Well I blogged for (almost) a month and it was hard. Let's be honest. Which is why I missed some days. Blogging everyday is tedious. Some days I didn't have anything to write about and some days I had tons of things that I wanted to say but no time to actually sit down and write. I learned a few things along the way though.
I'm going to continue my blogging schedule. I still post twice a week. And I'll still probably pre-blog when I have free time. But I'm going to try to post in the moment too. About feelings and excitement and struggles and praises and laments. So they might not be as organized or put together. And they might not be right on schedule, but that's what you'll get...
I am dog sitting tonight. And all weekend. And for the next 2 weeks.
My parents are leaving for Costa Rica today and so I am housesitting for their wild dog. It won't be too bad, except that my commute is about to go from 7 minutes to 40 minutes! Ugh! I just hope that it doesn't rain so I can at least get some pool time this weekend.
I am actually only keeping Laney until Tuesday when Kyle gets back in town and then he is taking over. But on Saturday, my cousin and her family leave for a 2-week beach tour (1 week with her family and week 2 with his family). When she asked me, she said that I didn't have to do it. They could just crate her, but I thought it might be nice to get away. Especially since we are still living in a construction zone with no upstairs bathroom.
*Update. We do have walls now! They put up dry wall yesterday. The upstairs bathroom is still a disaster, but downstairs is starting to come back together. Although there are still no doors on the bathrooms. They are going to have to finish the walls and ceilings and paint everything, then do the entire bathroom. After that, they are replacing all the carpet which will actually effect my bedroom so I thought it would be nice to be out of the house for all that.
I think on Saturday after my cousins leave, I am bringing Laney to their house and we can all hang out there until Tuesday. That way I'll save some gas and my sanity, because I hate driving!
So that's where I'll be for the next couple of weeks. I won't mention how jealous I am that my family is going to Costa Rica and the beach while I am staying at home at working. Nope, not gonna mention it at all...
Remember that time my house flooded? No, not that time. The other one.
Yep, that's right. The house flooded. Again. Although not nearly as bad. Last night, I was lying in bed about to turn off my light and fall asleep when I hear knock on my door. My roommate comes in and tells me to come downstairs because there is water everywhere. Apparently, my other roommate had tried (unsuccessfully) to do a load of laundry. I went downstairs to find water in the laundry room and bathroom and into the closet. It was on the wood and some of the insulation was wet. So we cleaned everything up, threw out the ruined insulation and went to bed.
I had done 2 loads of laundry that morning with no problems. Turns out they had unplugged things to move them around and "forgot" to reconnect. I was at work when they got there the next day, but my roommate told them about what happened. They apologized, but said that everything was dry and they didn't have to redo anything or bring the fans back in. Praise God! So we are back on track and hopefully finished with floods forever!
Man, this blogging everyday thing is tiring. But it's Memorial Day and I'm off work. Three day weekends are the best! No, I don't have any real plans, but an extra day off work is always great and very appreciated!
I had a pretty lazy weekend. Friday I sat around and somehow got hooked on a show that is trashy TV at it's finest: Marriage Bootcamp: Reality Stars. There was a marathon on and I have always loved Trista and Ryan from way back when I actually watched the Bachelor/ette so I started watching and then I couldn't stop. Apparently this was season 2. Season 1 features Heidi and Spencer so I may have to check up on that one too. Season 3 is about to start and Jeff and Jordan, my favorite couple from Big Brother/Amazing Race are on it. Yeah, so I may have found a trashy summer show to watch...
I finally peeled myself off the couch and met Hillary for drinks and guac at Las Delicias before going over to a friend's house to meet another friend's girlfriend. That was complicated. A friend, Leonard was in town with his girlfriend (soon to be fiance) and he wanted us to meet her. He ended up going to the casinos with guys, so his girlfriend, Amanda, hung out with a friend while they were gone. Hillary and I went over to meet her. She seemed really sweet and she was a lot cooler than I would have been if my boyfriend had left me with someone I didn't know and their 4 children while he went gambling with his friends. Until 4 am! A lot cooler than me!
Saturday, I drove out to the suburbs to see my dad. I had another lazy day, while he washed my car. He's pretty awesome! :) I ran some errands in Collierville before driving back to the city to get ready for the night. Hillary and Wesley picked me up and we went down to the River for the final Sunset Symphony. It was packed! They announced record-breaking numbers, but there were people everywhere!
We met up with some friends (there were probably 30 of us in all), got some food- and funnel cake and enjoyed the show. The air show was first and it was incredible! I am amazed that people can do that! Then right as the sun was setting, the orchestra started.
After the symphony, was the largest fireworks show in the history of Memphis in May. That was their claim, at least, but it was pretty impressive so I believe it!
Sunday, after church, my cousin called and asked if I wanted some pool time. Well, I can't say no to that so we drove out to my parent's house (after a quick Sonic stop for cherry limeades) and relaxed by the pool. At least relaxed as much as you can with an almost 2-year-old running around. But she loved the water and it was so fun to watch her splashing around!
Today, I plan to relax. Do laundry and get groceries, because I am officially out of cream for my coffee and that is where I draw the line! I may try to find a cookout to crash, but otherwise I plan to keep it pretty low-key.
I posted a picture of Zoom through the Zoo yesterday, so I thought I would share a little more about it. I'm trying to actually run more regularly and build up some mileage and actually train. I decided that I needed to sign up for some more races. Give me some motivation.
Then my roommate, who doesn't run, said that she wanted to do a 5K or something so she had something to look forward to. I jumped on the opportunity and suggested Zoom through the Zoo. Which turned into us registering for the entire M-town series. The M-town series is a set of 4 races that are "quintessentially Memphis." They are run every other week and are all at night. Zoom through the Zoo was first and is a 4-miler. Next is the Harbortown 5K. I've talked about how much I love Harbortown. It reminds me of Seaside a little bit (minus the ocean). I've never done the race before but I've heard it's a fun one. Then is the Gibson Guitar 5K which is downtown and a nod to Memphis's music tradition. And lastly is the Stars and Stripes 5K- a great way to kick off 4th of July weekend!
Zoom through the Zoo is one of my favorites though. Because, you know, animals. The race starts outside the zoo and runs through Overton Park and then circles back through the zoo. The giraffes weren't out, but I did get to see the elephants- and pretty much all of the African Veldt. Then after the race, there was live music and free beer and barbecue!
It was unseasonably cold though. It was in the mid-50s all day, which was perfect running weather, but made it a little chilly afterwards when you're trying to hold a cold beer. Otherwise, a great race! Bring on the next one!
It's Friday. Time for some pics. No other introduction needed...
One night I went for a run in the neighborhood. I get to the corner and hear music and see people everywhere. Apparently, there was a Pup Crawl. People brought their dogs and all the area restaurants had drink and dinner specials. Everyone was sitting out on restaurants patios with their four-legged friends enjoying the weather and company. It was very European! And made me want a puppy really badly!
I was driving home from work one day and saw this. I had to turn around and drive back for a picture. This artist is so talented. That really looks like Mike Conley. And it was done with spray paint! So impressive! Also, have I mentioned that I love graffiti! Sadly, the grizz couldn't pull it off and Stephen Curry and the Warriors advanced, but it was a great run and a fantastic season! All heart, grit and grind!
I already talked in detail about the demolition of the house. Here is just one picture to remind you. The fans and dehumidifiers are up now. I think they are coming by today to check the moisture level and take down the fans if everything looks okay.
Last night, I ran the first race in a series of 4 for the M-town series. Zoom through the zoo is a 4-miler (the rest of the series is all 5ks) through Overton Park and the zoo that ends with beer and barbecue in the zoo. Need I say more?
Tomorrow is a sweet friend's birthday so I thought I would celebrate a little early...
You have always been there for me- through the good times and bad. We have gone through plenty of rough times together and made it through the other side stronger and closer than ever. You put up with I get mad at you. And are one of the few people worth fighting with. You are willing to give me time and space to process things my way, but always willing to come back when I'm ready to talk. You have listened to me vent and rant and cry more times than I'd like to admit. We can do absolutely nothing together and still have fun. We can go from joking to serious conversations to laughing again in one breath. I know that you will always care about me and protect me. You pray for me and continue to point me to Christ.
I am so thankful for you! Your friendship means more to me than you will ever know! Happy birthday, babe! I hope today is the best day ever!
Yep, I now live in a construction zone. I didn't post all the pictures yesterday because I hadn't uploaded them yet, but here they are...
They started working downstairs in the bathroom.
They tore up the vanity and the closet.
It was initially a mess...
But they actually put it back together nicely. Which is great considering it's the only bathroom we have for a while.
Jamie has just enough room to sleep...
Then they moved into the kitchen.
And hallway to the laundry room.
Upstairs started off pretty calm.
Just a vanity in the living room.
Then they got to the real work. I walked upstairs to this...
And now the bathroom looks a little different.
I jokingly said that if you had really good balance, you could still get to the shower. They must have sensed my thoughts because they put up blue painter's tape on the door before they left. There is a small strip of carpet taken out from my room, but otherwise my sanctuary is preserved! Work has been light this week because there is a resident on my team so I have gotten off early. It's been nice to come home and close my door and drown out the other noise!
Today, they bring the fans back. And they are saying the fans will be up for 3-4 days. It's going to be loud around here! But you know what? I am not in control. And me freaking out and stressing about any of this will not change one single thing. I might as well laugh about it, right?
I talked briefly about how our toilet upstairs overflowed one night while we were sleeping. They brought in fans to dry everything out and then things stalled. Now we are moving on to phase 2 which includes cutting out drywall and tiles and baseboards and carpet. My roommate/owner of the house decided to change the carpet. The carpet we have in the bedrooms now is standard, builder carpet and it shows everything and get dirty so fast! She wants to put in something more durable, which is a great plan, but it means that we are replacing all the carpet and not just the carpet that was damaged. That means that my previously untainted sanctuary bedroom is getting a makeover.
I know that it will be great when it's finished, but in the meantime, it is a pain! Because they are replacing the carpet, everything has to be off the floors. They are going to move all the furniture themselves, but I had to box up all the picture frames and small, fragile things. So I spent my Saturday cleaning, organizing, and boxing my room up.
We moved as much as we could down to the living room, which is pretty much the only room that was not affected. It now houses boxes from my room, the coat closet, the pantry, the laundry room, and the bathroom.
Then the contractor came and closed off the kitchen so that we could use part of it and not get dust everywhere!
Demolition started yesterday. They ripped up part of the carpet, but my room is still safe- for now. But the upstairs bathroom and the half bath downstairs are totally unusable! They are estimating everything will take about 3 weeks. It's going to be crazy! It will be an adventure. And all this packing has forced me to do some Spring cleaning and purge a lot of things I don't need. I'm going for a minimalistic vibe... I'm trying to be optimistic!
In case you've been living under a rock (or don't have a borderline obsessive love like I do), you know that Pitch Perfect 2 came out this weekend. It was inappropriate and hilarious and full of songs. I decided that I desperately needed a girls night so what better time than a midnight showing of Pitch Perfect?!
* We actually went at 9:30 on Thursday. They also had a 7 showing. Apparently they don't do midnight showings much anymore because kids were staying out all night and then skipping school the next day or something...
So girls night was planned. Dinner and a movie. Time to catch up on life and then time to laugh together. Just as it should be. But then life happened. Everyone had things come up and were running behind and we didn't get to dinner until way later than we had planned. Dinner was at a cool new pizza place. Well, the pizza place isn't new, but the location is. We ate on the rooftop patio. It was great and the weather was perfect! But because we were trying to get to a movie, the dinner was rushed and the conversation was virtually non-existent.
Then we went to the movie, and while hilarious, it didn't inspire much conversation. An anticipated night of conversation and catching up turned into just another superficial hangout. Blah! Real girls night will have to be rescheduled...
Back to last weekend... So I technically missed my brother's graduation. I stayed in Memphis to go to the baby shower. I had already RSVP'd for the shower before my mom even told me that, by the way, he was graduating. And he actually graduated in December. It is a small school and they only do 1 ceremony a year so everyone walks in May. This is how Vanderbilt does graduation too. And the reason why I didn't walk for grad school. I graduated in August. I didn't want to go back to the following May just to walk.
*Emo side note: my brother's high school graduation was the same day as my college graduation. My dad came down to Birmingham for mine while the rest of the family went to my brother's. Not a major deal. Everyone was at my high school graduation and I am a huge daddy's girl so I would have picked him anyway. But after graduation, my dad and I finished loading up our cars and drove back to Memphis. When we got home, I walked in to the house and got sad for the first time. I felt like I had missed something- been left out. The kitchen was messy with remnants of a celebration and everyone was taking a nap, tired from the graduation party. Fast forward 6 years later (it took my brother some time to figure out what he wanted to do), after graduation everyone went out to lunch while I drove up from Memphis. When I got to Nashville, my cousins and aunt and uncle had already driven home, my sister had taken one of my nieces to a birthday party, and my parents were taking a nap. It was a weird deja vu. And not in a good way. (Remind me to bring that up in therapy... lol)
Anyway... back to the point of this post. My brother and I have not always had the closest relationship. As in, we didn't talk for a few years. We were cordial when we were both home for holidays but that was about the extent of it. Some of my friends from college didn't even know that I had a brother. I used to think it was just the age difference. He was just starting high school when I went off to college and so we didn't really "grow up" together, but there was so much more to it than that.
My brother and I are very different! Our personalities are different. We make different choices and different mistakes. For a long time, I just didn't get him. I couldn't understand why he did the things he did and he didn't know enough about me to trust me with anything. That coupled with my mom simultaneously telling me about things he was doing that frustrated her and asking me why we didn't have a better relationship, was recipe for disaster- or just total avoidance.
For a while, I didn't care. I had resigned myself to the fact that this was the way things were going to be. Then I decided that I wanted things to be different. I had always prayed for my brother, but I started to pray for us and our relationship. I was initially very skeptical about it. Even in my prayers, I wasn't sure anything was going to change. But then slowly it did. Slowly, but surely, things began to change. God began to change my heart.
I was thinking about it as I was driving to Nashville. My brother and I have a real relationship. Not just cordial, not just superficial. My brother and I probably have deeper conversations than I have with anyone else in my family. He calls to ask for my opinions and advice. We are friends! That is something that I never would have thought was possible! God not only answered my prayer. He gave me more than I even knew to pray for!
Garrett, I am so proud of you! I am so proud to be your big sister! On your graduation, as you are embarking on a new chapter of life and a new job, I challenge you to keep stones of remembrance. Don't forget how far God has brought you. Look on your past and see how God has intricately woven your path to bring you to where you are today. He has written your story for His glory! I am so encouraged seeing you pursue the Lord and grow as a man of God! I love you!
I'm pretty sure I have already shared all these pictures, but here they are all in one place...
Baby shower with friends.
I found this little treasure on one of my bookstore adventures and I am now kind of obsessed. It's is similar to Goodnight Moon, but with all local Memphis attractions.
When I was in Nashville, I went with my brother-in-law to my niece's end-of-the-season soccer party. It was at one of those build your own pizza places and she loved it because she could customize her order and she doesn't like cheese on her pizza (Who is this kid!?) Then they all ate cupcakes and got trophies.
She was really proud of her trophy! This pose was all her own.
Yes, I know I haven't been writing everyday. Life has been busy, so I'm not even going to apologize for it.
Back to the weekend, Saturday morning instead of driving up to Nashville, I went to a friend's baby shower. I have written about these girls before. Coincidentally, after a baby shower.
At our 10 year high school class reunion
That was a long time ago. There have been multiple moves and 3 babies since then. This time, it was for Diana. She and her husband and currently in Arizona and about to move to Hawaii (He's in the military) so she came home for a baby shower before the big move.
We played some games. One where we passed around a doll and had to give Diana advice, which I avoided at all costs. Then we watched her open some presents for her baby boy. She got a lot of great stuff. I didn't realize how much until afterwards when it was all on display. Then my first thought was, she has to ship all of that to Hawaii! Oops!
I had to rush out after the shower to get to Nashville for the rest of the weekend, so we planned to meet for dinner on Monday night to actually talk before Diana left. Sally, Diana, and I met at Memphis Pizza Cafe. Sara couldn't make it. I guess when you have a husband and 2.5 kids, life is busy :)
But we had a good dinner talking about cloth diapers and co-sleeping and SIDS and breastfeeding. All typical hippie mom stuff. I contributed a lot to the conversation... lol And we are now planning a joint 30th birthday trip to Hawaii next Spring while Diana's husband is deployed!!
You thought this was going to be about Mother's Day post, didn't you? Nope! Well kind of, but today is my mom's birthday!
It was a weekend full of celebrations and I'm breaking them up some to post about them. This post would probably have been very different if I had prewritten it, but last night my mom sent me an email. That's all I'm going to say, but if you know about our relationship, you can infer what you will. All that to say (or hint at the fact) that I'm writing this the morning of (I took off work today) and the feel of this is very different than it would have been if I had written it before bed last night.
Anyway, that was a lot of superfluous information. Sunday was a good day. My brother-in-law went out early to get bagels for breakfast. They all went to church early and my mom and I stayed home longer, drank coffee and ate bagels, and watched some Good Morning, America pieces on mothers. It was a peaceful morning. Then we got ready for church and met the rest of the family. If you know my family at all, you know that- aside from me- they are not big planners so after church we were trying to figure out where to go eat. My mom initially said brunch so my brother-in-law called a place and put our names on the list. My mom and I got there first. She walked inside, looked around, and walked back out. It was not at all what she wanted. So she switched it up to lunch and we called around to some different restaurants that weren't doing special reservation only seating.
We ended up at Wild Ginger, an asian fusion restaurant, and it was delicious! They actually did have a special brunch menu and we ate amazing food and drank mimosas. After lunch, we went back to my sister's and put the girls down for a nap then my mom, sister, and I sat on the porch and talked. Super casual, but relaxing. We talked about going somewhere but no one had the energy.
Eventually it was time to get on the road. We said our goodbyes and headed west. I don't know what the plan is today. My mom has to work, but maybe I'll see if she wants to meet up on a patio somewhere for drinks after work!
Mom, thanks for loving me and for always being there for me. You're the best! I love you!
I feel like I'm running around like a crazy person this morning. It's my own fault. I did not plan things out in advance as well as I usually do and now i'm trying to do 800 things all at once. The Type A planner in me is stressed!
I have a baby shower for a high school friend this morning and then I'm leaving there to drive straight to Nashville for my little brother's graduation and then Mother's Day tomorrow. I'm trying to pack and wrap presents and do laundry and clean my room. I could have had a relatively calm morning, but instead I decided to wake up at 5:30 on my day off because I wanted to get things done. And go for a run. You know, for my sanity.
I woke up to pouring rain so instead of my plans of peaceful, sunny run outside to clear my head, I raced over to the gym and got a couple miles in on the treadmill. Not ideal, but better than nothing. I already feel calmer.
Know what else makes me feel calmer? I took off work Monday. I like to take off random days every once in a while to get things done and I knew with traveling, it would be nice. I know that Nashville is not technically travel. It's only 3 hours away, but, as you know, I am a creature of habit and being gone all weekend, driving home on Sunday afternoon and working the next day stresses me out. I thought having an extra day to get back in my schedule and get things done (like grocery shopping and stuff) would be nice!
So I'm off! I will write all about the weekends happenings next week. Enjoy your weekend!
Sunday, I went to church at Levitt Shell. (My previousformerI don't know what to call it church) Levitt Shell is an outdoor venue that hosts a concert series through the Spring/Summer. This Sunday we spent the morning outside in creation worshipping the Creator. The weather was perfect- if not a little bit hot. We had church and then some time of fellowship and food trucks. Because food trucks.
At some point, they told everyone to pull out their phones and take a selfie. Jamie and I decided to take one together. I love looking at the people in the background that are also taking selfies. If you want to see more, check out the hashtag #FMOurCity
On the way to the Cinco de Mayo pub run on Tuesday, I saw this motorcyclists in front of me. He is in shorts and a tshirt without a full helmet. And look closely. He's not wearing any shoes! Seriously. He is riding his motorcycle with socks on. Not the smartest plan. Also, PSA: road rash is a bitch!
I already talked about the Cinco de Mayo pub run, but here is a picture of the whole group! Group runs are fun! So much energy! #memrun
Cinco de Mayo isn't complete without a margarita. And if you don't take a picture of it, then did you even really drink it? ;) I also meant to take a picture of the fish tacos. But then I ate them. Oops! They were delicious!
This is how I currently spend most afternoons after work. In the backyard, with a book, soaking up some vitamin D. Life is good. And I love Spring!
This has been a hard week at work. I feel like I am running a hospice service right now. I have had 2 patients die this week (both expected) and I have a few more that are on the brink of it. I know I have talked about this before, but death is so emotionally draining. Thankfully all these patients and their families know and have accepted it. My focus now is to keep them comfortable. But going into one patients room after another talking about cancer and comfort and death is hard!
So I left work tired and decided to go to a Night of Worship at a local theatre. *Side note: This is the same theatre where I played Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol in 3rd grade. It was a lot smaller than I remember!
But we were all in the theatre for an hour for just a time of worship. It was great. Exactly what I needed last night. A time to get the focus off me and just worship. But it made me start thinking about work some and about my patients and about their deaths- and even my own. I worry about my patients often, whether I'm at work or not. I pray for my patients too, but last night I was convicted. I have patients dying- literally daily- and what am I doing about it? So I'm going to work on it. Today is going to be better!
Happy Cinco de Mayo, y'all! I know that technically by the time you are reading this, Cinco do Mayo is over, but I'm writing this on the 5th so I'm still celebrating!
A little history for you: Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of the Mexican victory over France in the Battle of Puebla in 1862. It is not the Mexican Independence Day, as many think. It is not that popular in Mexico aside from the city of Puebla. It initially became popular in the United States in California when Mexican miners heard the news of the victory and celebrated. They continued to celebrate in California since then, but did not spread to the rest of the US until the 1960s. It did not gain real popularity until the 1980s when capitalism took over and beer and alcohol companies took advantage of the consumers.
Bet you didn't know all that! I didn't realize that the popularity was so recent. See, you learn something new everyday!
I'll be honest, the reason that I really even did anything to celebrate was because of the blog. So I guess thanks for forcing me out of my comfort zone. I worked all day and after work, it was sunny and 80s so I came home and laid out in the backyard with a good book. I would have been very content to stay there are read all night except for the fact that I knew that I was blogging everyday this month and that blogging about reading a book in the backyard wasn't super exciting.
So I finally picked myself up and got dressed and went over to the local running store for a Cinco de Mayo pub run! I bought new running shoes this weekend, so I was ready to test these babies out! After signing a release, getting a tshirt, and taking a massive group picture, we were off.
Our first stop was a Mexican restaurant about a mile and a half away. I was tempted to get a margarita, but I didn't want to peak too soon. And the line was crazy long, so I held off. I ended up meeting up with some people and we left the first stop early in order to beat the rush to stop 2, a local brewery. I'm a sucker for craft beer so I had to get one there.
After a beer and some hanging out, we ran to our 3rd and final stop, a German beer garden. Yes, I did say German beer garden. And yes, I did get a margarita and fish tacos. It is Cinco de Mayo after all!
We all hung out and enjoyed the gorgeous patio weather and cheered on the other runners as they trickled in. It was a great night with fun people and perfect weather. Have I mentioned that I love Spring?
Congratulations Mexico! You defeated the French! How did you celebrate Cinco de Mayo?