Love this place and these people

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

All good things must come to an end

My funemployment has come to an end. I am back in a cubicle. I am the newest senior staff accountant at PBGH LLP, a small CPA firm in Fairfax, VA. While I am happy to have income, I can't say I am thrilled to have rejoined the work force. I have been working for just over 3 weeks and after being FUNEMPLOYED for 6 months, it has been quite an adjustment. Luckily, my new job is pretty great. Nice people who believe in work/life balance and leave the office at reasonable hours. Really, the latest I have been at the office is 5:45! Love that. And yes, I will be working more when tax season comes, but they do something called compensatory time which means all the overtime I work goes into a pool and I get to take those hours at a later date of my choice. As far as accounting jobs go, it's a good setup. Not my dream job but it will do for now.

Now for a few updates on my last months of freedom and how I enjoyed them to the FULLEST! I won't write a lot, but just know that my six month break was one of the best decisions I've ever made. Loved it all and highly recommend it to anyone who has the chance.

First of all, to wrap up my time in Guatemala, I finished working at the orphanage and spent the last little bit traveling with friends. I went up to northern Guatemala, Flores and Tikal and then over to Belize and then Rio Dulce. SO GREAT!!! Beautiful lakes, rivers, ruins, beaches, sailing, friends, food, tree houses, boats, volcanoes...loved it all.
We hiked Pacaya, a live volcano. And we roasted marshmallows on the lava. Not joking.

This is the "tree house" I stayed in on the Rio Dulce. Totally reminded me of Swiss Family Robinson.

Riding up Rio Dulce on a speed boat was magical. It was actually my 3rd of 4 boat trips that day after traveling down Belize back to Guatemala on 2 different boats and then the tree house was only accessible by boat, so I took a boat to dinner. Amazing.
Our favorite eating establishment in Placencia. We ate every meal there, looking out onto one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever been to.

I just love this sign. Read it with an accent.
Our first stop in Belize was Caye (pronounced "key") Caulker. A small island off the coast of Belize City. And life really did slow down here.

Our little beach cabins where we stayed.
Our all day sailing/snorkeling crew. We all became best friends. They were all wonderful but I think the bottomless rum punch may have helped.
Captain Steve.
Who doesn't want to swing from a vine when you're in the jungle?
One of the famous temples of Tikal. These ruins are amazing.
I like spiders.

After stopping in DC for a day to exchange my Guatemala stuff for normal stuff, my first stop was Mesa where I visited my old roomie Lisa and her cute family.
I was there along with my entire family to pay tribute to one of my heroes. My grandmother Laurel Petersen Ellsworth passed away while I was gone and I was lucky to make it back in time for her funeral. She was an incredible lady.
Driving back from AZ. This is one of our favorite spots to take family photos. I'm not sure how many pictures we've taken here, but there have been a lot.
I spent the next month in Cedar City enjoying my family. Going to high school football games, homecoming assemblies, and being very domestic.
At a ward party with my fam. My dad loves his crazy clothes.
Made a trip up to Provo to have a reunion with all the Mozambique crew except for Mags who was in Michigan. I love these people. Love, love, love!!
Bree and I had so much fun helping my mom with Caige who is one of the foster kids living with my parents right now.
Can you even believe how big and tough Bryson is? What a heart throb!
Making salsa and crying our eyes out!!

Saryn was on homecoming royalty and she looked beautiful!!
Bree and I took advantage of our funemployment and headed down to our favorite place in Mexico. Puerto Penasco. Our lovely cousins were kind enough to let us hang out at their condo for a few days and it was heavenly.

Next domestic project was making a dress from some old patterns from the 1950s that I bought online. My mom is a genius. I helped, but I never would have been able to do it without her.

We also made a t-shirt quilt for Bree while we were there. This shirt did not make the cut though pretty incredible she can still fit into it! Since this is what she looked like when she first wore it :)

I LOVE this temple. Love it. And love that I got to go with my mom.
So blessed to attend several sessions of conference at the conference center (thank you Isom family) and got together with one of my favorite visiting teachers of all time.
Spent time with my MTC companion and her cute family. She makes faces just like her mom.
And finally made it back to DC where since I was still funemployed, I took over several home improvement projects to keep myself busy. This is one of the only ones documented but this is Christina in front of the couch that came with a chair and ottoman that I found on Craigslist for FREE. Thanks to Shannon for letting us use her truck for the day after she had only known me for 3 days. We moved this and also purchased a new coffee table and dining room table from our favorite thrift store, Unique. I need to write a whole blog post about that later. The dining room table needed a lot of work, it was only $6 and it looked like it came from a school or something. It was the yellow wood and it had markings on it and gum on the bottom...ya pretty gross. I wish I would have taken a before picture. But I sanded it down and painted it red, and then black and then distressed it and it now looks quite lovely if I do say so myself. It was a great project. I also painted my room and the kitchen and started getting decor for my room.
Jen and I really wanted to go on a picnic, unfortunately we chose to go the day it turned cold. It was still fun though!

I LOVE So you think you can dance. And I attended the concert tour for the 2nd year in a row and am fully planning to attend this next one as well. It all started back in Season 2 when I was an intern in DC and I have loved it ever since.
Christina and I took a road trip up to PA where they had just opened a branch of my favorite store!! HOBBY LOBBY!! And we spent 5 hours there. And we ate lunch in the aisle at one of the display tables, we came prepared with a packed lunch. They really need a cafe in there or something for those of us who take our decor and craft shopping very seriously. If you want to know more about my obsession with this place, just ask. And if you want to come with me on the next trip, it will be happening soon after the new year.

There was some AMAZING fall foliage on our trip back down to VA.
We stopped in Gettysburg on the way home.
My cute cousin Anna left her husband and boys behind to come spend some time with me. We had a great time shopping, taking photos and visiting family up in MD.

I love karaoke!!

You may recognize Clark from all of my Guatemala photos. He is now in Philly going to law school and he came down to visit. It was a lovely weekend.

I took advantage of my last week of funemployment to head south for Thanksgiving. I stopped in NC to see my old roommate Ani and then headed to SC to visit with the Houghtalings and then to Atlanta to stay with Ryan and Amber. This is at the children's museum there. Curt and Lindsey were down as well and then we all headed to Carl and Court's in Alabama for Thanksgiving day. It was such a fun road trip. I loved seeing all of them.

Am and I may have been doing some "leaping" reminiscent of Sunday night aerobics (you girls know what I'm talking about).
Oh the annual ugly sweater party.
And finally this last weekend was just about as much fun as a girl can handle. One of the reasons I chose to move to DC was because of the lack of this white powdery stuff. But occasionally it still comes and this time was a doozy. It started on Friday evening and did not stop until late Saturday night. Linds and I stayed cuddled up warm in our house all day Saturday and finally resurfaced on Sunday to find the entire area shut down. All church meetings canceled and only a few brave souls on the roads. We walked to visit our closest friends down the street and then came back to spend the next 4 hours digging out our own cars and several others in the parking lot. It was a great way to meet all of our neighbors!!

Well that was the longest post ever and now I'm pretty much updated. I leave today for Cedar City and can't wait to see my family. I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!