Image Map

Homesickness happens to the best of us

June 30, 2014

Yesterday I got my first pangs of homesickness. My sister and nephews are at my parents house for the next week and a half, and I won't be there. Normally I would have spent every possible moment playing with my nephews and spending quality time with my older sister. But that is not my new normal. Instead seeing an Instagram picture of my sister at the park with my nephews and mom brought me pathetically into tears. I couldn't help but wish I was there with them. The older I get the more I realize how blessed I am to have a good relationship with my parents. I know many people my age do not have a positive and loving relationship with their parents.

Then I reminded myself that this is all part of the moving away from home scenario. And that I made it through worse without a loving husband by my side. 7 years ago I had a hellish break up that drained me emotionally to the point that I wanted out. Out of Orlando. Anywhere but there. So I got accepted into a graduate program in Worcester, MA where I had an uncle that I'm not super close to and a cousin. Basically I moved by myself to a new city in a new part of the country, scary is an understatement. It is still the hardest experience of my life. I found myself an outsider in a place that made no secret that it did not like outsiders. I loved exploring Boston in the fall, watching the leaves change colors in a way that is only magical to those of us who grew up in a place with no seasons, but then came winter. My first introduction to winter was the brutal New England kind. Winter is when I slid into what I later self-diagnosed as clinical depression. But I lasted a year before I finally decided enough was enough and returned home. I know if I made it through that time in my life, I can handle the tough moments that will surely arise in relocating to a new city and state with my best friend by my side.

Friday Favorites

June 27, 2014


I have been obsessed with quote since I can remember. What can I say, I love words. I used to collect quotes in my journals in the pre-Pinterest days. So I picked my current favorite one. I feel this quote perfectly encapsulates my life at the moment.


In the last few months I have been really into The Head and the Heart. I can't tell you how many times I listened to them on the drive from Florida to Virginia. One of their songs River and Roads has a line that says, "Been talking about the way things change/And my family lives in a different state/And if you don't know what to make of this then we will not relate."

Vacation spot:

One of the things I will miss about no longer being a resident of the Sunshine state is being able to drive to Key West in 6 hours. I feel in love with quirky Key West the first time I step foot on Duval Street. The Keys hold special significance to T and I. It was our first vacation together and the place where he proposed. If you ever visit this lovely little piece of heaven make sure to visit Pepe's Cafe. It was in the patio here where I became an engaged woman.

An All American weekend

June 23, 2014

This weekend marked us getting our first visitor, yes only 3 weeks in and we are already playing tour guide. I have to admit having T's uncle (who is always a blast to hang out with) is like having a little piece of home here in Virginia.  We spent Saturday strolling the National Mall and hitting up some of the memorials in DC. The novelty of being able to just hop on the metro and end up in the city has definitely not worn off yet.

I was in the minority in the group in not caring about the World Cup since my husband and his uncle are all gaga over the games. So we stopped in for brunch and game watching for them. Hey if I have to sit with a game I might as well get to get my brunch on. I have quickly picked up on the fact that this city takes brunch seriously. Maybe it has something to do with the work hard/play hard mentality of the city, but it appears that Washingtonians brunch hard. I think I can get behind the love of the brunch.

The Rachael Way

Looking for home

June 20, 2014

Home. That one word can illicit so many emotions from its mere mention. It is the place where you feel the most loved and an escape from the world when it gets rough. When we are children home tends to be easily defined for us, but as we become adults what makes a place can sometimes be hard to define.

I know for me that answer was easy when all my immediate family lived in the same city. Last Christmas my sister was able to come down with her family and that is when the realization of the new definition of home became clear to me. The home of my youth no longer existed. Sure my parents still live in the house where I grew up on the same street where I learned to ride a bike. But that is not my home anymore. Home is not a physical place, for me at least, now. Whether it be my sister's house in North Carolina, my parent's house in Orlando, or my new home state, home is when we are all together in the same place. I guess I finally understand what Zach Braff's character in Garden State was feeling about this.

Unemployment, World Cup, Oh My!

June 13, 2014

Thanks for the kind words about my bait and switch on the job interview turned sales pitch. I guess my job search karma is turning back around since yesterday I got called in for 2 job interviews for next week. And one of them called an hour after I sent the resume for a position that would be a great fit for my skills. Fingers crossed.

I celebrated my 2 interviews by going with T to watch the inaugural game of the World Cup. Honestly I just only tend to watch when the USA is playing, but T is big into the World Cup. Plus there is beer involved, so no arm twisting needed.

Sunday will mark two whole weeks since we made the long drive up with a UHaul full of our belongings and a confused dog sitting between us up front. So far so good. 


June 11, 2014

I have decided to link up with Kathy @Vodka and Soda for a Wednesday confessionals post. This works out since I'm feeling in a purging of the feelings kind of mood today.

Vodka and Soda

Confession: I started applying for jobs last week and was pleasantly surprised when one was fairly quick to call back requesting an interview. So yesterday morning I get up early for my 8:30 interview in Old Town when I walk into the office to quickly realize that it was no interview at all. Nope. It was a sales pitch complete with a presentation. I was so pissed that this company went out of their way to post a job ad that looked like a legitimate posting and just use it as a way to lure people into hearing a dumb spiel on how to be a salesman. I walked out telling the guy at the sign in sheet that this is not I thought of when I was asked to come in. I felt played and later treated myself to a Panera lunch. Yep food always makes me feel better about a situation.

Confession: Also on the jobs front, coming from little old Central Florida just looking at some of the job titles in the want ads is intimidating. I can't help but feel like I'm just an ex- teacher with a counseling degree, what about me?

Confession: I might the last woman to start reading The Fault in our Stars. My mom raved about it and lent me her copy before I came up here. Too bad I don't have anyone up here to go see the movie. I'm not one to usually drag a husband to a chick flick, but I might have to drag T to see it.

Liebster Award

June 08, 2014

One of my new favorite bloggers at nominated me for the lovely Liebster Award this week. If you haven't checked out her blog, you should! Thanks girl for the nod.

11 Questions

1. If you could go back and change one decision in your life, what would it be?

The only true regret I have in my life is letting a boyfriend influence my decision to transfer out of Florida State University at age 19. It was my dream school and I naively gave it up for my first love. I ended up transferring back home and graduating from University of Central Florida.

2. What's the craziest thing you've eaten while traveling?

Probably eating pigs feet in one of my many trips to Puerto Rico. Not a fan, but hey I tried it.

3. If you won a million dollars, what would you do tomorrow?

Call my student loan company and paying off my masters degree loans. I hate student loans.

4. How do you order a steak?


5. If you could magically change one thing about society, what would it be?

I would eliminate child abuse. As a former teacher I saw first hand how being abused really affects children and it breaks my heart.

6. What is one of your personal strengths?

What is this a job interview? I kid. I am and have always been a hard worker. I don't expect anything to just be handed to me. I know anything worth having is going to come with a healthy amount of work.

7. How much is too much for shoes?

Personally I have never paid over $100 for a pair of shoes. I drool over some cute Jimmy Choos once in a while but I doubt I can see myself paying retail for them anytime soon.

8. I wish I was less sensitive at times.

9. If money or time was no object, what is one goal you start on immediately?

I have a dream of traveling the world and seeing everything. I would start with my dream of backpacking through Central and South America. Argentina is on the top of that list. I have always felt drawn to Bueno Aires.

10. Key Lime pie, Chocolate cake, Creme Brulee, or fruit cobbler - pick one.

As a Florida native I should probably pick the Key Lime pie, but I have an unnatural love for chocolate cake that can not be denied.

11. If I come to visit you, what would we do?

Since I just moved to the DC metro area, we would definitely visit all the museums and monuments in DC. I mean they are free. I am quickly learning that DC loves to brunch. So we would probably go get some delicious brunch with unlimited mimosas.

11 Random facts about me

1. I have lived in 4 different places- I was born and raised in Orlando, FL, lived in Tallahassee, FL for 2 years, lived in Worcester, MA for 1 year, and now I live in Northern Virginia.

2. I can make my tongue touch my nose.

3. Until recently I was more of a beer girl. I have just in the last year or so started to get more into drinking wine.

4. My favorite color is purple.

5. I suck at parallel parking. It is not even on the drivers test in Orlando and you rarely have to do it there.

6. I prefer a handwritten to-do list over one in my phone.

7. I speak fluent Spanish.

8. I once won a karaoke contest at the age of 8. It was at a community BBQ and I won my own little karaoke machine.

9. I did not have my first boyfriend until the age of 15.

10. I have never liked the Smashing Pumpkins. As a teenager of the 90's most of my friends find this crazy. My husband still can't believe it.

11. I have tried sushi many times and I just don't like it.

I nominate bri@deliciously active

Your questions

1. What is your go to motivational quote and why?
2. Food trend you just don't understand.
3. If you could go back in time, what time and place would you visit?
4. What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
5. Fall or spring?
6. Last good book you read.
7. Favorite part about blogging.
8. What is your go to outfit?
9. What was your first concert?
10. What place have you visited that everyone loved, but you did not?
11. What physical feature about yourself is your favorite?

I made it!

June 04, 2014

This is the longest I have gone without blogging since I started my little space in the blogsphere last May, and I really did miss writing on here. If you have ever moved out of state before than you completely understand the chaotic nature of my life right now. I had my last day at work on the 23rd which was bittersweet. I worked at a small non-profit where for the most part we all got along with each other and where we laughed often. There is an odd tradition of having Publix (which for you non Floridians is the best grocery store and possibly one of the few food things I'll miss) fried chicken for the last day of any employee and I was no exception. I will always have a fond place in my heart for this job since they were the first place to hire me when I decided that 6 years of teaching was enough for me.

Riding in a U-Haul with T and the dog from Orlando to Northern VA was no small feat. We got stuck in traffic trying to get out of Florida and T kept joking that Florida didn't want us to leave. 13 hours later we arrived at our new home tired and worn-out. I have been here 3 days and so far I think we made the best choice in moving out of Orlando. Career wise this place is loaded with opportunities for T that he would have not access to back in our home state. Luckily for me my work experience is in fields that are found everywhere, at least that is what I keep telling myself.

                               Kavalier exploring the new park near our place.