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Sep 25, 2014

One Percent

Have you ever had one of those moments in life that you knew would someday approach, but you had it played out in your head with exact certainty. You knew what you would be doing, how you would be dressed, the people that would be surrounding you. It was a fresh mapped out plan and your only job was to anticipate the day when your plan would come to all of its glorious fruition. It is a pretty package isn't it?

So enters the build up of the last four years as I have been working, sweating, crying, swearing my way to my final defense of my dissertation. There were several times over the last four years that I said I quit. That all this work and time were just not worth the things I was missing; birthday parties, trips, vacations, weekends away, quiet time, and endless smut T.V. programs that were ruined because some jerk off posted the results on Facebook, thanks for that. I felt several times that this is just another bullshit idea that I had and I could give up because I was just doing it for me. Do I plan to continue to be a world renowned researcher, no. Do I plan on continuing to write, hell to the no.  But did I have the perfect scenario played out in my head of how it would go when the grande finale happened? Sure, I assumed there would be tears, of joy, triumph, and just sheer exhaustion. I pictured making the call to all my family that I had finally completed this treacherous journey and hearing cheers and party horns. Okay, may not party horns but you get my drift.

All this fanfare will not be happening because today is the day when this grand event takes place, and I just want it to be over! So I figured I would post a pre-dissertation defense post because likely there won't be an after post. I used to be excited about all of this and now I am just wishing it gone. Isn't it funny how life, with its twist and turns, can change your perspective? Not saying that I am not a wee bit excited to hear "Dr. Rodriguez" or that I am not aware of my accomplishment. What I am saying is that while many people, especially those who are in my profession, do not support this degree, is that the last few days have reminded me why I initially started this journey. I started this journey to prove to myself that I could be in the 1% of the population who can attain this degree, that I could put my mind to something that would be hard, time-consuming, and sometimes just damn boring yet I could still be successful. I started this journey because I wanted the experience and I knew that it would be a once in a lifetime opportunity. Well here I am, on defense day, and I can say... I made it. I did it. And damn it, I am proud of myself.

There will be no tears, no party, no party poppers or noise makers, but there will be another accomplishment that I can add to my list of things that I wanted to do, and I actually did it. The perspective change is so funny four years later; I thought all the fanfare was going to be so awesome, but today I know it is something that I will celebrate on my own today. I wouldn't change the experience if I had the chance.

Sep 20, 2014

Survival Kit & Man Crates

So with this impending move, this post seems to hit even closer to home since apparently I can only take 2 suitcases when I move 7,890 miles away. I mean that is not even reasonable. How the hell am I supposed to get all my purses, shoes, bags, hair products, pictures, clothes, pens, and other miscellaneous items to my new home?!  See how quickly I jumped off track there? That is how my mind is working lately. A question is posed and I suddenly go into complete and under panic mode and my brain begins swirling with 392 questions immediately. And this is also how blogs get off topic with a quickness. I digress.

I was asked to build a survival kit that contained 5 items. Only 5 - kind of sounds like my packing situation. So without further ado, here are my essentials. I hope I have a big enough bag.

1. Skinny Girl Stevia sweetener - I gotta have it. I have conditioned myself to use this rather than the Splenda or Equal that I used to use all the time. No chemicals, still sweet. A definite winner.

2. Ritz Crackerfuls If you haven't tried them yet, just go to the store now. No really. They are super good. I also recommend the peanut butter and chocolate ones.

3. My iPad mini. Don't judge me.

4. Hair Ties. I cannot deal with hair in my face and these cutesy little stretchy hair things are super in right now. My mom makes them for me so I don't have to pay cray prices for them. Mom for the win!

5. My Coach Sunglasses. They are the perfect fit, the perfect shade of darkness, and they protect my peepers from the damaging sun. I have pretty sensitive eyes so those are a must have all day, every day.

So are these the only things I am packing, well no. I have a little more room in my suitcases. However, I was asked what I would put in a survival kit by the folks over at Man Crates Gifts for Men. I checked out their goods and I have to say that I am quite impressed with the selection that they offer. Gone are the days when I search the malls and stores high and low for a great gift that my hubby will love. They offer some amazingly cool gifts that come in a crate and are accompanied by a personalize, laser engraved crowbar. How freaking cool is that? I immediately scanned their site and found several that I would buy for not only my hubby but also some good ones for my dad. Even better since I am moving, I can order right online and its done and done.  Here are a few of my favs. for my hubs (hopefully he doesn't read this post so I can send him one once I am in Abu Dhabi and he is still here).

Cool huh??  Make sure you check out Man Crates - I can't wait to send one!

* I was asked to build my survival kit by Man Crates but I was not compensated and all opinions are mine :) 

Last Weekend wedding recap

I have to say the last week has been a blur with getting my offer letter.... 

So this is actually a weekend recap of LAST weekend... nothing like living in the past right?!

I welcomed the overnight little get away that was already planned for one of my bestfriend's wedding. April and I go back to the days of high school where we met, had a mutual love for glitter, sparkly things, markers, rainbows, and fabulous accessories. We were immediately friends. We did band in high school, worked at Wal-Mart and did the college years together.  Of course as time usually does, things change and people separate. We have always remained in touch in some way, shape or form though. She has moved around a little while I have remained in our home town but we've remained friends who pick up right where we left off.

Anyways, I knew that with April the wedding would be a production & not in a bad way. Since working in student activities together in college, and I knew that her fiance did as well, this would be nothing short of a great time and probably over the top. But over the top in a good way. Of course, the wedding was beautiful and most of all, fun. Great props, great ideas, creative cake, cutest favors. You name it - it was there. And of course, everything was branded with their hashtag ( we all know I love a good hashtag) so there is a great compilation from all of there friends.

*Partners in Crime Cake - it matched their invitations, super cute & it was SO Yummy!

We threw pom poms as they walked down the aisle - the pictures were amazing!! So colorful and fun.

The venue was probably may favorite part though. I have been wanting to try out the fabulous Post Card Inn (PCI) on St. Pete beach for sometime now. It is an older hotel that has been remodeled but still has that vintage feel and so much character. It did not fall short of any expectations.  Our room was pretty large and overlooked the garden. The beds were a 5 out of 5 stars rating and from this sleeping beauty that is a compliment. Bathroom decent size, and view was great as it sits right on the beach. They have a huge tiki bar that overlooks the bar that was pretty busy when we went after the reception with the other wedding-goers. All in all a great little weekend at a place pretty much in my backyard.

Sep 14, 2014

Going Worldwide

I am moving to Abu Dhabi!!!!

Nothing like a nice strong lead in, right? Just rip that bandaid off!!

Yes, so this has been my life for the last week. I have totally been MIA lately because this was too big of a secret to not dish about on the blog but I had to keep it under wraps until it was completely legit, sign, sealed, and delivered. Yes, Abu Dhabi which is located in the United Arab Emirates, aka in the Middle East #shitjustgotreal

While it is a life changing decision, it is a great opportunity for myself and my husband. I will be an academic principal there with a focus on teacher development, scheduling, classes, curriculum, etc. Basically all of the things that I want to do. Stoked is an understatement.

So lets talk about the 9,402 things that I need to get nailed down prior to going ..

1. Packing what I can take.
Let's elaborate on what I can take - two suitcases that cannot weigh more than 70 pounds. Ummm... FML. how do you pick? What is important? What can be left behind? I thought I was going to be slick and just pay the bag overages to take an additional bag or ten. Yeah, not to the tune of $175 per bag.  I am smarter than the average bear, I will figure out something. Let's be real, my purses need a whole suitcase.

2. Selling stuff
Who knew that once you have to choose things you have to prioritize how important items are to you. I guess I can embrace the living simplistically but damn, this is hard. I guess this is also showing me how materialistic I can be. I'll work on that. Maybe.

3. Speaking of Selling stuff, I am trying to utilize all of my resources and work smarter not harder since this is stressful as hell. So I made an Instagram that I will feature different items on; check it out: @Mistiesmoving   Cutesy right?

4. Guess I should tell my landlord we are out like trout, huh?

You know this probably wouldn't be such an ordeal but I have never lived anywhere but Florida. I have only moved down the street, maybe 5 minutes of my last residence so this is a huge experience for me. Let's go ahead and throw in all of the international paperwork, visas, and hoops and it makes for a damn good time. I am excited but at the same time I have said more than 10 times in the last few days, "Is this really happening? Are we really doing this?"

While it has been a long process, it is finally happening. I still have about 8 weeks before I leave, could be shorter, could be longer. It is a waiting game now before I get my paperwork back from Washington, D.C. from being authenticated.

So while I wait... maybe I should fill some bins up...