6.30.2013

Sunday Social

I can't remember the last time I blogged on a Sunday, but I was just really in the mood to do a simple post this morning. I thought, what better way to do that than join up over at the Sunday Social?
 
Sunday Social
 
Questions for today:
 
1. What is your favorite movie of all time?
Oh my gosh...I have the hardest time answering this question when I'm asked. I'm pretty sure my answer is different on every occasion. Today we will just go with Phantom of the Opera...or How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.
 
2. What is your favorite movie quote?
"Nobody puts Baby in the corner." -Dirty Dancing
"I carried a watermelon." -Dirty Dancing, also
Can I also add that as a favorite movie?
 
3. What is the best movie to watch for a girl's night in?
Hm...Bridesmaids of course. Or Pitch Perfect.
 
4. What is the best breakup movie?
I'm going to say Legally Blonde. Elle Woods had it figured out. She cried a little, ate some chocolate, and then kicked butt and made her life a million times better without him.
 
5. Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?
I don't think there are any actresses that I really look like, so just because I love her I'm going to say Mandy Moore. The brunette Mandy Moore. :p
 
6. Which movie star's closet would you like to raid?
Ginnifer Goodwin.
 
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


6.28.2013

Storytime: The Day I Got Hit On at Circle K

My friend Amber and I have had a recurring conversation over the past couple of weeks. Somehow, we have frequently visited the subject of getting hit on, and we have come to a common realization...it doesn't happen a lot.
 
This of course leads to the question of...what in the world is wrong with me? It seems like every day someone has a story about a new "normal" guy hitting on her at the grocery store. While Amber and I are both in relationships and could really care less if we are getting "hit on" or not, the insecure female in us can't help but wonder why we don't have any of these stories.
 
What we do have, however, are ultimate creeper tales. Today, I'm breaking out the storybook and telling you about one of these. I like to refer to him as "Reeses Egg Guy."
 
Picture it, Tallahassee...2013. (Sophia from the Golden Girls, anyone?)
 
It was a lovely spring afternoon here in Florida. I ran walked to my car after leaving the office, started then engine, and realized that my gas light was on. Of course...it always happens when you're not expecting it, am I right? So, instead of turning in the direction of home, I went the opposite way to the nearest gas station.
 
Like any other young adult who had experienced a killer day at work, I was craving caffeine like nobody's business. Therefore, I decided to go inside to pay for my gas so that I could get a drink, rather than paying at the pump. This was where I went wrong.
 
I walked inside, grabbed a Mountain Dew (I know, they're terrible for you...), and headed up to the register. On the way there I got distracted by a display of little yellow packages from heaven. Little yellow packages that only appear around Easter time. You guessed it...Reeses eggs. Now, if you're a Reeses cup connoisseur like myself, you know that Reeses eggs are actually superior to regular Reeses cups, due to the peanut butter to chocolate ratio. Don't act like you've never noticed.
 
So, I grabbed one. Sue me.
 
After a couple minutes of waiting in line I make it to the register. I was so focused on getting out of there and heading home that I didn't even look at the guy as I plopped my stuff down onto the counter and asked, "Can I also get $25 on pump 4?"
 
The response was what made me look up at the cashier. "Why...YES you CAN."
 
It was the voice of a creeper. When I made eye contact with him he was giving me a super creepy smile. I smiled back to be polite, and then he moved on to his next plan of action...talking about my purchase.
 
"Those are them eggs with the bunnies on the commercials right? Where the bunnies lay the eggs instead of chickens?"
 
I knew he was actually thinking of Cadbury eggs, but I didn't correct him and I just kind of laughed because I didn't know how long that conversation could take. He then moved on to asking about my day while I was running my card. He gave me my receipt and I grabbed my stuff and then he struck again.
 
"Now, I've never had one of those eggs, so you'll have to come back and tell me how good it was, you hear?"

Um...NO.
 
I laughed and said okay as I was backing towards the door. He continued,
 
"No, I'm serious. Come back and see me. I'll be watching for you."
 
At this point I just waved and turned around, bolting out of the door before he could say anything else. After I pumped my gas and got in the car I just laughed. Then I began to question whether or not it was really creepy, or if he was just being polite. Considering that he didn't say two words to any of the customers ahead of me, I'm going to go with my initial reaction.
 
So, while I'm certainly not the only girl that has been hit on in a gas station...I don't really know how many can say that they were hit on at the expense of a Reeses egg.
 
And that concludes today's story hour. Maybe some other time I will share my second gas station experience, or the time the guy chatted me up in Payless. Or maybe both. It depends on how much I'm ready to embarrass myself. Don't get too excited.
 
Have a great weekend!
 


6.27.2013

Mesmerizing

I would describe pretty much every single one of my work days from the past couple of months as a "long day." When 5:00 rolls around, I'm typically tired, mentally drained, void of emotion, and just overall uninspired.
 
Sometimes it's really easy to forget all of the beautiful things that the world has to offer us. Our senses allow us to percept these things in more than one way...through smell, visually, audibly...the list is really never ending. How can we take these things for granted? We don't even realize that the mundaneness of our daily lives can build up an immunity to all of the mesmerizing things around us.
 
Last night I was playing catch up on one of my favorite shows...So You Think You Can Dance. I absolutely love the performing arts, and I think this show does an amazing job of portraying the art of dance. On last week's top 20 reveal episode, choreographer Christopher Scott created a piece for the top 10 guys in the competition. He used a simple "prop"...sand. This, combined with his brilliant choreography created something truly awesome to watch. Check it out for yourself.
 
 
I realized after the number ended that I had been smiling the entire time. It was beautiful. It was the first thing in a while that I feel I have truly appreciated. Which made me wonder, how much happier would our lives be if we really appreciated the simple things?
 
Things like...
 
The way the sky lights up with lightning right before a storm, and you can momentarily see the surroundings that were once covered in darkness.
 
Falling asleep to the sound of that storm's rain on the roof.
 
All of those wildflowers that bloom on the side of the highway during the summer.
 
The smell of your favorite home-cooked meal being prepared.
 
Seeing your guy all dressed up.
 
The happiness on a dog's face when he has his head hanging out of the car window and his ears are flapping in the breeze.
 
That feeling you get when you're doing something you love...like you have truly fulfilled your purpose in life.
 
Genuine laughter and happiness.
 
Having all of your favorite people together in the same room.
 
These are the types of things that keep a person sane. These are the everyday occurrences that inspire your thoughts, actions, and accomplishments. Every now and then, we just need a little reminder of how fortunate we are to be able to experience them.
 
Now I'm smiling at the fact that this entire thought process was inspired by a little bit of sand.
 


6.26.2013

Can I See a Show of Hands? (Guest Posters Needed!)

[I was able to fill all five guest post spots...thanks to everyone who is helping out! If you're interested in guest posting some other time, please shoot me an email and I will put you on my list. :)]

Two posts in one day...look at me go!
 
This is going to be short, I just wanted to go ahead and throw the idea out there. I will be traveling the week of July 8-12, and I'm pretty sure I won't have time or internet to do any posts that week.
 
Is there anyone that would be interested in guest posting here at Young, and In Progress? I would like to see at least three posts happen that week, but if enough people are interested I could have up to five...one for each day Monday through Friday.
 
I don't have any strict guidelines...the post can be about whatever you like. All I ask is that you keep it clean and not use inappropriate language because that's what I strive to do. It can be sarcastic, funny, encouraging, a personal story...whatever comes into your mind!
 
If you're interested, please email me at youngprogress0812@gmail.com with your blog name and idea for a post.
 
I would really appreciate it, and will return the favor someday if needed! :) Thanks y'all!
 


Post College Misconceptions

The one year anniversary of my college graduation is quickly approaching. All I can say about that is...for real? These past ten months have flown by, and in ways, I feel like I have learned more during this year than my entire four years of college put together.
 
At this point, most of my friends are college graduates as well. We have been talking a lot lately about all of the changes that happen after graduation, and how a lot of our expectations have been turned upside down. A lot of young adults fall into the notion that after college, everything is going to go perfectly according to plan. I felt like that. My friends have felt like that. When we were handed that degree, we were confident in the direction that we were planning to take. After all, that's what college is for, right? To prepare you for perfectly mapped out careers and responsibility?
 
This leads me to my first post-college misconception.
 
 If you have a plan, you are good to go.
Not necessarily. More times than not, something is going to change. Maybe you don't get the job or the internship that you were counting on. Maybe you can't afford to move to that new city that you are determined to settle down in. Maybe grad school is just not in the cards right now. From my own experience, along with learning about the paths that others take after graduation, it seems that most recent college grads have to take jobs that they didn't foresee themselves doing, or creating a completely new plan at the last minute. This can be a negative thing, but it can be a positive too. Sometimes it's just hard to let go of that path that you had imagined for yourself for so long.
 
Something else that college grads look forward to is a steady paycheck. This brings us to misconception number two.
 
I'm going to have so. much. money.
That full-time paycheck may be two, or even three or four times as much money as you made at your part-time, college job. And let me tell you, it is so exciting to see that first direct deposit go into your bank. You will feel momentarily rich. But...then you have to pay bills. Maybe you have always had to pay rent, but do you remember those other bills your parents used to cover for you? Car insurance, cell phone, health insurance? Oh, yeah...those are yours now too. Add those to your rent, utilities, gas, and groceries...and you may have enough money to go see a movie or something after it's all paid.
 
And what is the one thing that a college grad looks forward to more than a pay check?
 
No more homework? Look at all of the free time I have!
It's true...not having to stay up until the early hours of the morning writing papers on who knows what is pretty awesome. After 16+ years of being a student and doing homework, you kind of don't know what to do with yourself when you don't have any. But, that 40+ hour a week job takes more out of you than you think. It's basically like doing homework all day long...and at the end of the day, you don't want to do anything but your necessary work out or errands, eat dinner, and go to sleep. Then you get to wake up and do it all over again. I'm not going to lie though, the vacation time isn't bad. That definitely makes up for everything else.
 
Life always has lessons to teach us. This is just another phase of maturing...even if we don't like it.
 
What are some of the things you have learned in your time out of school?
 


6.25.2013

Why WebMD is a Bad Idea

Sometimes smart people do dumb things. This is not a new concept. I had one of these moments a few days ago.
 
Friday night, I slept in my makeup...which I literally NEVER do. I'm not really sure why I did it that night. I must have been awfully tired. Anyway, I paid for it on Saturday morning. I woke up with waterproof mascara ALL. OVER. THE. PLACE. If you're a woman, you know what a pain this is. One does not simply wash off waterproof mascara.
 
So I'm in the shower, scrubbing my face for dear life...being particularly rough around the eye area. I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to do that, but I did it anyway. I guess at some point I decided it would be a good idea to open my eye, and when I did...my fingernail attacked it. I've poked myself in the eye before...but this HURT. I thought my eyeball had fallen out and washed down the drain. Don't worry, it was still there when I got out of the shower...looking incredibly red. I figured it would be just like any other time the mascara wand decided to pay my pupil a visit and the redness would be gone within an hour.
 
Wrong.
 
Three days later, it still looks like this.
 
 
Most of my social encounters over the past few days have went a little something like this:
 
"Miranda...what did you do to your eye?"
"Um...I poked it."
"Well, why did you do that?"
"I didn't do it on purpose..."
 
I've made John put his med school knowledge to the test the past couple of days and look at it. Last night he told me that he could literally see the scratch. I thought he was just being dramatic, but upon this morning's inspection...there is definitely a raised area like when a scratch scabs over...except on my eyeball. GROSS.
 
So I did what any woman would do...I got on WebMD and searched "scratched eyeball." Obviously my medical terminology is outstanding. Ten seconds later, I've diagnosed myself with a "Corneal Abrasion" and I'm reading all about how I'm on the path to being blind in my left eye. I sent Amber a Snapchat that said,
 
"I have a Corneal Abrasion!!!"
 
She sent one back that said,
 
"Miranda, get off of WebMD!"
 
Caught in the act. Of course I continued reading, and it just told me everything that John had already clarified. If it gets worse, go to the doctor. Don't touch it. It's just a scratch. Don't let it get infected.
 
Stupid WebMD. It scared me to death, then told me it was actually a minor thing. Next time, I'm listening to the boyfriend.
 
What have we learned from this?
Don't sleep in waterproof mascara...or you will have a scary demon eye for days.
 


6.24.2013

Double Movie Dosage and Other Weekend Stuff

I am crazy tired today and I'm not really sure why, considering the fact that I took a three hour nap yesterday and was still in bed by 10:30 last night. I still feel like I could sleep all day. However, I'm trying really hard not to be grumpy. It's a new week...a new time to grow and mature and search for life's next great opportunity.
 
This weekend was really nice, even though it flew by as usual. Friday was pretty low-key. After work I had dinner with a few friends and then spent the rest of the evening being lazy. That's just what I was in the mood for that evening. Amber and I sat on our front porch talking and watching the rain for about an hour, and then I heard all of the bridal shows on TLC calling my name...so I caved and spent the rest of the evening watching them in my room.
 
Saturday was a really great day. I mentioned on Thursday that my family had gotten back from their cruise, so they came up to Tally on Saturday morning to spend the day with me. My dad's birthday was yesterday, so we celebrated a day early. We had lunch at Outback, which was delicious.
 
 
Then, even though Dakota and I are 18 and 23 now, we decided to relive the past and go see an animated movie as a family...Monsters University, of course! It was ADORABLE, and I think I may have enjoyed it more than some of the children in the audience. If you need a smile brought to your face, go watch it.
 
After the movie we had a little time to waste, so we went over to Barnes and Noble to buy everything look around. I found a couple of books on sale..including the follow-up novel to The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, and a really nice hardback copy of Les Miserables. I got both of them for around $15 total. Bargain? I think so. Daddy also found a book he wanted, so I bought that for him for his birthday.
 
John made it back into town from North Carolina around 4:00 (Yay! I missed him!) so we met him for ice cream at Marble Slab Creamery. I've been wanting my dad to try the peanut butter galaxy...John and I's favorite. It was extremely hot here on Saturday...perfect time for ice cream. Afterwards, my family left to head home, and guess where John and I headed? Back to the movie theater for some Superman.
 
We wanted to see the IMAX showing that didn't start for another hour and a half, so we bought tickets and then went...you guessed it...back to Barnes and Noble to waste time, ha ha. Don't worry, I didn't buy anything else, even though I wanted to. We enjoyed the movie, and it ended in time for him to come hang out at my place for a while and catch up. I don't like not seeing him for over a week, but I'm glad he's back for a few days before he moves for his third year of med school.
 
Sunday was the epitome of lazy. I woke up for a couple of hours to shower, clean, and eat some lunch. Then I fell asleep while watching Toddlers and Tiaras and didn't wake up until three hours later. Best nap of my life? Perhaps.
 
The rest of the evening was spent at John's, eating dinner and watching some TV. We watched an episode of Chuck and then sat nervously glued to the TV watching the guy walk the tightrope across the Grand Canyon. I'm pretty sure I was more nervous than he was...but it was pretty darn cool!
 
Well, that's about it for my weekend. Oh...I almost forgot to show you the pretty bracelet my parents brought me from the Bahamas. It matches my watch perfectly! I love it.
 
 
John also brought me back an adorable handmade stuffed pig from North Carolina. I don't have a picture of him though, so I will share him another time!
 
What did you do this weekend?
 


6.21.2013

Friday Photos

 If Friday were a person, I could throw pebbles at it's window in the middle of the night, then sing it a romantic, hand-written love song in the pouring rain, and I still don't think it would understand how stinkin' happy it makes me.
 
Call me dramatic, but I am 100% serious.
 
I had another post planned for today, but I have decided to save it for one day next week, so...I'm just going to share a few pictures from the past few days instead.
 
 I received a sweet little surprise in the mail yesterday. My mom sent me this adorable card with my favorite animal on it. (Yes, my favorite animal is a pig. Don't judge.)
 
 
Thursday's throwback picture. I have literally loved books since I was old enough to hold them! I would just also like to point out that my belly in this picture actually looks like Winnie the Pooh's belly on my pajamas. Chunky child problems...
 
 
 A manuscript I submitted earlier in the week. Waiting patiently to see if it's accepted! If it does, that will be a major milestone in my writing career. So excited!
 
 
My family got back from their cruise yesterday. (I stole this from my mom's blog!) I can't wait to see them and hear all about it! Yes...my brother does have a mohawk. Come on, y'all were 18 once too.
 
 
My handsome guy will also be back from vacation this weekend! This is one of the pictures from his trip. I haven't seen him in over a week, and I can't wait to give him a big hug!
 
 
So, what's on your weekend agenda? I hope you all have a great one!
 
On an ending note, have you entered this giveaway yet? You haven't? What are you waiting for?
 
Also, I'm being featured over at Kelley's blog today!
 
 


6.20.2013

You Know You Want Free Stuff

 
Hey y'all!
 
Today is a very exciting day here on my blog because I am participating in my very first group giveaway! I am joining Allie over at Tales of a Twenty-Something, along with a few of her other lovely sponsors to offer you guys the chance to win some pretty fun stuff!
 
It's super easy to enter...you can check that out at the end of this post, over on Allie's page, or the other blogger's pages as well!
 
Good luck! :)










6.19.2013

The Irony of Productive Sick Days

You may have noticed that I was M.I.A. yesterday. There was no blog post, no tweets...not even an Instagram photo from me around ye olde internet. I'm actually perfectly okay with that though, because I really needed a day like yesterday.
 
I have always had major issues with ear infections and swimmer's ear. Ever since my trip to the beach on Saturday my ears have been driving me insane. I decided to work all day Monday, but I woke up yesterday morning feeling awful and I knew that stuff just wasn't going to happen that day. Needless to say, I called in and used 8 hours of my precious sick leave time.
 
My favorite part about yesterday? I finally subscribed to Hulu Plus. It's free for a while and then only $7.99 a month, so I figured what the heck? The result of this decision was me lying in bed for about five hours straight watching three episodes of The Bachelorette, and then one episode of Saturday Night Live. I'm not going to apologize though, because I would be lying if I said it wasn't enjoyable.
 
Here's the thing about me...I always say that I literally just want one day to lay in my bed for the entire day and do nothing, but it just never happens that way. Even though I wasn't feeling well, I was bored to death by about 2 PM. So after I downed two packs of ramen noodles (yes...two...I was hungry), I proceeded to put away the three loads of laundry that have been sitting in my bedroom floor since Friday. Following that I dusted my room, shaved my legs, gave my nails a much needed repainting, and worked on an article that I needed to submit to the magazine I've been in touch with. I actually even finished it before the night was over. It's been submitted, and I'm praying that it will be used if it's meant to be!
 
What have I learned from all of this?
I'm not so sure I understand the concept of a sick day.
 
 
 


6.16.2013

Daddy's Day

I couldn't let today pass without giving a shout out to the first guy I ever loved...my Daddy!
 
 
He is truly the most protective, loving, sacrificial man I have ever known. My brother and I would not be the people we are today without his influence. He's on a cruise right now, so this is the first Father's Day ever that I haven't gotten to see him. I'm sure he is still having a great day though! And he better be getting some sun for me. ;)
 
Love you Daddy! Don't ever forget it!
 


6.14.2013

Quirk Confessions

As human beings, we all do strange things. We all have those little quirks and habits that we don't always tell other people about. No one wants to receive the "you're crazy" look. That's no fun. Sometimes though, I think it's best to just go ahead and share some of the quirky things you do.  There will always be someone out there who can relate! And in the end, it's always best to be honest...especially with yourself. In honor of an upcoming weekend full of craziness, I'm sharing some of the quirky/silly things that I plead guilty to.
 
The doe-eyed Bambi.
This tends to happen when I'm really concentrating. I have a really bad habit of raising my eyebrows and opening my eyes super wide...which makes me look startled all the time. I tend to do this when I'm looking at something on the computer at work, or even just writing an article or blog post like I'm doing now. The same thing would happen when I would take tests in college. I guess I also do it when I'm talking to coworkers. I've had them ask me on more than one occassion if everything is okay. It's okay folks, I'm not afraid. Just concentrating.
 
Lunch hour nap time.
At least once a week I will skip out on eating lunch, close my office door, and legitimately take a nap in my desk chair. I'm always afraid someone is going to walk in and find me in a dead sleep. Not gonna lie though, they're pretty awesome naps.
 
First thing I do when I get home? Check behind the shower curtain.
I am deathly afraid of my house being broke into. That's just an irrational fear that I have. When I walk into my room after being gone for the day, I always check behind the shower curtain. Maybe that's a little paranoid, but I just feel better if I do it!
 
The "Nah, I'll just start over."
Most things that I work on nowdays are on the computer. However, if I'm ever working on something that involves handwriting on a piece of paper and I mess up, I can't just cross it out and go on. I have to get a completely new sheet of paper and start from the beginning. I used to rewrite my notes when I was still in school if there were too many scribbled out words on the paper. I just like things to be neat! I know..."ain't nobody got time fo dat." Except for me I guess.
 
Compulsive showering.
I literally cannot leave the house without a shower, even if I just had one the night before. I also have to wash my hair every day or it drives me insane. (I know...that's bad for it.)  There are many days that I shower twice. I just really like to be super clean all the time I guess.
 
What are some of your quirks?
 
I hope you all have a great weekend! Anything exciting planned? Tonight I'm having dinner with some friends, Saturday I'm going to Wild Adventures theme park and Sunday will be the usual church and relaxation. I'm looking forward to it, and I'm sure I will talk more about it on Monday!
 

6.13.2013

Just Call Me Oddball

So, remember just a few posts ago when I said that I wasn't quite ready for a custom blog design yet?
 
Well, I lied. The more blogs I read and the more cute designs I saw, I just couldn't take it anymore. So I took the plunge.
 
Obviously things are looking way different around here! I could not be more in love with the design that Erin at Love, Fun, and Football created for me. She took everything that I told her I wanted and made something completely adorable...in record time too! I literally contacted her one day, paid the next, and it was installed on the third. She is also super sweet, which made things even better. Thanks again Erin! If you're blog needs a makeover, make sure to go see her, you hear?
 
There is another reason that today is a special day. It's this kid's birthday!
 

That's right, my baby brother is 18 years old today! It's a little scary to think that we are both officially adults. I hope he doesn't mind that I'm putting a picture of him in his underwear for all of the internet to see. ;)
 
I'm actually the only member of my family who doesn't have a birthday in June. My mom's was just a few days ago on the 5th, Dakota's is today, and my dad's is coming up on the 23rd. I'm the lone September baby, which I guess makes me the odd girl out! I suppose I'm okay with that though. I've had almost 24 years to get used to it!
 
Well, I'm off for now. I'll see y'all tomorrow...on FRIDAY!!!
 


6.12.2013

Learn From Where You Go

It has been a super long day. I left the house around 7:45 this morning, and just returned home about 30 minutes ago...which would have been 9:45 or so. That's 14 hours on the go. These kinds of days just leave a person wiped out!

I went to John's right after work to spend the evening with him. I'm trying to spend time with him whenever possible. We haven't seen each other as much for the past few weeks since he has been studying for a major exam. He completed that yesterday, and now his family is getting ready to leave for a vacation tomorrow. They will be gone a little over a week. Then, upon his return, he will be here in town for a few days, but then he's moving to another town about an hour away to do his third year of med school in a rural hospital. Luckily it's not that far, so I will see him most weekends. It will just be different, and it makes me sad to think about it too much.

My parents and my brother are also getting ready to leave for a cruise on Saturday. I'm happy that they are getting a nice little vacation, and I know they will have a blast. However, all of these people I know are taking vacations and it's making me itch to go somewhere! I want to travel so badly I can hardly stand it! Does anyone else go through these phases? Sometimes I just get these crazy urges to throw some clothes and a toothbrush in a bag, hop in the car, and go. It gets mundane doing and seeing the same routine things every day. I want to see someplace new...and learn something life changing. I feel like this pin I found explains it perfectly.




The good news is, in just a few weeks I will be going up to Pennsylvania for a week or so to visit family. It's going to be a nice trip, and I'm looking forward to the drive and taking tons of pictures to share! Are you all going anywhere special this summer?
 

6.11.2013

Why I'm Not a Med Student: A Tribute to My Guy

There's an old saying that goes a little something like this:
 
"Some people were meant to be doctors, and some people were meant to date them."
 
Oh, what? That's not an actual saying? Maybe I just made it up then.
 
It's no secret that being a doctor is not an "easy as pie" career. Physicians have one of the most important professions in the world. They strive to not only help individuals live a healthy life, but also to cure those that have been diagnosed with terrible diseases. It's a career that you can't simply "leave on the desk at 5 PM." The work requires copious amounts of passion and dedication.
 
Something perhaps not as often thought of when it comes to doctors, is the amount of schooling that they have to undergo in order to be given that title. We know that medical school is no joke, but most don't witness the hours and hours that are dedicated to studying and other requirements. I have been dating a med student for the past nine months, and I have to say that I have an even deeper appreciation for those that decide to go into this field. I have had the privilege to see John become excited over what he is doing. I have witnessed his undying motivation to improve and succeed. I have learned that it truly takes a special type of person to succeed on this career path. Sure, they have to have a brilliant mind, but more than that...they have to have a heart for the greater good.
 
Isn't he a cutie?
 
Today, John takes a very important step in his schooling. He has reached the halfway point of med school, and he now has to pass his board exam in order to move forward into his third year. Somewhere in a room across town, my sweet guy is taking this eight hour exam. I have watched him study diligently over the past few weeks and I know he has been under a crazy amount of stress. So, in order to maybe lighten his mood a little and bring a smile to his face, I'm going to share a few reasons why I, myself am NOT a med student.
 
1. I am pretty much the worst Science student you will ever meet.
If you had asked me what my least favorite subject was in the fifth grade, and then ask me again today, the answer would be the same. Science. Whether it's Biology, Chemistry, Environmental...whatever...I am not even remotely good at understanding the concepts. From what I understand, you kind of have to have a knack for science to be a doctor. Who knew?
 
2. Blood and needles make me woozy.
I have to mentally prepare myself to get a finger prick when I get a checkup. It's not a pretty sight. I wouldn't last half a second in the operating room. I would probably faint before I even finished putting on all of my sanitary clothing.
 
3. I cry at the drop of a hat.
I believe that compassion is an important characteristic of someone who is going to be a medical doctor, but in my case it would be a negative characteristic. I become way too emotionally attached to people and situations. Patients and families want someone who can be supportive and reassuring, not someone who just stands there and bawls like a baby in a sad situation.
 
4. My handwriting is too nice.
Don't pretend like you have never heard the stereotype that doctors have bad handwriting. Come on, it's not even a stereotype...because we all know it's true! Doctors have awful penmanship. Mine is quite good. I can't check that qualification off of the med school application.
 
5. My attention span for studying lasts about two hours at the absolute most.
John studies for about twelve hours a day. That sounds like torture to me. I can't remember stuff after a couple of hours!
 
6. I don't like hospitals...or even doctor's offices.
Yeah...probably wouldn't make much sense to have to work somewhere that makes you hyperventilate.
 
7. I can't pronounce drug names.
I just have one question...who names drugs? I consider myself to be fairly educated in the art of reading and pronouncing words. But, I can't even halfway say the names of these drugs without sounding them out like a first grader.
 
8. I look terrible in white.
It's true. Being of a fairer skin tone, I just don't think that white coat would do anything for me.
 
You see my points?
 
Basically, I just wanted to use this post to not only wish John luck on his exam, but also to encourage other med students. They are doing an awesome thing. I feel so fortunate to have a boyfriend that is overcoming every obstacle in his path to achieve his calling.
 
 
I love you so much John, and I am praying for you always. I couldn't be more proud of you. You're going to kick butt on this exam and move on to the next journey in your schooling.
 


6.10.2013

"I Made Macaroni!"

And like a thief in the night, Monday has come again. This day of the week is so sneaky. It kind of scares me.
 
Welcome back to responsibility, folks! I hope y'all had a weekend as fabulous as mine. In true weekend fashion it was busy and relaxing at the same time.
 
After work on Friday I attended my friend Amber's jewelry party that she hosted. Partly because I was curious to see what a jewelry party consists of, and partly because she is also my roommate whom I love dearly and she asked me to come. But...the deciding factor for my attendance was the fact that it was at our house, and well...I live there. I couldn't exactly hide in my room the whole time. The guests would think I'm creepy.
 
After the party I drove across town to John's house to spend the evening with him. The first thing we did was drive over to Marble Slab Creamery for our favorite ice cream...the appropriately named Peanut Butter Galaxy. It consists of chocolate ice cream, with peanut butter, Reeses cups, and Reeses Pieces mixed in. I don't remember how we discovered this frozen treat, but it's basically the only kind we want to eat now. However, it probably has about 1,500 calories in it, so we only eat it every couple of months. I should have taken a picture of it to share, but frankly, I was more concerned about getting it back to his house and eating it. I did take time to pause and take a picture of the sunset that evening. I always love when it sets behind clouds and outlines them with light.
 
 
Back at his place we watched The Truman Show. I love Jim Carey, but somehow I had never watched this movie. Has anyone else seen it? I was skeptical at first because it was a little confusing, but everything came together in the end I liked it. To sum up the plot, Jim Carey is basically the main character in a show about his life. The twist? He doesn't know that he's being filmed.
Oh, you're probably wondering about the title of this post. It's actually a line from the movie. Since Truman's show is broadcasted live, the producer has to sneak in advertisements, and the macaroni statement was just one of the funny ones.
 
Saturday morning, my mom arrived to spend a couple of days with me. After sitting at my house for a while, we drove over to meet John's mom for lunch. It was nice to sit and spend some time with them together. They are both teachers, so we certainly didn't run out of things to talk about!
 
When we were full, we headed off for a day of shopping. My parents and brother Dakota are leaving Saturday to go on a week long cruise for Dakota's senior trip so my mom has been looking for cruise clothes. She had really good luck, especially at TJ Maxx, Beall's, and Ross. We were wiped out by the end of the day, so we made a quick stop at Winn Dixie to buy groceries. When we got back to my place, I made a dinner of queso and chips, tacos, and brownies for Mama, my roommates, John, and some other friends.
 
Sunday morning we slept in a little, and then headed out to finish up the shopping spree. This time we made a visit to Barnes and Noble and Burlington Coat Factory, then had a delicious lunch at Jason's Deli. She left town around 4:00 and as always, I was sad to see her go. I'm glad she at least gets to come spend weekends with me every now and then. I'm also kicking myself a little now for not taking any pictures this weekend! I guess we were just in the shopping zone.
 
I spent the rest of the evening taking a a little time to myself. I sat in bed and watched a marathon of Sex and the City while working on the next chapter of my book that I have been writing. I have 6 chapters finished now, and I'm aiming for 25. I have a new goal to finish it by the end of July.
 
 
It's sad to be at work after such a good weekend, but there's always another one around the corner!
 


6.07.2013

5 Things that Make Office Life AWKWARD

For the past nine months, I have spent the majority of my waking hours at work. It doesn't take long to realize that, just like college or high school or any other life situation, some of the circumstances that you find yourself in are just flat out awkward. Here are five things that fluster me more and more every day.
 
1. Getting called the wrong name.
I have been an employee here for over two years now...and nine months of that has been full time. Yet, I am still getting called "Amanda" on a weekly basis. I feel really rude when I have to interrupt someone to correct my name, so as sad as it is, I typically just answer to whatever they come up with. The best part about it? I have a name plate on my door that clearly says "Miranda." What's a girl to do?
 
2. Bathroom conversation.
Come on, you know what I mean. A coworker arrives at the bathroom door precisely as you do, and a friendly conversation begins. You walk in, judge each other if neither picks up one of those sanitary napkins you place over the toilet seat, and then go into stalls next to each other. And the conversation continues...while all that you wanted was a nice peaceful trip to the bathroom.
 
3. The office across the hall.
This is one of my favorites. It's especially great when  the doorway across the hall is not only lined up with yours, but the desks also happen to be in the same position. You see, when this happens, you occasionally look up from your computer at the same time as the person in the other office, and what happens then? Awkward, unintended eye contact. Then you have to make a decision. Do you smile? Or do you make things even more weird and avert your eyes to the wall or floor? Maybe the door should just stay closed. But, then it gets so stuffy. It's a lose/lose situation.
 
4. Over-sharers.
I'm all for having friends at work, and even having conversations on a personal level. What gets weird though, is when someone you don't really know makes camp in your extra office chair and tells you all about their marital problems, or the results of drinking one too many margaritas at happy hour. Um...I'm not QUITE sure how to respond to that. So I just sit there, and listen.
 
5. The Office Grump
What do you typically think the right thing to do when you pass someone in the hallway is? Smile and say hello, correct? Or am I wrong about that? It's upsetting when a smiley greeting is returned with cold, dead eye contact. Mental note...this person does not like friendliness.
 
Can you all relate?
 


6.06.2013

That Time I Became a Seminole

If you're a Floridian, or even just a fan of sports, you probably know that The Sunshine State is home to one of the greatest college rivalries in history. The teams I'm referring to?
 
The Florida State University Seminoles, and the University of Florida Gators.
 
With that being said, today we are going to have a little story time.
 
In the post I dedicated to my brother Dakota's graduation, I mentioned that I spent a couple hours during my time at my parent's house last weekend looking at old pictures. While I was doing so, I came across some...well, very incriminating evidence to say the least.
 
 
This is a photo from a time period that I don't really speak of. No, I'm not referring to the terrible bangs, the peace sign, or even the pre-braces gap between my teeth. I'm talking about what's on my face. THOSE LETTERS. U.F. In Gator orange and blue.
 
You see, for most of my life...I was a Gator fan. I grew up in a small town about 45 minutes from Gainesville, where EVERYONE is a Gator fan. My parents were, and most of my friends were. Therefore, so was I.  I wore the tshirts. I watched the football games. I remember in elementary school, to help raise money for the March of Dimes and other organizations, each grade level would have a contest that involved two buckets...one for the Gators, and one for the Seminoles.  You could put whatever change you had into the bucket of your choice, and at the end it would be counted and the winning side would be revealed. Guess what bucket my change went into?
 
Here is where things began to change. In my Junior year of high school, I was faced with a decision that all high school upperclassmen have to face....Where was I going to go to college? University of Florida, right? That's where everyone wanted to go. Surprisingly though, I didn't really want to.
 
The beginning of my Senior year, I sat down at the computer and filled out half of a University of Florida application. At that halfway point, I closed it out and never went back to finish it. I didn't know where I wanted to go to college, but for some reason I knew I wasn't meant to be a UF student. The end of my Senior year came to an end, and I still didn't know where I wanted to go. Therefore, I enrolled at a local community college for my first two years.
 
In my second year of  working on my AA degree, I realized that I really needed to choose a university to finish my schooling at. One of my older friends from church was finishing her degree at Florida State, and she invited me to come spend a weekend with her in Tallahassee. She gave me tours of the campus and the city, and to my surprise, I fell in love. I bought my first garnet and gold tshirt that weekend. I applied to FSU to finish my Bachelor's degree, and I got in.
 
Moving to Tallahassee was the best decision I have ever made. I met awesome people. I loved the campus and my professors. I joined a Christian sorority. And my favorite part? I became a true Seminole.
 
During my time at FSU, I realized that being a Gator or a Seminole or whatever you are isn't strictly about what team your family roots for, or what team is winning at the time. It's about a family. It's about a community. And let me tell you, there is no better sense of belonging than chopping to the Warchant in a packed out Doak Campbell Stadium.  
 
I've had several friends and family members say, "The only reason you're a Seminole fan now is because you went to FSU."
 
Well...yeah. That's the point. Florida State is my home, just like UF is home to an equally great population of students. (Of course, I think FSU is just a slight bit greater...but we are all biased in some way. ;) ) I'm excited to be a first generation Seminole. I'm dating a Seminole...and an avid FSU sports nut. It's exciting to think that I will get the opportunity to raise my children as 'Noles in the future.  I cried when I graduated...because I didn't want to leave.
 
 And you will never see me in orange and blue again. Not because I hate the Gators, because I don't. But, because garnet and gold is just a part of who I am now.
 
 


6.05.2013

Walking the Line

In life, most of us walk the very thin line between our dreams and complacency. We first find ourselves on this line because it just seems to be the practical thing to do at the time. We plan to walk it...keeping a foot planted a little more firmly on one side until we are able to make the jump to the other...the side of our dreams; the side that we want to be on. Sadly, many of us continue to travel that line in the same manner for the rest of our existence. We never make that jump, and the reason we don't can be attributed to one factor...fear.
 
On one side of the line, we see our lives as they are now. We see our jobs that give us a routine paycheck. We see our mundane responsibilites. We see our work tasks, and our commutes full of honking traffic. We see all of these things that have just come the norm in our daily living. We become used to these things. They are "comfortable" for us. Before we know it, we have become complacent, and the things that we told ourselves were temporary become mandatory. Or at least we think they do.
 
Merriam-Webster defines complacency as
 
1. : self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies
 
2. : an instance of usually unaware or uninformed self-satisfaction
 
Complacency has a way of pulling the wool over our eyes. When we begin to get depressed about feeling unfulfilled in our jobs, it's there to point out the paycheck that gets us by, or the nice retirement we will have 50 years down the road. When we get the urge to find true happiness, complacency says, "Hey, things are working out okay now though, aren't they?" If complacency were a person, it would be the friend that comes over after your boyfriend breaks up with you and shoves ice cream down your throat rather than reassuring you that there are better things to come.
 
Is complacency an entirely negative state of mind? No. But, does it perhaps hinder all of those goals and dreams that you used to want more than anything? Definitely. So many times in life, we take an alternate route in hopes of using it to gain access to what we believe our calling is. Some may find a stronger calling through that route, and leave the old goals behind. Some actually use that route to make their planned goals possible. Still though, there those that get stuck, and remain so because it's the easy thing to do. While the latter is definitely not what I would refer to as failure, it still comes along with a neverending nagging sensation that refuses to stop reminding you of how far you are from your dreams.

Let's go back to that fear that I mentioned earlier. Afterall, it is what keeps those of us that become stuck in our balancing act. What are some of the fears that keep us from taking a running leap to the other side of the line? When I asked myself this question, this is what I came up with.

1. Money
This is a double sided problem. A steady job is needed to pay the bills. Without it, home would be a cardboard box. Also, if you're anything like me...your calling in life is something that doesn't fork over the dough. If you want to write, or start your own business, or anything like that...you have to have a significant nest egg, which doesn't really exist when you can barely cover your expenses as it is.

2. Lack of Support
It's never an ego boost when you tell someone what your dream job is and they look at you like you're insane. While there are most likely people in your life that encourage you to keep fighting for your goal, there are also those that are going to tell you to stay where the stability is. We don't want to disappoint the people who mean the most to us.

3. I'm Young
People tell me all the time, "You're young. It's okay if it doesn't happen now. Worry about it later." I agree that being young is a plus in the sense that there is a lot of opportunity ahead, but it's a negative in the sense that you may wait to worry about it in five, or even ten years. Why not start working towards it now? Think of all of the opportunities that could be missed in those few years that you are stuck behind a desk making phone calls and doing paperwork.

The main reason behind this post is this: I have been really frustrated with myself lately. I'm unhappy, and I know what I want in terms of a career. I've been feeling stuck between a rock and a hard place, and then I realized, I haven't exactly been trying too hard to change my circumstances. It's not going to be easy. I just truly need to use the job I have now to help me get to the place I'm striving for. It will take a lot of prayer and extreme penny pinching to save money. Still, that will be better than waking up 20 years from now and wondering why I'm still not where I want to be. It's never too early or late to work towards a goal. There's no reason that anyone should have to walk the line forever.



6.04.2013

Blogmania

You may have noticed that things are looking a little different around here. That's because I got bored with my blog design, and tampered around with a new one. I just haven't felt the need to invest in a customized blog design yet...I have too much fun playing around with it on my own! However, I have just realized that my banner is a little off center. My work computer won't allow me to fix it, and it's driving me insane! Hopefully I can last until I get home to correct it.
 
I also changed the name of my blog. "Progress, Passion, and Young Professionalism" was such a mouthful! So I introduce to you..."Young, and In Progress." I was between that and "A Young Work in Progress," but I liked the first option just a bit better! I am a highly indecisive person...so it may change in a month or so anyway!
 
It's been a couple of weeks since I have linked up with Halie and Hallie for From Firsts to Lasts, so I'm going to get back into the groove!
 

First Things First
 
This week we are talking about...
 
First Blate (Blog+Date=Blate)
I actually haven't been on a blate yet! Well, besides a couple of emails back and forth every now and then. Halie actually lives here in Tallahassee too, so maybe I will have to start annoying her about going on a blate! Ha ha.
I would also love to go on some electronic blates...I need to get to work on that!
 
First Daily Blog I Visit
I absolutely love Whitney at "I Wore Yoga Pants to Work." She is hilarious, and her posts are always really entertaining. I read so many blogs throughout the day...so I couldn't even tell you what ones I go to after that.
 
My answers were kind of short and sweet today. But that's alright, because I'm about to bolt out of the door for lunch. Chick Fil A, here I come!
 



6.03.2013

Growing Up is Hard to Do

I spent this past weekend down in my hometown for all of my brother Dakota's graduation festivities. He is almost six years younger than I am, and it is completely unfathomable to me that he is almost 18 years old. It does not seems like he should be a high school graduate yet! It has been five years since my own high school graduation, which makes his commencement even more unbelievable.
 
Aside from his graduation and graduation party, I just spent a lot of much needed time with my family. I am building my life in a completely different place. Tallahassee is a couple of hours away from my family, and while I love it, sometimes there is still no place like the place you grew up. It never takes me long to revert back to my small town, country roots. It was a little difficult to come back to Tally after three days at home.
 
I spent a couple of hours looking at a ton of old pictures of Dakota and I. With both of us being adults now, it's sad to look back and know that we will never be little kids again. Life was so simple, and so much fun back then. In honor of his graduation, I have a few childhood pictures of us to share.
 

I was probably five years old in this picture. It's one of my favorites...Dakota was so little! It's funny to look at because he is taller and stronger than I am now! And yes, I am wearing a tiara with my bathing suit. What else would you expect of a Florida princess?
 
 
We are rocking some 3D glasses in this picture. Does anyone remember when Nickelodeon used to run special episodes of Rugrats or Rocket Power that you could buy 3D glasses to watch? They were normally in a box of cereal or something like that. Those were the days.
 
 
Gosh, I was always such a chunk...ha ha. I don't know why Dakota always has his face so squinched up...maybe that was how he smiled! Regardless, I think we were still pretty darn cute.
 
 
We are with two of my cousins here. There were only two then...there are five of them now! I love Dakota's little blonde bowl cut. Why were we in such a hurry to grow up?
 
 
And here we are now...23 and 17, although I have heard from numerous people that he actually looks older than me! I suppose that's a good thing though, right?
 
I am so blessed to call him my brother. God gave us very different personalities...I'm reserved and mature, and Dakota is crazy and carefree. We make a good sibling team though. I wouldn't have it any other way. Although our childhood has come to an end, I know there are still many more memories to come.
 
Congratulations Dakota...I love you!
 


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