Sunday, February 23, 2014

I'M BACK with a four month update

Well, hello there everyone! I am BACK after nearly four months away! It feels so good to be finally back in the blogging world. I hated being away from the blogosphere, but I felt it necessary to take a step back and focus on my new job for a little. Now that I have been in my job for over four months now, I have really gotten the hang of things. Now that I have found a balance between working a real full time position and adjusting to my new life in Alaska, it is time for me to balance my blog as well. So, here I am. I am back. For now, I will take it slow with only two or three posts a week, but I hope to really be able to balance even better soon and get back to posting five to six posts a week. 

If heard from many people and even bloggers that if you love something enough, you make time for it. They are so right! I have been tossing and turning about when to come back or even how to come back. I decided I loved blogging enough to never give it up. Working full time and putting 100% into making my blog what I want it to be will be hard and very time consuming, but I am so committed to balancing everything perfectly! I am going to start planning out my posts and writing all of my posts for the week on my days off. I know that once I develop a balancing system that works, everything will all work out. 

So with this come back post, I will just give you all a little four month update because a lot has happened since my last post.

1. I started my full time position with Alaska USA Federal Credit Union last October and still four months later I love my job. I actually ended up staying with Hallmark until the end of the year, so for two months I worked both jobs. I ended up leaving Hallmark at the end of December because I was so exhausted and never got to spend time with Jarrett on the weekends. Now that I just have my full time job, I feel so blessed to be working for a great company that I will be able to have a wonderful career with. I love the branch that I work at and I love my supervisors and co-workers. I am well on my way to promotions in the branch and higher positions within the company, and I cannot wait to see myself grow in the company. I have been trying so hard to just be patient for the right job and I have finally found the right place for me. It also feels amazing to finally be making a real income. I must admit, it feels so nice to be able to pay bills and have a lot of money left over instead of barely having anything left. I can now put plenty of money in savings, pay down bills more and buy more stuff for myself. It's so wonderful. 
2. One of the biggest things that you guys missed out on was the arrival of our second puppy, Lucy Hayman. Lucy is a mix of German Shepherd, Husky and Lab. We adopted her from the Alaska Dog and Puppy Rescue and are so grateful that we did. She has been the best addition to our family! Her and Leo have also gotten along much better than I ever thought they would. Jarrett and I have also adjusted just fine to having two dogs. I thought it would be a huge struggle, but everything feels so normal with two dogs running around. Now, the struggle will come when it is two dogs and a baby that we are adjusting to, but that will be a post for another day! For now, I feel so blessed to finally have a little girl in our family to even it out. She is the sweetest puppy and I can tell just how happy she is every single day! 
3. We experienced our first Alaskan winter already and it actually wasn't as bad as we thought. It started snowing in November and it has been snowing ever since. It snows pretty much every week and I cannot lie, at first it was weird to be dealing with all this snow and so early in November, but now we are pretty use to it. We're from the Eastern Shore of Maryland where we'll go a whole winter without snow or we'll get a little snow but not until like February or March. Here in Alaska, you experience a real winter. It snows when it's supposed to snow, but it also sticks around for a while. We probably have a little over three feet of snow on the ground that has accumulated since November. 

It also stays darker longer in the winter here. From about November until January the sun came up around 10am and went down around 3pm. That's five hours a day of sunlight. It was the weirdest thing. Now the sun is going backwards and pretty soon the sun will be up most of the time. We'll need to purchase blackout curtains because the sun won't go down until 12am and even then the sun won't go completely down. It's crazy! I'm just glad we've adjusted to the winter and the darkness/daylight. I thought I'd go crazy with all the darkness, but I survived even though it made me tired all the time. I have just decided to embrace each new thing that Alaska has to offer. 
4. I was really worried about how I would adjust to our first Thanksgiving and Christmas away. Even though I felt a little sad on both days, I survived them as well. Jarrett and I have decided to create our own holiday traditions since we are away from home. On Thanksgiving, we cooked our very first Thanksgiving dinner all on our own(with a little help from my mother in law on speaker phone)! We cooked our first turkey with my mother in law's guidance and it turned out amazing! We were so proud of ourselves! That fact that we made this huge traditional meal together was just wonderful. We spent the rest of the day face timing with everyone, just relaxing together and then putting up Christmas decorations. On Christmas Day, we cooked a delicious ham dinner and then went to the movies. We've decided that each Thanksgiving and Christmas we will cook a big meal and then go to the movies. I cannot wait for this Christmas because we are planning on flying home for a week. Although we won't be able to fly home every Christmas or even every year, we will do what we can to fly home as much as possible.  
5. I celebrated my 27th birthday and my first birthday away from everyone. My birthday fell on a Monday, so Jarrett took me out the Saturday night before. Jarrett took me to a steak restaurant called Sullivan's Steakhouse for dinner and they gave me a yummy free dessert. Jarrett got me a few gift cards to my favorite places as my gift. We are at the point where we hardly ever leave any gifts to buy for one another because we both always buy what we want. Gift cards are just the easiest thing to get. I love getting them because I can go buy what I want plus I just love going shopping! 

Monday morning when I got to work, my boss had two peanut butter and chocolate pies on the table and had spelled out my name in Reese cups. I loved it and the pies were delicious! All in all, I worked on my birthday so it felt like a normal day, but then Jarrett got off work earlier than usual, so I at least got to spend a little time with him on my birthday. We do not get to see each other very much during the week due to our opposite schedules, so I was ecstatic to get to spend a tiny bit of time with him before I went to bed for the night. Next up is Leo and Jarrett's birthdays! I cannot wait to plan something for my boys! 
6. The past four months I have also been working really hard on making our house a home. I have been working on one room at a time with my main focus on the bedrooms. We bought a new bed set for our bed and then we got a full size bed from one of my Hallmark co-workers and moved the old bed set to that bed. Now all we need is a little bit of furniture to go with the full size bed. Eventually everything in our bedroom will move to the larger guest bedroom and we will purchase a king bed and all new bedroom set and furniture. That is the goal for now. I want to get the bedrooms all done and then I want to work really hard on the living room and family room which will require many more furniture purchases and finally getting rid of our torn up couches. Leo and Lucy have holes all over the couches and I have done everything from buying tons of new pillows and throws to cover the holes up. The couches do not look too bad with the new pillows and throws, but I would first like to really get these dogs trained better in regards to chewing on stuff so that they do not ruin our new furniture. I will definitely keep you guys up to date on our house coming together. 
It feels so good to be writing again and it feels so good to have updated you guys on everything. If you follow me on social media, you probably already knew most of these updates, but it feels amazing to share them on the blog. Our life in Alaska is finally feeling normal. Life finally feels normal again. I never stop missing my family and friends, but we are truly making a life for ourselves here. More and more every day I realize just how lucky we are to be living this life here. 

Now that I am finding balance in my life again, I want to learn how to balance my blog with my hectic schedule. I want to be that organized blogger that puts 110% into her blog no matter how busy her schedule is. I want to learn how to handle everything with ease. I promised myself that I was not going to give up on something that I love because I was too busy or too tired to commit to it. Blogging is way too important to me and I will make time for it. Soon you will see me organizing and planning out my posts each week so I can post regularly and you will see a new look to the blog because I can finally afford to pay someone to help me with the design. There are other aspects that I hope to take on with my blog, but for now, I am taking one step at a time. Before I know it, I will be that blogger that I always wanted to be.
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