Friday, June 24, 2011

The Story of an Old Retired Guy

Yesterday was the retirement luncheon for Jon's dad. His "official" last day of work is July 5th, but he will be on vacation, so we celebrated yesterday :) All of the family that lives in the area was there:





and AnnMarie:

And there is the man of the hour! All hopped up on cough syrup.

The whole luncheon was travel/camping/picnic themed. They had posters up showing where Steve will go on his next adventures. On the list: San Diego, Italy, Tahiti and Russia!

We had some delicious food:

And some delicious cake:

AnnMarie was really into the blue frosting.

Steve's coworkers did an awesome job roasting him for all his years of service at the State. (Look at him sitting there, so unsuspecting...)

Among some of the favorites were his top 10 "Steveisms"

including "You old Goat!" (see retirement cake above) "Have a rotten day" and "Flippin' idiot!" Much laughing was done by all:

We also loved his front cover headline on AARP:

and the "Retired Guy's Survival Kit"

"Everything you need to get you through your days of leisure, relaxation and ever increasing old age!"

which included hair dye for those stubborn greys...


and MANY pairs of flip flops in assorted styles and variations which Steve can now wear for any occasion with his knee high socks.

The party really got going when the whole OBS department got up there and sang a song about Steve and his root beer drinking, Quaker oatmeal harrassment, and retirement.

Steve's good friend Mike Canepa from the railroad days even came up and shared some good experiences of working with Steve, with a little touch of humor of course :)

There was of course a good amount of seriousness. Steve was awarded a certificate for his service:

and one of his coworkers painted him an amazing watercolor:

One of the greatest parts of course was when Chris came up to the mic and presented Steve with this:

a brand new camera!!

The team talked about all of the great improvements Steve had done for the department and he even gave an uplifting speech at the end.

It was neat to see how much he has been appreciated and loved.

and we know he will be missed.

On to the next adventure!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Creating Happiness

As some of you may know, I recently quit my job. Here's the story:

I had been feeling pretty down at work for a while. I had that job for four years and wondered "what the heck am I doing with my life?" I know we have all been there, but I was really just feeling useless. I would cry a lot, and I basically came home from work every day looking like this:

Yeah, pretty scary. And everyone that I knew told me that they had never seen me looking so stressed out and tired. I tried to play it off, but I really just felt miserable. I even had to drop my music class this semester because I was working so much that I couldn't keep up. My professor had told me that I was working too hard and that I shouldn't quit playing. I totally agreed with him, but I felt stuck :( It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.

I guess our life just hit a crossroads. Jon and I have made a lot of plans for the near future and we also had a lot of decisions coming up, so it really came down to 1) are we happy? 2) why do I have this job? and 3) what do we want out of life?

Then one day, I opened my lunchbox and found this:

Jon had put this fortune in my lunch (yes, he makes me lunch every day) and I realized that life is too short to hate what you do. Well, long story short, my job didn't really fit into our plans, and we both certainly were not happy. I was working way too much and doing way too little for our relationship, family and personal lives. Basically we decided it was better to invest in ourselves and make our lives awesome right now, to take the jump and live the lives we really want to instead of looking back in 40 years and regretting becoming work-a-holics in our early twenties and always wondering "what if?"

So we sat down and figured it out, and we're making it work! I'm grateful for all of Heavenly Father's blessings, but sometimes He gives you opportunities to change, and I think that my job had been all that I needed it to be for the time that I had it. Now it's time for something new!

So here we are. Friday was my last day of work. My guest services coworkers got me these awesome flowers :) I was so surprised when they were delivered!

Luckily I had my good camera with me that day, so I got some nice pictures of it:

AND it even came with an amazing smelling candle:

I of course had to get pictures with all my girls:

Steph & Noelle - BFFs

Bridget & Steph - GSRs
Me and Christa - my utility coordinator replacement
Steph & Emma - my Guest Services replacement
Seriously this was the best picture we were able to get. We were laughing so hard I was crying!

Our guest services team: Kacy, Noelle, Emma, Steph, Jill, Bridget and Christa
So now the rest of our lives begins. I've had some really good interviews at a couple other places, and hopefully that means another more awesome job will be starting here soon :) We will see!

Most importantly I have learned to not let anybody steal my joy, and also to live confidently and make the future that we have imagined. Oh, and don't forget to be awesome.