Saturday, February 28, 2009

The job search and the job

I know I haven't posted in quite a while, but hadn't realized until my dear old dad told me it had been a month! Sorry!! So, to warn you, there may be a bunch of posts today.

The last week in January was filled, for me at least, with tons of interviews! Tons!

I interviewed with Opportunity Village, which is a day work program for developmentally disabled adults. I really wanted to work in a lab. After all, that is what I went back to school to do. But, Vegas is tough on MLT's. They can hold out for MT's since UNLV is right here with a program. That said, there were also very few openings even for MT's. Stupid economy! So, I figured my old stand by would be to go back into social services. I applied, got a call back, and did two interviews. This organization would really be a wonderful place to work. They do great things and it seems a stand up program that cares about their employees. After my 2nd interview, I was told I would probably be receiving a call about a job.

I was also still in the middle of interviewing with Siemens. This is the job I really, really wanted. If I got the job, I would be working with chemistry analyzers in real labs. It was down to me and one other person, but we each still had two interviews with two other individuals to get through and I had no idea where I stood.

My third interview was basically an administrative position with the Nevada Donor Network. It was peripherally medically related and since Dad had a transplant I actually knew some of the terminology, etc.

My first choice was to work for Siemens, then the NDN, then Opp Village.

I got a call on Thursday for Opp Village, basically offering me the job if I called them back. I told them I would contact them next week. They were not happy, but I needed time to hear back from Siemens.

I did finally hear from Siemens - and got the job!! Mom was home with me when I got the news and we had a celebratory dance together!! Good times!

After going through the pre-employment stuff, my first day was Feb 23. I was able to follow a co-worker who had to come to Vegas to visit one of my future clients. I learned so much! I would go into details, but it wouldn't be very interesting unless you were a lab geek like me. I spent three days with her. On Friday, I received my laptop and car. This is such a grownup job!

Anyway, I will be travelling a ton once I get into the swing, but so far I am just trying to figure out what I am supposed to be doing. I will have a two week stint in Delaware at the end of April. I am very excited and thankfully, Shane and Lauren are too.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Two down...two to go...

Click to play Dare to Dream
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Lauren had her 2nd gymnastics meet as a level 3 gymnast! She beat her overall score from the last meet by 2.0 points. 34.15 got her 5th place overall in her age group. She was 0.40 points from 2nd place. It was a tight race. This meet allowed her to compete with gymnasts from other gyms, not just ours.

I always worry she will get stressed out or feel too much pressure. Moms... She finished her vault and there was a lot of waiting time before her bar routine. I looked over at her and she was yawning. Yawning. Oh, yeah, feeling some pressure and stress there. NOT! I am actually very thankful she is a lot like me in that respect. She gets excited before the meet and talks way more than she usually does (yes, surprisingly, that is possible!), but once there she finds her groove and gets the job done.

Vault - She rocked the vault with a 9.05. Her friend, McKenna, got a 9.1. Very, very cool!

Bars - She struggled with her back hip circle (a move she could probably do in her sleep). This was the move she overrotated and "fell" last week, so she undercast (didn't put enough ummph into it) and had to really fight to pull out the hip circle. She did it and ended up with an 8.20.

Beam - Her beam routine this time was much better than last time. No fall. High split jump, great handstand. She got an 8.4...I think she was robbed. The downfall this meet was they timed the routine. Our girls all got dinged on time.

Floor - 8.50 on floor. She was a little sloppy toward the end of the routine which is more dancey artistic-y stuff - not her strong suit. This gym awarded blue ribbons for any event over a 9.0 and red for 8.0-8.99 and white for lower than an 8.0. They also all got a trophy for participating with their overall rank. Pretty cool!

We have promised her special things for beating her scores. She wants the Club Penguin game for her DS. We told her if she beats this score at her next meet she can get it. For this one, we aren't sure what her reward is and she isn't sure either. Maybe a webkinz (but she goes through spurts with those). Who knows?

Her next meet is February 8. My parents and Shane's parents and grandmother will be here to watch her compete in that one. She is very excited.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Name that Tune answers...

Thought I would post the answers to my Name that Tune post...

Name that Tune

1. The Sharing Song…Jack Johnson
2. The Cheap Seats…Alabama
3. Keep Holding On…Avril Lavigne
4. This one’s for you…Barry Manilow
5. Dreamship…Kathy Lee Gifford
6. Celebrity…Brad Paisley
7. Glory of Love…Peter Cetera
8. Mister Morton…Skee-Lo (this is from the Schoolhouse Rock CD)
9. Say Goodbye…Jordan Knight (duet with Deborah Gibson)
10. Amazed…Lonestar
11. Separate Ways…Journey
12. All my Life…Linda Ronstadt
13. Bad Day…Daniel Powter (I also have it by The Chipmunks)
14. I Beg your pardon…Kon Kan
15. When the Sun Goes Down…Kenny Chesney
16. Cool…Gwen Stefani
17. See You Again…Miley Cyrus
18. Year 3000…Jonas Brothers
19. I knew I loved you…Savage Garden
20. Two out of Three Ain’t bad…Meatloaf
21. Return to Pooh Corner…Kenny Loggins
22. I don’t wanna be in love…Good Charlotte
23. Paradise by the Dashboard lights…Meatloaf
24. Hungry like the Wolf…Duran Duran
25. I hope you dance…LeeAnn Womack

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Reunion Thoughts

My 20th high school reunion is coming up. Am I excited? Kind of. Sometimes. There are people I would love to see, but with facebook, I am in contact with them. The reality is I may not be able to make it anyway. We just moved to Las Vegas and are in the process of getting settled here (read - trying to find suitable, sustainable employment). But, as usual, I digress...

First, are we really so old? In high school, my parents were so old and clueless! Now that I am "their age", I realize, they weren't old, nor were they clueless. I know my child better than she knows herself. I can look at her and tell you what she is thinking and thinking about doing. Am I unique? I don't think so. I think any of us who is involved with our children has the same gift. It floors me to think I am nearing 40. I don't even feel like an adult some days. I love Rock Band and we even have parties where only adults are allowed to play. The things that make you go hmmm... (okay, those sorts of references age/date me!)

I did not grow up in Evanston. We moved there when I was an awkward teenager in middle school. Evanston, Wyoming is a small town where people grow up together. It was difficult to find a group of friends who were willing to let an outsider in. Thankfully, I am not a shy, introverted person and wasn't then either. Michelle and Loni were in my first group of friends and we have stayed in contact through the years (on and off). I was in Michelle's wedding as her Maid of Honor and attended Loni's unorthodox (like you thought she would do the princess wedding thing...yeah!) wedding when I was 7 months pregnant. I was not part of the "in" crowd, but I wasn't not part of it either. I was friendly with everyone. I had friends from all the different "cliques".

Like I said, Facebook has been great! I have been able to at least superficially be in contact with some of the people I knew from high school. I am truly enjoying the reconnecting and finding new commonalities. The voyeur in me loves seeing what everyone is up to. I have visited some of their blogs and enjoy getting to know them better. A lot of us have kids - that is the great equalizer! I am surprised by the number of kids some people have (and their ages). Some had kids right out of high school, some right out of college, some had one right out of high school and then more later, some are just now starting their families. Crazy! I am in the middle somewhere. My daughter is 10. I married right out of college and had her 5 years later.

So here I am trying to lose weight and get in shape for July, and I wonder why? My current friends know what I look like, extra pounds and all (and there are quite a few of them). AND, they don't care. I don't care about their extra pounds either. Why should I care what people I haven't seen in twenty years think? I mean, truly, most of them will not be any closer to me after the reunion than they are now. And, those that are, hopefully, won't be better friends with me because I have lost 40 pounds (yep...ughh) to see them. I will be trying to lose weight and get in shape because I try every year, but I have decided not to kill myself over it in hopes of reaching my "high school" weight. I would like to think I have let the teen angst go. I do not need to please everyone and have wisened enough to know there are always people who are not pleased by anything anyway.

I am also embarrassed to admit, I have forgotten some people. I will read their names and it will take some time to remember who they were or if I actually knew them. Most of the people I hung out with, I remember. Some others, I struggle to remember. I know I should, but I don't. Is this age? Probably some.

I was looking at my facebook friends list and remembering them as they were as I look at who they are (and I am trying not to hold them to who they were).

Loni - BFFL? Maybe. We have always been so different and that is what keeps us together, I think. We live across the country from each other and haven't seen each other in 10 years, but we connect. I love her irreverence for everything and have truly enjoyed watching her progression from "Kids are a curse" to "I have found my calling as a mom". She just cracks me up as her life is completed by her husband, son, and son on the way. I read her blog and laugh out loud sometimes at her take on life. She is also so incredibly creative and her crafty interests are so her.

Michelle - Her blog is more sporadically updated, but is so her. Michelle was always more reserved and quiet and her posts reflect that.

Cara - Everyone's friend. I think of her as the catalyst that keeps the Class of '89 together. I have sooo enjoyed getting to know her via emails, blogs, and facebook. As we have reconnected, I see her as someone I will probably keep in touch with for the rest of my life. But then, Cara has that wonderful ability to make everyone feel that way. What a beautiful person she is. I am glad to count her in my circle of friends.

Jamie - we got to chat when I was in the middle of my move to LV. She was so cute talking about her kindergartener and her new husband. She is a teacher in Evanston.

Wendy - my driver's ed buddy - we drove through Arby's every driving day so she could pick up some food for someone she was crushing on at the time. Good times!

Connie - I have truly enjoyed posting back and forth with Connie. She is another truly remarkable individual. She is a minister and my former worship leader at our church in Tucson is friends with her. Small world. Both she and Layne were amazed at the connection.

Dallas - I think my husband may have gotten to know him better than I knew him. They played basketball together in Halfacre gym at UW. I reconnected with Dallas through a friend of my husband's and mine in college, Eric. They were engineering students together. We all got together once in Denver. Dallas' wife was with us.

Matthew - Matt and I were each other's security blankets. If neither of us had a date, we went out. It was always nice for me to know I had him. We weren't possessive of each other and were happy when the other did have someone else. It's not often you can have that sort of platonic/not so platonic friendship work. It worked for us.

I have many more friends from high school on facebook and many more memories of each person.

I am still ambivalent about the reunion. I am hoping we have all changed enough to not be the same people we were, but also, to not have changed so much that we lose the person we were. Ahhh, paradoxes...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Lauren's First Gymnastics Meet

Click to play Gymnastics Meet
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Here in Las Vegas (or at least the gym Lauren belongs to), they allow Level 3 advanced to compete in a couple of meets. It gives them practice for the "real thing" and lets them get their feet wet as far as if they want to even be in competitions. Historically, Lauren is not that competitive. Shane thinks she gets it from me, but really I am pretty competitive (at least with myself). I don't like to lose, I am just okay if I do. Lauren is okay if she wins, loses, or whatever. So, Shane and I were both a little concerned competition might not be for her. Well, we fixed the hair and added the glitter (a necessary part of competition, as we have come to find out)! We have done the hair back and tight two other times and there were a lot of tears. This time there were less. I have hopes we may be able to do it someday without any tears! The meet went great! She loved it and really stepped it up from her practices. She was in a group with 12 other girls and she consistently stayed in the higher scores. Her best score was on her worst event - vault. This poor child cannot run and when she does it is flat footed. For a tiny petite little thing, she sounds like an elephant. BUT, she managed to get off the springboard into a handstand forward roll. It wasn't too shabby and got her an 8.70. A very admirable score. Her floor routine was also decent. She can do the motions, but she doesn't always make her movements deliberate. I think this is where her deductions came from. She got an 8.35 on her floor routine. All the girls at this level do all the same routines. She doesn't get to make up her own until she is at least a level 7, I think. Until then, there are compulsory routines and premade ones. On bars, which is her strongest event, she overrotated her hip circle and ended up having to remount. Her mill circle was great and her dismount was beautiful! She arched and landed. She still pulled out a 7.0 on this event. Her beam routine was the best, though. She rocked it. She did fall doing a split jump, but her jump was higher than the other girls'. She pulled out an 8.1 with the fall. It was an awesome score. She ended up taking 3rd place in her age group. If she hadn't fallen on either event, she would have taken first. It was that close. She is very excited for the next meet in two weeks. This one will be at another gym, so the competition will be different. We can't wait to see what she does there.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Name that Tune...

Okay, my friend, Loni, has posted and I can show what a nerd I am with my songs. (BTW, I knew none of hers!)

How to Play...
Step 1: Put your music player on shuffle.
Step 2: Post the first line from the first 25 songs that play, no matter how embarrassing (and believe me, mine are!)
Step 3: Strike through the songs when someone guesses both artist and track correctly.
Step 4: Looking them up on Google or ANY other search engine is CHEATING!
*** NOTE: Cheaters Never Prosper *** Don't do it!!!!
Step 5: If you like the game, post your own.

I may have made it too easy on some lines and too hard on others...Have fun! Please play...

1. It's always more fun to share with everyone

2. This town ain't big, this town ain't's a little of both, they say.

3. You're not alone, together we stand.

4. This one'll never sell

5. Evening's upon us my little one

6. Someday I'm gonna be famous

7. Tonight it's very clear as we're both lying here - "Glory of Love" - Peter Cetera

8. Mister Morton is the subject of my sentence and what the predicate says he does

9. Yeah...I been so lost lately

10. Everytime our eyes meet this feeling inside me is almost more than I can take

11. Here we stand, worlds apart hearts broken in two

12. Am I really here in your arms

13. Where is the moment we needed the most?

14. Here we go...There once was a time...

15. Suntanned toes ticklin' the sand

16. It's hard to remember how it felt before

17. I got my sights set on you

18. One day when I came home at lunchtime

19. Maybe it's intuition, but some things you don't question

20. Baby we can talk all night...but that ain't gettin us no where - "Two Outta Three Ain't Bad" - Meatloaf - Yes, I have a monster crush on him!!!

21. Christopher Robin and I walked along - It's actually "Return to Pooh Corner" - Kenny Loggins (I used to sing it to Lauren as we danced around the living room - I still make her sit on my lap sometimes when it plays...)

22. She's going out to forget they were together

23. Well, I remember every little thing - "Paradise by the Dashboard Lights" - Meatloaf - yep, again. I am surprised two came up in the mix, though.

24. Dark in the city, night is a wire - "Hungry Like the Wolf" - Duran Duran

25. I hope you never lose your sense of wonder

Yes, these are all truly on my iPod and I also have some on there that didn't even come up in the first 25 - Mamma Mia Soundtrack songs (the play, not the movie), Chess (Broadway show - US Version), Joshua Kadison, Bobby McFerrin, Bob Marley, and many, many others.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Visit from the Fisher's

Keith and Amy Fisher and their two girls, Samantha and Madeline, were our next door neighbors in Tucson. Actually, when we first moved to Tucson a little over 12 years ago, they lived about 6 houses down the street from us. They were some of our first babysitters. We moved to the next street over when Lauren was 3. When our other neighbors moved, I told Keith and Amy and they bought the house. We all went to the same church and really enjoyed each other's company. They would drop by all the time, especially after Samantha and Maddy were born. (We are the house with all the candy, you know!)

We have truly been blessed with wonderful neighbors over the years. Mike and Sandy, Steve and Sonia, Pete and Collyn, Jason and Nicole, and others who didn't live directly next door to us, but were close and of course, the Fisher's.

We saw Keith a couple of weekends ago when he was here going visiting a college buddy of his. They invited Shane to join them for a U of A football game here and then we went to breakfast with him the next morning. Lauren and I begged him to come back after Christmas to visit us with the girls. He agreed.

They decided to come on the 26th. They were spending Christmas with Keith's sister and her family in Phoenix, so they figured they were already mostly here. After a wrong turn turned their trip into a tri-state travel extravaganza (you will have to ask Amy about that), they arrived. Lauren and the girls (aged 6 and 4) were soooo excited to see each other!

They were only here a short time. We played Rock Band and Mario Kart Saturday morning. We went to Rainforest Cafe for dinner, visited the M&M store, I took girls home to bed, Shane, Keith, and Amy lost money at the South Point Casino on Saturday night. Sunday morning we went to the Silverton for a buffet brunch (you have to do at least one buffet while in Vegas). It was a whirlwind visit, but hopefully won't be the last one...
Click to play Fisher Visit
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