Thursday, May 28, 2009

oh may

well, i've got lots to say about life right now. life has been busy and eventful, but i'm not sure how much is necessary to share. but i'll try to give a nice summary of things.

owen has gotten huge. at least huge in the eyes of a havanese. he's already almost 11 lbs, which is pretty substantial for a 4 month old. most adult havanese only reach 8-12 lbs. i'm hoping he just had an early growth spurt. i like him small because he's so teddy bearish. but i'll love him the same if he becomes grizzly bearish.

i'd like to certify him as potty trained at 11 weeks. i think he's only had maybe 3 accidents inside since then, which i think are excusable for a puppy. he's extremely reliable and has been on the "bell system" for about a week and a half now. the bell system simply involves a nail 2.5 ft above the floor and hanging a bell on a string from it. every time owen wants to go outside to go potty, he rings it to let us know. at least thats how it should work. he picked it up the first day we introduced it, but he abuses the system by ringing it to go play outside when he's bored. sometimes he's pretty demanding and i just picture that scene from the old disney classic, cinderella, where the stepsisters are ringing and ringing their bells screaming "cinderella! cinderella!". he gets pretty persistant too.

on another note, i was playing with owen the other day and he ended up loosing his two bottom front teeth. puppy teeth, of course. i'm hoping i just helped the process along and didn't accidentally pull them out before nature took its course. they're itty bitty and i fortunately was able to find both teeth buried in the carpet. no doggy tooth fairy. i tried to see if we could get some extra cash by sticking it under the pillow. no such luck ;).

speaking of pillows, we've broken down and allowed owen to sleep on the bed with us. its been a really easy transition. he just sleeps down at our feet all night, occasionally wandering around to snuggle closer. when my alarm goes off in the morning, he waddles over to me and rests his head on my arm as if to ask me to sleep a little longer. he's really adorable.

since he's gotten his final round of shots we've been taking owen to try out the local dog parks. he's been three times now. he was really timid the first time, very snarly to dogs that he felt like were getting to playful too fast. last time we took him there weren't a whole lot of dogs to play with, so we went accross the street to take him for a nice long walk. but we didn't even get a step away from the car because we ran into a nice young couple with a blue doberman pincher, who owen ended up becoming quite fond of and wrestled around with for an hour and a half while we chatted. it was great running into a couple about our age in about the same stage in life...married, no kids yet. we're hoping to get together with them again tomorrow to hang out.

so that sums up owen. a lot to say about a dog, but he's a lot of fun to talk about.

as for life, my job is going great. i'm wishing a few more people would just sign their contracts already. i've redrawn at least 3 floorplans and drawn up 5 quotes it seems for 9 of my potential clients. i guess with the economy, people don't have a problem thinking about spending money and seeing how much it would be, but they're too afraid to commit to spending their money. the problem for me is a lot of wasted time. but at least i enjoy doing it. i've organized the showroom nicely (with two men running the place, it was quite a mess) so its easier to find things. i think i did a lovely job. they've built me a "cubicle" if you will. its a knee wall that wraps around my desk so i can greet the homeowners who come in and be the first point of contact. i'm also pretty official now that i've gotten my business cards today. its a shame they turned out to have my boss' cell phone number on it rather than mine. i have to wait for them to get reprinted, but the ones i have will work for now because it has my email and the office number. they're really nice, though.

jonathan and i have had many camping excursions already this year. we went with betsy and jon in april, scott and adrianne in early may, camped out in my parents lakehouse on an air mattress a couple weeks ago, and last week camped out last weekend with robert and melissa. jonathan has sworn he is camped out for the year, but i'm sure we've got more camping not too far off.

we're coming up on our first anniversary and jonathan has big plans for us to go up to where he proposed to me at lookout mountain, ga for that weekend. apparently we're going somewhere nice, but i'm in the dark on that one :).

i finally used one of my birthday gift certificates this evening for a massage. it was lovely and wasn't as ticklish as i had assumed it would be. he's sweet to think of something like that for me. i've still got another one to look forward to.

i'm rethinking the whole paper scrapbooking thing. when it comes down to it, i'm just poor. i can't afford all the frills and cuteness i'd love to have. plus i don't have the space to organize all that stuff. i do have stickers and another birthday gift certificate from jonathan to a scrapbooking store, so i'll be using those, but when that all runs out, i've decided i'm going to have to do digital scrapbooking.

it sounds perfect for me....i love photoshop and they have kits and stuff i can download (i'm most likely going to do all the free stuff) and put details on like ribbons, buttons, stitches, decals, etc. on that i couldn't before. plus, i can get everything to look exactly how i'd like and most likely, save time! when i've completed a book, i can get it published through an online company in a hardback book. another nice bonus is that i can make more than one! yay!

the major issue i have right now is the oldness of my computer. its been a fabulous blue dell, but its more than 5 years old now and in computer years, its over the hill. i've resolved to save up my money and purchase a shiney new machine with at least 2.4 ghz processing speed, large amount of ram, and a more than passable video card. of course, this will probably be the most expensive type computer out there, but i'm going to start looking around. its on the wishlist, but may take some months to come into fruition.

and thats about all i have to say about life at the moment. time flies.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

a year after graduating, i'm a kitchen designer!

i mentioned a few posts back that new doors were opening for job opportunities. it turned out the smaller company that i had been talking to continued to pursue me and offered me a great opportunity to work exclusively with them. i started in mid-april and just finished my 3rd week there.

i'm finally working at a real job, doing what i had in mind when i graduated. the guys i'm working with are giving me all of their homeowner remodels and in just the few weeks i've been there i already have 5 of my own clients and had somebody sign a contract last week. i get to work with the clients through the whole process...measure their kitchen space, draw up a new plan, consult them on their door selection, and so forth. i've been loving it so far. i had thought it would only be a part time position, but it turns out i've been working at least 9-5 everyday.

yay! i'm finally a kitchen designer!

Monday, April 20, 2009

finally, a visitor

this past weekend, mine and jonathan's good friends betsy and jon came up to visit. i've known both of them for a long time...jon and i grew up in the same church and i got to know betsy in my college freshman political science class. jonathan and i've been married for 10 months now. here is a list of visitors we've had so far: jonathan's friends/family
  • jonathan's parents
  • jonathan's brothers jeff and jason
  • jonathan's sister jessica and husband brandon
  • jonathan's cousin robert and wife melissa
  • jonathan's cousin sandy
  • jonathan's friend pepe
  • jonathan's friend marty
  • jonathan's friend cece
so jonathan has had 12 different people come from out of town to visit him for one night or more. my friends/family
  • my parents (4 hours maybe)
  • my sister becca (24 hours)
and that concludes friendly visitors on my behalf. so, i was pretty excited when betsy called me up to tell me that she had the whole month of april off and was thinking that they'd come up to visit. jonathan and i had teased the couple that they owed us a visit because they live in my parents hometown and we'd drop by their place for an evening every time we've been down. we didn't think they'd ever actually be able to come up!

they got into winston late thursday night and we spent most of the evening catching up and watching necessary tv shows such as the office and 30 rock. friday morning we slept in and took our guests out to a local cafe for brunch. we spent the rest of the afternoon trying to cram an unecessary amount of camping gear for four people and a dog into the trunk of jonathan's little green accord. it was quite a puzzle, but of course, a puzzle that the boys were insistant about solving.

owen is doing his stress yawn here...not biting betsy's head off.

we got everything in and headed out in a packed car, owen crawling all over everybody. we scoped out a campsite up at pilot mountain, got our tent set up, and set out on a 2 mile hike to the top of the mountain. little owen was quite a trooper. i had thought we'd get a quarter of a mile in and have to carry him the rest of the way.
that certainly wasn't the case. 12-week old little owen hiked all two miles up and two miles back, up boulders, over roots. i was really impressed with him...he is a little fluffy light colored dog and i guess i didn't have much expectations for him. i was a proud mama :).

the view was gorgeous up there! the weather was absolutely perfect, sunny, and we hiked down during a beautiful sunset. we had planned out a dinner of steak quesadillas...i had a checklist for our meals and was really organized about it, but i failed to pack the tortillas. so we ended up having to eat just steak, cheese and sour cream. it turned out pretty good still. oh well. of course, no camping weekend would be complete without s'mores. roasty, toasty marshmallows...mmmmm.

everyone else at the camping grounds had their fires out by 9:30 pm. i couldn't believe it! but we kept ours going strong until about 2 am. i got pretty cold during the night because we had left one of the window flaps down. i just need to be more prepared for the coolness of night i guess. but we survived.

when we got back from our camping excursion the next day, we tried out another local restaurant and it ended up being really unique and delicious food. we tried to show jon and betsy the town of winston all in one weekend...visited old salem, a couple parks, walked around downtown. anyway, it was a great weekend and we were glad to finally get to use our guest bedroom once again!

hopefully we'll get good reviews from them and more people will make their way on up to visit us!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

a short update on little o

Whew. I've finally gotten a little time to sit down and write a post. I just thought I'd put up some information on those of you who may be interested. Owen has kept us pretty busy!

He's been doing great with pretty much all aspects of training. He hasn't destroyed anything and his potty training is doing well. He turned 12 weeks on Saturday and hasn't had an accident in the house 4 days! I'm sure I can expect a mistake soon though, according to every post I've read. Owen knows his name and comes when called and sits. He's even been sitting by the door and whimpering a little when he needs to go out and go potty!

Yesterday we took Owen to get his third set of boosters. At 6 weeks, Owen weighed in at 3.2 lbs. At 9 weeks, he was 3.5 lbs. Yesterday when the vet weighed him, he was a whopping 7.2 lbs!! he's more than doubled since last he's obviously growing like a little weed!

His personality has begun to show more over the course of this past week. He's extremely feisty. He's found his favorite spot in the house...under our bed. He loves to dart in and out from under the bed skirt, doing his playful growl at the sheets. Its really cute. He sits by the closed bedroom door most of the time begging to go in. He's also getting a little spoiled I think. I put him up in his crate at night next to the bed on my nightstand. I've been letting him chew on a toy on the bed before I put him up at night. When he gets a little bored with that toy, he waddles over to his crate, stretches over to reach his crate on the nightstand, and pulls out another toy, chews on that for a minute or two, then goes for the next one. Pretty soon he's got 5 toys scattered all over the comforter! Its really funny to watch.

Owen has also started the bark when he wants my attention, which I try to correct. That isn't a good habit. He's just kind of developed an attitude lately.

Owen has a lot of fun playing with other dogs and meeting new people. He just wants to play, play, play! He's been really good with every dog except for the other day when he met a HUGE German Shepard. It was really the biggest one I've ever Great Dane size. Anyway, Owen "screamed" when he saw him and wet himself. When we tried to calm him down a bit and the German Shepard mozied his way over to sniff Owen, Owen snarled and yipped and was really very rude to him. I'm not quite sure what got into him but I'm hoping he doesn't already have an irrational fear of big dogs.

So thats a pretty good summary of things for now. Of course, I take about 15 pictures of Owen a day and there is no way that everyone else would be interested in looking through that here are a select few :). note, i said select.

his little pink pads have almost disappeared now :(

Owen's day at the park.

the new coke ad.
Owen after his second bath

Monday, April 13, 2009

new doors opening...

i've been working at a small business owned by a husband and wife for the past 10 months or so. well, a couple weeks ago my boss told me that they were going through some transitional phases and wanted to close their studio office space so they could "go mobile" to the coast and to clients' homes. for me, this meant no more regular office hours. they were offering me an opportunity to freelance for them when projects come in and represent their cabinet line, which means going from business to business and trying to get them to add the cabinet line to their products.

it was the only option i had. after months and months of sending in applications to all kinds of businesses in the design field with no results, i had come to the conclusion that that was were God had wanted me to be. with a poor economy and a couple of interviews ending with "we'd love to have you but we just don't have enough work right now", i just kept it up with the only door that had opened. the pay wasn't good. i wasn't getting many hours. i did a lot of small menial tasks that didn't pertain to my degree.

so, this week i set out to sell cabinets to area businesses. door to door sales isn't really my thing. the first place i went, i presented the line to the woman who simply ran the office. i explained everything even though she told me that the owners were the guys i should talk to. after a few minutes of chatting with her, she started telling me how busy they were and how they were actually looking for help. my eyes probably lit up. i told her that i was actually a designer looking for work and that i would come back by later and drop off my resume. i hadn't even found this company when i did all my previous job searching.

i continued with my sales pitches...some seemed interested, others weren't. i was in the Ross area when i finished all my stops and decided to spend some of my birthday money from my parents on an easter dress. its cute :).

anyway, as i was heading home for my resume, i got a call on my phone from a local number. it was one of the owners from the first business i stopped at asking me if i was in the area and if i could drop by. i of course jumped at the chance and went over there. an impromptu interview ended with the two men being very interested in hiring me on. they talked about using all my interior design skills and working it in to help their clients and just seemed really excited about it. they asked me toward the end of our meeting how much i was interested in working with them and of course, in the position i am in, i said high.

well, the next morning i had an official interview scheduled with a company i had interviewed with last august. they went through some changes and switched from a high end build/rennovation company to a kitchen and bath studio...right up my alley. the interview lasted 2.5 hours and we talked for a long time about past jobs and how this franchise operates. they'd want me to be the go-to person, the face i guess, to their clients. i'd work closely with everyone, go shopping for tile with them, pull up their estimats...everything. and unlike the other job, i wouldn't have to go around and try to get jobs to come in. the marketing would be taken care of for me. they're looking to hire full time and i'd have benefits and be a part of an official company rather than continuing this freelance/self-employed crap. there is still a bit of a process to hire with them because they are a bigger company, so an offer won't be here until another week or so.

the next morning i got an email from the smaller company wanting to hear back from me about when i'd be able to start. of course, with the other interview fresh in my mind, i am not sure if i should begin work with that business yet. i told them that i probably won't be able to do both jobs because they'd both require more than 20 hours a week most likely. well, 5 minutes after i replied via email, i got a phone call from him telling me that he was really disappointed and he wanted to see if i could come in and meet with him again so he could "entice" me to come work for them. well, i'm not committed yet, so i figured why not give it a shot.

i met with them again for about an hour as they tried to compare apples to apples, saying they could meet all the things the other place had. i wouldn't tell them who it was, since i don't think its in my best interest that they know. he said that he'd have a proposal for me at the beginning of this week. they really really want me to work for guy said he thinks i have a good presence and he feels comfortable around me, which isn't very common. an interesting compliment.

so, here i am a few days later, still trying to figure out what i should do. its funny how God works. i spend months looking for other work and just as my only opportunity closes, two more open up within two days. i'm really excited about working for kitchen and bath studios and actually working closely with clients, since i haven't been. both seem like great places and i think i'll test run both of them and just pick the projects i work on since i'd technically be freelancing for both. i'm hoping for good things to come! better pay, better work, and benefits! yay!

Monday, April 06, 2009

becca's wedding

whew. what a hectic weekend. jonathan and i made the trip back to georgia for a decently long weekend and i came back exhausted and feel like i didn't even get to visit with family i hardly get to see. but the wedding day was beautiful and we pulled off a successful day!

jonathan and i made plans with our breeder weeks ago to drop owen off with her for the wedding weekend so that he didn't get in the way and cause more stress on family, since he's so young and pretty much needs constant attention. the day before we planned to leave, jonathan recieved an email from the breeder saying that her daughter had to have an emergency surgery and she had to drive all the way up to michigan. she seemed like she was trying to work it out with us, but we felt like it would be a burden to make her change all her plans for us. i tried to see if another friend of mine would be able to keep him instead, but she was going to be involved with all the march madness basketball semi-finals and such over the weekend (basketball is big around here).

so, we thought we'd have to force owen to make the long car ride (which he hates) and he'd have to be alone for the majority of the weekend.
but wednesday, our breeder was frantically trying to get in touch with us, calling the vet, the church, etc. trying to find out our number, which she finally found on the contract, to let us know that her husband would be there and that he would be able to care for him before she got back. it was awfully nice of her and definitely helped us out a lot! i'm sure everyone would have loved to have meet the little guy, but after a couple hours, i'm sure he would have just been in the way.

so after that chaos settled, jonathan and i packed in a hurry, dropped owen off at the breeder's home, went to church, and then left for georgia. we didn't get in until about 1 am. but it was really nice to be there in the morning and be able to help out first thing.

my first assignment was to make all the seating charts for the tables. I was a bit frustrated with it, since everything seemed to become crooked, the gold spraypaint kept smudging, and the boards looked huge and empty. i resolved most of the issues, and i think they ended up turning out alright.
that took the majority of my day. around 7 pm people began arriving for the dinner my mom put on for becca's bridesmaids and michael and his famliy. we had italian wedding soup, as we did before my wedding. always a good way to get people there to help out with the last minute details of the wedding! we packed the items into bags for each table so it would be easy to set up in the morning. jelly beans, favors, decorations. we also put together all the bridesmaid bouquets, boutonnieres, and corsages.

her flowers ended up looking really pretty...lots of different kinds of yellow flowers. we made more arrangements with watering cans and other vases for the table centerpieces. again, really cute :).

when we were pretty much finished up and everyone left, i got started on making table numbers and embossing them with stamps. another pretty tedious project. becca left that evening to go back up to atlanta...i was sad because i was assuming she'd stay the night.

anyway, friday morning everyone was trying to gather things together. jonathan and i picked up the sound system because jonathan was responsible for dj-ing her reception. dad had to rent a u-haul to bring up all the potted plants and tables and flowers....everything...up to the venue in atlanta.
we were running a little late for the rehearsal at 4:00 because there was so much to load up, but jonathan and i got there only about 15 minutes late.

the rehearsal went pretty smoothly...jonathan had to be the stand in minister and we had to play music from an ipod to get an idea of when we were doing what. we had one of the bridesmaids mom helping us out and it was great! we didn't have a wedding planner, so she was our last minute stand in. so that went smoothly, it took us all forever to get up to the rehearsal dinner, that went too late to allow us to unload things that night into the venue, which made the family have to get up even earlier to get things set up the next morning.

so after the rehearsal, becca and i went back to her and michael's new house so we could help michael get a list of things he needed to pack for the honeymoon. the day before, yes, he hadn't packed! so i unloaded the dishwasher for them and around 11 pm, we all went to kroger so michael could pick up some last minute items like sunscreen, flashlights, etc. i felt like i failed at my matron of honor duties because we ended up being out until like 12:15 am, when becca needed to be up in only 6 hours.

well, at 4 am, i woke up as becca was crawling back into bed. i asked her what she was doing up and she said she was having all kinds of nightmares about the water and power in the house being shut off, the makeup/hair artist not being able to find her house in the morning, all kinds of crazy scenerios. i tried to reassure her...i wish we had gotten her to bed sooner so i could have knocked her out with some benedryl. that helped me alot before my wedding!

she finally fell back asleep by 5:30 and only got another hour of sleep before the alarm woke her up. i was frantically trying to get myself ready, while at the same time trying to pack for becca and make sure we had all the important things like her jewelry, the wedding bands, marriage certificate...all the big things. i also had to make sure she had her honeymoon bags packed, the computer for the dj music, her purse. agh. it was a lot to remember. christina was kind enough to steam all the wrinkles out of my dress and take it to the venue for me so it was one less thing i had to take care of.

i also failed to get becca to the wedding site on time. man. thats pretty bad. the hairdresser took way too long to get becca done, so we didn't end up leaving until 8:30, which is when we were supposed to be there, dressed, and starting pictures. but i had to remain calm, reassuring her that all was fine, even though it was totally stressed. i hate atlanta roads...i almost had someone drift over into my narrow lane because i was in their blind spot and they didn't bother to check. it would be really horrible if i was responsible for the bride getting into a car accident hours before the wedding! but, i got her there by 9 am unscathed. thankfully.

we got dressed quickly and started pictures by about 9:30 am. that went well and we had plenty of time to get all the wedding party pictures done beforehand and were anxiously waiting in the back room by 10:20 am. time ticked by pretty slowly...i didn't have anything to eat except half of a chicken biscuit.
the setup for everything looked great. mom and dad and the whole family did a great job capturing the rustic style that becca was going after. the girl getting married after becca paid for the big white backdrop, which really made a nice alter area. the watering cans on the tables were adorable, along with the miniature pails filled with jellybeans and little pipecleaner bumble bees (which was really cute because becca and michael are both georgia tech grads).

the ceremony was beautiful. the strings were great. becca looked gorgeous and michael looked so happy as she walked down the aisle. they were really sweet. when they lit their unity candle, i was trying really hard not to laugh because there was a little black spider running all over it trying not to get burned!
jonathan did the master of ceremony-ing and dj-ing, so he was really busy through the whole thing. i'm not a public speaker and was pretty nervous about giving my toast to 180 people. i had it written out on my iphone so i didn't have to write out note cards or hold a huge sheet of paper to read from. i got a lot of comments from people about that. kinda funny.

we enjoyed our jelly bean favors, the photo booth, and the bubbly exit (complete with the wramblin' wreck fight song). i ran around like crazy just before their departure, trying to make sure i got all of becca's bags into the best man's car so he could take it to their hotel room along with the gift basket jonathan and i made up for the newlyweds.
we left about 30 minutes after they departed because we had a 5 hour drive. it came and went really quickly, but turned out to be a beautiful and happy day :).

Thursday, March 26, 2009

changes and uncertainty

my boss sat down with me the other day to let me know that there were going to be changes with her business. they're moving out of the office space and going to just work out of their home now and have a "mobile studio" because she just feels overwhelmed with personal situations and is tired of keeping up with the office.

so, changes for me would mean that i wouldn't be driving in to work every tuesday, wednesday, and thursday. instead, she offered me to work from home as work flows in and says she'll pay me more for my work. the problem that poses is that i won't necessarially have a steady income every paycheck. i'm not sure if this is going to be a good thing, but i don't really have an option at this point. the havertys guy still hasn't gotten back in touch with me after two weeks. its pretty ridiculous! anyway, i can at least freelance for the business if i do get another job.

another thing they're wanting me to do is represent the cabinet line they're now trying to sell. i'm not really a fan of sales, but its an opportunity for comission, so i'll have to see how it goes. after all, thats what the havertys job is. of course, its a little unsettling with all these things going on and the hard economic times ahead.

just trusting in God's plan...