Thursday, June 19, 2014

#TotalSocial · My 9-5

Helene in Between

I'm linking up with Sarah (from Venus Trapped in Mars) and Helen (from Helene in Between) for their #9to5totalsocial link-up. If you've been following me for a while now, you'll know that I've always been pretty vague about what I do for a living. My work life isn't glamorous and I'm certainly not living my dream, but I really enjoy what I do. I actually work for 3 different companies. So, there is no such thing as 9-5 for me. My schedules vary from month to month, week to week, even day to day. I'll try my best to break it down for y'all. Prepare to be fascinated or completely disinterested (I won't be upset about the latter).

1. Longshoreman. I know what you're thinking. What the heck is a longshoreman? It's basically a dockworker. More specifically, I'm a "line handler", which is a person who handles the lines of vessels entering and leaving the port. We tie their lines up so they won't float away + throw off their lines when they're ready to set sail. Cement ships, scrap ships, oil barges ... we do 'em all.

So, how did I land this unique job? It's a long story, but I'll try to share the highlights. My grandpa (my mom's dad) was a tug boat captain, my dad was his deckhand which inevitably led to him meeting my mom and falling in love with her. Eventually, my dad became a tug boat captain as well and married my mama. About 28 years ago, they opened up their own business. I started working for them when I was 18 and as soon as G came into my life, he joined the crew too. I'm glad I get to work with him.

It's a male-dominated field, that's for sure. But I'm proud to say I'm one of the few women who can be a part of this line of work. Being on call 24/7 is a little tricky (especially if you're trying to balance a social life). For some reason the vessels love arriving in the wee hours of the morning. I've grown accustomed to sleep deprivation, haha. But, honestly, I really enjoy what I do!

2. Seal verifier. While working in the port, my parents were given the opportunity to manage a portable operation for a company that imports and exports orange juice. When ships carrying orange juice come into the port (about once every 1-2 months), we load/unload the juice into/out of tanker trucks. The trucks then make their way to the plant where the juice is processed.

My dad was the operations manager up until the time he passed away in 2012. My mom works as the office manager and my husband was recently promoted to supervisor. Me? I'm a "checker", or what I like to call a seal verifier. I basically work alongside the USDA to insure the product (the orange juice) remains untainted. I check the seals on the tanker trucks, making sure no one has tampered with them and manage the incoming paperwork before it makes it's way to the office. Pretty cut and dry. We pull 12 hour shifts around the clock until the job is complete. Try working 12 hours and then getting up in the middle of the night to work job #1. It can get pretty crazy at times, but I'm used to it by now. I've been working for this company since I was 18 too.

3. Target team member. When job #2 slowed down (or came to a halt) last fall, I decided I needed to find a part time job to help us in the meantime. That's where Target comes in. I thought I'd only be working there for the holiday season. But, here we are, almost 8 months in and I'm still a softlines team member. My job duties include refolding/rehanging clothes, putting items back where they belong, working as a backup cashier and helping the guests. My coworkers are awesome and I've learned a lot since I started. They're very understanding about my other job(s) and have been flexible with scheduling which I am so grateful for.

So, folks, there ya have it! Hopefully I didn't bore you to death!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Late Weekend Rundown

It feels like I've been gone for a crazy amount of time, when really, it's only been a few days. I'm so behind on everything blog related, so much so that I totally threw my "blog schedule" out the window and decided to just sit down a write. Life's been a bit chaotic recently. I knew this past weekend was going to be a bloody challenge with everything I had to tackle: hosting Jen's bridal shower, celebrating Father's Day + the hub's birthday and reuniting with one of my best friends, Lauren, as she moved back after living in Germany for the past 3 years. You try cramming ALL of that into 2 days, people!

Even though it was jam-packed, our weekend was a blast! Friday was spent getting everything in order for Jen's bridal shower on Saturday afternoon. I shared about her engagement and upcoming wedding in this post back in March. It turned out really nice and I know that she enjoyed herself! On Saturday evening, we went to visit my Grandpa to celebrate Father's Day early since Sunday was spent catching up with Lauren and celebrating G's 25th birthday. I really, really wish we would have done more for his birthday but he insisted on something simple (we've been celebrating everything low-key this year). So, dinner and a movie it was. We had dinner at Outback and went to see X-Men: Days of Future Past, which was so freaking good by the way.

Oh, on top of everything else, I switched to the dark side on Sunday afternoon and became the owner of a brand new iPhone 5s. Unintentionally, of course! You see, I surprised G with one for his birthday. We were planning on waiting until the end of the year, but I wanted to spoil him (as usual) and I had recently paid off my Note 2. As soon as we went down to have his activated, he easily talked me into getting one for myself. And the rest is history. So long, Android! Well, err, kinda. I'm still keeping my Note 2, but I'll be using it as a tablet from now on since everything still works as long there's wi-fi. It's a total win-win, yo! I'm still getting used to this itty-bitty screen. It's such a big change for me. But the camera on this thing is ridic and I absolutely love it.

Whenever the weekend came to a close, I thought I would have had a chance to breathe. But, on Monday, my mama sliced her foot open (her toe to be more specific) and we spent a good portion of our morning waiting in the urgent care office. 5 stitches and what seemed like a year later, she was back home and resting. So, for the last 2 days I've been doing my best to keep her off of her feet while taking care of everything around the house. I took yesterday off from work (I was only scheduled for 4 hours anyway so it's not that big of a deal). I had no idea how much my mama actually did every single day. This whole experience is a real eye-opener. I feel like there's not enough hours in the day to do all the things that need to be done, but I'm trying my best.

I'm hoping to have more time to post in the next few days, but if that doesn't happen, just bear with me!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Celebrating the Memories

17,520 hours = 730 days = 104 weeks = 24 months = 2 years. It's been 2 years as of today. 2 years since I saw you last, laying peacefully with empty eyes and a still chest. Tears may not have come that very moment, but they've made their appearance many times in the moments since. There's just so much I wish you were here to see, so many times I've needed your help or guidance.

Living without you is tough on all of us, especially around this time of year. At a time when fathers are being celebrated, we're left clinging to the memories we created while you were with us. If only I could have a few more minutes with you. To laugh, to cry, to catch up on all that's happened since you went away that day. Day in and day out, we go through the motions. I think I've gotten used to the fact that you're no longer around, in this earthly realm that is. Though it doesn't make me miss you any less.

You'd think making new memories would come easily, but it doesn't. There's always a strange feeling that emerges while we're spending time as a family, a feeling that something is missing. That something being a someone and that someone being you. On so many occasions I've uttered the words "I wish he were here to see this", or "he would have really enjoyed that". It pains me to think about all that you won't be here to witness, like meeting our future children and impacting their lives like you impacted ours. I'll do everything that I can to instill the same wisdom in them that you poured into me throughout your time here.

I'm glad that I was able to have you in my life for 22 years. You taught me more than you realize and you were an amazing dad, even though you'd probably beg to differ. You did your best and that's all that counts in the end. So, on this day and throughout this Father's Day weekend, I'll choose to hold tight to the memories we made and the times we spent together. I'll celebrate and honor you as if you were still here. Because, really, I like to think that in some ways you still are. I love you, dad.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Let's Talk Music

Ever since I was young, I have had this deep-rooted love for all things instrumental (especially stringed instruments). Truthfully, I'd choose listening to violin, cello or piano music over pretty much anything else (besides praise and worship). So, imagine my delight when I stumbled onto the lovely and ever so freaking talented, Lindsey Stirling, a few weeks ago. She definitely has a gift and she's inspired me to get back into violin myself. These are just a few of my favorites, though all of her songs are amazing.

She's going to be playing in Orlando in early July and you better believe I've already purchased tickets. One of my good friends was suppose to be joining me, but sadly, she can't get off of work that night (darn you, HomeGoods). Regardless, I'm still really looking forward to seeing her play live. Hopefully G and I can make it a date night since the tickets have been paid for already!