Going to try again

Last year I tried, for the first time, to participate in NaNoWriMo, otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month. I didn’t do all that great. I maybe added a couple thousand words to my story/novel/whatever it is. But I guess you can still count that as progress. Lately I’ve gone no where on it. Not that this is an excuse, but I let things get in the way and didn’t take time to sit down and write. I was at a full-time school for six months straight, with only weekend breaks. Then it seems like ever since getting back home, it’s been a whirlwind of things to do and people to see and places to go. Bad excuses, I know. There’s always room for a few words everyday.
So I’m going to give it another stab. Here’s to writing because I enjoy it, because I don’t want to forget to enjoy the things in life that make you feel okay.

Participant-2014-pic

Vacation = stress + recharge

There’s always a certain amount of stress that goes along with a vacation. Especially one that involves 21 hours of driving and a wedding reception.
We are headed up to my brother-in-law’s wedding reception in Minnesota next week (wait…what?!). It came upon us so quickly. It was one of those things that we had planned a few months out but life got a little crazy along the way(both cars broke down within a month, bought a new one and got rid of the other, almost lost my job but it came back), that time swirled and dipped and pulled the rug from under us so that we are just a day and a week out from our drive.
I know that there will be some stressors along the way, like what to pack, what to bring for the dogs, how in the world are we going to pack the crate…I’m excited for the trip. Dylan and I have both been back home since we moved away a couple of years ago, but we’ve always been back separately. It just never works that we can both come back at the same time, so this will be the first time coming back together. And for a good cause. I’m excited for a vacation of any sort. We need a recharge. A way to get away from everything we have going on. We’ve only had weekends off, and even those don’t count because Dylan usually works on weekends. We haven’t had any more than a couple days to hang out for more than…oh I don’t even know…a couple of years? At least? I’ve lost track.
And even though this trip will be short, I’m still so excited. I’m excited to road trip, excited to be in the car with Dylan, listening to music, getting philosophical with the dogs, seeing friends and family, exploring our old college town, or heading to a park for some climbing. Whatever the adventures turn out to be, I’m welcoming them with open arms.

The “craziness” of a one car household

Recently my car broke down in San Antonio. The car itself was 11 years old, had 178,000 miles on it, and had just gone through a few other repairs. I had it towed to a local dealer/service shop and was told it would cost around $900 just to get it working enough to see if there were any more problems with it. I basically said, “thanks, but no thanks”. After talking to the hubs, we decided to donate it to charity. The dealership wouldn’t take it (don’t blame em), and it would cost me money to have it brought to a scrap yard. Make-A-Wish foundation would come and take it away for me for free; all I had to do was clean out my junk and bring the title, and I’ll get a nice little tax break from it.

So we are now a one car household. We’ve never done this before but decided to try it out. It’ll save us on insurance, maintenance, all that jazz, and it will teach to communicate and learn to combine our efforts. It’s so easy these days to live in the same house as someone and have no idea where they are or what their schedule is.

The reactions I received so far when I said we were going to stick to just one car right now was entertaining. Some looked as if I’d told them I plan on pulling off each of my fingernails, and some people clearly weren’t really listening to what I said, perhaps it was too outside of their realm of imagination. Immediately after saying, “I think we’re going to stick with just the one car for now and see how it works, I’d get responses like, “yeah, we went to so-and-so dealer. They can get you some good deals”, or “you should talk to so-and-so. He’s looking to sell his car”….

u-are-not-listening-to-me

I think as a type of experiment, I’m going to document our lives as a one-car household. I’ll let you know about the changes we had to make, the ups and downs of having only one car, and just our overall thoughts of owning one car. Stay tuned….

Still trying to live in the now

I started posting this when I was in San Antonio, doing some on the job training. I thought it was a be a slow but good three weeks to learn some more about my guard position, get to know the people down there, then come home and start work again, back in normal civilian life, but my September did not work that way at all. I ended up spending only about half of my time down there before my car broke down and had to come back home and cancel the rest of my time down there. (I also almost lost my civilian job but my boss went to bat for me and I got it back – phew!)

Now we’re going to try being a one car family for the time being. Hopefully it works out. I’ll keep you updated. So far it seems like it’ll be doable, it’s just going to take a bit more coordination.

So back to what I was posting as it’s still relevant, even with the recent changes, possibly even more so. There have been some unwanted/unforeseen changes in our household lately, and i could get spun up on them, argue about how this sucks, and why doesn’t our life look like our friend’s lives, blah blah blah. But why? What do our friends lives look like and why do we insist on comparing ourselves to others. Why be angry at what has gone down? There’s plenty of positives to go with it. Yes, I had to end my time in San Antonio before I planned, which means less pay, but I got to come home early. I hadn’t been home on a regular basis since March. It feels amazing. I absolutely love being in our home with Dylan. And now that we don’t have a roommate, the house especially feels like our own.  My car broke down and now has been donated to Make-A-Wish (wasn’t worth fixing anymore). I could piss and whine, but this is a great opportunity for us to have to coordinate our schedules, and save some money on insurance, maintenance, etc. on an 11 year old money pit. I think also having one car in the family might open to even better communication. When you each have a car, you can be on your own way, at any time. You could practically live your own lives separately, going to work, coming back, going to the grocery store, etc. Now we have to coordinate these things and share transportation.

Even with these bad things happening, I like to reflect on all the great things we have/do in our lives. I like feeling grateful  much more than feeling bitter about things. I’m grateful for an amazing husband. When I was feeling down after finding out I’d lost my job, he was my shoulder to cry on. When my car broke down, he was there to help me coordinate everything that had to happen. He was calm and patient and sweet. He’s my best friend. We have a great little house in a great location, that we’ve been slowly working on. Grateful to have a home. We have two hilarious dogs that keep us entertained and awake at 6am on a weekend. We gave our lives and decisions to God and trust Him in whatever directions our lives go, and with this knowledge comes peace of all the craziness that can happen in our lives, which makes it easier to be grateful for all the things we have and the opportunities we have in life.

We recently went rock climbing for the first time for Dylan’s birthday. I was secretly nervous to do it, because the only other time I’d attempted a rock climb, I was a horrible failure. I’d gotten maybe three feet off the ground and felt miserable. So this was going to be a challenge. On day one, we started out at Echanted Rock, where we climbed granite, and on day two, we climbed limestone at Reimer’s Ranch. Sometimes it just takes the right kind of lesson and encouragement. Dylan and I were climbing near 70 foot rocks after just a couple hours. I never thought I would be able to do something like that. It felt amazing. And now we’ve found an activity we’d like to turn into a regular hobby.

Sometimes when I post, probably because I don’t post often enough, my thoughts start to wander in all directions. But part of that is that life has us going in all directions. Some good things happen, some bad things. And I think it’s up to us on what parts we want to focus on. I want to focus on the good. No reason to focus on the bad.

So here’s a few shots of us, focusing on good, and having some fun for Dylan’s birthday. I hope to post a little bit more but the last week or so has been pretty hectic with all the craziness that’s been going on.

IMG_2653 IMG_2655 IMG_2658 IMG_2659 IMG_2671 IMG_2698 IMG_2707 IMG_2714 IMG_2727

Almost back

I graduated my tech school in Mississippi! Woo hoo!! But unfortunately that doesn’t quite bring me back to Austin. It brings me to San Antonio for some training. I know I’ll be back soon enough but sometimes it feels like forever before I truly get back to Austin. There’s always something in the way, it feels.

And as excited I am to get back to Austin, getting back to the regular job scares me too. I found out that I almost lost my job, but because I was gone on Active Duty, I was able to keep it. That doesn’t really mean that I’ll know that I get to keep it forever. It means I’ll have it when I get back. For how long though I don’t know, which scares me so much. I’ve been looking for some jobs, ones that hold more stability. I want to get into the IT field but it can be difficult. I have my training now from the guard, which was a long and tough six months. I’ll never complain about college again. Looking back now, I laugh. College was a few days a week and a test usually every few weeks. In tech school, class was from 6:30 am until 3:30 pm, but it never stopped. We had to stay and study until 7 pm every night, and if we were allowed to take our materials back to our rooms, we took them and studied til our eyes were as heavy as cinder blocks. Tests were every few days on completely new subjects, so different from the test before.

I want to get into the IT field but at the same time I want something creative. I love a job where I can be creative at, think outside the box, use my imagination. But those can be hard to come by sometimes. Especially with my background. But I’ll keep my eyes peeled.

I feel worn out. I feel like sometimes we keep pushing and pushing so hard to get over a hill, but we get no where. I start to feel like we’re never going to get over that hill. We’re the kind of people who try to do right, we stay the line and work hard, and yet…sometimes it doesn’t feel like it equals out.

I know that God only gives us what we can handle, but sometimes I question Him on how big He thinks my plate is….

 

 

 

Remembering to live in the Now

I think I’ve written about “living in the now” before but I think it’s worth repeating. 

I’m still in Mississippi, finishing up school. It’s been tough being away from Dylan, the dogs, Austin, and just normal life, for the past five months.

Living in the now can be hard sometimes when you’re so far away from each other. I feel like this whole summer slipped through our hands, but Dylan has been amazing at coming out here on his weekends so we can see each other here and there. I’m more thankful than I can ever show. They’ve helped us keep our sanity and our relationship strong.

Dylan came out again last week and we drove back to Austin together in the new car. Traffic sucked but I didn’t care. I was happy to be near him, to see him in person. Phone conversations and even facetime just doesn’t cut it. We had a great weekend in Austin again. A friend of his was in town so we had some Gordoughs and Pearls, then grabbed a couple beers at Radio Coffee & Beer Bar. There is so much amazing food in Austin! Half the time when I come back, I’m overwhelmed at my choices and don’t know where to go or what to eat first.

 IMG_2593       boss hog         radio_coffee_beer-600x450

The next day, I rode out with him at his work, and then we had a date night at Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza. We had the prosciutto and caramelized onion pizza with truffle oil. It was so delicious that I even forgot to take a picture. Sorry – you’ll just have to imagine a fresh stone baked pizza, made outdoors; fresh dough, mozzarella (the real stuff), freshly made tomato sauce, so light and refreshing, mixed in with truffle oil, all topped with prosciutto and caramelized onions.  

IMG_2594 IMG_2596 IMG_2603 IMG_2605

Being able to go home, even for a day, and live in the now gives me a quick boost and motivates me to keep going and work hard so I can get back home to my home and where I belong. 

So wherever you are, try to live in the now. Try to appreciate what you have now, even if it’s not exactly what or how you want things. This is definitely difficult time, as spending one day back at home in Austin is so bittersweet. But I treasure the moments I was able to make there and because of that, I was able to get back into the now so I can focus.

Signing off for study time. 

Love…love…love

Have I ever mentioned how much I love my husband? I love him. More than I can describe. 

Marriage is a challenge. I definitely won’t lie. We have a moments, our breakdowns, our struggles, but we also have the most amazing bond, understanding, love for each other. We are each other’s best friends, counselors, confidants, soul-mates. I’ve been lucky enough to find someone who shares ideas, my hobbies (well, not all of them), my thoughts. He is an amazing cook. I used to only like to bake but he’s inspired me to cook more with him. He helped me learn the appreciation of beer, and together, we’ve grown our palate in beer and have even started to brew our own. It’s been a great thing to be able to do together. We also plan on trying out rock climbing together, for a great way to workout together. Sewing and painting? Well, those are hobbies I think will be my own. 

Last week, in among the car buying, Dylan grilled up some amazing turkey legs and we started brewing a seasonal Fall Rye, that will be ready perfectly in time for the fall.

IMG_2508 IMG_2510 IMG_2515 IMG_2517

 

Doing these things on the weekends when I’m able to come back home, has been healing, beyond ways I can show. Depression has fallen on me since I’ve been here and it’s been harder and harder to stay positive, even with the time I have left here falling. I pray that we continue to feed each other, to help each other grown and learn how to love even more. 

I know these thoughts or posts probably come off as corny, but I don’t care. I think this world could use more corny and less media-type ideas. Ideas of temporary puppy love, once gone means that it’s over and there’s nothing left, moving on to something else. It’s sad that so few understand that with work and perseverance comes amazing love, deeper than Hollywood could ever understand.

I’m counting down the days til I’m reunited with my love (and puppies).