March 25, 2010

NJ Adventure #3.....My First "new state" Haircut

I knew that finding a new salon was going to be an first salon experience in our new state did not WAS an adventure. I was was an experience. 

This is how it began......I was scheduled for a haircut in Feb with my NY salon. Things got so was the last thing on my I canceled the appointment. We arrived here the first weekend in March....and hair was still the last thing on my mind. Once it started laying so flat and I started feeling so frumpy....I knew it was time to make an appointment. I started my salon research and somewhere along the way learned that Tabatha Coffey from Salon Takeover/Shear Genius fame owned a salon here. I went to the website....saw that the prices were typical for this area and made an appointment(with one of her stylists). 

It was the day before my appointment and I decided to check out online reviews of the salon(Industrie Hair Gurus)....big mistake. I now do not entirely trust online reviews. Learn from my mistake ;)

The online reviews for IHG were not very good. Along the way, I kept reading about another local salon....a salon that had a ton of great reviews. The reviews said the stylists were so professional....the salon was clean....on and on. I quickly canceled the appointment at IHG and switched over to this reportedly "super" salon. 

My appointment would be for THAT day. I had no time to think....just wait for G to get home, jump in the car and deal with Friday evening driving in NJ(traffic!). It was also the weekend after the big flooding/rain. I had no idea that I was driving right into one of the areas that was hardest hit by the rain.

I arrive at the salon....which was in the back of a makeup store. This was new to me....but I was open minded. 
The salon was empty.....very 70's or 80's.....and very messy. I was still trying to be open minded. The thing was SUPER everywhere. I'm talking....baked into every crevice in the place. I wish that I was not so open minded about that fact!! I must have been tired....and desperate. 
The gal finished her curl and set(yep) and motioned me over. She took me right to the washing flag! You should always get a consultation first. I guess I had a mini one. She stopped me.....looked at my hair and said...."what am I supposed to do with this? You can't do much with that....what am I going to do!?".
 I replied...."well, I'm not growing it.....I'm okay with going shorter. I just need a shape up." She agreed, washed and sat me in her chair....the cutting began. Way too much cutting....with old school scissors. She was using thinning shears....I had not had thinning shears used on my hair if years. Besides, my hair is thin enough. But, I was still trying to be open minded. 

The gal began talking about politics....very passionately. She shared that she believes there would be another attack on NYC.....what's wrong with our country....her I said...she was very passionate. My head was spinning. Halfway through, I noticed that my hair was not looking so was looking pretty strange. So...I got bold and I said...."wait, please stop cutting. It's getting really short.". That was huge for me...I've never stopped a stylist before. She offered me a Xanax and told me to relax! She kept saying it over and over...."don't worry, I'll get you a Xanax and it will be fine....I'm a professional, I know what I'm doing. Don't you trust me??"
I had the worst stomach ache and wanted to flee!
She pretty much stopped cutting from there....thankfully. In my mind I was thinking....I can get it re-cut tomorrow...there is still enough hair. She kept repeating...."relax, relax, it will be fine".
I said "don't worry, it looks fine. Do you take charge?"
"no, cash...I take cash" she replied....nervously. 
Problem.....I didn't think I had any cash on me. I explained my situation and asked where an ATM was. By this was dark and I did not know the area at all. I found an ATM....but it didn't take my out of state card? I started having a mini anxiety attack...I just wanted to go home. I searched through my purse....found enough cash and went back to the salon. On the way, I saw someone leaving a parking lot with take out food on the top of their car...obviously they had forgotten it there. I was frantically waving my arms out of my car window trying to get their luck....I saw the food fly everywhere. It was that kind of night.

After 10 minutes of trying to find my way back to the salon.....and sweating....and whining to G and Carla that I finally found the salon again. I went in....paid my very nervous and uncomfortable stylist and went on my way. Again, she kept repeating...."it's all ok, it's all fine". I felt sorry for her....I tried reassuring her that my cut was fine....everything was fine. What I realized afterwards was that.....the salon most likely did take charge. I think that is where her nervous nelly attitude was coming from. Not sure.....but it was defiintely a learning experience.
As I left the parking lot.....I saw a giant blinking sign saying "officer shot..searching for suspect!!". I just wanted to be home!
I plugged in our home address to our GPS(Carmin) and headed on my way....only problem....Carmin did not know that many of the roads were flooded. I was driving in circles.....avoiding all sorts of rain debris and water. Finally....finally....things started to look familiar. I made it home....the crazy evening had come to an end. Now, I'm counting the days until my next appointment....where? I have no clue, but I'm sure it will be an adventure. It always is.

                                          I don't love it....but I can work with it. It will grow.

March 22, 2010

NJ Adventure #2....A pleasant surprise

I had such a great surprise this week. I realized after all was done....if we had not moved to NJ ....this little surprise might never have happened.

I can't remember exactly when I met Darcie(Life's Unfolding Story)....but I know that we instantly clicked. I should say....when we met through our blogs. So,when Darcie sent me an email last week sharing that she would be in a neighboring state....we both started mapquesting and googling to see if a meet up would work. We decided to meet in the middle....each driving over an hour.

I'm SO glad that the visit worked out. The weather was beautiful...sunny and warm. Now, my route would take me on the Garden State if it had been a rainy day I'm not sure if my nerves would have allowed the visit. G was already a bit nervous about me making the drive...knowing how aggresive that route can be. I was one determined lady.....the GSP was not going to stand in my way of meeting this lovely duo. Actually....I don't believe the drive would have been possible without Carmin the Garmin(the boys named our GPS).

I have to say.....the whole thing felt surreal. I'm standing in a parking a hug to Darcie...and feeling like it's not really happening. When you've gotten to know someone through their blog....and emails...and then the feels like you know them forever, yet you are physically meeting for the first time. It almost messes with your head a you know what I mean?'s so very real....and so very cool.

Speaking of very real.....Darcie and her sweet daughter Kylie are so very real....and so very cool. We talked non-stop and more than once they had me laughing so hard my face and belly hurt. I could go on and on. Ross and Sam came along for this special visit....we found a cute park that kept them fairly occupied during our 2 hour chat fest. But....after a while...the boys got a bit tired and the girls had to make the drive back to meet up with their family. Boo was hard to say good bye.

Kylie made this creative picture for the boys.....let me tell you, Kylie is one great young woman. She is mature and charming.....I just love her.

Of course, the visit did have it's silly events.....I kept losing my car key??? I realize now that I can be a bit ahem unorganized ahem.  On top of car alarm kept going off..which then would cause my sound sensitive boys to cover their ears and cry(just a bit). So then...because I lost my key...I could not turn the alarm off. You get the picture.

Darcie and Kylie were so sweet about it all. We did take a few pictures together, but I'm going to be honest....I looked so frumpy, I just couldn't stomach posting them. I know, I sound vain...but if you had seen the would understand wink wink.

On that note....I was scheduled to get my hair cut(it was looking super ragged-hadn't been cut in 2 months!) by Tabatha Coffey's salon the next day....y'know the Salon Takeover/Shear Genius gal.......that's a story for another post.

So....Darcie and Kylie....I love you girls....missed you as soon as our cars drove off in different directions!

March 17, 2010

1st Adventure: Rainy Weekend

We had a very rainy and windy weekend.  I decided to break out my spring rain boots. I can assure you that I do not actually have elephant ankles...though this picture shows otherwise.  Can you believe that I saw someone else wearing these exact same boots?! What are the chances??
 Friday night, while running errands...the rain started. By the time I left the store....most roads to our apartment were closed....roads were flooded...and trees were falling. It was mayhem. About that same time, we lost power.  We made the best of it and camped out.....enjoying a meal from Taco Bell. A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.

The next morning G got a call that one of their leased buildings blew over....with a security guard inside(he was fine). It was a portable building down by the we jumped in the car and headed there (G needed to take pictures and see what happened). On the way, we missed our ramp and ended up on this really long, high bridge headed for NYC. I have a big fear of I started to panic a bit. Just a bit.
 I'm really not sure when this fear started.....but it makes for some interesting road trips. Seriously...while on a bridge..I hold my breath, don't try talking to me, I pray the whole time, I just about hyper ventilate. G kept pointing out different NYC above....and I just kept saying....keep your eyes on the road.
 We finally made it to the site...G did his thing and then we headed to IKEA. I'm having a little obsession with IKEA lately. And I have to tell you...their food is pretty good. They are known for their Swedish meatballs....they are not bad at all.  The boys found these cute animal puppets while we were there.

The day before G went to get his hair cut at a barber shop. While there....Sam announced that he would like a hair cut as well. He went for a short buzz. It's funny because now people are not so sure if the boys are twins.
A weekend full of random adventures....just how we like it.

March 12, 2010

Bin Decorating and Making Lemonade

I actually have not "been" decorating....we are not going to think about decorating or hanging pictures here. What I have been doing is buying "bins" and putting everything from clothes to books in them. We don't have much closet space or storage so you do what you can.

                                      (Boys watching our previous cities baseball team)

Something interesting has happened over the last couple of days.....I'm not feeling as homesick. I think the hectic month and being exhausted caused my body/mind to collapse. Seriously. My arms and hands still ache. But enough of that....I feel like I've been sort of in a fog...or down in the dumps....something? So, part of moving forward is walking out of the fog and climbing out of the dump.
I'm embracing apartment living....if you could have seen me today. I do believe that I'm the strangest tenant our maintenance guys have ever come across. They really don't know what to make of me. I'm somewhat of a squeeky wheel. Our unit was not in the best as I mentioned....I requested a new washer/dryer. Thankfully, today it arrived. The junk and muck underneath it was disgusting!! I got on my hands and knees and cleaned the junk up....layers of dust and who knows what (from 8 yrs of renters!). They said that I was the first resident to actually clean it myself. I'm pretty certain that they would have just put the new washer/dryer over the caked in muck???

I'm thrilled to have a new, clean washer/dryer. I'm missing our house less and less. I'm liking the small space. We are trying to make the best of it. Now I just need to work on getting the playground repaired!

That's where the lemonade comes in......trying to turn some negatives into positives.

March 8, 2010

For Your Viewing Pleasure

 So, I have a smorgasborg (is that how you spell it?)...anyway....I have a whole bunch of random pictures. I'll try to make some sense out of them. Though, I rarely make sense anymore.
The above picture is the lovely cake that our sweet friends surprised us with before we left NY. It was delicious.

 I love this picture of Sam holding his friend's face. Sam has a habit of holding peoples faces while he talks to you. It may sound odd....but it's really sweet (and he only does it to those he is super close with). 

I just may cry while posting these photos....these people are so dear to me.

My girlfriend, Carol, wove me....yes, she hand wove me a beautiful basket (that I didn't photograph-oops). Take my's adorable. She's so talented.
This is a rare event.....I actually got a photo of Carla(she's on the couch, in the black) and her girls (Sandy too!-she's Carla's oldest friend, and a very funny lady).  So....we got this random idea to cut some hair. Karis was our target....bangs were our goal.
She was such a good sport. 

I think they look great on her. That was a fun afternoon of good laughing.

My girlfriend gave me this cute mug. The other side says "how you handle plan B is the true test of character". I think I've been failing in that area.....trying to do better. Pick myself up off the ground (more on that later). 

We were so blessed....thankful...and touched by the support and love that surrounded us.

They have been friends since they were toddlers.

A snowstorm arrived the day of our move. Greg was on his way home from a business trip....he arrived the moment the movers were leaving our driveway.

What a day.

My super-star cleaning buddy. 

A special goodbye to great grandma and great aunt Nancy. They are such sweethearts. 
There were so many pictures that I forgot to take.....of so many things. I wish I had taken more of our last month in NY!!
On our way to our new another snowstorm. That's Greg's car in front of me.

We arrived safely....went to our hotel and ordered some chinese food. We thought this random noodle on the table was sort of funny....looks like the Christian fish symbol. Yes, we are weirdos.

Home sweet temporary home.

The best part of our apartment complex.....the play area (more to share about that later, too)


So, there you have it....our new adventure has officially begun.

March 4, 2010

So Much.....

....has happened in such a short time. This move has had me on an emotional roller coaster....usually in the span of a minute. Up....down....up....down. Most of the time, I am feeling joy. But then I start thinking about everything....feeling homesick.....moving from the home that we built to this rental.....and the joy starts to fade. It's as if my mind is saying....."you shouldn't be feeling joy, you left your family and close left a spacious home and property and now rent a small townhouse among rows and rows of rentals". It doesn't seem rational to feel joy. That's when I know that it MUST be God. Only the Lord can fill me with this joy.

I'm slowly re-programming my brain. Re-programming the way I think.

What I have always believed, but have never been tested that being with my family...having my husband love his far more important than having a large house...and all the fancy material things that go with it.

As Greg said....."we've done big.....I'm tired of big...I'm tired of house projects and yard work". He seems like a weight is off his shoulders. A bigger weight will be off once we sell the house. It's going on the market this weekend. Praying.

So....let me share a few stories from our move.....

*My oldest friends (Greg's friend's too!) planned a going away dinner for Sat night.....we were so chaotic...I was so emotional (weepy at everything) that we did not make it to our own going away dinner. I was a wreck on Saturday.

*I met a homeschooler in the hotel lobby....she seems really sweet and has already called, sharing info.
*Ross threw up in that same hotel.....during the buffet breakfast. (that's a full story in itself)

*Our rental was SO filthy. G and I were so sad/frustrated when we walked through. It's finally clean and many problems have been fixed...including a new washer/dryer/dishwasher. These are supposed to be "luxury rentals"...I was shocked.

*While having a crazy first day, I started chatting with a really sweet couple who were moving out of our complex. We shared frustrations about our rentals and exchanged phone numbers...after chatting and coming up with a plan for us to take their rental. Anyway....I had no idea....but the guy is a professional football player(Marqeus Douglas) who played for the NY Jets. They were on their way to NC where they own a home and he will play for the Panthers. He was so nice and came over and said "hi" to Ross and Sam. They said that there are more Jet's players in our complex (I'm keeping my eyes open-not that I'd have a clue who they were). Their training camp is down the road.

*I have lots of pics to upload (my laptop is still not working) We just got online....catching up on things. Still  unpacking....feeling completely disoriented. My life feels completely different....I barely recognize it. More soon......
Miss y'all.
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