the Big Move

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This week has been busy at work, with lots of exciting stuff going on. Last December, the president of the company announced to us that they had bought a building because we had expanded to the maximum capacity of our current place. This was exciting news for all of us, especially when they told us that they were planning to fix up the new building really nice, and turn it into an “advertising agency we can all be proud of”. We have been talking about “the new building” for over six months, eagerly anticipating the move. And this week was The Big Week. On my boss’ birthday no less. :-)

I am going to miss the old office a little bit. They had let us pick our own office colors, so I (of course) picked purple. I didn’t intend for it to be quite as fuerte as it was, but it didn’t bother me. The lighter color was called “imagine” – I thought that was cool. :-)

Here is my office, taking the picture from the doorway. Unfortunately, it was an inside office so I didn’t get a window. :-( You can see my purple walls, though. I never did get around to hanging anything on the walls. Perhaps I will do that in my new office.

My desk area – a bit more interesting than the wall behind me. ;-) I am one of the few people in the office who always has a neat desk. On the right is my fish, Rusty (he’s Zeke’s successor).

One of the main reasons why we don’t like the area where our office is. This Mexican strip club is only one building over. The whole area is slightly on the seedy side. The new building is in a much nicer area – lots of trees and other corporate offices. I feel much more comfortable walking to work. :-)

Thursday (yesterday) was the day of the Big Move. They took us down at 11am – the servers, internet, phone, etc. were all turned off and moved to the new building. We were frantically trying to finish everything we needed before then. Then we boxed up our offices and the common areas. I had the wonderfully pleasant task of throwing away all the food in the refrigerator. It was disgusting!

Thursday afternoon we were given the go-ahead to move our stuff to the new building. They weren’t really ready for us, so we just piled all the computers/boxes/etc in an empty office and went home. I got to go home with Paul at 4pm so that was fun. :-) Today more was done by the time we got to work. My office was carpeted! Hooray! :-) We don’t really have “offices” per say; they are more like “cubicles” but they are built into the ground with counter height desks going all around. Also, the walls are straight on two sides and go up in a diagonal on two sides. It’s really hard to explain so I’ll have to put up some pictures when I take them. They are fairly private and pretty cool, I think. I had to wait until around 3m today before they finished building the desk in my office, and then I was finally able to set up my computer. It was a weird day, with half of us being unable to work, and those who had important stuff were going around trying to use other peoples’ computers. It was crazy! I think next week we will have settled down a bit and hopefully get into our routine.

I’m really excited about this change, even though I will miss my purple office. And now that the office has moved, I’m even CLOSER to work (and I wasn’t far to begin with!). Starting Monday, I will be walking to and from work every day. Fun, fun.

summer 2007 wedding #1

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This weekend Paul and I drove up to Indiana to witness the wedding celebration of some dear friends, Sopeak and Zay. I knew both of them separately before they started dating, and feel like I got to witness their relationship develop and grow. I remember hanging out with the two of them in Gerig lounge, after everyone else went to bed, knowing that they probably wanted ME to go to bed too, but not wanting to leave because I enjoyed their company so much. I love having friends like that, don’t you? They have gone through quite a bit of long-distance as well, so I felt like we could connect on that level. Two years ago, at Frankie and Anna’s wedding, we found the four of us were the only ones left after everyone else had gone home. For all of us, it was a rare weekend of being with our significant others, and we were determined to make it last as long as we could. Fun times, fun times. :-)

We left after work on Thursday, and made it about an hour south of Indy before we stopped at a motel for the night. I was really looking forward to sharing a hotel room with my hubby, but as it was I was so tired that I fell asleep almost immediately. Oh well, the bed was nice and soft. :-) We met up with Joanna for lunch, which was delightful to catch up. I haven’t really spent time with her since her wedding last year, and even then there were a lot of distractions. After lunch we then hooked up with Paul’s best friend Isaac and his girlfriend, who is also a good friend of ours. We only visited for a few hours, but it was great to see them again. Too soon, they had to go and we left to Greenwood and the rehearsal! There we saw a lot more friends: Zay and Sopeak of course, as well as all the attendants who had gone to Taylor. One of the cool things about Gerig weddings is that there are a lot of people I know. :-)

We were officially the greeters and guestbook people, but we tried to help out where we could. This included picking up the wedding cake, which was quite an adventure since it was raining! But it turned out lovely and fortunately they had a cake topped because I inadvertently messed up the icing on the top of the cake! Oops. When we got to the church the morning of the wedding, I pulled out my camera and tried as best I could to help Matt, who was the official photographer. I had just gotten my camera only two weeks before, and I was still trying to get used to it, as well as getting used to shooting a wedding which apparently is very different than shooting pictures of kitties and beagles. Who woulda known? It was fun though, and I got to hang around all morning which is of course what I really wanted. (Yeah I like being where the action is!)

The ceremony was beautiful. Zay had chosen purple as her color, and she did a great job. Her dress had a dark purple trim which matched the irises beautifully. The bridesmaids wore a lighter purple and it complemented the darker one very well! I really liked how everything looked. I also liked Sopeak’s outfit, which was traditional Cambodian – made in Cambodia! They looked really great. Better than tuxes, I’d say. :-) It was so neat to witness their marriage, and see their huge smiles afterwards! I think that’s my favorite part of weddings – when the pastor says, “I present to you Mr. and Mrs….” and the couple is beaming so much! Ah, good stuff. The reception was lovely; all decorated with flags from other countries. I was excited to find the Peruvian flag near our table. Good to see that one again. :-)

After the reception, we said goodbye then returned to Josh & Joanna’s apartment, along with David & Ann, for a night of games. We played EcoFluxx and talked and had such a great time! After David & Ann left, the four of us stayed up until the wee hours of the morning talking. I really enjoyed the time spent fellowshipping with our friends. They are such blessings to me! :-)

Sunday, we stopped in Greenwood on our way home and crashed a brunch being held for Sopeak & Zay. We could only stay for an hour, but it was nice to see everyone once more! We then started our 9 hour trip home. I actually got really sick along the way, which made it even longer, but I’m okay now! ;-)

We were talking about how great it is to see our college friends, and how we really haven’t made too many friends like them since we left Taylor. There aren’t too many people I can completely be myself with, and it’s so nice to have someone who knows you and that you have a special connection. I am so glad I went to Taylor, and so glad I had the opportunity to live in Gerig Hall. The friends we’ve made there are ones I hope to keep for a lifetime. (Hence, my desire for annual reunions.)

I put a whole bunch of pictures on my Facebook album. Here are a few of the best:

welcome to the grown-up world

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We’re back from Indiana and had an absolutely WONDERFUL trip! More about that later. :-) For now, I wanted to mention a few things.

Beth wrote a post today entitled, “How to Survive on a Grad Student’s Stipend“. I thought it was excellent. Beth has been very inspiring to me recently as I look at our finances and rue how much more we have until we are out of debt. She encourages me to live simpler and thereby able to put MORE towards our loans. As I’ve mentioned before, it is really important to us that I stay home after we have kids. Sometimes I worry that we will get pregnant before our loans are paid off, and then what will we do? But I always remind myself… If Beth can do it, so can I!

While we’re on the subject, I wanted to highlight some other things that I’ve found to be inspirational to me. The first is Dave Ramsey. After much recommendation from friends, we finally read his book. I think the thing I like about him is that he makes achieving this financial freedom – paying off debt and living comfortably – very attainable. I was inspired after reading the book that I can do it too. We don’t have everything figured out, but hopefully we’re on the right track.

Two blogs I enjoy are The Frugal Law Student and Finding Contentment In the Suburbs. Both offer a lot of helpful advice for living frugally, and also being encouraging about being able to get there. I need the reminders, I think.

I’ll probably be posting more on this subject later. In the meantime, look forward to some pictures from the wedding this past weekend. :-)

10 things about Peru

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Originally published on January 31st, 2007 at Onward & Upward

Lydia at Renewed Day by Day has put up a meme of 10 quirky facts about your state. Beth answered it in the previous post about her adopted state of Texas.

mperuNow, I love memes so I immediately knew I wanted to be a part of this one. However, I saw that Lydia tagged Susan to do one for Georgia, and I didn’t want to take the wind out of Susan’s sails, so I decided to pick a different place. Most of you probably don’t know much about the country of Peru in South America (where I grew up), so I’ll enlighten you:

1. There are two national languages in Peru: Spanish and Aymara. The latter is a descendant of the ancient Incan language. Most of the population speaks Spanish, though.

2. A native and popular drink of Peru is called “Chicha Morada“. The Incas used it as a sacred drink, and it was fermented. The non-fermented drink is also very popular today. It is made from purple corn, and usually things like cinnamon, apples, and pineapple are added to give it a sweet taste.

3. Peru is the home of the modern potato – discovered and spread throughout the world by the Spaniards when they invaded and conquered Peru in the late 1500s. Peruvians often have both rice and potatoes at their main meals.

4. Peru is one of the few countries in the world where Coca-Cola has a presence and is not the most popular soft drink. (I read somewhere once that there is only one other country – Sweden, I think – but I can’t find the source now to verify.) This is due to the enormous popularity of Inca Kola, a local soft drink that is bright yellow and tastes like bubble gum. At many restaurants, it is the only soft drink available. (In 1999, Coca-Cola purchased the brand of Inca Kola.)

5. Peru was a colony of Spain from 1532 until 1824, when it gained independence following several rebellions. Peruvians celebrate their independence day on July 28. They call it the “veinte-ocho”.

6. Peru has three major regions: the desert (narrow strip along the west coast), the Andes Mountains (in the middle, dividing the country), and the Amazon jungle (bordering with Brazil). The capital of Peru (Lima) and where I lived was located in the desert. It never rained the entire 9 years I was there.

7. Peru’s Andean region is known for being the home of some members of the camelid family: the llama, the alpaca, and the vicuña. The llama is used as a pack animal and for meat, helping the farmers in the mountains. The alpaca is known for its soft and warm fleece. The vicuña was in danger of being extinct due to its fleece being the world’s most valuable natural fiber. Peru is also home to the Andean Condor, the world’s largest flying bird.

8. Cuy is a delicacy in the Andes of Peru. It is compared to rabbit, and it’s very economical to raise. What is it exactly? I’m sorry for all of you who love them as pets… but cuy is “guinea pig”.

9. Paddington the Bear is from “darkest Peru”. Apparently, his aunt lives in a Home for Retired Bears in Lima.

10. The city of Lima has roughly 8.2 million people. The entire city relies on the Rimac River for potable water. If you look at the picture, you will be surprised – and understand why we couldn’t drink the water the entire time we were there. :-)

almost ready!

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Just a few more hours before I leave work and pick up Paul, and go to INDIANA! Hooray! I’m so excited. I am also dead tired because I had to take Paul to the train station this morning. :-p

Last night we took Jera over to the house where she will be staying while we’re gone. I was so sad to leave her there! This is what parents must feel like when they leave their kids at Grandma’s. :-) I know she will be spoiled rotten and have a great time. At their house, she’s allowed on the furniture. :-) When we left, she had made herself all cozy on the bed, and looked like she was ready to stay the night.

It was weird not having her around last night or this morning. We took down all the baby gates and enjoyed walking around without having to stop over things… I do look forward to when we can let her into all areas of the apartment… But I do miss her!

While doing laundry and packing, we watch AFI’s Top 100 (10th Anniversary Edition) last night. Citizen Kane once again topped the list as the best movie ever. I’ve only seen the second half, and I think I was completely confused as to what was going on, and so I tuned it out. I’ll have to watch it again. Paul and I once again decided to watch through the movies on the list. Last year, we picked up The Godfather and West Side Story – both of which I enjoyed and was glad I’d watched. A few weeks ago, we finally watched Casablanca, and (as I expected) I really enjoyed that movie. So, what should be next on our list?