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 :)