Saturday, April 28, 2012

The "why" behind the ink.

 "You love me. Real or not real?"

I went out with my sister tonight. It's her birthday so we thought we'd have a little girl's night out and do some fun stuff. I've been wanting another tattoo for a month or so now so we decided to get that done first. Then we grabbed dinner and saw The Lucky One. Cute movie! Zac Efron was hot and although they completely changed the entire story pretty much it was still good! But I wanted to take a few minutes to explain the meaning behind my tattoo. (For those of you who haven't read The Hunger Games trilogy you may not understand all the references and for those of you who haven't read all the books but plan to there may be some spoilers ahead!)

First of all it's a quote from the book Mockingjay which is the last book in The Hunger Games trilogy. I loved the books. Not just because it was a popular thing but the story impressed me a lot. It was well written but not just that, the character Katniss is everything I wish I was and hope to be. She's strong, she's a fighter, she knows what she wants and what she believes in, she loves hard and she is bright. The love story woven through the book is realistic to me - it's about the journey that love has to go through and endure, the tests it has to make it through for you to know without a shadow of a doubt that it's real.

I think in today's world each and every person wants to be loved. It's what we seek, it's what we long for in some form or another. Maybe it's the love of a parent, or the love of a significant other, or maybe it's just the love of a friend. But in some way we are all trying to find people to love us. To accept who we are, whose love is real. And I think that's one of the biggest questions we all ask - is the love that person has for me, or that I have for them, real? Love isn't perfect in the sense that there are never struggles or hardships or even times when you might even think you don't love each other. But in the end, if it's real, it will always be there.

Through out The Hunger Games trilogy Katniss and Peeta's love has to with stand an onslaught of hard ships, up's & down's but through it all they come back to their need for each other. As different as they may be they need each other to survive. And that's what love is truly all about. Completely each other. And I'm so happy that I've experienced that in my life because I know so many people are still looking for it.

At the end of the last book Peeta says to Katniss "You love me. Real or not real?" and she says "Real." I want everyone to know real love. And I know that sounds like a "general" kinda of statement but I mean it with all my heart. When I look at my husband and my daughter my heart nearly bursts with the love I feel for them and because I know their love for me is real. It isn't perfect, we have up's & down's like everyone but we always come back around to the love that holds us together. This tattoo is a reminder that I have experienced something some people may never get to. And for that I should be thankful each and every moment of each and every day.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mom guilt

I'm sitting here this morning with my heart and my mind in a bit of a turmoil. I'm feeling "mom guilt". I don't know if you ever feel that way but I do. I worry that I'm doing something wrong with my child and I don't even know it. What if I'm emotionally damaging her and I'm not even aware that it's happening?! I have done my best to always encourage and validate Gianna. I want her to know she is beautiful, she is smart, she is kind, she is funny, she is outgoing, she is brave. I tell her these things and I always try to encourage her to play with and make new "friends" when we are out places.

When she started school back in September of last year she was over the moon excited! I remember being so proud because she wasn't timid or shy about going. She couldn't wait. She marched into that class room on the first day, hugged us goodbye with smiles and went to put away her back pack and that was it. And she's loved school. Even now she talks about school like she loves it and she is always excited to go....until we actually get there. And suddenly, since around Christmas or so, she has gotten timid, shy and honestly, a bit fearful. She is perfectly fine on our way to school but the moment we start walking in she starts crying. And I don't mean a little sniffling and wet eyes, I mean like sobbing and pouring tears. I've tried every approach to calming her down - hugging & telling her everything's ok, ignoring it and pretending nothing is going on, even trying to be stern with her about her behavior. But NOTHING works. She wouldn't tell me why she was crying for the longest. She finally told my hubby that it's because she misses me. And while that is sweet and I'm sure there is some validity to that I don't think that's really it but she won't tell us what the real issue is. I've never forgotten her at school or even picked her up late. I've asked if one of the kids is mean to her, she says no and seems to get along with everyone and talks nice about all her little friends. Her teachers are sweet and kind to her so I don't know what the deal is.

It's not just school though. She's started doing it at nursery at church too. Even though we are literally sitting like less than 20 feet from where she is in the nursery. She's never had an issue with going up until the past few months. Now she breaks down as soon as we head into church. I am literally dreading her starting a new school this coming year because I can only imagine the break down's that are ahead of us.....

I don't think Beej has ever been intimidated or fearful of anything! Lol! Growing up I'll admit I was a bit timid but I never remember crying about anything especially in front of other people, that would have embarrassed me to death. But I'm just confused as to what's causing this. I know most people will say "oh it's just a phase" and maybe it is but I don't know how to deal with it properly.

I'm frustrated that I can't figure out what's going on and why. And I'm frustrated that I can't fix or remedy this. I'm trying so hard to be sympathetic towards her when she has these break downs but honestly it's hard for me to when from everything I've seen and heard they are uncalled for. I just feel overwhelmed and frustrated by the whole thing. I don't know if having a few months off from school this summer is going to help or magnify the problem. But at this point I dread the first day of Kindergarten.

Monday, April 23, 2012


(This weekend up in Asheville, NC. We're always smiling up there!)

Reading: I've been on a reading roll this weekend! I hit up the library Thursday and picked up The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I've kinda been on the fence about both both. The Lucky One because Sparks has this love of killing off one of the main characters at the end so I figured since this story involved a soldier he was bound to die. Lol! And I want to see the movie but if it ends said it's not worth sitting through especially since Zac Efron is the main guy. I'm still not sure about that. He's kinda cheesy to me. But I finished it and liked it. And then I started TGWTDT and I'm almost done with it but it was a lot better than I thought it was going to be! I'm eager to read to the other two in the series. The first few chapters are kinda hard to get into because the author has to set a lot of "ground work" but over all and well written book.

Watching: We watched part of The Adventures of TinTin on Friday night. It got kinda late so we haven't finished it yet. It was cute but I can't say I loved it or anything. Other than that I've been on a big kick watching re-runs of Law & Order: SVU and House. Those shows never cease to interest me. My husband and daughter have spent a good bulk of the weekend watching Star Trek on Netflix! It cracks me up, I keep calling them nerds. My daughter informed me yesterday that she was going to name all her toys Data. Nerd.

Working On: Two things are kinda on the forefront of my brain right now. 1. Trying to focus on eating healthy and doing it for more than a couple of days at a time. People are quick to jump on working out and being "accountable" to each other for that but no one wants to watch what they eat with me! But this weekend a friend of mine in AL approached me about being accountable to each other through the myfitnesspal app. I was thrilled! So we set it all up and yesterday was my Day 1 (again!). Lol! But I'm really hoping to stick to this at least through the rest of this round of Insanity and hopefully drop the 10lbs I'd really like to before summer really gets started. And 2. Getting a job lined up for when we move. I've started putting in applications already because we're moving right after school gets out for the summer and I know a lot of high school kids are going to be looking for work. Luckily though the hours I want are hours that most high school aren't going to want! So hopefully that's in my favor. I want to work somewhere fairly hip - somewhere that my tats and nose piercing won't be an issue. Put in an application for Petsmart but they won't let me have any more than one earring in (I have two.), no visible tats which is fine I can cover them but I'd have to get rid of my nose ring and I know it may seem silly but I really don't want to have to give it up. 

Thinking About: Lots of stuff but mainly our move and ALL the changes ahead. I keep trying to imagine what life is going to be like in just a matter of a couple of months (or less). Getting back into the work force, I'm excited but after 6 years it's going to take some getting used to again. Hopefully meeting with a bank soon to figure out exactly what we can get home wise. We've been looking around at some places but until we know exactly we can't really get our sights set on anything seriously. I know, people move all the time but this is a big step for us. I think it's the right step but it doesn't mean I'm not a wee bit nervous. The unknown makes me nervous!

Anticipating: The next two Saturdays! This coming Saturday I'm planning to get out for a couple of hours and just have some me time. I'm kinda looking forward to it. Ideally I'd like to be able to get out with a friend and do something but I don't really have anyone around here who wants to go! So I think I might enjoy just getting out by myself. And then the Saturday after that I'm going to a wedding - weddings are so exciting and I love going and this one is going to be so pretty and full of hand made and vintage touches that will be breath taking!

Listening to: Young the Giant! I am loving their stuff. I think my hubby is tired of me playing it over and over but it's so catchy. 

Eating: I'm kinda obsessed with boiled egg whites and hot sauce! Don't knock it till you try it. So yummy and a good snack when you are watching your calories. And "chef" salads - shredded lettuce, spinach, shredded carrots, turkey and a little light Ranch. So yummy! Oh and restaurant wise we're kinda loving this place called Neo Burrito up in Asheville. They have massive and completely scrumptous burritos. We've been there like three weekends in a row! Saturday Gianna and I "shared" a HUGE bowl of nachos. They were amazing!

Wishing: I could just drop this extra weight and be done with it! I feel like I'm so close to my goal but so far away.....grrrr. 

So what are you currently doing?!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

7 Things

(I found this blog post idea over at Pink Lemonade!)

1. What is your favorite app? app. It helps me track my food and calorie intake. It's got an endless source of foods from anywhere not to mention this awesome barcode scanner that way you can just scan the barcode on something you're eating and it'll look it up!

2. You have to come up with a book title on the spot (no thinking, just go!): If it's the story of my life I'd call it Replaceable Me. I guess that's how I kinda feel about myself right now - I'm not really anything special and I could easily be "replaced"! Lol!

3. You are given the choice to laugh at everything or never being able to laugh again: Well, I'll go with laughing at everything. It could be awkward at times but not nearly as bad as being a sourpuss forever!

4. What natural disaster scares you the most? A tsunami! The idea of being buried in walls of water, tossed around, and probably killed that way scares the crap out of me. I'm not terrified of water but I have a very healthy respect for it I guess.

5. What time do you wake up each day? What time do you go to sleep? On week days when Gi does to school I get up at 6:15am. And those nights I try to be in bed by 10pm because if I don't get enough sleep I'm extremely crabby. Weekends though we usually get to "sleep in" until about 7:30am then Gi's up! And those nights bedtime is anywhere from 10pm till midnight.

6. Who is your daddy and what does he do?! Lol! My dad is Ken and he's a full time evangelist. He travels all over the USA and other countries preaching and teaching. He's also a teacher at a couple of ministry schools. His ministry runs orphanages over in India, Russia and Nicaragua.

7. What's the craziest dream you've ever had? I can't honestly remember. I know I've had some crazy ones but I generally forget my dreams fairly quickly!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

House Hunters NC

(No, this is not a place we are looking at purchasing - too small, but it's cute!)

Well, we are moving, guys! Yeah, we don't have a set date but we do know it's sometime after June 6th because that's when the kiddo gets out of school for the summer. It's my sincere hope that we are moved and settled into our new place by July 4th at the latest. Fingers crossed!

When we originally decided to move up towards Asheville we had planned to rent to begin with. And then possibly purchase our first home down the road. The main reason this was our thinking was because we just didn't think we could afford to purchase a home. We started looking into renting and holy cow! For the minimum of what we needed (2 bed, 1 bath) was going to be close to a thousand a month!!! Luckily, my husband has a long time friend who is a successful businessman and investor in the area and after going over our finances he said we were in a great place to purchase our first home (say what?!) and that with the market the way it is this would be a good time for us to buy a home. He's done a lot with real estate and was able to give us a rough estimate of what we might qualify for loan wise and what our payments would be, etc. And it could be almost half of of what we were looking at paying if we rented!

We haven't met with a bank yet but we're hoping to do that in the next couple of weeks. For now we are looking at places in the areas we want. Two factors when it comes to location for me - I want to be close to stuff (none of this living out in the country stuff.) AND schools for Gianna. We've heard a lot of great things about one particular school in the area that we like so we are really trying to find a place within that school district. The crazy thing is most of the places we've looked at have 3-5 elementary schools within 5 miles! That's not the case where we live now. You have one school for a large area and you go there or you don't. Lol!

House hunting is fun and frustrating at the same time. You look online and of course the photos capture all the best angles. Those sneaky realtors! But when we drive up there to see it you realize it has a lovely view of a massive junk yard, or the neighbor's backyard is your backyard too, or it's not even finished inside (although the photos showed a cute little kitchen and wood floors! Lol!). It's so hard weighing all the pro's and con's. Every place is going to have both but it's trying to decided which outweigh which. So I love the outside of the house and the kitchen but then the yard is crappy and the development it's in is still under construction. Or we love the area and the neighborhood but the inside is a little less updated and kinda small.....geez. The past couple of weekends we've made a list of 5-6 places and we head up and check them out and grab dinner and make a date of it. We went alone last weekend but this weekend we're taking the kiddo! Of course she won't make the final decision by any means but I kinda like to hear her opinion of things too. She's not a baby anymore and she sometimes sees and thinks about things we don't. Not to mention I'm dying to take her to Neo Burrito (my new favorite place!) - I want to share the GIANT bowl of nachos with her! Lol!

Any advice for first time home buyers? What was it like buying your first place?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

She's back!

Tuesday morning the kiddo and I ventured out to Knoxville, TN to meet up with my dad and grandfather. This was honestly my first trip by myself really. I'm awful with directions and driving somewhere completely new alone doesn't really appeal to me. But back at Christmas my sister got me a GPS and well, I feel braver with it! Lol! We made it Starbucks without a hitch and had a couple of yummy raspberry truffle cake pops before we made the "trade". Since it was Spring break for Gianna we decided it would be fun for her to go spend a few days with my family in AL and hang out with my mom and siblings and visit a few cousins as well. A lot of a Gi's friends at school had been talking about places they were going on Spring break and Gianna was excited to have somewhere to go too! I'm happy that my kiddo misses us while she's gone but I'm also glad she's independent enough to go away for a few days without having meltdown's or freak outs. It really makes it easier for me to relax and let her go when I know that. And thanks to modern technology we get to see pics of her daily and we got to Skype with her a couple of times too!

My mom (who Gianna refers to as Janou) took her to a tea room in AL. It's a cute little place and you drink tea out of china and eat cute little sandwiches and such. Gianna had a blast and Mom said she drank a whole pot of tea by herself! She also took her for her very first mani/pedi. They had a special chair with a dvd player so she could watch cartoons while she got pampered!

She also had a tea party at Mom's house with her cousin, Emma. Emma is a triplet and has two brothers so I think she gets a kick out of getting to do girly little things with Gianna and Gi just loves being with her!

Last night she went with my dad and sister to stay at my aunt's house and get some play time in with her cousin Ava. Absolutely nothing makes that girl happier than spending time with Ava! And they are the dress up queens! (Note how Gianna's holding that doll by the throat! Lol!)

This morning they were out fairly early for the neighborhood yard sale and they had blow up's and bouncy houses which makes for happy kiddos!

After that she went with my mom to the Walk for Obesity and got her face painted and got all sorts of other goodies. She had a pin that said #1 Granddaughter and she informed me that meant she was number one not that she was 1 years old! Lol!

Today my Mom brought Gianna back up to NC and I was thrilled to see her! I've missed her a lot although I'll admit I've enjoyed my week too mainly because I know she was having a blast too. She asked me how old I was now. Lol! I guess she felt she was gone so long that I must be older! She got a bath and was happy to climb into her own bed tonight.....I'm glad she's back!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Easter photos!

Gianna woke up to this huge basket of goodies & candy, thanks to her Grandma!

Little sleepy head checking out the goods. I think the Trident Layered gum was her favorite!

Easter cutie!

I broke out the heels!

Handsome daddy and his girl!

Me and my sweetie pie!

Headed into church.....

Dying eggs....

They turned out so pretty!

....and she's off!

We had a good Easter - church was good and we picked up KFC on the way home. I really didn't feel like trying to cook and all that. Beej's parents came over to eat with us and watch Gi dye and hunt eggs. We also cooked up a peach pie and served it a-la-mode! I ate too many mini Reese's Cup eggs but I got rid of pretty much all the candy after that....sent it to Beej's work for everyone else to munch on! Lol!

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Currently I'm.....

Obsessing over: The Hunger Games! Yes, still. I'm not one of those that sees the movie then I'm over it. Or reads the books and I'm done. I can get a bit obsessive over the storyline, the idea behind, the characters, their lives, etc. There's only been like three stories that have really gotten me like that Twilight (don't judge me! Lol!), The Dark Tower series by Stephen King (my mind is still exploding with the ideas, story and depth of those books.) and now The Hunger Games. Unlike in Twilight, The Hunger Games is about far more than just the love story although that is beautiful woven in. It's about strength, determination, unwavering love & commitment through the harshest of circumstances. I think the movie was so well done and they couldn't have picked a better cast!

Working on: A couple of songs. I've recently had a bit of inspiration that I've put into a couple of songs that I hope we can get recorded soon. I get the basics and my hubby hears all the details and does the producing part. I'm lucky to have someone who has the ear for that because I don't!

Thinking about: Our move! We announced late last year that we were planning to move. We knew this county was not the place we wanted to raise our daughter for the rest of her life or live out our own lives. There is nothing here - no motivation, no culture, nothing. So we started trying to figure out what our best option was. Originally we had thought Huntsville, AL. We've lived there before, we love the city, there are tons of opportunities there, we have family there, etc. But after some serious thought and praying we've decided that move isn't for us right now. So we'll be moving up towards Asheville, NC. My hubby works up that way already, and we've recently discovered just how much we love the city and the diversity of culture. The city is growing and booming and we know there will be plenty of opportunities for us (and hopefully a job for me!!!). We are currently looking into purchasing our first home as well (eeekkk!), I'll keep you updated on that as we go.....but yeah, we are SO excited! Hopefully we'll be moving by the end of June. My hope is to be in our new place by the 4th of July. Fingers crossed.

Anticipating: The end of this month.....I have plans to attend a Christina Perri concert in Asheville and I'm pretty excited about it! I love her and her music and seeing her live would be completely awesome. I'm planning to take my sister with me but if she can't go I'll rummage up someone because I'm dying to go!

Listening to: I'm totally obsessed with the song Titanium by David Guetta and Sia. I think I listen to it daily and have been for like two weeks now! Lol! I'm also totally loving the song Cough Syrup by Young the Giant. If you haven't listened to them yet go listen right now!

Eating: Recently discovered these Greek yogurt smoothies and they are delish! They are individual packets with frozen chunks of fruit and greek yogurt. Throw them in the blender with a cup of milk (I use soy or almond milk) and a little bit of spinach and that's been my lunch lately. So thick and creamy!

Wishing: That I had a large amount of money to go summer shopping. My wardrobe is looking pretty sad lately! I went and tried on a few pairs of shorts the other day and it's so frustrating. If I get cute shorts from the Juniors department they are so short I can't stand it (like up in your butt short! Lol!) but then the Ladies department only has "granny" shorts. So I currently own like 2 pairs of shorts that I like and I've had those for like two years.

So what is currently happening with you?!