Friday, August 27, 2010

Book Update

I finished reading Little Women last night. It has been just long enough that I forgot most of the ending, so I was eager to finish the story and find out how each of the sisters found their happiness. This is SUCH a good book and I just love it. I think part of the reason I forgot the ending is because that is when the characters are grown up, finding love, establishing themselves, etc., which was probably not so exciting to my childish ears back when Mom read it aloud to me and my sisters. I remembered all the funny stories and moral lessons from the first part of the book, when they are still just girls. Anyway, love this book. It's a classic.

Now on to my next book. I know nothing about it but it looks interesting and sappy. It is called Wedding Ring by Emilie Richards and I got it from the Bookcrossing spot at Starbucks by my office. Looks pretty good, we shall see!

I will have plenty of time to get started reading it this weekend because this is the weekend for our getaway to Quiet Hill Ranch. I'm so grateful to my Uncle Jim and Aunt Cindy for this opportunity. We've got the place to ourselves, no other guests booked this weekend, so we'll have time and space to relax, read, sleep, walk, swim, bird watch, sit on the porch of our cabin, eat good food, rummage in my dad's barn attic over on our property, etc. We're very excited, it should be a lot of fun!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Those three letters are pretty magical, let me tell you. They are what I have been aspiring to for the past year and 8 months. (Holy smokes I've been at this a long time.) To those who witnessed this process, you know what I went through. To those that did not, you are lucky. It wasn't fun and it seemed to take forever, but now looking back it's all sort of a blur and all I care about are those three letters. They are mine now. Mine to stick at the end of my name, mine to proudly say when asked what I do. I'm a CPA.

This morning Trent and I got up early and walked then came back to get ready for work. I have been checking my score every morning on my phone so I went through this routine again. And finally, after almost two months of waiting for my last section's score to post, I found this:

I don't think I said anything, I just turned the phone around for Trent to see. Celebration ensued. I called my parents and it was while I was on the phone with my Mom that it really hit me. I'm done. No more studying, no more putting off and skipping out on things I want to do, no more worrying, no more waiting. I'm a CPA (pending some paperwork of course). Finally. I started crying, I was so relieved. Then crying turned back into giddiness and I proceeded to pick out a cute outfit for my "CPA Day" at work. Then I got in the shower which had been running for about half an hour...oops. There was much excitement from my coworkers, most of whom have been through this whole process already and own those special three letters. A group of us went to lunch then had cake at the office in the breakroom. The cookie cake said "Yay Anna!" which I just loved for some reason. :-) Amidst all the excitement, getting paperwork together for my bonus and a short power outage due to a crazy rain storm, I didn't get a whole lot of work done today... but hopefully management will understand and ignore my nonchargeability for the day. Not gonna lie, it was kind of fun to enter "celebrating and distracted because I passed my last section of the CPA exam" as my time entry description for my nonchargeable time this morning. Haha.

I'm proud of myself. This has been a long haul but I did it. Not only did I pass each section but I made pretty good scores on them, comfortably above passing. I devoted myself to this endeavor and I succeeded. At some point today Trent said to me "You're a CPA: Certified Public Asskicker." Haha, watch out! So maybe those three letters have a double meaning to me now, but either way, I'm in love with them.

Anna Futral, CPA

Saturday, August 21, 2010

On My Nightstand/Piano Bench

Just a quick note to introduce the new "gadget" on my blog called On My Nightstand. I'm totally stealing it from Angela's blog and I hope she doesn't mind. I already blogged here about how I want to keep a record of what books I am reading and this can help with that a bit. I don't actually have a nightstand...I have a piano bench...well a keyboard bench I guess. I haven't had a nightstand since we moved into our house and I was using a tiny wooden box until recently when I grabbed the bench to my electric piano and stuck it by my bed. Much more space on it for my stuff, though I would like a drawer someday. I just need to breakdown and buy a nightstand. I'm holding out to find a really cool one at a junktique store...but that means I need to actually go junktique-ing to try to find one. :-/

Speaking of books, I'm off to read Little Women all evening. Meg is fixxin' to get married!

Can you tell I discovered the add hyperlink button??? Yay! I feel so techy...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

In Another Life...

I sometimes make comments like "In another life I would..." Obviously I don't have another life and can't alter my actual life so drastically to accomplish the things I'm about to list but it's fun to think of the wild things I would like to do if I could. Here are some that I have said in the past.

In another life I would... a hot, well dressed CPA living and working in New York City...or Chicago a drummer or electric guitarist in a rock band a writer the owner of a small used/vintage/collectible book store

The book store is the only one that I would ever even try to make come true. One of my accounting professors, Dr. Jane Baldwin, gave us a little questionnaire at the beginning of a semester to get to know us and one of the questions was "if you could do anything with your career, accounting or otherwise, what would it be?" I wrote down the book store. I love my current job and path and life, don't get me wrong. But there's something very enticing about the idea of taking care of shelves of old or unique or simply well loved books, having patrons come in and enjoy the aesthetics and scent of the place while they peruse. I have found such bookstores in New York City, Kerrville TX and Rochester NY, to name a few that come to mind. They have a character to them that draws me in and I end up finding books I don't know a thing about but I want to buy simply for their nostalgic quality. It wouldn't all be that glamorous I'm sure if I was the person behind the counter. It would most likely be more work than it was worth and probably wouldn't make it very long. But I can still think about it. Maybe when I'm retired I can find an old book store to work in or at least frequent.

Or maybe in another life...

Monday, August 16, 2010

I Need You

There have been several songs lately that have really spoken to me so I might put some lyrics here over my next couple entries and write a bit about my thoughts on them. Sometimes songs put into word feelings or emotions that are hard to explain via any other medium.

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill do a duet of "I Need You" which I actually really did not like when it first came out, mostly because of the one line in it about a needle needing a vein. I thought that was crude and stupid and just put in there to rhyme with rain. Trent didn't like it either for the same reasons. But then one day it came on the radio and he said he had thought about the lyrics and liked the song afterall for the profound meaning he found in the chorus.

I need you, like a needle needs a vein
Like my Uncle Joe in Oklahoma needs the rain
I need you, like a lighthouse on the coast
Like the Father and the Son need the Holy Ghost
I need you

Trent's interpretation:
I need you because I have no purpose in life without you
I need you in order to survive and succeed
I need you to guide me
I need you because I am not complete without you
I need you

I never would have thought of the lyrics in that way but it added such a special meaning to the song. To love someone is to need them in your life.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Now that I am no longer studying for the CPA exam (pending a passing exam score), I have had much more time to read. I love reading and I am so glad I have time for it now. I thought I'd keep a bit of a record here and there of what I'm reading.

Since I took my exam, I have read:

>I Capture The Castle, by Dodie Smith
This is a story in the form of the main character's journal. Cassandra Mortmain write about her eclectic family's life in their home which is an old castle in England's countryside. Father is a once famous and wealthy write who has suffered from 12 years of writer's block. Stepmother Topaz is a former painter's model who "communes with nature" by standing in the rain naked. Older sister Rose is longing for a man and nice things when really they are poor as dirt and hardly ever see a soul. Little brother Thomas attends to his studies mostly. Handsome Stephen has lived with them since his now deceased mother came to work for them as a maid years ago. He works hard and cares for Cassandra deeply, though she does not know how to respond to him. Their life is rather dull and boring until two rich brothers from America inherit the estate nextdoor and effectively become their landlords and possible lovers. Rose determines to capture one of them, and Cassandra determines to capture it all in her sixpence exercise book which she uses as her journal. I love this book. I read it when I was in highschool and picked it up again this time. Though I remembered the huge twist at the end, I still enjoyed re-reading it.

>The Great Gatsby, by I can't remember who...
I read this for a class in highschool and don't recall liking it very much then, but I thought I'd give it another try...I still didn't like it and don't really care to give a synopsis. At least it was short.

>Summer at Tiffany, by Marjorie Hart
I found this book on the free bookshelf at the Starbucks by my office, right before I left for my beach weekend with my sisters. I was looking for a fun book to reaad on the beach and this was perfect! Marjorie and Marty, college roomates, venture to New York City in the summer of 1945 and land jobs at Tiffany as the first women to work there. Marjorie describes the best summer of her life. It was a very fun, quick, lighthearted read and it is now back on the free bookshelf at Starbucks for the next person to enjoy.

Currently reading: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
This is such a classic and I have picked it back up after many years. I have the large, illustrated copy that mom read aloud to us girls long ago. She used to call me and my sisters her "little women". I am only a few chapters in, just past the Christmas where they give their breakfast to a poor family down the street and determine to be good girls, then put on a play for their friends and talk about the lonely looking Laurence boy nextdoor.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Athletic, Artsy, Adventurous, Academic

My three sisters and I went on our second annual weekend trip to the beach this past weekend. It was great fun and I hope we will be able to do it for many years to come. We drove six hours one way from the Burg down to South Padre Island. It was a loooong trip but the roadtrip was half the fun since we entertain ourselves so easily when we are all together. On the way back, Katy and I talked about her upcoming travel plans and it got me thinking about how different each of us is, even though we are all sisters and not terribly far apart in age.

Abby is 13. She is good at any sport you toss at her, unlike the rest of us girls, who faked our way through athletics. At dinner last Thursday night before we hit the road Friday morning we were musing about where Abby might go to college. We threw out a couple names and I of course said BAYLOR, but Sarah said "I can see you playing ball in college....the question is what kind of ball." She plays (and is good at) volleyball, soccer, basketball, softball, tennis, running... She honestly may have a chance at collegiate sports if she keeps this up. That would be totally awesome.

Sarah is 18, almost 19. She is the artsy one. She ventured to Rochester, NY for college and is studying photography and new media publishing. Her artwork and photos are exquisite and she has a great eye for it even though she has not been at it for very long. I can't paint or draw worth anything and have not even explored all the menu options on my Nikon Coolpix digital camera. Sarah is usually toting around either her fancy professional camera or one of her many antique or unusual cameras that she collects.

Katy is 21, as of about a week ago. She is the world traveler. I joke that "my sister Katy attends Trinity University in between her trips to foreign countries." She spent almost a year in Chile between highschool and college, she spent last summer in Spain, she is leaving in a few weeks for the Dominican Republic until December and then is heading to Brazil next March through August. Her travels do not detract from her schooling, but rather enhance it and it all fits marvelously into a coherent plan to prepare herself for an adventurous career in international studies, bringing betterment to spanish speaking countries. Or is there a plan?

I'm 23. I'm the nerd, the preppy one, the overachiever, the academic, the accountant. I was on a track and had a plan from the day I set foot on Baylor campus until the day I walked across the stage with my joint bachelors degree and masters degree, all of which I completed in 4.5 years before I turned 22. (I must be nuts!) I don't have an athletic, artsy or adventurous bone in my body. And yet I am completely content with my life, more like in love with it.

All four sisters from the same parents. All grew up together in the same household. All ended up on vastly different life trajectories. Athletic, artsy, adventurous, academic. And we LOVE each other.