This spectacular photo gallery of my latest visit spending time with my amazing folks in Rio Rancho barely scratches the surface of the sparkly fun we enjoyed on a chillier-than-usual week of March. From breaking bread at a favorite Italian restaurant, to motorcycling through the Petroglyph National Monument, to working on Mister Bighead’s book of puzzles discovered while on a grocery trip to Costco, selfies only captured a smidgeon of the good times shared in ever-enchanting New Mexico. Always a good time hanging with beloved family, and this visit was no exception to the rule by any stretch of the imagination.
… of this furry little creature who has captured my heart and soul, shown here via my beloved Nikon camera. Now if only I can keep him from eating inedible items like: my workout bench seat cushion, iPhone charging cables, as well as earbud wires, then we’ll all be happy - including the veterinarian warning him of potential intestinal blockages.
In the past 12 months since my last blog post, I've been doing just that - figuring it all out. And what exactly is it that I've been figuring out? All of these things and MORE:
That whole “time flies when you’re having fun” is my personal motto these days, although fun doesn’t look like your ordinary run-of-the-mill fun time. Why? Because I’m back in Graduate School, this time studying to earn my Master of Science in Analytics from Creighton University. In fact, I loved being a Creighton student so much back in the day that I decided to pursue my long lost dream of completing a masters program, thus venturing out to check another much-wished-for item off my Bucket List. And yes, so far I am definitely figuring this big adventure thing out.
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.
I am Brenda Swenson and sometimes I blog.