Thursday, July 30, 2009

Drumroll Please...

I got a job!!! Yes, it's true. I am so excited! Matt and I were waiting to meet some friends for dinner, when I noticed that I had a voicemail. That's strange, I never heard my phone ring today, I thought. So, I check the voicemail...and it's the principal at Dozier Elementary, and she said she went ahead and called downtown (the central office for public schools) and hired me for a 5th grade teaching position!! What?! Seriously? I had talked to her a couple of times, and knew she was interested in me, but the last time I talked to her she said just to let her know when I finally got to Montgomery, so this was a total surprise! It was 8:00 pm by the time I got the message, so I have no further details...except she said it could change before school starts so I might not stay in 5th grade. AND, Matt had a good conversation with someone today about the possibility of a job, so I think things will fall into place for him too. Praise God! Like my mom said, I just needed to be patient & pray. I had the praying part down, but the patience was getting me! Well, it's late & I'm tired...and we have to enjoy as much of tomorrow as possible because it's our last day in Chicago. Thank you to all who have prayed for my job situation. I ask you to continue to pray for Matt's, as well as our travels this weekend. Love to all!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Nearing the end...

Well, our time in Chicago is quickly winding down, and I have to say we're approaching our last day with mixed feelings. We both really LOVE Chicago (in spite of the bitterly cold winters) and are really enjoying our time here. We have made some wonderful friends, and we certainly aren't eager to leave them or this beautiful city. Many of our friends here are from other countries, and they will all be returning home soon as well. So this brings sadness, since we truly don't know when or if we will ever see them again. Then, on the flip side, we are returning to Montgomery where we also have wonderful friends, a house we love (which will feel like a mansion after living in our tiny apartment) and, hopefully, new jobs!

To avoid having to sort out all these mixed emotions, we are trying to fill our last few days here with as much fun, excitement, and time with friends as possible! We are determined to see and do everything that we can (and can afford) before we leave. Luckily, there are tons of free things to do in Chicago all the time! Last weekend, Matt and I walked down to Navy Pier to watch a sailboat parade before their race to Macinac Island. This week was busy with all sorts of fun! We went on an Architecture Boat Cruise along the Chicago river (for half price!), helped some of our friends move, attended the Taste of Lincoln Park (which is a street festival), went to the Lincoln Park Zoo, said goodbye to our friend Mercy (who is headed to NY to take the Bar Exam), enjoyed eating on the sidewalk patios of our new favorite hot dog place, Portillos, and did our best not to think about leaving! Here are some pics for you to enjoy...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Back in Chicagoland....

Well, honestly we have been back in Chicago for almost 2 weeks. I have just been too lazy to get on here and blog. We had a fabulous time on our travels...although I just looked at our camera & realized that I didn't take a single picture while we were gone. Not one. So those fun swim days with the nieces, celebrating our birthdays & anniversary, seeing the fam from California...I guess I'll just have to keep them in my memory. Maybe Facebook can provide me with someone else's pics for memories. Anyway, here's a quick rundown of what we did on our LONG and exciting trip!

1. We took the Amtrack to Kirksville, Missouri where we visited Grandma & Grandpa Bell, aunts, uncles, & cousins. Aunt Elaine had a graduation party for Matt & we got to watch old family movies that Uncle Glenn brought! Thanks, Elaine, for letting us stay with you & hosting a fun party for Matt!

2. We drove 6 hours back to Chicago where we met Jen & Misa for a short weekend in Chicago. Matt, Jen, & Misa went to the US vs. Honduras game, which they assure me was very fun & exciting (it was cold & rainy, so I opted to stay home & finish packing for the rest of our trip).

3. Drove from Chicago to Alabama for a few, hectic days of interviews, handing out resumes & squeezing in some time for friends! Matt had 2 interviews, I had several. He is still waiting to hear from one of the firms he interviewed with (they told him this week it will be 2-3 more weeks), and I'm still waiting for a job offer! (side not, I had 2 phone interviews last Friday & am eagerly-somewhat impatiently-waiting to hear back). The job situation for Matt is very promising & I'm praying a lot about my job!

4. Drove from Chicago to Duncan. We spent about a week in Duncan, for my brother's HUGE graduation party! He graduated from massage therapy school, and friends from near & far were there to celebrate. Mom & I created a fun theme with black & lime green, and Aunt Paula provided a great cake with a picture of Daren giving a massage on it! What a wonderful way to celebrate! We also spent some quality time playing Wii, sleeping late, and I organized both bathrooms (although organizing bathrooms might not sound fun to you, I was THRILLED! I like to say that organizing is my hobby!)

5. Drove from Duncan to Tulsa for a weekend with Matt's family, celebration of Father's Day & my birthday. We went to the pool on Saturday & Sunday with the nieces. Very fun! Also had a lovely lunch at Brook's house and spent time at the hospital with MeMa.

6. Drove from Tulsa to OKC & spent the week doing the "tour of homes." Several of our friends in OKC have new houses, so we spent time with them & stayed at their houses. It was great fun to have a chance to catch up & to see that we all have very similar decorating tastes! We also celebrated Matt's birthday at Flattire Burger with his sisters & the girls. The highlight of that dinner was the Smore's we had for dessert!

7. Drove from OKC back to Duncan where my parents planned a graduation party for Matt & Me. Again, we got to see friends from near and far, and had the pleasure of eating Dad's fajitas! Amazing! The rest of the week was spent relaxing in Duncan & eating at new restaraunts (who knew there were so many places I had never tried in Duncan!). We also got to see Chris, Regina, Caleb & Aidan who flew in from LA! Oh, and we rode in a fancy car in the 4th of July parade.

8. Drove back to OKC from Duncan for Brenton's wedding (Matt's college roommate), stayed with Heather & Ryan, & had a nice lunch at Hideaway pizza for Matt's birthday (have you noticed that he likes to stretch out his birthday celebrations?)

9. Drove back to Tulsa from OKC for dinner with some good friends (again to celebrate Matt's birthday, which meant lots of good food for me!). Also got to spend one last night with Matt's parents.

10. Drove from Tulsa back to Chicago, where we arrived exhausted & thrilled to be home after a wonderful trip!

In case you weren't counting the miles of that trip, let me just tell you that we drove 3209 miles, and spent 51 hours in the car! Like I said, it was a LONG trip, but at least it was spread out over 3 1/2 weeks! When we got back to Chicago, we knew our time here was limited, so we're trying to make the most of every moment! We're having a blast (while trying not to be stressed about jobs)! Hope you are having a wonderful summer as well!