Tuesday, January 25, 2011

True North

I'm not a very good navigator.  If you've ever traveled somewhere with me you know that even if I follow the directions word for word I end up turning around at least once because even though I'm pretty sure x is where I'm supposed to turn, I second guess my self and drive right on by.  (At this point I could psychoanalyze myself, but I'll spare you.)  I can be a co-pilot and follow the directions.  I'm much more confident in that role.  I'm not sure where I was heading with that info, but ...  We made a trip to DC this weekend.  It is roughly a 12 hour drive from AL to DC.  When you stop at the knife outlet in Gatlinburg for an hour that makes it a 13+ hr drive.  That is a seriously long drive.  I drove the whole way, Dave drove the whole way, we each drove a different car.  (We were driving a car up here to sell to a friend from the good ol' USMC.)  The way back will be much easier because we will be able to trade off and we shouldn't have to stop at the knife outlet.  

I wrote the first paragraph last Saturday when we were in DC during the Martin Luther King Jr holiday weekend.  I began the first sentence of the second paragraph and then stopped.  I don't know what interrupted my thoughts, but I didn't find the time to come back to it until now...

I spent the 13 hr ish drive listening to episodes of "This American Life" an NPR show that airs on Saturdays.  A wonderful friend loaned me her ipod for the drive.  The ipod saved my sanity.  It made the first 6 hours or so pass by very quickly.  I really enjoyed the episodes.  You can download the podcasts for free.  I highly recommend them.  I think you can learn a lot about a person by borrowing their ipod.  It was fun to listen to someone else's favorite songs and random shuffle playlist.  I found a few new favorites to add to my own playlists.  (For the record I have an ipod Nano, but I need to do some revamping and updates my song library a bit.) 

The second half of the drive was spent in agonizing anxious anticipation (how's that for alliteration?).  A long car drive alone gives you a lot of time to think.  I needed some time to myself and boy did I get it.  Most of the drive was spent thinking about all of the things I wanted to do once we were back in the DC metro area and getting to see our friend Bynum again.  (One of my boys I miss dearly.)  As we crossed into Virginia the anticipation continued to grow, but I had another 3 hours or so before we would make it to DC.  My heart felt a little lighter as each mile brought us closer to DC.  I'm not sure anything could have deterred me from my path at that point.  My heart was drawing me closer home, my true north.  DC will always be home to me.  I have had many homes-Ohio, DC, North Carolina, and Alabama.  DC will always be the one that calls my heart.  I can't explain it.  I would love to move back to DC.  I'd move back tomorrow if I could.  I recently realized though that moving away from Alabama would cause me heartache too.  I love my Alabama family.  I love them fiercely.  They are such a blessing to me.  I know I will one day move from our current residence and I will cry.  I've only cried during one other mover-it was when we moved out of the farmhouse I grew up in.  However, DC still calls me.  I felt it the whole drive.  I realized it when we drove past the Nissan Pavilion where Dave and I went to see Rascal Flatts and Gary Allan in concert a month or so before we moved.  Dave sent me a text about it. My heart started fluttering and big tears rolled down my face.  We were home.  I instantly felt at peace in a way I rarely do.  I sent Dave a text back about being home.  I continued to tear up until we reached Bynum's apartment.  By this point it was almost 1am EST.  We had been up waaaayyyy too long.  We unloaded the cars and went to bed.  I only slept for a short time, but it was a peaceful sleep.  I didn't wake up a single time.  I felt refreshed.

Saturday I awoke to Bynum and Dave talking in the kitchen while Bynum made breakfast.  I lay there on the couch just listening to my boys talk.  It had been too long since I heard them banter back and forth.  Dave came to see if I was awake so I was forced to get up.  I then had the pleasure of meeting Bynum's girlfriend Kathryn.  She is so sweet!  I love her.  I feel sort of like a mother hen about my boys.  I want to see them well taken care of and meeting the ladies they choose has been fun so far.  I know they don't need my approval, but I feel a little possessive about them and want them to be happy.  I adore Kathryn and she gets my seal of approval-not that it matters.  Ok, back to breakfast.  Bynum makes a delicious breakfast.  He and Kathryn cooked breakfast for us every morning and it was yummy!  They made the best french toast I have ever had.  I thought Cracker Barrel french toast was great, but I was wrong.

After breakfast we all showered and went out to run some errands and spend the day together.  (We didn't shower together though, ok?)  Of course lasagna came up in conversation and we decided Kathryn and I would make lasagna for dinner.  It is a tradition.  It wouldn't have been a gathering with one of my boys present if there was no lasagna.  (Which reminds me I need to e-mail Kathryn the recipe.)  So we went to Safeway, the best grocery store in the world in my humble opinion, and purchased the ingredients for lasagna.  We also stopped at Gamestop, a liquor store, and Chipotle.  Lasagna takes awhile to make and we were hungry at this point.  We made it back to the apartment and unloaded the car.  Dave and Bynum watched the Ravens play the Steelers while Kathryn and I cooked.  It gave us a chance to talk a lot.  We would occasionally get score updates.  While the lasagna was in the oven I decided I needed a nap.  We had plans to go out that night and without a nap I would have been a grumpy girl.  So I slept for about an hour or so while the boys and Kathryn  watched the rest of the game.

I awoke from my nap, had some lasagna, and repaired the mess that was my hair. We then hopped in the car and headed into Baltimore.  We went to a neat little bar that was really like 3 bars in one.  It had a traditional sports bar type area, a pool table/dance floor area with a dj, and an enclosed patio bar area with a live band.  I ordered a margarita and set out to enjoy the night.  My second margarita had two shots of tequila in it, by my request.  (My husband should tell me no...)  My third margarita was my last thank goodness.  I had a grand time dancing until it was time to go home.  Wizzel was a happy girl.  Wizzel went to bed when we got back to the apartment.  Wizzel woke up Sunday morning with an upset tummy, but once she had breakfast she was fine. 

Sunday we got ready and rode the metro in to DC.  Bynum and Kathryn went with us to shop at Pentagon City Mall.  They then headed back to the apartment after lunch while Dave and I continued our trek through DC.  I miss big city shopping.  I spent a half hour in Banana Republic just looking at their sale racks.  I really miss big city shopping.  Really.  After I restrained myself from spending too much money Dave and I hopped back on the metro and went to the National Mall.  We walked from the Capitol to the World War II Memorial and took lots of pictures along the way.  I spent several minutes just listening to the sounds of the city and breathing in the air, quietly storing away the memories for later days.  The World War II Memorial is my favorite thing along the mall, unless it is the 4th of July and then it would be the fireworks.  It was dark by the time we reached the memorial, but it is a memorial that looks best at night if you ask me.  The fountains were turned off and the pool was empty because of the cold weather, but it was still beautiful.  We spent some more time taking pictures there and then we began the walk back up to the Capitol.  I had to pause halfway up Capitol hill to catch my breath.  We decided to go ahead and walk the rest of the way to 8th and I like we used to.  Once we made it to the barracks I nearly cried again.  I have so many memories of them.  Dave has many more.  I remember sitting out front in his big red truck while he went in to pick someone or something up.  I remember walking in when he moved the last of his stuff out of his room and into our apartment.  I remember going to the E Club after the Friday night parades to grab a beer.  I could go on and on.  We slowly walked back to the Eastern Market metro stop so we could make our way back to Bynum's apartment.  The city had changed, but it hadn't at the same time.  I've changed, but haven't at the same time.  It is still my home, our home really.  We spent the majority of the metro ride back in silence.  Each of us lost in our own thoughts and memories.  Each of us longing to be there again full time.  Sunday can be summed up with something Dave told me as we were standing on the National Mall "best Sunday ever."  I agree.

Sunday passed too quickly and Monday arrived before I was ready.  I'll leave the story of Monday to another blog.  I'm sleepy.  Maybe when I slip off into dreamland I'll dream of DC.  Maybe my dreams of DC won't need to be dreams forever...or maybe they will.  Maybe DC will always be my "happy place" that I love to visit and long to have all the time.  Who knows?

I'll leave you with our fortune cookie sayings from Sunday:

Mine said "Your dreams of glamour & luxury will come true."
Dave's said " Your life will be happy and peaceful."


I'm missing my true North...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

2011 Already?

Really?  Already? Ok, fine. 

Needless to say I can hardly believe another year has passed.  There have been so many changes in my life it is hard to know where to start...

In a short rundown of things my year went a little like this: became a co-manager at LOFT, went to Chattanooga for Airport Rendezvous Wknd, did a bathroom remodel, Combs came to visit, went to the beach, Mom moved in, received 2 tickets from a super annoying highway patrolman, 4th of JULY!, 5 year wedding anniversary, quit job at LOFT, became and assistant manager at JOCKEY, life came a little unglued, a fabulous friend and neighbor helped me keep my sanity, found some super glue for the life, Bivins turned 25, and Christmas came and went before I knew what happened.  Wow.  What a year.

There are some years that pass by so slowly that I'm able to blog all the subtle changes and nuances of my life.  Other years pass by so quickly and the changes are so time consuming I am left with no time.  No time to think about, let alone blog (or journal) the changes occurring.  This was one of those years.  Some of the changes have been great.  Others have been really, really hard.  Some have been kinda blah.  I'm hoping this year will be better.  Maybe not so many changes.  We'll see how it goes I suppose.

I'm not really a New Year's Resolution kinda girl because most of the time I break them.  I'm calling them my goals for 2011.  I'm a goal oriented girl.  I'm hoping I achieve my goals.  We shall see how it goes.

Goal 1: Get re-organized!  I'm not a girl that can focus well in chaos.  I'm sure a lot of you know this already.  The changes in 2010 brought a lot of chaos to my house.  Suddenly, I can't find anything.  I can't manage to pay bills on time.  I'm forgetting stuff.  It isn't good.  So, re-organize I MUST...or else no one will want to be around me.

Goal 2: Find a routine!  A retail schedule is not conducive to a routine.  My schedule changes day to day and week to week.  It makes planning anything really hard.  Add into that hectic schedule a Mom that needs a driver and it gets complicated quickly.  A routine is going to be hard, but the important step of this routine business is going to be a work-out routine.  I need to get back into the habit of stopping by the gym either before or after work.  I have the most success in stopping after work.  I just need to add some discipline to the schedule and make sure that whenever I am able I go.  I feel better, I sleep better, life is better whenever I do.

Goal 3: Purposefully make memories and take lots of pictures!  The past few years Bivins and I have been on a picture taking hiatus-or so it would seem from my lack of updated photos.  Normally we have a camera every place we go and take pictures all the time.  The past few years in AL, not so much.  It will change this year.  The way I remember most things is by either writing them down or taking pictures.  That means I need to be purposeful this year in making memories and recording them.  (This will also help with the glue situation.)

I'm going to stop with 3 goals.  Too many goals and I just get overwhelmed in my perfectionist world.  (Oh I'm so helplessly perfectionist.  It's awful.)  Those are my goals and I'm sticking to them.  Yep.  I. sure. am.