It’s a Birthday Miracle!

Birthdays are a tricky thing for me.  I want to be really excited about birthdays, because it’s a day dedicated to you.  But then the pessimist in me always thinks “another year older, and what do you have to show for it?” Don’t you feel like every year you are racing the clock to make the year memorable?  That way, you can look back and think “Oh yah…that’s what I accomplished when I was 27”.   Yes, it’s safe to say that I wasn’t really looking forward to 28.

But that’s stupid.

While 27, I accomplished a lot.

  • I graduated from college.
  • I got my braces off.
  • I got accepted into not one, but two different chiropractic schools.
  • I found a way to manage my migraines.
  • My husband and I finally finished decorating the bedroom.
  • We celebrated 5 years of marriage.
  • I kayaked for the first time.
  • We were lucky to attend two beautiful weddings.
  • Andrew and I went on quite a few weekend get-a-ways.

And that’s just barely scratching the list.

So, why am I having an issue?

I guess it is because I feel stuck.

As you know (or may not know), I’ve put chiropractic school on the back burner for right now.  Why, you ask?  Well, I’m still mentally exhausted from school.  The thought of going back and taking my final science classes makes me want to cringe.  Not only that, I really just don’t want to take on the debt.  At this point, I owe about 25,000 for my Bachelor’s Degree.  That alone is giving me anxiety, the thought of adding 200,000+ on to that seems insane to me.   As much as I love Chiropractic, I don’t want Andrew and I to spend our lives just paying off debt and not really enjoying what we’ve accomplished.  That seems crazy to me.

So the game plan is that we’re going to take every penny that we have and through it at our debt, and start saving whatever we can towards education.   If I can pay for it without adding any extra student loans, it will make the education and time spent at Palmer THAT MUCH BETTER.

Plus, renting out our house will actually MAKE us money rather than just robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Making that decision has made feel stuck for the time being though, because we had a plan to move in the summer of this year and that has all changed.  It’ll take years to get there, but I’d rather do it right than regret rushing into it financially.

I knew in order to reach any goals of paying off debt, I’d have to find a new job.  Yes, for more money – but more importantly, for my sanity.  I’ve been at my job for almost 8 years now, and I’m kind of burnt out from that too.

Since I walked across the stage and put my tassel from one side to the other, I’ve been out looking for a job.  I’ve gone on interviews, but nothing really clicked.

Until February 25th, when I got offered my dream job.

Come March 17th, I’ll be doing reconciliation for a national hair care brand.

COULD THAT BE ANY MORE PERFECT?

My love of research, data, and beauty products all wrapped into one.

When I got the call, I finally felt unstuck.   There was movement towards our goal.   It’s safe to say that I’m extremely excited to start the next chapter at my new job.

Once the feeling of “stuck” was shed, it was time to party down for the birthday.

Luckily for me, Andrew is amazing and already had a surprise birthday planned.  It couldn’t have been more perfect.  Loved ones, food, a huge bonfire, tunes, hookah, and Guinness and Framboise.

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What more could a girl ask for?

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Adventures at Heritage Village

There aren’t too many things I really love about the area where I live.  I’m not a beach dweller by any means, and the heat is just downright awful.  But, the malls are top-notch and we only have to drive 40 minutes to go see a hockey game which isn’t too shabby.  But there is one place in particular that I just absolutely love about where I live, and that’s Heritage Village.

Heritage Village is a 21 acre lot of land, dedicated to the history of our area.  They’ve saved, procured, and had homes and different buildings donated to the land over the years which are all historic.  Heritage Village restores the properties on the land, and thus creating a living museum.  I went there for the first time in elementary school for a field trip, and fell in love.  Even as an adult, it doesn’t get any less beautiful and interesting.

During the year, they host different events and jubilees.  Last weekend was their annual Folk Festival, where they had different bands playing at each property, different food vendors and local shops.  I try to go every year, but some years, it just doesn’t work out in my favor.  However, this year – Andrew and I were able to go and even better,  there was geocaching to be had on the property!  For those who don’t know what geocaching is…it’s basically a huge treasure hunt where you use the app on your phone to find the coordinates and find caches.  You don’t have to take them, just log that you found it and put it back.  Andrew was a fan of caching long before I met him, but for Christmas, I gave him a membership for a year which means we’ve been full on caching ever since.   Our day at Heritage Village was set to be perfect because we had history for me, caching for Andrew, and we could top it off with pie over at the local pie shop right around the corner from Heritage Village.

The plan couldn’t have been more perfect.  And even better, it worked out just as planned!

The only downside to going during a festival day is that it gets really busy, and they do limit what homes you can tour during the day.  Makes sense, in order to keep everything pristine.  But, a total bummer for those who are experienced HVers and know what they are missing!

Despite it being so busy, I was able to snag a few shots of the property so you can get a visual.

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They’ve just bought this home over a few days prior to the festival. The Turner Bungalow was built in 1915, and recently donated to Heritage Village. The property will require a substantial amount of restoration, but I have a feeling it’ll be absolutely beautiful when it’s  done.

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A quite little gazebo, amongst pine trees.  The last time I went to Heritage Village, there was a lot more foliage around the gazebo to the point where you almost didn’t realize it was there. It’s nice that they cut back a lot so you can appreciate the how gorgeous it is and don’t walk right by it.

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Andrew and I snapped a few shots in front of the Harris School, which is the only replica building on the property. It’s to the exact specs of the original school house, built in 1912.

IHV3A final shot of all of the pine trees.  I wish we had brought our hammock with us that day, that way we could have set it up.  It would have been perfect to just relax, in the breeze, listening to some great folk music.

Do you have a place this like where you live?  If so, tell me where – because I would like to go there sometime.

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The Tassel Is Worth The Hassel

For those who have kept up with the blog, you know I’ve been moaning and groaning over school for quite some time now. Between changing majors, taking a semester off here and there, changing from full-time to part-time and then back to full-time again… it’s been a long road. In August, I had finally signed up for my Capstone, which is the last required class for the Bachelor’s program. At that point, everything was coming together. In a few months time, I was going to wrap my bachelor’s up in a nice little bow and I was accepted into Palmer College of Chiropractic. Basically, I had a goal and I was heading towards it. Amongst taking my capstone, I decided to get the ball rolling with my science pre-reqs and take Intro to Chem as well as the lab that goes with it. It seemed like a good idea in theory, because it would get me to Palmer a semester sooner than anticipated. The thought of dragging out these science classes seemed brutal, and I was just so eager to get the next chapter of my life going.

But alas…I bit off more than I could chew.

Despite logging some serious hours with a tutor, I really couldn’t make Chemistry click. Truthfully,  the capstone class was so demanding that I couldn’t dedicate the necessary time to Chemistry. Even though I turned in my assignments on time, I always felt behind. I understood the material enough to get by during the weeks, but when it came time for midterms and finals – I just didn’t have the foundation I needed. To make a long story short, it became painfully obvious that I would have to retake the classes.

At the time, I wasn’t planning on applying for graduation until I was done taking my science classes in order to continue receiving financial aid. With the time frame I mapped out for myself, graduation would have been in May. But, my lack of skill in Chemistry threw me a curve ball and pushed back that time frame.

So here I was, sitting in front of my computer while looking at my final grades and completely deflated. What was I going to do? My whole game plan fell apart at the seams. All of the classes I signed up for in Spring would have to be changed. I won’t get to Palmer next year. And to be honest, I was exhausted. Completely wiped out. The thought of even taking classes the following semester was making me want to hurl.

And in an instant, I decided my fate. I’m graduating now. I’m dropping my classes for next semester, and I’m taking time off. All of the sudden, I was instantly relieved. There was no part of me that realized the burden I had been carrying around for months, until it was finally gone.  Within a few hours,  I applied for graduation, picked up my cap and gown, wrote an e-mail to my family announcing my very quick change of plans and began planning a party. Truthfully, this was all in Jessica fashion, because I really do enjoy doing something on a whim and throwing it together pretty quickly.  (Like when Andrew and I got engaged, and three weeks later, we said “I do”.)

As luck would have it, the day couldn’t have been more perfect.  My sister-in-law graduated that day as well, and Andrew and I were able to attend her graduation in the morning, because my ceremony was thankfully in the afternoon.  Even on short notice,  the most important people in my life were able to attend the ceremony.  For those who couldn’t, because they were celebrating my sister in law’s graduation, came to my bash that evening.  It was perfect.  Honestly, just perfect.  The amount of love and support I received about changing my time frame and game plan for the next chapter was incredible.  There was a part of me that was a bit nervous to tell family that I wouldn’t be starting Palmer when I planned, but everyone understood.  For that, I am so thankful because it really was a tough call to make.

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So, here I am – the recent graduate . It’s been a few weeks since the ceremony, and I can’t deny the fact that I’m already getting stir crazy.  It’s a very bizarre feeling not to be constantly on the move.  When I looked at my calendar on January 6th, a bittersweet feeling came over me, knowing it was the first day of classes for the Spring semester.  Dare I say, I maybe even felt pangs of loss?  But this time has already been a huge help in trying to figure out my next move, and who I am as a person, aside from student.  It’s amazing how much value is wrapped up in that one single world, and how much it creates a persona.  I almost forgot who I am, as a whole.

Lots of changes will be happening soon.  Maybe a few Rory Gilmore pro-con lists, because I have some tough decisions to make.

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