Saturday, December 31, 2011

So, how did that whole “2011 Wish List” turn out?

There is SO much I want to catch you up on! I haven’t taken the time to post about any of this stuff, but I still want to tell you about my Christmas, gush about how my happy relationship, brag about the great sex I've been having and announce that the procedure I had just before Christmas successfully got rid of my kidney stones. Things are good…between enjoying the last few weeks and recovering from surgery, I haven’t taken the time to write. I will. But for now…I must reflect on 2011 for a minute.

You might remember I posted my Wish List for 2011 around this time last year. It only makes sense to check in on those wishes.

The List

Fall in love
This is happening. I dated a ton this year and despite the ups and downs, the heartbreak, the frustration, the sometimes irresponsible or bad decisions, I enjoyed the process as always. Then I went on a date in October and met a great guy.

Get back in shape and stay that way
I fell off the wagon a few times, but overall, I think I accomplished this one. Do I always think I should be eating better and working out more? Of course, but as long as I stay pretty consistent, I’m happy with this one.

Take more weekend trips
I’m so happy to say I definitely accomplished this! The proof is in the photos!

March - Jacksonville, FL for my cousin's bachelorette party
March - Tampa, FL for the Zac Brown Band/Kenny Chesney concert
April - Buffalo, NY to visit my sister, niece and nephew
May - St. Pete, FL with the girls
May - Stillwater, MN with the family for my cousin's wedding

July - Anaheim, CA for work but was also super fun!
September - Traverse City, MI to visit my cousin
November - Savannah, GA with the girls
Find a new job that makes me happy
Success! The best part is that I didn’t even have to leave the company I worked for. In March, I was lucky enough to get a huge promotion and be part of a huge shift in our company structure and work environment. Very exciting!

Volunteer 
I dropped the ball on this one. I have so much respect for people who make the time to do this on a regular basis.

Cook more (or attempt to anyway)
Haha…nope. Despite buying a Crock Pot at the beginning of the year and constantly pinning recipes on Pinterest, I did NOT cook more this year. What is it going to take to get me going on this one?

Go camping (I’ve been wanting to go for years!)
I never went camping. Booo.

Stay out of the hospital. This means no kidney stones or rare throat infections. Just be healthy.
Well, if you follow my blog at all, you know this didn’t come true. Unfortunately, being prone to kidney stones means getting rid of them once doesn’t mean they won’t come back. Between that and breaking my finger in kickball (I know…) I can’t say that I stayed out of the hospital/doctor office as much as I wanted to. Luckily this last kidney stone procedure was successful and as long as no new ones develop, 2012 should be much better in that regard!

Overall, I’d say I was pretty successful where it counts. I’ve learned that health issues and tragedies are part of life. You can do all the right things and bad things might still happen, you just have to roll with it and not let it define you.

I’ll be ringing in 2012 with the man in my life. We are getting dressed up and going to a party his boss is throwing. 2011 is ending on a joyful note and I know 2012 will be fabulous in ways I can’t even imagine.

Do I have a wish list for 2012? I don’t. I don’t even have a resolution. Of course there are things I’d like to improve on like saving money, eating better and reading more, but I don’t really have any specific resolutions.

And since I am blogging at the very last minute, I need to start getting ready! What are your NYE plans? Any resolutions?

I hope you all have a happy and safe New Year!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Oh, There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays

There’s no place like home for the holidays. Truer words have never been spoken, or sang, for that matter. Nothing beats the feeling of walking into my parents’ house for the weekend to celebrate Christmas. I had another surgery to get rid of my kidney stones this week, so I am still recovering and in a lot of pain. I am not feeling 100%, but I couldn’t care less.
I spent last night watching Christmas movies with my parents, this morning shopping with my brother and mom and the afternoon wrapping gifts and baking with my mom. This is the first year in a very long time I am having a boyfriend join us for Christmas. I am so excited for it! I couldn’t ask for much more than to be surrounded by the ones I love this Christmas.

I hope you’re all just as lucky to be with your loved ones. Have a very merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Little Holiday Cheer

Christmas is just three weeks away and I haven’t purchased one gift. It’s funny…I’ve talked so much about how much of a holiday-fanatic I am, but I have never been good about getting my shopping done in a timely manner. You can bet I’ve been all over the Christmas music, decorating my tree and planning which cookie recipe I’ll be baking this year, but I have not been on top of the gift game. To be honest, due to my growing mountain of medical bills, I’m keeping the gifts to a minimum this year. Lucky for me, I was raised to not put a whole lot of emphasis on the gifts, anyway. I absolutely love the holiday season, but for several reasons that don’t include what I’ll be buying for others or wishing for myself.

I think we all get a little wrapped up in the stress of buying the perfect gifts for our loved ones and it’s inevitable that we all have a few things on our wish list. It’s to be expected. When that stress and anxiety starts to creep up on me, I focus on the things I love about this season. We all need to remind ourselves of these things sometimes. These are some of my favorite things about the holidays, quotes, songs, etc. These things make me so very happy during this time of year...

Love Actually. I absolutely love this movie. It's the perfect combination of romantic and Christmas-y without being cheesy. I will watch this at least once before Christmas. 

source
My thoughts exactly. An important reminder.

source
Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies. I'm making these tomorrow. Baking = one of my favorite things about the holidays.

source
Love him. Love him even more when he's singing Christmas music. 

my tree :)
It doesn't get more perfect than decorating the tree with Christmas music playing in the background. Relaxing at home with the lights on and candles lit makes me one very happy girl.

The anticipation of spending the holiday with my family. There is nothing quite like sitting around the tree on Christmas morning with these amazing people. I can’t wait for it.

What is helping you get in the holiday spirit this year?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Why I Loved November

Happy December! As usual, it never ceases to amaze me how fast time flies. I can’t believe it is December already. It’s weird…I feel like the older you get, the faster the weeks and months go by. I remember counting down to Christmas when I was younger. It felt like it would never get here! Now, I want time to slow down because I want to find time to do everything I need and want to do and enjoy every minute of it. I do try and enjoy and soak in every moment, but it’s December 1st, and just like every other month, I find myself wondering where the time has gone.

source
Before we dive right into the holidays and all the fun that is going to come with it, I want to catch you up on my life. Compared to last year, this November has been beyond wonderful. Let me give you the highlights:

Savannah
Like I bragged about in this post, a few weeks ago, I spent the weekend in Savannah with a few of my girlfriends. I had only been to Savannah for a few hours before when I was in high school, so I was really excited to explore the city with the girls. First of all, can I just say how wonderful it is that Savannah allows open containers? The phrase “Would you like a to-go cup for your beer?” was just delightful to hear at the restaurants and we obviously responded with an enthusiastic “Yes!” every time. The weekend was an absolute blast. We explored the city, ate at some really awesome places, (we even got reservations at Paula Deen’s restaurant, which was absolutely delightful) and even went on a walking ghost tour/pub crawl. The weather was beautiful and it was so nice to get away with my friends.
Shopping around Savannah
At Paula Deen's
Thanksgiving
You may have already read my super cheesy post about Thanksgiving, so I won’t get into all that again. My Thanksgiving was so full of family and happiness. I have a lot to be thankful for and it was nice to celebrate that with the people I love.

source
Not only did I spend the day at my parents’ house, I planned to spend the entire weekend there and get some major relaxation and downtime in. To be honest, there were times I was a little antsy not doing anything, but I truly needed to force myself to slow down and spend a few days reading, relaxing and spending time with my parents. I came back to Orlando feeling calm and rejuvenated. I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving, too!
 
December is going to busy and super fun and I can’t wait for Christmas. I’m really hoping I can get my house decorated this weekend. I keep finding so many great holiday ideas on Pinterest so I am definitely inspired to get the ball rolling.

What unique ideas do you all have for decorating this season?  

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Thoughts


Happy Thanksgiving!

source
It’s hard to put into words how good it feels to be at my parents’ house right now. I’m sitting outside; enjoying the peace that being at their house brings me. I’m listening to football on TV and the sounds of my wonderful family inside chatting and laughing. On this day last year, I was crying a lot. When after being in the hospital for over a week, the nurse walked in and told me I wasn’t going home yet, I cried. I cried for my mother, who spent Thanksgiving Day by my hospital bed instead of cooking and baking for our family. I cried for my dad, who packed up the dogs and everything we would need for dinner and brought it to Orlando in the hopes that I would be released. I cried for my siblings who didn’t get a traditional Thanksgiving because of me. I cried because laying there in my hospital bed, all I wanted was the simple things I love about Thanksgiving…the uninterrupted time with my family, the board and card games, seeing how happy my parents are when we are all together, baking with my mom…

I’m emotional and crying today, but it’s for very different reasons. This is how it is supposed to be. People tease me for getting so excited and finding so much joy in simple things, but the simple things are what you miss the most when life throws you a curveball. On this day last year, I wasn’t thinking about what Black Friday sale I was going to miss; I wasn’t wishing to be doing anything elaborate, I was thinking about the quality time and memories I was missing out on. The funny thing, too, is that at the end of Thanksgiving last year, I was completely overwhelmed with gratefulness. I was so touched by the people in my life who love me and will do anything for me. I was simply praying to get better and be healthy for the next Thanksgiving.

Well, here I am. A year later, I am healthy (which is really a relative term for me) and happy. There are so many silly things in life that I am obviously thankful for (York Peppermint Patties are obviously one of them), but at the end of the day, if I didn’t have any of that stuff, life would be pretty sweet. I learned last year that it’s the people in my life that are making all the difference. I was deathly ill on Thanksgiving last year, but my friends and family managed to make me feel like the luckiest girl in the entire world. Whether your Thanksgiving consists of stress, sickness, working or plotting your Black Friday shopping route, please take a moment and count your many, many blessings. I bet if you really think about the things in life you are thankful for, you’ll realize that your life is a lot better than you thought.

Now, I’ve GOT to get back in the house because I am missing out on some major family time and everyone is picking on me. I hope you all have a beautiful Thanksgiving Day. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Better Late Than Never

In just a few hours, three of my girlfriends and I will be hitting the road for a weekend in Savannah! This trip was originally scheduled exactly a year ago...the same weekend I was admitted to the hospital for what was the scariest and most difficult experience of my short life thus far. The trip was obviously cancelled and one year later, we are finally taking it!

Life has been nonstop and completely overwhelming lately and I am really looking forward to getting out of town! I feel like my girlfriends and I don't get to see each other nearly as much as we'd like. I'm so excited to have a few uninterrupted days with them...no boyfriends, no work and no stress. WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A BLAST! It's also a perfect way to head into Thanksgiving week, when I'll be heading to my parents house for an entire 5 days of relaxation and family time.

Feeling grateful for my health and friendships today and everyday. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The New Man in my Life

I have a boyfriend. I am in an actual relationship. I started seeing him a little over a month ago. Here are the basics:
 
How we met: eHarmony
Age: 31
Occupation: Operations Manager for a wine retailer
I have to admit that at first, I was very apprehensive about this one. To say that he is unlike anyone I’ve dated is an understatement. We have different views on a lot of things and we’ve both lived very different lives. He isn’t a typical guy in the sense that he isn’t afraid to talk about things and say what’s on his mind. Like me, he is very enthusiastic, energetic and positive.

For some reason, I’ve spent a long time thinking I needed someone a little more opposite personality-wise…someone a little more calm and subdued. I also had a lot of concerns about how we would fit together in light of the differences in our religious views and family life. Did I voice those concerns? You bet. I’m realizing that the differences are okay. He is not what I thought I wanted, but sometimes that’s what makes for a great relationship. I mean, what we want and what we need can be very different things, right?
source
Instead of focusing on our differences, I started to focus on the things we have in common and the things he brings to our relationship, things I haven’t been able to find in others. One night last week, he came over to cook dinner and after we ate, I suggested we play Twister. He laughed at me, but we played and had a blast! On Sunday, I told him I wanted to have a picnic. We spent the day in the Winter Park, playing Frisbee, laying in the grass talking, napping and drinking champagne and ended the day with a lovely meal and lots of wine at Luma on Park. He is totally on board with doing fun, spontaneous, maybe even silly things with me and we have such a blast together. It's very comfortable and easy when we are together. I like that. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Dos and Don’ts of Online Dating

I know you are probably already laughing because I am by no means in a position to offer dating advice or pretend I am any kind of expert on this, especially judging from my lack of success after being on eHarmony off and on for the past two years or so. But anyway…

I’ve had a few friends who’ve recently decided to jump on the online dating bandwagon and give it a shot. They obviously came straight to me to gossip about the process and I found myself talking them through the first emails, first meetings and what not. I may not have found the love of my life on eHarmony yet, but I have come away with lots of thoughts on what to do and more importantly, what NOT to do.
source
Do try to include a variety of photos that allow your personality to shine through. This allows matches to get a good idea of how you look and may learn about you a little at the same time.

Don’t and I repeat, DON’T include a photo of you taking a picture of yourself in the mirror. Guys, this is a thousand times worse when you are shirtless. No matter what you really have to offer someone, a "mirror pic" makes you come across as a complete tool. Take five minutes and ask someone to take a picture of you for goodness sake.

source
Do go at your own pace. Depending on the person, it may take you several emails and weeks of communicating before you are ready to meet in person. That is okay. You’ll know when you feel comfortable and are ready to take that next step.

Don’t get turned off if someone tries to move forward before you are ready. For example, you may want to exchange a few emails before moving to calling/texting. If they suggest this before you are ready, don’t be completely turned off, but simply respond by saying you’d like to get to know each other a little better before then. They will understand and if they don’t, they probably aren’t worth moving forward with, anyway.

Do trust your instincts. You are going to be matched with a ton of great people. Don’t feel like you have to communicate with everyone. Don’t feel like everyone you talk to, you are obligated to meet. If you aren’t digging someone via email, there isn’t a huge chance you are going to hit it off in person. Don’t force it. If you aren’t feeling it, don’t waste your time or theirs.

Don’t get offended. Rejection is never fun, whether someone stops communicating with you immediately or you start dating and they break things off down the road. Don’t take it personally. Online dating has a lot of great perks like matching you with people you have things in common with, but it has the same downfalls as when you meet someone organically. Someone you like may not like you back. Don’t get offended, but appreciate their honesty and know that there is someone better suited out there for you.

Do enjoy the process. One thing I’ve heard from my friends is how overwhelming it is. I remember the feeling well…you are getting loads of matches and you start to feel like you need a personal assistant to manage your account. Try not to get too wrapped up in “What do I do?” or “What if?” Just go with the flow and enjoy the experience.

Don’t be embarrassed. You’ve seen the commercials and heard the ads. Online dating is pretty common these days. It’s not something to be embarrassed by or ashamed of. If anything, it shows you are adventurous, willing to try new things and open-minded. Go you!

source
Do be smart and cautious. Online dating sites (or at least in my experience, eHarmony) don’t have near as many creepers as you are afraid of. However, to be on the safe side, be cautious when you are meeting someone for the first time. It goes without saying that you should plan to meet in a very public place, like a bar or coffee shop. I always make sure at least a few of my family members or friends know where I am going and what time we are meeting. For the most part, I recommend those first few meetings you drive separately and meet there. It might be different with every person you meet, but you’ll know when you feel comfortable enough to move forward.

Don’t say, “Online dating doesn’t work” if you haven’t met the love of your life after three months. When I first joined eHarmony many, many moons ago (hahaha), I joined for three months and never went on one date…not even a phone call. You may not meet someone special, or anyone at all in the time you spend on whichever site, but focus on what you did get out of it. I know for me, being on eHarmony has really helped me understand not only what I am looking for out of a relationship, but also what I have to offer someone. At the very least, it’s a great life experience and gives you a lot of insight on what you do want out of a relationship.

There you have it. The dos and don’ts of online dating. For those of you have tried it, any thing to you want to add to the list???

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Archived! #5

There isn't much to say about this one, so let me just give you the reasons why he was archived...

No photo I’m not falling for that

Half of his profile isn’t even filled out  Lazy

His answer to “The One Thing I am Most Passionate About:” “Love Life Duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” What?

His answer to “I Typically Spend My Leisure Time:” “Iraktqotaotaotalspyspyslhdypsyllgakakfalgspgskfwkaotwjfahdltelryqryqlurqlyrqluqkyrqiwurlququqrulurqlr” Why are you even on here?

Sir, I am by no means an expert on how to win people over on The Harm, however, you have done absolutely nothing to interest me and I can’t imagine anyone else liking what you are putting out there.

ARCHIVE! 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Getting Back to Normal

Hi everyone! I hope you all are having a happy Monday. I'm starting to feel like myself again after a tough few days and I'm ready to get back to the usual on here. In the midst of the last week, lots of ridiculous stuff has been going on that really makes my new blog subtitle fitting for me and my life. Unfortunately, I am a little busy at work today so I will have to fill you all in later. In the meantime, I wanted to share this song with you all. It is currently my anthem and I think we all need this reminder sometimes. Enjoy :)

Think Good Thoughts by Colbie Caillat

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Grieving

I apologize for the back-to-back Debbie Downer posts. I promise things will be back to normal shortly. My goal with this blog is to write about my life and how I am living it in a way that makes me happy. I know I’m not living up to my “Little Miss Sunshine” title, but just bear with me for one more post.

This week has been tough to say the least. The death of Scott has left me feeling so regretful and heartbroken.

Regrets 
I’ve never been one to regret anything. One of my biggest things is that I don’t think you should regret anything, because at one point it was the right decision. I’ve never known the feeling of true regret until now. I don’t regret breaking things off with Scott when I did, but I regret so many other things that happened after that. I regret acting the way I’ve been acting. I wanted him to fight for me, and when he didn’t, I was rude to him about it. That’s not the person I am.

The Grieving Process
I’ve been thinking a lot about the grieving process. I’ve grieved the deaths of loved ones before and my reaction and healing has been different each time. I guess with this one, I’m feeling so many things at the same time.

I still can’t accept that this happened. I can’t wrap my head around it.

I am so angry. I’m so angry at him for leaving us like this. I’m mad at him for being so reckless. I’m angry at the timing and unfairness of life sometimes. It’s hard to accept that it was his time to go. I don’t want to be angry, especially not with him.

Blessings
Through Scott, I was lucky enough to meet his wonderfully strong and supportive friends. Being around them, I feel an incredible amount of comfort. Together, they are able to laugh and celebrate Scotty. It is what he would want and I’m so glad they include me in it.

As I told his mother last night at the viewing, Scott brought an incredible amount of fun and laughter into my life in the short time I knew him. He had a smile that will never be forgotten. The memories he gave me will help me through this and I know everything will be okay. I was lucky enough to know him and that is a blessing in itself.

As cliché as it may be, I know Scotty wouldn’t want me to be crying or sad right now. It will be okay. I’m looking forward to that day, because right now it seems far away.  

Thank you all for putting up with this. Even if you don’t read it or didn’t enjoy it, it is helping me right now to write what I’m feeling. Thanks for your patience. I hope everyone is having a good week. To end on an uplifting note, I’ll share a quote with you…

"Be strong now because things will get better. It may be stormy now, but it can't rain forever."

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Sad Story

The sun isn’t shining in my world today, literally or figuratively. I woke up this morning and for a split second, it was just another day…like everything that happened yesterday was just a bad dream. It didn’t take long for that moment to pass.

Scott, known to all of you as The Umpire, died early Friday morning.  He wrecked his truck driving home from a night out with his friends. Like several other Thursday nights, he played softball, went to his favorite bar with the guys and then to the country bar we both frequent.

At his favorite bar just a few days after we met
I know that nothing I could’ve done differently or changed about the last few weeks would make a difference, but I can’t help but feel so much regret. The last time we talked, I was sarcastic and rude to him. I've been so mad at him after hearing from several people that he wasn’t a good guy…that I should’ve known better. That was a few weeks ago. Since then, I intended to text him just to let him know there were no hard feelings.

I also knew that it was only a matter of time before he snuck up behind me at the gym and we would talk and he would manage to make me laugh and smile no matter how tough I wanted to come across and everything would be fine. To think that the last time we spoke was weeks ago and it was such a negative, immature conversation is devastating to me.

I’m so mad. I’m mad at him for being so reckless and I’m mad at myself for being mad at him right now. I’m heartbroken for his amazing family and his good friends. I’m trying to figure out how I’m ever going to go to the gym again and not look around for him. With this flood of emotions, I want to make sure I never forget a few things that stood out the most to me in the short time he was in my life...
  • One night just after we met, I met him and his friends at a bar. I was leaving the next day to go out of town for the weekend. At the end of the night, I said goodbye to him at his truck. He wasn’t happy about me leaving for the weekend and I remember him giving me the longest, strongest hug. I told him I’d miss him and he looked up at me with that handsome smile and said, “You’re the one that is leaving. When did I say it was okay for you to leave me for so long?” Now, all I want to do is hug him really hard and say the same words to him.
  • After dating for about a week, him and his friends came downtown with a huge group of us to celebrate my 25th birthday. By the end of the night when I could no longer walk in my heels, he carried me in his arms through downtown Orlando. It’s not that he just carried me, but he had that same big smile on his face that attracted me to him so much. When he finally put me down, he took his own shoes off and made me wear them so my feet didn’t get dirty. I looked so silly, but I was overwhelmed by how cute and sweet that was.
  • Just a few months later, we celebrated his birthday at Cowboys, the country bar we both frequented. I teased him all night about getting him on the dance floor with me. I did this a lot and every now and then I was successful. After dragging him out there for a slow song as the bar was getting ready to close, instead of rushing off after, he kept going! When the Cha Cha Slide came on, I thought for sure he would make a beeline for the door, with about 12 people left in the whole bar, Scott and I got down to that song on the dance floor. This song is definitely not my kinda music and definitely wasn’t his, but it was hilarious to be out there with him dancing like that. I laughed so hard that night.
 
Scott, I want you to know that I care about you. I know no matter what, we would have been friends for a long time. Your smile is infectious and even thinking of it now, I can’t help but smile too. I’m glad I met you. I’m glad to have known you and to have met your family and friends. Please look out for all of us. xoxo

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

quotes.

Happy Wednesday everyone! As if I needed another Internet addiction, I have been spending way too much time on Pinterest lately...mostly pinning quotes. Today I thought I'd share some of my favorites with you...enjoy :) 

So very true.
source
This makes me want to go on an adventure.
source 
My nana always used to sing this <3
source 
In honor of my former blog name :)
source
Always a good reminder.
source
This makes me want to read The Help AGAIN and see the movie AGAIN.
source

I hope everyone is having a great week! Keep smiling!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Happy Blogoversary to Me

photo source
Today is my first blogoversary. One year ago today, I spent hours sitting in Starbucks furiously writing away. Walking into Starbucks that day, I was so excited to get started but I was also a little nervous…What if I couldn’t come up with topics to write about? What if I couldn’t find the right words to say? Worst of all, what if NO ONE reads it?

As I sat there and started typing away, I put all of those concerns to rest. It was as if I couldn’t write fast enough and I remember feeling so giddy with excitement about it all! I’ve always loved to write and it was as if I was rediscovering that love all over again. I left Starbucks that day with all of my concerns put to rest. I was a blogger.

As most of you know, this blog came about because I started to live life fully and love everything about it. I stopped taking life so seriously, I entered the dating world with a new outlook, I learned to laugh at myself and I wanted to share those stories with you all. A year later, I am still living and loving my life and learning things along the way. And I really enjoy sharing it all with you guys!

It’s so easy for me to get caught up in number of followers, page views and comments (or lack thereof,) but at the end of the day, this is something I do for me. There are so many times where I feel so overwhelmed and confused over something, that I don’t even know what to write. I sit down at the computer, and next thing you know, everything becomes clear. There are many reasons why I blog, but most importantly, I blog because I enjoy it.

I really want to thank you all for reading and being a part of my story. There may not be a ton of you, but I appreciate your feedback and support more than you know. 

P.S. I hope you all like the new design and blog title!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Best Man

Warning: This post is so long that you might hate me for making you read so much. Let's just say I never bother using the phrase "In a nutshell."

I have to admit that I’ve been keeping this one from you guys. Not on purpose, I swear. It is more that I haven’t known what to say about it and never would’ve expected to have anything to tell you about. I went from having nothing to really say about this situation, to having lots to tell you and having no clue where to begin, so here goes nothing…

Remember in this post, when I  mentioned that my recent trip to Michigan involved a boy? The Best Man is that boy. I met The Best Man at my cousin, Meg’s wedding in Minnesota last May. We met at the reception and had a great time dancing and chatting all night. I had just started seeing The Umpire and I wasn’t really on the prowl that weekend, so when a bridesmaid came up to me and told me “The Best Man is pretty much in love with you,” I was a little taken by surprise. To my further amazement, apparently he still had strong feelings for me even after I ended the night by telling him I had to puke and running away, all after giving him my phone number so we could keep in touch. I had a good buzz going most of the reception and I guess I didn’t realize how much I had had to drink. True to form, I went from fun-loving girl at the party to hot mess status in the blink of an eye. I was obviously completely embarrassed for ending the fun night that way and didn’t really think much of the whole Best Man situation. Yes, I had fun with him. I thought he was really sweet and nice. He also lives in Minnesota and we hardly knew each other, so yeah I didn’t think too much more about it.

To my surprise, he texted me after my trip, which was soon followed by a Facebook friend request. I figured there was no harm in keeping in touch, so we would chat via text every now and again…nothing ever too in depth. Next thing I know, he is telling me he wants to come to Florida and hang out for a few days…that I made a big impression on him at the wedding and he would really like to see me again. I can’t quite describe my confusion. Aside from the fact that we danced a little and hung out at the wedding, I also ended our fun night by telling him I had to puke. Yet, I somehow made an impression on this person…so much that he wants to travel all this way to see me again. Huh? As I was still dating The Umpire at the time, I obviously told him I didn’t think that was the best idea, not to mention that I didn’t know how I felt about spending a few days with someone I hardly knew. What if we had nothing to say to each other? It was a little too much at the time.

Fast forward to a few months later. I’m single, again. We were still keeping in touch and getting to know each other. Another opportunity comes up for him to take a trip to Florida. I turn him down again. I can’t quite put into words the amount of pressure I felt about someone paying hundreds of dollars to come visit me for a whole weekend. I just didn’t feel comfortable with it. I told him that is probably isn’t a good idea, but that maybe we could start talking on the phone and really making an effort to get to know each other. This way, if the opportunity for a visit came up again, I would feel more comfortable with it. So we started talking on the phone and learning more about each other. I liked what I knew about him so far and enjoyed chatting with him.

In the meantime, Meg’s birthday was coming up. Her and her husband live in Michigan, about 11 hours away from The Best Man. We both got an invitation to her birthday celebration. I obviously had to decline because I couldn’t really afford the trip up there and he had mentioned that he didn’t think he’d be able to go because of work.

THEN ONE DAY….a week before the birthday celebration….

The Best Man tells me that his work schedule changed and he thinks he can now take the trip to Michigan for the weekend and how awesome it would be if I could go too. That we can surprise my cousin, have a really fun weekend and get to hang out again. I obviously thought the idea was awesome, I mean seeing Meg would be absolutely delightful…but once again had to decline because I couldn’t afford it. Next thing I know he is telling me that he would do whatever it takes to get me up there (aka buy my ticket). I wanted to accept this offer so badly because I knew it would be a blast. I haven’t had much of a chance to get to know my cousin’s husband, I’ve never been to Michigan, a weekend away would be fun…there were a lot of positives.

Unfortunately, all I could think about was how much pressure this puts on the situation. My worst fear was that The Best Man would pay for me to get up there, and we wouldn’t hit it off, or I wouldn’t like him, or he wouldn’t like me…and he would be disappointed. After going back and forth all day about this, I voiced my concerns to him and he settled them telling me that worst-case scenario, we have fun weekend where he gets to see his friends and I get to see my cousin. I threw caution to the wind and decided to go for it. You guys already know I can be impulsive and that my mental stability is questionable, at best. I also need to point out to those of you who don't know me in real life, that I don't take someone buying me a plane ticket lightly. I am overwhelmed and could never put into words how appreciative I am. I even tried to put it into words on the phone with him and I think I just rambled on for five minutes and didn't make any sense. I hope he still got the point. Moving on...

Aside from me being completely overwhelmed by the whole scenario, I was SO EXCITED to surprise Meg and I knew the weekend would be a blast. I was right. The weekend was super fun. Did The Best Man and I have a magical weekend and fall madly in love? No. But that isn’t what I had in mind anyway. I truly wanted a fun weekend away where we could get to know each other a little better. In a perfect world, maybe we would have fallen madly in love that weekend and things would fall perfectly into place and we would live happily ever after.

Unfortunately, life isn’t perfect. Don’t get me wrong. I do like The Best Man. What I don’t know is if those feelings are friendship feelings or more-than-friendship feelings. I don’t think I should be expected to know that right now, though. I mean, we’ve basically been on two (somewhat unconventional) dates.  After two dates, do you know that you have strong feelings for someone? Do you know that you want to start a relationship with that person? Probably not…and that is usually when the person lives where you do! Not to mention the fact that even if we did totally hit it off and want to be together, how on earth would we proceed with this situation?? The whole thing is a little overwhelming to me, to be completely honest. In other words, I don’t know how I feel. I do know that I am incapable of expressing how much it means to me to have someone be so up front with me about their feelings, to make bold, romantic gestures like that.

The challenging part about this whole thing is that even though I don’t quite understand why, I think his feelings are pretty strong. I’d like to keep doing what we’ve been doing…keeping in touch and getting to know each other, but I can’t promise that any of that will progress to a relationship or me returning those strong feelings. I told him we need to keep living life…that neither one of us should miss out on other dating or relationship situations because we are holding on to hope that this weird scenario goes somewhere. I guess all I can do is be completely up front about everything I’m thinking so we stay on the same page and no one gets their feelings hurt.

I hope some of that made sense. Like I said, I know I am totally springing this on you…but seriously…how was I to know there would ever be any more to say about him than the fact that we met at a wedding, danced a little bit and then, not surprisingly, I puked?

Moral of the story: Life is so ridiculously weird sometimes. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

First Weekend of Fall

It is officially Fall and I am pretending it is not 90+ degrees in Orlando right now. To get in the spirit, I splurged on some new Fall decorations for my house. I also had a lovely weekend that I just have to brag about to all of you.

I spent Saturday morning shopping for all of this…I’m so happy with what I found!
Jo-Ann Fabric
Target
Jo-Ann Fabric
Jo-Ann Fabric
Window decals: Jo-Ann Fabric

Saturday night, I headed downtown with my former roommates and some of their friends. It was an absolute blast, but here are some of the highlights:
  • When the night starts with listening to “Hold On” by Wilson Phillips, “Like a Virgin” by Madonna and “This is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan, you know it is going to be amazing.
  • I fell on my ass in the middle of a club. As in, I was dancing and was completely unaware of the step behind me. I backed that ass up right to that step, where I landed (surprisingly gracefully) on my behind. Only me…
  • I got suckered into talking to this guy at that same club. He was pretty cute, but after talking to him for five minutes and seeing that he lacked a personality, I was ready to ditch him. Unfortunately, when I am drinking I don’t exactly know how to do that without being rude. After he bought my friends and I a shot, we were ready to move on to the next bar. Instead of just leaving or making something up, I decided to tell him where we were going and hoped he wouldn’t want to join. Unsuccessful. We ended up having to ditch him after ducking into pizza joints and other bars to throw him off our scent. My friend’s boyfriend really got the shit end of that deal, having to tell him one of us was sick and we had to go home. It wasn’t too successful, because hours later at the end of the night, someone spotted him and we ended up having to high tail it out of the bar. The whole thing was hilarious, like something out of a movie.
My sister and I have wanted to plan a baking day for a while now. We both use StumbleUpon and had a ton of recipes saved to our favorites. So we spent the entire afternoon baking at my house on Sunday. After baking all afternoon, we got some Chinese take-out and wattched Bridesmaids. I am so grateful for days like this with my sister. Here are the goodies we ended up with:

Twix Caramel Brownies
Cookies & Cream Cheesecake Cupcakes 
Banana Bread

I hope you all had a happy weekend. I know I promised to fill you in on the boy from my weekend in Michigan last week. I’m still working on that post so stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Stress Relief According to Me

For someone with a positive outlook on things most of the time, it may surprise you to know I have my fair share of meltdowns. I get stressed out, I over think things I shouldn’t, I cry a lot and I call my momma for guidance and support several times a week. I’ve learned that one secret to being happy isn’t being stress free, as that is nearly impossible, but finding ways to relieve stress that work best for you.

photo source
It’s interesting to see how differently people handle things like stress. Some people eat, some people drink, some get really mean and others shut down completely. Now, I don’t think I have any groundbreaking stress relief techniques (though some are wonderfully weird or so I’ve heard) but I thought I share them with you today.

Go to Target
I just love Target. I love the clothes. I love the home décor. I love that I can get my groceries there. I just love it. I don’t always have a long list of things I need to buy, but I love just wandering around, seeing what is on clearance, what new clothes they have, etc.
 
Dance around my bedroom
I’ve told you before I have very little dance ability. That doesn’t stop me. Sometimes, the best way to end a stressful day is to dance the stress away. ‘Breathe’ by Michelle Branch is one of my favorite songs to put on for this situation.
 
Exercise
Yep, I’m one of those people. Exercise is a great way to take your mind off of things!

Take a Bubble Bath
Obviously.
 
Lay on the floor of my bedroom
This is a weird one…I can admit it. You would be shocked that with several seating options in my bedroom, I choose the floor. There is something very relaxing about lying on the floor, in the middle of my bedroom under the fan. What? Don’t knock it until you try it.

Clean
Yep, I’m one of those people, too. Cleaning is therapy to me. Throw on some music and a few hours later I feel a little more relaxed AND have a clean little house.
 
Write
Another obvious one. I obviously love to write and find it very therapeutic.

Family
Any one of my family members can help me when I’m feeling stressed out. Whether I am spending time with one or all of them or call them to talk things out, they ALWAYS make me feel better.

Bake
I love to bake anyway, but it really helps me take my mind off a stressful situation. When I feel like things are spiraling out of control, I know I can pick one of my go-to recipes, put the ingredients together and end up with a delicious little treat. Plus, if cookies and cupcakes can't cheer you up, nothing will.

It really depends on the stressful situation, but I can usually count on one of these things to help me feel better or at least take my mind off things for a while. What about you guys? Any unique stress relief strategies?


Monday, September 19, 2011

In Other News...

I feel like lately so many of my posts have been about boys and dating and that is just not okay. It’s true…there are other things going on in my life other than boys, but I guess things change in my dating life so quickly that I have to update you regularly or someone could be old news before I even get to tell you about him. Anyway, these are some of the other things going on…

I’m going through a baking phase and have been obsessed with trying new and exciting recipes lately. My most recent baking success: Snickerdoodle Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. My sister was coming to visit me for the night and snickerdoodles have always been her favorite cookie.  I’m a pretty big fan myself and found this recipe while I was lost in the world of StumbleUpon one night. Snickerdoodles? Amazing. Cupcakes? Delightful. Both of those together: Absolute heaven.
Cupcake goodness :)
Kickball started again last week. I was a little concerned about how this season would go because a bunch of people from our team left and started a new one, not to mention the fact that I don’t always get along with our captain…coach…whatever you call him. I was worried about nothing because I had a blast as always, despite the fact that we lost both our games last week. This season will be great because:
  • I like our new team members a lot.
  • Kickball and beer are always a good combination.
  • With a team motto like, “Win or lose we booze” how could it not be fun? 
I spent this past weekend in Michigan and it was delightful. I went up there to surprise my cousin for her birthday, which was completely unplanned up until a week beforehand. I really wanted to make it up there to see my cousin and get away, but wasn’t really in a position for that to happen until the last minute. There is actually a whole back-story as to how I ended up going, but that involves a boy and requires a completely separate post. I will fill you in on that later. Anyway, I was there for less than 48 hours, but I had a blast. Why was the trip so awesome?
  • Surprising and getting to spend the weekend with my cousin was wonderful.
  • I hadn’t been to Michigan before so it was awesome to enjoy the cooler weather and get away for a few days.
  • I got to do fall activities like a corn maze and a bonfire, all while wearing my cowboy boots. I am so outdoorsy, I know.
  • I was able to get to know my cousin’s husband a little better (they got married in May). We’ve only met a few times, so I’ve never really gotten to know him much at all until this weekend.
  • The boy I mentioned above. I'll fill you in on that later this week.
my cousin and I :)
I’ve been totally on the ball with my workout routine and I feel really good. I got frustrated with myself a few weeks ago because I kept getting on these workout kicks and would quickly fall off the wagon. I decided that I needed to try something new and start out small. I knew I needed to get back into running if I wanted to keep my workouts interesting, but I knew I would lose interest quickly if I didn’t have a reasonable expectation for myself. So I came up with this philosophy to get me started:

“At least a mile a day keeps the double D’s away.”

This could be all in my head, but I’ve always felt that my boobs stayed a manageable size as long as I was running regularly. At one point I did have double D’s and I NEVER want to be that big again. You might think I am crazy for saying that, but you don’t know until you’ve been there. Double D’s are completely overwhelming and inconvenient. That of course, isn’t my only motivation for running. It’s a great workout and a great way to relieve stress. Have I been running every single day since then? Not necessarily, but I have been to the gym several times a week and refuse to let myself leave until I’ve run AT LEAST one mile. I know that isn’t super impressive and I will start to add to it, but for now it is a good way to keep me committed. Between the running and the leg and arm workouts I’ve been doing at the gym, I feel good about where I’m at right now.

I've also been brainstorming new titles for the little blog of mine and I think I've finally come up with one. My first blogoversary is coming up in October, so I'm thinking that'll be a good time to debut it! I feel like the blog has evolved a bit since I started it so even though I'm pretty attached to what I have, I think it's a good time for a change. Can't wait to share it with you!


Well that’s it for now. Now you know I do have other things going outside of my dating life and I love the simple things like kickball and cupcakes that make me happy.