Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Recap

Today is the last day of 2014. It has been a pretty cool year with me getting a new job and moving back to a place I consider more home than anywhere. It was a chance to build a stronger connection with my son and others in my life. It has been a pretty good year.
For the first time in years, I am in a good place. I didn't dread the holidays or facing another year. This is a good feeling.  I know 2015 will be a good year with many opportunities and adventures. 

2014 Goals

1. I wanted to have some articles published in a magazine. ACCOMPLISHED!! I am published in Southeastern North Carolina magazine.
2. For half of 2013 and 2014, I complained about issues at a previous job. I challenged myself to do something about it. ACCOMPLISHED!! I applied for a position at one of my dream newspapers and got the job. I have been at the Duplin Times for nine months.
3. I will be more sociable. SO-SO!! This will always be a work in progress. 
4. Learn how to swim. NOT YET!!
5. I will try one new thing each month. SO-SO!! In the last few months, I have spent less time on the couch and more time around friends.
6. I will go on an overnight road trip with my son. YES!!! Since returning to Mount Olive, my son has visited me twice here. We also spent a few days with my brother in Rock Hill.
7. I will come up with a plan to fix my teeth. SO-SO!!I have found a place that accepts my insurance and is reasonable. Maybe by 2017, my smile will be back.

8. I will continue to work on my relationship with God. SO-SO!!!I have a morning devotional every morning before I leave my apartment. And I am doing a nightly devotional before bed. My next step is to find a church.

9. I will make sure friends and family get copies of the photos I have of them from their younger days. NO!! I work harder on this next year.

10. I will go through the clutter in the spare bedroom and apartment. SO-SO!!! I have gotten most of my stuff from Mark’s house. The goal is to get the rest by the end of January 2015.

11. I want to write more. SO-SO!!I have been writing more in my journal.

12. I want to get my finances in order. SO-SO!!.This is a continuous work in progress.

13. I will continue to work toward an ED-free life. GETTING BETTER!!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Holiday Memories

JJ being goofy at the movie theater!
According to the AAA,  more than 99 million Americans traveled by car or plane during the Christmas holidays. I was one of those people. This is my story. (Cue up the Law and Order clang clang I always wanted to do that.)
Anyway, I am back after being away from home for five days. I had a great time with my son and nephew.
It started on Christmas Eve morning with me packing and loading up my car in the rain.
Since I was in no hurry, I stopped at Barnes and Noble and Wiener Works. I gave JJ his presents, which he loved, and hung out with my in-laws. Later, JJ and I tried to put together his Dino Legos set. When did Legos become so complicated? I think JJ no longer believes in Santa but doesn't want to disappoint me.

On Christmas Day, we drove a hour to my brother’s in Rock Hill, SC. We had a pit stop in the little community of Buford at gas station where we brought snacks and newspapers. I introduced by son to white chocolate Reese cups. It was a happy moment for both of us. We arrived at my brother’s where stayed until Sunday. My brother had cancelled Christmas dinner but decided to put a smaller version back into place with immediate family. It was much better.
My brother and I did have wine run to Walgreens. It is so awesome to be adults even if I don't drink wine. I make a kickass DD!


Fueling up for the big day!

Since my brother is a single parent, I took the boys so my brother could hang with his friends. We started out with lunch because we missed breakfast by a minute.
We went to Books-A-Million to get JJ and Devyn some comic books. It took about awhile for them to pick out some. 
Reenacting Star Wars!

 JJ was given money to get me a gift so we headed to Target. He got me a Doc McStuffins cup (He said the little girl reminds him of what I looked like as a little girl) and some really cool pens. My baby knows me so well.
Of there, JJ and I had Devyn join us in the traditional slushie after Target.
Continuing the slushie tradition!

Devyn posing!
After spending time in Target, we headed to the park where I let the boys run free. We went on a hike, which wore me out. ME not them.
Decided to have a pizza pajama party. We headed to the grocery store.

JJ being Mr. Smooth!

I woke up feeling bad. It seems my brother had a cold and didn’t mention it. We went to the $2 movie theater so I would rest and they could watch Guardians of the Galaxy. This was an interesting adventure because my nephew doesn’t like movie theaters and JJ had already seen the movie and has trouble keeping plot points to himself. Both did very well.

It was time to return to life. We stopped for a farewell slushie. I dropped off JJ at his father's and headed back to Pickle Land. All in all, it was a great Christmas. I learned that I am not as social as I liked to think but I did okay.

1. Spending time with my son and nephew!
2. White Chocolate Reese cups!
3. DayQuil Natural Fusion! It is amazing especially when you can't call in sick to work.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas tidings

I am not a Christmas person. It just isn’t one of my favorite holidays. But I make it a priority for son. For the last eight years, Christmas shopping has been no big deal.
But this year, my son is nine and I can feel things are changing. He is becoming more interested in different things along with the inevitable question about the man in the red suit.
So the Road Tripper has been on the quest for Christmas presents.
James Edward has never been picky about gifts. I could bring him some straws, toothpicks and a roll of duct tape and the boy would create something cool.
Last year, he requested Legos. I got him Star Wars Legos. After 20 minutes of trying to figure it out, we came up with our own crazy creations.
I wanted to get him something special.
Thanks to the lower gas prices, I have traveled in search of the gift.
Recently, I went to the Toys R Us in Fayetteville. I was in the store for a minute and realized that I was way out of my comfort zone. There were too many colors, children and options. I headed to Barnes and Noble to calm down.
After an iced coffee, I went to comics and graphic novel section, where I decided a gift certificate would be perfect so he could pick out his own comics.
I headed to Cross Creek Mall. Yes, the mall. It has been a longtime since I was in a mall.
The city where I used to live had mall but I wouldn’t call it a mall.
After parking in Timbukto, I hiked to the door.
Build-A-Bear is not an option for a nine-year-old boy.
Cross Creek Mall was pretty awesome with everything from Charlotte Russe and Loft to Radioshack and Foot Locker.
And they had a Food Court. I took a brief break to eat at Five Guys Burgers and Fries.
I left the mall with a full tummy, some Hallmark cards and no gifts for my son.
My next shopping adventure was in Goldsboro. At this point, I had some shopping guidance from my son. I asked him what he wanted for Christmas—a drone from Santa.
I quietly asked what his other realistic wishes were for Christmas. A booster pack of Yu-Gi-Oh cards was what he asked for from me.
I googled this and ended up confused.
So I headed to my favorite go-to-place for James Edward presents—Books-A-Million.
For those, who don’t know my son, he loves Iron Man. He loves all comic book characters but Iron Man is his favorite. It has been this way since he was two years old. He has seen all of the movies. He dresses Iron Man on Halloween or just for the fun of it. To say, he loves Iron Man is the understatement of the year.
Well on the clearance table for 50 percent off was a giant Iron Man figure.
One gift down and still confused.

Daily Dose
1. Two early deadlines down and one to go!
2. Red velvet cupcakes!
3. Seeing my bestie!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

I love my little apartment

I am so excited to announce that my new bed is arriving this week. Yay!!! No more sleeping on the couch or futon.
For the last few months, when I am not working (which seems to be always) or visiting my son, I have been preoccupied with moving my life from Roanoke Rapids to Pickleland.
This has not been an easy task because I lived in a two-bedroom apartment for four years and accumulated a lot of stuff.
I now live in a one-bedroom upstairs apartment. Honestly, it is like putting a gallon of barbecue in a pint size container.
I have traveled back and forth picking up countless boxes, totes and bookshelves for months now.
I think I could drive the route from Mount Olive to Roanoke Rapids with my eyes closed and one hand tied behind my back.
When I started these trips, there were two rooms full of stuff at my friend Mark’s house. Now there is only half a room full of boxes and a little bit of furniture.
 In traveling back and forth, I have learned a few things.
One, I don’t see myself moving anytime in the near future. Once your friends help you to get a couch and a bed upstairs, they are not so eager to help you get it back down.
Two, I have started giving heavy consideration to becoming a minimalist in owning possessions. Personally, this will never happen but it is a nice thought. I have enough books and magazines that I could open a satellite branch of the library in my apartment.
And finally, I have learned there is very big difference between the place where you sleep and the place that you call home.
You know that feeling after you’ve been on vacation or after a long day when you walk through your front door and let out a little sigh of contentment?
After a long day of being Lois Lane, it is so nice to unlock my door and see the steps that lead up to my fortress of solitude.
When I saw my apartment without furniture, books or anything in it, I felt it. For the first time years, I felt like I was home.
And it will be even more home when the bed arrives! I promise to post pictures when the apartment is a little more photo ready!
1. I will have five days off for Christmas. JJ and I will have so much fun!
2. Spending the day with a good friend!
3. Flirting with my nerdy cute library guy!

Happy New Year!!!!

Happy New Year! I will admit that 2017 wasn't the worst year of my life but it wasn't the best. I feel like I spent the entire time ...