Tuesday, May 24, 2011

So Long, Farewell...

I've got a lot to catch up on, folks.  I just skipped right over all the awesome farewell parties that were thrown for me in Indy, the cross-country drive that Bonnie, Brent and I took to move, and some fun things we've done in Colorado.  Silly as it may sound, these blogs feel like they're hanging over my head a little bit.  So I am going to do my best to publish them soon so I can finally move on with my life.  Like I've said before, I have a flair for the dramatic...not drama.

In my search for a catchy title, I googled "farewell songs".  Here's a Top 10 List for Goodbye Songs for friends.  Some of these bring you back, eh?  Like The Graduation Song?  How that was 10+ years ago just blows my mind.  Or the Boyz II Men jam - I think that was on the first CD I ever played in my awesome disc man...circa 1994.  I'm old, yo.

1. The Graduation Song (Friends Forever) by Vitamin C
2. It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday by Boys II Men
3. Photograph by Nickelback
4. Don’t Forget To Remember Me by Carrie Underwood
5. Don’t You Forget About Me by Simple Minds
6. I Will Remember You by Sarah McLachlan
7. Home by Michael Buble
8. 100 Years by Five For Fighting
9. Leaving On a Jet Plane by John Denver
10. See You On the Other Side by Ozzy Osbourne

Regardless, I used nothing from these songs in the title.  You can see that.

In my last few weeks in Indianapolis, I had three wonderful farewell parties thrown by co-workers and friends.  I only have pictures from one, but I'll talk about the rest.

I had been with my current team at DFAS since July, and I have to say that I loved working with them all.  My boss, lead, and team were all truly wonderful.  It was a team of all men and one wonderful lady, Joyce, when I joined.  My lead, JW, was always especially supportive of me and for my farewell he convinced all the systems teams I supported to send a gift to my party.  It was so, so sweet.  We went to lunch at Scotty's Lakehouse upon my request for a burger and Ball jar full of sweet tea.  Heaven.

Later that night, my girlfriends from the Ex-BKD Girls' Club threw another little party at Christi's.  We had lots of different appetizers and Christi made two Bosco sticks for me.  Does anyone else remember these little gems from high school?  They're breadsticks filled with cheese.  So simple but so delightful.

On the Wednesday of my last week at DFAS, several dear co-workers and friends put together a Farewell Party/Baby Shower and invited co-workers from every department where I've worked.  It was so great to see everyone one last time before I come back in November to shamelessly parade my sweet baby through the office.  Here are all the pictures I got from Becky...instead of getting a group picture we seemed to just take individual shots, so you're going to see a lot of my green dress...    

The lovely Megan.  She and Christa were the first LIMs ever assigned to me when I was a brand new supervisor.  They always humored me.  :)

My coffee friend Cassie - who you know I love because I posted this blurry face picture anyway just so I could talk about her.  Cassie INSISTED that we do this party even when I was hedging about having a fuss, and I'm so glad she did.
Rickie - the Call Center analyst who kept me sane.  If I had a dollar for everytime we looked at each other in disbelief and started laughing, I wouldn't be working right now.  He is one great character!   

Yay Christa!  Christa humored me so much that I was able to convince her to work for me again in the Call Center, and then she ended up staying on as an accountant permanently!  I had so much fun with this gal over the last several years.   

Dave and Kathy - my A/R parents.  Kathy was my lead in the Call Center and Dave worked across the hall in another division.  Kathy saved me numerous times and I don't know what I would have done without her. 

The Keim ladies - Joan was the first person I ever worked for at DFAS, and her daughter Kristie was my other Analyst in the Call Center at the time I moved on.  Fun ladies!!

Ms. Leah - this trooper was with me (and DFAS) all of about four days when I told her that I was moving out of Travel and that she would get a new supervisor.  She must not be too ticked at me still.  ;)

I didn't get individual pictures of Alli and Katie, but here they are!  I'm sorry to overlook you wonderful ladies! 

The old Travel crew reunited, and most likely making fun of Sean.

"What's that, Min?  You are looking for a house in the Geist area?  Well it's funny you should mention that...I know of a house you can buy...."

Yeah, that's really what we were talking about.  Oh how I wished he had taken the bait.  I even promised a year of free lawn care. 

And last but not least, another party organizer and provider of the pictures - the awesome Becky.  I wish I could meet her for a coffee again tomorrow!

Cassie's parents make cakes, and she told them she just needed a basic sheet cake for the party.  Here is what she got.  I think that it says, "Goodbye, good luck in Denver, and congrats on your Peep baby" perfectly.  SO cool...I could not stop cracking up about their basic sheet cake.  Thank you again, Cassie!

Thanks to everyone, if you're reading this, for making my last days in Indianapolis so sweet.  I truly have some wonderful friends and it makes me smile to think of you all.  I miss you!


Friday, May 13, 2011

20 Weeks!

This is a big week, folks!  It was our ultrasound week!  Our appointment was yesterday afternoon and all went well.  We have a perfect, healthy baby in there.  It is unbelievable to think there's another full set of internal organs, a spine, a brain, etc in my body right now!  Weird.

Here are some ultrasound pics.  I think they're great, but I'm biased.

The arm bone's connected to the shoulder bone

Looking at us

How far along: 20 weeks, 3 days

Total weight gain: Six pounds.  I'm not sure if it was all the big eating I did at training last week or if the baby had a growth spurt, but I think I've caught up.

Maternity clothes: Some pants and a few tops.  After wearing maternity pants for the first time I seriously wondered what took me so long.

Feeling: Okay.  I had some round ligament pain spring up on Monday that seems to be a lingering annoyance, but hopefully some of the stretches we did at yoga on Wednesday will help.  Think that walking 13.1 miles last weekend has anything to do with that?  Duh.

Sleep: Also just okay.  I've been waking up on my back a lot, which makes my back hurt.  I never sleep on my back so I don't know why I keep flipping now when I'm not supposed to!
Food cravings or aversions: Salt and vinegar chips.

Best moment of the week:  
The ultrasound, of course.

Movement: Really nothing since I felt the baby flutter for a few days in week 16.  I asked about it at my appointment and apparently the placenta is in the front and I won't feel anything for awhile longer.  Interesting, I've never heard that.
Gender: Our ultrasound today revealed that....it's a.....

baby!  We're still team green.  Sorry for your disappointment.  We do stuff like that just to annoy you.
Labor Signs: n/a

What I miss: I'm a little sorry that I didn't get to partake in ski season.  And I am really just throwing that out there because I can't think of anything else.  (besides beer)

What I'm nervous about: Nothing now that our ultrasound was fine.
What I'm looking forward to: Nothing really at the moment.
Milestones and new this week: Baby is the size of a cantaloupe and is swallowing.


Thoughts of a Patriot

I wrote this while I was in DC for training last week and finally inserted the pictures.  Beware, it's a little scattered.

Today I feel like the luckiest little American east of the Mississippi. Here I am in the nation's capital after just eating at what I dare say is the best Italian restaurant in the country, Filomena's in Georgetown. I was able to sightsee for an hour or so after work. I'm almost halfway done with a pregnancy I was doubting I'd ever have. My husband and I both have jobs. I've never had head lice or bed bugs (and based on the check I did of my current hotel mattress, I think I'll probably keep that streak alive for at least another week). It looks like we're just a few thousand dollars worth of haggling away from selling our house...fingers crossed.

And to top if all off, I saw a double rainbow perfectly framed over the Washington Monument today. Just so you don't think I'm making it all up:

What a week to be in our nation's capital! We had just arrived at our hotel in the heart of DC late Sunday night when Brent texted that I should turn on the news. Like many of you, I reLly couldn't believe it. The War on Terror has gone on for so long and has so many complicated issues and enemies that I had honestly forgotten that we were still looking for bin Laden after ten years.

While bin Laden's death provides us with what seems to be some closure to 9/11 (will that ever really have closure?), it's not time to collaborate with Toby Keith on our next guns-ablazin' song just yet. The War on Terror is an ideological battle that will never be won. Thousands of troops fight daily in a land where friends and enemies are often indistinguishable. Plots to kill and destroy what we hold dear are being planned as you read this. The distinction between the pre-9/11 and post-9/11 world will always be a line drawn in the sand, until the last generation of those alive on the clear, beautiful morning of September 11, 2001 is gone. As a high school student during the Columbine massacre, there will always be a pre-Columbine and post-Columbine world for me, too. Our challenge is to not let ourselves be boxed in by these tragedies and to live and love just as we would have before our innocence crumbled into the Twin Towers. We cant live in fear and we cant let cautiousness stop us from loving our neighbor. Easier said than done.

Today I was able to visit the World War II and Vietnam War memorials after work. Erected in 2004, the WWII memorial is new enough that I've never been and it was something that I was dying to see. Have you been to the Vietnam Wall? I don't remember much about our family trip to DC when I was 11 or 12 other than being HOT at Gettysburg, but I do remember my dad walking along that wall and finding his buddies. I remember the somberness that everyone had at that wall.  That's when I knew - the veteran is someone we honor, and we hold their sacrifice as a sacred gift. Doesn't the sheer volume of names on sheet after number sheet of black granite just overwhelm you? I walked slowly looking at name after name after name for a bit, but then, since it was fixin' to storm and I had to pee (please read in your best Forrest Gump voice in honor of his visit to the White House, again, and the 15 Dr. Peppers he drank that day), I hurried my weenie Generation Y behind out of there before my BlackBerry got wet.

I took this photo at the WWII memorial, and I think it best describes how I want my America to be. I want my Granny Ruth's America, where she and farmwives all over the country dug dep and figured out how to make it during the darkest years of the Great Depression, selling a chicken a day for income to supplement what they couldn't grow and make themselves. I want Grandpa Pillers' America, where a smart, ambitious kid from Sparta, Illinois can make a name for himself, climbing the corporate ladder with only a high school education, a lot of drive, and common sense.

Maybe it's the Employee Relations class I've been taking all week where I've been learning about all the defenses an employee will use against you in court for making them just do their jobs, but I don't like the America I see today.

I have a dream, blog readers. I have a dream that all Americans will take personal responsiblity for their actions and realize that sometimes, it might JUST be their own fault.

I dream of an America where we aren't always concerned with "getting mine" and we let others with only one item go ahead of our huge cart of groceries at the store when the express lane is closed.

I dream of an America where we learn how to live within our means and can balance our own checkbooks, as well as the nation's.

I dream of an America where we extend basic common courtesies to our neighbors. Please, thank you, and bless you will never go out of style.

I dream of an America where we aren't afraid of handwork, sacrifice, and taking one for the team.

Despite our shortcomings, I know with all that's in me that Americans are tough. And as you know, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. I am 100% confident that we will dig deep and pull ourselves together, when and if that's needed.  We just haven't had to do it in so long.  The tricky part will just be getting us off Facebook and out of the mall long enough to realize something's going on that needs our attention.

See, I told you this would be scattered.

Editor's Note: Mom asked if I took this post down because I had second thoughts about.  Hell to the no.  Someone needs to say it.  It was Blogger acting funny, not me.  Brent asked if I am running for office.  The answer to that is also no - I would never win.