Saturday, November 29, 2014

Rivals

Watching the 3rd Quarter of the Iron bowl (right now Bama is down 27 to 36).  Happy to see Ole Miss defeat Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl earlier today and glad the Egg will be in Oxford for the year.  T, The Dew and his sister Cassi were all at the game.  Cassi was also there for the win over Alabama so I think she's the good luck charm. (OMG, as I'm typing Alabama just scored.  It's now Auburn 36, Bama 34).

T had a lovely week with Pony Boy's family for Thanksgiving.  On Saturday she competed in the Miss Amory pageant (and won!) and Sunday they headed to Johnny Frat Boy's house for the week.  I haven't had a chance to really talk to her but I think they met up with some of his high school friends, she met almost all of his family, had lunch with his mom, and went shining and shot off some guns.  T said she's dating Elmer Fudd.

We had a very nice Thanksgiving which also involved a little bit of snow from Wednesday.  My cousin Alison and her husband Zach came over as well as two friends from work.  I always have a hard time with timing the meal but this year everything turned out just right.

I had to go into the office for a bit on Friday and took KJ with me.  We also helped with the holiday decorations and I took her for sushi for lunch.  On our way home we stopped and did a little black Friday shopping.  We made it home in time for KJ to go to the high school football game.  Damascus is undefeated and is going to the Maryland state football championship this week (Thursday).  Not sure if KJ can make it to the game as volleyball practice starts Tuesday.

Super duper proud of her . . . she made the 15/16 travel volleyball team.  Over 70 girls tried out and since the team is also comprised of sophomores and juniors (depending on their birth date) and they only took 12 girls, we were really unsure how it was all going to play out.  She has also said repeatedly that she is going to play lacrosse.  Which just makes my heart happy.

OMG.  Alabama just scored again.  The score is now Bama 42, Auburn 36).

This morning KJ and I met our bestest friends for breakfast and had such a nice time.  I think we sat in Panera for over 3 hours.  AG was invited to cheer in the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day parade so we met them just outside of Harrisburg while they were on their way back to Cincinnati.  And we did a little shopping on our way home, too.

Cosmo got some stuff done today while we were gone.  I think he was happy to have some peace and quiet in the house for a change!  He got the outdoor Christmas decorations out of the garage and also re-covered our kitchen chairs and bar stools.  It was time to change the black and white check and I found a gray and white link pattern I love, love, love!  Tomorrow I'll finish putting Thanksgiving away and start on Christmas.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Another crazy week!!!

At the end of May, I, along with several others, lost my job at the Sheraton.  I've been working since I was 15 years old and have never been laid off or fired from a job so you can imagine what a shock it was for me.  I knew it wasn't personal, I knew it was just business but still.  The hotel was doing poorly, they needed to cut expenses and since my position was a newly created position, it was deemed a luxury.  The timing actually worked out in my favor . . . I was home all summer with KJ, got to enjoy the pool every day and worked on my tan, I was able to see a lot of my lax family when they came up for tournaments, I was able to go to Vicksburg for 10 days in July for the pageant, I was able to spend quality time with T-Bone when she came home for a week at the end of July, I was able to drive KJ to and from volleyball camps and clinics and I was able to be involved in her JV volleyball experience.  I was also able to fly to Oxford for a few days in October and, had that damn hurricane not happened, I would have been able to enjoy a week in Cabo!  Now, the holidays are upon us and I was looking forward to hosting Thanksgiving and having all of our family here for Christmas.  Simply put, I have not been looking for a job.  But a job found me.

Tuesday I received a text from one of my co-workers at the Sheraton asking me if I was interested in a position in the Sales Department.  Something had come up and I was the first person they thought of.  On Wednesday afternoon I received a call from HR asking if I could come in Thursday morning to meet with the new GM.  Within an hour, I had an offer of employment.  My head is spinning!!!  I start on Monday.  Naturally, I ran to the mall to buy some new clothes!

We have got so much going on over the next couple of weeks, I'm questioning the timing of this new job but things have a way of working out.  We are also in the process of buying a house here in Maryland so I was very honest with the DOS and the GM.  I told them up front that I'll need some days off for the closing, the move, etc and I absolutely positively have to have off the entire week of Christmas.  That was not negotiable.

When we first moved here we decided to rent since we really weren't sure if we were going to stay.  Fortunately, KJ loves it here and is positively thriving.  She made the honor roll 1st semester of high school as well as all 4 semesters of 8th grade and we couldn't be prouder.  She's in all AP classes and did an incredible job of balancing academics and athletics.  This coming from a child who hated school in Alabama and begged to be home schooled.  Every morning was a struggle with KJ.  She begged to stay home, every morning brought a new ailment ... a headache, a stomach ache, etc.  She loves her school, likes her teachers, she's got a great group of friends, she's popular and she's got quite the social calendar.  So, we decided the time to buy a house was right.

Unfortunately, finding a house has proved to be difficult and not without it's challenges.  Obviously we want to stay within our current school district.  We do not need nor do we necessarily want a McMansion which seems to be the rage up here.  Houses in our current neighborhood start at $625K.  It's just the three of us for the next three years (we have accepted the fact that T-bone will probably never live in Maryland).  We do not need a 5-bedroom house.  We're trying to find a smaller house that fits our needs and a house that we can quickly sell once KJ is off to college and we can downsize even further.  Unfortunately, a smaller house in this area equates to a much, much older house needing updates.

We've been searching since the spring and think we may have found our next home.  It is an older home but the kitchen and master suite have been beautifully updated.  The house is on an acre and backs to the woods.  It's a brick ranch that has none of it's original floor plan.  The master suite is huge and also has a separate sitting room that was probably one of the original bedrooms, beautiful hard woods, his and her closets and one wall of exposed brick.  The family room is an addition it is also has beautiful hardwoods, walls of windows overlook the back yard and a wall of exposed brick.  The house has two fireplaces -- one in the formal living and one in the finished basement -- but my favorite room is the mud room off the garage.  I have always wanted a mud room!!!  There is a guest bedroom in the basement and KJ will take over the entire renovated attic.  So, if we do put an offer on this house and the closing goes through, we will be the proud owner of three homes and a lacrosse store!  Yup.  Our house in Hoover is currently being rented by a nice family from MS with 2 high school aged girls, the renter in our condo has been there for over 5 years and it doesn't look like he's going anywhere and of course we still have Stickhead.  We keep joking around that all we need next is a condo in Ocean City!!!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Road to Hell

Gah!!  It's been an incredibly long time since I've blogged.  I've been meaning to.  I had good intentions.  But you know what they say about good intentions . . . 

So let's see.  Last time I blogged we were probably getting ready for our trip to Cabo.  Well, Hurricane Odile took care of that.  While we were naturally disappointed, everything seems to be working out A-OK.  It looks like we may be doing a Mediterranean cruise next year so we have that to look forward to!  I believe the cities are:  Barcelona, Palma De Mallorca, Marseilles, Florence/Pisa, Rome and Naples.  Works for me!!!


KJ's JV volleyball season is officially over.  She had an incredible season and made so many friends.  Unfortunately, they played their last game on her birthday and lost.  It was a very tough loss and she was so upset that the loss happened on her 15th b-day.  This weekend she has travel team try-outs.  


KJ also had a great time at Homecoming.  They do things a little differently up here than they did in Hoover.  Very few boys ask the girls to the dance so they all go in a big group.  However, they do go out to dinner before the dance just like they did at Hoover.  I think there were 13 or 14 in KJ's group and 6 girls came back to the house for the "after party" (a bonfire outside w/ s'mores) and they all slept over.  It was a gorgeous night and we had so much fun taking photos and it was nice for me to meet some of the parents.  

Friday night, prior to kickoff, they have a homecoming parade into the stadium and then the Homecoming King and Queen are announced.  Our football team in undefeated and the student section rocks!  The kids really, really get into it and KJ loves going to the games.  Our Varsity volleyball team is currently in the play-offs so KJ has continued going to the games to cheer on the older girls.  Girls Varsity soccer just lost in the play-offs but they had a great season, too!  The principal tweets alot and 

I broke down today and bought the latest Taylor Swift CD.  I've heard SO many people say it's really, really good so I thought I'd give it a try.  "Shake it Off" sure is catchy.  

http://youtu.be/nfWlot6h_JM

Had such a nice although very quick visit to Oxford mid-October.  T was competing in the Miss University pageant.  She did awesome (as usual!).  I wasn't sure about her new gown but the judges loved it and she got some extremely positive feedback.  She was a little discouraged because she didn't officially place but after speaking with the program director, she feels much, much better about her performance. As always, it seems like there were a lot of politics involved.  

I flew into Memphis Tuesday morning, we did some shopping and had lunch at Zaxby's (we don't have Zaxby's in Maryland!).  We had dinner and drinks at Boure with the Dew.  T had to leave early for rehearsal so the Dew and I walked around the Square.  It was very nice to spend some time w/ just him and get to know him a little better.  Wednesday we had breakfast at BBB (duh!!!) and I had lunch w/ the girls at the AOPi house while T was in class.  She had her private interview that afternoon and then the pageant was that evening.  She had a great cheering section!  Me, the Dew, Amanda, a ton of AOPi sisters and one of her AOPi advisors, a bunch of her residents and several of her co-workers.  Her residents were super sweet and had a bunch of funny posters and hooted and hollered whenever she was on stage.  Afterward we attended the cocktail party at the U Club and Thursday morning we had breakfast at Bottletree Bakery before heading up to Memphis for my return flight.  The Dew and Megan drove up to Memphis with us to keep T company on the ride home.  

T is not coming home for Thanksgiving this year (she has to check everyone out on Sunday but be back by 8 AM Friday).  She'll have Thanksgiving w/ the Dew and his fam.  She hasn't seen Cosmo and KJ since July so we're super excited for her to come home for Christmas.  Christmas is going to be INSANE at our house this year!!!!  Not only will my mom & dad be here for the week but Cosmo's bro from FL and his fam will be here too!  And then Cosmo's niece (and her hubby) that live here in MD will join us for Christmas dinner.  And then my bro and his fam will be here for a few days after Christmas.  It's going to be one big slumber party!!!  And I'm SOOOO excited!  That's what we moved back up here for!!!  



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