Free time, but no free time all at once

When most of you read the title of this post, you will think I have officially lost it, but after trying to put how I have been feeling these past few months into words, those are the best to describe it all.

Post grad life has been so exciting and rewarding! I don’t think very many people know this, but I am exactly where I want to be, hell, I really didn’t even know this until about 2 months ago. I won’t go into all the details, but when I sit and look back to even 1 year ago, who I thought I was and where I thought I would be is totally opposite of where I am and who I really am. I know more confusion, try living it! I will give a short recap: I started college in 2006 as an art major (got talked out of it all with the whole “you can’t live off that” speech), so I switched to business and then to journalism – ad & PR. The thought of making $$$$$ motivated me and was my driving force, don’t get my wrong, I love the creativeness behind it all – I love design, writing and it actually is 100% the path I needed to take to be doing what I do now, but the motives behind it all for me have changed. Of course I want to make $$$, but I have once again come to a reality for myself that for me money doesn’t = happiness, doing what I love does.

So that is what I have been doing and plan to do for the rest of my life! Yes, I have finally found what to do for “the rest of my life.” I grew up surrounded by crafts/sewing/fabric 24/7 as I was lucky to have a mom who owns a fabric shop. I learned to sew at the age of 3 and was really into it for awhile, then HS hit and I let partying take control, then college hit and I thought there were bigger and “better” things out there, while I learned through internships and jobs that there are bigger things out there, to me there is nothing “better” – I had my dream job in front of me all along, I just was too stupid to realize it. But on the defense, they say you can’t appreciate things until you have lost them or gone out and experienced things you don’t like making you realize the good you have. I do not regret the path it took to get here, just the amount of time it took and the money I lost in the process, but everything happens for a reason!

Anyway, the point to this ramble is that I hadn’t blogged in awhile, but I have been so busy with this new/old me. I can’t really say new me because I am just re-discovering who I once was. Back to the free time, but no free time thing – most everyone knows my life was 100% devoted to school, so once I graduated I feel like people expected me to be free all of a sudden, but that is not how I want it, I want free time and have it, but I also have a million and a half different lists of projects/hobbies/things to learn. I have finally loosened up again, and just started to let myself be me, something I feel like I shut away during college. I was so obsessed with the sight of $$$ and big agencies and this and that, that I truly feel like I lost sight of myself, and I am now spending my days re-discovering me! Everyday I learn something new, for example, I had not seen a Star Wars movie for quite sometime before tonight, a year ago I would have said who has time for that, but tonight my hubby and I decided to start from the beginning, well episode IV – a new hope, of our BluRay complete series (yes, I bought it for him for xmas, all $90 of it). We are going to watch one a night this week, and I am so looking forward to it!

It was seriously so fun and refreshing to just nerd out together, my hubby has always been and will always be a big nerd at heart and I love that about him, and he has always called me his little closet nerd. ❤ No, not just HP, I have always been a HUGE Marvel girl, and yes, I have a WOW account and I love to play, I grew up watching hours of Star Trek, and have a thing for all supernatural, my favorite books are those that for the most part do not involve humans, and TrueBlood may or may not be a fantasy world I wish I lived in, well after HP of course! I have been having so much fun just living life again! Another favorite activity of mine has been gamin’ it up with the hubby – right now we are obsessing with HP Lego years 1-4 (almost entirely beat after countless hours of fun) and we are excited to play years 5-7, Pirates Lego, Batman Lego, Starwars Lego and Indiana Lego (we have them all waiting). We have also been playing a lot of Mario, a FOREVER favorite, and a few others.

In addition to finding my inner nerd again, I cannot stop thinking about DIY crafting/sewing projects and I have finally been crossing projects off my list and finishing projects I had cut out from 5+ years ago – after my 40+ hours a week of work that is – I am lucky though, it is work that I LOVE! For once in my life, I look forward to Monday, I never hate being at work and even find myself wanting to go put in extra hours, I mean my work is also my hobby and I love that!

I am also super excited to FINALLY be going to Comic-Con! This is something the hubby & I have wanted to do since day 1 together, but one of us always had summer class finals at that time, but not this year! In addition to SD Comic Con, we plan to attend some of the other shows as well as Wonder Con next year and BlizzCon 2013. Another event that just got added to our list is the new HP Studio Tour in LONDON, yes LONDON opening Spring 2012 and of course HP World in FL. I cannot wait for these trips/events – costumes/outfit planning in full effect!

Post grad for a lot of students = traveling the world (which I am jealous of and I know we will do one day), landing top notch jobs with Fortune 500 companies, becoming parents, getting married, moving somewhere new, etc. but for me it = re-discovering myself and finally realizing what I truly want has been right in front of me all along, I just needed to go out an experience things that didn’t make me happy to appreciate it and let myself be me!

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It finally snowed..

Not much… but we finally got some of the pretty white stuff! I have been waiting since November. Living in OR, it is unpredictable when and how much (if at all) snow we will get. Some years it snows in Nov/Dec and other years not until March. This year we like the rest of the country have been having a very mild winter – the mountains just opened this last weekend for boarding/skiing, but although open, it was nothing to get too excited over.

Shaun and I did get to see some snow in Dec. when we went to Leavenworth, WA – but even for them it has been a very mild winter. We were expecting 3-4 feet like normal in Dec. for them and got 6″ to a foot while there.

Since Friday, we had been hearing this talk of snow Sat night, sunday, monday and tuesday – while last night it finally dusted the valley floor, we got quite impatient yesterday and decided to make a last minute trip up the Mckenzie to play – we left around 3:30pm knowing the drive back would be dark, snowy and icy but we also wanted to take the beast out to the snow for the 1st time.

Shaun's baby

so pretty!

winter wonderland

Such a fun night

While I love traveling to warm places, I really do love winter and the snow and am not one bit jealous of anywhere warm right now – I am more jealous of Alaska. We are supposed to get more tonight, and I am hoping for a blizzard! We both love snow, him I think even more than me – his #1 places to go are Alaska, Patagonia and Antarctica – and if he could talk me into it, I am sure we would live in the mountains as last night he hinted at it several times!

In our yard and on my walk this morning I captured some of the valley snow

Again, let it snow! 

New hobby!

In addition to working 40hours a week+ (an online business means you really work way more than that), which consists of running our online Etsy site, starting a second online store, designing a website for the business, managing advertising, packaging orders, buying new products, doing alterations and managing the paperwork and budget, I have decided I need a new hobby!

Not only do I want to take up this hobby, but I want to continue to focus on my others; handmade crafts, sewing, beading/jewelry and photography. I have always wanted to learn to knit and have just never taken the time to learn! One of my goals for 2012 is to quit wanting to do things, but to get out and do them now that I am done with school and on my own schedule!

I want to be able to make fun stuff like this –

Adorable stuff like this –

& pretty stuff like this –

I have a few friends who knit, one of them who has a Facebook page and does custom orders – I recently ordered this hat and I cannot wait to wear it!

I am going to teach myself for the most part as I have access to thousands of books/products via wholesale, but I am excited to take an intro class later this month via a local craft shop to learn the basics!

Reflecting

The past few days I have just been doing major reflecting and found this quote that matches my exact feelings going into the new year – while I am not where I thought I would be, I am where I am meant to be and truly happy with life at the moment for once instead of always worrying/waiting for the future – I am finally taking time to enjoy life as it is and all that we have going for us instead of dwelling on “what could be.” 

2011 down!

Earlier this year I did a mini-recap after graduation, but here is one in full for those who are curious about the highlights/lowlights of our 2011.

2011 was a wild ride for sure – a year unlike any other! Shaun & I have been together for 6 years now, and moved in together after just 3 months, so for 5 years we had lived together (3 1/2 at married at the time) when in Jan 2011, Shaun moved to Portland to start our new life there after I had been accepted as one of 15 students for the competitive Portland Senior Experience through the UO, it didn’t start until my final term in March, but we felt Shaun moving first to get us settled was the best plan, although very very hard on us seeing as how we hadn’t spent a night apart in 5 years, no joke! The other alternative though was moving in a one week timeframe of Spring Break, something neither of us wanted, plus he needed time to search for a job. In Feb. he started working for Microsoft Xbox Live through an IT help desk center in Beaverton, OR – it was a good job, but surprisingly the pay was horrible in comparison to other IT jobs and the hours sucked as it was a 24hour help desk service. Anyway, I stayed back in our house from Jan-March finishing one of my last terms of college, and I might add the hardest term ever, workload wise and emotionally – I was lost without my hubby. Thankfully though, my bestie of 10 years moved in and although I was always busy with hw and PR work, I knew she was always there for me. Shaun and I skyped a lot and spent every waking hour on the phone when we were not busy with work, but because of our crazy schedules, there were days when we wouldn’t talk until late at night knowing 7am was just around the corner. The only thing that kept us sane was the weekends (we spent every weekend together, usually he would come to eug due to my hw load, but I went to Ptown a few weekends too – every trip would end with me balling on the way home) and the fact that in a few months we would have our live in Portland, something we had both dreamed about for years.

At the beginning of 2011 (and all the way up to graduation) I had dreams of landing a big-time PR gig for an agency or working in public affairs, so my senior year, I knew I had to put myself in the front lines of my graduating competition – I worked hard to become a co-VP of Communications for UO’s PRSSA chapter, an Account Exec. for UO’s PR agency – Allen Hall PR as well as take 21 credits, that was Winter term, Spring term was coming up fast and my mentality was … FINALLY PTOWN!

There were a couple hiccups along the way, as well as a few great moments! On one of the weekends the hubby came to Eugene to visit, we got to attend the preview night of the new Matthew Knight Arena as well as opening game where the ducks beat USC and Uncle Phil gave an amazing speech, oh and fireworks!

Thank you Uncle Phil

On the verge of a meltdown, the hubby and I spent another weekend of his in Eugene on a mini-getaway to the snow, while the day of was fun – we BOTH wound up with pneumonia that next day – a seriously HORRID sickness that wiped us both out for over a month, not to mention for me it was in addition to asthma and then of course 2 major sinus infections hit. The worst part of it was we were all alone (I had my mommy – thank god – but he had no one), him being in Ptown and me in Eugene both with jobs/school that we absolutely could not miss, which did not help in recovery. I finally had to take a week off classes, luckily I had very understanding teachers who understood and gave me a break as I was an A student, but I still fell way behind in everything & it took a lot to catch up. After 2 rounds of antibiotics and steroids for the hubby, he was finally better and after those same treatments & having fluid pulled off my lungs 3 weeks into it, I felt better just in time for moving week, but a couple days later I not only relapsed but got hit with one of the worst sinus infections ever and was down again, this time with a 106 fever and a few trips to the ER – this time we were together in Ptown but I felt alone and scared without my mom. I was also super sad that it was St. Pattys day weekend and my first weekend living in Ptown finally and Spring Break and sick in bed is not how I had planned to spend it. So… I ignored doctor’s warnings and we went out…. bad bad bad idea, for it only got worse. But as my hubby is Irish and St. Paddys is one of our favs, we proceeded to go bar hopping the whole weekend as well as go out with is co-workers bowling a drinking.

St. Paddys day in Ptown

 I went down again for 2 weeks with yet another relapse and more ER visits, this time the doctors got serious and scared me into resting – so Spring Break was spent in bed. The first week of the most anticipated term of my life was also spent in a zombie state, but I made it to classes and started my internship (part of the program) with the Mayor’s Office for the City of Beaverton, which I LOVED every moment of except the office politics. While there, I got to shadow some great people and cover some amazing events/stories like a CASA event that hopefully changed children’s lives for the better!

After awhile I was finally well again and the bestie and I went on a random roadtrip to Seattle –

Gum wall

& then the next weekend for Memorial day Shaun and I went to Seattle again for our annual Yankee/Mariner game with his dad and step mom!

Yanks lost :(, but at least one of us was happy!

&&  I was finally able to start enjoying Portland!

view from our balcony at our apt

Blazer win!

Night out downtown with the bestie and our guys

Happy hours and blazer games at BWW

Walks through Washington park

Life in Ptown was fun and an exciting new adventure, but we both were struggling to find careers we wanted. We were stressed about the future and trying not to let it effect our time in Portland. However, I am thankful for the things I did get to experience during the Senior Experience – agency tours, meetings with PR professionals and connection with big wigs including the VP of Intel and more!

Graduation quickly approached and I was sooooooo excited, for those of you who knew me back in the day, this is something that a lot of people never thought I would accomplish, and not only was I graduating with a double-major, I graduated with a 3.88 GPA overall (4.1 my last term) and I was on the Dean’s list – all things I will always be proud of!

With graduation approaching, I wanted one more crazy and wild college night out where it was perfectly acceptable to pass out at Taylor’s and run around campus crazy! The environment of campus was just what I wanted the night before graduation – WILD and carefree, WE DID IT!

Love my girls (so sad katelyn was missing)

The beginning of a wild night - Taylor's, Rennies and downtown

After getting free drinks all night, 86’d from Rennies and getting out of a DUI because I was graduating (I literally had to show the cop my student ID – so not proud now), it was the last night out in college that I needed, I ended college with good grades and a crazy night – one of the happiest weekends of my life!

I DID IT!

Bestie and our supportive guys

After grad, the hubby and I flew to VEGAS to celebrate – our 6th Vegas trip together!

we love vegas!

Vegas clubs

classy

After we got back, I accepted a paid internship with a PR agency on the east side, the SCENE marketing group – I was in charge of a PR campaign for the Jupiter Hotel. While I loved my internship, we were both still on the hunt for real careers all over the US – we were applying everywhere! Shaun got a call from a friend letting him know an IT spot was opening up at Oregon Medical Group in Eugene starting out with a great salary and benefits – best & worst news ever! Of course he applied and took it when offered, while sad to leave Portland so soon, I was soooooo happy and proud of him as this was his dream starting position. Of course I was sad to leave Ptown, but I know we can always visit and things are better for us in Eugene, I am truly happy with where we are now and while thankful for our time in PDX, I know this is where we belong for now!

We knew then that we only had a few weeks to live it up before he had to start and we had to buckle down, so he quit his job in Beaverton and I quit my internship knowing I had to quit anyway to move to Eugene again and we went on a random LA trip for the 4th of July(planned 3 days in advance) – it was a blast!

We got to see my brother who moved down there earlier in the year

We spent 2 days on the gorgeous Cali coast - Malibu, Santa Monica, Huntington and Laguna

2 days at Disney/Cali Adventure - fun to act like kids again!

Saw the best light/water show ever - World of Color

an amazing night!

4th of July at Disneyland!

A few short weeks later we went to VEGAS again, but with a group of friends to celebrate a bday!

Us all ready to go out

Holly Madison - best adult show

Dinner, drink and dessert at the famous Simon's at the PALMS - best dessert platter ever!

2nd time to the GHOSTBAR

CHOSTBAR at the Palms

We got back into Ptown at 11pm Sunday night and Shaun started work at 7am Monday in Eugene – we had yet to move – but we had spent the past few weeks living it up and it was worth it!

We decided that since the hubby is now making enough for me to figure out what I really want to do, that I didn’t have to go out and get just some job and that I could take time to find what I really wanted to do. I am now the founder of the online store/business for my parent’s shop as well as a registered product buyer, advertising exec. and social media guru – and for once I am 100% happy in my work and it is going great! While there is talk of possible grad school in the future, there is also talk of becoming partner and eventually owner of Jean Marie’s Fabrics!! In addition I have discovered Etsy and have been able to start sewing & crafting again and will be opening a second store in 2012! I am so lucky to have a supportive husband who wants nothing more for me than to see me excel at what I love, not just do something to get us by. Lastly, I spent a few months babysitting for a friend and while my baby fever was already sky high – that sealed the deal – so we are hoping we get to announce an addition in the near future (no we are not preggo yet). 2011 has been a year for change, but we are both finally where we want to be and loving it!

We got to Eugene just in time for DUCK SEASON and had the chance to attend every game! There are far to many highlights/photos but it was overall a great season as we hosted/won the 1st ever PAC12 championship game and WON THE ROSE BOWL!

Home opener

Last home game of the season & 1st pac12 champ game ever

Fireworks at autzen!

Did I mention we WON THE ROSE BOWL!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sept – Dec was lets just say BUSIER than ever – life did not slow down after graduation! We both celebrated our bdays in Oct., as well as all the holidays!

We also got to go on a few coast trips, which while not fancy like Vegas are some of our favorite times!

Our first time to Cannon Beach/Seaside - new favorite

riding the dunes for brandy's bday at the coast

4th wedding anniversary - seaside ❤

We ended the year trying to buy a house and getting denied due to it being in a flood zone, which now that we think about it is more of a blessing than a downfall (more in another post). We then decided to finally get the hubby his truck!!

Dodge Ram 1500 with Hemi

In addition we spent an amazing weekend in Leavenworth, WA/our annual Xmas weekend with Shaun’s WA family – one of the best weekends!

An amazing town, seriously GO!

Sleigh ride!

We rang in the New Year with an amazing weekend at the coast – a perfect ending of a good year overall/starting of a new year!

Dancing in the New Year! Happy 6 years baby!

Like I said, 2011 was a year of major changes and we finally are where we want to be, yes even back in Eugene has been a blessing & while we LOVED Pdx, we are not dwelling on leaving, but rather looking forward to many Pdx trips in the future! No more college life (fun while it lasted) – we are now on to our adult lives and I feel like we are just getting started, I am so excited to see what 2012 has in store!

I am sure I have forgotten things here and there, but I am not trying to write a novel! Overall 2011 was a great year!

Ringing in 2012

So in my last post I wrote about our decision to have a “calmer” NYE, which we did but we still decided to dress up and go out! We traded in the typical club scene which for us has become old and flooded with the younger scene of singles (while that was fun back in the day), we had the PERFECT nye at ThreeRivers casino (the next best thing to Vegas). Not to mention the $50 covers for the bars in PDX (our old plan) – ummmm you are not Vegas, sorry while PDX bars are cool, they are NOT $50 a person cool, nor do I want to wait in line for hours in the freezing cold, no thanks!

Saturday morning we went and saw New Year’s Eve and then headed to the coast still unsure if we were going to spend NYE in our hotel room with champagne or go out to the NYE bash at ThreeRivers – we had outfits packed just in case. We wound up getting there late afternoon-ish and decided to have early toasts (drinking a bottle of champagne) around 5 and watch the last sunset of 2011 off our balcony, after that we decided to go to the bash and we wanted to gamble/drink more!

Our view from the room

Ready to go out

Happy 6 years together ❤

After dinner

Ready to game, drink and dance the night away

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Free photobooth fun 🙂

We enjoyed a great dinner, drinks, winning $$$$$$ and dancing the night away under lights and a disco ball to an awesome cover band! What we loved about it was that it was a mixed scene and nobody acted stuck up, or rude – something lately that the clubs have a serious problem with! There were younger single hotties (guys & girls) dressed skimpy, married/serious couples like us still dressed up but not running around with our asses hanging out and then the older but still down to party/dress flashy crowd who were a riot! Overall, it was an amazing night and the best NYE yet! I loved drinking and dancing the new year in with my hubby, oh and we won $$$ as well!

New Years day we woke up to sun at the coast…. so we took the morning to go out and enjoy it!

Jan 1, 2012

Drawing in the sand

beach kisses

&& I got to play around some more with my new lenses!

We both love reading and wanted to get a lot of reading done, so we spent the afternoon reading while watching/listening to the waves roll in. Then for dinner we went to Mo’s in oldtown (our fav) and walked along the pier/the little shops! We both got some cool souvenirs (he found a comic book shop and I found a jewelry store with tons of owl stuff). After dinner, we came back to watch the blazer/clipper game and drink beer but it wasn’t on TV (at least not on the cable the hotel got – huge bummer), but we drank beer played board games and read more instead!

Reppin' the ducks the whole weekend

View from dinner ❤

1st sunset of 2012!

Board games!

It was great to not only wake up to the ocean Monday and no work, but it was ROSE BOWL day! We both were giddy and excited from the time we got up! Monday was more typical for coast weather in Jan. as we woke up to grey skies and rain, but as much as I love the sunny coast, I also love the stormy coast. We ducked out and watched the Capital Bowl until we had to check out, then we headed to ThreeRivers again, this time for the ROSE BOWL party – we had tickets to the event which was shown on a 228″ screen, and included $5 in slot play each, a FREE all you could eat buffet throughout the whole game (they went allll out – burgers, hot dogs, chili, ribs, hot wings, salad, a nacho bar, a dessert bar and free soda), and a 2011 duck football yearbook! Not only did the ducks win, but I won $200 off $1 at half time and got a free drink!

ROSES!

ThreeRivers

I had already had an amazing weekend and then…. THE DUCKS WON THE ROSE BOWL!!!!!!!

There was nothing that could erase the smile from my face last night/this morning and even now thinking about it all. The casino went wild, everyone hugged, cried and just took time to soak it all in. 

It truly was the perfect weekend and the perfect way to ring in the new year!