Saturday, March 28, 2009

Backordered Blizzard

Hello everyone! I don't know what the weather is doing where you live, but here in Kansas we're experiencing a full out spring snowstorm! It's a little nuts. This is the weather I was asking for at Christmas. Um...it's a little late! *hehe* It started yesterday with ice and sleet and by the evening, you should have seen the snow! I've never seen such big fluffy snowflakes. I don't think it snowed as much overnight as they'd originally predicted it would, but it's snowing right now so we'll see what happens. I did wake up to find that the ice had trimmed a tree in our backyard for us.

*UPDATE* I've added photos! 

MoJo & Wrigley can't believe their eyes!

This is our backyard...see the branches on the ground?

I LOVE icicles!

The view from our front door

There are few things in life that I love more than watching dogs romp in the snow. Their excitement is invigorating. Of course, two of my dogs love it more than the third.
Cubby, trying to get something started with MoJo.

Playing chase

MoJo may be our "arctic breed," but I think Cubby loves the snow the most.

I love this one - looks like he's about to blow away in a gust of snow!

Exploring the winter wonderland

Wrigley joined in for as long as he could stand the cold

Time to come inside!

Covered in snow!


So yesterday was pretty slow at work. Once people saw what the weather was doing, we began to get cancellations. For the last couple of hours I sat at my desk trying to come up with busy work, but mostly my eyes were on the increasing ice buildup outside. After our final client came to pick up his dog we'd been boarding, I started to close up shop. Dr. Olson came up front and took my ice scraper from the counter (which I'd rescued from my car earlier in the day, so it wouldn't get frozen inside!) I figured he was just borrowing it for his own car...but later I looked outside and he was scraping my car windows! I thought that was incredibly nice. Especially when I contrast it with the attitude my former employer had. I can't imagine him ever doing such a thing. 

I'm still loving my job! Every day I become a little more confident in the tasks I'm responsible for. I enjoy talking to the people and cooing over the animals. And I actually really like the data-entry and paperwork aspects of the position. Initially I thought it might get boring, but I actually find it rather calming. The only tough part is remembering all of the steps involved in a particular task. I've been comparing it to choreography. This then this then THAT then this then THOSE then that then THIS....and again! *haha* But it's fun.

And working with animals, every day is a little adventure. For example, yesterday I got to help move the biggest dog I think I've ever seen. She was almost 120 pounds (which wouldn't be that bad on a dog with a larger frame, but she had fairly short legs. I think she was as wide as she was tall.) and needed x-rays on her failing legs.  Originally we were going to coax her down the hall, but she was already groggy when we went to get her from her run. She wouldn't budge. So Anne and I had to physically haul her, using a blanket to pick up her back half. It was pretty funny. And later, when the dog was out cold, we needed to move her back onto a stretcher. That was actually harder...she seemed heavier as dead weight! At one point, Anne actually CAUGHT the dog as she was rolling off the table - all 118lbs of her! It scared us all half to death, but Anne's super strong! As my coworkers have all told me, Who says you need to go to the gym to get a workout? ;) 

Well I'm going to go enjoy my day off. The weather outside my be frightful, but I'm going to enjoy the day INSIDE as much as possible. I've got TV shows I need to catch up on before my DVR explodes and I might even wander into my scrapbook room later. *gasp* And at some point this weekend, I get to spend time with my wonderful family to celebrate my Birthday (which is Monday! Oowah oowah!) Hope all of you have a fun and blessed Saturday! Thanks for checking in on me. :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"It's Not Fair!"

Please enjoy the funniest thing I've seen in a looong time. I hope it makes you giggle as much as it did me! :) I know you'll at least agree that IT'S NOT FAIR!!


(I love the subtle Justin Timberlake video references...and you know you're going to be going around singing, "When my world revolves around food it's so hard just not to eeeeeeeat!!!!!")

Speaking of food and all that jazz, my regular readers are probably wondering why I haven't weighed in the last two weeks. Well there really hasn't been much to report. My eating has been sketchy and my workout regimen has been less that stellar. I've only gained like 1.5 pounds over these two weeks which is minimal damage so I'm OK with it. 

Now, I haven't been bingeing like mad or anything crazy. It's just been a bit hard to adjust to my new schedule and keep everything else on track at the same time. I ate out a lot last week because I didn't get my lunch ready to bring with me.  I'm also adding about 4 hours onto my day, which adds more time for cramming in calories. *haha* And I'm still trying to think up healthy snacks I can bring with me that AREN'T loaded with carbs but are still easy to pack up in the morning. (I've been eating too many granola bars recently. *haha*) 

My exercise opportunities have been cut in half to begin with, but then I've had some additional activities in the past week and a half that have limited it further. And I'm so pooped when I get home in the evenings the LAST thing I wanna do is head to the gym. I know, I know, welcome to a normal life. I guess I didn't appreciate what I had until it was gone, y'know? In hindsight, I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to do some hardcore blubber-blasting for the months I was out of work. I know it sped up my progress...and hopefully instilled some habits that I'll be able to continue once I get myself adjusted.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Finally, the photos!

Here are some more photos from Get Scrappy last weekend that are long overdo! First, some pictures my buddy Michelle took while she was here. 

Playing the brad-organizer-maracas. :) Shake it like a polaroid picture!

Me and my beautiful friend Samantha, who was looking particularly fabulous, don't you think? 

On the left are Jeanne & Toni...and on the right that's me "choking" Haley. :)

My friend Sandy Dandy and myself. 

And here I am, guarding the silent auction item I wanted. I still don't know who kept bidding against me, but it got heated! *haha* 

I finally took pictures of the layouts I did, too. Here they are, in random order! 

A single-page layout about eating ice cream at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, even though it was like 20 degrees outside and I was FREEZING. *haha*


A more fitting treat for December in NYC is HOT CHOCOLATE! :) This page is about visiting Max Brenner's, which is basically chocolate paradise. (This is the layout that won the contest! I was so flattered!) I wish you could tell how glittery this page is but the camera didn't pick it up. Everything white is sparkly and most of the brown is too.


Battery Park: using some way old Basic Grey paper that I've had forever. I still need to fill in the date on this one. *haha* :)


This is probably my favorite layout from the weekend. I used a new paper pack I picked up at Scrap Funattic and just thought the colors worked PERFECTLY for these cloudy, Central Park pictures. Fun fun. :)


This page was fun to do, especially after I found that there was a turtle on the ZooBalloo Cricut cartridge. Just what I needed! :)


And as promised, here are the pictures of the beautiful bouquet that my new work "family" got for me. :)


And last but not least, the delicious and adorable froggy treats Jeremy brought for us. 

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Adventures of a Customer Care Assistant

Well week one is over and done with and I'm feeling more and more blessed every day to have this job. Not just because I'm loving it, but also because we're receiving 2 or 3 calls AN HOUR from people wanting to apply for it! They've called the other applicants to tell them the position was filled, but these are new people just finding the ad online. It's amazing. I say a little prayer every time we turn someone away. This economy is harsh and I know there are so many people out of work. It is really so amazing that I got in there when I did and snatched up the position before anyone else. 

As the days go by, I'm feeling more comfortable with the tasks that I'm responsible for. But I'm finding that I'm still carrying some scars with me from my last job. Whenever I approach Dr. Olson to tell him something, I feel like I'm walking on eggshells a bit. At Scrapbook Garden, whenever I had to go to the owner for something, I never knew what response I would get, but it usually ranged from indifferent to extremely annoyed.  Even if he had called you in there himself, it was a nerve-racking situation to talk to him. He never actually full-on yelled at me, but I saw him go off on plenty of other people during my time there, so I felt it was always a possibility to get raked over the coals for no good reason. It was scary!!

Yet whenever I go into Dr. Olson's office, I'm greeted with a chipper, "HELLO!" or "Yes ma'am?" or "What can I do for ya?" And yesterday he was telling me what to put on an invoice for a client , and he was leaning over my shoulder. I clicked the wrong button and felt myself getting nervous, expecting him to get flustered and take over, saying, "No no, just let me do it" (like my last boss would have done) but instead he responded gently, with patience, simply pointing to where I needed to click. It was funny, because Becky even apologized for the way he was hanging over my shoulder, saying that when he does that it makes her nervous. I just laughed because, frankly, that ain't NOTHIN' compared to what I've dealt with. I just need to shake that feeling that he's going to snap at me for something stupid. He is a different man. He is a kind, generous, Godly man. What a change! 

I was originally supposed to work today, but Dr. Olson was going to be leaving the office early because of a conference so we only had two clients scheduled to come in. (We're only open till noon on Saturdays.)  So Becky said I didn't need to bother coming in. I have to admit, I'm thankful for the weekend off. Adjusting to this new schedule has been a little exhausting. I'm used to the retail world and have never had a job where I needed to be there before 9:30. And of course being out of work for 5 months didn't exactly give me a reason to bounce out of bed at the crack of dawn. *haha* Don't get me wrong, I'm not fishing for sympathy here! I know I've always been lucky to sleep ridiculously later than most people. :) But my body is still trying to figure out what on earth is going on! So getting to sleep in a little today was nice. My body feels like I caught up a bit and I'm feeling rested.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Separation Anxiety

There's a lot of adjusting going on this week. I'm getting used to a new schedule, a new job, new coworkers and a completely new routine. It's both exciting and exhausting. *haha* But I have to admit, I'm missing my blog time. I know it's only been a few days, but I haven't had the time to write OR read anything. It's some serious withdrawal...I'm practically twitching! ;) It's for the best, though. No one needs to spend that much time on the internet, for Heaven's sake. I'm out in the real world now, having more experiences and actually doing something of worth. I'm better off...but I still need to make time for this hobby as well. :)

I am learning so much at my new job! There is a lot of information to take in and try to memorize. Under different circumstances, it would be incredibly intimidating and overwhelming. But Becky is being more than patient with me, as are the others.  I have to admit, though, my head is positively swimming with abbreviations and terms that I'd never heard three days ago. I'm familiar with a lot of it, of course, having doggies myself. But the information I need to learn goes far beyond that. *haha* I'm just taking it a day at a time.I feel like I'm making good progress! 

Oh, I've gotta tell you something! I went to Turbo Kick tonight, for the first time since the-dude-that-wouldn't-move-his-muscles incident. Gym bunny and her goober boyfriend didn't show up, thank goodness. The instructor was getting her stuff ready at the front of the room and talking about how hard it is for her to get all the cues shouted out in time, since it's pretty fast paced. One of the gals in class said, "Just tell people to do what you do!" and I said, "Well that's no problem unless they can't SEE her because there's somebody standing right behind you doing nothing!" Some of the other ladies laughed and agreed that if the dude showed up again they were going to "accidently" kick him and get him out of class. But strangely, others were like "I thought he was a good sport! You could tell he wanted to leave but stayed cause she wanted him to!"  I said, "Yeah, but couldn't they have moved to the back of the room?" I just found it pretty interesting that some people actually felt sorry for or admired the doofus for his "efforts." How silly! I'm glad the rest of you agree with ME. ;)

There was a new addition to my Cardio/Core class tonight, though. BACKSTORY: There's a woman at our gym that Jeremy and I have come to call "Man-Woman." She seems to be there AAAAAALL the bloomin' time. Because of her tall, broad body frame and the fact that she's extremely muscly...AND because she tans wa-hay too much and has fake-black hair, she just looks really harsh and man-ish. She has a little "posse" that she tends to work out with, and two of those gals have been coming to Cardio/Core for a while now. But tonight, Man-Woman showed up with them. I rolled my eyes as she strutted to the opposite side of the room in her little tank top and hot pink skirt/skort/how-the-heck-do-you-work-out-in-that?/outfit. She took a spot at the front by the mirror and proceeded to gaze at herself during our warm-up, fixing her hair so it laid just right, pulling the skirt down whenever it bunched up (cause it's a SKIRT! It's gonna bunch up! Silliness.)  As you can tell, I was distracted by her. *haha* I'm just so fascinated by her wrinkly, leatherish skin, wondering why she would think that's attractive? She's a young woman, too. I can't imagine the damage she's already done to her skin.

Well, this was fun. :) Feels good to type. *haha* But don't expect any posts from me tomorrow. Thursdays are my "long day" and I'm going to try and catch the tail end of my Thursday night Bible study, so I won't have much free time. But don't ever worry if I'm absent for longer than I would like. I'll never quit blogging, I promise. :)

(I know I still need to add photos of some things. I swear I'll get around to it eventually. *haha*)

Monday, March 16, 2009

"I think I'm gonna like it here!"

I had this song going through my head ALL day. Anyone else love Annie? :)

Today was great. I mean, GREAT great! I got a good night's sleep, got up too early and got there too early (meaning tomorrow I can sleep later and still get there in plenty of time! Woohoo! *haha*).  But I wasn't sure what traffic would be like at that hour so I thought I should play it safe. Hey, did you know it's dark at 6:30am? *wink*

The people I am working with are SOOO nice. (And since I'm sure they're also soon-to-be Facebook friends and will probably find this blog - Hi Becky! Hi Anne! *waving from blogland*) They got me flowers! A beautiful bouquet (that coincidentally contained my absolute favorite Gerbera Daisies. In hot pink! Just perfect.) is sitting on the counter in my honor. :) It feels good to be so appreciated...already! The customers were all very friendly and welcoming as well. What an amazing blessing this job is. 

And you know what? We can talk to each other and laugh without getting in trouble! Isn't that a strange concept? (Sorry, inside joke to my former coworkers. *jab jab*) 

The clinic keeps hoppin' pretty much the whole day. And when we weren't busy, I was learning something or keeping busy in some other way so the day seemed to go pretty fast. I got to plant some pansies in the indoor planters (the office is on a corner with all windows so there's plenty of sunlight), which was a fun little task. (Those of you that know me well are laughing that someone let me near plants...but I swear I didn't kill them. Yet. *bwahaha*)  And it's just so much fun to see all of the animals coming in. There were these two malamutes with HEADS as big as MoJo. The male, Max, kept "talking" just like MoJo does, except it was much, much louder. *haha*  

And because we kept busy, I had a great first day back on the diet. EXCEPT that I have an adorable husband who came to visit me and brought us all St. Patties Day treats...some cookies, and these little cupcake/brownie things that are decorated to look like bright green frogs. (I'm going to bring my camera tomorrow so I can take pictures of them as well as my flowers, so I'll post those pictures soon. You won't believe how cute these frogs are. *haha*)  But I only ate HALF a cookie. So...I feel no guilt. But tomorrow I do plan on consuming an entire frog, though. :)  

I did make it to Cardio/Core after work! Yup, worked a full day and exercised afterwards. One day down, the rest of my life to go! ;)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

BEST-WEEKEND-EVER!

I have had just an absolutely fantastic weekend. I hope you've all felt even 1/4 as blessed, because I've just been riding on a cloud for the past three days.  Life is GEWD. :^)

So obviously, getting my new job kicked things off on a high note. Thanks for all of your kind congratulations and warm wishes. I really am so excited about it...my stomach is all twisted in knots of anticipation, just like a kid on Christmas Eve. I start tomorrow morning! Did I mention that? (I'll break all the details of the job down in a later post.)

But after that I got to spend 14+ hours scrapbooking with some HILARIOUS and fun women whom I enjoy very much. Get Scrappy was a blast. We laughed and gabbed laughed and sang...and I actually got quite a few (by my standards) pages done for my NYC album. Plus the event raised a ton of mullah for the cause (I'll let you know what the official number was as soon as Mary posts it).  

Having never been, I really didn't know what to expect. But I have to tell you that this is an IMPRESSIVE event! I'm so proud to say I'm friends with the masterminds that put this thing together. God bless them for all their hard work, cause it really is like a SIX-ring circus! They've got contests going on and drawings for door prizes, plus raffles and live & silent auctions. (OOOH the silent auctions! I participated in my first bidding war. It was completely exhilarating. *haha* There's not much SILENT about it!) Then there's an extensive "sale table" which is really more like 10 tables, full of goodies that have been donated. 

I don't have pictures of my pages yet...and I'm sure I'll have more from the event to share as my friends share them with me. :) But here's what I have so far (I didn't take enough - I was too busy having fun! *haha*)
All the tables had cute little centerpieces on them, like these pinwheels they MADE. How adorable are they? 

A great group of gals I'm lucky to know and still be in touch with, even though we don't have the pleasure of working together anymore. (Mary and Linda are in the pink t-shirts, they're the amazing founders and organizers of this event.)

Toni & her sweet daughter Haley, with Nikki.

My "Sandy Dandy" and her grandson Christopher that came along Friday evening. He was being a little stinker and wouldn't look at me for the picture. :)

Our out of town guest Michelle and her daughter Samantha. I had the pleasure of sitting at a table with these two yahoo's. *wink wink* We laughed and broke out into song so much that the whole room was usually staring at our table. They were just jealous. ;) Why is "my table" always the loudest everywhere I go? I just can't figure it out. *haha*

And guess what! I won a contest! Yup, my wonderful scrapbooking comrades voted for my page so I won a gift certificate to Scrap Funattic! Hmmm, wonder if I'll ever be able to find a way to use that? *hehe* Too bad I had already made a trip out there with Michelle and Samantha a little before the contest ended. Oh well, I'll just have to go back. I have a full punch card to redeem, anyways.  (I'll post a close-up of the page later.)

So that in itself adds up to a darn wonderful weekend, right? Well just wait. When I got home last night, Jeremy's car was in the driveway so I couldn't pull in. He came out to meet me and help me carry my stuff in and I was like, "Why are you parked in the driveway?" and he said, "Cause you can't pull in the garage tonight." "Why not?" Then he showed me - there were lengths and lengths of trim lying on the garage floor. He had been spontaneously motivated to finish the trim on the main floor!! (For newer readers, you can read all about our flooring project that's been on pause for over three months: HERE and HERE. My house has been sitting in a state of unrest since Thanksgiving weekend...and I've got "BEFORE" photos with no "AFTER." It's been fairly frustrating.) He'd gone and borrowed a friend's saw, bought & cut all the trim and was painting it so it could be installed. So by the end of today (or maybe tomorrow) it should be FINISHED! And then I can finally push my furniture into place, unbox the books and stuff that have been sitting on my landing for all this time and bring the "extra" furniture back up from the basement! *huge sigh of relief* I'm so excited. It's going to look awesome. You won't even believe the difference. 

Anywho, so that's been my amazing weekend. Just too, too good! I am one happy girl. Now, diet/exercise wise I have been the total opposite of good. I haven't been to the gym in three days and I've had candy, Mexican feasts and a Shamrock Shake (they won't be around much longer, y'know.) I've chalked it up to celebrating, and am actually quite ready to get back to normal tomorrow. (Although "normal" won't really be that normal anymore, since I'll be starting a new routine. But you know what I mean.) 

Friday, March 13, 2009

Bad news...

I hate to tell you this...but you're going to be seeing less of me here in blogland (and Facebook too, I'm sure). 




BECAUSE I GOT THE JOB!!!!!!

*happy dance*

Can you believe it?? Just last Friday I hadn't even thought of applying anywhere, and here I am one week later, completely employed! *haha* When it's meant to be, it's meant to be!

The "2nd Interview" really wasn't an interview at all. Some of you had already guessed it, they were just having me come back to offer me the job. Ann (the vet tech) showed me around the hospital, back in the surgery room and boarding area and all that. Then Becky (the office manager) talked to me about the front lobby area. Before long I noticed she was using phrases like, "This is your domain" and "you will be responsible for" instead of "you would..." I started to think, "Wait! So I've got the job?"

Eventually Dr. Olson (the vet) sat down with me in his office and asked if I had anymore questions, told me the starting wage and offered me the job. I said absolutely YES.  It was so funny, Becky then pulled out this little training binder and it already had my name on the front of it. She said, "Well lookie here! We just happen to have this training manual with YOUR NAME on it!" Dr. Olson said, "Yeah! What are the odds that the last gal in this position had the same name? What a coincidence!" *wink wink* They're just the nicest people. I already feel comfortable joking around with them.  

Becky is going to be training me "for as long as it takes." She said she wanted to make sure I feel absolutely comfortable with everything before I'd ever be "on my own." That makes me soooo happy. *haha* There's a lot of new information to absorb and I'm just thrilled to know that there isn't any pressure on me to figure everything out all by myself within a set time limit. It's really the perfect setup for me.

You know, as I was driving home I reflected a little bit about these past 5 months. It's been a difficult period for me, starting out feeling so betrayed and dumped on my head. But I decided early on that it had happened for a reason...that God had moved me from my comfort zone and was ready to grow me and stretch me in new ways. Well, as always happens when He takes any amount of time to do something, I started to doubt. I began feeling useless, wondering if I'd ever find a place where I felt like I fit so well again. I spent so much time in prayer about it...crying out to God, asking Him WHY He shook up my world, only to leave me sitting here all this time. It was one thing to have the floor knocked out from under me for a reason. But just being "unemployed" didn't seem like a very good lesson.

Then I moved into "what the heck, I'll just settle," and started to apply for jobs I really didn't care about. I even applied for a job as the person that balances the stock between Red Box machines at McDonald's. (How exciting would THAT job have been? *haha*) "It's better than nothing," I thought. But really, I think I was losing faith that there was anything better coming. Then I would get angry when those jobs never worked out. Now looking back, I know God had something better in store for me. 

And now here it is: the whole package I've been praying for the whole time, the "impossible dream," so to speak, dropped right in my lap. Evenings and Sundays off, warm, friendly coworkers with the same values I hold dear, the opportunity to be around animals, a non-intimidating atmosphere in which to learn new skills and better pay than what I would have made starting at any retail job. Even when I think of how applying for it came about, I can see God's hand. I saw the other reception positions online over the weekend so I began tweaking my resume to show that I had the right qualifications for a clerical job. Those other jobs clearly didn't work out (either I haven't heard back from them or they gave me evil math tests *haha*) but then on Tuesday the ad for this job showed up and, well what do ya know? I already had a resume prepared for it! Just like that! Truly a blessing, in every way I look at it. God is good. :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Get Scrappy


Like I mentioned earlier, this weekend I am going to an amazing scrapbook event called
Get Scrappy. My awesome friends Mary & Linda began this fundraiser several years ago as a way to benefit the YWCA Women's Crisis Center.They pour their hearts and souls into the planning and preparation for this event all year long and it shows! It has continued to grow each year and always brings in an impressive amount of donations and support. 

I'm so excited, because this is the first year I get to go! I've always had to work in the past, but obviously this weekend I'm free. (Though hopefully not for much longer. *hahaha*) This year they're welcoming quilters alongside scrapbookers, which is pretty exciting. I can't wait to be surrounded by all that creativity! And a bunch of great gals from my Scrapbook Garden days are going to be there...including Michelle who's coming back into town just for the weekend! Yay! It's gonna be a blast. :)

The YWCA Women's Crisis Center provides shelter for women escaping domestic violence. It's a more serious problem than I think a lot of us make it out to be. Scrap Funattic, a local scrapbook store and generous GetScrappy sponsor, posted this short poem that really strikes at the heart of what the Crisis Center and this crop are working against. Take a moment to read it.

I Got Flowers Today (Dedicated to all Battered Women)
By Paulette Kelly ©Copyright 1992 Paulette Kelly All Rights Reserved 

I got flowers today!
It wasn't my birthday or any other special day;
We had our first argument last night;
And he said a lot of cruel things that really hurt;
I know that he is sorry and didn't mean to say the things he said;
Because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today!
It wasn't our anniversary or any other special day;
Last night he threw me into a wall and then started choking me;
It seemed unreal, a nightmare, but you wake up from nightmares;
And I woke up this morning sore and bruised all over — but I know he is sorry;
Because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today!
And it wasn't Valentines Day or any other special day;
Last night he beat me and threatened to kill me;
Make-up and long sleeves didn't hide the cuts and bruises this time;
I couldn't go to work today because I didn't want anyone to know — but I know he's sorry;
Because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today!
And it wasn't Mother's Day or any other special day;
Last night he beat me again, and it was worse than all of the other times;
If I leave him, what will I do? How will I take care of the kids? What about money?
I'm afraid of him, but I'm too scared and dependent to leave him! But he must be sorry;
Because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today….
Today was a special day — it was the day of my funeral;
Last night he killed me;
If only I would have gathered the courage and strength to leave him;
I could have received help from the Women's Shelter, but I didn't ask for their help;
So I got flowers today — for the last time.
 


If you're in town and like to scrapbook, it's still not too late to register! In fact, you can show up and register at the door. So get your scrap-crap together and come out to support a good cause! Here's the info again.

Another great way to help is to make a donation, either monetary or with items from their wish list. 

Hopefully by the end of the weekend I'll have lot's of great pages to show you!!! And don't forget, I have my 2nd interview tomorrow at The Vet Clinic. I'll try to make a post about that before I head to GetScrappy tomorrow afternoon. I hope I'll have good news! :)

In defense...

...of my TurboKick leader, she did try to wrangle him in her own way. She called out every single move, "Left, right, left, right, punch, kick, blah blah blah" even more so than usual. And she kept saying, "Come on! Like this! You can do it! This part's easy, at least try it!" And at one point (I think before the Turbo section) she said, "Well if you didn't like all that you're sure not going to like THIS." Clearly, she's just way too nice to kick him out on his rock-hard buttocks. Sounds like some of you have the moxie for it, though. Give me your numbers for next time! ;)

I'm SO glad to see that I'm not alone in thinking this situation was really annoying. *haha* But I did want to make it clear that poor Aimee wasn't unaware of the problem. I just don't think she knew how to handle it either.

Well I'm off to bury myself in my scrapbook supplies. I need to get packed for a big crop/event I'm going to this weekend! It's called Get Scrappy and it's Friday AND Saturday...so I'll need plenty to do! I really need to blog about it, actually. It's a great fundraiser for our local Women's Crisis Shelter. Gosh there's just been so much going on this week. But I'll tell you all about it, soon. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Just a Gym Rant

Something annoyed me to pieces tonight in my TurboKick class.  So much so, I need to blog about it. *haha*

This teeny tiny gym bunny that has been coming to the class for a couple weeks now showed up...with her big, muscly boyfriend. Which is totally fine. Guys show up to these classes all the time. Most of the time they never come back, because the classes I take involve a lot of choreography and they just can't seem to pick it up. But I don't mind if they're there. Especially if they're with their wife/girlfriend/someone that dragged them, because I've tried to convince Jeremy to join me in the past and he's refused. So I totally respect the fact they're giving it a try. 

Well they took the front & center position, directly behind the instructor.  When Aimee (the super peppy and tiny leader that I've complained about in the past, but am now growing to love...go figure!) began, the boyfriend just stood there. I thought, "Oh, well he's trying to figure out the moves and the rhythm before he begins." But he continued...to just...stand there. With his arms folded across his chest, staring blankly at Aimee, his girlfriend, and the rest of us. He didn't even ATTEMPT to do ANY of it! Not even the easy warm-up side steps or the punching type stuff that a dude should totally be able to handle! Occasionally he and his girl would exchange a laugh and some under-their-breathe conversation, but not once did he even try to get with the rest of the group. I couldn't tell if he was really just terrible at following directions or if he thought he was too cool for school or what.

This wouldn't have been such a big deal, but as I mentioned, they were standing at the very front of the group behind the leader so nobody behind her could really see. And there were several new ladies there tonight and I could tell they were getting flustered. Aimee is hard enough to follow when you CAN see her. *haha* Beyond that, it was just downright distracting. I kept thinking, "If I had brought Jeremy and saw that he was behaving that way, I would have hauled his booty to the back corner and continued the class from there. Front & center should be reserved for people that know their stuff, otherwise it really takes away from what the instructor is trying to teach. 

When we got to the "Turbo" portion, which is fast-paced and has us running all over the room, I muttered under my breath, "He better move or he's gonna get run over!" but that's as close as I came to confronting the situation. You know me, I'm totally non-confrontational. Plus, he was slightly intimidating, all pumped up and scowling. And Aimee was too busy sweating it up and calling out steps to do anything about it. I don't think he'll come back, but I'm going to have to control my thoughts when I see his stupid girlfriend again. (Oops, stupid? Well I guess I haven't started controlling them yet, have I? *hehe*)

And now that I've vented, I can sleep. :) G'night everybody!

So excited!!

I got a call-back from The Vet Clinic for a second interview!!! (I've decided to capitalize that to make it seem more important. Maybe if I get the job I'll start putting the actual name of the place down. Then again, I've seen how easy it is for people to stumble across me by searching, so maybe not. *haha*) I wasn't expecting to hear anything until next week but they called me first thing this morning! That's gotta be a good sign.  How stoked am I? Like a FIRE, baby! (I just made that up. How stupid is it? *haha*) I'm going back on Friday morning. I don't know what a second interview is...seems like he already asked me all the questions I've ever been asked in an interview, plus some fun ones. But I'm not even nervous about it. It'll be great...whatever it is. :)

I just got back from CardioKick, part of what I've deemed Trifecta Wednesday. I take that class at noon and then in the evenings I take back-to-back TurboKick & Cardio/Core. It's not even with the intention of burning a maximum number of calories or trying to kill myself or anything. I do it because I happen to REALLY like all three classes and instructors, but they're all offered on the same stinkin' day! (I would love nothing more than if they would spread one or two of these out to Tuesdays, Fridays or Saturdays, when there aren't any good classes to speak of.) But in the evening when it's all over, I treat myself to one of the massive and delicious protein smoothies at the gym's health bar. They're so good and they're perfect because I'm way too zonked to cook afterwards. :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Journey Back to the Land of the Living

It occurred to me as I began to type this that some of you might not know my dirty little secret: I'm unemployed. Although it might have already been obvious, since I clearly have unlimited amounts of time to blog and workout and blog about working out. *haha* Yeah, I've been jobless for 5 months now. (If you would like to revisit the drama of WHY, be my guest. Oh and, this one too. I'm not gonna hash it all out again because it's really not necessary. My thoughts on the matter are already embedded in the skin of the internet! And in the words of a Kelly Clarkson song I listened to today, "it's been a long time since those hands I left my tears in." It's time to move on!) 

So it's not been the best time to be job hunting, y'know? I probably haven't pounded the pavement as much as I could have, but I've applied for quite a few jobs and either they weren't hiring...or they weren't hiring ME. Jeremy's been very patient with me as I've been very picky. I didn't wanna work here, there or the other place. Basically I wanted to love whatever I was working with as much as I'd loved the merchandise (and people) I had been around at my old job. And it just didn't seem like it was going to happen. I'd almost resigned to just being a hermit and placing some ads on my blog to earn extra money.

Well over the weekend, a bunch of new job listings popped up over the internet for receptionist positions. I figured, what the heck? I could do that. I'm an excellent typist, have good people skills and I can answer a phone. *haha* (I know there's more to it, I'm just bein' silly.)  So I got "creative" with my resume (which took FOREVER! I hate resume writing! It makes my head spin to speak in incomplete, self-congratulating sentences.) and applied for several online. 

Thus starts my crazy day. I got a call from the optometrist office I'd applied to, asking if I would come in and fill out their application. I agreed, but said it would be later in the afternoon because FIRST I needed to: bring my resume to a vet clinic that didn't offer the "apply online" option, and take Wrigley & Cubby to their own vet for shots. 

The vet clinic I applied at is further East, but not as far as I where I was working before so no biggie. When I got there, they had me fill out THEIR application (seriously, what's with all the personalized applications? All this information is right here on my pretty, organized resume, shouldn't that be good enough?) The woman I talked to was very nice and after going over my app, she asked me if I could come back at 3:30 to talk to the veterinarian. I figured I had plenty of time, so I agreed. 

By the time I got back home, it was time to load the boys up and get them to OUR vet. (Hope you're not getting to confused with all these different vets! *haha*) Their checkup went well, Wrigley's down about a pound which is good. Geez, though, it was expensive. Our most costly visit yet, and I still can't figure out why. I guess because they were due for everything at once, but still!

So then I came home, ate a really quick lunch and headed to the optometrist office. It was a little after 2:15 and I figured I'd have plenty of time to fill out their app and still get to my interview by 3:30. PLENTY of time, right? Well I didn't know what I was getting myself into. The gal behind the counter handed me the clipboard and I took a seat. The first part was pretty standard, all the normal application hoopla. But then I flipped to the next page...and it was a personality test. A little weird but I can see why it might come in handy. So ok, I filled that out too. 

Then I flipped to the last page and...*gasp* Someone might as well have shot me through my chest. It was a MATH TEST!!!! Let it be known, there are two things that I hate more than anything in this world. Namely: Math and Tests. Put the two together and I go completely bonkers. I started to sweat...I felt my heart begin to race...I immediately forgot everything I ever knew about even the most basic of math. (Although, some of this wasn't so basic. It's been like 9 years since I'd seen some of this stuff! Give me a break!) And all this IN PEN with no calculator or scratch paper. Before long I made the mistake of looking at my watch: it was 3:00!! I only had half an hour to get myself across town to my interview. This induced even greater panic. I know I must have given some really screwy answers on that math test. I was embarrassed to even turn it in.

But when I did, the girl says, "Ok great, just one more thing I need you to do. Come back here and I'll start you on the typing test." TYPING TEST? I wanted to scream, "Lady, I don't have TIME for this! And you're wasting both of our time, anyway, just look at the math portion of my application!" But I politely sat down. Um, it didn't go well. Not only had I forgotten my math, I also forgot how to type. This is tragic, because I'm a darn fast typist. It's one of the few "skillz" I feel confident in. But I was having to type a bunch of medical terms and codes that I didn't understand or know how to spell, so I spent half my time rechecking the words. And she was sitting there timing me, making me extra nervous. AND (could I possibly have any more excuses? Pathetic!) I'm so used to my laptop now that I kept reaching downward to "scroll" with my fingers instead of reaching up for the mouse. I've been crippled for the "real world." *haha*

When I left I was NOT feeling very confident in myself. Satan was playing quite a game with me as I drove across town for my interview, filling my head with all sorts of lies. "You're pathetic. Why are you even bothering with this? No one's gonna want to hire you. You have NO SKILLS! You worked at the same job for so long that you became completely useless to the rest of the world. All you know how to do is ring up scrapbook supplies. It's irrelevant. You're unemployable. You might as well turn this car around and forget the interview." Pretty bad, I know. 

But luckily I didn't have to "take it sittin' down." I escorted his lies right out of my consciousness with some much needed prayer. "Lord, I know I'm not great at everything, but you've made me valuable. You didn't waste Your time creating me...You've given me talents and traits that are unique to only me. I have a lot to offer those around me, especially because I have You beside me and Your strength to lean on. I don't have to be nervous about this interview because I'm not going in there alone. Speak through me! And if this isn't the right place for me, I'll accept that. And I'll wait for the perfect match that I know You'll provide." And with that I went inside.

The interview COULD NOT have gone any better. The staff was extremely friendly, just as the woman I'd met that afternoon had been. And when the vet interviewed me, I felt completely at ease. In fact, I felt more comfortable with him INSTANTANEOUSLY than I ever had with my former employers. He was very down to earth and didn't seem like he was looking down at me or trying to intimidate me. He was easy to talk to. He asked me about my application where I'd asked for Sundays off (before I realized that they were closed on Sundays) and I told him it was because I go to church. He told me that I would fit right in because he and most of the staff are Christians and that he wants those principals to be conveyed in the way they treat customers and each other. What a refreshing thought! A boss that doesn't scream and scold you in front of customers? 

So they're conducting interviews for the rest of this week and will make a decision next week. I won't lie, I kind of hoped they'd offer me a contract right then and there, saying "Hallelujah, you're the one!!!" But it's OK. I need to take the time to pray about it...as I hope they do also. I really do feel like this would be a good fit for me, though. But if not, at least this got me moving in the right direction....back into the land of the living! :)

I Heart DietGirl

Did you see? I'm pretty much famous. Check it out.

So cool, right? When I saw this little photo gallery, I knew I needed to add my picture to the group, being the fan that I am. So I emailed Shauna (aka DietGirl) with my photo and told her how much I loved the book and blah-de-blah blah blah. Much to my excitement, she e-mailed me back! She was sooo sweet...telling me I was very color-coordinated (cause I totally am, even with my wall! *haha* It wasn't on purpose...this is just the result of being constantly surrounded by bright colors - everything eventually coordinates!) and that she liked my glasses. She also said she'd tracked down my blog, since I'd neglected to add the link *oops* and had read my review about her book! *IPE!* And here I'd called her a potty-mouth! I was so embarrassed. *haha* But she couldn't have been kinder. Just as nice as can be. I think I'll print out her e-mail and scrapbook it. (I have such lofty ambitions for all the things in my life I plan to scrapbook. Anyone else notice that?) Well, at the very least I'll print it out and put it somewhere...special. :)

Plus, now this blog is linked from that page, so I've been getting visitors from new places! I think it's so neat to see different flags on my Traffic Feed. So hello out there! Nice to have you. :)

(OH! And can I also say how amused I am by the amount of visitors I get because they're searching for calories in a Famous Dave's cornbread muffin, or something to that effect? It's UNREAL! I get 4 or 5 hits a day because of that topic alone!  A lot of us calorie counters must be falling pray to those evil, buttery delights.)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Weight-ing Around

It's weigh-in day, folks! And the theme today is "2 steps up, 2 steps down." I managed to lose those two pounds that I gained last week, and not a smidge more. I guess I'm happy with that, although I was really hoping for a bonus pound as a reward for coming to my senses. :)  Ah well, considering I missed three gym days last week to take the dogs for a walk, I didn't burn quite as many calories as I should/could have. So I'm good with two pounds.

I've decided something. I know in the past I said I was only going to track my weight loss since January and not count the 5 lbs I lost in November/December. Well that's just stupid. Because in my head I'm still including that 5 lbs and it's just getting downright confusing tracking two different numbers. Plus, it's weight that's gone off my body, why shouldn't I count it? I was at my heaviest weight EVER around Thanksgiving, so I should be counting any weight lost since then. There, it's decided. So I'm down 17lbs. That's a big chunka change, folks! Looking at myself, I don't really know where I put it! Guess I was bigger than I thought.

AND! AND guess what! There's more! You know my handy dandy scale with it's fancy doohickies that measure body fat? Well my percentage went down! I was at 31.somethin' (after we figured out how tall I really am *hehe*) and this morning it read 28.7! That's a significant drop, isn't it? So I guess I'm building some muscle, which is great. To be honest I haven't even worked that hard at strength-training yet. I've been doing mostly cardio with some weights thrown in every once in a while. So I was pleased to see that number had changed. :)

Here's what I'm most excited about. Remember the great weather I told you about? Well it spurred me to dig out some shorts and capris from the depths of my drawers. I thought trying them on might give me some extra motivation, y'know, to shrink into them. But they FIT!!! Hallelujah! My super cute denim capri's that I ballooned out of last Summer are fitting beautifully again. 

And then there's a couple pairs of shorts that I bought last Spring on sale. They were too tight when I bought them but I planned on losing some more weight so they'd fit. I never managed to do that, so these shorts were sitting in my drawer with the tags still on them. Tragic! But I was able to get them up and zipped AND still breathe in them. :) It was a very good day.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Dogwalker

My dogs are getting spoiled. Today I treated them to their fourth consecutive walk. I know, I think they might explode with joy! *haha* The weather since Thursday has just been too good to be true, though. So I couldn't resist taking advantage of it. And each day we've walked in a different direction or place so it's been fresh and fun each time. (Of course I think I could walk them in a circle in the driveway and they'd probably still enjoy it.)
On Thursday it actually got into the 80's here!! It was crazy! I mean, I was physically hot at one point. In March. Nutso! But that day we walked a whole city block, which I measured later in my car and it equals about 4 miles. Not too shabby! No wonder all of their tails and tongues were dragging when we got home. 

Then on Friday I decided to walk them to our closest Sonic. That's something I've always wanted to do, since it's the only place I can think of where you can place your order outside. (You'll be proud, though. No corndog and tator tots for this girl. Just a small water, extra ice for me and a small water, no ice for them. Boooooring but refreshing. And cheap! *haha*) And on the residential road we took to get there, a passing car honked and stopped alongside us...it was my friend Sandy that I used to work with! What ARE the odds?? (It was great to see you Sandy! It made our day! Well, it made my day. Putting the leashes on their necks had already made the dogs' day. *hehe*)  When we got there, some of the carhops loved up my doggies while I sipped my water for a bit, then we headed back. But it was fun, I think we'll do it again!

Yesterday was the first time I've driven the dogs anywhere since I cleaned my car. I wanted it to stay fur-free as long as possible for a while, considering how hard those guys had worked (and the fact I'd paid for it). Earlier in the week, I had spotted a walkway around a lake that sits behind a local shopping center, so we went there for our stroll. It was much, much windier than I'd expected so it was the least pleasant of our walks this week. But they still seemed to enjoy it.

And today we just strolled around our neighborhood. We live in a pretty nice area for walking...there aren't many sidewalks but the streets are plenty wide and not too busy. I like to always go a different way and see what new routes I can come up with.  Today we ran across a group of little girls riding bikes. They all started to "Awwww PUPPIES! Awww! AWWW!!!' and eventually one said, "Can we pet'em real quick?" I obliged, since the boys LOVE attention and are usually disappointed when passerby's don't feel the need to pet them. At the same time, I thought back to when I was a kid...I would have NEVER approached a total stranger and requested to pet their dogs. I guess my Mom just engrained a much better stranger-danger radar in me. Then again I probably didn't look all that intimidating to these kids. *haha* And at least they did ask...a lot of kids just come running, not knowing if the dogs are friendly or not. Dangerous! 

Generally when people see me walking three dogs, they say something like, "Looks like you've got your hands full!" or "Are they all yours?" I just laugh and nod. Really, I'm surprised no one ever comments about how under control they are. They are SUCH good walkers. I mean, walking three dogs at once could be an absolute nightmare but they're so good, it's a pleasure! (Except for the occasional opportunity to carry fresh, warm, dog poop in a thin plastic baggy. That's not so fun.)

Of course, I do have some help. MoJo and Wrigley both wear Gentle Leaders, which work wonders! I haven't seen the need to get Cubby one at this point. Since neither MoJo or Wrigley are pulling, he doesn't seem to feel competitive or need to charge ahead of us. 

Other than that, my tricks are these: They must remain by my side at all times. MoJo walks on the right by himself because he touchy if he doesn't have enough room, Cubby and Wrigley are on the left (although sometimes Cubby trails behind, which is fine.) I don't let them pull out in front (that was a tip from the Dog Whisperer...a dog that leads the way believes its in control). I used to let MoJo trot around ahead of me however he pleased, but then when we got Wrigley, this became a problem because their leashes would get tangled. I can't even imagine the chaos of THREE dogs doing their own thing! Yikes! Oh, in order to keep them reigned in and close I take all three leashes and tie them around my right hand, which I keep behind my back. So I guess you can say I walk all three dogs with one arm tied behind my back! *haha* 

Also, they're only allowed to pee/sniff/pee some more, at designated stops. I can't have them all tugging to get at different poles and bushes the entire time...that would be exhausting. So two or three times on a walk, I'll "pull over" to let them have their fun. I make them take turns (learned that lesson after having them pee on each other one too many times...three hiking dogs is a mess.) and they've learned the routine. First MoJo, then Wrigley, then Cubby. What this does to their little doggy hierarchy I don't really know...but that would be interesting to have analyzed! *haha* Somebody call Cesar! ;)

Hmmm...sorry, I just realized this is my fourth dog post in a row since I did the "Meet My Mutts" triolgy. But tomorrow is weigh-in day, so no dogs here tomorrow I promise!