Thursday, May 28, 2009

job :)

praise the Lord - i got & accepted a job offer this week!! i had two interviews in the past month, which was encouraging after not hearing anything for so long. i was concerned about the possibility of having to decide between the two agencies, so i prayed that God would close the door to the first agency if the second one was right for me - and that's exactly what He did!

the position is as a counselor at greenville mental health center, which is only 15 minutes from where we live. the job description is almost exactly what i had in mind when i graduated last may. i'll be working with adults on an outpatient basis that are primarily struggling with depression, anxiety, or other mood disorders. i'm excited about getting to do outpatient because i only got to work with inpatient populations during my internship at the hospital. this means i'll be able to develop longer relationships with clients and see them on an ongoing basis. it also means i'll be working normal business hours, which is thrilling! (it's surprising how few opportunities don't involve working on nights & weekends.) the caseload is rather large, but the good thing is i'll get to do a lot of group therapy. this was my favorite part of my internship!

i won't start until july because the agency is part of the state government (SC dept of mental health), so there's a little red tape. in the meantime, i plan to continue volunteering and to enjoy my last month off. i already have a couple art projects in mind!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

rimes family spring fling

every memorial day weekend, chris' mom's side of the family gathers in alma, ga at the farm house where mrs. cathy and her brothers & sisters grew up. we always tell people that what we do there can be summed up in three words: talk, eat, sleep. in other words, it's a wonderful time of relaxation & fun!it took us just under five hours on friday to drive there. eva is a great traveler!it was raining off & on most of the weekend, so the ground stayed muddy. good thing we brought our boots! here i am with chris' cousin jay's little girls, emma & grace. (i think that would make them my second cousins-in-law?)
my favorite meal of the weekend is mr. mike's low country boil:
we stayed at chris' aunt trudy & uncle randy's house. their son will, and his wife, amanda have a sweet 2 year old son, michael and a 6 year old boxer named sugar raye (clever, huh?). here's sugar & eva being sweet:
on sunday night, we played what seemed like a never-ending game of phase 10. in actuality, it lasted just over 4 hours and ended a little before 2am. the later it got, the sillier we got. chris' brother kevin (in the light blue) & his girlfriend andra won, but i was excited that i finally made all 10 phases!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

fun week

this week has been filled with fun events so far. on monday night, i went to chris' softball game. they are doing really well this season and won their game this week. there is another wife, kim, that always goes and keeps the score. we have a lot in common, and i am enjoying getting to know her. maybe she will rub off on me, and i'll start paying more attention to what's going on during the games!

on tuesday, piedmont women's center had a cowboy-themed potluck dinner for all the volunteers & staff. chris came with me, and it was great to get to introduce him to some of the ladies i volunteer with. they also unveiled some expansions they are planning for their primary center downtown, which is exciting.

today, lori and i planned a picnic in the park with our dogs. it was the most beautiful day of the week so far - bright sunshine and not a cloud in the sky! we had chicken salad on croissants, chips & salsa, and these awesome puff pastries lori made with whipped cream and chocolate sauce - delicious! her dog, spencer, is a year-and-a-half-old yellow lab, and he & eva had a great time playing. here's a picture of spence in the car on the way - just begging to be let into the front with us. lori is also looking for a job right now, and we decided it would be fun to make picnic lunches together a regular thing until we find jobs.

tonight was the last meeting of our "greenhouse" class at church - basically brushy creek's wednesday night bible studies. our class had a party, and we enjoyed a lot of good food. chris wanted to bring stuffed jalapenos, and i wanted to bring apples & brickle dip (joy's recipe). so we compromised, and i made a half recipe of each.

we're looking forward to going to chris' grandparents' farm house in south georgia for the long weekend. everyone have a great memorial day!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

magnificent seven weekend

the title of this post refers to chris' group of 7 close friends from high school. this weekend was a reunion of sorts for them, plus the spouses and significant others that have been "inducted" into the group! everyone came to town - erika & matt, patrick & brooke, jessica - to join us & dustin in celebrating liz & scott's soon-to-come baby girl with a shower on saturday. we had a great time eating, talking, taking pictures, and learning random baby trivia.
saturday night we ate downtown and and walked around main street, showing everyone falls park (a beautiful area with a waterfall and walking bridge). we also stopped for gelato, which is my new favorite food!on sunday morning, the boxes (middle) and the bates (right) came to church with us. in the afternoon, we had a cookout to wish patrick and brooke goodbye as they prepare to move to iowa next month. we are going to miss them, but we are excited for the new adventures we'll get to hear about!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

athens weekend

chris & i had another fun weekend, this one spent in athens. matt and erika were so kind to let us stay at their place all weekend long and leave eva there while we went to our events. it was great catching up with them...we realized that the last time we'd seen them was at our wedding! that streak is over though, because we'll be seeing them again next weekend when they come to greenville for liz's baby shower & the boxes' farewell party. the bates have a black lab, lola, who was super excited to have a playmate! they were more interested in each other's toys than their own. check out the size difference in their kongs - not sure if you can tell because of the distance, but lola's is the red one & is about 4 times bigger than eva's! eva loved lola's pre-chewed bone, and at one point lola was holding it in her mouth above eva while she tried to get was a fun game. on saturday, we went to chris' middle brother kevin's graduation from uga. his degree was in business with an emphasis in accounting, and he will be moving to atlanta later this summer to start a job with a firm there. we are proud of him and hope he'll do our taxes one day! here's us with kevin and his girlfriend, andra. the brothers golden: kyle, kevin, & christopher on sunday, we went to a georgia tech friend's wedding. the ceremony was outside at the classic center, and the weather was perfect - not too hot, just a bit breezy. the rain held off until just after the ceremony ended. the reception was beautiful, too. here's ashley and jamie having their first dance: finally, here we are with our dear friends, justin & linda. we're excited they'll be staying with us later in the summer when we all go to another friend's wedding in asheville, nc. it's fun to have reunions!

Monday, May 4, 2009

fun weekend

on friday chris and i went to a cinco de mayo party that some friends of ours from sunday school, tim & blaire, were hosting. we enjoyed delicious salsa, cookies in the shape of chili peppers, and good times with friends.
on saturday, we went to the kenducky derby - it's an annual charity event held downtown on greenville's reedy river. you "adopt" a rubber ducky and they race them down the river. one of the beneficiaries is a group that liz volunteers for: miracle league, a sports program for children with disabilities.we brought eva and had a great time! audrey & grant met up with us and brought some of their friends who were visiting from out of town. it's such a family friendly event. eva makes friends wherever she goes. we should be getting a call this week if our ducks won anything. first prize is free groceries for a year from bi-lo! i'm not holding my breath or anything...

Friday, May 1, 2009

busy week

this week has been busier than usual for me, as i've had something almost every day related to my volunteering. on monday, i helped out at a charity golf tournament at greenville country club that benefits piedmont women's center. it turned out they had so many volunteers that there wasn't enough work to go around. so after placing a few sponsor labels on golf carts, i ended up sitting on the veranda in rocking chairs with our director enjoying a delicious free lunch and the gorgeous view of the golf course. it was such a beautiful day, and the course was amazing. it makes me wonder what i've been missing by never having been to the masters....

on wednesday, i went to an informational breakfast at bethany christian services, a national adoption agency. i learned a bit about the adoption process and specifically what that agency offers. this is such valuable information - not only with my current volunteer position but in my career as well.

tuesday and thursday are my usual days at the center. this week i got to conduct my first counseling session (rather than just observing). i am really enjoying the work and am amazed at the women who come in. they are from all different walks of life - single teenagers to married women, locals to foreignors, etc. what they all have in common is an unplanned pregnancy and related fears. this week i got to sit in on two ultrasounds. when one woman saw the picture of her baby wiggling around on the screen she exclaimed, "it's beautiful!" it really is an amazing thing to see.

my first week at the center, i observed an ultrasound and ended up fainting (for the first time in my life)! so there i was, supposed to provide comfort and reassurance to the pregnant woman, and i passed out. i think it happened because it was unusually hot in the room and the ultrasound machine made it even hotter. since then, i think everyone was afraid to send me up to observe! i'm glad we've all gotten over that, because in a couple of weeks liz is coming in for one. i'm excited to get a sneak peek of her sweet baby girl!