Wow. It’s amazing to think about how long the month of July felt.
My trip to Maine to see my grandparents feels like it was ages ago! This year my grandparents organized a big birthday party for my Nana and all four brothers brought their families for the 4th of July weekend. Instead of staying over the holiday, ($$$) I came down a couple of days early to spend time with my Nana and Papa.
Those first couple days were just blissful. We sat around and chatted, drank wine, ate lobster rolls and rode in the Buick. For full two days or so, I completely forgot about real life and just transported to Maine summer life. My grandparents are some of my most favorite people in the world.
Once the family got there, things definitely became more chaotic and I could feel myself getting a little cranky and overwhelmed. The really cool thing though was that I got to spend some one on one time with two of my young cousins, Maddi and Piper. I’ve always been a little bummed at being the oldest cousin, but both of my parents were the oldest and I was the oldest, so most of my cousins were kids or babies when I went away to college. On this trip, I got to know Maddi and Piper a little bit and they are really cool people. We sat quietly and drew pictures, watched movies, chatted, and ate. It was a huge difference from my boy cousins/tornados!
Something I really enjoyed was spending some time with just my Nana. We went to the Fat Boy (two of the BEST lobster rolls!) and then went antiquing because I really wanted to find an old painting of a ship in Maine. I was totally blown away by this old mill building, the selection was incredible and my Nana was game the whole time, browsing just as much, if not more, than me! I found the perfect painting, AND it was on sale, plus a cool old bottle and a piece of petrified wood.
Just as I was leaving for my vacation, I put in my two week’s notice. Pretty much since day one, I had been unhappy with my role at the company. I had a VERY hands off manager (who I’m fairly certain forgot I was there most of the time), and a teammate who enjoyed working against me more than working with me. It was a very isolating and lonely environment to walk into. Plus it took a long time, too long, for my coworkers to talk to me and even after a year I think only a handful really accepted me. I was worn out.
I was passively applying to roles that popped up in my LinkedIn feed when I came across a really interesting construction company that was using technology to make buildings more affordable. I sent in my resume and a generic cover letter and didn’t think much more of it. After they reached out, things moved quickly, TOO quickly! And I of course panicked. Nothing had ever come this easy before! I wasn’t even miserable at my job yet! How much do these people even know about me! Still, I accepted the role, excited for my new manager and to work on a TEAM, a real marketing team. Plus, it’s in the same building that I’ve worked in before, in a neighborhood that I love, with excellent restaurants. My first week flew by in a blur and I just finished up my second week, where they flew me to Phoenix to meet even more coworkers! It’s been nuts, but I really like my team, I really like the office, and I really like the work.
When I got back from Maine, we celebrated the 4th of July with the kids in Capitol Hill. This summer (knock on wood) has been so mild and completely delightful really. I even wore a sweater on the 4th! I had bought the kids what I thought were fireworks, but were really just poppers, and still they went NUTS.
The 4th of July used to be my favorite holiday, but now it just doesn’t feel as special somehow. I think it’s this whole being an adult thing, you watch kids having the fun you used to have! Oi.
Lots of other smaller but just as spectacular things happened this month…
My farmers market finds have become better and even better. This month I finally found chicken eggs AND artichokes! I went alone some weeks and other weeks Gabriel came along and told me he actually really likes going with me. How cool!
My beautiful friend Casie and her boyfriend Luke adopted a kitten and have named him Hemingway. When Casie first showed me a picture of Hemi last month, I legitimately cried over our lunch. I’m so proud of them for taking on this responsibility and nursing this sick kitten to a healthy life! Hemingway is a GORGEOUS cat, with the most beautiful coloring, but also with a really spunky attitude. I’m kitten-sitting him this weekend and even though Casie bought me a thank you gift, it’s really a gift to me to spend some time with my god-cat!
Because the weather has been so mild, and John and I have been pretty overwhelmed with work, we really haven’t seen much of a reason to get out and do much this summer. I feel a little guilty that we aren’t doing more for the kids, but honestly they’re in such a gross-stinky-preteen-grunting-this-is-so-lame phase of life that I haven’t pushed it much. Last weekend I took the kids to a VR arcade in Ballard and they had so much fun, it was hilarious to watch!
I also took the kids to Hotcakes one night as a special treat. They can sometimes be so fun to be around… and then they want to go back to their Kindles. This summer with them has been really calm so far.
I made the most of my long weekend before I started my new job by reading about flowers while laying in the sun. Weekends don’t get better than that in my book!
Pay off school loans
SCHOOL LOANS ARE ALL PAID OFF!!!! It took 7 months and a concerted effort, but it’s finally finished. This month I treated myself to a few new things like a new keychain and a new dress for the new job, and I’m going to start planning some small trips for the next 6 months or so. I’m so, so excited.
Take myself on a date once a month
Just before I finished my last job I took myself on a lunch date to Le Pichet. I’m going to miss being walking distance to Pike Place Market, but if I’m being honest I very rarely went to the market all that much because I was so busy at work. I treated myself to a glass of rose, a tasty slice of quiche, and let my mind wander for a bit.
I also treated myself to a lunch date and Kau Kau at my new job. I absolutely love getting lunch in that spot and am so happy to be close once again!
Do something politically active once a month
This month I donated to Real Change. I try to buy their papers when I can and I’m a huge supporter of this organization.
Set monthly exercise goals
There were a couple of weeks were I didn’t go as often as I would have liked. It frustrated me, but because of stress or travel, I just didn’t make it. I’m going to do better this month and try to have a better diet!
Do something special for John once a month
I also took John on a date to an indoor mini golf bar in Seattle, called Flatstick Pub. He found out last month that his grandma, who practically raised him, was dying from pancreatic cancer. It’s hit him hard and he’s gone back east twice now to spend time with her before she passes. I just wanted to see him get a little silly and I think we had a lot of fun!
I’ve actually been trying a few different things to decompress this month. Manicures, massages, and writing down my thoughts have made a big difference in tandem with the meditation.
Make a new friend
I’ve met a lot of people at my new job that I’ve really connected with, and it’s been awesome. Plus, I now have Hemingway as a god-cat, and he counts… right?