May 27, 2016

The Last Day Has Arrived

Today I turn in my badge and walk away from a ten year career with my company. What started as 'just a job for two years' somehow turned into a 'day in day out' that lasted through the years and here is where the story ends. Today, May 27th 2016, will be my last day at Verizon.

I joined the company with a resume employees would laugh at now. My only experience was with an administrative job and I was only a year out of college. Gigs, metadata, Cable labs, mezz files and xmls were words I'd never heard of,  but I learned and studied and learned and here I am today with ten years of media experience. Four managers later and I am the senior member on my team. I've had hats in business intelligence, media operations, content and production and been the self appointed social and 'fun' chair on all my teams.

My pink cubicle is no more and all of my Cowboys paraphernalia has been boxed up or bestowed on other fans and friends. My laptop has been wiped clean of all Pinky and my desk phone no longer has the funny Pinky name a coworker gave it. Snuggies, blankets, snacks and coffee has been packed up and I even found an old CAT5 wire in a drawer from strike training so many years ago.

Career is a word I use lightly as I never wanted a career here. There was too much time behind a computer screen and not enough out in a field working with people. Hopefully my next job will bring a lil more people interaction, but who really knows what the future will bring. I'm thankful for my time here, despite the major ups and downs, this job has been very good to me. I've been able to take mission trips [seven] and travel twice a month for kickball tournaments. Everyone on my team was so kind when I got engaged and so incredibly supportive the month of my wedding. Sick days have never been questioned and working remotely when needed created a unique sense of appreciation.

Yesterday was a crazy day and one that had me nostalgic. I completed my exit interview and leaving the room everything really felt final. This is the end. We had a big team fun day yesterday [kind of cool how that coincided with my last week] and our team played in a kickball game. If I weren't leaving I would have bailed on the game and playing because I'm not really a 'hangout with work people outside the office'. Man am I glad I allowed myself to be talked into playing this time because it was a lot of fun. We didn't win, lost by one, but our team did a great job for having maybe four athletes out there. I enjoyed myself more than expected and actually played really well myself [guest played on another team after our game]. Walking away from the field I honestly felt sad this was the last game I'd participate in with my team.

I am so thankful for my experiences the past ten years. I've been lucky enough to be part of a growing media environment, where every year something new has come from part of our bigger team. Job security has never been a worry as my niche was perfectly carved out in the new and old production.  While there wasn't as much growth as expected, I did gain new responsibilities here and there to keep from staying stagnant.

The nostalgia may be heavy, yet I know in my heart it is time to move on from this job. There are other avenues I hope to pursue and other mountains to possibly climb. The risk right now is big but I believe the reward will be even bigger. So, thank you, Verizon. Thank you for a decade of growth, possibility and knowledge. I go forward smarter and more aware than when I arrived and I plan to use everything I learned in my new adventure.

**linking up  Here  here herehere and, this week**

May 26, 2016

What I'm Really Going to Miss

[source]
… seven malls [three high end] within thirty minutes of my apartment.

… playing kickball on the National Mall on Thursday nights in the summer. #airlikesilk

… randomly walking to dinner with Le Husband for a date night.

… our first home together in apartment 13.

… TAPS every week night from Fort Myer. #dayisdone #mybedtimecue

… soccer games at the Sportsplex with my teammates. #sevenyearslater

… teaching BODYPUMP to classes of 50+.

… dancing the night away at multiple bars either in DC or Arlington. #herestothenightswefeltalive

… lifting at the big boy gym and pumping heavy weight.

… hundreds of restaurants to choose from when we don't feel like cooking.

… trendy restaurants which new fusion ideas.

… early morning bike rides into the city for kickball practice.

… groups texts planning an impromptu happy hour due to gorgeous weather.

… walking [or driving] to Menchies for a late night snack.

… sushi nights with friends when Le Husband is out of town.

… my bestest and her sweet lil family.

… pool time in the summer. #lovemypoolfamily

… meeting soccer peeps at bars to watch the US play. #copaamericanextmonth #wherewilliwatch

… having my two best friends and sissys a text and short drive away. #ughgonnacrynow

… family brunches after church and dinners after soccer on Sundays.

… my parents cheering at our Sunday night soccer games. #33andtheystillcometowatchmeplay

… kickball night in America.

… my friends.

… the Cowboys beating the deadskins at home. #ilovetogloatoverthatteam

… sissy wine nights and dance parties.

… Pollo Rico dinner nights.

… a job which gives me plenty of vacation and the ability to use it whenever I want.

… my family. #hearthurting

We picked this adventure and are more than ready for something new, but that doesn't mean we turn our backs on our past. Northern Virginia holds so many special memories to us as a couple, dating and married and it will always be our FIRST home together. I am also leaving the place I've called home since 1998. I'm leaving friends, teams, jobs and memories behind which is sad. Knoxville is going to be a huge change, a good change, but a huge change. I am excited to start our new life, but I already miss my family and friends. To new beginnings with old memories to keep me company on the journey.

May 25, 2016

European Adventure 2016: Normandy Day Two

Bon soir, friends! Today I'm starting my recaps of our whirlwind trip in Europe. Since our trip was thirty days I probably won't be doing every day as I did on m family blog. I'll put a few together here and there but separate places/excursions I think deserve their post. I will also be doing a comprehensive post rating hotels, restaurants, excursions and chat about what I think we could have done better.

A lil background for you: we started our tour in France, landing in Paris and immediately driving to Bayeux, France. Bayeux is 20 minutes from Omaha beach and is the quaintest, cutest lil town.  If you head Omaha I highly recommend staying in Bayeux. If you missed my first post about Normandy check it out *here*.
 
Day two we were slightly groggy but getting close to French time. We had to get up early to move our car to another lot and then decided to try to find a park to use the TRX.

Bummerville to find none of the parks had a basketball hoop or soccer goal to use for security. So it was back to the hotel for another room workout. Le Husband rolled with the TRX and I chose to do a body weight circuit. Then it was time to get ready for the day, including a stop at the store for lunch staples. This morning was the local market and we enjoyed walking through all the booths on the way to the grocery. 
 

Once food was procured it was off to Point de Hoc, which is about a 20 km drive from our hotel. I personally am not as familiar with Point de Hoc, but P had this on his must see list so of course I was happy to tag along. Ummmm, wow! The cliffs are huge and the enormity of the Ranger's mission ( with failed landings ) hits you as you look out over the bluffs.
 

Shell holes and leftover bunkers and fortifications litter the area, creating some fun picture moments. The wind was wicked all afternoon and the bunkers made for a bit of relief while being fun to explore. 
     

My eyes glittered with tears as I looked down into the sea and witnessed the obstacles the 225 Rangers faced. At the end of two days only 39 would live to tell the tale of their assault. 
       

After the full tour we headed back to the car to head off to Utah beach. We had heard the monuments here were fantastic, as is the museum, but we were not prepared for the wind and sand storms (full disclosure, I still have sand in my hair as I type this update). We found a bit of relief in the museum and then braved the wind to fill our second keepsake bottle. Once in the beach the wind died down some, but the passage through the dunes was no joke.
      

 We stopped at the Roosevelt cafe for a quick coffee and really enjoyed all of the notes left my veterans and others honoring their friends on the wall.
 

Our last stop of the day was Saint Mere Eglise aka the paratrooper stuck on a church stop.
    

There is an INCREDIBLE Airborne museum right next to the church and our final hour of exploring was spent inside. Not only was it a nice break from the weather, but it was an extremely informative exhibit. 
         

What we ate
       

Our visits to both beaches were exactly the experience we were looking for and it was so worth the two days. I know most people probably would plan a trip different, with less time in Normandy, but being huge WW2 buffs this part of the trip meant a whole lot to the both of us. I originally was quite worried about the attitudes of French people, but the residences of Bayeux were some of the kindest people I've ever met. Both Le Husband and I now plan to have a B&B in Bayeux when we retire, haha ;)!

Normandy was truly an incredible visit and I hope one day to go back again. 

May 24, 2016

Ten Signs You Live At Home Again

1 || The confiscated nightstand in your sisters room is a mess because you can't find your travel jewelry holder.

2 || Instead of just one person, you share the remote with two other people. #wannawatchmyshows

3 || You leave for work with "Will you be home for dinner?" following you out the door. #justlikecollegesummers #andfirstyearrightoutofcollege 

4 || The return of DADDYATM. #luckygirl

5 || The coffee tastes much weaker than you're used to drinking. #especiallyaftereurope

6 || You have to grab an old high school staple when you realize there is nothing for lunch. #hellosodium


7 || "Can you unload the dishwasher?" post it notes sit next to the coffee maker in the morning.

8 || The morning view to work is quite a bit different than a parking lot.

9 || Two sinks and a vanity in the bathroom… feels like HEAVEN!

10 || Bedtime reading hasn't changed much from high school. #lovedcomicreading

May 23, 2016

My First Weekend Back in the USA

You would think the first weekend back would be a breeze and mega chilltastic right? Makes sense to use Saturday and Sunday as two days of rest and reorganization before the next work week? OH if only. I don't know how it's possible but I think I'm just as tired from my trip as I was on Wednesday.

My weekend highlights consisted of…

… Le Husband leaving to visit his family before heading back down to Tennessee. Our first days apart after being together for 42. #isitweirdimissedhimmorethanbefore

… team teaching a BODYPUMP lunch class on Friday. Thankfully I remembered all the choreography [even the new stuff learned on the cruise] and was able to complete the whole class without passing out ;)! #usedlightweightsthough

… this delicious find at WholeFoods. #spawaterforthewin

… dinner al fresco with Sportyspice because Friday was quite gorgeous.

… going out with the sissys for one last hoorah. Normally I would have passed because I was almost crying tired, but this was needed since I've been gone for so long and I enjoyed dancing in the corner while they rocked it on the floor. #needtolearnmorelinedances #yesimrockingglasses #theyhidemytiredeyes

… waking up earlier than I wanted [grrrr] so I caught up on Nashville and other shows.

… driving to visit my bestest friend and her sweet family of SIX now. She gave birth to her fourth child while I was away so she was a priority on the must see now list.

… snuggling and cuddling the three week old lil guy. He slept on me for two hours and it was the sweetest feeling in the whole wide world. #isthatwhatthebabyitchisallabout

… came home, stuffed some wedding envelopes for Sportyspice [!] then promptly bought Five Guys for a sissy dinner. The bar the night before was fun, but the music was so loud we couldn't really chat so we decided an evening in was needed. It was a blast of reminiscing, Lord of the Ring talking [schmeagle], plotting, laughing, dancing and just wonderful sissy time.

… my last church service at home. Gonna miss this beautiful place. I've taken eight mission trips, served on the Communion committee, in the children's ministry and sang in the choir in the last 12 years. It will be hard to find a place to replace this one. 

… a 'BUT I'M LEAVING' brunch with the famjam [minus Le Husband]. We have  restaurant we always frequent for special occasions after church and it was the perfect easy to commemorate the morning. OH and it was helladelicious!

… famjam work on invitations. Guess who drew the short straw licking the envelopes?!?! But, they are DONE!

… a jam session with BabySpice, a recorder and her guitar. #someonehasafunnyinstagramvideo


… the return of DaddyATM! #livingathomehassomeperks #yesimpayinghimback #nodollasonlyeuros

… a fantastic catch up dim sum dinner with a good friend. #gotmyasainfoodfix

… bed around 945pm because I was zonked.

Overall it was a wonderful weekend, just not quite the downtime I expected. Now it's time to lock into training mode and try to find some workout time this week, too. Hope everyone has a fabulous Monday!

Linking up with these ladies