Friday, October 29, 2010

And in good news...

Matt is coming home tonight, and doesn't have to go back (at least for anything more than maybe a few days here and there)! And... wait for it... wait for it... we're going to Woodfire Grill to celebrate! Hoping it's as good this year as it was last year.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Funky (and long winded)

I've been in a funk lately. Work is just not really fulfilling me AT ALL right now, and that's tough for me. This particular job may never fulfill me again due to a lot of changes between our client and us. I don't want to go into too much detail, but it's just not a lot of fun right now. I get in these moods where I'm just so dissatisfied with it all, and then I feel guilty because there are so many people without work (especially in my field), so it's an unrelenting cycle. My current job is certainly not what I'd be doing in a good real estate market, but it has been a blessing and I've learned a lot. I've been praying a lot about it lately and just asking God to help guide me as to what I should do. I mean, it's not like there's a ton of work out there, so I probably just need an attitude adjustment and a swift kick in the butt. But, as is proven time and time again for me, He is in control, and I'm just along for the ride. :)

Other than that, October and November are busy travel months. I was in California this weekend visiting one of my best friends. She lives in Newport Beach, and I just love it out there. I love California period... Orange County, Central Coast, Wine Country... you name it. I don't live there for many reasons, but if it weren't for jobs, money, family, etc... I would love to live in Laguna Beach or Sonoma. Very different areas, but there are things I love about each... Laguna is on the ocean, it has amazing little shops, restaurants and art galleries and it's just a small town feel. In Sonoma, I'd want a lot of land so I could have a big garden and at least chickens, if not pigs too. Much like my best friend, I too have fantasies about a simpler life... living in the country with land, growing and raising our own food (not all of it, but a lot of it), and having lots of kids.

As of right now, if I could (which for the record, I cannot), I would give up my career and be a stay-at-home mom (which would obviously involve actually having kids... lol). I am very career oriented, but I'm just so dissatisfied with it that that is how I feel. And, as I'm sure most of you moms and moms-to-be have felt, there is such an emotional backlash one way or another... being a SAHM or a working mom. If you're at home, you might wish for your career and to be around adults and use your brain (and it's plain exhausting entertaining/chasing young kids all day). If you're a working mom, you miss out on all those moments with your child(ren) and it's a huge balancing act to go to work, do chores, spend time with your husband and take care of your kids, and have some time for yourself. No matter how involved your husband is, I still feel like the burden of parenting and keeping house falls more on the woman, whether it is self-imposed or not. Right now, even though I am not pregnant (not even "trying"), this is something that has been weighing on me a lot. And, then I wonder how my mom did it after my dad died... but then I remember she had me. Lucky her. ;) But, for real... a 12 year old, 11 year old and 5 year old... two in cheerleading, one in baseball... working full-time... plus everything else... she is super woman.

So, this post was supposed to be short about how I've been feeling (hence lack of posts as of recent... also just being busy), and in typical KO fashion, has turned into a novel. Just have a lot of things on my mind and heart (and not only selfish... a lot about friends going through some very tough times) right now, and I'm just praying for some peace about it all. My "troubles" are so trivial compared to so many, but I know God is listening.

So, anyway... my Istanbul post is still in queue, so until then I will leave you with a few California pictures.

a little ATL in the OC

Huntington pier

looking west from Kelly's rooftop terrace

looking toward the bay... rough life she lives out there :)

a really big beer at Mutt's

"the wedge"

body boarders


Laguna Beach

La Brea Tar Pits (LA) - not what I was expecting

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


This past weekend, Matt and I headed down to Gainesville for the University of Florida homecoming. Let's not discuss how the game went down... it was sad. Very, very sad. However, we had a great time and had a lot to be happy about... Matt's homecoming! Finally, as of October 29 and after one year and nine months in the booming metropolis of Tifton, Matt will be a full-time Atlanta resident again!!!!! Let the choirs sing... Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Allllleeeeeluuuuuiaaaaaaaa! But, for real, thank you Jesus!

P.S. I hope we can live together! ;)
P.P.S. No seriously... it will be interesting. ha

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Homemade Cheez-its

For Molly... :)

I made these homemade cheez-its for a get together at our neighbors' on Saturday, and they were a hit. Another fabulous recipe from my favorite Thin Chef.

P.S. I think I left my "serving" basket over at your house. I'll e-mail you and swing by to pick it up this week. Thanks for being such a great hostess!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I interrupt the regularly scheduled vacation posts to bring you this.

I truly have no words other than I'm sure he's talented at much more than just golf. ;)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Stunning Santorini

Two down, three to go. Maybe I'll finish these before the end of October. ;)

Side note: It's only been a month since we left for Greece, and it feels like a lifetime ago. It's amazing how quickly work can suck it right out of you. Ha.

What Milos lacked in tourism, Santorini totally made up for. We certainly would not have wanted to miss Santorini, but we're very glad we put Milos in there as well, since it was such a different vibe. Santorini was beautiful, but much busier and much more commercial. We were only in Santorini for one whole day and two half (well, slightly more than half) days, but there's a lot to see so we definitely didn't cover it all.

When we arrived at the port, a taxi picked us and another couple up to head to Oia. It was a bit crammed, but we survived. It's amazing to come into port at the "bottom" of the island, and then make your way up via all the switchbacks. It was quite the view and first impression. We drove through Fira, which was packed, and made our way to Oia. We were very glad we decided to stay there, because it wasn't as crowded (except at sunset). Can you tell we tried to avoid crowds when possible? :)

We stayed at Hotel Alexander in the Pearl Cave Room, and it was great. The room is literally a cave dug out of the side of the mountain. We were thankful that our hotel was near the road, as opposed to further down, because we'd see people coming up huffing and puffing from all the stairs. The view was fantastic, and they had a wonderful breakfast delivered to you at your leisure in the morning and hot tubs that we took advantage of one night, along with our complimentary bottle of champagne. We felt like honeymooners again.

When we arrived, we were pretty tired, so after lunch and checking in, we went to the pool for a swim and a nap and then just walked around Oia that evening. The sunset that night was pretty, but there were some clouds on the horizon, so it wasn't the spectacular Oia sunset everyone raves about. We hit up the hot tub and then went to bed.

The next day, Matt decided that we should rent a cabrio (convertible) to cruise the island. He really wanted a Peugeot, but no such luck, so we ended up with a VW Bug. I was thrilled because it was a manual, and I miss driving stick sometimes. It was funny to see him driving it. We grabbed a map and were off to explore. Our first stop was the Art Space Winery and Gallery in Exo Gonia, where we found a lovely painting by a Greek artist that we decided we must have (it's now hanging over our fireplace in our bedroom for the time being). We also enjoyed sampling their vin santo, nychteri and Saint August wines... oh, and can't forget the raki. Strong stuff! This is a very old winery, so it was really cool to see the "old school" ways of wine making. On recommendation, we headed up the mountain to have lunch at Metaxi mas, and it did not disappoint (but food is coming in another post). We then drove to Kamari Beach (black sand), Red Beach (red rocks) and the lighthouse. It was getting late, so we headed back to Oia, grabbed some beer, and went to see the sunset again. We got a much better show this night. I've seen quite a few sunsets in my years, but I have never seen one with the colors the Oia sunset put off. The sun was almost red. If it were a Crayola crayon, I'd call it orange red. That night, we had dinner reservations at a nice restaurant called Ambrosia. It was good... not spectacular, but we enjoyed ourselves. On the way home, we found some doggies that I wanted to take home with me. Then they kept following us and I felt bad, so we tried to lose them and thankfully were successful (some other dog lovers, aka: suckers, came along and grabbed their attention).

The next day was just packing up, enjoying our last Santorini breakfast (my favorite) and then driving around a bit before catching our flight to Istanbul! Ef charisto, Santorini! It was wonderful.

Small church in Oia

Oia, looking down over the caldera

the other way

zoomed out

our cave room!

View from our hotel just before sunset

View toward Fira

Oia sunset

Gosh, I love him.

another small church building in Oia

Art Space Winery & Gallery

1861 - old building

up the mountain from Art Space

View from Metaxi mas

In front of the restaurant after an awesome lunch and more raki!


Kamari Beach

the black sand... I was expecting really black... I'd call this more of a charcoal, but that's just semantics. :)

From the cliffs above Red Beach

Red Beach

Fira from the lighthouse

Oia from the lighthouse

Matt's favorite picture

Amazing sunset... unfortunately, we just could never get the settings on the camera just right for this, so the colors aren't exact, but you get the idea.

See, orange red... unreal.

Pretty colors after sunset.

Oia at night

The doggie I wanted to take home... she was so sweet.

You know, we take our Gator spirit everywhere we go!