Monday, April 29, 2013

Don't Make Me a Fool.

Take a trip back in time with me and revisit this post.  This was quite possibly my most read, best received post to date.  And honestly, when I look back - it's one of my favorites.  Later I revisited to share my first victory with you.  It was a beautiful, emotional circle completed.  I kept the remaining post-it notes on the fridge and I kept those prayers in the cue.  And a few months later the Lord would complete my second circle - my prayers for a friend in an bad situation with a guy at work.  We prayed and prayed for resolution in the situation and she received a promotion that now allows her to work from home, away from that unhealthy and uncomfortable environment but she also got the chance to further address it even as it was being resolved.  God is good.

Last week the Lord finished my third circle, another request that has graced my fridge for almost 6 months.  That prayer was for a friend who after leaving a job told me where his heart was and what he wanted out of his next job.  I sat down a few days later and I wrote my desire for him/summary of what I was reading between the lines of what he was saying which was that his next job would allow him the opportunity to help people in a hands on way and that it would allow him to travel (a love we share).  The Lord answered and in September he leaves for the Coast Guard.

As I took that post-it dated November 4th off the fridge and wrote answered in April 2013 I was reminded yet again of the Lord's faithfulness to His people.  See what I didn't share about The Circle Maker the first time around is Honi's.  Honi was the original circle maker and this is the legend:

When rain is plentiful, it’s an afterthought. During a drought, it’s the only thought. And Honi was their only hope. Famous for his ability to pray for rain, it was on this day—the day—that Honi would earn his moniker.

With a six-foot staff in his hand, Honi began to turn like a math compass. His circular movement was rhythmical and methodical. Ninety degrees. One hundred and eighty degrees. Two hundred and seventy degrees. Three hundred and sixty degrees. He never looked up as the crowd looked on. After what seemed like hours, but had only been seconds, Honi stood inside the circle he had drawn. Then he dropped to his knees and raised his hands to heaven. With the authority of the prophet Elijah who called down fire from heaven, Honi called down rain.

“Lord of the Universe, I swear before your great name that I will not move from this circle until you have shown mercy upon your children.”

The words sent a shudder down the spine of all who were within earshot that day. It wasn’t just the volume of his voice. It was the authority of his tone. Not a hint of doubt. This prayer didn’t originate in the vocal chords. Like water from an artesian well, the words flowed from the depth of his soul. His prayer was resolute yet humble; confident yet meek; expectant yet unassuming.

Then it happened.

As his prayer ascended to the heavens, raindrops descended to the earth. An audible gasp swept across the thousands of congregants who had encircled Honi. Every head turned heavenward as the first raindrops parachuted from the sky, but Honi’s head remained bowed. The people rejoiced over each drop, but Honi wasn’t satisfied
with a sprinkle. Still kneeling within the circle, Honi lifted his voice over the sounds of celebration.

“Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain that will fill cisterns, pits, and caverns.”
The sprinkle turned into such a torrential downpour that eyewitnesses said no raindrop was smaller than an egg in size. It rained so heavily and so steadily that the people fled to the Temple Mount to escape the flash floods. Honi stayed and prayed inside his protracted circle. Once more he refined his bold request.

“Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain of Thy favor, blessing, and graciousness.”

Then, like a well-proportioned sun shower on a hot and humid August afternoon, it began to rain calmly, peacefully. Each raindrop was a tangible token of God’s grace. And they didn’t just soak the skin; they soaked the spirit with faith. It would be forever remembered as the day. The day thunderclaps applauded the Almighty. The day puddle jumping became an act of praise. The day the legend of the circle maker was born. It had been difficult to believe the day before the day. The day after the day, it was impossible not to believe. (From Mark Batteron's Legend of the Circle Maker).

I share this with you because the Lord continues to use this in my life.  He continues to make this story real to me and to challenge my prayer life.  What I love about Honi is if the Lord hadn't shown up, if the Lord hadn't answered, he would have looked like a fool.  But he wasn't afraid.  He didn't doubt.  His faith was solid and unwavering.  And the Lord showed up.

That's the kind of prayer life I want.  I want to pray boldly and live big and I'm going to live in a way where if the Lord doesn't show up I will likely look a fool.  But I don't want my prayers to be for things I could do myself - I was God-sized prayers.  I want the kind of faith that when the Lord shows up leaves no room for doubters.    I want to be a true circle maker.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Once a Year...

(Image from Pinterest)

Hello friends and blog readers!  Happy Friday to each of you.  I'm taking this weekend to follow the wise advice of the Dalai Lama and heading to enjoy a place I've never been though I will confess I would probably be the teacher's pet if he knew me because this is my second new place this year and I have one more already booked.  This weekend I'm off to Austin, TX to enjoy a city and state I have yet to meet and to spend time with my sweet bestie Auburn who moved from Tampa to Austin just over a year ago.

Auburn is my cheerleader.  She has cheered me through the challenges of my years in Tampa and built me up when I was at my lowest.  She has given me tough love and honesty when I've needed it most and sweet, kind, encouraging words on the days my heart has most needed them.  I can't wait to be part of her big Texas life for a weekend and fall in love with the city that's stolen her heart (and her from me and my city).  There is something so sweet about seasons of being able to visit faraway friends and love them and their new seasons.  Look out Texas here I come...


Thursday, April 25, 2013


I wanted to share with you all my the finished product (finally) of my third floor hallway.  It has literally been a giant, empty wall for the three and a half years I've owned my place while I worked on deciding what would fill the walls. Anytime I decorate a part of my house I want it to reflect my style but also who I am.  This wall was no exception.  Over a year ago I bought on Etsy a print of each of the 7 states I've lived in to date. 

Finally with my Mom's visit approaching I cashed in my Homegoods rewards and bought 7 matching frames so that she could hang the images for me while she was in town.  As I was framing them I was more and more pleased with the decision to make this hallway a reflection of where I grew up (which was basically the entire east coast).  Now that they're hanging I love it.  It seems the perfect way to honor my childhood and show all of the places that have earned a piece of my heart.  Of course, Florida is the middle: the place that finally feels like home.

I'm thankful that after years of moving I finally have a home of my own for the foreseeable future.  It feels good to have roots but I wouldn't trade in the experience of living in each of these places for the world.  I'm also thankful for the collection of friends I've acquired over the years and through my mobile childhood.  

It is finished.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013


I shared previously that I spent Easter weekend with my sister and her growing family.  While I was there she said something that has continued to come to mind in the month since my visit.  She said, 'You seem happy Beccs, happier than I ever remember you'.  You know what? I am.  I am enjoying this year more than any before it.  And as I sat back the other day and thought about where I'm at and what I want I thought...this.  I want this.

I want deep, meaningful relationships.  I want great, Christian community.  I want to laugh til my sides hurt on facetime with faraway friends (here's looking at you and your dance moves Jared) and cry on the couch during quiet times with my Mom.  I want e-mails from college friends after my blogspots that tell me what the Lord is doing with their story.  I want to laugh, cry, eat, chat, text, pray, share, and grow with my bible study girls.  I want to crave morning quiet times and have hilariously transparent conversations with my Savior over coffee in the mornings.  I want to devour 100 books a year.

I want to host friends, neighbors, and maybe even occasionally strangers for dinner at my house.  I want to enjoy the small stuff like Sam's club shopping trips with my Mom and new beach towels for the pool.  I want to be part of the biggest and smallest moments of my family members lives.  I want to cheer my Dad on at his football games or in a sports bar faraway.  I want to read the same books as my Mom and stand up as a bridesmaid and support my baby sister in her wedding this summer.  I want to  hold my new niece or nephew this fall and realize even more fully what unconditional love feels like. I want to eat an omelette made from my bro-in-laws chicken's eggs and watch my cousins baseball games.

I want to travel to Austin to be with Auburn so I can fall in love with her new hometown.  I want to watch Meagan's son's basketball games with her and watch Duck Dynasty with she and her husband, as I cheer on her dreams and share my hardest moments.  I want to fly across the country to Utah to see if they really have multiple wives...I mean, to spend the weekend with one of my oldest friends and his family.  I want to see new places, learn new things, and meeting person after person.

I sat on the couch with my Mom while she was in town this weekend and I read her what I wrote in response to the 'Stop Instagramming Your Perfect Life' article and we talked about it.  And what I finally realized was, I don't want perfect.  I WANT messy.  My relationships aren't tidy.  My house isn't perfect.  But I wouldn't trade it for a million perfect days in neat little frames with flattering filters. I love to share images and I love to share with you here what's happening in my life... but this is it!  Sometimes it's simple and others it's thrilling.  Sometimes it's hard and sometimes it's a picnic.  Somedays my floors are clean and my meals are homemade and sometimes it's taco bell on the fly with undone laundry on the floor.  This is it.  This is what I want.  A million days like these....full of the people, the moments, and the God that make this life worthwhile.

This. I want this.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

To Endure the Betrayal of False Friends Revisited.

I took a walk down memory lane via the blog this past weekend and I read back over several posts from last fall when I endured one of the hardest seasons of my life to date.  Now, 6 months from the start of that hard season I'm happy to report I'm in a completely different place.  When I wrote this post I was mucking through the aftermath but the best part about reading back over this was that I've taken my own advice.  After realizing where I was in my relationships and my rescuer tendencies I have spent 2013 investing the right amount of time into the right relationships and I'm happy to report it's made a world of difference.

I am in the best place relationally, mentally, spiritually, and financially that I have ever been in.  Wow, even writing that gives me chills. God has been so faithful to me in the wake of a tough season.  I have been blessed in my friendships.  I have seen the fruits of my efforts to show better initiative and even to enforce better boundaries.  I hesitate to use the word 'happy' because I think as a believer it's not really about feeling happy it's about being joyful (which is a choice in the midst of all seasons).  But I can report that I have truly never been in a better place in life than I am today.

The scars I wrote about as I closed our 2013 still exist today and I have caught myself being guarded. It takes constant effort to knock down the walls I catch myself building and to be authentic in my relationships.  A girl friend of mine said to me over dinner a month or so ago 'you share the least with me of any of my friends'.  What I've found is that the more I've been burned in relationships the better listener I've become, because I'm willing to share less and less of myself with others and this is something I'm fighting.  I desire to be someone who is honest and open.

After the tough loss of a coworker at my last job I recognize the incredible value in having people you share the tough stuff with.  You need people in your life who can bare your burdens when you can't handle it all yourself.  Who you can show your weaknesses too.  People you can let your guard down with.  I have those people and I'm working at being honest with them and allowing them the chance to be there for me in the tough stuff as well as in the fun stuff.

The best takeaway for me has been this: you do become like the people you spend time with.  You adopted their habits good or bad and even more you adopt their attitudes.  So choose wisely who you invest in and who you ask to pour into you.  Find people who challenge and inspire you.  Find people who do a few things better than you do and learn from them.

Thank you Emerson for walking me through a season of betrayal but now I am moving into a season of loving Shakespeare for this:

'A friend is one who knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow'.

Cheers to growth.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

So, Becca, are you seeing anyone?

From time to time I forget what a nerd I really am and I start to feel cool. You know, I'm building fish ponds in Africa and seeing Super Bowls in Miami and continuing my adventure to see all 50 states and I start to think man, my life is awesome.  When I am in this groove The Lord with his giant sense of humor will unfailingly put me in a situation like this... I have just started getting to know someone and they're starting to feel like they know me so maybe it's ok if they ask me a personal question, right?  But do they ask me what my favorite of the 104 books I read last year was or which US city I love the most? No. It always boils down to this... So, Becca, are you seeing anyone?

This is not humbling because I never date. Lets clear that up. This is humbling because on the off chance that I like this person enough to go there with them and actually be open (instead of my honest but curt go to response of: no one to write home about) it makes me seem like a freak.  The short answer is yes, I'm dating.  But I don't date like most people my age, which seems to mean one person at a time every single day of the week. And the truth is, whether it 'makes me the guy in the situation' or not - I don't want a commitment right now. If this hasn't made the person who thinks they know me eye me strangely when I follow it up with 'I think maybe in another 5 years or so' they're appalled. Apparently 27 is not the new 22 it's the new 40.

Here's where I should pause and say that when I graduated college and moved to Tampa I had spent the better part of my college years being a little too into  the boy thing. I liked the wrong boys for too long  and it took too much energy. So when I moved away I thought here's my chance to actually like myself. To be me. To do my thing, whatever that was sans energy sucking other half.  I also felt like a I looked around at all the other single 20s and they were obsessed with the next chapter. 'When I'm married' which turned into 'when I have kids' which turned into 'when my kids go to school' ... No one seemed to just be loving  their current stage. So I set out to do that... I want to love every single season of my life for what it is. And I don't want to spend it worrying about the next one.

I don't know that this is how we'll achieve world peace but I will say that if I had a nickel for every married person who's told me they wished they'd taken the time to love this season of life the way I have and to grow up and experience life before marriage - I'd be showing Bill Gates what's up at the country club. I have traveled the US and a little bit of the world. Bought a home as a 24-year-old single and decorated exactly how I wanted. I moved. I changed jobs (twice now). I've been to concerts and sporting events and even fashion shows. I've used every single airline mile I've earned to explore new places and fall in love with cities big and small.

And I haven't ever taken a full break from the dating scene. I am still experiencing and enjoying my fair share of awkward first dates, perfect dates, first kisses, and new clothes just for dates (this is personally my favorite part of dating). Last year I even had a sweet boy I'd been crushing on fly me
across the country for a weekend of dates. It was fabulous (though it was the beginning and the end of that). Dating is fun and an adventure in its own way and you know I love an adventure.

See the hang up isn't that I don't Date. The hang up is that boy crazy college girl traded in being someone's better half for a suitcase and a gypsy soul and she's never looked back. Someday I imagine I'll find the one person who will be my game changer. Or maybe he will have to find me in a third world country building a church or in the Grand Canyon wandering around...this is admittedly more likely. But in the meantime I plan to keep shocking these curious hopeless romantics with my own way of being, while I love this season of my life with every ounce of my energy. And someday I will love the next season , whatever that may look like, just as hard.


Sunday, April 7, 2013

A Reply to: Stop Instagramming Your Perfect Life

Perhaps some of you also read this article by relevant magazine which went viral last week and blew  up my twitter feed. I saw several 'church friends' repost it and so I finally sat down to read it by the pool on Saturday morning. You know me, I like to be up on what's being talked about. As many of you know I'm pretty involved in social media. While I don't use stat trackers or try to be popular I am on Facebook, twitter, this blog, Pinterest, and Instagram.... Oh and foursquare, endomondo, myfitnesspal, etc. you get the idea: I'm socially connected. 

I do hear what people say about social media and I usually know what they're talking about. I've received the messages connecting you to people you'd be better off leaving behind. I've been the victim of a few status updates of angry, immature people. I've been defriended once or twice by people trying to prove some point. I've read the TMI posts we all love to hate where people over share the ugly side of their relationship. I'm up on it. 

So I read the article with an open mind. Hey, what does this Christian magazine writer have to say about IG? I'd like to know.

But halfway through the first paragraph I was pretty sure she and I weren't on the same page. I have never had a conversation in which someone told me that Pinterest made them hate their house or that they had to delete someone because of jealousy. And while I understand her point about how we post a  picture of  the fabulous meal were having with friends but not the mess we have to clean up - isn't that assumed? Do you really want a follow up photo of me loading my dishwasher with my unrinsed dishes (hey, that's how this works at my place)?  Do you want me to post photos of taking out the trash and having it leak all over my floor? Because even though that happens from time to time and is gross but relatable I don't want a feed full of life out takes.  I know what garbage and dishes are like. And I love seeing your family enjoying a meal much more.

She goes on to say that couples post beautiful pictures of themselves but don't tell about the fight they had three days before. Well, enter the honest box with me for a moment... I don't want to read on Facebook or any other social media site about your fight with your spouse. It is not the place to throw them under the bus and when you do, we are all quietly embarrassed for you. But I think it's safe to say we know that every couple has their own 'stuff'. I'll speak for myself when I say I'll happily like your photo even if you don't have a perfect marriage to back it up - that's real life. 

But let me get to the  heart of what really didn't sit right with me about this article...

I am a grown adult woman. As such I am responsible for myself. It is not your job to make me feel better about myself by not enjoying your life so I won't have the chance to be jealous of you. That's on me. When I see people post things that are awesome (like one of my bosses being in Italy this week) I don't think 'man I'm a loser compared to her' ... More often I think 'I've always  wanted to go to Europe, I should start saving a little each month so I can someday'.

Your lives oh friends and social media mavens inspire me. They make me happy for you and on many occasions make me want to take a page from your book. But happy people have an easier time being happy for people and as someone who firmly believes it is your own responsibility to build a life you love, I have done just that.

Over the last fee years I've worked an extra part-time job to fund traveling. I love to travel and I made seeing more of the world one of my 20s goals. So from time to time I get comments from people saying they're jealous of how much I get to do. I get that. Many of them are in different phases of life where travel may be less of an option. But I've never felt from any of these people that they truly resent the way I'm choosing to explore rather than doing life the way they have. In fact, they usually take a 'keep posting so I can live vicariously through you' approach. 

I'm not going to hate my life or dumb down my fun for anyone.   My life isn't perfect - in fact, often times its hard.  But I don't need to Instagram a photo of myself crying after reading a horrible article some idiot wrote about my Dad or a screen capture of the hard stuff I'm working through in  relationship for you to know that I have my own challenges. I am a sinner living in the same fallen world as you. We all have our own junk. 

Lastly, she talks about how social media is more or less a false sense of community. And to this I say with all due respect: duh. If your deepest friendship is through Facebook than you are relationally starved. Community is build in the face-to-face. And in doing every day life together. For some of us with faraway friends this can't always be face-to-face and we have to make more effort with FaceTime, Skype, phone calls, and texts. But community isn't you liking my status update or me commenting on your blog. I think we can all agree social media isn't a replacement for real friendships. It is another form/layer of community but its not a supplement for the real thing. 

I hope this post does not sound like a bash of the relevant writer. I mean no disrespect to her opinions. But I hope that I've been able to flip this back onus and perhaps challenge us to take a little more responsibility for our own thoughts, feelings, actions, and initiative. Build the life you love and share if you will on social media and I will be there to cheer you on. 


Friday, April 5, 2013

Wardrobe Revamp - Part Two.

Finally, part two.  If you haven't read the first part of revamping my entire wardrobe you can find that here. The readers digest version of that post is:  I am attempting to be my own image consultant.  Oh and do it on a budget.  Part one involved the purging of my current wardrobe in combo with ebaying the rejects to make money towards new clothes. Ok, you're up to speed or refreshed if you read part one when I wrote it a weeks ago.

Purging was a process.  I won't lie to you and say that ebaying the amount I purged wasn't WORK.  But ebay's new app is incredibly simple, so easy your Mom could use it.  And with Paypal you can purchase and print shipping labels from your home computer - also a win.  I even managed to recycle the boxes the Christmas gifts I ordered for friends came in which saved me money on buying boxes (at least until I ran out).  I sat back for a week or two and let the items sell, mailed them out, and waited for my Paypal account to accrue.  After a few weeks I had several hundreds of dollars.  Yes, really.

My friends have continued to ask me - is it really worth it?  For me it was!  I sold things I wasn't wearing anyway (yes, even if they were new with tags) as well as gifts I've received over the years and when I'm honest with myself know that I will never wear.  And I got a couple hundred bucks to put towards the new things I'd been making a list of.  The wants list grew but so did the money.

Before I started buying, however I made myself two goals:

1. I wanted to make my money go as far as possible.  I signed up for the Tjmaxx rewards credit card.  I know you probably never thought you would hear me suggest a credit card but I buy almost everything I wear from Marshalls or Tjmaxx (the card is good at both) and since I don't keep any balances on credit cards ever - I knew I could handle it.  Not only did it save me money on one of my big shopping days (10% for signing up) but I've already earned $40 worth of giftcards towards future wardrobe additions.  I paid the card off with the money I made on ebay. Win-win.  Always always always make your money work for you.

2.  I needed to get myself organized to meet my accessorizing goal.  So that resulted in this:

This kept me from being too disorganized to wear jewelry and I'm happy to report I've worn some sort of accessory every day of my new job (a month strong).  I'm nothing if not a goal follower.

After all that organizing and purging it was time to start replenishing...

Here's a weekends worth of damage.  With the money I made from my first few weeks of ebaying I was able to get 5 new pairs of shoes, 4 necklaces, 2 pairs of jeans, a couple tops, a few scarves, and even a great fitting new pair of sweatpants (hey, even sweatpants can be flattering).  It was a total win and it made the ebaying effort worthwhile.

After that I was motivated all over again and I plowed through my closet again. I purged almost as much the second go through as the first.  Yes, really.  Once I figured out that selling stuff I felt 'eh' about would pay for things I loved - I was a little obsessed.

I promise to show you some of the outfits I've been putting together with my new outlook soon but I also wanted to share that I've added a whole new part to this wardrobe revamp I hadn't planned on.  My Mom is visiting me in April and I've asked her to help me pull everything out of my walk in closet and create a custom closet.  Yep, that's right we're going to build me my dream closet over a long weekend. I can't wait. I'm going to plan this closet out so that it will make putting together the right outfits a cinch.    My mom is incredibly handy and always a willing participant in a good house project and since we've tackled pretty much everything else I wanted too in my condo - this will be perfect!

To be continued...


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Living Out of a Suitcase.

I said it last year and I'll say it again, I would live out of a suitcase if it meant I could see the world.  Well, for now, I'd settle for the United States.  But I'm keeping my suitcase handy and packed as 2013 is promising to be an amazing year full of new adventures.  It started out with finding out I will be an Aunt to two as of September, Dad signing a contract to stay put in Indianapolis, starting a new job in a completely new work environment, and making some big life and relationship changes.  Whew.  But with all the chaos and craziness I haven't lost sight of my goal for my 20's - to experience. 

At the end of January I departed for JFK followed by Ghana where I took a 6 hour bus ride to Togo (in West Africa).  I knew starting off a new year with a trip that big would set the tone for an adventurous year.  After barely surviving third world country food poisoning followed by 22 hours of travel back I thought for a brief moment I might be writing off this whole travel idea for a bit.  But you know me - I had the itch again by the time I departed three weeks later to Indiana to spend a weekend with my sweet friend Meagan and her family.  Isn't there something so sweet about being part of a friends life for a bit?  Meeting their friends, sharing their home, and being part of their family even if just for a few days?

With Africa in Jan and Indiana in February I thought why not keep the travel alive?  I spend the end of March in Raleigh, NC with my sweet baby niece, Noa, my bro-in-law, and my sister/best friend Rae.  It was a weekend of cool weather, incredible food, fun fellowship, catching up, chasing that crazy niece of mine, and celebrating the gift of the cross (Easter, of course).  I cried in the airport before I departed for home - man I just love weekends away with the people I love.  My solution?  Just keep finagling my way into more trips.

I forfeited presents under the tree for Christmas this past year and had all of them lumped into a Southwest gift card.  When I sat down in November and wrote out my thoughts about 2013 I found that I kept coming back to the same idea - I value experiences and people over things.  I wanted to keep that going and so I said 'no more' to clothes and cookware for Christmas and I traded them for the chance to travel.  

When Southwest threw a heck of a sale in February I cashed in some of those GCs and booked a cheap flight to Austin, TX which will be my April trip.  I will spend my first weekend in the great, big state of Texas and some quality time with one of my best friends who moved there a year ago.   I can't wait to see where Friday Night Lights was filmed, eat the ridiculously awesome food I keep hearing about, visit Jen Hatmaker's church, and love on my sweet Auburn.  Welcome April - I think we're going to get along just fine.  Especially since you also include a visit from my presh Mom AND a weekend of building a custom walk in closet with her (oooo da lolly - what up Container Store, prepare to be owned).

Loyalty it turns out does pay off because by the end of last year I had racked up enough points for 1.5 trips on Southwest this year (I promise this blog is not a paid plug for them, I'm just a happy customer). I used some for half of my trip to Austin but the round trip I hoarded until a week ago when I booked a flight to Salt Lake City, UT to spend a long weekend with my long time (as in, 5th grade to now) friend Sean and his family!  Sean has been a loyal and incredible friend over the years and our friendship has survived first my leaving Tampa for Indiana (followed eventually by my return) and now his move to SLC.  Looking forward to some actual face time in stead of just Facetime, ya dig? I have never been to UT so I get the added bonus of being one state closer to seeing them all.  

Good grief I'm giddy in my chair as I share about this.  I'm so excited about this year!  But don't worry, I'm not tapping out in May.  June my baby sister Ruthie gets married up in NC so I'll be returning to the fabulous city of Raleigh for some family time, bridesmaid duties, and ya know - awesomeness.

July brings with it a summer wedding in Chicago for my long time friend and former Floridian - Mer!  Eeee! Can't wait to celebrate her big day with her AND manage to see my fellow Purdue Alums both at the wedding and while I'm in the windy city.  May have to hangout a few days and catch up and explore that big, beautiful city.  It's been too long, Chicago, it's been too long.

August is open so any of you with a private jet - feel free to invite me somewhere exotic.

September it's back on the go as one of my Tampa besties will be getting hitched in at a vineyard in the ATL.  I may forgo my love of Southwest's party seating for a road trip for this one but hey, travel is travel - am I right?

I'm not ready to reveal my fall flight schedule since I'm still plotting and scrimping points to see what I can make happen.  But I thought I'd share, since I've been a bit MIA, that I'm not avoiding the blog because I have nothing going on.  Quite the opposite really, I've been so busy living my life lately, I haven't had enough time for writing about it.  But fear not, I am here.  I'm am living and thriving in my new job and in the fabulous city of Tampa (well, for three weekends a month at least).

Share with me what your travel/summer plans may be - you know I'm always up for some inspiration!