Thursday, October 1, 2015

Thankful Thursday!

Happy Thursday and Happy October!!!

Now that I have some time, peace of mind, and the desire to post again, I'd thought, "What is a more wonderful time than my favorite day of the week AND my favorite season?"

Just a reminder on the purpose of Thankful Thursday:

This is something I started in about 2009ish when I became concerned and disgusted about all the negativity on the most popular form of social media. I decided that I could bring a small amount of positivity by creating a list of the blessings, items, people, etc., that I was most thankful for each Thursday. This has grown over these past 6ish years to become a small movement on that same social media, and I know that it has been posted in several languages and in different countries. Join the movement!!!

This week, I am thankful for:

Mom's first visit to Maine
Job offers
The courage to listen to my gut (and the voice of my former therapist) to accept a job that will only propel me further towards my professional goals
Already feeling respect and kindness towards my potential new supervisor
Cool, rainy fall days
My Coastie and his success at this new assignment
Bike rides
Prayers with Jenny
Finding a new church home
Lunch with a friend
Scarves, boots, and fall sweaters
Apple pickin' in my very own back yard

Take a moment to count your blessings!!!

Friday, September 4, 2015

A Lot to Update!

Greetings from Maine!

Yes, you read that correctly. Team Preston has re-located to Maine. Josh received an advancement, which resulted in an automatic transfer. Maine was our number two pick on our dream sheet. We wanted to move back to the East Coast to be closer to family. We are blessed to be in such a beautiful location!!
Echo Lake on Mount Desert Island, Maine

Leaving California was difficult, however. I had just been given my dream job as a social worker in hospice and home health care. I was able to work that job for about 7 months before we had to move. It was a dream come true! The work is my calling and I felt very fulfilled and encouraged to finally be good at what I love to do. We also had to leave behind a wonderful church family and friends. Everyone was extremely supportive of us, but also sad to see us go. I forget how hard it is for friends of military families... they are experiencing loss just as we are each time we are called to a new duty station. To all my California friends: I love you, I miss you, and I could not have survived the difficulties and stresses of life in California without your love and support!

So, here we are in Maine. Josh is thriving at his new assignment. I am currently seeking full-time, meaningful employment. I have had several interviews, but no conclusive results or job offers at this time. I can admit to one item: I was not cut out to stay at home all of the time. I am already volunteering as a pet therapy team with our dog, Buttercup. We visit a residential care facility - the residents adore Buttercup and I enjoy spending time with all of the residents. I have also begun volunteering with a local, volunteer-only hospice. I'm sure that comes as no surprise to anyone who knows me!!!

Please continue to send us your prayers, support, and good vibes. Settling in a new place is hard, but we love this military life and we know that God continues to call us to new locations.

Love from Team Preston!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

National Day of Unplugging

I caught onto this movement just in time!!!

The National Day of Unplugging is coming this weekend!

This is an annual movement where we can literally "unplug" from our technology, smart phones, tablets, computers, and emails. We unplug to give our brains a break; to rest; to make eye contact; to be outside; to enjoy someone's company... the list goes on and on.

CNN has an interesting article about the National Day of Unplugging and the scientific movement behind it. Our brains and social skills need some new/different stimulation in the form of human contact, good ol' conversation, and a day to reflect, enjoy, and BE. 
You can read the article here.

Here is the skinny:
Date: March 7-8
Sunday down on Friday to sundown on Saturday
(think of it as a technology-free Sabbath!)

Literally unplug yourself from your technology and devices.
Yes, it is that simple and straight-forward.
Turn off your phone.
Turn off your tablet, computer, emails.
Use an alarm clock instead of your phone.
No texting.

You may want to prepare family, friends, bosses, and co-workers ahead of time if you plan to do this.
For example, I am planning to meet up with family on Saturday, but I will be able to talk to them on Friday ahead of time to plan out our schedule. There should be no need for a phone!

I plan to "unplug." 
Will you join me???

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

"30 and Purdy" - A Birthday

I recently turned 30 years old! Happy Birthday to me! 

I was expecting this birthday to be difficult, emotional, possibly traumatic, but it wasn't. The day was pleasant and filled with friends and a delicious cake. 

I hosted a wonderful party a local hotel/bakery/steakhouse. We had space in the ballroom and enjoyed cake and drinks while the house band played a variety of music to keep us lively. I had about 20 friends from the Coast Guard, church, Bible studies, and work attend. It was so wonderful to see what a great network of friendships I am building in only 2 years in California! I felt incredibly blessed.

Oh, and did I mention the birthday party was a formal affair?

 Here's to a great 30th year!!!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Rainy Weekend Escape

Recently, the Coastie and I went to Monterey and Carmel, California. We knew that we were in need of some time away from our everyday stressors. The past four or five months have been exhausting. We really wanted time for just the two of us, to be away from home and work, and just BE in a new place with each other. We love exploring and traveling, but with only a weekend available to us, we had to stick pretty close to home. We chose Monterey and Carmel because they are such beautiful, peaceful, and friendly towns.

We stayed in Pacific Grove - a tiny little place in between Monterey and Carmel. Unfortunately for us, our weekend away coincided with the Pro Am Golf Tournament. This tournament is probably one of the biggest tourist attractions and cash flow for the area. So we definitely did NOT stick out like sore thumbs as tourists! It was also the last days of the "Community Appreciation" days put on by Carmel, so a lot of the attractions were free to the local residents (i.e. the Monterey Bay Aquarium).

Plus, it rained the entire weekend! The Coastie and I have desperately missed rain during this drought in California. Rain also reminds us of home, family, and the Great Smoky Mountains. We didn't let a little rain damper our spirits! We absolutely loved it! We had to forego our idea of riding bicycles out to the Lighthouse because of the rain and a 5K run for charity that was blocking all the roads, but we still managed to do and see a lot, as well as rest and relax. Our hotel room even had a wood burning fireplace, so we got to cuddle up on the cool, rainy nights in front of the fire! It was perfect and amazing! We returned home feeling rested, connected, and rejuvenated!

Elephant seals near San Simeon Lighthouse

Golf course is in the distance

Top of Monterey Bay Aquarium

The sun was shining for just a little bit...


Cannery Row in the rain.

Last morning's breakfast at Holly's Lighthouse Cafe. Yum!

The Lighthouse! (Closed, but I still got the photo!)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Trial

I have been very blessed to be healthy my entire life. I've danced for almost 15 years, been practicing yoga for about 10 years, and have recently taken up running. I've also been blessed to be naturally fit and happy with my body.

However, lately, some health issues have begun to creep into my life. In order to avoid any invasive Western medicine procedures or medications, I've turned to acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and holistic approaches.

The most recent venture I have begun is a trial of eating gluten-free and dairy-free. I plan to try this for one month, with the exception of a cheat day on my birthday. I hope after one month, I will know if eating gluten- and dairy-free have made any positive impact. If it has not, watch out world - I will be eating cheese, pasta, bread, and yogurt (not necessarily all at once... yuck). 

                                Today's inventory of health at the beginning of this journey:

Almost consistent heartburn after any type of meal.

Feeling flushed and exhausted from sinus allergies.


Poor digestion and the issues that follow.

Moderate energy.

Moderate mood.

Blemishes on chin.

Cravings for salt and sugar.

This inventory has little to do with my current lifestyle - I exercise regularly, drink water constantly (over 80 ounces a day!), etc. I just wanted to write down any trivial fact that may help me deduce the outcomes of this trial period.

Wish me luck!!!

PS - The hardest part of this will be the Girl Scout cookies that were delivered today....

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thankful Thursday!

Today, this is the BEST Thankful Thursday is several months because of one major fact:

It is raining in central California!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is only a drizzle, but it is still precipitation! This is the most action our area has seen since October! Forecasters are only predicting about 0.25" of rain, but I know that God is a big, mighty God and can give our dry, parched land some needed relief. I will be praying continuously today for more and more rain and thanking God for the drizzle we saw this morning.

In other gratitude news, I am also thankful for:

Coffee with a friend before work. 

Long talks with my mom.

Pictures from "home" of all the beautiful snow.



A night to relax at home.

Being abundantly blessed.

Free lunch at work on Tuesdays.

Hearing Kara's voice and Jacob's baby sounds on the phone.

My adorable, funny Coastie.

And my amazing Monday night Bible Study gals, who rejoiced with me
for my miracle of health. 
They even sent me flowers! I am so blessed!