Monday, November 19, 2012

Big things happening

So you know how I started that new job a couple of months ago?  Well, a couple weeks ago they approached me about wanting to train me to be an opening manager!  (To which I was like yeah!!!)  Today I got my keys and codes to the buildilng.  So I am offically the newest Manager at this really great place that focuses on great customer service and quality products!!!!  So exciting, and so an answer to prayer!

I better skip off to go make some dinner, but I just had to give a little update here....  Happy Thanksgiving week!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fall in the Smokey Mountains and a Wedding!

So, October 27th was the day of our friends E & D's Wedding!!!  It was up at Castle Ladyhawke in the Mountains of North Carolina.  So we made a little trip out of it and had a great time!  Here are some pics!
Our first glimpse of the Castle.  Wow, it's gorgeous!
Stepping through the front doors and into the great? room.  This is where the Bridal Party ate dinner and once it was cleared, also where we ate cake and danced.
Part of the view off the higher balcony/deck.
More of the view off the higher balcony/deck.
Heading down the stairs to the Ceremony.
Since everyone seemed to be snapping photos, I took one during the ceremony.  Gorgrous couple and scenery!
The newlyweds!  I love how sweetly he was helping her up the stairs!
A view of more of the backside of the castle, from the lower deck.
Pretty curved Castle walls on the end of the castle.
Some flowers...
A little perspective....
End of the castle (where the ceremony had taken place earlier.)
Most of the length of the back of the Castle.
A Tudor (?) little shed.  Cute huh?
Just loved this place...this one adove and this one below are the other end of the Castle.
The Wedding Cake!  It was made by E's favorite baker in her hometown--the guy who has made every Birthday cake for her and her sisters.
A glimpse into the spiral staircase up the front tower!
A glance down the hallway in the front of the house.  As much as I loved the outside of the Castle, the inside left something to be desired (in my opinion)...the dark wood floors were pretty though.
More of the front...
The happy couple getting pics taken by that cute shed!
Soooo pretty...
And big...and close....
Hard to get whole castle in one pic...
I loved the fact there were about 15 balconies and decks....ok...maybe only 5 or 6...:)
Cutting the cake.
After the wedding we stayed the night in Cherokee at a KOA.  In fact, it's in the Smokies and is HUGE!  I think the biggest campground I've ever seen or thought of!  And we have done a lot of camping/trailering in my life!  J and I opted for a Koa Kozy Kamping Kabin because we knew we'd get in while it was dark...and didn't want to set up a tent that late.  (Plus I think we would have frozen...)

The next day we tours some of Smokey Mountain National Park!  It was SO gorgeous with all the fall colors!
I think that every park/photo opp should have these!  SO handy!  I mean, we do have tripods, but it's SO nice to just set your camera on here, set the timer and run to take the pic instead of the hastle of the pods.... 
At the Occonlauffte Vistor Center we found some brouchures about the park AND some chickens. So cute. :)
They also had a Mountain Farm Museum that we toured.  I love the Smokeys because of all the clouds (smoke appearance), Sunday morning was no exception. Lots of low clouds!
Gourds birdhouses at the Mtn. Museum.
This is an old Apple House, where they would store apples.  The mountains of NC are the perfect climate for many varieties of apples in fact.  So this was a staple in the farmers diets.  Yum!
We made a little friend along the way. :)
I love, love, love these hinges.  I really think I want some in our house (someday house!).
Rooster.  We heard him in the morning (around 6 after we'd gotten up) but it was still dark, I think he was confused...  Pretty bird though.
This above is a picture of the Turbine used to run the Mingus Mill in the National Park.  They still use this mill daily to make whole wheat flour and corn meal.  The sweet little old men running (probably volunteers) were so helpful.
Pretty waterfall from part of the water structure of the Mingus Mill.
Little pink flowers, and my hubby's glove. <3 p="p">
Mingus Mill.  (And my interpretation of it.)
Walking Tunnel up Lakeview Road in the National Park.  Used to be used for cars, not anymore.  Not too sure why....
Fall colors.  Love em!
Juney Whank Falls.
We were going to see a few more falls but ran out of time...plus it was getting colder and rainer (from the impending Hurricane Sandy)...and my shoes and socks were soaked, J's jacket starting seeping water through to his clothes...and we were ready to be off to lunch and then home...(around 2:30pm)
More fall colors, as seen from the Blue Ridge Highway between Smokey Mountain National Park and Asheville.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

How is it already the end of September?

Perhaps the biggest understatement of the year.  Alas, it is true though.  Tomorrow we'll be in October and fall will really be in full swing!

Well, a lot happened in August and September around here!

My Mom came out to visit in August and we had a great time catching up.  J, my Mom and I got to sneak down to the coast for a couple days and checked out Cape Lookout!  Wowers, super beautiful and peaceful down there.  We definitely want to visit there again!  I have now see all of the Lighthouses in North Carolina up close and in person except for Old Baldy that I saw from afar.  J has seen all of them but Currituck (and Old Baldy up close) and my Mom has seen all of them but Ocracoke (and Old Baldy up close).  So that's pretty a major accomplishment!  Cape Lookout may be my favorite though...the island doesn't have any residents except for the light-keeper.  No vehicles are allowed (except some 4 wheel-drive beaches) and you have to take a ferry to get there. (And by ferry I mean a little speed boat that holds like 10-15 people, not a people/car ferry people usually think of.)

I had a bit of a back injury/flareup and had to go to Physical Therapy for the entire months of August and September.  My official last PT appt.  was the 26th of September and it sure feels good to feel good again!  :)

I quit my job, and moved to a company where they focus on integrity and stewardship who can also give me better (earlier) hours which allows me more time to teach Voice Lessons!  Win - win! (pardon the run on sentence, it's getting late here and wanted to update...)  There are also places to move up in this company AND it's super close to where we live.  Like compare a 2 mile commute to a 9 mile commute to a whole different city!  So happy and blessed by this change! :)

We got to go up and visit my sister and her sweet family in KY at the beginning of September!  It was a pretty short trip but we really made the most of it!  It'd been 9 months since we'd seen them and they won't be able to make it out to CO for Christmas so it was extra special that we got to see them in September.  Wish we could see them more, and our whole family too...

J is doing well.  He's been busy researching, writing, taking a couple of online courses and mentoring lately.  I'm such a blessed woman, to have such a great family, set of friends and hubby. :)


Friday, July 27, 2012

As of late...

We've had one rollercoster ride of a summer thus far!  Fast and slow.  Ups and downs.  Twists and turns.  Flips, reverses...really anything you name.  It's been a great ride though, because we are on it together for every step (or crawl or leap) of the way!   I'll share a bit about our summer below...

Two days ago we celebrated 5 years since our very first date.  I know it's silly to celebrate little things like that, but really, life is celebrating little things....like that...or little other things, know what I mean?  Anyway, I made a special dinner and we had a nice time relaxing, eating, talking and then watching a movie together at home. (Love Amazon Prime Instant Videos by the way.)

Just about two months ago (well a few days less than that) we celebrated our 4th Wedding Anniversary.  I really can't believe we've already been married that long, yet in other ways it feels like we've been married longer.   All I know is that God really blessed me with an incredible man who loves God, Me and his work and puts everything he has into those.  <3  I love that man!

You know that whole last post, I'd written about 2 months ago?  Anyway, things change and that didn't work out.  All good though.  God is always good.  God is always in control.  And I'm learning to trust in that (in Him) more.

I got to visit some of my family in Colorado for a week while J went to his conference in Europe in June.  He had a great time at his conference and visiting the city he was staying in.  Bless his heart that he only was in Europe for about 4 days total (if that really, when you figure in flights, etc.)  I told him to give himself plenty of time to be tourist but he said it wouldn't be the same without his companion.  Isn't that sweet?  He did get to see quite a few things while he was there, even though it was a short trip.

I had a great visit with my parents, one of my grandmas (didn't get to see my grandma and grandpa because of some the fires at that time :(  ), my oldest sister and her family as well as a few people I got to catch up with at the Church I grew up in.  I got back to NC just about exactly as my sis from KY was heading to CO with her kids though.  It was sad that we just missed each other, but J and I plan to visit them in the early fall.

Then in the middle of July J's parents came out to visit for the first time.  It was nice to be able to show them where we live, where we work, etc.  We had a nice visit and even got to go to the Outer Banks for a bit.  (J's dad actually grew up in VA and would visit Nags Head, NC on the Outer Banks every summer!)

Monday, May 28, 2012

When dreams start to become reality....

A few weeks ago I saw an ad for a female lead singer for a country band.  J happened to be out of town at a conference, so when I talked to him that night I asked him what he thought of it.  He was very supportive about inquiring about it....so I did.  I almost immediately got a reply from the band asking for more info about me.  Then, I didn't hear from them for another week.  I had already given up hope (yes I give up quickly sometimes, I think it's a self preservation thing...) so I was quite pleasantly surprised when I got a message asking me to set up an audition time.  As it turns out they had an overwhelming response to their ad and it took a while to get through all the emails, phone calls, etc...but they had narrowed it down to 3 people and I was their first pick.  So they wanted to audition me first.  The audition was supposed to be last Thursday but then one of the band's family members was rushed to the hospital, so now it's been rescheduled for this Thursday.  :)  I realize that if it's meant to be, it will be.  But I am just super excited about this opportunity!

Funny thing happened on Thursday tho.  Since I was supposed to have the audition, I had taken my guitar into work with me.  (90+degrees and humidity=no good for guitar in car)  No one really said anything about it (or probably noticed it) on the way in.  But on my way out, I ran into a couple of the head management team members.  They were surprised to find out that I not only play guitar but sing (and have a degree in Music).  They asked my why I had never told them, and while I wanted to say "because you never asked" I didn't.  :)  To make the rest of that potentially long story shorter, they offered to pay me (a musician's wage, not just an hourly employee wage) on certain Saturdays throughout the rest of the year for a couple of hours.  I told them that my hubby plays too, and that he could accompany me, or we both could play and/or sing and stuff too.  And they were up for that.  So, now we just have to decide on which dates we'd like to do it.  The funny thing, that that in one hour we'll make more than I do in a whole day normally at my job.  (sad but cool huh?)  So, yeah, we'll be taking them up on their offer for sure AND I'm super excited about it.  A great way to get experience, make some more money and get my name (really our names) out there!  :)

It's SO interesting to see how God works things.  If I'd never seen that ad for the band, I'd never taken my guitar to work, and they wouldn't have found out (now at least) that I am musically inclined.

And I also have a potential gig for a wedding in the fall too...which is also awesome. :) (because I brought my guitar to work...perhaps I should more....jk ;)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

If I had my life to live over...

I used this title because it is quite possibly my favorite little pieces of writing ever.  It was written by Erma Bombeck wrote it back in 1979.  I have always enjoyed reading her articles because she has a quirky sense of humor.  This still has that humor but it is more on a solemn note...  (You can find lots of versions of this online btw.)

If I had my life to live over...

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the "good" living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather rambling about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle sculped like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television, and more while watching life.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick, instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment, realising that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner."

There would have been more "I love you's" and more "I'm sorry's"

. . . but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute . . . look at it and really see it . . . and never give it back."
-- Erma Bombeck



Now, this piece doesn't completely apply to me yet...but I really like the point of it.  I like the fact that it encourages me to live every moment to its fullest and really be in the moment.  I find myself so often thinking about (and planning, or at least trying to plan) for our future.  I sometimes think I get so lost in the "what ifs" of the future that I miss the present.  And that's a shame.  I'm still going to plan for the future, but I'm going to do my best to live in the present.  What happened in the past is done, what's going to happen in the future is not here yet.  So I will live in the present and enjoy every minute of it.  :)

That said, J is finishing up revisions for a paper that is getting published soon which is great.  He also received a Departmental recognition for the Month of March where he got a plaque as well as a special parking spot for that month.  J is also working on a couple of fellowship apps that are due in the coming weeks.  All is a go for him going to Germany and giving a talk at a conference.  And since I won't be able to go to Germany with him, I'm going to make a visit to Colorado this summer!  Which I am super excited about!

I just received my annual evaluation at work yesterday and it was WAY better than I thought.  Not that I don't think I work hard at work, I do.  It's just that sometimes I feel like it is all so futile...  I guess not though, because my boss gave me a sparkling (is that even appropriate for this instance?) review and I'm even more excited and pumped to give work my all now.  I've also been given some more responsibilities in the department which is cool.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Blessings and Struggles

Well, it's been such an eventful last month or so around here.  I don't think I officially said it on here yet, but J attended and presented at a conference in Cali last month.  While he was there he won an award and another amazing opportunity--to give a talk in Germany this summer!  So congrats again to him!

Then it's been a little rough around my work lately.  I'm exhausted physically, emotionally and spiritually right now.  I can't really disclose more than that, but if you wouldn't mind keeping me and that whole situation in your prayers I'd appreciate it!

Then, I did our taxes today.  I like to do them early, usually just to get them out of the way, but for some reason I felt like i had to do them today.  I don't really know why, or what came over me, but I did.  I spent my entire afternoon doing them.  I just worked 6 days in a row and now I spent my afternoon off doing taxes.  But at least they are done.

They took me more time than ever because I like checked them a million times...and after getting quite the refund last year.  We owe almost that entire amount this year.  I was so disappointed because it was the entire amount of the potential plane ticket that I could buy to go to Europe with J this summer....  I'm super glad we had the money to pay the taxes at once, but still a little disheartened over the whole thing.  :(  Needless to say, we'll be changing our withholding to hopefully ensure that doesn't happen again next year....

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Birthday Board

So, I just recently got into Pinterest--thanks to my Mom!  It's this online "pin board" and it's just great!  I saw this idea for a birthday board last week, and I just finished ours tonight!  I did it all myself with the except of a little more than half of the drilling of holes in the wooden disks because the dremel I was using died and J was happy to lend a hand with the big drill.
Sweet hubs holding it up for the pic.  (wanted to wait for the  paint to dry 24 hours before putting the mounting hardware on the back.)

I think this is such a cute way to remember birthdays of loved ones and it's a cute decorative piece too.  AND it's rotating...well sort of...I mean, you never have to change the page or anything.  Which if you know me...I have a bit of a hard time remembering to turn the pages of a calendar until like the 30th of each month.  So this is perfect!  :)  Oh and I can add more disks to it anytime a new addition arrives!