Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Good friends, and a photo booth app = FUN!

Wedding weekend in Greenville

The family is one of nature's masterpieces
- George Santayna

I was blessed with a wonderful family. None of us are perfect by a long shot, but we celebrate our eccentricities, imperfections and love each other through them. Our family is spread from coast to coast, but when we gather together it's as if no time has passed. We laugh, we hug, sometimes we cry, but we always have a great time!

My mom would have loved it being at this wedding, and she is part of the reason we decided to go. Not only, because Hollis and Christy were getting married on her anniversary, but also because Mother was a firm believer in the importance of staying in touch with family. So Linda and I packed up, and drove to Greenville!

We arrived just in time to check in, get a quick hug from a cousin or two, and head to the ceremony. Hollis and Christy made a beautiful couple, and the love and happiness radiating from them couldn't help but bring a tear to your eye, and a smile to your face.

What a fun weekend, reconnecting with family and meeting new ones!

Pretty things that make me smile

Bryan got me beautiful birthday flowers and Catherine supplied
the awesome custom made vase!

My favorite laughter and therapy group!

There's nothing better than lifetime friends. We know all each others strengths, weaknessess, warts and scars and we couldn't love each other more! I think next time we may need to ask for a private room though - our laughter gets a little out of hand at times.

Birthday hour in the neighborhood

One of my former co-workers and current neighbors had several of us over on Tuesday to celebrate two birthdays - Aarti's and mine.

Thank you Aubrey for a wonderful treat!

A VERY good day

How did you celebrate your birthday this year? I celebrated mine with a trip to the oncologist!

After lab work and exams, Dr. Peacock pronounced me cancer-free! She was even pleased with my bone density test, which showed some improvement of my osteopenia. 

Her instructions are for me to continue my actonel weekly, exercise daily, eat healthy, take my vitamins and 1 baby aspirin 5x weekly and to see her in one year.

That's right, I get to graduate to YEARLY check ups!!!

Today I begin working on Plan B.
I haven't been ready to write about this until now. I think I had to have a little time to process it all. I guess I was still living within Plan A. Plan A for my career was to stay at my job within the Blue Cross franchise and to possibly transfer to another position within the company, if my division began to have more set-backs. I have loved my job. I love working with physicians, nurses and their staff. I love helping them navigate and master the waters of electronic medical records and reports. As I have learned, life/work/nature sometimes has a different plan for me.

A week before our vacation I got a call letting me know that the company was changing focus and they were eliminating my whole department. Wow! I had expected some changes this fall, but this was happening much earlier than I expected. So now, on to Plan B.

The good news is, I have loved every job I have ever had. Each job I have held challenged me, helped me grow and brought precious friends into my world. Hearing that my job had been eliminated was hard, and I'll admit I cried when I hung up the phone, but I know in my heart that all will turn out for the best. I have a really good feeling that my next job will be even better, and I look forward to that next chapter.
Bring it on world, I am ready!

What a wonderful world...

There's almost nothing better than watching the sunset on the beach with my fabulous family. This night reminded me of one of my favorite movie quotes:

"Do I love you? My God, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches."
                             ~From "The Princess Bride" - Wesley to Buttercup

Fresh Air, Sun and the Sea...

Well, another successful family vacation is in the books! We spent a lovely week at Beyond the Sea in Santa Rosa Beach, FL.

I'll summarize the highlights for those of you who are curious as what occurs on a Hall Family Vacation -
  • After 8 long hours in the car, we always begin our adventure with a walk over to Goatfeathers for dinner. It is across from our vacation home and never disappoints with it's surf and turf offerings, and the fact that kids meals are served on frisbees is a bonus! Goatfeathers also has a great fresh seafood market we visit on the nights that we fire up the grill.
  • The first full day of vacation - Ahh, imagine waking up at 7:00 am to the fresh Florida air...and the sound of Morgan walking around on hard-wood floors wearing rubber flippers with Emri singing at full blast. (I'm convinced Emri has voice immodulation disorder)
  • Most mornings were spent at the pool, with afternoons on the beach and picnics, movies, bike rides and "quiet time" in between. When you are vacationing with three energetic girls, you learn to love quiet time!
  • Since we were vacationing during the Olympics we all had to try our hand at new swimming strokes. Chassi mastered the butterfly and Josh swims fine, but floating is still a challenge for him. I'm thinking he may need to add more fiber?
  • Traditionally we cook most evening meals together at the house and this year Anna Belle, 8 years old, was a big help in the kitchen. Anna has learned to successfully crack eggs and make blueberry muffins with out adding crunchy shells in the batter!
  • Morgan ran a high fever on Tuesday and was down for about 24 hours, but she rallied and enjoyed the rest of the week. Morgan is very good at keeping us all organized and letting us know when it is time to transition to the next activity.
  • We rented bikes for the week, except for Emri - it was cheaper just to buy her one at the local store. Emri's first question when she hopped on her new bike was "how soon can I pop a wheelie?" To which Chassi responded, "first you have to learn to ride the bike, and then get your training wheels off". We are taking applications for X-game sponsors for her future now.
  • Jenni and I had a mission, it was to come back slightly darker than the white sand beaches, yet not sun-burned. I am proud to announce, we were successful!
  • Bryan rode his bike, Chassi ran on the beach and Josh who is still training for his nutty "death race" worked out several times a day.
  • Jenni, Chassi and I enjoyed a gals morning out - shopping for art along 30a, and stopping for a delicious brunch at the Hibiscus Cafe in Grayton.
  • At night we enjoyed watching the sunset on the beach, visits to Seaside and of course, crab hunting.
  • We tried a new restaurant The Local Catch, which I highly recommend, and ended our week with a trip to the infamous Red Bar in Grayton. I say infamous, because that means MORE than famous - right?
All in all a wonderful family vacation!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012