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.

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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.  

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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.

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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).

 

A walk in the National Park

I decided to try a new park in Mississippi. I’d been to the Tuxachanie Trail, which is nice but it doesn’t loop back, and I attempted the Black-something or other trail (I don’t even remember because it was so overgrown I couldn’t even attempt it). This one was called Big Foot Horse Trail. I understand the Horse part of it, as it’s a trail for both horse and human, but the Big Foot part interests me, especially since it’s part of a National Park. Maybe it’s an Area 51 type deal for Big Foot and they either though sticking Horse in front of it would fool anyone, or the just got lazy? Who knows. I can tell you though that I didn’t see any Big Foot on my hike. 

My original plan was to do the full 11-mile loop. I didn’t have much going on that day so I figured I’d torture myself in the Mississippi humidity. It was already reaching a heat index of 100 by 10:30 that morning. But alas, I only made it 5 miles. Let me back up. I think I’d planned on taking the 11-mile loop but the problem was, that when I arrived to the park, there were no maps (again), none on their website, and none on the one paragraph pamphlet I had, so the only thing I had to go on, was the excerpt from the pamphlet stating there were four different trails, to include a 5-mile and 11-mile loop. Once I found the path, which was slightly hidden, and split between the drive way so I’m still not really sure which trail I was on. All they had for indicators were colored arrows, but I had no idea what the colored arrows meant so, really, who knows. Either way, I was able to snatch some pics.

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Anyway, I think I was on the long path. I’d remembered to bring sun block and bug spray so the hike was good in that aspect. I was around 2.5 miles in when I almost ran into a spider web that ran from tree to tree across the path. I was so grateful that I saw it and didn’t smack into it. I continued to hike along, rounded a curve, and ran into a giant puddle/lake. I looked ahead of it but it looked like swamp. Well dang. So that ended my hike.IMG_2558 I decided to head back as I had no idea if the rest of the trail was going to look just as bad. As my brain would have it, I’d already forgotten about the spider web, so I walked my face right into it’s sticky, nasty, creepiness. The first reasonable thing I did was scream out loud, take my sunglasses of and frantically wipe away the spider strings. I shook with heeby jeebies for about a minute, then looked up to where I’d run into, and that’s when I saw her. A big spider, just slightly smaller than my hand. Two thoughts ran through my mind: 1- thank God she’s there, that means she isn’t on me, and 2- Holy crap, she could have been on me….

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creepy chick

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I finished my hike without anymore run-ins with spiders or other creatures, but proceeded to shower the minute I got back to the room. 

This weekend otherwise has been quite uneventful. I’m just counting down the days til I get to go home to Texas. I can’t wait. 

 

The new addition

We jumped in and did it. We bought a new (to us) car! We got a 2012 Fusion, fully loaded. Overall, it was a great deal. We didn’t get as much as we wanted for the old car, but I didn’t really expect much.

The overall buying process wasn’t bad in itself, but the wait to leave was something short of awful. Fortunately, we did so much research that all we really had to do was test drive it, give it a once-over, and start the haggling process. It was the first car we’d had that was more than the base model, with no bells or whistles. This one has leather seats, ambient lighting, phone sync system, upgraded 12-speaker audio, moon roof, the works. I have to say, it’s pretty awesome. 

Like I said, picking out the car, test driving, and even haggling for a better price wasn’t too bad, It was final steps that sucked. The dealer sent it to be detailed, which should have taken an hour max. During the time it went to be detailed, we solidified financing, and took care of the rest of the paperwork. After that, we waited another three hours. They somehow ended up running over something and had to replace a tire. At least they replaced the tire, so we have some new tires, but I’m still not sure how that took three hours. Oh well! It’s over, we got the car we wanted, and that’s all that matters

I’m so glad Dylan gets to drive a nice car again. It’s been a long time coming as his was starting to wear down so bad that I was scared every time he came out, nervous if his car would even make it. Now my nerves can settle (at least about the car). I’m still full of nerves and depression being here. I’m counting down the days and can’t wait to be closer to home and normalcy again. 

Until that, wish me luck and take a look at our new baby!

Our new addition!

Our new addition!

Eleven years later and it’s time to buy a car…

Dylan and I have been married for over eight years now. We bought one house and sold it in Minnesota, and bought our second house in Austin in December. We’ve bought furniture and have gone through an entire kitchen overhaul. We’ve been through some major purchases and changes, but one thing that we’ve never done together is buy a car. We both got our cars back in college, around 2003 and they’ve been good enough cars to last us 11 years. This last weekend Dylan’s car took a turn for the worst. We were going to camp at the Texas Louisiana border. Dylan got about 10 miles from our camp site when the car gave out. Long story short, we were able to get it to a service station but the technician said that it would be over $1000 and take multiple days to fix. So we made the decision to limp it home and look for a new car.

This weekend will be a whole new adventure for us. I feel less prepared to look for a car than I did looking at homes, or designing and implementing a kitchen renovation. Wandering through lots in the Texas sun, dealing with dealers, haggling for a deal…it all sounds kind of overwhelming. I can feel the tension start up in my back already. Luckily, with the wonderful world of technology, we’ve already dwindled down the choices to a couple of dealerships and a few cars. Hopefully one of these cars will be the one of choice, and the dealers don’t feel like haggling that day (HA!).

While I’m not looking forward to dealing with the dealership-ness of purchasing a car, I am excited to get Dylan into a new, reliable car, so I don’t have to worry anymore about it starting and getting him to wherever he needs to go. I’m excited that we’ll have an upgraded vehicle we won’t be embarrassed to shuffle friends around in and it’ll be fun to drive around the city in a new, more comfy vehicle as well.

Wish us luck on our new adventure!!

Focusing on the good amongst all the bad

I am nearing month three in tech school. When I first got here, I wanted to try to make the best of it. I had to be here and there was nothing I could do about that so what else is there to do than make the best of it? I volunteered for the humane society and went to the beach a couple times. I checked out a couple restaurants and visited the neighboring city, Ocean Springs for a couple of beer runs. I tried to keep myself busy when I wasn’t studying, although my studying was definitely starting to increase by the end of month one.

The longer I’m here though, the more and more I long to be home. The most Dylan and I have ever been apart at one time before this was around four months, when he was deployed. That was very hard on us. And once again, here we are, apart for months. I guess at least with this separation, we are able to see each other here and there since I’m only nine hours away, but it still sucks. We have these amazing weekends together, but they are so bittersweet. I love so much spending time with him when I can, but when we have to part? It’s literally painful. The pain of us having to part every time gets worse and worse.

Our lives are on hold while I go through this military training. I’ve been able to go home a couple times, which has been wonderful every time. Just this last weekend, we tried a new restaurant and went out for evening coffee along the river. But again, this is such a short visit and it turns bittersweet quickly. I find myself falling into a depression and becoming moody and anxious quickly. I’m really trying hard not to fall into this. I still need to focus on school. Especially now since this is the hardest part of the training course. Just 70-some more days and then I’m done…for now. I know there’s more later but I only want to focus on this part for now.

I’m praying that Dylan will find peace while I am gone. It’s been really hard for him as well as myself, for me being away. I feel for him so much, and I wish I could move time faster, so that he didn’t have to feel so much pain and longing. At the same time, this separation has made us remember how much we mean to each other. We came to the realization that we’ve taken each other for granted and being away has helped us remember not to do that. I appreciate the fact that I mean so much to him that when I’m gone, he’s sad and misses me (I never actually want him to feel sad and lonely, but it’s good knowing that I’m needed). We’ve really delved into our relationship and discovered so much about each other. And for that, I’m grateful. I feel like we’ve gone deeper into our relationship than we ever have. We’ve dug deep, asked and answered tough questions, laughed, and cried together. It almost feels like it’s been a renewal. The unfortunate part is that I’m still away and I want to be home with Dylan, talking, discovering, learning, and loving him more and more. So for now, I’ll have to do it from here, over the phone.

But – another amazing thing about Dylan? His selflessness. He has come out to visit me, just because he knows that I’m feeling lonely. That’s a nine hour drive…just to see me for a night. Sometimes I can’t even wrap my head around that. He amazes me.

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So even though this situation is far from good, I’m trying to focus on the good that can come out of it. Otherwise, when do you learn? When do you become wise if not during challenging times?

What the heck WordPress? An open letter to whomever picked a CNN writer to be Freshly Pressed

Dear WordPress,

 

I’ve been away, longer than usual as I am in a rather intensive IT course right now. But to take a break from my never-ending reading, I decided to come back, to read what all of the talented writers on this blogging site have come up with lately. I love finding new writers, who inspire me to strive for that better sentence, to create a better intro.

WordPress gives us little guys a chance, at maybe 24 hours worth of fame if we’re lucky enough to get published. For me, it would be a dream, to know that someone read something I wrote, and thought it worthy enough to post on the giant refrigerator that is the Freshly Pressed section.

But the other day I was put-off. I opened a blog in hopes of reading about a young tech-writers thoughts on technology today and his opinion on the technology bubble. Instead, I was whisked away and redirected to a CNN Money article. What??? I’m confused WordPress. I thought this whole idea of blogging was so that little people like us have the chance to be heard. Why are you posting something that came from a major news corporation? I’m stunned and saddened.

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If I had wanted to read this filtered junk, I would have gone straight to the source. But no, I could get that any day. I wanted someone’s fresh opinion, one that didn’t go through three chains of approval and plenty of scrubbing before publishing.

I really hope this isn’t a continuing chain of events WordPress. I rely on you for entertainment, inspiration, and a collaboration among us ever hopeful, fresh, and thought provoking writers.

Please WordPress, don’t forget your roots and why this environment was created in the first place.

 

I thank you….and I’m watching you…

 

Sincerely,

Michelle

 

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