Friday, October 31, 2014

Courtney Confession

I'm writing this post with a grab bag of mixed emotions.

First of all, I'm not pregnant.

Sorry, maybe it's just me, but I feel like I need preface any news or announcements nowadays with that clarification. I'm of the age where I can't even be like, "Hey, guess what?" without someone chiming in with "THERE'S SOMEONE IN YOUR WOMB?!"

No, I was just gonna say I'm making tacos for dinner, but thanks for making my uterus feeling like it's not doing anything except disappointing you every month.

In time, friends. In time.

I've been sitting on this secret for almost a month now.

After over 2 years of working with someone of the coolest, best people I know, I will be saying goodbye to my job at the community college and moving on to what I am confident will be one of the most ambitious, amazing journeys in my young life.

The job offer from the Human Resources office back in the summer of 2012 came at a very rocky point in my career. At the time, I was in a position that was not even slightly fulfilling (and oftentimes felt unethical) and a catty work environment was bringing me down both emotionally and spiritually. Searching for a way out, I graciously accepted the assistant position in HR, knowing that even though it didn't fit with my previous years of media experience, it was a fresh start (and I really needed one).

From the beginning, I was told that the college was very much into nurturing its employees' talents and was very supportive when it came to switching departments and moving to other areas. My boss at the time knew I'd eventually move around in the college, and I loved feeling like I could be candid and honest about my aspirations.

Since coming to the college, I had the opportunity to be an academic advisor and most recently, the Assistant Director of Student Life. I've learned a lot about myself in each role, knowing that even when I wasn't have a good day (or week ... or month) I was generating experiences and skills that would carry with me the rest of my life. Just the thought of public speaking used to make me break out in hives, but now I can address a room full of people like it ain't no thang. I even taught a class! I'm a firm believer that we're placed exactly where we need to be at exactly the right time and we stay there until we learn what is it that we're supposed to learn.

I'll be frank with you: I LOVE/LOVED my job as the Assistant Director. Being part of the Student Life Office is HARD work at times (I can't even emphasize that enough), but it's been fun work. I've had fun and laughed almost every single day in the office. My supervisor and I hit if off instantly and I don't think she'll ever fully understand how much I admire and respect her, and how much I've learned from her about leadership.

And how amazing it is to work closely with someone who shares your disgusting, crass sense of humor that is heavily peppered with pop culture references.

But another opportunity presented itself and I absolutely couldn't say no. I'm packing up shop and following my bliss.

Media and writing is my passion and now it's going to be my daily reality. As a freshman in college, I would fantasize about working for an ad agency and after I was hired in as an account coordinator (and promptly quit) at a terrible agency with an increasingly bad reputation, I was feeling jaded about the entire profession. So I walked away from it, devastated that my dreams didn't match the reality.
I honestly wasn't sure if I'd ever get back to it. I don't exactly live in a booming metropolis, so creative agencies aren't really growing on trees here. I wasn't willing to move, so I just moved on.

Last year I found Blueline through a friend's random post on Facebook. I'd never heard of the company, but after combing through their website, I knew that this company was everything a creative agency SHOULD be: It is young, fresh, passionate and friendly. Looking through their work gives you the sense that they really care and seek to understand their clients stories, not just chase the bottom dollar.

I approached them, randomly (albeit a little awkwardly, too), and introduced myself and my work history and passions. I expressed an interest in developing a freelance relationship and left my contact info if they should ever want to meet with me.

And I waited.

They responded.

We met. 

I immediately liked the company's owner and was in awe of how much she'd one at such a young age. 

I started working on one of Blueline's social media account as a part-time freelancer and quickly fell back in love with the concepts and practices I had studied so fervidly studied in college.

And they liked my work and wanted me to take on more to further utilize my journalism background, and I just couldn't say no. This is the kind of work that ignites my excitement and drive. There's no way I was going to turn it down.

So today is my last day at the college. Don't worry, I'm going out with a bang: Tonight is our Family Fright Night and I'm staying to help set up and run the event. In other words, I get to spend a long, arduous final day working with people I love on both professional and personal levels. We're putting up a haunted house, for pete's sake! Awesome, right? I hate saying goodbyes, but I honestly couldn't ask for a better sendoff.

I'm sad to be leaving this time in my life behind, but I can't even articulate my excitement over where I'm heading. I'm joining a team of uber talented individuals (and let's be honest, artists) who share the same passions as I do. It's going to an amazing journey and I'm so thankful for every opportunity I've had along the way.

And I'll always miss my Ivy Tech team. :)

I'm the squatting like I need to take a power dump on the far right, front row.
The Advising Office, Halloween 2013
Super Girl is off to new adventures!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Weekend Recap (pre-race freak out)

We're just 4 days and some change away from the 2014 Monumental Marathon and Half Marathon.

Which means I have just 4 days and some change of anxiety and obsessive compulsiveness to get through.

My pre-race nerves are already in full swing. Any free moment I've had to myself has been consumed with my typical "what if?" scenarios:

What if I catch a cold?

What if I don't have a good race?

What if Jesus comes back before I get to the starting line? (Will I still get my medal?)

It's self-inflicted torture. I willingly put myself through this every time I sign-up for a big race. I think part of me thrives on the drama.

Exactly a year ago this week, I was gearing up for my first full marathon. I wasn't nervous and anxious for that race so much as I was just exceedingly excited. I had never run a marathon before; I had zero expectations. I was just in it for fun and the thrill of a new challenge (what a novel concept!). This time around, it's my 8th half marathon and I definitely know what to expect. And I'm scared that my current abilities won't measure up to what I've done in the past.

I looked up my PR from the Monumental Half and saw my average pace. My goal is to beat that average pace.

WHAT IF I CAN'T DO IT!?!?!?!?!!?

*sedates self until race*

It's always a possibility that you won't beat your previous finishing time or that you won't have a good race. I've done both of those things in the half marathon, so I'm not sure where all of this fear is coming from.

I think it's called "Just Being Courtney".

But how about we peek at some pics from my weekend to keep my mind off of things for a solid 30 seconds?



 This picture melts my heart. He is so precious.

 Dat beard.

It would be nice if I had a little bit of face to go with my nose.

 I feel pretty. 

Dat ass.


Breakfast Club moment.

Crockpot Beer Chicken and garlic mashed potatoes, one of our faves. 

These Peanut Butter Oreo Brownies were full of so much win.  Grab the recipe here.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mall Confessions

So I like the mall.

I like to breathe, too.

What stupidly obvious statements.

Anyway, when I was at the mall on Tuesday evening, I was reminded of one of the most awkward social situations that seems to plague me every time I step foot inside a shopping mall:

I don't know how to leave a store when I don't buy anything.

I consider myself to be somewhat of a shopping pro (this week I used a birthday coupon on a sweater I was waiting to go on sale at The Limited and ended up getting it for FREE. A $70 sweater ... FOR FREE.), and that has made me a pretty picky shopper. I used to buy whatever I thought was cute, but now that I have big girl bills and a mortgage (and a guilty conscious), I have to be a little more circumspect with my purchases.

In other words, I try to window shop more often than I actually buy.

It takes me all of 30 seconds to decide if I like a store's merchandise, but I feel really bad for basically peeking my head in, saying "Nah", and just walking right back out.

So I will spend about 5 minutes in every store no matter what, intentionally touching merchandise and glancing at price tags to create the illusion that I have a very genuine interest in the clothing or accessories. I might even pick up a shirt and hold it against me for good measure. I'll make a huge circle in the store, walking through every section and glancing at every rack.

Then, once I'm convinced that sales clerk has turned her attention to another customer or is busy restocking items, I will make a beeline for the exit, my face burning the entire way. Like, "OMG, I'm sorry! It's not you, it's me. ... Actually, it's the clothes. They're terribly overpriced."

I'm just like:

Does this happen to anyone else?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tuesday Night

Last night was a GOOD night. Nothing spectacular happened, but we ate some good food and relaxed (and got in a little shopping). You know the kind of night I'm referring to? Just pleasant.

For dinner I made us chicken and prosciutto tortellini with marinara sauce (I'd love to say I sat there and whipped up my own pasta shells and delicately stuffed them myself, but these shells were totes store bought. If Clayton wants homemade pasta, he'll need to buy the attachment for my mixer). I served it with a side of roasted asparagus and a glass of pinot noir.


After dinner and some brief digestion, we went over to the mall so I could use a Macy's gift card my mom gave me for my birthday. I expressed an interest in getting a high quality foundation for my skin, and my mamma came to the rescue.

I purchased a bottle of Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24-Hour foundation. This is the first time I've purchased what I refer to as "big girl make-up" from a department store beauty counter, and it kind of made me feel like a big deal. The foundation smooths my skin like a dream and now I'm convinced I need to get the matching pressed powder, too. 

I also used some birthday money from my dad and purchased a new bottle of Victoria's Secret Heavenly perfume because I've been out for months.

So I'm feelin' pretty sassy right about now. Smelling good with an even skin tone!

I'm working from an adult learning center today to oversee some of our student workers who are working an event, and I get to have some time to myself working in a tutoring classroom. I brought a book, my laptop and well, here I am!

So I'm sitting here in a room with strangers and am suddenly hit by the realization that I mentioned how amazing this new foundation is, but I forgot to snap a picture of the result while I was getting ready this morning.

Well, there's no time like the present ...

Ha, no one even looked up as I sat here, taking selfies on my computer like a goob.

I wonder if anyone would notice if I did something weird?

Debating it ...

Going for it!

No one saw.

Just livin' life and cashing happy checks over here. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Weekend recap

Last night I was so tired, I took out my contact lenses and tossed them on the bathroom counter because I was too lazy to open the lens case and put them away properly.

It's okay, they were 2 weeks past their prime and allowing them to dry out overnight forced me to put in a fresh pair today.

How was your weekend? Mine was both good and not so good ... 

I was scheduled to run 12 miles on Saturday morning and lemme tell ya, it was probably the worst 12 miles I've run out of all 8 half marathons I've trained for. I was exhausted by mile 6. I was crying by mile 8. I was ready to give up by mile 9. But after walking for a bit and giving myself the best pep talk I could muster, I unloaded my water belt and iPod back into my car and forced myself to get back out there and run the final 3 miles to the best of my ability.

I seriously almost passed out, but I got it done.

I have no idea what's wrong with me. I've been crumbling during my weekend long runs. Clayton thinks I've over-trained and I don't want to admit that he might be right because I should know better than that.

But I think he's right.

That new training plan I started out with was just way too intense and now I'm suffering the consequences.

That being said, I definitely threw myself a "I'm not going to PR" pity party on the way home. Ugh! I know we can't have a great race every single time, but I've been working so hard and just feel like I have nothing to show for it. And anyone who's trained for a race knows how disheartening it can be to not feel prepared or ready for the big event.

I've now entered the taper phase of training and while I'm normally so excited can barely sit still at this point, I just feel sad.

So now I have to see what I can do about making sure I don't let this bitter disappointment seep into other areas of my life andha ha! I can't even type that sentence with a straight face. You KNOW I'm going to internalize this shiz and let it bum me out for way longer than necessary because I take everything way too seriously. hahahaahahahahaha *cries*

On Saturday afternoon, after doing my best to mentally recoup after that horrendous run, Clay and I met up with my mom, sister and Chris for some fall camping. I think sleeping on an uncomfortable blow-up mattress and listening to other people's dogs bark all night is why I was darn near comatose when I got back home last night, but it was still a lot of fun. 

In honor of her birthday last Thursday, I baked my mom a chocolate chip banana cake and topped it with my favorite whipped frosting (we love whipped icing in my family). I dyed the frosting orange and originally planned to decorate it like a jack-o-lantern, but the black icing was too thick to draw with, so I used glittery black bats instead.

Cake makes for amazing camping food.

And since it's mid-October in Indiana, you know that the scenery was absolutely beautiful:

You're welcome, internet.

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