Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Exciting News!

Good evening readers!  Hope everyone has made it through the first half of the week in alright shape following the holiday weekend.

I actually have some great and pretty exciting news to share tonight so we'll get right to it.

When I returned to my regular part-time position in late August/early September following the completion of my summer internship my boss told me that they would not be able to take me on full-time following graduation in December.  I knew then I needed to either apply for a transfer within the company I work for or I needed to apply outside the company for a full-time job.

I finally made the commitment at the end of October and applied for three different positions outside the company.

I wasn't hearing anything from any of the applications I submitted and was just beginning to think that it was time to follow up with those companies and to take another gander at the job listings.  (Side note: I used to search for openings to apply for.)

Before I had a chance to seriously look into following up I received a phone call while I was at work from a area number that I wasn't familiar with.  Normally I wouldn't answer a phone call like that but because I may be getting called about one of those applications I submitted I decided to answer.  Turns out it was one of the companies I applied with!

I set up a time to talk with them on Friday (it was a Tuesday I got the call) since I wasn't able to talk while at work.  That phone conversation was a pre-screening with an HR assistant.  I was told it would probably be 2-3 weeks before I would hear back from them if a manager liked me and wanted to go further with the process.

So imagine my surprise when I received a call that very next week asking to set up an interview!  I made the interview for the following Tuesday after I was done with my classes for the day.

The interview went well, nothing out of the ordinary happened or was asked.  I left feeling pretty confident about the interview and excited about the company because they have a casual work environment (jeans Monday-Friday are acceptable), a 22% discount with AT&T is one of their benefits (currently I only get a 12% discount through work), and you start with a very nice chunk of PTO + 4 additional days called "floating holidays".

The interview took place last week which included Thanksgiving so I wasn't expecting to hear back from them right away but once again I was surprised to receive a phone call on Monday offering me the position.  Immediately after I got off the phone with HR I called my mom and told her all of the good news.  But then panic set in as I realized I needed to hand in my two weeks notice before I left work for the day because they wanted me to start in two weeks already.

I managed to calm myself to type up a two weeks notice, and meet with my boss.  She actually knew it was coming because she was called as a reference earlier in the day.  I signed the offer letter I was emailed when I got home and scanned it over to my new employer right away that night.

Yesterday my boss called a meeting with the department and let them know I would be leaving.  While it is incredibly exciting for me it is incredibly stressful for the department I am leaving as they are already down three people (they were let go a few weeks earlier), and  will be down another person when she goes on maternity leave at the beginning January.  The work load didn't get any smaller due to the shrinking size of the department so everyone left is overwhelmed with work and is working 5 hours of overtime.

I went in for my drug test yesterday afternoon which I am sure I will pass with flying colors. If I don't there is something seriously wrong! :)

So, that's my exciting news!  I've accepted a new job where I will be receiving an increase in pay which will definitely help pay down these student loans that I will have to start paying back soon since I am graduating in two weeks.  I will be starting Monday December 10th part-time (20hrs/week) by working on Mondays and Thursdays 10a-6p and Fridays 3-7p.  I start full-time (40hrs/week) on Monday December 24th and will be working 10a-6p Monday through Friday.

I feel extremely lucky to have been given this opportunity as I know there are people struggling to find jobs.  Really, I have felt pretty fortunate throughout my career as I have always been able to pretty easily find a job.  This will only be my third job ever.

Did you find full-time employment after graduation pretty easily or was it a struggle for you?

What's one tip you would offer someone in the job hunt following graduation?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Dress Up

My family has a Gordon Setter named Bo.  He's just over a year and six months old now.

Yesterday I decided to try putting a t-shirt on him.  Living in the country and having worked on the farm I decided to use on of my brother's International Havester shirts.  Surprisingly, Bo didn't seem to mind other than it was a big big on him so his back feet would get caught up in the back of the shirt that would hang to the ground.

But enough of my talking I'm sure you want to see pictures!

Maybe you don't need 2XL Bo ;)
Cute stuff!
Do you have pets?

Have you ever dressed your pets up in clothes?  Were they tolerant of it?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Where has November gone?

Eeek it's been a bit since I've posted.  Sorry about that peeps!  It was just the middle of November and now we're beginning the last week of the month already.  Where has the time gone?

So, what have I been up to you might ask?  Well,  there were two lunch dates with Jodi at Polito's, the best pizza by the slice place in town.
A Saturday of errands with my mom and aunt Pam where I picked up a new book which I read in two days.  It's the first in a series so I can't wait to get my hands on the rest of the books.

I also got a hair cut.
Can you guess what store I'm in the parking lot of?
A job interview for a full time position following graduation that I am super excited about thanks to the casual dress code and some of the benefits offered.
My outfit
A Thanksgiving lunch with my mom's side of the family where there was way too much good food.  Sorry, no photos from Thanksgiving.

On Friday a little shopping with my aunt Maureen before going to see Breaking Dawn - Part 2 and then eating dinner at the wonderful Khamchanh's for some Chinese food.

And an Angelo's pizza lunch yesterday to celebrate my brother's 20th birthday.
And a lot of relaxation sprinkled throughout these last 1+ weeks.

Now today while I'm sure there will be a lot of relaxation I need to bring that down a notch so I can get some homework done for my last three classes of my undergraduate degree (!!!) and some much needed cleaning of my room.

The Packers play the Giants tonight on Sunday Night Football so I will for sure be watching that tonight.  Go Pack Go!

Who is your favorite football team?

What's your favorite memory from November? Any fun plans upcoming in this last week of November?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I'll See You When I See You...

It's been just about a month since my best friend moved from Wisconsin to Maryland with her husband Dan so I thought it would be a good time to reflect on our friendship.

During the Spring semester of the 2010-2011 school year I first became aware of Chelsea when I had a math class with her.  But she had her best friend Alie in the class with her so we never really talked.  I also had an accounting class with her but we sat on opposite sides of the room and never talked.  I decided to request her as a friend on Facebook, which she accepted.

It was in the Fall semester of the 2011-2012 school year that we actually started talking when we were in the same class for our business program.  We were bonding over missing a Milwaukee Brewers baseball game over Facebook before the first class and decided to sit by each other.  We've been pretty much inseparable since.

We had our first date as we like to call it at Buffalo Wild Wings after class one evening and we had a pretty serious discussion about a situation in her life at the time.  I found this kind of surprising considering we had only been hanging out during class prior to this.  But I went with it and decided maybe I wasn't crazy for feeling so comfortable with her and wanting to just tell her everything and anything.  Sometimes when you know, you just know.

Her boyfriend Dan, a Marine, came home for leave for Christmas and actually proposed on Christmas Eve.  I was one of the first calls she made to share the news.

Surprisingly, Chelsea asked (well told me was more like it ;) ) that I be one of her bridesmaids in her wedding.

We were able to finish the 2011-2012 school year with the same classes so we were together a lot for school but we also were getting together outside of school quite a bit.

I set it up with her fiance Dan before he had to leave again that we would go to see Brantley Gilbert and Eric Church in Madison on January 26th as his birthday gift to her.  He sadly had to go back to Japan and would not be able to go with her so he hired me to stand in.  

Waiting for the concert to start!
I took her out on her 22nd birthday to Chica Night (2-for-1 for the ladies) at a bar called Chicos.  The very next day we were going wedding dress shopping and let's just say that Ms. Chelsea was not feeling very well following a rough ride home with her friend Alie.  Let's just say Chelsea had her mom's car and felt the need to offer to wash it for her mom.  We also were going out on Friday nights frequently   Basically, like I said earlier we were inseparable.  If she was there more than likely so was I.

Chelsea & I @ Homestead
It also seemed as though we were best friends for a lot longer than a few short months.  We shared the same thoughts about a lot of things and one of us would say something and the other would say "I was just thinking that too!"

We were together a lot throughout the summer.  I went to multiple softball tournaments with Chelsea, some out of town weekend trips.  We made a lot of memories together.

Chelsea & Amy collage :)
Or as Jason Aldean sings, "we laid a lot of memories, like tattoos on this town!"

Then it came time to hand her off to her husband Dan.  I had a blast at her wedding at the end of September.

The bride & the bridesmaids
Not even two weeks later we were having our one last big outing together with Dan and my friend Tammy in tow to see Kip Moore, Justin Moore, and Eric Church in Green Bay.  But that story is for another time.

It was exactly a week later that Chelsea and Dan began their cross country road trip to their new home in Maryland (where Dan is now stationed).  The year flew by and it felt like we had been friends forever.  We keep in touch on a daily basis through text messaging and now that I have an iPhone Facetime.  The miles that separate us do not mean anything because we both are looking forward to many years to come of being each others best friend!

I'll end this post with the lyrics to another Jason Aldean song that I used as my status the day Chelsea left for Maryland and the part of the song I posted to her wall.

"Let's don't say goodbye I hate the way it sounds so if you don't mind let's just say for now see you when I see you another place some other time if I ever get down your way or you're up around mine we'll laugh about the old days and catch up on the new yeah I'll see you when I see you and I hope it's some day soon!"

"I'll see you when I see you Till then my prayers are with you And I hope it's some day soon..."

Questions for you
Have you ever had a best friend move a long distance from you?  How did you handle it?
Do you use music to express how you feel? Sometimes I just feel that lyrics to a song can perfectly describe how I am feeling better than any attempt at words that I could make.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Holding for the Holidays

Hi there readers!  I once again took a break from blogging without really meaning to and for that I apologize.  I know it is no fun for you to find a blog with a writer that does not publish posts on a regular basis.  I am hoping to change that along with a few other things in my life.

One of the reasons I wanted to get back to blogging is to track what is going on in my life.  One of those things being a program through my employer called Hold for the Holidays.  Hold for the Holidays is an 8-week program that is designed to help me (and my team members) prevent the typical weight gained during the holiday season.

I am on a team, the Skinny Bees, with three other women (two from my department and one from another department).  There is also a second team within my department made up of four other women, the Skinny Clauses.

The goal of the 8-week program is to maintain or gain no more than 2 pounds.  Of course, losing weight is acceptable and for many of us the ultimate goal (myself included).  But to spice things up the the two teams I mentioned earlier are having a little friendly competition to see which team loses the most weight in these next eight weeks.  The team that loses the most weight gets lunch on the other team.

Today marked day one of the program and also weigh in day.  This program is not very strict on the rules for what you can and cannot wear for weigh in on day one and whether you have to wear the same for the weigh in at the end of the eight weeks so I chose to wear my shoes and sweatshirt in addition to my other clothes rather than taking them off.  The plan is I would not wear the shoes and sweatshirt at the end.

Now some of you might be thinking that is unfair and I'm cheating myself.  While it might be true that it is unfair if the other team I am competing against doesn't do the same but when you have a team member like my boss who becomes extra competitive and would not be a happy camper if she lost I'm willing to risk being labeled as a "cheat".  And there is not anyone stopping the other team from doing the exact same thing.  As far as cheating myself, that's not the case since I will be weighing myself in much less and lighter clothing Wednesday morning on my regular weigh in day.

So wish me luck readers and I hope you follow along the next eight weeks to see how my team and I do at Holding for the Holidays!

Questions for you
1) Does your employer offer programs to encourage weight loss?
2) Do you have a plan to maintain or lose weight through the holiday season?