Monthly Archives: November 2012

I Stayed Awake This Morning

Check out my ID badge! :)

Today was my first day of work at my new job!  I felt so strange waking up today.  For the past few months, Sam has been working and I’ve been staying at home.  Every morning, I would wake up at 6:45 and say, “Sam, it’s time to get up.”  I’d go to the closet and pick out a shirt and pants for him.  I’d go back in the bedroom and turn on the light, saying, “No, seriously, Sam, it’s time.”  He’d groan and pull a pillow over his head.  I’d track down a pair of socks for him and retrieve his shoes from the living room before prying the pillow out of his fingers.  “Sam, you’ve gotta get ready for work.”  He’d squint his eyes against the light and make an adorable grumpy face before reaching for the comforter to cover his face again.  I’d be one step ahead of him, having already pulled the comforter out of his reach.  He’d complain about the cold and I’d remind him that putting on his clothes would help with that.  Usually at this point he’d check the time on his Yoda alarm clock, affirming that, indeed, it is time to wake up.  He’d finally roll out of bed and shuffle into the bathroom to put in his contacts.  I’d manage to tame his bedhead with a squirt bottle full of water that is always too cold for Sam’s liking.  He’d finally get his clothes on and leave me at the door with a sleepy kiss, promising to have a good day like I’d request.

Here’s where Callie-from-Yesterday’s and Callie-from-Today’s paths split.  Callie-from-Yesterday would lock the door, turn off the light, crawl back under the covers on Sam’s side of the bed (it’d still be warm), and go back to sleep.  She wouldn’t even bother with setting an alarm.  She’d sleep as long as physically possible, usually till around noon.  Once her day was considerably shorter, she’d find tasks and projects to occupy her time until Sam came home later that evening.  Then she’d spend time with him and start the routine all over again the next day.

Callie-from-Today didn’t lock the door.  She couldn’t go back to bed because she didn’t have time.  She had work in 45 minutes, and she had to get dressed and eat a bowl of cereal.  Then she had to drive to her job and work at a local high school until noon.  There, she met some friendly people, designed a professional-looking cover page for teachers to use when making copies, answered phones in the front office, and took a tour of the huge campus.  While Callie-from-Yesterday was still asleep, Callie-from-Today was walking out with an ID badge around her neck and a spring in her step.  She’s excited to go back tomorrow.

It means so much to have a reason to stay awake.  For you, it might be your job, or your children, or classes at school.  Whatever gets you out of bed in the morning and keeps you out of bed is a huge blessing that you should never take for granted.  Sure, everyone needs a holiday now and then, but no one wants to sleep in every day, with no one anywhere expecting you to show up.

It’s lonely, and I’m glad it’s over.  :)

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Too Great a Day

This weekend has been wonderful so far!  Yesterday, I got a job and Sam coached his first basketball game.  He finished up football season last weekend and he jumped straight into basketball.  He’s never actually played basketball, but they needed a coach and he was the one available to take the job.  He’s learning quickly, though, and he’s in charge of junior varsity so there isn’t as much pressure.

Is he handsome or what?  Basketball coaches dress better than football coaches.  He looks very official.  I’m enjoying basketball games more than football games so far because I know all the rules and can keep up with what’s going on.  Also, I get to sit much closer to Sam, which is always a plus.  It’s so fun to hear him give his players a pep talk and talk strategy with them before they hit the court.  They won their first game!  Sam insists that it was a fluke and that the other team was just exceptionally terrible, but a victory is a victory in my book.

Since football season is over, Sam doesn’t have to go up to school on Saturdays to watch film anymore.  The past few weekends, he’s been attending classes to learn how to drive a school bus, but he finished that up last week.  There was a scrimmage scheduled for today, but that got canceled so Sam ended up with his first Saturday off in a long time.  Two of our friends (Tyler and Ashley) were getting married today, but we felt rude trying to show up at the last minute since we didn’t RSVP because of the scheduled scrimmage.  However, we send them all our love and we are so happy they are finally married!

Because of our empty schedule, we were able to sleep in and take it easy today.  Sam promised me a big date night to celebrate my new job, so I decided to get dressed up and straighten my hair.  My hair is naturally curly and I usually wear it that way, and I’ve let it grow out over the past year.  In fact, I haven’t had a haircut since last December!  I didn’t realize how long my hair has gotten until I straightened all the curls out.

After I got dressed, I pried Sam away from his Xbox.  He recently bought two major games (Halo 4 and Call of Duty: Black Ops II), so he’s been playing a lot.  However, he was more than happy to grab his car keys when I mentioned that I wanted to go out for steak.

We drove 30 minutes to Saltgrass Steakhouse in Cedar Hill.  It was so delicious!  We shared a ribeye and Sam enjoyed a baked potato while I chowed down on mac and cheese.  We also shared a delicious Sangria Margarita!

After dinner, Sam took me to two of my favorite places: Half Price Books and Barnes & Noble!  At the shopping center Barnes & Noble is in, we just happened to arrive in the middle of their big Christmas celebration.  There was a live jazz band, guys on stilts, and a huge Christmas tree.

We went inside Barnes & Noble and enjoyed some holiday drinks.  I got a pumpkin spice frappuccino and Sam got a peppermint mocha frappuccino.  When we got home, we realized we had accidentally left the heater on when we went out.  We didn’t mind, though, because it was wonderful to come home to a warm house.  Now, Sam is back on his Xbox playing with his friends, and I’m sitting here under a warm blanket working on my blog.  Life is wonderful and I love my husband, and this was too great a day not to share.

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Just Call Me “Employed!”

All ready for the interview! Here goes nothing!

So, if you’ve been keeping up with my blog (bless you), you’ll remember that I’ve been looking for a job for about six months.  You might remember the nightmarish interview I recently had, and the devastating phone call that followed.  I’ve applied for dozens (I mean that quite literally… I think the number might be close to 50) jobs and positions, and nothing has come through.  I finally found a shaky sense of peace about it all, but I kept applying to whatever openings I could find.

I was browsing the websites of local school districts looking for library assistant positions, when I noticed the local high school here in Waxahachie was looking for a “copy clerk” to work mornings part-time.  I applied just in case, and then promptly decided I would never hear back about it.  Lo and behold, a week ago I got a call from the assistant principal trying to set up an interview.  I was supposed to go in on Monday, but the interview got pushed back to today (Friday).

I’ve been so nervous this week!  I really wanted this job.  It was the first strong lead I’ve gotten since we’ve moved here.  The hours aren’t great (only 20 hours a week), but that’s all right.  The commute is less than five minutes; the school is just down the street.  Basically, they needed someone to run the school’s copy center, so I’d be making copies for teachers.  I’m more than qualified for it.  Since the position is at a school, all of the days off and holidays line up with Sam’s perfectly.  It would’ve been such a blessing to be able to have time with him during this very stressful time.

I felt great after the interview, although I started second-guessing myself after an hour or so.  They said they might not get back to me until after Thanksgiving Break, so you can imagine how excited I was when I got a call from the assistant principal a couple of hours after the interview.

I got the job!

I kept my cool on the phone, but the second I hung up I started squealing and jumping up and down, probably disturbing my downstairs neighbors.  I told Rigby and he acted excited (it was probably because I was feeding him a pumpkin seed at the time, his favorite snack).  I called Sam during one of his classes (oops) and he answered because he thought it was an emergency.  I might’ve yelled over the phone, I was so excited.  He said we’re going to celebrate later!

I’m so thankful for this opportunity.  Most of my paychecks will go towards paying back my stack of student loans (goodbye, next ten years), but it will feel fantastic to contribute to our family’s income and not pay back my loans with Sam’s paychecks.  Plus, like I said, it’s nice to be home.

Some couples have a easy first year of marriage with no bumps… But we’re not that couple.  Some say, “I hope all of our years are as wonderful as our first year!”  Psshh, no thanks.  It’s not that Sam and I have fought a lot (or at all, really), but we’ve had a rough year with the rest of the world.  My last semester of college ended in an anxiety breakdown that caused me to quit my job.  Sam’s semester of student teaching last spring was anything but easy.  We spent the summer living with Sam’s parents in their spare bedroom, which was hard after having our own house first.  Then, Sam started his first year of teaching and coaching, working 70-hour workweeks coaching sports he’s not familiar with and teaching a subject his students aren’t at all passionate about.  I looked for a job for months and months.  On top of it all, Sam’s mom had a stroke and is quickly declining in health.  All of this has given us the chance to cling to each other and support each other, but it has been hard.

God knew what he was doing!  Out of all the jobs I applied to, this one will give me the most time at home and with Sam.  No, it won’t give me the most money, but there are more important things for now.  I’m excited to start my new job after Thanksgiving and get back into a routine.  Most of all, I’m excited that God always follows through, even when it’s not on my schedule.

Now it’s time to celebrate!  Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  :)

I have so much to be thankful for!

Categories: My Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Thank You, Smoke Detector

Dear Smoke Detector,

I am writing you to formally address a complaint I’ve expressed against you for quite some time.  I understand that your job description requires you to detect smoke.  However, your enthusiasm is becoming excessive.  This is my first year as a wife and I’m still learning how to cook; I don’t see any reason why you should announce my embarrassing mishaps to the entire apartment complex.

Furthermore, there’s no need for you to wake up every smoke detector in the house.  If our house is actually on fire, I’m sure I’ll appreciate your eardrum-molesting, soul-scraping screech, but no one was in danger last night when I was cooking chicken on the stove.  The chicken didn’t even burn.  I didn’t know pasta sauce had splashed under the burner the other day.  It was rude of you to make me open all my windows on a cold night, letting out all the warm air we spent our hard-earned money on.

All I’m saying is take a break around dinner time.  Go catch a movie or something.  Come back when the dishes are done and we’re watching TV.  I’ll smell the smoke; I don’t need your help for that.

In fact, maybe just take a long vacation and come back when my future son or daughter is learning how to make Hot Pockets in the microwave.  I’m sure we’ll require your services at that time.

Until then,

Callie

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DIY Mail Sorter

Bill.

That word can mean several things.  Some might think of ducks, some might think of a past president or celebrity.

When I see that word, I think of money: dollar bills, and the pieces of paper that come in the mail and take those dollar bills away.

Over the past few months, Sam and I have shed a bit of our newlywed status by becoming more independent and accepting more responsibilities.  That means paying for things we didn’t pay for in college: cell phone service, electricity, water, rent… It’s a lot to keep up with, and it’s exhausting to think that the bills will keep coming for the rest of our lives.

Since Sam is busy with his first semester of teaching, I’ve taken over most of our financial obligations.  I’m still looking for a job, but I’m still running into constant dead ends because I don’t have enough experience.  I only graduated last spring, so I don’t know how I’m supposed to gain experience if no one will hire me.  So, at this point, Sam makes the money and I spend it!  I don’t go on shopping sprees, though; I spend our money through bills, making sure we don’t get kicked out of our apartment for not paying rent, or get left in the dark when our electricity provider shuts us off.  I spend our money on groceries to make sure Sam doesn’t starve.

Keeping up with our mail has been an issue for me because it tends to float all over our apartment.  Sometimes I drop it off on the kitchen island, sometimes it ends up on the desk in our bedroom… It’s easy to lose track of it all.  I’ve been looking for a good mail sorter for a few weeks now.  Our town has several great antique stores, but none of them had exactly what I was looking for: I needed something that would have vertical slots for me to sort our mail so our bills don’t get lost.  I found baskets and other containers that were close to what I needed, but not quite.  I even went to Office Depot and considered buying a $40 stacking tray set, but couldn’t bring myself to spend that much money.

So, what’s a girl to do when what she wants doesn’t exist?  Do it herself!

Here’s how I made my simple mail sorter for my kitchen counter out of three basic magazine holders.  It was an easy and fun project that I completed in less than an hour, but it makes a huge difference in my house.

First, I started with three black magazine holders I found at Target for $4.99 each.  They’re made out of sturdy cardboard.

I removed the metal label holders on the front of them.  They popped off pretty easily.  After that, I stacked them on their sides and decided how I wanted them to fit in the corner on my counter.  Here’s what the corner looked like before:

Clutter!  An ugly, cheap toaster we never use, Sam’s Gatorade powder, some random ribbon, and a stained plastic cutting board.  The only thing I deemed worthy to stay was our adorable desktop panda calendar.  I wanted the mail sorter to fit in the corner where our Darth Vader cookie jar was, so I planned accordingly and glued them together with a hot glue gun.

Looks great, but I wanted to dress it up a bit.  I found these old reading flash cards at a local thrift store and thought they were charming.

I love the classic font and the antique, stained look.  I cut them to size and glued them to the side to give the mail sorter a fun, whimsical feel.

After that, the black top felt too plain.  I pulled out an old paperback copy of The Ponder Heart by Eudora Welty that I used in a previous craft project.  A professor assigned the book in a Southern Literature class in college, and I ordered this copy off Amazon for a penny.  It arrived with the first chapter missing, so I replaced it and use it for crafting now.  It has beautifully yellowed pages because it’s so old.  I used it to decoupage the top of the mail sorter.

Then, I cleared off my counter.  Everything found a new place, including Darth Vader, who now guards the fridge against Rebel forces:

And the mail sorter looks great on the counter!  It adds a lot of character to my kitchen.

This is a great project because it’s completely customizable.  You could use different patterns of scrapbook paper to make any color combination you want.  You could even make cute labels for each of the slots.

What do you think?  Should I have sprung for the stacking trays, or was this a good alternative?

Categories: DIY | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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