Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Last week ReCap

Last weekend was a wonderful wonderful weekend. It was also insanity.

I had planned to do my weekly task and I realized pretty quickly that that was just not going to happen. I have happily bumped all of my jobs up two weeks. This next weekend will be a write off as well. More on that later.

Friday evening my friend Kathleen came over. We ate dinner together and then made cards (first wedding invites for her and then fun scrapbooking cards) until 12. We listened to music and talked. I cried. We laughed. God moved in our hearts. It was LOVELY.

Thankfully, before Kathleen came over I had a few hours to get work done. Our dear friends, the Siewerts, were moving Saturday and as I am a pretty lame mover I wanted to find something to do that could love them. I always find it stressful that after people move you, you have to order pizza to feed them. I am generally strapped for cash when I move (cause moving gets expensive) and that’s an added expense that stresses me. I thought I could provide the food for this move. I also know that asking people to help you move is stressful, so I volunteered to be the “asker” for them, and get an idea of how many people could come volunteer (plus that way I’d know how much food to make!). I spent Friday afterwork prepping food. I made Egg Salad and Chicken Salad for Sandwiches. I thawed Turkey for sandwiches. I cut veggies for a veggie tray. I cut sausage, cheese and pickles for a meat tray. I set up both trays completey so that the next day I could grab them and go. I made all the insides for sandwiches, so that Saturday I just had to add them to the thawed bread (so they wouldn’t go soggy overnight). I felt so organized.

Saturday I woke up at 7:30 so that I could make sure to put all the food together and have it organized, and most importantly feed my husband since he is generally KEY in moving people, so he needs to be well fed. We got to the move at 9 and helped until 1. At one point there was a downpour, all of the adults either disappeared inside the truck to load or inside the house to pack. All the kids and Paul stayed outside, formed a line and continued to load the truck. They were SOAKING by the end. I had to go home and get a change of clothes for Paul. My big kid, haha. It was fun to be with our friends, even if we were just working hard and moving.

We got home and I had a luxurious nap, as I was exhausted from the late night, early morning and big move. After the nap Jenna came over for dinner, I made Chicken Toquitoes which are quickly becoming one of our favorite meals. Even Connor approved! Jenna and I just got to hang out, while Paul paced outside in the alley practicing his sermon for the next day. Jenna went to bed early (as she had to be up at 4:50am for the half Marathon she was running) and I stayed up relaxing, and watching TV while reading.
Sunday I woke up (after Jenna had left) and heard Austin crying in the next room. I ran to grab him (Paul did not hear him at all, haha) and he joined us in bed so I could at least doze a bit. He is such a sweet baby. Connor was asleep in our room on the floor and when he woke up at 7 and realized Austin was in bed with aunt and uncle, he so badly wanted to join! So I hauled him up as well and got to cuddle with both my nephews. It was such a fun way to wake up. Then it was time to feed the boys and get us all out the door to meet up with my parents and cheer Jenna on. We made it downtown in the sun, and enjoyed a while at the beach. Connor got to throw rocks in the water, so he was one happy camper.

When we got home, I again had a nap. I am so not used to waking up before 7 on my weekend as well as my week days! Then we headed to church where Paul preached a kick butt message. I was so proud of him. He delivered the truth that God had put on his heart and wasn’t afraid to go for it. He is a talented speaker, but more than that he is willing to be courageous and share truth. Love him.

After church we had a going away party for the Siewerts as a church. I made cold pasta salad (so tasty) and got to hang out in the sun with friends. I had such a relaxing evening. After that we went over to the Siewerts to have one last hang out as couples. We loved our time doing pre marital with them, and haven’t had the chance to hang out since Doug has been working out of town. We stayed up until 12, but it was totally worth it.

Monday I worked and afterwards I cleaned our whole house. The weekend was so busy our house was in a state of complete chaos. I didn’t even know where to begin. But I know my husband has been working really hard at work and school. I know he poured so much in to his sermon. And I know how hard he works to love me and others. I wanted to love him by having him come home to tidiness. It only took me an hour. To be fair, I only stacked the dishes for him to wash, but it made the kitchen so much easier to be in. I put the piles of laundry that needed folding to the side, tidely. But other than that I cleaned and organized. I made beds and wiped surfaces. Our house shone! And I still had time for a beer and to make dinner before Paul came home. After dinner we both went out to have a final date with the siewerts. I had coffee and a great chat with Kari and Paul went to listen to a speaker with Doug. The silver lining to them leaving is seeing them so much before they go!

Last night (Tuesday) I rushed home after work to go to a Sunday School Teachers Appreciation dinner from 5:30 to 7:30. Then we had lifegroup from 7:30 to 9:30. And then we swung by the Penners to see them briefly (since the Siewerts were there and Kaela had dyer her hair and I really wanted to see it) and ended up staying until 11. Finally crawled in to bed by 11:30 and am vowing to go to bed early all week.

I have discovered that I get August off paid. Also, I believe, I am not allowed to take a second job during that time, since I need to be available to the people paying me (though the odds of them needing me are fairly non existent). This means I am forced to have a break! I am so excited cause I am so tired. This also means I get to go with our church campus group to Harvest Institute in August for a week. I had to work last year so I didn’t get to go, and I assumed the same would happen this year. So woo! So excited.

I did hear from that job that I was waiting for and they offered me the position, but they wanted me to start in August and ethically I just can’t. So I’m waiting to hear back if they would agree to keep using a temp (which they are currently doing) until the end of August and let me start in September. If that worked, I would be ecstatic to not have to keep job hunting!!!!

Last night at Life group, we had an amazing time. It was family. It was real. I am so encouraged by where God has me and the amazing people he has surrounded me with. We shared our hearts. We prayed. We talked about the things God had for us. I was (and still am) so excited to move where God would call me.

Anyways, it’s almost lunch and I’m super hungry. I ran out of time to make lunch so I’ll be having a Chicken Dynamite Roll and California Roll at SushiGo and I’m super excited.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mud Pie, Weight and Sick Days

This week’s goal: Closet in Bedroom > June 24-26. I was successful with last week’s goal (switching winter and summer clothes). The thing about this weekend is it’s going to be very busy!

First thing Saturday I will do my weekly task – the closet. Next up is the moving day of a close friend of ours and after we load up the truck and I head home, my sister and her boys come over for a sleepover. Jenna and I will hang out while the boys sleep and then first thing in the morning on Sunday she’s going to head downtown to compete in a marathon. I’ll wake up with her boys, get them ready and head down to see her cross the finish line! I’m excited – I’ve never been to a big walk or marathon before. I love going on trips with my nephews and we don’t often get the chance – so this’ll be great!

Monday was a weird day. I woke up feeling really sick. I almost passed out on the skytrain. I just felt terrible (and no, I’m not pregnant). I went in to work though because while we’re in the relocation process there isn’t actually anyone that can cover for me. So I toughed it out until my boss could find a replacement. I am thankful that temp workers exist. I was back home and in bed 5 hours after I left it. I slept for 5 hours. Was awake for 5 hours and then slept until Morning. I woke up Tuesday feeling SO MUCH better. I was so thankful that my work let me go home and sleep, even though they still had to pay me AND a temp worker.

Tuesday I felt great all day. I didn’t even need an energy drink (I’m trying to cut back). I had lunch with a friend downtown and had a nice random dinner with my hubby. After dinner I went out to Ikea and got the things we still needed for our homestay’s room (curtain rods, pillows, etc). I came home, baked 12 Egg muffins, put the finishing touches on the homestay room and then watched 3 episodes of Parenthood. In bed by 10:30. Woo!

Today I feel exhausted. I don’t know why. I would not be awake typing this right now if I wasn’t drinking an energy drink. I don’t know where this came from and it’s frustrating. I don’t want to be sleepy! After work I’m having coffee with my friend Jody, then having a date by myself with a book. I”ll be having some tasty Vietnamese. Then Paul and I are heading to a homestay introduction meeting – as we’ve been approved as homestay parents!

On top of being approved they have already found 2 students for us. One from July 21st until August 10th and the other from September until the end of June. This is so awesome. More than we imagined or hoped for. They both sound sweet. Young girls. One from Japan and one from China. They both say they are cheerful, happy people. One of them said she can’t wait to be a part of our “happy happy” family. They sound so sweet. I think Paul’s a little overwhelmed at the thought of having yet another female around the house – so hopefully one time we’ll get a male student.

Our Fathers Day Dinner Friday went really well. I served Brown Sugar Bourbon Pork with Garlic Rice, Roasted Veggies and Salad with Boccocini. I also made mud pie found here. I made it slightly differently though as our local “no fills” (cheap grocery store) did not have a premade cookie pie crust. So I bought pans and pie mix separately and made the base myself. Then I used dark chocolate syrup instead of hot fudge. AND lastly, instead of mixing vanilla ice cream and snickers, I just bought cookie dough ice cream and used that instead. It took me under 20 minutes to make 2 and almost every person had a second helping. Plus, I’d say it is almost better the second day as leftovers. Either way, I WILL make this again and again. Possible in a wider pie base to serve more people.

I’m still waiting to hear from that job that I interviewed at last week; though the agency I found it through was very positive and say they are just waiting to get the offer letter. I still won’t feel confident in it until I have seen the offer letter and signed an agreement.

I keep wondering at what stage I’ll grow tired of people thinking I’m pregnant and get back on the health wagon. Lately chips and avoidance of exercise have been calling my name with loud abandon, making the thought of a bikini ready body fairly laughable. Now please don’t hear me wrong; I am not someone who is wallowing in insecurity over my body. As a general rule I’m ok with how I look. Yes, I wish I could say I was totally in love with how I look, but I can say that Paul loves how I look. He tells me all the time that I am good looking, sexy, etc. I truly believe he means it and believes it. He is beginning to convince me that he’s right, too. I am actually pretty ok with my size generally, other than the fact that all of my weight congregates on my belly. I get asked with alarming regularity if I’d like a seat on the sky train due to being pregnant. Asian women at church often think I’m pregnant, and or they just come up and rub my belly (always humiliating. Always). AND YET; despite not loving my belly, when the chip bowl is passed I just can’t refuse it! I know I could spend 10-15 minutes each day doing sit ups and other belly busting activities and make a small difference and I don’t do that either! I regularly turn down chances to walk. I wonder when the tension will tip and I’ll realize I need to do something?

We have cut out most carbs. We do eat a lot of veggies; our plates are usually ½ veggies, if not more. We have started walking more. BUT I know to change my weight I need to be more drastic. And at the end of the day; after working just to be healthy and not gain more weight, being at work for 9 hours a day, and keeping my house running, and being involved in church – I just don’t have the energy to fight it. *sigh*

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Picture Post

I finally found my camera cord!
 Parmesan Encrusted Zucchini with Baked Chicken and Veggie Sauce
 Prepping for the big Casserole Bake
 All set for 16 casseroles
 Cleaning freezer day. 
 Small freezer emptied with contents on table.
 Final Small Freezer: Desserts, Ice Cream & Creamers
 Crazy pantry after 2 grocery shopping trips with no put away time
 Organized again!

 Unsorted, very full Deep Freeze
 Just as full, but organized by type!
 I forgot to take a before picture...but this is our old master bedroom turned Candace's bedroom, turned Homestay room.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Stanley Cups and Riots

As most of you probably know or saw we did not win the Stanley Cup. On top of that we had a riot, right after the game. Yes. It sucked. I was VERY glad of my choice to stay home, as I feared a riot, win or lose.

I watched the game and was sad for the loss, but pleased with how well our team did, considering that they had come so far! I was frustrated to see on FB many news feeds that were very disrespectful to a team that had an amazing season. Shortly after I was then very concerned to see reports on facebook of burning cars and immediately turned on the TV to see what the news was reporting. It wasn’t pretty. Riots. Vandalism. Cars on fire. Fighting. Windows being broken in. Parkades smoking, with level after level of cars lit on fire. I was nervous for the friends I had downtown, but thankfully they all left after the end of the game. Of the 100,000+ people that were down there, most were smart enough to leave. Unfortunately many still remained and that was frustrating to watch. There seemed to be three groups; The rioters (causing the major damage), the groups of people cheering them and encouraging violence, chanting “riot” and “fire”, and lastly passive participants who didn’t encourage the rioters, and who dd not perform violence but were exactly law abiding or helpful to police. Shortly after the game finished and the riot began, Granville and Georgia was declared an “illegal assembly zone” and people were asked to leave. The passive participants made it harder for the police to actually do their job.

I had trouble getting to sleep last night. I couldn’t tear myself away from the footage (though what good does watching it do? Nothing really). When I finally did go to bed, I felt so wound up. I am saddened to see the evil in people. I am saddened to think that people could make these choices…especially for no reason. At least in war, violence is for an end.

This morning one of my co workers (from another country) walked up to me and said “so you call yourselves a civilized people” and I said” yes, we do, generally. Obviously not the stupid rioters. From what I read in the papers and heard on the news, most of the rioters came prepared to riot, win or lose. They didn’t care about hockey, they wanted a fight”. My coworker argued that they were wearing Canucks jerseys. It seems to me that if you were going to go cause problems someplace and were looking for violence, would you not dress appropriately to ensure entry in to the place you wanted to fight? I’d assume you would. As I read my newsfeed on facebook the people that have been pro canucks for the past years and this past season were saddened by the loss but happy with the season, generally. Followed quickly, by disgust at the rioters. No actual Vancouverite or Canucks fan could actually think that Luongo, Henrik, Daniel or the rest of the gang would actually promote that sort of stupidity.

Sure I wish Vancouver had won the Stanley Cup. That would have felt Epic. I still think the riot would have happened. And I believe that most actual Canucks Fans and Vancouverites left downtown as soon as the game was over and trouble started to brew, however I’ll agree that there were young Canucks fans that made the problem worse by not leaving the area when the police ordered them to, and the youth (20-30) of this generation need to understand that actions have consequences, even passive actions (which includes having your picture taken in front of a burning car during a riot). It is hard to understand consequences. We live in a country where you can fairly easily attain a get out of jail free card. If you have a poor work ethic and are fired, you can get another job. If you speed you can pay a ticket and keep driving. If we act like idiots publicly, we generally get a slap on the wrist and keep going.

I, in some ways, am thankful that in my early 20’s I made some big mistakes. I got to learn that with God and family there can be grace and unconditional love. I also learned, that with God, family, and society there are consequences. Each story where God has shown mega/huge grace in my life, it’s been paired with an experience in Consequences. I have learned that if we break rules or laws that there has to be a consequence. If I rack up debt, I’ll have to work to pay it down (as I still am!). If I am careless with myself and others in relationship, I’ll have to work to repair relationships and trust. If I sin, I have to deal with the fallout. On top of that, God forgives me and loves me. There is grace. There is love. And it makes me want to extend that to others.

In lighter news we had our homestay interview yesterday. He was very pleased with the homestay room and our house/location and our family in general. He could see that we actually wanted a student in our lives, not just hiding in their bedroom. Also, this was a great exercise in getting my house clean. So much easier to maintain then always be deep cleaning.

Today I have an interview with a hopeful job, for when this position is over. I’m very excited. I’m wearing my professional bests and practicing talking about myself, haha. I really should practice on my coworkers as they walk past reception…can you imagine? “Oh hi, good morning. How was your commute? Everything safe for you last night during the riot? Oh and would you like to hear about my strengths?” or “Yes the riots were a shame, but I suppose we all have weaknesses, I guess mine would be…” or even “the police did a great job of controlling the riot, would you like to hear about a time I did a great job of dealing with a problem?” I think I would be the new, number one, most annoying co worker ever.

And now, on to going over my interview prep sheet that my career coach helped me make. It’s time to become an expert on me!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Vacation Sadness and Relaxing nights

This is a fairly low key week. Paul has midterms or finals (not really sure which) and is also sick. So I’ve tried to not plan too much. Monday I went to the Deacon’s meeting (which was great). Tuesday we stayed home; ate dinner together and went for a brisk hour’s walk. We’re trying to introduce more walking after eating in to our lives. Tonight we have our homestay interview (during the game – but only for an hour! And Paul can watch the game through most of the interview – he only really needs to meet with one of us) and then I’ll make us dinner and we’ll eat and watch the Canucks win the Stanley cup, right? Afterwards we hope to go for another walk (for health) and to bed at a reasonable hour since I have a lunchtime job interview and want to feel rested. I will also do a fashion show for poor Paul, to decide what to wear to my interview.

Thursday I will be fighting off bouts of bitterness as my vacation request was denied and most of my family and many of my friends are off to Osoyoos for a relaxing vacation. Sad for me. I just need to keep reminding myself to be an adult and not sulk. This is proving difficult.

Thursday night we have no plans cause so many of our friends/family are away in Osoyoos…but Paul will be finished the last of his midterms/finals for the week (3 this week!) so we will stay in and play board games and have a mini date.

Friday we’re having Candace and Earl over for dinner. We’re excited to hang out with them married! Also excited to play games and chat and have a relaxing night.

Saturday I’m going to attempt week 8’s task; sorting through winter/summer clothes and swapping them out and will be sorting through papers (a never ending task). Hopefully I can also convince myself to rest. I find that hard to do in my home. Saturday night we’re taking dinner over to Mark and Morgan’s to hang out and meet their sweet baby girl, Brook.

Sunday is Fathers Day. I will go grocery shopping, we will attend church (complete with reception before hand) and then host Paul’s Dad & step mom and Grandparents for dinner. My dad is out of town, so he and mom miss out.

Alright, I’m off to pack up my boss’s office. Fun times.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Freezers and Cups

1. Sort out storage area & organize Shopping Bags into a good system

2. Sort Papers – Consolidate (from EVERYWHERE in house)
3. Basket Bedroom
4. Conquer giant laundry pile in bedroom and clean room entirely
5. Reorganize Big & Little Freezer (as they go hand in hand)
6. Homestay Bedroom
7. Reorganize Pantry
8. Swap Winter and Summer Clothes/Shoes > June 17-19th

So so so happy to report that I got through 5, 6 & 7 on the weekend! I did take pictures, but I can’t find my camera cord (I haven’t seen it since we were in Tofino on Vacation *sad* ).

The Big freezer is now organized by type.

Shelf 1: Casseroles
Shelf 2: Carbs
Shelf 3: Soup Mix (in bin) and Packaged Foods
Shelf 4: Portioned Meats (in Bin), Deli Meats (in bag) and random meats.
Shelf 5: Extra Meat (aka. 2 GIANT bags of chicken from the states) and Cheese. Lots of Cheese.

The small freezer is now home to ice cream, ice cream treats, frozen desserts (cookies, Zucchini Bread, etc), frozen creamers and cheese strings. I love knowing I have one spot to look in for dessert, instead of hidden around my deep freeze.

Our pantry was a mess from 2 trips worth of canned goods, etc from the states. It is now organized and ready for use! Shortly we will get an extra Bookcase next to our existing Bookcase in the pantry, which means we will be able to spread some of the things out. Right now it’s all away but it’s pretty “tetris-ed” in there. I want to be able to have a home for each item. Things are currently put away by type, but it’s not the most strategic. I can’t wait to have a bit more space.

Possibly one of the biggest accomplishments of the weekend was current spare room, and hopeful homestay room. The room had been used for 4 months by my friend Candace and since we had just vacated that room ourselves and moved in to Paul’s den we didn’t have time to really set it up. The furniture was just there. Useful but not pretty. I can now officially say the room is pretty! It involved a lot of moving different pieces of furniture around. Constantly. Pieces we thought would work in the room, didn’t. Pieces that are just being stored elsewhere made their way in to the room. Once we moved one large piece of furniture we realized that one wall had holes all over it (yuck) and since we originally had our homestay interview today (now bumped to Wednesday) we didn’t have time to putty and paint over them so we put up empty frames (for a hopeful student to fill) and the wall now looks great! The room is bright and cheerful.

We had this gross old chair, which Paul loves and is apparently a family heirloom, being stored in a back closet that we thought might work in the room. It’s actually only gross in that it’s ugly. It’s clean and comfy. So until I can get my hands on some material we wrapped the cushions (artfully) in a sheet, and added a throw pillow. You can’t tell it’s in a sheet (that took some time to perfect) and it works so well in the room. I’m very happy with it. Now that I can see how it could look with new cushions I actually quite like the chair. Until that moment I was begging Paul to throw it out.

I also got time to rest this weekend. Friday night we watched the Canucks game out in Delta with Paul’s Dad and Stepmom, complete with beer and Chinese food. We drove home after the win and enjoyed the signs of rampant fandom everywhere. Cheering. Honking. Dancing. Grown men dancing in the streets. Children getting cars to honk. It was great and so joyful. When we got home we hung out with my sister for a few hours. I love my sister and I love that she and Paul get along so well.

Saturday I worked on the deep freeze and then we joined my parents for lunch. They are heading out of town for 10 days so we wanted to be sure to see them before they left. Afterwards I worked on the house some more and then drove Paul downtown to the Star Trek Convention. When I got home my wonderful friend Steph came to join me for a few hours, and after a great time chatting with her, I read until 10 when my Auntie Lesley called. We chatted until 11:30 and then I went to bed! So glad for bed.

Sunday was relaxing. Despite all the work that we ended up doing on Sunday (the pantry and the homestay room) we still managed to rest. I attended church (Paul stayed home sick) and then we joined his relatives (and our friends) Janice and Alvin for snacks after church. It was a lovely restful evening.

Tonight is Game 6! Of the Stanley cup finals. Woo. Canucks vs. Bruins and OH am I praying we win. We’re up 2 to 3 in the series so if we win this we win the cup. Nervous! We’ll be joining my aunt and uncle to watch the game with them and a bunch of others from church and once we know the fate of the game, we will have a Deacon’s meeting.

Alright – time to close down and get ready for the game!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The jitters and provision

I feel jittery and nervous this afternoon. It’s probably because lately I’ve been reading two different books that are a bit suspenseful and I read them a lot. At lunch. On the sky train. On breaks. At night. Walking. It’s also probably because I had a cup of coffee and I normally stick to tea. It’s possibly got a bit to do with the fact that, though I’m choosing to trust God for provision, I am very aware that in September both Paul and I need new jobs.

In the meantime God continues to provide BIG TIME. Between my wage and Paul’s student loans, all Paul needed to bring home this summer was $1500 in 4 months. As he is a full time student and it’s the end of his degree, we wanted him to be able to focus and not be always trying to work. This way he just needs to pick up 4 shifts a month. Between what he picked up in May and what he’s been offered for the rest of June He will have earned all $1500! God is so good. At first it looked like there wasn’t any work and then *bam* God provides. Unfortunately anything extra he makes goes towards me getting a Crown put on my tooth. So in good news Paul will buy me a crown. In bad news it’s a tooth crown and it will hurt.

As I sit at the reception desk I see all my coworkers a few times throughout the day. I am near the washrooms and next to the elevators. I am very popular. I try to engage with people as they walk by. I’m surprised by the fact that when I ask most people if they have plans for the evening they usually say no and look surprised that anyone would have plans. Hmm…I always have plans. Maybe I’m weirder than I originally thought?

Actually I think that is probably a safe bet, me being weirder than originally thought. I realized last night that I had 5 shelves in my freezer, not 4 and I was so excited to figure out how to revamp my freezer organization chart. So excited.

Our friends Prakash and Kathleen are getting married in July. I’m throwing her stagette and Paul (as best man) is throwing his. I’m doing the food plan though for both, and the budget. I’ll be doing the prep for Prakash’s leaving only the grilling to Paul (because he HATES food prep and I rather love it). Laura and I will be doing the food for Kathleen’s. For Kathleen’s we’ve picked some of her favorite foods. For Prakash’s we’ve picked meat. And more meat. We know our friends pretty well

Alright, I have some mail to deliver around the office and some freezer space to dream about reorganizing.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Job hunts and husbands

I have been really enjoying trying new or interesting dinner ideas. Both the Thai Lettuce Wraps and Greek Salad Steak Wrap were successes! I am very happy. On top of that I got to spend part of each evening relaxing…and was successfully in bed by 10:30 each night. Phew!

Tonight we’re going to watch game 4 at our place with Prakash and Kathleen (Dinner: Tortellini Marinara), and then sit and chat after the game. I like friends you can watch hockey with AND talk about real life with. Tomorrow we have our friends Ana and Josh coming over for dinner (Zucchini Lasagna) and board games. We love having this couple over. Friday we get to hang out with the Maxwells…eat (Chicken Caesar Salad) and hang out. Stoked!

I have spent the better part of my work days this week looking for a job. Right now work is slow for me – we are in the beginning stages of moving, so there is only a minimal amount that can be packed, and many of my jobs have been given to new employees who will be doing them once I am gone. I asked my boss what she expected from me when there was no work to do. They really value having me at the desk to welcome people, help if needed and answer phones. She said as long as I was at the desk and available to assist people I could do whatever I wanted. So job searching it is! I’ve started with the networking process; emailing many contacts to let people know what I’m looking for in case they hear of anything. Most people won’t have a job for me, but I’m hoping some people have ideas of where to look.

My resume is in great shape. Part of our Severance Package is the ability to use a Career Transition Service. We are using Toombs Inc. They offer workshops (I.e. Interviewing skills, or networking), mock interviews, advice, random help, financial planning, and resume help. We have made my resume look very professional and explain easily why someone should hire me. I have business cards (wooo) and a great cover letter. They have taped me doing a mock interview (and made me watch it, eeek) so I have learned what to say and what not to say. I know my strengths and my weaknesses. I am armed with specific examples of situations for almost any question they could throw at me. I am ready for the hunt!

Here is what I am looking for (because hey, you might know of something):

Location: Vancouver (Downtown or UBC preferably) or surrounding areas (within a 30 minute commute of Oakridge)

Work Schedule: I would like to work a 7 hour work day (starting as early as 7:30, ending as late as 5:30) Monday to Friday.

Job: Customer Service, Administration, or Event Planning…or a combination of any of those three. I love computers, spreadsheets, organizing, planning and assisting people do their job at their best capability.

Contract: I’m looking for a position that starts in August or September and finishes in April or May. Paul and I are going away next summer to a school in Nashville, TN for June, July and August. I really value working a contract position so that I do not have to quit and leave someone in the lurch. I want to have integrity in my job!

Here is why I some should hire me: I love working with people. I have integrity in the work place. I work hard. I use problem solving and planning to get things done. I love to exceed expectations in the workplace (and in life). I have received positive feedback from co workers, customers, managers and vendors in each industry I have worked in.

I’ve really enjoyed the self reflection that the job hunting time gives you. What was cool about working with Toombs was that I got to spend some of the workshops reflecting on what I wanted in a position and what I bring to the table. It helped me zero in on my strengths and learn to work around my weaknesses.

It’s interesting, as a Christian, to be doing self reflection in a secular environment. Through the School of Ministry in Nashville, working as a Campus Minister and KLMS in Vancouver I’ve had the opportunity to look at my strengths before, but with a Christian spin on them. Naturally in both settings my strengths are fairly similar and my weaknesses as well. But how I use my strengths and how I work around my weaknesses is very different. Also how I see both, are very different. How I talk about both, end up being pretty different. In Christianity we talk about how in our weaknesses God is strong, and in the places we do well at he is to be glorified. In the secular world, while that remains true in my heart, as I job hunt, I need to focus on what I do well and take the credit for that. For example, in an interview for a job, I couldn't say “Through Jesus I am strong in customer service, administration and event planning,” nor can I say “My weaknesses are punctuality and anger, but those weaknesses give God the opportunity to work in me, and let my coworkers learn to show grace.” I'm still talking about strengths but I have to say things in entirely different ways. And by the way, I wouldn’t actually say those are my weaknesses…punctuality might be a bit, but I don’t tend to get angry at work….actually I think most of my coworkers have been amused when they finally see me good and mad at work.

As a side note…MAN, have I enjoyed being married to Paul. I like that man so much. I always thought being married would be this weird thing, but really it’s like the most normal thing. I thought being this close to a man, and trusting him so much would be weird…but trusting Paul just makes sense. I mean, I do know he’s not perfect. Trust me. I do. Just take a look at our cupboards after he puts away dishes, and that alone will tell me he is not perfect; but I do know that he someone I can trust. I do know what he is always in my corner. He backs me up. He wants me to be the woman that God wants me to be. He trusts me! What a feeling. Sometimes I’m surprised that we can enjoy each other so much. We spend quite a bit of time together and we like that. We laugh together. We pray together. We eat together. We visit with people together. We sleep together. We live together. We are a family? We are…though it’s weird to say since it’s just us two for now.

I have learned SO MUCH about how God loves me through Paul. When I first started dating Paul it was very clear that God was going to use him to show me just a glimpse of how God felt about me. Wow. I feel like I have grown so much in my relationship to God because I know understand what it means to have someone delight in me. Delight in me!

I should probably go pack a few boxes (I try to get through a few each day so that at the end of 2 months we’re all packed up here). I’ve got a yummy turkey sandwich (no crusts) waiting for me, and a large veggie and dip platter for lunch in half an hour. I will eat, and then sit outside in the sun and be warm. Good days. Good days. I am one lucky, loved lady.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Of freezers, meal plans and trips to Washington

Here is my attack plan: (strike through, already completed. Bold to complete this weekend)

1. Sort out storage area & organize Shopping Bags into a good system
2. Sort Papers – Consolidate (from EVERYWHERE in house)
3. Basket Bedroom
4. Conquer giant laundry pile in bedroom and clean room entirely
5. Reorganize Big & Little Freezer (as they go hand in hand)
6. Homestay Bedroom
7. Reorganize Pantry

I’m hitting up three of the tasks this weekend because a) we have a homestay interview next Monday to determine if we can host a student for the fall (and the room the student will be in needs to be revamped a bit) and b) I just did a big grocery shop and my deep freeze DESPERATELY needs to be organized. My freezer has 4 big shelving areas (it’s a stand up, like a fridge) and can easily hold everything in it – but since I’ve been adding it at different times it’s all unorganized and jammed in. Here is my hope for the freezer:

Shelf 1: Dairy/ Casseroles
Shelf 2: Bread/Carbs / Green Bin for Soup Stock&Veggies
Shelf 3: Meats / Green Bin for portioned meat
Shelf 4: Packaged Foods / Premade Lunches
Door: Juice / Smoothie Packs / Extra’s that fit
Small Freezer: Desserts / 1 loaf of bread / Cheese Strings / Ice Cream Treats / Ice

But for now it’s Monday and the jobs ahead will wait until the weekend.

Our meal plan for the week:
Monday: Thai Lettuce Wraps
Tuesday: Casserole with Discipleship ladies
Wednesday: Tortellini Marinara
Thursday: Zucchini Lasagne
Friday: Chicken Ceasar Salad
Saturday: Stirfry
Sunday: Brushetta Chicken w. Pasta and Roasted Veggies

To start I am STOKED for Thai Lettuce wraps tonight. We will eat and watch Game 3 where the Canucks will beat the Bruins for a third straight time, I’m sure of it. As we watch the win I will be running a few loads of laundry through the machine and folding them as they come out (this is a new thing I’m trying…immediate folding).

This weekend was great. Usually when you’re going away for the weekend Friday after work is crazy – but it had been a busy week and I really did not want this to be the case. Paul and I decided to leave for the border at 8, instead of earlier since the border would have big lines anyways. This gave us time to eat dinner, have a drink, rest, read, cuddle, etc. It meant we left for a 3 hour drive feeling refreshed and happy. We arrived at 11pm in Auburn to stay with and visit our dear friends Mark and Heather. They were wonderful hosts and we settled in nicely.

We got to sleep in Saturday and had a leisurely breakfast of bacon and eggs with Mark and Heather and their almost 3 year old Jonah. It was a lovely time. After that we headed out for a walk in the woods with a beautiful view of mountains and trees. I so often forget how much Washington and BC are alike in nature. The best part of the day came next; Mark and Paul played video games for 3 hours. Heather and I sat on the comfy comfy couches next to them and talked and read. I finished a book and a half. We were warm from the great weather, we drank cool beers, and we grazed on food from the fridge. It felt like a perfect Saturday. And if I’d have been home, I’d have felt guilty for not working around the house – but I was not home and it was lovely. We ate a great dinner after that and took a trip to a nearby park. The boys tossed the football and we got to sit in the sun. Afterwards, when Jonah was asleep, we played Ticket to Ride and Settlers and then stayed up and talked. It was a perfect day with good friends.

Sunday we headed off to WinCo on our way to Seattle. WinCo is like Walmart but cheaper and with happier employees. I love it. Then we met up with my awesome friend Rebekah and a friend of hers. I always enjoy meeting new and old friends, and Paul and I thoroughly enjoyed our time with her. She had picked a great Thai restaurant just off the I-5 and it was my first Thai experience. I, of course, went for negative amounts of spice…no stars for me! The rest of them picked 4/5 stars worth of spice (Yikes). We were all very happy with our choices. After we left them, Paul and I meandered home, stopping at costco and walmart along the way. We made it across the border with less than a 20 minute wait (Peace Arch was backed up onto the I-5, and yet the truck crossing was so clear! So glad we saw the line and deaked over to the truck crossing) and as soon as we were across and had our phones back on received a phone call from Nick and Laura asking us to come over and play games. We immediately rerouted and headed over to Coquitlam to see them. Another great time with friends and games, and finally we were headed home. We had a car full of groceries to unload and a fridge/freezer to sort out, and lunches to make for Monday but we succeeded and I was in bed by 12. Phew. Fun, productive and well worth the trip!

I’m so glad, though, that tonight I can go to bed at a reasonable hour after sitting at home eating, watching the game and doing laundry. Other than the laundry, it sounds like a great night.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Things that make me happy

Extreme Makeover - wow; you make me cry. Regularly. Thank you for the moments. You may be cheesy - you may play with my feelings; but OH it's worth it!

Can I say that I am excited to travel? We're planning to visit Paul's mom in Austin TX in the coming year, between November and February. Next summer (2012) we'll be heading down to Nashville to attend the school of ministry through our Every Nation Church and we'll be road tripping there and back. On the way there we'll be heading east across the North side of America and down through Minnesota (to visit paul's family) and on the way back we'll be heading back through Mississippi and Louisiana (to visit our new Southern Friends) and through Austin, TX (to see Paul's mom again) and over to the coast and up the West Coast (Cali, Oregon (Paul's grandparents), Washington (many friends) and back to BC). I love to see the country I live in and the country next to mine.

on top of the travel; I get to do all that traveling with my best friend/husband Mr. Paul Morgan. We have so much fun together. He is great. I will definitely miss my vancouver friends, but oh will I enjoy him and the many people we meet and connect with along the way.

I enjoyed a wonderful walk home from work today. realizing I am so happy with where God has me and how much he loves me and how amazingly he takes care of me/us. Wow.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Here is my to do list:

1. Sort out storage area & organize Shopping Bags into a good system

2. Junk Drawer in Kitchen

3. Homestay Bedroom

4. Closet in Bedroom


1. This will take half an hour. I will do it tonight after dinner out with my folks.

2. Paul just organized our other drawer in the kitchen. I will ask him to do this one.

3. The homestay bedroom is partially done. Paul and I need to move some furniture around to make it look prettier. It needs to be vacuumed and organized. I will ask Paul to vacuum and dust and I will organize and make pretty. I think I can do my parts tonight and Paul can do his Friday when he’s not in class.

4. We will have to do this next weekend…but I have no plans all weekend other than to put away the giant, mountain sized load of laundry next to my bed. I will do weeks 4 and 5 on week 5 and get ‘er done!


I am tired. What I really want in life is to be a professional stay at home wife. I wish I lived in the 50’s or something. I wish it was expected that I would stay at home and run my house. Oh I wish! I would love to entertain as much as I do without always rushing home from work and immediately donning my apron to start cooking. I would love to have the time to put out nice place settings, instead of having to ask Paul to set the table which means, inevitably, he will use the Green Bay Packers Napkins. Ugh.

Tonight we are getting together with my parents and my sister’s family for a celebration dinner. We will be celebrating: Mothers Day, Jenna’s Birthday, my birthday, our wedding anniversary and Jenna & Colin’s wedding anniversary. Phew! It will be good to be together; we haven’t all been together since before my parents trip.

Work is going well. My house is covered in Peonies. I almost drank a fly yesterday. I have been following more and more blogs and getting more and more ideas and feeling like I can maybe be organized some day. I just wish I had a week to take off and sort it all out so I can start from there.

Edited to Add:

Dinner with my family was wonderful tonight. My parents are generous and thoughtful. I love them a lot. The canucks won!!!!!! Good night, wow.

We got home just after 8 and after spending a lot of the day reading blogs on organization I decided to make sure I did what needed to be done around here. I completed the first task. I asked Paul to complete the second some time this week. he was so pleased with the first task being done that he agreed readily. As he has a big debate for school tomorrow he asked if we could postpone task 3 until next week. task 4 was already being postponned as I put on my organizational hat and though, what can I do? Well the giant stack of laundry in my bedroom and random half full bags of stuff (from retreats, weddings and weekends away) were all calling to me. I got through all of that and still felt like, ok now my house looks clean but I know there are organizational systems lacking. I sorted through all the paperwork in our room that gathers and made a system for dealing with it - paper triage. Then I realized Paul and I needed a place to put things when we came I took two shelves and moved them. I added a square wood bowl to hold keys, wallets, etc. I walked around the house and banished clutter. I finally made a home for things to be given away, instead of keeping it behind a door or under a chair. Our house is tidy. My heart feels happy. Paul feels so loved he can't stop hugging me - that is actually fairly normal, but you can tll there's an additional level of feeling super loved. That, plus he's working on a debate which he loves and rarely gets to do. 

Anyways - tonight was a raving success AND I found the meal plan I made for the next two weeks. I thought i'd lost it - yay!


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