Friday, April 30, 2010

Working on the "Zen" Part

Right now, life feels more chaotic than usual. With T's project being cancelled, what we thought we were going to do (move to Korea), is not going to happen. And we don't know yet what will happen.

Not knowing in January where we'd be by August was very different than not knowing in May. I'm trying to remember to breathe and trust.

While in this "holding pattern," I am doing my best to help myself get healthy. I am doing good things for my body - physical therapy for plantar fasciitis, riding my new bike, weight lifting, etc. Jazzercise continues to challenge me both as a student and instructor.

At my conference for NAPO (see last post), I learned a lot about social media. I am working on getting my professional face into the world again. But first, I am trying to remember what it looks like.

Breathing. That's the most important part.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Comfort & Belonging

And, while yesterday's news has really shaken me up, I am in a good place for that to happen - a place where uncertainty is just fine.

I am currently in Columbus, Ohio for the annual conference for the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). I have been a member since 1997, and in the profession since 1994.

Even though I haven't worked as an organizer in more than four(!) years, I have never let go of being an organizer. I may not have clients, or be active in my association, but I still belong here.

And being here has been wonderful so far. I am reconnecting with old friends. I am being recognized and thanked for past participation (I helped build some of the core education curriculum here; and used to teach here). I am getting HUGS. Lots of them!

Still don't know whether/how I will resume working. But I am in the right place, right now.

It makes not knowing where I will be tomorrow a little easier to digest.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Big News

HOUSTON, April 21, 2010 --- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] has informed the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) it will end participation in the new refinery project being built in Yanbu Industrial City.

“The quality of Saudi Aramco as a partner and significantly reduced capital costs from the recent re-bidding process made it a very difficult decision for us,” said Willie Chiang, senior vice president, Refining, Marketing and Transportation, ConocoPhillips. “We ultimately decided this project was not consistent with our current strategy to reduce our downstream footprint. We value and look forward to continuing our relationship with Saudi Aramco.”

This rocks my world. It means we are NOT going where we thought we were going. Back to not-knowing. Breathe.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Singing for Dollars

The fact that J has bought himself a cell phone has given me insight to him, that I am sure he does not mean to show me...

The other day, we sent him and his brothers out into the neighborhood ("go outside - you're driving us crazy!") After a while, we called to check in to find out what they were doing & call them home for dinner.

"What's that noise?"

"R & A & E singing."


"To the neighbors."


"Yeah, they've made $6 so far."



My kids wandered the neighborhood, caroling & asking for donations. I have no idea who's idea it was. I sort of asked (without really wanting to know the answer), what it was they were singing?

"Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."
"Kill Barney."
"Jingle Bombs."

Good thing we're moving soon.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

March in Photos

Lots of things happened in March. I have tried to put them in date-order, but I could be wrong. Here's all the news I can manage...

Somewhere around the beginning of March, A lost his first tooth. J lost his first one just before he turned 6. R didn't lose his first until after he was 6. A's birthday isn't until the end of May. He therefore holds the record of youngest tooth-loser.

We spent the kids' spring break in Vail, Colorado. (There is no one from our family in this picture - I just wanted a photo of the mountain). All four kids did ski school. T boarded; I skied. The first few days were slushy & springlike. The last day it snowed a heavy, wet snow that made it very hard to ski in. Hard work. But F.U.N.!

While the skiing was wonderful, I don't think it is what J will be remembering about this particular vacation. What he will remember is finding a $100 bill in the street one afternoon. It burnt a hole in his pocket until he was able to spend it on his very own (pay-as-you-go) cell phone. Lord help me, I live with an adolescent...

... a very creative adolescent. In the airplane on the way home, J made elaborate planes for his younger brothers out of a stack of Post-It notes. I asked him where he learned to do it and he said, "I just made it up." The younger boys were totally enthralled.

Last weekend, we wandered down to George Ranch Historical Park, a place where Texas history "comes alive." Here is A "roping" a "cow." (See below for full picture of "calf.") We had a pretty good day wandering around and seeing homes from the 1830s; the 1890s; and 1910.

Here is E "riding" the "cow." Ride 'em cowpoke!

This was also at George Ranch. Mostly, I just like the picture of J kissing the pig.

My brother and his daughter came out for a visit. The boys LOVE him. Somehow he has become "Uncle Monkey Face." Not sure why, but he wears it well. That's actually my niece on his left leg. They do not live together, so it was nice for them to see each other as well as visit us.

Monday night was the first night of Passover. We had a kid-friendly seder. I do not have an "official" seder plate, but discovered my serving dish from Tunisia worked beautifully. I think I may just decide that it is our official seder plate. (Though I'll probably use it for other things too). Isn't it pretty?

My brother requested that we go to the beach "since you're so close." I hadn't been to Galveston for a long time, so we piled into the car and drove down. One of the cool things we saw were a whole bunch of jelly fish washed up on the shore. These were about the size of a large dinner plate. And there were gobs of them. Yes, I poked them with a stick. (They didn't do anything).

On the way to school on Tuesday, we saw this little fella wandering down the road. The boys were very excited. I kind of was too - because usually we see them flattened. It was nice to see one alive and well.

And since we are on the subject of wild things in Texas, I thought I'd share our latest family photo. Personally, I couldn't be prouder that my four-year-old son knows how to make "zombie-eyes."