Is it that time yet?

Everyone always imagines a time where they leave where they are and just disappear somewhere else. We hit the hard moments and want to start over somewhere new and experience greater things in life.

I was born in Akron, Ohio (not a very big & bumpin’ place) but it’s cute and it certainly has grown over the years as I have traveled back home. We moved right after I turned one to Ft. Eustis, Virginia, my dad was stationed there while he was in the Army. I was around the age of 6 when we left Virginia and moved to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, if you haven’t been there, do yourself a favor and go visit. It is the most beautiful place and I happened to spend every summer there with my grandparents after we moved to Florida. Right after school was out, my parents drove up to Hilton Head and dropped me off. Might sound a little odd to you but I adored my grandparents, they were like my parents and I was so attached to them and they were to me, it only made sense for me to spend my summers with them. Plus, I was always a very independent person and unlike my sisters, I didn’t get homesick while I was away going all around Hilton Head. I spent the entire summer meeting new people who were there on vacation, getting tan, going to work with my grandparents sometimes, I knew everyone at the Marriott, they knew me and they were like family. I spent all my days involved in the activities that the hotel offered, playing putt-putt, catching sand dollars and painting them, relaxing in the pool, at the beach, the list goes on. Hilton Head was my favorite place in the entire world, honestly, it still is. I can’t wait to go back. We moved from there to Kissimmee, Florida when I was 7 years old and back to Ohio when my dad was offered good money with Speedway. Then he was transferred back to Port St. Lucie, Florida (when I was around 10 years old) and back to Kissimmee from there on out. Honestly, I don’t remember Akron when I was younger, I remember bits and pieces from Virginia and Hilton Head (mainly because of all my vacations). I actually don’t remember moving from Kissimmee back to Ohio, but I do remember Port St. Lucie, how could I forget after the tornado that swept through Kissimmee and did A LOT of damage before we moved back for good.

I made it out alive and haven't been sucked back in.... but i miss it... sick and twisted :/:

6 reasons to leave your hometown

I found this link which sparked this entire thought process about moving away from your hometown. Even though I wasn’t born in Florida, 15+ years living here with this being really the only place that I know – yeah, I’d consider it my hometown in a way. My husband however, was born and raised in Florida. He’s traveled a lot, so he has definitely seen a lot more than I have but he’s always loved the colder weather. The humidity and heat are the absolute worst….All of you touristy people who are only here for the week, you don’t even understand the beginning of what it’s truly like. I LOVE the seasons. I don’t know how you couldn’t love watching the color of the leaves change, watch the trees go from full of leaves to naked and to watch all of the green grass disappear and be replaced with the whitest layer of snow.

You don’t need magic to disappear, all you need is a destination // Travel Quote Phone Cases @seattlestravels:

I’ve thought about leaving the state of Florida for years. I’ve always wanted to. Not necessarily back to Ohio.. or anywhere in particular but I wanted to get away, start fresh and be somewhere different, outside of my comfort zone, because that’s also where I excel the most. I’ve wanted to go the flight attendant route because honestly, it would be the most perfect thing. You are stationed somewhere with other flight attendants, get an apartment together or by yourself, and just t r a v e l while finishing up school. When I was applying and looking at places, one of the places I wished I would be stationed at was Chicago. I’ve visited there a total of three times and have fallen more in love with that place each time. Another place that I’ve never been is New York and that was an option too, which I was open to as well. Lastly, Seattle and Texas. Yes please. Bring it on. Becoming a flight attendant was so appealing to me because you could travel all over the world and be paid for it. The amount of freedom within that is amazing and I was completely open to becoming a flight attendant. But let me tell you – those interviews were one of a kind and SO MUCH FUN.

The thing about a comfort zone is that it sounds, well, too comfortable. I call it a COMFORT PIT because a pit is somewhere you want to get out of as fast as possible. Bear Grylls:

Back to the link I provided above. If you haven’t taken the time to click on it and read it, you should. It’s super insightful and it makes a ton of valid points, it’s something everyone should consider at least once in there lives. But then again, going out of your comfort zone isn’t for everyone. Plus – in most cases, more often than not – you go where the job is. This article talks about meeting new people, experiencing new places, leaving your comfort zone and leaving your parents – all the things that I think are so wonderful and are something that everyone should do at least once in their lifetime. I’ve left home before, went to Gainesville for school (still in FL though, not much of a drive from home) but then I moved to Kansas for school and it was one of the most thrilling experiences ever. I was with my best friend of all the time because we were cheering together but she had started a year prior to me so it’s not like we were together all the time. I made great friendships with people that I still keep in contact with today. Leaving home and going to Kansas was really great because I was able to get out of my comfort zone and fend for myself. I adored my roommate, I consider myself very lucky because I’ve heard horror stories from people with ridiculous roommates. I got a taste of my seasons once again. I traveled quite a few places with my friends & roommate. I even went home for Thanksgiving with my roommate, she lived in Texas and that was a blast. Her family was really great. All of the experiences and time that I had there, I wouldn’t take back at all. I only wish that I was able to stay longer.

“Let yourself move to the next chapter in life when the time comes. Don’t remain stuck on the same page”.

I think that’s where I am at. I’m ready to move forward into that next chapter and I’m afraid that Florida just isn’t where that can happen. It’s not that I’m unhappy here and I don’t have the means to just up and leave right now so it’ll take time unless a job comes with the move. It’s definitely good to keep your options open and explore other ideas, you never know what you are going to find. It’s never going to be easy but then again – it’s not really easy here either, so what’s the point? I’m excited for the things to come for me and my family, and I will do whatever it takes to make sure they are the happiest.

Here’s to the places we’ve never been, ideas we have yet to think of, jobs we haven’t found and adventures that haven’t begun quite yet. Cheers!

I've started, and I can't say there aren't times when I wish I hadn't, nor can I say there won't be more, but I keep putting one foot in front of the other.:

Im in love with cities Ive never been to and people Ive never met | The most beautiful parts of life are still unfolding.:

A little travel inspiration from Lonely Planet co-founder and legend, Tony Wheeler, suggested by Josh Button.:

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” — Alan Watts:

 

 

-Samantha

Should I know what I want to do with my life?

I mean.. I’m 25 and even though every birthday we say ‘oh my god, I am getting so old’, while that is extremely accurate, I am still young and have plenty of time to figure life out. But do I really though…?

My college career has been quite rough and VERY MUCH all over the place. However, I am finally on solid ground and working on completing my Bachelor’s then I’ll worry about my Master’s. Now in all the time I’ve had between high school, moving around and now settled in.. you would think that I would have narrowed down what in the world I want to do with the rest of my life. But NO… I am not any closer to figuring it out than I was when I graduated high school. There’s something wrong with me, right? Because that would explain a lot.. Anyone have answers, anyone?

On fielding THOSE questions:

There are so many things that I want to do. So many things that I want to be apart of. So many things that I want to accomplish and lives that I want to affect in the most influential way. I want to make a difference but then again, everyone says that.. So what the hell. Why is this so hard for me to figure out?

While I am *beyond* obsessed with Grey’s Anatomy – I cannot handle the blood, shit and piss. (You can picture it now, can’t you? Yuck.) So becoming an amazing surgeon like Meredith Grey is out of the question…

“I don’t know why we put things off, but if I had to guess, I’d say it had a lot to do with fear. Fear of failure. Fear of pain. Fear of rejection.”  -Meredith Grey:

Then there’s law – everyone says they want to be in the law but recently I read a blog post from Tucker Max (if you haven’t heard of him, do yourself a favor and look him up. He is HILARIOUS. Not for the faint-hearted either, he’s very blunt.) and he wrote about all the reasons NOT to go to law school. Mind you, he also ATTENDED law school. Check it out: Why you should NOT go to law school   Anyway, it was a very interesting read and honestly, he is extremely right. Many people think that being a lawyer is EXACTLY like what you see on Law & Order.. well, it’s not. Sorry to break your heart. While I am currently working in law firm (not as a lawyer, OBVIOUSLY) but I can already tell you – I want NO PART of this life. Nope. No thank you. No siree. Bye. See you later.

difficult planning:

My major is Business Management so it’s a pretty big area that you can do just about anything with. So there’s event planning, I love weddings, events, parties, and I like having complete control over planning things and things going the way that I want them to go. But I’m not a complete control freak although my husband would definitely disagree with you because he has seen it firsthand. It definitely depends on the situation and when something gets messed with after I’ve taken care of it, I am certainly NOT okay with it. But with event planning, you get the weekend hours, late night hours, etc. And at the moment, I’m pretty into having a 9-5 job and weekends off. So there’s that.

 

Now if you’ve read my post titled ‘Live. Laugh. Love. READ.’ you’ll know that I love reading and have ever since I could remember. So maybe publishing?  But as far as editing goes, I’ll need to work on that because that’s DEFINITELY my husband’s expertise hands down. But to think of meeting writers and planning their events, taking care of marketing their own books, reading all the manuscripts, the list goes on.. It can be a pretty difficult field to get into – I’ve done some research.

universityandme: “the lighting was so nice i couldn’t not take a picture…i’m just journaling and starting “to the lighthouse” today for my next essay. ”:

So you see my dilemma? It’s pretty ridiculous.

30 Real Estate Memes Every Agent Needs on Hand.  #realestatememes #realestatepromotion.   For real estate marketing and advertising visit http://inboundrem.com:

Or at least I think I’m handling it? Anyone out there having similar issues? Any advice? Any pointers? ANYTHING!?

 

-Samantha

Against All Odds

Being a parent is a wonderful experience.  Being a parent of six girls however rewarding, can and will create exciting challenges every minute of every day.  The main hope and wish I had as a father was for our daughters to grow up to be at least decent human beings. Their successes, although hopeful, we’re not as much a factor to me as their happiness in this world and being very good, respectful human beings.  I wanted them to honor all that treat others as you would want to be treated stuff, but even better than I was forced to act as a child.  That is very difficult to see this day and age, and seems pretty rare.

I get tired of hearing this generation is this or this generation is that, and kids today have changed so much.  It is such a bad argument in my opinion.  Kids had to change.  Times have changed so they had to adapt to those changing times to survive.  For every kid someone calls lazy or disrespectful, I can find one who works two jobs and goes to school full time.  They are out there but most people are too quick to put a label on a generation for a lot of things we failed to teach them.  There are bad apples in every era, so let’s not label a generation for those few but for those that adapted and pushed forward to do good.

My daughters had every excuse under the sun to turn out bad.  As parents, we put them against ridiculous odds and set them up for failure.  I am not proud to say that, but these six chicas really succeeded against all odds and I could not be more proud.

How to Have a Mindful Divorce, The Love Whisperer,loa relationship coach, http://www.lisamhayes.com/how-to-have-a-mindful-divorce.php:

Let me explain what I mean by that last comment.  All six of our girls are the product of broken homes.  Nancy and I divorced our exes to be together.  We did this while four of our six were teenagers and already thought the world and Mother Nature were against them because of the emotional and biological changes going on with their minds and bodies. Needless to say these were very delicate times and issues were not always handled properly.  Feelings were hurt, things were said and done, and some of them thought we had betrayed them, so basically lives were shattered for a moment in time.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, throw in the fact that we didn’t always act like adults with our exes, didn’t take the girls feelings into account as much as we should have, and then topped it off with mixing two cultures together, and we had the recipe for certain disaster.

9 Poignant Divorce Quotes That Will Mend Your Broken Heart (PHOTOS):

In the beginning things didn’t go well!  That is an extreme understatement.  The shit hit the fan big time.  Our oldest graduated from high school and moved out as quickly as she could, the second oldest didn’t talk to us for almost two years, and number three proceeded to get pregnant!  What a welcome to family life at the new Casa de Swain.  Our younger three seemed to be doing pretty well and we did our best to keep them with us as much as we could and show them love from both of us.

Photo 11 of 64: Shades of Pink & Gray / Baby Shower/Sip & See "Danetta's Baby Shower" | Catch My Party:

These were very difficult times and we all could have called it quits and given up, but we couldn’t give up just yet.  Love and caring paired with great answered prayers from God above, and little things started to fall in place to bring us all back together stronger than we could have ever been.  We wanted the girls to know we have unconditional love for them no matter the circumstances, that we wanted and needed them, and wanted them to be with us.  Nancy and I immediately stopped talking about the exes in front of the girls so they could form their own opinions of why changes were and needed to be made.  Those things just seemed to work themselves out.  Couple that with spending time together and getting to know each other to realize we are all pretty wonderful.

Now we still had to deal with a teenage pregnancy, and it sure isn’t like any of those lifetime miracle network shows.  Things quickly and heatedly blew out of control.  Once again many prayers, tears, sleepless nights, and tongue biting was involved.  Eventually love and caring will always win out.  We never gave up, we prayed, we prayed, we prayed, and we prayed, and we showed love and genuine concern wherever we could.

I am very happy to say our girls are not a burden on society, and are all pretty decent human beings as of this moment despite all the adults in their lives who tried to do to our best to mess it up.

Our oldest runs financial institutions in Orlando, Fl.  Number two (that sounds funny) got married to a guy I approve of (kind of), is going to college and works full time for a group of attorneys.  The third in line gave us a beautiful grandson, graduated college, and continues to go to school working toward another degree while working full time as a nurse for a private practice.  Lucky number four works at a sandwich shop and goes to college while she takes care of her grandfather.  Number five recently got married, and gave birth to our second gorgeous grand child and is beginning to go back to school while looking for employment.  The baby of the group graduated high school last year and moved in with one of her sisters to help take care of the house and the baby while she is at school and work.

So, as a parent, I can joyfully say I am very proud of my girls, and the fact they never used excuses to not succeed and continue to be decent human beings!

And they did it AGAINST ALL ODDS!

1. Every time a women sits down to write, she will come across an obstacle. She will encounter that ghost that will try to stop her from writing the truth. The ghost will remind her that men don't like when women speak the truth about her passions.:

 

-Denney

Live. Love. Laugh. READ.

So everyone, I have an addiction problem. For books. So is it really THAT bad? Much better than crack.. that’s for sure.

e-Readers make this uniquely true!-- http://www.examiner.com/article/e-readers-fit-travel-needs:

If you’ve read the ‘About’ section and learned a little more about me..(if you haven’t, go now.. before I come find you) you’d know that I love getting myself lost in a good book. And I also want a library like Belle from Beauty & the Beast. My husband told me I’m such a nerd, but he loves me anyway! He has his video games, I have books.

I’m not your typical reader who has migrated into having all their books on their IPad, Nook or cell-phone.. While that is all fine and dandy, and I did try it for a short period of time, I prefer the feeling of a good book in my hands. Is that weird? Then so be it, I’m weird. No hard feelings.

I asked my dad what the first book I read was because unfortunately, I couldn’t remember. That’s kinda depressing. What I did remember was having ALL of the Disney books, ALL of the Dr. Seuss books and always carried one around with me to read. My dad said he is *pretty sure* the first book I read was Beauty & the Beast.. how ironic. But my all-time favorite princess will forever be Aurora in Sleeping Beauty.

During elementary school we had these tests on the computer in our library called AR or Accelerated Reading program. This was my shit. This program consisted of reading books and taking quizzes to get points. In order to determine the amount of points the book was worth, it was based off the length of the book and difficulty of the text. You either answered the question right or wrong and were rewarded so many points for each question. Then, based on the amount of points you received you were rewarded prizes, invited to luncheons, had a dinner out with the principal, etc. It was an amazing program and other than attending my classes each day and doing homework of course, my life consisted of reading and taking those quizzes. I had the time of my life. Since smaller books are so much easier to read I was able to blow through a ton of those books and quizzes all in one sitting. Then, you have your Harry Potter books which are NOT small especially to a little kid like me and those were worth hundreds of points. Now since I’m a quick reader, I comprehend things very easily and can recite what happened back to you in the book, I aced those quizzes. I attended many parties, used my points to buy more books within the library and a bunch of useless goodies (that were not so useless at the time but super awesome) and I had lunch with the principal! When I graduated in 5th grade, I was rewarded the ‘Principal’s Award’ (only went to one student in the entire graduating class and it was not small) and I still have that tiny little plaque today. Yes, I am tooting my own horn. Woohoo.

Harry Potter Quote. Books and Articles by Arthur Chiragiev http://www.pinterest.com/achiragiev/books-and-articles-by-arthur-chiragiev/:

Of course, I grew up in what we call the ‘Harry Potter’ generation so I’m ridiculously obsessed with the Harry Potter series. Not to mention, she is releasing the script for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in July 2016.. Oh boy oh boy! Now I get it, some people are pissed because it’s just the script, not the book. Okay well quit your whining, I don’t want to hear about it. It’s better than nothing! But anyway, my dad and I used to race to read the Harry Potter series when I was younger. We would start one of them and race to see who finished it first. Now you may think that I had the upper-hand however.. He was busy with work every day and the crazy people he dealt with. I had school each day and practice directly after school. I would come home and eat, do homework, shower and by then, I was exhausted. I have to say though, it was always pretty intense in our household when it came to this series. We would buy two different copies so we could race each time, it was a lot of fun! We even plan to race to finish ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’..May the odds be ever in your favor. (Yes, I’m a Hunger Games fan too… and Twilight.. and Fifty Shades.. Listen, I read A LOT. There are very few books I have found that I didn’t like and put down)

Today, I find that my interests are definitely evolving. There are a lot of books that are in the same realm of what I have read for years and then there are new books that I have brought into my life. Currently I am reading ‘Still Alive’ by Lisa Genova and it is absolutely wonderful. This book is about a woman named Alice who has worked so hard to build her career in linguistics as a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. This book is definitely a little out of my usual readings but I am so engulfed in this book, it’s absolutely amazing. I have heard nothing but wonderful things about Lisa Genova — I definitely recommend this book and this author without question!

Some of the other books I’ve completed recently and definitely recommend:

  • The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Gailbrath (JK Rowling’s pseudonym)
  • See Me by Nicholas Sparks (Not his usual but I LOVED it!)
  • Beautiful series by Jamie McGuire (Absolutely addicting, read two books in three days)

Books I have that I am looking forward to reading:

  • Me before you by Jojo Moyes (turning into a movie with Emilia Clarke, watch the trailer.. you WILL tear up)
  • Dare Me: A Novel by Megan Abott (First book I’ve bought from this author but definitely looking forward to this read)
  • The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan (Must read of 2015)
  • And those are just a few that are coming my way!

Image result for nicholas sparks quotes the best of me:

Favorite author? Nicholas Sparks. Yeah, you may know him as the author of ‘The Notebook’ and yeah, that’s where I fell in love with his writing but his favorite book of mine is from the quote above, ‘The Best of Me’. He is an exceptional writer, someone who takes a story and makes it into some simply breathtaking. People might think that there is ALWAYS a happy-ending and they ALWAYS end up together but really, it’s so much more than that. You have to endure the pain that they are dealing with while reading as they lost their loved ones. I get completely lost in his books and while reading, I am sitting in the locations exactly where the book is based in. (He is a huge fan of the Carolinas. No complaints here, the Carolinas are beautiful).

Simply put: I stand behind reading.

I think that this generation focuses so much on social media, their cell-phones and the celebrities that they forget some of the most important things that can be greatly beneficial in their lives. Is Accelerated Reading still a thing? Apparently, it is. AND apparently, it goes from K-12.. But it was never pushed or offered after I left elementary school. While I do love my phone and maybe spend too much time on social media, I still make the time to read. I wish more people would sit down, grab a glass of wine and grab a good book. I feel like it would do a lot of good and it would be extremely helpful in our lives. This is something I feel very strongly about and I think that maybe it is time to get behind it and do some good with this passion too.

Alright, I think I’ve rambled enough with my almost 1400 words.. Favorite authors, favorite books, favorite genre?

-Samantha