Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Present and Future

My very own cake wreck.
How many errors do you see?
Today is my last day as Development Assistant at LifeWorks NW. It doesn't seem real yet, but as the hours tick by I know I am getting closer to closing this three year chapter of my life.

This job was a blessing three years ago when I found myself 30 credits away from graduating with my Bachelor's, but my full-time job would not accommodate a full-time school schedule. I needed a job that would work with my school schedule. What I found was a surprisingly well-paying part-time job with flexible hours, PTO, and benefits. Life works when you get the help you need.

I continued my part-time schedule after graduation, with consistent encouragement full-time hours would become available, but unfortunately the agency was never able to deliver on this. During the three years as Development Assistant I honed my database skills, delved into the world of event planning, and expanded my knowledge of the intricacies of office work. Life works when you get the help you need.

Today is my last day. When I close down my computer and walk out the door it will be for the last time. I am thankful for the opportunities and skills LifeWorks NW provided me and I am excited for the future in store for me as a result of the lessons learned here. Life really does work when you get the help you need.

PS: Check out my guest blog at Rough and Rede.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Transitions & Things

There's been a lot of change and chaos in the Bentley household as of late. In short, our house has been in a constant state of recovery after the July rainstorm, all our office and kitchen things have been piled in our bedroom and living room, I've been working two part-time jobs, and we've been housing friends and family nearly every weekend since May.  My mantra this summer has been, "Two more weeks, you can survive anything for two more weeks."

Two weeks ago, I accepted the Campaign and Donor Records Coordinator position at Adventist Medical Center Foundation. This is the job I have been filling in at and was honored they invited me to interview and ecstatic when they called the next morning after my evening interview to offer me the position. For the first time since graduation I feel like I can breathe again. Our finances have been stressful and this is just the boost we needed.

During the last two weeks of transition, as I look at my piles of laundry and pile of things in the living room, I feel the chaos of my surroundings permeating my being. The more the stuff sits, the more I begin to wonder if I really need it. And really want it gone. I've been reading minimalist and simple living blogs trying to figure out how to go about downsizing and simplifying my life. I like peace and clean lines, but you'd never know it looking at my house (or desk) right now.

As part of our transition to a DINK household (double income, no kids), something we haven't been for a couple years, we are taking a hard look at our finances and our lifestyle. We want to expand our family in the next couple years and as a caveat to that we really want to ingrain healthy habits - both physical and financial - now by paying down our debts and making exercise a staple in our routine. 

One option we are looking at is leaving our 2 bed/1.5 bath townhouse in the suburbs for a 1 bed/1 bath apartment closer to my new job. It's easier for me to take public transit and the commute for Jason from the places we're looking at are shorter than what I will be driving starting next week. I love my townhouse and am both excited and terrified of downsizing. 

I want simplicity back in my life, I want those clean lines and a place for everything. I want to reach in a drawer and get exactly what I'm looking for. The difficult part is deciding what to let go of and what to hold on to. I'm starting small - a drawer here, a cupboard there, a closet - and slowly but surely freeing myself of things. You can do anything for a year, and if moving to a small house is what is best for us at this time I have no fear that we will be happy in our new little nest - wherever that may be.

Summer of 26

It's been an adventuresome few months in the Bentley household. I'd like to say I will fill you in, but considering the chaos my life has been for the last few months I'll probably never deliver. To top it all off, I broke my camera the same day my dear friend delivered her first child, so photographic proof of my life has been nearly nonexistent as of late. Here's a few pictures to bring you up to current day...

Holding 3 hour old Ezra Nathaniel, first baby of my dear friends on June 3.

Halfway through Run to the Ruts 5K in Baker City. Happy 26th birthday a few days late to me! It was seriously the best (and most difficult!) 5K I've ever done and it's not entirely because I'm biased.

Crystal and I after the 1st Annual Run to the Ruts 5K my daddy organized at the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center in Baker City. The goodie bags were over-the-top awesome, those shirts we're wearing are women's tech and the race fee was $25 to name some of the highlights. Never mind the gorgeous views and breakfast burritos.

Trying to hike to Strawberry Lake.
I found the trail - notice how I'm three feet shorter than everyone else?

Speedy Turtles at the finish line for Cascade Lakes Relay. CLR is a BEAST!!!
My Aunt Deb came to visit and we hung out. Good times.
Baby sister got married on August 13. She's really tall.
(Yeah, we don't know what Jason was doing either, but this is so going on the Christmas card.)