Monday, February 25, 2008

One foot in front of the other

I've been putting off posting because not much interesting is happening here. This little adventure to Kentucky has become more of a plod to get things settled. We've been busy getting health insurance together, setting up my 401(k) and figuring out how to best save money.

To be completely honest, this isn't as much fun as I thought it would be. I've been sick a lot. My body is not handling this transition very well at all. Plus, I haven't been getting very much sleep at night. We live near some train tracks and I think the train wakes me up at night. I feel like I am slacking at my job, because I've had to take time off every week I've been there because I had to get the car registered, there were ice storms, and I had a doctor's appointment.

It is also frustrating at how much things cost down there. A 4% cost of living increase combined with a 13% pay decrease makes things a little tighter than we had hoped. Don't even get me started on the taxes down here (that's another post). I guess this is a good first step to learning how to live on a pastor's salary.

But as tough as it sounds, it really isn't that bad. We are doing fine and this time is just that, a time. A season to walk though. We've only been here a month and we are still trying to figure out how to best do this and by the time we are ready to move, we'll be pros at this. The train won't wake us, my body will have calmed down and we'll have figured out our budget. Just need to keep walking for now.

Monday, February 18, 2008

A thankful day

Can I just say that I love my new job? Love it. Here are some things that are great about my new place of employment:

- The people are great to work with. Everyone is great at their job, super professional and has a sense of humor. I really enjoy working with them.
- My boss is low drama. He addresses issues and doesn't spend too much time on what he doesn't like about people's personalities.
- The benefits at this job are great! They are paying for me to get professionally certified, there is a gym on-site, and they offered an excellent benefit package.
- The company seems to be an excellent company to work for. Most of the people I work with have been there 15-25 years. I think that that says a lot about the company. I had heard a horror story about someone who was treated really poorly by this company, but the division I work for doesn't seem to operate that way. Hurray!

- The only downside to this job is that it's a 45 min drive to get to work, but we could always move in a year when our lease is up and right now I am enjoying listening to books on CD. Hurray for the library!

God answered my prayers with this job. I am so thankful for His provision. I really thought that I would just have to take any job while Ben was in school. I was ready to work at Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, but God provided a job that is an excellent career move and a great place to work. God is so good.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Today was not only Valentine's day, and our eight month anniversary, but it was also the final day of my new hire training at work.

Yes. I know. I started work 3.5 weeks ago. But it's a good thing I got that training on how to enter my time in the time card system TODAY because I was wondering where my paycheck was.

We had training on safety, sexual harassment (prevention of, not how to), and diversity. I love me some diversity training. I love it because at some point someone will always say something politically incorrect and make it all awkward for everyone. Like today our trainer was explaining how there are federal, state and local laws that offer more or less protection for people. She went on to explain, "We follow a local law that protects..... um..... what's the transvestites. Yes. We protect men who dress like women and women who dress like men."

Someone quipped in the background, "shoot, I know what I am wearing tomorrow."

The lady behind me raised her hand and asked, "So if Tom came into work dressed as a women, he'd be protected?"

"Yes. We protect Transsexuals."

"Oh. I didn't know there were laws out there for such people."

Like I said. Awkward.

My favorite part was when we got to break into teams and make a list of our similarities and our differences. I don't think our trainer appreciated our item of "No one in our group owns a giraffe." Yes. We are in Junior High.

One group listed as a difference "ethnicity", which was apparent with the Jordanian and the African-American, but the two white guys seemed pretty similar. The instructor looked at them and asked, "So how are you two different?" They both looked at each other and finally one guy spoke, "Dang-it. We were hoping you wouldn't ask that."

And that was what made my day!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Insert witch music from the Wizard of Oz.

Living in the Midwest I am no stranger to tornadoes. We've had strong winds and small tornadoes damage things near my parent's house before. I've seen the destruction a tornado can cause, and it is impressive.

I remember as a kid practicing tornado drills at home. We would lay down in the hallway, lightest person on the bottom, with my mom covering us. There was only one time that I can remember ever thinking that we would need this drill. We were outside riding our bikes when the sky changed. The clouds became unfamiliar and angry and my mom yelled for us to get inside. As I ran in the door the swirling clouds made a rushing, rumbling noise and the winds lifted our patio awning perpendicular to the roof. As quickly as it had come, the storm blew over leaving a short downpour and pounding hearts.

Last night they predicted strong storms after midnight. I prayed that if anything happened, I would wake up before I got sucked out of my house. Sometimes after 1 am I woke up 2 min before the tornado sirens went off. I woke Ben and we got dressed grabbed our cell phones, a blanket and headed to the bathroom. Tornado warnings are so much more intense with sirens. You can't ignore the possible threat with the loud alarm. It gets the adrenaline pumping. We sat in the bathroom listening to the TV and I called my brother to make sure he knew about the storm.

Sidenote: We had some friends who had never lived where there were tornadoes, and freaked out over a tornado watch (watch means they are watching for a tornado, warning means that there is one). They had crammed a full-sized mattress into their bathroom convinced that they were seconds away from being picked up by a twister. They called my mom in a panic and she pointed out the sunny day and lack of clouds. They had quite a time getting that mattress out of the bathroom.

Last night the storm passed over us with only heavy rain. We were fortunate. One of my coworkers had his house blown apart around him and his wife. They were unharmed.

Last night as Ben and I sat in our bathroom chatting and riding out the storm I again realized how much I love this man. How calming it is to experience possible tornadoes with him and how if I had to live through a tornado, I'd rather do it right next to him - he's my best friend.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

An update...

I've been dying.

I have the head cold of doom. I haven't had a virus this bad in a while. It's been a week now and I still have no energy. I've gone to work (because you can't really call in sick during your first week...) and the come home and laid on the couch. That's pretty much all I've done.

In better news, Ben got a part-time job working at the post office at his school. That's nice. They are super flexible with his classes and he doesn't have to work the weekends. Woo Hoo!

It still hasn't sunk it that I live in Kentucky. I sometimes forget how to get home. I don't really feel like I fit in here either. The culture is very similar but also so very different. I've come to realize how prejudice I am. I want people to eat what I eat, talk how I talk and value what I value. This week I have realized that if what you do isn't familiar to me, it must be wrong. I hate that I think like that. I hate that my preferences over things that DO NOT MATTER cause me to dismiss or appreciate people. It's been good to see this giant flaw in my life, and disappointing as well. I thought I was more loving than that.

I guess now is a great time to work toward loving more people.