Saturday, December 15, 2012

On a career transition - again

So much has happened since my last post. I'm not a very good blogger (I think I've said this before) and being as busy as I've been is just one of the reasons. It turned out that a development job was not for me; at least not yet. So I took a new position of Alabama Volunteer Manager at the newest Make-A-Wish chapter: Alabama! I started September 1 and have been going non-stop ever since. That is not that I don't take time out for myself, it just seems to go from one day to the next. When the new chapter started, the staff in Alabama went from 3 to 5 in two weeks and a month after that we were at 7! I love the ladies I work with and it's definitely a challenge as we shift and adjust to all of the new in the office. I have to remind myself daily that we get to make it the "Alabama" way now instead of the "Georgia & Alabama" way. It is a unique situation and I'm happy I was able to be included. On top of everything, today is my 2 year anniversary with Make-A-Wish - I'm forever grateful!

For the fun stuff. I've been interested in spinning for a while now (the act of taking roving and putting twist into it to make yarn). I learned on a drop spindle which was cumbersome and bulky. I moved to a trindle and though it made spinning easier it wasn't as fluid as I wanted it to be. Therefore, my interest in owning a spinning wheel increased. I tested a few out in Atlanta before I moved and was pleased with the results that I got; also I was pleased with how naturally it felt to me. But due to moving costs, I held off on getting one. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised when we were in Atlanta for Thanksgiving and my mom said that we would be picking up a Christmas present for me early. I was shocked to hear her say that because she knows that if I know I'm getting it now then she won't get to wrap it up and put it under the tree. You can imagine my greater surprise when she told me we would be going to The Whole Nine Yarns to pick it out! Needless to say we walked out with a single treadle Ashford Traveller.


I came back that weekend and went to work! I had received some pencil roving a few years back and as of today it is all finished!

I think I may call it "Cotton Candy." It has all of the light blues, purples and pinks that remind me of that yummy carnival treat. I'll be starting on some blue faced leicester roving that was dyed green. Hopefully I can keep you somewhat more up-to-date on the adventures of an intermediate spinner.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Moving forward

Today was exciting! In the new role, I have been working to get involvement by new companies. Though just over a month in I haven't been out asking as I've been on a learning curve. My first ask a few weeks ago was more exploratory than I realized it would be and therefore changed my strategy. So my second ask occurred today and it was quite productive. I've sent up many prayers that this event comes through! We need the funding for our wish kiddos. Money raised locally stays locally - which is contrary to popular belief.


Finally though they captured the shooter in the Auburn incident last Saturday night. I pray that justice is served, though the families are in my prayers much, much more.


I've also been teaching a friend to knit. She's caught on rather quickly and that is exciting to see! I love sharing my craft with others - though I am continually breaking the "knitter's mold" of being old and knitting sweaters. In fact, I steer clear of sweaters and baby items :)


So a sports note before I sign off. Tonight is game one of the NBA Finals and though basketball is not my sport of choice to watch I am rooting for the Thunder. The reasoning behind this you might ask. Well, the Heat doesn't hold favor with me in their art of granting the wishes of our children. I know, it's not very sport related but I've been forced to choose lately.


How could anyone say no to our wonderful children?!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Pensive

I've been pensive tonight. The shooter involved in the the Auburn, AL shooting is still currently at large though officials think that they have found him in a house. I pray for the safety of all involved and that the situation ends quickly. But it makes me reflect on how quickly life changes.


I generally like change. It helps to develop character and often times shows character of those involved in the change. It allows time for some reflection, for positive critique, and for the opportunity to improve. Currently with all of the changes in work and personal life I've moved past personal reflection and critique and am ready to improve! I have my second solicitation tomorrow in my new role. I pray that it goes well and that I'm able to find a good partnership between the company and Make-A-Wish.


Currently I have an event going on with Prime Restaurant. If you are in the Buckhead area and Lenox Mall you should stop in on Tuesdays this month!


Also along the lines of change...I've been watching the Stanley Cup games yesterday and today. I've really gotten into it. Though I've been swayed to cheer for the LA Kings. Maybe next season I'll pick my own team to cheer for since ATL sold their team.


Go Kings, GO!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Two Days in a Row

So as promised, I'm back for Day 2 that is. Still no pictures of any of my knitting project from the past year and a half but I'll get on those this week. I had a dreary start to this rainy Sunday. I received a phone call regarding a shooting in Auburn, AL. This is where I went to college and it is a place that I hold near and dear to my heart. I am in prayer for those involved and that God will pour out His love and peace over them in this trying time.

My Atlanta Braves lost today as well. I was a trooper though and stayed through the rain and the dismal score till the very end. But I was excited to meet a friend at Buckhead Church and follow that up with Pinkberry afterwards. I'm thankful for the few friends that I have in the Atlanta area as they mean the world to me.

Back to work tomorrow. I have at least 2 asks to make this week and hopefully that will grow! If anyone in the GA/AL areas want to host an event for Make-A-Wish Georgia and Alabama give me a ring at 770.916.9474 x10!

That's all for now.

"And because Auburn men and women believe in these things, I believe in Auburn and love it!"

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Time To Play Catch Up

So it has definitely been a very long while since I've posted anything and so much as happened! Needless to say, the rest of my Europe trip won't make it online but I doubt that will hurt anyone's feelings.


After getting back from Europe I worked my last few months at the Auburn Alumni Association in the Program Services department. After saying good-bye in August, I started a whirlwind period at Make-A-Wish Georgia and Alabama. I began as an intern in the Program Services department working directly with wish referrals, families waiting for the process to begin and wish families attending events. I worked as an intern from August till December 6. Towards the end of my time - when I should have been looking for a job and wasn't - God was looking out for me as the CEO offered me a job as the Office Coordinator.


Over the next several months lots of change happened and by October 2011 the new CEO John was ready to make some changes. One of the being for me to become his Executive Coordinator (so less than 10 months I had my first promotion - and in my mind and in others it was one well deserved). I was excited to hire my first employee less than one month later and I still think she is the best first hire!!


Then in April, God allowed further change to happen in my career. I was offered the position of Community Events Coordinator in the Atlanta office. On May 1, my second promotion began. There has been time of change and transition as the new Executive Coordinator was hired and started - she's an Auburn grad so of course I approve :). I've been finding myself in the new job and seeing as it is the first time I've had to ask for money through events I become excited at the new prospects ahead of me.


On the personal side, I still knit - often. Hopefully pictures will be coming soon. I just installed internet at the apartment so that I can keep better in touch with family and friends.


I also have a beautiful goddaughter - Juliana - she is 16 months old and I'm sure that I'll mention her more than once as I continue to blog. She is a joy and delight to see as each time she's bigger! She and her family live 5 hours from me so that makes it hard to see her often.


God has blessed me with two very dear and wonderful friends, Jordyn and Megan, but they live so far! I am thankful that He has seen fit to give us the relationships that can adapt and change but still remain.


That's all for the moment.
-S

Friday, July 23, 2010

On Seeing Paris

Day 5 began with a trip from London to Paris on the Eurostar.  We left from St. Pancras Station in London and traveled straight to Paris.  The trip was only about 2.5 hours! :)




Once we arrived in Paris we met our city guide, loaded the bus and set off on a three hour city tour.  We saw sights all over the city.  Big ones like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre and little ones like the old Texas Embassy (France was the only country to recognize the state of Texas as it's own country when it separated from Mexico).  The tour stopped us at a great place to get pictures of the Eiffel Tower before dropping us off at our hotel.




The beginning of Avenue des Champs-Élysées

The end of Avenue des Champs-Élysées


Most of the Auburn graduates/soon-to-be graduates

Despite all of the rumors one hears, there really are numerous American inspired
French things and things from France that have inspired American things

The torch that was originally on the Statue of Liberty that America gifted back to France.
It now sits on top of the tunnel where Princess Diana died.

L'Hôtel national des Invalides
Originally designed to care for war veterans, it now houses  Musée de l'Armée,


Something that inspired the top of the US Capitol Building :)

After checking into the hotel we had time to change before going to the restaurant for the welcome dinner.  The restaurant's name was Chartier.  The dinner was the most interesting on the trip.  It started out with an appetizer that was boiled egg, a spicy white sauce and tomato.  But the main course was baked chicken with french fries, followed by a fruit custard.  After dinner we made a quick stop into a wine store to pick up drinks before heading out on our River Sienne.  The river tour gave us glimpses of other historic places.

Dinner Locale!


My side of the table!
Melissa, Grant, Trevor, Myself

War Eagle Paris!

The National Assembly: home to the French lower house of Parliament

Jefferson sat across the river from this building and
the top of it inspire the top of his house: Monticello

Mary Anges and Myself on the River Cruise


The girls!

Myself and Carlyn



So the boat was a tad awkward for us to get the whole group in the shot
and this is my best picture. 

The next morning, we woke up and started our individual groups sight-seeing.  We started out early and headed to Avenue des Champs-Élysées.  We stopped in the expensive shop row for Carlyn to see the Louis Vuitton store before going underneath Place Charles de Gualle to see the Arc de Triumphe.  Place Charles de Gualle was originally known as Place de l'Étoile or "Place of the Star." It is still referred to by some as this name as it is the meeting point of 12 major avenues in Paris.  Because the circle is always busy, pedestrians are not allowed to cross it to get to the Arc de Triumphe.  Our guide informed us of the law in this one Place; that incoming traffic has the right of way and that traffic inside of the Place has to stop to let those coming in enter safely.  According to him, it is the only circle in the world with this rule.  So we made our way to the Arc de Triumphe.

Across the Place Charles de Gualle

Coming up from the tunnel, literally underneath the Arc

On one side is the list of Napoleon's generals and on the other side are the battles they fought


The Arc houses France's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Codi planning out the direction to go next and how to get there!

The next stop happened to be the Louvre.  The Mussée de Louvre was originally Palais du Louvre, home to the royal family until 1672 when Louis XIV chose to move the family to the Palace of Versailles.  After the royal family, the Louvre housed the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres.  During the French Revolution, the National Assembly voted to turn the Louvre into a museum.

A Panoramic shot from my camera
In the shot is Mary Agnes, Codi, and Matt

The girls outside the Louvre!
(Poor Matt didn't get into any.)

video
A video of the outside; I was standing pretty much in the center of the U-shaped building

Me and Mona! She's much smaller in person! I was about 10ish feet away.

Everything, even the ceilings were ornate!

France's crown jewels

Venus de Milo!

The girls in the Louvre!

The next stop on our list of things to do in Paris was to see Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris. It was amazing! To see it up close! Btw...the gargoyles still serve their purpose: to funnel water off the roof and into the street below.  We found that out as it was raining steadily when we got there.

Right as you walk in!

Reason 1 that they have the flying buttresses outside!

The altar


Where the choir sits

GORGEOUS!!

Sorry they are blurry - it's hard to take pictures with no flash

I signed the welcome book!

After we left the cathedral, we made our adventurous way to the Paris Panthéon which houses a really cool clock and the remains of famous French citizens.  See below:


Codi and I on the subway to go to the Pantheon

The outside

The clock - was established in 1851 by physicist Léon Foucault
to illustrate the rotation of the earth.  It is called a
Foucault pendulum that is bolted to the Panthéon Dome.

The dome

Tribute to the Convention Nationale

Voltaire's Remains

Victor Hugo 1802 - 1885*
Alexandre Dumas 1802 -1870*

Louis Braille 1809 - 1852*

Marie Curie nee Sklodowska 1867 - 1934*
Pierre Curie 1859 - 1906*

*Not actually their tombs but I have pics of the actual tombs.  This are just the name plates outside of the rooms the remains rest in.

Carlyn in front of the replica of the building

Matt through the replica.  The things on the very bottom of the pic in the
red area are where the tombs are located; in the crypt!

Our last stop of the day was at the Musée de l'Armée to see Napoleon's tomb!  We went in the front and ended up going through the Musée d'Histoire Contemporaine, which is a display of all the Napoleon I, II, III war information and battle clothes.  It was a cool display but we were rushing because we only had about 15 mins to make it to Napoleon's tomb before it closed.  So after leaving the display, we found the correct entrance and walked in and there it was! Down in a hole in the floor! LOL

L'Hôtel national des Invalides - as we were walking up to it!

See the upper window covers?!

The gold dome is where we were headed

I'm taking this from the ground level floor (Floor 0 in Europe).
The tomb would be on Floor -1. Just FYI.

The view from across the circle.

The dome. The French like domes :) It is mainly because most of
the domes were built in the Neoclassical period.

Napoleon I's remains

Heading down to the lower floor

How it looks from eye level!
Is it not huge?!

Napoleon II's remains

After seeing our last sight of the day, we headed back to the hotel.  Where I promptly set my alarm and fell asleep.  I left myself an hour to get ready for the Moulin Rouge that night. So you can imagine my surprise when I wake up and it's 9:15 instead of 8:15! OH DEAR! We were to leave at 9:30 that night.  I threw my clothes on, put my make up in the bag and ran out the door, not bothering to grab my poncho and it was raining!  I got downstairs in the nick of time!  And putting my make up on in the subway was an interesting experience. I did get help on part of it thanks to Kelly and the honest opinions of Moriah! :)

Kelly helping me out!

First view of it!

Me in front of it!

Myself and Moriah

Myself and Codi

After the Moulin Rouge it was 2 in the morning and I made my first phone call to the parents since it was 6 pm CST. It was good to hear their voices after 6 days!

The next morning my group woke up and decided to follow a walking tour card that Codi's friend gave her.  This took us to the oldest church in Paris, St. Pierre de Montmartre, and to a church that has a blue tint in the stained glass that scientists are not sure how the builders obtained the blue hue, the Church of the Sacred Heart.
The church from a distance
(even though we didn't know it at this point)

We found the backside of it!
(Yet again, we didn't know it was it)


A cute garden outside the church

It was beautiful


The view from the church



The whole group! :)


The Church of the Sacred Heart


The oldest church in the area
Begun in 1147 and finished in 1680





Having a snack after all of our walking!
Real French pastries made that morning!
After viewing both churches, we found a quaint square filled with hundreds of artists of varying kinds of art.  Carlyn, Codi, and Matt bought some of the original art.  After leaving the square, we headed to see about going up into the Eiffel Tower.  Once we arrived, we realized that there would not be enough time to wait in line and go up into it.  So we took pictures on the lawn instead.





The nets are to keep people from jumping
This is where the term line jumping originated it's kinda gruesome.


Did you know that the arches hold no architectural purpose.
They were added to make it look prettier. :) The triangular shape was too much for the Parisians!


Yup. It's huge!


That's me jumping! LOL

Now leaving Paris. Next stop Rome!