Interview Number Three

As you know, I had my third interview today.  It defintely was not what I thought it would be.  I thought I would be sitting with my prospective boss and that she would ask me simple questions like "Why do you want to work here?" and "What are some challenges that you think you might face?" Nope.  Of course not.  I was in a conference room with two individuals that were asking me questions that were similar to that last interview that I had; "Tell me about a time when . . . ."  How many different life experiences do they expect me to just bring to the surface at the drop of a hat?!  On top of that, I had to write another essay.  :-]  It is definitely an experience in and of itself.  I'm not complaining, though; I am certainly more than happy that I've been able to go through my third interview witht them.  I must be doing something right.  It seems as though they've been doing all of their calling and scheduling interviews with me on Wednesdays, so hopefully I will hear from them again next Wednesday and hopefully there will not be a fourth interview!  I just want to start my career already!  :-]  In the mean time, I will leave it at His feet and pray that doors open and close according to His will.

Posted byAshley C. at 3:04 PM 0 Love Notes  

Third times a charm, right?

Just as they promised, they called within a week and I have my third interview this Friday!  This time, the woman who contacted me was the manager of the Case Management department which means that this will eventually be my boss (that's if I get the job!).  She sounded very nice and eager about the interview.  Now, hopefully I will find out this Friday if I got the job or not.  I really hope that this all works out because this is the only game plan that I've got.  Nothing else up my sleeves.  :-]

Did I mention that if I get the job, I owe Josh "5 crisp $20 bills?"  Yeah, it was kind of a (dumb, silly, nonsense) bet that we made.  I guess it's our money, so it won't really be a loss to me haha!

Wish me luck (if you believe in that kind of thing).  Otherwise, pray for me!  :-]

Posted byAshley C. at 4:38 PM 2 Love Notes  

I just want a family!

You've heard me talk about my desire to become a mom.  Soon.  But, only one problem: I am not married, nor am I really ready for that kind of sacrifice.  I have thought about things I want to do (babywearing, breast feeding, ECing, homeschooling, etc.), ways that I want to raise my kids, and the way I want to instill certain values and morals in their lives.  I also must admit that I am slightly envious of those around me that are pregnant or having their babies.  We've been hanging out with our friend, Errika A LOT and just hearing her talk about her pregnancy pains, discomforts, and planning for "Baby A" is getting me so happy and excited for her, but wishing I was in her position. I just want to be able to get my life started and start working towards something that I feel I was meant for.  Josh and I are so ready to be married, but we're just waiting on some things like employment, paying off debt, and other things (as I've mentioned before).  We've also drawn some lines and told each other when it will most likely be appropriate to start a family.  Hopefully, things move along quicker because I just want a family! :-]
Now, with all of that being said, I have some major fears that literally cause nightmares at least once a week.  I have dreams about stretch marks, saggy boobs, and massive weight gain.  I know, those things are kind of inevitable, but I'm not ready for that.  I'm dealing with some insecurities now; yes, I know, I will never be perfect and insecurities are never-ending.  My point is that if I'm not completely secure now, how can I learn to love myself after taking on those things that I fear the most?

Posted byAshley C. at 8:22 AM Post a comment (1) Love Notes  

Interview Number 2

I suppose I could have written this a tad sooner for those that are wondering; my interview yesterday went very well.  It was not what I thought it would be (but, what ever is?!).  There were 2 individuals that interviewed me and asked me "Tell me about a time when . . ." questions that were kind of difficult to answer at times.  I also had to write a short essay about the position that I was applying for and what I can contribute to the company. It was kind of cool that I was able to do this interview with the same guy that did the phone interview with me.  I was able to be me but still pull off that whole "professional" thing. :-]  The hardest part of the whole thing was going 3 hours without putting on my Chapstick! 
Now, I have to play the waiting game for the next week.  They had this cool scoring sheet that they will use to score my answers to all of their questions . . . I think that's what I am most nervous about.  But, like I said in another post, this is all in God's hands and if it's meant to be, it will; if not, He will guide me elsewhere.  But, I have to admit, I am a little eager to get my career started.  :-]

Posted byAshley C. at 8:03 AM 0 Love Notes  

"What is a guard?"

Mom:  [calling Josh, panicking] Josh, where are you? Lowell isn't home and he won't be home until it's dark out.
Josh: I'm in Gurnee with Ash watching a movie.  Why?  What's going on?
Mom:  [panicking] I tried shaving Pepper's matted hair off of his butt and the clippers got clogged and I don't know what to do!!!  He has bald spots!

Josh: Okay, did you use the guard?
Mom: What is a guard?

Josh: Those little black pieces that came in the box with the clippers.  The length of the the black teeth is the length that the hair will be when you use that guard.

Mom: Oh. Well, I didn't realize that he was bald until now.  Can you help me when you get back home?
Josh: [laughing] I don't know what to do. I will look at him when I get back. [hangs up] Babe, your mom is crazy! 

Disclaimer:  My mom is one crazy, weird, different kind of lady however, her and I are two totally different people.  Do not judge me because of my mom's craziness, but do not feel bad for judging her for her craziness.  PETA: this is NOT my fault!

Posted byAshley C. at 9:16 AM Post a comment (1) Love Notes  

The perfect heel

Me and Josh's love is tried and true.  I know that he loves me for sure after this weekend.  I had to find something nice to wear to my interview tomorrow and I didn't expect it to be so difficult!  We went to one mall and were only really wandering between 3 stores.  Back and forth, back and forth.  Then, after two and a half hours, I finally decided on a shirt and pants.  Then, it occurred to me that I still needed heels to match.  And, if I got heels, I needed a scarf to match.  Well, the mall was closing in 15 minutes and we were both frustrated and annoyed with each other so I was a bit nervous to say hey, honey, I still need to find shoes and a scarf.  He gave me a slight huff and smile and said "Alright, let's go."  The problem about this, though is that I've got a very specific heel in mind.  Brown or nude, pointy, thinner heel, and doesn't show the top of my foot.  So, I wanted to check Payless before anything else.  Nothing there.  We left and just window shopped on the way out. 

Sunday came and we I was determined to find this perfect heel.  We went to a different mall this time.  One that I absolutely hate going to on Sundays because it is way too busy and the people there just seem rude and inconsiderate.  I knew the row of stores that I needed to go to.  We went to about 5 stores.  Nothing.  So, we went back to the boring ol' Payless at this mall and I settled for these boring flats that were nothing like what I wanted.  At least they were BOGO.  Then, a shopping miracle happened.  We went to a movie and got ice cream afterward and decided to just walk around Target before going home.  Right when we walked in, an announcement saying that they were closing in 15 minutes came over the intercom.  Josh was in the electronics, so I grabbed Errika's arm and ran over by the shoes and low and behold, I found the perfect shoe for my pants!  On top of that, I found the perfect scarf, too!  :-]  Thank goodness for our spontaneity!

Here's to cute shoes and great friends! 

Posted byAshley C. at 8:33 AM 0 Love Notes  

Interview and Coupons

After all of that worrying, I have to share that my phone interview was swell.  :-]  The guy was sooo nice and wasn't so authoritative where he didn't talk aside from the interview itself.  Matter of fact, it went so well that I am set up for a second interview next week!  This upcoming interview is called a "behavioral interview;" this is where they watch me interact with the clients and see how I am.  They also interview me about past experiences and see how well I am able to manage situations.  He says that I can expect for this to be a 3-hour interview.  Eeek!  I have to say that I am not worried about it at all because I would consider myself a friendly person and can have a conversation with anyone.  Having a mental illness will not hinder me.  :-]  I just do not want to get too comfortable and walk in there and think I "own" the interview but never hear a thing from them again!  That would not only be embarrassing but traumatic, too.  Haha!

Anyway . . .

How do you know when you're a semi-"good" couponer?  I'll tell ya.  When it makes you cringe and you want to run out of the store screaming with your items still on the conveyor belt because you had to hand over $17 for 2 bags of groceries.  Now, I know for 100% fact that I will not be going to Walmart for anything any time soon.  They. Are. So. Expensive.  People, if you think Walmart is cheap, come into the couponing world for just a month and take a look around.  I cannot wait until I am married and buying all of the groceries so that I can really see what I can do.  Since I started using coupons (January), I have saved sooo much money.  Maybe one of these days I'll get around to adding my receipts and seeing my total savings . . . I bet it'll be over $400. :-]  That's a really good amount when you're only buying some groceries.

Well, here's to an 80 degree day while sitting at work! 

Posted byAshley C. at 4:46 PM 0 Love Notes  

My God . . .

I love reuniting with friends and knowing that you're really making a difference in this season of their life.  Friendships definitely go through their seasons and this is by far one that I have been enjoying.  By either lending an ear or by sharing some time, it has all been greatly appreciated.

An another note, I was debating about whether or not I wanted to even mention this at this point, but I got a call back today for a 45-minute phone interview (tomorrow) with the company that I applied to!  The guy that called seems so happy and enthusiastic; I'm telling you, it's the job!  The people there rub off on you and you cannot help but be cheerful.  Well, I have given this whole thing up to God because I know that no matter what, everything is in His control, anyway; not the interviewer, not the other highly-qualified candidate, but in His control.  It has been really easy to just sit back and know that I have done what I can do now I just have to let everything pan out, but now things are really getting down to the wire.  I suppose that is when our faith is tested.  It's easy to say what you'll do and muster up scenarios for when the time comes, but when things actually begin happening, you're true character is tested when you are tested.  I just have to remind myself that God has brought me this far and He will bring me to the end . . . whether it is with this company or not.  :-]  When I begin to worry Oh, man I am unexperienced in Social Work and I will never get this job! I am telling God that my problem is bigger than He is and we know that is NOT the case! 

My God is a great, big, mysterious God!

Posted byAshley C. at 4:36 PM 0 Love Notes  

I know He will provide for me

Things are happening a little too fast.  I like fast, but not this fast.  Since I will be a Social Worker in May (so crazy!), I need to find some Social Work job openings.  I have had my current job for 2 and a half years and I've never been happier.  I love everything about my job.  But, I am not in school to be a receptionist, so I need to get these gears grinding in my brain and put what I've learned to use in a different kind of setting.

I previously mentioned that my boss, Krissy talked to a woman named Lisa who works at a local business that provides jobs and residential assistance to mentally ill individuals.  Lisa is a client at the salon, so she knew who I was.  Ever since Krissy talked to Lisa, Lisa and I have been corresponding back and forth through e-mail, and when she comes in for her appointments, about the business she works for and about me working there.
I was checking their website multiple times a day for a Case Management position to open up, but nothing was posted.  Lisa recommended that I just come in and apply for Case Management although there wasn't a listing posted.  I told myself  that I would go in and apply Wednesday and Tuesday night a Case Management position was listed!  What a crazy coincidence, right?  Well, I finally mustered up the courage and confidence and went in to apply.  Lisa was such a sweetheart and set aside some time to give me a tour and introduce me to some people (including some head-honchos!).  Since I worked there temporarily as a 14-15 year old, I was familiar with some of the people and things she showed me.  She also re-introduced me to some of my old supervisors.  She tried to introduce me to the CEO and the person in charge of hiring, but both were in a meeting; that would have been a huge bonus, huh?!  Anyway, while walking around there, I totally remembered why it was that I loved working there.  The clients are amazing and the employees are so loving and real.  I really, really hope I get this job; it would be perfect for me at this time in my life!

The way things have been coming along so smoothly and things have fallen into place so perfectly, I would like to this it's God.  I have been praying and asking God to bless me if this is for me or allow for other doors to open if it's not.  I vowed not to worry about it and just to let God have His hands in it . . . I know He will provide for me if I trust in Him, so that's just what I am going to do. 

Posted byAshley C. at 8:17 AM 0 Love Notes  

Beauty in aging?

Josh and I were invited by one of the clients at the Salon to go out to dinner to celebrate her husband Russell's 90th birthday.  This particular client is so sweet; she is an older Japanese woman that is the cutest lady you'll ever meet.  She invited me and Josh, Krissy, Rob, and Emily (Krissy and Rob's daughter) and Lisa and Larry.  She wanted to have dinner at a Japanese restuarant called 'Tsukasa.'  It was a really nice restaurant; they cook right there in front of you and show off their talents while doing so.  Psst, I learned that playing with your food pays off because both Josh and I caught food in our mouths on our first try!

While sitting there and just watching Russ, I felt kind of sad.  He is very lively for his age, tells jokes, smiles . . . and he's 90!  He has lived 90 years of life . . . doing things that we do every day. Now, his life is coming to an end and soon he'll be leaving all of that behind.  I suppose trading all of this earthly splendor for God is more like an uneven trade times a billion (in His favor!), but there is something about knowing your life is coming to a close.  We only have 'X' amount of years to live and the weird that about 'X,' is that we don't know what 'X' is; it could be 2, 23, 31, 100, we just never know.  People say it often, but you can't really dwell on the bad things, the inconveniences, or the challenges facing us, but the life that we have now, only focusing on today because tomorrow is never guaranteed.  It's a really strange thing to think about.  I pray that I either live until I'm in my 90s or until Jesus returns, but I'll never know.  Josh said that he looks at aging and death as a beautiful thing . . . I am still in the very, very beginning stages of even accepting that part of life. :-/

Posted byAshley C. at 10:22 AM 0 Love Notes  

"I'll always love us."

There is something beautiful about the weather "breaking."  Something that makes a love feel new and fresh.  Josh and I are in love in so many different unexplainable ways, but when warm Spring weather begins to show it's face, there is something that makes our love feel new and magical.
After I got off of work yesterday, Josh and I went to get Culver's for dinner (and man, has it never tasted sooo good!) and drove to the lakefront to go rollerblading.  The whole way there, we had the windows down, the music up, and were singing out loud with our fingers linked . . . a magic that made us feel like a new, carefree couple.  Because the weather hasn't been nice (at all!), this was kind of our first chance to get back on our rollerblades and it felt so good!  The warm breeze off of the lake was wonderful! 
After some time skating, we took a seat on a bench and were watching and admiring this cute pregnant woman walking by the pier and talking about how we can't wait until we are in that chapter of our lives.  It began getting a little too chilly from the lake, so we headed back to the car.  I was kind of sad about leaving, because I didn't want to leave that magic there, on the lake.  I know he felt what I was feeling and in order to remind us that that is who we are, no matter what season, he grabbed me by my waist and gently pushed me against the car and kissed me slowly, without words, telling me, "I'll always love us" . . . it felt so new and unreal . . . until a couple of young kids shouted, "Wooo look at that!"  Nice.  :-]
I can deal with this whole warm weather thing. ;-]

Posted byAshley C. at 1:48 PM 0 Love Notes  

Skate date, rebate date

Today marks a lifetime record for me!  As ridiculous as this sounds, Josh and I have officially made it 3 months without fast food!  This is huge because since I can remember, I've eaten fast food more than once a month; over the past couple of years, it's gotten pretty bad for Josh and me, so we decided for New Years that we need to put our foot down and take control of our cravings (well, kind of! haha). 
For the past 3 months, though I've had nightmares about eating the fast food and not making it to the 3 month mark!  Haha, I wake up feeling so guilty and like a failure, but no more!  If I want it, I can have it.  Although, I am afraid that once I eat it, I will have those nightmarish feelings of guilt. 
Today, Josh and I were joking about celebrating this milestone with a trip to Culver's (but I don't think I was really kidding!); I think it's a good thing to reward yourself for hard work . . . because believe me, it has been hard.  I am just afraid that if we have it once, it will be easier to have it again and I do not ever want to eat as much fast food as we did prior to our resolution.   :-] 

What could be better than 80 degree weather, a late night rollerblading date (skate date!), and a 3-month-no-fast-food-rebate date (rebate date!).  Oh boy, my heart (and my impulses, guilt, control, stomach, etc.) is torn!  :-/

Posted byAshley C. at 4:54 PM 0 Love Notes