Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Over Already?

Today is Reading Day on the campus of Appalachian State, which means classes are officially over and final exams start tomorrow. Thankfully, all of our teachers gave us final projects and take home finals, so we do not have to sit for an exam this week; however, our marketing final (due Saturday) will keep us very busy over the next few days.

It is so hard for me to believe how quickly the past year has gone by. This time last year I was preparing to walk across the stage with a BS in Psychology, and here I am exactly one year, three semesters, lots of case analysis projects, tears and stresses later, with a Master of Business Administration. I am going to buy my new hood and gown today- I couldn't be more excited. One of the things I have listed on my "Bucket List" (Yes, I have a Bucket List at the age of 22) is to get a masters degree... it is so thrilling to be able to cross that off of my list!

The big day is approaching- time to get back to work on my final exam. So far I have 2 "A's" in the classes with grades posted.... let's hope for lots more!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

One month and Counting

Yesterday was a very sad day, as I had to give my Alley Cat away. I have had her for almost 2 years, and it was so hard to see her go. I knew that the move would be very hard on her, not to mention the 4 day car ride, so I placed her with a distant relative for her new home. While I know it is what is best for her, and relieves a big stress from me, it was still extremely difficult to watch her ride away.

After saying goodbye to Alley Blue-Eyes Boo-Boo-Baggins Henderson-Vannoy (aka, the cat) Ross and I were able to enjoy a wonderful dinner with the Icenhours. With the grilling master skills of Mark, and Jennifers AMAZING corn on the cob recipe, we had a wonderful time with the best host/hostess Ross and I could have asked for. THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today I had a yard sale (big thanks to Mom and Larry, Jennifer and Ella, Nana, and Ross for helping it to be a big success). Not only did I get rid of all my excess home goods, I also earned a little money for a new piece of furniture! Mom asked me today how it felt now that I "purged" my house of all my goods, and to be honest... I feel 10 pounds lighter! This move has definitely taught me a lesson on materialism and how to limit myself to a few nice things rather than a U-Haul full of junk!

With that being said, my apartment is starting to get very empty. With Alley no longer greeting me at the door and absolutely NO furniture in my living room, it is starting to look a little depressing on Hardin Road. I have to be completely moved out on May 7th, so the crunch time is approaching.

One month from today Ross, Eisley, and I will be leaving Boone for Portland. As the semester comes to an end, and we are starting to pack, we grow increasingly excited every day for what our new adventure holds. Although our departure date is quickly approaching, we still have a long way to go before we can leave. Monday we have a take-home final exam due, as well as final assignments for all of our other classes. The official last day of classes is Tuesday, then the final exam period starts. I cannot believe that graduation is almost here...

The month of April has absolutely FLOWN by, and two weeks from today we will be walking across the stage in our new caps and hoods. The countdown for Portland begins today... May 24th (30 days and counting)!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The most productive week ever!!!

I apologize for taking so long to update my blog... it has been a crazy busy week, yet thankfully a very productive one!

I accepted the offer with A1 Fresh Impressions. My start date is June 1 and I am extremely excited about the possibilities with the company.

Our application was accepted on our DREAM apartment and we made a deposit yesterday. We know officially have somewhere to live and a place to work- we are just waiting to hear back from a few people regarding jobs for Ross. Everything is coming together FAST and we are getting more excited everyday!

So more about my new dream apartment...

It is located above Genie's Cafe, an eclectic eatery that serves breakfast, brunch and lunch. The picture above is the front of the restaurant. The apartment is two bedroom and two full baths, with vibrant colors on the walls... we are allowed to paint the walls any color we want! It has original bricks along the window seals, and laminate hardwood floors throughout. My apartment is only minutes from downtown, and just a few blocks from the waterfront (the Willamette river). Below are some pictures of the apartment and its location to downtown!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Turning Point

I had a phone interview Friday afternoon with a company in Portland. The lady calling was the National Sales Manager of A1 Fresh Impressions, a marketing and promotional products company in the SE suburbs of Portland. After speaking with Ms. Barna over the phone and a computer video chat, she said she was satisfied that she could stop looking for someone to fill the position. A formal offer would come later.

The position I applied for was a Customer Service Representative/Administrative Assistant; however, after speaking with Ms. Barna, she thought I would be a better fit in the Internal Sales position, an hourly plus commission position. The position is for 40 hours a week and includes benefits! I received my formal offer yesterday. Check out the company!

I called the apartment of my dreams yesterday as well, and the management staff is currently going through the applications for the property. I again expressed my genuine interest in the unit, and was told that I should hear back around Wednesday or Thursday.

It looks like everything is really starting to come together. We have been going through our stuff like crazy people, trying to slim down enough of our belongings into two cars. I never knew I had so much stuff! Mom has offered to help me have a yard sale on April 23-24, so I am frantically trying to get ready for that, on top of my last minute school assignments.

School is keeping me very overwhelmed these days. On Monday, we have a 20 page research report, a presentation, and a semester-long final project due. The kicker is that we have to have it all finished by Thursday, because we are going to be in Raleigh all weekend for Doug's cocktail party/wedding shower (Friday night) and Courtney and Matt's costume,karaoke party/wedding shower (Saturday night). It should be a fun weekend!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Goodbye #1

After hearing from my family and friends (mainly just Mrs. Opinionated- I will let you guess who that one is! LOVE YOU!), we decided to try to narrow down our belongings enough to fit into 2 cars. I have promised to drive extra-carefully, and have therefore been given the "go ahead" to drive my car without an extra person. Therefore, it looks like Ross, Eisley, and I will be taking the long drive, road-trip style. Our route is tentatively planned for:

Phase 1: Boone to Kansas City, Missouri (approx 15 hours)- stay in a pet-friendly hotel
Phase 2: Kansas City to Denver/Boulder/Ft. Collins, Co (approx 10 hours)-stay with friends in the area
Phase 3: Denver to Salt Lake City, UT (approx 8 hours)- stay with friends in the area
Phase 4: Salt Lake City to PORTLAND, OR (approx 12 hours)... home sweet home!

I had my first taste of goodbyes today, and I can honestly say it is not going to be easy. I started "leaning out" my belongings, picture frames, craft supplies, kitchen utensils, and other odds and ins, and in all the sorting, I realized how much I am going to miss the little things. I was going through my Halloween and Christmas decorations and I realized I am going to miss having Nana help me with decorations and wreaths. Going through my letters I found notes from Papa, and I am going to miss having lunch with him at The Carousel and "The Purple Onion." I found all of my old Braves cups which made me think how I am going to miss hanging out with Dad. I can't say I am going to miss Joseph, because I never get to see him anyway, but I will miss him too... in some way! I am going to miss random trips to Wilkes to see Mom and hear Larry's "voice" of Nellie. I am going to miss all of my family and friends in Wilkesboro, Boone, Asheville, and all over North Carolina.

While it is sad to be ending an old chapter of my life, full of college days, family birthday parties, and relaxing sunshine moments, it is time to start a new chapter and embark on the journey ahead. But before it begins, it's time to finish up a paper for marketing and try to squeeze in a few hours of sleep. Goodnight moon!

So, how do we get there?

Today is the deadline that we set for deciding how to get all of our stuff to Portland. As many of you know, I enjoy a good bit of organizing, so I made a budget on Excel and a pros and cons list on Powerpoint to ensure that no details were left unexplored. So now we are going to present the information to you, my all powerful readers, and ask for your opinion. Yes, Mom, again I want your opinion.

Option one: Driving 2 cars
Estimated cost: $4,370 (includes the cost of buying a lot of new stuff)
-We would each have our own car in Portland
-We could take our time getting there (road trip!)
-We would get to buy all new stuff!

-Mom doesn't like the idea of me driving alone, so paying for someone's plane ticket is an extra expense
-We would have to buy a lot right when we get there just to survive (beds, kitchen stuff, etc)
-We would miss out on taking a lot of our stuff (and buying all new stuff is not very environmentally sustainable)
-We would have to sell the motorcycle (Although Mrs. Bowden would love that!)
-We would both have to drive... all... the... way.

Option two: Get a Uhaul and tow 1 car
Estimated cost: $3,405 (we get student and AAA discounts!)
-We would get to take everything we own and still have money to buy some new stuff
-We would get to take the motorcycle to be our second vehicle
-We could avoid the stress of needing to buy a lot within the first couple of days

-We would have to sell one of our cars (while most people in Portland survive fine with only 1 car or none at all, it would be more difficult for us during job hunting, learning the city, etc. Plus neither one of our cars are worth a whole lot)
-It would be difficult to drive and would take longer to get there

Option three: Get a Uhaul, tow 1 car, and drive 1 car
Estimated cost: $4,000
-We would have 2 cars in Portland
-We could take the motorcycle (but do we need two cars AND a motorcycle?)
-We would get to take everything and still have money to buy some new stuff
-We would avoid the immediate buying stress

-Again, we would both be driving so the extra person comes in, so add a plane ticket
-It would be difficult to drive

Ponder the alternatives, think about it, and let us know your opinion. How DO we get there?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

28 days until Graduation

Hello Friends and Family! I decided to create a blog so you all could keep up with Ross and me on our post-graduation journey.

We will be graduating from graduate school on May 8, 2010 (28 days and counting). After a long and intense year, Ross and I will both have our Master of Business Administration degrees and be ready for the real world; but not the real world that Larry describes, full of cubicles and mind-numbing computer programs!

After much deliberation, we have decided to move to Portland, OR, Popular Science's Greenest City in the U.S. (for the little hippie in all of us!) and Bicycling Magazine's #2 Bike-Friendly City in the U.S. (guess who loves that?!?). Portland also offers immaculate rose gardens (hence it's nickname the "City of Roses"), tons of microbrews (also known as the "Motherland of Microbreweries"), and countless parks and green spaces. Watch this: Who wouldn't love it?

Our plan is graduate on May 8th, then spend the rest of the month loving up on our friends and family, saying our good-byes (you will see me soon Mom, I promise!), and going to weddings (3 in one month!). We plan to leave for Portland on May 24, and spend the following few days driving 2,682 miles across the country, pulling all of our belongings and Eilsey with us. What's in store? We will see when we get there!

So buckle up, and pop in your favorite cd, 'cause it is going to be a long drive.