Happy St. Patrick’s Day y’all!

Are you wearing green today? Evidently green isn’t even the right color. We’re supposed to be wearing blue. Also, in Ireland, for many years, St. Patrick’s Day was a feast day that traditionally shut down the pubs. The American version of St. Patty’s Day is quite different. Well, Americans do a lot of things different so I guess that really isn’t a surprise.

So, anyway, I’m dropping in to send my best wishes and to talk a little bit about luck. Traditionally St. Patrick’s Day has been associated with the four-leaf clover as a symbol of luck. Interesting word, luck, closely intertwined with the word, chance. Luck, by definition, is “the events or circumstances that operate for or against an individual.” Luck is associated with situations beyond your control. Luck is often attributed to either good fortune or bad fortune. Sometimes I consider myself lucky. Sometimes I remember to use a more appropriate word, blessed.

So, what does it mean to be blessed? According to Merriam-Webster, being blessed involves “bringing pleasure, contentment, or good fortune.” So there’s that word again, fortune. Good fortune or bad fortune, we are all fortunate. No matter the circumstances in life there is some aspect of “receiving some unexpected good.” Even when life knocks us down there is something good to be found. Even when life is hard we are still lucky. Even when we feel like life is too difficult there is something for which we can be grateful.

This past weekend we celebrated the life of my late step-father, Norman, by caravan through “the loop” and over to Crescent Lake. Many of his friends and family rode their motorcycles and others rode in their vehicles and the weather was just perfect. It was sunny but not too hot. The breeze was nice and cool and the ride was a lovely tribute to him. Despite our loss we still can consider ourselves lucky. We had a father, husband, brother, uncle, cousin, friend… and shared great memories together. Good stories were shared and I know that’s the way he would have wanted.

Being blessed does not mean that your life is perfect. Rather, being blessed means that you find the fortune in the imperfect. We live in a fallen and sinful world but God’s grace shines blessing down upon us even in our darkest times. The sisters were able to grow closer this past weekend in a way we hadn’t before and for that I am grateful. The blessing we have in each other is not to be overlooked. We are fortunate to grow in relationship and in love.

Life will go on. We will get busy with life again. Time will pass. However, we will always count ourselves fortunate to have the relationships we do because of Norman Walker. The good, the bad, the ups and downs. Together we count ourselves blessed. Today, on this lucky holiday, I will remember just how good we have it and just how fortunate we are.


New Year – New Goals

Hello everyone and I hope that you’ve had a wonderful extended holiday. Craig and I were able to spend some time with our family and were able to start on yet another construction project so I’d say it was a pretty good holiday in my book. I’m back today with a post on, what else, new year goal setting.

January is typically a time of year in which we take a moment to reflect on the past year, the good and the bad, and make new goals for the coming year. I’ve decided to set 5 goals for the year 2015. I feel that by keeping these goals broad I’m better able to make them a reality. I know myself and I know that I routinely fail. Instead of focusing on the challenges negatively I’m going to use them to my advantage. So, here goes:

  1. Focus on Christ – First, and foremost, I plan on really renewing my relationship with Christ. Through daily reading, my small group, and church attendance I hope to make some new habits that have a life long effect. Starting this month I have been daily reading in an app called She Reads Truth. This app makes it super easy to stay in the word on a daily basis and it has a wonderful graphic at the end of each reading to share through social media as a way to hold yourself better accountable and to share God’s goodness and grace. I really enjoy the format and I pray to make this become habit. In addition to She Reads Truth, I’m leading my small group (aka Life Group) in the Beth Moore study of Esther. This is a study I have done before years ago and I’m looking forward to doing again with my group. I pray that God uses me for these women and their hope in Him. Also, I’m still involved in the Disciple study that goes through May this year so I’ve got a lot of ways to really make my relationship with Christ more intentional.
  2. Nurture Relationships – I feel like this goal really goes along well with my number one goal this year. In 2015 I really want to work more on strengthening my relationships with my husband, my family, and even more so, my friends. It is so easy to get caught up in daily life that I let my relationships fall by the wayside. Like I mentioned with my first goal, being more intentional means that I’m really making time for what is important. Last year, the deaths of both of my fathers really brought home the importance of relationships. I’m going to work harder on strengthening my relationship with my husband by daily making time for his needs. Whether it is as simple as being more diligent with my cleaning or making more time for physical affection, I plan on making him a priority. I want to be sure that we are setting ourselves up for success with a long and healthy marriage. In addition, Craig and I have talked at length about focusing on our friendships this year and making time to clear our schedule for our friends. We can get so busy at times that we’ve gone a whole month and haven’t spent time with anyone but ourselves. Well, this year we want to change. I want to make sure to take more time for my mom this year and I want to visit my grandparents more. Hopefully this goal will make a lasting change in our lives.
  3. Healthy Living – This past December I started taking classes at my local Pure Barre and I’ve really enjoyed the workout it gives me. I’m enjoying the classes and their varied but yet consistent nature. In addition to remaining in a workout routine for 2015 I am going to continue my healthy living by really working on my diet. I’ve decided this year that I will no longer be drinking soda (specifically dark soda). I know that if I eliminate Coca Cola Classic completely from my diet I will need something to wean me off it’s deliciousness so if I find myself somewhere (like a drive through) where I feel the need to order a soda I will order a Sprite. If y’all know me it’s how much I love a good Coke. The real thing … no diet! I drink them rarely because we don’t keep soda in the house. We know how bad sodas are for you so we treat them as special occasion drinks. With that being said, this year I plan on eliminating them entirely. Craig and I are going to try and get pregnant this year so my health is even more important now. We already do a pretty good job with our health but I plan on stepping it up with diet and exercise and regularly taking my prenatal vitamins.
  4. Better my Budget – Okay, so this is a tough one. This year I’m really going to work on my saving and spending habits. I like to think that Craig and I are pretty good at this already (at least he is) but I know that with a baby coming we really need to step up our game. I’m one of those people who really HATE to budget. Not that I can’t live with a budget, just that I hate tracking and dealing with all the math! It’s easy for me because Craig and I took a look at expenses and we have put me on a cash diet to keep my spending in check but I still find times that I’m swiping my Amex or not really knowing what I’ve spent my money on that past month. This year I want to be more conscious of the whole process and to be more active in pursuing better spending habits. We want to make sure we’re setting ourselves up financially in the best possible way, especially with a future child in the picture. Seeing as my husband is an accountant this goal is a very real one for us.
  5. Personal Development – Finally, I really want to work on myself both professionally and personally. I don’t have time to re-enroll in graduate school this year but that doesn’t mean I can’t make time to pick up Fluenz again. I want to keep my brain sharp and focus on that passion I have for life-long learning. I hope to make more time this year to really keep my mind active and engaged and less focused on trivial pursuits. I find myself spending an inordinate amount of time on Facebook that could be better used by completing a Spanish lesson or even just reading a good book! Also, I want to make more time for this blog. I find that writing is a good outlet for me and I like to share my life with y’all. It’s not a matter of finding time but of making time. This year I want to really make more time for the things that make me a better person and this is a good place to start.

So, what about y’all. What are your goals for this year? Do you have any do-overs from last year that you’d like another shot at? Are you setting just one big goal or many small goals? I’d love to know what’s in store for you for 2015!


This Life


This life is crazy. It’s difficult and rewarding and frustrating and awesome all at the same time. We’re officially in the process of purchasing our first home together. In fact, the home belongs to our landlord and therefore she’s allowing us to move in as “renters” as we work out the financing. This is such a blessing as we are beyond ready to move on from the 747 square feet we’re currently inhabiting.

We took measurements of the rooms (the two additional bedrooms are 10×10 and 9×9 which is super tiny but still doable) and we discussed the arrangement of furniture. Ultimately we’d like to knock out a wall, and re-do the kitchen, and add on a screened in porch, but right now we’re just focusing on getting in and settled and adjusted to our new space. First on the list is a new washer/dryer otherwise we’re hitting up the laundromat.

Last night, Craig and I discussed paint colors. We definitely need to give the whole house interior an overhaul but first we’re just focusing on a few rooms. The master bedroom has an accent wall in blood red that has got to go so we looked at several options and settled on Carolina Inn Club Aqua. This color choice is actually a funny coincidence because when searching for the color in examples through Google the first result is that of John and Sherry’s house over at Young House Love. I can’t believe I forgot that they originally painted their master bedroom in their second home that very color. I swear that didn’t influence my pick but it sure solidifies it.

The other color choice of Homestead Resort Parlor Taupe is for the additional bedrooms and the living spaces. It’s a good neutral that will help the home to feel lighter and brighter and more spacious. Some of the rooms have this awful sponge paint job and ALL of the rooms have that awful knock-down texture so although we can paint right now we can’t tackle the wall texture until later.

This weekend will be spent packing and possibly painting and then next weekend will be spend moving. OhMyGoodness how quickly this is all progressing! It feels like just yesterday we were all bummed out about the lack of quality homes to choose from (in our price range) in the neighborhoods in which we were interested. This property literally materialized within the past few weeks and we jumped at the chance. Craig and I couldn’t be more excited.

Speaking of Craig, he’s doing much better getting around and his knee is healing wonderfully. We had another follow up appointment recently and he’s allowed to slowly wean himself off the crutches. In addition, he can start driving again… this is, of course, the best news. He is beyond thrilled to have a bit of his independence back. He’s starting to get back into the kitchen (which is one of his favorite things to do) and he can start gardening again soon. To celebrate, he created his own blog: Account For Growth (no posts yet). This blog will be where he will share all his adventures in gardening and our healthy lifestyle. He has been growing wheat-grass and making smoothies so we will be capturing that on video for y’all soon. Very exciting!

Okay, those are the updates for now. I can’t wait to share more details as we embark on this new adventure! I know that when life gets busy this poor blog gets neglected but having Craig blogging as well should help serve as motivation to share. Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

Flipping The Bird

Yesterday was Monday. The beginning of a new week. I began this week with a new focus and a better attitude. I’m trying harder to remember what I’ve learned in therapy and do more practicing of what I’m preaching.

Overall yesterday was a pretty good day at work considering I had to leave at 3 to go to the Dentist. I haven’t had my teeth cleaned professionally in quite some time. It actually wasn’t that bad. The hard part is now the fluoride rinse I have to do the next 4 weeks until I come back for another cleaning. I have to swish for a minute with this gross solution twice a day for a minute. I tell ya, those are the longest minutes of my day.

The story I want to tell today though is what happened on the way to the Dentist.

I was driving down 2nd street in Jacksonville Beach when as I was approaching an intersection (where I did not have a stop sign) this young kid on a skateboard comes flying out in front of me. Doesn’t even look. Continues to skate in front of me in the middle of the road.

First, I almost hit him. It scared me to death thinking that I almost hit a kid. Second, he wasn’t paying attention at all so assumed maybe he had headphones in and wasn’t paying attention to his surroundings.

So I honked.

Yes, I’m that person.

He doesn’t turn around and look or move out of the way at all.

So I honk again.

He turns around and sees me and ever so slightly moves a bit more to one side of the road.

So I drive around him.

As I pass him he looks right at me and flips me the bird with both hands.

He couldn’t have been more than 15 years old.

I hope my look of shock and disgust made him think twice but I doubt it. I seriously almost pulled over my car and got out and gave him a what for. I swear I was SO close to doing that. Not that it would have done much good but I doubt that any one has taken the time to speak with this kid about right and wrong and about not being disrespectful. I seriously was shaken up by this event.

I’m still shaken up.

I don’t get it. I was worried for his safety. I didn’t want to hit him and I don’t think he was paying attention. Yet he felt that I was being unreasonable. I believe he must have thought that I should have just gone around him and allowed him to have the right of way. Ridiculous.

So, I told Craig about this story last night. Craig works out at the beach. He said that he’s seen that a lot actually. One time a kid actually followed one of the cars into the center where he works and almost approached a poor lady in her car. Yelling and cussing the entire time about how she needed to “watch out” and that he had the right to ride wherever he liked.

What is this world coming to?

I asked Craig last night if anyone he knows would have done that in high school. He said no. I said no. I really think that kids might have felt like they owned the road a bit at times but they never would have verbally assaulted anyone because of it.

Strange times we live in. I mean, I never hung out with any jerk kids like that in high school so I may not be the best person to judge whether kids were doing stuff like that in the 90s but I feel like they wouldn’t have. As we become more selfish with each generation, as we become more and more concerned with “me” and “mine” and less about community, we run the risk of these issues just continuing to escalate. This saddens me.

So, I ask you… what do you think about all this? Do you think I’m overreacting? Actually don’t answer that because I know I’m overreacting. Heck, I’m still fuming about this a day later. I’ll probably still be fuming about this next week. UGH. I just expect better from people and I’m constantly let down. I wish I had more of a realist attitude but I want better for this world.


Out With The Old…

In With The New…


Hope y’all had an enjoyable holiday! Craig and I enjoyed celebrating Christmas with our four families although we can honestly say we do not want to attempt it again next year. Have you ever seen Four Christmases? Basically the couple that normally vacations on Christmas is stuck spending time with all four parents (seeing as both parents are divorced). They have to tackle this in four parts of one day but with us we had to tackle it in four parts over a seven day span. Not quite as bad except for the fact that my father’s family lives five hours south west of here and Craig’s father’s family lives two and a half hours north of here. I’d almost rather have traveled to all in one day if they were within an hour of here. Almost.

We left Friday after work and headed down to stay with my grandparents on my father’s side. We made it down there around 9 pm seeing as we were both able to get off work a bit early that day. The traffic was horrendous because I’m an idiot and decided to travel along I-4. We spent all day on Saturday hanging at the house looking at wedding photos and talking about our plans for the new year. It was the highlight of the extend travel and I do wish we had more time with them. I don’t know exactly how much longer they will be here on earth and we both desire spending as much time as we can while we can. My father and his wife joined us that evening for Christmas dinner and then the following day, Sunday, we all joined once again for breakfast before Craig and I hit the road.

Our next stop was about an hour south of here at my mother’s. We spent the afternoon chatting before Craig and I headed to SW Grill in Daytona for Christmas dinner shared with my mother and step-father and my sister, Lauren, and her husband. We had a lovely Christmas dinner with them and spent time driving around Ormond Beach looking at Christmas lights before heading to their house for the night. We woke up Christmas Eve morning and headed back to our home just in time for a load of laundry, Christmas Eve service at Beach, and a quick dinner at a local sushi house. It was one of the best decisions we made this holiday. I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful it was to wake up Christmas morning with my love in our very own home as a newly married couple.

Christmas morning after a quick breakfast and sharing of our gifts we headed out once again for the journey northward. Craig’s father and brother and his family live in Savannah so we spent the day there with them and enjoyed watching his niece and nephew open the gifts we purchased. Craig’s brother and his wife fixed a nice spread and we brought along Craig’s mom to enjoy the family time together. Late that afternoon we, along with his mom, traveled south a bit to her house to spend the night and enjoy some quality time before heading back south.

I tell ya… on the way home, driving in the pouring rain for two hours, Craig said, “next year we’re going on vacation,” and I could not have agreed more. Don’t get me wrong. It was wonderful to spend time with family and we’re blessed to have them all in our lives. However, it is draining to be driving all over God’s green earth to fit it all into a matter of days. Craig and I spent a lovely New Years Eve at home together where he made delicious porterhouse steaks, scalloped potatoes au gratin, and roasted asparagus. We stayed up to watch the ball drop (barely) and hit the hay shortly thereafter. It was wonderful to spend some quality time just the two of us and not have to worry about driving anywhere. Best New Years Ever!

Craig mentioned to me that he believes it’s important to learn something new every year. I hadn’t really thought about the importance of dedicating time to this pursuit with intention as I always try and learn something new as often as possible but I must say I love the idea of focusing attention on one important goal for the year that is not just breaking bad habits but building new ones. This year we’ve decided to really become fluent in a new language. We both studied Spanish in high school but other than ordering a beer, “Quiero comprar una cerveza fria, por favor,” we really can’t get along well in the language. After much research we’ve decided to pursue the Fluenz study for 2013 with the goal of taking a trip that allows us to fully engage our new found skills.

For those of you that are not familiar with the language learning system, do not worry, for I intend to cover our progress extensively on this site. Along with our financial progress as we attempt to purchase a home together, I will take you along on our journey through the development of a potential mastery of travel Spanish. Craig and I both understand that we won’t ever become entirely fluent unless we are able to truly utilize the language in our daily lives but we both hope that it will help us in our careers and to expand our brain power. We would ultimately like to pursue language learning every other year or so and add to our abilities. We both enjoy travel and hope to get the most out of our experiences. Please follow along.

I hope that y’all had a wonderful celebration this holiday and that you have great plans for the new year! I’d love to hear your stories if you care to share. In addition, I’d love to hear all about your plans for the new year. Do you make resolutions? Is your number one goal to lose weight? Evidently that tops the list for a majority of folks and admittedly Craig is planning on trimming down a bit and I plan on toning a bit so we’re jumping on the bandwagon, so to speak. Today we enjoyed some Hoppin John and tomorrow we’re back to work. Another year ends and a new one begins and I’m looking forward to all the adventure to come.

Here’s to a fabulous 2013!