RSS

Category Archives: Family

Still Going Strong

Just when I thought I couldn’t love my job more, I love my job more.

It is so cool to have my own hotel.  Like WAY cool.  I get to be a part of everything, and I’m soaking it all up.

Now that I’ve settled in, I feel like I can make some decisions that are going to better the hotel thereby making things better for my employees and our guests. Time to bring out the whip!  Ha!  Who am I kidding?  It’s more like a feather – as my hubby puts it.  But it fits me and is very productive.

I’m slowly getting used to living in the hotel.  I have a pretty good shopping and “cooking” routine down so I don’t have to eat out all the time.  Once a week or so, I hit the grocery store and load up on all my goodies.  I store most of it in the full size fridge/freezer located in the employee break room (labeled clearly with my name).  When I run out of stuff in the baby fridge in my room, I go “shopping” in the break room.  It works beautifully.  Except that I feel like every time I step out of my room, I should be dressed professionally, or at the very least…  dressed.  I miss my pony tail and comfy sweats and stained t-shirts.

BUT…. it’s only for a little while.  Five more weeks to be exact.  Sheesh!  Five weeks!  I gotta get house hunting!

I went home last weekend to see the fam.  I met Chip and Amp in St. Louis and had a great lunch with them before heading to the house.  I spent the rest of the weekend with my hubby, tearing myself away only long enough to eat lunch with Mario and visit with my mom.

I thought the first good-bye was hard, but this one was even tearier.  It’s hard leaving them behind.  Which makes it easier to immerse myself in my work.  I’ll stay immersed the next few weeks and hopefully get things the way I want them before my hubby moves here.  Then I’ll enjoy the hours and days a General Manager gets to enjoy.  I can’t remember the last time I’ve had so many weekends off.  And being home before 8 pm is pretty sweet too.  Heck, once things are set up the way I like them, I could be home by 6 pm.  Like, that’s almost like a real job!

Until then, I’ll keep enjoying this challenge, working long days, and slowly molding the hotel into my vision of what it should be.

….. and stopping here every once in a while to let ya’ll know I’m still kickin’.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 23, 2017 in Family, The Hotel

 

The Time Has Come

“Why do you want to move to a place that has tornados?” my front desk agent asked me.

“I don’t,” I replied.  “I want to move to a place that has hurricanes.  I just need to go through tornados first.”

**sigh**

Joplin, MO isn’t quite what I’ve been dreaming about, but it IS south-er.  And I AM moving there.  Like, NEXT weekend.  Because I’ve accepted the General Manager position of the hotel down there.

The GENERAL MANAGER!

ME!

The lowly desk agent who was never “quite ready” for the next step under my first GM, has suddenly sky-rocketed to a GM herself!

I can hardly contain myself.

The decision to accept the position was a tough one.  I mean, my career goal was certainly to become a GM, but my lifestyle choice was to be way south and on the beach, or closer to St. Louis in a downtown hotel.  But as should be expected, those hotels go to experienced GMs, and although I know I can do it, I have to prove it to them first.

So Joplin it is.

I’ve been to Joplin once, soon after the F5 tornado went through and destroyed much of the town. I wrote about it here, and I’m still saddened by the destruction it caused and the lives it took.

It’s since rebuilt and the community has grown even stronger.  The more I research it online, the more excited I am to be there.  Knowing it’s only for a few years certainly helps.  By then I’ll have the experience they’re looking for, and my choices for other locations will broaden.

Of course the one thing weighing down my extreme high, is the fact that I’m leaving my family behind.  My hubby will stay back until Mario graduates high school, and Chip and Amp graduate college.  The plan is for the boys to land a job and get their own place.  Mario wants to keep her job over the summer, so we’ll need to find a place for her to bunk up until she goes away to college.  Once that’s all settled, Hubby will make the move down.  We’re hoping 4 months tops.

As for me, I leave next weekend.  I’ll live at the hotel for 2 months, and then find an apartment/duplex/condo to rent.  The relocation package our company offers is terrific, so working it this way will allow us to live in both places without much additional cost.

The hotel will be W-A-A-A-Y different than the downtown locations I’m used to.  I thrive on running around with my hair on fire, and this will offer none of that. But again, it’s all about the experience.  So I’m fully embracing the challenge.

And oh my gosh I’m SO excited!

Tornado Alley, Here I come!

 
8 Comments

Posted by on February 11, 2017 in Family, The Hotel

 

We Got Snow!

It’s so rare for us anymore to get snow during the winter.  It’s funny what a difference it makes in how I feel.

We’ve come to dread winter, mostly because all we see is gray skies, sleet, ice, or just very cold rain.   But the snow!  The snow makes it feel like a real winter.  I could sit inside all day and watch it.

Beautiful.

img_1010

2017 has started off pretty smoothly in the Shadowrun household.  Link came home for Christmas for just a few days, but those few days did my heart good.  I worry about him daily – he has many struggles – so to see him with my own eyes was comforting.

Chip and Amp are still on their winter break.  Chip braved a trip up to Chicago to visit friends.  Good to get him out of the basement and into the real world for a while.  Amp, split his time between our house and a friend’s house.  Perfect really, since our house isn’t meant to have more than 3 people in it at a time.

Mario sleeps at home, although not sure how she enters her room.  For someone who is never here, she sure creates a big mess.  In fact most times, it’s so big it spills into the hall.  But I love how active she is, and how fearless.  She’ll hop into the car and travel to St. Louis without a second thought.  Scares ME, but I love seeing her create her independence, and I feel comfortable knowing she’ll be able to take care of herself.  The boys…. I don’t feel so good about.

This’ll be the year where we could see some big changes.  Fingers crossed.

Mario graduates high school in the spring and will move away to college.  Chip and Amp will graduate from their tech school and will land a job and move out of the house completely.   Link will find ways to create happiness and brighten his future.

And I will land a job in Florida.

At least, these are the plans.  But I know better than to get my hopes up.

Until then, I’m going to enjoy this snow day snuggled up with a warm cup of coffee, and nestled between mounds of laundry.

Beautiful.

 

 
9 Comments

Posted by on January 5, 2017 in Everyday Living, Family

 

Tour de Mounds

Another good couple of weeks has been had by us may-as-well-be empty nesters.  Mario still lives at home, if you can call it that. But between school,  the play, work, and band, she’s never here. (But when she is, you can bet we know it.  Just sayin’.)

Hubby and I have continued our field trips into the city and surrounding area on my days off.  Last week, we visited the history museum in Forest Park.  It currently has a Route 66 exhibit that was quite interesting.  I knew we were on the route, but I didn’t realize how big a stop St. Louis was along the way.

img_1002

It was quite windy that day, but that didn’t keep us from eating at The Boat House restaurant on the lake near there.  LOOKS beautiful, so it was worth anchoring down our napkins and water cups, and sometimes even our table.

img_1003

We weren’t so lucky weather-wise today, but I was determined to visit the Cahokia Mounds.  I somehow avoided this field trip during my kids’ elementary years, and I have been itchin’ to get there for a while now.

It’s amazing to see these hand-made “mounds” dating back to the 1300s.  These would have been a project to build during this day and age, yet back then, they used homemade shovels and baskets to carry dirt from one place to another.  And as the mounds got bigger, they had to climb the mountains with the dirt!  Sheesh we have it easy these days.

Monk’s Mound was especially impressive.  Who knew I had my own little “Incline” right in my backyard?!

img_0994

 

 

img_1004

View from the top. Not quite as good as Pike’s Peak. But not bad for Illinois

img_1001

 

This week also marked Mario’s Senior Night for band.  Hubby and I bundled ourselves up to watch the only performance we’ll see this year.  The band’s getting smaller and smaller each year, but they did a great job.

img_0998

Here’s your chance to play “Where’s Mario?”.  My hint is the same as Abby’s – she’s the one in the white hat.

So yeah, a couple of good weeks.  Had a birthday in there too.  This one kinda came and went with no real fan fare.  The boys all sent me texts which was nice.  (Thanks to my hubby for reminding them.). Mario wished me a happy day on her way out the door.  And then I headed to work.  That’s my kind of birthday.  They’re much easier to forget if there’s not a lot of hoopla….

 
7 Comments

Posted by on October 29, 2016 in Everyday Living, Family

 

Oh The Guilt

I think about it everyday.  Honest I do.  It’s just sooo hard to put pen to paper these days. I got no excuse really.

Except maybe the seemingly endless days at the hotel.  Actually, that’s a pretty good excuse.  I’m going with that one.

They’re fun days though.  We had three conventions in a row.  Two were pretty needy, but this last one has been a blast.  Single occupancy, young National Parks people.  They like to have just enough fun.  Not so much that they become trouble, but enough that they’re fun to be around.

It’s been good to have these guys inhouse.  We’re going through some changes at the hotel that have most of us a little sad.  Our GM received a promotion to regional manager.  And while we’re all excited for him, it means he’s no longer with us on a day to day basis.  The absence of his quirky, energetic ways has left a huge hole in our hearts.

That hole will remain for another month or so.  The new GM has been named, however he needs to wrap up some work at his hotel, and won’t start til the beginning of the month.  I’ve taken on some of the GMs responsibility, which I really love, but when added it to all the responsibilities I have already, PLUS trying to run a busy hotel while short one manager…  well…  by the time I get home, I’m tired.  And all I want to do is read what someone else wrote rather than write my own.

But the guilt has overwhelmed me, so here I am.

My days haven’t been all work and no play though.  On my off days, Hubby and I have been playing hometown tourists and going on field trips.  St. Louis has so much to offer, and I share it all with my guests, but I rarely take advantage of them myself.

We’ve been bike riding along some river trails.

img_0007

 

We’ve dined in some favorite local restaurants. (It was fun making him squint in the sun.)

img_0005

 

And we’ve toured the Anheuser Busch Brewery.

img_2448

 

img_2432

 

img_2442

 

And this is just the beginning.  We have a whole long list to get through.  But for now, I gotta get back to work.

 
10 Comments

Posted by on October 11, 2016 in Everyday Living, Family, The Hotel

 

The Fun Just Got Funner

Our first day in Colorado merely whet our appetite for outdoors adventure.

After we caught our breath from the climb at Red Rocks Ampitheater, we grabbed some lunch at the Airplane Restaurant and headed off to Garden of the Gods.

image

Probably one of Amp’s favorite places.  Lots of rocks to climb.

 

The following morning, we met up with Abby for another tour of Red Rock Open Space.  She gave us the tour last time we were out, and. Amp was so impressed he wanted to go back.  This time there was water, which made it even more beautiful.

image

image

 

 

Chip, seeing Colorado for the first time.

Amp, begrudgingly allowing a selfie for the sake of the blog.

 

 

 

image

Shadow and Abby.

 

We said so long to Abby, and then moved on to Palmer Trail and Helen Hunt Falls.  The longer we went, the more we realized we were flat landers trying to keep up with the natives.

image

 

But boy was it beautiful.

image

We wanted to hit one more trail, but storms were brewing.  We got to see first hand the hail and flash floods Abby often describes on her blog.  Luckily we were safe in a car and not stranded on a mountain.

Our day may have ended abruptly, but to me the best was yet to come…….

 
9 Comments

Posted by on August 18, 2016 in Family, Friendship, Vacation

 

The Guys’ Turn

I thought it only fair for the boys to have quality time with their mom since Mario had some a couple of weeks ago.  So I rounded ’em up for a trip to Colorado.  What better way to bond than a 13 hour car ride.

We piled into the car with all our Colorado necessities, and off we went.  We weren’t even out of the driveway, and the boys had their headphones on and their eyes glued to their screens.  My dreams of deep conversations and brotherly bonding flew out the window.  ***sigh***   This was gonna be a long trip.

Hours into it I began to appreciate Mario’s non-stop chatter.  To get them talking, I brought up “No Man’s Sky”, the game Abby’s son Meego had just downloaded.  They discussed the pros and cons of this game, which led into reviews of other games, and seemed to break the silence for the rest of the trip.  Still not the chatter Mario and I had, but better than complete silence.

After a short layover in Colby, Kansas, we made our way to the mountains.  As we got closer to our first destination, Red Rocks Ampitheater, I realized how great a navigator Mario was.  She was spot on, telling me how to get there, giving me plenty of advance notice, balancing the real world against what she saw on her phone.  The boys waited till it was time to turn and told me to turn.  It was like pulling teeth to get them to paint the picture for me of what I needed to do.  After many u-turns, and a lot of gas, we found our way.

My frustration ended quickly.  I’d forgotten how beautiful and breathtaking (literally) the Ampitheater is.

image

 

 

Amp, much more comfortable here than in a cramped car, even allowed a selfie.

 

 

 

image

 

 

 

 

 

And Chip, who was seeing things for the first time, humored me as well.

 

 

 

 

We realized just how high up we were, when we were completely out of breath climbing back up the stairs.

image

Practice for what’s to come?

 

 
4 Comments

Posted by on August 17, 2016 in Family, Vacation