Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Edumacation...

So I graduated from college four years ago this year. I went to college for 6 1/2 years. It was grueling, it was painful, it was back was also a great diet. I went to a community college for 3 1/2 trying to figure out what the heck I wanted to be when I grew up, only to spend 3 more at a university because I changed my major after one. I also worked full time, and part time, and part time....I don't recall working less than three jobs the whole time I was in college because I lived on my own and paid for my education, and bought oodles of noodles if there was any money left over. Honestly, my parents helped not at all when I was in college, they really didn't give a crap. My stepfather was just glad to be rid of my and my passive aggressive mother was just glad that she didn't have to listen to him bitch and complain about me anymore. Which I always wondered about. I mean, how could he have anything to complain about when I was never there, I slept and took showers....such an a-hole.

Anyways, so I graduated. I cried the day I graduated, literally broke down. Everyone thought it was because I was sooo happy, felt so accomplished. But really, I was so glad it was over. So glad that I could get that one thing off my plate and start to have a "real life". I could get a "real job" and quit my 3 little ones. I could see my friends and stay out late. I wouldn't have to deal with the commute totaling 3 hrs back and forth to school. I would have time and money to eat (and boy did I). No longer would I be working on papers until 1 in the morning only to get back up at 5 to finish it and go to work, go to class, go back to work, then to my other work, and getting home late at night to do it all over again. My life didn't really start until I was 24.

But, despite my accomplishment of graduating from college, and financially support myself through it all, I was constantly questioned by my family why I got a degree in family studies (aka human services) and not elementary education as I had first planned. Seriously?! I'm not allowed to change my mind?! I always replied I could always go back to school and get my masters.

Within 3 months of graduating college I had a job with the state government at one of the local social services office. I have been there almost four years (in August). It's a good job, it has good benefits. The economy sucks, so my salary has been cut twice in two years. Lately, it's either going back to school and getting more education to get a better job or just get a better job. I thought about going to get my masters in education, but I realize I also need to work. It would be nice to be able to keep my current job and still go to school. Thats about impossible when you are trying to get a degree in teaching because, well, schools with kids are only open during the day. The only options I have are online learning or blended curriculums with evening and online classes.

I've looked into online programs and actually got an email at work about the MSW (masters of social work) program with University of New England. It's a four year program and offered completely online. It was a serious contender until I saw the price tag....about $45 grand. Yea, I just LOL'ed too. Then, I was checking into the university systems of maryland and found usmh, university systems of maryland at hagerstown. It offers bachelors and graduate programs geared towards people who work and have families. Plus, the programs are offered and I would receive a degree from a college in Maryland. The MSW program there is offered by Salisbury University, which is about three hours from my house. But, hagerstown is about, oh, 45 minutes from my house, about 30 mins from my office. Classes are offered in the evening and taught by staff from the university via video presentations and online. Blended curriculum! Yay, and would cost less than half of the other program out of new england.

I really think this would be a good program for me. It will take about 3 years taking 3 classes per semester, and at the end I will have the opportunity to further my career, possibly going into another field. I have alot of time to consider and research it as I would not be able to apply until next spring for the fall '11 semester. Matt is very supportive because I have told him several times if I could go back to school I would. I feel very stunted mentally in my life right now. Sometimes I feel like I went to school all that time and spent (still spending) alot of time and money to get it, but ask myself was it worth it? My job, though required to have a college degree to acquire it, does not necessarily utilize any of my learning, nor is it challenging. So, maybe it's time to start workin' on movin' on.

So not only will I be planning a wedding in the coming months, but hopefully also getting myself ready for graduate studies. I really know how to pile it on, don't I?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Cookin' it up!

I think the worst part of doing this whole grown up thing has to be cooking. Don't get me wrong, I like to cook. I love to cook, I love to bake. I'll try and cook anything long as I can pronounce it, eat it, and doesn't have ten million ingredients. Because, despite the fact that I do like to cook, I am also cheap and lazy, therefore do not like to spend alot of time and energy gathering ingredients or putting it all together. I also like to think I watch what I eat, but most of the time it's just watching it all go into my mouth.

The crux of my cooking conundrum...(take that, high school english teacher) that I get very bored cooking the same things all of the time. I also have a very willing fiance who will try anything once and will lie to me if it's awful. So tonight, we try something new.

First off, I just want to let you know that this was all in my 'lil head. I did have some "inspiration" but I pretty much threw it all together...and I don't have pictures so just visualize. FI and I were in Walmart over the weekend and I happen to be thumbing through an issue of Taste of Home magazine...I love recipe magazines...mmm mmm. There was a recipe in the magazine for Pork noodle casserole.

Alright, casserole! I can totally do a casserole! But tonight, we have chicken noodle casserole.

Ingredients: 1lb. chicken tenderloins/breast, frozen mixed veggies, 1 can of cream of chicken soup, milk, colby and jack shredded cheese, half an onion, whole wheat rotini pasta, and crushed ritz cracker.

First, lets address the whole wheat pasta....tryin' to be healthy here, Matt talked me into at the store....idk what came over me. Also, I only had one can of cream of chicken soup on hand. If I had had another I would have used it, that why I added a bit of milk. Still, looking at it in the stove, it might be a bit dry. So, I definitely recommend 2 cans of the soup.

Boiled my pasta, the whole box of rotini...and I boiled my chicken. Yes, I said boil the chicken. I don't know when or why I started doing this, but whenever I have chicken in a casserole, stew, or soup I always boil it first. Chop it up and throw it in with the pasta after it's cooked and drained. Chop up the onion, throw it in the pot with the chicken and pasta. grab the bag of frozen veggies and throw it in the pot. Mix it up. I used two cups of the shredded cheese, it looked good. Throw it in the pot, mix it up! Same with the cream of chicken soup. Mix. It. Up. Clearly, I love to mix it up....or I like to move it, move it...again if you don't have the 2 cans of soup you could prolly do one can and about 1/2 cup of milk.

I'm not much of a when I cook. I just throw the stuff in 'til it looks good.

So all the wet stuff is in the pot. Put it in a casserole dish. I used a 9x13 dish. Crushed ritz crackers go on top. I used one sleeve of the crackers, stuck em in a bag, crushed em up. mmm ritz crackers....

Oven on 350, pop your casserole into the oven for about 30 minutes and enjoy.....

P.S....As I write this, I have yet to eat any, so you are makin, bakin, and eatin at your own risk...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

$$$ = frustration....what else is new?

One of the many pitfalls of planning a wedding is of course, paying for the weddng.

I am making our save the dates, I am making our invitations, I am making the in 2, mine and my matron of honor. We are having our reception at FMIL to cut that cost, and minimal decor....a late cocktail reception, but still alil costly....I am making cupcakes, I am making the centerpieces.....I am doin alot. LOL.

This stress of course is coming from the fact that I booked the chapel last week and we met with and got the pricing for our caterer....still have yet the find a dress, a photographer, and a ceremony musician......

On top of the wedding planning, I am facing cuts at my job which means a lower paycheck for double the work....and I don't want to hear "oh, at least you still have a job" bs....I mean, does it really make a difference when the bills still aren't getting paid....? Does it?!

And forget all the traditional Brides family pays for this and Grooms family pays for that. 'Cause my family? They arent paying for mother hasnt even spoken to me since I have gotten engaged and I am convinced its for this very reason. She is afraid I am going to ask her and her worthless husband to pay for something or God forbid give us money. Fiances mother has offered some tentative help, but growing up with parents who didn't give a crap about me makes it almost impossible to ask anyone for money.

So it looks like its time for that dreaded "p" word...parttime job...ugh. Even thinking it makes me want to break down into tears. I thought after 6 1/2 years of college and struggling to survive without any support from my family, after getting a "real" job, I would be done with that. I mean, in college, I worked 2-3 jobs at a time and went to school full time. It. Was. Terrible. I really am not looking forward to repeating that experience in my life, while trying to plan a wedding.....blah!

well, there is that rant....