Friday, November 27, 2009

Holiday Tidings

Christmas season is here!! It rarely feels like the holidays to me until Thanksgiving Day, regardless of the sparkle and fa-la-las everywhere you turn. Yesterday, 21 of us gathered around our kitchen for the feast. Smoked turkey, mashed potatoes that WILL change your life, fresh cranberry sauce, candied yams, green beans, pumpkin pie and trifle, apple pie and sparkling cider. Throw in some football, comedy, and the Bowl Game and that was a glorious Thanksgiving Day!

Embarrassments: The carrots I made were too hard to spear with a fork and almost too hard to cut with a knife (we used plastic cutlery...nice plastic cutlery...there were 21 of us!) But the glaze tasted good and everything else fully satisfied the little taste buds. After dinner we played games in front of the fire and then shared moments and people we were thankful for. Something has changed in my old age: I never -- I repeat, never -- would be caught crying in public in high school or even college. Last night, I said four words about my touching moment and that was all I could get out through my tears and the pesky lump in my throat. Please. I wanted to crawl under my chair.

The Lord is truly good, but it sometimes gets lost in the shuffle of striving after what we need or want, and it's so refreshing to take a day to reflect on His faithfulness and provision. He is and will always be the Potter, the Shepherd, and the Rock.

Just about everyone at our house under age 30 left at about 10pm to drive to the Castle Rock Outlets. I do confess to shopping at the first opportunity on Black Friday, but I had specific things in mind and brought cash. The place was a zoo. And a hoax. My brother was in a certain clothing store just a couple weeks ago looking at a $50 peacoat. Deciding to wait until it went on sale, he looked at the same peacoat last night, this time marked at an original price of $100, but on sale for 50% off. Creepy? Wrong? Ignorance is bliss?

I will close by wishing you a Merry Christmas season, and hearts filled with gratitude for the daily gifts we receive and the abundant life we have now and forever.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Jobs, Old and New

Today was my third-to-last shift at Bed Bath & Beyond (not Bath & Body Works). That means I only have two left. Two. This is great news in every way except for two reasons: One, the book I was going to write entitled "I'm Just Browsing: Adventures in Big-Box Retail" may now only be a pamphlet. Two, the cookware set I ordered might not arrive before my last day...which means the employee discount won't apply, presenting a golden opportunity for sweet-talking.

The new job is lovely. I have a grey cube to decorate and new friends. The work itself seems to be right up my alley, and I'm chomping at the bit to get started. I've already been told that, if I didn't mind her saying, I look like I'm 16 ("oh! thank you..."). Can't wait for the day when that's a compliment.  I've met several higher-ups and was -- I think -- able to pull myself together without saying something completely awkward. And, during my first company-wide chapel service I couldn't stop laughing at a most unfortunate moment. A military chaplain was talking about families left behind after the death of a soldier. Here's the catch: the chaplain was bald with a rather bulbous head and nose to match, and the first thing I thought when I saw him was, "oh no, he looks just like Bob the Tomato." I stared at the ground.

To my friends who are still searching, keep your chin up. Don't give up, don't look away, don't remain discouraged. What is so amazing about a job search is that, when you find a job, you realize how much the company needed a person like you and how much you needed a company like them. And when both sides were praying for whatever the new situation would be and it works out so well in the end, God receives the glory and it's beautiful.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Head in the Clouds

Yesterday morning I went in for an interview (yes, an interview) -- actually two, back to back, for the same position. Whew. I was told I'd be updated on the status at least once every ten business days, so I came home still in job-hunt mode. 24 hours later, the phone rings. They offer me the job. I ask for time to think about it. I crunch numbers. I go for a celebratory run. I call back and accept. I call BB&B and put in my notice (praises). I text all my friends and run a useless errand. Before it's officially official, the background check has to go through. As long as the ring I stole from the Christian book store when I was four isn't on there, I should be okay.

It still won't hit me until I'm sitting at my new desk, relearning Microsoft programs (after falling head over heels for Mac) and slowly learning the ropes. This will be a time to embrace new challenges, new friendships, new life patterns, and new competencies. Fun fact: the job was offered one year and a week after moving here.

I've been in the clouds today, and it's a joy to sit and write this. This is the first time since starting this blog that I've been gainfully employed. Granted, I've had other jobs and done things to make money, but this is my first Bachelor's-degree-required job in Colorado. The Lord's timing is remarkable. Perfect to Him, not always to us. What's funny is, as soon as things start falling into place, I admit His perfect timing. I did not feel the same way just a couple weeks prior, when there may have been a pouty lip or two. All that to say, had this not happened now or very soon, I would be shuffling down the street in my bathrobe stealing crumbs from birds. Yes, His timing is perfect.

Did I mention that a requirement of this job is to travel to Washington, D.C. for a week? Or that a real interview question was whether or not I'd be okay with that bit of travel?


Saturday, November 7, 2009


Cast your worries aside. The location of my title dawned on me while I was brushing my teeth.

{This is where it gets embarrassing}

The pumpkin background was orange, so I changed the title font color to white. My normal background, sans pumpkin, is white. Thus, white background + white title = invisible title. My teachers were right: Math is practical!

Would you believe me if I told you I'm brunette-ish?



So...I removed the festive pumpkin from my header, and it ate the blog title. Where's White Walls? Does the fact that I don't know how to fix this disqualify me from the blogosphere? And is it only me that can't see the title? Heeeellllp!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Elegant Classic

I'm copying Em and posting the results to my home decor style quiz: Elegant Classic. 

You have a refined sensibility with an appreciation for history and tradition in your furniture and your rooms. You value beauty, things that are well crafted, and family heirlooms. You are visually sensitive and understand how symmetry and a formal layout give order to a room, and hence your home is refined and calming. You are not taken in by the trends of the moment. You go for things with a timeless appeal, and appreciate old-fashioned virtues like manners and handwritten notes and making a home that is welcoming for others.
You value serenity. While there are probably a lot of interesting things in your home, they are joined by your taste or a certain palette that keeps them in harmony. You appreciate the beauty in simple forms. Whether fancy or plain, you appreciate things that are well made and function as well as they look. You also have a strong respect for the environment and craftsmanship. You care about how things are made, and how they are used.
Right on...mostly. I like to think my home will have a little more flair to it, but that has yet to be seen. Style is how we express ourselves creatively, and that's important. I told Em to take the quiz because I need all the help I can get to understand her style. I recently told her how difficult it is for me to identify her taste, and here's why: she's Bohemian Eclectic. Well of COURSE that's hard to nail down! Buying her anything from a bobby pin to a headboard is almost a shot in the dark. And it all boils down to style, my friends, which reflects who we are as people. Take the quiz and see what you think! And don't be shy -- tell me your results!