Thursday, October 30, 2008
In 2001-2002, CBU closed down Simmons Hall for remodling, and moved 10 of us girls to a very small, 3 bedroom house. It was stressful and fun, and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. I wouldn't do it again, but I wouldn't trade it. This is Elly's shower for Wyatt a couple of weeks ago. We are missing one from each bedroom; Shannon, Jessica, and Nicole. We missed you girls. Elly was the third to have a baby, followed shortly by Shannon in fourth. Who's next? My money is on Michelle or Tracy.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
The first time I had ever heard of competitive speaking, was in 1999, when my freshman roommate left for her first competition. Amanda did well, and brought home some “hardware” or trophies she received for placing in her tournaments. It sounded interesting, but I didn’t really know what else was involved. Then in the spring 2001, I took my required Oral Communications course, and did pretty well. I liked doing the research, and was able to put together a pretty good speech. Unfortunately, I can’t remember what it was on, but my professor thought I was pretty good, and introduced me to John Pate. I signed up for the speech and debate team for my junior year, and even received a scholarship for my participation. And to my surprise, I qualified for the final competition at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois my junior year. The following year, I qualified two pieces for the final competition at The University of Mississippi.
What I learned from being on the team has been more valuable than any plastic trophy I received. I learned basic presentation skills; know your information or at least sound confident, make eye contact, don’t stumble or stutter, and know your time limit. This is great when making a presentation to a crowd, but has also come to be of benefit when answering questions or making a proposal during meetings at work. It has helped with my overal over verball skills. I can communicate clearly so that my audience understands what I am trying to get across. This has even been extended to my phone skills. Until I started listening to other professional phone calls, I didn't realize how many times people use the word "um". The practice with public speaking has helped me not get flustered on the phone, even with speaking with an upset parent. I truely beleive these skills were learned through my participation on the speech team.
I learned how to dress professionally. I had to get a couple of suits while on the team and they were great to have when I started my first job, which 6 years later, I’m still at. I learned you only get one first impression, so make it count. Be it right or wrong, how you look will often determine how people approach and treat you. I was the young one in my office, but I wasn’t going to look like it. This included keeping my hair out of my face. I was so annoyed during one interview with a potential counselor when she continued to toss her hair out of her face every two minutes. Most of my fashion advice came from my teammate and roommate Jaime. It was more of my watching Jaime and the suits she wore. Jaime had been on the team longer, had multiple wins, and a wonderful sense of style. She was always classy without being overly trendy.
Overall, this brief two year training has been invaluable. I wish I could make everyone of the financial aid counselors pass an oral communication course.
Monday, October 27, 2008
On Friday, we got in late but headed up to meet Colin and Ashley in Oceanside on their way down from L.A. We had some appetizers and headed back to the house for games. The videos below are of us playing Mad Game. The point is to read the words on the card out loud in attempt to guess the common phrase. For example, "Went Hurl Hymn Pick Aims" is actually "Winter Olympic Games" and "Hike Up Hull Comb Egg Sicko" is actually "Acapulco, Mexico".
Here are the girls trying to guess their clues:
And the guys trying to guess their clues:
Danny was laughing so hard he was crying.
On Saturday we had a pretty leisurely day. The guys went out to play Disc/Frisbee Golf. Ashley and I slept in before heading to the store to buy breakfast, lunch, and dinner. After lunch we napped, but after dinner, we went out. We went to the Gas Lamp District, parked, and then got right back into the car: Colin forgot his walltet, i.e., his ID. The scond time we parked downtown, we headed over to the Shout House. The dueling pianos were fun to watch, and great to sing along with. We had a relaxing weekend with our friends.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
This is one of Kaiser Permanente's newest ads, and I absolutely love it! It makes me laugh and cry a little. This one has been edited, but the point is to get your mamogram and breast exam. October is breast cancer awareness. Early detection is the key. My grandmother is a breast cancer survivor, and I don't know what we would do if we lost her. I want to be an old woman, too, Mimi! (Don't worry, I don't think you are old yet, Mimi.)
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I think I have may have finally discovered the culprit. Last weekend Kevin and I ran by Target to pick up a few things. When we picked up a cart at the end of the parking lot to take into the store, I saw a little plastic Halloween soap dispenser. Knowing the thing was only worth about a dollar, I tossed it in the car to take home. It was made by Softsoap and thought nothing of it when I placed it on my kitchen sink. But now I am being punished for not taking the $1 handsoap back into the store! My finger itches, it quite unsightly, and now I can't wear my wedding ring!
Monday, October 20, 2008
That evening, we had a wonderful tri-tip feast with veggies and beans and garlic bread! And Mimi made her famous margaritas. Yum. For dessert we had the See’s chocolates we picked out that afternoon. We watched the baseball game during dinner; well, the boys watched it. Ray’s lost on Saturday to come back to clinch it on Sunday. I like rooting for the underdog; Tampa Bay Rays, Aaron Rogers, Tennessee Titans, etc.
Sunday, Kevin got up early, and Mike and Mikey took him golfing, while I slept in. It was perfect for Kevin, nice and clear, and not too hot! I got up and hand tea with my aunt and grandmother. The guys came back and watched football while we ran some more errands. Then Mimi took us out to a very nice Chinese dinner. I love the egg flour soup!
We were sad we didn’t have more time, but it was really nice to see my family (even though Missy was away at school – so sad). Next time we go back, Matt is going to take us horse back riding.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Matt Brown really challenged me to think about why I am not an educated voter. I disagree that not voting is a sin, but I do agree this is a privilege I shouldn’t take for granted. There are so many other countries where people are fighting for the right to vote. And as a woman – I have taken total disregard for the women who fought for suffrage; 1920 really wasn’t that long ago! Did you know woman in Switzerland were not granted the right to vote in a federal election until 1973? And there are still many other countries remaining today where women, and men, can’t vote.
Kevin and I were talking a little this Sunday after church about how well designed our government system was designed. Yes, we have flaws, and people work the system. But I must admit, the idea of checks and balances is pretty cool. The fact the laws must be passed by both houses of Congress and the President. Just look at the way Congress is set up; the Senate makes every sate equal with two votes/representatives per state, and the House sets the equality with representatives based on the population. Does anyone know how many districts California has? Fifty-three! That means California has 53 votes on the house floor! By the way, if you live in Riverside, you house rep is Ken Calvert.
In light of all this, our Thursday Night group has decided to research and share the current propositions on the California Ballot. There are 12. So for the next three weeks before the election, each couple will present what a yes and no vote on each proposition would mean. Trust me; I will keep you updated on what I have learned.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
On the flip-side, I love my mobility. Kevin and I are able to go and do whatever we want without worrying about childcare for the afternoon. Or whether we packed enough diapers and a change of clothes. Or if we packed the swing, and the highchair, and the pack-n-play, and the tummy mat, and the diaper bag . . . just to go to my sisters house in town. We sleep in. We spend hours watching football. We go to 10:30 p.m. soccer games. We go out of town for the weekend at the last minute. It seems I am torn between wanting the next stage in life, and wanting to stay here forever. We plan to have a family (that was the point in the purchase of a four bedroom house), we just can't seem to bite the bullet. Finances are a small part of it. I have heard over and over that if you wait until you are financially stable, you'll never get there. But admit it, money is distributed differently, and currently I am not ready for it.
I have heard it from both sides of the coin. New moms tend to want you to join them on their journey of the unknown. However, I have found that if you give them a year, many advise you to hold out as long as possible. A girlfriend has a 8 month old, and though she loves her son dearly and can't imagine not having him, she admitted she can't remember what the rush was. Sometimes I feel behind; like when my 25 year old friends are pregnant with number 3. But I remind myself that I have only known my husband for three short years. We are still learning how the other reacts when pushed by certain things. This weekend was rough between the two of us. Throw a baby in the middle of all that argument and I guarantee I would be on the phone with my mother crying. I enjoy the time alone with my husband whenever I want. I love the fact we can call in sick and just bum around the house all day without a responsibility in the world.
So ultimately God is in control. I may never be able to have children on my own. And I have known plenty that have been blessed while trying to "prevent." It may be 3 months, a year, or five years before we begin our family. I am learning to rely on God's timing and enjoy the numerous blessings I have been given.
Lord, may my joy in you not be dependent on the happenings around me.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
As many of you know, I have never been one to focus on being fit. However, you have also read that I have struggled with this last birthday. With the change of years added to my identity, I have discovered my metabolism is not the same as it was as a teenager. It began with the Cold Stone incident in the summer of 2002 when I gained 10 pounds in 6 weeks. It was then I discovered I couldn't really eat whatever, whenever I wanted. After some jokes from family and friends, and some unsightly pictures, I shed the extra pounds. I have found myself in a similar predicament lately. I have determined that I need to be healthier. I changed Kevin's and my eating a little. More home cooked meals, less unhealthy snacks in the house. But nothing really changed. It came to the boiling point when I realized that at this rate I would be 25 pounds heavier by my tenth wedding anniversary.
So I bit the bullet. I ran. It's only a mile around our housing community, but I ran it all with out stopping. Quite an accomplishment for someone who has not been involved in an organized athletic sport . . . ever. It's been at least six months since I have run, and maybe never on my own without a treadmill. And honestly, I might have stopped running half way if Kevin hadn't challenged me. He had already run the loop once by the time I came outside. He asked where I was going to run, and when I told him, he asked "Have you ever run it before?" I took it as a challenge. Still motivated, I ran again this morning; further this time.
I have to admit; I haven't been this sore, in a really long time. Muscles that I couldn't believe were used for running have made their presence known.
I feel good now. We'll see if I can keep it up as it gets colder and darker.