Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Exciting Developments...

Let me start by saying that some of us (namely me) suck at this whole blogging thing. I love reading everyone's updates but for some reason I NEVER update my own blog (in case you haven't noticed). Then again, my husband updates three or four times a day so I am pretty much covered... right?

Moving on...

We have been busy! We are officially moved in to "The Garden District" and seem to be settling in just fine. I like the new place a lot. It actually seems bigger with all of our stuff inside than it did completely empty! We have had to get creative on storage because of the limited space. I bought lifts for the bed so that we could store most of our folded clothes underneath in plastic bins. It really seems like it will work perfectly. On the down side we almost have to make a running leap at the bed to make it in at night.
We decided against renting the stackable washer/dryer for the closet in the living room and as it turns out we couldn't have managed any other way. So just to give some fair warning, some of you (you know who you are) may be seeing us on laundry day. I promise we'll bring beer or wii or whole wheat boboli crusts (depending on the generous homeowner of the week)!
Our fine feline companion is also settling in quite nicely. He has been more affectionate than ever in the past few days. I think he really likes it here!
This afternoon we made a trek around the Capitol Heights area scouting homes. It was a lot of fun, but there are definitely some real fixer uppers around that neighborhood! Here are a few of the places we liked...This on has a beautiful, recently re-done back yard/porch area... but it is only a 2 bed 1 bath!

Probably the best looking "fixer upper"... as in it has the most potential to be really pretty.
This one is at the upper reaches of our budget (as in spam for breakfast, lunch and dinner), but MAN its pretty!
This house is not in Capitol Heights, but it is actually in our price range and on our street (historic marker included!)... but will it still be available when we're ready to buy?!

Needless to say we aren't ready to buy juuuust yet, but it is fun to look. There are a few more things that need to fall into place before we're ready to move again, but I have no doubt that now that we're back in Montgomery it's all gonna work out.

Just a couple more things...

1. I have the best in-laws ever. Transient or not I always feel at home when I'm with them.

2. How awesome is movie night going to be?!

3. I had the good fortune of meeting the two sweetest babies ever! Lily and Harper are truly a gift from God! (Luke kinda freaked, but we even got to hold them!)

4. We're baaaaaack!

So... we are going through a pretty exciting time now! The future seems very bright! And I am so happy to be home!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

So excited I can hardly stand it... but trying to play it cool.

Luke keeps telling me to try and not be "too" excited because nothing if for sure just yet...but... I can't stand it!

I just found out yesterday that the Montgomery PI is in need of a manager and we may be moving back home!!!!!

As some of you may have already heard I have been up for one of the upcoming regional manager positions with my company.  Unfortunately to accept either of these positions we would have to move to Philadelphia or Phoenix.  Which for obvious reasons we didn't want to move that far away from home.  So we were faced with the decision of what to do next.  I accepted the Hoover studio with the understanding that I would quickly move up the food chain and become upper management.  Then priorities began to shift.  We started to realize that, well, we like it in Alabama.  Also, we started to think about buying a home and eventually starting a family.  Well, we just didn't want to do those things so far away from our family and friends.  But unfortunately we didn't have jobs in Montgomery (where we eventually wanted to end up).  So we were stuck in Hoover.  Luke and I have agreed that we feel that Hoover has seemed like a place that we are visiting, even though we have been here for almost a year.  Our apartment is nice but feels like an extended-stay hotel.  All and all we just haven't planted any roots here.
Then I find out that I could be back in the Montgomery studio in under two weeks!  One job in Montgomery down one to go! Neither Luke or I wan him to leave Axcan, but the chance to move back home seems too good to be true.  I just don't know if we can pass it up!  We have been really considering buying a house and neither of us want to commit to the Birmingham area for a minimum five years (to build enough equity to sell).
We haven't heard the definite 'yes, pack up and move', but the possibility... yipee!
We will have to think long and hard about job opportunities for Luke, but (I think we're on the same page) it is worth it.
Please keep us in your prayers.  I know that the potential problems that could be incorporated in such a quick move seem small in the grand scheme of things, but they are big to us.  Overall, I'm excited and nervous, but... I can't wait!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

It is done.

So, SJP I am not, but I love my new hair!  The photo doesn't even due it justice.  I think this may be the best hair cut I've ever gotten.  Thank you to everyone who posted/encouraged me to do it!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

An opinion please...

Please ignore for a moment that this is a teeny picture and I totally edited her hair to make it brown instead of blonde...

I have been debating a new haircut.  That being said, I could be easily convinced to go for the just-a-trim-because-I'm-growing-it-out route.  But I think that this may be a cute option.  My adoring husband won't vote, because he says it should be 'whatever I want'.  But I'm just a big ol' girl when it comes to these things and I need some honest opinions (and no, this is not shameless comment pandering!).

I'll take my Lincoln Towncar now please.

I have officially joined the league of old lady drivers everywhere.  
Let me preface the explanation with a few facts...

I love my car.
The Sentra usually gets anywhere from 28-32 mpg.
Today on a road trip from Hoover to Mobile (and back again) I got an impressive 36 miles per gallon!

Wanna know how I did it?

I drove the speed limit.
Wild, isn't it?

I usually max out around 78-80 mph while on the interstate.  I never drive over 80 (intentionally).  So pulling back to 70 mph was not a drastic cut-back.  But because I did cut back I made it from 60 miles South of Montgomery to my apartment on a quarter of a tank!

Crazy, huh?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Do I wear the orange hat with the green scarf or the blue beret with the gold broach?

Our trip to London is quickly approaching and I must admit my biggest concern (now that the flight and B&B is booked) is what to wear! The last time I traveled over seas it was to Italy and Greece, and lets face it, I had no hopes of fitting in there! Too pale and too low fashion. Everywhere we went it was 'American? I can help you!' Not Canadian, Australian or even British... American. I'm not saying that I'm not 'proud to be an American', but there is something to be said for submersing yourself in a culture and... not sticking out like a sore thumb! Now finally I'm going to a place that pale skin and frizzy hair isn't too abnormal. Finally!
The travel book that Luke picked out suggests bringing all types of clothing (year round). This way, you may dress for the temperature and not be perceived as a rude American, by complaining about it being too hot or too cold. I get it. That's a great idea. But I have this little thing that I like to call 'over-packers disease'. Once I get started I can't stop! Some where deep down I think that I am part boyscout or something. I can't stand not 'being prepared'. I have to have a sweater in summer and short-sleeves in winter. I'll definitely need my dressy jeans and my casual jeans... my skinny pants and my I-had-one-too-pints-at-that-last-pub pants... But where does it end? I also have to take into consideration that I have to get through security/customs twice (each way). Fortunately I don't have a wardrobe entirely comprised of liquids and gels, but still... my blow dryer looks like a weapon! Speaking of which I need to get an outlet converter or else I really will be aiming a deadly weapon at my head...
I really want to go shopping for new things. I want to get a new hair cut. But then again I want to save my money for the trip! What is a girl to do? I may have one idea...

Monday, April 7, 2008

Quotable Quotes

I just picked up a copy of Still Life With Woodpecker by Tom Robbins.  After the dedication and before the prologue there are a couple of quotes, one of which I just love.  It got me thinking.  What are some of your favorite quotes?

Here's the one that I read:

"You don't need to leave your room,
Remain sitting at your table and listen.
Don't even listen, simply wait.
Don't even wait.
Be quite still and solitary.
The world will freely offer itself to you.
To be unmasked, it has no choice.
It will roll in ecstasy at your feet."
-Franz Kafka

Friday, April 4, 2008

10 things... that bring me joy!

So in order to follow up that miserable pity party I have decided to make my own twist on my recent 'tag' of "ten things you may or may not know about me".

1. I am amazingly blessed to have married the love of my life.  He is loving, caring, forgiving and most importantly in recent months... tolerant.  I'll be the first to admit that I have had basket-case tendencies in the past few months.  He has managed to put up with discussions about my job, our future, where we'll live, and, in general 'our paths'.  What can I say,  I've been slightly obsessed.

2. Our families.  I have been very fortunate to find that my mother and sister are two of the best friends I've ever had.  We're silly together.  We shop together.  We can ever share a few margaritas and bitch together.  And besides, they're family... they have to put up with me.  And not to brag, but I think I may have the best in-laws that the world has ever known.  E is hilarious, loquacious, and admirable.  Truly a great friend and ally. H is sweet, caring and overall just a good guy.  He makes me feel that I am really his daughter.  And T, well, its fun having a kid brother.

3. Our fantastically fat Kitten (pictured above in his newly acquired Montgomery Biscuits souvenir helmet).  We have had many self-proclaimed 'not cat people' people tell us how awesome he is... and he is.  Mr. Sullivan is fluffy, fat and fabulous.  He is much more like a dog than any cat I've ever met.  He greets me at the door, begs for food and even lets me pet his belly.  By far, my favorite thing that he does is nuzzling my arm and falling asleep in my lap.  Second to that is his 'flop' (nuzzling my feet and then collapsing to the floor... I can't do the cuteness justice).

4. Our trip to England.  I am so excited to share a little piece of Europe with my beau.  As long as my vacation days work out, we will be leaving in mid May and have just under a week to see all we can see of London (and because we are dorks... Cardiff).  Luke has been to London before, but he was a teenager... so no pubs... so he hasn't really been to London.  I've been to Italy and Greece.  But it will be nice to go a country that speaks our native language, sort of.  

5. Our friends.  We certainly don't see our friends nearly as often as we would like, but they are a source of joy in my life none the less.  We were blessed to have some concurrent vacation time and were able to go to Montgomery for the Biscuits opener.  Although it makes me very sad to think of all the fun we miss out on while being in Birmingham, the time that we do have is amazing.  When we returned home today we met up with Cassie and Jacob for a rainy day cookout which was filling to say the least.

6. Spring.

7. Cleaning.  I love bathing in a clean shower and crawling into a made bed.

8. The sound the Kirby makes through the WiiMote when I select him as my character for serious ass kickin' on SSBB.

9. Reading blogs.  It's like non-creepy voyeurism. 

10. A good book.  Come to think of it... I go back to work on Tuesday... I'm going to be in need of a good distraction... any suggestions?

In conclusion I would like to apologize for my previous pity party.  I have so much joy in my life sometimes it is too easy to pin-point the things that aren't perfect and forget about all the blessings.  I have so many things to be thankful for and one of them, dear reader, is you!

Did you miss me...

*note picture added as ironic side-note... I actually meant this... sad isn't it?

Probably not, but I'm back anyways...

You know how you feel when you run into an old friend that you haven't seen in years?  You used to be really close, but you just drifted apart.  Of course, you're excited to see them, but when they ask how you've been and what has been happening in your life, you just don't know how to sum up years worth of experiences so you just say...'not much'.  That's how I feel as I sit here typing.  It seems that all at once, everything and nothing at all has happened.  Work is work.  I could complain more, but I don't want to risk sounding like a broken record.  I am still in need of change and at risk of becoming stagnant.  I would look for new work, but it seems pointless.  I know too many people looking and not finding.  Besides I would be immediately fired if I was caught submitting my resume anywhere.  I make great money now. yeah.  I find myself starting to hate the green stuff.  I move to B'ham for this job/the promotion it promised and now I find myself not even wanting it anymore.  If I stick it out they may even move me to the great city of Philadelphia... awesome.  It is absolutely DUMB to give up my wages for a job that I am good at... on the verge of being the best at... but I feel my heart pulling me down another path.  Unfortunately all the things that I want seem to be ironically attached to money and if I leave this job for the sake of happiness/sanity those things will completely vanish as possibilities.  Sometimes I just want to crawl back into the womb.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

LJM's previous TV appearance

As all of you I'm sure have suspected...

Yes, LJM has been performing under the assumed name 'Amanda Overmyer' on TVs beloved American Idol.  Please do not continue to vote for the LJM.  A vote for LJM actually binds you, in contract, with Satan himself.  You have been warned.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

7 odd things about me...

Laura tagged me on her blog.... so here's my response...

1.  I LOVE television.  I'm not talking I watch an hour or two every night.  no, no. I plan my days around tv shows, wait with baited breath to see what has happened to my favorite characters and watch even the fluff shows (like Designing Women-- my favorite).  The awesome power of DVR has allowed me to have a somewhat normal social life, but even Luke knows not to disrupt 'my shows'.

2.  (in response to Laura's #2)  I cannot stand spicy foods.  I usually blame it on being allergic to my braces when I was in the fourth grade and having an open wound instead of a mouth for a year of my life... but really... I'm just a wuss.

3.  I have a tattoo of two 'f holes' on my back-- like Man Ray's "Violin d'Ingres".

4.  I love working with my hands.  Any excuse to get my hands dirty is a good one (almost).  As long as it is creative or constructive I enjoy it.

5.  I always wear a bra... even when I sleep.

6.  I'm really good with numbers.  I can recall long strings of numbers with relative ease.  Letters on the other hand... they always move around on me.  I can't spell and some days I can hardly read.  The entire time I was reading "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy "Gandalf" read to me as 'Gadlaf'.  I have no idea why.

7.  I love, love, love to make people laugh.  

So there ya have it!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

In Desperate Need of a Change

So recently I have found myself waiting for a big change to come along.  I just needed something to happen.  I found myself just sitting around worrying, over nothing.  It was like a new hobby I was developing, the constant need to fret.  I never had anything to direct my frustrations at, just overall dissatisfaction.  Which is even more frustrating in and of itself, because I have so much to be happy about.  I have a good job, a fantastic husband and a ridiculously adorable cat.  But even still I had nothing in particular weighing on my conscience, and it was driving me crazy.  
A few weeks ago I went to visit a friend of mine who recently gave birth to her first child.  A beautiful little girl.  I did what any good friend/photographer would do in the situation.  I took pictures.  Because of my job I wasn't able to attend any of the pre-baby activities or really spend anytime at all with my friend while she was pregnant.  So I compensated for the potentially awkwardness of the situation by doing something I'm comfortable with... hiding behind my camera.  I couldn't quite empathize with the pain or drama or life altering affect of child birth so while everyone chatted I snapped photos.  So when that was done I just sat there in awe of the situation.  I have been friends with this girl for over ten years.  She was one of my first friends when we moved from Georgia to Alabama. The first time I met her she was in the eighth grade and carrying around a baby doll.  We stayed friends throughout high school and even  though I was a year ahead of her in school we ended up going to the same college and staying friendly.  She ended up being a bridesmaid in my wedding and I in turn was one of eight attendents in her wedding (which was just a few months after mine).  And now she is a mother. Crazy.  But I digress.  
So there I am sitting there in my friends house, holding her new baby and like a git what am I doing?!  Feeling sorry for myself. 
 The promotion I was waiting for had been postponed.  And as much as I had told myself I wouldn't, I put a lot of eggs in that basket.  We moved away from Montgomery for the sake of this promotion, knowing that we didn't want to end up in Birmingham.  We were living in rental with no hope of moving out anytime soon.  And I was working in a studio that was more of a hassle than it seemed to be worth.  I just felt stagnant.
So what do I take it out on?  What is the one thing in the bounds of my immediate control?  Trivial as it may seem... it was my hair.  
As long as I can remember (at least since puberty) I have had a strange relationship with my hair.  Growing up it was straight as a board and when adolescence came along, genetics threw me a curve ball and decided it was time for it to go curly.  So for an frizzy two year period I survived taunts of the chia pet jingle and classmates sticking pencils in my ponytail without my knowledge.  So like all pre-teen girls, I found something about my body to torture my self over. In my later teens I eventually grew to appreciate my curly hair, even though I still didn't like for anyone to touch it.  Then it turned into a force to reckon with.  All the sudden the teasing had taken another turn.  Jealous friends made it seem like I was flirting with some sort of unfair advantage and it was okay to make me feel guilty for getting attention from boys.  So what did I do then?  I took my senior trip and cut all of my hair off.  I had no more than two inches of length left.  I went to college with a short do and little bit less confidence.  Then came weight gain, re-growth, a bad dye job and the cycle starting all over again.  
I started growing it out when Luke and I began dating and cut it off after the wedding.  And since then I've been kind of in between.
 As a little girl my hair was a source of comfort for me.  My mother tells me that when I started 'acting wild' she would sit me down and braid my hair.  I'm sure it was just the simple act of making me sit still that did the trick, but to this day I'm never fully relaxed until my hair is pulled away from my face.  
So as I sat there wallowing for no good reason I made a decision.  The hair had to go.  It was weighing me down.  Along with my sister and another friend we planned a trip to a salon that accepted walk-ins and was open late.  Forty minutes later, I came out a new woman.  My outlook on life has actually changed since I've had my hair cut!  I feel refreshed and relaxed and ready to take on the world.  It is so funny to me that something that seems so trivial to most would have such an impact on me, but what can I say?  It has.  

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Big Picture...

Sometimes I wish I could just take a big ol' step back and take a look at the big picture.  I want to be able to see my perfect career and have a goal to work towards.  

Before I met Luke I prayed and prayed that God would let me meet 'the one'.  At first I would pray for really specific qualities. 'God, please give me someone who will'... fill in the blank... be my best friend, spend money on me, be super hot... all the things a seventeen year old girl would pray for.  Then I decided it was just flat out time to meet the one.  I wanted to to just meet him, we didn't have to fall in love immediately, he could have a girlfriend, we didn't even have to be in the zip code for a few years, but I just wanted to meet and recognize 'the one'.  And, of course, along came Mr. Lucas and all my prayers were answered!  (including the 'having a girlfriend' and 'moving away' part)

Now I'm wondering what I have to do to find the same answers for my job.  Something tells me that I won't be where I am forever and I just wish I knew which goal to work towards.  I know that I have a lot of potential with the company I'm with now, but just don't know that I can (or want to) keep up with the pace for very much longer.  My father has spent almost thirty years with the same company and I am positive that he hasn't exactly loved every minute of it. So I feel guilty not being satisfied with a good paying job that I know I'm good at.  

So here come the ridiculous prayers... can't I get paid for doing nothing, I could start my own brewing business, maybe I should start a franchise of some kind, can't I get paid what I'm making now for a job that is less stressful, couldn't I just win the lottery, maybe I should work for something that I really believe in, like a charity, what is my 'passion', is there anyway I can get paid for eating and drinking beer, should I stick with photography,  can I afford to base a small business investment on my skills as a photographer, what hours do I want, what comforts would we have to live without, is it possible to have it all...

And most of all I want to know when.  When will it all happen?  Do I have to stay in this job for another year? Another five years?  What?!

I recently found out that the decision on the promotion I am eligible for (which I was told would be made this week) won't be made until June!  How frustrating!  For  the first time in a long time I had a goal with my job...  if you move to B'ham and take over this crazy studio and start traveling all over the southeast you can look forward to a promotion after Christmas.  They never mentioned that it would be six months after Christmas!  So now I'm just feeling like I'm at a stand still.  Sure I'm on the same path, but now the destination is so much farther off!  Now what?  I was expecting a change in January (a lot of changes at that)... so now I just have to keep up the same momentum and hope that it works out for me in June?!  I just want to run screaming for the hills!  But I'm responsible enough to know that is not possible.  I have a commitment to our family to uphold and I take that responsibility very seriously.  But geez... I feel like I'm treading water here!

So this is the point that any sane person, or any member of AA would let me know to 'let go and let God', but I guess I'm loosing it a little.