Things I Learned in Kissimmee

We’re back y’all!


The Kraft-Dieter crew is back in Tuscaloosa. Our couple months in Florida were absolutely incredible. Gehrig trained tirelessly for the NFL Draft while I laid motionless by the pool every day (just kidding – kind of…) Now that we’re finally settled in, I figured it’d be the perfect time to reflect on our time in Kissimmee.

1. never get so busy living that you forget to make a life

Remember last summer, when I told you I was moving to Tuscaloosa, AL? It was this new and exciting opportunity I couldn’t wait to start. Don’t get me wrong, it was/has been incredible, but every moment of every day was spent running around and preparing for the following day. I had started my job at Southern Shirt and jumped right into working a full time job while Gehrig went to school and practice daily, traveled on the weekends and played football every Saturday. Lou, our 8 month old puppy, was just a little peanut and I honestly don’t remember much of anything – aside from the football games. The big adventure I thought we were going to have was actually a blur of reality. It was an exciting fall, but it wasn’t what I hoped for. Leaving my job was a tough decision but has turned out to be the best thing. My favorite part of every day in Florida was enjoying a cup of coffee and watching the sun rise with my dogs. I literally got to savor this quiet, peaceful moment every day and it was so refreshing. I feel like my creativity has been renewed and I’ve finally had a chance to breathe. My relationship with G is much stronger. Taking a moment to plan your day, pray, and simply think is so crucial for your mental health. Florida was the adventure I hoped for.

2. if you think you’ve found the one, consider a cardboard box.

I know this sounds so goofy – but I love this. I read this quote online once that said “The person you should spend your life with is the person that you could live in a cardboard box with. On the street. With nothing else.” It makes you wonder for a moment – what is your relationship underneath all the excess; the football career, the dates, the gifts, the title? When we arrived to our townhouse at the resort in Florida, G and I were amazed. We had this beautiful town home complete with a private cabana lined with palm trees, our own hot tub, access to a private gym and pool, a gorgeous living space with the most up to date appliances – it was beautiful. For a lot of people, that’s just normal living. G & I started our relationship living in separate townhouses. After a year of dating, we moved into our first little apartment – nothing special. We’ve ate our share of Ramen Noodles and late night Wendy’s dinners, as well as the finest filets at the most expensive steakhouse in Orlando. As we grow and build this life together, I always go back to the cardboard box question. If the football thing never worked out, If we never had this lucky opportunity to live this increasingly luxurious life, I know that I’d still be the happiest and we’d make our cardboard box a home.

(Although it’d be a little cramped cause the dude is 6’3 + 2 25lb. bulldogs)

3. geckos hate eggshells

If you’re a close friend, you know my biggest fear on this earth is amphibians. I would happily cuddle a spider or let a snake coil around my torso before letting a frog/toad/lizard come within 5 feet of me. Welp – A FRICKIN’ GIANT GECKO DECIDED OUR TOWN HOUSE WOULD BE A NICE LITTLE VENUE FOR A WEEK LONG SLEEPOVER. G let the dogs out one night and had the door propped open. Sure as hell, this creepy thing comes slithering inside and runs under the fridge. I screamed bloody murder and we couldn’t find it as it camoflaged itself into our kitchen decor. I literally had a hard time sleeping knowing this thing was crawling around. I did learn that geckos are repulsed by egg shells. They can’t stand the smell – so throw some eggs around your kitchen if a gross slimy gecko decides to intrude. Eventually, we caught the monster. Please watch the video if you find my fear humorous or enjoy learning new hunting tactics.

4. you can start anything with a little courage {& an assorted variety of Dunkin’ Donuts}

So y’all – aside from planning weddings, my other aspiration in life is to become an author. I’ve always had a love for fiction and some say I have a way with words (hi mom!) With a refreshed soul and a lot of time on my hands, It was in the Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru that I decided to finally start my book! I took my half dozen home and began writing. Within a week, I had 50 pages done. It sounds so cliche, but you truly can do whatever you set your mind to. I’m working on finishing it by May (it’s a psychological thriller – you won’t be disappointed) and sending it off to literary agents for approval. Go pursue that dream, damnit – we’re not getting any younger, people.

5. florida weather = a positive outlook on life

I was once a level headed midwestern gal from Cleveland, Ohio – no stranger to severe storm warnings or harsh wind advisories. Welp, Florida RUINED me. The 80 degree weather paired well with constant sunshine and the occasional welcomed light breeze. One thing I learned is that (as the saying goes) when it rains, it POURS. Like pounds on your roof, smacks your windows, scares your french bulldogs POURS. Never for too long though. I liked the idea of the rain; I could be walking the dogs in the gorgeous sunshine when the clouds rolled in and the skies opened up and let loose – but the sun was always ready to show it’s face again. Even on the darkest of days, a new one is sure to follow.

BTW – I got back to a cool 65 degree Tuscaloosa and was freezing. I’m fricked.

. . . 

We attended the pro-bowl skills challenge, Universal Studios, a ton of amazing restaurants, the Orlando Cat Cafe, outlet malls and everything in between. Kissimmee, we love you.

This next chapter will determine where our lives are headed and I’m so thankful for the experiences we’ve had thus far. Huge thanks to IFA & all the fabulous people we’ve met along the way. Onto the next adventure!

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