Monday, September 23, 2013

Blogtember: Life Lately

Monday, September 23: A "life lately" post. What you're up to, how you're feeling, how you're doing on your goals, etc.

Life lately has been very busy.
Last week we were out of town- at Disney World!
It was a great family vacation. We had a wonderful and exhausting time!
I'm going to share the photo collages I made for each day, then next week I plan to share more pictures and more details.

Magic Kingdom: Cinderella's castle, afternoon parade, Electrical Parade
Hollywood Studios: Lightening McQueen and Tow-mater, main drag, Tower of Terror, main entrance
Downtown Disney: us at Rainforest Cafe, dragon made of Legos, sunset over the water, TRex Restaurant
Animal Kingdom: main entrance, giraffes, Tree of Life, elephant
Epcot: us at a show, France, the giant ball, main entrance
Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure: Transformers ride, pharmacy, main entrance
Tonight begins small group at our house. We decided to be a host home this time around, so Sunday we spent most of the day getting the house cleaned up and ready.

As far as goals go, in the spring I decided to start working out again. I have stuck with it, except for our vacations. Last week we walked a lot, but we didn't eat very well. This week I am looking forward to getting back on track with my workouts and eating better. Jason and I went grocery shopping and tried to stock up on lots of healthy items!

This week it's back to work. Hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Blogtember: Comfort

Friday, September 20: React to this term: comfort.

The definition of comfort is a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint; consolation for grief or anxiety. (source)

Here are some things I think of when I think of comfort:
a big hug after a long, hard day
snuggling with my pups on the couch
sweatpants on a cold day
a nice breeze on the beach

I don't know about y'all, but I like to be comfortable. Probably a little too much at times. It's definitely something I'm working on- getting out of my comfort zone more often and being more accepting of change. 

What makes you comfortable?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Blogtember: Creative Writing

Thursday, September 19: Creative writing day: write a (very short) fictional story that starts with this sentence: "To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century".

This was a tough one for me. I'm pretty sure I haven't written anything fictional since high school. But I gave it my best shot!

"To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century. Unfortunately sometimes you just have to do things you don't want to do, especially when family is involved. It wouldn't be that big of a deal normally, but this get together will be a little different. My cousin, Scott, got married a few months ago and will be bringing along his trophy wife. She is as aloof and spoiled as they come. And of course she is real nice to everyone's face. We all know she is really talking bad about us when we turn our back. None of us really enjoy being around her. Hopefully this time she will at least wait until she gets home to complain about our grandmother's taste in clothing. It made things a little awkward at their wedding when all of us, including Grandma, heard her terrible comments. She didn't even bother to apologize if that tells you anything about her character. 

I hear my husband calling that we need to go, so I head down to meet him at the car."

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Blogtember: Memory Lane

Tuesday, September 17: A memory you would love to relive.

If I could relive any memory, I would go back to elementary school.
It would be a Sunday afternoon. We would get home from church, get changed, and head over to Nana and Papa's house.
Nana would have a huge spread cooked for us and my cousins, Stuart and Sandra, would be there too. Nana was the best cook, so everything would be delicious. Mom and Dad would have to keep telling Charles and I to eat exactly ten green beans. 
After talking and eating it would be time for dessert! We would have two desserts. Papa always got his own because his had to be sugar free. It was always good too though. If Nana made carrot cake, Charles and I wouldn't eat it even though everyone told us how good it was. When you're a kid carrot cake just sounds gross!
More important than the food, we would be having fun spending time together as a family.

I miss those family lunches on Sunday afternoons and Nana and Papa.
What memory would you relive?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Blogtember: A Love Letter

Monday, September 16: Write a public love letter to someone in your life.

Dear Jason,

I am blessed to call you my husband and my best friend.
You challenge me to be the best of myself. 
You help me step outside of my safe, comfortable box and take some risks.
You have always been there for me, no matter the circumstance. 
You always know exactly how to make me laugh when I am sad.
I have loved the seven years we have been together and look very much forward to spending many more years as your wife.
I am so thankful that God brought us together.

I love you,

Friday, September 13, 2013

Blogtember: Self Portrait

Friday, September 13: Self Portrait

I am terrible at taking pictures of myself, so I had Jason take this one.

I took this weekend off from work, so tonight we had dinner with my parents. It was good to just hang out with them and catch up. 

Hope y'all have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Blogtember: How Blogging Has Changed Me

Thursday, September 12: Discuss ways that blogging or social media has changed you.

Blogging has definitely broadened my horizons. There are so many things I've learned about or found out about through reading blogs. The two that have really changed my life are and I love the devotionals from She Reads Truth and the workouts from Tone It Up have gotten me back into working out.

Blogging has also taught me a lot about myself and about God. God has definitely used writing about my experiences to teach me a new lesson or remind me of His truth. And I remember what I learned so much better because I wrote it down and can go back to look at it!

In blogging it is easy to compare. I am forced to remind myself often that no one's life is perfect, everyone's circumstances are different, and that I am to be content exactly where God has me.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Blogtember: Online Shopping

Wednesday, September 11: Share links to your favorite online shops.

My favorite online shop is Naptime Diaries. She sells so many gorgeous scripture prints. I have bought several to give as gifts and also have a couple in frames around our house.

Found here
Found here
These next shops I haven't actually bought anything from, but their stuff is very cute. And if I had more money I would buy lots of stuff from them!

I love everything at Marley Lilly because who doesn't love a good monogram?
If I could buy something right now, I would get this scallop necklace and this leather cuff bracelet.

I also love the clothes from Elle & K Boutique. Everything is under $50 and free shipping! I love free shipping. They always have cute dresses. I just really don't like to order clothes online because I have a hard time finding stuff that fits. I like to try things on!
I really like this black dress and this state of Tennessee necklace. They have a Georgia one also.

Where are your favorite places to shop online?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Blogtember: Change

Tuesday, September 10: Describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn.

Life is full of change. I can certainly think of a few moments in my life that came with big changes. When I accepted Christ as my Savior, when Jason and I started dating and when we got married, when we bought our house, and when we brought a new pup into our family- all of these were big changes. But the change I want to talk about today is work related.

I graduated from pharmacy school in May 2011. I interviewed with a lot of retail companies (the area I had the most experience in) but didn't receive any offers. I finally found a part time job working two days a week about an hour away. I was thankful to have a job, but being part time was not going to work long term. Jason owns his construction company which means no insurance and often times no steady income. 

I started looking for other opportunities toward the end of that summer. There were not a lot of full time jobs in our area so I also applied for a couple of part time positions to fill in when needed. I thought if I could at least get more hours that would help some.

It took so long to hear anything back from any of the places I applied that I really thought those doors were closed. I was so excited the day I got the call to interview at a hospital very close to us.

When I went in for the interview they remembered me from my time there during my last year of school. I was interviewing for a fill in when needed position, but they happened to have a full time opening. I was offered the job. The only catch was that it was a night shift position. I would work 10 hours a night for seven nights then have the next week off.

I went home to talk to Jason about it, and we ultimately decided that it would be best for us if I did take the position. I started working nights in January 2012. It has certainly taken a lot of adjustment. Learning to sleep during the day wasn't as bad as I thought it would be since we lived in the basement with no windows in our bedroom! It can be very difficult to transition back to a normal schedule on my off week. And it is definitely not ideal to only get to go to sleep with my husband every other week. Often times I feel I have a job one week, then the next week I am a stay at home housewife. 

Even with all the adjustment, I am so thankful that God gave me such a great opportunity. I like what I do and the people that I work with. And of course I really enjoy the weeks I have off!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Blogtember: I'm an ISTJ

Monday, September 9: Take this short personality test and respond to your results.

According to the personality test I am introverted sensing thinking judging (ISTJ). I agree with a few of the things it says about me, but there are definitely some things that are not true of me.

Here are a few of the characteristics of an ISTJ (profile here):
"They have a keen sense of right and wrong, especially in their area of interest and/or responsibility." I think this is true about me. 
"Punctuality is the watchword of the ISTJ." Definitely not true of me. It's not that I don't want to be on time, but I rarely ever am. Just ask Jason. We are almost always running late.
"Often give the initial impression of being aloof and perhaps somewhat cold." This is probably true about me. I am very shy around people that I don't know, so I don't talk much which could come off as aloof.
"ISTJ's are easily frustrated by the inconsistencies of others, especially when the second parties don't keep their commitments." Definitely true! Please don't tell me you are going to do something if you are not going to do it. I do get frustrated over stuff like that.
"Usually keep their feelings to themselves unless they are asked. And when asked they do not mince words." I do keep my feelings to myself most of the time. But I am concerned about other people's feelings, so I am careful about how I say things.
The profile also says ISTJ's are good at making tough calls and sticking with them. I don't think this is true of me at all. I am really indecisive, especially when it comes to hard decisions. It would depend on the decision as to whether I stuck with it or not.

This personality test was interesting! What personality type are you?

Week Off Recap

 Another week off is coming to an end. Here's what we have been up to this week:

Jason was a very helpful husband and cleaned house while I got my nap in! Then we had some new friends over for dinner that night.

I finally got my haircut and had lunch at one of my favorite restaurants in Athens. We also got to have dinner with my parents.

Two pups stole my seat!
Jason and I had a date night to celebrate the fact that our first date was seven years ago. It's hard to believe we have been going on dates that long!

It was a busy day! I couldn't sleep on Wednesday night, so I ended up sleeping half the day away on Thursday. This only left me a couple of hours to get my chores done and get ready to go to Atlanta. We attended our good friend, C's going away party. He is moving from one work opportunity to the next. C has given Jason's company a lot of work over the past few years and really helped it grow! The party was fun- Jason knew a lot more people than I did because he has worked with a lot of them. We spent the night at the hotel- the Crowne Plaza. It was fun to have a night away!

On our way back home, we stopped for breakfast at Jason's parent's house. In the afternoon my mom and I had plans for lunch. We went to my friend's house first to see her baby girl's nursery then to lunch with her and her mom. We had a great time talking and catching up. Friday night, I had dinner with old friends and Jason went to the movies with one of his friends.

We went to one of my favorite places, Jaemor Farms! They have the best peaches in the summer and the best apples in the fall. We were able to get a big basket of peaches and some other produce, plus a few of their delicious fried pies! That evening we had some friends over for dinner and to watch the Georgia game. It was a good college football game day for us, both Tennessee and Georgia won!

Jason and I took a road trip to North Carolina with Daisy and Scarlett. We checked on our property and got to visit with and have lunch with our friends and their little ones! It was a short trip, but we had a good time and both pups did really well traveling. After we got back we had a delicious dinner with C and his wife at their house. 

North Carolina
It was a great week off, but now we are getting ready to go back to work. It is a short week for me though, only four nights to go!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Blogtember: Fear

Friday, September 6: A story about a time when you were very afraid.

There have been many times in my life when I have been afraid. My imagination tends to get carried away and think of the worst case scenario. I cannot watch scary movies because I will end up being up all night with all the lights on!

One of the times I have been most afraid was earlier this year.
It was a Thursday afternoon in February when I got the call that Jason and his friend had been in a car accident in North Carolina. The initial information I got was that they were both okay but a little scraped up, so they were going to the hospital to get checked out. Jason asked me to drive up to pick them up. His explorer had rolled onto its side, so they needed a ride back home. 

Because I wasn't sure how long I would be gone, I took Daisy over to my parent's house. While I was there, I received another phone call. Jason's friend was calling to tell me that Jason was being life flighted to a hospital in Chattanooga. I have never received more terrifying news in my life. I immediately asked a lot of questions. I was confused because they had just told me a few minutes before that they were fine. Jason's friend explained that Jason's hand had been severely injured and he didn't have feeling in some of his fingers. They wanted to get him to a specialist because they were concerned about permanent nerve damage. 

Even though I was being told that Jason was fine except for his hand, I didn't know what to think. I couldn't see or talk to Jason to know that he was okay. And even more than that he was two hours away! 

My mom, Jason's mom, and I headed to Chattanooga- it might have been the longest ride of my life. When we finally made it there, the doctor didn't want us to come back just yet because he was putting in some stitches. Finally, they let me go back to see him. It was such a relief to see his face! He truly was fine except for his hand and forearm. When the explorer rolled, his arm went out the window and dragged across the gravel road. He really didn't have any skin left on his forearm. 

It has been a long healing process. The good news is that all his skin grew back on its own without any skin grafts. He also has all feeling in his fingers and full range of motion and use of his wrist and hand. God was definitely protecting him that day!

Blogtember: Some Advice

Yesterday was super busy, so I'm having to post this a day late.

Thursday, September 5: Pass on some useful advice or information that you learned and always remembered.

A couple of years ago at a ladies bible study I heard the following poem:

Welcome to Holland by Emily Perl Kingsley
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability- to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this...
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip- to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place. 
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would have never met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there awhile and you catch your breath, you look around...and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills...and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy...and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say, "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away...because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But...if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things...about Holland.

This poem is specifically written about having a child with disabilities, but the analogy of can be applied to any situation in which you planned for one thing and something completely different ended up happening.

My advice is this: 
When things don't go as you planned, don't spend all your time thinking about what could have been or wishing things were different. Instead focus on the blessings and beauty of your "Holland".

My original post about this poem is here.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Blogtember: If I Had 3 Months Off

Wednesday, September 4: If you could take three months off from your current life and do anything in the world, what would you do?

If I could take three months off, I would travel. 
Not to just one place, but a bunch of places. 
My first stop would be Maryland to visit my family there. 
Then I would go to Texas and Louisiana to see some of my cousins and see where they live. 
My next stop would be out west. I would visit Yosemite, California, Las Vegas, and the Grand Canyon. From there, I would fly out to Hawaii!
After all of my site-seeing I would probably need a vacation to recover, so I would go back to St. Lucia for at least a week!

St. Lucia sunset

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Blogtember: Who I Am

Since I have been having a hard time thinking of things to write about, I'm going to participate in Jenni's September blog challenge. She is providing prompts to write about for each weekday this month.

Tuesday, September 3rd: Describe what and where you come from. The people, the places, and/or the factors that make up who you are.

My parents both grew up in Tennessee and went the University of Tennessee for college. They moved to Georgia two years before I was born. While I was born and raised in Georgia, I grew up going to Knoxville for UT games, loving orange and white and Smokey, hating the gators, knowing nothing stinks worse than Alabama, and that red and black
 is an unacceptable color combination. All these life lessons straight from my dad, of course.

Football was never the most important thing in our life though. God and family were our main focuses. My parents taught me about Jesus and His sacrificial love for me. They also made sure that we spent a lot of time together. We had dinner together every night, and they told me often that they love me! My dad would also remind me to "remember who I belong to" to encourage me to make decisions that would be honoring to God.

I definitely see parts of my parents in myself. I look very similar to my mom, but I do have my dad's thick eyebrows and I'm tall and thin like he is. I am very stubborn and like to talk just like my dad, but I am also shy and reserved and a worrier like my mom.

Nana and Papa, my mom's parents, have also played a large part in who I am.  During my elementary school years, I spent summer days at their house. My brother and I would bake with Nana, and all four of us would go on adventures. During my high school years they moved into our basement and up until after I went away to college we had lunch at their table every Sunday after church. Nana inspired my love for baking. Papa was the best listener with a great sense of humor. Their love for Jesus and the way they served those around them taught me so much about ministry. 

I believe my parents and grandparents played the biggest role in shaping who I am today, but I would also say that Jason has played a role too. He challenges me to think outside the box and get outside of my comfort zone. Jason has taught me to be more open and accepting of everyone. Because of him, I have friends who are more like family.

So that's a little about me, and the five people who have shaped me.