Friday, October 14, 2011

Lets play catch-up!

Well my life has been a total chaotic blur these past couple of weeks.

Between moving, interviewing for jobs, travelling, working over time and working two jobs at once I haven't had much time for anything! (oh and throw being sick for 2 1/2 weeks on top of that!)

But finally there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I have put my two weeks in at my old job and my last day should be next Sunday. (WOOO HOO!)

I can't wait to just have the one job. Where the latest I will work is 9 at night. Where I won't work every weekend and where I get proper breaks and benefits. Where I have opportunities for advancement and promotion and possibility to transfer. I'm so excited about this job. It is a financial risk for me to take this job, but it is sooooo worth it. And if I do well and work hard it will pay off 100 times over.

Also something really awesome about this job? They are sending me on training.

On Monday I am headed to Dublin for training all week. They are putting me up in a hotel and covering all travel costs. With all of my jobs and all of my experience I have never had a job do this for me! I'm super excited and I'm excited because I will have a girl that I am friends with in Dublin training with me!

I'm so happy for learning new skills and to have a job that invests in me. I can't wait for my week in Dublin, even if I will be in training all day next week. And I'm hoping at night we will be able to get out and enjoy some of the great night life that Dublin has to offer!

And even more exciting after that? With my new job I will be able to have a much more normal kind of life. Where I will be at home in the evening with my husband and have a weekend off here and there to spend with Hubby and friends.

Woo Hoo!!

Madrid in a Flash!

So at the end of September James and I had a chance to jet over to Madrid to see our good friend Miguel.

Miguel used to live here in Limerick and he and James went to University together. They had been good friends for several years and this past year Miguel had this great opportunity to join his friend's band in Mexico. So he left Ireland and now lives in Mexico touring there constantly. It was sad that he had to move so far away but an once in a life time opportunity that he couldn't pass up!

Well Miguel, and a few other band members are originally from Spain and so they decided to tour there all of September. James and I decided that since Spain is so close to Ireland that we would head over for his final gig since we don't know the next chance we would get to see our friend! (and hey you can't beat a few days of sunshine and warmth that is so rare here in Ireland!)

We were actually only in Madrid for about a day and a half. Super quick I tell ya. That's one of the awesome benefits of living on the edge of Europe. I can actually go to another country for a "day trip" and it costs me about the same as a tank of gas in the States.

So anyways here are some of our pictures from our quick little trip in Madrid!

James and I in the Plaza del Sol at the statue of the Bear and the Strawberry tree- this is the symbol of Madrid. Why? I have no clue. I sure I could easily find out I just need to google it haha.

James and our friends Aoife and Lisa who joined us on our whirlwind trip- they were walking into Plaza Mayor which is the biggest "central" square in Madrid. Its a great place to eat lunch or dinner, see some outdoor entertainment, listen to some music, take pictures. I love it, I think its gorgeous!
Our little Irish group with Miguel before the gig! We went to a little restaurant with a "beer garden" (basically chairs out on the sidewalk) to have a pint before the show.

Tragi-comiK! They played a great show and sounded really awesome live!

Me, James and Miguel, being our normal selves as you can tell.

James and Miguel after the gig and several pints haha

Our little group at the end of the night. Bars in Madrid go all night long. This was a Wednesday so the bar closed early....and by early I mean 5:30 in the morning. We were all a little worse for the wear haha!
James the next morning. We had to check out of our hostel at 11am after about 3 hours of sleep. Lets just say it was a long day of hoofing it around Madrid before we could head to the airport for our flight!

It was a great trip. I wish we could have stayed in Madrid a little longer. I was able to squeeze in a visit to the Museo del Prado (something I didn't do the last time I was in Madrid and I totally regretted! It was amazing and I recommend it highly!!) but I wish we had more time to kick back and relax in the sunshine and warmth! But I'm so happy we got to see Miguel and spend a little time with him!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Its not Autumn....its Fall!!

Well actually if you are going by weather, here in Ireland its neither.

Unless you count cold, rain soaked days as fall weather, which I don't. (I'm being a season snob and I don't care!)

In the states we call the season between winter and summer, fall. Here they call it Autumn. I personally don't care for the word. It almost sounds uppity to me. "Oh its Autumn....tra la la le da." (because thats how posh people talk. we all know its true.)

Every time I say fall though I am quickly corrected by the nearest Irish person. Typically this involves a slow head shake as they say you silly American, when will you learn your English.

Anyways. I usually love fall. I love to see the colors changing. I love that crisp feeling in the air and being able to pull all of my sweaters out from the back of the closet where they were shoved all summer. I love the sunshine and light in the afternoons. The pumpkins and corn mazes and hay rides. I love seeing the Halloween decorations in the stores and have a total love/hate relationship with the dreaded countdown to Christmas.

Fall in Ireland? It doesn't live up to my expectations. Why should it though? Its a completely different country, in a different latitude on the other side of the Atlantic (the COLD side. hrmph). Here the leaves begin changing as early as late august. And strangely enough it never seems like there is a bursting of color on the trees like there was in America. It just kinda slowly changes and they fall off and thats it. I can't even seem to find huge piles of leaves on the sidewalks like you would back home. (you know the kind you can shuffle your feet through and they make that great rustling/crunching sound) There are no hay rides here. The pumpkins are rare. You can only seem to find them at Tesco and they are tiny and insanely overpriced. (seriously 5 euros for a "large" pumpkin....the pumpkin is about the same size as a box of kleenex!) Its just not the same. I don't think that Ireland has to change, I think my expectations need some work though.

Fall here is more of a teaser for winter weather. Its basically the same as winter, just about 10 degrees warmer. So far it has been grey skies and rain all day long. It makes it hard to get out of bed some mornings, but since this is my second time experiencing winter weather here, I find it much easier to get on with my day this time around.

I do have to say though, I have been sick the past couple of days and today I finally have the chance to stay at home and rest and there is no better weather for laying on the couch all day than cold, rainy weather. Another thing that is good about the grey skies all of the time is how much I appreciate sunshine when we get it. Last week we had a sunny afternoon (not day, we don't really get days that are entirely sunny!) and I couldn't get over how colorful everything was! I really appreciated the beauty of that afternoon of sunshine more than I would have if we got sunshine all the time.

I think this year instead of wishing that fall here was more like in America I am going to try and be creative. Make it something nice for me. Make sure that I celebrate Thanksgiving and do a pumpkin for Halloween. So bring it on Ireland- fall (not autumn) style!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Oh life, with your twists and turns.

Well I have come into a bit of luck lately. A little too much luck. (is there such a thing?)

Its all a little complicated so I won't get into details. But in the last couple of weeks I have been offered interviews left and right. I accepted each and every one of them (hey you never know) and then proceeded to fit them in my schedule somewhere.

I got offered one job (one which I really hoped to get) and I accepted it straight away. It is only a part time position but it's a company that has branches all over the UK, Europe and is now owned by the biggest electronics retailer in America. (I'm not naming names, you can figure it out for yourself haha) In my mind that says to me OPTIONS. I can move with this job. I can transfer. There is also a ton of upward mobility and opportunity with this job if I do well.

Then I had an interview the day after I accepted this job. I went despite accepting the offer because the job was only part time and I was worried about finances. I was offered a job on the spot. I asked them to wait a week before I told them yes or no. They were calling me 4 days later chomping at the bit to have me, promising me the first managers position that opened up. When I told them about the job I had already accepted they pretty much told me I had to work with them and no one else. So I then declined this position. (not as good of a company, pay was the same, not as much mobility in terms of countries.)

Then this morning I had a second informal interview with an Irish company. They sell high end kitchen supplies and home furnishings. The informal interview was basically to tell me you have the position. It was for a mangers job. Basically everything I have wanted since I moved here nearly 2 years ago. A managers job. In a small shop with normal working hours. I would love love love this job. But there is no mobility. small company, not a lot of room for promotion. Only three other locations in Ireland. If we move to Dublin next year I'm out of a job. And the nail in the coffin for me is that the store is located in the city centre here in Limerick. The city centre is dead. no one shops there, especially for high end kitchen wares. Who can really afford to splash out 60 quid for a single pan?? Not many people, especially here in Limerick. Taking this job, while everything I want, is a complete and total risk. So I go to the interview, its going great. Then I drop the bomb shell and inform this woman who I would be working with about the job I already accepted. I was basically told that I could only work the job there and not at the other place I had accepted. I told her I wasn't willing to give up that other job. She looked at me like I was an idiot. She probably did think I was an idiot. Who in their right mind would pass up a management spot (especially with all of my experience) for a part time job? I asked her if it was possible for them to let me work there part time that I would love that and that I feel that I would be a really great fit in the store, which she agreed, but told me she felt it wasn't possible.

I'm expecting my rejection email sometime early tomorrow.

I was absolutely gutted (as the Irish say) leaving the store. I was able to walk around the corner before I started crying. I felt like I just had one of those "turning point" moments where if I chose path A my life would be very different than if I chose path B. I started panicking thinking oh god, have I made the worst decision? What if path A is the wrong choice and I've just screwed myself completely?? I called James and he talked me off my emotional edge- kinda. I moved from panic to pity. All I could think of then was how long I waited and tried and failed and wished for an opportunity like this and how stupid I was to pass it up. I just felt so alone and tired and stupid and horrible.

Then I did something incredibly smart that I almost never do. I called my dad. It was incredibly early in America (around 6am) but he was up and answered. He is the one person that I know is really great about all things work related. I'm sure getting a call from his daughter first thing with her crying about jobs wasn't the highlight of his morning. But he really helped me see that I had made a sound decision. That thinking long term, while not beneficial in the short term will pay off. That some risks aren't worth taking even though they promise a lot. My dad and I don't get along that well, but today was nice. He was able to comfort and calm me down and be supportive which was exactly what I needed in that moment.

I guess basically what this post is all about is timing. Life doesn't work out the way we want it to. I hoped and hoped for interviews and job offers for months. I finally got them, but just too many at once. Any decision with work can be risky no matter how much you prepare. I just made the best decision I felt I could make with my resources and information I had at hand. So while it sucks that I couldn't make it work for a full time job, I'm really happy that I finally, FINALLY, got a new job, and I'm feeling ok about the choice I made.

Next step? Quitting the job I'm at now (thats right people, I've been too chicken to hand in my notice, and I'm scared about the pay cut.). I'm working both jobs at the moment and am working about 60 hours this week. (I'm just a little tired. just a tad.) but I will be handing in the notice friday. woooo hoooo!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sleep? Pshhh who needs it

The last few weeks in the Taylor house have been a little hectic. And by hectic I mean completely insanely busy!

So apparently moving house, working 45 hour weeks, interviewing 5 or 6 times, driving all over mid-west Ireland and heading to Spain for 3 days all at the same time keeps one kind of busy.

Between James and I we have probably slept about 20 hours in the past two weeks. (well probably more, but it sure does feel that way!)

But its been great. There have been a lot of huge changes, but really good changes.

Like our great new house. We now live on the other side of Limerick. In an actual house that is about the same size as our last flat. And its 150 less per month. That might not seem like a lot for some people, but for me working with my shoe-string budget its a life changing amount of money to save! (I might actually have financial wiggle room! woot woot!)

Also after a year and a half of applications, CVs, interviews and banging my head against the wall I seem to have had some success on the job front. (FINALLYYYYYY!!!) I had about 5 interviews in 3 days, 2 job offers so far and another 2 interviews scheduled for next week.

(happy dance....HAPPY DANCE!!!!)

I don't know what changed. My work experience hasn't changed, nor my CV but that doesn't matter so much to me. I'm just happy I finally got a break.

So lots going on. Lots of good things. I'm pretty happy and super stressed right now (strange combination haha!) but I'm really looking forward to what I feel like is the second phase of my life here in Ireland.

Onward and upward people, onward and upward!