Monday, August 16, 2010

Massive Update

It has been quite awhile since my last post. Therefore, this will most likely be a very extensive update. Perhaps a more experienced blogger would break this up into multiple 'mini posts' but then again a more experience blogger wouldn't have let things pile up like this, would they?! Any comments, suggestions, or even criticisms you have are always welcome! I'm sure they would help me in many different ways.

I'll do my best to separate things and not get to excited and post prematurely. Maybe I'll even save it, come back, and edit it through before posting! Either way, bear with me as my brain is always scattered and today it is full of things I want to say!

Exciting Life News!
No, I'm not pregnant as Sarah crazily guessed when Jesse announced that I had big news. I do, however, have my first big girl, real life job.

As of right now it is simply a job and not a career. Here is why: The position is starting out as a temporary position but all parties involved desire it to become a full-time permanent position. For now they are assessing a few things. One of those things being me. The company, iMed Studios, wants to make sure that I am the right fit for them. In the same way, I want to make sure that they are the right fit for me. They are also assessing if they are able to take on a full time position (which sounds very promising). The other item they want to be sure of before hiring: possibility of office relocation. Being that there are only two offices, one in Ames and the other in New York City, they do not want to hire me and then a few months down the road have to say, "Okay, now we are moving you to NYC." Luckily the man that is training me, the VP/Director of Finance, feels that it is in the best interest of the company to stay in Ames. I also think the fact that the President and founder of the company has her husband living and working in Ames (as a professor at ISU).

I'm only three days into the job and it seems to be going well. I really like Kent, who is training me. He is very easy going and relaxed. I think that this helps me learn. I'm also surprising myself in how quick I am picking up their software as I don't see myself as a technology savvy individual and the program is very unique/difficult. Currently they have me working four eight-hour days. This is very nice; I'll get to have three day weekends! Woot, woot!! It is also awesome that the office is in Ames. It only takes me 10-15 minutes to get to work. Eventually it will take longer as I want to make use of public transit. Go CyRide! Only time will tell if this is something that I will enjoy and want to take on as full time, but for now it looks very promising.

Flooding in Ames!
Alas, all of the rain has finally caught up to us. It has been a record setting year for us in Ames, but nothing to brag about. On Wednesday the town was practically cut in half and it was extremely difficult to get in or out of Ames due to flood waters. It was suppose to be my second day of work, but couldn't get to the north side of town.

Many homes and apartments were evacuated due to the flooding. I can't even imagine the amount of loss and stress that those individuals are having to endure. Thirty employees working the overnight shift at Wal-Mart had to be evacuated via City roadwork equipment (loaders). All of the businesses along Duff were taken out of commission. Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Applebee's, and many small businesses. Hilton Coliseum had standing water inside despite many people's best efforts to make flood gates and sandbag through the wee hours of the morning. The basketball court was even floating inside.

Water was shut off on Wednesday afternoon due to water main breaks. They found eight in total by the end of the week. We were put under a boil water emergency once the water was turned back on and urged to use minimal amounts of water. Jesse and I did our part. No showers and minimal flushing. If only the rest of Ames would have been as good as we were. Because people were still using more water than needed it took longer for the city to flush out the entire system.

The day of the flooding, Jesse and two co-workers had to go to Clear Lake for work and it was Jesse's turn to drive. Instead of taking the normal route, Jesse did some finagling around town and got out. I was worried that he wouldn't be able to find a way back into town come the afternoon as the waters just kept rising. He was quite smart to stop in Mason City on the way home to pick up some bottles of water to drink and gallons of water for washing and brushing teeth.

We decided to go home for the weekend to get away from the stress of having contaminated water. Many people must have had the same idea because come Saturday afternoon the restriction of use of water was lifted and Sunday afternoon the water was safe to drink. Hallelujah!

Losing Weight
Last Monday Jesse's work started a weight loss program/competition that will last 12 weeks. The incentive: $100 gift card drawing every two weeks for those who lose weight and $50 gift card drawing every two weeks for those who maintain current weight along with 10 more chances to win at the end of the 12 weeks.

While Tyler and Sarah were home Jesse shared this with Tyler and another competition arose. The brothers will compete with each other to see who will have the highest percentage of weight lost. The incentive: bragging rights (as far as I know, no bets have been placed).

Jesse has started off well. He is eating smaller portions and exercising more. I believe he would like to become a more avid runner. He also wants to make this a lifestyle change, not simply take drastic steps to lose weight and win money then gain it all back by resorting to his old habits.

I'm doing my best to support him, but he has pointed out a few times that I'm not the best partner in this journey. Yeah, I should probably follow him better in his ways of eating healthier foods. But someone has to finish off the half gallon of ice cream that is left in the freezer so he isn't tempted, right?!

Another horrible example: We caved and had frozen pizza for supper one night (no desire to cook after working and dealing with the flood/lack of water). Jesse ate two pieces of the pizza(I might add he wasn't happy about it either), an apple, and some carrot sticks. I on the other hand ate the rest of the pizza, six slices! Wow! It just didn't fill me up and I wasn't satisfied. Duh, it was gross, horrible for you frozen pizza. We both concluded that we liked our homemade pizza much better and it most likely even be healthier for us!

I foresee many good things coming from this. Jesse (and hopefully I) will become healthier. We will stop eating out as much. Good for two reasons: 1)it is difficult to find food that isn't bad for you at restaurants and 2)it will help keep us in check with our eating out budget and allow for that money to go towards buying the healthier foods and produce. If we stick with it, all of these great side effects will follow through into the future along with the many other positive benefits to having healthier bodies.

The Menu Plan
With me getting a job, the flooding and Jesse's change of eating habits, we haven't completely stuck to the menu plan (or budget). But we are working to adjust it all.

Tuesday was my first day on the job and we decided to celebrate by going out to Applebee's since we hadn't celebrated when I was offered the job. So the planned meal of Chicken Pot Pie got shifted to Wednesday. Luckily, I made the crust on Tuesday night and didn't have to deal with it during the water issue on Wednesday. Thursday through Sunday's meals we didn't eat either and have been shifted to the week of the 22nd. Thursday we had the frozen pizza and Friday night we ate chicken pot pie leftovers.

Jesse has been eating salads and an apple for his lunches this past week. That means, much more leftovers than planned. I will continue to plan on leftovers for myself for lunch. I'm going to try to halve the recipes that are coming this week and next week in order to not have so much leftover. I would like to make the full recipe and freeze half of it for a meal next month, but our freezer is packed full and cannot handle any more food. With the meals getting extended to next week, this meal plan should last us through the 28th rather than the 22nd. I anticipate it lasting us even longer as there will still be leftovers from meals that we will eat for supper rather than making a new meal.

We have also bought more food than what I planned on because of Jesse's changed eating habits and buying drinking water. So, I wasn't very happy that we have gone over budget but it is for a good 'cause.' Jesse has also pointed out the fact that we won't be spending as much on eating out now so we are still covered. I've also come to the conclusion that since we have moved meals to next week that I may not need to spend all of next weeks grocery budget because we already have everything. Though we will have to buy produce I'm sure.

I have decided to re-evaluate our budget and what we are buying. I believe that it is going to be much more beneficial to us to spend a little more and buy the fresh produce. I'm still in trial periods of our budget and meal planning. Eventually we will have a better handle on all of it. But that will take many months and much analysis (says the accountant in me).

Odds N Ends
Ah, the dreaded task of cleaning. Well, it is dreaded even more today. You see I have allowed myself an excuse to let things pile up and go on ignored. This is me reminding myself that just because we both have jobs now, doesn't be we can let the cleanliness of our apartment go. I have today off and plan to have a Ketchup Day (ode to Mrs. Caldwell).
I'm also reminding myself to visit the My Job, Goals, and Hobbies post to remember what else I want to be doing instead of sitting around, especially now that I have less time to do since I am working.

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