Never a dull moment

I know I have said this a million times, but Lucy has been the perfect addition to our crazy little family.

There is never a dull moment . . . she is always making me laugh at something silly.

Yesterday I think was the icing on the cake.

I was working at my desk lost in the article I was writing, not noticing that the house had grown really quite. Here lately, when everything gets quite, I know Lucy is up to something. She came running into my office with her new find . . . a fork we forgot to put away. A plastic fork we left on the coffee table from when we ordered in Chinese the night before.

I literally laughed out loud when I turned around and noticed the fork in her mouth. I instantly thought of my nephew Colton, my brother’s youngest son. He always has a fork in his hand no matter what he is doing. When ever a picture is shared I always look to see if I can find Colton’s fork, kind of like “Where’s Waldo.”

When my parents were in town in September, Jason and I drove them to Maryland, so they could visit with Tom and his family. My Mom bought us all plastic colored forks that we greeted him with once we arrived. He was so excited to see so many forks. Needless to say his one fork grew into a collection by the end of the night.

I love how my crazy puppy reminds me of my crazy family.

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Today we took her to the vet and she got a clean bill of health. She gained some weight, she now weighs 9 pounds. I love hearing that she is perfectly healthy. It means we are doing something right.

The smiles continue

Yesterday still has me smiling … I can still see the beautiful scenery we saw as vividly as if we were still standing in front of it all.

I have a new found love for nature, one that grows more every time my foot hits a new, or old path, Jason and I have traveled.

There was just something about yesterday …

The rain started coming down above almost instantly after we started our hike yesterday. Jason gave me the option of going back to the car and sitting it out for a while, which I won’t lie, sounded like a good idea. The look in his eyes, those beautiful green eyes, I couldn’t say no to, so we kept going. What’s an adventure without dealing with the elements right? At first the rain was cold and puddles were growing on our path … but within time the only drops we felt were falling from the trees as the wind began to blow.

It’s funny what stands out while you are in your own thoughts taking in the surroundings. I remember a cluster of red leaves laying on the ground as we started to descend down the never ending rock stairs. Jason laughed because he knows we would never get to our destination, or beyond for that matter, if I stopped and took pictures of everything. Now I see everything as a picture, something I have to capture, so I can relive that moment.

You develop this new appreciation for nature as you hike through the wilderness.

Something as beautiful as a spider web with the light shining through, a rock laying nearby, the water flowing through the creek or roots that make up the beauty of the base of a tree catches my eye more and more.

The fresh smell after the rain, the breeze that hits your face as you near a waterfall, the instant jolt of cold that starts at your toes and travels to your fingertips when you step in the water and the calmness that takes a hold of you when you see the pure beauty with your own eyes of what mother nature has done …

This is why I feel rejuvenated during and after our hikes.

In addition to all of that, an intensified love for Jason grows as he helps me overcome my fear of heights every time we go out. His patience and understanding of when that fear leaves me motionless is overwhelming. When I reach a certain spot that looks sketchy, it’s hard to move on … I don’t want to make that move and fall. It’s the gentleness of his voice, the extended hand that I grab a hold of, or the guidance of where to put my hands and feet, so I don’t fall … and that look, the look of encouragement, that look that “I can do it,” makes me soar beyond what I think I am capable of doing. The embrace he gives after the fact and the emotion filled remarks instantly grabs a hold of my heart. I am one lucky girl to have a man like this.

Hiking cleanses my soul and fills my heart with so much happiness.

Jason and I share endless smiles as we explore together. Every adventure only brings us closer, only provides us with endless memories of what we shared.

I cannot stop smiling today … I’m happy, I have an amazing life, one that only gets better as the days go by.

I am fortunate to have found the love of my life for the second time … and I am overjoyed that we live in a place that affords us so many breathtaking views that we can get up close and personal with.

Unconditional love

Each day my love for Jason grows a little deeper if that is possible.

I found myself looking at Jason quite a bit yesterday while we were at the falls … a smile constantly spread across my face. As he was climbing the rocks around the falls he too was smiling…he was completely in his element. I am grateful that he continues to encourage me to try new things while we are on our hikes. Yesterday he wanted me to walk behind the waterfall, a question I almost immediately turned down. Before we left I made that walk to the other side with him as he held my hand in places I needed a little bit of help. The water was freezing and the view was amazing. It was an experience I will always remember.

Jason and I have reached a new level of happiness. Things were awesome in Florida, don’t get me wrong.  … I often times try to think of ways to explain this new found happiness, but its hard to pinpoint that exact word. 

As we were driving home from Kentucky last night the car was mostly full of silence, the kind of comfortable silence that allows you to relive the day. As we held hands, I was completely content. I remember thinking I’m with the man of my dreams.

Jason promised we would do tons of exploring once we arrived at our new home, a promise he has kept.

I saw a total of four deer yesterday, two of which were alongside the road. The last one I spotted on the side of the highway. I pointed to it and Jason held up his hand showing four and we both smiled. I love our little moments.

Last night as we were getting ready for bed, a very strong emotion took over me, one that I feel often. One that takes a hold of every piece of my body. The amount of love I have for this man, wow, what a feeling.

What a feeling, what an incredible feeling to love someone so much. The best part is I can feel how much he loves me too.

Relationships when built on the foundation of a friendship can soar in a beautiful direction and blossom into an everlasting thing.

Things happen for a reason. I thank my lucky stars everyday that I was brought back to Florida by my incredible parents and went out to lunch with my high school boyfriend. That lunch date, which turned into a very early morning goodbye changed my life in so many beautiful ways. The bonding that took place that night because of the incredibly deep conversation of what took place in our lives over the decade that we lost contact will stay with me forever. And to think that was almost four years ago …

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.

Continuous laughter

I love having surprise visits while I am at work … thanks Judy.

Judy has left an everlasting impression on me, which only grows every day.

As we sat there catching up, my face began hurting as she shared one comical story after another. Her famous one, two liner comments that make me burst out in laughter also added to the sore face muscles.

My day is always brightened when I am blessed with her presence.

I love how laughter fills the space between and around us when we catch up on each others life. What a great way to brighten the day.

Some people you instantly click with …

Judy has been the topic of many of my blogs because of the wonderful friendship that we share. This woman is incredibly supportive in everything I share and do. Her excitement sometimes doubles what is already flowing out of me.

There is a reason why people cross your path …

Judy has been such a huge part of the journey my boyfriend and I have decided to take since she knows the Johnson City area, which is where we will be calling home in the very near future. It is so much fun to talk about a place she knows … a place we are going to explore.

Thank you for such a beautiful friendship, thank you for your continuous support and excitement. You are a joy to be around Judy! 

Excitement is building

The days are slowly counting down to when my boyfriend and I will be departing from a home we have grown to know, a home that has been a part of our lives for quite some time and a home that brought us together after going our separate ways for more than a decade.

I have moved only twice, the first time from Illinois to Florida with my family and the second time to Arizona to attend Arizona State University, which led me eventually back to Southwest Florida.

A move to another state can be both sad and exciting. The exciting part stems from wiping the slate clean as a new beginning is mapped out at a new destination.

backyard111The hardest part about this move is of course leaving family behind, since I am one of six children and an aunt of four adorable boys. A drive down the street to my parents and sisters’ homes, as well as a couple hour drive to my brothers will no longer be an option, as we will be 14 hours away. The beauty of course behind this is we are an incredibly close family who talks often and a drive back to Southwest Florida or a plane trip is extremely doable.

Family will always be there through thick and thin, so even though we may be a farther distance away, they will forever be close because they are a phone call, text or short trip away.

Although this is constantly flowing through my mind, the excitement of this new adventure grabs a hold of me . . .

As we pulled up Google Earth and highlighted the area of NE Tennessee – our destination – the pictures were incredible, which only increased the excitement of our soon to be new home. The change of seasons, hiking trails, mountains, lakes and farm house pictures, which graced the computer screen, grasped our attention as smiles spread across our faces. The endless possibilities and the new areas to explore are incredibly exciting to think about.

I am beyond thrilled to experience a new state and discover all it has to offer with this man who has become an incredible part of my life. What a journey to take with someone you love and share everything with. Our new journey is on the verge of beginning, a journey I know we will both make the most of, due to his incredible love for finding new areas to explore.

The excitement for the end of April is building, as we put in final notices at work and to our apartment complex, as well as making plans of how we are going to get from point A to point B with all of our belongings.

Beautiful friendship

Today while I was out at one of the many events I had to cover for work, I ran into an incredible woman who has touched my life in so many ways. My day is always uplifted when we happen to be at the same event because of the instant smile she shares when I come into her view.

As Judy and I stood there and caught up on each other’s life, the laughter, smiles and hugs were endless. A couple goose bump moments were also had because of the depth of our conversation. As we stood shoulder to shoulder we reminisced about the journey our friendship has taken in such a short amount of time, which continued to bring more smiles.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA bus ride from Matlacha to downtown Fort Myers started an incredible friendship that constantly blossoms as we share more stories of our lives – now and from the past. It’s amazing how a friendship was started all because I caught a ride to cover a meeting about a local restaurant in Matlacha. I never expected to be so touched by someone I met while on an assignment for work.

This woman has a heart of gold and a smile that brightens any room. She has such a positive outlook on life and always has a great story or joke to warm your heart making you smile.

Although some people come and go throughout a lifetime, I know this friendship will remain constant no matter where our future takes us.

Thank you for always bringing so much joy to my life and being such a huge supporter of my journalism journey. That, my “special” friend, means more than the world to me.

Friendships . . . they bring so much joy into your life . . .

I believe certain people are brought into your life for a reason. Judy and her husband Dave have shown me so much as they bring me on their incredible journey as they grow and expand their non-profit organization Wounded Warrior Anglers. My life has definitely been enriched because of their friendship.