Tuesday, September 27, 2011


First of all, my husband has an aversion to recognizing and celebrating his own birthday. Second of all, I have an aversion that he has this aversion. What's a girl to do? Why, forcibly throw him a surprise birthday party where all of his friends can appropriately show him how much he's loved, appreciated, and cared for, of course!

This look right here is " I'm smiling because I'm being told to, but I'm a little peeved over the situation."

Friends were asked to sign cards with silly pictures of Jeff captured throughout this past year. Jeff is well known for his terrific sense of humor, one of his best qualities.

Now. Here's the story of the cake:
Early in the inception of this ( as Jeff would so eloquently put it) "conniving" scheme of mine I had found a post on cakewrecks.com's website that I simply fell in love with. The original picture that I wanted to use for the cake was this:
Amazing, no? You should really read the whole post here, for the story about how it came about. I contacted the store and proceeded to give the description of what I wanted on this cake to a kid probably no more than 17 years old. To say that I caught him off guard would be an understatement. When I finally got to sit down with the cake decorator we hashed out some ideas, discussed ways around copyright laws, and in the end, created the final product that would be Jeff's epic birthday cake.

Personally, I think we eclipsed the original idea. What do you think?

Thank you to those of you involved with the successful execution of a thoroughly enjoyable birthday party. Jeff truly appreciates the love and support of his friends, as do I. You all are amazing, compassionate and fun people to be around. Thank you for being our friends, and for making this birthday a memorable one.

Who's up for planning next year? ;)

A "Joyous" Occasion

One of my dear friends, Joy, got married this past month. I love her so, as well as her and her mother's creativity. Their thriftiness, fabulous ideas, and organized personalities made for a sweet, quirky, and fabulous wedding that I thoroughly enjoyed being a small part of! Here are the few snapshots I got when I wasn't too busy cooing over Joy and the decorations.

P.S. Here mom made almost EVERYTHING.

24... and a year older

I had a quiet birthday this year. I had to work, and the weekend was booked with other obligations, so Jeff helped me celebrate when I got home.

I have amazing friends. My good friend, Ashley, lives in another city but had her mother deliver this scrumptious cupcake from my favorite bakery to my door! She's the best ( and so is her mother).

Summer Trip to Tampa

I really am terrible at blogging promptly when things happen. It's been way over a month ( closer to two) since we went to Florida, and I still haven't gotten around to putting anything up here... So, I'm kicking myself into gear and getting it done today!

Originally I was going to present this in two separate posts... But I think I'll be able to combine everything into one good abbreviated post instead.

Our trip down to Florida in august stemmed from a couple of things, the main reason being Jeff's desire to visit his grandparents and spend quality time tying up loose ends with them. After my grandmother passed away he became very preoccupied with this. Other minor though no less important reasons included seeing other family members, friends, and a last opportunity to rest before this busy season of school, work, and endless tasks began.

While we were there we got to accomplish a lot. We got to see everyone on our list without feeling rushed, we got to soak up sun, visit old friends, and experience some of the nostalgia of Jeffs childhood. Enjoy the pictures and captions to follow:

Jeff goes on... and on... and on about his love for authentic cuban food. He was on a mission to find the real deal for me to try while we were there, and this place was the bomb!

I was skeptical at first,  but this deviled crab dish they make is pretty darn tasty. 
This is the much hyped potato ball that he's been talking about since I've met him. It's DELICIOUS, huge, and something that you simply can't find around here.

Ah, the Cuban sandwich. Every time we try to order one in Lexington, he gets very pouty and disappointed that it just doesn't live up to his standards. This sandwich here on the other hand, was phenomenal... and huge. One sandwich fed the both of us with leftovers to spare.

I made Jeff promise me that one day would be dedicated to the beach. So, the ONE day that was free of tropical storms, gloom, and wind was spent soaking in the rays and enjoying the ginormous waves.

The last day in Tampa we spent at the neatest zoo I've ever been to, Lowry Park, with some of Jeff's friends. He knows I'm a zoo nut to begin with, and this made the entire trip for me. This zoo was really interactive, with rides, petting zoos, train rides through exhibits, and much more.

I have a soft spot for a lot of animals, and penguins are just fun loving and great to watch. The two above with snuggling and kissing each other, while the one below was showing off for spectators flipping, jumping and all sorts of stunts in the water.

These meercats had to be the most hilarious bunch I'd ever seen. They were very curious, brave little boogers, and had a lot of fun trying to get our attention.

I adore giraffes... a lot. If you don't believe me, see earlier posts such as this one where Jeff and I found a petting zoo with a baby giraffe. This zoo also let you feed giraffes, although they weren't babies, and we also got to go on a train ride that went right into their exhibit!

This baby rhino was too much! Full of energy, playfulness, and awkward movements, he was only born two weeks prior to us getting there!

I really found it neat how they organized their animal environments. Most zoos I've been to segregate each species into their own area. This zoo chose to put animals that would normally interact in the wild safely together into one environment.
I love open markets. One of Jeff and My favorite things to do on the weekends in Lexington is to wander through the farmers market. The great thing about Florida is they are all over the place and are up all year round every day. Fresh, local produce ripe and ready to eat, and so much tastier that way too! Of course, Jeff had ulterior motives for stopping on this particular trip... Boiled peanuts. Another local novelty, and not something I've seen before I met him... I'm still getting used to them, and their smell.

Can you say banana split with mango cut that day, chocolate syrup and fresh strawberries? I can ! YUM

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Truckin' Right Along

Summer is wrapping up and I'm sitting for a moment reflecting on the whirlwind that it has been. A lot of tragedy, a lot of blessings, and a lot of growth have peppered the hot days, and I'm a stronger person because of it.

I really miss my grandmother. She was a stubborn woman, and it was a constant struggle to live up to her standards, but there wasn't a more genuine, service based person on this earth. Shes left behind a lot of fond memories, a tight knit loving family, and a lot to live up to. So far, her passing has been the hardest thing I've had to deal with in a long time.

I am not teaching this year... Again. You know what? I'm not upset, bothered, or bitter about that. It's been a long road in the education field. I had several interviews this summer. Some were ok, some were phenomenal, some were politically stacked, but nothing felt right. After each moment of disappointment passed, I felt relief. Yes, I wanted a job desperately, but none of the schools seemed like a perfect match, and I am so apprehensive at working at another school that I don't fit.

With the struggles of job hunting in the education field I have also had to struggle with the decision of furthering my education. I have some issues with the limitations that Kentucky puts on teachers in what they are allowed to get their masters in, and I feel very cornered into the profession because of it. I do not want to get a degree for a job that I may not have forever. That's a lot of debt that I'm not ready to justify. At the same time, if I don't do it, I lose my teaching certification. It's a rock and a hard place, and has been heavy on mind for two years.

So, I have been grappling with these decisions, while researching and looking into different fields of work that I feel I could co tribute to with my current education. I got a lead from a friend a month or two ago about a job opportunity that I followed up on, and now am currently implied for a company that works with developmentally challenged individuals in making them more independent in the community.

I love my job. I love being able to work with someone one on one and make a direct difference in her life. I love getting to use what I know and have learned in my educational and life experience to benefit her in the different faucets of what we do together. I also love the different doors is job is opening up. I am learning about new career options that were not made known to me before, careers that allow me to do what I love, work with kids, work with people that need me, without the drama, politics, and restrictions of public education. I am very blessed in this, and for once I'm making decent money without taking work home.

Jeff and I have enjoyed our seccon summer. We have gotten to go on some trips, explore new things, and develop a ever strengthening bond with one another. I am so grateful to have a companion who loves me as much as he does, respects me in all things and always makes sure that any disagreement is resolved before going to bed.

I am excited for what the rest of this year has in store. I'm excited to take on new challenges, make new memories, and find time and motivation to appropriately document them.