— 1 —Drumroll please... I have a job! Finally! I'm not going to gush and tell you it's the best job ever because 1) we saw how that went last time and 2) it's not exactly my ideal job -- I'm back to doing what I first did out of college, which is being an administrative assistant. But I resonated with this post from Adulting, and at this point in my life the top of that triangle is my priority. So I focused on getting a job on the campus where we live. Funny story, Mike and I now have the same boss and work for the same office (which has led the other Res Life staff to make lots of jokes about how I'm not allowed to sleep with anyone on staff, haha). I already know basically everyone I will be working with and a lot about the university, which is a win-win for everyone. I will now get off work at 4:30pm and walk five minutes to get home, which makes me want to cry tears of happiness because I will still have time to do all the things that I've made time for in the past six months (choir, Zumba, running, seeing my husband, etc.).
— 2 —Now that I will have an income again, we can stop draining our emergency fund and actually start saving up money again, which is exciting. We should have our portion of Mike's student loans paid off by next February (we paid off all the ones with interest, and are just paying my parents back now), which will also boost our savings rate. It was unfortunate that my lack of income coincided with a summer involving a lot of travel (our college reunion and two out-of-state weddings, plus trips to see family nearby), but then I didn't know back in February when I quit my job that I wouldn't start a new one until August. July was the only month where we went so over budget that I insisted we use up everything we possibly could in our pantry and fridge before I would go shopping again (and then just for bread, milk, and toilet paper). Can I just say that these peanut noodles (minus the garnishes) were a lifesaver? Mike's meal plan has started back up again, we only have one more wedding to attend, and then I'll have a salary again, so things are looking good finance-wise.
— 3 —Because I now know what my job and salary will be and what my weekly schedule will look like, and because we will be able to start saving money again, we are now actually, really ready to start the adoption process. Mike's new boss (now my new boss as well!) is very supportive of this and may even lift the age restriction on kids so we could stay in the residence hall longer if we wanted to. Mike and I are both anxious to get started, but wanted to be in a better place financially and also to have some idea of what our schedules would be like. Since I'll be getting off at 4:30 every day (and coming immediately home), it's possibly Mike could schedule some of his meetings in the evenings and we could minimize our use of the on-campus daycare, which would be nice. I will probably set up a separate, private blog for our adoption process so that I don't overwhelm you all with details, but I will try to give you the highlights for those who are interested :)
— 4 —Another thing I'm excited about is that registration has opened for next year's Gay Christian Network conference. I went last year and loved it; you can read my posts on assumptions smashed by the conference and lessons I took away about being a better ally. You don't have to be LGBTQ to attend; you don't even have to be Christian (though you should probably have at least some interest in the intersection between the Christian faith and sexual orientation / gender identity). I don't attend a lot of blogging conferences or things like that, so this annual conference is the best place if you've ever wanted to meet me in person. I'm trying to get a couple of friends to come with me this year, but I went last year not knowing a soul and still had a great time and made a number of new friends I've kept in touch with since then. Super Early Bird registration ($99) ends August 7, although it's only $39 if you've never been before and go as a guest of someone else who's going. It's five months away and I'm already incredibly excited. Check it out!
— 5 —Speaking of gay Christians, it was fascinating this past week to see the reaction in my feeds to Pope Francis' comments about gay people in response to a question about gay priests. The reactions ranged from "Oh my gosh, the Pope is OK with people being gay!" to "Why are we happy about this when the Catholic church still condemns gay relationships?" to "The Pope only reasserted existing Catholic teaching, so this isn't even news." I think this breakdown touches on most of the relevant issues, and this article has an even longer and more complete quote and discusses the media coverage in depth. In brief: What Pope Francis said is technically in line with existing Catholic teaching (being gay is fine, gay sex is not), but the fact that he said it in response to a question about gay priests illustrates a big shift in tone from Pope Benedict, who was not OK with gay priests. The gay priest ban upset me because 1) priests are celibate, so gay priests would already be in line with the Catholic requirements that gay people be celibate and 2) it was done in reaction to the sex abuse scandal and hugely conflated homosexuality with pedophilia. Obviously I'd like to see more substantial changes than just a change in tone, but similar to what I said about the Boy Scout policy change, I think a movement in the right direction should be seen positively even if there are still a lot of problematic policies in place, and that's why these comments from Pope Francis are worth being cautiously optimistic about.
— 6 —Other good news: My parents and sister, who have been living with my aunt and uncle since moving out here in June, are finally moved into their new house! They had it built new and had to wait for it to be finished before they could move into it, but they got out of Chicago as soon as my sister's school was out and their house was sold. Mike and I will be able to see the new house for the first time next week. They seem very happy with it, and it's nice that the whole moving process that started back in early June is now more or less finished!
— 7 —Mike and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary yesterday. We went out to our favorite sushi place and had a nice dinner. Then we had a bunch of friends over to play games until after midnight. Because our friends and family were such a big part of our wedding, we thought it would be good to celebrate by inviting our new community (fellow hall staff) over for our anniversary. It was really nice! We feel very blessed to be supported by a strong local community of people around our age.
Those are my 7 Quick Takes for the week! To join the linkup or see other links, visit Conversion Diary.