Saturday, March 24, 2012

Not My Fault!

Well Day 1 and I failed -- I did not post anything yesterday.

But I have a good excuse...

I spent the day in training and then met cousin Kerri for Happy Hour in midtown. 
We had a lot of sangria.
 
And then I had to check out cousin Danny's cat toilet training system.


And then someone took my shoes...

video

Adorable, right?

See, I can't be blamed.

And yes, I realize I talk to children and animals in the same tone of voice.  I will work on that.

Have a blessed Saturday and a big Happy Birthday shoutout to Mrs. Patterson :) xx

Thursday, March 22, 2012

World Water Day

Today is World Water Day!

I didn't know either.

I found out in the client cafeteria. 

(the first and only thing to ever adorn my office)

It's a good reminder to be mindful of how much water we consume. 
One cup of coffee takes 55 gallons of water to make. 
55 gallons! Most is used to grow the coffee beans, but still.
I waste so much. 
And there are so many people who suffer disease and illness from not having enough.

Only about 1% of the world's water is freshwater and available for use around the world, so today I plan to change my ways.  I don't want to run out of water! It stresses me out to be anywhere with water I don't feel completely comfortable drinking...I can't imagine living with that fear all the time.  I'm so fortunate to have easy access to clean H2O, the least I could do is be considerate of the way I use it.

There are many opportunities to assist in the effort of getting freshwater access to people in countries where there is simply not enough.  
Take advantage of these if you feel led to do so!

  
Happy World Water Day

And a big 'hug' and 'happy birthday' to my very special grandfather :)

Thank You and Upcoming Posts


I wanted to take a minute and say a big THANK YOU for the comments, messages, and kind words you blog readers have shared with me.  They mean so very much to me.  I’m sorry if I haven’t personally responded to yours yet, but I'm so glad to hear that you are getting something out of my rambling (or at least pretending to) and I truly value each and every thing you have shared with me. 
I was pretty scared to start a blog and definitely created some posts that I wrote, re-wrote, and then trashed.  The fear of rejection can be powerful and in the beginning I contemplated not doing it solely because I was worried people would not like it and it would be a failure.  And I'm sure people do not like it and that's fine.  If we let our fear of failing get the best of us, we often times miss out on some of our biggest adventures...and learning opportunities :) 
That being said, if you have a blog that I don't yet follow, please send the link my way because I would LOVE to keep up with you!


You may be pleased to learn that I had a wonderful graphic designer volunteer to guide me through improving the appearance (thank you, B&S).  I'm sure you were crushed when you saw that I took down the unedited life size picture of us at the top of the page and miss scrolling down for five minutes, but don't you worry...changes are a-coming :)


I also have proven to be an inconsistent blogger, so as part of my efforts to improve in this area, I am going to start a little mini blog series.  I am still contemplating what to write about but I have a few ideas, and my upcoming goal is to post a little something each day -- even if it is just "HELLO" to get me into a blogging cadence.


So, stay tuned.  And again, thank you for your eyes and minds.
I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to stop by!
xx

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Home For Sale in Charlotte, NC

My sister and brother-in-law put their beautiful, cozy home on the market this past week.  It's located in Chantilly/Plaza Midwood area, very near uptown Charlotte.  The pictures are nice, but I don't think they truly do it justice.  There is something very special and homey when you step inside that no camera could capture.  The house is filled with love and you can't help but get that feeling when you are there. 

It has been a wonderful first home for them and the place they brought their new baby to last year.  Take a look at the video and feel free to share with anyone you know that might be house hunting :)







Happy St. Patrick's Day

I woke up yesterday to warmth and sunshine after a reallllly long night of sleep (it was amazing) to discover I could pinch Brian all day until he put on something green. 

Kate sent me an ecard with an Irish dog and Dad sent me a picture of a four leaf clover
he found in the yard (he finds them everytime he looks). 


I then caught up on some reading, a little work, and ventured into a Pilates class. 

I had a pretty calm night but made it out to dinner and drinks.  

Before bed I got to see the most adorable thing ever...


And as I wrote this, NC State just won the game against Georgetown!
Good news for our team and good news for my bracket.

I don't put a lot of weight in "luck" and the Irish haven't had much of it lately. 
But I'd say my St. Patty's Weekend this year was pretty great...and I'll take that kind of "luck" anytime. 

Hoping you had a lucky weekend as well :)


Friday, March 16, 2012

Where Do You Want Us?

Mom took me to her Bible Study this past Thursday.  Let me just say that I had totally underestimated the magnitude of this thing.  I pictured 5 or 6 women gathered together, drinking coffee, and talking about God.  What I found as an all day event with a few hundred ladies ranging in age from 20 to 80.  We started with brunch and then separated into the classes.  My mom leads the young adults and I was a few years older than several of them; I was also the only one without a child.  No, the dogs don't count in this case. 

Almost all are stay-at-home moms, because who else can spend every Thursday at a Bible Study? And at first I felt very...out of place.  When they asked me what I did, I found myself scrambling to find the words.  I always have difficulty describing my job, but this was different.  Usually I say I am a consultant.  Other times I work in transportation.  Occasionally I'll throw in the words "Supply Chain."  All are true, but figuring out how to describe what we do is an ongoing inside joke.  But, this past Thursday, none of the words seemed right.  I found myself struggling to decide if by labeling myself as one of these things would inadvertently throw me into the "unrelatable" category.  Would they just hear what I do and feel pity for me, thinking it seems so trivial? Or worse, would I seem...uppity and career minded? I quickly realized that these were my own insecurities shining through.  In my heart and down the road, becoming a professional homemaker is my biggest career aspiration...more than any promotion or raise.  It is the one thing I have always felt I was called to be.  But, I would be lying if I said I didn't have some fears about what that could mean.  How do you maintain an adult mindset when you spend 90% of your time with children? Pick up drinking.  Join a Bible Study.

My fears of what could be (years down the road) were erased when I sat down in the group circle beside these amazing young women, and heard some of their stories.  They were so focused, determined, and devoted.  Dedicated to their husbands, children and most importantly to God.  They all have their priorities in place, despite the burdens and hard times some of them are facing.  Many are dealing with health scares and financial hard times, but their heart and trust is in the Lord and they are fighting the fear through Him.  They are choosing to live modestly and make sacrifices so they can continue serving their families as stay-at-home mothers, and they truly seemed to feel like they were where God wanted them to be. 

Asking God where He wants us is something we should be doing all the time.  I tend to only do it when I don't like where I am and want God to "tell" me I should be somewhere else...

Where do you want me, God?
At the beach, perhaps?
Maybe. 
Maybe not.

It can be hard to ascertain between where I want me to be and where God wants me to be, and it's something that Brian and I have to remind ourselves to do throughout his career search.  I may not want me to live in Arizona, but that does not mean that isn't where I am meant to be for awhile.

The answers are rarely black and white, but I believe that through prayer we will come to know what God wants of us.  Sometimes He opens the door and sometimes it takes a confusing map, but when we pray for direction and clarity, God will deliver it, in His own time.

Are you where God wants you to be?

Friday, March 9, 2012

SB2K12

There isn't really a "spring break" in the real world.  Brian gets one more before he re-enters the workforce and we are so excited to be back in NC for a week!
Looking forward to seeing family, college friends, couple friends, our precious pups, and enjoying the warm weather that recently paid the south a visit.  I will be alternating vacation days and working remotely, so it will be time in Charlotte followed by a tour de Kernersville. 

There really is no place like home.

The trip kicks off with a college reunion tomorrow :)
A few weeks ago, an email chain started and we decided a girls' night was in order. 
This Saturday has been deemed the night, which means the Raleigh ladies are heading to Charlotte for an evening on the town. 

Last time we did this, car keys disappeared, we decided to become Navy Seals, and I got into an argument with a random guy at a pizza place.  Anything can happen. 

We will start off with a day around the city and then head out to dinner to celebrate the two birthday chicks,
Leann and Ashley.

And then we will join the 21 year olds on the dance floor so we can relive the good old days.











If you are a female in Charlotte Saturday night, we would LOVE for you to join us!
Can't wait to see you, ladies.
xx



Wednesday, March 7, 2012

This Too Shall Pass

We have all been there.  Seeing a picture of your ex with their new bf/gf.  Hearing that you didn’t get the promotion at work.  Finding out something tragic happened.  It never fails…you are left with that terrible nauseous feeling and the thought that it will never feel right again.

I was talking with my friend today who got a message from her ex-boyfriend.  She said it just left her with the pit in her stomach that made her feel like she couldn’t eat.

This too shall pass was all I could think to say.

Such simple words yet so much behind them if you think about what they really mean.  For every pain there is a season, and it will always pass.  It doesn’t mean it will go away quickly or ever be truly forgotten, but the sick feeling will eventually leave you. 

It’s always hard to picture feeling good again in those moments of experiencing the pit in your stomach.  But the Lord is faithful and takes the pain away eventually.  Always.

1 Peter 5:9-10   Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Being Genuine

I'm getting older.  I know, surprise.  The alternative is not so great, so I am quite grateful that the aging process is occurring...but as the days go by, I am quickly noticing changes in what I like/want/enjoy/value. And I see that many of these changes stem from an overall desire to be genuine in all ways and experience genuineness from others in return.

I am really bad about thinking that if I ask someone ten times how they are doing and what is going on, that it feels like I am really interested.  The truth is, I really do want to know how you are doing.  But I don't want to fakely ask over and over again and I'm confident you don't want me to either.  I don't want to respond to someone who says they have had a hard time with, "I'm sure it will be fine."  I'm not sure.  How could I be? So why do I say that?

I'm finding that day by day, I have less desire to engage in small talk.  I don't want to call a friend I haven't talked to in awhile and spend ten minutes making polite chit chat.  Instead I want to genuinely ask them how they are and spend the rest of the conversation engaging in quality discussion.  It's not about how much you say, it's about what you say -- quality over quantity -- the same way I feel about powerpoint presentations and text messages.  Somehow even though quality is my preference, I tend to go overboard on the quantity (sorry).  My point is, it just doesn't feel genuine to exchange small talk with people you have known for years.  And if you still are, you need to assess the relationship and figure out a way to dig deeper.  No relationship will ever survive or be truly meaningful if you never get beyond the surface.  No one will ever feel like they get the real you if everything is sugar coated and wonderful all the time.  And if they don't get the real you, they will never be able to value the real you.  

By nature, I am prone to wanting everyone to like me.  I want everyone to agree with me, think I'm great, think I'm easy to be with, etc.  But reality is, everyone will not like me.  Everyone will not agree with me or think I'm great.  And if everyone does, then I am not genuinely being myself.  It just cannot possibly go both ways.

I am a work in progress.  I am trying to get away from being overly sweet and cheery if the situation doesn't call for it and if it will not seem genuine.  I want to be "real" and not misrepresent my life.  Blogging has this amazing way of portraying exactly what you put out there and maybe some other characteristics about you that can be inferred.  And who we are in our everyday relationships works the same way.  If I am not genuine, how can I expect others to be?

Note: My instinct is to put a smiley emoticon at the end of that last sentence.  However, that just wouldn't be genuine, so I will refrain. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Scottsdale

Why is my Blog so ugly, you ask?

Because I'm color blind?
Nope.
Because I have bad taste?
I like to think no.
Because I enjoy making your eyes hurt?
Kinda.
Actually it's because I don't know anything about graphic design and computers just stress me out. 
So, I told Brian the other day that I am determined to make it a little more aesthetically pleasing.
How?
No idea.  I think I am going to need someone with experience. 
Any takers?

In the meantime, I will try to make up for it with pictures of beautiful Scottsdale.


Brian and I went to Arizona last weekend so he could go through his final interviews at a real estate investment company.  He hasn't made any decisions yet, so we are by no means packing up and moving out there next week.  I need at least a month to dye my hair blond and have some plastic surgery. 
I jest, but have you seen the women of Scottsdale? Remarkable.
So, we shall see how things play out over the next couple of months. 

They were very kind -- flying me out as well and making our weekend getaway possible.



I beat Brian at chess.  False.


I beat Brian at putt-putt.  False.



I beat Brian at drinking coffee.  True.




I was also forced to spend some time at the pool with Mr. Big.

Watching a 55+ yr old actor play with his 3 year old child and nanny is one of the more interesting people watching experiences I have encountered recently.
Sadly, I respected his privacy and did not take pictures. 
I was a bit star struck, even though I heard he lives 6 blocks away.
Something about seeing him on vacation unexpectedly was pretty exciting. 
Plus, I have lived in the city for almost two years and the closest I have come to seeing a celebrity was the mean girl from Jersey Shore at Whole Foods.  Oh sorry, my description was vague.
I'm referring to Angelina who got kicked off twice.  Does that count?

It was a very relaxing weekend and we had a wonderful time doing very little. 
So much of what we have been talking about lately is plans
Plans for tomorrow, plans for the month, plans for the next couple of years. 
Sometimes you just need to stop with the planning and spend some time taking it all in. 
Spend time just living and finding peace
All the plans will work themselves out in time.

Hope everyone had a blessed bonus day yesterday :)