12 Signs You’re Addicted To Reading

Alexandra:

I absolutely love this post. As I was reading it, I was smiling thinking, “Yup, that’s me! And that’s me too!”

Originally posted on 101 Books:

Before I start today’s post, I’ve got to give credit to Thought Catalog—who inspired me with a post on this topic a couple of weeks ago.

So I’m totally stealing the idea, without stealing any of their specific points, and hopefully we can have fun with this.

The premise is simple: How do you know if you’re addicted to reading?

Here are the signs:

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How to Deal with Stress

I hate it when I am stressed; I get migranes, I have asthma attacks more often, I subconsciously think my hair is falling out, and my body starts acting all crazy. However, on the flip side of that, if there isn’t complete chaos in my life, I feel like I’m not doing anything with myself and that I am just wasting time so I find a new project to work on. My current stressors are:

Working (weird crazy hours)
Going back to school (and taking an Economics class, no less)
Wanting to go to a different school to get a certificate in Project Managment
Finding money to pay for school
Finding another job to help pay for school
Not having the certification to get the job, to help pay for school
Not spending enough time with Lorenzo
I haven’t been working out because I’m exhausted from work, school, and the military
Oh… and my car broke down the other day and its going to cost over $1400 to get it fixed

Sigh.

I wish the post could be about how to actually deal with stress. Maybe I should look into that.

When I was in my 20’s I used to try to tackle all of issues at the same time (my “problems” seemed to occur on 3’s for some reason) and I used to run myself ragged trying to fix them all. One of my friends told me to stop stressing myself out and handle my issues one at a time so that it didn’t feel like the world was crashing down on me at once. Looking back, I realize that I was exaggerating the severity of my problems and they really weren’t all that bad- not good- but not AS horrible as I was making it seem.

Now that I’m in my 30’s, I tend to handle them a little bit better. I give a lot a credit to the fact that when I was in Iraq I promised God and myself that I would stop worrying about every little thing if I could just make it out of there alive, in one piece, and with my sanity. Since I am not one to break a promise, I’ve been living up to that. Some days are harder than others, but I always try to remind myself of that. I also noticed that I have been able to minimize some of the unnecessary stress in my life by following this path.

So, I’m just going to tackle these things one at a time. I’m going to pay to get my car fixed, and work on my class work every free minute I get. I have to make sure that I am getting some rest, and I will have to find an alternate work out schedule. I’ll worry about the Project Management school after this class is over, and I’ll work on a budget to help pay for it. The rest will fall into place.

So there is it. How I’m going to deal with my (current) stressors.

How do you guys deal with stress? I would love some new insights.

My Baby is Back

Love

I cannot even begin to describe how happy I am to have Lorenzo home. He came home from his training event 2 weeks ago on a Friday night. The next day I took him to the spa to get a massage and a facial. He was so grateful that I planned that surprise for him. He’d been sleeping on a cot for 40 days in the desert so I figured it was the least I could do for him. I took him to Natural Body Spa in Buckhead. I loved that they had a store as soon as you walked in and because its in a plaza I assumed that it would be very small but I was mistaken. Once you go in the back, towards the spa area, there are more rooms and hallways that I wouldn’t have pictured. The bathrooms are even beautifully decorated (I always tell Lorenzo when we buy a house I want our bathrooms to either look like a hotel bathroom or a spa bathroom). The staff was also very polite and professional and I think I will keep going back for my facials. That night for dinner, we went to The Palm, Lorenzo wanted to “thank me” for taking him to the spa, even though it was a birthday present.  The next day we just stayed at home, I’m not really sure Lorenzo told anyone that he was back, he just let everyone call him and then told them…I think he wanted to stay a little silent because he was scheduled to go right back to work that Monday.

The very next Friday was the 4th of July weekend. I had reserved a room at the Hampton, right off of Myrtle Beach, so Friday morning we just got up and drove out there. It actually didn’t take that long or at least it didn’t feel like it took long. We only made one stop and the next thing I know we were in South Carolina almost to his mother’s house. When we stopped to visit his mom, nephew, and brother, Lorenzo’s sister also came over with her new baby Caden. She is SO adorable! She reminded me of Jordin and how much I missed her chunky butt. What was crazy about it was that Jordin and Caden are the same size and Jojo is 3 months younger! I text my sister that she had a fat chunky baby.

Anyway, while we were at the beach we went and walked around Broadway on the Beach, did a little bit of shopping and ended up going to a Seafood Buffet place that I’d never heard of. Lorenzo was eating crab legs like it was a sport. I was just happy he wasn’t complaining while he was eating like he did when we went to Orlando back in 2012 (before I started my blog). While we were talking around we got a drawing made of us and we also got matching rings with our names on them. That all started when I asked him where the tattoo shops were and he asked me if I wanted to get a tattoo of his name on my body. He was actually serious. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Lorenzo…I can’t imagine my life without him right now, but I don’t think I want to get a tattoo of him on me… well not just yet. Maybe if it were for some occasion like our 10 year anniversary or something, but not on impulse. Besides, my mother always told me to NEVER get a man’s name tattooed on you. EVER. That’s when we found the stand with the rings, and he settled for that.

Rings Drawing

That Saturday, we went to the beach and took pictures, we also went to the outlet mall across from the hotel and did some more shopping. I got new jeans and Lorenzo got new shoes. We also bought him some shirts and some T-shirts for his nephew. We went on a quick helicopter ride above the beach for $20, and my old First Sergeant called and told us he was visiting his mom not far from our hotel. So we visited him for a little while before heading out to dinner with Lorenzo’s cousin. This time we went to a Hibachi restaurant back on that Broadway on the Beach place (again, I’m sorry, I don’t remember the name of the place); but the food was good! Lorenzo’s cousin has me thinking I want to try being a vegetarian for a while….well maybe I’ll just eat seafood. That would be another adventure for me on top of this natural hair journey I’m on.  *sigh*

Helicopter Ride MB View

Sunday, we drove back to Lorenzo’s mothers house where she had prepared lunch for us. She is just the sweetest person ever, at least to me she is :) Then we got back on the road. Again, it wasn’t that bad of a drive and I’m glad because we have to go back this weekend for a wedding. I’m planning on scoping out the area to see if we are interested in having a Myrtle Beach wedding too. Why not kill two birds with one stone? ;)

How was everyone’s 4th of July weekend? Any summer vacation plans to share?

Its Been a Year

UsCan you believe it? Lorenzo and I have been engaged and living together for a year, which also means its the 1 year anniversary of my blog! This year went by so quickly that I didn’t even realize that the date had come and gone while I was away with the Army. I can say that so far, I am not regretful about the move. I’ve done some things I said I would NEVER do (live with a man whom I wasn’t already married to, took on a house wife role for a while, ate fried alligator, etc). You really should never say never. I was very skeptical about the move, not because I didn’t want to live in Georgia, but I was concerned about living with Lorenzo (its in my About Me). I’ve never officially lived with a man I wasn’t related to, so this was a first for me. I had an ex whom I’ve spent a great deal of time with, so it seemed like we lived together but we didn’t; and because he used to get on my nerves so bad I decided that if I HAD to live with a man, he would have to be my husband. The only reason Lorenzo got a pass was because he lived in a different state when we were dating (I didn’t anticipate that).

Shades

Anyway, I really enjoy it here in Atlanta. The positives are that its clean, the people are very friendly, its quiet, the houses are beautiful and affordable, and the weather is nice. The only time I really get homesick (which is something that Lorenzo worried about in the beginning) is when I have to constantly go and get gas because you literally have to drive everywhere, and there isn’t a whole lot of “touristy” things to do, which I understand. New York City has been around forever and a day so you can’t expect Atlanta, which is constantly improving, to have hundreds of sites and attractions like NYC does. But those are the times when I miss it. You can’t beat this weather tho :)

USMC BallLiving here with Lorenzo has been great; we were finally able to do all the things that a normal couple does: go out on “date nights”, spend Saturday’s at home doing absolutely nothing at all, cook dinner for one another, hang out with other couples, take weekend trips together, go to wedding events together, shop for furniture for our place. Normal couples do those things right? Let’s just say it sure beats having to FaceTime each other every night and spending $300-$400 on plane tickets every 6 weeks just to see each other for 3-4 days at a time. The first 2 years of our relationship was very rough. At first, I liked the idea of him living in another state because it gave us an opportunity to get to know each other without the added pressure of having a physical relationship. I got to know him, I learned about his past, what he wants for his future, his dreams, WHY he is who is he is, and vice versa. Once we fell in love it was hard to not be with him everyday. I just had to hope and pray that he was in fact all the things he said he was (and he was) :)

At the beachI’m pretty sure that we are still in the “honeymoon” phase of our relationship and that sooner or later we will start arguing over nonsensical things like me asking him for a sip of juice. That time hasn’t come yet so I’m just going to enjoy this lovey dovey, mushy gushy, sappy romantic ride.  I finally feel like I am no longer going through life by myself, but I have a partner now who I can go through things WITH. He treats me like an equal and holds me to high standards, and I respect him so much for that. Plus he told me he’ll still love me if I gained a bunch of weight from eating all this delicious Southern food. I need to make sure I hold him to that.

Easter

I’m back!

Home

I am back home…finally! I’ve just spent one week in Mississippi and another week in south Georgia and I cannot describe to you how wonderful it is to be able to sleep in my own bed! Now, I do not want to complain about the lovely accommodations that the Army as set up for me, because you know, I’ve always wanted to visit Mississippi in the summer with all the bugs and huge, flying cockroaches they have on the base there (can you sense the sarcasm?). My first class went by really quickly. I am learning to become a trainer; a huge part of becoming a trainer is knowing how to review and evaluate another units training exercises. So we had to learn doctrine, do’s and don’ts, and how to evaluate one another professionally and accurately. Because the class was so short, I felt like we just ran through it; it went by very quickly. I went with 3 other people from my unit and at first we were all separated but my platoon ended up being so small that they just merged us with another platoon…with me being the only female. Everything was fine until we started actually doing the exercises.  I realized that even though we were being graded on how we evaluated the mission and not the mission itself, when you are playing war games with Infantry guys that they take it very seriously. Mississippi is VERY hot…and we had to run around in the woods…twice a day…for 3 days. Let’s just put it like this: I was sweating so much that by the end of each mission I had to peel my clothes off (not cool, btw). But I didn’t complain, I was the only female in the platoon so the last thing I wanted to do was whine about how uncomfortable I was.

Selfie

Post mission selfie. After I cleaned myself up…of course.

The guys were loving it though (I am not surprised).  I was also able to speak to Lorenzo almost every night. There were some nights where I was so tired that I fell asleep before he called. He also sent me more pictures of the California desert and I had to remind myself that no matter how miserable I was that he was a worse off than I was (no offense to Cali, I’m just not fan of the military training facilities there). Lorenzo also had to spend his birthday there :( Even though I was sad that I couldn’t spend the day with him, he managed to be okay because he’s just a very positive person. But a few of his Marines (I wouldn’t dare say “Soldiers”) surprised him by making him a cake and decorated it with Hershey bars. I thought that was adorable.

Cali Cake

So after 7 days in Mississippi, we headed back to Georgia and stayed here for another week. We were put back with the rest of the company to finish out the training that they were doing. We missed going to the range, so I’m sure we’ll have to make it up another time. There was some computer based stuff, then we were split were the Team Leaders (since my leader was at another base, I had to fill in for him) were sent to another class while the rest of the soldiers completed Land Navigation, a Leaders Reaction Course, and an Obstacle Course (I am not sad that I missed that). Even though the days went by very quickly, its all the more better for me, because the faster the days go by the faster Lorenzo gets to come home.

Even though I’ve been having 16-18 hours days for the past few weeks, I’m going to back work tomorrow :( So no time off for me until the weekend. But I have planned something special for Lorenzo when he gets home on Friday: I’m taking him to a spa so that he can get a full body massage, he has definitely earned it.  We are also going to Myrtle Beach for the 4th of July :) Plus, I go back to school next week, so I’m going to be pretty busy for the next few months. I really need to focus so that I’m not wasting time do things that I shouldn’t be doing (*cough* Facebook *cough*) time to buckle down and get back to work!

Next up…more of what I’ve learned in the Army.

Family is Forever

FamilyIsForever

Over the past 3 weeks I have been sad, then happy, then sad again (okay, well not really ‘sad’ but just not as happy). Why? Well because right before Memorial Day, Lorenzo had to leave to start his annual commitment with the Marine Corps. So not only did he miss Memorial Day weekend with me, he also missed the opportunity to meet my nieces Jojo and Mya. The day after Lorenzo left, my sister Morgan, her fiance (I can officially say that now, I think), and their two girls come down to visit his family who also lives here in Georgia. Jae (Morgan’s fiance) has a younger brother who was graduating from high school, so they all came down along with his grandmother, aunt and cousin to celebrate. The plan was for them to stay for a week, but Morgan ended up loving it here so much that she extended her stay for another week. I still have to figure out how she got the airlines to extend her stay for $29, but I digress.

LorenzoJo and I

I’m not gonna lie, it was weird holding a baby again. My youngest sister will be 19 this year, and the only other children I’ve spend a good amount of time with was my cousin Nile, but I went to Iraq a few months after he was born so by the time I came home he was too big to be held. He was already running around. I am so surprised that my little sister is a mother. She always talked about having children, so I am not surprised that she is handling everything so well. She was telling me about all of her “maternal instincts” that just take over when she’s with the baby. I think its amazing. Jordin (Jojo for short) is a very happy baby; she smiles A LOT, and her Mya is LOVING the fact that she’s a big sister now. Spending time with Jae and his family was really very nice. His family is very loving and hospitable and you can tell they have a good time together. When Jae and Mya went home after staying for a week, Morgan and Jo came and stayed with me for another week. My brother Keith came over for the weekend also, so we all got to spend some time together since he didn’t get a chance to meet Jo yet either. I enjoyed having them here (especially since Lorenzo wasn’t around).

Mya and Jo Happy BabyJojo

Jojo is a pretty good baby. I think I did okay with her when I held her; she only cried with me a few times LOL. She was definitely my friend when I was dancing with her and she threw up all over me. I started to laugh and she ended up laughing harder that I did. It was a little tough to send them home (Morgan didn’t want to leave either), but I had to turn around and get ready to start my annual commitment.

Lorenzo and I talk every day, and last night we decided that we have to get serious about the wedding. No more messing around and procrastinating. Whether we go traditional, beach wedding, Vegas, or courthouse, we have to start making serious plans soon. I still haven’t made up my mind about anything beyond the colors. Yes, I know I am a mess. I have two weeks of military training ahead of me and once this is done, I really won’t have too much of an excuse (except for school maybe); but since Lorenzo and I are planning together, it shouldn’t be that bad. *fingers crossed*

When baby vomit attacks Jo laughing at me Teeny Tiny Tootsies

I’m sure I won’t take lots of pictures during my training event (I’ve lost the love of traveling with the military a long time ago), but I’ll definitely make sure to take tons when Lorenzo and I take a trip on the 4th of July. :)

See you in 2 weeks!

Its been a long time….

Sorry

I know…Its been about a month. I’m not sure if you guys remember but the last time I wrote I was telling you about new job Lorenzo’s friend helped me get. Networking is EVERYTHING. The job has been keeping me pretty busy. I’ve spent the past 4 weeks in training, and now I’m in a transition period. I have to do this for a few more weeks, but then I have Army stuff for a few weeks and then I’m back to work. Its been really hectic now that I’m working again, so I just haven’t had the time to write. Apologies.

Lorenzo and I haven’t been doing too much during the past month. For Mother’s Day, we drove out to Daytona to visit his sister for the weekend. The drive took about 6 1/2 hours, and even though we only stayed for about a day and a half, we had a good time. We went shopping, to Daytona Beach, and dinner. We were supposed to go to a club that night, but I was was so exhausted, I went to take a name and didn’t wake up until 3 hours later. We just had a late dinner and went back to sleep. On Mother’s Day, because my fiance is a weirdo and a Marine, we wen with this sister and niece for a quick run around the block. We make up for it by treating them to brunch at a restaurant close to the beach. I am not sure of the name of the restaurant, but it overlooked a pier and had a tree branch running directly through the deck. There was a pelican hung around, and the guests used to feed it raw shrimp.

Daytona Daytona 3

Once we got back to Georgia, things went back to normal, we both went back to work. We haven’t been doing much of anything in the mean time. We did to get to go to two new restaurants, both on accident. The first one, we went to pick up Lorenzo’s car from the shop and stopped by this little Thai Place called Siam Square  that I ending up loving. I love Thai food, and didn’t expect this place to be as good as it was because it wasn’t so noticeable from the outside; on any normal day I probably would have drove past it and never had thought twice about it but I’m glad we stopped there.

Lorenzo had to leave for his military training requirement last week so I wanted to take him to Bonefish Grill as his going away dinner but the location we went to was closed. But on the way out we found a bar called Marlow’s Tavern; because it was in the middle of the week (a Monday I think) the place was almost empty but very well decorated. The menu wasn’t strange, but different for a bar (they had grit cakes), but I’m starting to notice that a lot of restaurants in Georgia have grits of some form on the menu. The food was awesome; since it was our first time there, the manager brought us some homemade chips. Lorenzo had a lamb wrap and I had salmon. Even though the food was really good, it was the waitress that made the entire experience memorable for me. Her name was Lexxi and she was the sweetest person I’d ever met. She told us about her engagement and the passing of her mom (yes, Lorenzo and I get pretty friendly sometimes) and to top it off she gave Lorenzo and I $30 to put towards our wedding. Yes, our waitress gave US money to put towards our wedding. We were so taken aback we didn’t know what to do. We left her a HUGE tip though and I know that we will be making another trip back.

Other than that, I’m just waiting to begin my military commitment which is coming up in a few weeks. I probably won’t be able to write while I’m there, but I’ll try to make sure I take care it before and after I leave.

I will make more of an effort to be around more and actually make the time to write. I’ve been slipping and need to get back to it.