New Things

Well, it has been a few years since I checked in. Literally.

It’s been so long, in fact, that I wasn’t sure whether this blog was still floating around the internet. Until, of course, I got a payment reminder for my domain – ha!

I’ve been feeling the tug to start writing again lately. The last few years have been exciting, crazy, and, well, BIG. Maybe it’s all the change that’s inspiring me, or maybe it’s the idea of having my own little space again in the midst of lots of flux. But I’m back!

Let’s get caught up.

2016

This was the year that sparked all.of.the change. In August, Donnie and I left for a vacation in San Francisco. While I was completely unsuspecting and simply excited about exploring a new city together, Donnie had other plans and proposed during a hike among the redwoods in Muir Woods.

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One of the best memories of my life. In fact, I forgot until a few days ago that I was sick with some kind of stomach bug almost the entire trip – good memories really do eclipse the unpleasant!

We started looking for venues and dates a few weeks later, and settled on a gorgeous location in downtown Nashville (just south of Broadway). We had been visiting Nashville at least once a year since we met and planned to move there eventually, so the location was perfect for us.

2017

This was a big year. BIG. First, our wedding date was set for late September so the planning really kicked into high gear.

Second, I had been casually looking for a job in Nashville for about a year but had put my search on the back burner once wedding planning started. I figured that was maybe too much life change at one time. Plus, I had a job that I liked in Chicago, so no rush.

I was still signed up for LinkedIn alerts and had set my search criteria for jobs located in Nashville, and one day in June I got a notification for a position that felt like a good fit. I asked Donnie if I was a crazy person for thinking about applying, but we both decided that I might as well go for it – if it didn’t feel right and I was offered a job, I could always turn it down (famous last words).

Fast forward to early August, 2 phone interviews, 1 flight to Nashville for a full day of in-person interviews, and a few weeks of waiting and continued wedding planning and…I got the job.

WHAT. I know, it’s insane. So here’s how that timeline panned out:

Early August: Accept job offer
September 24: WEDDING DAY! (in Nashville)
September 26: Head back to Chicago, go back to work
Early October: 2 week honeymoon in Europe
Mid October: Arrive home in Chicago and almost immediately move to Nashville
6 days later: Start new job

LOL, am I right?

But you know what? We are so happy and the madness of packing, traveling, etc was totally worth it. Nashville is awesome. The people and vibe here are just great, my work stress is less as a whole, and the change of pace is exactly what we were hoping for. We’ve had a few hiccups of course (seriously, you should see our kitchen. It’s hilariously TINY), but I’m just really grateful.

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2018

Fast forward to this year, feeling more settled and into a routine.

And then we found out some news that promises to rock us right off the ol’ merry-go-round…

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Pregnant!

We found out in early May, and I’m due in January. That makes me 17 weeks as of today.

Seeing as we’re still new to town I hadn’t yet found a doctor, so after the positive test I did a quick (read: frantic) search for an OB/Gyn who is accepting new patients, and luckily got in with a practice that seems great. I’ve had two prenatal appointments and so far so good. God is great.

I’m hoping to share some updates on pregnancy here as I go, since I’ve read many other bloggers’ pregnancy journals and found them so helpful. I’m also obviously going to be a full-time working mom (out of the home), and I hope to share my experience with that – the good and the challenges.

Stay tuned, more to come!

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Hump Day Brain Dump: Indian Summer Edition

You guys, it’s September 30th. Do you know what that means?

No, it has nothing to do with #psl.

Nope, wasn’t going to talk about apple picking, apple butter, or apple brown betty (no clue what that is anyway).

Rather, September 30th means that we have roughly 57 hours left of fall before it starts snowing. Hard. And persistently. It also means that we’re one day closer to the true beginning of hockey season (also known as our distraction from how bad the Bears are already sucking this season).

I think I’m just not ready to let go of summer. I never am, let’s be real here.

But hey, the good news is that 1. I graduated from grad school! …A month and a half ago! (Bad blogger, bad!)

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#purplemafia

The feeling of accomplishment walking across that stage was amazing, although I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I already miss it. Ok, I don’t miss final papers and 4,693,542 pages of reading every week, but I do miss it. I was lucky to have a cohort that I really bonded with, and to be a part of a great program with brilliant professors, so it legitimately felt like a privilege to go every week. School is cool, man, don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise.

2. We took the dogs on a veritable road trip!

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Don’t let that face fool you. They did not sit still for more than 4 seconds in the back of that Jeep.

Also, the Jeep doesn’t have A/C. Not uncommon since they have soft tops and you can just roll that baby back in the summer. But topless vehicles don’t really work with dogs. And this particular day happened to be ~90 degrees, so we were all a little toasty.

I’ll bet you already knew this, but dogs “sweat” by panting. And that tongue you see right there was very…sweaty. Donnie and I were pretty much soaked by the time we arrived at his brothers’ house.

…….That was a real cute story, Megan, thanks for sharing…

Moving on.

3. I drank the coloring-book-for-adults KoolAid.

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In a fit of unrelieved stress, I finally broke down and ordered myself a coloring book. People continue to tell me that they are a great way to unwind, so I figured I’d give it a go. I haven’t accomplished much (and I think I need better quality coloring implements), but so far so good.

I’ll show you a picture once I finish a page and hang it proudly on my fridge.

And now I’ll leave you to your Wednesday night must-see-TV. Hey, at least if the seasons insist on flying by and the weather absolutely must turn colder, at least my stories are back!

Hump Day Brain Dump: Podcast Nuggets and this Weird Dog

I keep waiting for that summer slow-down at work, but things are still coming fast and furious and it doesn’t seem like it’s about to let up anytime soon. The good news is that I’ll be done with grad school in 3 weeks and then I can actually have a life again!

In honor of this being a week of crazy, and because my capacity to form well-organized thoughts is lacking, I’m brain dumping at you today.

Incidentally, I was going to title this post “Hump Day Dump”, but I figured you’d all accuse me of making poop jokes again, so I thought I’d spare us all.

1. The Brain Dump idea is on…my brain lately

This quarter I’m taking a class in Public Persuasion, and one of the exercises that we’ve done includes starting with a prompt and writing fast and without stopping for a set amount of time (say 10 minutes). While I joked with some of my cohort that we’re paying $2000/day to learn how to journal, I can’t express enough how much I have gained from practicing this kind of writing.

The idea behind the exercise is that as you continue to write whatever pops into your mind as quickly as you can, you stop censoring yourself and you can come up with insights that were previously locked up somewhere in the deep recesses of your brain. It’s amazing how inhibited our everyday/work-email writing tends to be.

If you’re interested in learning more about it, check out Mark Levy’s book, Accidental Genius.

(Not a sponsored post, Mark Levy doesn’t know me, and that’s not an affiliate link. Over and out.)

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2. My “new thing” is listening to podcasts while I walk

My commute to work involves a 3/4 mile walk each way and I also try to get out and take a walk at lunchtime whenever possible, so I manage to find quite a bit of time on my feet for an office-dweller. I’ve decided that there is so much content out there just waiting to be heard that I put on a podcast most of the time I’m walking. I’ve been jumping around between podcasts a lot, so I can’t say that I really have a favorite, but here’s a sampling of some that I’ve enjoyed:

  • Invisibilia (produced by NPR) – concerning the unseen forces in our lives that determine why we do and think what we…do and think. Really interesting if you like thinking about the brain from a psychological perspective.
  • Planet Money (also produced by NPR) – quick episodes on economic/financial/miscellaneous money matters. These are lighthearted and, like I said, quick, but I always feel like I learned an interesting tidbit.
  • The Tim Ferris Show – Tim interviews various successful professionals (they are often names you’d know) and gleans from them some of the tricks they use to heighten their success. Motivational to the max.
  • Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me! (also produced by NPR…jeez, maybe I should go work at NPR since I’m obviously such a fan!) – A weekly radio show, converted into podcast format. A look at this week’s news through the lens of fart jokes. Sort of. Just plain funny.

Oh, and sometimes if I’ve had a particularly stressful day I will turn the podcasts off and call my mom to whine – you guys do that, too, right? (Sorry, Mom..)

3. Sonia Sotomayor’s take on why baseball is awesome is…well, awesome

Politics and whatnot aside, this justice loves baseball and it’s awesome. She was featured on a recent episode of How To Do Everything, which is another fun podcast, and her explanation went something like this (I’m paraphrasing here):

Baseball isn’t boring. The great thing about baseball is that it’s not over until the last out. Sometimes I watch a basketball game and halfway through you know what the result of the game is going to be, and THAT is boring.

I could not agree more.

4. One of my dogs thinks he’s a human child, and a weird one at that

Look at this face.

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That’s Gus. Sitting on the couch. Looking at me all, “What? I’m comfortable, I don’t want to get up to come eat my breakfast. Also, can you change the channel to my stories?”

I tell you. We’re raising a monster. A cute monster.

That’s all for tonight. Hope you’re having a great week, and happy Friday Eve Eve!