Cozy.

I suppose this post could also be titled “Lazy” but cozy seems much more inviting, no?

We’re having a particularly cozy weekend here at home, one weekend of peace before the hustle & bustle of the holidays is fully upon us. Rather than think up a million things to do, we opted to fully embrace it.

Fielder & I stayed snuggled in bed well past 9:00 yesterday morning. This boy of mine is a true momma’s boy in the mornings. Even if he hears daddy eating (J always goes out to watch tv/snack on the couch on weekend mornings- he knows I prefer to lie in bed in the quiet) he doesn’t leave my side. He stays cuddled up, tight as can be, sometimes even right on top of me, until I’m ready to get out of bed.
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We ate breakfast, made a grocery list, cleaned up the kitchen, & made homemade noodles in the morning. We grocery shopped, napped, & sat on the couch in the afternoon.

I turned those noodles into soup for dinner, and we watched The Wolf of Wall Street while snuggled under blankets. It’s not particularly cold this weekend, but it’s foggy, damp, & gloomy. A perfect weekend to stay indoors.

We took Fielder for a nice, long walk this morning and then J made us breakfast.

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The rest of the day will likely be rather lazy cozy. Perhaps another movie. Some cookie baking for sure. And a roast is in the slow cooker for dinner.

The fireplace is on, the Christmas tree is lit, and my heart is content.

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If I haven’t mentioned it already, I just love cozy weekends at home.

Adjusting

A few months ago, I clued you all in on the fact that I was starting a new job. I think I promised I’d tell you all about it, but as so many of my blog promises go, life just got in the way and I don’t think I told you a darn thing about it. But the Cliff’s notes version is this: I get to work at 8:00 every day (or least in that general area, sometimes earlier, sometimes a smidge later- I actually have to do deal with “real” traffic now & sometimes that can be tricky). If I need to, I can walk out the door at 5:00 on the dot. I have fewer distractions, a lighter workload, and all of this makes me a little bit more sane. I miss my old co-workers like the Dickens (that’s a real phrase, right?) but I hang out/chat with/visit them often so it’s okay. Truthfully I miss my old job too. It wasn’t that I ever disliked my job. I just disliked the hours I had to put into it in order to do things the way I wanted them done.  I worked there for so long that I started to feel as though I had to do everything SO. WELL. or I was a failure. I spent nights wide awake worried about what  I might have messed up. I found myself never wanting to leave for fear that an error I made would become apparent the moment I walked out the door so it was just easier to be there to deal with things head on. I was always on call, constantly checking work email. And even though I knew my salary was based on 42 hours/week, and work didn’t pay the bills for that phone I was ever so fervently checking, I never. stopped. working. It was an unhealthy attitude and an unhealthy situation that I needed to get myself out of.

I was lucky to have a referral to a fantastic company, even luckier to actually land the job. Of course work is work and I have my bad days at my new job too, but overall I am just so darn happy I made the move when I did. That’s not to say that adjusting to a new routine, a new schedule, and new people hasn’t been tough. Transition is hard no matter the circumstances. So when I was asked to contribute to the company blog a few weeks ago, I knew just what my topic would be. Here, have a look! There might just be some useful information for you too!

new-job

Adjusting to a new job is tough. Whether you’re making a career change after just a few months, or many years, transitioning into a new role can be downright scary. Changing jobs means meeting and trying to fit in with all new people, it means a new routine, perhaps a new schedule, a new commute, and obviously, a new set of tasks and expectations.

I recently started at AMPED after more than ten years with my former company. I went from being a wealth of knowledge and someone who others relied on for all the answers, to being the one who knows almost nothing. My commute time more than doubled, which means my alarm clock now goes off an hour earlier. I sit at a desk the majority of the time now, when previously I had a good mix of sitting and being on my feet.

These are all things that have taken some getting used to and I’m certainly no expert in the career change department, but looking back I realize that there are a few things that have really helped my transition go a bit more smoothly. The following are a few suggestions for you if a career change is in your future.

Practice your routine. In the days or weeks leading up to your first day at the new job, take some time to test out your new wake up time, commute, parking, etc. Even if you’re not able to try the drive at the time of day you’ll actually be commuting, do explore all the possible routes. Feeling confident in my new commute definitely helped calm some of my first-day nerves. Nobody wants to make a bad impression by being late on the first day so if you can squelch even an iota of that nervousness by not being concerned about getting lost, you’re in good shape!

Ask questions. You will undoubtedly get bombarded with information in the first days and weeks at your new gig. It will be entirely too much information to take in at once, but by engaging and asking questions, you may just retain a little more of that information than you would by listening alone. Likewise, nobody expects you to get everything right on the first try. If you’re feeling uneasy about a task you’ve been assigned, ask for help! Your co-workers are your best resources.

Accept invitations. It can be intimidating asking questions of those aforementioned co-workers if you don’t feel comfortable doing so. One of the best ways to get to know the people you’ll now be spending more time with than some of your own family, is by accepting their invitations. Whether they invite you to happy hour, or for a quick coffee run, it’s important to accept the invitation. Getting to know your co-workers outside of work can help you feel more at ease when you need their help back in the office.

Immerse yourself. Everyone learns differently, but in my experience, the best way to really “get it” is to fully immerse yourself. I was so scared to answer the phone for the first time, but I took comfort in the fact that the hold button was my new best friend. Any question that came in could be answered by someone in the office. And by fielding those questions and finding the appropriate person to answer them, I was learning something by listening to the response. Take the opportunity to listen in on conference calls, request that your co-workers copy you in on email responses so you can later use them as reference. Even if the information isn’t immediately relevant, it’s likely that you’ll benefit from it at a later time.

Stay positive. This is probably the hardest of all. Even after four months, I get frustrated when I don’t know how to do something, don’t know how to answer a member’s question, or mess up something that should be really easy. But it’s important to remind yourself that nobody figures it all out right away. The President probably gets lost on his way to the bathroom in his first few months in the White House, right? The bottom line is that we learn from mistakes, and we all make them. Beating yourself up over it just isn’t worth it. If you can manage to stay positive, even despite all of the inevitable mistakes you’ll make, you’ll be so much better off in the long run.

Originally posted on AMPED Blog.

Sundays Are Awesome

And so are sundaes…

¡Hola! How’s your weekend going?!

It’s been a relaxing one here, just the way I like ‘em! Justin went to his dad’s cabin for the weekend so I had him drop me and Fielder at my parents’ house. We had a delightful time doing absolutely nothing. My mom is in full blown Christmas decorating mode and while I completely disagree with decorating before Thanksgiving, it is looking pretty cheerful in their abode!

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We returned home around 10 this morning so I got some sweeping, vacuuming, and laundry done and I’m planning a pretty labor intensive dinner of sloppy Joes and tater tots,
which means I’ve got some idle time while I pretend to watch the Packers beat the Vikings. That’s for you, Erin. ;) I say pretend because I’m a Packers fan by default and whether they win or lose neither negatively, nor positively impacts my life. I’ll admit though, I sort of love these border battles and tend to pay a little more attention when the Pack takes on the Bears or the Vikings. Even though I’m just a fan by default, it doesn’t mean I can’t still take advantage of an opportunity to talk a little smack!

Anyway, I figured a lazy Sunday was a good time for a fun little About Me survey. The former MySpacer in me just can’t get enough of these things.

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Four names that people call me other than my real name:
1.T
2.Bug
3.PCBL
4.TL
The nickname Bug started when I was just a little Bug like this and it’s been around ever since!

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Four jobs I’ve had:
1.Lifeguard
2.Server/Bartender
3.Events Coordinator
4.Executive Assistant

Four movies I’ve watched more than once:
1.The Lost Boys
2.Elf
3.Stand by Me
4.Dirty Dancing

Four books I’d recommend:
1.Gone Girl
2.Bridge to Terabithia
3.I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
4.To Kill a Mockingbird
(I should probably start reading more so I can list some books that aren’t older than I am.)

Four places I’ve lived
1.Clyde, WI
2.Spring Green, WI
3.Madison, WI
4.I lived in a dorm in Playa del Carmen, MX for about a month…does that count?!

Four places I have visited:
1. PA, NY, New England
2.Lots of places in Florida (Orlando, Pensacola/Gulf Breeze, Fort Myers, Sanibel Island, West Palm Beach)
3.Mexico!!! (pretty much all of the major towns that make up the Riviera Maya)
4.Montego Bay, Jamaica

Four places I’d rather be right now:
1.Mexico
2.Jamaica
3.Costa Rica
4.Any place with a beach and turquoise waters, really.

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Four things I don’t eat:
1.bleu cheese
2.olives
3.kohlrabi
4.sardines- to be honest, I’ve never had one but I can’t think of a single other food I detest at the moment. And if I had to guess, I’d guess that I don’t really care for sardines.

Four of my favorite foods:
1.avocado
2.mashed potatoes
3.cheese- just not of the bleu variety
4.beer- I live in WI so that’s a food.

Four TV shows I watch:
1.Parenthood *sob* I can’t believe it’s almost done forever!
2.Scandal
3.2 Broke Girls
4.Big Bang Theory

Four things I’m always saying:
1.I’m hungry.
2.You’re my sweet boy. (To Fielder. In dog talk.)
3.Is it too early for bed?
4.Oh, look! Puppy! (when looking out the window at work)

…stole this survey from Tina.

Happy Sunday to you!

embracing seasons

with each passing year i find myself embracing the change of the seasons more and more. maybe it’s because i’m getting older and finally learning to appreciate how lucky we are to witness nature’s beauty as she transitions from one season to the next, or maybe it’s just that i’m growing more tolerant of each season, even that terrible one that’s been giving us a sneak preview this week.

this isn’t to say that I’m looking forward to full blown winter, not at all. but I feel as though each year my dread for it lessens. and with that, my ability to enjoy the other seasons grows. i’ve always been one of those people that dreads fall because i know what comes after it, so i find myself sulking on the couch thinking about dreaded winter, when really it’s gorgeous outside and i could just throw on a light jacket and embrace the gorgeous autumn weather.

this autumn was an autumn to remember weather wise, so i really tried to take advantage of it. had the weather not been so gorgeous it’s possible i would’ve found myself pouting indoors with a pumpkin spice latte in hand, but instead, i went out and embraced it.

i mean, what’s not to embrace about this? don’t you want to just give it a big ol’ hug??

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in recent years we’ve been blasted with cold and wind so early that it’s almost like fall didn’t exist. this year, I was reminded of what a bang up job Wisconsin does with this beautiful season.

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we had a little Oktoberfest party last month & while it wasn’t the warmest day, the display of colors in our yard could NOT be beat.

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a work trip to Wollersheim Winery (I know, rough job I have) at the beginning of November seemed chilly but the winery grounds were still pretty gorgeous.

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standing outside in the cold learning about ice wine seemed all the more appropriate too!

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and as the colder days are closing in on us, I’m embracing cozy nights at home, knowing I got out there and enjoyed the heck outta fall.

coming home to the husband making dinner then sharing with this guy is pretty embraceable too.

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wherever you may be, I hope this finds you warm and well, embracing the season upon you.

saving daylight

I love falling back. I woke up at 7:30 this morning, which was really 6:30, which meant I could lie in bed for a solid hour or more, browsing social media, before I felt even a tiny bit guilty about it.

falling back means I was at the grocery store buying ingredients for breakfast by 8:30 and was home eating homemade biscuits and gravy whilst planning dinner before 10am.

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it means we’re in the middle of watching our THIRD movie of the day and it’s just after 2pm. (horrible bosses, girl most likely, the avengers. just in case you were wondering.)

it means I’ve completed our grocery list and meal planning for the week. yes, I’ll be making two grocery store trips today. the first was an urgent, must-make-biscuits-and-gravy, cannot -be-bothered-to-first-make-a-list, trip.

it means I feel like falling back (and the snow we had earlier this week. gross.) is my cue to hunker down, get into a routine, and soak up any bit of down time we have before the craziness of the holiday season is upon us. I’m hopeful that a part of that routine means stopping by this little place of mine on the Internet from time to time because I sure have been thinking about it a whole bunch, just haven’t taken the time to visit it.

it also means that I spent most of my day yesterday cleaning, rearranging furniture, and doing laundry so I could fully commit to this lazy, long day. and I’ll likely be in bed at 6pm.

toodles!

September 26th

Today is Mesothelioma Awareness Day. Oh, you didn’t know that? That’s exactly why I’m telling you. Mesothelioma doesn’t seem to get the publicity that other cancers get but there are thousands of people diagnosed each year, and most aren’t fortunate enough to live another year post-diagnosis.

Heather’s diagnosis came just a few months after giving birth to her daughter, Lily. Heather and her family sought the help of renowned mesothelioma surgeon, Dr. Sugarbaker, and I’m happy to report that she is an eight-year survivor.

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Heather’s mission is to help other mesothelioma victims by sharing her story to spread hope and awareness. And today, I’m here to help her help others.

If you’ve never heard of mesothelioma, or maybe you’ve heard of it, but don’t really understand it, check out a few facts:

mesothelioma

30mil

10months

schools

dormant

In both it’s cause and life expectancy post-diagnosis, mesothelioma is incredibly straight-forward. It’s not something to be messed with. But there is hope. Heather is a thriving, lively example of that hope and I feel honored that she asked me to share her story.

Read more about mesothelioma here, or check out Heather’s full story here. If you’re feeling generous and want to do your good deed for the day, don’t be afraid to click one of those share links at the conclusion of Heather’s story.

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time.

According to Hallmark, the traditionally appropriate gift to honor the third wedding anniversary is leather. If you consider yourself a modern couple, crystal or glass is apparently the way to go.

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I won’t be gifting my husband with a pair of leather cowboy boots or a set of crystal champagne flutes today, that’s for sure.

Instead, I’m giving him time. Time with me. Time after work because I won’t be staying late every day. Time on the weekends because I won’t be working weekends anymore. Time during the holidays because I won’t be working holidays anymore.

This gift of time will technically be a belated one, as my official last day at my current job isn’t until July 19th, but so much stress has already been lifted that our time together is more precious, more lighthearted, more fun, even now. He might not say it, but I know he already feels like he has me back. I’m not lost in the world of worrying about how much work is waiting for me. I’m not constantly checking my work email or keeping my phone at an arm’s length just in case I get a work-related text message.

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Time is precious. And time is the only gift my husband wishes for on this anniversary of ours. So time is what I will give to him. Time is a gift that we’ll happily share.

Wanna know a secret? That first picture was taken on our actual wedding day, at our actual wedding venue. The second one was taken two weeks later, in a different town altogether. We’re tricky like that.