tgi..n?!?: october 2014, you will be missed!

that’s right…thank goodness it’s november(almost).

october 2014 you have worn me out in every way imaginable! although you will end like many octobers past; celebrating Halloween in a makeshift, last minute, homemade costume you have been arguably one of the most memorable months of my life. 

week one: vegas baby!  

cody joined me in sin city for three days while I attended a training conference. we didn’t have plans but, getting away together for a short time at half the cost was reason enough for him to make the trip. while detained (i.e., attending the conference), cody gambled and managed to win big. enough to pay for the trip; making it a whole lot more fun.  i think i’ll call him c money from now on. 

we did what you do in vegas; watched the bellagio fountains, devoured fine cuisine, watched a show, gambled (obviously), stayed up WAY too late, sunned by the pool, and rode insanity at the stratosphere.  my fondest memory though was spontaneously joining a dance party in the ‘streets’ outside of new york new york after the cirque de solei show. that’s where I fell in love all over again with my husband.

week two: j+h=love

the next week was all about my brother’s wedding.  set in a picturesque fall, on a saturday afternoon, in a local park, my brother, joe, married his long-time sweetheart, heather.  i can honestly say i have never been so close to bursting into tears at a wedding.  watching my brother repeat his vows just made me so unspeakably happy.  i simply adore them!

of course, the reception was a hoot!  and i sincerely loved the fact that I got to ‘bounce’ people off the party bus.  in addition to my bridesmaid duty that was my crowning responsibility.  (my brother has an ironic sense of humor.)  

week three: marathon week

no one can ever truly prepare you for what to expect during your first marathon.  no matter what food you eat, how much sleep you get, mileage run, or the hours you spend watching the weather and then deciding what to wear you’ll never to be ready to run 26.2 miles.  on october 19th i ran the imt marathon in downtown des moines. it was an experience that I will truly remember for the rest of my life.

the marathon was on a sunday so after a long weekend of errands and thinking about the marathon I was anxious.  my mom and sisters came up saturday evening.  they made posters and I watched the movie my husband had recorded for me earlier in the week: without limits. how fitting!  ‘run you little German boy, run.’  classic! i crashed around 10 while the rest stayed up chatting. 

the next morning was just as memorable as the run itself.  naturally, we rolled out of the house late but, surprisingly brandea woke up on time.  cody back into my mom’s new car and we had to make a speedy trip back to the house when we realized we forgot the backpack of goods. 
my mom, sisters, and husband kept me going for 26.2 miles that day.  i saw them at least 7 or 8 times and their posters were hilarious.  by the end of the race I couldn’t focus on much more than the fact that I was dying but, cody was right there running nearly 4 miles straight with me right up to the finish.  the culmination of the accomplishment itself, the physical exhaustion, my family’s support and the flood of texts, phone calls, ‘likes’, and facebook comments was absolutely overwhelming! and then I threw up.

week four: recovery and the big two.nine celebration

most of this week was spent devouring a package of oreos and easing back into a normal workout routine.  by saturday I was ready to celebrate my birthday and the fact that 4 months of intense running was OVER.  cody had reserved a limo a few months prior and dinner reservations had been made.  we invited several of our close friends and were ready for a one wild and crazy night.  it started with dinner at americana and ended at our place over a breakfast pizza, repairing an oversized inflatted phalic object around 3 am.  we had achieved wild and crazy! 

i seriously have the best friends and family!  and one incredibly wonderful husband!  thank you all for making the night (and month) ‘epic’!
for the rest of my life I’ll look fondly back at October 2014 and smile.  cheers!

swing for the fence: phone interview fundamentals

with the World Series underway and a strong midwest team representin’ I thought it made sense to give this post a catchy baseball title.

this week I wrapped a solid round of phone interviews for a current opening and realized that people need training on how to interview by phone.  although we moved forward a few qualified candidates I can tell you I wasn’t ‘WOWed’ by anyone.  in general these candidates lacked good phone interviewing skills.  so today I’m going to let you in on what a recruiter is hoping to hear on the other end of the line.

more often than not employers today are using the phone interview as another tool to screen candidates; meaning your phone interview impression can often times be your first and your last if you’re not adequately prepared.  phone interviews by nature are designed to achieve a few specific goals.  they are short, they tend to focus your resume but, ultimately their used determine if you’re worth bringing in based on what you say and how you say it.

phone interviewing is a skill and, like baseball, your success relies on knowing, practicing and executing on some core fundamentals.  read below to knock it out of the park during your next phone interview.

Fundamental 1)  pay attention – I can’t even begin to tell you how annoying it is to have an individual multi-tasking.  it’s like that scene from whether it’s driving or cleaning your house no one does two things well simultaneously. period.  if anything this will convey the message that this job isn’t worth your time.  

Fundamental 2) make the catch – and by catch I mean make the ‘connection’. all too often candidates miss the true intent of a question because they focus on a particular word or are wracking their brains for an exact work-related example to provide.  the truth is, when you answer a question based on its perceived intended purpose the example provided becomes insignificant.   the best example that I can provide is this:

tell me about a time that you had a conflict at work.  what I often hear in response is: ‘I’ve never experienced a conflict at work’ but, that doesn’t answer the question.  interview questions are designed to make you think critically. if you aren’t, maybe you should start.

Fundamental 3) practice your pitch – any interview is your time to shine. that said,  know what you want to sell about yourself and practice doing so without sounding overly confident.  and for love of the game (;o)) annunciate!

Fundamental 4) swing level with intent –  know what you want to accomplish during this phase in the process; this isn’t the time to discuss benefits or your hire date, etc. at this point both of you are feeling out the other so have a plan for what to ask and when.

Fundamental 5) have fun – when candidates are nervous and stressed about an interview they come across the same.  sure the interview may be a formal step in the process but, that doesn’t mean you need to be boring and dull.  it’s okay and honestly, welcome to crack an appropriate joke or laugh at the interviewer’s jokes.  think of it as the seventh-inning stretch of an interview, a way to break the tension, a time-out of sorts.   a little humor and joking demonstrates personality and can help in determining cultural fit.

ESPN Poll 10/2014

go Royals!

little bundle of joy: a new mom care package

I love that I’m at a stage in my life that my friends are starting to have babies! it means that maybe we’re closer to that point too…or maybe not. anyway, it’s just so exciting!

for those new moms in my life I’ve been trying to make a concerted effort to make them feel loved and appreciated in their new role. when I visit them and their new little one for the first time I bring with me a customized little bundle of joy. now, since I have absolutely NO IDEA what they might need I have to give credit to the following: Pinterest, for pictures and ideas; Google, for product research; and Target, for an endless amount of stuff!!! in my most recent bundle here’s exactly what was included and why (again, based on my research from other moms): 

 · Wet Ones – a perfect living room companion when the last thing you want to do it move from the couch for the hundredth time in a day; also good for guests’ hands before they snuggle the little one · Lansinoh gel pads – apparently these things are a saving grace from sore nipples when breastfeeding – my friend seemed to really appreciate them! · bow tie onsie – because why wouldn’t you – it’s a bow tie on a babe??!! · Ghirardelli chocolate covered blueberries – an energizing and somewhat healthy snack seemed most appropriate · Crystal light squeeze bottle – a low calorie drink option for a mom eager to get her pre-baby bod back and who is sick of drinking water · Garneir ultra-lift eye roller – this roller is amazing and does wonders for droopy, sleepy eyes!  · Starbuck pumpkin spice latte packets – a perfect seasonal concoction for those days when she’s feeling a little sluggish.  · Burt’s Bees hand lotion – this lotion is one of my favorites so it was a must buy for my friend! 

with the new bundles