Saturday, October 29, 2011

The tweets I never posted

This week I've gone to write several tweets and then stop myself. Don't want to lose followers on twitter just because I'm a debbie downer.

I just figured I'd keep a running tab of some of them here.

For my own personal blog purposes. You have the freedom to skip this post if you'd like :-)

(timeline on these will seem weird since some of them were from earlier in the week.)

-Watching the Rangers in the World Series is less than exciting while watching via ESPN Gamecast on my laptop.

-Going to the gym. Cause I'd rather not sit in an empty apartment.

-14th night in a row to sleep on an air mattress. SO over this.

-Morning coffee would be so much better if I didn't have to drink it standing up. #WantMyCouches

-Day 16 of sleeping on an air mattress. #EnoughSaid

-All my errands are done for the day in 1.5 hours. Guess I'll go back home to my air mattress.

-Did I mention all my $$ is tied up too? Yeah, had to switch banks & have yet to receive my new debit cards.  Waiting is the name of the game.

-Day 18 of sleeping on an air mattress.

Friday, October 28, 2011

A few picture updates:

So the weather my first week in Tally was cuh-razy. Here's a comparison to Dallas!

My first weekend in Tally, Carl and Jennifer took me to an FSU game! Here's me with my $10 shirt I sported:

And a picture inside the stadium!


The 2nd week in the office we packed up and moved due to growing out of the space. Here's the view from my new office from yesterday morning:


In addition, a view from the parking garage this morning!!! SPECTACULAR!


Also- due to just all the craziness of my move, the fact that the movers have not arrived...the fact I've been sleepin on an air mattress for 18 days....all of these things have started to take a toll on my body. Here's what my computer area looked like this week:


If you'd not heard yet- my movers have not yet arrived.

Still waiting.

Not feeling settled at ALL in Tally.

Ready for my belongings to arrive here.

Like, yesterday.

But all in all- my coworkers are awesome and have been so kind.
I'm becoming more and more familiar with the city. (Shouldn't take TOO long considering it's SOOOO Much smaller compared to Dallas.)

That's all for now :-)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Easy links to read the whole story.

For those who have any desire to read the entire story.....Here are the links in order from the beginning.

Arriving in Tally

One week ago today, I got up at 4:30 in the morning finished loading my car, and said goodbye to Texas.

The older I get, the faster time seems to go....but this week. Has been a REALLY long week. It feels like I made the drive a month ago!

Helen, one of my dearest friends and old roommate, made the trek with me on Saturday, October 15. My car was loaded down with all my hanging clothes, my keyboard, my kitchenAid mixer, AND my coffee pot. :-) Since I'd been in San Francisco all week, Helen had a travel bag packed full of snacks and drinks for the ride. We were on the road at 5:30 and began the long drive. We were 2 hours into the drive before we even stopped for coffee. Crazy, right?!?! Yes. But so fun. :-) We drove through Shreveport over to Jackson, Mississippi- then headed south from there to Mobile, Alabama. From Mobile, we jumped on I10 and headed East.

Oh. Also before leaving Texas, I'd meant to get my oil changed as it was past time and knew it would be wise to do so....BUT. With the craziness of everything else- I just didn't have time- so while in Mississippi- we stopped to have the oil changed.  The guys SERIOUSLY took MAYBE 10 minutes to change the oil. It was really bizarre. When I got to Tally- I took it to another walmart to explain the situation (light was still on) and asked them to check if it REALLY had been changed or just more oil added. They checked and said "Dang. Those rednecks were FAST cause it's been changed."*

Anywho- in the last several hours of the trip-just became silly. I'd been playing a video for Helen from the show "The Sing-Off" and she really liked the beatboxers.....so she attempted to beat box. And I recorded. Which she didn't know. :-) BUT She approved for me to put on Facebook once she found out- so I'll add it here in case you missed it.  Honestly- I was laughing so hard- so excuse my cackling in the background.



We stayed the first night with Carl and Jennifer and their family who live in Tallahassee and are related to my Aunt Mary.  I've met them maybe 3 times in my life (they are on my Aunt's side of the family...not the Corso side) and Jennifer was SO helpful when I was looking for an apartment. She works in law enforcement so was able to say don't live south of here....west of here....etc.  Anywho- we stayed with them the first night. On Sunday, Helen and I got up, showered, then headed out for the day. We found breakfast to eat outside, had coffee, and started exploring Tallahassee together. We drove by my apartment (to which I'd be getting the keys later that night) and then drove down by my new office.

We explored new grocery stores, parks, and just drove around a LOT that day. At 5pm- we went over to check out a church plant that will be launching soon. When I'd gone out with mom 2 weeks before- I met up with the pastor and his wife after having found them on Twitter. :-) They've been having info meetings and such- so I thought I'd take Helen along for moral support! Somehow it was brought up that I made homemade pasta....So not sure how THAT comes into conversation on my 1st day in town- but oh well. They know now!! :-) Closer to 7 we were going to stop and get dinner. We'd finally settled on a place to get food when the apartment called and said I could get my keys. (The offices were not open- but the girl working there that knew I was already in town said that when SHE got back in town that night she would call me, open up the offices, and let me get my keys....SO nice!!!)

Helen and I grabbed dinner to go- then headed over to get the keys and start unloading my VERY full car. Once unloaded, we made a pallet on the floor and crashed for the night. On Monday morning we got up, made coffee (remember I packed that coffee pot!) and headed out to get groceries. We spent the day checking out a few more places- then.....It was time.

I'd not allowed myself to even THINK about what was going to happen come 3:30pm on Monday. Up until this point- I'd just been having a BLAST hanging out with my friend. It had felt like a vacation and/or spontaneous trip. We got in the car as I was going to take Helen to the airport. I turn on the car and start to drive out of the parking lot when Helen asked me a question. I don't even know what the question was. All I know is that I could not talk.

Up until this point- I'd been wondering when it would hit me. The reality of what I was doing.

I had to wonder no more.  It had come.

I cried the entire way to the airport.  We didn't talk. Not cause I didn't WANT to. Because I couldn't get words to come out. We pull up to Tallahassee Regional Airport (an incredibly SMALL airport) and I park the car. I get out, walk around, and hug my friend. My friend who has walked with me and encouraged and challenged me through some crucial years. A friend that encourages me to love Jesus more. A friend that has played a huge role in my life and my ability to love people the way I do. Helen is Jesus with skin. Whenever I am around Helen- I KNOW that Jesus loves me. There is no doubt. So as I hugged her, I choked back more tears, said 'see ya later' then got in my car and drove off.

I wish I could tell you that I took a couple of deep breaths, put on my big girl panties, and set off with my head held high towards the adventure that awaits. But that's NOT what happened. I probably shouldn't have been driving with as hard as I was crying. Weeks worth of emotion, stress, anticipation....all hit. This was real.

On my way back to my apartment, Carl and Jennifer text me saying 'soup and salad for dinner...You're welcome to come!"

I text back "I'm an emotional mess. If you're ok with that- then I'll be there." Of course they were ok with it.

I got to my apartment, showered, cried, and well. Ok, let's be honest. I just cried all night.

I had several friends text me to see if I was ok or wanted to talk...I said "I'd love to talk but I can't even get words out because I'm crying so hard. Let's talk tomorrow!" :-)

Caralyn at one point messaged me  and said "You need to answer your phone."

So I called her.  I don't think she was prepared to hear me.

That night I curled up on the floor and slept knowing that in the morning I'd get to go to work with SUPER puffy eyes.

I didn't feel scared....or alone. I just felt sad. And far away.

Dallas has been my home for almost 10 years. I've made friendships that I know will be around forever. I know the feelings were normal. It's normal to feel the emotions that I did.

I'll end the post here, but I have to say- this week- the Lord has been SO kind to me. Every single night this week I had things going on. Dinners out, watching the Rangers with people....

While I was afraid that my first couple weeks would be me sitting at home alone wishing for people to hang out with- The exact opposite happened. I was out every single night...and EXCITED to get to be at home for an evening.

Only my Jesus could orchestrate such a week for me.

I know He is all over this move. I don't doubt that.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

San Francisco

Well well well. Let me first say, I did NOT leave my heart in San Francisco. :-)  After the Starbucks incident, I got on the plane and was off! As life would have it, I sat next to a couple that were on their honeymoon.  And honeymooning, they were. When I arrived in SF, I went to hail my first taxi cab when I heard that prices were better if I did a shared cab ride. Um, yes. Dave Ramsey would approve- even if I wasn't the one paying for the cab! Being frugal with money other than my own. BAM.

So once I arrived- it was after dark and I missed seeing any part of the city. Arrived at the hotel and was left standing with my mouth gaping open. It was GORGEOUS!!!  I got to my room (a king sized room, I might add) and kinda did a happy dance. It was 7:30pm, I was exhausted, and I didn't have to be anywhere til 9am the following day.

I slept about 10 hours, got ready, stepped outside the hotel and went directly to my right where on the corner sat the lovely green sign advertising my happy drink. Yes, Starbucks was RIGHT there. I had a coffee, oatmeal, and began my day.

Got to meet the coworkers, and was thrown right into work. The next 96 hours were some of the craziest, sleep-deprived, but awesome hours. On Tuesday night Jeb took the team to dinner at a place called Restaurant LuLu and it was DIVINE. Delicious food. Seriously.

On Wednesday afternoon/early evening, I DID get out of the hotel for about 30 minutes and in that short time, I got to see the bay, a ferry, See's Candy shop, and a naked man. 

Yes. Yes I did. There  were a group of protesters out and about and yeah. A man...no towel, no sign to cover anything....completely nude. Walking around. I kept asking my co-worker, Clare, 'HOW CAN HE DO THAT!??!?!? Why is that LEGAL!?!?!?"

She was laughing at my complete shock...and yeah, I kinda was overwhelmed. I mean. Really. There were even police men standing around not doing anything about it.

Well. The next day at the conference- I'm talking with several news anchors and they'd asked me how I liked SF so far. I said "well, mostly I've been in the hotel the entire time, but I DID get out..." And i proceeded to share with them what I saw. They began laughing and the lady said "did you get a picture?!?!?

Um. Did I get a picture?!?! NO WAY! She said "you need to get a picture so you can go back home with stories." I proceeded to tell her that I have a blog that will for SURE be updated with stories but a picture would NOT be needed :-) Anywho- we talked for about 30 minutes while we were waiting for the Governor to be available for an interview. After about 30 minutes, I stepped out of the room for a moment, came back in and they said "forget the interview- we just want to leave the hotel and take you around SF!!!!"  :-)

Either way- the lady got her story, had to rush back (in her CRAZY amazing high heels she was wearing) and we said farewell. Well. 15 minutes later, Anna came back. In her heels. With her phone out and a HUGE grin. She said "I was several blocks away when I saw a naked man!!! I told him I needed to take his picture for a girl I just met so she could post it on her blog!!!" 

I'm so not kidding. Anna then emailed me this picture she'd taken. She was thrilled.

SOOOOOO. That's my SF naked man story.

The summit wrapped up (Melinda Gates spoke as well as Rupert Murdoch) and was a huge success. I wasn't kidding when I said sleep deprived. I was going to bed at 1 and 2am and waking up at 4:45am.

I left Friday at 4:30pm- arrived in Dallas at 10:50pm....and that sums up the conference week.

Up next....the move.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Last Weekend

So after the going away party- now that I knew movers would be coming to take my stuff to Florida, I knew how to pack. And let the chaos begin.

Saturday morning I woke up for an early breakfast with Laura for one last goodbye. Such a sweet time, but let's be honest. The ugly cry came. I sure do love that woman.

After breakfast, my friend Lauren came over to the apartment to help make some sense of all my stuff. What an INCREDIBLE blessing she was. Lauren...I know I said something multiple times, but SERIOUSLY. You helped out SO much! 

Saturday evening I went to my last service at Gateway, then in typical Gateway Saturday night church fashion, we got a group of friends together for dinner after.

After dinner, Ashley Movold asked me if we could go grab ice cream....um. DUH!!Yes please :-)  And let me tell you. The next 2 hours were some of the sweetest hours. We sat underneath an awning outside of Starbucks with our chocolate ice cream and chatted for a while. Sweet Ashley, that HONESTLY was one of my favorite moments in Dallas. What a perfect night.

Sunday morning I woke up and drove out to Aledo to meet up with THIS sweet family. Amy, you and your family deserve your own seperate blog post. I will do that in the near future, but man, oh man. You and your family have been such a breath of fresh air. You've been my escape when I needed to think. Your kids have loved me. YOU have loved me. From birthday parties, to baby dedications....There's not a moment in their lives that I would want to miss. Amy, your friendship has meant more to me than I could sum up in this blurb.  Know that i love you.

After meeting up with Amy, I drove to Dallas to say bye to my Fantasy football guys who were watching the Tampa Bay/49'ers game. I bawled the entire drive there. I kept it together while saying bye- then cried on my way home. I love that crew.

Thennnn. Back home for more packing.

I packed all evening- then around 9:30pm my friend Rachel came over with coffee to keep me going! I had less than 12 hours before movers were going to be there to take all my stuff!!! Went to bed around 1:30- then woke up at 6am to finish up. The movers were there at 8:45 on Monday morning- had my stuff wrapped and loaded up by 11, (in addition- cost $500 more than they said......dang it.) and then I raced off to the airport!!!

Got to the airport and basically sat in exhaustion waiting for my flight to San Francisco.

While waitin- I figured I should get coffee, got in line, and saw a DALLAS starbucks mug. Never before had I needed one. As I picked it up and handed it over to the cashier, I started bawling. The barista looked at me kinda funny, I said "sorry..." then walked away with my coffee and my Dallas mug.

And that, my friends is my last weekend in Dallas.

The San Francisco blog post is next. :-)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The goodbye party...

I have a feeling that if I keep waiting to find time to update the blog, I'll get so far behind and won't be able to update all that I want! So I'll break this up a bit and blog about it in pieces.

Let's back up a bit.

Friday night. My friends threw the most amazing 'going' away' party ever. To say that I was overwhelmed, honored, encouraged....well. That would just be understating how I felt. All day on Friday- I knew the party was coming and was well aware that I would most likely fall apart. The entire day- I had a sick feeling in my stomach and was just at a loss with how to deal with all the emotions and feelings I was experiencing.

As I pulled up to the party I received a phone call from my new boss saying they would pay a certain amount of money for my move- which would cover the movers. HOLY MOTHER! I was SOOOOOO freaking relieved. There were so many things that needed to happen in a matter of 3 days and I was, again, at a loss with how to deal.

Friday. 6:45pm. (2.5 days before I have to leave for San Francisco) I finally have information about how my belongings will be getting to Florida.

At the party....

Such sweet friends that prepared and planned.... a great setting, great food (well, I'm assuming it's great...I didn't have a second to eat any of it!) :-)...And an amazing crew of people. As I was watching people arrive- I looked out a window and my jaw DROPPED.  The couple I saw walking towards the room had stunned me. Chet and Debbie are from Paris and were part of my home church in East Texas. They drove in to attend the party and see me off!!! I was SO surprised....Chet and Debbie....that meant SOOO much to me!

As friends arrived, I continued to talk, mingle, and make my way around the room. After about an hour, Jen motioned everyone to gather around. She'd arranged for several Floridians that live in Dallas to share some things I need to know about living in Florida...including football teams to be aware of, Tim Tebow (mmmhmmm!) and how to run away from an alligator.

Then. The floor was opened up for people to share their thoughts or words of encouragement to me.
I couldn't begin to type out how honoring it was. For those of you who shared in the big group....again. Saying I was 'honored' sounds so weak in comparison to how my heart felt. There is NO doubt in my mind that I'm loved in Dallas.

For those who came to me after and privately shared with me, your words (and tears) meant the world to me.

As I was beginning to say bye to people- I'd not even processed the fact that I'd be saying bye to my parents this evening as well. Umm......was NOT prepared for that.

But mom and dad....I'm SO glad you were able to come and be a part of that evening. I hope you felt honored as well.

Overall, Friday night was a night I will remember for the rest of my life, I'm sure. There are cards, and letters that I received that evening that I've not yet opened. I wanted  to save them and open them once in Florida. So if you gave me a card....I am SO excited to open it :-) I'll do that soon!

To those who brought food, decorations, flowers....(Laura, Jen, Brooke, Raven....others?) Thanks for making the evening possible. My heart is grateful.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Scoping out the Land

Saturday morning I woke up at 3:45am, brushed my teeth, and got in the car with  my mom to head to Tallahassee. Dad was up and had coffee ready for us, said a prayer, and we were on our way.

The drive: 14 hours.
The destination: Tallahassee, Florida.
The plan: find my new home.

The result: Lots of information....no home.

Sunday morning we woke up, took our time getting ready, then headed out around 9:45 to start driving around my new town. We drove first to my new office and planned to start our tour there. The office is right across the street from the state capitol with a small, but cute downtown area surrounding it. We started looking for breakfast and here is where the drama began. My mom, bless her heart, LOVES to experience new things. She likes finding that small little place that is new, out of the box, and 'fun.' We start to drive around looking for this place and I quickly realize that NOTHING I see is familiar. I see no familiar stores, no familiar coffee shops (AKA....STARBUCKS), no familiar ANYTHING. We get a bit turned around, finally find the place she's located on her phone, and I drive past and say "no way are we eating there."  The overwhelming feelings begins to settle in.  The "what the heck am I doing!!!" feeling. We pull off the road and I explain to mom in the least dramatic way possible at this moment "I need something familiar. I don't want to try something new and cute. I want something familiar. NOTHING around me makes sense. I need something that makes sense." (Ok, so tears were included.) So we look for an Einstein Bagels. Our GPS lady (whom I named Gretchen) takes us there and says "Your destination is on the right. You have arrived at your destination."  Only problem was....there was no Einstein. We were on the FSU side of town and we concluded that the Einstein must have been inside the campus. So we keep driving. Finally find a random bagel place, order our coffee and bagel and sit down. At this point it was 11:45.

We were hoping to have a bit more 'coffee and chill" time before hitting the pavement hard looking for apartments, but since we only had 1/2 day on Sunday to do so (most apartments are not open until noon on Sundays) we needed to get going. I won't bore you with the details of looking at place after place- but we did a LOT of that. Didn't find a place that just wow'd me with the apartment itself AND the price. Well, let me take that back. I did find once place that WOW'd me...including the hammock deck out by the pool, but the price wow'd me as well cause it was so high... :(  But oh well. Keep looking!

Sunday evening we grabbed dinner at a place called Moe's...(think chipotle/taco cabana) and headed back to the apartment to crash.

Monday morning I'd made plans to go by my new office to meet my new coworkers.

I left mom at the hotel and headed over to starbucks to grab coffee and read my bible...cause let's face it. I needed Jesus, in a BIG way. I needed him to do some big things on that day.

I drove to my new office and headed in to meet my new co-workers.

The office was beautiful. The people were friendly. The sigh of relief came.

I needed Monday morning. I needed it really bad. I needed to feel that sense of "this CAN be good."

The rest of the day was, again, spent looking at apartments. There was a HUGE difficulty in this process.

The trees.

Yes, the trees.

You can't see anything from the road. Everything is hidden. You can't just drive past, see an apartment complex and say "hey, let's look there!" That added to the frustration of the trip.

I finished up Monday evening by meeting up with a couple that lives in Tally and is planning to start an ARC church in the next 6 months. I'd started looking for a church the moment Tallahassee became an option for me. Was really disappointed to not really see much. :( I did see that a church was going to be planted but didn't know much more than that.  So what did I do? I got on Twitter to look it up. Found the pastor. Tweeted him to find out more, then was able to email and find out more about the church!

Another reason I LOVE Twitter.

Excited to learn more, meet their team, and see if this would be a good fit!

Headed back to the hotel, went to bed at around 11:30pm, only to wake up at 3:45am. Got on the road at 4am and drove straight through. Seriously. We knocked an hour off our time. Stopped only to get gas.

So that's the update.

Lots of decision to be made. Very little time.

If you think about it, pray for me. I could use it :--)

I'm still REALLLY excited about my new job. I'm confident that this is exactly where the Lord wants me. I just want to be brave but it's REALLY hard.