Saturday, August 30, 2008

Any Old Job Will Not Do

This past Thursday I had a day of "bumness". I was feeling pretty blah about not having a job and not even receiving a call from anyone. Not even the joy of my ER reruns could pull me out of the feeling. To top it off I received an email from one of the jobs I applied to saying I didn't meet the qualifications--sigh.

I decided to check back with the temp agency I interviewed with the previous Monday. Apparently they only had one temp-to-hire position that I could start on Friday if I wanted. Out of my desperation I went ahead and said yes, even though the job paid extremely little and it was not what I was use to. The job was a receptionist at a company called Pizzey's. When I looked up the company's website I found out they are a distributor of flax seed. What did I get myself into? Though it was a job I still did not feel cheered up, probably because I already knew this job would not be worth it.

Friday morning I got dressed in my professional best: nice gray pants, white button up shirt, and red jacket. When I arrived at the office the first thing I noticed was the clothing of the girl I was replacing as well as the lady in charge of the business. They both were in a casual shirt, jeans, and flip flops! I've heard of casual Friday but I think this is taking it too far. I think that was my first clue at this job. There were about 5 other people who worked there. Everyone seemed very dry and not very happy. Nobody really talked to me much. The girl I was replacing showed me around and explained what I was to do but that was about the extent of our interaction.

The head of the office called me in to find out about my background. As I discussed my previous work at a college, student teaching, and working as an educator in a museum, I'm pretty sure I could see on her face that she knew this was not my type of did I. She explained to me about the company: how they just went through a merger and were growing quickly. She told me they were looking for someone for the receptionist position who would want to stay and possible move up in the company. She said my time there would allow me to evaluate them and vice versa. After my one day at the company I knew this was not me. I know that if I stayed there I would dread going to work and I know that would also effect the other areas of my life. And I feel it would be unfair to the company if I stayed.

During the course of the day I did some filing, answered the phones (and on almost every call I had to ask someone for help), and mailed some bills. One of the things I know I did not like was all the paper work. There were so many different papers that went to different places or I was suppose to do certain things with and it was confusing. I had a small list of instructions but it wasn't specific enough. I truly did not like it.

So I'm still in pursuit of a job. I did apply to a children's museum for the position of educator. It sounds a lot like my other job. It's a little farther away than the other jobs I have been looking at but I would be willing to drive if I will be happy in the employment. Please keep Travis and I in your prayers as I continue my job search.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Relaxing at the Beach

On Saturday Travis and I spent some time together by going to the beach! Last week while tulling around I found an area that looked like a good place to visit. I only did a "drive by" of the spot so all I could see from the car was the pure deep blue coloring of Lake Michigan peeking out among some trees. This beach is located in the town of Lake Forest which is absolutely gorgeous! It is easy to know when you have entered this area because the house exponentially grow in size. They are enormous. We have been told that some athletes and other high ranking officials have mansions in that area. If any of you come to visit us make sure we take to this area.

After a late breakfast we headed out to the beach. We were unsure if you could swim in the lake so we didn't bring swim suits. The area I found was special parking for Lake Forest residents only. So we drove around until we found the "foreigners" parking lot. The parking lot was much higher up than the beach so we walked down this beautiful wooden ramp which was covered with tall trees. We picked a really good spot to visit. This beach had a special area marked off for swimming, which many families were taking part in; a very nice playground; a dock for boats; an observation area; and even a snack bar for when that swimming hunger takes you in.

We mainly walked around checking everything out. We went to the observation area and looked through the binoculars and asked a man, who actually knew what College Station, TX is famous for, to take our picture. We wadded in the water and it felt wonderful. The water was so clear and cool. It felt like being in the ocean because of the many waves that washed against our legs. When I looked out at the water it was so hard to realize that this was a lake. I guess it's hard when all you have to compare it with is the lakes in Texas.

After visiting the beach, which we have decide we will be visiting again, we went to look around downtown Lake Forest. The main store we went in was Williams & Sonoma. I have heard about these kitchen stores but have never been in one. Let me just say it is a very dangerous place. There are so many fun cooking gadgets and food items that you know you really need, even if your kitchen is already jam packed to the gills with other fancy items. My favorite items in the store were a package of animal cookie mix and very small animal cookie cutters.

Below are some pictures from our trip to the beach:

Monday, August 25, 2008


Travis' first week of school went very well. Things started off quickly and are picking up with each new day. During his first week he, along with his other schoolmates, created an image of their footprint, as seen on the left. I thought it was too cute not to share with everyone else! This image will be used later for one of his classes. Also last week he had a History of Present Illness Workshop in which he had to take someone's history. The school hired actors to come in and pretend to be patients while the students took turns asking the actor medical history questions. While Travis took his turn his partner was listening and taking notes on his presentation.

His schedule of classes is very different from undergrad in college. He doesn't have Mon/Wed/Fri and Tues/Thurs classes. Everyday the schedule is different. One day he will have Anatomy fro an hour, the next for two hours. Some afternoons he will have class or a lab and others he won't. Travis has been very studious. As soon as he is done with class for the day he heads to the library to study, usually right up to dinner time. Once dinner is done and he has had time for his food to settle, he will set up camp in the office and study until bedtime, with an occasional break.

Today in his Anatomy Lab he and his group are meeting their cadaver for the first time. And I believe on Wednesday he will have his first dissecting lab. I am really proud of all that he is doing and the dedication he is putting into his education!

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Job Hunt

I'm still in the process of looking for a job. Everyday I search on the internet for new listings of anything I think I may be remotely qualified for. There is one job I have applied for that I would really like to get. It is the Mentor Program Coordinator for a college that is located about 6 miles from our apartment. The description sounds just perfect!

I received a call last Wednesday from someone who found my resume and wanted to talk to me about a job possibility. I called back to see what the job might be. The position was an individual sales representative for Books Are Fun. It's one of those companies who set up the book fairs at schools and other venues. That is not exactly my dream job. I'm a horrible sales person and the thought of working on commission makes me ill to my stomach. I need a stable job with a salary.

On Thursday I received another call from a company called Office Team. Apparently one of the jobs I applied for was through this temp agency. Since I am in need of a job I figured this would be a good route to go--let them help me find a job. So I set up an appointment for Monday at 10:30. When I arrived for my interview I first had to fill out some paper work. I then met with one of the managers and we went over my past jobs, skills, and what area I would like to work in. Then I had to take 4 skills tests: Microsoft Word, Excel, Database Alpha entry, and Database Numeric entry.

When I finished the test I met with someone else who went over the scores with me. My database numeric was my worst test--I didn't even score near the average. Truth be told I don't deal that much with numbers so this score wasn't too much of a shock. My database alph was just below average. My Word and Excel scores however were fantastic! I scored in the 80's on both tests and the averages were in the 60's and 70's. Hopefully in a few days I will hear about some job possibilities.


We went to another church this past Sunday. This one was in Vernon Hills which is about 12 miles away. Traveling up here is somewhat different. In Texas 12 miles would be about 12 minutes, but up here it took us a little under 30 minutes to get to the church. It is a new way of thinking.

The attendance at the church was about the same as the other church we visited. Everyone was so nice to us. We ended up staying 30-45 minutes after the service talking with people. We had met the preacher before service who grew up in a town in east Texas, not far from where Travis is from. I think he said it was Gilmer, Texas. After the service I got to talking with the preacher's wife and through our conversation I mentioned that I went to ACU. She then told me that her son teaches at ACU--Steven Moore! I was in two of his English classes and, like every other ACU student, loved the class! While I was talking to some other people, Mrs. Moore called Steven on her cell phone. So I got to chat and catch up with Mr. Moore--so much fun. I love finding random connections with people!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Orientation, Pizza, and Bowling

Travis has been attending orientation this week, learning all kinds of wonderful, new information about his school. To break up the monotony of the days lectures, the school set up special evening events. The event on Wednesday night was bowling at a place called Fat Man's. I was looking forward to meeting some new people.

Fat Man's is not far from our place and was located on a street we haven't been on yet. On the way there we found some new places such as a much closer Walgreens, a small shopping strip, and a restaurant called The Shiloh that we were told has wonderful food. Because I was not a student we had to pay for my bowling but my pizza was free. For some reason food tastes even better when you don't have to pay for it. I'm not sure where this pizza came from but it was pretty amazing. It wasn't the Chicago deep dish style but it still was mighty fine.

We started off bowling with a couple of second year students. Towards the end of our second game, Travis jumped up and started to make his way to a couple who just entered the bowling alley. I figured it was someone he had met during orientation. Alas, I was wrong. The guy who came in was wearing a Texas A&M shirt and Travis quickly honed in on the maroon ora. While talking with him we found two other Aggies within the mass of students. We began a new bowling game with the couple and chit chatted about Texas. While playing Travis found some more people from Texas--two girls who attended UT. So we finished our last game of bowling in between telling Aggie/UT jokes.

We had a really good time and enjoyed meeting new people!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


On Sunday we started our search for a church home up here. It really is a new experience for both of us. We both have done the church search before but it was when we were younger and our parents were mainly in charge. When we came to College Station (he a little earlier than me) we both knew we would go to A&M C of C. So we are starting out by looking in the phone book. We started with the first one on the list: The Church of Christ at Waukegan.

Coming up here I knew we would probably be going to a much smaller church than I am use to. The smallest church I have been a member of is probably A&M which is around 1,000 people. In the service at Waukegan I counted 30-35 people. Quite a differenece for me but it was a very enjoyable service. Before and after the service we had members coming up to meet and greet us. Everyone was so nice and invited us back. We found some people who had grown up in Texas--we are finding that is a common thread up here. The songs during the service were probably our favorite part. Every song had a wonderful amount of soul within it.

We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly at this church but I think we may need something a little bit bigger. I really enjoy getting involved with the Children's ministry and I really didn't see too many kids. We will continue our search and find something that fits us well.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Apartment and Surrounding Areas

We are very close to having everything in its place which is very nice. The apartment is feeling a lot like home to both of us. We have yet to meet any of our neighbors; I don't think everyone has returned yet for school. Here are some pictures of the apartment:

Here is the living room...along with the PGA tournament on tv.

Our kitchen where we got very creative figuring out where all of our stuff would go.

Our Texas "bling" right outside the kitchen.

Our nice big bathroom with two sinks--no more water fights!

The guest room/office. *Please note the shark jaws on the left as mentioned in a previous post.

The master bedroom which is much larger than what we previously had.

This is the front of our building.

Travis' school which is literally a parking lot away from our apartment.

And just for fun...

Shark Attack! It's a little blurry but you get the jist. The stitches came out Friday and I am almost completely healed.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

How Did You Get That?

We had a little adventure on our second day in North Chicago. On Friday we remained very busy with unpacking and figuring out how the furniture should be placed. We got quite a bit done during the morning and the afternoon. At around 5:30 things took a little bit of a change.

Those of you who visited our old apartment know that Travis has a pair of shark jaws that we hang on the wall in the guest room. In the midst of tryin to hang these they sort of slipped off the wall and I happened to be right under them getting a picture. One of teeth got my arm pretty good, not bad, believe me I've had worse injuries. The cut was deep enough that I would need stitches. So my dad used his GPS to find an emergency room. We got there at 6:00 and didn't leave until 12:00! After the first three hours of waiting I was finally called in to get registered. The lady registering me was so nice and actually lived in Texas at one time! Everyone in the ER was so nice and personable. And let me tell you, my injury story was the hit of the ER. How many people can say they got a shark bite in their apartment?

I ended up getting three stitches and a tetnis shot. I am healing quite nicely and go to a doctor on Friday to get the stitched taken out.

We Are Here!

Sorry to keep everyone in suspence...we actually made it to North Chicago! We had so many wonderful friends come to help us pack up the Uhaul. I would guess that we had around 15 or so people. We greatly appreciate the help that everyone of you offered.

We left College Station at around 6:00 in the morning and met my family in Dallas at around 9:00. Once we rearranged luggage and people in the cars we headed out for the next part of the journey, Travis and my dad in the Uhaul, Jennifer and I in the Toyota, and Traci and my mom in the van. The Uhaul crew began driving towards Oklahoma while the rest of us went to drop the van off at the airport. Around 12:30ish we stopped for lunch at a Burger King/gas station across the street from a huge casino--I kept expect a herd of Elvis impersonators to come barreling out.

We finished the drive through OK, quite a boring drive I might add, and then we came to Missouri. We enjoyed the drive through this new state, mainly because the hills at least added a little bit of variety to the journey. We arrived at our hotel in Sullivan, MO at 8:30 in the evening. We quickly ran over for a quick bite at the Crackle Barrel right next to the hotel and then we all fell right to sleep.

The next morning we started out at 7:30. Sullivan is only an hour away from St. Louis so we were doing pretty well. We passed by the arch which was quite thrilling! Then we entered Illinois which felt like we were back in Oklahoma--flat farm land as far as the eye can see. We arrived at our apartment complex at around 2:30. Once we filled out all the paper work and got the keys we entered the apartment at around 3:00. It is very nice which we are glad about since we rented this place without seeing it. We've had to think outside the box a little bit with all our stuff. The kitchen is smaller and has less cabinet room than our other place which is tough because we hardly fit our kitchen items in that space. We have found a way to make it work. Our master bedroom is bigger as well as the bathroom. The best feature of the apartment is it has one of those systems where you buzz visitors up to your apartment--so fun! I plan to put up pictures soon. I'm waiting until we have it put together a bit more.