Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Its day 10 on the island, and I'm slowly going insane. 

Not really... but I am bored out of my mind. Andrew started work on Monday, and we still haven't moved into a house yet. So I'm stuck in this hot apartment until what feels like eternity. 

I forced myself out of the house today and went to the Cafe Poetico again. I ordered a huge mug of coffee, and sat down and read a book for awhile. I then ventured out to the Marshall's (a retail store) across the street and shopped for bathing suits and sun dresses. I ended up only buying two tank tops and sour Jelly Beans (which I was so excited about!) 

The mug was really as big as my face
Unfortunately for right now, that's all there really is for me to do around here. I cant job hunt, because we aren't in the area that we plan on living, and I also don't have my car yet. I cant unpack because, well, there is nothing and nowhere to unpack. I cant write thank you notes for the wedding, because all my cards are packed up in storage. So for right now, all there is for me to do is shop, get coffee, read books, and watch TV. Back home, that would be bliss, and I would be perfectly fine with that. But here, I just feel so un-settled. I feel stuck, and helpless, and like there is just an abyss of boring in my future. And its making me crazy. I know this is just a hard time that I have to wait out. But its hard. Anyone that knows me, knows that I am the most impatient person on planet earth. 10 days feels like a lifetime to me. But I know this will pass, and everything will be okay again.

 At least the coffee here is amazing! 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Adventures in Puerto Rico!

Here I am in Puerto Rico, sitting on a couch in a 100 year old apartment. The tropical rain is pounding the rooftops outside the open windows, and the ceiling fan is on full blast. Sex In The City is playing on mute in the background and my Husband is sleeping with his mouth open beside me. Life is good right now.

This morning Andrew and I drove to Dorado, to the house that we are interested in buying. Dorado is a cozy little beach town, nestled between the ocean, and the jungle. The house is tucked away in a modern looking neighborhood that makes you feel like you could possibly be in the States. We drove to the beach that is 3 minutes from the house, and spent the morning playing in the ocean and laying on the hot white sand underneath the shade of many palm trees. We then ventured out on our first grocery shopping trip! The closest grocery store is Amigos, which is a branch of Wal Mart, so it was very easy to maneuver around and figure everything out. We then made the trip back into the bustling city of San Juan where we are staying. After parking the car about a mile from the apartment, we walked the streets of Old San Juan with all our groceries, and managed to lug them up the 3 (long) flights of stairs to the apartment.

It was nice to get away and spend the morning just the two of us, exploring the island a little bit. Since the day we arrived here, we have been moving at a pretty fast pace. Our realtor, Carlos, and his Wife picked us up on Monday morning and drove us around, showing us the island, properties for rent and churches we could attend. Then they introduced us to Puerto Rican coffee, and my life is forever changed! Tuesday Morning, Andrew and I ventured out into Old San Juan by ourselves in search of a coffee place. We stumbled upon this place called Cafe Poetica. A small coffee shop with notebook paper looking walls, books on every table and a weekly poetry reading night. Definitely a place to go back too. Then on Tuesday night, Andrew and I were picked up by two total strangers, and taken to the local Army Base, for a game of basketball that Andrew was invited to play in. I was able to meet other Americans who lived on the island, and instantly felt part of a tight knit community that sticks together.

I am beginning to love Puerto Rico. The Spanish is hard to understand, the drivers are insane and abide by no laws, but the island is beautiful. Everywhere you look, there is something to look at. Of course there are areas that are run down, and parts of the island I wouldn't dare venture into, but for the most part, its amazing. So far we have been on an adventure everyday, and we have only been here for 3 days! I am excited to see what the next 3 years has in store for us, and what other adventures we can get into!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Puerto Rico!

Well folks, looks like I'm headed for Puerto Rico!

Andrew and I spent 8 hours yesterday, watching as everything we own (except 2 suitcases of clothes), was boxed up and put into a moving van. That moving van will then drive to Florida, load all our belongings onto a boat, and our dining room table, sofas and kitchen appliances will set sail for their maiden voyage to Puerto Rico!
An incredibly long day, and not enough coffee!

I am now living at my parents house for the remaining three weeks until the wedding, and big move.

My younger sister Nan, so graciously gave up her room for me to stay in so that I am not homeless. (Thank you Nan). So now its wedding crunch time! 23 days until Andrew and I say "I do"! Now that I am back at my moms house, planning will be much easier.
Home sweet home for the next 3 weeks!

It is my hope that once I have moved and settled into PR, that my blog will really take off. I think (and hope) that I will have more exciting things to blog about, more exciting pictures to post, and so many adventures to document! Plus Its a good way to keep in touch with my family, and let them know whats going on in Andrew and my life.

Until next time...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It has been awhile since I have posted anything on here. I'm not like my mother and sisters who post in their blogs religiously  I found that I would rather sit down and watch a TV show, then write about things that happen in my life. But alas, I have been suffering from recurring chest pain and my mother has diagnosed me with internalized stress. (don't worry, I have actually had licensed medical advice as well. Thousands of dollars later, and I am not having a heart attack or at any risk of one. ) Apparently I just don't talk about my feelings enough. I've always thought myself a pretty strong person, who can handle copious amounts of change and stress, but I guess everyone has their breaking point. So I thought perhaps blogging would be a good outlet for me. So here goes.

A lot is happening in my life. A lot.
This was to be the year that I lived as an individual, that I paid my own bills, lived alone, worked full time and gained the independence that I always wanted. Well it has been just that kind of year. I am working full time, budgeting and paying all my own bills, and living alone.
   And it is exhausting. I am SO tired. I'm tired of working and doing the same thing every single day, I am tired of coming home to an empty house and cooking for one and then having to clean up after myself. I'm tired of always budgeting and having only enough money. I'm tired of having to double check my locked doors at night and having to think about what I would do if anyone broke in. I am just so tired.
    Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining and I'm surviving just fine. There are so many women who live this way all the time, and I have SO much respect for them. But I have a lot of other things going on in my life as well. On top of being independent,  I am planning a wedding in 7 months, And also in 7 months, I am moving. I don't know where I am moving to, so I cant plan anything. Do you have any idea how stressful it is to be moving to god knows where, and not being able to plan it? Its a little stressful. I have come to terms with the fact that it is outside of my control and I have no say, so I will be happy wherever we go, but deep down... its pretty freaking stressful!  I am also in the process of building relationships with my fiances family, stressful. I want the perfect body for my wedding, stressful. I work for 4 men, STRESSFUL. Not being able to talk to my fiance whenever I want to, stressful.
No wonder I feel like I am having a heart attack everyday... My life is truly chaos. And its not like I sit around and dwell or even think of all the stressful things going on in my life, I guess they all just silently creep up and attack me all at once. Hence the anxiety.
   Maybe I need a shrink, maybe I need a vacation, or maybe I just need to let it all out every once in awhile. Whatever the case may be, these are all problems that will pass with time. They are life changing issues, but all the same... it will be over and gone before I know it. And I want to enjoy being an independent women, I want to enjoy planning my wedding, and I want to enjoy the adventure in the unknown. The stress and anxiety has got to go.

My "go away anxiety" goals for the rest of this month;

1. Run more
2. Eat more fruits and veggies
3. Drink more hot tea
4. Cut back on my caffeine intake (kill me now)
5. Talk about my feelings more.
6. Take more time for me
7. Spend more time in prayer

I'll keep you updated on the results :)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

There has been only one thing that I have been trying to accomplish ever since I moved out of my parents house. One goal that I have set for myself every place I have lived. 

To make wherever I'm living feel like home.

And tonight, for the first time in the past 4 years that I've lived on my own, I accomplished that goal.

Let me start from the beginning. 

These past two weeks have been among the most stressful weeks of my life. Planning a wedding, working full time, budgets, and then finding out my fiance is leaving for 5 months, are just a few reasons for the stress. So I had been looking forward to this Sunday since two weeks ago. Sunday, the day that was completely blank on my day planner. The day that held no expectations, no deadlines, no future in-laws, nothing. One whole day, all to myself. 
I woke up at 11:45am to rain falling on my windows. I made myself some coffee and crawled back into bed. I spent the remainder of the morning blissfully unaware of anything. I drank my coffee in bed, watched a movie and smiled the whole time. My fiance called to let me know he would be coming over for dinner, so I lazily started scrolling through the internet looking for some interesting new recipes. Once I dragged myself out of bed, I made some brunch. I got to FaceTime with an old friend in Georgia, I made a list of things I needed to make dinner. No expectations. Complete freedom for one day. While running to the grocery store, I stopped off at Kirklins. A little home goods store, with candles and pillows and mirrors, the kind of place I could blow an entire pay check at. I allowed myself to buy a big mirror and some scented air fresheners. I chose a pumpkin, fall scent. 
For dinner I decided to make a new dish I found off of Pinterest for my Fiance. Lemon, garlic chicken, roasted with potatoes. The results exceeded my expectations. Here is the recipe. 

  • 2 pounds
  • chicken thighs, boneless, trimmed
  • lemons
  • 3 large
  • garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon
  • brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 pounds
  • potatoes, Yukon gold or red bliss
  • a few twigs
  • fresh thyme
  • 1 cup
  • chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon
  • Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon
  • flour
  • 3 tablespoons
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
  1. Cut the chicken thighs in half lengthwise, pat them dry, drop them in a bowl and grate the garlic and the rind of 2 lemons over them, then toss with the brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Put the bowl into the fridge and marinate for 10 minutes or so.
  1. Meanwhile slice the potatoes into thin slices, lightly toss with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and put into an oiled, medium sized baking pan. Put the potatoes into the oven to roast for about 15 minutes.
  1. While the potatoes are roasting, take your chicken out of the fridge and drain off any moisture. With paper towels, pat the chicken dry (this prevents the chicken from splattering quite as much and really helps it brown much nicer). Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, drizzle in a bit of olive oil to cover the bottom. Sauté the chicken until the skin is golden and crispy (cooks hint, don’t move the chicken pieces around a lot). You will probably have to do this in 2 batches. Do not crowd the chicken, crowds make it pale and sweaty (just like some of us).
  1. Put the flour into a small bowl and mix with a bit of the chicken stock until a smooth paste forms, stir in the mustard and remaining stock.
  1. Take the potatoes out of the oven, pour the chicken stock mixture into the pan with the potatoes. Pile the chicken on top, sprinkle on the chopped thyme. Slice one lemon and tuck among the chicken and potatoes, squeeze the juice of the other lemon all over the chicken.
  1. Pop back into the oven for 20 minutes until the sauce is furiously bubbling and has thickened. Taste for seasonings! Does it need more salt, pepper or lemon? When it is perfect, dance your dish to the table.
Instead of using a baking pan, I used a ceramic dish. I think it made the potatoes crispier and the chicken juicy. I also did not use flour because of my gluten allergy. 

The dish was fantastic and my Fiance loved it!
As I looked across the dining room table, absently listening to my fiance tell a story about a footchase he recently got into (he is a police office)  I swirled around my half finished glass of Zinfindel, and thought about the day. I looked around at my tiny one bedroom apartment. My walls are bare from having just recently moved in, my living room is completely empty because my living room furniture hasn't been delivered yet. Frank Sinatra was crooning in the back ground, and what few candles I have, were lit. This is home. The smell of fall from my air freshener, the smell of freshly made dinner, the lazy conversation between my love and I, the sound of the ratpack in the background. I finally feel that I have accomplished what my mother spent her life building. A home. 

Home isin't a perfectly decorated house, its not expensive furniture or fancy appliances. Home to me, is good food, being with the ones you love, the feeling of complete satisfaction and comfort just being where you are. Home is where your heart is. My heart is with my fiance, with the pleasure in making him a dinner he loves. As long as I have him, food to cook, Frank Sinatra to listen to, and some candles to light. Ill always be at home. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

News update:


Friday, July 13th marks the first day of the rest of my life! Andrew and I were getting ready for our friends wedding rehearsal dinner when he asked me. I was standing in front of the bathroom mirror, trying to find some fashionable way to style my stubborn hair. We were running late and I was getting very irritated. Andrew came up behind me, stood there and wrapped his arms around me, and kissed my shoulder. He seemed a little off and shaky, but I was too distracted by my hair to notice. He then suggested that I change my jewelry, he was very adamant about me wearing on old necklace that I had taken from my mothers jewelry box, as opposed to the brand-new necklace I had just bought that day. I was getting more irritated because my hair was still not cooperating, we were already running late and now he was distracting me. He then grabbed my left hand and told me that I should try this. I looked down at what was in his hands and I forgot about my hair, about being late, I think at that point I forgot my own name. In his hand was the most beautiful, sparkly diamond ring I had ever seen. I saw his lips moving, but I couldn't understand the words coming out of his mouth. The only thoughts running through my head were "ohmygosh ohmygosh ohmygosh". My boyfriend of 3.5 years was proposing to me. I heard the words "bestfriend" and "I love you" and "be my wife". I couldn't stop smiling, I couldn't keep my eyes from bouncing between my left hand and his handsome face. In my jumbled, excited brain, I couldn't even find the words "yes". After he asked me for the second time, I finally manged to squeak out an excited "YES!!!"

I am engaged. I get to spend the rest of my life with the man of my dreams, my bestfriend, my whole world. I get to feel protected, and wanted, loved, and cherished for the rest of my life, by the man that I am completely, entirely head over heals in love with.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Letting go

I am officially moved back to NC! And I am begrudgingly living at my parents house for the summer while they are off in Canada vacationing. I was coerced into taking care of 4 chickens, a gerbil, 2 cats and 2 birds while they sip vino on the dock at the lake house thousands of miles away. On the flip side, I am saving a lot of money by not having to pay any rent.  I am well into my 4th week at the law office now and I love it! I love the challenges and constant busyness, I love the camaraderie between my coworkers. But mostly I love the hours. 8:15am-5:15pm, weekends and holidays off!  I revel in the fact that I get to actually spend holidays with my family, that I can make plans on the weekends and that I can actually cook dinner before 9pm! I am very thankful and very happy with my position in life right now. Everything seems to finally be meshing together for me. I have a great job, a wonderful family that I live close to now, friends that I live close to now, and an amazing boyfriend that I really couldn't possibly live without. All the struggles that I have gone through I believe have led me to where I am now, I have learned so much about myself and about life. The number one lesson I have learned; Its okay to rely on other people. My whole life I have struggled to be Independent and to do everything on my own, the only outcome that seems to have occurred from this is failure. Not finishing school, getting stuck with an awful job with terrible hours, living far away from family, letting distance get between me and my loved ones. All the hardships I have endured are because of my own prideful, stubbornness. So I am finally learning to just let go a little and actually listen to the advice of people who have my best interest at heart. And I have found that it is actually really really nice not to have to make hard decisions on your own, sometimes not to have to make decisions at all. My family and Andrew have my best interest at heart, and I know that they would never steer me wrong. I just have to be willing to listen. Trust me, I am still stubborn as an ox, and I still think my opinion is the only one that matters sometimes. I'm a work in progress, but I am finally happy with my life, and so I'm okay with letting go for now.