Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Interviewing for a Job

Well….it’s been almost 11 years since I’ve had a full-time job.  Wow!   I don’t think I’ve had much of an employment break in the last 11 years, but nothing full-time.  Between admin. asst. for a few non-profits and city council and all my volunteer activities – I had kept a full enough calendar.  But, with Cameron heading off to preschool for a 5-day a week program in the Fall, I figured that I should make myself useful (and put away some money for all these fantastic trips I want our family to take while we are here!).

I originally thought that I would get a job at the Embassy and I had been keeping my eyes and ears open for a possibility that would be a good fit.  I had a few mentioned to me and I contemplated it for a little while.  But then a job opened up at the school that sounded right up my alley so I switched gears. 

The plus of working at the school are three-fold…..same schedule as the kids (off at 4:30, Summer’s off, Christmas/Easter break, etc…), the money is tax free (bonus!) and I’ll be where my kids are and able to get to know their friends and the families at the school (not to mention the administration).  On the downside – it does seem to pay less (but once I calculated out the perks I decided it more than outweighed other options).  

A job opening was listed for Middle School Administrative Assistant (school secretary to the principal etc…. for the Middle School).  I thought – Perfect – Alexander will be in Middle School.  Meanwhile….Alexander was heavily praying that I wouldn’t end up with it, I just know it…..

I submitted my resume and patiently waited to hear back.  I got a phone call and was asked in for my first interview on February 12th.  I was surprisingly calm and not nervous at all.  I knew I was qualified for the job and it was just a matter of the combination of selling myself and seeing if it really was the best fit for both me and the employer.

The upside of the job – eyes and ears of the Middle School, right in the heart of what’s going on where my son will be.  The downside of the job – it was scheduled to start full-time at the beginning of April.  Yikes!  Not my idea timing since Cameron is only in school 2 days a week.  I could have him go for five full days and work out extended care for 3 1/2 months before Summer but I wasn’t looking forward to it.  I just didn’t think it was an opportunity to pass up.

My interview was with the Principal and Counselor and I felt it went well.  Honestly – I had that over-confident, in-the-bag feeling.  Now it was another waiting game.

I got called back on February 20th for a 2nd interview.  I knew I was up against 3 other women.  I dressed to impress and headed out again.  Once again, I felt it went pretty well.  I really clicked with the interviewers and it seemed like things were looking up.

The next day was my last interview.  I had to do a skype interview with the incoming principal.  The current one is leaving at the end of the school year and the new one planned to interview the final candidates.

It lasted about 10 minutes and I finished the choppy interview thinking it just didn’t seem all that great.  The principal seems like a really nice guy but I didn’t feel the same click.  I put it out to the universe and tried not to think about it.

Ha ha ha ha

I obsessed.  The more I thought about it, the more I got nervous about having to work fulltime in a MONTH.  I wasn’t ready to work full-time yet!  I wanted more time with Cameron.  I wanted more playdates and beach time and fun, relaxation time.  Ack!   If only this job started in the Fall then it would be PERFECT!  But no – it was scheduled to start the first week of April.  I waited and waited and waited.

Then on February 23rd I got the call and was told – thanks, it was great meeting you but we went another direction (or something to that affect).  He asked if he could pass my resume on if there was another opportunity and I told him that would be fine. I was surprisingly relieved.  I am a true believer that everything happens for a reason (even if you don’t know what that reason is yet).   I hung up the phone with a sigh and thought “it’s all good…..”

Four days later….I got a call for another interview.

This one was to be an Administrative Assistant to the Athletics/Activities Director (covering High School/Middle School).   The plus side – it wasn’t full time until the Fall!   The minus side – SO MUCH responsibility.  I decided I was up for the challenge and accepted the opportunity to interview.

Long story short….call was on the 27th, interview on the 29th and offered the job that afternoon!

Considering the last process lasted weeks – it was amazing that this one went so fast.  Clearly the first interviewer had a chat with the Athletics Director because he seemed to know a lot about me without me saying anything.  In the first 10 minutes of the interview (where he spent a lot of it talking about the job, expectations, duties) he said to me that he commented that I had a strong personality and asked how I would handle a specific situation.  (I think I had said very little by then so either I put off a strong personality without talking much or that’s how I came across in the other interview).   I took it as a compliment and went with it.

The interview obviously went well.  My office is located in the High School wing and it is a hubbub of activity.  Lots of kids and people popping in and out with questions (what times practice, when does our plane leave, do you need a copy of my passport, where do I pay for this or that, etc…).  I will be responsible for everything from the seasons sports (soccer, basketball, volleyball, baseball, etc….) and the rosters/schedules/uniforms/etc… to organizing 3 major tournaments (with 6 schools from the area) at our school.  I’ll also help the teams traveling to other schools (in other countries sometimes) for all their tournaments.  I’ll also be responsible for facilities management of all the meeting areas and facilities throughout the school (there is a computerized system set up where people request everything from the gym to a multi-purpose room for meetings, dances, activities and I have to check calendars and book space and coordinate with the maintenance guys for what needs to get done).   The list of duties goes on but needless to say I will be busy, busy, busy – just the way I like it!  It’s a little overwhelming right now, but once I figure it all out then I’m sure it will be great.  I am scheduled to train for a few hours Mon/Wed (while Cameron is in preschool) between now and when the school year ends and then I’ll start full-time in August.

Friday, February 24, 2012

BBQ at a Friend’s House

I wish I took pictures…..but alas – I’ve gotten a bit lazy on the pic tasting.  We were invited to a BBQ at a friend’s house tonight.  Just our two families and then the big kids were going to spend the night (same friend with the amazing shoe collection).   Long story short – there was enough food to feed an army!   I think we had chicken, hamburgers, lamb chops (AMAZING grilled lamb chops), hot dogs and more.  Basically any meat around was on the grill and getting cooked up.  I don’t recall any vegetables…..

We also had some yummy Arabic bread pocket things that I got the recipe (through translation) from one of the maids who prepared it.  They were Arabic-Seasoned meats in a pocket of bread.  I ended up needing to modify the dough a little to get it to work well for me but they still came out okay when I tried it a few days later.

Arabic Bread Pockets (pretty sure there is a much more ethnic name for these but that’s all I got)

  • 3 1/2 cups white flour
  • 1 small spoon yeast
  • 2 big spoons powdered milk
  • 2 big spoons sugar
  • 1 small spoon salt
  • 1 Tb corn oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 c warm water

Mix yeast, flour, milk, sugar, salt.  Crack in egg.  Add warm water.  Add corn oil.  Mix all together.  (I found I had to add a bit more flour until the consistency looked right)

Let raise for 30 minutes or until double in size. 

Roll it out and make circles.


  • Minced Lamb and Oil to Fry Up
  • Finely Chopped Onions
  • 1 Clove Minced Garlic
  • 1 Lamb Buillon Cube
  • Salt
  • Lamb Masala Spice or Bazar Spice
  • 1 Chopped tomato at the end

Cool filling to room temperature.  Put filling in dough circles and fold/crimp.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

We ate and ate and ate some more and it was of course mixed in with servings of tea and servings of coffee and more servings of tea and more servings of coffee.  The tea came out with some delicious rock sugar with saffron on a stick.  Yummo in the tea!   Bella enjoyed the plain rock sugar on a stick too and by the time the words (these are great I love them) were out of her mouth – there was a box of each kind in our hand.  How generous!

We had a wonderful time and it was hard to leave but with droopy eyes and a not-feeling-too-well Alexander we had to pack it in.  The kids spent the time riding their 4-wheeler around the yard and playing with their doggies.  Brian helped set up the tent for the kids to all sleep in and enjoyed holding her baby lots (every time I see him with a baby I think mayyyybbbeee he wants another????  but – no.  He just loves holding them!)  The guys chatted it up the whole night and we agreed to have them over to our house next time!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Trying on Shoes…..

I stopped at a friend’s house today to work on a school project and as she gave me a tour of her home I stopped at her closet and decided to have a field day…..

I was pleasantly surprised to see her FABULOUS collection of shoes and PLEASED BEYOND WORDS that she was my size!  woohoo!

Now – I’m not a major shoe person.  I have a few pairs, don’t get me wrong.  But – I don’t spend every bit of my hard-earned money on fancy shoes or anything.  Granted, I had never tired on $2300 shoes before tonight……

Let me tell you…if I HAD the money for expensive shoes – I’d be ALL OVER THEM!!

They were amazing.   Ignore my feet (not my best asset – although in these shoes, who cares??)

Here’s a sampling of my girlfriend’s closet….


J’adore Dior…..  These are Christian Dior and were probably my favorite.  They were incredibly comfortable and my girlfriend had just purchased them on sale for only $400!   I wish….



gun shoes

Yes…..these shoes have guns for heels.  How awesome is that?   These were the most expensive ones I tried on.  Chanel’s $2300 gun shoes.  Craaaazy!


IMAG0499    IMAG0502    IMAG0503     IMAG0505 

                       Christian Dior                   Jimmy Choos (LOVE)                       Fendi                           Christian Louboutain


IMAG0507          IMAG0508          IMAG0513

                                               Christian Louboutain                           Valentino                                       Chanel


IMAG0510   IMAG0511   IMAG0512

                           Valentino                                                              Valentino                                                       Cesare Paciotti


I really need to get back there and try on more shoes……..

Father/Daughter Dance

Isabella’s Girl Scout troop hosted a Father/Daughter dance.  They had a Paris theme and everything turned out beautifully.  I helped out a tiny bit with decorations but the team of people who organized the event really did a super-duper job.

Bella had a lovely time!

father daughter desserts       

P1060464                  P1060463                          



Here’s just a sampling of the dessert area………

Curry Night

I was invited to a “Curry Night” at a friend’s house.  She did the event once before and it was such a big hit that she decided to do it again.   The only rule was – bring a curry dish to share. 

I had NO idea there were so many curry dishes!!  I was never a big fan of Indian food – I thought it was because I just didn’t like the taste of curry.  Ummm – nope.  Just never had the right dish!!

Couldn’t believe how many yummy dishes I tried.  I brought Curried Deviled Eggs myself instead of a traditional curry dish and they were actually pretty good but some of these curry dishes, wow.

I enjoyed Banana Curry, Green curries, red curries, hot curries and mild curries too.


In fact, since then I’ve bought a curry cookbook and the recipes all sound pretty easy – if only I can get some of these spice ingredients added to my cupboards…….

Friday, February 3, 2012

The way birthday’s get done in Abu Dhabi

Isabella was invited to a friend’s birthday party and was pretty excited to go.  Her friend is known for doing a pretty big party each year and lots of girls were looking forward to it.

This one had a Fashion Show theme to it.

They shut down a café (which was connected to one of the hotels the parents own) and set up a big fashion runway in it with all the lights and everything.

The girls were asked to dress up in fashionable clothes and even bring extra outfits if they wanted.  When the kids arrived they were all given manicures and spray tattoos and then a professional model (friend of the family) showed them how to “walk the runway”.  They all took turns giving their best walk and having a blast.  There was even a videographer and the feeling of paparazzi too.  The kids got prizes throughout the party and the MC was a lot of fun.  The food was non-stop and the girls had a blast.  It was all topped with a fantastic cake too! 

I managed to snap a few photos…..

                            P1060422               P1060423

There’s Bella (wearing some of my jewelry) and another pic of her and Zoe.  All dressed up and ready for the party!

    P1060425  P1060429

Girls being silly on the runway


     P1060431     P1060432

                 P1060439       P1060441P1060444           P1060453       P1060456