One Thing

One thing I will learn: How to better handle my stress. Sometimes I find things so overwhelming and I just turn into this giant stress ball. Luckily I have a wonderful husband who picks up the pieces, but this is definitely something I need to work on.

One place I will go: No idea. We don’t have any trips planned for the near future because of our gorgeous little girl. We may take a few day trips when Tyler takes his vacation in the summer, but we have nothing definite planned.

One physical habit I will break: Being inactive. About three years ago, I went hard core and lost 30lbs in about 2 months. When we moved, I totally lost my motivation and ended up gaining it all back, PLUS another 30lbs. It was ridiculous how much this move affected me. I will playing baseball again this coming year and I vow to take the dog for more walks with Olivia once the weather turns nice again. I also want to start working out again once I get Miss Olivia onto a more consistent schedule.

One physical habit I will cultivate: Same as above. I need to start getting back into shape.

One mental habit I will break: Over-analyzing EVERYTHING. Sometimes people have no hidden meanings behind their comments and I need to realize this.

One relationship I’ll repair: I don’t have any particular relationship that I think needs to be repaired, but I do vow to strengthen my relationships with my family and friends. I also need to figure out how to make time for some of my friends. Between Olivia and everything else happening in my life, sometimes I feel like I don’t have enough time for some people.

One work habit I will change: Constantly checking my e-mail at home. If someone needs something right away, they will call. I need to learn not to bring my work home with me.

One thing I’ll throw out: All of our extra stuff! I have SO much clothing and I never wear most of it. I’ll donate it instead of throwing it out though!

A second thing I’ll throw out: Paper!! We have so much stuff filed away and we will never need most of it. I need to sort through our files and get rid of it.

One thing I’ll eat more often: Healthy,  home cooked food. It is so much easier to just order take-out, but it is so bad for us!

One thing I’ll eat less: Take-out. I eat way too much of it.

One thing I’ll drink more: Water.

One thing I’ll drink less: Pop. This is a huge vice for me. I don’t drink alcohol, so at least there’s that, but I need to find something else to drink instead of pop.

One resentment I’ll get over: I have a bit of a tumultuous relationship with a certain member of my family and I just want to let the past go and deal with the future. It’s so not worth it.

One person I’ll treat more respectfully: My husband. I find that I get very easily frustrated sometimes and he’s always the one having to pick me up. I don’t tell him enough how much I appreciate everything he does for me.

One thing I’ll spend less money on: Food. I always buy stuff that looks good at the market and then I end up not eating it and we throw it out a week later.

One other change I’ll make in my finances: I want to start saving for our future. We already have our own house and two vehicles, but I want to be more prepared for other stuff that will inevitably come our way and I want to start an RESP for Olivia.

One thing I’ll spend less time doing: Complaining. It’s true that it doesn’t get you anywhere.

And a thing I’ll spend more time doing: Being present in the moment. I need to focus more on what’s right in front of me and less on what’s going on at work, etc.

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2012: Year In Review

Another year come and gone… 2012 seems to have been the fastest year yet.

All in all, I’d say it was a pretty good year. Not every day was an amazing day, but there was a lot of joy and wonderful moments.

The very first day of 2012 was an amazing day… That was the day we found out I was pregnant with Olivia. I don’t even know why we decided to take a test that day. I was late, but had some complications prior to that day and hadn’t really thought anything of it until we got to that date and decided to take a test. I didn’t really believe the first positive, so we took another and, low and behold, it too was positive.

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I also got a promotion and started a new position on January 16th. I love my job so much more now than I did in my old position. I’m a Program Manager now. The job is so much better (though there’s often a lot more crap to deal with) and I get daytime hours, which is so much more conducive to having a family.

In April, we found out that we were having a little girl! We couldn’t believe it. I initially thought she was a girl, but then had a dream at about 8 weeks that convinced me I was having a boy. I would have been ecstatic with either though!

Ultrasound - April 11, 2012 - 1

In July, we learned that my sister was pregnant and that our family would be growing even more. We also lost my wonderful grandmother in July. She was only 68, but had suffered from COPD for years. I miss her every single day. Sometimes I’m able to go on like everything is almost normal and then other days, it hits me like a ton of bricks. Just the other day I thought that I should give her a call to see if we could come over for a visit and it slammed me that I couldn’t do that ever again.

sarah and grandma

In August, my youngest sister got married and we soon found out that she was pregnant too! Now there will be four cousins within just over a 2 year period.

kelly and chris wedding

In September, we welcomed our beautiful baby girl into the world. She is the sweetest, cutest, smartest little being I’ve ever laid eyes on and I wouldn’t give up a single moment with her for anything in this world. We also celebrated Tyler’s 27th Birthday and our 3rd Wedding Anniversary (I can’t believe it’s been 3 years already!).

Olivia Sharon Anne Doan

October to December were a complete whirlwind. Anyone who’s ever had a baby can attest that this is true. The days just seem to blend together and before you know it a month has gone by. My little girl had her first Hallowe’en and her first Christmas. I celebrated my 26th birthday and was super busy learning how to be a Mom.

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Our year was absolutely amazing and it seems like 2013 will be even better. My little girl is turning into such a little person. She has such a personality and seems well on the way to getting teeth and learning to crawl. It terrifies me a little bit that she’ll be crawling soon and that she’ll be walking and talking sometime this year. I’m not even close to being ready to have a toddler. I’ve seen how quickly my niece grew from a baby to a toddler and I’m half terrified half excited to see Olivia do that. I have so many hopes and dreams for her, but I’m also terrified about all the crazy things that could happen to her in this crazy world.

So, here’s to 2013. I’m wishing you all a wonderful year full of happy moments and memories that last a lifetime.

My Favourite Thing About My Job…

I don’t often write about work – mostly because a lot of what we do is completely confidential, but partially because I try to leave work at work (I’m not very good at this though!).

My favourite thing about my job is taking the ladies I support to Special Olympics bowling. They LOVE this so much and the smile on their faces when they’re dancing with peers and friends melts my heart. One of my ladies in particular LOVES to dance and sing and just be crazy. She’s usually so mellow when she’s at home that it’s funny to see her like this. She usually tells other people to stop singing and dancing at home, but you get her into that bowling alley and it’s like she’s a totally different person. I can’t help but smile when I take her bowling because it just makes me happy knowing that she’s happy. She’s quite the little sweetie pie (but like everyone, can flip like a switch) and she’s part of the reason that I love my job. She’s a great person and I love advocating for her and helping her to do things that she never thought possible. I think that’s my favourite part of the job description – advocating for others. I love ripping down barriers and helping these ladies do things that they never thought they’d be able to do. I love getting them involved in new activities and finding new things for them to do.

I wish I could post a picture of them for you, but I can’t – again, their identities are completely confidential. That’s also why I never refer to them by name. I really do love my job though and I hope that my temporary contract as their Program Coordinator gets continued. I’ll be going back on the floor with them in April, but I’d love to keep doing what I’m doing. I love being able to see them and still have day hours. Life is good.

My Week…

My week has been INSANE. To the point where I’ve been having trouble getting my blog posts done before 10pm. Sunday was a crazy, busy day, so I should have known that my week was going to be the same way.

Monday, I ended up having to go into work early to get some stuff done, then I went to a course I’d been taking through the RSA. Then I worked for 5 more hours after that. Tuesday, I already had plans to stay about 2 hours late to work on a project with another staff who was donating their time and had to meet with me outside of their hours. That would have been fine, but then my boss e-mailed me at 7am and asked if I could attend the London Police Consultation Meeting regarding their business plan for 2013-2015, so I had to go downtown to the police station and sit through a two hour meeting and speak publicly on behalf of my company in front of 50 strangers and police officers. It was completely nerve-wracking and I didn’t get many of the answers we were looking for, but we had to propose that their new business plan contain information regarding abuse awareness for individuals with a developmental disability as we are now under new legislation about almost all aspects of what we do. We also had some personal agency questions, but they weren’t really able to provide any answers to us about that either. Hopefully they’ll get back to us and something will be figured out. The meeting was pretty interesting though. The beginning got a bit heated where one individual was the leader of the Christian Political Party in London and was appalled that the Police Chief and other members of the police participated in London’s Gay Pride Parade IN uniform. I was very proud of the police service for that action and almost everyone there was quite upset about what he was saying. Anyways, that was Tuesday. An 8-hour shift that turned into a 10-hour shift, that turned into a 12-hour shift.

Move onto Wednesday. Because my initial Tuesday meeting was cancelled, today I had to work from 9:30 until 8:00 because the meeting took that long. It was a good meeting, but it really put added pressure on me to finish this project TOMORROW and there’s A LOT left to do.

It is now Wednesday evening and I’m already at 31.5 hours for the week. I was told to shift my hours instead of going into overtime, but that seems impossible now considering that I have a 4-hour training session on Friday, which puts me at 35.5 hours and means that I can only work 4.5 hours tomorrow (and I have a 2.5 hour team meeting scheduled). I had to call my boss and get permission to either work overtime tomorrow or work more hours this week and less next week. We’ll see what’s actually logical. I’m going to attempt to do 8 hours tomorrow, but I’m getting sick. I’ve been coughing and had a runny nose all day, so I’m hoping that I don’t get sick.

I can’t wait for this week to be over! I’m SO tired and I just want to sleep. I’m also supposed to go shopping at a big mall near Toronto on Saturday with my sister-in-law, so that’s something else to look forward too.

Anyone else had a “kill me now” week?

I got the job!

Well, the title pretty much says it all. I got the job that I interviewed for last week! I was working in London on a maternity leave contract and then was given a six-month short term assignment as a Program Coordinator with the expectation that I was going back to my full-time position in Parkhill on April 1, 2012. I am so jazzed to report that I will be returning to the position I’d been doing for the past year and will be staying in London. That means my drive to work just went from 50 minutes to 7 minutes! It means no crappy long winter drives, no working Fridays or Saturdays, no working stat holidays, having bosses that appear to genuinely want me here and respect me, and working with the three amazing young ladies that I’ve been with the past year.

Working with adults is so different from working with youth. Will I miss working with youth? Absolutely. There were so many benefits and I loved helping them reach their goals. Although the goals and benefits for working with adults are very different, it’s still a challenge and helping these ladies to achieve greater independence is wonderful.

There’s also more stability in this position. These ladies will likely be here for a very long time and there is very little risk of lay-off since there is a long waiting list for getting a space in a residential program.

One other MAJOR bonus involves the huge pay increase. This position means that I make more than $5 an hour more than I would have had I returned to Parkhill. Parkhill isn’t even that badly paid, but they receive funding from a different ministry, so it’s harder to get increases.

I feel like there’s more opportunities for me to move up in the London division and that my bosses want me to move up as well. It’s just a much better and much less stressful environment.

I am just so excited about this! Goodbye Parkhill – I’ll miss you (but only a little bit). Hello Permanent London!

Interviews…

I have an interview today at 1:30. I’m nervous as hell. I hate doing interviews, but then again, does anyone really like doing interviews?

I just find that I get so stressed out and then there’s so much waiting afterwards to find out if you got the job. My interview is for the position I’ve been doing for the past year. I have a short-term contract right now as a Program Coordinator doing office work with my two bosses, but this position will start after that contract is done and will be permanent and in London. If I don’t get the position, I go back to Parkhill on April 1, which I DEFINITELY don’t want to do. It’s not that Parkhill wasn’t a good place to work. It’s just that it’s so far away and the hours are horrible. They’d be fine if I didn’t care about seeing my family or I wasn’t married, but for someone who has a husband who works Monday-Friday 9-5, it just doesn’t work. I worked there for about three months and was disliking it after about a month. I also felt like no one had my back out there. I’m praying that I get this position permanently and that this whole waiting game will be over.

I’m trying to come up with interview questions that I might get asked. A lot of my field involves giving examples of times when you displayed a certain trait or describe your strengths and weaknesses. I have the job description and I’m trying to compare my past duties with the new description. I can’t believe how nervous I am! My boss is one of the interviewers and that is putting me a little bit at ease, but the other interviewer is another manager that I have never met. I really wish that my Director was doing the interviews because she said that I could even use her as a reference!

I can’t wait for today at 2:30! I just want it to be over with. Then I enter the waiting game… Hopefully they get back to us early next week, but if they’re doing interviews over several days, it might be a while… Sigh… Wish me luck!

17 Days….

There’s only 17 days left until we get the house and I CANNOT wait! I’m so excited to get into our own space! There is still a RIDICULOUS amount of things to do, but at least we’re starting to get a move on them. This week has been crazy busy so far and looks like it will only be getting worse until Friday. Tyler defended his Masters thesis yesterday and it went great! I have to work crazy long hours today and Thursday and I have an interview for a Program Manager position with my current company on Thursday morning. I don’t know if I’ll get it, but I figured that it’s worth a try. Even if I don’t get it, at least I’ll have been through an interview for that position and I’ll know what it entails for next time.

Tyler also bought me a new bedroom set a few weeks ago and I’m so excited to get it! We had a beautiful bedroom set from my grandfather, but it was really old-fashioned and HUGE! The dresser literally would not fit anywhere in our bedroom because the bedroom has nooks for dressers and things like that and our current dresser is about TWO feet too long for it. It would have fit along one wall, but then it would have partially covered up a window and it probably wouldn’t have looked that good there.

We’ve also decided on what colours we’re painting the living room and bedroom too. The living room will have two grey walls and two light blue/teal walls and our bedroom is going to be sort of a light-grass green. We went out and spent quite a bit of money on new sheets and a few other decorative things, so we’ve made the decision that we won’t buy anything else for the bedroom until we get the room put together and see what it looks like.

Tyler has also been working at STIHL for almost a full month now and I’m so proud of him! He also defended his thesis yesterday, so he just has to make a few small changes here and there and his degree will be completely finished! He has worked so hard for this and I’m so proud of him! He’s done a great job!

We’ve had lots of great things happen to us this year and it seems to just keep on coming and I’M LOVING IT! Last year was a bit of a bummer year because we couldn’t find a house for us and we had to stay living with my parents when we weren’t finishing things up in Guelph for my new job in London. 2011 seems to be our year so far – Tyler finishing his Masters and getting a great full-time job, me working in London [and potentially not going back to Parkhill! :)], buying a house, getting Tyler a new car, my niece being born, etc. It’s great to finally have some good luck! (Touch wood!)

Anyways, below is the closest picture I could find of our new bedroom set. The knobs are different on our set and the drawers aren’t set up the same on the dresser, but most of the other stuff is close. The headboard on ours is totally different, but the rest of the room is what looks the most similar. Don’t worry though, I will definitely be posting a ton of pictures on here after we get the house! Let’s hope the next 17 days fly by!

Times Are A-Changing….

Today is my second day home alone before work. Tyler started his new job yesterday and I’m so used to having him home in the mornings with me before work that I’m still not sure what to do with myself. Yesterday  he started a bit late so that his new work could set everything up for him and today he started at his usual time. I’ve been trying my best to get up with him in the mornings so that I can get my day going AND see him for a little bit before work. I think that Thursdays are going to suck the most for us because he leaves for work at 7:30am and I have to work until 10:30pm, which is now his new bedtime. Our plan is for me to meet him for lunch every Friday though, so hopefully that will get me through my long Thursday shifts. I don’t get to take him out tomorrow though because he has a big (catered) lunch with everyone at his work and the US President of his company.

I spent all of yesterday cleaning our room and then doing laundry. Then I went into town early to see my sister’s new puppies, but I don’t know what I’m going to do today. I have to wash Tyler’s new work clothes before we take them in to be hemmed and I’m supposed to search through some packed boxes for something, but other than that, I don’t know what to do. I guess I really should be packing since we move in 43 days, but I have no motivation to do that, lol.

Hopefully this whole new position thing works out for me in October so that I can have day hours with Tyler. Right now I’m covering a maternity leave contract, so I’m hoping that either the person I’m covering for doesn’t come back or my boss finds some sort of a new position for me in London. One of my bosses told me that she doesn’t want me to go back to Parkhill in October and I’m really hoping that she meant she’d find a Program Manager position or something for me in London come the end of my contract. She told me that my last PM told her that she should just give the position to me because I was basically doing her job for her, but I don’t know if that’s what’s going on or what. I felt like it was when the conversation occurred at the end of March, but now I’m doubting myself and I don’t know what’s going to happen. One things for sure though – I don’t want to go back to Parkhill. I mean, I liked what I was doing there, but the hours were HORRIBLE (only late evenings and working 2 out of 3 weekends) and there was so much politics going on out there. A lot of the staff weren’t very friendly and when the hours got cut back because we didn’t have as many clients, I felt like no one was willing to help me out. I felt like I was pulled in too many directions and it kind of soured my experience out there. I guess we’ll just have to see what October brings. I just hate playing the waiting game to know something about my own life!

Anyways, that’s my rant for today. I just wish that I knew where my job was headed, but I’m SO proud of Tyler for getting this full-time position in London. He’s got day hours, makes about the same money as me, and it seems like a pretty good place to work! Only 43 days until we get the house means that I’d better move my ass with this whole packing thing! Everything is EVERYWHERE!

In Need of a Change…

I am desperately in need of a change. I need something to look forward to and the fact that every day is exactly the same is driving me bananas. I don’t have time for any projects or anything like that, so it’s not that I need something different to fill my time. I just need some things to start happening.

Tyler and I are still living with my parents until we find a house. We just can’t seem to find a house that’s really us. We’re thinking about building one in my hometown, but they can’t start right away and it’ll take four months for the house to be built. That being said though, I really want to live in my hometown. We’ve looked at quite a few houses in two other towns nearby, but nothing is catching our eye. We need a house that’s modern, but well-priced. Everything that is new and already built is ridiculously expensive. Before we can build a house, one other major thing needs to happen though and that’s what I’m waiting for.

Things are a little weird at work right now too. I’m currently working in a contract position until October of this year. I’m covering a maternity leave, but the person I’m covering for has actually been off for over a year already because she got sick during her pregnancy. A lot of my co-workers are saying that they don’t think she’ll come back, but I just want to know. She has until 4 weeks before my contract is over to decide if she’s coming back or not. If she does come back, I still have my position in Parkhill, but I don’t know if I want to go back. I liked what I was doing there, but the hours sucked and the drive there sucked even more. What I really want is to find a daytime position, but I just don’t think that there are any in my agency right now. The only real day jobs in my agency are either part-time hours and part-time pay or they’re management positions, which I don’t really think I have enough experience for yet. The one good thing about my current position is that I’m learning of some other agencies that do similar work that may be somewhere I can apply to in the future. For now, I’m content with  my job, but I want to have a plan set up for October in case my contract ends if the woman I’m covering for comes back from maternity leave.

I just feel like nothing is changing in my life and I desperately need it to. I thought that 2010 was going to be “my year” and it really wasn’t. Now I’m kind of down and wondering if 2011 is again going to be another bummer year where I just keep getting kicked while I’m down. I just want things to move forward and I want to start working towards my future. I feel so stuck and I HATE being stuck. I’m usually a very happy person, but lately I’ve been getting depressed very easily. I’m very touchy and will sometimes get angry or sad at the drop of a hat. Sigh…. I don’t know what to do with my life right now. I desperately need something to look forward to….

New Year’s Resolutions…

I have LOTS of New Year’s Resolutions this year and I’m hoping that posting a public list will make me hold myself more accountable. I’m also going to try to reflect back on this post throughout the year to see how I’m doing with them.

Sarah’s 2011 New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Lose Weight – I know this one is very generic, but I still want to do it. I’m going to try to make a monthly plan today for myself and then set monthly goals with a small reward if I achieve them (i.e., if I lose a specific number of pounds that month or exercise more than 20 times in 4 weeks, etc.). My husband has also taken on this resolution with me and I hope that we can work on it together!
  2. Buy a House – I am getting mighty tired of all of my stuff being packed. I want to be able to get at my books or my clothes and I want to be able to cook (ALL of my kitchen stuff is packed away and it’s driving me bonkers!). I also want to have my own space. We’re really hoping that we can find a house that we love soon or we might consider building one in my hometown. Our only concern with that is that it will take FOUR months after we make the decision to build before we can actually get into the house.
  3. Help Tyler finish his Thesis – Tyler is SO CLOSE to finishing his thesis. He submitted it about a month ago for editing to the grad studies coordinator and she took it upon herself to re-edit the work that his advisor already did. Now she wants him to make some changes and we’re currently working on that together.  We’re aiming for having the whole thing finished by January 31, 2011.
  4. Find a job that I want to stay at for a very long time – Don’t get me wrong, I love my current position, but for now, it’s only a contract position and then I have to return to my other position in Parkhill. I liked what I was doing in Parkhill, but I hate the 45 minute drive (both ways) and I HATE the hours (only evenings and 2 out of 3 weekends). I really want to find something in my field that’s a full-time days position. Once Tyler is working full-time, he will most likely only be working days and it’s going to be REALLY hard for me to only see him when I come home to bed every night. This resolution may be kind of contingent on my next resolution. Come to think of it, my first resolution may be kind of contingent upon the next one too.
  5. Either have a baby or be pregnant – At some point in 2011, I would like to either be pregnant or have a baby. I realize that the window of having a 2011 baby is quickly closing in on me and I’ve pretty much come to the realization that I will not be a mother by the time I’m 25 (which has always been one of my life dreams and goals) as I would have to get pregnant in the next month in order to be due just before my 25th birthday next October. Obviously this one is contingent upon some other resolutions. We can’t even think about trying for a baby until Tyler is done his thesis and I don’t want to have a baby until we find our house or until we at least figure out where we’re going. I would also be more than willing to give up on resolutions 1 and 4 in order for this one to happen. I want to lose weight and I want to find a new permanent job, but I would be willing to stay where I am until I go on maternity leave and then go from there once I have the baby. Who knows, maybe after I have a baby I won’t have to go back to work because Tyler will have some super wazoo programming job. Actually, who am I kidding? I probably won’t last the full maternity leave without going back to work, lol. I can’t stand sitting around at home and I know that having kids is a ton of work and I’ll probably be too busy being a mother to even worry about wanting to go back to work, but I’ve never been one to be able to deal with down time. I get bored very easily and often have to try really hard to find things to do that will keep my interest. I have been working full-time since 2 weeks after I graduated from University and I worked part-time since I was 15 before that. I just can’t sit still. I guess that’s a good thing in an employee. If only I could channel that into a weight loss or fitness program, I’d be set, lol.

Anyways, those are my resolutions for 2011. I really hope that I can achieve them. I’ve been working on the weight loss goal since January 1st and I’m already down 3.2lbs as of this morning! Hopefully I can keep it going, but I know the real reason for the success is that I’ve given up pop and snacking. Hopefully I can avoid those two things.

What are everyone else’s resolutions this year? Anything different from mine? Anything new or unique?