Monday, September 9, 2013

for zilla.

A few weeks ago, one of the most dear people in my life passed away.

His name was Zilla.

Well, his real name was Kerry Price, but I never once heard a single person call him Kerry. He was Zilla to all who knew and loved him. My family is among those and he has been such a blessing to us for most of our lives.

I met Zilla when I was in 7th grade, when we went to Islamorada for the first time (that I remember) for Spring Break. Zilla was a deep sea fishing captain. His boat was named "Heidi Baby" and he was the definition of a sailor - filthy mouth, ridiculous stories, incredible fisherman, and a heart of gold.

Zilla gave me a nickname the first time he met me. Zilla taught me how to fish. Zilla said the f-word in front of my 7-year-old sister. Zilla told horrible and hilarious jokes. Zilla made fun of me when the sea got the better of me. Zilla found huge fish for my dad and brothers to catch. Zilla took us his special spots on the water and helped us haul in hundreds of yellowtail. Zilla let us jump off of his boat in the middle of the ocean and go swimming and snorkeling in a hundred feet of water - water so clear, you could see the bottom. Zilla introduced us to so many people in Islamorada and helped us establish relationships that helped it become our second home. Zilla was a part of our family - a treasured, irreplaceable part of our family.

Two summers ago, Zilla took us and many members of our family and many friends out on his boat and found a special place in the middle of the ocean where we could lay Daddy to his final resting place. That was one of the hardest days of my life because it was so FINAL. After that day, there wasn't anything left of him on this earth except for his legacy, but there was no place better to have that moment -- on a boat that we had spent so much time on, with a man who we loved and who loved us. Zilla even named the exact spot in honor of Daddy and we will forever be able to go back and commune with him there.

A few weeks ago, Zilla got sick. He contracted an infection from the sea that his body was unable to fight. His daughter and grandchild and his precious Anita were all with him. I am so glad that Zilla found a woman who loved him the way he deserved to be loved - unconditionally. She quickly became just as precious to us because we could see how much she loved him.

Just like Daddy, Zilla left a legacy. I am consider myself wholly blessed to be a part of that legacy. Enjoy the fishing in Heaven, Zilla. I bet Daddy already has the best spots reserved for the two of you. I'll see you again one day.

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." 

Some of it's magic, 
Some of it's tragic, 
But I've had a good life all the way.

Monday, July 22, 2013

welcome to dallas!

It's been just over a month since I moved to Dallas and I've yet to have even a tiny twinge of regret. That's a little bit amazing, since I haven't found a job yet, but I'm just enjoying myself way too much.

So far, I've reconnected with college friends, celebrated Independence Day, been to a Rangers game, found myself a church home, walked a lot (60+ miles this month alone!), started the process to join a community group, read several books, decorated my apartment, and jetted away for a weekend in Boston with my family.

Here's what I've been up to in pictures. Enjoy!

so excited to cross the state line into Texas!

living room



our morning walk scenery

my goal - accomplished!

after the city of irving fourth of july parade

independence day at the rangers game

summer bucket list

lobstah roll

sister is a babe

red sox versus yankees at fenway

siblings after dinner in Boston

this is an Instagram video of these three singing "Sweet Caroline" at Fenway this past weekend. I accidentally uploaded it as a picture but I'm leaving it because it's adorable!

here's the real thing :)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

#9: move to another state.

Well, folks, it's official. Next Thursday morning, I'm moving to Texas!!

Texas has been in the back of my mind since I graduated from Baylor three years ago and I'm so excited to be heading back! At a job fair in February, I interviewed with an HR representative with Dallas ISD. He was very interested in me as a Baylor grad with my Masters and we've been in touch ever since. Over the last several months, I've become more and more assured that this is the right move for me at this point in my life!

So, I'm headed to Dallas. I'm moving now so that as I continue to interview, I'll be able to say that I live in Dallas, not Nashville (which got some very strange looks the last time I said that). I'm also excited to get good and settled now, rather than trying to squeeze in a move right before school starts. Here's to new beginnings, a new city, a new apartment, and (hopefully) a new job. I'm nervous and excited all at the same time, but mostly just excited!

Dallas, here I come!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

101 in 1001 - update!

It's been a little more than 9 months since I started my 101 in 1001 list and I'm pretty proud of my progress! In the past few months, I've crossed several things off of my list and plan on getting to several more this summer! Here's what I've been up to:

4. Grow out my hair well past my shoulders - March 27, 2013 

I grew it out, and then chopped it off - typical! 

7. Graduate with my Masters - May 4, 2013

So proud of this! 

30. Subscribe to magazines I always buy in order to save money - February 2013

I love having them on my iPad!

79. Be a bridesmaid - December 29, 2012

Laura & Dustin are so dear to me. So blessed to have been part of their big day!

85. Eat a lobster - March 29, 2013

Not a huge fan, but happy that I finally did it!

As for the next few months, here are seven things I plan on crossing off of my list. As you might can guess, big changes are on the horizon! 

8. Become a teacher. 
9. Move to another state. 
18. Drink eight glasses of water a day for one week. 
22. Find a church home that fills me up. 
27. Have a picnic. 
54. Develop a daily routine and stick to it. 
56. Rid my house of anything that does not have a place. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

dear daddy (two years).

Dear Daddy,

I literally cannot believe that it's been two years today since I've seen your handsome face. It's been two and two days since I've heard your voice. It's been two years and five days since I've  hugged you and felt you hug me back. I hate that.

I miss your voice more than I miss just about anything about you. Your phone calls were such a stable thing in my life. I could depend on hearing your voice every single day. I don't think I ever went more than 24 hours without hearing it, even in college. I loved knowing that I could call you at any hour of the day and you would answer. I loved knowing that if you left me a voicemail, I could guess exactly what it would say, even before I listened to it. I could depend on your voice. I could depend on you.


So much has happened in the last two years and there are days when I'm overwhelmed with the reality that I cannot make that phone call anymore to ask for advice or guidance. I can't share my thoughts and feelings with you in your office anymore. I can't ask you to calm my fears and talk sense into my doubts. I miss that. I miss the way you could calm me down. I miss the reassuring hugs you gave me on so many of my worst days. I just miss you.

You knew that I wasn't going to work for you forever, and after you were gone, I couldn't bear to be in that office. I couldn't bear to see someone else in your space, doing your job (and not as well as you did it). I couldn't bear to see your office empty or your chair turned around toward the window, like you were just sitting there thinking. So I quit. I went back in for one day, typed up my resignation letter, packed up my stuff, and left. I couldn't do it without you. I hope you understand and forgive me for leaving the thing that you worked so hard to build and to save. I am ashamed of that and disappointed in myself, but I would have needed your guidance for much longer in order to have been successful there without you.


After I got done moping and crying and refusing to get out of bed, I had some hard decisions to make. I've never made a hard decision in my life without your input up until two years ago! I didn't know how to do it with just one sounding board instead of the two that I was used to. What was I going to do with my life? Who was I going to be? Where was I going to do it? How was I going to do it? It took a lot of praying, a lot of crying, a lot of talking, and a lot of doing things that scared me to make the big decisions. I am meant to be a teacher. You knew it. I needed to find my joy again. You told me that. I needed to become a grown-up. You wanted that for me. So I started doing it all. I hope you're proud of the decisions that I have made and that you would have encouraged to follow a similar path.

Thank you for loving me so fiercely. Thank you for hugging me and kissing me, even when I resisted. Thank you for giving me advice. Thank you for providing for us. Thank for you for cultivating my love of books and flowers. Thank you for taking us on vacations that provide endless memories. Thank you for teaching me how to fish. Thank you for coming to visit me while I was in school and for never saying no to buying me a plane ticket home. Thank you for loving my friends as much as I did. Thank you for defending me. Thank you for taking the blame if I didn't want to be somewhere. Thank you for encouraging me to be creative, even when I was certain that I did not possess a single creative bone. Thank you for listening to good music. Thank you for letting me listen to terrible music. Thank you for taking us to the movies. Thank you for always answering the phone. Thank you for leaving me notes. Thank you for being dependable. Thank you for being goofy. Thank you for having that funny belly laugh that got all high-pitched. Thank you for surprising me at my Bearathon, letting me cry when it got cancelled on account of lightning, helping me clean up, and then buying me a keg so that I could throw a party. Thank you for coming to that party. Thank you for making me watch John Wayne movies and learn every Jimmy Buffett song ever recorded. Thank you for buying me a car. Thank you for my education. Thank you for reading to me. Thank you for taking me to church. Thank you for telling me no when I needed to hear it. Thank you for usually saying yes. Thank you for everything, Dad.

I wouldn't be who I am today without the huge impression that you made on my life. It's been two years, but there isn't an hour of a day that I don't think about you and miss you. I have moments when I'm incredibly angry at God for taking you away from me so soon. I think about all of the things that I have left to do in my life and I'm sad at the fact that you won't be there to do them with me. I grieve for the times in my life that I won't be able to hear you cheering me on. But then I get to those moments when I find myself still looking for your face in the crowd and guess what? I still see it. I see it in the sunshine, in the way that leaves move on the trees, in the clouds that roll in before a storm. I hear you in lyrics on the radio, in the wind when it roars. I smell you at the beach, when the salt is so thick that it gets in every ounce of my being. I close my eyes and I see your sweet, soft, close-mouthed smile. I see you nod to me, like you always did, as if silently saying, "You're my girl, and I know that you can do this."

I'm so glad that I look like you, because I can only hope that my smiles encourage people like yours always encouraged me.

Thank you for believing in me.

I miss you.

I love you.

I'll see you soon.

don't tell me you love, show me you love me. 

in loving memory

roger scott waynick
october 9, 1960 - march 22, 2011

some of it's magic
some of it's tragic
but i had a good life
all the way

Thursday, March 14, 2013

desperately seeking deep sleep.

I bought an UP band by Jawbone a month ago today and have been tracking my steps and sleep with a ridiculous amount of interest. Last night, I had what I thought was a good night's rest. I was in bed by 10:30 and woke up fairly easily when my alarm went off at 6:20. But then, I plugged in my UP band and found the results a little disturbing: 6 hours and 53 minutes of sleep, but only 56 minutes were deep sleep. Less than an hour out of seven were deep sleep! That's simply unacceptable.

I did a little bit of research this morning, hoping to find out how I could increase the amount of deep sleep that I am getting every night. I found LOTS of information, and it was a little bit overwhelming. After making lots of notes, I decided on some things and have developed what I will now refer to as my nighttime routine.

My sleep schedule is 10:30-6:15:
After 12:00, no more caffeine. 
After 8:30, no more food. 
Every few days at 8:30, take a hot bath for at least 25 minutes. 
After 9:00, no more liquids. 
After 9:30, no more television or computer. 

Here's what I need to sleep well: 
Total darkness
Cool temperature - fan on low
White noise machine
No alarm clock - UP band only
Charge iPhone in the bathroom
I cannot get into bed until bedtime

To stimulate my brain: 
Do one puzzle per day
Take a multivitamin
Take a B vitamin
Take 2-4g of Omega-3 Fish Oils per day

The bottom line is that I'm not resting well and I need to work harder to do so. Anything worth doing is worth doing well. Doing anything well takes preparation, and that is what I am doing! Obviously, this cannot and will not always be possible, but I am making it my priority to try hard to make this a true routine. And with that, I am signing off and going to bed!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

healthy snacks.

I've been home sick with strep throat for a few days and I've been snacking my way through my refrigerator. Fortunately, I had stocked up with healthy foods on Sunday. It got me thinking about healthy snacking options. Making my menu beforehand is so important, so planning snacks is just part of it! Here are some of my favorite go-to snacks: 

Sweet Snacks
For me, there's nothing better than fresh fruit. Unfortunately, the time of year dictates what is available. My year-round staples are strawberries, bananas, apples, and grapes - they are pretty much always available here. Come spring-time, the choices are much more abundant! Watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes, kiwi, peaches, blueberries, and clementines are just some of my favorites. 

Take those same fresh fruits and you can turn them into another healthy snack: smoothies! My favorite way of making smoothies is to pack them full of healthy things. A couple of handfuls of baby spinach, a spoonful of nonfat plain Greek yogurt, and fruit of choice. I use frozen fruit, so there's no need for ice. A couple of splashes of orange juice and you're ready to press that button! 

Savory Snacks
Let's be real for just one second: I love cheese. It's kind of a problem. What isn't a problem, however, is a Laughing Cow wedge spread over Wheat Thins. These lovely little wedges are only 35 calories a piece and come in a wide range of flavors - from the traditional Swiss to Blue Cheese. Laughing Cow is also responsible for Mini Babybel cheeses, tiny round cheese wheels encased in red wax. The Babybels also come in a range of flavor and are just right to pop when you need a little boost in the mid-afternoon! 

Sometimes, I crave raw vegetables. I prefer baby carrots and bell peppers, but am happy to nibble on cucumbers and (very occasionally) celery. I prefer all of these to be dipped in Ranch dip, but that's not very healthy, now is it? Last summer, I discovered how much I liked dipping any of the above vegetables in hummus! Sabra is by far my favorite brand and my favorite varieties are roasted red pepper hummus and roasted pine nut hummus. Oh yum. I'm hungry just thinking about it! 

Salty Snacks
Not often, but occasionally, I get the urge for something a little salty. When that urge hits me, I grab for a bag of pretzels. Pretzels are good by themselves, but are also super delicious when dipped in hummus, too! Who knew?! Sabra makes little snack packs of pretzels and hummus that are perfect for road trips or lunch boxes. 

What are your favorite go-to snacks? 

Monday, February 18, 2013

monday menu.

Here we go! Lots of yummy things on the docket for this week. I have a new recipe for my green smoothie that I'm excited about trying. I didn't get to make my salmon last week, so it's back on for this week. Also can't wait to try the pasta recipe on Tuesday -- I'm longing for warmer weather and am hopeful that this recipe will help me pretend! 

Have a wonderful week. 

fruity green smoothie (434 cal)
TBD - lunch with first grade team
baked salmon, roasted asparagus (113 cal)

special k with red berries
leftover salmon and asparagus (113 cal)
pasta with zucchini, tomatoes, and creamy lemon-yogurt sauce (325 cal)

fruity green smoothie (434 cal)
leftover pasta (325 cal)
TBD - dinner out

mini cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese
leftover pasta (325 cal)
jalapeno popper chicken (439 cal), roasted green beans with mushrooms, balsamic vinegar, and parmesan (72 cal)

fruity green smoothie (434 cal)
leftover jalapeno popper chicken (439 cal) and roasted green beans (72 cal)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

there's music in my ears - part 4.

In honor of Valentine's Day, I've put together a fun playlist for you with some of my favorite love tunes. I hope you enjoy these - some are timeless and some are playful and fun.

Remember to love on those special to you today, and every day!

(If you use Spotify, here's a link to the playlist. Please subscribe! Lizzie's List #4)

1. The Way You Look Tonight - Frank Sinatra
2. Fever - Beyonce
3. Kiss - Tom Jones
4. I Just Wanna Make Love to You - Etta James
5. I'm Yours - Jason Mraz
6. Just The Way You Are - Bruno Mars
7. I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston
8. As Long As You Love Me - Backstreet Boys
9. Crazy in Love - Beyonce and Jay-Z
10. Do You Realize?? - The Flaming Lips
11. Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
12. I'll Be There - The Jackson Five
13. Make You Feel My Love - Adele
14. Crazy Little Thing Called Love - Queen
15. This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) - Natalie Cole

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

last minute ideas.

I'm sure this is no surprise to you, but tomorrow is Valentine's Day! Just in case you are running around like a chicken with your head cut off looking for last minute cards or gifts, I have got you covered.

If you need a card, get your behind in the car and find the closest Paper-Source store. Their card selection cannot be beat. Here are some of my favorites!

Last minute decorations can be found at Paper-Source as well. Whether it's hedgehogs adorned with hearts or XOXO garland, they'll have what you need! 

And last, but certainly not least, a couple of gift suggestions. Depending on where you are in your life, buying a gift for Valentine's Day could be a treat for yourself or something special for someone special. The first two are also from Paper-Source (seriously, get there) and the third is from Society Social. Just a couple of ways to warm a heart on this loveliest of days!

Happy Valentine's Day!!