Its beginning to feel a bit more like fall. The weather is slightly cooler and breezy. Some of the trees, like the cypress, are starting to loose their leaves. Even the light somehow feels softer and soon I'll see the setting sun during my commute home. I say it time and time again that fall is my absolute favorite season.
Bobby and I are moving next week to a new city further south. I really don't like moving and it has been a stressful month trying to find a new place and to pack all of our belongings once again. I am not big on change so I know it will take awhile to become adjusted to our new home, the new grocery store, the new carpool for work, and the new smells and sounds. But I take comfort in knowing that not everything is changing-- at least we are not starting all over again like three years ago.
Its hard to imagine sometimes that we have been here for three years. I remember starting my first day of work on October 19th, 2009. I was terrified and had no idea if this had been the right decision to move across the country. We've come along way since then and we have made this place our home. I look back now and know it was the right decision and it has brought so many new opportunities for both of us.
As I type this now, looking out the upstairs window, I can see the bright blue sky and hear the palm fronds gently knocking at the window. I am happy to think that with fall and winter just around the corner I will be able to spend more time outside --a concept I am still getting used to. Oh Florida- I think you are starting to grow on me!
My friend Gizelle had her baby shower this past weekend. Her and her husband Vigarny are expecting their first addition to their family, a baby girl! I have already volunteered Bobby and mine services as babysitters. Bobby met Gizelle and V when they were searching for a new member for their band a few years ago. While they are still in their "garage" phase, Bobby enjoys being able to play music with good friends.
I had a nice time and was proud of myself for mingling with the other two non Spanish speakers at the party. It was a typical Latin party with tons of food and about 50 of their closest family members! It was a beautiful party and I am very excited for them!
This week has been brutal and its only Wednesday! My director and deputy director are out of town and I have been appointed head of the office while they are away. This means that I get to deal with everyone's grumbles AND go to really scary meetings.
I've been trying really really hard to take more pride in my appearance! It takes a lot of effort in the mornings to do the works- makeup, hair, cute clothes, accessories...
I hate to admit it, but often times I roll out of bed, throw on the first thing I see and try and comb through the wet tangled mess of my hair before I run out the door.
My office dress is casual. No scratch that. It's college, early morning classes casual. Jeans, sweatshirts, hats. I've grown accustomed to the lazy look.
But recently I've decided to try a little harder. I always feel so much better about myself when I am dressed professionally and have taken the time to tame my frizzy hair. If I wear a dress to work it is often met with curious stares and people wondering where in the world I am going, as they stomp through the office in old t-shirts and their snake boots. But even without wearing a dress I should still be able to muster enough strength to pull on a pair of non-jeans and a pair of earrings.
This weekend I was unusually social and got to whip out a few dresses from the closet. One which I found the other weekend on the clearance rack at Old Navy- yes!
It is my new favorite dress.
I've always wanted to have a red dress and now I not only have one, but it also has polka dots- which I love!
Now all I have to do is get up 15 minutes earlier in the mornings...
My dear friend Jessica is moving to Oklahoma. I am so sad that she is leaving, but I know she has a great opportunity with her new job and also being much closer to her family. We have been friends since graduate school and I have been so grateful that we have been able to live and work together for the past 2 years.
2008, Lubbock, TX
For our final weekend together, we headed down to Miami to see a show at the venue where Bobby works. It was a lot of fun and we enjoyed great music, food, and being in the hippest place in south Florida!
I will miss having such a close friend at work, sneaking away for a walk around the boardwalk, having a lunch companion, and having someone to blow off steam with when my day was not going so well. I will miss our Harry Pottery marathons and puzzle dates. Our weekend trips to the $3 movie theater and being entertained by all the blue and red haired ladies.
At least I know that good friendships last forever, no matter the distance. I'm so glad we got to experience this new place together and I feel a little more brave and a little more comfortable here thanks to Jessica.
I went on a field trip for work last week. We headed down south to the Big Cypress National Preserve in Ochopee, Florida which is managed by the National Park Service. Because my office often works with NPS we decided to go down and meet their staff. Everyone was very nice and excited about future collaborations.
It is quite a beautiful and peaceful place and I am excited to go back with Bobby and explore the area more. Its only a few hours from my house which makes it an easy get away for the weekend.
We had lunch in Everglades City where I mustered up the courage to eat some Conch shell (minus the shell). We headed back to the east coast by driving across on the Tamiami Trail which is home to the Miccosukee Tribe and the smallest post office in the United States! Unfortunately a co-worker's dying car battery prevented us from stopping at the post office, but I did get to see it as we drove by.
I enjoyed the time away from the office and thinking about my next trip there!
Strange things always taste better if they're fried!
The Macuen family's hearts are heavy today as our little family of three became two again. Our dear little Cornelius escaped yesterday through a little hole in the screened-in porch. Bobby went out to feed him in the late morning, but couldn't find him. He would escape from his tank periodically and wander about the back porch, but we always found him hiding behind the big green fern. This time we couldn't find him.
We searched and searched for him on the porch and then extended our search to the overgrowth of tropical plants behind our house. After awhile I went in side and called my sister to tell her the news. Bobby stayed outside, continuing his search under the leaves and tangled vines. He went back out at least 4 more times throughout the day hoping he would see our little Cornelius. On his last search he came back to the porch and did one last look in the corners and behind the big green fern. I watched him from inside, knowing that he didn't want to give up. He slowly walked over to the little water fall in Cornelius' tank and unplugged it.
We felt a little lost yesterday. Just sitting on the couch, not knowing what to do. How would such a tiny little turtle survive in the big scary world? Will he find food? Will he find a nice cool pond? We can only hope that he will be ok. I keep telling myself that maybe he will be happier in the wild and find a nice friend.
When I first brought him home almost a year ago his shell was the size of a silver dollar. Over the months he grew bigger and stronger. He had come a long way from when he was rescued in my co-worker's swimming pool. I am glad that we had the chance to be his parents for a while. I think there will always be a little Cornelius sized hole in both of our hearts.
Sometimes I wonder how I graduated from kindergarten. I don't think I ever fully grasped the appropriate uses of scissors. I should always be fully supervised when using them, especially when I'm bored.
I've taken on a horrible habit of cutting my own hair. Its just really hard for me to justify spending $40 dollars for someone to cut away my split ends. Although, usually when I look into the mirror after a scissor attack I can justify it.
Sometimes I will ask my dear husband to cut my hair. He sits me down outside on the stool and cuts one hair at a time, petrified that he will do some serious damage. There have been only a few times where the word "oops" has escaped from his lips and I am paralyzed with fear that there is a giant hole showing my scalp.
I have luckily avoided some major mishaps and have even complimented myself on such a great job of putting in my very own (and perhaps slightly uneven) layers.
The other week I was bored and there was a pair of scissors sitting on the desk and before I knew it I had bangs. It may have not been the wisest decision in a state with 100% humidity, but I am embracing the new look!
The other night I was heading home from my friend's house. When I looked up at the sky the moon was a giant golden ball. It was so beautiful and amazing and I thought it would be nice to pay tribute to the moon in today's music pick.
Last week I was up in Tallahassee for the Florida Association of Museum's conference. I had a good time, mingling with like minded people and enjoying the fall like temperatures.
Tallahassee is home to Florida State University and is a merge of hippie college students, southern charm, and the conservative government type. I loved how green everything was, and there were trees...real trees!and they all were dripping with Spanish Moss.
The little historic church across the street from my hotel
Historic State Capital
The new and ugly capital building- but at least it has dolphins!
Enjoyed a fun dinner with co-workers and tried my first frog leg....not a fan!
I am off to visit my family today and to meet my darling new niece who just turned 1 month yesterday! I am so excited and can't wait to meet her. I am equally excited to play with my little nephew who is already 9 months old. Where does the time go?
We are watching the weather like hawks around here. I'm glad I am flying out today and not tomorrow. Parts of South Florida are now under a hurricane watch as we head into the weekend.
Bobby will be here holding down the fort. And even though he has his hurricane kit all prepared, I'm kind of nervous.
I remember hearing the song for the first time on a summer afternoon on a drive up the mountains. I was with my now brother-in-law and twin sister enjoying our last official summer during college. As we sped along the windy road along the Poudre River the song came on a mixed cd my sister had made. The song made my toes tap and it was the perfect mountain driving song. It put a smile on my face and if I know my sister and I, we probably tortured my brother-in-law by listening to it on repeat a million times (I love the repeat button!). The summer sun warmed our arms and faces and with the windows down and the cool pine air blowing our hair we went in search for a prime picnic spot.
In honor of this occasion, the Museum hosted a big celebration for the community. It was great to see the support of the Tribe and the Chairman, who used to live in a camp where the Museum now stands, told stories about the site years ago and why it was important for the Tribe to create a museum.
We enjoyed both traditional and non-traditional food. Gar fish or hot dogs anyone? And don't forget the fry bread and sofkee, a warm thick drink made from corn. We even all dressed up for the celebration, which for most of my co-workers is a drastic change from their snake boots and field shirts
It was nice to get out of the office for awhile, even if it 100 degrees outside!
1. I love coffee more than I love tea. With all the rain this weekend though, tea sounded like a more appropriate hot beverage to accompany me and my book. My favorite tea of all time is by Yogi and is called Egyptian Licorice. I can't find the Yogi teas at my local grocery store in South Florida so I have had to do some tea investigating. I found a great replacement, TAZO Rest. It tastes like roses and does wonders to calm my anxiety!
2. As I was cleaning upstairs I saw a teeny tiny lizard dart into the closet. I found him huddled inside my hat and rushed downstairs to put him outside. He was so little and it took a few minutes for him to find his way out of the hat onto the porch. Hopefully I actually saved his life and he wasn't eaten by a bigger lizard...
3. If you know me well, you will already know my deep dark secret. Sometimes I watch PBS kids shows. It reminds me of when I was little, of simpler times, and when the biggest problem in life is that you had to do your homework.
4. Bobby and I tackled our overflowing laundry basket. Bobby has 3,000 white socks and none of them ever seem to match.
Saturday mornings I have learned to leave my husband asleep for as long as possible to avoid Mr. Grumpy Pants making his appearance. He works at a music venue on Miami Beach and Friday nights are late nights. He generally comes home around 3:30 in the morning which means he can easily sleep till noon the next day. Those Saturdays when I felt that it was absolutely necessary to wake him from his slumbers (examples: needing him to kill a cockroach, or telling him ALL the chores that needed to get done that day...) resulted in a not so pleasant encounter. I've learned my lesson and know that he needs his beauty sleep just as much as I do.
Last weekend, however, I stumbled across the magic potion that will break his grumpy spell and turn him into someone who loves mornings (aka early afternoons) as much as his wife.
A note left on the counter
After all these years, who knew it was as easy as making toast.
He is a solo pianist and writes and plays beautiful music and I've even been lucky enough to see him in concert. The thing I love most about his music is the way each song creates a picture in my head. His album Summer was a CD my mom introduced me to when I was in elementary school. We would play it over and over again. It became my sleep companion through the years and I would set my cd player to repeat and turn the timer on for a few hours. As I crawled into bed on those summer evenings with the windows wide open, I would eventually drift off to sleep, dreaming of golden meadows and peaceful countrysides.
Bobby has been working everyday for the past 2 weeks. His co-worker quit and being the nice guy he is, Bobby agreed to cover the extra shifts until they found a replacement. Our schedules sometimes overlap for about 15 minutes each night as I come home from work and he is getting ready to leave.
When Bobby comes home around 11:30, I try to peel my eyes open for a few minutes to say hi and to talk about our day, but it generally ends in my falling asleep during his account of the evening. Sorry! So I've been spending my evenings alone, trying to occupy my time, which generally means watching something on Netflix. Because my computer recently went on the fritz I use Bobby's to do my nightly brain mushing.
Its a bit complicated with all of his recording equipment plugged in and I have to turn on this switch and then hit this button and move this slider thingy so I can get the speakers to work. When I saw my special message pop up on his mixer I smiled. I guess even though we don't get to spend much time together right now, at least I know he is thinking of me :) ...and that he knows my nightly schedule of catching up on my Instant Queue.
It was a hard week and my brain and heart are exhausted.
Often times I think about taking up meditation or yoga. I think I would benefit from gaining such powerful control over my mind and body. But until then, I continue to visit my special place at work to be alone for a few minutes to re-evaluate, to think, and to listen. The boardwalk hasn't seen my presence in awhile. The heat has driven me away and I prefer to keep my hair as straight as possible for as long as possible without any added humidity.
Yesterday I needed just a few minutes of calm and I headed out to my spot on the mile long boardwalk. As I hit the halfway mark I felt a raindrop hit my arm and then a few more. I looked up and could see the dark clouds above through the canopy and realized a storm was coming in fast. I picked up my pace, knowing that there was no shelter from here to the end of the boardwalk. And then without any sympathy the sky opened up. I darted under the only semi-dry spot, where a few trees from opposite sides of the walkway touched overhead, creating an umbrella. The rain came at all angles and my makeshift cover soon began dripping big fat raindrops.
I could feel my own raindrops forming, coming dangerously close to spilling over onto my cheeks. It seemed like the cherry on top to an already tough week. But then I stopped and looked around and laughed to myself. I realized it can always be worse and that grumbling about my week does absolutely nothing. What we have control over in this life is limited and the forces of nature generally win. Its how we prepare and react to situations that will always be the most important. Perspective is a beautiful thing.
I stood there until the rain lightened up, finding that I felt a little more at peace. Within less than 10 minutes the sun was out and the ground was steaming. I hurried back and ran into the Museum bathroom to look at the devastation that was my hair and clothes. I mopped off what I could and blotted my skin dry. As I walked back to my office with the accompanying sounds of squashing and squishing from my shoes, I breathed heavily in, appreciating the sweet, clean smell of the rain.
As the wedding party died down and the last piece of chocolate cheese cake was eaten, Bobby and I strolled by the turquoise swimming pool. The forecast had called for a super moon that night and indeed it had been one. Moonlight from the giant made the palm trees sparkle in the breeze and the the crash of the waves echoed off the deserted beach. Our families' voices drifted upwards and the sound of Brazilian jazz played in the distance. I turned to Bobby and said, "Quick, take a picture in your mind of this perfect moment." We stood there, taking it all in, knowing we would remember this night forever.
Today was one of those days. I guess it didn't help that I woke up grumpy. Or that I had to discipline someone at work. Or that I slammed my finger in the door.
My sister knew I wasn't having the best of days. After lunch I checked my e-mail and saw she had e-mailed me. That alone made me smile. Our relationship is adjusting to motherhood and I appreciate more than anything that she still makes time amongst the feeding, the crying, the naps, and the diaper changes to talk to me.
Only a few minor things left to change but getting my driver's license the other day made it pretty official. Its a bit sad not signing my birth name, a name I have been known as for 27 years. But this time, the change is good. I am glad to be someone's wife. a new name for a new chapter!
I have had many years to practice writing my R's. Now I need a little time to practice perfecting my M's. I like the ring it has: Mrs. Kate Bethany Macuen. You would think I had red hair and freckles!
As my sister and brother-in-law tackled the first days of parenthood with late night feedings and a crying baby, Bobby and I also embarked on our first nights as parents to a 5 month old puppy.
I have to say, it was probably just as hard as having a new born baby.
I'm not much of a dog person and dogs can sense my anxiety making most encounters a bit stressful. However, my friend recently rescued a puppy from the reservation and when she needed someone to dog-sit for a few days we gladly volunteered to watch little Sawyer.
He barked through the night, tried to eat everything in site, stole my flip flop, snuck into the "off limit" rooms, nipped at my feet, hands, pants...and escaped off his leash. I have to say though, by the end I had gotten the hang of it and warmed up a bit to his doggy ways and I'm proud to announce there were no casualties or accidents. Sawyer did fall in love with Bobby, who unlike me is a natural with dogs, and they bonded over lots of tummy rubs and ear scratching.
When my friend walked through the door to pick him up, he jumped up on his hind legs and wrapped his little paws around her waist (so cute!). I guess he was just as ready to go home!
The other day at work I was on the phone dealing with a database issue. While figuring out the problem, the lady I was speaking with told me that I needed to make sure that all other users were logged out of the database while we fiddled around with some things.
I'm usually proud of the way I can multi-task Answering phone calls, while writing e-mails, and signing off on a staff person's timesheet.
I shot a quick e-mail to the whole office letting them know that everyone needed to log out of the database. As I continued to talk on the phone, someone walked by my office and said with a giant grin, "You might want to check what you just sent!"
I quickly scanned my sent e-mails and felt my face turn bright red.
Email received from Kate:
I am working on an issue with the collections database- please log off until further notice
Sorry for the incontinence
Kate Redente Macuen
At least everyone knows that I am very concerned for any bladder or urinary tract problems that they all may have, especially as it relates to using the database. And next time I think I'll take my time to do one thing at a time, even if it is an inconvenience.
Today's music pick is a recent find from a blog I was looking at for wedding inspirations calledHi-Fi Weddings. Even if you aren't looking for music ideas for your upcoming nuptials, the blog it is a great place to find new music!
Song: First Day of My Life
Artist: Bright Eyes
Album: I'm WideAwake It's Morning
Remember the time you drove all night
Just to meet me in the morning
And I thought it was strange
You said everything changed
You felt as if you'd just woke up
And you said, "This is the first day of my life
I'm glad I didn't die before I met you
But now I don't care, I could go anywhere with you
And I'd probably be happy"
Lubbock, Thanksgiving 2007
This song brings me back to the days when Bobby would drive 15 long and lonely hours to Lubbock, Texas while I was in graduate school. The several times he made the trip he would end up driving all night and I would wait up anxiously for him, sometimes seeing his car pull in as the sun was coming up. It was during these times apart that I really began to realize that I could be happy anywhere I went, as long as Bobby and I were together.