Monday, October 29, 2018

our new normal | a job update

i've been working at the hospital since early June, but this week i am officially a full time employee! i've been PRN these past 5 months (which stands for "as needed" in the healthcare world), which means that although i was working full time hours, i didn't have benefits or vacation days! it's hard to explain what PRN is, because it's not temporary and it's not part-time, it's just its own thing! but basically, i wasn't eligible for benefits or vacation time since i wasn't full time.

when i graduated, there weren't any full time positions open at the satellite campuses of the hospital, and i really wanted to work at a satellite campus rather than the main campus. so, i took a PRN position so that i would get experience and work hours, but be in place for when a full time position came open! at the time that i started my job in June, i had no idea how long it would be until a full time position opened up. my hospital is in the middle of merging with another health system, so it was anyone's guess what the future held for positions.

our hospital just gained a new satellite hospital, which opened up 2 new full time social work jobs! two of my colleagues at two different satellite hospitals got those new positions, which means that i was able to apply for the positions they were leaving! i was so excited to learn that one of the open positions was at the satellite hospital closest to my house, and the one i really really wanted to be at! so, I will now officially be a full time social worker at my number one pick of satellite hospitals, and i couldn't be more thrilled!

for the past 5 months, i've been working random hours as i filled in for people taking PTO at multiple satellite hospital campuses. there were a few days where i covered a 12-hour shift at a hospital that was an hour and a half drive from my house, making it a three hour drive round trip. so i had a few 15 hour days due to all that driving. another satellite campus i worked at pretty frequently was an hour away from my house, so i have done a lot of driving these past few months! i have also been working different shifts (7a-3:30p, 8a-4:30p, 11a-5p, 9a-9:30p, 11a-11:30p) so it has been hard to get on a normal sleeping schedule! i am excited to now have a consistent shift time and adjust to a sleeping schedule now that I'll have a consistent schedule! well, as consistent as a rotation can be haha!

it has been good experience and i have gotten to meet so many different people by working at different campuses, but i am SO thrilled to be at one campus permanently now! driving long distances and having to carry my computer and "my mobile office" with me everywhere i went, was starting to get tiresome! i got a rolling bag to help ease some of the weight on my back - but it is a long 10 minute walk up a hilly parking lot with that weighty rolling bag and the other 3 bags i'm carrying! ;) i am so excited to have a permanent desk that i can store all my notebooks in also! i will feel like i am living the high life, just carrying one bag into work everyday! haha!

one thing about the job i am taking, is that it is not a Monday-Friday 8:00-5:00 job... so me and Thomas will be adjusting to a new normal with our routines. Thomas works Monday-Friday 8:00-5:00, but my new job will be on a rotation with 12 hour shifts. i will only be working 7 days in a 14 day period (84 hours total), which means i will also have 7 days off each 14 day period. but my shift ends pretty late at night, so on the days that i work, i literally work all day. on the days i work, i won't really see Thomas because we will be on opposite schedules.

i will also work every other weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) which means we will only have 26 weekends together a year. the nice thing is that every weekend i have off is a 3 day weekend though! i am also excited about having a few weekdays off each week to get things done! and the rotation means I won't always be working 5 days on with 2 days off. I'll work more hours each day I work, but I will have more actual days off than a traditional Monday-Friday job. however, I will actually work more hours per week on average than a traditional Monday-Friday 9-5. so it's a give and take. I will have time off of work, but a lot of the time I will have off is when Thomas is at work. and then when I am working the entire weekend, Thomas is off of work. so we will have less time  off together, which means we will have less time to plan things with other people, so we will have to be intentional on what we commit to!

working a rotation is new to me, and working a rotation that ends late at night is completely different than a 7a-7p type shift. since me and Thomas will be on opposite schedules the days i work, and only have half of our weekends together, we will have to be more intentional about how we spend our time on the days that i don't work. we will really only see each other 3-4 days each week, since i won't see him the nights that i work. so we will see each other less, but probably still have more time together than when i was in grad school! we are excited about my full time job and all the opportunity it brings (vacation days! an actual routine! full time income!), but we just know we have to be prepared to adjust to this new normal for us and be intentional with our time!

Monday, October 22, 2018

blog besties

it's been a few weeks, but i'm still thinking about how much fun it was to get to hang out with some of my blog besties at the end of September! these are girls who i have been reading their blogs, following their instagrams, and texting/sending letters to randomly for the past few years! it's been so long that i can't even remember how i managed to find each of their blogs, i just know i'm glad i did! i've been reading Susannah and Julie's blog since before either of them had their first child, and i read Stephanie's blog for a few years before she got married. it's been cool to get to know people through their blogs and social media, and see them go through life changes and adjustments... and then getting to hang out in real life!

Julie - A Hopeful Hood
i do remember that the first time i talked to Julie it was about being a maid of honor and planning a bridal shower or something of the sort! i think we both had that role around the same time and started bonding over that! Julie has always stood out to me because she takes the time to comment about the details of my life, asking questions and always being such an encouragement. Julie is one of those people you just want to be friends with, she always has something positive to say! she is no different in person - she points out attributes and things she notices in people and is constantly being an encourager! but beyond that, she is super witty and has tons of jokes up her sleeve, which keeps everyone laughing! and even more than that, she always brings the conversation back to God and shares truths from the Bible which i always need to hear, and i'm super thankful for! :)

Susannah was actually one of the first bloggers i started reading regularly when i started my blog. i remember always enjoying hearing her thoughts on marriage and the Lord. she always thinks things through really well and is intentional in what she says and what she shares. i'm pretty sure i've emailed her a few times to get her advice on a situation because i always appreciate how much thought she puts into what she says! i'm so glad she braved all of the bugs in the south to come visit, because i got to hear even more about her heart during the weekend she was here! Susannah speaks life into other people, and always shares what she has learned from her own experiences in order to encourage others. she's one of those people you're really glad that you know! :)

i believe i met Stephanie through some type of penpal blogging group or something - i vaguely remember it had something to do with writing letters! haha! it was years ago so i don't remember exactly, but i do remember that Stephanie sent me a snail mail box with Justin Beiber tape all over it, haha! Stephanie is just as cool in person as she is online, and she's exactly who she portrays herself to be. she showed up to the airbnb wearing a pink sweater, a big bow on her purse, and one of the first things we did was get coffee! she always has a metaphor for what she is talking about, and that is one thing i love about reading her blog (and hearing her talk in person)! metaphors are my love language, and i love how she can always tie things together and help me picture what she is saying in a new way. she is also super vulnerable and shares a lot of herself in her friendships, which is a super neat trait! she can be super serious and super funny all at the same time, and she is a joy to know! :)

what are some of the attributes you appreciate about your friends?

Monday, October 15, 2018

an autumn photoshoot

I love autumn, bunnies, and taking photos, so of course I'm going to have a fall themed bunny photoshoot! ;) our last 2 rabbits, Albie and Finn, both had fun fall photos, but Luna hadn't had the pleasure of a fall themed photoshoot yet since last year was the first true fall that she spent with us and grad school had me crazy busy - we didn't even buy one pumpkin! so this year we made up for that and i think the photos came out adorably!

some of my autumn favorites include: small white pumpkins, funky shaped/colored pumpkins, cotton stalks, cozy blankets, hiking, chai tea lattes, crisp weather, wearing sweaters & scarves, leggings & boots, colorful leaves, LESS BUGS OUTSIDE, fresh apple cider, going to the pumpkin patch, cornmazes, funky looking gourds, day trips to the mountains ---- basically all the good things about life happen in the autumn ;)

what is your most favorite autumn tradition?

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

when your blog friends come to town...

this photo (and some below) by A Hopeful Hood

it all started with a facebook comment about java chip frappachino's. I mean, if we're honest, don't all good ideas start that way?! the next thing we knew, Stephanie, Susannah, Julie, and I were planning a girls trip to meet up and hang out! we live almost literally in 3 corners of the US, so it was fun to all be in the same place for a weekend! they were all gracious enough to come to my state since i couldn't get that many days off of work, and we had a 3 day weekend together! 

we figured out what dates would work for us and rented a nice airbnb to stay at! (if you are new to Airbnb, use MY LINK to sign up and get $40 off your first stay!) I met Julie (briefly) last year when my husband and I went to Philadelphia, but I hadn't met Stephanie or Susannah in person yet! it's so cool how the internet can bring people who live far away together, and it wasn't weird meeting them in person because i feel like i knew so much about them from reading their blogs/instagrams/texting with them these past few years!

we had such a fun time going to the mountains, getting coffee, going to the apple orchard, killing spiders, running from wasps, walking downtown, taking photos, grocery shopping, cooking meals, thrifting, and having deep conversations about life and God. we really packed a lot into 3 days together and it was so fun just hanging out in real life! all of them were just as nice and funny in person, as they are on their blogs! i'm so glad we got to do this weekend because it was much needed and i'm already looking forward to our next trip! ;)

check out Julie's post about our trip where she shares 6 tips for a budget friendly fall vacation!

what is your ideal group vacation?