My my. I have to say… I am in a very good place right now.

I know it’s been a while since I’ve updated this thing, but I just had to pop in and capture the feelings I’ve been having lately.  Bottle up these emotions, if you will.

These past few months have been incredible. Pretty much since the holiday season started, I’ve had this new pep in my step. Truth be told, I think a lot has to do with my new job with the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP). I cannot express into words how fulfilling my work is, especially now that I am actually handling donors on my own.

Ever since I got the lead about the NMDP Workup Specialist position back in late November, I’ve had this fire burning inside of me. Receiving that email from my classmate back in December — a woman who I had only spent a few days with during my orientation in Chapel Hill back in August… a woman who shared an academic advisor with me… a woman who worked for the NMDP’s Puerto Rico office… a woman who took the time to hunt down my email address and tell me about an opening in the Charlotte Office… (and inform me that she had already sent them my information and that they were wanting to see my resume) — really got my wheels turning. I just knew the position she described was something I needed to look into.

And not only look into, but highly consider.

Most importantly, though, the organization as a whole really resonated with me.

After chatting with her on the phone later that night, my mind was made up. And now? Here I am… a month and a half into my new career, an organization I can see myself working for many, many years down the road.

In fact, quite a handful of my coworkers have been with the NMDP for 10+ years. The woman in the office next to mine? 17 years. And my senior regional manager? 20+. That kind of commitment to one organization, or one company, is almost unheard of these days. This just shows how mission-driven the people behind the NMDP truly are.

They’re not there for work…or for any ‘ole 9-5 job.

They’re there because it’s a mission they genuinely care about.

And the more I talk to people, the more I realize it’s a mission a lot of people care about. Think about it — who doesn’t want to have the opportunity to be a hero for someone… to be the match and save a person’s life with a bone marrow donation? I get chills every time I make that phone call. To let someone know that they have the chance to give someone that gift of life… the gift of time. Something tells me this feeling won’t be wearing off anytime soon.

Suffice it to say, I seriously love my job. My life has taken on a new meaning.

It actually amazes me the path my life has taken post college. How so many things have come as a result of “chance.” Things like… volunteering for a year with the AmeriCorps. Meeting my friends in Charlotte. Meeting Ryan. Finding Happy. Getting into my dream MPH program. Landing this new job. If I had gone to a graduate program immediately after I graduated undergrad, my life would not be what it is right now. And that is so crazy to think about. I would not have my life any other way. I am so happy. So blessed.

Don’t get me wrong, though. I have my down days, too. (Hello, flashback to this past weekend of cranking out a midterm before midnight on a Sunday… not my cup of tea). I’ve had hard days and frustrating moments. Hell, there were tears this past weekend. Ryan sure is a lucky guy, let me tell you. Working fulltime and going to school is one heck of a balancing act. And sadly, those papers don’t just write themselves.

What’s nice, though, is I feel like I’ve finally nailed down a true balance. I absolutely LOVE going to work, and have my mind completely submerged in the tasks that need to be accomplished. I’ve gone through *tons* of training and it’s all paying off now that I am taking care of my own donors. Knowing that what I do when I get to my office each day — the steps it takes to walk donors through the process of a bone marrow transplant — changes peoples’ lives… is an incredible feeling. The mission surrounding the NMDP and the Be The Match Registry is something that I am truly drawn towards and stand behind 100%.

And I think the feeling is mutual. Because last week when I came to work, I found this sitting on my desk…


Talk about ways to make a girl feel valued in the workplace!

Okay, so maybe it was Valentine’s day… but I still was super shocked to see it on my desk when I got there in the morning.

What shocked me even more though? Was when this was delivered to my desk later in the morning…


Trifecta of perfection: flowers, chocolates, and an assortment of bath bubbles!


Blooms opening up



Talk about love, people. I had no clue this was coming. NONE. Ryan and I had already celebrated Valentine’s Day the weekend before.

In fact, they’re still sitting on my desk, over a week later.


You, my precious flowers, can hang in my office for as long as your little hearts desire.

Seriously, what a thoughtful guy.

And you know what else I’ve found surprising?

The fact that Ryan is so into wedding planning.

Seriously… I love it! For a gal who is running around like a chicken with her head cut off for most of her waking hours (between work, school, and writing papers out the eyeballs…) it’s nice to have a partner who is just as invested in wedding-stuff as you are (er, well, want to be… as time allows).

In fact, as I am typing this, Ryan is doing his graphic-designer thing and creating our wedding website!! He’s been asking me for about a week when we could create it, and I just haven’t had the time to focus on “wedding things” (did I mention  it’s midterms?). So basically, Ryan has free reign to do whatever he wants in creating the website. He also says he wants to create our Save-The-Dates. And possibly the invitations. As I’m sure y’all know by now, he’s quite the clever guy.  I’m excited to see what he comes up with Smile

In other news, we were able to nail down a lot of things when we took our trip to Florida to visit my mom back in January.

Namely… our ceremony site/reception venue (and therefore our food, cake, and day-of-coordinator… as it’s an *amazing* packaged deal!), officiant, DJ, photographer, videographer, rehearsal dinner locale, and MY DRESS!

OMG, y’all. I am in love with my dress. Completely. It’s gorgeous. My mom cried. I never wanted to take it off. There are pictures of it on my iPhone. These pictures may or may not get looked at multiple times a week. Don’t judge me. It’s that gorgeous.

Ryan and I also had an engagement photo-shoot with our photographer while we were down there, and we should be getting those photos back in a couple of weeks! We absolutely adored our photographer and her husband. They are one extremely talented couple.

Oh, and I guess we secured one more important thing while we were in Florida —  our wedding date!!!! I’ll save all of these wedding-related details for another post, though… as this one is already super long.

Let’s just say… June 15th, 2013 is going to be an amazing day.



Filed under AmeriCorps, Be The Match, engagement, Florida, Happiness, Holidays, job, love, National Marrow Donor Program, NMDP, recap, Ryan, UNC, wedding

11 responses to “Love.

  1. I’m so happy and excited for you, allison! I adore your dress and I adore you two cuties. you’re going to have such a wonderful whirlwind. 🙂

  2. Your job sounds so rewarding!! I know I’ve told you this before, but I just don’t know how you do it all with school and work and having a life! haha

  3. yay!!!!! so glad to hear how happy you are!

  4. Ahh, it makes me so happy to see how great things are for you! You deserve nothing but the best! 🙂

  5. I love that you love everything in your life right now:) Having a job you’re passionate about can make all the difference. I’m so happy things are going so well. Good luck on midterms.

  6. erica

    very happy for you! 🙂 have fun with the wedding planning looks like you already have things in order!

  7. Congratulations! I am so so happy for you Allison!

  8. crystal

    Yay!! I am so excited for you that things are going so well! Congrats on all the wedding stuff and getting a date! We are getting married on June 15, 2012 so it is exciting to know that when we are celebrating our first anniversary you and Ryan will be saying I DO!!! 🙂

  9. So happy for you both!! Good to see yall are enjoying this new stage together! Congrats on getting sttled in in your new job.. it sounds amazing and wish I could find and do something that would inspire that kind of passion in me. Can’t wait to check yalls website and pics out!

  10. kschuchart

    congrats! I remember finding my dress:) What’s yours look like? pics???

  11. Pingback: Sayonara, Spring…it’s Summer Time! | Happy Tales

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