The Adventures of Stinky Sweet:

Sometimes stinky. Sometimes sweet. But it's our life - and it is always good.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Not a priority.

I want blogging to be a priority because I have loved this little space over the last few years  but I just can't seem to make it so. Life has gotten busy, responsibilities have multiplied, and it seems to take a back seat most of the time. I feel like I have to talk all day, make decisions, write about things that when I get home - there aren't many words left.

Wrapped up my last trip to summer resident camp this past Monday and Tuesday with one of our local program partners. I am really proud of this partnership (Co.Starters and the Co.Lab here in Chattanooga...doing some really cool things for entrepreneurs in our city!) and where it is headed for our girls. My team has worked really hard helping them build a youth focused program and we are piloting it with our girls. They seemed to really like it and I hope it is something we can continue to build on.

I have a few days off from travel- though not really off because I've produced four drafts of my department budget and a final one due tomorrow with copious notes. Performance reviews for my team due Monday (which are done and turned in!). And then lots of laundry, cleaning, and packing this weekend for another trip that starts Sunday. I'll be gone 6 days this time with a small group of our girls to Florida to learn to SCUBA dive. (Thankfully, this will be my last long trip until October when we go to Utah for our GS National Convention.) The whole following week is training for our new computer system so I'm feeling a little "no rest for the weary" at the moment.

I've been asked multiple times if I am going to SCUBA with the girls in Florida. I am taking my gear but I might not dive. Frankly, I would relish a 30 minute nap while they are under water and someone else is responsible for them. :) I will post pictures so check FB and Instagram. Mom, I will email them to you.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Its that time again.

I am mid process for writing my second departmental budget. This is one of the most challenging, exhausting, and stressful things that I do in my role as a supervisor/team leader. I am not great with math and trying to predict the future is also not my strongest suit. I want to make decisions that won't hinder the work we want to do over the next year but I also want to be a good steward of our financial resources. Making decisions in July that you have to live with until September of the following year is hard! However, it is rewarding. I am learning new skills that can transfer to other areas of my life. I am letting my team take pieces of it this year so they learn how to put a budget together as well. I am a big believer in building a team that learns a lot of aspects of a job, including how to do mine in case I'm not here one day.

In addition, I'm leaving for another 3 days at camp tomorrow. I need to be spending the day working on a budget that is due the end of next week but 3 days outside, away from my computer is probably just what I needed. Our second and last big event for the summer and we can start planning for fall. Yay!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


I managed to pull together 2 of my 3 childhood best friends for a lovely overnight in Atlanta this past weekend. Of course, I didn't get a picture with all. Of us - reunion fail - but I got 2 of us! This first picture is of us on the roof top patio at Chad's uncle's townhouse which he generously let us crash for a couple of days. It was a lovely couple of days full of chatting, loving on baby C,  reading, mosquito bites, and generally just being in each other's presence. Sweet, sweet time.

We also visited the Atlanta Botanical Gardens today which was quite lovely. They had an exhibit across the whole gardens of huge plant covered "topiaries" - though I would call them giant sculptures. It was pretty cool to see and I am sure they require a lot of upkeep.  

 Me with some berries!

  Jess with some orangutans! Yay!

I took a boat load of pictures but I am saving them. Someone special - ahem, one of my 3 readers - might see them in her Christmas calendar so I don't want to share everything!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Visits and a bathroom update.

My mom was here this weekend on her monthly visit - which we plan over Christmas break when we both get out our next year's calendar and pick weekends. We honestly didn't do ANYTHING of note except go see a movie once Chad got off work on Saturday afternoon. She ran errands with me on Saturday as I try to decide what towels and shower curtain to buy for our bathroom. I am actually embarrassed to say that I haven't bought any yet and no, the bathroom isn't finished. Sigh. Life.

So, projects for this weekend: make a decision about towels and shower curtain and purchase them. Sand the doorway and window frame to prep for paint (FYI: the I hate to call them stupid, greedy, or corner cutting but that is what they are people that "flipped" our house before we bought it took some major short cuts. Things that covered the problem without really fixing it - NOT what me or the guy I am married to are OK with! For example: all the doorways in the house were stained/varnished wood. They did not sand or strip them before painting a semi-gloss latex over it. This means that once it chips, it peels off in huge strips. And now WE have to sand off ALL of the paint to be able to rough up the varnish and start over with an oil-based primer to be able to paint a latex semi-gloss over it.) So, THAT is my project for today and this week. Lots of sanding, priming and painting. It is the last step in the bathroom fix besides a deep cleaning and Chad still needs to attach the faucet to the shower (something about an issue with the length of the pipe? One thing after another, around here.)

So, heading to Target then back to work on my To Do list before Chad gets off work at 3:30!

Monday, June 2, 2014

A good change.

In case you didn't know, Chad's current job has been second shift for almost a year and half now. This means he goes to work about an hour before I get off and comes home and crawls in bed about midnight. In addition to being second shift, he also works every other weekend (Saturday and Sunday). I am so thankful that he has decent employment and that our insurance is through the State of TN. because of it - but hear me people - 2nd shift stinks. I am so sympathetic for families who have parents or spouses who work strange shifts and never get time together. And I am even more aware that there are families who have parents, spouses, and loved ones who are deployed for months at a time so getting every other weekend together isn't even an option. I know how lucky we are.

But, as of today, my guy is officially a first shift worker. Same place. Same benefits. Still has to work every other weekend (womp, womp) but we will get to be home together in the evenings. He will work 7am to 3:30pm now, instead of 3pm to 11:30pm. I can't explain to you how giddy this makes me. I feel so bad for people that don't WANT to spent more time with their spouses and families and I can't imagine feeling that way. I spent the entire day today at work sort of grinning about the fact that I was going to get to come home and spend the evening with my husband like a regular ole' day.

If you enjoy spending time with your spouse - and especially if that spouse works a "regular" or flexible schedule *admittedly, like mine*- be thankful. I came home tonight, we went for a walk, made dinner together, and checked the interwebs for a place to say when we go on vacation this fall. I am still sort of riding on a high - it was lovely to spend the evening with him and to know that I get to do it again tomorrow (instead of it being his one day off per week). I am so thankful that this small shift has worked out for him. Please pray that it will be an easy transition and that he will get used to a new set of coworkers and schedules; also please pray that he will be content in his work and be able to see the impact he has there and know when it is time to move on. Thankfully he is on the same unit with the same patients so some things stay the same.

I am crazy about that guy - we're two and a half months from our 6th anniversary! - and I am so glad we get to spend a little more time together!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Oh So Thankful.

It has been a lovely weekend. Just simply lovely.

I ended up taking Friday off - mainly because I could - and needed it. Chad was off because of the lifeguard class he has been teaching on his off weekends this month and I needed some time for us. It was so fun to just spend the day with him - doing whatever we wanted. I actually snuck away from him in the middle of the day to join my friend K for lunch and a doctor's appointment. She's midway through a much-deserved, much-fought-for pregnancy, much-loved pregnancy and sadly, moving to Knoxville. So, this was her last appointment here in Chattanooga and I got to go see her wiggly 12 oz. bundle of joy via the wonders of modern science. It was amazing. Having not had children of my own, ultrasounds are foreign. And mind-blowing.

I spent the rest of Friday with my guy, including a trip to the movies during the "super matinee" (which, come on, is the only way to see movies unless you go to the second run theater!). Captain America was good...totally worth the $5 per person.

Chad taught lifeguarding all day Saturday down in Lafayette so I stayed home and got lots of stuff done. Cleaned the kitchen, folded a mountain of laundry, put away clothes, cleaned floors...sweated quite a bit. We haven't turned on the AC in the house yet - one of the benefits of good insulation, a brick house, shady trees....and a strong affinity for lower electricity bills. Not sure we will last much longer but it isn't unpleasant in here today. Windows on. 86 degrees outside but only 75 inside....feels cooler. Listening to one of the neighbors practice his trumpet scales.

I spent the afternoon with Chad at the pool Sunday finishing up his class. I don't think I was that flighty/unconcerned/ambivalent at 17 years old and a new high school graduate. But maybe I was. Hopefully they paid enough attention that they can perform a rescue if needed...I enjoyed a few hours of reading, watching, and sunbathing (with a high SPF on...this girl does not like to be burnt and is much more aware of skin cancer as I get older).

Today I got to sleep in, we had lunch with friends, and Chad is headed to work soon. I might go back to the pool with J or I might take a nap and get more projects done around the house. Either way, I will grill out with Chad's family and then take him dinner on his break tonight.

Finally, I don't want to pass up this day without a mention of its real purpose. Memorial Day. Not because of BBQ or pool parties. Its because of those brave men and women who - over the course of our history - gave their lives so that I have the freedom to do as I choose. From my flag waving heart to yours, I am thankful.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


All 3 of my team's big spring events are finished. It is such a relief to have those not hang over our heads any more and to be able to spend some time focusing on other things. I left for Knoxville around noon on Saturday, spent a couple hours driving there, about 3 hours doing flower arrangements and corsages for all our honorees (50 arrangements and 50 corsages!), spent the night at camp (convinced that the staff cabin might be haunted) then had our event on Sunday at 1pm.

Rant: 12 girls that did not RSVP for this event came anyway. So that's 12 girls that we did not plan mom, dad, grandparents, siblings, etc. It adds to the event to mention that we don't have that many extra flower arrangements,  certificates,  corsages, etc. We always make extras - this year we had 7 extras - but you just can plan if folks don't RSVP. We had to scramble to make up arrangements from other decor like flowers from the registration tablem. It was nuts but we made it...Is RSVP'ing a lost art?? 

Our event ended at 3...we cleaned up and broke down decor and hauled ourselves downtown to work a second event for our top cookie sellers which lasted until 6:30. I rolled into home about 8pm. Another long weekend but glad it was all a success. I get this Saturday off then I will go work with a troop of older girls on the last Saturday of the month then I don't have to work another weekend until our big camp event in mid-june. Yay!  I am super thankful for an awesome team that consistently pulls of fantastic events no matter how stressful it is along the way!