He just knows

Today was an up and down kind of day for me.

The first positive:

I was able to hit all my writing  deadlines early, so I took today off of work and had a lazy day with Jason. The weather was overcast, one of the reasons why we didn’t go anywhere.

Sometimes it’s nice to have a lazy day.

The second positive:

As I was in and out of sleep laying on the couch, Jason already fast asleep next to me, the phone rang with the familiar name “Monica.” I was suddenly not tired anymore as I sprung up from the couch, carefull of course, so I wouldn’t disturb Jason, as I grabbed the phone.

You see, this familiar name was my mom calling. A surprise call, one that I always love to get. They are so much better than text messages.

We haven’t talked in a while, of course our busy schedules getting the best of us. So after about an hour of catching up and sharing laughter we finally said our goodbyes.

The first down:

I was in good spirits of course because we finally talked, but I was also struck with homesickness, which kind of blindsided me. It caught me off guard when I put the phone back in its charger.

The thing about this is I’m not homesick because I miss Fort Myers, the feeling grabs a hold of me because I miss family and friends. When I think of home it’s here in Kingsport. When I think of home, it’s where Jason and I are together.

I’m usually on a pretty intense high after mom and my conversations because, well, my mom’s my best friend and I miss her dearly.

This time of year mom and I were inseparable on the weekends, especially with dad playing baseball and Jason always working. We always found something to do even if it was just hanging out at the house.

So needless to say those thoughts consumed me when we hung up. Don’t get me wrong, I love that Jason and I made a move to Tennessee from Fort Myers to start a new life, if you will, for ourselves. But, I miss having our mother, daughter days.

With all this said my third positive of the day happened.

After Jason and I were done with dinner, I went upstairs for a little while. Once I returned Jason was laying on the couch. With the couch being the only furniture in our living room right now, my first thought was hmm, where am I going to sit. Then I looked at Jason and he made that motion with his hands of “come here” with that look I absolutely love … that caring and loving look.  

He just knows. He is so intuned, most of the time I don’t even tell him what’s running through my head, he just  knows. He reads my moods, sometimes catches the change before I do.

As he wrapped his arms around me, the homesickness feeling began to loosen its grip. Tears began to fill my eyes, but never fell, as I thought, “wow I have such a good man.”

Jason, I don’t know what I would do without you. I have never experienced a love of this magnitude before. It’s an incredible feeling, one that fills my heart with so much joy.

Her voice

This morning I slept in, walked downstairs and curled under a blanket on the couch. I guess I wasn’t ready for the day to begin quite yet. As I slowly came to life, I decided to check my email and was pleasantly surprised by one.

After reading this Hallmark e-card, a few tears fell as I read my mother’s words. That card was right on time, I had the same thoughts.

It’s rare mom and I go a few days without talking through text messages. This week unfortunately our crazy work schedules kept us busy, really busy.

I sent her a thank you text and as the time passed the need to hear her voice consumed me. I picked up the phone and dialed mom’s number. Well the only voice I got to hear was her telling me to leave a voice mail.

Almost as soon as I set my phone  down, her face filled my screen as my phone came to life with that familiar ring. It became apparent how much we both needed to talk, share what was going on in our lives as the conversation continued.

I love this about our mother, daughter relationship, we can talk about anything and everything. Some things I didn’t realize I needed to talk about until it came out during our conversation. I felt so much better once we were done talking, two-hours later. 

Mom is the person I miss the most since we moved to Tennessee. She’s constantly in my thoughts. It doesn’t matter if it’s something big or small going on in my life, she’s the first person I want to tell.

The other day it dawned on me just how much time we spent together when we lived only minutes away from each other. This time of the year is our favorite as art festivals appear in different locations around Southwest Florida. I miss those days with mom. I miss us seeing our favorite artists and discovering new ones weekend after weekend.

So needless to say our conversation today was much overdue.

I cannot wait until we can see each other in the next few months.

It’s true a mother’s love is like no other. 

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A look back, while looking forward

Every year on this day, I always find myself reflecting on what has unfolded.

My day started with messages on my phone from my family and a message on Facebook from a great friend who spent this day with me last year.

. . . today marks my 33rd birthday.

Although I was a little bummed that Jason had to attend an orientation for his second job (yeah) and work at his first job tonight, I made it into a great day. It started off rather lazy . . . I called my editor Christina and she instantly wished me a Happy Birthday, which was a great way to start the day. We talked about story ideas – some that were already in the mix – and many more that were added to my workload. I always enjoy talking to this wonderful friend of mine. We always find ways to make each other laugh and provide little updates of what is going on. I’m so glad we stayed in touch . . . one of the first people I worked with when I started my career in journalism.

While Jason was getting ready for work, I opened the card and presents Mom and Dad sent to me. The card definitely made me smile, as well as her thoughtful gifts.

Once Jason took off for his day of work, I got ready for the gym. My favorite place to go, yep the perfect birthday present for me. I kicked butt on my run – and almost added a mile onto my bike ride in the same amount of time I usually do. To say I had a great workout is an understatement. After talking with Julian about resolutions – well I set goals instead of resolutions – I have added a few more to my list that I hope to accomplish this year. One of those is of course increasing my running distance. It’s time to really work towards that distance – pushing myself to achieve that goal, so I can set yet another one.

Throughout the day I heard from friends, all wishing me a Happy Birthday, which made me smile with each wish. The highlight of the day, would have to be getting a text from my long time friend Anna! It was such a nice surprise to hear from her. She was such a huge part of my life growing up! Like always, even though we have gone in our separate directions, such as life, we have stayed in contact. Now that we live close to each other once again . . . hopefully we can make that trip to see her and her family soon.

That uplifting moment was a surprise phone call from Jason between his orientation and his work shift. That call absolutely made my day, brightened my day. He always knows exactly what I need to make me feel better. We talked about some of the plans for tomorrow and just shared how the day has gone so far. I love hearing from him, especially the “Happy Birthday babe,” “I love you.” I cannot wait until tomorrow, we have the entire day, just the two of us, to spend together and celebrate my birthday.

The icing on the top of the cake was that phone call from Mom. The last few years we have both took the day off of work to spend together on my birthday. This year, since we have more distance between us, we talked through messages, until we could talk to each other on the phone. I love this woman to pieces, she is the best part of me. Her gifts, as always were right on – she knows me so well. I cannot wait to put those presents to use!IMG_20131230_171106

So after I left the gym, I went to the grocery store to buy ingredients for dinner – one of my favorites –  tacos. As I was walking around the store, I thought why not buy myself a little desert to help celebrate my birthday.

It was delicious . . . and there is more than half of it left.

This past year has been absolutely wonderful, one of the best years of my life.

Foremost, Jason and I made a long plan into a reality and it’s been wonderful . . . moving to Tennessee. We have traveled to so many places – Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia, Indiana, Illinois and parts of Florida –  seen some beautiful sites and really experienced life in 2013. He  has taught me how to live in the moment and appreciate everything about life, everything. With that said, the hikes to the waterfalls we saw, are definitely memories I will hold onto for a lifetime. All of our experiences continue to make us closer. Every day my respect and admiration for this man I love becomes a little more intense. I am beyond thankful and grateful I have a man in my life that makes me feel special every single day. I honestly could not imagine my life without Jason . . . he enriches it in so many beautiful ways on a daily basis.

Another highlight of 2013 are the enhancements I have made for my career. I walked away from a dream job, being an editor of a daily newspaper on the little sleepy island of Pine Island to writing for publications in three different states.  (Wait, I have to stop right there, one of the best parts of that editor’s job was working alongside Charlene. She was the best coworker a girl could ask for. We laughed, vented and just shared our daily lives while sitting in the office between interviews and appointments. You definitely helped me keep my sanity on more than one occasion. The best part is our friendship has continued.) This blog, as well as my Twitter account, has allowed me to reach people from around the world and share this passion of mine – writing. I still have to pinch myself from time to time – my writing is in print in Arizona, Florida and Tennessee! The best part is I contribute to the Herald & Tribune on a weekly basis – anywhere from two to five articles a week. I am a part of another great community, a small community of about 5,000 people in Jonesborough. I work with, and for, some incredible people who constantly help me develop into a better writer.

This is the year, some ideas will be recorded for that book I hope –  no, I know – I will publish one day in the very near future. Jason just better be ready for pen and notebook, camera, and possibly a tape recorder in hand while we are out on our adventures. It’s time to jot those ideas down, get that thought process flowing.

To say there is more . . . . well I have to include a little blurb about my friend Dorene. This time last year she was taking incredible photographs of Jason and I, creating even more memories for me to hang on my walls. We planned a baby shower together for her adorable and precious baby girl Calie in January and about a month later welcomed her into this world. She has been such a dear friend of mine, has helped me in tremendous ways as Jason and I have made that transition from Fort Myers to our new home in Kingsport, Tennessee. There is not a week that goes by that we don’t touch base and catch up on each other’s life. Dorene, you are such a special friend, I’m so glad we met all those many years ago.

Judy, oh Judy, I cried when I had to say goodbye to you back in April. In such a short amount of time, you brought so much joy into my life. Your friendship means the absolute world to me. You are constantly in my thoughts. Thank you for all the long conversations, all of the helpful words during our moving process. I don’t know what I would have done without you.

The main woman in my life – my mom – oh boy where do I begin. I am beyond thankful I have such an incredible relationship, open relationship, with this woman, who sees me through my troubles, accomplishments and everything in between. What we have only adds to the beauty of what we call life. . . you are the best!

Wow, to put all this into words just goes to show how wonderful of a year I had in 2013. The best part is there is so much more, so many beautiful moments, memories that will carry with me as I embark on a new year. (I guess you just might have to look back at some older blogs to see and read about some of those beautiful moments.)

I am beyond blessed and grateful to live such a beautiful, colorful life filled with so many new experiences. I have grown leaps and bounds as a person as a 32-year-old. I cannot wait to see what happens this year . . . it is definitely exciting to think about.

Thank you to everyone who has personally impacted my life in so many beautiful ways . . . I truly treasure you.

Three hours . . .

Mom and I finally caught up on everything going on in each other’s lives, as well as everyone else in my family, today!

Skype is such a wonderful thing to have! Instead of spending three hours with a phone plastered to our ears, we sat with computer’s and an iPod in our laps talking and laughing the afternoon away.

I have to admit, it was a great way to spend a Saturday while Jason is at work and with my dad leaving for Copperstown, NY this morning to play in a baseball tournament all week. We both had some time to kill, looking for a way to fill our afternoon.

Although we sometimes go weeks without talking to each other on the phone, we stay in touch through many text messages throughout the day. Thank goodness for this blog, it’s another way for Mom to see all the beautiful places Jason and I go, as well as read about what’s going on in my life.

With that said, it’s always nice to hear and see Mom. Skype is the next best thing, the next best thing than actually being in the same room together.

I am looking forward to seeing Mom in about 27 days, seeing her in person, when the conversations and laughter will continue.

 

Lost in my own thoughts

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Today I went exploring the Kingsport Greenbelt once again – this time in the other direction.

I had to lace up my shoes and hit the pavement, so I could get lost in my own thoughts while taking in the scenery and sounds.

It seems that feeling of being homesick hits me extra hard on the weekends. Yesterday especially, my emotions got the best of me. When I wasn’t working, the weekends were always spent with my mom when I lived in Fort Myers because I only lived miles away from my parents house.

So what occurred today …

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I was brought back to my childhood, which made me instantly think of my mom. The deep quacks first got my attention as I was walking down the path, a sound that took me back to the farm in Illinois when I was a young girl. My mom had a pet duck that looked exactly like this, Matilda. That duck used to talk to us all the time, that same deep quack.

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I love how everything around me today reminded me of mom … it made me feel like she was right there with me.

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This must be why I find myself at the Kingsport Greenbelt on the weekends … to make me feel closer to her.

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The path was again breathtaking, but not as covered with the huge lush trees as the other direction. The sound of the water running down the river was as clear as can be, making me thankful I left my earphones at home.

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Walking down this path cleared my head and erased some of the homesick feelings I was experiencing yesterday. Nature is the perfect therapy.

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No matter what part of Tennessee I am exploring, there is always a spot that grabs my attention and makes me stop dead in my tracks. Today it was the sound of the water and the beautiful view of this particular place. As the bikes, runners and walkers made their way past, I was still glued to this spot. My jumbled thoughts instantly became clear … my mind was free again.

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What a beautiful way to become centered again.

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Now as I sit on my porch recalling my journey from today a smile spreads across my face once again. Although I still miss my family, the emotion isn’t as extreme anymore.

What a great afternoon.

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Mother’s

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There can be an incredible bond formed between a mother and daughter, one I am very fortunate to have.

A mother of six children, she is one of the most unselfish people I know. Always giving, always doing what she can for her family, always in a positive manner when possible.

Through the good times and bad times, my mother has always been there for me. When I needed encouragement, she was the first to provide those meaningful helpful words. When something exciting takes place she is among the first to know and first to cheer me on.

I really do not know what I would have done through some of the trying times without her by my side.

When I look back and reflect on my childhood, our house was always full of so much love.

The best part of this woman is how much she understands me, how much she understands all of her children.

One of my fondest memories was the encouragement I received from her as I was filling out my freshman schedule for high school. She continued to support me through college when I struggled, she kept pushing me along, fighting for my dream. Because of her attention to detail, I found a career that I become more passionate about every day … journalism.

A bond between a mother and daughter has flourished into a friendship that means the absolute world to me.

The love and admiration I have for this woman is unexplainable. Although yesterday was mothers day, I try and share how much this incredible woman means to me everyday.

A mother, a friend, an incredible person. I love you mom!

Stole my heart from the beginning

My mom and I made the trip to Tampa this afternoon to spend time with my brother, his wife and two adorable boys.

It is such an incredible feeling to be an aunt. My nephew’s are adorable, they melt my heart every time I see them.

Two months and almost two … either cuddling or playing … how can you go wrong with those ages?

I found myself smiling uncontrollably as I held my youngest nephew tonight. I sat, walked and bounced him as I slowly made the crying disappear. Once the crying stopped, the eye lids became heavy, as his eyes slowly rolled as he fell asleep.

There is just something special about holding a baby, about watching his precious face. The curiosity of seeing new things and the way he molds into my arms are just a few reasons why I love holding my nephew, who is just too beautiful for words.

My older nephew, on the other hand, makes you laugh non-stop with his expressions and his sayings. This little boy is always smiling and always finding ways to make you laugh with him. Tonight as I watched my brother and his son play together my cheeks began to hurt as my eyes watered from the laughter of the moment that kept on going.
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Now that he is talking like crazy, adorable conversations are held, which again makes you smile. The best part is when he calls me “Auntie Meghan,” so incredibly cute.

I love being around my nephew’s, they instantly and continuously make me smile. They warm my heart, which in turn makes me forget about everything else in the world.

I fell in love with my nephews the first time I laid eyes on them, which only intensifies every time I see them.

The best part is I have two more nephews, who are now four and almost seven who have had the same impact on my life.

How fortunate am I?

I am so glad I made the trip with mom today. We had some one-on-one time as we drove to Tampa, which was nice as the conversations between us flowed the entire way.

What a great way to spend the second to last weekend before Jason and my move to Tennessee.