Monday, March 30, 2009

Early To Bed, Early To Rise

Wow, it has been awhile since I have blogged. I had plans to post pics of our spring break trip to Arkansas to visit my sister-in-law and family, but I lost my camera cord and my memory card doesn't fit in our laptop for some reason. So until my cord comes in, no pics!

I have had all kinds of things come to my mind to blog about as I make my long drive to work everyday, but then I get home and it is just insane until I get settled into a good schedule. Instead, I'll just write about my new job, which I L-O-V-E!

My first day started last Wednesday. My amazing, selfless, giving, thoughtful mom came up with the idea to stay with us my first week to shuttle Sammi to and from school while watching Joshua. One, so we can get a handle on what our mornings and nights will be like and two, to save some dinero on daycare. Sounded great to me! Added bonus: home cooked dinner every night! It worked out perfect and the kids had a ball with her. I cried when she went back home. Not as bad as when she left after staying with us the first week after having Sammi, but almost. :) I just really enjoyed seeing her everyday.

My new boss and team mates are amazing. Everyone is just so laid back and nice. Another great thing, I get to wear business casual clothes M-Th and then jeans on Friday. Woo-hoo! I now have a closet full of suits to find a new home. I did like wearing suits, I just didn't like the dry cleaning bill. So now I am slowly buying more casual clothes to wear, I just don't have enough.

The world of insurance is so different than the world of pharmaceuticals. But I love learning something new. I am a recruiter to bring on new insurance agents for a supplemental insurance company. We pretty much corner the market and have little to no competition and there is no cold calling. For those of you that have done recruiting, that is great. I never had to cold call at Pfizer and am thankful I still don't have to do it. But now I am dealing with those that have their insurance license and for those that do not, I have to learn what each state requires so that I know what to tell them to do to obtain it. After my first day, my brain was just swelling and tired from taking in so much information and trying to process everything. I crashed at 9 o'clock that night. I can't remember the last time I went to sleep that early!

I am able to work flex hours and get to work at 7 and leave at 4. For me, driving to Dallas, that is as huge plus. I miss the traffic! Granted, I have to get up at the crack of dawn (5ish) and drive to work in the dark, but it sure beats sitting in traffic while white-knuckling the steering wheel in hopes of getting to work on time. Jason takes the kids to school (a whole new world for him) and I am able to pick them up at 4:45. Plus, I get an extra hour or so with the kids. I didn't get home until 6:40 my first day when I got off work at 5 and then they go to bed at 8. Again, no traffic at 4:00.

My kids are going to a christian academy/daycare that I love. I am just so happy and excited that I found this place. It is real close to our home and I love their structure and curriculum. Today was their first day there and they kept asking when they get to go back. Good sign!

All of this sounds so great and wonderful and like all of the pieces are fitting together. But I do miss several things from being home. #1, the obvious, seeing my kids so much more during the day. #2 Getting to take random cat naps during the day if I need one #3 Not having to put on makeup daily #4 Getting to sleep in until 7 (see a common sleep trend?) #5 Getting to browse online whenever the urge hit me. I had many days that I didn't feel cut out to be a stay at home mom, but I will forever be thankful for the 8 months I was home with my two precious kids.

Ok, I need to wrap this up, 5 AM comes really early and I have to force myself to go to bed by 10. I am used to staying up until 11 or 12. Not anymore! But I am SO blessed to have a wonderful job to get up early in the morning for.

Happy Monday!

Friday, March 6, 2009

New Job, New Memories

I accepted a new job last Friday! I am just beside myself STILL after a week. I might have to back track a bit, so bear with me.
Everyone knows that I was laid off from Pfizer last summer. In the beginning, I completely relished my time at him with the kids, cramming in all kinds of things during the week that I always wished I could, but couldn't. Such as story time at the library. I also checked off several big things for me like repainting my kitchen cabinets, replacing the kitchen counter, re tile the kids bathroom, etc. Ok, I didn't do the counter and bathroom, but I had to pick out tile, color of grout, etc. That's a lot of work! :) I organized a lot around my house that had been ignored. Volunteered at Sammi's school. I also was able to help my dad out greatly for 2 months after he had major back surgery. I was so glad I was home to help. It felt great to get things done while being home. But I felt an urgency to complete those things just in case I got a job soon. I mean, I had a great resume...11 years at Pfizer in HR/Recruiting. Who wouldn't hire me?
Wow, was I in for a rude awakening! Not long after I was laid off, the bottom of the economy seemed to fall out. I was now one in thousands that all had great backgrounds, looking for the same thing. Great. But I had to stay positive and not let it beat me down. I prayed a lot and knew that God would take care of me. He already had with so many other things. But as my mom said, it isn't on MY time table but His. Great reminder.
I was offered a job really early on after being unemployed, then that position was put on hold indefinitely. So back to the job boards I went. I had lots of phone interviews, then they abruptly ended when we talked salary and location. It made no sense to drive to downtown Dallas for half my salary, even to do the same thing I did before. I equated the salaries offered to me to paying for just daycare and gas. Why work if that was all my paycheck would go to? It was hard. Then I felt I had a scarlet letter on my resume. As if employers saw my tenure and at Pfizer as a bad thing or they can't afford me.
I'll be honest with you, I really had my low days where I felt as if my unemployment would never end. I couldn't watch the news anymore. It was filled with bad news daily of the unemployment rate going up, more companies laying off, etc. It just ate at me. After the holidays, it really hit me and I was obsessed with checking my email first thing in the morning to see if I got any hits or updates from Monster/CareerBuilder. Then I would just scour the job boards. It got where I lost my drive and motivation to do anything else. I felt I NEEDED to be looking everyday. My poor kids would say "you are on the computer again?" or Josh would just want to sit in my lap while I was on the computer. I felt awful that it was affecting my kids. I had many times just crying on the phone to my mom, Meredith, and Julie. I felt so helpless. My faith in God was really tested, and that bothered me more than anything else.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I saw a recruiter position online and applied for it in the morning. I got a call that afternoon about it and had a phone interview. He asked what I made at Pfizer, then when I gave him the amount he said "that is in our range". Whew! I always hated that question because it seemed to always end the call. He asked me to come in the next day and interview with him. The interview the next day went great! After talking with him and him telling me about their process, work environment, etc I wanted more than anything to work for their company. It turned into not just needing a job, it turned into WANTING the job. I wanted it so much I could taste it. He called me the following week asking me to come in on Thursday to meet with 3 more people. You bet! Last Thursday I met with the CFO, Dir of Marketing, and Dir of Training. It went really well and I prayed that I was able to impress them. The job was between me and 1 other person by then. At then end of the interview, I was told I would hear something the next day or Monday. All I could do then was pray that it would work out because it was the right fit. He called me the next day and offered me the job! After I got off the phone with him I was jumping up and down, screaming. I even woke up Josh from his nap. Whoops!
I am just thrilled beyond words for this blessing. I not only will be doing what I loved, but I will be a recruiter, which at Pfizer would have been a promotion for me. More money and I get quarterly bonuses for those I screen/interview and end up getting hired. That was a huge surprise for me. The company has continued growth and a great outlook for this year. The only downside is my commute. I will be driving to Dallas in traffic. Yuck. I was so spoiled living so close to where I worked before. But in this job market, I just cannot be picky.
So, there you go. There is my great news!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Night With Old Friends

Ok so "old" wasn't a great word to describe my friends I saw last night, but I have been friends with them since elementary school and high school. But we did have lots of jokes about how we know we are getting is you know you are getting old when you offer your glasses to someone to help them read the menu. We are only 33/34, but hey, we feel it when it is 10:00 at night and we are tired and ready to go home. But we made it to after midnight!

My great, wonderful friend Amy's birthday was what got us to get out Saturday night. Her amazing husband Stan (I went to HS with him) planned a night out for her birthday and I am so glad he did! We started out the night at a great authentic Mexican restaurant in Deep Ellum called Monica's. I highly recommend it! Several other friends I went to high school with were there, which I loved seeing and catching up with. After that, we went to a bar to see a band, which Stan's cousin plays in. They were great! It was soooooo very cold that night, but absolutely worth getting out in to see my dear friend Amy.

Me and Amy. I think this picture was take 6. Seriously, we were so picky because either I didn't like how I looked (still don't like me here) or Amy didn't like it. Jason was so patient trying and trying for the right one for us. Thanks babe! Amy and I went to HS together, but we didn't hang out in the same groups, but a whole other long story later, we became friends the summer after we graduated. Have been best friends ever since, roommates in college for a year, and she was in my wedding. Love her dearly!

Amy and her man, Stan. Ok I will admit here, I had a crush on Stan my freshman year in HS. He knows this, but I think it's funny years later that my friend married him. And what is even more neat is Amy and Stan NEVER talked or hung out in HS. He was the jock, she was in a completely different crowd than him. Several years after HS, she met him and the rest is marital bliss history.

This picture cracks me up. There was a Latin band that played and the lead guitarist walked the restaurant and played to people, like a mariachi band does. I made sure not to make eye contact so he didn't sing to me or shake his hips at me. But poor Christopher wasn't so lucky. This guy stood there for what felt like forever just playing to him. Christopher was a good sport and just smiled at him. We could read it on his face that he was saying "dude, go away!" I couldn't resist getting a picture of it.

The Forney HS gang at the bar. L to R: (can't remember the first girl's name), Christopher, me, Amy, Jeremy, Stan, and Jay. All of us graduated together, Jeremy was a year behind us and grew up down the street from me. His family and mine did a ton together.

We had so much fun and I'm glad Stan arranged for all of us to get out together for Amy's birthday! Amy, I hope you had a fun night! You are an amazing friend to me and I love you!