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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Snow!

Brb, out in the desert snow!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Twas the Night Before the Semester

My next two grad classes start tomorrow and I am (dare I say it?) ready for the semester. Josh the Husband has been sick all weekend, so we're been spending our time in bed with hot tea and honey, drinking banana milkshakes (him), and watching marathons of our favorite things: Marvel for him, Harry Potter for me. Let's face it, I can never get enough Harry Potter.

But I'm excited to enter another semester of my grad program. I'm interested in the classes, and I think it'll be nice to get back into a routine instead of just coming home and doing nothing for three hours lol. Plus, I'm approaching the end of the program! A year ago I was just starting, and I was terrified that I would be unprepared or the dumbest kid in class. Now, five classes later, I'm ready for the challenge. A year from now, I should be ready to start my thesis. A year from May, I should graduate with my MA!

But for now, I'll just focus on the upcoming semester and my two classes: one in theory of mass media, and one in qualitative research methods. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New Job, New Desk, New Ghost

I was recently promoted (!!!) to an internal communications position with my company, and I am in the midst of learning so much about quality, safety, security, environmental and health for contracting (whew, that's a mouthful). But I really love it. I'm busy all the time, so by the time you read this (a scheduled post), I'll be busy busy busy in the middle of my new job!

The best thing about my new job is that it comes with an office. My own office. My own tiny, cold, potentially haunted office. But, because I've never had my own office with my own door that I can close, it looks like the most beautiful office in the world to me.

In my other job, I worked in one big office with my three (sometimes four) officemates, including my boss. We all worked pretty well together because everyone was considerate about food/loud music/personal conversations, but it did cause some overlap in our daily lives. For instance, when I would answer a phone call and get dragged into a long conversation, my boss might step in and ask me who I was talking to, or ask me to ask the caller to call him instead. Equally, if someone asked me specifically to do a task, he might ask me to ask the caller to direct all duties to him (my boss), and he would assign it out. Sometimes that would be the most efficient way, but sometimes it made me feel a little micromanaged. Overall, he kept out of our business, but being mere inches from your boss's desk is bound to create work overlap.

My new boss is several doors down. I immediately tried to revert back to my old ways, and told my new boss what I was working on or why I didn't answer my phone, and he just stared at me for a few seconds and then said, "Okay..." Translation? "I don't care, do your own work." So, big change.

My new office is also freshly decorated (the desk, at least) with my new Rocket Raccoon bobblehead my husband got me (love the movie!), and a little T-Rex figure that I've had for years. Add a few photos of my wedding (our first kiss, one with my bridesmaids and one with my parents), and I feel right at home.

Now to deal with that pesky ghost... more on that later!

<3

Monday, January 12, 2015

Coming Home

So.

It's been approximately 1.5 years since I last blogged. Hello? Is there anybody out there?

Let me see if I can update you in 100 words or less.

Marriage: awesome.

Family: awesome.

Job: Promoted to coordinator!

Husband: even more awesome :)

Dogs: Shadow is perfect. Khaleesi (our new baby) is amazing, too.



School: Hard. But still great.

Done!

In all seriousness, life is pretty good. I'm halfway through my online journalism graduate program at the University of Missouri (Mizzou) and while it kicks my rear each class, I just love love love it. I'm really trying to soak it all in. It's just such a wonderful experience and I really feel lucky to have such a great opportunity to learn so much from everyone, my classmates and professors combined. I'm studying interactive media and it is just so much fun.

I say that now, while I'm on the back end of a SIX WEEK vacation from school. Check back with me when I'm working 40+ hours a week and then coming home to 20+ hours of homework/studying to do.

I'm excited to get back into blogging. I really love to write, and I think this will be a fun place to come and just write: not for my internal communication position, or my freelance writing, or my column. Just for me. I also changed the name to Jenna Tonic, a funny pun my best friend Thomas uses based on my favorite alcoholic drink, gin and tonics. I hope this blog will be something like a gin and tonic: refreshing, light, and a little tipsy :)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Wedding Recap 3: THE RECEPTION!

The wedding reception was one of the best parts of the night, but I'll be brief, because I think it requires photos and I don't have my professional ones yet. Also, we had an open bar and everyone was pretty sloshed by the end, so not many photos were taken by guests :o)

The grand entrance led us right into our first dance, which was to Come Rain or Come Shine by Ray Charles. Josh and I debated and debated what to have for our first dance (I wanted Songbird by Eva Cassidy, he wanted Patience by Guns N Roses, which is, admittedly, one of "our songs" lol), but as soon as we heard Ray, whom we both LOVE, and this song, we knew it was the one.

The dance was nice because it was one of the only chances I had to just. be. with Josh. We talked about how wonderful the wedding was. How beautiful I looked. How handsome he looked. How he worried about stepping on my dress. How we couldn't BELIEVE we were married and how giddy we felt. How hungry he was and how thirsty I was. How much we loved each other.

Then, I did a welcome speech (I cried. Again.) and told everyone how much we love them and to THANK THEM for waiting until 8:30 to eat dinner... then... we feasted!

Our menu was a spinach salad with goat cheese, candied walnuts, strawberries and white balsamic vinaigrette for a starter, followed by an intermezzo of sorbet with a cranberry coulis, then the Angus steak with a Bearnaise sauce, garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus. No, we didn't offer options (beyond the vegetarian option), because we love steak, and nobody had an issue with it. In fact, the groomsmen asked if they could take other people's leftovers home! :o)

Then it was time for DANCING. I danced to "Wild World" by Cat Stevens with my dad, then Josh danced to "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong with his mom. Then... we all danced. And danced. And danced.

Then, suddenly, it was time for speeches. My dad started it off with a welcome speech and said, "Jenna's always been my little girl, coming with me to all the sports events, football, basketball, soccer... and since she's met you, Josh, she has blossomed. We are so happy to have you join our family. And everyone here, we are all family now, and I'm so happy that we are". Plus a million other things that made us cry.

 Jeremy followed and he was the perfect one to do so, because he is so random and funny. He talked about how much he liked me, how I knew about sports and how hard I work. Then he talked about how much he loves us and hopes that God will bless us in our marriage.

My sister went next and made us all cry again. This is her speech, as I remember it.

"Having known Jenna all her life, I consider myself a Jenna expert. We spent a lot of time together growing up, playing Barbies, hunting for rocks in the yard, going on family reunions together. So when I was first thinking of my speech, I thought of making a 'Guide to Living with Jenna' for Josh. It would have things like, Always have at least two inspirational sports movies in the house. If she's grumpy, give her French fries. But then I realized that Josh is a Jenna expert, too. He doesn't need to have a list, because he already knows how to make her happy."

Oh. My. God. I cried SO HARD. It was a wonderful speech. She's getting married next year, and the whole time I was thinking, "How can I top this!?" lol

Thomas followed and again, was the perfect one to follow it up and close it out because he is our best friend and is also super hilarious. He talked about how we never fight, so if our only fights are over forgetting an item at the grocery store, we'll be okay. He also took credit for the entire wedding because he introduced us.  :o) And said that wherever we are, he'll be there in the guest room with his dog. :o)

All of this was followed by more dancing, cutting the cake (which was SO DELICIOUS!), and then doing my bouquet presentation to my parents, who celebrated their 30th anniversary this summer, and whose wedding I blatantly stole (toasting glasses, my mom's veil, their cake cutters...). Then we played their first dance song "Always on my Mind" by Willie Nelson. :o)

Followed by MORE DANCING and more drinking.

Then, at the end of the night, we all made our way out to our rooms (to change for the pool or go out to the clubs, etc.), and Josh and I were the last ones to leave. I remember looking around at the room... feeling like I could burst with happiness, and feeling SO ready to start married life together (and get out of my super tight dress!).

It was the perfect, perfect day.

Photos soon :o)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth of July!

I'm taking a break from Wedding Recaps to post about my plans today!

I LOVE the Fourth of July. It's one of my favorite holidays. Every year, my parents' have this big barbecue with family and friends before the fireworks show, which are usually RIGHT by their house. Like, maybe two blocks away. So the view is fantastic. We eat my dad's famous chicken and watermelon (two of my favorite foods) and chips and salsa. Then we play charades and hang out with the dogs. Then, we eat ice cream and watch the fireworks.

Plus, it's summer, my favorite season, and I'm always off of work, and this year I'm taking the next day off, too, to have a nice 4 day weekend! GET ME SOME.

I can't WAIT.

Happy Fourth of July! :o)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wedding Recap 2: The Wedding Ceremony!

I'm a worrier by nature. I want everything to go perfectly, so I plan plan plan all the time. I spent a TON of time planning this wedding... even though we had a wedding planner (who was AMAZING), there were still. so. many. details to deal with... liiiiiike programs (building/printing), our vow choices, our ceremony procedure, our favor (little jam jars), the labels for the favors, the seating chart, the seating cards, fans for the ceremony, the centerpieces, the bouquets, the jewelry, the accessories, the "Thank You" sign, the ring box, the flower girl stuff....

Plus a lot more.

So I was worried something would go wrong. I even gave myself a little pep talk on the day of the wedding. I told myself, "You've spent a LOT of time planning this, but if something goes wrong, DO NOT PANIC. You are still marrying Josh, which is the whole reason you are here. If you marry him, today is perfect."

I was ready for any contingency. I was ready for disaster.

But our wedding, June 8, 2013, was the most perfect day of my life. Nothing went wrong. Everything was perfect. If something started to head toward disaster (two bridesmaid dresses didn't fit, my hair was falling flat due to the heat, the HEAT got crazy), something switched and God smiled on us or something, because it all got resolved (no issues with the dresses, my hair looked loose and romantic, a lovely breeze blew through).

I woke up and spent time with my immediate family before heading off to get my makeup done by the BEST makeup artist I've ever seen... I looked awesome. My mom even said I looked like a Disney princess. I think I looked more a like a Disney villain (but a really pretty one, if that makes sense! lol), but to be Disney anything is pretty awesome. Josh's aunt did my hair. Then, with all of my girls nearby, I stepped into my dress and got ready with my sister and my mom lacing me up. (Jess pulled SO hard that I had to hold onto Val's hands for support... but I looked great! Thanks, Jess!)

We took a million photos. We had our first look. We laughed as the flower girls wouldn't smile. We did the Dinosaur running photo. We hung out with our bridal party and talked about life before this moment, before the wedding. It was perfect.

Then, all of the sudden, it was 6:25 and almost time to get started. As I walked out to line up with my girls, my dad looked at me, teared up, and told me how beautiful I was. That got me crying immediately. Plus, all of my bridesmaids were already crying. I hugged each of them and told them that they were my best friends and that I was so happy they were there with me. We were all choked up.

The music started. "Marry Me" by Train played and my cousin walked out, followed by Blairre, Val, Dani and my sister, all carrying their lavender bunches. Then Camren and the twins walked down.

Then the music changed. Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles came on and my dad and I started our walk. I was trying desperately not to a) fall b) rip my dress c) sob uncontrollably.

But as soon as we turned the corner, my eyes locked on Josh and I couldn't look away. My tears dried up immediately. I was there to marry him. As long as he was there, at the end, waiting for me, everything was perfect.

The wedding went so fast. Kaitlyn read a beautiful poem. We said our vows. I cried (again). My bridesmaids all cried (I could hear them all sniffling behind me!). I could FEEL the love around us, people beaming us their good thoughts and happiness. It was the most amazing, warm, comfortable feeling I've ever had.

Then we exchanged rings. We said "I do". We were pronounced man and wife and Josh kissed me. Then, the music started. Burning Love, by Elvis, and as we walked down, I felt exactly what I had wanted to feel when I picked that song for our recessional. Incredible happiness, so much love for Josh, and a readiness to have FUN for the rest of the night. On the way out, I high-fived my mom in what was I think everyone's favorite moment of the wedding lol :o)

A few more photos followed and then... it was party time. :o)

More on that later!

Here are some unprofessional pics from family and friends... I'll post the professional ones soon!