Welcome to my blog!

I invite you to share your thoughts, but I do ask you to keep your comments appropriate. I won't feel badly about removing comments that are offensive. That doesn't mean you can't be honest—I want honest feedback—but I also like to fill my life with positive people and positive things. I guess that means if you have to say something negative, say it nicely! :-)

More than anything, I want you to leave here feeling inspired and valued—and like we've had a fun chat!

 

Thursday
Dec262013

Wishing You a Happy Holiday!

Thought I’d check in really fast and wish  you all a happy holiday. Our Christmas was pretty nontraditional and very low key. Typically we have a traditional Christmas Eve dinner at home with family. . . we did have a family dinner this year, but it was at a restaurant (no cooking, no dishes—a win for everybody!). Christmas Day we hung around all day in PJs and sweats (hence, no photos). . . Christmas dinner was frozen pizza and green salad. Can you get less traditional? But again, low key, no prep. A win!

We’re anticipating the rest of the holidays to be equally unplanned, low key, and enjoyable. We’re working on on some photo albums, catching a few movies, and just taking it easy. Basically we’re in denial—we know the first of the year is coming all too quickly, and then it will be time to get serious about eating healthy and exercising, preparing for Leadership, and getting back to work again.

But for now, a few more days of the holidays. . .

I hope your Christmas was enjoyable and that the rest of your holidays are full of fun, love, peace, and joy!

 

 

Monday
Dec232013

Grandma Pat's Party--2013

Another amazing Grandma Pat Christmas party, come and gone. We look forward every year to this opportunity to gather together and celebrate our family, as well as the holidays.

Because we’ve been doing this so often, there’s not much that I haven’t talked about before. It’s mostly the same thing every year—same place, same menu, same assignments, same schedule. Some come on Friday, the rest arrive on Saturday, and we wrap things up Sunday morning after breakfast. People come and go all weekend long, coming to as much as they can. We miss those who can’t make it, and love seeing those who can.

One of the highlights every year is definitely the family program. Grandma Pat always plays an inspiring video about the birth of Christ, we share talents and sing carols, and then end with the year-in-review slideshow. It’s fun to watch everyone react (the teenagers whoop and holler, the younger kids giggle and point) to the slides of the year’s highlights captured to share with everyone in the family.

The other highlight (for me at least) is the visiting—I love my family and this is the only time all year long that some of us are able to get together. Now that we’ve had the party and enjoyed a fun family tradition, I feel like Christmas can officially come!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday
Dec202013

Kanab Holiday Celebration

Today was part 2 of our annual Stampin’ Up! holiday celebration—this one is our potluck Christmas celebration in Kanab.

Sterling and I drove down yesterday, and several CT members came down today. We had our company update meeting (we aren’t always able to do this in person, so it’s always fun when we can conduct this meeting face to face), celebrated service awards, and then enjoyed lunch together.

Kanab is, of course, a smaller group; there are fewer service awards (two 5-year, four 10-year, and four 15-year employees), and it’s more intimate. I loved recognizing these hardworking employees and giving them a personal thanks and a warm hug.

Because of our size, we couldn’t have a potluck in Riverton—just too many of us—but I look forward every year to the Kanab potluck and tasting what everybody brings! Many of them bring their favorite dishes, and there’s always a great variety. I’ve known many of these people for years, and it’s nice to chat with them and get caught up, as well as get to know others better.

Spending time with people I care about is one of my favorite holiday activities, so today was definitely a wonderful day! Merry Christmas to our Stampin’ Up! Kanab family!

 

Friday
Dec202013

Riverton Holiday Celebration

We had our annual holiday celebration today at the home office—it’s always a holiday highlight for me.

This year things kicked off with a choir of schoolchildren from the elementary school across the street. They come caroling every year, but I’ve missed it the past several years, and I didn’t realize until this morning how much I enjoyed watching and listening to them. I teared up as I watched the cute kids singing with all their heart, happy and cheerful and innocent. . . a sweet way to start the day. And I knew they’d trudged through the storm (a storm they’re calling “historic” here) to sing for us, and it made it even more meaningful. . 

After that we gathered for our company update. As we walked in, we were greeted by live holiday music performed by an employee band. Loved that. . .We ended the meeting with our annual service awards, recognizing employees who have been with us five, ten, and fifteen years.

I’m always thrilled to see how many people have stayed with our Stampin’ Up! family. In today’s world, people don’t always stay with their jobs for years, so it makes me happy to see how low our turnover is. We had 17 employees who celebrated five-year anniversaries, 33 who celebrated their ten-year, and 9 who reached their fifteen-year milestone. Congratulations!

 

 

One of my favorite parts of the service awards is giving hugs. . . love the opportunity to give these amazing people a personal thanks and a warm hug. Rich asked me if he should tell everyone to be gentle when they hugged me and I said, Heck no! It was nice to get normal hugs. . . Then as we left, again accompanied by the live employee band, everyone received a tasty little white-chocolate covered pretzel treat bag. 

We have wonderful employees at Stampin' Up! And I wish them all a merry Christmas!

 

 

 

 

Tuesday
Dec172013

A Leadership Dry Run

Sterling and I love to go to Hawaii, especially when it’s freezing here! We’ve enjoyed all our visits and find it’s one of the few places where we can get away and truly relax.

Most of our visits there, especially recently, have been purchased at charity events—it’s always a treat when we’re able to bid and win on a trip to Hawaii and support a worthy cause at the same time.

This is one of those trips, but after my accident, I didn’t think I’d be up to it, so we called to postpone and were told nope, use it or lose it. So almost from the beginning, my goal was to be well enough to make this trip.

And I did.

We just got back on Sunday from a wonderful week in Hawaii.

We weren’t really sure I’d be ready until the last moment; we didn’t make flight arrangements until the week before we left! And it was harder than I anticipated. . . I’ve become pretty comfortable with my arrangement here in my own home and car and office. But in different circumstances, there were some unanticipated challenges, and I considered it a great dry run for leadership (which I am SO looking forward to. I MISS our demonstrators!)

The flight was tiring, but when there’s nothing to do on the other end but read, relax on the beach and around the pool, eat great food (we discovered a wonderful gelato place so had to take turns—shaved ice one day, gelato the next), and enjoy fabulous company, you recover pretty fast! I did work a couple of hours every day to stay on top of things, but overall, it was another amazing Hawaii vacation!

Jon and Shalae went with us this time (most of the couples have had turns), and it was a fun surprise to discover that Vonna and Sean were there for a few days as well. I had no idea they had planned a trip until Vonna texted me one day and said, “Wanna do lunch?” It was great to spend a couple hours with them.

And now we’re back, missing the gorgeous weather but feeling refreshed and renewed. We landed Sunday , and I had a board meeting first thing Monday morning, so it was business as usual. I haven’t seen our board members for months though, so I enjoyed catching up with them. And with the holidays looming right around the corner, days will be pretty packed for the next little while. It was nice while it lasted. . .