Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Happy Thanksgiving!

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 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?
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.
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.

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!

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.