October 4, 2015

Getting ready for our Surprise Vacation

We leave in just a couple days for a big surprise!  When our girls get off the bus on Wednesday, we are putting them straight into the car and starting our drive south.

The girls think we are going to the American Girl Store in Columbus.  What they don't know, is that we will be heading to Myrtle Beach for a long weekend and we are actually stopping at the American Girl Store in Charlotte.

I'm so excited and proud of myself for keeping this vacation a secret from the girls.  I think Big R is suspicious as she has questioned me a few times about what Mr. R and I have said when we thought she wasn't listening.

We'll be driving 4 hours Wednesday night before stopping at a hotel for the night.  I have a room already booked for us and got a great deal on it by pre-paying  for it.

On Thursday morning we will have another 3 hour drive to get to the American Girl Store where we will have lunch and the girls will get to do some shopping with their Birthday money and chores money.  I plan to add an extra $20 to each of the girls shopping money.

Then we have another 3 hour drive to get to our hotel in Myrtle Beach.  My goal for this vacation is to have an inexpensive trip just enjoying the hotel and beach.  We have a suite with a kitchen so I plan to pack lots of snacks, drinks, and food for breakfasts and lunches; limiting eating out to once per day.

I'm really excited for the surprise of the trip for the girls.  But not being able to count down the wake ups until our vacation with the girls has made it less exciting for me.  I like the build up of excitement before a vacation and since we can't talk about it very much without the girls hearing, that excitement just doesn't seem to be there.

Just 3 more wake-ups... And hopefully the bad weather from the hurricane will be passed by the time we get to the beach.

September 30, 2015

New Job!

It's official.  I accepted a new job last night!  

Today, I will be putting my notice in at a company that I have worked at for over 12 years.

It's been a long process.  I've been on the hunt for over a year now.  This particular company has interviewed me 4 times before making me an offer.

There's 2 major negatives with my new position.  My commute will no longer only be 3 minutes long; now ranging anywhere between 25 minutes to an hour depending on which office I will have to go to that day.  And the health insurance is a lot more expensive + no dental coverage.


  • Experience - Throughout this job hunting process, I interviewed with about 10 companies. It became obvious to me that the way my current company works has left some glaring holes in the experience that I need to further my career.  The company I currently work for is very poorly run with many inexperienced people running it.  In this new position, I'll be working with people that have tons of experience that have earned their positions through years of work instead of a just having the right last name. Plus the types of projects I'll be working on will be more varied so I'll have so many more opportunities to gain experience and knowledge.
  • Money - The increase in pay more than makes up for the extra insurance cost and extra gas for the drive
  • Hours - On the days that I work at the farther office, I work shorter hours to make up for the longer commute and to help avoid rush hour traffic.  So I will be getting paid for 1 hour of my driving time and getting home at about the same time as I would have, if not earlier, than when I work at the closer office.
  • Vacation - I'm starting the new job with 3 weeks vacation time, same as what I have at my current position.
I'm really excited for this change.  Since I interviewed 4 times for this new position, I'm pretty confident I'll get along with my new coworkers.  It's a small company and I've interviewed with almost every person there.

And I'm super proud of myself for negotiating for a higher pay with this new company.  I was really nervous about asking for more after they made me my first offer and I almost didn't do it. I'm glad I did because they came back with a better offer!

September 1, 2015

Update on House Hunting and Job Hunting

House Hunt - 

We found a condo that we both really liked but I was hesitating because there were a few down sides:

  • Kitchen is smaller than ours now and I like to cook a lot.  Our kitchen now already seems small when more than 1 person is in it.
  • The girls would have to switch schools (same school district just on the other side of town so different schools)
I think we would be happy at this condo and it has about 600 more sq ft then what we are living in now. But after discussing it, Mr. R and I decided to hold off on making an offer.  It is very hard to find a condo with at least 3 bedrooms in our area.  At the moment, there are only 4 for sale.  We've looked at some single family homes but, in our price range, they all seem to need a little work and we aren't ready to take anything on.  That's why we are condo buyers, we like everything taken care of for us and we are willing to pay a monthly fee for someone else to handle all of that.

For now, we are just enjoying not having a day care expense and using this time and extra money to beef up our down payment for whenever the right condo comes on the market.

Job Hunt - 

I've quit submitting resumes.  I was wasting too much vacation time going on interviews.  The company I work for is doing better and we are entering into our busy season so I don't fear for my job anymore.  At least for the time being.

There is 1 position about 30 minutes away that I have been interviewing for.  My fourth interview is set up to be in 10 days.  I've interviewed with almost everyone at the company and now they want me to interview with one of the major clients that I will be working with.  Most of my work will be for this client.

There's some good aspects to this job and some pretty major not so good.  I'll have to wait until I'm made an offer to see if the money and good aspects out way the potential bad aspects.