Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Hunt for a Hobby

I recently started having anxiety attacks, seemingly out of the blue. I went to a counselor to see what I could do to stop having these awful panicking feelings. She taught me some awesome breathing techniques and mindfulness exercises, and she also asked what I do to take care of myself.

I didn't really have an answer. I said, "Well, sometimes I exercise and I try to eat healthy...?"

She said, "But what do you do for fun?"

I said, "Well when I clean the house and organize things, it makes me feel good."

She said, "Well what's the thing that you can do and you don't realize it, but two hours have passed because you were so enjoying what you were doing?"

I thought about that and "cleaning and organizing" was definitely not the answer to that question. I couldn't really think of anything, besides hanging out with friends and family, but that didn't really count for this.

She explained that we are to "Love one another as we love ourselves," and many times we miss the point about loving ourselves. There are three parts to love and nurture in ourselves: body (exercise, eating, etc.), spirit (relationship with God), and soul (something you enjoy, a creative outlet, etc.).

So my homework was to breathe deeply and slowly, notice things in the present, and to find some things that I enjoy doing and do them, even if the kitchen sink is filled with dishes or I should be sweeping the floors, catching up on laundry, getting the mail, walking Addie, or returning the "guaranteed not to fall" shower caddy that scared me half to death in my sleep last night when it fell off the wall.

I got home last night and asked Geoffrey what my hobby or activity should be. He had actually told me last week that I should find a hobby. Geoffrey is The King of Hobbies. He golfs, plays guitar, paints pictures, backpacks in the woods, home-brews beer, smokes meat, plays video games and Fantasy Football, makes jerky and dried herbs, drinks fancy tea -- you name it, he probably does it! And even he couldn't really help me with hobby ideas.

So I Googled, "What should my hobby be?" I found a little quiz (love quizzes) and I answered all the questions. It came back saying I should be a Tea Connoisseur (hence why I included "drinks fancy tea" in Geoffrey's hobbies) -- didn't know that was a hobby, but good to know. As much as I like quizzes, I'm not sure if I am buying the Tea Connoisseur hobby - still thinking on that one.

I decided to Google, "List of Hobbies." This came back with a long list of some pretty interesting hobbies and was very helpful. I wrote down the items that I am going to consider for my hobbies - tea connoisseur, reading for leisure, writing, crocheting, journaling, quilting, gardening, drawing, running (maybe walking!), thrift shopping, meditation or yoga. It's a pretty nice list with some things I might feel comfortable doing and some things I definitely won't feel comfortable doing, but I could end up liking these things!

When I was telling my mom and Mary about my hobby dilemma today, they said, "Your Blog!!!"

I had completely forgotten that I used to enjoy blogging. Life got busy and the blog went on the back burner after college. But here I am -- trying out this old hobby that I forgot I ever had, and I think I like it!

P.S. I am also going to try yoga and then gardening in the Spring.

Some other soul-nurturing things to think about doing:
Take a walk in nature and notice everything.
Create a scrapbook with your favorite photos.
Sing in the car (of course with the volume loud enough:).
Listen to soothing music (shout out to the New Age Relaxation Station on Amazon Music).
Savor every single bite of your meal or dessert.
Bake a cake.
Watch a comedy and laugh.
Do a random act of kindness.
Journal about your day.
Have tea with a friend or your spouse.
Play with your kids or your dog.
Read a good book.

I hope you will purposefully do something today that nurtures your soul, and don't feel guilty about taking a little time for yourself!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Trying To Catch Up ... Our Wedding a Year and One Month Late

A whole lot has happened in the few years (!!!!!) that I have not blogged. I was torn between creating a new blog for the post-college life, or continuing with this one. After trying to think of a new blog name for about 5 minutes, I decided to stick with this one for simplicity. 

I would say that my biggest life event since last blogging has been my name change, and my marriage that went along with it.

A little over a year ago, on April 26, 2014 Geoffrey and I got married at the Little Brown Church on Signal Mountain. I would say it was one of the prettiest days that I can remember in all my life. Maybe I'm biased. But, the weather was very important, because we got married in a church that only fit about 120 people inside, and the remaining 100 people had to sit outside. And our reception was under a white tent in my parents front yard, so rain would have been a bummer. 

This is a picture of us sitting in the church after seeing each other.
Photos by Greg and Jeannie Forehand

As a side note, I really enjoyed the first look before the ceremony and I would recommend it to anyone on the fence about this. We both felt a lot calmer after that, and we both enjoyed talking for a few quiet minutes.

We were married by Geoffrey's youth pastor and the same guy that he worked under for a couple of years when he interned as summer youth intern at his church. He did a wonderful job, and that reminds me that I want to watch the video that we have of the service. 

Our reception was in my parents' front yard under a white tent. My parents had the yard looking incredible, and the weather was perfect for it. Thinking back to it, I really was never nervous that the weather wouldn't be perfect. 

Here are a few pictures from the day...

My sisters and maids-of-honor

I wore my grandmother's and my mother's wedding dress.
It was all the same as when they wore it,
except that we took off the lace sleeves because they were damaged.

We wouldn't have had the wedding without my mom's help!!

My Granddaddy has Alzheimer's, but he was so happy and good that day - such a blessing. 

My sweet flower girls

Right after we were married, and we were so happy!!! 

If we had actually tried to do a serious face, it would have never turned out like this. 

Next, I want to give an update on our house! Hopefully it won't be another four years before I post again!

Monday, January 9, 2012


Much has gone on since I  last blogged. Here's the DL.

We celebrated Thanksgiving. 

In December, I passed my tests so that I can become a stock broker.

I became licensed just last week! (Yay)

We celebrated Geoffrey's birthday the weekend before Christmas.
I got him a camping stove. 

Then we celebrated Christmas.

I got some wonderful things.

We made some great memories.

The day after Christmas, we made the trek to Florida.

We enjoyed paddling around in our canal. 
By "enjoyed," I mean that I was making those deep breath noises where you suck air in really fast when you think you're about to die... the whole time. I'd say that I get a little panicking in wobbly boats in shallow, alligator-filled canals. I'd also say that I am dramatic about it. 

While in Florida, Geo and I drove to Disney World one day.

I loved it! I hadn't been since middle school. Lots had changed! 

After Florida, we went to Auburn to visit my sweet Grandmother, Diddie and her husband Andy. 

Geoffrey and Adam got in the boat in her pond. 

Geo and Adam had the bright idea to walk around the pond to explore. Geo led, then I followed, with Mary and Adam behind me. Then I stepped in this. 

It was completely covered and camouflaged with leaves until I stepped in it (so it wasn't me being clumsy).

Suddenly I dropped down into this hole. And by dropped down, I mean my entire left leg was down there, up to my hip!! My other leg was out of the hole so I was kind of doing the splits. 

Not sure if this would be a normal first reaction, but not knowing why in the world there would be a hole that deep in the middle of the woods in Alabama, I thought it was a mine that was going to blow my leg off. You would not believe how fast I pulled my leg up out of there! It hurt my wrists because I pushed up so hard on them trying to get out of the hole.

Mary and Adam couldn't stop laughing since they saw it happen, I was completely shocked, and Geoffrey was in front so he didn't have any idea what happened.   

I am thankful that it wasn't a mine, and I now know that sometimes stumps rot out and leave deep holes in the ground. If that ever happens to you- you'll know it's not a mine!

We came home from Auburn and celebrated the New Year. 

I met reality and went back to work. 

Work has been really fun since I've gotten my license and started to do more exciting things. I can now have my own clients! 

I just got home from visiting Geoffrey in Nashville. 
We celebrated my birthday with a nice dinner at the Opryland hotel one night 
and with his parents one night at Bucca. Both nights were great! 

I'm not ready to be 23 yet- 2 more days of being 22 left! I'm going to live it up! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Working World

It's been a while! I haven't really known what to blog about lately. 

The working world puts a damper on my blogging because I pretty much go to work and come home every day, and I don't have so much time to procrastinate and blog like I used to. 

I went to Florida for fall break a couple of weeks ago. My cousin Emily and her two friends, Sarah and Kelly went, and my mom and me. We watched the entire season one of Friday Night Lights in three days, and I loved every minute of it. 

We took some fun/funny pictures one day when a storm was blowing in and the winds were crazy. 

I got back to work and hit the ground running so I could get caught up to stay on track for studying for my Series 7 licensing exam... And that has defined my life since then. I am taking a cram course next week and will then be ready to take the exam the following Monday. (Yay!) I'm ready to have this over! 

I am moving out of my parents house to a house next door with my cousin Crosby. I'm excited about that because it will be fun living with her but I can still be close to my parents, and I'll probably still be at home a lot. I'll have the best of both worlds! 

I wish I had a cool/fun/exciting/funny story to tell you, but I can't think of one, so I'll keep this one short. 

I'll be thinking for next time! 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Going to the Office

I am a part of the real working world now. So far, so good!

I'm working for my uncle as his assistant stock broker, learning everything I can from him and from my two huge books for the General Securities Representative Exam (Series 7) and for the Uniform Combined State Law Exam (Series 66). So pretty much, I'll be going to work for the first couple of months to study for these exams so that I can get licensed and can then do my job and eventually do what he does!

Anyways, it's been an adjustment to go from a college student to unemployed/make-my-own-schedule to a 40 hour work week, but it hasn't been too bad as long as I get in bed a little earlier than I used to.

I get my own office, which has probably been the most exciting part, besides of course, learning about municipal debt characteristics.

The decorating is coming slowly but surely. I still have a little ways to go. I also love having an office instead of the way college was, having to bring your stuff with you everywhere you do. It's nice to go to the office and already have everything you need!

My lunch/study break is up, so I'll blog later.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My Life in Pictures (And Captions)

Life on the Mountain is so different from Life in College. But it's good! 

Crosby and I worked at the barn lot for days trying to clean up the brush (shown behind the dump truck).

We inspired other people in the family to help us clean up.

These two adorable four-year-olds (my cousins) play in my yard at least once a day. 

We take Shelby most places, and we've tried to get creative with the car seat thing. My thoughts were that all a car seat did was give her a few extra inches-just like the arm rest would do! Shelby didn't buy it. 

It rained and rained and rained... And I had to get the eggs (Dad left town because of the rain). 

I work at Poppy Flower Shop and got to make this! 
Cooking classes were so fun with Crosby... 
And the next night we practiced our cooking.

This is tiramisu that we learned at cooking class.
I forgot half the brandy and rum and it was much better than normal.

Donkeys escaped after the rainstorm because the tree was down on the fence... and so a drizzly morning walk turned into an hour long chase/enticement of the donkeys. Just another day... Good thing I didn't have plans that day.

I get to watch Laurel Anne and Shelby at gymnastics.

I get to visit Geoffrey for UT football games.

I also get to babysit Kaden any time that I want. 

Crosby got a draft horse tonight that is HUGE. She is so gentle and sweet but her size (1700 pounds and her shoulders are 6 feet tall) is intimidating to say the least. I'll be waiting a while before I jump on. At this point, I'm great with looking at her and petting her.

Haley the horse could barely fit in the barn stall. 
And so, that's my exciting life on the mountain. It's a very different kind of exciting compared to college exciting, but it's good. Every day is different. And I have a feeling this horse is going to keep it interesting.