Suitcase Plans, Take Two

Remember a few weeks ago, when I wrote about how my travel schedule went from zero to hero in a 10-day span?

No? Well then this might trigger a memory…

Why the passport?

There was one trip I didn’t put on that blog post, because I didn’t have the 100% non-refundable plane ticket in my hand yet. But I’m pretty sure they won’t take it away from me now.

Drumroll, please…

In two weeks from today, I’ll be landing in Melbourne, Australia for two weeks for The Presidents Cup. (WOOOO!)  

I’ll be running point on the social media coverage throughout the week, on both the Presidents Cup and PGA TOUR brands. I’m still pinching myself, because it’s an incredibly opportunity and I’m grateful to be added to the tournament team after so much planning has already gone into this event. It’s part of the reason my October has flown by so quickly — even though the PGA TOUR Playoffs completed last month, the strategy and preparation for Presidents Cup has overtaken any free time I may have gained in the (not-so) off-season.

I wouldn’t be doing my job, if I didn’t ask you to follow @PresidentsCup on Twitter and “like” the event on Facebook — but I’ll leave the rest of the work-related items off the blog at this point.

Who has tips, suggestions and friends in/around Melbourne that will come in handy over the two weeks that I’m down under? I extended my trip for a few days after the tournament finishes (runs Nov 15-20) and am hoping to drink wine, hold a koala, take a tour, and get some good runs in while I’m there. I’ll fly back Nov25, the day after Thanksgiving with a stop over in DFW (save me leftovers, Maria!) on my way back to Jax.

I really hope I can keep blogging before I leave, and even a note or two while I’m there (at least pictures!). But in case I don’t, leave a comment here or get in touch to share any tips or stories you have about Australia.

Suitcase Plans, Take Two

Looking back to move forward

I’ve been home in Oregon for a full week now. Even though my brain thinks it’s time to go back to Jacksonville, I’m going to enjoy every minute until I fly back Monday. This is probably the longest trip home I’ve had since I moved (coming up on two years ago). Getting away from Florida has been good for me. I enjoy reconnecting with family and friends, breathing clean air and drinking good water, and hitting the reset button to prepare for the new year.

Last January I came up with three words that were my mantras to follow (thanks to the suggestion by Chris Brogan). TIME ~ CONNECT ~ MOVE Having these keywords made it much easier throughout the year to check-in with my goals. I’ll be doing the same thing for 2010, and once I decide what the mantra shall be, I’ll post it here so you can hold me accountable too.

2009 was a year of challenges. But with challenges come great rewards and feelings of accomplishment. Here are a few of my favorites:

TIME: Garrett’s six month deployment…hard for even the most committed of couples, I learned a lot about communication and the difference between big things and little things in a relationship. We also learned that we’re better together and are choosing paths that keep us together for the long run. THE REWARD: That amazing range of emotions I felt on the Homecoming day in July. He was worth waiting for!

MOVE: Becoming a runner…I started running last fall as a distraction and kept it up for most if the year. I completed my first 10k, 15k and half marathon, with a bunch of 5k’s thrown in for good measure. THE REWARD: Tie between crossing the finish line at the Gate River Run 15k and Marine Corps Half, vowing to do both distances again.

CONNECT: Social Media Club…we launched the official Jax group in February and it’s grown into a group of people I truly enjoy to laugh with and learn from. There’s a lot of work to be done, but we’re off to a good start. THE REWARD: Seeing new faces at each event through the year.

Work…it was another year of experiences, growing pains and teaching moments, but I’m better off now than when the year started. It’s still my “dream job.” THE REWARD: Watching Tiger sink the putt on the 18th hole Sunday at Bay Hill to win his first title of ’09. Being there in person was indescribable.

What were your challenges that resulted in rewards you want to build from?

Looking back to move forward

New – New – New

It has been so long since I’ve visited my own blog [much less wrote here] that I forgot what it looked like. So when I came back, I decided to change the look. This is a cool (and free) theme I think fits me a little bit better – good color, better fonts, more personality. What do you think?

Changing my blog’s look isn’t the only new thing in my life right now. I’ve been shaking things up for the last couple months, and I have to say, it’s been quite fun. It’s been five months since I packed up life as I knew it and moved across the country to follow my dreams. I’m getting more used to the perma-vacation life that Florida offers (not that I always take advantage) and am starting to build myself a life here. A summary of what’s new in my life since the summer would have to include:

  • A new political party – I’m a full blown Obama supporter
  • Joining beach volleyball, soccer and kickball teams (fun, except for the back-to-back days!)
  • Getting older (24!) and being able to celebrate back home in Oregon
  • Meeting a fantastic guy who I adore, and happily call my boyfriend
  • Setting a goal of running a 5K this fall, which has since evolved into a half marathon
  • Exploring Florida with adventures to Okefenokee Swamp, Orlando, St. Augustine and Amelia Island (pictures here)

I’ll write about all of these things in more detail soon, and will continue to try to be better about posting things on the blog. I need to stop thinking of it as a “life update” page and instead nurture it to become a place for my thoughts, words, links, photos, videos, blurbs and memories. I can’t promise everything that is posted here will be appropriate or relevant for everyone who reads it, but it will be a reflection of me. Right now, that’s what I need it to be, what I want this place to be.

If you haven’t already, sign up to get my new blog posts sent directly to your email (on the top of the right column) or subscribe via RSS. To leave a comment (or leave love, as I like to say), click on the comments link at the end of the post. It will take you to a form so you can post a comment and say hello.

One more thing…even though I was cheering for Sergio, Paddy and the Europeans in the Ryder Cup all weekend, I am very happy to see the Cup come back to the USA. This weekend’s matches were so much fun to watch — incredible golf from both teams. I think we’ve cemented a few more personalities on the PGA TOUR, which is always a good thing. USA FTW!

New – New – New

Life without Tiger

The British Open last week was entertaining, given the ever-changing leaderboard (Duval who?), the Force 9 winds and Paddy’s 5 wood on the 71st hole. [Though it would’ve been nice to see Sergio, Phil, Adam Scott and others to have a good showing. Hopefully they’ll emerge in the PGA Championship.]

When I was reading the golf entries on Google Reader today, I came across this video, lamenting the TOUR season without Tiger. Though I don’t agree that golf isn’t worth watching till ’09, I can see why some people do. Take a look for a laugh.
[heavy video=6df6f9a94f04b81aa768c475c28430b3&]

Life without Tiger

Happy Father’s Day Poppa

I’ve missed a few Father’s Days since “growing up” in the years after high school, but I don’t remember any of them being as sad for me as this one. For most of today, I’ve caught myself wishing I was home with the fam to celebrate Father’s Day with my dad and my grampa. I miss the big morning hugs from Dad, grabbing coffee after church, getting the family together, big dinners prepared by the Mom’s (more so than the girls, I think we’re only good for setting the table & cleaning up), and (of course) watching the U.S. Open with Grampa, Dad, and uncles Bob and Jim. Even though I tried, my Arbucks-stay after church, phone calls home and watching Tiger in the Open weren’t quite the same on my own.

Happy Father’s Day Dad. You’re my hero and a rock in my life. Every time I hear a sappy country song about dads and their little girls, I wonder if it reminds you of me, too. (I think they probably do). I love you Poppa!

Happy Father’s Day to my Grampa too. If it wasn’t for you, my dream job might have been being a stockbroker or marine biologist instead of working for the PGA TOUR. I love golf because you shared it with me and I wanted to love it like you do. When I met Fred Couples last month, I kept thinking “I used to watch you with my Grampa when I was little, and now I’m here. Wow!”

Also, a big Happy Father’s Day to all my uncles and the father-like figures I’ve had in my life growing up. Thanks for loving me and helping me to become who I am today.

Here are some photos I found of good times with my Dad & I. Think I’ll have to scan photos from the old albums next time I get home to get more!

Dad @ Edinburgh Castle, May 2005

Dad in front of Edinburgh Castle in May 2005 during the “Dad & Daughter backpack through Scotland” trip.

Parents and I at my farewell party

Me and the parents at my Vino Maria’s farewell party in April ’08

In Cabo

Cabo San Lucas, January 2008

Meeting Fred Couples in Ponte Vedra

meeting Fred Couples in St. Augustine before the PLAYERS

Happy Father’s Day Poppa

Golfing with the PGA TOUR

The PGA TOUR’s summer employee golf league starts tonight after work. It’s a chance for all the has-beens to try to show off the game they have left, for new golfers with high handicaps to be highly coveted teammates, and interns to get in some good golf while they’re in Ponte Vedra Beach.

I’m excited to get on the course in a setting that’s fun, but also has a competitive element. I’m on a team with three other dot-com employees, playing a 4-man scramble. We’re all semi-decent players, which means our team handicap will kill us against teams who have two aces and two hacks. No matter, as we’re playing the front side of TPC Sawgrass and I can’t think of anything I’d rather do after work than that.

I did get out on Monday night to play the front side for the first time. I wanted to get a look at the course before playing tonight, and also see how my recent lessons would translate on the course. First hole was terrific — made an easy par. It went downhill from there. The best thing about the round was that I got a lot of bunker practice. Terrible. I’m hoping my swing feels way better than it did on Monday. Too many swing thoughts right now…

I’m going to try to remember to pull the camera out tonight and get some pictures. Really going to try to get a few photo galleries posted here soon to share what life here looks like. Once you see, you’ll wonder why you haven’t booked your plane tickets to visit!

Golfing with the PGA TOUR

Taking off the sunglasses for a second…

I have a symptom of procrastination that goes a bit like this: I know there is a task I have to do without a drop-dead date of when it needs to be done. Life gets in the way and before I know it, I still haven’t set on doing that task. Recognizing this, I vow to complete said task and then life gets in the way, again. By this time I’m a little embarrassed I haven’t done the task and now think that by doing it, it will show that I’ve forgotten about it or pushed it off (even if the intention was so good to begin with). I’ll either continue to think about it but not finish what I set out to do or finally suck up my pride and do it.

This blog post is me finally sucking up and doing it (blogging).

My idea is that once I write a new post, I won’t hesitate again to write when the mood strikes. I’ve wanted to write about a few random things lately (best YouTube pilates videos, Sex & The City movie, golf lessons) but thought it’d be strange to just jump in with a post that didn’t say “Hi, I’m alive and everything is great in Florida.” (This is also that post)

June is the halfway month of the year, so I’m going to try to make some mid-year resolutions. Among other things, these include taking and posting more pictures of life down here [as soon as I find the USB cable for my camera], blogging more regularly to keep in touch with everyone, and looking better in my swimsuit [it’s always swim season in Florida!]. Breaking 80 in the next six months would be good too.

Until next time, which shouldn’t be as long as last time, Ciao!

Taking off the sunglasses for a second…

A Permanent Address

Big things happened this week here in Jacksonville. I found a place to live and the countdown to THE PLAYERS Championship fell under 100 hours. These are the two pieces of information that are taking up nearly every waking moment of my life this week and next.

First, the living situation: After many many Craigslist searches, I finally found a place that was affordable, within 15 minutes of Ponte Vedra Beach, and (most importantly) was available to move in ASAP. I actually moved in tonight, because doing so next week would’ve be too crazy to deal with. The house is owned by a girl who works up at the TPC Clubhouse who I had met on Monday, before I randomly found her Craigslist ad and emailed her. Small world! She has another (girl) roommate in the 3 bed/2 bath cute little house that she owns. She has renovated the house over the last couple years, which is something that I’d also like to do in the future. The only thing that’s missing is that its not on the beach…but ocean is only about 5-7 minutes driving and I’ll be there enough anyways.

I can tell I made a good choice with the new car (still nameless), because everything I own (until massive Target/IKEA sprees) fits into my car, which was surprising. Granted the golf clubs had to ride in the passenger seat, but it did all fit into one load. I packed it and loaded it all up tonight after work and brought it to the new place. I usually hate moving, but I don’t mind the moves that are about 5 miles away and most/all of your stuff is boxed up anyways. Goes much easier that way. I’ve hardly unpacked, but did enough to get out my quilt and a couple pictures and now it feels more like my space.

The PLAYERS Championship golf tournament hits Ponte Vedra Beach and TPC Sawgrass next week. We’re working on lots of different content for the website and pinpointing ways to reach out to fans online who want to feel like they’re here. The PLAYERS is one of the top PGA TOUR tournaments, sometimes called the “5th major” because it’s the one the TOUR puts on and it has the best field in golf (minus Tiger this year, unfortunately). I’ll be doing lots of behind-the-scenes things as part of some experiments on new ways to cover the event and for me to learn what we can do in the future. I’m super-excited and hope to have lots of stories to tell after next week is over.

That’s all from here because I need to get some sleep before the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation walk I’m doing tomorrow with some girls from work. It’s a six-mile walk in the morning, which should be interesting. Don’t think it will be as much elevation change as Portland to Coast, so I should be fine. I just have to remember that if I was golfing, I’d be walking that much anyways plus carrying a 25 pound bag on my back! (PS, I shot a 41 my first time out, Wednesday) If you’d like to make a donation for CFF in support of our team, you can do so at or you can send me a check.

Leave love below, talk to you soon!

A Permanent Address

Dream Big, Live Big

Last month, when putting together my Life List, I didn’t include a few more personal, big-dream items. The purpose of the life list was to include things I can work towards or try to make happen. I have other dreams that depend on a lot more than just me to fulfill. One of these, I’m very happy to announce, is coming true.


Wow. It’s cool enough that it deserves it’s own line. The PGA Tour is an organization I’ve always admired and loved, and one that I’ve always kept an eye on for a chance to become a part of. An opportunity came across their job postings that fit me well and I threw in my application, because you never know unless you try. Fast forward a couple months through lots of emails, phone calls and a great trip across the country to see the HQ and Jacksonville, Florida, and now I’m moving in two weeks. Wow.

The position is Social Media and Fan Outreach Coordinator in the PGATOUR.COM (“dot-com”) department. Someday I’ll come up with an easy-to-understand one-sentence explanation of what that means. Basically, it’s going to incorporate my skills in PR and Communications, my knowledge of online tools and user experience, and my love of golf all at once. (For more about what social media is all about, follow along on my other blog.)

Yes, it was quick. Yes, I’m sad to leave behind home, family, friends, a great job, a terrific network in Corvallis, my Blazers and the Beavs, no sales tax and lots of good memories. (No, I won’t miss the rain.) But yes, this is my dream and I am lucky enough to get to live it, now.

This blog will probably continue to evolve into all about my life, my travels and new experiences. What’s great about that is this can be a place my family, friends (and other people who care) can come, read about what I’m up to, see pictures and video and have conversations with me. It’s like the weekly emails from college, except they’ll all be in one spot (and not cluttering your inbox!). So make sure to bookmark this site ( and/or subscribe to the RSS feed to get my updates.

More to come soon, but I wanted to make sure this announcement wasn’t more overdue than it already is. Talk to you all soon. Leave love in the comments if you’d like!

Dream Big, Live Big

Off on an Adventure

I write this from the Portland Airport as I embark on a once-in-a-lifetime weekend adventure. I’ve been invited to come check out Ponte Vedra Beach and the PGA Tour Headquarters in Florida. I fly today, meet with people from the PGA tomorrow and fly back Saturday. It’ll be a quick trip, but one I’m super excited about. I’ve never been to the South and think this is just about the best reason I can think of for my first visit. Anyone who has known me since I was ten years-old and in junior golf can understand how thrilled I am about this chance to visit the HQ of an organization I respect and admire. If St. Andrews was my personal holy grail, I’m thinking Sawgrass might be the American-ized version! 🙂  We are boarding now, so I’ll write more (and get pics if I can) soon.

Off on an Adventure