Where do I begin? This year started on a so-and-so note. Personal reasons mostly and unrelated to marriage (so you can stop worrying, Mom. lol), but I was both hopeful and yet down. However, several things have happened to turn that frown upside down. In not particular order, here’s what’s happened:
- The biggest change that happened this year was that Matt and I have become more spiritual. By no means am I a bible thumper nor can I recite bible verses longer than 2 lines, BUT I’ve found a church that appeals to my core and I can’t wait to become a full member of this church. I’m SO looking forward to nourishing my soul with the Word of the Lord tomorrow (God willing).
- I got an award at work for being so helpful during the use of the facilities at work by a government agency. Hopefully, little things like this will translate to a pay raise although this recession pretty much guarantees that I’ll be at my current pay grade for a year or two. It’s not too big of a deal, but it was nice to be recognized for my hard work.
- Sometime in June, I quit biting my nails. I backslid twice, but never back to ground zero (i.e. as bad as it used to be) so I was always able to bounce back and I recently posted pictures of my hard-fought battle on Facebook which is what you see in this post. That picture signifies the personal, figurative and literal growth that is my life. I wish you the same.
- Back in June, I submitted my application to the USCIS to remove restrictions placed on my permanent residency because Matt & I were married for less than two years. I can appreciate the reasons this limit was instituted, but for couples together for genuine reasons, it can be a nerve-wracking time. We filed the application without the aid of a lawyer because they charged over $1,000 for their use. In an amazing turn of events, our application got approved in less than 4 months and as I write, I am in possession of my 10-year permanent resident card, more commonly called the green card! This is awesome news and what this means for me in practical terms is that Matt & I will have the freedom to plot our travels. 🙂 Continue reading 2009 so far
Only in my household is it not strange to remember that my permit expires in about 24 hours and then, I make frantic calls to the husband and my employers to: take me to the State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and excused from work for about 1 hr. Thankfully, we managed to beat the hordes at the DMV and we got out of that place in less than 30 minutes. Score!! The sad part, however, is that I’ll have to rinse and repeat in less than a year all because USCIS has seen it fit to give me a “conditional” LPR status versus the old-days-of-yore 10-year limit on those green cards. I’m not too bothered by it though. Just the thought of needlessly spending $10 again to renew the card makes me a bit … itchy. Renewing my drivers’ permit is the least of my worries. Renewing my permanent resident card is the real hassle although I won’t have to worry about it until next year. Still, who would have thought 2008 is already half over? The USCIS filing fee already leaves a huge rock in my gut (~ $545), but I’ve already started saving towards it. Thank God for ING Direct‘s sub accounts! They actually make it easy for you to save! I have to restrain myself from pouring too much of my paycheck into my savings accounts 🙂 I’m sure I won’t be over-saving (if that is possible) because I’ve committed to contributing $200 to my Roth IRA account. It should not put too much of a dent in my earnings because on my previous salary, I could, in theory, fit in my $200 IRA payment so now that I am earning a little bit more, I can definitely fit in the Roth IRA payments. Saving for retirement (or just for savings sake) is definitely a priority with me as my posts on finances will tell you. However, I recently got M & I signed up for something that’s really confidential. lol. I’m itching to tell you guys about it, butÂ I promised I wouldn’t. No, it’s not something that’ll make me/us super-rich or bestow us with honorary degrees. It is something that I’ve been wanting to participate in (for a long while now) and I was getting to the point of thinking the organization was a total fraud. Well, I’m a believer and I’ll write more about this in a couple of years. lol.
In other news, classes for the students will begin in a little over 3 weeks. I spent the better part of yesterday with my boss who showed me how to skin a dog’s forelimb. He is a veterinary toxicologist by training, but he clearly loves anatomy and he spent the rest of the time showing me the various muscles around the dog’s scapula and the canine equivalent of the human upper arm muscles.Â I actually remember much of what was shown to me yesterday! I really find it interesting although time will tell if it’s just early employment jitters or the real thing. lol. I learned about the dog’s scapula last week i.e. the names of the parts (see on the left). I’m on the humerus now and hopefully, I’ll be done with that bone by this week or the middle of next week.
(Picture is from Guide to the Dissection of the Dog: 4th edition)
It’s definitely a little bit hard to remember all those names, but the good thing with nomenclature is that it tends to be logical and follow patterns whether it be directionality (dorsal vs. ventral) or positionally (above or below, supra or infra). I’ll let you know how that goes in a few weeks. In the meantime, I’ve got a bunch of embalmed dogs to count up. These dogs will serve as the veterinary students’ dissection dogs to work with during the semester. It will be my job to see that they preserve their animals well and try to keep the laboratory clean. I should be getting scrubs this week and also get some T- shirts so that I don’t totally ruin my entire wardrobe. I think it’s safe to say that my favorite pairs of jeans (blue and black) have been ruined. lol. Well, not so much ruined as “they are not for fancy wearing” anymore. 🙂 They’ve got blood on them. Oops!