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Orlando doesn't suck/ Home for the holidays

December 31, 2014

Spending almost a week back home was exactly the recharge I needed after a change-filled last 6 months. Moving across state lines ranks high on the life stressor charts, even if it is still exciting at times. I remember my orientation leader at Florida State advising us to wait a few months before going back home for a visit. She said that you should give your new home a chance to settle in before running off to visit your hometown. I tend to think there is some truth to that line of thinking. Coming home now gave me the perspective to view my home city through a new lens. I'll be the first to begrudgingly admit that I had a negative view of Orlando the last few years. I was that person who was quick to say that the city was boring and it lacked culture. Even as we were making our decision to move and getting the house on the market to sell, there was a noticeable shift in Orlando with more independent restaurants opening and neighborhoods focusing on weekend events for locals. Now there is a full blown "Orlando Doesn't Suck" movement of people working to rethink the city and make it a better place to live. I saw a lot of this shift when I was down for the holidays. Where I normally would be greeted with endless chain restaurants I now found new independent restaurants with distinct flavors, and empty entertainment complex near the tourist area converted to an artisan marketplace, and a beautiful new performing arts center. Color me impressed Orlando.

We were more than ecstatic to leave behind the days of high temperatures in the 40's and Florida did not disappoint in the weather department. High in the 70's and being bale to dine at fresco at night was a treat. Kavalier made the trip down with us and he loved having so much space to play around. Funny how quickly my parents got used to having him in the house. Overall it was a relaxing trip home filled with spending quality time with my parents, eating good food, and taking it easy.

When blogging takes a backseat

December 21, 2014

It's been a few weeks since I wrote in this space. I find that when life gets crazy I lose my motivation to write. Things at work have been hectic to say the least with working on community outreach regarding the Affordable Care Act and when I get home all I want to do is a whole lot of nothing. I'm also pretty sure I am suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder. The sun goes down here around 5:00 pm which seems to zap me of any post work energy. I had the same problem when I lived in Worcester. I have no idea how people live in places with limited sunlight, not having it definitely affects my mood.

In 2 days I will be home in Orlando for the holidays, which I couldn't be more excited about. I haven't been back since I left 6 months ago and it will be nice to be home for a few days. I'm not going to lie seeing the forecasted weather of high in the 70's is making me excited. The highs here have been lingering in the 40's for weeks. Bring on the chance to be able to go outside sans coat.

Lucky 7

December 08, 2014

It is hard to believe that 7 years ago this week I went from daily phone calls and the beginning of a crush on T to becoming his girlfriend. At the time I was five months into my move to Worcester, MA and thought nothing would become of the guy I went on two dates with just weeks before my departure to New England. Life had unexpected plans for me.

Seven years later and we have been through so many adventures.

We survived 4 months of long distance dating and became experts at the airport goodbye.

We successfully managed the transition from never living with a significant other to living together without killing each other.

We rescued Kavalier and made our family of 3.

We survived layoffs and career changes.

We discovered our own little paradise on Earth (Key West) and got engaged there.

We maneuvered the home buying process and planned a wedding. Not at the same time, kudos to those who handle both in the same year.

We managed to stay sane during his thesis work in our first year of marriage.

We have lived in a new city and state for the last 6 months and truly learned how strong our bond is. If you ever want to see how strong your marriage is, just move out of state and see how it tests both of you.

Thanksgiving 2014

December 01, 2014

This Thanksgiving week I had to work Monday-Wednesday and was grateful to have my parents fly in Monday evening and my sister and nephews joined us the next night.  Luckily Northern Virginia is only a 5 hour drive away from her, since she has to split holidays and won't be coming down to Florida for Christmas. DC got a small amount of slushy snow on Wednesday morning while I was busy at work which means I missed my mom freaking out about it while walking around the National Mall. I'm pretty sure her Caribbean blood is not made for snow.

We spent Thanksgiving at the National Zoo and had a traditional turkey dinner in Chinatown. It was definitely cold the last few days here with highs in the 40's. I couldn't help but roll my eyes when I saw people back home complain about 50 degrees on Facebook. Floridians are so funny.  It was nice to have my family up here for a few days and spend quality time with them.  My nephews grow so fast that I try to treasure each visit we have. I can't believe my oldest nephew is about to turn 7 years old. They grow up so fast.

This visit could haven't come at a better time. I'm going through some difficult things right now and having my family around me was just what I needed.  Only 22 days until I go home for Christmas.