Monday, March 30, 2009

funny Cole story

So, this actually happened a few days ago but it's absolutely hilarious. Remember my post awhile ago about how Cole calls me "dodo"? Well...he upped the ante a little bit...

The other day, I was playing with Cole and asked him to say auntie (yes, I still try to get the real word out!) and he looked at me and said what sounded incredibly close to auntie..Stef was in the dining room and she heard it too. So we, of course, clapped, said "yay!"...ya know, all the normal stuff.

Not the funny part yet. So obviously I get pretty excited right? In all the excitement, I ask Cole to say auntie again.

Now picture this.

He looks at me. Peeks over at Stef in the dining room. Looks back at me. Leans forward a little bit and in an almost inaudible voice, whispers, "Dodo".

Does this kid seriously know how to play the game already?! I mean, he seriously checked to see if Stefanie was watching and lowered his voice to say dodo instead of auntie! Of course, I turn to Stef, ask her if she heard (she didn't) and then relay the story to her and we both laugh about it. Can you believe it??

Sunday, March 29, 2009

there's a reason

Have you ever reminisced about the past and caught yourself playing the "I miss" game?

I played that game constantly until recently. "Gosh, I miss being in high school and not having a care in the world." "I miss my late-night walks around Como with Kirsten." "I miss sitting up until 4 a.m. talking with Kristina Marie." "I miss having my best friends all live within 10 blocks of me." "I miss college."

Believe it or not, that last one is actually true too..

I'm sure I'm not the only one--in fact, I know I'm not the only one--who has been known to look back on life and miss certain things. And that's normal. I mean, some of the best days of my life have been in the past. Some of the best conversations I ever had were walking around Como at midnight with Kirsten or sitting in mine and Kristy's dorm room talking about life at 4 in the morning. But I also think that some of my best days are still to come. And while I do miss doing some of those things I used to do, playing the "I miss" game kind of goes against the whole "thinking-of-the-positive, live-in-the-here-and-now, keep-a-smile-on-your-face" mindset I'm trying to have every day.

There's a difference between remembering the past and keeping those memories alive but not letting them dictate your future. I used to look back on those memories and they would make me sad. Not because the memories themselves were sad but because I just plain missed still creating those memories. And happy memories shouldn't make you feel sad.

I came to realize that those memories will always have a place in my heart. And I can remember them whenever I want. But why sit and play the "I miss" game when you can go out and create a million more memories? Isn't that what life is about? A series of memories you want to keep with you at all times?

I love my memories. But I can't miss old memories if I want to create new ones.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I'm happy

It's not that I'm not usually happy, it's just that yesterday I had this overwhelming feeling of happiness. That, while life could be better, life could also be a heckuva lot worse...

Driving home from Christie's after watching Kennedy all day got me thinking--first off, I was driving. I may not have a car that's completely capable of starting right away all the time--but it eventually starts. And I have a car. A lot of people don't.

I was driving on a beautiful, sunny (albeit a little chilly!) springtime day at the end of March while there were others down south living through a spring-time blizzard! And let's face it, beautiful weather can make even the grumpiest person smile :)

I got to thinking about my two job interviews this week. I would love to do either one. One full-time, one part-time. I started thinking about how well they both went (heck, according to the office manager of one, I might be too nice to work there--while I don't necessarily understand it, someone could definitely tell me much worse things). Ya know, I complain about not having job and as frustrating as it still remains to be, I do at least have the part-time caregiver job. Some people don't even have that.

But the main thing that I really thought about was the plain and simple fact that my life is still pretty amazing. I still have things that a lot of people don't. I have a fantastic family. Wonderful parents. Amazing siblings. Sisters that I can tell anything to and not feel judged. Sisters who give me advice as often as I want. A brother that lights up when he gets to see me. A nephew and niece (and one on the way!) that make me smile every day and that I would do anything for. Some people don't have that.

I have friends who always have been and always will be there for me. Friends who I have enjoyed some of the best days of my life with. Friends who have been there for me on the worst days of my life. Friends who love me for just who I am and nothing else. Friends that are family. Some people don't have that.

What it comes down to is that I really am not proud of all the complaining I've been doing since the beginning of the year. And while everyone has told me that those feelings are normal and okay, I'm not okay with it. It seems like I forgot how to be the happy me. During my interviews, it almost felt like a lie to talk about how some of my strengths are my ability to look on the positive, to not let things get to me, to not get stressed out, to always have a smile on my face. Those things felt like lies because I hadn't always acted that way these past few months. For the first time since I got laid off, I am actually excited about the future. Not stressed about the future. Not everyone can say that.

Amazing what a sunny day can do, huh?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


So, on Monday was my personal care class. I also dropped my resume off for the office manager. She was in a meeting when I got there so I didn't get to meet her. After my class, I decided to wait and introduce myself so she could put a face with the name. She was in another meeting when my class ended so I waited about 15 minutes.

She came out and I introduced myself. She was incredibly nice and asked if I wanted to come into her office and chat for awhile. So we had an impromptu interview for about 20 minutes. I think it went really well--afterwards, she introduced me to the staffing supervisor who is the person in charge of the department I would work in if I got the job. We sat and talked for about 10 minutes; she seemed really nice too. I went out of it thinking that I would LOVE to get this job--everyone there seems so nice and really fun to work with. Mary (the office manager) told me she would talk with her business partner and get back to me by the end of the week.

I received a call from her today to do a "phone-screening"--she had explained yesterday that the way we were doing things was not the way they generally go about hiring someone. The process usually starts with a phone screening, then an in-person interview, etc. So she wanted to do the phone-screening to get the formalities out of the way. We talked for about 15 minutes and she told me she would talking with her business partner again about our conversation. She also mentioned that they were still in the process of receiving resumes so I'm not sure if I'll get another call back this week or not. I'm hoping so.

The only downfall if you will is...well, you'll see. I talked to Abby today (my friend that works there) and she said that Mary thinks I'm....are you ready for this? Too nice. No joke. Apparantly with this job, there's a fair amount of dealing with, shall we say, unpleasant caregivers. Or caregivers who aren't exactly doing their job and need a little push in the right direction. And Mary is worried that I'm too nice to actually "be mean" and tell them to do their job.

Trust me. I can be mean! I mean, my general demeaner is pleasant I like to think. And as long as everyone is doing their job, I remain happy and respectful. But that doesn't mean I can't be stern when I need to. Come on, there was a reason why I was the disciplinarian at Summer Spec--those kids knew I meant business and that they weren't going to get away with anything. The problem is that I can't call up Mary and be like "hey, Abby says you think I'm too nice...I can be mean", somehow in my next conversation with Mary (as long as it's not the i would love to have you work here but you're too nice rejection call), I'm going to have to find a way to let her know that I can do it...

After almost 3 months of unemployment, I am *not* going to be happy if the sole reason I don't get this job is because I'm too nice. Honestly!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

don't worry, I'm TB-free


When I got the job as caregiver at Home Instead, after the orientation-I was only qualified to do home management caregiving. Which means just basic stuff--cleaning around the house, running errands, etc. No helping the clients get up from their chairs, no helping them get dressed and so on. A more hands off approach if you will. However, the majority of their hours go to personal care caregivers which allows you to do much more. Because personal care is a hands on approach, they require you to get a TB test and take further training. So, I went on Thursday and got my TB test administered so I could go to the personal care training on Monday. I got my test read today and, of course, I don't have TB. I wasn't worried about it but still, good to know I guess??

Oh, did you catch that? I have a job. I don't think I've mentioned that on here yet. Mostly because I haven't actually worked at it yet so it doesn't really feel like a job, ya know?

On to better news anyways. And typically, I don't like to mention job opportunities/interviews, etc. because I always feel a little stupid if I don't get the job. But, I'm at that point where I just don't care anymore so I'm going to write about it... haha :)

I got a phone call from the office manager at Home Instead. They happen to have an open full-time office position that they wanted me to apply for. So, since I'll be in the office for the personal care training on Monday, I am bringing them my resume to look at. I'm not sure if they have other candidates as well...I was a little confused by the way she worded it on the phone. The open position is for a Staff Coordinator and their basic job is to coordinate scheduling between the caregivers and clients. They make sure they are matching the best caregivers with the appropriate client, taking into consideration location, activities, interests, personality, etc. She said it can be very fast-paced and stressful (i.e. when a caregiver calls in sick and you need to rush to find a replacement caregiver for their client) and asked if that was something I was interested in. I generally don't get too stressed and frazzled when it comes to my work so I think it's something I could handle. So this is the part where I got confused about if there were other people applying...after she explained the job description, she said "so what we'd like to do is kind of have a trial period for a few weeks to see how you like it and handle it...and if you prove yourself and enjoy doing it, we would offer a very competitive financial package." So I'm not completely sure what to take out of that. I don't know if she was just saying whoever they decide after they review applications would go through that or if they are going to give me the opportunity immediately and see how it goes. I mean, I guess either way is fine--this opportunity was kind of handed to me and I should have to work for it just like everyone else...I was just a little confused.

So, that's where I'm at. Hopefully at some point this week, I'll find out more about this office position because, honestly, I think I would prefer doing that. Especially because it's full-time and would have a consistent schedule. So we'll see...I'll keep you posted :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

weight check #2

This week: down 3 pounds
Total: down 3.5 pounds

Wait what? I'm the one that just typed that and I'm still not sure I can believe it. And to be honest, I'm not really sure how it happened...I've got something to admit. I didn't go to the gym Monday. Or Tuesday. Or...Wednesday. Or Thursday. I know, I know...I'm mad at myself too. I went Friday and Saturday and I'll be going in about an hour tonight. And ya know what...even though I've lost 3 pounds this week, I didn't start feeling good again until Friday....and I'm pretty sure that has to do with going to the gym again.

But even though I was horrible and didn't go to the gym until Friday, still being able to lose 3 pounds goes to show what just eating healthier can do. I tried to be even better than last week about eating healthier and it obviously paid off! It still doesn't ease my conscience about not going to work out (and it shouldn't) but it does make me feel better knowing that just eating healthier makes a difference.

Next weeks goal: 2 pounds

Even though I lost 3 pounds this week, I'm not going to be stupid enough to convince myself that I can do that every week. Plus, since I *am* going to try and get to the gym every day, I know that with building muscle, it's harder to lose weight. But trust me, I have enough to lose. It shouldn't be a problem!

*favorite meal of the week* whole wheat pita cut in half, filled with lettuce, cheese, & ham along with a serving of pita chips and raspberry lime spring calories: 340

Thursday, March 12, 2009

auntie or dodo??

So, I realized I haven't posted in quite awhile (which is strange because I HAD been posting pretty frequently)...anyways...

I'll share a funny story with you all. I've been trying to get Cole to say "auntie" probably....well, probably since before he was even born. He can say 'Mel' and he even says "on" followed by "tee" when prompted but "auntie"? Yeah, that's a whole other story.

I digress...onto the funny part.

Lately, when Stefanie or I (because, let's face it, we're pretty much the only two people that try to get him to say auntie) ask him to say "auntie", he decides to call me.....



dodo. I kid you not. It's not like he doesn't know who I am because when you say auntie, he looks right at me or points at me. But when you ask him to SAY auntie, he decided that "dodo" would be much more appropriate. I'm hoping that since he's all of two, there's no meaning behind this...haha.

I was also going to say that I'm hoping that 8 years from now, my nieces and nephews aren't calling me "Auntie Dodo" but now that I'm writing it out, I suppose it could be a lot worse than it is huh?

Monday, March 9, 2009

weight check 1

And the verdict is....

...- .5 lbs.

So...basically the same. BUT that's okay. I started in the middle of the week so I knew it was going to be a super small number (if I ended up losing anything to begin with). And I also started working out...and I know that when you start working out, your body has to acclimate to that. Plus, with working out (and just because I know it's healthier) I've been trying to drink a lot more water than normal and until your body gets used to how much water you're taking in, that can affect your weight too.

Bottom line is, I'm not going to get disappointed. It's not like I can make a lifestyle change cold turkey (is a food metaphor really appropriate here?!) so I know it's going to be a hard road. I know there will be slip-ups--which there quite possibly may have been this week. However, I feel like overall, I did really well. Even just working out the past few days has made me feel so much better! In fact, the days that I didn't work out once I got membership, I could definitely tell a difference in, not only my body, but my mentality--about the day and just in general. I was definitely in a better mood and more positive and upbeat on the days I worked out. And feeling that difference makes me want to continue to work out. Also, eating healthier and smaller portions more often has definitely made a difference too.

Next weeks goal: 2 lbs!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

gotta stop this...

Gotta stop what, you ask?

Well, whenever a new opportunity comes up that I'm really excited about, I always tell myself I'm *not* going to get my hopes up. I tell myself that because I truly do realize how bad the economy is right now. I know how many people are unemployed and searching for a job just like me. So I tell myself I won't get my hopes up because I know my chances aren't great. I mean, let's be honest, right? I could be 100% qualified for a job that is perfect for me--and my chances still aren't that great.

Where is this coming from? Right?

Well a friend referred me for a job at the place she works. It's a great place to work (in fact, Greg also works there) and when I read the qualifications for the position, I felt like it fit me so perfectly. It was an Administrative Assistant II position--and they're all different--this position did a lot of proofreading/editing and anyone that knows me knows that that's what I do. As in, not even for a job...that's what I do for fun? (sidebar: I don't know if fun is the appropriate word...that makes me sound of kind of lame!) But anyways, I do enjoy proofreading--in high school and college, I edited all my friends papers and it's just something I love doing.

Anyways, I kept telling myself don't get your hopes up, don't get your hopes up, don't get your hopes up. It's so much easier to tell yourself that than to actually do it. I try to force myself to not get my hopes up but when it's something that seems so perfect, it's hard not to.

Basically what it comes down to is they had already filled the position by the time they received my resume. I'm so thankful that Kel thought of me and brought this opportunity to my attention. And I'm really not going to let this get me down--I can't--but I do have to stop getting my hopes up.

Monday, March 2, 2009

weight check!

*Edit* Rae is doing the same thing as me (not that SHE needs to lose ANY weight!) But she gave me a few websites to look at and also sent me a copy of the chart she uses to keep track of her calories/exercise. It all looks super simple so I think I'm gonna try using her system and see how that goes! Because of the way her chart is set up, I'll probably be making my "weight check" posts on Sundays--I don't want to change around the way she has it set up since it seems to work for her! So anyways, expect my posts on Sundays instead of Mondays! Also, I'm going to try to not get disappointed if I don't see any weight loss this first week since I'm starting in the middle of the week...still, wish me luck!

I am officially signing up for a gym membership tomorrow.

I had initially said that I wanted to get a job first but then I realized that if I have all this extra time right now, I might as well make use of it right? Plus , at Snap Fitness, with insurance it only costs $15/month. Also, you can put a "hold" on your membership for 3 months per year. So, if--knock on wood--I'm still unemployed in a couple months and find that I can't afford it, I can stop my membership for up to 3 months.

So, in the spirit of getting healthy and holding myself accountable, I'm going to post an update every Monday with how the week went and how much weight I've lost. *Note* I will NOT be saying what my current weight is (I still have that embarrassment issue going on) but I will post how much I've lost.

So...if you haven't heard from me by Tuesday mornings, harass me and make sure I own up to the week! I think the knowledge that I have to post how much I've lost will encourage me to keep it up (especially because I don't want to GAIN!)

One last friends and I are having a "college reunion" weekend at the beginning of it too ambitious to hope to have lost 15 pounds by then?! Here's to hoping err hard work!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

faith is better when you have it

Faith. My faith. Your faith.

Faith in general.

It's actually one of my favorite topics to write about. And, therefore, talk about. Recently I found out that the girlfriend of someone I went to high school with passed away from an incredibly aggressive form of cancer. I'm not going to pretend like I knew her. I'm not even going to pretend that I "knew" Adam. Yes, we graduated together. Yes, we walked the halls--and shared classrooms--of the same high school for 4 years. And yes, you could probably say that, in high school, we were acquaintances. But I haven't talked to him since. I do, however, have friends that still hang out with Adam. And I have friends that knew Ashley (his girlfriend). Today was Ashley's wake. My friend Kelly is one of Adam's friends and, obviously, through Adam she met Ashley. It's times like tonight when I'm incredibly grateful for the friends I have and the discussions we're able to have.

Faith. One of the best things to enjoy in life. It's always hard when someone you know dies. Always. There's no way around the truth of that. But isn't it amazing how faith brings you through it? Kelly was telling me about the wake today; how incredibly sad it was. How there were ribbons in Ashley's casket for Adam saying 'always and forever'. From everything I've heard about Ashley, her and her family had incredible faith. I was trying to explain to Kelly that while this will be one of the hardest things they'll ever have to overcome, they will overcome it. Because Ashley had faith. Because Adam has faith. Because her family has faith.

And while we were talking about it, this question popped up. Why does faith make you feel better? When things are rough, why does having faith help? When someone you know dies, why does it feel better when you have faith that they're in a better place? How is it, exactly, that faith just helps? It doesn't really do anything. I mean, it does a lot, but in terms of what it physically does? Nothing, right? I've been pondering this question for awhile now and I really don't have an answer.

I know that having faith makes me feel better. That while I don't understand all of God's plan, I have faith in them and I know they are right and there's a reason for them. I don't understand--or even agree with--God taking Phil but I have faith that God needed him at that time. I don't know why God chose to give Ashley this cancer and, ultimately, take her to Heaven...but she had faith and therefore, the rest of us should have faith. So, while I can't answer the question of why faith makes us feel better, I do hold comfort in the fact that it simply does.