Monday, December 30, 2013

Farewell to 2013

2013. Oh, what a year it has been! From sorrows and tears, to joy and laughter. It's been one heck of a ride, that's for sure. Thankfully, the good times far outnumbered the bad this year. Some days were a bit challenging. But, hey, that's life! There's really no getting around that, even when a new year rolls in. All we can do is allow those difficult times to strengthen us and help mold us into stronger people.

I had every intention of sharing a review of my year, but opted not to. I would hate to sum up all that's happened in the last 12 months, because there have been so many awesome moments. That post would have been a mile long! This year held many firsts for me, personally. Mostly little things, but a few big things as well. Whenever we plunged into 2013, I was mainly focused on simplifying our lives. I didn't expect to redirect my focus on a bigger problem area in my life — conquering my fears. And I did just that, with God's help. I felt Him with me every single step of the way.

From shooting my first gun to tackling my first job interview and landing a sweet position at Target. It's great to look back and know that I pushed myself to do the things I never thought I'd be doing. I feel like I found myself in 2013, as silly as that may sound. I have so much more confidence and I feel like I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. And that, my friends, is one of the best feelings I've ever experienced. You know what they say, "on the other side of fear lies freedom". If there's one piece of wisdom that I can take away from the entire year, that would be it.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Cheer

Oh, Christmas. Your time has come and gone. In the blink of an eye, all the lights have faded and the sounds have died down. The hustle and bustle that once filled our December has come to a halt as we prepare for a new year.

Christmas Eve was spent at my Grandpa's house. My cousin, Kevin, roasted a pig (yes, a whole pig). It was a first for me. Before I was born, my family would do this every Christmas. Not quite sure why they stopped. I'm just glad that my Grandpa insisted we do it this year. Even though it was a bit awkward eating something that still had a face.

On Christmas morning, Garrett and I woke up super early. And by super, I mean 7:30. That's considered early in our household. After a cup of coffee and waiting for my mama to wake up, we exchanged gifts. I didn't ask for much, but I was blessed with a few things I had been wanting. Like a pair of stud earrings and some new country / worship CD's. I made brunch for the three of us and we watched a few Christmas movies as we ate.

Later that afternoon, we met up with my brother and his family at a Chinese buffet across town. Just think 'A Christmas Story', but unfortunately there were no Chinese men serenading us with 'fa ra ra ra ra'. It wasn't the best food in the world, but we tried to make the most of it. We spent a little time at my brother's house afterwards, opening gifts and reminiscing about Christmases past. It was nice, but it wasn't like it used to be.

The holidays are hard on all of us since my dad passed away last year. This was our second Christmas without having him with us. It's not the same and I know it never will be. I'm just thankful for the family members that I can still love on and wrap my arms around. I know I'll see my dad again one day, but not having him here continues to hurt.

 I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas this year

Friday, December 20, 2013

I'm ( 24 ) Now

It's official. I'm 24 now. I'm not sure if I should feel different. All I know is that I don't. I've changed a lot over the past 12 months though. And I can honestly say that I'm proud of the person I'm becoming. Only God knows what the next 12 months will hold, but I'm really excited to find out!

On Wednesday morning, G woke up early to fix breakfast for me. When I came downstairs and walked into the kitchen, I was greeted by a dozen roses, a plate of scrambled eggs + bacon and a fresh cup of coffee. He also had a very sweet birthday card waiting for me too. Such a nice gesture. Love that man of mine!

I will admit, I was a bit cranky when I woke up because of a phone call I had received from Target (sorry, babe). Long story short, there was some miscommunication and they forgot to take me off of the schedule, so I was still expected to come in. Eventually, they got it all straightened out and I did get the day off.

I was still trying to recuperate after being sick for nearly a week, so I didn't feel like doing anything extravagant. Time spent at home, lunch at Mellow Mushroom and a trip to my brother's house was all I needed. My sis-in-love cooked a nice dinner and we celebrated as a family. It was great. I'm all about low-key celebrations as I've never been into elaborate shindigs. It's just not my style and I absolutely hate being the center of attention.

All in all, I had a wonderful birthday. I was surrounded by the people I love most, I was blessed with some very thoughtful gifts and I ate yummy food all day without regretting it (haha). To me, it was nothing short of perfect.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

23 in Honor of 24

In a few hours time, I will say farewell to 23 and welcome 24 with open arms. Yes, folks. Tomorrow is my birthday (cue the confetti). It feels like I was just saying hello to 23 a few weeks ago. But, alas, I am here. Standing at the doorway of a new year of life. I've never been one to complain about getting older. In fact, I try my very best to embrace each and every birthday that rolls around. With age comes wisdom and I could sure use more of that! In honor of this quickly approaching day, I thought it would be suiting to share a few life lessons that I've learned.

  1. Life is better enjoyed at a leisurely pace.
  2. You shouldn't let the fear of failing hold you back.
  3. Every single event is a learning experience.
  4. You don't have to let your past define who you are today.
  5. Tough times don't last, but tough people do.
  6. Not all things in life go as planned and that's okay.
  7. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
  8. Never compare your life to the lives of others.
  9. Don't save things for special occasions. Today is special.
  10. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  11. Give out forgiveness as freely as you have received it.
  12. The timing will never be as perfect as you want it to be.
  13. However good or bad a situation seems, it will change.
  14. Don't strive to be the best, strive to be your best.
  15. Uncertainty is caused by a lack of knowledge.
  16. You are always stronger than you think you are.
  17. Time is so much more valuable than money.
  18. Giving unsolicited advice to others is a waste of time.
  19. Love people past their flaws and weaknesses.
  20. Drink more water — it will make you feel better.
  21. Be nice, you never know what others are going through.
  22. Worrying is simply a misuse of your imagination.
  23. Good friends are worth their weight in gold.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Random Ramblings

I've been meaning to post about how life has been lately, or more so about how working at Target has been. Man, oh, man. Let's just say retail work is no joke and I've gained a ton of appreciation for those who are in that line of work. It certainly takes patience and dedication. It's a humbling job, that's for sure.

I hit my one month mark with Target a few days ago. I've learned so much within that month. It's been a challenge at times (I almost quit twice haha), but I try to remind myself that the whole experience will help me. I feel myself coming out of my shell a little more each time I'm there. And the people I work with rock! Seriously some of the sweetest people I've met. They have been so accepting, encouraging and helpful.

If there's one thing I've learned from retail work, it's that people are straight up savages when they shop. Haha. Really, though! Picking up after people tees me off, but that's what they're paying me to do. I just cannot believe some people. If you knock something off a rack (and know you did it), pick that junk up! And don't go behind me, unfolding everything I just took the time to neatly fold. Grrr. Drives me bonkers!

I lucked out on black Friday. My shift didn't start until 7:30am. By that time, all the crazy people were gone. The store was peaceful for the majority of the day. And Target was nice enough to provide breakfast and lunch for all of the employees, which was pretty sweet. All in all, it was nothing like I expected it would be *wheeew*.

I am sad that my time there is more than likely drawing to an end. I'll only be working there until January 14th. Unless, of course, they decide that they would like to keep me around. Even so, I'm not sure if I'd accept the offer. Once the new year rolls around, I'll be helping out with our family business more. We recently scored a new account that will give us 2-3x more work per month than we're used to. I'll just cross that bridge when I get there.

So, guys. In other news, I'll be 24 in 10 days. As I said on Twitter earlier, cue the MID-midlife crisis! Still trying to wrap my mind around that one. Didn't I just turn 23 a few weeks ago? No? Well, it seems that way. This year really flew by. I feel like I accomplished a lot this year, but there's a few things I didn't get to finish up. Oh, well. I'm excited about the new year and I'm looking forward to all that God has planned.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

A Taste of Christmas

Our little tree went up last night. Now it's shinning bright in all its Christmasy glory. I used to hate fake trees. Up until last year, that is. Though, I must admit, it isn't as fun as picking out a tree and it certainly doesn't smell like pine (unless I spray it down with Febreze). It's just so easy to work with. No messy pine needles to sweep up, no watering it. Plus, our cats seem to leave it alone (they used to climb the real ones).

I tried two new recipes last night too! Kinda excited about that. I made cranberry orange pork in the crock-pot and baked my first apple pie from scratch. The pork was bangin', but I need to work on my pie baking skills. Just the crust, really. The recipe I was following called for lard (yuck), so I used butter instead. Well, it didn't turn out like I had hoped it would. But, the hubs liked it. So, there's that. I'm just glad I can scratch it off of my list now ;)