Monday, June 18, 2012

I Changed My Name

To include the letters:


I passed!!

It feels so good to know I can packing up the study modules and don't need to spend my evenings taking practice tests, making flash cards and wondering if I know the historical cases for employment law.

Such a relief and a huge accomplishment to check off my list of professional accomplishments!

Thanks to everyone that send me all their good thoughts and prayers on Saturday! You are all the best in supporting me and making me feel like I can rock a test even when I don't believe it myself.

Big Lights Will Inspire You- NY Day 2- Part 1

The next morning we hit up the hotel breakfast after we had a wonderful nights sleep after all of that walking! After filling up on coffee, fruit loops, bananas, and some OJ we headed off in the same direction as day one, but this time to make it to The High Line. After a quick subway and some walking we found ourselves at one end of it. Just from the first glimpse I knew I was going to love it!

And love it did I! This might have been one of my favorite parts of our trip! Such a cool concept and with each little part of this park I kept thinking "OOoOH! I would love to come here with a book (or an iPad!), grab a cup of coffee and people watch, or just walk and chat with a girlfriend". It was peaceful, it was urban, it was design-y, it was modern and classic. I couldn't get enough. If we had stayed for a week I am sure I would have asked to go back every single day.

Inside this tunnel thing there were coffee vendors, gelato and then we found....

Paletas! I had a lime cilantro one sprinkled with a spicy salt mixture. It was delightful!

I would live on these wooden lounge chairs. Book in hand. Girlfriend by side. Coffee in hand.

After exploring THL and being sad to leave we decided to walk to Eataly which is a market, restaurant, everything-Italian-you-can-think-of  which is part of the Mario Batali line of food-goodness. I can say that this was a overindulgence for the part of me that adores food! There were colorful pieces of food everywhere, pasta drying on racks, fresh bread, wine, and cheese for days.

We decided to try one of the mini restaurants that is housed in Eataly and we were lucky enough to snag two bar seats where we ordered olives and a cheese/cured meat platter that was a work of art.

Just outside was the Flat Iron building, which from my 5th grade "States Project" became a fascination of mine for years.

On the top of my New York To-Do list was traveling to the top of the Empire State Building. Again, another part of my 5th grade project that I just never forgot. Add in my love for Sleepless in Seattle- and there we get to my interest in this iconic building. The night before when it was too foggy and raining, we got some cool photos of it at night, but walking closer and closer to it, you start to grasp just how incredibly large and magnificent it is!

It was hard for me to control my photo taking and naturally I have ended up with so many photos from the top, but it was jaw dropping. I love getting skyline views of cities and landscapes.

to be continued.....

Friday, June 15, 2012

This is What Studying Looks Like

Or not....

I am scheduled to take my PHR Exam tomorrow morning and my confidence is certainly a little shaky at this moment. I took the day off from work to get some final studying in, and after 6 or so hours of studying I am in a need of a quick little break.

Bullet points seem like the only way I can think right now ( thanks to my copious amounts of reading notes) so here are some bullets of thoughts.

- Music dictates so much of my mood and thoughts. A little country like this afternoon and I am day dreaming of Idaho and how much longer till I can live somewhere that feels more like home. Hopefully passing this test will open the doors for me to new jobs, and in somewhere were I don't feel so disjointed all the time.

- It is hard to not get disappointed by people, and I undoubtedly know I do my fair share of disappointing people. There are just some things that hurt. A emotional slap across your face when a friend treats you a certain way...ya know what I mean? I always try to hope that things can be mended and I try to keep in mind that relations, of all kinds, are riddled with let downs, a need for hard work and commitment to each other.

  - Some funny ( and true) thoughts on why one is not married here.

In all seriousness... This is something I like from Tracy's article:

"The bottom line is that marriage is just a long-term opportunity to practice loving someone even when they don't deserve it. Because most of the time, your messy, farting, macaroni-and-cheese eating man will not be doing what you want him to. But as you give him love anyway -- because you have made up your mind to transform yourself into a person who is practicing being kind, deep, virtuous, truthful, giving, and most of all, accepting of your own dear self -- you will find that you will experience the very thing you wanted all along:


- I am seeing some long time family friends who are in DC visiting and I am excited to be surrounded by familiar people the night before I take this beast of a test! Wish me luck! I'm back to the books and the pages and pages of bulleted notes.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

These Streets Will Make You Feel Brand New: NY Part 1

The drive up to New York was pleasant and fairly smooth. (Our return trip was not as enjoyable). But we arrived and easily found our hotel in the financial district. After getting settled in, we planned out a course of action and set out to see my first Manhattan sights.

The Statue of Liberty was closed so we decided to not spend the time and money to go out on the ferry, so I have some small far away photos of her.

We decided to walk and just explore some neighborhoods on foot. Blocks after blocks of tall buildings is what I couldn't get over! I have never been anywhere that was just wall-to-wall buildings. It was such a crazy feeling to know I was finally in NY!

We headed in the direction of the site of the World Trade Center and where the new memorial is. We didn't plan enough in advance to get tickets but seeing the site and the new construction was a pretty moving experience all in itself.

In SoHo we ran into one of my favorite people:

We wandered through Washington Square Park and listened to the various bands and performers. My favorite was a pianist who was playing a montage of Broadway musical songs in a remix version AND it was from MEMORY! Not to mention it was pretty amazing to see a grand piano in the middle of a park in an urban space.

(Can you find the POODLE??)

We continued our walk and were going to try to make it to the Highline before the end of the day, but our stomachs had food on the mind. Considering one of the things I was most excited about was the food, I was pumped to just find some awesome food adventures. We stumbled upon a place that had rotisserie and fried chicken. Who can say no to fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and a stick of cornbread?!

Based on the weather we had decided to catch a Mets game on Friday evening to avoid some of the potential rain that was fore casted. On our way out to the game we stopped off to see Times Square. The only comparison I had was to being at the Olympics in SLC or at the Inauguration a few years ago! People everywhere!


I loved the energy of the Mets game and absolutely loved the ball park! The weather was perfect, if not cool and we lucked out with not a drop of rain!
On the way back to our hotel we attempted to go to the Empire State Building at night to see the view from twilight. I luckily had a stellar tour guide (and travel companion ;) ) who did a great job of impromptu stops that I wanted to check out while we were in NY. On our way to the ESB he was quick to take a detour through Grand Central Station which was beautiful! All I could think about was what a stunning location for wedding photos!

While we didn't go up in the ESB that night, we did get to see its nighttime beauty. It was breathtaking with the fog and city lights.

We finally made it back to the hotel and crashed into a blissful sleep. It was just the first day of a wonderful trip that I will continue with later!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Where O Where Art Thou?

I feel like I am rising from the dead. I needed a break. Whenever this (and by "this" I mean blogging) becomes "work" I have to step back and reclaim this as a "hobby" since I do a lot of real "work".

There is also that fine line of committing myself to recording my life here and actually living my life. While I know this is important to me (and to you--my readers-- which is the most rewarding thing for me) but I NEVER want to sacrifice real, substantial, quality time with a friend, boyfriend, or family member to blog (since that is where I get my material!).

Don't get me wrong...Technology is great. But I also see its potentially damaging effects it can have and I try as much as I can to make sure it is not owning me. So while I want to be here, I also want to be with my people and living in the moment of the time with them and trying not to fall into thinking about each date, or outing, or trip in terms of its "blogging potential". Again. It is balance. It is finding happiness in what and where I want and considering the impact it has on others.

But in summary. I want to update you. It may be slow. It may be incomplete, but I think I am back.

I am still studying away for my PHR exam. I felt great about it a few weeks ago, and now that June has arrived, I either have lost brain cells, or I am nervous and forgetting stuff I learned. Needless to say. I am stressing. Big time. So we pushed back my test officially today. I take it a week from tomorrow and I am in lock-down mode for the weekend. Besides cleaning, maybe going to the gym and brunch with a friend, I need to be reading, making flashcards and knowing this stuff inside and out for the next two days.

In more exciting news...My birthday recently came and went. I have to say I was more than ready to shed my 25th year. Twenty-Five was a rough year. Twenty-Six so far feels like a new chapter and I am excited for the next year. I was lucky enough to have some great people at work take me out to lunch. The BF took me an amazing dinner at Mintwood Place that opened up in my neighborhood recently. He then spoiled me even more with a wonderful gift that I'll share later. Dinner was topped off with nothing less than creme brulee and a somewhat early evening since we had work the next day.

Saturday a bunch of my friends came to have some late afternoon beers at American Ice Company. It was really fun to see a lot of my friends that i hadn't caught up with in awhile and it was a low key way (only one celebratory pickleback shot) to bring in my 26th year.

Well I am going to hold true to my plan and pick up the books before I head to bed.

Feels good to be back blogaverse!