Monday, December 26, 2011

Thanks for the Inspirado, Ana!

About a year and half ago, I stumbled upon Ana White’s website (via Facebook), and saw she had posted plans to a Play Kitchen for her daughter. I showed the LOML, and we were like “Awwwwwwww, I totally need to build that for Ru when she’s a little older” . . . fast forward to Fall 2k11, and it got real . . . It was time for me to build Ru a Play Kitchen for Christmas!

Here’s what my first (of many) trip to Lowe’s looked like. Ana’s plans are awesome because she gives you the exact cut list for each board. I won’t say these plans are exactly step by step (you have to infer a little bit), but her drawings are great, and I think most anyone could follow them.

I’m by no means a carpenter, but I was able to assemble the sink, stove, and fridge “boxes” in a few Sunday afternoons . . . November was kind of a blur, but eventually we got them primed, and then the LOML did most of the painting 2 weeks ago. My bro-in-law, Christian (who has also been featured on Ana’s blog here) cut the hole for the sink and showed me how to install the euro-style cabinet hardware. Honestly, I couldn’t be more pumped with how everything turned out:

And here’s the whole kitchen, set up before Christmas morning!!!

Ru has really been enjoying her kitchen so far (she loves making smoothies!!!). I can’t wait to watch her (and her sister!!!!) cook for many years to come!!

* Sorry for the iPhone picts

** Don't call this a comeback

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Busy Season 2k11 . . . j/k! lolz!

Alright. I’ve been meaning to give you readers some type of update or closure or something since I abruptly ceased blogging back in the fall . . . I guess the biggest update from the last few months is I got a new job (cue Hallelujah chorus!!!!). But seriously, public accounting was very good to me the last 5 years, and without it I wouldn’t be in the position I am today. But I am FREAKING PUMPED to be starting 2011 without the dread of another busy season. If I want to take a Friday off to head down to the Fantasy Baseball Draft early, I can. And if I want to take a week off for spring break, I can. And if I want to take a day off to celebrate my sweet baby girl’s birthday, I can (and planning on it!).

It was actually a pretty long process “changing careers” (or rather my career-path) and I feel like I learned a lot through all the networking, interviewing, researching etc. A big hat tip to sites like the HR Capitalist, and anyone else who gave me 15 minutes to pick their brain. Recruiting was always one of my favorite parts of public accounting, and I’d love to share my thoughts/experiences with anyone else who is looking to transition down the road, etc.

Speaking of interviews, here’s reason #381 why my wife is the coolest and I love her to pieces. Back in July, she was leaving to go out of town the day before I had a big interview (not with my current employer, but one I REALLY wanted to work for at the time), so she went to Icing on the Cookie and left me this note:

Isn’t she awesome?

Ok, so I promise not to drone on and on about my job change, but I do have one book recommendation for anyone interested. Check out Strengths Finder 2.0. Basically, the book talks about how we should be focusing on finding work that utilizes our “natural” talents/strengths (and we should be working to improve those strengths), rather than trying to improve upon our weaknesses. Makes sense, seeing you’re more likely to “enjoy” improving on something you’re already inclined/interested in rather than getting frustrated when you’re not “succeeding” at something you probably won’t be able to master in the first place.

The book (and on-line assessment) gives examples of what your strengths might look like in “real-world” situation and gives tips on finding work/careers that utilize those strengths. There are 34 different strengths/talents, and my five (everyone has 5) were Analytical, Input, Learner, Intellection, and Connectedness. I can DEFINITELY see how my current job is fostering the development of these 5 talents and I’m excited to see what the future holds! (not that public accounting wasn’t necessarily doing this, but I digress) . . .

Ok, so I was planning on turning this post into a big 4 month catch-up and maybe talk about my High School reunion or how we went to Disney World/Harry Potter or how I (re)signed up for Twitter, but it’s getting late, and Birmingham is in the middle of a BLIZZARD, so I should probably hit the hay . . . but oh yeah:

War Cam Eagle!

PS - I met Verne Lundquist over Thanksgiving!