Friday, June 25, 2010

Almost There

My exam is one week from tomorrow. I am so ready for it to be overwith! I still have a lot of review work I want to get done before then but I can see finish line. I'm almost there...I've been at this for over a year and I am sick and tired of it. Emphasis on tired. Studying for this section has somehow been the least stressful of them all and yet it still adds an underlying stress to everything in my life. This week I began to realize how taxing it has been on me and how tired I have become. I burst into tears in the car on the way home last night for a harmless comment Trent made...clear evidence that I need a break/need to be finished forever.

So, in anticipation of my upcoming freedom, here are some things I'm looking forward to after my exam is over:

+I'm going to start journaling again.

+I bought a neat little daily devotional book that I have already started and mean to continue. 5 minutes of insight and a couple scriptures each day is all it is but I really like it so far.

+Reading books! I have determined to read every book Lynn Austin has written. I have read some already and my coworker Ashley has basically all the rest, so I'm good to go. There are other books too that I recently brought back from Fbg with me. Books I read a long time ago and I've forgotten the stories or books that shaped my thinking. I want to revisit those.

+Losing weight. If I turn even a fraction of my previous study time into work out time, I'll be golden.

+Cooking for my husband. I'm not a good cook. I don't love cooking. But it's something I want to do, for the sake of our health and the health of our bank account.

+Cleaning our house. Our house, or at least some part of it, has been in some state of disaster since we moved in over a year ago. The dining room has been torn up for a year, the front spare room still contains boxes of junk we never unpacked, the den is usually full of tools and projects, etc. It's all stuff that could easily be controlled or taken care of if I didn't have to study all evening almost every evening. I enjoy taking care of our home and I have not been able to do that up to par. I'm excited to make my lists and cross stuff off and keep things in a more sane state of cleanliness around our place. To jumpstart it, I'm going to endeavor to deep clean the house while Trent is gone either to church camp or on the mission trip. I'll probably pay my little sister to help me since she wants to earn some money this summer and we have a big house...

+Carrying the Coach purse I'm going to get with my CPA bonus. :-)

To sum it all up, as I've said many times to Trent: "When I'm a CPA, the house will be cleaner, meals will be homecooked and I will be skinnier. "

8 days and counting...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Life > Studying

As most of you know, I have been studying and sitting for the CPA exam for a long time now and my LAST section is July 3rd at 9:00 am. I started studying for Audit after tax season ended and have been at it every since. But life got pretty busy. I had planned to use weekend as big chunks of study time and then proceeded to not have a single free weekend until last weekend (6/4). We either went out of town or had people in town every weekend for a month and a half. The good news is June is free as a bird now and I'm trying to keep it that way. I have managed to stay on track with studying pretty well...until this week. Here's how it went down.

Monday-had a Disciples Womens leadership team meeting after work that went longer than I expected but it was a great meeting. After that I intended to go home and study a bit but called my husband and said "Let's go on a date", to which he replied "I was thinking the same thing." It had been a busy Sunday and Monday, we felt disconnected, and needed to catch up and just talk. I filled him in on my day and what was going on with my huge client and he filled me in on his search for the perfect (yet affordable) motorcycle. It was much better that evening for me to spend time with my husband and take advantage of the amazing steak dinner deal for two at Logan's Roadhouse than it was for me to study.

Tuesday-all day while at work I debated skipping Calendar Girls dinner, since I didn't study the night before and had the following two evenings booked with church stuff too. I wanted to see Dayna's new house and I wanted the fellowship but I also didn't want to get further behind. Then I had the following gchat conversation with my wonderful husband:

Trento: hey babe
me: hi i can't decide about calendar girls
Trento: :(
me: i've had a ridiculous day. and I need to study but i want to see dayna's new house. and Riley
Trento: I say go, I think the fellowship will be worth more than the few hours of studying
me: but that's what i did last night....
Trento: If you've had a ridiculous day, that's exactly the reason you should go

So I went. There was more to the conversation of course and Trent conveyed his concern that I am getting burnt out between work, studying and the rest of our busy life. I went. And I was glad I did. The food and fellowship was just what I needed and I came home resfreshed and crashed into bed for a good night's sleep.

Wednesday-I really wanted to go to the youth group barge party, but it was canceled due to torrential rain so that was my chance to get some studying in. I tried really hard but it was a ridiculous chapter and I didn't get through it all.

Thursday-By the time Thursday Grace group dinner came around, I had learned my lesson. All day there was no question in my mind about skipping. I needed the end of the week pick-me-up, I needed the conversation and laughter. And you know what? I got that ridiculous chapter finished before Grace and read about half of the next chapter afterwards!

The moral of this story? Sometimes right now while my life = studying, life needs to be > studying. Therefore, a roadtrip with my husband to Ft. Worth this afternoon to pick up his new motorcycle > studying. But this weekend, my nose is gonna be burried in my books!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Pastor's Wife

So I've been a pastor's wife for about two and a half weeks now. I thought it would take a lot of getting used to but it really hasn't, partly because we were both already so involved with this church and these youth before Trent officially became staff and partly because I have not yet been able to contribute to the youth ministry in my own way as much as I would like to. I made the decision about a year ago to cut being a youth sponsor from my schedule because I needed another free night each week to study for the CPA exam. Now, a whole year later, I am SO close to being done! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I'm pretty confident it is not a train coming at me... Once I am done with the exam, I will have time to clean my house, cook meals, read books, exercise, veg, watch tv, and invest in the lives of these youth. I especially want to get to know the girls of the group. Their youth minister is now a dude and I want them to have someone they can go to if they need girl talk or girl fun. I'm hoping that I can become sort of an extension of Trent's ministry and gain friendship with all of the youth, but especially the chicas.

I had a youth minister during my junior and senior years of highschool, that was it. Before that, my family went to churches that either did not have an active youth ministry or they did and we did not participate in it. This youth minister made a huge impact on my life and growth during those two years but...he was a dude. I always kind of wanted a female mentor. Someone who had been there, done that, knew stuff, had insight, could relate, etc. Someone who was older than me enough that they had experiences, ideas and wisdom that I did not yet, but young enough that they would still feel like a friend and peer. I didn't really have that. And that's why I want to try to provide that to these girls. We've got great young women in our group and I'm so excited to see them grow and mature. I hope that I can contribute to that.

As far as me being the "typical" pastor's wife, I don't even know what that means and I don't think I'm cut out for it anyway. I don't bake and I'm a terrible hostess, so that might knock me out of the running right there. Can I be the irreverant reverend's wife?? Ok sounds good. I have been told by some wise folks that boundaries are important, the church hired Trent, not me, my help should be requested, not expected, etc. I very much understand all of that and appreciate the advice. I am utilizing it right now, until July 3rd, when I take my last exam. I am skipping Messy Games at youth tonight because I am behind on studying and that still comes first in my current life agenda. After July 3rd, pending a passing score, I am ALL IN.