Visiting Jersey

I just spent the last 2 weeks in Jersey, and this week went by so fast that I didn’t realize today was already Thursday. I went on a business/leisure trip. It was a business trip because I still had to go to work, but it was also a leisure trip because I was able to spend time with family also. I stayed with my sister Morgan the Mom, so that I could maximize the amount of time I had with my nieces. This attempt was almost a failure because there were some days I got home so late they were already in bed when I arrived (Morgan does not play when it comes to bed time).

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Lorenzo didn’t come with me because he had a military school he had to attend but I am hoping that he can come the next time I go to visit. I thought 2 weeks was going to be enough time to spend with everyone but I was clearly mistaken. As soon as I got there, some people were asking when I was going to move back up north (I’m not, it’s too cold) and by the time I was ready to leave the conversations were, “Leave? You JUST got here! Has it been two weeks already? So when are you coming back?” They are so sweet.

I work in New York City, so I had to learn to embrace the commute. Let’s just say I did NOT miss it but I was grateful for it. All the walking I did is what probably helped me stay in shape for so long. I moved to Georgia, stopped walking, and gained about 20 lbs. in less than 6 months. But even with all that walking, all the food I ate probably didn’t help, but that is neither here nor there. The company also moved earlier this year so I had to walk another 2 blocks just to get to our new location. The office is located in Rockefeller Center and they just moved to another building in the area. I like the new office space, it is much bigger and people actually have windows. Our last space was in a basement, so can you say Vitamin D deficiency?

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It was really nice to be around my coworkers again, they are a fun group of people and some of them I’ve known for 10 years now. It was also cool to get to spend time with the new people who joined the company after I left. They didn’t know who I was while everyone else was greeting me with hugs. Some people knew my name from emails that I’ve sent, but I’ve never met them in person so it was good to finally have faces to match the names. I guess next time I’ll have to stay for a month. I’m not kidding.

I didn’t tell a lot of people that I was going to Jersey, not because I was trying to be mean but because I really wanted to spend time with my nieces. The few times I did fly back home, it was on the weekend and I really only spent time with the adults. This time I got to read with them, take naps with them, paint their nails, let them play dress up with my clothes, and take them out (I took them to the Liberty Science Center and let them run around like maniacs). It was really nice for them to see my face and spend time with me for more than a day.

I’m actually looking forward to going back. I was thinking in December and I know it will be cold but it’s something I’ll have to just get over. Last Christmas wasn’t that bad, so I’m hoping this year the winter won’t be so brutal. All that snow is part of the reason I wanted to move south in the first place.

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Dressed up for work

Book Review: Me Before You

*Disclaimer. This post contains spoilers to the book.*

I started seeing commercials for the movie Me Before You in passing maybe a few weeks ago. I’d never heard of the book, so I had no interest in seeing the movie. It just seemed like a really cheesy love story, and those are not my “thing”. So how did I end up reading the book? Well, a friend of mine was doing an online book exchange on Facebook. How it works is that you “like” the post of the person who is already participating, they will send you a message with an address of a friend of theirs. You have to either send them a book you are not using anymore, or you can order one from Amazon and have it mailed directly to the person. It didn’t have to be anything expensive, just a book of your choosing. Included in the email is your friend’s address. You have to take their address and pass it on to anyone that likes your status about the book exchange. You also have to give them your address so their friends can send you a book (confused yet?).

So I sent the person I was assigned 3 books and I received Me Before You from someone else. Let me start off by saying that I loved the authors writing style. Even though where was some English jargon that I had to translate (lift= elevator, loo = bathroom/ toilet, etc.) the writing was easy to follow. I love books written in the first person because it helps me feel like I’m part of the story as opposed to being told the story by someone else. The majority of the book is in first person from the main character, Louisa Clark’s, point of view. There were some chapters from a few other characters as well, but they didn’t disrupt the flow of the story, well at least not for me.

I thought Louisa and her sister Katrina were both immature for their ages, and Katrina was kind of a bitch. I was pretty bothered at first because I think I took it a little personal. I remember thinking to myself more than once, “Oh, Louisa, grow up” but once I got out of my feelings and remembered it was just a story I got over it. I didn’t understand how a 26- year-old, ex-waitress with no real medical skills, or any skills at all for that matter, got a job to take care of a quadriplegic man, but again, it’s just a story. I didn’t know how much quadriplegics went through as far as medication, illnesses, pain, and travel before reading the book. I think the descriptions were detailed but not confusing or convoluted. Some of the story was kind of predictable though: grumpy man hates girl, they have a fight, he starts being nice, and they fall in love…blah, blah, blah.

Louisa was a woman on a mission who was doing all she could to try to convince Will, that his life was worth living even though he was immobile. She never stopped to ask him what he wanted (it was a secret apparently) and became way too emotionally involved. Toward the end of the book, I didn’t want Will to die either, but I tried to put myself in his shoes (something Louisa never did) and tried to think about constantly being in pain and having to depend on others to do literally everything for you. As I read, I became more and more curious as to how the book would end. A woman I sat next to on the flight to Jersey told me I was going to be in tears towards the end, but I just got a little misty eyed- no tears.

I will say that I enjoyed reading it; it wasn’t disappointing. I think it has made me more interested in seeing the movie now, (but I’ll wait until it comes out on Redbox). Others who have read the book felt like the book was sending a message that a disabled life is not worth living, but I didn’t feel that way about it. I felt it was more about personal choices and being able to make decisions for yourself no matter what situations you are going through in life. I’m not an advocate for suicide; however, I just try not to judge.

If anyone has read the book / seen the movie, please share your thoughts. And if anyone is interested in learning more about the book exchange, let me know, and I’ll update this post with the info.

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My Sister is turning into my Mother

This week is flying by. I have no idea where my mind has been for the past week and a half, but I really need to get it together and get back on track. My summer class started last Monday, and I didn’t realize it until Thursday. Lorenzo and I both had to pack for a trip: he is going to a military school, and I decided to spend a few weeks at home in New Jersey with family. Since my job is in New York, I don’t have to take any time off.

A typical flight from Atlanta, Georgia to Newark, New Jersey is about 2.5 hours. Because of overcast issues in Jersey, we had to stop at Dulles Airport in the DC/ Virginia area and wait. The total flight time ended up being about 5 hours. So by the time my sister came to pick me up and went back to her place it was around 10-11pm. On Sunday, we got up early and took a bus ride to Ocean City, Maryland for the day. It was there that I realized my sister Morgan is slowing turning into a goofy version of our mother.

Morgan is the only one of my 7 siblings that has a child (I have a step-sister who is about to have her second child though). While we were at the beach, she was constantly saying things to her 2-year old, Jordin, that I distinctly remember our mother saying quite a bit growing up. The only difference is that Morgan will talk more, our mother used to yell… a lot.

She gives life advice: “Don’t be like me, be better than me.” (Used when you’ve done something that you normally tell the child not to do)

She makes nonsensical threats: “Lose my keys, and I’ll lose your ass!” (She gave me a spare key to her place that I lost somewhere inside my purse)

Sometimes she takes it straight from the book: “Why? What do you mean ‘why’? Because I said so, that’s ‘why’? (But I’ll give Morgan credit, she’s usually gives a real explanation the first time, but after that it’s, “because I said so”)

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Mama Morgan

 

She is officially in the Moms Club. I find it quite hilarious… and kind of creepy at the same time. But my time with them should be fun. I obviously don’t to get to spend much time with them because I live in Georgia, so this will be a good chance for me to have some quality Auntie time. I told myself that whatever the girls wanted I would give them, and that I wouldn’t tell them ‘No.’ My sister said that it would last about 30 seconds, tops. Challenge Accepted.

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Three Day Weekends are Okay with Me

I don’t think anyone who works has ever complained about having 3 days off. I’ve been saying for years that 4 day work weeks should be the new norm, but my complaints always fall on deaf ears. But a girl can dream, right? Now for my people who work in the retail industry or who have to work weekends and holidays…I’m sorry guys; this one is not for you, but I feel your pain because I’ve been there. We appreciate you, stay strong.

My original plan for this weekend was to take Lorenzo out for a birthday trip (his birthday was in June, but the thing I wanted to do couldn’t get scheduled until July) but then, I got a call on Friday and had to push it back to the end of the month, which is why I didn’t mention what the trip was. So we had to make some last minute changes. Of course, everything in Florida was booked, so we decided to do a mini stay-cation here in Atlanta and booked a room at Le Meridien in Dunwoody. He booked a package that included a deluxe suite and a $300 gift card towards services at The Woodhouse Day Spa  in Perimeter Mall. The spa is very new to the area, and I didn’t even know it was there, but it is very nice. Lorenzo and I got an 80-minute deep tissue massage. I think it came in right on time since with both have been killing ourselves working out these past few weeks. (Just a tip: if you work out regularly, don’t take a month off and then start again. It sucks.)

Yesterday, we couldn’t peel ourselves off of the couch after our friends canceled their last minute impromptu barbecue. We knew that the pool area in our apartment complex would be crowded because of other parties, so we just stayed in until it was time for dinner. Atlanta had firework celebrations in three different locations: Stone Mountain, Centennial Olympic Park, and Lenox Mall. After dinner, we took a walk and then came back inside and watched the firework show on television.

I wish I’d known about the Peachtree Road Race a little earlier because I would have signed up for it. I’ve completed a 5K earlier this year and wanted to do another race. It will have to be something I’ll put a thumbtack in for next year and maybe find another 5K to run later on in this year.

Short work weeks are always cool, and at the end of this week, I’m traveling back to New Jersey (where I’m from) to work in the office spend time with my family for a few weeks. I’m looking forward to it, but I’m starting to wonder if two weeks is too long?…… hmmmm….

 

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Lorenzo and I on our way to dinner

Welcome!

Hi, and welcome to my new blog! My name is Patrice, mostly Pat, and on occasion Pat-rice. If any of you have followed me before on Alex’s Next Move, my previous blog, first I wanted to say thanks for staying on this journey with me and I hope I don’t disappoint with my long delays in between classes (again). For those of you that are new, here’s a little about me:

I’m originally from New Jersey, but 3 years ago I relocated to Atlanta with my then fiancé, and now husband Lorenzo. We just recently celebrated our one year anniversary and are looking forward to about 50 more. My first blog talked about my move down to Atlanta, starting my MBA program, finding my way around Atlanta, finding a job, and then another job, when we finally got married, and then our honeymoon.

I love to read, travel, and Facetime with my nieces Jordin and Mya. I like to dab into photography here and there, but I still need lots of work with that. Lorenzo and I are both in the military, we are both reservists in different branches, so I’ll discuss that from time to time as well, but overall I’m just the kind of person who likes to try new things- so we’ll see where that takes me.

I am writing this new blog because I’ve always wanted to be writer, but was too shy to let anyone read what I wrote (needless to say that plan didn’t work out for me at all). So here I am, writing again because one day I’m going to get the inspiration I need to write my next big thing, and I’m not going to be afraid to let anyone see it. I’m glad you’ve decided to take this journey with me so I hope you enjoy what I have to say about marriage, my love/hate relationship with school and military, my product and book reviews, unpopular opinions, my weird sense of humor, and my random rants about things that sometimes piss me off – I’m kidding, but not really.

 

Patrice

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