Monday, December 12, 2011

Saving Memories

The other day I was going through my recipe box and realized I have so many recipes I haven’t used, will never use, or know by heart. I threw a lot out but didn’t want to part with some. You see, at one of my bridal showers everyone had to bring a recipe instead of a card. Some family members and friends gave me old recipes that belonged to my Great Grandma Gort and Grandma Beech. They are both no longer with us so you can understand why I couldn’t throw them out. 

I love the old recipe cards they wrote on and how the ink is so faded you can hardly read them. I really wanted to keep these but didn’t want to keep them tucked away in my recipe box. They are too special to be hidden. It took me a couple days until I came up with the idea below. 


 


All I did was purchase a frame from Hobby Lobby, glued the cards on matting, and hung the frame in my dining room. I'm so happy I thought of this, I love the fact that I can look at these every time I cook and be reminded of the wonderful women in my life.

I sent the photo above to my mom right away. She liked it so much she wants to copy me, I thought I should post about it so others can too. Have fun!

Monday, December 5, 2011

DIY Monogram Wreath

A couple weeks ago my best friend sent me an invite to Pinterest.  I spend almost three hours researching this AWESOME website.  There are SO many great ideas, recipes, DIY crafts, and more compiled on this site.  There are posts after posts that I thought, I can do that!  So last night I took a trip to Hobby Lobby and purchased supplies for my first DIY project. 

I found instructions on a blog for a burlap monogram holly-berry wreath through Pinterest a couple nights ago.  I liked it so much and wanted to recreate that exact one, however,  I wanted to be able to hang it on my door all year around. 

I was decorating our Christmas tree and had some left over strings of beads.  I thought to myself, this would be perfect for my wreath!  So all I needed to buy was burlap  (I ended up using ribbon instead due to the odd shape of the letter) and a wooden letter.  A list of items needed and instructions are below.  Enjoy! 

Items

monogram letter
hot glue gun and sticks
scissors
burlap or ribbon
beads, flowers, garland, or anything that can be glued onto the letter

Instructions

Since I used old bead strands I had to cut each one off the strand.  This took FOREVER, (I made my husband help!) but  it ended up working really well. 


I used the hot glue gun to attach each bead.  I lined the outside of the letter with silver beads because I had the most of those and didn’t want to run out. 


 Then, I filled the empty parts with the others, iridescent and pearl-like beads.


Last, I tried to make a bow out of burlap, but due to the odd shape of the letter it did not turn out.  I had some red ribbon for a different project and thought it would look great for the holiday.  I can switch the ribbon out once the holiday season is over if I want.   I wrapped the ribbon over the top parts of the letter and tied off the top section with a little piece of burlap to keep the ribbon secure.  DONE! 


My letter looks totally different compared to the one I saw on Pinterest, but I'm okay with that.  I just got the idea and did my own thing.  There are so many possibilities with this project, different letter fonts and sizes, assorted items to glue to the letter, and multiple ways to hang the letter.  Have fun with it!!







Saturday, November 26, 2011

Happy Holidays

The past few years Andy and I have spent Thanksgiving dinner with his family and then would have dessert with my family. This year was different. We made reservations (photos below) and spent the evening watching movies together.


The peaceful and stable holiday was great, but I would have given anything to have been traveling house to house, helping in the kitchen and eating apple pie with a heaping scoopful of vanilla ice cream.

With that said, I need to emphasize how thankful I am for the life I live. Andy and I both have amazing jobs that I am very thankful for. We have accomplished so much career wise and enjoy how much we’ve learned.  In addition to our careers, I am thankful for having a sense of home. We are finally feeling at home in Santa Fe and are enjoying everything the Land of Enchantment has to offer. 

I am also very thankful for our families. We couldn’t have done half the things we’ve accomplished without them. They are all truly wonderful people, I am so thankful for their constant love and support. They have been there through thick and thin for the both of us and have helped us in so many ways. I am incredibly thankful for them and love them all very much. 

I can’t forget my amazing friends. Living 1,500 miles away can be very hard on a friendship, but all my friends have been very compassionate and interested in the life I now have here in Santa Fe. I receive countless texts, e-mails, and phone calls each week from a lot of them just wondering how I’m doing and what’s new. I feel that some of my relationships have actually gotten stronger due to the distance and I’m very thankful for that as well. 

Lastly, I’m thankful for my incredible husband. He has been there for me through sleepless nights, bad moods and everything in between.  He doesn’t judge me; he loves me for who I am. I’m extremely thankful for our relationship; it gets stronger and stronger every day. 

In closure I’d like to quote John F. Kennedy, "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."

Thanksgiving Dinner at El Farol

Andy first course was a Butternut Squash Bisque

My first first course was a Candies Pecan & Cranberry Salad w/ Goat Cheese
My second course was Southwestern Cornish Game Hens rubbed w/
New Mexico's Red Chile, served with scalloped potatoes and calabasitas
Andy's second course was an 8oz Top Sirloin grilled Elk Steak served with grilled
onions, mashed potatoes, and asparagus
And for dessert we both had Cinnamon Ice Cream ... What an amazing meal!!




Friday, November 18, 2011

Facebook

I will be the first to admit that I am a social media junkie; I am constantly checking my Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn account and love to stay connected to my family and friends back in Michigan. I love the fact that my mom is a click away, I can see photos of my friend’s babies, and can update my thoughts instantly. And I can’t forget to mention how much my blog has helped me get through the past year. Social media is a medicine for my homesickness and is always there for me when I need it. 

With that said, I would like to remind people the purpose of Facebook. Facebook was originally created by a Harvard student. The site was to allow users to stay in touch with friends and to unite people with common interests. It was supposed to be for Harvard students only, but eventually it was open to Ivy League students. Then soon after most students in the United States and Canada who had a college e-mail address were able to sign up. And in 2005, Facebook became available to anyone who held a valid e-mail account and now many companies use it as a marketing tool.  

I normally hate complaining, but I can’t stand it any longer. I absolutely hate it when people update their account constantly, post about every step of their day, complain about how much their life sucks, etc. Facebook is not a diary and most people do not care about your doctor appointment you had in the morning or if your kids are acting up, if you need someone to talk to pick up the phone and vent through the airwaves not through cyberspace.

In my opinion, (my blog, my opinion) people who post way too much about their lives on Facebook are posting for attention. Well, guess what? I'm not giving out attention anymore! The next "friend" who posts too much and it shows up on my news-feed ...... I'm deleting YOU. I know this sounds cruel, but come on, don't others feel the same way as me? It is just too much to handle, not to mention reading all that negativity can bring a person down and I'm not going to surround myself with negative people.

I'm not calling myself a saint, I use my account to stay connected to the friends I have back home. I'm sure when I first signed up for my Facebook account I posted things I should not have, but as a 24 year old I know what is right and wrong. I don’t care if you are 14, 25, or 62 … It is time to grow up!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pure Deliciousness

I am not a huge baker, but Andy and I both have a demanding sweet-tooth. The hard thing about this is I love chocolate, maybe a little too much, and Andy doesn’t. BUT … I found the compromise!! The Oreo Cheesecake recipe below is chocolaty enough for me, but not too much for Andy.

Oreo Cheesecake
1 pkg. of Oreos
¾ stick of margarine (melted)
3 pkg. of cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sour cream
4 eggs 

1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Spray 13 x 9 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place cookies in a zip-lock bag and crush with hands or meat hammer. (You might want to do this in batches.) Mix cookies with melted butter in small mixing bowl, but put 1 ½ cups aside. Firmly press the remainder in the bottom of baking dish. 

2. Beat (We used our KitchenAid stand mixer, worked perfectly!) cream cheese one package at a time with sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Add sour cream, mix, and add eggs one at a time. Lastly, stir the remaining 1 ½ cups of cookies and pour mixture into baking dish. 

3. Bake for 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Once the cake has baked let it rest for an hour or so, then cool in refrigerator for at least 4 hours. ENJOY!! 


“Pure Deliciousness” - Andrew Morello


Sunday, November 6, 2011

On Foot

Adam, Andy’s childhood friend and the best man at our wedding, visited us in the beginning of September. Hosting him was a pleasure. I noticed how much I love showing my friends and family around Santa Fe; the culture, history, and scenery is breathtaking. (I will extend an invite once again … if you or anyone you know are at all interested in visiting New Mexico please let me know!)

Anyway, Andy took a few days off when Adam was visiting, they spent almost every day hiking. When I came home from work they would tell me about their adventures and show me photos they snapped. I saw how invigorating this new hobby might be and asked Andy if we could start hiking on a regular basis together. 

Our first hike was absolutely awful! Andy, Kimber, and I drove to Tesuque Creek, the trail was a slight incline and very rocky. We purchased a hiking guide prior to our trip that rated this trail as easy … easy is relative, I was complaining after 15 minutes. I didn’t understand the purpose of hiking, “We are just walking in the woods!” I kept saying to Andy, “This is SO stupid!”  Then to make matters worst the temperature dropped significantly and it started down pouring rain! By the time we returned to our car we were shivering and could ring the rainwater out of our clothes. Worst experience ever!

Before this so called hike Andy bought me a pair of hiking boots ... I couldn’t make excuses, I had to try again. 

Our next hike ... Black Canyon Loop ... I thought this trail was going to be the death of me. It is only a 1.5 mile hike, but the first half-mile or more is up hill. Yes, it was beautiful, but I didn’t care, I wanted to make sure I was going to make it to the end before I saw the white lights! 



I was so thrilled when I finally made it, honestly, as pathetic as this sounds this was the hardest thing I’ve ever done physically. I was so proud of myself, I became hooked. 

Glorietta Ghost Town was the last trail we hiked. This was amazing! Andy had hiked this when Adam visited and wanted to take me. He said that horses would walk around freely and come up to you, but this didn’t happen when I hiked it. However, the trail itself was very rewarding, it took us three hours, the scenery was amazing, and the fact that it was an old logging town was very interesting. 



With that said, I’m happy to have found this new hobby. It is physically rewarding, inexpensive, and gives a chance for us to explore new places.  Andy and I are hoping to get a few more hikes in this fall before the snow accumulates!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A New Cure

It’s been over a year since my first move to the U.P. and almost ten months since my second to Santa Fe, New Mexico. I’ve suffered with homesickness during these transitions, but am now learning how to mend the pain through different remedies. Recently I found a new cure!

If you know me, you know I love to cook. Cooking has helped me in many ways. It helps me keep my mind off of things, calms me down, brings a huge sense of satisfaction after completing a tasty meal, and creates memories and/or brings back memories depending on what I’m cooking. (Sometimes I purposely make meals my mom used to just to soak in the familiar smells and tastes, it truly works!) 

With that said, I’m going to start adding recipes to my blog. Below is a recipe for a popular ingredient in New Mexican cuisine. 

Green Chile Sauce
 
Ingredients
2 pounds roasted, pealed, seeded, chopped, green chile (We have green chiles available to purchase from local farms and grocers in New Mexico, however,  I’ve found two canned brands that aren’t bad, Embasa Whole Green Chile Peppers and Hatch Farms Fire-Roasted Diced Green Chiles.)
¼ cup olive oil
¼ all-purpose flour
3 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions
Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat, add flour and whisk constantly. Once ingredients are completely mixed add chopped green chiles and garlic to saucepan and mix until all ingredients marry.The mixture will become thick and change color slightly; the consistency should be like a gravy.

Leave the mixture in the saucepan to simmer, about 20 minutes or more. Stir regularly.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Local grocers will roast chiles for free if you purchase from them in Santa Fe. We had 20lbs roasted and froze in 2 lb increments. When you need them unthaw, peal, seed, and then they are ready to go! If you don't want to make the above recipe you can use pieces or strips of the chiles on the below suggestions.



This green chile sauce can be added to all kinds of recipes to give familiar flavors a nice spicy kick. Below are a few suggestions.


add a tablespoon to mac’n’cheese
top on burgers
use as pizza topping
spread on a grilled cheese sandwich
add a little to a pot of chili
use as  topping for tacos, burritos, or enchiladas
mix a tablespoon with salsa or queso
stuff chicken, pork, or shrimp
use as a spicy relish on hot dogs


I hope you enjoy and watch for more recipes! Please e-mail me with any questions or suggestions at sandra.lynn.morello@gmail.com

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Inn at Loretto


 It has been exactly one month since I started my new job. On September 6, 2011 I became the Marketing Coordinator at the Inn and Spa at Loretto. The position was created due to the new social media marketing epidemic. A freelancer in Ohio was working long distantly as the Inn’s Marketing Coordinator, but after much consideration the General Manager and Director of Marketing and Sales decided to find someone local to Santa Fe. 

I wasn’t looking for a new job, however, I received a random email regarding this position on a Friday morning. I thought ‘what the heck’ and applied right away. Within two hours the Director of Marketing and Sales called, gushed over my resume, and set up an interview for the following Monday. 

The process was extremely unusual. The HR director ran into the lobby of the hotel yelling, “Where is my beautiful friend, Sandy.” (Mind you, I’ve never met this woman, nor talk to her in my entire life!) She led me to the offices behind the hotel, showed me what she announced as “my office,” and introduced me to her staff as their “new” Marketing Coordinator. I was really taken back so I asked her how many people they were considering for this position. Her exact words were, “Are you kidding? We hope you are the first and only!” NO PRESSURE!

That Friday they offered me the job.

I’m only part-time, but know that if I push myself and show that I’m hardworking, passionate, and willing to learn I can move up in no time. As of now, I'm in charge of all social media aspects and our Artist in Residence Program. Also, I help create packages for guests and other projects that happen around the hotel. Daily, my duties have grown.

I’m so blessed to be given this opportunity. I’m taking each day one at a time and am considering this a learning experience more than a job. I’ve learned about the hospitality business, website design, how to trademark (just to name a few) all in one month. I can’t wait to keep soaking in all this information and become the best I can be.

PS: I want to thank my amazing friends and family, I could not have accomplished all I have in the past year if I didn’t have your support, guidance, and love. Thank you!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Girlfriends


In my last post I complained about how stressful our 4th of July vacation was, about our lack of vacation time, and how we’re going use it in the future.  After reading it a couple times I realized that I didn’t emphasize what a great time we actually did have, even though it was stressful. I truly have the best friends and family a girl could ask for. 

Beautiful Sunset in Michigan

With that said, I have finally been feeling better about our move and my homesickness only wiggles its way through when something happens back at home that I’m not a part of, but that’s inevitable. 

The reason I think I’ve been feeling better is because I finally have some girlfriends to hang out with. The week Andy and I moved to Santa Fe a co-worker of his invited us out for drinks. We had a lot of fun; the people we hung out with were all really great and we became friends with them right away.  To top it off I hit it off with a girl my age! We hung out a few times in the group and then finally exchanged numbers. We now get manis/pedis at least once a month and go out for dinner here and there. We actually saw the musical Cats a while back, it was a great show and we had a lot of fun. I was very lucky to meet her right away. 

Natalia and I at Cats!

In addition to that, a few months ago two girls invited me over for a girl’s night. They are friends with one of Andy’s old college roommates.  I was really excited because Andy was out of town and I needed time away from our house since I was home alone all week. I had a great time and met two more girls at their house. After a month passing I realized how awesome if was having some girl time and created a group on Facebook. Now we have girl’s night a couple times a month. This month we are having movie night at my place, I can’t wait!

Mud Volleyball 2011 (with a couple of the girls I've made friends with)


I feel like I am finally finding a place here. I’m so thankful for all the people I’ve met and hope we will all stay friends for a very long time!! Thank you!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Home Sweet Home


It has been about a month since Andy and I took our 4th of July vacation. We decided to drive the 1,500 miles to Grand Rapids, MI due to expensive airfare (and because we wanted to bring Kimber, she missed everyone too).  The drive wasn’t bad and being home was awesome! We spent a lot of time with our families and tried to see everyone in our power. 

To be honest, this vacation wasn’t really a vacation. Don’t get me wrong, coming home was great and seeing everyone was absolutely amazing. However, I felt like we were being pulled each and every way possible. I’m not blaming anyone but myself. We filled our week so fast and by the end of the week we were exhausted. I’m sure others who’ve been away from their hometown feel the same way as we do.

Andy and I talked during our long drive back to Santa Fe. We both agreed that the trip was a bit too stressful. We also talked about how we only have so much vacation time and that we don’t want to spend all of it on going home. We promised each other that we would from now on go on an actual vacation once a year. We will still come home to visit as much as we can and will make sure we create a stress free trip. 

With that said if anyone would like to come see us in Santa Fe we do have an extra bedroom and would love to be anyone’s tour guide!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Las Conchas Fire

It has been a very crazy (and scary) couple weeks …..  Now might be a good time to finally update my readers. 

A couple weeks ago I was watching TV after dinner. A special report appeared on the screen with information regarding a fire in Las Conchas, New Mexico. Immediately I looked up a map of New Mexico and found that Las Conchas is very close to Los Alamos National Laboratory, where Andy works, about 35 miles from Santa Fe, where we live. I also found out that the fire started that afternoon and by night it had grown to almost 4,000 acres! Los Alamos County evacuated all their residents and closed the lab all week. Within that week the fire grew over 100,000 acres, becoming the biggest fire New Mexico has ever seen. 

The first night, after knowing what was going on, I couldn’t sleep. I was constantly thinking about the fire and the people who had to pick up their lives and leave. I was thinking about how it would feel to go back to your home and it not being there anymore, all your things …… just gone. But supposedly, fires are very common during the dry summers here. There were a few surrounding Santa Fe at this time, just not as big.  I don’t think I will ever get used to this. (I even made Andy heighten our renters insurance just in case!) In Michigan we never have fears of fires, water is taken for granted there and here it is truly a gift. At this time we hadn’t had rain since May, but now it rains pretty much every day on and off. July is considered monsoon season and that will really help. 

This event is very scary; I can’t believe I’ve witnessed something this extreme! Please keep all New Mexicans in your positive thoughts throughout the next couple weeks while the clean up begins. Andy and I donated some food and toiletries to a local food drive and hope to do more very soon.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Help Me!!

My time here in Santa Fe has been absolutely perfect!! Andy had a job lined up months before the big move, we found a house to rent two months prior, the lab pick up the bills for relocating, and I found a job five days after we were (somewhat) settled. I’ve enjoyed everything Andy and I have discovered and visited here in Santa Fe. I am so blessed and lucky to be living the life I am living so I hope this isn’t taken the wrong way, because I am the happiest I’ve ever been in my entire life. There is just one thing I’m struggling with …. I NEED GIRLFRIENDS!!! 

I work with only five people who are at least 15 years older than me and Andy works with mostly boys. I’ve met one girl through Andy and have hung out with her a handful of times, but think it’s healthy to have more than just one friend. I need to find some friends who can fill this void. I’m not trying to replace my old friends, trust me; they cannot be replaced. I have the best friends a girl could ask for and hate that I can’t be with them at anytime like I used to. However, I need to find new friends too. I’m going crazy not being able to go out for drinks, pedi’s, or even chat (in person) with a girl my age.

If there is anyone out there who knows a way I can make new friends I would really appreciate some advice. I’ve been to a couple classes at a gym to broaden my search, but friends normally do that together so clicks were already formed before I even showed up. I’m thinking about joining a yoga class so maybe that will help, but it is just so awkward introducing yourself to someone you think you can be friends with. Will you be my friend? Really? How do you bring up that conversation?

There is this girl who works above my office and I think she is around my age. She is really nice (sometimes our mail gets messed up so I bring her hers and she brings me mine) and think she could be a great friend. But … I don’t ever know her name, let alone know how to ask her if she would like to hang out. I feel like such a creeper!! Please someone help me!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Time Well Spent

It has been almost a month since my mom came to visit us. I was so excited the morning of her arrival and could hardly sit still at work all morning. She took a shuttle to Santa Fe from Albuquerque after her flight that dropped her off a block away from my work. When she called and told me she had arrived I walked to the corner to meet her, tourists and strangers probably thought I was going crazy because I was running down the sidewalk yelling, “MOM” at the top of my lungs. I was able to leave work early that afternoon and Andy had the day off so once I introduced my mom to my co-workers  and showed her around we headed home. We went to our favorite winery, Estrella Del Norte Vineyard around 4:00 and then went out for some New Mexican food for dinner. 



On Saturday my mom and I spent the day at The Plaza, it is basically a shopping center in the downtown area of Santa Fe with interesting galleries, vendors, shops, and museums. We had lunch and did a lot of shopping. We found this one store (I don’t remember the name), a real touristy kind of place, that had coffee mugs, magnets, and trinkets that said New Mexico and Santa Fe on them. In the back of the store there were rooms and rooms of authentic Spanish clothing. My mom and I were just looking around and this woman who worked there kept finding clothes and making us try them on, she was crazy, but it was so much fun!! 
 
Sunday was really fun too. We drove about a half hour north of Santa Fe and visited The Bandelier, this is the coolest place I’ve ever been! The Bandelier is a Pueblo archeological site that covers 33,000+ acres and over 70 miles of trails. I posted pictures below because words cannot describe this amazing place. 







With all that said, I had a great time with my mom while she was here. I can’t believe that a month has already gone by ….. but now I have to plan for when my sister-in-law, Natalie, comes to visit in just about one week, I can’t wait. (My mission: to teach her how to cook, love you, Nat!)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Woman’s Best Friend

I was driving home from work on Friday afternoon and noticed four wandering dogs and two tied up to a bench in front of two different stores near my house all in fifteen minutes. I couldn’t believe what I saw and would never think of tying my dog, Kimber, up to a bench while I went shopping! I sleep with, talk to, and treat Kimber like she is my own child. Andy and I take her everywhere with us and would be devastated if anything happened to her. 

My parents taught my brothers and me to treat all animals with love and respect. We’ve always had at least one animal in our household as children and I cherish the fact that while I was growing up I was able to learn how to love and take care of every single one of them. 

Kimber, however, holds a special place in my heart. My dad found her while hunting (which seems crazy since I’m talking about respecting animals, but that is the circle of life, right?) at my grandparent’s home about two years ago and drove her miles away from their house every time she came around. (He said it was because she was spooking the deer, but we all know it wasn’t Kimber!)

Anyway, Kimber found her way back every time. So I asked my grandpa to bring Kimber to my parent’s house the next time he saw her so I could find her a home since no one in their neighborhood claimed her. Within a couple days I fell in love with her. The deal was I could keep her if I paid for everything and when I moved out she came with me.

It has been two in half years since Kimber was found. She cuddles with me every morning, greets me at the door when I come home from work, and has a personality that is so intoxicating it makes me smile every time I see her.


It breaks my heart that some animals do not have a home like Kimber does. Someday I will teach my children to treat animals with love and respect like my parents taught me – thank you mom and dad! (Kimmy says thank you too!!)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Six Months


I’m not overly sentimental; however I can cry at the drop of a hat and am a little needy, especially when Andy and I were dating. (I believe that had something to do with the fact that we lived 500 miles away from each other for most of our relationship though.)

I’m bringing this up because I’ve realized, within the past six months, how much we’ve grown as a couple since we starting living together. Our relationship was great before, don’t get me wrong, but now it is better than ever. Being able to wake up next to my best friend in the morning, welcome him home from work, and being able to eat dinner and have a face-to-face conversation at our kitchen table is the greatest feeling ever. Couples take being together every day for granted, I know because I’m beginning to. 

Andy is presenting at a conference in May, ironically in Grand Rapids, MI. I would love to go with him, but think asking for a whole week off already might not be such a great idea. (Plus, we’d have to find a dog sitter for Kimber.) As much as I would love to fly to GR and visit family and friends we decided that I’m going to stay here with Kimber and work. I haven’t been away from Andy since the day we got married. (Pathetic I know, but moving across the country doesn’t come with many friends.) Knowing that I’ll be away from Andy for that week is going to be so strange because I forget that we held a long distance relationship for so long. I can’t believe that for almost four years we only saw each other once a month and now we are with each other every day. 

People always ask us how we made our long distance relationship work. Honestly, I have no idea! I knew we had something special and thought that as long as I’m happy and am in love that it will be worth it. For most couples I believe it comes down to whether it is meant to be, and for us it was. (I also had amazing friends that always kept me busy!) 

I’m not going to lie, it is hard, but we fought just as hard to keep our relationship going strong. It totally paid off, because I am now enjoying this crazy adventure with the love of my life. I never imagined I would have done half the things I have, I wouldn’t have wanted to do it with anyone else. Love you, Andrew!!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Job v Old Job

I never utter the words I’m about to type …. You were right! 

Well …. the few of you who commented on my last post are right. The information download is finally taking effect, I understand almost everything I’ve done thus far at the new job and am actually learning a lot about investing. However, I’m not sure if it is the right fit. At the moment it’s great, but I will try to find something new eventually. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for this opportunity, but I miss working with children. I loved making a difference in a child’s life every day, getting hugs just because, and hearing hilarious stories told by five and six year olds.

You don’t believe adults when you are young and naïve about how fast children grow up, but it's true. Most of the children that were in my classroom started attending the daycare before I even began working there. I was there for 3.5 years and watched many of them grow up. I’m upset to know that I won’t see them grow any longer. I know they will all succeed in life and become wonderful people. I just hope they remember me and all the fun we had together. 

I was so excited to leave the daycare due to all the wedding festivities and moving across the country. I never thought twice about how I would feel after months past. These children were (and still are) such an important part of my life, they taught me so much without even knowing it. I hope that one day I can find a new group of children to inspire and to be inspired again.  

I miss you School-Ager, Miss Sandy loves you!!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Worst Critic

I feel like my brain is going to explode due to the information it’s been downloading since Wednesday morning. Don’t get me wrong I’m incredibly thankful for this opportunity and the fact that I found a job so quickly after the big move … But, I’m nervous that I’m going to crack under pressure before this Wednesday when my training is supposed to be compete. (I thought writing for The Collegiate and On the Town Magazine was stressful, but after seeing the size of checks I’m dealing with on a regular basis I’m starting to feel the pressure!)

My regular day starts by cleaning the break room and front office, checking voicemails, attending meetings, logging mail in and out, writing letters confirming appointments, making phones call, summarizing meetings, scanning and uploading documents, and paying bills all while I’m supposed to greet clients, answer the phone, and file very important documents. 

I know I can do this! I’m strong, educated, independent, and very organized, but I’m having a hell of a time figuring out what tasks I should start and finish first. I want to throw the stack of papers that accumulate every second on my desk up in the air like the actors do with money in the movies.

However, today one of my bosses complimented me on how I was catching on so quickly, my work ethic and my organization skills. I think I need to look in the mirror and as corny as it sounds talk myself out of this ridiculous feeling. I need to relax, slow down, and enjoy that fact that I’m learning. 

They hired me for a reason, right?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hello Santa Fe

We are finally settled in our new home after a long week. Andy, Joe, Deb (my in-laws), and I arrive last Friday to sunny Santa Fe, New Mexico. The moving company showed up early Tuesday morning and now mostly everything is unpacked and organized (thanks to Andy’s parents). I can’t express how thankful I am for their help and support, thank you guys SO much!!

Andy and I (Kimber too!) are really starting to love it here. The weather is perfect, people are incredibly kind, and the restaurants are to die for! Being 1500 miles away from my friends and family hasn’t hit me yet since we’ve been so busy being tourists, learning about New Mexico, and all the work we’ve done on the house so far. I’m sure the “common homesickness” will hit me eventually. When it does I’ll be positive by staying busy and connected to all the wonderful people in my life through the internet, phone, and maybe some snail-mail. 

With that said, I can share the most recent exciting news that will take up 40 hours of my week … I GOT A JOB!! It isn’t an amazing life changing position at a non-profit organization that I wanted, but that doesn’t mean I can’t volunteer my spare time. I’ve been looking for almost four months and couldn’t find anything in the non-profit sector. I knew limiting myself to just one avenue was a bad idea so I applied to an ad on Craig’s List. I had an interview this morning, within a few hours I received a phone call and was offered the job.  I’m the newest secretary at Ameriprise Financial Group in Santa Fe, New Mexico starting Wednesday, January 24th at 8:30am. I am so happy to say I’m finally employed ... maybe one day I’ll move up and become a financial advisor ;)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Finally

I saw Andy in professional-mode for the first time yesterday. He finally presented his thesis after almost two years of sleepless nights collecting and interpreting data, traveling, reading, studying, writing, etc ... I barely recognized him in his Kenneth Cole suit as his spoke of combustion, acceleration, and windowing. He was very articulate, organized, and knowledgeable; I actually understood some things he said!! I am so proud of him and all his accomplishments and am ready to see him excel within his new career.

With that said, the anticipation of our move has finally hit me, maybe it’s because Andy is almost done with school or because of all the snow that has fallen … I don’t know, but I do know that I am finally ready to move.

A few weeks ago I read a comment on a previous post from my best friend; she helped me realize that it is okay to be thrilled about the move. She said, “Don't be sad about your situation ... be excited about all the new opportunities! Yes, life at home will go on without you and there will be things you will miss ... but if you don't go out and make a life for yourself and Andy, then you will also miss out on great adventures for the both of you!” This alleviated a lot of stress, because it made me recognize that this move is more than a move, it is a chance for and Andy and I to get to know each other even better without any distractions or influences.

We’ll be leaving Michigan in less than a week and I am so thankful that I can finally say that I’m excited. I know that we need to do this, we need to free ourselves from the bubble that we’ve grown so accustom to. We know that our friends and family will miss us very much and will be sad to see us go, but like my BF said, “If you don’t go out and make a life for yourself, you will miss out on great adventures.”  We don’t want to miss out on anything ... SO bring it on New Mexico, The Morello’s are on their way!!!