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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Traveling with Animals

So as Josh and I made the move to Atlanta, we drove 22 hours (four days, three nights) with our two dogs (one medium, one large). Once we got here, we had to stay in a hotel another night before we could close on our house. So I wanted to give a little advice on traveling with pets for anyone getting ready to take a big road trip!
  • Be prepared. Be ready to travel with many things, including:
    • Their shot records
    • Food and food dishes
    • Water and water dishes
    • Leashes
    • Toys/bones
    • Blankets/beds (if you prefer)
  • Bring an extra blanket. We brought one that they shared in their beds, so it smelled like them and was very comforting. We used it to protect our car seats and also kept it in the hotel room for them to sleep on.
  • Stop more often than you think. We stopped every two hours and that seemed to be perfect. Then again, our dogs are really big and used to a lot of time and room to run around. This might just be their preference, but it worked really well to let us stretch out, too.
  • Double-check hotel restrictions. Some hotels allow big dogs up to 75 lbs (Shadow is closer to 80), or only allow one dog. Some let you leave your dogs alone in the room without being crated, some require you to be with them at all times. Some have extra grassy areas, some don't.
  • Know your dog. Our dogs are really used to being off leash and coming when called, so we felt comfortable to (likely illegally) let them off leash in big, fenced grassy areas early in the morning or late at night without people around. They're really good listeners, so that helped.
  • Avoid things that might give them an upset stomach. It's tempting to give them some of your burger, but it might make for an unfortunate accident!
  • Be scared to travel with them! Dogs are the best, and traveling with them is surprisingly fun and easy.
  • Be afraid to leave them alone in (some) hotel rooms for a little while. I think it's good practice to start with short amounts of time and build. Just make sure you can hear them, and be ready to come back if they get loud. Nobody wants to hear your dog crying for three hours while you eat dinner.
  • Forget their food! Now is not the time to try a new dog food or expect them to acclimate.
Our dogs were super fun, but we also learned a lot of fears that we hadn't ever encountered (such as bridges, trains, busses, horses, etc.). Enjoy your trip and enjoy these few photos of our pups on the road!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Here, Safe and Sound

Last week, Josh and I loaded up the car with our last minute items and the pups, and headed off! Our first few hours were uneventful: I am an Audible user (love it!) and I had downloaded 11/22/63 by Stephen King for our trip. It's a really, really long book, which was perfect for our 22 hour drive!

We took a break in Van Horn, Texas, and after some lunch, we headed to a park to let the dogs run around. What we found instead was a baseball field... where someone had dropped off their four horses to hang out!

We took the dogs over to visit, and two horses immediately came over to see who we were and what we were doing. Shadow was equally interested. He whined a little, and then licked one of the horses across the nose. :) He's the sweetest dog.

Not pictured is Khaleesi, who was pretty sure she could take on these horses, and was growling from behind Josh's legs. Crazy little face.

Our first night was Abilene, TX, where we curled up in our bed, ordered pizza, and spend the first full night letting the dogs out to pee every two hours because they were so confused. We had a dog door in our previous house, so Khaleesi was really confused about the whole "peeing outside on a leash" situation. We had Shadow in an apartment (when we thought he would be a little dog, per the vet's guess as a puppy), so he was used to it.

The second day took us from Abilene to Shreveport, Louisiana! It was such a fun little town. We stayed in a really fun place downtown called the Remington Suite and Spa- it was really fancy, but equally dog-friendly, which is kind of hard to find. The prices were not bad either, considering the nice rooms!

In Louisiana, the dogs also got to meet ducks and geese. The verdict? Liked the ducks, hated the geese. (Me too, little faces)

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Moving Day!

It's here! The movers have come and packed and stuffed the truck full of our stuff! We saw our friends and families! We ate all the green chile we can stand! We've packed our dogs' bags (yes, they each have a bag) and downloaded books on tape! We are READY for the four day trip to Atlanta!

We hope...

Friday, February 19, 2016


The entire time I've been in Georgia, I've been dreaming about one thing.


Okay, Josh, too. He is pretty dreamy.

But chile! Spicy food! Mexican food! My love!

That sounds a little dramatic, but coming from eating Mexican every few days to not having it at all has been pretty weird. I miss it so much that I would send random lists of restaurants I craved to Josh.

The list usually included El Sombrero, La Posta, Santa Fe Grill burritos. Nopalitos. Sadie's salsa. Caliches.

I better stop or I'll get hungry again.

Before we leave on Sunday, I've been stocking up on chile like a little Hispanic squirrel. I've already promised green chile to many, many of my new coworkers, and I'm excited to introduce them to the best vegetable known to man. Any tips or recipes?

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Traveling Life

This has been such a whirlwind month.

I came out to Atlanta on January 6, a few days before I was officially supposed to start, because there was a big strategic meeting that they wanted me, as the communications manager, to attend. I was totally ready to go, but there was one big problem: my relocation had not been approved, because my offer was given right in the middle of the holidays, so a bunch of people who needed to approve my sum and the dates and everything were on vacation. So the week I was supposed to leave, the HR manager called and asked if everything was ready.

"Um," I said.

"What's going on?" he asked.

"I haven't heard about my lump sum for relocation, so I can't buy my ticket or set up temporary housing yet."


"I'll check."

Long story short, the holidays SEVERELY threw off the system of relocation. Normally, the relocation benefits are distributed really quickly after someone is hired (like, days later). Because I was hired on December 17, I got pushed back and nobody could tell me when or how I would get any relocation benefits. These benefits are used for temporary housing, temporary living expenses, a flight out, etc.

Instead, the HR manager set me up for a hotel for January, a rental car, and a flight out to Atlanta. In fact, I didn't even get approved for relocation until AFTER I had been working for four days. That's insane. It took another five days to even get the lump sum out to me. #firstworldproblems

But through it all, this company has been so so so great. They've really taken care of me, and any company that cares for its people this much is clearly the kind of place I want to be. They even paid to send me to South Carolina for safety leadership training, where I am now. Today, I fly home to El Paso to start the long drive back out to Atlanta with Josh!

I'm so ready to be done living out of a suitcase. I packed about 9 tops, because I was only supposed to be out here until the end of January (which got extended due to work schedules), and here I am, three weeks past that, and so ready to see the rest of my clothes.

But more than anything, I am excited to see these faces, Khaleesi and Shadow! My babies!

Wish us luck on our 20 hour drive!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Moving to Atlanta

So it's been a while.

I know I keep saying this, but I promise I'll be better. I have full faith that I will be better, for one main reason.

Josh and I are moving to Atlanta and I will be leaving Las Cruces as I recently took a job as a communications manager, my dream job! Hooray!

The job was a whirlwind of activity. They flew me out to two different places to interview, and put me up in fancy places and took me out to great dinners, and by the end I just knew it was the place for me. Not only was the culture SO similar to my job on WSMR, they are clearly a company that cares about their people, which is so incredible to be part of. It's definitely the start of a career, and while it's a LOT of work, I love the field and I feel really passionate about what I'm doing, and that's all that matters in work, right?

Josh and I are SO EXCITED to be moving to a big city. I've been out here since January 6, and Josh was able to come out for a week or so to break up the six weeks that we would have been apart. He has been so incredibly supportive. But I knew he would be, because he's the best.

So follow along as Josh and I head to Hot-Lanta and start our new careers!