Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Progress, I think

Hey all!

I suppose the title pretty much sums up what I am writing about today. I don't want you to get the wrong idea though...I do not yet have a job. Yes, a bit of a bummer, but I think there is still some progress happening. It's a bit of a story, but I definitely feel it needs to be shared. I know a lot of people have been thinking of me, praying for me, sending me leads (ok...that's just my mom), and sending me general well wishes. I think it's only fair to update you all on stuff (and if I see you back home at graduation business we can further discuss life and all its ups and downs in person).

So it's been a week since I quit my job. Only a week, but I feel like I have applied for everything under the sun, even though I probably haven't. I am sure there is more to apply for. I think eventually it all starts to sound the same but it is just in a different location, but what do I know? Anyway, I just think you all should know that I have not once regretted my decision. If there is any sort of regret happening it is just that I am not making any money. And if that is all that I was in for I should probably find something else, because daycare work is for the benefit of the kids (or it should be) and not for the money (which is pretty evident if you have ever worked at a daycare and looked at your paycheck). I feel it was the right decision, though that does not make the job hunt any less stressful.

So basically I've been applying for jobs that are office work mostly, with one library job in the Music Resource Center at UW Oshkosh (fingers crossed...I kinda liked that one but haven't heard anything yet. Though it only closed on Monday). I've been getting a lot of rejection emails. I was rejected, yet again, by the Appleton Public Library (yea...I cried a little. Clearly it worked way too well into my plan in my head but not the plan that is actually for me) as well as a few others (ohhh wait until I decide to write about the worst interview I've ever had in my names of organizations will be given out due to the fact that I still love it, and am happy not to work there). So this week has been a bit of the same old same old. I have been applying and getting notice that they have it all and not hearing back or getting a rejection. It's been hard, and today has been a bit of a tipping point. I have never felt so frustrated or defeated. I have been in tears a good portion of the day today. It's been rough. Its been hard to calm myself and to focus on the things I should be doing today, even if its just that the laundry needs to be done. I have been struggling, and I've only been unemployed a week. Kind of ridiculous. Well, I have always been told there's only one thing that should be done at this point. I knew it was time to pray. Time to seriously just take myself away from it all and have some one-on-one time. It'd not that I don't do this ever, but sometimes I procrastinate doing it. Well as I'm sobbing and praying I get a phone call from a number I do not know. Hello impromptu phone interview! Did it go well? Ha ha....uhm not really. I mean I tried my hardest to sound confident, but in all honesty...I didn't really research the company (oops!) so I knew very little. She was very nice about it and told me what to research in case I get called in for an actual interview, but let's just say it was clear that my mother is really hoping that one of her children pursues a career in the financial business or was a bit over my head. I appreciate you sending it to me though mom! It kind of came at an important time for me.

The way I see it...that phone call was not necessarily my future job calling me. If it is, I would be surprised because that is not a career path I completely understand. I think it was God's way of showing me that I am not forgotten and I am not being passed over. I have so many applications out there and so many resumes out there, and its kind of feeling like people are just not looking at mine at all and just sending rejections. But I have so many that have not been responded to yet, and I really feel like God was reminding me that he listens and that it's coming. Patience. I need patience. Trust. I need to trust. I am not forgotten, and I think that's what that phone call was. I am actually confident that is what it was. I will not be completely disappointed if that does not result in an interview in person, because I don't quite think that's what was being communicated (but BONUS if it does!). It's just crazy how He answers prayers, and how He shows you that He is there and has not forgotten about you and what you have going on in your life. It's a pretty amazing feeling.

So that's it. That's my update. I think it's progress in a way that I wasn't expecting. God has so much to teach me, and this was just one of those moments. I am so thankful and grateful for all of you! Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers. This move has not been easy, and I think I can speak for both of us. But it means so much to know I have all your support back home. Please continue to pray for us. We're getting somewhere, I know it.

This song has become a fast favorite.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Wishes on a Sunny Day

As I sit here within miles of gorgeous Lake Winnebago I day dream of being on it. Yes, I would like to be on Lake Winnebago right now. Or on the beach basking in the sun. Or swimming in it. I really don't care at this point. We walked by it and it is gorgeous and I just want to be out and about on this lovely day.

See? Isn't that pretty? Don't you just want to lay out your towel and soak up the sun while reading a good book? I sure do. But present company doesn't want to, which is fine. I'm kind of surprised I got them out long enough to go to the lake, but that is an entirely different story. So with this lovely weather I have been making a wish list. Most of these things are pretty practical, but with financial situations and a not so fabulous start to a job hunt I can't really have all these things. But here it is, my sunny day wish list:

  • A bike. I have never in my life been without a bike. Even when I was living at my mom's she would let me use her bike. Or when I lived 5 miles away from her I was told I could use her bike. It was a fantastic thing. I love biking. Sadly, I am now without a bike in a fairly bike friendly area. There are bike trails all over the place, and I just want to hop on a bike and go. It's really sad that I can't have one right now. Too spendy.
  • Nice balcony furniture is on my list. Yea....I think this means I'm old. We have chairs for sitting around a bonfire or at a parade. We fold them up when we're done and just put them away by the door. It works fine, but I want like actual chairs and I want a table. It doesn't have to be expensive or fancy, but I want it. I have been spending a lot more time reading my books out there and I want to set a drink on something or bring a snack out with me. I also want to take full advantage of the balcony, which apparently is not something people around here do. I swear I have never seen anyone sitting on their balcony.
  • I also want plants of some sort on my balcony. Nothing fancy, just some flowers or something. I think that pictures works for both of these old people wishes that I apparently have. If you wish to send me these things please refer to my Pinterest :)
  • A kayak! Is this another old person thing? I don't think so. Anyway, this could easily be stored in my garage (the people across from us have some stashed in their garage). This would be an excellent way for me to get on the water and to get exercise and enjoy the great outdoors. I could get some sun (which seriously brightens my mood. I am not joking when I say I have seasonal depression as I have found out) and enjoy this gorgeous world God has created. That and I could kayak race Jake. So yea...we'd need two. But I suppose I could make friends and those friends could have a couple kayaks. I'd be ok with that.
  • A BOAT! Ok, this may not be the most practical one. So I'll settle for friends with a boat. I literally only want it for boating. I don't care about fishing or tubing at all. I just want to drive around a lake, find different spots to get out and chill, and get back in to drive around again. I just love that part of boating sooo much. I would have LOVED to be on the lake today. 
  • A non-lifeguard suit! You have no idea how badly I want this. I literally only have one-piece lifeguarding suits. I'm not saying I want the itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini, but I want someone that doesn't give me the lifeguard tan (ohhh man, I'm gunna miss that tan). But since that's all I have that is what I will be laying out at the pool in this week. Oh well, I can't complain too much because I do have a suit, but it's just been so long since I've owned a non-guard suit. And I want to do that, so bad. One day... this list isn't as cool as it should be. I just want to enjoy the sunshine. Sadly, I am no longer doing that and only was out and about for maybe an hour or two. Maybe I should make friends... I have a feeling Jake won't be all for days at the beach. Oh well. 

Later Wisconsin!

yea...I'm obsessed with this song.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Kids Say the Darndest Things

Hi there. Yes, I'm terrible at blogging but oh well. I've had a crazy couple of months that involved me doing the following things: quitting two jobs that I love, saying goodbye to all of my friends and family, moving to a new state, searching for a job, finding a job, hating my job and all that goes with it, feeling like I'm being treated poorly at my job, quitting my job, and finally the stage that I'm at now...looking for a new job. Yes, I should have found a new job before quitting my old one. It's a really long story that involves many different things. Quitting at a daycare is not something I take lightly. I mean there are kids involved and all of that. I felt it was necessary. I do, however, have a great list of things that kids have said or done while I was working there. Kids are crazy guys. Absolutely crazy. Some of the things they say are very sweet, some are a bit selfish and conceited (though that is not always the intention), and it's just fun. So here are a few things that the kiddos I worked with over the past month have said or done:

  • I never really quite understood just how obsessed kids are with Frozen until I worked in a daycare with 3-4 year olds. I adore that movie, I really do. But I have to temporarily break up with it. Why, you may ask... I have heard "Let It Go" and "Do You Wanna Build A Snowman" belted out at the top of small lungs from the hours of 7:15-4:30 each and every day. There is always someone singing it, and it doesn't matter the current situation or place they are in. It can be at the table while we are eating. It can be while they are playing in different areas of the classroom or playground. ANNNND it's also in the bathroom. Like when they just go in quick. I have heard "Do You Wanna Build A Snowman" belted out while they use the bathroom. Yea...I need a break form that one for awhile.
    • Kids are obsessed with the following names: Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff. They name all of their stuffed animals, barbies, and make believe names after them. They reenact the entire movie if they can get away with it. But I have started to believe that these are the only names that the kids know. They like Olaf...but it's apparently just not as good.
    • They are all convinced that Sven is a moose. Yea...good luck trying to tell them that he is a reindeer and not a moose. I think these children really need to start identifying animals more often.
    • They also confuse a lot of the plot up. Like who is actually who. They have had this argument going for the two weeks leading up to my last day about who actually sings "Let It Go." Really?? I thought it was pretty obvious that it was Elsa, the Ice Queen, that sang it. Well this turns into a full blown argument that apparently no one is winning.
    • They don't actually know all the words to the songs that they sing. They typically are singing random words that pop into their head or just sounds that kind of sound like the word.
  • They make up their own rules for EVERYTHING. There were some memory games that I have played many times with these kids, and each one had their own set of rules. I honestly don't even know all the rules and could not tell you how they tried to get me to play. All I know is that when I tried to lay them all out and take turns matching they yelled "Ms. Emily!!! That's not right!" One day a volunteer showed them the right way, so I thought maybe I was in the clear, but it was obvious that they were just pretending they thought she was right.  There is seriously no way to tell them that they are wrong.
  • I had a kid walk up to me one day. I say walked, but really he creepily snuck up on me. He then used the creepiest voice possible (I have no idea if that was intentional or not) and said "I like to jump. Do you like to jump?" Yea...and then before I could answer he ran away. I hope you are reading that in a super creepy voice. And yes, he giggled as he ran away.
  • This was one of my favorite moments. It's one of those moments that the kids has no clue what they are saying but they laugh it off like they knew all along and only the two teachers in the room are laughing. Yes, it was good. Background: the kids don't listen. Like at all. We were working on getting some things put into place, some behavior management, that really wasn't working TOO well but slowly improving things. Well, we were having a talk with them. We were telling them our plan for the day and we were asking them how to make good choices and all of that. It was part of the required group time. Well it was pretty quiet and all of the sudden one of the girls super loud. And before we can say anything she yells in a sassy voice "Bless me!" Yea....I was dying. She just basically thought she was saying what you were supposed to say after a sneeze but clearly did not realize that we do not say that about ourselves. Well she laughed it off because she knew we thought she was funny and the rest of the kids kind of giggled awkwardly because they were confused. Yes, it was pretty funny.
  • One of the girls told me it takes her mom 7 minutes to do their laundry. I really want to know where her mom learned that impressive skill.
Yes, my experience at the daycare wasn't ALL bad. There were moments, glimmers of hope, that kind of had me hanging on as long as I did (which still wasn't as long as I had intended). In the end there were issues with myself not really clicking into a role that I feel needs someone to click in plus issues with how things were run etc. But...I do have a really cool moment (which was followed by horrible realizations and such).

The kids are allowed to bring in toys of their own. They really don't get to play with them for a good portion of the day, but before breakfast they get to. Kids typically brought in books, cars, stuffed animals, barbies...the usual (though one time a kid brought in user manuals for some of his games...yea, he was a hilarious child that I will miss). Well one day a girl brought in her picture bibles. It was honestly the cutest thing I have ever heard. I think her mom was a little unsure about her bringing those in since the center doesn't really allow for any sort of religious affiliation. She told me that she and her daughter had started going to church recently and she begged and begged to bring in these bibles. It was seriously one of the most adorable and heart-warming things I have ever seen. She was just in love with them and was so excited to show them off to her friends and to tell them the different things she's learned with them. Unfortunately, there is this no religious affiliation part of the center. I totally understand that. I mean I had assumed that we weren't supposed to teach that kind of stuff to the kids, and I was ok with that. But they were SO negative towards it. Like my first day we were just looking through stuff and each time a reference to God or anything like that was made in a book the assistant teacher in my room would make a big deal about it and essentially throw it in the garbage. First off, someone could have wanted that book. Secondly, I was a bit upset about that. I was a bit upset about how adamant they were about not showing any of these things to the kids. So...back to the girl with the bibles. The substitute teacher that was in the room with me went over to look at what she was showing her friends and gave a super dirty look and said "you need to put that away" in the most demeaning sort of way. Like that these books that this little girl loved so much and was showing to her friends was not important at all. She started to cry. Thankfully it was time to put things away and move on anyway, so that was the reasoning I gave her for needing to put them away, but it just kind of hurt me to see that. God is the one thing they cannot mention in the classroom and cannot believe in. But the Easter Bunny is cool I guess. The Tooth Fair is too (though the kids aren't really losing their teeth yet). Santa...he's a big one. And these are ridiculous things to let the kids believe in. The center can talk about those all they want but they totally dismiss God. This is one of those things that I didn't want to be a part of. I can't say this was my deciding moment. It definitely was not, there were so many other factors. But this was one of those moments where it was clear to me that I could not teach these kids in the way I had believed. I'm not saying I was going to preach to them, but I also would not deny them these things. This was hard for me. Very hard. And I pray for that little girl every day. I pray that she keeps reading and keeps going to church. 

So yea... that's a bit of my life the last couple of months. I have no regrets quitting my job. It was 100% the right thing to do (though getting a steady paycheck would have been nice). This job is not one that you stay at for the money. You have to love the kids. You have to love what you are doing. You have to know that you are going to teach them and make a difference in their lives. I did not feel like I could do that in this environment. It was a very negative environment that shot down beliefs. I did not love what I was doing, at all. I felt like I was constantly yelling at the kids and that killed me. I did like the kids, and I feel bad that I couldn't do more for them. But it was obvious that there is someone better out there for that job and I pray that they find that person.