Thursday, September 27, 2018

(Long winded) Life Lately!

Life Lately Update // Pugs and Pearls Blog

Jury Duty
I was called for jury duty this week. It's my second time ever being summoned, but the first time it was cancelled as I was arriving at the courthouse. This time I called the number the night before, and sure enough I needed to report. I was especially nervous because I had just heard my friend's experience of being on the jury of a brutal murder. Being the small town that it is, I figured no huge cases would be tired here. 

It's different in every county, but in our county they had everyone file into the actual courtroom and sit in the audience. There were at least a hundred of us. We all had to rise when the judge walked in, and be sworn in. He told us that there were supposed to be two juries picked for two trials that day but one settled as we were all arriving. He read the charges against the defendant, and my stomach dropped. I can't say the details of the case, but I can tell you I 100% did not want to sit through that trial and hear any of it. 

A group of 15 or so were chosen from what I think was a bingo machine, or something similar. They had to go up the jury box and read off a laminated card answering general things about them. I felt so bad that they all had to speak out in front of the entire silent room. I will say that it was absolutely fascinating to hear details about people. It really proves you cannot judge people based off how they look. 

We started at 8:30 and it took until lunch time for them to get done questioning that group. The judge and lawyers deliberated for a little bit and they picked only 5 people! The groans were very apparent. We were dismissed for lunch, and then we had to start the whole process over again. The 2 women on my right were picked for the next group so I was definitely on the edge of my seat. 

It was about 3 in the afternoon before they were done questioning that group. The questions were easy, things that you'd know the answer to, things about your life. But then every once in awhile they'd throw a weird or wordy question in there. You could tell that a few of those types of questions were directly related to the case. We got to see some 'Objection!' action to a few of the questions which livened things up a bit. I was sure that we'd be there for-ever, but they filled the rest of that jury with that group. 

I didn't even get called up! While super interesting, I wish the process was more efficient. There was no need for all of us to be cooped up at the courthouse all day long. Plus, our courthouse is over a hundred years old, and so are the benches we sat on all day! 

Disney Annual Passes
We've had Disney passes for almost our whole marriage. We got engaged there, and spent part of our honeymoon there so it's quite special to us. I think it was 2 years ago when we stopped our passes. There was a ton of construction happening and we were really too busy to enjoy going all that often. Plus even though the Florida resident passes are cheap, especially when you pay month to month- going to the parks is quite the expense. 

I will say, they have a special every January-June were Florida residents can get a 3 or 4 day pass for something like $140 and we received that as a gift last year, so we did technically have a pass in between.

Anyways, we are planning on going to Disney next month with Blake's parents. When looking at the 1 and 2 day passes, I was floored with how expensive they are! I guess I had forgotten. The Florida resident annual pass wasn't that much more, and we decided to go for it! I'm really excited! We haven't seen any of the Pandora section of Animal Kingdom and the new Toy Story land opened up this summer. We already have plans to go 2 more times after the trip with Blake's family, so it's already been worth the money. 

Working From Home
My commute is killer. It's an hour each way, and the only reason I've been doing it so long is because I love my job. Also, it's only 2 or 3 days a week. We've been talking about making some changes for a few months, but this week we actually started officially making the move to working from home. It was very daunting at first, but things started falling into place relatively easily. We have a few kinks to work out, and some experimenting to do with some logistics-but I think this should all go down in the next month or so. 

I'm really excited at the prospect of working at home. I love being at home and we already have a really good office set up. My pugs will appreciate the company too, I'm sure! There is a measure of down time at work too. It can be either slammed or slow. On those slow days it kills me to basically spin around in my chair. If I'm at home I feel like I can be productive at work and then use the quiet time to do stuff around the house. 

Our home office has already been upgraded, because we just bought 2 monitors for the volunteer construction work we've been doing. Blake is getting a new office at work sometime in the near future and he plans to take all of his Star Wars collection there. So we will have to do a little redecorating. It will be nice to make it a more neutral space-especially if I'm going to be in there all the time. 

Travel Plans
As a person who thrives on routine, and being at home...October might just kill me! We have something going on every. single. weekend! I told our house sitter just to move in for the month, it will be easier considering he will be here more days than we will! 

I've already mentioned Disney, and we are really looking forward to it! October is my favorite time to go to the parks. It's still pretty hot, but not brutal.

We also have a quick trip down to West Palm for some training. The class is only one day, so we are going to spend the rest of the time at the beach! Seriously, I have NOT been to the beach yet this year. It's been killing me! We just haven't had a chance to go. Excited doesn't even cover it!

Mid month my mom and I signed up for a 12K in Amelia Island! I feel woefully unprepared, but we will get through it! It's such a beautiful area, and I think we should have some beach time that weekend too. 

Finally, at the end of the month we have a 3 day training class that will make me feel much more qualified for our assignment. For two people with zero construction background, we need all the training we can get. 

I'm praying to normalcy throughout the rest of the month so that we can get through all of that! No more things like jury duty, please!! I even had to adjust my work schedule for the month because of all of these travel plans. I'm so grateful to work with such flexible people! I know I either handle a busy schedule like it's nothing, or the exact opposite-I flounder. It has everything to do with proper rest and having things organized. I'm going to really try to set myself up for a good month despite everything we have going on. 

Leave a comment below and tell me what your life has looked like lately!! Have you ever been on a jury? What do you think about the idea of working from home? Would you thrive in that work environment or do you need to physically go to work? Any fun travel plans coming up?

15 comments:

  1. We were traveling every other weekend from mid-July to early-September. It was rough. Our dog/house sitter made SO MUCH MONEY. Hahaha. We might have a few personal trips next month, then two longer trips in November. I *think* that's it for the rest of the year :) Personal travel and professional travel put us on the road a lot.
    I've never had jury duty! My husband has been summoned like seven times. I've always wanted to do it (especially back when I watched SVU all the time), but now I think it'd be tough to stomach depending on the case...
    I wish we had close and quick access to Disney! My husband has never been and doesn't have a desire to go because he doesn't know what he's missing. Ughhhh. LOL

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    1. I'm so glad we have a good pet sitter! It makes the trip so much more enjoyable. He is going to rack up on the cash too!
      Thanks for reading as always Audrey!

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  2. Wow Kristen that is a lot going on! I found your re-cap of the Jury process really interesting. I had to go to court as a witness recently and like you I wasn't a fan of the whole thing - it was in a castle that is now a court and we had meetings with Barristers in the drop room where the used to hang people - nice. I can imagine that commute is a killer - Andrew does the same every day too and it drains him - especially in winter. I will be really interested to see how your home working goes - I am sure you will love it and make a fantastic home office with specific grumble of pug space built in. Great stuff on your 12k reg - lots of exciting stuff on the horizon. I'm not a big Disney person but I bet it is amazing these days (last time I visited was DL as a kid in about 1992) so I bet it has changed massively! Best of luck resting, prepping and planning - I am sure it will all go great and there is NO WAY you'll get slammed with something like Jury Duty again! J xx

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    1. Ugh! I'm sorry you had to go be a witness for something! How intimidating and nerve wracking! And to see the hanging area...ick.
      It sounds like you guys know exactly how hard a long commute can be. You are so right, the winter is harder. I definitely can't wait to work from home! Especially with a bunch of pugs at my feet, haha.
      I understand that lots of people aren't into Disney. I've seen lots of people spend a lot of money on a short trip and I think that's what turns people off. Being so close means we don't feel like we have to do everything all in one day and I think that's been a huge part of why we like it.
      Thanks Joanne!

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  3. So much going on for you! I've been called for jury duty but it seems likes every time I've been pregnant so I've been able to get out of it. Disney passes sound like so much fun! The prices for the day passes are sooo much. We'd love to do a Disney trip next year but it can be more expensive then heading to Europe. That's amazing you'll be able to work from home. That's a big goal of mine one day to be able to find more of a work life balance and at least have that option through a company. It's not even a thought at my current job :/ We've been extra busy too and I'm not sure it's going to slowdown any time soon. Sierra Beautifully Candid

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    1. There were very few excuses to get out of jury duty completely, and pregnancy was definitely one of them! I think it would be very hard to be pregnant and sit that much for one thing.
      Disney is crazy expensive! There is no way we'd be able to do it without the discount for FL residents and being able to drive there without having to stay the night. I feel so badly for the people who have spent so much money and feel like they have to see everything in one visit. However, seeing the faces of your boys when they light up would be 100% worth it!!

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  4. I can SO relate to feeling a bit overwhelmed when I look a month ahead and see so much going on. I feel like October-January are like this for us every year, and it bums me out. I like a healthy combination of full weekends followed by "boring" weekends, so it's tough when you don't have much time to catch your breath and chill. Solidarity! lol

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    1. Yes, solidarity! Thank you Erica! I've noticed that too, that there are busy seasons to the year. We had just been doing so good about keeping it light, that I'm not sure how it's going to go this month!
      Having a boring weekend sounds ideal!!!

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  5. I don't want to jinx it, but I've never been called for jury duty. thanks for sharing the process, it really is so interesting. yay for working from home #lifechanging... like you can actually make a decent dinner instead of commuting and fold laundry during your lunch break! and of course, more pug snuggles!

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed reading it, I hoped someone would! I know I tried to find details ahead of time and there really aren't a lot of stories out there! Plenty of articles about excuses to use though!
      Yesss, you totally get it! Having dinner made and laundry going while working would help me SO much!! Thanks Lauren!

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  6. How interesting about jury duty!!! I’ve never been called for it but it sounds fascinating. I’m so with you on boring weekends. I am all for it for October

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    1. You know, it was an inconvenience, but incredibly interesting! I'm glad I did it once, but I hope I don't have to go again any time soon.
      I hope October is good to you!

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  7. I found your blog through A Hopeful Hood! We are getting Universal annual passes for Christmas and we looked into Disney but my word, they are SO expensive! It does end up being cheaper to get the passes vs. paying for like four days. And yes to the hating being busy every weekend, our October/November is like that too! I hope you find some rest!

    mommafussell.blogspot.com

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    1. OH yay! Welcome Carrington! I'm so glad you ended up here, and thanks for letting me know where you found my blog! That is so helpful. I love Julie's blog.
      I know Disney does it on purpose! They want you to get the pass rather than just a few day ticket. Well we fell for it, haha! If I remember correctly, Universal is just as expensive these days!
      Popping over to your blog now!

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  8. Ahh jury duty, the bane of my existence since I live overseas! How many times do I have to notify them that I am a non-resident resident? HAHA But in all honesty, I would love to take part, maybe in a small trial, definitely nothing that lasts for a lifetime...! October is pretty booked up as well for me with a lot of guests! I'm excited for this month!!

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