What Not To Say on a Job Interview

You may or may not know this about me, but sometimes I say stupid stuff. Weird things pop into my head and if I’m not careful they come spewing out of my mouth at the strangest times. Those who know and love me have grown to find it endearing, funny even. Those who don’t know me can tend to think that I am… well, weird.

Most of the time when I’m around strangers I can get a handle on it. I’m fully aware that some people can only handle so much personality from one person. Yet, when I’m nervous like say… at a job interview, sometimes there is no telling what I’ll say.

That being said, let me share three phrases with you that should never be said while you are trying to convince someone to give you a job.

1.) “Oh! We’re role playing?!”

2.) “Yeah… I werked it 😉 ”

3.) “You know what? I’m gonna cheat… I’m cheating!”

Unfortunately for me I was feeling a bit off the morning I went in for my final job interview of the summer and ALL of those things were said at one point… including the winky face. As soon as I got back into my car after walking out of the school I was tempted to bang my head on my steering wheel over and over again. I didn’t though, instead I gave myself an internal scolding, “Nina! What the hell is your problem?!?!” and then I scolded myself again for finally being able to keep my thoughts in my head where they belong versus out of my mouth where they don’t.

Earlier this summer I had gone on a few interviews for Middle School Language Arts teaching positions. I got rejected once, offered one job (that I turned down), and then offered another opportunity to teach as a long term sub. The school that offered me the long term sub position told me to go ahead and apply for other jobs throughout the summer knowing that I had this offer to fall back on if necessary. (I’m pretty sure it was my consolation prize.)

Brent and I decided that since I was still on the fence about working full time again I should just go for the long term sub position. Penelope is still little and I know how time intensive teaching is, especially during your first year.

I was resolved on this decision, but then I stumbled upon a dream scenario. Part-time teaching at two schools within walking distance to my house, one of which Bridget is going to attend. I would teach two classes in the morning at one school and two classes at the other. I would have plenty of time throughout the day to finish all of my work so that I wouldn’t have to bring it home with me at night. I didn’t know whether or not I should apply for it. After all of the drama my summer entailed I was late turning in my teaching license and I didn’t think I would receive it on time for teaching at the beginning of the year.  I didn’t want to apply for this job and not get it because I was an idiot and didn’t take care of things  when I should have.

I debated and debated… I had been feeling pretty low after the surgery I didn’t think I could handle the rejection that I was sure to endure. But then for some reason on the last minute I submitted all of the required elements to apply and just waited to see what would happen. What did I have to lose? Worst case scenario I would gain more interview experience.

Shortly after, I got a call for an interview then my hopes started to soar. This was after all a unique job that was uniquely perfect for me, it was almost like it was tailor made.

I found myself becoming increasingly excited about the prospect of getting this job.  During the weekend I tried to mentally prepare myself for the interview by having the most relaxing weekend ever. On Saturday morning Penelope and I went on our usual morning bike ride and came across our beloved hot air balloons.


My friend/neighbor, KJ took this picture.

When Sunday rolled around Brent and I took Penelope for an early morning hike.


It was so beautiful I couldn’t believe that we waited so long to take our first hike of the summer!


Then, I remembered that we had to carry a monkey on our back so I figured that was the reason for our delay.


After the hike we got back in time to eat breakfast before heading out for our Sunday Funday farmer’s market/book store routine.  We sampled some fruit…

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and then read some books…


… then went home and sampled some more fruit.


After nap we went to a friend’s house for some yard games followed by a visit downtown Littleton for some food truck fun and a glass of wine. It was great!

Then someone decided to have a toddler fit and threw my phone against the wall and broke it to pieces… little shit. I was going to need that to hear back about my interview. It really bothered me and kind of ruined the mood for the day.

I was still irritated about it the next morning. Instead of taking my phone with me I took my computer and left early in order to get a coffee and decompress before the interview. It actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise. When I showed up to the school I sat across from someone else who was also interviewing for the same job. She had two huge binders sitting in her lap and looked super prepared. My first internal reaction was, “Shit! I should have done that too!” Then as I looked through the interview questions the secretary gave me I dug through my laptop and found a power point that I had made during my student teaching that correlated perfectly with an answer I had to give.

Ha! Take that super prepared applicant!

As I sat in the office waiting for my turn to interview I began to get even more nervous.  Then my thoughts went back to my broken phone sitting on my kitchen counter and I got irritated. Before I knew it, it was my turn and I was still feeling a little off. So what did I do? I overcompensated…

My personality was turned up ten notches instead of five and I said things I would never normally say in an interview. I sat there with two principals and two other teachers and I just put on a show. The more they laughed the more obnoxious I got. After having to role play a teacher student conference with one of the other teachers I just sat back and said, “Well… that was awkward. I must have left my Mary Katherine Gallager at home.”


(Click here to see a reenactment of the interview.)

Turns out I didn’t leave Mary at home at all…

A few hours later I got a phone call from the school. But I missed it because my phone was in shreds. I got it repaired that night and tried to call the principal back who had left his cell number but didn’t get a response. On the voice mail he said that he just had a few more questions to wrap up the process.

I kept wracking my brain. What did he want to know?!

“So Nina, can you tell me why you are such a weirdo?”

No, I have no idea.

“Do you normally behave this way in front of people?”

No… okay fine. Yes.

I had to wait until the next morning to find out what he wanted to ask me. I was out on a walk with my friend power pushing Penelope’s stroller. I was a bit confused and out of breath when I answered. And then the questions came…

“Hi Nina, do you want this job? Because if you do it’s yours.”


I was so excited! Brent was at home packing for our family vacation to Minnesota when I called him to share the news. Then I got even more news…

“You’ll have to start this Monday at 7:30 in the morning. We have an orientation you will have to attend.”

Our flight wasn’t schedule to come in until noon on Monday. After a few more calls it was determined that if I really wanted this job I would have to stay home from my trip.

So this morning I woke up early and dropped Brent and Penelope off at the airport in the rain. I didn’t know what to do with myself, so I went to one of my favorite coffee shops from my college days.


That’s where I am right now, among the hipsters writing my blog and drinking an over sized coffee.


I keep feeling like I need to hurry home, but then I realize no one is waiting for me. I don’t know what to do with all of this freedom. It makes me think of the afternoons I spent between classes pretending I wasn’t a suburban housewife.


Who knows I might just have to channel a little Coco Robicheaux while I have the chance…

It’s Friday… I’m in Love


Happy Friday!

I’m just sitting outside with a homemade cup of iced coffee writing this post while avoiding the mess that awaits me as soon as I step foot in my house. Penelope and I have been alone for the past three days and it looks like a toddler bomb went off. I’ll clean one area and while I do that she’ll “explore” another area. Then when I go to clean the mess she just made she’ll go and undo everything I had managed to accomplish… and so goes the cycle. It’s maddening.


The uncleaner.

That’s why moms have wine club book club. By the way did you see the trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey? I didn’t either… that’s filth. I would never be caught out in public watching such a film. I’ll just rent it later.

I forgot how exhausting it was to be a stay-at-home-mom. But I do have to admit that it does have its perks. For instance, this morning Penelope and I got to have breakfast with one of our favorite friends KJ (aka Auntie Kake). Then we got to go on a nice morning stroll afterwards. It was awesome.

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We’ve finally gotten in our summer time groove and I’m loving every minute of it! Every day entails swimming. And every time I ride my bike to the pool I have flashbacks to my own childhood. There’s something about the smell of sunblock, chlorine and fresh-cut grass… it just puts a perma-grin on my face.

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It’s always the same routine… 1) Chase Penelope around the house trying to apply sunscreen while she runs around naked. 2) Open the door and chase her from the front yard to the back yard and back around to the front where the raspberry bush is. 3) Eat all of the ripe raspberries and a few of the green ones too. 4) Load up in the bike and make our way to the pool.

“No! MY pool!”

Correction: Make our way to Penelope’s pool.

“I need monkey!”

5) Run back inside dig through the toy box until we find monkey and load back up into the bike so that we can finally go swimming.


You see, Penelope and monkey have a history together…


He just can’t be left behind.

Yesterday we managed to play at the pool for about an hour before a huge rain cloud started to descend upon us. I could hear the thunder rumbling from a distance so I packed up all of our stuff. By the time I had unlocked my bike the rain started to come down and Penelope was giggling uncontrollably. I started off pedaling as fast as I could but got lured into the moment and slowed down. I could feel the heat radiating off of the asphalt as the cool rain hit my skin. It brought me back to all of the times when I would play in the rain as a kid. When we got too cold we would lie down on the warm concrete of my dad’s driveway and squint up at the sky while we absorbed the heat. It was so comfortable, like a big warm hug on a cold winter day.

By the time we got home I was tempted to make another loop around the block but the lightening had made an appearance so we went inside and got ready for nap time instead.

Later that afternoon I was reminded that I am indeed an adult and not a school girl on summer vacation. I got a phone call from the school where I was offered a long term substitute position to see if I was still interested. Instead of starting mid-September like we had discussed they want me to start mid-August. I was torn because I have one last job interview this Monday for a part time position at two middle schools that are located near/in my neighborhood. I have no idea which job I’ll end up getting. Either way, my summer is quickly drawing to a close and so is my time as a stay-at-home mom. I’m super excited and super sad all at the same time.

I’m a little nervous about not knowing which job I’ll have but there really isn’t much to do about that for now so I guess I’ll just keep living it up Sandlot style.

So far this week the only exercise I’ve had has been in the form of riding my bike and chasing my kid around. I’ve finally broken out of my funk from the surgery.  Now all I have to do now is clean things up a bit. I need to establish some sort of work out routine and brave the scale to see where I am. I also need to get over the fact that my kitchen is the hottest room in the house when it comes to dinner time and start cooking again. The basil in my yard is thriving so I’ve been living off of bread coated in cheese, tomatoes, basil and balsamic vinegar. I’ve also been washing it down with wine because that just seems like the right thing to do.

We’re going on vacation next week for a family reunion so I decided not to weigh myself until I get back. Then I’ll see where I’m at and establish better habits. Then this will become a weight loss blog again and you won’t have to endure so many garden posts while I avoid what’s really going on.

Do you ever feel like you just need a health do-over? What are your go-to moves for starting fresh?


Sporting Flip Flop Tan Lines


Hi there! Sorry I’ve been gone for a while… we’ve had a lot going on around these parts.

We had to celebrate Bridget’s 12th birthday a bit early because she was going to be out of town during her actual birthday. She was insistent that I be the one to make her cake so I opted to make a bundle of strawberry nutella deliciousness that I found on Pioneer Woman. (I probably shouldn’t even give you the link to the recipe because it so sinful… you’ll have to forgive me.)


All of her birthday preparations were last minute so I cheated in order to beat the heat of the day. I bought boxed chocolate cake mix and stirred in mini chocolate chips into the batter to make it decadent enough for Miss Bridget’s Birthday standards. After the birthday celebrations were over we spent the remainder of the week making preparations for her trip. It was her first time flying alone and we were both nervous about it.


I’m fairly certain Penelope is convinced that Bridget is still sitting on the plane as we speak because every time she walks into her room to see it empty she says, “Oh Sissy on plane to Gabba Gabba house.” We have since discovered that Gabba Gabba stands for Grandma Grandpa. Instead, Bridget is off  having the time of her life at her grandparent’s lake house along with her aunts, uncles and cousins.

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I’m trying my best to stifle my jealousy right now. What I wouldn’t give to jump off of the dock and into a nice cool lake at the moment. I was tempted to push her out of the way and take her spot on the flight but instead, I kissed her goodbye and watched her fly away while the sun rose.

Since it was such an early flight we had simply jumped out of bed brushed our teeth and rushed out the door. Penelope was not happy about the early morning wake up time or all of the sitting that was required, so after our excursion to the airport I took her to the park to play.


#Uranus… heh

That’s when I discovered why she was so unhappy about sitting in her car seat. I found an infection that needed immediate medical attention.

The reason I didn’t write about this sooner was because 1) it was located on her butt and I didn’t want to have to write about any more ass issues. It’s just getting awkward at this point. 2) I write a freakin weight loss blog not a medical drama series, but you would never be able to tell that from the posts made during the past month due to the freakish nature our summer has taken. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with us?!

After spending the remainder of the morning at the doctor’s office it turns out that she has MRSA, a form of staph infection.  It was an emotionally exhausting morning due to the fact that I had to hold her down while they drained the infected area. The remainder of my weekend consisted of more draining (eew!), lots of epsome salt sits baths, strong antibiotics and a few bottles glasses of wine on my part. The whole thing was really gross and stressful. Gross because it required a lot of draining (again… eew!) Stressful because Penelope was in a lot of pain and I had made the mistake of Googling MRSA and what it can do to people.

This whole thing has kind of put me in a funk because I so desperately want to return to my lighthearted ways. All of these medical emergencies are seriously cramping my style this summer!

I have simply taken solace in the fact that my garden is thriving more than ever. I feel like I should change my name to Ethel and wear pants up to my navel because the only thing I’ve enjoyed lately is pruning my plants and watching them grow.


I had no idea baby cantaloupe were fuzzy!

I haven’t even begun to think about weight loss since the surgery. A part of me doesn’t even want to know what the scale has to say because I’ve drowned all of my sorrows in junk food. This of course has just left me feeling crappier than ever. Another part of me is also emotional about not knowing I was pregnant during my whole six week weight loss challenge. Any time I think about losing weight I think about it. Although, it does explain why I didn’t lose any weight during that time 🙂

I’ve gotten to a point where I just need to decide to get over all of my summer surprises (even if they do keep coming). I feel like I’ve been balancing on a tight rope. I can either choose to be negative about everything that has gone down or choose to be positive about it. If given the choice I’ll always choose the latter. Life is all about perspective and that perspective is based purely on how you choose to look at things. After all, things can’t be that bad if you’re sporting a flip flop tan line.

For the moment my plan of action is to go on early morning runs so that I can feel the cool breeze on my face as the day begins. I’m going to do more yoga because I could always use a little “Ohmmm” in my life. And I’m going to eat the yummy things that are thriving in my back yard because it makes me feel good knowing that without my hard work they wouldn’t exist.


Living it up Dog Days Style

So much of my blog is centered around taking steps to make a better tomorrow. In an attempt to do that I can sometimes forget to live in the moment. That’s why, every now and then, it’s good to take a step back and live life a day at a time. That way you can truly appreciate all that you have instead of focusing on what you don’t have. That’s exactly where I’ve been and what I have been doing lately…

Last weekend we had the pleasure of having my brother-in-law Bryce and my niece Neve come for a visit. Last year Bryce brought Ruby with him  (aka Roosky Littlemoney) but this year it was Ruby’s little sister’s turn for a trip out to Colorado!

Since they are only a few months apart in age, Penelope was especially happy to have her cousin come for a visit!


As soon as we picked them up from the airport the first thing we did was head to downtown Denver for a cuppa of joe from The Market.. along with some goodies for the girls.



We spent the rest of the weekend playing outside and eating popsicles. It was a blast!


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There were a few particularly hot days that were spent at the museum and a nearby park…

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This required refreshments in the form of ice cream and iced coffee, of course. We found an awesome coffee shop in downtown Littleton. Bryce loved it so much we frequented it three times in a 24 hour time span. It was bordering on obsessive, but we just couldn’t help ourselves!

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During the afternoons while the girls napped Bryce, Bridget and I would watch season 4 of Downton Abbey. I was too busy finishing up my grad degree during the winter to stay on track and I had been dying to watch it. Brent tried to crash our Downton Abbey party but got banned when he made fun of us for laughing too hard at semi funny one liners. When he’s particularly bratty we call him “Thomas”, which ironically is his middle name, so he doesn’t know that we’re actually insulting him. Then we laugh our snobby inside joke laugh, which I think would technically make us “O’Brians” but he doesn’t know who O’Brian is so it’s okay.

  Once the girls woke up they required mani/pedi’s. They had very specific nail color choices… with sparkles of course.

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Look at those hand models!

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There was also a lot of running round naked (not pictured) and jumping on the trampoline. The days were filled with lots of squeals and laughter followed shortly by lots of “mine!” and tears. It was everything we hoped it would be.


The weekend flew by and we were all sad to see them go but Penelope was especially sad. For the first few days after they had left she would wake up every morning looking for her Nevey. (She still talks to her imaginary friend Neve in the backseat of the car.) Ruby, however, was super excited to have her little sister back when the trip was over. We’ll see them again shortly when we meet up for a family reunion at the end of summer. I can’t wait to see all of them!


After Bryce and Neve left I decided it was time to get back into the swing of summer. I had been thrown off since the surgery and was ready to get back to my dog days groove. So for the past week I have spent a lot of time outside cleaning up my garden and catching up on maintenance.

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 I was sad to see that one of my pumpkin plants had died while I was recuperating from surgery. It’s such a bummer because it had the biggest pumpkin on it 😦

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But the rest of my stuff is coming in quite nicely if I do say so myself! I think I can officially call myself a gardener.


Penelope’s favorite plant is the “pickle plant” aka fresh dill. She’d sit there and sniff that sucker all day if I let her which makes sense because she is as equally obsessed with actual pickles.


Bridget loves the raspberry bush by our front door and is so happy to see that the fruit is ripening before her two week trip to St. Louis. (She was afraid that she would miss them.) It’s seriously like having a candy jar by your doorstep. You wouldn’t believe how sweet the raspberries are!


I was super excited about my first ripe tomato. I think it was the color that made me so giddy. Isn’t it pretty?!

Other than the lovely things that have been growing there have been some other magical things going on in the good old back yard as well. One morning I woke up to find two unexpected guests. We’ll call them dasher and Dancer. I’m pretty sure they were just as interested in my garden as I am…



And on the super lucky mornings we see hot air balloons!


The warmer the weather gets the lower they fly, which is awesome because it always looks like they might land right in our yard.


In my attempt to get back into my summer groove I’ve gone back to blowing drying my hair via bike rides and spending my afternoons at the pool with my sweet girls. I haven’t been able to establish a workout routine yet but it’s the first thing on my to do list, that and eating healthier.

This summer definitely took an unexpected turn. I could easily spend my summer wallowing over what I’ve lost but that would be a disservice to myself and my family. I have so much to be thankful for. I felt like I just needed to take a little time to gain some perspective in order to truly appreciate it all… but now I’m back 😉

Butthole Problems


Well, hello there… I’m back.

Just thought you should know.

Yeah… so, I’m feeling a bit awkward talking to you today. I wrote my last post while I was on pain medication after having my ectopic surgery and I just so happened to include details about the process that I kind of wish I hadn’t.  If I had been completely coherent I might have omitted the whole part about my anus hurting. Yep. Yep, that would have been a good part to leave out. Some details are better left out.

Then again… I might have just saved some woman’s life out there by sharing my tale of how I went to the doctor for butthole problems and stomach cramps.  Only to find out I didn’t have butthole problems at all, just a scary case of “your fallopian tube is on the verge of exploding”. So, I guess I can bare the humiliation if I’ve saved a life.

You’re welcome.

(Fun fact: I’m not sure I’ve actually used the word butthole since I was a kid while fighting over a turn with a Nintendo controller. I’m pretty sure it was my insult of choice back in the day which is a really gross way of insulting someone if you think about it.)

Needless to say, this whole ectopic pregnancy thing completely threw me off guard. For the first week after the surgery I was a zombie, a hormonal zombie who had just lost a baby she didn’t know she wanted until it was taken away from her. I would be fine one minute and a complete wreck the next. I slept a lot… and I cried a lot. Just when I would think I was starting to feel better and get my energy back I would be hit with another wave of exhaustion. I was tired of being tired and tired of being sad. I’m not one for mourning. I tend to want to just get over things without giving myself the time to fully process them. In this case there was nothing I could have done. What good did it do me to cry about it?

It doesn’t help that my body is in the midst of an identity crisis. My aches and pains from the surgery are gone but I still have pregnancy symptoms (boobs hurting, smells, fatigue, mood swings).  In fact, I feel like they have intensified lately which is really freaking me out. Maybe it’s like having a phantom pain when you amputate something. My brain just can’t wrap itself around the loss of something that was a part of me. I just went out to dinner with my family tonight and I looked down to discover that everything that I had aimed at my mouth was sitting on my newly engorged chest.  I’m pretty sure my boobs are convinced that they are still pregnant. I wish it would just go away because it’s really messing with my head.

Other than that I’m feeling much better. I thought you should know since I wrote that weird drug induced post about my anus the surgery and all. Now, just do me a favor and cross your fingers that I don’t do something drastic like drown in a bag of Cheetos while I sort out my feelings on phantom pregnancy symptoms. M’kay? That would be great and if you do that I’ll promise to write blog posts with more appropriate titles.