Proud of my grade ;D

Sometimes it’s the small things in life that make you smile. This morning I read an email that one of my instructors sent out to the whole class. He said that he had graded the recent assignment pretty strictly and the average score was a C+ so I was worried about what my grade was going to be. Well I was pleasantly surprised when I found the note “Well done! Grade=A” on my assignment! 100% baby!  :O) Maybe this project management thing is going to work out really well after all.

Still trying to decide where to focus my energies for an internship and future job. I have several interests and there’s lots of opportunities in Seattle. One idea is to stay in healthcare and maybe get a job working at one of the cancer research clinics in Seattle. Another idea is to follow the money in the tech field… like Amazon or Microsoft. Also, I’m interested in construction and remodeling, especially green remodeling which is a growing industry right now. Wow, so many options! I’m reaching out to friends right now trying to arrange some informal interviews with project managers in different fields to get a better idea of the pro’s & con’s of each.

I went out for breakfast this morning with Yancy and enjoyed a giant latte… the last I’ll be drinking for a while. In January I gave up alcohol (all except one night) and for February I’m giving up most dairy products. I’ll still eat yogurt, but no milk or cheese. This is going to be really hard because I really love cheese. But I also love wine and was able to live without it for a month. The hardest part will probably be the lattes I’ve been overindulging in lately. During the dark winter months I find myself much more addicted to caffeine. Wish me luck!  🙂

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Home again

I love to travel and visit family, but it’s always nice to come home again. :O) I didn’t sleep well during the week I was gone, so ended up having a 2 hour nap once I arrived. I had a wonderful week visiting my grandparents. Grandma has lost a lot of weight and gets tired quickly, but is otherwise doing pretty well. She is breathing fine (despite the lung cancer) and keeping her spirits up (despite the heartbreaking diagnosis). We played a lot of pinochle… which I really like when I’m winning (but I still prefer the game of Rummy). We watched a lot of tv and spent some quiet time chatting. She several pieces of her beautiful jewelry as gifts to remember her by and I will cherish them. Plus, I got to enjoy fresh snow (mostly just appreciated it from indoors). Omak had several inches of snow while I was there (Seattle hasn’t really had any so far this year). As usual, time flew by and it was time to go before too long.

I spent the rest of the weekend in Wenatchee with my friend Paula. We had hoped to do a hike, but ended up walking along the river trail. It was really cold and grey out, but luckily no snow like Omak. We went out for El Salvadorian food and then for a drink with her sister and a friend. We had a fun girls night chatting and watching a movie. In the morning Paula and I visited my Aunt Nita and her fiance Ric and were treated to a delicious breakfast. Great food, great company, what more could I ask for?!?

Today’s train ride home was pretty low key. The ticket definitely overestimates the travel time though. I was supposed to leave Wenatchee at 5:35AM, but didn’t depart until about 6:15. The ticket said I would arrive at 10:25, but we got there 20 minutes early. Now that’s what I call making good time! I had breakfast in the lounge car this time. It wasn’t a luxury meal, but hit the spot and was fun to watch the snowy scenery fly by during the meal. I have to say I kind of like riding the train, but I also missed the freedom of having my own car.

Tomorrow it’s back to the grindstone with a TON of college reading to do. But it’s good to be home with my husband and kitty. I can’t stop thinking about how lucky I’ve been in my life to be surrounded by such wonderful family and friends that love and support me!

Busy, busy

I’ve been very busy this week with school. All three online classes had challenging and interesting homework assignments (&reading). One of my instructors asked to use my paper on cultural values as an example for other students.  :O)  I’ve got all of this week’s work turned in and have already started on some of next week’s work. I’d like to spend the week with my grandma and not have to worry too much about school. That’s the nice thing about online classes, I can work at my own pace.

Not sure if I posted this already, but I had a 1.4 pound weight loss at Weight Watchers last week… but apparently gained back one pound this week.  😛  I did the Power Sculpt class again on Tuesday and tried a hip hop jazz cardio class on Wednesday. I have to say I didn’t really enjoy the dance cardio class. I felt clumsy and stupid and barely broke a sweat. I think I’ll stick with more weight baring exercises for now because I feel like they make me stronger. Thursday morning (yesterday) I woke with a painful “kink” in my neck (hurts to look to the right or tilt my head towards the floor). I decided to skip the exercise class. It’s still sore today, but much better. Hoping it will be gone tomorrow.

Tomorrow is going to be a busy and fun day. We’re starting off with a short hike. One of Yancy’s coworkers and his wife will also be hiking. Should be fun, just hope the weather is decent. It was very foggy today which could leave the trail a little icy. We’ll barely have time to get home and shower before heading to a dinner reception for another friend’s wedding. They were married in Tennessee and are now having their local party. But wait, there’s more! After that we’ll be heading into downtown Seattle for the Amazon “post-holiday party.” It’ll be our first official Amazon party.  :O)

I’m really excited about visiting my grandma next week! But I’m a little nervous about taking the train. It’ll be my first real train ride (I imagine it will be very different from the trolly in San Diego). Yancy will take me to the station and make sure I get on the correct train. :O) Apparently you don’t give anyone your ticket until you’re already on the train moving towards your destination.

Oh, and I’m trying something new for dinner tonight: chai chicken :O)  It’s carrots and chicken thighs cooked with chai tea infused coconut milk and a few other spices, served with spiced jasmine rice. It’s smelling really good in the kitchen… can’t wait to go taste it!  :O)

Worked it!

I went to the second Power Sculpt class today and barely made it through! Towards the end of the triceps and shoulder exercises I could barely lift my arms, let alone the weights. But I enjoyed the class and have all the more intention to stick with it!

School is a little frustrating this week… it’s a lot of hurry up and wait. I thought it would be more challenging, but it’s still only the second week. There’s sure to be more challenges coming soon.

Life as a student

Okay, I’ll be honest, I haven’t really been that busy lately, just trying to limit the hours I’m spending in front of the computer. With three online college courses, I find myself at the desk most of the day or with my nose in a book. New Years has come and gone. So far 2013 is going pretty well. I’ve been doing little things around the house to create healthy routines. Today I did some serious cleaning in the kitchen and office. It feels less cluttered now. I think better in a clean room… but maybe that’s just an excuse to procrastinate homework. 🙂 I’ve moved the microwave to the top of the fridge to make more counter space for creating healthy dishes. I moved the fresh fruits to a different shelf where they’re at eye level going into the kitchen. The hope is that we’ll reach for fruits when feeling snacky (even though we really don’t have any other type of snack food in the house).

After much deliberation I decided to join Weight Watchers again. I hate paying money just to have a system of tracking my food and to talk with others about my diet, but I really think it helps. The meetings keep me motivated, and tracking all my food intake helps me be more honest with myself about my portion sizes. I had a physical exam this week. My blood pressure was 114/62 (that’s pretty damn good, especially when taken by a nurse in the office)! Heart rate was 62; also pretty good! My cholesterol is slightly high and vitamin D is low, but otherwise I’m very healthy. Just gotta loose some weight… My sister wants me to join her and a friend for a weight-loss competition. I told her I’d join, but only if she was ready to loose. I love talking smack! :O) But really, I’m doing well with exercise and diet lately and will definitely be seeing some changes soon.

School isn’t quite as challenging as I thought it’d be… yet. Two of my classes are primarily reading. The more difficult one is Project Management and I’m not impressed with the instructor. For someone who is supposed to teach us good time management practices, he doesn’t do much on time. It’s 5pm on Wednesday and he still hasn’t posted this week’s assignments. So we’ll all have to scramble to get it done when he finally posts it. I’m feeling a little controlling at the moment… why can’t I be all “acuna matatta?” I think because this is very important to me. Education is valuable and so is my time. And I have a lot of time right now, so I’d like to keep busy with productive things.

I went to the college campus yesterday to check out the gym. It’s not too bad. I did the “Power Sculpt” class and it kicked my butt. I think I’ll try to do that class twice a week for this quarter. I’ll definitely be stronger afterwards. There’s lots of squats, lunges, core work, arm work, and other painful exercises. I was able to do most of the exercises, but not the plank and some of the crunches where you put your feet in the air.

Ok, I think I’m rambling here. Let’s see if I have any pictures to post…

My 2012 blogging in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,300 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.