Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Another "Last"

Today is my last day for this work assignment and with my current employer. We pack the trailers tomorrow and start driving home on Friday. As usual, we will be taking the "long way home" and making a couple of stops for visiting along the way. Good stuff. Can't wait!

Just yesterday I found a new category of blogs that I had never even thought of... home and interior design blogs!

I started reading blogs while I was pregnant. I was searching for pregnancy pictures because I was thinking of having some done. I never found one that I loved (and never had any taken of myself), but I did find a bunch of mommy blogs. In the first few months it was great to read other new mom's stories and know that I wasn't "the only one". Then I found simple living blogs, general blogs about life, travel blogs, crafting blogs (TONS of crafting blogs), food blogs and now design blogs! When I get home I'll have to make a link list so you can see them too. The pictures are so inspiring. I am looking forward to getting back to my house and making it my home!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Cloud Gate & Other Sites

Last Saturday morning we went to Chicago to do some touristy things. Thanks to some unused Metra train passes from my sister's visit, we didn't spend a dime.

Most of the morning was spent at Millennium Park. I love the Bean (the official name is Cloud Gate). It is so much cooler in person than in pictures. If you get under the center of the bean and look up, you are reflected multiple times - sort of like a fun house mirror.

This is the whole bean. I absolutely love the reflection of the city on the bean.

Our family reflected in the bean:

At the Crown Fountain, the faces were on and spitting. I suppose it could look like they are drinking rather than spitting. The official description uses the word "spouting". Whatever you want to call it, we saw it.

One of the faces:

The face "spouting": (just ignore the two heads of other spectators at the bottom of the photo)

While at the park we also checked out the Lurie Garden, walked by the Jay Pritzker Pavilion and walked over the BP Bridge to the Daley Bicentennial Plaza.

Jay Pritzker Pavilion - I want my lawn to be that green

At the plaza we stopped at a great playground for Sweetie and watched people get ready for their Segway Tour of the city. You'll notice that Sweetie is wearing the scarf that I knit! (Yes, it was that cold -scarves, hats, mittens and ear muffs were all worn.)

Bicentennial Park - If you look under a magnifier you might be able to see that the person in the picture is on a Segway

Just in case you aren't sure what a segway is, this picture is from the City Segway Tour website (obviously not taken the day we were there. Short sleeves - ha!)

After the playground, we walked along the Randolph Street side of Millennium Park by the bike rentals and the Millennium Monument. I had skipped that corner on the way into the park due to my excitement to see the Bean.

Millennium Monument:

I took a couple of pictures of the flowers in the road dividers on Michigan Ave for my sister. When she and I took a trolley tour in March, the driver mentioned how beautiful the street looks when everything is in bloom.

From the park we walked to Macy's (the former Marshall Fields) on the corner of State and Washington. We admired the Tiffany glass ceiling, the great clocks and the granite pillars of the famous building.

Tiffany glass ceiling (it's on the 5th floor if you want to visit):

While waiting to cross a street, I turned to the left and saw the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT). This was the oldest futures and options exchange. It has since merged with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. For most people, this may not be exciting, but I work in financial services, so I have actually seen CBOT as the exchange on future trades.

Then we hopped on the train at Union Station and made it home in time for Hubs to watch the Indian's baseball game.

A little something for everyone.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

On The Road Again

We are moving home!!

I am thrilled. I didn't realize how much I want to go home until we made the final decision. Now I am positively giddy! I want to leave at the end of next week, but there might be a contractual obligation to stay until the following Friday. The contract is really between my current employer and the client (not me personally and the client). I could say "oh well" and just leave. However, I like my client and the industry is small, so I may be stuck here an extra week. On the other hand, the client isn't giving me enough work to fill the extra week, so I might make a plea for letting me go regardless of what the contract says. It will save the client a week of consulting fees, so they really should let me go.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Starting to Bloom

Spring has arrived in Chicagoland. Trees budding, flowers blooming, green grass, warm breezes. It's wonderful!

The tree pictured below is right outside Sweetie's playroom window and it has the most amazing fragrance. When we come home at the end of the day, I can smell it as we come up the walk. It's a better welcome than a welcome mat.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Best Thing You Can Do

I just read this in a document at work:

The very best thing you can do for the whole world is to make the most of yourself.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Bless You

Do people that don't believe in G*d get offended when someone says "Bless You" when they sneeze?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Happy Working Morning

I spent 2 hours of the early morning participating in a group interview with a team in India. There were 3 in India and 6 here and it was great fun for me. My client is considering hiring them, so I was able to ask the questions (rather than be asked) and I loved it. I had a great time listening to their responses and building new questions based on what they said. We were able to get into some nitty-gritty and flush out the fluff from the solid knowledge. At the end of the interview, the client asked me what I thought and I gave a fair response pointing out both positives and negatives. The main decision maker for the client liked my analysis, which added to my warm and fuzzy feeling.

This was my first time participating in an interview where my opinion actually matters to someone and I'm just amazed at how much I enjoyed it. I've done interviews in the past, but they were mostly informative interviews to benefit the other person. For example, after my boss spoke with someone and decided he wanted to hire them, he would have me speak with them to give them the "real story" about the job. He wasn't looking for my input in the hiring decision. My role was purely the rah-rah cheerleader to make the interviewee want to work for us. Today's interview was so much more fun than those old "information" conversations.

Based on my performance today, I've been invited to participate in another one tomorrow and one more next week. I can't wait!