Beginnings and Endings

Life is always full of beginnings and endings. We always watch as one door opens and another one closes. In the end, I think the best part is being able to look back and see the things that we experienced and smile at those experiences.

This week is a series of beginnings and endings for Fernando and myself. Perhaps for you, too.

I’ll start by saying that the world of social media is a great place to watch people take their steps from one ending to a new beginning. Just this week alone in my world of social media, I watched the following:

  • A friend moved to a new city in a new state.
  • A cousin had a first baby.
  • Another cousin became engaged.
  • A friend announced a first pregnancy.
  • A friend posted her engagement photos.

All those beginnings! And each of them marks the end of something, too, when you think about it.

Well, we had our own humble endings and beginnings this week.

Fernando finished out his last day in the fast food world on Sunday. It was, perhaps, not the best shift he could have had, but then again, it’s over. And that’s just it. It’s over!

Poof. One shift, and he never goes back to work there again. He left his keys in the safe, and that was that.

Then I had my own endings this week.

On Monday, I spent my day teaching my class and another teacher’s class because that teacher’s children were sick. Suffice it to say my best laid plans don’t always include teaching four different levels of students! But it all seemed to work out in the wash as I was even complimented by one of the students from the other class about how she enjoyed my class.

Wednesday marked the end of my class, however. It’s the end of a school year here, and while two of my classes will continue through June, this one will not. I said goodbye to my students and enjoyed one last class with my ladies in this class (all females at this point!). Some of them will take amazing trips this summer, and some will go back to their countries, either to visit or to return forever. But wherever they go, they will always hold a place in my heart, and I’m hoping to see them again sometime September when classes begin again.

It’s amazing to think that I started in this class in September and went the entire school year with them. I’m so proud of the work all the students in my class here have achieved. They’ve done so well, and some of them have gone so far just in one school year. But it’s come to a close and is time to move to a new beginning. I just haven’t decided what that is yet.

On the other hand, Fernando’s new beginning started the same day as my ending. Wednesday marked his first day at the internship! He was excited and had bought some new clothes so he could go properly dressed in his business casual attire. It’s now all about learning the ropes for him as he starts a totally new position. I couldn’t be more proud of him.

Beginnings and endings are the markers in our lives, and this week has been full of them. Have you had any beginnings and endings to share this week?

– RaeNezL

Pee in a Cup

If you’re reading the title of this post, you’re likely wondering what on earth I could be referring to. Or maybe you already figured it out. If you have, you either have some secrets you like to hide or you’ve read my recent posts!

Silliness aside, I have to bring this up because I can finally announce that Fernando got the internship! By the time you read this, he will have finished his last day at the fast food restaurant of doom. In fact, on Thursday, his coworkers bought and gave him a very nice cake to celebrate his almost 11 years of service!

Can you believe it? 11 years of fast food work. That’s a long time!

He did start when we were in high school, so it’s kind of understandable, but I am thrilled that he’s gotten this opportunity to work somewhere else!

It was a huge surprise to us both that he got the internship, actually.

(Not because he’s unqualified but because of the circumstances!)

You see, he did his interview and then got an email about some things they needed from him, namely his unofficial transcripts from college. He got those sent in as soon as he could and then waited. And waited. And waited some more.

Finally he sent an email back to the contact person asking about the internship and when he would hear anything. Wouldn’t you know they’d sent him an offer May 1st via email that he never received? To add to that, it was May 6th, and he only had until May 8th to confirm acceptance of the position!

I’m so thankful he contacted them about the position! He might not have known about the offer if he hadn’t.

Well, after he got that sorted, Fernando set to work jumping through the usual hoops of new employment. If you’ve been around long enough, you know the drill: sending in information for I-9 forms, W-4 forms, even getting insurance (INSURANCE! WOOT!) information, and, of course, the drug test.

The drug test has been his last hoop to jump through, and he did that Friday morning. His last day at the fast food place was Sunday, and then all we have to do is wait for them to give him his official start date at the internship. They said it would be anywhere between the 19th and 26th.

Can I just say again how proud and excited I am for Fernando? He is going to rock this internship!

And now, you can return to your regularly scheduled blogs and Internet goings on. However, if you’d like to leave a little bit of congratulations for Fernando, I’m sure he’d appreciate it!

– RaeNezL

Living the Prepared Life

I’m trying to figure out how to make life for Fernando and myself a bit more prepared. We want to be frugal with our lives and spend less time and money on things that don’t matter, like lots of food that just sits in our kitchen and eventually goes bad because I haven’t spent time making a meal plan for the week.

Yeah, I’m that person.

I like the idea of having lots of food in the fridge so I can eat whenever I like. But I never seem to have a solid plan on what I’ll do with said food.

Then there are the leftovers. I’m also the person who loves the idea of leftovers but can’t seem to commit to eating them. It’s like saying that the food is only good the first night and never again. That’s how I am and how I end up with tubs of Tupperware containers in my fridge full of foods growing who knows what.

Yeah, I’m that person, too.

So in an effort to change my habits of wasting money, I’m working on only buying things that we’ll use. If that means buying things that have a longer shelf-life to save money and save me the headache of emptying containers of moldy food, then I’m attempting that. If it means not buying food until we’re out of things to eat at home, I’ve tried that.

But I’m also trying to be more conscious of how we eat. I like having fresh fruits and vegetables in the house. I just never have a plan for how we’ll use them. This becomes a problem when said fruits and vegetables inevitably go bad. And let’s not even talk about freezer burnt meats.

Instead, let’s talk about how I’m making preparedness more of a concept in a frugal lifestyle. I have a job where I work part-time and most of my income is divided between my car payments and our grocery bill. I’m attempting to make that second one a great deal smaller by utilizing Pinterest lists and actually planning what we’ll eat each week.

Have you ever done that before? Planned out your meals? It’s actually quite cathartic in a way I never imagined it could be. I spent all Saturday taking ingredients I purchased at my local Aldi and chopping, slicing, dicing, pouring, and combining them into gallon-sized bags of freezer goodness to be thawed later for the crockpot meals they’ll eventually become. How prepared is that? I was incredibly proud of myself and then realized how much of an adult I really have become.

I still have a number of meals left to prepare, but they take less chopping, slicing and dicing. They can also be done on days when I have more time and don’t just have a break between the classes I teach. So I chose to leave those well enough alone. I am, however, spending time planning out exactly what we’ll eat on each day of the week so I don’t have anything left to chance and find myself saying: “Oh, let’s go out!”

It’s a favorite thing for me.

If I have something prepared or something in mind, it’ll be harder for me to be lazy. Or so I like to tell myself. I’ll have to report back here and let you know how it goes, though.

On a side note, I think I’ve mentioned that Fernando is in university currently. He applied to two local businesses for internships even though he’s essentially still a freshman (I think a bachelor-degree holding student should automatically get some credit, but apparently having an English degree and going to study a science major puts you right back at the beginning). Well, we got some hopeful news this week!

Fernando heard back from one of the companies he applied to and has been asked to do a conference call interview on Tuesday morning! It wouldn’t be in the exact field he’s studying, but really, who cares if it gets him a foot in the door? (Not to mention out of fast food hell!) So please be thinking good thoughts and sending up some prayers for him for his interview!

– RaeNezL