Sunday, October 4, 2009

The long, long post - may cause drowsiness!

Hello from the big city!  I hope that all of you have had a wonderful weekend.  I have been a very busy bee over the past week or so and have unfortunately neglected this poor little blog.  I promise that I am going to be a much better blogger and post more frequently from now on.  Not that you are losing sleep over the fact that you aren't getting your daily dose of what's happening with the country mouse. ;-)  Quite a bit has been happening and to make things simpler, I am going to break this post down into segments:  school, work, fun and driving.  That's right folks - driving.  Just wait until you read how that's been going! here we go...


If you read my last post, you'll remember that I had a teensy breakdown over school a week or so ago.  Maybe that's normal for everyone in grad school for the first time?  Surely everyone calls home at least once and cries to their mother about how dumb they feel in comparison to everyone else in class?  Don't they?  No, I'm sure I'm probably the only 27 year old that still calls home crying when the going gets tough.  Oh least I can admit it! 

Anyway...I went to class this week with a much more positive attitude (I think I can!  I think I can!) and I walked away feeling so much better than I did last week.  My professors and classmates are all fantastic.  I feel very privileged to be learning from some of the best leaders in the human resources profession.  I am definitely being challenged like I've never been challenged before, but it is such a great feeling.  Don't you think it feels so good when you really put your noggin to the test and achieve something you thought was impossible?  Well, this ol' noggin is being put to work and hopefully it will crank out some good grades this semester! 

After my little meltdown last week, I decided it might be helpful to buy an extra book or two on the basics of HR (you don't get HR 101 at GU!).  So, Lucy (the 3 year old) and I made a special trip to Barnes and Noble last week and we each picked out two books.  Lucy chose "A Bad Case of Stripes" and "Harry the Dirty Dog."  Actually, I sort of coaxed her into choosing "Harry the Dirty Dog" because I loved it when I was little. ;-)  I chose:

Not exactly as entertaining and colorful as Lucy's choices, but very helpful nonetheless!  Lucy asked me what books I picked out and I told her they were just "school books" because I didn't want to say the word "dummy" in front of her.  The last thing I wanted was for her to run home and call someone a dummy!

Even though it's been a little rough starting out, I am so grateful for this opportunity and I am looking forward to learning more and more every week at school.  Thank you Georgetown U. for letting this little mouse be a part of your community!


I honestly feel like I don't deserve to get paid for what I do all day.  Gretchen and Lucy are just so easy it's abnormal!  They are also hilarious...I mean really hilarious.  Some days I am laughing so hard that I think I won't be able to stop!  One of my favorite parts of the day is when we sit down and have lunch together after they get home from pre-school.  They are so excited to tell me about their morning that they can barely stand it.  Those two monkeys LOVE school.  I think they wouldn't care one bit if I dropped them off in the morning and never came back!

Friday is normally our day to have lunch somehwere fun.  Of course we've already done McDonald's...that was first on the their list!  So, on Friday I took them to a cute little area of Bethesda where there is a sandwhich shop that makes their own bread.  The girls were mesmerized watching the man behind the counter knead and stretch the dough over and over again.  He was even sweet enough to bring them a tiny sampling of some freshly baked bread.  We sat outside and enjoyed our PB&J's on artisan flatbread.  They now refer to artisan flatbread as "that good chewy bread."  Afterwards we hit up the park and soaked up some of the good afternoon sunshine.  The girls want so badly to do all of the "big kid" things at the park, but I always have to pull them aside and remind them that the monkey bars are just a little too high for them right now.  Mainly I'm just terrified of one of them getting hurt while I'm on the clock!  Bless their hearts, they are too sweet to even complain.  If it were me at age five and someone told me I couldn't go on the monkey bars, I'd scream and them and tell them I was going on those monkey bars anyway!  Thankfully these precious girls are so understanding of their "nervous nellie" nanny!

Baby O'Brien #3 is due October 29th, so I am enjoying these last few weeks of it being just me and the girls.  Things are definitely going to be changing when the little one arrives!  And I have a feeling I'll be coming home with some pretty funny stories too! 


Have I been having fun in DC?  YES!  I love DC and have met so many new people!  Everyone has been so welcoming and have included me in all the cookouts, football game get togethers and nights out on the town.  We got together last night to watch the Auburn game and I brought over a big pot of homemade chili for everyone.  My whole apartment still smells like...chili!  Thankfully the Tigers pulled through...WAR EAGLE!

I love the fact that so many people here are from the South.  It definitely makes it feel like a small town inside a big city.  I love the "energy" of the city too.  That may sound a little cheesy, but that's the best way I know to describe it!  There is so much to see and do and I love that the sidewalks are always filled with people.  I think my favorite thing about DC is how walkable it is.  I walk everywhere except to work!  Georgetown is so pretty with it's tree lined streets and row houses.  I can't imagine why anyone would want to drive around here if they could walk instead!  One thing that I have noticed is that just about every other person you see on the street is listening to their ipod.  I never saw this in Birmingham, but probably because you don't walk anywhere very much.  This is definitely a city full of earbuds!  I admit that I've adopted the habit myself, but mainly because I'd rather listen to music than be deafened on the street by the constant beeping of horns and roaring metro buses! 

Speaking of beeping horns....let's move on to the topic of my driving in're going to love this.


I'll be the first one to admit that I'm not the world's greatest driver.  I tend to have a lead foot and I need to learn the art of gently applying the brakes when stopping.  I guess it's safe to say I just have lead feet when it comes to all aspects of driving! 

All things considered, the driving in DC really isn't that bad.  You just have to understand that the majority of the folks on the road are in a big hurry and don't care if they shove you out of your lane to get in front of you.  And they will use their horns like it's nobody's business!  People up here love to beep the horn at you, even if you haven't done anything wrong.  I got my feelings hurt the first few days I was here from getting beeped at so much, but I finally decided I would just beep right back at them!  I think the bright pink Alabama breast cancer research tag on my car doesn't help much.  Thank goodness I don't still have the Farming Feeds Alabama tag I had last year!  Folks up here would have a field day with that one. ;-)

Anyway, I'll get to the point (I know this post is ridiculously long and you've got a life to get back to!).  Are you ready?  I've been here a total of five weeks and have already hit TWO cars AND taken out my right side view mirror!  I haven't even had a chance to go to the DMV yet for my car inspection and now I can't pass because my right side view mirror is gone!  The first "hit" was just a minor bump that didn't result in any damage.  I was backing out of a parallel parking spot and "bumped" the car behind me.  The owner was about to get in the car and I was of course completely mortified.  Thankfully, she was very nice and told me not to worry about it.  After all, this is DC and everyone's bumper is pretty much destroyed!

The second "hit" was not quite so minor.  Again, no damage was done, but it was all my fault and it happened on one of the busiest streets in DC...M Street.  M Street is in Georgetown and it is where alot of the the high end retail shops and bars are located.  It is definitely not where you want to have a car accident.  You will make ALOT of people angry if you back up traffic on M Street!  They also get mad if you get stuck in the middle of an intersection.  You know when you just happen to be that last car that's rear end is sticking out enough to prevent the oncoming traffic from going through the intersection?  Well, I got stuck a few weekends ago and the oncoming traffic started beeping at me like crazy.  I panicked and started to back up (without looking first!) and...WHAM!  I backed right into a car crossing over the intersection (think t-bone situation).  I scared me to death!  The other driver and I managed to pull over and amazingly neither of our cars had a scratch on them.  He was driving an older Toyota Forerunner and I have a Honda Accord.  Thank you Toyota and Honda for making such strong vehicles!  The man was so incredibly nice and told me not to worry, that his car was "practically indestructible."  Ha!  I can promise you that I will NEVER back up on M Street (or any street for that matter) again!

Now, for the side view mirror.  I guess it was just a matter of time before I actually did some real damage to my car.  Friday afternoon I was coming home from work and when I turned onto my street, a car came FLYING towards me and I jerked my car over to avoid having a complete head on collision.  Of course there was an entire row of parallel parked cars on my side.  So, I jerked my car over and...WHAP!!  My right side view mirror collided with another car's left side view mirror.  There's was fine, Stewart's was completely destroyed.  Go figure.  So, I parked and walked up and down the street like an idiot looking for the remnants of my poor mirror.  After about ten minutes of searching I finally found it underneath another car....

How many years of bad luck does that equal??  The actual plastic part that holds the mirror in place is still hanging by a thread on my car, but without a mirror in it it's not too helpful.  A trip to the local Honda dealership has been put on the schedule for this week!  And I am pushing my mirrors in every day when I park from now on!

OK...are you tired yet?  Or maybe no one has actually even made it to the end of this post because it was a small novel?  If there is anyone out there who has stuck with me, I promise that my future posts will not be nearly as lengthy as this one! 

Have a wonderful night!

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