Things I Learned in January

I learned quite a few life changing, earth shattering things this month.  Not really.  But they are fun!

MOST importantly.

Kate Middleton (Duchess of Cambridge) {<–Imagine that part said in a Julie Andrews voice} apparently likes Haribo sweets.  AS DO I!  I’m obsessed with gummy candies and buy them WAY too frequently.  She also has a cocker spaniel (I grew up with a cocker spaniel).  Can you even handle the similarities?  I sure can’t.

Check it out HERE.

This goes in the “remembering things I had forgotten,” category.

I grew up with MLK as LJK day – as my bestie reminded me recently.  Here’s an article.

L= Lee.  Like The General.

J = Jackson.  Mr. Stonewall himself.

K =  King.  As always.

Only the Commonwealth of Virginia even HAD such a day.  And they didn’t change it to simply MLK day until 2000.  2000!!  Sometimes Scott makes fun of me when I imply I’m from the South.  Being raised by Midwestern parents (and living ages 2-6 in Michigan) can make one’s husband believe you have nothing Southern about you.  But then a little gem like LJK day pops up.  Take that, Scott!

When in doubt, just be do your thing.

We had Stu and Leslie over a few weeks ago and in prep for their arrival I was trying to figure out what music to play. They always have great, chill, cool music on at their house.  Ray LaMontagne, etc. So I tried to replicate that, because I thought that was what they liked. But I’m clearly not as chill and cool as them because it wasn’t really working for me.  And I kept wanting to change the song cause it wasn’t…right.

As I mentioned yesterday (Eric Church obsessed much?)  Scott and I always listen to country music.  Within 15 minutes, Scott took over as DJ and had country music playing and I was so much happier and relaxed.  And Leslie said, “Oh, I always know I’m going to hear great country music when I’m over here!”  Umm.  Truth.  Of course I should just play what we like and makes us most comfortable so we can focus on our friends, not the music, right!?  That’s what makes our home feel like US.  If we are comfortable, they will feel comfortable in our home.  I’m a hospitality major who over-analyzes, can you tell?  Anyways, this really applies to SO many things in life.

Show up. Even if it’s just for the ceremony, not the party.

Our dear friend got married last Sunday evening in DC.  Scott and I didn’t have the time to take Monday off, so we knew we couldn’t make it to the reception.  I was debating if we should make the trip at all since it would just be for 30 minutes and wouldn’t even get to talk to the bride and groom.  And we would miss the party!  Well Scott, in his infinite wisdom said, “You show up for your friends.”   So we did. Have I mentioned he is a better person than I am?

Good thing, too.  Cause I got Tony’s!

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But the best part was getting some great time with my parents, our VA friends and some of my lifetime friends at the wedding ceremony.

photo(2) And I AM SO GLAD WE DID.  It’s such a special thing to witness your friends getting married.  So LESSON: just show up for what you can, even if it’s just the 30 minute ceremony.  Congratulations, Ryan and Brittany!  Thank you for letting us share in your special day.

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Beer Gardens and Casino Concerts

Back in October Scott and I decided to do a tour of the Northeast in one day.  We started in New Jersey, made our way through Manhattan to Queens and finally ended up in Connecticut.  All for A-list things of course.

Dear Billy turned 30 and celebrated at a Beer Garden in the middle of Queens.  IMG_2900

It was a beautiful warm day to be outside with friends, eating German food and drinking beer.

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There was a lot to celebrate that day, besides Billy’s birth, of course.  I had just accepted my new position and was starting to tell people. IMG_2902

This guy was newly engaged and asked the guys to be groomsmen in his wedding.

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Does anyone else notice this phenomenon? You ask someone to take a photo for you and you get your phone back with at least one selfie you did not expect?  Scott (and friends) are notorious for this.  I’m sure half of the photos on my phone are Scott selfies.  I digress. IMG_2903

And lastly, my dear husband had surprised me with concert tickets to see Eric Church! Be still my heart.  IMG_2904

AND he had somehow coerced our friends who live in Connecticut to go to the concert with us and give us a place to stay for the night.  Which BONUS, meant we got to see their new home in Connecticut!  I say coerced because most of our friends up here aren’t big country music fans.  But Rick and Dana stepped up and we all made the trek from Queens to Mohegan Sun (such an interesting experience) for the concert.  IMG_2912

Scott and I broke out our new boots from Nashville for the occasion.IMG_2917We are equally obsessed with Eric Church.  We’ve been listening to him non-stop since we were just little engaged younguns. He’s our go to for car trip music, cooking music, grilling out music, working on the house music, getting ready music…basically anytime we need to listen to music together.IMG_2920

We had to miss his concert in NYC (we were in Nashville) so that is how we ended up at the ever-so-interesting Mohegan Sun.  What concert is complete without animatronic wolfs looking over a casino?

But that didn’t really matter.

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Because we got to see Eric Church live.IMG_2939

And it was amazing.  Everything I wanted it to be.  He is such a rock star.  And I love knowing every song (read: singing along to every song) at a concert.  IMG_2942

I also loved the style of the camera work.  It was mostly black and white and pretty artistic.  Since most people end up watching the big screen anyways, why not make it artistic?IMG_2964 IMG_2989I hope these Connecticut friends enjoyed their first country concert. IMG_2922 We enjoyed having them there!  And are glad they are still friends with us after seeing us geek out with cowboy boots, flannel, and much jumping around when Eric came on stage.  (Eric and I are on first name basis).IMG_2923

A Farewell to New York. Again.

You guys. I had the best send off from my old company, Eventive.  I was their resident pink and sparkle girly girl and they honored that in my farewell soiree.  For SURE.

EM1photo 5Let me paint you a picture.  All of the doors to the conference room are closed.  As I walk up I can hear Bruce Springsteen’s “Jersey Girl” playing.  I open the doors to find the whole company there, ready and waiting (that NEVER happened – we always had to track people down).  On the wall, there is a MASSIVE pink New York City skyline.  And on the TV a sparkly farewell slide show with co-worker messages and pictures from my 3 years at the company.

photo 1The theme was Good Bye New York, Hello New Jersey.  It was my favorite thing ever, including New York pizzas and soft pretzels…

photo 5…paired with Bruce Springsteen.  My boss and I may have been known to break out into the Courteney Cox dance whenever we heard Dancing in the Dark. So naturally, this was part of my farewell slide show.EM05I even got a send off gift (a hot pink “I Heart NYC” T Shirt).  And as much prosecco as I wanted, of course.

photo 2 I made some dear, dear friends in my three years there.

EM24One of the things I miss most about that job is the people and doing day-to-day life with them.

EM34They were my daily support network.  They knew me and Scott and I could always count on someone to talk to, to make me laugh, for advice or the occasional sip of vodka in the middle of a particularly challenging day.

EM28It was not perfect and wasn’t without it’s problems, but what is ever perfect?  EM27I learned so much and we had some SERIOUS fun along the way.

EM21You can tell I was myself with them and I felt pretty darn comfortable and accepted there.  Ahem.

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I don’t get emotional easily in the moment.  I process things more slowly and get emotional later.  Well. After seeing the slide show and reading the quotes people wrote about me (SO sweet) they asked me to make a toast.  Dang it if I didn’t get all choked up!

IMG_0041After a photo shoot in front of my own personal NYC skyline, many of us made our way out to continue the farewell.FullSizeRenderThis man.  I was lucky to have him as a mentor and friend.

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After more fun and antics, we had one more prosecco/martini toast.

photoAnd all too soon it was time to head home (in a car on the company, no less) and I got my last view of New York as a commuter.

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Thank you, Eventive, from the bottom of my heart.  I miss you.   EM36

I’ve Missed You

Oh blog, how I’ve missed you.  I have missed writing my thoughts, processing out loud (in a way).  I took time for plenty of reasons.  It wasn’t planned or purposeful.  But I was discouraged and so I petered out and gave up.  I just looked and I actually posted up until November (see: petering out).  But that post was about August.  So there’s that.

But now, I’ve got space, I’ve got perspective and I’ve got a new job! A job that my iPhone tells me is only 11 minutes away from my house but I make it in less.  So I’m starting to become myself again.  I’ve got time on my hands!  And I’ve got things to say!  We’ve been doing fun things I want to remember!  So there.  Exclamation points ended.

Get ready for out of season holiday recaps.  And weddings from September.  Birthdays. So on and so forth.

So about this new job of mine.  I started in November.  I am the Event Manager at a small technology firm in the town next door.  They didn’t have an Event Manager before but decided to give it a go when I came through the door.  They are hoping to grow by leaps and bounds over the next few years, so they are building the “back of house” or the people who make and create policies to support growth.  And you know, the people who go out and foster and sell the business.  So I fall somewhere in that realm.  And we are hiring developers/computer coders! If anyone is interested.

It’s a definite shift for me.  At my three previous jobs I was always part of the life blood of the company.  In other words, my work was billable.  There were clients who hired us for my particular set of skills.  Not so anymore.  I’m relegated to the odd balls like the accountants and sales positions of my old companies.  I use the term odd balls lovingly and with much empathy.  To those sweet, young coders – I am quite the odd ball.  They don’t really know what to make of me.  I don’t have any sort of “mentor” or teacher here which is a real first and a real shame, if I’m honest.  I’m trying to figure things out and define my role.  I get lonely and frustrated.  But then I leave and am home 10 minutes later and it all seems to be worth it.

The main business here is computers and the cloud.  It’s complex, impressive and difficult for me to explain.  Every project is different, so its a bit of a moving target.  There is a veritable genius running the ship and that is cool to watch.  So when I say technology and computers, you can imagine that there are plenty of young computer coders and computer science grads to be found. There is much love for Harry Potter (count me in), Dr. Who (who?) and video games (oh, most definitely not).  My first week on the job I got pulled into a conversation about Harry Potter.  Which led to discussing other epic fantasy and sci-fi series.  For the record, I did not start or steer this conversation.  When they found out I had seen Star Wars (thanks, Dad!) and had also not only watched Game of Thrones but read all the books one sweet guy asked me in all seriousness “So are you a real person or are you a nerd?”

I honestly didn’t know how to answer?  “Nerd” seemed like the quickest way to be accepted, but I’ve gotta say, I hope I’m a “real” person!  Needless to say, day-to-day life is looking pretty different around here.  It’s kindof funny that Scott and I both made a job change and are each at small(ish) technology companies.  We are both no longer part of the main business at our firms (Accounting for him, Event Management for me).  It’s been an amazing move for Scott.  I’m at my 60 day mark so I’ll withhold judgment but the commute does speak for itself.

So glad to be back!