Best wishes and many prayers to some very dear friends that are waiting in the Houston Intercontinental Airport to fly to the other side of the world right now. Joey and Elizabeth have been some of our best friends over the past few years and I am so thankful that our paths crossed.
They have committed to teach for one year on the island of Saipan, in the Northern Mariana Islands. Don't know where that is? Don't worry... I didn't either. Saipan is the "largest" of the US Commonwealth Northern Mariana islands... but don't be fooled, it is by no-means large. It is only 12 miles long and not even 6 miles wide. The island is located directly north of Guam and southeast of Japan.
Joey and Elizabeth will do great in Saipan... they love adventure and can meet new people with their eyes closed. They are both incredible teachers and have a passion for traveling. Best wishes to you both... enjoy your new journey. We love you guys.
1) Cooler weather. This morning when I woke up it was only 62 degrees! Right now it is a beautifully sunny 73 degrees. You can practically smell Fall right around the corner. The cooler air has me craving football games and cookouts.
2) "Just moved" cards getting in the mail. Finally. It took a little while to get these bad boys stamped, sealed and ready to go... but I finally got them to the post office yesterday. They are super cute, and I'm obsessed with the yellow and grey design... and even more obsessed with my little "new address" stamp on the back. The Winslow Homer stamps I found are even very Kentucky-ish.
3) Pandora Radio. I'm not sure how I would survive working from home without it. My station is set to play a mix of Norah Jones, Dave Matthews and Jack Johnson. It's the perfect "office" mix.
Friend Dating: (verb) to put forth effort in meeting potential acquaintances of the same sex, in hopes of developing a long-lasting friendship.
I have decided that "friend dating" is way more complicated than actual dating. As one of my girlfriends recently said, "Friend dating is harder, because you can't just smile and flirt... or touch their knee to make them like you." (I'm pretty sure if I would have touched anyone's knee, that would have been pretty weird.) But just like regular dating, you have to decide what to wear, make intelligent conversation, search for common interests, etc. It's all very stressful.
Lance and I realized that many times when you move to a new city, you have at least one "starter friend."
Starter Friend: (noun) an individual that assists you in friend dating. someone that is willing to introduce you to their own circle of friends.
However, when we decided to make the move to Louisville... we literally knew no one. Not a soul. No "starter friends." This makes "friend dating" much more difficult. But we are getting out there. We are committing to really give this whole "friend dating" thing a shot. Lance has met a few guys playing basketball at the seminary, and a few others in his classes. (I'm pretty certain that Lance will not be using my "friend dating" term for any of his very manly outings.) However, I have been on a few "friend dates" myself...
Date #1... This was actually more of a blind date. We were set up by a mutual friend that is on the other side of the country. Me and date #1 actually have tons in common... we are both accountants, we both went to college in Alabama, we both played college volleyball (and realized we probably actually played each other), and we both married our college sweethearts. The date went really well... it was a lunch date, so we were on a time limit... but we were happy to finally meet one another face-to-face. Our second date is scheduled for this Friday... and we decided to invite the hubbys this time:)
Date #2... This date was actually a double date. When we came to visit the seminary campus back in April, we met one couple that we stayed in touch with during our decision process. This other couple wasn't entirely sure if they were going to start seminary this fall... so Lance and I put the full-court press on them. We had already decided they were going to be our friends... whether they realized it or not. So, Saturday night our new couple friends invited us over for some authentic Indian food... and it was fabulous... as was the conversation and fellowship. Really looking forward to more time with this couple.
Date #3... My third friend date was last night at this really awesome local coffee shop. I met date #3 at the church Lance and I tried out this past Sunday. She is a single, young professional, a couple of years younger than me and has lived in Louisville for two years now. She was super nice and really easy to talk to. Our second date is scheduled for this Saturday... for a little shopping:)
So... overall, I feel pretty good about my adventures in "friend dating." Let me know if you have any "friend dating" tips...
I am attempting to mail these things out this week. Of course, my original plan was to to have these stamped, sealed and in the mail box a week before the move... but obviously, that did not happen.
I will say this though... our new address cards are super cute. Very simple, and in my new favorite color combo of yellow and grey. I ordered them from VistaPrint... which I am obsessed with. You can order all kinds of things from them, for hardly anything. I often make personalized stationary through them... perfect for graduation gifts, newlyweds, etc.
Anyhow... I am loving how our "just moved" cards turned out... be expecting yours soon:)
1) Mark's Feed Store. Lance and I ate at this really cool Louisville BBQ joint on my first night. It was nice to know there was still some Southern comfort food available. Mark's Feed Store is local to Louisville and they might be best known for their Sweet "Fried" Corn on the Cob. Brilliant, no?
2) A seminary ID card. This is one of the perks of being a seminary wife. I get my very own ID card, which basically gives me access to everything on campus. You name it, I get to do it... for free.
3) My very own Super Target. There is a brand spankin' new Target super-duper close to my house. Like 5 minutes, max. This could be a very dangerous thing...
I have been thinking about signing up for this class over on Elise's blog. It's basically a little online workshop where she will explain the creative process of making your own mini album. I usually love everything Elise does, and these minibooks are no exception. It's a great way to "scrapbook" a trip or adventure, without spending a lifetime creating some ginormous 12x12 album.
Maybe this is just the excuse I need to unpack some of those "Craft Closet" boxes in the garage...
Anyone else interested in taking this little online class with me???
So... we live in Kentucky now. That is still so weird to me. I keep thinking Lance and I will just pack up and drive home in a few days. But that's just it... this is home now.
And speaking of our new home... it is super cute. And by cute, I mean, really-super-duper-teeny-tiny-but-still-absolutely-adorable, cute. For some reason everything is so much smaller than I remembered. Maybe all of our furniture is just ginormously huge? Or maybe we actually live in a miniature house?
We have had to make some really difficult decisions lately.... like kitchen table or TV? Obviously, we went with the TV. That's what tray tables are for, right? I still need to get rid of some clothes and shoes... but I'm not quite ready for that task yet. Once again, our garage has turned into a giant storage unit. Right now, it's kind of like a really awesome store, full of free stuff. If I need a cute basket or a picture for a wall... I just head out to the garage to pick something out.
We are starting to build a routine, as Lance started classes yesterday and I am back to work today. I'm hoping for a potential lunch date with a potential new friend tomorrow. We will get the hang of it... this whole Kentucky-living-thing. You know what they say... home is where the heart is.
I have experienced several "lasts" this week. And strangely, they have all been hitting me a bit harder than I thought they would. Today is my last official day in the office.
It's strange, the kind of relationship you develop with your co-workers. They are a family of sorts. Because technically, you spend more hours a day with your co-workers than you do with your own family. They can drive you crazy and annoy you with their strange little quirks, but yet, they know you in a way not many others do. They often see the good, the bad and the ugly. And amazingly enough... they still like you?!?
I have been blessed with an amazing work-family. Working from home just won't be the same. I will miss so much... the sporadic whistling in the office next door... Chipotle lunch dates... "official meetings"... early morning fashion consultations... hearing, "Julrie, Julrie, Julrie..." bagel breakfasts... laughing until I pee in my pants with thesetwo... my boss' sarcasm... and so much more.
Packing up and getting ready for home-office-working... I expect weekly conference calls :)
1) These co-workers. Which have actually become two very dear friends over the past year. You see, I work primarily in a male-environment... so you can imagine my excitement when these twogirls showed up at the office:)
2) Goldfish. The ones you eat. I love this little bite-sized chedder snack. This has been my go-to 10:00 am work snack lately. Goldfish and a Dr. Pepper. Can't beat it.
3) Becoming a Kentuckian. This Sunday I will finally make the drive up to Louisville. Lance has been there for a week already and I am itching to get there myself.
Sunday was move day. After my reality check at church, we ate a brief lunch, then started working our tails off. I frantically finished boxing up miscellaneous items... shoving clothes and shoes in boxes with reckless abandon... scribbling barely legible descriptions on all sides of the cardboard. The boxes eventually overtook our house...
Little Cat wanted to make sure there was absolutely no confusion as to where he was supposed to go. He made it perfectly clear that he was going to make the move to Louisville too. So, the boys packed and packed. The Uhaul was absolutely stuffed. Furniture turned upside down... boxes and baskets shoved in every nook and cranny... blankets and towels jammed inside shelves and cabinets... It was impressive. What you see here is not even all of it. They packed every square inch, until you could barely pull the Uhaul door closed. Note to self... must have another massive garage sale soon... The boys took a much-deserved break from the packing. Lance's brother Bryan (left) and our good friend Chris (right) get the "awesome friend award" for giving up their Sunday afternoon to move furniture all day. I love how all three boys are sitting in the chairs the exact same way... Wait! The chairs?!?! Crap.
This weekend we loaded up the Uhaul and emptied the house. It's hard to believe that Louisville is just around the corner.
Seeing the Uhaul loaded up (and I mean, loaded up, stuffed full, packed to the gills, overflowing... you get the picture) was a bit of a reality check for me. You see, I'm really awful at goodbyes. I hate them. They are awkward and drawn out, and usually a little teary. So, I continue to use the excuse that I will be back on a monthly basis for work... "so don't worry, we'll do dinner..." And I'm sure I will get to do a few girls night dinners, but the reality is, most of my time will be spent at the office. And I know that Lance and I will be back to visit periodically for holidays and the occasional Raider football game, but it's just not the same.
Our sweet, sweet sunday school class cooked breakfast for us yesterday morning and the reality check hit me like a ton of bricks. Some of the people in this class I was just getting to know, and others have been there since day one. I suddenly wished I had more time. I know Lance and I will make new friends in Louisville... we'll start a new chapter... enter a new phase of life... all that good stuff... but leaving is bittersweet none-the-less.
Lance and Little Cat are driving the Uhaul today. They needed some good quality time together :) More on that trip tomorrow...
Recently my co-workers and I have stumbled upon this awesome website... angrylittlegirls.com. We have absolutely been cracking up at these cynical, hilarious comics! We have even analyzed the character profiles to determine which Angry Little Girl best suits us. I'm proud to say that I am Wanda... the "fresh soul sistah" :)
Which one are you???
Kim: the angry little asian girl is true to her moniker. She's one short-tempered little angry girl! Grrr!!!
Maria: the crazy little latina. She's quite loopy. She doesn't look at the world, she looks inside it! She's one super kooky kid.
Deb: the disenchanted princess. She's the girl that has it all... beauty, money, cute clothes, great hair... but she's never happy! Sigh...
Wanda: the fresh little soul sistah. Because we all need a friend that's well-adjusted and positive. (Secretly, we hate people like her!)
Xyla: (pronounced Zy-la) is the gloomy girl. She's full of doom and gloom! It's like a dark cloud of rain follows her...
1) Habersham friends. This will definitely be the hardest part of moving. I have been so blessed by my friendships here. Each one is so special to me, and each in a different way. Our friends here are irreplacable, and I'm not quite sure what I'll do without them...
2) A new home for the kitties. That's right... these little guys have been adopted! And by our next-door neighbor none-the-less!! I could not have asked for a better scenario.
3) No more of this. I cannot even begin to describe how happy I am that I only have one more week of Atlanta traffic. Once I start working from home, it will be as if someone gave me 3 hours/day of my life back. So fabulous.
Like really love them. Remember when you would get that awesome "school supply" list, and your mom would take you to the store to help you pick out your scissors, glue stick, colored pencils, folders & binders (or if you were really cool, a Trapper Keeper). What about your new backpack and lunch box? Occasionally, I still travel down the school supply aisle... desperately wishing I had some reasonable excuse to buy a 64-pack of crayons.
Now, I realize that I am no longer a student... and really, truly I have no need for a 64-pack of crayons. But... I am about to start working from home. Which means I need school supplies, umm, I mean office supplies, for my new home office:)
Office supplies aren't nearly as exciting as school supplies, but it'll do. Some necessities on my list include: a one-touch stapler, paperclips, a Sharp EL-1801 adding calculator, post-it notes, manila file folders, and printer ink. Told you. Not nearly as exciting as glue sticks and colored pencils.
But... I might find reason to add a few of these items to my list:
A pretty framed bulletin board to post ideas and to-do lists. Found at Country Living.
Kolo Trivino binders are both practical and beautiful. Found on Kolo.com.
A functional, yet stylish ergonomic office chair. Found at Real Simple.
These cute vintage matchbook bins to hold pens and pencils (maybe even colored pencils:) Found on Ali Edward's blog.
An awesome vintage letter press drawer to mount on the wall. And thanks to my mother-in-law, I already have one just waiting to go in the new office! Also found on Ali's blog.
This adorable little birdie to hold all of my paper clips. How cute! Found at MoMA Store.org.
A tiny mini diary to record my daily thoughts and ideas. Found at Marta Writes.
This task-oriented 3-tier document tray. Found at Ikea.com.
A custom notebook to record important business notes and meetings. Found on Elise's blog.