Sunday, March 30, 2014

This week at the CR Jackson household . . . 2.0

This has been a fairly productive week for us.  We filed our taxes, I finished my FAFSA, we cleaned, spent much needed time with friends, and I gave the dog a bath. It seems a bit more impressive in my head than written out. . . 

Last Sunday I was getting a bit of cabin fever and was able to convince Ben to do a mini-date of browsing at the used book store and grabbing a coffee.  We found a book on growing a small garden that we purchased because we plan to do a raised garden of sorts in our backyard (and hopefully lots of canning!!!! With the help of my mother-in-law hopefully!).  Ben also found a book of ideas on how to integrate technology in the elementary music classroom which is something he is very interested in.  I struggled to find something that I found interesting, so as we on our way up to the register to pay, I grabbed the book Half the Sky: How to Change the World, and it has turned out to be AWESOME.  It is truly heartbreaking, but also inspiring.  I highly recommend picking it up!  Not pictured is my oober awesome Sound of Music record that I picked up! 

^^ This little tooty has been enjoying the spring weather.  He knocks on the door alllllll the time so he can go out and tree squirrels, bask in the sunlight, and do whatever it is that doggies do.  He has also enjoyed more frequent walks since it is not below zero and grody out.  

Since it is changing seasons and we are emerging from hibernation, Ben and I are putting our heads together on how to decorate our home/clean it up/improve it.  We are going to paint our living room/dining nook/entry way (all one area) and have narrowed it down to our paint choices.  We are also going to paint our bedroom so it no longer looks like a tampon box.  We also are going to remove the bajillion cans of paint we inherited with the house, along with the crappy, smelly, broken furniture the previous owner left behind.  We want to get our garage cleaned out and made into a nice and organized space.  We are going to organize our downstairs pantry (once all the paint cans are removed).  We are going to go through the spare bedroom closet and get rid of things we no longer need.  We are having a yard sale at some point in Hamilton with Ma.  So excited to continue de-fluffing our junk.

I often find myself daydreaming about where we were a year ago.  Mostly because I miss the people we met in Dubai and the bond we shared with them.  On our way home from Dubai, I was sobbing in the airport and when Ben asked why, I told him it was because I was really going to miss my dear friend, Soha.  I still shed a tear every once in a while for those I miss.  Naomi, Casey, and David -- Ben and I both want you to move in next door to us, please.  We miss our nights of conversation and cards!  :)  

Anyway, in looking back at pictures on Facebook from this time of year in 2013, these are a few of my favorite pictures:

Naomi and I showed up to work wearing the same outfit.
We did not plan it. :)

Wonderful people


I miss sharing shisha. . . 

SKY DIVING! Most awesome experience EVER!

I don't think he is having any fun.

I would love a pet camel!

I think one day Ben and I will again be abroad.  It may be Dubai again, it may be somewhere completely different.  Until then, we have wonderful memories with amazing people from our time in the desert.

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

This & That

I want to write a post but can't think of anything interesting to report.  

Last weekend Ben and I went back to Ft. Madison/Hamilton to spend time with our family.  Ben was able to relax and help out at his parents, and I was able to get in some much needed mother-daughter time.

This week I met a girlfriend for supper at Zins in Cedar Rapids.  Amazing food.  Amazing wine. 

I started reading The Body Book by Cameron Diaz.  Good so far.  

I am doing at least one logic game a night to start getting my brain geared for the LSAT.  I'm hoping to take it in the spring or summer of 2015.  

Ben had his 3rd and 4th grade program on March 6th (also his bday).  His parents and my mom & Clif came up to watch.  They kids did wonderfully.  Ben wrote the entire show himself - all the lines & all of the words to the songs.  Impressive, in my opinion.

Grover is cute and fluffy.  

That's all I've got.

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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Smarts 2.0

You know what is completely refreshing and thrilling?  KNOWING WHAT YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU GROW UP!  It only took me 26 years to figure out, but I got it!  As mentioned here, I have officially applied to the University of Iowa to complete my bachelor's, and then, inshallah, be on my way to law school!  Thankfully, Iowa has an online program for those of us who have 60+ credits (I currently have 91) where you can complete a BLS and focus on whatever courses will benefit you most.  I emailed Iowa's School of Law to confirm that that degree would be accepted (I don't want to pay for something that will get me nowhere) and yay, it would! I will hopefully be starting classes in May. Fingers crossed it will take two years or less to complete the BLS.  

Ben is almost finished with his masters and starting to think more seriously about how to go about getting his Ph.D.  He is exploring his options a bit and trying to figure out the best path for him.  This is a new area for both of us, so any advice is happily accepted.  Before we start towards our higher degrees we plan to meet with a financial adviser and figure out things in that department or at least get an idea of what to expect.  Our biggest worries aren't necessarily about getting into the higher ed. programs, but about surviving financially during and after earning our degrees.  Kind of a scary thing.

I'm so excited for our future!  Ben knows what he wants to do and is figuring out how to accomplish it, I have finally figured out my calling, and we are slowly, but surely, working towards our goals.  I find it laughable that a year ago I thought I might want to be a librarian.  Or a teacher.  What the heck was I thinking? HA.  SO not for me.  I enjoy working in the legal field and I want to learn more.  Ben enjoys having in depth conversations with other educators about different teaching styles and what works best in the classroom and wants to eventually be a professor.

  Basically, we both like using our brains to the max.  

We're excited.  We have the motivation.  We have the support.

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