Thursday, June 30, 2011

I Have the Blues

Do you have a favorite book, or even author, that always picks you up when you are down? For a long time now, one of my go-to authors has been Nicholas Sparks. His books never fail to make me smile, and sometimes cry, because he weaves the most inspiring love stories known to man. His stories always involve a coastal setting, and the locations alone charm you with their romantic allure.

{I have yet to read a Nicholas Sparks book that I dislike}

I tell you, that Nicholas Sparks is an author after my own heart. Wait, you feel the same way too? Well heck. I was feeling special for a minute. Either way, I just love the way his love stories make you feel as if you heart just grew by a few inches. Nicholas Sparks is my go-to author for an uplifting story when days are blue.

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As you might know, I've been working on making the den/guest-room in our apartment feel extra special and inviting. Let's be honest though, this room won't be just for our favorite guests. I hope to spend lots of quality time blogging away in this sea-inspired room myself. In order to make guests feel welcome in Florida and myself feel inspired to be creative, I hope to add some touches that meet both of those goals. Little reminders of life on the water always make me feel at home.

Just yesterday I peeked over at our new bookshelf and realized that it could really use a pile of pretty blue books on one shelf in particular. Luckily our other bookshelf had quite a few books to choose from, so I pulled some books in varying shades of blue. Oddly enough, each title that I pulled from the shelves included coastal influences. Each book was just perfect for this sea-inspired room!

books: top to bottom  { 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 }

I hope you're enjoying this little sneak peek of our office/guest-room. Next week I'll share more of the progress. There are still a few hundred piles to clean up around the room. I also have a big plan for part of the room, but I'm not sure if it will be completed next week. I'll try though. (:

As you can see, I have the blues.
{Good thing we're talking about the color and not the feeling}

Do you like seeing books stacked
in varying shades of one color?

~ One more peek ~

I found these frames at Target over a year ago or so.
They find themselves right at home in a sea-inspired room.

Okay, that's all you get for now!

I hope you're having a great week!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Happy Wednesday!

Good Morning Everyone!

{ I hope you have a lovely day today. }

I always have a lovely morning
when I drink coffee out of this mug.

The story behind this coffee mug begins with a blog post from earlier this year. One of my very good friends surprised me by ordering two of these cute 'Good Morning' mugs and had them shipped to me for my birthday!

Now every time I enjoy a morning coffee in these mugs, I think of what a great friend I have (even though she's far away in California, she's close in heart) in my life. Drinking coffee out of these mugs reminds me of my dear friend and makes my mornings that much brighter!

I hope you have someone dear to you who helps you
have a 'good morning' too!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sea the Potential: Our Office/Guest-room

Before moving to Florida, my husband and I never lived in anything bigger than a one bedroom apartment together. We're pretty happy with the "spare room" in our current apartment and the extra space that comes along with it. Having more than one bedroom is reason enough for celebration alone! Sadly, though, our first office/den/guest-room is kind of, sort of a mess. (See evidence below).

Obviously, at the moment, our office/guest-room looks like nothing more than a place to discard things that have no place. However, I think that with a miracle some more creative storage ideas, the floor will be clear sometime next year in no time. Seriously though, this will eventually be a room for relaxing and resting.

Our extra room will also be the place where I blog, scrapbook, and whatever else I feel like I wanna do. Gosh! (Sorry, now and then a little Napoleon Dynamite slips out). I know that our office/guest-room looks like a disaster area now, but I promise it will look much better once the new office desk arrives and things get put away in boxes and baskets in the shelving unit. Promise!

My major inspiration for this room is the sea. Honestly, growing up on a lake I've always loved the water, and if the color blue were any more soothing I'd be drooling right now. Now that my husband and I live in Florida, it seemed an obvious choice like he even had a choice to deck out our office in sea-inspired things. Heck, I may even print some photos I've taken recently and slap those up on the walls too. If you're a guest at our place, I hope you feel "at home on the beach" in our sea-inspired room.

I know it's hard to sea the potential of our office/guest-room at the moment, but I swear it will be a welcoming and organized room eventually. Try not to fret. {It's our bedroom closet that scares me the most}. Hopefully the desk I ordered arrives soon, and then I can put the pieces of the puzzle together. I can't wait to share our guest-room with you all once it's more organized! If you're going to visit us in Florida, you'll have a place to relax soon enough.

What's the inspiration for your favorite room?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Kitchen Problems... and Solutions

Last Friday I promised some photos of our Ikea purchases in action. We bought some Ikea items for a few different rooms in our apartment. However, today I'm going to focus only on our tiny kitchen. I say "tiny" because our current kitchen quite possibly has one fourth the storage that our last two kitchens did, and that's being generous.

Our current kitchen has me dealing with one of those you-don't-know-what-you've-got-til-it's-gone moments. The last two apartments that we lived in had kitchen islands. How I wish we had a kitchen island right now! Lack of kitchen storage forced us to put some dishes into our storage closet, and I realized that we would need a shoe horn in order to put everything else away in our tiny kitchen. Thank goodness there was a little extra room in the pantry for storing some things.

Our major problem is that we have lots of kitchen items and not enough places to store them. Isn't that a fairly typical problem with apartment living?

I stored most of our pots/pans in our only lower cabinet. Yes, we only have one lower cabinet. The architect of this apartment (or possibly interior designer) should be spanked for that. Seriously. My guess is that the person who designed this kitchen has never even set foot in a kitchen. If they had, we might have two lower base cabinets. Don't get too excited!

The only place for some creative storage seemed to be inside of our kitchen pantry. I saw a bare expanse of wall, and a light bulb went off inside my head. My initial idea was to install some hooks and hang the pots and pans, but then we spent an evening at Ikea and everything changed! My husband actually spotted these Fintorp rails and it was love at first sight. I grabbed the coordinating hooks and off we went into the sunset into kitchen organizing heaven.

After a little bit of blood, sweat, and tears elbow grease, we had ourselves some extra kitchen storage. No more pots and pans on the ground inside of our pantry! It's really fun solving storage dilemmas with a little bit of creativity. (Did I really just say that? Nerd!) The designer in me loves seeing every bit of space utilized, so going vertical with storage seems like such a simple, but not often used, solution for our storage issues. We bought some extra hooks just in case I found some other things to hang from our new rails.

So far I'm really liking our new kitchen storage solution. Who needs base cabinets when you can install railings inside of the pantry?! Yeah. Score one for the small kitchen. Even the Swiffer wet/dry mop found a new home. Not to mention our coffee making funnels and a couple of random utensils found a new place to hang (pun intended) too.

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Maybe some day I'll be brave enough
to tackle this part of the pantry:

For now, though, I'll enjoy our
new and improved kitchen storage! (:

Friday, June 24, 2011

My First Ikea Experience

Just this past Sunday, I forced my husband asked my husband nicely if he would "pretty please" go with me to the Ikea in Tampa. First of all, let me tell you that I had never been to an Ikea before this past Sunday. I had heard so much raving about Ikea that I'd been dying to go there myself! I like to call this my first "experience" with Ikea, because after spending time at Ikea I know it's truly an experience and not just a measly visit.

Those darn Swedes have designed every moment of your Ikea experience, from the escalator at the entrance to the path you follow through the store. The escalator takes you to the showroom where you can "test drive" everything, from shelving units and desks to sofas and kitchen cabinets. After winding your way through the showroom, you head downstairs in a giant elevator to locate the goods that you "test drove" just upstairs. You view things, test them, find them, and then buy them. Everyone wins. I think?

Our main purpose for spending time at Ikea was to find a shelving unit for our office/den, but we also managed to pick up some other "organizational helpers" along the way. I blame the winding path through Ikea's showroom for making me lose my focus. Either way, we did get the shelving we were looking for, however, we did bring home some other lovelies too. Oops.

After browsing every square inch of Ikea the showroom and warehouse area, we brought home some goodies including the Expedit shelving unit, a couple of very handy Fintorp rails and hooks, and some other assorted things like boxes, baskets, and a closet organizer. I'm going to justify this collection of items from Ikea by saying that the prices are really affordable. You really do get a lot for your money, but do beware of things adding up quickly since you'll probably "need" many of the things that you see.

You can find just about everything under the sun at Ikea. Seriously. Everything. Be prepared to spend some time at Ikea, because it's not one of those stores that you just quickly run into for something. The size of Ikea alone can overwhelm you. Not to mention, the winding path through beautifully designed spaces can be a bit distracting. (As you can see from two pictures above). Take your time and enjoy the "Ikea experience". They even have a restaurant/cafe just in case you get hungry while browsing.

The incredibly interesting design of almost everything affected me the most during my Ikea experience. I couldn't help but feel inspired by so many out-of-the-box solutions for organizational and small space issues, and that is something I can appreciate since we live in, what I think is, a relatively small apartment. All in all, my first Ikea experience was a good one. (:

What do you think about Ikea?
Love it... or hate it?

* Join me on Monday
and see how we're using the items
that we purchased at Ikea! (:

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Whirlwind and Life Goes On

It's really hard to believe that we've been living in Florida for almost 3 weeks now. Where did the time go? It seems like just yesterday we were loading a Uhaul truck in Denver, Colorado. Now we live in the Sunshine State, and it's still hard to grasp that we aren't on vacation here.

We love the beaches!

These past few weeks in Florida have been consumed with finding our way around a new place, my husband flying to all new places, choosing a place to live, unpacking, organizing, finding new places to eat and enjoy a drink or two, viewing a couple of sunsets, consequently taking tons of photographs, visiting Ikea for some home organization needs (more on that tomorrow), and adjusting to life in Florida. Whew. Did that make you tired? I sort of get tired just thinking about everything that has changed for us.

Sunset near Tarpon Springs

We're slowly, but surely, getting settled in the Tampa Bay area. The pace of life seems a bit slower here, which is fine by me. We're surrounded by water on practically all sides at all times. The abundance of water, and the life it supports, is just incredible. There's something to be said for seaside locations and their ability to remind you of what's important.

We see reminders of life everywhere we go. Crabs dig on the beach at night. Small crustaceans wash ashore with each wave on the beach. Birds fish for food during low tide in the Gulf of Mexico. Lizards search for food in the landscaping and wood chips. With just about every step you'll find something carrying on with its life.

Even though we've been really busy and consumed with our "to-do" list, we realize that life goes on all around us. Sometimes you need a little reminder to slow down. So far, life in Florida has been a constant reminder to enjoy the little things.

Happy Thursday!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Alligator Sightings

I have a couple of videos for your viewing pleasure. In the videos I repeatedly call what we're doing alligator "hunting", but please know that we are absolutely not using weapons or hunting the alligators in any way. If anything, what we're doing is actually just alligator "searching and video-ing". Enjoy.

No alligators were harmed in the making of these "films".

Please excuse my newbie camera skills. I'm the proud new owner of a Flip video recorder, and I still have a lot to learn about keeping steady while recording. Oops.

Also please forgive my midwestern nasal-y "ah" sounds. I'm totally one of those people who can't stand hearing their own voice on recordings. I also think this is the first time I'm sharing my voice with you all. Try not to laugh too hard, because I know I did.

Did I seriously just call that alligator "docile"?! I think maybe the Florida humidity is messing with my head. My dad thinks maybe I should carry around a backpack full of raw chicken, you know, just in case an alligator attacks and I have to make a run for it. I could just open up the backpack and throw pieces of chicken distraction at the reptilian terrorist. I just might take my dad up on the chicken backpack idea. Poor chicken.

It seems that no matter where I live there's always some form of scary wildlife out there. However, I'm trying not to let alligators scare me out of doing fun things like kayaking or mucking through swampy areas searching for logs. Totally kidding, I'm not a swamp logger! It seems to me that alligators are everywhere in Florida. I've heard they want very little to do with people, and they only strike if you get in their way. (I hear that crocodiles are aggressive, so let's hope we don't come across one of those darn 'crocs'... I mean, the shoe scares me enough!) I also hear that alligators are slow moving when it comes to moving sideways. Let's hope both these facts are true. I'll try not getting in an alligator's way, and I will zig and zag like crazy if chased.

My husband and I will also continue gator "hunting", because I really want to get a great video for y'all! <--- There I go thinking I'm southern again. That's what happens when you start 'gator' hunting. You drop words like "y'all" and maybe even "fixin' ". I hope you enjoyed the alligator search!

Happy Monday!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Sunset for Saturday!

Yesterday we experienced our first sunset as Florida residents. It was pretty amazing. The couple that we talked with on the pier were really excited for us and hopeful that we will love Florida. All in all, we had a nice night and a lovely sunset to top it off!

Instead of talking about the sunset, I'd like to show you.

Here goes.

The sunset was beautiful, and I hear that no two sunsets are alike. We have a lot to look forward to here in Florida.

Where have you witnessed the best sunsets?
Was it on vacation, or was it right outside your back door at home?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Goodbye Winter, Hello Life in Florida

Hey there friends! I'm taking a little break from unpacking and hanging clothing in closets to play a little blog catch up. Yes, I know we've had days to get organized in our new apartment, but we just haven't done it yet. Today you'll hear me saying, "Goodbye North Face fleece" and "So long warm and comfortable winter boots".

You see. Since we just relocated to Florida from Colorado, we won't be seeing much of our winter gear any time really soon. I've stashed most of our cold weather gear in the spare room. You know, where most of the unwanted things like uninvited guests winter jackets and old blankets belong. Actually, we plan on using this extra room mostly as on office space and a room for visitors. The only visitors I ever had in Colorado were my parents and a couple of friends for our wedding. Other than that, the people visiting Colorado were few. I think that maybe living in Florida will bring more visitors, but we'll see!

Currently the closet in our spare room looks like purgatory for winter clothing. We're not quite sure what to do with all of it. Do we give some away, keep it for our future trips to see family in Michigan and Colorado, or do we just hang on to it and hope for major snow in Florida this winter? Ha! I'm only kidding. We're not going to leave Florida to visit anyone this winter, so hopefully it dumps buckets of snow here this January. All kidding aside, we have tons of winter gear, including skis and snowboard, and we have little use for it all now. Until we can make up our minds, it looks like the spare closet is going to be packed full for a while.

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Just yesterday we ate at a restaurant called Molly Goodhead's in Ozona. The fried grouper sandwich was pretty amazing, and at that moment I realized that we really need to get fishing licenses and learn to fish for some dinner!

After eating our delicious dinner, we took a little drive and came across a nice little park and pier overlooking the water. The breeze made the humidity bearable, and we enjoyed watching the wildlife before sunset. We saw everything from small crabs to an assortment of birds. I think I could get used to this. Watching wildlife just might be one of my all-time favorite things to do!

While waiting for the sun to melt into the horizon, we met a really nice older couple who talked to us until the sun had made its exit for the evening. They had also lived in Michigan, which is where I grew up, and not to mention they knew of the lake that I grew up on as well. It's rare to find people who know of my hometown since it's so small. Talking with this couple was really comforting, because they really took the time getting to know us. I find that sharing commonalities with strangers is so comforting, because it really reminds us that we're much more alike that we think at first.

I have plenty more pictures where these came from.
Stay tuned in the next few days for
more photos from beautiful Florida!

p.s. We get our own internet next week. Thanks to our neighbor "Sampson" for unknowingly providing the internet service that made this blog post possible. (:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Florida Drivers

After the serious tone of yesterday's blog post, I wanted to lighten the mood with some observations from Florida. It hasn't taken us long to realize that there are a lot of crazy drivers on the roads down here in the Sunshine State. In fact, Interstate 4 in Florida is the #3 most dangerous interstate in the country.

Driving the Florida highways can be very intimidating, but apparently "baptism by fire" is the best way to learn. My husband and I have driven I-4 a few times already, and the good news is that we've escaped without incident so far. That's not to say that we haven't seen some very close calls though.

Accidents are not laughing matters, but I think the *rules for driving in Florida are something to giggle about. Drivers in Florida almost make Denver drivers look like saints, and that is no easy feat folks! So here we go.

* Please keep in mind, these are not the actual traffic laws,
although one might think so, for driving here in Florida.

Rules for Driving in Florida:

1. Never ever, for whatever reason, use your turn signal. Other drivers will brake accordingly.

2. The posted speed limits are only suggestions. Most likely you should add 10 mph to the posted speed limit. Drive as fast as the weather, or your vehicle, will allow.

3. Feel free to cut off all other drivers when necessary. Your vehicle is always the most important car on the road. For example: cutting off other drivers is acceptable when you almost miss your exit, when you are attempting to pass a much slower vehicle, or just because you feel like it.

4. Tailgating is not reserved for sporting events! Remember that measly 2 second rule for following too closely? You can forget it! Tailgating while driving is perfectly acceptable if not encouraged. Remember, you are the most important vehicle on the road.

5. U-turns are a way of life. All of the other states are doing it wrong! Forget turning left at intersections with traffic lights or left turn arrows. In Florida, the left turn is possibly every and anywhere you need one. No joke.

6. Yellow lights are your signal to step on the gas pedal. Many people would say a yellow light signals you to slow down for the impending red light, but that could not be further from correct. Floridian drivers take that yellow light, and sometimes the red ones too, as a signal that a long wait lies ahead. (This rule is especially dangerous, so be sure to look both ways before proceeding at a green light.)

7. Merge lanes are meaningless. If a vehicle is merging into traffic, do not let them in front of you. If you are using a merge lane to enter traffic, be sure to force your way into the flow of traffic. Merging traffic is only a nuisance, so make sure to treat merging vehicles with utter disrespect.

8. Let nothing get in the way of your final destination! When traffic gets busy, make sure to continue in a forward motion at all times. Slower vehicles, traffic jams, and all other vehicles on the road are there to get in your way.

So there you have it. Those are some of the rules of the road we have learned from observing the traffic patterns around us. Hopefully you had a good laugh over some of them. Have you ever driven in Florida and noticed any of the above trends? Or do you have similar drivers in your neck of the woods?

Happy Monday, friends!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

LOVE-ly Sunday

Hey friends, I hope you're all having a lovely Sunday! This blog post here is going to be all about love. Please excuse the lack of pictures, but I'm not sure I can find a picture to show you what I'm trying to say. Either way, it's Sunday, and I hope your weekend has been lovely!

As of recently, my heart has been a bit heavy. The emotion love, and it's definition, have been on my mind a lot lately, so I've been doing a lot of thinking about "love" and what it means. There are times when it seems tough to pinpoint exactly what love means, because it's so many ideas and feelings wrapped into one major emotion. Typically if someone loves you, you know it. Vice versa, when someone does not love you, you most likely know it. The great thing is that love is a choice. We all have the ability to see the good in people if we make the choice to do so. On the other hand, we all have the choice to see bad in everyone and hate them as well. Unfortunately, you can never make someone love you since it's their choice to love or hate you. All we can do is love everyone, because, in turn, they might learn to love as well. I hope that you all have experienced, or are experiencing now, love in your lives! It is a rather powerful emotion after all. (:

I have always known my parents love for me, and they have always taught me to love others unconditionally as well. They taught me to never judge a book by its cover. People's value does not come from the job they hold, the car they drive, the clothes they wear, or anything material. My parents also taught me that no one was better than, or above, me. I was obviously also taught that I was not better than anyone else either. We must love each other in the way that we would want to be loved! Thanks mom and dad for helping to teach me those things from a very young age. I love you for that! A girl could not ask for better or more loving parents.

With those things being said, I hope you're still with me!

Love is such a complicated and powerful emotion,
so I think it might be easier to explain what love is not.

Love is not....










All of the above things are negative, and love is nothing but positive!

My hope for this life is that I learn to love with all of my heart, and not just small pieces of it when I see fit. Everyone is deserving of love! If you deprive others of love, you're most likely probably depriving yourself as well. Sometimes you have to love in order to know love. Let's learn to live and love with no barriers, because we all deserve love! No one person is more deserving of love than another.

If you are my family or friend (even future possible friend), I promise to love you unconditionally. There is nothing you need to do better or differently, because I'll love you even when (notice I did not say "if") you make mistakes. Everyone messes up once in a while. There is nothing anyone can do that's unforgivable.

Also know that you will never need to earn my love, because I'll do my best to give it freely! That is who I am, and I intend to live a life of love!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Tips For Road Trips

As you might know from following recent blog posts like this one, or even this one too, my husband and I just moved from the Denver, CO area to Florida.

We traveled in a Uhaul across Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, a small part of Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and of course Florida! The time spent on the road was about 32 hours. Behind the Uhaul we pulled my jeep on a trailer, because that way we could spend time together and also not pay for gas twice.

After our "epic road trip adventure", we realized/learned a lot of things that might be useful for future road trips. There were so many small things that we learned along the way, but, for your reading pleasure, I've summed everything up into a few short and fairly easy to follow items.

Here are our
Tips For Road Trips:

Roll With the Punches
Most likely you will arrive at your destination unscathed, but know that sometimes issues will creep out of nowhere and surprise you. Try not to be too surprised, because setbacks will happen.

Take, for instance, the flat tire we experienced in the middle of nowhere Arkansas. (We were actually smack dab on a busy interstate during the day, but to us it felt like the middle of nowhere). I think it was close to about 903 degrees outside, and we were a bit worried that we might die of a zombie invasion before anyone could save us. After about 10 seconds of panic, or maybe it was only 10 minutes (let's pretend it was only seconds, okay?), we took a breather and called the Uhaul roadside assistance number located on our paperwork. After probably 15 minutes of trying to explain what our location was, we waited for help inside the toasty interior of the Uhaul. Luckily we had water and snacks to tide us over! In case you were wondering, we also avoided a zombie invasion.

After that minor setback of about an hour, we were on the road again. Rubber tire pieces had littered the highway for what seemed like the entire state of Arkansas, so I guess maybe a blown tire should not have been a surprise.

We laughed about the situation after the tire was fixed and we had been on the road again for a little while. (Is anyone else singing Willie Nelson in their head?) Thank goodness the blown tire didn't happen to us in the middle of the night. You know, that's how bad scary movies begin!

Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches and expect the unexpected.

Don't Push It, Be Safe
This tip is really important, because you do want to reach your destination safely after all. Use some common sense, and trust your gut.

My husband's dad and step mother came to Denver and helped us load the Uhaul, and his dad recommended that we keep in touch and he could set up a hotel room for us along the way. Not only is it a good idea that someone know where you are, it's also a big help *knowing what towns have accommodations and which ones do not. You would hate to get somewhere in the middle of Mississippi and find there are no hotels for hundreds of miles. Having someone keep us informed was a big help.

* You could also do this research before leaving for a road trip, but we had very little time to plan our trip so this was a huge help.

If your schedule allows, make plans to take a certain number of days but possibly leave an extra day in there just in case.

If you get tired, sleep!

If you get hungry, eat!

Don't push it. Compromising your safety is not worth getting there a couple hours sooner!

Truck stops are great places for breaks, because they are usually busy and have many options for food, gas, and resting.

Have Fun!
Like everything in life, don't take it for granted. I think this might be one of the most important tips for a road trip, because you might take just one in your life. So have fun!

We listened to music, took pictures, and sang songs. The song singing was probably one of the most fun parts, because it let us make light of our surroundings a bit. It's too bad we didn't have something to record the songs with (I should have listened to my aunt and taken a recording device!).

Taking a recorder might be an extra part of the "have fun" tip, because when you're in a Uhaul for 32 hours some really funny things come out of your mouth.

Another part of having fun is looking for goofy signs along the way. We saw signs for places like "Toad Suck Park". Imagine our confusion by that sign. Both my husband and I agreed that we should stay away from that place, because again it sounded like a scene from a bad scary movie. Thankfully we had no scary movie incidents.

So if you take a road trip, please make sure to have fun!

The "We Put Meat On Your Buns" BBQ sign. Don't eat too much! (:

I hope you're enjoying your week,
and if you take a road trip I hope it's a safe and fun one!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Diary of a Traveling Coffee Addict

As you might know, my husband and I just moved across the country from Colorado to Florida. We arrived in Florida after three days of driving in a Uhaul "Easy Rider Van" across parts of eight different states! (More on that later). The road trip was a once in a lifetime thing!

I have a lot of stories and photos to share with you all, but my husband and I are still not settled in to our new apartment yet. I'll do my best to keep up from the laptop. I've missed you all!

I've also really missed keeping current with blogging, and I have a lot of catching up to do. Before I do that though, I wanted to tell you about my uncontrollable little coffee problem.

Apparently I have a mild addiction to my daily cup of Starbucks coffee. We usually make coffee at home since it's way cheaper than buying a cup from the store each day, however, traveling cross-country in a Uhaul did not afford us the luxury of making our own cup of hot Starbucks coffee at home each morning. As we drove east out of Denver, the frequency of seeing a Starbucks on the road dwindled quickly. I soon realized that most of the country does not view the importance of Starbucks the same as I have learned to view it. This was a teensy problem for me to deal with while driving across the southern part of the United States.

This entry from my travel journal is a piece from day 2 of our road trip:

" Nine hours and counting since we've seen a Starbucks. It's consuming my every thought. I keep thinking I'll see one around the next bend in the road. I might have a problem! You really don't know what you've got until it's gone. I definitely took having a Starbucks on every third corner, like they were in Denver, for granted. I really hope we come across a Starbucks soon! "

On our third day of driving, we came across a Starbucks just south of Birmingham, Alabama. You have no idea how delighted I was to sip that sweet nectar from the coffee gods! Three days without a Starbucks coffee is like the equivalent of three months to a coffee addict. I really hope to not go three days without a perfect cup of Starbucks coffee again. Friends, I have a serious coffee problem!

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It's still a little hard to believe that we live in Florida now. We move into our apartment soon, and I think it will seem more real once we settle into our own place again.

There are so many stories and pictures that I want to share from our road trip across the country. Also, I just bought a Flip video recorder today, so I hope to share some videos of Florida with you too! I've been on the hunt for "gators" lately, and I saw one but it was too small to catch on video from the car while we passed it. I hope to get a video of an alligator soon. (:

Hope you are enjoying your week!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Quick Update

This morning my husband and I are leaving Alabama. Yesterday we drove through parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi... and then into Alabama. Tonight we expect to arrive in Florida, but as we found out yesterday things don't always go exactly as planned.

I promise you lots of stories, pictures, and funny things in the next week!

I also promise to be a better blogger, read your blog posts, and get back to regular commenting again soon!