The Lone Star State

I haven’t really been talking much about work lately.  Last year, I moved out of a role in Program Management, and into a role in Sales and Marketing, as an Account Executive working with our Off-Highway customers.  While living in Europe, I worked as an Account Manager in On-Highway, so I was familiar with the work and was really excited to advance my customer interactions and commercial knowledge.

However, in mid-November, my company announced that we’d be doing workforce reductions (a.k.a. “layoffs”).  This was the third layoff that I’d experienced with this company, so I knew that things were going to be in flux for awhile.  I wasn’t too worried about my position (though, anything can happen), but I knew that my group would probably take a hit.

So…imagine my surprise (and actually, I was shocked as hell), when I got pulled into a meeting with my boss and the General Manager to be told that, due to the layoffs, I was being moved into a new position, BACK into Program Management.  So…here I am, 1 week before Christmas, and I’m being told that I’m leaving the role that I just moved into a few months prior, to go back to a role that I’d left.

I won’t lie…it took a day or so for me to wrap my mind around it and to get into a positive mindset.  I was worried that I’d be overloaded like I was in my previous role, and the customer that I was going to be working with was notorious for being highly demanding.  Frankly, I was terrified my life was going to suck.

I’m happy to say, after a full month, things are going fairly decently!  I’m currently in Texas at a face-to-face meeting with the customer, and I’m feeling fairly settled.  It’s a lot more firefighting than I did in Account work, but it’s exciting.  The program launches in 2017, so I will be on this team for a year or so…and after that, I’m not quite sure.

That’s a little bit about what’s going on in my life currently!  I’m super excited because, on Friday, I get to spend the weekend with my BFF, L!  We’re going to drive to Waco and go to Magnolia Market (from the HGTV show “Fixer Upper”) and I can’t wait!  Plus, I will say, Texas has some AMAZING food!  Plenty to enjoy in this great state, for sure

Much love,
K.

A Little Dash of Crazy…

I realize that my blog posting has been regular sporadic at best, which isn’t something that I had ever planned on.  But, as we all know, life has a way of going against even the best laid plans.

bestiesAfter Easter, things were fairly smooth.  I was working on a couple crochet projects (sadly, my Crochet Challenge blanket has taken a major back seat), and planning for my trip to Texas to visit my dearest, most bestest, friend.  I wanted to finish at least one blanket before I left (which I did…more on that in another post) and then have a weekend of relaxation with L.  I left for Dallas last Thursday, ready to relax!

Friday morning, all hell broke loose.  My mother called me while I was in the shower, to let me know that my father was in the hospital.  He had fallen the evening before and shattered his elbow, and now had to have surgery to repair it.  Both of my parents are older in age, and my father has Parkinson’s and early stages of Alzheimer’s, so any sort of disruption to his schedule hits him pretty hard.

Dad went into surgery and came out just fine.  Unfortunately, he was very weak (partly due to surgery and partly due to the Parkinson’s) and the anesthesia really caused problems with his mental comprehension and memory (due to the Alzheimer’s).  He was very confused and thought my mom had sent him to a nursing home and left him there, and was understandably upset.  After a few days, that calmed down quite a bit, which we were all grateful for.

Mom told me to stay in Dallas and spend time with L, so I stayed until Sunday.  Monday morning, I drove back home to see my father, who was still in the hospital.  By the time I got there, he was doing better, but still not great.  He was much more steady on his feet, which meant he could go home much more quickly than we had anticipated, but his mental comprehension still wasn’t great.  He wasn’t sure who I was, and at one point thought my best friend, L, was his daughter.  I can’t even begin to describe how absolutely heart breaking it is to know that my father will one day not recognize me.  I try not to focus on it, as we’re not there quite yet (I’m still convinced his lack of recognition was due to the pain medicine, etc.) but it’s hard to know that it will eventually happen.  I know we all grow older, but it’s still like a knife in my gut.

dad and iLast night, Dad was finally released from the hospital.  For awhile, we were concerned that we’d have to put him in assisted living for a short amount of time, but we managed to arrange for in-home care for him.  I am so thankful for that, because I really think he’ll do much better in his own home and his comfort environment.  Plus, it makes it easier on Mom, so she won’t have to run back and forth.

Overall, it’s been insane in the past week.  To top it all off, I managed to pick up some sort of sinus infection while on the flight home (or the hospital), and now have zero voice.  I’m looking forward to the weekend, where I can just sleep for as long as I want, and hopefully get better!  I promise that my next post will be an update on all my crochet projects, which will be a much happier post!  Until then…have a happy Wednesday!

Much love,
K.

30 Days of Blogging: My Happy Place

happy placeIt’s the final question for my “30 Days of Blogging” Challenge!  It took much longer to complete than I initially anticipated, but sometimes the best things in life aren’t the easiest.  I feel like even though I knew the answers to all of these questions, quite a few of them really provoked a lot of thought for my response.  And introspection is a good thing to entertain, every now and then.

My last question is probably the hardest.  “Where am I happiest”…a good question, to be sure, and one that really made me step back and think before answering.

The truth of it is, I struggle to be happy.  I’m a pretty content person, and have a wide range of emotions (with quite of lot of emotional instability), but it’s hard for me to pinpoint when I’m truly happy.  I will say, when I think back to all my “happy” moments, the vast majority have included J.  He’s my rock, my emotional stability.  He’s my perfect north on a compass.  When I’m with him, I feel like I’m the most “ME” that I can be.  No matter where we are, I feel like it’s home, because he’s there.

So, in reality, I can’t pick a place I’m happiest.  With J would be my answer.  The place doesn’t matter, just the person beside me.

 

Much love,
K.

Internet Friends…Internet Loves.

One of the coolest things about my living abroad experiences were all the friends that I met via the internet.  Before J and I moved to the NL, I joined an internet board devoted to ladies living abroad.  Tons of great women on the board under a myriad of circumstances:  some moved due to work, some for love, some for school.  All incredibly diverse, and all sharing a wealth of information on what it was like to live outside your comfort zone.  Before we packed our bags, I frequented the board quite regularly, picking the minds of those who had gone before me, for any tidbit of advice I could get.  And tidbits I got!  Information on local customs, on what to bring and what to leave home, information on having children abroad, and personal experiences…it really ran the gamut!

Then, we got to the NL.  And it took a little while to settle in and really get a feeling for what we’d got ourselves into.  And the first few months, I was working from the apartment, and studying for the bar exam.  So, I was pretty busy.  But after that, I ventured out a little further…started meeting these women in person.  A lot of people would think I’m crazy.  “Meeting people OVER THE INTERNET?!” my mother would say…”Are you crazy?!”  And, there was a smidge of concern in the back of my mind, but nothing too overwhelming.  But then, I met T for the first time, in a train station in her town.  I was looking around for her, the only picture I had of her were shots from her Facebook profile.  And there she was!  This tiny little scrap of a woman, 5+ months pregnant at the time, barely skating past five feet tall.  We met up and talked for HOURS!  It was amazing, to find someone who you connect with so closely, on the other side of the world.

Over the next three years, I’d find many more dear friends that I initially “met” on the internet prior to meeting in person.  And I love them all, dearly.  T continues to be one of my best friends, to this day, and I still keep in contact with a few of the other ladies, either by phone or internet.  And though I’m now back in the US, we all still have this bond born of shared experience (and nurtured through genuine enjoyment of their company) that holds us all together still.  It was, and continues to be, the biggest bright spot of my time spent overseas.  I mean, don’t get me wrong…the travel was amazing, the foods were fabulous, the work experience was invaluable.  But the biggest thing?  It’s always been the people…the people are what are, and will continue to be for me, unforgettable.

So thanks, ladies.  Thanks for picking me up when I needed it, smacking me around when I deserved it, and holding my hand when I was scared.  I hold you all in my heart, and can’t wait until I see you again.

Much love,
K.

Dallas and Long Weekends

Nearly two years ago, my best friend moved out to Dallas from the Midwest.  She moved, like most of us do at this age, for work.  She’s a Physician’s Assistant at a Children’s hospital, working in the ER.  And, of course, the move was perfectly timed so as she moved to Dallas right before J and I moved back to the US from the NL.  Because that’s how we roll.

In the time she’s been in Texas, I’ve not had a chance to go see her, which has been super disappointing for me!  I mean…she’s my BFF, and I can’t even go see her new apartment!  The major problem is we have wildly different schedules, and we’re both workaholics, so free time to get in travel is difficult.  Plus, every time I could get away here, she would have already made plans to come back to the Midwest to see her family.  So, I’d get to see her, but it would be back in our hometown.

But last weekend, I finally was able to make it for a visit.  I left after work on Thursday, and didn’t get home until super late Sunday night.  It was an AMAZING trip!  We hardly did anything other than hang out, watch movies, relax, and eat.  We managed to hit up some fabulous restaurants, hang out with one of L’s work friends, and sleep late every morning.  It was exactly what I needed, as the past month or so has been monstrous with work.  I plan on going into detail about restaurants on my other blog, but for here, suffice it to say, it was a fabulous weekend!

Much love,
K.

Wedding Invitations

In September, my dear friend (and college roommate) is getting married!  I’m so utterly thrilled and overjoyed for her, and thrilled to be part of her big day!  She’s asked me to be her Maid of Honor, or is it Matron of Honor…since I’m married?  I prefer Maid, as I feel like “matron” screams “OLD LADY WITH CATS!”  And while I do have cats (three, to be exact) and I do crochet quite a bit, I’m far from an old cat lady.  Yes…far from it.  That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Anyways, back to the matter at hand.  My friend, and her upcoming nuptials.  She wants to do a lot of things herself, and I love all things crafty, so we’ve decided to put our heads together in order to come up with ways to be creative and crafty with the wedding!  I offered to create her wedding invites, response cards, and direction/hotel cards, so I’ve been working hard on that.  I want it to be a reflection of both their styles, as well as the overall vibe of the wedding.  Both the bride and groom are incredibly laid back, not at all fussy, and really like mostly streamlined things.  No frills and ruffles for these two!  But, the bride did request a monogram, and that the monogram be a “tad swirly”…so I do get to add a little bit of “extra” to the invite, which is fun for me!

Her colors are browns and greens, very earthy and natural.  Her dress is an ivory color, and our dresses (Maid of Honor and Bridesmaid dresses) are a lighter stone color with a darker, Mocha colored sash around the waist.  We’ll be carrying ivory and green bouquets, to round off the outfits.  The bride wants more of a rustic vibe, as her and her fiancé are big outdoors people, which is exciting to think about because I absolutely love when people incorporate outdoor elements into weddings!  I think my biggest excitement, overall, is just that they are so incredibly happy and in love, and I’m so glad she’s found that!  (Sigh, I’m such a sap.)

invites2Here is my initial draft for the invites.  It’s very rough, but lays out the placement of things.  I’m thinking a lovely, cream linen cardstock for the invites, with the response cards in a lighter mocha color (similar to our dresses).  I’ll have to see what is out there by way of paper, but I have no doubt I’ll be able to find something.  I’m also toying with the idea of adding some more flourish details, though that might be a bit much for the bride and groom.  I’ll have to play with it more, obviously, but so far I’m fairly pleased with how they’ve turned out!  I really can’t wait to see them on the paper though, that will really tell me how they look once they’re printed and in my hands.

What do you think?  Thoughts on adding the flourishes?