Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Past Two Years

When Brian and I were seniors in college, we didn't really know what we wanted to do for work.  We studied business management -- my focus was Supply Chain and Brian's were Finance and Marketing.  But at that point, I still thought I wanted to be a teacher or something totally unrelated to what I went to college for.  Brian decided to apply to our consulting company and encouraged me to do the same.  We went through the same cycle of interviews and Brian received his offer on a sunny afternoon in April 2007.  Meanwhile after hearing his joyous news, I sat anxiously awaiting a call I didn't think would come.  But it did! God is so very good.  We started on the same day, attended training together, and proceeded to never work in the same state at the same time for the entire 3 years we were both there. 

About a year into it, Brian started getting an itch to do something else.  He wasn't entirely sure what he wanted to do, but he knew consulting was not the career he saw himself in for the long haul.  So, he decided to pursue his MBA and figure it out while he was partying and pretending to study ;).  The application process was grueling and I didn't envy the time he spent writing essays, reading the GMAT book, or contemplating schools that would be the right fit for him, yet also allow me to transfer with my job.  But his determination and dedication are inspiring, and I don't take for granted how blessed I am to have a husband who wants to work so hard to provide for his family. 

Moving to NYC was a daunting prospect.  Exciting, but filled with uncertainty and change.  It's not a cheap place to live, and I don't recommend doubling your expenses while simultaneously halving your income if you can help it.  But, we looked at it as an adventure, albeit an expensive one, and agreed as we said goodbye to our home of almost two years, that we know God put us exactly where we needed to be. 

You learn a lot about yourself, your spouse, and your marriage when you move away from home.  I have always said that I think everyone should live alone for some period of their life, even if it's only for a month, because you learn so much about who you are with no one else's opinions to sway your own.  Moving out of NC where we both grew up is something I have added to my list of adventures I think married couples should conquer.  Gone are the guarantees of the usual Saturday night activities or Sunday evening dinners with family.  Gone is the ease of calling your parents to fix something or bring you that dress you forgot.  Replaced is a sense of dependency on one another and a need to explore new facets of your life as a "we."  This doesn't mean I recommend staying away from your loved ones long, and the feelings of homesickness definitely lingered in my bones for the better part of the first year.  But, I wouldn't trade what we gained from "going it alone" as they say.  Was it always easy? Absolutely not.  But what do you ever really learn from easy things?

I'll get into some of the greatest takeaways -- good and bad -- from our experience as soon as I bring myself to upload pictures from the camera.  But, I will mention that come August, we are moving to Arizona where we lived last summer! This means I'll be forcing you to venture out for a visit :).  It wasn't an easy decision to make, but we are thrilled with Brian's job out there and couldn't say no.  It's a bit scary to head into the unknown where we truly have zero friends or family, but God is working for the good in our lives all the time.  He will provide :)  xx

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Updates are on the Horizon

In case you haven't learned this yet, I have a tendency to start things and not finish them. 
I also have a tendency to over commit, which I think I have mentioned before. 
Both are things I am committed to start improving.
This means I have now committed to it.
It also means that I have claimed to start working on it.
So, no promises.

I am however, finally getting around to that blog appearance improvement I mentioned doing 50 years ago.  I found a wonderfully talented graphic designer and will introduce you to her work when it's all finished!

I have so much to catch up on, and will have to share some pictures from Brian's graduation and our move last week.
I am happy to mention our marriage survived it. 
If you have never moved with your spouse before, let me say that packing up your joined life followed by a long moving truck drive to move in with parents (thank you all) is no small feat. 
Looks easy, but is filled with exhaustion and little battles along the way that you have to just get over.
I am extremely thankful to have a patient husband who did his very best to make it as stress-free as possible!
And I'm sure he would say the same about me...right, Brian? Right?

But I'll worry about that update tomorrow. 
Today, all I can offer you are a few pictures from my favorite daily read:

It’s because of the gigantic diamond on it.

Britain can count on at least one medal this year.

You really must check it out.  There are some good ones on there.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Only in NYC...

Rainy Tuesday in the city (Union Square)

Only in New York will you see a woman walking towards you wearing a camera, bookbag, bucket hat, pants, boots, and a drawn on french mustache. 
Notice I made no mention of a shirt. 
That was not an accident.   

I can't think of another place where your favorite restaurant AND drycleaners disappear overnight because they didn't pay their landlord...
R.I.P. Friendhouse and Fancy Cleaners.

I saw a man walking 11 dogs yesterday. 
I tried to take his picture for y'all, but he saw me and I felt like a creeper.

And this morning, a girl asked me if she could use my phone to call 911. 
Since I am super afraid of the bystander effect I learned about in psychology (where individuals don't stop to help in an emergency because they think someone else will do it), I offered to help. 
Turns out she was fine and a guy had run into her on the subway. 
She thought an ambulance might help.

Only in NYC...
I will miss the craziness of it so. 
There is no other place with quite the same pulse. 

But, tomorrow Brian graduates!
Two years have passed by so quickly.
Sad to see it go, but so excited to have him re-enter the working world.   
I'll be sure to post pictures of him in his purple gown :)
He will love that.

(Stolen from Spooner)

Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Merry Mother's Day!

Merry Mother's Day, Moms!

Merry just seems to be a more appropriate word for today.  
Maybe because of the alliteration or maybe because moms deserve a less frequently used word.

Today I thank God for the mothers I have grown up learning from:
First and foremost, my mother, Suzanne, whose love and compassion amazes me everyday of my life.
And my incredible Nana, Mama T., Aunt Genny, Aunt Beth, Aunt Linda, and Kathy. 
Thank you for the sacrifices you made and for dedicating your lives to raising us to be people that others could stand.  Thank you for saying "no" when "no" needed to be said, and for saying "yes" whenever you could.  Thank you for encouraging, worrying, caring and always reminding me to lock the doors.  And thank you for teaching me to value what really matters in life and ignore what doesn't.

Today I also thank God for the mothers Brian grew up learning from:
His wise and loving mother, Mary, whose patience and kindness tops any I have seen.
And his amazing Nana, Grandma. Aunt Meg, Aunt Laura, Aunt Jill, Aunt DeAnn, JoAnn, and Vicki.
Without you he would not be the man I love, and for that I am eternally grateful.  Thank you for teaching him acceptance, diligence, and adventure.  Thank you for teaching him to truly love life and enjoy so much of it.
And thank you for opening your hearts to me as his wife.

Today my heart is heavy for those whose mother is no longer here to hear "thank you."
And it is heavier for mothers whose child is not here to say it.
My heart aches for those who have had the relationship and lost it because I'm sure it's an unexplainable void. But I hope you take comfort in knowing that you are loved, appreciated, and not alone today.

Merry Mother's Day to all, especially my Mom, mama Mary, and Holly.
Today is for you :)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Amendment 1 - In Everything, Love

I feel like Amendment 1 should get a little air time. 

Oh my gracious -- I have never seen something with so much support behind it. 
Let's just say I know who I'll be reaching out to on my animal rights issues next time I want something supported.
And yes, I expect you all to wear t-shirts about it.

But it's funny how this works -- everyone seems to be speaking out for it to be voted down and I have only seen a couple of plugs from folks pushing for it to pass.  But I've heard the predictions. 
And I have my serious doubts that it will in fact be voted against.

Brian and I read something together last night that seemed to jump off the page and scream at me,
"this applies to the Amendment 1 debate!"

It read:
In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, liberty; in everything, love.

I am in love with these words, mainly because I can think of so much they apply to. 
To some, Amendment 1 not passing is essential. 
To others, it will not affect them, and is nonessential. 
But for those of us who are not directly affected by this law,
we must remember that in everything, love

Is the reason for your vote coming from a place of love?

Because it should. 

Whatever decision you are making with your ballot should be from a place of love
Love for others.
The way Jesus loves and accepts each of us.

In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, liberty; in everything, love.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Home is Where the Heart is?

I get attached to things pretty easily and I use to save EVERYTHING.  My sister and I secretly worry we may appear on "Hoarders" someday.  To combat this, Brian enacted a one-in-one-out rule (which  conveniently seems to only apply to my purchases), and this has helped me eliminate some of the junk I am inclined to collect.  That, and how crazy I would look if someone had to clean out my drawers unexpectedly someday.  If I bring something new home, something old gets donated.  This, in theory, is not a bad thing.
I looked at the calendar today and realized that in less than three weeks, we become technically homeless.  Panic began to set in.  I had to close the calendar, my massive to-do list, and breathe.  And then I went back to 'Fifty Shades of Grey' which never fails to distract.
On May 24th, we are moving out of our NYC apartment and into ??????
We have no clue where. 
We do know our belongings will go to a storage unit and we will head to NC for June.  I will spend most of the month overseas for work and Brian has kindly offered to accompany me.
What a sacrifice...
There are multiple scenarios as to where home will be come July.  I'm hopeful we will have that finalized before we move, but that may or may not happen.  But that's okay because home is where the heart is, right? Our apt/house, after all, is just a “thing”.  Just a physical representation of something much greater.  And because home is where the heart is, you can just pick it on up and take it with you to the next place.  
I recognize that the greatest driver in my moments of moving-panic is my desire to keep the home I have grown so attached to. 
This, in theory, is not a bad thing.
The bad thing is what I am considering to be home. 
I get to take Brian with me. 
I get to take my furniture with me. 
I even get to bring my random junk with me (as long as Brian doesn’t throw it out when I’m not looking).
My real home is coming along with me, so why should it be scary?
I was home last weekend for a wedding and to dog-sit at my parents'. Twelve year old Dusty, was diagnosed with a neurological condition that caused his back legs to stop responding and we knew he didn't have much time left.  We spent the weekend relaxing with the dogs and trying to savor what we knew would be our last visit with our sweet family pet.
We took him on a long walk around the neighborhood and he struggled.  It was hard to watch, but he was never in physical pain, and enjoyed the fresh air as he always had.  We said goodbye to him on Sunday as we made our way out of town, leaving him with a long hug and our words of gratitude for all the joy he brought to our lives.  We gave him a bone and I left feeling like he knew it was the last time we would see each other.   

Mom & Dad returned on Sunday night and in the five hours that separated us, he officially lost the ability to walk.  They had to take him that night to be put to sleep.  I thought my parents would have another week with him.  Amazing how even when you are prepared to lose something precious, somehow there is still a way life sneaks up and throws you off your game.
Home is always changing.  My parents' home will feel different for awhile without Dusty.  But eventually everyone will adjust to the new version of home.  And we will too regardless of where it is. 
After all, home is where the heart is.