April showers…

…are hopefully over soon so that May flowers and sunshine will take over. This back and forth weather in DC is getting to be a tad annoying. Especially after a mostly sunny and warm weekend in Louisiana, I am really ready for an actual spring. It’s almost May – come on!! Next thing you know, it will be June and hotter than hell, with the humidity to go with it.

img_7275This past weekend I went down to good ol’ Lutcher to participate in Relay for Life with the Roussels. This year, we were recognizing several survivors, as well as memorializing family members who have passed from cancer. Importantly, my aunt Rodie is 2 years cancer-free. Her husband, Bozo, recently had a bout with some basal cell on his back, and is now healing. Other family members are doing fine after incidents they’ve had.

As usual, I was glad to spend time with the family down there, and of course, eat all the yummy foods I like. 🙂 I had my shrimp po-boy, boiled crawfish, and some other goodies. But really, just spending time with my family was most important because of how hard it is to get down there these days. I no longer am guaranteed to attend the Roussel pre-Christmas gift opening in December, and I can’t make all the weddings anymore. With me living in DC, going home to Cincinnati has become priority, and the rest of the year I’m making choices on flights between going home or seeing Dan. This time, I paid a high price, but it was worth it. I don’t know when I’ll see them all again – hopefully not another full year from now.

img_7277Despite the many differences between my life and that of my family in Louisiana, I cherish the moments I do get to spend with them. I try to avoid talking politics and some moral issues we differ on. I try to look past some of the small-town thinking that is still prevalent down there, and recognize that we’ve had different experiences. I left the state at 4 years old, and have since lived in three other states. I also have been exposed to a different education, culture, and work life, especially now, with the international development work I am involved with at UNF. In the end, they’re family and that’s what matters.

Now that I’m back at work, things are still busy as we lead up to World Malaria Day, which is Saturday. It’s the busiest time of year at UNF, so things will continue that way until the summer. In other notes, this weekend I’m attending my first Indian wedding, for my friend from my old job. I’m excited to go with all my girlfriends. I know it will be a blast! We’re also going to see our friend Jacqueline’s baby for the first time!

I’m really counting down to June. That’s when Dan comes – and it cannot come any sooner. This will be the first time in awhile that we go so long without seeing each other – it will be 2.5 months by the time June rolls around, from when he was here in May I’m looking forward to all the the things we already have planned – baseball games, a soccer game, probably a concert, and some other stuff. And it’s just nice to have him around every day for a couple of months. Bigger than that, it means he only has one more year of law school left, and we’re that much closer to being together after that. First comes the bar though, I guess. That will be rough. And of course, the Big Question: where will we be in a couple of years? Time will tell…

The Biggest Loser makes me cry. And it makes me want to take action every time I watch it. 5 pounds shouldn’t be THAT hard right?


The usual

When someone asks you how your day was, or your week, or if they haven’t talked to you in awhile, how is life, do you say “the usual”? I say it quite a bit, but when I really think about what has been going on, it’s not always just the usual. If I break down every day and every thing that happened and all the things I remember at the end of each week, it’s not just that I worked out and I ate and slept and worked and showered. It’s maybe that I cried, or got upset with someone, or maybe one day I got a really nice compliment, or I was super productive at work. Maybe I talked to a friend I hadn’t heard from in months, or had a really good meal. The point is, when you think about each moment as individual ones and not lump everything into one, things may not be just “the usual” after all.

Over the last couple of weeks, here are some things that happened that weren’t just the usual for me:

-My long-distance boyfriend visited (every visit is treated as “new”)
-I made macaroni & cheese with Velveeta, and homemade bbq chicken wings. (it had been years)
-my boss said she needed me (who doesn’t like to hear that?)
-I was less hurt about the mess with that certain person and more confident that I’m working through it
-I went to a baby shower (the first one out of my close friends)

There’s more, but that’s just part of it. What are some of the things you’ve done lately that aren’t just the usual?