Reflecting on a Decade, Preparing for the Next

The new year, and new decade for that matter, snuck up on me way too quickly. I feel as though this last year went by in a blink of an eye and now it’s over and it’s 2020.

I’ve never been a New Year’s resolutions type of person and last year I think I set a couple 2019 resolutions, but I either forgot where I put the list or I didn’t write them down at all. Regardless of last year’s goals I’ve been thinking about all I’ve been able to accomplish and what has happened not only in the past year, but in the past decade. It’s strange to think that 10 years ago I was in middle school living in a totally different state thinking about a future that is far different from where I am today. I think reflecting on your past and seeing where you are in the present is a great step towards personal growth. Not to mention, it’s fun to reminisce.

So from the past to the present here are a bit of the highs (and lows) of my last decade.

2010

Living in Parks, Arizona, attending school in Flagstaff, Arizona.
– I finished my 7th-grade year at FJA.
– I went to Catalina Island on a school trip.
– My first “girl’s trip” to celebrate a friend’s birthday in Phoenix.
– I went to a summer ski camp for the second time in Mt. Hood, Oregon.
– I started my 8th-grade year at FJA.
– Skiing, skiing, skiing, school, school, school.

2011

Started the year living in Parks, AZ, attending school in Flagstaff, Arizona.
– Attended my first school dance: A Night in Paris.
– More skiing, more school.
– Renaissance Festival trip for school.
– I finished my 8th-grade year at FJA. Graduation ceremony at the Arizona Snowbowl.
– Summer babysitting of a family friend’s youngest son: lots of movies and lightsaber battles.
– I read so much. I think I made my mom take me to the library weekly.
– Going away party with school friends and teachers at my favorite pizza place.
– Moved to Colorado.
– I started high school at Middle Park in Granby, Colorado.
– First job at Devil’s Thumb Ranch as a hostess.
– I met a lot of new people. And my “brother from another mother”.
– I joined the high school ski team.
– Vacation back to Arizona for Christmas break by myself. Spent time with my grandparents.

2012

Living in Tabernash, Colorado, attending school in Granby, Colorado at beginning of year.
– I attended my first State Championship for Alpine Skiing.
– Joined the spirit squad (off-season) and met even more wonderful people.
– Prom 2012 as a freshman guest of one of those wonderful people.
– The family began falling apart.
– Summer cheer camp at Copper Mountain. Almost broke my face.
– Started my sophomore year at MPHS.
– First car!
– Moved to outside of Granby, Colorado.
– First football season as a cheerleader.
– Second season start for ski team.

2013

Living and attending school in Granby, Colorado.
– Second State Championship for Alpine Skiing at home – Winter Park Resort.
– First time struggling with a class in school. Damn Trig.
– Spring Break with my best friend’s family: Daytona, Florida.
– Prom again.
– Dyed my hair…way to much.
– Some of my best friends graduated high school.
– A fantastic 16th birthday day of adventure for a close friend.
– Hunger Games premiere, next day drove an hour and a half to see it again.
– First Rockies baseball game.
– I started my junior year of high school.
– Second football season as a cheerleader.
– Cheerleading competitions.
– Christmas back in Arizona for the last time. Parent’s long, drawn-out split begins.

2014

Living and attending school in Granby, Colorado.
– Third State Championships for Alpine Skiing.
– First car accident.
– Visited “brother from another mother” in college.
– Junior River Trip: A Life-Changing Experience.
– Prom with a wonderful guy and a great group of friends.
– Canyoneering trip #1.
– Grew a friendship from simple classmates to best friends.
– France with a great group of classmates and a kickass teacher.
– Beginning of my senior year.
– Senior photos paired with best friend photoshoot.
– First concert at the Pepsi Center, upgraded floor seats for Katy Perry.
– Student council, honors, AP, yearbook editor.
– Boy’s soccer manager.
– First (and only) college visit: University of Oregon.
– First love.
– Alpine last year.

2015

Living and attending school in Granby, Colorado at the beginning of the year.
– Final State Championship. I kinda blew it.
– Changed my mind about what to study in college.
– Spring break to Florida, again.
– First amusement park experience: Universal Studios.
– Joined soccer team. JV is more fun.
– AP tests, college prep.
– Senior prom complete with puking, converse shoes and lots of dancing.
– Canyoneering trip #2. Trip leader with my best friend.
– Started job at Never Summer.
– Graduation.
– Summer shenanigans.
– MLS All Star Game.
– Bought my second car.
– I moved to Oregon on my own and started college at the University of Oregon. Go Ducks!
– Struggled a lot to make friends and feel at home.
– Found an odd job that fit me perfectly.
– Home for the holidays.
– Mom surprises me with her new boyfriend. Mixed feelings.

2016

Attending school in Eugene, Oregon, home in Colorado for breaks.
– College is hard. Calculus is hard. Being an adult is hard.
– Spring break back at home. Lots of fun time with mom.
– New friends.
– First college party.
– Road trip back to Colorado with mom. So much in so little time.
– Backpacking trip with the girls right in our backyard.
– Lots of work.
– I waited for school to start, one month later than everyone else.
– Back to Oregon for my second year.
– ASL class brings me a best friend.
– Planned to complete school in three years instead of four.
– Fall football games.
– Thanksgiving with a fellow Coloradan in Oregon.
– Christmas back in Colorado.

2017

Attending school in Eugene, Oregon, home in Colorado for breaks.
– Spring break back in Colorado.
– Roadtrip to Moab with the best two people.
– Found Alpha Phi Omega.
– Found another best friend.
– Trip up the coast for two mountain girls.
– Major fundraiser for UO and the Annual Giving Program. Lots of hype.
– Became Media Chair for APO.
– “Brother from another mother” and I road trip back to Colorado.
– Lots of solo summer hikes.
– We welcome home Nash.
– Third and final year at UO.
– Moved into an apartment with two roomies.
– 21st Birthday.
– Met a pretty cool photographer guy.
– Went on a few adventures with some awesome friends.
– Thanksgiving in sweats with wine and The Great British Bake Off.
– Inducted two littles into Alpha Phi Omega.
– Home for the holidays as usual.
– Attended my first trade show for Never Summer.

2018

Attending school in Eugene, Oregon, home in Colorado after school.
– First trip to Canada for Alpha Phi Omega.
– Spring Break brought my two best friends from home to Oregon.
– Internship with Food for Lane County.
– Stepped out of my comfort zone and let that handsome photographer take lots of photos – including my senior pictures.
– I got to volunteer at the Prefontaine Classic at Historic Hayward Field.
– Memorial Day girls weekend in Hood River with my college best friend.
– Alpha Phi Omega end-of-year banquet. Lots of tears, happy and sad.
– Presented my final college project. Nerves galore.
– Graduation. A full weekend of highs and lows.
– Journey back to Colorado with mom and college best friend.
– Planning tourist in my home town.
– Back to work at Never Summer.
– First Harry Styles concert.
– Summer hikes with Nash.
– Became a volunteer with my old high school’s Adventure Education Program.
– Chaperone for Sophomore River Trip.
– Our family bought a house. Yay!
– Volunteered to help coach my old high school’s Alpine Ski Team.
– I was offered a job with Alderwood Resort Management as the Marketing and Communications Coordinator.
– Ended the year happy, healthy and with a career beginning.

2019

Living in Granby, Colorado.
– Started a reading challenge for the year.
– Celebrated my best friend’s 21st birthday.
– Got into Nordic Skiing.
– Traveled to Durango with the Alpine Ski Team for state. Five feet of fresh powder.
– Winter snowshoe adventures.
– Las Vegas work trip. First time in Sin City.
– Junior River Trip with the Adventure Education Program as a staff member.
– Lots of visits to Colorado Springs.
– Kayaking.
– Visit to Oregon to see 2019 Graduation and spend time with college best friend.
– Powell’s bookstore.
– Kacey Musgraves at Red Rocks.
– Summer hikes.
– Hammock reading.
– Camping trip with family.
– Heartbreak.
– Fall photo chasing.
– Carrie Underwood concert with mom.
– Accepted the fact that I have anxiety. Decided to do something about it.
– Taught mom how to kayak.
– Taking Steps for Cancer 5k.
– Birthday hike to ring in 23.
– First craft fair as a vendor. Bust.
– Planned our company holiday party. Success.
– Ski team volunteering again.
– End-of-year review. Promotion and raise.
– First massage. Fantastic.
– First facial. AWFUL.
– A beautiful Christmas with family.

Unfortunately, a few days into the new year I lost my grandfather, Poppy. It was a tough beginning to 2020 but I know he’s with his lord and savior and that one day I’ll see him again.

Looking Ahead: 2020

2020 is going to be filled with a lot of great things. I’m volunteering again with the high school ski team, I’m going to be traveling across the US to my company’s various properties, I hope to move out of my family home and into one of my own, Family Hawaiian Cruise 2020 and I’m planning to get out and have more adventures.

My boss and I were talking about New Year’s Resolutions and how instead of resolutions, she sets goals for herself. I think setting goals is healthier and more realistic. Having a goal is more tangible in my mind and will hopefully be easier to accomplish in the long run. And with that here are my 2020 goals:

  • Write 20 blog posts (not including book reviews).
  • Participate in an outdoor activity for at least one hour once a week.
  • Drink a bottle of water at my desk every day.
  • Take more photographs whenever I can.
  • Save $5,000 at minimum.
  • Read 20 books.
  • Continue my education with online or in-person classes and certifications.
  • Move into my own place. Decorate however I want.

I’m optimistic that this next year will bring a lot of great travel experiences and other opportunities both professionally and personally. I know these goals are only the beginning and that I will probably develop more goals or change these goals as the year goes on.

The Next Decade

It’s hard to believe that at the end of this next decade I will be 33 years old. I’m hoping by then I’m well into my career and I’m in my own home somewhere in Colorado. I hope to be happy and healthy and have many great relationships. It’s difficult to think about what’s going to happen even this next year, let alone this next decade, but going into it with optimism and goals should help.

What are your goals for the new year? What about in 10 years?

I’m on Etsy!

A couple weekends ago I took a chance at a local craft fair and got a booth for some of my crocheted ornaments. I made a few mini stockings last Christmas for some small gift add-ons and gift card holders and several people thought they were really cute and suggested I make more and try to sell them. I’ve always been a crafty person and I love having little projects to do so I added to my crocheted stockings and made snowflakes, hearts, stars and little trees as well for the craft fair.

Unfortunately, the fair was a little lacking in traffic so I didn’t sell much. The experience was great though and I really enjoyed meeting other local crafters and getting to know the process and feel of craft fairs. Since I had some inventory left I toyed with the idea of setting up an Etsy shop to see if I’d have any luck there. Soooo I made my very own Etsy shop!

Right now all I have up are my mini stockings in a pack of three. If I start getting orders I might put up some of my other creations or other bundle styles of my stockings. I’m also always welcome to suggestions.

Go take a look and let me know what you think!
My shop is called KelseyFaganCreative and you can follow the link here to get directly to my stockings.

The Reality of Being the First In a New Position

When you start a new position it’s exciting and scary all at once. When I finished college and decided to take a break by working at my usual summer job in my hometown instead of jumping straight into the workforce I never thought (and definitely wasn’t planning) that I would land a job within my desired field within six months.

When I began working for Alderwood Resort Management I was nervous. Not because it was a new job for me, but because it was a new position for the company. With the growing number of properties that Alderwood had acquired since it’s founding in the late 90s, a designated position for marketing and communication was needed. Enter young professional me.

I knew when I was offered the job that there wasn’t a set-in-stone job description and that we would sort of make it up as we went. The foundations of the job were pretty basic at the time and I had somewhere to start. I began part-time while I finished my summer job and then became full-time in January. The period of part-time work was a lot of setup and figuring out the simple things. It filled the 16 or so hours a week that I worked and it seemed fine.

When I began full-time it was a lot harder to fill in the empty task-less hours. And even after 7 months, it still is. That’s the reality of stepping into a brand new position. No one has been at this desk before and it’s not going to be easy to find things to fill the gaps that have never had to be filled before.

My job title is Marketing and Communications Coordinator and I am the one and only in the Marketing Department. A lot of what I have done so far I started from scratch. It hasn’t been easy. But it is getting better now that I’ve worked around a bit with some things that I’ve learned work well and some things that don’t. It’s a lot of trial and error but its getting work done.

Here are a couple of things that I came to realize within about a month of being a full-time employee:

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. No matter how annoying you feel, no question you ask is going to be stupid. You’re new to the company, new to the position and probably have a ton of questions. Ask them.
  2. Ask for help. This goes hand-in-hand with number one. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Again, you’re new and those around you have probably been in your position before, so they generally won’t mind helping you work through something.
  3. Be honest about what you need. It might make you feel weird at first but your employer hired you to do a job so don’t be afraid to tell them exactly what you need to do that job. Keep it within reason though.
  4. Take breaks. If you’re like me and have never had an office job where you sit for eight or nine hours a day you need to take a break every couple of hours. It helps your body as well as your mind to get up and walk around or get some fresh air.
  5. Continue your education. Of course okay it with your supervisor, but put some time aside to learn something at least one time a week. This could be as simple as reading an article about your position or the industry you’re in or even watching a lynda.com video about software you’re not an expert on.
  6. Chat with others in your field. Connect with old classmates, past professors or others in your department (if there’s more than just you) and ask them about their work experience and what’s helped them.
  7. Be prepared to have downtime. Especially if your position is brand new you will have downtime that you need to fill. This is a great time to continue your education (#5).
  8. Write down everything you do. If you’re in a similar position to me, you have to write down everything you do. This way you can confer with your supervisor during reviews and verify that you are doing what you should be doing.
  9. Explore new options. Research things that other companies similar to yours have been doing. Keep track of trends or new technology. This gives you something to present to your superiors and shows initiative.
  10. Ask for tasks. This was really hard for me to get over because I felt like a burden constantly asking for things to do. Nine times out of ten your supervisor is going to have stuff for you to do but hasn’t added it to your to-do list because they’re busy too.

When you start any new job it’s generally a good idea to be prepared for a lot of unknown. Even if you’re simply moving up within your company there will be a lot to learn. Being open to learning about your job and taking all the advice you can get is only going to help you in your new position. I’ve certainly learned a lot about the company I work for and how I can better market our properties and services.

My advise is to be open-minded and don’t give up on this new opportunity. It might be scary and overwhelming starting from the beginning but it’s only going to aid in your professional development.

Moving into the Career

If you follow me on other social channels, you might already know that I have finally moved into a career that I can use my expensive degree for.

That career is with The Alderwood Group whose main focus is resort management. The company has properties across the United States, one in Canada and even one in Costa Rica. I have been thrown headfirst into this newly constructed position that was created to help maintain social channels for all properties.

As the Marketing and Communications Coordinator I send out email-blasts and newsletters, post on Facebook and respond to reviews. This is just the basis of my position and as time goes on more of my job description will be tweaked.

I’m extremely excited to now officially be full-time and beginning my career so close to home and with a growing company. I will be posting updates as my career progress as well as pieces or projects that I have worked on. I hope to create more and more for the company and eventually progress to elaborate projects.

As always stay tuned for more about my new expedition.

Heading Back to High School

With my move back home after graduation came many opportunities. One of which being a chance to go back to high school to volunteer with various programs.

Now my high school is kind of unique with a very special program called Adventure Education. It gets students out and in nature with a variety of trips. As a student myself I participated in a week long river trip when I was a junior, and then later that same year I backpacked with the Canyoneering Leadership program. The following year, my senior year, I was able to lead the Canyoneering Leadership trip.

DSCN0766

The trips that Adventure Ed put on require a lot of planning and a lot of help from the community. Because I enjoyed the programs so much as a student, I volunteered to help with the sophomore river trip this past fall.

From a student’s perspective, it seems like the Adventure Ed trips are an easy excuse to get out of class, but in reality its an experience that changes perspectives and allows you to step out of your comfort zone.

I, personally, had amazing experiences on the trips and I learned a lot about myself. (Now I know that sounds super cheesy, but it’s the truth.) A large lesson that I learned  was that sometimes it’s okay to not know what you’re doing or where you’re going because there’s someone right next to you feeling the same way and sharing your fears with another person made everything feel real and more comforting.

P1030213

I am and will forever be grateful to have experienced the Adventure Education trips and I’m even more grateful to now be a part of the volunteer staff.

10968395_905806299464733_7221270088977572457_n

In addition to volunteering for the Adventure Ed trips, I’m also a volunteer coach for the high school’s Alpine Ski Team. I was a part of the team all four years of high school and I’m delighted to be back on the hill as a coach.

The same two coaches I had as a student are still dealing with the ever-changing group of rowdy high-schoolers. Scott and Peter are saints to say the least and I’m excited to be a part of the team again beside them as a mentor and leader now.

Being a part of a high school sports team was vital to my sanity in high school and I know its an opportunity some kids never get. Thankfully the alpine ski team is one that welcomes everyone, no matter their ability. Equipment is handed out if necessary and it gives students an opportunity to enjoy winter sports. Grand County alone has two ski areas and miles upon miles of trails for snowshoeing and cross country skiing, so why not give students the opportunity to ski twice a week?

I’m excited to be a coach this year and learn more about the sport I loved when I was in school but from a different perspective.

Stay tuned for more updates about my involvement at the high school. Ski season is just beginning and in the spring, Adventure Ed trips will begin again.

 

 

A little life update

A lot has happened in the past three months: I’ve graduated college, I’ve moved home and now I’m trying to find my way and prepare for my future.

The weeks leading up to my college graduation were confusing, exciting and scary. I wasn’t sure how to feel about finishing my college career and moving on to the next chapter in my life. I did a lot in those last couple of weeks to top off the three years I spent at the University of Oregon. All were wonderful memories that I thought I would share.

IMG_5965

To start the final stretch to graduation, I volunteered at the Prefontaine Classic as part of the media team and got to see the little bits and pieces that go into the media and press aspects of such a large sporting event.

IMG_5967

It was great to see the precise planning that goes into an event that occurs annually and brings together the worlds best athletes. Every event had to be timed perfectly and with that, the interviews that followed.

Every news outlet that attended had questions prepared and their laptops out and ready to submit the final story as soon as the event was over. It was an amazing experience that I owe to the event planning class and the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication.

(I also got to meet a pretty cool duck)

 

IMG_5995

The same weekend (Memorial Day weekend), I got to spend quality time with my best friend and big Gabriella in her hometown Hood River, Oregon. Our girls weekend with her mom and family friend was fun and exciting and full of funny moments.

It started with a picnic that overlooked Hood River and everything was peaceful and enjoyable until the park’s sprinklers pushed us out of our little spot. You may be able to see this hilarious moment online as there was a Japanese family filming the entire endeavor.

We hiked, we ate delicious food, enjoyed frosés and just relaxed for the weekend which was what both of us needed to push through the last couple weeks of our senior year.

 

IMG_6120

The following weekend Gabriella and I both had to say our goodbyes to our service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega.  The weekend included our alumni potluck, a large service event and our end-of-year banquet.

It was sad to say goodbye to all the wonderful people I met through the organization, but it was even harder to say goodbye to my family. We all became so close over the school year that it was sad to imagine myself and Gabriella graduating and moving on from the UO.

IMG_6107

The banquet was emotional and memorable and I’m thankful I was able to spend time with my service group reflecting on the year. I’m also grateful to have recieved the Triathalon Award. It made me remember the great things that I did through the organization and how volunteering makes a large impact on a community.

 

 

IMG_6122

 

I owe a lot to Alpha Phi Omega and the Zeta Psi chapter. It’s a wonderful organization that teaches the importance and value of service, but also exercises leadership skills and helps develop friendships. I met my best friend there and I’ll never take that for granted.

 

IMG_6089

In addition to APO’s banquet and goodbyes, I also had to say goodbye to my call center family. I worked at the University’s Annual Giving Program call center my entire college career and I finalized that experience with our end-of-year picnic.

The group of goofy friends I made over the years continue to amaze me in their accomplishments either at school or now as graduates like myself.

My experience cold calling and raising money for university academics is also an experience that I will forever cherish. The skills I’ve learned will help me wherever I go in my career and the relationships I created will stay with me even if I’m a couple states away. I can assure you I’ll never forget that “my name is Kelsey and I’m a student calling on behalf of the University of Oregon.”

 

To finalize my last week of school, I presented my public relations portfolio to a panel of professionals. I traveled to the Portland campus to sit down with two gentlemen who gave me wonderful advice and constructive criticism on the printed portfolio that I had worked on during spring term. IMG_6180

After I thanked the panel and left the room, I had completed my college career. It was a bittersweet moment, but boy was I thankful to be done.

 

Though I was done with my classwork, I had one final task left, graduation.

What a weekend that was. It was amazing and again very emotional. My mother and I had a blast celebrating my graduation and I loved the feeling of accomplishment that came from crossing that stage and accepting my diploma (or diploma cover really).

I was thankful to have many people present for the weekend. Of course, all my friends that were also graduating were celebrating as much as I was. But also my close friend Samantha who still has one more year. The best part was that she bonded with my mom and you can be sure that I, and possibly my mother too, will be there for her graduation next year.

 

IMG_6234

Since graduation, I’ve traveled back to Colorado and I’m currently living at home. The trip back to Colorado was a road trip with Gabriella as my copilot and my mom in a very packed car behind us. That in itself was an adventure, but a fun one at that.

Stay tuned for more about what I’m doing in colorful Colorado and what my plans for the future are.

 

 

New Year Resolutions

Well, I haven’t exactly been updating this website very often, with portfolio pieces or blog posts. So it seems fit that my first post of the year is about New Year’s Resolutions and the first one, to post on here more often.

I have never set New Year’s Resolutions because I honestly felt they were cheesy and usually easy to push aside. This year, I came up with a couple resolutions that I hope I can stick to.

  1. Post on my blog more often (post suggestions welcome).
  2. Spend less on pointless things. I’m addicted to Hobby Lobby, Target, dollar stores, you name it, and always buy things that I don’t need and then wonder why I have no money in my bank account.
  3. Eat less sugar. This is going to be the hardest, damn Oreos.
  4. Workout more. Ha. Ain’t I unique?
  5. More yoga. I thought that this could be included in working out, but I feel like yoga is more relaxing than working out. It’s basically meditating and you can do it whenever.
  6. Volunteer more. I already volunteer with the national service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega that I am apart of (see my APO Media Work page) but I want to try to help even more organizations this year, even after I graduate.
  7. Spend more time with family and friends. Graduation is just six months away and getting to spend time with friends and family is going to be very important.
  8. Clean out the old. The most basic, but most important. It’s time to get rid of old clothes, old grudges, old feelings and thoughts and move on to the future where everything could be just a bit brighter.

Stay tuned for how these resolutions pan out as the year goes by!