Lions and tigers and bears – oh my!

Hey world, did I leave you hanging long enough??

I got the job!!!  I started  just over a week ago and absolutely love it! It is a dream come true! Still want to know where I work? I am a wildlife coordinator for Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. We have about 130+ animals at the zoo there and I get to work with them all!! My day to day consists of everything from general husbandry (aka cleaning lots and lots of poo and feeding), to safari tours, horseback trail rides, wild animal shows, dog sled rides (I need to learn how to dog sled still), and getting to hang out with some the coolest animals on this planet! And a very nice bonus to the job – the people, I am so lucky to have a really good group of co-workers. Each one of them is so much fun to work with and help make my job that much more enjoyable. I can really see some awesome friendships coming from this. There are currently only about 8 of us on staff so we stay extremely busy, but honestly it doesn’t feel like work at all.

A few of my favorite animals that I get to work with include Kiera and Icesis, the Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris tigris), Sibil, the friendly spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta), Bob the badger (Taxidea taxus), and Gus the coatimundi (Nasua nasua).

JoJo the North American black bear

Hanging out with Kiera

Can you believe I actually get paid for this??

Work has kept me very busy, but by now you should know me well enough to know that’s exactly how I like things! My friend Kerri, who is an army wife to one of the guys in J’s unit, win tickets to Carrie Underwood’s Blown Away tour on the radio and invited me, then a few days later she found out that she won and a friend won a meet and greet with Carrie Underwood! I was so ecstatic that she invited me to share in this incredible experience with her. The meet and greet was very brief, we picked one item to get signed, walked in, handed the item to Carrie, posed for a picture and that was about it, but it was still awesome to get to meet her. She is so tiny, much shorter than I would have ever imagined. Hunter Hayes opened the concert to millions of screaming teenage girls. His voice is pretty incredible. Carrie’s show was absolutely amazing! The special effects were breath taking, she puts on one hell of a show. If you have an opportunity to go, I recommend it!

Carrie Underwood and I

Carrie Underwood and I

Kerri and I at the concert

Kerri and I at the concert

I went back home to my parents in Maryland Saturday night and stayed until Monday. My grandma passed away and the whole family came together for the funeral. It was a sad day, but it was so great to see all my family. I haven’t seen some of my cousins in about 10 years and it was great catching up with everyone. We had a blast with bon fires, touring the farm, and just sharing each other’s company. One of my mom’s fainting goats decided to grace everyone with the birth of triplets Sunday night.

One of the fainting goat babies

Oh an since everyone was staying at my parents’ house, the upstairs hot water pipe decided to burst causing a nice little rainstorm in the living room. Gotta love how things like that always have the best timing! But my dad and Great Uncle Al got it fixed enough to stop the rain and all was well. Hopefully we can plan an event sometime this summer to see everyone again and not wait another 10 years!

J and I also got our photos back from Maryn Shreve, an incredibly talented photographer friend of ours, from our pre-deployment shoot. If you’re interested you can see some of those photos here – http://www.marynshreveproductions.com/apps/blog/meet-jo-jay-couples-shoot They came out amazing, and I cannot wait to order prints!

One of my favorites!

One of my favorites!

Well I am going to enjoy my day off. I already sent a care package to the boys and included lots of homemade cookies for everyone to share, now I am off to fold laundry and figure out dinner. Mmm it’s lunchtime now, guess I will get to that first!

Have a great day and prepare for fun animal and work stories in the future!

Poke – are you still there?

Hey! Guess what! Guess what!!!!

Did ya guess yet?

NO! I did not get a pet elephant. Although that would be pretty sweet. I would name him Pete. Pete the elephant, and I would ride him everywhere instead of my truck and tie him to the bike rack while I get the both of us a sandwich. Yeah, Pete would love sammiches. You really just me to shut up and tell you what my news is dontcha? Okay okay. I GOT AN INTERVIW! I am not going to tell you where because I don’t want to jinx it, but it’s a wildlife related job and it’s a big girl job. Full time with benefits! Yippie ki yay! I interviewed on Friday and it went really well! Everyone was so nice and I feel that I am a really good fit with the group. They said I would hear back in 1-2 weeks, soooo now it is the dreaded waiting game. I am so excited to find out! It would be such a blessing. So keep your fingers crossed for me! J

Yesterday was a good day. I found a Groupon for a $150 haircut, deep conditioning, full highlights, full lowlights, and style for only $50 at Pretty Hair Salon. I needed to at the minimum get my roots touched up (I went bought near blonde this past December). When I got there I was a bit apprehensive since my stylist was so young looking and had bubble gum pink hair. We talked about what I want and bam – perfect cut and style! It’s much darker than I was thinking, but much closer to my natural hair color so it’ll grow out nicely with little to know maintenance (that’s what I like to hear). I have never had lowlights before so I think that’s why I was surprised that it was dark, but it has bits of red in it and if we ever get sunshine, it’ll look amazing! So I highly recommend Pretty Hair Salon in Pittsburgh and if you want awesome color see Renee.

After my hair appointment, like I am sure most women, I was feeling pretty and in a good mood. Which was made even better when I met up with my girlfriend, Maryn. I definitely needed some quality girl time! Her fiancé, Boat as we call him, will be finishing up a 10 month deployment the same week J deploys. So it was nice to talk to her and hear how her year has gone and I got to talk about my fears and questions that I will soon be facing. Basically the first month is the worst. The missing him never goes away, but you learn to be okay with it. And ultimately it makes you stronger both as an individual and as a couple; you really learn how to appreciate the little things. Her reassurance helped me a lot. I know I can do this. It will go by a lot faster than I think, and it will be no time before he’s home again. Now, I just have to keep telling myself this over and over again for the next year. If I do get this job, I will be starting the same time he leaves, so then I would have that to focus on a keep my busy – another reason it would be such a blessing to get it. (Are your fingers still crossed?)

I know I keep telling you that I am going to start updating more and more on this. And I am sure by now you are rolling your eyes, but I am going to need someone to talk to when he’s gone. I really do believe that I will be on here more telling you about my day. It’s alright if you’re apprehensive to believe me, just wait and see. Starting in three weeks I’ll be here a whole lot more. Kind of like how it was this summer. See? I updated a lot then, so I will be back to that.

Until then, keep your fingers crossed and well, you might as well cross your toes too – I could really use this job!

TTFN – ta ta for now! 

Please, oh please!

I promise I’ll give you a actual post soon – but for now, I just have something I have to share. I saw two girls at the gym last night with their boyfriends and the boys were teaching the girls how to lift. They were doing squats on the smith machine (my favorite) had the weights racked 10lbs, 10lbs, 2.5lbs, 10lbs, 5lbs. Firstly, do some math. 10 + 10 + 5 = 25, so use the 25lb weight, second, you put weights on heaviest to lightest. Okay the real reason for this little rant is PLEASE, OH PLEASE learn to do a squat correctly before doing one with weights! These girls were in serious danger of screwing up their backs the way they were lifting.

I felt it necessary to post this for everyone out there:

The correct way

Stolen from: http://doubleyourgains.com/how-to-squat

On a side note…

J and I are going to the first Penguin’s scrimmage today – HOCKEY IS BACK, HOCKEY IS BACK!! Woot, woot!!! About damn time! 🙂

That is all. 😉