But, I am home…

New adventures make for some mental adjustment.  I often took long weekends in St Louis, visiting my favorite haunts; eating some great food; and crashing at a friends, my aunt’s house, or grabbing a motel room.  I have now been in STL one week today, it’s been a crazy week with moving; setting up the house; having company; and starting my new job.  I know that I now live here, but a part of me is thinking I will be going back “home” soon and my time off will be over.  But…I am home.

It is weird how some things become second nature without trying and yet other things are still ingrained from the “before”.  I know my new address without fail, yet when I am giving someone my zip code I want to say 63935 and I pause and have to think about it for awhile before giving my new zip code.  Trying to remember who I have contacted and updated my information with, who I need to contact, and the joy of finding new doctors, dentist, oil change place, and bank. <bleh>  My bank at home has the best options, and I will keep them, but I will need a local bank to deposit cash easier, and possibly extract cash easier.  So much stuff!!

My new apartment feels like home.  The cats are having some difficulty because they hear neighbors on the stairs and they think that there are visitors coming.  My cats don’t like visitors very well, Pixel will come out and look at people, but rarely does he interact with them (unless he is performing night time chest compression’s  on unsuspecting guests (my brother)…to let them know he was leaving their room. <LOL>).  Callie hides, and stays hidden for hours after the episode is over.  But they have both adjusted well for the most part, and they come out while I am here — which is an improvement from the first couple of days.  But coming in, there is comfort here and it feels like a home…my home.

Everything happened fast with this move.  I have wanted to move back to St. Louis, or somewhere, for awhile.  To get opportunities and to have options of things to do.  To get a new start and broaden my horizons.  To get away.  I interviewed around the first of December and had a job by December 22, with a start date of Feb 19.  The apartment I’m living in was a God thing, one of the doctors I worked with had one open at the exact moment that I needed one.  It is in a good neighborhood with security that was signed off on by dad. <hehe>  Things fell into the place, and worked out in a way that made the transition good.

The opportunities that are being presented and given to me here are numerous.  I have been blessed, and things have fallen into place.  From the job opportunity and hire within two weeks, an apartment being available, and the way I was able to have time between my last shift at Doniphan and my first one here.  I have already learned new things just in orientation, and the tools and equipment that are being presented as “everyday use items” are things I have never seen or come into contact with.  Does it help that it’s an innovative hospital in a large city, yes, but there are some things that they are saying are federal regulations that I have never heard of, or came into contact with.

With all that said, Doniphan will always be “home” and I will always have ties to small town life.  I will forever be grateful for the opportunity of working at the hospital in my home town and being available to loved ones, friends, or friends family.  I understand the comfort of having a familiar face meet you at the door in a critical time in your life or in your families life.  But to promote growth, and to learn new things, sometimes one has to leave the familiar and branch out into the unknown.

To better myself, to get clarity and freedom from things, and to accomplish new goals I had to change things.  I have a home that will always be home regardless of where I go, but for now I am home.



New chapters…in my book

When reading a book it’s always exciting when you start a new one, exciting to see how it ends and the steps to get you there.  A good suspense book keeps you turning the pages, there are some books I barely get past the first chapter (yes, though I love to read and have a very eclectic genre of reading I do have some unfinished books laying around my house), other books I stay up all night reading because I want to see what happens and I cannot put the book down and make myself go to sleep.  When I was little my dad read a lot of Louis L’Amour books, he would come to the dinner table late and say “they were in the middle of a gun fight, I couldn’t leave them hanging”.  Reading is a way to experience the world and stay in your own cozy environment.

There are times though that getting out of the norm, breaking free from the ordinary and what is, and going out to experience the world for oneself is beyond anything one can get from a book.  It’s like when they make a movie of a favorite book and it follows EXACTLY how you envisioned in your head how it should be.  I have had a great opportunity, as a small town to see and experience places that some people only read about.  I have been to China, Taiwan, Honduras, Argentina, Mexico, Canada, Ireland, and to several (40 i think) of the fifty states.  I am blessed.  Breaking out of the ‘norm’ has pretty much been my life.

As with any good book, or experience, there are pages to be turned and chapters to be finished.  I personally will be finishing a chapter in my life and starting a new one within the next month.  I will be leaving Southeast Health of Ripley County, my “home” of nursing, and venturing out on new opportunities and into a new chapter.  It took me all day to hit “send” on my resignation letter (at both Southeast and Arkansas Methodist).  This is my home, the only place I know as far as nursing — of course I’m also case management, respiratory, and lab…here at SEHRC nurses do everything.  The nurses are a one-man-band, playing all the different instruments (job positions) involved in patient care.  I had a very well rounded on the job training.

I would not change anything about my book so far, the experiences are what has made me the person that I am.  If life were laid out like a ‘choose your own adventure’ book and we were able to backtrack or make it as if decisions made earlier in life never happened…I would have chosen some different options, and done some things differently.  But it is not…therefore I will embrace what is and move forward making new memories and writing this new chapter in my life.

My new chapter will involve a new hospital, new home, new church <sad face>, and old friends that I will rekindle friendships with.  I will be revisiting an old haunt from a chapter in my life previously lived, and return to St. Louis.  I am looking forward to this opportunity that has opened for me at this point in my life, and am excited about the new beginnings.  Nervous about what is on the next page, but looking forward to what will be written.

Doniphan will always be home, but for now my new chapter will be written in St Louis.

To new chapters!!

<prayers appreciated that the move goes smoothly>


2017 Holiday Greetings — Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Wow!  I cannot believe that 2017 is already drawing to a close, this year has seriously flown by.  So much has happened this year that part of me is glad that it is closing and part of me wishes that we could go back and start over…and have different outcomes.

This year greeted us in January with the loss of my Aunt Claudette.  It was one of the hardest experiences of my life, personally and professionally.  I still miss her, look for her in church, and consider the experience something that has shaped me into something different the past 11 months.

I turned forty in April. <gasp>  I cannot believe I have hit this milestone, some days I feel every day of 40, other days I can’t believe I’m actually 40.  It all occurred without a blip on the radar, I took myself out to lunch and celebrated it.  No “Fabulous Forty” parties or craziness.  I did catch an opera in St Louis a couple of weekends later.

The end of April we had a historical flood in Doniphan, water levels reaching 32 feet, the Current River bridge had water going over the top of it.  Life was shut down for about a week in our community.  Our church worked with the Southeast Action Agency and assisted in providing food, water, and cleaning supplies to families in our community that were affected.  Hope International, Billy Graham programs, and a couple other groups from across the nation came to help us in the aftermath of the flood.  It was a crazy time, and we are still currently dealing with the devastation, and some businesses are yet to reopen.

Speaking of the opera, I marked that off my bucket list.  I went to see Madam Butterfly with my Aunt Becky Courtney the weekend of Memorial Day.  It was a small set in St. Louis, but I can say that I have seen an opera.  My next goal is going to see one in New York…preferably one where they wear the horned headsets, but for now this will suffice.  Call me crazy…I will do anything once, and to be able to say…”Yes, actually I have done that”.  Adding culture to this small town girls life! :)

August my niece Peyton moved to Scotland for school.  <EEEK>  I am seriously jealous (in a good way) and excited for her.  She is having the experience of a lifetime, getting to see a lot of different countries, and immerse herself in the culture.  I’m excited because I am getting to plan a trip (hopefully it pans out) of going to her graduation.  Yay Scotland!! :)

September found me getting to run away for awhile.  I took a short trip to Quebec, Canada.  It was a beautiful city, I enjoyed getting to spend time with my friend Melissa for a few days.  Getting to walk around the old cobblestone streets, eat great food, and just be away to breath for awhile was nice and relaxing.  I was disappointed that my passport did not get stamped, but hopefully soon I will get to go somewhere where that will happen.

It has been a good year overall.  I continue to work at Southeast Health of Ripley County and also at Arkansas Methodist Medical Center in Paragould, AR.  I am blessed two have to great work “families” that I get to share life with — I see them more than I do my own family.  I love being a nurse and getting to work in the emergency room, helping people at crazy times in their life.  Becoming a nurse was the best decision for me.

I hope this letter (recap of my year) finds all of you doing well.  May each and everyone of you have a very blessed holiday season, hold your loved ones close and let them know what they mean to you.  For those who have lost loved ones this year, may your hearts be comforted during this season.  May the coming year bring health, happiness, and peace.

Love to all my family and friends…



Today’s Shopping Experience

Today I finally had a day off.  I worked five straight, the last two being night shifts (something I haven’t done in awhile).  I came home from vacation and went right to work, had two days last week to clean and run errands then have been working since last Thursday with a day for a wedding, it was time to get some groceries.

I had a car appointment to get my windshield wiper recall done in Poplar Bluff (PB), so I was excited to get to visit the newly remodeled Aldi store, check out the new 10Box, and of course do my monthly Wal-Mart run.  After getting a quick nap after work, I headed to PB to get my day started.

When my car appointment was complete, and I had completed a favor for a friend, I headed to 10Box.  This store is the new version of the Harps store in Poplar Bluff.  I loved their Harps, it had a great bakery and a lot of food options that were not available at other stores (i.e. my zevia sodas).  I was looking forward to getting to check it out.  Walked in and I almost started twitching.  Seriously.  If you are someone that likes order, you are organized, or don’t like going to thrift stores that can be crowded…I DO NOT recommend this store.  You walk in to pallets everywhere, with items just thrown in.  The isles are very narrow and it is hard to get around with a cart and dodge other people.  Then the fact that the price shown is “cost” and they will add 10% at the register, so you have to sit there and try to figure out how much it will actually be.  All the while people going everywhere in the narrow isles.  I about went coo-coo.

Am I crazy (debatable) but as an individual with MS crowds and crowded places make me uncomfortable sometimes…to the point where I feel like I want to come out of my skin.  It’s normal for those who aren’t so normal — check out this story: Sensory Overload.  Therefore, it was too much. Trying to shop, trying to figure out prices, too many people.  Not a place that I will probably ever shop at again unless I want 20 steaks.  I quickly left and headed to Aldi.

Aldi had such a great face lift and remodel.  I liked the old Aldi, but when I started working in Paragould their Aldi’s was awesome.  Our new Aldi is more like theirs.  Unfortunately I arrived after the school hour, so there were more people there than normally when I shop, but I was able to get some of my favorite items at prices I knew when putting it in my cart.  I didn’t have to sit and try to find out what I would ‘really’ paying at the cash register.  I’m glad it is opened again.

Of course I topped my trip to Poplar Bluff off with a stop at Wal-Mart.  My one stop shopping, with prices that often cannot be beat.  I support buying local, and supporting our local stores…but when a box of cereal in town is $5.78 and the same exact box wal-mart is $3.48, I will probably wait to purchase that till I go to the Bluff.

All in all, I personally did not care for the new 10Box store.  I will continue making sure I have my 25 cents for a cart and my carry bags in my car to bag my groceries and shop at Aldi’s…rather than the chaos of 10Box.  But to each their own.




Final Day and Recap of Vacation – Canada

My final day of vacation was spent traveling, not as bad coming home as going.  I did get up and ‘at em’ at 3:45 (couldn’t sleep), and was at the airport by 5:30 am.  The security and check-points leaving Canada were a lot more secure and thorough than when I left St Louis.  Shortly after 9/11 the security at St Louis rivaled that coming out of Canada, but this trip I basically walked through with no issues.  In Montreal they herded us through like cattle, asked and re-asked what I had been doing and what had been purchased while I was gone.  I went through three “check points” each one verifying that I was who I was and had a ticket.  It took about 45 minutes, and there was not that large of a crowd, I would hate to see it on a busy day.

The one time I missed my large digital SLR camera this trip was when I was flying into LaGuardia airport in New York and was able to see the bay and Lady Liberty holding the torch high, was not able to get a good shot with my new Sony quick shot camera I purchased.  I love Lady Liberty and all she stands for, I had the opportunity to explore her when I was about 7 years old when my family vacationed in New York (and visited my Uncle Alder and Aunt Becky).  We also had a blow out on the Brooklyn Bridge and a bomb threat at the play in Central Park (Much ado About Nothing), among some other teachable/learning situations…so that trip was very memorable.

Flying to St Louis we arrived 30 minutes ahead of schedule, had a great tail wind coming form New York.  Called for my motel shuttle and went to get my car.  Was nice to be behind the wheel again.   Grabbed some lunch at St Louis Bubble Tea and headed home.  Of course I topped my day off with unpacking, doing laundry, and relaxing with my feline friends who were happy to see me (I guess, at least they didn’t bite me). <LOL>

Recap of Vacation:

If you like to travel, don’t think you can afford going across the seas to a foreign country, but want the feel and experience…I suggest Quebec City/Montreal Canada.  Quebec City over Montreal (Montreal has a TON of traffic — to many people, but neat non-the-less), but either will work.  To be immersed in a city that has a different language being spoken as the primary is an experience worth having.

I flew round trip for $269.00.  If you watch airline flights you can more than likely get a good deal.  If you have a large family you want to experience the whole thing with, you can drive.  Montreal is not far across the boarder, and Quebec City is just three hours further north.  Quebec City is approximately 20 hours from Missouri, easy accessible and there are a lot of things to see between here and there (the northern states are full of history and things to see — before they decide it all needs to be torn down too, like the southern statues).

I had a great time exploring the city, walking the cobblestone sidewalks and seeing the old city.  Some of it had been commercialized, but for the most part you could still feel the personality of the place.  I enjoyed getting to view old churches (some where better than others, because they too have been commercialized).  The food was amazing.

Things to keep in mind:

Travel when you can.  Make it happen.  Don’t wait till “tomorrow” because sometimes tomorrow never comes.

If you are in certain states, you will need to update your driver license, even to travel within the states.   Missouri License will not be accepted after January 2018 and you will need to have a second, acceptable, form of identification.  Please be vigilant in what is needed, it is sometimes complicated to travel without draw backs…not make it harder than it should be.

I love to travel, and will continue to do it as much as possible.  It keeps one mind open and allows for new experiences that would otherwise be lost.

Until later…ERM

Montreal, Canada — Day Four Vacation, 2017

Today is my last day in Canada…I’m happy and sad.  I’ve totally enjoyed my time here, but I am ready to be home in my own bed and to see my cats.  I’m sure that they will voice their displeasure with me being gone all week when I return.  My mom and dad has been taking care of them for me this week, and keeping an eye on my house (THANK YOU mom and dad…for being willing to take care of my animals and allowing me to get out of dodge for awhile and explore the wide world outside of Ripley County).

Today we traveled the two and a-half hours to Montreal via car, much better than the bus ride to Quebec City on Tuesday.  We started the visit off with a stop at Mount Royal.  This is the highest point in Montreal, with a huge cross on top that was placed in 1643 , the initial cross was replaced in 1924 with an illuminated cross, and accepted as a park in 2014 with trails being added and it becoming more accessible to the public.  We walked a 3 1/2 mile trail to view the cross and to overlook the city.  Very neat getting to see it all from a birds eye view.

We left Mount Royal and headed down town for the opportunity to check out Maison Christian Faure pastry shop.  Doing what has become par for the course of eating dessert before dinner.  The desserts were beautiful to behold…and tasty.  We walked through the old town of Montreal.  After dessert we went to Suzette’s for dinner.  CREPES!  I asked for a coffee with a pretty top, I wanted hot chocolate, but he said the top would not be pretty so I opted for a latte. <lol…crazy I know>  Our waiter went to and told them that I wanted “something pretty”…they did not disappoint, my latte came out with a maple leaf and two hearts on top <happy>.  I again experienced eating my meal in a window seat over looking the street activity.  I have decided that that is what my life is made for, to be where I can eat in little cafe’s that overlook streets.  They make one feel cozy.  I had a lovely crepe, that was totally worth the walk.

We were walking along Rue Saint Paul, the oldest street in Montreal.  Part of it was cobblestone, and for pedestrians only.  It was a very neat area.  The whole water front was very neat.

The evening was topped off with as top at Wal-Mart, so I could pick me up some snacks.  I rather enjoy me some Canadian candy called coffee crisp and fuzzy peaches.  I sometimes am able to talk others who are traveling to Canada, and one person who has a connection to supplies of them to obtain coffee crisp for me.  But today I was able to purchase them myself, and they had a new flavor!  I was a little excited about it.

We arrived at the Crown Plaza to crash out for the night so I can start my journey home tomorrow, and they had wedding parties everywhere.  We stopped and peaked into the room for the wedding tomorrow, very beautiful.  We contemplated being wedding crashers, and even contemplated methods with the couple that we shared the elevator with on what would be the best method.  We decided that if we wore our pj’s they would undoubtedly know that we were the crashers. <haha>

It was a great day to top the week off with.  I have packed my bag to verify that I can carry all my goodies home…so far it works.  If not I am afraid that clothes will be left behind and not my cookies.

Until later….ERM.

Quebec City, Canada – Day Three Vacation 2017

Oy Vey!  Today I bummed around the house for a bit then headed out for a day in lower “Old City“.  The lower part of the old city is more tourist, though it does have several older buildings that are marked with placards that show the year the building was built.  A lot of rock structures, that have been turned into restaurants or souvenir shops.  There was a cruise ship that had docked that has A LOT of people milling around, but they cleared out after a short bit (they were called back to port) and it was just a basic number of people.

Prior to making it down town I stopped in St. Roch, the rehabilitated district of the city.  I perused the streets here and stopped in the Eglise Saint Roch church.  The care and work that went into constructing such a magnificent building amazes me.  The era that they were built, wooden scaffolding was used.  Being raised in a carpenter’s home, and building a house myself, I often look past the basic and absorb what is behind the actual building.  What it takes, how it was put together, and just the awe of the actual structure.  They had a pipe organ that was being played at the time of my stop in to view the church, it was interesting to hear the music being played, the natural acoustics of the building allowed the music to reverberate throughout the place.  Outside the church was a box set up with a refrigerator and cabinets that churches and other organizations put food in for the homeless people that live there in that district.

Hoped back on the bus and headed down to the lower district.  Did the whole tourist thing (snapped pictures, purchased a souvenir, and mingled in with the crowds).  I then took lunch at a quaint little cafe Casse Cou (which means ‘break neck’), with a window seat that overlooked the street.  I felt like I was further away, in a place that would have actually stamped my passport, and it was a relaxing lunch getting to watch the street traffic and enjoy my poutine.  Walked back through the Old town, contemplated walking up the steps to the upper level, and then headed back out to catch the bus back to the industrial neighborhood where I am currently staying.  My calves, heart, and fat self voted NO to walking up the steps. <hehe>

Side note:  It’s a small world.  As I was browsing in one of the shops, I met a couple (the DeRamus’).  They were off one of the cruise ships.  They currently pastor in Pennsylvania, but hale originally from Louisiana.  While they lived in Louisiana, they pastored at a church where two guys I grew up with (Chris and Bobby Turner) attended.  So two people that had connections to Doniphan, MO, ran into one another in a souvenir shop in Quebec City, Canada. <play Disney’s “It’s a Small World After All” music here>

The bus system.  For a girl that lives in a town with NO public transportation system at all.  That is trying to navigate in a city that all the signs are in French.  That the bus drivers speak ‘some’ English.  Who did not have a bus map available.  Today was an adventure.  The buses only stop at certain stops, and you have to catch the bus with the number (1, 800, 801, etc) that will take you to the next stop, to catch the bus that will actually go to where you want to go.  Then the bus stops themselves are little cubicles, with plexiglass walls that act as a magnifying glass to scorch the fair Irish skin of the foreigner in their midst.  I barely missed my #1 bus when I FINALLY found the bus stop (the guy at the museum said “See that light, go there and it’s there” (while pointing to the stop light across the road).  In reality, it was up two blocks and turn left, the stop I needed was across the street and half way down that block.  But I persevered, found what I needed, and got myself back where I belonged. <smile>  And, hey, now I can say I can navigate the public transportation system of Quebec City. <bleh>  Oh and by-the-way…definitely sit in a seat that is facing forward, or have your yoga core ready…you will be thrown out of your seat if you sit in the sideways seat and are not properly braced (just saying).

We headed out this evening to the neighborhood of Levis, to get ice cream, watch the sun set over the city, and then we grabbed dinner.  Very cool little neighborhood, great view of Quebec City from across the water, and great ice cream at Chocolats Favoris, the original location.  We did it a little backward and had dessert prior to dinner, but that’s how I roll.  I was a glutton (I do love my ice cream) and I had a dipped cone and some gelato.  I got the baby size in both (and didn’t completely finish the gelato).  Watching the sun set over the city, and the “old city” coming to life with lights was cool.  We also saw some kayakers in the river.  When we left the water front, we stopped in a Cosmo’s for dinner.  Very interesting, eclectic, restaurant.  Great food!

All, in all, it was another great day.  Full of soaking up the city and enjoying just being without a schedule or needing to be at work.  Tomorrow I head to Montreal.

Until Later…ERM

Quebec City, Canada – Day Two Vacation 2017

Merci!  I would like to think I learned how to say “thank you” but I believe that is what my feet are saying after walking six miles around town (just the ‘upper’ part) today.  When I say “town” I mean the “Old City” of Quebec.   It was an interesting, beautiful, day with a lot of wind, hills, steps, and scenery to soak in.

First, I want to say something I forgot to mention yesterday.  I renewed my passport in 2011, after having my first one filled up after taking trips to about seven different countries.  I had yet to get a stamp in my passport (due to being in nursing school and not traveling, then when I did start traveling again the trips were within the boarders of the US).  I was excited about “FINALLY” getting a stamp in my otherwise very empty passport when I crossed the boarder into Canada.  DID NOT HAPPEN!  I was so disappointed. First off, I did the boarder patrols job by feeding my claims paper into a computer and answering all the questions by pushing buttons; then I walked to a guard, handed him my passport and he said “hello” and checked my picture and let me go.  I wanted a stamp!  Oh well, just means I will have to go somewhere more foreign to get a stamp.

Also, I was welcomed to my week’s abode with some fluffy northern comfort Canadian socks.  They are supper fluffy and comfy.  Will definitely be a hit this winter relaxing around the house. (Thanks Mel!)

I started my morning off at Paillard, a coffee shop/bakery.  Grabbed a cappuccino and a sticky bun before hitting the sidewalks to see what I could uncover.  Then I walked around, found the Notre-Dam de Quebec Basilica Cathedral and stepped inside for a look around.  Very ornate, and commercialized…they had a souvenir shop in the back of the church.  It was very neat to look around in though.  After that we checked out the Chateau Frontenac, after walking up several flights of stairs and along the river walk promenade.  It was beautiful.  I stopped and assisted other tourist couples to get a picture together in front of either the Chateau Frontenac or with a view of the river and their cruise ship in the background. <hehe>  After leaving the water front I walked further inland to the Parliament building.  It was under construction, but the gardens were still assailable and very beautiful.

Then I was able to meet up with Mel and we grabbed some lunch at Spag&tini (Italian) before heading out of town to the water falls.  The Montmorency Falls were beautiful.  I chickened out and did not ride the cable car from the top to the bottom, so my pictures are all from top views of the falls…but great non-the-less.  <afraid of heights and things that move when suspended>.

The day was rounded off by some ice cream before heading back into the city for church service that is being held at Mel’s house.  I may or may not get much out of it since it will be in French.  <smile>

It is a beautiful city!  Have enjoyed my day immensely and look forward to day two exploring tomorrow…much better than ‘traveling’ all day.

Until later…



Quebec City, Canada – Day One Vacation 2017

Day one is here…finally vacation, time away to just be and explore.  I love traveling…but not so much the actual traveling part. Bleh!  Today was a day of travel that included delays, turbulence, two planes, and two different buses.  But I finally arrived to my destination, after a day that started at 0400.  Needless to say my bum was sore and I was tired.  BUT…I’m in CANADA!

I had delays out of St Louis, due to weather.  I was glad that my pilot is instrument trained because we flew out in a blanket of nice white dense fog this morning.  Then from Philly the captain tells us that they have “rerouted us due to weather, and I had to type the coordinates in before take off”.  It was reassuring that my pilot was depending on google maps to get us where we were going. LOL.  All in all, other than my mad dash out of terminal F to terminal A in Philly, and almost missing my flight due to an update on the American Airline App I downloaded, it was all good.  I did get 20 minutes of exercise in due to my sprint through the terminal though. :)

The language barrier is interesting to say the least.  There are some with ‘very’ heavy accents that make it difficult to understand, and I’m sure they wonder what spaceship beamed me into their world with my southern Missouri vernacular.  Needless to say the lady at the coffee shop did not know what powdered sugar was, though it was plainly sprinkled on the croissant that I wanted to purchase — apparently here it is confection sugar.

When in contact with my friend about my whereabouts, I told her I was in the middle of nowhere because I couldn’t read the signs.  I stated that I assumed I was on the correct bus, but “I could be on a bus of a traveling gypsy circus group” for all I knew.  They scanned my ticket said “merci” and let me board.  We realized I was on the correct bus, because I eventually arrived at my location.

All in all the majority of the people I have come into contact with are bilingual, which is helpful.  I am excited about getting to explore the city and spend some time here soaking up the culture.

Until later…


Peyton Kylie…Fly High!

It’s here.  The day that you have been planning for and talking about for at least four years.  Eight years since the desire was placed in your heart, when you came home from Ireland with the hope to return to the area and go to school in Scotland.  How do I deal?  I write.  I have feelings swirling and colliding and what better way to deal…than to put it to paper and blog a post to tell you what I cannot get past my lips or form into words.

First off, I am so very PROUD of you.  You made me an aunt for the first time.  You were so tiny, and though you threw up on me — actually you threw up on everyone basically, you let me know that it was ok for some to get away with saying my name completely wrong.  To you I was “Eeya” (or something similar to that, always the same word), and for once it was acceptable to not be “E”-leisha.  Coming from the big brown eyed little girl that soaked in the world with awe, I would be anything.  I eventually graduated to Aunt Leisha, and I would not trade it for the world.  I am excited, sad, and maybe a tad bit jealous about this opportunity you are embarking on. You have made me proud to be your aunt, you have grown into a young lady of God that I myself can learn from.

Your parents swore they were raising my child.  We have some of the same tendencies of stubbornness, independence, no filter, love of photography, and organizational/leadership skills…to name a few.  Of course you did take after your father in the computer nerd/geek aspect of your personality, I’m sure those qualities will assist you at some point <eye roll>.  LOL!!  Watching you grow and come into the rolls that you have held throughout the years has made me look back at my self and realize that though it was awkward, sometimes difficult to fit into the mix, and I wasn’t always “in”…those qualities that separate you will take you into a life full of possibilities and avenues uncharted.  It will provide you opportunities to take others with you to heights not reached to this point.  You will learn how to channel all of it into traits that will work for the best of you and those around you.  Keep soaring and reaching.

I will miss seeing you here, there, and everywhere.  My weekend McD’s Coke run girl is leaving me.  I’ll stress out at work and not be able to deal without my “fix” being delivered by the yellow delivery taxi.  I’ll miss getting ran up to at church to be shown the “SLEEVES IN MY PONCHO” or the dresses that have pockets.  To be shown all the new gadgets and newest “thing” that I could be doing with my phone if I just knew that it existed in the first place.  Never lose the awe of the world and all the little things that make it up.

As I sit and think of what Saturday (8/26) holds my heart is happy, sad, and a little jealous.  I know jealousy is wrong…but who wouldn’t want an opportunity of living in a foreign country, surrounded by people that will nurture the values and foundation that was instilled in you from birth, all the while getting to experience a new culture and life.  Yes, it’s old school to you, you were in a similar situation in 2009 when  you moved with your family to Ireland (that day I stood and watched the five of you walk away down the terminal, prepared me slightly for this, but not really).  Remember that every experience is different, every opportunity will impact you in a different way.  Embrace it.  Soak in every thing around you.  Let it all build into the gust of wind that takes you further than you have ever been before in God and in life.  Fly High!


ERM  (a.k.a – Aunt Leisha)