Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012!

As I sit here watching the snow fall and reflecting on the past year, I can say for the first time in many years this has been a great year! The last couple of years have been rough, with something major happening that just seemed to tip the balance between it being a good year and a bad year. It has been a very long time since I have been able to reflect on a year and say with out hesitation that I feel blessed more than I probably deserve.

The year didn't start out on the best note, a couple weeks into it I lost my job. But looking back, and I really think at the time I knew it too, it was a HUGE blessing. I was very unhappy there, the position wasn't for me, and while the company as a whole was great to work for, the management I was under was not. On most days as I headed to work I dreaded it, it was effecting my health and I was starting to become depressed due to how unhappy I was. It's amazing how God has a way to get you out of bad situations with what seems at the time to be something terrible but in the end it was the biggest blessing there could be.

For the most part the rest of the year was pretty smooth sailing. By not working I was able to just focus on school and was able to get the best grades I have ever earned since I was in high school. While there definitely were a few classes that tested me on a daily basis, Stats and Decisions Science, I made it through and finished my degree a couple weeks ago. I would love to say that I feel differently but I really don't. Maybe that will change if I ever find a job.

This year has seemed to bring me a ton of blessings, the birth of some pretty adorable little babies that I can't wait to be part of their lives as they grow and develop. A ton of new friends through my church that I honestly couldn't imagine my life with out now. I was able to nurture several friendships and become closer with friends that I have known for ten years. While at times it may have seemed like I was fighting harder than I should have been to keep a couple, I am beyond happy that I did because with out them I wouldn't be who I am or where I am today.

But I think the biggest blessing this year has been my church. I started attending City Life back in August of 2011 and have felt at home since day one. Through volunteering in the nursery, City  Groups and the friends that I have made my faith has grown by leaps and bounds. For the first time in my life I feel strong in my faith and I have been able to give control of my life over to God, something that if you know me if very difficult for me to do... I may be a bit of a control freak. Boy am I glad that I have done so. God has blessed me more than I could have ever imagined this year and I am so thankful that he has done so!

So what does 2013 have in store? I have no clue! I know God has a plan, I know that plan is better than anything I could ever imagine and I know that I will learn what it is when God is ready for me to know it. There are a couple of things I would like to accomplish this year. They aren't resolutions because lets be honest how many people actually keep those? Here are a few:

1) I want to get job. Seems easy enough but in this economy it is not! I'm hoping that I can find a position which will allow me to give back to my community and help those who may need it.

2) I want to run the Prairie Fire half marathon in October. It's only 13.1 miles... HaHaHa! I ran my first race this year, an 8K and really enjoyed it. Well maybe not at the time but I was beyond happy that I did it afterwards. I have 10 months until the race and I know that I will be able to do it.

3) I want to maintain a B average in my grad school classes. In the program you are allowed one C, if you get two you are out. This might be the most difficult of the things I want to accomplish thanks to classes in accounting, finance and economics, all classes that I really struggled with in my undergrad. Luckily I have people around me who, for some reason, enjoy these classes and are willing to help me!

So goodbye 2012, thank you for being such an amazing year! Here's to you 2013, you have some big shoes to fill but I can't wait to see what you have in store for me!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

God's Plan, Not My Plan

This is a blog I have written so many times in my head over the last year or so. I never really had a way to start it, wasn't 100% sure what direction I wanted to take it in an egotistical way was afraid of how people would receive it. But there is something inside of me today that is calling me to write it. So I'm going to.

My faith has always been something I have struggled with, something I was never very strong in and something I wasn't sure how to really embrace it.  As a child I was fortunate to grow up in a church with my older cousins. For the most part it was awesome and I loved it, although at times it was hard to be known as their little cousin. There were a few times I wasn't sure if people were nice to me because they liked me or because I was their younger cousin, very much my own short coming! But please don't get me wrong, I am beyond blessed to have them in my life, as role models then and even now as an adult. I continually look to them for examples of how to live my life and how to be a better Christian. For my mom it was important to for us to have that education and to grow up in the church but my father wasn't, and as far as I know now still isn't, a big believer in organized religion. He believed you didn't have to go to church to be a Christian. At the age of eight I started swimming competitively, and it really didn't take long for it to take over our lives as a family. We were constantly gone due to weekend long swim meets and when we weren't there Sundays quickly became a day used for my brothers and I to get caught up on homework. This is to no fault of my parents, like any good parent they were supporting us in something we love, something I like to think of as a gift God had given us, the talent to do well in swimming.

Through out my middle school, high school, and even college years I would go through phases where I would attend church regularly but then something would come up, get in the way and I wold stop going. I felt disconnected from the kids I grew up with because due to swim practice I wasn't able to go to Wednesday night youth group, retreats or events. So slowly I began to with draw from those friends and even my cousins to a degree.

I can clearly remember the night in November last year, where I was lying in bed, unhappy with my current job, unsure if I should go back to school or not and really just unhappy with my life as a whole. There had to be something better, something more out there for me! I remember praying that night and just kept saying over and over and over "God my life is yours, please do with me what you want, please show me the path that YOU have chosen for me" and for the first time in a long time I started to feel at peace about my life. It was as if God was saying to me "I have been waiting for your to say that, I understand and will take it from here" (Is there a chance that this is just what I wanted hear at the time, maybe) Shortly after that going back to school quickly fell into place, my job situation was taken care of and I started volunteering in the nursery at church. Without a doubt I can tell you that was God's plan for me! The fellowship and support I have found by doing such a simple thing as volunteering in the nursery has been invaluable this last year as I have struggled at times with school, and even my walk as a Christian.

It's been a year now, and the last few weeks I have found my self in the same cross road position as I was a year ago. Although I am not unhappy with my life, in fact I love my life! I am beyond lucky to have the friends and family that I have. But I'm back to being unsure if I should continue with grad school now that I am done with my undergrad, and finding a job has been a real struggle. For a while I found myself trying to figure it out on my own and a couple of weeks ago I had to remind myself my plan doesn't matter it is God's plan that matters. For the last year I had allowed God to work with in my life, why is it now that things are really unsure am I trying to control the situation? Every night I have continued to pray the same prayer I have for the last year "God do with me what you want, that continue to show me the path you have for me " but now I have added to that prayer asking him to show me a position/job that will help me to not only serve him but to also serve my community. I got my first answer last Thursday when I requested some information from Newman on their MBA program. After a phone call, two emails and about 6 hours I had a provisional acceptance, I just need to get my official transcript from WSU and two letter of recommendation turned in. Tomorrow, Monday, I have my first meeting for enrollment . For me this is another situation that I find myself not questioning if this is what I am suppose to be doing, because I KNOW it is Gods plan! There is also a job opportunity that I have really been praying about and am actually really excited about. At this time I won't say what it is but will review more if it works out.

What have I learned this last year? While I would really like to think my life is my own, because lets face it I am human, it is not. It is Gods! I am here, in the situation I am in because it is what God wants for me. He has a plan for me that is better than I could even imagine I just have to trust in that plan! I struggle like everyone does with giving over control of life and trusting in the plan but when I have he has worked within me in ways I never thought possible. So thank you to everyone who has walked with me this last year, who have helped me to find and grow my faith, who have and will continue to loved me, supported me and pray for me. God has put you in my life for a very special reason and I am beyond thankful! I am a better Christian because of the relationships I have developed this last year. Here's to the future, to the plan that is unknown and to following Gods plan! I can't wait to see what it is!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Search Is On

It's offical I am only 21 days from taking my last final! Thats right only three weeks!!! But who is counting? Certainly not me :D I am beyond excited and so ready to have that pretty little piece of paper in my hot little hands. I'm mean come on who doesn't want a very expensive piece of paper which basically says the person who has earned it is really good at following directions?

So being this close to graduating what have I been up to you ask? Well basically I have been looking for a job that will actually use my degree. With the job market the way it is this is WAY harder than it should be. I know... I know... I'll pause here while you collect yourself from the shock of that statements. So weird and radom isn't it? This month alone I  have sent out almost 30 applications. Yes thats right 3 - 0!!!

I'm pretty sure my cover letter has been rewritten more times than I can count. Not to mention all the times that I have changed my objective statement on my resume. I understand that this is all part of the "game" as they call it, but COME ON! There has to be a way to make this easier and more efficent. Don't even get me started on the whole online application process! To me it's sad that so many corporations make their interviewing decisions on whether or not someone's resume has the right words on it is so it gets past the software.

To be honest this has been one of the most depressing things I have ever done. It's back to that age old issue of you have to have experience to get the job but if you don't get a job you don't have the experience. UGH!!!!!!! It's beyond frustrating! I mean come on people I'm applying for jobs that you only have to have a high school degree for and I have a college education. I'm pretty sure I can do acount recievable work for a hospital! They do make you take accounting and finance classes in BUSINESS SCHOOL. I'm just saying!

In all seriouness I know God has a plan for me and he is leading me down the road that he has planed out for me. I have to trust in his plan, trust that I will find a job that will allow me to serve him and to serve the community I live in, and trust that in the end it will all work out. For now I will continue doing what I have been doing, praying and sending out as many application as possible each day. If you are a praying person prayers would be much appreciated!

Until next time...

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Truth Behind Pinterest Projects - Month Onesies

One of my best friends is pregnant and due any day now. Well actually on September 8th but who is counting? It's close enough right? Anyway, I got off track. When my three other friends and I were talking about throwing her babyshower we wanted to do something different. Over the years we have been to so many showers, they all tend to become uniform after awhile, and we wanted to do something different for Megan. But then steps up the wonderful time wasting invention of Pinterest. Man are there a ton of ideas out there!

Since I started on Pinterest I have had a board to keep shower ideas on. As soon as we nailed down the date for Megan's shower I started going back through it to see what ideas I could come up with. Knowing Megan and how girly she is we decided to make the month onesies and three tutus to go a long. This is another one of those it seemed like a brilliant idea at the time projects.

Looking at the pin it seemed really easy. You just have to print the month design you like on the iron on transfer paper and then iron it on to the onesies. Easy right? I mean what could possibly go wrong right? Well the answer is A LOT!

Well nothing went wrong... I guess... It is just another one of those it took WAY longer than I thought it would projects. I learned a couple of things that I would like to pass along to people before they attempt to do this project themselves.

First, I made the mistake of assuming that when I pulled the paper out of the box it would be clean and there would be nothing on it. WRONG!!! I didn't learn this until after I had printed the first four months and well I didn't really care. And I did go ahead and use them. There was nothing major on them just a bit of dust. At this point in time it didn't seem like a huge deal. So I just continued on. Sorry Megan :D

Second, even though it said not to you really should turn your iron up as high as it goes otherwise you may be working on those wonderful onesies for the rest of your life. Which is pretty much what I thought I would be doing! On a couple of the onesies it took over 30 minutes and I was less than excited about it. And got to the point where I was not a very pleseant person to be around! But as soon as I turned the iron up I was able to knock out the last few pretty barn cute!

I do have to admit they are beyond cute and I can't wait to see baby Norah in them each month and I really do hope that Megan enjoys them!

**During this project I didn't take a lot of pictures but here is the finished project.**

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Truth Behind Pinterest Projects - Paint Chip Dry Erase Calendar

I'm way behind on blogging in general but I'm also behind on blogging about my Pinterest Projects so I guess I will continue to try and get caught up.

I'm a very organized person and I love using calendars to keep everything straight. I know it's totally weird I get it. For years I have been using one of those plain white and black dry erase calendars but I was getting really tired of it. So imagine my excitment when I was scrolling through Pinterest one day and found the pin where you can make a dry erase calendar out of a frame with glass, scrapbooking paper, paint chips (I borrowed mine from Wal-Mart, they were so sweet to let me use them!) and some tape! This is probably one of the easiest projects I have done, but then again my OCD took over making it take longer than it probably needed to.

The first thing to do is to decided how big you want yours to be, I made mine 12" x 16". First things first and I had to get my supplies. I got two 12" x 12" scrapbook paper to use as the background and my frame, for 40% off, at Hobby Lobby, and about 20 of each paint chip of the color I wanted to use from Wal-Mart. You can do as many colors as you want so they more colors you use the less of each paint chip you will need.

First I cut all the paint chips down to 2" x 2", my OCD started to kick in a bit here but it wasn't terrible. Of course I was trying to make everything perfect. This was probably the most time consuming part of the project. After cutting down the scrapbooking paper to fit inside my frame I started to lay out where the squares would go on the background.

After figuring out where all the squares would go on the background I used regualar wrapping tape to secure all the squares.

The last step is to just put it in the frame and hang it up on the wall. I would caution anyone that is going to try this project to be aware of the way it will hang on the wall. Mine had those little triangle things on the back and it was a pain in the you know what to actually get hung up.
I took this project one step further and since I had some scrapbooking paper left over and a few black frames I put the paper in the frames and hung the frames next to the calendar. I use mine for a To Do list and a place to write items I will need at the grocery store


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Truth Behind Pinterest Projects - Towel Shag Rug

Most everyone is on Pinterest and we all have created these boards that have such amazing and great ideas on them. They look so cool, and of course have to be easy to do... Right? If only that was true. I have started doing some of these projects and at the encouragement of my friend Andrea I have decided to start blogging about my experiences with them. Maybe this will give some people a couple of laughs, or give up the truth about these projects, who knows.

Two weekends ago, Andrea and I were hanging out watching a movie and doing what we always do, looking at Pinterest. She showed me this pin about a rug that was made out of towels, and it was the same pin I had just pinned earlier that day. So we got the bright idea that we would try it out. And I got the even brighter idea that I would make two, a brown one for my bathroom and a black one for my kitchen. Let me just take a moment right here and say that this is not my finest moment is my crafting history. I mean come on I'm the girl that my friends won't let use a glue gun!

The following day Andrea and I set out to gather the supplies and make the rug. We had no doubt in our minds that we would be able to get it done in one day. Boy were we mistaken! We first went to the west Hobby Lobby to find the rubber mat part to create the base. Well of course they didn't have it, so we decided to head over to JoAnn's fabric. SCORE!!! We were able to get it for by the yard there for $3.99 a yeard with a 50% off coupon. (Jenna would be so proud of us!) Next we headed to the first Wal-Mart, yes thats right the first Wal-Mart. We were able to find the towels that we wanted and they were on sale for $2.33!!!! But of course they only had three, and since both of use were going to be making brown rugs we would need more than 3 total. Hence the trip to the second Wal-Mart, where we got VERY lucky and I was able to get the 3 brown towels and 3 black towels that I needed and Andrea was able to get the 5 brown towels that she needed since her rug was going to be bigger. Happily we grabbed some lunch and headed back to Andreas house to wash and dry the towels so we could get started.
Note: Terry cloth sheads like NONE OTHER!!! Be prepaired, if you do this project, it will make a mess! A very big one and you will be finding piece of the fuzzy from your towels for weeks after in places that you have no idea how it got there.

The pin called for the towels to be cut into strips 5-6 inches long and about 3/4 of an inche thick. We quickly found out that this is going to be VERY time consuming. In the time it took us to watch, The Hunger Games, Thor, Captian America, And Iron Man 2 we were only able to cut up 6 towels, and that is with both of us doing it. By myself it takes about an hour and a half to cut one towel up. When we started to tie a few of the strips on we qucikly found that that 3/4 of an inche thick is was way to thick for the base we were using. So we ended up cutting them in half.
When it finally came time to tie the strips on I found that since the towel is so thick that I was able to skip every other row on the base which cut down the amount of towel I would need. I also, found that when I make the one for my kitchen I will skip two rows in between, as well as skipping everyother square. The one for my bathroom ended up being VERY thick and heavy. So I figure that I won't want the one for my kitchen to be as thick.
The original pin said that it would only take two to three towels to make an 18" by 2' rug. Let me say that I had to clue what size of rug I was actually making and had underestimated the amount of time it would take to make this and how many towels it would take. I had to be go out to a third Wal-Mart and get three more towels. I think the only person that actually enjoyed making this project was my dog Nikita. Who kept bringing her toys over and laying on it while I was cutting up strips.
By the time I finally completed this project I was over joyed it was finally over! I ended up running it throught the dryer about 4 times for a 30 minuted to get the majority of the fuzz off the rug. What is nice about it is that since it is made out of towels I will be able to wash it when ever it needs it.
I will tell you if you do want to make this rug prepair for it to take over your life and for it make a huge mess!!! But I do think that it was worth it in the end.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Let's Try This Again -- An Update

Wow, so it has been a very long time since I have updated this thing. Well good news is that I am still alive and my life has changed a lot since my last blog in September. It's been a long time since I have been able to say this but for the first time in four years, I can say with all honesty that the changes this past year have been for the better. Last December I made the decision to go back to school. This wasn't an easy decision since I didn't enjoy school the first time I did it. Well let me clairify that. I didn't enjoy the school part of it, I LOVED every minute of the social aspect of it! With a lot of pushing from Andrea, who actually did A LOT of research for me, and even more praying I made the decision to just do it. The weirdest part was that it all fell into place very easily, which I know in my heart was a complete God thing. It goes with out saying that I had my fears about doing this, and at times it has been hard and very stressful but I am very happy that I made the decision to do it. I took a full load in the spring semester and ended up with the best grades I have ever had in college. This summer I am enrolled in 7 hours and it is going to be a lot of work. I got an A in my pre-session so I am beyond happy about that. Currently I'm taking Econ 232, which I hate, and Cognitive Pshycology. After this summer I will have only 3 classes left to take and then I will be done!!! YAY ME!!! Before going back to school I never thought I would even consider going to grad school, but the closer I get to being done the more and more I started considering it. So after a lot of reserach done by Andrea, again, I think I have found the school that I am going to apply to. This is such an huge step for me. I don't have to apply until the end of this summer so I think that I am going to continue to pray about it and talk with my friend and family before I make the final decision. The thing that is hard for is that I'm not getting the support from my mom that I wish I was getting. Which had made the decision even harder for me. I am just going to have to trust that God has a plan for me and I will have to trust in that plan! I, also, have some how found my way back to the pool. Which is weird for me to say since after State my senior year I was very much over it and never wanted to go near trainiing again. Well ten years later it feels like I am home again. Don't get me wrong I still hate dragging myself there but once I am in the pool I am just so comfortable. There is this feeling of freedom I get when I am swimming, that I think only someone who swims can understand. It has been a very rough start and I definitly am not in the shape I use to be in, but I am starting to feel stronger each day and that is what matters in the end! It has taken me ten years to get this out of shape so I guess I can't expect to be back in shape like I was in two weeks! I would like to say that I would keep this up more than I have but your never know so I will try but no promises! Untill then...