Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekend Open Thread: What a Difference a Year Makes

Next week is the Jewish holiday, Yom Kippur. Last year on Yom Kippur, about ten minutes before Drew was leaving for services, my water broke. He stayed home, of course, and we spent the next eight hours waiting for something to happen. We made a few phone calls, laundered some things, went for a few walks, and ate a little bit, but mostly we waited. Finally, around 10:45 at night, eight hours after my water broke, I got my first contraction. We were on our way to the hospital about half an hour later and a couple hours after that, we were holding Jackson in our arms.

It was a wonderful time in our lives, but looking back I am so, so glad that time in over. I was just talking with some other moms of 11-12 month old babies yesterday about how things are so much better now than they were when our kids were newborns and how tempting it is sometimes to say to brand new moms, “It gets better!” But I know that my experience is not everyone’s experience and there are new parents who love every second of caring for a newborn. I did not love every minute of caring for a newborn. But I’m happy to report that I do love most minutes — not every one! — of caring for my almost-one-year-old (!). And what I’m really excited about at the moment is enjoying fall again, this time with my very cool kid. It went by in a blur for me last year — a sleep-deprived, hormonal blur — and all the things I normally love about fall were lost on me as I struggled just to get myself showered a few times a week.

What a difference a year makes. This year I get to enjoy all the fun fall things — shopping for new sweaters, baking pumpkin stuff, snuggling on the couch in front of some new fall TV shows, going for walks among the changing trees — and I get to experience them with Jackson, who is turning into the sweetest, funniest little person who brings us so much joy every day.

What are you looking forward to this fall? How is your life different now than it was a year ago?

115 comments… add one
  • theattack

    theattack September 21, 2012, 4:14 pm

    This time last year my life was consumed with intense research for school on Social Security policies and designing new ideas for reforming the system. I was also pining away for my long-distance boyfriend and kind of in mental breakdown mode not knowing if I could handle the distance anymore.

    This fall I’m done with college, living with a fiance in a new city, going crazy looking for a job, trying to make friends, and needing a new hobby to keep myself from dying inside. What do y’all do for hobbies? The types of hobbies that people say you should start up when you’re in a break up or a mental crisis or in a new city? So far I’m : planning on asking his grandmother in Kentucky to teach me how to crochet, learning about various pagan traditions since I think my beliefs might fall into that category, and reading about birds.

    New hobbies…. Go! (please 🙂 )

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    • theattack

      theattack September 21, 2012, 4:17 pm

      Oh also, I’m using binoculars to spy on our new neighbor because he looks exactly like Albert Einstein would look if he had been an incredibly cranky chain smoker who dressed like a 19 year old surfer at the age of a gray 65(?). Basically I’m turning into Gladys Kravitz.

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      painted_lady September 21, 2012, 4:25 pm

      Art! Figure out what your passion is – pick up a book or two on drawing, and if you start small (like, draw a sphere, then an apple, then a can, way, way before you ever try faces) then I swear, anyone can do it. There are actually some really good tutorials online. Also, linoleum printmaking is really fun and pretty cheap – it’s basically like cutting your own giant stamps. If you’re not great at drawing, find a picture you like and make a print block from that.

      I’m such an art dork. But seriously, it’s so fun, and they make awesome gifts once you get good.

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      • theattack

        theattack September 21, 2012, 5:12 pm

        Interesting idea! I would have never considered art, because I’ve never had any exposure to it. I will definitely give that a try! Thanks 🙂

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      camorzilla September 21, 2012, 4:57 pm

      I started crocheting a few years ago and love it! It can also help you meet people if there’s a local stitch and bitch (where people get together and knit & crochet). Also check out meetup.com for local meetups or look at the bulletin at your neighborhood coffee shop to see if there are free or cheap art classes, cooking classes, etc. Is there a local museum you could volunteer at? (If you even like museums like that). Or is there a local arts center that you could take classes or volunteer at?

      It would help if we knew the city you were in- maybe there are DW readers there already who could help you out!

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      • theattack

        theattack September 21, 2012, 5:15 pm

        Local coffee shop! Brilliant idea! I’m in Clarksville, TN. I think I’m already acquainted with all the other DW Southerners (there aren’t very many of us), but maybe some military DW people have been stationed here? I had no idea people crocheted together in groups either! I’m so glad you replied to my comment! Thanks, camorzilla!

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        camorzilla September 24, 2012, 11:44 am

        My sister-in-law lives there! We visited briefly over Christmas.

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      camorzilla September 21, 2012, 4:57 pm

      Oh! Also look online to see if there’s a local pagan group to get involved with since you’re interested if you haven’t already thought of that.

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    • avatar

      lemongrass September 21, 2012, 6:52 pm

      The less cool sibling of knitting/crochet is cross stitching. It’s really easy and time consuming and it counts as art.

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        camorzilla September 24, 2012, 9:10 am

        I don’t think cross stitching is less cool- I do that too 🙂

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    • Copa

      copacabananut September 22, 2012, 12:36 pm

      My “mental crisis” hobby is exercise. Which I still kinda hate but I’m learning to love. It’s cliche, but it’s where I got all my not-so-recent-anymore post-breakup sadness/frustration/anger and my hopeless unemployment terror out. And I’m looking better and better and better.

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    • avatar

      Matcha September 24, 2012, 1:54 pm

      I picked up a musical instrument, starting exercising more (crossfit, but I’m thinking of just using my apartment gym and putting the money towards a yoga membership). I have a couple friends that do dance classes and pottery.

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  • avatar

    kerrycontrary September 21, 2012, 4:17 pm

    OMG…last fall at this time I was unemployed! I was spending my days job searching, but still trying to take advantage of the time off by running and spending more time with my long-distance boyfriend. I was so cynical and miserable. I was mad I went to grad school, and then mad I had even gone to college. Now, I am happily employed and my boyfriend is no longer long-distance!I have more friends in my area and I’m a lot happier overall.

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  • beelzebarb

    beelzebarb September 21, 2012, 4:31 pm

    In the past year I turned 30, got married, visited three new countries, quit the job after three years of putting up with an increasingly abusive boss, started law school, and got a new Worst Haircut I’ve Ever Had. The previous record holder was from 2004. It’s really really bad. Sigh.

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  • BriarRose

    BriarRose September 21, 2012, 4:38 pm

    This time last year my relationship with my boyfriend was starting to fall apart, and I was devastated. Now, for the first time in my adult life, I’m happily single and focused on my hobbies and looking for a new job/moving out of the town I was brought to by my ex-husband and stayed in for my ex-boyfriend. I feel selfish and concerned with myself and my daughter only, and it’s the best feeling ever.

    This fall, I’m looking forward to some interviews (fingers crossed!) and preparing for my new adventure.

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    Elle Marie September 21, 2012, 4:50 pm

    Last fall, I was still on crutches and heavily occupied with physical therapy following an ankle surgery over the summer before… And now, I am looking forward to finally getting my garden set up for next year! We have had gross, neglected, half-dead, overgrown (how they managed to get overgrown AND half-dead is a mystery to me) evergreen bushes in front of our condo since we took possession, and I am getting them taken out and planting lovely flowering things, including hydrangeas and a dogwood tree and/or a peony – we have to figure out what will work best with the soil drainage by our front steps. And I am planting tons of flowering bulbs, so next spring/summer there will be flowers everywhere instead of misshapen, partly-dead things. I am stupidly excited to have flowering plants.

    I’m also going to do some prep work for a vegetable garden behind our townhouse, though most of the prep for that will happen in the early spring.

    Oh, and finally getting my wedding-related crafts done. I feel like December will probably get here really quickly.

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  • thewriteway

    thewriteway September 21, 2012, 4:50 pm

    Since last year, I have settled into my full-time job, which started as intern, then part-time, then became full-time last year. I love it because I work from home and am completely trusted to do my work and not micromanaged. It can be lonely at times not being in an office, but overall, I realized it’s not a bad “for now” deal. I’ve also started going to the gym, which has given me more confidence in my body and more energy. Lastly, I am more confident than ever in my career path and am hoping to make it happen either by the end of this year or to start something new in 2013.

    This fall, I’m looking forward to testing for my driver’s license! I hope to do that within the next month or two. And of course, hockey season is starting soon…the NHL may be locked out, but thank goodness I live in a city with a minor league team.

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    painted_lady September 21, 2012, 5:00 pm

    Oh my god. You know how when you get a major medical procedure done and the doctor always tells you, “Once you start feeling better you’ll realize how badly you were actually feeling?” Well, I had no idea how miserable I was a year ago until I started feeling better a few months ago. Between depression, thyroid issues, a shitty school year, a teaching environment that was pretty toxic – for me – and my interminable commute, I can’t even imagine the amount of negativity I was giving off, because god knows it was completely swallowing me.

    My first year teaching I expected to be insane, but there were some bumps in the road that even I didn’t anticipate. Second year, though (last year), should have been easier…except it was like the powers that be were doing some weird experiment to see how much stress and uncertainty one human being could endure before cracking. And because it was the only situation I knew, I didn’t even realize there were some egregious mistakes on the part of the people who were making decisions on my behalf. Had no idea.

    And now? I look forward to most of my classes. It’s not as much of a fight; the kids are easier, I’m better supported. And, let’s face it, being on prescription medication that makes me feel better makes everything much easier to deal with.

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    camorzilla September 21, 2012, 5:02 pm

    In the least year I have settled into living with a significant other for the first time in my life (then boyfriend, now fiance, about to be my husband!) and really learned how to share my life with someone else. The idea of marriage no longer scares me. My work situation is better than it was. I finally realized that the depression I was struggling with all spring and summer was not going to go away on it’s own and got some help. I’m happier overall.

    This fall I’m looking forward to my wedding (31 days! eek!) and getting a newer more reliable car as well as settling into married life.

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    Lolabeans September 21, 2012, 5:03 pm

    Jackson looks soooo big now!! Are you and Drew having a birthday party for him with his little friends?

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy September 21, 2012, 5:06 pm

      No birthday party this year. Going to wait until he knows what his birthday is before we start doing parties (next year, probably). We’ll have a little dinner and I’ll probably bake a cake and he’ll open presents.

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      • theattack

        theattack September 21, 2012, 5:09 pm

        Oh, didn’t see this comment before I posted one. Then next year I hope for an adorable picture with a birthday hat and cake everywhere!

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        Sue Jones September 21, 2012, 8:09 pm

        The first birthday party is more for the mother than anyone else. Congratulations! You survived the first year! And it is always adorable when they look at the cake and promptly smash their face in it!

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        Lolabeans September 21, 2012, 9:49 pm

        So cute!!!

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    • theattack

      theattack September 21, 2012, 5:08 pm

      Omg This makes me really hope for an adorable picture of Jackson with a birthday hat and cake smeared all over his handsome little face!

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        Sue Jones September 22, 2012, 12:02 am

        Yes, cake on the face photo is a MUST!!!!

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    katiebird September 21, 2012, 5:04 pm

    Last fall I was a stressed science major panicking about orgo. This fall, I am a stressed science major panicking about biochem. The only improvement is that I now know that I passed orgo (with an A!) and that gives me hope for biochem. Side note: is college really the best time in life? Because if this is it then its definitely not going to be a fun life for me.

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    • MackenzieLee

      MackenzieLee September 23, 2012, 1:44 pm

      I’m also a sicence major in college so I can undestand the stress. Try to enjoy it though. I know classes are stressful, but the rest of life will be even more stressful. Make some time to enjoy the last bits of carefree (or at least less carefull) life

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    Bilbette September 21, 2012, 5:08 pm

    Oh man, t’s been a heck of a year. This time last year, I’d just broken up with my LD boyfriend, who I’d been with for over five years. I was still really sad, and I’d just changed my Facebook status. I had no idea what I was going to do.

    Since then, I’ve met an amazing man online, who is everything I could possibly ask for in a partner. Even though it’s only been five months, we’ve talked a lot about our goals and a future together. We have so much in common, we want the same things out of life, and we’re just on the same wavelength. If I’d known a guy like him was out there (and lived less than a half-hour from me!) I honestly would have broken up with my ex a long time ago.

    So despite a rocky start, this past year has been pretty epically awesome!!

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  • Crochet.Ninja

    Michelle.Lea September 21, 2012, 4:33 pm

    i’m looking forward to getting through this fall for our first trip to Mexico in January! our first big trip anywhere 🙂

    in the past year, i got married 🙂 on the sad side my two smaller stepchildren moved 6 hours away 🙁 but the eldest moved to only 1.5 hours away vs. 8!

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    • avatar

      lemongrass September 21, 2012, 10:47 pm

      Where in Mexico are you going? Vacations are always so exciting!

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  • avatar

    Addie Pray September 21, 2012, 5:39 pm

    A lot is new with me this year – new job, new abode (well, soon hopefully — I’m still homeless), new boyfriend. But let’s focus for a hot second on what’s new with me within the last 30 minutes. I will tell you. Here is THE NEW AND IMPROVED ADDIE PRAY AS OF 30 MINUTES AGO:

    Now, (1) AP makes time for shit she enjoys including without limitation yoga, friends, family, documentaries, hikes, taking walks, bikeriding, and similar stuff that she loves and that define her but that she has not been doing lately because of a STUPID LOVERS; (2) a CERTAIN STUPID LOVER does not define AP; (3) AP certainly does NOT forego the things she loves so she can pine over A STUPID BUT CHARMING TEXTY FUCKER whom she’ll see later anyway; (4) AP is patient; (5) AP does not drop everything to answer texts/calls from INSANELY CHARMING BUT DUMB TEXTERS; (6) AP does not get ahead of herself – she’s cool, calm, collected, yo; (7) AP does not over-analyze texts and shit and instead listens and trusts what people say and do, and people are saying and doing nice things so she has CALMED THE FUCK DOWN; (8) AP is optimistic and does not think everyone in the end is going to just screw her; (9) AP’s number one concern is her sleep and health and not getting fired; and (10) AP still prefers a list of 10 to a list of 9 even though she has nothing else to say.

    And that there is what is new with me. And this time I mean it.

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    • avatar

      jlyfsh September 21, 2012, 5:49 pm

      oh AP you’re so cute when you’re in love 🙂 the ‘honeymoon’ phase is a bitch. you do kind of lose yourself at times. but, you’ll find yourself on the other side soon and even though it’s hard to imagine be even happier than you are now! (you will still over analyze text messages, sorry)

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray September 21, 2012, 8:58 pm

        Text messages are the bane of my existence. Why did God invent them? Why?! Hey, do you think God is a 13 year old girl? I kind of do.

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    Karen September 21, 2012, 5:40 pm

    Hi Wendy,

    Thank you so much for being honest with your readers about the not-so-smooth journey that is parenthood. It’s so refreshing to hear a mother NOT sugar-coat everything about motherhood. As a woman in her late twenties who is still debating whether or not she wants children, your blog is something that I look forward to reading on a regular basis. Thank you for your honesty and your wisdom! And a happy early birthday to Jackson 🙂

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  • avatar

    Rachel September 21, 2012, 4:42 pm

    your birth still amazes me! Happy almost 1 Jackson Cyrrus!

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    jlyfsh September 21, 2012, 5:45 pm

    when i thought about myself this time last year vs now my first thought was i’m me only better. i feel like i’m more confident and happy with myself. the past year has helped to show me what i can do and what i want to be. there was a point in my life where i had more bad days than good and i’ve found my way to the opposite of that.

    fall is by far my favorite time of the year. i’m looking forward to: taking the dogs to the beach and only seeing the same local people and dogs, mulled wine, having a fire place in my house for the first time ever!, smores, decorating for halloween, pumpkin EVERYthing (bigelow makes the best pumpkin spice tea, go buy some and thank me later! :)).

    and i know it sounds super super cheesy but i find myself falling more and more in love with my husband ever day. life isn’t perfect but i wake up so grateful for everything i have in my life right now. i just want to push the pause button and really take it all in.

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    rangerchic September 21, 2012, 5:51 pm

    I’ve been looking for a new job since January and had interviews but no offers so I’ve been bummed about that. Our expenses seem to keep going up – read we bought our daughter a new vehicle (new to her – it’s a 98 model), had to buy a new batter the very next day, added her to our insurance (OMG – the price!), our dishwasher (only 5 years old) quit working so bought a new one, had to have the oven fixed (and it was only 2 years old), our pool pump went out (though it is just one of those Wal-Mart pools that lasted us 3 years so probably lasted a good long while for it), and our microwave vent went out but thankfully the microwave itself still works – I don’t understand what it is about our family and appliances or electronics! Oh, and our fridge is making a wonderful new noise (it is only 7 years old) 🙂

    So I am looking forward to next year though our oldest will start college and I have no idea how to pay for it either. Blah – I need a money tree.
    I can be thankful for the medication and therapy that helped our daughter able to cope with stress instead of shutting down and the rest of the families overall health.

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    Feline September 21, 2012, 5:52 pm

    This fall I’m looking forward to Houston Texans football! Last year I was leading a new implementation of financial software at a client (I’m a consultant). Several of the successful project implementations that I’ve had were situations where I came in to fix or rescue the project, or otherwise came in after the beginning, so I was looking forward to this being one of my bigger successful implementations that I could take from beginning to end. However, I was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer earlier this year, so this fall is very different – lots of medical tests, chemo every other week, etc. I *was* able to continue leading the project, though I was less hands on than I wanted to be after my diagnosis (I worked remotely), and it *is* successful. I am currently supporting the client part-time in phase II of their implementation and am so glad to still be working with such a wonderful group of people.

    Even with the cancer diagnosis, I am very happy with my situation, my wonderful husband, and my life in general. I will be even happier if the Texans go to the SuperBowl (or even just win against Peyton Manning and the Broncos this Sunday)!

    I get chemo every other Saturday and have to have a chemo infusion pump connected for an additional two days after that, so we can’t go to many football games, but my hubby just got us club-level tickets for a home game in October on an off-chemo weekend, and I’m very excited about that!

    Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and a great fall season!

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      jlyfsh September 21, 2012, 5:58 pm

      you can feel your energy through your post Feline! like rangerchic said good luck with your treatment. i know it’s a generic thing to say but i’ll be sending you healing thoughts and prayers. and i hope you retain your positivity! 🙂

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        Feline September 21, 2012, 8:44 pm

        Thank you all for your good wishes, healing thoughts and prayers – I believe they all have a positive impact! I’ve been a long-time DW reader and love the site and the community, though I’ve not really joined in before now.

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        Feline September 21, 2012, 8:53 pm

        Also, it might seem old to many of the DW community, but I was diagnosed fairly young for colon cancer at the age of 44. I say this as a public service announcement to get your colonoscopy as soon as the doctor recommends it (generally age 50) – don’t put it off. I only got diagnosed because the tumor in my colon got so big that it caused a temporary blockage in my intestines that caused so much pain I thought I had appendicitis.

        There is a lot of awareness around breast cancer, but less so with colon cancer, so just wanted to take the opportunity.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy September 21, 2012, 6:44 pm

      Good luck with your treatments!

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      lemongrass September 21, 2012, 6:56 pm

      I agree, good luck with your treatments!

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      Painted_lady September 21, 2012, 11:14 pm

      Best wishes, Feline! I assume you’re in Houston – what part? I’m in Galveston now, but I used to live in Westbury.

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        Feline September 22, 2012, 12:42 pm

        Hey Painted_lady – Yes, I’m in the Houston area. I live in Pearland now and used to live in Clear Lake. I worked on a project down in Galveston at UTMB a few years back (before Hurricane Ike), but I’ve not been back down there since then. I have some cousins that are talking about going on a “ghost hunting” vacation in Galveston sometime soon (going to visit old, supposedly haunted places, is what I think they are planning to do).

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        Painted_lady September 22, 2012, 1:32 pm

        Oh cool! I would love to do something like that. I went on a ghost tour with friends last weekend, and it was all sorts of interesting and fun, plus we got some pretty bizarre pictures we can’t explain. Tell them to stake out Luigi’s on Strand for a bit. We got most of our weird pictures (as in, a darkish shape on the staircase that looks like a woman in a long dress weird) when we were standing out front, and the place itself has what I can only explain as an…odd feeling. The building I live in, too, is a former hotel/brothel/morgue following the 1900 storm, and we are constantly hearing strains of conversation coming from empty spots.

        Plus, the food? So amazing, even if you don’t believe in ghosts.

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        Feline September 22, 2012, 8:06 pm

        That is great – thank you! I will give them a heads up. I am planning to meet them for lunch one day when they are down there, and was thinking of taking them to Willie G’s near the UTMB building where I worked on the project, but it would be better to go to a non-chain anyway, so I’ll take them there!

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    rangerchic September 21, 2012, 5:56 pm

    Good luck with your treatment. I hope it is successful!

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  • Lili

    Lili September 21, 2012, 6:32 pm

    A year ago I didn’t have all the Awesome DW Friends I have now. That alone has made my life 100000x better!

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    • Copa

      copacabananut September 22, 2012, 10:30 am

      You’re alive! YAY! 🙂

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      • Cara

        Cara September 24, 2012, 3:46 am

        <3

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    Aya September 21, 2012, 6:50 pm

    This time last year, my husband and I were long distance, and I was adjusting to a new position at work. Now, we are together and expecting and I just got a promotion (along with a nice raise.). It’s all very exciting, but it also means that things are going to look very different again next year.

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      Addie Pray September 21, 2012, 8:57 pm

      Congratulations, Aya! Have you picked a name yet? Because I will lend you “Addie” – I don’t mind.

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        Aya September 21, 2012, 9:13 pm

        Thanks Addie. 🙂
        I’m only 6 weeks along, so we have no idea about gender, but we have a bunch of girl names and no boy names picked out. The choices so far are Anya, Ada and Ava, and since we are going to give a girl my mom’s name as their middle name, she’ll end up having the same initials as me.

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        Addie Pray September 21, 2012, 9:17 pm

        Those are lovely names! Also, ADDIE totally fits with the A theme, so don’t rule it out!

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    lemongrass September 21, 2012, 7:01 pm

    This time last year I was very newly wed and looking to my honeymoon in Nov. Hawaii, because we wanted to be original and go somewhere no other honeymooners go. Now I’m halfway through my first pregnancy and really looking forward to having this baby. Pregnancy hasn’t been easy for me thus far, I have had a complication with my SI joint so now I’m off work (for the first time since I was 15!) but I’m almost pain free since going off work. I can now enjoy my pregnancy! The kicks are awesome (for now, ask me again in 15 weeks or so) and I picture quiet, happy moments with my newborn that only someone who doesn’t yet have kids can picture.

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      Addie Pray September 21, 2012, 9:03 pm

      So many pregnancies on DW – congrats! Have you picked a name? Because Addie is available. I totally won’t be mad if you use my name. Au contraire, I welcome it. Addiegrass sounds so cute. Also, with this comment, I now have dominated the side bar of recent comments – toot toot! (That is one of my favorite hobbies.)

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        lemongrass September 21, 2012, 10:41 pm

        Thanks! Pregnancy is like a zombie cult. We’re coming to get you. While Addiegrass does sound pretty sweet, my last name is not grass. I do have the same last name as a hockey player who used to play for a canadian team up until this season. If anyone guesses it right I will share.

        But for the kid- Hannah if it’s a girl and undecided about boys names but thinking about Max or Jack (I swear I’m not copying Wendy. We just both have good taste)

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  • TaraMonster

    TaraMonster September 21, 2012, 6:06 pm

    Last year at this time I thought I was going to be married soon. But I was also full of anxiety all the time. I felt a bit trapped in my own life even if I didn’t want to admit it to myself.

    So now I’m single for the first time in over 7 years and while it’s been hard, I’m very excited for what’s ahead of me. I’m looking for my own apartment and spending time with the people who love me the most. I’m doing things that make me happy. I don’t feel anxious any more because I know I’m doing the right thing.

    My birthday is the first day of Fall (tomorrow!) and Fall has always felt like new beginnings to me. This year it really is.

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      rachel September 21, 2012, 6:14 pm

      Hope you have a happy birthday Tara!

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      jlyfsh September 21, 2012, 6:19 pm

      Happy Birthday, Tara! 🙂 I’m glad your anxiety has gotten better and that you’re been able to surround yourself with good people!

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy September 21, 2012, 6:43 pm

      Happy birthday!

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        Addie Pray September 21, 2012, 9:00 pm

        On Monday I turn 33 and 5/6. Fuck me!!

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      Painted_lady September 21, 2012, 11:17 pm

      Happy birthday, TaraMonster! I’m so glad you’re in a better place.

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      Amanda September 22, 2012, 11:05 am

      Happy Birthday Tara!

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    • TaraMonster

      TaraMonster September 24, 2012, 1:22 pm

      Thank you all for the birthday wishes! It was a lovely time. 🙂

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  • Lyra

    L September 21, 2012, 7:30 pm

    This time last year I was living at home and working paycheck to paycheck as a substitute teacher. Now I’ve officially been a full time teacher for a month. Though currently I’m still living paycheck to paycheck (thank you, moving expenses), I live 500 miles away from home, 200 miles closer to my boyfriend, I’m a soon-to-be iPhone user (finally!) and I love my job…well, most days.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy September 21, 2012, 8:26 pm

      Congrats on the full-time teaching job and good luck on your first year.

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      • Lyra

        L September 22, 2012, 1:31 am

        Thanks, Wendy! 🙂

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      Painted_lady September 21, 2012, 11:15 pm

      How’s it going so far? Keeping your head above water?

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      • Lyra

        L September 22, 2012, 1:30 am

        It’s going pretty well. Things are finally settling down a bit. I kept your email from a few weekend threads ago and will finally have some time to send you a note soon. 🙂

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        Painted_lady September 22, 2012, 11:44 am

        Yay! Look forward to it! I have so many funny stories so far this year, and I can’t wait to hear yours!

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    Pamplemousse Rose September 21, 2012, 8:20 pm

    I usually just lurk, but so much has changed for me in this past year, I couldn’t resist posting… Last year I was working at a contract job I loved but in January, I started working at my current permanent job that I kinda hate. My fella moved into my condo with me last November, we bought our dream house in August, and last weekend we got engaged!!

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      Amanda September 22, 2012, 11:09 am

      Congratulations!

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        Pamplemousse Rose September 22, 2012, 8:19 pm

        Thank you!! Since we’re getting married in 6 months I’m just getting caught up on all those things I apparently was supposed to do 3-6 months ago…

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        camorzilla September 24, 2012, 9:18 am

        Check out offbeatbride and don’t worry- it’s so easy to plan a wedding in 6 months.

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        Pamplemousse Rose September 24, 2012, 9:25 am

        We planned my bff’s wedding in 4 months so I know it can be done!! We booked a venue and I found a dress this weekend, so I think we’re in pretty good shape. I’ll definitely check offbeatbride out.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark September 21, 2012, 8:28 pm

    A year ago — I had hope. Now? Not so much…

    Long story short — I’ve been slaving away tirelessly for the past six months on my million dollar spec script. It’s VERY high concept and something that truly nobody has EVER done… I am up to page 72 and I fully expected to be done by Halloween… AND it was just announced today in the trades that Newline is already making my movie. Fuck. There goes that. Somebody else — that hack that wrote the shitty DUE DATE apparently just came up with the same exact idea.

    Fuck me…

    I have wasted countless, hundreds of hours and really thought that this would be by my golden ticket… It’s a good thing I worry so about my sister or I would have my head in the oven right now listening to the soothing sounds of hissing gas… Honestly, I’d have rather learned today that I was dying of Cancer. Seriously… At least that I would know how to handle. And at this point a death sentence would be a huge relief… At least that would be an end — and a noble one at that. I fear that my own end won’t be so noble or so easy to get over for those left in its wake…

    Life. Fucking. Sucks.

    The fact that I am such a good person and won’t saddle those close to me with my suicide is pointless. I fear I am only staving off the inevitable at this point… As I am rapidly running out of money and options…

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      Addie Pray September 21, 2012, 8:52 pm

      MARK, you are not *that* bitter. You are talented and smart. Funny and witty. And everyone here loves you, even the people that hate you love you. And if I can tell correctly by your teeny tiny gravatar, you’re good looking. Looks and friends, that’s what counts, right? Ok, maybe just friends. You need to do something to pull yourself out of your funk. If you lived in Chicago, I’d invite you over for wine and popcorn. Those are the only two things I know how to “make.” I’m also ok at slicing cheese, but only so so ok at it – it’s always too thick or too thin and I constantly slice my finger. See? You’re probably better at that than me.

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      Addie Pray September 21, 2012, 8:55 pm

      Also, it’s not your fault some bag of dicks came up with your idea too. Did you know my dad invented peanut butter and jelly? It’s true. He came to this country for college – and where he is from they didn’t have peanut butter and jelly. Well, he was in the dining hall and there was a tub of smooth ground up peanuts – he put a scoop on some bread. Next to that tub was a tub of gooey jelly. I smeared that on the bread too. And the combination blew his socks off! He told all his friends they just *had* *to* *try* *this*. They were like “oy vey the weirdo foreigner discovered PB&J.” The point is…. I have no point. Except that timing is everything. And my dad was funny.

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      Feline September 21, 2012, 11:02 pm

      Long time lurker – and love you BGM. Glad that your sister is keeping you out of the oven! I promise that you don’t want to be dying of cancer – it is kind of mundane once you get in the rhythm of the treatments – not dramatic enough for your personality!

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark September 22, 2012, 11:18 pm

        Thanks, Feline. I’d NEVER had made that Cancer crack had I actually read through these posts here before going off on my rant… I’ve actually lost a good many family members to Cancer and it’s so ironic in that they all had so much more reason to live than me. Ugh. The universe truly is fucked up. That’s all there is to say about that.

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        Feline September 24, 2012, 12:23 am

        Your comment did not offend me at all – my comment was just meant to be funny. 🙂

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      • Cara

        Cara September 24, 2012, 4:05 am

        You always have options Mark. If everything fails and sucks you can always move to a new country and assume a new identity. Just half-kidding here, that´s what kept me going when I was depressed and thought I´d never get my footing in the world. I did the living in another country thing a few years back, and knowing that I managed to build a life there with friends, a sorta adopted family (they´re dead now too, so there goes my luck with parents, but, you know) and a job? It´s that knowledge that I could do that again if worst came to happen that kept me afloat.

        I know life sucks pretty hard sometimes, but you do have options. You´re not crippled or dumb, you can make shit happen!
        Sorry to be so disgustingly positive, but although I´m younger than you, I have felt the way you did. Complete with debt and sucky life and people dying left and right. And I made it through.

        Also, fuck that Due Date dude.

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    Addie Pray September 21, 2012, 9:04 pm

    Yessssssss – one of my favorite hobbies is dominating the side bar of recent comments with “Addie Pray” and right now it says all Addie Pray — it brings me so much joy. Does it bring you joy too?

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  • avatar

    Addie Pray September 21, 2012, 9:42 pm

    Obviously everyone has hot plans tonight, except me.

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      Addie Pray September 21, 2012, 9:43 pm

      “Addie Pray” is all over the side bars – both the Recent Comments side bar and the Forum Activity sidebar. Am I the only one who gets a kick out of this?

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        Addie Pray September 21, 2012, 9:46 pm

        I have a serious question: how long into a new relationship can I be myself? Like, I really, really, really want to jump TEXTY VON CHARMING FUCKER all the time, but I (try to) control myself. If I had my way, I’d have sex all over his face all the time, everywhere, and I’d tell him every second I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU. But, obviously, I can’t be like that. He’ll run away faster than… something fast. So, come on, what’s the rule? How long do I have to wait to bust myself out?! I need a firm date. Like, Oct. 21. Can I do it after Oct. 21?! Please tell me.

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        Addie Pray September 21, 2012, 9:48 pm

        I’m so tired. I’ve had a long week. I’m going to bed. When I wake up, I expect answers. Thanks in advance.

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        Addie Pray September 21, 2012, 9:51 pm

        HEY YOU GUYZ. I need some attention. Where is everybody? Something is off. Not only has no one been talking to me on DW, but no one on FB has played their turn in Scrabble in like 2 days. I feel this weird silence out there. It’s like everything is hiding from me. Helloooooooooo. Fine, I’m going to bed. Someone tell me when I can bust out CRAZY. Thx.

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        Addie Pray September 21, 2012, 9:54 pm

        Oh it’s everybody’s lucky day. My friend Sal just called and she’s on her way over to drink with me. Everybody is off the hook! So, carry on, I’ve got a friend coming over to entertain me. Toodles!

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        lemongrass September 21, 2012, 10:46 pm

        I vote right away on the having sex on his face. Because really, that is the best way to have sex. Releasing ‘I love you’s ‘ in copious amounts, I would probably wait on that one until he farts in front of you.

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        Caris September 22, 2012, 12:50 pm

        If you want to have more sex just tell him. I don’t think he would mind 🙂

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      Trixy Minx September 22, 2012, 3:02 pm

      Not I. Both my beau and my gf who was my backup plan bailed on me. Asshats.

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      • Cara

        Cara September 24, 2012, 4:17 am

        I am ALMOST dominating the side bars! Nobody is awake!!! Different Time zones, wtf!

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  • JK

    JK September 21, 2012, 10:48 pm

    The biggest difference in my life since last year would have to be that this time last year I was relatively relaxed, now my youngest has turned into an EXTREMELY active toddler, who loves climbing onto things, touching everything she´s not supposed to, etc, I live in a permanent state of tension. On a brighter note, both girls play pretty much all day by themselves now.
    Also, until June this year we were planning on making the house we live in bigger, but then we bought a lot, and are going to start building soon (we´re at the planning stage now).
    And finally, although I´m still SAHM most of the time, I´ve started working a little bit again (for now 2 afternoons a week, and I´m gone less than 2 hours).

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    kizzy September 21, 2012, 11:12 pm

    This time last year I was living in an apartment with two shitty men. I also had a boyfriend I thought I loved who would constantly put down my dreams and make me feel horrible about myself.

    Right now I’ve moved back home, am taking a year off of school and focusing on my job. I also cut the boy loose and am enjoying my time alone. One in a great while I will also venture outside with work friends. I know, I’m a hermit. but maybe this time next year I’ll be able to say that has changed. Most importantly, I’ve taken the first steps towards getting my dream job. That’s the same job my ex would tell me I’m too dumb to do and he’d leave me if I did it.

    Hooray for good changes!

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    • Copa

      copacabananut September 22, 2012, 9:06 am

      What a lousy ex! Reminds me of my ex (I tend to be shy, so if I ever made new friends that he didn’t want me to spend time with, he’d make me too uncomfortable to go anywhere by reminding me how awkward I am…)! So, I’m glad to hear you’ve moved on and am pursuing your dreams without someone in your life making you doubt yourself every step of the way! Hooray!

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        kizzy September 22, 2012, 9:45 pm

        That’s so shitty! Sounds like he realized what a catch you are and didn’t want you finding someone better than him. I’m glad you’ve moved on as well.

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    Sue Jones September 22, 2012, 12:07 am

    Not so much different in my world in the last year, which is a GOOD thing! Same house, same husband, same work, same kid (only he is in 4th grade instead of 3rd grade), same dog. Well, we DID replace our deck, get granite countertops and the perennial garden I put in last fall looks amazing! But nothing life changing, except…. oh yeah, I climbed my first 2 14ers (14k foot mountains) this summer! Not bad for 50! Oh, yeah, I turned 50 this year…

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom September 22, 2012, 9:30 am

      Sounds so much like my life. Not much changed. Kids are one year further ahead in school and I turn 50 next week but no mountain climbing. We did the kitchen about five years ago. Our big thing this year was a trip to England.

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  • Copa

    copacabananut September 22, 2012, 8:51 am

    Oh, man. A year ago I was a HOT MESS. And I feel like putting it that way, even with Caps Lock, is an understatement!!! LOL!

    I’d been dumped by the guy I thought I was going to marry a couple months prior and was having a rough time getting over it. (Too bad I didn’t know about DW a year ago!)

    I’d graduated with a law degree, taken the bar, and knew I didn’t want to be a lawyer — but could not find work. So, I was unemployed, back with my parents, and getting rejected from places like Target, PetSmart, and the bank, none of which are jobs I wanted to make a career out of, but doing something is better than doing nothing, and I couldn’t find any employer to let me do something! So I sat around miserably job hunting a lot.

    And on top of all of this I had no idea what I’d do when student loan repayments came do. So what did I do? EAT MY FEELINGS. I ate to feel better about everything: hopeless unemployment, financial worries, the jerk of an ex who left me for another girl. And so, I gained quite a bit of weight, because, uhh, that’s what happens when you eat Nutella from the jar with a spoon. (And, you all have no idea how badly I wish I were joking.)

    Luckily, things have turned around! I took a temp job in the field I want to be in last Feb/March and it led to a full-time entry level job! So now I’m making money, repaying my loans, and saving. I have insurance! And a 401(k)! And a lot of hope that this job, while not the most glamorous, will open doors for me down the road! I’m also now in a position where I’ve started looking for a place of my own, which means moving out of my parents’ house should be happening in the next couple months once!

    I’ve lost the weight I gained from my late-night Nutella binges and am not stopping now that I’m back to where I started before my life turned upside down! I have set some fitness goals for myself: after I drop another 10 lbs (26 seems like a good time to finally lose the weight I gained in college, right?), I want to start training for a 5K so that I can run a few in the spring!

    As for my love life, I don’t have a new man, but I can officially say, with 100% certainty, that I’m glad the ex did what he did even if it mean soul-annihilating heartache. I’ve had a lot of time to process why he’s a terrible match for me, not the least of which is how controlling, manipulative, and selfish he is. I also have to admit that, petty as it is, I get a good laugh every time I hear about the status of HIS life: still not meaningfully employed (graduated with the exact same bachelors and post-grad degrees I have, but before I did, meaning he’s been doing not much of anything to better himself or further his career for almost 2 years), creeped out the girl he dumped me for within a few weeks of dumping me ( whatever he did, she told him never to speak to her again), and has admitted to a mutual acquaintance that he is lonely and has no friends. Thanks, Karma!

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      Matcha September 24, 2012, 2:04 pm

      I eat Nutella from the jar with a spoon. Is there any other way? 😉 Just kidding.

      Glad your year turned things around!

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    Kristen September 22, 2012, 9:20 am

    A year really does make a huge difference. In the last year, I got engaged, moved into my first apartment, got married and got pregnant. Wow. Lots and lots of changes – some harder than others, but I think I’m doing really well. Growing up is a crazy experience, that’s for sure.

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    CattyGoLightly September 22, 2012, 3:44 pm

    Things have changed majorly the past year!

    I’m working on my Master’s degree in Library and Information Science. I’m still dating the awesome guy I was dating a year ago, but now it’s not long-distance (I live near Napa/San Francisco now, and it’s awesome). I have a job as a Library Specialist in an Elementary School, which is basically exactly what I want to do. I have a new kitten!!! Mmmmm, lots of good things.

    Now, time to attend more meetups so I can make more friends!

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    Anna September 22, 2012, 8:44 pm

    I have become almost a whole new person in the last year. A year ago, the only future I could see for myself was marrying my then-boyfriend T and I really thought it was going to happen. When he left, I was destroyed for a time. Around the end of June, I really started to feel empowered to create the most awesome life I can possibly have within my means and to do it all on my own. I’m very happily single now and THIS CLOSE to having my dream house under contract so very nervous about that. After I am successfully living in my dream house, I plan on looking for a much better job since my dead-end job is pissing me off. I can’t quit yet though because I’ve been there for 2.5 years and that’s what makes me eligible for a mortgage in the first place. Eventually, I will hopefully be ready to find a guy who wants to settle down and doesn’t have to be dragged to the altar kicking and screaming.

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  • Classic

    Classic September 22, 2012, 9:10 pm

    What a very beautiful picture. Just absolutely stunningly, glowingly, beautiful.

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    Trixy Minx September 22, 2012, 11:10 pm

    I love his Mr. Toughguy shirt!

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    Nadine September 23, 2012, 6:06 am

    Happy Birthday Jackson!

    A year ago, I was still in Australia, working a crappy job that made me feel crap, and upping the amount of times a day I asked myself what I was even doing with my degree. I hated my flatmates, and it was cold but about to turn ridiculously hot and humid. I missed my family and my friends were being dramatic.
    Now I’m in London, and I have a new job which is tiring and challenging and stressful, and interesting and difficult and rewarding and WHICH I’M GOOD AT. Still not at all related to my degree, but I’m getting skills that can be put towards what I want to do when I’m back in NZ. I just moved into the best flat ever, with my darling boyfriend and our darling friend. I have far fewer friends in this country, but the ones I do have love me and are interesting and different.
    And I went shopping yesterday and the shopping in London makes me want to cry with joy. I’m not kidding.

    The only downside is I have no internet in my house and wont for another week (its been over a month!) So I’m sitting in this cafe down the road trying to stretch out my cup of tea as long as I can.

    Happy Autumn, everyone!

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      AliceInDairyLand September 23, 2012, 2:26 pm

      New Zealand! My running joke with my boyfriend at the moment is that if things start going even more south government-wise here in the US, I am moving us to New Zealand because I had heard fantastic things about their dairy industry and want to be a dairy vet. Pretty much my choices are Canada or NZ, and unfortunately due to US politics the joke is getting less and less funny every day. 🙂

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  • Cara

    Cara September 24, 2012, 4:14 am

    A year ago, I had just moved here. I was still heart-broken over my ex, felt like no one would ever love me enough and wondered if, besides my two brothers, anyone would care if I just died. But, I was strangely optimistic that things would work out.

    Now, I have wonderful friends, I got to travel to awesome places, am looking forward to another trip (NYC!!!) soon and while there are no romantic interests around, that´s fine. Although I would like a bit more of a sex life. The only thing that´s not so great right now is that I have no idea what to do for christmas, because well, no family. I´ve been talking with my best friend about a three day trip to Paris though, so I hope that´ll work out.

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    GatorGirl September 24, 2012, 11:59 am

    I love this weekend tread! (even if I’m late to the party)

    A year ago I had just moved across the country for my then BF and moved into my first apartment alone. Since then we’ve gotten engaged and moved in together. Otherwise life is pretty much the same. Which is awesome because we are so incredibly happy in our lives right now. The next year will be exciting- getting married, maybe moving to a new city and maybe starting to try to get pregnant!

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