Thursday, September 9, 2010

Where Have I Been, You Ask?

I've received a few warm e-mails with questions and also blog comments lately as to my whereabouts. I've still been here in the blogosphere but not nearly as regularly as I have been in the past. I can assure you that I not only read your blogs when I have the free time to do so but that I still read every one of your comments and e-mails too, in fact they brighten my day!

As I mentioned in this post, I've been in a bit of a reflective place lately.The truth is that I've been going through a transition period that I'm still figuring out and have in turn taken on a bit more responsibility as well which has stolen some of my time. I've been playing catch up in so many areas but I'm working on many new blog posts and trying to put the finishing touches on my book once and for all so that it can get published and will be available for all of you! For anyone that has ever written a book, you know what a long process it can be. Creating and editing the same content over and over, and making tweaks so it will be just perfect takes time but I've loved every minute of it because I know it will be be a valuable read for many.

Part of this delay came from my decision to write 3 books simultaneously over several months. I finally had to make the choice to focus on one at a time because it was a bit chaotic to say the least! Once this first one is launched here soon, (dare I put a timeline or date on it at this point. LOL) I actually have two others baking in the oven that will be launched in 2011 which I am also excited about.  Along side of my literary life we've been dealing with some ill family members and have also been working out the logistics of a possible upcoming move.

While I don't use my blog as a means to document all the details of my personal life, since we are friends here, I think it is important for me to be transparent and share where I'm at and perhaps my absence at times will make more sense. Since the early spring of this year, my husband and I have been busy praying about and discussing something that he's wanted to pursue-getting his Masters Degree in Global Affairs. This of course not only involves an investment of time but also money and for a period of time we will be living apart-he in NYC while he attends NYU and I'll be in FL. He is already there now, I dropped him off at the airport last Tuesday.

It was hard to cuddle with him at the airport for and hour and then watch him walk through security to his gate. There have been a lot of tears over the past few weeks leading up to this point and our home is definitely more quiet without his presence, but I know it won't be like this forever. He has settled into an affordable apartment through a Christian Missions organization and is really enjoying the part of town he is in- Astoria- and has a wonderful view of the New York skyline. While it doesn't provide the same level of coziness (he tells me it needs the 'Karla' touch) he has made it his home for now and he began classes a couple days ago and knows he is really going to enjoy his program.

While I miss him dearly already, he and I both lived on our own for several years before ever meeting, dating or marrying. We are both extremely independent and we do like our quiet time. This time has allowed me uninterrupted moments to focus in a greater way-whether I'm working or spending time on my hobbies. I'm sure it has allowed him the kind of solitude free of distractions that he needs to study as well.

I want to make sure I'm clear here that we are not separating  or living in separates states because we want to be in any way. In fact, we just celebrated our 4th Anniversary this Labor Day weekend on Sept.3rd and we love each other more today then we did the day we married. :) I know that long distance relationships aren't for everyone and while we did endure a long distance relationship for the short months that we were dating and engaged, it was never anything that I had planned on while being married. Let me tell you, I have a whole new appreciation for army wives!

The good news is that we can visit each other on weekends and I definitely plan to visit as often as I can since he has Fridays off from school. As his wife I want him to pursue his dreams and want to support him in the same way he supports me my life passions and goals. He has traveled to over 60 countries and is very passionate about seeing the world  and studying worldly affairs in general. He is also a part-time Real Estate agent and works with clients on an international basis. I honestly couldn't think of a more perfect program for him to be in, place to be living in or a more opportune time for everything to come together.

In this economy it wasn't worth it for us to sell our home in Florida-homes here are going for 1/3 of what they are worth. We are  fortunate that this was a home that he inherited several years ago from his grandparents that has a small mortgage payment however it still has all of the regular ol' bills to pay. We discussed everything from renting it out to others, leaving it as is or having me stay in the home while he is in NY. I'm still in our home today-there is a lot of expense to store furniture and not every renter will value or care for your home the way that you would, so we made the decision not to rent.  Since I am still committed to a few design clients I will most likely be here until the end of the year. At that time we'll evaluate whether or not I will stay here longer or join hubby in chilly NYC after finding a larger apartment for the both of us. There is a lot to take in at the moment and on a daily basis friends and family ask me when I'm moving up there and I really don't have any good answers for anyone.

Speaking of friends, one of the toughest decisions actually surrounds family and friends. Moving here 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada was a huge change for me. For months I longed to just spend a Saturday with my best girlfriends, talk about everyday stuff in the same way that we once did or spend the holidays with my  family. Getting used to the area, finding my way around Orlando and making new friends all while trying to begin a business in a new Country was a bit daunting and there were a few days of frustration and tears along the way. Truth be told I don't really want to start all over again after 4 years here.

On the flip side, being in New York will actually bring me up north again closer to my best friends and extended family. I love that idea but know that I still wouldn't see them every month, so I want to be realistic about mine/their expectations. That aspect is very alluring however the cold weather is not. When you've moved from harsh winters to no winters, that factor does come into play. I do have winter coats and boots and all cold weather gear up in our attic but the thought of treading through snow again for more than just a visit is not something that I really want to do right now-I like the beauty of snow but I love wearing sandals year round more. LOL.

Something we discussed last year was potentially starting to try for a baby this summer-real spontaneous we are, I know.  It was hard to think of the possibility of holding off for another year or two as his program is a 2-year masters degree. Turning another year older in August was certainly a reminder that time is a tickin'. We are going to see how his first year goes and where we are at that point at which time we may entertain the idea or wait one more year. This is all coming at a time when so many of my close friends and family members already have toddlers, have just had babies, or are expecting one soon so my heart aches a bit. Every baby shower has left me feeling excited for the mommy-to-be but anxious for my own. I have always dreamed of being a mother and pray that our decision to hold off for now doesn't leave us running out of time when we finally make that decision. My mother was 37 when she was pregnant my younger brother so I'm pretty confident that all will be well, since I have a few years to go before that time.

With these changes and this move also comes more household responsibility and upkeep, some administrative responsibilities as I help to run the 'family business' of managing real estate clients all while finishing off client design jobs and deciding whether I should continue to market my business here or close up shop for 2 years and start over for a little while in New York to later return. I'm trying to make the best financial decisions as we now have two residences to account for.

What I know for sure is that we have a very strong marriage that can withstand the stormy seas and high winds of life (as we've been through many already), but I know it won't always be easy. I am so grateful for my hubby and near or far I know we are always within each other's heart. In fact, that was one of the things he stressed before he left. He had really hoped that I would have be able to join him in NY, but the timing just didn't allow for it. You know what they say though-distance makes the heart grow fonder! ;)

In terms of this blog, one thing that I can tell you is that my commitment to it hasn't changed. This blog is a passion for me and I enjoy all of the friendships that I've made so far and am looking forward to the ones that I will continue to make. Having said that, some weeks may have more posts than others but I'm working on a bunch now that I can schedule in advance to keep things hopping.

I also wanted to let you know that the Manners Monday series has not disappeared, it will be making its return next Monday and I'll also be sharing more tips via the What to Wear posts along with an assortment of other post topics and reader requests. You can find many of these posts in my sidebar. Now that the summer is over and fall is approaching, I feel excited about everything that it has to offer-from warm decor and crisp air to hot apple cider and pumpkin carving, there will be posts on that too.

{Northern California-Fall '09}

Since fall is my favorite season, I've decided to extend the special promotion of $5/month ad space to anyone interested-there are a few spaces left for September, otherwise I can post your ad in October.  You can visit the sponsors tab for more information or to reserve your spot via Paypal. You can see some of our other sponsors in the sidebar.This offer will be available until October.31, 2010 after which time regular rates will apply.

So, that's what I've been up to. How about you? What does your fall season look like-any changes on the horizon? I'd love to hear what you've been up to!



  1. Hi Karla - it looks like you've got a lot on your plate, both professionally and personally.
    As an army wife myself {my husband is currently gone every week and only home 3 weekends a month) I know how difficult separation can be. I will be praying for you two as you go through this transitional phase to get to the next path on your journey.
    Many blessings.

  2. Hi Karla, this is the first time I've read your blog :) & I just wanted to say I admire how open and honest you've been about everything. You sound like a really strong couple & as you're well aware of all the pitfalls, I'm sure you'll come out of the other side of your 'separation' with flying colours. :)
    (Autumn is my favourite season too, so I'm especially looking forward to your blogs on that!:)

  3. Karla,
    I'm newer to the blog I enjoyed catching up what's going on your world. Lots it would seem!!! Well....I'm just outside of NY and if you stop by you'll see a little homage to the city.

    Good luck with the book, the distance and everything else! I'll be checking back to see how you are.

    xo Elizabeth of Pretty Pink Tulips

  4. Hi Karla
    I could relate to so many aspects of your post; I left friends and family to live in Spain, all year summers are what's stopping me going back to the UK etc.
    It was heart-warming to read all that is going on; it was written as though you were talking to me personally. Karla, you will be surprised how quick 2 years will zoom by. Once you factor in all the school holidays, when you and hubby will get together, you will both be back in Florida before you know it.What a wonderful wife you are to let your husband fulfill his passion. He's a very lucky man!

  5. My goodness, Karla, you have a lot on your plate right now. As someone whose husband was working on an advanced degree during the first two years of our first child's life, I can honestly say that your husband's choice to do this now, before you start your family is a wise move. It is difficult to be apart, but I'm sure you can take the time you have to work on your writing and other goals that you have.

    All the best.

  6. Wow you are a busy lady! I feel older just reading this!!:) Good luck to you and your husband!! As a mother of 2 girls probably around your age..........don't wait to long to have that baby:)

  7. Hi Karla,

    I have been reading your blog for a couple months now, after finding you from a comment left on younghouselove. I just want to say I identify with so much of what you describe in this post! My husband of 2.5 years and I are expecting to live apart for at least some of June 2011-May 2012 while I pursue a master's in another state. We're still working out the logistics of everything ourselves- what to do with the house we own, what to do about my husband's career, etc. Just know that you're not alone in having to struggle with finding balance!

    As for living apart, I think every couple has to do what makes their marriage and their individual lives work for them, regardless of how it looks to others. Sure, some people would never want to live separate from their spouses, but better to pursue an interest even if it means a temporary move vs. always wondering what if, or worse- creating resentment toward a spouse for "holding" oneself back!

    I am confident that if you and your husband are doing what makes you happy and are working together to make the life that YOU want, everything will be beautiful!


  8. Dearest Karla,

    You really have so much going on right now, and I personally thank you for opening up to us and letting us know what's on your plate, that way we can keep you and your hubby in our thoughts and prayers, and be here to send you little notes of support and encouragement!

    Matt and I had a similar situation of each living independently as well as long distance prior to marriage, and in our five years, have weathered some rough seas too. I really admire that you and your hubby were willing to take this chance and let him pursue this chapter in his life to advance himself personally and professionally. I know that your decisions were not lightly made, and I just want you to know that I think you both are wonderful and should be so proud of your choice.

    I also second your feelings of talking about children, and knowing that I want to be a mother, but it's hard to imagine still. I think it is because we are in such a state of transition right now, as we are trying to move either to Washington DC or home to New Orleans, and are just waiting for the right job opportunity for Matt. Since we were displaced to the NE after Katrina, we have been in four years of fluctuating, and I have maintained that I did not want to try for a family until we were able to move home...whether that was back down South, or in D.C. where my parents are currently living and will probably retire. So many questions, and so much up in the air, but I know that God has a plan and that we will end up where we are meant to be, with the right jobs, and the babies will come to us if and when the time is right!

    Sorry for the novel, I just wanetd to tell you I think you are wonderful and amazing, and I am so grateful the blog world brought us together...and as Matt would say, it's all going to be good! :)

    Have a relaxing weekend dearie! xoxo

    PS - OMG Gorgeous photos of you two!!! You make a seriously beautiful couple :)

  9. hi, karla! i found your blog through strictly simple ~i love your blog and i think you and your hubby are adorable. big hugs and warm thoughts out to you during this tough time. it sounds like you have a very solid, strong relationship and the time will actually go by quicker then you think. i wish you the best and i cant wait to read more about you and i believe matt is right: it is ALL going to be good!!! xo

  10. Thank you ALL for your heartfelt comments. :) It means so much to me to have you all be so supportive and kind. It is so great to hear your own personal stories too. Although I read what you all wrote a couple weeks ago, I haven't got around to writing back to you all yet. I'm going to leave comments for each of you on your blog.

    You're the best!



Thanks for stopping by, your comments make my day! I read every single one and will answer any questions you have. I hope you'll visit again soon! :)


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