In link up monthly learning Persevere Things I Learned

Fortune 100, WPM's, Yoga and Birthday! [March Learning]

So you know how this is going to start out. How, in the month of March, did I stop accepting crap? How did I demand more? I made myself be social.

Yes, you read that correctly, I made myself stop being super introverted and successfully peopled. At the end of February we finally found a church that we felt could be ours. I started reaching out to people, and went out on a limb that ended up in a breakfast invitation after church as well as connection to others. It's hard for me to be social, but it's so worth it to forge new relationships.

1.) My workplace jumped up to number 48 on the list of Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For.

Last year Hyland Software was number 76 (which is still awesome) but this year they had a major jump and hit 48. I really am not sure how I got so lucky to land a job here, but it truly is a phenomenal company to work for.

2.) My typing speed is now 70 wpm.

When I started at Hyland if I focused really hard on my typing, my best testing speed was 60 words per minute. On average, it was closer to about 55, and when I was at the law office trying to decipher handwritten notes, it was pretty rough. However, after taking rigorous notes in meetings on a very regular basis, I'm now up to 70 pretty easily. By the time this project ends I'm really curious to see what my overall typing speed will be because practice makes perfect, right?

3.) The beach is literally 5 minutes from my office.

This discovery on a warm, sunny lunchtime break made my whole entire day. I plan to take full advantage of this, and even though it's lake Erie, not the ocean, I'm just going to focus on the fact that it's the beach. It. Is. The. Beach.
That is all.

4.) Kentucky was absolutely my home.

I know this because I moved away 5 (almost 6) months ago. And I still have days where I am so homesick that I feel physical aching. Where I will hear a song that takes me back to my morning jogs with Luna looping around the park and my pool. I will remember a moment from my old job, what feels like remembering my old life. Kentucky, I miss you desperately and need a visit very, very soon.

5.) I really like yoga.

I began taking a Sculpting Yoga class at Hyland. In hindsight, it may not have been the smartest option to start with that instead of a beginners class, but go big or go home, right? Sculpting yoga involves 10-15 second intervals of mountain climbers, heavy weights and light weights, squats and planks amid the traditional poses like downward dog and child's pose. Honestly, it is a killer workout. But I am greatly enjoying the results as I suffer through the work part and get stronger.

6.) Birthday's are the perfect excuse to try new restaurants.

I ended up with multiple meals for my birthday this year. A couple lunches, a couple dinners, no big deal (I go overboard celebrating lol). But this year instead of just picking old restaurants with classic favorites, I went ahead and tried some new places, which really paid off. My friends met up with my at Houlihan's and in addition to everything we ordered being delicious, you can order a pitcher of Long Island Iced Tea for about $8. And they have different versions. We got Georgia (Peach schnapps and cranberry juice added to a regular long island) and it was fantastic.

How did March treat you? What exciting learning happened? Link up with Emily and let me know!

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In 3 years blogging blogging Persevere

Three Years Blogging!

Things have certainly changed since March 2013 when I started this blog. At that time I was a stay at home mom waiting for the pool season to start to be a lifeguard manager.  My baby boy was almost one year old and my husband was still a college student.

Now, my baby is about to turn four, he has requested a Paw Patrol party with cake and straw-babies, he attends preschool twice a week, and I can have a conversation with him. I'm not a seasonal employee at the pool, but a full time employee at Hyland Software (for two months today!), in Westlake, Ohio instead of Berea, Kentucky. I still have my husband, and ironically he's in the process of figuring out how to go back to school.

In the last year, I did not meet my blogging goals. I wanted to post at least once a month, but missed three months. I did not post creative writing pieces, because I did not creatively write. I let the year run over me and stopped taking time for myself to write, which is foolish when I know that my writing is my therapy. I knew that when I began this blog, and to ignore it for the last year, well that was quite an oversight on my part.

This year, I would like to try again. I would like to recommit. Here are my goals, and my handful of regular readers (you know who you awesome folks are) please keep me accountable.

  • Post my learning link up at the end of each month.
  • Take on one blog writing challenge.
  • Post cute snippets of Jace quotes (so I don't forget them, and to share the cuteness)
  • Generally update about my life, in as interesting a way as possible. 
  • Update the other portions of this blog (About Me, For the Love of Books)
  • Go no more than 21 days without posting something new
These goals are not unreasonable, they are absolutely attainable, and I'm going to do my best to makes sure they are met this yet, not out of obligations, but because I deserve to spend time focused on my writing and doing what I enjoy.

So, many thanks to those who have been reading since that first rambling post three years ago, and I hope to keep your interest as I write my way through another year of life!

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In 26 birthday letter letter to myself open letter

Dear Camille

I turn 26 years old today, and as I glanced back at pictures of myself turning 16, there are so many things I wish I could have known then. 

Dear Camille,

Happy 16th Birthday! You'll have an amazing time tonight at your Sweet 16 Mardi Gras Themed party with all your close friends attending. And tonight you'll get your first kiss: remember those butterflies and that joy.

This year will be exciting for you, and dramatic. You will experience your first real romantic heartbreak, and it sucks. Ten years later you will still remember being broken up with at a football game. But it prepares you, because you have more heartbreak coming later in life. Don't worry though, your life is also filled with so much overwhelming joy that the heartbreaks are bearable.

You couldn't know it then, but one of your best friends at 16 will still be one of your very best friends when you turn 26. She is your son's godmother and he adores his Aunt Yinzee. She will be your best friend when you work together at your first job at Pizza Joe's, when she moves to Arkansas and you move to Kentucky for school, she will be the maid of honor at your wedding, and in a decade, she will move to Cleveland and after 8 years of long distance friendship, you will once again be just minutes apart.

Try not to stress out when you fight with your friends: the true ones are still around in a decade, and the ones that fall away? Well, just know that not every friendship is meant to last a lifetime.

Stop telling yourself that you need to lose weight or that you need to cover your middle in pictures: you are beautiful. You are stunning at 16 and still beautiful now. Even though you don't always love the mirror, at 26 you will have the self-esteem and confidence that you should have had your whole life.

You'll find yourself being more dramatic and emotional this year, and you'll start to think that you know everything. You don't sweetie, and you still don't know it all when you're 26. You are learning, and you will spend a lifetime learning. There are lessons you will learn the hard way this year, but I  can't warn you about them because they are things you need to learn the hard way in order for the lessons to stick.

Just remember to embrace your days, to not wish them away, and to show love and kindness. Happy happy 16th birthday!


26 year old me

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In aging creative writing hospitals poetry

New Rhythm

White walls, sterile floors, constant beep.
Familiar, but not comforting.
Another obstruction, another wrong, another test.
More blood, more labs, more time.

This jarring disinfected space, with no real measure of time,
this has become my new rhythm.
Interspersed with work, church, and bedtime is the
we-are-never-prepared night under the Emergency Room sign.

Another night without answers. Another night of pain.
Another night without sweet dream kisses tucked in.
No answers, nothing to prevent this, just fix it as it comes.
Another hospital night the same.

This new normal has aged me: wrinkles line my face.
Chocolate waves now reveal subtle silver,
ER chairs unyielding stiffness linger for days on.
And the tiredness follows: shown pocketed under hazel eyes.

Name, date of birth, medical history,
I know his better than my own.
Medications, procedures, symptoms
These are my second language.

Another sleepless night,
followed by another early morning.
Another worry to be weighted,
as the rhythm repeats.

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In cherish time Quality Time

One on One

As an introvert, allow me to begin by stating that I already love and generally prefer one on one time. Because, depending on the group, large groups require a lot of small talk. Even groups of my close friends can be tiring after awhile, despite me genuinely enjoying spending that time with them. But over the past couple weeks I've really had some intentional one on one time, and I had forgotten what a difference it makes.

I'm away from home at work 45 hours a week (actually significantly more because I'm at the gym, but Jace is asleep at that time anyway). And even when I'm home, though we'll play a game, or read a book or go outside, it's always punctuated with throwing a load of clothes in the washer, or quickly vacuuming, or some other little chore that needs to get done. But when we went to Castaway Bay with my mom and dad, for the entire day he had my attention. We went in the wave pool, in the toddler play area, down the water slides, and into the indoor outdoor hot "bath" tub as Jace named it. I didn't have to rush to any chore, or tell him I'd be right back, I didn't have to go to the store/post office/car wash. That night, after a solid 7 hours in the water, he crashed hard, and I was sharing a bed with him; he fell asleep holding my hand. I realized that day was the first full day he's had of my attention in forever, which broke my heart, and made me realize the difference that it makes to give him my undivided attention.

And it's not only with Jace that I've noticed this. My group of hometown friends gets together on a fairly regular basis. Most of them live in Newton Falls, and with me an hour away in Cleveland we'll meet for lunch, to have dinner, just to hang out, or most memorably recently we went snow tubing. But of this group I've realized that I don't hang out one on one with everyone, and when I got free tickets to the prescreening of a soon to be released film (thank you work!) I asked my friend Sam to come with me. We went out to eat and to the show and it amazed me the difference in getting to talk to just her. As a group we talk about a lot, but she and I are the married ones, and we have things to talk about that we just understand better about each other.

These dates make such a difference in my relationships, and I think I need to continue to make the effort to make sure this time happens, whether it's a phone or Skype date with my Kentucky family, or even spending dedicated time focused only on my husband. I'd like to extend the challenge to my other friends to, at least once a week take the time to, even for an hour, spend time with just one person and let that one person be your focus.

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