Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WHAT I LEARNED IN COLLEGE


What I learned in college (undergrad):

  • I learned that a tequila sunrise tastes better when consumed poolside with a good friend.
  • I learned to trust my instincts.
  • I learned to trust God.
  • I learned Greek ... or at least which Greek fraternities had the cutest boys. That counts as learning!
  • I learned that although it's fun to kiss random frat boys just for the fun of it, it could also lead to someone stalking you. Yikes!
  • I learned that my mom was right when she taught me that there is "safety in numbers." This is especially true at frat parties.
  • I learned several new languages - Latin, Visual Basic, and SQL - and loved them all.
  • I learned that pepper spray is illegal and considered a weapon in Canada (don't ask).
  • I learned that I could drive from my apartment to Chris's driveway at home in 2 hours and 42 minutes if I didn't stop anywhere on the way.
  • I learned that if my (then future) sister-in-law, Carla, was riding with me from college to home that the trip took 5 hours because she has the smallest bladder on the planet (still love you, C).
  • I learned that sleep is way overrated ... something that was helpful years later when I became a mom. :)
  • I learned that it's possible for two females to live, work, and go to school together and not kill each other. And friends like that are few and far between.
  • I learned that I was stronger than I thought I was.
  • I learned that just because I'm a girl doesn't mean that I'm not good at math. Or computers. Or science.
  • I learned that I desire to be in a profession where I can make a difference in the lives of others.
  • I learned that it is possible to work full time AND go to school full time and still graduate in 4 years with honors. But NOT FUN.
  • I learned that whoever coined the phrase, "Beer before liquor, never sicker" knew what they were talking about.
  • I learned that there really is a "Freshman 15."
  • I learned that consuming an entire bottle of peach schnapps at a party leads to waking up in your dorm room with grass-stained pants and no recollection of how you got home.
  • I learned that it's possible to make Ramen Noodles in a coffee maker.
  • I learned that it's possible to take a psychology final while still mildly inebriated from the night before and still get an "A" in the class. But not smart.
  • I learned how good it felt to obtain a full time job with full benefits and be able to live on my own without any financial backing from my parents ... at the age of 20.
  • I learned that I could scrape all the coins out of my dresser drawer and find enough money to buy gas to drive home. Couldn't do that now - weren't those the days!?
  • I learned that Kent State has the third largest library in the country.
  • I learned that sometimes it's easy to get lost in a 13-story building, even when you work there every day.
  • I learned that those who have the most money aren't always the ones who are the most happy.
  • I learned to nurture my affinity with coffee. A lot.
  • I learned that some of the most profound, intelligent professors are also the weirdest.
  • I learned over 20 different names for male and female genitalia ... in class! (Very cool professor) :)
  • I learned that some people have pink hair and some people have no hair, and that's okay.
  • I learned that no one knows where Hicksville, Ohio is. And they don't believe it exists until you show them on a map.
  • I learned that I love doing research and writing long papers.
  • I learned that anyone who loves doing research and writing long papers is considered weird.
  • I learned that it's OK to be weird.
  • I learned that retired high school teachers do NOT make good college professors.
  • I learned that you really aren't invincible at the age of 20 ... college kids really do die from drinking too much alcohol. Very sobering.
  • I learned that Zen Buddhism is some weird stuff.
  • I learned that love really does find you when you least expect it.
  • I learned that I didn't want to live apart from Chris for another day ... so I married him.

What I learned in college (grad school):

  • I learned to trust my husband to hold down the fort while I was in class at night.
  • I learned that my way isn't the only way ... although it's usually a better way.
  • I learned that sleep really isn't overrated when you're in your 30s.
  • I learned that women earn an average of $.86 for every $1.00 that men make in the same occupation. That's crap!
  • I learned to soak up every spare second that I had with my kids ... which meant only doing homework after they were in bed at night.
  • I learned that working full time and going to school is MUCH harder when you have kids at home.
  • I learned the value of networking.
  • I learned how to do an amortization table. This came in really handy recently when I did one on our current mortgage and figured out we could save over $70k by refinancing for fewer years at a lower rate. Woohoo! Just paid for that MBA twice over!
  • I learned that I still love doing research and writing long papers, and that I'm still considered weird because of it.
  • I learned that it's possible to write killer research papers in APA format without ever buying an APA manual.
  • I learned that even though I'm a girl, that doesn't mean that I'm not good at accounting or finance ... but I really don't like it.
  • I learned that I really, really love to do stats. Really.
  • I learned that I HATE group projects.
  • I learned that if I kept my phone on vibrate, I could text my husband and tell my kids goodnight without the prof ever knowing.
  • I learned that just because someone has a PhD it doesn't mean he's a good professor. Sometimes it really does just mean Piled higher and Deeper.
  • I learned to bank on the fact that the time spent away from my family would eventually pay off financially and provide a better life for them ... I hope! :)

-Heidi

Thursday, March 4, 2010

REFLECTIONS

Call me corny, but I like Taylor Swift. Not all of her songs, but some of them. Yes, I am a 33-year-old who listens to the song, "Fifteen" over and over again, reliving old times in my memory. I know it was a lifetime ago ... but who was that girl, and where did she go? So young, so innocent, so sweet. The entire world was at my feet, and I knew it. Life was a journey just waiting for me to come explore. And I was ready.

I listen to that song, and I realize that I was that girl. I was the girl who dated a senior boy as a freshman, fell in love, and thought he was "the one," even after he graduated and moved away. It took a couple of years to figure out that I had big dreams and big plans, and they didn't involve him. I was college-bound, ambitious, and determined to conquer the world. He symbolized a place in time that I was trying to get away from. It was a typical teenage desire to break out on my own and discover who I was, and there was just no room for him in my idealistic view of what my life was to become. Even when he followed me to college to prove his love, it wasn't enough. I wanted a fresh start to figure out my life and my path and where I was headed. He was like a weight around my ankle, trying to hold me under water, when all I wanted to do was swim away. So swim away I did.

I swam and swam. I swam like an olympian. I proved to myself and to the world that I could do anything I set my mind to do. I had to be the best, do more than anyone else, consistently over-achieve. I put myself through college by working full-time and going to school full-time, still graduating with honors. The typical over-achiever middle child. I had plans to go to grad school, get a PhD, and become a college professor. Then along came a little thing called the "love bug," and I got bit, and hard this time. Ms. Independent didn't have a chance.

I married a man who has just as much drive and ambition (aka stubbornness) as I do. He's a typical over-achiever middle child too. It makes us a power couple, but it's probably difficult to be our children. We raise the bar very high, we expect a lot, and failure is not an option. It will not be OK for them to float through life without a plan, or to choose a career which lands them unemployed and living at home because we encouraged them to "just do something that makes them happy." I want them to be happy, but independent from Mom and Dad.

I am still the ambitious, goal-oriented person I always was. Wife of nearly 11 years, mother of two sons, fervently pursuing a Master's degree in business ... and I have not hung up on the dream of obtaining a PhD someday. I am determined to have it all, and to make it all work. I am stubborn like that. That means when I vowed "forever" to my husband that I meant it, and when I aspire to do something I do it. I'll get there eventually. The trick for me is knowing that I am assertive and borderline abrasive at times, and being careful not to lose sight of what is truly important in life.

I don't miss being fifteen. In my heart, I am still that girl. I still love my life, I still want it all, I still love all the things I did back then ... like music, writing, God, travelling, the man in my life. And these days there are a couple additional little guys in my life that I adore too ... and oh, how I love them.

Life is good.

Thursday, August 20, 2009




VIVA LAS VEGAS!




Chris and I just got back from Vegas a few days ago for our 10th anniversary. We had a GREAT time! Vegas is amazing! We spent most of the time walking around and seeing the sights, and then met up with some old friends on the last day, which was so great. Most importantly, we got to reconnect with each other and remembered what it's like to just be "us." We are more than just Mom and Dad - we are Chris & Heidi - and it was good to remember that. Surprisingly, we found more to talk about than just the boys. lol And we've realized that we are very blessed to have two amazing kids and an amazing life together. God is good. :-)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Birthday America!

My youngest son LOVES flags. His room is decorated in flags! So you can imagine that the 4th of July (and flag day) is his favorite holiday. It all started when he was 1 1/2 years old and we planted a bunch of trees in our yard, so my husband marked them with little orange flags. Ever since then, Jacob is a flag fanatic. So, in celebration, the background for our blog is for him. :-)

We finally took a weekend and went camping at Jellystone last weekend. It was a great time! It's always nice to get away as a family, but I think we had an extra special time because we went somewhere new and exciting. The boys loved the pools and the water playground, and they had a nice little store and snack bar too, and a huge playground!

So, we DID decide to go away for our anniversary. We're going to go to Las Vegas! We booked our trip a couple weeks ago, so we'll get to spend three whole nights in Las Vegas and get to have a GROWN UP vacation all to ourselves ... it's gonna be great! I think it will be nice to take some time just for us - we never do that!

Joey has really taken to the water since swimming lessons got over. He has gotten to go to the public pool with the daycare nearly every day that he's been there for the past three weeks, so now he's swimming under water and he seems more confident in himself. He mentioned yesterday that he has two "best friends" - Dakota and Zackary. For those of you who know Joey, you know that this is a very big deal. We've never heard him say that he has a friend ... usually when we ask him who his friends are, he will tell us the teacher's name. He is really very socially immature, but this new development is a very bright spark that we hope continues to grow.

With that, I will sign off. I hope you all have a very blessed 4th of July weekend. Thanks be to God for our independence and for the men and women who help us maintain it.

-Heidi

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

"Dropping Kids in the Pool" ... and other random thoughts

1. As many of you know, we have been trying to get our youngest son potty trained for OVER A YEAR NOW. "Captain Underpants" has been quite difficult through this whole process! I have tried everything from bribery to spanking to prayer, and while he finally caught on to peeing in the potty, he was still pooping in his pants every day, sometimes 3 times a day. I felt badly for his teacher at daycare, and I felt frusterated and tired of washing laundry every day to make sure he had enough changes of clothes for the next day. Finally, finally, we tried some humor, and (PRAISE GOD) it worked! We are now on day #2 with no accidents! We told Jacob to "drop the kids off at the pool," and that's all it took to get him to go poop in the potty! YEA! Way to go, Jacob!

2. I have realized that it has been a month since my last entry. What a busy time of year! I thought when school got out it would be less crazy ... boy was I wrong! We have ran to swimming lessons, cub scouts, and t-ball, and have tried to get some family time in where we can. We did go camping over Memorial Day, which was tons of fun, and we're attempting to put together another camping weekend in the next few weeks.

3. Joey learned how to rollerskate over this past weekend. We bought him some skates so he could have something to do at the daycare this summer, and he took right to it and has been wobbling around on them ever since. It brings back fond memories of my childhood, spending countless hours on the weekends at the roller rink with my cousins.

4. Chris and I are approaching our 10 year anniversary in August. We can't figure out what to do for our anniversary (we'd like to go away somewhere). It's a big deal to me because my parents were divorced shortly after they celebrated their 10 year anniversary, so I guess it's more sentimental to me than any other year. I would like to do something, whether it's a night out or a weekend away ... I just can't see it going by without celebrating "us." We've been through a lot together over the past 10 years.

I will try to do better at keeping this updated!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Swimming Lessons and Such











1. The boys started swimming lessons last week, which they absolutely LOVE. The very first lesson, the instructor had them jumping off of the diving board into 13 feet of water! I wasn't too crazy about it, but they did well and everything was OK. My boys are like fish in the water, especially Jacob. I figured it was time to get some lessons.
2. The March of Dimes was a big success, so thank you to everyone who gave us support and/or walked with us! The Taylor Tots team raised over $760!
3. Joey continues to lose teeth (see recent picture above)! I noticed it is changing the way he says certain words ... for example, today he was trying to say "decision" and it kept coming out "deshishon". LOL
4. To all the mothers out there, have a very Happy Mother's Day! I know I am blessed by my two little miracles, and as much work as they are, I can't imagine my life without them. They are my whole world. Children are definitely a gift. Have a blessed weekend ... do something nice for yourself! -Heidi

Sunday, April 19, 2009


AN EXCITING WEEK!

1. It has been an exciting week. Chris got his cast off on Wednesday, and although his arm is still swollen and sore, he's glad to have it off. He goes back to work tomorrow, and we're looking forward to getting things back to normal. I'll admit though, it was very nice to have him home ... so much that we're rethinking the possibility of him staying home permanently in the near future, which could be a real possibility. Our house definitely ran a lot more smoothly with one of us home, and it was a lot less stress on me and the boys. Dad and the boys got to do some "guy stuff" like take walks through the woods, which was great for them to be able to do. I am praying that it is possible to make it a reality for him to stay home, because I could definitely feel a reduction of stress in both me and the boys, but as all things, it will have to be according to God's plan.

2. While I am glad that Chris' arm is feeling better, he is putting Oil of Wild Oregano on it to help with the swelling. It's some natural thing his mom told him to try - which seems to be working, but I feel like I'm sleeping next to a frickin' pizza ... I am constantly hungry now! I guess I'm lucky it's not skunk essence or something.

3. On another note, Joey lost his first tooth today (pictures coming)! He feels SO BIG. I was so proud of him - I expected him to freak out, but he remained very calm as he came bringing me his separated tooth. He said, "Mom, this is exciting!" LOL He is growing up so fast and becoming quite a nice young man. He helped me outside yesterday all day. We planted flowers, pulled weeds and turned over flower beds. He was such a great little helper! I for one am glad that the the "terrible threes" seem to be behind us (yes, Joey had the terrible 3s, 4s, and 5s) ... now we just need to get Jacob through them. :-)

4. Ah, yes, Jacob is about 95% potty trained now. Tonight he wanted to pee standing up, and, well .... let's just say he's a wee bit too short so it sort of sprayed all over the wall. I think we'll wait a while before trying that one again.

5. Me, well I am still trying to dabble in jogging. I am still fighting with the ganglion cyst on the bottom of my foot, which makes it hard to run sometimes, but I'm getting there. I can't measure the miles I can go, but I am going by songs. I turn on my iPod and run for a song, then walk for a song, etc, for a good 20 minutes. I feel pretty good about it so far.

It was a beautiful weekend, even with the rain. It was sunny and 70 on Friday and Saturday, and rainy today, but I love the Spring all the same. The flowers are in bloom, the trees have buds on them, and the grass is green. Thanks be to God for all the beauty that He has created.