Thursday, February 18, 2010

At Last

At last! After four long months of hours spent online, filling out applications, interviews, substitute teaching, afternoon naps, and lots of prayers, I am finally punching the clock again! For those of you who never lost faith in me- thanks for the encouragement. For those who didn’t know about my bout with unemployment, let me tell you about my new, wicked-awesome job.

But first, some background.

For as long as I can remember, I have loved to stamp. Before I was even in the double digits, my sister and I would invite our cousins over for “card-making slumber parties”. These nights consisted of an explosion of paper, ink, crayons and Lisa Frank stamps. At thirteen, I got introduced to a company called Stampin’ Up!. I attended a stamping workshop with my mom, and learned about the magic and possibilities of stamping. And that is where my obsession began. I started saving up the money from my paper route to purchase stamps. I would pour over the catalogs in bed before I fell asleep. I attended more and more workshops, sometimes being the only one under the age of 30. I took a calligraphy class, learned new techniques, and delivered my hand-made creations to everyone who would take them. As years went by, the supplies began build up. If I ever spent more than two weeks away from home, I would insist that my paper and stamps came with me. I struggled in college to find the time to express my creativity- I still managed to get a project in here and there, but the inevitable dust slowly began to collect on my beloved art supplies. Weeks turned into months and months to years, until I got home from my mission and realized that unemployed people have A LOT of free time. I began cleaning and organizing and remembering what I used to do when I had time to do it. The day I found my stamps was like a sweet reunion with an old friend.

I wouldn’t say that I was picky, I would say that the economy was bad and I was holding out for the perfect job. I’ll be honest and say that I began to love the routine- wake up when I want, eat when I want, read when I want, sleep when I want… I apologize now to those of you who helped me through those hard months and listened to me complain.

And then it happened. Two months after I had wishfully applied for a job at Stampin’ Up! the phone rang- they wanted me to come in. Over the next few weeks I was filled with all kinds of thoughts and emotions.

“No way am I ever going to get this job.”

Phone call #2.

Could this actually be a possibility?

Phone call #3.

Is this still happening?

Phone call #4. I tried to act cool as they offered me the job by responding with “I’ll have to think about it.” Yeah right! I was already sold. After three trips to my own personal Mecca*, I was actually going to get to work there!?

It’s now week two, and I worked with people who are 100% more obsessed than I am- loving every second of it.

*I say Mecca because it really is quite a journey- one hour commute both ways. BUT when you get to play with colors like creamy caramel, crushed curry, and pumpkin pie all day it's totally worth it.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Countdown to Vancouver

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am an Olympic nut. I love the anticipation, the athletes, the thrill, the inspiration, the competition, the human spirit... the list goes on and on. Just hearing the Olympic theme song makes me tear up. (Did you see the 2002 Chevy commercial- honking the Olympic theme? Tear). So to say the least, I have been GLUED to Universal Sports for the past 2 months.

AND- Anyone who knows me (or read my last blog) knows that my lil bestie just left for two years.


I thought that would mean a lot of lonlieness and lack of excitment.

HOWEVER- Last week, to my surprise, I discovered my newly arrived nephew has a little obsession of his own.

Looks like it's going to be a great Olympic Season after all.
I hope his mom doesn't kill me.
Countdown to Vancouver: 28 days

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Called to Serve

He was ready. The poor kid had been waiting for nearly 6 months. He had never even missed over a year's worth of mission preps. He listened to Dutch in his car. But even as I watched him leave, tears in his eyes, big smile on his face and luggage in hand, it didn't change the fact that my best little buddy is gone for 2 years!

I was lucky. For three months we played. I decorated his birthday cake just in the way he wanted. He come to my room every morning to wake me up so we could study the Book of Mormon together. We played frisbee golf. I gave him advice. He introduced me to music again after 18 silent months and we'd cruise around and listen in his honda.

We are blessed. Blessed to have a missionary and the blessings that will come into our home because of his service. The people in Belgium will be blessed to have the knowledge of the Great Plan of Happiness. He will be blessed to work hard and grow closer to the Lord. I am blessed for our time together, and to know that families are forever!

I will miss you, but right now that doesn't matter- GO FEED HIS SHEEP!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Ode to Fall

When the weather outside is frightful, I remember the not-too-far-past Fall and the fun we had. It all went by too quickly- but isn't that how it always goes? We take for granted the beauty as we anticipate the next- whatever. So, although I am still dreaming of a White Christmas- I'll honor you, Fall.

The Colors.
The Tastes.
The Smells.
The Magic.

Thanks again Fall. I'll dream of you the whole year long.

Just about a thousand spoon-fulls of sugar...

There's no telling what's about to happen when the Muellers get together for the annual Gingerbread House Competition. Each year we get bigger and more outrageous. Hot glue was out-lawed by Mom this year, but somehow Mike still got his hands on it. Another new addition- we made it a team competition! By the end of the night we had eaten our share of colorful goodies and powdered sugar "glue". We just managed to overcome the sugar buzz to get the construction zone cleaned up. I would say another successful year! Here's just a TASTE of the events...

The Teams and results:

Dan and I went for the European look: A Swiss Chalet and Ski Resort.

Carrie and Pete's three little houses were almost demolished by some huffing and puffing of frosting from Brooke's end of the table...

Brooke and Emma went whimsical with a house for Fairies.

Mom's partner was MIA, but she still managed to pull of the cute & classical.

And Mike & Kaysi out did themselves and made an adorable replica of our house- complete with a picnic table and candy-cane forest!

You can bet that the ideas are already brewing for next year!

Monday, November 23, 2009

A smile

Ein Lächeln kostet nichts und bringt doch so viel.
Es bereichert den Empfänger und den Geber.
Es ist vielleicht nur kurz, doch die Erinnerung daran oft unvergänglich.
Keiner ist so reich, um darauf verzichten zu können.
Und keiner ist zu arm, daß er es sich nicht leisten könnte.
Es bringt Glück und ist ein Zeichen von Freu...ndschaft.
Es bekommt erst dann seinen Wert, wenn es verschenkt wird.
Sollte der andere einmal kein Lächeln mehr zur Verfügung haben,überlasse ich Ihm eins von meinen,denn niemand braucht so sehr ein Lächeln, wie der, der keins mehr übrig hat.

aus China

Friday, November 6, 2009

Neues Leben

So I have been back from my mission for 6 weeks today-
and I think I am ready to try blogging again.

The transition has been surprisingly smooth, I was... surprised. The hardest realization is still the fact that I am currently unemployed and living at my parents' house- with a bachelor's degree. Sometimes I wallow in that, but today after a chat with my bestie, she helped me to realize that my life is actually pretty fun. I bake, I puzzle, I enjoy play dates, I job-search, I ride my mountain bike, I read, hang out with my lil bro, play frisbee golf and jump on my mom's mini trampoline while I watch the Today Show. I am not ashamed.

The mission was awesome. I can't even describe how grateful I am for that opportunity. It was no cake-walk, but it was one of the best things I have ever done. It was like a huge present that I didn't deserve from a loving Heavenly Father. He knows what He is doing. For those of you who missed it (or if anyone even still reads my blog), here's a little taste!

I love you Germany, thanks for an awesome year and a half.
If you find yourself with nothing to do, just come over for a play date.
I'll even cook you lunch.