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Monday, August 25, 2014

Remember when?

I think I am beginning to make a bad habit out of this blogging once a quarter. Not that I have "fans" but I should be consistent with something! Remember the boy I moved to Greensboro for last year? If not, refresh your memory here. By the end of the year I made the "prediction" that 2014 was going to be a year of BIG changes ... Let me fill you in on the last 8 months!

A week before Christmas, I (we-Thomas and myself) found out I was pregnant. Not going to lie I really believed I would have fertility issues. Clearly not the case. So my father's new "gift" the following week was mind blowing. Thomas was supposed to be standing with me when I told him, however, my family members kept occupying him and I had to strike while the iron was hot. I only wanted my dad to know not the entire clan.. yet. As terrified as I was I soon realized that was silly. My dad was understanding and told me he loved me. Actually told Thomas he loved him too! He didn't get angry and start yelling. He did make me tell my sisters though. My older sister, C, was also pregnant. She was due in May. Both sisters were shocked to say the least but hugged me all the same.

In January, we had our first OB appointment. The doctor's confirmed I was pregnant..which led me to bust out in tears. I still had a feeling they would tell me I had something wrong with my uterus, not pregnancy. Nope, not the case. January was a big month.... turns out Thomas asked my dad for permission to marry me (back in November...lucky him). He proposed this month! Our romance always buds the best when there is snow on the ground. We made our relationship "official" on a snowy day in February and he propsed on a snowy day in January. I came home for lunch that day. He decided to take me for a walk..in the snow.. without a coat. As we are walking around the apartment complex he starts telling me how excited he is to start this new chapter in his life with me and lots of other lovey things I was excited to hear. Then told me to look down. In the snow he wrote, "Will you marry me?" I will never understand how I missed that walked around but whatever. Obviously, I said "YES" and for a brief moment I was not nauseated. :)



In February, we had our second OB appointment and first ultrasound. Thomas so far was being more supportive than I could have imagined. I am one lucky lady. I was one of the unlucky ones that has "morning sickness" ALL DAY. If I walked too far, I was nauseous. If I ate anything other than noodles, I was VERY nauseous. The latter I figured out the hard way. I couldn't cook or think about cooking without getting sick to my stomach. Thomas ate out A LOT during my first and most of my second trimesters.

In March, we tied the knot. Let me tell you that planning a quick wedding (before the baby bump begins to really show) while being too nauseous to pick out a menu, hashing out every single detail, dealing with changes to your body that you don't understand, etc. is something I do not wish on anyone. However, it was really important to me to be married before our little one arrived. Thomas and I knew we were going to get married by the end of the year so we just moved the date from Fall to Spring.


This is my FABULOUS wedding planner, Jennifer. Please check her out if planning a wedding whether small or large. She offers great rates and is very professional. I loved working with her. Everything was taken care of for me to just relax on my big day. 




April and May were full of stress trying to figure out if we were staying in Greensboro or moving closer to Thomas' family. His sister offered us her mother-in-law's home if he found a teaching position out this way. Which would be nice with cheaper rent and help for me as I figure out this new mommy business. Unfortunately, there are not many open positions out that way because well everyone likes living out there. The school administration is much better in smaller counties from my understanding. The lease of our current apartment was ending mid-July. Being my pregnant self, I could NOT leave it to chance. So we kept an eye open for positions but planned on staying in Greensboro. The search for a place began.... 

Enter into July....We found a place. We are two weeks from signing the new lease to move in when Thomas gets an email from a former teacher that is now a principal in the area we were looking into. He said he heard of a  position opening up in the math department at the high school that Thomas graduated from. He emailed the principal, an interview was set up the following Monday (1 week before signing the lease). As taboo as it is Thomas let them know we were on a time limit of signing a lease to keep us in Greensboro. WELL, Tuesday (next day) the principal called and offered him the job. Literally within a week, we went from staying in Greensboro to moving to Boonville. The remainder of July was a whirlwind of traveling back and forth from one place to the next for Thomas to finish teaching summer school and setting up the house as best we could before fully moving in. No one was letting me do much (I am 8 months pregnant at this point) and I do not like that. 

Hello, August. The house is still not 100%, however, there has been great improvements. The nursery is the only room that is completely done. The spare bedroom, master, living and bathroom are nearly done with only minor updates needed. The kitchen needs the most work, mainly because of the old vinyl flooring that needs replacing. Other than that it is completely useable. 

Next step is to HAVE THIS BABY. If he ever decides to make an appearance and get used to living in the middle of no where, NC. Stay tuned as I attempt to be better at keeping this online journal :). 

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ready to say goodbye?

It is the last day of 2013. This year has been a roller coaster of a year and in no way that I originally anticipated. At the beginning of this year I chose a word to focus throughout the year in every aspect of the way. I haven't made resolutions in years from a spiritual thought a friend in Wilmington gave and it stuck. So far my words have been ...

2011-STRENGTH. I made a lot of changes personally and spiritually that year. I graduated college in 2010 and was not living my life how I was supposed to be. It was at the end of 2010 that I heard the spiritual thought that had to definitely be inspired. It hit my core, hard. I needed to focus on strength to grow spiritually and overcome the worldly things I clung to on a daily basis. 

Courtesy


2012-ACTION. With all of the growth and clarity I received throughout the previous year I wanted to be more active. I wanted to actually plan things then DO them. I wanted to be more active with church activities and meetings. I wanted to be more active in my calling. I wanted to be healthier, so naturally I needed to be more active at the gym, outside, in my apartment. No more sloth like sitting around and complaining about my size. It worked, I lost over 50 pounds. 

Courtesy

2013-VISION. Even though I lost weight and became more active and strengthened my testimony in the Gospel, I still saw myself as an obese, spiritually struggling girl. I chose vision to learn to see myself through the eyes of Heavenly Father and my friends. I was leaner and able to run a 5K and not feel like dying by mile one. I wanted to focus more on how far I had come and less on how much farther I had to go in my journey on this early. I saw new things I never thought I would actually see with my own eyes. I traveled to Ireland. I fell in love. I moved away from my home in Wilmington, NC to see where that love could take me. 

Courtesy


This coming year, 2014, I think I will stick to my original thought and have CHARITY be my word. Not only to give more of it to those around me but to actively seek out opportunities to strengthen others in the Church and local community. I also need to be more humble in receiving charity and knowing that at times it is okay to ask for help. Recognize that I cannot do everything on my own. 2014 is going to be a year of big changes and I can already tell I will have to break down and ask for assistance from friends and family. With a quick look online, thank you Merriam Webster and LDS.org, here is what I have already learned (or rather re-learned) about charity.

Charity
The act of giving money, food, or other kinds of help to people who are poor, sick, etc.; 
something (such as money or food) that is given to people who are poor, sick, etc.
1.benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity
2a :  generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering; also :  aid given to those in need
b :  an institution engaged in relief of the poor
c :  public provision for the relief of the needy
3a :  a gift for public benevolent purposes
b :  an institution (as a hospital) founded by such a gift
4:  lenient judgment of others 

Origin of the word - Middle English charite, from Anglo-French charité, from Late Latin caritat-, caritas Christian love, from Latin, dearness, from carus dear; akin to Old Irish carae friend, Sanskrit kāma love
First Known Use: 13th century
(Merriam Webster)

Charity is the pure love of Christ. It is the love that Christ has for the children of men and that the children of men should have for one another. It is the highest, noblest, and strongest kind of love and the most joyous to the soul.Jesus Christ is the perfect example of charity. In His mortal ministry, He always “went about doing good,” teaching the gospel and showing tender compassion for the poor, afflicted, and distressed (see Matthew 4:23; Mark 6:6; Acts 10:38). His crowning expression of charity was His infinite Atonement. He said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). This was the greatest act of long-suffering, kindness, and selflessness that we will ever know.




1 Corinthians 13:4
Moroni 7:46
2 Nephi 26:30

Friday, December 27, 2013

All I can say...

2014 is going to be a year of BIG changes. I think I want my "word" of the year to be charity. Still deciding on that one...

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Oh, the weather outside is...

FINALLY NO LONGER FRIGHTFUL. 

That last two weeks it has been nothing but cloudy and rainy. 

Work has been picking up. We doubled our room revenue for November compared to last year. Our fingers are crossed for the same in December but the week of Christmas is looking scarce. I dreamed up a wedding brochure for the show I am working in January. There are still a few more kinks to work out but those should be handled easily in one weekend of focus. (Maybe this one....?) 

I've introduced to this SocialTable interactive website. My official training is set for later this week but from the look of it this site is an event planners companion. You add the schematic of your event space then can play around with placement of everything from tables and chairs, catering, music, etc. I am excited!

Bear Fighter and I spent a weekend driving all over creation to see my sister and her husband graduate from UNCW. A little detour to pick up my mother and on to Wilmington. Bless having friends at previous hotels, we got a great rate. Making it not so bad. My budget is slim these days as I adjust to living alone. Miss Rowe mentioned relocating somewhere, my goal is to now get her to relocate to Greensboro. I'd love to have her closer, I miss having someone to be a grown up with and travel places with and talk books with .... Bear Fighter is helping. He ca be more persuasive with his words than me. :)

In April, I will be venturing to Seattle with Bear Fighter! Tickets will be purchased in January and the room is being purchased shortly thereafter. I.CANNOT.WAIT! It has been YEARS since I was able to visit the Pacific Northwest. This will be his first flight, ever. So many great experiences are about to be had!

Monday, December 2, 2013

'Tis the Season

Fa la la la la la la laaa

Thanksgiving went better than expected. Bear Fighter and I did a little 'Four Christmas' and visited his and my family. Drove down the night before and stayed with his sister. It is tradition with my sisters and I to attend the Uptown Charlotte Holiday Parade on Thanksgiving morning with my mother. His sister lives maybe 4 blocks away from the parade route. It was so nice to have a good parking spot and not have to rush through traffic. It was frigid though! We started walking while it was 26 degrees, walking back it warmed up to MAYBE 32. Forever bless his sister for lending me a scarf.

Lunch was spent with his family. The food was delicious! Afterwards, we drove down to Monroe. My family pretty much cancelled the get together since my grandmother has been in the hospital. Bear Fighter and I went to spend time with her instead. She seemed to be doing well but her mind is slowly slipping away. Though she still gave us great life advice. :)

Not going to lie I was one of those "crazies" out on Friday scratching my shopping itch. I refused to go out on the day of Thanksgiving. That (as well as Sunday) is a time for relaxation and family time. In this day and age the family gets so little designated quality time. I was not chipping away even more. I GOT A BED! (Early and mostlikely only Christmas present from Bear Fighter) Goodbye old mattress on the floor. I am now the owner of a queen size mattress set AND bed frame. I am so domesticated to be excited about this, I know, but it is fabulously comfortable. Black Friday is mainly "my day" ... Typically by now I am done with most everyone on my list. The ones left are those getting baked goods or Christmas treats. That can wait until closer to Christmas.

Bear Fighter and I played babysitter all weekend with his nieces. An early Christmas present to his sister and her hubby. I think we will do it once more this month. Apparently they had a lot of fun at my apartment. We decorated the salt dough ornaments I made a couple weeks ago on Friday night. They went with me to Target on Saturday to buy a Christmas tree. (All trees were 50% off!!) I scored a beauty for $67. Spent the afternoon decorating it and headed over to a local arcade. Bear Fighter was in nerdy heaven. We dropped them off on Sunday and began catching up on life. I cleaned and he prepared for the school week. I know, we are so romantic. ;)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Holiday Travel

As silly as this may seem, I am going to post a link for "Family & Friends" to get a discounted rate when staying with in Holiday Inn brand hotel. The IHG hotel family has grown trmendously since it started over 30 years ago. The latest addition, Even Hotels, I am MOST excited about. They idea for the entire brand is catered to the "healthy-minded" traveler. From the food and sleeping rooms to the over the top fitness centers being created. Check them out here.

So with everyone traveling this time of year, why not save just a little bit more. Click here and change your view to a more stress free holiday season.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Future of Education

For a while now I have worried about the future of the public education system here in the U.S. From numerous budget cuts and teacher's not being appreciated enough to the whole 'no child left behind' business. Personally, if a child is not putting effort into their work and learning then they SHOULD be left behind. They should fail and be held back to retake the course(s). It may be embarrassing to them but I feel it is worse to let a child grow up thinking it is ok to not put in work and still skirt by.

Photo Credit Here.
As if that was not enough, Bear Fighter (who is a teacher) was informed that teachers in this district will no longer get tenure no matter how many years you put in. Those WITH tenure will lose it by 2018 and only 25% of those losing it will get a $30 bonus to their monthly paycheck. The school district will only be giving out 1 year contracts at a time.

Photo Credit Here.
I'm not one to say that schools need the latest technology or the shiniest books in the classroom in order for students to succeed. They do need inspired individuals who feel appreciated for getting stubborn teenagers to think for themselves AND outside the box. Not everyone is meant to be a teacher so those that have the ability/patience to do so should be given the largest gold star available!
Teachers within this district should be picketing (sp?) outside the schools, petitioning this insane logic. How can something be taken away when there is a signed contract?!! What microscopic legal loophole did they dream up to make that ok?!!

Outraged. Worried. Concerned.

Photo Credit Here.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Happy Monday!

This weekend was so much fun. I didn't do much which is probably the fun part but here is a break down...

Friday night - lazed around with Bear Fighter. This week was brutal, teacher wise, and he wanted to veg out. So we did.

Saturday - His mother and sister came into town. They were headed to a Duke game and his apartment is a mutual meeting point before driving to Durham together. After the game we went shopping for early Christmas gifts for Bear Fighter. I spent a few hours cleaning my apartment. (A very much over due thing, sadly.) I got a new vacuum :).

Sunday - Spontaniuosly decided to go see Bear Fighter's other sister. I heard that his cousins were getting a bit jealous of me and taking so much of Bear Fighter's time so it was needed for him to go and spend time with them. By which he did so with beating them at Chess. I got another more powerful vacuum, dish drying rack and a microwave from his mother. I've never been so happy to receive an appliance in my life. You never realize how important something is until it is not there.

Today has started off great. Daylights savings time is officially in full swing which means I can see the sun earlier. I need that to wake up in the morning. So much. After work, I am test trialing a new recipe and have laundry up to my eye balls tonight.

Maybe the appliance faery will gift me a washer and dryer in the near future. ;)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Eremophobia

Though I have a hard time retaining information, I like to learn things. Maybe it is the want to be nerd in me but I am constantly on Merrieam Webster's website looking up words to better my vocabulary and remind myself of words I may not remember on a daily basis. 'Tis the Halloween season and they have a "Top 10" list of fear words. Eremophobia may be something I personally possess...

What it is:

The morbid dread of being alone.

Word history:

The Greek word erēmia means desert (a place where there are no other people).

Bonus Information:

The word hermit shares the same Greek root, but a hermit may find solace rather than dread in solitude.

Read more here.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Success

Last night I made my first tasteful paleo meal, successfully. I have made paleo inspired dishes before but they were not that flavorful - think chicken and veggies, not much seasoning. Bear Fighter never eats my paleo meals either. With last nights creation he did and actually LIKED IT. SUCCESS!!

I am getting better at these faux-tatoes (mashed cauliflower). That was the ticket to him liking to the meal. Who knew?!

Work related note ... some people can be SO rude. A very unnecessary and impolite thing to be. I am contacting groups that have stayed with us in the past. One woman, a self proclaimed hotel "snob", emailed saying she would never stay with the IHG brand and that it essentially was beneath her. Call me brand hearted but IHG has done a tremendous job with re-branding itself. The properties are amazing, welcoming and fresh. Personally, I cannot wait until the EVEN Hotel brand under their umbrella reaches this area to check them out.

Friday, October 18, 2013

No rest

Today is Friday. Not only is it a Friday but it is payday Friday. Normally, I would be ecstatic about this tidbit. I already knew I was working on Saturday in Wilmington. When I get off work today from job #1 I head straight to Wilmington to go straight to sleep to work job #2. However I just discovered I have to work on Sunday at job #1. ALL DAY. I know the system that the hotel will operate with but per brand standards it is required that I attend. ALL DAY. I will be a master of the OPERA property management system by the end of this.

Brightside!!!!! I have a couch. A grey couch. Originally from Pier 1 this year and I found it on Craigslist. What a steal! I will post pictures the next time I am home long enough to do so. :)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Double

Next week I have a double date. Pumpkin carving, tacos, dessert. Excited!

I get to make the dessert, naturally. I've been dying to do Fall-esque things this year. Finally happening. Pictures will be posted. :)

I should probably let Bear Fighter know. Mwahahaha

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

This week.

My good friend, Trishy, drove all the way from California to visit me. Not really but it sounded nice ;). She is relocating back to the good ol' SOUTH in North Carolina. I was her last stop before her interview (that happened yesterday). My casa was her oasis for her to relax and recharge before heading on over. It was a blast to spend time with her before I passed out. I tried to stay up I really, really did. I'll be visiting again when I head back to Wilmington to work the Combat Mud Run this weekend. I love to stay busy and lets face it given recent events I need every dime I can scrounge up.

I believe I may have found a couch. Though just as I find it Bear Fighter's truck ceases to work properly. I now need to find another person willing to let me borrow either their time and truck or just their truck to transport said couch to my apartment. **Fingers crossed** If I can get this piece of furniture essentially my living quarters will be 100% done and I can move onto the remaining spaces (aka my bedroom).

The boo-tiful box below is a gift going to my friend J. Miller overseas. :) He is one of my best friends, I don't know where I would be without him always rooting me on even in my constant short falls. He is also a Marine and currently deployed in Afghanistan. It's Halloween theme. Last year he was able to make all the family-filled holidays. Not this year. My goal is to send one every month he is gone (a step up from last year). Box 1 is complete and on its way. Next month I want to somehow put a seasonal cake in a jar. Anyone have suggestions?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Frustrations

Not going to lie, this week has been a overly frustrating one. I like to think of myself as frugal but even frugality warrants the need of monetary funds. I would have loved to have been able to bring home the couch that I found at a discount furniture store earlier this week. It is my perfect couch. It is the color grey I envisioned in my head, sturdy but soft (Goldilocks would have been proud) perfect for reading on, and within my measly budget I planned for before moving into my apartment. This is ALSO the budget before a former roommate decided to not help pay for the "damages" of our old apartment, minimizing GREATLY the amount of "play" money I have each month. Her inability to plan ahead and attempt to get out of paying debts owed to someone other than a bill collector has left me in an apartment with one chair in the living room and a queen size mattress on the bedroom floor. I have a nice long list of items I need to live comfortable that I cannot get because all of my extra money is going to split the move out fees with the other roommate. Luckily, I have her or I would be even more of a penny pincher than I already am. I keep thinking I can use my CC to cover me but that is counter productive, especially when the goal is to get rid of that debt completely by February 2014.

Work is going well. Things are starting to pick up. Luckily this week has been BUSY with networking events, site tours, employee/department meetings, etc. to preoccupy my mind. Because of all of that my eating habits have not been the most Paleo friendly. One mountain at a time I guess. I have found a wonderful new site. I may have mentioned it before but it is that good to mention it again. Pepper Plate-website and app. I can save my recipes there and create a grocery list. The hope is that I will stop forgetting items and have to make repeat trips.

With all this rain I am looking forward to my mug of hot cocoa, grey's anatomy and reading next to my Bear Fighter.

Photo Courtesy.