Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Reach Up For The Sunrise


Reach up for the sunrise
Put your hands into the big sky
You can touch the sunrise
Feel the new day enter your life



Many of you know my intense devotion to Duran Duran that has spanned nearly 3 decades of my life. With the new year approaching fast I have another reason to love Simon, John, Roger Nick and Andy....Why yes, I do remember their names!!!

I was listening to some of my favorite 80's tunes while cooking, much to the dismay of my children, when his song came up. "Reach up for the Sunrise" is actually from the 90's I believe and it touched my heart. I've taken it as my new theme for the year. his past year has been....well, shall we say trying.

With the birth of a new year brings new life. A fresh start and reason to let go of last year and start again. Several years down the road we will look back and not remember the pain and stress we were under. We will simply remember the survival and success afterwards. At the end of every night brings the sunrise...a rebirth so to say.

My goal for 2010 is to smile big, laugh often and love everyone around me. However, my biggest goal is to forget...brush off the negativity from last year and step into the sunshine again.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Walk Amongst The Lights...


Last night we brought the kids down to the Riverwalk to enjoy the lights. Millions of lights were scattered everywhere. It was beautiful. Unfortunately, we forgot that with it being Christmas week everybody and their brother would be out. However, we found some quieter stretches away from the hustle and bustle of the big city.

My wonderfully beautiful kids were fabulous the entire time...

All right! I confess! I confess! They were driving me nuts!!!! At first everything was great. We were having a great time winding through the Christmas lights and then it started....are we done yet? I'm hungry. I'm so thirsty.
They were more like this:


So, we did what every self respecting parent would do....we made them walk longer. Tee hee!!!

I thought these lights were gorgeous in front of the Westin. Yes, I know I said Westin. They decorated so lovely...It's too bad you can't tell from this photo...the trees are all dead. Yup! Dead. However the lights...beautiful.

Hubby and I were having so much fun with their complaints that we walked clear over to the Alamo...Ok! So it was only a couple blocks away.


I began falling in love with doors while in Italy. The Alamo was no different.

From my family to yours:

Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Twenty Flights...Who needs a Stair Stepper?!?!

Today was my big day. I returned back to work in the office today as we were touring the new JW Marriott Hill Country Resort & Spa here in San Antonio...I know...it's a mouthful...trying saying it to the guests as they call...Interesting is all I can say.

We arrived this morning and within 2 hours I had climbed 20 flights of stairs.
The meeting room/ballroom are was 3 flights in itself. All elevators are off right now as it is still a construction zone. We climbed the stairs in awe of the incredible craftsmanship only Heavenly Father can bestow on mortal hands. I fell in love with it. I could live there....just give me the Presidential Suite...it's bigger than my apartment.

There are no pools at the resort. It is truly a "Water Experience." Start off at the 3 story water slide and begin your journey down to the lazy river and then onto the fast moving rapids. The kids could spend hours floating from place to place.

I fell in love with their handblown glass flowers hanging from the ceiling.

I can hardly wait to frequent High Velocity...the sports bar where they will serve wings and sodas while we watch none less than 40 different sports games...at the same time

Cibolo Moon is the most incredibly beautiful restaurant filled with wonderfully delicious foods...Yes, we tasted. Yum!!!

Yes, I'm a Travel Nerd. I fell in love with the resort. What's it to ya?!

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Moment in Time...


It's been a week of excitement in our home. Molly has won a contest in the San Antonio area. She was named by Whataburger as the the winner of the Whataburger Winner's Circle. On New Year's Eve, instead of the usual party and merriment we are heading out to watch the San Antonio Spurs play the Miami Heat. Molly arrived home with a package including 4 tickets, parking permit and dinner for all four from Whataburger. We also received isntructions to call and RSVP. We have an appointment...yes an appointment...to arrive at the Alamodome in the early evening and then be escorted out to the court where Molly will get a video taken of her. She will then be escorted to our seats where we will enjoy the game. From there we will enjoy the game including the point where she will be honored by a presentation on the jumbotron and hear the dome cheer for her being inducted into the Winner's Circle. It will be a nice night where we will enjoy spending time together. I am hoping Hubby can be off work that night to get her to the game in time, but if not...I am large and in charge. So our heads are spinning.

And then came Last Night...

Last night was our "End of the Year Celebration" at work. It was time to dust off the old party shoes and go out for the evening. It has been our first date night since moving here. Instead opting to stay home and play a game together. It never mattered where we were...as long as we were together. In a semi formal evening we arrived in the Riverwalk in style. We were treated to a delicious turkey dinner with all the fixings and a dessert guaranteed to make you gain 5 pounds just looking at it. And then the festivities began.

Hubby finally got a first hand look at the Marriott way. After several items being given away, including HD video cameras, cameras, xbox 360's, several Ipod touches, a Wii and even a 32inch flatscreen HDTV. I didn't win anything, but that's all right. I brought home a beautiful glass cake tray (an exact copy of the one I gave up at the garage sales prior to our move) last week from a different contest. A video presentation had begun by going over the major economic crisis that had hit the US and how people everywhere were losing their jobs and homes. My friends and co-workers each offered a hand of support knowing I had just lived through this experience. And then it was onto our celebration pictures which brought laughter and happiness. Afterwards we danced. We danced and danced and danced. My party shoes had officially become dancing shoes as I left the worries and stress I'd dealt with behind. As the evening came to a close we snuck out silently as we walked outside.

The beauty of winters in San Antonio...you don't always need a jacket. As we came outside the hotel an idea popped into my head. It was time to walk. We wound our way down the stairs to walk along the Riverwalk. We'd never been there before and it was decorated to the hilt. It was a beautiful, glorious, incredible night...

And for one moment...

One moment...all was well in the world.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Dear Father...

Dear Father...

Today I watched, chained to my desk for work, as my family each kissed me good-bye on their way to church. My heart was so full for gratitude for all that you have done for us. So, here are my thanks:

Thank you for allowing me to have three children in three years.
-Though I cried the day I found out I was expecting my third in three years and struggled with depression during those early years to the point where I've blocked out most of my children's toddler years. I didn't have the knowledge you had of the future. You were right. During this latest trial they shouldered the worry, the pain and stress like champions. They refuse to whine about our lot in life and never ask for anything they don't need. They sing happily and hold strong to the gospel and have become and example of pillars of strength for me. I feel so blessed to be their mother.

Thank you for allowing me the blessing of losing everything.
-Yes, I did day a blessing. You've given me what my heart desired, what I wished for as a child. While other little girls dreamed of doctors or lawyers I chose a man who would love me with all his heart and be loyal and my best friend. I prayed for a man to take care of me and protect me and accept me for the crazy person I've always been. With my husband you've guided me to I can survive anything. Losing everything, it gave me the opportunity to see what was truly important. It is just stuff, the only thing important to me...was my family and friends.

Thank you for the blessing of friends.
-During the easy times in our lives we go out and have a great time with friends, but when the hard times hit and you are no longer the rock you normally are it is when friends count the most. To have a friend who would call because the message you left didn't sound right. To have friends who threw an absolutely beautiful going away party forgoeing the larger parties and keeping it small to ease my anxieties about being the center of attention.

And Most Especially....Thank You for the blessing of my Family.
To my family who helped calm me during my times of stress. To those who helped tear down walls and remove nails in planks of over 3500 feet of planks. To those who took out for a final going away dinner. Those who supported me during my garage sales. Those who offered shelter if we couldn't move fast enough. Those who gave my children candy for the drive halfway across the nation and gave me earplugs and aspirin to take care of my needs. It was truly a laugh I needed.

And the most important thing I am thankful for is you.

It is your eyes I've learned to trust,
Your hand I've learned to hold,
Your shoulder I leaned on,
Your legs to carry me when I couldn't even carry myself,
Your eyes which cried for me when I could muster no more tears
And your heart, for a Father to allow me to learn these lessons and struggle
I know you love me and my family.

Love,
Tammy

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

An Odd Feeling...

I was working...simply doing my job in the land of the Pod People. Pod People you may ask? A friend thought we were a myth and that we did not exist. I'm here to tell you we do. Pod People work in small desks lining the floor of our office with half cubicle walls surrounding us. This day was a special day. I was escaping the world of the Pod People and moving away to a far away land. Truly it was less than 14 miles as the crow flies, but if you were to take buses to get from one point to another it truly became an epic trek home. This trek was much different. I was going almost for good. I say almost because I will go back occassionally.

I received a ride home, as we discussed earlier, and set up my computer. Unfortunately, the modem decided it had no reason to work. I spent 7 hours trying to get that dumb modem to work. So the next morning I ran over to our cable supplier and traded in the modem for one that works. Once I made it home and plugged it in I loaded up the modem drivers and was prepared to spend a mere two hours, on my day off, to hook up my system.

Four....Hours...Later

Our installation was FINALLY complete.

And then it happened:

CRASH!!!!!!!!

No, not the car. It was my computer system going down. Are you kidding me? I hauled the tower back to work...on my second day off to get serviced and fixed. Luckily, I was able to pick it up later that day....Our Techie Matt ROCKS!!!!

And then the next day it happened. I rolled out of bed 30 minutes before I was due to work and took and shower...slipped into a pair of comfy sweats. It is the principal of the whole thing, you know.

I worked all day and found that working at home was a different experience. I no longer had the sounds fo working reservationists next to me sitting under the watchful eye of our dear sweet manager....I really do adore this woman.

Now in the morning I drop the kids off at school and come home and get ready to work. When I am done for the day....I simply unplug and walk away from my desk. I am so thankful to be home and look back at the month of training, month of night shifts, moving to the Resort Desk and now coming home. I see the hand of the good Lord in my life. I see how he has guided me at work and in my family's lives. There is much laughter here at home now and smiles from wall to wall. And thanks go to all of your kind thoughts and wishes.

So... to add laughter to your day, please share some Christmas Cheer and click here

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Another Use For Duct Tape

It was a crazy end to the day. I received my computer to start working from home. Unfortunately, I was dependent on a ride to bring my gear home. There were mix-ups and it was solved. I had to wait a little longer, but it didn't matter. I appreciated my dear friend coming to pick me up. We tease each other incessantly, it's a brother/sister thing. It's the norm, but I had to threaten to tape his mouth shut in front of his three sons this evening.

A co-worker was helping me load the computer gear and he introduced him self saying:

"Hi! I'm the poor schmuck she said 'No' to when I asked her to go out with me in high school."

Lesson learned: Always carry a spare bit of duct tape...you never know when you'll need it!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Different

Thanksgiving this year was less traditional than I thought. With being away from family and friends we really wanted this first real celebrated holiday to be something special and spend time with the kids. Oh it was special...that's for sure.

Thanksgiving started like any other home. I got up early to stuff and dress the turkey making sure it was ready for the oven.

Then I left.

Yup! Just drove away!!! I was actually scheduled to work. Yay me!!! To be honest though, it wasn't as bad as you would think. I was scheduled for a 6 hour shift PLUS I was paid for the day off before Thanksgiving...Yes my friends, I was paid to bake pies and rolls. I suffered...I really did!!!

The kids and hubby put the turkey in at the time I instructed. However, as I sat there at work getting ready to start the big boss dropped on by to talk and told me if I wanted I could go home....

Whoosh!!!!

I was out the door before my time was set to start.

Happy Thanksgiving to me!!!

I came home and finished all of the cooking. Our friend and his new girlfriend and her kids came over. What fun to meet some new people. his girlfriend and I hit it off instantly. Dinner was served right away and we were getting to know each other. After cooking all day I was kicking back with my new friend and enjoying laughter and such. Hubby was in the kitchen "de-meating" the turkey. It is his job after to make sure the bird is picked clean. Our friend Bobby was in the kitchen as well playing with his new Iphone and my Ipod dock. He started playing music back from our teenage years and us girls began laughing as the boys literally sang their rendition of "Every Rose Has Its Thorn," an 80's classic. To top it off Hubby began playing air guitar with a turkey bone.

No, this was most definitely not your grandmother's thanksgiving.

I was thankful for friends that night. Near or far. New or old.

However, what I am most thankful for is the laughter. I mean the type that eminates from deep in your belly and you can't help but let it all out. If this is the way our holidays are going to be...bring them on!!!!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are looking forward to the rest of the holiday season!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

And Then There Were Screams...

My weeks are drifting close together and I can hardly keep my mind straight. There's so much to think about and do. Keep apartment clean, drop kid off at seminary, get kids to school, get to work, grocery shopping...

WHEN WILL IT ALL SLOW DOWN?!?!!?!


Soon


Hu-What?!


Soon


How soon is Soon?


I came home completely exhauted from running one errrand to another all day with only one more to go...picking up my hubby from work. My eyes were having a hard time staying open and I still had to check my e-mail from work. Yes, I check it on my days off. If I don't then I have, no kidding, 50 e-mails after 2 days off. It's easier to check once a day.

Inside my inbox was a strange little message:

"You've Been Approved"

Fabulous! I've been approved. It's always good to be approved....for what?!

I'd received my approval to be a home agent. As soon as I an get my dedicated line set up then I will be available to pick up my computer system, webcam, monitor and clean out my locker because I'm coming home. Molly was excited. Tears nearly came to her eyes as we both screamed. Poor neighbors...I'm sure their little Chihuahuas were frightened. Corinna and Bryan were thrilled to. I've got no clue how long it will take me to transition home, but to the irritation of the rest of my training group....I'm going home.

Yes, some of y fellow trainees were put off that I was allowed to go home because they can't. Since I am on the Resort Desk I will stay with the same manager while they have to wait for an "At Home Manager" to become available. They are packed and are planning on hiring a new manager...next year. So they are a bit irritated that I not only got to the Resort Desk ahead of them, but I am going home. I count it a blessing that goes with paying tithing and lots of prayers and fasting.

Soon, I will say good-bye to my sore feet for walking nearly 2 miles to make it to my weekend bus stops. I will say good-bye to riding the bus with strangers that remind me why it is good NOT to take drugs and the ones who desperately need a few lessons in using deodorant. Nope...not kidding! I will say hello to plugging into my own little world and taking care of my customers from the comforts of my own home. I need to make some work pajamas now so I can simply be comfortable the whole time.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I'm sorry.....

Dear Bolg,
I feel like I've neglected you...and I'm sorry. You see, there was this crazy thing called life that happens.

At some points you have to work hard just to run to spend 2 hours on three busses with strangers, some of them needing a good dose of Anti-persperant and others who need a good lesson in manners.

I must add however, Texans are a very polite culture compared to those who live in other places. At the bus stop when the bus arrives, then men always let the women board first. If an elderly person or woman boards they for sure move from their seat to offer it to another...which is greatly appreciated for those of us who have foot issues. Anyway, the etiquette I am talking about is cell phone etiquette. No, I don't care that a person may need to make a phone call or attend to a matter that jsut cannot wait. However, to the point of seeming rude. I utterly detest being held hostage in your conversation...Yes, the conversation you had with at least 4 different people during the 30 minutes I was sitting in front of you. It was the same conversation you had when you spoke so loud I could barely hear the music pumping through the headphones of my Ipod that I had set fairly loud in order to keep your conversation private. I could never believe that ACDC's Back In Black would fail to block out another sound when turned up loud enough. You, Ma'am have indeed proven me wrong. Yet I digress.

After two hours of riding and trying very hard to control my motion sickness reflexes...as a few of the bus drivers drive as if they graduated from the "Mr' Toad's Wild Ride" Bus driver's school...I march up the quiet street leading to my complex. I pause slightly to wave at a few of the residents sitting outside and enjoying the twilight sky. After climbing what feels like Everest to my knees I turn the corner and finish the last three flights of stairs to my haven only to be mobbed by three overly adorable children.

I left work at 5:15pm

It is now nearly7:15pm. I am hungry, my darling children have made their own meals and are satisfied, but yet all three have a great desire to talk eagerly of the goings on in their days. I hear from my son about how tired he is of the girls here telling him he has "pretty eyes." I listen to my youngest recount the latest gossip and news from the middle school she looks at as a maximum security prison. I listen also to my oldest recounting the funny things that happened as well as catching up on the "girl talk" we love so much.

It is now nearly 9pm. I eat my dinner which now is the equivelent of two scrambled eggs as I don't have enough energy to make a real meal at that time.

I send the kiddies off to bed...of course one tends to put herself to bed early due to early morning seminary. All is quiet and it strikes my mind.

'I need to update my blog'

But my body doesn't move. Instead, I find myself moving towards the bathroom starting a long hot bath and throwing in a handful of the most delicious bath salts I've ever owned...For that I owe Ryan and Eddy!!!

Now now girls...don't get too excited. They work for the Vail Resort and Spa run by Marriott and brought me some of the precious Vanilla Ginger bath salts sold in their incredible spa to encourage me to be extra nice to the guests when they call wanting to make reservations. Ryan also begged me to come up for three days this winter in which he said he'd comp me three nights and arrange for my lift ticket and rental gear so we could race down the mountain...my knees ache already. I emerge from the bath and jump in my jammies and look at the clock.

10 pm....I guess I'll have to try to update my blog tomorrow.


I hope!!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Conversation With a Telemarketer...


Me- "Hola!"

Them- "Hello! I'm calling from AT&T. I see on records you were with us before and I wanted to see if I could interst you in coming back to us."

Me- "Como estas?!"

Them- "I'm fine thank you. Ma'am would you be intersted in hearing about our reduced rates?"

Me- "Que?"

Them- "Ma'am? Do you speak english?"

Me- "Que?"

Them- "Ma'am? Do you understand me?"

Me- "Que?"

Them- "Ma'am hold on, I'm going to find someone who speaks spanish."

Me- "Que?"

The transfer happens....

Them- "Hola! Como estas? Mi llama es Maria..." She then begins the same wording in Spanish."

Me- "Uh, I'm sorry, I don't understand spanish."

CLICK!!!!

The best part was when my family were watching me carefully when they had no idea what I was doing. Their faces were priceless!!!

Of Halloween's Past....


I made it through Halloween. I know I've been struggling trying to keep up with everything. I'm fairly certain it is just because my mind is always on work. It's sometimes hard to turn off the power in your mind when you literally love your job. So, Halloween was a challenge to me...but I dressed up....well, sort of.

I dressed up for our work's Halloween contest. The best part. I wore my slippers and robe and claimed to be a home agent for Marriott. My manager had the same idea. In the corner of my mind I figured the interviews would be delayed that one day for the incoming training group....nope!!!! Interviewees were brought in as we wandered the halls in our bathrobes and slippers, some in pajamas, others in insanely incredible costumes. They now have an idea of what strange people we really are. Oh well, better to find out ahead of time.

I managed through that day and the following day was Halloween. It was very quiet that day, except for reservations being made by those who wished to completely avoid trick or treaters for one night. After work my kids and hubby waited outside my office with the car. We drove off to my sister-in-laws so we could let the kids trick or treat together for the first time ever. They were excited!!!

While the menfolk escorted the kids around the neighborhood us womenfolk grabbed a few chairs and we sat outside handing out candy....well, I pretty much relaxed while my sister-in-law....decked out in her gorgeous witchy wear....did all the work. Her parents were visiting so it was great to see her again. I think the last time I met up with her mother it was when they got married. So again we sat out on the porch while her mother kept passing me crackers with chicken salad on top saying... "You've worked all day, you must be hungry...eat!!!!"

All in all it was a really fun filled evening and we really did enjoy everything, to which i must thank my ever so fabulous sister-in-law. LOVE her!!!

Oh and in case you were wondering...the two gorgeous princesses on the right hand side...are mine. And that handsome ghost....oh he is not just a ghost...He's Charlie Brown as a trick or treater complete with saying: "I got a rock!"

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Just Can't Get Into It....

I seriously can't get into Hallowen this year. I know! Me! The , whom with the help of my friend got our husbands to build a fake coffin to line with plastic so we could put drinks in for a party. I loved that thing...sadly it was sacrificed during the move. I love the candy, the trick or treating, the zombies and ghouls wandering the streets, but this year...I just can't do it. Perhaps I am too busy concetrating on work, or that I've just given up on my kids going door to door in cute little costumes. Is something wrong with me...well moreso than usual of course. Instead I want to concentrate on Thanksgiving. The 3 F's!!! Food, Family and Friends! I love to cook and spend all day in the kitchen...especially when someone else does the dishes!!! Making turkey with stuffing is truly one of my favorite things. We'll see what happens this year. I've got grand plans...Now I simply need to make sure I don't work!!! We'll see what happens!!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

17 years ago...

All is quiet in my house this morning giving me time to reflect on the past 20 years of m life. 20 years ago my life was spiraling out of control and I was desperate to find a way to stabilize my life and feel happy again. I found my church. I love it here and I still remember the sadness of my B.C. (Before Church) years so that I can appreciate the way my life is now. 18 years ago I was baptized on October 16th. What a beautiful day and one filled with many tears for my family and friends. It was wonderful.

Three days after my baptism...well, this is when the true story begins. We had a large group of friends from church over playing pictionary. It was a blast and I spent the entire night laughing...Until...the doorbell rang. My older brother instantly leapt to answer and in walked this man. With incredible blue eyes, the likes I've never seen before, and a quiet smile he walked in with his brother. I'm sure he caught me glancing over to him several times throughout the night. As the night ended I finally was introduced to the man with the mesmerizing eyes. My brother was sweet enough to tell this man he should marry me.

He listened.

17 years ago today I drove up to our new apartment and picked up my hubby. We drove to the temple quietly agreeing that we wouldn't give the word "divorce" a spot in our vocabulary. Instead we would fight tooth and nail together.

17 years ago... We walked hand in hand into the temple to begin our new life as husband and wife. He laughed throughout the entire ceremony because he couldn't contain his happiness. I wanted to throttle him...and laugh at the same time.

As I look back on nearly two decades of rough spots and incredible times I find I still get lost in his incredible blue eyes, though he rolls them quite often at my bad humor. I can barely believe in 3 years we will hit 20 years, our oldest will be a senior in high school readying herself for college while the other two follow closely behind.

So today I have to go to work, leaving my eternal sweetie and family behind. Tonight we celebrate:

17 years down, an eternity to go.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

In my own little world...


In my own little world it made perfect sense....wear my ipod so that nobody would think they needed to talk to me and tell me their life's story. Yeah...I get it all the time. One spring afternoon in Cali I learned of the struggle of a single father with a three year old daughter. By the time my oil change was finished I knew his life backwards and forwards. It's a pattern that has repeated itself throughout my life. Apparently, I have the face of someone who is to be confided in and that loves to hear every one's history.

Of course, using public transportation you learn that not everyone on the bus is like me...wanting to keep their lives private. And so I smile politely and let them talk, all the time wondering if they know I can't hear what they are saying above the hum of the bus. But I again nod my head politely and smile.

I took a new route on Monday which brought me to downtown San Antonio. I got off the bus and crossed the street to my next stop and waited. While I was there I drank in the surroundings. All around stood high rise buildings. I was about 2 blocks, if that, from the Riverwalk, which was filled with gloriously old buildings with incredible architecture and design. One of these days I may take some snapshots.

My bus arrived and I climbed on and joined a variety of people making their way home from work. I watched as a pastry chef had a conversation with another gentleman who was as nice as nice could be though he was undeniably lonely as he struck up a conversation with everyone he could. At the next stop I moved seats as an older gentleman was boarding and I wanted to make sure he could sit comfortably. That was when the gentleman began to strike up a conversation about a hotel that was downtown. He told us of how beautiful it was right next to the Riverwalk and how it had been remodeled to look very beautiful on the inside while keeping that old San Antonio feel. I knew the building. I'd toured it in training.

The stranger motioned for me to pull off my earphones as he regaled me of it's beauty. After 2 minutes with no breath he paused and asked me where I worked.

**Sigh**

"Marriott" I told him.


For the next ten minutes until he left the bus he went on to describe each of the 20 or so other properties in San Antonio that Marriott owns. I smiled and said good-bye as the gentleman exited the bus. Silence...Ahh yes!!!

I took off from my next stop and waited for my last bus to arrive. It was a nice wait and I enjoyed siting and watching the people go by. I indulged in a movie on my Ipod and jumped on my bus when it arrived. Again I silently prayed for no words to come from anyone's mouths. Nope...not going to happen. As I was watching my movie a gentleman behind me tapped me on the shoulder and asked me what movie I was watching and then continued to watch the movie over my shoulder until I exited the bus.

One thing for sure...life is never dull.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hele mei hoohiwahiwa!!!!


It never occurred to me when I was applying to this position that I could work hard at something that I love and literally enjoy work. The concept of loving what you do was completely lost on me.

Pizza maker, cashier, parts department, administrative assistant, operator, cook, fast food worker, courier, business owner are some of the jobs I've held in the past. I've found something to love at each and every job I've worked...even if it was simply a paycheck. It was only when I worked part time as a travel agent that I really found something I loved, second only to my writing....travel.

During my teen years my walls were adorned with posters of London and Paris, the destinations that have escaped me, for now. Travel was something I'd always loved. The expectations of packing your bags knowing you were going somewhere to experience something fabulous. Of course, my youthful vacations were filled with camping and such...and that's all right. I enjoy the great outdoors, every kid should experience a vacation of sleeping on the ground and sitting by a campfire roasting marshmallows.

For me, that was never enough. Although I do love camping, there is something to be said for standing in the Sistine Chapel staring up at the work of a master painter. To stand in the Colosseum and know of the brutal gladiator battles that had taken place there in the name of sport. To walk the cobblestone streets once walked upon by Roman Centurions and yes, even apostles. To watch your children play on a sandy beach and boogie board in January. To swim with dolphins, one of my most favorite creatures in the world. To horseback ride in jungles of wild mango trees. To snorkle with my oldest and while holding hands have a large green sea turtle swim directly underneath us. To walk through Disney World and spend my time with my family, laughing and singing as we ride rides and just be happy together.

It's the experience. It's the feelings. It's traveling for me.

At this time I'm not able to travel and yet I look back at my memories of the beautiful places, remember the beautiful faces and know...this is why I am who I am. When old and withered I pray I will have worn my feet out wandering the earth and getting to know all about the different cultures and people.

This is why I am so excited to be working where I do. To know I am working to give others those same experiences. Yesterday I began training and it took nearly one day to cover all the Hawaiian resorts we service and to help others understand the culture and the island life. If you've been there...you know what I mean. Today we conquer the mainland resorts and I am able to go in depth on the many amenities in fabulous places such as Vail, Vegas, Scottsdale, San Antonio and yes good ol' L.A. I am thankful to have learned about the Hawaiian Islands and look forward to a field trip in the future to see Kauai and the Big Island first hand. Until then I'll rely on my experiences in Maui and Oahu. And as a wise friend once told me as we sat on the beach in Oahu...What happens in Hawaii...stays in Hawaii.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Not Even Two Months....

I arrived at work early ready to start another great day of making people happy....and I must add there are plenty that weren't, but with a cheerful attitude and a smile on my face, their anger was diffused and their days brightened just a bit. That is the part I truly love about my job. I can spread those smiles across the phone line and give someone that extra boost. It's an awesomely powerful position to be in.

Yesterday was made even better to know it was payday. Oh yeah, it's getting better! As I entered the door the room was already in cheering mode...literally. Yes, the office was celebrating the reservationist's opinion of our workplace. We were the top results for all reservation centers in the Marriott chain and the managers were taking care of our needs. ChaCha's catered in mouthwatering fajitas, with incredible handmade tortillas and freshly mixed guacamole to go along with cupcakes and even a margarita machine...non-alcoholic of course.

At this point, my day was already on the road to being a good one. Life was all good at that point, as far as I was concerned. And then it got better.

I was asked to apply a couple weeks ago for a position with the Resort Desk. Last night as I leaned back in my chair recovering from my intensely delicious dinner, Nilay approached and asked me to come to her cubicle. I walked in and she greeted me warmly. Then she said the words that sent me over the edge of happiness.

"I would like to offer you a position at the Resort's Desk."

Those simple words are a coveted commodity at work and I was offered a position after starting at Marriott less than 2 months ago. I spent one month in training for the regular job and introduced myself to Nilay on the last day of training and told her I was looking forward to working for her in the future. Many of my class thought I was being forward. One applauded my attitude and tenacity. I've worked on the floor less than a month and now I had arrived at the first step in my goal.

So, why am I telling you this?

I want to share two somethings I've learned.

The first:

Worse case scenario...I would've been told "No." There would be no painful torture or mobs with pitchforks and torches had I opened my mouth. I simply put myself out there.

The second:

And most important might I add!!!

Heavenly Father prepares us for reasons we don't always understand. Several years ago, I took courses through an online school to become a travel agent. I worked part time planning vacations and business travels for others for 3 years. Why? I had no idea. I was already running a business with my husband...why in the world would I need to be a travel agent?! It turns out THAT was the reason why I was asked to apply for a position with the Resort Desk.

Hmmmm.....

That Heavenly Father.....


He's one smart cookie!!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I Wanna Hold Your Hand!!!

Every night as I walk out of my office there he is...my hubby. Sitting patiently for over an hour after he'd already gotten off work, waiting for me...his one and only true love. OK! So I admit, he has never used those exact words, but holding his hand on Monday night said it all. We drove home together recounting our adventures in work and how I so totally saved one family's vacation. Let's just say they thought they had reservations in Maui and were leaving the next day...and there were no reservations. I swooped in and saved the day, but that's neither here nor there. As we arrive here at our complex we park all the way at the end of the lot. Near 1am we walk hand in hand up to our apartment. This time it was different. We were recounting our past year and the stresses and trials that had come about. In a quiet voice he simply said:

"If I had to go through it, I'm glad I went through it with you."

"Sigh"

All is well with the world.


UPDATE: I was interviewed for a seat at the Resort Desk. OK, so it's more of a cubicle, but it involves specialization and a raise. A fellow trainee and I were invited and he will be interviewed today. 8 specialists will be hired. I look forward to find out if I am one of them. What could be worse than planning fabulous vacations in incredible resorts...most of the in Hawaii?! LOVE IT!!! I will find out at some point tomorrow and will let you all know!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Good or Bad? I Love Surprises!!!

Yesterday seemed like I was tumbling back and forth. I was set to work another 3:30pm to midnight shift. I was ready early and I sat down to read my e-mail. Yes, I'm sort of a nerd. I even check my work e-mail at home. It was worth it. I received an e-mail I wasn't expecting and it turned the day into a smile producer. As you all know I answer the phones and take reservations at Marriott. I love it! I talk to so many wonderful people. My co-workers and I have made reservations for NFL referees, NBA players, FEMA workers rushing to help those who live in Atlanta and have been flooded from their homes. There are so many different people from different walks of life, but my ultimate love is booking a vacation people will never forget. Therefore, once I learned of the Resort Desk. I was hooked and wanted so desperately to get my teeth into it. Planning honeymoons, family reunions, weddings and specializing in vacations at 13 particular properties, one of which is a mere 20 minutes from my house. I've been thrilled. Once I talked to the Resorts Manager, whom I met while I was still in training I explained to her I was planning to make it into her group as quickly as possible. She talked to me a bit and told me exactly what she was looking for and asked what I brought to the table. When I revealed I was a former travel agent her eyes brightened. She took my name down. I've been working hard and I received an e-mail just as everyone else in the office did. An opening has occurred in the Resort's desk and they were looking to hire. I smiled slightly knowing full well I hadn't made it through my first month on the sales floor let alone 6 full months of employment which was required. Then it hit me...Remind her of who I am. I sent a quick e-mail. "I know I don't meet your requirements as of yet, but I look forward to the next opening." It was shot and simple...I had no idea why I pressed the "send" button and felt like a fool afterwards. It all boiled up until yesterday. I received an amazing e-mail from Nilay...the Resort Manager.

"I'd like you to apply for the position. I've talked to the general manager and have gotten you an exception. You are now considered qualified to take the test and interview. Please stop by HR to apply."

My jaw dropped


I danced around the apartment like a kid on Christmas.


I had a chance. I nearly teared up when I relayed the information to my hubby who was overjoyed.

"I'd say leave now and apply today. Go get 'em! I know you can do it!" he smiled while his eyes twinkled. You know the look...The "my wife is amazing" look we all get from our husband's from time to time.

I quickly e-mailed Nilay and told her I would be in the office in 30 minutes and will head straight to HR and thanked her profusely for going out on a limb for me.

As I arrived I was greeted by the HR manager who had hired me back on August 15th...less than 2 months before.

She greeted me warmly and at my down at the computer. I was to take a test, apply for a job I'd dreamed of for the past 4 weeks. As I finished the application and test I walked away feeling confident and stunned.

Can it be?! Are they really going to give me a fair shake?! This is a dream.

Will I get the job? That is unknown, but what I do know is that I have many people supporting me and cheering me on. What could be better?!

The bad news? I received my new schedule for next month...6 hour days. I'll be desperately trying to pick up any overtime I can to break even. I trust in Heavenly Father though. This pathway will lead me where I need to go.

Guess what?! I still love surprises!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Do You Ever Just Want to Scream?!

No, nothing is wrong really...it's just everyday life. In all honesty, I am so wanting to write and yet I find myself with little or no free time. I spend my waking moments trying to de-fog my mind from lack of sleep and on my two days off a week I spend much of my time attempting to catch up on sleep. It's simply not fair and I don't like it! {Insert stomping foot like a two year old here} Honestly, I love my job. I have so much fun talking to most people...others...well let's just say I help them the best I can and try to grin and bear it.

So, how do you find the time to do what you really want?

For me writing is an outlet. While I'm writing my mind clears and stress melts away. Is it wrong to crave that? I don't know for sure, but writing has always kept my head level and my course true. Funny how we find certain things in our lives that do that for us. For some it is service, others baking, and even more others, who shall remain nameless...shopping.

I've found the need to prioritize my life. I need to do certain things more than others. Laundry?! So unnecessary!!!! Cooking?! Why bother....Junk food for dinner again kids!!! Cleaning?! Now that just means your place is presentable for company to arrive...P-Shaw!!!!!

How do you prioritize?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Half Empty...Half Full?!

Apparently I'm tired and more than a bit grumpy for my co-workers. At break a fellow rep was complaining he could not understand a gentleman's horrible accent. He looked to me for commiseration. He was sadly disappointed. I told him I had a guest with a beautiful accent that I could not understand.

I've discovered that we choose how our day is going to go. To this man he was going to have a miserable day because he chose to be that way. I felt sorry for him. After just finishing training he also received another job offer. He has chosen to accept it. I was surprised to find myself more than a little irritated with this man because he truly was not thinking this through.

One month of training at Marriott cost the company $5,000. They've invested this money in people they've chosen. It was harder to get into my training class than to get into Harvard for goodness sake...numbers don't lie. They've found worth in his character and yet he tosses it to the side to earn 10% more in each paycheck. Perhaps it seems a great deal more and to him a job is a job. Perhaps I'm a bit to sensitive as I had to hunt for a job while he had the luxury of jumping from another job to this one. However, for me to think he took up space in a training class where another person who would be grateful for this job to feed their family. It's all perspective. Every call has a chance to be remarkable, just as every encounter with another person has a chance to be remarkable. my challenge to you all today...

Make every encounter with another person special today. Smile...and mean it. Love at them through heavenly eyes, not just disgruntled earthly eyes. And please share your experiences. I'd love to hear any experiences of looking through rose colored glasses for one day!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Before my head hit the pillow...


I don't know what happened except several passengers were stranded in Atlanta and scrambling for hotel rooms...My job? to find somewhere to lay their heads...ahem...within the Marriott system of course. Last night was a challenge in maneuvering people to make it to one property or another. These wonderful businessmen and women were exhausted, frustrated and just needing a dry room and a fluffy pillow to comfort them. One gentleman called me 20 minutes before my shift ended at midnight. This man HAD a reservation with a confirmation number and yet the hotel had lost his reservation. He was rightfully frustrated and I understood that. It wasn't me...it was the situation. He told me the gentleman at the counter was scrambling to find him a room and was coming up empty. After relaying all the information I set my fingers to work, hurrying to find a room nearby for this worn gentleman. At midnight, yes I was off, but more importantly at the strike of 12 I would be unable to see the inventory of rooms available to this gentleman. Just 4 minutes from my cutoff time I found a room for him and the front desk took it from there. The now relieved and weary traveler asked me to stay on the line with him until the front desk verified with the other property a room was available. After all was said and done my customer, once irate and undeniably frustrated thanked me for staying with him. Yes, I was unable to make reservations and increase my rating with my coworkers, but more importantly I knew before putting my head on my pillow he would have his settled on his own pillow. A few of my fellow co-workers were surprised I would take that tie with the gentleman, but what it boils down to is this...if I were in his position...wouldn't I want someone there for me to help make things better?

I think sometimes in life we find ourselves rushing our lives along without taking the time to make a difference in others lives. I'm guilty of this more times than I can count....however, I'm starting to change my attitude to think of others again more than myself. It is that selfless service that brings us closer to our goal of being more like the Savior and less like the natural man.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Nobody Puts Baby Toe in the Corner...


There's no real way to combine these two, but why not?! I was sad to hear yesterday about Patrick Swayze losing his fight with pancreatic cancer. I truly loved him on both Dirty Dancing and Ghost. He will be missed.

AND...

I broke my baby toe. Is there not a more useless bone to break?! And yet it causes such pain. I was visiting with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law yesterday when I rose form the couch to use the little girl's room. While rounding the ottoman...I'd actually done this successfully a mere hundred times before...I apparently forgot to maneuver my monstrous size 10 feet around the furniture and caught my baby toe. I heard the snap and felt the throbbing, but at that point there is nothing you can do. In all honesty I never thought I broke it. I later slipped my feet into my loafers for work and though it was a tighter fit I figured I'd just popped the little toe ad it was a bit swollen. By the time I made it to work it was hurting being stuffed in my shoe. When I looked at it on break 2 hours later it was literally black and blue all over. The only other bone I've ever broken was my big toe. How weird is that? There's nothing to do but let it heal. No casts to sign at all!!! It's simply taping it to the toe next to it. Weird...

Monday, September 14, 2009

One of the blessings of Texas...


My fabulous Sister-in-law who my oldest had a great time having her hair and make-up done. She works wonders and I carry a baseball bat...

DOWN BOYS!!!!
She's only 14!!!!


Remind me to thank the prophet for the dating age!!!

Sunday Sweet Sunday...You should've seen his face!!!


All I wanted to do was sleep...Sleep Sleep Sleep the day away. I know, I know...church. I love being there. It recharges my battery and sends me of for another full week. As we arrived the kids and hubby headed towards the chapel and I wound my way around to the bishop's office to pick up a tithing envelope. That's it! All I had planned was to pay my tithing and rejoin my family. As I sat, to fill in my slip one of the brother's approached. "We were going to ask if you could wait after church, but since you're here...do you have a moment to talk?"

"Absolutely."

We then chat and I receive a calling, my first in Texas. To be perfectly honest, this calling is one that is among the most difficult for me. If you know anything about me this is it...I'm not good with toddlers. I never have been. I'm the woman you ask to hold your baby while tie your shoe and I literally hold the little one out away from me as if it were an alien. Having all three of my children in three years their toddler years are a blur. In fact, I've blotted most of the terrible twos out of my memory completely. The teen years are my favorite and I'm loving the age my kids are at right now. They're awesome and it was worth enduring the babyhood years to reach this time.

Back to the point...I receive the calling as assistant nursery leader. A little different than most wards we have three nurseries. Our ward here is littered with medical, dental and law students and their young families. My job as assistant nursery leader is to basically set up nursery and give support to the teachers, occasionally doing a little hands on work. Now, I'm breathing again once this is explained. With my crazy work schedule, not knowing from month to month where exactly I will end up it was also understood if I could not be there the world would indeed continue as I am not in a pivotal role. As I stumbled back to my family the organ music started and I had no chance to let my sweet husband know before sacrament meeting started about my new calling. In fact, he found out as everyone else in the ward did. The look on his face was priceless. My father did the same thing to my mother, of course he had known a lot earlier than I did.

After church, I was given a beautiful blessing by the bishopric member over primary and I felt happy with my calling. I was instructed that all I was to do in this calling was to find joy in serving the children. That was it. A few more lovely words were spoken of my current employment and I was instructed with that as well. Another piece of the puzzle known as my life has been laid into place. In the end we will make it to where we need to be. I am grateful for my new calling and I can hardly wait to fall in love with these little ones.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Where Was I?

I've had the question asked to me...Where was I when 9/11 happened? Time fades many people's memories as the struggle to remember where they were on that horrific day. I've not forgotten. I am blessed to have a reminder in my home each and every day. Let's go back, shall we?

9/11/01
I began waking up Corinna and Bryan for school.Corinna was in first grade, Bryan kindergarten. They took the time to wipe the sleep from their eyes. Molly jumped around at my feet, never one to separate far from us. Don woke up in a Seattle hotel room, several hours from home, geared up to start another day with his current employer. I turned on the television...unheard of in my home while trying to get the kids ready for school, but for some reason that morning things were different. I instantly saw the news coverage of one airliner running into one of the towers. The word I recall was tragedy...not terrorist. And then it happened. To my utter horror I watched as a second airline approached and crashed. Was this a joke?! This could not be serious!!! My oldest daughter saw the second hit and asked me what happened. All I could say was "I don't know, sweetheart. I don't understand." And truly I didn't. It was hard for em to drop my daughter off at school, but was reassured by teachers and principals as we walked through the doors. Everything was going to be kept as normal as possible for the children. I felt a slight calm, but rushed home with Molly to find out what was happening. I watched as the towers fell that day knowing, feeling the pain of the people trapped inside. This couldn't be serious. I remember wondering if it was a cruel practical joke. My husband arrived home a few hours later...sent home by his employers as life was at a standstill. He struggled more than anyone. The unnecessary deaths in this case enraged him and his desire to join the military to help fight these demons grew. He talked to several recruiters, but his age held him back. I supported him because I knew what it meant to him.

9/11/06
We stepped off the train in Venice, Italy. Though our hearts were drawn to the memory of those who had served and lost their lives along with those who perished in a senseless attack, we had to continue to walk on and live. And in that living 13 Americans on tour through Italy stood united on the piers of Venice looking at a beautiful offering by the Italian people. Encased in plexiglass, a copy of the famous Pieta housed in the Vatican, Jesus Christ being held tenderly, by his mother, Mary, after his crucifixion. Beneath Jesus laid draped an American flag. A small offering of love and support 5 years later by a city of beautiful people filled our hearts. Tears flowed as I remembered back to what had occurred and the unflinching support of the Italian people. What I remember most was not the statue or display. What I remembered was the smattering of small empty aluminum tea light casings sitting in front. There were perhaps 20 or more. The thought that people from another country could honor the victims filled me heart and forever cemented in my heart the love of the Italian culture.

9/11/07
An American flag is raised in Iraq to honor our fallen. A friend lost his life over there in trying to help the Iraqi people gain their freedom. He will forever be missed.

12/25/07
The same flag which had been raised over foreign soil sat under our Christmas tree. A beloved nephew who is in the Air Force sent it to us asking us to hang it in the store. It was touching....And it was hung in the store...after I encased it in a shadow box, giving it the respect it deserved.

9/11/08
Documentaries begin to emerge about 9/11. I watch to feel the experiences of those who lived in the area, but find I become physically ill watching the footage again. I left the room with tears in my eyes. Much to fresh in my mind.

Today
To my left as I type I see the same flag, still wrapped protectively in bubble wrap from the move. Such a treasure I am not sure I trust to the walls of an apartment. I am still contemplating, but I see it everyday. I pray for the safety of those who serve. I pray for world peace, like many beauty queens, but moreover than that...I pray for peace of mind and honor those who had fallen. They will be forever in my heart.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I did it!


Something I've never done before. I've been blessed to be in a position to always have a car to get me from point A to point B. No questions asked. We made it happen. These days the distance to work is rather far....maybe 20 minutes to drive with no traffic. Unfortunately, hubby's hours don't add up to mine so we were left in a quandry. How do I get to work. Hubby would gladly take the bus...but it doesn't run from his work to mine. So again we are left with confusion. Yesterday , I left early and walked down to the bus stop, clutching tightly to my monthly pass. I was excited to try soemthing new in the big city.

the bus pulled up and I found a seat quickly...sticking near the entrance of the bus. As we drove on I watched the world around me pass by and what a beautiful world it is. I had the leaisure of watching ducks splash in a pond, preening their feathers while someone else drove. I saw beautiful neighborhoods....a little older, but beautiful nonetheless. I admired the bus company for not only incredibly wonderful air conditioning on the bus, but honoring Rosa Parks with a specially covered yellow leather seat on each bus embroidered with her name to honor her courage. I watched a mother bring her two very young children and a stroller onto the bus with two hands and then get off a few bus stops later. She carefully unloaded each of her babies and began walking the rest of her trek. I watched a man and woman standing at one stop. The woman clutching both her cane and the bus stop pole with white knucles. Her husband carefully loaded her then ran back outside to pck up their goods. Victim of a debilitating illness she smiled with the face of courage while her husband looked on with admiration of that courage. My heart had warmed as I watched on that ride an elderly gentleman help another man find his way to the local VA hospital. Truly incredible. On my last bus the seats were full and I was left to stand the final portion of my ride. I didn't mind as the group was a large group of handicapped teens going on a field trip to the air force base to be toured around. In the end I transferred twice and walked the final half mile to work with my heart full. Such an experience. I'll never forget. I wonder what will happen the next time I ride the bus?

Monday, August 31, 2009

Early Morning Seminary...

I've reached the pinnacle of parenting...Early Morning Seminary. And yes...it is EARLY!!! Class starts at 6am which means I need to wake up my oldest at 5am to be ready. Are you serious? Yes, yes I am. As it turns out Corinna is excited about seminary and learning more about the gospel. She loves the fact she can study the scriptures every day...Huh?! I am excited for her. After class she walks to school and I might add, in case you were thinking I was a super awesome parent, she was not so thrilled I wouldn't pick her up and drive her to school. To be honest, her high school is less than a mile away and all the seminary kid walk together. It's exercise at a time of day where the heat doesn't drive you inside. Yes, the mean mom I am...insisted she try it out....for a semester.

Now, seminary wouldn't be a shock to my system but looking at my schedule it seems my sleeping will be done in shifts. This will give you the idea:
5am- Wake up Corinna
545am- drive her to seminary
6am- return home
630am- wake up the other two
745am- drive other two to school
815am return home
845am attempt to gain more sleep.
1100am- wake up...again
1130am- get showered and ready for the day
noon- eat breakfast & cook dinner for kids
100- organize my things for work & leave if I need to take bus to work
230pm- leave for work if hubby giving me a ride
330-midnight- work/ call kids on all breaks
1230am- clean up kitchen- I hate ants
1am- bedtime
5am- begin again!!!

I don't know how other working Moms have made it through, but my heart goes out to you all for what you do for your kids!!! I can't wait until Saturday to hang out with my kids...and sleep 8 hours in a row!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Long Week...


No, this is not what the poor computer at Mariott looks like, but what I felt like making it look like isntead. We were told the second week of training would be the hardest, but as usual...I don't beleive people when they tell me these things. Why should it be?!?! It's training!!! So, needless to say I went along my happy way during my training. Unfortunately, I was tested..my patience and all...tested to the ends of my very nerves. Our seats were switched and beleive me the two people I was sitting next to are fabulous wonderful sweet people...and I mean it. However...you knew that was coming... the person on my right kept asking me questions...every other minute...and I am be quite literal on this. Bringing my rate of learning lower. I couldn't take it. I was starting to lsoe it. Not that he didn't need answers. He's a smart man and he is going to get it, but the program is self paced. I was two lessons ahead of him and now he has nearly caught up to me. Besides, the fact when he couldn't understand a concept he cursed just loud enough for both of us on either side to hear. It is frustrating to say the least. Why do I feel like this? I mean really. I DID stop to help someone else. What's so wrong in that?! Maybe my progression was held up, but I was helping someone along. So, as I left...over 1 1/2 hours later than most of the rest of the class who opted to leave earlier I felt I had done everything I could. I did talk to my trainer about the frustration and she understood and let me know the whole class was being shifted again on Monday. I know I shouldn't have got frustrated and that my co-worker simply needed help. I know I am so far from being perfect, but sometimes I find frustration has joined me.Any ideas on what I can do?! You all are smart wonderful people! I know there are answers for me...and don't think I hadn't thought about earplugs.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Of Nerd Glasses and Gremlins...


The first day of school...I'd love to post pictures...but I have none! Why?! Because my youngest...my baby...now in 7th grade has to wear a uniform along with my 8th grader. Now please, understand, it's not like a "cool" uniform for a private school. No, according to my sweet daughter they were "Nerd Clothes." Everyone in the school looks EXACTLY the same. I don't know what the problem is, but she has declared she looks like a nerd. So, this morning, being the tactful mother I am, as we were walking to our car I pretended to get all teary eyed and she looked at me.

"Oh, look how sweet my little nerd children look," I sniffed. She was fairly unamused. I'm sure a comment will arise here soon when she reads what I wrote.

As for me, Work is great and I am learning soooo much!!!! It keeps me busy and waking up at the break of dawn to get my kids out of bed and ready for school. I will note that unfortunately with my training schedule the way it is I only see my children for 45 minutes in the morning as I wake them and drop them off..I'm not liking it!!! I can't wait for the weekend to give them the love I want to give them!!! However, on facebook it has been brought up that I am morphing from the cute little cuddly Gizmo to the wildly outlandish Stripes. Seriously, the fact I remember these characters names from this movie is amazing to me as my brain feels like goo. However, this morning a new face greeted me at the mirror...much closer to the scaly green guy than being cute and cuddly. I guess 5 hours a sleep each night does that to a person. Boy, I can't wait until seminary starts next week. THAT means I can now get up earlier!!! If only I believed in drinking energy drinks!!!I do have to add that I am so truly thankful for my children. If they weren't such good kids this wouldn't work. They are my heroes...perhaps someday they'll think up a magic potion to push the scales away and my cute self will come back.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hi-Ho! Hi-Ho!!!


It's off to work I go!!!
I will tell you now I made the most complete and utterly wonderful decision of my life in job choices..oh yes, there were choices!!! I am so excited because there are so many different avenues for growing with the company and like one special friend told me before I started...Marriott LOVES their employees. I've never in my life felt so welcomed by a company I worked for. Sure, there's always a welcome of pleasant words and encouragement when you start training....however, never has such wonderful people surrounded a class and welcomed us in a way that I am feeling valued and I just started!!!

The best part. I can literally go anywhere in the world I choose to work with the company. Can I just tell you I love that!!! I am a travel junkie! I admit it whole heartedly. I love walking into a freshly cleaned hotel room and daydream of the adventures I will have with each trip!!! FABULOUS!!!!

I am loving my job and finding that I am really getting to know my fellow employees...well a few since there are 600 of them in the office. I look forward to transitioning home and working from my desk here. I am looking forward to many different aspects of my job and loving every minute of it!!! So, I walk into my job happy, carefree, desperately trying to learn all the different material...much of which will take time to sink in through this thick head...but I find when you love what you do...it's so much easier!!!
So, forgive me dear friends for not being in contact earlier...I', enjoying my job and trying to learn how to sleep...Getting home at midnight can be tough on a morning person!!!

Next week school begins. I have a high schooler, which means seminary starts..6AM!!!! and two middle schoolers now who will literally need t take care of themselves at home at night. I know they can do it. I'll leave dinner ready for them before I leave for work and all will be well. I am excited for them. They are great steady minded kids and I love them dearly!!! All is well my friends...I'm nearing the top of the peak and ready to start on my way down of this trial...I pray Mount Everest isn't on the other side!!!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Another Early Morning...


No, school has not started...just registration. If there's one thing you need to know about me. I detest, hate, loathe being late. If I'm not 15 minutes early then I'm 10 minutes late. Everywhere I go I have to be early. n fact, last night we drove to my sister-in-law's house for dinner and they thought we weren't coming or they gave us the wrong time ebcause we were 7 minutes late. Yup! That's me! So, when I had to go and register my younger two for middle school you'd better believe I was going to be there when registration first started. In fact, I was the second one through the door at 8:02am...they apparently weren't ready until then. So, there I sat, my hand cramping filling out each paper in duplicate trying to make sure not only my son but daughter had everything filled out completely for them. Ahhh the fun and excitement!!!! We go back Wednesday night to pick up books, schedules, pictures and everything while I do the same with my high schooler tomorrow morning. We managed to get them both registered and I think it is a good thing. I can breathe now...of course I don't have that penciled into my schedule until Saturday, but I have a few minutes now. It's time to get into the groove of it all because next week starts work, the following starts school and the following starts seminary. AHHHH!!!! Glorious Parenthood!!!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Because....


Going through the craziness of our lives I'm sure you all have felt it. You know, those days when the "Why Me's" outnumber the "We thank thee, Lord's." I know they've done it for me lately. On the outside I put on the happy face, but this trial has been one of my hardest personally to go through. It's more mental than anything. However, after asking the "Why Me's" for awhile you begin to feel redundant and then your eyes are opened. the "Why Me's" are now replaced with the answer "Because."

Why did we give up so much to move so far?

Because

Because why?

Because you were willing.


Ahhhh! Gotcha...




***As a side note- I am a little geeky when it comes to the internet. When we moved I kept glancing back as we drive int he rear vew mirror saying good-bye in a way. Well, the internet is the same. I would type in www.lds.org and then sign in and see our old ward's webpage with my name still there. But this morning as I typed my name in something happened. No longer was my old ward there. And the quote for the ward read:
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me..." Matthew 11:28-29.

I guess sometimes Heavenly Father has to tell us to stop looking back. A lesson to be learned for sure.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Gearing up for Monday....

The final days of this week are exapected to march on fairly quickly, at least with soem entertainment. Today we are relaxing around the house, with one quick trip to the market. Tomorrow brings us to a quick day of work for Don, who has to wake up early, and then we enjoy some time with our ward members getting to know them and attempting to actually learn some names. A nice quiet day on Sunday is always a blessing which drops us straight on Monday's doorstep. Hubby works later in the evening but our main event will be starting bright and early. Molly abd Bryan will "finally" be signed up for school. It's hard enough to sign one child up for school...now double it. Ugh!!! Not to mention the fact that this entire week is filled up with running from one place to another...all in the name of school.

Tuesday is Prep Day for Corinna
Wednesday is Prep Night for Molly & Bryan
Thursday I finally get to take a deep breath
Friday we drop Corinna off at Freshman Ram Camp- to learn about her school from the upper classmen, then we pick up hubby's paycheck, run errands, pay bills, pick up Corinna, & buy a few items for school clothes.
Saturday I sleep while hubby runs off to work
Sunday is my day of rest...in which I will create fabulous cupcakes for Molly bee for her 12th birthday...drop hubby off to work, take Corinna to her back to school seminary fireside, pick up hubby...see I told you it was a day of rest...and prepare for my first day of work the following day.

I felt a bit guilty that I was starting my first day of work on Molly's birthday, but this morning I felt better when I saw hubby's schedule and that he has the entire day off with our little girl...ahem...Young Woman...Already?! Sigh!!!

This is where I stick my head in the sand and join the ostriches hiding from some major facts...
#1 It sucks to see your baby growing up
#2 I truly hate signing my kids up for school in new schools
#3 I am a mother of a high schooler
#4 This fall promises to deliver some great friday night lights games!!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

In A Rut..


I'm not sure how it has happened, but here I am...in a rut. perhaps I'm caught off guard by not having the money right now to go out and see the sights. Trust me...there are plenty of sites around here to see and I am dying to see them!!! I've been to the Alamo and really had a wonderful time wandering the small area....it looks so much bigger in the movies. I am dying to spend the day wandering and I have to admit I am looking forward again to date nights. I know what you are saying. With date nights you can do so many things without spending money...Yes, but we are watching our gas very closely until my life with Marriott starts. For those who have never lived in an area of high humidity...neither had I until now...it takes time to adjust. I've given me that time and I look forward to being fully adjusted. I do admit I no longer feel it as much except at the height of the hot day.

I also admit I am somewhat sad that I won't be here for the kids when they get home from school and it bothers me. I love to be here when they get home...that way if they have a question I can answer it. I AM grateful however that both the high school and junior high my kids are attending have a homework hotline in case help is needed. I am incredibly excited for their new adventures. AND I will be coming home by mid-November to work so that will make me feel so much better when that comes about. The best part..no traffic. I like it that way. I am also looking forward to when my honey and I have the day off together in the middle of the week. Perhaps when the "cooler" weather comes we can wander around the riverwalk or even go on a date to Sea World while the kids go to school. Sounds like fun to me. Nothing more romantic than petting dolphins and smelling like fish. Insert romantically kissy face right here.

Yes, I confess I may be losing it, but that's all right. I've been caught up in my writing again and soon I will have the first chapter done. It is a love of mine that keeps me going, keeps my mind active.

So friends...if you see my marbles rolling on by wave as they roll off onto their next great adventure...you never know where they'll appear next!!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Month 1...Done!!!

It has been one month since arriving here in Texas and I've thought back to how I've changed:

#1- I no longer believe there is any other temperature that hot outside and I doubt very highly that it ever gets cold here in Texas.

#2- Dancing in the rain is so much more fun when it isn't 40 degrees outside.

#3- I can make it to the third floor walking up and downstairs several times a day...my heart still pounds and I still require a tall glass of water when I get to the top, but the Paramedics no longer need to be called.

#4- Condensing our home from 2100 square feet to 1200 square feet sucks, but it really simplifies things.

#5- Flexibility is the key to everything.

#6- Good people are all around.

#7- I make a pretty mean loaf of sourdough bread

#8- My kids are pretty awesome!!!

#9- Life is full of curveballs, you'd better learn to work on your batting stance.

#10- Without friends...life would be impossible!!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Some of my favorite things...

I don't know if anyone else does this, but when I travel I like to bring something special home to remind me of the fun and feelings I had wherever I was. One of my favorite things is my Zulu basket.

No, I didn't make it to South Africa...yet, but I picked this up in Disney World. I am one of those people who loves baskets, but not any baskets...different types of baskets. At the time this little basket was perfect size and cost to fit my busget and my house. It is different and always makes me smile as I remember we were eating at a restaurant in Animal Kingdom when I saw them. They were sweet enough to send it to my hotel and I picked it up 2 days later. I always smile remembering the good times we had there. The best part...the basket I bought is a beer basket. Yup!!! The Zulus make their own beer and store it in this basket. I began to laugh. It was like the last time we were in San Antonio, before moving here I saw some fleece blankets on sale and bought them for my kids without actually unrolling them...bad idea. Molly's has martinis all over it...she still uses it and it makes me laugh.

My family tends to laugh at the items I come home with. In Maui I came home with my own tiki who watches over my family. It's only 2 feet tall and heavier than heavy can be! In Italy I brought a vinegar and oil set. I hand carried it home to the states. I hand carried it from California to Texas.
My family rolls their eyes everytime, but they understand.

What do you collect...or am I the only packrat left in the world?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

And the Winner is.....


ME!!!!

Ok! I'm joking, but I feel like I could win a million dollars today.

Why?!

The words I've been dying to hear were said:

"Welcome to the Marriott family!!!"

I AM EMPLOYED!!!!!!!

I start on August 17th...my youngest daughter's 12th birthday to which she is VERY sad. She understands and she won't have started school yet so we can have a nice lunch together...breakfast even. But I will need to go to work that night and begin my training. I am excited and ready for teh rainfall outside...I want to dance.

It looks as if the sunshine is finally peeking through the clouds. Until then...I am going to enjoy some time with my kids, getting things organized and looking forward to getting our lives back under control. The two most beautiful words in the world...UNDER CONTROL!!!!

Time to celebrate!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Day of Rest...

Am I selfish? I'm not sure yet, but yesterday it seemed like there was one task after another to complete. It started out in home, isn't there always something to do in the house? I thought so... I ended up dropping Don off at work so I could use the car. Then I went off to CarMax...no my car is fine...it was job interview day.

I know what you are thinking: "Why are you still interviewing when you just took a drug test for Marriott?!" After the third hour I was thinking the same thing. Yes...I said third hour. I arrived at 3:15 and didn't get back into my car until 6:31pm. I don't know if this procedure was designed to weed out applicants because by the last interview I was ready to throw up the white flag and surrender. The good thing to know is that others will be subjected to the same torture as me. If they broke down worse than me...a seasoned veteran of the interview circuit, then I had a better chance. Those young girls don't know who they are dealing with!!! Mwahaha!!! Oh but that's getting off track isn't it?

Needless to say I nearly lost it in one interview. Many things have changed since 19 years ago when I did my last interview. As I was talking to one manager...pretty close to 2 1/2 hours into the process he began to pepper me with questions on honesty and stealing from the companies I worked for. He asked: "Would you ever steal from a company you worked for?" Now, in my defense I'd already answered 12 questions on the same subject and apparently this was the one that broke the camel's back. The words crossed my lips before I could bite my tongue. "H-E double hockey sticks No" I replied. Unfortunately, I didn't spell it out. The other gentleman sitting in on the interview began laughing as I said it. More than likely the shock on my face was where the laughter came from. I apologized and asked him not to write it, but he did. In big letters. Why does my mouth act before I can control it?! He thought it was the greatest answer ever. Insert sigh here!

Well, we shall see how this all turns out...won't we?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Update...Job Hunt 2009!

I wanted to update you all and let you know I had my interview with Marriott to work in the call center...90 minutes later I left the building clutching a request form for a drug test and a list of clinics I could attend to have it done. As long as the background check goes through it looks like I will finally have a job!!! I am thrilled!!!However, knowing this world can be topsy turvy I am still attending interviews and working on some more applications. Thank you so much for your prayers!!! I feel them!!

Doin' the Pigeon....



Bert ALWAYS made me laugh when I was kid...as a child I remember dancing and "Doin' the Pigeon" moves with him as he sang. As an adult I confess...I had the song as a ringtone...just for fun factor, of course!!! Well, now my life has come full circle. As we moved into the aparments I noticed the pigeons hanging around the roof near our apartment. Didn't think any more about it...until the next morning. Bright and early at 7am each and every morning I am awakened to the sound of pigeons cooing and walking along my ceiling. SOmehow they've broken into the ceiling. Yes, I've reported it to management, but as of yet they have little or no desire to fix it. As long as I don't get a pigeon popping it's head into my room then we're all good. They don't bother me...in fact...it makes me laugh. Seriously, how many people own a pigeon alarm clock?!

Monday, July 27, 2009

As American as Baseball and Apple Pie...

As I was sitting at the computer the other day I listened as Rickey Henderson's acceptance speech replayed on ESPN. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Ok! So let me put in easy understanding for those of you who aren't ginormous sports fans like myself. Rickey henderson was a "Slammin'" player for the Oakland A's. He did a great job...therefore Hall of Fame.

My family has a strong background of spending days, evenings, and some nights...games go late at times... together in Jack Murphy Stadium. It was magical. Climbing into our seats and settling in for a fun evening with treats such as salted peanuts and the forever fave of mine...cotton candy. It was a time where we could cheer, scream and yell at the umps...all very respectful of course!

As I listened to Rickey's heartfelt speech I was brought back to my teen years when he played for Oakland. We of course had attended a few agmes there, but it was never the same as watching the Padres with my grandpa. Something special about it. My thoughts drifted back and I remembered a little girl. She sat in the outfield, if I remember right...and she always had a sign for him. Anything to cheer him on. They grew and had a bond. It was really great to see. When he was awarded a base as an award she presented it to him. Heartborken when he was traded to another team she begged with a letter to the newspaper for him to come back. This was the last I thought of this girl until the moment I heard him speak.

I thought to myself: "I wonder what happened to that little girl."

Here

I'd forgotten that I knew her family and that is why I knew the story so well. Cooperstown is so far away. She is now grown and has a family of her own...and yes....she was there with her signs!!!