This One Is All Over The Place

Here's the thing:

1. When I went to my apartment's office, tried to negotiate keeping our rent where it's at if we stayed two more years, and they said 12 months or no dice, we were okay with that. (I really should've gone when I was sticking it to the man)

2. When they told us we would be paying $75 MORE a month, if we renewed our lease, we slowly accepted it because quite frankly we just hate moving.

But, BUT!

3. When they told us that, if we renew our lease, there would be $10 pet rent in addition to the additional $75, for some reason that was the straw that broke the camel's back.

Have I not already paid an obscene amount of money ($500, only half of which is refundable) to have a pet in my apartment??? I don't really understand what this "pet rent" is supposed to be paying for. The deposit we paid is for any damages that could be done by the animal while you're living there. There is nothing, NOTHING, that this complex does for pets. Besides having little poop bag stations (maybe 5 of them?) and I have my own bags for such things. I don't see where this money is going! Or why it is necessary!!!

Am I being completely irrational here? Does anyone else have to pay pet rent?

This is a great frustration unto my husband and myself. We hate, HATE, HATE!, moving (who doesn't?) and because we do the apartment thing, it seems that we have to do so every year. Prices continually go up beyond what we feel we should be paying for an apartment. In nearly 4 years of marriage, I haven't lived anywhere longer than a year. Sometimes less. And there's a couple of random situations thrown in there, but still.
We're not in a position to buy a house, and again HATE moving.
It kind of feels like we've been backed into a corner and the only way out is to knee someone in the crotch and run for the hills.

We found out about all of this pet rent mumbo jumbo yesterday afternoon, and quite frankly (when I wasn't at work and saying good bye to everyone) it's been a real drag on my mind and life ever since.

Can I lay on this couch and play therapist with you for a few minutes?

This year has been a kick in the pants. It is the Year of the Kick in the Pants. They added it onto the Chinese calendar.
Mike has been stuck at a horrible job. There are no additional small people coming up in our lives. And now the great Apartment Suckfest (sorry mom) of 2011. Just to name a few. It's been harder this year, than ever before in my life, to keep a positive outlook on life.

Okay okay okay, I'm shaking my head now and clearing things. Were you wondering where the real Sandi went? Sometimes I need to get things off my chest.

Yesterday, as I was driving to work for the final time, listening to the Groban (I've been doing that a lot lately), I was contemplating the scriptures. I had, literally, just finished the Book of Mormon about 30 minutes before leaving for work. (WAY earlier than I expected!! Did you take on the challenge?? We'll talk more on this later in the month) I was thinking about Moroni chapter 7, and how it's one of the best things ever written and how Moroni guarantees, he guarantees people, some pretty amazing things at the end of the entire book. I hugged my scriptures and kissed them after I finished it. It's just the type of thing you do when you feel overwhelming gratitude for something. Anyways, these were the things on my mind when I started noticing the sky. Ahead of me, it was dark and looked like it wanted to rain at any moment. Behind me, the sun was shining. I couldn't see it, but I felt it, and of course saw it shine off of the buildings and cars around me.
I began contemplating this and it made me think of that saying that goes along with faith. Faith is like taking a step out of the light and into the dark. And really hoping that the light follows you.
(As all of this is going through my mind, "February Song" is building up to it's glorious crescendo, just in time for me to make this analogy in my mind. It. Was. Awesome. Have a listen. Right around 1:59)
I feel like that's pretty much been my life this year. SURE! Mike can be home for 2 weeks and then go back for additional military training! SURE! We can feel like it's time to have a baby and then fail miserably! SURE! We can feel like we'll be staying here another year and then have that fall flat on its face! And so on and so forth.

But, BUT!

What I really feel is this, that it all happens to better us. Heavenly Father doesn't throw you into the refiner's fire to watch you burn. He throws you in to be refined. People, I have been in the fire multiple times. I mean have you got a good look at me? There's a lot of refining to do. I can't think of one time when I've gotten out, on the other side of whatever challenge I'm facing, and NOT been thankful for the ways I have changed and grown.
So, when I look back on the year 2011, it will be the year that I remember being put in the fire for a very long time, but not feeling abandoned. I was once told, in a priesthood blessing, that there are no limits to what I can do and what the Lord can do for me, according to my faith and righteousness. That's hanging up in my bathroom.
It's my daily mantra.

Holy guacamole! Who decided to let me post such a heavy subject today?!!?!? Can we please end on a light note?!!?

In closing, I choose to present a list of things that were awesome this year:

-Uh, the Muppets came back.

-I did some Irish dance competing!

-This guy came home from long months of military training

-Oh and then THIS happened!

Don't lie, it was fantastic and you know it.

-Holly came home!

-I started this blog!

-A friend brought some millionaire's shortbread back from Scotland for me.

-Pete succeeded in becoming cuter. Remember?

-And so on and so forth.

See? This year wasn't all bad. I don't know WHAT I was going on about for this whole post.