Friday, December 31, 2010

Better Days are ahead!


Play this video and read the lyrics below:





I feel part of the universe open up to meet me



My emotion so submerged, broken down to kneel in


Once listening, the voices they came


Had to somehow greet myself, read myself


Heard vibrations within my cells, in my cells


Singing, "Ah-la-ah-ah, ah-la-ah-ah"






My love is safe for the universe


See me now, I'm bursting


On one planet, so many turns


Different worlds


Singing, "Ah-la-ah-ah, ah-ah-ah-ah, ah"






Fill my heart with discipline


Put there for the teaching


In my head see clouds of stairs


Help me as I'm reaching


The future's paved with better days






Not running from something


I'm running towards the day


Wide awake






A whisper once quiet


Now rising to a scream


Right in me






I'm falling, free falling


Words calling me


Up off my knees






I'm soaring and, darling,


You'll be the one that I can need


Still be free






Our future's paved with better days

Taking Stock

This is the last retrospective post. Why? I am ready to move forward, and not dwell any more. The past just keeps you locked - locked into labels, categories, fears.. etc.

Who I was is not who I will be. Who I am today is all that matters. It's here. It's now.

2010 brought a lot of life lessons, sprinkled with a little hardship, and topped off with clarity.

I picked my little battles and I stood firm in my beliefs. I loved a little deeper and learned more and more about compromise. I watched as my beautiful niece has grown. I saw triumph for both my sister and my husband, finding jobs that will give them some peace of mind. I talked my father through retirement. I witnessed my mother expand her artistic wings. I watched a few really good friends find their future mate, a few tied the knot, and  three became pregnant - one gave birth, one is in the hospital now, and one will have her blessing this summer.

Life just blows in.. and then it blows out.. we lost one of my relatives this year.

I made several new friends, or deepened my relationships with others. I spent hours reading YOUR blog posts, getting to know some really good people from all over the world, each sharing a little insight into their lives and in turn helping guide me through mine.

I traveled. I sat at home. I watched at least a 100 movies. I found new musical artists I would like to follow. I ate really good food. I took ball room dance lessons and Zumba and Body Jam.

I got a new camera, a new laptop, new bathroom decor. Some new clothes/jewelry and my beloved omelet maker.

Work went up up up (the amount and the happiness there.) My blog grew to have over 186 google followers, 246 facebook fans, 50+ blog frog followers, 200+ networked blog followers and on average - 4,000 page views a month from around the world. My volunteerism changed - I discontinued my work with the church, and am currently looking to expand my wings with the children of incarcerated families.

Unfortunately I did not learn to knit or sew or quilt. It is still on my list of things to do. My mother offered to get me a sewing machine for my birthday, and I shyly backed away... but I think - if she is reading this (and I know she reads my blogs) - I take it back.. I need to learn and I need one.

2011 sort of scares me. I know change - BIG change is coming. The unexpected is frightening. Especially for someone like me - so introspective and a bit of a tortured soul.

May all of our blessings be beautiful, our lessons gentle, and our paths clear of major obstacles.

May God bless you all - Happy New Year!

Song for the Day:

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Reluctance



Out through the fields and the woods

And over the walls I have wended;

I have climbed the hills of view

And looked at the world, and descended;

I have come by the highway home,

And lo, it is ended.



The leaves are all dead on the ground,

Save those that the oak is keeping

To ravel them one by one

And let them go scraping and creeping

Out over the crusted snow,

When others are sleeping.



And the dead leaves lie huddled and still,

No longer blown hither and thither;

The last lone aster is gone;

The flowers of the witch-hazel wither;

The heart is still aching to seek,

But the feet question 'Whither?'



Ah, when to the heart of man

Was it ever less than a treason

To go with the drift of things,

To yield with a grace to reason,

And bow and accept the end

Of a love or a season?

By: Robert Frost

Wishing you each a beautiful end to one hell of a year.



Official New Year's Resolutions

"Every man should be born again on the first day of January. Start with a fresh page. Take up one hole more in the buckle if necessary, or let down one, according to circumstances; but on the first of January let every man gird himself once more, with his face to the front, and take no interest in the things that were and are past." ~Henry Ward Beecher


I suppose it is time I tackle that official New Year's Resolution list. Even if just for fun.

The thing about New Year's resolutions, where in the world did this idea come from?  Why do we torture ourselves with setting such high expectations?

Regardless.. I am a BIG fan of making lists, so clearly, I engage in this activity.

For fun, I thought I would google search "How to Make a New Year's Resolution."  The first thing that popped up was ehow.com

Allow me to present the instructions on how to make a proper New Year's Resolution (brought to you by ehow.com)

1.  Be realistic by setting achievable goals. Winning the lottery, for example, is out of your grasp.


2.Describe your resolutions in specific terms. Instead of "I don't want to be lazy," opt for "I want to exercise regularly" or "I will cut down on my television watching."


3.Break down large goals into smaller ones. For instance, commit to losing weight by resolving to join a gym and improve your eating habits.


4.Find alternatives to a behavior that you want to change, and make this part of your resolution plan. So you want to quit smoking but you smoked to relax yourself? What other forms of relaxation are available to you?

5.Above all, aim for things that are truly important to you, not what you think you ought to do or what others expect of you.

Here are 4 more:

1. Be sure that you keep your list of New Year's resolutions short and realistic. By doing this, you will be far more likely to keep your New Year's Resolutions and not feel overwhelmed by them.



2.Be sure that you begin your list of New Year's resolutions with a small goal. For example, a New Year's resolution to make new friends is a small goal. As the year progresses, you can change, evaluate and increase your goals to fit your situation and the direction of your life.


3.Be sure that you are persistent. Persistence is important and will enable you to remain focused on your New Year's resolutions. In doing so, you are more likely to successfully keep your New Year's resolutions.


4. Be sure that you have patience with yourself. Remember that keeping your New Year's resolutions will take you some time. After all, even Rome took longer than one day to build!

Okay, I think we all have the tools now for a proper New Year's Resolution.

Soooo... here it goes:

Nicole's New Year's Resolutions for 2011

1. Most important one of the year - practice Trust. I will make a promise to myself to learn to be more trusting of the process, of advice, of the universe.

2. Get back into my exercise routine at the Y. Head back to my Body Jam and Zumba classes. *Perhaps talk to my personal trainer about weights 2 x a week (start that one in Feb.)

3. Find a few free lance writing projects.

4. Study arabic at least once a week.

5.  Pray daily.

6. Continue to write daily on my blog.

7. Reopen my personal journal (leather book here) and begin the more personal items for private writing.

8. Declutter - sell my dining room furniture, the twin bed, and the desk. Donate items in storage.

9. Stick to my Mediterranean diet plan the cardiologist gave me.

10. Find a new volunteer opportunity.

11. Show compassion. (Better yet, learn to be compassionate.)

12. Listen more.

13. Turn my sunroom into a ZEN room. Practice meditation.

14. Smile, breathe, go slowly.

15. Try to come off at least one of the BP meds by practicing healthier behaviors.

16. Make new friends.

17. Make that BIG move with grace and a positive attitude.

18. Learn to save money, and actually do it.

19. Find a new place of worship.

20. Finally - use the 8/8/8 rule - 8 hours of sleep, 8 hours for Nicole, 8 hours for work.

What about you? Share your top 3 New Year's Resolutions.






Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Songs that Inspire me for 2011

"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." ~Berthold Auerbach

I spend probably 4 hours a day just listening to music. I might be getting ready for work, while driving, while blogging, while cleaning, while cooking... I listen. I am transformed by lyrics and sound.

As a former dancer and a current writer - the lyrics and the sound penetrates my soul and I am well.

The following songs contain the two elements I desire.. amazing lyrics that I can relate too - and a bit of rhythm that makes me happy.. or moved...

I hope you take a moment and listen to the lyrics. See if you can relate. If you have been following my dribble for the past year and a half, then you will get it. Most importantly you get me.

Some of these songs are about life, some are about hope, some are about obstacles and angst.. just enjoy!

Happy New Year friends... let this music transport you!




















Times to come.. ;-)









In the words of the Pointer Sisters...

"I'm so excited.. and I just can't hide it!"

I am not just talking about the New Year (which I am) - but I am also talking about my New Year's Eve plans!

Many thanks to a dear friend of mine, the egyptian and I will be joining her down on the Northwest Coast of Florida at the Water Color Inn & Resort for the weekend.

The Resort is located on Santa Rosa Beach, between Seaside and S. Fort Walton. Beautiful area!

Basically we are doing the New Year's Eve package - and it includes an amazing party on "The Green" with a band - the M-80s (it is an 80's band - woo hoo.) There will be dinner at the "Fish Out of Water", a four star restaurant, midnight champagne toast, raffle, fire works - and just an amazing time all around! Here is a look at the New Year's Eve menu!

Another item I am excited about - the use of the bikes, kayaks, canoes, and other fabulous things!

See all of the exclamation points???!!!

I was going to wait and share my New Year's Eve plans later - but I am just too darn excited.



I just bought the perfect dress for the party (New Year's Eve attire required) - so pics will be a-coming!

What are you plans to kick this year to the nether-regions?

Creating a ZEN atmostphere

Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop. ~Ovid

I have a lush (I say lush because it sooo can be) opportunity to create a Zen environment for the next seven months.

For the first time, in years, I will be the master of my domain.

In the past, I was waiting for immigration to pull through, so that the egyptian would fly here.

Then he got here, and we have struggled with the "my idea versus his idea" for how the house will look, the schedule of the day - things like that. Normal stuff, things all married couples or people who live with their significant other know about. That is, unless you live with a people pleaser. I do not.

While he is in NYC, trying to finalize his teaching certification, I can just - BE.

2011 will be a year of transformation for me. I know, I know.. we say that every year, but for me the wheels of change are already spinning. Decisions need to be made, a time table is in place.

Which brings me back to creating that ZEN atmosphere. Just how do I do it? Better yet, how can you create your own little ZEN space?

First of all, we use the word ZEN a lot. But what does it actually mean? Since I am a linguistics fanatic.. here is what I found: Zen is a school of Mahāyāna Buddhism. The Japanese word Zen is derived from the Chinese word Chán, which in turn is derived from the Sanskrit word dhyāna, which means "meditation" or "meditative state".

Word. ;-)

So - how can I achieve this? Zen emphasizes experiential Wisdom in the attainment of enlightenment. It de-emphasizes theoretical knowledge in favor of direct realization through meditation and dharma practice.

Okay, I like this. I need this. I want to learn this. Now, how can I make my environment more open to a Zen-like atmostsphere? I want to decorate with a more holistic approach, so that my health (mental and physical) will improve in 2011.

According to Room Decorating Ideas - The key to Zen decor is simplicity. The goal is to create a harmonious interior that simply flows, without any obstacles, clutter, or unnecessary items in the way which allows you to ‘be’ in the present moment.  Although Zen decorating is minimalistic, the items that are in the home should each have a specific use, visible, and highly functional despite their simplicity. Working within the Zen means beginning to use more natural materials when decorating your home. The color tones in the home should be earthy, and the furniture you have around the house should have simple, clean lines and be in keeping with the color scheme. You can still add accessories when creating a zen room, but think more in terms of woven area rugs..

Time to declutter and simplify. Ha! One of my closest friends has decided to do this, perhaps I should share this post with her! Okay, well - one of the things I was planning on doing was getting rid of soooo many material things. This should be fun!

I also want to get back into meditation. I use to study it (by books and practicing at home) throughout college and later while I was working in TV - but somehow, life happened and I got away from it.

I decided to see if I could find any groups to join for meditation in Birmingham, here is what I found:

Birmingham Shambhala Meditation Center - This appears to be the motherload! Located at 714 37th Street South in Birmingham, offers public meditation sittings, core teachings in Shambhala wisdom as well as Buddhist dharma teachings. Those of all spiritual traditions are invited to explore their offerings in the quest to find a mind of compassion, gentleness and sanity.

Compassionate Heart Sangha - Contact; Robert Patrick
Location: Birmingham, AL
Email: potoole@bellsouth.net
Tradition: Zen Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hahn
and the Order of Interbeing.
Affiliation: Community of Mindful Living

Losel Maitri Tibetan Buddhist Center
P.O. Box 43721 Birmingham, AL 35243
Tel: (205) 908-2703, Fax: (205) 970-4903
Email: loselmaitri@aol.com
Web site: http://www.loselmaitribuddhist.org/
Tradition: Non-sectarian Tibetan Buddhist
Resident Teacher: Ven. Tenzin Deshek

Contemplative Prayer, Episcopal Diocese of Alabama
Lead by: Mary Sullivan and Kathryn Daniel
Wednesday evenings at 5:30. Join them this Wednesday in St. Mary's Chapel (off the nave).

Contemplative Outreach, Birmingham
They list the following groups:
Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church,
Homewood, AL
Jeannette Bell jeannette89@aol.com 205.879.8169

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church,
Birmingham, AL
Louise Meredith loumeredith@bellsouth.net 205.970.1892

Independent Presbyterian Church,
Birmingham, AL
Kathy Thomson thomasthomson@bellsouth.net 205.968.2219
Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church,
Pelham, AL
Diana Tschache tschached@bellsouth.net 205.991.6964

Golden Temple Health Foods Store
They have a yoga center and are located in two locations: 5 points south location 1901 11th ave S. Birmingham 933 6333 and at 3309 Lorna Rd. Hoover 823 7002.

That's all I could find!

Now it is time for me to get to work, do a little more research and find a way to bring that balance into my life. I am slowing removing the toxic, cleansing the home, and now I will balance it all out. By doing this - I think I will be able to learn that word of the year - TRUST.

What about you? How do you clear your mind, find your center?

Zen Quote: When the pupil is ready to learn, a teacher will appear. Who will be my teacher?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

North Korea and Sabah

While home on vacation, I have spent the past few days engulfed in Netflix.

Instead of watching (what most women watch) - I am drawn to the documentaries and social/culturally/emotionally charged dramas.

Instead of a "book review"  - I thought I would do a little "movie review." If you have Netflix, and you are able to stream it on your computer or WII - there are a few "Instant Play" options you might want to give a try.

Here is a run down of the most recent movies I have watched and what they are about:

1. The House of the Devil - okay, if you are looking for an 80s horror flick, this might do it for you. It's a little silly and a little creepy and ends very oddly.  It is about this college student looking to make a little extra money, so she takes a "baby sitting" job... that.. well.. turns out to be the home of a satanic cult.

2. Vice Guide To Travel series - I WATCHED THEM ALL! I was intrigued by two episodes in particular - North Korea and Liberia. Basically the Vice Magazine folks tour insane places - like North Korea. Seriously, they got into North Korea.. and well, it is like a time warp there. Then on the trip to Liberia, they actually interview the war lords from the past- people like General Butt Naked who fought nude (b/c he thought it make him impenetrable) and ate the hearts of small children; then there was General Bin Laden. Oh yeah.. good stuff. Did I forget to tell you about their trip to Chernobyl? (Did I spell that right?) They hunted mutant boar, wolves and bears.

3. Legion - Did you guys see that one? Not perfect, but interested concept about the end of the world. Angels more like demons.. trying to kill the messiah. Good versus evil, hope versus despair.

4. Sabah: a Love Story - is about a woman from Syria living in Canada and trying to mix the western and eastern culture. She is muslim and falls in love with a Christian man. (If you did not know, it is completely NOT acceptable for a muslim woman to marry a christian man, but the muslim man can marry a christian woman.) The story is a good one.

5. Not Without My Daughter - OMG. DId you guys see this back in the 90s? An American woman is married to an Iranian man and they have a daughter. He is a doctor in Michigan and they live a really good life. They decide to travel to Iran to see his family... and man oh man.. the tides turn. Give it a go... you won't be disappointed.

6. Amreeka - Too wonderful. It is about a Palestinian divorcee and her son winning the lottery visa to America. They move in with her sister in a little suburban town outside of Chicago and go through all types of adjustment. They are arab Christians and are mistreated b/c so many people thinks they are Iraqi and muslim. (Typical ignorance... trust me on this one..)

7. Losing Isiah - I finally saw this one with Halle Berry. Man.. it was GOOD. Definitely poses the excellent question - should a child be allowed to live with it's poor, addict mother or a good adoptive family. Also deals with race. EXCELLENT.

8. Outsourced - too cute for words. I wonder if the series came from this movie. It's about an average American guy who is transferred to India to help the call center become Americanized. Turns out - he needed to learn more about their culture in order to help the Indians. Good movie.

9. Frontline: Behind Taliban Lines - Very interesting. The one thing that stood out - the terrorist groups said over and over, "When America leaves this country, then we will lay down our arms."

10.  The War Within - About this guy who is wrongly accused of being a terrorist. Then he decides to actually become one - interesting look at the mindset and how it all happens.

Okay - give a few a whirl and tell me what you think.

Also - have any off-the-wall  never-heard-of movies for me to watch?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Press Pause

'I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart: I am, I am, I am. '~Sylvia Plath


It is week two of vacation, now it is more of a stay-cation. Besides pay a few bills online, I really do not have anything to do - and it is wonderful.

Spending time with my books, with my blog, with my movies, with my music.. and maybe a sprinkle or two of friends - will be the end of my 2010.

In typical bloggy-fashion, I have been taking stock of my year. Thinking of all of the changes that have taken place (both good and bad) and where 2011 will lead. I remember saying I felt like I was being prepped for something... who knew it would be something as big (for me) for the possibility of uprooting myself.

Some of you may be wondering why it worries me so. The truth is, and many of you who have been following know this - it's the egyptian. I love this man so much, but the past year has been tough. The cultural differences are just too much most days. (And I am the queen of international friendships!) I worry that uprooting, and moving far away from my friends and family (and then NOT getting along) would be too much for me to handle.

I try really hard, lord knows I do, but he is so edgy. He says it is because he is so unhappy in Birmingham. Which, I get. He believes if he is in a city like NYC, he can spread his wings and fly (so to speak in a cheesy way.)

I am trusting (ahhh... see my word of the year) in the process. I am going to take my own advice (thank you Telisa for the reminder) and enjoy the journey. That is what I preach, then by God, that is what I will do.

In the meantime, I will press pause on worry. I will put one foot in front of the other, I will breathe in and breathe out, and I will concentrate on my daily routine.

I will follow Thich Nhat Hanh's advice and: Smile, breathe and go slowly.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Meet Me on Monday

Blog Hop Time!

You know the drill - click on the pic to the left and follow the directions.

Since you stopped by - here are this week's questions:



Questions:


1. What are your New Year's Eve plans?

Honestly, I don't have any concrete plans. I have been invited to head down to Florida with a friend for one night, still waiting on the details - sounds like an excellent idea!


2. How tall are you?
I am a shorty - short meister. I am 5'1 3/4ths


3. What is your favorite pudding flavor?
Chocolate. Or butterscotch. I did always like a good butterscotch pudding cup.


4. What room of the house do you blog the most in?

Usually? My living room - sitting on my couch. Second place would be my bed, or the day bed in the sunroom - and finally, the toilet. LOL (joking)


5. What is your best physical feature?

Some say my eyes..




Okay - if you are stopping by for the first time, comment and/or follow!

Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to look around! (Check out the tabs above) - rummage through the topics, most popular posts.. etc. Hope you come back around for more!

Christmas Therapy

"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more. "~Dr Seuss

How many of you are actually relieved that Christmas is over? Come on... be honest...
Personally, I am.

I would take down the tree tonight, if I were not exhausted from driving 6 hours. What a freaking weekend! :-)

Nothing bad happened, just it seems the older I get - the more I just think a trip somewhere would be waaay better than giving gifts. You know, somewhere we could see water for miles, palm trees swaying in the wind, fabulous drinks out of coconut shells.

Thinking back - if there was one thing I really, really wanted for Christmas - a little peace and quiet.

My trip home was typical - a little nice, a little chaotic and super moody. My niece was on full blast as if she had consumed about 12 energy drinks. She is adorable and a typical 4 year old. It is just a bit of a shock, when you are not used to little ones.

My dad was moody as hell. His blood pressure was off the charts and he is slowly killing himself with eating the wrong things (diabetes.) Ever been around someone who's blood sugar level went up and down like a roller coaster ride?

Then my mom would react to my dad. Out of all of them - she really behaved herself, up until the last night.. a little moody, but I think she and my dad were kind of getting on each other's nerves. Easy to do when the entire family is in town, and you have to cook 3 meals a day.

My sister was busy buzzing around being a mommy. She was snapping pics that were less than attractive and yes, they are now on Facebook... damn it.

Then the egyptian, in his wondrous way, would get complete crabby b/c chaos is not his m.o. With all of the stuff everywhere - and us sleeping on couches, his mood was less than perfecto.

I think the highlight, truly,  was going to see a friend - which I totally should have done by myself.

Then we had to drive back in snow. See, the roads have nothing on them to melt the ice and snow - b/c the south is simply not prepared for winter weather. Try driving home in that - going about 50 miles an hour on an interstate.. not fun.

I am home now, and thankful for the gifts, the food, having my entire family together. I get it - I know some people do not have that luxury...

I just wish it did not drive me bananas! :-)

By the time I got home, the egyptian went straight to the computer and began chatting (in his normal super loud arabic.) I wanted quiet - wasn't going to happen. I tried to nap, I did the laundry, I put away my presents...

So I decided - RETAIL THERAPY. Though, I did not really need anything - I drove up to Target and got groceries and a new pair of sunglasses. Luckily, we have one of those Super Targets.. there is a Starbucks in there - I got a gingerbread latte.

Between the caffeine, a quick "vent" call to a friend, and some shopping - I felt like myself again. I came home - the egyptian was quiet (and being kind - God forbid) and sooo.. here I am. Purging myself of the Grinch.. and trying to get back to normal.

Is it just me? Or do the holidays make you insane??

Christmas - Part 2

The egyptian placing his ornament on my parent's tree

My sister and Autumn making cookies for Santa

Getting sticky!

She is quite the baker for a 4 year old!

Mom made a pot roast for Christmas Eve dinner

Time for fruit cake, and yes, I actually like it.

Just laying on the couch by the fire, watching Jerseylicious LOL

Mom received a beautiful hand-woven rug from Egypt from the egyptian

The egyptian was showing my dad how to wear his arab shawl

My dad with his egyptian T shirt

I got a SNUGGIE - yes, I am a convert now... I was having my morning coffee on Christmas Morning

Autumn getting the eggnog and cookie ready for Santa

After opening stockings, Autumn was taught how to play tic tac toe

Goodies from my stocking - chocolate covered espresso beans, two pairs of mittens, soft socks, a pedicure set, little hand soap papers from Pier 1, gold mascara (seriously?? LOL), and two shades of red nail polish. What you don't see is my losing lottery ticket (scratch off)

My Christmas morning fire at the parental's

some of my Christmas gifts - ear rings, bath gels and lotions, bread pan and banana bread mix,


My snuggie, omelet maker, two books, journal, lindor truffles, purple scarf, Starbucks gift card, etc.

On Christmas night - we met my best friend from home - Telisa at a bar called the Hummingbird & Tap room.

Relaxing and listening to a band called Tokyo Spa


me & The egyptianb


Driving home this morning - snow in the south.. not something we are used to


Stopping for snacks - somewhere in Georgia - this is the egyptian's first snow

Rest stop in Alabama

He was saying.. this is soft - but I am FREEZING.. I told him he has to get used to it. ;-)

I was wanting to have a snowball fight..

Merry Christmas to all!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

We finally made it to the most anticipated holiday in my family's year - Christmas.

The presents are open, the food has been consumed and now my sister is yelling that she put on Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer movie.

(This is after she made us watch Disney's musical fire place and Harry Connick Jr's Christmas DVD (which the latter is always welcomed!))

Highs:
Omelet Maker
Snuggie
Anthony Bourdain (another book of his)
Blood Red Nail Polish

Lows:
Dad started a fire and apparently the wind was pushing the smoke back out and the fire alarms went off.
The coffee my sister made was like sludge.
Not enough time to visit with friends, the egyptian wants to go home tomorrow.


Final BIG LOW - Did not go to midnight mass. I was tooooo tired. Watched Sex & The City 2 instead, I am such a heathen.

Final BIG HIGH: My new purple scarf and $25 Starbucks gift card

I hope you are all finding some comfort this season. Regardless of your circumstances, try to find some good.

I promise to get back to all of your posts when I return home tomorrow night. I am off for one whole week with nothing but a trip to Florida for New Years (since Thailand is off - yep - no Bangkok for New Year's - b/c.... well... I buried the lead again.......)

- The egyptian accepted a job in NYC. Yep. We have to pay his moving expenses.

No - I am not going right now... and no this is not a bad thing. He wants to teach. He is certified to teach in his country. BUT each state has different requirements. He is going to get certified in the state he wants to work in. We have some egyptian friends in Brooklyn. He will go live with them and work as a manager in his friend's store.

I will remain here - I am resigning my lease. That gives him plenty of time to see if it will all work out. If not, he will move back in with me, and if so - I will head up. But not for another 7 months....

Don't worry - we will see each other. Great excuse to fly to NYC for my birthday and his birthday and for whatever reason I might create!

I debated announcing it - b/c if anyone from work reads this, they might think I am jumping ship. No... not now.. and not for a while. I have a great job, and that's that. We are being smart about this. Give him a chance to see if it fits our lifestyle, and that gives me from December to July to figure out what we are going to do. It's like he is going off to school (which is a HIGH possibility.)

That was the BIG announcement.

Sort of sucks to be apart - but at the same time, it is for our future.  If he can get certified and find a job by next fall, then perhaps I can see what is out there for me. If not, he will return and we will go to plan B. These things take time, and since we do not have kids - it's okay for him to see if he can get this going. I am supporting his decision, and will wait to see what the outcome will be. Taking things slow and being strategic and smart about this is my main priority.

I also know that NYC could get very lonely for him and it is COLD right now. There is a high chance he would pack his things up and move back. So- for now, I am patient. Let him get it out of his system.

Or... it could work out! Who knows? 7 - 8 months, a lot can happen. My 37 years has taught me that. I am not as spontaneous as I used to be. I am also a realist.

Here's to 2011 and a year of TRUST and BALANCE and PASSION and CHANGE. Merry Christmas all.. and to all a good night.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Day 1 - Traveling Home

Here is a quick photo journey of DAY 1 - Project: Georgia.

We left Birmingham at 5:30am ish...

And here is the journey!

Me at 5:30 in the morning.. about to hit the road...

About 5 hours later... my niece, Autumn greets me..

My cat - Snowflake. She went to live with my parents after my divorce back in 2007

The egyptian with my niece, Autumn. We were TIRED and Autumn was shy.

Autumn was showing off her Nutcracker

It is next to impossible to get Autumn to sit still for a picture. We took my family out to eat for lunch.

My mom & I at the Mexican Restaurant

Took the egyptian to the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. The fabulous bow of Charlie Daniels

Alan Jackson & Travis Tritt are from Georgia

So are the B 52s

And Ray Charles - check out this amazing painting. It was HUGE

James Brown took up an entire wall...

Don't forget REM -t hey are from Georgia also..

The egyptian was placing his ornament on my parent's tree

My old cat - Lestat, the vampire cat



I decided to preach from the pulpet in the gospel exhibit at the museum

I am a HUGE fan of James Brown


My sister and autumn with the egyptian


Christmas Eve morning

My mom and sister this morning

Christmas Eve breakfast of Turkey sausage and turkey bacon

Then Hashbrown casserole with peppers..


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