Friday, January 4, 2013

My HALF days ended with 2012

It's now 2013, and I'm working full days.
So far?
I've managed to last 7.5 hours in the office, behind my desk, each day (Jan 2 and Jan 3).

And then I sleep for 12 hours afterwards. And it's not enough. Not enough sleep, that is.
Whoa. I am so old.

Have I shared much about my job yet?
I don't think I have.

These are the important things to know:

1. During the interview stage of applying for this position, I was asked what my preferred method of 'keeping track of things' is. I told them, "notebooks". I always have one on the go. I write EVERYTHING down."
On my first day of work, waiting for me at my work station was a brand new, classy, black notebook and three pen choices (ballpoint, roller, and a Bic), along with a notecard, (welcoming me on my first day) PLUS an Aero chocolate bar (as a nod to my last employer, Arrow).

2. Every morning the entire staff team (75 of us, when we're all there.)(And just for the record, there weren't 75 people in the building during those days between Christmas and New Years. Oh no there sure wasn't. There were probably 10 of us Newbs working those three shifts ... we hadn't accumulated enough hours to use our 'flex days' to Just Stay Home. I'm not bitter), like I was saying, every morning all of us gather in our bright, spacious staff room for devo's (devotions) and prayer.

And I like it. 
I don't freak out at the praying out loud part.
Know why?
Because we all break into groups of 2 - 3 and pray in the same room at the same time and it's noisy. And no one can really hear the exact words that you're saying except God. And that's just cool.

(Are you wondering what we're praying about?
Well let me tell you.
 People call us with prayer requests. Yes. They do.
So every morning there are slips of paper on the chairs in the staff room with first-name only prayer requests on them. (Like, "Alma's daughter is going through a divorce. She is requesting prayer for her daughter, her son-in-law, and her grandchildren." Or, "Bobbi's mom was recently diagnosed with lung cancer. Please pray.") We also pray daily for our leadership team in both the Canadian office and the US office, as well as the dozen other international offices around the world. And we pray for our Board of Directors.)

(Which reminds me of something. Yesterday the only name on my slip was Mike P*t*rs. He's on our Board, so I was to pray for him and his family. So, of course I did. I've never met the man and have no idea who he is, but I prayed. And then last night, while having dinner with my mom (at the Spaghetti Factory, for her birthday) she mentions that Mary P*t*rs dropped by to drop off a greeting (more about that later) (this may end up being a long blog entry. So Many Rabbit Trails.) and, knowing that I am now employed at FOTF (that's code for Focus on the Family) she, Mary, mentions to my mom that her son is on the Board. And my mom told me. And Jule said, "I wonder which son that would be?" And I go through Vic and Mary's son's names in my mind and say, "It's Mike! And I just prayed for him this morning!" Like this is the most exciting news of the day.)

Was that story worth the effort it took to write it all out? I wonder.

3. The other important thing to know about my job is that I work in a new building. A state-of-the-art building. I have a plastic security pass thingy that I attach to my belt loop and swipe across a blinky thing everytime I enter a new hallway,  the stairwell, the elevator, etc. I've never worked in an environment like this before. It feels ... uh, kinda wonderful.

Drew dropped in to visit me last week and exclaimed, "wow, mom. This is very James Bondish."

4. And I guess the forth thing I will share about my job is that I feel very fortunate to have it. And Basecamp (the software for managing 100 ongoing projects?) is a fabulous invention. I am actually learning how to use it. Tis a beautiful thing when computers are our friends. And the dual monitor thing? Which I thought would be totally unnecessary? And cumbersome? And I'd never figure out how to manage having two active screens at once? IS ANOTHER FABULOUS INVENTION.

And that's all I'll say about that.

Moving on to other topics.
It was my mom's birthday yesterday.

About a month ago, I had an idea.
At my last job, Steve would make a big deal about birthdays, and get each of us to say 'affirming words' to the birthday person. Out loud. In the lunch room. Where everyone could hear everyone else's comments. Absolutely no privacy. 
(NOTE: Affirming words describe a person's character. For example, 'you are awesome' are not affirming words, per se. They are encouraging and positive, but they're not very descriptive. On the other hand, "you are creative, gentle, and generous" are words that are descriptive and affirming. At Arrow we would have to say something encouraging and then give an example. (Like, "I am inspired by your thoughtfulness. I've been the recipient of your kind gestures, like an encouraging card, or a hug, or a bunch of flowers ... and I want to thank you for being there when I needed a friend. And I know I'm not the only one who has benefited from your thoughtfulness...." etc.)

(Oh, Arrow. You have wrecked me, in a good way, forever.)

ANYWAYS, I know how awkward but awesome it feels to be affirmed, so a  month ago, I thought I'd try to give my mom that same experience for her upcoming birthday. Gathering all her 'people' together for a 73rd birthday party was definitely not going to happen, so she was going to be spared the embarrassment of verbally hearing her peeps tell her nice things to her face. It would have to be written. So  I sent out some blank cards in stamped, addressed-to-mom envelopes, and forwarded them to family and friends (both present and past) and asked them to write some affirming, encouraging, words to my mom.  I requested that they pop those puppies in the mail after Christmas so that she'd receive them during her birthday week.

Oh mom.
Too funny.
She received the first one, randomly, with no explanation, on Dec 31 (a few days before her Jan 2 birthday). Her and I met at Colossus to see Parental Guidance (which I recommend. Really. A fun movie) and she says to me, "I got this card in the mail today from 'a person'. I don't know what that's all about. Does she think I'm depressed? Does she think I need to hear good things about myself? I don't know what her point was. I certainly didn't need that. I. Am. Fine."

And I said to myself, "Lady. Just you wait. If getting one card has your knickers in a knot, wait til a couple dozen arrive... Happy Birthday... Ha. Ha. Ha."

Then Jan 2 arrived, and a few of us who could make it, met with her at the Spaghetti Factory for dinner. She arrived with a handful of cards, that had arrived that day, just tickled. Tickled. Not ticked. Thank you friends, and family who took the time, during the busiest season of the year, to write out a few nice thoughts for my mom.


This is taking forever.
The real reason I was going to blog tonight, (everything above this point is just 'filler') is to tell you about a fundraising event that Clint and his team at "Team Awesome" is hosting this Saturday night.

Do you remember last year 'round about this time that Team Awesome held a Polaroid  Party? No? Ok. Well, they did. 1200 people came to look at and purchase polaroid photos taken by local photographers. And then those under 40 stayed to dance and party til 2 am. It was a fantastic, sold out event.

THIS YEAR, the event is an Instagram-o-rama.
Two hundred random people submitted their favorite instagram photos to Team Awesome who had them enlarged. All of these prints will be on display (and for sale) (proceeds going to two causes, which I'll share about in a sec). Everyone who comes to the party (erhhm, 'event') will be given a heart sticker that they can place next to their favorite instagram photos. (Sort of like the 'like' option on instragram) The top 5 photos with the most hearts will be winning incredible prize packages from the sponsors.

Go to the website to get All The Info: here.

Or read their facebook page details here:

 Charity art party for 2013: The Instagram-O-Rama
The Art Concept We Can't Wait to Tell You About:

The Art Featuring YOU:

We will showcase 200 Instagram photos printed by our awesome sponsor Jukebox Print on high quality prints

(The submission phase is over so come check out the awesome Instagram photos submitted by YOU on January 5th)

The Art Featuring 15 Incredible Vancouver Photographers:

They will be showcasing limited edition photograph collages created through Instagram on 19"13" high quality prints

100% of the sales of the Instagram prints and photographer collage posters will go towards two awesome charities.

Where Is This Going Happen?:

FiveSixty (Prepare to explore one of the coolest spaces in Vancouver) 560 Seymour Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 3J5

What Day and Time Is It Happening?

On Saturday, January 5th, the Art Show phase goes from 6PM to 10PM then we switch gears and the Party is from 10PM to 3AM

How Much Are Tickets and Where Can I Get Them?

Tickets are only $10. Last year OVER 1,200 people came to the sold-out Polaroid Party event. We want to see your beautiful face there so we recommend buying your tickets ASAP! This is a 19+ event.


Learn More About the Charities:

imagine1day is a Vancouver-based charity working towards a big goal of all Ethiopians having access to quality education funded free of foreign aid by 2030. In their work over the past 5 years, imagine1day has seen the impact that providing accessible education to girls in particular can have on communities and the future prosperity of a nation.

The Looking Glass Foundation is a community of parents and friends who are committed to creating support and improved programming for those we love suffering with eating disorders. Girls deserve the strength of all us on their journey as they grow into the woman of tomorrow.

WANT TO VOLUNTEER? We're looking for 30 rad people to help us out. Email us at if you're interested.


 I think you should totally go.

Let's support our kids when they get involved in good things :)


Three things I'm thankful for:

1. My event planning sons. :)
2. People who say affirming words. Especially those who do so without prompting.
3. Funny tweets:

I don't think I can get out of this bed. I'm basically a Charlie Bucket 

Am going to be more like Kalinda on "The Good Wife". I'll need high heel boots & a gun. Hope am not badly injured or killed by gun, or boots.

after several unsuccessful attempts to log in, I realized: I got off the elevator at the wrong floor. NOT MY DESK

I can never remember the titles nor authors of the books I'm reading. This memory foam mattress is BULLCRAP.

When I don't have the energy to write a proper email I send a two-word reply & add "Sent from my iPhone" at the bottom. This is a thing now.

I'm sophisticated enough now (read: old) that I can look at pictures of restaurants and know they'll be too loud for me.

Slept with the window open last night. Or as I like to call it, "Went Camping."

I hope you’re enjoying and appreciating your chin-hair free days, ladies under 40.


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