Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Baby You're A Firework...Come On Show Them What You're Worth!!!

      Ignite the light and let it shine...ohh how I feel as if I am working on doing this everyday. Wow, I have been so busy while being back here for the past two weeks. My first Monday on June 6th, I woke up as I normally would have for a work day and started my day. I drove to downtown Austin and got my documents authenticated by the State Secretary. Nothing to special about that. I found the office, showed them my papers, had them "authenticated", paid my money, and out the door I went. The total time I spent at the state secretary's office must have only been about twenty minutes at most. I really had thought that this was going to be hours and see lines filled with people waiting...I was wrong, but sure glad I was :)
    Immediately following, I drove 30 minutes south to San Marcos. Ahhh,what a great feeling to see my old university and was flattered when the man at the booth asked if I was a current student. Of course I proudly stated, "No sir, I am an alumna." Continued on my way to get the letter needed from the university to show that it's and accredited university. That too was a good experience. I was unsure of where exactly I needed to find the "office" that wrote those types of letters. It's not everyday that someone questions their university's accreditation. We just take for granted that our degrees are suffice. Luckily everyone at Texas State was so friendly and they guided me into the right direction. Got the letter I needed free of charge and was on my way out the door to enjoy the beautiful Sam Marcos scenery.
Girl's Night Dinner

   Now that I completed that process, I knew I had some time to breathe for a bit. I spent the next couple of hours and days hanging out with friends and enjoying my time with family. We went to the pool since I won't get to wear the same type of swim gear out in the U.A.E and spent some quality girl time there. I have also gone to friend's soccer tournaments, spent time with one of my best friends and her two year old daughter, had "family dinners", girl's nights out, Sunday Fundays and even running on Town Lake. Pretty much just trying to squeeze in as much friend/ family time as possible and do things that I will miss out on for the next two years of my life. It's incredible how much things change in such a short amount of time. I can only imagine how much my life here in the states will change after the two years in the U.A.E pass.  

Run on Town Lake :D

  Even in my two weeks here in Austin, things have changed so quickly. Some have been days to the next, hours, and even within minutes. Amazing how life works. Everything happens for a reason; God has things in his plan that he wants for us and I strongly believe that. I feel blessed with everything that I have and that have stayed positive or have looked for the positive even in difficult situations. 
   After having too much fun, I had a wake up call last week from my represenative asking me if I had recieved my passport yet. I informed her that I hadn't and she told me that if we didn't have it in by Thursday we were going to have some trouble. Thank goodness that it came in the mail the following day and I had it scaned and sent over to her. She confirmed the receipt of my passport through e-mail. Another task down!
      I started to realized I was having too much fun and started working on getting my documents sent out to Washington. Wow....it was almost three hundred dollars to get all of this done and all I can do now is play the waiting game. I am hoping that I sent out the right amount of money and all the right documents, but not quite sure. Connecting with others who are doing this process as well has made me fearful that I haven't since everyone did things different from one another. Guess we will just have to wait and see.
     Now my time is spent waiting to get back my documents from Washington (completed hopefully), looking for clothes suitable for the weather and culture in the U.A.E, electronic devices compatible to stay connected with everyone in the states, and looking for an e-mail or recieving a phone call stating what cycle I will be teaching and the week I leave the states. These are things that I can't wait to find out so I will have more of an idea of what to take with me. My time has also been spent reading up on their countries education reform "handbook".
  Talking to so many people about how things have worked out in my life which have lead me to where I am today really does make me feel like a firework. There's a spark in me that I have ignited and am letting it shine on everyone!!! My colors are bursting and I hope they burst even more out in the U.A.E     :)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Dance

      I have officially moved back to Austin. I packed up everything in my apartment Friday and spent one last night there remembering all the memories I had in the past three years there. Saturday all I did was say goodbye to my family and drove off. Sounds easier than what it really was. It was tough packing and getting everything in. I'm exhausted and bruised like a banana. It was *even tougher* saying goodbye to my family. It's so hard to have a split family and on top of that have them live in seperate cities. I always miss out on someone's big event or a sibiling growing up. It's tough, but the life that God has chosen for me. I suppose to make me stronger and wiser. At least I am blessed enough to have family and friends in both cities that love me. I would say the hardest thing was seeing my down break down and cry. I can't say that I have ever seen my dad with tears in his eyes. He's the toughest and most stern man I have ever known......but he did. He cried when I left and was choked up. Sorry Dad to put this out there, but everyone knows the love a man has for his children. I felt guilty as I drove away and watched my Dad in the rearview mirror. Was I leaving too soon? Was I making the right choice for my life? I will never know those answers, but must continue to move on. I felt the love from my step-mom and sister too. My Step-Mom gave me a great gift... a laptop to take with me out to the U.A.E which is *perfect*!!! Now I'm one step closer to skyping. I told her she had to make sure she gets my dad to skype as well :)
      So, after my heartbreak and a five hour drive, I am here. I'm taking a break from all of this unpacking. I am so exhausted and have the look of death upon me :P I hope to finish today so that way I can continue working on my document authentication. Since I'm living back in the big city I'm hoping to have this process go a little quicker. I plan to get my Secretary of State Foreign stamp tomorrow and then shoot for sending out my documents to the US Department of State. Once I send the documents out to Washington, it is going to take at least four to six weeks to get them back. So I have to start working on this process *now*.
     All in time I hope this will fall into place and I can hopefully get a few weeks to relax before I leave the USA. I am going to do the most I can this summer to enjoy my American life. Just simple things like going to the movies or hanging out with friends at the park. I'm not saying that I can't do this out in the U.A.E.  I'm just not sure of it.....it's still the unknown. I do know that my dress will be different so I want to enjoy getting to wear shorts while it's still socially acceptable. Hopefully tomorrow will go as planned. I'm feeling positive about all of this right now!