November 30, 2016

Well That Was Thanksgiving {Family Fun at it's Finest}

Hi, friends and a happy belated Thanksgiving to y'all. Hopefully everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend and enjoyed a few days off of work. I was beyond grateful, thankful and joyful to have three days at home after being gone for so long. 

After the longest slowest day at work on Wednesday I got a quick workout in then headed for the airport. My first flight was awesome for space, but was uber bumpy so no bueno. Thankfully my movies kept me sane on the second flight. 

Le Husband greeted me with dinner from our favorite Arlington restaurant and it was a delightful midnight snack. There were quick hellos at home and then it was time to pass out and get some sleep before Thanksgiving Thursday.

We were up bright and early, mostly because Sportyspice arrived at 8am [wth] but it was nice to get some chill morning time with her. After lots of coffee, some food prep it was time to create a Thanksgiving morning cocktail and we thew together cranberry juice, lime, pomegranate juice, orange juice, sugared cranberries and of course, champs. It was delicious and fabulous to sip on all morning while watching the parade and relaxing while food cooked.

Before eating we all cleaned up and changed into some festive holiday gear for dinner. We also took some fun family pictures and one amazingly fabulous boomerang you can see on my instagram.

Then, it was chow time. And chow I did. Two plates of food, two desserts ANNNNND a bowl of thirds after we watched the Cowboys wreck the Deadskins. I didn't get my annual nap, because I was too busy just soaking in my moments of the holiday. It was a delightful Thanksgiving and one I'll treasure for a long time.

Friday morning we woke up, chilled out for a bit then Le Husband and I head to our storage unit to rescue my winter clothes and take stock in everything up in Virginia. WOW, I forgot we had so much stuff. I was able to find most of my winter gear, but a lot of my fancy clothes were stored in the back corner pink bin so it was left up north. 

When we got back home it was time for leftovers lunch and some GG! We split up the episodes three on Friday and then one on Saturday. Winter was probably my favorite because it was such a fun look into an old pastime.

Friday was a wonderful chill day and so Saturday we were up and at em for Saturday morning fitness as sissys. We attend a Kaxae class and it was so much fun. Just another fun memory for the bank, plus I finally burned some calories, haha. 

We all hurried home to clean up because the ladies had a matinee performance of the Nutcracker at the Kennedy Center. It was a wonderful ballet and a great kick off to the Christmas season. Does anyone else yearly attend the ballet?

Le Husband and Daddy were home watching the OSU vs Michigan game {WAY TO GO BUCKS} and afterwards we all headed out for one last family dinner. It was a nice change from all the Thanksgiving leftovers [not that I will ever tire of leftovers from Thanksgiving]. More drinks were poured, the last episode of GG watched [wth last four words] and then, the tears came. Oh my, were there tears flowing from my eyes. 

Everything hit me all at once...Sprortyspice moving next month, the stress I went through to get home for Thanksgiving, then very slim possibility of me being able to get home again soon, the changes everyone is faces and the feeling of HOME I miss so much. We sissys had a MOMENT and then laughed everything back together to get me smiling again. 

Sunday morning came all too quickly and suddenly we were on the road back to Tennessee. I originally planned to fly home, but changed my ticket to drive home with Le Husband after his plans changed. I almost regretted my decision an hour in because of traffic but luckily it eased up quickly. The rest of the drive was uneventful and Le Husband and I had a fun dinner out before we arrived home. Then it was a quick turn around and change for the week. Monday was bananas, of course, and so was Tuesday. I'm grateful for the chance to sleep in a lil today, woohoo.

Can't wait to catch up on all of your fun festivities! xoxo

November 23, 2016


I'm coming home, coming home. Tell DC, I'm coming home.

YES! I am flying home tonight for Thanksgiving and I could not be more excited or thankful. I'm so thankful I'm posting with centered text, what the what?!

Le Husband and I split the holidays, one year we travel to my family for Thanksgiving and his for Christmas and the next year we switch. I am grateful beyond belief this year is a Thanksgiving year because I get to be home a few extra days. 

I'm grateful my job agreed to hire me when I told them I HAD to be home for Thanksgiving.

I'm grateful I have all the shifts covered and if someone doesn't show up, oh well. 

Why so grateful? Well, you know my family is super close, but it's not just that this is a holiday. 

No, this is the last holiday together before Sportyspice moves away to Arizona.

In January.



I KNOW! Don't make me cry yet. 

This has been under wraps because she hasn't told her students yet, but today she will. So today I feel I can spread the news and share the excitement and sadness. Because I am truly excited for her and her husband as they start this new chapter with his job [airforce]. I am excited for them to finally be together after almost four months apart the week after their wedding {sad i know}. I am just excited for their new journey.

But I'm also devastatedly sad. I'm sad one part of my heart will be so far away. Sad that we will be a plane ride apart, not just a car ride. I'm sad because we are a circle of three and soon we will all be in different states for the first time ever. EVER!

Yes, I know we are blessed to be so close for so long. Yes, I know we are lucky to have such a great relationship. Yes, I know this is life and what happens. Yes, I know it was going to happen someday. But that doesn't me I'm ready for it to be today. 

And right now it is not. Today is just a plane ride [or two] till home. To my sanctuary, to my circle, to my heart. To four wonderful days of family and memories and love. To food and traditions and tears and smiles. To celebration of us and moments of mourning the old. 

To recap, I'm grateful. Grateful my job hired me when I said this was a deal breaker. Grateful to the people who have stepped up at work to help. Grateful to technology and planes that get me home quickly. Grateful for time together before a big change. SO grateful for sisters who are my best friends and who make it so hard to miss them. 

Wishing you and yours the best holiday!

November 21, 2016

Rejuvenation and Reflection

This weekend was needed on so many different levels. This weekend I found my center again and felt more whole than I have in two months. This weekend was a lot of driving, not a lot of sleep, some happy talks, some not so happy talks, a lot of good food and a lot of laughs coupled with love. This weekend was a rejuvenation and I'm so grateful. 

The past three days were brought about due to a family wedding and honestly a few months ago it seemed like a bit of a hassle to get everything to work smoothly. And then came my new job and I was terrified I wouldn't be able to attend, but amazing coworkers and friends stepped up and helped me feel comfortable leaving town for a few days. The logistics kept changing and each time something else would go wrong, but thankfully everything pulled together neatly and Le Husband and I caravanned with T-Bone late Friday night. We missed out on the rehearsal dinner and drinks but were able to see the bride for a few minutes before everything shut down. 

And was glorious sissytime!

My heart and soul have taken a beating the past few months and hanging with Babyspice and Sportyspic was all I craved because I knew they would help fill in the cracks brought on by stress and fear. We stayed up late talking, commiserating, cheering each other up and laughing, oh my goodness was there laughing. I felt refreshed in just a few minutes with them and buoyed to tackle life.

Saturday morning we had a family brunch and then it was Brady Bunch shopping time while Le Husband and T-Bone hung out at the hotel. We found gifts, shoes, played around in the bedding section [y'all on instagram story saw the ridiculousness], walked around, had a sister lunch and drinks, struggled to find a CVS, made friends with random people and again spent a ton of time laughing together.

The wedding was incredibly beautiful and the reception was a blast. It was held in a museum and we three had WAY TOO MUCH fun exploring and taking pictures within the exhibit. Boomerang became my new best friend, haha. This was the first wedding in a long time where I felt my entire outfit worked. Usually I have good hair but hate the outfit, love the outfit but have bad makeup, blah blah blah. But this weekend everything was on point and I thought all three sissys looked like knockouts. In true Brady style we enjoyed a fun lil photoshoot during cocktail hour.

In a RARE moment, Le Husband and I matched and I think I have a new favorite picture.

We lead the dance floor all night and had so much fun celebrating our beautiful cousin. The cake was so on point [YESSSSSS!] the food was amazing and the band was incredible. Babyspice even caught the bouquet, woohoo! 

All too soon the party was over and it was time to head back to the hotel. Brunch the next morning was early so people could get on the road and it was too hard to say goodbye to everyone. Even though I'll see my family in three days saying goodbye was tough. Heading in different directions is so strange and not something I'm used to yet.

Le Husband drove to a work destination and I won't see him until Thanksgiving. I had the privileged of driving T-Bone home and we had an easy drive with fun conversations along the way. I'll treasure those few hours for the rest of my life. 

I dropped him off at home and then immediately headed back out to a Friendsgiving. I was late so just contributed wine but loved all of the delicious food. I'm so grateful for kickball friends welcoming us into their group so quickly and for slowly growing our circle. 

Then it was back home to unpack all the stuff and try to get settled for the short week. Things were much nicer with a fire burning in the the fireplace. I love the smell of a good winter fire and even though I hate the cold I'm trying to get in the right winter attitude. 

Which brings me to the reflection part of this post. Life is hard and it can really kick you in the teeth. Stress puts strain on everyone and sometimes you have to truly feel lost, lonely and defeated to find yourself and a new path to walk. This whole journey has been hard, but since September I've been feeling more and more lost, alone and fearful. Friends and family [and y'all] have been there for me, but there were still times of feeling broken and a failure. I don't think I'm truly out of the woods yet, but slowly, very slowly, things are starting to take shape and quite soon some goals could be met. 

I wish I could turn back time and get Saturday back again, but I can't wait until Wednesday when I'll be with everyone I love and hold dear. I miss my family so much and can't wait to celebrate a thankful holiday together. Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving!

November 18, 2016

Thankful, Faithful and Funny

Hi and happy Friday, loves! This week has been bananas, straight bananas. Every time I thought I'd have a chance to come here, nope. It's one thing after another at work and slowly things are working themselves out, but bananas is the word of the month for me. At least I'm not bored, right?

Today I am thankful. Thankful for your comments. Thankful for your prayers and understanding about my feelings over the weekend. It made no sense to my husband, he didn't understand [men] but having y'all verify my feelings meant the world. I'm thankful for those who checked up on me. Thankful for THIS amazing friend who offered to help in the kindest way possible. Thankful for coworkers helping me when things go straight bananas. Thankful for generous spirits who help me DIG through the trash to locate something. Thankful for my fitness guy sharing his pop tarts with me when I don't take the time to eat. Thankful for people listening to me when I cry. Thankful to those who are willing to help me achieve my dreams. Thankful for this opportunity to grow. 

Life being bananas has really stretched me and sometimes I feel like I am going to break but it seems each time I get there something good happens. And right now, there is a possible play in the works that could be good. Not great, but good. Honestly, I have some concerns, but I am choosing to have faith. To trust in the overall plan coming into place. I will be brave, I will try and I will trust in His plan. If you need a sign today, here it is, BE BRAVE!

Since it has been WAY too long since this blog was light hearted and funny I thought I'd BRING BACK a few Friday Funnies. I hope they make you laugh, smile or shake your head. I am working like crazy today but so excited because I GET TO SEE MY FAMILY TONIGHT! I CANNOT EXPRESS HOW I AM FEELING, I NEED THIS SO BADLY!!! Have a fabulous weekend!





November 13, 2016

The Weekend I Tried to Get Over It... And Couldn't

This weekend was supposed to be oh so great. A weekend in Dallas with Le Husband for the kickball championship. A chance to see my BOFF and her sweet family. When we made the random quick decision to play a tournament in NOLA in September I asked for time off with my front desk job. It was granted and all was well.

Then this job came about and I realized leaving the second weekend into the job wasn't the best idea. I don't WORK weekends, but I'm responsible for the staff that does and I figured I needed to be here since I'll be gone next weekend for a wedding and then I'm back in Virginia for Thanksgiving. I kew when I accepted THIS job I'd be saying no to Dallas. If I went with the other job it would have happened but been extremely short, which would have been enough for sure. Crazy to say, but going to Dallas was something I thought about when I made my job decision.

Originally I thought, 'No big deal. It's just kickball'. But as the date grew closer and I watched Le Husband pack up and head out on Friday night my brain started thinking 'What if'? What if they win and I'm not there? What if I had chosen the other job? What if I could be there? What if I decided to go anyway. I tried to stop the sad monster in my head. I worked the early morning shift Saturday morning, taught a great BODYPUMP class then headed to the VOLS game.

The weather was chilly but it was gorgeously sunny and the perfect last game [for me] of the season. I hung out later than normal, listened to the band on the boat next to ours and enjoyed hanging with T-Bone. It was a great distraction and one I desperately needed while receiving texts about the games in Dallas.

Saturday night was miserable. Le Husband was in Dallas winning a championship. Babyspice was in Toronto on a girls trip. Sportyspice was at the Garth Brooks concert. And Me? I was in bed, cold, sad and lonely as I live streamed the championship game and my team take it all. I was so proud of them, it was a long road this year and they worked SO HARD to make the repeat happen. Le Husband had great plays and I was proud when he kicked in a few runs. But, watching them run away with it made my heart hurt, I wanted to be there. I should have been there. I'd ALWAYS been able to go and now this ONE TIME, the one time I can't I miss out on the win and the money. SUCKS, just sucks.

I tried to let it go Sunday morning, but no dice. I called Sportyspice in tears on my way to church. I cried about missing out on the fun. I cried because I couldn't just take off work like I used too. I cried because it's cold now and I have NO winter gear. I cried because I'm cold all the time. I cried because I missed my family. I cried because it seems like EVERYONE ELSE HAS IT TOGETHER and right now I don't. It was no bueno. She did her sisterly job and helped me feel better, but I still lost it a few times in church. The message was something I needed to hear and helped me some, but I still was caught in the grey pity party clouds.

You may say, what, kickball ruined your weekend? You're crazy. And I'll agree with you. But, kickball is something that ruled my life for the past six years. I traveled MONTHLY with Le Husband and sometime the sissys for tournaments. I've put so much time into being fit, so much money into traveling and I was so excited to be 'rewarded' with a championship this year. I could feel it since September, I KNEW the team was going to win. And they did, without me. Le Husband won, without me. Ouch!

Despite not really wanting to go, I headed to the gym because I knew I needed to get some endorphins pumping. After a short set of heavy legs and pull-ups, I attempted a muscle up and shockingly completed one out of three. It wasn't pretty but I did it and now I know something I'll be adding to my routine weekly.

There was a 2pm BODYATTACK class and since I was there I decided to take it since one of my mentors was teaching. She invited me to shadow on stage and I thought "why the hell not?" so I jumped up on stage and just went with it. Even though I didn't know half the tracks I was able to rock it out and halfway through the class I had my epiphany. THIS IS THE WHY! THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DO WITH MY LIFE! THIS IS WHERE I NEED TO BE AND HOW I WANT TO LIVE! In between the burpees, tuck jumps, plyo lunges and pushups I found my why. There were some tears in the locker room as I continued to feel sad about a missed opportunity and I snapped this picture to show the truthful side of my life. It's messy, dirty, ugly, sad and tough, but now I'm renewing my commitment to my big girl goals. The path won't be easy but I will make it work.

I hope you have a great week, friends! Despite my bad weekend I'm sending y'all some good vibes and planning to crush this Monday. Let's all start the week fresh together!

November 8, 2016

Show Us Your Books

Finally, I made it here again! WOOHOO! I think my last books recaps was post Europe, egad. Honestly, there wasn't a lot of reading going on here throughout the early summer, which is quite unusual for me. For the first time in a long time, my time was spent outside of book world. Not anymore, I've been devouring books with a vengeance and finally got my act together to share them all with you.

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Speaking of finally, I FINALLY finished this book after starting it BEFORE OUR MOVE! Yes, I started it but wasn't able to finish it before it had to be returned, wah. I waited months and am so glad I was able to finish it recently. Wow, what story. Doerr crafted a true masterpiece and being in France just seven months ago made it that much more poignant to me. I have to admit, I was super sad about parts of the ending, I expected something a lil different, but such is the life of a reader. Get this book, ASAP!

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Murder mysteries are probably my favorite genre to read and y'all know I'm all about baking, so merging the two creates the perfect series. Joanne Fluke has created a wonderful heroine, based in Minnesota, and all of the characters have their special place in each book. Hannah is strong willed in her detective sleuthing, but she's always a bit haphazard when it comes to her love life and after 18 books it was getting a bit droll. However, Fluke finally has helped Hannah find her special someone and the murder in this book takes the cake, ha. I accidentally read this book before the previous one so was a bit lost at times with a few characters, however once I read it afterwards it all made sense. I also read two others finally available to rent from the library. If you want a fun fluffy series, one which will also give you some great recipes, give this one a whirl.

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When I need an easy read, I jump on the romance train real quick. There's something soothing about the romantic formula. Lori Foster brings her own spin to with the first novel in the Guthrie Brothers Series. Both Honor and Jason come with their own baggage, but sparks fly when Honor moves into the condemned house next door. There is the normal will they won't they pull and of course circumstances get in the way, plus the whole harlequin love chapters. Honor's stubbornness bothered me a bit, but other than that it was fun to read and will pass the time quite well.

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I'm not quite sure how I came about this book, probably just browsing the online library. The summary caught my fancy because it was different than most of the books I'd already read during the summer. The year is 1904 and an undercover Texas Ranger is thrown into the life of a switchboard operator as he tries to capture the gang leader of a group of outlaws. The heroine is quite likable, however her birding soapbox gets a bit old quickly. Gist provides a fun look into the small, but growing Texan town where propriety still reigns, even during a gang shootout.

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Fantasy books are really not my genre, unless you count Harry Potter. Sorcery, magick, time hops and  dragon fights serve a purpose in a cartoon but I rarely get past the first chapter in a book. However, Nora Roberts is one of my go to authors so I thought I'd give this series a try. Well, guess who read the last book thinking it was the first?!? Yup, this girl right here. Honestly, I'm glad because I met all the characters and know how it ends and I don't have to read the other books, haha. Don't get me wrong, it was well written and the characters were all fun, but the dreams, sorcery and spells turned me into a bit of a skimmer. If you like Ireland scenery, this would be a good series, Roberts paints glorious pictures with her words of the landscape.

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Baldacci is one of my favorite authors and Oliver Stone is one of my favorite characters. I'm a sucker for a good spy book, especially one with a back stabbing government and a couple do good vigilantes. Divine Justice picks up with Stone on the run and he takes refuge in Divine, Virginia where he happens to stumble upon a whole different problem. Baldacci keeps you guessing and I was only 3/4ths correct in my guess about the ending. If you like espionage books, check this one out for sure.

The Bess Crawford Mystery Series [ Four books]
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Bess  Crawford is my new favorite sleuth and this mystery series is my new favorite jam. If you're a Downton fan imagine a woman who favors Anna in looks, Mrs. Crawley in righteousness, Sybil in wanting to always help, Mary's wit and Edith's self doubt at times, that is Miss Bess Crawford.  She is a nurse during the first World War and I loved the throwback to the Downton era. Initially I wasn't sure about the series, however once the story got going, I couldn't put it down. I sped read four books in just a few weeks, and am waiting anxiously for the next one to become available from the library.