job hunt

Hi

My life has taken a major change and blogging is the last thing on my mind. I don’t foresee many more posts on here, but please keep me in your feeds bc you never know when I’ll feel like writing. =)

I am on a major health journey and have lost 80lbs since February and feel like a whole new person! I have more to lose, but am thoroughly enjoying how I feel these days. A huge plus to losing so much weight is the possibility of getting pregnant without drugs. So we’ll see how that works out. I bought running shoes and an awesome bike and signed up for 2 Disney 10K races in February and April plus some local 5K races. I may have an obsession with virtual races and complete all my miles on the treadmill at the gym.

My handsome nephew is now 7 months old. I don’t get to see him very much, but cherish every moment when I do and love all the photos I get of him. He is such a sweet baby!

We (yes, collectively) have given up on the foster system in Miami. I have zero faith in it and have quit the Board of the association effective September 30th. We aren’t even getting into this anymore. I’m so fed up. Just am thankful for the amazing handful of friends we met along our 3+ year journey with nothing to show for it.

We spent a week in San Diego for Comic Con and it was the single greatest week I’ve had in a long time. Our wedding week in Vegas is the only thing to compete.

I got a new job! And I freakin love it. I still work on Miami Beach, but in a position of considerable power in an organization that will help me with my future political career.

Still in MPA classes – 4th semester. Graduation is next summer. I will then be able to rule the world.

My 40th birthday is on Friday.

Forty and Fabulous 40

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Hello!

helloCan we just ignore that I promised to update more and haven’t? Seriously, I am sorry about that. Life is, as expected, crazy.

In the last 2.5 months, we (I) made the decision to pause our foster application due to all the insanity in our lives. Between my starting grad school, the 4-5 hour round trip commute to work each day (it’s gotten worse 🙁 ), being Communications Chair for the South Florida Foster and Adoptive Parent Association and my constant house hunting (I really want to own a home!)… PLUS Husband’s finishing his MBA and applying for a Doctorate and his work, we barely have time to sleep. Also, I have been actively job hunting and made it to the final rounds with 2 jobs but things happened and, wibbly wobbly, both fell through.

Then I turned 39! And we went to Painting With A Twist with a small group of friends. Husband, SIL, and I went off book and made our paintings our very own by not really following directions all that well…

And on October 10th is our 5th wedding anniversary!

Since we do, in fact, have the ability to time this avenue of bringing a child into our home, we are taking advantage. Also, in the last few weeks, I have been really drawn to changing our age range to teens or at least an older age range. Right now we are approved to adopt 3-8 year old children. I’ve been thinking about upping it to 12 or 13. The older kids are more rewarding from what I am getting from my friends that foster teens as you can speak to and reason with them. While I would love the cuddles of a little one, well I have plenty of friends with little ones plus, a new baby in my family is coming soon!!

Now, frequent visitors will have noticed that there is finally a new blog design. I changed my hosting, rearranged a few domains and hopefully it will speed everything up. Also, I plan on using FletcherFam.com as a family focused website as opposed to just this blog which is very child-focused. I will post here when that goes live.

From last post, my MPA classes are going well so far. This semester I am in an “intro” to Public Administration and a Human Resources course. I promised more info last time. With all the heartaches and hardship we’ve gone through with the adoption process in the last 2 years, I finally decided that something needed to be done. My ultimate “grown up” goal is to be the COO or CEO of a foster care agency or government entity working towards the protection of children. In 5 years, I hope to have graduated and be working in the industry. This MPA will supplement the knowledge I gained from my MBA to focus on non-profits and government agencies.

I hope you’re all well!

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DIY Crafty Project

Sure, this is normally an adoption blog, but this sorta relates. There’s been a lot of movement on the adoption front in the last month, but that’s fodder for a whole other post!

My new job starts officially full time today. I’ve been working there a few hours a week freelance since October. Since I start tomorrow, I wanted to decorate my office and be sure my creativity is not only apparent, but organized. I will be doing marketing of all kinds and need to ensure it is kept track of properly. Instead of purchasing a corkboard or dry erase board, I came up with this idea while wandering around Staples Saturday night.
What, you don’t wander office supply stores for fun?

I purchased a large black foamcore board which initially would mean using metallic and light ink pens on. Nope, this idea is better. I bought 3 coordinating roll of mini duck tape and started searching on Pinterest for memory board tutorials for the tape placement.

diyboard

My supplies:
20″x30″ black foamcore board | 3 rolls of 15mm duck tape | scissors

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Since my board is 30″ wide, I marked off every 5″ and went on to taping it off. There are 5 aqua blue vertical stripes.
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As it is 20″ tall, there are 3 lime green horizontal stripes at 5″ intervals.
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I got creative with the diagonal stripes. There are 5 on 1 diagonal and 4 on the other.
This is totally up to you how to tape it off.
diyboard1

To hang this, use nails that are at least 1/2″ longer than your board.

I purchased clear push pins and will use them to secure papers to my message board. Normally ribbons are used, but that also means it’s a fabric board with some sort of batting. Maybe I’ll make one of those for the Fletchling, but for now, he or she will have one of these. Now to pick some generic colors and get to it.

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And in my 37th Year…

I interrupt this not-so-regularly updated adoption blog to say that in my 37th year (which, BTdubs, starts today) I plan on doing the following things (in no particular order):

  • Becoming a mommy to a sweet little child from foster care
  • Getting a job worthy of my degree, my experiences, and myself
  • Being the best darn wife and mommy I can be
  • Learning as many new web and design technologies as I can
  • Kicking butt on the technologies I already know
  • Being a better person
  • Learning to speak up for myself appropriately
  • Not letting certain people rule my mind simply bc I am related to them
  •              See also, growing a bigger pair (sorry for that graphic!)
  • Sheep2Skein, push it
  • RS Creative Solutions, push it
  • Bake more
  • Actually make the projects I pin on Pinterest

birthday-owl

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Accountability.

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Last night, I made a one-year plan. I sorta wrote it in the dark so the mega huge Sharpie helped me be able to read it.

Why am I posting it here on this blog that I’ve virtually ignored for months? Accountability. I’m putting it out there into the universe. I want to accomplish all these things.

Some are obvious (lose weight, join a gym, pay off cards) but some aren’t so much.

– Publish 3 more patterns – 2 days ago, i published a pattern on Ravelry for a Cabled Owls Hat I made. The hat was super easy, everyone raved about it, requests have been made for different colors, so I write up the pattern and published it. Within 12 hours, I had 4 sales. Needless to say, I was stoked!

– Push RSCS! – did you know that I’m a web and graphic designer? Of course you do! No really, do you? Steve and I own RS Creative Solutions and it is my goal to push it as hard as I can so that we turn a profit. I even have business cards and car magnets. Woo!

– Dump crappy friends – OK, this one is kinda obvious too. We all have those friends (or family members) that are more dead weight then beneficial. When someone drags you down, cut the rope and let the anchor sink.

– Cultivate awesome friends – you know, those ones you meet and have tons in common with and can laugh and giggle for hours? Or those that have been with you through thick and thin for practically your whole life but you have no time for. Yeah those. They need to be cherished and brought more front and center.

– Teach a knitting class – I was in Joann’s Fabric yesterday and picked up their class schedule. I have wanted to learn to quilt for some time and figured this would be a good starting point. Apparently unless I wanted to take several hours off in the middle of the work day, I’m never learning through them. All their classes save a few are before 5pm. I am going to take some of my more awesome pieces and convince them to let me teach kids, teens and adults.

– Get a better paying job with a non-assistant title – I won’t tell you how much I make (it would probably depress you), but I need to make more. A lot more. After all, I have been working since I was 12, in the “real” work arena for 15 years (holy smokes!) and have an MBA. A freakin MBA. And it’s sitting dormant and not working for me at all. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my boss. I really have lucked out having a boss that appreciates me and tries to help as much as she can. And not just bc she got Steve and I tickets to see Bon Jovi!!! But being someone’s assistant is getting me no where. Sure, the experience is phenomenal as I do want to work in development and fundraising, but…. I need a change.

– Research FL and OH adoption classes – there’s a lot more to this one than meets the eye. We want kids. We likely will never have biological kids, but that is OK as there are thousands of children out there without families in foster care. Since we have no idea where we will be living when the stars align, I’m researching both states and downloading both states home study applications. We aren’t getting any younger. We want a family. If I don’t get off my butt and do the work, this will be something else that passes me by in life.

– Have a dinner party at least 6 times – I hate cleaning. Do I need to elaborate? OK fine. Having dinner parties and friends over requires a clean house and an organized kitchen for my crazy recipe hoarding. This will push me to not only clean regularly, but keep things clean.

– Organize, clean and make office into guest room or craft space – in our “next apartment” I have all these dreams for our clean and new space. Um, we live here now. We just signed through August. Why keep dreaming of a pretty craft space with a day bed/ couch when I can do it now?

What are your plans for the next year?

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Insane in the Membrane or Wow, I Really Need a Normal Sleep Schedule

My life is insane these days. For the last 2 weeks I have been alternating between jobs. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ve been going to my current job as usual. Which means leaving the house around 11, meeting my dad and driving into Coral Gables. Tuesday and Thursday, I’ve been getting up at the ass crack of dawn, leaving the house by 5:45am and getting to my new job before the sun even rises. Then sleeping in the car for 20-25 minutes until work time at 7am.

Tuesday and Thursday, I am also seriously dead to the world by about 8pm. Tonight I am fighting to stay awake until at least 10pm. Normally I stay awake until 1-2am with no problems. Well, except for in the morning when I don’t want to get out of bed! This morning I slept late (4:50am) and still managed to get out on time.

Perhaps my body is aware of the fact that in just a few short days, this will be my new schedule Monday through Friday. A girl can hope, right?

The good news is that I will get out of work around 2:30-3pm. The bad news is I am unbelievably exhausted and have zero energy to do anything but sleep.

On the flip side, I absolutely adore my new boss R and my new job. She is about my age (possibly younger) and a big bundle of energy. She’s like the Energizer Bunny. We seem to be a really good fit with my extreme [office] organization skills. Just the few days I’ve been working there, comments have been made about the differences with past employees. Hey, I can’t help it. I’m not trying to make anyone look bad, that’s just how I am.

We really do need to find a closer place to live. I currently have a 45 mile/ 1 hour trek from Homestead to Miami Beach whereas hubby drives about 4 miles. No, I don’t begrudge him a short drive bc the tables were turned in NC. I drove 5-6 miles to the YMCA and he drove 30-35 miles into Raleigh every day. Plus, my car is a lot newer and in better shape. I’ve been looking at the Cutler Bay and South Kendall area for us, but without a good realtor helping us out, I don’t know that I’ll be able to find anything good. It seems as though only about 20% of apartment complexes are posted online and Zillow hasn’t been much help either.

So, if you live in a good neighborhood in Miami – Kendall/ Cutler Bay preferably – I would seriously appreciate it if you could check around your neighborhood for For Rent signs and shoot me the phone numbers. Yes, that warranted being bolded.

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New Jobs Details… Well, Not Too Detailed Yet

It’s interesting people perceive to be important when it comes to a job. Some people ask about the money, some ask about the benefits, some ask about my schedule, some ask about my days off. To me, sure I wish I could make more money and that we lived closer. While I am excited about the job itself, the distance to get there is going to be a real killer. While I wish we lived closer, I am trying to still be excited about my new job and opportunity going into 2012.

I will basically be doing the same job I did for the YMCA… that is to say I will be the assistant to the Development Director. Only in this case I won’t be working for a Christian organization I’ll be working for a Jewish organization and another non-profit. I will be helping organize all of the annual events and the not-so-annual events, maintaining the calendar, booking travel, booking caterers, and keeping generally organized. It doesn’t exactly tax my brainpower that much but it is really exciting work and interesting as well. I’ll be meeting lots of influential people and not only the Jewish community but all over Miami as well.

And to those curious about the perks, the salary is lower than I would like, I will have full health benefits and can put hubby on if I want for extra funds. I will have almost every single Jewish holiday off, every Friday we get out early to be home in time for Shabbat. I will have flex time for when I work long hours for the events. I will get to work on a graphic design sporadically. I will be running the facebook and twitter feeds. Yay!

That’s right, my new job is at the Hebrew Academy on Miami Beach. Yes, I live in Homestead. Yes, it is 45 miles from my house, but leaving at 5:45am seems to work to get me there by 7am. I am choosing to work super early to avoid traffic. And so far it’s working.

I was a little worried about leaving my current job but my boss seems to be extremely happy for me knowing that I have a full time job with benefits. When I got to her party on Sunday, practically everyone already knew about it and kept congratulating me. Apparently she has been telling everybody that I have a new job and I’m off on a new adventure. Clearly I can stop worrying. 🙂

Now we just need to find a house halfway between my job on the beach and his job in Homestead for a decent amount of money and we can hopefully begin adoption and start creating our family.

I’m so ready for you, 2012!

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Catch Up Post & a Pumpkin Cranberry Biscuit Recipe

So, um, hi there. I can’t believe it’s been nearly 3 weeks since I’ve been here. Lots been happening in my time away. Such as, in chronological order…

  • I ditched my iPhone for a Samsung Infuse 4G. Yep, I went Android. And I freakin L-O-V-E it! 
  • I designed a knitting pattern for a Checkered Ribs Cowl. And had it tested by a great group of ladies on Ravelry that loved it so much, they each knit 2 versions of it.
  • Discovered Texts From Bennett which turned out to be a fake blog, but that doesn’t stop me from laughing until there are tears streaming down my face.
  • Hubby got back into twitter bc he finally upgraded to a smart phone. His. Mine.
  • And then he joined FourSquare. His. Mine.
  • I cooked a lot. Potato soup.
  • And baked.
  • Re-read the whole Hunger Games trilogy. Mmm love.
  • Found some old friends of Facebook.
  • I interviewed for a job – which required lots of shopping for “modest” clothing due to the religious nature of the position.
  • And then I got that job. What what..! (I will actually do a full post on this once I begin on January 2nd.)
  • Thanks to Facebook, I saw a friend get engaged. Another give birth. And another get married.
  • Looked for a new place to live. After all, driving from Homestead to Miami Beach and sitting in traffic for 2 hours each way every day does not sound like a fun plan to me.
  • Lola got worms. Eww, I know, but they’re being handled.
  • We toured Babies R Us one evening and picked out the nursery furniture and crib bedding for out future kids. No, I’m not pregnant. They had the nearest bathroom and then we didn’t leave for another 45 minutes. If you’re wondering, dark wood and monkeys.
  • Hubby found out he has a nasty respiratory problem – inherited from his father and could pass it to our kids. Well, if we have biological ones, that is.

And all this is courtesy of the new timeline on Facebook. Damn, that thing is helpful!

And now a recipe… Cranberry Pumpkin Breakfast Biscuits
(Snagged from Dig This Chick. She adapted it from this recipe.)

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg
1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dried cranberries (I used fresh cranberries, chopped into pieces.)

Preheat oven to 375*.

  1. In a large mixing bowl, or your stand mixer bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
  2. Beat in vanilla, egg and pumpkin.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Or, you know, don’t sift it. I sure didn’t.
  4. Stir cranberries into mixture until well blended.
  5. Spoon heaping spoonfuls of batter on a prepared cookie sheet. (This means parchment paper… until I ran out of trays and used muffin tins.)
  6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

They will be soft and moist and divine! I made these for my aunts 60th birthday party and had to walk out of the kitchen to avoid eating more than one of them. Oh yes, I probably could’ve eaten the whole batch. So good!

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Old Friends, New Opportunities


Source: google.com via Becca on Pinterest

Yesterday was really rough for me. It started off on the bad foot, but turned around into a potentially amazing opportunity. I’m not going to say more about this opp until I hear something else about it. The outcome will be finalized in less than 2 weeks so one way or other it’ll be posted here. =D When I told Steve about it, he was pretty excited. OK, once he woke up and comprehended what I said he was. Poor guy has a messed up sleep schedule most days from his job and unwillingness to miss out on his life by sleeping.

It really helped a lot to text most of the day with my friend Marie. We’re in similar situations and wanting to make a change and she was an awesome friend and cheerleader today. Thanks Marie!

Today I am having lunch with one of my college roommates, her husband and their 4-month old little beauty. I haven’t seen Vic in what feels like forever and they happen to be in town for a few days from Ohio. It couldn’t have worked out better! Our last meeting was when I was living in Gainesville, part 2, and she came to my job to print up some stuff for their upcoming wedding. We had so much fun living together and I think she was one of my last roomies in the house I owned. My brain is a bit fried and spotty from back then from trying to graduate. No, not from bad behaviors! I gave up drinking long before graduation and never touched any drugs to this day. Go on, be proud of me!

What was I talking about?

Right, people that make me laugh and smile and make efforts to keep in touch. They’re pretty darn awesome. I am so fortunate to have so many amazing friends.

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A Little Job Hunting Humor

I feel like I’ve been job hunting non-stop for the past almost 2 years with only a handful of nibbles and one interview. It can get pretty disheartening with all that passive rejection. Only 3 of the applications sent actual rejection letters/emails. 3. Out of I don’t even know how many.

This afternoon, I cracked open The Select Group‘s monthly broadcast/ e-newsletter and found a bit of interview humor. It’s always good to laugh, especially at yourself, in these situations. Even though most of the time I just want to cry at the lack of real responses and interviews.

I applied to another job last night. I’m a little more hopeful as I have a friend that works there and used her personal referral page to apply.  Only time will tell.

Eager Beginnings

A recent college graduate interviewed for an entry-level developer position with a top technology company.

Towards the end of the interview, the hiring manager said, “If we move forward, the next step is to extend an offer. Have you thought about your target starting salary?”

The recent grad eagerly replied, “Based on my GPA and skill set, I believe $130,000 is a reasonable starting point.”  He paused and added, “Of course, that depends on your company’s benefits package.”

The hiring manager leaned back in his chair and said, “Our benefits consist of 6 weeks paid vacation, 14 paid holidays, full medical and dental for your entire family, 100% matching for your 401k contributions… and you get use of the company jet whenever you need it!”

The grad leaped out of his chair and exclaimed, “Wow! That is incredible. Are you kidding me? I never…”

The hiring manager interrupted him and said, “Settle down. Of course I am kidding with you…but you started it.”

–Tom Romano, TSG’s resident humorist

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No Dice… Moving On

Well, as I’m sure you’ve guessed by now due to the lack of ecstatic posts stating otherwise, I didn’t get the job in Gainesville.

However, being up there surrounded by so many amazing friends that were excited at the prospect of us moving back was a truly fantastic experience. It was pretty eye opening for both of us. Even the people that had never met hubby and only saw pictures on my FB/Twitter pages welcomed him.

It made us realize that we belonged somewhere else where we could be surrounded by friends – our chosen family – in order to be truly happy. So, while the Gainesville trip didn’t yield a new career, it did help us out immensely.

…The search continues…

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Whirlwind Trip to my Favorite City, Gainesville

Gainesville | BeccaBlogs.comHello friends!

We got back home from our whirlwind trip to Gainesville around 10pm last night. We’d gone for an interview for me and some side work for my current position. Also, hubby was scouting out info on opening his own comic book shop and was talking with the owners of all the shops in town while I was interviewing and working.

That’s right, I said interview! In Gainesville! (AKA my favorite city on the planet – tied with Chapel Hill.)

The position would be a truly amazing opportunity for me. Not only is it design work, it’s a supervisor position for a team of 3. And it’s a government job. With great benefits, etc. No, I really don’t want to write more about it until I hear that I’ve gotten the job. Which is on Monday. So, yes, I’ll be obsessively checking my email and voicemail all day Monday.

Chicken eggs? Check. Basket? Check. Now stay together and hatch!

Yeah, I have super high hopes for it.

But anyhow, we drove up Thursday afternoon from Homestead to Gainesville in mostly good weather. We did have a few patches of craptastic rain where I could barely see 50′ in front of the car, but we survived just fine. That night we went to Target Copy Archer to print some resumes and references. I didn’t know anyone there that I knew, but did chat with a friend of a friend after I mentioned I’d worked there. Then dinner at Outback and then headed to Hotel Bayer (one of my best friends parents kindly let us stay) for the night. We ended up staying up and talking for hours with our gracious hosts until she finally pushed us off to bed as my interview was early Friday morning.

Friday we woke up super early, showered, got ready, and were out their door by 8am. We stopped at Starbucks along the way, then drove into town towards downtown. We found parking with about 15 minutes to spare. I took deep breaths trying to calm myself while hubby de-furred my black jacket and pants. [Damn cat hair gets everywhere!] Then I went into the interview. Yadda yadda yadda interview interview assessment assessment and done.

From there, I picked up the hubby from the comic book shop he’d walked to miles away (he did have 2 hours to kill!) and drove out to Renaissance Printing to visit with Marlene, Ben, Gina, Laura, Kristie, and Colleen. It was weird seeing all the different people that I hadn’t seen in many years, but awesome getting so many hugs. They were all so excited about the prospect of my moving back. After that, we went to Target Copy University and talked to Jennifer and Karen for a while. More hugs, happiness and excitement at my possibly moving back. While at TCU, we had lunch at Firehouse Subs, I talked to my aunt and she sent me a list of things to ask/ look for with my very first case manager gig.

Next I dropped hubby off at another comic book shop and drove out the Tacachale. I met with the social worker, flipped through AM’s file, asked lots of questions, met AM, took his picture, and took lots of notes. As my aunt said, this was like a trial by fire, feet first. And I succeeded! It was really cool to go out there and see how this population that would otherwise be drugged up and locked away somewhere was able to roam free in a completely safe and secure environment. The client I met is severely mentally retarded with several other problems and is just about as independent as he can be. He even has a job and his own house! Seriously. It was really amazing to witness.

After this bit of work, I picked up hubby, we hit up another comic book shop, then went to meet Jackie, Ella and Riley for some TCBY fro yo. Um, yum! I hadn’t seen Ella since she was an itty bitty thing and had only seen Riley in pictures. It was great to catch up with her while Steve and Ella colored. It was really cute!

From there, we met up with Mitch, Diona and all their kids. As per usual, Mitch and I started hitting, slapping and punching each other almost immediately. It was great. And so far, the bruises haven’t surfaced. Yep, we’re so very much like my brothers and I used to be many years ago. We ate, we laughed, we talked, the kids played with their phones. From there we went out to Cold Stone (along with seemingly half of Gainesville) for ice cream and more talking and laughing. As it got later and the kids started drooping, we went back to their house so the kids could get to bed and we could hang out some more. More laughing, talking, and kicking, then we left around 1:30am to head back to his parents house. Yeah, it was a reallllly long day for us.

Saturday morning, we slept pretty late then sat outside with Mitch’s dad, drinking coffee and enjoying the gorgeous day. Boy do I miss that town! Our next house will have either a front porch or a cute back yard patio. Or both. Preferably both. It was breezy and cool and just perfect. Perfect for sitting in the morning before work or unwinding after a long day. We finally decided where to have brunch, packed up our stuff and headed out. By the time we finished lunch, it’d gotten so much later then we wanted to leave so, rather than go walk around Micanopy, we got on the road back South.

We had a lot to discuss on the drive back home including more about my interview, lots of hopes and extremely tentative plans. The best part is that, while nervous, I honestly don’t need to get this job to survive. I do have an opportunity down here, even though it’s not in my field. Plus hubby is working a great job and all the experience he can get will only help him in the future. I also slept for a couple hours while he drove. Hubby driving is like my own personal concert bc he had the radio up really loud and would say the song title and band name prior to belting out any songs he knew. It was quite amusing!

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A few bad things about the trip did happen. First, it was commencement weekend which meant there was a LOT more traffic and congestion than usual. We tried to avoid the UF area as much as possible, which meant I couldn’t show hubby half the stuff I wanted too. I didn’t get to see a lot of the Gainesville friends I wanted to hang out with due to scheduling conflicts, but hopefully we’ll be back very soon! Also, bc of timing, we didn’t get to see Jen and my babies, who live in Jacksonville. Unless we’d woken up super early on Saturday to drive the extra 90 minutes north, it wasn’t going to happen as the boys both had baseball games today. My mental plan to have lunch around 12-1pm with them then head back south didn’t work out. But, again, hopefully we’ll be living in North Florida again soon and can see them anytime.

Now we just cross our fingers and hope and pray. And try to stop looking at houses in Gainesville until I hear something!

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