24 November 2009

"Virginia is for lovers"

"Attention customers and employees, please evacuate the building as soon as possible." That's what I heard, barely, over the PA system, today at work. A few minutes later another similar announcement was given, only this time it was a guy and he pretty much yelled! I made my way to the entrance and found my sister and we waited. We thought it was a drill, but then the fire department came and a bunch of MPs (military police). Soon, the MPs were blocking off the road and yelling at us to get to the other end of the parking lot, far away from the building.

We later met up w/ some other ladies from work, at the employee parking lot and eventually went down the road to "Church's chicken" and had some lunch while we waited. It took about two hours before they let us back in. Funny thing... After parking the car and walking into work, I was thinking, "I should keep the car keys on me," but I put it in my sister's bag, like always. Oh well!

My sister, Nani, has been amazing! As usual! :) It's been fun working w/ her. She works crazy hard and is super effecient! The first day I worked w/ her, I was baffled on how much she is able to get done, by herself! The amount of work she does is normally accomplished w/ more than one person. But alas, my sister truly is "Super Woman" and gets it done alone.

Virginia has been good to me! It's been very wet and cooling down daily, but I'm grateful that it's similar to Hawaii weather, just a little cooler. :) Definitely a benefit for me, compared to the Utah weather! Don't get me wrong, I love the snow and think it's amazing, but I just can't handle the cold! I'm cold all the time and the added cold from the weather, just makes my world a little less bareable...

Who says "Virginia is for lovers?" I'm totally missing out on this, because 1: I don't know who said this or where it came from, and 2: I ain't gettin' no love! Well not any from outside of my family, at least. Everyone thinks I'm gonna meet some guy out here and that he's gonna sweep me off my feet, and that I'm never going back to Utah. Well Mr. Sweeper... hurry up and get your broom 'cause my feet are gettin' pretty dusty and I definitely need to be swept off of 'em! :) I promise to try to be patient, and I'll for sure keep you, my "stalkers," updated.

Not much else going on other than that! We are going to Matt and Nani's friend's house for Thanksgiving! I'm pretty stoked because all we're taking is a dessert. :) Matt said that Chris is bringing out his tractor and hitchin' a trailer to it. They're gonna fill it w/ hay and give the little kids hay rides. How cool! Then later, we're gonna have a bonfire! Good food, good company, and good fun! What more could you want? Well my little "stalkers," I hope your Thanksgiving is a most splendid one! Eat well, be safe, and have fun! Remember what you're grateful for and be sure to show it! Until next time... Be strong, be happy, and find the joy in your life!

17 November 2009

Leaving on a jet plane...

To all my faithful stalkers, I mean followers... :) I apologize for the lack of posts. I personally think it's better to have time between posts, that way there's more for me to blog about.

Here's the latest of what's going on.

I am leaving for Virginia tomorrow morning and will be there until January. It's gonna be a long trip but I'm definitely looking forward to it! I was originally going for Christmas break to help watch my nephews while they were out of school. I got worried because I would have been gone for about 3 weeks, and that's a lot of work to miss. Missed work equals to less money, which then translates to unpaid bills. I told my sister that I wasn't sure if I could come out because of this. She then told me that I could work w/ her while I was out there. Then she said I could go out earlier and work more, and get caught up on my bills. I was worried to be gone for so long but I feel like this is a great opportunity for me. I have great jobs here and I love them both, it's just that the recession makes life difficult. Hours were cut earlier this year at the Distribution Center and that effected me a lot. Recently, hours were cut at California Pizza Kitchen, and now I'm in a pretty deep hole. Sometimes I am able to get more shifts, but not enough. Now that I'm leaving to work w/ my sister, I'm hoping things will get better! I should be able to get caught up and hopefully even be able to save some money too!

Last night I got a phone call from the University of Phoenix. I entered my information on one of their sites, to get more info about nursing school. They called to follow up on that. In all honesty, I just wanted to get some emails about it to see if I'd even be interested. Instead, someone called and then transfered me to a counselor to map out furthering my education w/ them. It was interesting because after I was transfered, the counselor asked, "What can I help you w/?" I laughed a little and said, "I'm not sure, she called ME." Well, we worked it out and started to talk about school. I expressed an interest in becoming a nurse, but as I talked to Jared, the counselor, he helped me realize that I'm not very passionate about becoming a nurse. He asked why I was considering nursing and I told him it was because when I was little my papa (grandpa) was really sick and I tried to help him get better. He later passed away of colon cancer, but at the age of 4 yrs. old, I didn't understand that he wasn't coming back. I would tell my mom and gammy (grandma) that I was "going to dig up papa and clean him up and make him better again." I continued to say, throughout my childhood, that I would become a nurse. I have also been told that I'd be a great nurse because I'm "so caring and compassionate and work well w/ people." well, Jared understood this all, and then asked me if it's what I wanted. He said that lots of people w/ those same attributes make great teachers, as well. He said that many people go to school for things that "make sense" but later realize it's not what they want to do. I then said, "well there's no sense in forcing a square into a circle." Why force it?

We talked about it a little more and he then asked another question, "which are you more passionate about? Nursing or teaching?" Right then and there I realized that nursing wasn't my passion! I don't really have a "passion" per se, but I would much rather be a teacher than a nurse. I can only handle so much when it comes to human anatomy, but I love kids! I would have so much fun teaching in an elementary!

Well, to make a longer story short, I decided that I would look into elementary education a little more. I've been planning on culinary arts, but I think I'll go down the education route and then maybe later, culinary arts. It was really cool because Jared wasn't pressuring me at all. You know how, sometimes, people who are endorsing things often seem to pressure you into using their products? Jared wasn't like that at all. If he did, he would've convinced me to take up nursing. As of right now, I have an appointment to talk to him next Monday, over the phone, since I'm leaving and all. We are going to set me up to start taking classes online in February. I'm really excited! He asked if I wanted to get things set now or if I wanted to think about it, and I told him that "if I think about it too much, it's not gonna happen." I felt so motivated and excited!

A cool thing too, was that his family is from Big Island! When I heard his name I was like, "I know Loo's from Big Island" and that was before he told me. He grew up here so I don't know him but I'm sure I know some of his family. I thought we were related somehow, but I asked my dad and he said that it's more of a "calabash" relation and through marriage from the Bertlemanns. We had fun talking about Hawaii and the "ono kine grindz." We shared info on places here that have the "good stuff" and I'm excited to go there when I get back!

And so my dear followers, I bid thee farewell for a few more days until I can get settled and have time to blog again. I promise that I will have good things to share, next time! And I will do my best to have pictures too! Have a wonderful week and keep smiling! Be strong, be happy, and find the joy in your life!

08 November 2009

Stake Conference

We had stake conference this weekend, and can I just say that it was awesome?! I don't often have the chance to go to the Saturday meeting of stake conferences, 'cause I'm normally working. But I was able to attend this time. Mostly because I was asked to speak. :S

The topic for our conference was "Holy habits and righteous routines." My stake president asked me to speak on the "habit of prayer" about a month ago. I was surprised that he asked me! Normally I enjoy speaking in church, so I was pretty excited. The reason I enjoy speaking in church is because I get a lot out of it. But I also figure that there really aren't that many people listening. It might just be my way of getting rid of "butterflies" or whatever, but that's what I think.

In a regular family ward, you have the older people who already love you. Whatever you say will make them love you more. Then you have the younger kids, from youth and primary. They are so preoccupied w/ coloring, snacks, the opposite sex, and what have you, that they aren't listening anyways. Basically you are left w/ a smaller amount of people that are truly listening and not just hearing. Those are the few that I speak to. I understand that there are more people listening, most likely, but that's what I think about. However, as time went by and it got closer to our stake conference, I became nervous! It was really weird for me since I ACTUALLY look forward to speaking in church. I had so much time to prepare, and I really did try to. But when it comes down to it all, I am never able to convey what I would like to in a talk until the night before/ morning of. I don't know why that is, but seriously, every time I try to prepare in advance, it doesn't flow. When I procrastinate, sort of, it works out. And even when I write things down, I only say about half of it when I actually speak. Weird, I know, but that's how it is.

It was about an hour and a half before the meeting and I'm texting my roommates that we should leave between 5:30PM and 5:45PM so we can find parking and so I won't be late. My roommates get home about 5PM and I'm rushing to finish my thoughts. Then I have to finish getting ready. I'm moving along quite rapidly, and then I wait in the living room for everyone else. Emily comes down and says she can't go 'cause she's really sick, and then she asks, "Is Ray still going?" I start freaking out because I'm thinking that I have to go to conference alone and w/ no "moral support." Right when I'm thinking that, Ray comes in and asks if I'm ready. Relief comes over me... and then worry. I don't want to leave Emily, but I can't not go to stake conference, minutes before it starts. Luckily, Emily's friend, Amy, was visiting and was able to take her to urgent care. Ray and I left and got to campus w/ time to spare. It was a pretty chilly night, so I was shivering a little. We walk in and locate the auditorium we were going to be in, and are immediately greeted by the second counselor of our stake presidency, President Ewell. We shake hands and say hello, and as I'm slowly walking away, he asks, "Are you Sister Travis?" I turn and say yes and asked how he knew. I was thinking it was because I had a flower in my ear, but he said it was because I was shivering, so he thought I was nervous to speak. I insisted that it was because I was cold.

I get on stage and meet the other guy I'm speaking w/. He's a pretty cool kid, he served his mission in San Jose, CA (good state, btw) and he was mighty "easy on the eyes!" ;) His topic was the "habit of scripture study." Of course! How perfect is that? Prayer and scripture study. It definitely goes together! As we were sitting there and introducing ourselves, I was telling him a, what I thought to be, funny story about the San Jose mission. I was trying to tell him that my friend at work, Marie, thinks that I served in the California San Jose mission, but it's really the San Bernardino mission. What really came out was, "funny thing about that, my email... I mean she's my roommate, Emily. Not my email. She thinks, wait no. Not my roommate. My friend from work, Marie, often confuses my mission w/ yours. She thinks I served in San Jose." Totally nose dived! What the heck happened?! I know I'm not the most articulate person, normally. But honestly? What happened?! I guess I was so nervous and he was cute and... I don't know. But, as I was making a complete fool out of myself, speaking, the patriarch and his wife came up and was coming to sit next to me. They were saying hello and trying to talk to me as I was trying to finish my disaster of a story, so I got even more flabbergasted. Man, I was figuring it wasn't going to be an easy night of talking. They also asked if Kenny and I were together, or if we were both speaking. It was kind of funny that they asked that, but we were both like, "no, just speaking." Too bad! :)

Well, to get along w/ it all, it turned out to be a really good night! Kenny, the kid I embarrassed myself in front of, spoke first. He was awesome! He had a funny story to start off w/ that totally related and was a good example, he gave experiences, he read scriptures. He even used the commitment pattern! He issued the commitment of having daily scripture study, explained why we should do it, bore testimony, and promised blessings! I was figuring that he hadn't been home too long from his mission, since he was still good at the commitment pattern. But, his talk made me want to do better at being consistent in my scripture study. I was already planning it, but more inspiration!

My turn! I get up and thoughts are just racing. "What am I gonna say? Is it all gonna make sense? What if I draw a blank? Will I take enough time? Will I talk too long? Will I ramble more than usual?" All these random things were going on in my head and I was freaking out at how nervous and anxious I was becoming. Anyways, I'm giving my talk and reading some things from Elder Nelson and Elder Perry, and I'm thinking it's going pretty good. By the end of it all I'm speaking about my experiences and how I'm working on my "habit of prayer" and trying to make my prayers more meaningful. I then challenge everyone to do the same. Not anything specific, but just to take the next step w/ their prayers. For me, I was working on kneeling when I pray. Now, I'm working on adding in consistent scripture study, to receive answers to my prayers. I mean, we as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, have a "habit of prayer" already. It isn't a new concept. We've been exposed to it from day one. We are a praying people! We pray in church, we pray at home, we pray for our food, we pray when we are set apart for callings/missions, we pray in the temple. We pray! Honestly, it wasn't a difficult challenge or one that was "way out there," so I felt comfortable extending it.

The concluding speakers were, a bishop from our stake, and our stake president, President Shollenberger. The Bishop spoke on frequenting the temple more often, and President Shollenberger spoke about the theme of our conference and the revelation that is given preparing for the conference and throughout the conference. Their talks were awesome. They definitely spoke w/ the Spirit and I learned a lot from them both. I love the things that we learn in our church meetings! Many times they are repetitive topics, but I know that I am one of those that need to be told more than once, before anything really sticks. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned that before, but it's true!

Thanks for reading my ramblings and hope you continue to. Be strong, be happy, and find the joy in your life!

04 November 2009

One More Time!

How do you put into words your feelings? It's always such a difficult thing. Sometimes I wish there was a device that you could plug into your head so it would then translate everything into words. It's interesting how jumbled your thoughts tend to be. If you know me, then you know how random I am. :)

Here's the thing... It's been an intense roller coaster ride in life lately, and I've been trying hard to hold on and brace myself for the next turn. For the most part I feel like I've done a pretty good job, but I am still having a bit of difficulty. I talk about how I'm finally moving on from "ancient history," and yet, I find myself thinking about it more than I should let myself. I wonder, why he did what he did or, why he continues to do what he's doing or, "what was he thinking?" Soon after, I reevaluate my thinking into, "why are you even concerned about him? He doesn't care about you anymore, so why should you care about him?" I then think about what it is I'm supposed to learn from all of this. I have yet to figure it out completely, but I have an idea. I think that through this ridiculous heart ache and pain, I need to realize that, I AM strong! I AM capable! I AM worth so much more! I DO deserve more! Too many times in life we short change ourselves. We settle. We get too complacent.

At this time of my life, I have realized that I have been waiting for the "next big thing." I complain that I don't feel like anything is happening in my life. I complain that I feel like I'm not progressing. I complain about how I wish there was something or someone to tell me what I should be doing w/ my life right now. I hate growing up. :) I miss the days when other people made decisions for me. Those days were good... mostly.

I was talking to Karyn earlier today and she shared a story of "revelation." It's interesting that we've talked about this "ah-ha" moment before, but in different ways and in different words. Basically, she realized that things aren't happening in her life, because she isn't making them happen. How truer can that be? It was so simple and yet, more powerful than all the other conversations we've had about the same thing. If I want my life to go a certain way, or if there is something that I want in life, I need to make it happen. If I don't want to be struggling financially anymore, than I need do better at budgeting, and saving my money. If I want to see the world, then I need to figure out ways that I can make that happen. If I want to lose weight and be more healthy, I need to change my eating habits and exercise. I can't sit around expecting life to come to me. I have to go out and take life into my own hands and make the most of it!

During General Conference weekend, there's so much that is taught. So much that makes you think. So much that makes you want to change. We have our favorite talks and we can't wait for the Ensign to come out so we can read and study them again. But after that, nothing happens. That's why there is so much repetition in the church. It takes us more than once to really internalize something. I mean think about it, how many times were you prompted by the Holy Ghost to do something, before you actually listened? Not many of us can honestly say, "once." I have definitely been one of those that was told multiple times and practically yelled at by the Spirit, to listen. It's the same concept. You have to hear it a multitude of times and in various ways, before it really sticks!

Moral of the story... if you want something to happen, YOU need to make it happen. Don't be afraid it do it. Shoot for the moon, if you miss, you'll be among the stars. Or however the quote goes. "Trust in the Lord w/ all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6) Too often do I forget to trust in the Lord. Too many times I think that I'm leaning on Him too much or that I'm totally burdening Him w/ my problems. In all honesty, that's what He's there for. Take hold of His outstretched hand and step onto the rocks to cross the rushing waters of the winding river. "Be not afraid." Be strong, be happy, and find the joy in your life!