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Five Years Post-Florida!

4 Oct

It’s been over five years since I packed my bags and waved goodbye to Miami as I drove North to Atlanta. I was alone, didn’t have any friends or family in the area and I didn’t have a solid job. And though I hoped dearly that it would all work out for me, I was deathly afraid that I would fail the way I did when I attempted moving to Colorado and would have to end up coming back home with my tail tucked between my legs. Luckily, I quickly found a good job, made some new friends and met my now husband; Literally right away!

I’ve been reading over my past blog entries and I laugh a little at who I used to be. There was nothing wrong with who I was, I was just so different. I’ve grown and changed more in the past 5 years than I had in the 28 years it took for me to leave Miami! I used to be a a skinny, spunky, serial-dating party girl with no responsibilities (other than bills) and a passion for food blogging. Now I’m a 33 year old PC gaming wife and mother, overweight and arthritic, trying my best not to go postal at work! I won’t complain though, I do live a good life.

So, time for some news! We’ve recently decided to embark on a new adventure as a family and move to Savannah, GA! Once again there’s that bitter-sweet feeling when moving, but we believe it will be for the best. We needed a change of scenery and well, both Chase and River love the water, so it made sense. I hate that our winters won’t be nearly as cold, but maybe one day we will move up North or perhaps even out West; Anything is possible! For now, Chase and the rest of the family have made the move to Savannah already, but I’m staying behind in Atlanta until mid November to wrap some things up at my job. This billing master over here needs to train my new replacement to be as good as me, or at least somewhat! It’s tough being away from River during the week, but at least we have our weekends together.

I have missed blogging quite a bit, so I’m going to try my best to get back into it. I won’t make any promises as I have learned that the moment I give myself an expectation I will straight up sabotage myself and not do it. So I’ll post when I can and let you all know when I do. I’ll try to keep it just as entertaining as it was before, even though I’m old and boring now.

Thanks for reading!
-Emily

A Year Later & I Still Love It

8 Jun

May 4th marked my one year anniversary with Georgia. A lot has happened in that year, but I can safely say that this is exactly where I’m supposed to be.

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I’m Engaged!!!

10 Oct

Engaged

Yes, ladies and gentlemen!  Can you believe it?!  I almost can’t!

Just a few months ago I was still living in my mom’s house in Miami wondering if my life was going to start.  Now, I’m living in Atlanta with the man of my dreams, making the most amazing plans together.

I know it seems a bit quick to some;  Chase and I have only been together for four months.  But I will say, that in four months, we have grown closer to each other than some couples have in four years.  We get along so well, we have a lot of the same likes and similar thought processes, we have the same goals and we don’t fight.

I have to thank fate for bringing us together when it did.  I really was lost before I met him and I couldn’t be more grateful to have him in my life.  In this short time we’ve gone through quite a bit together and he has honestly become my best friend.  There is no one else I’d rather spend the rest of my life with than him.

Chase & Emily

A New Chapter

11 May

Hello everyone! It has been almost a year since my last post, so firstly, I’d like to apologize for my silence.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I’d like to say that I am now a very happy resident of Atlanta, GA!  I will definitely miss a lot of people in Miami, but I feel like this move was the best one for me.

I also would like to say that I plan to start writing again so get ready!  The rants will definitely start rolling in soon!

Much Love!
-Emily

P.S. I’m all better from that concussion! haha

Blog on Pause!

3 Feb

Hey guys,

I just wanted to send a quick message out to my readers and let you know that I am going to have to take a mini blogging break.  It seems I have spread myself too thin between work (which has been more demanding than ever), taking 3 classes and all of my other responsibilities.

However, here’s some exciting news! Once I’m done with my classes I will be launching a second blog all about food! I figured it makes more sense to have food and life completely separate.

I’ve got BIG plans for the food blog though, so sit tight! I can’t wait to share it with you!

See you all again in a month or so 🙂

-Emily

I am the .5%

27 Nov

Now that my blog has been up and running for a while and has a substantial amount of visits and followers, I figured it was time to let you all in on a little secret of mine. I mean, who would want to expose such interesting cheese if no one is around to read it? Ok, well, it’s not really a secret, but it’s not something I usually go shouting out from the rooftops. It’s something personal, debilitating, and just all-around annoying.

After many years of struggling with crazy symptoms and having no idea they had any relation to each other, I did my research and consulted with my doctor and guess what? I have a classic case of Narcolepsy! Exciting isn’t it?! No, not in the least!

Before I get into my personal experience and struggle with narcolepsy, I will explain to you what narcolepsy really is. I don’t expect you all to be too knowledgeable of this condition if you don’t suffer from it, and being that only about .5% of the population gets diagnosed, the chances that anyone would truly understand are very slim.

Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that affects the control of sleep and wakefulness. Those with narcolepsy experience excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS). This means that you can fall asleep at any given moment, at any given time, for any given reason. In most cases, symptoms start to develop between the ages of 15 and 25, 25 being the age where narcolepsy hits the hardest. But like everything else in this world, narcolepsy does have its exceptions and can definitely start sooner or later on in life.

Common symptoms of narcolepsy:

Cataplexy – A sudden loss of muscle tone that leads to feelings of weakness and loss of voluntary muscle control. Symptoms can range from slurred speech to total body collapse. These attacks can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes.

Sleep Paralysis – The temporary inability to move or speak while falling asleep or waking up. This too can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes.

Hallucinations – Vivid and frequently frightening visions accompanying the onset of sleep (Hypnagogic) and also occurring during awakening (Hypnopompic). These hallucinations may not only be visual; any of the other senses can be involved.

Microsleep – Automatic behavior without conscious awareness. For example, driving or walking competently but ending up in a different location than was intended or not recalling the trip from point A to point B.

The list goes on, but those are all the most common symptoms of narcolepsy. Cases vary from person to person; Some individuals will fall asleep uncontrollably at any moment and can most definitely hurt themselves in the process while others are able to control these attacks and fight through it.

My personal experience has been an interesting one, to say the least. I started experiencing Hypnagogic hallucinations as a kid. I never gave it much thought because I knew what I was seeing wasn’t real. I just figured I had a crazy imagination and never really told anyone about it.

At the age of 15 I experienced my first Sleep Paralysis episode. I remember opening my eyes and trying to sit up on my bed, only I couldn’t move. I tried and I tried, but no matter how much effort I put into it, my body was frozen; I was paralyzed. I also had the inability to speak. It was one of the scariest moments of my life.

One trigger that didn’t seem that important to me while growing up is my difficulty reading. As much as I love writing, reading was always a burden for me; I could never stay awake while trying to read. It’s an instant sedative for me. I literally pass out two pages into a book and sometimes struggle to read long articles. I used to have to take Xenadrine back in high school so that I could stay awake during important tests. I always managed to have amazing grades, but it did not come easy.

Another trigger that sets me into a state of uncontrollable sleepiness is temperature. Even though I like to sleep in the cold, under a nice thick comforter, stepping into a steaming hot car can knock me out in an instant. Same thing would happen to me in when I’d go to the Sauna at the gym. I can’t explain it! Something about the heat makes me so incredibly sleepy. Maybe that’s why I’m not so fond of Miami and would do anything to move away to a colder climate.

Eating a big meal is also a tough one to deal with. After every meal I do get a little wave of tiredness, but when it’s a large meal the sleepiness is insatiable. I remember when I used to bartend full time, if I ate heavy right before a shift I would literally fall asleep standing up against the bar, on a busy night with music blasting at ungodly levels..It was bad. And the worst part was that my coworkers just thought I was an asshole for being sleepy and exhausted all the time.

Probably the most dangerous trigger of them all for me is driving and car rides. It started off as me being the worst co-pilot ever, to little by little not being able to drive at all at night. I can literally be talking to my passenger and fall asleep with my eyes open and talking somewhat coherently. I’ve been very lucky to not have caused an accident in this state, but I have had several close calls and eaten plenty-a-median. I’ve also fallen asleep in my car before even starting it…it’s crazy. I know!

I think the symptom I have the least issue with is Cataplexy, which is basically sleep paralysis while awake. I have indeed had a really strong Cataplexy attack once, but it only ever happened to me that one time, two years ago so I don’t think it’s a symptom I have to worry too much about.

The scariest thing I experience now and have been dealing with for a good 5 years is Sleep Apnea mixed in with Sleep Paralysis. If you don’t know what Sleep Apnea is, it’s when your body starts breathing irregularly in your sleep and sometimes stops breathing all together. It’s usually not really noticeable, but of course I always fall within that special percentile of the population that’s a twisted exception and gets it hardcore. So, in a nutshell, I will wake up from a deep sleep, be totally paralyzed and not be able to breathe. Now THAT is a nightmare!

I do also experience episodes of Microsleep, mostly while driving during the day where I can will lose chunks of my trip. I will literally be driving somewhere and be like, “How did I get here? I don’t remember.” That too can be extremely dangerous because I’m basically driving on Zombie Mode.

But alas, I can say that my battle with Narcolepsy is not one that I’m losing. It’s intensity comes and goes in waves and it all depend on my all-around health, stress levels and ability to get a good night’s sleep. Right now I can safely say that I’m not going through a tough phase. Though it’s still something I struggle with on a daily basis, it’s not as uncontrollable as it used to be and I will credit that to my new healthy diet and exercise routine. There are a lot of treatments and meds I could try to help me out as well, but I feel like the all-natural route is always better.

So now you’re in on my little secret. How about you share one with me? Do you have any uncommon conditions you don’t mind sharing? Do any of you happen to suffer from narcolepsy as well??

I’m officially a writer for an Online Dating Blog!

5 Oct

After my previous entry (The world of online dating…) was featured on the WordPress Freshly Pressed section my blog has received more views and followers than I could have ever imagined in such a short period of time.

Along with that came  an offer from a very lovely woman named Samantha, who is the content manager for an online dating blog in the UK called SinglesWarehouse.  She asked if I’d be interested in contributing to their blog as a guest writer and I accepted. Shortly after submitting my entry she asked if I’d be interested in writing for them permanently and again, I most definitely accepted.

So now, I’d like to ask you all to please take a moment to read my first article for the Singles Dating blog entitled, Online Dating 101: Should I answer his email? and let me know what you think!

Online Dating 101: Should I answer his Email?

So you finally mustered up the courage to join an online dating site. You’ve uploaded a few photos, filled in your profile, took the ever so tedious free compatibility test, and after just a few minutes of becoming an active member, you notice you have a new message in your inbox. Now what?!

I have been meeting people online, on and off for the past nine years, and throughout all of my experiences, good and bad, I’ve become a pretty good judge of “online character.”

Below I have listed three requirements that will help you in the decision process as to whether or not that email warrants a response. If at any point a man does not meet a certain requirement, it’s best to just move along to the next email and start all over again. And if he doesn’t pass and you still insist on responding, well, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Requirement #1: Tasteful Username

Their username doesn’t have to be anything out of this world, but if it’s something along the lines of “1HotNight,” chances are that’s all this man is willing to offer. Unless that is what you’re looking for, it would be in your best interest to click on DELETE!

Requirement #2: Decent Subject Line

This too does not have to be extremely complex, but it can most definitely showcase a man’s intentions.
A simple “Nice to meet you” is acceptable, but it doesn’t really show that they have an eagerness to stand out. Ideally you want to focus on the ones that subtly hint that they actually took the time to read your profile; i.e. “I love blogging too!” Now, I’m not saying ignore the ones that only say “Hi,” but consider giving the ones who put in the little extra effort some priority in order of response.

Now if what you find in your inbox is “U like em big Ma?” or “Daaaamn you sexy!” you know off the bat what will be waiting inside. Do not even open that email! You will only be wasting your time and allow your views of online dating to be tainted by a loser!

Requirement #3: An email with substance

Once they have passed requirements 1 and 2 it is safe to read the email, but please consider a few things while doing so: Length, grammar, tone and personalization.

You don’t want an initial email that’s way too short, and you don’t want one that’s excruciatingly long either. You also want to be sure that he can spell correctly and understand the proper placement of punctuation marks. This proves that they are educated and that they pay attention to detail which is a very admirable trait for a man to have.

Analyze their tone in the email. Are they coming off as insecure by saying “I’ve never really done this before..” or “I know I probably don’t have a chance with you, but..,” or are they coming off completely arrogant with something similar to “Write me back if you think you can handle it.” What you want is a happy medium; A man who displays confidence in himself, but is far from arrogant.

And lastly, there has to be at least some level of personalization. There’s nothing more annoying to me than wasting my time reading an email that is generic and has probably been sent out to a thousand other women. That email must include at least one sentence that specifically mentions something that was written on your profile.

Once a man has passed those three key requirements it is safe to respond to their email. At this point, how you choose to do so is completely up to you.

Make sure you don’t respond to anyone in an “interested” manner if you are not actually sure you’d be interested. Inspect their photos and their profile and see if they would be the type of person you’d consider getting to know. If they aren’t, you can at least thank them for reaching out to you, explain they aren’t what you’re looking for and that you wish them the best of luck on their search.

It may suck to receive a rejection email, but I believe it is much worse to be ignored when you know you sent out a perfectly good email.

This entry was originally posted by me at Singles Warehouse