Monday, April 25, 2011

Oh Bla Di Oh Bla Da Life Goes On...

So I recently made a bold statement how I love my new's true! Yes, it was incredibly difficult to leave my friends, and yes, it was super difficult to leave my coworkers, but YES, I AM REALLY HAPPY HERE!! At first, as expected, it was rough. After all, I moved to a random city where I only knew JD, and I had no girl friends or anyone to hang out with and was in the midst of undergoing a divorce. Ugh, what a nightmare! I quickly became depressed spending a lot of time alone in my sad apartment with Charlie Brown, who was also depressed. Didn't help the matter that we had to say goodbye to Miss Molly...not to mention that we left her with the evil one. Well, I've had some time away from Charleston and have tried to keep communication with my friends to a maximum and Sir Douche to a minimum (although difficult as we sort everything out) and am honest to goodness healing!


I obviously have many regrets looking back on my life. Getting involved with someone at such a young age, staying with him through the bad times, not dating, all those years I thought building towards creating a family with someone etc etc. I just assumed that we would be together forever and we could survive anything. Yes, I was young and naive. As it turns out, we just kept taking the next steps (engagement, marriage, blah blah) because it was what was supposed to happen next (ah hem I say we, but I mean he). I certainly didn't know anything else and was always along for the ride. I didn't follow through with a career path out of college because I knew I'd be moving around following Sir D with the Air Force assignments. I had no problem with this because I'd do anything for him, but it never gave me a chance to build much of a professional life for myself. My goal was to find work at each new base assignment for extra household income until the next move when I anticipated having kids and cutting back on work. That was my plan. Of course I didn't have a backup plan - why would I possibly need a backup plan?! Preposterous, indeed!! Well, that certainly backfired! I considered this new freedom as an opportunity to finally do whatever I want now. Then I had to be realistic for a hot second...hmmm....I've grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle over the years and I really don't think I can back my way down the social ladder to living in a shanty just so I can start getting back into the animal care/zookeeping industry where the money is crap. I decided to stick with what I've been doing and get another administrative job and work up the corporate ladder. I figure moving to a new city of MY (aka NOT the military) choice was empowering enough so I will stick to what I'm good at. I can always start volunteering on weekends...or get a pet lemur or something! :)

Looking back, the military lifestyle is so difficult. I never expected to be a part of that, and unfortunately was with Sir D waaayyy before that was even a possibility, so I had no idea that was in store for me. So many nights (and weeks...months...) spent alone...worrying (well, obviously all THAT was with good reason!) and trying to adjust to the life of a military spouse. Definitely not something you can prepare for. The funny thing is, I don't regret having that experience. Military wives are by far some of the strongest, most amazing women I have and will ever meet. There's a special bond you form with each other that's so strong and indescribable. They may be scattered across the entire US, but I know that if I need them, they would be there for me in a heartbeat. If it took a few crappy years with Sir D for me to gain that in my life, then so be it. I have such fabulous lifelong friends from that period and I wouldn't trade it for the world. (Plus, if you ever want to travel anywhere odds are you can have a place to stay with one of them!! haha)

See?!?! Here I am looking at the glass half-full...craziness!

Yep, life is good. No one other than myself is more surprised to hear those words come out of my mouth. I survived a super dark time in my life and am coming out the other side a happier and more complete person. Great success!

Thank you, Air Force for these amazing ladies in my life!! photo courtesy of LC :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Crawfish Named Paul

Yesterday was the 12th annual Ragin Cajun crawfish boil in downtown Nashville. JD bought us tickets weeks ago in anticipation of this tremendous event; him to eat a ridiculous amount of crawfish and me to partake in the all-you-can-drink beer. Then mother nature came along and decided to make it a wind chill of -30 (ok, so maybe I'm being a teensie bit dramatic) and took all the fun out of an outdoor festival. We actually had a good time despite the lack of sunshine and excessive shivering, and even met a couple new people. My fellow new Nashvillian Lara that I used to work with in Charleston (and was on my kickball team) came out with her bf too!
Batman building! (I still enjoy pointing it out every time I see it.)

LP Field across the river

Now I am not a fan of crawfish, in fact I had zero desire to eat any and the mere smell made my stomach churn. I had recalled trying one back in Mississippi and it was disgusting, so JD and I developed a system where he'd eat my crawfish portions and I'd drink his beer. I think he got a kick out of grossing me out with the little guys.

I still can't believe how many he scarfed down in no time - he is certainly a professional.

The best part was the guy walking around dressed as a crawfish. Since Lara and I had failed at getting a picture with the mascot Ozzie at the Nashville Sounds game the other night, it was imperative that we got a picture with the crawfish.

Great success! I asked him what the crawfish's name was to which he responded that in all the 12 years of the festival they still hadn't come up with a name. So I asked him what his name was and he said we'll just go with that instead. :)

As would be expected, our tummies got full pretty quickly so we didn't stay for the whole thing.

...on a positive note, we got commemorative cups. Oh, how I love a free cup!

It was nice to see the city light up as it got dark - I still haven't spent a ton of time downtown so it's all very exciting for me.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, April 15, 2011

Walking in Memphis...errr...Nashville

The other weekend JD and I went downtown to walk around a little bit and investigate. We parked in front of the LP Stadium across the river from downtown so that we could walk over the big footbridge (and park for free of course!). The stadium seems a little small from the outside, but I've been informed they can cram a ton of people in there since it's kinda dug into the ground. I can not wait until football season rolls around again - I WILL see Tim Tebow play here!!!

My cute little car in front of the stadium :)

Yay, football!!

Walking over the footbridge

It was definitely a nice view of the city from the bridge. It looks a bit on the industrial side with all the old brown buildings on the river.

...and here is the tallest building downtown - the Batman tower. One would think my AT&T service would be outstanding everywhere given it's prominent logo at the top, but sadly this is not the case.
There's another good spot to see the city from on the other side of Vanderbilt. It's a big hill in town. I got to go up there the first time I came into town to see if I wanted to move here. It was back in January so the trees were a little on the bare and ugly side - at least then they aren't blocking people from being able to see the city. There were a few musicians up there at the time - apparently it is a popular place to jam out. One chick was even filming what we thought to be a ghetto fabulous music video up there.

Another area of town that's pretty cool is Centennial Park where the Parthenon is. I found this to be the most random encounter yet in the U.S. This is the kind of building I've seen over in Italy - what in the world is it doing in a park in downtown Nashville?!

So that's the gist of what I've seen in town thus far. We became easily side-tracked with cold beer at a few places near Broadway and cut the exploration short. :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Heeeyyy Batter Batter Batter...

This past Thursday was Opening Day for Minor League Baseball. I had been to a few Riverdogs games back in Charleston and always enjoyed them, plus JD is super into baseball so I bought some tickets that day for us to go to the Nashville Sounds opening game. It ended up being a really nice night for a baseball game and we had a fun time - it was just like the Riverdogs games, except the Sounds' ballpark is a bit outdated. They have a really cool scoreboard though - it's a guitar!
Their mascot is a dog too, must be popular in the sport! Personally, I would have preferred a giant walking guitar, but whatev. :/
It was a great night: cheap beer, great seats, and a Sounds victory! We even got to see the boys make two homers out of the park that night...great success! :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

It's not the beach, but it'll do!

It is officially hot out...finally!! I have been waiting over six months for this! It's a lovely 92 degrees out and I am loving every hot, sweaty, humid second of it!! JD wanted to go trout fishing so I tagged along. Him with his fishing vest, bait, and pole, and me with my swimming suit, beach bag, tanning oil and reading materials. (I saw this as an opportunity to soak up some sun - my absolute favorite activity!) We started out at a really cool river in Franklin by a small waterfall/rapid or whatever you'd call it. Nice and tranquil with just the sound of the rushing water. Unfortunately, there were tons of trees so laying out wasn't much of an option. I just sat back and enjoyed the surroundings.

I had to take a picture of the fishing ensemble because I found it rather amusing.

Right after he caught his first trout, a troop of extremely loud and dramatic kids showed up fishing with their granddad and the tranquility was gone. They managed to scare off all the trout so we gave up after a bit. We have now relocated to a random stream/mini river on the side of a highway. (No idea where we are except that we headed even further south on I-65 away from Nashville.) The new fishing spot isn't as pretty as the last one, but its away from all the trees so I can enjoy the weather! He won't share and let me fish at all (probably afraid I'll show him up with my mad fisherwoman skills) so in the meantime I've found a small level area next to the water below eye level from the road - let the sunbathing begin! Not an optimal location - I could do without the tons of bugs, cars roaring by, rocks I'm laying on, and people looking at me as they drive on the overpass...

Oh well, it's not the Florida beach, but it'll do! :)


Well, he successfully caught 3 trout during our fishing adventure (no thanks to me) - I see a fish dinner in my future! Here's the last little flopper.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Moving Day

So we rolled into town with the U-Haul on Sunday, Feb 27th. (My last day at work had been Friday and then the packing up of the truck happened all night Friday and all of Saturday.) My family drove down from Indiana to help out with all the moving in festivities, and actually timed it perfectly as they arrived at the apartment complex within 5 minutes of us. I was quite nervous about seeing my place for the first time as I had never actually seen it in person - just through pictures and through input from a friend who was nice enough to scope out the complex for me. It all turned out good though in the end, I'm happy with my apartment location and the cost is way better than a lot of the other places I had looked at! Best of all, FREE TANNING!! :)

The tower o'boxes!
The kitchen (in shambles). My mother took charge and finished the entire kitchen while they were visiting.
I was sick of tripping over my bags of clothes, so we just squished them all into one of the bedroom closets! :)
What will be turned into the dining room.

Well, it was a bit of a squeeze getting everything from the spacious Charleston house to fit into a less than 1,000 sq ft apartment, but we made it work.

Here's the finished master bedroom (had to put one of the nightstands and the tall dresser drawer into the closets since the room is so small!)
I still have to take pictures of the rest of the place. This will probably happen soon to appease LC!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Time For A New Start

After the new year I decided that I wanted to get out of Charleston. I had originally been planning on moving over to the West Ashley area or into this amazingly located apartment downtown. Charleston is a lovely place, I just came to the conclusion that I desperately needed to get out of town and go somewhere I had no history and that was away from the Air Force. In mid-January I went for a quick weekend trip with a friend up to check out Nashville and see if it was the right place for me. On paper it was: much closer to my family up in Indiana, a completely new place for me, still in the SEC so I can go to Gator games at Vandy AND nearby Univ of Tennessee, and it was a larger city than Charleston which is what I wanted. Anyone I mentioned Nashville to just raved about the place so I thought there must be something good about it and I should check it out. Despite the trip going by incredibly quick, I managed to see enough to appreciate the fact that there is tons to do here, music is kind of a big deal, and there are so many completely different areas to explore. Sold.

The day after I got back from Nashville I told my boss my intention to move. I was terrified and nauseous because my coworkers had become a huge part of my life and my new family, but I wanted to give them as much of a heads up as I possibly could - which ended up being 5 1/2 weeks. Everyone was completely up to speed with my personal life and incredibly supportive. They obviously didn't want to see me go, but they wanted me to be happy so they understood why I wanted to leave so badly. After the decision was made to move to Nashville I had a crap ton of logistics to figure out...and I was on a close deadline: the beginning of March. I mapped out my timeline and decided I needed to get the house cleared out the last weekend of February to make sure it was done before "the evil one" returned to the house. That meant I had to be completely packed and have a large u-haul loaded up that weekend (not to mention somewhere to unload it all on the other end!). I was beyond stressed for those long weeks of packing up an entire 2200 sq ft house, apartment hunting (virtually - not like I could just drive up there anytime and look at some places), fulfilling all the items on my Charleston "bucket list" (Ft Sumter, tons of restaurants, etc etc), and of course job hunting. I was at least calm in the fact that I had finally made a big decision of where I was going - I just assumed that everything else would fall into place, which it all did! (Good things happen to good people, right??) :)

Well, I got an apartment lease signed a couple weeks before the move, got the u-haul and Charlie Brown loaded up (HUGE thanks to JD - never could've gotten it all done on my own!), moved, and unloaded in the new apartment, and had a couple interviews with a great company in between. Once I moved up here I didn't have a job yet, but it was in the works! I had some money saved up from the previous four months living in the house rent-free so I had a good cushion.

Well, Ladies - I emptied out the whole house!! :) Ha, Sir D!!!

My view for the 9+ hour drive up to Nashville. JD was nice enough to drive the 26' beast for me! Charlie rode shot gun in the U-Haul and Molly joined me in the CR-V as part of my effort to enjoy as much girl time with her as possible before I had to give her up!

Part of my Nashville unloading team. You can't really tell from this picture, but there was a lot of stuff crammed into the beast!

I have tons of people to thank for helping me during that super crazy time: LC, Maddie, D, D's dad, JD, Adam, Abby, Jeremy, and my parents and brothers to name a few!