Saturday, April 4, 2009

I Finally Got a Job!

I just started my new job working for Department of Human Services, State Operated Community Programs. It is a stabilization home for kids with mental health issues, and my position is a Mental Health Therapy Technician. I am training for the next week and a half, and so far I've really enjoyed meeting all the people I will be working with. I feel very lucky to have a job right now with how the economy is, and especially one through the state. The job is in Salem, but I am living in Woodburn, which is just a 20 minute or less drive. I am excited to be starting my career now, and to see where this new experience will take me!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Chicago and More

So here is a nice blurry picture of the Chicago sign! Unfortunately my timing in Chicago was not great, I was there when it was way below freezing and snowing and the wind made me feel like I was in a giant freezer with huge fans blowing me over. I went in the middle of December, so not the greatest time of the year. It was dark most of the time as well! I had two interviews while I was there, and they were pretty interesting, though they did not pay well at all. I stayed with a friend in St. Louis, so I didn't have to spend much on hotels, because St. Louis is about a 4 1/2 hour drive. That worked out pretty well, besides the fact that the weather was horrible. Anyway I decided to interview at two places in St. Louis as well since I was there. I really liked one of the agencies, but it was only 24 hours a week to start and little benefits so it wasn't enough to get me to move there! I had fun exploring Chicago though, and here are a few pictures of the city at night.

View of Sears Tower from the bottom

Big Christmas tree in the Sears Tower Building

A 5 story Sports Authority!

Of course I don't remember which building this is, but it looked cool lit up.

This is the Chicago Sun Times Building.

And here is a picture off the Navy Pier.

Again, it was a fun experience, but after experiencing the weather there, I'm not so sad the jobs didn't work out! I'd love to go back in better weather though, because I hear the city is really nice in the summers. So now I have decided to only look in Oregon because I really don't have money to move anywhere, especially not anywhere far away. I think it would be fun to experience another city for a few years, but I am focusing on the Portland area mostly, as it has the biggest opportunity job-wise. This is a horrible time to be job hunting, and my measly 10.50 an hour, 16 hours a week is NOT cutting it! I have at least one interview lined up for this week, and I hope to have more soon.

In other news, I got a wii for my graduation/Christmas present combined and it is the MOST AMAZING thing in the world! I love the games of course, but my favorites are the Wii Fit and Guitar Hero. It helps keep me entertained while I'm not working that much and I don't have much money to do anything. I love it! That is all that is happening for me lately. I know I don't post often, but so far I haven't had a whole lot going on! I will post again when something new or exciting happens!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I am DONE!!!

I finally finished school as of yesterday - I have officially graduated! I have been at the University of Oregon for just over 5 years, and I am so happy to finally be done. I must say, the Family and Human Services program at the U of O is an amazing program, and I have really grown and learned a lot. The faculty and staff are amazing and so supportive, I couldn't have asked to be a part of a better program.I am really excited and nervous about what is next to come. I have been job searching over the last couple of months, and unfortunately the economy isn't so great, especially in Oregon. I have been applying to some bigger cities in a few other states, and so far I've gotten some requests for interviews in Chicago. I will be heading there next week to do some interviews and see how it goes. It's always hard thinking of moving away from everything I know, but I feel that it is much better to move away now when I have no obligations than it would be later. I would like to get my Masters of Social Work, but currently there is no way I can afford that. I am hoping I will find a place to help me pay for it if I work for them for a period of time. I'm not sure what will happen but I am looking forward to finding out. I am incredibly impatient when it comes to finding a job, as most people are I'm sure, so I hope this process goes smoothly!
I just want to thank all of my friends and family, no matter how often or little we may see each other, for being so supportive and encouraging of my education, and now my career path. I wouldn't be who I am or where I am without all of the people in my life, and I am very blessed and thankful for that.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween in Reno!

My good friend Rachael is getting married this summer to her boyfriend of almost 7 years. She lives in Reno and my friends and I thought we should pay a visit and talk about wedding stuff with her. We all decided on Halloween weekend because Rachael had a 3 day weekend because Nevada Day falls on Halloween. I'm not sure why Oregon doesn't have an Oregon Day but I'm quite jealous! Anyway, Shauna, Erica and I headed off to Reno Thursday late afternoon. Here is a picture of us in California at a gas station where we had to pump our own gas.

We're from Orygun! Wutz this crap?!

We didn't get into Reno until about 1:30 in the morning but we had lots of fun planned for Friday. We all went and saw Rachael's wedding dress and she decided to buy it. It is very beautiful! We also tried on bridesmaid dresses and picked some very nice ones out! I didn't get any pictures of them unfortunately, but I'll wait for the wedding. For Halloween night, we decided to go downtown to a club that had a costume contest and hang out there for the night, though we didn't stay late enough to participate in the actual contest.

Here we are at Rachael's place ready to go out.

Wade and Rachael, the cute couple!

Little Red Riding Hood, Cow, 50's Girl, and Butterfly.

My utter was the evening's attraction.

We had lots of fun! My cow costume was quite the hit surprisingly. I was asked to pose with several people, which was new and weird to me but whatever! Today we just hung around Reno and saw some attractions. We saw where Rachael and Wade will be getting married, and Rachael showed us her small school where she teaches. We also tried to locate some different chapels because I wanted to find where my parents got married. Unfortunately we couldn't find the chapel that my mom had mentioned it possibly being, but seeing as it has been over 27 years, it may be gone or changed or who knows. Here are a couple I found:

Chapel of Bells

The Heart of Reno

One of these just might be the same palace my parents wed in with Elvis as their witness! I hate to have to go home already, but unfortunately these fun trips never last long enough. It was really great seeing where Rachael has been the last couple years though, as well as being able to see her dress and pick out our dresses. I'm really looking forward to her wedding!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Belknap Hot Springs

My friend Liz and I went to Belknap Hot Springs last week. She had never been there, but had heard it was pretty so we took a day trip. It was a very pretty day and we both got a lot of great pictures. She was looking for somewhere she could take her boyfriend, and after she saw it she was excited to show him. I have always thought it would be a really pretty place to have a wedding, and who knows, maybe some day it will be for me! Anyway, we took lots of pictures and here are some of them:

This is the heart garden.

There were lots of beautiful flowers, even though it was late in the summer. I told Liz she should come back in the spring when there are usually even more flowers in bloom.

Asian garden

Secret Garden

I had forgotten all about the secret garden until I saw the big brick wall hidden behind plants. Then I could hear water flowing and I remembered it being back there. We found it and it was so pretty! It is such a nice place to go on a sunny day. It seems so peaceful out there. We had a nice time, then had to come back and go to work! :( Sometimes reality bites!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Summa time!

This summer, a wild cat had some kittens and both my mom and I have made attempts to pet the kittens and, at least I have, attempted to try to kidnap them. Unfortunately they don't want anything to do with us but they are SOOO adorable!! I caught them lounging one afternoon on my way to work, so I took some pictures.

Here they are in mom's herb garden.

This is after one of them heard me sneaking around, he had his eye on me.

Then I tried to go capture one of them and they both ran off. I wish we could get one to tame down, but I don't believe they even come up to the house anymore. It makes me REALLY want a kitten again though.

I have been able to capture some cool sunsets this summer, mostly because of the fires unfortunately, but they are still really pretty. Here are a few...

This is a sunset outside my parents' house recently, so many colors!

This one was on my way home from work one night,
I happened to have my camera so I pulled over and caught it.

And this one was on my way back from the coast along I5.

Aside from that, my summer has been going by way too fast. I finished summer school, except a few hours I have at my internship. I went to camp as a counselor for a week for Courageous Kids, and that was such an amazing experience for me. It is a camp specifically for kids that have lost a loved one, and most of the counselors there have also lost loved ones. Throughout the school year, I co-facilitate weekly support groups where the kids do art projects to help them understand their feelings of grief. I really enjoy doing that, but I'd have to say this camp was so much more powerful because the kids are with each other for 5 days straight and their stories and feelings really come out. During the weekly support groups the kids don't really get that comfortable with each other because they only see each other once a week for an hour.

Something that I really like about being an intern at Courageous Kids is that it helps me sort out my own past feelings of grief, from the time my grandfather died when I was 5. I have learned a lot about myself and what I was going through, though I never knew what was going on. It is so great to be able to share these realizations with the kids at CK so that they feel like they can relate more to me. I am really interested in grief therapy, especially using methods of art therapy, and I'm hoping to be able to get into this field as a profession in the next few years.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Second Year at Lincoln City

It has been another few months since I've posted, but I finally did something fun so I have something to talk about! Last year some friends from high school and I started an annual trip to Lincoln City. So this past weekend we went on our second trip there, and it was a lot of fun! We did lots of sun bathing, eating, talking and laughing! There was also lots of shopping done, but I got sun burned pretty bad so I had to skip out on that. That's actually probably a good thing, because I don't have the money to spend I things I really don't need, like outlet malls! So here we all are on our first night there...

The Outlook Hotel In Lincoln City rocks!

Rachael and Erica on the beach.

Shauna and I almost jumping.

Day 2: Bury Erica in the sand. And make her a mermaid! (Though you can't really see her fin...)

Our little whale friend is out there!

And this is the sunset the night before we left!

The trip was a lot of fun, and a much needed vacation for me to get away from work, school and my internship. Ahhh... now I am about to go on a week long camp for Courageous Kids, where I intern. Hopefully I'll come back with some good stories :)