Thursday, September 29, 2011

We had a nice weekend in Indiana, and we headed back down here on Tuesday.  Things are still just plugging right along!  We have two potential contracts that should be finalized by next week, so that's exciting.  One is the guy whose proposal Dustin did all my himself, so of course that's a nice confidence booster. :)  Dustin is meeting with some advertising reps this week from the local TV station, and he should be filming a commercial next week!  Pretty fun and exciting.  Don't mention it to Dustin too much though; we don't need his head getting any bigger. ;)

I'm loving this community more and more every day.  They have three local publications that come out: Ouachita Life, Louisiana Health and Wellness Today, and Delta Business.

We've been reading all three to try to learn as much as we can about Monroe/W. Monroe.  Ouachita Life is similar to Terre Haute Living.  It's nice to be able to read it and get to know more about all the local shops and businesses here in town.  Today is a great publication that discusses healthy living habits.  Dustin's already met with the editor of Health and Wellness Today, and he is very happy that we're here.  He talked about us potentially having our own column in the magazine where we would discuss renewable energies and green living!!  That would be so fun!!  I've always wanted to have my own column somewhere, but nothing is set in stone yet, so I have to be patient. ;)  Delta Business is pretty self-explanatory.  It discusses the business climate of the twin-cities (Monroe/W. Monroe).  Even though business is by no means my forte, it's still be a nice read just to get to know what's going on around here. 

I'll tell you one thing, this place is BOOMING.  The economy here is incredible, and the community just keeps expanding and expanding.  It's in national top ten lists for the housing market, and the schools here are phenomenal.  It's a really exciting time for the community.  Everyone is filled with this energy and enthusiasm to make this place the best it can be, so we couldn't have come here at a better time.  Everyone we talk to about the business is so excited that we're here, and they want us to get involved as much as we can in community happenings.  We even went into a local music shop (owned by an adorable couple) last weekend and started talking about School of Rock.  The wife was so excited to hear what we've been doing, and she said she'd love to get something like that going here.  She said that kids come into their shop all the time drooling over the guitars and that she wishes she could do some sort of fundraiser to raise money to buy them all guitars.  But then she didn't know who would teach them all to play once they got the guitars...that's where we'd come in. :)  This is something that wouldn't happen for a while since getting OPS up and going here is our number one priority, but it's exciting to know that when we do decide to do that, we already know another couple who wants to get involved.  YAY!

Dustin and I have spent a lot of time just driving around, going through neighborhoods, and just getting to know the area.  There are SO many nice neighborhoods with BEAUTIFUL houses, and lots of land for sale as well.  Depending on how things go over the next few months, we're thinking about possibly going ahead and buying or building a home down here.  With how great the housing market is, I know we'll be able to get a great deal.  And with how much the community is expanding, we know we'll have no problem selling the house if we end up only being here for a couple of years.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the apartment here, but it'd be nice to be able to get all of our furniture down here, and (most importantly, of course) get the puppies down here. :)  I miss them a lot and feel like such a terrible momma when I leave them. :(   (I know...I'm ridiculous...)  But of course, we're continuing to take things one day at a time.  We have faith that everything is going to work out perfectly for us, whether that means we go back to Terre Haute in a month or we stay here for a decade.

I'll be honest, the past week was pretty rough.  We were both stressed beyond belief and homesick, and part of us wanted to just forget the whole thing and just go home.  But we aren't giving up.  We know that we have a lot of responsibilities here and that in order to succeed, we're going to have to sacrifice a lot and work our butts off.  And of course, all of that brings on a lot of stress.  But I feel that we are stronger now after having a bad week, and we're ready to get things done!  We are no doubt going to have our fair share of trials down here, and there are going to be bad weeks when we just want to forget it all and go home.  But we can't lose faith.  Many things in life that are hard happen to be the things that are the most rewarding and worth it in the end.  So that's what keeps us going. :)

Time to get some homework done and keep this productive day going!  Love you all!!!

Not the best pic in the world, but here's one of our billboards in town! :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Worky Worky Work

Dustin drove a total of ten hours about a fun workday. ;)  One of their installs is having some equipment issues, so he had to go out to the site (which is an hour and a half away) and fix some things, and then when he got home, he found out there was something else wrong (a dud panel).  So he had to drive out there again, get the bad panel off the roof, drive home, and then we both left to go to the main OPS office in Stonewall, La (which is two hours away) to get a new panel.  Fun fun. ;)  So today is being spent getting caught up on some office work.

As promised, here are some pics of the apartment!

 Living Room (pardon the mess)


Kitchen (which I LOVE!)
 Dustin thinks I went a little overboard on decorating the fridge
...but I don't think so. :)
  Bedroom (nothing fancy...but to the left is a big walk-in closet, so I'm happy.)

So this is our home for the next few months!  It's a really nice complex, and we're very thankful to be able to stay here.  We're still looking around for places to rent, but we aren't stressing too much about it.  We know that the perfect opportunity will arise at the perfect time, so we're just focusing on our work and taking it all a day at a time!
Love you all!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Beginnings...So, of course, we need a new blog. ;)

So, I decided to start a new blog completely devoted to documenting our adventure down in West Monroe.  I'm going to try to give updates a few times a week, even if they are a paragraph long saying, "Yes, we're still doing good" and "No, we haven't killed each other yet." ;)

The past week has been crazy busy.  Dustin headed back down here last Tuesday, and then I came down on Thursday (after spending two straight days doing nothing but homework and packing).  We spent the weekend getting settled in the apartment.  We didn't bring any furniture down, but we brought all of our clothes and other necessities.  We got Dustin's office set up (in the dining area), and we got all unpacked and settled in.  We printed off a ton of pictures, so, as promised, those cute little blonde-haired heads are all over the place.  We got some simple furniture and decor, but it's helping make the place a little more homey.  I have strict instructions to not "girly" the place up too much, so I guess a few candles and pictures frames will have to suffice. ;)  I"ll get some pictures taken tomorrow and post them.

As far as the business side of things, we're plugging right along.  Dustin gave his first proposal by himself today, so that was exciting.  Dustin's doing a great job of getting his name out there and getting to know people in the community.  I get so proud when he comes home from a meeting beaming.  He really loves what he does...and it shows.  I love that man... :)

As for me, school is starting to take over.  Lots of reading and lots of writing (who would have thought for an English major, right?).  But of course, I love it.  Dustin and I are getting into a routine (which includes exercising in the gym at the apartment complex!), so that's helping. 

We'll be home this weekend for the Wilkinson wedding (I can't believe my Brooke is getting married!!!), so we're excited to see everyone.  I'll keep everyone updated of when we'll be home next, and we'll do our best to see as many people as we can while home.  We also love to Skype! 

I know it's not an enthralling update, but I'm pooped and still have the last several chapters of Hoot to read tonight for my young adult lit class (I guess I can't complain too much when my homework is to read fun novels, huh?). 

Oh, I'm going to try to do a cheesy "pic of the day" kind of thing to give some visuals of our new life down here.  Here's the first pic of the day:

My Nightstand 

I've always loved having nice, cute, organized nightstands.  So of course, a nightstand was the first thing I bought when I got down here.  After donning it with all the bedroom necessities (inspirational books, jewelry, smelly candles, love), I really started to feel more at home.  Now, if I can only talk the guys into letting me bring Izzy down here...