"Eventually all the pieces fall into place....
until then, laugh at the confusion,
live for the moment, and know that everything
happens for a reason"

Monday, December 31, 2012

Oh 2012, How You've Challenged Me

It's been quite a year.

This time last year I was in the middle of an identity crisis. In efforts to escape a job I was unhappy with, I began researching travel nursing. I'd only been a nurse for about 6 months and I wanted to get out. I wanted out of my job. I wanted out of Johnson City. I wanted to explore and see new things. And that's why I started this blog. My plans were to move all across the country, 13 weeks at a time, with my husband at my side. What an adventure we were planning.

But as I've said before, and I'm sure you know by now, things don't always go as planned. At first it was disappointing to realize that this dream wasn't the reality that I'd hoped. If you had asked me my plans last January I would have NEVER predicted that in 2012 I would attempt to buy a house but lose it the day before closing, get kicked out of our apartment with nowhere to move, quit my job with no steady plan, move back to Scottsboro for over 3 months, live with my parents and then finally move to Montana. Are you kidding? Who could predict that?

Today I went back and read my first blog post. Read it HERE, if you want. The adventures that I thought were in front of us never came. And obviously, our life in the last year didn't exactly play out as planned. It's ironic really because in that first post I said, "Learning to let go of how I pictured things to be and embracing the beautiful reality of my life has been, and will continue to be a great challenge."

Honestly, our reality is amazing regardless of whether it was planned or not. And in the last year I've grown to accept and embrace our twisting, turning and chaotic life. And most importantly, with Paul by my side, we'll end up where we're suppose to be. And like I said in my very first post, " it's a special blessing to have a man who is willing to walk towards the unknown hand in hand with me."

Don't feel bad for me because my dreams and wants for 2012 never came true. Like I said, I wanted out of my job. I wanted out of Johnson City. I wanted to explore and see new things, with my husband by my side. All of those things came true! It may not have been the adventure we were planning but it was an adventure nonetheless.

Love and Happiness,

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A White Christmas

Christmas in Montana was a success!

While we unpacked the U-Haul we set all of our Christmas decorations to the side so that we could decorate our new place this year. It was a little bit later that usual but I was not willing to compromise Christmas just because it wasn't as convenient as other years.

Paul and I have adopted a few Christmas traditions from my childhood but we've also started a few traditions of our own. A Piskorz family tradition begins on Christmas Eve with a Chinese take-out meal. Paul thought this was strange when we first started dating but now it wouldn't be a Christmas Eve without it...even for him. So, on Christmas Eve we ventured out onto the snow-covered roads and picked up our food. Just imagine Paul trying to order our supper. She can't understand his southern accent and he really can't understand her broken English  Watching the two of them attempt to communicate with their hands was quite amusing.

A tradition that Paul and I started last year, our first Christmas together married, was to relocate our mattress to the living room by the Christmas tree. So sure enough, we moved the mattress downstairs. It's so romantic and peaceful to fall asleep to the glow of the tree. A Christmas tree is my favorite part of Christmas, so it's my favorite tradition yet. And better yet, it means breakfast in bed nearly everyday if you want!

Another tradition that we have is to get special Christmas ornaments when we go somewhere special. Our tree kind of tells a story of our favorite places and special events in our life. Maybe that's another reason the tree is my favorite part of Christmas. And just days before Christmas this year, we found a new ornament to go on our tree to mark our move to Montana.

And hopefully a new tradition that was started this year was to have a white Christmas. It snowed all day Christmas Eve and a little on Christmas morning. It really made the day seem that much more festive.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas like we did, filled with love and traditions. We really are blessed to be on this amazing adventure and we can't wait to see what 2013 holds!

Love and Happiness,

An Overview of Our Move to Montana

A lot has happened in the last month. It's actually pretty amazing what we've accomplished in such a short amount time and have still managed to settle in quite well in our new home.

It all started back on November 23rd. Paul got a call from his soon-to-be new boss offering him a job. He accepted the offer, of course, and there were lots of smiles, hugs and tears. We immediately hopped in the car and went and parked down by the river to discuss our plans. We decided to drive out to Montana to find a place to rent. We left on on Saturday, the 24th. After stopping at Paul's grandparent's house on Saturday night we drove the next two and half days to Helena. We stayed in a hotel that week and found our new place. We left my car in the new garage and flew home on Sunday, December 2nd.

Our original plan was to leave again on Friday, in a U-haul, for the official move. My mom was going to be out of town that week, making it so we couldn't say a proper goodbye. Paul, my sweet husband, changed our plans so we could see her before we left. :) After spending some time with my mom, we headed out on Sunday afternoon. Again, we stopped at Paul's grandparent's house for the night. On Monday morning, December 10th, we hit the road again.

The ride went as smoothly as possible considering we were in a huge U-haul and hauling Paul's Jeep behind it. I had every intention to help Paul drive but needless to say I never did. He drove the entire trip by himself! All in all we drove in 9 states, over 2,000 miles and 37 hours of driving. The U-haul got approximately 7 miles to the gallon, sometimes worse. This move wasn't cheap.

On Wednesday, December 12th, we made it to our new place! We spent the afternoon unpacking as much as we could. Poor Paul had to listen to me complain about my tired arms after I helped move in all our big furniture. One of the downfalls of moving somewhere that you don't know a soul is not having help on moving day. On Thursday we finished unpacking the U-haul and began to unpack our boxes. It felt so good to see our things again, lie on our couch and make up our bed. I hadn't see any of our things since the end of August! By Friday, most of our things were unpacked and our house (condo) started to look like a home! We even had time to go lease our snow skis for the season and buy a snow shovel. There's a first time for everything! On Saturday we got a Christmas tree and spent our first date night in Helena decorating our tree, listening to Christmas music and eating hot bowls of homemade chili.

And that's about it for the "move" part of the adventure. We spent the next week exploring Helena, setting up insurance, cable and getting ready for Christmas. It really has been a busy month but things are really starting to fall into place and our chaotic life is starting to calm down!

Here are some pictures from our trips. Most are from our first trip out in our car. We tried to get pictures of the state signs but most didn't turn out too good!

Beautiful sunsets and sunrises in Nebraska!

Montana? It was getting dark.

26 HOURS not minutes!!

Love and Happiness,

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Another Blogging Adventure

Okay, friends. Paul started his job on Monday, had Christmas off of course, and went back to work today. It's a little lonely in our condo and I've gotten a little bored. I spent all day Monday cleaning, unpacking and organizing which was good. But now, I don't have a lot to do.

So, I've decided to start a new blog. I had no idea that I would enjoy blogging as much as I do but for some reason it makes me happy.  I've liked documenting everything that has happened in the past year and sharing it with my family and friends. I don't know if many people read it, and that's okay. I like to write it and that's all that matters. :)

Anyways, the blog that I've started isn't a personal blog like this one. My plan is to put recipes that I love and crafts that I do on there. Sort of like my own scrapbook of the things I do/make at home. I'm going to put a link to the new blog on here so that anyone who wants to check it out can. Click the tab at the top of the screen to take you there! Its called cook-craft-love. Let me know what you think!

Love and Happiness,

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

My Husband Is Awesome

I just wanted to take a minute and brag on my sweet husband.

For the past few days I've been coming down with a cold that has progressively gotten worse. My head is stopped up, my ears won't "un-pop", I constantly smell like Vicks Vapor Rub and a pile of tissues is never far away. I can't hear anything out of my left ear and my sniffling keeps us both up at night.

Despite how gross I am, he keeps taking care of me regardless. He gets me medicine, brings me tissues and is always asking if there is something he could do to make me feel better. He tells me I'm beautiful when it's obvious I'm not. If I were to ask him to do something ridiculous, he'd probably do it. He's just too good to me.

It's odd that I can feel so crappy but be so happy all at the same time. Just another reason I love my husband more than I can explain.

Love and Happiness,

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmastime Makes Me Happy

Okay, a lot has happened since my last post. There is so much updating I need to do about our drive out to Montana, Helena and our new home BUT first things first. 

It's Christmas time!! It's my absolute favorite time of the year. To me, October is the beginning of a wonderful season that has it's ultimate finale in December/January! I love the lights, I love the trees, I love the ornaments and I love the music! And let's not forget the food, the presents and the smells of Christmas-y candles. It's pure perfection. I'm sitting here smiling just thinking about how much I love it all. The sight of a beautiful Christmas tree can actually bring me to tears. Yes, my love affair with Christmas is that serious. 

You may think that we didn't put up a tree this year since it's so last minute, but you'd be wrong. Paul and I managed to unpack mostly everything, including our Christmas decorations and put up our beautiful tree. We played our favorite Christmas music and turned the yule log channel on the tv. The snow covered mountains and rooftops made getting in the Christmas spirit that much easier. 

And if you are in search of the perfect Christmas music that is soulful and fun please listen to the Luther Vandross Christmas album. It's so much fun and makes me want to dance around and sing! Check out a few of my favorites in my music player! 

I'll be writing some posts soon about everything here in Montana. There's lots to do to get us all settled in. Stay tuned!

Love and Happiness,

Monday, December 3, 2012

Montana Here We Come!

After nearly three months of searching...the job hunt is over.

It's hard to describe the emotions I felt when Paul got the phone call with the offer. There was excitement, relief, pride, joy and yes, even fear. Once again, in an instant, our lives changed. 

And just like the last time, we're having to move and make plans fast. Paul got the offer on Black Friday and we started driving to Montana on Saturday afternoon. We stopped in Memphis and stayed with Paul's grandparent Saturday night and headed out early Sunday morning for the longest road trip I've ever been on. After 12 hours the first day and 13 hours the next, we arrived to Helena, Montana around lunch time on Tuesday. While in Helena we found a place to rent, explored a little of the area and met Paul's co-workers. On Sunday we left my car in our new garage and flew back to Nashville. FYI: Helena's airport has a total of 4 gates. That's right. Four.  

So, that's our last week in a nutshell. It's been crazy and scary and exciting and overwhelming. This week will be filled with last minute errands, packing up our clothes, loading up the U-Haul and hitting the road again on Sunday. Paul's first day of work is Christmas Eve.

It's all still a little surreal. It looks like December is going to be a very exciting month full of changes and hopefully wonderful memories. 

Love and Happiness,

Monday, November 19, 2012

100 Years of Life

Can you imagine living 100 years?

Paul's great-grandfather turned 100 last Friday and he even went to his big birthday party on Saturday. Pop, as he is called, is looking great and was smiling ear to ear the entire time. As I looked at that sweet man, enjoying the commotion that was his birthday, I wondered about all that he's seen.

He was born in 1912. He has seen immeasurable changes in his lifetime. Imagine the stories he has. Imagine the memories he holds.

It makes me wonder what changes we will see in our lifetime. I can already look back and notice the changes that have already happened in my 22 years. If we experience as much change in our lifetime as Pop had in his, we're in for a crazy, busy ride.

Love and Happiness,

Family Planning

Ever since Paul and I got engaged, people began asking us when we were going to have kids.

Hold on, folks. For us, first comes love, second comes marriage and then somewhere way down the road there may be a baby carriage. So, now that we are actually married the question gets asked even more frequently. Even my 6 year old niece asked me when Uncle Paul and I were going to have babies. Talk about pressure.

Anyways, Paul's great-grandfather turned 100 this past weekend and we went to west Tennessee to celebrate with their very large family. And of course there was lots of little ones running around. Babies, toddlers and kids were everywhere I looked. Some people probably love all of that noise and chaos but I was a nervous wreck.

And in less than 48 hours I had said all these phrases and more:

  • Don't put that in your mouth.
  • Stop hitting your sister.
  • Don't touch that, it's hot.
  • Watch your fingers! You're about to close them in the door.
  • Do you have to pee?
  • Are you choking?
  • Don't run in the road.
  • Don't throw that water balloon at anyone.
  • Be careful. Don't get kicked in the head. 
  • You're naked! 
  • Why are you crying?
It was all very overwhelming. If I were to be a mother right now, I'd be in a state of constant panic. Pretty much everything is a choking hazard, every plug in is just waiting to electrocute a child and fire is begging to be touched. So, during the festivities, when someone asked me if/when Paul and I were planning on having children, I could confidently say "not anytime soon". I'm much too nervous to have children right now. I think we'll get a dog first, or at least move out of my parent's house. 

Love and Happiness,

Thursday, November 15, 2012

What Is My Life's Passion?

Disclaimer: This post may be my most random yet. So, if you're looking to read something inspirational and profound, you've come to the wrong place.

It's been just over 2 months that Paul and I quit our jobs and moved back to Scottsboro. Paul has really struggled with not having anything to do. When I beg him to relax and lay in bed all day to watch movies, he thinks it's close to torture. He's not content unless he's busy, which drives me crazy! I've been pretty content not working and not being busy. Sure, it's been pretty boring lately, but when I think about working 12 hours shifts, weekends and holidays...I smile and I am thankful for this down time.

So, with this down time I have reflected on if I made the right career choice in life. I mean, it was never a secret that nurses work 12 hour shifts, weekends and holidays! It makes me wonder, if I had chosen a different "life's passion", what would it be?

I've wondered this before and it's constantly changing. During the Olympics I was determined that I wanted to be a gymnast/ribbon dancer. Look how successful those girls are. That could have been me. Or sometimes when I reach the point where I remember that money isn't everything, I contemplate working at Chick-fil-A. Those employees are the nicest people in fast food and those sweet old people who get you refills could totally be my work best friends. Option? I think so.

My latest "life's passion" has been accapella singing. Paul and I went to see that movie Pitch Perfect and I left that theater inspired to match pitch and make harmony with fellow accapella-people. I wonder how much an accapella singer gets paid? It probably doesn't matter since I can't carry a tune in a bucket. Poor Paul has had to listen to me do a lot of singing lately that is not performance ready. Practice makes perfect? That's a lie. Some people, including me, are a lost cause.

Just a few random thoughts. I'm a big fan of keeping your options open, so who knows? Maybe I can be an entertainer at Chick-fil-A, ribbon dancing and singing in the corner.

Love and Happiness,

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

20 Month Anniversary

Yesterday Paul and I celebrated our 1 year and 8 month anniversary. We don't always celebrate on a monthly basis but since we basically have nothing else to do and Paul's parents were out of town, we took advantage of the opportunity. We started off the day by sleeping in and then heading to Huddle House for a deliciously unhealthy breakfast. It wasn't the prettiest day, mostly due to the continual rain, so I made pumpkin muffins, lit some candles and listened to Christmas music with Paul. That night we went to Paul's parent's house to make supper together, bake cookies and watch a movie. It was the perfect way to celebrate. We don't get a lot of time together, just the two of us, so it was good for us to spend some time alone. 

This isn't exactly how I would have pictured our anniversary, compared to our others in the past. But I also didn't picture us living at home as a married couple. You'd think after 7 years of being in a relationship and 20 months of marriage we would have our heads on a little straighter and have a clearer plan for our lives.

I guess it just shows that even though we don't know where we're going, we knew that we wanted to go there together. And that's what I love about our love. That's what I love about our marriage. 

Love and Happiness,

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pay It Forward

Where have all the good people gone?

In a world full of crime, greediness and hatred it's easy to lose sight of the good in people. It's much more common to see a news report on someone committing a crime than to see a report on someone committing a random act of kindness. It's disheartening, really. 

But sometimes, on a rare occasion, someone surprises you. Have you ever had that happen? When someone, a stranger even, goes out of their way to help another person out. They show kindness when they didn't have to. They listen to their heart and not the world, which has hardened us so. Those moments touch my heart and they make me smile. And because it's so rare, it seems that much more special. 

And just when we were least expecting it, Paul and I crossed paths with one of those rare breeds with two tickets held high in the air above a swarm of Auburn fans. See, Paul and I never pre-buy our football tickets before a football game and with a season like Auburn is having now, we knew we'd have no trouble finding tickets for the Texas A&M game. After politely negotiating, we settled on a price for the tickets. With Paul's wallet a little lighter, we could now enjoy the atmosphere without repeatedly approaching strangers to try and buy their tickets. As kickoff got closer, we made our way to our seats. The seats were great... close the to aisle, lower level and most importantly out of the cold wind. With smiles on our faces we laughed at the luck of our scalping history. Little did we know how much "luck" we were about to have. Just as the opening ceremony and pre-game events began to happen, Paul felt a tap on his shoulder. It was the man who sold us the tickets. Without saying a word he handed Paul a folded wad of money. As he walked away, we tried to give the money back but he just kept walking. Sure enough, the man had given all of our money back and these great seats were now free. 

Now, this man knew nothing about me or Paul. And we still don't know why he did what he did. I only know that while it was nice to have free tickets to a game, it was nicer to see the good in people. It immediately made me want to "pay it forward" and commit a random act of kindness myself. And it wasn't luck at all. It was kindness, compassion and selflessness that inspires someone to act on the urges of their heart. If we all would "pay it forward" and inspire others to do so too, our world would be a much better place. 

Love and Happiness,

Our October In Pictures

October is officially over.

The colors were beautiful, and still are around my parents house. The leaves are falling in elegant twirls and the autumn breeze has finally turned cold. There are so many things I love about this time of year. Last year, Paul and I were so busy with work, and taking trips back to Scottsboro from Johnson City, or going to Auburn for a football game that we completely missed most of that beautiful time. Sure, I had a nice view of the orange and yellow speckled mountains from the 2200 wing galley window at the hospital but we didn't have a whole lot of time to truly enjoy it.

So this year we've made up for lost time and have gotten the chance to really take in the beauty around us. This includes evening boat rides down the river with an excited old lab in the front. It includes watching the sunset on a bluff overlook, just the two of us. It includes walks through the park as the leaves rustle across the trail. It includes pecans falling from the tree in our front yard. Really, who doesn't love autumn?

Don't you just love an October sky?

Love and Happiness,