of student loans from undergrad.

instead, we sold our house, moved our lives, left our families, left a good paying job, and are paying a lot of money for grad school. grad school is like having a full time job, homework on nights and weekends, a part time job in the internship, and i have a small part time job on the side. somehow i still have to find time to be a wife, take care of three pets, and practice self-care for myself. it's not an easy road, but it's been the best decision, the best road.

i would be lying if i said i didn't ever think about just staying in that easy life, because it was so comfortable. yes i would love to have a year or two where we could just be. where we didn't have to think about loans, or debt, and just live "the good life." but the problem is, that isn't "the good life" for me. finances are important, and money should be managed well, but money is not where i find my joy. it is not what motivates me, and ultimately it is not what i want out of life.

i have felt and seen a change in myself in these past few months. yes, it would have been easy to stay in the known. in the job where i made good money and knew what to expect, but i would have been miserable. to be honest, i was really miserable the past year and these last few months have been incredible. it would have been easy to stay in the house we knew and in the town where we had friends, but we wouldn't have grown as we have in this big step of faith. it would have been easy to finally take that trip to Harry Potter World that we haven't been able to afford. it would have been easy to buy a nice house that we would be comfortable in. it would've been easy, but it wasn't what is best for us. 

basically i have come to realize this: i don't want the easy life, i want the best life.

Friday, September 23, 2016

the first date | year five

every september 22, Thomas and i kinda re-live our first date. lucky for us we just went out for coffee, so it is casual and low key. which is perfect because we are casual and low key people! ;) we spent the time reminiscing, dreaming of the future, and laughing along the way. somehow it's always one of our most relaxed and fun dates, which is why i love the tradition!

it's so crazy to have been with someone for five years! (maybe some of you reading this have been married or dating for way longer and think five years is nothing - but remember back to the first time you hit the five year mark with someone!) the passage of time and anniversaries just amaze me everytime. this is by far the longest relationship i've ever been in, once we passed two years, every new milestone is the first time we've been here. everything is now a first for us and it's always amazing to think about, definitely not something we take for granted. 

so five years ago a brown eyed boy and a blue eyed girl sat at a table drinking fancy coffee drinks, with no idea that things would end up here - #fourthyearofmarriage (did i do it right, Julie?!). i also just realized that september 22 is the official start of Fall, so that is really cool. because it is my favorite season, so i love that our relationship ushered it in! my favorite relationship in my favorite season, somethings are just meant to be. #helloimcheesy

it is kindof crazy that so much has happened in 5 years. on our first date, i was a junior in college working towards my degree in accounting, and Thomas was an old working man at an insurance company. now, i'm pursuing my masters degree in social work, and Thomas is still an old working man (haha!) at a law firm, ironically working in the accounting department. well, he can have accounting! ;)

if you would have told me 5 years ago that i would be in grad school i would have laughed at you. i also would have laughed if you told me i would be living in the armpit of South Carolina too, another thing i had no desire to do. and while i don't exactly love the armpit, it is not as bad as i anticipated. oh, and grad school is not so bad either. i mean, it is a LOT of work, but it helps that it is something interesting like social work and not business related. so, here we are 5 years older and on 2 new paths that we never would have imagined. can't wait to see where we are in life in another 5 years! hint hint: hopefully living somewhere without 1000% humidity (aka why i call it the armpit)!

what are some traditions you & your significant other have?!

Monday, September 19, 2016

project 12 | 2016 | part three

i love having my years captured month by month and plan to keep up with project 12 this year in a few different chunks. you can read about January-March here, and April-May here

lol at the baby/daddy photobomb team!

man oh man, this was the last month at my accounting job, and boy was it ROUGH. i spoke a little bit about it in this post. however, i did learn some things throughout the month. so it is always a plus when you can learn something during the hard times! 

we lived with my in-laws during the entire month of June, since we sold our house in May. it was nice to have a break from owning a house for a month, it really helped lower our stress levels. and trust me, there was plenty of other things to stress about like getting set up for grad school, ending a job, getting ready for a move, and saying lots of goodbyes.

June 10 - registration for grad school!
June 11 - trip to Columbia with my parents
June 18 - my nephew's birthday party at the zoo!
June 19-23 - house sitting for my parents while they were on vacation
June 23 - my last day as an accountant!
June 24 - hung out with my family, went to the pool, and to see Finding Dory!
June 25 - trip to Columbia to sign the lease on our apartment
June 27 - lunch with a friend & orientation for my new part time gig (doing the books for a church)
June 28-29 - packed up everything at the in laws for the big move
June 30 - had lunch with my coworkers again before moving


i pretty much spent all month unpacking the apartment in stages, putting together Ikea furniture, organizing the apartment, and resting a little bit too. it was a month off of "work" but there was definitely a ton of work to do so i kept busy!

we did get to take a trip up to Indiana to visit some friends at the end of the month. we have been trying to hang out with them for the last 3 years but something always happens. like when we were supposed to be driving up to their wedding & Thomas totaled our car. so we finally made it happen & it was such a fun trip! we made a few extra stops in Knoxville and Louisville on the way too! 

other than that, we just kinda hung out and enjoyed a relaxing month. we did plenty of exploring around our new town, and claimed some spots as our favorites. like the used bookstore in an old mill, that we went to every weekend to browse! 

July 1 - finished packing for the move
July 2 - move in day! & my in-laws & cousin-in-law stayed the night
July 3 - donation/storage trip with the uhaul
July 4-5 - unpacking/cleaning the apartment
July 6-10 - beach trip with Thomas's family
July 16 - trip to Ikea to get me a desk, so i can be a legit student ;)
July 23 - another trip to Ikea to get a few extra things ;)
July 28-31 - trip to see friends in Indianapolis (with stops in Knoxville & Louisville)


August went by in a blur. somehow the 2 weeks before school started went by way too fast & once grad school started it has been crazy! basically after orientation it was hit the ground running because we had homework to do for classes that hadn't even started yet! but i am enjoying everything so much, definitely learning a lot just learning it super fast.

having a birthday right when school starts really stinks. i had so much to do to get ready for grad school that i really didn't even hardly think about my birthday this year. it just kinda happened & now it's over! that may be a good thing though - i can get away with pretending i'm still 27 for a little while longer! ;) ha!

i was lucky enough to make some awesome friends right off the bat, and we have a majority of our classes together so that is nice. we also all bring our lunch so we have our lunch break together. even though my inclination is to study during lunch because not having enough time is a real thing... it is nice to just have that downtime with friends inbetween 3 hour classes. the classes haven't been bad though, they actually go by pretty quickly because we do a lot of things in groups and the classes are mostly discussion instead of lecture. i thought i would die in 3 hour classes, but we do get a break halfway through so it is nice to break it up some.

August 1 - got & started reading The Cursed Child!
August 6 - some friends stopped by for lunch on their way home from the beach!
August 13 - my family came down to celebrate my birthday & see our new place
August 15-16 - alllllll day long orientation sessions for school! they were intense
August 18 - both of our bunnies got spayed/neutered so they can be friends now!
August 21 - we hung curtains in the apartment! (it made the apartment SO cozy!)
August 22 - classes officially started, no turning back now!
August 23 - i turned 28. man, i'm getting on up there!
August 27 - Thomas's parents came down to see our new place & hang out!

what are some notable events from your summer?