Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hitting the road!

Well everything is packed and I'm ready to hit the road in the morning. I should be in bed...but I'm just too excited! I'll have plenty of time to sleep on the road anyways. I'll have plenty of time to talk on the road so expect phone calls and feel free to call. Thank you to everyone who has helped out or been there for me! I love everyone and I can't wait to show you all pictures of the trip and of the new apartment!

Monday, October 26, 2009


Here are some pictures from the gift card party yesterday. My Aunt Debbie is amazing with a camera!

My precious daughter...

Me and my princess

I love that smile!!!

Lamb cousins-Samantha, my sister Tia, Miles, Ani, me, Rachel and her baby Rhett. This is only a small handful out of all 35 or so of us!

Me and my little brother and sister....missing our big sister Tiffany...

Such a model...

Me and my baby sis...

Goofy sibs...

I love this picture of her!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

What a weekend...

WOW, I had a crazy busy weekend! Now that we are less than week away from getting to California (yay!) we had a lot to do!

Friday I said good-bye to Mama Barbara and headed to Anniston, Alabama to get my military liscense. Once that was done, I drove home and packed up all of mine and Anistyn's belonging. I stayed up very late getting everything together because I had to pack some things that the movers will bring, and some things I need to bring myself in case the movers don't come for awhile.

Saturday morning Josh's parents came to Birmingham to pick up Anistyn's bed and dresser. I loaded boxes in the blazer to take to they're house and headed to Rome for the night. We had to sort through ALL of Josh's stuff...and let me just say...my sweet husband is a PACK RAT! Needless to say, we can't take a lot of it since we'll only be gone 6 months. But we DO have a lot of furniture and for the most part we're all set! Dane, Ellen, and I went out to eat at a mexican restaurant and then worked until 11pm getting everything situated...we now have 5 piles of things and had to put blue tape on everything that is going.

I got up early on Sunday morning and headed back to Birmingham for church. I had wanted to say my good-byes to my church family. They are all so sweet and have been there for me a lot the past few years. There were a lot of tears and hugs, but everyone is extremely happy for me.

Then I headed over to my aunt's house where my family met up to throw me a "gift card" party. A great idea from my Aunt Debbie! We of course had a photography session (its bound to happen if Debbie is around!) and ate great food.

I will post some pictures when my aunt gives me the ones she took...but until then here is one of me and my aunt Tammy at the gift card party...

And I had to post this picture! Its Tammy and her son Kade, along with my cousin Rachel and her precious baby boy Rhett!

Now I am exhausted!!! Now all thats left to do is pack up the blazer with everything we're taking...and head out early Wednesday morning!! I can't wait!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Memory Lane

The past few days for me have been great. Aside from the fact that I am DAYS away from seeing Josh, my wonderful grandmother came to visit me for a few days before I left. With her, she brought a ton of pictures from the past and we've had a great time looking at old photos and talking about anything and everything, but especially remembering my dear sweet grandfather. I think I will write a whole other post about him, although it would take a million to really understand what an amazing man he was.

I have only the best memories of the two of them, who I call Papa Joe and Mama Barbara. See, they aren't even my real grandparents. Years ago, when I was barely one, my father was a preacher in the small town of Lincolnton, Ga. This older couple came to visit the church and it was courteous for the minister and his family to go to newcomers houses and greet them. So we did with Joe and Barbara Carani.

Papa always told me the story of how we got so darn attached. See, he was a big man, Italian and tough. He had gotten into a car wreck years earlier and was paralyzed from the waist down and used a wheelchair everywhere. He said that to most children he was a frightening man. But when I was at his house, still in a diaper and barely walking, he sat in his wheelchair and extended his hand to me. I slowly walked up to him and just looked back and forth between his eyes and his eyes. Then I put my hand in his as if saying "I'm not scared of you big guy." And that, he said, is when his heart did flips.

From that day on, they were my grandparents. Italian and hungarian, you won't find better food. Since Papa was paralyzed it allowed him to take up a love for cooking. He and Mama Barbara would spend hours in the kitchen cooking up amazing food. Every meal was a production. I spent my summers there growing up. They lived on a farm with a pool that was built when Papa got hurt. It allowed him to exercise his legs. He taught me to swim, dive...well he taught me a lot.

My sweet Mama Barbara has taught me a lot, but now being newly married, I look at her as the true reflection of a loving and dedicated wife. She didn't plan for her husband to get hurt. He was a cop in Miami...a tough man. She didn't plan on him being so dependent on her. But when he layed in the hospital after getting out the coma and saw the extent of his injuries he said to her "You can leave and I would understand. I don't want to be a burden." And she looked at him and said "Oh, you're not getting rid of me that easy mister." So for the next 18 years she was at his beck and call. His personal nurse. She cared for him and loved him every day of his life. And she never complained. She did it lovingly and willingly. I hope to be just like her.

Here is a picture of Papa Joe, with my sister and I.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Great News!!!

Yesterday was mine and Josh's 'one month' mark for being married.

And we got GREAT news yesterday! Well actually, the whole week has been filled with great news. It started on Sunday, with Josh going to look at an apartment he had found. By this point in all of our searching, I have to admit that I had gotten slightly discouraged. It seemed that every door we try wasn't budging an inch. The apartments out in California were either, rediculously priced, or they wanted a year lease. So when Josh said he was going to look at yet another apartment, I wasn't doing cartwheels, but boy was I after! The apartment is about ten minutes from base and there is actually a bus stop that lets of right in front of our apartment! Which is great, if I can't for some reason get Josh to class or pick him up one day. I wish I could upload the pictures from my phone, but I can't. The deposit is reasonable and they do a 6 month lease plus month to month after that. Its in a great part of town too. It has a big kitchen for an apartment, with a lot of counter space, a fireplace...its great! So by Sunday we had found the apartment we wanted...then later in the week all of our financial worries worked themselves out! Today Josh is going to the apartment complex to sign for the lease! Then he has to go meet with the transportation people that will be moving all of our stuff so he can tell them when we want our stuff delivered. By this time in two weeks I will FINALLY be with my husband!!

I have SO much to do before then...pack, pack, pack, drive to Anniston, AL to get my military I.D., get all of mine and Anistyn's stuff to Josh's parents where they will be picking all of our stuff up, be at their house when the movers come, get my liscense changed...and my aunt has so graciously decided to have a "gift card" party for me.

I also have to say good-bye to everyone in my life who has ever been there for me. I know its only temporary. But I'm used to driving across the road to my aunt's for anything. I'm used to coming home to my wonderful mom, sister, and brother. I'm used to trips to Ga to see my big sister and her family. I'm used to weekends with all of my friends and being a part of their kid's lives. I'm 24 years old...but good grief I'm going to miss my mom.

This is such an exciting thing that is happening and I cannot WAIT to be with my husband! I am really going to miss everyone though!

Friday, October 9, 2009


Earlier this afternoon, Anistyn and I had some errands to run and my cousin's birthday dinner to attend this evening. As I was getting the two of us ready I had to go on a search for a pair of shoes for Anistyn. It always seems that I can find one of every single shoe of hers, but never the match. I finally ended up digging and digging in the closet to try to find a pair. I didn't find a match...however, I came across something MUCH more exciting!!!


Everyone knows by now 8th grade is the year Josh and I first dated. I had been wondering where my yearbook ever went to so when I came across it, I was thrilled! Imagine my surprise when I opened the book.

There, on the very first page was a note from Josh! It took up the whole page. When I read it, I cried. I couldn't believe the irony...or miracle of our relationship. I took a picture of the note that he wrote:

It might be a little hard to read, but it says :

Dear Tara,

You are the coolest chick I've ever known. You always cared if something was wrong. You're cute, hot, and funny. All of those things made a big difference. I will miss you the most of all!

Love, Josh Freeman

P.S. Don't forget the hot tub and our plans for California. I never ever will! XOXOXO. Keep in touch.

Then he left his address for me and then wrote: I will give you my # as soon as I get it.

First off, you can't say the note is not ridiculously cute and sweet! Also, the hot tub is not what it sounds like! We were surrounded by a ton of other 8th graders in the hot tub on the cruise we went on, but Josh and I played footsie without anyone knowing and we were grinning at each other the whole time, as if we were keeping a huge secret from the world.

Secondly, how amazing is it that Josh asked me not to forget our plans for California? I had remembered talking about us wanting to get married and live on the beach...but to specifically say California? I just find it amazing that after all this time...we'll be on the beach...in California. Wow. There is no doubt in my mind that God had a hand in putting us together. I don't believe in coincidences.

Here I am, having some good days and some not so great days. Its so hard being a newlywed and not being able to be with Josh right now. He is so worth it though, and this just proved it. We're only at the beginning of an amazing marriage. Josh and I both tend to get discouraged, and I think God just sent me a little reminder that we are so close to being together.

I was also able to get mine and Josh's pictures:

Its a little blurry...I don't have a camera so I took a picture of the picture with my phone...yeah..but look how cute he was!

Its very torn, but you can make it out...Josh says those bangs were irresistable...ha. Thank goodness I started growing them out the next year!

And finally...a picture of where it all started:

I can't really make Josh and I out, but we're in there somewhere!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


During the daytime I stay home with Anistyn to avoid paying rediculous daycare fees. I have a part-time job at Old Navy that I got last Christmas to help with Anistyn's presents and have kept it in case times got hard and I needed a little extra cash. I like going in now to give me a little glimpse into the world and to help with our income. However, retail can be pretty crappy.

I know the holiday season is approaching, and thank goodness I will be out of it by then. I just don't understand customers sometimes. Therefore, I am creating a little venting list for rude shoppers"

1. If a sign in one corner of the store says "These items are 50% off" it does not mean everything is. Do not bring me an item that didn't come from that rack and ask if its 50% off. Its not.

2. I am not rascist. If I do not answer your question with the result that you wanted, it is not because of the color of your skin. Do not pull that act with me. I don't buy into it, and if you use that as a reason to cause a scene, thats just plain sad.

3. For Pete's sake...PLEASE learn to put clothes back the right way! I don't come to your job and mess up your desk! I understand that sometimes you can't fold it the way its supposed to be, but could you just not dump clothes everywhere? It would be greatly appreciated.

4. If you bring children into the store, please don't forget about them and let them use the store as if they were at a playground. Yes, for some reason, Old Navy thinks its a smart idea to sell soccer balls. Why is beyond me. This does not mean that while you shop, your children should use the store as a soccer field. Play with the things, admire them, sure. But if I get hit in the head with one more of those things...I think I'm going to go nuts.

5. While we're on the subject of children...I for one have taught my child manners. She does not run around like a madwoman screaming at the top of her lungs and annoying everyone around her. She knows better than to mess everything in the store up. If you see your child doing this...here's a crazy notion...make them stop. I am a parent, I know how kids are. I also see a lot of parents that don't pay a bit of attention to their children when in a store. Wow.

6. If you're going to try to steal...at least try and be good at it. I know what you're doing. My first notion is to throw a bible at you to read...however, if you take 10 items into a fitting room and you come out with 2...don't get upset when you are caught. Its your own fault.

7. Will you please not try to take your significant other into a fitting room with you? I know what you're trying to do and thats just plain gross. Get a room. Just not a fitting room.

8. When you see that its close to closing time and you see me busily trying to straighten up the store, please don't come and ask me 50 million questions. I am in a hurry. I do not want to inform you about why we don't have that particular red sandal in the store anymore. Its almost winter. Get a clue. Or some boots...since its almost winter.

9. When I am at a table making the clothes nice and neat, it would be great if you didn't come stand right beside me messing it up again. Where is your house? Let me come and unfold your laundry after you just got done with it. Yeah...you wouldn't like it either.

10. If the store closes at 9:00 pm...do not come in at 8:55 and look around forever without buying something. I cannot understand it. I could...if you really needed something and that was the only time you had to get it. But why...oh why...would you come in right before closing just to look around? The store has been open all day long and you had plenty of time to browse around then. We're ready to go home. Why don't you go read a book, or watch TV?

Now I feel better:)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

November 20th...

On November 20th of this year I will be turning 25. It is also my new father-in-law's birthday, so it is a very big date. You would think I would be very excited about my birthday, but lets just be honest...once you hit a certain age, birthdays are just a constant reminder of you getting older. However, I AM thrilled about November 20th of this year...as I was last year. Not because its my birthday. Not because my car insurance will go down...

Oh no.

THIS is why I am thrilled about November 20th....

AAAAAHHHHHH.....the New Moon movie!!!!

For anyone who has been living under a rock the last two years....New Moon is the 2nd book in the 4 book series of Twilight.

I LOOOOOVE Twilight.

I first heard of the book through my younger sister, Tia. She was reading the first book and kept insisting that I read them. I do love reading, but I've never been into vampire stories, or any sci fi type stuff. I love mystery and romance. A bunch of vampires wouldn't interest me...or so I thought. Tia seriously followed me around the house reading the book out loud to me until FINALLY....I gave in. I finished all four books in less than a week. I couldn't keep my nose out of them!

Last year on my birthday, Twilight came out. Now I am always one to love a book's version better than a movie version. Simply because books capture a person's thoughts and feelings and describe them so much better than you can portray on a movie screen. I still like the Twilight book more...but I did really like the movie. Stephenie Meyer did an amazing job explaining every detail of Edward and Bella's adoration for each other...something that is very hard to explain onscreen. However...I have the movie and am thrilled about New Moon!

For my birthday last year, I went out to eat with a bunch of my friends...and then we all went to go watch Twilight...I even wore my own Twilight shirt. Yes...I did. This year however, I will be in California and away from all of my fellow Twilight fans. Thank goodness Josh already said he would go see it with me. Such a good husband!

Monday, October 5, 2009


This is my adorable cousin Mykel:

Mykel just turned 19. My aunt and uncle had a big get together tonight for him. My uncle (Mykel's dad) is a minister in Chelsea, Alabama so we all met at the church there. Our family was there and so were a lot of their church members and friends. We were there to support and show our gratitude to Mykel.

Mykel joined the army and is leaving Tuesday for basic training.

I knew it was going to be sad...Mykel is one of the funniest people ever. I thought we would all go, eat some yummy food, then give our hugs and kisses. I was wrong. After socializing, Mykel was handed an award from the mayor. Then Mykel himself decided to speak....and it was emotional. There wasn't a dry eye in the place. He thanked everyone, especially his parents. Then everyone in the place gathered around Mykel to pray for him. Even a man of steel would have been crying at this point.

I am so very proud of Mykel, as if everyone in my family. He has an amazing heart and can make a tree laugh. He has a heart for God and now he will be defending our country. I hope he grows from this experience and I wish him the best of luck!

And of course, it made me think of my own soldier...whom I love and miss more everyday. What great guys we have fighting for our country!

Thursday, October 1, 2009


So I am determined to stay positive today. I always think of what my mother always says. "Quit you're whining...there's always someone in the world that has it worse than you." Very true, which is why I hate being down. So, I started thinking of how blessed I am. I am so thankful for all my friends and family. There are a handful of people, or maybe 2 handfuls of people, that have been there with me through thick and think. Since I am new to blogging and some people that read my blogs are just getting to know me, I thought this would be a great way to find out more about me...and also find out about the most important people in my life. I will skip Josh and Anistyn because I will have lots of blogs about them...but instead I will write about my friends.

So here goes.

This is Kelly.

Out of my friends that are not blood...I've known her the longest. She actually went to middle school with Josh and I. Back then, we spent as much time together as we could. There are so many funny memories from back then, and they all involve Kelly. When high school started, we lost touch though, although not for any bad reason, just growing I guess. When facebook got popular (its really helped me...ha) Kelly and I got reconnected. It turned out that she was a single mother like me. To this little handsome man....Caleb.

I thought that I loved Kelly back in middle school. And I did. But we were young, and knowing her like I do now...not only do I love her, but I respect and admire her. I would vent sometimes to my friends about my single mother struggles, and while they were all so supportive, Kelly lived it with me. We honestly understood each other because we lived the same life. We were both single for a long time, we both had young children...we were the same age...yada yada yada. Being a single mother is so unbelievably hard, and having Kelly to go through it with me was amazing. She is a hard worker, a dedicated mother, she's funny, sweet, kind, and all around one of the best people that I know.

This is Michelle.

Oh my Chelle. We met at Paulding County High School. I think it was a time in both of our lives when we were young, both going through family struggles, and searching. In that search, we found each other. Thank God. While we didn't always make the best decisions (we were 17...) we definitely made the best of friends. Oh, the blackmail I could use on this girl...and vice versa! I will not lie, Michelle and I went through our wild stage together, but while many of those friends eventually fade away due to their friendship being based upon socializing, Michelle and I have stuck together through the years. We are both so different from those two young high schoolers we were when we met. Its been amazing to watch Michelle grow into the person that she is today. Not only is she an amazing friend, she is a beautiful mother and wife to this brood:

I was proud to stand with her when she married Shane. I can't leave Shane out, he is like a big brother to me! I was so glad when he and Josh met and really liked each other! Michelle has also turned into a coupon saving, crafty and creative housewife. And a great cook...so she knows to have her phone ready for me when I need her once I'm in California. She has struggled and I have too, but we have always been there for each other.

And this is Shannon:

I met her a few years ago when we worked together at a daycare. We were fast friends, but it wasn't until after we both weren't working there that for some reason (God) we became amazingly close. Shannon has an amazing heart and would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it. She has been through so much and still has the most positive outlook on life. She has the best listening ear and whatever you tell her, she will never judge you for it. I was also proud to stand with her when she married an amazing man named Brandon.

They have an amazing story which is testament of true love and dedication. When Shannon was 19, she and some friends were hit by a drunk driver, where Shannon was hurt the most. She had to have a leg amputation and struggled for years with ailments. I've never seen her not smiling. Shortly after their honeymoon, Brandon had to have a lung transplant. Shannon was by his side every step of the way. The worst part was when they were on the waiting list. She had to watch her new husband get sicker and sicker. Shannon is the type to want to make everyone better...and knowing she couldn't do that for him devestated her. But the vows say through sickness and health...and thats what they did. I am amazed by the two of them.

This is Tammy.

Tammy is my aunt, but she is more like a big sister. She is my mother's sister and the baby of ten kids. Yes...we have a crazy awesome family. I would say I look just like her...right?? Ha. Not only is she beautiful on the outside, she has a beautiful heart. We are so much alike...and I love everything about her. She is an amazing mother and while everyone struggles every now and then, she's a fighter. She taught me how to pick myself up off the ground when life got me down, dust myself off and keep going with your head held high.She's an honest, caring and loving person. Not only am I proud to have her in my family, but I am proud to call her one of my best friends.

Last, but not least...this is Tiffany.

Tiffany is my big sister. When we were younger, I don't think you could have found two sister more different. Tiffany was the prissy girl who loved everyone and was kind and gentle. I was the opposite. While we could get into some pretty decent fights (which I always won by the way), we have many great childhood memories together. Time passes by quicky, and before I could blink she was married and the mother of three amazing kids.

What a woman she turned into. Tiffany is one of my best friends. Through the years sometimes we led very different lives, but we were always there for each other. Tiffany is a wonderful mother and a great wife. Her patience and unconditional love for her family is something I hope I carry with me to mine. She is still just as sweet as always...but she definitely has a back bone and is not afraid to tell me what I need to hear. We've lived in different states for the past 4 years...but she is just that person that I talk to almost everyday. She is a true example of how a wife and mother should be. I hope that some of what I've seen her do rubbed off on me.

So, for now I guess that wraps it up. I'm glad I did this because even though life can get you down...I refuse to stay down. Besides...who could with all these great people around?

When it rains, it pours...

Typically, I would like to think I'm a fairly optimistic person...I always think of the glass half full and I don't like when people look at all the negative instead of the positive. But today is just...ONE of those days. It seems like one thing is happening after the other. I had my one big crying fit...and it was actually over the only positive thing that has happened.

Recap of the last two days:

It all started when I decided to have a play-date yesterday. The weather has been wonderful and I've been eager to get my little one outside. So, my friend Mia and I decided to get together at the park and let our girls play. Right before I left I was doing my usual run through of my belongings. Keys, check. Wallet, check. Phone...no check. I started searching the whole apartment for my beloved iphone. Bedrooms...no. Living room...no. Dining room...no. Kitchen...I walk in and out of the corner of my eye I saw it. My precious phone that I love...floating in the sink. In water. Ugh. Now I am not a materialistic person. I don't buy myself clothes. I don't get my hair done. I take care of my daughter. Being a single mom the last 4 years I've learned to go without so that Anistyn can have the things she needs. But my iphone is my one guilty pleasure. So sue me.

I grabbed it and in a panic, dry it off, stuff it in my purse and head to the park. Mia has an iphone too so we tried everything. Finally, I gave up. I enjoyed the rest of the afternoon and afterwards ran to ATT. Of course, my pay day wasn't until today and I couldn't do anything until I payed my balance, so I figured I could survive until the next day. I borrowed my mom's phone so I could still talk to Josh and ran to Old Navy where I have a little part time gig. Josh was meeting with the transportation people about moving all of our stuff, so I was eager to hear what they had to say.

Right before I go into work Josh calls. They are more than happy to send movers to get our stuff...but they need a lease to do so first and it will be two weeks from the time they get that to make the move. So, the date has been pushed back. I always try to stay positive with Josh, because his schooling is so important and he needs to stay focused on it. I let him vent out his frustration, then I try to get his spirits up. I don't want to whine or complain because it would just upset him. Which means my blog gets to hear my complaining...lucky you:) I was still really upset when I went into work. Usually folding all those clothes is a drag...but yesterday it was actually theraputic. I had the whole place clean in record timing.

So, fast forward to today. I wake up knowing its pay day and everything with my phone will be fixed. I knew I was up for an upgrade and I was hoping for another i phone, but if I couldn't get it...I at least needed some phone. So I get up, get myself and Anistyn ready and head out the door. Right away, Anistyn is complaining about her tummy. She hadn't gotten a lot of sleep though, so I just watched her. I ran to check my account and wham. All the pay that I should have gotten from my unused vacation time...not in my account. I had a rediculously low amount in my account. Not even enough to pay the bill, let alone try and get another phone. We don't have a house phone...everyone just uses their cell phones. Now I have no way of getting one right now. Wow. I run to my mom's work which is right down the road to use her phone to let Josh know in case he tried to get in touch with me. I send him a text, then walk out with Anistyn. I get her buckled in when she says "Mommy...my tummy..." I grabbed her as quick as I could and held her out of the car while she threw up. I went on a mommy rampage, washing her up, getting her situated and then I dashed to CVS. I got crackers and gatorade. I majorly needed to get groceries today, since there was no food in the house and I hadn't eaten either. So I find the closest drive thru and order a burger. As I went up to pay for some reason my card wouldn't work. The lady slid it three times...ugh. I had just gotten paid, plus I had just used it. I felt a huge cry coming on when the lady looked out and said "Here, my boss says just to act like its your birthday." I thanked her over and over and drove off. That was the best thing that I had happened to me in a couple days...therefore, I started my crying fit over it.

I got home and tended to Anistyn, who threw up three times in an hour. I finally got some food in her tummy, and now she is acting fine. But wow...what a day. Later, when I have time, I am going to think of something good to write about. Noone likes a whiner. I just needed to vent for a minute. Josh is supposed to get some more news about our move and I'm really hoping its good news. The thing is, I don't really care about my phone. I'm also not a big complainer about money. Everything would be fine and all my worries would go away, if I could just see my husband. If I could just curl up on the couch and snuggle with him, I wouldn't care about all the little things. And at the bottom of all the complaining I've done...thats really what I'm upset about. I just really really miss him.