Monday, July 21, 2014

Every Thing Comes with Change

With moving for anyone many things change and adjustments are made. You have to get used to your new surroundings, new neighbors, finding your way around town, places to eat, new date night places, new job, house, friends, traffic, weather, style, country living vs. city living. I mean the list goes on and on. One of the things that I didn't think would be a huge change or adjustment for me has been one of the biggest adjustments. I've never been that person that loves loves to go grocery shopping but I certainly did not mind it either. When we lived in Hawaii the hubbs and I always went together. I wouldn't of had it any other way. It was my first time ever grocery shopping for my family (even if it was just the two of us, so it was a bit intimidating.) Once we PCSed to a The South 90% of the time I had to go by myself because of the hubbs job and life on the trail he was always working weekends and not able to go. I got used to it and frankly ended up liking it better that way. You see it saved us a TON of money. I'm one that has a list, a strict list and I stick to my list. If it's not on the list I do NOT get it. There's not if ands or buts. I prioritize our income and budget out everything, (of course that's a personal choice we choice) it's worked out really well for us. But when the hubbs would come along we would get extras here and there and they add up, quickly might I add. So I learned a routine to shop on my own and it worked. I enjoyed it. We've always shopping at the commissary on post, its easy convenient and makes much more sense when you think about the prices at local or big name stores. Even now living off post in TN I still shop at the commissary here but boy has that been the biggest headache ever. The first time we went in was when we came up and signed on our house to. So it was a quick in and out. It felt overwhelming because it was so much bigger. I felt out of place because it wasn't "my commissary" were I shopped regularly. I know it would become "mine" over time but goodness I didn't expect it to take this long. I could go in to the commissary at Jackson or even the one on Schofield and go right to what I needed but here nope not happening. I've already been multiple times and I still hate that place. Its so big, its set up completely different and so backwards. They have household items spread all through out the store instead of having them in one section together. The refrigerated stuff and freeze stuff is completely separated and spread apart. As well as the lunch meat, bacon, and breakfast items. Then through in the pet stuff smack in the middle of a random aisle and the cleaning stuff no, lets not put it all together on one aisle we will take up two that aren't even side by side. The bread section is again split in to two areas and is right in the front of the store, its almost as it your walking out to go back to the bread section before checking out. On and don't get me started on the people here at the commissary. I though it was bad shopping with all of the elderly retired service members at Jackson. Shoot here lets just stop in the middles of the aisle and walk back and forth until I find what I need. No reason to push my cart to the side out of the way. I passed one girl in there the other day with headphones on and she said as I passed her "OMG, you scared the crap out of me." Well maybe you should take your jam session some were else because there's people here trying got shop and avoid your dance party in the aisle. Another couple stops in front of the can goods and decides to have a make out session. Another has her entire family, husband and three kids two carts completely full and walks side by side down the aisles while they allow their children to help pick the items off the shelf. Don't get me wrong I"m all about letting the kids help but stick to one side. I seriously HATE that commissary and don't know if I'll ever get used to it. I still don't know my way around it. At Jackson I knew what aisles I didn't have to go down because I didn't need anything on it. Here NOPE, I find myself back tracking several times trying to make sure I got everything on my list. Its so so so annoying, I try to be quick about it, in and out but that just doesn't happen. I never though I'd get so frustrated shopping at the commissary. I avoid going on payday or even the day after so that I don't have to deal with that made rush so its not even that. I know its a new store, new lay out and its just going to take time but holy crap how much time. On the plus side I have our shopping trips down to once a month. Have you ever had problems or difficulties learning your way around a new commissary? Just one of the joys about moving I suppose, life as a milispouse right!!! 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Back on the Streets

After what seemed like a eternity I finally slipped back into my running shoes at the beginning of the month. I took 4 months or so off with the move, stress of finding a new job and finding my grove in TN. Now that things have finally settled down, I've been hitting the pavement regularly and I feel so good about it. I started off short and slow and have built back up slowly. I wake up pack my bag and I don't even think twice about it. Most day's that is. I have been running on my lunch from work and this past week the weather has been pretty great. Not to hot, Not to cold. But the weeks before that its been horrifying hot. I'm trying not to push myself to hard but knowing what I have accomplished in the past makes me want to get back to that point. Sooner rather than Later ideally. One day at a time, One step at a time. I don't want to hurt myself again, training for my half I pulled a ten-dent in my leg which was awful. Friday I pushed through 5 miles straight, of course my time wasn't were it was at my last 10K race but I was pretty pumped with my end results. I've been helping a co-worker / friend over the last few weeks with running. She started off walking a few miles on her lunch, and slowly started running. Started at .5 miles and now she's up to 3.5 miles not straight only stopping once or twice but she's doing fabulous and to know that I've helped her get to were she is makes it all that much more worth it. Running has been a huge stress reliever for me and has helped me in so many ways, starting with feeling better about myself. B (friend from wrk) and I signed up for our first 5K. It'll be my first of the year and her first ever!!! It's not till October, we couldn't find anything sooner in our area. But we are still looking. I'm excited to get back in to racing, no I'll never win top in my age group or anything like that but I love the rush you get from it. And the since of pride from accomplishing each run and race. 
Just a bit of running selfie over load!!! 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Just a little bit of Life Lately!

* When we lived in the South I went home every day for lunch just about. Here in Music City State its not exactly convenient for me to go home for my lunch. I found a great lunch spot down the street from were I work. Its called Dunbar Cave Park. 
There's picnic tables surrounding the lake, a couple different walking / running trails, and some old Caves with lots of wild life full of nature. Makes for some relaxing lunch breaks. 
I've managed to take a couple run's through the trails on my lunch which is the perfect way to clear my head. 


     
*Hubbs and I went for a random date night drive a couple weeks ago. We kept driving North towards Kentucky and eventually crossed the boarder. Hey who am I kidding we live like 15 minutes away from the state line. Hubbs said he figured we'd head this way and check out the area to see what we could find. Let me tell you we found a pretty darn fabulous Mexican joint. We left stuffed to pieces!! So Bueno!!!! 

*We found a local German Bakery / Deli near down town and decided to stop and check it out one afternoon. We picked up a couple different loafs of bread and made a few delicious bites with them. One of our favorites was Bruschetta. This was a first for me, making homemade bruschetta but it turned out fabulous and we finished the whole loaf off in one night. Not to worry we turned it in to our dinner and I ended up not cooking that night. 
*I made a pit stop on my way home the other evening when I got a FaceTime call from these two beauties!!! I was so excited to see them and talk to them both. Sweet Little Lu is getting so big and really starting to talk so well. Its crazy that she was so tiny when she started in my class almost two years ago now. There may be miles upon miles between us now but I'll always love them to pieces!!! 
*I start most my mornings here before heading to work. I generally get up, get ready, make some toast or a bowl of cereal and enjoy it out on our back deck with the pups. Watching the sun coming up, the birds chirping and the pups running around the yard. Its my "ME" time before my day really gets started away from everything just out our back door. I can't wait to add more flowers, outdoor decor and seating to spice up the deck. Its one of my favorite parts about our new home. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Happy Birthday 'Merica

Just a little fun art we did at school last week during class. We talked about Independence day, learned the Pledge of Allegiance, had a Picnic outside for Lunch and even read books on Fireworks. 
The kiddo's really seemed to enjoy all different fun activities we had planed for them and the best part about the whole thing was…..it was a 4 day school week!!! Holla!!!! 










We had a low key celebration this year, we talked about going to a few different Fire Work shows in the area, even down in Nashville but we really didn't want to have to deal with the after math of the traffic getting home. So we opted to stay home and do a little grilling on the patio. Earlier that day we went out and did a little shopping for some things around the house. We also checked out the local mall here, it actually wasn't to bad for such a small country area. A few store defiantly worth going back for. After a quick lunch we headed back home to start on dinner.
 It was just going to be the two of us, I had invited a couple people from work over but they had other things going on. Our friends B & C were outta town and so it was just going to be the two of us. After I got to cooking and putting everything together I realized we had a lot of food for just the two of us. That tends to happen every so often. lol Lucky we had been out chatting with our neighbors earlier and they had mentioned they were grilling out as well. I decided to go over and see if they'd want to join us instead. They so kindly took us up on our offer and joined us for dinner. 
We spent the next 4+ hours outside on our patio enjoying their company, getting to know them better and watching the fireworks through the tree line behind our house. We eventually carried the conversations inside, were we spent the next 2 hours chatting away. It was a great evening and it couldn't have worked out better. Simple, relaxing with great company and yummy food. Who could of asked for a better way to celebrate America's Independence!!! 

I didn't take to many picture but we did have quite the feast: Grilled Chicken & Bison Kabobs, Grilled Veggie Kabobs, Twice Baked Potatoes, Roasted Corn and Homemade Strawberry Coconut Cake with Homemade Buttercream Icing. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

New School...

After several interviews at various preschools around the area I finally accepted a position at a local preschool as a Pre-K 5 Teacher. I couldn't be more excited about this opportunity that's been given to me. This chance to finally spread my wings and built my experience. I absolutely love love working with kids and being able to experience life with them. Finally getting the chance to expand my experience is really important to me.
I will be in a classroom all to myself, no assistant here. I'm totally fine with that just means I really have to step up my game. I'll have a up to 15, 5 year olds in my care all to myself. Yikes that's a lot'a little ones. Thankfully my classroom is connected by a half wall with the Pre-K 4 classroom and the teacher in there seems to be really great and willing to help me with everything needed. It's always so hard starting over, having to learn new policies and procedures, meet new people, making friends, proving myself and getting the kiddo's to fall for me, learn to trust me and simply have fun with me.
The school is small, much smaller than were I came from at EDS. Its ran completely different as every school is but to come from such a awesome place I can't help but compare. I'm trying not to really I am but its so hard not to.
Another thing I'm having to learn to process and take in every day that I didn't before is "broken families." Believe it or not at the school I worked at before in Cola, there was not but maybe one or two broken families. And there was only two military families that went to the school. So I didn't work with military families or spend my days around children who's parents were away for various reason's. Now don't get me wrong I have worked with military families and their children in Hawaii. But I have never in my life worked with a group of kids that have come from so many broken families, parents that aren't in the picture at all. Children that live with grandparents or even foster care and other relatives. It breaks my heart, why on earth would anyone at all walk out on their child or not do everything in their power to provide a wonderful life for their children. Now don't get me wrong I come from a broken family myself so I am not at all down grading them but to have some of these kiddos tell me "I don't have a mommy," when we are talking about something in class just makes me so sad. I just want to scoop them up and take them home with me.
On the other hand there are a few ever so loving 5 year old's in my class that we refer to as "walking tornado's" and OMG I have to just walk away myself sometimes. I've had one child use multiple curse words in class, another push a chair across the room, kick and hit their friends. Of course they are kids, these things are going to happen but the language is were I drawl the line. Your out the door when you start talking like that.
I'm still learning the routine, the kids, the school, the management, my co-workers, who to talk to and who to watch what I say to as you have to deal with, with every job. It comes with time, time I've got and willing to spare. I'm giving it 100% and putting everything I have into it. My only hope is to leave a lasting impression on these families as I did with my last.
Change is hard, its never easy but I'm embracing it making the most of it!!! But I'd be lying like crazy if I said I didn't miss my EDS family so much. I'll be back, even if its just a visit for now and that's what keeps me going. :)
Oh and well since every girl loves a monogram and we all know I love everything monogrammed, I though I'd share these with yall!!! We have to wear scrubs Monday - Thursday (Friday is bluejeans and our school shirt day) and I'm not all about the prints and patterns on the scrubs so I went with solid colors and MONOGRAMMED them!!!! They turned out perfect and definitely jazzed them up a bit!!!! 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Headed "Home"

After what seemed like the longest month and a half later I was finally on the road headed back to TN. For Good This Time. Well at least for the next few years. I couldn't wait to see my hubbs, I've missed him so much. Some how this seemed like a good idea at the time but the longer the days drug on the more I hated myself for staying. Don't get my wrong I didn't regret it at all, I just missed being able to live life with my love in our new house. I couldn't help but think that if I would have gone when he did then I wouldn't have gotten in that wreck. I was at least grateful that I had gone up in the beginning of May to unpack our house and set it up. One last thing I had to stress over  and deal with when I got home.
I ended my last day at EDS (for now, I hope to be back one day) Said my "see you soon's"and headed home to pack up my things. Cory took me to get my car, finally I couldn't wait to have my own car back again. We transferred everything over and I was on my way, well for a short moment that was. I made one last stop to say "see you soon" get hugs and kisses from the Sweet R family. They were the last ones I saw in the South before I left. I couldn't leave with out one last hug!!! These two have my heart and its in a million pieces knowing I'm not going to be able to see them for a while. 
Blowing Kisses as I drove away, breaks my heart. 
Here's to the next 7 hours, just me and the highway. I left much later than I had wanted to but none the less I was on the road headed "home". 
It was a long grueling drive, mainly through the night but I finally made it home around 2am and couldn't of been happier. I was so tired I didn't even take a single thing inside. I had a interview in 8 hours and had to be up in 6 hours so I was fast asleep as soon as I laid down. 
I loved coming home to a house that was set up, decorated and I could just pick right up. Our house felt like home but Tennessee most defiantly did not. Driving around later the next day I had a lump in my throat the whole time. How am I suppose to do this, starting over, finding a job I love as much as my last, finding friends, building new memories and favorite places to go to. I know it all comes with time and I'll get there but for now I still miss home. I'll always miss home. South Carolina that is. I NEVER in my wildest dreams would have though that I could have loved life in Cola as much as a I did. I was not crazy about it when we moved there at all. But that changed with time. I'm not saying I don't like it here in TN, I haven't been here long enough to give it a chance. I'm sure I'll grow to love it and enjoy it our time. We will make wonderful memories that I'll love and cherish forever! It just takes time and patients. I'm trying just sometimes easier said than done. 

I'll start here…….

We have a large covered deck off the back of our house so I picked up this lovely set before I left Cola. I absolutely love it!!! We've never had a nice patio set (just the cheap plastic one from the PX) but not this time. I splurged and couldn't be happier with it. I'm all about saving money and going with the basics of things but this time was different. I for see us having many meals out here, drinks with friends, watching the pups run around and play and seeing the lightening bugs fly through the night. Or in case's like today breakfast on the patio, peach tea, toast with homemade strawberry jam made by yours truly. 
I'm trying over here, and that's all I can do. One day at a time, One foot in front of the other. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Its not goodbye but see you soonly…..

Its not goodbye, simply see you soonly. 
A couple of my moms got together and planned a going away party for me. It was the sweetest thing ever. They invited all the little ones I've had a school since I started. It was at a local park I ran by daily when training for my marathon. Some great memories were shared at that park, so it was a wonderful way to say my "see you soon's" to them. There were cookies and juice for everyone to enjoy, even some speciality monogrammed ones made just for me. I had this pit in my stomach all day because I knew this would be the last time we would all be together for a while. I breaks my heart having to leave them all. Many of their parents say they've grown and learn so much because if me and I feel as if I've grown and learn because of them. They put a smile on my face and make the worst days seen so much better. I can't even begin to thank everyone at EDS for an amazing 3 years. You can call it luck, maybe fate that brought me here but what ever it is I'm so blessed and thankful for the opportunity given to me. 
Until we meet again, Aloha and Mahalo to me Cola / EDS family!!! 

Friday, May 23, 2014

My Last Few Days

Just a little bit of what's been going on here in the South over my last few weeks here, staying with the M family !!! 

I had to take a little more of the South with me to TN. These Chicken Man / Ernest Lee Paintings make the perfect addition to our home sweet home. There's not one the same and I have built quite the collection. Although I didn't realize all three of these are some shade of blue till I got home. At least they look great!!! The picture really doesn't do them justice, he's such a talented artist. 
A few weekends back Sarah, her family and Myself went Strawberry picking at the local Strawberry Field. We ended up picking two large buckets full of Strawberry's. That doesn't include the handful's after handful's that we ate while picking. Come on we couldn't help ourselves, they were magically delicious. 
This sign is me made all over!!! I found it at a local shoe store of all places. They had a few other household decor items but this was my favorite. Describes me and my life in the South to a T. Only I don't have a little girl I can dress in cute Smocked Dresses or Big Beautiful Bow. But when I do, you can bet for sure she'll be dolled out in Smocked Dresses and Bubbles every day!!! 
This is going to look perfect in my new kitchen!! 
Bought this beauty off a Designs by Micah, Inc. FB page. You can take the girl outta Texas but you can't take the Texan outta the girl!! Wearing it proudly supporting the Rangers and remembering my Papa James and were I came from!! 
Need I same anything about this picture at all?? Like I said the yellow plaque above is me made all over. Monogram everything and more!!! Absolutely loving these monogrammed pocket T's!!! 
Lunch date with this beautiful momma. I had sweet lil E in my class last year and I'm so sad that I won't get to see baby M at school this coming up school year. Can you believe she had a baby just a month and a half ago?!? She beautiful right. A and I got really close last year when E was in my class, I loved getting to know her and Big E. They are the sweetest most adorable family ever. I've enjoyed spending time with them and watching their family grow. I know we'll carry our friendship forever. Even though we won't see each other every day or even talk every week, A and her fam. will always have a place in my life.

This little dude Graduated Kindergarden on Friday. I've watched him grow over the past 3 years into such a handsome young fella. If I could take one family from the South with me to TN it would hands down be these little ones. I'm going to miss them so much, my heart breaks just thinking about having to say "See You Soonly" to them. I spend just about every other weekend with them and to all of a sudden not be able to see them every day at school and in the evenings when their momma and dad go out is just gut wrenching. Thank goodness for fb, insta, and FaceTime, still it won't be the same. :(
 Life as a MiliSpouse, def. #bittersweet. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

We Can't Say Goodbye to you at a Park….

Being of April I was babysitting for one of my favorite families and had a conversation about something on my Southern Bucket List. I knew with Football season over it probably wasn't going to happen. Little did I know that one conversation led to the best surprise a group of parents and co-workers could put together. 

6 of my sweet co-workers put together a little lunch-eon in our classroom. I was so surprised and shocked. I had no clue at all, they completely caught me off guard and it was the sweetest little going away party. (although I'm so excited yet sad about the party coming up this week that some of my parents are throwing for me.)
Everyone made a dish to share, there was so much food & sweet tea. They know the way to my heart!!
About 12:45 Kristen made the comment "I know something you don't know", she just couldn't hold out any longer. She went next door to the other room and next thing I know is they are bringing food over to my room. Jamie said "You didn't think we were going to say goodbye to you at a park did you". 
(the party this coming week is at a park)
We had enough food to probably feed about 10-15 of us. It was so fun to have our own little party in my room. As if food and drinks wasn't enough they out did themselves with gifts to. 
A beautiful necklace and earrings set, Palmetto Tree and Crescent Moon Charm and a Monogrammed Cutting Board. Seriously have I mentioned how well they know and love me.
Because food, sweet tea and a few little gifts was not enough they had one more surprise. Remember that conversation I mentioned about my South Carolina Bucket List?! Well M totally out did herself, she told another one of our parents who happens to work at USC about our conversation. 
I wanted to have my picture taken with Cocky before I moved. USC's Mascot!!! Why? I haven't the clue, but living in Columbia you can't help but become a Gamecock fan. It becomes in your blood as much as it's in the locals. They live, breath and sleep Gamecock Country. 
You can imagine my shock and surprise when Cocky came walking into my classroom. It took all we had to keep our voice's down not to wake up the little ones. I had tears streaming down my face, with excitement. To some it may not be that big of a deal, but for me it was. This move from the South to TN has taken a toll on me. I am having the hardest time excepting it. I've built a life here, made friends that have made a lasting impression on me, I have a job at a school that I absolutely love. As much as I'm ready to go and be settled with my husband, I'm going to miss my life here so much. 
Our Director told us we had Cocky for 15 minutes all to ourselves. What were we to do, it was kinda funny at first we all just stood around laughing like a bunch of little school girls. 
We had so much fun joking around, laughing, dancing and offering Cocky Chicken. He didn't take so lightly to the offer. I tell you he plays a great mascot, not once broke character or talked. Even when little Mac woke up he went over and "patted" him back to sleep. I'll remember this day forever!!!! 
And this amazing lady here, Jamie. My YaYa Sister! I can't begin to say how much I love her friendship.

After Cocky hung out with us a bit, he went upstairs were all the Older Hall kiddo's were waiting. They had NO clue why they were up there or who was coming. They were so excited, Clemson vs. Gamecocks rivalry starts at a early age down in the South. I remember my 2nd week at the school I was subbing in the Kindergarten room and one of the little girls asked me if I went for Clemson or Gamecocks. I didn't even really know who was who at that point but if someone was to ask me today, hands down I'd say I'm a Gamecock fan for sure. 
When me and two of the other girls walked in the kids were CHANTING as loud as they could……..
USC GO COCKS, USC GO COCKS. 
They were loving it, and I couldn't help but think "he's here just for me, all of this was for me". It was such a special day!! A couple of the older hall teachers asked me if I wanted to come work on the Older Hall that afternoon, since after all I was the reason for them being all riled up. lol NOPE, thanks for the offer though. They were so load, our heads were pounding betimes we left. I did have to get a picture with my favorite little man and Cocky though. Future Gamecock right here people. 
I'm really going to miss this place, I've made so many great memories here.
It's not goodbye but rather SEE YOU SOONLY!!!