Rise and Shine!

When I was younger, I had the mentality that being a “night owl” was inherently cooler than being a morning person. All the coolest people I knew at the time were night owls. I fought for a long time to transform (and trick) myself into one and in time, learned it would be a fruitless endeavor.

Now, as an adult and seeing the personal benefits to getting up early and starting the day right off the bat, I embrace and love that I am an up-with-the-sun kind of girl. I feel my absolute finest first thing in the morning (once I actually get out of bed and know there is a promise of coffee in the near future). I am happier, more productive, and often find a beautiful dichotomy of motivation and calm.

But I made a small discovery the other day that I don’t know quite how to interpret: I am a morning person, feeling motivated, peaceful, and happy… if I am alone.

The other day, I was up before anyone else, which is a normal occurrence. I started my routine, noticing the sunrise and the sounds of the morning coming in the open windows. I got my breakfast and coffee, freshened up, and sat down to begin working, enjoying every peaceful minute… and then everyone began waking up… and with more energy than I would have liked.

All of a sudden, after a rather hectic chase to get the cats their pills, I found my anxiety levels shooting through the roof. Everyone was up, moving around, making noise, and talking all at once. It was at that moment—a moment I’m even not a stranger to—that I realized how my affinity towards early, quiet mornings to myself actually includes heavy emphasis on the alone and quiet aspects! Who knew?

Right now, we are with Nick’s grandparents and, because we live very different lifestyles, there are a number of alterations we’ve had to make to our routine. Nick and I are usually very in sync, but living in someone else’s home with different preferences means we have had to adjust. We’ll have the house to ourselves come October, but this was a humbling discovery of mine—certainly something I know I need to work on.

We’ve been doing a lot of daydreaming recently about our new home—feeling eager and excited to plan and execute our ideas. A big part of my excitement for it is to finally be back in our own space, surrounded by our things, and working towards a new and exciting routine. None of which, I will add, would be a possibility without the graciousness of his grandparents and this unplanned time in our lives. So, in the meantime, I will hold onto the promise of our own home, try to be patient with everyone around me, and enjoy every minute I have to myself, when I have it!

Until next time.. ❤

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Butter-what?

Good morning everyone!

Back in June, I shared with y’all the news of my finally visiting an otolaryngologist.  To recap, I’ve had ongoing and worsening symptoms for the past four years, which began with sporadic pain at the base of my skull, later developing into nasty headaches, then into vertigo and motion sickness. I grew up getting traditional migraines, but I found out back in June that I could have a condition called vestibular migraines. These migraines are not characterized by traditional symptoms of migraines (though I still get them every couple of months). They are, instead, characterized by the presence of vertigo and motion sickness, which happens daily.

After going through a series of tests to rule out other possibilities, I was officially diagnosed on August 2. It’s hard to put into words what a relief it was to have that closure—to get answers that will allow me to start on my new journey to learn how to live with it. I have modified my diet to cut back on the most common triggers and yesterday, I began taking Butterbur Extract, a herbal supplement known to target migraines, at the recommendation of my doctor. I was given the option of medication, but was informed that many people prefer to take a supplement every day, rather than manufactured drugs. I agreed with the sentiment.

I grew up hearing people say they had vertigo and I always said, “big deal; you get a little dizzy.” But I wanted to share what a day with bad symptoms looks like for me. Not in an attempt to get sympathy, but rather to share my experience and talk about how it is changing my perspective on some things.

The biggest challenge of the condition is that it’s sporadic. I can go from a vertigo-free day of moving around, being active and focused, to bedridden as the world spins around me for hours on end in a matter of minutes. It’s a challenge that can also be very dangerous, which has been the common concern of myself and loved ones. The other day, I went out to dinner with a friend in Wilmington, approximately 45 minutes away. I had started feeling symptoms in the late afternoon, which were only minor by the time I left for dinner. On my way home, I had the most difficult time driving I’ve had to date. It was dark and my brain was seemingly not processing things properly (doctors believe VM is caused by misfires between nerve cells in the brain, so that makes sense). Lights threw me off, shadows threw me off, and movement threw me off—not safe in a car. Goes without saying I am not driving alone at night anymore for any distance over 10–15 minutes.

On a smaller scale, other incidents include a general unsteadiness—the feeling like I am moving or things around me are moving when they’re not, loss of balance (walked into a door frame the other night—that was fun), the whole “room is spinning” sensation, increased light spots, and probably the strangest one: the sudden “falling” of my head. I will be sitting down and, out of nowhere—no prior symptoms—I will experience a heaviness in the crown of my head or forehead that will pull it forward to a drop. To top it all off, most of the vertigo-related symptoms I experience give me motion sickness, meaning I’m nauseous most of the time.

Sounds like a debby-downer deal and, don’t get me wrong, it is. But it was a lot worse when I didn’t know what was going on and now I just treat it as part of who I am while we search for the right path. I joke about it on the regular, so while it has the potential to make things really difficult and me, miserable, I’ve chosen to run with it.

In fact, yesterday afternoon, I was listening to some ambient music to get myself motivated and it began to trigger my symptoms. At first, I felt annoyed—there are a number of things VM has hit the last nail in the coffin on and the more it takes away, the quicker I am to get annoyed—but then I closed my eyes and tried to enjoy the sensation, rather than fight it. It’s not something I can do every time, because A. that would likely be dangerous in certain situations hah and B. I actually have things to do during the day, but I felt like I was already in a meditative, trance-like state—it was pretty cool.

I am eager to see if the butterbur makes a difference and I certainly hope it does. I have a number of other things to factor into my day that should help, but we have officially started the process and I am relieved and excited to see what comes of it!

Hope everyone has a wonderful day! ❤

Declutter

I am doing things a little differently today, as I think a general life update is in order, covering a number of topics that would normally be separated out. My mind is feeling a little jumbled this morning and I think getting the current clutter out of my head will help.

Speaking of clutter! Yesterday was the day I finally went through our things in storage. I spent most of the day going box by box, tub by tub, to determine what we have, what we need, and what we can get rid of. It served a couple of purposes:

  1. For the new house: we aren’t going to be taking number of things from our apartment with us into the new house. We have worked very hard to be able to find, purchase, and build things to furnish the house and, since we have a while until it is built, we are doing our planning now, so that we can continue picking things up along the way. With that said, we only have so much space in storage, which makes brining any new stuff in rather difficult, so it was time to clean out.

    We were able to pull everything out, sweep the floors, and decide what we would keep and what we would get rid of. All of the IKEA furniture we know we won’t be using anymore was put up for sale and that money will be put back into the new house. Best of all, we put everything back in so that I can access the boxes, tubs, and furniture I’ll need to this fall/winter, and all with space to spare! We need to get rid of the furniture we are going to sell, but when we do, we’ll have a beautiful amount of space for new items and some of the items currently trying to suffocate our two rooms in this house.

  2. For the wedding: The second purpose has to do with—you guessed it—the wedding! More specifically, the registry. Nick and I have yet to create a registry and, let me tell you; it’s not easy to make one when your entire life is sitting in a garage… in boxes… under more boxes… in corners you can’t get to!

    So what I did yesterday was pull out each and every box and, in addition to getting rid of things we needed to let go of, took stock of what we have, what we still need, and what we can maybe upgrade. Still don’t have a registry created, but I was able to get a better sense of what needs to go on it!

More and more over the past few weeks, it has become more and more difficult to get a grasp on everything that needs to be done. All of a sudden, “10 months” has gone from a comforting time-frame to what feels like not nearly enough for all that needs to be accomplished.

Much of what I am trying to do in my life as a whole right now is find balance. As I continued to write this morning, I felt myself feeling more and more jumbled up, as if there were too many things to fit into a single, general life update. Therefore, not only will I be doing a separate house post and wedding post, I will also be focusing the remainder of this one on my quest for balance.

I love to set goals. I love to stay productive and be able to say I accomplished things. I also love to curl up and do absolutely nothing. Striking a balance between these things, when there are other obligations to consider, is not an easy task. I do not have the answer yet as to how to strike that balance, but an idea crossed my mind not long ago that I think could be a good start.

I have yet to be caffeinated, so I will likely start there. But what I’d like to do afterwards is sit down with said caffeine, take a deep cleansing breath (or three) and write it all out. Yes, write out every last thing on my to-do list. I write lists each and every day for work to keep me focused; I also write in a journal and on here to declutter my mind. By writing out all my to-dos, it is my hope that I will be able to first organize it all so I can finally get a grasp on everything, and second, come up with a plan of action to get everything done. I will finally be able to see it all right there before my eyes, rather than trying to jump from item to item in my head.

I just went back and re-read the start of this post and the symbolism there is exquisite: “We were able to pull everything out, sweep the floors, and decide what we would keep and what we would get rid of… Best of all, we put everything back in so that I can access the boxes, tubs, and furniture I’ll need to this fall/winter, and all with space to spare!”

Today, I need to pull all the clutter out of my mind, get it on paper, and decide what to keep and what to get rid of. Then, I need to put it all back in, nice and organized, so I have plenty of space to spare… wish me luck!

Until next time.. ❤

We got an email…

There is a fair amount of work to be done on this foggy, somber morning; but after the week I had and the current mood of having too much racing through my mind, I need to take a second, stop, and write.

If you hadn’t guessed, I had a tough week. It was very busy and, at times, very emotional. The week ended up OK, but getting to Friday wasn’t easy. In general, there is just a lot going on—I have a ton of responsibilities at work, a house to build, and a wedding to plan. All of which are made up of tiny little projects here and there that are beginning to pile up.

But something happened yesterday that was a beautiful continuation of something that started three weeks ago. As you may know by now if you’ve been following along, we aren’t building the house we signed on in February. Our builder came to us saying they had no idea when the building permits would come through and that they wouldn’t string us along in the meantime if we didn’t want to wait anymore.

I remember getting into the car and, for the next day or so, feeling absolutely defeated. I couldn’t help but sit there and believe it wasn’t meant to happen for us. One failed apartment and two failed houses in a year? I couldn’t help but think maybe we should just rent for a couple more years and pick back up then—that clearly this wasn’t meant to be for us right now.

Nick, on the other hand, was so sure we’d find something else because he had secretly been looking since late spring. I felt that we’d find something, but it wouldn’t compare to the house we were going to build. It had taken us so long to find that one and it ended up being new construction, something we couldn’t afford anywhere else in this area. The rest were too expensive or were by builders we didn’t like. I did not share Nick’s confidence whatsoever.

Three days after we met with the builder, we saw two communities. The first, Nick was absolutely sure would be the one… it wasn’t. But we saw Jockey Hollow and it was the one. The next week, when we made our deposit on the lot, we had come to find out that lots were being taken at a rapid pace. The timing had to work out just right for us to get what we did.

Now, we are signing our contract on Tuesday—just a couple of weeks before the new, higher tax goes into effect. I also got the icing on the cake yesterday: an email from our original builder. They said—and this was two days after Nick picked up our signed addendum and refund check—that the county was finally releasing the building permits for the community we were going to build in. I cackled when I read that email.

It wasn’t anger, disappointment, or frustration; it was the irony of it all. It was serendipity. The events of the past three weeks had to happen exactly as they did for us to be in our current position, which has us more excited than we’ve ever been for a house (though my experience-based apprehension is lingering). I will always be a believer that everything happens for a reason and when we walked away from the Avonbridge home, I knew it was for a reason (despite my disappointment). Granted, I thought it was because we weren’t supposed to be buying a house, but I still knew there was a bigger picture we were not meant to see yet.

That picture may not even be clear, but with each event, I can see more and more of it. You may not be religious or spiritual, but I am, and I know someone has our back right now. Nick and I are very fortunate people and with everything going on, the stress, the million to-dos, and the overwhelming price-tags they come with, it’s easy to lose sight of just how fortunate we are sometimes. I am so grateful for all the opportunities we’ve received, the support we continue to get, and for the little reminders here and there to keep our feet on the ground.

In other news, I hope to have some wedding updates shortly! I put planning on the back-burner, but we’ve needed to kick it back up, so that started a couple of days ago with reaching out to potential coordinators and officiants. Hopefully more to come on that and more soon!!

And so we begin again

6am on a Saturday and I am up and ready to write. I have an incredibly busy weekend ahead of me, but didn’t want to miss out on my favorite quiet, writing time (coffee is brewing, so we’re almost there)!


As anyone who follows me on social media may know, we took a big step yesterday in our seemingly never-ending search for a home. I decided today to give more of a backstory to our hunt, in addition to sharing the news. If you know the story or don’t care about the backstory, hop on down to House 3 hah.

Our search began last year. Nick and I were living in a 1br (+den) apartment in Wilmington and it was an old, built-in-the-sixties complex. It wasn’t much, but it was our first place together and we loved every bit of it (though we could have done without the galley kitchen). When our lease was close to ending, we decided to look for a new apartment.

Apartment 1

We found a complex that we really liked pretty quickly, I think. It was in a good location and there was a specific corner unit available that was perfect because of the extra windows and light. We put a deposit down on the apartment and, shortly thereafter, were told the current tenant would be renewing their lease… Safe to say we were furious—there is no way in which it should have even been made available to us in the first place. After that, we needed to reevaluate.

Nick sat me down one day not long after and asked me what I thought about buying a house. We had discussed it many times before, but, at the time, were—in my opinion—not “there” yet in our relationship. However, we talked it through quite a bit and decided to begin the search for a house.

House 1

We found an amazing home later in the summer and were weeks from settlement, when the inspection showed water in the crawlspace and step cracks in the foundation. I won’t go into too many details, but after much deliberation, we decided it would be best to walk away; I was heartbroken. As we continued the search, heading into the fall/winter months, our options were becoming more and more limited. We found ourselves close to settling on homes that weren’t what we wanted just because we were so desperate to get in a house, so we decided to wait through the winter.

House 2

After the new year, we resumed our hunt. We switched realtors, locations, and wish lists. After looking at homes for some time to absolutely no avail, Nick came around to the idea of new construction. Shortly after, we came across the chance to build House 2. It was a twin home (two houses connected in the middle) in the same town we live in now. The price was right, the location was great, and we were able to squeeze in some of the upgrades we really wanted.

February 28, we signed the contract. It was such an exciting moment for us—we both felt like we were getting what we had been looking for this whole time. We knew there were things we wanted that we wouldn’t have, but also that it was our first home and not likely our last. Settlement was set for August 28.

Long story short, since I’ve talked about this recently, the original developer of the community is pretty much known scum ’round these parts and hadn’t addressed the “open spaces” of the community. The county, therefore, put a hold on all building permits. For months, we sat there hoping and praying for things to pull through, but about 3 weeks ago, our builder sat us down to tell us they had no update, there was no update in sight, and that they would release us from our contract if we wanted.

The addendum was signed yesterday.

House 3

Which brings us here. By Thursday of that week, we were looking at new locations further south in Delaware (near where House 1 was). There were two new construction communities we had in mind and, as soon as we drove into the neighborhood of the first, we knew we were in the right place.

With everything we’ve been through, we weren’t willing to sacrifice on much. If we are going to be at it for this long, we were going to love our house. Would the house be perfect? No, we’re not custom building our dream home; but you can bet we’d work to get as close as we can. What we kept thinking we’d be missing in House 2 was kept in mind to transform our “must-have” list.

The process is nowhere near over, but yesterday, we took the first step towards House 3. They are beginning a new phase of development and we snagged the best lot of the lot. It, of course, came at a price, since all the lots in this phase are considered “premium,” but because we don’t have to sell a house, they gave it to us for less. Since the new phase hasn’t been started yet, we have to wait for them to build the road in that section—that will begin in August. By November, they will break ground on our home. So long as Nick and I are proactive when it comes time to get in, sign our contract, make our selections, meet with the flooring company, etc., we could be one of the first finished next spring.

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The new phase highlighted

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73 is ours!!

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It was very sunny, clearly.

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Our lot!

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The new view we’ll have out the back of the house (including the master and my office)! Overlooks the pond!

In conclusion

Nothing about this process is a guarantee—we’ve learned that the hard way 3 times now. This new house isn’t a guarantee until they hand me those keys and I dance (and likely trip) over the threshold. Buying a house has been an absolute nightmare, spanning—in the end—2 years; but yesterday we stood on the lot where our first home will be, where we will start our lives as a married couple, and where we’ll bring a couple tiny humans into the world. There are going to be some amazing memories created on that lot and everything we’ve gone through will be worth it.

We are two very lucky people. This hasn’t been an easy year when it comes to this, but we have always been surrounded by love and support—without which we could not have made it this far. I am very excited to take y’all on the journey of our first home and continued prayers and positive energy for a successful ending will continue to be much appreciated!!

It’s Been a Week… Part II

It comes as no surprise that I never got around to Part II this weekend; however, this time I genuinely believed I would. Nick and I spent the weekend house/dog/cat-sitting for his parents down at the beach and typically—when we have a just-the-two-of-us weekend—we have a lot of down time. This time, however, happened to be much more active than usual.

We went for a bike-ride, ate out (a lot), saw Baby Driver (uhmazing), got to the beach (twice), and even toured the Dogfish Head Brewery before coming home. It was a really nice weekend and having the four days off was absolutely wonderful. Let me tell ya: my lifelong goal of having a 4-day work week seems more and more appealing with every long weekend.

But I want to finish my post from last week about last week. To recap, the biggest piece of news was that our builder gave us the option to walk away from our contract on the house and we did. The process was going to remain indefinite and they didn’t feel it was right to hold us until the contract was up at the end of November. It was a kind thing for them to do, but one that left us at square one—a heartbreaking blow after a year of looking and now two failed houses. You can read the entirety of Part I here.

Thursday Morning

Thursday was a hard and exhausting day, which began with my first round of medical testing done in the morning. For those of you out of the loop, here is a link to the background story on the subject. Here’s the gist; I’ve been seeing a few specialists to narrow in on a diagnosis for issues I’ve been facing since 2014. They impact my life on a day-to-day basis and sometimes dangerously so, so it’s been long overdue to get to the bottom of it. My ENT believes it to be something called Vestibular Migraines, but the best way for us to make a certain diagnosis is to rule our other possibilities. Hence, the testing I had done Thursday.

I went to the Audiology Department at Christiana Hospital to get three tests done. The first was a hearing test, which went well. The second was a series of tests that recorded eye movements—only one of those left me feeling uncomfortable. The third knocked me down hard (metaphorically) and I was down for the rest of the day. It was a test designed to “throw me off,” as I call it, and—let me tell you—it did what it was supposed to do. They started by blowing warm air into my right ear for about 45 seconds, followed by the other ear, then both again, but with cool air.

As it started, I thought nothing was going to happen. Then about 15 seconds in, I got dizzy… then dizzier… then I would have bet my life the whole room was moving and I with it. After four rounds of this, well, let’s just say my motion sickness got the better of me. We were supposed to take 5 minute breaks in between each round—I needed 10 to get the room to stop spinning… not fun. Safe to say, I was home and in bed the rest of the day, only getting up to eat and eventually see some homes later in the evening. Test results will be making their way to me soon.

Thursday Evening

Getting back to the new and improved house hunt; our realtor is incredibly motivated to help us find our home. She was quick to set everything up, has been sending options left and right, and we were able to tour three locations Thursday evening. We saw an old Victorian home which looked updated, but it was not nearly as updated as we thought. It was beautiful, but a quick no. We also saw two new construction communities, one of which has us very excited. I can’t go much further into it because we are waiting for two important make-or-break-it details, but it looks incredibly promising, so I’m going to need y’all to cross those fingers for us!

It was a whirlwind of a week and absolutely jam packed, so I was grateful for a long weekend—I really needed it. We have a lot going on right now and it’s tough to keep it all in check, but we’re doing the best we can and rolling with the punches as they come. The road to a new home does not look to be a short one, but we know it will be worth it when the day finally comes.

Until next time, my dears…

It’s been a week… Part I

Despite the overwhelming desire to sleep right now, I have to write this update before I have any more topics to cover than I already do. It has been an absolutely crazy week—filled with ups, downs, and turns every which way in between. We’ve had some incredible highs and heartbreaking lows, most of which are focused on topics I cover regularly, hence the need for a serious update. Let’s start from one week ago today.

Friday and Saturday

Last Friday, Nick and I made our way up to Stroudsburg, PA for the wedding of one of my best and oldest friends. I had the incredible honor of reading the “Love is patient” verse during the ceremony, so we went to the rehearsal/rehearsal dinner on Friday. One of my bridesmaids (and fellow reader) hosted Nick and I Friday night, so that was, of course, wonderful. The wedding was the following day and we had an absolute blast. It was a breathtaking moment to see someone I’ve known almost my entire life get married and such an honor to be a part of it. Not to mention, I got to see some old friends and catch up, which is certainly not something that happens often. If I didn’t have so much to cover, I’d go into more detail, but alas. It was a magical start to the weekend, and I couldn’t be happier for my dear friend and her new and amazing husband!

Sunday

The weekend’s festivities did not stop there. Nick and I drove to Scranton the following day, after a lovely breakfast with some old friends and a beautiful walk around the venue, to celebrate my grandma’s 85th birthday. It always brings me such joy to spend time with my family, most of whom I don’t get to see often. We even had the honor of seeing my cousin, her husband, and their three beautiful girls for the first time in years. I can’t tell you how exciting it is to be in the throws of having a new generation beginning to flourish in our family. My cousin was ahead of all of us, but I anticipate the number of kids in the family will be increasing a bit over the next few years, which is surreal, but wonderful. Minus some medical-related struggles, the day was lovely.

Monday

Yeah… Here is where the week went downhill…

After a stressful start to the work-week, Nick and I had a meeting scheduled with the team at Lenape, our builder. As most of you know by now, Nick and I have been in the process of building a home since February. However, the county has put a hold on all new building permits in our neighborhood because the original developer (not ours), hasn’t addressed issues with the “open spaces” of the community. We learned this could be something larger that he needs to build or fix, or it could be as simple as planting some trees—we don’t know.

So, our builder had us in to review how we got to this point, where we are, and to talk about next steps. The bad news: the county wasn’t giving any more information. More bad news: the timeline would remain indefinite. Even more bad news (even though it was gracious and for the best): we were given the opportunity to walk away from our contract without penalty. The worst news: We took it…

One year into the house-hunt, we are two failed houses in and starting from square one. It was a low blow and it took everything in me to hold back the tears until Nick and I were in the car, but we are firm believers that everything happens for a reason and that neither house was the right one for us, despite whole-heartedly believing they were. Luckily, we had an amazing builder, who let us out of our contract 5 months before they legally had to (and even looked into putting us up in an apartment until they could bring the project to completion), an incredible family and support system, and a dedicated realtor, so very ready to get us in a house. I am thinking a Part II might be in order, so I will hold on diving into next steps further until then, which are already set in motion.

Tuesday

Tuesday was the aftermath of Monday, not finding much relief. Spirits were pretty low on my end and the day reflected that. However, I was determined to take some time to soak it all in before picking myself back up and looking to the future. I let the first house completely dominate my emotions for far too long; I wasn’t going to do the same for the second. By Wednesday, I was at peace with the situation.

I think it wise for me to end this here. I’d love to continue going and get back to a higher note, but I also want to make sure I don’t overload a singular post. I will preface by saying the next post will be under the wedding category, as we have an update and plenty of engagement photos to share!! Part II of this post will likely go up some time this weekend.

Until then!

Happy Father’s Day

Because there is a 99.9% chance that he will see this Father’s Day post (unlike the one I wrote on my old blog FOUR years ago), I will take my chance to reiterate.

As you all know (or should know), today is Father’s Day—a day when we honor and celebrate the often first man in our lives. Of course we all know being a father doesn’t always mean sharing the same DNA; in fact, I like to believe being a father (and mother) goes even deeper, whether genes are shared or not.


Let me tell you all about my dad.

Kids are passed a lot of traits from their parents. While I can be honest and say I wish the whole temper thing had missed me, I now like to think I was given fire. This fire has transformed my life in ways I never could have imagined. It shows its red hot face in my dedication, passion, ambition, and heart. Let me explain.

I was always an observant person, even as a kid. I had the incredible advantage of being the baby of the family (even if it didn’t always feel like a blessing). I was able to grow up watching my family grow up around me, hitting milestones and dealing with aspects of life I wouldn’t fully understand for years—some of which I still don’t. I saw success, failure, stress, happiness, priorities, and mistakes. I took the things I could understand and used their experiences to my advantage when the time came. I took the things I didn’t understand yet, but would come to, and that understanding slowly pieced itself together.

When I saw my dad, I saw fire. Truth be told, fire has always mesmerized me, just like him. He taught me some of the most valuable lessons in life—value which has been proven time and time again for years now. I am the woman I am because of the lessons my dad taught me. Lessons of hard work, dedication, love, and family—lessons of fire.

I am heading into a brand new chapter in my life. This time next year, my dad and I will have done his first look, our arm-in-arm walk down the aisle, and our father-daughter dance. This is the next step of taking more things I couldn’t understand then and seeing them flower into the rest of my days. As Nick and I start our lives together as husband and wife and as we begin and grow our family, I will gain a new and more beautiful understanding of all my parents have done for me. My self-proclaimed success in life has everything to do with the fire my dad inspired me with. I can only pray that I can pass along the same to my children when the time comes.


To you Padre, thank you for giving me the foundation on which everything in my life is built. The fire you instilled in me has provided all the things that have brought me the most joy. While I know you may be apprehensive of June 9th next year, I want you to know my confidence in it is because of you and I hope to make you proud as I become a wife and, eventually, a mother.

I am grateful for all you’ve done, you do, and will continue to do. I am grateful for your guidance and your support. I am grateful for our father-daughter emails and for the friendship we’ve created. I love you very much and hope you have a wonderful Father’s Day today.

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The Waiting Game

Good afternoon everyone! Combine wrapping my work day up early with feeling the growing desire to make more of my evenings and you have yourself an afternoon life-update blog post!

I have been trying to relinquish the desire to write first thing in the morning during the week. Experience has shown starting work first thing, in order to finish earlier in the day, is absolutely the ideal for me. I have more energy, my day moves faster, and I have an easier time meeting my hours. But, that can often mean I go some time without writing and I don’t want that either.

While I plan on writing all about our engagement photo shoot experience; first, I am tackling a life update (all the while noticing how empty my For the Future section has become). It’s going to start on a low note—sorry.

Our houseor lack thereof.

Approximately 1 month ago, I shared that everything was put on hold. I am disappointed to say that is still the case. For reasons known and others we believe are unknown, the county has a hold on all building permits in our neighborhood (even though ours is approved). Our settlement date has already been pushed from the end of August to the mid–end of October—extending with every passing week. Luckily for me, living in a house where new construction is flying up in the backyard gives a nice twist of the knife every day. *heavy sarcasm*

Before we started looking for a house, people were all-too-eager to share their horror stories. I couldn’t help but think, “No! This is going to be a great experience—we are so excited!” I’m sitting here, one year later, laughing at my year-ago self..

Our builder gave themselves a 90-day extension in our contract. Good news for us is that many builders usually give an extension of 12–18 months. We will only be locked into this contract until the end of November. With that said, I am praying every single day that it comes through long before we get to that point. There are some differing opinions on where to go past that mark and, quite frankly, I don’t even want to toy with the idea of starting over. Are there more houses out there? Obviously. Are we looking at a high probability of getting a house with our desired upgrades, at the price we want, and in the school district we’re in? Nah.

In the end, there isn’t much we can do but wait, hope, and pray. I send this out into the universe to gather as many good thoughts and prayers as is possible—we want our first home… preferably before our wedding.

In happier news, we have some very exciting events coming up. Next week, we are celebrating the marriage of one of my best and oldest friends. I love weddings to begin with, but to know I will get to watch one of my favorite people in this world—someone I’ve grown up with—marry the love of her life? Bring on the tissues. I’m already hyper-sensitive to wedding-talk, so there’s no hope for me on her wedding day.

The next day, we are celebrating my grandmother’s 85th birthday, so we’ll get to see the fam squad and family we haven’t seen in a longggg time (I’m lookin’ at you, Jenn!) It will be a busy, but very fun weekend.

Not much else to report in the life-update vein. I would love to keep this section more populated than it currently is, but I clearly cannot make any promises!!

Keep an eye out for our engagement photo shoot recap and have a wonderful night!

Spinning into Control

This is by far one of the most exciting blog posts I’ve ever written and it’s because this story started 3 years ago without an end in sight. It is by no means over, but I got the best worst news I’ve received this whole time. I decided to write a post about it because there have been SO many people who helped me get to this point (especially in the beginning) and I’d love for them to know where I stand today.

Three years ago, I began getting a sharp, hot pain in the lower right occipital lobe; I could only ever describe it as lightning. It would come and go without warning—and with a vengeance—rendering me useless for the 10-15 seconds it would last. Nothing I did could anticipate or prevent it, often leaving me feeling afraid, saying, “this isn’t normal.”

Fast forward a few months to me crashing down in a bathroom during one of the most painful headaches I could remember and watching things spin out of control more severely than they ever had—all of that was meant literally, by the way. That day, after weeks of seeing the school doctor, a family doctor, an eye doctor, and a neurologist, I was on my way to the ER. 7 hours later, my long awaited CT scan came back clear. A relief? Yes. Enough relief? No.


Remember just before when I hit fast forward? Well, there was more to it than that. There was pain, sickness, lots of tears, tons of fear, scary words being thrown around, and an urgency that wasn’t being met. The stress of trying to figure it all out was doing more damage than good, so when that scan came back clear, I stopped trying.

I learned how to manage the pain, figuring out what made it worse and trying to do less, figuring out what made it better and trying to do more. But about 10 months ago, a new chapter really kicked in: welcome to the world of vertigo. It started out minimal, getting dizzy here and there, nausea coming and going, but over time, it got harder to control, harder to anticipate, and affected me every day. It was so sporadic that going to the doctor simply wasn’t a priority. When I finally paid attention, I noticed how much things had changed. I was constantly off balance, couldn’t move quickly, had trouble driving, and motion sickness was part of the daily routine. Then this past Sunday, in a situation I had yet to experience up to this point, I was glued to my bed all day because nothing would stop the spinning. A gentle turn of my head, a quick flicker of my eyes, and even laying down would have me spiraling off. It got a bit better, but not by much, and hasn’t improved since.


Today, I picked up where I left off in 2014. I hit the next stop on my list of specialists: the ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat). Kudos to my mom, who knew all along I’d find some real answers here. I want to preface by saying the quest isn’t over; I have a series of tests and an MRI scheduled for three weeks from now at Christiana Hospital, but for the first time, I got a potential diagnosis I can get behind—a diagnosis that makes sense and doesn’t just continue to chip away at possibilities and maybes.

Dun-dun da-dun! Vestibular migraines.

“No, no, no. I’ve had migraines. This is not migraines.”

^ That right there has been my feeling since day one. I’ve had migraines before. All this? Nothing like the migraines I’ve had. So I had to understand what it really meant. Turns out, there are many types of migraines. The traditional migraine is what I grew up getting: aura (for me, it was visual wobbling/undulation or dark spots that would eventually fill in my vision until I couldn’t see), followed by 2-3 hours of the most excruciating headache I could imagine, only getting relief after a nap I would struggle to fall into. Vestibular migraines? Apparently much different.

They are sporadic. Some can last 3 minutes, while others can last 3 days. The headache can be horrible or nonexistent. The differentiator is vertigo, which can happen with or without a headache (and is common in people with a history of traditional migraines—who knew?!). Other symptoms include:

  • Nausea: ✓
  • Motion sensitivity: ✓
  • Balance Issues: ✓
  • Visual and auditory sensitivities: ✓

I have more tests to take and other issues to rule out, but for the first time in three years, a doctor has finally said something that makes sense—finally listening to everything I had to say and looking beyond the tip of the iceberg. Does sitting behind a computer make it worse? Yes. Does getting stressed out make it worse? Yes. Are those things the cause? No.

*Lets out huge sigh*

Finally. Finally someone heard me. It’s a neurological condition made worse by various triggers. Bad news is it’s one without a cure. Good news is there are going to be things I can try to make my life better and to alleviate the problems. Am I happy to hear it can’t be fixed with one visit to an ENT? Not really. But it’s easier to live with a condition when you know what it is. Today, I got my first real taste of peace of mind.

I’ve got some researching to do, more issues to rule out, and, not to mention, a long road ahead of finding the right path for me, but this has changed my life and to have a better understanding of what and why has me over the moon today.


A shout out to the family and friends who got me this far. I kept the problems as much on the DL as I could, but confided in a number of people that looked out for me along the way, whether it was making sure I took care of myself, giving me a shoulder to lean on, both physically and metaphorically, sitting with me for hours in a busy emergency room, being the one to finally get my ass to the hospital, and especially to my parents and Nick, for not allowing me to let it go on any further without action. To all you amazing humans, I thank you so much and love you all very dearly!