Friday, November 25, 2011

Let's Talk About Stress

Do you think your job is stressful?

Imagine this.  You work at a job where you have no idea what you’re walking into everyday.  You knock on someone’s door and there could be someone with a knife waiting to answer.  You approach a car and someone may have a gun in the glove box.  People say police officers are a lot of things- power hungry, violent, rude- but remember that they make split second decisions every day about things that could cost them their own life or the life of someone else.

Now talk to me about stress.

The instructions they give you- put your car in park, stay in your vehicle, etc- are for your own safety just as much as theirs.  You know you’re not a violent criminal, but they don’t know that.  If you don’t listen to what they’re telling you to do, that comes across as a threat.  They’re not barking out orders for fun.  Please listen.  Comply.  It doesn’t mean you have to like it.  It doesn’t even mean you have to respect it. 

And the next time you have a stressful moment at work, just remember, it could be worse.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I'm In Love with a Woman.... Her Name is Siri

It’s not often that I get excited about a gadget.  For the longest time, I resisted getting a data plan for my phone because I thought it was a waste of money.  In fact, the only reason I finally got data was because the phone JD upgraded to required unlimited data for all lines associated to the account.  I figured, if I had a data plan for my phone, I might as well have a phone that allowed me to take advantage of it.  Slowly but surely, the monster was unleashed.  I now check my phone approximately 80 gazillion times a day for important things like Facebook updates and Words with Friends games.  I mean, what would we do without this technology?!

I’ve been using JD’s hand-me-down, beat up HTC phone for about a year.  I knew there was an upgrade rebate on my line, but didn’t care enough to spend the money on a new phone… until the best news ever came out.  Sprint was getting the iPhone, and it came with a companion named Siri.  As soon as I saw the commercial where people were barking orders into their phones, demanding that Siri send messages, set reminders, and check the weather, it was love at first sight.  She is a multi-tasker’s dream- a beacon of hope to those of us who obsessively use the reminders in our phone, but panic when something comes to mind while driving because we can’t type and drive. 

I had to have her in my life. 

I was one of those geeks at the Sprint store only an hour after the official announcement came out.  I was so early, they didn’t even have all of the paperwork detailing the pricing on the phones and other contract information.  I didn’t care.  You can’t put a price on love.

So, they put me on the list.  The very first one on the list, actually.  After weeks of patiently waiting, I received the call I’d been waiting for.  She was here. 

I’m happy to say that she’s everything they promised she’d be- beautiful, witty and intelligent.  As I cradled her lovingly in my hands, I said, “Siri, tell JD he’s jealous of my phone.”  She composed the message and politely asked if I’d like to send it.  I did.  So she did.  With that, a friendship was born.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Holiday Traditions

Everyone has their own holiday traditions and routines.  My family always spent Thanksgiving at a cabin.  JD’s family always opens 1 present on Christmas Eve- a pair of Christmas pajama’s that they wear to bed that night.  I have a feeling that there will be nothing traditional about my holidays with JD.  How can you have a family tradition when you may or may not be together?

Of course, my office is closed for 4 day weekends on both Thanksgiving and Christmas, but JD is scheduled to work both of those weekends.  As long as we get to celebrate together at some point, it doesn’t really bother me (especially since he gets paid extra for working holidays), but it does seem like a waste for me to have that time off and not be able to spend it with him. *Sigh

Looking at the bright side, he was able to get time off in mid-December so we can go home to Ohio and at the end of January so we can visit his family in Michigan.  We’ll have plenty of time to visit both of our families, which is a huge relief.  Plus, the idea of cozying up at home over the holidays, not having to deal with holiday traffic, canceled flights, or 14 hour detours with a sick dog, is extremely appealing.  Maybe THAT can be my tradition :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Land of the Free

It takes a lot of sacrifice to be a police wife, but my sacrifice doesn’t even compare to the sacrifice of the men and women who work to protect our country every day.  Nor does it compare to the sacrifice of the families that support them.  I may sleep alone sometimes, and  I may go to social events without JD, but I will never have to be without him for a full year.  I will never have to spend a year watching our children grow and change without him.  I’m humbled by the bravery and self-sacrifice it takes to serve our country.

Today is a day to thank those who have served and those who are still serving.  We are so, so lucky to live as freely and safely as we do, but  I think that’s often overshadowed by our complaints about the economy, politicians, or Lindsay Lohan’s latest arrest.

I have clean water, plenty of food, and the freedom to leave my house without fear of violence.  We take for granted the things that so many others are lacking.  I have my husband to thank for that.  I have friends to thank for that.  I have the families who are left behind so their loved ones can protect our country to thank for that.

Whether you support the wars, the politics, and the intentions of our leaders or not, you have to remember that the intent of our troops is pure.  They step up to serve their country, protect their loved ones, and help those who are unable to protect themselves. 

That is why we celebrate them today.  Thanks for all you do.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Living The Good Life

Continuing with this fall's theme of blogging about nothing more than my fabulously busy social life, you get to enjoy yet another post where I brag about how awesome my weekend was.  And since we're on the topic of bragging, I'd like to share that I just enjoyed a sushi dinner and am writing this post while eating a Reese's Blast from Sonic.

Now, to those of you who haven't rolled your eyes and closed your browser, let's continue...

We rented an awesome cabin in the mountains with some good friends for the weekend.  We couldn't have picked a better spot.  We were literally at the top of a mountain and had a stellar view.  

On Saturday, JD and I woke up to a view of the sun rising over the mountains, right out our bedroom window.

After a big breakfast, we geared up for some hiking.  Harrier LOVES to hike and didn't slow down for any part of the 8 miles.

Here is the "profile view"- how Grandfather Mountain gets its name.

It was a beautiful day for hiking.  The high was in the 50's, but it was much colder on top of the mountain, of course :)

Love how the red berries contrast with the flawlessly blue sky.

Here is one of the many views from atop the mountain.  If you look closely, you can see a blue roof- that's our cabin!

Our friends enjoying the view.

It was about this point that I thought I was going to die.  You can't see from the picture, but off to my right is... nothing.  That's pretty much the edge of the mountain.  Yes, this is seriously part of the trail.  It took some convincing to get me to do this part.

JD, of course, needed no convincing.

I look happy, but I'm still a bit panicked.

This is one of the views from our cabin.  Those ridges towards the right side of the picture are where we were hiking :)

After an awesomely exhausting day, we had some hot chocolate and curled up for a nap.

We woke up to a gorgeous sunset, then enjoyed a huge spaghetti dinner, relaxed in the hot tub, and warmed up in front of the fire.

A night view from our cabin (thanks for the sweet pic, D).

Another sweet pic from D.

I should take a moment to mention that we originally considered camping for this trip.  When we woke up to this view on Sunday morning (the wind was blowing so fast that these clouds were whipping by the window), we all knew we'd made the right decision.

All in all, another fabulous weekend :)