Ugh. Taxes.

Today, I finally got around to filing our taxes. We typically have our taxes filed by now - in years past, as soon as I got our W-2s and all appropriate forms, I filed. But because J's old job didn't send his W-2 to the right address, it was delayed a good two weeks. It FINALLY arrive yesterday, and we started filing tonight.

Last weekend, I put in the information I had, then finished it off tonight. Most years, I'm totally cool with filing taxes, but this year...it's just annoying. Checking numbers, filling everything in...it's just monotonous work that has left me bored this year. I actually quit filing and will finish tomorrow. Maybe.

Maybe it's because we had more forms this year to pull information from, or that adding the military component made filing a little more difficult...I don't know. All I know is, I have a distaste this year for filing taxes, but I'm not paying someone else $100+ to file them for me when it's pretty easy to do it by myself. If we had more assets, I'd probably entrust it to someone else - but it's pretty easy for us at this point, so I'll just keep doing it and grumble about it softly. I will say that our refund surprised me, and we're getting back more than anticipated. Hellooooooooooo new phone for J [finally].

Speaking of J, I'm going to go visit! After spending a few days debating about it, I decided to go out to see him for our anniversary. I'll be out there for three days/four nights and might go back out in July if he can't come back this way after his major tests are done. I am SO excited to go see him - last time I saw him was November 1st. And, we'll actually get to celebrate our anniversary together this year, which will be really nice. I can't believe we've been married almost two years. Wow. Also, I'm really excited to be going to Colorado for the first time ever. It'll be awesome to explore our new home, meet all these people he keeps talking about and get my mom's box of See's candy. Mmm. Chocolate.

And my ending note for this post: I feel like I'm in a funk. Or a rut. Something. I feel like I'm just going through the motions of life right now and not enjoying it as much as I have. Not quite sure why...maybe I need a vacation? Something to refocus on? A babysitter a couple of times a week to get my life back? *shrug* I think I'll figure it out soon enough.


My hot topic of the week: last name change

So yesterday, one of my guy friends posted on FB a question for the ladies. He asked if they really wanted to keep their last name when they got married or if they were fine changing it. Almost every girl - and guy who chimed in - said they preferred the change. Stuff about how it's a small sign to show that you love someone, etc. etc.

Call it going against the grain or whatever, but I don't believe the woman has to change her last name when she gets married. I said that I hyphenated for a reason - because my last name is a part of me - and another person responded that my last name was a part of me when I was single. Taking the new last name meant I was starting something new. I'm sorry, but just because I get married doesn't mean my life changes. I had my last name for almost 23 years before J and I got married. I grew up with it. It's my family's name, my name, a part of my identity. I'm supposed to forget that part of me exists just because I get married? I don't think so.

I hyphenated because I only have one male cousin [that I know of] with my maiden last name. My dad just has girls, so there are no boys in our family to carry on the last name. I wanted to honor him and my family by keeping my last name and adding my husband's - and while he made a big deal about it up until we got married, I honestly don't see what the big deal is. Our son has my husband's last name, I just go by my married name formally, but legally, it's hyphenated. I honestly do not believe that the woman HAS to give up her last name just because she gets married. Call me a non-traditionalist or independent or whatever, but that's just me. Not dropping my maiden name doesn't mean I love my husband less, or that I am less committed to my marriage. It means that I want to keep a part of me while also moving into my new life. I'm not going to drop my "former" identity because I become a wife.

I didn't even really try to argue my point when people started chiming in, because it's pointless to start an argument with someone who has a different opinion than you. It's called an opinion for a reason. I'm not sure Joe's still used to the idea that I legally hyphenated my name, but he accepted it long ago. That's all that matters to me, not that someone else thinks I'm wrong because I decided to hyphenate.

*steps off soapbox*

WMW: I'm really good at...

As I sit in my apartment through yet another snow day [three last week, one today and possibly one tomorrow if the snow doesn't stop anytime soon], I've had a chance to think about this week's prompt. What am I really good at...

It's hard for me to focus on what I'm good at, because I tend to dwell on what I'm bad at - but, I don't want to be negative today, so I'm going to focus on the good. Hm, where to start...

OK. One, I'm a good mom - and I'm not afraid to admit it, because I know I am. Raising JJ by myself has been difficult at times, but for the most part, it's a BLAST. He's with my parents right now while my dad's back from Afghanistan, and I've enjoyed my quiet time - but I miss my son. I miss our schedule, our play time, everything. It's been a life-changing experience, being a mom, and it's made me more patient, more loving and more caring. I never thought I'd get all that out of being a mom, but I have. I've never worked harder but have never enjoyed working so hard. I do everything I can for my son; he always comes first. Before he was born, I can't say that the important people in my life came first all the time.

Two, once I get going on something, I see it through. Sometimes, it takes me a bit to get going on a project...but once I do, watch out. I take off and can make it look like a million bucks. I'm more motivated than I look sometimes.

Three, I'm great at diffusing uncomfortable situations. I almost always try to look at things from both sides of the spectrum and try to bring peace. Of course, there are some topics that really fire me up [I'll blog about one of them later], but for the most part, I try to rationally look at a situation from two sides and figure out where the sides are coming from. I hate it when people get slammed for their opinion - it's called an opinion for a reason - so I try to reason it out.

Four, I can put together awesome parties. I haven't really thrown one in awhile, but I love throwing parties. I love coming up with themes, playing hostess...it's so fun for me. I wish I could throw more parties more often.

Five, I'm an awesome driver. Seriously. I'm the one that will drive four hours without batting an eye, who is a safe driver through and through, and tries not to speed too much [typically do 5 over, but much more than that makes me uncomfortable]. When we go places without my dad, I'm automatically the driver because I don't mind it at all. Maybe the nearly seven years I've spent going back and forth to my hometown [300 miles round trip...don't even wanna know how many miles I've put on my car in 4.5 years] has made me that way.

That's all I got for now - my mind keeps going to the pretty snow outside, so I think I'm going to go stare at it for awhile. I'd go out in it, but the temperature is currently 10 degrees with a wind chill of -8. I have NO intention of going out in it today. Stay warm loves!


Happy February!

Holy moly. Is it seriously February 1st? I feel like the first month of the new year flew by with the blink of an eye. Next month, I turn 25, H turns 26, and our two-year wedding anniversary rolls around. Good gracious.

I'm currently stuck at home thanks to the blizzaster that hit last night. I honestly didn't think it would be that bad - and, looking at it from the window of my apartment, it doesn't look all that bad - but between the sub-zero wind chills, the wind still howling around, the snow drift at my patio door and the car that got stuck trying to get out, it's bad. We were out today and will be out tomorrow [although, i might venture out to the osu men's basketball game since it'll be free], but I bet we'll be back on Thursday. As long as the city can dig us out, we'll have to get out, too. I'm not sure how I'm gonna get out of my apartment parking lot since my stupid complex provides no sort of relief whatsoever, but I'll figure it out.

So I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about expanding our family. I feel like everyone around me is adding to their family, but I'm just not sure if I'm ready. I mean, I'm almost 25, so it's not like I'm nearing the big 30 or anything like that. I enjoyed being pregnant [most of the time], but raising a child [solo] is difficult. I think I'd feel better if J and I were in the same town...but until that happens, no way I'm having another child by myself. For awhile, I was borderline obsessive with getting pregnant as soon as possible. Now...I'm enjoying my time with just one. When we're meant to have another one, we'll have another one.

Moving on now. Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and I have no idea what to get H. I mean, he said he doesn't want anything, but I've gotta get him something. I won't see him until March, but I need to send something. I told J I don't really want anything, which is true - Valentine's Day used to be super awesome when we were dating, but now...eh. I don't know. I like the cute card and the chocolate, but the holiday is just another day for us. I think I focus more on our anniversary and birthdays than Valentine's Day, since they're both a little more than a month apart.

The snow's driving me crazy, so I'm gonna go stick my head outside and see if the wind's died down enough for me to venture out without blowing over. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!