Thursday, December 11, 2014

Today I was accepted into grad school! It's been a long dream of mine to continue my education - I just never quite knew what I wanted to do or when I would want to do it. So after receiving my undergraduate degree, the grad school dream sat on the back burner as I started working my way up through various jobs until I happened upon my last one in web communications. It didn't take me very long to know that web communications - strategy, design, development, etc. - was the field I wanted to pursue a career in. So I started to think of what grad programs may apply.

Unfortunately, in the world of web comm, most people are completely self taught & I knew I didn't need a Master's to make a living at it. So I set my sights on just learning as much as I possibly could on my own. While at a conference in Portland in May 2013, I was introduced to the concept of User Experience (UX). I attended as many sessions on the UX track as I could, and by the time I headed home, I had found a new direction to set my sights on.

Almost immediately, I found an online Masters of Science program at Kent State in UX. I bookmarked it & kept going to back to it over the next year. I wasn't ready to commit to it. I wanted to make sure I really, really wanted to pursue UX in a formal setting. The longer I made myself wait, the more heartsick I became. I desperately wanted to enroll. I made a list of pros and cons, benefits and opportunities the degree would grant me, and I presented it to C. Once he saw I was serious, he didn't hesitate and got on board. So I applied for the spring semester, to begin January 2015.

Less than a month after submitting my application, I accepted a job in Austin & we moved to a new city. During the move, C started gently telling me maybe starting grad school a month after a new job wasn't the best idea. I fought him on it for days... all the way up to the official cut off day, which also happened to be the day we completely packed up our entire house into boxes. With only a few hours to spare I made the decision to move my start date back to the Summer. (A decision I'm so happy I made. I'm so happy to have a husband willing to challenge my decisions.)

Which brings me to today. The day I was officially accepted! I'll be starting May 18. Not a day too soon, or a day too late. I'm completely thrilled by the prospect.

When I told my dad the news, he texted this to me:

Somewhere Grandpa O is smiling. His kids went to college and their kids go to grad school.

I'd never looked at my educational pursuits as the result of my ancestor's hard work. But as the granddaughter of a Chicago steel worker and Texas electrician, I know that I wouldn't have these opportunities without their life's work, sacrifice and love. 

I can't wait to make them proud.

Comments | Tags: my life
Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The last few months have been a season of big transitions for me. It started with C starting grad school and then quitting his general manager job to allow himself the time to focus on school. That was a really tough decision, leaving us with only one stable income and changing our responsibilities at home. Almost immediately C was a different person & I can say without a doubt making that decision opened us up to the events that followed: our move to Austin.

The move to Austin is, of course, the biggest transition for me. (For us.) It was literally us picking up our lives and moving away from the home we'd made for the past eight, almost nine, years. Saying my goodbye's were bittersweet -- ranging from fun dinners with girlfriends to my boss & co-worker Heather walking me out of the building on my last day while I fought back tears (and then proceeded to cry the two hour drive to Austin). It was emotional for sure.

I'm finding it difficult to truly grasp all that I'm feeling right now, but I wanted to just say something here. I'm not sure what my move to Austin is going to do to this blog. Part of me wants to stop writing in it altogether. Another part of me wants to throw myself into blogging blogging. I'm craving the intimacy of sharing my life online, however paradoxical that may sound. So for now, that's where I'm at.... trying to wade through the transitions and come out a better person on the other side.

Comments | Tags: my life
Monday, November 24, 2014

Well, we did it!! We moved to Austin. (In the rain... so much rain.)

We had some wonderful friends help us out along the way & wouldn't have been able to do this without them. My family came up to visit Sunday afternoon & everyone's really excited about our new location.

Here's a little sneak peak of our house & neighborhood park... more to come eventually...

PS: Our first apartment together. (And it's officially too late to do a house tour of our second place together. Oops.)

Comments | Tags: my life
Monday, November 17, 2014

Our last brunch in town at Blackwater Draw. It was kind of a big deal to me.

Even though I've already submitted my resignation, filled out my I-9 for the new job, signed a lease & announced our upcoming move to Austin, it didn't feel really real until we packed up our entire house this weekend.

Both of our moms came up to help pack the house, and the four of us knocked out about 90% of the house in a day. The 10% left are things we use on a daily basis like clothes & toothpaste. So we're basically living on take out and bare necessities for the next five days. On Friday we get our new keys, and on Saturday we'll pick up the truck, load it up and head off to our new adventure!

My two men wandering Austin between searching for a house... I think we'll fit in quite nicely.

Before the packing weekend began, C & I sat down and made a pact of peace. Moving and changing jobs is stressful; we knew it'd take a toll on us. So we decided to not let it get the best of us. We pinky swore to keep the peace, keep calm and love each other through the stress. And I'm so happy to say that when everybody left on Sunday afternoon, we high fived at how good we did. Everything went so smooth. Everything we wanted - and more - got done. And we were still excited and happy about everything at the end.

We took our moms out to brunch on Sunday to thank them for their help. My mom had her first chicken & waffle experience (find my recipe here) & we toasted with mimosas to the upcoming changes! It was my last brunch in Bryan/College Station, so we went to the best place in town: Blackwater Draw. If you're ever here, they have the best brunch in town. And you can bring your dog with you, so that's a win-win in our book.

Step One: Packing complete.

How Max feels about moving...

Now on to Step Two: Move Our Shit. Challenge accepted.

Comments | Tags: my life
Tuesday, November 11, 2014

On our one month dating anniversary, C took me to wander around Austin. We'd been a few times before but this was one of the first times we went alone with the sole purpose of enjoying each others company and this fascinating city only a short drive from my home. I was 17, a senior in high school, and it was during that outing that I knew I wanted to live in that fun-filled, interesting place. {Me at 17 in Zilker park.... just in case you wanted to see that. Fall Out Boy shirt & all.}

Throughout college and into the start of my career, I always maintained the notion that "any day now" it would be time to finally move to Austin. I'd get a job, we'd find a house and we could start the real, permanent part of our life. Eight and half years later, that time is now.

I found a web job posted at the University of Texas by chance a little over two weeks ago. After a sleepless night where I contemplated the idea of applying for the job, I submitted my resume and hoped for the best. And the best came. QUICKLY. Here's the timeline of how it all went down...

Sunday: Get added by a friend to a Facebook group dedicated to digital jobs in Austin & see the job posted while casually browsing.

Tuesday: Officially apply for the job after being unable to sleep Monday night.

Wednesday: Receive a call from the office to set up an interview.

Thursday: Drive to Austin for an interview. Spend the rest of the day hanging out with my sister in shock that the interview just happened.

Friday through Wednesday: Freak out. Dream. Stop dreaming. Look for houses. Chastise myself for looking for houses. Wonder why they haven't called yet. Get a few emails explaining there was a slight delay in processing & not to worry.

Thursday: Have a second job interview over the phone at 2:30pm. Get the job offer at 4:30pm.

Friday: Salary negotiation. Finalize start date & officially accept the offer. Immediately run to Target to buy myself something cute and a bottle of champagne to celebrate.

I'll be starting December 1 at the new job. Our lease starts on our new house next Friday. And everything between now & then is going to be a total blur. It's been a whirlwind experience. I wasn't job hunting. I love the job I'm currently at. I love the friends I currently have. I love the house I'm currently living in. But it was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. So I took a leap of faith & was rewarded.

I'm so excited to start this next part of my life. I'm excited to see what it does to this blog. I'm excited to see my love for web design & development grow even more. I'm excited to see C find his footing in this new place that offers so many more opportunities for him. I'm excited to live so much closer to family and friends. I'm excited for new challenges and a new routine.

So here's to new adventures & life changes!


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