Mother’s Day

Yesterday, Facebook was bombarded with posts of friends praising their moms, missing their moms and/or thankful for being a mom. I figured this would be the perfect opportunity for me to tell my Norm (aka Mom) how much I appreciate her.  However, I kept getting pulled away from writing this post to watch my nephew master his Ollie skills (it’s a skateboard trick) and play Farkle, Tenzi or any other card/dice game with my niece.

For the last five days, I have been playing “mom” – going through carpool, attending soccer games (even having to be the snack mom) and really feeling the stresses of driving back and forth dropping kids off and picking them up at various activities! Don’t get me wrong, I love it and I love my niece and nephew and I’m more than happy to do it so my sister could take a much-needed vacation and catch up with her husband while he’s traveling internationally, but it’s exhausting!

So, I say all this out of complete respect for all mother’s out there! It takes a lot of time, patience and most importantly selflessness.

My world has been turned upside down over the last couple of months (I am NOT complaining, it’s from my own-doing), but I couldn’t have done it without my mother who has selflessly given up so much time and energy to help me! My mother who deep-cleaned my house in Jacksonville while I was working, who drove 10-hours to take my stuff up to Richmond, who waited four hours (with no tv) at my new apartment to get internet set up, and my mother who cried as she “left her baby behind“.

Norm,

Thank you…..

For allowing me to hide between your legs as a shy child,

For turning around when I realized halfway to school that I forgot my shoes,

For the countless hours you spent sleeping on the couch with the phone on your chest waiting for me to get home in my teenage years,

For grounding me, only to un-ground me a few hours later because I enjoyed hanging with you and your friends just as much as mine,

For your willingness to always help with Olivia – even at a moments notice,

For supporting me in everything I do, even if you disagree,

And most importantly….thank you for being a great friend, role model and the foundation of the person I am today!

Happy Mother’s Day Norm, I love you! 

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Over Cocktails

First official week in the books in Richmond and so far, so good!

  1. Sunday I went to my first brewery as a “temporary” resident of Richmond.  I was getting antsy to check it out and basically pushed everyone in the car so we could get there! It was EXACTLY what I needed and I’m not going to brag or anything, but I was the undefeated corn hole champion!!! 😝
  2. I met my landlord at my new “home” in Richmond Monday morning and it is perfect! Two-bedrooms –  in a great area with lots to do! Unfortunately, I had to get back to work, so I couldn’t stay long and explore, but my mom stayed and unloaded everything for me – seriously, she’s the best!!! ❤️ I wasn’t able to go back until Wednesday night and was so impressed with all that she did!
  3. Wednesday, I met my friend Brian (once again, failed to get a picture) for dinner at a great restaurant Foo Dog.  (Website had me reading it all sorts of odd ways, FOOD OD RVA? 🤔 – NOPE!) I ordered the fried rice, but in my typical fashion, ordered it without any of the “good” stuff.  He ordered it the right way and we both loved it! Brian showed me around downtown by walking me around and it made me even more excited about where I will be living. Unfortunately that night I intended to go back to my sisters house because my dog and all my stuff was there, but  I was halfway “home” when I had that unnerving feeling of “Did I blow out the candle?” and turned around to go back and check. For the record: I was 95% certain I did, but knew I wouldn’t sleep well with that in the back of my head, so I turned around and went back….back to a foreign place where there wasn’t even sheets on the bed yet, but guess what? …. it was blown out!!! I ended up making the bed and sleeping there because I had a cardio class to attend in the area first thing in the morning and I didn’t wake up once!!! Of course, I slept with a knife by my bed (foreign area, foreign home – my way of feeling protected – LOL!)
  4. Turn is my new gym that I am so excited I found!!! It is in a fun neighborhood and has a diverse workout schedule that includes barre, TRX Training, dance, yoga and surfing (which I did on Wednesday and loved) Added bonus: the owner loves craft beer and has a lot of events at breweries!!! I feel/hope it will be a good way to meet new friends! 🤞🏻
  5. Here’s where I’m an idiot and didn’t make a great impression at my new studio on my second day…..I went to the TRX class yesterday morning and immediately woke up and realized I didn’t have tennis shoes with me – they were at my sisters house…..that I was supposed to be waking up at the night before.  So I walked in to class saying “Hi, this is me and I don’t have shoes, so I can’t attend your class” Instructor laughed at me and I assured her I’m not normally this stupid, but my life is in chaos for the time being!  After she told me 90% of the class is strength, I decided to stay, but for the record jumping rope and burpees are not ideal without shoes!
  6. IMG_9189.jpgOlivia is not doing well and it is seriously breaking my heart, I don’t know if she’s just completely out of her element, getting old, or what; but she has never done this before, she is EXTREMELY needy and freaks out if I’m not around. May be extreme to say she has never done this before, but there have been times to where she’s running around the house frantic if she can’t find me,  but the howling that has been occurring this trip is taking it to a new level!  I called the vet and they gave me a prescription for her and it just made her really groggy. I went and bought the “best reviews” dog calming “treats” and those seem to be working!  I hope it helps, or else my new adventure will be sitting in an apartment with my dog because I’m scared to leave her alone! 😢IMG_9140.jpg

I’m currently working on a “things that didn’t go as planned” post, so stay tuned – it’s kind of interesting how true it is the more and more things come in to play!!!!IMG_9164.jpg

 

Journey to Richmond

Last Thursday, I met up with family/friends for one FINAL goodbye before I left on my five-month journey to Richmond. It was like the umpteenth going away party I had and I’m honored that everyone graciously used me as a reason to get together and have a few drinks, but let’s face it, I am more than happy to be that excuse! After few beers, I came home, finalized packing/loading my car and I laid my head down in my big nice comfortable bed shortly after midnight. (I am going to miss that bed)

I woke up Friday morning at 4:27am and had the genius idea to hit the road earlier than expected. I was seriously regretting that decision about three hours in to my nine-hour drive when I had to keep splashing water on my face to keep me awake.

IT WAS A-W-F-U-L!!!

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Nine hours of her snoring on my lap and getting “inconvenienced” every time I moved because it woke her up!

I arrived to Richmond in record time, only stopping once to use the restroom, let Olivia use the restroom, grab a bite to eat and gas up! And by the time I got to my sisters house, it was time to pick my nephew up from school, so I jumped in the car again (I refused to drive) to surprise him.

After showering and making myself semi-presentable, we went to Wong Gonzales for dinner and it was amazing!  It’s a mixture of Mexican and Asian food – it sounds weird, but it was so incredibly good.  My mother who was extremely hesitant at first said she wants to go back before she leaves!

A VERY long story short, I did not end up with the place that I originally signed a lease on in Shockhoe Bottom.  My brother-in-law found me a much better deal and it is right in the heart of the Fan – an area similar to Riverside in Jacksonville with great restaurants/bars within walking distance!

I am excited to start this journey, nervous – yes, but very excited!  I will have more to report as I get all settled in, but due to different reasons, I won’t be fully set up until the middle of the month!

My biggest concern at the moment is “Will I be ok without a Publix nearby?  We’ll see – in reality, I don’t go to the grocery store often, but I was close enough to make a 10-minute trip there and back and get whatever item I needed last minute.

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Olivia is very much out of her element and extremely needy toward me. I called the vet today to get her on anxiety meds, hopefully it’ll calm her a bit 😞 breaks my heart, my sweet girl!

Over Cocktails

I am NINE days down before my big summer move and life is a bit hectic. I’ve been preparing and doing a little each night over the last couple of months, but somehow as the time gets closer and closer, I am feeling more and more overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with things to do, people to see and parties to attend!  Don’t get me wrong, the “people to see” and “parties to attend” part is what I LOVE – it’s the “things to do” part lingering over my head that is NO FUN!

I am out of town this weekend, so last weekend a bunch of people joined me for a few (ok, it was more than “a few”) drinks to send me off – even my parents and their friends enjoyed a few cocktails with me at the beach bars!

We all had so much fun bar hopping that night and I couldn’t be more thankful to everyone who came out. Unfortunately life gets in the way and I don’t get to see these people as much as I’d like, but I am so grateful for these lifelong friendships I have built over the years! I guess I was too busy mingling because I didn’t get near as much pictures as I would’ve liked.

(As a side note: my sister-in-law swears I’m a Russian Spy because I have such a wide/diverse group of friends, but I wouldn’t want it any other way!)

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My friend Kari sent out a reminder on a daily basis about the party via Facebook with pictures I’m still shocked she found…one went back to 2005 and let’s just say “I’m glad Facebook was just coming around back then!

Like I said I am out of town this weekend, heading up to Nashville to celebrate my brothers best friends wedding!!! This will, without a doubt, be a ridiculously fun weekend. I traveled with him, his family and his bride to Ireland a couple years ago and they know how to PARTAY!!! The picture below shows me and my family in rare form after a few too many cocktails at the grooms mothers birthday bash!

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Last party with this crew in Ireland! 

Flying out in a couple hours – let the fun begin! 

Over Cocktails

…or “Over Coffee” as my friend Carole said since she typically reads this blog while enjoying a cup of coffee. Unfortunately for her and anyone else who is hoping to get a little bit of mindless entertainment in before starting their day there hasn’t been much posted because I have been slacking, and will continue to slack for the next few weeks until I get settled in my new place.  But in the meantime, it is 8:30 on a Friday night and I’m already showered and on the couch….blogging, WHO DOES THIS?!?!

Apparently I do, but in my defense, I am going out for my “temporary going away” party tomorrow night and I wanted to get some rest tonight.  Plus Olivia is getting groomed first thing in the morning and I have Pure Barre and other things to finalize around this chaotic house of mine! Don’t let me fool you though, I did go to happy hour with my good friend, Kristin, who is in town for a few days, but I was home by 6:30!

However, last weekend was such a great weekend, that I couldn’t let a week go by without sharing.  I was able to help coordinate and plan a bridal shower for a VERY special bride!! And it was put off just perfectly and then I was able to join the bride and groom for an after party drink at Atlantic Beach Brewing Company.

Then my high school friends and I were anxious for an “uber night out” and we definitely made the best of it!!! It was a night of endless chatter and tons of laughter that continued over the next few days with ongoing text messages reminiscing about the fun we had and how it affected us throughout the week!

In addition to all the fun I had last weekend, the week was busy as well with happy hour with my mom and Carole (mentioned earlier, but sadly did not take any pictures) and the Jumbo Shrimp season opener game – it’ll likely be the only time I get to sport my Shrimp hat this year. 😥IMG_3469

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!!!  I’LL BE OUT AT THE BEACH TOMORROW NIGHT,  COME OUT AND SAY GOODBYE! 

Over Cocktails

This week was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week!  Ok, that’s a bit dramatic, I just had a little hiccup in my moving plans that has put me in a bit of a funk, but I have faith that everything will work out and I’m not going to get myself upset about it right now. Without going into extensive detail – the place that that I signed a lease on in Richmond isn’t AT ALL what is depicted online, so I’m just trying to get that figured out. On a positive note:  I had an amazing weekend and very productive week, so can’t complain too much!

  1. First off, Saturday was one of the best days I’ve had in a while.  We went down to St. Augustine to enjoy a beautiful day acting as tourists and checking out all the local watering holes.  But first, we stopped by my friends house and played with some goats and pigs and I even watched geese hatching (seriously one of the coolest things ever!)  I can’t say enough great things about this wonderful family, and honestly I don’t think they’d want me to, but it’s always an adventure going down to see them and all the amazing things they are doing to rescue animals.  Then we went out to downtown St. Augustine and probably stayed out way longer than we needed, but we were having so much fun no one wanted to leave! Sunday was spent enjoying Easter with my wonderful family where we had amazing food and walked to the annual Mandarin Art Festival! These kind of weekends are what it’s all about!
  2. I have been spending every spare minute getting ready for this “move” –  even if it’s 15 minutes, I am using this time to get rid of things I don’t use and cleaning out closets, even trying (for the first time ever) consignment. My spare bedroom is in absolute chaos….but it’s kind of empowering knowing there’s a method to my madness and it will all cleared in just a few weeks.
  3. Tuesday night was the one night I haven’t done anything to get ready for this temporary move, but I had a VERY good excuse. I got to hang with three of my favorite teenagers! For those of you who don’t know me, I babysat a family throughout my college years and beyond and this family had such an incredible impact on me.  I have been fortunate enough to watch these “children” grow into amazing people and I enjoy the time I get to spend with them so much. We made pizzas at home and watched the movie “A Kind of Murder” – highly recommend the movie (even though a 15 year-old had to explain the ending to me😝)!

4. Look what I got this morning!!! 250 CLASSES!!! IMG_8625.jpg

Looking forward to another great weekend with a bridal shower for one of my best friends and then dinner/drinks with some more of my best friends! Can’t complain, these next few weeks are going to be crazy busy and I’m going to cherish all of it.  But first: I gotta get through Friday and then my hair done so I can start the weekend off right!

 

Have a great weekend!!! 

Hang Glide USA

A couple years ago, we bought my dad a trip to go hang gliding up in Fernandina Beach and he loved it so much he wanted to go again. Without hesitation, I promised him I would go with him…..that was a year ago!

First off, let me explain this whole hang glide thing – it’s not like what you expect, it’s not like I was flying in the sky with just the wind, my body and a large wing. I had a pilot, the aircraft had a propeller and we were being monitored by air traffic control. Some people have referred to the machine as an ultralight hang glider.

I knew I needed to do this as soon as possible before I wussed out, especially after talking to people and hearing “nope, no way” or “you’re insane”. Even my brother who has gone skydiving said he wouldn’t do it!!! But I truly didn’t understand the fear these people had, especially after further research showing a 100% safety record and the pilot who has over 20 years experience! 

So I booked our flights (my uncle even joined us) and I have to say, it DID NOT disappoint. The first (and only) mistake I made was watching my dad go up – that looked to be the most terrifying part, but in reality it was amazing!  It was such a smooth ride up (I was actually shocked at how smooth it was) and it feels much different than it looks. The ride itself was extremely exhilarating and I’m not going to lie – I was TERRIFIED THE ENTIRE TIME, but loved every second of the 30-minute flight!

The views of the Fernandina Beach shoreline were amazing – and I heard it’s pretty common to see a dolphin, whale or shark in the water, but I wasn’t that fortunate! I waved to the people below as we were flying above the water at only 100′ and a gut-wrenching thrill came over me as the pilot said we are going to ascend back up. As I was SQUEEZING the chair in front of me with all my strength, I said to the pilot “don’t tell me now, but when we land, I want to know how high we are flying at this moment.” Thankfully he respected my wishes and told me when we landed that we were 2,000′ in the sky, flying approximately 70MPH!!! Yes, I was the fool flying 2,000′ high in the sky with flip flops on and have received so much grief about it, but again, I had no doubt this was going to be a completely safe experience, plus we were doing lunch/shopping afterward, so why would I wear anything other than flip flops 😉 

If anyone is looking to get out of their comfort zone, or try something new, I would highly recommend Hang Glide USA. The staff was absolutely amazing and extremely accommodating, the pilot was hilarious and it was an overall FANTASTIC experience/thrill.

TIP:  If you’re interested in going, they recommend going first thing in the morning as it’s less turbulent.  We went from 10:00-11:30 and the last flight started to get a bit turbulent.  If I did it again, I’d go at sunrise! 

 

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Not my picture, but taken from website and shows the amazing views and how high!

New Adventure!

Well here it is, something I’ve been plotting, planning and praying for….for a VERY LONG time. I could say it’s been five months, but in reality it’s been more like five years. Five years of me wanting a change, but not knowing how I could make this change happen. I realized I needed to get out of Jacksonville and experience living in another city. But to be honest – I love Jacksonville, I love my family who live in Jacksonville, I love my friends that I have grown up with and those that I have made along the way, I love my job and my house that I have made my home over the last nine years – all in JACKSONVILLE.  So why would I risk leaving all these things for the uncertainty of living in a foreign city, the uncertainty if I will love it or hate it?  This is the question I have been battling for a VERY, VERY LONG time! But I needed to figure it out and I needed to get out even it were for a short time.

A few months ago, I found out a super great/amazing couple was looking for a temporary place to live this summer and willing to live in my furnished house and even better – willing to keep my cat!!! This was clearly the perfect opportunity for me to get this “itch” out of my system. But the big thing I needed to figure out was the whole J-O-B thing, so I approached my bosses and explained my situation and without hesitation, they agreed that we could make it work and I could work remotely – from home.  I am so incredibly fortunate to work for such a great group of amazing/understanding individuals and I am beyond excited to announce that Olivia & I will be moving to Richmond, VA in May for five months!

Why Richmond? My sister and her family live there and I am a very much a family person and need family around, plus there’s a lot of outdoorsy things I can do and plenty of local breweries I can try out. I searched HARD for my new “home” and probably drove my few friends/family out there crazy asking for suggestions, but I am very excited and signed a lease with a national corporate housing company, in Shockhoe Slip – which is an area in downtown Richmond.  I will be bringing my clothes, Olivia and a few personal items that will make my temporary home, my home, but that’s it!

I will be living about 25 minutes from my sister who graciously told me I could live with them, but I knew I needed to experience Richmond on my own – in a less suburban area.

 

This blog has helped me get out of my comfort zone and it has helped me to push myself to make this move, even if it is temporary, and try a new city with new adventures. I am terrified – terrified I will hate it, not make friends and be bored (and I am not good at being bored and having nothing to do) but I am super excited to try – to try going out on my own and making friends on my own. Regardless if anyone reads it or not, I am so beyond excited to share my Richmond adventures with anyone willing to read!

I CANNOT WAIT!!! 🤗

Over Cocktails

I’m not going to lie, there’s not even a tiny ounce of me that wants to write this tonight, my couch is seeming extremely warm and comfortable and my eyes are KILLING me, so there’s no guarantee of humor, wit or anything intelligent for that matter – so, basically nothing different from any other week!

  1. Last weekend – was a great weekend, but in reality, it was St. Patrick’s Day, so how could it be bad? 🍀 Friday, I kept it easy and hung with my girlfriends to watch a movie….but in true Pippin fashion, I had to leave before the movie even started!  We had too much fun laughing, eating off the charcuterie board (that no one could pronounce) and catching up on all that life has to offer. But when the movie was going to start after 9:00, I knew I was doomed, so spared myself the embarrassment of passing out during the opening credits and just headed straight home!

    Saturday – went to Pure Barre then caught up with friends to bike ride at the beach and celebrate St. Patricks Day at Graffiti Junktion 🤔 but they did have green beer, so I had to oblige (even though I later got made fun of friends for jumping on that bandwagon! IMG_8328.jpg

    Saturday night I met up with some great friends who I don’t see nearly enough and stupidly did not get any pictures, but it was a great time catching up with them and loving on their babies.

    Sunday – it was an absolutely beautiful day, so I decided to go somewhere different and jumped in the car to drive up to Big Talbot Island where I could walk around and climb some driftwood.

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  2. I mentioned earlier that my eyes were hurting tonight, well, I was “selected” to be a part of a study to try out new contacts. I received two weeks of free contacts (I’m in daily disposables) and get $50 for each visit (there’s only two visits total). Seemed like a no-brainer, especially when they handed me a $50 bill (not a check or a gift card) However, that $50 wasn’t seeming all that great when my eyes were killing me the latter half of the day and I had to remove my contacts as soon as I got home.  A coworker even questioned why my eyes were all red!
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    Just an extremely creepy picture of my eye I took years ago, but I find it fascinating!

    3. Pure Barre challenge is almost over and I should receive $30 to spend in retail (sorry for all the check-ins on Facebook, but it would be the only way to reach the points needed to get the $30).  On that note:  I purchased this top and hoping more come in stock because I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!!

     

    It’s going to be another exciting weekend and I will be going Hang Gliding in Fernandina – wish me luck and say a few prayers!

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!!! 

Over Cocktails

Well here I am, another day late, another week shot. I have failed at writing these posts as consistently as I’d like and truthfully I can’t make any promises that will change in the next few weeks 😔 with way too much going on!! But I’ll do my best to always have an “Over Cocktails” post.

  1. I had a friend in town last weekend and I loved showing him some of my favorite spots in Jacksonville.  He arrived on Thursday night and we immediately went to TacoLu to enjoy some of the best Mexican in town, then over to Hoptinger for a quick beer. Friday we went to dinner at Barrique – an amazing new restaurant in Avondale. He enjoyed a Moscow mule as I quenched my thirst with a much needed glass of wine. At the recommendation of the server, we shared food (calamari, goat cheese ravioli and polenta fries) and we were not complaining, everything was absolutely amazing! On our way home, we hit up Aardwolf and I immediately questioned why I don’t go there more often – close to work, close enough to home and Olivia is welcome.  When I started to get upset about having to leave with no good/draft beer at home, he made the most obvious suggestion for me to get a crowler. SERIOUSLY – why have I never actually considered this?  Saturday, I felt so culturalized (which is apparently not a word, but a word that I like and I’m going to continue using) when we went to the LIBRARY – yes, I went to the LIBRARY on a SATURDAY!!! I shocked myself too!!! We went to the Riverside Arts Market and then walked the riverwalk to the library downtown to see an exhibit that featured a piece of art by Banksy (an anynomous graffiti artist) that was done in San Francisco – it’s actually pretty interesting and I was ashamed that I have driven past the signs for months and didn’t pay any attention to them.  More info. IMG_8312.jpgAfter our long walk – we went to lunch and then to another one of my favorites Wicked Barley and then Southern Swells.  Sunday, we went for a long walk on the beach and then down to Caps where he made the comment “Yeah, this doesn’t suck” – I couldn’t have said it better as I was ordering my second Goombay Smash! We went walked around downtown St. Augustine and then met up with some friends where he quickly realized I have a serious disability when it comes to directions as I was trying to follow Google Maps and couldn’t understand why it kept buzzing at me when I was going the wrong way! 🤷‍♀️  The rest of the trip was low-key.  He went to Little Talbot Island while I was at work and enjoyed how deserted it was. I fell asleep every night on the couch, shocked him with new made-up words and even tortured him to work on a puzzle with me but somehow I still convinced him to stay an extra day and join me and my friends for Taco Tuesday.  The rest of my week was spent recovering and catching up on sleep, and here we are at the weekend AND St. Patricks day – for the first time ever, I don’t have any plans!  ☘️

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!!!