Ok, I probably will not rock cowboy boots.
We are moving to Nashville, Tennessee! I can't quite believe it. Stu and I have been trying to move our family out of Florida for 13 years. And it is finally happening.
As our wedding approached in 2006, we went to Nashville for job interviews (Stu even had an official offer from a police department) and shopped for houses with a realtor. Then some conversations happened, decisions were made, and we stayed in Florida. Since then, we have randomly attempted to find jobs in various other states... I think at least 10 states have our resumes. The doors never opened.
So we stayed.
And dreamt of four seasons.
Obviously, these are not complete lists. They are my snarky thoughts as I am feeling them at the moment. I am coming out of my hurricane hole. Irma put me in a funk. This felt like the longest storm - and I was around for all the 2004-05 hurricanes and went without power for weeks! Irma drained me mentally, emotionally. She stressed me out.
We moved into our new house about 2 weeks ago. Immediately after closing and getting the keys, we called to get all the usual utilities set up. This included a call to the cable and internet company.
They told us for new construction, that had to come out and hook some things up. Ok. No worries.
They told us, because of the volume of new construction around us, it was going to be 2 weeks before they could get to us. Huh? Two weeks without internet? How are we supposed to live?
Riley was crushed when I told him. It took the fun right out of the new house purchase (for him). And I think he probably contemplated asking if he could remain at Grammie's house for a few more weeks.
Well, I am SO HAPPY to tell you that our time is up. We are back in the land of the living. Our zero-bars lifestyle is done! We survived!
Truthfully, it was more of a major inconvenience than anything else. It seems our whole world requires a strong wifi signal. And our black days have probably cost us, I'm sure my cell phone data usage is outrageous. (Sorry hun... just remember you love me and the kids.)
Huge news from our family... We bought a house!
What is good? What is evil? They are a lot like beauty - in the eye of the beholder. In the real world, it's important to look beyond the surface to find the good and bad apples.
There are plenty of people who look shiny, perfect, blessed and happy, but when you open them up, some are the most rotten apples. These apples will tell you all sorts of wonderful and kind things to your face. But their behavior will not match their words. They will behave one way in front of some people and do a 180 when around a different group. In front of some, they will have nothing but kind words for you, honey flowing from their lips, praise and love for all to see; privately they will hardly open their door to receive you.
Then there are the apples that fell off the tree long ago. They are bruised; they've been kicked around. They do not sparkle. These apples are rough and tough. They are harder to cut open. Because these apples won't kiss your butt or shower you with constant flattery, some people won't even bother to pick them up. These apples are quieter than the first group. They often appear rude because they sit silently and observe.
People are quick to judge. And the first apple is often dubbed the good one.
I have a connection to the latter group. Give me fallen apples any day. I, myself, definitely fall into that group. I do not show my core easily. You have to earn that. Shiny apples refer to us as cynical or mean. I disagree. I am not cynical, I just might not like you. I choose to be real. My life is not perfect, but I do not feel the need to project a perfect image. I know plenty of cynical shiny apples... shiny apples sometimes make their Facebook posts pessimistic as a way to have others compliment them, shower them with affection, buff them (to extend the analogy).
So, what to do?
Books teach us that the true character of a person reveals itself through actions. Character is what a person is like when he/she does not think anyone is watching. No one is perfect. I have yet to meet a single perfect, sinless apple.
I tell my kids to watch and listen - pick apples who do kind things (without seeking recognition for it), pick apples who are honest, do NOT pick apples based solely on what they project to the world. And most important, it is ok to put an apple down and walk away if you feel you made a bad choice.
Do you ever feel like life is getting away from you?
Like you're trying to hold on, pay attention to the small things, accomplish all you can in each day... yet, they seem to be blowing by?
I'm not unhappy. Quite the opposite. Things are wonderful in the Stu household (knock on wood). It just seems like some aspects of my life are moving at a snail's pace (like the afternoons when R & R decide they can't stand each other) and other parts are whizzing by me (I feel like it was just Christmas, but we are well into March).
When was the last time I wrote a post for this site? One of my New Year's Resolutions was to write (and post) twice a week, at minimum. Broke that already. Although, did I really break it if I was busy on another site? I mean, technically I have been writing...
I've also been teaching... you know, that whole homeschool thing.
I've also been editing... something I love that makes Stu happy.
But, that's about it. I think those things sums up my life.
I feel like my life is a series of "Wow, what a week!"s.
I must utter that more than any other phrase.
This month (last half of October and first part of November) has been such a whirlwind of emotions. I have been riding an insane roller coaster.
It's been great to have Rea home, and I (so far) have really enjoyed bonding and teaching her. I pray it continues.
Mostly right now I am thinking about the country though. This is not a political website. I don't like to really share my political opinions with many people - I was raised to hold my votes dear and play them close to the chest. When I was growing up, people didn't talk about who they were voting for... Teachers didn't give their political opinions... My parents voted, but we never discussed the candidates or positions... I never knew the political affiliation of any of my friends or their parents.
I wish it was like that again.
I liked not knowing.
Because, does it really matter? Do you like me less if you know who I voted for? Do you truly think that I am a [insert slanderous term] because I chose to vote a certain way?
Can I ask you why? Maybe you don't feel/think/react that way. But, if you do, why is that the conclusion you jump to? Why aren't we, as a collective, celebrating our FREEDOM to choose? Why aren't we proud to have the opportunity to choose the candidate we want? When did diversity and difference of opinion become racist, sexist, ignorant, intolerant, rude, wrong, etc.?
We are in the midst of hurricane season (June 1-December 1). And we just had a close call with a category 4... way too close for my comfort, thank goodness for the wobble.
Because I have hurricanes on the brain, I thought I'd share some preparation tips and thoughts for you. Maybe something here will come in handy for the next time.
We try to always have several cases of water at the house. But, when a storm is in view, I like to grab an extra or two. And I get a couple gallon jugs too.
In 2004, our section of Florida got hit repeatedly by storms and I realized what a commodity milk is. It took at least a month for milk to reappear in the store coolers. This time I made sure to have two extra gallons on hand.
It is impossible to know how long the power will be out when a hurricane (or tropical storm) rolls through. So, make sure you are stocking your kitchen with items that do not need to be cooked.... or things that can be cooked on the grill. I made sure the freezer in the garage was full of meat (we could thaw and grill chicken, burgers, hot dogs, even steak). I also ordered a lot of lunch meat. The plan was to keep the lunch meat in a cooler, with the bread and condiments. Remember, it's best to keep the fridge and freezer doors closed as much as possible when the power is out. A cooler is excellent for things you want to grab multiple times.
Unless you have been living under a rock or have been off the grid for the past few weeks, you no doubt have heard of the controversy surrounding the National Anthem. And there is little doubt you have an opinion about it. And I am willing to bet, most opinions are strongly leaning one way or the other.
I have been wrestling with my opinion. I think I have come to a conclusion.
You Can Sit
Colin Kaepernick has taken a knee the past two weeks to stand up for social injustices. Handfuls of players across the league (NFL) and other sports are following suit.
This move sparked mega outrage and lots of media coverage. So I suppose it has been successful.
Family & Life
Nothing super fancy here. Probably not life changing either. But you might enjoy a peek into our world.