Respect to a Schwan

Yesterday was one of those hard days that I hope to never forget. I admittedly had to self-reflect, and except the present moment of life I’m in.

Yesterday I mourned over the death of a man I never met. My biological father. His name was Frank Q. C. He was 73 years old, and was an undiagnosed schizophrenic.

I would love to place a picture of him to

 show our possible resemblance, unfortunately I don’t have any to present. I have a few pictures in my belongings of him 24 years ago, that I’m sure are tucked away in an unappreciative storage unit somewhere, and In that same storage unit I have a trucker hat that belonged to him; however I don’t see them resurfacing anytime soon.

The feelings that pertain to my biological father have always been nonexistent. I’ve spent an exceptional amount of my time craving love, compassion, and acceptance from the man that I call my father, that I forget that there was another man out there who is the true reason why I am here.

He was sick, yes.

I obviously do not thank him for making me the woman I am today.

He was very sick.

He use to board up the windows in fear from hallucinations, and would disappear for weeks without any knowledge of where he was. He would throw full plates of food at the wall, and insist my sister did ridiculous chores.

However he had an incredibly difficult mental disorder. This man had no idea he had schizophrenia, and Lord only knows how long he went before he was even diagnosed (if he ever was). I admire my mother for getting herself and 3 children out of such a dangerous home. However I cannot blame my biological father for being the man he he was.

My mother called me yesterday at 2:15, while I was getting ready for work. Immediately I thought she was calling to tell me something had happened to my grandfather, who was just released from the VA hospital that day.

I didn’t pick up out of fear. I knew someone had died.

“Annie call me…”

I call her back, my heart beating out of my chest.

A lot of the stuff she said was blurred out in my mind. I just kept wishing she would get to the point. I don’t remember much from the phone call except “….. Frank passed away.”

No emotions, besides relief it wasn’t my grandfather.

The realization didn’t hit until I text my two best friends. They both immediately called me to confirm my feelings are justified and they were here for me.

I go to work and tell no one. Even though I wanted everyone to know.

My mother planned on telling my brother at dinner in person. I waited and waited to hear from him. Nothing.

at 8:00 I text him and asked how dinner was. “Did mom talk to you?” I truly needed someone to talk to about this. He is the only son Frank ever had.

“Oh lol yeah. Whateves, I didn’t know the dude haha.” 

My heart was gone. Through my feet on the floor. How am I suppose to feel right now?

I came home and casually mentioned I wanted to talk to him about it. However all I got out was, “My dad is way cooler.” and “It’s about time, he was what.. 72 years old.” and then quickly announced he was going to bed.

I cried all night long. Mourning shouldn’t be done alone. All I wanted to do was fall asleep and stop thinking about how disrespectful my brother was to the memory of the man who held our mother’s hand while we were both born. Even though he suffered from schizophrenia, that does not give anyone the right to disrespect his memory.

He has one other daughter who lives a few hours away. She is how my mother found out about his death. I plan to reach out to her, and learn as much as I can about this man.

Because without him, I would be but a figment.

And I will always show him honor for that.





Organic, faretrade, sustanable locals

For this being the hottest year in Western NC since I’ve been alive, it has been seemingly dark and cold.

North Carolina (and our surrounding states) have had the feeling of loss and chaos for months now. With the recent election weighing on our minds, forest fires have been taking out our beautiful mountains hundreds of acres at a time. Smoke has been seeping into towns and burning our lungs and hearts.

So much loss has come out of these past few months, yet still, this battle with nature has only brought the South closer. Southerners are tight knit, and bubbling with kind words and thoughtful gestures. When Brad and I moved back to North Carolina, we weren’t sure what we were to expect. I have had such a bitter taste in my mouth for the mountains for so many years.

I remember telling my parents that all I wanted to do was to live somewhere that I could look out as far as my eyes would allow, and not a single mountain would stop my gaze. Yet here we are, nestled right in Asheville North Carolina. The home I never knew was there. It has only been 4 months since we loaded up everything we owned and moved the 700 miles from central Florida, to the most culturally excepting and diverse city in North Carolina.

To put into perspective how life in Asheville hasbeen these past few months, this morning we woke up by 9am to a great December 2nd (also a pay day, so bills were to be paid!). Brad; dressed in his uniform, and me in boots, leggings, and a sweatshirt (WG alert) wrote out our check and made our way down a curvy back road, and up a long dirt driveway to drop off our rent. Brad jokes how this would be completely unheard of in Florida, as we are driving through the icy fields of miniature horses and cows. After a few minutes of banter with our landlord and her husband, we hop back in the car and make our way to our storage unit to pay THAT bill (isn’t adult life exciting). As soon as we enter the small facility, the woman knew Brad by name, and exactly how much he owed. That would have never happened in Florida. We hop BACK in the car singing Christmas tunes and ready for some morning coffee! We swing into the closest Starbucks from our house. As soon as we get in line the Barista calls to us over two other customers, “Our espresso machine is down! I can still make your cold brew, but I wont be able to make your quad-shot!” We might order the same thing pretty often.  Looks like we’re getting hot coffees today, and we make our way out of Starbucks with large coffees in our hand.
My heart is so full, and Asheville is everything I could have ever dreamed of. It’s so unbelievable that we have only been here for such a short time, yet the feeling of welcoming covers us like a warm blanket everywhere we go.

Life is good and beautiful here in Western North Carolina!

Thanksgiving 2016

There’s nothing I love more than holding onto memories, watching people at the gym, and holiday traditions. Honestly any traditions at all, but holiday ones really takes the pie… For lack of better terms.

I’ve been looking so forward to reading my Thanksgiving post from last year to compare it to this year. This year’s a little different from last. The only changes are absolutely everything has been flipped turned upside down, compared to November 26th 2015.

  • Our first Thanksgiving as a married couple.
  • Our first Thanksgiving living together in Asheville.
  • Our first Thanksgiving we’ve had the opportunity to visit our whole family on actual Thanksgiving Day.
  • Our first Thanksgiving completely meatfree and healthy.

Needless to say, it’s been one for the books!

To start today off we kind of have to explain what yesterday was like, which was me driving 10 hours from Florida to North Carolina getting home at about 1 a.m. I went to visit my Florida family for Friendsgiving for one day, turning around and coming back. It sounds crazy and unnecessary, I know. But it was much needed after 4 years of having them everyday.

This morning I woke up to none other than my husband attacking me in full-blown sexy time, welcome to married life! It rocks! Afterwards, I look at the clock and it says 5 a.m. About an hour earlier than we planned on. WTF Brad! I could have gotten an hour more sleep! Don’t let it fool you, we ended up sleeping in until 8, whoops. We immediately get up Brad goes and fetches us Thanksgiving espresso (which means he went in the grocery store, and it was packed to the rim with procrastinators) and I start on the Ann-safe avocado brownies and Ann-safe butternut squash.

Everything finished on time looking tan and beautiful (the food looked pretty good too), and now it is 11 a.m. and we are making our way to Brads grandparent’s house for our first round of Family cheer! The day started off with family pictures and in-law bonding. But it didn’t last long.. Brad had to leave for Black Friday HELL, and I had to make my way to my family’s dinner!

So off I go down the curvy mountain in record time. I’m greeted by my nieces, and nephews, and grandparents, and my mother, and siblings, and all of my favorite people! It’s been many years since I’ve been able to be home for Thanksgiving, and I think my mother was making up for lost time… SO MUCH VEGAN FOOD! It also helps that my brother was also participating in “No Meat November”.

The day was spent filling our bellies and hearts with real facetime. Such an glorious feeling it is to me sitting with all of the people who made me who I am today.



Dear 2017 me,

The sole reason I’m writing today, is to give me the opportunity to look back and be proud of myself.

Today, September 12th 2016, I find myself unemployed (by my own choice) and searching for the job that is going to make my life a joy. I’ve been in this new city for 42 days, and in that time I have 

  1. Trained at the karate school once a week 
  2. Started a job, and quit said job withing 4 weeks
  3. Made absolutely zero friends 
  4. Gained a considerable amount of weight
  5. Read 8 chapters of a fictional book 
  6. And really done absolutely nothing that I am proud of (besides climb a few waterfalls and mountains) 

 I’m now without a job, and unhappy with where I am personally right now.

So what next. Am I going to get that job that I’ve been praying and begging for? Am I going to continue to train for my Adult black belt? Or am I going to find myself settling for a low paying job, like so many people I’ve met here.

Only time will tell. And I am giving myself the opportunity to look back and see me at another low point in my life. 
All I can do is pray, and wait for God to open a door for me. He knows exactly where I need to be in life, and the opportunity will arise.  

I just hope it’s soon…

Flash — ahh

What do the artists, song writers, bloggers, and those people who write long status updates – all have in common;     suffering.

Okay, maybe a little too extreme.

But its true. These exceptional writers base words and lyrics on their struggles. So, what happens when those suffering, treacherous souls become — happy?

Well for me, I found myself with nothing interesting to write about. My heart didn’t ache with sadness anymore, my eyes didn’t overflow with tears of abandonment or loathing. All I do is count down until the next time I get so see my incredible husband. I spend my nights clung to his side, with constant gross mushy tones of infatuation.PB0_2717

However this has been an exciting past few months for us and our tiny little gypsy family (me, my husband, and our plants).

In the beginning of June, Brad and I promised to love and cherish each other for the rest of our lives.

Our marriage was everything I ever dreamed of (If I ever planned my wedding before getting engaged like normal women do).

In July, Brad was offered and incredible opportunity in the very city we were married, Asheville, North Carolina. In a matter of two weeks we packed up everything we owned, signed a lease, and moved to Asheville!

On the way from Florida to North Carolina I got in a minor car accident, and had my 25th Birthday. Nothing like keeping us on our toes! But our house is beautiful, and is in a beautiful part of town. I’ve been out of the job for what feels like a lifetime, however it’s given me the time to unpack and make this place a little homey.

Within only a few days I got a call for the very job I had been hoping for, and climbed two waterfalls ( this is not a metaphor, I really did).

And this is where we settle (for now). In the same town I’ve written so much about already. But now with an entirely different perspective on life and love.

So many of these roads bring back glimpses of memories, most of which I cant fully remember, or have suppressed for the past 3.5 years. But nothing makes me happier to be here.

With our family only an hour away, and a beautiful roof over our heads, we are set — at least for a while!


Aiken to marry you.

It has been nine weeks today since Brad glided down to one knee, surrounded by ice and children; and asked me to continue this beautiful journey with him until the end of time.


It’s been nine weeks of change, planning, excitment, and brokeness. At this point we have everything we need to enjoy our wedding day. Dress, rings, officiant, and of course our family and friends.


My bridesmaids have their dresses, and have been such a support. I’ve already thrown down a huge chunk of change just in gifts for them, because honestly nothing could ever replace these girls.


Little at a time we’re getting everything we need for our big day, and we couldn’t be more ecstatic.
Life is so beautiful, and we are so lucky to have eachother to move forward in life as one.

Only 87 more days!

Much thanks, very full

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more.  If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

My eyes opened at 9:20 Thanksgiving morning. I immediately roll over my boyfriend, full weight, body sprawled.image

Thanks to the fact that we went out the night before, to support my coworker’s birthday at an insane party/rave, that our old 24 year old bodies were not able to handle – Brad promptly awoken with a hangover.
PERFECT! I finally am the one taking care of HIS headache instead of the other way around. Pancakes are made, kayak rentals are called, and plans are brewing!

We drove to Tampa, we took pictures on the beach, we ate guacamole, and goat cheese, and ramen, and cabbage soup. Then at 5pm, Brad had to tuck his blue shirt in and make his way to Best Buy, to probably the worst shift he is ever going to have at work. I understand BlackFriday, but that doesn’t mean I’m okay with it. And now, at 7:30 pm, I’m watching stand up comedy and so thankful for this entire, stress free, drama less, loveful Thanksgiving.image

This Thanksgiving was different from every other Thanksgiving we ever experienced, but it was close, and full of joy, and eachother.
I couldnt be more grateful for this day we can look back on and say,
“Heh, remember when we were 24 and poor and in so much love.”



You may now kick the Bride.

DSC_1708 According to Wikipedia, bridezilla (a neologistic portmanteau of bride and Godzilla) is a difficult, unpleasant, perfectionist bride who leaves irritated family, friends and bridal vendors in her wake. She is often called greedy, selfish and spoiled, not caring about the people that she hurts to get exactly what she wants on her perfect day.

A  year ago, I became a maid-of-honor.

Notice how I chose my words carefully, because I was not asked to be a maid-of-honor, nor was it my my bestfriend. I was told that I was going to be the maid-of-honor by a woman who has really no friends.

This experience was one of the most terrible and stressful experiences of my life.

I found myself cursing love. I found myself a doormat. I found myself sobbing in the arms of the man I hope to one day marry, and yelling that I would never have my own wedding. DSC_1679

After the heartless wedding ended, I cut myself from the bride and groom completely.

Still, three months later, I have yet to speak a word to them.

Never let the poisonous people in your life take control. Get out, get away, and never look back. Forgive them, but never look back.


Simply daydreaming.

Two years ago I was single and alone, I dreamed of my perfect man, in hopes that I might one day find him soon. Today I came across this description of my perfect man, and unbelievably enough.. it sounds exactly like the one I am with today.

God sends countless blessings, and he is my largest and most important.


I can picture him perfectly.
His messy brunette hair, and clean shaven face offset his gauged ears and skillfully tattooed arms.
His slender fingers pluck softly at an acoustic guitar. His converse shoes tap the floor with the song.
His attention pulls away from the guitar. His deep blue eyes glance up, a smile slowly stretches across his face.
Two dimples appear on either cheek. His beautiful white teeth tuck back away as he glances back at his guitar.
His worn superman shirt grips his biceps tightly. His back muscles move with each fret.


DSC_0799I can’t picture my life without Brad. He’s ultimately become a part of me, after so many years of relationships, friendships, benefitships, awkwardships, and infatuationships, he’s my someone I couldn’t see myself without.DSC_0754

The way his work shirts always smell of his cologne, no matter how dirty or clean they are.

The way I hear him call me ‘sweet angel’ in the mornings when he leaves for work, even without me opening my eyes.
The way he opens every door, and kisses me every morning. The way he always warns me if he is going to sleep facing away from me. The way he brings me breakfast just to get me up to spend time with him. The way he knows how I like my tea and coffee, better than I know myself.

imageHe is my ultimate dream man. The man I use to always compare men to. The man I use to write about and dream about.

“I look for you in everyone”

I would write constantly.

Brad was my high school sweetheart. He was the first relationship I found myself in when I started school for the first time. I was known as “the girl that wouldn’t love”, yet he loved me unconditionally.

The first relationship that involved love, passion, selflessness, and highschool. After a few years of working together, living together, and our teenage jealousy issues, Brad and I broke up. Which could be considered the hardest and most emotional breakup of my life.

Brad went one direction in life, and I went another. Running into eachother seldomly thanks to the fact that we lived in a 4 mile long town.

After years of us growing, and changing, we were at a point to where we were IMG_3589good friends; and then better friends; and then even better friends; and then in a “no commitment” long distance relationship; and then he’s moving 600 miles away from our hometown to be with me.

Brad has always been the man to sacrifice everything for my happiness, and this time is was moving to Florida, away from his entire family, to be with me.