Saturday, June 28, 2014

Midwest Lifestyle

So let me just set the tone for where Ryan and I have been hanging for the last few days. As I said in my last post, we are in Pine Bluffs, Wyoming. I've grown up on the east coast my entire life, so the lifestyle in the Midwest has been a bit of a culture shock for me! Nobody here seems to mind it, in fact they love it and defend it as one should! 

I've noticed that wifi and internet in general is a commodity, and most people don't have it. If they need a computer, they'll go to the library. Speaking of, there is only a library, community center, small grocery store, and a gas station in town. If you need anything special or new clothes, you head a couple towns over. Friday nights, gear up with your cowboy hat and boots because they host a rodeo during summer! Don't be surprised if someone invites you to try "Rocky Mountain oysters," but please know what they are before you say yes! The terrain isn't totally flat, but there's hardly any houses or crops, and the land stretches for miles. It is pretty here, and it's quiet, and I think everyone likes that.

After watching movies for the last 3 days, I finally protested that we leave the house and do something outdoors as a family. Everyone whined for a minute but eventually obliged. After all, it's our last day here!

We had to take a detour on our hike due to copious tumbleweed obstructing our path!

Overall, we've had a really nice time catching up with family. Ryan's mom had a barbecue for us yesterday and it was really nice. Tomorrow we are meeting my sister and her fiancée in Denver, and then we will head to Grand Junction, CO for the rest of the week. I have all kinds of appointments for work requirements while we are there. I'm really looking forward to finally arriving in San Diego and getting settled. It'll be here before we know it!

***follow our move on Instagram and twitter under the hashtag #poshmovestocalifornia

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Where In The World!?

Greetings from Pine Bluffs, Wyoming! Never heard of it? Me neither. It's a super tiny town on the border of Nebraska and Wyoming. It's so small that people literally use 4 wheelers and golf carts to get around. Naturally Ryan and I joined in the fun and cruised around "town" in a golf cart. 


I'm really enjoying traveling with Ryan across the country. I'm technically employed but on "vacation" for the next two weeks, so we are both still getting paid which is nice. Oh, I'm like 99% sure which job I'm taking! After praying and reflecting, I've made a decision. Just need to sign some of the final paperwork, but overall I'm excited and feel like this is a good career move for me!

We are visiting my sister in Denver on Saturday, and then we will stay with Ryan's family in Colorado until next Friday. We will head to Vegas for my sister's wedding after than, and then the plan is to move in on Monday July 7th! I'm really really looking forward to getting our house set up and still having a couple weeks with Ryan to explore and get settled before our jobs start.

** Follow our move on Instagram and Twitter! #poshmovestocalifornia

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Job Dilemma

Yesterday I posted about tips for getting a job and the interview process. Today I'm going to dive into a bit of my personal dilemma. Let me just start out by saying I am so grateful to have a career (RN) with so many options. BUT... I'm currently stuck with too many options!

When I found out we were PCSing, lots of people said that the job market for nurses in San Diego was terrible. It may be, but I have had an amazing response from my job applications. I have had 8 different jobs reach out to me, and have narrowed my prospects down to 2. It is really hard for me to "decline" a position, but it's something I need to get more comfortable doing. I just feel so honored and thankful to be considered, that it makes me feel bad to say no! 

Currently, I have two amazing offers on the table, both with an equal list of pros and cons. Oh, how I hate making decisions! The one job has the details set in stone, and the other one I will have to negotiate details over the phone tomorrow. I am dreading that phone call. I hate negotiating, but I am good at it and I am committed to getting myself the best option I can! It's hard trying to make a concrete decision, mostly because I think I would be happy in either job and I can't seem to pick which one is a better fit. 

Yesterday I remembered that all of my candles were in the car (movers wouldn't take them), so I did a mini meditation and prayed for wisdom to help me choose my path. We have a lot going on with the move, so I know my anxiety about this may be exaggerated a bit because of that. I just, I don't know... I am hoping the right decision jumps out at me! I will probably have a much better idea tomorrow! We will be hitting the road early in the morning to travel to Missouri. 

Thank you for the sweet emails, it's truly an amazing community of military spouses we have in this blog world! I will keep y'all posted! AND as always I am posting daily updates on twitter and Instagram under the hashtag #poshmovestocalifornia so keep an eye out!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Military Spouse Job hunt Part 2

In my first post here, I mentioned that I would post tips for success when it comes to military spouses looking for work. I am by no means an expert in employment. I've never worked as a recruiter or conducted an interview. I am an experienced Registered nurse, so most of my experience stems from healthcare related jobs.

First things first, make a good resume. Resumes come in all shapes and sizes. Your resume will be what gets you an interview and what draws an employer in. I've seen resumes that are too short and do not highlight important job accomplishments and dynamics. If you're a military spouse, chances are you're applying for a job not in the area where you currently work. The potential employer won't know the demographics of your current job and can't assume anything. They aren't going to hop on google either to sift through it. Try to be as specific as possible, highlight important areas, but don't write a novel. My husband is in the navy, and I know the "fleet and family" services offer help with resumes.

Secondly, write a cover letter. Even if the job says it's "optional," do one anyway. This is your opportunity to reach out and give some background information. Maybe you want to discuss some details of your job more in depth (for example, I talk about the patient population I'm experienced in working with here). A cover letter is not the place to mention that you're a military spouse or to talk about your personal life. Keep it professional.

When you're called for an interview, do your homework! Read up on the mission statement of the facility. Be familiar with the culture and some of the statistics. Know what accomplishments they have so you can easily reference them when asked "why do you want to work here." Also be familiar with some of the traditional interview questions and have some ideas on how to answer them. This includes strengths, weaknesses, "tell me about yourself," an example of you managing a conflict, etc. Don't memorize answers that come across too recited or polished though.

During interviews, I always have a pen and paper and take notes, especially when they are telling me details about their facility. This shows that you're genuinely interested and making note of the information they're sharing for future reference. Also, always ask for business card or at the least, an email address from the interviewers. This will be for your follow up thank you, as well as a resource if you think of additional questions you would like to ask after the interview.

Prepare questions for your employer! When they ask you what questions YOU have, the worst thing you can do is say "you've answered everything." This is another reason to do your homework before the interview. At the very least, you could ask about a prestigious award that was granted, and what involvement the staff had for this. You can ask about the overall morale of the unit/department and orientation schedule. You can ask them what their ideal candidate looks like. A simple google search will help you come up with some good questions!

After your interview, follow up with a thank you email. Specifically mention the facility, and reaffirm your desire to "join their team." State that you are available for any additional questions that may arise. 

Make sure you dress professionally, have extra copies of your resume, a business portfolio (if relevant to your job), and a smile! I can't emphasize this enough. I think showing enthusiasm and warmth draws employers in! Smiling is a strong form of nonverbal communication that I feel lightens the situation. Also, use a firm handshake and make eye contact when answering questions. Try to avoid stumbling on words, playing with a pen or something else, and saying "like," "um," and "yea." Be on your BEST, highest potential behavior! Exude confidence, but be humble and able to show you have room for growth and improvement. Emphasize what you have to offer! 

Best of luck!! I am VERY passionate about military spouses obtaining their own careers and professional lives, and would love to help in any way I can! Also, if you're looking for jobs keep an eye on USAjobs, as well as MSEP which specifically works with employers looking to hire military spouses. Just because we are called "dependents" does NOT mean we need to be totally reliant on our spouses! Military spouses can have a career, too!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

PCS Chronicles: take off!

It's official, we are on the road! We woke up around 5am today to do a final clean of the apartment, packed the car, and turned in our keys!

It's so weird thinking we are essentially homeless right now! I can't believe our apartment is totally empty, and we aren't returning to it... ever! Our next home is waiting for us though and I can't wait to move in!

Ryan and I have been good about taking turns driving and napping. We both slept today while the other person drove, so we made up for our lack of sleep last night. We first drove up to Pittsburgh to visit some family. My mom drove up and met us. Posh got to get out and stretch her legs, and we got lunch so it was a nice stop to break up the driving.

We then got back on the road around 5 and made way to the Ohio/Indiana border where Ryan's great grandma lives! She greeted us with strawberry pie. We will be staying here for a few days, and then we will continue west. 

Posh is holding up well! She's such a good sport in her crate. I think she feels comfortable in it because she's been resting most of the drive. 

If you could keep us in your thoughts and prayers, I will be grateful! I am thankful for a safe and sound first day and pray for this to be a good preview for the rest of our trip. Also, I'm currently stuck between jobs in my job hunting and could definitely use some positive vibes sent my way for that as well!! It's so hard deciding which direction to take, but I am confident God will help me choose the best one!

***Don't forget you can follow our move on twitter or Instagram under the hashtag #poshmovestocalifornia. I have to admit, I'm having a lot of fun with this journey!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

PCS Chronicles: Goodbyes, Packing, and Pick Up

I've never been so entirely drained in my entire life! I feel so sleep deprived and exhausted, but it's so exciting that my adrenaline is keeping me moving! To sum up the last week, I've worked everyday but one, and my day off I spent at my coworkers going away party for me. The party was amazing from the food to campfire songs and spending time with the most amazing nurses around!

Yesterday was my last day at work, and of course I couldn't just leave right after! I did a mini "taste of Georgetown" where I hit up my favorite restaurants, stores, and  of course a final stop to Georgetown cupcake! 

Can I just say I felt like I was about to die in the 90 degree humid weather... in my hot ass scrubs and compression hose, bags on both arms, marching up the stairs on my way back to the hospital after the walk? Omg I felt so dehydrated, exhausted, and tired!! I'm out of shape!!

I came home after and immediately showered, and then Ryan and I were up until 4 AM preparing for our movers. Sure enough, at 8 AM sharp they arrived and have been working since! I made a mandatory Starbucks run for ALL of us, and right now I'm sitting beside some boxes. I'm looking at this all, and realizing that I've become desensitized to this whole "moving" thing since we've moved around a lot in the last few years. Everything we have (minus us!) is replaceable, so I am totally confident in their packing abilities and am not acting crazy and paranoid like I have in our past PCS experience. 

It's hard to believe it is really here and this is really happening, but I cannot stop grinning. I am soooo excited for a cross country move with my husband, stopping to see family, going to two weddings, moving into our new home, and making memories that we will have forever. How amazing is this opportunity!? I am so blessed!

Feel free to follow our move on social networks! I will be posting here, but I'm thoroughly documenting under the hashtag #poshmovestocalifornia so be sure to check that on Instagram and Twitter!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Final Days

As we are winding down our time here, I am trying to squeeze in some of my favorite things to do. Biking in our neighborhood is one of them. As much as I talk badly about our neighborhood, there really is a nice biking/walking trail throughout it. It goes around ponds and through some beautiful greenery. Biking the trail is peaceful and has become one of my favorite ways to exercise here.

It's very serene! I'm hoping to squeeze in a couple more rides before my bike is shipped away! Just in time for our move, one of my bike tires decided to go flat, but luckily my handy husband replaced it, and got me a new set of tires!! I love having a hubby who can fix things and handle that stuff for me!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

PCS Chronicles: Save the Date

Today we got a phone call from our moving company. We scheduled a pack and pickup date (next Tuesday!!) and gave them a rough estimate about our furniture and other belongings. It's at this point in the moving process where it all becomes totally real. As of Tuesdsy night, it will be Ryan, me, the cat, and whatever we can fit in the car we are driving across... Whoa!

In retrospect, I should have quit my job this week instead of next. It would be much more convienent to coordinate everything if we knew 100% that I could be there. As it is, I'm switching days around to accommodate everything, but thankfully my coworkers are supportive and helpful with switching. 

I'm off today, and I'm starting to pack our bags and items to set aside and keep in the car. I'm also trying to tidy everything so once the movers do come, our stuff isn't disorganized and then packed all sloppy/uncoordinated. In  a weird way, it's sad to take everything down! For instance, here is our pile of wall decor...

Bare walls are depressing! I'm so happy to be leaving this hot and humid weather (it feels like a sauna outside) but there's a microscopic ounce of me that will always remember this home and the memories we made here. It's been a great 2 years in this apartment!

That's all I have for today! Tonight is Ryan's going away party for his work. It's all really happening, and I'm so excited to be on this ride with my husband!!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Obsessed with Coconut Oil

It's no lie that I'm into a more natural way of living. My friends call me a hippie because of my love for crystals, yoga, and whole foods. I've embraced it and loved it; this lifestyle is so calming and peaceful to me.

My latest obsession is organic, unrefined, raw coconut oil. It is amazing. It has 400 uses, and I keep coming up with more. Oh my goodness... My house is literally covered in coconut oil. I haven't ventured to all of the uses, but a quick google search or Pinterest board will give you way more creative ways to use it. Currently, I've narrowed it down to my top 4.

1. Eye makeup remover. You know that stubborn waterproof mascara? Consider it gone with some coconut oil. You never have to worry about it stinging or burning your eyes either.

2. Cooking. I love sautéing veggies over the stove, and the lightest coconut flavor makes them so much yummier. PLUS I am staying away from weird chemicals in cooking spray.

3. Lotion/shaving cream/massage oil. My skin has never felt more moisturized then when I put some coconut oil on it. My legs do a little happy dance all day! Also, use this to as shaving cream... One extra bonus is that coconut oil contains monolaurin which is a known antimicrobial. When you use it to shave your armpits, the residue acts as a first line to fight body odor caused by bacteria. Don't try only using it though!

4. Hair conditioner... for me and the cat... When I'm in the shower, I grab a small chunk and spread it throughout the ends of hair. Some people opt to let it sit for a while (wrap your hair in a towel for a few hours, even overnight). Simply rinse, and let it dry! Warning though... Make sure you thoroughly rinse it, or the oil may make your hair look greasy. Sometimes I add a small amount of shampoo to avoid this. Afterwards, my hair is so soft, and smooth feeling. And for the cat, Posh has bad allergies (we all do here in DC) and she's always scratching her skin. I have her a bath and let some coconut oil sit in on her skin for a while and I haven't seen her scratch once!! 

I'm just in awe of how versatile and amazing one item is. Seriously, search online! Pick up a jar st Trader Joes or whole foods! MAKE SURE you get unrefined and raw though! There are some brands out there with additive and extra sugar. Why ruin something that's so good all natural with a whole bunch of extra chemicals?? Enjoy the real deal, friends! 

My Hoarder Husband

Oh my goodness. This weekend, Ryan and I spent a lot of time sorting through random boxes and items that have collected in our spare bedroom over the last three years. My thought process: "most of these items we didn't even remember having, so we won't miss them if we pitch, sell, or donate them." My husband's thought process: "I forgot we had this stuff! I think I want to play with it and then box it up again to rediscover in a few years." We are so incompatible when it comes to this!

Fortunately for us, my husband has gotten a lot better about purging. He's learning that as a family that moves every few years, it's not feasible for us to keep every single childhood item or memento. I was reading am article the other day that talked about holding onto unnecessary items. It brought up several good points, one being that people who hold on to extra "junk" tend to hold on to extra baggage in other areas of their lives. This includese extra weight, as well as emotions, leading to poor coping mechanisms and difficult moving on/letting go of feelings. 

Secondly, it talked about the items that people have trouble getting rid of. At least for my husband, this list rings true. The first includes childhood, high school, and college memorabilia.  This means trophies, certificates, and programs from sporting or theatrical events, etc. I know it seems like these objects hold so much value, but they represent a memory. Whether or not you still have it, the memory remains the same. I've been trying to teach Ryan this. The second item that collects is clothes, especially freebie t shirts and clothes people save hoping to fit in "one day." Ryan has so many t shirts from the military and 5k races. We just donated a whole bunch of them, and now he has way more room in his drawers for something new.

It's these fun moments in marriage where I realize Ryan and I are still growing up together, and I love that. Military life is such an adventure!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Favorite Things

Have you ever heard the quote that goes something like "what would you do if you woke up today and only had what you thanked God for yesterday?" Of course family and friends are at the top of that list. Stable jobs, a home, and health are also at the top... but every now and then I feel really REALLY thankful for some things if you will. I know, I'm being materialistic. I really am thankful, though, for some basic items that I use everyday... and I would be sad without them! Then again, they all help provide me with something I actually need... Take a look:

1. Sleep, made much more comfortable with my memory foam pillow. I impulsively bought it, and now I don't know how I slept without it. After waking up with Ryan "sharing" it with me, I bought one for him too.

2. Organic Grocery Stores, and grocery stores that have a wide selection of non GMO, organic food. I love eating 100% organic. I'm a vegetarian and my next move is to go gluten free after we move.

3. Quenching thirst, with honest tea. It's organic and delicious. I've been drinking it for a year and have yet to get sick of it. The honey green tea is my favorite flavor, followed with the pomegranate blue in close second. 

4. Netflix (Army Wives, Grey's Anatomy)

5. Light, especially provided by candles. There is something so therapeutic about candlelight. I'm a fan of lava lamps as well. I'm trying to make our home have more of an organized, mature feel to it, but our lava lamp is still on my nightstand. 

6. The bachelorette and bachelor franchise

7. Protection from the sun, provided by designer sunglasses. I love my coach sunglasses. Hubby is partial to two pairs of oakleys. I really want a pair of tom ford lenses, which I will probably get as a "new job" present once we get to California. Let me be honest though, all of my clothes are from forever 21, the limited, and tj maxx. Sunglasses are the one thing I don't feel crazy spending a fortune on, because I wear them everyday. 

8. Online shopping

9. Social networks and media (Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, blogger, Instagram, Vine, YouTube... I use it all)

10. Thank you cards

Just reading over this list makes me happy!! What items can't you live without???

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Saying Goodbye

I'm at that point in the moving process where I'm making my final plans to see people, and we know it will be the last time before I head west. Is anyone else terrible at goodbyes? I'm awful. I hate saying goodbye, and I would much rather just leave somewhere without having to bid farewell. It makes me sad because in every junction of our lives, there are people we say goodbye to that we will never see again.

I keep in touch with about 3 people from high school and 3 people from college. I talk to them at least a couple times a week. With Facebook, I "keep up" with lots of other people, but we aren't planning trips to see each other. I know I will keep in touch with a few people here, but it's reality that I won't stay close with everyone the way it is now. It helps that I am flying back here less than a month after we leave for my friend's wedding. I just never imagined becoming so close with people here in DC, but I'm so thankful I did.

Two weeks is all we have left. I have 7 shifts at work. We have a lot going on these last few weeks. Today is one of my few days off, and I'm spending it by going through things and getting rid of stuff we don't need. I'm trying to get as organized as possible pre-move so that once the movers come in and box everything, we don't end up moving a bunch of stuff we don't want. We have already sold a shelf and our fish tank on craigslist, and we have lots of donations as well. I have to say, I love that this move is finally here and in full swing! I spent a year anticipating it, and now it is here!

I'm praying for a productive day!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Sunday Funday

Yesterday was an amazing day. The weather was beyond gorgeous, and I spent all day with one of my best friends (who I somehow did not get a picture with! Bad!) 

Carmen came over at noon for homemade pizza and pasta salad. We made several pizzas, but my favorite was our Mediterranean version, equipped with feta cheese, peppers, tomatos, artichoke hearts, and a pesto sauce. It was amazing. Of course I ate way too much (meaning I have no leftover pizza). I also made a super easy pasta salad, with whole wheat pasta, tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, cheese, and Italian seasoning dressing. I brought some for my lunch today.

Hubby and I are still going through everything, throwing things out that we do not need. I absolutely love putting together donations for goodwill, as well as throwing out things that I don't use anymore. We had a huge purge Sunday morning and got rid of a lot of junk. It feels so good to have extra space after getting rid of stuff!

I'm at work now, and hoping the last half of my shift passes quickly. I have 9 shifts left! Time is flying. Have a great week! I'm hoping for lots of sunshine and productivity this week!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Real Talk

As a nurse, I'm contstantly surrounded by people who are sick. Some may have a temporary ailment, but others have a chronic illness of something so severe that they are working on symptom management rather than fixing the problem. On Friday, my heart broke for one of my patients. With an illness so aggressive, it seemed so unfair. It's in those moments, I really question "why" and pray for some sense of understanding. It can be taxing and painful to see these situations that hit so close to home.

Ryan and I were going to lay low this weekend since it is one of our last ones here. After Friday, I wanted us to go out and have fun though. We went to six flags and splurged on some overpriced tickets that allowed us to hop in front of every line. We didn't have to wait in a single one! We spent way too much money on park snacks, but I'm learning thatsometimes it's ok to splurge a little... in fact, it's healthy to do so. We had a fun day, and if we were staying here we would definitely go again.

Today, my friend Carmen is coming over for homemade pizza. I also made some pasta salad. I can't believe it's June 1st, I'm so excited that this month is here! In a few short weeks I will be en route to San Diego, CA! Happy Sunday y'all!