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Showing posts from 2011

A Million Years

(in blog time)

I know it has been ages since I posted. Basically, coaching volleyball this fall, teaching 8th grade science, and planning a wedding have really been a time suck. Luckily, I haven't felt entirely disconnected because I occasionally get a chance to check out my Google reader and I've also been working on some other blogging projects.

There was the quick ditch effort to put together a page for the JV volleyball team I was coaching and more recently, the blog I created for our wedding. It occurred to me the other day I could have kept it all in the same place and just renamed this space Adventures in Wedding Planning. But, that doesn't really seem fair to Richard and I'm not sure I want the whole family reading 6 years of my ramblings when they stop by to see where we are registered.

So if you're interested in checking out what is going on with the wedding planning, visit It's where the writing will probably be un…

Cardboard Mountain

There is a mountain of boxes in the garage. Sure, it is more like the Appalachians than the Rockies, but that does not make it less intimidating.

The thing about mountains, is that it takes a LOT of work (and more often time) to overcome them. This week, however, I have little to no time to spare. Up at 5:15, out by 6:15, at my desk by 7, on the road by 3:15, dressed and on the court by 4:15, home by 8:30, dinner done by 9, bed by 10. For those of you not super good at math, that is exactly one awake hour a day not allocated to something. Last night, I spent it going to Target to get appropriate shorts for coaching and groceries.

At practice yesterday, I found out that my coaching duties extend to weekends for all of August. Which means no Saturday recoveries (7 a.m. practice start times are not conducive to sleeping in). I'm not too down about that, and I'm hoping the early start means that I'll have the afternoons to delve into the unpacking of things and general house org…

July Shall Be Known as the Month of Big Changes

To start with, you should know that I've been living in my current townhouse for 3.5 years. I found it while walking to the metro from work. When I moved in, it was my 15th move in 10 years. I've been in my current job for exactly 3 years and eleven months today. Also, I have officially been with Richard for one year and one month today.

So here's the news: RJ proposed on the 4th of July, and, of course, I said yes! It was super exciting and fireworks will never be the same again. Around the same time, I had an interview to become a volleyball coach, which turned into a position as the head JV coach at a high school out near Great Falls National Park.

While that was happening, RJ applied for and got a promotion that moved his job from Kingstowne out to a movie theater that is literally 8 minutes door-to-door from his house out in Leesburg. About a week later - after years of deliberation and months of planning and saving - I gave my notice to Research!America, making my last…


The most frustrating thing about sending multiple copies of the same thing to a variety of people (or maybe the same people over and over again) is realizing on the second to last email that there is an error in your attachment. A dash where a comma should be. A plural non-possessive that should have been a plural possessive or singular. Or, in this particular case, a missed merge field.

Personalized letters are significantly simpler if you know how to use a spreadsheet to fill in the blanks (and write your letter so none of the blanks need to be adjusted post-merge). However, there is no special technology to prevent you from, say, using a form letter and hand updating data that wasn't on your spreadsheet and missing a merge field in the concluding paragraph so it reads,

"blah, blah, blah {Institution Name} blah blah."

Yup. Definitely feels personal now.

Ugh. Technology, I love and hate you.


**Update, 1 minute later** Definitely posted this to a group blo…

Things to Get Excited About

Parents arriving today and staying for a couple of days.
Relay for Life this weekend.Three SOHO girls coming to Relay this weekend to start earning their service hours and hang out.Andrea's swim meet at the pool one block from my house on Saturday morning.All clean laundry (despite not being put away yet).Clean and prepared house.The most amazing boyfriend ever who put all sorts of stuff in the attic, changed the light bulbs, ran errands, dropped off Andrea's furniture twice yesterday, and managed to keep me going until 11 last night so I wouldn't be scrambling this morning.Said boyfriend just existing. Oh, and being able to use any type of possessive when referring to him, like "MY boyfriend."Work being relatively quiet this week to help mask the fact that my brain has been too busy to be 100% focused. (Still let's me be productive on a slow week, but would be disastrous on a busy week.)Fabulous weather.Blackberries coming off my thornless bush in heaping bow…

A Note on Time

It goes by too fast when you're having fun.
It goes by too slowly when you're not.
It can be counted in positions, on clocks, through years, and many other ways.
People remember time passed in different ways.

One way time can be remembered is apparently in files. Ancient, non-existent files.

May I give you a hint, dearest wisher of time past: if it happened here when I was in the first grade I do not remember it; as I was living in Florida at that time and learning how to write in complete sentences. Therefore, if you cannot remember any details except, "It happened" and there are no records to indicate said happening, I cannot, in any reliable way, make a list of it for you.

But thanks for asking. Wasting my time was definitely on today's to-do list.

It's Over

My mentee's room renovation is over. I've been thinking about this since I heard about SOHO last August, and it is finally finished. (If we're not friends on Facebook, let me know and I'll send you a link to the photos.)

So my question is, why can I not stop thinking about it? Why do I still feel like I'm missing something?

I wish I had Charles Xavier's telepathy. Maybe then I could ease my mind and just enjoy the finished product.


Did you ever want something so badly you could taste it?

This isn't chocolate cake or weight loss, a boyfriend or a promotion. It isn't technology, travel, or even hugs (which I love). It's nothing shy of the first step on the gravel path that leads to the road that takes me to my biggest dream.

I'm as close as I can get to the real thing - all the right people say so. I've done 98% of everything I can do, and the other 2% has already been done once and is on tonight's to-do list to do again.

But I can't taste it yet. Heck, I can barely talk about it yet. I'm going to work until I get it, and hope that my best is good enough. Also, I could use some patience for the waiting, which could be months still.

If you're the praying kind, I could really use a little intercession right now.

Love always,


A Space of Her Own

Since October, I've been paired up with a 6th grade girl through a city-wide community service program called SOHO - A Space of Her Own. We've been meeting up on Wednesdays to eat dinner, hang out, and work on art projects. Those projects form the design base of the room renovation I'll be doing for her (Trading Spaces-style) in just nine days. And I'm crazy nervous.

I'm nervous because I still have a lot of things to get, I'm not sure it will all work out according to plan, and I desperately want to not have to make too many trips back to my house or out to the store for supplies. I'm sure the end result will be lovely. RJ assures me that she will be ecstatic. And I can't convince myself that this girl - so different from the sweet, angelic child I met 9 months ago - will like it.

It's only been a school year, and yet I can see the changes. She's always tired now. More reserved than ever. Desperately trying to be cool. And I find myself losing pa…

Significant Difference

I just got a new assignment to create trend data from the public opinion polling I manage at work. As our in-house expert, I get the pleasure of generating questions and analyzing the results of surveys that thousands of American's respond to for us. I also sometimes get the pleasure of explaining significant differences to folks who have questions. It feels a lot like this:

Comic credit:

A Lesson in Messaging: Paul Ryan's Path to Prosperity

I wrote this post today for something related to my job, but after review, it was determined it was too close to partisan/patronizing about someone we want to build a relationship with to be a good idea to post there. It seemed like a perfectly good waste of writing to not share though, and luckily, I have a space here that is (fingers crossed) completely unattached to work.Rep. Paul Ryan (WI-1) has particularly appropriate initials for today's discussion, PR.

Public relations is a critical component for businesses, celebrities, and especially elected officials trying to make sure they can pass major legislation and keep their jobs. As House Budget Committee Chairman, Rep. Ryan has a difficult task ahead - lowering our national debt in bad economic times. Here's how he makes his case for the "Path to Prosperity" budget plan released this morning.

As someone with a background in communications, I can objectively say this is a good messaging strategy. He was calm, talkin…


I think one reason that Lent works for me is that it makes me accountable to someone - God. Arguably, I'm accountable to God everyday, but the truth is, I just don't think about it as much as I should. So for the next 40 days or so, I'm using this focus to my advantage and I'm going to give more (instead of giving up).

I will give others:
The gift of snail mail. One letter/card/package sent every day to someone in my address book. If you'd like to be part of this project, please send me your address.More reflective prayer. Each night before bed and especially on longer drives in the car in lieu of listening to the radio.
I will give myself:
30 minutes of dedicated, independent exercise a day - everyday, with the exception of tournament days (since those can sometimes mean 8 hours of team exercise). I will also give myself the opportunity to re-watch Sex and the City an episode a morning while on the elliptical to make this easier to get used to doing.A chance to taste …

Before the 40 Days

Tomorrow begins the season of sacrifice. I'm actually excited. For reasons passing understanding, I have about ten times more self-control during Lent than any other time of year. That means I clean more, eat better, work out more, and generally pull my life together in a positive way. I have a lot of messes to work through before Easter, so I'm getting started with one of the least important but easiest to post on a blog.
There are nearly 30 tabs open in my Firefox field right now and I absolutely need to get some of these tabs gone. So here's what I thought was so important that I couldn't close the tab when I was done reading about it.
In regards to the current trouble with the federal budget and opposition to the health care bill that was passed last year, I thought this was a fascinating story of a citizen torn.

With it being Mardi Gras, here are two religious places to check out: Kayla's nun-blog and Pius Media. Who knew you had to pay to commit to poverty and t…


I cannot focus today. My brain is going in a million different directions and none of them are the path to productivity. The to-do list is post-it-noted to the bottom of my monitor. I have had breakfast (and soon will have lunch) and require basically nothing more than what I already have at my desk to really get going.

And yet, I'm writing this note here instead of the 10 some-odd letters and multiple work blog posts. Because the truth is, none of it is challenging or intellectually stimulating. All of it is work. I know that every job has paperwork and inane tasks that need doing. I know I should just knock it all out and be done with the stupid list on the little, square paper with extremely easily removable glue backing.

But I can't freaking focus. Oh please just let me get this stupid stuff done so I can get out of here at a reasonable time today.

I miss my passionate self. I hope she comes into the office soon.


I really like that word, petrified. I know it means to be scared out of your wits, but I can't help thinking of a petrified forest when I use it.

What does it take to turn living matter into stone? Do you think it hurt?

I guess that maybe it's a good thing that my brain automatically turns fear into a science question in my head.