One year ago...
...I was not a 'dog person'.
...we were not on the waiting list.
...I had really long hair.
...I could count the number of times I'd driven to Fairfield on one hand.
...was my first day at Grace House.
I think the first one is the best. Valerie and I laugh now about how this time last year I told her that Jason and I were not dog people. Now, well, just look at my Instagram and the Instagram account we created for Swanson!
Today is my one year anniversary at Grace House Ministries! It's probably not common to make such a big deal out of a work anniversary, but I really love my job! And I think that when you really love something you should celebrate milestones.
Let me tell you about my first day at Grace House.
It was like the first day of school. I woke up early to the clothes I'd picked out weeks before. I even bought a new jacket to wear. I got ready and left the house with way more time than I needed, and arrived REALLY early. Then I sat in my car for a little bit so I wasn't the "weird early girl". It crossed my mind about 50,000 times that this job was too good to be true and that maybe this was a really elaborate April Fools joke.
When I walked in, I went back to my office (my first office!!). I knew I'd be sharing an office with my boss, Valerie, but when I walked in and saw Valerie and Tameka moving around the entire office I thought two things: 1) Oh gosh, they forgot I was coming today, maybe this is an April Fools joke, and 2) I love rearranging furniture, I hope I get to help!
After arranging the furniture approximately three different ways, setting up my computer, and taking a seat for the first time at my desk, my nerves began to wear off. Valerie and I had seemed to hit it off during my two interviews, but I was still really nervous that she wouldn't like me. We worked so close that we could high-five without moving our chairs, so it was SO important that she liked me!
I made it through the first half of the day without passing out from excitement as I kept learning more about my job description. Everything that I was going to be doing, I normally did for fun - writing, taking pictures, social media, designing, giving tours, blogging, and basically anything else that I showed an interests in. Plus I was going to be learning a TON!
After lunch, whispers began to spread around the office about an April Fools joke. Oh gosh...I don't do surprises well, so I was praying that the joke wasn't on me as some sort of initiation. Thankfully, it wasn't, it was going to be on Pamela, our Executive Director. One of the girls was supposed to go get Pamela's keys out of her purse, and then Valerie was going to move her car down the street. Well, they pulled that part off and Pamela gave the perfect reaction. She was surprised, shocked, scared, and ended up in her office trying to call her husband. Of course we were all laughing and we finally told her it was a joke.
At the end of the day, I just couldn't stop telling Jason and my family how amazing my job was...and I don't think I've stopped talking about it since!
To say that I'm thankful to work at Grace House would be the biggest understatement of the year. I get to do the things I love for girls that I care about deeply. I've learned a lot, grown a lot, and changed a lot in the last year. Oh, and as for Valerie liking me...
...she gave me the most beautiful gift and card this morning as an anniversary gift! Buna means "coffee" in Amharic, the Ethiopian language. How thoughtful is that? Becoming friends with Valerie has been one of the greatest joys, and I can't thank her enough for hiring me!