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Our life in pictures

Where to even begin…

So much has happened in this past month, or has it been two since I last posted?  Either way, here’s what’s been goin’ on….

 

The boys graduated.

Amp in the front, Chip in the back

 

The girl graduated.

 

 

The boys got jobs.

 

Hubby bought a brand new car.

 

 

The girl wrecked her car.

Not her fault, obviously.

 

Hubby moved down to Joplin leaving the girl with his brand new car.

 

 

Hubby bought a car for her in Joplin, and drove it back to the girl.

 

 

Hubby drove back to Joplin in his own car, and has finally settled into our new home.

I told him to just bring himself, and maybe his own fork….

 

And there you have it.  Our crazy, hectic life in a nutshell.  And except for a few little bumps along the way, things are working out exactly as we had hoped.  But I have to tell you, up and leaving your kids hundreds of miles away takes a little gettin’ used to.  I sure hope it gets easier.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on June 12, 2017 in Family, Parenting

 

Minimalistic Me

It’s amazing how minimally I can live.  I’ve been in my house for a week now and have only a chair and a mattress.

 

For dishes, I have 2 forks, a couple of spoons, and a plate.  I have my beloved cast iron skillet, a coffee maker, a toaster, and a blender.  And I am all set.

In fact, when I talked to my hubby yesterday, I told him not to bring anything down but himself.  I like living this way.  Maybe I’ll start to miss the TV, but I doubt it.  I’ve got Netflix.  Good enough for me.

It certainly helps that I live so close to everything – unlike before.  Before, I had to travel 40 minutes to get to any decent shopping or fun activities. Yesterday, I was in and out of my house all day long.  Went grocery shopping, came home and dropped it off.  Went to get lunch, came home and ate.  Went to the park, came home to get my laundry.  Went to the laundromat….

Ok, the minimalist in me is caving on that one.  I NEED a washer and dryer.  Now this particular laundromat wasn’t bad.  It was fairly clean, but it’s a laundromat.  And other people were there.  And I kept thinking “God please don’t drop any underwear on the floor….”

I tried to keep to myself, but a fellow laundromateer wouldn’t let me.  “You from St. Louis?” He asked me after seeing my Cardinals shirt.  “Yes, just moved here a few months ago,” I replied.

“What brings you to Joplin,” he questioned.  “My job,” I replied, not wanting to offer too much information.

“Oh, you work in a hospital or something?”

“No, a hotel….”

“You do about 25 rooms a day then?” He continued.

I looked at him questioningly, not quite sure what he meant.

He rephrased it.  “You clean, right?  How many?  About 25?”

I tried not to laugh.  After all, it’s a Saturday night, I’m in shorts, a tank and a ball cap,  and I’m in a laundromat.  Of course he would never have guessed I was the GM of the hotel.

I opened the dryer, not even caring anymore if my clothes were done.  I was just ready to get out of there.  The hotel has guest laundry machines. I’ll use those til my hubby brings ours.

And my cute little Cardinals shorts that I can’t find, and I’m thinking are still there….  sigh.  I guess they’re now the property of the laundromat.  I can’t bring myself to go back.

 

 
6 Comments

Posted by on May 7, 2017 in Blunders, Everyday Living, The Hotel

 

On the Hunt

My time in the hotel is just about up, so I went house hunting this weekend.  The toughest part is figuring out what area to live in.  There’s nice, nicer and nicest.

The nice area is 5-7 minutes from the hotel depending on how I hit the stoplights.  After driving an hour each way for almost 8 years, 5-7 minutes sounds heavenly.

The nicer area is about 10-15 minutes from the hotel, and to me, it’s not nicer enough to warrant the extra 5-8 minutes.

The nicest area is a 15 minute interstate drive away from the hotel.  It’s further in miles, but about the same time-wise.  The house I looked at there was just as nice as the other two, but had a beautiful view of the golf course and rolling hills and seven miles of golf cart trails to run each morning.  I was hooked!  Until I called my hubby to tell him all about it and immediately dropped the call.  And then dropped it again.  And then later, up on a hill, I dropped it again! Yeah, not gonna work.  Cell phone coverage is important to us.

PLUS, it’s not 5-7 minutes from the hotel.  And I wanna be 5-7 minutes from the hotel.  So “nice” it is.

This nice area was actually in the path of the tornado, so all the homes are new.  In fact, this particular one is brand new and never lived in. I wonder if I’ll ever get used to the sadness I feel when I look at the vast expanse of area that is brand new, and basically tree-less.  Every once in a while, I’ll come across a mangled tree, fighting to survive with what little limbs it has left, and my heart sinks again.  It’s been 6 years for the Joplin-ites.  It’s been 6 weeks for me.  I wonder if they still feel sadness.

Having decided on that house, (and waiting to hear from the owners), I set out to have lunch in “Butterfly Park“. After a week of pretty intense storms, including a tornado that touched down just 10 miles from here, it was nice to have sunshine, and I wanted to take full advantage of it.

It was a bit windy.  *mildly understated*  I sat on any loose items, and held my food down with one hand while eating with the other.  There were times I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to hold myself down.

Even the fountain was struggling in the wind

But it was nice to walk along the paths, and read about the hospital that once stood there.  It too was taken in the storm, and many of the children claimed the “butterfly people” wrapped their wings around them to keep them safe.  Hence the name Butterfly Park.

Look close. See the butterfly memorial in the background?

I looked around, remembering 5 years ago when we came by to see the damage.  How devastating it was then, and how beautiful it is now.

From the hill where the hospital once stood, looking over the path the tornado took.

We’re about to officially be Joplinites, and as surprised as I am to say it, it feels right.  At least for now….

Not official, but hopefully soon!

 

 
9 Comments

Posted by on April 10, 2017 in The Hotel

 

Still Going Strong

Just when I thought I couldn’t love my job more, I love my job more.

It is so cool to have my own hotel.  Like WAY cool.  I get to be a part of everything, and I’m soaking it all up.

Now that I’ve settled in, I feel like I can make some decisions that are going to better the hotel thereby making things better for my employees and our guests. Time to bring out the whip!  Ha!  Who am I kidding?  It’s more like a feather – as my hubby puts it.  But it fits me and is very productive.

I’m slowly getting used to living in the hotel.  I have a pretty good shopping and “cooking” routine down so I don’t have to eat out all the time.  Once a week or so, I hit the grocery store and load up on all my goodies.  I store most of it in the full size fridge/freezer located in the employee break room (labeled clearly with my name).  When I run out of stuff in the baby fridge in my room, I go “shopping” in the break room.  It works beautifully.  Except that I feel like every time I step out of my room, I should be dressed professionally, or at the very least…  dressed.  I miss my pony tail and comfy sweats and stained t-shirts.

BUT…. it’s only for a little while.  Five more weeks to be exact.  Sheesh!  Five weeks!  I gotta get house hunting!

I went home last weekend to see the fam.  I met Chip and Amp in St. Louis and had a great lunch with them before heading to the house.  I spent the rest of the weekend with my hubby, tearing myself away only long enough to eat lunch with Mario and visit with my mom.

I thought the first good-bye was hard, but this one was even tearier.  It’s hard leaving them behind.  Which makes it easier to immerse myself in my work.  I’ll stay immersed the next few weeks and hopefully get things the way I want them before my hubby moves here.  Then I’ll enjoy the hours and days a General Manager gets to enjoy.  I can’t remember the last time I’ve had so many weekends off.  And being home before 8 pm is pretty sweet too.  Heck, once things are set up the way I like them, I could be home by 6 pm.  Like, that’s almost like a real job!

Until then, I’ll keep enjoying this challenge, working long days, and slowly molding the hotel into my vision of what it should be.

….. and stopping here every once in a while to let ya’ll know I’m still kickin’.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on March 23, 2017 in Family, The Hotel

 

First Week Down

The week leading up to my move to Joplin wasn’t quite how I’d planned.

My plan was to spend my last four days in St. Louis living it up with my hubby and spending quality time with Mario.  Instead, I spent quality time on the couch – with the flu.

Holy heck was I wiped out.  And when I finally felt good enough to be awake for any period of time, I was barely strong enough to hold myself up.  I felt sunken and inside-out.  By Sunday, I felt a little more like my old self.  Thank goodness because I had to pack up every thing I own, well, everything that could fit in my Mustang, and head to Joplin.

My goodbye that morning was a little more tearful than expected, but as we keep saying – we love each other and we will get through this and soon we’ll be together beginning a new chapter in our lives.

Sigh

I felt immediately better when I arrived at the hotel.  I was greeted so warmly by the staff that I knew I was going to be okay.

The next morning, I jumped into my work right away – excited to meet the team, and learn the hotel.  I had a few teary moments… a text from my hubby stating he poured me some coffee….just a taste to begin with….the way I like it….

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I’m gonna miss our morning coffee talks.

Then a delivery of beautiful flowers to the front desk and a sweet note from my hubby saying he always knew I was amazing.

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I’ve never felt more loved.

I spent my first few days soaking up everything and trying to organize my office… and my mind.  I’d wake up in the middle of the night thinking about all the stuff I needed to figure out, and all the stuff I wanted to work on, and find it difficult to go back to sleep.

By the end of the week, I had settled into my new role, but the reality of living in a hotel began to hit me.  I want to continue to eat the way I did at home – protein pancakes after working out, smoothies for an evening treat – but dang that’s difficult in a hotel.

 

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My makeshift kitchenette

I’m trying to make it work, bringing the comforts of home to my hotel room any way I can.

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Almost like home?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’ll be a long few months, but it’s been an exciting experience so far.  Can’t wait to see what week two has to bring!

 
7 Comments

Posted by on February 26, 2017 in Everyday Living, The Hotel

 

The Time Has Come

“Why do you want to move to a place that has tornados?” my front desk agent asked me.

“I don’t,” I replied.  “I want to move to a place that has hurricanes.  I just need to go through tornados first.”

**sigh**

Joplin, MO isn’t quite what I’ve been dreaming about, but it IS south-er.  And I AM moving there.  Like, NEXT weekend.  Because I’ve accepted the General Manager position of the hotel down there.

The GENERAL MANAGER!

ME!

The lowly desk agent who was never “quite ready” for the next step under my first GM, has suddenly sky-rocketed to a GM herself!

I can hardly contain myself.

The decision to accept the position was a tough one.  I mean, my career goal was certainly to become a GM, but my lifestyle choice was to be way south and on the beach, or closer to St. Louis in a downtown hotel.  But as should be expected, those hotels go to experienced GMs, and although I know I can do it, I have to prove it to them first.

So Joplin it is.

I’ve been to Joplin once, soon after the F5 tornado went through and destroyed much of the town. I wrote about it here, and I’m still saddened by the destruction it caused and the lives it took.

It’s since rebuilt and the community has grown even stronger.  The more I research it online, the more excited I am to be there.  Knowing it’s only for a few years certainly helps.  By then I’ll have the experience they’re looking for, and my choices for other locations will broaden.

Of course the one thing weighing down my extreme high, is the fact that I’m leaving my family behind.  My hubby will stay back until Mario graduates high school, and Chip and Amp graduate college.  The plan is for the boys to land a job and get their own place.  Mario wants to keep her job over the summer, so we’ll need to find a place for her to bunk up until she goes away to college.  Once that’s all settled, Hubby will make the move down.  We’re hoping 4 months tops.

As for me, I leave next weekend.  I’ll live at the hotel for 2 months, and then find an apartment/duplex/condo to rent.  The relocation package our company offers is terrific, so working it this way will allow us to live in both places without much additional cost.

The hotel will be W-A-A-A-Y different than the downtown locations I’m used to.  I thrive on running around with my hair on fire, and this will offer none of that. But again, it’s all about the experience.  So I’m fully embracing the challenge.

And oh my gosh I’m SO excited!

Tornado Alley, Here I come!

 
11 Comments

Posted by on February 11, 2017 in Family, The Hotel

 

Proof

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Now you see why we’re looking to fly south?  This type of winter is for the …. heck, this type of winter ain’t for anyone.

While most of the businesses in the area are closing down due to the ice storm and lettting their employees stay home, I am doing the opposite.  I spent most of the day yesterday, calling employees IN, telling them to plan to spend the weekend here so that I know our departments are covered.   Here.  At the hotel.  Where I’m spending my weekend too.

I love my job, but I hate staying in the hotel where I work.  I’m uncomfortable letting employees and guests see me in unprofessional attire, and I especially don’t like working out in front of them.  I got up way early, before most of them started, to get in a quick workout and then stealthily snuck back to my room.  I managed to avoid all but one employee and one guest, neither of whom were awake enough to know I was me.

But now it’s 7:30am and I’m ready for a nap.

Picking out my room last night was difficult too.  We have too many frequent guests who like certain rooms, and I didn’t feel comfortable sleeping in any of “their” beds.  I finally decided on a room where I can go out my back door and be right at the fitness center.  It’s at the back of the hotel, pretty isolated.  And I don’t know any of the guests who’ve slept here in the past.

I can make this work for the weekend, but my desire to move to Florida has increased ten-fold.  I gotta make this dream a reality soon.  I just gotta.

 

 

 

 

 
9 Comments

Posted by on January 13, 2017 in The Hotel