Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Look Back at 2009

Cheree Voyles Moore...

January
  • is scrubbing concrete... getting it ready to stain.
  • is home renovating... did you expect anything different?
  • my coffee cup sleeve says: YOUR NEXT "ACTION ITEM": DO AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE... if only...
  • keys got locked in the car this morning... not a good start to the day.
  • went to Spirit Square to watch the inauguration... froze my butt off waiting for the light rail.
  • "I want to break free." - Queen
  • ... weird how sad endings for some are happy endings for others... such is life.
February
  • would rather be laying in my hammock in the sunshine.
  • is tiling.
  • The nude biker in Searcy made it into the Charlotte paper.
  • we are not big celebrators... so I am curious about Daniel booking a reservation for tonight at a local (undisclosed) restaurant.
  • is wondering if we will ever finish tiling...
  • is wondering why bus stops do not have benches...
  • has a weekend and week of (finishing) tiling and grouting a bathroom, sealing a floor and lots and lots of painting ahead of me...
March
  • we have snow.
  • still no cavities at 28.
  • the inevitable happened... Daniel was laid off this morning.
  • it was kind of weird driving to work alone this morning.
  • could use some serious yoga time... need to relax my mind and body.
  • likes that the blossoms falling outside my window make it look like snow.
  • is thankful for afternoon orange breaks.
  • is excited that my bff from high school got engaged today.
  • I have this intense desire to become nomadic… sell all of my possessions, get a dog, an Airstream camper and a truck and head out to experience America. The problem is this is not a very practical thing. But it's what I feel like doing.
  • “If you educate a boy, you educate an individual, but if you educate a girl, you educate a community.” - African proverb quoted by Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea
April
  • "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined." - Thoreau
  • canigohomeyet?
  • quote of the day "See if he's kum-ba-ya with him" meaning see if they are friends....
  • job loss update: tuesday one of Daniel's friends lost his job and then today one of my friends from work was laid off. this is not a fun time.
  • leg ultra-sound went well. It looks like the clot is gone.
  • is fighting a headache and the headache is winning.
  • 5 years from now, you will be the same person, except for the books that you read and the people you meet.
May
  • five fire trucks, and many flooded streets later, I am finally home. Creek at the back of our property has flooded the lower section of our back yard... the water is almost over the fence!
  • finds it very disconcerting when people talk on cell phones in bathrooms.
  • Quote of the Day from Daniel: "I want to be a dog cheree. Sleep, get up go to greenway, run, come back, eat, sleep, get up play in yard, sleep, eat dinner, go walk, sleep all night, get up the next morning and do it again. Wait.... that's almost my day exactly.
  • Best way to end a day: Laying in a hammock with Daniel and Sophie, watching fireflies dance in the trees.
June
  • waiting for my niece, Isabella, to make her entrance.
  • Daniel just gave Sophie a bath (which she was extremely calm for) and now she is running through the house in post-bath frenzy which is evidently common to beagles. At any rate it has been cracking us up.
  • Just got the call from my mom... Isabella was born! More details to come.
  • loves technology... my brother is sending me multimedia messages with pics of my new precious neice. wish i was in memphis today.
  • Txt from brother: How do you make pico? Call from brother: Where is the DMV in Nashville? My brother thinks I am his personal onstar.
  • we celebrated Daniel passing the PE by going to eat at Bonefish Grill... now if only he could find a job.
July
  • trying not to be anxious about Daniel's lack of a job.
  • words you do not want to hear from your husband: "I just go rear-ended." Daniel is ok and says that the bike rack on our car prevented a lot of damage.
  • either the subtitles are too small or we need a bigger TV in order to watch Slum Dog Millionaire... sad.
August
  • "Wheels keep on spinning round spinning round spinning round." - CAKE
  • "Desire is the root cause of sorrow but desire is also the root cause of action. How do we counter the paralysis of action when there is no desire to motivate us?" - The Geography of Bliss
  • "Waiting is the hardest part." - Tom Petty
  • "If she was running away, and not running – arms wide – toward the world, she was running away from responsibility and pressure and obligation. And she wondered why others didn't have the sense to do the same thing. Surely, she was the sane one." - Things I Want My Daughters to Know
September
  • "He was tired of hitting the snooze button on the alarm clock of life." - The Sex Lives of Cannibals.
  • Fall where are you? I am ready for crisp days for sweaters and no more mosquitos.
  • a woman in line in front of me at wal*mart told me I had a very "pretty" and well-organized cart... does this mean I am OCD?
  • i feel like fall is teasing me.
October
  • my dog literally likes to stop and smell the flowers.
  • i think chaco season may be over... my feet are sad.
  • didn't get enough sleep... sophie woke us up. twice. turns out she was protecting us from a mouse.
November
  • our shower is finally finished! i used it this morning and it was amazing. i will post pics tonight.
  • wondering if I can get away with not cooking for the entire weekend of my birthday.
  • HATES microsoft.
  • breakfast of champions: Nutella on a graham cracker.
  • hall bathroom has been gutted and Daniel is in the process of removing the ceiling that we are replacing today.
  • is looking forward to some homemade pumpkin pie.
  • got in at 12:25 AM. coffee is my friend. enjoying time with family. getting ready to make a double chocolate pecan pie.
December
  • is going thru Izzy withdrawal and Sophie is going thru attention-from-tons-of-people 24-7 and getting-fed-scraps-from-the-table withdrawal.
  • why do people answer the phone and ask if they can put you on hold? what if i said no?
  • is making my special hot chocolate and we are putting up and decorating our Christmas tree.
  • soup out of a can has got nothing on homemade soup.
  • has been married to Daniel for 7 wonderful years.
  • got a 9-ft Christmas tree last night for half off... problem: the city of Charlotte seems to be SOLD OUT of tree stands.
  • the grass might be greener on the other side, but the other side might have a bigger bull.

Looking forward to all that 2010 holds.

Top 10 from 2009



Top 10 Reasons To Be THANKFUL In 2009
 

10. No trips to the ER this year. 

9. We FINALLY finished our master bathroom renovation

8. Baby Girl (Isabella Stewart) joined our family. 

7. Sophie – who knew we would love a dog so much? 

6. Cheree’s job, when Daniel was laid off in March, this allowed us to get through the year. 

5. We paid off all unnecessary debt

4. Seven wonderful years of marriage. 

3. Daniel was laid off but then had time to study and pass his professional engineering (PE) exam. 

2. A December job offer for the new year. 

1. Family, friends and knowing that we are loved.

If you are interested, here are our Top 10 List from Years Past
2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | We skipped 2007 | 2008 

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Daniel just beat me at my own game...

In the past if I had a strong feeling about a paint color that I desired to put on the wall, I would {sweetly} tell my husband that we should paint it the way I wanted and let it stay on the walls for X period of time and if he absolutely HATED said color, he could repaint the walls.

This always works in my favor. 1) The color generally grows on him (ie the RED kitchen walls) or 2) He is too lazy to paint over it (ie a bright BLUE bathroom we had in our first apartment). I am sure he would tell you of other examples, but those are the ones that come to mind.

Well today Daniel played this little trick on me. For some time we have been considering getting a second vehicle. We have made it for {almost} two years now as a one-car family, but we are feeling the need to go back to two vehicles. I was under the impression that we were in agreement about our second car. It would be an SUV. Preferably a FourRunner, Pathfinder or Exterra. But it turns out I was wrong.

Unbeknownst to me, my overly analytical husband has had an eye on gas prices and mileage of vehicles. After exhaustive research, he has come to the conclusion that a Subaru Forester would be the best vehicle for us. It has all-wheel drive, is bigger than a car and has ridiculously good gas mileage and it is well priced. My problem is: I just think it is UGLY.

From past discussions, Daniel thought that my only needs for a vehicle were that it had power windows and air conditioning. And then NO WHITE vehicles was added to the list. As well as no previously-smoked in cars. And then the truth came out. I am a bit of an aesthetic snob when it comes to what I like about vehicles. I won't bore you with which vehicles I prefer and why...

Back to how Daniel beat me at my own game... today over lunch at Al Mike's (he must have been buttering me up by taking me out for lunch first), he informed me that he really thought we should buy a Forrester (I've never even driven one) and that in 9-ish months we will trade in the Altima for a diesel Jetta or Passat (I am on board with this, we have discussed this as our next car). THEN if I still REALLY HATE the Forrester, we can trade it in for something that is reasonably priced.

So there you have it. Beat at my own game.

I Love You Moore than a Second Car

Daniel just beat me at my own game...

In the past if I had a strong feeling about a paint color that I desired to put on the wall, I would {sweetly} tell my husband that we should paint it the way I wanted and let it stay on the walls for X period of time and if he absolutely HATED said color, he could repaint the walls.

This always works in my favor. 1) The color generally grows on him (ie the RED kitchen walls) or 2) He is too lazy to paint over it (ie a bright BLUE bathroom we had in our first apartment). I am sure he would tell you of other examples, but those are the ones that come to mind.

Well today Daniel played this little trick on me. For some time we have been considering getting a second vehicle. We have made it for {almost} two years now as a one-car family, but we are feeling the need to go back to two vehicles. I was under the impression that we were in agreement about our second car. It would be an SUV. Preferably a FourRunner, Pathfinder or Exterra. But it turns out I was wrong.


Photo courtesy of www.automotive.com.

Unbeknownst to me, my overly analytical husband has had an eye on gas prices and mileage of vehicles. After exhaustive research, he has come to the conclusion that a Subaru Forrester would be the best vehicle for us. It has all-wheel drive, is bigger than a car and has ridiculously good gas mileage. My problem is: I just think it is UGLY.

From past discussions, Daniel thought that my only needs for a vehicle were that it had power windows and air conditioning. And then NO WHITE vehicles was added to the list. As well as no previously-smoked in cars. And then the truth came out. I am a bit of an aesthetic snob when it comes to what I like about vehicles. I won't bore you with which vehicles I prefer and why...

Back to how Daniel beat me at my own game... today over lunch at Al Mike's (he must have been buttering me up by taking me out for lunch first), he informed me that he really thought we should buy a Forrester (I've never even driven one) and that in 9-ish months we will trade in the Altima for a diesel Jetta or Passat (I am on board with this, we have discussed this as our next car). THEN if I still REALLY HATE the Forrester, we can trade it in for something that is reasonably priced.

So there you have it. Beat at my own game.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Book Club

It may be time for me start or join a book club. Either in real life or online. I have come to this conclusion for the following reason: In recent weeks, I was given books to read by two different people. They both loved their books dearly and had the expectations that I too would love the book they lent me.

Unfortunately, in both cases, I did not resonate with the book shared. However I did make the effort to plow through and finish the reading. In the past couple of days I had the chance to talk with both readers about why I disliked the books in question. Upon talking to them and having open dialogue, they shared with me their perspectives about the book. This made me appreciate the books (even though I still don't love them).

But perspective is important and I believe that a book club that provided dialogue with different reader's perspectives would be invaluable as I continue to form my thoughts and beliefs about the world. Any takers - in real life or online???

Computer Woes

How can it be that both of our home computers crapped out almost simultaneously? Actually this is not completely true as the PC has been on its way out for some time. We (meaning Daniel) just hasn't had (taken) the time to fix it. A small little virus slowly took over the PC until we found ourselves with a kaput hard drive. Then a week ago Sunday, Daniel tried to load a printer driver on the MAC and when he rebooted, it seemed the hard drive took the opportunity to die.

Having our computers die is one of the worst things that could happen. How do you expect a couple to communicate? Seriously, we chat often throughout the day and this is rather difficult when one spouse has no computer!!!

On Thursday Daniel bought a new hard drive for the PC and as soon as we have time to try to salvage anything off of the MAC, we will buy a new hard drive for it as well. This would all be much more manageable if it happened at a time that was NOT the CHRISTMAS season. Thankfully my brother was here for a few days and had his laptop with him, so we were not completely sans technology while Daniel fixed the PC.

I can live without a phone. I can live without television. I don't think I can live without my computer.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Tradition

When I think about the word tradition I think of my parents singing along to Fiddler on the Roof. I also think of the traditions growing up: Opening one present on Christmas Eve. Opening one present at a time to make the present unwrapping last as long as possible. Always eating certain foods on holidays. Making bon bons. My brother forcing all of us to participate in decorating.

As I have grown into adulthood, I have begun to establish my own traditions with Daniel. For most of the seven years that Daniel and I have been married, we have been collecting ornaments for our tree whenever we travel. I love unpacking our ornaments as we decorate our tree and reminiscing about the places we have been together. I normally string popcorn and cranberries to add to our little (fake) tree. Whenever Daniel and I set up our tree, we always making home made hot chocolate and listen to Christmas music. I generally start listening to Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving (except when Daniel is around and puts his foot down because he is tired of listening to it).

This year I decided we needed to have two trees. So we put up our little fake tree in the basement with all of our special ornaments. And then while my brother visited, we went and picked up a 9-ft tree from Lowes. We got it for half price since it is so close to Christmas.

Unfortunately we couldn't find a tree stand ANYWHERE in the city of Charlotte so we were unable to set the tree up before my brother left. In lieu of decorating the tree, Mark helped me string popcorn and we baked gingerbread cookies and drank egg nog while listening to Christmas music.

Mark left this morning and Daniel built a tree stand out of wood. Not the prettiest thing, but it is STURDY and I just wrapped a blanket around the base. For this real tree, I wanted it to be completely natural. Danie's dad is in town and helped us to decorate. We hung white lights and then my strings of popcorn and the gingerbread ornaments.

The smell of Frasier fir, ginger bread and popcorn is amazing. I love having two trees. I love that I can sit in my living room with music playing and have my big tree. OR I can go downstairs in the basement to watch TV and have the soft glow of my little tree. It is the best of both worlds. I hope to continue having two trees in the future. I really like having a real tree.

Sophie has been cool with the tree. We are waiting to see if she tries to eat any of the popcorn or cookies off of the tree.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Nie Nie Dialogues

This post has nothing to do with 7 years of marriage... I will write one about that a little later when my life isn't quite so hectic.

Last week I was making a wreath. Using my hot glue gun. Not paying attention to how much hot glue I was getting on my fingers. And then I realized a huge glob had landed on the back of a finger and it REALLY hurt. I instinctively ripped off the glue glob. Unfortunately the skin came off with it. It was an area smaller than the size of a dime and it HURT. One of the worst pains I have had. And it wouldn't stop. I sat on the couch and cried. And Sophie climbed up with me and gently nuzzled her head in my lap. Then Daniel came and sat with us until the pain meds started to kick in and we went to bed.

While I sat there, waiting for pain relief, I thought about the NieNie Dialogues. My little, piddly burn was nothing compared to what Stephanie and Christian Nielson experienced and continue to endure during their recover from a fiery plane crash from over a year ago.

Recently Jaimee Rose wrote a 2-part article sharing this story.

I won't lie, it will make you cry. It will make you ache. It will also make you hope. For Stephanie. For Christian. For their family. You will root for the struggles they have overcome and for the life that is still to come. It will make you feel ridiculous for crying over a little burn on your finger. It will make your life troubles seem small in comparison.

I have been following the Stephanie Nielson story for the past year on her blog. Watching her struggle, overcoming so much. You can read from Stephanie's ongoing story on the Nie Nie Dialogues.

Friday, December 11, 2009

I Love You Moore than Hollywood


Alabama that is. 

Today is exactly 9 months since Daniel was laid off. Hard to believe it has been that long (as my sister pointed out, we could have had a baby by now). 

I digress... this morning Daniel got the call we have been waiting for. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) was on the phone with a job offer and a possible start date of mid January or the first of February.

All of a sudden things are in fast forward instead of on pause. Daniel officially has one week to think about and accept the offer. Since he was already scheduled to go to Jackson on Monday for an interview at a frozen food plant, he is going to proceed as planned. He will just be up front with them that he has another offer on the table. We are planning on accepting the TVA offer, but you never know. We will leave it up to God.

For some time I have prayed that God would make it abundantly clear to us where we should be. So we will continue to pray in that vein and if for some reason Jackson feels like the better fit, we will weigh our options and make the decision at the end of next week.

It is such a relief to have this burden lifted. Now we have to figure out things like 1) how fast can we finish our house/get it on the market; 2) how will I break the news to my employer - I am hoping to negotiate with them to keep me on and let me work from home; 3) where will we live/how soon should we move? Lots to think about in the coming weeks. For now we will take it one day at a time and be thankful for our blessings. 

Interesting side note... We have been wanting to purchase furniture for our basement for some time. But once Daniel was laid off, we really didn't feel like it was prudent to spend the money and that we should focus on saving it instead. 

Over the past 9 months, we have managed to save up quite a bit. After Daniel's very first interview (back in August), we agreed that once he got a job offer we would go ahead and purchase our furniture.

Well time passed and nothing seemed to be working out on the job front and we had all of this money saved up. So we decided to rethink our plan. Last week we discussed the situation and agreed that we had enough in our savings that it would be OK to go ahead and buy furniture. Then Daniel decided our life would be easier if we had a trailer to haul said furniture with. So he started looking on craigslist for a trailer. 


Nothing seemed to be working out, though we did manage to find and purchase an armoire through craigslist (which we proceeded to haul home in two trips on the roof rack of our Altima, but that is a story for another day.) See photo above.

In the end, we didn't end up getting a trailer and therefore did not get the furniture we have been wanting.

Then on Monday, Daniel found a great deal on a small trailer that would be perfect for us and he went about purchasing it with the intention that we would go THIS weekend to buy our furniture.

Then today he got his offer from TVA. He called to inform me that we could really buy our furniture and not feel bad about breaking our agreement because he had been offered a job! Praise God and pass the ammunition. OK, don't pass the ammunition, but definitely praise God for working this all out in his own time.

Oh. And for those of you who don't know where Hollywood, Alabama is, it is a small town (that is a loose word for where this nuclear facility is located) that is about an hour south of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

I Love You Moore than Recruiters


Daniel has been getting hammered by calls from recruiters recently. It's like a floodgate just opened. We are still waiting for an offer, but it is encouraging to feel like he is wanted. 

Today Daniel got confirmation of what will be a whirlwind trip to Jackson next Monday. He will fly to Memphis, pick up his rental and drive to Jackson for a plant tour and the initial part of the interview. The following morning he will do more interviewing with some big wigs that are being flown in from other company locations for the interview process, then he will be back in Charlotte by Tuesday afternoon.

Monday, December 07, 2009

I Love You Moore than Jackson, TN

A frozen food plant in Jackson you say? A phone interview on a Sunday you say? That is perposterous you say. We agree, but that is the update. This is the second interview by phone with a request to come in for an on site interview next week. Meanwhile we are still waiting.

I don't know that we would choose Jackson as our dream place to live, but times being what they are, beggars can't be choosers. The biggest thing that Jackson has going for it, is that it is almost halfway between Searcy and Nashville, with Memphis a short 1-hour drive away. Being able to visit family without driving 8-12 hours (each way) definitely has a lot of charm to it. While Alaska would be adventurous, it is soooo far away (not to mention we haven't heard anything back from them).

We are still hoping for Chattanooga to come through or something in Nashville, but if Jackson is what we get offered, we will take it.

Friday, December 04, 2009

DIY Holiday Projects

I am on a kick of working on various holiday and decorating projects. It all started last week when I had my Nana give me a refresher course on knitting. I started on a scarf that will be finished soon. I have decided to use this scarf as a table runner. I will post pics as soon as I wrap it up.





Tonight I started working on making these Christmas stockings* for me, Daniel and Sophie. We have not had Christmas stockings the entire seven years we have been married! Oh well. I am thankful that we actually have a fireplace mantle to hang the stockings on. Will post pics when I finish.
 


 

Other projects on my radar are these two wreaths: this paper* and this acorn* one. The acorn wreath hinges on me being able to scavenge acorns as I am too frugal to buy them in a store.
 


 

These are just a sampling of some of projects I am wanting to do this holiday season. We'll see how they all turn out. What projects are you working on this year?


*Click on the links to see the tutorials for each DIY project.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Still Waiting, Still Love You More

Waiting really is the hardest part (thank you Tom Petty). Daniel is still sans job. Thank goodness for busy holidays to keep us distracted from the waiting.

Thanksgiving brought some new potential leads. The Gores (my aunt Becky's in-laws) were among the 35 celebrating Thanksgiving with us. This gave Daniel a chance to sit down and talk to Jonathan (his old roommate/Becky & Malvin's nephew). Jonathan got an offer with TVA (we are still waiting to hear about the position Daniel interviewed for), but he let us know that the position he is leaving will need to be filled and he would put in a good word for Daniel. It is contract work, so it would be temporary (up to a year of work), but it is something. This would be in Florence, Alabama.

Another friend from college talked to Daniel over the break and offered to pass his resume along to a Nashville recruiter.

And finally, Daniel talked with a recruiter yesterday about a position in Nashville. Since it is through a recruiter, we have no idea what company it is, but we are pretty sure it is Barge Waggoner (who Daniel interviewed with back in August).

Anyways, we are still waiting to hear. At this point, it would just be nice to get an answer (even if the answers were NO). At least then we wouldn't be sitting here. Waiting. Wondering. Hoping.

RiverRocks 2017: Family Fun Day at Greenway Farms

River Rocks is a multi-day event that brings world-class and amateur athletes to Chattanooga each October to compete, celebrate C...