I don’t even know how we are a week away from Christmas, yet here we are. I am still trying to get used to my new work hours/situation and haven’t really figured out a good time that I can blog on the regular just yet. I have been there a month already, which seems crazy to me! Everyone has been so nice and welcoming. I have been thanked about a million times for just doing my job. I have been told several times I am doing good work. It is such a nice refreshing change from where I came from.
We had our company Christmas party last week at a really nice restaurant in Vestavia. There was a cocktail hour, a sit down three course meal and an awards ceremony. This week we are having a dirty Santa party one afternoon during the workday. It has been nice getting to know everyone, and it all has solidified to me that I made the right decision.
The last few weeks we have been trying to squeeze in all the Christmas things. Last weekend we took Zoe to visit Santa. She wasn’t thrilled about sitting in his lap, so he gave up her chair for her. We took her out and got her a winter coat after. She loves it! Then we went for Mexican and hit up a Bargain Hunt and thrift stores. That evening we tried a new BBQ restaurant that might top our favorite!!! I cant wait to go back and try the rest of the menu. And we finally got our Christmas decorations up!
Speaking of trying new restaurants, Laura and I checked out Miami Fusion last week for lunch and it was amazing!!! It is literally across the street from my office, so I most definitely plan on going back again soon!
I have really been enjoying all the Christmas lights and decorations downtown near my building. They are so pretty to look at. I just love certain streets downtown anyways. They look good all seasons, but especially now!
On Saturday, my mom came over and showed me how to make apple pie from scratch. I have been wanting to do that with her forever, and am so glad we finally got the chance too!!! I got to see her to do Black Friday shopping, she came two weeks ago for Zoe’s birthday party….saw her Saturday…and will get to see her again this coming weekend for Christmas. It is so nice to see her so many times in a row! It had been several months before Black Friday!
Chris is super excited that we now have 1G internet. I think that is how you write it? I don’t know, its really freaking fast. We started in this house with 12M, and he has slowly been fighting every year to get them to do upgrades. And each year, they would give just a little more. Now look at us!
We have had a projector set up in the basement since we moved in, but last week Christ built a TV stand and has gotten back into collecting games again. It looks awesome down there! Zoe picked out her first video game Saturday night, Nintendo 64 Elmo’s Letter Adventure. We cant wait to play it with her!
I am still Christmas shopping, I have zero gifts wrapped, Zoe’s big present is due to arrive today. The reviews say it takes anywhere from 2 to 5 hours to build, the joys of being Santa, am I right?? I hope all the elves show up to help! We are hosting my family at our house this coming weekend, and then spending Christmas Eve with Chris’s family and Christmas day at home. Or at least the is the plan right now. I feel like this time is going to fast and I cant get a grasp on it!
I know there were other things I wanted to say/share…but now that I sit here to finally post something (I HOPE YOU ARE HAPPY LAURA!!!!), my mind has gone blank. I hope that you all are doing well. I am reading posts at lunch but not commenting…because have you tried commenting from a phone? It isn’t fun. But hoping to get back into the groove soon! I love this time of year, and hope to soak up all the Christmas things I can while they are still there to get!
It is book day!!! Linking up with Steph and Jana. This is the first time in a very long time that I didn’t have this post going the whole month. I am doing it from memory on the fly, scary I know!!! There are only four this month, I had a few that I started for about five minutes and decided I wasn’t in the mood. It was a weird reading month for me. I looked on Goodreads the other day. I set 52 books as my goal for the year and I read 71!! The year isn’t over yet!
I might not have my life together enough to write a regular post, but I am not going to miss a book one! I actually started writing a post yesterday, but I had issues loading my pictures. It was a picture heavy post so I said screw it and bailed. I hope to take some time to go back in and finish that post too!
R.S Grey has become my one of my favorite authors. She is the best at romantic comedy, and Hotshot Doc is exactly what I wanted it to be! This one gives you all the feels and has a nice slow burn with a love to hate/co-worker romance taking place in a hospital, all rolled in to one! I LOL’d more than once, and had a smile on my face pretty much the whole book. There isn’t much else for me to say for this one other than GO GET IT!
Bottom Line: Read it!!! Such a cute romantic comedy!
I feel like there are a million reviews on this book out there. I am going to keep mine short and simple. Did it change my life? No. But, it did have some great takeaways and I really appreciated and I think if you enjoy this type of book…then it is worth the read. I didn’t love the section on body image, and she sort of talks about how fabulous she is a lot. I will say, there is one quote that really stuck out to me. “Someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business.” I wish I would have heard that a long time ago!
Bottom Line: This book wasn’t life changing, but there might be talking points that will stick with you.
I was on the wait list for Girl, Wash Your Face and this one forever. Oddly enough, they came in at the same time. And they both came in right around when I was finally getting job offers. I really could have used both of them a few weeks sooner! But anyways, while I don’t think this book is life changing, I did take away quite a few things to think about. I don’t really have one specific, huge life dream…so some things don’t really apply to me.
Bottom Line: There really were several points that stuck with me, and if you are even the slightest bit interested in books from this genre, I would give it a read.
This was such a cute cute cute YA book!!! It was a little predictable, but I absolutely loved it! Dimple and Rishi were both such great characters, and I really appreciated how strong they were in their thoughts and beliefs. They are quirky and funny and I found myself flying right through this one to see how it ends.
Bottom Line: One of the better YA books I have read. Read it!
Happy Birthday, Zoe Jane!!! I cannot believe you are two! This past year has been so incredible. You went from just learning to walk before your first birthday, to full out running and dancing and climbing stairs this year. You come home with about five new words per day from school the last few months. Your personality is bigger than life. You are so funny! You crack us up and always know how to make me smile. Even your teachers call you miss congeniality at school and talk about your personality and the funny things you do.
You are such a good eater! There aren’t many things that you refuse. Your favorites are fruit, cheese, broccoli, beans, chicken and mini meatballs. You love your snacks and can now ask for most of them and tell me to put it in a bowl for you. One of your favorite things to do is go out to eat. You love sitting in the booth like a big girl and trying all the appetizers and food on my plate.
This year you have really made friends at school. Whenever I ask you if you had fun at school, you scream yes!!! And then start talking about Vera or KiKi. It makes me feel so much better knowing that you are having fun and developing relationships with others while I am at work.
You love to go outside and do bubbles. And bubbles always turns in to a walk around the neighborhood. And of course, climbing the front porch stairs. Your favorite movies are Secret Life of Pets, Moana and Frozen. You also like to watch Boss Baby, Vamparina, Puppy Dog Pals and Sofia the First. You get obsessed with things easily, we watched each of those movies for at least a month straight several times per day. And listen to their soundtracks in the car. Speaking of the car, whenever I know we are going to go over something bumpy, I usually say “bump bump”. And now you ask me to do “bump bump” and squeal in delight. I love the little moments like that.
You have been running up and hugging my legs at daycare since you learned to walk. But just in the last month, you have started giving the best random, real hugs. When I am holding you, you will grab my face in both your hands and just smile and stare in my eyes. And sometimes you will throw your arms around me and put your face against mine and give the tightest squeeze. It is the sweetest thing ever!!!
This year has been an interesting one in general. Daddy changed jobs a few months into the year so that he could spend more time with us. And then back in September, I lost my job and was out of work for several weeks. We have had some ups and downs this year, but through it all, I can honestly say that you have brought joy in to my life every single day. No matter what is going on outside our home, inside is filled with love, and joy and giggles. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Happy Birthday, Zoe!!! I cant wait to see what year three brings us!
I am still trying to get adjusted to my new job, schedule, etc. My comments on my last three posts still haven’t found their way to my email so I can respond. I am not sure if I have it fixed for this post or not, I suppose we will see! This past weekend we had our family and a few friends over to celebrate Zoe’s second birthday, which is today!!! We went with a Frozen theme, Zoe’s latest obsession. It was so nice to have both sides of the family under the same roof. I am always happy to see my parents in the same room. Even though they are divorced, I appreciate that they make the effort to show up to events like this, knowing the other is going to be there. They never make a scene, and are pleasant to each other with small chit chat. I know that we are blessed to have that.
Laura and her crew came over, and it made me realize we haven’t hung out with them since September. Soooo a weekend with them needs to happen ASAP! I also invited two friends from Zoe’s class, whose parents I talk to outside of daycare. It was so nice for Zoe to have three kids here her own age. She had so much fun playing with them! I will drop some photos here, and hopefully be back later in the week to catch up with you all!
It feels so good to be back to some normal routines, Friday Favorites included. This week has been a little hectic starting a new job and adjusting to working different hours than I was working before. Things are going good with the new gig. It feels weird starting a new job. I feel like the new kid at school, trying to figure out a good “work style” wardrobe, and where I am going to sit at lunch. I was invited to sit at “the cool kids” table at our Thanksgiving lunch yesterday….and for our monthly staff meeting on Wednesday. So that has to be a good thing, right? Apparently, monthly catered lunches for the whole company is a regular thing. How awesome is that?? Everyone has been so nice and welcoming.
Favorite Moments: Yesterday morning, I opened the door to let Mac out and was shocked to see snow covering our deck, with more falling!!! It was like a winter wonderland driving into work from the north side of town. Once I got into town, there was hardly anything. But still! Snow in Alabama in November is a rare, rare thing!
There is an Edgar’s Bakery in my building. Let’s just say I have eaten there three times this week. It is so delicious and so convenient!
Last Friday, I asked Laura if she wanted to meet for lunch. I hadn’t seen her since the weekend before I was let go from my job. It had been far too long, and we had something to celebrate!! Off to mo:mo: for this deliciousness!!! A fried potato on a stick with ranch? Yes, please!!!!
And since I have been gone awhile, I wanted to share a recent photo of Zoe for those of you who may not follow me on Instagram. She was Vamparina for Halloween and looked so cute! Girlfriend is full on toddler now. Seems like she is learning a new word every single day. Her personality is HUGE. She cracks me up. She has this little skip and wiggle that she does all the time when she gets excited. Her teachers named her little dance “The Zoe Dance” and has the whole class doing it now. She is going to be two in just a few weeks. I can’t even discuss it right now. I am in denial and maybe that is why I haven’t ordered party invitations yet. Need to get on that!
Favorite Purchases: Because my new work environment is a lot more professional than my old one, I basically needed a whole new work wardrobe. At my last job I could wear jeans and leggings. Here, not so much. When I was extended the offer last Thursday evening, knowing they wanted me to start Monday, I was like OMG I NEED NEW CLOTHES!!!! So Friday and Saturday I shopped til I dropped. Here are a few of my favorite pieces I picked up.
I grabbed this tweed jacket from Ann Taylor. It is actually more of a sweater material than true jacket, so I really liked that! YOu can’t really tell in this picture, but it has a sparkly sheen to it with some of the silver flecks throughout the jacket. I got so many compliments on this the day I wore it! It is on sale for 40% off, so holla!!!!
I also got these pants in black and navy. They are so comfortable, and a little thicker for winter. Perfect, since I now have to walk a block to my car.
This leopard dress is so flattering on!!! I absolutely love the muted, fun print. I plan to pair this with a black jacket or tailored sweater for the really cold days.
This textured open front cardigan is so perfect for dresses and nicer outfits. It has the look of being tailored like a jack, but the comfort of a sweater. Great price since Kohl’s is always running coupons and sales.
This boyfriend blazer is also from Kohls. I love the length of this one for all the longer shirts I can wear underneath.
Linking up with Amanda. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
I have crossed the horizon to find you I know your name They have stolen the heart from inside you But this does not define you This is not who you are You know who you are
Zoe has an addictive personality. When she finds a movie she likes, she’s ride or die with it. First it was Secret Life of Pets. I cannot tell you how many times I have watched “Pets.” When I hear Welcome to New York from Swifty, my eyes twitch a little. Well, right around the time I disappeared from this space, she became obsessed with Moana. And honestly you guys, this movie is the exact thing I needed.
Those words above are the lyrics to the song I Know Your Name. Moana sings them towards the end of the movie when we discover who Te Fiti is. You guys, it is me. I was that angry lava monster who lost who she was. When I watched that scene for the first time I bawled. Reality came crashing down on me so hard.
So let me back up and tell you what happened. On September 24th, my boss emailed me at 2:15 pm asking if we could talk at 2:30. I had a sinking feeling when I saw that email. One of the guys I worked with had just given a two week notice. I walked in there and sat down thinking we were going to go over my performance review. He started with, “I have some bad news.” And proceeded to tell me how I was great and this had nothing to do with my performance, but that the company is cutting budgets where it can and my position was being eliminated. That he had been sitting on that knowledge for two weeks fighting to keep me, but he lost out in the partner vote in the end. Everyone else in my position had been let go or moved on, and now it was my turn.
I sat there in complete disbelief for a moment. I have worked to some capacity since I was 16 years old. I have always been nothing but an excellent employee that people are sorry to see go when I move on to something else. I work hard and I give it my all. How was this happening to me???? After our little chat, I walked back out to my desk and completed what I was doing….because that is who I am. I couldn’t leave something unfinished. I packed up my desk, and walked out of there. Pulled into the alley away from that building, and cried and cried.
That first week was dark. I was dark. I cannot tell you how many times I broke down. How worthless I felt. I actually called myself a worthless piece of shit to my husband and my best friend. Of course, both of them were quick to tell me that I cannot talk about myself like that. But it was how I felt. It was crippling.
Then I sat down and watched Moana one night after Zoe got out of school. I saw that scene I shared above and it all clicked into place. I let that job eat at my soul for so long, it crushed me from the inside. I lost my inner spark, the whole core of me. I cared too much about stupid shit. If Zoe got sick, I would worry who would be upset that I wasn’t there in the office, even though I was working my ass off from home and getting everything done just the same. I was always worrying about hurting other peoples feelings and molding myself to someone’s needs or personality. I hated what I did for so long, I let that unhappiness drive my life.
I normally don’t get very religious or spiritual around these parts, but I was ignoring God and all the signs he was throwing at me. I had several signs that I needed to change my ways. I think this was his way of slapping me in the face and saying “wake up Nadine!!!! This isn’t my plan for you, you have gotten so far off path!” He had to do something drastic for me to listen. Once I realized that my faith was completely gone and I gave it back, I had immediate peace about the whole situation. My dark, depressive state was immediately lifted. Chris made a comment about how he saw things in me that he hasn’t seen in years coming back. I was unemployed, but I was happy. I was so damn happy.
Don’t get me wrong, it is stressful applying for jobs every day. Doing phone interviews, going in person, trying to sell yourself and act excited about anything that comes your way. You guys, I don’t even know how many phone and in person interviews I have had the last seven weeks. Finding a new job is a full time job. I was rejected over and over again. I was going after jobs for way less than I was making. I was going for jobs I was way over qualified for. I had a few interviews for jobs that were a step up. The rejections hurt, but I just had peace about it all. Something was going to happen, and it was out of my control. I just had to keep trying and doing what I was doing.
Last week, a lead I had been working with that I hadn’t heard from in awhile emailed me asking me to fill out an application online and complete a background form. It was with a company that I worked with indirectly at my last job and they are in the same building. If I took it, I would literally be sharing a cube wall with my old co-workers. The job is an incredible opportunity and a step up from where I was. More money, and I would be working along side someone I became friends with sharing a cube wall with her for four years. But it is also in an industry that I don’t care much about, or know much about. I almost feel like it might be a little over my head and I would be super overwhelmed at first. And then there is this…
I had several interviews last week. It was actually a pretty crazy week. Add in the fact that Zoe got sick and was home from school for two days as well. My sweet MIL watched her on Wednesday for me so I could go to an interview. Then Thursday I had another interview, and when I was in that one (for two hours) I had my phone shut off. When I turned it back on I had a text that I had some good news and to return the phone call. I was offered the job I had interviewed for on Wednesday!!!!
This is a job doing something very similar to what I used to do a long time ago. It was a job I truly enjoyed and looking back over my career, leaving that company was a mistake. There were things I didn’t like about the job, but it was all personal to do with a few people that worked there and nothing about the job itself. This takes all of what I did there and elevates it a little. It is with an amazing company that is affiliated with an international and very well known company in my industry around the world. It is less money that the other offer I know I have coming in, but I am trying to take all that I learned in the seven weeks that I was off and really try to make a decision based on where I think I will be happiest.
I accepted that job Friday morning, and they were like…so can you start Monday at 10:00am?! Ummmm sure?! OMG!
I slept for maybe 2 hours on Thursday night trying to mull over the decision of which to choose. I again worried about upsetting someone. This other company knows me and I am friends with someone there. They think they have me even though I haven’t received an official offer yet. But this other company knew immediately that they wanted me. They didn’t waste anytime offering me the job. It is something I actually enjoy doing!!!! OMG WHAT DO I DO??????? I needed a sign. I had talked to my sister Thursday after I got the offer and she said, “Your sign will come. Maybe it wont be obvious. Or maybe it will come in a dream. But it will come.” And immediately when she said dream I screamed, OMG IT ALREADY CAME! I had a dream Wednesday night that I had a job offer for the exact amount this company offered me. I said…..but it wasn’t specific that it was for that company. And my sister said, “Umm Nadine, that was your damn sign. Quit ignoring this!” I had also talked to Chris, Laura and Lindsay about my situation. The general consensus was to go with the job for less money where I think I would be happier.
It is funny, really. Here I was, praying for anything for seven weeks. And then all of a sudden this week, I get things thrown at me all at once. And a decision to make. And I am going to be real with you guys, being decisive is not my strong suit. I can barely chose where to go to lunch, yet alone a life changing decision like this!!!!! God had one more lesson for me.
In the end, deep down in my heart, I think I knew that this opportunity to go with the type of job that I know I would enjoy more was the right choice. But it is hard to pass up a lot more money and the knowledge that I already have a friend there, and know the culture of that group and what to expect. But I want to be happy. I spend 40+ hours a week at work. I leave my child in the hands of other people for my work. I need to make it worth it!!!
I want to take a moment to thank everyone who reached out to me wondering where I went. I was honest and real with all of you who asked. I took my blog down because I didn’t want employers googling me and using it against me in any way. I am not really professional in this space, it is my fun time. I say what is on my mind and I cuss sometimes.
I want to thank my family for being so supportive and positive. Chris has been SOOOOO incredible this whole time. Constantly trying to lift me up, saying what I need to hear, and not putting pressure on me to settle for just any old thing that came my way.
And Laura. You dealt with me in my darkest days. You dealt with all my self doubt and complaints. I could not be more thankful for our friendship!!! And Lindsay too! Your were texting me on the regular checking in with me and being encouraging.
If you are still reading this, sorry for the novel! I wanted to share where I went and about my experience. There are so many of you that I know are sitting in a job that is sucking your soul right out of you. And I want you to know that there is something better out there for you. Hang in there because you are awesome. And YOU are number one. You have to take care of yourself, stop worrying about hurting feelings in the work place, because in the end, even your loyalty cant really save you. You have to make decisions based on what is best for you, everyone else is doing it, and you deserve the best.