Tag: Festival of Trees

2009 in Review

I must admit to being tardy in my Christmas/end of the year posting.  Since I was sick for 2 weeks at the beginning of the month I have been behind on everything else.  I still have a great deal to do work-wise, but I am making progress.  Luckily I work for understanding people including and especially my father who is patient and understanding with me.

Even with all of the illness and work I have managed to squeeze together a great Christmas season.  It all started at the beginning of the month when I volunteered for Festival of Trees.  I have been working on the planning committee this year, which has been a great experience.   The Festival of Trees is an event that raises money for Primary Children Hospital in Utah, which is a hospital that treats all children regardless of ability to pay. It was a neat way to serve the community and make new friends along the way.

I also continued on my two favorite traditions-  going to see Christmas Carol at Hale Theater Orem and participating in the Messiah Sing-in in American Fork.  Both of these traditions just make Christmas for me.  I also had my Christmas tree which I call my Memory tree.  It is full of ornaments that have significance in my life, that remind me of good times and memories.

Now I am finally getting that done.  Thanks for all of your comments through the year.  Please continue.  My blog gives me great happiness and satisfaction throughout the year.

2009 in review

Work-

Probably the largest part of my life revolves around my work.  I am fortunate to still be self-employed as a property manager/events coordinator/sales tax filer (that’s a mouth full hah!).  Basically I do whatever it takes to make a living and stay free and unfettered.  I LOVE being my own boss, setting my own schedule and motivating myself to succeed.  I have never taken kindly to being told what to do and work is no exception.  I love my job!

The most exciting work development of 09 has been my transition from vacation into long-term rental sales in August.  Due to some problems, we decided to forgo vacation renting and find tenants interested in at least a year.  Without any training I was able to find wonderful, reliable tenants for three homes in a matter of weeks.  I feel blessed with such results and it is one more proof to me that I am doing what my Heavenly Father wants.

With the long-term tenants requiring less management, I have been taking on more responsibilities for Grabber including doing some sales tax work and handing out free warmers at events around Utah Valley.  I love the art of making the sale and in many ways it brings me back to the street contacting we did on my mission.  Whether it is real estate, warmers or Book of Mormons, I enjoy talking with people and trying to help them.

Family-

Work has not been the only satisfying facet of my life.   The most exciting news for my family this year was the birth of my fifth niece Sparrow.  Ben and Nahanni welcomed their new baby girl in October, and she has been easy and sweet.  My only regret is not seeing her.  Hopefully I can get up to Portland soon!

Another big development for the year was my sister Anna’s acceptance into my alma mater BYU.  In August Anna moved to Provo and began her schooling.  Now she is 35 minutes away, which allows us to spend a great deal of time together (sometimes I’ve been as much as 4 times in one week!).  I love having my sister close by.

I have also had the opportunity to visit my sister Megan and the rest of my family in California many times.  Megan even hosted Emily Whitman and myself at her house for nearly a week in September for the first ever Roommate Reunion!  It was great!

Friends-

In some ways this year has been challenging friends-wise simply because a number of my best friends have moved/gotten married recently.  I miss my friends when they aren’t nearby.  Luckily, I have also found ways to connect with friends far-away.  Some highlights include visiting with Raelene in January after my cruise, seeing Emily at the reunion and 2 other times, a visit from Julia Graves in October and getting to see my old roommate Stefanie J in Hawaii in June. Visiting with old friends may be my favorite thing in the whole world!

Travel-

While my 09 travels do not compare with 08, I have taken some great trips throughout the year.  It all started with my LDS singles cruise in January.  It was a particularly bold trip because I went without knowing anyone and ended meeting many new people.  Plus, I got to visit Cabo, Mazatlan and Puerto Vaerta.  The best thing about the trip is due to the high fees I hardly used my phone or checked email for 7 nights. What a nice break!

In June I was fortunate to take another Hawaii trip with Camille.  This time my sister and her friends came along, as well as Stefanie and Camille’s friend Angie.  As always, we had a magical trip.  I can’t even describe how wonderful the beach is and how much I love Sunny Hawaii! Aloha!

Finally the year ended with several trips home for the holidays combined with my October trip with Emily at Megan’s.  I always love coming home and being near great family and friends.

Other-

In between all of this travel I‘ve been keeping busy with my voice lessons through Hale Theater Orem, and my real estate classes through Stringham Real Estate school.  I also love any chance I get to go to a movie, cook new recipe, read a good book or watch my favorite TV shows. If I get to do any of those things it is usually a pretty good week!

At Christmas time I feel so blessed to have a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and to know that His sacrifice saves me from sin and unhappiness.  I know that my Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us that if followed will bring us happiness here on earth and bring us salvation in the eternities.  I am grateful for my testimony of the Savior and the chance I have at Christmas to sing “Joy to the World the Lord is come!”

I hope each of you has a Merry Christmas and that we will chat again soon.  Thanks for all of your support and love during this year of growth.  Visit me soon in Draper and I can show you a great time!

Merry Christmas and God Bless, Rachel Wagner


Things I am Thankful for Part II

So last Thanksgiving I posted 25 things I am thankful for– a list enompssing all of the easy gratitudes including family, friends, music, work, my apartment and more.  I have decided to make this  a tradition, so each year it will get increasingly difficult but hopefully more meaningful as well.  To aid in this endeavour I have also been posting a “Today I am thankful for..” facebook status each day for the last month or so.  Here goes!

 

I am grateful for…

1. Anna being in Utah.  We have spent a ton of time together and I’ve enjoyed all of it!

2. Festival of Trees- I love the opportunity I’ve had this year to volunteer.

3. Visits from and with friends- this year I have been able to see Raelene, Emily (3 times!), Julia and Camille to name a few.

4. Visiting teachers- Mine come and it is great!

5. Hot tubs. Nothing more relaxing.

6. Creative movies- this year has been particularly rich with Up, 500 days of summer, and Where the Wild things Are.

7. Literacy- I can’t contemplate a life without reading.

8. My computer- sometimes I feel glued to it but its hard to imagine life without it.

9. Great teachers- I had some fantastic ones growing up and in college.

10. Financial security with an uncertain time.

11. Priesthood blessings. It is a power that is so comforting.

12. Greek and Icelandic yogurt. Delicious, creamy and low in calories.

13. Cute accessories- I love making an outfit special.

14. My Madame Alexander doll collection.

15. Reality Television- I know it is scripted and ridiculous but I still enjoy it.  Particularly Project Runway.

16. Great Roommates- I have been blessed this year with Sunnie and Jenni.

17. A perfect starry sky. Now I just need to find someone to share it with!

18. Successful parties.  I have had enough bad ones to be grateful for the ones that work!

19.  Board games- favorites are Cranium, Scategories, Scrabble and Boggle.

20. Flu shots and antibacterial gel/lotion.  I hate being sick!

21. Loving Grandparents that I have had the privilege of spending time with and knowing.

22.  My cousins- particularly the ones I am closest too.  My parents always made it a priority for us to spend time together.

23.  The Ocean.  I will live by the ocean sometime in my life.

24.  The Prophet- President Thomas S. Monson.

25. Temple covenants and the comfort of knowing I will be with my family forever.

 

There are so many blessings I can’t begin to list them all.  Next year I am sure I will have a whole new set!  I love you all and am thankful for your support this year.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Roommate Reunion and Ingrid Michaelson

I have mentioned on this blog that my current roommate is my 30th.  Over the years I have shared apartments with 30 different women.  They have each taught me much and almost all have been positive experiences.  That said- some have risen to the top and become life-long friends while a few more have made an indelible impact on my life.  In my fantasy life I would live minutes away from all these special friends.  We would swap recipes, watch each other’s kids and be there for hugs and comfort.  Sadly most of them live away from Utah (and even the one’s that do have a life.  Afterall, we aren’t living in a Norman Rockwell painting!).  Still, my heart yearns for the friends I do not regularly see.  I miss them and wish they were here.

Lately I have felt a little lonely so you can imagine my excitement over a recent trip to California for a ROOMMATE REUNION!  One of my most prized friends/former roommates Emily Alvillar Whitman came to my sister Megan’s in Palo Alto, California and I joined her.  The three of us then had a lovely weekend of reminiscing and catching up.  It was very nice of Megan to host and allow us to sleep on her coach! The weekend was simple- nothing too flashy- but it was great to reconnect with an old friend.  Plus, I got to spend time with Megan and her family.  Seth was very nice to watch the girls so the three of us could go to San Francisco for the day. (Thanks Seth!).  We went to all the sites Golden Gate Park and Bridge, Chinatown, Piers etc.  Emily got some jewelry and we converted a magnet into a keepsake ornament to help us remember the trip.

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On Sunday we enjoyed spending time with my family for my grandma Wagner’s birthday party.  She is such a wonderful woman and loving example in my life.  I will have to write an entire post about her someday.  Emily was a good sport and seemed to enjoy herself at our family party (sometimes being at someone else’s family function can be awkward.  Thanks Emily!).

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On Monday it began to rain and then Tuesday it was torrential downpour.  I don’t think I have ever seen it rain so much in Northern California.   It was so bad that on Tuesday the rain made the battery short out while driving Emily to the airport (after visiting the temple).  We ended up putting Emily in a yellow cab and then Seth came to my rescue.  Hopefully the car won’t sustain any permanent damage.  If it does I will feel awful.

We made some cute crafts on Monday.  I am a volunteer for festival of trees and as such we are each responsible for creating 8 gifts that can be sold at the festival.  For my gift I am making long sleeve t-shirts with Christmas symbols on them.  I hope they turn out ok.  It’s kind of complicated how you make them but basically you cut out a stencil out of freezer paper and then you iron on the paper to the front and back of the shirt.  Then you pain the shirt with textile paint.  Once the paint has dried you set the paint with the iron.  If any of you have cute and inexpensive craft ideas for the festival let me know.  It has to be something that does not require sewing or knitting.

Anyway, it was a wonderful trip and I hope we do it again.  It is important to reconnect with friends. You never know when you will need them or they will need you.  I believe that people are put in our lives for a reason and that we will be accountable if we throw people aside as if they are worth nothing.  Relationships are worth sacrificing for and certainly worth preserving.  Why is I seem to be in the minority in this view?  It seems so logical to me!

One last comment is on Friday I went to hear Ingrid Michaelson sing at a concert in Salt Lake.  She was a great performer with a beautiful voice.  What made it more exciting is the tickets were only $15 plus fees!  Anna and I went and it made me all the more grateful that she is here.  I’m so glad that we are not only sisters but that we have so many common interests- even enjoy the same concerts.  I am sure the time will come when she is busier with friends and school but for the moment we are spending a lot of time together and I love it!  The only downside to the concert is it was standing room only. With my foot condition it is hard for me to stand for hours (I told Anna that I am not as young as I used to be! I’m too old for this stuff!).  I am not sure how I am going to get through the Regina Spektor concert at the same venue but somehow I will figure it out.  It is worth it to see such amazing talent and spend time with my sister.  I can’t wait to hear Regina sing!

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