Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Pleasure is spread through the earth
In stray gifts to be claimed by whoever shall find.

~William Wordsworth, 1806

this last gifting is proving to be quite challenging to me. i have many opportunities to "gift" strangers at work, but i want to challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone, to really reach out to someone in a way that is not "required" by the definition of "hospitality." does that make sense?

so i'm off to (hopefully) spread stray gifts through the earth today. wish me luck!

has this last challenge been difficult for you?

on saturday morning, between soccer and work, i spent a few hours with my Rotary Club participating in Rotary International's Day of Service. This year's theme is "Make Dreams Real," and we are to support the youth of our communities.

we went to a local family emergency shelter, a residential facility that provides a place for kids and teens to stay when they or their parents need a cooling down period. i should write an entirely different post about this facility, because i believe they are providing a great service to our community.

when we work at the home, we do not interact with the children, so they are, in fact, strangers. this year we helped enclose an addition to their storage shed. we pressure washed, hammered, painted, and had a wonderful morning of fellowship. it is a little gift of time, and one that i am happy to give.

Friday, April 24, 2009

sting like a bee

spring soccer is officially underway!!

go Yellow Jackets!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

diary of an 8 year old

dear diary,
the other day, my mom told him

that i have a girlfriend...

i'm doomed!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


"gifting" my coworkers is something i believe to be very important. as a manager in the service industry, i wear many hats: leader, motivator, trainer, coach, guidance counselor, friend... the key to our success at this hotel is engaging all of our 25 employees in the fun and chaos that is the hotel industry.

we have *mailboxes* for each employee that we use for distributing important information: our monthly newsletter, "way-to-go" messages, treats and candy. anything goes, really. the key is to keep up with it... nothing is more depressing than an empty *mailbox!* (as you can see, i have some work to do today!)

i am going to write a little handwritten note to each employee today. something that say "keep it up!" "i appreciate you!" "thanks for spending extra time in the laundry room yesterday!" personal notes are my favorite kind of Good Mail. i'm so happy to be able to share that with my team!

(don't you think it's funny that we call ourselves "the gators?" no surprise where that nickname came from...)

Monday, April 20, 2009

the journey to forty

you may know that my word for this year is journey. so far this year, i have been on several journeys: new orleans, chapel hill, philadelphia/d.c. and charlotte. it's been a combination of business and leisure travel, which is fine by me! just getting up and getting out of town for a few days is really making me feel a little less "stuck."

but there's another journey i'm on this year, a bigger journey - one that does not require airline tickets or hotel reservations, but still needs some planning: the journey down the road to forty! 4-0. four decades. (halfway to 80, if you listen to my cheeky sisters, who are all younger than me...)

this morning, i thought i'd share with you a few of the steps i'm taking along this journey, a few of the little things that are helping me approach this milestone in a positive frame of mind. i know a woman who took herself on a Disney Cruise for her 40th birthday. she had so much fun, she turned around and took her two children on that cruise a month later! i don't really have the means to do that (although i do hope to plan something *big* for november's celebration...)

first, there is my new best friend, jergens(R) natural glow firming daily lotion. LOVE this product, love the "daily glow" (i HATE the sun). and i really am thrilled to report that there is firming going on!

second is the new cure for my venomously thin lips, pixi lip booster. i've tried a few other "plumping" lip colors, and i am pleased to report that this one does not come with the tingling (read: BURNING) sensations that some of the others feature. i am currently using No. 12 "Tianna." (don't let the $18 price tag fool you... i found it for much, MUCH less at tarjay.

i am also digging herbal essences no flakin' way (wish i could grab a photo of that). i am a girl who has always suffered from "itching, tightness, dryness and flakes." (TMI?? you tell me). anyway, i grabbed this on my last journey when i realized i had forgotten my shampoo. (as much as i love hampton, i do NOT love hampton's complimentary shampoo.) (ssshhhh, don't tell my boss!) this product is awesome! and the fusion of cucumber fruit and lemongrass really appeals to the girly girl in me.

(image grabbed from flickr. geoart is the photographer.)

and finally, i have reignited my love affair with good old water. i am consciously drinking more of it throughout each day. i love it cold, no ice. i have quite a collection of BPA free bottles from which to drink it from. (or, when at home, i lovingly use my UNC tumblers.)

consider this my turning 40 public service announcement. i'll keep you updated throughout the year!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


meet my circle of friends...

these are the people who get me through the work week. they are all general managers of hampton inns across north carolina, and they are always a phone call or an email away when i need them.

this week, i had the opportunity to visit on of my friends and do a mock quality assurance inspection on his(beautiful)hotel. it gave his team a chance to make sure they are ready for the "real thing" whenever that pops up. (they will be outstanding, by the way!)

while he maintains that my visit was for their benefit, i honestly believe i received a gift as well. the role of "general" manager can be extremely stressful (think of all the crazy things that can fall into the "general" category... somedays it can be like the perfect storm!) visiting a friend from my "circle" gave me chance to vent, share ideas, inspire others and be inspired.

to my circle, "the breakfast club." THANK YOU!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

get yer festival on!

it's time!! it's festival weekend!!

meetings have been held!

plans have been drawn up!

manual labor has been done!

bridges have been built!

the paint is dry (well, it WILL be by tomorrow, i promise!)

they're talking about it in north AND south carolina!

i'll be back next week to tell you ALL about it!!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

the giving tree

remember last fall when my family made the giving tree? and i knew it somehow had to make another appearance?

happy easter!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


this is me. at 7:30 last night, having worked a 9 hour day, gone to an acolyte meeting, attended evening prayer, and run into the grocery (all while matty and jack were running around the soccer field.)

this is me, preparing dinner on a night when i really wanted to phone it in (literally.) i could've snapped a photo of the gorgeous stir-fry i *whipped up.* but this seemed to capture the moment a little more realistically, dirty kitchen floor and all!!

don't you just love the juxtaposition of the blue apron and my strappy heels? joan cleaver would be proud! preparing dinner for my family is truly a gift i can give, even when i don't feel like it!

and, while techinically not a self-portrait, take a look at this:

the GREATEST gift i have given my family lately... the gift of my undying patience and willingness to clean up puppy accidents!!!

Sunday, April 05, 2009


in my church, we spend this week talking a lot about gifts - the gift of love, the gift of forgiveness, the gift of eternal life...

pretty hard to wrap those gifts up in a box with a pretty bow, wouldn't you say?

this morning, as i helped wrangle eight acolytes (8 children carrying heavy banners and flaming torches and flags with very sharp ornaments affixed to their tops, i might add), my mind kept wandering from the lessons being read.

instead, i was thinking about the gifts. and, as often happens, i struck upon an idea for spt! wouldn't it be great if we spent this month giving gifts!

and before you lovingly remind me of the economic recession, let me add that no money is to be spent on these gifts! let's focus on the gift of service, the gift of a smile, the gift of a repurposed or gently used item, the gift of a kind word. you know, those gifts that would be hard to wrap in a box with a pretty bow.

for tuesday, april 7: gift a family member
for tuesday, april 14: gift a friend
for tuesday, april 21: gift a neighbor, teacher, co-worker
for tuesday, april 28: gift a total stranger

i have a feeling that by the end of this month, the person who will have received the greatest gift is...


Thursday, April 02, 2009

to FB or not to FB, that is the question

do you facebook?

i've been facebooking since july of last year. i have been using facebook mobile since january. i haven't studied the statstics, but i'm willing to bet there is a direct correlation between the number of blog posts i have (or have not) written and the amount of time i've spent on facebook since then.

i've said it before, and i'll say it again... i am an instant gratification girl. i love status updates. i love comments. i love the "i like it" button. i love becoming a fan. i love sharing obscure you tube videos.

i love connecting with friends.

i love that my father still cautions me to be "careful on the Internet..."

of course, you must be careful with what you share. facebook is very much a public bulletin board, and you need to proceed with caution. back in december, when Grabbie was living her last days, my cousins and i all had an agreement that we would not acknowledge her death in our facebook status' until we were sure that everyone had been notified personally. who wants to get that kind of news from facebook?

today, i am following the labor and delivery of a friend's baby. it's a different situation for me, as the friend is the father in this scenario. usually, i am rooting for my girls on labor and delivery day! i have been entertained by his status updates since roughly 4:18 this morning... it's almost like being there!

during our adventures through new orleans, our favorite phrase was "facebook it!" when something particulary funny, weird, abnormal, crazy or otherwise notable happened.

just today, i found out that there is a name for people who use social networking sites like i do... it's called WILB, or Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing. and, it turns out, those of us who do it are 9% more productive at work!! you know what i like to do with that kind of good news???


do you facebook?