Friday, July 22, 2005

Neighborhood Watch

I'm here. I'm typing financials, preparing sales tax returns, going to neighborhood watch meetings, going to book club, pulling weeds, watering plants, sweating in the heat, following up on company referrals, organizing a mini-convention, going to water aerobics and reading blogs. For some reason I just haven't really had the desire to write about anything. Sometimes it all seems too dull and boring. Other times it's too exciting to put into words.

Yesterday was our neighborhood watch meeting. In the 6 years that I have lived in our mobile home park I have never attended a pot-luck or meeting. There have been a few times I've considered going, but they seemed to conflict with something else on our schedule. This time I could make it. I had to skip water aerobics, but I really wanted to meet the new park manager and I know they've had a hard time getting this whole neighborhood watch thing off the ground...and besides... the rec room is air conditioned!

As soon as I sat down I started to wonder if I would regret this decision. The information the rep from the Sheriff's dept was sharing sounded very familiar. I started having a vague recollection of attending one of these things many many years ago. But she was nice and she had some good tips. Everything was fine until she opened it up for questions or comments. Oh I remember why I would rather be at home. What followed was a painful 45 minutes of the most random conversations I have ever heard. Yes, we had the man who told us all about how homeless people used to take showers in the pool showers....years ago!! Those showers have been closed since I moved in. We had the busy bodies who must keep constant vigil looking out their windows at the rest of the residents. There were the mom's that are hooked up into the gossip hotline and then there was me.... I felt like a foreigner in a foreign land. Suddenly my little section of the park sounded like an oasis in the middle of the most crime ridden area in the town.

I listened intently to each little complaint. Some of the people must truly have some interesting neighbors. Others...well I think they need to get a life, get hooked on reality shows or read a book. Anything to occupy their time so that they can let go of some of their petty complaints and observations. As for me... I'm thinking that I really like my neighbors. Maybe we're the only ones that pull our hoses out at night, water our yards and threaten to hose each other down. If it doesn't start cooling down below 80 degrees, we might stop threatening. At least we can give the watchers something new to talk about. I'm sure there's some kind of rule about water fights.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

10 Years Ago

The other day I started scrapbooking my pictures from convention. I started with the pictures from the longevity luncheon. For some reason, I thought they would be the easiest, but now I'm stuck. I like the layout. I like the pictures. It's all sitting on my stamp table ready to be glued. So what's holding me back?

The Journaling.

I preach journaling. To me journaling is THE number one important thing in your scrapbook. So many times we get caught up in the embelishments and the design and we forget to tell the story. My family is probably tired of me saying.... "You have to tell the story." "Take pictures that tell the story." But think about it... no story and you might as well be sitting in someone's basement watching a slide show from their vacation. BORING.

What was special about that day? What did you learn? How did you feel? When my son grows up and looks at his book will he remember dressing up like Barney? Not likely, since he doesn't really believe it now...even though I have the visual proof. Will looking at that picture really mean anything to him. He looks adorable and the smile is priceless. But isn't it better if I include journaling about how he wore it around the house for days and was enchanted with wagging his tail? One shows what he looked like in the costume. The other tells more about who he was. Together they tell a story.

So I have pictures from the luncheon. Pictures of three of us that earned our 10 year charm; two of us that earned our five year. I can write down the names. I can specify who earned what. But does that tell the story? Does that even begin to tell how much my life has been influenced by the 10 years that I have been a consultant? So now we get to the crux of the problem. I am stumped. I have writer's block. I don't know what to say about these last 10 years. I don't know how to put into words the experiences I have had.

I remember when I first started out. I remember how much I admired the talent of the other consultants. I kind of felt like a little kid that got to hang out with the adults. I remember the first scrapbook convention I went to. If I'm not mistaken, it might've been the first scrapbook convention...ever..... I got to hang out with the people I idolized in the company. They talked to me. They laughed with me. Me, I was this little small time consultant. They were directors with huge sales and huge teams.

I remember my first convention. It was the first time I went on a vacation by myself. I roomed with people I didn't know. I loved extravaganza and all the booths and all the techniques. I was amazed by the teachers. I felt a burning desire to teach there myself.

I remember the next convention and my first time teaching. Worrying over the boards that were in my suitcase. Would they arrive in SLC with me? Why did I put a six pack of soda in the same suitcase? What if it exploded all over my work? I remember meeting Carol. She loved my booth. She asked me a ton of questions. I was thrilled that my art inspired others. Now I call Carol my groupie. Every year she finds my booth. It wouldn't be the same without her.

I have changed so much over the years. I am much more confident - and talented. Somewhere along the line I switched roles. Inside I am still the girl that is amazed when people remember who she is. I am shocked that my artwork and my teaching inspires others. I am surprised when people at corporate know who I am. I'm just little ole me. Why would anyone remember who I am.

Every year that I submit my application to teach, I am sure I won't be chosen. How could my artwork be good enough? How strange is that when I have had nothing but success every time I have submitted my artwork. Once I submitted an article and box of artwork. It was published. I have been chosen to teach every time I've submitted. This year two pieces of my artwork were sent to corporate (by someone else). Both pieces were featured on the artwall at convention. Why is that so shocking to me?

Even though I have learned and grown so much over the last ten years, I am coming to realize that I could do even more.... if I had a little bit of faith in myself.....

So maybe I'm not so different from that girl I knew.....10 years ago......

Monday, July 11, 2005

4th of July Pancake Breakfast

Pancake Breakfast Posted by Picasa

It was a scrapbooking marathon at my house on Saturday night. My husband took a MILLION pictures at the annual 4th of July pancake breakfast at church. Now that wouldn't be so bad, but then he had a bunch of them printed on Saturday night and wanted to display them Sunday morning.... eeeeekkk.. I couldn't let him just stick a bunch of pictures on a piece of posterboard. That's just wrong in so many ways.

So I pulled out pages and pages of red, white and blue and got busy scrapping. It's not my usual style. There was no time for fancy embellishments and long journaling. It was simply "scrap as many pictures as you can." Once the pages have been up for a couple of weeks, I'll bring them back home, finish adding the journaling and then give them back for the Bishop's scrapbook... But for now, they're done and everyone loved checking them out on Sunday.

For me, it was good to flex my scrapping muscles. I had to remember all those creative ways to use a ton of photos. I had to find some balance and try to find pictures that showed all the elements of the big day... the preparing, the cleaning, the eating, the fun.

Now I'm ready to do some fun scrapbooking for me. You see, I printed out my convention photos on Saturday... but those are still in the photo envelope.....

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

What Happens In Vegas.....

Get's Scrapbooked.... Yep, send 1708 Close To My Heart consultants to Las Vegas and you'll have a ton of flashes going off everywhere....

Guess which one is me?? Hmmm... I don't wear glasses and I really like the color pink.... Posted by Picasa

Convention was AWESOME!!!!

Even though I taught on the last day....during the last half of the day.... when everyone is exhausted and tired. I can proudly say that I did not see anyone dozing off in my class. The seats were full and there was standing room only for many of my classes.. whew... Every year I'm just sure I'm going to be the booth that is empty. I guess it's kind of like that fear of throwing a party and no one showing up.

As I went through my pictures and compared them to my buddy Candace's... I noticed something very interesting. Candace went on a vacation and I went to a convention. I never even left the Mirage. Ok, once I went across the street to buy a burrito at Chip*tle's.. a very yummy burrito I might add. Candace had pictures of the white tiger, of the C*ca C*ola Store, MandM store and other places that apparently exist in Vegas. My pictures??? Well there are pictures of people at convention... and ummm pictures of people at convention.. In my defense it was my BIG year so I went to a lot more meetings than she did. I attended leadership meeting and I got my 10 year pendant complete with a little diamond....

So here are some of the highlights of convention....

Awesome Roomies! We had a blast. And even though we had 19 pieces of luggage in our room by the end of the week... we never felt claustrophobic... (ok, some of it wasn't actually luggage...but there most definately were 19 pieces, just ask the bellman!)

Workouts - No need to go to the gym. The Mirage is a great big track all by itself. Just walking from the room, through the casino, past the retail stores into the convention area once was quite the walk.... Most days we made that little trek 3 times a day.

Catalog - I love love love... our new catalog... It's smaller, it's lighter, it's less expensive and we get three new catalogs every year.... I loved em soooo much I ordered 100 of them. (contact me to get one!)

Ooops, I've run out of time... until tomorrow...