Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 Recap

Another year down... It feels like everyone is saying this and I have to say it too. Where did 2010 go?! Holy moly, it was gone in the blink of an eye.

My 2010 had lots of ups and lots of downs. Let's recap, shall we?

In January I celebrated my birthday at a Color Party and was head over heels in love. This love would be short lived, but overall I was happy. Work was going fantastic, we had a great holiday season. I had a great staff and life was good. Reading through my posts made me smile and frown at the same time, which I am aware is not possible, but I did. I was so happy and optimistic, which made me smile. What made me frown was that I knew what was coming...

This is the month I made the decision to start grad school. I met with a woman at Drake (that would soon be my advisor) and figured out what to do to get this going. I had to take the Praxis and complete all the steps to the application process. Also in February I read a lot more, which I tend to do in the winter anyway because there isn't much else to do. I was still so "in love" and we celebrated Valentines Day with a yummy crab leg dinner. It was so much fun to make and I can't believe I haven't done it again with friends since then!

Ohhhh March. March was not a good month. The person I was so "in love" with turned out to be a complete douche bag. I am not exaggerating. We broke up. I found out he was married still. (Yes, not sure if I ever told you guys that). I could not believe I was so wrong about someone. What happened to my gut instinct? Other things came out about him through friends that blew me away. Love really is blind.

I did not blog much during this time period, which is very like me. Usually I want to talk about this stuff but for some reason I just walled myself off and had mini pity parties for myself every night. Yep, I did. ::hangs head in shame:: During this time I tried to find things that comforted me. Like my favorite books. I re-read American Wife and strangely... it made me feel a lot better. I love the character of Alice Lindgren and her outlook on life really soothed me. When I think about it now, it sounds weird but to each their own, right? :)

My friends help me cope with the breakup... drinking a boot at Hessen Haus (not by myself! I had help...)
Speaking of American Wife and former first lady Laura Bush, I picked up the new memoir by Laura Bush and eagerly devoured it. I found out that she was doing a signing in Kansas City and I knew I HAD to go. Am I ever glad I did ! She is wonderful in person. Such a sweet, charming lady. I feel so lucky to have been in her company even if for just a short time. I also had an extra copy of her book so I hosted a giveaway and gave my extra copy away!

June was a busy month! One of my close friends at work got married so we made the trip up to her hometown three hours away in NE Iowa to attend the wedding. It was small farm wedding and it was so much fun! I may live in Iowa but I am a city girl and am rarely on farms or drive on dirt roads. It was so nice to get away for a couple days! I also made a trip down to Kansas City to see one of my close friends that moved to Scotland four years ago! We had such a great time being tourists in Kansas City, which is funny because we have both lived in KC for several years! We spent a day at Worlds of Fun and then another day at Oceans of Fun. We shopped, ate, talked and had a wonderful time. We also rode one of the scariest rides I have ever ridden in my life. We even had it documented on a video that you can watch here! :)

July was another busy month! I made the trip to Kansas City again to see my aunt that was in town visiting from Nevada! We had a great time with family and I can hardly believe that I haven't been back since. Makes me sad :( In July I also started working at the nursing home in activities but would soon have to give that up due to classes and work. Sad face.

(Me, my sister, my aunt Linda and my aunt Caroline. We had a great couple of days together!)
This month marked one of the busiest months of the year for work. With kids back to school shopping and tax free weekend, we kept super busy! In the meantime I was preparing to begin work on my masters degree and could hardly contain my excitement! This month I also started dating a new guy, who would be great for awhile, but not long term material. This month we also had our annual friends weekend at the lake. It's one of my favorite weekends of the year and 2010 was no different!

(One of my favorite places on earth, Lake Okoboji!)
(One of my former assistants that comes back occasionally to help out. We decided to try on the merchandise...)

Classes were going great so far, I was experiencing the joys that is group work and realizing, "uhhhh, you're in education. Get used to it!" I was putting so much effort into my classes and not necessarily neglecting my job but not enjoying it at all. I really wanted to be putting that time and effort towards my degree and bettering myself. Things with the new guy were going well and we were having fun together!

Ahhh, October. I blogged a lot in October due to the 30 day challenge that I gave a good go at but ended up failing halfway. Life got the better of me. I joined a bowling league with the new guy and realized that I couldn't force myself to like bowling. I still hated it. The only good thing about bowling was that it was socially acceptable to drink while doing it. This would cause me to put on about 5 lbs of weight by the end of the year. Oh, joy. Other than that, not much else happened.

Ohhhh, holiday season. How I love to hate you. This year was tough because I knew I would be leaving my job soon. I registered for a full load of classes at the beginning of the month for the following semester and I knew the time was coming to turn in my notice. Before doing so I made sure to get all my ducks in a row so my boss couldn't "talk me out of it." She tends to be very pushy and I was afraid she would try her hardest to get me to stay. Luckily, she didn't. She could sense for quite a while now that I was unhappy and just wanted me to be happy. I was grateful she didn't push the issue and just accepted my resignation and was thankful for my lengthy six week notice that I wasn't required to give. Thanksgiving came and went, it was fun but unfortunately work was really beginning to ruin my holiday with the staffing issues I was having in my management team. As for the rest of the staff, they were doing great and handling the volume beautifully!
(The mall I work in when it opened at midnight on Black Friday. Total and complete utter chaos. Trust me. People are nuts. )
December, December, December. WhatAMONTH! Omg. I have never wished away a holiday like I did this year. I really let my circumstances ruin my holiday and I am angry at myself for that. Never again! This month I wrapped up my classes and got two A's. I officially have a 4.0 GPA, and I am going to try hardest to keep it. In December I also took a 20 hour weekend class to obtain my substitute teaching license and enjoyed the class immensely! I cannot wait to get into the classroom and make money doing what I really want to do. This month the new guy and I officially called it quits. Things were not progressing how I felt they should be and I just didn't see it going anywhere. He didn't take it too well, in fact, he deleted me from Facebook. ::Sad face:: I didn't want to not be friends with him, but leading him on was wrong. In the meantime I have less and less time at the ol' job and the countdown had begun! Christmas was fantastic but super short. It was my only day off that week (nice, huh?) and I was beyond exhausted.

I can't end the year without talking about a special puppy that has entered my sister and I's lives. Her name is Lexie and she is a dapple dachsund that has special needs. She is only about 6 months old, but she is deaf due to dapples breeding with dapples. My aunt fosters dogs that she rescues from euthanization and Lexie was one of them. We took her just to help our aunt a little about two months ago and we haven't given her back... something tells me she has found her forever home. :)

So, this was my year! Big things happened in 2010 and I believe even bigger things are happening in 2011. Have a happy and safe NYE. I love you all!

Sunday, December 26, 2010


You guys, I am so jaded, it is disturbing. My dislike for the general public is scaring me. A LOT.

Let me explain.

You all know I work in retail. 5 times out of 10, people are rude instead of nice. I have been treated like dirt so many times, I can't stand it. It makes it harder and harder to grin and bare it. With each passing day I do not want to go that extra mile to make somebody's day and I dislike people from the moment they walk in my store.

Instead of being grateful for their business like I should be, I'm irritated that they are in the mall and only want them to leave. It's like I'm waiting for the bad and not ever expecting the good.

Today we had this woman in the store that was shopping with a $50 giftcard. Her 10 year old daughter was hanging on to the card and thought she had put it in her pocket. It must have fallen out because a few minutes later her mother was fah-reak-ing out. I'm talking tears and snapping at us to start looking for her giftcard. About five of us started frantically looking for it (in the mean time the line for the cash registers is out the door) and we have no luck. I ask her if I can take her name and number and call her if it turns up and she wasn't having that. It seemed anything I said to her was just awful. She wasn't feeling me at all. She did however love the girl that I have just for holidays. (She IS a total sweetheart). So, I let her handle the situation under my watchful eye. I gave her the number for our customer service to freeze the giftcard and hopefully re-issue a new one.

In the meantime, I was fuming. Why wasn't I good enough to help? Do I have a stamp on my forehead that says dumb blonde? I have felt this resistance from people for a long time now. A long time.

I think it's only getting worse and I'm really dumbfounded by it... but as time passes it is becoming clearer and clearer. I'm not happy and it's so obvious. I don't smile with my eyes and although I am sincere about doing my job, I don't really care. Ya know? I just don't. I wish I did, but I don't feel like I am doing anything that is impactful and worthwhile.

I don't feel like I'm making a difference. At my old job (which to some it would look very similar to the company I'm at now, but trust me, it's not) I felt like I was making a difference. I was making a little girls day. I was making someone smile. I don't do that now. It's not really possible (in the same sense) yeah it's fun making your sales plan and getting that bonus, but does a bonus really change who you are? How you look at life?

Nope, it doesn't. The money runs out and you're still the same person (just better dressed).

So, I had a wake up call today. It's not that I sincerely do not care about these people, I care. I'm just not motivated to go out of my way because... well, they probably wouldn't do the same for me.

I wish I didn't feel so "what's in it for me" but I guess that is why I am getting out now.

So, I'm sure I'm doing the right thing and hopefully I won't be so jaded anymore!

Have you ever felt this way towards the general public? How did you snap out of it?

PS: Our customer service center is working on the giftcard issue for the lady. Hopefully they can re-issue a new one. She ended up apologizing for freaking out and wanted to get all our name to write a letter to our home office. So, hopefully we get some recognition for putting up with a little crazy today... :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, Blogland!

Last night my family had our new(ish) Christmas Eve tradition that I am beginning to love more and more each year. On Christmas Eve my sister and I head over to my parents house for a tasty crab leg dinner with Bailey's to drink (yum, yum, yum) and then open all our presents from each other!

Sometimes I think my mom forgets that my sister and I are not little kids anymore and that I am 28 and my sister is 24 because she buys us so much stuff and wraps each one individually and wants pictures of us opening them. It is hilarious - and I love it!

She went a little nuts this year too. We both made out like bandits. I'm not going to lie, I feel a little guilty! My sister and I took care of them too though. For my mom, we got her a little 19 inch flatscreen tv for her kitchen and for my dad, we got a Nook Color. (Which I now desperately want! More on that later...)

I'm sure once we start having kids she will transfer all that energy to the kids, which will be just fine by me. I cannot wait for the day when we have little ones running around. It'll be awhile so in the meantime I will relish in her love of gift giving. :)

Hope you all are having a wonderful holiday with your friends and family! Travel safe and be merry! :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010!

As things are winding down at work I figured I would get a little sad, but... I am not. In fact, more and more things are happening that are frankly... pissing me off.

For instance, I told my boss about four weeks ago. I gave her a six week notice (very generous imo) and she asked me not to tell anyone. I told a few girls in my store, and it got around my store but other than that, nobody else in the district. I assumed she didn't want me to tell anyone because there are two other stores in my market and to get my store would be considered a promotion, so I am sure she figured those two would be interested.

Well, I figured I would get a warning when she was going to tell everyone. She usually announces on a conference call if someone is leaving, usually on their last call with everyone. Well, I have a little over two weeks left and I guess she decided to announce it yesterday on our call. I was completely blindsided. I couldn't believe it. Then she announced that I was leaving to go be a substitute teacher.

That's it.

Seriously?! SERIOUSLY!?

I hate women and how snotty and catty they can be. Maybe I shouldn't take it as a dig, but I am not going to JUST BE A SUBSTITUTE TEACHER. She did not have to say it like that. I will give her tiny bit more credit back, she did mention that that was what I was studying and I am going to go do what I really love to do, but still. A little heads up would've been nice.

Then she told everyone to reach out to me and say goodbye. I haven't heard from anyone, but I don't really expect to. It's Christmas, we're all busy. Plus, I'm friends with several of them on FB so I'm sure they will see what I am doing from my posts on there.

Then, to really put the icing on the cake.... the assistant manager from one of the other stores (the store with the manager that really wants my position) was in my store and mentioned how her manager should get this store so she can whip it into shape.


Ummm, no. My store IS in shape. We make our numbers. I rarely have staffing issues. We're the 2nd busiest store in the region out of 109 stores. She has no idea what she is talking about. So... at first I wanted to confront that other store manager, but you know what? Not getting the promotion will be enough slap in the face. I've been doing this too long to not know what that means. If I was in her position and didn't get that promotion I would be pissed.... so... there ya go.

PLUS... on top of it all, pretty much everyone in my store plans on staying once I leave and they don't want that store manager to come over. She never gets her schedules posted on time and is always lazing around in her office. (Don't ask me how they know all this stuff, they just do! Those little girls... they all talk talk talk!) Would you be pissed if your schedule for the following week wasn't posted the day before the week starts? Yeah? Me too.

So, overall I am not sad. I am beyond ecstatic. I know good things are coming in 2011 and I can't wait.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Why is gratitude so hard for some?

All the Christmas gifts are bought, the decorations are up, travel plans have been made, my cooking plans are set... Now, we just need Saturday to get here (and stay here!).

This week at work we have been busy setting up for the clearance sale that begins on Christmas Eve and continues through December to prepare for all the new Spring goods we're getting. With each passing day I get more and more excited. Excited to leave. Some people have questioned that I am going to miss it a little bit. Perhaps, but what I won't miss is the struggle to manage people.

My newest assistant manager is extremely difficult. She runs out of work at the drop of a hat and lately I am beginning to wonder if she is only working so that she can get further assistance from the state. I am not against assistance to people in need at all, but what I am against is people that milk the system. People that don't work hard on top of it and take every hand out they can possibly get. It really gets me going. I work very hard and have been working since I was 14 years old (with the exception of the first semester of my freshman year of college) and I have always worked very hard. To see other people skate by with hardly any effort... frankly, that pisses me off.

The funny thing is... These people actually think they work really hard and slam me because of my age and where I am at. Really? Do you think I was literally just handed everything? No, I worked my schedule. I worked while sick, I worked while battling personal issues at home, I didn't slack off... Those things do not go unnoticed (usually!).

It may sound like I'm judging people, and maybe I am. Maybe there are more facts to learn regarding a certain person's situation. But, after helping a person out so many times without even a thank you. That gets wearing and honestly, makes me not even care. Which is where I am. I don't care.

I have 18 days left of this responsibility and I am going to do my job just as I always have. But, I'm done caring. It gets me nowhere. Maybe I am moving into another thankless industry by going into education, but I don't think so. Maybe that is naive, but I really don't think so.

This post wasn't meant to be whiny, but I'm afraid it came off that way! Thank you for reading, as usual the blogging community always makes me feel better.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

Can you believe it's December 21?? Two more years till the end of the world... Haha, just kidding. The movie 2012 really freaked me out, so hopefully it's not.

Well, I am off today and I couldn't be happier. I have absolutely nothing written on my to do list besides lounge around and relax. I. Need. It. Work is driving me absolutely, positively crazy. Working with all girls is enough to make you insane. It's true.

On with Ten on Tuesday!

1. Do you do any volunteer work?

I haven't really done any volunteer work in my lifetime besides the philanthropies that my sorority participated in. Hopefully I can start volunteering more once I am in school full time. There are always tutoring opportunities being emailed about, so maybe I can accept a couple of those. There's a girl that was in one of my classes that volunteers a TON so maybe I can connect with her as well. (Clearly, I feel guilty huh!? lol)

2. Do you have night and/or morning ritual?

Yep. In the mornings I do just about the same thing everyday...

1. Pee 2. Heat up Keurig 3. Take dogs out 4. Start brewing coffee 5. Hop in the shower 6. Dress and dry hair 7. Take dogs out again (I know) and start my car (it's cold!) 8. Do my makeup 9. Pack lunch and eat breakfast 10. Take off! I like to have an hour and half to do all these things but due to the snooze I usually have an hour.

3. Would you rather exercise or diet? Why?

I would rather diet because I hate exercising. I have tried to stir a love for running and other sports but it hardly ever lasts. :(

4. If you would rather exercise, do you prefer going to a gym or working out at home?

I've tried both. I have multiple work out dvd's. I have a gym membership that I pay $30 a month to but haven't used in MONTHS. Ridiculous, right?!

5. What do you think is a huge waste of time?

Talking on the phone. I am not a phone talker. I hate it. I would much rather text or talk in person.

6. What is one way you save time?

I am your typical multi-tasker. Although, I learned last week that our brains do not multi task. They toggle back and forth between activities.So, I guess I am a good toggler and it saves me lots of time!

7. What is your current obsession?

Shopping. I just can't stop. There are such good deals EVERYWHERE and I can't stop buying stuff. I'm shopping BECAUSE I have a coupon. Their evil plan is working on me...

8. What is a current obsession you can’t wait to pass?

Hmmm... I honestly cannot think of anything! I know there are things out there but I'm drawing a blank. I used to hate jeggings and leggings but I have totally jumped on that bandwagon and love them. I also used to hate the look of boots over jeans but now I'm loving that too.

9. Are you currently reading a book? If so, what book? Would you recommend it?

I am reading Breakfast at Tiffany's by James Patterson and it is really good! I would recommend it. I'm trying to hurry up and finish it because I have the Lifetime movie of it with Alyssa Milano saved on my DVR. The girls at work saw it on my desk and were squealing that I will love the movie. Haha, so I'm kinda excited now. :)

10. Since we had the 90s question last week, what’s your favourite songs from 00′s?

Ooooh, gosh. I think probablyTik Tok by Kesha! I love her!

Now, go participate in Ten On Tuesday!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas cuteness

Excuse the poor Blackberry photo, but I just had to share! Isn't she adorable?! I put the tree up today and Lexie immediately crawled underneath it and fell asleep!

And, yes I am using an ISU throw for a tree skirt. Resourceful, no? :)

Hope you're all having a fantastic weekend!

A little bad, but a lot of good.

I am feeling a little sorry for myself tonight. I don't know if I'm just ready to be done with my job, or what but every little thing is bugging me.

Pretty sure it's a culmination of a bunch of little things and I'm about to burst, but I feel so unappreciated by my staff that I just can't take this anymore. I am so flexible and so lenient with these girls and I hardly ever get a thank you. All they do is, take take take. I'm just tired of managing people, I guess.

A simple thank you would go so far with me. It's really all I want, but I don't think I am going to get it. I know I'm not a perfect manager, but I know I'm not awful either. Things could be so much worse for these girls and they appear to think they have it so bad.

I have 21 days left, I know they are going to fly by but I honestly could not be happier. Managing people is rough. There is no way you can please everyone and for someone like me who wants to keep everyone happy it can be pretty wearing.

Some of the good things that did happen this week though...
  • Wrapped up the semester and I'm 99% sure I have As in both my classes. I'm so, so, so pleased and proud of myself! I hope I can continue this with every semester.
  • Finished quite a bit of Christmas shopping and now just have two presents left to buy. (Debating between a Kindle or a Nook for my dad)
  • Got some great tips from a girl in my class that has been substituting for almost a year now. I'm so glad I talked with her, I have some great ideas now!
  • We're continuing to work with Lexie, and she's doing fantastic. We weren't supposed to keep her but I don't see how we're ever going to be able to give her up. We're still struggling a bit with teaching her to let us know when she needs to go out, but it's getting better.
  • Had a sushi night after my last final with one of my best friends. We had some great sushi, great conversation and some really great wine. It was definitely needed.
  • Then tonight my four closest friends and I had our Christmas get together. We exchanged presents (we just do white elephant) and I got some really cute earrings and some Bath and Body Works lotion (in sensual amber! lol) it was a lot of fun but I'm bummed I forgot to take a picture! Here's an old one of us! :)
Overall, I know I have a lot to be thankful and I just need to get through the next month or so and I will have a break.

What was good about your week?

Monday, December 13, 2010

26 Days!

I have 26 days left of work.

TWENTY-SIX days! I'm 95% excited and 5% nervous. I think Suz said it best...

"Do not be anxious about anything instead with prayer and petition submit your requests to God." He will provide a way for you!

She is so right and that is what I am doing!

After this month no more grumpy women frazzled from too much shopping. No strangers snapping at me because THEY lost their receipt and I cannot refund them cash. No more lazy shoppers that refuse to pay shipping but still want to shop online and call the store and have ME run around and get their stuff. All of these things are things that happen to us on a daily basis! The last one irritates me the most! I've stopped answering the phone until we're officially open because of it. They will suck up all your time and then you're behind on opening duties. I hate being behind.

I finished the substitute teaching authorization class on Saturday and it wasn't bad at all! The weather took a nasty turn for the worse and since people from all over the state were in Des Moines for this class, the instructor let us out early. It was nice, gave me time to grab some dinner before heading in to work to close the store.

And, speaking of studying. I pulled my first all-nighter since starting grad school last night. Of cooooouuuurse I waited till the last minute to get two big projects done until last night. They were due at 9am this morning and I figured I could get it all done after work yesterday in a couple hours. Ummmm, no.

I got home around 8pm and got right to work. Then my sister came home... then the dogs needed out.... then I talked to my sister for awhile.... then I messed around on Facebook.... you get the picture. By 1:30 am I was 3/4th the way done and I was crashing fast. So I figured I would take a little nap and then get up and finish in the morning. That's what I ended up doing and it worked out perfectly. I have only had a little over 3 hours of sleep and so far I feel fine but I know I'm going to crash later!

Are you a procrastinator or do you get things done right away?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Rescue Dogs 2010

I'm not sure if I have mentioned that my aunt is a huge animal rights activist and frequently take in dogs from shelters that will put them down if they're not adopted within a certain amount of time.

She made this video and I just had to share!

One of the dogs mentioned, Lexie, is the one we're currently fostering. Parker, the dog at the beginning of the video was adopted by my parents (and is spoiled ROTTEN).

Please ADOPT!

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Nope, this is not a post about basketball.

It's a post about hoops you have to jump through.

Hoops to substitute teach in the state of Iowa.

Holy, moly. It's not easy. Every state has different laws and many states are extremely lenient. In fact, I think in the state of Alaska all you need is a high school diploma! In Missouri, all you need is two years of college.

But, in Iowa you must:
  • Have a bachelors degree or paraprofessional certification
  • Complete a 20 hour "Fostering learning as a Substitute Teacher" class
  • Complete 2 consecutive hours of classroom observation with ONE teacher
  • Get an Iowa and national criminal background check
  • Be at least 21 years of age
There's some serious hoops there. But, subbing in Iowa pays pretty well... seriously, if you have a bachelors degree and need a part time job (and don't hate children) subbing is the way to go.

Tomorrow after class I am going downtown to get my fingerprints done. I'm hoping I can get all these hoops taken care of by the new year so that I can start subbing as soon as kids get back from break.

I'm not complaining about the hoops, though. Iowa has always been a leader in education and I am very proud of that. All states have their own core standards that they teach to, but Iowa's standards tend to be what the government compares standards to. They're that high! In my opinion they are not high enough (hello, the United States will NEVER catch up to China) but we're on the right track. Anyway, that's a different topic and for a different day! :/

Tonight was the first 4 hours of the 20 hour class and I really enjoyed it. One of my sorority sisters from over 6 years ago was in there, so it was super nice to see a familiar face! The next two days are full 8 hour days of class, but after tonight I am not dreading it as much! The instructor substitute taught (I totally just wrote teached) for 12 years and she's giving us so many great tid bits, I am so glad we have someone that has experience!

With each day that passes I am more and more excited and, more and more convinced that I am making the right decision!

Do you remember any subs? Did you have a favorite? Did your class do anything mean to your substitute teachers?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Why I love the blogging community so much!

You guys are so sweet. Thank you so much for your encouraging comments and prayers, they mean so much and remind me of why I love the blogging community so much!

I am so excited to embark on this new adventure, but it is terrifying! I QUIT my job last week. That is scary. I quit a job that pays well and is dependable, but on the other hand is frustrating and looks easy but is NOT. Two years ago I was so extremely thankful for the opportunity and I still am, I just know that my time is up and I'm ready for a new long term challenge.

My two main fears are pretty simple actually.

1. What if I don't get called to sub? I have my bachelors, which in most states enables you to substitute teach. In Iowa you have to take a 20 hour class (which I am taking this weekend) to get a substitute teaching license and that allows you to sub in grades 6-12. I've got the class under control, not worried about that. But, what if I apply to the school districts and I don't get called? I will be available Wed-Fri and I am depending on that for income. I suppose if it doesn't work out I can find a random part time job (or perhaps go back to the nursing home) but I really want to get my butt in the classroom!

2. What am I going to do for health insurance? I have looked into independent plans and need to make a few calls to get that going, but it is still one loose end that I need tie up. Going without health insurance is NOT an option for me. Although I rarely get sick I am a worrywart that will constantly be thinking about the "what if's" if I don't get it. I can get insurance through the college but open enrollment is only in October. So, I've got 10 more months to worry about! Anyone have experience with independent health insurance providers?

Those are my two main fears. I'm not too worried about finding a job once I'm done with school. My two endorsements are in demand so I should be good there, but hopefully I don't change my mind once I get going and deeper into the coursework! The main endorsement I am interested in is special ed, but I'm more interested in the intellectual disabilities. Not the behavior disabilities, but I don't think there's any getting around that one. BD children are gonna be in my room no matter what... ;)

Well, I'm off to hit the books. I have a TON to do in the next week and half. I had a blast this semester and learned a lot but I'm ready for it to be over and move on to something else...

Hope you're having a great week. Thanks again for your support, it means the world!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Leap of Faith

Remember last week when I implied I had something to tell? Well, I'm ready to spill...

I quit my job this week.

Yep, I did it. I actually quit. As of January 8, 2011 I will be unemployed.

And, it's flippin' scary.

So, as most of you know I started graduate school in August and it's going splendidly. I could not ask for more. Except, I do want more! More classes that is.

All of my time and energy expended towards work just doesn't feel right, I want to be putting that time towards classes and only working part time. So, in October I mapped out what it would look like for the next few years if I went full time and if I do that I will graduate in exactly two years!

After registering for classes I made the plan to tell my boss the Monday after Thanksgiving. I wanted to tell her so bad on Black Friday when I could do so in person, but that would have just been wrong. We had a few things happen over Thanksgiving weekend that made it really hard to stick to my plan, but I followed through and letting her know actually went very well.

You may be wondering why I am giving such a lengthy notice. I didn't have to, I didn't sign a contract or anything like that. My store is such a different case... it's very high volume and kind of a power-house. It can't be filled by just anyone. Finding someone will take time. A six week notice is generous, but necessary to find the right person for the job. I truly respect my boss and don't wish any ill will towards her so I felt it was the right thing to do.

You may be wondering what I am going to do for income? Very valid. Yes, yes it is. I'm planning (hoping) to substitute teach Wed-Fridays each week. In my hometown most districts pay subs $130 a day which will be plenty in supplement to my student loans. Next weekend I am taking a class that will certify me to sub in middle school and high school due to my already having a bachelors degree. I wish I could sub in elementary but in the state of Iowa you have to have a teaching certificate to sub k-5. :(

I'm very scared, nervous, excited... all rolled in one! What if I don't get called to sub? What if I hate it? What if I'm making a HUGE mistake? These are all valid fears, I know, but I need to find out if this is what I am supposed to do. My gut instinct tells me I am right and that I need to take this leap of faith. How will I ever know if I don't do it?

What is the scariest leap of faith you have taken in your life?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lovely updates...

How about a little update, eh? Things have been busy, busy! I'm so happy November is almost over and I cannot wait until January. There's lots of exciting things happening and I just can't wait. I can't spill all the beans just yet, but don't worry. I will! :)

Other than that, here's a few other things that have been going on. Bullet point style. ;)

♥ I joined Weight Watchers. A lot of people think I'm crazy and I don't need to, but I know I need to. And, I want to. In a few months time I know I will not be as active as I am now so I want to take care of my bad little lifestyle habits now, before it gets really out of control. My sister and best friend are also in it so it's nice to support them.

♥ School is going GREAT. I have As in both my classes, and hopefully I can keep them through December. The last month of the semester is heavy with projects and finding the time to do them has been HARD!

♥ For my special education class I spent 10 hours doing some field experience at my elementary school in their Learning Center! It was such a great experience! I have loved every second of it. I'm having a few doubts about special ed, but I'm hoping as I continue my education I can squash those doubts. What I'm most nervous about is the behavior issues. I'm more interested in the intellectual disabilities, specifically Autism.

♥ Last week my sister and I went to see Harry Potter on opening night! It was NUTS! We got there a little under TWO HOURS early and the theater we were supposed to be in was packed. The only seats available were right in front of the screen. Uhh, uhhh! So, we "snuck" into a different theater and got much better seats.

♥ Things with Nick are still going strong. We're moving slow and I really like that. I've been feeling bad though, because I have been so busy I hardly have any time, my only weeknight free is Monday nights! (and I have to somehow fit studying in!).

♥ I have not bought one Christmas gift. Not one. I've been thinking about it though... my mental list is very strong. I'm being a total grinch and this is the first year in my entire life that I just want Christmas to be over with!

Well, that is what's been going on with me. What's going on with you?? Tell me in the comments if you have started your Christmas shopping or are you a procrastinator like me?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

The wheels really fell off the bus with the 30 day challenge, but you know what? I knew that was going to happen. I have absolutely no consistency in my life right now, which is fine, but can be frustrating!

Instead of answering the next question of the challenge I decided to to do Ten on Tuesday instead! :)

1. What are your plans for the holidays? Do you travel at Thanksgiving? If you celebrate Christmas, do you travel then, too?This Thanksgiving I am going to my grandmothers house, which was a tradition with my family when I was really little only in the past five years or so has it changed. Lately, we have been with different sides of the family each year so I'm really excited for a little normalcy. We don't travel far, it's only about 30 minutes west of here so that's nice! I'm not sure what we're doing for Christmas yet.

2. How do you make the plans for the holiday? If you have a significant other, how do you decide which family to visit?

Nick and I aren't to the point where we're spending holidays together so we're both spending the holiday with our families :)

3. Do you have your Thanksgiving meal at lunch or later in the day?
We normally have it around 2:00.

4. Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving tradition?

We used to go see a movie after dinner, but lately with my work schedule that hasn't permitted. :( Other than that, I just enjoy eating lots of food, then going back for seconds about an hour later! Haha!

5. After a big meal do you lounge around or get up and take a walk?

I lounge a bit, usually read a book or watch a movie. Most likely I will try to convince everyone to watch a Christmas movie. :)

6. Do you shop on “Black Friday” or do you avoid it?
Well, I am working so no. But, if I wasn't working I would have to say Helllll, no. People are nuts and I can't stand the poor manners and blatant disregard of others. Irritates me!

7. When do you usually finish your Christmas shopping?

Eeeek, probably Christmas Eve. I'm such a procrastinator.

8. Do you and your significant other exchange gifts? Is there a budget?

Usually, yes. We haven't talked about it yet and I really hope we do because I want to set a budget!

9. When do you decorate for the holidays?

I started tonight! Usually the week of Thanksgiving for me. My mom is a bit different... she doesn't start til mid December!

10. Do you go “all out” with the decor or do you keep it simple?

Pretty simple... I'm slowly collecting a nice set of holiday decor! I think this year I need a new tree...

Are you excited for Thankgiving? What's your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 15: My favorite Bible verse

Choosing a favorite bible verse is TOUGH! There are so many verses that are special and have personal meaning to me. My favorite verse changes on an almost daily basis but today my favorite is this one:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5,6

I think it sums life up nicely!

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day 14: A Picture I Love

Zeke getting his teeth brushed. How can you not love this face?! Makes me melt everytime I look at it! :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Day 13: Goals

Another broad topic! Ok, let me dive right in!

I am a very goals driven person. I need a vision of what my end result will be, it only pushes me harder. I have mini daily goals all the way up to huge lifetime goals and I think about them often.

Simple, daily goals:
Crossing everything off the to-do list
Keeping the house clean and the sink clear of dirty dishes
Walk the dogs
Wash my face before bed (seriously, this is hard for me. I don't know why)
Not get upset over little things at work
Blog daily (ha!)

Weekly goals:
Work related goals - like achieve our sales plan and more!
Get all reading and homework assignments done and started on the next weeks assignments
Read one book for leisure

Monthly goals
Work related goals - again achieve that sales plan cause I want my bonus! :)
A's on all my tests!

Yearly goals
To be happy while achieving all those other goals during the year!
Go on at least one vacation

Lifetime goals
To get married and have children
To become a teacher and get paid to impact children's lives
Have a house in the country right outside of Des Moines (seriously, I could never live in a small town)
Have a lake house - preferably on Lake Okoboji
Retire with my husband and live on a coast somewhere

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ketchup Daaaaaay

I can't remember which one of my elementary teachers called "Catch-up Days" Ketchup Days but it has nevertheless stuck with me and if I have a general ed class someday I will probably do the same thing with my kids every so often!

So, today is KETCHUP DAY here at ALPITC!

The wheels kind of fell off the bus in regards to the 30 day challenge. Life has been hectic and stressful and it's mostly due to work. It's tough when you're depending on others to get your own job done and if you don't have a great staff it can really get you down. Right now I'm without one assistant manager and the other assistant manager.... well.... I don't have much nice to say so I'm not going to say anything at all. :)

Anyway, on with KETCHUP DAY! (now I really want some french fries and ketchup. Yum)

Day 12: What you believe

I agree with Amber, this is a pretty broad topic!

I believe that shopping is the perfect therapy, it makes everyone feel better. I believe that smiles are contagious. As well as excitement. I believe that good friends are the family you get to pick. I believe that hard work will pay off. I believe that what goes around comes around. I believe that getting upset over little things is a waste of precious energy. I believe that education is the best accessory a girl can have, and nobody can take it away from you. I believe that student loans are the only kind of good debt. I believe in a good pair of heels (or wedges for people like me that stand all day). I believe in the calming power of coloring (seriously, grab a coloring book and some crayons. You'll feel better in no time). I believe that the unconditional love from pets is irreplaceable. I believe that every job and every person is replaceable, so don't take your job for granted! I believe in true love.

What do you believe in?

Ok, so I'm going to have to cancel "ketchup day". Instead of tossing 7 days worth of blog posts at you I'm just going to pick up where I left off. Hope everyone is having a great week! :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Day 11-Favorite tv shows

Hello, hello! Can you believe it is already Thursday?! This week is flllllying by and I'm loving it! I don't know if I mentioned it, but I am working 9 days in a row and it's wreaking havoc on my brain right now. I cannot believe I am even keeping up with this challenge, but a challenge is a challenge! I will not admit defeat! :)

SO, my favorite shows, eh?

I love tv, but I hardly have any time to watch. My poor DVR is full almost all the time, I'm overly ambitious with what I think I can watch and record so much but rarely have time to watch. These are the shows I try not to miss!

Modern Family - love this show SO MUCH! Everyone is hilarious and the gay couple is fantastic.

The Middle - started watching this show b/c it's on after Modern Family and I love it equally as much! The only think I kinda hate? It's supposed to be based on "the midwest" and kinda makes us look dumb. So, not true or cool. But, still funny.

Dancing with the Stars - I usually watch this super fast and while I'm doing a million other things. I could take this or leave it. I hardly ever agree with the judges, but then again, I am not a professional dancer.

The Big Bang Theory - this show is freaking fantastic! If I refuse to miss this one and watch it almost immediately when I get home Thursday nights

How I Met Your Mother - another great show that I love! I think it's pretty realistic in the storylines in regards to how mid-to upper 20 somethings think and act (besides Barney, I mean he's hilarious but so not realistic!)

Keeping up with the Kardashians - I love this family! I can't wait until next season, it looks like a good one!

Grey's Anatomy - I admit, this show is definitely losing it's finesse that it had when it first came out, but I'm still loyal and have to watch! I sure miss Izzie and George though!

House Hunters - Love HGTV and this is my favorite show on that channel! If I start watching an episode I HAVE to finish it because I just HAVE to know which house they choose.

Well, I have class in about 30 minutes so I better skedaddle! Hope everyone has a great day!!

What shows are on your "must-see tv' list?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day 10-Something you're afraid of




Yeah right!

I'm the bravest women ever!

Just kidding.... I have lots of little irrational fears (and a few big, rational ones. ;) )

I'm afraid of....

the dark
scary movies - I hate them!
my parents dying
Libby or Zeke dying
my sister dying
Ok, any member of my family dying (clearly)
getting fired - I've never been fired!
burning alive in a house fire
getting in a car accident

Ok, so I'm going to stop right now because... umm.... isn't everyone afraid of this stuff? I mean, really? It's not like I'm a hermit that cowers in my bed all day hiding out in the house because I'm scared of getting in a car accident!

Something I am truly, 100% afraid of is the possibility of me never getting married and having children.

I seriously think about this one and it devastates me. I know I would be okay because I have a wonderful network of friends, a great career (and working on a new one!), and a fantastic immediate and extended family but I want to create my own family and find that guy that I can call family.

When I get down thinking about the possibility of this not happening I think about something one of my best friends Shannon said to me once. She said,

"Amber, that won't happen to you. The possibility of you not getting married is impossible because people like you don't just not get married. It's silly to even think about it. So, stop worrying about it."

It's a fear of mine, but when I start to get scared I think of what Shannon said to me and I smile. :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Day 9: Picture of my friends

I have the best group of friends. They're amazing and I thank my lucky stars everyday for them. There are four of us that we call the "3 Gs" which is this made up sorority that we started and it just kind of stuck. We still use the term 3Gs and everyone thinks we're nuts but we don't care! :)

Ok, so since I kind of already did this on day 6 I thought I would just include MORE pictures with a few blasts from the past! (no laughing!) ;)

First 3G wedding!

Second 3G wedding - and yes, they literally "took the plunge"! Ha!

Some of us in the pool. Can you find me?

Second 3G "in-law"! :)

VERY OLD PICTURE! I was probably 20 years old...

I think this was the first 21st birthday... got a little out of hand, as you can see... :)

Yeah, we thought we were baaad to the bone! Haha! This was probably my freshman year of college.

Ugh, someone should of told me brown hair does not look good on me!

The cake they got me for my 24th birthday!

Ok, so I'm sure you laughed! How could you not? It's okay :)

Hope you enjoyed all these fun pics! I had a ton of fun going through them!