Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

A.K.A. The best Thanksgiving. EVER.

This year's Thanksgiving was one of those holidays you look back on and just sigh with pleasure. I don't know that one thing could have made it any better. It was simply perfection.

The amazing weekend was preceded with Libi coming to stay with Josh and me in Destin for the week. We had a jolly good time just being sisters under the same roof, which hasn't happened in, oh, four years.

Wednesday night Josh, me and Lib loaded up the Silverado and headed to Jacksonville like a little redneck family, with me in the middle (fun times).

Thursday started off the way any Thanksgiving morning begins - cooking! Me, Mom, Libi and Josh spent hours cooking and prepping. The fam started trickling in late that afternoon. 8 Cottrills, 4 Halperins, 1 Woodhams, 4 Chandlers 1 Berg and 1 Lane made up our table that night. (Did I mention this was the first holiday my divorced grandparents of 30 years spent together? It was.) We did the usual tradition, going around the table sharing what we're most thankful for. Everyone's honesty made my heart so glad. It was just the beginning to what turned out to be one of the most refreshing evenings. I got so much clarity that day that just freed me.

We also found out that we are going to be an aunt and uncle this summer! Josh's sister Ashley and her husband Derek are expecting their first baby in July! We are so excited!!

And we can't forget the line-up!

Friday morning I had my first Black Friday experience. Ever. It was...early, overwhelming, and not extremely productive...that is, until 7 am when we walked into American Eagle and I found the bridesmaids dresses! I had some picked out that were much more expensive than I wanted to pick, but I really loved them. This dress I found at American Eagle fit perfectly and I knew as soon as I saw them that they were it! Not to mention, they were only $47! A whopping $113 less than the original dresses I had picked out. So, within an hour, 8 dresses were purchased and life was good.

So, although I'm not really a fan of Black Friday, I do have to thank the holiday for my awesome find. I think of myself as someone who likes to try everything at least once, but I'm not sure it's going to be a priority in years to come.

Josh got to go fishing with Ren that day which really was the cherry on top of his weekend, I'm sure. I'm really glad he got to have fun while I was off doing girly wedding stuff.

Friday night was a family dinner followed up Just Dance 2 at the Tagnipez casa. My new favorite game/work out. Check it out - it's amazing!

Saturday was filled with dress fittings and wedding shopping. Not gonna lie, I was more overwhelmed than excited when it came to deciding on the exact shades of teal and coral that is going to be used for the wedding colors. Finding wedding shoes for myself or the bridesmaids wasn't as easy as I thought. I couldn't decide on any jewelry I liked. I didn't want to look at any more decor ideas or decide on a centerpiece. I thought this was supposed to be the most exciting part of getting married - picking out the details. Well, I just want to get it over with so I can be Gili Woodhams - Josh's wife and PIC. Is that so much to ask for?

Moving right along...Saturday night was filled with Christmas cheer as we got my parent's tree decorated, listened to Christmas music, and drank coffee and hot chocolate with Kahlua. Best part was that I got to hang out with two of my oldest girl friends, Katy and Ashley. We were the three muskateers back in '99 and were reunited once again (this time with fiances and husbands - we're old!). It was fab.

Sunday was bitter-sweet. I can't even explain how incredible this day was, and how sad I was to go home. Sunday was so special because I got baptised with my brother, sister, step-sister and two girls I've known practically their entire lives. It was so amazing to experience this with so many people I love - both from my past and the present.

Redeemed by Your mercy, consumed by Your grace. Now I live for You.

Monday, November 1, 2010

We have created!

As if I wasn't already so excited for the day Josh and I will own our own home and be able to design and decorate as we wish.....

We found this amazing dresser for $20 at a flea market two weeks ago and took it home and created a masterpiece!

Well, not quite. It wasn't as easy as it sounds. Why didn't anyone tell me creating was difficult!? We sanded, stained, sanded again, re-stained. Polyurethaned, and again, and again. After countless trips to Home Depot and $50 later, ta da!

So, until the painting and fabric prints and new furniture come, this will do :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pumpkin cheesecake, personal days and meltdowns

So, as you can tell if you read my previous blog, my life has been wearing on me lately. Every day, I feel a little more worn down. Not in a bad way, just in an exhausted way. I love my life, love my boyfriend, my family, my job, our home...everything! I am just starting to feel overwhelmed with certain things, trying to sort through my life, pick out the things that need to go and work on the things that need to stay.

Every day I feel disappointed that the things I wanted to get done haven't been accomplished. On days where I need to relax, I feel guilty that things aren't being taken care of. This is where I was yesterday. Let me paint a picture for you....

It's Sunday, we wake up to a great surprise - Chris and Taylor called us from Germany! We were all excited, snuggled in bed, speakerphone on, chatting it up with our dear friends for the first time since they landed in Germany.

We had a big plan for the day: fried fish at the Mullet Festival, biking at Seaside, cleaning our third bedroom that has turned into a monstrosity of mess. The day started off stressful. Josh and I always have a good time together, but because of my bad attitude, I kept turning what should have been a really relaxing day, into a stressful, anxiety-filled day.

We did get to the Mullet Festival, enjoyed roasted corn, fried mullet (which I was not a fan of), bloomin onion and gator on a stick. Once we had our fill of calories and dust, which all lasted about an hour only, we were outta there.

After that, I got a horrible headache, complained about everything that I felt needed to get done and wasn't getting done. We did have some highlights of the day, but by the time we got home, even though I had a long list of things to accomplish, all I wanted to do was bake a pumpkin cheesecake. I needed some baking therapy. And it helped! Here's the outcome. It's delicious, by the way! And low-cal! Click here to see the recipe.

So, obviously, the baking of the cheesecake put me even more behind on my to-do list (or to get accomplished list, thanks Roz!) and I felt even more stressed, but I needed time to do something I wanted to do, instead of something I needed to do.

My headache persisted, and I fell asleep the instant I lay down at midnight. The alarm sounded at 6:45 on the dot this morning, and a drum was pounding in my head. My headache from yesterday decided to stay until today and it wasn't letting up. I dragged myself out of bed, trying to be strong, got in the shower, and had to get out quickly because my head was just pounding. I got out and just began crying. The pain, the stress, the lack of sleep, it was just too much. I called into work, crawled back into bed and slept for three more hours.

I'm trying to take it easy, allow myself to rest, to re-coup after the strain last week took. I'm trying to organize my home, my thoughts, my life. I know I'm not going to have all the answers by the end of the day, the week, or the month. I'm just going to take one day at a time. But in the meantime, I will eat my pumpkin cheesecake.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Not enough time...

I shouldn't be writing this blog right now. Even with months since my last blog, so much to catch up on and two months worth of divulging to do....I still don't have time to be blogging right now.

I am definitely having one of those weeks where I feel like there isn't enough time in the day for me to get the things I want to accomplish done. If I feel like this now with a full time job, how am I going to feel if I really get my business up and going? Or when we really start planning the wedding, or when we have kids?

All these things have been wearing on me lately.

I barely have time to tend to my one customer I have for my Write on Red business, which stirs this fear within me that I shouldn't pursue the business like I want to because I'll fail. Josh and I are venturing on another part-time business together that will be another addition to our time.

We're church-hunting which is emotionally stressful. I know going to church shouldn't feel that way, but stepping through different doors each week, not knowing what you're about to encounter, it's nerve-wracking.

In addition, there's cooking dinner, watering the garden, walking the dog, doing laundry, reading books for book club...which brings me to another frustration that I barely have time to read those books, and I only realize more that I don't have enough me time because I can't read other books that I want to read. My bookshelf is seriously beckoning me....every day. I wish my office was set up already as a reading and work sanctuary, instead of the landing space for everything in the house.

Then there's plain old quiet time, devotion time. Me and my Daddy time...I haven't picked up my Bible in weeks! Sure, I pray all the time...but I want more.

And Josh....our time seems to be so rushed now. Our Netflix movies have stalled. The three we currently have out have been sitting in a pile for about two weeks because we haven't gotten a chance to watch them. Our queue is stagnant. (All those movies I'm waiting to watch!) And let's not even talk about the movies that have been hitting theater that Josh and I have missed out on. One of our favorite things to do together is go to the movies and I honestly can't remember the last time we went.

If I don't make time for the things that are important to me now, how will I be able to do it when life gets busier? When there are more things demanding my time?

Now that I've really laid it all on the table and complained to whoever you are reading this, I'm going to put a smile on my face, thank God for the people in my life and the opportunities we have been given, and face the day!

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

Here's to the weekend!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Falling into place

I should know by now not to worry about things, because things always have a way of working themselves out. I would usually say "If it's meant to be, then it will be!" But Josh informed me this morning that he hates that saying. And come to think of it, I'm not really a believer in that anyway.

Our destinies are pre-determined by our Creator, and while I have an inspirational card on my dashboard in my car that I look at every day that says "My destiny is controlled by me", I don't fully believe it. I guess what I do believe is a mixture of the two schools of thought. Every choice we make is ours to own. Where we end up is where God places us.

But all of that is neither here nor there. We have always and always will be provided for no matter what our situation has been. Josh and I have now been living with his parents for almost two months and while I love them to pieces, we are ready to be on our own again, our little family.

So, I didn't have a job for several months and we were broke. I got an offer to fill in at my old job for five weeks, which was perfect! This is the last of the five weeks, and next Monday, I begin my new position as Community Organizer for Shelter House. This is really where my heart is right now. I love the agency, what it does for women and children in our community, and I love the people I work for and with.

This new position is really me, everything about it excites me. I will be attending all of the local chamber meetings, setting up awareness events, going to expos, leading prevention groups in local middle and high schools, teaching economic empowerment workshops and doing the marketing (Facebook, Twitter, e-newsletters and quarterly newsletters).

In the meantime, I'm trying to do some marketing on the side to have a supplemental income as well as get my name out there get my business started. I'm thinking Right on Red Communications...what do you think about the name?

Josh will be back from Baton Rouge in two weeks! We are currently looking for a place to live but it's hard to do on my own. I feel like I really want and need him to see our options and be a part of the decision process. I don't like doing this on my own. I feel like it's something we should do together.

I'll be Baton Rouge bound this weekend to help Josh pack up our old apartment. I just can't wait for this season to be over! I told Josh we will really appreciate each other and having our own space and our own things back after these two months of craziness!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Unofficial Family Reunion

Last week, my great-grandmother, Gra, had a heart attack. It was minor, and she is okay right now, but Gra is 92, and this heart attack was a reminder that she may not be with us much longer. It wasn't long before family from Texas and New York, in addition to myself, all fled to Jacksonville where the majority of the family resides to be together.

At first, I will selfishly admit that after hearing Gra was stable and was being released from the hospital, I wanted to wait a few days to make the trip due to plans I had for the weekend with friends. This was exciting because I often feel I have so few friends, and it was the first meeting of our book club. After a few seconds of being selfish and holding on to the desire to attend the book club so badly, I realized how incredibly selfish I was being and how stupid it was for me to assume that Gra would wait a couple days for me to get there to say good bye (which is what I essentially went to Jacksonville to do - say goodbye to my Graggy, for that very well could be the last time I would see her).

I left work Friday at noon and hit the road (with my new tires on my car, thanks to my wonderfully amazing, mechanic boyfriend for not only getting the Goodrides for me, but also letting me know that I wasn't to go on any road trips because my previous tires were absolutely balled and had no tread whatsoever).

Before my trip began, I stopped at the library and got two books on tape. The first I finished right before I headed back to Niceville last night. Best Friends Forever is written by Jennifer Weiner and was so enjoyable, my trip to Jacksonville flew by and I didn't want to get out of the car when I arrived at my grandmother's for dinner. The second, I am still listening to currently. The remaining four discs are a telling sign that I will be listening to The Wonder Spot for a while longer. Books on CD are a huge part of my life due to the fact that since I got my license when I turned 16, I have traveled on a consistant basis and thus, have 110,000 miles on my 2005 Corolla.

After forcing myself to pause the disc I was currently listening to as I pulled into Gra and Grammy's driveway and kill the engine on my car, I walked inside and was greeted by my five siblings, mom, stepdad, two aunts, three uncles, three cousins, my grandmother and my great-grandmother and Lizzie and Nora, the puppy dogs. It was such an overwhelming feeling of warmth as we went around the dinner table, all sharing our fondest memories of Gra.

"Tonight very well could have been the best night ever...I love my family, it was so amazing having everyone together. So thankful for you all!" read my Facebook status that evening. And it was true, I couldn't have imagined a better evening. The food, traditional cousin line-up picture, watching old family home videos, looking at old family pictures and listening to the boys play guitar together.

(I can't believe I'm older than every single one of these kids and half of them are taller than me!)

(Sitting on the dock at night, singing and playing the guitar)

We spent three days eating together, laughing together, watching and re-watching the family videos and just being together. Being the Lane/Berg/Chandler/Halperin/Cottrill fusion that we are. The fusion that I love, that makes me feel at home everytime I'm around my family. That reminds me where I come from, who I am. It was three days I will never forget.

When I said goodbye to everyone last night to head back to Niceville and resume my life with my other family, I felt sad to leave them but so over-filled with joy from the time we spent together. I went around the table and kissed and hugged everyone goodbye. Some of them I'd see again soon, the next time I head to Jacksonville, other it would be longer. But then again, who knows, maybe it wouldn't be long until we all are forced to reunite to say good-bye again.

When I reached Gra at the head of the table, I kissed her and held her. She told me she loved me. And I told her I loved her back. When I said goodbye to her, I said it with all the love I felt in my heart, I looked her in the face, and smiled at her wrinkly face, her slouched body, her big smile. Oh, how I love that woman.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sundays = FUNdays

I always look forward to Sundays because it's the one day of the week that guarantees I get to spend time with Josh. Sometimes I feel like we are two ships passing in the night during the week with Josh getting one day off during the week but working on Saturdays, while I work all week long and have a two-day weekend. Josh also usually ends up staying at work late on weekdays, so the only time we really see each other during the week is usually spent sleeping. With us living with his parents currently, there's always so many people around (which is great!) we haven't had a lot of quality time sitting around the house in the evenings like we would when we had our own place.

Needless to say, the last two Sundays have proved to be very fun and filled with quality time. Today we all took the boat out to Crab Island, played in the water, and I read my book.

Last Sunday, I went to the gun range with Josh, his dad and brother and shot a gun for the first time. I quite enjoyed this :) I did quite well for my first time. These are my shots from 100 yards.

Here's to more Sundays and enjoying life :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Second Family

In addition to all the whirlwind of July (see my last blog), we had a Niceville family reunion. Josh is the oldest of four, just like I am. We both have two younger sisters and a brother, with the same girl-boy-girl pattern following us. Funny, huh? It was one of those weird similarities we realized we had when we first met that is just one of the reasons I think we are so good for each other.

Anyway, its rare that we all are together at one time, given that Josh and his sister Ashley (23) have lived away from home off and on again over the last few years, and his brother Jake (19) is a typical teenager in college who is always off galavanting around town with his film buddies. So, it was so nice that we were able to be back from Baton Rouge and staying with Josh's parents in time for Ashley and her husband Derek to come in town for a few weeks from Hawaii where they live.

Gotta love big families! Between both of our families, there are 11 kids! (Can't wait to get that picture at our wedding!)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Time to play catch up

I like to think of myself as an organized person who is on top of things and, for the most part, is in control of her own life....well, lately, I am realizing other things about myself. Being in the situation that I have found myself in, I am forced to be introspective and ask myself questions I never thought I'd have to ask myself, and see how I react in situations, both good and bad. Sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised with how well I keep myself together, how "whole" I feel no matter how crazy things seem around me. However, there are those other moments, where I'm faced with negativitiy, and I fall apart, yes, really...just crumble to pieces.

About a month ago, I had one of those moments...where I lost all control of myself and just cried, and cried and cried. I didn't even know if these tears were tears of joy or sorrow. I think there is one word to describe what was going on inside of me that literally pushed the tears to the brim of my existance and created a waterfall out of my eyes....I was overwhelmed. That's all there is to it...I wasn't depressed - my life is full of greatness and joy and love. I wasn't extatic - there was a lot going on that could have brought me down. I was just plain overwhelmed.
What happened at that moment that caused me to fall apart was a phone call that, yet again, changed the course of our lives...as if that hasn't been happening enough lately. Josh called to tell me that we were moving back to Destin. Yes, back...after only two months of living in Baton Rouge, after four job interviews, after an almost job offer (I could feel it coming), after countless days of lounging around feeling useless, after so many home cooked dinners I was so excited to make in our own place. Long story short, a week later, we were back in Niceville, staying with his parents, where we still reside for the time being.

It was a good move, we are excited to be back, but this season of transition isn't over yet and its exhausting me. Josh will go back to Baton Rouge temporarily for a month in August while I stay in Niceville with his parents and fill in at my old job for someone, which is such a blessing! In the meantime, I'll be launching my new business, stay tuned for details! Hopefully, I'll find a job on the side to keep things steady and we will move into our own place in September when Josh returns from Baton Rouge.
Yes, things will look up. They're not really down now, they're just not normal....but who's to say what normal is anyway? Not me, that's for sure! But I am thankful for the opportunity to be tested, and know that Josh and I work well under pressure together. The uprooting we have been through together have brought us closer, instead of the negative alternative of causing a rift in our relationship. I'm learning to be patient, with finances, with love, with with things getting done and happening when I want them done....I'm letting go a bit. I'm trying to go with the flow, see where God leads me. As Josh puts it, not counting my chickens before they hatch.
In the midst of all the chaos, I have had some amazing times with people I love so much. Mid July, my life-long friend Katy got married and we had a mini reunion in Atlanta.

Right after this fabulous weekend, just when I thought I couldn't have any more fun with old friends, Josh and I jumped in the truck and headed to Jacksonville just 4 days after I returned from Atlanta and met Danielle, Mark and Lilli at my mom's. Katy and Ren joined us and then we headed to Orlando to get our free day at Disney world that we got for participating in the Disney Give a Day, Get a Day program. This was quite possibly the most fabulous weekend of my life! To see more pictures, check out my album on Facebook.
So, now July is coming to an end and I'm starting to get back to what somewhat resembles a normal life of a twenty-two year old (yes, I had a birthday!)
I will try to update this blog more often as I don't want my twenties to pass me by. I want to start spending more time reflecting on what is going on around me, both in the world and in my personal life.

That's all....for now :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Time to face reality

So the last few months have been pretty crazy for Josh and I...we made the decision to move to Baton Rouge, then Josh moving for a month with us separated for 95% of that time. Then I had to quit my job, then we had the actual move, then I was traveling for the last several weeks, making it very hard for Josh and I to actually get settled into our new home and our new city. Not to mention a few weddings of some of my besties thrown in there ;)

Next month will hold lots of traveling yet again, but at least this time we'll get to do it together. We have my birthday weekend (the 4th of July) that we will be traveling for, then my long-time friend Katy's wedding in Atlanta, then Orlando with the love of my life Danielle and her boyfriend and their daughter Lilli....I still can't believe Josh and I have been together 3 years and Danielle and Josh have yet to meet! That will bring us to the last weekend in July (yes, that's every single weekend in July that's accounted for). Yikes, I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

In the meantime, I have run out of money and must get a job. I'm looking for something part time so I can officially take on the task of starting my own business. This makes me extremely excited but that's not to say I'm not insanely nervous at the same time. Yes, I'm afraid of failure. I'm aware I'm probably unprepared and unqualified. But I'm going for it! This is something I've wanted to do for 6 years now and I don't want to watch my life go by before me when I could be doing something I love and work for myself. Oh, to work from home and be able to make my own schedule, have lunch meetings with clients, exercise my writing, design an office, be able to work out every day....yeah, this is going to be good!

So, please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I embark on this adventure. It may be a slow process but I am excited for what I think can become of this. If you know anyone who needs any PR work done, send them my way! Also, I'm taking business name suggestions - let's hear 'em!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Where do I live?

So much for moving to Baton Rouge - I feel as though I've only been in this city for a blink of an eye, and when I think about the upcoming two weeks, I cringe.

Yes, I am excited about 14-day road trip I am about to embark on...and thank goodness I didn't get a job yet because clearly I would have been fired already. Living in a secluded city and state far from friends and family and any sign of life form (well, not really, just for our personal lives) results in lots of travel!

The next two weeks will consist of driving to Pensacola, bachelorette party #1, rehearsal dinner, wedding, Memorial Day weekend hanging with Josh's family, two days of training someone new at my old job that I apparently still work at, drive to Jacksonville, bachelorette party #2, hang with my family, then make the 10-hour trip back to my "home" so I can actually make it that.

On another note, we had our first visitor in Baton Rouge. My sister Shiri came to visit for four days. Anyone reading this probably knows Shiri and I are polar opposites and haven't had the easiest relationship over time, but this trip proved to be the best time we've spent together. We shopped and spent lots of time reading by the pool, explored Baton Rouge, hung out in New Orleans, ate great food...and watched True Blood. :)

Anyway, I'm off to finish packing and hitting the road to see our dear friends, Chris & Taylor, get married this weekend! Josh is the best man and I'm in the wedding as well, and we are so excited to be a part of their special day!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

"How Deep Is Your Faith?"

So, I have been wanting for a long time now to get back in the habit of reading my Bible in the mornings. When I eventually get a job, I will wake up early for this morning ritual, but for now, I figured with all this time, I have no excuses!

This may sound trivial, but every time I pick up my Bible, I have this conversation with myself over where to begin. Do I choose a book or person whose story is relevant to where I am in life? Do I start with Genesis and just plow through? Old Testament, New Testament? Wherever the book mark is from the last time I had this conversation with myself?

Well, this morning Reba helped me decide. "I Keep On Loving You" has been playing on the radio and my Pandora station constantly lately and I decided to let her country love song push me in the right direction today. These are the first lines of the song:

Love takes the patience of Job
That's what my Mama always said
Faith is the belief in something more than what you know
That's what the Good Book says

So, I grabbed my Bible, my coffee and my journal and headed out to the balcony with Baby Girl following me on this overcast morning.

It has always struck me as odd when Christians' faith is so easily knocked down when calamity or struggle hits them. I am by no means confessing to have always walked the straight and narrow, but I have never doubted God's hand in my life. However, today I saw God a little differently as I was reading. In Job 1:12, God gives permission to Satan to test Job, and Satan kills all of Job's offspring, then in 2:6, God again gives Satan permission to make Job ill.

I have to say I was a little personally offended when I first read this! Really, God, you're just going to let Satan hurt us? Aren't you supposed to be protecting us from Satan, not giving him permission to do as he pleases!?

Then it all hit me, like a ton of bricks. Satan can't do anything to us that God doesn't give him permission to do. Satan answers to God! Our Father watches out for us and even lets bad things happen to us so we grow in our faith and learn to rely on Him more.

This got me thinking about the natural disasters and the oil spill that makes it feel like the world is just falling down around us. If God has to give Satan permission to do hurtful things to us, doesn't it make sense that the earth needs to get permission from God before it begins to crumble? God opens the skies when there is flooding, the earth's core is obeying God when it ruptures and creates a volcano. Bottom line, folks: nothing happens without God knowing it is going to happen and without knowing what the outcome will be. All of the disastrous things that happen, personally or world-wide, happen because they are planned for a strategic time to effect specific people, all for the purpose of fulfilling God's plan in each of our lives.

There is a little table in my Bible that is titled "The Sources of Suffering". It explains four sources of sin (my sin, others sin, avoidable physical or natural disaster, and unavoidable physical or natural disaster). For the last, the responsible party is God and/or Satan (which, from my recent epiphany, when it is Satan, it is God) and the needed response is ongoing trust in God's faithfulness.

So people of Nashville, and people on the Gulf Coast, and all over, respond to what God is doing in your lives. This is not in vain. The suffering that is going on has a purpose. Not to ruin but to build up.

So, this begs the question, how deep is your faith?

Friday, May 7, 2010


Today is the first Friday since I've been in Baton Rouge. I woke up this morning and began my daily ritual:

Start coffee
Turn on the Today Show
Check Facebook
Check email
Drink coffee

When I got to the Facebook part of my morning, I realized everyone's postings from the morning, and they went a little something like this:

Hallelujah, its Friday!
Payday Friday!
Why, hello Friday, it's so nice to see you!

And so on...Normally I would join in on the excitement of my Facebook friends' as they celebrate the last day of the work week, however, this week I am unable to share their joy. For today, I am unemployed. My Friday will be much like every other day I have experienced this week, my first week of not having a job and "being a housewife" as my mother put it.

I am enjoying playing "housewife" (I will clarify for anyone with that sudden thought, "wait, did I miss something?". No, in fact, you haven't...I am not a wife, just playing one, in my own life, as myself).

My days of late have consisted of cleaning, organizing, working out, laying by the pool, reading, cooking and checking things off of my to-do list. It feels quite nice actually, being productive, getting in shape, getting a little color on my skin, cooking dinner for my honey and me.

If you're wondering, the reason I am not getting a job in Baton Rouge right away is because I have plans to be back in Destin for two weeks out of this month and it would be quite pointless to spend six days looking for a job and only being employed for five before I had to leave. So, I will spend the next 21 days working out to get in shape for Chris and Taylor's wedding at the end of the month, then it will be time to find a job.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


So, it took me longer than anticipated to blog about our trip but it went great and I'm finally here to tell you all about it!

The adventure started, for me, on Thursday, my last day of work. It was definitely a day full of mixed emotions. I was in a bit of denial, and still am probably. It hasn't sunk in yet that I am unemployed and no longer work at what was the best job for me at that time in my life. I will add that the fact that my replacement called me 5 times yesterday to ask me questions did make me feel important :) But, alas, I had to leave the past where it belongs...in the past.

That night we had an event at Funky Blues Shack called "Bringing Down The House - 70's Disco Night", so I grabbed Ashley, my future sister-in-law and night town sidekick, and headed out for a fun night and was able to say good bye in disco style to my former co-workers.

That night, Josh headed into town and we began packing up the condo into the U-haul trailer the next day. Baby sat anxiously in the car, waiting to see what was going on. We had everything in the truck in time for the rain to start falling. Josh and I showered up and headed to Pensacola for his best friend, Chris', Army Commissioning. It was a lovely evening with friends and we are so proud of Chris and his accomplishments! Chris and his fiance, my good friend Taylor, both graduated from UWF on Saturday and they are getting married on May 28! Josh and I are both in the wedding and are so excited for them!

On Saturday, we corralled everyone together and hit the road. Our caravan consisted of three cars, a trailer, two dogs, Josh and his brother and sister and myself. Here the pups waiting to hit the road.

The trip took about 5 1/2 hours because of having to stop for two dogs, driving 65 MPH with the trailer and it started raining pretty bad. All in all, it wasn't a bad trip. We made it to Baton Rouge around 5:30. I'm going to be honest and admit that when we pulled off the highway into Baton Rouge, I had a pang of anxiety when it hit me that I just moved to a town I've only been to once, have no job and know no one here. But when I first saw the apartment, I wanted to cry of relief. Relief that we would be living in such luxurious conditions, relief that we have so much space, relief that everything we've been through the last few months were worth it, and relief that my man picked such a perfect place for us here! Josh whipped out a Heineken for all of us to enjoy to celebrate our arrival in our new home :)

Then....there was a lot of walking up and down 3 flights of stairs, a lot of sweating, a lot of heavy furniture lifting, and a pretty hearty appetite built up. So Josh treated us to his new favorite sushi place in Baton Rouge. This is the most amazing sushi I have ever had; everything is Louisiana-inspired!

More pictures to come on house decorating and Baton Rouge explorations. For now, I'm enjoying being unemployed, soaking up the summer and trying to get a lot done!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fresh Start Means Blogging Returns

So here I am, embarking on yet again another new adventure. How lucky am I?!

I started this journey excited, then nervous, then scared, then stressed, now totally giddy with excitement about this exciting journey I'm about to begin with my favorite person.

Josh was presented with an amazing opportunity to have his own store in Baton Rouge and has been there for a month, living in a hotel, getting the store on a path to success. I am so proud of him for his accomplishments thus far and can't wait to see what is in store for the future.

In the meantime, I've been preparing to join him there. We had to make some tough decisions but I really feel this is a wonderful move for our future, together and for his personal, professional success. There have been many bumps in the road, many still waiting to be smoothed out, but I know God is in control.

We're only a month in on this journey but I already feel we have grown closer as a couple, he has grown as a professional and I have grown as an individual. I have learned to trust God even more and I truly believe we have so much to look forward to.

I hate that I haven't been blogging lately because there have been so many things going on but I want to take this opportunity to pick up the habit of tracking my thoughts, logging our experiences and documenting our journey.

I hope our friends and family will follow us as we begin this new chapter of our lives, explore a new city and continue to grow. Please stay tuned to this blog and my Facebook as we post pictures and new and fun experiences.

Much Love,