It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

Except this ain't Paris.

I don't believe in the mountaintop--valley undulation of life. I believe that there are always good things and hard things happening in a person's life at the same time. There are always things to be thankful for. And things to pray fervently for. Things to cry about. Things to laugh about. The principal drivers of this concept, however, are perspective and disposition. You can always look at the bright side, denying that any wrong ever overtook you. Or you can be Debbie Downer and latch on to the negative aspects of any situation and deem your scenario doomed from the start. I hope to be neither, but with God's grace and wisdom, praise Him for the blessings and ask for strength and perseverance during trials and tribulations. Yes, Lord and Amen.

Of course. Here I am, two weeks in to my new job and nomadic lifestyle, missing my husband and my old,  "comfortable" life terribly. I understand now, why God was so frustrated with the Israelites for wanting to go back to Egypt. They had forgotten all that He had done and all of the promises He fulfilled. Yes, three days after witnessing the miraculous parting of the Red Sea, having nothing to drink, they looked at each other in dismay and said, "What shall we drink???" I think God may have said something along the lines of, "what the...?"

Two weekends ago, (which seems like an eternity!), Andrew and I packed up our apartment and moved 15 minutes up the road to good ol' Chapel Hill. Sounds simple, right? WRONG. It's amazing how much CRAPOLA one can accumulate in a year. All occasion cards and seasonal decorations. Bills and coupons. Office supplies and camping gear. Not to mention furniture. Oy vey! It was just the two of us and because of my schedule we had basically 36 workable hours to get everything packed, moved, and unpacked to a livable state. Friday night, Saturday day and evening, Sunday morning and early afternoon. It was hellacious. There's no other word. We were both tired to begin with and we just didn't realize how much stuff we had. Plus, since we hadn't seen each other in a week we really just wanted to relax and hang out. And I had a bad attitude. Whoops? Sorry, Andrew. Anyway, we did get everything done, just in the nick of time. We even got our monstrous couch in the narrow front door by removing the screen door, the front door, the couch legs, and pushing and pulling like freakin' lumberjacks with one of those big ol' toothy saws! YEAH! A big ol' toothy saw! Ahem. We got the couch in without [really] damaging anything. Much.

The chaos. PS, Thanks, Ulta, for all the boxes. And a great summer.
So, we moved from here to there, from hither to thither. When I get off of work on Thursday, I will be going home to hopefully put our little bungalow to rights, so that we have a comfy, cozy, albeit teensy-weensy, apartment to call casita. Pray for us.

In other news, Brad and Cory got hitched this weekend in a beautiful, God-filled ceremony in Hendersonville, NC.

The newly minted Coopers!
Yay for weddings and yay for marriage! Cowabunga, dudes. I gotta go to sleep.


Five Second Rule

It seems like that's the governing principal in my life right now. That I'm only in one place for five seconds at a time. In the last two weeks I have been from Charleston to Chapel Hill to Hendersonville and back again what seems like a bazillion times. Which is, truly, a very large number.

And I'm the one who signed up for it. And it's okay. So far, I love my job. It's not okay that I get to see my husband only on the weekends and that we feel like we have to be "doing something" in order to be using our time wisely, (you know, instead of grocery shopping, cleaning, watching movies...living "normal" life", if you will). But alas, there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven. Not sure which season and time this is, but undoubtedly, we will look back and be able to pinpoint God's faithfulness and sustenance in our lives. Cuz He's just like that, you know? Yup.

Anyhow, TODAY is Brad and Cory's wedding and Andrew and I couldn't be more thrilled to be surrounded by family and friends again! The string of common weddings has gone from a steady stream to a dwindling trickle, though. We've got to come up with other reasons to see our Clemson family! Reasons that don't involve high heels. Just sayin'.

Anyhow, as Ol' George G. used to say, "Life is just a bowl of cherries, so live and laugh at it all".

Welp, I've got to go get ready to be a program giver-outer lady. High heels, and all. Ciao!

PS--I'll [hopefully] be able to post more on the move and my job later. I just, you know, had five seconds to write a quick blurb. Stay tuned.


A Word

This is what the Lord says; "You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you," says the Lord. "I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land." Jeremiah 29:10-14


September is on crazy pills.

No, really. As "David After Dentist" would say, "is this real life???" Seriously, I feel just like that kid. Is this gonna be forever?? RrrrrrAAAHHHHHH!!!!

I miss my husband. I just can't help it.

In order to give myself something to do this past weekend while I was waiting with bated breath for my First Day, I made a Fall banner. A pennant banner to be more specific. It will coordinate just perfectly with my nut wreath from last year. I got the idea from this fine lady and decided to give it a go. And it turned out pretty well, methinks.

Here's what you need:
Computer & printer OR stencils
Manilla folder
Exacto knife
Scotch Tape
Fabric paint of any color
Sponge paint brush
Ruler/straight edge
Needle & thread OR hot glue gun

Here we go!

First, if you don't have stencils, print out your F, A, L and clip art onto regular computer paper.  Tape letters onto manilla folder or other sturdy medium,  being sure to trim away excess paper so they all fit. Trace around figures with exacto knife being sure to press down firmly so as to cut through the folder.
These will be your stencils! Be sure to save the "floating triangle" for the A!
I didn't take pictures of myself measuring the pennants, but if you lay out your burlap and "size" the triangles before you cut, making sure all of your letters fit on that size, you can cut one and then use that as a guide to cut the rest. Next, tape the stencil onto the burlap and use the sponge brush to dab the paint in the center  of the stencil and onto the burlap. Don't wipe or  swipe brush back and forth so as not to push paint under the edges. Continue with all of your letters and shapes.
Once the stencils are dry, measure out a length of twine and either hand sew or hot glue each pennant onto the twine by wrapping a little bit of the fat part of the triangle around the twine and folding it over. Leave an inch or so between each triangle, not too much or it will be very long!
Voila! Happy Fall, y'all.
Obviously, that is not my mantle. It's my parents'. But you gotta use what you can where you are, right? Eventually I will take this back to NC with me and use it in our apartment, but who knows when the decorating stage of our new digs will be. It might be Christmas before I get to hang this up at home, and if that is the case, you're lookin' at my latest Christmas tree decoration.

These last few days have been INSANE very busy, and the next couple of weeks are likely to follow suit. I am certifiably exhaustified.


Labor Day is an opposite day, cuz no one goes to work.

Except me. I had to work on Labor Day. At the ungodly hour of six am, so in light of that sitch, Andrew and I celebrated our holiday on Sunday. We went to the Eno River State Park and frolicked around the historical sights and had a picnic on the riverbank. And wished we had a puppy. Nonetheless, we still had a fun time in the perfectly temperate weather learning some history about this place we call home.

Looking over the river.
Avoiding poison ivy.
The Old Mill. Put "Old" in front of anything and you can charge people to come see it.
A Mechanical Engineer's dream come true.

Happy as a clam!
We really had a very relaxing time, hanging out, poking around the park, eating our PB&J picnic lunch, tossing the frisbee, and leaving all of our cares behind. :) State Parks are very under appreciated in mi opinion.

Moving on, quite literally. It's starting:

Rows upon rows of cardboard boxes.
Boxes o' books.
 Sadly, not everything we have will fit into our new apartment. Given, we haven't actually tried to fit everything in there yet, however, we're quite sure that the space we're dealing with leaves no room for things that we hardly use, are keeping for sentimental reasons, or can't use yet because we don't live in a house, etc. So, we're going through everything, (and by "we" I mean me), and either getting rid of stuff for good, or boxing things up to store with the 'rents for the next ten-ish months. And they thought they were done with us and our ubiquitous stuff! Muahahaha! That means books, storage bins, "extra" instruments, extra tables and chairs, my old computer and printer, summer clothes, (sob!), and much more has to be taken to my parent's casa with me this weekend. I don't know if all of that can be crammed into Stella's spacious trunk and backseat, but goshdarnit I will try. She'll just have to suck in when I shut the doors.

Honestly, September is going to fly by and I'm not at all sad about it. It's already the eighth and sometime between now and next weekend I've got to start my job and move all in the same chunk of time. We're trying to get situated before Brad and Cory's wedding weekend, (the 25th), because of our timeline of getting out of here and into there: we have to move sooner rather than later which plants our migration right smack in the middle of my two-ish week orientation at the hospital. SWEET. My logic is as follows: because of the move, the job, the wedding, etc, September will be over before I know it and it will be October and officially FALL, which I can hardly complain about. :)

Thank you for reading the above psychobabble that is tumbling around in my head. Basically, I'm ready to get the show on the road. I've got places to go, people to see, and things to do. And I love Fall.


Numbers One Through Eight

1] Although it is not technically Fall yet, I am burning a Yankee Candle Company Autumn Wreath candle. It smells like Fall and Christmas all at the same time which, you know, is amazing. Calendar dates are more like guidelines, mm?

2] My last day at the Best Cosmetic Store Ever is Monday. And there was much rejoicing.

3] Today at the aforementioned cosmetic store, a lady came up to pay for her items whilst smoking a cigarette. Another lady had her yip-yip dog in her purse and it was growling at everyone. We had to call the police because a dude was pilfering fragrances. And a man asked if we had any snacks. (???) This is not Sam's Club. There's no shrimp cocktail on ice behind the counter.

4] The Clemson Tigers won this afternoon. As if we would lose. Pfft.

5] My hubby got us Med Deli, (short for Mediterranean Deli. Doi.), for supper tonight. If you don't know what that is you need to get your baba ghanoush to Chapel Hill and find out.

6] Andrew keeps asking me to watch 24 episodes on Netflix. We've watched Seasons One and Two. Annnnd I'm kind of over it?? Is that blasphemous?? I mean, I looooove 24. (Oh, Jack!) But it's kind of stressful.

7] I'm thirsty.

8] Amen.


A swiftly tilting planet

Wait, what? Huh? What just happened?

I'm pretty sure that the planet I'm on tilts just a little differently so that everything major happens all at the same time. Read: quitting a job, moving, starting a job {which requires a 4.5 hour "commute"}, Andrew starting Year Two at school, etc. Oh my transition. It's not that I don't like change--I do--at least I think I do. I'm ready to leave this apartment tucked safely in my memory as our First and create Home in a tiny, cheap, new, challenging space. I'm ready to leave the world of cosmetics and hair and beauty and don navy blue scrubs and a Clemson purple stethoscope again. As much as I sometimes want to dig in my heels and yelp, "but this is easier the way it is!", I can't help but note that the transitions, literary climaxes, or the ever-cheesy Michael Jackson-esque key change in books, music, movies are usually the most exciting parts of the piece: where the audience is riveted, moved, watching with rapt attention. I think when change comes our way, God is not just watchful, He's giving a standing ovation, savoring His grace and hard work in our lives. Yes, Lord, and Amen.

As for the logistical bits, Andrew and I are moving our little family into a teensy, tiny apartment close to campus so that Andrew can walk to class and we can save some moola. Sometime in the next month we will be making that arduous 15 minute trek with all of our worldly goods, so if the airwaves go silent, don't worry about us. We'll probably be cramming all of our stuff into the single, cubby hole, non-walk in closet that the space affords. Awesome. Speaking of which, I recently did a massive closet purge, (only on my side, I'm still prodding Andrew to do his), in order to A) get a tax write off (yippieee!) and B) simplify and downsize. Just in time to squish everything into a closet that will barely fit my stuff, let alone Andrew's. Awesome, for the eh-second time-ah. Anyway, you will definitely be seeing organizational/decor updates and whatnot, (don't you love how the world whatnot pretty much covers everything? and whatnot? YES). However, if this planet does spin out of orbit to crash into the moon or something, you may have to hold on to your hats while we get things up and running enough to share. 

My brand, spankin' new, big-girl job starts September 13th and will require a 4.5 hour drive from here to there, weekly-ish. My plan for tackling such a commute is pretty loose as of right now, simply because I'm not sure what my schedule will be like and I will know more once the job actually starts. Duh. BUT. I have decided to use my time in the car wisely and listen to audiobooks instead of compulsively pressing the scan button, as many of you know, I likey to do. :) Andrew found this amazingly timely free audiobook app for our iPod--we'd been looking on Amazon and even on UNC's student library, but either they cost an arm and a leg, (i.e. ~$20 range. Yikes.), or there's a "wait list" and you only get them for seven days. Womp, wommmmp. I had to drive down last weekend for pre-employment paperwork and whatnot, (see, you have no idea what that means! They could've made me stand on my head or do the chicken dance in the cafeteria and you'd never know), and on the way there and back I listened to 19 chapters of Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. Fo' free! I was a little leery of the aforementioned Brit-Lit chunker, but thought I would give it a shot. The worst that could happen is that I hated it, turned it off and went back to my beloved scan button. Ivanhoe is a classic and I've been feeling the need to read something meaty lately. It's awesome. SO GOOD. I-want-to-listen-to-it-right-now good. At first, I was like, "HUHWHAAAT??? Speak American!", but once you listen carefully for a little while you get into Sir Walter's writing language and style and it all starts to come together. I highly recommend it for long, solo car trips. 

I'm still praising the Lord for his provision and sovereignty, but you can pray for me for the Mommy-wow-I'm-a-real-nurse-now transition. I'm a leeetle nervous, but confident that His power is made perfect in my weakness ( II Corinthians 12:9) and my transformation will only make Him more famous if I'm the most unlikely candidate for success.

A promise to hold fast:
5 Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. 6 They weep as they go to plant their seed but they sing as they return with the harvest. Psalm 126 
Post script: a very happy birthday to Mrs. Jamie Orr. I love you through and through!