27 March 2010

The Internship

Periodically I will be doing some mundane task and it strikes me: In just one and half months, I will be doing this alone. At the very least, for two entire weeks, I will be waking up, eating dinner, doing laundry, sitting on the porch, going to church alone.

I pride myself of my loner-nature and my lack of attachment to people, but there is one person who I can not live without. And I haven't been alone in two long years.

26 March 2010

Quality Time in Law School

Although life has changed significantly from our days in Michigan, where we spent every weekend hiking and biking, and most evenings playing cards, games, and talking, but we still spend a lot of quality time together, it's just usually more productive. Before I got married, a friend of mine told me that after marriage, things like eating dinner together and driving to work together, is quality time.  Now that I'm married, I realize how true this statement is. Sharing a one bedroom, one bathroom apartment with one car means that we spend a LOT of time together not on a date, not relaxing at the beach, and not going for walks. This is the main way that we spend quality time together.

We don't have a consistent date-night, but we usually do spend a few hours on the weekend doing something date-night-ish. We probably eat out (at a restaurant) once a month and get a pizza once a month. We watch about one movie every week and a half together, thanks to Netflix and a modest but respectable DVD collection. I would really like to do something physically active on the weekends (a 30 minute walk in the park across the street would work), but usually we have chores and running around do to, eating up Matt's non-homework time. Hopefully once Season is over, I'll get more done during the week and we'll be able to again.

Life has changed significantly since law school. The way we live, eat, sleep, go about daily life, is different. But it is amazing how quickly a person can adjust to the change and continue to thrive.

22 March 2010

Volunteering

I am home sick today. I got sick Saturday morning, proceeded to be sick all weekend and am still dealing with some residual sickness today. Some sort of stomach bug. Anyway, I haven't updated in a little over a week, so I figured I was overdue.

Matt is still working hard, slightly distracted by March Madness, being the basketball fan that he is and with our Alma Mater in the running. I do my best to keep him focused, glancing over every now and again to see him glued to the basketball game streaming over our Internet and gently reminding him that he has homework.

I, on the other hand, have been working less overtime, which translates to more getting done in my home life. I am also trying to find ways to volunteer in my community. At church, they've been homily-ing pretty hard core about donating time, talent, and treasure. I don't have much treasure, I can barely afford to tithe. I don't even really have time. I have a bunch of odd time because Matt and I share a car and because I randomly work overtime on weeknights and weekends, I don't always know what's going on with my schedule in advance. So I end up with a time slot from 8-10pm on a Wednesday or something. I've been mulling it over and I finally realized two ways I can help:

1. Making baby blankets for local hospitals. I LOVE to knit and crochet, but there isn't much call for yarn goods in a swamp. I picked up a pamphlet at a yarn thing that made this suggestion and I felt particularly called to this "blanket ministry." There is such a huge immigrant population down here, especially from Haiti, Guatemala, and El Salvador. I see the lifestyles of these poor families and it breaks my heart. Plus I can make these any time, most any place, and even in my pajamas on a Wednesday night.

2. I volunteered to be an editor for a Pro-Life magazine. A go-getter guy who goes to school with my husband off-hand mentioned that he wanted to start a Marian magazine that focused on pro-life issues. He'd already gathered the necessary articles and bought the copyright to the name (he's a serious go-getter). But he was lacking in the three areas that are my strengths: design, layout, and editing. Next thing you know, I'm the editor for the premier issue of Maria News.

Anyway, I really glad to have found two ways that I can do something that actually matters, impact society in a positive way, and most importantly, love the least of these (Mt 25:35-40).

15 March 2010

ONE Week Off

Guess what I'm planning for our ONE week off between finals, essays, and internships?

A camping trip!!!!! Old fashion, tent camping, cooking on an open fire style camping. 3 nights, 4 days. I found a state forest 3.5 hours north of here that has great reviews on Trails.com and sounds exactly like what we want. Rustic camp sites with water and access to 43 miles worth of hiking and biking trails. Matt's parents own a cabin on some property in northern Michigan on which we've tent camped before, but other than that, we've never been together, so this should be a lot of fun. Neither of us have ever used a fire as our main source on which to cook. We'd wanted to go up into the Smoky Mountains, but were looking at a 12 hour drive. That's a little too much, so we'll stick with something in this state.

We already own a tent, sleeping bags, camping chairs, and SPIRIT! I've priced out every we'll need (we're on a mega strict budget, as you know).
 
Needs:
-Firewood - $5/bundle + 3 bundles/day =  $15. Hopefully we can avoid this cost by merely picking wood out of the forest, but that might be illegal, so we'll have to see what we can do.
-Pass - $12/day for rustic sites + 3 days = $36.
-Gas - $2.85/gal + 440 miles (round trip) = $55
-Cookware - $22 at BassProShops.com. This is the cheapest thing on their site (this site is surprisingly cheap compared to other sporting goods stores and namebrand sites)


-Dinnerware - $10 (I don't have anything plastic and I'm not using disposable, so cue HomeGoods)
-Lantern - $20 on BassProShops.com. Matt thinks we can make do with flashlights, but I think that for $20 for a Coleman brand lantern, it'll be worth the extra convenience. At the end of the day, it'll come down to price, so we'll see what happens.

-Food - $40. Includes 1 box cereal, pb&j with crackers and bag of apples, 1.5 pounds of cheap-o meat divided up into 6 portions, potatoes, broccoli, and onion. Potatoes and broccoli will roast in tin foil on coals, steak and onion cook in the pans, s'more making materials, gatorade, and drinking water. This price also assumes that we'll have to rebuy everything for the trip. We'll probably already have an open jar of pb, j, a bag of potatoes, etc that will bring this cost down, but I am keeping the numbers high as a "worst case scenario."

For a grand total of $206. In the future, we won't need to rebuy several things, so our future camping trip cost would be $150 (wood, gas, pass, food)

I also want this super cute $60 LLBean Daypack, but this is purely a want and I probably won't spend my precious free-spending money (our allowance to ourselves) on this when we have other things we can make work:


We are also planning to bring a stash of good books, find the perfect reading spot somewhere in the forest, and spend all afternoon enjoying ourselves. I am so excited!!!!

14 March 2010

March Doldrums

Okay, maybe that's exaggerating, after all, I'm sunburnt from yesterday, the highs are in the low 70s and there's not a cloud in the sky. I am more referring to a stretch of time in which nothing exciting happens and life drags on. In Michigan, the sun also refuses to shine, but all the snow melts and the ground is disgustingly muddy. Everything is dreary, and spring is just a little too far away. I always tried to save something for this time of year. In college, I always had Spring Break. At least during that week I didn't have to go school, even if I couldn't travel. Last year we won a free night in a hotel. I made Matt save it until February, when I knew we'd need a vacation. It was a LOT of fun.

Anyway, weather aside, I'm still muddling through Season (March is the busiest month of Season), Matt is still muddling through the reading (Although he got a great score on a quiz in his least favorite class last week), we're in the middle of Lent. I don't have any fun ideas for the next few weeks, so I guess we'll just have to muddle through a few more treacherous weeks. Hell for me ends with Easter (Season runs Thanksgiving to Easter). Lent ends Easter too. However, coming back from Easter Break (yay, Catholic Law School), Hell begins for Matt.

Right in the middle of Matt's Hell Month, is our two year anniversary (April 25th) and we fly back home for one of his best friend's wedding. Then two weeks of finals, two weeks to write a memo as his application to Law Review, THEN ONE WEEK OFF, then he leaves me and goes to Arizona for two weeks as part of his internship. Then HOLY COW it's summer! Maybe these doldrums will pass faster than I think!

07 March 2010

This week and this summer

If I have to do any more photoshoots, I am going to shoot myself. Okay not literatly, but we didn't have any last week (yay clouds!) and I can't believe how far behind I was in at-home chores! Matt was pretty helpful, but there are only so many things he can do when I've got the car. I go soooo much done, it was wonderful!

My boss wants to redo a photoshoot this week from a property he listed a few years ago that hasn't sold. He thinks better photography will help it sell. I am sick of working 50-60 hour weeks. I have almost no time to myself. Ugh. Just when I think we're caught up, more piles up.

I don't get paid overtime, but I am saving up my hours to take vacations this summer. There are so many places I want to go! I really want to go camping with Matt! There is a large state campground inland that I want to visit. We brought out tent and sleeping bags with us to Florida. And I'll need some time for the big news:

Matt got his internship! This summer he has a paid internship with the Blackstone Fellows of the Alliance Defense Fund!
He'll spend two weeks in Arizona (orientation), six weeks "on the field," then two more weeks in Arizona (debriefing). I can't go with him to AZ (at least, I don't think so). He was asked for a list of places he'd prefer to be placed for the field work. Blackstone will do its best to place him there, but no guarantees. Apparently when they place in Florida, it is usually in Orlando. If he ends up there or in Miami, I will try to arrange with work to work from home 2 days/week, so I can spend them in said city. We'll see what happens. All we know right now is that Matt got his dream internship. Details to come, I guess!