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Twenty Four and Loving It

After reviewing some of the old pictures my wedding photographer had from other weddings, I've decided that Mike is right and I should trust that as a professional she got many wonderful shots.  And as long as I look like a rock star coming down the aisle in her pictures, I'm happy :-p.


But since the wedding, there has been a lot going on!  Mostly good.  On Tuesday I started my internship.  And let me tell you, it has been a SLOW start.  So far I haven't done much more than read over a few files and set up desk space in two of the five buildings I'll be working in.  I know previous interns recommended trying to wander around and help teachers with bulletin boards and moving desks and everything else.  However, in my district, the teachers have been coming in for weeks and have most of that stuff done.  And they're already working with kids.  So the few times I've attempted to wander, I've only found one or two that weren't in the middle of a lesson.


One thing that I find interesting though is how much time the school psychologists spend just talking to teachers.  I realize it's important to establish rapport, but the level of sucking up is bothersome.  They love every dress and bracelet they see.  They agree with so many different opinions.  Which, on the one hand, I do recognize that it is important for teachers to know and trust you.  And when you work for a district with so many wonderful staff members, it does take time just to keep up a basic working relationship.  To make matters worse, the school psychologist is generally the lone wolf in a school.  There is no one else with even a similar job.  Therefore, for basic need of human contact and understanding, we need to reach out.  I have not lost hope for this career yet.  I'm looking forward to roaming the halls when there are evaluations and screenings and IEP meetings galore which will make the job seem a little less fluff filled.  And this school district seems AMAZING.  Their organization, progressive attitudes, and staff make me glad I got this internship.



More important than internship though... THURSDAY WAS MY BIRTHDAY!  I didn't get to do much to celebrate.  I'm still adjusting to the new sleeping schedule, so I'm pretty pooped when I get home every night.  But Mike watched a chick flick with me, and we cuddled, and I was quite happy with that evening.  Best of all, I am officially not a spinster.

So the wedding is over... Now what?

Whew.  In so many ways it is nice to be done with the wedding.  It was SO much fun.  And not at all what I expected.  But also everything I expected.  It was wonderful and romantic.  But I don't think I really felt like a BRIDE.  I had the beautiful dress that I loved to death.  The picture perfect cake to match.  The first dance.  The rings.  The vows.  In theory, I had everything.  And it turned out great.  But I never felt like the bride overwhelmed by the joy of the moment.  I didn't feel like a Disney princess.  And on the other end of the spectrum, I didn't feel stressed out.  It felt natural to do this all with Mike.

Going into the wedding, I had heard a million pieces of advice and information.  The rehearsal is stressful.  The bride and groom don't have time to eat.  It'll go by so quickly that you won't be able to remember half the night.  Something always goes wrong.

What I found, was that I had a wonderful time.  The rehearsal was so relaxed and fun.  With the group I had, there was much more laughter than I would have expected.  And the next day, the ceremony went perfectly.  Although, there was a small hail storm before it all began, the sun was out by the time we kissed.  Walking down the aisle, I felt like a celebrity.  There were cameras everywhere.  So I tried to just keep my eyes on Michael at the end of the aisle.  The bridesmaids were GORGEOUS.  The groomsmen were handsome.  And my two little cousins who did the reading did a wonderful job.  At the rehearsal, the pastor had commented that my cousins were a little young for doing the readings.  As they both read their passages articulately without a single mistake, I gave the pastor a look which said, "That's right.  Those are MY cousins, BIATCH!"  The ceremony ended with a kiss and a lot of handshakes.

However, there was some confusion after the ceremony in where we had to go.  I was very upset with my mom as she went all the way up to her room before pictures, when she was the only one who knew how to do my bustle.  I'm still FREAKING out that the portraits were too rushed.

But the reception was so much fun.  I had plenty of time to talk to everyone who stuck around past the dinner.  I savored my meal, although I didn't have a full appetite for it.  I danced the night away, and ate cookies.  Although, I do agree with the advice that you should try to limit drinking, as I wouldn't have wanted the night to go more quickly.  But the centerpieces and the cake looked even better than I could have imagined.  The place was great, and the DJ kept the party going all night, while keeping it quiet enough that my dad didn't complain.  All in all, it was a great success.

The one thing that I regret is the pictures.  We chose the photographer we did because she had a lot of fun, unique photos in her portfolio.  We loved the idea of having some like that.  But, in part due to the time constraints, we didn't get any creative shots.  In addition, I chose this beautiful courtyard with a bridge, flowers, and a gazebo, but she just had us stand by trees for all the shots.  Worst of all, she didn't even mention that my necklace was screwed around or that Mike's tux was unbuttoned.  She rushed through each shot.  Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised in the end.  But everything seemed so rushed.  I just really wish she would have asked us to come back out after dinner if there wasn't enough time.  Instead, she rushed through everything.  Today, she has a facebook status of, "Today's mantra: I am not a miracle worker.  I will do my absolute best with what you give me."  Speaking as her most recent bride, I do not like this status.  Hopefully there will be some great candid shots to make up for this.  But I'm really freaking out.  Part of me wants to put the dress back on, make my face and hair up, dress up my groom, and get some more pictures done.  But I've never had all three of my bridesmaids in the same place at the same time before, so I know there's no chance in getting all of the pictures redone.  I feel like I lost a moment that I'll never get back.  Whenever I think about it for too long, I start crying.  I never thought I'd care so much about the pictures. 

When I started this post, I intended it to be a happy one.  I am so happy with how the wedding went.  I have so many happy memories.  Maybe I became the sterotypical, freaking-out bride after all.  But even if the pictures don't turn out, I had the best night of my life and married the man of my dreams.  So let me end on that note.  Mike and I are so happy.

Love and Marriage

I am currently on my honeymoon, drinking chilled campaign, and watching HGTV while waiting for Sixteen Candles to load on the T.V.  I have SOOO much to write about.  But this is not the time.  I'm just very excited and wanted a chance to write, Hello, I'm Mrs. Brenda Obilade.  I will write more in a few days.  And thank you to everyone who made my wedding even more fabulous than I ever could have imagined.

A New Beginning

The dust is finally settling all around, as the sun sets on the two year battle.  The field is eerily quiet as slowly, we walk onwards.  Exhausted from sleepless nights and daunting tasks, our stagger is not strong.  And yet, we survived.  We no longer look at one another.  We do not rely on each other.  After all is said and done, we all just wish to forget everything we’ve seen and done.  Friends have been made and lost in an instant.  But alas, graduate school is finished.  And a new beginning is in sight.

Perhaps this is a little dramatic.  However, graduate school has had a strong effect on me...physically, emotionally, and to a lesser extent, academically.  Two years ago, I came to graduate school full of hope and wonder.  I was so eager to begin, that I read several chapters of my textbooks over the summer.  I had always excelled in school, and expected graduate school to be the same.  I was so excited to learn with like and different minded people, to broaden my horizons, and to become fully prepared to work in the field.  After months of anxiously waiting, I had received the acceptance letter to my top choice university, and was finally on my way.  Not only did I have my studies to look forward to, but for the first time in my life, I had a real “professional” job that did not entail changing diapers and came with its own office.

Coming in, I was a young, intelligent woman with hobbies ranging from marathon running to baking, and a passion for psychology and education.  Little did I know that a mere two years later, I would leave a still intelligent, but burnt out woman who would rather plop down in front of the television on any day off work and school than pursue any particular interest.  I would go months without running, or working out in any other capacity.  And would be left with few of the friends I came in with.  I look back at where I was, and really can’t help but wonder if I’ve moved forward at all.

At least, I am finished with that portion of my life.  There will be no more papers being finished at 3 am for an 8 am class.  There will be no more 300 page reading assignments every week.  Instead, I’ll be working reasonable hours for slightly closer to reasonable wages.  I’ll be interacting with professionals in the field.  I’ll be applying my skills.  And best of all, every day I’ll be working in a way which contributes to the educational well being of children.  From everything I’ve been told by more advanced students, internship is a much less stressful and more rewarding part of my program.  It truly is a new beginning with countless professional opportunities awaiting me.

Although, I must admit, I am still anxious about what is yet to come in internship.  What will they expect me to know?  What will I have forgotten from my classes and practicum?  Will I permanently destroy a child’s educational career with a misdiagnosis or sub-par counseling skills?  And on a more personal note, will I be able to finish the program?  I know I’ve worked hard.  I am dedicated to do my best this coming year.  But after everything I’ve learned about my professors and the effects of political motives on decisions regarding graduate students, I fear for my academic standing.  It’s sad that purely because of the company I keep, I fear my best bet is to keep my head low, and hope they just sign off my diploma with the rest.  Hopefully these fears will prove to be unwarranted.

However, it is only a week and a half until my new life begins.  A new last name, a new job, new supervisors, new sleeping habits, new life routines, and a 15% off discount at Michael's for being an educator.  I had given up writing anything during my graduate school years that wasn’t academic and boosting a specific professor’s ego.  I hope to build writing amongst  other hobbies back into my life during this new start.

Lazy Bones

Good afternoon!

I have decided to try to get back into blogging as a means of increasing my general motivation.  I have a terrible case of Graduate School.  I would come up with some cutesy name for it, but in reality, I have no disease.  I just have a never ending case of graduate school.  Right now, it's 1:36 on a Sunday afternoon.  I have a lot of homework to do.  I have laundry which is half done.  I have a dirty apartment in dire need of a good vacuuming.  I haven't worked out in months.  And all I want to do is watch T.V.

I was going to attempt to make some extra money through textbroker, but I don't have the motivation to bullshit an article.  This is the worst burn out I've ever experienced.  At work, I barely do a thing.  I hope clients get cancelled whenever I have them.  I have stopped using basic functions like spell check.  Quite honestly, if I had been acting like this from the beginning of the school year, I'm rather confident I would have been kicked out.

So, I'm here to get back into the habit of writing on a regular basis.  I hope that eventually, this will help me get back into the grove of possibly writing textbroker articles over summer break.  Speaking of which... 33 days left of graduate school!!!

Brenda

Sleepy bear...

Last night I had horrible insomnia.  I swear I was sleeping through half of my morning class.  I had a vague idea of where I should be directing my attention, but I couldn't really tell you any details of what we learned about... something about ethics.  This is bad.  For working in schools, ethics is supposed to be the most important thing to understand, and I was practically sleeping through class.  All I can really remember is that at the end of the session, we watched a video about a school in Kansas that shaved a kid's head.  We decided that wasn't ethical.

However, this was just the beginning of my daily activities.  Following class, was work.  Today I was half asleep through most of my office hours.  I keep a blanket at work because my office is out of the way, and I don't get any control of the temperature.  So I was curled up in my blanket for a while working on the computer (ironically learning about ethics again), when suddenly I woke up.  I don't remember falling asleep.  I just very distinctly remember waking up.  The sad part about this story is the fact that no one would notice my decreased productivity level because my job is far from necessary.  Quite honestly, I'm not sure if they'll replace me or just discontinue my position after I graduate.

Upon realizing the uselessness of continuing at work, I went home to get an hour nap before working with my client at The Autism Place.  The nap turned out to be 3 hours.

Long story short... I NEED to get my sleep schedule normalized.  Right now, the workload isn't overly demanding, so I need to get on top of this shit.  It can't be healthy to be as tired as I was today all the time.

This being said... good night.  Please let me know if you have any good remedies for insomnia!

Falling in love and out of shape...

I've always heard that after a lovely young girl meets the man of her dreams, she lets herself go.  I never thought I would be in the ranks of these women.  When I met the man of my dreams, I was training for a marathon, cooking homemade meals at home nearly every night, and even riding my bike to school whenever the weather allowed.  Now, only a year later, I don't run, I don't cook, and I'm about 7 pounds heavier than the weight I had been able to manage since high school (Yeah, I know this isn't THAT much... but it's the start of a bad trend).

I think last week I had one of those shocking moments.  My car's crank shaft position sensor was broken... which means it randomly died when I drove it.  So, I decided to ride my bike to school one day.  I used to be able to ride 20-30 miles on my bike.  This 2.5 mile ride left me gasping for air at the end.  I guess I just didn't think this would happen to me... at least not less than a year after my most recent marathon!

Needless today, I'm slightly upset by the situation.  So, I've decided I need to come up with a plan to get in, and stay in shape over the winter.  So I have been looking into obtaining some piece of indoor exercise equipment.  I'm not going to lie, my first thought was the AbCircle... which was closely followed by the Shake Weight.  However, I have been more realistically considering an elliptical, an exercise bike, or a cycling trainer for my bike.  So I started my search with the elliptical machines.  I quickly found out that any elliptical in my price range makes the sound of creaky death as soon as it begins to move.  SO someday, I'd love to get a high quality elliptical, but until then, I don't wanna waste my money on a piece of shit.  I briefly considered exercise bikes before realizing a cycling trainer would be a more efficient use of time and money.  So I started looking into them.  My search brought me to an interesting option... a cycling roller.  My non-cycling friends may be questioning, what is this?  Basically, you put a bike on some rollers and try to pedal without falling.  There are no attachments or anything... you just try to balance it up there.  It allows me to wear a helmet indoors, improve my balance, and fall a lot.

Well, hopefully this will only ultimately involve the second option.

Anyway, peace out homeboys and girls.

Dracula

Yesterday, I woke up next to the man I love.  However, he had a meeting or something, so he had to leave momentarily. 

So then I organized all of my finances.  I looked up old credit card bills, entered them into an excel file, and now I can proudly tell you how much money I have spent on gas, groceries, clothing, or anything else for any individual month or a total for the year.  It made me a little sad to see just how much money I have really spent this year.  Granted it includes my trip to Chicago for NASP, my groceries, and other life essentials.  But I was wanting to do this since my savings account started decreasing.  I know it was expected that in graduate school, I'd ultimately lose some money.  I also know that financially, I'm probably ahead of many of my peers.  However, it makes me sad to see the dip in my fundage.

This prompted me to finally sell my old textbooks on at half.com.  Of course, I saved the best resources which I think I may consult in the future.  Ideally I would like to keep all of my books until grad school is done in case any of them have some value in my education.  However, if I wait another year, there may be new editions of my books, and their value my drop.  So I set up the account, and listed my 9 nominated textbooks for sale.  Before a single sale could be made, my account was suspended due to suspicious activity.  This was quite frustrating.  They asked me to send in all sorts of personal information via fax... who has a fax machine now a days?  I was very upset about this this morning, but my cousin Mary messaged me on Facebook saying she works for Ebay and might be able to help.  So hopefully, it will be up and running again tomorrow, so some poor helpless graduate students can get these books and suffer as I have.

Beyond my financial going-on's, I looked up a new cake recipe and a new frosting recipe.  I went to the grocery store for supplies, did some basic division to make each recipe 1/4 its size, and made some sample cupcakes.  I think I made cake which is better than  It made me start to want to write a diary.  Then I realized, livejournal is like my diary.  I can use this to go back through my life to remember the events which were woven into my existence.  Eventually I can look back and try to determine when I was bitten and why I thirst for human blood.  Err.. wait... maybe not.  Anyway, good day to you all!

Cluck Cluck!

Yesterday, at the grocery store, I had a crazy idea, and decided to buy a whole chicken.  I have previously had many adventures with recipes from online, cookbooks, or my own ideas which have had various degrees of success.  So when I was at the local Kroger, I passed the poultry section and decided to give it a go.

Today, I got the chicken out of the fridge and released it from it's plastic prison.  However, after I cut plastic off, I realized something... the chicken looked like a real chicken!  I could see where the poor little chicken's head was attached.  I could move the little chicken wings and legs, and see just how she ran when she was alive.  I could even imagine her wee little chicken feet attached at the ends of her stubby little leg bones.  Worst of all, as I rinsed it off, all I could think about was how much it felt like a cold dead baby.  Then I found the gizzards shoved up her coochie.  This experience was slightly traumatic.  It almost made me want to be a vegetarian... well, except steak... and burgers... and sausage... and fish... and chicken... I guess it's not a good choice of lifestyle for me.

Then, after finally getting it cleaned, I got out the cookbook, only to realize that chicken takes a long time to cook.  But I persevered.  I heated the oven and mixed up some oil and spices.  Then I lubed up the chicken and tossed it in.  I felt like Sparky when he's hungry at home and my mom is cooking... I just wanted to bark and scrape at the floor in hungry frustration.

But, alas, the chicken was ready to come out.  And it was beautiful.  If I had taken a picture, it could have been put on the cover of a cookbook from the bargain section of Barnes and Noble.  However, after taking it out of the oven, I realized that I have no idea how to cut up a chicken.  So I butchered the poor chicken for the second time in it's life desperately trying to keep skin attached and trying to cut it into the shapes I'm used to seeing chicken cut into.

It tasted delicious though.  So no overall complaints.  But I'll need to ask Google how to carve a chicken.

Yodeling

I can't remember what exactly triggered this interest of mine, however, I have been searching the internet for the past hour looking up yodeling videos and seeking information about it.  Apparently there was a crazy good yodeling girl on America's Got Talent either this year or last year or some other year.  And I've also been seeking information on "classic" yodeling masters.  I don't yet have an ear for them, but it's definitely interesting.

So, what have I learned from this endeavor?

First, I learned that everyone has a unique form of yodeling and yodeling voice.

Second I learned it originated as a form of communication in the Swiss Alps.  The unique sound was likely helpful in identifying who was sending the yodel.  Otherwise, I'm sure the people of the Alps would have gotten a lot of spam yodeling.

Third, there are many different forms of yodeling, the most common are Swiss yodeling and Country-Western yodeling.  Yes, there is American yodeling.  You don't need to be Swiss or Canadian, you can do it and be as American as apple pie.

Fourth, yodeling involves using primarily vowels and shifting from your chest voice to your head voice.  The primary trick to yodeling is learning how to break your voice between the two... which is basically shifting by about an octave.  This is a skill I have shown in attempting to sing numerous male songs throughout the years without even realizing it was a talent!

Long story short, my latest dream is to be a professional yodeler when I grow up.  I dream of going to the Swiss Alps and screaming my joyful song into the mountains and rejoicing in the echoes as they bounce back towards me.  Perhaps, off somewhere in the distance, There will be a young Swiss yodeling woman who responds, and we will become the best of friends.