2008: a year in review

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Here we are, New Year’s Eve. It totally crept up on me this year, especially today as I’ve had a somewhat rotten day. But, I’m trying to put that behind me and focus on 2009! :-) This past year has been a year of changes, but not too much.

  • January: The year started off with me home full-time. We met with a budget coach, which prompted me to start applying for full-time work again, and by the end of the month got an offer at the job I’m working now. It SNOWED in Atlanta, which was great fun. Kept our heat off for most of January, and lived with 50-55 degree temps inside during the day. Our apartment was so cold…
  • February: Started my new job. Isaac came to visit with his brother and brother’s girlfriend (now fiancee), which was a ton of fun. I made a Peruvian meal for them all. Our desktop computer was fried by a storm so we got a new one. At the end of the month, we climbed Stone Mountain on Leap Day to fulfill a wish that I had as a child to get married on the top of Stone Mountain on February 29th.
  • March: Spring came to Atlanta, which made us happy. A tornado hit Paul’s office at CNN. I bought and read the book “Mistaken Identity”, about the Taylor van crash a few years ago. I’m sure other things happened, but I didn’t really blog about them!
  • April: I joined a gym, to get serious about weight loss. (It didn’t really work, I quit a few months later, mostly due to this situation with one of the workers there.) We bought new couches (yay!) and I painted our apartment, and hung all our pictures. Oh, and we paid off our car!!
  • May: We went up to North Carolina to visit my sister at her college, and attend a program she and her classmates put on. It was a lot of fun to visit, but a VERY long day! (4 hours each way) We went on our first camping trip of the season, to Fort Mountain State Park, GA. We spent time with friends from church, and enjoyed how our friendships have deepened with people here in Atlanta. We went camping with my brother-in-law over Memorial Day weekend, this time at Magnolia Springs State Park, GA.
  • June: We became members at the church we’d been attending, and I joined the choir. I got a Blackberry so I can stay connected on email, Facebook, twitter, etc. during the workday. We went camping with Sopeak and Zay down at General Coffee State Park, GA. After the weekend, they followed us to Atlanta and spent a few days seeing the sites before heading back home to Texas. Also, something big happened this month… I found out I was pregnant and then a week later I miscarried. :-(
  • July: We travelled to Hilton Head Island, SC for 4th of July weekend for the wedding of a relative. What a fun time! I really enjoyed staying right on the beach, and also spending time with my family. My grandmother celebrated her 80th birthday! While we were in HHI, I got into my first accident – someone rear-ended me. As a result, I drove a rental car for a few weeks and got a new paint job on my Corolla! The hallway of our apartment floods, and it takes management a week to take care of it. That really annoyed me, and it also was the beginning of the smell/mold problems in our apartment. We start pursuing becoming members of an apartment ministry team, filling out applications, getting recommendations, and having interviews. We celebrated our 2nd year anniversary at an historic hotel downtown, once again renewing our desire to live in the city.
  • August: If I can sum up August in one word, it would be BUSY. And contributed to my meltdown that led to me quitting my job for a few months. But more on that later. We started out the month trying to combat the horrible smell in our apartment (at the time we thought it was cat smell, but we later decided it wasn’t). We steam-clean all the carpet. The next weekend we drove up to Brown County, Indiana for the Gerig Reunion! It was great seeing everyone again. The following weekend we flew to New England for a wedding of a family friend, and did a whirlwind seeing-everyone while we were up there. I got to meet Hans! :-) When I got back to Atlanta, I dealt with dentist stuff (multiple fillings in the same tooth…) that I didn’t have time to deal with. We had our big interview for the apartment ministry opportunity, and decided not to pursue it anymore (a decision we feel comfortable with now). Our apartment complex was sold, and the new owners raised the rent $150/mo. We started looking at new apartments. Labor Day weekend, Bethany got married in Nashville so we drove up there for that and had a wonderful time! I got to be reception coordinator, and enjoyed my special job – even if Bethany credited me in the program with my maiden name. ;-)
  • September: Summer winds down, and “school-year” stuff starts. We begin our discipleship groups, which take up a lot of our time. The choir also starts singing in church more often (from once a month to twice a month). We find a new apartment and start the moving process. I sell and give away a bunch of our stuff as we prepare to downsize. We choose the worst weekend to move – the weekend that Atlanta runs out of gas. Paul waits in line until 3am to fill the truck before he can return it to the rental place. Paul gets his wisdom teeth out, and I was not allowed to take the day off work to be with him. It’s the final straw and I have a breakdown, and turn in my two-week’s notice.
  • October: We fly up to Indianapolis to see Joanna and Josh’s house! Then the four of us drive to Chicago, stopping to see Beth & family on the way. Matt and Alisse get married in Chicago. Paul and I stay with Tree’s family, as Tree came up from the DR for the wedding. A good time is had by all. I end my job, and start staying home full-time. (It turned out to be just a two-month sabbatical before I returned to work.) I have trouble with a pinched nerve and see a physical therapist a few times. (It feels much better!) My parents come visit and they approve of our new apartment. We go for a week-long final camping trip for the season, camping at Fort McAllister State Park just south of Savannah, GA. We do a lot of site-seeing in the area and have a great time. I try to host a party, but only one person shows up so I won’t be doing that again!
  • November: I have fun doing all the crafts I always wished I had time for! Mostly making cards with stamps, but I also start (trying to) sew handbags as well. I start volunteering at Good Mews, a local cat shelter. Bethany, Alejandro, Paul and I hang out several times – sad because now they have moved away from Atlanta. :-( I borrow Airband tapes from her and put them on YouTube for other fellow Taylorites to enjoy. We attend a wedding of a coworker that is 40s theme, so I spend time putting together an outfit for that. I think the prep was more fun than the wedding itself. ;-) But great fun was had by all – people really got into the theme! We spend Thanksgiving with Beth and her parents here in Atlanta, and I get to meet Maddie!! As is the tradition, we decorate for Christmas during the weekend after Thanksgiving.
  • December: My former boss calls and asks me to come back and help them out for a few weeks, and so I agree. I very quickly realize that I don’t like going from not working to working full-time! I decided to try and work out a deal of permanent part-time instead – I think it will work out better this way, and the money is nice. I spent the first half of December singing – we have 5 performances during the weekend of the 13th & 14th! We also have 6 Christmas parties to attend, which we skipped two of them. We sold Paul’s car and are down to a one-car family now. Discover fraudulent checks have been written on our account, and over $2k has been stolen so far. Still dealing with that. (I wrote a separate post updating y’all about that, which I’ll try to finish in the next few days.) Paul doesn’t get the whole week of Christmas off, so I fly down to Orlando on the 21st and Paul joins us with the cats late on Christmas Eve (2:30am). We have a good Christmas in Florida, and I turn 26 years old. We drive back up to Atlanta on Monday and immediately go back to work. Which catches us up to today. :-)

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe New Year’s Eve!! And that 2009 brings many wonderful things. :-)

well, hello again

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We’ve had a fun visit to Orlando. Too bad it’s drawing to a close as we head back up to Atlanta tomorrow. :-( Go figure I’ve been having too much fun to blog much!

I’ve really enjoyed being with my family. My brother and his wife live in Orlando now, so our “gatherings” include more people than I’ve been used to in the past. :-) Today I pulled out the photo albums and made Paul look at them while I reminisced about my childhood. That was a lot of fun, though the photo album pages are horribly out of order. Paul and I talked about how we need to scan these pictures in before they get further discolored with age. (That’s a BIG job though!) On the other hand, though, it’s sad that we don’t have any albums to flip through of our pictures in recent years. It’s something kinda cool that I would miss doing if I had nothing to physically handle.

The kitties have been having the time of their lives out on the porch. Lewis especially thinks he’s in kitty heaven. He likes to sit on the padded chairs on the porch and just watch the world go by. My parents backyard borders a lake, and there is lots of wildlife to see – bugs, squirrels, geckos, birds, ducks, cranes, etc. It’s been so pleasant to sit on the porch and enjoy the warm air. It’s perfect this time of year – not too hold, and definitely not cold. (It can get too hot and muggy in the summer to sit out there.)

Yesterday Joanna and I got together for dinner and coffee afterward which was so nice! I haven’t seen her in a long time – over a year! I miss Taylor peeps. I go through periods of missing college friends a great deal. I wish more lived nearby! This past weekend Bethany, a Gerig friend, moved from Atlanta to Cincinnati. While I’m so excited for her and the new life she’s looking forward to, I am also sad that she’s no longer in Atlanta.

But, I’m moving on and making friends at our church. It will be good to get back to Atlanta and get back into our routine. I start my part-time schedule, three days a week at work, one morning a week at the animal shelter, and my weird weekend that matches Paul’s weekend (Sunday/Monday off work). We’ll put the Christmas decorations away and once again weed through our stuff and get rid of more and more. We really need to pare down a lot more, as I feel like our apartment is so cluttered! I just need to get on that.

Right now, I’m just tired. It’s been a wonderful week, but also being out-of-routine makes it feel busy! It’s okay though. I hope y’all had a wonderful Christmas. :-) Oh, and thanks for all the lovely birthday wishes! Paul ended up taking me to see Marley & Me at a really cool theater, which was a great thing to do. Our whole family went and then had dinner afterward (we went to a matinee). I enjoyed the movie a lot, cried through the end, and now I want to read the book. It was a fun birthday. :-)

happy birthday to me!

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Today’s my birthday! I’m spending it here in sunny, warm Orlando. I spent the morning sitting on the porch, enjoying the beautiful weather. It’s so lovely! I’m also enjoying being with my family. We’re going to see Marley & Me later today, and wonderful steak dinner with ice cream cake. Lewis has decided that he’s in heaven on the back porch, investigating all the Orlando bugs, geckos, squirrels, etc. I think he’s going to be mad when we leave to go back to cold(er) Atlanta.

I loved the post Paul and I wrote last year for my birthday, so I am going to repost it.

25 ways to celebrate my birthday
Originally posted December 26th, 2007

In honor of my 25th birthday today, I am posting a list of 25 ways you can celebrate my birthday!

1. Eat twenty-six strawberries.

2. Watch Gone With the Wind and celebrate Atlanta.

3. Have a phone conversation where you hang up 15 minutes after you say, “Well I need to go now…”

4. Find someone who has been to Peru and ask them if they know me.

5. Sing happy birthday at 12:26 am or 12:26 pm (or both!).

6. Go to a dog park and exclaim every time you see a beagle.

7. Paint a purple picture.

8. Get a caffeine high from Coke and hop around like a bunny.

9. Spend three hours wandering around Hobby Lobby!

10. Insert “y’all” into your conversation as much as possible.

11. Take pictures of kitties with your Nikon DSLR.

12. Dye your hair red.

13. Read (or reread) Anne of Green Gables, paying special attention to the part where she says her red hair will be her “lifelong sorrow”.

14. Have a conversation about how awesome the packaging design of the Publix brand products looks.

15. Play punchbuggy with Corollas.

16. Offer to redesign your church’s bulletins.

17. Flip through a magazine and call out the names of all the fonts you recognize.

18. Enjoy a chocolate Frosty from Wendy’s.

19. Have a conversation with someone about why Comic Sans should be banned.

20. Host a Gilmore Girls marathon.

21. Stay up until dawn breaks.

22. Go to an animal shelter and pet the kitties.

23. Write on my wall on Facebook.

24. Post a comment on my blog.

25. Come to Atlanta and visit me!


And new for this year…
26. Call me on my cell phone and wish me happy birthday. :-)

happy news

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Last night, long-awaited babies were born to two fellow bloggers. :-) I am very excited for them!

Kacie and her husband welcomed their first, Jonathan, early this morning. I can’t wait to see pictures of the new mommy and son! :-)

Catherine and her husband also welcomed a new little one this morning – Sarah, their third. I can’t believe that Catherine has already posted her birth story! :-)

Congrats to you both!

paul needs your help

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As you know, my birthday is coming up! (There’s even a countdown to it on my sidebar!) Only 8 days! This year’s birthday is special because I’m turning 26 on the 26th.

Paul is looking for ideas of what to do on my birthday. He asked me what I wanted. I wasn’t sure. Most of all, I want to be surprised. I love being surprised with good things. :-) So I don’t want to give him any ideas because then it isn’t as much fun.
*EDITED TO ADD: I’m talking about activities, not presents.

But, Paul, though he is a wonderful person, may need some help coming up with something to do. :-) So I’m asking for your input. Don’t leave a comment – email Paul with your ideas. His email is paul (at) leadiv (dot) com.

Just so you know…
1) We’ll be in Orlando this year on my birthday, staying at my parents’ house.
2) I won’t be at home with easy access to my stuff, so anything that requires special dress will need to be arranged before Paul leaves on the 24th to come to Orlando.
3) I like dressing up and getting fancy. But we don’t HAVE to dress up, because I like being casual too.
4) Doesn’t have to be one big thing: several small things are also a lovely way to spend the day.

So what special thing would YOU do for your wife for her birthday? Or what do you hope your husband would do for you? Help Paul out! Email him; he only has 8 days to plan! :-) paul (at) leadiv (dot) com