Home Is… Where You’re Happy

After living in four different states, I’d say that we are experts on moving.

Today, while I was driving in my car I realized why, exactly, we chose Florida as our forever home.

It’s November 24th and I was driving in my car with the windows down in 84 degree weather. I was looking at palm trees and feeling the breeze. I was driving over the bridge and looking at the Tampa skyline and the Gulf of Mexico waters and it was beautiful.

We could be in Colorado or Ohio wearing winter coats and shoveling snow right now… and not that there is anything wrong with that, I actually like the snow, but that life is not for us. We don’t want to live that life. We don’t want to shovel snow and bundle up and be freezing cold.

Nope. We don’t.

And I’m thankful that my husband had his heart and mind set on bringing us back to the place where we could have a better quality of life.

I think I’ve learned over the years that yes, home is where your family is, so each place we have lived has been my home. If we listen to the quote, though, that says “home is where the heart is…” Our hearts have and always will be here in Florida.

In the sun.

In the warmth.

In the place where I don’t have to deal with the blues when the weather gets dark and dreary and I feel down in the dumps for no reason.

In the place where our children can go outside and run and play and get their energy out.

I love this place for a number of reasons, and today reminded me of that.

As the seasons change and the holidays are upon us I hope that you all are happy in your home too, wherever that may be.

TampaBay BayshoreShot

The 13th Gift by Joanne Huist Smith {Review}

Disclosure: I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

I’ve been doing some pretty dry reading for work and I wanted something that would be easy to read and leave me filled with warm fuzzies.

This was that book.

When her husband died suddenly, Joanne and her three children were left to try to move forward. With Christmas around the corner, she wasn’t really feeling like “doing it” that year. Random gifts start showing up on her doorstep from her “True Friends” and even though Joanne hated the gifts and all that they represented at first, she soon realized how important those gifts would be in putting her family back together.

Joanne writes in a way that makes you feel like you’re talking to her over a cup of coffee as she recounts her families first Christmas after her husband died. She is a very descriptive writer, which truly adds to the story, allowing you to picture her standing in the kitchen cooking dinner with her children or watching her daughter struggle to put ornaments on the tree without breaking them all.

You really start to cheer for her and her family as you see them slowly start to come back together and find some sense of normalcy after losing their husband/dad. It’s a great, light read with a happy ending and it’s sure to get you in a cheery mood with Christmas lurking around the corner.

I loved it.

Drop The Beat

I lost my headphones in the move from Ohio to Florida.

I can’t even figure out where they could have gone and because I’m cheap frugal, I’ve decided not to buy a new pair.

It’s really changed my running.

I am so much more aware of what is going on around me- my breathing, how loud one of the roads that I run on is (cars, cars, and more cars), how my feet hit the ground, sweat dripping down my face- all of it.

I love running with music. I always thought that since I began running reluctantly that the soundtrack was what was going to help push me to the finish. That’s not true.

What’s pushing me to the finish… is me.

I do a lot of self-talk to get myself through a run and I get to think about… nothing. I am so amazed by how blank my brain is when I’m running now without music. When something DOES pop in- I am able to push it out of my mind easily.


Why haven’t you guys told me the awesomeness of running without music before now.

It’s almost like it’s just me and the outdoors. It’s eerily quiet. I don’t look at my phone as much to check on my pace or how far I’ve gone or what interval I’m on (which I usually do at an obsessive rate)…

I just go.

I’m not saying that you should “drop the beat,” but I will say that avid lovers of running to music should give it a try.

I think I enjoy my runs more now than I did before. I’m able to run with a clear mind and focus on me for about an hour (which, of course, does wonders for my depression) and I’m lovin’ it.

What I’m Reading: Brick by Brick: David Robertson


Disclosure: I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

I am always interested in companies that are successful and what makes a “good workplace.” Lego is an interesting company to me because even though they do a whole lot of “the same,” they also do a lot of different.

It seems simple- take a brick that can stack on another brick to build things and make tons of money, right? Well, ya and wrong. Lego was on the brink of bankruptcy and really had to reevaluate what they were doing.

The takeaway of their near bankruptcy, to me, is that nothing is foolproof. You can’t go on thinking your toy is the best thing since sliced bread and will forever be and not be willing to put in the work to keep up with changing times and the needs/wants of children changing.

I liked learning how the company came to be. I liked reading about the 7 “Truths of Innovation” as much of that can be applied in life both in and out of the workplace. It did take me a while to read, as it was kind of dry- it wasn’t very exciting like some other books I have read written about companies. Still a good read nonetheless.