Sayonara, Spring…it’s Summer Time!

And… I can’t really believe it. How it’s already (mid) June is literally beyond me. Life has been SO busy (and yet, so good)  and I’ve seemed to let the blog slide as I’ve been going through my days these past few months.

To sum these past few months up… things around the Happy Tales household have been pretty damn good (minus some apartment flooding and a wiped out computer hard drive, but I’ll get into that more later!).

I finished off my Spring semester of grad school with a trip up to UNC for a mandatory weekend Leadership seminar and started my 1st Summer session less than a week later, which leads me to now. No summer break for this girl! In fact, I haven’t had a summer off from hittin’ the books since Summer 2009. Ah, well, I am SO close to graduating with my MPH that I am beyond motivated to push through ‘til December.

It’s crazy to think that Summer Session I ends this coming Sunday… I’ve been knee deep in my AIDS policy course  since the beginning of May and I’m sad to see it coming to an end. It’s a great class, especially with my experience of giving support care services to those living with HIV ands AIDS during my year with the Americorps right after college.

No worries, though. Summer Session II starts up just a few days after my AIDS course ends and I’ll be starting all of my research for my master’s paper (a paper I’ll write in the Fall in order to graduate). On top of the course work and the research, I am also spending both summer sessions completing a 140 hour practicum — basically a fancy word for ‘internship’ — all the while working full-time. Now I’m sure you see why the blog has fallen to the wayside, things have been quite busy!

And they won’t be slowing down anytime soon.

Come August, I’ll take my final two courses and complete my comprehensive exams in early October (someone hold me), turn in my masters paper in November, and if all goes well, I’ll finish my final two courses and graduate in December!

Whew.

There sure is a lot to be said working your way through grad school – it really is a tough balance. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that everything goes to plan. If not, it won’t be the end of the world — I’ll just tack on an extra semester (Spring ‘13) and complete whatever needs to be done. I’d really like to not have to do that, though, as I’ll be gearing up for our wedding at that point!

My “new” job is still the best thing that has ever happened to me. I’m pretty much swimming along on my own now, and the fulfillment I get out of each of my days fills me with so much happiness. I can genuinely say I’ve never been happier in my entire life, and I think a great part of that is due to the people I surround myself with at my job, and of course, the donors I get to work with each day. I really can’t get over the miracles we make happen – the timelines and events leading up to  successful bone marrow donation are so fragile — it truly amazes me that we make it happen time and time again. I have the best job ever, hands down.

These past few months also had some craziness thrown in as well. Like the time when the pipes burst in the apartment above us at 3:30 in the morning (right during my week of finals, mind you). At first I thought I was dreaming, but several minutes of the blaring fire alarm and the overhead sprinklers going off brought me to my senses and made me realize that the water rushing into our apartment from the ceiling above us was, indeed, real life.  (I also realized during this time that Lasik eye surgery is on the top of my list of things to treat myself to once I gradate grad school and can start saving money again – fumbling around to quickly find my glasses during a chaotic situation is not ideal!).

Turns out there was no fire, so a true disaster was thankfully averted. The property manager who runs our apartment complex was beyond amazing. They were at our door within minutes helping out with the buckets of water gushing through our air vents. Yep, that’s right – water was literally rushing through our air vents. Our master closet and storage room (and master bathroom) were all soaked! Thankfully my other half is Mr. Positive in all situations and helped me make light of the situation, even while it was happening (I also think the ridiculousness of the 3:30AM timing allowed us to laugh through it all as well). We’re just so thankful our complex wasn’t experiencing a real fire, and lucky for us, nothing major was ruined. Another thing? Do not underestimate the importance of renters insurance.

Another hiccup I ran into in May was when my hard drive crashed. I’ve had my Sony Vaio for 2 years, and I LOVE the damn thing. So when I randomly got a “S.M.A.R.T. failure” message while trying to boot it up one day and couldn’t figure out what was wrong, I was perplexed and took it into Best Buy to see if they could figure it out.

The Geek Squad said the messages I was receiving while trying to boot up my computer meant that my hard drive had already been wiped, and if I wanted to retrieve my data, they’d have to send off my computer to Atlanta (and I’d have to spend an arm and a leg in order to retrieve the data). Not being financially prepared to do that, I decided not to go that route. I asked around work if anyone knew of any computer-savvy people, and unfortunately, no one had any connections. The next day, one of my coworkers  (who had not been in the office the day before) said she heard about my situation and had already spoke to her husband – a man who’s owned his own computer company for 30+ years – and he was willing to take a look at my computer and see if he could fix the problem.

I know I’ve said this before, but I can’t reiterate how amazing my coworkers are and how much they feel like family to me – always helping each other out. Needless to say, I took my coworker and her husband up on their offer, and my data files were all able to be saved off my hard drive. Talk about a relief – we’re talkin’ ALL of my grad school documents, data, notes, etc… from the past 2+ years I’ve been in the program, (and of course, all of my pictures!).

On top of that? He fixed my computer! So not only did I not have to pay major $$$ to the Best Buy Geek Squad, but I also did not have to purchase a new laptop. My coworker and her husband are my heroes. And I am one fortunate girl.

The lesson I learned from this all of this? Always, ALWAYS, back up your data. Your hard drive can get corrupted, even if your laptop is only 2 years old.

Other things?

Ah yes, I am in need of a few surgeries (as is Ryan), but I’ll save those musings for another time. Let’s just go ahead and dub this summer as the “summer of surgeries” — next summer will hopefully be the summer of more pleasant things – like, you know, getting married.

So, I figure this post is getting way too wordy, so I might as well throw in some pictures. I mean hey, it wouldn’t be a worthy blogpost without a gazillion pictures from the past few months now, would it?

Let’s rewind all the way back to mid-March…

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My parents drove through Charlotte in mid-March on their way from Florida to Ohio. I had a blast with my mom (as always) and we picked up some fun things from Michaels to use for crafting. (Although, because I’ve been so swamped, I didn’t actually get to crafting until the end of May… I am only human, after all!). My mom wasn’t feeling her best during their time with us so we hung around the apartment and caught up before going out to dinner at a  yummy Italian restaurant.

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Happy Girl, the one and only

Later in March, Ryan and I went to see Martin Sexton in concert (second time for me, eleven times for Ryan).

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This guy is Ryan’s all-time favorite artist and I’ve grown to really enjoy his music as well.

One of Martin Sexton’s trademark songs, “Black Sheep”

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And of course, more soccer time happened.

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In April, we saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers in concert. One word – AMAZING!

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We celebrated Easter at home here in Charlotte, just like last year, and had another “Easter Carrot Hunt” for Happy.

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Guys??

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Shmeee! Let me in!!!

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It’s funny, we don’t think she remembered the hunt from last year, because it literally took her ALL day to find them.

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Somebody’s a little dense…

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carrotcarrotcarrot. WHERE.is.the.CARROT!

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Errrr… carrot?

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I am so OVER this.

After the (not so successful) hunt, we went for our annual Easter walk around the lake at Freedom Park

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Freedom Park

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FREEDOMMMM!

We get stared at a lot.

I kid you not, Happy walks on her back hind legs to start off the majority of all of our walks. That girl is just LOVES the all of the sites and smells of the outdoors. It’s quite the site to see, and always makes me laugh.

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Dilworth Neighborhood Grille

And my parents drove through Charlotte once again, this time over Mother’s Day weekend! This was the first Mother’s Day I got to spend with my mom since I was in high school – 8 years ago (geez, how has it been 8 years since HS already??).

They stayed for two days instead of their usual one. Typically, my parents drive in at night, enjoy a dinner out with us, and then leave the next morning to continue their drive. But not this time! Lucky for us, they took their time getting back to Ohio from Florida and we made sure to make the most of it.

My mom was feeling good this time around, so we spent the day out doing girly things and shopping around while the guys hung out and watched golf and soccer (their two favorite sports).

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My mom and I on Mother’s Day – she’s on the phone with my sister, Molly!

I LOVE having quality time with my mom. She’s got the best personality and such an infectious laugh. I’m so grateful they decided to spend two days with us.

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They even stopped by my workplace when they finally left to head back to Ohio Monday morning. I think it’s so neat that two of my “families” got to meet each other – really meant a lot to me.

Ryan and I are hoping to drive up to Cincinnati over Labor Day weekend so we can spend some time with my parents again (and catch up with family/friends we haven’t seen in what feels like forever!).

Other trips we have planned for the summer? A weekend in Arkansas to visit with Ryan’s family, and of course, some “stay-cations” to take care of all of the surgeries. But I’ll dive into that more at another time.

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Filed under Cincinnati, family, graduate school, Happiness, Happy, job, my story, National Marrow Donor Program, NMDP, recap, Travel

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