Monday, September 24, 2018

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday, all! This was a good weekend. We packed a lot in, but we got to relax as well which was needed.

It's my last week at work and I'm definitely feeling the feels. We'll see how I do on Friday ;) Until then, let's recap.

My girlfriend came over on Friday night to meet Henry and see our house.

She gave us a sweet "Home Sweet Home" sign and this lovely gold Eiffel Tower that has aromatherapy beads inside of it (!) which fits perfectly on our entryway table where I've been featuring Paris related items (an old map my Grandpa used when he was there as a sailor in the Navy, books, etc.) upon our upcoming trip. 

We caught up which was SO nice and needed, planned a little bit of our upcoming girl's trip to Florida, and marveled at how big this guy looks already.

I got up earlyyy on Saturday morning so my dad and I could make it to the DMV near my house before it opened. I had decided early last week that I would attempt at getting my license on Saturday morning because if I didn't do it this past weekend, I wouldn't be able to go for another few weeks, so I decided to try my luck (and nerves!) and see what happened.

And what happened was...I passed! 

I've mentioned it a few times on here in an attempt to be transparent in documenting my life, but it's still something I've been embarrassed about, and therefore, don't mention to a lot of people. I'm twenty-six years old (about a month shy of twenty-seven) and, up until a few days ago, I didn't have a license. This is a decade in the making. A decade of feeling lesser than everyone else in my life because I haven't been an active driver, a person without a license. I've allowed it to control my thoughts every single day for the last ten years. One would think that would be enough to motivate someone to deal with their own shit and anxieties and just get going already. But it hadn't. 

It wasn't until last Spring when I sought therapy that I decided I needed to deal with my anxieties around driving, which, as it turns out, is a result of a deep rooted fear of (essentially) performance anxiety and/or being judged for doing something "wrong." It's weird how our insecurities from childhood manifest into adulthood, especially when they're not dealt with head-on. 

Over the last ten years I've thought getting my license would be SUCH a relief. Finally I wouldn't have to think about this thing that I'm lacking anymore. But since going to therapy, I've realized that not having a driver's license doesn't make me less of an adult or functioning individual. Certainly having it will make my life (and other's close to me) much easier, but I've always managed to remain relatively independent without it. A plastic card doesn't equate my self worth or worth as an adult or human in our world. 

I will admit to being a little disappointed when I didn't feel all that different after getting it. Like I said, I thought I would feel this huge relief, and when I didn't, I was kinda sad honestly. Like, that's what I waited all this time for? Haha. But I think it further proves that I didn't need that card after all. I mean I need it haha but I didn't need it to feel good about myself.

That being said, I am immensely proud of myself for overcoming my insecurities, anxieties, and fears that were exceptionally deep rooted, especially so after the last ten years. I will sing praises of therapy and the wonders it works (especially when you have a therapist as exponentially wonderful as mine) forever and ever, and while therapy is what gave me the tools to make some changes in my life and opened my eyes to the real issues, it was ME who did the lasting work. And for that, I'm very proud.

And I'm incredibly grateful that everyone in my life has been SO supportive. They've been supportive in many forms over the years, especially in the form of driving me around for ten years longer than they should have, but especially supportive in how excited they've been for me. Case in point, the man of few words sending me this text (and me, being the vain person I am, only worried about my picture ;) ).

I've always been worried (and unnecessarily so) that some people would respond with "finally!" or make a well-meaning joke that I would inevitably take personally haha and no one did that. Everyone acted as I suspect they would have to my sixteen-year-old self, and that made this experience that much better. And I was so happy to go with my dad who has been my guiding force (with the help of my siblings, my mom, and Sammy, of course) in this driving adventure. 

This may seem super boring or weird to some, but it's another part of my journey and a part I definitely want to document, although I'm sure I wouldn't ever forget even if I didn't blog about it. So after receiving my temporary license, we booked it out of the DMV and headed over (with me behind the wheel ;) ) to Allen's Corner for a celebratory breakfast.

Absolutely the greatest breakfast place around. If you're ever in Hampshire, IL, or anywhere remotely close for that matter, do yourself a favor and stop in.

After my dad dropped me off at home in CL, Sammy and I took Henry to downtown CL to walk around and stop by the farmer's market. We picked up some tomatoes and corn and Henry was approached by every adult and child around...and we lived for it. Not ashamed to admit how much I loved everyone fawning over our boy haha.

This is Henry fully laying at farmer's market haha I think he was getting tired out from all the socializing!
We stopped at three flower nurseries in town before heading home with a cornstalk, hay bale, and some mums.

Henry and I proceeded to sit in the backseat because the corn stalk extended all the way from the trunk to the front seat of the car haha.

Obsessed with these views. We didn't end up leaving the lanterns up there, but I loved seeing all these pieces situated together.

We're not sure how long the mums are going to last because they won't get any light on our porch unfortunately, so if they end up dying, we're going to move them to our patio in the back which gets a ton of light, and we'll replace with a bunch of pumpkins which I think will actually look even more festive around Halloween and Thanksgiving time than the mums.

We were home long enough to style our porch before heading over to Sammy's brother and SIL's house so we could babysit our niece for the evening. I was incredibly pumped to lay on the couch and read and nap and not be disturbed once Eliana went to sleep.

But before that, we played on many toys with wheels...

and in our fort with many balls...

And we read many books, which is this zia's favorite ;)

Of course we had a snag in the evening. As Sammy and I were eating dinner after Eliana had gone to bed, we realized their dog had been skunked, poor girl. So we dealt with that (well, Sammy dealt with the dog while I cleaned everything else, thank god) and tried to get the smell out of the house as best we could. Luckily she only got skunked a tiny bit and the hydrogen peroxide mixture we made seemed to do the trick.

And I got to read and nap for the rest of the night until they came home which was pure bliss.

Meanwhile, back at our house, my mom and brother saved the day again by coming over to watch Henry so he wouldn't be in his crate the entire time we babysat. We got home around 2 a.m. and I was exhausted having been up since 6:30 a.m. that morning, so I immediately crashed.

I got up around 8 and took Henry out and met a woman (around my age!) who lives on the next street over. We exchanged numbers and plan on getting together which was a nice way to start the morning. 

I made some coffee (added some cinnamon for seasonal measure), brought a load of laundry upstairs to fold, and watched a Fall Harvest Hallmark movie.

I also intermittently studied the style guide my new employer uses which is one of the dorkiest things I've ever done and please note the amount of hair Henry has started to shed thank you.

Sammy's grandma and parents came over for dinner (and so Sammy's dad could help him mount the TV in the basement) and so his grandma could see the house for the first time. Her reaction was really sweet, but she also told us now we have to get married because we "don't have anymore excuses." OKAY.

His parents saved the day by bringing over the crate their new German Shepard has already outgrown because Henry has outgrown the little crate we got from my mom. I think he's going to be much happier with a little more space and we'll definitely have this one for longer than the first. Sorry you had to look at this phenom picture. Not sure why I thought this was vital to this post. But whatever!

Anyway, there ya have it. A packed weekend followed by a pretty light week which I'm happy about. I have several things to get done this week on my personal to-do list, so a light week should help out with that a lot.

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! xo

*linking up with Biana!

Friday, September 21, 2018

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, people! This was a good week. Nothing exceptional happened outside of resigning from my job (!), but that resignation made for a shift in energy around the office which made the week go by seemingly quicker. It's amazing to no longer be bothered by things happening in the office. I mean, I'm still bothered by things because things that are wrong should bother you regardless, but they don't effect me anymore, so without that investment, my days have been happier.

Some favorites from the week...

// Realizing Sammy and I leave for Paris in less than two weeks. Surreal.

// Walks with Henry. We don't go very far, but we're making progress.

// Receiving some official paperwork and company handbook from my new employer.

A hint at who I'll be working for next...
// Snuggles with Henry. He naps a ton on the floor, but we haven't gotten him to sit still enough on the couch to nap, but earlier this week after his shower, he conked out. 

// Finding a phenomenal cleaning product for our jute rugs (that were seemingly impossible to get stains out of)

// Starting to look for Disney and HP shirts for our girl's trip to Florida at the beginning of November!  (I love this one that feat. a dark horse Hagrid quote.)

// Homemade meatballs and (store-bought) tortellini

// Finding this on my desk one morning at work from my favorite coworker. How cute is that cookie?

That's it for me! My girlfriend is coming over tonight to meet Henry, we're babysitting our niece tomorrow night, and Sammy's parents are coming for dinner on Sunday. Hoping to get some relaxing in there somewhere!

Have a great weekend, all. xo

*linking up with Christina and Andrea!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

[WHW]: Closing a Chapter

If you read yesterday's post you know my big news: I've recently accepted a new position and will be leaving my current company next week. I'm extremely excited for this new opportunity and I'm starting the process this week of closing this chapter in my life.

I have a giant to-do list of things I need to get done before I leave next Friday and am seriously wishing I had negotiated a few days of not working between leaving this job and starting my new one. I start Monday, October 1, and then we leave two days later on Wednesday night for Paris--ha!

Speaking of, I haven't even begun to think about Paris because it doesn't seem real that we leave two weeks from today. I don't plan on buying anything for our trip--I like to think I keep a decent stash of "Parisian" staples in my wardrobe already--but I need to start making some packing lists and what not. 

We've purposely done little planning for this trip. I've been to Paris already and done the whole plan each day, hour by hour, filling them to the brim with tourist destinations and things to do, and I felt strongly about not doing that this time around. Sammy has been to Europe twice already so he's done the see-everything-you-can thing too, so we're both content to just show up and wander the streets of Paris at a leisurely pace. Of course I didn't give up planning entirely. If you know me, you know I've had a Google Doc for months now with a running list of possible things to do and restaurants to go to ;)

On our short list (and all things I didn't do the first time around in Paris):
-Musée Rodin (or at least the gardens which are free to get into)
-Musée de L’Orangerie (I have to see Monet's "Waterlilies")
-Catacombs (we're both weirdos who are enthralled by skeletons I guess)
-‎Luxembourg Gardens (I went here the last time I was in Paris but it's one of the places I know Sammy will love so I definitely want to go back with him)
-‎Eiffel Tower (which I think is pretty obvious, but I would love to picnic here or something)

I'm also looking forward to hopefully finding some cool little things for our house, as well as some thrifted items. When I was there last, I brought gifts home for everyone I knew, but I didn't come home with anything for myself. So I'll definitely be bringing things home for people if I see something they would like, but I'm keeping my eyes peeled for stuff for our home and my closet ;)

Other things happening in our world: Henry, of course. He had another vet appointment on Monday and, according to Sammy, they all love him. I mean, what's not to love?

He's teething pretty bad right now which has been a little stressful, but it's just a phase we have to get through. Otherwise, I think he's been doing pretty well and progressing accordingly per his age, which is great.

My mom came over on Monday night to watch The Emmy's which was a nice change for a weeknight. And my dad will be coming over tomorrow night for dinner. Love seeing them any chance I get.

That's all for me so far this week! I'm looking forward to a low-key night at home tonight. Hoping Henry feels the same way ;)

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Weekend Recap

Recap on a Tuesday, my specialty ;) 

It was a packed weekend and just when I thought I couldn't possibly implement another big life change into this year...another came around the corner.

I've talked a little bit about how things have changed at my job since my boss left last year, but I haven't gone into too much detail just because this blog is technically a public space and I never wanted someone to stumble upon it and read something disrespectful, not that I'd ever use this medium to disrespect anyone, more like vent, if you will.

So I'm sure it wouldn't come as a surprise to know that I've been job searching for the last year, but have up come up empty at every turn. I've submitted at least twenty applications and that's me being picky. I've had a few interviews, turned down a second interview, was rejected at the last interview stage, etc. It's been an exhausting process to say the least but I know my experience isn't a unique one and people usually have it much worse or more riding on their employment status than I do.

But patience, it turns out, is a virtue. I had met with the Creative Director of another local publishing house because she used to work with my former boss who highly recommended I reach out to her. I sent the company my resume and a cover letter at the beginning of this year and I heard back the next day with them asking if I'd come in just to have a chat. They weren't currently hiring, but they were "impressed" with my letter and how I presented myself and wanted to meet me. My former boss thinks incredibly highly of this Creative Director, but the Creative Director thinks very highly of my boss as well, so I'm sure saying that I used to work for her helped get me in the door too.

Our meeting went really well, I vibed with all the employees, especially the CD, so I was a little disappointed when nothing seemed to come of it even though I knew they weren't in a position to hire. She wanted to keep in touch, so we had sent friendly emails back and forth for the next few months, but by the summer, I hadn't heard from her in a while. Turns out that's because they were busy buying content from a UK publisher (which was a big deal in the publishing industry) and moving their entire office into a new space. 

Low and behold, I heard from her just last week. She said she was interested to see what I was up to and ended up sending a job posting before they went public with it. I told her I was VERY interested, to say the least, and she asked me to come to their office on Friday where she promptly offered me the job. Sammy dropped me off at the interview because we had plans to go shopping afterward, and he was so cute when I got back in the car and told him I got the job. And then we went out for sushi to celebrate. :)

I was on cloud nine for the rest of the day (okay, I still am!) and refreshed my email only a dozen times looking for the official offer letter while we stopped in a few stores. I spotted a few of my new employer's books in every store we went to which I don't think will ever get old.

The offer letter came that afternoon and after dealing with a few technical difficulties (I had to print several forms, sign them, scan, and send them back and of course our printer wasn't cooperating), I was able to send them back on Sunday. 

In the meantime, we did a lot of lounging from Friday afternoon into the evening and it was great.

Saturday morning we got up and lounged a little bit.

Which only lasted about thirty seconds when Henry decided he needed to lounge by himself. Got it from his momma.

We got ready in the afternoon before heading out with a few of Sammy's friends to attend a wedding of one of their coworker's.

The venue was only about ten minutes from our house (something that never happens, I swear we're not close to any party we're invited to haha) which was awesome. The ceremony was short and very sweet.

Sammy is obsessed with these guys, and I'm eternally grateful and relieved he found such amazing friends to walk this police journey with.

And super grateful they have wonderful girlfriends I can call friends.

These two were so happy and it was so sweet. The guys kept talking about how they have never seen the groom so happy in their entire lives (he's a serious man of few words), so to see him smile all night long was so nice.

There's that $30 Amazon find! I got compliments on it all night, so well worth the money I think. 

After the wedding we headed back to CL and stopped at The Cottage but only lasted about twenty minutes before exhaustion fully set in. It was a wonderful night and Sammy and I were so glad my mom and brother stopped by to watch Henry while we were gone.

Sunday morning we slept in a little bit (as much as you can when you have a puppy) and then went downstairs to lounge around before Sammy had to go to work.

This guy napped on and off all day, and I was pretty grateful for the break and the chance to enjoy a lazy Sunday. I wonder what's going to happen when he gets too big and won't fit under this chair anymore...

We discovered we can cool off by lying next to the vents and that was pretty fun ;)

I made white chicken chili and really liked it. I didn't have green chiles which I love so I was disappointed about missing that flavor, but I added in corn instead and enjoyed the sweetness it added to the spices.

I snacked on some of my favorite things courtesy of my dad, caught up on my recorded Ellens, and watched Sierra Burgess Is a Loser on Netflix and liked it a lot! 

And this guy just kept on napping. 

I really liked this chili with tortilla chips but would have loved it with corn bread. I think it was a little too rich for Sammy (it has heavy cream and cream cheese in it, my kind of recipe), so it may not be on heavy rotation but I'll definitely make it again. It actually would make a great dip in a smaller portion.

And the napping continued...

I watched Seinfeld for the rest of the night and tried to relax but have to admit I was developing major "Sunday Scaries" by the time the sun went down. I wasn't nervous to go into work (like I usually am on Sunday nights) because I knew I'd be handing in my resignation so my workload was going to go from proactive mode to wrapping things up before I leave mode and the energy was just going to be different and all that, but it was the fear of not knowing how the resigning was going to be received that was getting to me. My girlfriend reassured me by saying that it's definitely a nerve-wracking thing to do, but if it's received poorly, that's more justification that leaving is the right thing to do.

I finally tapered some of that anxiety enough to get ready to go to bed. I thought I would quickly introduce Henry to our bed (because we eventually want him to sleep with us and I don't want him to be surprised when we let him come up and then freak out about this new place he has haha) to which he responded by spotting himself in the mirror again and wouldn't move from this position until I carried him off haha. He looks so big to me here!

In any case, yesterday went extremely well. My boss took the news well and was very kind about it which I appreciate. 

An official announcement hasn't been made to the company yet (for seemingly no apparent reason), but my last day will be next Friday, the 28th. I've told the people I wanted to tell because I didn't want them to be blindsided by an email or offended I didn't tell them personally. I care about so many people I work with and definitely take pride in fostering the relationships I have with them.

I can't wait to share more about my new job--I'm so excited for this move in my career and the opportunity to work with this company. They make THE cutest books, and I can't wait to champion them.

But all in all, the weekend was packed with all the things: another life change, a wedding, some family time, lounging, cooking, laughing, etc. Another weekend to prove blessings on blessings.