three years later

Last night at nearly 11 p.m., after a long & sweaty event day, I went back to my office for the last time I'd call it mine. My pictures had been packed up, my updated desk manual had been submitted & my voicemail message had been changed. Instead of moving my dot to "out", I moved my name to the middle of the board & placed the coveted blue "vacation" dot underneath it. Until that moment, the emotions of saying goodbye hadn't hit.

It's nothing short of crazy that it is somehow three years later, & I am leaving this job. I was not planning on getting a job straight out of college. It was 2010 & no one was getting hired, especially not in the exact field they wanted to go into. I figured I had a slow summer of job applications & wedding planning in front of me. Instead, God opened all the windows & all the doors. I was told about this job opening by a friend from high school that I hadn't seen in years, but he had thought of me. The job was for a fulltime event coordinator of a large (& "wild"... cough) non-profit park. It wasn't part of my plan, but it would be crazy not to interview. I knew walking out of my first interview that they would hire me. I did not know that I would want to die trying to manage that first summer of events on top of planning an October wedding. It was awful, ha. But man-oh-man, did it make me strong.

I'm really terrible at goodbyes, & I always have been. I am so excited for what lies ahead, & there's a lot of stress that I'm not sad to be leaving behind. But I also have made some of the best of friends, had the silliest of moments on the most chaotic of event days, & learned invaluable lessons over the last three years. I know it's not really goodbye, & I know I still only live 8 minutes away. But there is a finality to closing your office door... My home away from home, really... for the last time. I am truly honored to have been working for the past three years for an organization that believed in the little blonde who wore a flower in her hair to her interview, two weeks before she graduated from college. It has been an experience that has filled my heart & head with all sorts of love & lessons. Thanks for believing in me.

& so, we are leaving for a grand vacation to the midwest for a wedding & family visiting for the first two weeks of July... & then? Well, I'm going to keep you waiting for that announcement. Sorry. Kinda ;) In the meantime, I'm putting my well-loved, event-day Sperry's in the back of the closet for a niiiiice, long break.


oh, what a day

It just wasn't that long ago that the end of June 2013 seemed so far away.  A very far away time that held a closed chapter & an open door, along with oh-who-knows what else in between. It's somehow here & every day, I'm answering questions at work about my last day & what I'm doing next. The answers have started to roll off my tongue, & I've mastered the answering them in a most confident tone. 50% of the time, I actually am feeling that confident. The other half, I'm feeling like I'm doing the right thing but ohhh lawd, does failing sound so not awesome.

I'm drowning a little bit right now, to be honest... But the best kind of drowning there is. Like, in cream cheese frosting or that lotion that they jump you with in the middle of the mall. I'm finishing my last week at a job that has been nothing but good to me, & I'm stepping forward into a great unknown, with God all around me.

Life hasn't been all that photogenic. It's been a lot of working, a lot of apartment hunting (yep, again), & mostly just a lot of busy. I can't wait to join life on the other side of an 8 hour day in the office & 16 hour event days. I'm sure these introspective posts are getting a little old, but it's either this, or silence, or pictures of our laundry. Someone get me a dog, already, right??


father's day at the ocean

 Well, it's been awhile since I had a good ol' fashion photo dump around these parts!

Sunday was the kind of day that as an east-coast-beach-dweller, we awoke & knew that being in the ocean was not optional that day. There's a breeze that floats in under the humidity & heat, & it just sort of hums around you until you put the swimsuit on, grab the beach quilt & hit the road with Van Morrison blaring through the speakers.

It worked out that it happened to be Father's Day & my dad is always up for some beach. My entire family ended up riding out together & soaking in the seaside sunshine. I realized once we arrived & mom started unpacking her Mary Poppins bags that I still have so much to learn from my sensei. She somehow brings sandwiches, snacks, drinks, hats, chairs, umbrellas... ALL of the things required to spend like, 6 hours in the sand without batting an eye at your watch, & does it daintily. No wheelbarrow with 3 ft. diameter wheels required. She's a miracle worker, that lady.
There's something very defining about watching your 6-month-old niece experience the beach for the first time. According to her face, the waves were the most amazing thing she had experienced in her 172 days of life, except when they were terrifying & cold. I just think the beach is so much more fun when there are kiddos around. Can't wait to make that husband of mine a papa so we can spend our own Father's Day in the waves, someday.

To my wonderful dad - You, sir, like a fine wine, are just getting better with age. It's such a joy to watch you become Poppy. You're a natural, but keep practicing for my little babies ;) Thank you for always being there & supporting me & Jared. & happy Father's Day to both of our wonderful fathers & brothers. You are all great men & such wonderful impacts on our lives. I also think that you're all pretty funny, which is an added bonus. Love you!


sunday best

hat - gap | shoes - thrifted | shirt, tie & tie clip - j. crew

top - american eagle | skirt & shoes - h&M | belt - f21 | necklace - charlotte russe

In between seeing our dads, handing over cards & goodies, giving hugs & enjoying their company, I spent the majority of my day yesterday staring at this handsome guy that I get to share a someday family with. He's a good man. & he'll be an amazing dad. But also, he has impeccable style. Keeps a girl on her toes, ya know?

But also, that little golden doodle is a camera fiend.


richmond's bacon festival

When my huge event at work this past Friday was postponed due to the predicted tropical-storm-that-wasn't, I took that as my opportunity to end a nine day work streak early. Friday started with sleeping in a little, cleaning a lot & Jared's car battery dying. Off we went to the auto part store to retrieve a new battery for him. It was as we got back in the car to leave that MY car's battery decided to die. It's in those moments that you just have to choose to laugh instead of cry. Like, hysterical, ugly cry. So, we laughed-instead-of-cried ourselves away from the auto part store, knowing that we at least had a mini vacation planned for the next day. It had been a little while since we'd had an entire weekend away from work, & there was plenty to look forward to.

We were already 100% in for a quick weekend trip to Richmond as soon as Amelia mentioned the inaugural Bacon Festival taking place on Sunday. But when we got the texts confirming that Amelia & Andrew had found the puppy of their dreams on Saturday AM, we went a little nutso. I think we chanted "PUPPY PUPPY PUPPY" for a solid 2 minutes when we got in the car. Little Miss Maisie (who is a mix of chow + adorable) stole our hearts right away. It was so fun to see their little family of three (because you can't forget Raja, the only cat I'll ever love) grow to a family of four over the weekend.

But back to bacon. We traipsed down to the 17th Street Farmer's Market & were not disappointed by the parade of bacon that greeted us. The local restaurants and food vendors pulled out all the stops with everything from Bacon Pierogi Nachos to Pork Belly Avocado to Maple Bacon Pops. Bacon was being sold on sticks, in cupcakes, blended into drinks, on pies, wrapped around veggies... It was pretty astounding. Things got busy fast so the camera got put away as bacon treats filled our hands. Sorry/Not sorry. 

Maisie was such a trooper, & almost a bigger hit than the bacon. We had to take a puppy nap break & people were going out of their way to bring her everything from ice to puppy pops. Yep, puppy pops. I imagine that she'll have grown so much the next time we see her that we'll already be looking back to these pictures saying, "OMG, her head fit in your hand!"

We went home & finished the day by putting their new fire pit to good use. Amelia dreamed up some Caramel + Bacon S'mores, & I will just never settle for anything less than that for the rest of my life. Gourmet camping trips from here on out. (Grahams, caramel sauce, mallows & bacon. Milk chocolate optional. Dark chocolate tested & not recommended.)

It was back to work today (which started my third-to-last-week in the office - EEK), but we have wonderful memories of bacon & puppies to get us through to the weekend. Seriously. Bacon. And puppies. Best weekend EVERRRRR.

p.s. May have started watching Game of Thrones. So far, we're mostly just freaked out. Will report back.