Friday, January 30, 2015

When Waves of Worry Strike

Ever have those days when you feel like mentally checking out? I've been dealing with those feelings on and off for weeks now. Let's take Wednesday, for example. I woke up after sleeping in a bit, got a cup of coffee, enjoyed some instrumental music that my mom had playing and jumped into my design work — all things that would have made me happy on any other day. But, come 2:00, my brain started to have a meltdown of sorts. Anxiety crept in and I quickly fell into a funk for the remainder of the afternoon. I couldn't just sit around the house though. I had this overwhelming urge to get out, get away and clear all of the thoughts that had been racing through my mind.

So, I grabbed my keys and dashed out the door, my head in a fog. With no set destination in mind, I pulled out of the driveway and cranked up the Christian music station. Almost instantly, I started feeling more at peace. A peace that washed away every last bit of the worry and heaviness that I had been struggling through only moments before. The fear that had invaded my my mind fled. I prayed, I cried, I felt days and days of built up stress melting away — in His presence. And, clearly, that's what I'd been missing all along. His presence. 

I've been trying so hard to battle this season of transition on my own, but I can't. I can' expect to get through this time in my life without leaning on God every step of the way. It just doesn't work that way. I need His strength, His wisdom and His peace to get me through these rough patches that I've been running into. I saw this quote (and even shared it) on Facebook Wednesday morning, before the waves of worry struck the shoreline of my mind and boy, did it hit the nail on the head. I should have got the message right then and there, but obviously I didn't allow it to sink in deep enough.

"If you find yourself a bit irritated or overwhelmed, it's a sign
that you're spending less time with God & more time with this world."

Woah. Can someone say convicted? It was right there in front of me the entire time. I can be extremely hardheaded at times and honestly, I should know by now that the only way to get through daily trials is to stay connected to God. But I struggle with getting distracted easily and most days, I don't spend time in prayer or in the Word. Now that I know exactly why I've been feeling down and out and I know what the root of the problem is, I can fix it and I will fix it. Not to say that I won't ever have another down day, but I'm hoping to have better days from here on out.

Funny thing, I ended up at Starbucks after I had driven down the street a bit. So, naturally, I got a cinnamon dolce latte, made my way to the craft store and then swung by Publix for some sushi. I spent the rest of the evening watching Lifetime movies with my mama via Netflix and studied scriptures before I went to sleep.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Quick Trip to Disney

Last Monday, my mama, G and I spontaneously decided to take a day trip to Orlando. Like I've shared before (here + here), we live about an hour and a half away, so we have the opportunity to go often and take advantage of being close.

We actually left the house that morning intending to head to Sarasota. We've been wanting to check out the Ringling Museum for some time now and the weather was perfect that day. Only problem was that we were running late. It was already after 11:00 and the museum was going to close at 5:00. I didn't want to risk driving all the way down there and not being able to see all of the exhibits. And, so, we quickly changed our plans, heading east instead of south.

We chose to go to Downtown Disney, mostly because there are no admission costs. We were all hungry whenever we arrived, so we grabbed a bite to eat at one of the spots we hadn't tried before, Planet Hollywood. It was okay, but nothing special. The food was a bit overpriced for the quality. But, then again, we're talking about Disney, so everything is pretty much overpriced. Ha! There are plenty of better restaurant choices there if you're ever in the area. I'd highly recommend going to Raglan Road, House of Blues, Bongos or The Rainforest Cafe instead.

After we ate, we walked around for a bit and then hopped a bus to Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort. It's our favorite place to stay, but unfortunately the rates have recently skyrocketed. Even with the Florida resident discount, it's still too high. So, knowing that we wouldn't be able to stay there this year, we decided to go visit the only way we knew how. We enjoyed some dessert and hot cocoa and then took the bus back. The sun was beginning to set as we ventured off into the shops and checked out the new food truck scene. I really loved the atmosphere; the live music, the vertical flame heaters. It was all really nice and I wish we could have stayed a little longer!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Recent Finds No. 14

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1. These Mantrabands are not only super motivational, but cute too.

2. Y'all know I'm obsessed with anything to do with cats + coffee mugs.

3. Andrew Lincoln - Rick Grimes - Just can't get enough of TWD lately.

4. This is a temporary tat, but it'd sure make a killer permanent tattoo.

5. Not sure who the artist is behind this masterpiece, but I really like it.

6. Home office inspiration. I love the photo display below the shelving.

7. A felt hat + bright red lips. I kinda have a thing for both these days.

8. Black blazer over a screen tee with denim jeans. Casually polished.

9. "And I know that every day the Lord is dancing over me" ... So true.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Weekend Rundown

Normally I don't get too excited whenever the weekends come about since I'm not a Monday-Friday worker and most Saturdays involve closing at Target, but this past weekend was pretty eventful. 

FRIDAY • On Friday afternoon, I noticed that there was going to be a food truck rally later that evening in downtown St. Pete. Since my other plans for the day had fallen through, I shot Lauren a text before she got out of work to see if she'd be interested in going. Once she found a sitter, G and I made plans to pick her up. The rally turned out to be kinda lame, not gonna lie. But, we made the best of it. We grabbed some tacos and then found our way to a rooftop lounge called The Canopy to get some drinks. A couple shots of whiskey and let's just say I haven't had that much fun in a long time!

SATURDAY • After sleeping in for a little while, we met up with my aunt and uncle for lunch at Mr. Dunderbak's for some authentic German food. I had been wanting to try this place for quite some time and it was just as good as I imagined it would be. I still have to plan to go back with Lauren since she'd be the real judge after living in Germany the past 3 years. Saturday evening was my last shift (until April) at Target. It wasn't busy, which I liked, but the hours seemed to drag by.

SUNDAY • Our good friends, Jennifer and Jose (the ones that got hitched back in October), were down visiting from northern Florida so we made plans to meet up with them for sushi on Sunday afternoon. I swear we sat and talked for over an hour after we finished our meals. I miss them living closer. I mean, they only moved about 3 hours away from us, but still. We're hoping to drive up and stay with them a couple days in February or March *fingers crossed*. After we said our goodbyes, G and I headed to Shooters World to trade in his Glock 17 for the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380. I wasn't sure how I felt about such a tiny gun, but it's growing on me and it's definitely a better EDC (everyday carry) gun. I was very surprised that they were able to do an even trade, so we only had to pay $30 for G's background check.

I also took my first trip to Trader Joe's on Sunday. As soon as we were leaving the gun shop, Lauren asked me if I wanted to go with her so I jumped on the opportunity. Our local Trader Joe's is about a 30 minute drive from us and I haven't had the time I've been too lazy to drive over there. Although, once I bought a handful of items and tried them out, I knew I'd be going back. Cookie butter, ground espresso, balsamic glaze, roasted red peppers. Yeah, I'll be back soon.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Currently // January

READING · At the moment, I'm trying to decide if I should knock out some of the books I've already started or dive into a new one. I know, I'm a mess. Haha. I need a good page-turner. I get bored with stories too easily.

WATCHING · The Walking Dead! It didn't take long for me to get over all of the gore. Now it doesn't bother me at all and I've fallen in love with the whole thing! Over the course of the last 3 weeks, we've managed to binge-watch every single episode. I'm really looking forward to February 8th! They better not kill off anymore of my favorite characters though :(

LISTENING TO · Take This City by Everfound. Love this song. "Apathy is killing me. We could be the saints down on our knees. Lifting each other out of ashes, out of ruins. Hope will bring a new beginning, if we break the silence."

DISCOVERING · That I can do anything, but I cannot (and will not) do everything. Sadly, I'm not Wonder Woman. I have to remind myself that it's okay to take a break and it's certainly okay to ask for help if and when I need it.

PLANNING · How I'd like to spend the next 10 weeks. Today is the first day of my leave of absence from Target and I really want to make the best of my time off. I'm brainstorming ways to make each day more productive.

CRAVING · Sushi, but more specifically, the crazy horse roll from Origami Sushi. That craving will soon be satisfied when I meet up with some friends for lunch in a couple of hours. And, let me tell ya, it will be glorious, lol.

WISHING · I could hire someone to come remodel + decorate our guest room. I managed to make room for my desk by pushing the clutter to the corner of the room. There's still a lot of work to be done until this place feels like an office.

FEELING · Sorry for my husband who was up all night, on-call for work. A few moments after he finally got to bed, one of our customers called to shift lines on a vessel that's currently in port. Poor guy needs some rest!

PRAYING FOR · Wisdom, strength and motivation to complete all of the tasks that I've laid out for myself.

Friday, January 16, 2015

2015 · A Year to Execute

I have to admit that it took me a little longer to settle on a focus word this year. Last years word (renew) came so easily, but it was much harder this time around for some reason. Probably because the possibilities seem endless. I took time to think about it and thought about it some more, until finally it hit me like a ton of bricks the other night.

to carry out or put into effect (a plan, order or course of action)

And, really, that's exactly what this years focus is for me. To finally break away from everything that's been holding me back (be it fear, lack of motivation or laziness) and carry out the plans that I've made. Up until this point in time, I've only talked about the things I want to do, using 'someday' as a crutch of sorts. I should have never allowed that word to take up residence in my vocabulary. Casually talking about my dreams won't make them come to pass, so it's time to take action and see all of these things through until completion. It's not going to work until I do.

So, in order for me to get the rest that I so desperately need, I've taken a 10 week leave of absence from Target while I refocus (and try to regain a bit of my sanity). My last shift is tomorrow evening and then I'll return once April rolls around. Though, honestly, I've seriously contemplated not going back at all (still praying about what I should do in the long run). All I know is that working 3 different part-time jobs just isn't leaving me any extra time for myself and I really want to get back to my creative endeavors since they bring me joy and fulfillment. I'm excited to get back to design work and such.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

2015 Vision + Goals

Ah, so here it is. Free time. Time to sit, to ponder, to reflect on this new year that we've been thrown into. I popped in a couple days ago to briefly let you all know how we've been and what we had been up to as the year came to a close. I feel like I didn't get much closure as 2014 faded into history, but I'm choosing not to dwell on it much. It's not like there's a do-over button I can press. I'm happy to report that those bouts of anxiety and waves of depression I had been feeling have since ceased. I'm feeling much more like myself these days and I've had a chance to catch up on a lot of things.

Last year I set some pretty ambitious goals for myself (I kept most to myself) and I wasn't able to accomplish all of them which, in turn, made me feel like a failure. With that being said, I'm keeping it simple this year. I'm just trying to focus on doing the things that I love, the things that make me feel most alive — like web designing, traveling + being outdoors, having quiet time, learning new things, playing musical instruments, reading good books and spending quality time with my loved ones. I don't want to waste the time that I've been given doing anything that doesn't breathe life into my spirit.

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I created a vision board to help keep me focused throughout the year. Here are my goals for 2015:

SPIRITUAL • Find a new church home, spend more time in the Word, start a daily devotional and a prayer journal.

MARRIAGE • Communicate better (try not to hold things in), be more supportive + encouraging, compromise without complaint, show respect even if I'm upset, keep up with the laundry (haha) and go on more dates.

FINANCIAL • Pay off all of our credit cards and put any extra money into savings, including at least 20% of each check.

ORGANIZATION • Continue purging + finding new homes for our possessions, file all of our important documents, set up my workspace in the guest room and prioritize so I can manage my time more effectively.

TRAVEL • Visit our friends in northern Florida, stay in Saint Augustine and go somewhere nice for our anniversary.

CAREER • Get the 1.5 remaining credits for my HS diploma through an adult online diploma program, learn how to use Adobe Illustrator, sign up for a coding e-course, build my design portfolio and start making blog designs for profit.

HEALTH • Make healthier meals for my family, go to the gym 2-3x a week for at least 40 minutes per session, lose roughly 15 pounds + maintain it, complete a home workout regimen (such as the 30 Day Shred).

OTHER • Start Rosetta Stone Spanish courses, take up archery, explore places I've never been that are near me, read more books, learn at least one song on the violin + one new song on the piano and focus on knocking items off of my list.

What would you like to accomplish this year?

Monday, January 05, 2015

Happy 2015

Let me start off by saying I am still alive and well. I haven't vanished off the face of the earth (obviously) and my absence in this place has not been caused by a little human growing inside of me (haha). No, as usual, work caused me to check out of a normal life for about a month. 12 hours on, 12 hours off and little to no time for myself. I had about 3 days off the entire month of December. On my birthday, I worked a 14 hour day. And Christmas Eve was the same. Thankfully, we had the 19th (the day after my birthday) and Christmas Day off and finished up our operation a day before NYE. It's all a blur, really. Now it's 2015 and I still feel mentally and physically drained. Sadly, I've been fighting bouts of anxiety and depression ever since the year rolled on in. I'm hoping it's just hormones because I hate feeling this way.

I have a handful of goals that I would like to accomplish this year, including the ones from my life list (since I haven't done much on it). I'll be sharing those in another post though. And I'm hoping to back-post both a recap of my belated birthday celebration + our Christmas festivities and the highlights of 2014, of course. Not making any promises, but I know I'd be mad at myself if I chose not to document those things. I learned a lot last year and I'd like to share that with you all. Just bear with me while I try to regain some normalcy around here. I'm working on some things behind the scenes that I'm pretty stoked about, but I'll cover that at another time. Hope you all are doing well!