Friday, June 29, 2007

Yarn for SP10

We were asked to blog about three yarns that we would like to try so here they are:

1. Malabrigo in Olive (left), Red Mahogany (center) or Marron Oscuro (right). I bought some for my secret pal but have never tried it myself. It was so soft and beautiful that I almost couldn't let it go.



2. Lorna's Laces Shephard Sock in the Gold Hill colorway. I've heard lots of great stuff about this sock yarn and i've seen some great colorways online. Would like to try it out sometime.



3. Cherry Tree Hill either Supersock (100% superwash merino) or their new Sockittome (80% merino/20% nylon) in color Java. I soooo heart this colorway! Isn't it gorgeous?

Do you see a trend here? Yep, I like dark earthy colors.

Look ... It's a Squirrel!!!

http://dishclothcorner.blogspot.com/2006_05_04_archive.html

Sad

http://alfiberdreams.blogspot.com/2007/06/dont-drink-and-drive.html

Hand Dyed Yarn Swap

As if I don't have enough to do as it is, I have organized a hand dyed yarn swap. If you are interested you can check out the blog here: www.thehanddyedyarnswap.blogspot.com. Round one will be hand dyed sock yarn. Details and sign-up info can be found on the blog. We've added a pretty good list of links to yarn dyeing tutorials if you have never done it before or if you want to learn a new technique.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Day 2 of 11 ... still going strong

So yesterday while I was running it felt like the seam of my sock was rubbing on my toe. I stopped a few times and adjusted my sock, thinking it just needed to shift a little. About three miles into my journey I just couldn't take it anymore so I decided to take my socks off. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the problem had nothing to do with my sock but was, in fact, due to my shoe coming apart from the inside. You should see the nasty blister on my toe today. Anyway, after Yoga last night I went to the mall and bought a new pair of running shoes. And let me just tell you ... there's nothing like running in a new pair of running shoes that fit just right. I bought yet another pair of New Balance running shoes. They come in extra wide widths which I need for my very flat, very wide feet. I informed Brett when I got home that he had just bought me a pair of running shoes for my birthday. :) He said he would have to take the diamond ring back then and I just had to laugh.
Brett had a city council meeting to go to tonight so the boys and I went to the gym. They did really well in the childwatch. The woman watching the kiddos tonight told me that they were both very well behaved. That's my boys! :) I did some ab work and ran on the treadmill. I walked for a half mile to get good and warmed up and then I ran for two miles straight without stopping! Yay! Go me! I haven't been able to do that in a long time. I uesd to run a lot but I got away from it for quite a while. I'm really enjoying getting back into it. It feels great to exert myself like that and to sweat out all those toxins. Speaking of sweating, I thought I would sweat less today b/c I was on a treadmill in the a/c ... didn't happen. I am one sweat-producing machine when I run! (i know, yummy)
I've found the key for me is a good long walking warm up and good music on my mp3 player. I spent a while today loading more of our cds onto the computer so I could put a new playlist on my mp3 player and make some cd's for our beach trip and for my sectret pal. So glad I took the time to do that. I was getting sick of all the songs I had on there before. I'm in more of a rock phase now so my new playlist has Candlebox, Sister Hazel, Black Crowes, Live, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Evanescence, Linkin Park, Seether, Lenny Kravitz (of course), Daughtry, and a handful of fun pop/dance songs like Pussy Cat Dolls, Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera. New shoes and new music and I was rockin' and runnin'. Good stuff man, good stuff.
I think the thing i'm diggin' about getting into running again (besides the obvious health benefits) is the personal challenge. How far can I go this time? I'm going through a phase of seeking out new challenges in life. Can you tell? But mostly, i'm just tired of carrying this extra weight around and not feeling good about myself. I am losing weight though so i'm on the right track!
In knitting news, I finished the headwrap I was working on and it turned out quite nicely. Let's see if I can find the picture I took... well it looks like you're gonna have to wait. I didn't realize my memory stick wasn't in the camera when I took the pic so it's on the camera's internal memory and I don't see the usb cable for the camera. I'm sure it's around here somewhere but i'll find it later. Right now i'm going to bed.

On a blender note ... i've discovered my favorite juice so far and it is sooooo yummy. I use four ounces of water, one tomato, eight baby carrots, one stalk of celery, about five or six red grapes and some ice cubes. Use the "whole juice" cycle on the fancy dancy blender and you've got yourself a glass of yummy goodness.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A Great Start ... Day 1 of 11

Houston had his last swimming lesson this morning after which we went running ... well it was more of a walk-run-walk-run but i kept my heart rate up. The boys rode in the double stroller, of course. Brody even managed to sneak a nap in. Would have been able to run a bit more but my shoes were hurting my pinky toe. Gonna have to do something about that real soon. After the run/walk in which I made it just under four miles in an hour ... we went to the pool at the Y for some swimming fun. Every morning during Houston's swimming lesson I have to fight Brody to keep him out of the pool. He keeps trying to crawl in and fusses at me while doing the sign for swim. I told them today that I would take them swimming so off we went. It was a lot of fun and the boys loved it too. I love to swim and really should go more often. Houston is a little fish with his water wings on. He kept throwing a ball out into the middle of the pool and then swimming out to get it all the while saying "swim mama, i swim mama" and then he would stop and float and say "float mama, i float mama". Too cute, I tell ya! He is so proud of himself .. just a smiling from ear to ear. And then he wanted to swim some without his water wings so we practiced some real swimming too. That kid is fearless. He jumps right off the steps and under he goes but he kicks his way back up to me. I'm so excited about this. I think he'll be swimming without his water wings by the end of the summer.

Late Night Ramblings...


I've now received two of my three sets of stitch markers for this round of the exchange. I found a lovely set from Lia in the mailbox yesterday. Aren't they pretty?

I haven't been blogging much lately. I've been crafting like mad, working on some things for my secret pal's final package as well as sewing some clothes for myself. I'm getting fed up with not being able to find clothes that fit me right because of my baby belly that seems to want to stick around forever so I decided I would just have to make my own. I've done a lot of work cleaning and organizing my craft room and I now have a great place to work. I've done a lot of yarn dyeing and quite a bit of knitting lately. Also sewed myself a pair of shorts. Plan to sew myself a skirt tomorrow night after yoga. Here's some yarn I dyed for my secret pal. Her favorite color yarn is blue. This pictures makes the yarn look extremely bright for some reason. It's definitely a bright blue but it's not quite as neon-ish as this picture makes it look.

The boys are doing good. Houston is enjoying his swimming lessons and he's talking better every day. Brody is picking up baby signs amazingly fast. He now does milk, eat, change, swim and all done. He's still not walking though. He's been so close for so long but he just doesn't have the confidence yet. Oh well ... he'll do it when he's ready.

I had a really great weekend and this week is turning out to be pretty good as well. Saturday morning I got my haircut and then we took the boys to the pool. After that Brett kept the boys and I went to Gainesville to have my bridesmaid dress altered and to find silver shoes to go with it. It was so nice to go shopping without the kids. My trip to the mall was very successful. Got shoes I love in the first place I looked ... and they were on sale. Got good news about my dress alterations. I actually went back to Gainesville tonight and picked it up. They took it in a slight bit more than I would have liked but I can still zip it up. Might just have to step it up a notch and try to sweat off another pound between now and the wedding. Hmmm ... wonder how much I could lose if I really tried hard in the next eleven days. After the mall I stopped by Joann's and got lost in there for about two hours. Pretty much everything in the store was on sale and I got some great deals. Got some great fabric ($10/yd for $2/yd), a pasta machine ($30 for $9.99) to help with my polymer clay project, a pattern for my shorts and skirt, some cotton yarn (also on sale) for a dress i'm knitting for my cousin's baby and some more to make myself some face scrubby cloth things, a knitting magazine, and some soap making supplies. I could have stayed in there for another hour at least but the store was closing so I had to go. Then on Sunday I took the kids to my friend Joy's house for her daughter Layla's 3rd birthday party. I really enjoyed it. Joy made some amazing food, as usual for her and she gave me the most awesome early birthday present. (Dude ... I just realized as I typed that ... that i'm going to be 31 next week ... WHAT?) She gave me a stainless steel water bottle. I've had my eye on those and had planned to get one eventually. There are issues with plastic leaching into your water from plastic bottles. I've been meaning to blog about this topic .. maybe i'll remember to do that soon. So anyway ... I was super excited that she gave me this wonderfully thoughtful gift. It is awesome and i've been drinking a lot of water out of it already. It's amazing how much better water tastes when you drink it out of stainless steel instead of plastic.

WARNING: Cheesy self-portrait taken in the bathroom mirror posted below. I never take the time to straighten my hair but I love it this way. That's one of the reasons i'm growing it long again. The weight of my hair when it's long pulls the kinks out of it. Thought i'd take a picture to capture the moment of Celena with her hair actually done since I know you all see it so rarely.



Here's Houston swimming with his teacher Bridgette. She's been really great and has an amazing amount of patience to manage three two-year-olds in a pool at the same time. Brody loves to watch and keeps trying to crawl into the pool. It's a constant struggle to keep that boy from the edge of the pool while his brother swims. He crawls to the edge and turns around so he can back himself right into the pool. I doubt he would do it anymore if he found out what happens when mama actually lets him go over the edge. Hee hee ... but I wouldn't do that to my little munchkin.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Wasting time on a friday night ...

... on silly quizes.

Your Learning Style: Energetic and Inspired

You always find the words to express yourself, and there's hardly a class or subject you don't enjoy.

You Should Study:

Advertising
Art
Classics
Counseling
Journalism
Political Science
Sales
Teaching
You Are 80% Perfectionist

You are a true perfectionist. You are both demanding of yourself and others.
While it's great to have goals and standards, they don't need to be sky high!
Your Career Personality: Independent, Insightful, and Ingenious

Your Ideal Careers:

Architect
Artist
Business strategist
College professor
Computer programmer
Mathematician
Neurologist
Philosopher
Photographer
Video game developer
You Have Good Karma

In general, you like to do the right thing when it comes to others.
Your caring personality really shines through.
Sure, you have your moments of weakness - and occasionally act out.
But, all in all, you're karma is good... even with those few dark spots.
Your Life is 56% Green

Your life is pretty green - and you know a lot about how to live an eco friendly life.
So congratulate yourself for being good to the earth. And maybe think about implementing some of the ideas from this quiz!

Stitch Marker Exchange, part 2


I enjoyed the stitch marker exchange so much last time around that I decided to do it again. I was a little behind in getting my markers out this week but I finally got them finished and they are on their way. (stomach virus set me back a bit) One set is going to Robyn in Canada, another to Jessica in Alabama and the third is going to Jessica in New Jersey. I'm not saying which is going where, just in case they see this post. Want to keep up a little bit of a surprise. I think the top set is my favorite. I just love the color of the glass beads and the little butterflies are too cute. I'm a big fan of butterflies though so i'm a bit biased. I think I might make myself a pair of earrings like those. Would be cute, no? And for the non-knitters wondering why one bead is different on the top two sets, it's so when you are knitting in the round using more than one stitch marker you can keep track of where the beginning of each round is.

So far I have received one of my three sets. I got these "oh so cute" stitch markers from Kimberly. I still can't get over the cuteness of this little penguin. He makes me happy every time I look at him. I still can't grasp how she made this little guy. He's so perfect. If I had two I would probably turn them into earrings just so I could wear them around. :)

I think he needs a name ... but what shall it be? Any suggestions? This little guy is truly bringing out the child in me. Tee hee.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Cancer Strikes Again

I'm so upset, I don't even know where to begin. This will probably turn into a rambling mess but I need to get it out. I got one of those phone calls last night. One of those calls from a family members that asks first if you are sitting down. My heart sank. I knew before he even told me ... I just knew that damn disease had struck again. "Who is it this time?", I thought to myself. My uncle, who is also my godfather ... the uncle I probably spent the most time with growing up out of all of my uncles (and I have a LOT of uncles) because he was also my dad's best friend (this gets confusing ... he's my bio dad's brother and my other dad's best friend) ... was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. I feel like i'm in the twilight zone. When you haven't been through this before you don't know what lies ahead. Patsy, Brett's mom, was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. I've been playing that whole scene over in my head. Watching Brett get the phone call. Seeing him cry. Feeling helpless. Feeling mad. Crying but wanting to scream. Trying to do everything you can to help but knowing that nothing is going to save her. Watching her deteriorate. Thinking of all the things she will miss. Knowing that she will never be here to see Brett and I have kids. Seeing another family torn apart by this terrible disease.

So here I sit, thinking of my aunt and uncle and my cousins ... knowing what lies ahead of them. Feeling helpless once again and overwhelmingly sad. What do I say to comfort them when I know what hell lies ahead of them? I'm sad for Ashley and Brian, that their dad will never see them get married or have kids or even graduate college .... for they are still so young. I'm sad for my Aunt Gail, that she will be left without her partner. I'm sad for Erika, that her son will lose his grandfather so early in life and that she will lose her father. I'm sad for my grandmother, because you just aren't supposed to outlive your children.

But mostly ... i'm just pissed off. I'm pissed off that this terrible disease continues to steal life away from those I love. Why is it that we live in a society with this supposedly wonderful "western medicine" yet we still can't fix this? If early detection is the key, then when are we going to get to a point at which everyone goes in for a full body scan each year to find this stuff early? Why is it that two people I love, within four years of eachother, weren't diagnosed until they had stage four lung cancer? Why is it that it takes several months to get a diagnosis yet as soon as they find it, they bring you in the very next day to make you even more ill than you were, in hopes of slowing things down.

When is this going to stop??? I have two grandparents I've never met, an aunt that I miss dearly, a mother-in-law who is missed more than I can express ... and now an uncle that i'm going to lose as well ... all because of this thing called "cancer". And maybe the worst part of it all is that I know this is not the end of the list. It's only time before the phone rings again with bad news on the other end. It's not an "if" but a "when". And how close to home will it hit next time?

... there's been another "shift in the matrix". I'm reminded to appreciate every little thing I have and to not let the little things get to me. I'm reminded to enjoy life, because you never know when it might be stolen away from you.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

It's Wednesday

Wednesday usually means yoga for me but Houston has swimming lessons this afternoon and I don't have enough energy for yoga anyway. I'm starting to get my appetite back and today is the first day i'm not nauseous. Yipee! It's been raining all day so far, which we really need, but I hope it stops for swimming lessons. We got rained out after about ten minutes yesterday.

I don't have much to blog about today so i'll leave you with some quotes from a great book i'm reading ... Financial Peace Revisited by Dave Ramsey.

From Chapter 3: The Basics (a foundation)
"You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you."

When your priorities get off track, money will take command instantly because of its active principle. I love the old adage "Measure your wealth not by the things you have, but by the things for which you would not take money."

From Chapter 4: Understand the Spiritual Aspects of Money
There are those who believe that finance is merely an exact mathematical science. That is the way it is taught in the universities. In fact, finance is an exact mathematical science -- until a human touches it. Personal finance is who you are. The personal, philosophical, and emotional problems and strengths that you have will be reflected in your use of money. If you are very disciplined, you can be a good saver of money. If you are very selfish or self-centered, you will surround yourself with expensive toys that you cannot afford.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Some Awesome Stitch Markers

Check this out. Scroll down a bit to see the great stitch markers. This woman has some talent! She also has an Etsy shop.

"Manly" Sock Yarn


My latest sock yarn. Kettle dyed rainbow style. Then hand painted to add a bit of a brown-variegated-blue-variegated pattern. Then kettle dyed again with brown to darken it up. Then kettle dyed once more to darken it up a bit more. It was still wet when we left for the river saturday morning so I wasn't sure what it was going to look like. I forgot about it when we got home because I was so sick. Got to check it out today and i'm happy to say that it turned out pretty much like I wanted it to. Some of the blue is a little brighter than I would like for it to be but I knew that was going to happen because of the dye I was using. I could add another wash of brown to it all to darken the blue part up a bit but I think I might like how it is now. I'll have to think about it for a while. Well it's time to get ready for Houston's swimming lessons. Lets just hope I can manage this without getting sick again. I still can't shake this overwhelming nauseau i've got going on.

I'm a mess ...

Ya'll ... i've had a really rough weekend. We spent the weekend at the river and saturday was really fun but about two hours after we all went to sleep on saturday night, my hell began. Apparently I either ate something bad or got some sort of stomach virus. I've been a mess since late saturday/early sunday. I was finally able to hold down a little bit of food last night around seven or so and i've had some toast today. I'm still really nauseous and my neck and back are extremely sore. Both of my ears hurt really bad too and I still haven't been able to shake the headache i've head since late saturday night either. Every time I take some pain reliever it makes me yack. We came home yesterday around five or so and about an hour or two after we got home I was on the couch with a fever and the chills. I had another really bad night of sleep last night and Brody kept waking up all night too. My neck hurts so bad that I can't get comfortable enough to sleep. And to top it all off, right after everyone (except me, of course) ate dinner yesterday Houston puked all down my back while I was holding him. That, along with the fever I had last night, is making me think it's a virus. The only good thing about all of this is that I probably lost a couple more pounds. I just hope I can get it together enough to take Houston to his swimming lessons that start today at 5:30. Anyhow ... now that i've totally grossed you all out ... i'll post some pictures from our weekend at the river.







Apparently Brody was feeling his lack of sleep from last night. I just found him on the kitchen floor like this about an hour ago. He and Houston were playing in the living room while I was sitting here on the computer and I noticed it got really quiet. I went to see what was going on and this is what I found.

Friday, June 15, 2007

More of the Sears Photo Shoot






Something Else I Must Knit

Totally stolen from Sharon's blog. The Harry Potter Book Scarf and Julie's Potholder.

Some Random Things

Here's our dinner from last night. I made honey raisin talapia. This is probably the best fish recipe in the history of the world. Okay so maybe not but it's gotta be close. YUMMY! And the green beans and squash are straight from the garden. Can't get much more fresh than that. I picked them in the morning and we ate them that night. Good stuff, I tell ya! I got the recipe from Grammy Lee. She made it for us when the boys and I went to Bradenton back in March. I ran into the recipe while cleaning out my purse and just happened to have all the ingredients right here at home. Brett wasn't sure about it as I was cooking it but he really, really liked it.

Brody wasn't quite as happy about dinner as Brett and I were. Unfortunately for Houston he fell asleep early and missed all the yumminess. I saved some for him for lunch today though.

And here's Houston sporting some of the new clothes his grandpa sent him. He's so cute and talking so much more now. Every time he puts on some of his new clothes from the huge pile his grandpa sent him he says "grandpa do dat" meaning "grandpa sent me these clothes". Smart kid .. he knows which clothes he's never worn before. He is so into clothes too ... it's funny. He changes his outfit about three times a day. Makes for lots of laundry but he enjoys it so I let him help himself. He's so good at it too. He looks at the tags to make sure they are in the back and I never have to help him get dressed. He's actually been doing this for quite a while now. He's very independant.

And remember the "ugly socks", as I so affectionately named them? Well I decided to keep knitting for a while just to see what happens and i'm glad I did. Now i'm not saying they aren't ugly anymore, I'm just saying i'm happy with the change in direction that the pattern took. Somehow it makes them look better to me. Joy told me to look at them like tie-dye and that gave me a whole new perspective. I really wanted some mindless knitting to do while my mind ran circles around itself and these socks were right there waiting for me. I started the second one too and i'm done with the 1x1 ribbing. Now on to many, many rounds of plain stockinette. (That's just knitting every stitch for you non-knitters ... no purling or anything else ... so I can pretty much do it with my eyes closed.) I'm working on some blue/brown kettle dyed sock yarn today to knit Brett some socks with for his birthday. Hopefully that will work out well. Don't tell him though .. it's a surprise. He never reads this so I can post about it here.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Brody's One Year Check-up

Well it's official. My big baby boy has turned into my little peanut. He has a big head and is a little taller than average but he is small as far as weight goes. We knew that was going to be the case. He really slowed down his growth to almost nothing right around six months or so. He's wearing size twelve month clothes now but doesn't fill them out all the way at all. Actually, some of them are a little too big. I know Houston was a lot heavier to pick up and tote around with me when he was a year old. Houston also was in 18 month clothes, pushing the 24 month size when he turned one.

Brody's head circumference is in the 92nd percentile but his height is the 60th percentile and his weight is in the 30th percentile. So 70% of kids his age weigh more than he does. And he was 12 pounds at birth! Funny, huh? Houston was a big baby too but he never really slowed down. He's still a lot bigger than most kids his size. I guess little brother is going to truly be the little brother. Dr. Mas said that this is probably where he will level off at and will most likely stay a little smaller than average. She's not worried about his weight at all though because he looks really healthy. Some pediatricians put a lot of stock in those growth charts and i've had friends whose peds told them their kids were "failing to thrive" because of where there are on the growth chart, even though they look super healthy. Just another reason I love our doctor. She uses common sense and doesn't get her head stuck in the charts.

We had a good day on tuesday. We went to the doctor's office, which is in gainesville, and then went to the mall there to have the boys pictures taken. We had a great photographer and she got some of the best photos of the boys that i've ever had taken. We shared some chinese food in the food court and then went to the play area so the boys could wear themselves out before the drive home. It was a really good day and they behaved wonderfully and then slept all the way home.

I'm an engineer ...

... and a bit of a spaz, apparently. And I have a feeling this post is going to get very long so I apologize if I bore you to tears. The past two weeks have been so stressful for me. I've done lots of thinking, lots of research, lots of stressing, and lots of knitting. I find that when i'm really stressed is when I want to knit the most. I found an article recently that talked about research showing how knitting lowers blood pressure as effectively as meditation. I believe it too. I've been a knitting insomniac for the past three days.

I decided to continue knitting the "ugly socks" for two reasons. One, it's mindless stockinette stitch going round and round and round and takes absolutely no concentration thus leaving my mind free to ponder all of my work/school options. Two, my friend Joy gave me a new way to look at the ugliness of the sock and I decided it would be good to keep knitting for a bit and see what happens with the pattern that's appearing. Now i'm not saying the socks aren't ugly anymore but the pattern that's emerging is different than what I thought I was going to get so i'm glad I decided to put a little more time into it. I'm done with the cuff/leg part of the first sock and I started the cuff of the second sock last night. I decided to knit these two socks together instead of finishing one and then starting the other.

I got my Etsy shop up and running yesterday and posted my first skein of yarn. I still have some work to do on my shop appearance so i'm not sharing it with you all yet. I have to wait until my secret pal exchange is over anyway so as not to inadvertantly reveal myself a little too soon. I hope to get some of my baby tie-dye stuff up there today or tomorrow as well. I'm also working on a new colorway for a sock yarn geared towards men.

Back to the "i'm a spaz" thing. I've done a lot of thinking and researching and phone calls and emails and soul searching about this whole going back to school thing. Brett and I had a big heart to heart about the whole thing last night too over a bottle of wine and were up till sometime after 1am discussing my options. Have I said lately how much I love my husband? I really don't know what I would do without him here as my sounding board. And no matter what my latest and craziest idea is, he's always there to support me and to help me sort through things.

Here's where i'm at ... my biggest and most important thing in life is to be here for my boys. Some people may say I want to have my cake and eat it too but ya know what? I went through six and a half years of college for a reason. So I don't have to work my butt of just to make ends meet. So that I can have a good life. So that my family can have a good life. So that I can have the job I want to have. So i've reached deep down to figure out what exactly I want and here it is ... I want to be home with my kids. And when they go to school I want to drive them there and pick them up and talk to them about their day and help them with their homework and take them to soccer practice and whatever else they want to do. I want them to have a great childhood. I want us to have a great home and family life. I want to be able to take them on vacations and show them things like the Grand Canyon and the space centers and the mountains and the malibu coast and all that great stuff here in our wonderful country. I want to be able to send them to private school. I don't want someone else to raise my children and pick them up after school and take care of them over the summers. I'm their mom and I should be doing that. I'm not saying that everyone should do that. I'm just saying that I should. Now over the past two weeks i've come up with two ways in which this can happen.

Option 1: community college math teacher
Pros: I can make my own schedule, great pay for number of days worked, lots of time off that would mosly line up with the boys off time.
Cons: Four more years of college in which we will be more broke than we are now. Two years of undergrad after which there is absolutely no guarantee that I will get into grad school. Apparently the undergrad postpac classes I have to take will take me two years due to a certain sequence that you have to follow and each class only being offered once a year. Postbac is only allowed for 12 months so I would actually have to apply as a degree seeking student and get a bachelors in math before applying to grad school. I've been told more than once that the likelihood of getting into UF's math grad program is slim to none. My only other commutable option is UNF. That's two years of school and time away from the boys with no guarantee of being any better off than I am now. Also, if I do finish grad school I would most likely have to work as an adjunct for several years until a full time position is offered. I've had two different math professors refer to adjunct positions as "slave labor". So that would be four years of school to end up making under 20k a year until, hopefully, a full time position would be offered. That would mean no private school and definitley no vacations. I could make more by going back to teaching high school. If I didn't have kids I would feel much more positive about this math option and would just go for it but there are just too many places where this option could take a bad turn. I've worked too hard to get the degree I already have to set myself up for failure on round two.

Option 2: civil or structural engineer
Pros: Hey ... I'm already an engineer. Now I just have to add that civil or structural part. There are several ways for me to do this. College classes, training classes, teaching myself with Brett's textbooks and his help, and a combination of all these things. We know so many engineers around here and the civil and structural stuff is going to be around forever. It's also something that I can do no matter where we live. That's the problem with my being an aerospace engineer. It's so specialized that you pretty much work yourself right out of a job. There are plenty of engineers around here that I can work for on a contractor basis. That's what I do now for GTC's structural engineer but I could do a lot more if I learned some more about the field. I could go back to UF and get a civil engineering degree pretty quickly. Probably less than two years. Or I could just do a year of postbac work and take some of the classes that Brett thinks gave him the best real world knowledge. He thinks I could go to some continuing education training sessions like the ones engineering firms and DOT send their employees to and could learn what I need to. So I could do this and continue to work from home as I am now but would be able to take on a lot more work, especially when the boys start school. I'll have all day while they are in school to get my work done and with my laptop I could travel around to meet with clients and the engineers that I work for. And did I mention that i'm already an engineer? This option is actually causing me much less stress, costing much less money and providing more immediate and continued success and therefore a better life for us and our boys. And i'm really looking forward to learning some new things, which this would definitely provide. And we definitely wouldn't mind being back to having two engineers salaries either. Anyhow, the boys are growing up and Brody is getting to the point where he and Houston can play and entertain themselves for longer periods of time, giving me the ability to sit and get some work or some studying done. Another six months or so and they should be at a point where I can take on the HVAC work that is waiting for me.
Cons: Our eggs would still all be in the GTC basket, at least for a little while, which makes me a bit nervous but I will be learning things that allow me to go out and get work from other engineers soon enough.

Considering the size of the "con" section in the math option and the size of the "pro" section in the engineer option, I see where i'm headed. And i'm actually less stressed and more excited today than I have been in two weeks. :) Now I have to go to Brett's office and drag all those textbooks back to the house that I made him take there to get them out of my way.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Birthday Weekend Fun







More pictures to come. We're off to Gainesville for Brody's one year check-up.