Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mamavation Monday - Valentine Edition

This week was moderately successful considering I didn't work out much. But I did stick with my plan of eating healthy and not turning to fast food as we prepare for our upcoming move. I lost 1 lb this week.

I am leaving today and will be traveling for 6 nights for work. I have a conference to go to and luckily it is in the town where I will be moving in less than two weeks! So I am going to be able to use the traveling time to do the conference as well as hopefully find a place for us to live and get Fisher on some daycare waiting lists.

So this week I am out of town all week and next week is the big move! I can't believe everything is happening so fast! I am getting super excited about moving to Knoxville. I went to college there and never really thought I would be able to live there as an adult because of the job situation, but after several moves, twists, and turns I have a great job in a town I want to live in! Definitely not something I take for granted in my profession. I am very much looking forward to getting established down there and taking advantage of all the awesome outdoor activities!

I hope everyone has a fantastic Valentine's Day. Since I will be leaving this evening for Knoxville Shawn and I will not be together on Valentine's Day. I don't think we have spent an actual Valentine's Day together since we have been married (almost 6 years). We are going to go to dinner this afternoon before I leave but since we don't have a babysitter lined up it is going to be a family event. Oh well. Maybe next year. lol

Saturday, February 12, 2011

What a long, strange trip it's been.

In two weeks I will be a Tennessean again. It is finally starting to set in and I am getting excited. I know this isn't a big deal to most people, because they live and work where they want - but in my profession you rarely get that opportunity.
I went to undergrad at the University of Tennessee and majored in Wildlife and Fisheries Science. The professors were awesome but very honest in telling us that in order to "make it" in the wildlife world we need to be prepared to move for jobs. Wildlife jobs are not that numerous and very competitive. So your best bet is to have your bags packed, apply for every job you see, and jump at opportunities. Sounds fun and exciting when you are a 20 year old college kid - but fast forward to real life with bills, family ties, possibly a spouse,house, and children - and this is HARD. Unfortunately, the majority of people that start out in wildlife don't end up with jobs in the field, life gets in the way. And those that do end up sticking it out with a wildlife profession are often living in places far from home. Which is why I am in shock and grateful for the long, strip trip my life has taken me on.
I went from UT to Arkansas for graduate school. In graduate school I met Shawn who is now my husband. It takes a very special man to be married to a wildlife biologist who asks him to move every couple of years and I am super thankful for him. I landed my first wildlife job in Southern Florida - south of Miami. This was my first "foot in the door" job and I am very glad I did it - though it was hard to be away from Shawn who was in Arkansas in college. After we got married (yes we got married when I was living in Florida and he in Arkansas!!) I looked for a job closer to him while he finished up college. I got a job in Oklahoma, which was 2 hours from where Shawn was in college. So I moved to Arkansas for the weekends and was in Oklahoma during the weeks for work. We had such an awesome time and were so thankful we were able to spend every weekend together. As Shawn was finishing up college I started looking for a new job. I had a great time at my Oklahoma job but I wanted to find something where I would have more opportunities professionally. I applied for a ton of jobs all over the Eastern United States and I ended up getting the one that I have now, which is with a federal agency dealing with wildlife disease. I was stationed in Kentucky and was super excited about that, because my sisters are only two hours away and my parents are five hours away. After being 16 -20 hours away, this seemed too good to be true!
So I have been in Kentucky for the past three years and I have loved it. I love my job, love my house, love the family that Shawn and I have started. But then things fell in place to move to Knoxville for my joba. Knoxville has always felt like home to me. It is where I spent the first 10 years of my life, where I went to college, where my grandparents live, where we spend every Thanksgiving with family.
So I was cautiously optimistic about moving to Knoxville. Yeah, it would be great and all - but we had this little thing called a HOUSE to sell in Kentucky first. I was so worried about selling our house in the down economy in a down region. But things lined up better than I could have imagined. Our house was bought by the first people to look at it, with cash.
So now we are two weeks away from moving to Knoxville. And it is starting to hit me. I will soon be back in the area that I want to live in. An area with family, friends, mountains, and ample outdoor activities. I can't help but be thankful and a little in awe of how things have worked out. I honestly never would have imagined it and feel like God is directing our paths in that direction.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I am a house selling Mama!!

This week was absolutely insane. Since my last Mamavation Monday post, I SOLD my house and it has already CLOSED!!! Amazing, huh??? The buyer paid cash, so we agreed to an offer last Monday and then we closed on the deal on Friday. We don't have to be out until the end of March - but the house is no longer ours. It is very bitter sweet, I wrote about some of the awesome memories we made in this house here.

I continued with the Cinch! plan for the majority of the week, but mid week I was down another pound and a half...but it was back as of this morning :( I am definitely retaining water right now so I am just ignoring the scale for a few days and focus on eating well. I am going to be honest now - I have to be out of this house in three weeks. One entire week I will be out of town for a conference. And I have to find us a place to live in Knoxville. I am highly doubting I will be working out too much until we move. And I am going to counteract that by making sure I eat healthy each and every day. I am not going to overeat and not going to to turn to fast food as we get crazy busy.

This week’s blogging carnival is sponsored by Chef’s Requested. Two blogging carnival participants will receive a grip of Chef’s Requested steaks.

Mamavation TV - Our guest this week is a relationship expert. She has valuable tips for all of us whether we have been married for years or are still looking for that right someone. It is good to know what you have to offer and what you want in a relationship to make the most of your experience.
Special Guest: Allana Pratt (@allanapratt)

Question: What are you doing to keep your heart healthy?

I am cutting crap out of my life - eating clean, not fried. Working out and laughing as much as possible.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Ode to my first house

Today we closed on the sale of our first house. What a bittersweet process. I love this house, I loved this house when I stepped in the door way 3.5 years ago and knew it was our house. Though the house was built in 1941, we were only it's second owners. The original owners were also the builders and they built it with love and attention to detail. When we closed on the buying of the house the old man took me around the property and told me lots of stories about it and then when he left he said to me "I am so happy you bought this house, I hope it will be a great place for you to start your family" And it truly has been. In the three short years we have lived here our lives have changed and been enriched in amazing ways. This is the house where Shawn and I passed the all important test that led us down the road of being parents. We stood in the kitchen and couldn't believe that we were going to be parents and couldn't have been more excited.

This is where Shawn and I watched my belly grow and we documented it in front of the arched doorway to the dining room.
Here I am at 37 weeks -

This is the house we brought our amazing baby boy home too. This is where the three of us got to know each other as mother, father, and son.

This is the place that many of my friends and family first met Fisher. One memory that is a favorite of mine is when my aunts, Teresa and Jonna, brought my grandmother, Nana here to meet Fisher for the first time. I was so proud to show off my little boy. My Nana has since passed away and one of my favorite all time memories of her is the picture below - her rocking her first and only (so far!) great grandson.

And of course all the big firsts in Fisher's life - rolling over, crawling, walking, talking took place here. The big first birthday bash was celebrated in our little house.

So yes, it is just a house but I am obviously emotionally tied to it. We no longer own the house but I know the memories that we have here will last our lifetime. I just hope the new owners don't burn it down while frying a turkey like they did their last house.