After being isolated at home for over a year due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, I finally embarked on that much needed vacation to visit and explore with my beloved family in the desert, forests, and mountains for excitement and good old bonding time. And as captured in the above photo gallery, not only did we enjoy some serious adventures, but we also had an absolute BLAST making it all happen. From hiking and biking in the Sandia Mountains, to testing our aim at the shooting range, to marveling at the picturesque Rio Rancho view complete with lizard and hummingbird life, to chowing down on the deliciously mouth-watering local cuisine (Italian AND Southwestern), we could NOT get enough of all the sweetness enjoyed with one another in that magical state called New Mexico.
Now the question remains: WHEN CAN WE DO ALL OF THIS AGAIN?
Yes, it's been a long year of working from home, but I REALLY TRULY hope this is not how I will appear to the world as I crawl out of quarantine and return to my beloved on-site office once again in the near future:
Since my last blog post, I have had the misfortune of saying goodbye to my first remote coworker, Smokie, the gray diva cat and ruler of the black office chair situated next to me in my home office. But after a couple of weeks of intense grieving, this furry white & spotted guy came home with me from the Nebraska Humane Society, and life at the Swenson homestead has not been the same since. Not only is this handsome creature zippy and as full of spunk as any 1-year-old feline coworker might be, but he also has mastered the art of zonking out at the drop of a hat, something I thought only Smokie could do so proficiently.
Who knew that 7 months after being sent to work from home I would be remotely enjoying the sights and sounds of Fall 2020 even more so than usual? Alas, it is true. And as I approach the 8 month mark of virtual work, the view from my home office is changing colors right before my very eyes quite beautifully. Meanwhile, someone in my household has decided to furnish the backyard with a lawn chair for up-close viewing purposes. Perfect choice.
Ever since Friday, March 13th 2020, I've been working from the comfort of home rather than from the beloved riverfront office, and I've crunched out more development work than ever before thanks to the lack of commute time. Finally coming up for air, I am now able to acknowledge how much I love knowing my actions are making a difference to my employer and are appreciated by a multitude of people world-wide. And fortunately, all of this virtual work has been a serious distraction from the negativity involved in being self isolated due to the COVID-19 Pandemic sweeping across the planet. Feeling incredibly grateful for technology keeping me in touch with my work and family teams whom I could not make it through each and every day without. Meanwhile, I'm sharing the love received from Mother's Day, another bright spot in my newfound isolationess.
Applause in my heart and soul tonight as I celebrate the 6-month anniversary of my Software Development career at GALLUP. Just seeing these smiling Friends faces happily clapping in the window just reminds me of how I feel being greeted by such amazingly talented and intelligent teammates each day, making me realize how very blessed I am to work amongst greatness. And I cannot even believe it has been 6 WHOLE MONTHS since the journey began. Time really flies when you're having fun, and I'm definitely having the time of my life using my God-given talents each day in a place where I love to be.
After weeks of preparation with dress-buying, dusting off of the black patent leather spiked heels, hotel reservation securing, and meditational deep breathing, last week culminated with all of the amazingness appearing in the above photo gallery - and more, actually, but I'm exercising a little bit of blog restraint to protect identities of teammates who likely read my posts. And now, just days after experiencing all that glitzy award ceremony excitement, I'm still feeling the happy endorphins and finding myself seeking out next year's ensemble - and looking forward to another ME night camped out at the fabulously posh Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District where I already know I'll be treated like royalty all over again.
(Yes Marriott, I got your email and will be hitting you up on some of your fine swag, too.)
This Will Only Hurt a Little by Busy Philipps
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
The first few chapters sucked me in but then the book just kind of flat-lined and I lost interest. Finally skipped to the last page where her memoir came full circle. Must say that I really had higher hopes but just couldn't finish.
View all my reviews
Over the past weekend, family and I gathered together in remembrance of Jim Swenson; husband to Jeanne; father to Kim, Mike, and Thomas; father-in-law to me, Steve, and George; grandfather to Monica, Ryan, Holly, Heather, Stephanie, Anthony, and Mike; great-grandfather to JJ; and retired Accountant to Ramsey County, Minnesota who passed away just over a year ago. We celebrated the memory of his life and enjoyed one another's company knowing he would've had an absolute blast with us and was toasting us all from heaven. Somehow we all felt his presence while wishing he wouldn't have left the world so soon. And after all was said and done, I'm blessed to say a good time was had by all... and that I'm especially glad to have experienced Donatelli's lasagna. OMG - WOW.
Lately, this is how I'm feeling about how things are going both on the home and work-fronts.
SO COMPLETELY KILLING IT.
I am Brenda Swenson and sometimes I blog.