Friday, December 31

A Big Goodbye

Big finally made his decision. And as I'm sure you can assume from the title of this blog, my finale with Mr. Big didn't end by standing on a bridge in Paris, him telling me I'm "the one." My ending was much less poetic. It began with an email that said he'd come to a decision and wanted to talk to me about it. So, on Thursday, December 2nd at 9 PM, my last phone call with Mr. Big began.

As Big began to talk about his week, I reflected on the last 5 years, and all the prayers and love that had gone into our relationship. I had a peace that whatever happened, I knew that it was God's plan. He really had no idea how to start this conversation, so after what seemed like the longest 10 minutes of my life, I finally urged him to get to the heart of the matter.

He sighed and asked me how to begin. I asked him the question that had needed an answer for entirely too long. Do you love me? There was a pregnant pause on the other end of the phone. He wavered on his answer for several minutes, and it was then I had my answer. If Big couldn't muster the courage to utter those three little words to me after all these years, he never would. The conversation went on for over an hour, & I said all of the things that I needed to say, the things that had weighed on my heart for years.


Getting off that phone call was one of the hardest things I've done in my life. I let go of my very best friend, my PERSON, in order to open the way for the future. My heart feels very empty. There have been many times in the last few weeks that I've wanted to call Big. Driving hone from work everyday is the very hardest time. We always talked then. It was our time. To admit that I cry many days on my drive now is hard. I wonder what he's doing, how his day was, and if he was able to secure the President for his big fundraiser. I wish Big nothing but happiness. I also know that letting him go will open my heart for the future & a good relationship with a man who is willing to give me his whole heart. I will continue to wait, be it for the rest of my life, to find a man to love me the way that I loved him.


I got a package from Big yesterday. A fitting way to end the year. Enclosed was the circle journal that I made him in July 2006, right after my first trip to visit him. It is something that was extremely special to Big, & something I had waited all these years to get back. He finally wrote in it. It was hard to read. To see how much my love for him had grown was much to take in, but a fitting way to close our chapter. Big was finally able to open up to me & tell me how he felt. I see how I was able to give him my heart, & how he really did know the real me, better than I ever thought he did. It was nice to know that men sometimes do notice the little things after all.

So, with another year under my belt, it's time to close this chapter and say hello to 2011. I am ready for it to bring all my passions to the surface & live the life that I was called to live. It's time to set aside all my fears & go get all the wonderful things that Gid has in store for me. Writing this blog has been such a great experience & one I will continue for many years. To all of you who read about my life, thank you. It's good to know that I'm not alone on this crazy journey. May each of you have a blessed New Year!

Cheers,

Monday, November 15

Big Comes to Texas

You read that correctly. He actually bought a ticket, got on a plane, and came to the Lone Star State. And we had the absolute best weekend that I could imagine. He came down to be my date for James and Alex's wedding, which was hands down one of the most fun celebrations that I've ever been a part of. Tied of course with Ally and Weston's wedding in October. (It's quite a season when two of your BFFs get hitched within 5 weeks of each other.)

All that being said, JJP, not John James Preston, but my Mr. Big, had a pretty great time on his trip. And he was an amazing sport, meeting 3 of the 4 BFFs, numerous other friends and family, and even meeting the parents. And despite the fact that he's a Yankee, a Democratic, and a huge Washington Redskin's fan, my parents, and all my Republican-minded friends loved him. Putting him on that plane back to New England was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I cried the entire way back to my office, at 5:30 in the morning, listening to Rascal Flatts turned up as loud as it would go.

And after several long conversations throughout the weekend, and putting all the cards on the table, it's up to the real JJP to decide if he is ready to take the next step in our relationship. I love the man more than I can even express. He's incredibly thoughtful, witty, handsome, sarcastic, kind, uber-intelligent, staunch about his values, set in his ways, crabby at times, the best storyteller I know, and passionate about his causes to no end. He's a man's man, but dresses well, and he loves the cute, albeit irritating, things about me that most people just don't understand. He listens well (most of the time), and he's sensible 99% of the time; unless he's in in a mall with a Brooks Brother AND Nordstrom. But who can blame him for that? He's the kind of man I can see in my life, but would never have picked on my own. I wouldn't have had the guts to talk to someone so charming. And although not emailing Big back 5 years ago may have saved me past and future heartache, I wouldn't change any of it for a minute. I know that one day I'll tell my kids about the best date I've ever had, and it will be about a charming man from Maryland who surprised me, and continues to surprise me even after 5 years. If I'm not the woman that gets to spend my life with Big, I'll know it's because God has other people for each of us. I'll just be glad that I got to spend as much time with him as I did. It has taught me to never settle for anything but the simple sound of someone's voice making me grin from ear to ear.

Thursday, November 11

Privileged to Guest Blog

Here's another guest post for Unabashedly Prep. Privileged to write for such a great blog. Enjoy!

When I first picked up Susanna Salk’s book, A Privileged Life: Celebrating WASP Style (Assouline), I wasn’t quite sure that I would identify with this somewhat shrouded demographic. I’m a Southern Prep from a world of hot toddies, pearls, and the SEC. A far cry, or so I thought, from champagne, riding boots, and Brown. After reading this lovely book, I found myself identifying with the traditional, intelligent, classic, and casual-yet-elegant aspects of this lifestyle and how it as a whole has contributed to the often-lost traditions in today’s American culture.


Ms. Salk shares her own treasured memories of her childhood and adolescence in the book. Growing up in Massachusetts, surrounded by ribbon belts, Ivy League lacrosse, cocktails, Nantucket summers, Pulitzer shifts, and monogrammed sweaters at Milton, she is the perfect example of a WASP woman.

Salk fills the pages with hundreds of photographs of famous WASPs, from Jackie, to Blythe Danner, Audrey Hepburn, Brooke Astor, Robert Redford, as well as many candid portraits of her friends and family. The lovely captions, and personal sentiments help the reader catch a real glimpse into this often emulated, yet misunderstood way of life.


The book beautifully explains how WASPs, like many Americans, identify with traditions, and how members of this demographic seem to almost freeze with time. They seem forever youthful, in their beloved forty-year-old camel coats, inherited summer homes, and their weekly Saturday morning brunch. WASPs define heritage, grace, joie de vivre, and formal without being fancy.

Although deeply rooted in tradition, the inherent definition of “WASP” has progressed through different eras and is a far cry from the original constraints of the word. While Salk’s parents emulated Grace Kelly and Cary Grant, her generation leaned toward Carole King and Ryan O’Neal. Today’s generation continues to add twists on the classics, but adhere to the tried-and-true preppie principles. The barriers to this elusive American style of living have been removed, allowing increased accessibility for current generations. Even if you didn't grow up summering in the Cape, you may find yourself living slivers of a privileged life after all.

Cheers,

Sunday, October 24

Sisters Weekend a.k.a. Every Man's Dream Vacation

So I FINALLY went on a vacation. A real, honest-to-God, vacation. Somewhere that I wanted to go. I wasn't in a wedding, throwing a shower, going to visit someone out of necessity. (Not that any of those things aren't fun.) For those of you that know me, it's often pointed out that I'm often so busy doing things for other people that I forget to do things for myself. So, this trip was two-fold. It was first, a surprise for my baby sister, Sissy. She's the BIGGEST Dallas Cowboys fan that I know, save myself. Now, please don't stop reading my blog if you hate the Cowboys. I promise that I will refrain from singing their praises in the future, unless they do the unthinkable and go to the Super Bowl.

I surprised Sissy with a trip to Canton, Ohio to the NFL Hall of Fame Enshrinement to see Emmitt Smith, her favorite player of all time, be inducted into the Hall. The icing on the cake was that the Cowboys happened to be selected to play in the Hall of Fame game. So, off we flew to Columbus, Ohio, to spend some time with out aunt & uncle, and then rented a car and drove 2 hours northeast to Canton.

The weekend began with a delicious meal at the Surly Girl Saloon. This was at the recommendation of a co-worker who hales from Columbus, and the great Ohio State University. The rec was spot on. The food was great, the beer and drink selections amazing, and the cupcakes, oh my lord. Best. Cupcake. Ever. I'm a Southern woman. To say that a yankee produced the best red velvet cupcake of my life is a bit of a slap in the face of both of my grandmothers, may they rest in peace. Needless to say, it's true. If you are from Columbus, please run and have one of these cupcakes.

After the meal, we headed up to campus to check out OSU. My aunt has been a professor there for over 30 years. She's a die-hard Buckeye, and made us swear we'd check out the Horseshoe. As a love of all things college football, I couldn't wait to see the legendary place. Many National Championship hopes have been dashed on this field, and it was a bit surreal to see all 105,000 seats empty. I could imagine the roar of the crowd in three weeks when OSU kicks off my favorite time of the year.

After seeing the campus, we headed over to Shore North to check out all the trendy boutiques, and have some ice cream at Jeni's, which has been featured on the Food Network. Par for the course, best ice cream of all time. The Salted Caramel melted in my mouth and enveloped my taste buds with salty meets sweet and cold, delicious creaminess. The Wildberry Lavender is something out of dreams. I may just have to break down and have some shipped to Texas to beat this debilitating heat.

We dropped off our aunt at her tre' fab downtown loft, and headed toward Canton. We collapsed into our bed and prepared for an eventful Saturday. We woke up and pilfered through piles of Cowboys t-shirts, hats, jerseys, and the like to select our gear for the trek. As we pulled up to the museum, we both let out squeals of joy at the large white tents full of merchandise and football legends. You might have thought we'd arrived at the world's largest outlet mall, but no, the J sisters love a good football game as much as an amazing deal on a pair of Stuart Weitzman's. We are well-rounded Southern women. Football is a religion, and one that our father baptized us into as a VERY early age. Sissy jokingly told our father that she wanted to attend Dallas Cowboys University when she was barely six years old. Dad had to explain that unfortunately, the Cowboys didn't have a school, and she would have to settle for a SEC or Southwest Conference school. We should have known that she was destined to be a Cowboys fanatic.

As we scurried out of the shoe-polished rental car, covered in phrases such as Dallas Divas, We love Emmitt, and Go Cowboys, the reality set in that we were finally here. After nine months of planning, we had made it to the football Mecca. When we approached the Hall, there were men decked out in jerseys and hats, as far as the eye could see. It was quite a welcome change to have a line for the men's restroom and be able to waltz right into the ladies' room without hindrance. We finally entered the Hall and were blown away by the shear mass of memorabilia, photos, trophies, jerseys, helmets, playbooks, and autographed items. Interactive touch screens, Programmed speeches that played as you passed by, and attire that adorned coaching legends of decades past. As we approached the rotunda that houses the busts, the lights grew dim. We were entering hallowed ground. The inaugural class was elected in 1963. Then 47 marble panels wrap around the room, each housing four to seven busts, representing each election year. The months long process of making each of the true-to-size busts is full of pictures, in person meetings, measurements, and molds. To see all of these football legends, many of whom have left this earth, enshrined in bronze forever, was quite moving. Sammy Baugh, Bob Lilly, Vince Lombardi, Don Shula, Dan Marino, Joe Montana, Roger Staubach, Tom Landry, Johnny Unitas, John Elway, Steve Young, Barry Sanders, John Madden, Bob Hayes, Joe Gibbs, Mike Singletary, and all the greats. And for Sissy and I, the hallowed three, Aikman, Irvin, and finally now, Smith, together again at last. These were the men that I grew up hearing about from my father. These men shaped the game of professional football forever. As we wrapped through all the rooms, taking in all of the sights, we grew more excited about the ceremony slated for that evening. We perused the gift shop, stocking up on even more paraphernalia, and listening to all the other fans clammer on about their team, and their love story with football.

As we exited the Hall, we entered tent upon tent of even more souvenirs, and scanned the crowd for a glimpse of one of these football legends. As we were about to head out for lunch, we finally spotted a legend, not of the football variety, but of the sports world, no less. Chris Berman, anchor of Sports Center, and the recipient of this year's Rozell award and emcee of the Enshrinement arrived. I sprinted over to nab his autograph as he entered the Hall. I entered a mob of men wanting to shake his hand. I'm pretty sure most women would think that I was crazy, trying to meet a middle-aged man with a comb over, but this is the man that reports ALL of the ongoings in the sports world. He knows anyone who is anyone, and his voice has soothed me to sleep on many the occasion. It's on par with meeting Joel McHale of The Soup if reality TV is your drug of choice.

After the adrenaline rush of my brush with fame wore off, we headed off to grab some lunch, freshen up, and prep for the Enshrinement ceremony. We put on our jerseys, necklaces, grabbed our expertly crafted Emmitt/ESPN themed poster, and headed to the stadium. We arrived and found our seats. Must to our utter shock and dismay, there was zero beer available in the stadium. Apparently it doubles as a high school stadium in the fall, and they banned the sale long ago. Haling from Texas, we can't really imagine NFL football without a frosty brew. We settled for a couple of Diet Cokes nestled in our Cowboys' themed beverage holders, and started the look out for the celebs of the sporting world. I prepared the camera and nearly fainted when I saw my ULTIMATE sighting, Troy Aikman. I made my way over to the railing and round myself a mere 15 to 20 feet from my childhood sports hero, and favorite Dallas Cowboy of all time. I became the paparazzi, shooting pics of him, Michael Irvin, John Madden, and the massive crowd gathering outside the commentary booth. I ventured back to our seat, and proceeded to strike up a conversation with the fans around me. I was quite surprised to find that every Cowboys fan I met was from anywhere but Texas. We even met several Canadian fans. Apparently they really are America's Team.

The Enshrinement ceremony began and we were instantly immersed. John Randle, Dick LeBeau, Floyd Little, Ricky Jackson, Russ Grimm, Jerry Rice, and Emmitt Smith. For four hours, we listened to inspiring stories of why these legends played the game, and how they dared to dream. When Emmitt took the stage, my heart swelled with pride. I was so happy to see an athlete carry so much poise and humility. This accolade was well deserved. His tribute to Troy, Michael, and Moose moved me to tears. His dedication to his family, his faith, and his sport, was admirable and inspiring.

Walking out of the stadium, I felt shaken to my core. I felt like I could move mountains. I think that the trip with my sister, not only forever strengthened our bond, but it made me realize that God has granted me with talents that I absolutely do not deserve. He has also blessed me with a passion for life that most people long for every day. I embrace the good with the bad. I take each moment as a lesson to prepare me for things to come, and as a catalyst for my writing, and for sharing with others.

It's taken me quite a while to finish this piece, as my life has been quite hectic. In the time since I went on this trip, my first fashion pieces were published, I've met celebrities, watched my beloved baseball team, the Texas Rangers clinch the pennant, bonded with my father,  gotten involved in the arts as a volunteer, and found much needed peace. I have not dedicated the kind of time that I would have liked to my blog, but I've made a new promise to myself that I will make more time to write for myself. It's the most therapeutic activity in my life, and I enjoy sharing my experiences with the few people who take the time to read about my crazy life.

For those of you that do read this lengthy post, and all of my writing, thank you. It's because of your encouragement that I continue to pursue my dreams.

Cheers,

Monday, September 20

Guest blog: Sasha Rhett for Unabashedly Prep

Check out my new fashion piece on
Sasha Rhett watches over at Unabashedly Prep. My life-long friend, F.E. Castleberry, is the genius behind this blog. He has been so kind to utilize my love for writing, fashion, and all things prep for my second guest post.


I had the pleasure to interview the designer of these watches, Alexandra Daum, for this piece. I was able to incorporate my love of writing and accessories for this piece. What more could I ask for?



The best part? Unabashedly Prep is giving away one watch to a lucky reader! Visit Sasha Rhett, select a strap of your choice, and enter into the comments section for the original post. Good luck!


Cheers,


Thursday, September 9

My very preppy, second guest post

So I was incredibly honored to be asked to guest post on my good friend, F.E. Castleberry's blog, Unabashedly Prep. Check out my post here: http://www.unabashedlyprep.com/site/entry/adirondack-chair/



















This blog is everything I wish my blog was AND more. F.E., aka Fred, has done a fantastic job developing this blog, and I'm inspired by his creativity and passion for fashion and all things prep everyday. Fred and I have been friends for longer than either of us would like to admit, and I'm just glad he'll be seen with me in public at this point. :)

Please check out his blog and look for more future guest posts by yours truly.

Cheers,

Monday, July 26

My first guest blog post

Please hop on over to my fabulous friend Sara's shoe blog: Pair Diem. I was honored to write a guest post on my lovely birthday shoes, thanks to Sara's gracious gift.



http://pairdiem.wordpress.com/2010/07/23/guest-post-leeannes-birthday-babies/

And you should all read her blog, and follow her on twitter at:
http://www.pairdiem.com/
www.twitter.com/SNCarpeaux

Cheers,

Tuesday, July 20

29 and fabulous ...

So Saturday was the beginning of what I'm declaring as the best year of my life. I had the absolute best birthday in recent memory. The day began with crab frittata, bellinis, and 3 of my favorite ladies, Joy, Marie, and baby Catherine. Shopping, a margarita, and getting my house ready for the party rounded out the day. My BFF Ally drove in from out of town and brought lemon blueberry cupcakes made from scratch. It doesn't get much better. I had dinner with a small group of close friends including Marie, Nicole, Ally, Sawyer and my favorite neighborhood wine bar. We went back to my adorable new casa to have cupcakes and a signature cocktail of raspberry vodka and lemonade. I was overwhelmed by how many of my friends, old and new, came out to celebrate the last year of my twenties. I truly feel blessed. I know that I made the right decision by moving back "home".

And what would one of my posts be without a little update about the men in my life? First, there's Mr. Big, formerly known as Paul. It has been decided that Paul most candidly represents the famous leading man from my favorite show SATC. If I could get paid for every time I'm compared to Carrie Bradshaw, I'd be a rich lady. I do love to write about my love life, what can I say? Big made several leading comments that he might appear on my doorstep for my birthday, but in true Mr. Big fashion, he simply changed his RSVP on the Evite from a maybe to a no, the day before. I was disappointed, but I've learned in true Carrie fashion, to never get your hopes up, til he walks through the door, from out of the rain.

Then there is George. He's an old friend come college who I ran into at the gym about six weeks ago. He lives in my neighborhood, and we've been enjoying each other's company. He came out for the big birthday celebration after working all day building a fence. Not only did he meet all my friends, but he bought them drinks, and flirted shamelessly with the birthday girl. Never a bad thing. We'll have to see where that goes.

Last but not least, there is Will. We met through mutual friends, and went to the same college. We have a gaggle of things in common, but alas he is leaving for vacation for several weeks abroad. He was getting ready for his big trip, and couldn't make it to the party, but took the time to let me know that he was sorry to miss the party and how much he is looking forward to getting to know me. Will and I have a pretty interesting story already, being that just a couple of weeks after we were introduced by our friends, we were matched on eHarmony. (Yes, I took the leap and joined eHarmony.) After much nudging from a dear friend who has had success, I decided to give it a try. So far, I've just begun getting to know a few men, but it's refreshing to meet men who actually seem to be ready for a relationship.

I truly believe that this is the beginning of a phenomenal year. And I'm honored that so many of you are joining me on my journey. Here's to 362 days until I begin the next decade of my life. I plan on going out on top.

Also, here's a picture from the big day.


Cheers,

Sunday, June 20

The good, the bad, the ugly

So again I'm writing an apology. I've been awful about writing, but it's because I'm hitting the streets full on for good material, or at least that's what I think. Since moving back in February, I've hit the dating scene full force. I've been a bit discouraged as of late.

I think there are several factors playing into this. First, several of my friends have gone through completely unexpected divorces in the past year. These aren't people you would ever expect to deal with these sort of awful situations. I'm talking cheating, pregnancies with their mistress, lying, leaving out of the blue, stealing wedding rings, AWFUL type stuff. I've watched four spectacular people all get their hearts ripped out by people they love, trusted, and had children with.

Second, I've gone out with some real gems lately. First there was a guy I'll call TF, short for trust fund. He's comes from old family money, and at age 35, has never even purchased his own vehicle. These are facts that came out in month three of our dating relationship. Let's suffice it to say that after he stood me up for a rendezvous with the boys for some less than moral activities, I kicked him to the curb. Then there was Holden. He seemed great. He was smart, witty, well read, sociable, and had so many things in common with me it was eery. After dating for a month and a half, he told me that I was "fantastic, interesting and he couldn't wait to spend his summer with me." That was a month ago, and I haven't heard from his since.

After beating myself up one night with my good friends Cal and Dee over several glasses of wine, they told me that I was a strong woman for continuing to put myself out there in spite of running into obstacles. Cal wisely explained that I am willing to be vulnerable in order to find love. I willingly do this because I know that I am going to have to go through some not so great men before I find someone who is worth all my time, energy, and love. I keep telling myself that going through all the bad apples will be worth it one day.

Some days are harder than others. At times I'm so frustrated by guys that I just want to give up. I'm completely fine being single. My life is awesome. I have a good job, I have great friends, a nice house, and I'm successful and talented. I don't need a man in my life, but I want to share my life with one. I honestly don't feel that God would put a desire in my heart to meet someone and settle down if it wasn't supposed to happen. And so, as I am about to embark on year 29, I'm committed to finding love this year. REAL love. And I hope to entertain all of my readers as I attempt this. Thanks for reading.

Ciao,

Wednesday, May 26

Finally off the DL. (That's Disabled List, for you non-baseball fans.)


I can’t believe it’s been SO long since I’ve written. Well, thinking about what all I’ve accomplished since I last wrote on my blog, I guess I can understand. I’ve been a little busy. For once, I’ve been busy for really good reasons. In fact, I’m happier than I’ve been in years, and I’m finally starting to feel settled. It wouldn’t be the fabulous life of Miss L.A. though if there weren’t some interesting twists thrown in along the way, though. So, here are some highlights:


• I got a fantastic new job!

• I moved into a duplex in the neighborhood that I’ve wanted to live in since I was a little girl.

• I’ve made so many wonderful new friends.

• I’ve finally gotten back into a routine with a full social life!

• I lost 15 pounds. (Let’s shoot for even more!)

• I’ve been dating two great gentlemen. (More on that later!)

• I’ve been called on stage for an impromptu performance at a bar, and received a standing ovation.

• I helped my BFF, Alli, pick out her wedding dress.

• I took my first exam in over 8 years, and proved to still have great study skills by making an A! Because I passed, I’m a licensed insurance adjuster.



I’m still getting settled into my new life. The goal is to be completely unpacked and ready for a housewarming/birthday party in July. It’s the last year of my 20s, so I have to make it a good one! Thanks to my great friends, I’m winding down on the painting, and should be able to start decorating the walls and shelves very soon. It’s nice to have a full social calendar as an excuse to take my time. I’ve realized life is just too short to worry about getting completely settled into my place overnight. I’d rather enjoy time with my new friends, dates, and getting back into a solid routine, and take my time getting everything just like I want it. I’ll definitely post some pictures of the new place once it is all decorated. Thanks for reading after all this time. I’ll post tomorrow about the new men in my life. Just to peak your interest, I’ve got a handsome, trust-fund baby on one arm, and intelligent, witty, and adorable on the other. Which will I ever choose?

'Til tomorrow,


Wednesday, March 24

March 12 - 24: Rules of Engagement

So I've finally gotten some time to write again. It's well earned, as I think I've gone on more adventures in the last two weeks than I have in years. I celebrated, cried, ached, laughed, smiled, dreamed, wrote, and reflected over the last two weeks.

A few highlights:
  • Ally & her fabulous beau, Weston, got engaged! It was a wonderful surprise and such a sweet way to kick off these last two weeks.
  • Enjoyed a picnic, complete with perfect 70 degree weather and flip flops.
  • Drove 1,400 miles and saw some of my very favorite friends & family.
  • Visited Mississippi for the second time in one year. It still feels like home.
  • Held the hand of someone I loved while they went through a difficult cancer treatment.
  • Ate the most delicious home cooked Southern meal. (And I didn't have to fix it!)
  • Saw some of the most beautiful mansions, and then the most poor sections of our nation.
  • Nailed two job interviews.
  • Won a music audition to become a finalist to sing at a HUGE sporting event.
  • Saw Lady Antebellum in concert.
  • Went to the rodeo, and saw way too many cute cowboys.
  • Kissed a man I love.
  • Felt lonely for the first time in several months.
  • Watched a wonderful woman bury her husband of over 60 years.
Like I said, it was a busy two weeks. Those were just the highlights. There were many conversations, long stretches of belting out songs in the car, sleeping on couches, and packing and unpacking in the midst of it all. I sit here tonight, about to embark on a new chapter. I am finally about to get a new job. I'll be moving into a new place, and putting down roots. I'm happy, but I've been missing my friends lately. I like living here, but there are times when I still feel like my heart might be somewhere else. I've been trying really hard to be patient and wait to see what happens. I may be on the brink of something fantastic. My band might come together soon, and I might be able to start making a living with my singing, or maybe I'm about to meet the man of my dreams.

I know that lately men have frustrated me to my wit's end. Paul, Wes, Pete, Blue, & James. They ALL boggle my mind. I feel like I've entered a period where men just think SO hard about what they want that they just sit around and wait for it to come to them. Chivalry may be dead. I'm the woman, but we're in an age where women can be equal to men in work & life. But in dating, men are still supposed to be the pursuers. I want to be chased. I want to be wanted. I feel like that's a lost art on men today. They've forgotten how to be gentlemen. What happened to phone calls, and letters. It's text messages and emails, and rescheduling via iPhone calendars. I'm a modern woman, but desire a man who will pick me up, bring me flowers, and tell me how nice I look. Especially when I spent 2 hours getting ready. Alas, I digress.

All that being said, I'm ready for 2010 to be my year. I'm long overdue for some really fantastic things to happen. My four best ladies are all embarking on exciting journeys this year, and I'd like to join the pack. If I have to take life by the horns, so be it. I'm ready. I'm forewarning you all. I might not be the "nice" Miss L.A. along the way. I may have to get a little dirty and play hard to get. It might be the best life tactic that I've practiced yet. So, let the race begin.

Ciao,

Friday, March 12

March 1 - 11, 2010: Missing in Action

I've been a bad blogger lately. It's just been so hard for me to find any time to sit down in a quiet place a write. By the time I have a few minutes, I'm exhausted. Life has been really great though. I spent lots of time cooking and cleaning for my family. Applied for several cool jobs, and had a few calls and interviews, I went back to my old hometown to see friends, and I am in the process of interviewing/auditioning people for the band I'm forming. Not too shabby on my time management. I've gotten time to relax, and focus on what I really want out of life. I got to spend some really great time with Michelle, my oldest BFF, and it was so great to see her in full mom mode, and just how much she sacrifices for her husband, baby, and baby-on-the-way. Because of her and everyone in my life, I think my perspectives have changed a bit in the last month.

I am finally realizing how much I care about the people in my life, and how I really want music to be the thing that I give back to this world. I don't think I've ever given myself enough time to explore my talents, and I've realized that life is too short to not do what you love and were born to do. I've also realized that I would really love to be a wife and mother. I'm not sure if either of those are in the cards for me, but I at least hope a successful relationship with a wonderful man can be fit in somewhere down the road. If there is no baby, I can live vicariously through those around me :)

This weekend I'm going on a mini road trip to see some of my favorite people. Ally, Wes, and a few others sprinkled in between. I'm going to hear great music, eat good food, see amazing art, and mingle with new people. I know it will be good to get away for a few days and feel like a normal single lady again. The house mom thing can make me feel a little old at times!

So, for now I'm signing off. I promise to write another entry when I return. Thanks to everyone who reads about my life. I know that it should get more interesting again soon!

~ Miss L.A.

Sunday, February 28

February 27-28: Family fun, culinary creations, and art nouveau

What a great weekend! I spent some much needed time with my nephews A&J, I whipped up some delicious food and sweets, visited a new church, saw some great art, and had a quasi-date. And that's just the icing on the cake.

Friday I spent the evening at home with my nephews and made some dinner for my family. After watching A&J dance around the kitchen and make me giggle myself silly, I went to bed after a mini Criminal Minds marathon.

Saturday I woke up to A&J poking their heads in every 30 minutes until I begrudgingly got out of bed. I made breakfast while they played outside. My mom woke me right up by suggesting we go shopping. What a whirlwhind. We shopped til we dropped! We snagged $1k in clothes for a little over $300. Bargain shopper extraordinaires. I got some great new staples for my wardrobe and it was a welcome treat since most of my clothes are in storage. After shopping, I went to the grocery to round out some purchases for cooking, and headed home to hang with A&J. I watched bike races, Play Station games, wrestling, bath wars, and general ruckus. I made them their favorites for dinner, then we made brownies for sundaes for dessert. Cooking with boys is a whole different ballgame than with girls. They turn everything into a dirty joke, and they like to smear batter wherever possible. Somehow I don't think differs much from grown men. :) Sundaes were almost spoiled when J accidentally kicked A's tooth out. Thankfully it was a lose baby tooth, but the blood gushing didn't set well either way. A little ice cream solves ALL problems though! I later carried two very tired boys to bed, and got to turn in early. A successful babysitting event, even with the blood.

Sunday I got up and ventured to a new church. A friend from high school, James, invited me to join him, as he sings in their fantastic choir. I was blown away by how much talent was in this place. They happened to be having their annual art show (at a church, no less), so I was treated to some amazing pieces. Some of this stuff was good enough to be in a museum. And the kids were all talented, too. It was really neat to see a church showcasing people's creative side. The music was incredible as well. A full orchestra, and a very strong choir. Probably the best church choir I'd ever heard. I think he wants me to join, and after a few more visits, I may be hooked. After church, James took me to lunch. We went to this amazing soul food restaurant, complete with live jazz. It was such great food, music, and fun atmosphere. We had a blast chatting and hanging out. I felt like I was on a great first date. I'm still not quite sure what it was exactly. I think the jury is still out on this one. I just hope there is a date number two. I don't think I've enjoyed a man's company that much in a long time. The time flew by, and I felt myself smiling and at ease. The best manners I've seen in ages.

After a late afternoon with James, I finally headed home and watched a movie with my family. I haven't been able to do that in years. It was so good for all of us to be together. After the movie I headed to Ralph's soccer game, and hung out with his boys and his friend Lauren. I have no idea if Ralph reads my blog, but in case he does, he needs to know that he needs to date Lauren. She's fantastic, and they would make a great couple. I had a fantastic time chatting with her, and I really hope we become friends. She's super pretty, stylish, smart, and just fun to be around. The kind of single gal that I need to be friends with in my new city. So, after freezing at another soccer game, I came home, had a nice cup of hot chocolate and am going to bed. What a great weekend. I hope that there are many more of these in 2010.

Buono Notte,

Miss L.A.

Friday, February 26

February 20-26, 2010: The best is yet to come!

So I'm going to have to cheat again and write about my last week. It's crazy how little time I have to write these day with job searching, meeting up with old friends, carpooling, cooking, errands, etc. Suffice it to say it's been a fantastic week. Highlights include:

  • Getting offered a gig to perform at a theater in my hometown. A paid singing gig at last!
  • Receiving a call about a fantastic job at a non-profit to work in publishing again!
  • Cooking dinner with my nephews.
  • Meeting several great women who live in my area.
  • Finding and applying for several jobs that I'm very excited about.
  • Seeing my mom and sister everyday.
  • Hanging out with my college roommate, Leigh, and getting to laugh like old times again.
  • Eating at my favorite pizza place with Ralph and other friends.
  • Singing more than I have in years.
  • Working on getting my set list together for music gigs.
  • Getting in touch with so many old friends via Facebook and other networking.
  • Being excited about waking up every morning to a new adventure.
  • Talking to Paul on the phone and really investing in our relationship.
Overall, this week has been fantastic. I've had a bit of a head cold, but it's been so great to feel like things are really coming together. I'm so excited to see what is going to happen in my life over the next few months. So far 2010 is shaping up to be the best year of my life. Yay!

Ciao,

Miss L.A.

Sunday, February 21

February 20, 2010: out with the old...

So I had to get up very early for a baby shower this morning. One of my college roommates is having her first baby in April, and I had to be there at 10 AM. After going to bed a 3, this came very early. I made it, and had a great time. I got to see so many of my girlfriends from high school, and their moms too. Everyone was really excited to know I had moved back home, and are excited about getting together. As much as I always feel at home, it's a little awkward for me when I'm surrounded by all these fabulous ladies, and I'm always sort of odd man out. All my girlfriends from high school are married, and most have at least one child. It's like I don't really belong to the club. No one wants an opinion about babies from a lady who doesn't have kids. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy where I am in my life. I could have settled and gotten married and had a baby by now. Not to say that any of these ladies did that. They all have really great men in their lives. I just know that I haven't met that guy just yet. Or maybe I have and I just don't know it :)

After the shower, I headed back to Ralph's to get the packing and moving finished up. When I got there, I immediately remembered why I never want to live on a 2nd story when moving. I got in a lot of cardio with running up and down the stairs so many times. After 5 hours of running around, we finally got everything into the new place. I couldn't believe how tired I was. It took an energy drink, some dinner, and several sodas to get me going. I had to get pumped up because I was meeting an old flame, Blue, out for the evening. I met Blue through my sister's former boyfriend. Blue is nothing like any man I've ever been attracted to. But he is so incredibly sexy. He's older than me, very tall, extremely built, has beautiful eyes, great small, good jaw line, looks amazing in a pair of jeans. He rides a Harley, and his hair is as long as mine. He's a musician, and shares a love of country and the blues with me. He dances, he listens, and he's got an edge to him that makes him a little off limits. I never thought a man like Blue would ever be interested in me, but when we kissed for the first time last year, I was a goner.

I met Blue up at his usual bar. It was karaoke night, and most of the regulars were in attendance. I got to see so many of my sister's old friends, and it was great to catch up. Sis doesn't frequent there much anymore, as this is where she met her boyfriend who tragically passed away last year from a bike accident. These guys all still ask about her though. As much fun as I had, it wasn't the same without her there. Blue and I had a few drinks, caught up on life, and danced a little. Everytime he touched me I thought my heart was going to jump out of my chest. Something about this man just drives me absolutely crazy. He finally convinced me to sing, and I got a big rouse out of the crowd. When I got off stage, he was there waiting to give me a hug. And then he asked me if I wanted to form a band with him. My dream come true. He's got all the musicians we need, and we have a place to practice. As scary as this is to me, it's also what I've wanted all along. And so after a night of hanging out with my old friends, Blue and I made plans to get together this week and have a little jam session. I secretly can't wait to see him again. When he got up on stage and played his harmonica, I thought I might cry. I am blow away by his talent. I'm just so honored that he thinks that I'm talented enough to perform in a band with him. As much as I know that I'm good, when someone that you admire offers a compliment, it's the best feeling in the world.

I'm excited to see what happens with his man. He pushed me completely out of my comfort zone, and that's exactly what I need.

February 19, 2010: Funkytown

I didn't think I'd make it to Friday. What a week. I was glad to finally be able to get out of the house for a bit. I headed to Ralph's Friday night to help him run errands and pack. We hit up a great taco joint for dinner, even though I wasn't exactly dressed for dinner. Normally this wouldn't be an issue, but Ralph is always dressed to a T. I guess when you writea style blog, you have to be.

After we scarfed down some dinner, we headed back to pack. It was so great to hang out with this guy again. We laughed and caught up on life. This guy still cracks me up after 14 years of friendship. After a few hours of packing, we decided to meet up with a friend for a drink to take a break.

We headed out at midnight, a rare feat for me as of late. We got to the bar, and immediately felt old. It was loud, young, and the music was not our taste at all. I looked around, and saw all of these college kids who just seemed to live in a different time than I do. We had a couple of drinks, chatted, and decided to call it a night. As we're walking back to the car, Ralph informs me he is hungry. At 1:30 AM. And so we hit up the taco joint for the second time to grab some chips & queso. I felt like I was back in college eating this late, with all the hungry drunk kids. It was a lot of fun. We laughed at some of the drunken behavior we saw at the late hour.

After a long day, I finally headed home to get a little sleep. It was rough knowing that I had to get up in 5 hours. I knew that my nephews would come bounding in early, so I had no problems falling into bed and into sleep immediately. Excited for a great Saturday.

Thursday, February 18

February 16 - 18, 2010: All in the Family

So I'm cheating on the blog this week. I'm just too tired to write. I owe my mother and all my friends who are mothers to multiple children some serious props. This is some tiring business. I've been waking up early, making breakfast, getting kids ready for school, taking my mom to work, getting home, doing all the dishes from breakfast and unloading the dishwasher from dinner, working out, getting online and researching jobs and making calls to network, doing laundry, running errands, more job search, picking people up from school, making dinner, doing more dishes, helping with homework, entertaining children, running baths, and tucking kids into bed. By the time I sit down, I'm exhausted. I don't think I've ever been this tired. And to think that most moms do all of this while working ANOTHER full time job! I vote that all moms needs a personal assistant. My own mother told me that it's much easier when you "ease" into it. She explained that you aren't thrown into having a husband, and two elementary school children overnight.

So, after four days of research, I have one interview set up, and hope to get a few more set up next week. I'm helping my good friend Ralph move this weekend. He's moving into the gorgeous 1920s apartments that I hope to move into as well. It will be SO great to have a neighbor who is also a great friend. And I'll really enjoy having someone to cook for again! That has been the highlight of my week. Cooking. It's one thing I really enjoy, and never get to do. And my family is seriously appreciative and chows down my food every night. That makes me very happy. It's so rewarding to make a meal that 5 other people enjoy eating.

I promise to write this weekend. And I also hope that I have interesting single lady happenings to report. I promise not to be swallowed whole by suburbia. :)

Good night,

Miss L.A.

Tuesday, February 16

February 15, 2010: Soccer mom/Housewife, Day 1

So today was the beginning of a new adventure. One into a territory that I thought was in a very distant future. I was a bona fide soccer mom/housewife today. I wore my velour tracksuit and Uggs. I dropped off the kids in the carpool lane. I made breakfast. I packed backpacks. I did laundry and dishes. I waited on a repair man. I worked out. I helped with homework and shopped for groceries. I made dinner and ran baths. And then I collapsed. Man, moms have tough jobs. I just don't know if I'm cut out for staying at home all day. No human interaction. No reason to change out of your sweatpants. I think men must think women don't do anything all day because when they come home to a spotless house, they must think that it just always looks that way. WRONG. I gave my mom an extra hug when she got home. I finally sat down at 9:30, after being on my feet since 6:30 AM. That's worse than when I have an office job.

All in all, it was a rewarding day. It was nice to have people say thank you, and be so appreciative of taking the load off of the rest of my family. Dinner was so wonderful to sit around our table and be surrounded by my family. It's been a really long time since we've all sat there and been so happy. And it cemented the fact that this is what I've been missing all along.

Good night,

Miss L.A.

February 14, 2010: Happy Valentine's Day!

That's right, it's Valentine's Day and I'm smiling. And I'm single. I know that this day isn't a very good holiday. I know it's overpriced, commercialized, and a day that many people's expectations and reality never sync. But even after all I've been through, heck, even after my awful dinner last night, I still believe in love.

Today I got to spend Valentine's Day with the people I love the most, my family. And nothing says love more than your mom and sister clearing space in their closets for your clothes :) And my nephews made me valentines and gave me pink carnations. And when I called Paul and he wanted to know if he could be a candidate for my Valentine. I told him he won as my Valentine. That made him pretty happy. And it made me even happier to know that all that it takes for me to smile is a man answering the phone and saying, "I was hoping it would be you on the phone." I felt wanted. And that was the best gift of all. No cards, no chocolates, and no flowers (at least from someone I actually love.) Just a man who wasn't afraid to tell me that he's overjoyed every time he hears my voice. If that isn't what love is, then I might not know anything about it.

I hope you all had a fabulous Valentine's Day and spent it with people you loved.

~ Miss L.A.

February 13, 2010: driving, dinner, and the Big D

First, I owe an apology. I'm behind on my writing. I'm not really sure if I'm really apologizing to myself, but nonetheless, I've got a lot of catching up to do.

Saturday morning I got up, packed up all my belongings, cleaned James' house, and got on the road. I had a few snags with some bridesmaid drama before I got out the door, but thankfully that all got cleared up. Women. God help us all. I stopped at Michelle's house on my way to see her, and her precious family. A rare occasion when they are all together!

On my way to my parents', my friend JR called. He wanted to welcome me into town by taking me to dinner. How nice. So, I headed toward his place, and he took me to a great Italian restaurant. Dinner was nice, even with the Valentine's crowd, and we shared a great bottle of wine. So the entire time I'm thinking this is a completely platonic dinner. And then on the way back to his place to get my car, he makes a pit stop. And what arrives back with him? Roses. That's right. I was flattered, but taken back as well. And when we got to his place, he tried to kiss me. And I just didn't want to go there. And when I tried to play it off in some sort of save face manner, he got upset. Like he actually wanted to know how he could take me to dinner, get me flowers, and NOT kiss him. And then I did the unthinkable. I started to cry. It was like DB was standing in front of me. And using all of his old tactics to guilt me into being with him. And I tried to explain this to JR, and he just didn't get it. He even said that he shouldn't have to suffer the consequences when he wasn't the one that hurt me. And that's when I got angry. I just couldn't believe a man could actually think that past experiences aren't ever going to affect future things. It may not be fair, but that's just life.

Even after all that went down, I finally made it home, and still felt good about being there. I knew that right where I started was exactly where I needed to be.




Monday, February 15

February 12, 2010: Farewell, part 2

So Friday was supposed to be cathartic. Instead, it all seemed to be filled with tension. Not so much by me, but everyone around me. Meetings, requests, purging, no lunch, last minute phone calls, and goodbyes. At one point during my day, I had to actually stop and say a prayer. I had this overwhelming feeling that this whole thing was a huge mistake. Maybe everyone needs me because I'm supposed to stay? I literally asked for a sign. I never ask for signs. Not because I don't believe in them, but because those kind of blatantly obvious things don't happen to me. I'm pretty sure God is continually trying to teach me how to be still, listen, and just be patient. For one brief moment, he gave me the obvious sign I needed.

One of my firm's new clients has been coming in the last few weeks for meetings. I've been on the phone each time he's come in, but he's always been polite, said hello, and always remembers my name. I just recently realized how important that is to me. It's very flattering when someone who has only met you once, and even heard your name one time, remembers it the next time they see you. It makes you feel like you actually matter to others. So, this client comes in, and I've literally just prayed this prayer in the past 5 minutes. He brings in a package of stuff for this advisor, and then hands me a sticker. It reads, "I am awesome." At the bottom, it has his website. He explains that he heard me mention that I was moving to a new city, and he "just had this feeling" that I could use a reminder that I'm awesome. He goes on to wish me well with my move. He smiles, I say thank you, trying to pick my jaw up off the desk. When he leaves, I check out this website. I get chills when I read this story. It turns out he is a motivational speaker who's entire premise is to teach people to follow their dreams. He too made a huge life move, quitting his job to follow his passion. I'm reading the story, and all I can think is see, you are making the right decision.

Before I even realize, I'm emailing this guy back to share my story with him. I explain that I feel like I've been settling in my life and that after all the bad things that happened to me over the last year, I felt like I was wasting all my talents. I don't use them at work, I don't sing enough, I don't get to be there for my family, and I just felt stagnant. I spilled the fact that I want to sing more than anything in the world, and how I'll do anything to make that happen. I sold half my stuff, have packed and lived out of boxes, and I'm now moving back to the place that scares me the most because I feel like it's where I'm supposed to be. I thank this stranger for giving me a gift that may have seemed so insignificant, but gave me the courage that I've needed for months.

I send the email without hesitation. I don't expect to get a response, but I wanted to this man to know that he made my day. I go about my business and soon the phone rings. It's him. He calls to tell me that he is blown away by my email. He wants to talk to me more about my move, and asks if he can stop back by and give me a few more things. I am humbled, and agree. Again, for someone who has never even met me until a few days ago, his kindness is immeasurable. Just before it's time for me to leave, he drops in. T-shirt, pamphlet, DVD, and other tchotckes in hand, he shares more of his story. He thanks me again for the email and asks me to keep him posted on how things go. I'm inspired. I am elated. I feel blessed and on the verge of something great.

After he leaves, I say my goodbyes to my coworkers. It's bittersweet. I know that I will be missed, and I'll miss many of these people. I know we'll stay in touch, and I hope that they know just how much they meant to me, supporting me over the last two years. I receive many well wishes, and then leave. It was a liberating feeling to walk out the door. Not knowing what was to come, but excited for the ambiguity.

Off to pack the rest of my things, eat dinner with the girls and watch Valentine's Day, the movie. After a exhausting day, I finally crawl in bed for a good night's sleep for my drive tomorrow. Ready to hit the road of the next adventure.

Friday, February 12

February 11, 2010: Farewell, part 1

Thursday flew by at work, and soon I was sitting at happy hour, with many of my closest friends, saying goodbye. The whole evening was surreal. It just didn't seem like this was the end of my era here. Six years have flown by so fast. As I looked around the table, I realized that I'd made friends for a lifetime. I thought about those who were missing, and how many people had gotten me to this place in my journey. I thought of my BFFs, Ally, Lauren, Alex, and Michelle. Two of them were able to be at dinner. Two have lives elsewhere, but I'm lucky enough that they all live in the same state, and so I can see them, even after I move on a regular basis. These four ladies have all entered my life at different times over the last fourteen years. They all mean so much to me, and sitting there at dinner, I felt so humbled to be surrounded by such amazing people who loved me enough to brave freezing temperatures, and downpours to wish me well. I wrote Alex & Lauren a card to tell them each how much they meant to me. When Lauren read it, she cried. I nearly joined. And as we all hugged and made it know that this was not "goodbye", just a "see you soon," I put on a brave face and got in my car. And I listened to music and pondered on my drive home. I got pretty choked up as so many memories came flooding back. I was happy, but tears soon began streaming down my face. I'll always remember my time here fondly. Who knows, maybe one day life will lead me back to this place. For now, I'll choose to be hopeful, and that a year from now I'll be surrounded by old friends and some new ones. I'll have settled in, and even though I won't replace any of these wonderful people, I'll have new places to eat on Sunday nights, and someone to call and go to the movies with on a moment's notice. I will embrace the ambiguity of what is to come. It's scary & exhilarating all at once. Tomorrow is my final day here. I'm determined to make it a good one.

Good night,

Miss L.A.

Thursday, February 11

February 10, 2010: Girls' Night Out

Wednesday shaped up to be a pretty great day after my bout with sadness. I woke up feeling refreshed, and it turned out to be one of the best days that I've had in a very long time.

Great things that happened today:
1. I found my lost iPod.
2. I got a call for a job interview in my new city!
3. Alex asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. (So honored.)
4. Wine and Karaoke with the girls, including a Dixie Chicks duet with Alex.
5. Met the bass player from a band that I love!

As you can see, it was a pretty fantastic day. And that doesn't include the fact that I had lunch with my old boss, who gave me a glowing recommendation, and dinner with my former landlords, who's three adorable children spent the day making me going away cards. I felt more loved today than I have in so long. I just can't believe how things are falling into place. I have so much more confidence about the job hunt now and because I've received such an outpouring of love and support from my friends. I had no idea how many people's lives I've affected here, and to see just how much I'll be missed means so much.

After a night of wine, girl talk, dancing, karaoke, and fun, I collapsed into bed. I fell asleep with ease, not having to wrestle my good friend insomnia for a change. I'm ready for what the rest of the week will hold!

~ Miss L.A.

Wednesday, February 10

February 9, 2010: Letting go

This week is already starting to fly by too quickly. That's the way it always seems to go when you have to say goodbye. The weeks drag by when you take time for granted, but when you are trying to savor every moment, they're gone in the blink of an eye.

I'm trying to finish up all my last minute projects at work. It seems that my company is living my the same mantra I am, as I got several new projects assigned to be yesterday, including designing and implementing a workflow before I leave. Sure, I can do that in four days! I am Super Woman after all :) I can't complain, it's one more thing I can add to the skills section of my resume.

The highlight of my day was having lunch with my old coworker. This fabulous woman was the first person I worked with at my very first editing job out of college. She took me under her wing, and helped me love my job. She's a sheer delight. It was great to catch up on her life and see her looking so fabulous. She left the educational publishing field to become a college professor. All I can say is that if I had taken her class in college, she would have been my favorite prof. I can only imagine how much fun she makes Children's Literature and Reading Comprehension. And yes, I took both of those classes. I was a bonified nerd, and an English major in college. It's something I don't like to reveal, as I feel like people will start scouring my posts for grammatical errors! I tend to make mistakes when I write late at night, which is exactly when I write all of my posts. All that being said, this lovely lady helped me reinforce all of my editorial skills, and made me realize what a blessing it is to work with nice people in your job. Even with the tremendous pressures of deadlines, and error-free administrations, she made my first job such a pleasant experience.

After work, I was going to go have dinner with L&G, but sadly, the proper ingredients were not removed from the freezer in time, so we had to cancel. That's ok, it gave me a good opportunity to go get a few cards for some of my closest friends, and have some much needed down time.

Unfortunately, the down time lead to me thinking about my departure, which lead to a full on tear fest. Pete called, and needless to say our talk included lots of discussion about my impending move, which made me overwhelmingly sad. And even though I'm excited about the move, it brought out all of the feelings I've been holding back for the last year. It was like I could finally let go. You see, I'm the "strong one" in my family. I'm the oldest child, and I've always been the person who is supposed to hold it all together. And even when my entire world crumbled last year, I held it together. I think I stopped and really cried a total of four times. In an entire year. And even though I know it's not healthy to do that, I did it because I've trained myself to not fall apart. And so here I am on the brink of the hardest move of my life, and I let all those held in emotions go. I let myself be sad and vulnerable. I embraced the feelings of sadness over leaving my friends, fear over not having a job, anxiety over living with my family for an indefinite period of time, and loneliness because I may not have many friends when I move. And I tried to share these feelings with Pete, and he just didn't understand them. He tried to tell me that I was thinking about it in the wrong way. And I knew where he was coming from, but I just wanted him to listen. And even though I know that men have this innate desire to fix everything, I wanted him to understand that I didn't need him to fix it.

When we got off the phone, I cried even more because I felt like I'd pushed him away, and on top of all the other feelings I was processing, it made me even more sad. I like this guy. For whatever reason that may be, I care for him. And I want him to see the fabulous person that I am, and not the mess that I appeared to be last night. I'm not a mess, I'm just a girl in the midst of a huge like change, and I have so many conflicting feelings about it. And as much as I know that's normal, I'd really like to hear it from someone else.

And so, after I finally got the release of emotion that I so desperately needed, I slept. And it was the first night of solid sleep that I've had in weeks. I woke up to a new day, and a new outlook. I know that things will be alright, and I can still be the girl that is strong in the face of uncertainty.

~ Miss L.A.

Tuesday, February 9

February 8, 2010: Highlights and Husbands (of the gay variety)

Monday morning, post Super Bowl. Ugh. I think this should be a mandatory holiday. In the south, football is a religion, and we even cancel church for the Super Bowl. We all know that a good party includes spiked punch, beer, and loads of fattening food. Everyone is in a coma this morning. Even a large amount of DC didn't do it for me this morning! (That's Diet Coke for all you non-current or former addicts.)

After a snail's pace day at work, I finally made it to 5 o'clock! I peeled out of the parking lot, jamming to my music headed to see my favorite gay husbands (GH). That would be my hair dresser and his partner. Not only does my GH make my hair look incredible, but he happens to be a great friend as well. He throws great parties, gives great advice, and always helps lift my spirits just when I need it! I've decided every woman needs a GH. I have two, which is twice as nice. I'm sad to leave them behind, but thankfully GH has given me the holy grail, one of his coveted Saturday appointment slots. So, every 10 weeks, I'll be making the trek down to get foiled and trimmed, so my tresses will still look extra fabulous! For the deal I get on my hair, it's worth the trip.

And after my hair appointment, my GHs and their lovely daughter headed to one of our favorite restaurants for a farewell dinner. Complete with fajitas, sangria margarita and lots of laughs, it was a successful soiree. I was sad to leave, but I knew that this wasn't goodbye. The best part, is that even with my change of address, GH reminded me that the next time I'm in town, I'll likely have a much more fabulous life to match how fabulous I truly am. If that doesn't make you feel good, nothing will.

Good night,

Miss L.A.

February 7, 2010: It's a Saints Miracle

I begrudgingly got out of bed this morning. It wasn't because I didn't want to go to church, it was just that I has driven 800 miles since Friday, and I was exhausted. I tackled too many emotionally and physically draining tasks this weekend and I just wanted to stay in bed. Too bad it was my last Sunday at my church, so I made the adult decision and I get my butt out of bed.

Church went by smoothly. I actually managed to say all of my goodbyes without crying. That was hard. I could tell that so many people were disappointed that I'm leaving. And they didn't really know what to say when I basically told them that I'm starting my life over. From Scratch. You'd think that people of faith would have better answers. Many stared at me with bewildered looks in their eyes. Some offerred great words of wisdom and encouragement, and for that I was grateful.

After church I went out for my last Sunday supper with Alex's parents. They are like my substitute parents. The one's that can be my emergency contact since my actual parents are 300 miles away. They've fed me, let me sleep at their house, come to my choir concerts, and loved me for the last four years. I'm forever indebted to them welcoming into their family.

After lunch I went home to try to get in a cat nap before the Super Bowl. This was not very successful. For some reason, no matter how hard I tried to sleep, I just could not accomplish this task. This has been an ongoing theme lately. Insomnia and I are fast becoming enemies.

I finally made it over to the Super Bowl party. We had fried turkey & cornbread with all the trimmings. Delicious! What made it all the sweeter was the Saints' victory! My precious aunt is a lifelong Saints fan. We're talking 40 dedicated years of watching her team lose. Yet no matter what, she loves them through every season. I understand this dedication. It must run in the family. I've watched my alma mater battle it out over the last 11 football seasons. Win or lose, I'll always bleed my team color.

The reason why this victory was even more special is that my aunt is currently battling cancer. The doctor's discovered stage 3 ovarian cancer in November, and she had major surgery in early December. She recovered very well and is now undergoing chemotherapy. Her hair has fallen out, but nothing has deterred her spirit and will to beat this disease. My aunt has always been an inspiration to me. She's strong, beautiful, funny, smart, and kick ass in every way. She's my friend. One of my best friends. She gives me great advice, and loves me through all my stupid choices. And so now it's my turn to encourage her. And so I cheered harder for the Saints than I've likely cheered for any team before. This is saying a lot, because I'm one of the most die hard sports fans you'll likely meet. And when they won, I nearly cried. And when I called my aunt, she did cry. Tears of joy for all those years of loyalty, and for finally getting to see her team do the unthinkable.

It was a good Sunday.  :)

~ Miss L.A.

Sunday, February 7

February 6, 2010: a glimpse of things to come

Even after such a late night, I was up early after my nephews bounded in first thing in the morning. How can you be disgruntled at those adorable faces? You can't. They truly make me happy, even in the midst of all the uncertainty.

I helped my sister clean the house, unloaded my car, and made my plans for the day. Took a long hot shower, fixed my hair, threw on my fabulous new Tahari pumps and loaded the car again.

I headed into town to meet my good friend Sam for lunch. Sam and I have been friends for years. We went to church, high school, and college together. He's a photographer, and write's a fantastic style blog. We met for lunch and then he took me to look at a fantasic apartment. He's moving into them this month, and there is one other unit available. We're praying I get a job so I can move in as well. It's in the perfect location, and it's exactly what I'm looking for. Built in the 20s, hardwood floors, built in bookcase, original glass doorknobs, remodeled kitchen, and it even has a courtyard with a fountain! I just know that if I get to move in here, it will make this whole transition so much easier. I'd have a great friend nearby at all times, and I wouldn't feel like I'd lost all of my identity.

So, after looking at the place and talking over lunch, I was going to get back on the road. But as fate would have it, Pete called. We had discussed getting together while I was home, but he made other plans on Friday, and hadn't called yet. He apologized for the delay, and asked me to drop by. I weighed the matter, and finally decided to go. I don't know what to think about Pete. I like him. He's incredibly handsome; like in a way that the site of his eyes and smile instantly melt me. And I love to talk to him. What I'm unsure of is where he's coming from. We dated in late '09, but he got cold feet and stopped calling. I didn't know if I should give him a second chance. He gave me a very sincere apology when I arrived. He explained how he liked me so much, and it scared him, but he realized that he really wants to give 'us' a shot. Here's my problem. I got so incredibly hurt last year that I have a severe problem with trust. I trusted him once and he let me down. I feel like if I trust him again and he hurts me, it's my fault. I don't know what his intentions are with me. I know he likes me, but he sometimes seems distracted, and I honestly don't know if he is ready to be in a relationship. I'm not really ready for that either, but at the same time, I don't want to date a guy who is going to be dating several women at once. That's just not how I operate. I don't want to be his girlfriend, or even see him more than once or twice a week, but I don't feel comfortable with dating other people, or with him doing that either. That makes things hard. And we talked about this for a while, and at first I wasn't even sure where he stood. He finally kissed me and told me that he does really care and wants to "see where this goes." I am happy to do that, but I just want him to be honest with me. If he just sees me as someone to have fun with but nothing more, I'd really like to know. I am at a place where feeling vulnerable and unsure is something I don't have much room for in life.

Men. Sometimes I just wish I could read their minds for just a few moments. Maybe I could get some insight as to what exactly I should say and do so that this whole dating thing could be a lot easier for both of us.

~ Miss L.A.

February 5, 2010: on the road again

The work day went by with a blur today. I knew I had a long drive ahead of me to take some stuff to my parent's house. I left James' house at 6:15. I stopped at Ally's to pick up my dog Molly and load the car with boxes. After a very long night of driving, I finally made it home. There were mixed emotions. I knew this would be the last time that I would drive home and be returning. It was weird to think that I only had a week left. This city has meant so much to me. I started my adult life here. I learned how to live on my own and how to be comfortable doing so. My mind raced about things to come in my new life. Will I be happy, like my job, fall in love? Will I stay here, or move again? Oh, it's the what ifs that make life so exciting sometimes.

Too tired to write anymore. Good night!

~ Miss L.A.

Friday, February 5

February 4, 2010: Much needed closure and taking things slow

I woke up to another dreary morning of rain. It's been raining non-stop for the last four days, but it seems like the sun hasn't been out in ages. I'm starting to feel the effects.

With all the dreariness a much needed stop to Starbucks helped jump start my day. Work was uneventful, and went by slowly. I had lunch with my old roommate/X. Caught up on life, said what we needed to say, and parted on very good terms. I've decided that this whole moving to a new city thing is pretty great when it comes to getting closure that you've needed. I've been able to say all the things that I've wanted to say for the last six years, and don't have to feel bad about it anymore. It's nice to tell people how much they mean to you, and now much you want the best for them. It's even nicer when they open up and tell you how much you've meant to them as well.

So, after work, met Alex for sushi happy hour. Delicious as usual, and likely our last time to hang out and just chat for a long time. She's been such a great friend to me over the last four years. She's the friend that will always give it to you straight. She's genuine to a fault, giving, upbeat, beautiful, funny, and loads of fun. She's always the person to call when you want to laugh and have fun. I am so happy that she and James are starting their life together as husband and wife this year. It's really special when you are friends with the bride & the groom. It's something I haven't gotten to experience much. Most of time you are friends with one half of a couple and become friends with the other by default. Not the case with A&J. They are both my friends and I can call either of them to hang out, laugh, or just to chill. They compliment each other so well, and inspire me to never give up on love.

After dinner, I headed to my last church choir rehearsal. Everyone there is pretty sad about my departure. I love singing with them, and I'm sad to leave, but I know I'll find a good group soon enough in my new city.

After what seemed like the longest day, I finally made it home. Paul called to catch up, and we chatted until I nearly fell asleep. Just as I was nodding off, Pete called. Pete is a guy who I've known since high school. We weren't really friends then, but we went to school and church together and have always been casual acquaintances. We reconnected through the wonderous world of Facebook, after he offered to help me move last fall. We went on a few dates, but Pete got cold feet. I decided it was best to just let him be, and after a few weeks, he started calling again. Last night he told me he was "sorry for his freak out in December." I guess that was his way of apologizing. Needless to say I'm taking things slow with him. I'm not sure if I really want to date him or not. I need more time to talk to him to determine if I think he's really serious about me, or if I'm just someone that keeps him from being bored. I'm just proud of myself for not jumping in with both feet and being happy about taking it slow. It's a whole new outlook on dating, and one that I'm very happy with.

After two late phone calls, I fell asleep on the couch while listening to a great concert special on PBS featuring Patty Griffin, Emmylou Harris, Shawn Colvin, and Buddy Miller. What a way to slip into peaceful dreams.

~ Miss L.A.

Thursday, February 4

February 3, 2010: Blast from the past

Today continued on at work like yesterday. More indexing, merging, filing, and mind numbing. It's been raining here for the last two days, so it's tiring weather anyway. I had to bust out my iPod today just to stay awake. I'm not very caffeine dependent anymore, so it was bad when a cup of coffee and a Diet Coke didn't help. I had an interesting Facebook dialogue with my girlfriends about all of our current or past addictions to Diet Coke. I'm fortunately kicked my habit, but I still crave an icy can at least once a week. Many of them are still in full swing with their three of four DCs a day. It's been good for my wallet to wean myself off.

After surviving the day at work and safely navigating through the flooded roads, including an emergency shoe stop to purchase of some fab Tahari pumps, I made it home. I sank into the couch, ate my Chinese take out, and watched some crime dramas (my fave) and some college basketball. And then that's when the past came out of the blue and knocked on my door.

I had a hard time deciding if I would blog about this, as I'm not sure that I want everyone to know about certain aspects of my life, but I decided that I made a commitment to write about the significant events in my life that affect my year, and this definitely fits. It all started when I sent out a blanket message to let everyone know that I was leaving on the 12th to move, and I wanted to try to see all my friends to say goodbye. I included a few ex-boyfriends that I still consider friends on this message. I didn't expect any of them to reply, but I thought it was a nice courtesy to let them know.

So, one of them texted me back tonight to get the scoop on my impending move. He asked where I was staying, and wanted to know if he could stop by and see me. I think this guy is fantastic. Not fantastic for me, but just a good person. He's smart, he's handsome, he's funny, but he can't commit. He likes to rotate his girlfriends. He'll break up with one, and go back to the other, then switch. I'm not part of this equation, although I do occasionally see him since he has stayed friends with our mutual friends. So, X stops by and we chat. Things seem good. He's actually achieving all the goals he set for himself, and seems happy. And then it happened. We kissed. And it all just flowed from there. And I know that I'll never date this guy again, but we have a special connection from the unique situation we went through together. And as we layed there and talked and he ran his fingers through my hair and kissed the top of my forehead, I felt content and safe for the first time in so long. He asked me what was going through my head. I was honest with him. I told him that my last boyfriend had really hurt me and that I just couldn't let anyone else in. He asked why I let him in then. Simple, I've let him in before, and I trust him. I know that this surface stuff can't hurt me. It's when real love, emotions, and my heart get involved. I've already given this man a piece of my heart that I'll never get back. I'll always care about him, but I know that he can come over, kiss me, hold me, and walk away and it won't break me. Maybe that's not an emotionally healthy decision, but at this point, I needed to feel close to someone. I needed someone to hold me, and talk to me, and care about me. I needed to open my heart up just the tiniest bit so I could know that I was capable of that simple act again.

So, no matter what my friends might say, I'm glad I let him come over. If for anything, it will help me with closure when I leave next week. I think we both said things we needed to say for a long time. And we now both know that no matter what, we're both there for each other.

Good night,

Miss L.A.

February 2, 2010: Monotony abounds

Tuesday. Normally new music Tuesday, but with the state I've been in lately, I'll have to catch up next week.

I went back to the office today, and by now the news is out that I've resigned. I've had mixed reactions. Some people have come up to me and seemed genuinely sad, others haven't even mentioned it. We're going to do a lunch next week, and possibly a happy hour. I'll miss a few people at my office. Namely my direct supervisor, Maria, who tells me all about her huge Hispanic family, and speaks TexMex when she gets excited. The two other marketing gals, Jo and Angel. They are awesome. Jo is close to my age, married and lives in a small town. She and I share a love for shopping and country music. Angel is about the same age as my mom and is hands down the sweetest lady ever. She prays for me, cooks for me, and brings a smile to my face everyday. She is everyone's ideal coworker. She faces some of life's hardest trials with a constant smile. Her husband has late stage Multiple Sclerosis, and is bedridden. They both are the happiest people I know. John, her husband, will call the office, and is always overjoyed to talk to me. I bake for him, and he calls and just oohs and ahhs over the treats.

So, with the good people I've gotten to know at work, it will be bittersweet to leave. Even with all the horrid communication, the gossip, the behind the back business deals, I will still miss my office. I'll leave with a great new set of skills and a new appreciation for my next job.

Unfortunately because I'm leaving, I am working on one mind numbing project after another. My day was filled with indexing and merging duplicate files. All 1600 of them. This will take days to complete, but at least when I'm done, I won't have to ever look at these files again. That alone brings a smile to my face.

'Til tomorrow,

Miss L.A.

Tuesday, February 2

February 1, 2010: Transition begins

Monday. I got up, cleaned the house from top to bottom, and cleaned out the fridge. I was quite tired after all that work, and a weekend of packing and moving. I got a hot shower in and headed over to level out the ratio of food to beer at James' house. I ended up staying there for the rest of the day, and Alex came over to hang out as well. We spent a majority of the afternoon scheming good ideas for her wedding, and drinking apple wine. (Brewed by James and DELICIOUS.)

In the evening, some of the our posse headed over to chill while James brewed another batch of beer, and we all huddled around the brew pot to keep warm. We laughed, drank, and discussed the endless possibilities my life might take in just a few short weeks. I sat back and realized how blessed I've been the last six years to have friends like these. Friends that will sacrifice convenience and their homes just to make sure I have a place to stay. I'll miss them more than they know.

Time to get some rest.

Until next time,

Miss L.A.

January 31, 2010: Moving out and moving on

Sunday. I drove back from Ally's house Sunday morning. I had to leave Molly behind, and it was bittersweet. I love my pup so much. She's my best friend, and constant companion. Knowing that I'll be spending two weeks away from her breaks my heart.

I got back to my house and started packing again. It was brutally cold, and after a solid effort, I made it over to James' house to unload my stuff. I'll be staying in the ultimate bachelor pad for the next two weeks, and it's going to be a good change of pace for me. Imagine a 50'' HD flat screen, PS3, Wii, Netflix on Demand, an iMac, recording equipment, a kegerator complete with 4 taps, and surround sound to top it all off. Oh, and the fridge has a 75/25 ratio of beer to food. And I'd say that quite a large sum of the food is actually condiments.

After I got settled in, I went back into town to eat dinner at L&G's house. My favorite Sunday night restaurant. We had spinach lasagna and caesar salad. Delicious. After a satisfying meal, I headed back to my place for one last night's sleep there.

Good night,

Miss L.A.

January 30, 2010: One chaotic weekend

I first must apologize for being a little behind with my posts for the weekend. I've been moving and driving all over the place, and just haven't had a chance to write. My internet went down Saturday, so I'm just getting around to the last two days of posts.

So, Saturday I got up early and began packing, AGAIN. I feel like I've packed and moved more boxes in the last three months than just about any other time in my life. That's saying a lot since I've moved something like nineteen times in my life. I moved out of my fabulous house at the end of October of last year. I packed, sold, and stored all eleven hundred square feet of my belongings. All my worldly possesions now reside in a 16x8 foot box. When I finally get to my new city, get a job and a place to live, this box will be delivered to me so I can settle into my new home. You would think that after storing so many things that I wouldn't have much left. Unfortunately I filled up my little four-door sedan on two separate trips. I'm starting to think that I wish I could just sell everything I own and start over.

After a day of packing, Walmart shopping, and throwing things out, I drove up to see my best friend Ally and store some things in her garage. I also dropped off my most prized possession, my dog Molly, to stay with her for the week while I stayed at my James' house. He has three cats and I'm pretty sure Molly would lose an eye if she stayed there. She may only weigh seven pounds, but she thinks she can beat up a twenty pound cat anyday. :)


While I was visiting Ally, we went to see a great movie, Crazy Heart. You should seriously consider the soundtrack (Crazy Heart: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack). The acting was incredible. I loved every minute of it. If you are a music lover, run, don't walk to see this film. T Bone Burnett wrote the music, and it's some of the best country music that I've heard in a long time. I can't wait to see if they win for Best Original song at the Oscars.

After a long day, it was good to fall into bed and finally be able to get a full night's sleep. I could breathe well enough to sleep through the whole night. A first for the week.


Ciao for now,

Miss L.A.

Friday, January 29

January 29, 2010: I quit!

So today I did something that I never thought I'd have the guts to do. I quit my job. That's right, Miss L.A. used her writing and speaking skills to sit down with the scary CFO and tell her that this wasn't going to work and that I would be leaving in two short weeks. And then I handed her my lovely written resignation letter. I even negotiated a small severance!

As you likely read in yesterday's post, my life is a little out of sorts at the moment. I've been living out of boxes, broke, sick, stressed, and unhappy at work. And even though I've only been doing my new secretary job for a few days, and people are already starting to talk to me like I'm stupid. People call, and I feel like they instantly assume that I'm an airhead.

So, after the crazy mix of it all, I decided that moving home and starting my life fresh in a new(ish) city would be the best option. I mean, it's not really that new because I lived there growing up, but it's been 11 years since I've lived there and I know that times have changed. I can't wait to see and catch up with my friends. I can't wait to find all the good restaurants, and my favorite hangouts, and just to rediscover my sense of curiosity.

After all the bad of yesterday, I'm finishing today on a high note. I'm ready to take this next step and make sure that my 2010 is the best year I've ever had.

Cheers,

Miss L.A.

Thursday, January 28

January 28, 2010: 'Twas a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

I have to start this post out by talking about someone else's day. Because even though my day wasn't great, my dear, dear friend experienced the worst pain of life, losing a child. Kate and I have been friends for twenty years. She's a person I've looked up to since the 4th grade. She's smart, she's beautiful, she's witty, and she's the sweetest spirit you'll ever meet. She has the most rock solid faith of just about any woman I've ever met. She lost her baby today. The sweet angel was born and lived for two precious hours on this earth. When I got the news my heart just broke. I can't imagine how she and her husband must feel. It's a helpless feeling to see your friend in pain and not be able to do anything to repair it. I've been praying for sweet Kate all day today, and I will hold her and her sweet baby in my heart always.

Needless to say even after I had an awful morning, hearing that news gave me some perspective. I know that all things, no matter how bad they seem can always be worse. And for whatever reason things happen, they do, and you can't let the bad things keep you down. When you're broken, you can't stay broken. You've got to put in some effort to glue the pieces back together.

And so I sit here broken. I'm broken from my relationship that turned into a terrible web of lies. I'm broken from the impending loss of my job. Broken from the fact that all too soon I'll be leaving my city to move back home to be closer to my family. Broken from the fact that I feel like I've lost most of my friends because it seems like bad news follows me around. I hate calling anyone anymore because I just know that they think, Gee, I wonder what else could have happened to her now? Deep down I hope that my real friends don't really feel that way, but my insecurities repeatedly make me feel otherwise. Ultimately, I'm ready to share some good news. Even though I'd say I'm happy, I want to be back to the old me that couldn't ever stop smiling, who always had her glass half full, and who was the ultimate optimist. I miss that version of myself. I haven't seen her in a while and I'm ready to put her back on display and make sure she never leaves again.

So, it's time to pack all the baggage up (literally and figuratively) and get back on that path. I'm ready to see what's around the next bend :)

Ciao,

Miss L.A.