Monday, February 4, 2013

Looking For A Legacy

My mom passed away recently. Last August. It was sudden. Unexpected. Not enough was said. There wasn't enough time. So much time was wasted.

Since her death I have had such emotion in my life. Most days I have immense joy and an overwhelming feeling of such gratefulness. Most days anyway. I have gratefulness that my mom and I were able to say some much needed things to each other. But still it was too soon. So fast. Too fast.

So many questions have come since August. One questions stands above the others. What will my legacy be? I guess that I don't know what it will be, but I do know what I want it to be. Just a few of the things I hope for my legacy are my marriage, kids, kindness, generosity, and in no particular order. The one common denominator in all of these, I believe, is love. I want to be remembered for loving people and putting action to that love.

My kiddos. I want to show my kids lots of love no matter what mistakes they make. When my boys were young I always said I would love them unconditionally. That's so easy to say when they are young, living in your house, and it's your rules. Wait until they are young adults and things don't go your way. Wait until they start living in a complete and polar opposite way that it makes you wonder if the babies were swapped at birth. No, really. That's when you learn it, the unconditional part of love. I have learned how to extend real unconditional love the last couple of years. I may not agree with my kiddos and the way they live life sometimes. I may be sad from time to time to learn about the mistakes my boys have made in life. But the one thing I will always do is love them completely. And a mom never, ever gives up on her kids. Not now, not ever. That, to me, is love.

I want to show love and support to my husband even when I don't "like" him. You know what I'm talking about. My husband and I have been together for well over twenty years. It's been since high school. Our senior year of high school actually. This year we are both going to be turning forty. If you know my husband you know one central thing about him. The man is funny. He makes me laugh. Every single day. Some of those days I don't deserve the effort he puts into bringing me to so much laughter. No, really. It's true. I am the opposite of Bobby. I'm very much about rules, structure, and just walking a straight line in life. I'm commonly referred to as a party pooper, and not just by my husband. Bobby is always late, rarely serious with me, and has almost no structure to his life at all. How we ended up still together so many years later I will never understand. We laugh and have so much fun together. He has loved and supported me through so many ups and downs. He has shown me real and unconditional love and taught me so much. So much about love.

I want to be a good friend. A good friend to people that aren't exactly like me. Why is it that so many women feel like they can only be friends with other women that are exactly like them? That use to be me and my circle of friends. Very matchy, matchy, if you know what I mean. I think I have such an amazing group of women in my life. Women I am so proud to call friend. I love the uniqueness of my friends. I love the beauty in my friends. They make me think. Think about myself and what kind of person I really am and they make me look at the way I treat people. My friends inspire me and make me want to be more like them. My girlfriends don't always agree with me. They don't always believe like me. They don't always live life like me. But when I need a friend and a different perspective I am so grateful for my friends. My friends lift me up when I am down, and sad. My friends show me love. They teach me about love and how to be a real friend.

I want to be remembered as a generous and kind person. Generous not just with my money, but generous with my time. And not just generous with my time to my family and friends. I want to not rush through this one life I have. I want to take the time to notice. Notice the people that are in need. And not just the immediate people in my life but the single mom at the grocery store that could use some help, the senior citizen that could use some assistance pumping gas. It's so easy to get caught up in the craziness of this one single life we have and not notice the people around us. I want to notice. I want to love on those people. Sometimes a smile or a kind word to a stranger can change a day. I want that. I strive for that. I pray for that.

For years before my mom passed, things were strained between us. It wasn't all on her. And it wasn't all on me. The blame simply lies with both of us. We blew it. We wasted time and energy on such petty things. I buried my mom when I was 38 years old. That shouldn't have happened. I have spent too much time and energy on so much silliness. That's not how I want this one life to be remembered. I have this one life. And I don't intend on wasting it.

Be blessed,


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Living in Low Country: First Thoughts

My first thought is why do they call it Low Country? I have been here three weeks and heard a multitude of definitions of Low Country (sometimes seen as one word, lowcountry). I will get back to you on the "official" reason it's called this.

For obvious reasons I am loving being here due to the close proximity to the beach (about 15 minutes). I love the beach! I love to read on the beach. I love to lay on the beach. I love to hear the waves crash on the beach. I love to people watch on the beach. I love to walk on the beach. I just love the beach. And now to say that I can call this beautiful beachy place home....well, it just makes me all giddy inside.

Bridges, bridges everywhere. You can't get to any place around this low country without going over a bridge (see picture below of my favorite). And I love it.

Marshland. The definition of marshland is a low-lying wet land with grassy vegetation; usually is a transition zone between land and water. Currently we are living along the Ashley River. Most of our access is on marshland. We have a beautiful boardwalk area that extends to the marshland. I took some beautiful pictures of the sun setting a few days ago from this marshland. I can't wait to post. I left my camera/laptop extension in Nashville so the pictures will have to wait until after our short trip home next weekend. There seems to be marshland everywhere you turn here. It's breathtaking to me. I don't think it will ever get old.

South Carolina homes are gorgeous!!! Two exhausting weekends of home shopping (see pic below) and we have decided to rent short term. One day I hope to own one of these homes but it's a little too soon for us for now.

It's home now. That's all. I do love it here already. It really is starting to feel like we're home. This week it becomes official as I buy a car, and a South Carolina tag to put on that car. Not to mention the fun trip to the DMV to get my new drivers license. And in a couple of weeks I start my new job. After seven months of our lives being in total flux we are finally home. That feels good. It's good to be home.

My favorite bridge for obvious reasons (the running lane). I can't wait to run this.

South Carolina home shopping at it's finest. Love!!!

Dear John. It's a movie. Go watch this movie. It was filmed in Charleston. I just recently learned that and now I can't wait to watch it again.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Four No More

Twenty two years. That's how many years Bobby & I have been together. That's four more than my parents were married. And during that time we've almost always been four. Four meaning a family of four. We never had the dating phase, or the engagement phase, or the great newlywed phase most couples have. Jay was  eight months old when we started dating. And then we were blessed with Matt shortly after. We didn't always do things in the right order, but we did it. It wasn't always easy, but we did it. And I wouldn't change a single thing about the road we have traveled. And literally traveled is what we've done. Especially lately.

I am typing this from beautiful Charleston, South Carolina. In the last 10 months we have went from living in Nashville, Tennessee, to packing and planning for a move to Australia (that promptly came to a halt), to a 5 month Oregon layover, and now a permanent move to South Carolina.

We have raised our boys (raised being a loose term). We have spent timeless hours on late night science projects and homework. I have had too many sleepless nights to count. Nights that I spent holding a sick boy that just needed his mom to feel better. And I was always okay with that. Bobby spent countless days and nights on soccer fields, basketball courts, and baseball fields. All of that time coaching. Coaching and teaching not just our two boys but countless numbers of other kids. If you are reading this and you are a parent then you understand. You understand the sacrifice that we all make as good parents. The list is endless.

So here we are. Four no more. Now it's just us two.

This weekend starts my attempt to venture out in this new city and state and find fun things for us to do, just us two. We have a lot of time to make up for. I am going out armed with my camera in hopes of getting some great shots of our weekend adventures. I will do my best to document all of the fun on this blog. So get ready to see Charleston, South Carolina (and surrounding areas). Here we go..........

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Beautiful Oregon Coast

Several weekends back Bobby and I made the drive to the Oregon coast. The drive alone is beautiful and so scenic. I am still in awe of the trees, the beauty and size. When we arrived at this coastal town, I was immediately taken in. It was as though I was in a movie. This little town is full of quaint bookstores, shops, and bistros. Cannon Beach did not disappoint. Also, I am a tried and true 80's kid so I thought it was a lot of fun to be on the coast where The Goonies movie was filmed.

Because we decided to drive out Labor Day weekend, Cannon Beach was packed with people trying to get in the last drop of summer here in the Pacific Northwest. This particular day it seemed to this Tennessee girl, that summer had already ended since the temperatures this weekend on the coast were only in the 70's. However, that didn't seem to matter to the thousands that were not just on the beach that day, but also in the very cold water. Nonetheless, everyone seemed to be enjoying the last official weekend of summer.

Cannon Beach has 9 miles of very wide and walkable beaches. It's not at all like the beaches down south in the gulf. And my favorite part about Cannon Beach, and all of the Pacific Northwest, is that they allow dogs. I sat down on the beach this day and watched dog after dog fetch after anything and everything that was thrown. I was one happy girl.

Haystack Rock has to be the most photographed thing in Cannon Beach. You can't help but be drawn to this beautiful rock. Yes, it is just a rock, but a very big rock at 235 feet high. We took pictures but our pictures don't really do it justice.

After our time on the beach we went exploring in the town. We couldn't resist all the shops from the bakery to the book shop to the candy store. Bruce's Candy Kitchen made me want to be a kid again. I wanted to buy everything. It was all so colorful and looked so yummy. I took some pictures of my favorites but only ended up with a small bag of Jelly Belly's and a couple chocolate turtles.

Everywhere we seem to visit one thought is always constant in my mind. I am having the most amazing time here. But I do wish my boys were here to experience and enjoy this with us. No matter the 2,500+ miles between us, I am still a mama missing her boys.

Be blessed,


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

It's True What Dorothy Said

My Tennessee Home Sweet Home
Absolutely, without a doubt, I know now that Dorothy knew what she was talking about when she said that there is no place like home. Man, I miss Tennessee. Mostly I miss my big front porch and taking mornings to sit in my rocking chair, drink my coffee, watch my puppies play together, and looking out at our beautiful property. Prior to our big move to Oregon I really contemplated that we may sell our home eventually. After being 2,300 miles away we are without a doubt keeping our place and whether it's 2 years or 10 years, we will be back to Nashville to stay.

I made the decision to not blog in my "down days" the last couple of weeks. And after a long run last week I made the decision to not have anymore "down days". I realized pretty quickly how silly I was being by feeling so home sick. This after I took my mood out on a few people that didn't deserve it. Apologies followed.

Gratefulness and thankfulness is how I am feeling now. I realize what amazing family & friends I have had in my life and continue to have in my life. So this blog will be long. Long with pictures. Pictures of all the people I miss so very much.

Uncle Johnny, Jeff, my grandparents, and my momma.

My family of four. The three men in my life.

Don't know what I would do without her. My friend Misty.
I only met this lady a year ago but spending two full days together in a stinky
van with 6 other people definitely changed my life and this friendship.
Ragnar Tennesee 2011. Love her!

Just some of my big 'ole family.

My friend Clare & I before the Blvd. Bolt last Thanksgiving morning. This girl pushes me
to be a better runner everytime we run. She's a ridiculous runner.

My first trail half marathon with these ladies. Missing all the fun we've had
over the last year. We'll always have the Ragnar. :)

One of my childhood BFF's. So proud of this lady and what she has done with her life.

I call her Trainer Jennifer. She's part of my Y running family.
I sure do miss having her and the rest of our group to run with.

My sister & my dad. I don't know what my life would be like without them. Dull & boring I am sure. :)

Two of the best ladies I know and two of the best friends. This was my first half
marathon and they came down and waited for me to cross that finish line. Two of
the best listeners in the world.

Another childhood BFF. I hadn't seen her in almost 20 years. So glad to have her back.

My bestie, Jennifer. Enough said.

Marley. We miss our puppies so much being here. They are still in Tennessee with our boys.

Our sweet puppy Sport. Miss him!

Bobby with his dad & sisters.

I have so many people in my life that love me and that I am grateful to call my family. And whether they are my blood family or not, they are family. Still, so many people I wish I had pictures of to be able to post pictures of (Kim & Lee, Mary Kay, Laurie, Jenna, Bel, Randa, just to name a few). Spending 10-12 hours each and everyday with the view below is such a blessing. But it sure gives me a lot of time to look at my life and count all the blessings.

 More Oregon pics and posts to follow. I promise. Maybe a trip to Canada. And possibly Hawaii.

Be blessed,


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Winning The Heart of a Princess

On our 3rd day of our long holiday weekend we made the hour drive to Multnomah Falls. These falls, according to Native American lore, were created to win the heart of a princess who wanted a hidden place to bathe. No mention in that story if she gave her heart away after seeing this, but I am certain if this was created for me that my heart would be his. Be blessed.


At the top of the Columbia River Gorge. This view was pure perfection to me.

It goes as far as the eye can see.

Still looking at the Colmbia River Gorge before we made that long and windy trip down to the falls.

You can hike to the top of the falls. That was our plan on this Labor Day but after getting to the falls
and walking up part of the trail we decided to turn back due to it being overcrowded.
We will be back for the full 6.8 mile hike.

Looking at these enormous trees in this beautiful state never, ever get old to me.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Life As I Know It

What a difference a few months can make. Just a couple of months ago I was working my corporate job as a Project Analyst in Nashville, Tennessee and planning our big move to Melbourne, Australia. Today I'm sitting in a tiny lake house in Oregon. Life as I know it has now changed a lot. I can't even put into words the difference in where I was and where I am today. Living in the Pacific Northwest is inspiring to me. I am inspired by the environment we are in because of so many people out walking, running, riding bikes, and just being healthy. My normal in Nashville, Tennessee was a little more the opposite. Here in Oregon you seem to be odd man out if you aren't eating and living a healthy lifestyle. In Tennessee I felt like I was more in the minority when it came to living a healthy life. I do feel very at home and in my element when it comes to the healthy life I try to live overall. However, I miss home. That's all I will say about that until a planned later post about all my favorite people.

I have some pictures from our first trip to the wonderful farmers market that is here within walking distance (including my first taste of yellow watermelon). I absolutely love this market. This will be part of our regular Saturday morning routine through October. Also, one picture from our trip to Cannon Beach the first time around. Be blessed.


Salt & Straw Ice Cream. The BEST salted caramel flavor ever!!

Yellow watermelon? It was very yummy!

The view from the farmers market.

If you only knew what we had to go through to get this picture. This day it was cold, rainy, and extremely windy on the coast. And we were not prepared. But we laughed and laughed some more to help us deal with the hypothermia that I know was about to set in.