Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I Believe

He Is the Gift

Merry Christmas to anyone out there who might see this.

Monday, December 8, 2014

You're Never Fully Dressed...

Over the past 3 months I've had many and increasing problems with one of the administrative assistants who works for me.  It's hard to be the bearer of bad tidings to someone, because I empathize with her.  However, if I expect her to truly be successful, I need to draw a line in the sand to indicate what is appropriate and what is not.

In my meetings with this person, it has been demonstrated numerous times that she sees herself as a victim in everything; she never takes any responsibility for her own behaviors or the consequences of her behavior.  If I can continue to find the right ways to communicate with her, I believe I can help her keep her job.  But because of her attitude, I doubt she will EVER excel in her job, because she is not humble enough to learn.

Case in point:  Our purchasing agent went to this woman and pointed out to her that she had made a specific mistake in numerous purchase requisitions.  She denied having made that mistake, although he held evidence in his hand.  She just would not believe that she had done anything wrong, and in the end she projected the problem back to him, wondering aloud what his job was if she was going to have to do everything.  Our purchaser is wonderful, and he is more than willing to help and to train.  This same mistake had been made by at least three other admins, all of whom owned and fixed the error the first time he talked to them.  The first admin was unable to own (and therefore, fix) her mistake until the purchaser approached me with it.

Today I had my year-end meeting with this admin, wherein we discussed her goals and her performance in those goals.  Not only did she not want to "own" her goals (about which we've talked multiple times this year), but she said that the problems about which I was "so concerned" (her words) were caused by others.  In fact--she said--she has been targeted by so many people throughout her life that it was "impossible" for her to smile because life is just.so.difficult.

Ironically I met with another admin immediately after this meeting.  Admin #2 has had some very difficult challenges throughout her life, and especially in the past 3 years.  However, if you asked anyone to describe her, the words used would be "bubbly," "energetic," "helpful," "happy."

And here's the difference.  Admin #1 sees LIFE through a dark perception.  She anticipates being victimized and she won't own any of her own problems.  Therefore, to her, life is hard and dark.  Admin #2 sees LIFE through a happy perception.  She understands that it's OK to cry when things hurt or are hard, but she also understands that it's up to her to find ways to overcome and get back to being happy.  In fact, she is unwilling to be anything but happy.  I've seen her really struggle with things, but she does so with optimism and faith.

I hope I'm more like Admin #2.

Are you?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Only the Second Time

My mother got up and got herself ready for the day every morning.  She always put on clean clothes, did her hair, and did her makeup.  She encouraged me to do the same, even if I knew the day was going to be filled with dirt, sweat, or tears.

On the flip side, I have often felt that my beauty came from the inside out, so I'm quite comfortable in my own, un-made-up skin.  I have no problem going to the store without makeup.

Still, I've tried to get ready for every day, including most school days from the time I started wearing makeup, and DEFINITELY for every work day.

Today I came to work without makeup for the second time in my life.  Funny thing is someone told me I looked really pretty.  Ha.  That's a laugh.  It's kind of them to say, but even I cringe when I look in the mirror.  :)

My mother would be appalled.  I was just glad to get here this morning.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pinning

What was pinned:


What I made:


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Mortality

Years ago, when our children were very little, I was quite concerned about what would happen to them if we died.  We ended up purchasing burial plots at that time, but we haven't done anything further.  With Spencer being SO involved with his dad now this his mom died, he's now the one who is concerned about taking care of our funeral and mortuary arrangements.

As pertaining to the care of my body--I DO NOT WANT TO BE EMBALMED.  Seriously, the thought of their filling me with formaldehyde or any other chemical grosses me out.  I know I'll be dead and I won't really care, but can't we just put me in the ground and call it good?  For me, this is not about being green or saving money.  It's just gross, because bodies are just shells of human beings, so why do we have to dress them up and make them up?  In the end, they just look dead--BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT THEY ARE.

This is not to say that bodies are gross or scary.  Neither of those applies.  It's just that I receive no comfort from a body.  The best time to speak with the family of the deceased is at the viewing, but I really don't want to view, ya know?

Anyway, several years ago I heard about green burials (you can read more here, if you care), and I really like the idea.  At the time I first heard of them, no cemeteries in Utah were involved.  But not too long ago I looked again, and there is one cemetery (it's in Bountiful) that is doing green burials.  They had a booth at the State Fair, so we made an appointment to go visit with their salesman, which we did this past Saturday.

Of course, there are many options available for both regular and green burials, including the possibility of cremation.  We are in the process of deciding how we think it should all go for us and finding the funding to take care of that so that our children don't have to worry about it.

Here are some other things (just for me):

  1. "Joy to the World" by Voice Male (or our sons, if they choose to learn the harmonies) should be played to begin the service.  Because I LOVE that hymn, and musically I love that version, that's why.  The lyrics and the music are all about the Savior and the amazing JOY that was brought to the world by Him!  And if you can't smile during Voice Male's version, you're missing out on one of the great joys of life.  Seriously.  You should go listen to it right now.
  2. I'd like my brother, Derek, to speak.  He's known me since childhood, but he'll also teach the gospel.  Because if it's not about the gospel, it's not really about my life.
  3. Make sure the gospel of Jesus Christ is taught.  If you can use my life as an example of something, please do.  But it should be ALL about the hope and joy the gospel brings, not only for a glorious future, but for the meaning it gives us DAILY.
  4. Joanne Soderborg at the organ, please.  She's amazing, and I love her, and she loves me back.
  5. Make sure Spencer is involved with as much as he can be, but protect his heart carefully.  He's as fine a man as I've ever known, and he's taken care of me in every possible way.  Also, encourage him to find someone to love for the rest of his life.  The world is a better place because of people like Spencer who have such a capacity to love.
  6. If our kids want to speak or participate, they can; if they don't want to, please don't make them.  But make sure everyone knows my family is my joy.  And kids, if you do speak or sing, make sure to reference #3.
  7. If the bishop can't keep it short and say "amen," hold the funeral at the mortuary.  It's worth the money to not have it go too long or to have him make a sermon just to hear his own voice.  If it's still Bishop Soderborg, we should be OK.  (But no stake presidency!  Because sheesh!)
  8. If you want a musical number, my favorites are Aunt Gloria and Kaylani on the piano and organ doing "How Great Thou Art," the Heritage 3rd ward Primary and friends singing "Gethsemane," or Sterling Singers doing "In Remembrance."  I'm also fine with congregational singing of hymns.  But not "O My Father," "Because I Have Been Given Much," or "I Believe In Christ," OK?  I love their messages, but I don't love these hymns.  If our choir kids (Brit, Jordan, Lisa, Anna, Chris, Colton, Tanar, Craig, Logan, Landon, Raylee, etc.) want to sing, I'd love them forever.  Oh, wait.  I'll already love them forever!  Just sing about the Savior, my loves.
There.  Now you know.  And when I have more mortuary and burial details, I'll share.  You're welcome.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Ogden Temple

Today Sister Maxfield shared this in her email home (she's serving in Valdosta, Georgia, currently):


Whatever we want to know can be given to us if we are willing to ask. But the Lord speaks to us through the Holy Ghost. I forget who said this, but I loved how they described how we can hear the Lord. He said, in effect, when we hear sound, we are merely picking up waves that travel through the air. Those waves are picked up by the receptors in our ears and then the signal is shot to our brain and our brain registers those waves as "sound". But God doesn't make the air waves move (most of the time). Most of the time, he goes straight for our Spirit. That's why we feel good, we feel love, we feel peace, we feel complete, we feel joy; that is how the Holy Ghost speaks to us. Then we can know, through those feelings what is good and what is not. We can know what is true and what is not. It's so cool!


Yesterday was the Ogden Temple rededication.  We did not have regular church meetings.  Instead our stake center was an extension of the temple, and we got to attend the rededication. The speakers were wonderful, but I was awestruck by the Hosanna Shout, which I've been blessed to participate in many times (the beauty of living in Utah during a season of temple building). And when it was time to sing "The Spirit of God," I couldn't even make a sound, let alone sing. The Spirit testified to me so strongly of our Savior, His plan, the awesome blessing of the temple, restored priesthood authority and power, etc.

Since I started working for the Church, sometimes I see things through jaded eyes (which is sad). But this time I was completely overwhelmed with joy and gratitude and KNOWLEDGE. It was beautiful!

Hilladay

Yesterday we began to talk about Hilladay.  This year--and from now on--we are going to celebrate our Hilladay at Snowbird, where we have a time share.  We hope that eventually perhaps our children will be able to also purchase a time share during that same week, but that will be up to them.

Anyway, in discussing Hilladay we talked about how we wished we'd kept track of every Hilladay we'd had.  The truth is that there are probably picture around, but until they all get organized, we'll never know.

So we started making a list, and this is what we've come up with:

1995:  Back yard games and jumping on Aunt Becky's trampoline at Grandma and Grandpa Bezzant's house.

1996:  Back yard sleepout.  This was the year (I think) that we were putting in sprinklers, so there was mud in the yard.

1999:  Liberty Park and scavenger hunt.

2000:  Raging Waters

2001:  Cancun

2007:  Goblin Valley and slot canyon hike and camping.

2008:  Thanksgiving Point for photos, picnic, and "Oklahoma!"

2009:  Jackson Hole camping, horseback riding, Snake River rafting, and Bar J Wranglers

2010:  Sacramento and Apple Hill

2011:  The year of service

2012:  Weber River rafting.  Briana was on her mission, and we held Hilladay early, before Taylor left.

2013:  Snowbird begins

It was hard to differentiate between some of the things we've done for Hilladay versus just playing together as a family.  But we determined that the following were other Hilladay activities.  Probably.

Saver's scavenger hunt (ended at Sugarhouse Park)
Lagoon
Old Sac/Six Flags
Back yard Slip & Slide and games
Nickelcade/movie
Back yard sleepout with Mormon Mouthful (West Jordan)
This Is the Place Heritage Park

This year will be our 20th Hilladay.  We started the year Ashtyn was one (the year I was diagnosed with MS), so our children don't remember a time when we didn't have Hilladay.  Hilladay is my favorite family tradition, and we've been very blessed.

Now to come up with this year's activities...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Allergies

Spencer called me this morning to do a math problem for him.  I love when he does that, because it makes me feel like I might actually have something useful to contribute--because he's just so freaking awesome.

Anyway, he asked how my day was going, and I told him I think I'm allergic to my job.  His response?  "YA THINK?"

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Children's Center

As part of the United Way Day of Caring, I got to go to the Children's Center and help do a little carnival for the kids.  I looked forward to this day for two weeks and enjoyed every minute of it.  Here's a picture:


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Love Notes

Spencer usually goes to bed before I do, which is OK because he gets up WAY before I do.  He usually leaves a light on in the bathroom, and it's usually a glow stick or a flashlight.  Here is what I found in our bathroom when I went to bed last night.

The set up:



The result:
Yup.  I'm keeping him.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Aching Hearts

This week at work I've had three friends lose loved ones to death.  One was his father, one was her grandmother, and one was his infant son.  Additionally, the obits this morning announced the death of the father of a dear friend.  It is important to me that these people know they are loved by me and are in my prayers.

The truth is that nothing will fix the hole left in your heart when you lose someone you love.  The prophets declared that there is a time to mourn, and loving someone means we are filled with sorrow when they leave us.  Additionally, we are commanded to mourn with those that mourn.  The hole in our heart is still going to be there, but the love of others helps fill in the cracks a little bit.

I think sometimes people just drop the ball on sending condolences because it hurts their hearts too much to think about the sadness.  There's something in us that says, "I'm so glad that isn't me," and then we move on.

Having my own heart cracked open a little bit has taught me some things I hope never to forget.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

No More High School

My dad says he graduated from high school 6 times:  once for himself, and once for each of us kids.  I have now graduated for the final time.  Landon passed his GED this week, amongst all the other chaos and craziness.  So Friday we drove to Sacramento, where he will live with my parents and work with my brother (internship) for 2 months.  I already miss him like crazy, but I think this is going to be a wonderful experience for him.  Go, Landon!!!



Our Son Is Home

Our son served an honorable mission in the Canada Calgary Mission for two full years, to the day.  He came home on July 31.  I don't know who clung more tightly, me or him.

He's a wonderful, wonderful man.  He is Taylor, but he more than the Taylor who left here 2 years ago.  There just really aren't words.

I can't stop touching him.  I hug him every chance I get.  We hold hands.  He will surely get sick of me.  :)  I'm a happy, blessed mom.

Aching Heart and Healing

I really don't believe in allowing my feelings to be hurt or being offended.  I recognize that there are circumstances where either the person says something without thinking or knowing it would be hurtful OR people are purposely trying to hurt you, but their opinions don't matter much.  Sometimes things are said or done that just make me stop and think "Is this true?  How can I learn from this?"  So even if it hurts a bit, it's OK, because it was done lovingly.  If we spent our lives being offended by people, it would be a long, sad, hurtful life.  So I generally just get past it.  Every once in a while, though, something is said or done that just stings.  Usually it hurts because the person giving the sting is someone you care about.

Spencer's boss and a senior manager from Boeing came to Ruth's viewing.  Tracy's co-workers sent a plant.  Bert's ward rallied like crazy.  And my fix-the-world and stair-climbing work friends sent emails and made phone calls and Janece even came to the viewing.

But not one person from 2LL emailed, called, came, or anything.  Neither did Dean.  I can't explain it, but that stung so bad that I could be doubled over.  Thinking about it leaves an ache inside me and makes the tears spring to my eyes.  I know that people are busy, and I know that this was a simple, dumb oversight.  I also know that it probably should not even matter to me.  But for some inexplicable reason, it matters.  It hurts a lot.

Friday I went to work, and people were kind and asked how I, Spencer, and Bert were doing.  I felt their caring.  But I felt overlooked, nevertheless.  After work, Landon and I drove to California.  I stayed and visited for several hours, then my parents and Lando took me to the airport to fly home.  I was operating on 4 hours of sleep (in the car in a dark parking lot), the flight was delayed, and I knew we'd have a couple dozen people at our house this morning.  It was not my finest hour (it also wasn't my worst hour, but still...).  Then I walked into the house, where there was a beautiful little pink flower arrangement in a teacup with a card from the same fix-the-world and stair-climbing friends who had already given me so much love.

It still isn't from 2LL, but somehow that small act of kindness fixed a hole in my heart.


My Mother-In-Law Passed Away

Last Saturday morning we had a call from Spencer's sister, letting us know that their mom, Ruth, had been taken to ER the previous night and was now in ICU.  She--Mom--was adamant that the family party planned for that afternoon NOT be cancelled.  Spencer went to the hospital while I did some things with my parents, who were in town.  Spencer called me around lunch time, and he said things with Ruth did not look good.

Ruth had gotten a stomach bug--CDIF--which was highly contagious and had caused her to have diarrhea for most of the week.  Friday she started passing blood, so Jenny and Heather had her go to the hospital.  Within a very short time, it was obvious that she was very ill.  They ran a million tests, and they found that in addition to CDIF she had colitis.

Saturday morning they decided that they needed to take Ruth in for surgery, and they removed over two feet of her colon.  Her blood pressure was dangerously low, so they had been pumping her full of fluids to try to get her BP up.

We had our party on Saturday afternoon, and when Dad and Heather arrived, Dad could do nothing but cry because Ruth was so ill.  She was intubated and ventilated, she had a colostomy bag, and she was heavily sedated.  We'd been home a VERY short time when Jenny called, and she said that the doctor had called and they did not expect Ruth to last through the night.

Many family members gathered at the hospital.  We had to be gloved if we were going to touch her because CDIF is highly contagious.  We all took turns at her bedside, holding her hand, speaking with her, etc.  Heather was absolutely stunningly beautiful in her role as a granddaughter nursing her grandmother.  Bert was so terribly sad and the words "beside himself" had new meaning as we watched him.  Ruth was not coherent, but was slightly responsive:  she was able to nod and shake her head.  Being so filled with fluids had left her unable to open her puffy eyes, and she was still intubated, so she could not speak.  But it was comforting to have some response from her.  This remained the case until it became clear that she was in pain, at which point they started give her pain meds which put her to sleep.

Ruth's siblings came and gave Ruth her love, as did the children and grandchildren who live in the area.  We basically kept vigil all night long.  Intermountain Heathcare's Alta View ICU staff was incredible, and we are very grateful to them.  Finally around 4:00 a.m. Sunday Dad couldn't last any longer.  Our Tay was reporting his mission to the high council at 7:00 a.m., and I knew that if I went to sleep there was no way I would awaken.  So I told everyone that I would gladly stay while they all went home to get some rest.  Each person reluctantly left, and just Landon and I were left at the hospital.  As the door closed behind the last person, I took Mom's hand and told her that everyone had gone home to get some rest, that Landon and I were there, and that we all sure loved her.  We settled onto a couple of chairs and sat quietly.

All night Ruth's blood pressure had dropped and her heart rate had soared.  But as soon as we sat down, her heart rate started dropping, and her BP continued its descent.  After just 20 minutes or so, one of the nurses came in to check her.  He looked at me and said, "You know this is going to end soon, don't you?"  I assured him that I did.  Just a moment later the other nurse said, "When her heart rate drops to 95 bpm we should call the family."  Within another 10 or 15 minutes, her heart rate was down to 115.  Landon went to the restroom, and when he returned--probably 2 minutes later--her heart rate was at 95.  Things started moving quickly.  From 115 bpm to zero probably took less than 5 minutes.  I took her hand, and Landon stood beside me as we watched our mom and grandma give up the ghost.  In a way it was surreal because she was being ventilated, so she was still breathing.  But we knew her heart had stopped and that she was gone and at peace.  There was no physical battle or gasping or anything.  It was quiet and peaceful and lovely.

I was so sad to have to call Jenny and Spencer and tell them she was gone.  Landon and I left the room so the nurses could remove the ventilator and all of the IV's.  They were just finishing that when we heard Bert come running down the hall.  Can I just tell you that listening to running footsteps and knowing it is your 84-year-old father-in-law is absolutely heartbreaking?  He ran to her bedside, begging her to stop kidding and open her eyes.  Everyone came and said their goodbyes, and that was that.

Spencer and I got home at 6:45 a.m.  We changed clothes and went to the high council meeting with Taylor.  We slept for about 3 hours, then I went to Primary.  After I got home we headed straight to the mortuary, and the week began.  There were trips to the distribution center, the mortuary, the cemetery, the doctor, the monument company, etc.  Spencer stayed incredibly busy with his dad, who was so sad it was absolutely heartbreaking.

Sunday night we gathered Bert and his children to discuss the program for the funeral.  We asked Ruth's sister to do a life sketch/overview; Heather represented the grandchildren as a speaker; Taylor and his friends sang; and Spencer spoke.  I wrote the obituary, cleared the program with Bert's bishop, and spoke to the Relief Society president about the dinner.  It felt strange to take on that role for Spencer's family.  Of course, they did SO much, especially Jenny, and I tried to be helpful without overstepping my bounds.  The mortician offered to allow us to come dress Ruth in her ceremonial temple clothing.  I left that with Jenny and Heather, and they said it was lovely.

The viewing was on Wednesday night, and the funeral was on Friday.  I don't think it could have gone more smoothly, and we were incredibly blessed by the many, many people who offered help, condolences, and love.  In a way it is a very surreal to have Ruth gone.  The fact that she was so healthy and robust until just before her death makes it very difficult in some ways, and an amazing blessing in other ways.  Taylor had the blessing and opportunity to give his dad a priesthood blessing.  Spencer was a rock for HIS dad.

As the casket was closed, the mortician looked to me to place Ruth's temple veil.  I looked for Jenny and Heather, but they were each in other corners being comforted, so I placed and tied her veil, then covered her face.  Bodies don't do much for me.  I'm not creeped out about them, but it is very clear to me that it is just a shell, not the person.  However, placing Ruth's veil over her mortal face felt sweet, like a service, and I was grateful for the opportunity.  I took her hand for a brief moment and shared my love for her, spirit to spirit.

Ruth was a strange lady in so many ways.  She had many quirky things that were easy to laugh at.  But she was stalwart, faithful, and valiant.  And she pulled a family together in a way that I believe she was reserved to do.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Love Note



Yesterday Lucy gave me a love note.  You can tell it's from her because of her name written on the top (by the people who I presume are me and her or maybe her and her sister).  I think the top left is upside down hearts (which are actually pretty good for a four-year-old), and I think the top right says I love you by a girl who has learned her letters but hasn't yet learned to write.

I REALLY love the children in our Primary.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Life Update in Numbers

4 wonderful children.

1 emotional breakdown.
3 medications.
100s of doctors.
1 high school dropout.
1 really likable boy.

Dozens of dates.
Even more kisses.
1 motorcycle.
1 stepson.
1 upcoming wedding.
29 August.

37 days from today.
1 completed mission.
2 boys living at home.

11 days.
1 ring.
100s of errands.
Dozens of shopping trips.
3 bridal showers.
1 beautiful bride.
5 July.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Giving thanks!

Today Ashtyn's fiance was in court regarding some custody issues for his little boy (Happy birthday, Ty!).  Last night they asked if we could come.  Of course, with such short notice, Spencer was unable to attend.  But with a little eye-batting, I was able to leave work for a couple of hours to attend.

Mom was unwilling to come to any stipulation agreements, so we looked with faith at one another and to Josh's attorney and decided that we'd let the judge decide.  It was heart-wrenching and nerve-wracking and prayer-inducing.  And we got SUCH a good result I can hardly believe it.  I'm sure Ty's mommy is having a tough day, but I think that overall things are more fair.  We couldn't be more happy.

More prayer-inducing!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Dream Come True

Saturday was Spencer's birthday, so his parents invited our entire family to dinner on Sunday.  Josh brought Ty with him to our house, where they visited with us for a few minutes before we all got into our separate cars to go to Grandpa and Grandma's.

Josh and Ash got Ty into his carseat, and Ty said, "Where's Papa and Damma?"  Thinking he was talking about Josh's parents, they said, "They are at home."  He said, "No, Papa Hill!"

And THERE is the first time I've been called Grandma.  Or Damma.  Whichever.  It all works for me.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

And a Story

Mom loves sesame seeds.  Daddy loves Mom.  So when we were kids and we got to have sesame seed buns with our hamburgers, Mom got to have all the seeds that were left in the bag at the end.

I told this story to my sweetheart when we were first married, and he has let me have the sesame seed bag ever since.  I'm the luckiest wife in the world.

P.S.  Yes, I know you can buy sesame seeds.  And I do!  :)

Peace

Several months ago I applied for a job, and I felt completely overwhelmed and nervous.  And then I didn't.  I just felt calm and peaceful, knowing that whatever happened would be just fine.

I learned then that several of my friends had put my name on the prayer roll at the temple.

I don't know if they have continued to do that, but I have been incredibly blessed throughout 2014 with this gift of calm.  It's beautiful.

When I tell people that we have two weddings this summer, their eyes get big, and they say, "Oh, my goodness!  How are you DOING?" and I can honestly say that I'm OK.  Landon has fought terrible depression and anxiety since the beginning of the year, and somehow everything is fine in my mind and heart.

All of this is not to say that I don't have my anxious moments.  But all I have to do is remember the sweet gift that is mine for the taking, and I think, "All I have to do is the stuff that needs to be done TODAY."  So each day is full and busy, but each day I check something off the list, and we calmly move forward.

Of course, it helps that I have family and friends who are doing all they can to help out in a million ways.  It would not be the same without them.

But since "calm" is not usually my M.O., it's nice to have it and enjoy every moment while it lasts.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Seriously.

God created pink tulips just for me, did you know?  It's true.  


In other good news, people in the past got to enjoy them because He was practicing.  And people in the future will get to enjoy what's left over.


My friend sent me this picture last night, with the following note:  Seriously. Nobody has ever loved anybody more than God loves you.

I think she's right!

Monday, May 5, 2014

I Heart Field Trips

Field trips are wasted on children.  So a group of us tries to regularly go on field trips during our lunch breaks.  Today we had a tour of the McCune Mansion.  It was really beautiful and we had a great time.




Mrs. (Sister) McCune had a group of 5 girlfriends who were friends throughout their lives.  She would kick her hubby out of the house for one weekend a year, have matching gowns made, and have her girlfriends over for a long weekend of fun.  We all lamented that we couldn't afford to have matching dresses made.  Instead we'll all get matching earrings--maybe we'll buy all of our friends matching earrings for Christmas!

There are no limits to our genius.

Friday, May 2, 2014

I Acted Like A Manager Today (in a good way)

When I interviewed for this job, one of the questions they asked me was, "If you were given this job, what changes would you make?"  I had been thinking about the answer, and I didn't think I had a good answer.  I responded, "Well, just having me here would be a big change, because I am not Karleen.  But I think I would like to look at the duties of each individual and determine ways that the people can learn and grow.  So maybe some cross-training opportunities.  That kind of thing."

As it turned out, they gave me a job that was much more people-intensive than my predecessor, and I've been excited about the opportunity to see what kind of meaningful and good changes might need to be made.  During some conversations a couple of weeks ago I had a clear picture in my mind of what needed to happen in order to fix x, y, and z.

My direct supervisor and I put together recommendations, which were approved.  We then discussed everything with the section manager over the managers who would be affected AND the section manager over the admins.  They approved the changes.  THEN I discussed the changes with all of the group managers and got their buy-in.  And today was the day we told the admins (my employees) about the changes.

It was very managerial.

It also went well, and I'm grateful for the wonderful people I work with.  Next step is to implement changes (beginning on Monday) and pray that things run smoothly.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

What My Lunch Looked Like Today



I never get tired of my view.

Who's Counting?

Today is May 1.  That means that our Tay has just 3 months to go on his mission.

Just sayin'.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Julie Through the Glass

Does anyone remember this commercial from the early- to mid-1980's?  I've thought about it dozens of times since our first child (a daughter) was born.  Today I went to the hospital to visit a friend whose first baby (a daughter) was born this week.  I couldn't help but feel the tiniest bit blue about how quickly the years have flown. (Emphasize tiny, since each season has beautiful parts, and I have loved them all.)  Briana bought a wedding dress last week.  It hardly seems possible to be here already!

Julie Through the Glass


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Look What Briana Got Last Night!


Our daughter is engaged!!!!!

1. How is it possible that she is old enough for this?
2. How is it possible that I am old enough for this?
3. FAQ's:  Tyler. 25. Student a year away from a Business Management degree. July 5.  Yes, we're happy.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Because of Him

video

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Do I Go Straight To Excited?

So, I FINALLY finished that MBA in November.  That meant that it was time to start looking for work, and I was DETERMINED to leave the company I presently work for.

Then one day my dear friend--a former supervisor in my present corporation--called me to come to her office.  She told me she was retiring and that I should apply for her job.  The whole time she's talking I'm thinking about how much I love the people there and how 4 years ago her job would have been my dream job; and also about how in the past 3 years I've gotten SO fed up with the glass ceiling at my work.  She was probably really confused about how non-committal I was.

BUT I left her office and walked straight to the office of the director of the division (who I know), where we had a nice conversation that actually included the possibility of growth opportunities (Twilight Zone!).  So when the job was posted, I applied.

I interviewed for the position just before Christmas, and they hoped to make a decision immediately.  I felt good about the interview, but I saw the resume of one other person, and she was and is fabulous.  Over the subsequent weekend, I knew that that job was not mine.  I was disappointed, but I was grateful that I got to deal with the disappointment privately.

The hiring manager kept in contact with me every few days, letting me know that the decision still had not been made.  After a couple of weeks, he came up to visit with me shortly in the cafeteria; and as he walked away, I had the feeling that I WAS going to get the job.  It was strange because I really wasn't being just pessimistic before.  I had known that the job wasn't mine.

In the meantime, I had applied for another job--with another corporation--and it was for the job I have DREAMED of having for over a decade.  I received a call asking me to come for an interview.  But now I was SURE I was going to be offered the job at my company and that they were on a pretty strict timeline because my friend is retiring.  So for a couple of days I stewed and prayed and thought and talked to family.  And I came to the very calm conclusion that if they offered me the position, I would accept it.

This past Thursday I received an appointment request to meet with my friend and the hiring manager.  His words were, "The bad news is that we are not offering you the job you applied for.  The good news is that we have another job we ARE offering you."  It turns out that upper management decided--after the interviews--that they wanted to restructure the job rather than having it as it has been for the past years.  They did that during the weekend when I KNEW that I was not getting the job.  The restructure came together and was approved this past Monday, the same day that I KNEW I was getting the job.  What they decided to do was take two jobs, throw them together, and assign the duties from those two jobs to two different people.  So that woman who I was sure would be great?  She is getting one portion of the job.  She gets the more technical side of things:  running reports, keeping databases current, and overseeing technical support for the employees of that division.  I will be doing the more supervisory/managerial stuff and some technical writing.

Hiring two different people, however, meant that there needed to be approval to hire them both at the higher level they had advertised; and THAT requires managing director approval.  Enter our managing director, who used to be the director of the division for which I was applying to work.  He's a brat.  He's a bully.  He's a diva.  He and I have a courteous relationship, but he knows that I don't love him.  But in less than two hours the hiring manager went from an email to me that said, "We've hit a snag," to sending me the meeting appointment to offer me a job.  Our managing director had not even hesitated to sign the approval when he learned it was me they were talking about.

I accepted the position offered to me.  I'm very happy about the opportunities to do new things and learn new things.  I thanked my managing director for his goodness to me in this particular case (that was actually a really nice conversation).  I went down to my new office and did several hours of training on Friday.  I announced my new job to the people in my current division.  I cancelled my interview with the other company.

And with all of this, I wouldn't say I am excited.  I'm happy, yes.  I'm anticipating.  But mostly I'm calm, and that is a wonderful, wonderful feeling.

Yesterday Briana and I went to the temple.  After we had performed our service there, I walked over to the prayer roll to enter some names.  As I stood there I had clear recollections of two different friends who--during the course of the past couple of weeks--had put my name on the prayer roll when they've attended the temple.  And now I know that I am calm because of the tender mercies of the Lord.  He has been giving me gentle care all along, and I am incredibly thankful for His watchcare and for the beautiful blessing of wonderful friends.