Monday, September 29, 2008

Learning how to delegate

I was just asked yesterday at church if I'd be willing to accept another calling. Then as I was listening to hear what that calling might be, I heard talk of a piano player being needed for the primary children and thought for sure that was what the calling would be. Well, I won't officially be called for another 2 weeks, but the calling is very different than that. In fact, it's another calling with a big time commitment. Like with my Enrichment Leader calling, I was told a big part of my calling will be delegating to others.

My thoughts on delegating are as follows:
1. I'm a perfectionist. If I think something should be done a certain way and don't know WHO can do it that way, I try to do it myself.
2. I hate inconveniencing people. If I don't think someone wants to help, I won't ask.
3. I am shy. Ugh. I HATE being shy. I LOATHE it.
4. I don't know most of the people at church. Yeah, I've been there since May (with the exception of the weekends spent out of town), but I haven't met too many people. When I've gone to events where people would be there I could meet, I'd try to meet some, but it's tough (see #3).
5. Because of #4, I don't know who has what talents/skills/abilities/interests that might help me in the delegation process. I'm trying to get that kind of feedback from people at church themselves (I created and sent out a survey, but most people haven't responded to it at all).
6. If I can't get someone to come to a meeting after saying they'd be available to attend, how can I entrust someone to take on a bigger responsibility?

So it boils down to this: I don't know people and therefore have not built up trust in depending on them. I used to think I was the kind of person to trust someone until they gave me reason not to trust them, but now I am starting to realize that it's deeper than that. I don't trust people I don't know. And if I know you to some degree and you've already let me down in that capacity, it's hard for me to build trust in you in another capacity.

If I try to delegate to others and they fail, I worry it'll look bad on me (since it is ultimately my responsibility). And I don't think that's necessarily an unfounded fear. In fact, when I first started my new position, I heard a lot of complaints. No solutions, mind you, but complaints. I'm asking for solutions, but I'm not getting those responses to help me figure out what solutions would appease the complainers. And now I'm finding myself joining them in complaining, which I hate.

Another part of my problem is that I don't know a whole lot about what either calling really entails. I don't know what the perceptions are of others that someone in that calling would need to do in order to be perceived as fulfilling their calling successfully. Because I'm a perfectionist, I want to do things properly and well. But it's hard to say I'm doing either when I don't know what standards I'm being held to.

Guess I should try to find a book or two about delegating and/or trusting others.

I have a lot of learning/growth to do. Guess that was why I was put in my calling (and will be put in my new calling shortly) in the first place.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Free Museum Day

I subscribe to Rss feeds from The Seattle Times, and I stumbled across this and thought I would share in case anyone is interested.

Tomorrow is a day that you can get free entrance into a museum for you and a guest at participating museums. You do have to fill out some information and print a pass, but it's a great way to have a cheap date. :)

Full information can be found here in the article.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Our babies

Here are the (female) kittehs we got last night. The tabby scratched my chest hard enough to draw blood (stained my white t-shirt, actually) before we'd even taken them to our car (the neighbor was pulling his car out and they got so scared). We haven't named them yet. Any suggestions are welcome. Joe will probably name the black kitten and I'll probably name the other kitten. I kind of like Chelsea Kitten, but we may go with titles, and Ambassador Chelsea Kitten or something like that just sounds a little weird. And is it just me, or does the black kitten look like she is posing seductively?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Much needed day off... more or less

Sunday I was getting ready to leave church for the day when I noticed a man looking around for someone. He found her and started to hand back to her the copy of Breaking Dawn that he'd borrowed from her. I could not control myself. I accosted her unaware (she has no idea who I am because she's younger and I'm new), asking if I could borrow the book to read since I've been on the waiting list at the library for so long. She agreed but was probably perplexed at the least. I was excited beyond words.

I decided that I was going to take my day off, Monday, off. In fact, my plan was to stay in bed as much as possible and just read Breaking Dawn. I started the day that way, but when Joe called to tell me that he wasn't able to get into his school class for this quarter (bummer!) and that he was on his way home, I decided to get up, get dressed and ended up getting a little bit done.

I even made chicken Spanish rice bake (a spin on a healthy whole grain recipe I had tried before) for dinner, we looked on craigslist for different kittens available, and we started working on getting our digital pictures sent to a pharmacy where we could pick them up so we can finish our wedding and honeymoon photo albums.

I didn't finish Breaking Dawn, but I came pretty close. I have less than 100 pages left. The story has really changed, and I had seen some things coming before they did, but it'll be nice to finish out the series and not have to wonder what people are talking about or what is coming next.

So, since we're probably going to become "kitteh" parents tonight, I may not finish it right away, but I'm going to do so before Sunday so I can give the book (and maybe some cookies or something) to the bewildered girl I snaked it from.

Left out

Sometimes it is hard being childless when around people who are parents or expecting or both. I don't want to get knocked up before I'm feeling physically ready (not that I necessarily WOULD be able to get preggers and stay that way right now), and I don't want to do it because I want to fit in. And I sure don't want to have a baby because my sister-in-law told me to so her son could have a cousin closer to his age. Yeah, because making HER and her child happy is what my life is about....

Having said that, Joe and I have talked about getting pets. Part of me wants a dog because I've never had a pet dog that was MY dog. We had a couple dogs when we were kids, but they belonged to the family, and then ran away from home. I think my parents were relieved, and they didn't try to get them back. In fact, it was years before we had any more pets, but we finally were adopted by a stray cat, which led to cats becoming a part of our family.

Joe likes cats because they're more low maintenance and mellow. I don't dislike cats, but part of me wants a pet that is a bigger responsibility than a cat (not that they aren't a responsibility). Anyway, we'd decided to get a couple kittens when we moved into the house, but with everything that had been going on, we kept putting it off.

Now we're going to get a couple kittens. Maybe tonight. If not tonight, soon. I'm excited. They'll be our babies until we're ready for a human baby.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Because of everything that has been going on and will be going on, I have had to use my "vacation" time for anything and everything other than a vacation. I'm trying desperately to help my husband realize how important some things are for me so that he doesn't just brush them off like he has been doing. I need a vacation! I need a day off! I need a day I don't have to play hostess, work, clean, cook, shop, etc.

I tried to talk him into at least getting a hotel room in or near Bellevue when I had a Saturday off (the same day as his grandmother's memorial service), because since Sunday is the only common day we have off work, I didn't know when else we'd get the chance. He turned that down. I tell him I want a puppy because I want a pet that requires a little more maintenance so I can actually HAVE something to do and something to interact with during the lonely day hours when he's not around. It's going to get even more tough when he starts school again on Monday. At least his work is letting him go back to school, even if just for this quarter. But he wants cats and that is that so there is no discussion to be had about a dog.

I had scheduled a doctor's appointment for Thursday way back when- I HAD Thursdays off at that point in time, but I had to schedule the appointment out months in advance because that was all that was available. And now that I work on Thursdays, I wouldn't be able to go to that appointment unless I took time off work. This is time I don't have (since I have to save the time I do have and time I will earn between now and the end of October to go to Arizona for my sister's wedding). So, in a desperate plea for help, I posted my request to switch someone shifts. I begged someone to let me work for them on Monday so I could go on Thursday, but I got no responses. I had to call and cancel the appointment today. I won't be able to get in to see the doctor until sometime in December. They weren't quite sure when that would be, since she hasn't posted her December schedule yet, but the only other doctor I could've seen only had openings in late December when I was scheduled to work, so I will have to wait. This is a doctor I should've seen over a year ago. So frustrating!

Stress is starting to pile up again, and I can feel the difference. I'm not sleeping well, I'm coughing more, and I'm prone to the stress-eating I hate. Ugh. I'm still walking on my lunch breaks (but I'll have to go to the gym on my lunch break tomorrow instead of walking), but I'm also craving that sweet chocolate comfort food, and that's not good. I really have a problem saying no to chocolate when I know it is around and in an edible form.

I'm still looking for a job. I'm losing hope in this economy. At least I'll get extra money next month in this job!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Busy bee

This week has been busy for me. I feel bad for Joe because it's been even busier for him. I've barely seen him since last Friday, since he had drill this past weekend. And he has a work meeting on Saturday and then starts school next week, so we'll continue to see less of each other. At least our work schedules are compatible now!

Monday (my new day off) I went to the fair with my cousin Kristine. We had a good time checking out the exhibits. I fell in love. With a piano. It was dark mahogany and so beautiful. I want it so much! Of course, that's just a dream since I don't need a piano (thanks to my friend Erin), but I lust after it.

I've also had meetings and more meetings and errands and more errands this week to keep me plenty busy. I have another one today, but I don't have anything planned for Friday (thank goodness!) after work, so I can relax a bit. We have options for Saturday, but since Joe doesn't know how long his work meeting will last, I may just be stuck at home then.

Because of my new schedule (not only have my days off changed, but I'm also starting & ending an hour earlier), my lunch break is at 9:00. This is way too early for lunch, and it's too late for breakfast for being up before 5 am. So I have decided to spend it walking. I bring my cell phone with me and set my alarm for 15 minutes after my break starts so I know when to turn around and start heading home. I'm waking up with sore legs, but I'm feeling pretty good getting out and walking, even if only for that 20-25 minutes. And it has allowed me to see a little more of my neighborhood.

I'm still not near 10,000 steps a day (most days, anyway), but I'm improving thanks to this and to working out. I'm feeling better too. And I think I've been fighting something that's been going around, because I can tell part of me is not feeling 100% while I am not totally sick and still able to work (thank goodness!).

I got my second call review at work today. It's still really frustrating to think that my performance is based solely on how many calls I make per hour and how I score in 2 call reviews per month. With the # of calls I make each month, that's not necessarily an accurate representation. I could go on, but I'm dealing with it. Anyway, I scored well enough on both calls this month to earn me extra money for every hour I work next month (yay!). I won't know until the end of this month just how much extra money it'll be each hour, but it'll be something. So that's nice. :)

And on a random closing note, I want to get together with other couples more for double dates. If anyone is interested, let me know!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Learning how to cook, need help

Okay, seriously... I don't know how to cook. I grew up spoiled by my mother who would make breakfast & dinner every day, and lunch when applicable. We just had to make our own lunches to take to school with us, and that was it. She never really required us to help her much in the kitchen, so I learned how to eat well (and healthy foods I often did not like) while living there. Ever since I moved out, I haven't eaten well. One reason could be because I haven't felt like I had the time to invest into those types of meals (or the desire to spend what time I did have into preparing meals). And another reason could be because I didn't feel like I had the ability to.

So, maybe one of these days I'll actually learn how to "really" cook. In the meantime, I have a few things that I make that aren't too difficult. Some are healthier than others (I really like making whole-grain or otherwise healthy pasta with chicken or turkey meatballs and marinara sauce), but they all are delicious.

Trying to add even more whole grains to my diet, I recently bought a cookbook through So far I have only tried out one recipe. I should've read through it and really prepared right before I got started, because between the time I read the recipe originally, went grocery shopping for the ingredients I didn't have, and actually made the meal, I forgot a lot of what I read. So there was some scrambling, but it turned out pretty yummy. It was a Spanish Rice Bake recipe, and it could be served as a main course or a side dish. Joe wanted to eat out, so we went to Taco Bell, where I got some choices I think (but don't really know) would be healthier and got them "fresco style." We ate the rice as a side dish. I think I may add chicken the next time I try it to make it more suitable for a main dish. It was pretty yummy, and we still have leftovers in the fridge.

I also grabbed a simple recipe I'd cut out of one of my old magazines for a dessert. It was for an "Autumn Dessert" (apple slices with some nutmeg, cinnamon, almond slices, and granola on top of them, basically). It was supposed to be topped with frozen yogurt, but I didn't have any, so I served it without that. It was yummy anyway.

Last night for our enrichment, we had taco salads. I have never made this and frankly don't like salads, so I've rarely eaten this (the last time was while living with my mother, I think). But since I was in charge of getting the food ready, I looked up what sorts of things I should buy and tried to prepare enough for roughly 35 people. The kitchen looked like a mess by the time Joe & I were through (he helped me by shredding lettuce in our food processor and then going to the grocery store and buying more when I realized I didn't buy enough), but things turned out fairly well. We ran out of tomatoes, and the sour cream was barely enough (some women probably would've eaten more if we had it).

I am finally starting to feel a little bit excited about cooking. I don't know where this enthusiasm has come from or how long it might last, but I'm going to take advantage of it while I have it. I want to cook healthier meals and save money from going out to eat (although Joe really likes to do that- so we do it about once every week or so).

And since I'm new at this, I could use some help. What sort of cooking tips do you have that you could share with me?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

And now, more talk about me

My friend Alicia tagged me, and so I must play along. After all, being a good sport is what they teach you from the time you're young, and we all know playing is fun. :)

Four Places I've Lived:
1. Phoenix, Arizona
2. Tempe, Arizona
3. Mesa, Arizona
4. Bellevue, Washington

Four Favorite Books:
1. Man's Search For Meaning
2. Emma
3. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
4. Night

Four Favorite Movies:
1. So I Married an Axe Murderer
2. 13 Going on 30
3. Sleeping Beauty
4. Anastasia

Four Embarrassing Facts About Me:
1. I am a major klutz. I have bruises everywhere that I don't know where they came from because I run into things all the time. I tell Joe I will probably die in a household accident from falling down stairs or something like that.
2. Sometimes I laugh so hard I can't breathe.
3. My face turns red a lot. I'm embarrassed= red face. I laugh= red face. I workout= red face. I hate it. And when someone points it out, it gets even redder. Ugh.
4. When I was younger, I taught myself how to burp. I shared my knowledge with my siblings and many of them learned how to burp on command as well. Our family performed a little skit at church for some get-together (a homemaking meeting, I believe), and I had to stand up in the middle of it and burp. This is the "talent" I'm most remembered for.

Four Dreams Of Mine:
1. I want to write a novel.
2. I want to write a song (either lyrics or accompaniment, but preferably both).
3. I want to be a mother. And not just any mother (meaning someone who pops out babies and is therefore a mother), but a positive influence on my children's lives.
4. I want to learn more hobbies/skills.

Four Pet Peeves:
1. Talking on cell phones while driving without hands-free headset.
2. Wearing hands-free headsets all the time.
3. Not saying "hi" or something else back when someone says "hi."
4. Condescending talk.

Four Things That Make Me Really Happy:
1. Chocolate
2. Sex
3. Spending time relaxing without thinking in the back of my mind about all the things that need to be done.
4. Spending time with friends.

People I tag:
Becky, Emily, Carrissa, Heather

Monday, September 8, 2008

*Insert piercing scream here*

I am afraid of spiders. Really afraid. I'm not sure when or how that came about, but it seems to have always been the case.

Shortly after moving into my first home in Mesa, I went to bed to discover a spider underneath my pillow. I don't normally check under my pillow before I go to bed, so I'm glad that I happened to catch that little guy before I called it a night, or the event might've been a lot more emotionally scarring than it was. I didn't want to smash it on my bedspread, so I grabbed some toilet paper and smashed it between my fingers. It was so gross. That was the bravest I've ever been when it comes to spiders.

I've noticed lots of spiders at this house... mostly outside. When trying to pull weeds, a bunch scrambled out from the ground where I'd just plucked up a weed, and I decided I'd had enough of pulling weeds for the time being. I sprayed and sprayed and sprayed around the front of the house.

And one day shortly after moving in, I noticed what appeared to be spiders hatching. They were so small it was hard to tell that they were actually spiders. But I figured out that must be what they were, so I quickly got my Knight in Shining Armor to come kill them all. It was quite a gross, messy production, but he did it.

Yesterday morning, I was ready for church early and decided I would wash the dishes. I got pretty far before I noticed in one of the sinks the biggest spider I've ever seen. In fact, I touched it without seeing it and it scrambled in the sink trying to get away from me. I screamed the most bloodcurdling scream and backed away as quickly as possible from the sink. Joe ran downstairs very quickly to see what was going on. I explained to him the situation, and with his knowing how much I can over-react to even small spiders, appeared a bit skeptical. But then he saw the spider and calmly responded, "Yep. That's pretty big, alright."

He was going to vacuum it up and then go outside and let it out, possibly in our garbage can. But before he was able to share his full details, I stopped him and demanded, "No. You have to KILL it. I don't want to think that it might be able to come back again." I felt a little more in control, and so I started toward the faucet to try to drown it, but he stopped me. He eventually was able to take out the rest of the dishes from that side of the sink to start his plan of drowning it. I'm not quite sure how he managed it, but I know he used a plastic cup with at least some hole poked in the top of it. I left the room until it was gone.

He said to me later that he doesn't like spiders at all either, but just didn't dislike them as much as I do. I told him he should teach our future kids not to be afraid of spiders so they can kill the spiders for us. Then he mentioned getting cats to chase the spiders away, and I pictured cats eating spiders and then trying to lick me, and I got creeped out all over again. Yuck!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Couch potato

I am so excited, but I also know I might end up in big trouble... my TV shows are coming back!

I went through the list of the returning TV shows and the dates and times they'll be on and returning so I can start recording them on my DVR (I LOVE that thing!). And then I went through the list of cancelled shows to see if something I watched before was cancelled. Carpoolers was cancelled, but that was no surprise to me, and I'd only watched one or two episodes out of boredom before realizing that it wasn't worth my time.

Kitchen Nightmares returned last night, and it is waiting in my DVR for me to watch. Next up in The Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles on Monday, and then I have over a week before the next show I watch returns: Supernatural. The end of September will bring back The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, and The Office. And I still need to figure out when exactly House and Samantha Who are returning (although I missed a lot of the last season of Samantha Who because I can only record 2 shows at once- and I think I'm going to have to stop watching another show this year because of that same reason, which is annoying).

Then I'll have to wait until January to watch Scrubs & 24. But I'm excited, because I was under the impression that Scrubs was done for, and the last episode did nothing to tie up loose ends, so I was definitely left wanting more. Gosh, that sounds like I watch a lot of TV. And when you add to that The Daily Show, it sounds even worse. But I swear I don't watch TV all the time. I just have to make sure that I stick with my goal of spending at least a couple hours a day not in front of the computer or TV. I still have a lot of books I want to read.

Speaking of which, I'm finally reading How to Win Friends and Influence People. I have had that book for years and should've read it a long time ago. It's not that I'm reading anything that is really shocking, but maybe I need those "common sense" reminders. I mean, I've been in Washington for over 1 1/2 years and still don't have one person I can call a friend. I have a couple acquaintances and there are people I have done things with outside of church once or twice, but I need friends. So, I'm going to try to work harder at it and hope that I get some results.

In other news, I finally spoke with someone the other day about my calling as Enrichment Leader. I have only attended Enrichment meetings here & there (except for the brief period I was on the committee in a singles ward). And I know every ward has their own expectations and ways of doing things, and who am I to rock the boat, right? Well, I was told that my committee/board is very small (2 people) and typically those members don't do anything to help in this ward. I didn't get a whole lot of information, because the last person who was in charge of it was doing it basically as a temporary fill-in, and there really hasn't been someone with that position for a while (so I was told). There is no binder or anything to be passed on to me.

So I have decided to take on this challenge as something that I'm going to tackle through my interpretations (with approval, of course) of how I want to do things and run with it. I will definitely start with getting those other 2 sisters involved. In fact, we have an Enrichment night in less than a week that was already more or less planned, but I'm going to do what I can to get more people there. We'll see how that goes. :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My office

Here are a few pictures of my office. I work in this room 40 hours a week, and sometimes spend more time in here on the computer or whatever, but otherwise try to stay out of the room as much as possible to really help me mentally keep work and home life separate. It is much larger than Joe's office, with a big window that I could not get to show up well in photos due to lighting. I LOVE this desk.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

More photos, more babblings (family visit)

I haven't written for a while because I haven't had much time to. We played host again to my parents & oldest sister and spent a lot of time with family.

My parents & Lori arrived on Wednesday night and we shared some upside-down pizza casserole (yum!) after giving them the tour of the house. Lori slept on an air mattress on the floor in Joe's office so she could get a little bit more privacy than she would've on our sofa-bed while my parents slept on our awesome air mattress in the guest bedroom (we'll have to replace that with a real bed one of these days).

I had Thursday off but Joe had to work, so Lori, my parents, and I drove to Ballard to check out The Locks & botanical garden (we didn't see many salmon, but it was still interesting and nice). If you ever wonder where I get my goofy nature from, look no further than my parents & older siblings:

Then we drove to Seattle and did a lot of walking. We visited Pike's Place Market and Pioneer Square. We had "Cow Chips" cookies, checked out some stores, ate at a nice French cafe, and went on The Underground Tour. Then we headed home and played some games with my aunt & uncle before calling it a night.

Some of my favorite items from the tour's gift shop:

On Friday after work, we prepared & hosted a potluck dinner. Joe's sister, Jillena, was in town to have her baby blessed by Joe on Sunday, and she & her husband, Scott, hadn't seen our house yet. So they came over, along with Joe's mother, and were joined by my aunt & uncle, a couple cousins, their families, and of course those staying at the house. The food was delicious and we had a great time.
We were planning on visiting Mt Rainer on Saturday, but my aunt & uncle had to cancel, so instead we visited Snoqualmie Falls. Then we stopped at XXX in Issaquah for some burgers, root beer, and shakes before Lori had to go to the airport to catch a flight home. We picked up my cousin, Kristine, dropped Lori off at the airport, and then headed to the Seattle Temple.

This was my third or fourth time going to Snoqualmie Falls, so these were all the pictures I got... Joe being a rebel and climbing off the boardwalk with Lori to take some pictures closer to the falls and my dad pretending to be a rebel by climbing off the boardwalk for a photo op.

Sunday morning we split up, with Joe and I going to church with his parents and my parents going to church with Kristine & her family. There was a potluck at Joe's parents' home after church, with more yummy food and mingling. Once Joe and I got home, we weren't feeling well, so we decided to get some sleep in hopes we'd feel better.
But when Monday came, we were still feeling very sick, so we weren't able to make the 4 1/2 hour trip to eastern Washington for Joe's grandmother's burial. My parents spent the day with my aunt & cousin visiting Mt. Rainer, and when they came home, we were in bed. But we got out of bed and headed to my aunt & uncle's house for a BBQ, returning home later not feeling quite
better but a little bit so.

Today I woke up still feeling under the weather, but Joe made it in to work. My parents just left a while ago to travel home through the west coast so they can visit other family and friends and places on their return trip. We were so spoiled by them while they visited. My mother washed all our laundry for us and even did the dishes a few times. My father spent a lot of his free time changing out light switches and outlets in our home, which was a much-needed project we hadn't yet tackled. It was great seeing them (and Lori, of course), and I wish all 3 of them could've stayed longer. I'm glad that Karena is getting married in October so I can get a chance to spend more time with them and more of my family and friends in Arizona soon!