Thursday, September 22, 2022

A New Beginning

A new beginning....a continuation of our story....a new adventure....whatever you want to call it! But the Hahn Family definitely has made some changes this year.

First, since this started as a running blog, let's get caught up on how running is going for me since my foot surgery.

In a word, SLOWLY. But I'm okay with that right now. It's been a tough couple of years, first with rotator cuff repair in late 2020, then a tough training cycle trying to get back into shape, then running a marathon with the first symptoms of Covid late 2021, then needing foot surgery spring 2022. I couldn't run for nearly 3 months, and was definitely out of shape when I did start back on June 14. 

I gave myself a lot of grace. I had been feeling a ton of stress and had some physical issues unrelated to surgery that caused fatigue and weakness leading up to my return to running. I only run about 3 days per week, 3-4 miles at a time. By the time I began it was already deep into Texas mid-year heat and it was brutal, and because I am running so little, I've never acclimated to it. It's not a big deal...I am not planning on running another marathon anytime soon and I think my body is perfectly fine with taking it very easy this year. It's a complete departure from 2019-2020 when I ran over 2000 miles in a 12-month period. But we all have different seasons, and right now my season consists of very little running. 

I go to the gym a few times a week and am working on strengthening. My repaired shoulder seems to have its pre-accident strength back and that thrills me. For so many months it seemed like a pipe dream that I could ever be that strong again. But with some consistency it's coming back to me. 

After I got Covid, I decided to defer my January race in Baton Rouge to 2023, but have since decided I'm not going to run it after all. I do have a new race picked out...but my reasons for choosing it have a lot to do with another change our family has made.

Back in May, Greg was recruited by Amazon Web Services to interview for a position as Head of Supply Chain and Procurement for AWS Networking (yes, it's a mouthful and that's not even the full title). Over the course of several weeks, he interviewed and received an incredible offer to come work for them. While he enjoyed his time with Calix, we both felt, after many discussions and going back and forth, that it was time to move on and think long term with retirement. There was a catch, however. He would be required to live in either of the other two Amazon hubs, San Jose or Seattle. Neither was ideal, and we did not intend on permanently moving. Our daughter is in her last year of high school and relocating would be too difficult. Besides, we love our home. 

This was a hard decision to make. Spend more time apart, maintain two homes, fly back and forth all the damn time? San Jose was quickly ruled out because neither of us have any intention on moving back to California. The income taxes alone piss me off to no end. So Seattle became the choice, and it was a huge leap of faith to say yes to the job. But we said yes and a new adventure was born.

Once he accepted the offer, things moved fast. He had to wind down his job at Calix, he was able to cancel an overseas trip and instead come with me at the last minute to my 30th high school reunion, and we had to find a place to live. Greg spent the first two weeks in August in Seattle, and our daughter and I flew out for a few days to find an apartment. We chose the Denny Triangle/Belltown area to stay as close to Amazon HQ as possible so Greg wouldn't need a car. The walkability score in this area is 100, so a car is pretty much pointless. Public transportation and Uber would be more than enough to get him around in addition to walking. 

A special moment at my reunion

Apartment hunting

I've never done high rise living before, and it was a bit of a shock to be a part of this kind of scene. We found a fantastic place with the most incredible view of Puget Sound, somewhere we knew Greg could call home, I could come visit as often as possible, and he would integrate himself into the Amazon/Seattle life as seamlessly as possible. The more comfortable he was, the easier the travel would be. Nobody wants to live out of a suitcase in random hotels all the time. 

Did I mention the view? 

We moved into the apartment in early September and slowly things are taking shape. Most furniture has been bought and delivered and Greg makes it more and more like a real home everytime he's there. I'll be there again in just a few days and I'm so looking forward to it. 

From our rooftop

Toasting to our new place

New places to run (with better summer weather)

Good morning, Seattle

An incredibly cool part of being in Seattle is that I get to visit my sister's grave. I was able to visit when we apartment hunted and when we came back this past month, right around her birthday. It's so special to me to be closer to her again.

Daniella's first time at the gravesite

Thankfully Greg is still home here in Round Rock more than he's in Seattle, and this won't be a permanent move. It's vitally important for him to spend as much time with the team at the headquarters as possible, learning the Amazon culture and getting up to speed so he can be as effective of a leader as possible. 

Besides, having a little weekend getaway when I need it? That seems like a really fun new adventure after 23 years of marriage, and being on the cusp of the empty-nest phase or our life. It may have felt like the craziest choice at first, and I had a ton of anxiety about it, but the more settled he becomes in Seattle, the more my anxiety (and his) lessens. He likes this job, although it's obviously intense and busy. We are getting used to the constant trips to the airport, and our daughter is acclimating to a little more responsibility at home helping me out, and thankfully we've got friends (and our adult son!) that are on call to be sure our house is never empty and our dogs are taken care of. (Thank you Heather!!)

Gotta make sure he feels the love before I leave for Texas

Little pieces of home

Quote from Greg: We are doing this TOGETHER

I've got to throw in a little shout out about our son, who just began his third year in college as a Computer Science student. He's already a senior and will be graduating next spring with his Bachelor's degree. We are INSANELY proud of him and all his hard work these last couple years. 

So back to running. 

In 2018, in his quest to qualify for Boston so he could run it with me in 2019, Greg ran the Jack and Jill's Downhill Marathon just east of Seattle. Since I plan to spend as much time in Seattle next summer as possible, I'm going to sign up for this race, but ONLY the half marathon. I'm continuing to give myself a lot of grace to ease back into running long distances after a tumultuous year. I think it will be great to run where Greg had his epic first marathon, and the logistics will be so easy since we have a place there. Greg, however, has no desire for me to also sign him up!

It's not the 2022 I envisioned but to say I'm excited about what the future holds is an understatement. And I give it all up to God. I put my trust in him when I needed to, more than I ever have in my life, and he has provided in abundance. I'm closer to God than I've ever been, my faith is stronger than I thought possible, and it makes the future look beautiful. Even with the struggles, the worst of them, God is in control. Life may not look like you thought it would, but you can do anything if you follow close behind God.

A reminder I added in July

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

TCI 2022: we all need paradise (part 4 and the finale)

We've been in Providenciales for 8 days now and really have no desire to leave. The most fun, most relaxing, best vacation. But two more days of adventure? Sounds great!


Hands down, today was our favorite day on the island. We took a snorkeling tour through Caicos Dream Tours to Iguana Island (Little Water Cay/Half Moon Bay). We've taken this tour both times we've been to Provo, and it's honestly one of the best deals on the island. Four hours on the boat/snorkeling/deserted island, unlimited beer and rum punch, and lunch. Sign me up!

Do we take a lot of selfies? Yes, we take a lot of selfies.

While we were cruising to our snorkeling spot, we came across a dolphin (maybe it was JoJo, the local dolphin everyone gets excited about seeing). She was swimming alongside the boats and having a great time putting on a show for us. Everytime she would jump out of the water, we would all cheer. I couldn't believe how close she was swimming to the boat prop! It was a slight detour while we enjoyed the show, but totally worth it.

We found our snorkeling spot at the third largest reef in the world and spent about an hour or so just enjoying the water, coral, and sea life. There was even a shark and barracuda sighting! The reef is just beautiful and it was so peaceful. Definitely one of my favorite things to do. We also got to jump off the top of the boat if we wanted and most people on our tour did that, especially all the kids. I only jumped once because I'm a big fat baby, but it was great and I had fun. Greg is definitely more daring than me. No photos of it, unfortunately. One hilarious thing was the number of bikini tops that would come loose when the ladies jumped.....I joked that those were the most boobs I've seen in one day. I was smart to have my rash guard on!

After snorkeling, we continued onto to Little Water Cay (aka Iguana Island). It's an uninhabited island just east of Provo, by Mangrove Cay, that was formed over a few decades after Hurricane Donna hit and closed the channel that used to exist there between the Atlantic and Caribbean. The channel is completely closed now and the only inhabitants of the island are rock iguanas. And there are a ton of them.

The water off the island is even more pristine than on Grace Bay and really has to be experienced to truly appreciate it. Greg and I took SO MANY PHOTOS to try to capture the beauty and the fun we were having.

One of my favorite photos from our 2015 trip was taken on this beach, one of me sitting cross legged with my back to the camera and facing the sea and we wanted to recreate it....we weren't quite in the same spot as before but Greg did an awesome job as photography is capturing the serenity. I love these photos.

I did, however, end up with a lot of sand in my pants.

One of the things that Greg was very intentional about on this trip was that he was leaving work behind, not an easy thing to do for a VP level job. But he left his laptop at home and only had his work phone for emergencies, although he always left it in our room. He knew he needed to trust his team, and posted the importance of that on Linked In along with an appropriate photo. It was so important to take the time to disconnect while also being an example of a leader to your team.

We walked across the strip of island to get to the Caribbean side, where there is a very shallow inlet and beautiful beach. Said hello to a couple iguanas on our way.

People from all the tours were having a fantastic time over here....swimming, drinking, taking hilarious photos. Our tour guide, Tino, was our resident photographer and seemed to be having just as much fun as the tourists.

Sadly, our time on Iguana Island was coming to a close, but the fun wasn't ending quite yet. We had a blast dancing to music and finishing off the rum punch on the boat on the ride back. Our fellow tourists and our tour guides, Tino, Tario, and Emmanuel were so much fun!

After we got home, we chided ourselves for not booking this trip twice while on vacation....we were there for 10 days after all, and each trip is a little different. You never know who you'll get as a tour guide and as fellow group of tourists. We had so much fun and were exhausted as we made our way back to our hotel room. Definitely needed a nap before dinner!

That night we chose to walk to a local Italian restaurant, Lupo. After all the beer and rum punch consumption, a good plate of pasta was needed. We didn't take any photos at the restaurant but we took advantage of the lighting at sunset to snap a few before we walked down the beach.

The food at Lupo was outstanding, especially since it's on a Caribbean island! Definitely some place we would come back to in the future. 

Only one more full day until we have to go home...sad!


After how tiring the day before was, we knew today would be low key. We wanted to soak up as much of the beach as we could, try to finish off our rum (oh my gosh we needed to dry out!), I wanted to finish my fourth book of the trip, and probably take a nap on the beach.

Greg thought it would be funny to capture just how dark his tan had gotten over the course of our trip.

Crazy what a Filipino bloodline will do!

I tried to appreciate every moment of this day, not knowing when we'd be coming back again. That included a banana daiquiri in the water.

Every night we had chosen a different restaurant for dinner, but tonight I wanted to stay casual and go back to Somewhere Cafe. Plus a little extra exercise by having to walk down there was good. It was one of the best sunsets of our trip, so I'm glad we chose to go there.


Oh's time to go home!!

It was an ADVENTURE getting back home. The airport in Provo was insanely busy, so I'm glad we had a priority ticket because we got to skip the check in line that was probably at least an hour long. The security line was another long wait, and then the waiting area was packed full of hundreds of people. 

Our flight was routed through Charlotte before getting to Austin, but there were actually two flights going to Charlotte at the same time, our flight and then one that had been delayed from the night before. There was a ton of confusion and unfortunately the gate agents didn't explain this very well. I'm glad I was paying attention because a lot of people were trying to go through the wrong gate and at the wrong time. The airport is very small....after you go through the gate, you leave the building and actually have to walk outside to your plane and board on a ramp. When they called our flight and we were told to board, at the same time as the other Charlotte flight, there was no one to direct each of us to the appropriate flight, leading to a lot of confusion outside as we were all intermingled together. Once we figured out which plane was ours, we find out we've breached security and weren't even supposed to be out there yet. A 15 minute wait outside the plane while they finished cleaning it and then thankfully we were finally on board....after sweating too much in the heat outside.

The flight attendant was on the money with delivery of a double rum and coke to me and a bourbon and coke to Greg almost right away, however, while the rest of the plane boarded (did I mention I love First Class and wish I was wealthy enough to fly that way all the time? But alas....). 

We were now running about 30 minutes behind on take off which was not a great thing considering our layover in Charlotte was only 90 minutes. I was getting nervous about making the connection, with having to go through Customs and get our bags and recheck them and then make our way back through security. 

But first, a bizarre thing happened. Someone had food delivered onto the plane from one of the restaurants inside the airport. Apparently they needed to board before it was ready, so it was delivered right to the plane (I've never seen this). However, nobody could figure out who it belonged to or if it was even the right plane. 

It was weird. But I did offer to eat it if no one else claimed it! I have no idea whatever happened to it.

Once we got through Charlotte, and through Customs (which only took about 15 minutes), we had to wait for our bags. And wait......and wait.....and wait. FORTY MINUTES after we landed, we got our bags, which left us with a whopping 5 minutes to make our flight. Needless to say, we were sprinting. I haven't run since my surgery, and I was wearing flip flops, and security had a line. The TSA agent let us go by a few people without having to go through the full body scanner and he was saint. And then we find out our flight was delayed by 15 minutes....YAY!!

We made it on the plane with a few minutes to spare and I was basically another rum and coke for me!!

I also took an opportunity to document my own epic tan from the trip, as epic as a tan on an Irish girl can be. 

We were on our way to Austin and I was SAD! But our day was not over yet....

Once we got to Austin, we had no gate. For 45 minutes, we waited for a gate. Then we got the privilege of waiting another half an hour for our bags....except not all our bags made it. Two out of our three checked bags (with all our rum!) made it on our flight. The third was on the next flight to Austin....which of course was running 90 minutes late. It was now 9:30 at night and the flight was scheduled to arrive around 11pm. We could have it delivered or just go eat, come back, and wait for it. We chose the latter.....except of course it took them an hour to unload the luggage, along with the luggage from six other flights onto the same carousel, so basically the baggage claim scene was insane. Thank God our bag was one of the first off.....and we could FINALLY DRIVE HOME!

We arrived home at 12:30....over 14 hours after we left the resort that morning. 

BEST TRIP EVER, even with the crazy travel day. 


I hope you've enjoyed the recap and all the photos!