Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I'm born again...and it pisses me off when...

Hello folks!  I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and a great couple of days off from work - if you are in the US that is!  If you aren't in the US, I hope you just had a wonderful weekend.

Last week was a bit ridiculous, eating wise anyway.  Besides 2 Thanksgiving meals, both which had to be around the 2000-3000 calorie range, there were also a slew of birthday celebrations which all circled around food or drinking!  Therefore, I rejoined Weight Watchers this morning, with the beginning of their new program and the ability to go to as many meetings as necessary in a month for one low monthly cost, as well as online use!  Here I come...some would say I didn't need to do that, but I feel I did.  When I told J, his response was, "why?!"  I told him I wasn't happy with how I looked and felt.  I can workout with the best of them, but I can also eat anything and everything in sight!  So, here we go again.  WW has changed their program a bit and their pay structure (making what I like to do - online and meetings CHEAPER!) and I'm all in.  I'm welcoming anyone who wants to join me.  So that was why I am born again!  Born again to be slimmer!

Now for "It pisses me off when..."
I think I am a pretty cool-headed person, usually.  I mean, I do get mad about things, but not nearly what I used to.  Anyway, just like anyone, there are a couple things that will ALWAYS rub me the wrong way.  

1. People who spell my name wrong
I have a VERY simple name.  Four letters for the first name and four for the last.  I have never seen people spell a simple name, so very wrong, friends and new acquantinces alike.  The correct way is "N...I...K...I."  In incorrect ways I have seen it are as follows:
---really, need I go on?  It is really quite simple.  And the fact that it gets spelled wrong on Facebook (under the correct spelling) and in emails (of which my name is PART OF) really irks me.  Also, people I have known for a long time who spell my name wrong.  To me it is just disrespectful.  Many people are good, but some I just want to smack.  Especially if they are trying to get back into my good graces because we've lost touch or whatever...come on.  Four letters!

2. People who forget my birthday (and birthdays in general)
Now, I admit I have done this in the past and probably will upon occasion in the future.  But this is really bad.  I've dealt with it my whole life because not only does my birthday fall on my parents' anniversary (which makes their date get forgotten) but it is also right around Thanksgiving.  So as a child when we tried to plan my birthday party, it would always have to be before or after, and then it wasn't fun.  As a teenager when all my friends were getting balloons at school from friends on their birthdays, my friends typically forgot because they were excited they wouldn't be in school or would be out of town.  I spent my 21st birthday with one of my guy friends' girlfriends at the time, because no one else was around to celebrate.  When people showed up at our house for Thanksgiving, they would automatically say, "Happy Thanksgiving" and maybe hours later remember that it was my birthday too, or quite possibly my parents' anniversary, but mostly not at all.  So am I sensitive about people remembering my birthday, especially close friends?  Absolutely.  And do I try my damndest to not forget others birthdays because I know how it feels and it sucks?  You better believe it.  And how annoyed do you think I am when some well-meaning person sends me a birthday message a week late, with my name misspelled?  Let's just say I grit my teeth and respond, all-the-while mistakenly spelling their name wrong, to prove a point, which many times goes right over their head.  Sorry, touchy subject.  (For future reference, my birthday is November 23rd...mark your calendar now!)  Now I realize that people's lives don't revolve around me, but it's not that hard for friends and family to put a reminder somewhere and send a card, give a call or even shoot a text.  I'll take anything!  Just feels good to that person and should feel good to the person sending because they made that person's day!

3. People who think they are entitled.
We covered this a while back, but to reiterate...you need to earn what you want.  Every breath you take, every success you want, earn it and then I believe you deserve it.  But don't tell me you are entitled to it because you put in the time, but not the effort.  Nuff said.

Alright folks, it's taken me all day to write this because I've been working (read: not studying!) and now I need to eat some low points dinner and go to my WW meeting.  Have a wonderful evening and eat well!

OH - if you want to subscribe via email, go to the top of the page and on the left hand side, enter your email address and click subscribe.  I just always forget to say that.  Night!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My birthday - as told by my Mother

Hello folks.  Today is my 31st birthday.  So in lieu of what I have accomplished to this point, I asked my Mom to tell about my birth.  A couple notes...my parents had no issues conceiving me what-so-ever.  In fact, they kind of got their weeks messed up when they were trying not to conceive, and there I was 9 months later.  So here's that story.

The Story of Nikus’s birth
As remembered on November 23, 2008 by her Mother

On Thanksgiving Day, I didn’t eat turkey dinner; I just didn’t like the idea of food.  However, when the pecan pie was served about 6 pm at Phyllis and Bud’s (my Dad's parents) house, I ate a big piece!  (I never was a big fan of pecan pie!)  I must have been huge, since my due date was the very next day!

I remember waking early, about 4 am, with weak labor pains.  I prepared:  I washed my hair, gathered my things together, before waking Daniel (my Dad) about 5 to tell him that I thought it was time to go.  He drove me to TMC in the pickup truck and we checked in.

My water broke just as I got into the hospital bed.  (Great timing!  What a mess that would have been in the truck!)  Labor pains intensified.  Soon I was begging for relief which came in the form of an epidural, about 8 am.  The anesthesiologist would administer a shot in my lower back to “deaden” the lower half of my body.  I could see the contractions happening on the monitor but couldn’t feel them.  The epidural lasted for an hour.  Then we had to find the anesthesiologist to ask for another shot.  It took awhile to find him and I was in major pain by the time he came so I learned to send Daniel to search for him at the 45 minute mark so he’d be in my room ready to give me the next shot just before the prior one wore off.  (I’m such a wimp about pain!)  I remember getting six shots!  And that took a LONG time to work itself out of my body after you were born.

At 12:45 pm, the doctor and the nurse checked me and said, “This baby isn’t coming.  You aren’t dilated enough.  We’re going to need to do a C-Section.”   The doc left the room to get prepared and the nurse said, “Let’s pray that your baby hears us and decides to make an appearance so that you don’t have to go to surgery.”  (A C-Section was major surgery and would have meant a 2 week recovery.)

Daniel went into the bathroom to gown himself for the surgery.  The doc came back and said, “Thank God!  You are completely dilated, the baby is crowning.  It’s time!  Let’s go to the birthing room.”  They pushed my bed down the hall quickly.

Daniel came out of the bathroom to an empty room.  He walked into several birthing rooms before he found me but he got there in time to see you being born.

You were healthy, pink and as responsive as a baby needs to be.  The nurses guessed at your weight before you were born:  one said eight pounds, 3 ounces and the other said eight pounds, four ounces.  You were born between 1 and 2 pm and weighed 8 pounds, 3½ ounces!

Daniel and I married on Saturday, November 23, 1974 in Muncie, Indiana.  You were born on Friday, November 23, 1979, five years to the hour, adjusted for the time change, of our wedding.

We stayed in the hospital Friday and Saturday and came home on Sunday.  I spent the next six weeks at home with you but did bank reconciliations for my employer at home because I needed things to occupy my mind.

Daniel was the best husband and father!  I nudged him awake in the middle of the night when I heard you crying.  He’d go to your room on the other side of the house, change your diaper, bring you to me and I’d nurse you.  When you were full, I’d elbow him again, and he’d take you back to your crib.

I nursed you for seven months, expressing milk in the office bathroom, brought it home in a cooler, froze it, then thawed it a day later for the babysitter to use.

I stopped breast feeding after the Iowa trip in June, 1980, for Daisy’s (my aunt) wedding.  That was the wedding that Uncle Leo met Aunt Shawna because she babysat you while Daniel and I were involved with Daisy’s wedding.  (Shawna was the groom's cousin.)

So that's the story as told by my Mom, written out a couple years ago.  And I leave you with that.  Happy Birthday to me and Happy Anniversary to my parents!


Monday, November 22, 2010

BIG NASTY is over...well, almost.

Hello my lovely Bleaders!  Thank you for NOT deserting me in my time of CFP and relative insanity!  I'm going to try and do a quick run-down of the events of last week and get it out of my system for good - forgive me if you have already heard these stories from me directly as I talked to a number of you recently!  (And by the way, thanks for that!)  I would say this will be my last post about CFP, but that probably isn't the case...especially since I don't know my score yet.  Bear with me...

Let's see...where did we leave off?  Ahh...yes, Wednesday of last week.  Still studying my eyes out and still having some struggles.

Thursday morning, I did manage to go to boot camp for some last minute inspiration from my ladies and they didn't disappoint!  Came home, packed, studied and drove to Phoenix, all-the-while trying to breathe deep and build myself up.  Checked into the hotel and was relatively surprised at how nice it was.  Got settled, checked in with the office for the last time, and then got set up to study.  That was when I realized the room had INCREDIBLY thin walls.  The "neighbors" came home and started to watch TV.  Only problem was, I was knee-deep in study mode and that works best in absolute silence.  So after battling a bit with earplugs and trying to stay calm, I gave up on studying until later.  The hotel had a free "social" hour, so I headed down for my two free glasses of wine, which I brought back to the room and stuck in the fridge before heading out to find dinner.  Gotta love Qdoba!  It was way yum and way too much, so I had enough for lunch the next day.  When I returned back to the hotel, called J to catch up on his day and ate dinner.  Studied a bit more, watched some TV (studied through the commercials) and then decided it was time for bed - neighbors were still MIA...until I turned the lights off!  Then, they came in and the TV went from silent to blaring.  After battling a little over 30 minutes trying to go to sleep, I finally called the front desk and asked them very nicely to call the neighbors and ask them to turn the TV down.  They thankfully did, but the walls were so thin it really didn't help all that much.  I may have finally drifted off to sleep about 11 or 12.  So much for getting a good night's sleep.

Friday, test day one.  I tend to do better on tests if I get up and work out before.  Nothing crazy, just get the blood pumping and the mind working, so that was my plan.  I figured out a schedule so I could get to the test on time, have lunch, and still have some time to study that morning.  So I was up about 6 am and headed to the "swanky" gym at the hotel (1 exercise bike, 1 elliptical and 1 treadmill, oh and a flat screen TV - WOW!) and hopped on the elliptical, flashcards in hand for some review.  Managed to get through the flashcards just about the time my 30 minutes were up, perfect.  Stopped at the cafe for my free breakfast (eggs, sausage links, hash browns, oranges, coffee, toast, etc. - pretty good selection although I really wasn't all that hungry...nerves were acting up in my stomach) and took a little break.  Then it was back to the room to shower and study some more.  Got settled and went through the questions I had previously gotten wrong on practice tests to decipher if I could get them right and did pretty well.  Lunch real quick - thank you Qdoba leftovers that were still very yum! 

Then it was time to head out.  WOW, very scary.  Found my way to the testing site easily enough and finally found the correct building...as I watched people walking in with faces of scared-ness.  Parked, gave myself one last pep talk and walked in.  As I was walking, a guy was coming up from the parking lot too and I looked at him, he looked at me, then said, "You ready for the CFP?"  I asked how he knew and he said, "You have the same look on you face, that I feel I have on mine."  I replied back, "Sheer terror?!"  He laughed.  So he became my buddy, but we never swapped names.  Anyway, walked in and bantered a bit about nerves, questions, etc.  Finally got called to our rooms, and what-do-you-know, he was in mine.  There were probably 15 people in my room, 1 other female.  I joked to her that we had to "represent" because we were the minority!  Oh, and I had found a shirt at Target a couple days before that was purple (ahem - favorite color) and said "Believe" on it in rhinestones...talk about a perfect shirt for the CFP, so was wearing that.  A couple people said something about that too.  I said, "I need all the help I can get!"

We checked in, IDs checked, registration ticket checked and were assigned a seat.  Once everyone was seated, they started the instructions...lots of them.  Passed out the booklet that is SEALED shut and the scantron sheet.  Here's how you fill in your name.  Here's how you fill in your numbers. Yada yada.  Finally, "open your test booklets and begin."  The ripping sound in the room was deafening as everyone dove in.  I would love to tell you what the first question was, but honestly, I have no clue.  Friday's test was 115 questions in 4 hours, so my brain was spent.  A couple interesting things during the test...let's see, the guy next to me was a knuckle-cracker, so about every couple minutes that was enjoyable.  About half way, I heard movement so I looked up to see the other woman in the room handing her test booklet in and packing up her things.  How could she be done?!  I was barely half-way!  Holy cow!  I decided either she really knew her stuff, or she had NO CLUE!  Whatever, back to me.  About hour 3.5, other people started getting up to turn in their books and leave, while I still scooted along.  I knew how many questions I had to get through each hour and had been doing well, but got laid up by the case study, so now I was trying to be a little quicker just to make sure I got all the questions ANSWERED!  Finally made it and 2 minutes later (as I was checking another question) the proctor said, "Pencils down."  Day one was complete.  Of course they had to collect the tests from us and then we were finally dismissed.  I walked out and had no thoughts.  None.  I was empty.  Mom had left me a message telling me she was proud, no matter the outcome, so that was nice to walk out and hear since no one was there with me.

I have a few friends in Phoenix and they had all expressed desire to go to dinner or something while I was there, but I put them off saying I won't know until the test is over how I feel.  I decided I did need some interaction and I did have to eat, so dinner would be great.  Called my friend who I haven't seen forever, and she agreed to come get me so we could go to dinner.  She had to go pick up her son, so I scooted back to the hotel (which took me 40 minutes - even though it had taken me 20 at noon - which is why I don't like Phoenix very much) and got my free wine for the night.  I anticipated drinking the wine when I got back, but instead downed it then and there as I waited, which wasn't very long for my friend.  She found the hotel and we went across the street to 5-&-Diner for dinner.  It was nice and we split something so not too terrible for me.  I haven't seen her son since he was probably 1, and now he is 6, so that was quite incredible.  We just talked and tried to catch up, but having not seen each other for that long, it proved difficult.  I was also watching my clock so I wouldn't get to bed too late.  We departed about 8 I think and she dropped me off at the hotel.  Amazingly, my neighbors weren't there.  So I got a little studying done, really just looking up some things I had questions about and reviewing what I could.  Tried to go to bed early, but what do you know, the neighbors were back!  Lovely.  Let me tell you, they were watching David Letterman...couldn't hear the jokes, but knew the voice.  Man, those walls were thin.  I stuck my earplugs in, prayed for the best and fell asleep maybe after an hour, only to be up again at 1 and 2 and possibly 3 with loud people coming back from bars or something down the hallway.  Again, not as restful as I would have hoped.  But, what can you do?

Side note: I did my best all week to amp myself up for this test.  Had bought a new CD by Katy Perry and found this song that did it all for me.  So I share with you.  (Email folks, you may have to click the link to see it...totally worth it!)

Okay, back to my story...Saturday morning, despite my best efforts, I was up about 5:30 am.  So, to the gym for a little workout again and study-time.  Got to the gym and my key-card didn't work.  Uh oh.  That made me think it wouldn't work at my room!  Got back to my room and it did work, so called the front desk and they sent the security guy to the door.  I met him there and his didn't work.  After messing with it for a bit, he went for the "old-fashioned" key (you know, the metal one!) and couldn't get the cover off the lock.  Asked me if I could "come back in a bit?" to which I, probably sounded a little crazy when I said, "NO!  I can't, it's now or never."  He wandered away to call for help and I messed with the cover, and managed to get it off in his absence.  Called him back over and he let me in.  YAY!  One victory.  Chose the bike that day and went through my notes for 30 minutes while I cycled away on the "fat burner" cycle.  Grabbed breakfast again before heading back to the room...was joined that morning by 4 kitties that were wandering around, so of course I fed them sausage and milk from the buffet, which they loved, the minute I walked away.  Back to the room, showered, packed up and headed to the desk to check out, commenting on the thinness of the walls to the clerk.  Then headed to the test site again, with still time to spare to study in the car.  Again, reviewed my notes and then it was time to head in.  This time, took in my water (which I had left out the day before because they told me I couldn't have it, but many people did) and my bag with snacks, just in case.  Caught up with the guy from the day before, and we chatted a bit about our scoring theories and how we did the day before.  Both of us commented on the chickie that had left at the half-way point, wondering if she would be back.  Time to check in and our girl was there, so away we went.  Same instructions about filling in name, number, etc.  We started early because now everyone knew what to do.  And away we went - 85 questions in 3 hours.

Even though I had just had breakfast, my stomach started growling (quite loudly to me) about an hour and a half in.  So I asked if I could go outside and have some almonds that I had brought with me.  It was approved and that did make me feel better.  Upon my return, I looked at the other woman in the room and wouldn't you know it, she was packing up!  How in the devil was she doing this?!  INSANE!  No one else left until at least 45 minutes later!  I plowed through and again stayed until the very last.  We now had about an hour and 15 minutes for lunch.  Headed to the car and thankfully I have GPS on my phone (I had planned on eating at the cafe at the school, but it was closed on Sat and Sun) so I found a gyro place and was quite happy with that, only to discover once I got there that it was closed!  GPS'd again and found a sandwich place that was close by, so got there quite quickly.  Texted back and forth to J a bit (remember, he was in Globe, AZ for Grandma Jo's funeral) so our chat was quick because people were starting to arrive.  Mom had left me a message while I was testing so I listened to that while I ate, but didn't call her back knowing she was on her way to Globe for the funeral, after having issues at home with some plumbing apparently.  Back to the test site and parked the car next to someone else studying in her car.  She had the windows rolled down, so I rolled mine down and said, "What are you struggling with?"  She replied, "I'm taking this big test today here."  I said, "CFP?  Me too."  She lightened and we figured out we had the same test (there were 2 books in each session so people wouldn't cheat).  We ran through some questions that had given us issues and it came out that it was her second time taking the test.  We began our walk to the testing rooms, stopping at the bathroom and I told her about the girl in our room that was always done at the half-way mark.  As we exited the bathroom, that girl was there so I excused myself briefly to ask her for her secret.  She laughed and then quite seriously said, "I'm unprepared."  Her friend said that wasn't the case, but she insisted.  I smiled and wished her good luck again, then rejoined my new friend.  Just before we went our separate ways, my new friend asked what company I worked for and upon telling her, she replied, "me too!"  We agreed to wait around for each other so we could swap info after the test was over.  And away we went...last session.

At this point, we're all a little loopy.  We've already done 200 questions and have 85 more to go.  My buddy in my room, said something to the girl who was leaving early about not letting her out (since he was seated by the door) if she tried to leave at the half way mark.  She smiled.  We began again with the instructions and then the test.  And, I looked up at the half-way mark again and there she was, standing up to leave.  I chuckled to myself and continued on.  At this point, I am getting really tired of testing.  Every question I think I know and then they throw something in that derails me!  I did the best I could, of course staying until the last.  I actually had about 30 minutes to review some problem questions when I finished, so did that and because it was me and one other guy, we both agreed to be done and we were let out a couple minutes early.  You are allowed to tell the testing board of questions that you don't see as fair for one reason or another, so I wrote down one that just seemed un-feasible.  At the very least, they review it and possibly throw it out.  I exited and again, I'm empty.  I have no thought.  My new friend wasn't done yet, so I walked outside, sent a text to many friends saying I was done and my "fate was sealed."  Finally, my friend came out and she said she felt devastated.  I won't say that I felt that way, but I definitely felt like I would be lucky to pass.  So many questions with so many little details, probably 25% that I deal with on a daily basis in real life.  We compared answers of questions we remembered for a while.  I gave her my card so she could email me and we could keep in touch back at the office.  Finally asked what planner she worked for and low-and-behold, it is a good friend of my Mom's.  So I have a feeling we'll be talking more and more.  Finally, after an hour of comparing notes, sob stories and what parts of life we can now get back to, we said our good-byes and I headed for home.

Found my way to the freeway, and called my Dad back who had called while I was talking to my new friend, Anna.  We talked about my day and his day (he hadn't been able to go to the funeral because of the plumbing issues at the house) and how things were.  Finally, off the phone and just driving.  Called a couple other people to download and tried to find my Mom and J, knowing they were together and should be heading home from Globe by now.  Finally caught up with them and downloaded the day's events, as well as my new friend, Anna's story.  Beat J to the house and got a huge welcoming from the animals, then unloaded and about that time, J got home.  He had told me he was bringing dinner from Globe, so I just needed a drink at that point.  Sat for a while and discussed the events of the day, while I ate and finally were able to relax and watch TV.  We were both exhausted so headed to bed relatively early for a Saturday night.

Oh - one more thing to remember.  Remember how I talked about the guy in the cram class (Father-of-Twins) that hadn't studied and asked a lot of not-so-smart questions?  Well, I looked for him at the test and I didn't see him.  Said something to new-friend-Anna who was in the room that had A last names, and she asked if his name started with J.  I said yes and she said that there was someone who was supposed to be in their room but never checked in with J for first initial and A for last.  I'm just sayin', that's probably him! He didn't show.  Now this test costs $600 to take, and after October 5th or something, you can't get your money back.  So what a moron he is for not even attempting it and seeing how it felt, even if he was sure he wouldn't pass.  Again, he is an ASU supporter...I'm just sayin'.  He might have helped my "curve" if he was there! ;)

Now I know what you are gonna say, "how do you think you did?" and I really don't want to answer that question.  Don't get me wrong, I knew some answers right off the bat.  But others, like I said before totally threw me and more than a few I totally guessed on.  I don't get my score until January, so hopefully I'll be able to relax through the holidays.  And, if I don't pass, well, then I do it again.  At least now I know what it feels like and a couple things to review.  I'll get it done...either this time or another. 

I know I have said it before, but I will say it again.  Thank you SOOOOOOOOOOOOO much for all the love and support you guys give me, about CFP and all the other stuff.  It does make a difference and I appreciate it greatly! 

I'm off to find some coffee and possibly get in the hot tub.  Have a great one folks!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Probably the last post before CFP exam on FRIDAY! (OMG!)

Hello folks, it's been a long week.  A very L-O-N-G week, and it's only Wednesday.  This will probably be my last post before big nasty ensues!

When last we left, Grandma Jo had just passed and we were recovering...that was very difficult.  You think about calling her, and then you realize you can't.  But, on the upside, I think her hand is behind me as I go for my test!  She always had questions about finances, and while she might not listen to her son (J's Dad), she always at least pretended to listen to what financial advice I had for her.  ;)

Studying was progressing, but very slowly and painfully.  It didn't help that AF showed up Monday Tuesday (I thought she got in Monday, but Tuesday she proved she didn't until Tuesday).  It was a rough one...I was laid out, opting between curled in a ball on the bed and looking for more pain killers.  Boot camp was a "hell-no-go" and the rest of the day I felt pretty blah...actually studied in bed and took a 4-hour practice exam.  Yup, 4 hours.  But somehow I finished about hour 3 and got my highest score to date - yesterday.  Still wasn't over passing, but 1 question away!  Then, last night, J brought in my birthday card from Grandma Jo.  Wow, it was like she knew what was happening.  It was all about believing in yourself.  Who is to say that someone (from above) isn't leading our hand when we pick cards like that?  Not me.  So yup, cried last night.

Today, there was a different energy about than the last 2 days.  I've felt a bit better on the AF front, and almost energized.  I don't know if the adrenaline has started to brew or what, but I took a 3 hour practice test today and get this, scored WAY ABOVE passing!  There is hope!  I also re-wrote a bunch of my notes today so they would be ingrained in my head, the couple subjects that I struggle with - that was before the test.  I felt better as I wrote down the last answer, and then had some intrepidation as I went to score it.  Star after star after star, and as I tallied, hey, way below the amount of wrong answers that would have failed me! 

Tomorrow, I'll go to boot camp (if it kills me, or Meanie Christinie probably will), take the last practice exam, then head to Phoenix.  Study a little more in the afternoon, and then relax with a glass of wine.  Friday, the fun begins.  Test starts at 1 pm (so send prayers before then for calmness) and goes until 5 pm.  Saturday, there's 2 separate sections 9-noon and 1:30-4:30 pm.  So again, prayers before then would be great.  I plan to workout in the morning, at least a little bit, with flash cards in hand, and run a couple questions just to get me in the right mentality.  Then, here goes nothing.

So when we meet next, I'll probably be drunk.  Just kidding, I won't write while I'm drunk! ;) I anticipate being more relaxed, because at that point, all I can do is wait and I can't change my fate at that point.  (Remind me of this notion when I start blathering on about how I think I failed and what not okay?!) 

Off to do a quick study of my notes that I want to remember to transfer to the scratch paper when I get into the test, then make something for dinner and finish up the laundry.

Have a wonderful evening y'all, and before I forget, thank you so much for all the support you have offered here, in person or just via prayer.  I've needed it and I've felt the love.  So thanks again!  Just don't stop until Sat, I mean January when I get my score!


Friday, November 12, 2010

Holy toledo, what a ride we've been on.

To be honest, my head should surely be in a book right now, especially with events of yesterday, but I feel the need to write so I can get some things off my chest and go back to concentrating.

 J's grandma Josephine (Jo) is 82.  She fell on Monday and has been slowly declining ever since.  At one point, we thought she would be fine, but yesterday morning we were told that wasn't the case anymore.  After a good bout of crying from both of us (I always cry, but J never does, so that was hard to see), we decided to drive to see her.  We picked up J's sister along the way and headed to Mesa (2 hours away).  She was moderately coherent when we saw her initially, but that went down quickly.  We tried to wait for her last breath, but she wouldn't give up.  She's always been a tough lady, and last night she showed us her colors.  She wasn't giving up without a fight.  At 8 pm, J's parents essentially kicked us out because we still had to drive home, but Jo was still holding tough.  We tearily said "good-bye" for what we anticipated to be the last time.  Telling her we were okay and she could let go.  When I called about 10 pm to tell J's mom we were home, she verified that Jo was still alive and didn't show signs of going anywhere.  J's dad called at 5:30 am this morning and I assumed, without getting up that she was gone, but when we got up this morning J told me that his dad was just reporting that she was still alive and her heart was beating like crazy.  So now we wait.

So yesterday, there wasn't a whole lot of studying going on.  A lot of crying, yes, studying, no.  I did manage to study on the trip up...despite the radio on and the conversation between J and his sister (so now I know I can do this with distractions!).  But 2 things happened yesterday that I do want to write about.

At one point, as we all were sitting around talking about Jo, it grew very silent in the room and without warning, J's dad said, "You guys are gonna get pregnant now!"  His voice cracked when he said those words.  I lost it.  Although I had cried most of the day, I hadn't outright sobbed and I have never cried like that in front of his family.  Well, that went out the window right quick.  I broke down.  J's parents know how we have struggled and have been amazing at not pushing for grandkids, even though we know they want them bad and we're the only hope for various reasons, going so far as to defend us to their parents who are also ready for great-grandkids, Jo included.  Some people might read this and think he shouldn't have said that, but that is not how it came out at all.  It was said with love and hope and because of the feeling that hung over the room, I had the same thoughts running through my head and he had just said them out loud.  J's sister hugged me, which again doesn't happen often and comforted me.  Jo really wanted great-grand-babies, and I had the fleeting notion that I had let her down by not having them by now.  When I told J that on the way home last night, he quickly told me that was not the case and I told him I knew, but I couldn't help thinking that.  He also then commented, "you know, if we do get pregnant quickly now, what her middle name is gonna be."  I smiled, because I had already noted that myself.

The second thing really didn't happen until this morning.  I do feel bad about not studying yesterday, but given the events of yesterday, the CFP just doesn't seem as important now.  Don't get me wrong, I know it is a big deal but I have been so focused on it that yesterday seemed to be a blatent reminder that there are other things that matter more.  J has thanked me time and time again for going to Mesa with him yesterday, know what was resting on my shoulders.  But this morning as I made coffee and thought about yesterday, I had the thought that "well, if I don't pass, the world won't end" and "there are things more important than a test."  Now, that doesn't mean I have given up or will not be studying my heart out until next Friday (ahhhh!!!), but (and you may need to remind me of this in January if I don't pass), it is just a test.  It's not a life.  I think that revelation actually calmed me down.  A new but dear friend in the financial field (Suz) told me, "if you don't pass, you don't go to CFP detention!"  I anticipate that I will hate to tell people I didn't pass (if that happens), but I've told people this whole time that "no we're not pregnant yet," so I'll be okay if it comes to that...but I have a new found calm right now.  I'm hopeful that it will help and I have Jo to thank for that.

Now, if I haven't made you cry (what, are you made of steel? because I cried all through this post), please remember that what we value so much in life sometimes pales in comparison to life itself.  And that there really are more important things than a test.  Jo taught me that yesterday.  (And today I learned that her newest favorite color was purple - which happens to be mine too - and all of us ladies at the hospital yesterday - J's mom, J's sister and myself - chose to wear purple, not knowing about each other or Jo.  Hmmm....)

Hug the ones you love folks, because someday they may not be there to touch anymore.  And say a little prayer for us...whatever you feel will help right now.

Love you Bleaders!!

(9 minutes after I posted this initially, Jo passed.  Once she was moved back to the property of her assisted care facility, she let go...about an hour after arriving home.  She's in no more pain.)

And a final little note, while J's parents were cleaning out her room today, they found the birthday card she had bought me (my birthday is November 23rd), it was signed and addressed, just needed a stamp.  J and I both cried when he told me that.  J's mom is going to send it to me.  WOW, what a card that will be.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Guiliana & Bill UPDATE and Rules of Engagement (Spoiler alerts again)

Hi folks, have a little time before bed tonight and J wants to watch football, so I'm outta the living room.  I need to catch up on some shows, so here goes.  First Guiliana & Bill from LAST week (it's on again soon), then Rules of Engagement from this week.  Totally different scenarios.

Guiliana & Bill was a hard one last week.  It was the episode after the realization that they had lost their baby of 8 weeks.  I've never been in that situation, so I can only imagine how that feels and it makes me shudder.  I know it makes you stronger, yada yada.  But it just seems like it would feel like the world is crashing down around you.  Guiliana kind of moped around for a while (and I can't blame her, I probably would have hid under the bed with a bottle of rum) while it looked like Bill was ready to get back on the horse.  She needed to deal, and he was ready to start over again and NOW.  Bill pushed her on if she wanted to do it again right away, and she kind of put him off.

He just wasn't getting what she felt like, and how can he?  He's a man.  It's not his body that all this is taking place in.  She talked about how she was feeling and what was going on inside her head.  She opened up to one of her girlfriends who suggested she go see a therapist.  (Note:  Again I say, I have never been in her shoes here.)  Everything she said to that therapist I have thought, and possibly said to someone.  I have blamed myself.  I have felt like a failure as a woman and a wife.  I have felt like I am letting my husband down.  On the one hand, it was nice to hear that other people feel that way.  But on the other hand, I hated to hear that someone felt as awful as I have in the past because it is not a happy place to be.  It is the depths of despair.  I was right there with her in spirit.  The therapist reminded her that she had to explain to Bill how she was feeling.  Letting the feelings out helps.  And Guiliana's RE reminded her that, sadly, miscarriage is very common.  It's the body's way of dealing with a baby who isn't ready to be.  Just saying that feels wrong, but that is what their doc said and I have heard mine say that before too. 

Guiliana finally did discuss the situation with Bill.  He took a step back and listened to her.  The way he explained his feelings were that he knew they were on a timetable because of their ages and as a child he was always taught to "get back on the horse right away" after something didn't pan out.  So he was simply applying that theory.  I understand that theory, but here, sorry to say, it doesn't apply.  When your body has been man-handled like IVF seems, a little break (physically and emotionally) is sometimes what it requires.  He understood in the end, and told her he would back her no matter what.  That is what needed to happen.  I'm very interested to see what happens on the next show. 

Okay, now for happy news.  On Rules of Engagement, a sitcom (not reality TV), Audrey and Jeff have dealt with infertility over the course of the past few seasons.  They've done fertility tests, shots, and now have progressed to searching for a surrogate.  At the end of last season, they had one (Jamie Pressly) and then their buddy (Russell, played by David Spade) on the show "inadvertently" slept with her, so she was "tainted."  This show doesn't talk about it a lot, and it's only 30 minutes and a comedy sitcom at that, so its an interesting perspective on the subject.  Anyway, in this weeks' episode they are again interviewing possible surrogates since they can't get pregnant on their own.  They interview a couple and Jeff, possibly not inadvertently says something to upsets each one of them so they saunter off (one was a Yankees fan, and Jeff is a Mets fan so drama ensued there, while another was overweight and when she got up to leave he said, "guess we'll have to alter our timetable a bit until you have this one").  At these points, Audrey, his wife is seething!  I told J I would have decked him repeatedly had he uttered those words!

Finally, at the end, Jeff and Audrey are at Jeff's softball dinner and Jeff is desperately trying to win MVP of the season.  It's between him and Brenda, the "lesbian on the team",  who also offers great banter with Jeff (played by Sara Rue - who I love).  Audrey asks him to pay attention because one of the surrogates is supposed to call them that evening, and in any event, he misses all six calls because he's more focused on winning MVP of his intramural softball team. Again, she's fuming.  Audrey vents to Brenda that he is dragging his feet and driving her mad, and Brenda says she doesn't understand why it's taking so long.  Finally, the three are together and the subject comes up again and it comes out that Jeff is digging in his heels because the thought of a stranger carrying their child is scary to him.  I have to admit that I saw this one coming, but ... Brenda offers to be their surrogate because she knows them and they know her.  After a split second of discussion, Jeff and Audrey agree and there's lots of hugging happening.  It's a great step for the show, and I feel the media in general!

I'm kind of afraid of when the season will end because I assume that this won't progress very quickly, and I'd love to at least see Brenda get pregnant by the end of the season, and not leave us on a cliff-hanger, but well, they like to do that kind of stuff.  I'm really just glad that someone is broaching this subject...it's way past due!

I've talked before about one of my BFFs, and her sister, who have both offered me their bellies, should we need them.  I hope we never have to take them up on it (only because my dream is to be pregnant myself), but having that in my back pocket, feels really good.  One less hurdle to jump...if all the tests come out right, if we get to that step.  I'll be very excited to see how this goes and the few things that might be broached with this subject along the way. 

Now that I have exhausted my TV mind, I'm gonna go read for a bit and then sleep...allergies are getting to me bad!  Night folks!  (9 days and counting to CFP - YIKES!)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Results and a Glimmer

Hello Bleaders...are you noticing that lately I have two main topics that I write about, and lately neither of them have to do with infertility?!  Well, that isn't really on my mind lately.  It's all CFP clogging my thoughts lately!  Wow, that's a lot of "latelys"!  ;)

Not much time to waste, so we'll start off quick.  Remember how in August I mentioned that I had joined a program at my gym called Elite Performer?  Well, if you don't, here's that post.  This morning was my follow-up appointment and it was mostly good almost all good.  I didn't lose any weight, I actually gained a couple lbs, but I blame it on the wine from Busted Kate's shower yesterday (will post on that later when I have photos), and I didn't reach any further than before.  But EVERYTHING else was improved upon!  Yes, everything.  Just for a recap, here's where I was in August:
Push-ups in a minute:   37
Leg presses at my body weight in 2 minutes: 33
Plank (just hold):  1:45
Treadmill in 15 minutes, 3.0 incline: 1.05 miles

And this morning's (3 months later) results were....(drumroll):
Push-ups in a minute:  47  (Increase of 10!)
Leg presses at my body weight in 2 minutes:  47 (Increase of 14!)
Plank (just hold):  2:10 (Increase of 24 seconds!)
Treadmill in 15 minutes, 3.0 incline: 1.21 miles (Increase of .15 miles!) There was lots of running this time!

Trainer was very happy and said people very rarely increase in the Treadmill!  That's awesome!  It gave me some renewed faith in myself that even though the scale didn't go down, I improved upon my own performance.  There's actually a chance that I will win this thing!!!  Will keep you posted...won't know until January...what is it with test results in January!  Geez people! 

Okay, now for my glimmer...

Let's begin last Thursday...at bootcamp.  One of our campers was having his last day and we were all giving him a bit of a hard time about that.  Anyway, he is an insurance agent (mostly same industry as me, just a different aspect of it).  Before he left, we were chatting a bit (we really push each other and give each other a hard time) and he asked what this big test was that I kept talking about.  I said, "CFP" and he looked at me dumbfounded.  He had no idea what I was talking about.  He is the same industry as me and he doesn't know what the CFP is!  That killed me.  He has taken some of the other tests I had as well, and knew what those are, but CFP had eluded him.  How sad is that?!  Someone in my industry had no idea what I was working so hard for!  Well, then what was the point?!  I should just throw up my hands and quit now!  If even people in my industry don't know what I am busting my butt for, why do it!?  I went home a little dismayed...this doesn't sound like a glimmer does it?  Just hold on for a second...

Yesterday, at Busted Kate's shower (I promise to blog about that later, but need pictures from her...ahem!!) I was trying to mingle, but failing a bit.  At one point I was standing with Busted Kate and she was chatting with a judge she used to work with.  She introduced us and got us chatting a bit, including saying something to the judge about CFP that I was studying for.  The judge started asking me all kinds of questions, and telling me that she knew all about the CFP and how prestigious it is.  She said she would never work with a planner who didn't have those little letters behind their name!  She went on and on and on about how important it was and how great it was that I was doing this.  It really gave me a great lift, especially after Thursday's ordeal.  It gave me a glimmer of why I am doing this and why it is all worthwhile.  There was my glimmer...that, and that I may be able to pull this off.  I just may!  Busted Kate would say to be more positive!  I'm positively trying!

I can do this...I can do this...I can do this!  

I also downloaded "I have confidence" as sung by Julie Andrews in the sound of music.  Hopefully it will help as a reminder as well!  I tried looking for a video, but nada!  So here's the lyrics:

I Have Confidence, as sung by Julie Andrews (Maria - in The Sound of Music)
What will this day be like? I wonder.
What will my future be? I wonder.
It could be so exciting to be out in the world, to be free
My heart should be wildly rejoicing
Oh, what's the matter with me?

I've always longed for adventure
To do the things I've never dared
And here I'm facing adventure
Then why am I so scared

A captain with seven children
What's so fearsome about that?

Oh, I must stop these doubts, all these worries
If I don't I just know I'll turn back
I must dream of the things I am seeking
I am seeking the courage I lack

The courage to serve them with reliance
Face my mistakes without defiance
Show them I'm worthy
And while I show them
I'll show me

So, let them bring on all their problems
I'll do better than my best
I have confidence they'll put me to the test
But I'll make them see I have confidence in me

Somehow I will impress them
I will be firm but kind
And all those children (Heaven bless them!)
They will look up to me

And mind me with each step I am more certain
Everything will turn out fine
I have confidence the world can all be mine
They'll have to agree I have confidence in me

I have confidence in sunshine
I have confidence in rain
I have confidence that spring will come again
Besides which you see I have confidence in me

Strength doesn't lie in numbers
Strength doesn't lie in wealth
Strength lies in nights of peaceful slumbers
When you wake up -- Wake Up!

It tells me all I trust I lead my heart to
All I trust becomes my own
I have confidence in confidence alone
(Oh help!)

I have confidence in confidence alone
Besides which you see I have confidence in me!

And to end a different way today, here's a quote my Daddy (yup, I'm 30 and I still call him that!) sent me before I went to Phoenix for my class that I need to keep repeating to myself:

We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible. 
- Chretien Malesherbes

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Perfect Relationship - then vs. now

WOW, if I had the time to write all the crap that is rolling around on my mind, you guys would be reading for days on end.  I swear, I write the best blogs in my head at the most inopportune times...in the shower, before I go to bed when I am half asleep, as I drive, you name it, and I probably blog during it...except well, BD.  ;)

So where to begin...in the 16 minutes I have left this morning of free time...I'm really trying hard to stick to a study schedule and thus far I think I am doing pretty good.  Totally shut down email and facebook, and it's amazing how much you achieve when those are gone!  

Ok, quick note about CFP: a couple days ago I told you guys that I got the books I wanted online for free (technically because we had already paid for them).  Well, they came in on Tuesday and it was way more than I had imagined.  I wanted 2 books, I got 9, plus the online question bank!  SCORE! Now the only thing that bugs a little is they didn't tell me that before we paid for the course in Phoenix, but at least I have a couple different people's material to study.  The CFP Board doesn't have a course you can take from them, so other companies create their own courses and hope for the best.  Anyway, savings of $395!  1 point for Nikus.

Now to start what I have been writing in my head for days.  The Perfect Relationship.  I am not saying that J and I have the perfect relationship or marriage in the least.  In fact, we are probably the opposite of that...imperfect.  But we fit really well together...more on that later.  Anyway, the other day I was watching a chick flick and it dawned on me that til I got married, that is what I pictured as the perfect relationship, but I sure as hell don't now.  So let me explain...

When I was a little girl, and I played with Barbies, and I created stories for them, it always involved romance.  Childhood romance anyway.  Ken was always taking Barbie on extravagant dates and bringing her flowers and carrying her around the house in his arms.  And it was all very fantasy like and lovely.  Barbie always needed new clothes for her man, and they never fought.  Real, realistic right?  Hey, I was a little girl and I loved happy endings.  

Fast-forward to high school.  I had boyfriends in high school, but more often than not, I was watching other people (friends or not) and their relationships.  How their boyfriend always brought them flowers or fawned over them, and I didn't have that.  I was a little overweight and a little underconfident.  So I lived vicariously through friends and their relationships.   Don't get me wrong, I came into my own, but they never met my expectations of romance...could it have been that I was underage and immature, yup.  Could it have been that I was unrealistic.  Yup.  Anyway, what was sweet back then to me is so very different than now.  Then, roses and dinners out at fancy restaurants were awesome and that's what mattered.  It was awful to have a fight and for a long time, that first fight was often the last because the relationship ended right there.  So let's move on to now...

Again, I say that J and I don't have the perfect relationship, but we do have respect, trust, commitment, love and adoration of each other.  We may not see each other every day or even spend every waking minute together, but I know that when I get home he will be there...at some point.  I don't worry when he is late that he is out with someone else.  I know that he cares about me because I can see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice.  So what is sweet in our relationship...and this could surprise you or you could agree, but here goes.  I love when he does things so I don't have to.  For instance, when I was in Phoenix last week, I knew that when I came home on Saturday I was gonna be tired.  I asked if we could go out to dinner with my parents, thus saving me from cooking.  Without question, he answered yes.  Then, we came home from that (to a house where I hadn't been for 5 nights) the house was pretty close to spotless.  We're not talking just tidy, we're talking clean.  (Side note - I have magnets on our calendar in the kitchen that tell me what chores I need to do that weekend, otherwise I let the cleaning get away from me.)  He had done every task, and a few that I hadn't posted, knowing that Sunday I needed a day to veg and it would save me time and energy.  To me, that is sweet now.  Thinking of how he can help me and make me happy. 

We do fight, but even that has respect.  We don't call each other names, and we try and not yell or cuss.  We've learned that getting the point across, doesn't involve as much yelling as we thought previously.  And throwing things (yes, there was some of that in the olden days) just makes more mess to clean up.  But fighting has its rewards!  

So what is romantic?  At this point, does it matter?  Sure, he gets me flowers when I goad him to on my birthday, but usually he tries to get something that won't die...like our love (he says that, I swear!).  He is a little cheesy sometimes with his lines, but the things he says are so cute and do come out romantic.   Even on my worst day, he'll walk past me and pat me on my behind.  No words, just a little pat.  I know what he is thinking, but to me it means a lot more...adoration, acceptance (that I am not supermodel skinny) and love.  The greatest gift he has given me is support through this whole infertility crap.  When I blame myself, he shoots the thought down.  When I hate my body, he loves my body.  And when my hopes are in the toilet, he pulls them out.  Who needs perfect when you have that?  What is perfect anyway?

Our 7th anniversary is in April 2011, and the "7-year itch" sits in the back of my head.  I don't think we'll have that.  Cross my fingers, but I think we'll be just fine.  

So dear Bleaders, as my time wastes away to write, I ask you to reflect on your relationships and possibly what you hope(d) them to be and what they are.  Maybe what was perfect back then, isn't perfect for you now.  I wish you an imperfect day!


Monday, November 1, 2010

Class Wrap-Up

Hello my lovely Bleaders...here I am, still breathing.  ;)  Let me apologize since this has turned from an infertility blog to a CFP blog.  Sorry, until I take my test this month (yikes, it's this month) and get my score in January, it will be on my mind a lot...and that means could very well end up on your minds.  Once we pass this point, it will be mostly infertility based again, I swear!

Since I took you along to class with me on Wednesday and Thursday, and then bailed on you on Friday and Saturday, I guess I better wrap-up how the rest of the week went.  I'm only giving myself a 30 minute break, and then it is back to the books.

Thursday night, I had looked up more questions to practice with from various sources online.  I looked up where I took my "undergrad" if you will at the College for Financial Planning and they had a bunch, but I couldn't discern which would help me most, so left them a voicemail, hoping to figure it out Friday morning before everyone left for the weekend.  On my way to class on Friday, they called me back and after some bantering back and forth about what was the best option (at $75 a pop for books) it was determined that I had already paid for the books that I was looking at online  and when I asked why I hadn't received them yet, was told they are only sent upon request!  What a load of huey!  Anyway, requested they be sent immediately and saved myself $150 in the process.  Great start to Friday!  Glad I asked a question!

Friday class progressed a little bit quicker, but we definitely had set-backs.  I blame Father-of-twins.  It was now becoming ever apparent that he didn't know a whole lot...quite frightening when some of the stuff was really easy things...at least to those of us who had actually been putting effort in.  Father-of-twins also showed up in slacks and dress shirt, as apposed to his previous two days of shorts, t-shirt and flip-flops.  Oh, and the ring finally appeared, which he consistently played with ALL DAY LONG.  Then it came out that at 4:15 he had to head out to a wedding.  Okay, not so bad, maybe get through more stuff without his silly questions.  We were also given a 60 question Assessment test to do (preferably that night) and return to Prof Steve the next morning for grading and help figuring out what to study.  OY...8 hours of class, then 2 hours of test.  I had smarted up a little bit by this point and when I got my Starbucks, I also got lunch at Subway next door, so didn't have to run out in my 30-min gap.  Father-of-twins left exactly at 4:15 and we got through some information in his absence, but Prof Steve still got off track somewhat.  Dashed out at 5 pm on the dot, and stopped at the Greek place I had eaten at on Wednesday (because it was that good, and mostly healthy) for a greek salad with chicken, and I did splurge and get fries...they were worth it!  Back to the hotel to eat and have a little break, pack most of my stuff up, then TV off, computer off and to testing we went.  WOW, was that hard!  I remember the subjects when they are in front of me being presented, but rifling through the files of my brain to find the answer during the assessment test was hard.  I was very honest with myself though and when I went back after I had finished the test and looked up formulas and stuff, I wouldn't change the answer.  Hey, better to get it wrong on the assessment than on big nasty right?!  Finally, finished about 9:30 pm, called J to say goodnight and climbed into bed to read a bit (or until about 11 pm - very good book - Last Night at the Chateau Marmont by Lauren Weisenburger - same chickie who wrote The Devil Wears Prada) and finally called it a night.  Had to be up really early on Sat to finish packing and check out of the hotel. (Also want to send a shout-out to my girl Suzanne, who has been so awesome at making sure I was still breathing during my whole class schedule...thanks lady, those emails did me A LOT OF GOOD and I'll do the same when you are taking the class!)

Saturday morning, up at 6 am...yes, 6 am on a Saturday is not happy.  But we opted to start class a little earlier at 8 am instead of 8:30 am so we could make-up for some lost time.  Got everything loaded up from the room, and out of the hotel by 7:15 am or so.  I stopped at Starbucks, then Paradise Bakery (to get lunch for later) and then got to class about 7:45 am...plenty of time.  Doors weren't even unlocked yet.  Prof Steve showed up a couple minutes before 8 am and we were off, sans Father-of-twins.  Prof Steve had left him a message telling him we were starting earlier, but as we discussed before he left for the wedding, it was an open bar, so who knows what went on.  He strolled in right about 8:30 am and said he had gotten the message, while he was driving to class.  So much for extra study time for him.  I felt pretty good about myself because I had found (the night before after my struggles with the assessment test) a different way to do one of the formulas, that was actually easier (from previous classes) than the one Prof Steve gave us.  So showed him that and he was impressed.  As was I, remembering an easier formula, than a far more difficult one that gave us the same answer.  YAY ME! 

Let me interject one thing here...I am a University of Arizona (U of A) alumni and grew up hailing to them.  Saturdays in the fall are college game days.  I had worn my U of A t-shirt, knowing there was a game that afternoon.  Father-of-twins walked in wearing an Arizona State University (ASU) shirt, and I immediately deducted smart points from his IQ.  I know some of you don't live in AZ, so I'll explain a bit here.  U of A and ASU have a longstanding rivalry.  HUGE RIVALRY!  We're talking when we play each other, at whatever school, the riot police are there just in case.  Relationships have failed due to this rivalry - I did date one ASU alumni and well, we aren't married are we?  (Although we still heckle each other consistently!)  In fact, my previous boss (whom I ABSOLUTELY ADORE) is an ASU grad (somehow she managed to get out of the school with her brain intact - unlike so many other graduates...need I remind you of this SNL skit...)

Anyway, rivalry is huge and I was none to pleased when I realized I would be spending my game day with 2 ASU supporters (Father-of-twins and Prof Steve)...then I learned I would not only miss part of the game, but ALL OF IT because it started at noon, not 3:30 pm like I had thought.  ARGH!  Oh well, here for a reason right...much more important than a football game.  Well, let's just say that there were lots of slams going back and forth all across the room about U of A vs. ASU, and U of A ended up beating UCLA, so that made me happy....at least I could rub it in right? 

We continue through the afternoon and about 2:30 pm, Father-of-twins reminds Prof Steve that he has to leave at 3:15 pm.  We all inquired why and he said, "I have tickets to the ASU game!"  That sent me reeling.  Really, we're gonna give up 2 hours of the last day of this $1,000 course to go to an ASU football game?  WOW, let me say again...ASU doesn't have some smart fellows.  (The one smart thing he did manage to say was that he "hates people of our generation with the entitlement factor" so I will give him points for that.)  Turns out he didn't even go to ASU, just moved to Phoenix and became a supporter...oy, I could go on and on here, but don't want to digress too much.  ASU did end up winning, 42 to zip, heck of a game right?  Good reason to leave class?  NOT!  Father-of-twins left and we wrapped class 2 hours later.  I got in the car and zipped home...an hour and a half, all the while blogging in my head about the week's events.  Chatted with J a bit, and then my Mom and decided to meet my parents at a place close to both our houses for dinner to download the week's events and have me some good MEXICAN food.  YUM!  Finally got into my house about 8 pm, with J towing in all the bags and settled down for a glass of champagne, hey, I deserved it!

Sunday was spent reading in bed and catching up on DVR...literally, that is all I did!

So now, a brief commentary on my thoughts of the class and if it was worthwhile or if another class would have been better. 

I believe this class was worthwhile, but was another one more worthwhile?  I couldn't tell you. I didn't take another one.  I chose this one (after much debate and price checking) because it was close-by and didn't have a bunch of people in it.  I wanted more close attention and I did get that, and will continue to get that as I continue to prep.  I feel that if I was in a larger class, we might have gotten through more material, but my questions may have gone unanswered and that would stress me out more than I am already.  This class was the only one in the state of Arizona, and I would have had to travel to California, Colorado or even back East for another class which means I am not only messing with a time change, a flight, and a car rental, but a larger class.  Would I have gotten more out of it?  Maybe, maybe not.  Would it have been more structured, quite possibly.  Whatever the case, I will say that I felt more confident walking out of the course than I did walking in.  So, that's a good thing.  Now it is up to me.  No one else is going to take this test for me...that's all me.  So here I go.............................................................

Thanks for listening, and bear with me if I don't blog as much over the next 3 weeks (aaaaaaahhhhhhhh!) as I like, there's a lot going on right now.  After the test, I'm good to be back and even took a little vacation to restore myself!

Thanks for your support Bleaders and have a great week!