A Big Ol’ Monthly Roundup

April and May came and went, and I’m sitting here thinking how the heck is it already June?! Fortunately I can say I actually did things the last two months so they weren’t just withered away binge-watching Netflix, which is more than I can say for those winter months…

Like I said in my previous post, one of my goals for April was to start running consistently. Well, I started running and I’m happy to say I’ve been able to stick to a schedule and do it regularly each week. This may not seem like such a big deal, but it is for this girl. I was worried I would start wheezing and coughing up a fit like every other time I tried to run, but thankfully I’ve been fine! Seems like that surgery is paying off after all!

Also in April news, D graduated Ranger School! This was a big, exciting accomplishment. He likes to act like this was no big deal, but it’s huge. He also got his airborne wings in May, so that was another accomplishment checked off his list, and I am so so proud of him.

I made my way down to Portland in May for a weekend. It was…honestly super weird. I know that’s Portland’s claim to fame/thing, but I really was not expecting it to be as weird as it is. I’m not entirely sure what I had expected, but it caught me off guard. I think it came down to how empty it seemed. It felt like there weren’t any people around us, and we were staying in the middle of Downtown Portland! Aside from that though, I did enjoy the few touristy things there are to do there. This list is great if you’re planning a trip to Portland any time soon. I recommend Voodoo Doughnuts. It is popular and busy but the lines aren’t as bad as you’d expect. Also, the tax-free shopping doesn’t hurt either. I also really enjoyed all the food trucks everywhere. That was pretty cool. Overall, I probably won’t be going back to Portland anytime soon, but it was a nice experience.

I surprised my family and went home for Mother’s Day, and the look on both my parents’ faces when they saw me was priceless. Unfortunately I was only there for 36 hours, so it was a quick trip, but it was still great to see my crazy loud family and spend some time together. Traveling back and forth across the country is not easy, and with my dearly beloved boyfriend staying in Georgia longer than the Army first said he would, it’s safe to say I’ll be racking up those frequent flier miles in the next few months; starting with next weekend when I travel to GA for D’s birthday! Woohoo!

And for the last bit of news, I’m excited (and slightly terrified) to share that this week I completed my first week of graduate school! Going back to school has always been on my mind since graduating two years ago. For a while, I just gave up on it and figured it wouldn’t happen or be a good option for me, but thankfully I have an amazing boyfriend and great friends who encouraged me to pursue my goals and take the leap of faith. So I did! The program is completely online, which fits in with my lifestyle, work and commute schedule. The first week was challenging, and I know it’ll only get hard during the next 10 weeks, but I am thrilled to be starting on this new chapter in my life. That’s going to be taking up most of my life now to say the least!

 

March; Looking Back and Ahead

Happy April!

A week or two ago, I decided to start a new monthly theme highlighting the favorite or important moments from the previous month, but also a few notable things that I’m looking forward to in the new month. It’s pretty basic, really and not anything particularly special, but I think it’d be a fun way to remember the little/big things that happen each month. So here we are, starting with March!

Take it back now, y’all:

  • Ed Sheeran’s released a new album and IT IS AMAZING!! I was admittedly a little thrown off when I first heard the album; I wasn’t really sure what I had expected from him, especially after the success of his second album a few years ago, but after giving it a good listen (shout out to my long commute to work and Seattle traffic for giving me time to listen to an entire album), I was blown away. Needless to say, it’s been on repeat all month and will be for a while. And I got tickets to his concert in July, so I’m pretty stoked about that!
  • My sister came all the way from New York to visit me for a week! It was so good having her here with me. I knew she would love it, because really what’s not to love. We didn’t get to do too many things since I had surgery and she was here to take care of me during my time of incapacitation, but it made me incredibly happy to have someone from my family finally come and see what it’s like out here.
  • Speaking of surgery, I had sinus surgery last Monday to remove nasal polyps and fix my deviated septum. I’ve had issues with allergies and my sinuses for years, but recently they got so bad I could barely breathe, especially at night when I would be kept awake just coughing all night. It also made doing regular things like going for a run or laughing too much a bit of a hassle. The running part I didn’t mind so much since it gave me an excuse to avoid going on a run with Dalton, but it was pretty embarrassing when I would start coughing if I laughed too much. But after this surgery, I’m hoping most of those issues I had will be gone. I’m still currently in recovery and will be for a few weeks, but I feel rather hopeful. It’s been a long struggle.
  • Dalton passed the first phase of Ranger School this month! He’s 1/3 through at this point, though we find out this week if he passed the 2nd phase or not. We can only communicate through letters during this time, so that’s been a bit of a struggle, and my emotions have been all over the place, to say the least, but I know whatever I’m feeling, he’s going through much worse. I seriously cannot wait for it to be over.
  • I gave up shopping and drinking for wine because those are my biggest vices and for the most part it hasn’t been too bad! I will admit I kind of regretted giving up drinking when I realized how much I missed Dalton, but then again it was probably in my best interest that I did give it up. (wow I sound like I have all kinds of issues). I don’t need wine to cope, but it sure is nice to have a glass after a stressful week at work. I’m looking forward to Easter Sunday in a few weeks 😛

Looking Ahead:

  • I honestly cannot believe I’m even writing this right now, but one thing I’m looking forward to is being able to start working out again after getting the okay from my doctor. I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I couldn’t do it at all. Now I don’t want to make it seem like I work out everyday, because I definitely do not, but I do a few times a week. I’d also like to test out my new and improved sinuses and see if I can actually run now. That might be pushing it, but I’ll report back at the end of the month!
  • Tulip Season has arrived! I will hopefully be going to Skagit Valley to see the tulip fields. It’s apparently a big deal around here, so I’m looking forward to that.
  • If Dalton passes the next two phases, I’ll be going down to Georgia for his graduation. I can’t tell you how anxious and excited and nervous I am all at once. Here’s hoping and praying he passes; I miss him so much.
  • I recently purchased a pile of books that I put in a corner and promptly forgot about. I have a bit more time on my hands lately, so my hope for April is to at least finish two books. That might be expecting too much of myself, especially given my reading track record lately, but we’ll see how that goes.

Anyway, that’s all for now! I’m excited for April and have a feeling it’s going to fly by. Hopefully it’s a good one.

Lenten Things

Happy Ash Wednesday! Today marks the beginning of the 40-day journey before Easter. It’s a time marked with sacrifices and tuna fish, and the struggle of giving something significant up for those 40 days. I usually like to do something relevant that is frivolous and doesn’t better me as a person, so this year I decided to give up shopping (my go-to for the last 3 years or so) and wine. These are important because those are the two things I’m well-known for. Those who know me know I love my wine and have a crazy shopping problem, so giving both those things up is going to be a challenge. Also it should be noted that this is a weird time for me to be giving up wine, considering my boyfriend just started Ranger School and my stomach has been in knots 24/7, and will continue to be until he graduates, so wine would’ve been my regular companion during this time. But the fact that it’s going to hurt is what makes it a worthwhile sacrifice.

I’m actually really looking forward to Lent this year. It’s the first time I’ll be away from family and have their support during this challenging spiritual journey, so I have to do a lot of soul-searching on my own. One thing I’m excited to use as a resource is my new Lenten journal and Stations of the Cross cards from Blessed Is She. I purchased them a few weeks and cannot wait to delve into it tonight. I’ve found that  need to work on my communication and personal prayer life with the Lord, so I think this is the perfect time to start. I’d like to have a dedicated time for prayer each night, which is something I’ve been slacking on. I know it’s not going to be easy, and honestly thinking about it sometimes just scares me, but I think the same can be said about any good thing in life.

Put on Love Print
Put On Love Print from Blessed Is She

In The Land Of Sideways, Misty Rain & Occasional Sunshine

I always do this; start blogging again only to give up just a few weeks later. I used to convince myself it would be different this time, but at this point, I really can’t say that it will be any different. That, however, is not the main point of this post. Seattle, aka my new home, is the focus here today.

Around April 2016, I started feeling the need to do something new, live somewhere different. I wasn’t sure where I’d go, and I had no idea how I would explain my newfound desire to leave New York to my family and friends, but regardless of that I did some research and figured out where I wanted to set my focus on: Seattle. I applied to quite a few jobs, and heard back from a couple every few weeks, but being across the country made the interviewing and hiring process difficult, so I was easily overlooked as a candidate. I kept trying though, writing cover letter after cover letter. after a few weeks of that I knew I had to let my family in on my plans. As I suspected, no one was too thrilled about my decision. It was hard to explain why I felt the need to move, and I know some of my family members took it personally, which is definitely was not. this move was about me, for me.

Weeks and a couple of phone interviews went by, and in late July, I had a Skype interview with a company. I thought the interview went well, and I was figured if I did get a call back I would have to fly to Seattle for an in-person meeting. I was pleasantly surprised when I was called back a few days later with a job offer. If I accepted, I would start my new role in 3 weeks, just enough time to give my two weeks notice and get my car out to Washington. This was it, the moment I had been waiting for, finally coming through. I thanked the office manager for the opportunity and accepted the position. 

My mom was the first person I saw after the call. my mother is the strongest woman I know, and I could count one hand how many times I’ve seen her cry, so when she started crying when I told her my big news, it naturally led to a sob fest between us both. (Unlike my mother, I cry over everything. I’m tearing up now just thinking about it.) Despite her tears, she managed to choke out words of support and encouragement, and I know that was not an easy thing for her to do. 

Telling the rest of my family and friends was a bit easier, though there were mixed reactions between “yay congrats, a new job!” and “holy sh*t, you’re moving across the country”. Yet through all their own doubts and disappointment about me leaving New York, my family did their best to support me, which meant the world to me. 

I shipped my car out, gave my two weeks notice at work, and said goodbye to my life in New York. As the plane was taking off I started freaking out, wondering if I was making a terrible mistake, but it was too late; I couldn’t turn back now. When I landed in Seattle, I was picked up at the airport by Dalton’s mom. Since she lives alone she offered for me to stay with her for a few weeks while I looked for my own place, which was such a blessing. What was supposed to be just 6 weeks of living with Lisa, my super cool roommate/ boyfriend’s mother (weird, I know) has now turned in to 6 months. It turns out that we get along pretty great and don’t mind each other’s company (actually, I think it’s safe to say we prefer each other’s company, but maybe that’s just me) so Lisa offered for me to stay with her indefinitely, until I felt the need to move out on my own, which has not happened, and she hasn’t kicked me out yet so I think we’re good. We spend our Friday nights drinking wine and falling asleep on the couch by 9:45. We’re quite the roommates; she’s kind of amazing. Also I get to live with 3 dogs, so that’s pretty cool too.

I love living in Washington, more than I ever even thought I would. I figured I’d like it, maybe, hopefully, but I didn’t think I would fall in love with it the way I have. It feels like home, which is crazy to say since no place but New York has ever felt like home, but this feels right, and I have no regrets about moving out here. I love my job and the company I work for. It’ll be 6 months since I started working there, and during that time I’ve already gotten a promotion. It feels great to finally be appreciated and valued for my hard work, and I love working for a company that treats its employees right. I’ve made a few friends at my job, but I’ll save that topic for another time.

As for my family and friends, I think they’re finally coming to understand my move out here. It’s not easy being away from my family though. I feel it most on Sundays, the day we would go to church and all have breakfast. It’s honestly harder than I thought it would be, but I’m getting used to it, and I’m so grateful for FaceTime and Skype that allows me to keep in touch and see their faces on a regular basis. 

Throughout it all, my boyfriend Dalton has been incredibly supportive. He knew how much I wanted this, and I’ll always be grateful for his love and support during this time, despite all the changes he’s been going through himself. He moved to my side of the country while I moved to his, and while it hasn’t been easy being apart and dealing with the different time zones, as cliché as it sounds, I really do believe this has only made us that much stronger as a couple.

As for myself, it’s weird to even type this out but I’m proud of myself for taking the chance, jumping ship into the unexpected and doing something new and different. It was scary to say the least, but it’s been a great journey so far and I’m pleased with the direction my life has turned. 

Anyway, this was a bit longer than I planned but I had a lot to catch up on. So that’s my story! I’ll try to be better about updating regularly, and possibly talking about my adventures out here in Seattle, but ya know, no promises! 

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View from my office rooftop!

Dusting Myself Off

April and May were really difficult months and I am so glad May is finally over. I’m looking forward to June and have decided that despite the struggles of the last two months, only I can make the conscious decision to get over it. So that’s what I’m doing. I could sit here and say that I’m going to work out every day, eat healthy, cut back on junk food, spend less time online, but that’s not my plan. Not for now anyway. For now, I want to focus on getting rid of the negativity within me, as well as around me. This will be difficult because first and foremost, I hate confrontation and would rather keep something that is bothering me to myself instead of facing it head first, but if that’s what it’s going to take to start anew, then that’s what I’m going to do. Only I can make myself happy, or allow others to make me happy. I can, however, easily give others the power to bring me down and I’ve done so in the past one too many times, so enough of that. I think it’s time for me to pick myself up and dust myself off. Fortunately, despite all the challenges and difficulties experienced, I have a supportive boyfriend beside me (metaphorically speaking, for now; darn long distance relationship stuff). Being apart only adds to our challenges, but the way I see it now is, if there is no hurdle to jump over, what is the point of the reward? This distance thing is only temporary. But I’m not focusing on that. For now, I’m just focusing on the here and now, and making sure that I make it to my destination. It’s quite the journey, but I know that with the support of J and all those who love me, I will make to where I want to me. 

March

March was quite a busy month for me, which is why I haven’t posted anything on here in a few weeks. The first weekend of March, I went to visit J’s family. They only live an hour and a half away (by car) but since I don’t drive, I have to take the train which takes a good 3 hours, so whenever I visit, it’s almost like I’m traveling somewhere a lot farther. I offered to take care of his younger siblings for a day, and I was a bit nervous about that since I’d never really been alone with them. Fortunately, they are awesome kids and I had a lovely time spending the day with them! And I think they had a good time, too. Victory!

The weekend after that, I went to California on a business trip for a conference. I went from Thursday-Sunday. It was my first time on the west coast, and I really enjoyed being there. Of course, it helped that the weather was absolutely beautiful there while it was only 20 degrees in New York. I love New York, but that sunshine really won me over! Since I was there for work, I didn’t have much time to go many places, but I did walk through Downtown Disney and around the area, which was pretty cool. I also had In-N-Out burger, which was the only thing I really wanted to do while I was there, so I was happy about that!

Southern California!
Southern California!

The last weekend of March was my absolute favorite though. I went to visit J! I saw him two months ago for his graduation but it was so great to see him and spend some time together. The weekend went by way too quickly though. I’m so glad I was able to go. We needed that.

Visiting J!
Visiting J!

And on that Saturday night, my sister, Jenny , had her baby in Spain! She wasn’t due for another 2 weeks but Baby Rodrigo Jose was ready to be born already! He is so very precious and I am so excited to be an aunt again. #8! It never gets old. Now I just can’t wait till the day I get to meet him! Summer needs to get here already!

Baby RJ!
Baby RJ!

So that was my month of March. Traveling, visiting, adventures and a new baby. It was fun. Now here’s to April and the end of another school term! Because there’s still school to think about amongst all the fun. But I’ll save that topic for another time. For now, I’ll just look at the pictures from March and smile at the memories made.