Sunday, January 4, 2015
I am so excited to be able to share the news that as of tomorrow, I'll be working for an accounting firm called Davies + Allen. The decision to move back to an office job was not an easy one, and I had a lot of internal and external conflict about it. When it came down to it, the physical stress and lack of consistant hours in the retail world was wearing me down fast. I was on track to be moved to full-time hours, something I had discussed with my manager, and was told that my commission goals would be nearly doubled in order to get it. It was discouraging, and I was getting worn out quickly. Despite being part-time, I was quickly losing track of my outside life. I had still been pursuing other opportunities outside of Dillard's during this time, and even had an outside interview, but none of it led to anything promising. One evening though, I got a call from my dad to meet up downtown where he was dining out with my step-mom for their anniversary to exchange a gift and a hello. My step-mom told me about an amazing company she had just interviewed for that did accounting and tax preparation work, and while she didn't feel it was a good fit for her, thought it would be a perfect fit with my past office work experience. I was hesitant, but followed through.
The very next morning, at 6 AM, to be exact, I was scheduled to meet with Wendy, the office manager for an interview. It happened very, very quickly, and even though I was scared, I knew I had nothing to lose. The first interview went well. She discussed the work involved, the office culture there, and what I would need to expect. She let me know she would text me to set up a second interview with one of the partners to discuss pay, and that was that. It was like a snap of fingers and it was done. The very next day, I put in my two weeks with Dillard's. A two weeks that would include working Christmas Eve, the day after Christmas, New Year's Eve, and New Year's day, the busiest day of the year for Dillard's. I worked very hard for those two weeks, and it was some of the hardest, physically demanding work I have ever done. I will never look at a retail worker the same again.
I can't help but feel like this was the plan all along. The timing was so perfect, I could cry. I was let go from my job at Zions right before Halloween, and was hired on to Dillard's just as my severance pay-period ended. I never stopped looking for better work, but was so grateful to be making any money at all. My wonderful future mother-in-law was to thank for helping me land the position I had at Dillard's, and I poured my heart into it. I feel proud and fulfilled. My word is my honor, and it would have been so easy to just quit and begin my new job right away, but it was important to me and important to the reputation of the people around me that I follow through. Coincidentally, the day that I put in my two weeks at Dillard's perfectly aligned with the end of my written schedule. It was as if it had been planned all along.
I can't express with words how grateful I feel. The feelings of loss and rejection were so strong when I lost my job, and even though I was deeply unhappy there, I felt that I had lost control over the situation. I've learned so much about myself and what I'm capable of since then, and I feel a new conviction to never settle for anything less than I feel I deserve.
I just want to say again how grateful I am for my friends and family, and especially the love of my life, Trent, without whom I would be nowhere near the person I am today.
Happy New Year, friends. I can't think of a better way to start it.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
So much feels up in the air right now. My thoughts have been scattered, and I have circles under my eyes from more than a few sleepless nights.
I was laid off from my job at Zions Bank on October 29th, two days before Halloween. Time off had been requested, plans had been made- I was completely unprepared and utterly shocked when it happened. Thankfully, I was offered a severance package to ensure I had the time needed to find a new job. I immediately got to work applying for jobs and signed on with a staffing agency. Less than two weeks later, I interviewed and was hired on as a sales associate at Dillard's by referral of Trent's mom, a store manager of a Kansas City location. The job is in the contemporary clothing section, and I sell brands such as Vince Camuto, Gianni Bini, Lucky Brand, and Buffalo.
I am so grateful to be working so soon after being let go, but the job is part time, and pays a lot less than I am used to. The change has been hard, and I am doing my best to make the most of my situation despite the challenges. Working part time has been a blessing because it has given me time to reassess where I want to be and the quality of life I want to have. I've also had the time to delve into house projects.
In three weeks, I have been able to sort out the mess in my office, paint our living room a lovely shade of light blue, and reorganize some drawers and other miscellaneous projects. Creatively, I feel very alive, but the other side, the instability, has been so stressful. I'm trying to imagine that this is what life is like for a real creative, jobs that have a timeline, not knowing when the next paycheck is coming in, but having the freedom to delve and jump into new and exciting projects.
I have an interview with another company tomorrow for a position similar to the one I was let go from as an administrative assistant. I'm not sure if I will accept it if they offer it to me, as it is only temporary. One of their employees is going on maternity leave for three months. It would be nice to have an office job again, but simultaneously I am really enjoying the retail world. It's fun, and every day is different. I get to interact with a lot of different types of people, and trying to meet my sales goals challenge me in a way that I've never experienced before. Working with clothes all day and a nice discount don't hurt either. I'll also have the opportunity to move to full time in as little as a month. It's a difficult decision, and I'm relying on my gut to make the right choice.
As for home improvement, the new desk in my office is absolutely perfect. We traded in our $20 thrift store desk for this desk from Overstock, and I couldn't be happier. It's going to look beautiful underneath the Mac desktop (!) we ordered on Black Friday for my school needs next year.
I try to remind myself every day that there are always things to look forward to and work on, even when major life decisions are still unmade and up in the air. We are so, so lucky, even though what happened what less than ideal. I know that for certain.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
The growth was so encouraging. I've grown fond of it, and consider it one of my favorite things in the house aside from our kitties. It brings so much life and good energy to our home.
Having livings plants in the home is important. It reminds us that a lot of things depend on our actions in order for them to thrive. They also keep the air clean by converting the co2 in the air into oxygen. A beautiful mutualistic relationship.
Friday, November 14, 2014
I've come to a new turning point in my life, and I've begun to feel that familiar pull to write it all down and document it.
As of late, I have:
- Begun school
- Moved into a new home
- Been let go from my job
- Found a new job
- Paid off some debts
- Accumulated some new (good) debts
- Painted walls and generally put some love into our home
- Celebrated a 6th year with Trent
There is so much I want to say and do, and these past few weeks between jobs has been such a blessing in giving me quiet time with my thoughts, something I have not had in years. It had been nearly nine months since I had taken a vacation before this, and it was hardly a vacation. I was informed of the death of a very dear friend as we were walking out the door with our packed bags, and those seven days in Kansas City were full of sadness of distraction. It has been a very turbulent year, and such a big part of me wants to ignore the trauma and focus on the good, but I don't think I've been able to properly process it all until now.
So, hello again, world. And hello again, words. Much of my communicating has been done through pictures, mostly over Instagram, and definitely not as often as I wanted.
With this new beginning, I'd like to make a new commitment to stay in touch, both with the outside world and with myself, and I'd love to do it in this space- this space I created back in 2009 during another new beginning.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Lately it's all about the small things.
The smell of a campfire while eating fire-roasted chicken and handmade chocolate ice cream.
Some unexpected back-alley art on a walk back to the car.
Gorgeous varieties of late-summer/autumn fruits and vegetables at the Farmers Market.
A thrifted treasure with sexy legs.
The perseverance of nature, and the decay of seemingly solid things.
New furniture, which makes you feel grown-up and almost put together. Almost.
If you aren't already, please follow me on Instagram and shoot me a hello.
Sunday, September 15, 2013
1. The weather is so beautiful in September. I can smell fall coming in the crisp breezes, and mornings are foggy with from rain storms. I'm looking forward to activities like Oktoberfest, farmers markets, tall boots, leaves on the sidewalks, and warm foods.
2. A new pair of shoes to bring in the new season. These are Oxfords made by Nine West.
3. A pregnant pause at a gas station on our way to see my Dad one Sunday afternoon.
4. I've been making some pretty radical changes to my diet the last month or so. More fresh fruits, vegetables, less bread, sugar, and pretty much no dairy. It's been difficult, but I'm finding myself cooking more often and making more conscious food choices.
5. One of the many, many neighborhood cats in our apartment complex. This one is Tanuki, and he's by far the most brazen.
5. Beauty in simple things. I'm finding myself drawn to soft greys, pinks and peaches right now.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
So much has happened in such a small amount of time. For a few weeks there, I felt uncomfortable, tired, over-worked, and generally pretty miserable, if we're being honest.
Moving is hard work, and despite nearly a month's worth of weekends, our new place is anything but settled.
I wanted to pop in and focus on a few going-ons in my life aside from the move from August.
1. A visit to this years' Craft Lake City, where I visited the booth of Malinda Fisher of Desert Rose. She has some beautiful jewelry designs that will leave you with thoughts of wide open road and desert sunsets.
2. From my daily morning walks to work in the morning- the most beautiful rose gardens set against the sidewalks. They smell as beautiful as they look.
3. A snapshot of our apartment on our move-in day. If you are following me on Instagram, I am fond of showing off corners of our apartment as we continue the long process of decorating and making it home.
4. Amazing leather goods from craftswoman Danielle DeLucia. She also has an online Etsy shop where she sells other beautiful leather goodies.
5. Spook, in his usual position on the floor, always getting underfoot.
6. A toasted bri and apple sandwich from Carlucci's Bakery, one of my favorite sandwich and pastry shops here in Salt Lake. They never disappoint.
There are quite a few changes going on aside from the apartment right now that is making it difficult to focus, and as a result, I'm feeling very distant. I'd love to eventually get back into a routine online, and in the meantime, please connect with me on Instagram. It's my favorite way to stay in touch with people.
Friday, August 9, 2013
We've been in the new apartment for a week now, and we still have boxes everywhere, but I wanted to take a minute from all the chaos to show off some pictures of the place taken right before we moved in.
The apartment building is called the Kensington, and is located on Main Street, a block directly behind the Salt Lake City Mormon Temple. We're on the third floor, which, from the balcony, gives the most incredible view of downtown. At night, the whole city lights up.
The light is by far my favorite thing about this place. We have windows on all but one side, which is amazing.
Needless to say, we're completely in love, though it definitely needs some elbow grease and some small repairs (the building was constructed at the turn of the century). This article from the Capital Council is a pretty good read, if you're interested in the history.
The apartment is full of little charming details, like the yellow and mint green bathroom, the original wood floors, the elaborate moldings, and a large porcelain sink in the kitchen.
It's a dream come true for us, honestly. I'm really looking forward to filling it in with furniture- especially a dining room table, which is something that we've lived without for the last 5 years (nearly every meal we ever ate at home was at the computer desk or on the couch).
I'm pinning like crazy to my home inspiration boards and putting money into our furniture fund between spurts of sporadic unpacking and cleaning. I'm really anxious to get this place in working order so that we can move onto much more important things- like taking down those make-shift-counter shelves in the kitchen and putting up all of the art we've accumulated over the years.
Saturday, July 27, 2013
More pictures from my walks around our soon-to-be-past neighborhood.
So much is going on right now, and my head is spinning from all the to do's that are on the list. The devil is in the details when you're doing something like moving house. Setting up new internet service and power, mail re-routing, cleaning (the new apartment AND our current apartment), and all of the things you normally do day-to-day. It's a lot, and I've found myself seeking quiet moments of solitude and naps. Lots and lots of naps.
The new place is gorgeous, albeit a little run down and in need of a lot of elbow grease and loving. I'm excited to bring my camera in for a bit of an empty house tour.
In the meantime, I am crossing my finger for another week of this cooler, rainy weather. It makes lifting heavy things much more tolerable when it's not sweltering hot.
Sunday, July 21, 2013
I grabbed my camera and lenses yesterday and set out in the one hundred degree heat to explore.
I parked at the capital and walked through the large expanse of lawn there to get into the little niche neighborhoods that exist above and beside it.
Salt Lake never ceases to amaze me with its lovely hidden-away treasures.
Sunday, July 7, 2013
Summer rain. Thunder and lightening storms. Sandwiches. Painting. Barbecue burgers. Toasted corn. Fresh salsa with feta. Apartment viewing. Farmers market. Raw honey. Iced soy lattes. Cool kale salads. Open windows. Sandals. Fans spinning. Heat exhaustion. Daytime movies.
These are some of the going-ons in our summer right now, along with prepping for our move. We finally (finally!) finished painting the bedroom this weekend, just in time to put it out there for brand new tenants. It has completely transformed the room from a cool, stark white to a warm and lovely space. We are very pleased with ourselves, and hope the next renters love it as much as we do.
Trent leaves for his yearly trip to Comic Con on the 16th, so we are doing everything we can in the meantime to prepare- like gathering moving boxes, general apartment cleaning, and editing like crazy.
Do you guys have any advice on making the transition go as smoothly as possible? I'm particularly interested in people's methods for easy packing and unpacking. The plan right now is to save the big things for last and have a few friends over to help us move them- everything else we'll try to get into the new place ourselves to spare ourselves any unneeded hassle.
In the meantime, we're soaking up the last bits of time that we have left here. It's been such a great place to live, and I'll miss it, but I am even more excited for the new place and all the potential it has for us to evolve and grow.
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
I'll be honest- I am not feeling very writer-ey right now. It is sweltering- both inside and out, and my way of coping in the evenings has been to drink hot tea to acclimate. Is this insane and counter-productive? Perhaps. But in a strange way, it makes me feel better. Sort of like a Bikram Yoga "Melt into the pain" philosophy that gives the illusion of self control.
Anyway... in other hot news, we're moving.
Last Friday, after work, Trent met me downtown where we walked through a gorgeous two bedroom apartment on Main Street.
I'd been scanning the classifieds off and on for a month, but nothing special had jumped out at me, and actually had the opposite effect of making me extremely aware of what an amazing place we have. It's worth noting too, that the more time you spend on Craigslist, the more contempt you have for posters. I have a system now that excludes anything with exclamation points, all capitals, and anything above a polite demand to call them quickly.
Located in a charming 1920's building, with neighboring parking garage, abundant natural light, and gorgeous hardwood floors, this place is a dream come true.
Our primary focus was more space. Specifically an office space for Trent to begin expanding his website, and white space for me to set up shop as well.
Did I mention our new place is three blocks from my work? Oh, and it has a bathtub. BAM.
We are both so ready for the change. To say that we've outgrown our tiny, one bedroom in Sugarhouse is an understatement.
We're going in next week to sign the lease, and then I suppose we can begin the monumental task of packing.
I can feel hives creeping on already.
P.S. The pictures above are from Pure Green Magazine, an amazing publication that I subscribe to. I've gotten two issues so far and they're amazing. I highly reccommend buying the latest copy, and, if nothing else, I suggest you check out their blog. It is chock full of inspiration and great writing.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Great things are happening right now.
Trent is in the middle of a rehaul of the website he runs with his friends and cast members, formerly known as Out of Our System, now Salt Pop, which includes a new layout, new features, and new focus. It's terribly exciting, and I'm crazy proud of him and the others who are working on it. I think it's easy for people to see the simplicity of something like an article or a blog post and think of it passively- something that comes easy or doesn't take a lot of effort, but for anyone who has ever tried to maintain a blog or run a website, they know all about the blood, sweat and tears that go into these sorts of projects.
I wanted to sort of touch on something that is very personal to me (that's sort of been the theme here lately, hasn't it?). One of the most common questions people are asked when they meet for the first time is "So, what do you do for a living?" The second question, for someone of my stature and age, is "Are you in school?"
These are difficult questions for me to answer because they do not have simple answers.
"How do you make money?" Isn't what they're really asking?
I'm extremely lucky in the fact that I managed to land a very secure and prestigous job with a corporate company in the middle of downtown Salt Lake City without a college degree. I got this job because a good friend of mine happened to pass along my name when I mentioned I was looking for a new job. I should also mention that my position doesn't require a college degree either. But networking is important, friends.
Despite my fortunate circumstances, I hesistate when someone asks me that question, because this simply is not my career. This is not what I "do."
When people ask what I "do", I try to tell them about my real passion, and my real drive in life- and this is it. Writing and photography is what I pour my heart into when I'm not working my day job. A great majority of the writing I do doesn't make it online, which is something that I'm working on right now. Making it a priority to have a presence on the Internet is number one in my mind.
I feel like I got my money and mind's worth when I attempted to become a sign language interpreter and made it through a whopping three semesters. I got good grades, and my attendance was pristine, but it didn't take me very long to realize that this was not how I wanted to be spending my time. I quit, and it turned out to be the best decision for me. I have a couple thousand dollars in student debt (which I am currently paying), and some good public speaking experience. Though I don't have a degree to show for it, I have some very valuable skills.
Returning to school is something that I think about often, but have promised myself not to force. Occasionally I think about a certain program, or what it would be like to have BA on my resume, but something that I've learned about myself is that I can't operate without passion. I refuse to invest my time and money into something that I could live without. When I have a thirst for knowledge or want to learn about certain techniques and styles, I google it. It's simple, and I retain the knowledge that is important to me personally and applies directly to this time in my life.
This is the information age- and we have more information at our fingertips than ever before. It's exciting. And I refuse to fall into the trap of believing I'm any less intelligent or worthy because I did not finish college.
Everyone deserves respect for the (productive) things they pour their energy into.
So, here's to your hobbies, friends. Cheers.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Saturday evening, Trent and I were invited to attend a family barbecue hosted by my step-mother’s side of the family.
We bickered right before we went in about something inconsequential, like dishes, and I found myself feeling overwhelmed and uncomfortable in this new place with new faces and well-intended questions about our lives. I struggle with social anxiety, and it’s easy for me to get lost in newness. I sat on the steps next to Trent, and tried to relieve some of the anxiety I felt by eating salsa and leaning on his shoulder. It occurred to me that they possibly felt intimidated by me as well, yet I still felt paralyzed, and conversations felt shaky. I felt comforted by all the little kids who were there, and one little girl in particular caught my attention. Every time I’d turn to look at her as she approached me, she’d stop in her tracks, look down, and jut out her lip in a sad, pouty-face sort of way. We had a laugh about it, and I tried not to take it personally.
Trent and I eventually moved out to the green lawn where the kids were throwing around some frisbees and a football, and I took out some of the anxious energy I had by joining in. They were so sweet and little, and as I looked over at Trent with one of the boys on his shoulders, I suddenly realized that I wanted a family.
I suppose some people always know that they’re going to be mothers and wives or career women, but I’ve been the sort of person who had never quite decided. I knew I'd be good at whatever I chose to be, but "mother" seemed so distant and foreign to me.
The more time I spent with these little kids in this ridiculously ideal backyard situation, the more I felt a palpable desire to have my own. Funny how these feelings can suddenly hit, though in retrospect, it feels almost cliché to be writing about an evolutionary aphiphany taking place among adorable children playing in the sunshine. "Of course you'd feel that way!" you say.
More than anything, I know it has to do with the fact that I’m in a loving relationship, and have been for a solid five years now. I happen to know Trent would make an excellent father, and though we’re not married yet, it’s definitely in our future plans together.
So, that’s out there. Marriage. Babies. Everything. It’s something I realized I definitely want someday.
On another note, have you guys seen Before Sunrise and Before Sunset? I just saw the third movie, Before Midnight, and I feel like I’m still in a movie trance. We had a marathon on Friday night and watched the two prequels in preparation, which gave the sense of growing with them as a couple. The third movie had a little more realism, which I've learned to really appreciate in movies. I feel like that was somethining that Blue Valentine was going for, and pretty much nailed, but it was just too intensely negative. Before Midnight left us on a bit of a delightful high, and anticipating what happens next. I loved the milestone-effect that each of the movies had of them in their youth. The first film, wandering with no time table, into the next film, which had grounded them both in new relationships and difficult obligations, but with that continuing ineffable draw they have toward each other. The thing I love most about these movies, aside from the sense that you are there having these intimate dialogues with them, is that it all feels so natural. There’s subtlety, which is so rare in movies nowadays, where it’s more common to feel as if you’re hearing actors read a movie script rather than witnessing a moment in time.
Perhaps that’s fueling my decision to eventually start a family? I hear romantic movies are good for that.
Monday, June 17, 2013
Some of my favorite moments captured on my phone from our trip.
1. My first glimpse of downtown as we crossed the Broadway Bridge.
2. Visiting the Indigo Wild factory where I bought a crazy amount of goat's milk soap that'll last me the rest of the year. I have never smelled more amazing scents in one place. It was overwhelming (in a good way).
3. Macaroons and people-watching at the City Market.
4. Inside Black Bamboo, where I ogled over Herman Miller chairs and other gorgeous out-of-my-league furniture.
5. A drive through some of the fanciest neighborhoods I have ever seen. Governor-worthy mansions were everywhere.
6. The drive back from Weston, where it wasn't hard to imagine the town as it was 150 years ago.
7. Exploring the sketchy railroad tracks and the (mostly covered up) graffiti art.
8. Broadway Street.
9. One of the many, many downtown lofts for sale. Trent and I joked constantly about packing up and moving into one of those awesome buildings.
Sunday, June 16, 2013
My dad, rocking the polo and black aviators, and me, in the summer of '89 in Osh Kosh, drinking Cranapple.
Things I Inherited from My Dad:
-A unique sense of humor.
-A love of books.
-Appreciation for old movies, particularly ones starring Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire, and Bing Crosby.
-Secret knowledge pertaining to the Art of the Grilled Cheese.
-A talent for writing and journaling.
-A photographers eye and love of film.
Happy Father's Day, dad. I owe so much of who I am to you.
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Something I noticed about Kansas City, aside from the historical charm, was the constant repair work being done. It seemed like everywhere we went something was being painted, spackled, or jack-hammered. There were fountains everywhere, which spouted streams of foamy white water. It is no wonder that Kansas City is known as the city of fountains. Large, long stretches of highway and land separated barns from housing communities. We toured a very large portion of the area, and I saw neighborhoods full of immaculate mansions, as well as neighborhoods that had been in disrepair for at least a decade. I was told that the crime rate in the city is very high, and it’s not hard to imagine why when you observe the discrepancy of wealth. That disrepair and decay was what really drew me to the city though. The imperfection added a sort of delicacy to the industrial brick and metal foundation. Advertisements for Downtown lofts were everywhere, converted from hundred year-old factories and warehouses. It’s the largest city I’ve ever been to, aside from downtown Portland, Oregon. I gasped when we crossed the bridge into the city, which rose up in a sort of story-book way in the midst the flatness of the land surrounding it.
Trent’s mom, Shelley, and a co-worker of hers gave us a local’s tour of the City Market, which was nestled in a clearing between restaurants and apartment buildings. It is one of my favorite places we visited. Rows of collective booths sold varieties of fruit and vegetables, as well as flowers, spices, loose teas, and freshly-baked goods. We bought macaroons and basked in the hustle and bustle.
Culturally, the food stood out to me as something that Missourians take pride in. The portions were enormous, and cuts of meat were high-quality and readily available in grocery stores. Kansas City is famous for their barbecue, and we were blown away by the experience we had at Jack Stack’s. The meat, atmosphere, and service were all top notch, though in retrospect, I kick myself for ordering a salad (who does that at a world-famous barbecue joint?). The burnt-ends and ribs were to die for, which Trent graciously shared off of his king’s platter of samplings. I also highly recommend the cheesy corn, which was like a mac-n-cheese with corn and bits of thick bacon instead of pasta.
The mid-west was warm and welcoming of us, and I was constantly impressed by the art and variety of people we saw. It all seemed very “up-and-coming”, and filled me with a sense of excitement. I am all for places that nurture an attitude of independence and individuality as Kansas City clearly does.