30 March 2012

someecards

I am a HUGE fan of the website www.someecards.com. Every Friday they send out a newsletter which includes their best cards of the week and funny Tweets (you can sign up for the newsletter on the homepage - DO IT!), but I most look forward to "This Week's Top Posts" which is a roundup of top pictures, stories, and Facebook ridiculousness of the week.

Today, they posted this picture. We have a lot of Hipsters in Seattle, and I thought it was pretty hilarious.
Hipster Crap
View the full post here.

If that's not enough for you blog stalkers, here's one of my all time favourite posts!

Have a great weekend everyone!

28 March 2012

Speaking of Mileage

Speaking of Mileage - my car isn't the only travel mechanism getting on in years....My beloved Merrell Glove's, which have been with me since my first half marathon, are nearing retirement. It's only a guesstimate, but I would say they have about 1200 miles on them. I got them early last year, and in the past three months I've already run nearly 200 miles. For people who wear regular (read: lame) running shoes, over a thousand miles would be ancient for shoes, but for us barefooters, that's hardly a reason to replace them.

Mostly, they're just getting worn out: the seams are busting, they're dirty, and, I'm not going to lie to you, they do not smell good. They smell pretty terrible actually, and I have a weak sense of smell.

Oldies but goodies - and stinky!

I did a little shopping today and have shiny new Merrell's! Let's see how long I can keep them clean. And apparently I need new socks too! Good thing I've got a punch card to buy fun socks!

SHINY!

26 March 2012

Mileage

It dawned on me that I have never blogged about one of my major modes of travel: Layla! My 2002 Jetta!

Layla and I have been together for 7 years now, we met back in September 2006. Sure, she had some baggage, about 44,000 miles, but hey, who doesn't have baggage these days?

Together (and with friends), Layla and I have traveled many miles throughout the country and beyond - we've even been to the exotic country of Canada! We've celebrated many anniversaries and birthdays, but recently we passed one of our biggest milestones EVER. What was it?


Wait for it....
100,000 miles! She doesn't look a day older than 80k.

That's right, Layla just rolled over to 100,000 miles! Pretty epic!

In keeping with all things Volkswagen, her check engine light came on approximately 50 miles later. Predictable? Yes. Am I upset about it? Not in the slightest! In fact, I just gave Layla a special 'spa trip' - i.e. a bath, including interior vacuuming, to celebrate our first week at the new job! We'll be spending a lot more time together now that I'm driving to work again. Can't say I'm going to miss the Bus Crazies, but I will miss having 40 minutes every day to read!

Wish me luck in my first week at The Seattle Storm!

23 March 2012

Last Day!

Yesterday was my last day at Allrecipes. I cannot say enough good things about my experience there. I worked with some incredible women and was able to grow enormously both personally and professionally. I am looking forward to the next chapter in my life, but it was definitely surreal walking out of Allrecipes for the last time.

My Allrecipeeps did send me off with some parting gifts though, including thoughtful gift cards to Starbucks and REI, my own earring making kit (yeah, I may have recently gone crazy at an off-site meeting making earrings), and, of course, this excellent first aid 'kit'. They know me so well.

I especially love the EYE PATCHES!

Thanks for 2 1/2 great years Allrecipes!

17 March 2012

The Dramatic Conclusion: Boulder vs. Seattle

Thanks for all of your comments, support, and encouragement as I make this major life decision! While it was a little fun to keep you all in suspense, I am sorry I didn't get this post up yesterday as promised. I was out having a blast backcountry skiing  in the sunshine. I got a sunburn!

Nothing better than fresh tracks (photo from Mt. Baker in Feb - pics from yesterday to come)

To start where I left off, I wrote my last blog, then spent a week counting down until the big trip. During that time I gave a lot of thought to the SST offer, and what it would mean for me to stay in Seattle. I thought a lot about what it was that sparked my desire to move in the first place and I realized it was the desire for change. Could I make enough 'change' for myself if I stayed in Seattle be happy?

Then it was time to fly to Boulder, where I had 3-excellent days with the Boulder PR/Marketing firm. I spent two full days in their office meeting with different staff members, and they took me to a morning coffee industry event, where I was blown away by the caliber of young people doing amazing things. I had no idea that Boulder was such a burgeoning town for start up entrepreneurs, especially in the technology industry!

Grandpa Max INSISTED I get a car to match his shirt. He's so needy!
While in Boulder I enjoyed 70 degree weather under sunny skies. A girl could get used to that! I also liked that one beer put me under (thank you elevation - that's an effect that sadly won't last) and it's really fantastic having the mountains in your backyard. And without even trying, I met two people who climbed and skied - what more could I want?

Office conference room with a view, and Grandpa Max
Sunrise Day 3

While in Boulder I also took some time to explore. I went running, ate at the famous Illegal Pete's, and even checked out an apartment and drove through different neighbourhoods to get a feel for the lay of the land. It's amazing how easy Boulder is to navigate!

Before I knew it I was on an airplane home. Those of you who know me well are aware that I suffer from movement induced narcolepsy - put me in a moving vehicle and I pass right out. This phenomena is no different on airplanes, so no sooner had we taken off then I was asleep: head down on the tray table.

About an hour into the flight I was literally THROWN awake by very bad turbulence. I then suffered through about 15 of the scariest minutes of my life. At one point, the plane took a sharp dive to the right, and I really thought we were done for. All I kept thinking is. "I'm going to die and I don't even know what I want to do with my life!"

The calm after the storm

Once the turbulence abated, I started writing. I wrote pages and pages and pages. I made lists. Boulder vs. Seattle, which is better? By the time I landed I had made a decision, but I wanted to sleep on it just to be sure. When I woke up on Wednesday morning, I knew.

What swayed me one way or the other? There was no ONE deciding factor, just an overall assessment of my life, what I wanted, and where I see myself in the next few years. Trying to decide between SST and Boulder before actually visiting Boulder in a real job-interview related capacity was simply impossible. When I finally had all of the information, I felt I could close the book on Boulder and decide if I wanted to read the next book in the Boulder series.

Okay, enough analogies already. I'll TELL you!

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On Wednesday I accepted a job as the Senior Manager of Marketing Sponsorships for the Seattle Storm! That's right, I'M STAYING IN SEATTLE!


Thank you again everyone for all of your fantastic support! I'm looking forward to continuing my life here. But don't worry lots of changes to come too! The new job is obviously number 1, but I also want to find a new place to call home, climb a couple of volcanoes, and take a sunny climbing vacation! I'm really looking forward to making a new life here!

Flying into Seattle with snow on the ground in March? I love it!

14 March 2012

Decision of a Lifetime

Hi Blog Readers!

Sorry for the neglect some of you may have been feeling the last month (okay, maybe just MattyQ and Jared). Life has been a bit hectic here (understatement of the year) and I just haven’t had time to blog. But I miss you my dear readers, and thus I am going to regale you with a tale an epic tale about two amazing choices and a pivotal decision that will determine the trajectory for the rest of my life.

I’m warning you now: this will not be like my other blog posts. It will be long. There won’t be lots of pictures. In fact, I’ve broken it up into mini little chapters for you. I’m not even sorry that it’s so long, because frankly this is 7-months condensed into one blog, and I’m tired of telling this story to everyone, so I’m just going to post it here.

All that being said, I feel I should let you know that as I am writing this (March 8), I have not yet made a decision. The future is still undetermined. I want you to experience my inner turmoil as I am experiencing it.

The Back Story:
Last July I really started thinking about moving out of Seattle. By September, the desire to move away had grown stronger. I was looking at my life and realized that I had been in Seattle for 9 years. September 2012 would mark my 10-year anniversary in the Emerald City. The weight of that revelation was….overwhelming. I came out to Seattle to attend the University of Washington, and then I just sort of stuck around. Don’t get me wrong, I love it here, but this 10-year anniversary thing got me thinking: did I see myself spending another 10 years of my life here?



In September 2011, the answer to the above question was a resounding ‘No’.

I started thinking about where I would like to move. Colorado kept coming up over and over, and Boulder specifically, as you can see in this post from September 21, 2011. I don’t know why, but I feel drawn to the place. My dad was born in Denver, I grew up visiting the mile high city, and my parents even met and fell in love in Steamboat. I guess CO has ‘good vibes’ for me. And who can argue with 300+ days of sunshine each year?


By late-October, I had decided I DEFINITELY wanted to move to Boulder. I put plans in place to visit Denver/Boulder/FoCo with my bff Allison the weekend before Thanksgiving.

We had a blast from the second we got off the airplane. The entire weekend was completely serendipitous (I’ll write a post about it someday, I promise). We arrived with no plans and had 4-days of AWESOME. I took it as a sign, I needed to move.

Well, just up-and-moving when you are a fiscally responsible adult isn’t something that this risk-averse blogger is comfortable with. So I set about finding a job. And not just any job, but a smart career move that would align with both my career goals and personal beliefs while offering a challenge.

I began searching in earnest. I set myself up on Indeed/Monster/Jobs.com. My friend created a web crawler to search for jobs for me. I scoured Craigslist. I reached out to my network for help. I emailed countless resumes and cover letters.

But before I knew it Christmas had arrived  - not an ideal time to secure new employment. So I took time off, visited beautiful Whistler & Vancouver Island (another trip I need to blog about), and generally enjoyed the holiday. I came back refreshed and started anew, sending out another bunch of resumes to Boulder. In all I applied/contacted more than 20 different places.

What’d I hear back you ask?



*crickets*

That’s right, for 90% of my applications I heard NOTHING back. I started feeling defeated and pathetic. Admittedly, I was in a weird position:  living in Seattle while trying to find work in Boulder made me undesirable, however, if I moved to Boulder without a job I’d ALSO be undesirable! It was ‘six of one half-dozen of the other’. What’s a girl to do?

The Boulder Lead
Fortunately, right before ‘Christmas Break’ I had secured ONE informational interview with a Digital Marketing / Public Relations firm in Boulder.

In early January, I had a great Skype interview with the President of the company. He was looking for a mid-level person with good interpersonal skills, a strong writing background and a solid understanding of SEO with a go-getter attitude – ‘That’s ME!’, I thought.

Throughout the month I spoke with multiple other members of the Boulder team and the conversations were promising and motivating for me. It was clear to all of us that I could be a really great potential fit within the organization.

However, their valid concern that I did not yet live in Boulder prevented them from offering me a position, and my valid concern about moving prior to having employment kept me in Seattle. It was the middle of February and we were at an impasse.


The Unexpected Twist
My first job out of college I worked as a Sales Assistant/Coordinator at the local Sports Television Affiliate in Seattle. I developed a very close, successful working relationship with one Account Executive in-particular. We’ll call him Dan…because that’s his name. Dan and I were a rocking team. He is a shark who can sell snow to an Eskimo. He is passionate, hard working, and always sticks up for his client’s best interests. While he was selling, I took care of the details and made sure he had enough time to keep his eye on the big picture. In the year and a half we worked together, he closed more business than he ever had, previously or since.

After I left the TV station, Dan and I stayed in touch, having occasional lunches and catching up. About 6-months ago we were at lunch and he mentioned his desire to find new challenges. I encouraged him to do so and even helped him get set up with some networking/job sites. He and I continued to get together frequently for lunch to discuss our job-hunting activities.

At our last lunch in early February, Dan could hardly contain his excitement. He had just had a very promising interview with a Seattle Sports Team (SST – what we’ll call it for now) that was willing to revamp its sales structure to bring Dan onboard. Even better, he wanted me to come with him!

Yes, you read that correctly. I had done NOTHING but do a good job working with this guy 4r+ years ago, and now, here I was, looking at a possible career move I hadn’t expected but was definitely excited about. While I was stoked on SST, I did tell Dan about Boulder and let him know  that I had a lead there  but it had stagnated, and of COURSE I’d be happy to meet with SST myself should the opportunity present itself.

Dan continued his conversations with SST into February. He kept checking in with me to make sure that a) I was still interested, and b) I was on board to get moving quickly. Each time we spoke my answer was a resounding “YES!”



The Convergence Zone
On Tuesday, February 21, I made a final call to Boulder to see if we could bridge our impasse. We discussed my continued desire to move and their continued desire to have me. We also discussed our hesitations about moving forward.

What came out of the conversation was the decision that we wanted to meet as a ‘next step.’ We agreed that I would look up flights and make suggestions for timing. On Wednesday, Feb 22, I emailed trip options for an upcoming weekend: March 11-13.

On Thursday afternoon, Feb 23, Dan called. He had just received an offer from SST and it included a contingency for me to join him!!! I could not believe it!

Now All I had to do was go in and wow the SST Executive Team – no small task. On Thursday afternoon at 4:30 we confirmed an interview for the next morning, Friday, at 8:30am. I had some prep work to do!

Friday at 8:30 sharp I found myself in the executive board room with two members of the executive team discussing my experiences working with Dan and some of the work/presentations we’d done together. I talked about my career goals and aspirations and they shared their team philosophy and hopes for the future. The conversation was fantastic and leaving that room I was super jazzed about the unexpected opportunity with SST! It looked like I might be staying in Seattle after all!

When I arrived home I was gabbing about the interview with my Madre, who has been very supportive and helpful throughout this whole ordeal, when an email came in…

It was from Boulder. They confirmed that the dates I suggested were great, ideal even, and asked me to go ahead and book the flights for March 11-13.

But then, at almost the same moment, I received an email from SST telling me how excited they were to have me join their team and that I could expect to receive an offer early the following week. Anticipated start dated? March 15.


Enter: excitement, turmoil, glee, nausea, elation, angst

Actually, words can’t really begin to describe what I was feeling.  Here I was, presented with two AMAZING opportunities, which just happened to overlap in a terribly inconvenient way. If I accepted the SST job I definitely couldn’t go to Boulder to visit and it meant giving up on my dream that had been in the works for months.

On the flip side, I didn’t have any guarantees going for Boulder, but pushing back on SST given their aggressive start date didn’t seem like an option either. I couldn’t go, but I couldn’t stay.  It was a Friday and I was in decision paralysis.


What Could Have Been
Thus began the longest week of my life. All weekend I agonized over what I wanted to do: follow my 7-month dream and visit to possible-but-not-guaranteed job in Boulder, or take the SST job and stay in Seattle, always wondering ‘what could have been?’

On Monday Feb 27, I talked to the CEO of SST, who laid out my job offer and reiterated her excitement over me joining the team. Tuesday morning I received the offer in writing. I was super excited, but I wasn’t even able to look at the offer until Wednesday night because things were so hectic at work (we had 3 new team members join us that week and I was in charge of leading/assisting with trainings for everyone all week).

Imagine my dilemma: I’m stuck at work with no time to even go to the bathroom , trying to lead trainings while not appearing distracted by the massive decision in front of me. This wasn’t a small decision; this is my future, my WHOLE LIFE! It’s not just deciding what colour I want to paint the bathroom!



To add to my ever-mounting stress, I had a number of evening commitments which prevented me from having some quiet time to just…digest.

The Decision-ish
By the end of the day Wednesday I did NOT have an answer for SST as had been requested. I had called Boulder to try and move my trip to a week sooner, but to no avail. I reached a point and just decided I could NOT make this decision in two days.

So what did I do?

I booked my Boulder flights for March 11-13, got a rental car, and confirmed a couch to crash on. Then I had an honest conversation with SST. I told them I needed more time, and explained the Boulder backstory. To my great relief, SST was not only understanding, but they were supportive of my desire to ‘close the book’ with Boulder. They want me on board, but only if I can commit 100%. We had a great conversation, complete with sports analogies, and I told them I’d give them an answer on the 14th.

So that’s where I stand TODAY as I’m writing this. I have one week until I need to decide what I want to be when I grow up.

What did I pick? Check back to find out!