Leveling Up

On Tuesday afternoon I sent Matt a text: “I’ve leveled up!”

I had just completed a hour long conference presentation that was a great success alongside a high profile group of leaders from my company. And I had held my own. It felt like I earned my entrance to a new level of professionalism.

The extra boost of confidence from (my first!) new blazer may have helped.

It was a great weekend of work travel that did not feel that much like work. I saw friends, worked out of our really cool Spokane office building, spent time with inspiring people, stayed in the wonderful Davenport hotels, and ate SO MUCH epically good food. And really good wine. Bonus: I got to see my Alma Mater, Washington State University!

It was a weekend that affirmed that I am on a good path, and one that fits me well. I am learning all the time, and more importantly, figuring out who I need to learn from in order to grow in the direction I want.

After this trip to Spokane and Moscow, I have a new list of to-check-out places for my Eastern WA friends:

Spokane:

Davenport Hotel and Tower: I stayed in both and think they are both wonderful…Tower is a little quieter, better for working in the rooms but the Historic one has more charm and much better room service options

Clover: great local food restaurant. It is in a house so super funky cool vibe to go with amazing food.

Latah Bistro: this place is essentially in a strip mall but the food is OUTRAGOUS! We shared a feast of bread/cheese/nibbles and then shared 3 entrees for the table…and wine, and dessert. The pile of mini chocolate cakes…to die for. Go. It is so good.

Moscow, ID:

Nectar: this great wine bar and bistro was such a treat. Everything on the menu looked good, but I had a flight of sauvignon blanc (found a new favorite wine!) and a really good trout dinner. So good.

Epic Pullman Weekend

It is going to be hard to capture in words how wonderful our weekend in Pullman was. Summary: quite possibly the best weekend in Pullman ever.

Matt and I left Seattle around 10 on Friday morning. We drove over the pass with some really beat up windshield wipers (we then got them replaced in Pullman) and were then greeted by clear skies the rest of the way to WSU. Matt drove after Ellensburg…he is getting much better at stick! We listened to music and talked and got more and more excited to see our school as the miles rolled on.

When we arrived we went straight for ice cream at Ferdinand’s on campus. We shared a HUGE banana split (ice cream counts for lunch right?) and I ran into my old honors advisor, Jessica. It was so great to see her! She enjoyed meeting Matt too. From there we went to Moscow to check out TriState and Winco, stocking up on the random things like a hot pink disc golf disc, sunglasses, bulk beans and rye flour. Then we went to the new (gag) Super Walmart in Pullman for new wipers and then finally to Matt’s friend Ross’ house to drop off stuff. Matt stayed with Ross Friday night and I stayed with Jenny.

At 6:00 we met up with group of my friends at Sellas for calzones and pizza. It was excited that everyone I wanted to see in Pullman was able to show up! Kelsey and her husband Bryant were there, my old roommate Kathy, Jenny and Brian, Diane and Brent, Ross, me and Matt. Fun times. After dinner Matt and I parted ways and Jenny and I went downtown to find really good mojitos at Black Cypress. This is a great little place if you need a nice place to eat out in Pullman. We shared some edamame and had two rounds of mojitos that had really cool metal straws in them. I may need to track some of those down. Jenny and I stayed up talking till midnight. I had really missed seeing her.

The next morning I said goodbye to Jenny and headed back to College Hill to pick up Matt and go to the Breakfast Club for breakfast. Oh it was so good! We went to the Co-Op and a cool little consignment shop in Moscow. I found a really neat vintage dress. It needs a little TLC and some new buttons, but it is so cute! We went back to Pullman and then to Beasley to watch the UCLA game. It was a great game…sadly not in our favor though. Loosing in overtime is never fun. Matt and I had a great time cheering on our team though. After the game we wandered around Pullman and watched the sunset from the top of the library. WSU has such a beautiful campus. I loved going back.

Well, now that it was dark the night was just getting started! We met Kathy at The Coug for dinner (and finally wrote on the walls!!!) then went to her place to get ready for 80s night! Now, I have to tell you, 80s night was like THE highlight of my college experience. My senior year I was there practically every Saturday night and had so many friends that went. I was really excited to experience my favorite Pullman pastime with Matt. We got dressed up (not too 80s but did have a few key pieces like my awesome teal earrings), had a few drinks, and then walked across campus in the freezing cold to Valhalla. As soon as we walked it we knew something was wrong. There was no 80s music. There were no people dressed up. What was going on? We asked the bartender: they had phased out 80s night. NNNOOOOOOO!!!! It broke my heart to hear this. All of a sudden I was too old and out of date for Pullman. My favorite experience was one that no longer existed. That was hard to take.

However…being the industrious lady I am I went up to the DJ (same one from my college days) and asked him if he could play 80s night music just one more night…and he did. Two songs later the familiar classics came on and we got a group of people out on the dance floor. We danced like crazy all night long. Kathy and Matt and I never sat out a dance. I have never had someone as fun to dance with as Matt. We tore up that dance floor and had the best night ever. That boy is perfect for me.

When the lights finally came on at 2am we gathered up our coats and danced our way back to Kathy’s to crash on her living room floor. I’d be lying if I said I woke up feeling 100% on Sunday morning. When we finally got up around 11 I was started to feel better though, and Matt volunteered to drive home. I took a nap to finish recovering. It was a beautiful drive. We had a picnic in the sun at Vantage overlooking the Columbia River. Stunning.

What a weekend. Great people, yummy food, and seriously had the best night out at 80s night ever, and shared it with Matt which made it completely epic. I love Pullman.

Appearances Can Be Deceiving

I have dreamed about this house for the past two years; wondering what is inside, what the kitchen really looked like. I imagined how cozy and cute and warm it must be. The perfect house for me to live in…near the beach, quiet street, cute house with a nice yard.

Well, from the street, well, actually even from the front porch, this house looked like all of the above and more. Yesterday when I was able to actually go inside, I learned how much the exterior image can hide. The house was the most oddly laid out floor plan I had ever seen. The bathroom and bedroom and closet were all essentially one space separated by odd doors, only one central heat vent (4×3 on the living room floor?) and the kitchen did not make sense. The cabinets were cool, but old and gross and falling apart. Plus, when I found out the rent was not $1300/month but actually $1300/mo + $50 yard maintenance non-negotiable, that sealed the deal that this was not the house for us.

I walked away feeling good about not renting it, and also felt good at finally ending the mystery of my “perfect house”. It is not so perfect, so I guess I get to just keep on looking. Matt and I are back to the drawing board on Craigslist to see what else we can find. I am starting to feel the pressure of my lease ending (and house getting torn down) and really want to find something.

Back update: last night I had PT and Maren really worked on my lower back with some deep tissue massage and then ultrasound to get way inside. This morning my back pain is much less, but it is so tender to the touch that I am going to need ice today. I hope this helps. I am really ready to have my back back.

We are planning to drive to Pullman tomorrow morning. The pass was closed on Monday so we are a little nervous about the drive (getting stuck in Eastern WA from the pass closing more than actual driving conditions) but if the weather forecast looks ok we are going to go. I cannot wait to eat dinner at Sellas tomorrow with Pullman friends (that reminds me, I need to let some people know that plan! Kelsey/Bryant…want to go to pizza?), 80s night with Kathy, show Matt my old house, have him show me his old house, eat Ferdinand’s Ice Cream in the snow, cheer on the Cougs at the UCLA game IN PERSON, and just wander around campus and reminisce about college. I miss Pullman and am so excited to go back and see it with Matt.

Two Cougs in Seattle

Work has gotten crazy these past few weeks. One of our teammates left suddenly leaving behind a very unprofessional hole of missing and incomplete, disorganized work for us to sort through. It has been pretty messy and stressful, but luckily we have a good team to put it back together. It just interrupts our projects and makes the work day much less enjoyable.

I did have a good weekend though. Friday night Matt and I went to the Columbia Tower for dinner again. And once again had a fabulous meal and enjoyed the wonderful view from the top of Seattle. We ate in the library this time and got the best table in the place. Fun night. After dinner we walked through Westlake Center to look at the Christmas lights and people rushing around.

Saturday morning we went shopping for last minute cruise stuff (ie: a Speedo for Matt!), some skinny jeans for me to wear with boots, Christmas gifts and to see his brother at the new rock shop he works at. The Apple Cup started at 4:00 so we went to the Marco Polo in Georgetown, a little divey Coug bar that was crammed full of crimson and grey. The perfect place to watch our team! We shared a basket of really awesome fried chicken and a pitcher of Manny’s, and even though we lost, it was a great game.

Sunday was relax day for me. While Matt worked I hung out with Alki, cleaned, we watched a movie, I packed for the cruise. I am so excited to leave on Friday!!! I have 9 swimsuits packed for a 7 day trip…hummmm…oh I can’t wait for vacation!

Honors Posse Wedding Reunion

Roll back the clock almost exactly 5 years…I was at ALIVE…the orientation for college at WSU. I had just graduated from high school and was excited to register for classes, see my dorm, and then take off for a research trip in the Seychelles. Chaotic but really fun time. At ALIVE I met a guy named Bo who to this day is one of my best friends. We hit it off right away and decided to sign up for all the same classes. That friendship was combined with some other freshman during Honors orientation in August to form my core group of freshman year friends: the Honors Posse. Me, Bo, Trevor, Amelia, Justin and Katherine. The six of us made it through 4 years (some in 5) of life in Pullman, managing to stay friends even through the rough times. We built and slept in an igloo during the massive snowfall our freshman year, went to our first house parties together, dressed up for Halloween, ran around campus getting into semi-mild trouble, studied for hours upon hours together, and in the end, had a ton of great memories from WSU.

Last weekend was the first of the Honors Posse weddings…Katherine got married, the first real sign that our lives are going different directions. I am working in Seattle, Bo is off to medical school, Justin and Amelia are scattering to different states for grad school, and Trevor is going to work with big cats in Arkansas. It was fun to hang out with these amazing friends last weekend, and we would have loved to have had Amelia and Justin there to share it. Maybe at the next Honors Posse wedding…wonder who it will be…

Quick Weekend Synopsis

I took Friday off and wandered back over to my college stomping grounds in Pullman. It was a fun weekend seeing friends, going out, missing school, and realizing that after this semester, going back will never be the same.

Friday:

 – left Seattle at 6:45, snow on the pass (mini did great)

– Arrived in Pullman 11:45, had a haircut, WinCo run with Jenny, dinner with the old Monroe St. housemates at Sangria

Saturday:

– 8:30 Campus on the Run 5k race: did ok, feet still hurting, followed the run with a swim and hot tub soak at the rec

– Quick errands trip to Moscow to buy a strapless bra, I left mine in Seattle and needed it to wear my going out dress

– Crashed for a nap with a massive headache

– Dinner with Jenny, Lauryn, and Brian

– Drinks with Kathy at our old house, 80’s night!

– 1am: got my foot stepped on by a stilleto heel…more foot problems for me, great

Sunday:

– 9:30, Jenny and I realized that the alarm for 8:30 had not gone off, rushed to shower and leave the house…me off for breakfast and she to church

– Breakfast with the Honors Posse…we talked about where we all had thought we would be at this point back in our freshman year…oh how things have changed!!!

– 1:00, drove home to Seattle

Currently – eating dinner and planning how to get motivated for another week!

Visiting Pullman!

I am back in Pullman for the weekend! Woohoo! It was fun driving across the state this morning, remembering all the fun times, friends, and fun of college. I feel pretty fortunate to have so many friends here still to visit…it gives me an excuse to come back. I met up with my friend Blake for coffee. We had fun talking about our adventures and where our lives are going. Then I crashed at Jenny’s for awhile and ate lunch, and have been wandering campus for a while, just reflecting on my time here. I am waiting for my old roommate Lauren to get out of class, then catch up with her before she leaves town for the weekend. She is now engaged! How time has flown! I had so much fun during my 4 years on this campus. Sometimes I wish I was still here, but then I realize I was ready to move on to something new, and life in Seattle is pretty darn good. It is always good to visit though!

I am looking forward to seeing the Honors Posse and having a girls night in with Jenny tonight. Our traditional Papa Murphy’s pizza and champagne of course! Best girls night in to catch up. Tomorrow is the Arizona basketball game, I will be wearing my grey and cheering on the Cougs! It will be fun to be in the stands again and not just watching the game on TV at a bar. Then it is 80’s night! Woohoo!

Hope you have a fabulous weekend too!