Christian and I held our first "Family Home Evening" last Sunday with our new household. I taught a lesson on the value of work (education, church callings and personal spirituality, employment, developing talents, etc.). As part of this lesson, we all wrote down four goals and the steps we were going to take to reach those goals.
One of my goals was to make a bigger difference in my workplace. This means going beyond my work duties to implement change and improve processes. If any of you had my job, you know this isn't the easiest task. But as one of the steps to meeting that goal, I decided that I would not blog at work and that I would only check my email at certain times during the day. I know most people already do this, but if you had my job, you'd probably check your email all day, too.
So my goal was to blog at night when I'm at home.
So I've been driving Richard and Meghan to seminary at 5:45am, getting to work on time, working my butt off, going to class right after work, tutoring after work the days I don't have class, driving Dianna around and hounding her to turn in job applications, making sure Richard is doing his homework (and that he's doing it well), not running or exercising, and trying to hang out with Christian on the side. So although I have a million things to blog about every day, I just haven't had the chance. Hopefully I can find some time between all the madness to write more interesting nonsense. But until then, this will have to do. I can't wait for this three-day weekend...
I finally found the cable for my camera. We lost it in the move and I just found it in my trunk. So I'm going to play catch-up for July and August all in one post. Enjoy!
Tahoe was wonderful. As much as I wanted to jump off the pier, Christian refused to do it with me. So we didn't. But next time I'm definitely going in the water.
Sugar Pine State Park
I'm not quite sure why Christian wouldn't go in the water.
Hanging out in Hollister:
I swear we didn't set this up. Smokey set up this photo opp all on his own.
Charlie chewing on a pear apple fresh off the tree.
Grandma Bernice playing badminton while our cousin-in-law Jennifer and the great grand kids played on the lawn.
Christian looking super cute.
Cousins Tim and Jennifer. Somehow I didn't get a picture of Pam and Steve!
A great photo of Aunt Sally!
Ivan and Diego!
Ashley and Diego!
Amy playing horseshoes.
Christian playing Mr. Fix-It and making lots of much-needed repairs in our new apartment:
Fixing the toilet.
Fixing the showerhead.
Grinding down the top of the back bathroom door so it would actually close.
Surprising me with the bookcase he found on the side of the road. He even put up all the books before I got home! Side note: I actually walked by this bookcase 3 times before I noticed it was there. I am so observant!
Visits to Molly's Salon:
Dianna's "before" shots.
Rich before. Shaggy shaggy.
Rich with a mullet. I can't figure out why he didn't want me to leave it this way...
Rich after! Note to readers: This haircut was meant purely for dying blue and spiking purposes, so it did not have to be perfect. He has since decided it's good enough and left it this way. Only now it's a brownish-greenish-blueish color. A trip to Molly's Hair Color Salon is about to fix that.
My first home-grown strawberry. Mmmmmm.
And from the Wheatley household, the absolute cutest wedding favors I've seen. Homemade jam by Grandma Betty. Courtney's wedding was amazing. Of course, I forgot to take my camera, so this is all you get:
Dear my music, I miss you so much. I'm sorry I've been gone so long. Love, Molly
It's all coming back to me. Where have I been? It seems after I got married my music-listening habits changed. It wasn't necessarily a bad thing, though. This is how it normally works: Christian puts on music. I listen. And I like it. These artists have become my new favorites: The Killers, The Bravery, Snow Patrol, Death Cab for Cutie, etc. I mean, how can you not like those artists? But in the process of just listening to whatever Christian puts on (I'm too lazy to choose stuff--I just let him do it), I seem to have let the rest of music slip away.
But the other day I clicked on Kaylynn's link "Where I get my music." It was like I was discovering all my music again. Suede, New Order, The Verve, Oasis, Travis, Coldplay, U2, Morrissey, Starsailor, Supreme Beings of Leisure, Social Distortion... And the list goes on. I miss it all. Especially my BritPop.
The music brings back so many emotions and memories: Spain, Monta Vista Ward, San Francisco.
As you know, I am a bike commuter. My typical day is as follows: bike, train, bike, work, bike, train, bike, home (or bike, train, bike, work, bike, school, bike, train, bike, home). Biking has it's ups and downs, it's highs and lows, it's pros and cons. It's a love-hate relationship. Here's why:
Pros: 1) Bike + legs + (Caltrain pass from work) = free-ninety-free 2) I'm helping the environment. 3) It's nice to have some "outside" time during my day. 4) I get to exercise even on days when I don't have time to exercise. 5) Lots of guys try to pick up on me on the train. (It's flattering.) 6) Guys on the train really like my calves. (I know because they tell me.)
7) I get to ride through Stanford campus and enjoy the trees, grass, flowers, dogs, squirrels, and birds.
8) I noticed a bolt was loose on my bike and the guy next to me immediatly pulled out a wrench and fixed it! 9) Riding to work in high heels. 10) Not having to drive (I hate driving.) 11) Getting to run out of work with the excuse, "Sorry! I have to go or I'll miss my train!" 12) Gas prices. 12) Riding all the way home on nice days. (It's only 6 miles.) 13) Getting to watch a female train conductor stand her ground, kick a guy off the train, and call the cops on him. He totally deserved it.
Cons: 1) Bike + legs + sun = sweat 2) Sweating on hot mornings and freezing on cold mornings. 3) Sometimes the weather man lies and you end up riding home in the rain in a short-sleeve shirt. 4) Missing the train by 10 seconds. 5) Having to wait for late trains. 6) Getting to the train station only to learn that the train will be 2 hours late because another train hit a person. 7) Lots of wierd people like to talk to me on the train. 8) Most of the guys who ask me out on the train are really wierd. 9) Guys on the train really like my calves. (Scary!) 10) Countless bruises and scrapes on my legs from taking my bike out of the closet, down the stairs, onto the train, off the train, into work, out of work, onto the train, off the train, up my stairs, and back in the closet. 11) I have to ride through Stanford campus and put up with clueless bikers, drivers, pedestrians, dogs, squirrels, grasshoppers who karate kick you in the forehead, and flying caterpillars.
12) Getting stuff in your eyes. (Aren't sunglasses supposed to prevent that??) 13) Getting turned away because the bike car on the train (yeah, there's usually only one) is too full. 14) Swerving off the bike path into a patch of mud while talking on the phone. 15) Getting my precious bike stolen.
16) Breathing exhaust while riding through downtown San Jose to my classes. 17) Getting honked at because I'm sharing the road.
Yet somehow the pros still outweigh the cons. Bike on, friends.
When's the last time you busted out the jump rope?
I have a jump rope. We're not talking your typical 3rd-grader's jump rope. Mine is leather with ball bearings in the handles:
I haven't used it in quite a while. So yesterday, after a (very) quick warm-up run, I proceeded to jump rope for a total of 5 minutes. I thought my lungs were going to pop. And today my calves are screaming at me. Ouch.
Maybe I shouldn't wait a year between jump-rope sessions...
I am lucky. I always have been. Good things happen to me. Or maybe I'm just always happy with what happens to me, so it ends up being a good thing. Not sure which one it is.
Having teenagers move in with us could potentially be a disaster. I would imagine that most teenagers are quite the handful. But for now, it looks like it's going to be a very positive thing. Just more proof that I'm a very lucky person.
1) Richard is excited to train for triathlons with me. I'll have a live-in workout buddy.
2) Dianna wants to do pilates with me on a regular basis.
3) When I asked Richard if he wanted to do push-ups together every night, he said, "Absolutely."
4) Richard wants to be a chef and is very excited to try out his new recipes. Can you say live-in-chef?
5) Richard genuinely wants to bring his grades up and is ready and eager to change his study habits.
6) Richard actually asked me if it's ok for him to take an extra period at school. (At LAHS you have the option of taking "0" period in the morning before the normal schedule.) I don't know that he'll need to, but it's impressive that he's willing to voluntarily sign up for more time at school.
7) Dianna is excited that I'll cut her hair whenever she wants. If you know me, you know this is super fun for me. We chopped it off on Saturday. It's my first pixie attempt ever, and she looks pretty cute. (Pictures to follow as soon as I find my camera cable.)
8) Richard just asked if I would cut his hair, too. Fun!
9) Richard and Dianna get long really well.
10) Richard and Dianna get along with Christian really well.
11) Dianna listens to church music and not just on Sundays. She listens to other music, too, but it's nice to hear her church music, because it brings the spirit into our home.
12) We are going to start having family home evening.
13) We eat together as a family and pray before our meals.
14) We now get to church early and have some time to listen to prelude music.
What could be a disaster is looking like a blessing. Why am I so lucky?
In case you didn't already know, President James E. Faust, second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, passed away this morning in his home. See the Church news. A wonderful man, a joy to hear speak. We will miss him, but he has moved on to even more exciting things.
Last night Christian and I finished cleaning out our old apartment. As I closed and locked the door of our apartment, I thought to myself that I was closing the door on a chapter of our lives. I love change, but closing the door on that chapter made me a little sad because we will never open it again.
The door we closed:
For the past three years, Christian and I have lived on our own. Struggling with money sometimes, spending too much at other times. Leaving for Tahoe whenever we felt like it. Fend-For-Yourself-Fridays when the rule is that you just eat whatever you could find (in reality that was practically every night, but FFYF had a nice ring to it). Hanging out together after work. Going days without seeing each other because we are so busy. Spending every possible minute together --- Just the two of us.
The door we're opening:
A shared life. From now on, it will never be just the two of us. Yes, we can still get away to Tahoe. Yes, there will be evenings when we are the only two at home. But it will never be quite the same.
Children. We seem to be doing this all backwards. We're starting with teenagers. Most people work their way up to teenagers. I guess we parent the way Christian wakeboards -- Go big right away and then learn how to land. Dianna moved in about a week ago. Richard moves in in about 3 days. In this very short amount of time, I have noticed a huge change in myself.
Change #1: It's like I have kicked into mom mode. I wondered if that would ever happen, but it seems to be happening. I'm like the energizer bunny. I can't stop. From the minute I get home from work (or tutoring, or whatever else I do after work), it's go go go go go. There are still things to organize. Boxes to go through. Rooms to rearrange. Things to put up on the walls. Dishes to do. Plants to water. Old apartment to clean. Laundry to do. Mail to sort. Bills to pay. And a to-do list a mile long on the fridge. Don't get me wrong. Christian definitely helps (and always has), but I'm kicking it up a notch.
Change #2: A nag is an old or over-worked workhorse. I learned that last night. So how did "a nag" become synonymous someone who constantly reminds and bugs people to get things done? Nagging should mean collapsing out of exhaustion from working so hard. I told Christian that he is not allowed to say that I nag. If things just got done on their own, I would have no reason to say anything. But they don't. "Where are you applying for jobs, Dianna?" "Have you called so-and-so yet?" "How's your school registration going, Christian?" Does it bug you that I'm reminding you? Well it bugs me 10 times more that I have to remind you. I will not be a nag. I will put my foot down now. Things will get done without me having to say something. Christian's to-do list is making its debut on the fridge today. And our first family home evening will be on setting goals and accomplishing them. I will not be a nag. And I mean that in both senses.
Change #3: My concerns. I now find myself reading articles with titles like "Tips for Parenting," "Tips for Improving your Teenager's Grades," "Promoting Education in Your Home," "Helping your Child Adjust to High School," "Preparing Study Space for Your Child," and "The Blessings of Seminary, Institute, and Lifelong Education." Oh, yes. None of that "Preparing Yourself for a Baby" or "What to Expect During Pregnancy." I'm headed straight to the big leagues. How exactly do you guide a 16-year-old down the right path? How do you prepare him for college when he's had 16 years of not preparing for college? How do you make sure he makes good friends who will be good influences on him? How do you make sure he understands the complications of dating, and sex, and drugs, and drinking? How do you talk to him in a way that he will listen? I'm only 25. I remember like it was yesterday (because it practically was) how annoyed I often felt when my parents were talking to me about these things.
Change #4: Learning to share all over again. I swear I learned how to do this in kindergarten, but it seems to have escaped me since then. I have never had younger bothers or sisters. And I think that small, seemingly insignificant fact is now showing it's face. My gut response to everything now is, "What the heck? Those are mine. Go buy your own!" And then I have to remind myself, "Molly, you don't use those stamps anyway. Why do you care?" Or "Oh my goodness! I can't believe all the chicken nuggest are gone!" And "Oh wait, we decided the food is for everyone, which means it's going to get eaten." I am amazed by the selfish things that have been popping into my head. I never knew they even existed! Time for them to go.
And this was only one week. I can't imagine what changes will pop up next week. Like I said, I love change. This is a new adventure for me. Some things will be very hard. Some will be very fun. Some will just take getting used to.
Good idea: Using the train as your ride home from work.
Bad idea: Using the train as your getaway car after robbing a bank.
No joke. This is true. My train was 25 minutes late yesterday due to "police activity in Redwood City." Turns out this guy robbed a bank in Redwood city and then attempted to use the northbound CalTrain as his getaway car. Um, hello?? The cops were waiting for him at the next stop. Nice try, smarty pants.
(I'm on a role today with blogging -- and yet being SUPER productive at work. Not sure how that works.)
Correct me if I'm wrong. According to technical English rules (Side note: English rules are a joke since they are ALWAYS broken), shouldn't "proper" be spelled "propper?" Otherwise wouldn't you pronounce the first syllable prope and not prop? Or would that just change the meaning to "something that props?" Does this rule only apply to verbs that are made into nouns? What about the word "caper?" It's not a verb-turned-noun, but it follows the rules.
I guess I'm in a complaining mood. I'm getting easily annoyed with my co-workers today. Every little question is bugging me. Why? Because they are all so obvious!! Let's take John Doe for an example.
JOHN: "Molly, do you know where Jane is today?" (PS--I work NEXT TO "Jane," but not necessarily WITH Jane.) ME: "No, John, have you looked at her whiteboard?" JOHN: "Oh, she has a whiteboard?" (Duh! It's only ON HER CUBICLE and HAS BEEN THERE FOR A YEAR!!) JOHN: "Oh, it says she's telecommuting. So I guess I should send her an email?" ME: "That's probably a good idea." (Did I really have to tell you that?) JOHN: "Do you have some secret phone number for her?" ME: "No, I don't." (I probably do, but if she didn't write it on her board, then she doesn't want you calling her personal phone!!)
Honestly, people. I don't have the patience for that. Use your eyes. If she's not at her desk, then look around and see if she left a note.
It gets better.
My boss is very concerned that someone always be available to answer my department's phone. That's completely understandable. But let me tell you something. I can sit at my desk for literally 4 hours straight, and the phone won't ring AT ALL. Then I get up to go make myself a sandwich, come back, and there's a message. Tell me. How exactly do you suggest that I avoid that? And what in the world is voicemail for?? IT'S FOR TAKING MY MESSAGES WHILE I'M AWAY FROM MY DESK! Then she suggested that my co-worker "Bob" and I coordinate our time so that one of us is always here to answer our phones. First of all, I'm not going to call him every time I leave my desk to go the bathroom, fill my water bottle, or walk around the corner to drop off papers. And I certainly don't want to know every time he goes to the bathroom. Secondly, we sit nowhere near each other. His line shows up on my phone, but my line does not show up on his.
My solution: Put on my voicemail that I'm either on the other line or temporarily away from my desk and to PLEASE leave a message or call Bob or my cell phone if it's an emergency (considering any time I'm away from my desk for more than 10 minutes, I have my cell phone with me). That way if it's not urgent, I'll call them back. If it is urgent, they'll get ahold of me right away. (PS--I do this when I'm away for the day or on vacation and I RARELY get an urgent call.)
Her solution: We don't want people calling your cell phone. That will use up your minutes. Why don't we only list Bob's number and he can answer all the calls, forward your calls on to you, and take messages for you if you aren't there?
What?? Are you serious?? Doesn't that create more work?? Doesn't Bob have enough to do? And isn't that what voicemail is for??
WOW. All I can say is WOW.
Oh, and I've been sitting here for an hour. No phone calls. I am going to make myself a sandwich. My phone will probably ring. And my voicemail will pick up. Isn't that how it's supposed to work?
How many men does it take to keep a leaking ceiling from flooding our office? I wouldn't know, because the women were the only ones doing anything.
Today it started raining in our office. And by raining I mean leaking through the ceiling. First onto our receptionist's desk and then all over our wall of office mailboxes. So what do we do? 6 of us women in the office run around gathering trash cans to catch all the falling water, plastic table clothes to cover our receptionist's computer and desk, and then there we are, standing under the water, rigging up plastic table cloths (held in place by cans of soda) to cover the wall of mailboxes to hold us over until they turn off the water.
Where were the men? Well, with the exception of the one guy who eventually came to help, and the one guy who was walking around talking to other people about the fact that there was water pouring from the ceiling (but not offering to help), no other men were around. I wondered why that was.
And then it occurred to me. All the cubicles within hearing distance of all the commotion are filled by women. All the men within hearing distance have actual offices--with doors that shut. Struck me as interesting. Make of it what you will.
The grass is always greener on the other side, right? And right about now, that green grass is calling my name. Here's my new life plan (most likely to change within a year as it always does):
1) Finish my MA TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) 2) Teach community adult ESL classes part time 3) Have a baby 4) Get an MA in Nutrition and Dietetics 5) Get a Personal Trainer certificate 6) Have another baby 7) Work as a personal trainer and nutritionist (discount for friends, charge a fortune for everyone else) 8) Help develop family and school nutrition and exercise programs 9) Have another baby 10) Teach free ESL classes (maybe only one class a week) on the side
So when I told Christian this plan, I said, "So do you think I can do it?" His response was "Yes." And then he said, "But that just means I'll have to stay home with the kids." Wait, that was never part of my plan...
Ammendment to my plan. #11: Be a stay-at-home mom while doing all this on the side.
Is that even possible? Any suggestions on how to do all of this and have Christian working full time and take care of our own kids?
Not sure why I look like a 5-year-old. I said I was 25. Hmmm.
And here's Christian. I think he's actually meant to be on The Simpsons!!
Oh, and in our household, obsessed could definitely describe the relationship with The Simpsons. Not that we love all things Simpsons. It's just on ALL THE TIME. Christian has seen every episode probably 50 times.