A little sick

So friends, I realized today one of the downsides to living by yourself.  Dash it all there is nobody there to get you medicine when your tummy aches.  It’s odd that something like that would make me feel lonely but I can’t pretend that it didn’t.  Now I wasn’t seriously ill or anything just a bit of a sour stomach and yet I had to drag myself out of bed (and to be quite honest away from the TV- lots of premieres tonight) and go to Harmons to buy stomach meds (a little embarrassing- the kind of shopping where you have to add a few items that you don’t really need just so it isn’t clear to everyone in line what ails you.  At least my cashier didn’t have to check prices on anything.  That is the worst! Then it is like sharing with the whole store.  Hey, Rachel’s buying….You can’t be too careful.  After all it’s a small neighborhood.  I might see these people again!).

So, I am sure you did not start reading my blog to hear about my exciting trip to the store.  I mention it only to say that with all my tough single talk there are moments when I wish I had someone there to, in this case, by me meds and tell me that everything is going to be fine in the morning.  When I was visiting my sister last week my niece asked me “Rachel, why don’t you have a husband?”.  I told her simply that “I haven’t fallen in love yet and you can’t have a husband until you fall in love.”.  (Unless you marry for money but why scar the child with that notion!).  Anyway, I really believe what I told Isabel and until I feel that way I guess I will just have to live with buying my own medicine and using my prayers to tell me that everything will be Okay in the morning- and thank goodness it usually is.

Short entry today friends.  Afterall, I’m not feeling well! By the way, any of you Indiana folks I am coming for a visit!  I am working in Grand Rapids for Oct 6+7 and will be in Indiana 8-10th. I will try to contact everyone I can to get together but I’ve lost a lot of phone numbers.  Rachel.

At least I don't look like a smurf
At least I dont feel like a smurf

Images

Yesterday I had an interesting experience.   I must preface the story by saying that I have been very busy this week with work and have entertained several times at my apartment. As is fairly normal I got to Saturday and felt tired (particularly because I had to work all day Saturday). As I was getting ready in the morning I got a call from my good friend Melany.  She was kindly inviting me to come to a play with her in Provo that night.  Normally I would jump at the chance to go to a play, and I certainly appreciated the offer; However, there was a side of me that knew how tired I was going to be after working all day and wondered how enjoyable an outing at night would be.  I thanked her for the offer and told her that I would have to check with my other friend Melissa as we had talked about doing something that night earlier in the week (we really had).

Later on in the afternoon I got a hold of Melissa and we decided to hang out on Wednesday (yeah!) but then I was faced with a dilemma.  I was tired and just wanted to do something relaxing at home, but I appreciated the invite and wanted to spend time with Melany.  What to do?  I certainly did not want to hurt Melany’s feelings or discourage any future invites.  In addition, I added a silly dimension to the decision.  Living by myself I know that I must be careful to stay socially active.  If I don’t, I  have this image of becoming some strange single woman who never comes out of her house but to cackle at the neighbor kids!  (I would add has 10 cats except I am allergic but you get the idea).  It’s so weird that I add such an image to my decision making but I can’t lie and say that I don’t.  I just do not want to get lulled into a lifestyle that I don’t care for, and I know sometimes that means getting pretty and going out with friends when I don’t necessary feel like it.

So, here’s what I did.  I called Melany and said:

“Melany, I feel guilty”

she said:

“Why?”

I said:

“Well, I really appreciate your offer and your thinking of me and in a certain way I feel like I should go out and be social but I’ve just had a really long week and don’t know if I feel up to getting pretty and going out.  If it was just a casual movie, dinner or games I might be up for it. I’m sorry”

She laughed and said that she not only understood but was feeling the same way herself.  We agreed to do something next week, which I look forward to.

The whole incident has gotten me thinking- do we ever do things not because we want to or care about the activity but to satisfy an image (or to avoid an image).  By going out that night its like I could say to the world: “See I’m social.  I’m not some weird hermit lady”.  This strikes me as a very odd thing to do and to think.  Why not participate in activities that you actually enjoy (particularly things in your free time) and not to satisfy some image.  Once again I am forced to ask the question- Why do I care what others think? At least I am aware of my tendency and trying every day to lessen the world’s influence over my mind and choices.

I know I am not alone in these feelings.  Almost everyone has some image in their heads of what type of person they want to be and do not want to become.  I can think of many examples of this like the teenager who pretends to like music and dancing when she actually doesn’t, or the housewife who woefully tries to make bread because she see’s that as fitting the domestic image, the working woman who wears certain make up she wouldn’t normally wear because she thinks it fits the image of a corporate woman, the academic who wears glasses for show because he wants to feel smarter.  Why do we do this? I would wager to say that everyone exhibits some behavior like this.  If they were truly authentically themselves they would not participate in the activity, but they do it to satisfy an image of some kind.

A part of me wonders if satisfying images is a carry-over from adolescence.   There is no time in life when images are more important or more carefully defined than in the high school years.  Leading up to high school I went through many friends finally solidifying myself as a drama nerd freshman year.  After having been through friends I was not going to let go of the one’s I had gained- and if that meant wearing a shirt a certain way or participating in activities I didn’t care for, than so be it.  I remember one time I went bowling with some friends and my brother and sister were surprised.  They said “You don’t like bowling?”.  I said “I don’t care.  My friends will be there so it will be fun”.  So, I went and had a good time bowling.

To a certain extent this type of attitude is healthy.  If I only did what interested me than I would never experience new things.  Many of my favorite activities I enjoy because a friend took the time to introduce me.  In some ways it seems to be a tug of war within me- how much do I give of myself to new experiences and how much do I stay true to what I am all about and what I find fulfilling?  Also, if I am doing or not doing something to meet some artificial image of what I want or don’t want to be, should I be doing it at all?  I don’t know but it seems to be shaky grounds for human behavior. Images are hard to live up to.

Some might say that this type of behavior isn’t a carry-over from adolescence but a result of media.  There is some truth to that.  There are whole scores of people whose job it is to sculpt images of men and woman of all types in this country.  I’ve always been fascinated by how the music industry molds the tastes of American music.  One year Latino music is the big rage, another year it is Indie Girl Bands.  Through the style of music, fashions worn by the singers, marketing campaigns and concerts given, the music industry not only produces music but says- this is the type of person that should enjoy this type of music.  This is what you should be wearing, eating, drinking, doing with your time ect.  Why do you think so many singers have fashion lines- Gwen Stafani, Celine Dion and J Lo all come to mind as singers that have done a good job of creating an image for their fans to follow.

Perhaps following images is part of human nature and the media simply feeds into that need to be included and defined.  That’s why we are always creating lists for everything.  We want to have everything objectified and categorized.  I don’t know why? Do any of you?

I am glad that I was taught from an early age that the most important image I can live up to in my life is that of a daughter of God who serves him.  In the end, this is the only category or type of person that really matters.  In fact, such a knowledge has been the thread that has kept me from diving to strongly into the world and its images.  Even though I may worry about becoming the cackling woman who lives alone, I know that this will never happen as long as I serve God and am active in my church.  It’s actually quite comforting to know that His is the only image I must strive for and that everything else in life has a way of working itself out. I am grateful for that knowledge and grateful for friends  like Melany (and of course my family) that understands me and loves me for me and not for any image I may or may not embody.

Back Home

Friends I am exhausted.  Still after a day of mostly rest, I am just plain tired.  Why you ask?  It’s the events of the last week.  I spent a week living my mother and father’s life and boy did it tucker me out.  You see last Sunday I flew to California to sibling-sit Anna, Sam and Madi.  I did this so my dad and mom could fly to Utah and work on the rental property.  In a way we switched places- like freaky friday without being in my mom’s body (that was a weird sentence).

Just to give each of you a taste of my day’s last week.  This is how it went

5:30 wake up, pull on whatever clothes handy

5:40 take Anna to seminary

7:00 make lunches for all

7:20 Wake up Same and Madi so they can be ready when I leave

7:30 pick up Anna from seminary

8:30 take Sam and Madi to school

10:30 take Anna to high school

12:30 pick up Anna from high school

1or 2 take Anna to independent study or music lessons

3:00 pick up Anna from above activity

3:30 pick up Sam and Madi from school

4:30 take either Sam or Madi to PGY (a performing group) practice

5:00 start making dinner

5:30 take Anna to dance

6:30 pick up Anna from dance and Sam/Madi from PGY

7:00 have dinner

8:00 clean up

Rest of the night- try to squeeze something fun in and must help Madi with homework taking 1 hour.

So, that was my day sibling-sitting!  To top all that off I had to squeeze in my own workload and make sure I didn’t get behind with any of that.

With all this running around you would think I must have had a miserable time.  Actually I had a good time.  It was nice chatting with each of my siblings and getting to know them better.  I feel that they also gained more respect and understanding of me and my life and all of the work that mom and dad do for each of them.  Anna said she was surprised by how much driving I had to do and that it had never occurred to her how much my mother was driving everyone around until she saw me doing it.

The whole experience made me realize how many moments my mother and father spent caring for each of us.  It’s so easy to take stuff like that for granted when you are young but now I understand more of their sacrifice.  I also have relearned how careful my parents had to be to use teaching moments when they got them.  I don’t know if I taught my siblings anything but there were a couple of moments thrown in here or there that I hope got absorbed.  The thing is they were always while I was doing dishes, giving a ride, checking my email etc.  Clearly being a parent requires a special focus on all of life to be effective.

This week also helped me realize that I have much to learn about being a parent.  Luckily if I do have kids I won’t have to start with a 17, 12 and 9 year old- I can work myself up to those blessings :).  Still, there is no doubt that a single gal like myself has a great deal I can do to improve my parenting skills.

Changing gears a bit…I also got the opportunity to visit my sister and her family while I was in California.  I love visiting them.  There is such an atmosphere of love, patience and kindness in their home.  It always makes me want to improve in each of these 3 attributes.  My nieces are so cute but they are also fiesty and independent.  Megan and Seth do a great job of nurturing their daughters- making them feel loved while still instilling correct principles and behaviors.

Megan is also a great example to me of living life to its fullest.  I haven’t mentioned it on this blog but the two of us have been doing a diet and fitness challenge since the beginning of August.  Each month we set new goals for each category and try to continue with the one’s already set.  For example, we are now on month 2 of restricting sweets- no candy, cookies, deserts, sugary drinks ect.  It has been fun to work on it together.  One of our goals for September was entering a charity race- Megan running while I walked.  So, on Friday we ran/walked in the Moonlight Run in Palo Alto.  It was (clearly from the name) at night and was harder than I thought it would be.  Even though I just did the walk (don’t worry I walked my hardest!) I felt sore the next day- next 2 days actually.  It was satisfying, however, to finish and to know I had done my best.  Megan also ran hard and did her best.  Isn’t it impressive that she ran a 5k just 2 months after having a baby!  Awesome!

Running is just one of the ways Megan lives a full life.  She is a diligent mother but also takes time for reading, writing (she’s in a children’s writing group), cooking, sewing and other crafts.  She is always thinking of clever activities she can do with her girls to keep her mind active and enlighten them as well.

Such a full life is a goal of mine.  It is the reason why I insist on sticking with my voice lessons every week even though I rarely preform.  Building my skills makes me a more interesting person and helps me to feel complete.  I hope that in the next few months I can add to the voice lessons by taking a cake decorating or perhaps a drawing class.  Both are subjects I have always wanted to learn.

Like Megan I am also a great reader and get a lot of joy out of writing both in this blog and in my own writing.  In addition, my Sunday school, church activities, time with friends and work all contribute to my overall happiness and well-being.  I don’t know how I would have made it through 2007 without such a full life and I hope to only improve upon it.

Perhaps Megan and I picked up this desire for a full life from my mom.  She was always multi-tasking but in a non-panicky way.  There was cooking, cleaning, gardening, reading, knitting, sewing ect.  All of which she did with the utmost taste and skill.  I hope I can follow the examples set by my mother and sister in living my life to its fullest.  Do you all have any hobbies or daily activities that give your life more meaning?  Make it more full?

So, that was the last week.  I am tired and at the moment glad to be living the life I have in front of me.  At least I get to spend less time in the car as a singlite!

New Apartment

This will be a quick update my friends. I just wanted everyone to know that I am now officially moved into my apartment!  Yes, that’s right I have my own apartment.  I am just renting but have made it my own with all of my artwork and photography.  It’s interesting because this is the first time in my life that I have been able to make a space my own.  Any of you that are driving through Draper- come check it out (the tour after all will only take a minute or two!  It’s just a one bedroom apartment).  As you can see from the pictures it  has a large bedroom (especially compared to my old room.  It’s hard to imagine how I fit all of my stuff in that tiny space).  Then it has- oh the luxury- a walk-in closet!!!  For the first time in a long while I am actually organized.  I have gone bin crazy and have everything filed, stored and stashed in its correct bin or folder.  In my old room everything was so packed in that it took two seconds to dirty it up, which left me feeling cluttered all the time.  It was hard to motivate myself to do better when there just didn’t seem to be enough space.

One thing that has been interesting about designing my own space is that a number of things that I have been dragging around for years I am actually able to use.  For example, when I was 17 I went to Italy.  While I was there I purchased an art print of Florence.  I have had that art print in storage for 10 years and I finally this week got it framed and displayed.  It felt like a little gift from my past. It’s like finding a $20 bill in an old coat. You always owned the $20 (or the art in this case) but somehow it seems like a prize!

Anyway back to my apartment, there is a nice bathroom with a deep tub and again lots of storage.  I actually have my hair supplies organized! Yeah!  Oh speaking of hair… I got my hair cut last week.  My friend and Diva hair designer Grace was in town for Labor Day and I took the opportunity to have her use her considerable skills to find an easy business-like haircut.  The kind of haircut I could style in the morning, clean and work hard all day and have it still look decent.  So, she cut my hair way off- chin length with lots of layers.  It was a hard step for me (I love my hair…) but I know it is the right thing for my lifestyle and I think it looks good.  I’ve gotten lots of compliments on it.  I will post a picture as soon as I can take a decent self portrait!

So moving on to the apartment.  It has lots of additional storage.  A kitchen with tons of cabinets, a dishwasher (yeah!) and a washer and dryer (double yeah!).  Then there is what they call the Great Room where I have a sofa and my cuddlebag (plus all of my books- triple yeah!!!).  I just wish all of you could see it!  I am soooo excited about it.  I am almost sad to be leaving it next week to sibling sit in California next week.  The following week I am planning on having some type of party.  I have missed throwing my parties and games nights. Living in my dad’s house in Suncrest was great for finances but lame for my social life.

In a way I feel that this apartment is bringing all the change of the last year full circle.  I went from an unhappy confused spot, to a busy, bold confident woman with direction and independence.  As I was talking to Camille today I mentioned that “it just feels good to be where you are supposed to be.  Doing what you are supposed to be doing”.  That’s how I really feel.  I feel blessed to be happy, and to have my life the way I want it to be- even in little ways like my organized apartment! It’s just so wonderful!

So that is the big news.  I will update more soon.  Life is great!  Hope it is the same for all of you!

Thoughts on a mission part II

So tonight I went and saw the new movie Errand of Angels with a bunch of my girlfriends from my mission.  It was a fun night full of reminiscing.  To my surprise I actually enjoyed the movie a lot.  I think it was pretty accurate of what a sister missionary goes through.  It’s not quite as intense and the companionship problems get bundled up too neatly but overall I liked it.

As I drove home I started thinking about people I met in Indiana- particularly my companions who taught me so much (and were infinity patient with me).  People like Sister Servito from the Philippines who worked me so hard one day my feet almost got frostbite.  (I’m not exaggerating.  I had to soak my feat in warm water for an hour after one long day of tracting in the snow in below O weather!) I can remember walking behind her in the bitter lake effect cold and thinking- maybe if I beg someone will take mercy on me and let me in to get warm! I remember thinking that they don’t show this in the MTC!  After I left Sister Servito I gained a heightened appreciation for the lessons in hard work she had taught me and what real commitment means.  She expanded my vision for what I could accomplish both spiritually and physically and that is a tremendous gift, which I will always be grateful for.

Another person I thought of was Sister Walker.  I had just had a companion who I call my “purifying companion”.  Let me just say that when I got Sister Walker I was in need of love and comfort.  I felt like a failure and my energy to serve was drained.  Despite my weakness we pushed on and contacted a lot of people.  By the end of our first transfer we had a number of investigators, which began to energize me for the work.  Then just as we were getting excited in one week all of them dropped us.  One of them was particularly sad for Sister Walker as she had seen more potential in her than I had.  It’s a long story but she was living with a man that used to be her boyfriend (who she was still intimate with on occasion) and was unwilling to change because she didn’t want to hurt his feelings.  We felt we were making progress with her and then boom she told us that she couldn’t ask him to leave, it was just too hard.  We told her that we could not teach her any more without this change.  I remember going home and seeing Sister Walker feeling less cheery than usual (I am sure I could have been more comforting to her.  It was a bit of selfish time for me- a time I have since apologized for).  Anyway, over the next few weeks we continued to work and the bad luck started to change.  To begin with we started teaching a golden contact- the niece of a recently reactivated member named Amanda.  Then two days before I left we got a call from the woman we had dropped weeks earlier.  It was a message saying “Sisters, he’s gone.  I’m ready to get baptized.”  Sadly, I had to leave the area before she or Amanda got baptized but the experience taught me a great lesson- or should I say I relearned a great lesson.  For all intensive purposes I had been at my weakest.  I was tired, frustrated, even depressed but still I took what steps I could and the Lord used me.  He allowed me to be part of changing others lives and He did it when I was doubting His love and when I felt totally alone.  He gave me Sister Walker and reminded me that my sacrifice mattered because of the way that He would use it for building His kingdom.  After this realization I knew that the Lord loved me in a way I hadn’t known before.  I had understood before that my Heavenly Father loved me when I was righteous but after this experience I knew that He loved me when I was weak too and that He would still use me in profound ways.  It was one of the profound lessons of my life.

During this purifying time I also learned a great lesson from my mission president.  After the purifying companion I felt confused and even a little angry.  I felt she had ruined my mission and made my life miserable for no reason.  My intentions were right or so I believed at the time.  After she left I hung on to this feeling of resentment and anger.  One evening I had called the mission president for something and somehow we got on the topic of my feelings.  He told me an amazing story.  He said one time he had been in a stake presidency and had offended a librarian over something that had not been his fault.  For a while he justified his feelings and she was increasingly annoyed with him.  Finally one day he spoke with the stake president about the situation and to his surprise the stake president said “You need to go down there and ask her for forgiveness”.  “But I haven’t done anything wrong” He said in response.  “Does she think you have done something wrong?  Go to her, ask forgiveness, and then you will have done all you can do- any further offense will be on her shoulders then”.  President Quist told me this story and I knew right away what he was saying to me.  I may have believed I had been injured but the truth is I wasn’t perfect either.  I could walk away from this situation saying ” I did everything I could have done to remedy the situation”.  So, I wrote a letter asking my purifying companion to forgive me and that I hope she had every success as a missionary.  I don’t know what she thought of the letter or if she cared but it was a powerful moment in my life.  I balled like a baby writing that letter.  It was maybe the most humbling experience of my life and it helped me to understand the atonement’s ability to heal wounds and repair broken hearts in a new way.

Lastly, I will never forget Sister Graves one of my longest companions.  After the purifying time I needed some joy and that’s why the Lord gave me Sister Graves.  We were in threesomes the entire time we were together but we worked hard, had fun and experienced harvest.  I am not saying that every minute went great or that we never squabbled- you spend 24 hours a day with a doormat and I think you would squabble. However, Sister Graves and I shared a special bond.  You see, throughout my mission I struggled to walk with my companions.  I have a foot condition that causes deep muscular pain.  Some days I wanted to saw off my feet they hurt so bad and for almost my whole mission I walked behind my companions (despite many of their attempts to slow down).  With Sister Graves things were different.  She is a little person, which makes her feet small; therefore, making her steps also smaller than average.  We were the dynamic duo of slow walking and I loved it!  We had many great memories together including teaching Kim- a golden daughter of a less active member, Kim’s brother, a high school girl named Ashley,  and a wonderful woman named Kris.  Sister Graves reminded me that there will be people in my life who will always be there for me- walking beside me.  She made me feel loveable again and we laughed a lot together.  When I look for a spouse I hope that he and I share a similar feeling.  That we can walk together and enjoy life while working hard.  Yes we will have differences but the love, respect and comradary is never in doubt. I thank Sister Graves for teaching me that.

So, I am sure such reminiscences are far more interesting to me than for you my friends; however, a blog is meant for sharing such thoughts so take what you will from them.  As many of my companions will read this blog let me add that each of them taught me great lessons and I could add paragraphs from each but here’s some lessons I learned from each of the one’s I didn’t mention above-

Sister Noyes- to never take pity on ourselves and listen to people

Sister Hamill- to find the common interests with others, even are enemies.  She also has a gift for nurturing and loving others.

Sister Chatterton- to not care what others think.  She famously said “Your Mission is between you and the Lord and nobody else.

Sister Millett- That missions could be fun. That telling as many jokes as possible was a good thing.

Sister Livingston- That sometimes the greatest thing we can do is serve the people under our nose.

Sister Hathaway- That knowledge is a gift from the Lord, which He will give if we are humble. She was one of the most teachable human beings I have ever met.

So, that’s my mission.  It taught me so much but most importantly it helped me understand the depths of Christ’s love and the meaning of His sacrifice. It helped me understand my purpose and made me a little bit more like Him- a tiny bit more pure.  It is a holy time of my life- a pilgrimage of understanding and growth.

My favorite mission picture
My favorite mission picture
Sister Walker went through a real tornado with me! Spiritually and literally!
Sister Walker went through a real tornado with me! Spiritually and literally!
Me with Sister Servito in the blue and another favorite Sister Meyer in the red
Me with Sister Servito in the blue and another favorite Sister Meyer in the red
This is me in the first snow working with Sister Servito
This is me in the first snow working with Sister Servito
This is me and my special Sister Graves
This is me and my special Sister Graves

A little poetry

Hi friends,

As you all know I have been undergoing change.  It’s kind of overwhelming when I think about it.  I have been so busy experiencing that it has kind of happened without my realization.  It’s like it has almost occurred in someone else’s life- not mine.  I’m just taking things day by day and trying to enjoy my life. Still, something with all of this change makes me feel poetic. I wish I had the talent to write my own poetry (working on that at the moment…) but for the moment I will share some of my favorites with all of you. Here goes…

Beginning by James Wright

The moon drops one or two feathers into the fields

The dark wheat listens.

Be still.

Now.

There they are, the moon’s young, trying

Their wings.

Between trees, a slender woman lifts up the lovely shadow

Of her face, and now she steps into the air, now she is gone

Wholly, into the air.

I stand alone by an elder tree, I do not dare breathe

Or move.

I listen.

The wheat leans back toward its own darkness,

And I lean toward mine.

(What do you think this poem means? I think it is saying that to begin anything in life (just like beginning to fly for the bird) we must all step a little bit into the darkness- it is a poem about faith and the power of stopping, observing and listening).

Rain Towards Morning by Elizabeth Bishop

The great light cage has broken up in the air,

freeing, I think, about a million birds

whose wild ascending shadows will not be back,

and all the wires come falling down.

No cage, no frightening birds; the rain

is brightening now.  The face is pale

that tried the puzzle of their prison

and solved it with an unexpected kiss,

whose freckled unsuspected hands alit.

(Elizabeth Bishop has many poems about nature that move me- and I’m not even an outdoors girl- but I like this poem because it clarifies the unexpected gifts of life, if we look for them).

There is another sky by Emily Dickinson

There is another sky,

Ever serene and fair.

And there is another sunshine

Though it be darkness there:

Never mind faded forests, Austin,

Never mind silent fields-

Here is a little forest,

Whose leaf is ever green;

Here is a brighter garden,

Where not a frost has been;

In its unfading flowers

I hear the bright bee hum;

Prithee, my brother,

Into my garden come!

( I love this poem for many reasons.  Don’t we all have moments where we need to know that there is another sky, a brighter garden, a more beautiful future ahead?  Isn’t it usually your family that opens those new arenas for you, that gives you the courage to to be happy? I feel that it is often the belief of others and the inner-confidence gained from finding beauty and meaning in life that saves each of us from the darkness).

I hope you enjoy three of my favorite poems.  I have always loved the power of words to capture moments.  These poems do that for me.  🙂

So much happening

Dear friends it has been a week since I have written but it feels like an eternity- it has been that busy of a week.  It’s kind of hard to know what to mention first.  To give you some idea, I have been working on 3 jobs- not including my volunteer work, family, friends, church, voice lessons, and other responsibilities.

Job 1 Managing properties

Last week I checked 3 groups in and 3 out of all 3 properties and made sure all the cleaning, paperwork and payments were done.  Plus, I had to take care of the continual marketing of the properties, including beginning advertising for the holiday’s and making future appointments. In addition, I scheduled 4 new tenants for the homes over the next 6 months which required discussions, emails, deposits and more. There are also 3 people in limbo without a firm commitment at the moment.

I also worked with my dad on designing fliers for the homes, business cards and still had to make purchases of dvds, XBOX 360 (so out of my element on that one!), cleaning supplies, towels and a few other items. I even purchased and monogrammed towels that are specially designed for female guests to use with their make-up (classy hah!).

Job 2 Grabber warmer van

Last week I picked up the new Grabber warmer van which I will use this Winter to set up events to market the warmers.  You know how you sometimes see vehicles outside of stores pushing products like cell phones?  That’s the kind of thing I will be doing.  So, not only did I pick up the van, but I went to the outdoor retailers show on Friday to get training on how to set up and run events.  It sounds like it is going to be a lot of work- more than I bargained for.  Stephanie from GPG said that it could be a full time job if I wanted it to be.

After the show I spent the whole next day getting things ready for a GPG party I catered and planned for warmer employees and reps.

Job 3 Event planning

Last week things came full circle for my company Catalyst Events and Marketing.  I went through the process of registering my company name and filling out the application for a business license (I actually turned in the papers today).  I also worked feverishly on my website . I am finding I have to relearn a lot of what I knew at Linguatronics before my mission (frustrating!).  At the same time I had to plan the menu and do all of the shopping and prep for the party on Saturday.  It was almost 2 full days of preparation to be ready for the party- and ready I was.

There are few moments that are perfect in life but the party was one of them for me.  Everything looked great, tasted great and I felt like such a professional.  I have always wanted to be a classy woman who could pull everything together and make people happy.  At the party I was that woman.  It was amazing.  When I get pictures from my dad I will post them.  He took pictures of the party for my website which should be up soon.  I’m working hard on it. I am not joking when I say it was one of the best days of my life.  It is one thing to say I can plan great events and it is another to go out and do it. I even used mostly my own recipes. The rest were from the barefoot contessa! Yum!

So, that’s the 3 jobs! It’s crazy how I can go from 0 jobs at the end of May to 3 in August! The hard part is I am actually excited about all of them.  The key to keeping me sane is that everyone involved knows of my limits especially me.  Plus, it is all stuff I enjoy.  I continue to feel that if I am going to have problems these are the kinds I want.  I enjoyed my time of waiting and now I am loving my time of being hyper-used.

In the end, I keep coming back to the feeling I have had from the day I quit my job.  I knew then and I know now that everything will be Ok.  I know that the Lord is watching out for me and that He loves me.  I have said it a million times but never have I felt more prompted to make a decision than I did when I left my old job.  It is this sense of inner-peace and direction that makes me,  even with all the craziness of 3 jobs (plus family, friends, church, healthy living, and a social life) , feel a calm.  It’s hard to explain but nonetheless true.

I will keep you’all updated on everthing that happens with my life (including moving somewhere in the next month or so- that’s a whole different ball of wax I have to figure out.  For another blog entry!).

Oh- and I have also tried to squeeze in a little of my favorite TV time- the Olympic games.  Go USA!!!!!!