Sunday, August 30, 2009

An Interview a day, keeps the...peace away?

I had an interview everyday this week and learned ALOT!
Monday's was a group interview for a receptionist position with a marketing company in American Fork. I had fun in the group interview and would enjoy working for a quality company like them, however, it doesn't make me want to do flips and happy dances.
Tuesday I taught ballet classes to the younger girls at Dance Showcase as an audition class to teach there Tuesday nights. Now I got to decide where to commit to for Tuesdays, Centerville or PG. My friend Tiffany Gurney, who I danced with years ago is teaching there and leading the ballet program. So we chatted and found that our goals for the girls and teaching philosophies are very similar. And the drive.. is only 20 minutes away. So I decided to take the job down here and feel good and excited.
Wednesday I interviewed for an Alumni Relations administrative position at UVU. Great interview. I felt like some of my answers were a little canned and I drited into pageant mode. So I am working on and learning how to be myself and speak from my heart in the moment and balance the planning ahead and thinking about answers to possible questions beforehand. It is a work in progress.
Wednesday night I started my institute class with Brother Bartholomew, it is church history from 1845-present. I am president of the class and it was very nostalgic to be back in that place. It was like picking up where I had left off, institute and leadership responsibilities, but with 5 more of the most transforming years of my life under my belt. interesting.
I was talking to my dear friend Kareena after class and had a breakdown, just wishing that my life would settle down. It was the breaking point of my patience and trust and I think I got to the point I have wanted to get to: total surrender. I drove home in tears silently offering up my life to Heavenly Father in utter humility and surrender. I am willing to go and do whatever HE asks. Thy will, not mine be done was the offering I willing laid before Him. Gratitude immediately rushed in and I knew that this was all part of the beautiful process of my life!
Thursday I interviewed with a large dental office in Lehi for a call center position. It was a 'working' interview. So I got to sit behind the desk with a headset on and observe the girls doing the job I would do. Beautiful office, super great customer service, but all that kept coming to me was... "I have more to give than this". I could do the job and be the most cheerful insurance rep, but I just wouldn't be satisfied in this job.
Friday I interviewed for a nanny position in Seattle, why not, right? While I was interviewing the coordinator girl told me about another family in LA that is looking for a nanny. The LA family sounded more like a good fit than the one in Seattle, but we will see how it pans out.
Saturday was my CHILL OUT day. I went to the temple, prepared my sunday school lesson, took a nap, and just cleared out the stress of the week. I don't sleep as soundly at night with Phil moaning and groaning next door and Mei snoring on the bunk above me.
Saturday night I tended Taylor while the Halls went to their ward summer party. We had a great time. We watched a movie for a bit while I ran on the tredmill, then we had dinner and got in the hot tub. It's a rough job, I tell ya! Taylor was so happy all night!
I went home and finished preparing my lesson and went on a midnight run for toilet paper, we were completely out! I got a chance to talk with Mom on the ride and found out that her first week up in Ogden was hard, but good.
Today was a very heavy duty calling kind of day. I taught sunday school on D&C 131-132 about the Sealing power and marriage covenant. It went great, I asked Aunt Karen to share a few thoughts on the difference that being married in the temple has made in her life and she was fabulous. Many people commented on their appreciation of my lesson and her thoughts. This is what I learned in terms of teaching and teaching with the spirit: I just get to be clear, to allow the inspiration to flow. I noticed that my time spent just clearing out the stress, tiredness, and anxiety of the week through rest and meditation was the most effective in my preparation because the spirit and revelation could have room to flow though my vessel because it was clear. So I am creating clarity once again in my life on a regular basis! My new motto: Clarity is key!
We had a combined EQ and RS and witness the change in our EQ presidency. I have secretly wished to be able to sit in on one of these occasions. Our stake president came and explained the process, then called and set apart the new president. The high council rep set apart he first counselor and the new EQ pres set apart his new secretary. Then testimony mania from newly called and released brethren. It was really awesome!
After church I did some VT interviews to meet the new sisters and talk about VT, then gathered some VT reports, then I was home taught, then visit taught, so I am well taken care of.
I came home and just chilled, been chilling ever since. Except for I have one more streak of productivity in me, hence the blog. It feels good to go through the mental checklist to find everything for the month checked off... for two days until a new one begins. Ah, life is good, isn't it!

Pretty regular life

Wow, the last 2 weeks have been packed full so I will do my best to summarize briefly. This entry is about the week of August 16-23.
Last, last sunday I went to my dear friend Ian's "Otter Pop farewell party" and met the most darling girls. Ian is off to Stanford this fall and had a get together with friends and otter pops for the refreshment...mmmm... otter pops...perfect treat for blogging...mmm...I think grape, the new found favorite flavor!
At this party I met Ian's girlfriend Julia, stellar, and her roommate Chel, equally as fantastic. We hit it right off and had the most stimulating, refreshing time together.
That night I shared my 'link' insight at ward prayer from my sunday school preparation.
Monday we moved all the stuff from downstairs to the upstairs and cleaned up in preparation for Curt and Mand to move in that night. We now had 11 people sharing 4 bedrooms in addition to all the stuff that was just piled everywhere, needless to say, I felt a litle squished.
Tuesday I spent the day with the Halls while Heather went to education week. I went with Jeremy to pick up his motorcycle at the shop and got to drive their truck home, pretty fun! That night I went up to teach ballet classesat a studio in Centerville. The girls were DARLING! They said thank you after I gave them the combination, not quite ballet etiquette, but too sweet of a gesture to reprimand. These girls worked hard, smiled, paid attention, they were great. I interviewed with the owner of the studio after the classes and we ended up chatting for an hour. She had 100 questions that she selected from and I found that our teaching philosophies and everything lined up, so I was so excited when she emailed me two days later offering me the job to teach tuesday nights. The only thing... the drive.
That night I went and stayed over at Marg and Nate's. We chatted and Nate showed me his Guatemala pictures and the PIP pictures, until about 1:30 in the morning.
Wednesday I ran errands for Rachel, the girl I visit teach, and then taught some ballet classes at Dance Showcase that afternoon.
Saturday morning I went to the Halls to watch Taylor while the rest of the crew went to cheer Heather on at the finish line for her half marathon, have I mentioned how inspiring this woman is? incredible.
Saturday night I went to Lexie Anderson's bridal shower up in Sandy at this beautiful home in a gated community. I had to report where I was going, the reason, and my last name, to get through the guard house. So before I exited, I drove around with my mouth open looking at all the gorgeous homes up there.
The shower was great, I made a broom lady and got a little nighty goodie for Lexie and it was so good to see her. Her best friend who threw the shower greeted me at the front door. She had multiple piercings on her ears, tongue, and nose, so I hesitated as I asked if I was at the right place. Come to find out, she is a very tasteful, refined, talented, smart woman. Qualities that I usually don't associate with people with piercings and tatoos, so it was something for me to take a look at and empty out some judgement I have stored.
Staurday night Curt came up to play Barnyard with Rose, Dad, and me. Mom was sewing on the other end of the table making her motherly comments every now and then. I lost miserably and forgot how much of Curtis's life is about strategy!
We all stayed up way too late on Saturday night and then rose early for the Oquirrh Mountain Temple dedication at 9 am. Everyone was dozing during the program and a bit crabby in the morning, but we made it. Beautiful service.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Taylor...the latte boy

This week the Hall's vere vacationing in California, so I got to take care of Taylor, their oldest son. We had a great time and did all his favorite things: walking, being outside, hot tubbing, swimming, taking long luxurious baths, and eating ice cream just about every night, it's a rough job I tell ya!
I also have been massageing his back muscles and noticed that they have evened out. The muscles to the right of his spine were full of knots and visibly tighter than his left side, so last Sunday I had my sister Andrea take a look and give me ideas of what I could do massage-wise. She showed me some strokes and areas to massage and Taylor has been a good sport to let me lotion him up and get the knots out.
Wednesday morning I took Taylor up with me to meet Erica as a second interview for a job teaching a ballet and pointe class. I found out later that they went with another applicant. Darn, it would have been a lot of fun. Wednesday I also got a call from the Dance Showcase studio to sub some ballet classes, the same classes I taught last week. I decided to take it and called a neighbor to watch Taylor. The first class worked hard and were really focused. The second class was totally if not completely bored, so I am learning if that is in response to a class that is too basic or too advanced.
This week I also worked on my vision board in the down time or when Taylor was sleeping. I took my huge corkboard and made a huge collage out of magazine pictures and words about the 'Vision of my life'. It was really fun to do and I got to really ponder on what it is that I envision creating with my life. The summary:

Health and Wellness
Marriage, Home, and Family
Grad School, PhD, publish a book
Financial wisdom and abundance: learning to love budgeting
Publish a book, the title: Trees and Roots
Be in a Broadway play
Take voice and piano lessons
and I don't know if I have hung my pageant shoes up yet or not...

But above all, as I was using my Indirect spatial awareness in viewing my life and taking it all in, a scripture boldly called out:
"Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you"

Pondering on this scripture felt like peace to the thundering storm. Finally something made sense and I could move forward in confidence.
I was reminded to yield to the flow of life and allow these things to BE. My tendency is to get anxious, like I am somehow behind in life because everything is not yet fulfilled. But the truth is that I am walking hand in hand with God and all is well.

After the Halls got home Saturday evening I went to do baptisms for the dead at the Timpanogos Temple to kind of seal the study I had been doing for my lesson on Sunday. In my lesson preparation I discovered my new favorite scripture in D&C 128:18

"...It is sufficient to know, in this case, that the earth will be smitten with a bcurse unless there is a welding clink of some kind or other between the fathers and the dchildren, upon some subject or other—and behold what is that subject? It is the ebaptism for the dead. For we without them cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect. Neither can they nor we be made perfect without those who have died in the gospel also; for it is necessary in the ushering in of the dispensation of the ffulness of times, which dispensation is now beginning to usher in, that a whole and complete and perfect union, and welding together of dispensations, and keys, and powers, and glories should take place, and be revealed from the days of Adam even to the present time. And not only this, but those things which never have been revealed from the gfoundation of the world, but have been kept hid from the wise and prudent, shall be revealed unto hbabes and sucklings in this, the dispensation of the fulness of times.

The idea of a welding link fascinated me because part of my role in my family is to serve as a link, so this is just another layer of the purpose and divine timing of my life.
My dream is to catch the Spirit of Elijah so much that I fall in LOVE with genealogy work. I am working up to that, so any glimmer of that dream coming true is like finding buried treasure.
There was a big group at the temple, so I got to read my favorite passage in John 15 about the True Vine and connect all the ideas swimming around in my mind and heart from my study this week.
It's interesting about this phase of my life, where everything is up in the air, it is hard for me to be present in the moment. My mind is always racing into the future and everywhere I am not, with new ideas of what to do with the money I will someday have or the names of my children. Seriously.
After the temple I indulged in one of my favorite things on this planet: a pedicure. Mmmm....a dark plum color with white flowers, so darling and my open toed shoes I wore to church today showed them off brilliantly! I love being a girl!
Afterwards I took myself out to Costa Vida for a late dinner and headed home feeling refreshed, pampered and ready for anything.
I have been mulling over this daycare job that I have been interviewing for that is up in Salt Lake with only 10 hours and less than desirable pay, 3 strikes. Saturday night I felt prompted to just let it go, so I wrote the lady an email and sent it off.
Today, Sunday, began our new church schedule and meeting house. We are back at the Talmage Building on BYU campus with 10am start. That is where we met before moving to the new church building on 800s, so it is nostalgic to sit in classroom desks and chairs again for Sunday School. Speaking of Sunday School, I was all pumped up to give my lesson only to find that the Bishopric was taking care of teaching the classes. I secretly was relieved since I felt like I bombed my last lesson, but I was really excited about this one. So much so that I was venting to my Relief Society President and counselor after church and they indulged me in hearing the mini version of my lesson with props and all.
And, a super blast from the past flowed through the door today at church. My friend Kareena Sorenson that I served in institute leadership with during my first few years at UVU is moving into my ward next week and came to check it all out. It was a thrill to see her and remember how inspiring she is.
So, more job hunt this week. I am actually really excited about it because I found a lot of fantastic office jobs on Craig's List that looked appetizing!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Hall-aday week

Monday, Tuesday,and Wednesday of this week Heather was with her family in California for Christina's temple date, so I was with the 4 kids while Jeremy was at work. They are good kids and easy to be with.
Monday Robyn had a birthday party for Luke across the street. When I went to pick her up, I finally got to reconnect with Jordyn, a girl I went to junior high with at Lakeridge. She is coming up on her 5th wedding anniversary, prego with her third baby and well settled in a house on the next street. Wow, time flies.
Tuesday I got word that my Grandpa Conway passed away that morning and had a moment of tears as I read the email that he was actually gone. Funeral services this weekend.
That afternoon I took the 3 kids (Allison was playing with friends) to the BYU art museum during the day and we went to Alyssa Merrell's wedding reception that night. It worked out perfect because Jeremy was hosting a big party at the house. This wedding reception was voted a 10 and possibly the funnest one we have been to. We were counting how many receptions we have been to together, all 5 of us, we lost track after 7, its our favorite thing to do together. The reception was on Osmond Lane, so the spacious backyard included a separate mini playground for the kids. By mini, I mean fully loaded with a few swings, multiple slides, and plenty of inbetween to crawl, climb, and run around on. So they loved that, and I loved the photo booth at the beginning of the reception to document this time with them. And of course the chocolate fountain, cake, brownies, and other goodies qualify as dinner's dessert. My only thing-I-would-do-different-next-time is to provide a substantial dinner. We had frozen burritos that just didn't cut it and left extra room for treats at the party. Supporting the bride and groom seems like the cherry on top of these occasions when I take the Halls, it is just too much fun. We got home late and I think they finally all fell asleep around 10:30 after checking in the party at home and sampling the pink lemonade and chip and dip combo.
Wednesday I got a call from one of the dance studios by the Hall's house to come substitute teach a couple of ballet classes, so I raced off to do that as soon as Heather walked in the door. This job hunt has felt like sewing a patch work quilt, more like a mosaic. It feels like bits and pieces of possibilities are the common reply from my efforts to get a job.
The classes went well and a tender mercy: I found out about teaching these classes a few hours before, not a lot of preparation time, so I planned to use the class I prepared for the BYU dance camp in June. I got to BYU and found my prepared class a bit advanced for these kids and simplified it on the spot. When I got to these classes at this studio prepared to teach the simplified class, they were ready for more and I was prepared. Thank You Heavenly Father.
I have mixed feelings about teaching at this studio and at studios in general because unless it is a conservatory styled studio, their focus is on winning competitions and filling up their windows with trophies. Ballet then becomes the hoop they have to jump through to get to compete, totally on the flip side of how I was trained.
Thursday was my free day this week to get my life in order and ready to move upstairs to make room for Curt and Mand in the basement at the Folks'. It felt good to clean out my closet and throw away all the old lotions and potions and clothes that just don't work anymore. Not to mention the company of Marg and Nate who were down for the funeral.
Thursday night I took Kim and David to see "Joseph" at the Scera Shell. Every new song I heard "oh this is my favorite". Needless to say, they relished every minute of it.
Friday night was the viewing for Grandpa Conway at the Larkin place. It was so great to reacquaint with cousins and catch up on all the new babies and life plans. I recognize these times are few and far between when I get to see my cousins, so I am working on being the ice breaker and the one who reaches out first. It is still not the most comfortable for me, but I am getting better at it. I pray a lot hoping the fire of the spirit will melt the way. It works for some relationships and others take a little more time to warm up.
Friday night I went with Dad to pick up Ren and Cathleen from the airport. We stopped and chatted over some Crown Burger, mmm. Dad and I shared a caramel shake, who orders a caramel shake? Crunchy chunks of anything go hand in hand with soft ice cream in my book. That night I let myself in at the Halls and slept there so they could leave at 3am for their California family vacation. I get to hang out with Taylor and Rocky this week while they are gone.
Saturday were the funeral services for Grandpa Conway and I took Taylor with me. It was a beautiful service and the reality of the goodness of his life is a lasting impression for me. It was the most cheerful funeral service I have ever experienced.
After the luncheon we crashed at Julianne's house and Mags and I got some more time to chat. Taylor was such a good sport, but he did enjoy the multiple kinds of Jello and Funeral Potatoes. We got home late and went straight to bed.
Sunday was low key if I ever knew it. We went to church, saw my cousin Emily and came home to chill. That night we went over to visit with Joe and Matt before they went back home. Everyone except for Christina was here for the funeral services, amazing.

A Play a day...

A couple of weeks ago Rose and I went down to the Shakespeare Festival and to see our cousin Megan who is living in St. George and doing the Dental Hygiene program at Dixie. It was probably the funnest road trip Rose and I have taken, it was all out fantastic!
We drove down on Sunday, so our typical raucous road trip-y music had to wait. But it set the stage for a wonderful chat with Rose. She had just returned from a pioneer trek, so we chatted about that in addition to the general catch-up on our lives. We read Elder Eyring's conference talk and shared our testimonies about family, marriage, and the purpose for all of it.
We drove straight to St. George to stay with Megan, our plan was to stay with her that night and get a hotel in Cedar for Monday night, but we decided to stay with her for the whole trip since it really wasn't too far to drive from the Festival. We played a very distracted game of up and down as we attempted to catch up on everyone and everything. Thankfully Andrew kept the game rolling reminding us which hand we were on amidst our chatty conversation.
Monday morning we got up and went hiking at Red Cliffs, beautiful with HUGE red rocks canyon/camping place. We found the hike we wanted, but it was 1/8th of a mile. So we forged our own and followed Rose up the rocks. This woman is a hard core cliff conqueror. I don't know when Rose got so adventurous, but we didn't stop til we reached the top and I mean the top of the red rocks. After conquering each big rock I looked at the next one in disbelief asking "are we going up that one?" But we didn't stop. At the top while we rested we caught up with Megan and rekindled our cousin connection. It was so good to catch up with her.
On the way down I began navigating until we were headed farther away from our car below. Then Rose led, I have much more practice following her than leading, so I happily turned that role over to her for the descent.
That afternoon we hit the pool at Megan's complex, perfect timing, lunch time when all the kids are eating and napping, so we had the pool almost all to ourselves. We chatted, played water volleyball, had canon ball contests, caught some serious rays, and chatted some more. So fun!
Once we were home, we showered and dolled up for our play that night and our traditional dinner at our favorite, The Pastry Pub, mmmm!
On the drive, we sang our hearts out to all our favorites: ABBA, Grease, Hairspray, Michael Buble, etc. And wow, we have a lot of inside jokes, I would like to say they are common the family, but a lot of the ones we reminisced about on this trip were RMO: Rose and Mere Originals.
After drinking in all the thrill of play orientation with Fred and the Green Show, we saw Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors in the Adams Theater. Our attempt to get a picture in front of the wooden Adams Theater sign was a hoot. We couldn't quite get it without our heads in the way when we took it so we asked Diane, one of the ushers to take it. The bells signaling the start of the play are ringing and we were explaining to her which way the camera faces and which button to push and make sure to get the sign. We just laughed when hers turned out just as unsuccessful as ours, heads in the way.
We sat in the balcony on the side, never again, you only get half the facials which are the best part. But the play was fantastic, as always! Rose had brought goodies for the play, so she was furiously unwrapping starbursts at intermission for the second half.
We drove back to Megans for the night and at 11pm we started the 2 hour Bachelorette finale and ate Megan's yummy peach cobbler with Breyers ice cream. I think just about anything else in the world would have been more productive for me to do, but the peach cobbler and girl time justified the show.
Tuesday morning we hit the outlet mall in St. George and ran into the most fantastic sale at Shade, buy 2 get 1 free. Rose and I now have multiple matching items in our wardrobe including some fantastic retro dresses.
We rushed home and grabbed some snacks for the road as we headed out for Cedar to see The Secret Garden in the Randall Theater. Our beloved Brian Vaughn played Dr. Craven, the choreography was awesome and the whole design of the play was fantastic! We loved it and cried multiple times, then sang the songs for the rest of the day.
After the play we headed back to Megan's to chill for a bit. We watched this fantastic cake show where a team of cake artists made a tiki torch cake that breathed fire, it was so cool!
That night we were treated to dinner at Cafe Rio, so yummy. We gabbed our way through the meal and ate way to much. Then we headed to Tuacahn to see Footloose. Megan works at the gift shop there, so she got us free stand by tickets. We saw the last part of the pre-show, dedicated to the 80s in the spirit of Footloose and we danced on the sidelines. Afterwards, the cutest little Downs girl got up on the stage and did a show for us. Her name was Kaitlin, but her stage name was Millie. She sang the Star Spangled Banner and invited us on the stage to sing "Tomorrow" with her. Hysterical!
Footloose was great, Thayne Jasperson, a fantastic dancer, played Ren. A bit after intermission it started to lightning and sprinkle with some serious wind, so they cancelled the show and invited the audience back another time. Shoot, we will just have to go down again, darn it! ;)
We crashed at Megan's one more night and drove home at 6am so I could get to the Hall's by 10:30am Wednesday. Even at 6am, we were singing away to Kieth Urban, Michael Buble, Toby Kieth, etc.
Rose is an absolute gem and I got to experience her nurturing side this trip. She has the incredible capacity to make everyone feel included and like they are the top, not to mention the generosity and F-U-N that oozes from every cell in her body. Wow, I got lucky to be on this mortal trail with her.
Wednesday I spent at the Hall's and semi coming back to reality.
Thursday I went swimming with Taylor and the Hall's. Taylor was perky for hours in the pool, he loves being in the sunshine and going swimming, so it was a double bonus day for him.
Starting Friday I was housesitting and dogsitting for Angie in Salt Lake. She has 2 dogs and 1 cat that I was taking care of for the weekend while she was in Italy. Friday I went up and got settled, let the dogs out and fed them, then crashed for a couple of hours before picking up Rose to go see The Fantasticks up at Sundance. I picked her up from work, saw her work, and we headed south. We looked all around for the UVU School of the Arts reception I was invited to and finally found it after hiking up in our flip flops to the theater. We found the party and instead of a few complimentary tarts there was bean dip and chips, fruit, veggies, rolls, artichoke dip and a man at the end cutting succulent delish ham. This is why I want to be a wealthy philanthropist, to be invited to parties like these with fine dining and professional arts performances. We sat fifth row just off center in the reserved section and loved it! The play was hysterical and kept us laughing, our favorite line "Come on Mortimer, die for the man". It was super well done and we finally connected the songs we know with the scenes and storyline. 4 plays in 5 days equals Happy Souls, I recommend it.
Friday night Rose slept over with me at Angie's and got up for work at 6. Didn't even hear her get up, but I was good morning-ed at 6:30 by the dogs ready to go out. I guess their day starts that early, mine typically doesn't.
Saturday I took care of the house and dogs while planning my sunday school lesson on D&C 121-123. Beautiful lesson with a heavy climax. Saturday night I was with the Halls for a typical movie night and bedtime routine.