Saturday, December 27, 2008

Dork Diaries

My friend, Elodia Strain, recently blogged about her Dork Diaries. I loved her post, so I decided to copy her. Here is a list of why I'm such a dork, both then and now.

1. I used to wish I could get glasses even though I didn't need them. I started wearing glasses when I was 25 and I was so excited to finally get some. I just think they're cool.

2. My sister and I used to be obsessed with the soap opera, Santa Barbara. We used to tape every episode and make scrapbooks and newspapers of the soap. We used to write down dialogue and act out scenes from the soap. We especially liked throwing glasses of water at each other's faces.

3. I once turned down a date so I could stay home and write a research paper. In my defense, he called only an hour or two before the date. That's just lame. I'm not saying yes to that.

4. I took extra semesters of foreign language in high school after I had already met the requirement, just for fun.

5. I played with Barbies until I was 16.

6. I was so into Air Supply when I was in high school. I even went to one of their concerts. Don't get me started on New Kids on the Block.

1. I love my glasses. I've tried contacts, but I don't like them. I really, really like wearing glasses.

2. I still have 2 boxes of old Santa Barbara tapes, pictures, and scrapbooks in my attic. Of course I don't watch the tapes anymore (I'm not that big of a dork) but I did stay up late 1 night watching old episodes on YouTube.

3. I love libraries and so do my kids. We will drive 45 minutes out of our way just to go to check out new libraries.

4. Sometimes, I take trash home from parties or events. Not real trash, just stuff that can be recycled like cardboard or bottles or cans. I once snuck out a whole bag of wrapping paper from a Christmas party because I knew it was going to be thrown away. I know this admission will probably decrease future party invitations. I'm sorry; I'm just such a recycling dork. All I can say in defense is that I'm from New Jersey.

5. I still have my Barbies up in the attic. No, I don't play with them anymore. I'm just waiting for that girl to have an excuse to play with them.

When I think of some more, I'll do another post- Dork Diaries 2. Anyone care to leave a comment about why they're a dork?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Santa Letters

I just finished The Santa Letters by Stacy Gooch-Anderson, a perfect read for this time of year. Emma Jensen and her four kids are approaching Christmas without William. William, Emma's husband, was killed by a hit-and-run driver the year before. While she tries to be brave for her children, Emma misses him greatly and is having a hard time with the approaching holiday.

Then, a mysterious letter and package arrive on their doorstep. It is signed from Santa Claus and each package has a letter with a message. The letters contain a message that expounds on important themes, such as family, forgiveness, and service. McKenna, the youngest daughter has faith that their father will be there for Christmas. With her faith, the Jensen family embraces the Santa letters with hope and enthusiasm. Each letter and package brings the family closer together and toward a path that will heal their hearts and leads them to forgiveness.

I enjoyed the messages that centered around the teachings of Jesus Christ. Forgiveness and service are major themes in the book and leave the reader with a greater desire to focus Christmas on His life and teachings.

On a side note, I met Stacy at the LDStorymakers Conference last year and realized that her cousin, Kim, is married to one of my husband's friends, Jim. Nolan knew Jim from when they served a mission in the Philippines. We used to hang out a lot with Jim and Kim when we lived in Ogden, UT. We used to go on motorcycle rides together and had a blast with them. It was fun to reconnect with them after all these years. What a small world.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My Resume (Sort Of)

I am a stay-at-home mother and I love it. I haven't always been. It feels like it's been a long journey to get here. Let me tell you about it. I've been working since I was fifteen. I've always enjoyed working. In high school, I worked for a doctor's office. I loved having my own money and being able to buy whatever I wanted.

When I went to college, I stopped working because it was just too much. When I graduated, I got my dream job. I've always wanted to work in a social services field or a non-profit. I worked in Salt Lake City for a company called Centro De La Familia running a foster care program. I was in charge of recruiting & training foster parents, placing children in foster homes, and basically making sure everyone was happy-foster parents, kids (that didn't happen too often), case managers, the State. I loved that job. I loved working with kids who needed someone to advocate for them, to care about them. My job was basically my life. My husband was in school at the time and very busy with internships, so I threw myself into my job. I spent time with kids on evenings and some weekends taking them to recreational activities or visits with their natural parents. I only worked there for 3 years before we moved, but it was the most rewarding 3 years of my career-life. Sure, it was hard. Heart-breaking, sad, and totally consuming, emotionally and physically.

When we moved to New Jersey, I wanted to find a similar job, but I also wanted to have a baby. I was going on 4 years of marriage and I was ready to be a mom. I knew that if I found a similar job which I really wanted, that it would be too all-consuming and hard on a family. So, I decided to take my old boss on his offer to go back to the doctor's office. It was the ideal job for me at the time, even though it wasn't what I wanted, in my heart, to be doing. The office was 5 mins away from home and I could walk, which I did often. I was done by 4 every day and never on call. I didn't have to work evenings or take heart-wrenching thoughts home every night. It felt ironic to be doing the same thing I was doing before college, but it was right for me.

We had a baby soon after and I continued working there. My husband would drop the baby off at my parents when he went to work, usually after 10:00 am or so. It was nice that he had a late schedule. This worked out for everyone.

After I had my second baby, my boss let me cut back my hours. I worked every day until 1PM and picked up the kids at my parents where my husband had dropped them off. He continued having a later schedule which worked out great so the kids were only there a few hours. My boss also let me work from home, so I was making almost as much as before.

When we moved to Texas, I didn't want to work full-time anymore, so I started substitute teaching two days a week. My parents also moved to Texas and continued helping out with childcare those two days a week. I was usually home by 3:30 and had all school vacation days and summers off. It was perfect. My parents were so awesome throughout all this. Taking the kids to school and picking them up.

Recently, I stopped substitute teaching (after 5+ years). A few months ago, I toyed with the idea of going back to work full-time in my old field. For a moment, I was excited about working in the field I love. I sent out many resumes and even had a few interviews. In the end, I didn't get the jobs, but I'm so happy. I knew, deep in my heart, that I did not want to go back to work. I want to be home. For the first time ever, I am home full-time, and I love it! I am still writing, so I still work, but on my own schedule and my own terms. I'll be honest, I haven't been writing too much the last few months. I am just enjoying being home full-time. The writing will pick back up soon, I'm sure. I'll know when it's time to throw myself into writing again.
Right now, I just love my three bosses. The one on the right is the CEO. What he says goes!