Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It's Never Too Late...

To Stop Worrying Okay, life is a BIG FAT CRAZY THING right now! Our house is a wreck, newly painted but empty dressers are slammed against our living room walls downstairs because we don't want to carry them back up to our room, boxes of stuff are everywhere, my clothes are heaped in piles making it impossible to find something to wear every morning...and we're not even all packed up yet! There's still a million things to do! And I have a new job to worry about and all the other little things to stress over and get done before we head out of Knoxville next Thursday. I've been worried (and that's putting it extremely lightly), but it's time to stop! Worrying over my "Things to do before leaving Knoxville List" isn't packing my boxes any faster and it sure isn't making my house any cleaner or better organized. It's time for me to quit worrying about life so much and just be happy! 8 weeks ago I was whining about not knowing what the heck I was going to do with my life, and now we're heading to a city we both love , and I have the opportunity to begin a career in a field I think I am really going to love! It was almost like magic. One day I was the most confused girl on the face of the Earth, and then POOF! With a lot of praying and hard work, I got a job and we're moving! Michael has a lot more options for pursuing a career in athletics in Birmingham, and many of his best friends are there, so what more could we ask for? Why Am I Worrying? Isn't this what I wanted? Yes, this is what I want. The worrying part is just my thing. It's what I was born to do! But I really am, with each change in my life, really trying to consciously stop worrying. It's giving me premature wrinkles and major stomach aches. And in my attemt towards becoming worry free (I think this may take years by the way), I am discovering that the simplest but fail proof way to keep my worrying from controlling me is through prayer and gratitude. Well DUH! Everybody knows that! Yes, I am aware that a little praying goes a long way, but I still need to work on the whole let God have some control of my life while I wait on the sidelines thing. It's easy to pray when things are going badly and I need a little help, but I'm trying to make prayer a more constant part of my life by learning to be grateful for God's blessings and pass his love along. Having a gracious heart is definitely better than having an anxious one! I took a walk this evening to clear my head, and quickly into it, I began praying and thanking God for his love, and I just felt a calming peace came over me. It was one of the best walks I've had in a very long time. If you are reading this post and you have an anxious heart, say a prayer and ask God for help, and when he leads you in the right direction, thank Him for His guidance and pass along the love. I know this is extremely hard to do if you are an Anxious Annie like me, but seriously STOP WORRYING!!! It's Never Too Late To Stop Worrying... If you have no power to do anything about it- worrying about it won't help. Allow things to take their course. Options will open up. When you stop worrying, you think clearly. Open your mind to possibilities. You'll be surprised how often the problem dissipates.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Our 4th Anniversary!

Michael and I celebrated our 4th Anniversary today! Four years of marriage, and it's really been great! I hope that the rest of our lives together will be just as wonderful. Though we have been married for four years, we have been together for 6 1/2 years. When I look back, I can't believe how quickly the years have flown by. We have been very lucky because we have had so much fun together and have shared many amazing opportunities in many different places.

I thought it would be fun to post some pictures highlighting the fun we have had together. There are a lot of pictures! I still wanted to add more, but I finally made myself stop.

Our first spring break together, 2004

Summer 2004, almost a year of dating!

Greek Olympics when we were both dictators!

Alpha Sigma Alpha Formal 2004 Arkansas Tailgating 2005
Michael's Graduation from Henderson a week before our wedding in 2006

Our Big Day four years ago! A stop in Charleston, SC on our southeastern US roadtrip, 2006

Hanging out in Arkadelphia for Henderson Homecoming 2006

Soon after we arrived in Australia, 2007

Caulfield Cup Horse Races in Melbourne, Australia

Cheesy I know...but it was our trip to the Great Barrier Reef!

A stop on our roadtrip - New South Wales, Australia

One of our first family photos, spring 2008

Our first night out in Knoxville, TN, summer 2008

Biltmore Estate for our birthdays in 2008.

UT Football 2009!!! My Birthday Celebration 2009!
Chick-Fil-A Bowl New Year's Eve 2009! McGreevey Field Dedication in Katy, TX, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My First Blogger Award!

Last week, I was nominated for my first Blogger Award! Super Exciting, huh? I think so!!! I am very grateful for the chance to write this blog, and I am even more grateful for all of my awesome readers, especially you Squashy's Girl who nominated me for this awesome award!

As part of receiving this award, I have to tell you seven things about myself. I love the South and I plan to never ever leave! How could anyone resist a charming Southern accent, SEC Football, fried chicken & sweet tea, and big hair? At this point in my life, I plan to only be a mother to many fur babies even though I can't convince Michael to let Scarlett have a little brother any time soon. Hands down, my all time favorite candy is Sweetarts. I'm not picky, I like the chewy ones in the packs of four and the hard ones that come in the roll equally as much. I created my first real piece of literature at age twelve when I was asked to write my grandmother's Eulogy. The thing that annoys me the most is people who wait until the last minute to merge when a lane is closing only to make the rest of us who know how to follow directions come to a complete stop because some nice guy lets you and your fellow bad drivers go in front of him! I get my feelings hurt too easily, but I am learning to toughen up in my old age! I am obsessed with decorating (which sucks because I'm poor), but if I had lots of money, I would spend it on designing that house we are going to eventually own one day. Once I do have this opportunity, you can bet that every room will have something lime green in it.

I also need to nominate other bloggers for The Beautiful Blogger award as well. A few of the blogs I would like to nominate have already been awarded, which leads me to think I am part of a close circle of blog friends. Here are the two I am really proud to nominate: I would like to nominate Tara, Tina, and Laura of The 3 Sisters Blog. They are witty, funny, and extremely talented.

I love my girl Alice at Smile Alice Smile. She may be one of the funniest bloggers I have had the pleasure of reading. Kudos to her for getting a new job, but it's taken her away from the blogosphere. I really miss reading her posts as often as I used to!

Receiving this award was really awesome, and I am so grateful!

Monday, May 17, 2010

It's Never Too Late

To Walk the Kokoda Track

For two years Michael has been walking his own Kokoda Track by pursuing his master's degree among many other exciting responsibilities he has taken on with his graduate assistantship and of course by being married to me. For two years, he worked hard doing something he loved, and I am so proud of him for not only making the decision to go back to school to pursue his passion but for finishing and being able to begin a career in a field that will make him happy.

He finished his journey and graduated last Thursday! Here are some pictures we took during his graduation celebration.

Me and Michael

Michael, Adam, Max, and Marcus

Michael, The Magic Man, and Max

One more pic in front of Neyland Stadium!

Michael and his brother Sean

Dinner at Litton's-So YUMMY!

Michael's Mom Betty, Caroline, and Sean

Cheers to Tall Boys and presents!

Michael's VOL Orange Tailgating Shorts from Caroline!

It's Never Too Late to Walk the Kokoda Track... Whether literally or figuratively, everyone must walk their own Kokoda Track. It's a physical and mental challenge- mostly mental. It pushes you past your boundaries It shows they are illusions. It makes you reassess the important things in your life. It teaches you mental toughness. And humility. And compassion. It builds your confidence.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Bad Bad Scarlett!

Look at this little girl! Isn't she the most precious dog you have ever seen? So classy that she was bread for English Royalty...considered one of the most coveted breeds...the perfect little girl!


Scarlett is so bad!

With Michael's family in town, we all decided to go to the park this morning. Sean, Caroline and Betty were at the tennis courts and Michael and I were starting a game of HORSE on the basketball courts, which was a really great moment for us since I never ever play sports with him. We thought we could trust Scarlett to run around without a leash because she usually stays close to us. She was being so good until.......well, until she caught a whiff of something too enticing to make her listen to her watchful parents who were calling her to come and whistling at her to quit running away! She couldn't be stopped and then she did it!

She began to roll and roll and roll and her beautiful white fur turned brown and browner and browner! I ran after her then the smell hit me in the face and almost knocked me over. Yes, our beautiful baby girl had just taken a liesurely roll in human poop! Yes...a big pile of human shit!
Our family park time was needless to say INTERRUPTED as we wrapped her in a shirt and towel and I transported her home, trying not to throw up. I don't even clean toilets people, and I am getting ready to clean human feces off my dog!

The worst part is that she loved every minute of it!

Here's the bad girl now after her bath!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Short and Sweet

I'm low, low, low on time because I am trying to cram a million things in before heading to Michael's graduation this afternoon! He is graduating with his master's in sports administration from the University of Tennessee today, and his family has come to Knoxville to celebrate with us. After his graduation, we are heading to Litton's, Knoxville's famous burger joint.

Look for pictures of the celebration very soon! Hopefully, life will calm down a little and I'll be able to write more! I doubt it...

Also, I just found out I got nominated for my first blog excited! More on that very shortly. But I am extremely honored! Thanks Squashy's Girl!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

It's Never Too Late...

To Help Someone

My husband Michael teaches me this lesson all the time. I've said it over and over and over, probably enough times for you to tell me to "Shut Up Already," but I am married to the most giving man I know!

I am a selfish person by nature. I think it's probably because I am an only child and at 27 years old, I am still learning to share! I also grew up with a mom who did everything for me and am now married to a man who does so much to help out and never complains! It's easy for me to be selfish.

A few posts ago I talked about how content with life Michael is and the fact that he is an all around happy guy (which makes me insanely jealous), and I think it comes from his good nature and his willingness to help those in need. His life has so much purpose just because of the simple ways he helps people, and I hope to learn how to be more selfless because of him.

It took me about 30 seconds to think of quite a few things he has done recently to help someone:

Today, he donated a box of baseballs that belonged to his dad to the local baseball fields we walk by several times a week.

Today, he helped deliver items to the Boy Scouts of America who were taking donations for Nashvillians affected by the flood.

He donates money to his fraternity every year.

A month ago, he donated to the MS society to honor a friend's dad.

He helped organize a coat drive this winter.

He led groups of students on 3 different alternative break trips.

He attempted to mow our friend Chris' yard this weekend because he and his wife Nicole have been letting us stay with them while we find a place to live in Birmingham (he would have mowed the grass if the lawnmower battery worked).

Without a second thought, he jumped in the freezing lake a couple of weeks ago to help his friend Max who dislocated his shoulder while wakeboarding, and then he waited with him in the hospital for 4 hours while the rest of us were sunbathing at the lake.

Not only is Michael so giving, he is extremely humble, which means he is going to kill me when he reads this! But who cares, he lives a life of servitude and I look up to him every day. God placed him in my life to teach me so many things, and to help people is a lesson I learn from him quite often!

It's Never Too Late To Help Someone...

It brings joy to both parties.

It makes you a better person

and gives the receiver hope and faith.

It's usually reciprocated.

It gives life greater purpose.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The 3's of Me!

Two of my favorite bloggers Cathy and Squashy's Girl passed this fun little survey along to me!

The Three's of Brandi

3 names I go by…
1. Brandi
2. Brandino
3. Bubby

3 jobs I have had…
1. Hostess
2. Basic English Instructor
3. Ambassador

3 places I have lived…
1. Cabot, AR
2. Melbourne, Australia
3. Knoxville, TN

3 favorite drinks…
1. Coffee
2. Water
3. Wine

3 TV shows I watch…
1. Modern Family
2. Cougartown
3. The Soup

3 places I have been…
1. Italy
2. Germany
3. France

3 places I would like to visit…
1. Ireland
2. Austria
3. Honduras

3 fave retro TV shows…
1. Saved by the Bell
2. The original 90210
3. Kids Incorporated

3 fave dishes…
1. Pizza
2. Michael’s Eggplant Parmesan
3. Fajitas

3 things I am looking forward to…
1. My new job
2. Buying a house one day
3. Taking a girls’ trip with my mom

Thursday, May 6, 2010

It's Never Too Late...

To Let Yourself Be Happy

I have the most wonderful, loving, and supportive husband a girl could have. He always tells me that my happiness is the most important thing to him and I believe him. It doesn’t matter where we live, what we do, or how much money we have, but as long as it’s the two of us together and I’m happy, he is happy. I’m jealous of the fact that he is such a happy person! How is he so easy going? My happiness depends on so many factors, and as much as I don’t want to admit it, my happiness depends on more than just the two of us. I’m just a little more complicated. My happiness depends on personal growth, my career, overcoming challenges, my appearance, my social life, finding meaning every day, having people who love me in my life, writing, traveling, good mental health, delicious food… When the chances of getting my new job seemed promising, I wasn’t completely happy. I wanted the job more than anything, but all I could think about was the fact that Michael and I had an unwritten plan. He would finish school and begin his career. That’s why we spent two years and the money for him to pursue his dream, so it only seemed natural to follow his career. But then things all of a sudden changed and a decision had to be made to follow my career instead. The timing gave us no other choice. Then the overwhelming guilt came… Am I an awful wife if I take this job, am I being selfish, am I letting people down at my current job, am I rushing into this, is Michael going to resent me? The guilt and stress ruled over me for quite a few days, and I couldn’t be happy for myself and the fact that I could possibly get a job I really wanted. But with lots of prayer and reassurance from Michael, I finally realized that though it may not have been the plan, moving to Birmingham for my career made both of us happy. This job offers an opportunity to grow in so many ways and Michael sees that, so he’s happy because I’m happy. I’ve learned so much about him these past three weeks because we’ve done a lot of talking and a lot of decision making. More than anything, he has taught me to let go of the guilt and realize that it’s truly okay to be happy! After all if it’s just the two of us, then isn’t that all that matters? I’ve said it a thousand times, but I will say it again…I am one lucky girl! It’s Never Too Late To Let Yourself Be Happy Take charge of your own happiness. We are all entitled to be happy. Seek light instead of shadows. Treasure your happiness. Share it.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

It's Never Too Late...

To Start A New Career It’s been too long since I actually wrote a post worth reading, but as you will find out, I’ve had a lot going on in my life, and I refrained from writing too much for fear of spilling the beans…but now I can officially speak! Two and a half years ago, if you were to ask me where I saw myself as in terms of a career, I would quickly answer back and say that I could clearly picture myself as a professor or administrator on a college campus. I never would have thought I would end up in the private club industry. When we moved to Knoxville, I knew nothing about country clubs, dining clubs, business clubs, or sports clubs. All I did know was that a local country club that hosts a nationwide PGA event was searching for a communications assistant. I knew I had the communications stuff down, and I could wing the rest as long as I got that job. Never did I think the past two years would lead to what I hope to be a dream experience! All this has happened so quickly! Michael began applying for jobs in his hometown of Birmingham, AL, so I just took a quick look at postings one afternoon about 3 weeks ago and found a job I couldn’t resist and applied a few days later. The next day I talked to my current GM who not only knew my future GM but actually hired him for a club position a few years back. Hours later, a recommendation email was sent, and plans were made for an interview the following Monday! Since then, I’ve had two face-to-face interviews, and one phone interview before accepting a new position yesterday! I have officially made the journey from Communications Assistant in Knoxville to Member Relations Director in Birmingham, and I couldn’t be more excited, happy, scared, nervous and proud! A position in public relations is what I have wanted for a while, and I have worked very hard to get here! After getting into the private club business, I quickly realized how much I enjoyed the member relations aspects of the club environment from planning events and meeting with members to promotions, marketing, and communications. I feel so blessed to be given this opportunity to continue a career in a field I love and to be able to move to a city where we have some roots planted and friends waiting on us. Michael has a few tricks up his sleeve in Birmingham as well, but I have been instructed to keep his job stuff private. Does he realize who he is married to? It’s Never Too Late To Start A New Career… You can always expand your horizons Or change direction. Remain positive. Find a new work challenge- one that inspires you. Explore it. Chase it with passion.