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The Big D! Highlights of our time in Dallas.

Dallas, dear Dallas. This city used to conjure up thoughts of the old TV series by the same name as well a tumbleweeds, hay barrels, and cowboys.  But now since so many of my close friends have moved there in the past couple years I associate it with friendships and fond memories.  Now I look forward to every chance I can get to visit!

Stephanie and I extended our roadtrip to Nashville a couple days so we could spend the weekend with folks we love.  Here are some pics of who we saw and what we did:

Girls night out with my BFF!
 Delicious chocolate morsels at a chocolate bar called Sublime.

 Sitting by the pond at Watters Creek.

Kids! Played with my friends' children all weekend.  Here are some of the cuties (permission given by all parents to post):

 Gotta love play dates!

Went to a service at Gateway Church, such a great place. Kari Jobe wasn't there leading worship, but it didn't matter. God's presence was there!

Dinners and lunches with more friends.

Thanks for the candy bar Ernie!

My only Dallas complaint: the freeways. Fortunately, or unfortunately, this claim has been confirmed by many friends who say the same. I caution all those planning to visit to watch the signs and drive cautiously so as not to miss your exit. I got lost several times in one weekend.  Interstate 35 goes North, South, East, and West...yikes!
It was a fabulous weekend overall, one I won't forget for a long time to come.  Now I'll just be looking forward to my next trip!


Well I finally arrived in Nashville earlier this week, and our road trip was a blast! California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, and finally Tennessee. Stephanie and I drove over 2500 miles across the span of our 7 day trip!

Here are some highlights:
Day 1: Drove through Sedona, AZ and stayed the night in Flagstaff, AZ. Sedona is stunning, and anyone who hasn't been there ought to think about planning a weekend trip to visit.
 Stephanie and the beautiful Sedona red rocks.
The colorful foliage of Sedona, AZ.

Day 2: We spent the morning at the Grand Canyon. I hadn't been here since I was about 14 yrs old, and Stephanie had never been.  Words can't describe the magnitude or beauty of this crater.
 Notice how small the people are atop the lookout. That highlights the grandeur of this place!
  Gotta sport my Nashville shirt. :-)

Day 3: We stayed the night in Albuquerque, NM and went to the Sandia Tramway in the morning to see the sweeping vistas of New Mexico. It's supposedly the longest tramway in the world.  Some who know me know that I love high-point views when I go to places, so this was one of my favorite moments of the trip.

 I didn't know it would be 25 degrees and WINDY at the top of the mountain.  Needless to say my little black cardigan was not enough to keep me warm!

The same afternoon we passed through Amarillo, TX and stopped by Cadillac Ranch to see Carhenge, a spinoff of England's Stonehenge but with brightly-painted Cadillacs.
 Stephanie in her Caddy.

Day 4-6: We spent 3 full days in Dallas hanging out with several close friends of ours. More pics and info to come in my next post.

Day 7: Drove from Dallas to Nashville, a 10-hr drive.

Here's a few more fun pics I took on the road.

 Ah, the open road!
 View of a Texas sunset out the back window of the car.

And finally, an ode to our official road trip song: Viva la Vida by Coldplay.  Why this song?  Because it's simply fun, upbeat, and translates to "Live the Life!"

Hit the Road Jack!

Six hours from now I'll be leaving my beloved home of 12 years in sunny San Diego.  There will undoubtedly be change and transition, but I'm looking forward to every minute of it!

Here's what my car looks like right now:

Back seat is packed with boxes and bags.

Covered with my favorite blanket for the added security, or at least the perception of it. :)

Trunk filled with more stuff. Yet still enough room to store our duffle bags.

Freshly washed (but I'm sure it'll be splattered with bugs before long.)

Bottled waters, check. Snacks, check. Good music, check. Camera, check, Full tank of gas, check.
Steph and I are ready for good times and laughter.  Here's to making memories!

Bon voyage West Coast!

No Guarantees in Life

I hesitate to write this blog entry for the sake of it being new and not wanting to position myself as a Debbie Downer (no offense to anyone named Debbie) from the onset. However I want to share what happened this week along with some of the things its caused me to ponder in hopes that perhaps it may help and inspire something within you too.

Early Monday morning I received a call from one of my best friends, Stephanie, telling me that Jimmy died in a diving accident off the coast of La Jolla.  It's lobster season, his favorite time of the year, so he had been going out to catch "bugs" 2 or 3 times a week. Jimmy was the first man to capture Stephanie's heart and make her feel special, and they were in a relationship as of January 2011.  I got to know Jimmy through her and thought he was a great guy.  I had even anticipated having some of that fresh lobster with them that weekend.

In a separate story, another friend called a couple days later to share the news that he and his wife, a good friend of mine as well, lost their baby. This after having spent countless hours in prayer and hopeful expectation and thousands of dollars in IVF treatments and preparation for pregnancy. They are heartbroken.

I could share other stories but I digress in order to simply say this: There are no guarantees in life. Not even a free lobster dinner.  But really, nothing is guaranteed! Jobs aren't guaranteed, money isn't guaranteed, the ability to have children and/or see them grow up isn't guaranteed, strong marriages aren't guaranteed.  The list goes on.

The only thing that is most certainly guaranteed is that I can choose have an unwavering, deeply anchored hope in the Lord.  No one and no thing can take that away from me.  I believe God is guaranteed. He never changes and is steadily faithful forever.

Although I don't have it all sorted out, here are a few concluding thoughts these events have brought me to:
1. Remember to live boldly.  Live on purpose. Live for God.
This is all the more reason for me to run head on into this next chapter of my life!

2. Tell important people in your life you care about them.  It's so easy to overlook this and something I often forget to do.  Treasure them for who they are, and enjoy the riches of friendships and family.

3. Remember to stop or pause to enjoy small moments in life, even the little things. For me it's laughter, or a smile, or the moon and stars, or a gorgeous sunset. The smallest things are often the most fulfilling things.

Needless to say my road trip to Nashville has been delayed a few days so I could attend the services for Jimmy and stand in support of my friend Stephanie who is also roadtripin' it with me as I embark on this journey.

Thanks for reading :) 

So what's the story?

Hi everyone, welcome to my blog! I have decided to start this to document and share all the adventures of life as I leave San Diego to start something new in Nashville.

Yep, you heard me correctly:  One week from today I'm boldly leaving sunny, beautiful San Diego (my home for the last 12 years) and moving to Tennessee! You may be scratching your head saying 'why there?'.  Quite honestly, some days I do too. :)
Here's a little background behind it:

I have had a desire to move out of San Diego for some time now and began my quest to do so during Summer 2010.  At first I really wanted to move to Asia, Singapore to be exact. I am drawn to that part of the world because potential is just busting at the seams in every way you can imagine- it is the future of business! I looked at jobs in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Seoul. Domestically I looked around in Los Angeles, Denver, Portland, Dallas, and even our very own San Diego.

Nashville never once crossed my mind.

Meanwhile in July 2011 the bank I work for announced plans to consolidate my office with another local branch. Our lease in the shopping center was coming due, and with a demand increase in rent when doing business in a community with an annual growth rate of less than 5%, it simply didn't make financial sense for the bank to renew.  Another local branch 4 miles away would be poised to absorb our clientele. 

Knowing this, I knew something in my life would certainly change by the branch closing date of Sept 30th- either I would continue at the bank or move on to another job. But certain doors kept closing and my desires kept changing.  I just couldn't figure out where my next steps would take me.  Talk about soul-searching...these past 6 months have been intense! (More to unfold in future blogs I'm sure.)

Needing a break from it all, I decided to visit a couple good friends in Nashville. While there I started to feel an uncomfortable tug inside. A tug that said there is something for me there and that I need to pursue some things in that city.  That was 8 weeks ago.

Upon returning to San Diego that tug began to grow day by day, and a few weeks later I gave in to it and decided to start the process of moving there. I'm still unsure of what those 'things' are, but I'm trusting that the next chapter of my life will beautifully unfold in Nashville.

Here are some pics of my future home city!
Downtown Nashville with the building more popularly known as the Batman building.

Home to several great universities including Vanderbilt University.

                The Parthenon- not the real one of course, but the only complete replica in the world.

                                            Friendly southern hospitality!

                                                      NFL Home to the Titans