It was a hell of a week to be a celebrity, huh? Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson and Billy Mays. Although all sad, I think the Billy Mays thing will impact me the most. I mean, I never saw any of the other people on a regular basis the way I did Billy Mays. He was on every station, at every time of the day – he even made those awesome ESPN commercials. May they all rest in peace.

Uummm, it’s Monday. The second Monday of my return to the working world. At one point this morning, the boyfriend checked on me to make sure I was really going to get out of bed. I assured him I would… and I did. I’m not a morning person. I get up at the latest possible minute and put forth the least amount of effort to make it to the office on time and in a presentable manner. The boyfriend’s the opposite. He gets up earlier than he has to so he can get some relaxation time in before heading to the office. We see each other for abou three minutes in the morning before I run out the door.

It’s the big Pittsburgh trip this weekend! Eeeeee! We’re leaving on Thursday evening and returning Monday evening. Four full days of Yankee bliss – Primanti’s, Eat n Park, the Regatta… I think we’re going to take a Duck tour of the city. I’ve always wanted to do that. The boyfriend was so sweet, he was like, “Whatever you’ve always wanted to do in Pittsburgh, that’s what we should do.” He’s totally up for anything (as long as we go to Primanti’s). It’s going to be wonderful. I can’t wait! If only it didn’t take eight hours to get there…

It’s so weird to think that none of my immediate family lives in Pittsburgh anymore. My aunts, uncles, cousins and grandfather are still around, but I don’t think it’s going to feel the same without my parents or brothers. This will be my first venture to the city without any one of them being there.

I’m caffeinated. Thank God. I’m not used to getting up so early or functioning on less than nine hours of sleep. I’m a brat, I know, but because I had NO JOB to get up for, I allowed myself an extra hour or two of sleep every night. Nothing excessive, but luxurious nonetheless.

My new job couldn’t be in a more perfect spot – less than 10 minutes from home – but there’s a small hitch, you see. I don’t pass a Starbucks. Therefore my weekly cup requires that I get up and moving earlier than normal, which makes the caffeine THAT MUCH more vital. It’s worth every second of the detour, though. Mmmm… vanilla latte!

So far work is going well. I like what I’m doing – it’s familiar yet challenging because I don’t know anything about this organization. My quasi-cube is undecorated and will probably remain that way to allow me to stay in the ‘temporary position’ mindset. Can’t get too comfy. I can see bringing in a picture of the boyfriend and my digital frame, but nothing more extravagant than that.

I came from a private office where I worked with people who became true friends and now I’m in a wide open area, no privacy what-so-ever, and I have no friends here. It’s kind of lonely and I feel exposed, so that’ll take some getting used to. It’s an interesting place to work in that there are toys, snacks and drinks everywhere and there is no dress code. I see girls in strapless shirts and maxi-dresses, men who look like they just rolled out of bed, and execs in suits. Kathryn and Vonnie would have a field day.

The boyfriend and I have decided to swim a few nights a week in an attempt to get exercise. We have a community pool that is basically deserted on weekday evenings, which is perfect because I’m very shy in my bathing suit. It’s fun to goof around in the water – it doesn’t feel like exercise until two days later when all my muscles are sore. It’s exercise in disguise, which is, in my opinion, the best kind.

We went to the beach over the weekend and took a boat ride to a beautiful island on which you can only drive golf carts. The ride over was treacherous because the water was choppy, making the boat fly around and come down with such force it felt like my innards were being rearranged. But the island and its lighthouse were worth the journey. Very calm and peaceful. If I remember, I’ll post a picture. Although it was a lovely, relaxing weekend, I wish I could have been with my dad for Father’s Day. I called and could hear the sadness in his voice; he wasn’t able to be with any of his kids. He’s very attached to us and I swear, nothing makes him happier than when his three children are under the same roof. At this point, I think he’d be thrilled if we were all in the same time zone.

I have some good news and some bad news for you. The good news: I got a job. The bad news: I have to go back to work. I accepted a six-month position at Red Hat, an excellent company here in the Raleigh area. There’s a chance it could turn into a long-term thing, but if not, I figure it’ll be good experience. Plus it’s like five minutes from our house, so that’s pretty awesome.

It was hard for me to take a job that has a finite end date because I’m so beyond tired of the instability in my life. I wish I could work somewhere for years and years, learn and grow, and not have to worry about finding a new job every other year. But, like I said, Red Hat is an excellent company that’s consistently rated one of the best places to work in this area, and that’s what finally swayed me. That and benefits. Gotta have benefits!

Obviously I’m quite happy to once again find myself employed, but I’m going to miss things like unemployment walks with Vonnie, Friday lunch dates with Wendy and being gently and lovingly woken-up by Allan. And I’ll miss the freedom to do with my day what I please. Once you become an adult, that doesn’t happen too terribly often.

Although bummed to not be able to spend Father’s Day with my dad, I’m looking forward to going to the beach to hang out with Papa Sandoval. He lives at Holden Beach, which is a cozy little island off the coast of North Carolina. Kathryn, my fabulous former coworker, will also be there and I’m hoping to get to spend a bit of time with her, too.

I just picked at some dry skin around my thumb and now it’s bleeding. Crap. I hate when I do that, it’s a bad habit of mine. One of the bad habits of mine!

I’m going to head downstairs, watch 16 and Pregnant on MTV, and see what happens to the life of a popular cheerleader when she unexpectedly gets knocked up!

(Special thanks to Tiffany for once again reminding me to update my blog!)

I’m having fun with the shredder. You see, the boyfriend is all about shredding confidential things, whereas I just throw it in the trash. So, I’m sitting in the guest room, going through boxes, and shredding all the confidential things I no longer need. Are you reading this, Allan? Are you proud of me? LOL.

I have to do as much as I can in the guest room in the morning as possible. This is a beautiful house, and the way the guest room is decorated makes it probably my favorite room… BUT! This room gets an incredible amount of sunlight. So much sunlight, in fact, that if I’m in here during the middle of the afternoon, it makes me sick. My head hurts and I feel dizzy. Unfortunately, most of the unpacking that needs to be done is in here, as is the computer.

And as beautiful as this house is, I think we need to add a third bedroom, which isn’t possible. We have SO MUCH STUFF. I have 30 years worth of stuff and Allan has 30 years worth of stuff, and we’re trying to squeeze it all into this relatively small space. I’ve thrown a lot away, and I’m sure I’ll be throwing more things away as this unpacking process continues, but it’s still a tight squeeze!

If you sent me any mail between May 13 and June 1 and it got returned to you, I’m sorry. The Post Office somehow screwed up and returned all mail during that point to the sender. I’m frustrated. May 13 was the day I requested my address be changed effective June 1. The carrier screwed up and I’ve been assured he’ll be diciplined. Grrrr! Having a Postal Inspector for a brother clearly has no benefit for me!

In odd news, the only things I’ve received since moving in with Allan are wedding related… Luke & Laura, John & Kayla, Justin & Kim. Three weddings on the calendar!

Special Olympics were last week and they went really well. For opening ceremonies, we had a record number of camera crews show up, which was a pleasant surprise. Also, I had three friends (well, two friends and the boyfriend) volunteer and it was a lot of fun to go to venues and see their smiling faces. All three said they’d be up for volunteering again next year – yay! I got to walk around and make a video that involved interviewing athletes and getting volunteers/families/coaches to thank the different sponsors for their involvement. I really enjoyed getting to talk to all the different people.

Uuummm, that’s about all that’s new or exciting. I’m going to get back to unpacking now – ooooo, fun! (sarcasm, people, sarcasm!)

I’m done. Finished. Finito. (is that even a word?) No more packing boxes, trips to Goodwill or Craigs List appointments. Today I turn in my keys for my apartment and I will never step foot in there again. It’s bittersweet, this whole moving thing. I think living alone for three years was very healthy and it was a learning experience; the subject? Me. I learned a lot about myself in those three years. And it’s weird, because if all goes well, I’ll never live alone again.

Moving’s exhausting, though. All my limbs are aching today. I want to curl into a fetal position and watch tv for hours. But I can’t. I’ve got to unpack now! Whee! The fun never ends!

Funny moving story: Because the Helping Hands Mission people wouldn’t take my couch (you could see a spot of wood where the kitties attacked the edge), Kristen and I decided to take it to the dumpster ourselves, but we over-estimated our strength. We literally couldn’t lift it long enough to get it out of my second-floor apartment. So we pushed it out the door, across the concrete and down the stairs… and we laughed hysterically the entire time.

Actually, today’s going to be a nice day. I’m having lunch with a friend (where some of the best french fries in Cary are served) and then it’s opening ceremonies for Special Olympics. I’ll be running around, shuffling athletes to the proper spot and helping media folks get good angles for the 15 seconds they’ll spend on us during the evening news. I have Special Olympics all day tomorrow, too, and then I’ll go back on Sunday to give support to the boyfriend who’s volunteering for the first time.

Oh my goodness gracious. I didn’t realize how long it’s been since I’ve updated this little blog o’ mine. So sorry to the three of you who read this on a regular basis!

Let’s see. Two weekends ago the boyfriend and I went to PA to see my parents and we had a really great time. Cheese steaks were consumed, Rocky stairs were climbed and historical landmarks were visited. My parents really liked Allan a lot and the 16+ hours in the car weren’t nearly as bad as I thought they’d be. All in all, the trip was a success.

Last weekend Jason and Laurie came down to help me move. It was a perfect day. Started off with Chick-Fil-A chicken minis, I fed a baby cow, went shopping with my sister-in-law while my boyfriend and brother bonded, and ended with my family and some of my best friends sitting around a table drinking beer and laughing. Seriously, it was so wonderful.

Special Olympic Summer Games are this weekend, which always feels like the mark of the beginning of summer to me. Year number six.

Now I’m back to unpacking boxes and looking for a job. Despite being unemployed, I can’t remember the last time I was this happy and content. The boyfriend makes me feel safter and more loved than I’ve ever felt and I’m so greatful.