Thursday, August 30, 2012

A homecoming of sorts...

Well, I've got news. Wednesday was my last day at LSUS. Can you believe it?! I barely can. I always sort of knew LSUS was not going to be my last stop. I always want to advance and grow in my job, and honestly that just wasn't an option there. With budget cuts and limited staff, moving forward in my position just wasn't going to happen.

Last year during the Louisiana legislative session, working in higher education was brutal. Without getting into politics, it was incredibly difficult to work in my office. Incredibly. People are very passionate about funding, and retirement and mergers. And people can make things extremely personal,  when it doesn't need to be. I hated it. For various and different reasons. But I'll just say it was not fun going to work those days.

So anywho, I wasn't actively seeking a new job, but I was just keeping my eyes open. I was praying that God would either open a new door, close the door I was currently standing in, and lead me somewhere new if that is what needed to happen.  I think I was pretty patient with the whole situation. I didn't want to force anything or go out of my way to arrange and create something. I wanted God to work. And boy did he.

Next Tuesday I will be the new Director of External Relations at The Community Foundation of North Louisiana! Sound familiar? It should. That is where my first "big girl" job was when I graduated college. Everything happened so quickly and so crazily. And of course nothing in my life is simple.

So I went to lunch with my sweet friend who still works at the Foundation. We have kept in touch, well, because I just love her!  We meet for lunch once a month or so and just catch up. We didn't really talk about jobs and working at all. Two days later she calls and says, would you like a job back at the Community Foundation? Uh, YES! Ironically, I had just opened a brand new box of LSUS business cards. Ha! So I met with the Foundation. But my boss at LSUS was out of town. And I was going on vacation before he got back, so I had to hold my secret! Ah! But we eventually were all back at work and I broke the news.

I couldn't be more excited to be returning to the Community Foundation. I love their mission, their passion. I love the people that work there. I respect them. We share the same values. I will enjoy my work there because I believe in what they do for the community. I am thrilled!!

I am kind of proud of myself for just letting God work out the details. (See how much easier that was Jennifer?!) 

Like I said nothing can be simple. So on my last day at LSUS... we had a press conference, a hurricane shelter opened on campus AND we made a decision to shut down for two days for Hurricane Tropical Storm Isaac 30 minutes before the end of the day. MERCY. I will not miss the madness. I know I am young, but I feel like that craziness ages you tenfold. I know I am only 25, but I need a slower pace. Sounds crazy, I know.

I couldn't be more thrilled to be going home to the Foundation!

Broken Bow Vacation

This is way overdue, but when we got home from intervened into blogging. More on that later.

Ahhhhh, vacation. There is nothing quite like it. Chris and I escaped reality with my family last weekend to Broke Bow, Oklahoma. We had a lovely time of limited cell phone reception and zero humidity. Can't beat that with a stick! Speaking of sticks, after visiting the local grocery store and Walmart, I don't EVER want to here about how "hillbilly" and "backwoods" Louisiana is. I saw things at these fine establishment that will haunt my memory. Example? Milk on sale for $0.69! BECAUSE IT WAS 5 DAYS OLD! Ew. As my Dad said, "What does someone with 5 day old milk do? Feed it to the cat?"

But I digress. We did have a lovely vacation. We went to Abendigo's the first night for Hannah's birthday. It was really good! I had the Chicken Madeira w/asparagus, garlic mash, melted mozzarella & wine sauce. Delicious. 

Mom, Hannah,  Gauge and I went on a hike Saturday morning while boys fished the day away. 

After the hike, we went to the "beach." We use the term, beach loosely. It had water, but no sand. Which I am actually ok with, because I hate sand. The gravel/rocks were a little hard, but we floated in the water most of the time anyway. Even if it wasn't' white sandy beaches, it was still beautiful. And the mountains in the background were awesome!
The "beach"
Our little friend.
My brother's sweet pup, Gauge. 
Sunday morning we went "canoeing." Let me just tell you this was quite an experience. First of all we signed up for 8 miles. I have no idea why we chose that route. Mercy. The first 3 miles went by fast. There was "class 2 rapids." We use the term rapids loosely. But there were a LOT of rocks that were available to run your canoe into. I did this often. I was supposed to be "steering" the boat from the front and Chris was all the muscle in the back. Mercy. I think we ran into every.single.boulder. And every time we did, I would laugh hysterically and Chris would just look at me like I'm crazy. He only had to get out of the boat and pull us off a rock 17 times. Good times. I know that man loves me, because if he didn't he would have been yelling and thrown me out of the boat at mile marker 1. 

The scenery was beautiful. 

This "waterfall" was about 3 feet. It was more scary than it looks. I really did think we were going to flip. I was ready to bail. After scooping and dumping water out of mom and dad's canoe, it was their turn to go down the fall. It didn't go so well on the first take:
But after getting out, pushing off and turning around, they made it down the fall. Whew. 

And Chris caught a fish:

We had an amazing time of just relaxing and not having a schedule! On Monday I went on the boat with Dad and Chris and I actually had ZERO cell phone service. It was amazing.

When we got back in town, of course we hit the ground running and had a zillion things to do. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

My Ode to the Olympics

Oh Olympics, how I love thee. The competition, the triumphs and falls and the sheer American pride!

I have loved staying up late watching the Olympics (and being able to fast forward through the commercials). I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the US Gymnastics team compete! Gabby Douglas could not be any cuter! It was so fun to watch her compete and then immediately give all the glory to God! 
"I give all the glory to God. It's kind of a win-win situation. The glory goes up to Him and the blessings fall down on me."
And how exciting is it to watch swimming?! I'm standing in the middle of the living room jumping up and down telling Ryan Lochte to swim faster! Michael who? Oh, Michael Phelps the man with the most Olympic medals in history?! Awesome. Just awesome. Even rowing and ping-pong can get seriously intense. And the badminton scandal is one for the history books. Ha ha. 

And you're welcome for that little gem of a picture.
I adore the Olympics and the pride and passion all of the athletes have. So with the Olympics fresh on everyone's mind, I thought I would take a trip down memory lane when I went to Olympia, Greece where the first Olympics were held. 

I took a trip in 2008 with my aunt some of her students and colleagues. We flew to Rome (via Germany), traveled to Pompeii, and then took a ferry to Greece. We traveled across Greece through Olympia, Athens and Delphi. It was an AMAZING trip! One day I hope to go again with Chris. 

Here are lots of pictures of Olympia, where the first Olympic games were held! Be sure to click on the pictures and make them larger so you can really see the beauty of it all. 

Descriptions of the photos from left to right:
1. A view off the ferry we took. Arriving in Greece. 
2. A little restaurant near Olympia. I had my first real "Greek salad" and moussaka. 
3. In Greece looking out over the towns.
4. At Olympia. The trees and flowers were beautiful.
5. This is what is left of the Goddess of Nike Statue. The top of it is in a museum. Nike is the Goddess of Victory. Sounds like a good marketing plan......
6. This picture got cut off. But this is a part of the Temple of Zeus. The first games were played in his honor.
7. Me in front of a column of Zeus's Temple that fell. (I am such a tourist.)
8. This is the Temple of Athena.
9. The top of the column in the "gymnasium."

Descriptions of the photos from left to right:
1. The Temple of Zeus
2. A statue of one of the winners. Sorry, it's all Greek to me. (Ahahaha!)
3. Sorry, Temple of Athena got in there twice. 
4. The finish line of the races.
5. The starting line of the races. The runners put their toes in the grooves, sort of like a starting block. 
6. Where blood offerings were made before the games. 
7. Entrance of the stadium
8. Exit of the stadium.
9.Where the Olympic torch is lit every year before the games! It is usually lit several months in advance at a special ceremony with "vestal virgins."  

Descriptions of the photos from left to right:
1. Oh my goodness, the Temple of Athena again!
2. A crown of olive leaves given to the winners
3. "Gymnasium" columns. Truly beautiful. 
4. More trees and scenery. 
5. More of the gymnasium.
6. The stadium/arena- where the races were. And spectators would sit on the hills.
7. The gym.
8. The watering hole
9. More gym.

I could go on and on with picture. It was so beautiful and peaceful. And awesome to be able to go to a place with such a neat history. 

Later on the trip, we went to Athens the first modern day Olympics were held in 1896 at the Panathenaic Stadium. Almost the entire stadium is made of marble. SO COOL. and SO pretty! 

I will never forget this trip and all the amazing sites I saw. Now that I know the real history of the Olympics, I can appreciate them so much more. I hope you learned something new too! 

Go #TeamUSA!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What I am loving Wednesday

Here's another fun little link up, What I am Loving Wednesday!

1. I am loving living in our new home! It is mainly organized. I have gone through as much as I can and now Chris will be home to go through the rest! :)

2. I am loving that Chris comes home today! those 7 days gone are tooooo long!
Us at a wedding a few weeks ago. 
3. I am loving that we are going on vacation Friday!!! We're headed to Broken Bow, Oklahoma! I cannot wait! I seriously want to "accidently forget" my cell phone just to get away from everything! But I am sure it will somehow make the trip.

4. I am loving these little snacks! They taste JUST like brown sugar/cinnamon Poptarts, but are only 100 calories!

5. I am loving that we got our new kitchen table in today! We have a smallish nook for a table and I have been searching high and low for something to go in that space. I think I found it!
New table! From Red Door Interiors

6. I am loving that it rained on Sunday night! Yes, I am still excited about it. We need rain so bad. At the new house, the builder laid sod. That's all well and nice when it is cool and there are rain showers. But when it is July/August and hot as all get out, you have to water the yard I fear what our water bill is going to look like. I keep telling myself if we have to re-sod all the dead grass, that bill will be even MORE than the water bill. That's my logic anyway...

The thunder rolled, and the lighting struck.

What are you loving?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Moving Day!

So this is a bit delayed, but I love this picture of Chris (6'2''), his Dad (6'0'') and my brother (6'4'') rollin' deep in the UHaul.

Cracks me up. I tweeted the picture and UHaul even retweeted! That also makes me laugh.

Moving day was intense. I have never sweat so much in my life! But we loaded that huuuuuge UHaul up to the max! It would have taken us a zillion trips to get everything to the new house and about two zillion dollars in gas. UHaul was the way to go.

*Bonus* The truck Uhaul reserved for us was broken, so they gave us $50 credit back and then sent Christ down the road to pick up another. No big deal for him to drive down the road, and we got $50 back! Score!

We bought Canes for everyone to eat for lunch and the began the unpacking process. I know I should have taken pictures, but for about 2 days I didn't even know where my phone was. I knew it was in the kitchen somewhere, but I never picked it up or checked it during the day.

Boxes and boxes came off the truck and out of cars. My quote of the day was... "Uhhh... put it in the study." That was my answer for everything that I wasn't sure where exactly it would go.

Most things are in order now and at least the kitchen is clean! I hate walking in to a messy kitchen. Here's to organizing the rest of the house!

Monday, August 6, 2012

One year

Chris and I had our one year anniversary, one week ago. I know I am late. Between moving and not having Internet, I haven't had a second to blog about it.

But I do love that man, so I decided to just sit down and write it!

I really wanted to take off Monday and just spend the day together since we had just finished moving, but I had work meetings, so no can do. We didn't have fancy plans since we just bought the house and were exhausted from moving. I wish we had planned something special, after all, we will never have a one year anniversary again. But life goes on...

We went to Lil Italianos for dinner. It was Monday night so we walked right in and got a table immediately. I was going to document all the food, but it seems that by the time entrees get to the table I am too hungry/excited and start eating before I take the picture! Oh well. This was our crab claw appetizer.
Crab season must be over, because these little suckers were small. Still flavored pretty well, but not our favorite. (I'll have to get Chris to take us to our favorite spot, just so I can blog about it! I am sure he won't argue much.)

We wrote our names and date on the wall . Don't panic, EVERYONE writes on the walls here. Which is interesting, because it is a pretty nice restaurant and you wouldn't think there would be graffiti on the walls- but there is. 
After a quick trip to Lowe's...yup, Lowes. I actually requested we go because in the 3 short days we had been at the house I have seen two too many spiders. I do not do spiders. So we stopped to get spider killer, because I can't handle spiders.

So we got home and I opened our cake. Yes, we froze the top layer of our cake. And much to my surprise, it was still delicious!!! I couldn't believe it. It was so good I invited the girls over later in the week and they all had a slice! Haha! (Which I thought was special because sharing the wedding with all my bridesmaids was awesome and I am so glad they could relive a little of it through a slice of cake!) 
Our cake! It was much prettier on our wedding day.
I also bought a little piece of red velvet cake (that's what Chris' cake was), but we were so full we couldn't eat it! 
I also bought a small bottle of champagne for use to toast and use our flutes. But that champagne was NASTY! Ha! So we took one sip and poured the rest out! Oh well. 

Most of the rest of the evening was spent watering the yard and me going into hysterics because of the massive spiders I kept finding while I was spraying. I would yelp and Chris would come running. Ick. 

The card I got Chris said something to the effect of reminding him how much I appreciate him, respect him, need him and love him. That sums it up short and sweet. I love you, Chris!

Friday, August 3, 2012

So much to say...

I was doing so good with blogging and then blogger silence for a week! I have so much to say and no internet to say it! That's right, we won't have internet at the new house for at least a month! Argh!

New construction does come with perks, but it also has its downfalls. Like not having internet, because none of the cables have been run out there. Or like not having a mailbox, because they haven't built them yet! Sheesh.

When I do have an internet connection I plan to talk all about the move and the new house and our one year anniversary and the Olympics! (I took a trip to Greece and was able to go to Olympia where the first Olympic games were! I have some great pictures!! Plus, I just LOVE the Olympics.)