Wednesday, March 28, 2012

8 hundred weeks and counting....

Ok, so maybe not 800 but 8 weeks on the road sure feels like it! Work is so crazy busy right now...I can't even explain how much I would give for an entire week at home! I am just praying once I start my new position as an account manager that my life slows down a LITTLE. If it doesn't, don't blame me if my wedding turns into a casual ho-down in the streets of Austin...don't worry, there will still be free beer!

So where do I start with the (ENTIRE) month of March...OH! I know, how about vacation :) John and I were able to slip in a little vacation to Last Vegas during his spring break week. We decided that it would be our one year together celebration...and it ended up being wonderful! Because of my crazy traveling and John living 30 minutes outside of Austin, we really only get to see each other on the weekends so it was definitely nice to be able to spend a whole week together! We didn't just do the "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" bit probably mostly because John gave up alcohol for lent and I was on a diet...HA, but it was wonderful! Enjoy the pics.

p.s. Pat thank you SO MUCH for letting us stay with you. We had a blast...and John enjoyed some man time.

Red Rock Canyon...beautiful day for hiking!

Mmmmk, so I found another chance to show off my gorgeous ring! It was beautiful in the sunlight!

Obviously by these gorg smiles you can tell how much fun we had hiking. 

Then we saw the only socially acceptable land mark to consistently use a foul word..Hoover DAMMMM!

Our 1 year anniversary dinner, it's ok to be jealous ladies  ;)

So, onto the other great adventure of the month: the first 1425 Bachelorette Party everrrrr!!!! Whew. Let's just start by prefacing with a couple reminders:
 #1. I have been on a strict diet to prepare not only for mine but Mary's wedding. It doesn't seem important to know this now...but most of you get where this is going....
 #2. We are all 27 and 28, that college age have a crazy night and bounce right back thing juuuusssst doesn't quite work out as well as I want it to sometimes. 

Yes, it made me feel better by putting excuses prior to this story. 

So what better day to celebrate a bachelorette party than good old St. Patrick's Day?! Especially for Mary O'KEEFE! We started out the morning with an adorable "Cloudy with Showers" themed party and before we knew it, it was time to put on our party pants. Green party pants. First stop: Iggy's Mexican Restaurant. Let's just say, I wasn't about to let this party get started on the wrong foot. Round 1 of shots commences.  A couple of Margaritas and Vodka waters later (I tried to stay on my diet...) Round 2 of shots. Annddd before dinner was completed, rrrroooouuunnnnddd 4...Liz and I even bust out our "special" shot glass just for Mare. It. was. great. 

What comes next, you may ask? Karaoke party bus. That's right, unlimited karaoke + cooler of booze + a bus of fun ladies = awesome. Let's just say, we sang a lot of personal list included: Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-A-Lot, Get Low by Lil Jon, Fancy by Reba McEntire, and Whitney Houston group sing-a-longs. And yes, personal dance performances or should I say "presentations" were involved. We even stopped at a couple of bars along the way and met very interesting people. There was a video I took or Mary talking to this guy and I may or may not have told him 20 times that "She's getting marrriiiieeeddd." hah. 

After being dropped off at the hotel, we kicked the first to hit the pillows to the Hepatitis C infested couch bed (right, Liz?) and then were off to the casino! Kathleen and I walked away about 100 and 60 bones richer...Mary 3HUNDRED bones richer, and we decided to end that on a good note and hit the haysack. The pillowless, sheetless, crowded hay sack. 

The next morning, we woke up with great stories, gigantic headaches, a large bruise the size of a grapefruit on my left butt cheek, and a corona salt shaker. I would say it was successful. Didn't get too many pictures...

At the bridal shower that morning...

1 shot down....

1 day plus 1 million shots down...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Life is Insane. Just sayin....

I know some of you are with me on this. Do you ever feel like you life is a whirlwind of craziness and that you are just getting through this "stage" and eventually it will slow down? And really, we KNOW it isn't going to slow down for a long, long is most likely going to continue to accelerate at a rapid pace. I have to tell my self white lies that my life has blissful calmness sailing it's way or else I think that I might not ever be able to get up out of bed in the morning to tackle my list of 400 things to do.

For the past 3 months (I still can't believe that it is already March) I  have been out of town almost every. single. week. trying to keep up on work projects that are pouring (or should I say hailing) down like a Texas thunderstorm. All of these new "meaningful use" requirements from the government have oncology clinics in a frenzy to adopt a certified electronic medical record system. While I am not a fan of most of the healthcare changes taking place...I can actually say that this one has benefited me :) I was promoted to an account manager earlier this year and it has given me a sense of job security like never before. And you know what job security actually means: A LOT of work. And on top of that, planning a wedding could pretty much be considered a full time job. This year is going to be insanely busy, fly buy, but has potential to be one of the best years of my life....if I can get thru it!

What I have come to realize in the past few weeks is in order to stay relaxed and enjoy a life that spins thru your day like a tornado on crack is to slow down. Doesn't make sense when you say it, but it's true. As most of you know, I love St. Therese of Lisieux. Her whole autobiography, "Story of a Soul" will change your life. I need to read it again just to refocus. One of the things I have always struggled with is being perfect. HA. I know. But I want to be the BEST at everything I do in life. THE best account manager, THE best fiance, THE best sister, THE best daughter, THE best friend, THE best (fill in the blank). But what happens when I concentrate on becoming the best at everything is I rely only on myself to get to the top. As I try to worry only about myself being better than anyone else, my thoughts, priorities, and concerns for God, friends, family, etc. diminish. And eventually I realize I can't be THE best at everything, and then it is a let down when I feel like I failed. 

My absolute favorite quotes from St. Therese is this, "If every little flower wished to be a Rose, Nature would lose Her spring adornments and the fields would not longer be enameled with their varied beauty." Every time I read it or meditate on that quote I get a sense of peace. There also is something else that says, "A Rose doesn't take away the whiteness of the Lily or the simple beauty of a violet" (can't remember the exact quote) Long story short, I can't compare who God created me to be to others and what they are doing. Does that mean I shouldn't try my hardest...of course not. But I have to slow down and enjoy that I am exactly and doing exactly what God wants me to be doing. I can't get worked up over everything and not enjoy where I am right now in my life. What I should be doing when trying to achieve a goal is asking myself "Am I praying as if everything depended on God? Am I working toward my goal as if everything depended on me?" (St. Augustine's genius) Because if I am doing the latter without the first, I am going no where and am setting myself up for failure. 

So, this lent I am trying to work on my prayer life and not just keeping it as a separate "relationship", but incorporating my relationship with God into my everyday life to help me slow down and enjoy this day in my life that I will never get back. So, onto the challenges of the day....

:) p.s. I have posted some pictures of weird, not normal, but still absolutely incredible, beautiful flowers.