Sunday, July 25, 2010

Life as I know it

I have not been in much of a blogging mood lately. In fact, today I even had to fight off a pity party. You see, 'graduation' is coming up (no commencement ceremony). I had my last class of my master's degree on Thursday. I'm not as sad as some of my classmates, but I have gotten very close with several of them. I'll just be so happy to see them at dinner instead of in a class! I've been telling Ben for a year at least that I really want a graduation party. I feel like for the past 3 years I've been studying and working and missing a lot of my good friends & family, so I was very much looking forward to a gathering to mark the end of a very long degree! Well, its less than 2 weeks from graduation and no party is planned and Ben is not exactly heading up the party planning committee. Ben says he tried to plan one for earlier in the summer, but he said something was planned the same day without his knowing so it didn't work out. Now, he's lost his creativity & momentum and has elected me chair of my own party planning... Boo!

Anyways, pity party aside. I am still incredibly thankful I have a job and praying EVERY day that my state certification comes in sooner than later. It is SUCH an ordeal. I have to wait for the university to post my degree (could take a week after graduation). THEN, I wait for the dean to write me a letter saying, I've graduated. Next, I mail my letter and certification application to the state and pray for a quick turn around of which they told me will be 6-8 weeks! I am receiving substitute pay until then which is a quarter above minimum wage I think. Substitute pay is better than no pay though for sure! But master's pay is even better than that! What a great month that will be when I finally get PAID!

I have been handling the penny pinching well though, I bring you my project for the day:

This lovely & far from perfect message board will cover a very bare wall behind my desk. This was surprisingly MUCH harder than it looks! I bought the fabric, ribbon & nail heads today for $8 dollars thinking I'd just throw it all together.... well 3 hours later I finally figured out how to make the ribbon as parallel as I was ever going to get them! The ribbon is a little gold so it stands out bright in this picture, but under normal lighting it blends well. I also bought some clearance fabric for curtains and am still waiting on my thrift store purchase to be recovered. THEN I'll show you some before/after pictures.

Tomorrow is my 3rd day of work!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Another beginning

My eye twitch is going strong. Probably over a month now and I still can't sleep well... if I do I dream about work and things going wrong.

Did you ever wait tables? I used to have dreams that every one of my tables were full, but I could not for the life of me get to them and they were getting angrier and angrier!

Similar dreams, just a different occupation. I am so excited and anxious to start my new job though! I am very thankful I get to start this Wednesday, 10 days before teachers come back to work. So I feel like I'll have a little bit of time to try and get a grip on things before the rest of the school fills back up.

Tomorrow is my last day of internship. Three semesters of interning used to sound so long, but I've made my way to the end and it kinda flew by. Then Thursday is my last class of my master's education! I can't believe its been 3 years and I've gotten this far. I know that I will probably have bumps in the road this next year (because when isn't there?), but 3 years of education is a long time and a lot of training.

I know that I can do this job. I know I will have to learn a lot of things on the job and that will be okay. I will also be pursuing my license immediately after graduation so that should help with any bumps in the road! Licensure means weekly one-hour supervision meetings with my LPC supervisor, so it gives me someone to talk through things with and get advice.

Two days... until I start a new job. Two days until I move on to the next part of my life.

So, wow.... Deep Breaths!!

Update: Uganda Bomb

For all of you who have read Allen's blog about the bomb that went off in Uganda last weekend, please read Carrie's words at Steps of Faith also. She was sitting with Allen at the same restaurant, being a missionary all summer in Uganda. She is back home, but God's words that she has written are amazing and true to all of us.

Allen and his family along with Carrie's mom have been all over the news this week here in town and it is just amazing to see what can come out of something so tragic. Allen's blog was even posted on the news cast several times! I'm so glad people are reading his story because even before the bomb, his blog was very inspiring!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The new life

I went to my new job yesterday and I feel very safe saying it is very much my job. (I keep having this fear that if I bought anything or did anything to get ready, it would suddenly be taken away from me.) I picked up my keys yesterday! I rearranged my office. MY office!!!

I met with the counselor who retired from this position and she told me as much as she could in 3 hours. I feel good about things. A little less overwhelmed, but just by a smidge. :) Still very excited/overwhelmed!

But a couple more wonderful things have happened (along with this job). God is truly AMAZING and I'm so glad that he walks with me!

First, to preface, about a year and a half ago, Ben's salary was cut. It was a company-wide sweep that everyone's salary was decreased to save as many employees as they could. Ben only lost about 3.5% total. We really weren't terribly sad about it because we were so thankful he still had a job and God quickly provided for us beyond what we could ask for. Well, the company is finally reinstating everyone's salaries!!! On the 25th Ben will get his 3.5% back!

Second, again to preface: my sister-in-law (married to my older brother), is pregnant again, and I went into my parent's attic yesterday looking for cute things for my office. I found several huge boxes of clothing. They've been in there for at least 3 years, so I called my sister-in-law and asked if she cared if I went through them to see if there was anything I could wear to work (praying she would say okay) and she said to go ahead and take whatever fit because they wouldn't be fitting her anytime soon. YAY!!! NEW CLOTHES! for my NEW job!!

Okay, and to make sure this post is not entirely picture-less, I'm including my wonderful finds from the thrift store for the office.

Yes, this is in fact a scene of a man wading through a pond, duck hunting.
(Emily I bought two extra ones for your house too.) $9.99!

This gem was $25 and fabric will be about $30.
Not too bad for a 'I'm having a crisis chair!'

Don't worry these are definitely BEFORE pictures. They are going to be recovered this weekend. I can't wait to show you after pictures! (And pictures of my office!!)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The View From Here

I went to the gulf this weekend. Some girls from high school and I drove to see another friend from high school, her husband and their new house about 45 minutes from Gulf Shores, AL. (Remember we were supposed to volunteer??? They never called us back! Apparently we were not needed.... I think BP is paying all of the people who are out of work to help with the effort, so maybe that was why they didn't need us?)

Well, we were scared away from the beach the 1st day, but on the 2nd, I refused to sit inside and watch tv any longer! I was going somewhere no matter what and thankfully my friend's husband offered to be my tour guide. He suggested we just go LOOK at the beach and see how TERRIBLE it was....

Well, let me show you how terrible:

What? You don't see any oil?

Me either!!

So on a whim he and I BOUGHT a bathing suits (since I wasn't originally planning on swimming, I didn't bring mine with me) and I swam in the ocean for hours! (Don't worry, I didn't get sick). I was told that because of the wind and current the oil was far from shore and would be for several days. Who knew?!

And just to let you know what more of a fabulous day it was, this is what I saw when I left:


Monday, July 12, 2010

Allen in Uganda

I've promoted Allen's blog before. He is my bff's little brother, a missionary in Uganda that has helped save many children's lives and souls during his time there. He and many others from our town were in one of the restaurants that were bombed yesterday during the world cup.

His experience in incredible and I am sure there will be so much more to come. God is amazing.

Please read:

Kampala Bombing

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Looking Up

I have developed an eye twitch that has haunted me for the past 3 or so weeks. Add that to the 7 pounds that job searching has helped me tack on and I'm ready for life to calm down.

However, I was offered a job last Tuesday and as of today, have officially accepted! So it doesn't look like things will slow down anytime soon, which is a blessing.

I haven't slept well in days and have a terrible time trying to turn my brain off long enough to fall asleep. If I'm not thinking about all the things I will need to figure out with counseling, then I'm dreaming of babies. (Actually dreamed last night that I had a hysterical pregnancy and didn't find out until month 8 of thinking I was pregnant. Thanks Glee for planting that seed).

In spite of all the stress, I am feeling much better than I was a couple weeks ago! I've been in constant prayer about this job and do feel at this point that God wants me there.


It is a huge relief in a sense (to actually have a job!) and also gives me huge anxiety. Because now I have to put everything I've learned the past 3 years to work and be a real counselor! I saw what will be my office today and will meet with the counselor who retired next week to nail down what it is I'm stepping into. I hope and pray that after meeting her I will have some clearer lines as to where I even need to start, because wow....overwhelmed.

This position is at a middle school, 6-8 graders, one counselor - me, about 645 kids, which is a lot. At 750 kids each school gets the option of an additional part-time counselor to add to the full time one already on board. It is in Tuscaloosa, 35 minutes from home in the opposite direction of my current life (Birmingham): doctors appointments, licensure supervision appointments, family, etc. THAT part makes me incredibly nervous, but I'm sure God has a plan for that also! I don't want to have to change doctors, but I'm not sure how it will all work since the last appointment my doctor accepts is at 3:10 and school doesn't get out until 3pm (an hour away). Maybe they work with another lab and I can do bloodwork, etc in Tuscaloosa instead of driving an hour to Birmingham each time. We'll see!!

I'll keep you updated.

Monday, July 5, 2010

4th of July!

All I've wanted to do this summer is go to the river and relax!! Ben loves the river and we usually float down the Cahaba River a few times a summer, but especially for his birthday every year, but last year was not such a fun trip. We've decided to change locations to the river that is in the same off-road park that Ben goes rock crawling. You can float down it, but you have to do all the leg work (and I don't trust Ben to get us down the river in one piece, due to his last self-directed river floating adventure.... I'll have to tell you about that one soon) since there is not a place that rents the tubes and drops you off. We made a special trip up there Saturday for the long weekend, but instead of tubing, we just sit:

This actually is a lot more fun than it looks. The current is moving a good bit so you can lean your chair back and it just stays. We also had to ride in the buggy to get out there!

So add in some rednecks, a cooler of beer and a river and it makes for a pretty good Saturday. Thank goodness for 70spf!

Sunday we went to our neighbors who just had a baby a week and a half ago. They are the most wonderful hosts who make amazing meals and even homemade cheesecake! I wish I had taken pictures to show the fun Ben had playing cornhole (wow, I sound like a country bumpkin) for hours and setting fireworks off their pier, but I forgot. I'll have to get some of the sweet baby Brett next time!

We also picked up a new friend. She was a puppy that we fostered last summer, but she's back at our house again. Her owner couldn't keep her any longer, so Ben thought we'd try her out and see if she'd blend right in but 3 dogs is just too many. We're going to foster her instead, until she finds her family.

Here she was about this time last year:

And now, all grown up:

The hiatus

I've been reading blogs, but have not posted any of my own in a bit. I have been in a serious funk the past two weeks. It started with finding out I did not get the job that I so very wanted.

However, my dissappointment and saddness came inappropriately, because I prayed SO hard for God's guidance. For him to show me, clearly, where he wanted me to be before I accepted the job I didn't get. Well, he clearly gave me a direct answer of, No. That job was NOT for me. Two weeks later I'm okay with it. It really isn't about why and that is something that I have learned this past year: to stop questioning and to start trusting. I never really wondered why and knew/know that God has a perfect reason, but it still didn't make it any easier, so I just cried. Probably not the best way to trust.

The very next morning, Ben and I drove to Tallahassee to throw a shower for my cousin. She is due in just a couple weeks so we got as many of the family in town as we could to celebrate.

This is my sweet sweet Aunt Treecie that took me on the women's retreat back in April and I am so thankful for her in my life. She is such an amazing woman of God and wonderful aunt. She is truly the kindest person I know and I am blessed to call her family. She has definitely helped me get through the past two weeks for sure.

Then Tuesday, in spite of all that Dave Ramsey has taught me, I stood in line at 5am to get an iphone that I have waited oh-so-long for!!! And yes, it is fabulous. It was definitely a careless, how the heck will I pay for this, pity party purchase though.

Now I just need to figure out how to blog from it and we'll be set!
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