Tuesday, October 30, 2007

An Oscar Worthy Performance

Here's a quick update on my first day of work:

I felt like the biggest fish out of water ever!!!

It was quite humorous actually. I felt like I was some sort of actress playing the role of a distinguished business woman.

My boss is a well respected professor, and president of something, I don't remember exactly. We spent most of the day strolling around the campus, going into different offices as he introduced me to all sorts of important people. Why? I don't really know. But as he introduced me to the Dean, I had to keep whispering to myself, "confidence Liz, confidence". I felt so out of place. Especially when he asked me to join him for lunch, and we sat down at a table with Willamette faculty members, who were all deep in conversation using long, knowledgeable words, and I kept thinking, "I need to refill their water glass, oh wait, I'm not a waitress right now"

But, overall the day went well. I held my head high and walked around like I owned the place. :) It was sort of a freebie, as I didn't have to do any actual office work, which I am thankful for, because I am scared to death. Yes, I've taken the appropriate courses, but can I actually do the job? I don't know. I'll give it my best shot though!
The best part of my day was the fact that Olivia had a great day! I will be working 20 hours: 2 full days and one half day. We only needed someone to watch Olivia on one of those days, as Jon is home on the other two. So on Fridays she will be going to Court Street Christian Childcare. I was so worried about how she would do, but she loved it!!! We really built it up, and have been telling her she is going to school. We bought her a new Little Mermaid blanket and pillow for nap time, a Cinderella lunchbox, and of course, what first day of school would be complete without a new pair of shoes? She was so cute in the morning before we left, as she was so excited and kept saying "I go to skewl"

But let me tell you, leaving her there was hard. Not for her, but for me. In ten years of parenting I had never done this before. She jumped right in and started playing, and had no problem saying goodbye, but I was worried sick about her all day. Thankfully, Abby text messaged me a picture of her sleeping at nap time and said she was doing great. Thanks Abby!

And how do you bring such a great day to a close?
With ice cream of course!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Modern Day Miracle

I received a phone call today.
Not just any phone call, but a phone call from Willamette University..... offering me the position of "part time administrative assistant for the International Debate Education Association"

Now let me tell you what a miracle this is. I have no office experience whatsoever. And I thought surely there would be many, many more qualified applicants then myself. I do however, have a wonderful dear friend who works for IDEA. She told me back in June this position would be opening, and thought I would be perfect for it. Plus, we're good friends and we would get to work together, so how fun is that? So, since June I have been preparing myself to be qualified for this position: Taking a QuickBooks course and fine tuning my Excel skills. And also, this job was one of the reasons we decided to not home school this year. So all of those middle of the night comments on your blogs, were usually because I was up late cramming in an online QuickBooks course, and when I couldn't bear to look at one more spread sheet, I would check out and head over to Blog World.

I am beyond excited right now! My interview was just two days ago, and I start tomorrow - yikes!!!

But why am I so thrilled about this job?
I have been a stay at home mom for 10 years, 6 months and 5 days. Well, sort of. When Daniel was 6 months old I began serving at Newport Bay Restaurant two nights a week, and have been there ever since. It was a great way to supplement Jon's income. Believe it or not we lowly servers make pretty good money. Are you ready for this? When it's all said and done, I make an average of $30 per hour. So working 15 hours a week has been very helpful financially! And the nice part is I worked at night, so I could stay home with the kids during the day and was even able to home school for four years, and Jon would be with them the two nights I worked. But now, our kids aren't so little anymore, and every night seems to be jam packed with some sort of activity. And, not to mention waitressing for 10 years is starting to take its toll. I don't quite enjoy it like I used to. And being surrounded by 20 year old college students doesn't quite boost the self-esteem either. So I am extremely looking forward to this new change. Oh, and did I mention if I am working at Willamette when our kids are college age, they can all three go to Willamette University for FREE!!!
Olivia and I enjoying a tea party out in the sun a few days ago. This sunny fall weather has been so beautiful. And I have especially been enjoying my one on one time with Olivia while Daniel and Sarah are in school; although I have been missing them and our home school days together greatly! It's definitely bittersweet.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Playing Along

This is for you Meghan, Ona, Valerie and Rachel. I read all of your 8 random things and also those annoying words, "if you've read this, then tag you're it". So after being inspired by Becca's capitulation to pressure, I thought I'd play along too.

1. I have a tatoo.
I got it when I was 18 just because I could

2. I've been skydiving
my favorite part was standing out on the leg of the plane...and letting go!

3. I jumped off a 60 ft. bridge ("the steel bridge") into the North Fork river when I was 12, just to show off to my older brothers and all the other guys standing around contemplating it. This became my favorite thing to do every summer with friends...oh to be young again! (the picture below is not the steel bridge, but the cement bridge, which was where we would get warmed up, and yes that's me in mid-air)

4. I have been to nine countries: The Netherlands, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Russia, Philippines, Taiwan, and of course, Canada and Mexico.

5. I've eaten balut (a fertilized chicken egg with a nearly developed embryo inside)

6. I've eaten dog.
My apologies to all you dog-lovers out there. I didn't know I was consuming canine until after the meal was over, and I curiously asked the Filippino woman what type of meat was in the red sauce she served us over rice.

7. I love man movies
Gladiator is my all-time favorite, Braveheart is a close 2nd, and I love war movies

8. I dream about living in a foreign country and serving as a full time missionary with my husband and kids.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Becoming a Woman of Faith

Today is a good day.

I am getting out of the house for two whole days!


I feel so blessed that I have the opportunity to attend the Women of Faith conference this weekend. I've never been before, but have heard good reports, and we are sitting only sixteen rows from the stage. Pretty nice! So what am I hoping to get out of this weekend other then a break from laundry, cooking, and dishes? Well, I hope to meet God in the midst of some awesome worship. I hope to hear God through the teaching of women who have submitted their lives to Him so they can be used for His glory. I hope to fill a whole notebook full of notes, so I can read back over them for months to come, and remember what God was impressing upon my heart. I hope to laugh. I hope to be convicted. I hope to be renewed. I hope to be changed. But most of all, I hope to be a woman who pleases God. How? By continuing to be a woman of faith. Because, "without faith it is impossible to please God" - Hebrews 11:6.

Oh, and I almost forgot, I will thoroughly enjoy going out to dinner without a two year old. Why would a mother say such harsh words? I will let these pictures answer that for you:

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Thirty One and Still #1

Number one in my book anyway!
Today is my beloved's birthday.I wish so much that I could buy him the things he really wants. If we were rich, this is what I would give him for his birthday:

*A brand new black Ford F250 4-wheel drive extended cab truck with a spray in bedliner

*Season tickets to see the Yankees play in 2008 at Yankee stadium, and whenever they have a home game, we could just fly to New York and watch the game, and then fly home

*Two roundtrip tickets to Kona, Hawaii; the place he calls "home"

*A plane ticket to go see his "man love" Travis (think Turk and J.D. on Scrubs, if you've never seen it, then never mind. Jon and Travis are best friends, hence Daniel's middle name: Travis)

*A retaining wall in the back yard and the yard completely landscaped

*A $5,000 gift card to Jcrew

*A week long missions trip back to Haiti for our whole family
...........But there are some things money can't buy. Like a sweet, blog post dedicated just to you on your birthday. Just what he's always wanted!

It's amazing to me that this is what Jon looked like when I first met him, pretty cute eh?

And I thought he was the cutest looking guy around. I loved his hair, his eyes, his smile, the way he looked that first night I met him at Darrin and Duane's house that fateful spring break of '95 (actually we met once in 6th grade, but didn't really talk much). I loved his '84 blue nissan truck, his Lucky jeans, the way he looked with a baseball cap on, the way I could smell his eternity cologne when I wore his baseball jacket, and how he would belt out Hootie and The Blowfish's, "I Only Want To Be With You" to me.

I was smitten!

But now............12 and a half years later, I love his honesty, his integrity, his faithfulness, his compassionate heart, his selfless attitude, his desire to keep growing closer to God, how he literally makes me laugh at least six times a day, his devotion to his kids, his heart for missions, his desire to always be caught up on laundry, our "Office" date nights, and yes, his smile is still on the top of my list! I'm still smitten, but for much better reasons!

Happy Birthday Jon!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Question Answered

A sweet, pregnant "blogger friend" recently asked me, and I quote, "My belly button feels like it's going to burst this evening, please tell me it won't?"

Well Meghan, um I mean anonymous pregnant blogger friend, here's your answer: I don't know who that poor lady is, but she's 10 days overdue with her first child in that picture. And yes, it would appear that her belly button is about to burst, but I assure you it did not, and I don't believe yours will either. The artwork on her swollen abdomen is courtesy of Jon Garland and is not to be copied or reproduced in any way.

Cyber Friends No More....

.......We have officially met!

Today was the day, "the meeting"

Let me give you a little background:

When I first started blogging, I only knew two fellow bloggers, Angela and Becca. And they would so sweetly and faithfully leave comments on my blog. Then the day came when I commented on Becca's blog, and well I was public domain then. I might as well have put a classified out in the paper! I began to be found by all you lovely ladies who are Becca's friends.

Well, truth be told, I snooped around Sharon's blog before she commented on mine (but never dared to comment). When I first read Sharon's blog it was sisterly love at first paragraph. I read through her whole blog start to finish, and was totally amazed. I had never known a person who was so much like me. My upbringing was so similar to hers, "secular music" banned from our house, going to private school, our competitive nature and love for sports, our love for Ebay, our dislike for doing laundry.......Everything she wrote about, I would think that is totally me!!! I figured out she was some kind of pastor's wife at Court Street, but surely not the Senior Pastor's wife. She's too funny, too down to earth real, and too fashionable! I mean what pastor's wife wears ring watches and plays Bon Jovi on their blogs, and tells friends about "the submarine races"? So I did some investigating on the church's website, and lo and behold....She is the pastor's wife!!! I was floored!

Then the glorious day came, Sharon commented on my blog!!! I was thrilled that I could now read hers and comment too! And then came today, both of our daughter's playing in the same volleyball league provided the perfect opportunity to finally meet! I was too rushed this morning to worry about what I looked like or what I was going to wear to "our meeting day", but when I saw her, she was everything I dreamed she'd be :) I felt a little insecure as I approached the tall, skinny, beautiful stranger, but as we started talking, and she insisted our girls get a picture together....with a volleyball, I knew, ahh, that's the witty Sharon I know! And she so kindly gave me a chocolate bar (not just any chocolate bar, a Dove dark chocolate bar, my absolute favorite) and a card, which on the cover celebrated my "love for shoes" Chocolate and shoes, yep this girl knows me alright, and now I'm so glad to say I know her too....for real!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Becoming Tough

Let me tell you a little bit about Daniel. He loves animals. He loves to read. He loves pickles (even dipped in ice cream), He loves to give homeless people food (if we drive by a person holding a sign, I always hear, "mom pull over!" and he will proceed to give that person anything he has, string cheese, fruit snack, half eaten hamburger....anything!) He loves science. He loves 500 piece puzzles. He loves studying human anatomy. He loves building 1,000 piece star wars lego ships all by himself. I wish I had a picture of his lego collection to show you, but he has taken all his ships apart just so he can put them back together again. He calls himself the "lego doctor". The neighbor boys bring over their broken spaceships and Daniel puts them back together for them without the directions. And you should have seen the Thomas the Tank Engine tracks he would build when he was younger. He's a whiz on the piano, it just comes naturally to him. I could go on and on, but I'll spare you. One thing Daniel is not naturally gifted in is athletics. The whole running, hand-eye coordination, agility, and competitive-attitude thing just has never caught on.

He made the choice to play football this year, and has been having quite a hard time. His coaches are pretty over-the-top tough on the boys. He just hasn't been "getting it" and wants to quit. But last night him and Jon came home grinning ear to ear, and Daniel looked like this:
Daniel got his first big tackle ever! Not just one, but several! Jon said he just came alive out in the mud and rain, and it was like everything just "clicked". Jon said Daniel just got in attack mode and started plowing guys down! Jon almost started crying (well, not really, but he was very excited and very proud) as he was retelling the practice to me. So here's to you Daniel! We're proud of you, that you worked hard, and did your best! And we're proud of who you are, even if you don't choose to play football next year, that doesn't matter. We just want you to *be yourself, because God can't use anyone else.
The way He made you is perfect!

*this quote belongs to Pastor Bob Kruse, I can't take credit for it :)