Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Feeling Heavy on the Thankful

This post is a little heavy...sorry about that! But I want to make you laugh first! Nothing is better than a dancing Peeta!

Seems like every year I go into the holiday season with a negative attitude. Dealing with my family is not an easy task for me. My mom and I butt heads almost every single time I speak to her. So enter the holidays and we are thrown together and there's your definition of ugly. It has become very ugly on many occasions between us at the holidays. It would take me a very long time to fully explain the relationship my mom and I have to you. But I can sum it up by saying that I think she resents me and doesn't ever try to hide those feelings, while acting completely opposite towards my brother. She's also very emotional and dramatic, and while I do have my moments, I am mostly not like that so it's hard for me to relate to her. We are pretty much polar opposites. She has battled drug & alcohol addictions her whole life, and unfortunately put her family last sometimes when it came to her vices. She hates that I'm not like her and that I'm close with my aunt and my dad. She is always taking any opportunity to get in digs at me. {end rant} That being mom is very sick right now. She has stage 4 lung cancer and she's been battling that for 14 months. I try to appease her because I know she is sick, but I am being honest when I say my relationship with her is still very much a challenge.
My brother has always been the most important person in my life. I would do absolutely anything for that boy. But since my breakup last November, he has not been supportive of me at all. It's been a roller coaster of a year with our relationship. I have probably cried just as much over him as I did over Skye. It's been a genuine reality check for me. And it's affected other people in our family as well. I don't want to put all the blame on him because I am to blame too. I understand he's immature and maybe didn't quite know how to support me, but I didn't expect much. Just a little loyalty and family solidarity. Even though he has hurt me, he will always be my baby brother. I will one day be able to get past things with him, but I'm not sure I ever have the desire to be close to my mom. I know that sounds awful to say, trust me, but it's the truth.
These are very personal family issues that I have been focusing on lately. But honestly I have to turn them over to God because they just weigh me down. I have let these things get in the way of my thankfulness for all the other wonderful things in my life.

My point today is: be thankful. Period. Even if you don't feel thankful, take a moment to give yourself some perspective.  We all struggle with things in our personal lives. We all go through bad patches, but we do not have bad lives.

I am going to try so hard this year to enjoy this time with my family instead of just trying to survive it. I am thankful for the people I have in my life who do always support me and never belittle me. I am thankful for my church, which has completely transformed me from a broken person with a black heart. I am thankful for being able to know you through reading all your stories and for you being able to read mine. I am thankful for those who know the darkest depths of my secrets and never judge me. I am thankful for all my little daily blessings that other people pray for.

I'm gonna turn the comments off on this post, but definitely want to wish you ALL a Happy Thanksgiving with the ones you love! XOXO

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Currently - November Edition

Listening - Jason Aldean - When She Says Baby, Eric Parslay - Friday Night, Paramore - Still Into You, Ke$ha & Pitbull - Timber

Eating - Surprisingly nothing at moment, but I have been trying decently hard to lose weight and I'm down 6 lbs in about 2 weeks. I am working on being more disciplined and bringing my lunch/eating at home more.
Drinking - Coke Zero and it's delicious

Reading - The Smart One & The Pretty One. I think I'm going to start the Breathing Series next.
Feeling - a little & family things are both stressful right now. But I'm thankful for wine to chill me out at the end of a long day! I know after this week I will feel much better.
Weather - COOOOOLD! We were having such great perfect fall-ish weather, then BAM it's freezing out! High tomorrow is 33! I'm rocking my new Small Town Style scarf (in Mocha), which is so cute and perfect for this cold rainy day.
Wanting - to be lazy and not put up Christmas decorations, but I know I will regret that. I always fuss over doing the actual work but then it makes me SO happy to sit with the lights off and my Christmas tree lights on. I also want a new iPhone, I think mine is on the outs. SANTA better read my blog!

Thinking - I am still obsessing over the Catching Fire movie. Yesterday I was googling all the spoilers I could possibly find for Mockingjay. So excited they are making it into TWO movies! I can't wait until Nov 2014 for Part 1.
Enjoying - My TV shows (Walking Dead was so good this week), my church family, my work friends & our devotional time in the mornings, Tilly time.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Weekend Update

Sami's Shenanigans

It's MONDAY! I'm really not even mad about because it's a short week and I know we can all survive this one. Last night I went to see Catching Fire - OH MY GOSH it was amazing! I would say it's one of the very BEST movies based on a book series that I have ever seen. The movie captures the emotion from the book so well! Not gonna lie, I cried like 5x! And you know on Friday when I was talking about my crush on Peeta? I just don't think I'll be able to date again until Peeta comes along in my life. I wish I was kidding. Don't get me wrong, Gale is HOT (helllllllo single Liam!) but Peeta just has my heart.
Now I am going to overload you with my Nashville pictures from the blate girls weekend! It was SO MUCH FUN!!!!! (and very very cold!) These girls are so amazing and it's crazy how you can become so close with people you've never met, and then when you met them it feels like you've known them your whole life. I am blessed with the BEST bloggy BFFs! You can find me on Instagram {@nikkib918}


Friday, November 22, 2013

5 on a Friday

If you are single...I know you are out there wondering if you can  truly be comfortable without a boyfriend. Go read Juliette's post NOW. This girl has been spot on recently with her single lady wisdom. It's so nice and refreshing to hear these things, and know that she really means it. Plus, she's down right hilarious!

Fun Fact: I like to start dating people on major holidays. Skye and I started dating at Christmas 2003 then didn't talk for 10 months and reunited at Christmas 2004. You can read that story here. (not sure why you would want to at this point, but I did write about it). My first serious boyfriend and I started dating on Thanksgiving 2001 (date was 11/22/01). Holiday dates are my thing apparently.

Today is the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination. 11/22/1963 is a date that I am all too familiar with, considering I am essentially a Kennedy freak. Their whole family has always been of interest to me, but specifically this tragic event and all the conspiracy surrounding it. It's such a scary thought! And a fateful day in our history.
 It's Catching Fire weekend FINALLY! I went back this week and re-read the book because I couldn't remember all the little details. So glad I was able to do that before going to see the movie. I have such a crush on Peeta in this book! (sorry but not in the movie, Josh Hutcherson just doesn't do it for me)

NASHVILLE HERE I COME!!! I'm beyond excited for my girls weekend away in NashVegas!!! I'll be reunited with my STL babies Kim & Cassie and finally get to meet Manda and the lovely Jackie! (Plus, my non bloggy friend Christa is coming from GA too!) My girls, my boots  and booze is all I will need! And apparently maybe a jacket since it's supposed to be quite cold. Let the fun begin!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

5 Things Tag

Well remember when I promised that I would stop being a part-time blogger? Well I kinda lied. SO SORRY! On Monday I had two pretty major blessings happen - both of them good and both I have been praying A LOT about lately. Work life is really busy right now, but in a great way. Basically I'm just a blog slacker, but that's okay. I've been trying to spend less time on social media and quality time with my peoples and "quiet" time with God.
One of my favorite people on this planet, Jordan, tagged me in her 5 Things post and I love these fun little things so here you go! These are the questions she gave me to answer:
1. What artist/song/album do you have on repeat right now? 
Not sure if I can pick just ONE, but I do have a new obsession.
My new found loves - Walker McGuire - if you like country, check them out!

2. If you could see one artist/band perform before you die, who would it be?
Well top of that list would be Luke Bryan and Justin Timberlake and I've seen both of them before and will be seeing them both again in the next couple of months!! I would have to say I would love to see Elton John, John Legend, and Journey before I die.
3. What is one thing you have worked towards this year? Would you say it was a success?
I have worked so hard this whole year to find myself again. I would say it's been a huge success. I know this will be repetitive, but through the support of the people in my life who love me and my close relationship with God, I am in the most amazing place these days. So thankful for a year of growth! Psalms 46:5
 4. If you could go back in time, which age would you want to repeat? Why?
22!!!! This was my favorite age. I was working my first real job, had my first apartment on my very own (without roomies), had a perfect boyfriend, and life was carefree. Skye threw me a huge surprise party for my birthday that year, and bought me our first Pomeranian, Roxy. It was such a fun year! We really lived it up and made the most of being completely independent.
5. If money weren't an issue, would you live somewhere else? Where?
This is a toughie. I want to say YES absolutely. I would love to live somewhere else, but Knoxville will always be my home. My ideal place to live would be a nice house, out in the country on my very own Norris Lake. That's always been my dream.

Friday, November 15, 2013

5 on a Friday!

The perfect way to start a Friday...or any day really. Love this man.

Real Techniques is giving away free brushes! I got these from Klout perks about 5 weeks ago and they are AMAZING!!! Go get yourself some! All the beauty bloggers just love them, my girl Pamela said they are her fav. And you should probably trust her over me when it comes to beauty related items.

I've been having lots of family drama lately...which just sucks. Sometimes I feel like I can't really count on anyone (family wise) except for my daddy and these two precious girls. My dad and I are very close, but I just can't talk with him about every little thing in my life. My aunt & cousin are my very best friends. They make my heart so happy!

Food for thought. If you don't follow Proverbs 31 Ministries on Facebook or Twitter then you SHOULD! I love their stuff, especially these verses. I've been trying to do more walking the walk vs. just talking the talk.

I'm such a nerd. If you know that about me and you still love me, then we are good. But if you didn't know that about me, I should probably just go ahead and warn you. Last night I couldn't decide between reading my Civil War story, The Lincoln Letter, or watching the JFK documentary on CNN. I decided to DVR the JKF doc and watch the Titans game while reading my book on commercials. I may or may not have no less than 10 JFK related shows on my DVR right now. WHAT?? It's that time of the year! November = JFK. I've talked about my obsession with history before (see, I told you, nerd), but right now I've fallen back in love with it. WHY DIDN'T I STAY A POLITICAL SCIENCE MAJOR???
Happy Weekend lovebugs!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

TV Talk

So I told you here all the fall shows that I am in love with. THIS POST MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS - fair warning.
First up The Voice - all my favs were saved this week, thankfully! But I'm having a hard time narrowing down my #1 favorite. I love Cole, Jacquie, Ray and Matthew. Matthew completely blew me away this week with this Hallelujah performance. Miley last week and Hallelujah this week, that boy is versatile! He's just so SO good and that song is so powerful. It gave me chills. I think him or Jacquie could go all the way this season. Plus, Christina is looking so much better this season, don't y'all think? In the past she always looked like the durrrrty girl X-Tina. Now she's lost weight, her makeup is good and hair is normal. I like it.

I am legit obsessed, cannot get enough of Nashville. I wish it was an everyday show! I have such a hard time waiting a week to see what happens. Lennon and Maisy Stella are adorable and I love every time they perform. I want to go to the Bluebird next weekend when I'm in Nashville! AND THEY JUST KEEP ADDING HOT GUYS!!! Helllllooo Charlie Wentworth!!
I've also gotten sucked back into the drama with all my Real Housewives ladies. Atlanta and Beverly Hills is currently airing. Does anybody else hate Kenya? Surely, you do! She's just not lovable! And I am not digging one of the new girls on RHOBH, Carlton. She is just...different and not friendly. One of my favorite guilty pleasures too is WWHL. I DVR it everyday. Andy Cohen is just too cute to be gay! He always has the best guests and he's hilarious.
I'm still watching Chicago Fire too. I need to go back and watch Season 1, I think that would help me buy into the storyline more. Honestly, I'm just watching to see Severide (Taylor Kinney). But I am learning the characters more and more.
Two of my current favorite funny shows are Impractical Jokers and Girl Code. I seriously horse laugh every episode of Impractical Jokers, it's so damn funny!!! They're always good to watch if nothing else is on.
I have no idea how I have time to watch all these shows?? Especially with football & basketball seasons going on right now. Let's not even discuss the Vols performance the other night in our season opener on the road against Xavier... I was hoping basketball might be our saving grace this year. Might have to put that hope on hold for another year. Thank goodness for DVR!
What are you watching these days??

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Keeping the Faith When Dating

I get asked a lot of dating advice...I guess because I've put my dating life out there for the world to read. I'll be the first to admit that dating at the ripe old age of 29 definitely has it's ups and downs. I'm not a shy person by nature AT ALL, so it's easy for me to go out and meet new people. Most guys I've dated since I've been single have been guys that I've already known from high school, college or friends of friends. I recently started branching out to date guys that I didn't really know that well and then last weekend I had my first ever blind date. I'm lucky in that I haven't had any major horror stories...yet. It could still happen.
I know something that all of us single ladies struggle with is finding "good guys". We wonder do these guys - Like Nathan Scott from OTH or Noah from the Notebook - do they even exist?? I fully hope to walk into church one Sunday morning and see THIS guy with an empty seat next to him. Hey, a girl can dream!!
Taylor Kinney PLUS a beard...meeeeeow!
I know this sounds strange because I am still single, but I am here to tell you that these guys DO exist. Sure, there are some real douchebags out there! I know some of them, I'm friends with some of them. And I constantly wonder how their style works for them. But it's because the girls they date have lowered their expectations, and allowed themselves to be mistreated.
Here's my best dating advice:
Guys love confidence. I know that I'm not the cutest girl that ever walked the face of this earth. But I also know that I'm fun & funny. You work with what you have! Knowing what you want is so important, in my opinion. You have to know the qualities you are firm and flexible on. I'm firm on Jesus, sports and he has to make me laugh. Everything else I'm a little flexible on. Being patient is hard for most of us. You see everyone around you getting engaged, then married and having babies and you want that for yourself too. I get frustrated when I date a lot but can't fully click with someone. But trust me, you don't want to come from a broken engagement or marriage - especially with kids involved. Take your time to know the kind of man you want in your life and do it right. Until then, pray for your future husband. That's what I do. God has perfect timing.
I have been lucky to surround myself with amazing men. Men who would be ideal boyfriends, make me laugh, are perfect gentlemen but for whatever reason they just aren't the guys for me. So trust me girls, these men are out there! And until yours falls into your lap, just try to RELAX and enjoy the ride.
Disclaimer: In NO way do I think I am qualified to give dating advice. Just wanted to share my experiences with you! And believe me when I say I'm talking to myself here as much as anyone else.


Monday, November 11, 2013

A Time To Be Thankful

The best way to start your week is to count your blessings! So in honor of Veterans Day today, I want to take a moment just to be truly thankful. We are so blessed to be Americans. Blessed to live in a land of freedom, built by amazingly unselfish people who were willing to sacrifice their time and some even their lives to make that possible for us. Freedom isn't free and I am forever grateful to those who pay that price.

Other things I am thankful for today:
  • I lost 3lbs last week! And my dad talked me into going to the gym last night for the first time in a least a month. It felt good! It's always easier when you have a buddy too. I can't wait to have my hot body back!!
  • Friends who are nerdy like me and will text with me throughout the Killing Kennedy movie (ahhem...Christa, I know you're reading this)
  • Blind dates that terrify me but end up introducing me to someone I would never have picked for myself - in a good way
  • Sushi dates with my best friend
  • Oceans by Hillsong United - I am obsessed with this song (lyrics above). It's so powerful. I get teary every time I hear it. I know the video is a little long, but I dare you to listen to it and not be moved by it.

How's that for a Motivational Monday???

Friday, November 8, 2013

5 on a Friday!

Am I a part-time blogger or what these days? I promise I'll be better next week! Work life is interfering with blog life, you know how it goes sometimes. I have had the most amazing week though! The good Lord is answering prayers for me in a big way. And I am so beyond humbled by all the incredibly kind comments from you guys on my 1 year post on Monday. It feels so good to have amazing women on my side who genuinely want to help me grow and succeed. LOVE YOU GUYS!
We got a new mascot costume at work. I'm a big fan! I can't tell you how many times yesterday I put this head on and walked around the office. HUGE head = smaller body. I love it.
(please disregard my disgustingly cluttered bathroom in the background) I am IN LOVE with this Rimmel Stay Matte foundation that I got from Influenster! I don't typically use foundation, but I have started using this stuff and it's awesome! It's a liquid mousse so it goes on very smooth and doesn't leave my face streaky or orangey looking. I'm a big fan of Rimmel products anyhow because of their affordable cost.

I have had a slight girl crush on Kacey Musgraves for several months now, but I love this song of hers! (although I didn't like her stink eye to Miranda Lambert the other night on the CMA's)

Countdowns make me excited!
*13 days until girls trip to Nashville with Cassie, Kim, Manda & Christa (& meeting up with Jackie!)
*37 days until JT in Louisville!!!!
*70 days until LUKE BRYAN in KNOXVILLE!!


I have been on such a One Tree Hill kick ever since I discovered the reruns on SOAPnet. I DVR it and spend my weekends lusting over Lucas and Nathan. Seriously, do they even make guys like this in real life??

Happy weekend loves!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Look At Me All Livin' and Shit

One year ago today my life changed directions. Skye kicked me to the curb and I am such a better person today because of it. If you met me sometime within the past year, then you probably haven't been able to experience the real me. And I'm sorry for that. I've been a strange shell of myself, going back and forth between being sad and experiencing growing pains. But I'm getting back to normal - slowly, but surely. Each day got just a little bit easier to face and now all of a sudden it's been a whole year.
Last week was rough. Apparently I was still holding onto some emotions over my breakup that I really just needed to finally let go of.  But I woke up this morning feeling grateful and hopeful for what God has in store for me. Skye and I had a good 8 year run. I am thankful for the love he brought to my life and the lessons I've learned from this heartbreak. BUT I truly believe I was meant for someone better than him. Not that he's a bad guy, but he's just not the guy for me.
People in my own family haven't supported me during this breakup, and that's been absolutely devastating. But I've learned that I can't control other people. I have to move on and only focus on bettering myself. I love this quote above because it's so true. I will never ever ever ever be able to forget the people who have reached out to me and truly supported me during one of the toughest years of my life. And likewise, I will never forget those who abandoned me. One year ago today, I had no idea how I would survive this. Yet here I am. I've experienced a lot of "firsts" and now the only time I want to look back is to see how far I've come.
Thank you SO MUCH to each and every one of you who has connected with me or reached out during this time. It means the world to me and it has helped me feel so loved! I can never thank you enough!! I hope by sharing my story with you, it can help someone else who finds themselves in this boat. That's what this is all about after all, helping each other.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Funny Friday is my Favorite

Man, I love me some alliteration! It's been a rough week... I'm laying low and wallowing in self pity, I promise I'll be back and better next week. But for now, here's some Friday funnies.