Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Military Spouse Job Hunt

Mum's the word when it comes to job prospects/interviewing and all that that entails. I'm pretty private about that stuff, not because I'm afraid I won't get something but because I don't like tons of questions and prodding about future prospects. I'm hard enough on myself and don't need any added pressure. Since I was transparent about taking my certifcation exam on here, I have decided to be a bit candid about my job prospects. After all, my primary readers are military spouses and may be going through the same things.

In 2 months, we will be en route to San Diego. We are planning on arriving by the 13th of July, but I'm flexible with pushing that ahead if I need to for a job opportunity. I'm at my current job until June 20th. Since I passed my certification exam, I started reaching out to potential employers about opportunities. Most places suggested applying 2 months prior to our move because that's how long the interview process can take. I've applied to several jobs, and have received emails and phone calls from potential employers. I've set up a skype interview and am set for a phone interview this evening.

It is so exciting and humbling to have managers call and say "we are interested in you." It's also scary though! I'm used to entry level interviewing, so I'm a little unsure what the process will be for an experienced nurse. Once I'm done with all of this I will post my tips for getting noticed and performing well on an interview. Overall I feel flattered and excited. I am so thankful for a career that allows me to be as transportable as my husband. I wanted to be a nurse before meeting Ryan, but it obviously serves me well as a military spouse. I am also thankful for the amazing career opportunities I've had in DC. This definitely helps contribute to me being a competitive candidate in this process. I haven't received any job offers yet, but I am confident of my abilities and very hopeful for the best of outcomes.   What will be, will be.

CLICK HERE for part TWO! 




Sunday, April 27, 2014

Weekend Wrap Up

I was one sick girl this weekend! I'm happy my illness peaked Saturday, and I didn't have to miss any work. Despite being sick, we were semi productive. We cleaned and got rid of some things we won't be needing in California. We were super good and did NOT eat out once this weekend. AND I packed us both lunches for tomorrow, so we are starting the work week off in a good direction too.


Because I'm sick, no pictures were taken this weekend... so unfortunately this is a semi picture-less post. I did venture outside for some sun and a short walk today. It's a good temperature right now, not too warm or cold. If it was like this year round, I wouldn't mind the east coast... But it's not. California, on the other hand...

Lastly, here is my latest dilemma. I ordered a dish set for a girlfriends bridal shower. They came in 6 boxes. I'm not kidding. So now, I get to look like a big shot at the shower showing up with all of these and it's not even all of them. Don't mind the mess, we are purging right now.


The weird part is, most of the boxes don't even say what's in them. She won't have a knife to saw open cardboard boxes at her shower, so I need to get creative. I should've paid the $20 Pottery Barn wanted to gift wrap their own presents, because I'm currently at a loss. What's a girl to do?!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Candle Copy Cat

I love DIY projects, especially when they are cheap, easy, and for home decorating. In an effort to make our house more homey, I've been trying to organize our living room to have a color theme. When we first got married, our living room was thrown together with random furniture, and now that we are older I'm trying to ditch the frat house feel. This recent project was the perfect touch.

If you follow me on Pinterest, you may have noticed I've been pinning lots of candle decor. I love candles as it is, and I think they make for very classy and timeless decorations. I was inspired by these images:




Since our living room is predominately shades of brown and green, I loved the idea of using coffee beans as a filler. Plus they smell delicious, especially when the burning candle warms them. Here's my version:


I have two on our coffee table, and they cost $15 each to make. I got the glass holders on sale for $10 each at AC Moore. I got the coffee for $5 each (1 bag in each vase) and the candles were free from my mom. I'm loving the look! 





Thursday, April 24, 2014

Spring fever

I'm back home in DC! I have worked the past two days and am so happy I have off today. Unfortunately I have come down with a spring cold... to include a headache and fever. I'm sad because I had lots of unpacking and things I wanted to get done today, but it looks like I'm stuck on the couch with Disney movies, ibuprofen, and lots of water.

But at least I'm not alone! I've got Posh who manages to think our furniture is just for her, so I think she's a little confused what I'm doing on her couch.


I'm hoping to bounce back before this weekend! Hubby and I haven't been on a date in weeks, so we are trying to find something to do. 


For now, I'm trying to pick between finding nemo, toy story 2, and beauty and the beast... Decisions, decisions... 




Sunday, April 20, 2014

Heading Home

Tomorrow I'm heading back to DC, and then I'll be back to work on Tiesday. Time flies, doesn't it? Especially when we are on vacation. I am so thankful I was able to take this time off to spend with my mom. It'll definitely be a rude awakening for me to get back to working though! Fortunately, this week was productive and I will be coming back again for Mother's Day. That's only a few weeks away.

We enjoyed an awesome vegetarian lasagna meal today, including homemade cheese made my mother and I. I am so excited to head home with plenty of leftovers!


Enjoying a glass of wine on the porch in 70 degree weather topped off my final day here!! It's time for me to reunite with my husband and Posh! Happy Easter!




Friday, April 18, 2014

Countdown

Y'all want to hear something crazy?? In exactly two months Ryan and I will be hitting the road for San Diego. We've notified our current landlord, applied for housing, and have started putting an itinerary together for our drive cross country. We have family in Pensylvania, Ohio, Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming. My goal is for us to NOT stay in a hotel, but we will see how that goes.

May I add I am NOT excited to put 593023848 miles on my baby? 
I am thankful for her gas mileage and the fact that she has a Diesel engine, so really having a ton of miles added doesn't matter. But I still don't love it.

It's just crazy to me how quickly time flies, and how READY I am for it to be here. I'm so ready for summer, the ocean, sunshine, and Palm trees. I'm excited for a new home, new friends, and new job. I have finally started putting some applications out, but I am refusing to put pressure on myself in this area. Honestly, I think it's hard to job hunt without living in the area. Booking a last minute flight for an interview is NOT ideal, especially since I have a full time job now and can't just pick up and go to SoCal on a whim. It'll work out the way it's supposed to. I'm SO thankful I got certified, as I feel a new sense of confidence in my nursing capabilities and qualifications. It's exactly what I needed to reaffirm myself!

As for now, I'm still at my moms. The snow has melted fortunately, but it's still chilly (maybe this has something to do with me wanting to move so badly). I'm still here for a few more days, and then I'll be back to work early next week. I have roughly 24 shifts left at work. It's quickly approaching... I love it! 

AND just a couple pictures to make you go "awe" and one to roll your eyes at..
Kittens!! How adorable!! Have I shared that Ryan and I are getting another cat when we move!? 

This is to elicit some eyerolls. So bad but so true!

I'm looking forward to another day with my mom tomorrow! Not sure what we will get into but we will find something! Easter is almost here!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Yankee Doodle


Last Saturday I hit the road (after a terribly long 2 hour class on IV fluid pumps at work) and hightailed it to my hometown in northwest PA. Even though DC doesn't feel like the south, it's still technically south of the Mason-Dixon. It's such a melting pot that you don't even notice it though. Regardless, for whatever reason I truly looked forward to this trip back to my hometown.

Usually when I'm here, I visit for a long weekend or part of a week. This time, I took an entire week of vacation. I'm so thankful I did this, too. It's really starting to sink in that I won't be within driving distance of my hometown. I went to college away from home, but like where we live now I could easily take a long weekend and drive home. I've lived on the east coast my entire life, and it makes me sad knowing I won't be as close to my family and many friends. 

Since I'm here for an extended time with little itinerary, I've been able to visit with some of my childhood friends. It's so nice to have people who you can pick up where you left off and know they are forever friends. I've also spent lots of time with my momma, and we have a mini day trip planned for Wednesday. Also it's supposed to SNOW here tomorrow! I totally didn't pack for that.


You know I've totally facetimed with this bug everyday. Thank you God for blessing me with the most patient husband ever. Thank you also for allowing me this opportunity to come home and spend Easter with my mom. Thank you for "forever friends" from all stages of my life. I feel very thankful for the many blessings in my life, but nothing is as precious as friends and family.

PS does anyone else have parents who force you to take things back home every time you visit? Since we are moving to California I think my mom thinks we won't ever come back here. She is trying to make me take EVERY little thing I have here back to DC for our move!! 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I Passed!

I am so relieved and excited to share that I passed my nursing certification exam!! Ryan was a sweetheart and took leave just today so that I wouldn't have to stress about parking in DC. After arriving to the test an hour early, they let me start early. I ended up finishing the test in just over an hour... and I passed! 

Ryan wasn't planning on me being finished so quickly, so while waiting for him to come get me, I did an impromptu DC walking tour. It was perfect timing too because the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. It was such a pretty day, and I was on cloud nine after passing.



I couldn't believe how many tourists were in the area. It was so busy! After Ryan found me, we went to one of our favorite sandwich restaurants, Jetties. Ryan went all skinny boy on me and got a salad (his fitness test is coming up).


We came home and went on a walk. It's crazy to think about, but we have about 9 weeks left here. My certification exam has been my focal point for the last few months, and with that finished my new focus is getting ready for our move. We need to do a deep clean of our home and get rid of things we aren't using and won't need in California, but that's a whole post of it's own.

AND to top off the excitement of the day, there were several full time jobs in my specialty posted for some San Diego hospitals... Fate?? I'm feeling like it's almost time to begin my applications (gag). For now, I will focus on accomplishment of becoming a certified nurse :) I'm heading to my hometown all next week (I promise I'm still employed. I work tomorrow... Just using some vacation!) and I'm looking forward to it!!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Me as a student (what I've learned about myself)

In college I got great grades. I graduated 6th in my nursing class, and had a rocking 3.89 GPA. I don't brag about this because unless I'm getting into a grad school, my GPA isn't really relevant to how I am as a nurse. I never really consider myself naturally smart. I just am really good at studying. Since I've re-entered the academic world in a way to study for my certification exam, I've reached a few conclusions about myself as a student.

1. When it comes to school and studying, I tend to overdo things. In college, I didn't do much besides study. I don't regret that, but I definitely still feel a burn out and do not see myself returning to graduate school anytime soon.. if ever. Even I can recognize that I'm overdoing my studies (going way more in depth and detail than needed) but I legit can't stop myself.

2. I'm most productive after 10pm until 1am. I can study a little during the day, but I'm really good at managing my time and staying focused during these hours. I was this way in college too.

3. Similarly to #2, during the day, I can only focus for 20-30 minute increments, and then I need a break.

4a. I'm motivated by food.

4b. Studying makes me want to order delivery. (Maybe I did this a little bit too often in college...)

5. Anything my husband is up to I suddenly am interested in.

6. I cannot wait to get this test finished. 

I am so incredibly amazed by women who go to school, are married, AND have kids. Ryan will be the first to say that my wifely duties have fallen since I've been in study mode. I mean he was actually making his OWN chilli yesterday.


Our house is a wreck, there is laundry piled up... Fortunately, we can semi function like this for a while... But those working moms that can't just drop everything... How do they do it? 


Mondays

Unlike most of my friends on social networks, I like Mondays. We self schedule at work, and I always sign up to work on Monday. I like starting my week by being productive, and I find that taking Mondays off just makes it that much harder to go back to work on a Tuesday.

Little side note** we only have 10 Mondays left on the east coast. I seriously feel like I have senioritis. When we first found out about this PCS, I remember not feeling ready. As much as I love California, it made me sad to think about leaving. Fast forward a few months and you'd think I'm moving next week by how excited and ready I feel. That's not to say that there aren't things we will miss here or that the move won't be hard for me. It scares me knowing I'm leaving my secure job, friends, and family on the East coast to start over on the West. 

During our date this weekend, Ryan and I talked about my concerns (for the millionth time. This boy is so patient with me). Once again, he comforted me and brought my anxious self back to reality. I'm my biggest critic, but there's really no reason for it.

Anyway, even though I'm starting this Monday out by sleeping in and relaxing (studying too.. Bleck) I am feeling a sense of security and excitement for this week. My test is here, and I'm feeling good about all of the preparation I've done. I'll keep y'all posted on that!



Saturday, April 5, 2014

We love Fredricksburg

From looking at my April stats so far, it looks like I'm an actual committed blogger. This makes sense since I've been such a study bug. I did (as predicted) get called in for 5 hours last night. I'm totally not complaining though. It was easy money. I get paid Friday, and I like to pick up a little something each time I get called in. Stay tuned.

Today Ryan and I went for a late afternoon date in Fredricksburg, VA. We enjoy Fredricksburg, particularly because there are a lot of military couples hanging around there (quantico is nearby). It was a bit chilly, so I'm glad I paired my short sleeves with a scarf. I should've done a full outfit post, but let's be honest... I ate a little too much over winter and need to shed a few pounds before I start acting like a model.


Can you see my necklace? I got it on etsy and it hasn't left my neck. I am a bright color lover, but I decided to get plain old metallic silver because it matches everything. I've received lots of compliments and I just love it.


Is it just me or does this pretzel that Ryan and I ate devoured look like a smiley face? The food at the ale house is SO.GOOD. After our meal we walked up and down the street window shopping and we stopped in several antique stores. We didn't purchase anything, but we had a great time. I love checking out antiques because there are never two identical items, and I feel like I'm touring a museum. I always wonder about the previous owners and what the items may have looked like when they were originally purchased. I had my eye on several farm tables, but with our upcoming PCS I'm trying to wind down big purchases.

I'm getting ready to watch SNL... Anna Kendrick is hosting so it should be a good show! Ryan and I are relaxing tomorrow, I'll be back then :) 


Jammie's

For too long I've been throwing together an old T shirt and sweats as pajamas at night. There's nothing wrong with this look, but I'm a married, grown up, hard working lady who wants to jazz up my nighttime gear. It's time I got some adult nightwear, and Victoria's Secret has just the outfits.

I recently purchased these pieces from clearance, and spent just over $40, shipping included. One outfit is a little foxy, and the other is more laid back and fun.



So flirty and chic! I'm not gonna lie, I feel like a cutie pie in this last pair. I'm slowly updating my wardrobe into a more adult and mature version, and it's just so fun!! 

Friday, April 4, 2014

It's Friday

I need to snap out of this funk I'm in! Every blog post for the next week is going to be depressing and gloomy (like the weather today) if I don't. I've basically caged myself in order to study for my nursing certification exam that I've been talking about forever. Gah! Today I'm leaving though. Since I don't like where Ryan and I live (south of DC in a not so nice area) I don't really go out shopping or do things alone here unless I'm desperate. If I'm going myself, I go in dc and call a friend to come with me.

However, I need to leave the house today. I'm getting stir crazy. I love having time off, but I think I maybe took too much time (my momma can say 'told you so'). I'm heading out on a bike ride after I finish my breakfast smoothie. Honestly, I would take my test today if I could but it's too late to change the date. I'm still studying, but it am giving myself some breathing room.  

Last night, hubby and I played some board games. We played UNO attack, Mancala, and then discovered Heads Up on our iPhones. It was entertaining to say the least. Since I have been on vacation, Ryan and I have established an unwritten routine when he gets home. He texts me before he leaves, I start dinner, he comes home and we eat, we chat and watch the news, and then we watch Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. It's like I'm a pretend housewife for a couple weeks (I'm already over it...ready to go back to work).


Im on call tonight and I wouldn't hate it to be called in. I never say that. Tomorrow is supposed to be beautiful. Ryan's already told me that we are going to Fredericksburg for a car show, followed by a meal at the Capital Ale House . I will be getting a black bean burger with sweet potato fries, which means today is a light eating day for me. Happy weekend y'all!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I Feel Like A Woman

A night of pampering sure does one some good. Without sitting here and typing out a list of complaints, Im just going to be blunt. I've felt really tense, stressed, and anxious about all of the things Ryan and I (as a couple and individually) have going on over the next few months. After a mini meltdown last night, Ryan ordered me to take a bubble bath with candles and Michael Buble's Pandora channel. He then gave me a massage and I was able to get a good nights sleep in. 

Waking up today, I feel a bit more relaxed but still a little wild. I've never had so many things going on at one time, and I really need to just take time to calm down and relax. After all, moving to San Diego is pretty freaking awesome and meeting new people and exploring a new state is a once in a lifetime adventure I get to do with my husband. Finding a job shouldn't stress me out because DC (and over 40 other states) consider moving to be with a military spouse an involuntary resignation from work so I will qualify for unemployment. Recertifying my CPR and resuscitation classes won't be as difficult since I've done it before. (This is me trying to justify some of my stressors)



At the end of the day, this is the journey I signed up for as a military spouse. I would follow Ryan anywhere. I know God has a plan (he always does) and it will happen as He intends it to.




stuDYING


This is my camp for the next 8 days. I'm taking my nursing certification test next week, so I took some time off to study before it. I've been studying since January and just took a review class this weekend, but now I'm getting to the wire and need to really get myself ready.

My coworkers who have taken it assure me that I'll pass... But the pressure of hearing that makes me worried! What if I don't? (Really nothing bad would happen. I would be out $400 though). Part of me just wishes it was here already! 


I will be ready for this to be over. I'm not sure what I was thinking when I decided to add this to my pile of things to do, considering Ryan and I have a lot going on between now and when we move! Here's to clearing my mind, studying, and have success with this test!