Sunday, August 24, 2008

I have an excuse (or 20)!

Ok, it’s 11:03 PM on a Sunday night, and I’m up composing what will be ½ apology/excuses and ½ of a life post. I’ve been a busy bee since my last entry on July 3oth, and now I’m back, tail between my legs, ready to get rolling again. Hopefully my life update will semi-explain my absence and you’ll find it in your heart to forgive me.

Job Hunting
Sometimes life/fate works in funny ways. You see, it wasn’t all that long ago that I met and hit it off with one of my best friends in the world, Stacy. Strange things brought us together as friends, but I have no doubt that she is someone who will be in my life in a big way for the rest of my days...and that the higher powers that be had a plan for our meeting!

I’m sure you’re thinking, “You’re rambling. What does this have to do with job hunting Ashley?” And you’d be right—I am rambling. ;) But, to answer your question--Stacy has a wonderful friend. We’ll call him Tom.

Tom happens to work at my dream company in what turns out to be my dream job. Tom and I connected, hit it off, and thus began my launch into my possible dream career.

I know, I know. You’re wondering how that consumed so much of my time. I started typing out a step-by-step timeline for you, but it was insanely boring, so I will just say that in a matter of two weeks’ time, I went through about 5 steps of the recruiting process. Which leads me to….

Our mini getaway
Since said recruiting process was moving along, I decided to set a date to meet the division of the office that I am interested in. What started out as a casual coffee meeting with my contact at that office, turned into a lunch interview with three people in the office. I came, I saw, I’m praying that I conquered.

This meeting/interview also gave my husband and I an opportunity to get away for a few days to one of our favorite cities—the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul. We had a great time with my family in the area, and spent time all over the cities—Downtown Minneapolis, St. Paul, the Southern ‘burbs, the Northern ‘burbs, Bloomington (home of the Mall of America), etc. Needless to say, it was a busy, busy, busy (and at times, quite stressful!) trip.

While we were there, though…

We started house hunting
If all goes well in the job department for us (and that is a BIG if), we’re considering purchasing our first home when we move. We figured that while we were in the twin cities, along with enjoying some reasonably priced sushi (it’s insanely expensive in my little city!), we would take advantage of the time we had, and start checking out areas we were interested in living in. When all was said and done, we had been in eight (yes, EIGHT!) different cities in the twin cities area checking out property/getting a feel for the various cities.

While we’re not entirely sure if we’ll end up renting or buying when we do relocate, the trip was extremely productive in that we really narrowed down the area that we want to live in--a huge accomplishment, as far as I’m concerned. ;)

Then, when we got back, I….

Left my old job, and started a new one
Since I hadn’t given my notice at my old job, I had been waiting to announce this here, but since I’ve clearly given notice and moved on, I think it’s safe to finally spill the beans. ;)

I have started a new position with my university as a graduate teaching assistant, which is tremendously exciting for me. Along with a terrific resume builder and an opportunity to learn from some extremely bright people, there are a ridiculous amount of perks with this new position.

2) Free Health benefits!
3) I’m making about 1.5 times what I was at my old position, working a little more than ½ the hours I was working at the old job.
4) When I’m not in school, I’m not working (but still getting paid), which is fantastic for my husband and I, since, as you may have heard, we really like to travel. ;)
5) I’m really enjoying the work that I do, and making terrific contacts!

I told you I’ve been a busy little bee! Add to all of this the fact that we just found out that two of my friends are pregnant (!), it’s been a very exciting few weeks! And, heck, while we’re doling out excuses, I’d like to throw out there that the beautiful upper Midwest late summer/early fall weather has made me want to be away from the PC and out in the world as much as possible!

However, all good things must come to an end, and it’s time to buckle down and get kickin’ in school. I’ll be laying off of the leisure time, so hopefully I’ll be more disciplined here, as well! It’s going to be a busy year (job, normal class load, thesis-writing), but there’s going to be tons of fun to be had too…

And, of course, plenty of travel.

Oh, and since blog posts suck without pictures, for good measure, here's one of beautiful downtown Minneapolis.


Mamacita Chilena said...

Hi Ashley. Did you take that picture?

Ashley said...

Ha! Definitely not! I do not have that much talent! I am quite glad you asked, though, as I apparently didn't change the font color of the sitation at the bottom (which defaults to black). :)

Stacy said...

lol @ Tom. Creative! That picture makes me VERY excited to come and visit you WHEN (not that BIG if you mentioned) you get this job!!!!