Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Yankee Swap Escapade

One thing is certain, in a group of 25 people, agreeing on the rules of Yankee Swap is a challenge. Last night we had the annual senior high youth group Christmas party. We all brought our gifts (up to a $6 value) and then we had a nice time reading the Christmas story. When it came time to actually play the game, though, there seemed to be some question about how to actually play. We finally decided, but it definitely was a process. So I just looked up the official rules to the Yankee Swap. It turns out that my version of the Yankee Swap is a combination of the Yankee Swap and a White Elephant. Anyway, I think it's fun however you play it, since everyone goes home with a gift.

By the way, I ended up with a Star Wars figure... yippee...

Monday, December 11, 2006

UPS and New Bedroom Set

Lately I have been frustrated with UPS. I guess I am just really impatient and don't understand why it takes so long for a packaged to get from point A to point B. For example, today I knew I was getting packages delivered, and on the UPS tracking site they listed as being "out for delivery" from the Brewer UPS at 2:35am. Of course, I realize no one gets packages at 4am, but mine didn't get delivered until after we left for youth group, which was about 4:30pm. Hmmmmmm....

In addition, when I got home I thought the packages hadn't come at all. Why, you ask? Well they weren't on my back doorstep or inside the shed where they usually get dropped. So then I started to get really irritated, thinking that they hadn't arrived even though the tracking said they would be. But I checked one more place - the front door. Yup, they were on the front door step. Apparently I must have different delivery guys because they always leave stuff in different places.

Well on a more positive note, we had a huge blessing this past week. We got a beautiful bedroom set given to us, and my hubby and our friend Steve went and picked it up on Tuesday. In addition, Scott and I bought a new mattress set as our Christmas gift to go with the new bedroom set! It was so exciting to actually have furniture that matches and it looks amazing! Plus, it's a queen size set so Scott and I don't have to fight over space on the bed.

Hopefully I'll get some photos up sometime soon! For now, you'll just have to come visit and see it in person (if I know you, that is).

Sunday, December 03, 2006

A Good Day

Despite being very busy the past few days, today has been a good day. We got up and went to church this morning. After this, we had lunch with our wonderful friends Steve, Jess, Peter, and Shannon - and Nat, of course. Lunch was so yummy and just a lot of fun to talk and catch up. Then we all headed over to Shamrock Ridge Tree Farm where we all picked out our Christmas trees. How fun! Scott and I opted for a larger tree as usual, while everyone else went for a smaller tree. Then we each loaded up our trees and headed home.

While Scott helped out at Pioneer Clubs tonight, I decided to stay home and relax a bit. I got some cleaning done, laundry, as well as just resting. It's really nice after 4 days of 10-11 hour days at work. Once Scott got home, we put the tree up, although we're waiting to decorate so that we can have a nice, relaxing time.

Well I guess this isn't a real exciting blog. I'm just content tonight to be sitting on my couch, with my sweet doggy curled up next to me, and feeling ready for a new week.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


This week I think God has been causing me to realize just how much I have to be thankful for. And I guess that is what tomorrow is all about - giving thanks to God for what we have. I am just in awe of how much God has given me in my life, and how faithfully He provides.

I feel like this week in particular, God has been directing my steps and my interactions with people. Several examples of "coincidences" which I think are not all that coincidental. I won't go into them all, but I am just so thankful that God sometimes gives us glimpses of how much He cares about the little (and big) things in life.

As I think about all of this, though, I recognize the need I have to be constantly seeking Him for his guidance. With thinking about grad school, career decisions, and just generally how to best make use of the time on earth God has given me, I realize that I can never do this on my own. So lastly, I am thankful that my life truly is in His hands and not my own...

Thursday, November 16, 2006


We have returned from our college trip with the teens. And now I sit here exhausted! My eyes are drooping, my muscles ache, and the thought of my head on pillow is enticing. So that is where I will head very soon!

I just wanted to take a moment to write about our trip. We spent 6 days and 5 nights with 4 students visiting 4 different colleges and universities. It was an extremely fun, educational, and enjoyable trip. We did have a few detours on the way to PA, and then on the way back up to Mass we ran into major traffic, but God kept us so safe! We saw 12 deer total - 9 dead and 3 alive. So we're thankful that we didn't hit any. Plus, with the way people drive in NJ, we're really thankful we're alive!

Well all of the kids seemed to enjoy the trip and they all had the chance to learn about the different options available in this region. We had a rating system for all of our stops, including the colleges. Plus, we videotaped a lot so that hopefully we can go back and remember some of what we saw. That might help the students and their parents get to see what is available to them at the various schools.

Overall, I was inspired as well as grateful during this trip. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to attend Gordon College, which is one of the ones we visited. I absolutely loved my time there and believe that God led me there. I was also inspired to continue to seek God's will for my life, especially when it comes to continuing my own education. I have been praying for some time and am now seriously considering working towards my Masters if that is what God wants.

Also, although we had a lot of teasing about what college is better, etc, I know that God can use a variety of places to shape and mold each person and it doesn't always matter where you are but rather your attitude and pursuit of God while you are there. So my prayer is that each of the students would have gained some insight into the college game and be willing to pursue whatever God leads them to do.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Road Trip

Well we finally arrived at Kevin and Amy's in PA. We drove all day yesterday and it took 11 hours. We had a couple detours - once when Scott was driving (I gave correct directions but he missed the turn) and once when I was driving (he gave wrong directions and I followed them). But other than that, we had good weather and no major traffic jams. During our drive, our teens came up with a great game: Rate the Reststop! At every place we stop during our trip, we are coming up with ratings for the categories of Restrooms, Environment, Food, and Service. It is quite entertaining. So far, I think that Kev and Amy have the highest overall rating.

Anyway, today we visited Kev and Amy's church and it was tons of fun. Then we ate at Bertucci's, which was delicious. I still feel full 4 hours later! Well I have been helping Amy fix her blog so definitely check it out!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Nothing in particular

Well I just got done watching Lost and now I'm sitting here thinking I should blog. The problem is, I can't think of anything interesting to blog about. So I guess I'll just write a little about what's been going on lately.

On Oct. 28th, I held a scrapbooking fundraiser for Tommy. It was a great success, raising $330 for his wheelchair accessible van. That was a lot of fun and I was excited to see how many people came together to support Tommy!

Last week was a horror at work... just seemed like I was grumpy and then everything seemed to go wrong. I'm not sure how much was my own attitude and perspective, and how much of it was really things going wrong. Anyway, Saturday night was a welcome break from all the chaos.

On Tuesday Scott and I got a lot done on Tuesday around the outside of our house. We prepped for winter, putting away junk and trash. Scott mowed most of the lawn and I mulched some over my flower beds. It's nice to see how things look now. There's always more to do, but it looks much better!

Well, on Saturday we leave for the college trip... We're driving to PA with 4 college-bound high school students. It should be tons of fun since it's a small group and colleges are fun. And of course, we're visiting my alma mater. Plus, we get to see our wonderful friends Kev and Amy, and my lovely sister and her husband. Woohoo!

I guess I'm off. Scott is watching "CSI:NY" and it's about paintball, so I think he's really into it.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

A Lesson in Humility

Have you ever been told something about yourself that hurt because you knew, deep down inside, it was partly true? That happened to me this week. I was confronted with an issue about my personality that I know is an area of weakness, yet somehow it really bothered me that it was brought up.

I have been obsessing about it ever since. I keep replaying the conversation in my head and wondering if I was being defensive, not wanting to admit that this could be a problem. As much as I know it's an area of weakness, I also do feel that the way it was presented to me was not entirely accurate. After working in my field for over 4 years, this is the first time anyone has ever brought up this issue. So I keep thinking, Perhaps this is an isolated issue from one particular interaction. Or, perhaps this has been an ongoing problem with the way I interact, and no one has ever said something.

Regardless, I have been praying that God will reveal the truth to me. That I won't be too proud to accept the truth and work on it. And that I won't obsess but rather work on my attitude and gentleness with others.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

A few more pics of our weekend

Our campsite was huge!

Mia and I on top of Table Rock - tough climb but totally worth it! There was actually one part where there was a huge rock to climb over and there were bars to hold onto. Mia wouldn't jump up over it, so we found a spot for her to crawl through on the other side. It was so cute!

At night, it was very very cold. And since we were sleeping in a lean-to, we let Mia cuddle up between us to stay warm. We also had to cover her with a blanket so that she wouldn't shiver! Doesn't she look sweet?

Fall Retreat

Well Scott and I had our first vacation of the year. 4 days and 3 nights in the Maine woods. The first part of the adventure is that after driving almost 3 hours west to Mt. Blue State Park, we discovered that they were only open one more night for camping. So there we were, in the middle of nowhere, with nowhere to stay. So we pulled out my trusty Maine Gazateer and Atlas, and located another campground.

We drove to Coos Canyon Campground in Byron, Maine. It was beautiful and we got the best campsite with tons of space, a lean-to, and it was right above the river! We had a fabulous time reading, talking, exploring Coos Canyon, hiking into Angel Falls, and touring Grafton Notch State Park.

The final part of the adventure is the most exciting. I'm sure you've heard about the murders that took place a few weeks ago in the Bethel/Newry area of the people in a B&B. So I was already a little weirded out by every strange noise or sound, and if Mia barked I made sure that I paid attention. Well on our last day, I was going to go out to the car to start getting it packed up. Scott stayed back at the campsite getting everything else ready to go. When I got to my car, I noticed an older, bearded man, standing 20 or 30 feet from the car just looking around. He saw me, nodded, and then started walking away. It was then that I noticed he was carrying a guitar and a rifle! Ok, so now I'm freaked out. So I went back to the campsite as quickly as possible and told Scott that I wasn't going back out there by myself. So we went to the car together. On the way back, we heard people yelling stuff like, "Have you found him yet?" I said to Scott, "I bet they're looking for the psycho old guy". And, just as I said it, we arrived back on our campsite and saw the guy walking onto our site. He just wandered over and it was so weird. Scott went over cautiously and asked if he could help him. Apparently he said he's supposed to be shooting a movie with friends but couldn't find them. So Scott told him about the people over on the bridge and he walked that way. Of course, this whole time Mia was barking like crazy at the guy. When he finally left, Scott told Mia to be good. I said, she is being good - she's protecting us from that crazy man!

So anyway, I'm thankful that we didn't freeze to death or that I didn't get shot by some psychopath in the Maine woods...

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Old Friends and New

Well I am reflecting on how blessed I am to have amazing, wonderful friends. My friend Jessica came to visit last weekend - she was only here for 1 night and I only saw her for a total of 6 hours, but it was completely wonderful. She was my roommate in college for sophomore and senior years, and we just have a great connection. She spent the past year in China so we hadn't talked in over a year - but when we got together it was like we never spent a day apart! I just love that!
She arrived at my home Friday around 5pm. I showed her my home as she had never seen it, and then we went to the Bangor City Forest for a walk. It was great to just talk and enjoy the beautiful Maine air. Then we went out to eat along with my hubby and had lots of fun laughing and sharing about our lives. Once back at home, I got to see some (not all) of her photos from China. They were so amazing! She spent a big part of her time in some of the larger cities doing language study, but then the rest of the time she traveled around western China seeing some of the much more rural areas of the huge country. It was hard to go to sleep that night because I just wanted to use up every possible minute talking with her, but the fact that I had to work the next morning motivated me to get some sleep. Anyway, it was a blessed time with an old friend.
Then recently I've also connected with my friend Tony. We were friends in high school and sort of lost touch during the college years. Now he's married to Jolie and we have reconnected through myspace - of all things! So they invited us over for dinner Saturday night. It was so much fun! I had never met Jolie before, plus they had two other friends there - Morgan and Jason. It was great to catch up with an old friend - Tony - but also start to develop new friendships with everyone else. We laughed so hard that I started to have trouble breathing (the only time my asthma kicks in is during intense laughter), and we had serious conversations about faith and church and life. And we played Cranium - girls vs. boys, and the girls won - of course!
That's what I've been thinking about today, so I thought I'd share.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Yesterday was an important day for a few reasons. One - the most obvious - was that it was the 5 year anniversary of the day our country was attacked by terrorists on 9/11. I remember the day it happened. I was at Gordon in a class upstairs in the chapel. One of my classmates had gone to use the bathroom, and when she came back up, she brought us the news. Our country was under attack. It was a shock to us all. We stayed in class for a little bit, but then most of us were wanting to go call our families and find out what was really going on. We went downstairs and I headed to Lane where I saw people gathered around the televisions. It was then that it hit me - this was big. I decided to head to my room where I could process what was going on. I called my mom and she had not been aware of it. I went to school about 1/2 hour from Boston, which is where some of the planes were hijacked from, so it was close to where I was.

All of this took place on my 21st birthday. It was hard to celebrate on that day - a day of tragedy, sorrow, and death. And now, 5 years later, I will never forget that day. I hope that we always remember how we felt on that day and how we came together for the sake of our neighbors.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Life Is Good

Well I'm sitting on the couch watching TV with my dog curled up at my feet. Yes, she's supposed to sleep only on the futon, but lately we've let her up on the couch when we're up with her. (We're softies...)

Anyway, life is good. I just had a 4 day weekend with my hubby. We got a bunch of stuff done plus had some nice time with each other. It's been a while since we've been able to do that. One of the most exciting things we did this weekend was paint our bedroom and our guest room. We painted our previously dark teal bedroom a light gray-blue and then sponge painted a darker bluish gray over it. It looks so good! I am so excited, because our room is so much brighter and happier to be in now. And, the guest room which used to be sky blue is now a nice sea green-blue color. Plus, both rooms ceilings are now painted white instead of icky half-painted grossness.

So it's been nice, and I am not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow. I feel like I need another day off so that I can clean up all the mess we've made with the painting projects... Well I'm signing off for now. I'm going to finish off my weekend with a nice bubble bath.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Profiling and other stuff

I hesitate to express my political views on my blog for some reason. I usually like to just write about my everyday life and the goings on around small town Maine. However, today I am just frustrated about a few things.

Airline travel. Profiling or not. Some photos I just viewed.

A few weeks ago I traveled from NH to MN. As I went through the security checkpoints, I was asked how old I was. (Instead of just being asked for an ID). Apparently I looked under 18??? Then she asked for my ID, as if I looked suspicious and probably had a reason to lie about my age... Then I was asked to take my shoes off even though I was wearing Teva flip flops. I started to do it even though I was thinking, "What are you, an idiot? Can't you see these are flip flops and I'm obviously not storing some C4 under my heels?" As soon as I began removing them, another security guy said, "No, those shoes are okay", and I breathed a sigh of relief that one person actually has some common sense.

So profiling. I am not sure what I think. In a way, it is sort of obvious that the majority of the suicide bombers and hijackers were of Middle Eastern descent. Therefore, it does make sense to me that airport screeners, etc, would pay closer attention to that same group of people when they are going through security. We do this all the time. For example, what comes to mind when I mention pit bulls, rottweilers, or german shepherds? Probably you're thinking that those dogs are dangerous and more likely to bite. As a home owner, I know that my insurance bans these dogs - they won't insure my home if I own one. I know that not all pit bulls, rotties, and shepherds are dangerous. I know that they are not necessarily any more likely to bite than another dog - just that they do more damage when they do bite. However, I also know that I'm probably going to be more on guard around a 140 lb rottie than a 65 lb golden retriever. Why? Because statistics show that rotties do more damage and have a different temperament than retrievers. (By the way, rotties are my favorite dogs).

Ok, so some of you are probably raging at the computer screen right now saying, "Are you comparing anyone of Middle Eastern origin with dangerous dogs?" No, I'm not. What I am saying is that if a certain group of people is known to be doing a particular thing (i.e. teen gang members spraying graffiti or middle age white men looking at child porn), then I think that it make sense to look more closely at that group when you are trying to prevent a crime. I don't think the first person the police will look at in a marijuana bust would be my 75 year old grandmother....

I guess I'm done rambling. Agree? Disagree? Feel free to share your comments...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


It's interesting how you can go days, even weeks and months, without hearing from certain people in your life - and then boom, all at once, you get reconnected. This just happened today. I opened my email and had about 6 or 7 emails from former LASPers. LASP (Latin American Studies Program) is a program that I did my junior year in college. It was by far the best semester of my college life. I lived in Costa Rica with a Costa Rican (or "Tican") family and studied amongst an amazing group of college students from all sorts of Christian colleges across the country. We laughed, cried, learned, and traveled together. Sometimes we even threw up together (remember that Cuba trip?). I am always thinking of my experiences during those 3 and 1/2 months and how they have molded me into who I am today. Although I had done some short term missions trips before that experience, LASP was truly a turning point in my life. I was challenged to really assess how I live, not just what I believe. And I did so in an incredibly supportive group of men and women who were all wrestling with this same issue.

I love looking back over my photos from this experience. And I love encouraging others to take the opportunity to travel and study abroad, because there's really no way I would've learned all I did sitting in a college class about Latin American culture.

Well, anyway, it's good to reconnect. It's good to remember. I love this verse which summarizes why I believe so much in journaling and photos as a powerful tool: "You will be able to tell wonderful stories to your children and grandchildren about the marvelous things I am doing among the Egyptians to prove that I am the LORD." (Exodus 10:2)

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Why Album Making?

I love Creative Memories! Ok, most of you who know me already know this. But it is really true. I went to Showcase (our national convention) last week and it was so amazing. I am realizing just how important creating albums can be for people. Not only to preserve the photos and the stories, but really to heal, encourage, and grow someone.

If you want to know more, check out this movie. I am actually watching Scrapped right now and it is so great. It shows how album making can be something that ANYONE can do, including a motorcycle riding tough guy. Everyone has a story to tell! That's why I love CM's new tagline: Your Life | Your Story | Your Way.

Anyway, there's my rant for the day. Do you have photos? How much do they mean to you? Think about it. Then go to my site or find a consultant near you.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Vacation Adventures

So much has happened in the past week that it feels like I've been gone a year. I have had an incredible week full of fun, challenges, being stretched, learning, laughing, crying, and loving. To start, our trip to Soulfest was great. We knew it was a true youth group trip when we had not 1 but 2 tires blow out on the way there. Then when we did arrive at SoulFest (7 and 1/2 hours later), no one seemed to know where to send us. We finally made it to our campsites - on the side of a ski slope. It took some time to set up all the tents on the flattest area we could find, and even then I think most of us slid down in our tents every night.

Anyway, it was a blast going to the concerts, having meals at the campsite, hanging out with all the teens, and going to a women's conference there. I really enjoyed Constance Rhodes who runs Finding Balance. She was a great speaker and challenged me in many areas. Specifically she talked about how we as women are constantly comparing ourselves to each other and the reason is that we are focused on ourselves. I was challenged to remember that it's not about me and that when we take our focus off ourselves and put it onto God, that is when he makes us truly successful.

As for the concerts, I'd have to say that Newsboys were my fave. I've seen them several times before but there was something about this concert that hit me. Peter Furler was open, honest, and talked about having a true hunger for God's word. He said that for a long time, he didn't really have a hunger and found it a struggle to read the Bible. So he began to pray about it, and that is when God's word came alive to him. I realized that I have been in a place of complacency, where I do read God's word but I don't hunger for it. So I am praying that God will put in my heart a desire to know his word and meditate on it.

On Saturday I had to leave all the fun of Soulfest to head to Minneapolis for the Creative Memories Showcase. As sad as I was to leave the group, I was very excited to attend Showcase and learn all that I did. Once I arrived I found that our hotel was not exactly in the best part of town and we had a tight squeeze with 6 people in our suite. There was only 1 double bed - everyone else had to sleep on the floor, a sofa bed (which felt like sleeping directly on springs), or a cot. Thankfully, my roomies were gracious and allowed me to sleep on the bed since I'd been camping the previous 4 days. Praise God!

At Showcase, we had the privilege of hearing Dewitt Jones speak and share his photography. He was amazing - not only the photos but his story as well. I enjoyed it immensely and of course did some crying as well. I also had fun shopping at MarketPlace, which is full of CM goodies and gifts that you can't find anywhere else! I'll use them for my hosts, downline, and customers (and myself of course). We also had lots of training, saw all kinds of new products, heard from consultants on the mainstage, and had a great time dancing on the stage after the closing session. Yes, we stayed there until about 11:30 (it ended at 10:30) dancing and having fun. Then we headed back to our hotel (again, in the not so great part of town) and finally got to sleep around 1am. Then I was up at 4am to head to the airport for my 6am flight. I arrived in Manchester aound noon and finally got home around 5pm. I'm happy to be home even though I didn't want all the adventures to end. Sometimes it's nice to sleep in your own bed... where I'm headed now.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Blogging Hiatus

I want to apologize in advance that I will be out of the blogosphere starting Wednesday for a full week. That is, unless I manage to find internet access at a music festival in NH or at the CM Showcase in MN. We shall see...

As for an update around here, I am currently sitting in my living room watching my dog play with a yogurt cup. I should probably take it away from her, seeing how she is now actually eating the plastic. The other things I need to do are: pack for 2 separate events that I am going to one right after the other, pay bills for the next week since we'll be gone, do lots of laundry so that we can pack, prepare for Monday night youth group, and lots of other stuff that I'm not thinking of. I guess I should go and start perhaps getting ready for all the fun!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Funniest Thing Ever

Today I saw one of the funniest things ever. Perhaps it won't be funny to you, but it was to me. Scott and I decided to head down to the coast today due to it being beautiful, sunny, and one of the only days that we have had or will have together in a while. So we went to Acadia National Park and decided to go to a place we hadn't been - at least not together. We went to Seawall down in Southwest Harbor. It was BEAUTIFUL! It was the perfect spot - not too many people, plenty of rocks to explore and sit on, and tons of ocean to see and listen to. I could stay there for hours.

Anyway, back to the funny thing. We, of course, had our dog Mia with us. She's a cutie and always loves to go on road trips. This morning when we said, "You wanna go for a ride", she began running around the house like crazy, then banging into the back door window, indicating that yes, in fact, she did want to go for ride. So once down at Seawall we had lunch while sitting on the rocks. They were so beautifully smoothed by years of the pounding ocean. After lunch, we walked over to a section of rocks that juts out into the ocean, and the waves come crashing down onto them. Mia always loves playing in water (although she's learned the difference between fresh and salt water), so she began exploring and checking out the tidal pools. A few moments later, a huge wave came crashing down in front of her. This is the funny part - she ran away like she was scared! She usually plays and makes splashes of her own, but this time she had no control over the splashes. She began running out onto the rocks, only to retreat when the waves would come. Then she began barking loudly at the waves, as if to scare them away. Scott and I could not control our laughter! It was just hilarious!

To try and remember this moment, I gave Scott the camera and asked him to take a few photos of Mia and I near the water. Mia didn't really like this idea - she thought that going up with Scott to higher ground looked better. But I got her to stay with me for a few shots. Here's one where you can actually tell that she is trying to get away from the water!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The My Space Debate Vol. 2

Well, because there was so much to-do about my space a while back, I decided to go ahead and get my own my space site. I figured that would be the best way to determine whether this is a good or bad thing, or just something that is based on how you use it. And, to my surprise, I've learned how addicting it can be. Uh-oh. I discovered, for example, about 5 or 6 friends that I went to high school with, and about 5 or 6 that I was friends with in college. And I know there's more out there! It's actually fun and makes me feel very reminiscent of the "good old days" in high school and college. It's also neat to see where all those people are at in life - married, kids, careers, etc., and how people have or have not changed.

So, as for the good, bad, or neutral issue on my space... I've yet to decide. Although I'm leaning towards the neutral option - I think it's really about how it is used. My Space offers people a chance to connect with new friends or old. It offers a place to express your views and share your thoughts. The danger is in the fact that there are SO MANY people on my space, and there is absolutely no way to know who someone is unless you know them in REAL life (i.e. not just cyber-life). I've yet to have any strange people try and become my friend... but my husband already did and I can see how an insecure, lonely teen could easily be lured into a very bad thing.

Well I guess you could say I'm doing an "invesitigative study" on the issue by becoming a My Space member. While doing so, I'm having fun reconnecting with people. At the same time, I'm recognizing how easily one could spend hours upon hours without even reazling it!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A Day Away

On Tuesday I took a day for myself. It's not often that I do this, and I just felt the need to get away. There are times that I just want to drive, and drive, and drive. So, on Tuesday, I did that. I took Mia with me, but Scott couldn't go because of speaking at Fairhaven this week. We drove down to the coast, to little towns and inlets and stuff. Finally we arrived at our desired location - Blue Hill Falls. It's a set of reversing falls that change with the tides. When we arrived, there were some people kayaking through the falls. We went down to one side of the beach and it started to rain. Shortly after, it stopped raining and the sun came out. I was so thankful, because I was able to find a nice spot to sit, let Mia run around exploring, while I sat, read, and prayed. It was nourishing to my soul and my body. Just sitting in the sun, watching the waves and listening to the ocean sounds. One of the best places on earth to be...

Here's a few shots of the beauty of the day.

This one is funny because Mia is rubbing her head on the barnacles on the rocks. She really liked the smell or the feeling perhaps? What a goofball.

My feet as I was sitting next to the ocean.

Mia sitting beautifully next to the ocean.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Our Latest Adventures

Last Monday Scott and I went and hiked a mountain and explored the wonderful coast of Maine. It was a great time because I love both the mountains and the coast. I could sit for hours just listening to the ocean. We enjoyed the sunny, clear day and the crisp ocean air. Here aresome fun shots of our adventures.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


How does one determine which priorities are the most important? How does one decide where to spend her time or energy? It seems that every day there are new, more pressing things that must be done, yet still only one me to do them. It seems that there are many people with many expectations and many needs. Yet only one me to handle all that.

It's an ongoing struggle, I know, for most of us. Yet somehow these days it just seems more real than ever. I want to be spending so much time doing each important thing in my life. I want to be the best wife I can be and truly meet my husband's needs. I want to be available for our youth group girls and really focus on them. I want to be a good social worker and supervisor at the group home and help others learn and grow. I want to reach out to new people who want to take care of their photos and share their memories and stories with others. I want to be working in my garden and stopping all the weeds from coming up. I want to jump on my bike and ride away...

Well, there's a piece of me right now.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Discrimination Against Small Feet

I told my friends this story this morning at church and they asked if I had blogged about it yet. Well, here it is. So I went to a local sporting goods store recently and found a pair of the cutest Teva sandals. I just loved them and tried on a pair. They were close to my size, but not quite. See I have small feet (size 6 in women's), and the shoes were a 7. So I looked over the entire rack, only to be disappointed. Then I went to the counter to request a size 6. The clerk told me they don't carry size 6 in the store normally. I found this odd, and mentioned that it sounds like discrimination against small feet. The guy said whenever they carry size 6 or 6 and 1/2, they always sell out so quickly. Which again made me wonder why they don't normally carry those sizes: more sales = more money, right?

Anyway, I was forced to wander away from shopping locally (after searching several other local stores for those exact sandals, only to find the wrong sizes and colors) to shopping online. And after much searching, I found what I was looking for on (click to see the sandals). I ended up getting 2 pair and receiving free shipping.

So tough luck to the local stores who decided that small feet don't deserve the same treatment of cute shoes!

Friday, June 30, 2006

Fun in the Sun!

As the sun peeked through the clouds at the end of the day today, it made me think of all the fun we've had thus far this summer. Here's a few shots of our adventures. Here's a shot of our nephew and our dog, Mia. They are good pals, especially when they get to play together in the water.

Here's me getting ready to go for a kayak ride. NO, Mia, you are not going with me!

Lastly, here's Mia splashing in the water. She likes to try and bite the water, which results in her drinking a huge amount! On this day, she realized that she actually does like swimming. Usually she just wades in the water, but here she finally swam, getting her entire body wet!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tommy Needs a Van

We have a young man in our youth group, Tommy, who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and is in need of a wheelchair van. Please visit his website to learn more about his needs. Also you can see their blog to learn about their progress in raising money. I really hope and pray that Tommy and his family will be able to get the money they need for this so that Tommy can participate in the normal, everyday activities that he enjoys, such as coming to youth group.

My Sister's Wedding

My little sister got married on Saturday. It was an exhausting weekend, but everything turned out nicely. Here are a few photos from the event. Of course, I was in the wedding so I didn't get to take any of the actual ceremony.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

My Fortune

I like Chinese food. It's yummy. Sometimes I buy it. A few weeks ago, I stopped by a new Chinese place on Main St in Bangor. I got what I usually buy - Chicken Chow Mein with Pork Fried Rice and a side of Teryaki Beef. It wasn't the best Chinese food I've had, but it did the trick of curing my immediate hunger pains.

The most interesting part of the meal was the fortune cookie. Now, while I find any "dessert" that doesn't involve chocolate to be proposterous, I still usually eat my fortune cookie. When I opened mine up, I found the most absurb fortune ever: "You love Chinese food." It made me laugh, along with everyone else that was sitting around watching me eat. What kind of fortune is that anyway? You bought the food, so of course you like it! It's not a fortune at all, it's simply a statement of the obvious. I mean, it's not that I put any faith in the "fortunes" in fortune cookies, but come on - it should at least be something that makes me wonder... "You'll meet a true friend today" or "Your truest friend will betray you"... be creative already!

So, to whoever writes those fortune cookies, here are a few suggestions:

  • Find a way to incorporate chocolate into Chinese food desserts.
  • Don't simply state the obvious in the fortune cookies.
  • Or, if you do state the obvious, make it funny. ("You'll be hungry 1 hour from now").

Friday, June 16, 2006

Being Sick

Well, being sick isn't fun. Over the past 2 weeks, I've been sick quite a bit and I am ready to be done. I am feeling better right now, but as I learned Wednesday, just because you feel okay for a few days doesn't mean you're all better. I finally went to the doctor on Thursday because I though something must be up. So apparently I have a sinus infection, which is probably what was causing the major headaches, followed by nasuea and vomiting. Oh, yes, fun fun. So now I'm on an antibiotic and hopefully that'll help. I guess if it doesn't we'll be looking at migraines possibly. Who knows really. I'm looking forward to having full energy again and being able to go out to eat with my hubby as we had planned for our anniversary (4 years!).

I realize that this is an extremely boring post but when you've been sick there's not a lot of exciting things to write about...

Monday, June 12, 2006

Promised Photos

Sea Otters at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. This is where we spent our last night during the wonderful CM trip to Monterey in May. We had the whole aquarium to ourselves, and we spent the evening seeing all the amazing sea creatures. I have to say that sea otters are my favorite!

The Lone Cypress on the Seventeen Mile Drive. This was such a beautiful spot on the California coast. I was so excited to get to go on the drive with some fellow CM Consultants that I met while in Monterey. This was my favorite part of the trip - I love adventure and couldn't pass up the opportunity to see more of God's amazing creation!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The My Space Debate

So there's this discussion going on between myself, my coworkers, and my friends. It's in regards to blogging, particularly on "myspace". The more and more I see and hear about my space, the more I am concerned about the state of teenagers right now. I definitely think having a place to air your thoughts and feelings is great... the problem is when this becomes someone's primary form of communication. And when the communication is also full of inapporpriate, sometimes pornographic photos.

Here's a conversation I had with one of the kids at the group home where I work.
Me: We are not going to allow my space to be used anymore during your internet time.
Teen: But I won't be able to talk to my brother.
Me: Doesn't your brother have access to a phone?
Teen: Yes, but he doesn't like talking on the phone.
Me: Well, there are plenty of other options to communicate with people outside of my space. I'm sure you'll find a way.

It's amazing to me that some teens now think that this "blogging" world is the only way to have relationships. Note, I am using broad generalizations here. I recognize that not everyone who uses my space is living in a bubble with no other communication. However, it is concerning to me because I was a teen not so long ago, and I remember the ease of having very open conversations using "IM" and email. Now, that is changing more to the "my space" world.

Well I guess I am undecided on this issue. At the group home, we finally decided to just stop allowing them to use my space because so much of it was inappropriate. However, I do think that there is some benefit to this type of interaction when it is used appropriately. Any thoughts? Post a comment.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Lapse in Posting

So sorry for my recent lapse. I have been doing lots of traveling this month, along with many other fun things. My most recent trip was to Monetery California for an all expense paid trip that I earned with Creative Memories. It was amazing and wonderful! I was pampered and had an amazing time. I plan to post a few photos of it soon.

Anyway, this past week has been spent trying to get caught up on everything that was neglected the first 3 weeks of May, such as laundry, bills, and housework. Plus I had a lot to do at work since I had used so much vacation time this month. It's amazing how much doesn't get done that other people are perfectly capable of doing... Hmmm - well, I guess that's why they call me a supervisor and pay me to do that stuff.

Well, I have a dentist appointment at 7:30am tomorrow - not looking forward to that at all. In the long run, it's a good thing, but I just have never enjoyed going to the dentist. I must get some sleep and hope that I wake up feeling much more energized and less lazy than I did today!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Things To Do

I'm a list person. I write lists to keep track of everything that I need to do. So, here's a few things I need to do tomorrow:

  • Go to work (8am-8pm)
  • Do laundry
  • Pack for trip to California
  • Pay bills
  • Make phone calls
  • Pick up stuff from a friend
  • Drop off an album to another consultant
  • Go to the post office
  • SLEEP!
I leave for California Thursday morning, so tomorrow seems like it's going to be crazy. I am regretting not requesting tomorrow off and just taking one long vacation instead of 2 shorter ones. However, it will be good to get caught up on work stuff and see how things are going at the group home.

Well I must go, as I need to head to bed (been up since 4am today... driving from PA to home).

Monday, May 15, 2006


So we're on vacation in PA. We drove down on Friday and we're returning tomorrow. I have a few minutes so I thought I'd post. This has been a wonderful trip so far. We arrived Friday night around 7pm, not in time to go to my sis' baccalaureate service. So we just stayed and hung out at Kev and Amy's. They live about 1 hour east of Eastern (where my sis graduated from), so Saturday morning we got up bright and early to make it to the graduation. There we met up with my mom, stepdad, grandparents Pier, grandmother Lawrence, and Uncle Norman. We also managed to find Rich (Naomi's fiance) and Shannon (her friend). The graduation was long but good. We could just barely see Naomi as she walked across the stage to receive her diploma, but we cheered loudly.

After all the graduation proceedings and photo ops, we headed over to Bertucci's. This is one of my fave restuarants, but we don't have one in Maine (silly!). We ate with our family and Rich's parents, which was really nice. I had never met his parents before, so it was good to talk with them for a while. Plus, we had the Silano pizza which is wonderful! Unfortunately, the waiter was horrible - and since we were a large group, he automatically got an 18% tip. Urgh. I hate that, especially when you have a bad waiter. It's like they don't even try because they know they're going to get a good tip. After lunch we spent about 3 hours helping my sister pack up all of her stuff and load it into 3 different vehicles (mine, my mom's, and her's). I helped take some stuff over to the place where Rich and Naomi will be living after they get married. It's a beautiful house, and they'll be having an apartment in this old woman's home. They also get a den downstairs, which they'll need to clean up - but it'll be worth it since it has a fireplace!

Well other fun stuff - we went with Kev and Amy to their church Sunday. We've also had fun playing games (such as Boxers and Briefs) and also watched the Survivor Finale. Today we're headed to watch a movie and go out to lunch. FUN FUN!

I must be going as Kev and Amy have returned and we're leaving soon for our movie. Woohoo!

Well other fun things -

Sunday, May 07, 2006

We're Back

Well I haven't posted in a while. This past weekend, my husband and I traveled to Portland for a marriage conference. Most people, when I told them we were going to a marriage conference, gave me sort of a funny look. Almost like - wow, they have those? Or, hmm, you guys must be having some problems....

Well, for Scott and I this wasn't the first time we'd been to a marriage retreat or conference. In fact, we had planned to go to one this past January - but those plans were cancelled due to my grandfather's death. I had no idea that just a few months later we'd have the opportunity to do something similar, but of course, God surprises us sometimes. The first blessing was that Scott and I were able to attend free due to the fact that he the youth pastor at our church. And once we got there, I knew we were there for a reason.

So to answer the first questions - no, you don't have to be having huge problems to attend a marriage conference, and yes, they do have them. This particular one was put on by Family Life, and it was definitely a wonderful weekend. I can't even begin to summarize all that I learned. But I will try a mention a few key points:

  • God's purpose for marriage is oneness, and Satan is our enemy. Your spouse is not your enemy!
  • We should not base our love or respect for our mate on their performance (how much or how little they meet our expectations), but rather on the fact that they are God's gift to us in this marriage.
  • Forgiveness is both an event and a process - reconciliation after deep hurts can take time and forgiveness may need to continue to happen over time.

In addition to all we learned, the speakers were also AMAZING. You can go to some conferences and feel like falling asleep. I especially enjoyed Brett Ray - he is a wonderful story teller and has an amazing testimony of God's grace. The other speaker was Gary Stanley, and he was good too. I bought his book What My Dog Has Taught Me About Life. I also bought the books When Life is Changed Forever and For Women Only (I began reading it on the way home - outloud - Scott thinks it's a great book). I am looking forward to reading all of these in the near future.

Well I have rambled on and on. One other great thing about the weekend was seeing our friends Becky and Andy. We stayed with them Saturday night, and they are so great. We talked, laughed, and even convinced them to maybe go on a marriage retreat sometime...

Friday, April 28, 2006

Email Etiquette

Ok, so the other morning I was on my way to work and listening to "Maine in the Morning" on 103.9 (I know Jess, you can shoot me later) and they were talking about email in the workplace, etc. It was about not emailing jokes in the workplace, spell checking before sending, NOT TYPING IN ALL CAPITALS, etc. All the things you shouldn't do in business or workplace emails. Like type incomplete sentences.

ANYWAY, I was at work the other day and my co-worker told me a very funny story. **Note**Somewhat inappropriate but funny story to follow.

So my co-worker, we'll call her Sara, was up late the other night. She is in the process of getting licensed as an LCSW for the state of Maine, and she was wanting to make sure she was aware of everything she needs to do. So she wrote an email (late at night) to the licensure board to clarify what she could do after graduating to expedite the process. She wanted to "get her ducks in a row". But, instead of typing "u" in the word "ducks", she typed an "i". She hit send before realizing what she had done, and then began to freak out a bit. Wouldn't you?

Moral of the story... spell check your emails before sending them, especially to very important people who may be deciding your future...

Friday, April 21, 2006

Busyness and House Woes

Ok, my posting has been, well, non-existent lately. Sorry - to all 2 of you who read my blog.

Anyway, life has been busy. Very exciting weekend a few weeks ago, with a great scrapbooking retreat followed by seeing my very good friend's baby 1 day old! Seems like since then everything's been a blur.

One of the things that's been taking up my time is working on home improvements. My husband and I bought an old home that was mostly in need of cosmetic repairs, but it still seems to be never-ending. Earlier this week I painted the kitchen ceiling, as well as the trim. I have another coat to do on the trim, as it is a darker color. Scott spent time putting up the trim in the bathroom, and it is beginning to look almost complete in there. Of course, we need to buy more trim, fill in nail holes on the trim, paint the trim, paint the ceiling... yes, the list goes on. We also finally have a door on the bathroom closet, and Scott painted that white - it looks so much better now! But yes, that needs a 3rd coat...

We've also been dealing with a water pressure issue since we bought the house (one of the non-cosmetic issues we were unaware of before buying) - as in, we have no water pressure. Yes, taking a shower is sort of like standing under a small trickle - you have to really work at getting wet. Anyway, my goal is to get that fixed soon. And of course we have the lovely outdoors to work on as well. I am planning a trip to Surry Gardens with my mother in law on Sunday, and looking forward to picking out some plants to add to my feeble attempt at gardening. We shall see what comes up this year after the strange winter we had in Maine.

Well I guess that's all. If you read this far, I am truly surprised. This is an extremely boring post tonight.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Congrats to Peter and Shan

Well, they did it. Our very dear friends, Peter and Shannon, had a beautiful baby girl on Saturday around noon. I am so very proud of them! And their baby, Natalie Sara, is beautiful - as you can see in the photo. It was truly a lovely experience to hold that new little life in my arms. We are looking forward to watching her grow and change...

And, if this is how emotional I am when my friend has a baby, I'll probably be a blubbering mess if and when my turn comes...

Friday, March 31, 2006

random thoughts late at night

I really shouldn't be up right now posting - I should be going to bed. But after working 11 hours, I needed some unwinding time. Plus, my hubby is away tonight leaving me alone (with the cat and dog to protect me).

Anyway, I was just reading Steve's blog ( about the latest Lost episode. I have to agree - a very good episode indeed. I was almost starting to get bored, but this week they amped things up and made it interesting again. I'm still trying to figure out whether the guy in the hatch with Locke is a good guy or not. I guess based on the end of this last episode, we might be leaning towards the bad guy side. I don't know. I'm not very good at figuring out all the details - I just like the story line. I also like the character development and the flashbacks to the past.

Well, that's the end of any somewhat coherent thoughts to come out of my brain tonight. I need to get to bed so I can be back at work at 8am. Woohoo!

Sunday, March 26, 2006


We had our taxes done the other day. Just when I thought there might be a chance of not paying in this year (as we have the past 2 years), my hopes were dashed. No such luck. Once again, we owe the state of Maine and the federal government a chunk of money. It amazes me that we can owe this much. Even when we adjusted our withholdings back in April, it still ended up that we didn't have enough withheld. I am starting to get a little sick of this issue.

What's even more frustrating is working in social work and seeing where some of the money goes. Sometimes it amazes me how ungrateful people are when they are receiving so much stuff PAID FOR BY ME. It's like, oh, no big deal if that breaks - I'll just get a new one. Or, like one of the kids I work with - I didn't buy these shoes, so no big deal if I gamble with them and lose them - I'll just get DHS to buy me more.

Yeah, reality can be a bummer sometimes. So, once again we have to dip into savings to pay our taxes. Maybe next year we can finally break even!!

Thursday, March 23, 2006


There's not a lot to talk about right now. My mind is fried after working a 11 hour day. It wasn't difficult, I'm just finding that my brain doesn't want to think. But I know I haven't written for a few days, so I wanted to post.

My week with my business has been excellent. I had a great event the other night, and I have had 3 people join my CM team this month. I love doing something fun and rewarding. It's great.

It's also great to be back to my normal schedule at work - 4 days working, 3 days off. I am still learning so much and realizing how much I don't know. I pray that God will always keep me humble in this position. I am finding, though, that I really do enjoy my role and I love helping new staff learn new things about working with kids/teens. And of course, there's always adventure, like when a child runs away, etc. I thrive on change, so this works for me.

Well I guess my ramblings are done for tonight. I am going to have a snack, curl up on the couch, and watch something mindless on TV.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Life and Death

A few weeks ago, my husband shared with me that one of our youth group kids had led a friend to Jesus Christ. I was so excited to hear that and know that another person now has eternal life. On Sunday, he left his earthly body (what we refer to as death) and went to be with his Savior. It's a strange and sad, yet somehow hopeful, passing.

I know the pain of death myself, having lost my daddy when I was 13. He was 38, and his death was a tragic accident, similar to this young man's. Something that shouldn't have happened, something that might have been avoided if circumstances were different, yet something that no one can change. I've often wondered if I could go back and change the way that day went, would things be different? I was there - I was in the Jeep when Dad flew off the back rollbars onto the dirt road. What if Chip hadn't been driving? What if we hadn't left the baseball game? What if Dad hadn't been such an adventurous and risk-taking guy? What if?

I can imagine all the thoughts going through many of his friends' minds today. Probably similar to mine the days following the accident. Yet, no matter how many times I asked those questions, he never came back. I often imagined that maybe this was just some big joke, or perhaps some way for Dad to escape and go live a different life. Perhaps he really didn't die - maybe he's out there somewhere. See, the last time I saw him was lying on the ground on his side, blood flowing out of his ear. I never saw him in the hospital. How could I be sure that was really him in the casket? Your mind does strange things when you don't want to believe something is true.

So now, as I listen to the cries and see the tears of the precious young men and women of our youth group, my heart aches for them. I remember the pain, but this time I don't feel it - at least not as deeply as I have felt other losses. I didn't really know this young man, and as tragic as it is, I can't feel the depths of his friends' pain. I can only hope and pray that God will bring them comfort as he did for me. I remember lying on the couch and weeping - realizing all the things that I would never get to do with my father. Everyone said, "It's going to be okay". And I knew it wasn't. It wasn't because he wouldn't be there at 8th grade graduation, when I played sports in high school, when I received my diploma, when I got married, or had my first child... no, it wasn't going to be okay. Yet, somehow, almost 12 years later, it is. I am okay. I am different, but I am okay. And I know that the only reason I am okay is because of Jesus bringing me the comfort and peace that only he can bring.


Responsibility is an interesting thing. When it works to our advantage, we take full credit for it. However, when it means we might have to face something difficult, we shy away from it.

I had an interesting experience at work today. As a new supervisor amongst a group of employees, I am finding new challenges every day. One in particular is that many staff don't want to take responsiblity for passing on changes or decisions made to the clients. They, instead, believe that I (a supervisor) or one of the other supervisors should be doing this. In a sense, I can see their perspective. I have been there myself. There have been decisions made in other work settings that I have had to enforce and/or pass on to others. It's not always fun. However, it was part of my job. And so it seems, some people don't want to have to face the client's reaction to these decisions. And it's so minor, I can hardly even believe that they are getting upset about it.

The bottom line is, they want to be "buddies" or "friends" with the clients, and want the supervisors to be the "bad guys". That way, they will still be liked and "fun". Well, sorry - that's not what we're paying you to do. And the fact is, I have given info to the clients on many occassions - difficult info - which they have somehow managed to accept. Perhaps it's in the presentation? Perhaps it's going into it knowing that you can handle it and that the kid is probably gonna blow off steam and then be fine. Who knows...

Well, that's my soap box for the day. I think we all have parts of our job that aren't "fun", and we all need to recognize our responsiblities and own up to them - good or bad.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

A good day

Today has been a good day. One of the biggest reasons it's been a good day is because I got to sleep in! I love sleeping in, but I don't do it often anymore. It was nice to just lay in bed with my hubby and our cat curled up at our feet with the rain drizzling outside our window. Once I decided I could manage to wake up, I went downstairs to get ready for the day. I looked outside and noticed that our mailbox had disappeared. It disappeared into the ditch. Great... So I talked to Scott and we decided it was time for an upgrade in the mailbox department. We were headed into town anyway, so we figured we'd stop at Home Depot. We first went out to breakfast at Denny's - yummy. Then we went to Sam's Club to pick up some groceries and printer cartridges. It's amazing how you can rarely leave Sam's Club without spending at least $100!

Anyway, next stop was Home Depot. Scott was ready to pick out all the lumber he would need to make a nice wooden mailbox stand. Then I thought, "I wonder if they have pre-made mailbox stands." He said, "Maybe, let's check it out." Lo and behold, I was right! We got the stand and the metal thing to shove in the ground and we were done! I told him I preferred that option to him spending several hours attempting to make something, getting frustrated, and taking it out on me. (hmmm... that never happens, right?) He agreed this was the better choice.

Then we went to a movie - Failure to Launch. It was quite funny and it was nice since we rarely go out to movies. We had a nice time and then went home. Scott got the mailbox up and it looks great! Hopefully we won't have the disappearing mailbox problem again anytime soon. Plus, this just looks so much better than the metal post stuck into 3 cinderblocks.

Well, I guess that's all. I am now spending my evening working on Creative Memories stuff, and hopefully meeting with someone who may join my team. And since I slept in this morning, I'm sure I'll end up staying up later than I should and regret it in the morning...

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Walking the dog

Whenever we decide to take the dog for a walk, there's always something interesting that happens. Today I called Scott up from work and asked if he wanted to meet me at the Bangor City Forest for a walk. He agreed, albeit reluctantly, and at 3:20 we were headed down the path with Mia. Scott and I have different theories about Mia and whether she should always be on a leash when we walk in the forest. So, she was off leash, of course, when she ran down a side trail and crammed her entire head into what appeared to be some kind of poop. Lovely. Later when we encountered a stream, we tried to get some of it off her, but nonetheless, the smell remained. Scott said she could go home in my vehicle.

I decided to take advantage of the self-service dog wash at Petco. Wouldn't you know, they require you to have proof of rabies vaccination? Silly me - I forgot to bring that with me today. So I determined that she would be getting a bath when we got home. Mia does not like baths. She doesn't like going near the tub. We managed to get her in, and once she was there, she sort of cowered and sulked for the rest of the time. She did enjoy, however, the yummy peanut butter Scott fed to her as a reward for participating in this experience.

Anyway, we now have a shiny, clean dog. She looks and smells so much better! I know it'll happen again, probably the next time we take a walk in the woods, but hey - at least she'll look good for a few days....

Back to normal

I am finally back to my normal schedule at work! I am so excited. The past two weeks I've worked at 7am, which is not really my fave time of the day. So I am excited to be back on my Wed.-Sat. schedule, working usually not until 8 or 9am, and then I work later into the evening. So I have Sunday through Tuesday off, which is what I'm used to. Wooohooo!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Calendar Blocking

Learning about calendar blocking at my CM training was incredibly helpful. It's a familiar concept, but it's something you have to be consistent with for it to work. The idea is that you block off certain times during your week for different activities. For me, it's broken down into 3 categories - family, work, and business. The idea is that when you are doing, say, a business activity, that you're not also thinking about a family activity. Or, when you're doing a family activity, you're not also trying to do business-related tasks. It's a good philosophy, and it just takes planning out your week to make sure you stick to your goals. I have already felt better about the way my days are going because I've been following my calendar blocking.

Anyway, I realize this is sort of a boring blog today, but hey - it's my blog.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


My lack of posting recently is due to a few reasons. One is that I left for Minneapolis the week before last on Wednesday evening and did not return home until Monday morning. I then spent a few moments with my hubby before he headed to work. Then I had to unpack and also spend time organizing my thoughts from the weekend - a really great training for Creative Memories. On Tuesday I headed to work at 7am, and did this for the rest of the week until Friday. I was the only supervisor (well, the other supervisor is brand new and still in training) at the group home, and I was also on call. So the week was busy. Then, Friday I left work at 1 to run home, pack up, and head to Snow Camp.

I have returned home from Snow Camp EXHAUSTED. Snow Camp was great - 29 kids and 5 leaders on the side of Blueberry Mountain in western Maine. Lots of time to spend with the kids (teens actually), focusing on their relationship with God and also having tons of fun. It was great. But inevitably we come back tired and ready for some down time. Our leader team decided the appropriate intervention for this was going out to eat at the Texas Roadhouse. Yes, a good steak and lots of yummy bread can solve just about anything.

Well now I'm at home, trying to make sure bills are paid and that I have clean clothes to wear. Yup, back up for 7am again tomorrow at work. I can't wait till Thursday when my boss returns and I can go back to my regular schedule!!! Woohoo... Thankfully, there's been no major crises since she's been gone, at least to my knowledge. Everything could be different when I go in tomorrow morning. I'll sign off for now, but I'll try to be more consistent with my bogging this week.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


Ok, I admit it. I'm addicted. To Smallville, that is. Since we don't have cable (yes, I know it's the 21st century) I had only heard about Smallville. And I had seen one episode on a Saturday afternoon when it happened to be on one of the 3 channels we do get. But back around the holidays I discovered that my stepfather had it on DVD, so we decided to borrow it. Well, let's just say it's February and we are almost done season 4! That's what I'd call addiction. It's a great show and I have gotten sucked in. What I love about it is that it has an interesting story line, but it doesn't have 17 billion extra characters that you have to figure out, like Alias for example. Even though I love Alias, I usualy am quite confused about what is actually happening!

Anyway, I am bummed to realize that the current season of Smallville is season 5. That means when we finish season 4, I'm going to have to wait for a while before season 5 comes out on DVD. I might go into withdrawals! Although, we did skip a few episodes that I MUST go back and watch so that I can figure out some of the things we missed (like how Chloe found out about Clark's powers). Another perk - Tom Welling's not that bad to look at. Hahaha - ok just kidding - I'm happily married to the hottest guy in the universe!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Missed appointments

I'd have to say that as a business woman, there is little I dislike less than people who miss a scheduled appointment or cancel at the last minute. I realize there are times when this is necessary, but when you tell someone you'll be there, then you should be there! (And if you're not going to be, then you call and apologize)... I take time out of my [busy] schedule and set it aside for a particular meeting or event. Then I have someone assure me that they'll be there, only to not show up!

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is an interesting holiday. I find that people do one of two things: boycott it (i.e. whine, moan, and complain about how horrible it is) or embrace it (with all the money, time, and effort that implies). I guess I would fall more in the "embrace it" category. I mean, I realize that it's commercialized and just a ploy for Hallmark to make tons of money. But I try to find ways around that. For example, this year I made my husband a photo album of the past 9 years we've known each other (Wow! I didn't realize it'd been that long). I didn't buy him a card, because I know he hates them and usually throws them away. So, I managed to give him something he wanted, but that was also sort of mushy.

Anyway, all that to say that I think it's ridiculous to hate a holiday just because you don't think you have a reason to celebrate. (Lots of people celebrate Christmas even though they don't know the true reason to celebrate.) So I guess I'd rather celebrate Valentine's Day and just find ways to make it less about marketing and more about love.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Not much at all

I always feel like I have to have some big topic to write about on my blog. It's silly really, since my blog is my blog and I shouldn't be worrying about impressing anyone. So I guess I'll just write something quick tonight. Today has been a good day - church, then a nap with my kitty, then over to friends' for lunch and a little event planning, then back to church for a youth group meeting. While there, we learned that the evening service was cancelled due to the snow, so we came home and had dinner. Then I watched Extreme Makeover Home Edition and Desperate Housewives while working on my scrapbook album. Now I'm off to watch Smallville with my hubby!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Pain in the neck

So I sat up in bed yesterday morning and felt a sharp pain in my neck. Then, as I stood up to go downstairs, I could hardly move my head left to right or up and down. I took the dog out, went to the bathroom, and attempted to go back to sleep. Then I couldn't even get in a comfortable position where the pain was not constant. For the next hour and a half I couldn't get back to sleep, which is odd for me, since I love sleeping in!

Later I got up and thought maybe a hot shower would help loosen it up - but I couldn't even tip my head back to rinse my hair! This sounds crazy, I know, and I felt ridiculous. I've had a stiff neck before from sleeping the wrong way, but this was way worse than that. I decided I'd better call the doctor's office, because I didn't feel like I could safely drive or go to work the way I was. So I had my darling husband take me to the doctor's office and got it checked out. The doctor said not to go to work, prescribed a muscle relaxant, and scheduled a follow-up. So the rest of the day was spent on the couch with a hot pad on my neck and back, either sleeping or wathcing a movie. I felt so silly because I wanted to go to work and I wanted to be able to do all the things I normally do. Other than the constant pain and inability to move my head, I felt fine! However, some things you just have no control over.

After a day of rest and a good night's sleep, I felt much better this morning. I was still sore throughout the day, and sitting doing paperwork was not extremely enjoyable, but I'm sure I'll be back to normal again soon.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


I was informed by my friend Jess tonight that I've been neglecting my blog. I confess - it's been a long week. Despite the recent challenges, I've been able to enjoy some fun stuff this week. Tonight, for example, at the Superbowl party at Steve and Jessica's. We laughed a lot and just had fun.

I'd have to say that the highlight of my week was Friday evening. After work I went straight to a Creative Memories meeting. There my team recongized my recent promotion to Unit Leader. That was great, but the really meaningful part was when we talked about the purpose of why we are doing this. This, in the conversation, was being a Creative Memories Consultant. But you could ask the same question in just about any area of your life. "What is my purpose in doing this?" It really got me thinking about how so often we start out doing something for the right reasons, but then get caught up in the "stuff" - money, fame, popularity, etc. So I've been trying to evaluate the different activities I'm involved in with that thought in mind - what is my purpose? I don't know that there is a right answer to the question. It seems the important thing is to know what your purpose is and keep your focus on that, not allowing yourself to be caught up in the extras. And if you are doing something but can't figure out what your purpose it, perhaps you shouldn't be doing it.

Well, I think that is all the thought I can squeeze out of my brain at this time of night. My hubby's already asleep, and I should probably join him.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006


I thrive on change, but at the same time I hate it. This past week was a time of change. My grandfather left his earthly body and went to be with God. There were moments of anger and moments of joy. He is no longer suffering, and that is a relief. However, the wake was Friday and the funeral was Satruday, so this meant that our plans to attend a marriage retreat were shot. We had intended to go with 3 other couples from our church, and we were really looking forward to it. So I was disappointed in that change in plans.

Being with my mom's entire family was good, though, because it doesn't happen often. Although it was for a sad reason, I am thankful that we all could see each other. We took lots of photos, thanks to my persistence. The funeral was beautiful, and many people were there to honor my grandfather. I felt so blessed to be a part of his legacy.

So, my feelings about change continue to be mixed. I guess the best thing to do is just keep going, and accept that change happens. And I hope to take a lesson from my grandmother, who has dealt with this change with dignity and grace. I pray that I can be that graceful in dealing with the many changes I will face in my lifetime...

Monday, January 23, 2006

A stormy night

After a highly unusual January week where we hit 50 degrees, things returned to normal today here in Maine. The snow came down all afternoon, and we decided to cancel youth group. Although I miss seeing the kids, this turned out to be a good thing. My grandfather is dying, and tonight we were able to go see him. It's hard to see someone you love so much in that stage of life. I'm thankful, though, that I know he will soon be in a better place. I'm also thankful that I have had the chance to say goodbye. When I lost my father, I did not have that opportunity. It was sudden, and after the accident he never regained consciousness. So, although it's hard to see Grampy this way, I know he will soon be with our Savior and seeing my father, amongst so many others he knows.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


I can't say I'm much of a movie buff. I enjoy watching them, have a few that I've bought, but I don't usually remember all the details and analyze every character, etc. However, this is a movie I plan to see: You can find where it will be playing near you, and I recommend checking it out. For those of you in Bangor, it'll be at the Odlin Road movie theater, but doesn't appear to be going t Hoyts. It opens on January 20th, so check it out!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Cheap Tickets

I'm going to Minneapolis in February - that is, if I can find cheap airline tickets. I'm not going to Minneapolis for pleasure - there's nothing pleasurable about Minneapolis in the dead of winter. (I know - I used to live there). I'm going for my business, and thankfully there's someone else going with me. The problem is that I'm having hard time finding cheap enough tickets. I don't understand how you can fly from Maine to California for half the price of flying from Maine to Minnesota. Don't they realize that it's half the distance, so it should be half the price!?! I've flown from Maine to Michigan for $130. I've flown from Maine to Guatemala for $500. I've flown from NH to California for $200. So I really don't get how flying from Maine to Minnesota should cost $400!

Anyway, I'll probably end up going and just writing it off as a business expense (which it is). But I just would like to find a way to get there for a decent price. I'm open to suggestions!

Monday, January 16, 2006

How Do You Know I Can't?

I heard this question asked by Creative Memories Director Martie Byrd at the Regional Convention last year in Rhode Island. That question was my mantra throughout 2005. It inspired me to push forward even when others were not quite as encouraging as I would've liked them to be. It also reminds me that sometimes it's a good thing to be stubborn. This question got me through the year and resulted in 2 great payoffs: I accomplished my goal to promote to Unit Leader within Creative Memories, and I am going on an all-expenses paid trip to Monterey, California!
So when you set a goal that others don't necessarily think you'll achive, ask them this question: "How do you know I can't?" Then go ahead and prove them wrong!

Friday, January 13, 2006


As of about 3:30pm today, I was free. Free from the controlling, micro-managing, oppressive supervisor with whom I've worked for the past 14 months. Through circumstances arranged by God, I believe, I landed an interview for a new position as a supervisor (elsewhere within my agency) and was offered the job that very same day. Now, I haven't yet started that job yet, but I do believe that it just may be a better fit for me. In fact, I am guaranteed to not have Mr. W. standing over my shoulder watching my every move anymore!

There are times in your life that you recognize that nothing you say or do is going to change a situation or another person. This is one of those times for me. And when the stress of dealing with that person or situation begins to affect the rest of your life, you know it's time for a change. I am thankful for the bresh of fresh air that I will be having every day from now on since I do not have to get up and face Mr. W. I recongnize that no job is perfect, and there are challenging people everywhere you look. However, I also recognize that there are situations and opportunities which are better suited for someone than others. All I can do now is pray that I do not EVER become a supervisor like Mr. W.!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


One of my favorite shows is back! (Lost, in case you didn't catch that in the title). It's been hard waiting so long for a new episode. I find it interesting some of the Biblical connections made throughout the show. It is also fun to try and make the links between all the different characters. I'm not very good at that kind of stuff - usually I have to watch something about 5 times to catch all the hidden meanings and the connections. Oh well, it's fun anyway. Now I'm off to stay up late even though I should go to bed! (Only 2 more days of my early-morning job.)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Controlled Chaos

A few weeks ago, I was checking my bank account online, as I do frequently. I noticed that a check I had written had not cleared - the one to my other bank where my husband's truck loan is and our car insurance is automatically withdrawn. I started to wonder what had happened, because I had sent it over 2 weeks previous. By that time, the loan payment was late and there would barely be enough in the account for the car insurance. So, I called that bank and they confirmed they hadn't received the payments. Then I called my other bank and had them put a stop payment on that check so that it couldn't be cashed by some crazy identity-stealing maniac. Later that same night, I started to clean up around the house. And what do I find??? The check that I was sure I had sent!
This is when you know you living in controlled (or maybe not so controlled) chaos. Time to make some changes. Part of my New Year's Resolution is to do this de-cluttering technique I learned from Fly Lady (see the link). She says 15 minutes a day is all you need to start lowering the CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome) in your home. Let's see how it goes. I have exactly 16 minutes until 8:00 when it's time to sit down and relax...

Monday, January 09, 2006

Pizza Thief

Pizza is one of my favorite foods. Unhealthy, yes, but tasty. That's why I ordered one last Friday at work when a few others were ordering out. So I had some at work, but I still had quite a bit left to take home for the weekend. Upon walking through the door at home, I realized I had left it at work. So I figured a co-worker would politely place it in the fridge for me and I'd have it Monday (today).

So I got to work today and around lunch time, I checked the fridge. No pizza. At this point I'm getting a little worried... So I went and asked my supervisor (he's usually the last one in the classroom) if he had seen my pizza on Friday afternoon. He gave me a blank look, then said he "yes...." I said, "Well, I realized when I got home that I had forgotten it, and I thought maybe someone would have put it in the fridge for me." He said, "It's gone." He didn't say why it was gone, he just said it was gone. At that point, I started to get a bit upset. Not because of what I paid for the pizza (only $3), but because of the principle. Then I had to drive to McDonald's and get some other unhealthy yet tasty food for lunch.

If you see someone else's food, and you realize that they forgot it, would you a) throw it away, b) eat it, or c) put it in the fridge? I hope most people would do option c. This illustrates one of the MANY reasons that this is the last week at my current job, and I was even more thankful today that there's only 4 more days to go!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Places I Want to Go

I've been thinking a lot lately about where I'd like to go on vacation. It's winter here and it was below zero this morning when we left for church. It made me wanna leave... Here are a few of the places I want to go:

  • Casa Santo Domingo - Antigua, Guatemala. This place is amazing! The first time I saw it was during a study program in Central America. We visited Antigua and toured some of the historical landmarks. Then our tour guides took us here and I said to everyone "This is where I want to come on my honeymoon." One of my classmates picked up a rose petal from one of the rock basins filled with water, handed it to me, and said, "Bring it back when you come." The next time I went was on a missions trip the following year. Again I was with a group of my friends, and all we did was walk through the place at night. I was reminded of how beautiful it was and how I'd love to be there with my husband-to-be on our honeymoon. Amazingly, it worked out for us to actually go there for a few days and this time I got to stay in one of the enchanting rooms. Now, in the frigid weather here, I'm thinking it may be time to go back!
  • Washington, D.C. - I don't know why, but I love that city. It's probably because there is so much to see and most of it is FREE! Again, I've been there 2 different times, but never with the husband. And never for long enough to take in all there is to see.
  • Colombia, South America - Okay, okay, I know it's one of the most dangerous places to go right now. But it's always been my dream to visit. My dad grew up there - at least part of his life - and I remember the stories about being so high up in the mountains that the clouds would come into his room at the boarding school. I also have an affinity for Latin America and Spanish-speaking cultures. I guess I'll have to wait until the drug lords and guerillas get under control!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Cats and Dogs

Once you own both a cat and a dog (mine are shown below), it makes you really appreciate the reality of this! And, watching the movie "Cats and Dogs" at work yesterday (I work with kids) makes it even more real...

8:00 am - Oh Boy! Dog food! My favorite!
9:30 am - Oh Boy! A car ride! My favorite
9:40 am - Oh Boy! A walk! My favorite!
10:30 am - Oh Boy! A car ride! My favorite!
11:30 am - Oh Boy! Dog food! My favorite!
12:00 noon - Oh Boy! Kids! My favorite!
1:00 pm - Oh Boy! The garden! My favorite!
4:00 pm - Oh Boy! Kids! My favorite!
5:00 pm - Oh Boy! Dog food! My favorite!
5:30 pm - Oh Boy! Mom! My favorite!
6:00 pm - Oh Boy! Playing ball! My favorite!
6:30 pm - Oh Boy! Sleeping in mom’s bed! My favorite!

Day 183 of My Captivity
My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while I am forced to eat dry cereal. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of escape, and the mild satisfaction I get from ruining the occasional piece of furniture. Tomorrow I may eat another houseplant. Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving around their feet while they were walking almost succeeded, must try this at the top of the stairs. In an attempt to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again induced myself to vomit on their favorite chair, must try this on their bed. Decapitated a mouse and brought them the headless body, in attempt to make them aware of what I am capable of, and to try to strike fear into their hearts. They only cooed and condescended about what a good little cat I was. Hmmm, not working according to plan. There was some sort of gathering of their accomplices. I was placed in solitary throughout the event. However, I could hear the noise and smell the food. More importantly I overheard that my confinement was due to MY power of " allergies. " Must learn what this is and how to use it to my advantage.
I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and maybe snitches.
The dog is routinely released and seems more than happy to return. He is obviously a half-wit. The bird on the other hand has got to be an informant, and speaks with them regularly. I am certain he reports my every move. Due to his current placement in the metal room, his safety is assured. But I can wait, it is only a matter of time...

Friday, January 06, 2006


Well I said I like photography so here's one of my favorites. This was an amazing experience - being within 10 feet of a huge African elephant. This was taken during a a recent trip to Zambia - but we were actually in Botswana for the safari. God's creation is amazing!

First Post

Well I've never done this before, so hopefully it'll work. I am finally succumbing to the world of blogging. All my friends are doing it, so I guess it's my turn.

I plan to use this as a way to share my thoughts about life in general, as well as let friends and family know what's going on around here. I also might post a few photos once in a while, since photography is a hobby of mine.

I never realized how easy it was to create a blog, or I might have done so sooner. Anyway, I'm off to work on sending out newsletters for my business, and maybe watch an episode of Smallville with my husband.