I keep coming back to this….

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A picture from our trip to Italy in June

I haven’t blogged in forever, and honestly wasn’t really planning to until the other day I got a random comment on my blog that needed moderating. Now here I am writing an new blog post that, at this very minute, I’m not sure I’ll even post.

I stopped blogging because I really didn’t have time to blog, and also because the internet had sort of gotten out of control. Well, in the past year it has only gotten worse, but I also find myself with a lot more free time, and just a lot on my mind in general.

Since the last time I’ve blogged J and I have moved back to our hometown and with that came so many emotions. I was excited to be near family and close friends, but also a little apprehensive that I would quickly lose that excitement and remember all the reasons I wanted to leave in the first place. A year in and I can happily say that I have loved this year. I have a new job that has been such a nice change of pace for me. I have loved being closer to family and friends. Jamey has been loving his job, and overall things have gone really well. We have had a few growing pains over the year and I’m sure those will continue for at least a little while, but I feel blessed to have had such a smoothe transition overall.

We have taken a few trips over the year, and maybe I’ll detail those in future posts I do here on the blog if I do any. I’m also training for a half-marathon at the moment. I’m really into the idea of running right now, but I’m not sure how that will translate to miles on the road in the future….

Jamey is currently beginning to train for the same half and then going to continue training for a full. He is very busy with work and has just recently gotten over several sicknesses. Hopefully, he will have a little better work-life balance and better health in the future months! We are both hoping for better running weather in the future.

Okay, I’ve said all I want to say for the current moment and just maybe I’m coming around to the idea of hitting post on this blog…

 

 

 

 

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Ramblings from my hammock 

  This past year has been a very strange year in my life and in my marriage. Three and a half years into this crazy ride J and I are still figuring this whole thing out. Sometimes we get it right and sometimes we get it oh so wrong, but we learn in both times and keep right on trucking. We have had more major decisions to make in the past year then I think I’ve had to make in my entire life. Our new life motto has become “We make the best decisions we can with the information we have in front of us.” And as always in life, hind sight is  20/20. 

We will inevitably have many more decisions to make over our lifetime and I’m trying to be thankful for this past year that has taught us how to do that better together. To be honest, with two stubborn, independent people that both have very different ideas about how this whole life thing should be, we’ve learned and relearned how to listen, how to extend and receive grace. To know when it is best to take a break and when to wrestle through the hard stuff. We are still learning, but I’ve never been more glad that I married a man who is patient and willing to walk through this crazy adventure with me. 

So, with this time of year being the time of year of new beginnings, a sort of 2nd new year, I’m embracing it. Taking time to realign. Taking time to focus on the important things. Taking time to reflect on the past year and learn. Taking time to stop and spend time with my husband. Uninterrupted time. Taking time to dig into the Word. To open my heart and mind. Taking time to embrace this in-between time in our life. Enjoying not having to make a major life decision at least for the next two months…..

This One is for You Elle

It has been over a year. I’m ashamed. Mainly because I just went back and read my old posts and I love reading them and I’m a little sad our entire last year wasn’t documented. Especially since we had a lot of big events and big “almost” events over the past year.

– Jamey got his masters

– Jamey applied and got into several PhD programs.

– We decided to move to Hawaii

– We moved out of our last apartment

– We went to Peru

– We lived apart for almost  6 months

– We decided two weeks before moving we weren’t moving to Hawaii

– Jamey started a new job

– We bought a house

– We went to San Fransisco/Napa

– We have made multiple updates to our said new house

– We joined a new church

Okay, I think that caught me up to our current situation. We love our house and we love our jobs. We are on-the-go a lot, especially Jamey. Currently he is in Dubai and then he is going to China (not sure of what city he will be in….) and next week I’ll be outside Chicago for work and then the next week he will be in some other foreign country that I’m not sure of at the moment… Yeah, yeah I should know where he is and where he is going, but he travels so much I can’t keep up. It is in my calendar, but I just don’t care to look it up at the moment!

So anyway, obviously the past year has been sort of a whirlwind, but we are officially more settled into our new lives. I’ll try to write a little more now that I’m out of busy season! You hear that Elle, I’m back to blogging! Well, at least for now 😉

Here are a few pictures of our past year!

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A fraternity brother’s wedding in the Spring

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Our best friends’ wedding in May

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In Peru

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A summer night in Demopolis

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San Francisco bike ride

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Napa Wine Tour

Home is Where the Heart is…

Birmingham Sunset

Birmingham Sunset

Right now I’m sitting in my bed in my hotel watching Parenthood and Revenge on Hulu and wishing Hewitt was curled up beside me to keep me warm. Does anyone remember that moment when – all of sudden – you knew that you officially called somewhere else home, besides where you grew up with your parents? Throughout college I called my parents’ houses “home,” and they were my home. They were my sanctuary, my safe place, the place I could release all my college worries and stresses and just be the me I had been my entire life. Really it still is, when I’m around my family I slip into my old roles. Sure, I’ve changed some over the past few years, but when I’m around my family it almost seems like I’m still that same girl I was at 6 or at 13 or  even 16. I slip into my old rhythms, but really this post isn’t about that feeling. This post is about that moment when you realize that your childhood home is no longer home. It is no longer the place where you seek refuge or where you can be the most true you.

I realized that last Christmas. It had been a hectic Christmas trying to go here, there and everywhere, but mainly just the normal holiday stuff that everyone does. All I could think about during this time was getting back “home” and winding down in front of the fire. In a moment it hit me: home wasn’t the place I had always thought it was, but instead I had a new home in Birmingham, with my husband. It isn’t that where my parents live isn’t my home, but it no longer is quite the same place it used to be for me. They are places that house pieces of me and memories that I will always hold dear, and of course my family holds pieces of my heart. Family will always be a safety net for me, but Jamey is my new home. When we got married I think the fact that Jamey was my home became head knowledge. It wasn’t until we got into our routine and really lived everyday life together, really relied on each other, and then spent sometime away from my old home, that it became clear to me how much he was truly my home and my safety and my refuge. I find comfort in that, you know since I’m supposed to spend my whole life with him and all…. But honestly I’m not sure I ever consciously thought through the fact that one day I would have a new home in my heart and that something else would feel comfortable and safe. I’m glad that it happened though and I’m glad it overcame me when I least expected it, because I had to really stop and think about it, and I could step back an enjoy it.

Somehow this post became sappy when I didn’t mean for it to, but did anyone else have that moment of realization? Even apart from marriage, just living somewhere and becoming aware of how much that place became the place your heart resided and it became home for you?

Bring it on 2014.

Sunrise in Israel. Photocredit goes to Jamey!

Sunrise in Israel. Photocredit goes to Jamey!

Well the New Year is upon us it seems. We had a blast ringing it in with friends in Atlanta, and on the 1st I cooked the typical New Year’s meal of collards and black-eyed peas along with mac and cheese, pork chops, and cornbread. (I can’t actually take credit for the pork chops because they were cooked by the men. Thanks James!) We then had friends come in Thursday for a few days and then Saturday my sister came into town for a quick stop over after a long trip out west, so I almost feel like the holidays are just now ending. Jamey starts back school this week, so I’m sure we will be back to the grind in no time.

I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions, but I typically stop periodically throughout the year and make goals. Sometimes they are habits I hope to start and sometimes they are just things I want to get done. I actually sat down and did that just the other day with my career goals and as I was making my list of career goals I started thinking about personal ones as well.

A few I came up with were….

-FINALLY plan that vacation Jamey and I have been talking about for over a year. We keep saying we are going to go to Honduras, but things keep coming up and getting in the way and we put it off, but just yesterday as we were driving we discussed that this summer was the summer and we are determined to go and stop letting things get in the way.

– Open up that emergency savings account we’ve been talking about. We always try to keep money tucked away in our savings for emergencies, but we seriously need to separate it from out other savings accounts that we use for vacations and other things. I have a goal to save at least 6 months of our take home pay in another savings account that we can’t touch unless it is an emergency. I’ve started saving for it but haven’t separated it out, so that is next on my to-do list for sure.

– Finish reading those last couple of books on my list… (I’ve read all but two books on my list that I put up in September, I’ve been putting them off mainly because I haven’t been able to find them at the Library. I’ve actually read about three or four more books that weren’t originally on the list just because I haven’t been able to find those two….)

– Work through my devotional (This, I guess, is the one that is most like a New Year’s resolution since it will last all year) This Christmas Jamey and I received devotionals from his grandmother  that are leather-bound and have our names on them, but what makes them really special is that she got everyone to sit down and write a note to us on their birthday. So, for example, when Jamey opens his devotional on April 3rd there will be a note from me which serves dual purpose 1)you get a note from family members throughout the year and 2)you are reminded when it is someones birthday. I am in love with this and the next time we are in my family’s area I’m going to get everyone on my side to write in our as well. I’ll also jot down other important events that happen in our lives throughout the year and then one day I will be able to look back on the book and see all that happened in this year!

So those are the closest things I have to resolutions for the New Year, and hopefully most of those will be done before January is over and in February I will sit down with a new list of goals to take on for that month.

Hope y’all had a fabulous New Year’s Day and I wish you all the best in 2014! Oh an War Eagle for my Auburn fans out there! I’ll be watching the game tonight from Birmingham so cheer loud for me too if you are in Pasadena!