Fast forward a few months and I had a phone interview and an on-campus interview. I will say that I was dealing with some very intense health concerns with my dad at the time and almost cancelled my interview so I could stay with him in Memphis. Part of the whole reason for the search, though, was to be closer to family for these very situations, so once he told me to get my butt down to Oxford and rock the interview, I did. I had to do a presentation and a full two days of interviews with about a million people, but I think being so concerned about dad actually helped me to be less nervous about the questions and allowed me to just be myself and speak from my years of experience. Dad ended up being released from the hospital earlier than expected and I was offered the job!
It was a heart-wrenching decision to leave UT. I have lived in Knoxville since 1999 when I was 18 years old, including most summers. I love Knoxville. I love UT. I love the people I worked with and the department. But, I missed my family. I want my kids to see their grandparents more than twice a year. I want to be an active member in my family. And I wanted more responsibility at work. I have an amazing mentor/supervisor at UT in Jerry Adams, and I cannot even begin to thank him for every door he has opened for me over the years. He is not going anywhere (as he shouldn't since he is awesome), so if I wanted to continue moving up in my Housing career, I knew I needed to leave.
|Love Jerry, but what on earth am I going to do with all my orange clothes?|
|My first cake with my face on it. So weird. :)|
|Inside the Jeannie bottle!!|
|Everyone left me little messages in my bottle. I still have them in there in my new office. Love it so much!|
|My reaction when I walked in. It took all my control not to burst into tears.|
|Amy and Candace. Just amazing. No words. Simply not possible to do them justice.|
|My very last day: lunch on Market Square with Amy and Mona!|
We have been welcomed to Oxford and Ole Miss with open arms. Everyone here is so friendly, and they totally know what they are doing. This is a good university and a good housing department. I am excited to be a part of it, and I am looking forward to what we can accomplish together.
|The kids were so excited to be included in the Ole Miss goodies.|
|Look at all that fun stuff - 2 polos, 4 t-shirts, and shirts and cups for the whole family. Jeremy and Violet were thrilled to get their own treats and cards. So sweet of the Ole Miss staff!!|
It has been a whirlwind month, but here we are. The kids are happy, we are happy, and we are starting to settle in to our new normal! #HottyToddy #Vol4Life