Erin Virginia

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Unexpected Blessings

Everyday in the news, I read about layoffs or scroll past pictures of people being profiled throughout their job hunts. Just today, I read that the drug giant Pfizer acquired another huge pharma company, Wyeth, which will eventually result in layoffs. Even with the media blitz surrounding it, the economic downtown has still remained a vague concept to me until recently. About two weeks ago, Chris' boss notified him that he will be laid off at the end of February.

But don't be alarmed for us. We have known about this possibility for a while, and it might actually be a blessing. Chris will continue to work until the end of February and then will receive two months' full severance pay, which will bring him to the beginning of May. During those two months, Chris will be able to catch up on school and study for finals, while still pulling in a paycheck. In addition, Chris needed an impetus to leave his finance job and find a legal position that will give him better experience in the long term. I don't believe Chris will have any trouble finding such a position.

The other big news is that I accepted a new position within Boston Scientific that entails higher pay and more responsibility. I have officially moved into my new role in project management, which translates into overseeing all aspects of my assigned clinical studies, instead of just one piece.

I truly see these situations as the hand of God. Just as I finished school, an exciting, new career opportunity found me. And just as Chris began to feel the weight of spring semester, an opportunity to not work and still be paid found him. It will be an interesting spring!

Snow, Streets and The Plow

Last weekend, our friend Ryan drove to Boston from upstate New York to spend the weekend with us. Ryan has made previous appearances on this blog and is one of our oldest friends (as a couple) - we all went to medic training in San Antonio together. It was a fun weekend. We walked the icy streets of Chinatown in pursuit of noodles and bubble tea, squeaked into a comedy show with the last available tickets, craned our necks at an IMAX show and just generally relaxed. However, we did get hit with two snowstorms. Ryan parked his car on the street during his visit and got plowed in TWICE. I can imagine that the plow driver had especially malicious intent seeing the same car on the street two days in a row (at least it didn't get towed).

Thursday, January 08, 2009

DVD Obsession

Chris and I do not have satellite or cable television. It's good, old network television for us. Even with that, we rarely watch anything other than the news, SNL and occasionally CSI. The trend since we moved to Boston has been to rent or borrow television seasons on DVD and obsessively push through them. In the last few years we've watched quite a few series, among others:
- Alias (all five season)
- 24 (just two seasons)
- The Office
- Six Feet Under (just the first season)
- Dexter
- The Closer

and, best for last, LOST. Chris and I, pathetically enough, spent most of January 1 and 2 watching all of Season 4. We don't watch LOST episodes during the year due to school schedules and to savor knowing there will come a point in the year where we can totally binge on a whole season. But having watched Season 4, we are in need of a new series to discover. We tried Mad Men, Nip/Tuck and Deadwood but didn't like them for various reasons. Any suggestions from any of you cable television watchers?

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Ah, Christmas, Part 2

After a foggy drive from Chicago, Chris and I arrived in West Lafayette late on December 26th. This leg of the trip was much more leisurely since we weren't trying to cram in visits with friends. On Saturday, we got to meet Katie and Hannah's new boyfriends and opened gifts with the immediate family. Sunday, we went to church and heard Katie sing and Hannah play the flute during the service. Later in the day, the Pettet family came over for dinner and another gift exchange, and on Monday, Chris' grandparents and cousin Greg drove over for dinner. We were also able to spend quite a bit of time with Chris' grandma Bobbi and just spend time with Chris' parents.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Ah, Christmas, Part 1

What a trip. Due to expensive flights and the cost to board Greta, Chris and I decided fly back to the Midwest for Christmas this year. We left on December 19 at 1:00 pm and covered about 100 miles before the big New England snowstorm hit us. Roads were terrible from Springfield, MA to Buffalo, NY, with terrible visibility and multiple cars in the ditches. We passed a smashed semi, a SUV with its motor on-fire and narrowly missed smashing into an east-bound vehicle that slid through a median into our west-bound lane of traffic. We lost so much time during the snowstorm that we decided to skip staying at a motel for the night and just keep driving. We slept in the car for 4 hours just outside Toledo, Ohio, but wound up hitting another snowstorm near Hudson, WI, and finally arrived at my parents' house at 3:00 pm on Saturday. We took my parents out to eat that night at Lindey's Steakhouse in Arden Hills, near Bethel College.
Sunday, we went to church with my parents, met our friends, Jimmy and Joelle, for lunch and then drove to Eden Praire to see Rob and Allison and our new niece, Lilly. Monday, my parents hosted my dad's side of the family for Christmas. It was great to see a lot of family that I hadn't seen in a year.
Tuesday night, we stayed with my brother Jamie at his house in St. Louis Park, and a few friends drove over to his house for a small Christmas party. We got to catch up with friends from high school, college and the military, and Rob and Allison made it over, as well.
We spent all of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my parents. We went to a Christmas Eve service and then ate an awesome salmon dinner. On Christmas Day, Jamie and the girls and my brother Michael came over, and we all exchanged gifts. Chris and I, Varsana and Malia and my mom played Clue for about an hour. Team Varsana and Erin won. Whoohoo (we are trying to make a "W" in the below picture).
Greta spent most of her days playing with Alistair, my parents' collie, and Onyx, my brother Michael's mixed breed dog. They chased each other and wrestled for hours.
On the 26th, we drove to to Indiana by way of Chicago and Sean and Bonny's house. We spent a few hours there exchanging gifts, eating pizza and also visits with Bonny's family who took the Amtrak from Minneapolis to spend Christmas in Chicago (Sean couldn't get consecutive days off from work for them to make the trek to Minnesota).