Thursday, May 27, 2010

One Night?

Tonight on Oprah, Peter Walsh just said that "one date night a month is worth more than one vacation for the whole year." Is it just me or is ONE date night a month seem a little scarce? I can't even fathom setting aside only one night per month. Even though we currently live in different states, Daniel and I still manage to spend a significant amount of time together on the weekends.

I know life gets hectic when you have kids, but really, one night? I am kind of in shock over that.

There have been several occasions when we have been with friends {who have kids} and the conversation turns to spending time together and it shocks me to find out how little time some of them spend together {as a family or a couple}... I guess a personal goal of mine is to recognize that spending time together is incredibly important to me and if we ever have a family, spending time together is not optional.

the good. the bad. the random. (On My Own in Charlotte, May 2010)

The Good. It's almost the weekend.
The Bad. I am driving 7 hours to Nashville tomorrow after work.
The Random. Driving an automatic after almost a decade of driving a stick really messes with your brain... I had a rental car for 2 days while our Subaru was in the shop.

The Good. My sister received a job offer in Nashville.
The Bad. My brother and brother-in-law seriously need jobs {in Nashville}.
The Random. We dropped the price on the house again. 4+ weeks with zero showings is beyond depressing {well, we did have an engaged couple show up at the last open house, so I guess that is an improvement.}

The Good. Daniel's cousin is getting married on Saturday.
The Bad. We found out that some friends of ours are getting a divorce.
The Random. The season finale of Parenthood made me seriously miss living close to my family. If I could pack up and live in the same city as them this moment, I would.

The Good. We have plans for breakfast on Sunday morning with friends at the PFunky Griddle in Nashville. I am so excited.
The Bad. Summer time = tics. I think Sophie is getting tired of me searching her after every trip outdoors.
The Random. Is it crazy to consider living in an RV {short term}???

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Project 52 Date Nights - Senior Executive Assistant Grease Monkey

Sometimes dates end up in the garage with me acting as assistant to my grease monkey husband (or as Daniel says, I am the Senior Executive Assistant Grease Monkey). Over the years he has trained me in the ways of tools – I probably know more than the average American male.

Anyways, we drive old cars (i.e. we have never owned a car that was less than 10 years old). We have chosen to do this because 1) we are extremely frugal and 2) Daniel is an engineer with the uncanny ability to fix almost anything (especially cars) – a pretty good combination if you ask me.

There comes a time, at least once a year, that he ends up in the garage fixing one of our vehicles: replacing a CV joint here; doing a brake job there. And there are always oil changes to be done. During such times, if I want to be able to spend any time with him, I have to go out to the garage, take a seat on the mechanic's stool and be willing to hand him tools.

This weekend was one of those weekends.

Sunday I found myself in the garage for three reasons: 1) we had not been able to spend much time together over the weekend; 2) he needed some help and 3) I had received some depressing news from a friend - a couple that we had met through church {three years ago} is getting a divorce. I had just received the news and wanted to let Daniel know what was going on.

It's a really sad situation – he said he didn't love her anymore and then she caught him cheating. They are really just babies in the world of marriage {they had just gotten married when we met them three years ago}. I am so heartbroken for her and for the fact that their marriage has come to this.

Daniel and I had a deep conversation {even though he was under the Subaru and I was periodically handing him tools}.

Him: What do you think made their marriage end like that?
Me: I have no idea.
Him: Can you hand me a 14 mm socket wrench with a 3-inch extension?
Me: {handing him the tool} It is so sad...

We discussed ways that we can continue to improve our own marriage so that it doesn't end in such heartache. Our marriage isn't perfect, but we continue to work on it. Relationships are a work in progress. I believe that if we stop cultivating them, they will die.

Note: I did not write this post to point fingers or try to figure anyone out. We don't know the full story. We probably never will. I truly hope God brings healing to our friends and to anyone else who has experienced this type of hurt in their lives...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Broken Motor Mount???

Saturday night Daniel noticed a slight tremor in the Subaru. And I mean slight. Like when he had me test drive it, I barely noticed. In fact without him pointing out the shudder, I would have been clueless.

I know he was feeling pressure about having a last-minute vehicle problem. Especially since he had to drive back to Chattanooga the next. After much discussion {with such options as me riding my bike to work for a week or Daniel just driving the Subie, ignoring the problem}, we agreed that the best option was for Daniel to take the Altima back to TN and for me to take the Subaru to our local Subaru-gueru to get a second opinion.

So today I drove up to Concord, NC to find out what the problem is. Stephen from 42 Autosports is pretty cool. He listened to me. Then took me for a spin in the vehicle to get a feel for the problem. Then he put the car on the lift to check out the problem. He had me come out in the shop to show me the problems. Then gave me a quote and I gave him my thoughts of what Daniel would say, but requested that he call Daniel directly - which he obliged.

Turns out that our Subaru needs new wheel bearings in the back - boo. Though not as bad as a busted motor mount like Daniel originally feared. So, they let me know that I should not drive to Nashville next weekend {as planned} without getting it fixed. We agreed to let them fix it. And they called Enterprise to get me a rental {they pay for half}.

So I waited. And waited. And eventually the guys at the shop realized I was still there {thankfully I had a book to read}. It was 6PM and Enterprise supposedly closes at 6... so one of the guys offered to drive me over to make sure I could get a vehicle. That would have been quite a challenge to be car-less 40 miles from home! Anyways, it all worked out and I will have the Subaru back tomorrow.

If you have a Subaru and live in the Charlotte area, check 42 Autosports out - they know their stuff, they have great prices and they really talk to you about all of your options {whether you want to do it yourself, buying parts from them OR have them do the work for you}. Even as a girl, I didn't feel uncomfortable in their shop. I didn't feel like they treated me any different for being a woman.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

52 Books in 52 Weeks: Book 19

Still managing to be a week behind on my reading... This week I read The Recipe Club by Andrea Israel and Nancy Garfinkel. It is a novel written in the form of correspondence between two women.

The book begins when these women are adults and then revisits the past to show the circumstances to that led to decades of silence between the two women and finally the end has a bit of a twist.

This is by no means a top book pick for me, but the way it was written was intriguing. By only having a glimpse of the story through the letters, it left a lot to the imagination. It also hits home how easy it is to get upset through the written word - I believe you see this a lot on the internet... people get angry and polarized. Since the argument {or discussion} is written, there many cues that are missing which allows anger to boil over quickly and forgiveness to be slow in coming.

Some quotes from the book:
Oh, Lilly. This is not how I hoped to find you again. But maybe it's the only way. Death always makes me want to make sense of things. I want to understand my mother's life. I want to understand my own.
I'm scattered and unfocused, broken. Losing my mother feels like an amputation...
Then my father did something so unlike him – completely honest and read. He said, "Sometimes people we love can't love us in ways that we wish to be loved. Not because we aren't worthy of that love, but for other reasons beyond our control."
Death is so weird. For a while afterwards everybody acts like it will change them and make them appreciate everything – friends, family, each new day. But then, little by little, life just resumes being normal again. You forget the dead person, or you don't exactly forget them, you just put them into deep mental storage, like you're putting away furs for the summer.
It's hard to imagine our parents before they had us, isn't it? Hard to believe they were ever our age – or, if for that matter, that one day we'll be as old as them. Do you think we'll always feel young inside, even when we don't look that way?

The House.

I'm feeling somewhat frustrated about the whole house selling thing. Specifically I am frustrated with our realtor. Starting out, we went with a price (with her guidance) and committed to it. The last week of April we talked to her about going ahead and dropping our price and she advised us not to.

Then April 30th passed and we have had no showings in 3.5 weeks. This past week, she sent "new" data and advised us to consider dropping 5-10K now and then regularly dropping until we get an offer. That is all fine and dandy, but the stats have changed very little since we first put our house on the market. So my frustration is that I feel that we were ill-advised on the front end. I know you can't predict the market, but we even questioned her specifically about fears about the market dropping off after this artificially inflated time of people trying to get their last minute credit from the government.

It is frustrating when you are paying for a service (or at least we will once the house sells) and I feel like our realtor should be doing a better job of advising us - after all she is the expert.

Overall, selling our house has been very emotionally draining. Intellectually I know it shouldn't be so emotional. After all, it is a business transaction, but that doesn't stop the frustration. Hindsight is always 20/20, but there is a part of me that questions if we did the right thing by turning down the low offer... Truthfully we would have come down more and we were surprised when they didn't even try to negotiate. I suppose you live and learn.

I feel like I am mad at our realtor, I am mad at God {I guess I don't really feel like he is in control right now, even though I know he is} and most of all I am mad at myself for not trusting God {or the realtor, or the process}. Daniel and I have been separated for almost 3 months and I am ready for this phase of life to be over. Please pray that something works out soon.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

the good. the bad. the random. (On My Own in Charlotte, May 2010)

The Good. Had an amazing time catching up with friends and family this past weekend.
The Bad. I am still recovering from the craziness.
The Random. It has been 3 weeks with ZERO showings for the house. I am trying not to let it get me down.
The Good. My brother is now Master Mark - he graduated from grad school on Saturday.

The Bad. I missed his actual graduation, but got to spend 6 hours with him in the car, hanging out, catching up.
The Random. I have the cutest, sweetest niece in the whole world {I'm not biased}. We saw her {and my sister and brother-in-law} for lunch last Friday. Then again on Sunday. The best part is that she came to me immediately. We hadn't seen them since Thanksgiving. I would like to think she remembered me. But it is more likely the fact that she is a super happy baby and seems to love everyone.

The Good. Daniel will be home in two days.
The Bad. This weekend he is actually taking a course he's been really wanting to take... I guess this means I can get caught up on my reading.
The Random. I needed to give Sophie a bath on Monday after I got home. I was having trouble hooking the hose up to the sink {don't ask}, so I put on a swimsuit and had her stand in the master bathroom shower with me. She was not a fan. But I managed to get her clean.

The Good. I started a new exercize program last night – The 30-Day Shred with Jillian Michaels.
The Bad. Sophie thought we were "playing" while I worked out. Having a 30-pound dog jump on you while you do butt kicks or jumping jacks is not conducive to a good workout. Even better was when she decided to sit on my head while I did crunches. I tried to hold her off with one arm... Eventually I told her to get on the couch and STAY. This worked for the next round of cardio, but she still wanted to sit on my head every time I laid down :(
The Random. It turns out that my Grandpa has colon cancer. Since I don't live in Canada, it is kind of hard to process. We are making plans for a trip to Ontario some time this summer. It has been several years since I have been up there. And I had to send off to renew my passport. He has lived a long, full life. But I am not ready for him to be done on this earth. It is in God's hands.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Project 52 Date Nights - Calm in the Midst of Crazy

This past weekend was insane. We crammed in a 12+hour roadtrip {each way} to Searcy, AR to attend a wedding of a childhood friend AND then back through Nashville for my brother's graduation from grad school. I am a bad sister - we didn't actually make it to graduation, but we were {briefly} there to celebrate at my aunt's afterward.

To get an idea of how crazy this weekend was, here is the breakdown:

  • Worked half a day. Finalized packing/cleaning the house in case there is a weekend showing {which there wasn't}. Loaded Sophie in the car and drove 6 hours to Chattanooga, TN.
  • Moved all of my stuff {and Sophie} into our Subaru and drove {with Daniel} to Murfreesboro, TN to have dinner with my father-in-law.
  • After dinner, we drove to my brother's apartment in Nashville. We didn't even take our stuff in, we just crashed in his bedroom {he was gracious and slept on the couch}.
  • Up early to drive to Memphis {with my brother now in tow} to see my sister, her husband and my sweet niece {whom we haven't seen since Thanksgiving}. We spent all of one hour there {and they fed us lunch} before hitting the road.
  • Drove to Searcy where we briefly visited with my parents.
  • Then to a rehearsal at the church.
  • Followed by the rehearsal dinner.
  • Followed by a bachelorette party.
  • I was home around 1AM.
  • Up and showered and ready for breakfast at 9AM {my Grandma, Aunt and Uncle come by for a quick visit}.
  • Left at 10:30AM to attend a Bridesmaid luncheon {eating all of this food did not help me when I had to wear a super tight dress later that day}.
  • Went to the church around 1:30PM to get ready.
  • Pictures were at 3PM (I put off putting on my dress until the last moment}.
  • Spent the next 7 hours unable to move or breathe :(
  • Wedding was at 5PM - it was beautiful. Everything I expected.
  • Reception followed - was blessed to visit with MANY people from my teenage years.
  • We finally sent the bride and groom off around 10PM.
  • We proceeded to go to my parent's house and CRASH {actually I made Daniel give me his suit jacket and then undo my dress as soon as we got in the car so that I could breathe again}.
Are you still with me?

  • Drove to my aunt's house in Nashville. Where we visited for a couple of hours {celebrating my brother's graduation} before hitting the road AGAIN.
  • Then on to Chattanooga, where we unloaded Daniel's stuff and moved my stuff back to my car.
  • We stayed up until 10PM visiting with our friends Chris & Courtney {who Daniel is currently living with}.
  • Up at 5:45AM???
  • Left at 6:30 - Daniel left for work and I drove home to Charlotte. I made it home in 6 hours. Dropped Sophie at the house and then went to work.

So. Our Date. To be truthful, I barely saw Daniel. Between the wedding and all of the visiting. But we did manage to grab a moment of calm {by ourselves} on Friday night. After the rehearsal dinner and before the bachelorette party, we made a pit stop at Midnight Oil. This is my favorite coffee house on the planet - mostly because it brings back such fond memories from college. Daniel and I even went there at the end of our very first date {where we proceeded to talk until closing time}. Unfortunately this date, only allowed us about 20 minutes to sit on the porch, sharing a Mr. Blond. And just talking. When you live in separate places, talking becomes the thing you long for the most. It was my moment of calm in the midst of a very crazy {exhausting, but fun} weekend.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Days Gone By

I am going to be honest here and say that I have not had the best track record for keeping up with old friends. I could chalk it up to having moved a lot when I was younger, but really that is probably just an excuse to make me feel better.

With the advent of Facebook, I have been able to reconnect with friends from my childhood and keep up with high school and college friends. I suppose the truth of the matter is that I have allowed myself to get too busy with life. While I can't spend all of my time following up with old friends, I should probably make a better effort to touch base more frequently. The older I get, the more I realize the importance of friendships.

A few years ago, I reconnected with a best friend from high school. We met in the seventh grade and our friendship was instrumental in shaping us into the adults we would become. After high school graduation, we parted ways. She went off to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor and I just floated along and let my life happen to me.

Through college, we drifted apart. Then I got married and she went to med school and our connection was further severed. When I found out she would be moving to Nashville to do her residency at Vanderbilt, I was ecstatic since my husband's family lives in the area. Since she has been in Nashville, we have managed to reconnect and squeeze in visits here and there when Daniel and I pass through.

When she called to tell me she was engaged and wanted me to be a part of her wedding, I was truly thrilled. We met her fiance and reminisced about days gone by. To be truthful, there would be days {at home in Charlotte, NC} that I would go on and on telling Daniel about all of our escapades together. The trouble we caused, the fun we had, the study sessions, the trips. Almost two decades later, the memories are still fresh.

This past weekend we traveled to Searcy, Arkansas to be a part of her big day. Her wedding was so beautiful. Exactly what I would imagine it to be. This beautiful, strong woman, from days gone by, has taken the plunge into marriage. And I am so very happy for her. I wish her many, many years to come. I wish her success in marriage. And most of all, I wish her and her new husband happiness, even when life doesn't work out exactly as planned.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

House Update

After two weeks of no showings, I FINALLY got a call today about a potential showing for 1PM. Unfortunately I had to ask them to reschedule because I was scheduled to do a filming segment at work and I was pretty sure it would run past noon and I wouldn't have time to run home to clean up the house. 

Thankfully they were understanding. Our realtor called me to help find a good time for the showing to happen and informed me that the buyer's agent loves our house and is anxious to show it to his buyer.

I asked my agent if she could give us an update of houses that are currently getting showed. She was very accommodating and sent me a progress report {of sorts} of our zip code. It made me feel better to see that, as a whole, our zip code went from an average of 30 showings per week for the month of April to an average of 10 showings a week for the past two weeks. Our realtor also pointed out that last weekend was Mother's Day and school is winding down, which may account for some of the drop.

We are hoping things pick back up soon. Hopefully the potential buyer will reschedule for this weekend while I am out of town... I am headed to Searcy, AR tomorrow for my best friend {from high school} wedding. I am looking forward to catching up with friends and seeing family.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Project 52 Date Nights - Cavalia

This week we decided to spend some money and go to see Cavalia. The frugal side of us opted to eat in since we were spending so much money on show tickets.
Note to self, do NOT cook a new "diet" meal that you have never tried cooking before on a DATE NIGHT. Daniel didn't complain, but the chicken spinach wraps were way too bland for my taste. I am a good cook, so this was a bit of a disappointment.
The show was fun. Cavalia is a spin off of Cirque du Soleil with its roots in Quebec, Canada. As Daniel commented, "This isn't your Shelbyville horse show." 

It was truly amazing what they were able to do with horses and acrobats. There are 62 horses, 28 of which are stallions and the rest are geldings. The horses were great performers, though they do have a mind of their own. When they didn't want to do the tricks, it was comical to watch them ignore their trainers.

There were so many things we loved about the show, below you can watch a little clip from a documentary that gives a great overview of what the show was like. It was like a circus, but for adults. It definitely gave me a feeling of childlike wonder.

The tickets were really expensive {and we purchased the second cheapest seats}. It was fun to go to, but I don't know that we would spend that much money again on a show. Kind of like when we ate dinner at the Skylon Tower {revolving restaurant} at Niagara Falls when we were first dating. It was a fun experience, but we would never do it again {we were cheap on this date too, and did the early bird special and ended up sharing a table with a retired couple from Texas. We were {by far} the youngest couple in the restaurant.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Spaghetti Sauce, The Homemade Variety

Last night I had the pleasure of dining with some friends {who happen to be mothers}. We had a lovely time, dining outdoors at Chili's {at the Arboretum}. Conversations ranged from recent books we have read {a top pick being The Help}, to favorite movies to the latest episode of Modern Family that had us cracking up. We also talked about the kids {what dinner with mother's would be complete without some discussion about their kiddos}.

At one point, the conversation got sidetracked onto homemade spaghetti sauce and who actually had time to make such things. Too embarrassed to admit that I make my own sauce {since I appeared to be the minority}, I sat and politely smiled and let them chat. Granted, I don't have kids, but even with holding down a full-time job, I like to take the time to make my own sauce. This may stem from always having homemade sauce that my mom would whip up.

If I had my way, my spaghetti sauce would be rich in vegetables: zucchini, squash, mushrooms, {fresh} garlic cloves and onions. Not being a fan of meatless dishes, Daniel begs me to include ground beef, but I will occasionally change it up and use chicken or Italian sausage. For the tomatoes, I am not adverse to using a can of diced or crushed tomatoes and a little bit of {canned} tomato sauce is good for thickening it up. Toss in some salt, pepper and Italian seasoning and simmer. Soon your sauce will take on a more flavorful version of anything you could buy in a jar.

As I get older and experiment more often with my recipes, I am finding that I really detest food that is out of a can {or box or jar}. Not that canned food is bad, it just isn't as good as it could be. Especially when you take the time to use fresh ingredients and stir in a little bit of love.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

52 Books in 52 Weeks: Book 18

The overarching theme of The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs is the search for belonging. To some degree, I believe this is a search we are all on.

Unfortunately, the writing is weak and the storyline is expected. Though I found the framework of knitting, to be interesting, it could have been more inspiring with a better editor.

Quotes that stuck out to me:
It was what it was – a very New York kind of friendship – and yet each felt, in the city of strangers, that they had found a good friend in each other... It had been a long, long time since Georgia had had the type of friend who knew what you wanted to say even before you said it. Who was always in your corner. Who actually enjoyed talking to you every day.
... when you're young, you always think you'll meet all sorts of wonderful people, that drifting apart and losing friends is natural. You don't worry, at first, about the friends you leave behind. But as you get older, it gets harder to build friendships. Too many defenses, too little opportunity. You get busy. And by the time you realize that you've lost the dearest best friend you ever had, years have gone by and you're mature enough to be embarrassed by your attitude and, frankly, by your arrogance.
Every knitter has a sweater left unfinished... there's a secret hope that makes you hold on, to dream that you'll get it right some day, that you'll go back and take it up again and it will finally come out right. That this time all the pieces will fit. The mistake is waiting until you feel renewed enough to give it another try. You simply have to pick up the needles and keep at it anyway.
"I'm not God. But I can tell you some things I believe... I believe medical issues just happen – they're not cosmic tests; they're not retribution for all the naughty things you've done over a lifetime. It's not some moral righting of the universe. It's just something going wonky with the wiring... And I think God cries when we're in pain; he cries with us and supports us. But I also believe he stands back and lets us sort things out. Lets the doctors do their work. Lets your body heal itself." – Father Smith

"And if it doesn't?" - Georgia

"Then he welcomes you with open arms. God isn't really about the body, you know - he's about the soul." - Father Smith

"So if I pray hard enough I'll get better?" - Georgia

"No, no, that's not what I mean at all. Praying isn't a form of divine insurance. It's just a way of communicating, just a way of opening your heart." - Father Smith
I'll let you in on a little secret. we don't all love our jobs every day. And doing something you have a passion for doesn't make the work part of it any easier... it just makes you less likely to quit.
Every knitter stitches with love... it never matters if things don't end up just the way you planned. Every moment is a work of progress; every stitch is one stitch closer. There may be worse, but there is always better. When you wear something you've made with your own hands, you surround yourself with love, and all the love that came before you. The real achievement is being proud of what you've made.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

52 Books in 52 Weeks: Book 17

According to the book American Nerd by Benjamin Nugent, there are two basic types of nerds... those who are intellectual in ways that are machinelike and those who are considered "uncool" by the popular kids.

Daniel believes that he was a combination of the two {growing up} and I believe that, to some degree, I was probably the latter. I think there are people who have a hard time adapting to "social" norms and stay in the nerd category their whole lives. Others cross over to non-nerd category by learning to live within the social norms.*

The book was very intriguing. It speaks to how nerds have been woven into pop culture and even talks about the "fake" nerd {creative types that are trying to make the nerd-type trendy}.

Quotes from the book:
Meaning what you say, and wanting other people to mean what they say, to stop alluding, implying, and teasing, and get down to the point.
This quote made me laugh. Daniel and I recently had a conversation about how he doesn't allude or imply anything...
Late nineteenth century America was plagued by a fear of human domestication, of men becoming over civilized and housebound.... For men who felt emasculated by the industrial age, sport was a way of making tough-guy skills important again.
For most of us, high school was about trying to get through each day without getting beat up or humiliated. High school was about survival.
"I love the things I love because I am guided by some untamed voice within me that causes me to have random obsessions. I will follow my individualized obsessions, not trends, and be transparent about those obsessions, even when those obsessions tell me to like things widely considered ugly and cheap."
– The Fake Nerd
It's not that the class has secretly admired Napoleon (Dynamite) the whole time. It's that when the nerd goes over the top into super-nerdy, he makes everyone want to be more authentic and less judgmental.
*Unfortunately "Social Norms" are created by society and people that do not fall into these norms are often relegated to the perimeter of said society.

Radio Silence

That is what we have heard since our five showings in three days last week. The deadline for the first-time home buyer tax incentive came and went. And we have had no showings since last Wednesday. We can't really regret not accepting the offer that was $30 grand under our asking price since we technically tried to negotiate and they were the ones that walked away. AND we made the best decision we could with the information we had at that exact moment.

But that doesn't make this week any easier. I know there is a buyer for our house, they just haven't connected with us yet. It is hard to know what to do at this point. I believe the real estate market was artificially inflated for the month of April while everyone tried to get a last-minute deal. Now it is May. After 25 showings in four weeks it feels abnormal to have no requests for showings. The dust is settling and it will be interesting to see how things pan out. Surely there are still people looking for homes. Right?

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Living for Today

The problem with living for today is that I am waiting for tomorrow. This puts me in a difficult place. On the one hand, I am beyond ready to move forward with my life in Chattanooga. On the other hand, I am still {6+hours away} in Charlotte and there is no official end in sight.

Last year, I really wanted to start growing my own vegetables. But I put it off. I was worried that Daniel would get a job offer and we would have to sell our house and move. Because I put it off, I didn't grow that garden. Now it is a year later and Daniel does have a job but I still don't have a garden because I am waiting for our house to sell.

Last year I also had the opportunity to participate in a triathlon with a friend. Even though I really wanted to participate in the race, I opted out because 1) I felt guilty spending money while Daniel was unemployed and 2) I thought there was a chance that Daniel would get a job offer and we would have to move. The money part makes sense, but Daniel didn't get his job offer until the end of December and didn't start work until March 1. And I still haven't participated in a triathlon.

So... how long should you put off your life? There will always be what ifs to be concerned about and I don't want to live in the world of woulda, coulda, shoulda.

Another problem with waiting for job offers {or houses to sell or the right one to marry or babies...} is that these periods of waiting offer no definitive time frame. You are hoping things will work out, but you have no clue how long it will take. Chances are that it WILL take longer than you hope and, in the meantime, you need to keep living your life.

So while I continue to wait for this phase of my life to transition into the next, maybe I should take up gardening in pots {since I don't want to dig up the yard} or maybe I need to find a triathlon and go ahead and commit to doing something for myself.

What about you? What are you putting off for tomorrow?

"Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today."
 Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Project 52 Date Nights - Perspective

This weekend was a marathon of running errands - they {errands} seem to pile up when you are separated during the week. Saturday night, we picked up the movie, Up In The Air, and watched it while eating chocolate ice cream.

Watching a movie about people getting laid off really makes you thankful for your job... we are especially thankful that Daniel is no longer unemployed.

Saturday we also had the opportunity to check up on family members who live in Nashville and Memphis. Thanks to cell phones, Facebook and gChat, we were able to get a lot of live updates from loved ones and friends who were experiencing the great flood firsthand.

I have been having a seriously difficult time with being separated from Daniel over the past two months, but seeing and hearing about what so many other people are going through really puts my life in perspective. I need to be more thankful for the things that I have.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

52 Books in 52 Weeks: Book 16

In recent weeks, I have been really off with my eating habits and while I have been running fairly regularly, I would like to add some strength training to my regimen. In order to get motivated, I decided to read Making the Cut by Jilian Michaels (from the Biggest Loser). 

This is a no-nonsense book for people looking to shed their final 25 pounds. It is pretty strict 30-day diet and fitness plan... I don't know that I can stick to the meal plan EXACTLY at this moment in my life, though I do plan to use the recipes to start cooking again and eating foods that are healthy. 

Quotes from the book: 
You can change your life by changing your mind... it's your mind that directs and drives everything you do... 
Responsibility means not blaming anyone or anything for your situation.
Keeping a food journal allows you to study any patterns that may emerge and helps you identify where you may be able to make more healthful changes. 
Anxiety is born of fear, and fear is our number-one saboteur when it comes to achieving our goals.
Use perceived failures and misfortunes as a catalyst to push you toward bigger and better things.


As of this past Wednesday our house has been on the market for four weeks. Wednesday was also the day that we received our first offer. It was for $150 {in cash} and they wanted to close in two weeks...

This had us reeling. First of all, it was ridiculously low {current asking price is $180, we started at $185 and comparables support these numbers}. Second, to add to all of the stress of our current lives, two weeks would be doable, but insanely stressful.

So we did what all home-owners would do, we countered. On Thursday, our realtor pulled comps and wrote them a very nice counter offer that said we would only accept reasonable/real offers. But we would be willing to drop to $173.

It was a very stressful week as I had 5 showings in three days and we were trying to make decisions about this {only} offer. Their realtor wrote back and said they didn't want to budge and they would keep looking.

The strange thing is, for the first time in weeks, I was at peace. It wasn't the right scenario for us. We have been under so much pressure to sell, but when they didn't even try to negotiate further, we knew it wasn't for us. Sad, but we will keep on keeping on.

There were no 11th hour offers last night. I have no idea if the real estate market is going to depress again now that the tax incentive is gone. I hope not. We will leave that in God's hands. 

I found this verse yesterday and it really spoke to me:

"You will surely forget your trouble, 
 recalling it only as waters gone by."
Job 11:16

There is such truth in this verse. Life can feel so overwhelming at times, but after we pass through the hard times, we forget how difficult those times were... we recall them as waters gone by.

Family Hike at Fiery Gizzard

On Saturday we had originally planned to go on a group hike on the Fiery Gizzard Trail , but it was cancelled at the last minutes. So...