Friday, February 26, 2010

Midnight Ramblings, Part II

Ok so now that we've established why I'm still awake I can get down to the business of rambling incessantly about whatever tickles my fancy. Yay!

First of all, I'd just like to make note of the fact that I am officially a thin-blooded southerner now. It's been in the mid-fifties all week and I am FREEZING. I can't even fathom what its going to feel like when I step off the plane in Kentucky tomorrow. I may just ball up in a corner and die of hypothermia on the spot, I don't know. I packed my Under Armour and my magic socks but still, I'm scared. (Also, if any one of you is bold enough to bring this up and remind me of this post in say, July when its sweltering and I'm cursing the heat and humidity, I will flat out ignore you).

What are magic socks you ask? Well! Only the greatest invention to ever grace God's green earth after sliced bread and maybe those magic eraser thingies. I don't know what brand these socks are, or what they're made of (unless you can weave socks from awesomeness in which case, that's what it is), but they're freakin' amazing. I have several pairs and for the past few years I've literally lived in them all winter. I swear, I put them on my feet and my whole body warms up--hence the "magic."

What are the odds that they'll let me on the plane with my little hand-held tube of Mace in my purse? This thought just occurred to me. In an effort to NOT find myself on the National Security Threat list, said Mace is going to be removed from my purse for the weekend. Take that, TSA! I didn't fall off the apple cart yesterday.

I just put the second coat of paint on my new TV cabinet (another "stay awake" tactic) and I'm pretty darn thrilled with the result. I'll post pictures later but she is officially approaching perfection. I love it.

I'm listening to iTunes as I type this and can we just agree, that before she developed a massive coke habit and fried her vocal cords, Whitney Houston was nothing short of amazing? I still love Whitney and maintain that there isn't another female singer in the business today with a voice that compares to makes me sad that she threw away so much of her talent and career.

I think I'm getting senile in my old age. It's probably bad if you can't remember how many pills you've consumed in a day. That's not a good sign, right? Before you freak out about that comment, let me explain. Last weekend I discovered that I had a double ear infection (fun!) and had completely lost my voice (yippee!). No idea if the two were related but the cute doctor at the ER gave my some good antibiotics that have helped tremendously. I'm supposed to take these horse pills three times a day but I'll be darned if I can remember to do that. The other day I went to take one and I literally sat there for five minutes trying to remember if this was pill #2 or #3 for the day. In the end I assumed it was only #2 and took another one later that night. When in doubt, err on the side of non-conservatism! (Ok seriously, it's an antibiotic. What's the worst case scenario here? I get better faster? I'll take my chances on that one).

It is now 1:04 a.m. and I have no idea what to do with myself for the next three hours. Maybe I'll clean the house. That sounds like fun.


Midnight Ramblings

It is 12:17 in the a.m. and I'm sitting here at my computer, reflecting. While I'm often still awake at this hour, its a rare thing indeed for me to be online and blogging in the middle of the night so this is a fun new experience for everyone I guess! I'll warn you now that I'm more than a little exhausted (read: loopy) so there's no telling what will ensue, but let's just agree to go with it for now and not hold me too terribly accountable for whatever goofy things I might say. Deal?

First I should probably tell you why it is that I'm awake and internetting at this hour. The reason, pure and simple, is that I am forcing myself to stay awake because I need to be at the airport in roughly three and a half hours to catch a 6:00 a.m. flight home. That's right, I'm headed to Kentucky for the weekend and on a scale of 1 to Ecstatic, I'm at like a 47. No joke; I can't wait to be back in the Bluegrass. I think I told you this the last time flew home back in the Fall but I'm much better off staying up all night than trying to sleep for a couple hours and wake up at some ungodly hour and try to get ready then. I feel kind of like death when I do that, so trust me when I say just going total rock star style and staying up for 48 hours works best for me. And no, I never sleep on planes. Tried; can't do it.

I know I've said and done things to lead you to believe otherwise over the past few months but truly, I do not dislike New Orleans. In fact, there are parts of this city I like very much and find rather endearing. I'd say at best I'm finding this to be one of the most fascinating places I've ever lived and at worst, I have a love/hate relationship with the city that varies in degree depending on the day (and weather). That said, given everything that has happened recently I will say that the city has lost a great deal of its charm for least for the time being. Will that come back? I don't know. I think (unfortunately) its often difficult to separate in our minds the bad memories from where the actual events took place. i now completely understand why people often move or make other drastic life changes after a major traumatic event. I think sometimes the pain of being in the place where you experienced hurt is just to great and the only way to move on is to, quite literally, move on.

No, I don't have any plans to permanently leave New Orleans in the immediate future but I have reached a threshold of sorts for being in the city right now. I need to get away from NOLA for a few days. I need to regroup, remind myself that there is in fact life outside of the New Orleans bubble, and just be home for awhile. I want to be surrounded by people who love me unconditionally and support me no matter what. I want to be in a place and surrounded by things that hold nothing but comforting memories for me. I want to, just for a few days, relax and let someone else do all the thinking for awhile.

I plan to return to the big Easy next week rested and rejuvenated and with a "new lease on life" as they say. Or at the very least with my belly full and a few pounds heavier from all the good home cooked food. Either way, I think this little trip is coming at the perfect time and will be very good for me.

Keep it classy NOLA, I'll be back soon.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What I've Learned

I told you that I've learned more than my fair share of life lessons these past few months. Some of them are too big and too wide to quantify neatly enough to include here but below I've listed some of the ones that I feel are pretty darn profound and that have some significance to me in one way or another. Some of these are my own original thoughts, some of them are pieces of advice from friends, and some are quotes I've picked up in books I've read or movies I've seen...or whatever. Regardless of where they came from, all of them are brilliant, I'm pretty sure.

* Your best friends will always be your best friends, no matter what. And there's nothing better in the whole world than that. No matter how often I see them or how far apart we are, I am surrounded by the most amazing, wonderful people who I know would drop everything to be with me if I needed them. I am so, so thankful for that.

* You have to do what's right for you and quit worrying about pleasing everyone else. This one is hard for me because I am a people pleaser and I can't stand the thought of disappointing anyone. But I'm starting to realize that often, in pleasing everyone else, the person I end up disappointing is myself.

* The people who will judge you are not the people who matter anyway.

* There's no place like home. Sometimes you just need to take a step back from everything and surround yourself with the people who love you the most. Nothing cures a broken heart like a little retail therapy and Mom's fried chicken and for me personally, nothing makes my heart happier than being back in Kentucky for any amount of time.

* For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. - Jeremiah 29:11

* He doesn't need to be reminded that you're great

* No matter how powerful and real your feelings may be for someone, if that person cannot fully and honestly return them and therefore actively love you back, these feelings mean nothing.

* Life is hard enough as it is without choosing someone difficult to share it with.

* After all... tomorrow is another day.

* Do the best you can with what you've got and what you know at the moment. Really, that's all any of us can do.

* You deserve to be with someone who is nice to you all the time.

*It really is ok to "get by with a little help from your friends." Sometimes, they're the only thing keeping you going.

* In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life. It goes on. --Robert Frost

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Project #1

One of the "good" things (and I use the term loosely) about being on my own is that for the first time, I get to do exactly what I want, when I want and how I want. I don't mean that like I'm free to go out bar hopping until 3:00 a.m. with no thought to my responsibilies at home...although I guess I could if I were so inclined. I just mean that for the first time in my life really, I am 100% on my own and responsible for making all of my own decisions. I have my own job, I make my own money, and I spend that money and my time as I see fit.

This whole divorce thing actually happened relatively quickly--for which I am thankful, but it didn't leave me just a ton of time to apartment or furniture hunt. I actually found my new place and moved in under a week, and when I moved I had not a lot of furniture. I basically had the bedroom set I owned before the wedding and a table and chairs and...that's it. No living room furniture, no desk, no bookshelves, not even a computer.

First, let me just say that I love my new place. And even more importantly, I'm proud of myself for finding it and leasing it all by myself, without help or guidance or advise from anyone. It was a little scary, I'm not gonna lie, to sign that agreement without getting a second opinion from anyone, but at the end of the day it turned out really well and the sense of accomplishment I feel makes it worth the apprehension I had in the beginning.

I decided that when it comes to actually furnishing the new house, I'm going to take my time and look for pieces that I really love. Even though I have no living room furniture (I've been watching TV sitting on an air mattress the past couple weeks) I didn't just rush out and buy the first couch I found. I figured that this is a semi-major purchase, its going to be an investment, and I want it to be exactly what I want. So instead of buying one off the floor at some furniture store, I ordered exactly what I want and am having the thing reupholstered to a fabric that I chose myself. Yes, that means I'll have to wait 6-8 weeks before it actually arrives but when it does, I know that it'll be perfect. And so far none of my friends even seem to mind that when they come over I can't actually offer them a place to sit.

So new couch is ordered and should arrive next month, but while I was out and about over the weekend, I found something else that I absolutely wanted for my new living room.

One of my friends and I found this little beauty in the back room of an antique consignment shop in Metairie and as soon as I saw it, I knew it was exactly what I wanted to sit my TV on. Seriously, how adorable is this? Going forward we are now going to refer to her as "Project #1" because in her current state she won't really match anything else I own or fit in with the "look" I think I want. Once I get finished sanding her down and painting her a shiny cherry red though, she will be completely perfect.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


There are many, many lessons that I've learned in the past six months or so. More lessons even than I could begin to list right now in fact, so I won't even try. Maybe another day. One of the biggest things I've learned though, and one of the things I am now most thankful for, is that at some point in our lives we all are going to get to a place where we just need to lean on others for a little while. This hasn't necessarily been easy for me to do; I've always (at least in my own mind) been convinced that I'm this terribly independent, doesn't-need-anyone, do-it-myself, kind of girl. But I see now that there are just going to be times when we can't do it on our own anymore and we have to have a little help.

It is the times like these I think, where you find out once and for all who your true friends are. The ones who can't be bothered, or who make empty promises to be there for you, or who say they'll call and don't...they're not the ones who matter. The people who matter, the people who we should hold on tightly to and never, ever let go of, are the ones who can be bothered, who don't make empty promises, and who do take the time to call. The Wizard of Oz said that "The heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." If this is really true then I think I must be the luckiest, most blessed girl in the entire world because I am completely surrounded by people who love me and who have gone out of their way in the past few weeks to make sure I am ok.

To all of you who have called, or sent sweet notes, or flowers, or books or random texts to tell me you love me and are thinking of me...thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your kindesses have meant more and done more for me than you can possibly know and I am forever grateful to all of you. I don't know where I would be right now if not for you all and I can only hope that if you ever need me I can be as good to you as you have been to me.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"That was rough.... Thing to do now is try and forget it.... I guess I don't quite mean that. It's not a thing you can forget. Maybe not even a thing you want to forget.... Life's like that sometimes... Now and then for no good reason a man can figure out, life will just haul off and knock him flat, slam him agin' the ground so hard it seems like all his insides is busted. But it's not all like that. A lot of it's mighty fine, and you can't afford to waste the good part frettin' about the bad. That makes it all bad.... Sure, I know - sayin' it's one thing and feelin' it's another. But I'll tell you a trick that's sometimes a big help. When you start lookin' around for something good to take the place of the bad, as a general rule you can find it."

Friday, February 12, 2010

I am about to emark on what may or may not be the craziest, most fun weekend I've had since moving to NOLA. It's Mardi Gras time and I can't wait!!! I'll likely be nowhere near a computer for the next few days but I promise to post lots of pictures once everything winds down. Cheers!

The Ugly Truth

There's no real easy or delicate way to say what I'm about to say. I've been putting off writing this particular post for weeks (maybe months) now--for various reasons--but mainly because its a very personal matter and I feel like there are just some things that shouldn't necessarily be put out there for the cyber world to debate. But, I feel like I've reached a point where I'm at peace in my own mind with what is happening and where I feel comfortable sharing with you. And I think it's only fair that I tell you, really, because how else could I ask you to read about and take an interest in my personal life if I wasn't willing to be honest with you about everything? I couldn't. it is.

Zack and I are getting a divorce.

I promised myself before I started writing that I would be honest about what is happening but that I would remain respectful of his and our privacy, so I'm afraid if you're looking for juicy details you'll be disappointed. The things that transpired to lead us to this place are between he and I...and that's it. And really, at his point, do they even matter? The answer is no. They don't. It's all water under the bridge now and to bring them up over and over, to rehash them for you in order to prove my point, will do nothing but serve to make me a bitter and haggard girl who gets stuck living in the past. And that's just not who I am.

What I will say is that we are two very different people who came to realize that we had two vastly different ideas about what a marriage was supposed to be. I don't think that makes either of us bad people and I don't think it even makes either of us "wrong" per just means that we are two people who discovered that we're not capable of making this thing work with each other. And if there's one thing I learned about marriage in the past six months its that IT IS A LOT OF HARD WORK. Marriage is hard, every single day, and if both partners are not fully 100% committed to each other and to the relationship, it just won't ever be what it should.

To say that the past few months have been a bit emotional would be like saying "the Saints had a pretty good season this year." Understatement of the decade right there. The past few months have been nothing short of hellish and looking back, I honestly don't know how I got through them. Had it not been for the grace of God and the absolutely amazing people in my life, I don't know where I would be right now to be honest. This has been a painful, heartbreaking, grueling process to be sure, and one that I would never wish on anyone. Standing on the other side of it though, I can say with absolute certainty that this is something that was ultimately bound to happen to us sooner or later and that, painful as it was, was undoubtedly for the best. Do I still care for Zack? Absolutely I do, and likely some small part of me always will. But what I see now is that ours was not a relationship that was safe or healthy for me and had things not ended when they did, I don't know what would have happened.

As I sit writing this and reflecting on the turns my life has taken in the past little bit, I realize that there are those out there who will judge me--harshly--for what I'm doing. I'd imagine there will be people who I once considered close friends who will be appalled that I would even consider divorce an option. There will be those who will say I should have tried harder, should have done something differently, should have stuck it out no matter what. To anyone who has the nerve to look me in the eye and judge me (or worse yet, do it behind my back), just know this. I don't care. I don't care what you think, I don't care what your opinion on this matter is and I don't care what you think of me. You haven't walked in my shoes. You do not know the situation, you do not know what I have been through and you do not have any right to condemn me for how I have chosen to handle things.

Am I sad that my marraige didn't work? Heartbroken. Is this what I wanted? Not in a million years. Do I feel like I've failed? Yeah, in some ways I do. No one goes into a marriage hoping it doesn't work. But you know what? I refuse to hang my head and be ashamed of getting a divorce. It sounds like such a dirty word, and it is, but I've come to believe that sometimes you just don't have any other option. And if you'll judge me for that then you are likely not someone I need or want in my life anyway.

For anyone reading this who may be concerned about me; please don't be. I'm fine. Actually, I'm better than fine. I'm amazing. I'm great. For the first time in a very long time I feel like myself again, and that is a wonderful thing indeed. I'm content and at peace with what has happened, I'm very happy about the new direction my life seems to be heading and I'm excited about whatever may lie ahead for me. For the time being I plan to stay in New Olreans; I like my job and I feel like there is still some reason for me to be here. It's a little tough to have to start all over again from scratch but well, I'm not scared.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

For I Know the Plans I have For You...

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

I rarely write about religion or God because I think those things are just extremely personal matters. Not personal as in "I don't want to share my thoughts with you" but personal as in religion is something that I feel like everyone has to decide on for themselves. No one can or should tell anyone else how to feel about such things. I loathe and despise the feeling I get when someone (even someone I know well) tries to force their believes on me; its just awkward and uncomfortable and often I try to make it a point never to do that. If you want to know how I feel about something...ask me. I'll tell you anything you wanna know. But I'm not likely to be the one to initiate that conversation, that's all I'm saying.

That said, every once in awhile something happens to me that I just have a really hard time shutting up about and not sharing with people. I know there is a God and that He is watching over us always, but I'll admit that sometimes when times get tough, I forget to remember that He's there. Sometimes it gets so dark that God just gets a little hard to see, you know? But what amazes me and what I am so thankful for, are the times when something happens that makes me see, without a shred of doubt, that I am loved and protected more than I can even comprehend. Those moments when I can literally feel the presence of God so strongly I can hardly fathom it. This happened to me the other day and I am not exaggerating when I say that I felt God so strongly it was almost as though there was a physical presence there with me. I was in my car, driving home, and I swear I almost pulled over I was so overwhelmed. Maybe others have experienced this feeling to?

When I first moved to New Orleans I kind of joked but often truly felt as though God had desserted this place and these people a long, long time ago. At times the corruption and the desolation here make it hard to fathom that an all-powerful Heavenly father could exist and still allow his people to suffer in these ways and there are parts of this city that are so dark and dirty and depraved that one wonders how the light of God could ever possibly reach them. There have been times since moving here that I've felt more profoundly lonely and lost than I've ever felt in my life and when I called New Orleans a "God forsaken city" I meant it.

What I've slowly come to see though, is that God is as alive here as anywhere I've ever been and when I slow down a little bit, when I'm still for just a minute and wait for Him, I feel His presence more strongly than I ever have at any other point in my life. I was not alone when I moved to New Orleans; I just wasn't able to see how protected I truly was.

For me it took getting to a place where I felt so helpless and so alone that I literally did not know what to do anymore. I guess I hit the proverbial "rock bottom." I've always prayed but this was the first time I've ever just broken down completely and begged God to take over because I knew I couldn't do it by myself. I didnt even know what the right thing to do would be; I just knew that for the first time in my life I knew that whatever it was, I couldn't do it alone. As humbling as it was to do that, the sense of peace I felt afterwards was unlike anything I've ever known. I heard God. He spoke to me as clearly as if He was standing in the room with me and He told me not to worry. He told me that I am not alone, that He has a plan for me and that he has brought me here to this place for a reason. I felt as though he was asking me to just have a little faith and to know that everything is going to be ok and that this is all part of His plan for me.

So...there you go. It's raw and emotional and I have no doubt that many of you who read this will think I've absolutely lost my mind. And that's ok; I just felt like sharing.

Monday, February 8, 2010

History Has Been Made

That's right, Sports fans. Last night the New Orleans Saints made NFL history by winning the superbowl for the very first time in their long and checkered history.
I'm not sure there are words I could use to make you understand how the city of New Orleans feels right now. I'm not a native so I can't comment with 100% certainty on this but I think its fair to say that nothing has ever united the people of the city quite like this win has. Yes, it's cliche but the air literally feels electrified right now. I was in the French Quarter yesterday afternoon before the game and it was essentially like being at the biggest street party you can possibly imagine. Thousands upon thousands of people were out, all wearing their black and gold, and all feverishly chanting Saints cheers. You could hear the calls of "WHO DAT?!?" echoing from several blocks away and every single store front and restaurant had Saints music blaring from inside. If you watched the after show at all last night you probably saw a shot of the madness that was Bourbon Street. I'm told it was crazier down there last night than the most out of control Mardi Gras has ever even thought about being...which I'd imagine is saying a lot.
On a personal note, I am so happy for the people of New Orleans right now. Yes, I've become a bit of a Saints fan since moving to NOLA but it just warms my heart a little to see the people here so excited and so proud of something. They have wanted this for so, so long and its wonderful to see it finally happen for them.

Friday, February 5, 2010

"Love Is In The Air"

That's the theme this year at Bacchus; pretty appropriate, given that it falls on Valentine's Day this year and all.

What is this "Bacchus" I speak of? Well! Glad you asked...(glad because you've given me an opportunity to show off all of my newly acquired Mardi Gras knowledge). Had you not asked I would have told you all about it just would have been more presumptuous on my part. So thank you.

I've explained before the concept of the Mardi Gras krewes but what I may not have made clear is how extremely unique each of the krewes are or how much they vary in size. What I also failed to mention is that there are krewes and then there are super krewes (five I believe), which are the really, really big ones. The Mark-McGuire-Barry-Bonds-post-steroid-use version of the krewes. Bacchus is one of the five super krewes and not only is it huge (9000+ attending the ball!!!), I'm told its fairly exclusive.

And guess who gets to attend the Bacchus ball?

Can you believe it?? I can't!

My great aunt and uncle have been members of/attening Bacchus for the better part of the past two decades and as a "welcome to New Orleans" gift to me, they have very graciously invited me to join them this year. And yes, I am just beyond excited because how cool is that? Seriously. And Drew Brees is the King of Bacchus this year too; sign me up.

In all honesty I have no idea what to expect from Bacchus, much less Mardi Gras on the whole. From what people tell me the next week and a half is going to blow my mind and be like nothing I've ever seen or experienced before. My uncle tells me everything is going to be bigger and more grand and more outrageous than I can imagine without having seen it and that I should just be prepared for the city of New Orleans to literally shut down for a few days. Between all the streets that get closed for parades and the traffic from the influx of tourists into the city, there's no way most people could get to work even if they wanted. My uncle says you have to be pretty darned determined to be miserable in order to NOT have fun during Mardi Gras; otherwise its basically impossible he says. It sounds to me like this is going to be the epitome of "eat, drink, and be merry," and I can't wait to see what all that entails. You gotta love a city that can allow itself to have this much fun.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I've told you about the women's bible study group I've become involved with but I can't stress enough just how wonderful I find each of these girls to be. They're all very different and all have their own opinions and takes on life, but the hour on Tuesdays that I spend with them has become one of the best parts of my week by far. Because I feel so blessed to have found such incredible women to become friends with, below I will share with you some tidbits of wisdom from them.

"How often do we look for happiness around the next corner, over the next hill or on the other side of the next valley and end up missing the happiness on the next corner, going over the next hill or through the next valley?"

"I don't like the word contentment. Why should I settle to just be content with my life? I want joy."

"You'll never regret doing the right thing."

"Enjoy today, and every day, for what it is. Maybe this isn't what you think you want, or where you think you want to be at this point in your life; but maybe this is what you need. And once this day is gone, you will never get it back."

"You can't control how your parents raised you, You can't control how people treat you and you can't control the way other people act. But you can control you. You can look at your past and say, 'Yes, that was bad and unfair and horrible. But I'm going to choose to be happy anyway."

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I've now been starring at a blank computer screen for going on fifteen minutes. It's not that I don't have anything to write about, its just that I don't even know where to begin. The past few weeks have been absolutely insane and I feel like I haven't hardly had a moment yet to slow down and process everything completely. Needless to say, there's a lot going on with me these days (no worries, its good stuff) and I've been a wee bit busy. To those of you who have called, e-mailed, texted, or sent smoke signals that have gone unreturned; thank you so much for your thoughts and encouragements and I promise I'll get back to you at some point. I haven't meant to fall of the face of the earth, it's just kind of happened. Things are finally starting to slow back down though, and hopefully my life will return to some semblance of normalcy before long.