Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 - Goals

I usually try to think of a few resolutions for the new year, but this year I shall simply call them goals.

1. Get jobs
2. Get our own place
3. Figure out the lay of the land

Those are the main things... And it amazes me how simple they are, and makes me cry a little bit that it is our current situation. I hate being out of work and being completely lost in a new place, but it helps that everytime I walk outside I stop and take in the sounds of a million birds singing, and the wind blowing through the leaves. Watching my children climb all over their grandparents, and laughing over dinner with my in-laws. That all just makes me feel incredibly blessed.

I know that things are going to continue evolving and changing rapidly over the next few months as we settle in and I will do my best to keep up with the blog (I don't have a computer set up atm, so I'm restricted to posting through my smart phone).

Happy New Years, and I think I'm not alone in happily shutting the door on 2011. Bring it on, 2012!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Eve Eve

Poor big Mike. He probably didn't expect to spend this day schlepping our boxes from his garage to our newly acquired storage unit up the street. :( However... It is exciting that our stuff is here, because it makes it all seem more official. Plus, having a storage place is almost as cool as having our own
place (we keep reminding J's parents that we'll get our own place ASAP - just as soon as at least one of us have a source of income).

In other exciting news, the sun is out and shining brightly. The neighborhood is equally quaint in both foggy conditions and sunny. I've been walking around picking the homes I love the best, and it turns out that my 2 favorite in the immediate area are going to be available soon :)

Hopefully I will have a chance to get my camera out today to take some pictures, though I'm not sure we'll have one of our computers running to upload them before January.

Merry Christmas to all, and Happy New Year, Ya'll.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Stranger in a strange land...

I wish I had more to write about, but the last three days following our cross country drive have been uneventful. To be completely honest, I haven't seen one foot beyond Josh's parents street. Even in that small area, I've experienced quite a few things, like squirrels, acorns, and cold & grey rainy days. I <3 all 3.

While i love the rain, I do feel bad that Mikey & Johnny have been cooped up since we got here. hopefully the skys will clear by Friday so we can let them run amuck in the yard and stretch their legs. The moving truck should also be here Friday so we can get a little more settled in, and I can really get to work finding a new job.

More later...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Adventure begins!

Writing from my phone and hoping it works. The internet/cable are already shut off, so I am relegated to blogging and web surfing through my EVO.

The packers are already done, and now we are waiting on the Salvation Army to haul away the couches, during, our bed and all the clothes and other junk we are donating. That means tonight will be a little rough as far as sleeping arrangements go, but at least we'll be in a hotel tomorrow night.

The movers arrive early tomorrow, and will likely be done before noon. That gives us the afternoon to get stocked up and ready for the road trip. I already can't imagine how much more lame this would be if we didn't have a portable DVD player and streaming music through Spotify on my phone.

I still plan on doing little blog & facebook posts along the way. Here we go!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

End of an Era

Today is my last day at GE. I think I should be more broken up about it, but honestly, it doesn't feel real. Perhaps it will set in when I start looking for a new job, but right now it just feels like I'm going on an extended vacation. It has been almost 10 years with the company, and for the first time since I was 16, I will be unemployed.

Fortunately, I have a few things working in my favor. The biggest of those is the luxury of being able to take my time to find a job that will be a good fit. The certifications I earned with GE will help, and my long work history with one company will also probably be a benefit. Supposedly the unemployment rate for those that have advanced degrees (ie, bachelors/masters) is significantly lower than the rest of the country, though I might trade that edge for all the student loan debt!

My goal for the rest of the December is to try and enjoy all the madness. It would be easy to get my PC set up the second we land and start hunting non-stop for work, but I think I will regret it if we don't at least spend a little time exploring our new home state before locking down and find a new job. So, I will do my very best to spend December just enjoying the holidays, and getting to know the area. I'm not sure if it will be possible, and it would be entirely to freezing to actually swim, but I would love to see the beach! If not soon, hopefully we'll get to make the journey this summer!

As far as home goes, while I've been packing up boxes at work, we've also been continuing our purging and organizing at home. It feels so liberating to be able to move with less. I can't say how many moves we've made lugging useless junk behind us. Sure, some junk will  make it in this move, but I can safely say no junk MAIL will make it. We've done a good job at getting rid of the things we didn't love, and tomorrow the Salvation Army will be hauling away the things we didn't love that someone else might enjoy.

The movers leave on Friday, and then we set off across the country. I'm so excited to begin writing about this new chapter in our lives! 2012 is going to be amazing!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Last night, after we finished watching the Michael BublĂ© Christmas Special on NBC, Josh and I finally got into the garage. It was cold. I wasn't wearing shoes (only socks), and by the end of the evening (we stopped around 10pm) I couldn't feel my toes! But, it was all worth it because we really got a lot accomplished. The garage is now divided into 3 sections - our "donate" pile, our "bulk trash" pile, and then about 1/3 of the garage is boxes and bins stacked up that we plan on bringing with us. Josh is going to go through those boxes for the next couple of days to see if there is any further weeding we can do, but it won't be much more. Most of these boxes contained our decorations and knick knacks, cd's & dvd's, books, and other keepsakes, and I fully intend on bringing them out to play as soon as we settle into our own place again.

We made a decision on the paperwork that will make it possible for us to only bring 1 container of it on our journey - which will fit nicely into the one filing cabinet we have decided to keep (but Josh is not keen on the idea of using the filing cabinet to actually store our "keep" paperwork, so they will be traveling separately ;)).

One of the unfortunate side-effects of the great garage clean up is the amount of laundry we found that we want to keep. Josh would pick up a sock, and I was screaming purge, purge, purge, while he blinked his big baby blues at me and pointed out that "hey, maybe you didn't notice, but these are argyle dress socks... these can't have been cheap." Maybe he forgot that I bought the mountain of men's dress argyle socks when I was still working at L'eggs/Hanes/Bali/Playtex at the Arizona Mills Outlet Mall, and I got them all for about 99.9% off. But, he totally played me like a violin, because he knows me, and he knows my weakness for argyle. I love argyle. I still regret not spending $90.00 on the cashmere argyle cardigan I spotted while waiting in the insanely long line at Kohl's on Black Friday.

Anyway - even though we got a lot done last night, I now have a lot more to do, involving a mountain of socks that need to be laundered (along with some crib sheets we found that had been missing).

Basically, we have now reached the "heart in throat" stage. I have 5 days left of work after today, we move out of our home completely in 9 days, and we'll be starting our journey about this time 10 days from now. I've managed to get all the logistics of the move taken care of (including making shipping arrangements for Finley), and once we go through the closets, purge the unnecessary from our kitchen, and pack our suitcases, we'll be ready to go. Somewhere in between the madness I should also consider cleaning the house. It is all so exciting and terrifying at the same time!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

9 days! Agh!

I don't feel good. It occurred to me @ 5:30am while I was driving to work. I'm tired. I'm forgetful. By the time 9pm rolls around, I'm a disoriented, groggy mess. It is all I can do to keep my eyeballs open at that point.

If I were 40 years older, I might worry that I was developing Alzheimer's.

With the little capacity I had available to me at that point, I started wondering about what might be the cause of my lack of mental clarity.

The first thing that crept into my brain was diet. Josh and I had been doing the Paleo diet for a good stretch, and I was feeling pretty decent at that point. Alas, as these things tend to do, the diet fell by the wayside in favor of holiday cooking and the sugary, floury treats that come along with them.

The other thing that occurred to me is that my water intake is practically non-existent. I've been so freaking tired lately, that I've been pumping myself full of caffeine in order to not fall asleep in my cheerios. My day starts with a Rockstar Energy Drink, is followed by 1 liter of Diet Mountain Dew, and then when I get home, I have more DMD. I take a gulp of water at night before bed to swallow a pill. I'm guessing that isn't sufficient.

I really do feel terrible - and while it would be easy to think up some tropical disease no one has heard of, I think the culprit is likely poor diet, poor hydration, and lack of exercise (hey, how can someone this tired exercise?). If I feel like an exhausted, dehydrated person lost in the desert, it is because I am.

I better fix this. Right after I finish my DMD.

In other news (moving related) I've scheduled all of our utilities and services to be shut off the 19th! Hurrah for being able to cross crap off the list. The paperwork, closets and garage continue to elude me. I've only got 9 days left to finish up, and technically the last of it needs to be finished in 8 days because Mr. Salvation Army will be coming on November 15th to haul away a mountain of furniture and clothing.

Also - finally finally finally - we have our route mapped out for the move. 3 days, not 4. Oh, and high five for me, because I've reserved the hotels for our trip, too!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Johnny, 10 Months

Oh, hey, Johnny turned 10 months old. 3 days ago. Better late than later, I always say.

Anyway, Mr. Johnny is just way rad. I've got to say, we weren't at all pleased with the length of time it took for his top teeth to break through the gums, but they finally did. With that came a sleep schedule that we were more accustomed to. Sometimes he sleeps all the way through the night (6pm to 7am) but sometimes he wakes up around 9:30ish to let it be known that HE.IS.PISSED. It probably does nothing for his mood when I come in and cackle at him. Seriously though, if you expect me to take you seriously, don't scream your brains out while doing a silly little jig hanging on to the bars of your crib. If you are so mad, then why are you dancing, my sweetest little monster?

I've mostly attributed these wakings to a growth spurt. Depending on the disaster category, I will either re-binky him and lay him back down, where he will promptly pass back out, or if he is pretty worked up by that point, I'll give him another bottle. For a few weeks there, we were having an extra bottle a night. But the bottle would both fill him up and calm him down, and it was sleepy town after that.

Since the last post about Johnny turning 9 months old, we've reached some new milestones. The greatest of these milestones is that he is walking. For now it is only a few steps at a time, and then he drops and crawls again, but it is a start. Johnny also gleefully claps and waves. I think he probably would have done this a lot sooner if we had taught him - but for some reason I forgot how absolutely adorable it is for babies to wave until I saw Josh's cousin's baby waving at us over Skype. Oh, ha - that is right, they CAN do that, lol. We were so much more on the ball with that kind of stuff with Mikey.

Aside from the walking, waving and clapping, Johnny is still kind of crabby. He does great on his own, crawling around and playing with everything within his reach, and then he just gets to a point where he has had ENOUGH and someone better pick him up and carry him around so he can rest and just watch the world.

Johnny is also eating more solids - I find the jarred strained meats to be repulsive, so we've started feeding him turkey dogs cut up into small pieces, and he does really well with them. I think we are pretty close to being able to move away from the jarred foods in general, and on to everything we are eating, just cut up into small pieces.

Well, Johnny's 11 month post will be written from SC, with a few weeks of doting by loving grandparents. Lets see what kind of amazing feats he will stun us with then :)

Back to the end of the line

This is it. Today is my last day officially tied to a customer at my company. After today, my accounts will all be reassigned to their new owners, and I will be left with a small amount of loose ends to be tied up neatly. For so many years now, my identity as an employee has been tied to my ability to manage relationships on behalf of my company. I was pretty stinkin' good at it, too. I hadn't anticipated the web I had spun for myself in my cozy cubicle at work would be torn apart.

Overwhelmingly, I'm in awe of our good fortune. Josh and I have often thought about finding a church, and felt the invisible tug of something bigger than the both of us pulling us in that direction. All of this, all lining up so perfectly, all pointing us in the direction of home, has made us realize that one of the first things we need to do upon arrival is find a church. I really do like to think it was Mikey and I praying nightly before bed, asking God to please watch over everyone near and dear to us. Seriously, ask, and ye shall receive? Isn't that how it goes? I mean, I wasn't asking God to get Josh and I laid off so we could move to SC, but that sure seems to be His answer. We didn't even question it for more than a minute. It was like some long illuminated road was suddenly stretching across the country, especially meant for us to cross over. I can take a hint, God. I hope God has been equally kind to everyone we prayed for. Granted, it was a long list, but Mikey has a big heart and he included almost everyone in his tiny little world.

But aside from the amazing awesomeness and doors that are suddenly opening for us, I am suddenly faced with the reality of this whole job situation. Oh, shiz, I don't have a job! Eeeek!

What do I really do all day? It suddenly feels quite intangible. I have customers. Not just people that randomly reach me on an 800# (although that does happen from time to time), but small business owners that I have been assigned to. I've had to nurture and develop relationships with these people - understand their needs, and ultimately try to anticipate what they might want before they asked. But how do you put that down on paper? My resume looks FANTASTIC (in my humble opinion) but when I try to look at it from the perspective of the employer, I'm underwhelmed. I wish I had some hard skills, a mountain of certificates, degrees in engineering, some transferable skill I could move from this position to the next with absolute certainty.

So many people are miserable in their work. I have lived for many years with someone who hated their job. Josh getting laid off was truly a gift from above. It has been a long time since I've seen him so dang relaxed, even with having to take care of two screaming babies all day while I'm at the office still. But, I loved my job. I could have done what I was doing every day for the rest of my life. I loved talking to people - I loved the new challenges that popped up. I loved the great opportunities working for a company like GE afforded me. I came to work happy, I left work happy. I didn't bring any of the bullshit home with me - I left it right where it belonged. Sure, I had my stressful days like anyone does, but they were few and far between.

And, today is my last day. I'll still be in the office for a few days winding down, but the important part of my job will officially be gone. I wanted to mark this moment, and I look forward to writing a new post, hopefully a day in the near future, jazzed out of my mind about the great new job I have landed. I'm scared, but I'm hopeful.