Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Road jams...

We're getting close to our final day here in Connecticut. Almost everything is packed, the moving truck is reserved, snacks and car activities are all ready for the kids, overnight bags packed, hotels booked, routes planned ect... It's going to be a long drive,  about seventeen hours, and it will be made even longer by the fact that I will be driving every mile of it. Matthew usually drives on all our trips. It's not that I can't drive for long distances, but I'm usually busy taking care of the kids in the backseat while he drives. Oh and I'm the navigator too, I can read a map like nobody's business! Much like our move up here four years ago (not counting the extra addition to our family this time) Matthew will be driving the big truck while the kids and I follow in our Rav. The only reason I'm slightly nervous this time is that Sophia is not as good of a traveler as Elijah was at this age. She gets a little nuts after just a few hours in the car. But like I said, I'm armed with snacks and other new goodies to occupy her. Not to mention we do have a DVD player and  Kindle Fire for emergencies!

But our favorite thing to do on long car trips is listen to music! Our car is on the older side, so we just have a CD player, so I'll be hauling a stack of CDs on the seat beside me. Sophia is as big of a music lover as I am and often gets cranky if it's not loud enough! Elijah is more inclined to just read for the whole seventeen hours.

So here's what I'm bringing along:


One Republic, Native. I've always liked One Republic's songs, but never owned any of their CDs. When this one kept popping up on my Pandora I realized every single song I heard was amazing. If you love upbeat, pop music this is a must-have. I've already listened to it 100 times and could listen to it 100 more!


Taylor Swift, Red. This is actually Sophia's CD, but even I have to admit, it's not too bad. I'm a little sick to death of "I Knew You Were Trouble" but you all know that's Sophia's jam. I might have to let her borrow my iPod shuffle with headphones just so I don't have to hear it for the millionth time.

Slippery When Wet (Remastered)

Bon Jovi, Slippery When Wet. After was pass through New York City on the GWB we'll be cruising through New Jersey for a while. And I while I do I'll be blasting everyone's favorite New Jersey rock band. This was actually a tradition I started four years ago on the move up here. Matthew thinks it's hilarious.


Bon Jovi, Bounce. Just in case I'm in the mood for some newer Bon Jovi. The Bounce tour was the one my dad and I went to, back 2003, so good memories!

The Circle

Bon Jovi, The Circle. Another new one. Probably listen to "Brokenpromiseland" as I'm watching Connecticut disappear through my rear view mirror. Ha ha.

The Very Best Of The Beach Boys: Sounds Of Summer

The Beach Boys, The Very Best Of. I don't think this one needs an explanation. This is actually my CD for our drive down to Florida in a few weeks. But I might bust it out and visualize myself already there if I get stuck in DC traffic!


Led Zepplin, Mothership. Again, no explanation needed. Kashmir just might be my all-time favorite song. Sophia will hate this though. She's not a huge Led Zepplin fan, much to my dismay.

Smoke & Mirrors (Amazon MP3 Exclusive Version)

Lifehouse, Smoke and Mirrors. I have every Lifehouse CD that's ever been put out, but if I had to choose just one, this would be it!

No Name Face

 I also packed No Name Face. Just because "Hanging By a Moment" is on there.

Lifehouse, Who We Are. Did I say I was just going to pick one Lifehouse CD, because I'm apparently bringing them all in the car. I just found this one in the stack too.


Lifehouse, Almeria. Last one, I promise. Their latest, but not my favorite. "Between the Raindrops" is good, though!

Living Things

Linkin Park, Living Things

Linkin Park, A Thousand Suns. Again, the kids will probably protest these too, but maybe I'll keep it down low. OR NOT!

Rod Stewart, The Very Best Of. Now that was quite a musical 180, huh? Come on, "Forever Young"!

That's all, the rest of my CDs are packed. And I just now realized I forgot to leave out my Journey CD! NOOOOOOO!!!

See y'all in Georgia...

Monday, June 24, 2013

A series of successes and failures...

I  feel like this title could describe most trips with small kids. Let me preface this post by saying, in case you didn't already know it, I'm totally a type A personality. Planning is my middle name. So when Matthew suggested last Sunday that we take a last-minute weekend trip to Boston, my first instinct was to say no. But after thinking about it for a few minutes, I realized I would actually regret not seeing the town.

Since we spent the week swamped with moving preparation, it wasn't our best planned trip. For once I didn't pack until the very last minute. Which unfortunately resulted in me forgetting some things. So I give you our Boston trip: Successes and Failures...

  • Driving away from the house I realized immediately that I had forgotten to pack the camera. FAIL!
  • But we just circled back around the block and I ran inside to get it. Thank goodness I remembered before we had driven too far. SUCCESS!
  • Not long after that I realized I had also forgotten to throw my makeup back into the suitcase FAIL!
  • I would like to add that I'm not that vain, I can easily go a day without makeup. However, I was more concerned with the fact that I had put my deodorant in my makeup bag. But our hotel had a little store where you could buy essentials, so I was able to replace it. SUCCESS!
  • We forgot to put the stroller in the car. MAJOR FAIL! See, we keep it in the mudroom for trips to the beach. We don't go many places these days that require Sophia to be in the stroller, so it never crossed our minds. There is no success here, except for the fact that Matthew and I both got a good workout carrying her all over Boston yesterday after she tired out.
  • We got lost multiple times, UGH FAIL!
  • I can read a map pretty well and we had our GPS Ehhh, success?
  • In fact, we got pretty lost in downtown Boston yesterday trying to find a parking garage. FAIL!
  • Our re-route ended up taking us down Boylston Street, the site of the recent Boston bombings. This was a place we hadn't planned on visiting, but I'm glad we got see so we will never forget. So that was a success, I think. There was also a 10K taking place in the area, so it was pretty eerie and sobering to see so many runners up and down the street.
  • It was pretty hot and sunny yesterday in Boston, and I woke up with a headache. So it was a EPIC FAIL to leave my sunglasses in the car!
  • Fortunately my very sweet little boy offered me his baseball hat to shield my eyes until I started feeling better. SWEET SUCCESS.
So yeah, it was that kind of trip. But all in all, I think I'll call it a success. And I'll keep in mind from now on, being a type A personality isn't always a bad thing!
June 066
Hahaha, this is such an out-take! FAIL!

If you want to see the good pictures of the trip, check out my blog post on the family blog!

Thursday, June 20, 2013


  • I am sitting in a perfectly quiet house while everyone else sleeps. I've been going to bed so early (like 9:30) that I wake up around six and can't go back to sleep. This morning I went ahead and got up to do some yoga.
  • I have Boston's "More Than a Feeling" stuck in my head.
  • I'm still in my pjs. Yoga in pjs is awesome.
  • Drinking my coffee and I already ate breakfast! I'm the worst about skipping breakfast, but after my yoga I was hungry so I had some Greek yogurt with honey and granola.
  • I'm planning on going to the beach this afternoon with a friend, but stressed because I really need to pack more. Yesterday was too busy to pack and tomorrow will be as well.
  • I think I'm still in complete and utter disbelief that in eight days we will be living New England for good to move back to the South!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Why Georgia?

(Isn't that a song? Look at me!)

I've lived in Connecticut for not quite four years now, in fact we arrived here in West Haven July 29th. We're leaving here on June 28th, so we'll miss our four year anniversary by just a month. (Darn!)

Anyway, so I thought I'd take the time to clear up some confusion. No, I'm not from Georgia, but I do consider it "home". For one thing, I'm a military brat, or was, I guess I should say. My childhood consisted of several moves that went like this: Washington State-Missouri-England-Germany-Texas-Georgia. I was seventeen when we moved to Georgia. I'll be the first to admit that I didn't see what all the fuss was about. But it didn't take me long before I grew to love it there. It was in Georgia that my parents bought their first house (yes, when I was seventeen!) we spent the first few months painting every wall in the house just because we could! It was in Georgia that I started cosmetology school and basically had the time of my life. (I know other people go to college blah blah blah, I went to "beauty school" and got my hair colored every Monday.) And it was in Georgia that I met a certain Georgia boy who pretty much swept me off my feet faster than you can blink. In Georgia I said "I do". In Georgia I gave birth to my first baby.

So yeah, Georgia is pretty much home.

We moved around a little our first year of marriage, but eventually settled in Athens for Matthew to attend grad school. The above picture was taken in June of 2006, the day we moved into campus housing. (HI, is it just me or do we look like we were teenage parents or what?)

We left Athens in July of 2009 to come here, but we have always missed it!

It's been a good four years up here. It hasn't been easy, but it's been good. Sophia was born here, of course, and I can honestly say that was the brightest spot in the past four years. And we've kept some traditions alive.

It doesn't hurt either that we'll now be within close driving distance of my family down in Florida! So in a few weeks, say four or five, I hope to be right here...


Only with Matthew for once! (Last summer he'd already taken two weeks off to go to Israel, so he didn't get to come to Florida with me and the kids!)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Oh, yeah, that book thing?

I haven't updated the whole book series situation in a while, have I? Since Finding Sanctuary came out in February I've been on a bit of a forced hiatus. For one, after writing, editing and publishing all on my own (besides the help of my beta readers and cover art designer, that is) I'm exhausted! I did manage to sit down and hammer out a few more chapters for book three (tentatively titled, for now, Final Redemption) but in the past two months I literally have not written a single word.

I'm sorry!

Someone asked my mom recently when my third book was going to come out and she responded by telling them how much we have going on lately with the move and all that. They said, "That's okay, I know she's got it all in her head." Which is so true. It's there. I just need to find the time to type it all out and edit and such. Sometimes I wonder if the reason why it's taking me so long is because I'm not ready for it to be over. I've toyed with the idea of extending the series, or writing another trilogy with Kit, Jason, and Alexa. But right now I'm just not sure. The thought of saying goodbye to them already does make me sad. I mean, I've been writing The Halcyon Legacy since 2010, maybe I'm not ready to be done yet. And therein lies the good part of self-publishing: I can do whatever I want! If I want to write twenty books about Kit Hawthorn, I can. Well, if I can find the time that is.

I promise it will be out as soon as I can manage. For now I'm setting my sights on either late Winter or early Spring of next year. Truth be told, I got the first two out pretty quickly. London Escape came out June 2012,  and Finding Sanctuary came out February 2013.

As far as success, I can't say that they've sold as much as I've hoped, but that's self-publishing for you. But they're out there, and that's more than I can ask for. Total sales for London Escape are at right around 3,600. Finding Sanctuary has a lot of catching up to do at 520. (And yes, a good majority of those were free promos, but you all know how I feel about that.) Reviews still continue to come it. LE is at 22 on amazon (all four and five star.) FS is at 10. So if you've read them and haven't reviewed...what are you waiting for? Just kidding.


Saturday, June 8, 2013

New Haven Bucket List...

Since we won't be in New Haven much longer, I thought I'd put together a short bucket list of things to do before we  leave.

  • Hunt down the Caseus cheese truck for a world famous grilled cheese! Matthew has eaten from it twice, and swears it's as good as everyone says. We'll see!

  • Stock up on obnoxious Yale gear. Hey, I'm finally moving to a place where people will be impressed that my husband went to Yale! Here no one is impressed because everyone goes to Yale.
Yale Bulldogs '47 Brand Franchise Fitted Hat

  • Eat more Zuppardi's pizza. New Haven is famous for their pizza, they apparently claim the invention of it. Frank Pepe's on Wooster Street is the most popular. But if you're like me and don't feel like waiting in line for an hour for a pizza, go to Zuppardi's in my very own West Haven. Just as good, if not better. And wash it down with a Foxon Park root beer. Made right down the street in East Haven.

  • Spend as much time as possible with my babies at Savin Rock Beach. One of the reasons we chose to live outside of New Haven was the proximity to the beach here. Literally a three block walk to this...

  • Take the kids to Pirate's Day in Milford! We're going tomorrow and the kids are so excited to dress up and go on a treasure hunt.

Monday, June 3, 2013

30X30 Challenge, final week!

Woo hoo, it's over! Do I sound relieved? Well, I am, mostly. Don't get me wrong, this was loads of fun, and I really learned a lot. However, the past two weeks have been super hard to keep going. With all the moving chaos I forgot to take my pictures a lot, took pictures with horribly messy backgrounds, or just took horrible pictures altogether. I hope you can't tell from the pics, but I've also been completely exhausted for the the past two weeks. Even though I've been going to bed earlier than ever. For some reason I can't seem to sleep past  six am lately, which sucks!

Anywho, like I said, I learned a lot about my own style. I tend to think of my style as classic with a little bit of trendy thrown in. But after this challenge I'm starting to think I'm a little boring. So maybe I need to live it up a little. Which I thoroughly intend to do. So that's my fashion goal for now, have more fun with my wardrobe!

And on to the last round of pictures!

Last Sunday. This must have been a good outfit because I wore it in the grocery store with Elijah and I got asked if he was my little brother! Before this challenge I probably would have worn black or white under the cardigan, and I would have never put a coral tank with a teal belt.

Not not my favorite. Hair is bad (it was so humid all week and I could never find time to straighten it.) I only wore this purple vest once the entire challenge, it wasn't very versatile.

Enter my two favorite things to wear, Toms and chambray!

So hot the day I took this picture (we don't have a/c).

Last day!!

And lookie, I actually went to some effort to put together a collage of all my lackluster looks! Go me.
Week1 Week2 Week3 Week4 Week5 Week6

Yeah those last few pics are so crooked! Whoops!

Anyway, I had a chance to already test out my new fashion outlook because the girls of my Bible study gave me a Kohls gift card as thanks for organizing our study this year. Of course you know, and they know, that Kohls is my favorite store!  I went shopping yesterday and picked these up!

CUTE! And satisfies my urge for mint skinnies. For one, I have enough skinnies. Two I'm moving to Georgia and will soon be living in shorts. My instincts were to get something white to go with it, but I got this instead.

And I already thought of about five or six other shirts I could wear with those shorts!

Sadly, I don't think I will be participating in the next challenge in August because of all our moving stuff. But I'll be following those who are!