Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Forgotten Pleasure

There is nothing more satisfying to me than to create something.
I have spent so much time lately discovering new things to create, like jewelry, or photos, or designs, that I have forgotten my first love, drawing.
Today for the first time in a long time I picked up my pencil and drew in my sketchbook.  I wanted to try something different than what I had drawn in the last few months, so I drew people.  Lately I had been exclusively sketching dogs or other animals.  I had forgotten that people are my favorite thing to draw.

So, I pushed myself a little further by drawing people in yoga poses.  It was both difficult and extremely fun.  I took it a step even farther and overlaid each picture with abstract color in photoshop. With this new found discovery, I have decided to make a goal to draw at least once every day.  I don't want to forget again how much I love it.  It is one of my gifts from God, that I have done as far back as I can remember.  Who am I to push that gift aside and not refine it?  I vow to never again push it aside.

I of course will continue with my new found hobbies, such as painting, photography, dog training, sewing, and jewelry making, and hopefully I will develop those into some kind of career, or higher purpose... But I wont forget about drawing again.

It just feels too good.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry CHRISTmas

Had a surprisingly happy Christmas.  We didn't make it to church, however, and now I wish we had gone.  We made sure to remember the "reason for the season", though.
It was a smaller than usual Christmas, everyone is on a tight budget this year, but everyone was still very happy with what all they got.

The biggest change this year, aside from the fact that Christmas morning was spent with my husband opening our presents at home instead of with my mom like all the previous years of my life, was Christmas eve.  We had it at my grandma and aunt's house, like always, but when it came to the gifts, we did things a little differently this year, not terribly different, but different enough.  Instead of everyone getting gifts for each individual person from each individual person, each household gave each household gifts.   Which, there was some drama and disagreements about what was originally planned which was to set a price and have each household only give each household ONE thing under that price limit.. That didn't go over well.  The way it ended up being done worked pretty well in my opinion.
Everything else about the night went how it usually goes, gumbo for dinner, cake for dessert, and a toast usually with wine.. This year however, my sister brought Bailey's Irish Cream, lol.  Needless to say there were quite a few toasts...
The biggest bummer however, was the fact that Carson's dad couldn't be there for Christmas.  We was invited, but at the last minute finances made it impossible.  So the next time we see him we will give him his gifts and Christmas card.
Speaking of Christmas cards!  I did finish them all in time and everyone was happy with theirs.  I had made one for my mom, my sister and her husband, my grandma and aunt, my dad, Carson's dad and his wife, Carson's mom and sister, and Carson's brother (that one was done on the computer).
Unfortunately I only managed to get pictures of three of them. before sending them out.
meme & sissy's                     mom's                      Christi & Richard's

As fun as everything was, I am glad that the holidays are almost over.  I'm excited to start regular life again.  We went pretty much immediately from getting married to the holidays, so we still aren't settled yet. 
Maybe next Christmas there will be a little Dunn on the way (crossing fingers) 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Even I'm Sick of Me

I fear I am becoming the kind of person that I hate.
A kind of person who has nothing interesting to talk about, who seemingly has no purpose in life, and who is just down right boring.
I like to joke and say that I'm an incredibly boring person, but deep down I don't really believe that.. However, I'm starting to think that that's what other people believe about me.
It's gotten to the point where I dread being asked "What have you been up to?" or "Anything new lately?".  I really don't have an answer to those questions anymore.  Ha, I almost just want to get a cat or another dog or something just so I can say, "Hey look!  Something new in my life that's interesting!  Wanna talk about it?"
Lately, I just haven't been able to motivate myself to do much other than clean and cook.  I keep telling myself that It's just a phase that I'm dealing with, that I'm still getting "settled" into my new home and I still need to figure out a routine.  I have been here for over a month now, and I'm starting to wonder how long it will take me to get "settled in"?
It's almost like, I am afraid to just spread my stuff out and start sewing, and scrapbooking, painting, and making jewelry again because then I will have to clean it up.  I can't just leave the mess out in the middle of the living room floor, because it stresses Carson out to come home to a really messy house, and it eventually stresses me out as well.  However, to have to take everything out and put it all back away every day is just tiring.  It's basically adding another chore to the list of things I already do every day in this house.  Then the hobby becomes a chore instead of fun.
I'm stuck in a rut.  What I really need is a room to myself for my crafts.  Where I can spread it all out and leave it for as long as the project takes and no one else has to stress about seeing it.

This picture sums up a part of my life I quite often find myself missing.... Most would say that I need to go back to school, then and start over, trying again and whatnot.. I disagree.  I'm not the same person I was two years ago, and quite frankly I don't want to go back.  I just miss it sometimes.  And being in a transitional period of my life, where I'm not exactly moving forward makes it tempting to take a few steps back to be anywhere but here.  It's hard to fight.
I don't know, I'm just rambling now.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Husband

Friday was Carson's birthday, and lucky him, we celebrated it all weekend.

Friday he went to lunch with his dad and aunt, then we celebrated that night by going to China Cafe, and I baked cookies.  I got him a new fish, another betta, this one's name is Denim.  I will post pictures once I can actually take a good one of him, he's difficult to photograph.  I also got him a few other items.  It wasn't a lot but I did what I could do.

Saturday night my mom took us to the out to eat at River City Grille, then to the Trail of Lights in Marble Falls, then we had McDonald's coffees on the way back.  It was a lot of fun.

Finally, Sunday was celebrated at my mom's house for lunch with my grandma and aunt.  We had pizza and they brought cupcakes from HEB. :)
It was a good weekend.  We are blessed to have people who care about us so much.

 Along the lines of Christmas, we still have yet to go shopping..  We planned to go tonight, but we are both pretty tired, and may not find the energy to go out.  If that's the case the only other day we can do it will be Thursday night, because Tuesday I clean in the evening, and Wednesday we are having dinner at Phil and Kristina's.  We just might have to suck it up and go tonight.. I hope we don't have trouble finding things quickly for everyone..
The good news is that I finished making the Christmas cards for our family.  The only one I have left to make is for my dad.
I love the holidays, but I will be so glad when they are over this year.  There are a ton of things in my life I have been neglecting because it's the holidays.. My diet and workout program, my painting and photography, my crafts, training the dog... And like a ton more...
Come January, hopefully I will be able to get back on track.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Very Long Update

Our fish did in fact die yesterday.  I believe he killed himself, as I found him head buried in the marbles at the bottom of the tank and butt in the air, none of his food touched.  He was a pretty good fish.  We never settled on a definite name for him.  Carson liked "Tetris", and I liked the name "Bungee" because the day we brought him home he jumped out of the cup and took a trip to the kitchen counter and then the floor.

So, in other news I this urology doctor crap is really getting old.  They called my mom's phone Saturday - or Friday night, I don't remember when, but she got the message on the machine Saturday - to confirm an appointment with the doctor on Monday the 13th at 8:50am... Which I never scheduled ever.  So I tried calling them Monday morning right when they opened, but I got an answering machine.. I left a message for them to please call me back, that I never scheduled an appointment for that day and I would like to speak with the scheduler.. I never got a call back.  Well, today is the day of my real post-op appointment with the doctor, so I just got off the phone calling to confirm that I actually DID have an appointment today (which WAS scheduled), and yes, the confused man told me I was on the books.  Hopefully this will be my last appointment with these people.

On a much much lighter note, Carson did the sweetest thing that he's done for me since the wedding. lol.  We had gotten in a fight one morning, I think it was the day before yesterday, I don't even remember what about now... anyway, when he came home from work he had a surprise for me, a beautiful Pointsettia to go on my desk. I love it, it's so Christmasy!

His birthday is Friday.  I think we have definitely decided to go to our favorite Chinese food restaurant for dinner that night, and then Saturday my mom is taking us to the Trail of Lights in Marble Falls and then out to dinner.  Sunday will more than likely be the usual birthday lunch with the rest of the family.  :) Birthdays are kind of a big deal in our family. The really difficult part however, is trying to go shopping for his card and presents when we only have one car and he goes to work all day Monday through Friday..  But he's leaving the car at home tomorrow for me, while he takes his old work truck (that is another long headache worthy story)... It will all work out.

Speaking of presents, Christmas is almost here!  And I am nowhere near finished with everyone's gifts. :(
What I'm doing this year is making Christmas cards for the family.  One for my mom, one for my sister and her husband, one for my grandma and aunt, one for Carson's dad and his wife, and one for Carson's mom, sister, and brother (he suggested I make a separate one for his brother because he doesn't live with them anymore, so I might have to see what I can do about that).  
It is proving to be something I am procrastinating greatly on.  Mostly because I seem to be stuck in a rut.. Do I clean up the house, which would mean putting away all of my craft stuff in the middle of the living room floor, or do I work on the cards for the next few days and live in a cluttered messy apartment?  Decisions..

My last snippet of news pertains to my new found graphic design hobby.
My husband's boss at Tntechnologies (who also happens to be his best friend, sweet gig right?) has assigned me with the task of making a super awesome disaster recovery brochure for their company.  It is turning out to be a long difficult process of trying to please everyone involved but also give it some originality.  It's also looking like he might continue to assign me things here and there, like designing things for the website, graphics and such..  That scares me just a little bit... I am so not a website person.  Brochures I can handle, flyers I can do all day!  But websites?? I have never designed anything for a website in my life.  Oh, well, it's extra money for us, and if i just take it one project at a time, I'm sure I'll be able to handle it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Portraits of a Dying Fish

Our fish isn't doing so good.  I'm not exactly sure if he is in fact dying.. But he sure has been acting like it since we brought him home from my mom's house last night.
He wont eat and is lying on his side at the top of the tank barely breathing.
So, I got my camera and decided to do a series, "Portraits of a Dying Fish"
These are the possibly the last pictures I will get of him in a some what healthy state, unless miraculously he gets better.

The vertical reflection is from the top of the tank, it has a reflective surface.  All of these were edited in Photoshop CS4.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Cystoscopy went well today.  The doctor said that as far as she could tell from the procedure there was real medical reason for the blood in my urine.  However, she did come into the recovery room rather excited to show me something... Apparently I am a medical anomaly:

This is a picture of the inside of my bladder.  I have circled in red the anomaly.  I seem to have two tubes running from my kidneys into my bladder, where the normal thing is to have just one.  This of course means nothing, just that there are two tubes.  She was just really excited about it because she had never seen it before, and being a urologist, I guess this kind of thing really does it for her.  haha.

I am in a good amount of pain from the procedure and my throat is killing me from the airway tube thing they put in.  The doctor had ordered me some pain meds, but unfortunately they discontinued making the kind she prescribed... So 2 hours later I finally get a call from the pharmacist letting me know that she ordered me a different kind... Carson is picking those up now.
I feel bad for him.  He has to stay home with me today instead of being at the office.  He is at least still allowed to work from home, but I know it was an inconvenience for him.  I can tell he is trying to be understanding, though.. which is helpful.
Well, hopefully there wont be anymore medical surprises anytime soon!
Aside from the pain, sore throat, nausea, and dizziness, I'm doing pretty good.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ow, My Arm

I had my CAT scan today. 
It went well, the scan part of it was a piece of cake and kind of relaxing actually to just lay there and only having to worry about holding my breath every now and then..
What WAS bad however, was when they had to put the saline into my veins.  Apparently I have really small veins and having my blood drawn the day before didn't help matters.  Literally right after the technician started the injection into my arm, my vein collapsed and it was such an awful pain, I can't even describe.  Like, after she removed the catheter from my arm, it felt like someone had dropped a boulder on it.  My hand and forearm went numb and cold and I was honestly pretty scared.  She kept assuring me that I was fine and that it happens sometimes, in fact it had happened to her not too long ago.. She massaged the bend in my arm and eventually it went from an excruciating pain to just a really bad pain.  She then proceeded to inject the saline into my other arm, after convincing me that it never happens a second time so I had nothing to worry about.. Well, I got lucky that time and everything went normally.  After it was all over, the tech said that there would be some puffiness for a few days in my arm from the saline being rejected by my veins, and that the vein in my left arm would heal on it's own.  A few hours later it definitely became the size of a baseball cut in half.  It looked really strange and felt kind of numb and tight.  It is gradually getting smaller and softer but still feels strange. 
So.. That was my surprisingly terrifying experience having a CAT scan :(
The lady was really nice though, very friendly.

On a different note, Carson and I picked up the Cataclysm expansion for WoW and are going through the frustrations of leveling again.  

It's a pretty freaking epic expansion.  There goes what little life I did have.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cystoscopy and Logos

So, about a month ago I went to the doctor for a physical and was told that I had microscopic blood in my urine.  So I was scheduled to see a urologist, and they confirmed it.  Well, we decided to make a follow up appointment for 3 weeks later (which was today) to see if the problem was still there before any further actions were going to be taken.  Well, lucky me, the blood was still there... :(
They took my blood which is never that bad for me, I'm used to it by now, but because I'm a scaredy cat with pain they couldn't do the Cystoscopy procedure today.  So, tomorrow I am scheduled for a CAT scan and then Wednesday is the procedure under anesthesia.
I was told that blood in the urine is actually really common for women, but because they are doctors, they want to do all these test and invasive procedures to make sure that it isn't anything more serious.  Joy.
I'm really really not looking forward to all of this.

On a lighter note, I have been keeping myself busy making flyers for Carson's new side business.  He will be doing residential computer repairs through the new company he works for, Tntechnologies. 

It's pretty exciting to have a project again, something to keep my mind from turning to mush.  It also seems that when I get on a roll with something, I just can't stop.  Ever since I was assigned this task, I have been making logos non-stop.  Like logos for businesses that don't even exist, and redoing old logos, and playing around with potential logos for my business (whenever and whatever it might be).  
logo I made for myself

I don't know, it's just really really fun to me.  It's something that's challenging, but also somewhat easy because fortunately the simpler the logo the better, so it's like almost impossible for me to screw one up.  I just love it.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Goals and such

First of all, I hate it when I'm alone in the house and my dog starts barking for no reason.  It creeps me out, I always end up sneaking around looking for intruders. :(

Anyway, the main point of this blog is to put into writing my short term goals.  Because, as we all know, if you want to reach your goals, you should write them down. Or tell someone.. Which I have already done that step and I'm working on step two now.
So, my goals..


Food has always been a big issue of mine.  I don't eat red meat or pork, I am allergic to strawberries and kiwis, I hate carrots and all melons.  The problem? Other than what I mentioned, I'm not very picky... Which unfortunately has lead to a horrible struggle with my weight ever since I was a child.  The biggest thing that I've always heard from people in my life is that eating healthy is "expensive" and getting fast food is just so much easier and cheaper.. Really? Is that really really what people believe?  Well I believed it for 10 years of my life (ever since I was old enough to really understand and care about finances).  However, being on my own with my husband (even for a very short time period so far) has given me a new view on this matter.  Healthy food really doesn't cost that much more than junk food in the long run.  Uh, lets see, first of all you'll be HEALTHIER, which by the way is the cheapest way to live (less doctors visits, you aren't as much of a liability for insurance, oh yeah, and your stomach wont be expanding so you as a result wont be eating as much to get full).  Second of all, if you shop the right way, it actually comes out cheaper in the long run to just make meals at home instead of going out every night. 

So, it is my new goal to only eat out one day a week.  Just one.  And it can be anything that I want (within our budget of course), as long as it's just one day a week.  Everything else that I eat, I or my husband (or other family members) will prepare.  No more fast food junk.
My next goal is to work out anywhere from 3 to 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes a day. 
I will be starting this routine after this weekend.  It's something that I was doing before the wedding, but kind of got buried under all the mess and stress of planning a wedding, then it was put off more for the honey moon and getting settled in our new life..  So, my husband is starting his work out routine again (getting back on track with his Fire Fighting stuff), which kind of motivated me to want to better myself as well.  Also a kind of old friend of mine also got me all motivated with a blog she wrote about her workout goals.  So anyway, I'm starting small with my personal weight goal, that way I set myself up for success, not failure.  However, once I reach my ultimate weight goal, which currently is to weigh 135 lbs, I have decided I will reward myself by getting a hair cut and some hair care products and possibly even dye it red or something. ha ha. So yes, that is my plan.  I think all of that will help greatly with my self-esteem and will help me to concur my fears.

Well... This one is something I still need more time to figure out completely.  As of right now, I have been toying with the idea of going back to PetSmart and getting my old job back.  I just had a discussion about finances with my husband last night, and it got me feeling like I need to help out more in some way in this department.  It would be fantastic if I could somehow make money doing something I really really enjoyed doing, but it seems that's not meant to be at the moment. Well, and it doesn't really help that we only have one car and he now works everyday at a new part time job (yay for new job!).
So about all I can do right now to make money is clean with my mom in the evenings.. However, I only help her with two cleanings a month. Not exactly a lot of money, but it's better than nothing.  She was talking about advertising more in the area so I can get more work.  I would help her with more of the cleanings she has now, except that the rest of them are all farther away than I would like to drive in 5 o'clock rush hour traffic, which is a whole other can of worms that will not be opened in this post.
I still want to work with dogs.  So bad.  But there's just no way I can really do anything without a car right now.  I need a new camera.
And some courage. And I need to know more people with dogs and cats I can photograph and practice painting.  Then maybe that will take off and our money problems will be closer to being solved!  Or maybe I'm just dreaming again.  Anyway, long story short, I don't really have any set in stone career goals as of right now.  But as soon as something comes up, I'll let you know.


This is something we haven't really discussed too seriously yet, about the only thing we are sure of is that we don't want to start trying to get pregnant until Carson is stable in his career as a Fire Fighter, and we are in a bigger place. So, that's about the only goal in that area.


Ok, this one is tricky.  I don't really like talking about the potential for friendships because I feel I always jinx it when I do.  Buuuut, I'm setting a goal anyway.  I would like to reconnect with at least one of my old friends, and hopefully make some new ones.  
I have no clue where I will be making these friends, but I am going into people withdrawals.. 
I need to get over these stupid fears and get out with people again.  That's my goal.  It's kind of a long term goal really.
One step at a time...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

At Least Christmas is Here!

I can't help myself, I have to share.  I know I'm the only one who cares in the world, but this made my day.  Something has finally gone right.

This was our tree before, with only the pre-lit lights and tree topper:
I then moved it to a better location, and after a while of decorating it this is what we got:
Finally, when all the lights are off and the tree is lit, this is what you get!
I love it. I really didn't think I would because it's so small and has to sit on a table.. plus it looks like it's about to fall over forward from all the weight of the ornaments on it.  But, you know what?  It's our tree.  And it's something small that makes me feel good in all this mess of confusion that's going on right now. 
Merry start of Christmas!

Mind Ramblings

Two blogs in one day?  There must not be much going on today.
And actually, no there really isn't much going on, which can be a good thing and a bad thing.  When there is nothing really going on today I am left with alone with my thoughts.

I often wonder if I have made the right choices when it comes to my education and "career" (or rather lack there of).
I am more than aware that many people in my life don't think I have.  It has been made clear to my face as well as behind my back, I'm sure.
And I mean, I don't really blame anyone.  It is a hard thing to understand (I don't even understand it fully myself), and definitely a hard thing to try and explain to people.  Especially to people who have lived their whole life with the mentality that you do what you need to to survive and that's that.  People who have worked very very hard their whole life, but never really reached for any kind of dream.  People who honestly believe that it's normal to hate your job, and that wanting a job that you actually love is way too much to ask.
I don't have that mentality.  Like I had stated in a previous blog, I have changed a ton over the last two years, and I truly believe that life doesn't have to be full of mediocrity and disappointments.  Meeting my husband has given me to much to want to live for and he has opened my eyes to the new concept that I want to enjoy everything God has given me to the fullest.  I don't want to get to the end of my life and know that the majority of it was spent doing something I absolutely hated.
And that is my long long explanation as to why I refuse to get stuck working at a job I hate, or a company that's ultimately corrupt, or even potentially job-hop, for the rest of my life.

Well.. Now that that's out of the way and off my chest...
I would like to share a small desire of mine, one that I have been toying with for a year now.  I would love to some how, some day (preferably after I have and raise children) (oh, that's the other thing, I'm a huge advocate of stay at home moms) work with dogs.  It would actually be fantastic if I could get something started before I have children, so I can gain a reputation, then after my kids are grown, I can get back into it full force.

I'm not entirely sure of what I would like to do... However, I do know that it somehow has to be artistic.  My latest plan is to do something with animal photography.   One big problem, though.. I only have a point and shoot camera.  I mean, I had a great photo shoot with my sister's dogs not too long ago with my point and shoot camera, but it doesn't really look professional if I were to ask strangers if I can shoot their dogs with a point and shoot.

So that's my number one dilemma..
My number two dilemma is that I somehow along the way lost my social skills.  It might have something to do with dropping out of school and gaining some extra weight... I really think my low self-esteem is a big factor.

For some reason I just fear people now.  I know fear is not from God, and I shouldn't let it over power me, but it's just so hard when I don't even know how it happened.  It's like one day I just woke up and was afraid to go outside (well, not that bad, but you get the idea).
A lot of that also has to do with the fact that I've lost all of my friends.  Sure, I still have a "technical" friend, Phil. And I know that him and Kristina would do anything for me and vice-versa.  My fears are even keeping me away from them.  And sure, Carson has friends, but we just don't really click.. so I'm nice to them anyway, and I can tell that they are just nice to me because I'm his wife.. but it's like, I feel like I need something more than that.  There are people from my past that I really truly miss, but we are just so different now that it's almost impossible for us to even be in the same room with each other anymore.

Anyway, I digress... as far as starting my own business goes, I just don't seem to have the personality for it.  I have tried starting my own cleaning business, that fell through (luckily I have my mom's to fall back on), I started doing pet portraits, I even advertised on craigslist, and on my myspace and facebook, but nothing..
Here are two examples of dog portraits:

I showed my old graphic design teacher some of my paintings and photos of dogs and she gave me some helpful tips, but I just haven't really had the motivation to start over.  It seems I'm just not a good "front man" for a business.  I suck at advertising and marketing. So.. This little business idea of mine is now just turning into a hobby, well, an almost non existent hobby lately as I have run out of animals to take pictures of... I would ask strangers but that's where my fear of talking to people comes into play, as well as my "unprofessionalism".

I think my biggest thing is lack of self confidence. In EVERYTHING.
I feel like I really need a change.. It would be fantastic if I could lose like 20 pounds in like a week.. but that's not going to happen.
Maybe I'll cut my hair.. That's another idea I have been toying with lately... Changing my hair.  It just took me so long to grow out and it was such a pain most of the time until I got it to where I wanted it.  But now I'm just not satisfied with it..

Not really the best photo,
but it's the most recent one
I have showing the length.

Maybe it is time to cut it.  Hmm..

Wow, long blog today. Guess there was more going through my brain than I even knew about.

Things need to start happening.

We really really need a bigger place. I love our apartment and all, it's perfect for what we needed for this first year of marriage, but I'm starting to feel like we're caving in on ourselves. It's a very very tiny apartment on the third floor, one bed, one bath, 722 sq ft over all.
The lease is up next Halloween, so hopefully by that time Carson will be working at a fire station (fingers crossed for Austin FD), and I will have more weekly cleanings. It would be fantastic if our next place could be a condo, or something with a back yard for our dog.

Right now I'm having problems figuring out where all the Christmas decorations will go. We don't have many, but we also don't have a lot of space to put them.
as it is the tree will have to go behind the couch next to all of my craft items and art supplies, as that's the only open floor space around the perimeter of the room.
So far this is what I have up in the line of Christmas decorations:

 This is what I set up on top of the entertainment center.

 This is on the coffee table... Can you tell we are going with the "frosty" blue and white theme?  No Santa for us.

More lights on Carson's desk. (along with his rookie rope, certificate, and Fire Academy group photo.) (oh and the picture I painted of Strider)

And last, the candles next to the wedding portrait.
So, that is the extent of the decorating so far.  Last thing to do is the tree.  Speaking of which, I still need to make a denim table cloth to go on the table the tree will set on... Should probably do that today.

Stressful time of year.. Brother-in-law's birthday tomorrow, Carson's birthday on the 17th, and then Christmas all in the same month.  Goodness.