Enjoy Your Journey Everyday!!!!

Enjoy Your Journey Everyday!!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 Year In Review

Wow, 2010 what a year!!! It was truly a year full of blessings. We had so many great experiences this year. We had our share of suprises this year, but learned to monitor and adjust! As I was looking back on this year, I thought wow that makes me a little tired.:)

We moved back to our hometown as mentioned in previous posts. We love being back home. Most of our family is here in town. It's nice being close to them again. We have reconnected with friends. We have enjoyed becoming active in our community. Our two babies, London and Athens also joined our home this year.

Jeremy started his practice this year. He is really enjoying it. He enjoyed residency life, but glad to be using all the training, finally! I started grad school. I love it! I learned so much in my first semester, looking forward to the spring semester.

We traveled to some great places. We love to travel. It's amazing the different cultures and people that make of the world. I think one of the year's most unusual traveling experiences was using a ground toilet in Turkey (what an experience). We visited the pyramids in Egypt, amazing to look up at those, unbelievable. You learn a lot about yourself while traveling.

We started our real estate venture this year. We always knew we wanted to invest in real estate. We have learned a lot this year. We enjoy working on this project together. We compliment each other well on decisions and ideas.

I'm looking forward to 2011. I know each year is full of suprises and adventures. It's nice to see the changes and growth that take place in our lives.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Confessions of a Recovering Control Freak

I am finding the older I get, the less control of situations I really do have. I am learning sometimes you have to hold on and see what happens during the journey.

This is tough for me. I like things in order to say the least. I am the person that keeps all the soup can labels lined up and hangers facing the same way in the closet. I know it seems a little like "Sleeping with the Enemy". I have always kept things very orderly. I have felt a level of control from this type of behavior.

I know that some level of organization is helpful. It keeps one from being late on your taxes or missing your cousin's wedding. It helps keeps day to day life, a manageable organized chaos.

I've learned this year, sometimes there are things we can't control. During these times, we have to learn to trust in our faith. We have to listen to our heart and accept what lies ahead. Each day is a new day. That's part of the excitement of life. It's like reading a great book. You are waiting to see what happens next. If you knew the end before you started, what's the point.

So I this year I have learned to let some things go. I still like being organized, but I am relaxing more about the little stuff. It makes living much easier. I have been able to really enjoy things. It's okay to jump on the merry-go-round and hold on for the ride!!!!

Curing the Winter Blues

We visited Cancun, Mexico last week. It was amazing!!!! I love the Christmas season, but it was very nice to escape for a few days to warmer weather. Jeremy and I have been really busy lately. He's been busy at work and I was finishing up projects for this semester. It was so nice to take time and slow down a little.

We decided to stay at a resort for this visit. We usually visit the Caribbean via a cruise ship. We love cruising, but it was nice to stay in one place. We basically relaxed the entire week. Many of our vacations consist of going, going, going.... We return home and I need another vacation.

The resort was beautiful. It had restaurants, shows, and shops. It was nice to have everything there. We spent lots of time laying on the beach reading. I have been trying to finish a book for several weeks now, so it was nice to make a dent in it. We ate some amazing food. I think had enough tortilla chips and guacamole to last a lifetime. Jeremy played a little volleyball. We took some walks on the beach. We slept late and soaked in the jacuzzi. All I can say, it was very relaxing. I'm glad to be home, back in the Christmas festivities. The break definitely recharged our batteries!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Remembering Smegol

I wanted to remember our cat Smegol this week. Smegol died last December, still miss her so much. Smegol was our first pet as a couple. I opened up a box on Christmas and there she was. She looked like a fuzz ball and was the sweetest thing ever.

I never knew how connected you could be to your pet until she came along. I had several pets growing up, and missed them when they were gone. However, this was much tougher. It may be because she was more like a kid, than a pet. I know people that have expressed deep sorrow when they lost their pets and never fully understood what they were talking about until last year.

I was so sad. I honestly didn't want to consider ever getting another pet. I didn't think I could open up my heart to love another pet like that. I needed some time.

Jeremy thought it would be a good idea to open up our hearts again. We decided to adopt two cats from the animal shelter. They were so cute. London and Athens joined our family in March. They have truly been a lifesaver. I love them so much.

So Smegol will never be forgotten. I think about her often. I learned that you can experience joy and love in life, even after incredible loss.

Artsy Night

We went to the downtown art walk on Friday night. We had such a great time! My little sis Jessica displayed some of her photography. Absolutely, amazing. I'm so proud of her. She loves photography and it shows. This was our third art walk this year. It's so much fun walking around downtown, looking at the shops. Everything was decorated for the holiday season. Another reason we are so glad to be back home. As I have mentioned before, we enjoyed our time in Little Rock. We have a lot of great memories there, but there's no place like home.

We met up with some friends. We spent some time looking at some great art pieces. We have a lot of incredible local talent. We decided to grad some dinner after the show. It was fun visiting and catching up. We went back to their home to watch a movie. We had a fantastic time and really enjoyed the company!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tis the Season....

The holiday season is here! I love this time of the year. The lights, desserts, Christmas music, the holiday spirit, all of it. I think the 2010 holiday season will be as busy as usual. This week we are planning to attend the Christmas parade and tree lighting ceremony. It's usually really cold, but very festive.

We are planning to eat pizza, watch the classic holiday cartoon The Grinch, decorate a gingerbread house, and look at Christmas lights next week with our nieces. They are full of energy and definitely help keep us young. Since we don't have any kiddos yet, we love to be able to share this time of year with them. Kids are so innocent. They encourage you to enjoy the magic of the season even more.

Then the rest of the most we have various parties and family gatherings. Jeremy and my families are rather large, so sometimes it's difficult to squeeze in meetings with everyone in just one month. It's great to have the time to catch up and celebrate with our loved ones.

I think the thing I look forward to the most is spending some time during the season to reflect on our blessings. It's easy to get caught up in the busyness of the season. We like to share some of our blessings with others. I find giving is a selfless act, with unending benefits.

So Thankful.......

I hope the title captures how I feel. I feel so thankful and blessed this year. I can't count all the blessings in my life, but here's a few: my faith, my hubby, my family, our friends, my cats, living in a great community,etc....

We visited Jeremy's family for Thanksgiving lunch. It was wonderful. We love playing with our nieces and nephew. They are growing too fast. The meal was wonderful. I love my mother-in-law's dressing and my sister-in-law's apple pie. Jeremy added a wonderful dish this year. I think he may have to be our family chef.:)

We hosted Thanksgiving Dinner for my family at our house this year. We have hosted Christmas Dinner pot lucks before, but never Thanksgiving. We made the turkey. I need to add I was a little worried about having the turkey responsibility. I had thoughts of under cooked turkey, burning turkey, or the turkey falling to the floor. I think my family may have been holding their breath too. I assured everyone that we could go to Cracker Barrel, if it was a disaster. I was so excited when the oven timer sounded and the turkey survived. It was a success! We had a great dinner. It was so nice to spend time with family.

We spent Friday shopping. We weren't out as early as last year, 1:45am. We didn't even leave the house until 6:30 am, slackers. Yes, we were out with the masses. We found a lot of great deals. Truthfully, I like the hustle and bustle at times. I love looking at the decorations and lights.

We spent the rest of the weekend doing projects and decorating the house for the holidays. We bought a new tree this year. We had our other tree for 12 seasons and it was smaller. Since our ceilings are higher, we thought it might be a good time to upgrade. It is sad though, we've had the tree since we were newlyweds. Last year, we moved in Christmas week and then left for a long trip. So I didn't even get to decorate. So I loved every minute of "decking the halls" this year (so did our cats).

It was a busy weekend, but so much fun!!! I wouldn't kick off the holiday season any other way.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Life Lessons Learned From Hospice Volunteering

I have learned so much from volunteering with one of our local hospice organizations. I know some people feel uncomfortable talking about hospice and end of life care. I feel so fortunate to interact with patients during this phase of their lives.

I began volunteering with Arkansas Hospice this year. I have never worked with a hospice organization before, so I didn't know exactly what to expect. The organization provided a wonderful orientation and background about hospice care. I usually visit on Wednesday each week. I visit patients in the nursing home setting.

The patients I have met are such wonderful people. They have amazing stories and life experiences. They are facing this stage in life with dignity and sometimes even a little humor. I consider it a privilege interact with them each week. I guess as I am getting older, I am realizing the importance of seizing the day. I'm trying to enjoy every day. The hardest thing for me is learning not to sweat the small stuff. I know I'm the volunteer reaching out to them, but I feel they are also making a significant impact on my life.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


We hosted our first Costume Party in our new home this year. It was a blast! We spent several weeks planning for the event. My sister, Jeremy, and myself worked as a team. Jeremy carved 8 jack-o-lanterns. Our house smelled of pumpkins to say the least. Jessica and I created a murder mystery, made a mummy, and decorated the house. I was planning on making the food, but as the week got busier, we decided to cater. We all put in long hours the week of the party, but completed all of our tasks. The day of the party. We put the finishing touches on the house and yard. Jeremy picked up the food while I became the ghost maid. He returned and became the headless butler.

The night of the party went smoothly. Oak Tree Bistro catered the food, it was fantastic. We had wraps, sandwiches, potato salad, spinach dip, hummus dip, and cannolies. We also added carmel apples and cupcakes. We also served drinks. The costumes were incredible. I was surprised every time I opened the door. WOW!!!! The murder mystery, scavenger hunt was a success. Everyone seemed to have a nice time visiting and being in character.

We learned a lot from planning the party. We thought we would like to incorporate new elements each year. So hopefully next year, will run even better. We had such a great time with family and friends. We are looking forward to the annual event!!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Woo...Pig Sooie....

We had a wonderful weekend!!! We went to see the hogs play. I've been to see them in Little Rock, but this was my first game in Fayetteville. I had a blast! It was just cool to be at my first game at the University. There is definitely a lot of excitement there. It's catching.

Since the game started early, we didn't tailgate this time. The game had some interesting moments. The inclement weather caused the officials to suspend play twice. So a game that should have ended around 2:30pm, ended around 4:00pm. I know some people were really frustrated, some left early. We were there with some our best friends, so we really enjoyed just hanging out. We were excited to see the Hogs beat Ole Miss!

We decided to eat at Gusano's Pizza after the game. It is one of our favorite pizza places. The Chicago Style pizza is incredible. We enjoyed catching up with our dear friends. There's never a dull moment when we're hanging out. We were glad they were able to join us for a day on the hill.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Shining Vacation

We visited Denver, Colorado in September. We've been to the Denver Airport in the past, but never stayed in the city. Jeremy had a Family Medicine Conference and I traveled with him. Most of the time was spent with Jeremy in sessions and me studying in the hotel room. We went out in the city most evenings. We ate some great Indian food, shopped, and took in the night life.

We were able to escape the last day for some sight seeing. We chose to travel north of Denver to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. We stopped at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. The hotel that inspired Stephen King's The Shining. The hotel was incredible. I can see why they picked that location, what a view. It would be a little spooky too, to be isolated during the winter months. Estes Park seemed very quaint. When we drove through town, elk stopped traffic crossing the road. It was very relaxing.

The next place we visited was Rocky Mountain National Park. WOW!!!! We enjoyed driving through the park. We stopped at several places to take in the glorious scenery. We enjoyed lunch at the top of one of the mountains. It was so nice to be in nature. It is times like these the worries of everyday life seem to fade away. It gives you true perspective about the important things. It was an incredible day!!! We returned home, informed and relaxed!!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Back to School.....

I can't believe this week is midterm for my graduate program. I chose to go back to pursue my masters degree in Gerontology. When I graduated from college, I remember saying, " I'm never going back to school." Never say never.

I began working as a Recreational Therapist in a Geriatric Psychiatric Unit. I had volunteered at a retirement center in college, but never really worked with the senior population. I had worked with preschool age children, after high school and in college. I loved that work too. I had so many wonderful experiences while working on the Geri Psych Unit. I had group sessions, music therapy, pet therapy, and social events. I learned so much from my work with the senior population. Seniors have so many wonderful experiences and the stories to prove it.

When I left the unit, I actually was going to change career course completely. I was going to work as a real estate agent. After a few months, I realized that wasn't really for me. I guess you never know until you try. So I was at a crossroads. I realized how much I enjoyed working with seniors. I realized, I missed it. I began to look at masters programs that offered a degree in gerontology. There was several good choices, but I decided UMASS Boston was the right program for me.

So here I am, working on my degree in a program I love!!! A family friend told me, that I would love working on my masters. He said, it was different from college, you are pursuing your passion. He was exactly right. It has been a lot of work thus far. There is lots of reading, writing, and projects. I have found even with all of they busyness, I am having the time of my life!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Celebrating a Milestone

We recently celebrated our dad's retirement. He is retiring after 31 1/2 years of work for Union Pacific Railroad. He worked in various areas while employed with UPR. He finished his career as a foreman for the Fort Smith to Little Rock crew.

We held the party at the Historic Depot in Russellville. My sister and I were so excited when we discovered it was available for events. Our dad actually worked in the depot, when were younger. The party was held in the afternoon so we decided to have a nacho bar, cake, and drinks. We enjoyed visiting with family and friends. It was really nice to be able to celebrate such an important milestone in our dad's life. He is a very giving and likable guy, it was great to let him be the center of attention for the hour!!!! The party was a success!!!

I admire my dad's dedication and work ethic to his job. So many people commented on what a joy he was to work with over the years. I know he enjoyed his work, but is excited about this new era in his life. He's a very active and social person. His calendar is already full of trips, projects, and appointments. I am glad he will finally have all the time he wants to pursue his favorite hobbies, archery and hunting. He deserves it!!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back to the City

We decided to take a trip back to Little Rock/North Little Rock over the weekend. We had a lot of fun and did some errands while we were there. Our errands in LR/NLR, usually consist of Landers(oil change), Sam's Club, and shopping we can't do in Russellville.

We visited with some great friends on Friday night. We went to an art walk in North Little Rock. There were some really cool pieces, jewelry especially. We ate dinner at Ristorante Capeo. Food was amazing, octopus, eggplant parmesan, creme brulee. The drinks were wonderful too, an Italian margarita and long island iced tea. The restaurant is beautiful!!! A great choice for dinner out, feel like you are having a true Italian Dinner. We enjoyed catching up with our friends, hearing their exciting life news, laughing, and just enjoying the company.

Saturday we caught up with Jeremy's sis and her family. I can't believe how fast my nephew and niece are growing. We ate some pizza and walked around the arcade(I'm probably dating myself by using that term). We caught a matinee in the afternoon. Then got some Santo Dip from Santo Coyote. What a great weekend!!!!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Good Old Days

I can't believe August will be over in a few weeks. This summer has been busy and hot!!! Most of the summer our air unit at home has been on the blitz. It would start working, then leak. It would stop working, the leak would stop. Piece by piece the home warranty company replaced our air unit. So much of the summer has been spent at parents' houses or hotels.

I love history. I have often thought about the good old days when life was simple. I loved the fact that people had less distractions and perhaps more time. After this summer I realize that I was born in exactly the right time. I can't imagine living throughout every summer without air, not to mention other conveniences. I think our ancestors were definitely a tougher breed. I'm glad they paved the way for modern conveniences to be discovered. I learned not to take all the things we have for granted. Be thankful for everything, everyday!!!!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Great Adventure

We visited Alaska the first week of July. It was so much fun!!! What a great place. We left on a cruise from Vancouver, Canada. We traveled to Icy Straight Point. We went on a whale watching trip, incredible. We saw humpback whales. They were really close to the boat. I didn't realize how big they are. This alone was worth the trip. Next we went for a nature walk. I enjoyed the walk the countryside was incredible, everything is so green. The guides hoped we might see bear on our walk. That would have been cool, but I didn't mind that we didn't encounter one. We visited Hubbard Glacier, very cold. We decided to sit on the deck to watch as the ship made it as close as possible. Large chunks of ice would fall off the glacier, the sound radiated. We decided we would go whitewater rafting while we were in Juneau. We had a blast!! This is usually not something I would be up for, but I absolutely loved it. The last day of the trip, we visited Ketchican. It was rainy. We spent the day sightseeing and had an amazing seafood lunch. This was our first trip to Alaska. Alaska might be a little cold for me to be a resident, but would love to visit again!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Take Me Away

Jeremy and I decided to take a little vacay last weekend. We had so much fun!!! We decided to visit Eureka Springs. Eureka Springs is a very unique town. It almost has a Swiss village feel about it. We hadn't been there in about 5 years. We chose to stay at the Crescent Hotel this time. It was beautiful. I loved the history behind the hotel as well. We had some great food and chocolate covered cherries. We also enjoyed shopping. Jeremy picked up some neat metal statues, he had been searching for some for a long time. I picked up some jewelry, take after my grandma with my love for jewelry. We loved the art featured in the shops. There was music on the square and a warm feeling of community. We really enjoyed taking time with each other to relax, catch up, and be taken away.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Road Trip!!!!

Road Trips are so much fun! You set out with a place in mind. Sometimes you make many stops before you get to your destination. It's all about the journey. My sister and I had a fun road trip over the weekend. It's a great time to catch up. Our hubbys took their motorcycles, had an adventure of their own. The first day we all met up ate dinner, watched a movie, and hung out at the hotel. The next day Jessica and I decided to make a pit stop at an animal safari park before heading home. It was so much fun! We drove through the park, at times, feeling like we might be in Jurassic Park! There were tons of animals, some that were very fascinated with our vehicle. One emu in particular I think was fascinated by my sunglasses. I guess I looked like an unusual creature as well. It was definitely worth the stop. I must say sometimes the best things in life are things you didn't plan for at all!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

All We Need Is Love

We recently celebrated our 12th anniversary. That sounds crazy when I am typing it. We have experienced such an amazing journey so far. We have traveled, earned degrees, moved, etc... I feel so blessed to be married to my best friend, the person that accepts me for me. We continue to learn and grow as a couple. I think back to the marriage advice we were given as newlyweds. One piece of advice that continues to stand out is "pick your battles". It still rings true to this day. We're a team! Some things we may not agree on, but we're in this together. You realize don't sweat the small stuff. I'm sure that over the years we will continue to change, reinvent ourselves. It's great to know that whatever the future holds, dreams fulfilled, dreams lost, life changes....When it comes down to it all we need is love!!!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010


Jeremy celebrated his 30th Birthday last week. We've been together since he was 16. Wow! Time flies. We had a great time with family, dinner out, etc. I celebrated my 30th birthday last year. I know turning 30 is tough for some people, but I am actually really enjoying this decade. I feel more settled. It seems like I appreciate the little things in life more. I'm sure I'll look back to these years later in life and say learned a lot since then. However, for now I am looking forward to what this decade holds!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Breathe and Relax

I recently joined a weekly yoga class. A girlfriend had invited me to a class she was attending at a local fitness center. I have done yoga at home in the past, but I like the class setting much better. It's nice to have an instructor leading us through the steps, challenging and encouraging us. I think one of the things I enjoy most about yoga is the balance it can help bring during a crazy week. I know everyone can relate, "too many things to do in a 24 hr period". Sometimes it's nice to take 50 minutes to stretch, breathe, and relax. I may have a million things on the to do list, the break helps me refocus on what's really important in life!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Homeward Bound

"Life is a Journey that's homeward bound"(Herman Mellville) As I mentioned in my profile, we recently moved back to our hometown. It has been quite a journey getting here. We left about 8 years ago for school. The years went by and it became clear that we wanted to return back home. We were so glad when we knew that would be an option. Last summer we were making plans to build a new home, one thing lead to another, it didn't happen. In the meantime we found a home we both really loved! So we bought it and have been remodeling since. We only have a few finishing touches for the remodel to be complete. It has been a fun and at times a trying experience. We and many others have put a lot of work into this endeavour. I appreciate now that things don't always turn out how you plan!!!