Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A little pity party vent...

I miss blogging. I mean, I miss having that drive and inspiration to cook or bake, take photos, and actually write a post. Over the past year (hell, maybe even the past 2 years), life has been so hectic that blogging has taken a back seat. I don't even have (or take) the time to read the other food blogs that I love. Some days I wonder if I should just give it up altogether, delete the blog and move on to a new hobby. But that's not what I really want to do. I just want to have more time in the days. Or more free time, rather. Being on the go constantly is definitely overrated. And my little food blog with it's little following, has definitely suffered because of it.  I used to post 5-6 days a week and for awhile I was lucky if I posted once every two weeks. I'm slowly getting back to posting multiple times a week, but's been hard. Even planning out my weekly menus has been a killer lately. I'm having trouble finding inspiration.

So here I whine about how busy my life is (poor, poor me) and how the dreams that I once had may not fit in with the new life I have. Opening a bakery and running a personal training/boot camp business don't exactly go hand-in-hand, ya know? I'm struggling to find my figure out what it is that I am meant to do with my life, long-term. We're all put here for a reason, with a destiny already planned out for us. And maybe I should just go with the flow until that destiny is revealed to me, but I don't do well with the unknown. I don't do well not having direction or a goal of some sort. And right now I just feel like I'm floundering around trying to find my place. Is it being the business manager of the boot camp business and helping it to grow and flourish? Is it something food related? Event planning? Child care at church? I just have no idea.

One thing I know is I need to start dragging my tired behind up early every morning for some one-on-one devotion time with God. Maybe if I make that a bigger priority in my daily life, the rest will become a little clearer and things will start to fall into place a little easier. Just a thought.

Psalm 31:1-3
1 Lord, I trust in you; let me never be disgraced. Save me because you do what is right. 2 Listen to me and save me quickly. Be my rock of protection, a strong city to save me. 3 You are my rock and my protection. For the good of your name, lead me and guide me.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Business of Becoming a CHAMPION

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that there were some things in the works for J and I and that I'd fill you in as things progressed. Well...after a couple of months of planning and work, I am so happy to announce the launch and start-up of Champion Builders Boot Camp!! J got his personal trainer certification back in December and we started working on starting up the business of his dreams. We finished and launched the website this week and the first official boot camp starts on Saturday!! I will be acting as the business manager while he handles all the training (he refers to it as me being the brains of the operation so I guess I'm the Brains and he's the Brawn, eh?) It's nice to finally get to put that ol' degree of mine to use...ha!

I love that we are embarking on this adventure together and I can't wait to see what the future holds. It's all still new and there are so many things we want to do with the camps, the website, etc. but we both know that it will all come together in time. The important thing right now is getting the camps going and helping people get healthy. I love how passionate he is about helping people. And I love that he wants me to be a part of it all. Check out the website and if you live in, or know someone who lives in, the Austin area please do share the info and come out for a free session!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

2013 Year-in-Review!

2013 was quite a year. There were some highs, some lows, and a lot of in-between, but overall I feel like it was a very blessed year. Let's see if I can re-cap the year...I'm bound to leave something out, but here it goes:

I had a fun road-trip that took me to Alabama to see my friend Stacey, then we drove to Atlanta to meet some of the other amazing girls from my cooking board and have a food- and fun-filled weekend. After driving back to Stacey's house in northern Alabama, I made my way to the more southern part of the state to see my brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew for the night before heading back to Texas.


February was when my bestie decided that I needed to explore the world of online dating. Let's just say that I was far from excited when she set the profile up for me, but I promised her I'd give it two weeks before deleting my profile. I guess it's a good thing that I stuck to my end of the deal, because it only took a couple of weeks before I saw a face and profile that I just couldn't ignore. I stepped out of my comfort zone and sent him a message.  

March 1st was the night that I met James in person for the first time. We'd been emailing and texting for a week or so and it worked out that we were both going to be going to the same place with friends one night. I was nervous; I was excited; I was terrified. But I went. I saw him - well Tracy saw him first - when he walked in and all I could think (say?) was, "Sweet baby Jesus...he's hot!" over and over like a fool. Hey...I've heard the horror stories of internet dating and people not looking like their pics...I wasn't sure who to expect walking in the door. Lucky me, he looked just as good - hell, even better maybe - than his pics. I didn't go up to him, I waited to see if he'd see me, if he'd know it was me. It didn't take very long before he walked over, "Are you Jaida?"  

This is us - 1 week after the night we met
Tracy still laughs about that first night. You see, I'm usually a bit dependent on having my friends around in uncomfortable situations. I don't particularly like to go places by myself and if I'm meeting friends somewhere, I usually won't go in unless someone is already there. But that night, the friends that had come with me, had planned to leave early. They walked over to us to say they were leaving, and instead of being fretful or apprehensive about being left "alone" with this guy I just met, I just smiled real big and said, "Ok! Bye!" Very unlike me, but I felt so at ease with him. It turned out we had a mutual friend, who was also there that night so we spent some time just hanging out by ourselves and talking, and some time with our friend. And the rest, my friends, is history. 

In addition to meeting an amazing man, I also got another new love in my life in March. Skeety boy!! He's my sweet little snuggly boy and I'm so glad James decided to get him for us :)

And who could forget that March is also the birthday of my sweet little Colton. He turned 2 and he's been growing non-stop ever since! I don't see him nearly enough these days (or Tracy, for that matter) and I sure do miss him!

I also participated in a Rodeo fundraising group from November - February and the big party for it was the last couple of nights of the Austin rodeo in February. I volunteered both nights, and had a blast!! James came out with me the second night and we had a blast!

In April, a few of us made a trip to Colorado to surprise my friend Miah for his 40th birthday. It was a good surprise and we all had a good time. Especially James when he got to go skiing!

This was the rough one...the month I lost my baby boy. After the trip to Colorado and my work conference in early May, I had the kiddos home with me for barely a week when my world turned upside down. Just this past weekend I asked James if I'd ever stop being sad. If thinking about Bubba being gone would ever not make me cry. He was honest when he answered me, "Maybe not. He was your baby." It doesn't happen every day, maybe not even every month, but when it hits me, it hits me hard. The holidays...the first Christmas without him...were brutal. I miss him every day, I likely always will. But I have amazing memories from the 11 years I had him in my life. 

On a happier note, this was the month that James and I started house hunting! We had no idea what a long, frustrating process buying a house would turn out to be. Sheesh. 

I actually got to do quite a few fun things with the girls in June and much fun! In early June there was a big Food blogger conference here in Austin and several of the girls from my cooking board were in town for it, so we all got together for dinner one night at East Side Cafe. It was great to see Branny again and to meet a few of the other girls for the first time! 

Towards the end of the month, a few of us went to an Eli Young Band concert and it was!! Life gets in the way sometimes and I don't get the chance to hang out with my girl friends nearly enough, but we make it count when we do! One of the girls is missing in this photo...I swear there is one with all four of us somewhere but I can't seem to find it -_-

More fun with my girlies! This time a little south of home, in good ol' San Antonio! I made a trip down one weekend to see one of my besties, Jillian, and her soon-to-be sister-in-law for some Painting with a Twist! I'm not artistic in any way so I had my doubts about this, but it turned out OK in the end and we had a blast doing it!

and of course, there was sushi before...

To end the month, one of my other besties, (I have a few, ok?!? lol) Torie, came down to Texas from Florida for a visit and I got to see baby Rae again, for her first birthday!! 

August was a fun month, and although I've never been a big birthday celebration person (for my own birthday, anyway), James made sure I had a fun day! I worked in the church nursery that morning, then after church we went to meet one of his sisters for lunch at Trudy's...YUM! His sister took this pic of us after lunch. 

After church we went to the Austin zoo where I got to see lots of cute animals and even feed some of them! Only thing missing was the ephalumps ;)

A few days before my birthday, Jillian came up from San Antonio to attend a Ladies Night conference at my church. The conference was amazing, Priscilla Shrier was the speaker, and very inspiring! Of course, there was sushi before!

And, like most months prior to me moving, I had some laughs with my little guy. Feels like I hardly get to see him anymore, living 40 minutes away, and that sure breaks my heart. But, the way he runs and jumps to hug me when I do see him will melt me every time!

Gosh I love this kid so much...

September is always a big month for birthdays...Tracy and her husband, Jillian and Monkey, and now James too!! When I asked James what he wanted to do for his birthday, he didn't hesitate in saying he wanted to go zip-lining. So, I booked a tour for us on his birthday, and despite the threat of rain, we had an amazing time. It turned out that we were the only 2 on our tour so it went much more quickly and had a blast with our tour guides. We finished up and headed out just as the rain started coming down. Whew! 

Nice helmets, eh? Birthday boy got a special, mohawk helmet. 

The following weekend was a pretty big event for me. After 33 years, many of them spent struggling with my faith, I was baptized at our church! It was such an amazing day and a big step forward in my walk with Christ. I'm thankful every day that He brought James and I together, that James took me to his church and that I finally found a place that I felt comfortable at. I met some amazing people, had some great experiences (working in the nursery) and finally found my way.

And to top off what was already an incredible month, Tracy and I had a besties-night-out and went to a Miranda Lambert concert. We don't get many girl's nights out anymore, so it was really nice to have that time and have fun, just the two of us :)

And if all of those adventures weren't exciting enough, James started personal training school, too!! Things are all starting to fall into place at this point, one piece at a time :)

October was a very stressful month, as I imagine every first-time home buyer can relate to. Tons of papers to sign, inspections, more paperwork, and all.the.packing. It was exciting to finally be nearing the end of what felt like an eternity of waiting, but I loathe packing. I wish I hadn't deleted the pics off my phone of my apartment once I had it all packed...the mountain of boxes was ridiculous. Mostly kitchen stuff.  BUT on October 29th, I signed on all those many dotted lines and the house was finally OURS!

Movers came the next day and hauled all my stuff away from the apartment and then I had to clean it...ugh. It was all worth it in the end, to finally be out of the apartment and in a house, in the country, with an acre of land. 


November was a little rough for me, since I moved out to the house a month before James did. He still had his lease to fulfill and his school and job up North so it wasn't practical for him to drive back and forth every day. When you're used to seeing each other every day or at least 5-6 days a week and then seeing each other only on weekends, it's a big change. Add to that living out in the boonies all alone and it makes that month a loooong one! But, it was just a month and for that I'm grateful.

Zoey also got to experience a first this month...her first haircut!! After she got into some ants in the back yard and had a terrible allergic reaction, I set up an appointment with a groomer to have that long, shaggy hair shaved right off! She was so stinkin' cute when I picked her up that I'm not sure I'll ever let her hair grow out again.

When we moved into the house, we had to buy a fridge since there wasn't one there (did I mention I lived for a week without one???), and the dishwasher didn't work so it needed to be replaced as well. I figured, what the hell, I may as well replace the stove/oven, too. And what better replacement for me than a double oven?!?!? I love, love, love it and I use it pretty much every day.

We spent the Sunday before Thanksgiving with his family, and Thanksgiving day with my family, where James finally got to meet my other two brothers, their wives, and kids. We had a good, family-filled week and then finally got him moved out to the house that weekend! He had some great friends that helped us load the Uhaul at his place, and then another friend met us at the house to help us unload it. It was a long weekend of moving and cleaning, but we got it all done and all was right in the world again. Ok, so not quite so dramatic, but I was sure happy to have him home, finally :)

December seemed to fly by... I'm very fortunate that we get a lot of time off for the Christmas and New Year's holidays, so I only worked 2 days between December 18th and January 1st. But right before leaving for the break, we had the final weigh-in for our Biggest Loser challenge at work, and I won!! It was a close margin between me and a co-worker, but I squeaked by with 1% more loss! I got these flowers and card from James that night for the big win. Isn't he a sweetheart? I still have a long way to go, but lucky for me I have a boyfriend who is now a Certified Personal Trainer! 

The house is slowly coming together, most of the boxes are unpacked and we're slowly getting some things up on the walls. A couple more months and maybe I'll be ready for a housewarming party...ha! I shopped like a crazy person this year, like I haven't shopped in YEARS, but I have a whole new family of people to shop for now, and I'm a bit of a gift-giving fanatic so I couldn't resist. I know it's not what Christmas is about and I'm not as interested in receiving gifts, but I sure do like to buy them for other people. James thought I was crazy, but that's just me!

The weekend before Christmas a group of my friends had their annual white elephant exchange party, which is always a blast. It was...interesting...this year, to say the least. Always a lot of laughter, that's for sure!! James went to watch his friend's son fight in his first MMA match that night and then we met up after to go home.

This is me, ready to head out to the party. 
The Monday before Christmas some evil sickness got a hold of James, upper respiratory infection is my best guess, and had him laid up for most of the week. Christmas Eve was at my mom's house, but he was just too sick to make the trip. I felt terrible leaving him home alone, but I also wasn't about to drag him out when he needed to rest and get better. By Christmas afternoon he was starting to feel a little better, so he made the trip to his sister's house to celebrate and see his family. I got wires crossed somewhere about the time, thought it started at 4 but it really started at 1. WHAT?!?! I am too much of a planner for things like this to happen to me and I freaked out. It was 2 o'clock when I finally found out the start time so I rushed around like a crazy person and we finally go there at 3:15. But, better late than never I s'pose! All-in-all it was a good celebration of the holiday, aside from him being so sick.

New Year's Eve came and we still hadn't made any real plans so we wound up going to the gym, picking up some beer and fireworks and hanging out at home. James built us a nice fire in the fireplace, we watched the NYE shows on TV and went out periodically to shoot of fireworks. At midnight we watched off in the distance as various fireworks shows were going off. Another good thing about living in the country is it's DARK and you can see city lights, etc. far off in the distance. It was a pretty quiet night, but a good way to bring in the new year AND our 10 month anniversary ;)

As with any big changes in life, there are bumps along the way. Getting into a new relationship was such a blessing for me this year and with it came a new family, some new friends, and sadly the loss of some friends as well. I guess it happens...people don't understand or want to understand that things will change and they say and/or do things that you never would have expected them to do. It makes me sad to think about sometimes and I miss those friends, but everything happens for a reason and every person comes into your life for a reason and time period. Not every friend we make along the way is going to be our friend for life. I know that the besties that I have will be there for me through everything in my life, good or bad, as they have been for decades already and that I am so very lucky to have them.

To James, my love - thank  you for all the love, happiness, smiles, and laughter that you brought to my life in 2013 and all that we have yet to come. You are a true blessing from God and I'm thankful to him for you every day.

While 2013 was full of blessings, I know that 2014 will have so many more and I can't wait to find out what God has in store!! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Catch Up Time!

It's been 7 months since I lost my Bubba boy. And 7 months since I've posted here. It's not like I haven't had a ton going on in my life that I could have shared, but every time I would open this blog to write a post, I'd see the last one. See his little face, read the post, and cry my eyes out. I just couldn't bring myself to write anything else here. It's time though, to share some happy news.

About a month ago, after searching for a few months, I found and bought a house (finally!) that James and I have moved into and are slowly getting settled. It's a cute little house on an acre of land out in the country and I'm so happy for us to be starting this new phase of our lives together. As in many cases of home-ownership, I assume, there have been some quirks and issues to deal with but overall we are just happy to have our own place in the quiet country. Skeety boy sure loves playing outside, as he couldn't do at the apartment and Zoey likes to play outside too, as long as we are out there with her.

We just put up Christmas decorations this past weekend, and J shot his first deer of the season with his exciting!! Watching him cut it up on the counter and table...not as exciting. Yuck. But hey...that's the process to get it ready for me to cook, so I'll just occupy myself with other household chores while he does that. Mom says I need to help, but nooooo thank you!

Oh, and how could I forget - a couple of months back I started working the nursery at our church AND I got baptized!! Such a great experience and I've loved attending this church for the past 9 months so much. It's the first church where I felt comfortable and wanted to be more involved and actually be a part of the church community. I've met some amazing people and when we moved, about an hour south, and I realized that it wasn't going to be practical for us to make that drive each week it broke my heart. I know there are churches all over, and nurseries in those churches that will need help, but having finally found a church "home" it's hard to have to leave them. I know that God has a plan and purpose for us all and that there is a reason for everything, so I just have to have faith that He is leading me (and us) to where he wants me (us) to be. We are going to check out a new church closer to our home this weekend, so we will see if it's a good fit for us.

Other than that I can't think of any specific events that have happened to share...James and I just celebrated 9 months together and I'm looking forward to many more. I'm so blessed to have him in my life and I couldn't have asked for a better man. There are a few things in the works right now business-wise and I'm so excited about the possibilities that lie ahead. I'll keep you all updated as things progress. Thanks for all of your support over the years!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Saying Goodbye

I knew the day would come. As much as I tried to deny it, I knew that one day my Bubba boy would leave me. When he got sick in November, the reality started to hit me. He wasn't a puppy anymore. He couldn't chase after his ball relentlessly, or run up and down the stairs to go potty. But I thought I'd have more time to prepare. Not that you can ever prepare to lose someone you love so much, but I just thought I'd have more years, instead of just months.


At my last update, Bubba was doing well. The medications had stopped the seizures and he seemed to be doing OK. Not great, not running around like he was a pup again, but he was eating, drinking, walking on his own to go potty, jumping up on the couch to snuggle, etc. It's amazing how quickly it can all change. I took Bubba and Zoey to stay with my parents for a few weeks, because I had a trip and a work conference to attend. Mom told me that Bubba was running (!) up and down the fenceline barking (!!) at people walking by. This is something that hasn't happened in a VERY long time. And barking?!!? Bubba was not a barker. Ever. So, I rested easy that he was doing well.

I picked them up on Saturday after my work conference and headed home. Bubba had a vet appointment that Monday to have his levels checked and they didn't seem to notice anything out of the ordinary. He looked a little skinny to me, but Mom said he'd been eating ok. By Wednesday, I knew something wasn't right. He wasn't having seizures, but he was barely able to walk on his own. I carried him up and down the stairs, placed him in the grass to potty, and he could barely hold himself up to do that. Thursday I came home to a mess in the house, because he hadn't gone that morning. But Friday...Friday I knew something was very wrong. He wouldn't take his medicine. He wouldn't even take a treat. I hadn't seen him eat or drink anything. So, I kissed him and told him I loved him and I cried all the way to work. I cried for the first half of the day at work, because I just wasn't ready to face this.

I had a graduation cake to finish making, so I left work early that day hoping that all would be ok when I got home. It was not. There was more mess on the floor, and on him. He hadn't even been able to get up and had just pottied where he lay. And he didn't get up at all after I got home...for a long time. I layed beside him and cried, hugged him and kissed him, told him that I loved him. And then as my heart broke, I called the vet to see when I could bring him in to end his suffering. I felt like the most horrible mommy on Earth, like I was about to kill my baby boy. But I told him that I loved him, that it was ok for him to go, and prayed that he would go on his own before morning.

Being the amazing dog that he was, he heard me, and he did just that. J came over that evening and we left to run and errand. When we returned, about 30 minutes later, my sweet boy lay lifeless on the floor. He waited for me to leave so I wouldn't have to see it happen, but he let go and the suffering stopped. I put him in his bed and wrapped his blanket around him and let my friends and family know that he was gone. Saturday morning I drove him to my parents' house and buried him. I haven't really let myself slow down since then, to let it really sink in that he's gone. But as I sit here writing this, it's all starting to hit me. When I get home from work today, he won't be there.

While I'm grateful that he's not in pain and he's not suffering anymore, the thought of never seeing that sweet face again, never having him snuggle up and spoon as we go to sleep each's just unbearable. Thankfully I have an amazing boyfriend and two other fur-babies, as well as wonderful friends and family, to help me get through this. But what I really need is the one person who has been with me through all of the rough times of my adult life - to snuggle, lick my face, and make me smile. So I try my best to say goodbye and to remember all of the good times we had together over the past 11 years.

That sweet, sweet face with his little head cocked to the side; chasing his ball time-after-time until you were too tired to throw it, even if he wasn't too tired to chase it; the way he jumped up in the bed and snuggled into the spoon position almost before I could fully lay down; the way he would run to the window when I was leaving for work and watch me walk to the car and drive away; the way he somehow just knew where the window button was on the car and he'd jump up and roll it down so he could stick his head out in the wind; how much he loved french fries and pizza many things, so many memories. He was the light of my life, always a mama's boy,  and I will never forget the joy he brought to my life.

I'm really thankful that J got to spend a few months with him, even if he wasn't really himself anymore; and that Zoey and Skeeter got to love him, too. They had a great big brother, and he tolerated them well in his old age ;)


Goodbye my sweet boy...Mama will always, always love you. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Colorado 2013

Some of my good friends, Norma and Miah, moved to Colorado last year due to a job promotion. While we were all sad to see them go, it's great to go visit them every year. This time around, Miah was going to be celebrating his 40th birthday. What he didn't know, however, was that 4 of his good friends were going to be flying up to surprise him!! Norma did a great job of coordinating the surprise - he had no idea!!

I convinced J to come with me, as well,  which made it even more fun!! Our flight out on Thursday morning was entirely too early, but hey...that's how it goes sometimes, right?  We dragged our butts out of bed and made it to the airport by about 5:20 a.m. and an hour later were sitting on the plane ready to take off. It was a balmy 70-something degrees when we left Austin. And when we arrived in Denver...14 degrees. o_O  I was convinced in that moment that I was going to die of frostbite while in Denver. I couldn't even tell you the last time it was that cold in Austin. Thankfully I had on a sweater and packed a warm coat. And J, well he was in Heaven the moment we stepped outside and he saw the snow-topped mountains in the distance.

My favorite part of flying - the Care Bear clouds!!

After getting our luggage and the rental car, we headed over to Norma's to start getting ready for the big surprise. Miah through off our original schedule by getting off work 4 hours early - EEK! But, since the flight was so early, we had enough time to get food, a cake, and get the decorations up. Oh, and get liquor. Very important! The balloons were a little challenging to fit in the car with 5 people. There were about 16 balloons I think...

Believe it or not, there are 3 people behind there...

There's Haley!!

And Norma!!
Balloons and swirly things everywhere!!

And leetle baby Miah!

And there's J - accidentally photo bombing - but looking so cute doing it!! :)
I actually got a video of Miah coming home and us suprising him, but somehow I am the one who squeals surprise and I sound like an idiot - so you don't get to see it. Sorry!! He was very surprised, though is reaction was very mild, "What the hell are y'all doing here?" Haha...good to see you too, buddy.

We all hung out for a bit, had some drinks, grilled some food. Then we went to our hotels to check in, and as J had been waiting all day - take a nap. Ours turned into a 3 hour nap - totally unplanned!! I woke up in a panic when I realized it was 8 o'clock, but we got ready and met the rest of the group out for some (more) drinks. Good times followed - especially since the bar we were at had FREE drinks for ladies. What?!?! That's a recipe for trouble with our group!!

First shot (at the bar) for the Birthday Boy

Closing down the bar was not an option for me, as I knew we had a very long day the next day...more surprises for the birthday boy!! Norma had planned to have a limo pick us all up at 12:30 and take us to Boulder for a tour of 3 breweries. Now, I'll be honest...I don't drink beer so I wasn't super excited about the brewery tours, but the drive was beautiful and there was vodka in the limo. Good enough for me!!

Miah trying to get the radio to work in the limo...
Pretty mountain view on the drive

The whole group at Avery Brewing Co.
The day wound down and we headed back to Denver, and for some grub. We ate at a place called Ernie's Bar & Pizza, and boy were those some big pizzas!!

Photo: Now that's a pizza!!

Birthday boy had to work the next day, so J and I decided to venture back out to snowy mountains. He had been dying to ski since we landed, and this was the only chance we'd have on the trip. Now, I've never been skiing before, and we were only going to have a half-day to do it, so I sat this round out - in the bar, with 50 Shades Darker on my kindle. No judging! 

He's so excited!!

A great shot he got on the way up

And, me in snow...for the first time in a couple of decades!!

As we were leaving, we heard a siren go off, which we assumed was the "everyone off the mountain" siren, since it was closing time. But as we were driving out, we heard a report on the radio that there had been an avalanche about 2 miles from where we were that took the lives of 5 snowboarders. Only 1 of the group survived. It was sad and scary, especially since we were so close. Nature is beautiful, but she can also be so dangerous...

We drove back to the hotel, relaxed for a bit and then headed out to dinner. It was a great few days, but exhausting as well. The next day we would be heading home, as bittersweet as that would be. I'm not really a fan of the cold weather, I prefer my 80+ degree temps (ok, so it'll be 100 before we know it), but the landscape in Colorado is definitely beautiful and there is so much to do there that you can't do in Texas. Good thing I have friends there to visit and vacation with!!

Until next time...