The Only Way to Travel

Ok, maybe not the only way, but I have found a new great avenue for getting up to DC, the Great American Railway. Maybe I am a little late to the party, but so far, this is the way to get up to see my sister.  It is especially awesome when it is just me and I can book the trip far enough in advance that it costs me less than a tank of gas to get there. It doesn’t hurt that at the end of this trip is a ticket to see New Kids on the Block, 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men.

Let me count the ways that the train is amazing:

1. The car isn’t that crowded so I can spread out and the seats are comfortable.

2. No worries about the weather or traffic.

3. Free wi-fi and electrical outlets.

4. Two words: Quiet Car

5.  Unlike air travel I can get up and move around at any time. I am not worried about missing my connection, or turbulence or getting through security or losing my bags. sure it takes longer, but that is sometimes the point. Which leads me to the best part.

6. Over 4 hours of luscious time for just me. I could read, watch something I want to watch on the iPad, look out the window, listen to music, sleep, blog or do nothing at all and will still make it to Nova.

This I know, I will not be driving up to DC by myself EVER again!

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Greatest Hits

Aside from the extra snuggles, hugs, kisses, laughs and obvious beach days, being off the past two(ish) weeks has also afforded me 24 hour time with Chase.  I get to hear every crazy, hilarious thing that comes out of his mouth, uncensored, real time.  I am biased when I say that I think he is a really funny and smart kid, so obviously some of these things are more amusing to me than they would be to most people, but I think you’ll agree that he is pretty entertaining.

 Here is a compilation of classics from the past couple of weeks, with some context.

Being particular: We went to a beach over the weekend and the water was beautiful, clear (as clear as Virginia Beach can be), and blue.  Another beach two days later had our typical brown, brackish water.  When asked about what beach he wanted to go to for our last beach day, this is what he said: “Mommy, I want to go to the beach with the blue water and the blue waves, not the brown water and brown waves.”

Being helpful: I mention calling my dad to ask him a question and Chase says, “There is a phone in my kitchen in the playroom.”

On naps: While he is almost falling asleep in his car seat on the way home from where ever and I tell him to wake up, “I’m not tired, I’m just laying here.”  The toddler equivalent of “I’m just resting my eyes.”  

Being careful:  Is constantly telling us to “watch your head,” “be careful on the edge of the bed,” if he thinks we are in any danger.  Then tells me “don’t worry about me,” when I was telling him to stop doing something. 

Being worrisome: Asking me “Mommy, what you thinking about?” when I zone off while it takes him 45 minutes to eat breakfast. 

Nightmares/dreams: He woke me up the other night to tell me that he had a dream, “the ducks were quacking at me.”  Last night he had a dream about “ambulances and ambulance men.”

Being dramatic: After having lunch with some of his friends and he was finished with his milk and I asked if his friend Finn could throw his milk away, and he said, “Yes,” he later told my mom, “BB, something happened today.  Finn threw my milk away.” 

It’s all about semantics.  When I tell him not to throw something he says, “I’m not throwing, I’m tossing.”  When I say not to hit something, “I’m not hitting, I’m banging.” 

Being brand specific: When he met my friend Robin the other day and I introduced him to her he said, “Robin, like Red Robin?”  Anything that is burnt orange belongs to Home Depot, anything yellowish orange belongs to Caterpillar and anything hunter green means it is related to John Deere.

Meeting strangers: Two people behind us in line at Target with nothing but a movie in their basket, “What your names?”  “What your dogs names?”  And I’ll be damned, they had three dogs. 

On music: His requests are Macklemore, Imagine Dragons, Queen, Afrojack, Rihanna, Phoenix, Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake.  I’m not sure if this makes me the coolest or worst mom alive.

I am so going to miss hanging out with you Chase!  Don’t worry folks, there will be more of these to come!

Sabbatical So Far…

A girl could really get used to this.  I won’t, but I could.  Especially because it is sunny and gorgeous and the summertime.  If this sabbatical was falling in January or February, it would be a different story.  But it is the end of May and beginning of June and Chase and I are having a blast!

We have done a lot.  In addition to our couple of strawberry picking ventures, trips to the beach, lunches with friends old and new, stopping by work so everyone can see Chase, jaunts to the pool, running a million errands, and a trip to Grandma’s and Grandpa’s, I’ve also turned over some new leaves.

I have exercised almost every day.  I have fixed dinner three times.  I painted our front door blue.  I have had a lot of summer cocktails and adult beverages, and have enjoyed every one of them.  And I’m not the only one to work on self improvement.  Chase is no longer afraid of waves at the beach.  He actually runs (fast) to the water squealing and smiling the whole time.  He has learned how to hold on to a noodle and navigate his way around our community pool.  If you try to help him, he gets mad.  He can take a shower (rather than a bath) without vomiting because he is crying so hard.  I haven’t exactly kept him on such a rigorous schedule as his regular daycare provider would approve of (ahem, Rhonda), but that’s why we pay her the big bucks, right?

There have been multiple leisurely mornings.  Like sleeping until 9am, and I’m not talking about me.  There have been some later bedtimes.  Some later lunch times.  Some later naptimes.  But life is too short to play by the rules all the time, so we’re going to enjoy these days while we can.

We still have SIX MORE DAYS!  Let’s see what shenanigans we can get in to in the next 144 hours!

Closure

On July 16, 2007, the two partners of the advertising agency I was working for brought me out to lunch. I had been working there a little over three years and this was the first time in probably three years that just the two of them took me out. They were smiling and excited when they asked, “Are you happy here?” followed by, “would you want to try something new?” By the end of the day it was announced that the agency was closing at the end of the month.

At the agency I was a media buyer, which basically meant I purchased commercials for our clients to buy on various forms of advertising (broadcast television, radio, cable television, etc.) but my father had sold media for years, so I decided that this was my chance to branch out to try what I felt I had been destined to do. I interviewed with two broadcast stations and the local cable provider and would have given anything to work for cable. I knew someone who worked there who absolutely loved what he did and raved about the company. My interview went extremely well and I loved the guy who I interviewed with. If I got the job I was going to have a client list (the holy grail of media sales) and my expected income was tens of thousands of dollars more than I was earning. A week or so later when they offered me the job, I danced to my car.

Fast forward to May 29, 2013, my final day at a phenomenal company. I learned so much about the industry, about advertising, about numbers and about how to sell. I learned how to be the type of salesperson that I would have wanted to deal with when I was a buyer. I established relationships with all of my clients and became friends with many of them. But the hardest, hardest part of leaving, was saying good bye to my coworkers. When I started I was a naïve 25 year old two years in to my marriage, when I left I was a 31 year old mother, now married to the same man for over eight years. They saw me blossom into an adult and I was there for them too. I went to their weddings, funerals for their spouses and parents, baby showers for their first, second, or fourth kids, they visited me in the hospital when Chase was born, they came to our house warming, and we had playdates with our kids. I had pool dates and happy hours and dinners and beach days and brunches and trips with these people. My friends at work have become my family through the years.

There is the guy who was my GO TO for career advice. The woman who calls me “sugar,” and always asks about my son. The guy I jokingly called my work husband. My former teammates who became my co-conspirers, and whose husbands get along with mine. The guy who was my constant lunch companion who kept it real for me in terms of life and work. There was my first manager who made me laugh. My second manager who helped me spread my wings. My third manager who inspired and encouraged me. My mentor who came and went but who provided (actually provides) me with all the support I could ever need. The friend who gave me bags of clothes after a former executive criticized our work attire. My girl who I could always depend on to talk jewelry or handbags. My coworker who was readily available to hand out free financial advice. My pal who was always good for a laugh. My friend who from the outside we look like complete opposites, but upon closer inspection, we have more in common than most people. My running buddy who keeps me sane and honest. The chick born on the same day as my mother-in-law who I love like she was my mom. I will miss all of them.

The company afforded me the opportunity to take three months off when Chase was born. They sent me to the Bahamas for an all expenses paid trip. The money I made doing what I loved to do helped us to buy our dream home. I had as much vacation as some Europeans and was able to spend more time with my friends and family because they wanted us to have a work/life balance. It was a fantastic company to cut my teeth on for sales and for a real corporate job after working at a family owned, small advertising agency.

So why did I leave? The industry is not the same as when I started. There were internal changes made that didn’t gel well with me. There were a couple other personnel issues. And truthfully I wasn’t sure that I wanted to continue my career in sales, specifically in media sales. I had the requisite 3-5 years of experience under my belt and it was time to move on. I’m sad, yes, but I am so excited about this new chapter in my career.

If you have been following this blog for very long, you know that I’m very sentimental and I need closure. This was my closure. The company where I spent more time than college deserved more than a passing mention in a post about some time off, which is why I had to write what I wrote tonight. I love you guys and will miss you all!