"Two are Better than One!" ~Ecclesiastes 4:9

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring Flowers!!

When your husband works from the house, you don't get flowers.  It's as simple as this:  if Todd were to ever get flowers delivered, chances are he would be the one the answer the door and then it's just pointless!  He might as well walk down the street and get them himself....which he would do on his way home from being out of town here and there :)

So, today when the front desk called me to tell me I had a package for the second time today I thought it was a little odd.  In fact, I have been sick for the last few weeks with gluten issues (or possibly something more), so I had no desire to jump up and walk aver there again...besides, I figured it was probably junk mail again, anyway!  A few minutes later, someone knocked on the door....again, strange - housekeeping had already come and gone!  I was so surprised to see that Todd had sent me these tulips!  Not only was Todd not here to answer the door, but he is tied up in meetings and probably hasn't even gotten my text saying thank you yet!  :)  So, there you have it!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

West Coast Hoods

It is official, we are on the West Coast now!  It all still feels very surreal, and just like before our departure from Orlando I am wondering when it will all feel real!

It has taken me a full weekend of recovery from our travels in order to update our blog, it was a little crazy.  Our flight was late getting in, and I'm pretty sure we waited 30 minutes to deplane!  Once we picked up our checked baggage and got to the car lot to pick up our rental we were so ready to jump in the car and get to the hotel.  However, that is not how things went down....our car was not ready.  Hertz did not honor Todd's gold membership since we were going through a third party, and we waited another 40 minutes just to get in a car.  Lots more drama happened between those events but I will spare you the details.  Then, we got on the 405 headed North to find traffic at 11:30 Pacific time in LA....I thought Atlanta traffic was bad, but LA takes the cake! Why in the world there was completely stopped traffic at that time, I am not sure.  Don't these people know they should go to bed!  So, we finally got to the hotel, and I could barely muster the strength to pull myself out of the car into the lobby, but I knew a bed was on the other side so I did!  Only to find out (yes, again) that they had put us in a handicapped room about 3 miles away from the hotel entrance.  This wouldn't be such a big deal except for this is where we will be for the next month or two!  Breck has to be taken out to the dog run several times a day and that is a long walk, Todd will be at work the majority of the time and I can assure you no one would hear my cries for help if something were wrong all the way from Africa, and I know I am short but two and a half foot high counter tops just aren't necessary or desired!  So, famished and tired we made the long trek back to the lobby to request another room.  At which time, they tried to explain that the handicapped room was reserved for us?!?!? Not sure why, it certainly wasn't prime!  So, we got a new room, dropped our bags at the door and went to bed at approximately 2am EST!  Not only was this an exhausting journey, but can I please share what we had in tow during all of this....

We went to Whole Foods on Saturday and I even found some good gluten free frozen foods to make in our limited hotel room kitchen, in order to avoid so many meals out.  I did not read the labels, I was just too excited by all of the gluten free options, and accidentally bought things that can only be cooked in an oven and you know it...our hotel room only has two stove eyes and a microwave.  Looks like I will be back at the grocery store tomorrow to find better options for the next week!  In addition, I was so excited to pick up hot lunch while we were there.  Todd wanted pizza, and when I saw they had freshly baked gluten free options I was in...until the woman picked it up with the same spatula as she did Todd's gluten-full pizza, continued by putting it on the same cutting board and cut it with the same exact pizza wheel that had already been "glutened" and not washed.  When I told her I was no longer interested due to the gluten contamination she replied, "That's not a big deal" and put it back out for sale!  I hope no one else that is gluten free for health reasons purchased it after me!  No, thank you!  That trip was a failure.  We will try again!

On a good note, we did get to see the house we put an offer in on.  It needs a little TLC (paint, new carpet upstairs, a good cleaning, etc), but we expected that.  In addition, we loved the floorplan and could really picture ourselves in the home!  We are really excited about it.  We met the current homeowners, and they suspect we should hear from the lender in 30-60 days.  We are hoping that is the case!

Here are some additional pictures, if you have been reading my previous posts:

We got up at 5:30 am this morning, after getting in bed by 9 last night!  We are definitely still on Eastern time, but I am kind of liking this early to bed, early to rise stuff!  We went to a church that was suggested by our Pastor in Florida this morning.  When we googled it to get directions, we realized it is right across the street from the house we put an offer on!  Literally, we could walk!  We enjoyed the service, even though we missed the gym (they have a gym they just don't meet in it), familiarity of knowing everyone, set-up and tear-down, and small scale of Crosspointe! ;o)  It was nice to be in organized prayer, worship God, and be in His house after our crazy weekend!

I'm sure it is close to bedtime since I am already yawning!  Early to bed will be a good thing since Todd starts his new job tomorrow!  Please be praying for him tomorrow as I am sure he is anxious to be back in an office full time, in a new position, and with different co-workers.  He has been working both his old position and doing some things for his new position since he accepted the promotion, without any time off for the move.   Additionally, he has full days this week, they were not shy about filling his calendar.  So, please also be praying for him not to get burned out, and for me to be patient with his work/life schedule right now.  Alright, I think that's about it for now!  Besides, it's almost bedtime!! ;)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Bidding Farewell - Part 3

We are preparing  to board our flight to make our departure from Orlando.  I feel like this is officially where we make the transition from being sad about what we are leaving behind to being excited about what awaits us!  So, this is my final "farewell" post, but I thought it was only appropriate to have one more reflection on something wonderful that we will miss - all of you!

Todd and I do not have family in Florida, and over the past year or so we have truly immersed ourselves in our church - these wonderful people along with other friends became our "Florida Family"!  We have enjoyed "doing life" with them.  To reflect on all of the things we have walked with each other through, it feels like we have been with them for years.  It is amazing how much can happen in such a short time:  new babies, big moves, loss, heartache, celebration, etc!  We will greatly miss you all, but know we have made some lifelong friends, so instead of goodbye we can really just say "See you Soon!"

Thank you to ALL of our friends, we have enjoyed these memories among many, many more:
(Doing this made me sad we don't have pictures with many of you, so come visit so we can take some!)

Freshly married, playing horse at the Hart's and Todd showed me what a
warrior of a husband he would be on his pink bike ;)

Carolyn, one of Todd's first friends in Orlando who later became
a mutual friend, fellow church member, and coworker!
The soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. Wan, they are giving us a reason to visit in the Fall!
 Great friends, and good times :)

Miss Jaselene - we will miss her smiling face :)
...as well as her Mommy and Daddy's!

I can't say enough about these women -- thank you for your friendship!
The Martins (minus Eva) -- amazing friends who will be greatly missed!
We have known you for a short time, but you have made such a large
impact on our lives!

Playing in the sandbox! :o)

The Pighettis who made such an impression upon us, and taught us the
biggest lesson in faith and trust in God!  We are honored to be a part
of their story!

Miss MacKenzie loving her ice cream!
I will miss her big hugs on Sundays!

Bidding Farewell - Part 2

I am writing this from a hotel room bed by the airport.  Todd is on a conference call, and Breck is so excited to be out of his airplane crate and snuggled like a curled up cat next to me on the bed.  We were able to vacate our condo in the evening yesterday after a long day of packing, loading, and cleaning. We even had some friends and neighbors get some final goodbyes in throughout the day.  After the last thing was loaded on the truck, we steam mopped our way out of the condo, grabbed our pile of things in the entry way, and locked the door.    I think we were a little too tired and hungry to be sentimental.  However, I did manage to take a few pictures of the empty place!

So worried I'm going to be left --
so, I will just sit on top of my crate until it is time to go!

Last time....

Goodbye to our cute little condo that we have made so
many wonderful memories in!

After picking up our last convenient meal at Chick-fil-A (the nearest one to our new house is 25 miles away, and from what my Aunt tells me people outside of the South just don't "get" it, so it's not a big deal there...in fact they don't get why CFA isn't open on Sunday and probably don't order Sweet tea!), Todd and I made our way to the hotel.    We commented on how everything still felt very surreal and that it just felt like another day, just a busy one.

We also talked about what Orlando has meant to us....while neither of us wanted to move to Florida (Todd 4 years ago, and me about a year and a half ago), we were very pleasantly surprised by what a big role it has played in our story and how much it grew on us.  Foremost, Todd and I would have never met had he not moved to Florida; it was a mutual friend whom Todd met in Florida that introduced us!  Many memories of us dating bring me back to hot summer days in Orlando and date nights on Park Avenue.  When we returned as Mr. and Mrs. for the first time, the palm trees in Orlando welcomed us home!  Breck is our little piece of Florida...a true Floridian born in Tampa he hates snow (his namesake is a ski town?!?!), shivers in the least bit of cold, and loves to sunbathe!  We have met so many wonderful people along the way that we hope will make "cameos" in the remainder of our story :)  Finally, Todd and I just feel really sentimental when we think of Orlando because this is where we got our start together, made our nest, and learned how to be newlyweds!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bidding Farewell - Part 1

We have had so many friends give us such kind cards and things in preparation for our leaving.  We really appreciate everyone's thoughtfulness not only now, but over the past few years.  It's not everyday that we sit down and tell others how much we appreciate them, love "doing" life with them, and cherish their friendship.  So, it has been so overwhelming to get these kinds of messages from you all!

I wanted to share one of the parting gifts we received in the last week.  Our wonderful friend, and an all around amazing woman, Ashley Haley gave us this wonderful little "Fold-N-Go Organizer". I'm not sure you can see it, but she had it embroidered to say "Travel Bound" and hold all of our travel things like plane tickets, IDs, a notepad for the hotel address, etc!!  I am so excited to use it tomorrow, and it has been our little go to for anything paperwork while our house has been in shambles.  I am going to throw it in my purse and we will be good to go!  I recently bought one in the Apple Blossom print for my sister, a mom of four, to organize her shopping list, coupons, etc.  Now that I have one of my own, I think I need a few more! ;o)

Ashley is actually an Senior Director for Thirty One Gifts, the company that makes this wonderful little organizer.  You can order one (or more!) for you, a friend, a mommy, coworkers, etc on her website....and don't forget to 'like' her Facebook page - she does free giveaways and promotions on there all the time!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What we are up to....

We have had several people ask about the logistics of our move, so I though I would share!

Both of our cars have been picked up to be shipped, and we are now driving this rented Mustang (I'm not sure how we are getting all of our luggage to the airport in this) for the next day or two.

We finished packing our suitcases to take on the plane last night this morning at 2 am.  In case you are wondering what 30 - 60 days worth of clothes and more things than anyone should ever transport via dragging them to the airport looks like, here's a glimpse....

Breck is trying to figure out which bag he needs to be in to make sure he isn't left!

The chaos of packing began early this morning, and since then all we have heard is tape guns in chorus!  Today they are packing in boxes, and tomorrow they will come back to load everything onto the truck. This is what our little condo looked like this morning prior to about 6 people on our doorstep!

In the meantime, Breck is busy doing this... must be nice I would LOVE a nap about now!

Bucket List Final!

We were pretty successful at knocking things off of our bucket list.  We did not make the Winter Park Boat tour, or Bern's Steakhouse in Tampa (a little too rambunctious on our part).  However, we did get a good bit of it done!

We crossed off three more things in the last few days, they are:

Colibri for chips and salsa lakeside!

Dubsdread with the Kings for crab cheese dip with a golfcourse view.  I even fit in a little Firefly in case it is not stocked in bars outside of the South.

...and Hannibals for their amazing ahi tuna burger and Filet with peppercorn Sauce

Saturday, March 19, 2011

100th Post!!

I can't believe I have had so much to talk about over the last 2 years that I have posted something 100 times!  ...or that anyone would even care what I have to say, but apparently you do based on the hits on this page!

I intended on blogging about going to the Magic game last night, but I also want to share how overwhelmed we have been by our friends' support over the last couple of weeks since we announced we were moving.  We have had so many people send us nice messages, want to see us before we leave, or just tell us how excited they are for us or that we will be missed.  It is so nice to know we have made such caring friends that are supporting us, even if we are leaving!

Tonight, our community group threw us a going away party, and they even prepared gluten-free snacks!  I even took a doggie bag home - such a treat :)  Yet, I think what amazed me most after we got home and I had time to think about it, was that everyone that came was there to see us.  We feel so loved and blessed to have you all as friends, and look forward to continuing our relationships with all of you from the West coast!  I just hope we give to others and care for all of our friends in the same overwhelming way!  Thank you for all of those who have walked with us during any part of our journey -- we appreciate your friendship :o)

Now that I am emotional about this whole thing, I will move on to happier topics!  We went to the Magic v. Nuggets game last night.  We were trying to fit in one last home game and bought the tickets even before we went to LA for our house hunting trip!  Our tickets were great, and the game was even more exciting!  The Magic won the game by sinking a 3-pointer in the last few seconds of the game!  It was a good end to 4 seasons worth of Magic games for Todd...I know he will miss being here, and it will be hard to have to support them from a far!

To make sure we are fully prepared for Laker-loving neighbors, we stocked up on some Magic gear before leaving the Amway Center.  We will have to try to make a Lakers/Magic game while living there.  Otherwise, we can sport this stuff around the house on gamedays!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hoping to Ride down Stagecoach!!

After several days in California house hunting, Todd and I came home with three house options in a neighborhood and part of town we fell in love with.  They were all the same floorplan, yet all dramatically different from each other!  We decided to sleep on it for a few days before making a decision.  On Tuesday, another home in the same neighborhood came on the market as a short-sell and from what we could tell from online (which I'm sure you all know can be far from reality) it far surpassed the other three.  (Warning: This is where we lose it!) Soooo....since it is a short-sell and time was of the essence we sent our realtor over to take a look and she confirmed the pictures were true to form, and she thought we should put in an offer.  ...and we did!

We have been waiting for a response, and got the call tonight!  The sellers have accepted our offer, and we are moving forward with the short-sell process.  Our next hurdle is to wait for the lender's approval.  We originally did not look at any short-sells because of the amount of time they can take to be accepted by the lender and closed on.  However, the lender is a very small company and we are hoping that will mean smaller piles of paperwork to approve and less red tape.  In the meantime, we are moving into temporary corporate housing also known as the Marriott Residence Inn.  Please be praying for us, and for this entire housing situation and move.  One week from today, we will be living out of suitcases by the airport preparing for our departure from Orlando.

I feel the only appropriate way to sign off of this blog post is with some pictures of the house that we hope to soon be ours....the same small glimpse of the house we have gotten so far!

The Ravenous Pig

We have such a lack of food in this house, that I am embarrassed to say we have been eating meals comprised of frozen waffles and pico.  I am convinced it is much easier for Todd to scrounge up a decent meal than it is for me since most of what he can have is not gluten-free for me.  I guess bare cabinets mean that we are doing a great job of finishing what we have already in the house, but also makes us want to get out and have a real meal!  So, tonight we did, and of course took the bucket list into account.  The Ravenous Pig is where we ended up early in the evening on this St. Patrick's Day to avoid the crowds (Really!? How lame does that make us??...and we don't even have kids!).  I will let the pictures do the talking:

I'm not even sure what this is...something with orange and alcohol that was delicious!

My bunless burger with bleu cheese and caramelized onions!

Mussels and truffle fries

Bucket List In Progress....

Two more activities down (thanks to my parents for helping us cross some things off the list while they were here):

1) A day of Disney that included Hollywood Studios, Epcot Flower and Garden Festival & Magic Kingdom - over 14 hours in one day!!  We were so tired when we finally found our beds after 1 am!  (...and yes, Todd is wearing a t-shirt, an event that happens only a few times a year)

2) Mojitos at the Columbia with some other great food!  It was a perfect day out, and we sat on the patio to enjoy it!  We used this pitcher of mojitos to toast things to come ;o)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Cha Cha Chips

My parents are now in town for their last visit in Orlando.  They have decided to be so selfless as to help us with our bucket list :)  After church today, we went straight to work!  Dexter's in Winter Park was the activity of choice for the afternoon....we had a wonderful brunch, and kicked it off with Cha Cha Chips!  It has been a good day so far:  church, Dexter's, college basketball, and shopping at the Mall at Millenia!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cafe Firenze

We have finally finished 3 days of craziness!  Thank goodness :o)  I am so tired and ready to get home and get things ready to move there too!  Today started with a lot of tsunami drama, which luckily turned into nothing! 

I just wanted to give some highlights of our week, as we are feeling pretty confident about a certain house, but don't want to jinx it if we choose to put in an offer!  ;)  So, here are some great things from different homes we saw over the last few days....

......and after a few long days, we decided a nice dinner was deserved :)  So, we went to a local restaurant that Top Chef contestant, Fabio is the Executive Chef at.  How surprising that this gem was in the middle of a strip mall!  This was certainly the highlight of our trip!  We enjoyed a wonderful dinner and dessert, but most of all......

.....Blackberry mojitos that capped off the night nicely!  Alright, off to bed so we can catch a morning flight out of LAX, and get home to Breck and a long to-do list!!!