Just Some Things

I can’t believe it’s already mid-October.

Dylan and I celebrated our eighth anniversary on the eighth. <–That sounds surreal.

Nellie is going to be a tiger for Halloween, we found a cheap second-hand costume from Old Navy that is super cute and will be so warm and snuggly–both points that fit the bill for this North Dakotan mama. Dylan and I are still working on Ada to agree to be a tiger trainer/circus trainer. We may have ideolized (I just made that up) so well that she’s unsure she wants to be someone who’s “so mean to animals” and that “animals are meant to live in the wild and not do tricks.”

We’ve picked up our “Eat the World” Challenge again and are trying to at least get through the “Bs” before the end of 2013. Right now we’re planning our Brazilian meal and combining it with another new dinner theme (apparently, I really like theme-y things, well actually, I always knew that)–movie nights. Movie nights we watch a movie together as a family and eat dinner at the same time and have cutesy foods to match the characters/setting of the story line. The girls love it because it’s so against the grain of eating together at the dinner table. Anyhow, Brazil will be combined with movie night because we checked out “Rio” at the library this weekend and thought it would be a fun tie-in. The girls will be boggled. Minds will be blown.

Work is going great–it’s been busy up to my eyeballs but I continue to love it just as much as when I started. I’d consider myself one lucky ducky in that realm.

Dylan is half-way through his student teaching at one of the highschools in town. It’s been hard to juggle the schedules but  I guess it’s boot camp for when he graduates and becomes a teacher of his own domain. Word on the street is that he’s doing pretty awesome, but that’s no surprise here. (I can hear him rolling his eyes now. Literally, hear the movement.)

Ada has started kindergarten and she’s a rockstar. Learning her letters and phonics, she’s so excited to read. She’s been coming home with little “I Can Read”-type books and showing off her new sight-word skills. I continue to be amazed at the collective knowledge she’s gained in such a short period of time, what happened to my baby?

AND speaking of babies (no, not that), my Nellie’s one month or so away from turning 3! THREE?! In honor of the occasion she has chosen to have a “Kung-Fu Princess” themed birthday party. Thankgoodnesstobetsy for Pinterest.

Ufta.

And then there’s this whole shutdown business…

Maybe that’s a good place to stop for now.

Fear not, I will be back.

Monday Meal Plan on Tuesday *Again*

I’ve got some big news…

(NO. I am NOT pregnant.)

I got a promotion!

This is mostly why it’s been so quiet around these parts, I’ve been trying to keep it on the DL until a bit closer to my start date, but I just can’t resist anymore. Plus, we’re due for a “Monday” meal plan.

I will still be working with New Americans but now, instead of the Employment Specialist, I will be the Resettlement Coordinator for the Grand Forks office. I.am.STOK.ED. (<–So stoked I had to separate that last word into two. I know, party animal.) So instead of focusing mainly on employment for clients, I will be overseeing my sub-office (LSS is based out of Fargo), completing assurances, finding apartments, working on community relations & giving presentations, writing grants, etc. It’s a big step, a big promo for me, and I can’t wait to start.

I’ve been training on and off throughout last week and my first day will be Monday, March 18th. (It’s getting SO close.) Then after that I have a relatively quiet week to situate myself into the new position before all the conferences barrage my spring schedule (Building Bridges, LIRS/EMM—luckily for me they’re doing a tri-agency conference this year so I don’t have to worry about being gone for 2 weeks, and NDACP). It’ll definitely be a “jumping in” experience but I’m looking forward to it (anticipating it gleefully, even…there may be something wrong with me).

This change also means we’ll get to see a bit more of Dylan, which the girls and I are exceptionally excited about. Instead of being gone Thursday-Monday every other week, we’ll just be Daddy/husband-less for Saturday-Monday. Much, much, MUCH more manageable. And since this is the weekend that he works, I’m excited to see how much quicker it will pass by since it’s only three days now…

“Monday” Meal Plan 3.4-3.10

Monday 3.4
D: Tacos (because we have a ton left from Ada’s party)
Tuesday 3.5
D: Eat the World: Bosnia and Herzgovina …Seriously. We’re actually going to make it happen tonight.
Wednesday 3.6
D: Coconut shrimp soup w/cilantro
Thursday 3.7
D: Nellie & Dylan will be on their own as Ada and I will be in Fargo getting fitted for dresses for my cousin’s wedding.
Friday 3.8
B: Pancakes (I typically freeze leftover pancakes every other week that I make them so that I can use them as quick and easy breakfasts/snacks. Put 1-2 in the microwave for about 40 seconds and they’re good to go.)
L & Tea: Ada will be at Grandpa Terry’s
D: Pizza Night!
*Extra*
Feed Brucie and mix up a sponge for Sourdough 1.
Saturday 3.9* Happy birthday Sheilaaaaaaa!
B: Rhubarb cream cheese strudel
L: Peanut Sesame Noodles
D: Birthday dinner for Sheila @ Texas Roadhouse
*Extra*
Mix & raise Sourdough 1 & mix up sponge for Sourdough 2.
Prep the scones to bake tomorrow morning.
Sunday 3.10*
B: Birthday scones for Sheila
L, Tea & Dinner: Terry & Sheila’s House
*Extra*
Bake Sourdough 1 & Final raise Sourdough 2 (bake Monday morning).

Bright and shiny

Goodbye Redrum!

Goodbye Redrum!

I am pleased to announce my departure from the REduRuM that I once called my office. Hurrah for me! No, I am not leaving my job but rather participated in a fairly large, inter-office switcheroo today. I am over.the.moon about it.

Before I had about a large, walk-in-closet space and would have to crawl/shimmy/awkwardly decide front or back when passing over my clients to retrieve papers from the printer during enrollments. I would constantly bang into the two drawer filing cabinet behind my chair because it stuck out an average amount and I had a not-meant-for-my-desk-hutch that took up more than its fair share of my work area. Not to mention that I shared my little RedRuM with interns as needed. And clients were constantly waiting for their appointments by just sitting in my office or peering into my door over my side shoulder as I tried to work. Not ideal.

This move is great. Great for us all. The women who moved back into our old office space now have room for the new supervisor they’re hiring by taking the two main offices open and the traveling, once-a-week supervisor will re-home in the RedRuM. (And truthfully, it is a small space but if we wouldn’t have moved and I would’ve stayed, I would’ve just dealt with it because I like my job.)

Goodbye inconvenient and insufficient work space!

Goodbye inconvenient and insufficient work space!

Bright and shiny! And very messy...

Bright and shiny! And very messy…

Which brings me to my new, bright and shiny office! Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah! I may be teensy bit excited. 

I know it looks disastrous at the moment but my space has nearly tripled by this switch and now I have great space for paperwork and computer work (105+ application questionnaires may be the death of me) AND I have adequate space for clients to sit comfortably and work on applications, etc; AND I have comfortable space for an intern! AND, if that’s not good enough, I’ve got space to store kid supplies for little clients that aren’t in school yet. Needless to say because I’ve all but bashed your brains in about it, I’m excited. And happy. And excited.

Now it only they could get my NEW (didn’t I mention I also get a new, full-functioning) computer and phone line hooked up, we’d be golden…

I’m thankful for…

Day 14: I am thankful for fresh produce. We are so incredibly blessed to have access and the means to eat fresh produce everyday. My daughters love bananas to pomegranates to tomatoes to pineapple to mangoes and the like. They will chop away on spinach salads, corn, caramelized onions, avocados, broccoli, and kale. Dylan and I love to have fresh berries with our yogurt and pears, scallions, and cucumbers. The list is truly endless and I am so, so, SO thankful that we have been blessed to eat healthy and well.

Day 15: I am thankful for other crafty, foodie, stylish, bookish mom-bloggers who are willing to share their gifts with others and unafraid to show their imperfections. Sometimes being a mom can be lonely. There may be millions of us but for whatever reason when it comes to making mom friends it instantly can transport you to another place and time where awkwardness seeped through your being. And with our world being so global now, it’s nice to peek into other moms’ lives and know that they let the laundry go, they have tantrums now and then, and get behind schedule. Life isn’t picture perfect and I appreciate and am thankful for other mom bloggers out there who simply are trying and doing their best. I’m grateful to them for their willingness to show all the messiness of life and still are able to find the beauty. It’s refreshing, and encouraging to me.

Day 16: I’m thankful for my co-workers. I know that I was thankful earlier for my job, but really, I think that they deserve more distinction. They truly are a group of people that are working to make the world a better place, even our cold, ice-bitten piece of home in North Dakota. I’m continually inspired and encouraged, challenged and supported by my peers. It makes my day interesting and so much richer.

A couple of my co-workers and I at World Refugee Day 2012.

Day 17: I’m thankful for humor. My daughters crack me up. My husband cracks me up. In fact, I think that’s a main tenant of my good relationships, humor. My family’s wit continually reminds me to not be so serious and to embrace the mishaps as graciously as I can.

Day 18: I’m thankful for movies and Netflix. As annoyed as I get by my children constantly wanting to watch something, I am grateful that they are available for sick days such as these. Charlie Brown and Dora have enabled me to finish the laundry, dishes, organize the bedroom closets, make lunch and freeze extra breakfast burritos for this week, and now, now during glorrrrrrrrrrious nap time, those very same movies have allowed me to read through the Sunday paper and catch up with the blogosphere. I am thankful for movies.

I’m thankful for…

Day 9: I’m thankful for my job. I love my job. Seriously. It’s such a blessing to wake up every morning and be excited to go to work with other people who really care about what they do and want to make a difference. I’m so blessed to be apart of a team, of an organization, that believes all people are created in God’s image and thus deserve to be treated with respect. I could go on and on (seriously) about my job and how it makes not being home with my girls bearable doable.

Day 10: I’m thankful for Moses. My annoying, smelly, snorting, farting, almost-5-year-old pug. As aggravated and enraged that he makes me (he is now a 3x pound convict), I can’t imagine how less snuggly my life would be.

Day 11: I’m thankful for my parents, who will drive to my house and entertain my girls and install a beautiful new sink in my kitchen for a day and think nothing of it. I’m continually reminded and inspired by their willingness to give and I’m thankful that I have been given such an example to pass onto my daughters.

Day 12: (Hey, might as well get a jump start on the week while I’m on a roll.) I’m thankful for all the men and women who have served our country throughout the years. Thank you for your willingness to serve and for all the sacrifices that you made. I cherish the freedoms that you have pledged to protect and uphold for me.

Day Twenty-Nine: Your Talent

My new job has opened my eyes to a new talent that I possess–interview magic.

Seriously. 

I am awesome at interviews.
And more accurately, I am awesome at getting people jobs or “gainful employment.”

Today I was able to help three clients start work at Little Caesar’s, one client will start in 1.5 weeks and another three clients have a high possibility of getting hired on as housekeepers at the local AmericInn. Not to mention that last week I was able to help one client get a job at Olive Garden, another three clients get work at Drunken Noodle, and hopefully (if all goes well) another two at Pelusa (an electric cord factory) and three at Hilton as housekeepers.

And that’s just the last two weeks.

Needless to say, I love the new job and am so happy that it’s such a good fit for me, my family life and for my self-esteem. It’s awesome to excel at something I get paid to do and even more awesome that I don’t dread going to work–here’s to hoping that I can find something similar (if not the same) after Dylan gets his first teaching job!

Shame On Me

I know, I know. Another heart-felt post about being a terrible blogger with sloppy apologies flung here and there.

But truly, I am.
Life is busy. You all know that. And lately with the lovely onset of February’s disease and pestilence the Dachtler household got.rock.ed.

Hopefully we’ll be picking up with where we left off our “ETW” adventures this week with Bahrain (the menu is still the same). I must mention however that ETW will be effected by Lent and our decision to give up meat–so expect a lot of tofu, beans (yes, yes, I know tofu is technically from beans) and seafood in the very near future.

Also, if you haven’t noticed this is an incredibly random post–what better way to make my walk of shame debut onto the blogging scene?

Britney came to visit us. We miss her.

Ada turned 4! Can you believe that? I have a 4-year-old!!
And Nellie is still NOT walking. I am convinced I will be carrying her to kindergarten.

Dylan is still chipping away at biochem and organic. I am still hanging in with communications and work. Work! Oh yes, did I mention that I got a new job?? I started working at Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota in their New American Services department as their Employment Specialist. I even have a card.
I love it. Seriously, it’s been such a change of pace and a needed breath of fresh air to get me intrigued and fired up for nonprofits again.

So now I am back. Back in action. Back in the driver’s seat (oh yes, we also bought a van. Traded in the lovely pickup for a ’01 Oldsmobile Silhoutte–never thought I’d live to see the day.). Back in the game.

Well, you get the picture.