Friday

Sunset

Eat food from farmers markets.
Drink good tea each morning.
Read books that make you feel.
Paint, even if you’re awful.
Write, even when you have nothing to say.
Sit in the fresh air outside.
Go on hikes.
Swim in lakes and wade in streams.
Sleep as long as you need.
Work hard at what you love.
Work hard at what you hate.

Love unconditionally and wholeheartedly.

Happy Friday!

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One Year

Rose and Earl George at TableRose Mardi GrasRose and First New Car Rose and Glen Granny Recent

One year ago today, I lost one of the most influential and monumental women in my life; my Granny.  This amazing lady was not just a grandmother to me, she was a second mother.  I was her girl; her “baby girl” to be specific.  She called me this every single time we talked.  You see, she had three boys, but always wanted a girl. Then I came along. This changed her world. I was special to her.  My Granny loved me with a special kind of love that I’ve never experienced anywhere else and never will again.  I could do no wrong in her eyes.  We had such a special bond and it was irreplaceable.  I had the special privilege of growing up next door to her and lived there my entire childhood.  I spent just as much time at her house (or more) than I did my own.  Her favorite story to tell was the day I “ran away” to her house with a paper bag filled with one pair of underwear, one shirt and one shoe.  I think it made her feel so special that I wanted to be at her house rather than at my own.

My Granny taught me what hard work looks like by working in seafood factories, sewing factories and even working in my grandparents own seafood business where my Gramps caught blue crabs and she picked them to sell to restaurants.  She taught me to never give up.  My Granny did this manual, difficult work up until the day she got sick (and even afterwards at times).  She taught me what true marriage looks like.  Granny was married to my Gramps for 56 years.  I will never forget the one line of advice that she gave me at her kitchen table (that’s where all the good conversations happened).  She said that a successful marriage is made up of two things; compromise and selflessness.  If you can do these two things, your marriage will last forever and she was right.  My Granny taught me what true sacrifice looks like.  She gave absolutely everything for her family.  She never went to the doctor or took care of herself in order to focus on everyone else.  Granny served her husband and took care of him and the entire family.  She was the glue that held everything together at home.

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of my Granny and miss her dearly. There is a hole and emptiness that will never be filled but I do have the memories, joy and the incredible influence that she had on my life. She will truly live on forever in my heart.

Reflection

Reflection

I apologize in advance for this deep post as well as for not posting here in a while.  What is reflected (no pun intended) below is the reason behind the lack of activity here on my blog.

As I lay here, I look over at the clock and its 1 am. This is quite unusual for me. See, I am never one to have trouble sleeping. This year has been different. 2015 was expected to be a monumental year for me without my moms tragic accident and without losing my precious grandmother. As we creep into the eighth month of the year, I am tired. I am worn out. I am stressed. I feel my body breaking down. I feel like I’m getting sick. And the big stuff this month hasn’t yet begun. Four days from now, I help my daughter move out of my house for the very first time and into a new college life. My son transitions in two weeks into to a brand new high school. Later this month, I launch the largest work project of my entire life (three years in the making) and definitely the largest project my company has ever seen. I am losing my boss and mentor at the end of this month which means a transition to a new boss. I am tired and there is more to come. I have worked tirelessly this year to balance my life but seem to fall short nearly every time.  All I can say is that God must be doing something pretty darn big, but I don’t know what exactly.  What I do know is that this year has been a character building year for me. Other than that, I have no idea what the future holds.  All I do know is that some things have to change.  The burdens must become lighter as I move toward the end of this year and into next.  My goal at this point is to hang in and hang on to see what God has in store.

Date Night :: Sunset Views

Everglades Sawgrass View Nell Laughing in Road Steve on the RoadMoon Sliver Steve Walking to Everglades Canal by the EvergladesNell Pointing to the Everglades Steves Silloutte The Long Road Date Night Selfie B&W8 foot alligator Nell Walking in the Everglades

Date night involved a wings and beer dinner, some beautiful sunsets over the expanse of the grassy Florida Everglades, an 8 foot alligator, and some unexpected off-roading in the truck. Trespassing may have been involved just a tad. Oops!

Date Nights are Back!

Backseat of motorcycle view Steve walking down the streetEvening Beach View Sitting on the Rail at the Beach Steve Viewing the OceanKiss B&W
Date nights are officially back!  It’s been almost a year since we’ve done regular date nights and I’ve missed them terribly.  As of last week, they are back on again and I am, oh, so happy.  Hanging out one-on-one with this guy is the best!

P.S. I apologize for the low quality of some of these photos.  They were taken with an iPhone at dusk.  The last pic was had the worst quality, but the moment captured was way too good to pass up on posting.

Goodbyes are Hard

Adora Going Away Lunch

I have worked side-by-side with Adora for nearly 5 years now. I’ve watched her grow from a college grad to an independent single woman to a wife. I’m excited for her and her husband as they move to Austin, TX for new opportunities but am sad at the same time. My work life will never be the same. She’s the type of person that lights up a room and makes you laugh especially when you need it most. Congrats Adora and Josh! I will miss you dearly.

TGIF

Sick
It has been one of those kind of weeks.  I have been fighting some sort of head cold since Sunday.  The sickness has made its rounds through my house but my immune system is not that great so I tend to catch a worse case of it than most. Thank God for my sweet husband, mom and crock pots.  I’m still fighting through and going to work because of my crazy busy schedule.  It is supposed to rain all weekend here which is perfect resting weather and I AM READY!  Happy Friday!

Food Truck Date Night

Food TrucksSitting in the GrassCupcake CamperLaying in the Grass
Date night perfectly aligned with a food truck event right in our town. I hear about food truck events all the time and have been dying to try it out. Well the stars aligned and I got my wish. And, yes, I did discover that food out of a truck just simply tastes better. Happy Friday!

Jimmy Buffett and Red Wine

Days like today are best ended with Jimmy Buffett on vinyl and red wine. I just keep reminding myself that vacation starts in 4 days and…

I. Am. Ready!

Date Night :: Restaurant Style

Steve at Big Bear
We typically eat Wendy’s or find a restaurant running a cheap “special” for date night. But, every now and then you have to throw caution to the wind (financially speaking) and grab your handsome bearded husband with his plaid shirt and head out to eat a nice meal. That’s exactly what we did this week. We chose a local brewing company with great food and great reviews. We sat back, relaxed, enjoyed each others company and ate great food. There’s just something special about sharing a nice meal together. Oh, and did I mention that he’s handsome?