Saturday, October 30, 2010

homemade halloween pop art

For a number of reasons having to do with an evening Stake Conference church meeting and our non-celebratory Sundays, today, October 29th, was our Halloween.

I do love a heavy makeup costume. It's late and a picture is worth a thousand words, yes?

People I knew had a hard time recognizing me--it was the first time I've ever felt incognito!

Happy Halls yall.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

brain dump that starts with a miracle

Both my Mom and Alicia have instructed me to quit feeling the pressure of "a first blog back" and just start. (That's been one of the major road blocks I'll confess -- where to dive back in after so much time and so many crazy events?)

Tonight, I give you a secular miracle. Spiritual miracles over yonder.

An orange Starburst to me is worthless. So check out this miracle bag I drew yesterday. Target really is a holy house.

Can you believe it's nearly November? I sure can't, but this Halloween-New Year's stretch is my favorite time of the year, so who am I to complain? We leave for Panama four weeks from today--marking the third time in three years I'll be in a foreign country for Thanksgiving. Nothing like saying thanks to those early pilgrims by evacuating the country that gave them freedom and cornbread.

I have church at 11:00. There's something about the 11AM block that sucks the entire day away. Today, I left for church at 10:30 and didn't leave the building until 4:30. Sure extended meetings kept me at church longer than normal, but what happened to the in and out in just over 3 hours? 11AM church is a time vortex, I'm telling you what.

I finally caught up on my last DVR'd episodes of the shows I've been missing since I went on the road the first week of September. Today, I enjoyed four episodes of The Vampire Diaries and didn't feel one bit of bad about it. Sure, the town of Mystic Falls might be a titch dangerous, but if the menfolk all looked like they do on that show, it might just be worth the risk.

I did a three week tour out west for work and a bit of play. 10 days Utah, 7 days Portland, 4 days Detroit. It was exhausting and exhausting. While there, I spoke at a work conference on the parallels between catering cupcakes and managing successful web projects (the playback audio also confirms I speak with a lisp. >). High profile, high stress. Somehow I also thought it wise for cupcakes to accompany my presentation, so I found my self baking 180 cupcakes the same week I was freaking out about a host of other things that needed to be done allwithin24hours.

I learned some new stuffs this go round -- chocolate raspberry is the new black, bacon cooked in a microwave cooks flat and beautifully, and lemon cupcake with cream cheese frosting and coconut on top might still be my all time favorite.

Annnnnnnnnnnd now I want a cupcake.
The good news is this is the view I got to watch from my parents' kitchen while also baking, frosting, cleaning up, practicing my talk, or trying not to dry heave from nerves.
This will be my eleventh winter with snow and I've still yet to figure out the whole winter shoe issue. Please someone, anyone, anyone, give me some pointers?

Also? It's good to be back. It was stressing me out missing so much of my personal history.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

sink or swim

Dear Nat,

You're in the eye of the stormy summer that's changing your life. Of the past 40 nights, you've slept 10 of them in your own bed. It will be 10 more sleeps before you're back home.

You're overwhelmed with what's being asked of you both professionally and personally. Not battered nor broken, but endlessly swimming swimming swimming. You're not unhappy, you're just a step behind the deadlines you've set. (Good thing you're a decent project manager who knows how to pad due dates.) This week you present at a conference to a host of very smart strangers for work. You're also catering cupcakes. 72 hours and you'll have sunk or swam. My betting money is on swimming, so relax. (But don't forget to buy enough powdered sugar.) Your 4 days of nonstop meetings in Detroit will seem like a treat once this is done.

Being home will be nice, but make sure you've set aside adequate time for the church calling that's going to consume and ever change your life. Once you get it all sorted out, organized and planned (my, aren't we good at that?), it's going to be 0ne of the defining times of your life. It's been promised to you.

You're behind on blogging. Funny enough, you started this post with the purpose of ignoring all of the above to make a point. So here it is. Two paragraphs later -- you're good at being long-winded.

The pace of your life is rather insane at the moment. Despite, and perhaps a bit in spite of it, you've managed to keep--and even draw--your Tier 1 friends closer to you. The relationships you have with each of your sisters, your parents, your grandparents and your girlfriends made in both Utah and Boston have never been stronger. You've had visitors from and visited these besties of yours in cities across the nation. You are a really, really great friend, and I don't ever want you to forget that. Loyalty is one of your key strengths and it draws people to you. You're not alone, so don't feel it. Hear me?

Chin up Nat Pat. You're on the cusp of really great things. Sink or swim.


Definitely, maybe, probaby related posts:

If NatA! posted a photo with this blog, here it is!