Monday, January 30, 2012

Ain't Nobody Dope as Maggie...

... She just so fresh and... so fresh and so clean, clean.

Someone has been to the groomer this morning! I can hardly stand how cute she is. It's a love that runs deep in my heart.

Now, if I could only get her to walk herself on these cold, cold mornings.

O.T.W. A Good One

Over the weekend...

  • I had cocktails with my main man, Ryan Sanford on Friday night.

I loved it. I think it's because he's so handsome.

  • I ventured to Auburn to have lunch, shop, and enjoy cocktails with my friend, Kaci. 

We had lunch at Mellow Mushroom. Who doesn't love some pizza?

It made for a lovely day. I don't get to see her enough and I find myself missing her and we just have to plan a day together. 

  • Ryan and I worked on cleaning up around the house. Let's just say I've got several trash bags full of clothes and whatnot to donate to Good Will. 
Overall I'd say it was a great weekend. Pretty laid back but spent with some pretty awesome folks. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

NYE 2012, as promised.

Since I've just now posted my take on "being open to 2012" I thought I would go ahead a post the NYE Post I wrote since I obviously never did.


I have tons of pictures from NYE. We took a more laid back approach in an effort to save money for the Ski Trip. We had fireworks, cocktails, champagne, and good food. Ali details the evening well right here. 

I got a tripod for Christmas so I was that kid that insisted on group pictures. 

It started out with us girls making each guy take a photo with us. 

The boys acted as if they were bothered to pose for a photo, but at the end of the day I think they loved it.

Then the tripod got more action in that everyone (sans Ryan because he wussed out got tired and went to bed) had to pose for a several group photos.

Oh, Hi, 2012... here you are. Welcome. 

Kyle in the group photo next to last... owns me. 

A New Year... One Month Almost Gone

Time flies by these days. It seems like I blink and another weekend is gone, another week, another holiday passed.

It's crazy. If I ever take the time to really think about it... like REALLY THINK about it... it's kind of overwhelming.

I mean, how have four years passed with me still in my current job? This was supposed to be a stepping stone... to the next place, the next town.

Alas, however, here I am. Here we are I suppose.

The thing is, if you ever take the time to think about how quickly time passes it kind of puts life in perspective.

Go for the new job opportunity! Take a pay cut to do something you love. Move to a new city or an old city for that matter. Embrace change as opportunity.

Don't be discouraged because life isn't exactly where you planned for it to be.

Maybe you haven't found the love of your life. That's fine!! DON'T SETTLE... life is too short. In a blink of an eye you will either have waited for Mr./Mrs. Right and forgotten completely about the few lonely nights you had or your will have settled for "Mr./Mrs. Right Now" and may potentially regret it down the road.

I realize I'm all over the place with this post. But the point of it all is to pep talk myself or whoever might be reading this.

Life can't be planned, but we can actively make decisions to help influence the way our lives will go. The decisions and choices we make today will directly effect the life that we create for ourselves tomorrow. 

No job will find you if you don't actively seek it. Change up your routine if you aren't finding any new people to date. Maybe join a church to find a new social circle. Not your thing? Then hang out with a group of friends you haven't hung out with in a while. Incorporate new people in your life in order to find that special someone.

Life is too short to just sit back and let life happen.

I am over-the-moon happy with my life with Ryan. He is my partner, my best friend, my rock, and in 2012 I want to seek positive change. I want to purchase our own home at some point , I want to work in a job that I love, I want Ryan to be all that he can be (but not in a "join the Army" kind of way), and I want to grow spiritually in my own right.

Purchasing a home this year may not be attainable or practical for that matter, but I can start actively working on being more aggressive in saving for a solid down payment.

I suppose this is my "It's a New Year and Here are My Resolutions" post (albeit a little late). But it's not just a post for me...  it's encouragement for my family and friends.

Go out and TAKE what you want in 2012. Stop thinking about it! Let you guards down and open yourself up to love. But love yourself first or you'll end up with less than what you deserve. Seek new job opportunities and embrace them as they come!! Pray for guidance and follow the path that is shown to you.

One thing I hope to do in 2012 is to be active in opening my eyes to more than one option. Maybe I am in the town the Lord plans for me to be in. Maybe my dream home is just down the street... then again, maybe it's a couple of hours away. Maybe my dream job is right here, maybe it's not. I have a tendency to set a goal and to sort of create tunnel vision in that one direction.

In 2012 I'm open to lots of directions.  I hope my family and friends are open to finding the direction which suits them as well.

Happy 2012 Y'all.

All photos via pintrest

Friday, January 20, 2012

Special Sight-Seeing

Last week, as we departed on our trip we had no idea just how long it would take us to get to our final destination.

We originally had a 5:30 a.m. flight out of Birmingham, AL and were scheduled to arrive in Salt Lake City, UT around 10:30 a.m.

We left our house at 3:30 a.m., although we had to turn around about a half a mile from the house in order to go back for Ryan's sunglasses (but he swears that didn't make a difference in our day).

We arrived at the airport around 4:45 a.m. We hustled to park and ran to the Delta Kiosk to print our boarding passes and check our bags. We knew we were cutting it close in order to get our bags checked prior to the 30 minute cutoff, however, the airport doesn't open until 4:45... so we felt okay about it.

Upon arrival at Delta's desk we realized a family of four children and two parents were taking up two kiosk and had a ton of bags. We waited patiently until it was our turn.

As soon as we stepped up to the kiosk we were informed we had missed the cutoff and would have to select a different flight. Also, that would be a $100 tacked on for good measure.

This is where Deidra, Ryan and I should have gotten mad. Mad because of the damn family taking up two kiosks, mad that we were there as early as we could be and got screwed, and mad because we had to spend more money.

But alas, we all took a "chill pill" (or Razzies as prescribed) prior to heading out so we absolutely didn't have it in us to get worked up. We took it with grain of salt. We were like, Dude that sucks. Let's get a biscuit while we wait. 

Rerouted through Minnesota and a 1:00 arrival time in SLC and we were on our way.

We got in to Salt Lake City a bit earlier than planned and our good buddy Mack (who kindly hosted us for the weekend) agreed to pick us up at the airport.

As we were leaving the airport we were all excited and chatting it up. At this point a few wrong turns may have occurred.

45 minutes later Mack asked nonchalantly, "Did I go east on HWY 80 or west?"

We had definitely gone the opposite directions than we should have for a close to an hour... but alas, if we had not gone that way we wouldn't have had a special sight seeing tour of the Great Salt Lake. I wouldn't have gotten to take these pics...

So it all worked out.

If Ryan hadn't forgotten those sunglasses, if we hadn't had difficulty finding a park spot, if I driven a little bit faster, then we would have never seen Minnesota from the air or The Great Salt Lake from the car.

Bright side people, bright side. Glass half full. Or maybe it was the chill pills/Razzies that gave us the illusion of not giving a shit either way.

I suppose the moral of this story is to pack your Maui Jim's next to the Razzies prior to travel.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Semi Shredding Success (a green run)

Deidra made a video of us shredding it up on the Ski Trip. Things you should know: we are beginner skiers, on a green run, but it was so fun. I'm in the brown pants attempting to be cool, Blair is the first person we pass (red toboggan), Deidra is in charge of the camera, and Ali is  the last person we stop by. 

Check us out:

Untitled from Jessica Toland on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

THE Ski Trip has Come and Gone!

"The Ski Trip."

The ski trip started out as a simple idea being tossed around over a few cocktails back in May while sitting on the shores of Lake Martin. 

Clad in our bathing suits we chatted about the fact that we needed to plan a ski trip for the upcoming winter.

It was an idea that had been tossed around each year for the past few years. However, at the end of the day no one ever took action and made it happen. 

We were always big talkers and that's where it ended. 

But this year.... this year we made the ski trip happen. With one email stating the dates and location and a deadline to respond folks began booking flights and purchasing ski gear.

We ended up have 16 close friends commit to the adventure. People have told me that it's crazy that my core group of friends from high school have stayed so close throughout the years, but we have. We haven't always gotten along and everyone has grown and changed throughout the years, but at the end of the day we have maintained close relationships... and that's who made up the ski trip.. Class of '03, baby! (plus an addition who should  have been in our class).

This trip has been planned for months and for months we have discussed it at every get together. I can't begin to tell you about the number of emails that have gone back and forth. 

It was kind of surreal once everyone arrived. We kind of had a moment of WE ARE ACTUALLY ON THE SKI TRIP. 

To be honest,  the more I thought about the ski trip and closer it got, the more anxious I became. 16 people in one house for four days has the potential to result in a lot of drama. Also, factor in the fact that Ryan had never been skiing. I knew if he didn't pick it up it would be frustrating for him, which in turn would equal frustration for me. 

But as I sit here on the other side of our four day adventure to Park City, Utah I can say that it was a trip of a lifetime. Dramatic, much? Yes... but every. single. person. had fun.

Drinking local brew with arms are interlocked =Classy & Romantic.

A bear in town. 

All the beginners in the group picked up on skiing so easily. With a bit of guidance and practice everyone was ready and willing to conquer the mountain.

We skied Deer Valley each day and had more fun than you can imagine. Now, I've been skiing twice before but it was like something "clicked" this time. Maybe I had more confidence or maybe it's just that the third times a charm.... but I was really proud of my improved skills. 

It's been an odd season, in that they have not had much snow out West, but most of the runs were open. We skied from the the top of the mountain to the bottom and back again. 

We had spills, we made videos of our skills, we conquered fears, we laughed at each other, we helped each other up, and at the end of the day everyone came home in one piece (albeit sore). I mean, it could not have been better.


Knocking out "Success" 

One day while skiing a herd of deer crossed our path. It was so cool. I caught one on camera- look hard.

 The last night we were there we decided to go tubing. It was awesome.

At night we had dinner and drinks and laughed about the events of the day. The hot tub came in handy for our sore bodies and made for the perfect end to long days. 

I am so thankful that Ryan and I are fortunate enough to be able to take trips like this, but I'm even more grateful that we have such great friends to embark on such adventures with. The memories we made will last forever... and to be honest I can't wait for the next ski trip.  

It was a perfect! 

Warm feelings abound.   
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