Monday, October 5, 2015

Morning walks

Now that we live in an apartment again, there is no more opportunity to be lazy and just let the dog into the backyard when he needs to do his business.  Nope, that's not the way the world works anymore.  Every morning, my alarm goes off at 5:20am so that Gunner and I can go for a 20 minute walk before I have to get to the hustle and bustle of my day.  I had thought that it would feel like an inconvenience, or that I would start to dread it.

Instead, I find myself wishing that we had more time for our little morning walks, and I look forward to the idea of making them longer.  It'll be a while before that alarm goes off at 5am...  It might not even happen.  But deep down, I really want it, because that time that the two of us spend together every morning before most of the City is awake, before anyone has to rush off to wherever they need to be, that time is so special, and it's all ours.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Total Authenticity


How are you this morning?  I'm just sitting here in my sweats drinking coffee.  Sundays really encourage that behavior, don't they?  I like to think so.  Ammon's sleeping in the other room, the animals are all leaving well enough alone (a rare thing!), and I have time to just do the things I want to do for a bit.  That includes talking to you guys for a few minutes.

I went to a women's forum yesterday.  Since we are so new to the area, I'm trying to be brave and branch out.  Make new friends, have new experiences.  Do scary things.  I love women's conferences, because I'm a sucker for anything personal development.  I hate women's conferences, because usually you're there by yourself, and you have to meet and interact with new people.  I really have become very withdrawn from humanity since moving to California.  I miss my people, and it took me a really long time to build my solid tribe.  I don't want to make new friends, I just want all of my existing friends to pick up their lives and follow me out here.  Reasonable, yes?

Back to the forum.  It was actually fantastic.  Everyone was so nice and supportive.  Several people offered to give me information about different organizations that they are a part of that I might want to consider joining.  Another woman and I totally bonded, and we're going to have coffee together.  AND of course, there was the personal development part of it all.  There were 2 breakout sessions, and about a dozen different speakers to choose from.  I choose sessions on networking and leadership, because I felt like they were so darn applicable to where I am in my life right now.

The sessions had so many common elements in them, which was strange because the two speakers were very different, and came from different approaches.  But the common theme was that you have to know yourself, and you have to be authentic and sincere in everything you do.  All of the tips and tricks in the world, all of the work that you do will never be successful until you truly know yourself, and you can act from a place of total authenticity.

Moving stripped away a lot of the elements by which I identify myself.  My friends, my state, my job, all gone now.  I walked into that forum knowing that I was in the midst of a major identity crisis, and walked out with the realization that this identity crisis could be one of the very best things that could happen to me.  I am in the unique position right now to really figure out who I am as a person, beyond the life that I had previously built up around me.  I am able to create a life that supports and builds upon who I am.  I don't have to do things that don't serve me anymore, simply because they were things that I did in the past.  

In 2 years, this opportunity will be gone.  We will have built our life here, and I will be back in a space where it will be harder to really get clear about who I am amid the clutter of our life.  It's time to move forward, and put some real effort into finding out who Kristen is, and what she wants and needs out of life.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Coming back together

It's almost like magic, but since starting my new job on Tuesday, life is coming back together again.  Where last week it was a struggle simply to shower every day, I actually managed to run last night after work. Run!  That's something I haven't done since the end of June.  And you know what?  It wasn't as awful as I was expecting it would be.  So not awful, in fact, that I came home and signed Ammon and I up for a 5k at the end of November. #addictedtoraces

Post-run selfie or it didn't happen.

Another habit?  This one weirds me out and is out of character, but for the past 3 days, I have done my hair and make-up.  Not normal.  Never mind that I have more make-up than a drag queen, it never gets put through its paces.  Except that now it is.  I kind of like it, but I have no crazy belief that this will last.

 Selfie of me with hair and make-up done, or I won't even believe it happened.  Also, my hair is really long right now, and I'm not sure what I'm thinking/feeling about it.  Kind of tempted to go back to the pixie.  And this is why I'm every hairstylist's dream client... I almost always want to do something different with my hair.  I'm not the "same as always" kind of client.

Just throwing it back to the best look I ever achieved with super short hair.  I miss being able to make my hair stand straight up on purpose.  Also, I don't know why I love this picture so much, it's grossly unflattering and I look like a dude, but whatev... it's hilarious to me, and that's that.

Anyway.  Gotta go to work now.  Glad we got to have this chat.

Monday, September 28, 2015

25 days in total

...And just like that, I'm re-employed again.  Well, as of tomorrow I will be.  It's funny the way that life tends to throw everything at you all at once, just to see how able you are to sort through things and make sense of the chaos.

Last week was a tempest of interviews.  5 in 3 days, to be exact, with 3 interviews all in the same day.  Of those 5 interviews, I landed offers for 4.  There were even offers to counter-offer against what other employers were offering.  I have never felt so in demand before, and I really was so lost in how to manage the decision of where I would work next.  It's a huge deal for me... work makes up a huge chunk of my identity, and I m at the point now where I really want to make smart decisions with my career, not just take whatever lands in front of me first that offers a reasonable wage.

This was my Wednesday, spent driving all over the greater-Sacramento area for job interviews.  Also, yes, that is a shit-ton of moving blankets in my car.  I put them there the week before to get them out of our apartment, and didn't get them moved over to our garage until yesterday.  #classy

Ammon and I knew on Thursday, after all of the interviews were over, that it was going to come down to 2 job offers:  One was essentially doing what I had been doing before, but on a bigger scale, and in a much bigger department.  The other offer is in an entirely different industry (construction/manufacturing), and was offering all new experiences and challenges starting on day one, simply because there is so much to learn.  So it really came down to doing what I've always done, or going out on a limb to do something entirely new.
This morning, I accepted an offer to try something new.  I start tomorrow.  That means I was unemployed for a whopping 25 days.  It's the longest that I have been unemployed since sometime during college, but I somehow managed to avoid being unemployed for a month or more.  I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty proud of that fact.  I had no idea how long it was going to take me to find a new job, but I had anticipated that it would take much longer.  I'm relieved that I can stop sending out resumes and going to job interviews.  I'm thrilled that I will be contributing to my household in a financial way again.
Next goal:  Start saving up so that we can buy a HOUSE.  I can't begin to explain to you how much this means to us - we had pretty much given up on the notion that we would be able to afford to buy something until after I was done with school.  We're now in a position where we can move toward that dream much sooner, and it's quite possibly the happiest news ever.

California, you are so, so good to us.  I hope we can be equally good to you.

Thursday, September 17, 2015


Unemployed.  It's a terrifying word to me, and yet, it is the exact correct phrase to describe me right now.  For the first time since... Junior year of college (I think???  It's a little hazy in that time of my life), I'm without employment, and I don't know what to think, or how to feel anymore.

So far, it's been 2 weeks.  The first week and a half were a piece of cake, because Ammon wasn't working either, and we were so darn busy.  Then he went to work on Monday, and suddenly, reality hit that I don't have anywhere to be every day.  The extent of my duties are entirely contained to housework pursuits and job hunting.  It's a huge deal if I shower before 3pm, or leave the apartment for any reason other than walking the dog these days.  I know I need to get out more, but why?  We're trying not to needlessly spend money, and I don't know anyone, so where would I go?  Ammon keeps encouraging me to go to the gym, but that sounds about as appealing as going and getting a pap smear.  Not because I don't want to work out, but because I just hate the gym THAT MUCH.  And it's so smoky here from the wildfires that running outside isn't advisable right now.

I really don't know how to start again out here.  I am really hoping that finding a job will help me put down some roots here, because I don't have kids to use as an excuse to get out of the house, or money to spend on doing lots of fun things.  Work has always been my "happy place".  I find good friends at work... heck, I found my husband at work!  I'm just my best person when I'm working... and so having to focus all of that energy and goodness elsewhere has been challenging.  I'm pretty sure Ammon has really appreciated all of the home-made meals lately, and the fact that he hasn't had to do dishes once since we moved in.  I just wish all of that was half as satisfying to me as going to work for 8 hours and contributing in that way to society is to me.  Not knocking the SAHM's or the SAHW's out there.  You all are incredible, and I admire you immensely, because it is no joke being so on your home all of the time.  When you're there 24/7, you notice every single drip, every splatter, every spot, and to keep up with it, and any other responsibilities you have is a huge deal.

And on that note, I need to get to the grocery store pronto, because the cable guy is coming this afternoon to figure out why our internet connection is showing as being poor on their side.  Guys, this is like... the most thrilling thing.  I'm even wearing clean clothes, and I've showered.  I might even eat lunch out instead of eating leftovers.  Grocery shopping is becoming an EVENT for me, not just an errand.

Have you had a long period of unemployment before?  How did it go?  How did you stave off any madness?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

We survived 22 hours in a car with a cat and a dog

Well, hello...
We made it to California, and after 5 days of "roughing it", we have the internet again!  That was a looooooong 5 days, especially yesterday and today, when I was home all day by myself while Ammon was at work.  Let me tell you, cooking and cleaning are really boring when you can't binge on TV shows, or take Pinterest breaks periodically.  I did, however, get a prodigious amount of cooking done, and a respectable amount of unpacking done, so I guess it might not have been the worst thing in the world.


Our time getting to California, and our first few days here haven't been too bad.  The cat was only moderately awful on the roadtrip, so that is a win?  He was yowling for the first hour and a half, so then I held him for a while, until he started clawing holes into my shoulder, and then he went back in his carrier again.  Aside for a few walks (on a leash!), and a 1am desperate attempt to get him to eat and use the bathroom (unsuccessful in both), he stayed in his carrier.
What a middle of the night break with a cat looks like.  Try to contain your jealousy.
Gunner sat next to Beckham in the back seat, and the two of them got along about as well as we expected they would.
Yup, with Beckham hissing, and Gunner trying to ignore him.  Lovely, yes?

Other than that, Ammon and I took turns driving.  Our total travel time was about 22 hours, substantially longer than the 16 hours drive time that Google Maps had originally forecast.  Oh well, we made it safe and sound, and on time for our Thursday morning move-in.  Oh, and surprisingly, the animals flipping love our new apartment.  We figured it would be touch and go, because it's on the second floor, and the cat doesn't like anything.  But miracle of miracles, they are both happy in this new space, which makes Ammon and I happy.  Clearly, we indulge our animals slightly more than an average person might consider healthy.

I'm off to watch NCIS.  I'll be back in another week or so ;).  What have you all been up to for the past week?  Anything exciting?  Any interesting stories of road tripping with animals to share?

Saturday, September 5, 2015

15 random tidbits

I realize fully that this old blog has been pretty heavy mixed with a dash of depressing lately, and I'm really sorry about that.  I guess my life is pretty heavy, and it's hard to keep that from seeping through into other things.

So instead of perpetuating that, I thought I would just share with you guys some random little tidbits today, because it's Saturday, and Saturdays should be for fun random facts, yes?

1)  I am addicted to the Strawberry Lemonade from Cafe Rio.
2)  I just joined Periscope, and I don't get it.  Not at all.
3)  I got my hair cut yesterday for the first time in 6 months. 
4)  I'm currently bingeing on NCIS, and just started the 4th season.  I forgot how good that show is.
5)  If I think something will be useful in the future, I will keep it, even if we "don't have room" for it.  Like the boxes that our Fiestaware and wine glasses originally came in... PS, they make moving so much less awful.

6)  I own a ridiculous amount of nail polish.  I should probably change the colors on my fingers and toes daily, given the amount I own.

7)  I'm a morning person.  Sleeping past 7:30am is nearly impossible for me.

8)  I dislike wearing pants, especially jeans.

9)  I force Ammon to drop everything and come look at the dog and/or cat most days, because I'm convinced they're doing the cutest thing I've ever seen.

I mean, those eyes...

10)  I find it almost impossible to sit correctly in a chair.

11)  I don't really like watching movies.

12)  Doing the dishes is one of my least favorite chores.  I'd rather scrub a toilet than wash dishes.

13)  I'm extremely uncoordinated... we went to a trampoline park last week, and I managed to get a huge friction burn across one hip while we were there.

14)  I kind of really want to be able to live an off-the-grid, self sufficient lifestyle someday, not be cause we're preppers, but because I think it's incredibly gratifying.

15)  I still have a credit card in my maiden name, and I got married over 2 years ago.  Oops...

Tell me something random about you!