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!

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