November 13, 2012

I Got A Job!

As some of you know, last week I had two interviews. The first was at Hobby Lobby, which is like Michael's but bigger. The second was at DSW, which is a shoe store that two of Gavin's brothers work at. My first interview at Hobby Lobby at the interview went really well! So well, in fact, that the manager offered me a job as a cashier at the end of the interview!! The job is seasonal and has a possibility of continuing after the holidays; but, for the time being I will be working 30-35 hours a week! As an added perk the store isn't open on Sundays, so Gavin and I will always have at least one day a week off together which is really nice.

These are just some of the aisles of seasonal that we have. It would take so many more pictures to give a tour of the store so I figured I would just post some of the Christmas and Fall stuff.

I started last Thursday and worked Friday and Saturday as well. This week I am working Monday thru Friday 11am-6pm, which means I only get home an hour or so later than Gavin. The store is a little old school so it doesn't have scanners and because of that we have to key in the price of each item, which department it is in (by memory) and the discount if it is on sale (also by memory). For a store with over 80,000 items there has been a little bit of a learning curve on the departments and the sale items. Overall, I am really enjoying the job so far! The other employees are really friendly and (most) of the customers are in a good mood too. The fact that the store is full of things that I could use to craft, make projects off Pinterest and decorate just makes the job even more enjoyable. For now it is nice to have a job and be able to work while I figure out what my next step is.

Thank you to everyone who prayed for me and my job hunt! It is such a blessing to see God answer our prayers!!

In other news, all of our stuff got delivered Wednesday evening before I started work. It was nice to be able to have that night to get some things unpacked before I started working. We are slowly getting everything unpacked and put away in the apartment. I am so looking forward to the day when everything is unpacked and all the boxes are out of our apartment! I am hoping to be able to get a lot unpacked and settled this weekend since I have Saturday and Sunday off this weekend.

Gavin and I went to another church on Sunday, but still aren't sure of where we will end up. We will most likely try another church on Sunday and keep praying for the community that God has for us. It isn't that we have been to a bad church yet, but we haven't felt like any of the churches are necessarily where we are supposed to be. We will keep trying churches and start going back a second time to some and hopefully find a church home soon.

I am going to try hard to update this more often! I have a couple of projects that I want to get started on once everything is settled. So hopefully next week sometime I will be able to start working on those! Thanks for reading!

November 2, 2012

Since Being In Nashville...

***If you missed the post on our drive across the country you can scroll down or click here! Now back to the regularly scheduled post***

Alrighty then, I left off last time that we had just got into Nashville. We got in on Monday night and Gavin started work the next Wednesday, so the plan was to do some intense apartment hunting and getting to know the area on Tuesday. Our waitress Monday night at the sports bar was super nice and when I mentioned that we had just got in and were looking for an apartment she wrote down a list of complexes that she would recommend living in. Another woman over heard us and welcomed us to Tennessee and also gave us some advice about what neighborhoods are better than others.

Tuesday morning we went to look at an apartment complex in an area called “Brantioch” that is the area between Brentwood (a pretty nice area) and Antioch (a not so nice area). The apartment was decent, but it was a hop skip and a jump away from the airport and even in the short time we were there a flight flew over and it was loud. Not unbearable loud, but not like it just blended in with the surrounding ambient noise. We had some time before our next apartment viewing, so we drove into downtown Nashville and got a feel for the different areas of downtown. We looked at an apartment in Green Hills, which is another pretty nice neighborhood. The apartment was older and would have been at least a 20-30 minute commute for Gavin and when we didn't know where I would be working it just wasn't very practical since we only have one car. Then we went down to the area where Gavin is working called Cool Springs, which is technically in Franklin. We went to 4 apartment complexes within a couple of miles from Gavin’s office. We toured 3 of them and 1 did not have any openings until the end of November. We had our favorite of the day, but wanted to check out some other apartments in Franklin before making our final decision.

The next day I dropped Gavin off at his first day of work and went to look at more apartments. I went to 4 complexes and toured 3 of them; again 1 didn’t have any openings. I wasn't super impressed with any of the complexes I visited that day. So, we talked things over and decided to go with our favorite from the first day!

The complex we ended up going with was one that we were driving by and decided to just stop in to see if they had openings. We are so glad that we decided to stop by because that is where we ended up! We applied and were able to sign a lease and get the keys Friday night. We were so excited to be able to finally have a place to call ours!! We love the community so far and have met a couple of our neighbors! We are so excited for what our time here will hold and all of the life we will get to live here. So, here are some pictures of our apartment:

The outdoor covered area at the clubhouse
The pool
The island and kitchen
The view from our balcony
Part of our balcony and the door to the living room
Our bedroom
The closet
 It even turns a corner to the left! 
I love that we have a washer and dryer in the apartment!
From the corner of the living/dining room

We are still getting settled here and our stuff will be delivered by the moving company next week and then the big task of unpacking begins! In the meantime, I am looking for a job either in the retail area or a job in the social services field. Even if I get a job in the retail area I will keep looking for a job in the social services area to take another step toward my future career goals. Any prayers for the job search would be greatly appreciated!

Last Sunday we went to a church in the area that one of Gavin’s co-workers goes to. We liked the church, but are still going to check out some other churches in the area and see what they are like. There is no shortage of churches in the area, so we are really optimistic that we will be able to find a church that is on fire for Jesus and we fit into. We are so looking forward to finding a church home and getting plugged in somewhere!

Overall, we really like the area so far and all of the people that we have met truly do have the Southern Hospitality that people always talk about. Gavin and I have a running joke of “You know you’re in the South when…” We need to start writing them down so we can share them with you all later.

That ended up a pretty long post again! The next one won’t have to cover so much ground so it should be shorter! Thanks for reading and keeping up on our life! I miss everyone over on the West Coast and would love to hear what is going on in your life as well! Now that we have the internet set up in our apartment I foresee some skype dates in the future!!

November 1, 2012

We Have Arrived In Nashville!

Well, updating the blog as we drove across the country was a fail, but I will do a recap of our drive now. If you want to just read about since we have been in Nashville you can skip to the bottom!

Day 1 Oakdale, CA to Las Vegas, NV

Friday morning we packed up the car and headed south! We took 99 South and were able to have lunch with Gavin's little brother Cody. It was great to be able to visit and have great a tri-tip lunch at the Dog House Grill (basically the same restaurant as Firestone). We were on the road again after that!  

I’m not going to lie; the rest of the drive was fairly monotonous.  It was pretty much desert the rest of the way. I had never seen Joshua Trees and there were lots of them along the way. They are kind of these funky looking trees. 

Joshua Trees along the side of the road
We finally got into Nevada and as soon as we did there were casinos and one of them even had a roller coster. I was a little surprised that as soon as you crossed the state borders there were already casinos.

The Nevada State Sign
The Casino with the Roller Coaster
We got into Las Vegas around 8pm and Gavin’s Great Aunt and Uncle had dinner for us. We ate and watched the end of a Giants game. After that we went down to the strip and explored some. I had never been to Las Vegas before, so that was a cool experience for me. We really only went around a block on the strip, but it still was so much to take in. The Bellagio has an amazing atrium that they decorate according to the seasons and it was all decorated for fall. 

The talking tree at the Bellagio
We watched the fountains at the Bellagio a couple times as well. Then we went up in the Eiffel Tower at Paris to get an amazing view of the strip and the fountains. We were only down at the strip for a couple of hours because we needed to get some sleep before the next morning of driving, but the little taste of everything makes me look forward to going back sometime.

Panoramic from where we watched the fountains

Views from the Eiffel Tower 

Day 2 Las Vegas, NV to Albuquerque, NM

The next morning we got up and were on the road again! The day’s itinerary included a stop at the Grand Canyon and then staying with Gavin’s cousin in Albuquerque. The drive between Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon had some scenery that was actually pretty scenic. The red rocks were amazing and unlike landscape I had ever seen before. 

The lake that the Hoover Dam is on
The Grand Canyon was amazing and I am so glad that we made the 3-hour detour! If you are ever in the area or will be somewhat close to the Grand Canyon I would highly recommend visiting! It truly is a natural wonder. 

We drove down through Flagstaff and the scenery there was not what I would expect in Arizona. There are so many trees and it reminded me of Oregon.  The sun was setting right as we got into New Mexico and the sunset was pretty amazing. It was great to visit Gavin’s cousin and her family and meet all of them. 

Driving down through Flagstaff
Sunset as we drove into New Mexico
Red rocks like this were everywhere

Day 3 Albuquerque, NM to Shell Knob, MO

Again the next morning we were up and on the road! This day was our longest drive of the trip. We would go through New Mexico, the top of Texas, Oklahoma, the Northwest corner of Arkansas, and then stay with Gavin’s Brother-in-Law’s Parents in Southern Missouri. The drive through the rest of New Mexico and Texas was less than exciting. I don’t know if I would ever choose to live in either state, but we got some decent Mexican food in Texas and listened to Amarillo Sky by Jason Aldean while we drove through Amarillo. 

Oklahoma was a little better to drive through because if had some trees and was a little green. By the time we got into Arkansas it was dark, but from what we could tell the scenery looked really beautiful in Northwest Arkansas. We got to Gary’s parents’ house around 11pm and we were so glad to get there! They live on a lake in the country so getting there in the dark without getting lost was a pretty big accomplishment! We were able to visit for a little and then we headed to bed. We slept so well because we were so tired from the long day of driving! 

Day 4 Shell Knob, MO to Nashville, TN

The next morning we got up and were able to have a more relaxing morning, which was a really nice change of pace.  After we had breakfast Gordon, Gary’s Dad, showed us around and we went down to the lake. It was so beautiful and I can see why they decided to move there. He also showed us his shop where he makes beautiful benches, tables, beds and all sorts of things from trees he cuts down himself. I was so impressed!! The picture of us with Loretta, Gary’s Mom, is at a table that he made. After consulting the map for the best route to Nashville we were on the road again and our final destination was our next stop! 

The Lake

The highways in Missouri were not as big as we are used to, but there was hardly any traffic so we were happy campers. We crossed the Mississippi River and were technically in Illinois for about 5 minutes before we crossed the Ohio River into Kentucky. 

The whole drive that day was beautiful because the trees were the vibrant colors of fall and they were always lining the highway or freeway we were on. We got into Nashville a little before the Giants game started. We were able to check into our hotel room in Brentwood and then go find a local sports bar to get some food and watch the game!

The sunset in Tennessee as we made our way to Nashville

Overall it was fun to be able to see a lot of the U.S. that we had never seen before. Some of the states we don’t really feel the need to go back and visit, but then again you never know where life might take you! 

Well, just recapping our drive ended up being a really long post, so I am going to do a recap of our time here in Nashville in my next post! Promise it won’t take me so long this time!!!

P.S. If you want our new address feel free to email/call/text me! I just don’t want to post it on the interwebs for anyone to see