The Most Important Things in Life…

Today’s blog is on a very important subject – my family and friends. These are the people who love me and who have made me who I am today.

My Husband, Josh
Josh is…
A tax accountant with a large accounting firm (he loves it-accounting is definitely what he was meant to do in life)
Sweet, kind, honest
Loyal and devoting
Tall and handsome with an adorable smile and curly hair 🙂
Loves video games, big TVs, movies, baseball and comics
Josh and I have been married since October 20, 2007, but we’ve been dating since October 2002. We met at a party during our freshman year at UGA. Over the past 7 years, we have been through a lot of ups and downs in our relationship, but I love him with all of my heart and I know he is my soul mate.

My Mom
My mom is…
A retired school teacher (she taught elementary school for 32 years-32!!!!!)
A strong, practical, southern woman
A loving mother (I am my mom’s only child. I feel so blessed to have her all to myself.)
A worrywart (A trait she has passed on to me.)
My mom is my best friend. We didn’t get along when I was in high school (I was a typical whinny “I hate my life” teenager) but once I went off to college, I really started appreciating my mom. She had a rough life growing up and a terrible first marriage. But she and my dad have been married for 26 years and even though she nags and he “forgets” things, they still love each other. In today’s society, I feel very blessed to have two parents who are still together and who still love each other.

My Dad
My Dad is…
Retired from the Atlanta Housing Authority. (Not sure what his title was, but he helped his clients find a place to live.)
Very open-minded and nonjudgmental
Talkative, kind, loving
Currently substitute teaching at local elementary schools
Forgetful and absent minded (Dad-if you ever are reading this, don’t be offended! You know it’s true! 🙂 )
My dad is such a good, kind person. He has strong morals and a very open mind. He loves learning new things (he’s even on Facebook-my mom refuses to join). He’s also a very active member of the Atlanta Unitarian Church. He was in the Navy for a while (I’m ashamed to admit I really don’t know much about that, though.) We are so similar-both of us are very sensitive and our feelings are easily hurt. He has a son and daughter from a previous marriage. My sister has two children and my dad dotes on them and spoils them rotten.

My Sister and Brother
My sister, Jennifer, is a stay at home mom to two adorable kids. My niece and nephew are so smart and well behaved – she’s an awesome mom! She taught ESOL before having her babies and is married to a great guy named Josh. (Which is funny since my husband’s name is Josh and he has a sister named Jennifer. Crazy!) My brother, Tom, is quite a character. He loves video games and sci-fi and is very outspoken. He’s a bachelor and is a great Uncle to my niece and nephew.

Josh’s Family
Josh grew up in a small town north of Athens and he comes from a very large extended family. I love going up there to visit since I grew up in such a small family-it’s so much fun! His dad and mom are devout Christians and I appreciate the way they raised Josh. (His momma raised him right! 🙂 ) They accepted me right away and love me just like a daughter. They also serve as foster parents and have taken in many children over the past few years. Josh has two brothers, both about to graduate high school. Eric (who was a foster child and is now adopted) is a star football player and Jordan has enlisted in the army. I’m very proud of both of them. Josh’s sister, Jennifer, is only a year and a half younger than me. She’s so much fun-I love spending time with her! She took the road I avoided and is actually teaching at the same middle school I did my student teaching at. God bless her-the world needs more dedicated teachers!

My Lovely Friends (in alphabetical order)

Kara: Kara and I have known each other since elementary school, but have grown closer over the past few years. She is married and currently in nursing school for Ultrasound technology. She and I are both in a backwards race to see who will have kids first – she wants me to win and pop one out first and I want her to win. 🙂

Laura: Laura and I met at UGA. She was quite a party girl at college and is always a ton of fun! She has her Masters in…geography (I think?) and works for a company…doing something really cool sounding that I don’t quite understand. (I’m sorry Laura-help me out here, if you are ever reading this!)

Lauren: Oh Miss Lauren. She’s one of my closest buds. She and I met in middle school, but we never really became close until after we both graduated college. She is so much like me-a huge worrywart, very sensitive, and analytical…at least when it comes to our jobs. 🙂 She and I have some great conversations. She currently works for the finance department of a large hospital in Atlanta and is hoping to move into a financial analyst position. She is getting married to an awesome guy in Jamaica in June (Mr. Treymond 🙂 ). I am super excited about her wedding and so happy for her!

Meghan: Meghan and I have also known each other since middle school. We were close in high school and had some fun times chasing boys and flirting on napkins at Buffalos. She is a free spirited person and has TONS of energy. I’d like to have half of the energy she has. 🙂 She is a sign language interpreter for a Georgia counties school system and has a Masters in Education.

Ntasha: Ntasha is another one of my party girl friends. She is so much fun to talk to, which makes perfect sense because she has a psychology degree. She just got a new job, and I am a little fuzzy on exactly what she is doing, but I know it is some type of counseling. I bet she is awesome at it!

Robin: My Robin. She is my Miss Mayberry, sitting on the porch drinking ice cold cherry coke. She is a true southern girl. She loves her momma, Vera Bradley, and good ol’ southern boys. She’s also another one of my closest friends. We were roommates senior year at UGA (the BEST year) and we’ve stayed close. She has an English degree and currently works as a purchasing manager. She is dating a great guy who we all think would make a great Mr. Robin and I am slowly but surely going to crack him and he WILL propose. 🙂 Robin is super smart and has a very sarcastic sense of humor, which I wish I could pull off.

Veena: Veena is such a sweet girl-I really think she needs to move back to Georgia! She and I met in high school and became really close in college. She works for a technology company down in Florida and even though I love being able to crash at her place when we go down to Disney, I miss her too much and she needs to move back up here to where the iced tea is served sweet.

Vinitha: Vinitha is Veena’s older sister. We met when I was still in high school, but became closer in college. She is also an accountant (not sure if she enjoys it as much as Josh) and recently got married to a great guy-the wedding was BEAUTIFUL! She is always smiling and I think she and I need to hang out more, now that we are both old married women. 🙂

I am so blessed to have all these wonderful, supportive people in my life!

Nothing of Substance

So last night, I met my parents (and their SUV) at Home Depot to buy some patio furniture I found that was CHEAP! I was so excited!! My husband and I have wanted patio furniture since last spring (but by the time it was fall, and all the sets went on sale, I had been laid off and we didn’t think it was smart to spend money on something frivolous like patio furniture). But now that we have a little bit of money and I found some with an awesome price, I HAD to buy. The table was only $69 – and it seats 6! The chairs were $19.99 each-awesome! We just bought 4 (we can use folding chairs if we have more ppl over) and the total price for the 5 piece set was…..$159!! Compared to the $299-$599 sets I’ve been seeing – this is a great deal! Hopefully it isn’t so cheep that it will break after a few uses. So now, I am super excited for spring. Al fresco dinner parties, grilling out, watching the sunset while eating dinner every night. Ahhhhh – it sounds lovely!

On a completely different subject, tomorrow night, my husband and I are having dinner with some friends at Taco Mac. If you have a Taco Mac near you, you MUST try the ranch dressing. Their ranch dressing is THE BEST ranch in the world. It is soooo tasty as a dip with fries. YUMMY! So I’ve already planned out my whole day tomorrow to allow myself enough calories for the Taco Mac fries and ranch dressing.

Speaking of calories, if you do not know of Sparkpeople.com, you really need to check it out. It is a great website to track your calories-I have been using it almost every day this year to prepare for my best friend’s Jamaica wedding in June. It’s at the amazing Sandals Whitehouse resort – I can’t WAIT until we go! But I need to lose around 15lbs to be brave enough to be in a bathing suit for a week.

I feel like I should get paid for today’s post. I’ve endorsed Home Depot, Taco Mac, Sparkpeople.com, and the Sandals resort in Jamaica. Where’s my money? 🙂

As you can tell, I have no deep thoughts for today, nothing of substance to blog about, but since it has been a while since I have posted anything, I figured I should write. So now you know what’s been going on in my life this past week – nothing. 🙂

While I’m on a roll, here’s a few other random endorsements:

I got the new Mary Kay Andrews‘ book from the library yesterday. I’ve already read almost half the book – I LOVE her books!

A few of the blogs I stalk were talking about Lilly Pulitzer. I had no idea who she was, so I googled. She has the cutest line of dresses and I bet I would look awesome in one of those dresses in Jamaica. Maybe this one:

or this one!
Gotta start saving. This would definitely be considered a frivolous purchase. 🙂

Communication Breakdown

Ok, so the Led Zeppelin song “Communication Breakdown” doesn’t really relate to my post any further than having the word “communication” in the title, but I do like that song! 🙂

So I know I have mentioned before that I blog stalk. It all started when one of my coworkers got pregnant and started a blog. I started reading her blog – which is completely adorable. She is one of those “clever” writers I spoke of in my first post. After a while, I started clicking on her friends’ blogs and reading them. That’s when I started to feel like a total psychopath because now, when my coworker talks about going to see her friend from Ohio’s new baby, I not only know which friend she is referring to, but I also know the new baby’s name, what the baby’s room looks like, the parent’s thoughts on parenting, and way more information than I ever should know when I haven’t ever met said Ohio friend. Now I even search for blogs to read. When I decided to start my own blog, I had to search to make sure no one had the same name that I wanted. Which is how I came across the blog of BusinessBelle. She has a great posting here on the way women communicate in the workplace. I always thought my communication skills were above average when I worked at “The Attraction.” But when I started at the corporate office, I realized I had a lot to learn. See, the way you are taught to communicate in a customer service environment and they way people communicate in a corporate environment are two TOTALLY different things.

The way I see it:

Customer Service Communication – Smiling, friendly, wordy, apologetic, helpful (what can I do for you), “ultra-explanatory”, lengthy (I have all the time in the world for you), tiptoeing around an issue as to not offend anyone
Corporate World Communication – Direct, to the point, assertive, purposeful (what can you do for me), urgent (I have no time for you)

I’m not trying to be negative and make it sound as if all corporate level employees are rude, arrogant and mean. (Because I don’t know ANY professionals with those qualities. 🙂 ) I’m just trying to show the difference between the type of communication I was used to for 9 years and the corporate world type I have had to adjust to. Businessbelle’s example of the differences between how men talk and how women talk really hit home. When I started at the corporate office, that is the exact way I would approach anyone I needed to speak with – shy, intimated, wordy, and overly friendly. I would come across as ditzy and annoying. Now I’ve learned to completely plan out what I am going to say before I walk into someone’s office. I try to be direct, to the point and quick. I get the info I need and then let them get back to work. I never apologize for interrupting (if they have their door open and they aren’t on the phone, they should expect people to come in and talk to them).

There are so many other differences I am realizing between what I have known in my 8 years working in customer service and the few years I have worked in a professional environment. I wonder sometimes if my customer service background is keeping me from getting ahead in the business world. If I had been more assertive from the beginning, maybe I wouldn’t have been laid off? And maybe if I am more assertive in this position, I won’t be laid off again. Speaking of…

Just found out they are interviewing someone for my position next week. UG!

Dear God, PLEASE let me keep this job. I really don’t want to be laid off twice in less than 6 months!

just me

So after a couple of months of blog-stalking, I caved. I’ve started a blog. Some blogs I read are really interesting and are written by clever, articulate, good writers. Some blogs…not so much. I don’t consider myself a good writer, clever and I am definitely not articulate! (Ask anyone-sometimes when I talk, I don’t even make sense.) I have also forgotten, all knowledge, of how to, correctly use, a comma. Hehe. But darn it, I want a blog. 🙂

One day, I’d like to look back at this time in my life and laugh. Laugh about how I worried so much over things that seemed so important, but never really mattered in the end. *Note to self-stop worrying so much!*

So, read if you’d like – I guarantee there will be typos, comma splices, and misspelled words. And I’m not promising it’ll be witty, clever, or even interesting. It will just be me-inarticulate, boring, little-ol’ me. 🙂