Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Congrats to Blade aka Steve

Just heard my good friend Steve got engaged! I'm so happy for him I've been hearing a lot about how he's been doing lately and its so good to have good friends with similar interests. We've been long distance buddies for about three years and its been a neat thing God has done. He was showing me this really cool website for "conflict free" diamonds. He's a social justice head like me too and I thought that was neat. I've never been that girl that plans her entire wedding by the age of eight.. just as brooke and megan who both had drawers for their "wedding ideas". I still plan on taking brooke up on the offer of planning and executing my wedding for me some day since I am extremely clueless. Thats ok though. Thats what friends are for right Brooke?

Still no word from the roommate, and still havent heard back from the pastor rick about money for my computer which would be an incredible blessing right about now. Who knows. I just am trying to trust and be faithful that it will all work out. We have a roof and food and good family and friends. We can be poor for another month if we have to.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Year!!!!

Greaaat News!!

Justin's Leave is going to be sometime in February. He's "requested" the first two weeks so any time within that two weeks he'll get 48 hours notice of his departure and a few days later be in Cincy!! OOOOOT!! I'm very excited. I was expecting to not see him til June, even bracing myself for possibly August which was a total bummer. Now I'll get to see him in just a few weeks AND he may even be home for good in June or July!! I can't even tell you what a relief that will be. It has been a hard few months even though we get to talk pretty often via email and even the phone. I still miss him pretty bad and I can't wait to see him! I already talked to work about getting time off and it looks like they are going to be super flexible with me. I wont know really until about 4 days before I leave but atleast I know it will be in February so I can be prepared and planning for it. I'll fly out to Cincinnatti to meet some of his family, we'll head up to Michigan and see my dad then either go to KC to see mom or Phillie to see Amber. I'm not sure which yet until I talk to my sister. We'll only have a few days at either and I need to see which will work out better because of their work schedules and such..

On a sad note: Jezebel escaped and disappeared.

On a sadder note: The new roommate is NOT ANSWERING MY PHONE CALLS or emails or texts or anything and I am officially freaking out. I have to start budgetting in case she doesn't show up or call this week. i am hoping she's been gone for the holidays or her phone is dead. Otherwise we may just start stealing and gambling to pay first and last months rent in February :P Nahh.. itll work out. God is good and it always does.

Cant wait to see Brooke Charles Landry and Daniel next weeeeeek!!

Friday, December 25, 2009


I am at work right now. It is Christmas eve. Well Christmas morning I guess. All around the nations kids will be shaking their parents awake hoping that its not too early to start opening presents. I was thinking about Christmas and laughing at how many fun traditions it entails. Slyly peeling tape away from presents to peek. You had to do it only with certain types of tape on certain types of wrapping paper and if mom found out or noticed.. yikes. I only have a few strong memories of Christmas but I do know that the experience was in general a good one. We would always get to check out our stockings first while the parentals woke up. We had probably already opened a present the night before which usually set me to bed and I had freaky nightmares of this creepy santa looking elf in my closet for many Christmas eves. I don't think I ever told mom that. I always thought I would sound stupid tellign her there was a monster in my closet. Even at like 7 I knew she'd think I was just being a punk. But for reals folks. There was a tiny santa man who lived in my closet every Christmas eve and he scared me into not trying to catch mom aka Santa putting presents under the tree. He was like the Big Brother elf and I just KNEW I would get coal if I thwarted this little creature. He also made me scared to even step on the floor. But then that was probably because I remember my sister once telling me about some slasher dude in West Michigan who would hide under cars and slash peoples achilles then steal their purse and car while they writhed and screamed in pain. I thought of that every time I stepped out of bed at night.

Older Xmas'
Other than nightmares Christmas Day was always so fun. As a little kid I just remember opening presents and relaxing most of the day. I'm sure we went outside and played in the snow but I don't really remember any crazy details. My mom probably does. Most of the Christmases I remember and relish were when I was in highschool. My mom and I both worked at Barnes and Noble and we would work the holiday schedules together. It was such fun. Busy and crazy with all the holiday traffic. We'd get off work Xmas eve. Do presents or food or whatever then go to bed and work together the next day. We'd make time and a half and still be able to enjoy the holiday together.

Grandma Fly
I would usually do Christmas with Dad at the aunts and uncles houses, or Grandma Phyllis' when she was still alive. Every once in a while I realize how much I miss spending time with Grandma. She really understood me and listened. She stood up for me a few times and was always so proud of me and my choices. She was joyful and giving and kind, creative, musical, and just such a blast. She was sarcastic and dorky sometimes, she played the piano beautifully and was such a hard worker. Incredibly intelligent with amazing stories to tell. She cooked like a wonder and was a tough old bird playing 12 holes of golf in her 70s. I'm proud to be her namesake. I wish I could name a future daughter after her but Id feel like people would be like.. yeah whatever.. she's named after YOU. haha

Now I don't appreciate Christmas much. I think when I have kids I will appreciate it more. I think I've become somewhat jaded by the holiday. Not the joy of family, or giving.. just the necessity this culture has of the yearly rite.

"You going home for Christmas?"- stranger says.
"No I'm working and I'll just chill out."- phyllis says.
"You have to come to my house for Christmas then." -stranger says.
"No thanks, I don't mind. I'll talk to my family. Thats enough." phyllis says.
"How can you not celebrate? Thats so sad!" stranger says.

Meanwhile I am thinking. ... You really think I would rather spend a chaotic traditional "family" holiday with a stranger's family making exhausting small talk and getting pitiful looks while they exchange presents, and probably reserve the "extra" present for me.. the sad excuse for a guest.
I'd rather chill out in my pjs, read a book, watch a movie, go get coffee somewhere, go walking, be alone and relax than feel like an awkward intruder on anyone's holiday. Its one thing if you know them super well but why do strangers think this is a good idea? I've gotten offers from 5 different families that I barely know from work. No thank you. I will take leftovers and reruns. And I will be joyful.

Justin is still doing well. I miss him pretty miserably but I am happy he is well and working hard. It has been an interesting experience to work through but for once in my life I have found a good man who has a heart for God and is sane enough to make me think he may not break my heart or go crazy. This could actually work out. Which is encouraging. I was beginning to think I was attracted to only nutjobs, liars, and toads that never turn into princes.

I brought home this stray cat who we have fondly dubbed Lil Bitch.. and or Jezebel. She's awful and I cannot wait to get her to the pound as quickly as possible. She's cute for like three seconds then you just want to dump her in a bin. Its sad because I do love cats but I think my three boys are just some of the best cats I've had in awhile. They are obedient and sweet, but still just aloof enough that they don't crawl all over you. They come when you call them.. sleep on my bed just enough to make me feel cared for, and they don't make a mess or get into stuff. What more could you as for? Well poor charlie and the boys have had a rough few days with lil B around. She is not making things easy for herself either. I've banned her to nights in the garage because I just can't take them hissing and meowing all the time.

Work is crazy. Though not at 5 in the morning on Christmas Eve. They made it sound like I'd be breaking up fights and stuff but its super quiet. Everybody is either gone or asleep. Thank God.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Roommates, Santa Claus and Sunshine.

  • We found a roommate! Finally!! Woot! Her name is naomi and we think she is going to move in on the first of January. She has I tiny little dog that will live in her room similar to a chia pet and she is suuper sweet. Exciting.
  • If you listen to the news and/or KLOVE you will know that there are two climbers stuck on Mt Hood right now and they don't think that they'll make it. One of those climbers is a friend of my sister and I's from the Well in Phillie named Katie Nolan. Scary. Praying.
  • Justin disappeared for a few days and reappeared triumphantly via email. A soldier had died and that forces them to cut off communications until next of kin is notified. Scary. He's ok though. Sounds like work is a little rough right now but things will be ok. He is a man of character and will be victorious. Happy 8 Mo. Anniversary!
  • Hung out with Mandy before AND after work yesterday and it was fun to spend time with her. "shoutout". She has been such an encouragement and a big blessing in my life.
  • Work is nuts right now. Lots of present sorting which makes me feel like santa claus. Mrs Claus? I"m too tall to be an elf. Though my feet are disproportionally big enough for the pointy shoes.
  • We're doing an xmas party at our house on Monday including neighbors, ex coworkers, friends, family and other such folk. I am excited to have a good mix of people who I haven't seen in awhile to come hang out and celebrate with us.
  • Pandora's Rockin Christmas station makes Christmas music somewhat tolerable


Monday, December 07, 2009

Trees and drudgery.

Yesterday was exciting. I drove with a group of friends up to cloudcroft, about an hour and a half away and in the mountains. We bought our permits at the local grocery store and drove into the mountains another few miles. We parked. We trekked through 2.5 feet of snow for about 30 minutes and then started chopping. WE GOT XMAS TREES!!! I was so excited. It was harrrd work though! but a blast all around. Our tree looks like a charlie brown wonderfulness but its still cute. and smells great!

I was WHOOPED afterwards though. Man! My body was very tired! Today is worse but it feels good to be sore.

Now I am sitting at work. I've checked my email, postsecret, and have an exit interview at 10am. The rest of the day will be a mix of paperwork and meetings.

Today I miss Justin pretty bad. I wish he could've joined us yesterday. He wouldn't have chopped down a tree.. but he would have run around in the snow with us and probably wrestled me into a three foot snow drift. I haven't talked to him on the phone for a few days now and surprisingly its killing me!! He is emailing though, and he found out he'll know when he can take time off for Leave in a few days. That way we can start planning for Alaska a little better! Woot!

Sunday, November 29, 2009


I'm at the office right now. I got a call from my angry (not at me) boss saying for some dumb reason I was scheduled to cover the front office from 12-4pm today (Sunday after thanksgiving) and was wondering if I wouldn't mind since we dont' have anyone to cover it. I am working 12am-8am on Xmas and New Years eve this year in order to take my holiday hours for other reasons. Because of that they said I wouldn't have to work over thanksgiving. WRONG.
The first trip will be a short weekend in dallas to see Brooke, Charles and Daniel for a little bit. Brooke is about to have her baby and Daniel will be off on his next adventure soon enough. The second will be in the spring when Justin goes on leave. We are planning on heading up to Alaska for a week and I am super excited. He talks about Alaska as if it is the promised land and I've always wanted to go. I feel like I would love every inch of it but we'll see.

To do this week:
- work on Justin's Xmas box.
- Popup Xmas cards
- Clean the house more
- fix the garage door opener
- get the cats fixed
- find a third roommate.. again
- figure out loan stuff for school

Monday, November 23, 2009


I just dropped justin off at the base. He flies out tonight on his way to Iraq for a year. He'll be in Maine for a day, then Germany, then Kuwait, then Iraq. I won't get to see him until the spring when he has his midpoint leave. But even that may be scratched because they may shorten the tour. Which would be ideal.

This morning was difficult though. We sort of avoided each other knowing that we were both on the edge of exploding. I stayed at Clara's last night since we had already moved all of our stuff into Justin's house and packed all of his stuff away. He still needed to pack for Iraq and I needed to get out of the house. It was too hard to watch him pack stuff especially all his gear and protective things. Scary. So I came back to his house this morning at about 8:30. He was on the phone with his dad, and I needed to shower. He shaved his head last night and changed into his uniform while I was in the shower I think. When I saw him that was it. He was a solder. He looked like one of the soldier actors you see on tv. Shaved head, uniform, stern look. He looked strong and willing. It was enough to make me break. I hugged him and we both broke down. It was a hard moment as neither of us have ever even seen the other cry :) We said I love you and resumed the mornings tasks. Breakfast, more packing, feed the cats, check farmville. I set up the utilities at the house, and he called more friends and family. About ten oclock we got in his pathfinder. He kept running through the list of things I needed to do. Drive his car around the block once every two weeks, forward all his mail to his dads, mow the lawn, go to the doctor, bring the cats to the vet, this envelopes for pastor tom, this ones for his leather motorcycle jacket. The list grew and grew. I just said breathe, its ok. I'll remember. It was silent for the twenty minute drive. The impending tears remained and we held hands quietly for the drive. We got to base and had to wait for about an hour. It was the longest hour of my life. We would hug for a few seconds then back away before the tears came again. He just kept saying his mantra.

It will be ok
Its just a year
I'll be safe
Don't worry
I love you.
Take care of Charlie.

We brought his bags where they needed to be and sat for awhile. We didn't really speak and the wind was kind of cold but thank God its texas and there wasn't anything too drastically miserable. Finally it was about 11:30 and we headed towards the car. I needed to be at work around noon and the suspense was killing us. We got to the car and had our final hug. We tried hard but the tears started again. It was too hard. There were sweet kisses, thick hugs, sniffling, tears and finally he pulled away and said 'Lets pray before we say goodbye'. We prayed together by the car and the peace came that we needed. He'll be safe. Its just a year, I'll be ok. He loves me like I love him. And charlie loves us both.

I got in the car and tried to suck it up.

Then he ran up to the car and said "wait wait.. did I ever show you were you have to bang on the car if it doesn't start?'

what?? I howled in laughter before realizing he was serious and already getting the blanket out of the back of the pathfinder to put on the concrete. So we squished under the car together, and he showed me what part I needed to bang on with a hammer if it didn't start. I loved every second of it. :)

We got off the ground, he put the blanket away and took his weapon off the car. I hugged him quick and said goodbye. I love him.

I cried all the way to taco bell, and then all the way to work. Where I am sitting now. The waves hit every once in a while. He's really gone. God please bring him back home. Charlie would die without him.

This year has been quite a ride and God has been watching us and filling our lives with grace and mercy since we've met. Please be safe. Know that you have a lot of people who love you and care about you, cats too. Come home safe. Be smart. And trust God. He's the best protection I could offer.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Winter Song

This is one of the songs that make me excited to learn guitar.. which I now have time to do. Next step? Get someone to harmonize with.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Spaghetti Brain

Well since I have last posted. I have graduated. You are officially reading the writing of Phyllis Chill M.A. Should I change my card? I kind of liked Phyllis Chill BA more because it made me feel like I could convince people it meant Bad Ass and kick them in the shins. Maybe not.

Today my brain is spaghetti. Masters or not I have zero work ethic and no brain capacity. I have done zilch in the office today except print out a few reports and sort some school supplies. I have lots of things I should be doing but zero desire to do it. I've lost my gumption. Could I have it back?

Part of the craziness is the emotional rollercoaster that is the next few days of my life. I am happy to be done with school, but I don't know what to start doing first. Plus my time is spent with Justin who deploys on Monday. VERY SAD FACE. I will miss him more than I want to think about and openly admit. Ok I admit it.

I told someone the other day that when I get stressed or emotional or well lets face it hormonal.. I tend to get what i call spaghetti brain. Where a thousand different thoughts swirl around and make no sense in my mind at all. Then I end up making stupid conclusions and decisions and end up super irrational and even more emotional than before. One of the things that I love about Justin is that with a word or a hug or a joke all the spaghetti straightens out and my head is clear. Or he just says Phyllis you are being irrational.. and I go Oh!! yeah ok. There are few people in the world that don't make me stubborn: my sister, brooke, and daniel .. and now Justin. Thats pretty exciting because the list isn't long and its hard to find. Praise God that he puts people in our lives who get us.

On a less selfish note.. Justin leaves on Monday morning deploying to Iraq. I will worry about him and pray for him but he has assured me that he will come home and I will see him in Alaska on his leave. His deployment should be over by next fall. I truly believe he is an asset to the military world and I am proud of his work. Now I just have to make it through the next few days.. I may not let him leave :(

Side note: we hit our 7 mo anniversary on the 15th. Thats my longest non-highschool not interuppted by long distance relationship thus far. Figures he deploys :P God speed Justin.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Wednesday = Friday

I'm at work right now. I have a pretty large office. Its actually a living room with two desks (one for me and the other for the interns. My desk is currently covered in sticky notes and reminders, a stack of tracking forms to update and file, piles of children's books, school suppiles and children's artwork. My Diploma from undergrad is hanging on the wall and very conspicuously above it there is a nail hammered in waiting to be the home of my diploma for my master's. Which I will have in no less than 10 days and however long it takes for them to mail it to me.

Today is my last day of work before my time off. Tomorrow will be spent packing and working on my presentation which.. honestly.. I have not even started working on. I will be printing out copies of my portfolio and thesis, making sure everything is in order and spending some time with the boyfriend before heading out on Saturday morning. I will be gone for 8 days returning on the 14th. Justin deploys on the 20th or so. At that point I will be a very happily graduated and sadly lonely girl. It will be strange and wonderful.

I have been racking my brain all day trying to figure out what I need to have done before I leave work at the end of the day. I can't really figure it out. I mean I could file my tracking forms but its not really necessary. All my programming is ready. I've emailed everyone I need to, made the phone calls I need to confirm my presenters, reserved rooms, updated my bosses, turned in my reports early and advised my participants of my absence.

One of two things will happen as I leave the office for over a week:

Either I will have everything so prepared and ready that things will be a breeze and they will be grateful I didn't leave things a mess.


I will come back to them begging that I never leave again.

I do my job well. I know it. They know it. To bad this isn't what I want to do for the rest of my life. Graduating is making the wheels start turning again about what I want to do with my life, and what God is planning for me. I am excited about my calling here at work. I have two goals:
* Gain experience working in a non-profit learning how to write grants, track info for grants, facilitate presentations and workshops, become a part of the racial justice institute facilitators
* Create a sustainable system for this job position so that whoever takes over for me will already have a system in place that works and works well. This is a stepping stone job. The pay is not good enough to keep someone here too long, and the stress is high. BUT it is great experience for entry level grads.

So those are my goals. By May at my one year evaluation. I will look back and see those goals accomplished. However. I'll start looking for other positions and work at that point as well. I am ready to start taking bigger steps towards the non profit I want to open and although I am not going to quit my full time job to do that, I am making choices and steps to get closer to that dream and vision.

I took a nap with the cats at Justins yesterday. I miss them. I'll be happy to have them back when he deploys. I will admit though that I like him better than the cats.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Woah buddy.. take a moment.

I just realized it has been months... actual months.. possibly SEASONS since my last post. Thus.. an update....

It is November. I'm still living in El Paso. I had my evaluation at work like 3 months ago and I'm still working here. I am loving my job for the most part and at the very least happy about my goals with it. I have high hopes for improving the lives of these women, this organization and just an overall great sense of accomplishment. Despite all of that I am also starting to look again towards the future of Phyllisdom and what God's true vision is for my life. which leads me to an announcement...

I fly out to Philadelphia on Friday to party with my sister then drive up to Vermont to go present my capstone and graduate!! WOOOHOOO. Bonus= Katy, Aaron, Layli and a few others I adore will also be in town so I couldn't be happier. Bummer= I still don't have housing and I'm struggling to figure out my rental car situation but God will provide, things will work out. No biggie.

Next big update:.
Justin and I are still dating. We celebrated 6 months a few weeks ago and things are still going well. He is an amazing man with a great heart and a passion for life. He treats me well, keeps me on my toes and doesn't let me go crazy. Best of all he doesn't make me get all stubborn and nutso. hahah.. Thats new! Anyway.. He deploys on November 20 or so and Becky and I will be moving into his house and taking over his lease. So Becky and I are looking for a third roommate to join us and split the rent. We had a girl but she backed out last minute so we're trying to figure it out now. It'll work out. No biggie.

Health update:
Things are going better now. I went to the doctors now that I have insurance and she's been testing me for a lot of different things including seeing if any of the family related stuff may be causing some of my symptoms. So in the past like two months I have had more tests and appointments than I can remember. I also went to the allergist which sounds like the treatment will be miraculous. He basically outright told me he can't believe I have lived with my symptoms this long. I guess I never realized how sniffly/sneezy/coughy I was since I moved to texas. He also said he thinks my crazy hives are caused by my allergies being so nuts all the time. So I start allergy shots as soon as I can afford to pay 400 bucks upfront. I was hoping that would be this month but now with the cost of flying out to graduate I am putting it off until december. I've lived with it for 6 years another month won't kill me.

I have two kittens. They are wonderful. They are now Charlie's (Justin's cats) new stepbrothers . I'll post pictures later. I should probably go work again.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Monthly Report

Wow sorry things have been a bit crazy. It is almost one month since my last post and there is a lot to update.

Today I am swimming in hives. It is awful I took my first day off of work since I started and I hated every minute of it. I am covered in bug bites and/or hives varying from teeny to oreo size bumps. I don't know what bug might have caused it and the meds the doctor gave me were ineffective so I spent my day groggy in a sweltering bed (due to lack of AC still) for no freakin reason. I spent 75 bucks at the clinic, 50 on meds, and I missed a day of work which is about 80 bucks. Pissed = Me.

Other than that.. Work is going really well. I love my job though it is tiring and frustrating sometimes. It has been a long week and its only tuesday. but it should improve soon. I have my first evaluation soon and I am nervous. I feel like I am doing a good job but there is still a lot to learn. Friday night is my first outside of work social function so that will be fun.

Things with Justin are going well. Relaxed, no pressure but still healthy and productive. We spend a lot of time being active, relaxing and cooking. He is super encouraging, responsible, and a big ol sweet heart. We don't really know where we are at, and his deployment looms ever nearer in the future, but overall things are going well and I am happy.

I have been learning a lot lately about things I never thought I would learn, wishing I had more of a social services/social work/sociology background. I am thinking about takinga class or two at UTEP once I finish my masters. I can't imagine not having school outside of work. :)

On that note.. looks like the graduation will be pushed back to november. I just can't imagine finishing in August. I only have a month left and haven't even really taken a hard look at the thesis. Grrr.. Oh well. The bonus is that I might come to Coast Guard Festival in Michigan!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Week of May 18.

Its hump day. And I'm feelin it.. I tired.

Monday was a good day. Spent the day pulling together education resources which was good because I had a participant asking about nursing programs in the afternoon. Thank the Lord for all of my family and friends who have gone through that process. It is by far one of the more popular routes here since you can get your CNA and GED at the same time and build up towards the rest as you go. See I know what I'm talking about! WOOT! After that I got called into one of the caseworkers offices to connect with a new resident. She is pretty awesome and I can't say much because everything is confidential obviously but I am excited to be doing what I am doing. I'll be working closely with some of the other caseworkers and they have all been so nice. A great balance of being patient as I settle in as well as spurring me to take initiative as well. Adan, our administrator was so sweet today. He is excited to hear what projects I have in mind. I didn't know how to tell him I wasn't really there yet. I still sort of feel like I am playing catch up, but that I am almost caught up!

Tuesday I had a few different meetings and some good news about some of the ladies achievements and graduations! I am excited to start being a part of the process when that happens in the future. I had my first one on one with the new resident and signed my first real people papers. Last night I worked with the kids to make a thank you card for the rotary club and although I was a little surprised at the messy (but totally kid made) outcome Clemencia was so excited about it today! So that was good. She was impressed and I felt capable once again. As I left work a bunch of the kids I had met the previous week came up and said miss phyllis we missed you! I almost cried I was so happy. I get paid to be loved on and to love on others. What could be better? Cute little Baruc screamed Lator Gator as I walked out. I deftly answered After awhile Crocodile.. tears in my eyes and a smile on my face. I love my job.

Today was a long but also a great day. I had my first offsite meeting with Shadecie at the Region 19 Homeless and Migrant Org. They run a summer camp that I'll be intimately involved in. Most importantly I get to go on field trips with the kids which means the Zoo, Bowling, Putt Putt and some weird place named BoB-Os. In the meeting we could not get "rafael" to pronounce it.. We thought he was saying Bubbles or bobbles or bo-bos. Finally when I got to the office I looked it up. Indeed it is called Bob-Os . Apparently they have lazer tag. Hurrrrah!! I get to play for a living. After that I worked in the front office most of the afternoon. I still don't know to many answers and I have to forward a lot of calls but I really enjoy the interaction I get with the Participants and staff. I get to play with babies and teach people on the computer, sign paperwork and do my own stuff when it gets slow. We had crazy donations today including two pallets of bananas, a lasagna, salads, cupcakes and a bunch of clothes. It was crazy!!

So today was a good day. I got home and crashed for a bit. I had every intention of studying tonight but I can't figure out where to start. I need UTEP library/internet to find sources because all the ones I want are nowhere to be found. So. Procrastination continues. I will hopefully move in to the new apartment next week with becky and be walking distance to the school so I can finish my paper. Deadline: May 31st for paper three. Outline of Thesis by June 15. We'll see if that happens. Yipe!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Days Three and Four + Training.

Day Three: Thursday May 14.

What did I do Thursday? I spent the day compiling contacts. I now have a rather exhaustive list of all my contacts from all the brochures and random lists I had found in my computer files left by previous ECD Specialists. It is frustrating to reorganize but I'm starting to feel better. It took a good part of my day and I don't know if it was that effective but hopefully it will be. In the afternoon Clemencia was like so are you ready for Life Skills tonight? AKA do you have childrens activities ready? Uhhhh... no. Why? Because I was not aware I would be responsible for it the FIRST WEEK. Then she was like don't worry we didn't expect you to quite yet.. PHEW. BUT you do have to get the rooms set up and ready to go. SO I started with that. Getting the water and snacks and things ready. Picking books etc. I was lucky enough to be in the room with the older Kids. I had: Cy, Al, An, Je, Ma, Al, Ba and one other girl who's name has gone. I'm trying very hard to learn names around here and failing miserably. It was a lot of fun though. The older girl.. Jessica I think... was a lot of help and we connected by pop up books. All I had was paper scissors and crayons so we made bird mask popups and she was so intrigued by how to make a simple popup. It was a lot of fun. One of the little girls kept cutting out squares, drawing door knobs and saying she made me doors. Which made me laugh. Then she had me draw a cupcake so I wrote in the card, Cupcakes are sweet and so are you.. She then made me a card with a cake and wrote ver batim: Christmas merry sweet to you have cake. I busted out laughing and gave her a big hug. No Idea. Loved it. Posted it on my wall.

Friday May 15:

Today was allll computers. I spent the entire day looking up job listings and printing them out. Nothing too exciting just trying to find the best sites for el paso. Sadly the El Paso Times website didn't work and they usually have the most up to date and legitimate job postings. Its fun to sort of be comfortable with this part because I spend my month of job searching myself. The hard part is that a lot of these women barely have there GED or don't have it so my searching focus is a lot different. I have to look for hourly skilled jobs for basically the equivalent education of a 16 year old, or an 18 year old. Some of the women have some college but some don't. I had to mark a lot of the ones for UTEP and EPCC as BA/MA required so they don't waste their time.

Reflections this week:
I am flip flopping between feeling competent, and feeling so tiny. It is because these women are so incredible. They are taking steps to improve their lives and they are so humble and sweet, yet hard and independent. I had a conversation with one of the women Lo. She is in the process of taking her gen Eds at EPCC in hopes to get a CNA by the time she leaves. After that she wants to pursue teaching with the money she is making as a CNA. I don't know how thats going to work quite yet but we'll have our first official meeting in a week or two. Either way she was so excited about this class she just finished her exams for. The teacher was proud of her and praised her in front of the other students. Papers that would take a middle class freshman 20 minutes takes her hours because she is not used to formal typing,writing, english, research etc. But she did it, with kids and work and all sorts of issues to deal with. These are the types of situations I'll be working with and I am already excited for my first graduation party.

But why do I feel competent/incompetent? I am that college freshman who grew up writing papers in twenty minutes. I can do my job and do it well. I am 24 with an almost masters, no kids, a full time job, benefits, a car, and a support system. But I had it so easy. How can I tell these women everything will be fine when I don't know if they'll pass their GED? Not because they are dumb, but because the system asks you to use a type of english they are not used to. I was reading a book called Understanding Poverty that talks about how students from low to very low income grow up with the social rules of their class which often excludes the formal register of speech required for success in the middle class. Think of life at work. When you have conversations with your friends, your conversations require their interaction. Every conversation is like a story being told.. Then so and so.. do you believe it? But when we switch to business or school the tone changes.. or register as this book calls it. You switch to a formal register. So and so has this job to do and will finish it by this time. Thank you, Sincerely Phyllis. This is the register that is a required rule for success in the middle class, but a register that most low to very low class families rarely use or have access to. The education system is based on the median "culture" aka the middle class culture and its rules. Which means low class students go to school in a middle class culture, and are required to learn the invisible cultural rules of that class in order to pass the tests. Think of testing: ALL IN THE FORMAL REGISTER. GED=FORMAL REGISTER. Applications, job interviews, job descriptions, course listings, everything needed to succeed in the middle class.. or any class.. requires use of a type of english that most of the women at the center don't really have access to.

So that leaves me with a question. How can I use what I know to benefit them?

Saturday May 16th:
My Training was this weekend!!!
I am not going to say to much right now because I'll be spending my day processing and I don't want to get into that brain right now but I will say it went very very well thanks to becky and peggy for all their help. My spanish was relatively rough but the activities we did helped a lot because instead of presenting content they could read it and we could explain it to the groups in more depth. It was so hard and so challenging but went very well! A lot of the women left very grateful and excited to use their new information. Success!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Day One and Two

Phew its been crazy! I am about to head out to work again but thought I'd post on days one and two first...

Tuesday Official day 1!

Tuesday and Thursday are my late mornings so I got to work around noon. I met with my supervisor Shadecie and we went over paperwork, I got the tour, keys and the official introduction to my office that I share with the director of programming. She left for lunch so I nestled into my office and started inventory. Basically I'm one of those people that needs to know what I have at my disposal. So I rampaged all the files and folders and resources to figure out what was there. Much to my dismay it was obvious that they have turned this job over a few times in the last year. The same sets of forms and files were in multiple places. I got to work trying to organize my files and whatnot. I didn't get far when Shadecie called me down to shock therapy. Haha.. not really but she put me to run the front office for awhile. That was fun because when all the ladies come in they have to sign in so I got to meet a bunch of them. It also means handing out meds, cleaning supplies for chores, taking messages and opening the security gate. It is a safe facility so we have a big metal gate around us to keep unwelcome visitors out like ex husbands and such. That was basically my first day.

Day two came with fury. I had plans for reorganization already. I still didn't have computer access but I knew I had to get those files in order for me to feel good about my organization. So I set to condensing, tossing stuff I wouldn't need (sign in sheets from 2006? really?) etc. It was like nesting. After that I started the monumental task of organizing all of the brochures and resources we have. There are all these informational packets about different programs and organizations that I'm not familiar with yet so I put them all in a big binder so I could find them and be comfortable with it. After THAT the IT dept got me set up with email and computer stuff so the real fun begins as I start to input contacts and make databases. I won't lie I'm sort of lost on what my day to day stuff will look like but I think that will all start next week. For now I am just trying to work on a few of the bigger projects that will be compiling resources. Next week I start my initial meetings with the ladies to get a handle on where they are at in education and job status. Yesterday I also worked with Clemencia (Director) a little bit. They are taking some of the ladies to Adventure Zone with their kids this weekend so we were organizing teams and such. All of the sudden it was 5:30 and I had to be at BBB at 6 for my last shift!!! I'm still looking for someone to cover my Fri but I'm calling in either way because I have to be in juarez to meet peggy.

Saturday is my training and I am sooo excited but incredibly nervous I haven't been practicing my Spanish. Yikes!

Later guys!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


A loooonnngg day yesterday. after coming back to work on training stuff, taking a nap and grabbing a snack I headed to BBB for my 6-11 shift. First I grabbed the wrong shirt so I ended up just wearing my black shirt from the day covered in fuzzies from my nap, then I forgot my cell phone which is always rather unnerving. At work I expected to come in to praise after setting up a pretty amazing registry and basically handing them our largest registry on a platter. Much to my dismay, the girl I had told to call the bride never did so they didn't come in, we missed our deadline for Fine China counts, and the registry though still good wasn't finished. I still kicked ass and it will be a good registry in the end but I was so frustrated that my work went to crap. Most importantly I was frustrated that I was frustrated about my work in friggin retail. I don't CARE how many pieces of fine china we move in a week. I don't care. So needless today my day at work today will be gratifying and exciting because it actually has an impact on peoples lives other than the color of plates they choose. The people I work with will take food on a cardboard box and probably have. Praise God for simplicity, hope and the honor of a job that makes change in the world.

I'll post how my first "official" day at work goes. I get off around eight, to justins for dinner then training prep after! YIPE!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

The New Job.

I got a new job. I am the education and career development specialist at the YWCA: Transitional Living Center (TLC). I am stoked.

The TLC is a place for homeless women and their children to come and stay for anywhere between 6 and 24 months while they get back on their feet. They are offered a range of social services including but not limited to me!!

I'll be in charge of coordinating the education plans of all of the residents, teaching classes, tranings, and seminars to the residents, coordinating childrens activities for the time during those classes, and thinking of fun events and seminars for them all during the summer months. It will be a range of working with both the adults and their education, hoping that they leave with skills that will help them land jobs, as well as working with the children and teaching life skills and values.

Have I mentioned this job is perfection?

So today was my first day and I spent the morning in YWCA New-hire orientation. I was the only full time hire and it was sort of a strange feeling. I feel oddly empowered to do this job. I know I can do it and do it well. A few years ago I wouldn't have been able to say that!! God is good!

I am also excited that this position means some stability in my life. It sort of adjusts my goals a little bit. I am still hoping to graduate in August but if I can't get all my work done AND graduate by August I can now afford to push it back til November and be able to breathe. I am going to try my damnedest not to have to do that but its an option. I am also excited to be in one place for a good amount of time. Becky and I are getting an apartment on the east time and we are both planning on sticking around for atleast 2 years!! Hurrah!!

It also means I can keep investing in the Rio and put some roots down there.

It ALSO means I can pay off my credit cards and think about a new computer. I'll be able to afford it being on salary.. I'll have health insurance and I'll be in a job that will make an impact.

PERFECTION. God is good.. he provides as usual. Thank to everyone for your continued support.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The goodness.

I have been having a great few weeks. I am meeting great people, playing ultimate, being outdoors, enjoying work, playing guitar, studying hard and just overall finding joy in life. It has been a welcome change after the last few months of doubts and stupid choices. Overall I feel good about where I am at, and where I am going.

Played guitar yesterday for a few hours and my fingers hurt.. BUT I made some good progress and feel pretty good about the learning and the playing.

I hope everyone is doing well.. leave me a comment to let me know you are alive.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Training and stuff..

This week has been really good. I've been meeting some new people and connecting to a ministry in the area. More importantly I am starting to understand my calling. I have been getting pretty fired up about designing some equipping trainings for some ministries in the area. I guess I just have always felt like my niche in faith is inspiring and equipping others to do outreach and serve. Not that I can't do those things as well.. but now that I have the skills to develop training design and whatnot, I keep getting all these ideas and its very exciting. More and more I realize that my path is set and straight I just have to keep one foot in front of the other.. So thats what I'm gonna do

Update on school:
RPQs 1 and 2 are written and submitted
RPQ 3 is all but finished
RPQ 4 is a question mark
Training is going to be on May 16th
and my thesis is sort of a reflection based on how the training goes..

I petitioned to graduate in August. Lets see if it happens

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Went out with the roommates last night after a day of "studying" and relaxing. This morning I was going to go play frisbee but noone showed so I went to see Fast and Furious for my Easter celebrating. Nothing but law breaking and Vin Diesel to celebrate resurrection sunday... Now I am working vigorously on my paper and watching GG in the background. I woke up to fruit and yogurt, water and a jog. I feel pretty good today. Now I'm starving. :) I'll grab something to snack on. Target brand yogurt is phenomenal in case you were wondering. I highly recommend pomegranite cherry. Yum.


Thursday, April 09, 2009

Freaking out.

I am stressed out. I am freakingout that it is nearly easter, I have tooons of work to do and I am struggling with focus. I have a cold sore again.. and I have reasoned that it is recurring because I botched my latest good work on changing my diet. I spent a good month recalibrating my system to eat well, be active and drink loots of water. Then I stressed out, and started back on my sugar diet it. Now I feel like crap, i'm exhausted with no focus and this blasted cold sore stops me from eating anything worthwhile anyway. arg. On top of that I am feeling uber irrational. I flip flop between sending emails of my verbal emotional vomit to different people in my life I convince myself need to know exactly how I feel or how their every word makes me feel.. getting my tongue pierced again.. ditching work to go to Abilene... and sitting on my butt eating brownies and watching heroes til my eyes bleed because I have no clue where to go to finish my paper. I feel so confused and lost in all of this crap that I don't know what to do other than just make a drastic change. So I'm going to try. Starting tomorrow I am going to attempt to do as many of the things on my list below:

Drink two liters of water
Go running.
Go to Corner Bakery and write.
Go to First Baptist to try and get my insurance money.
Eat 2 pieces of fruit and one vegetable whole and fresh.
Not sleep til noon.
Lay out in the sun for 30 minutes.
Play guitar for 30 min.
Read my daily devotion.
Not have soda.
Call my mom or sister.
Go to bed by midnight, sleep no more than 8 hours.
Not spend a dime.

Sunday, April 05, 2009


This was a good week for me.

I finished all my stuff for my training and wrote a good chunk of my second paper.. So thats good.
Work was good this week and then last night I went out with a couple friends from work. It was pretty hilarious. Its possible I almost had a girl beat me up.. but luckily some shmuck felt all protective. Pretty soap opera.. It was nice to let loose and dance a bit, laugh and hang out with the girls. I missed laughing. Sadly I have the most fun at work these days.

I might end up applying at a new roller rink opening up in town. I wouldn't mind a few extra bucks a month to help out. I make just enough to cover rent, credit card, and food but gas is stretching everything a bit thin. That and my unruly splurging on things like the purple jeans I bought for 12 dollars yesterday. Sure its only twelve bucks and they are hilariously phenomenal, but still its not good for the budget.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

New Again.

Well.. haha. I don't know where to start on recapping so I won't. I'll just give the gist of where I'm at now.

I am single and feeling pretty good about that right now. Made an incredibly difficult decision with the help of family and friends to end a relationship that was becoming unhealthy and difficult. God was not as center as he needed to be and it affected ever aspect of the relationship. So I am feeling good about that decision despite the difficulty.

I am living in El Paso, Texas. The focus is on finishing my school and it is super frustrating right now. I have 4 papers, a thesis and a training to finish by August and I just don't know if I see that happening. I am already pushing my graduation back to August and if I can't really get some work done by the end of April I'll need to push it again. The most frustrating part is feeling lost in deadlines. There are no concrete deadlines just assumed schedules of when papers might be turned in so it is hard to really get to work and feel like it HAS to be done. My training is scheduled for May 9, and I think I just finished revisions to my first paper. I am about 1/3 done with my second paper. I feel better this week now that I know that I can't slack off anymore. I think my big issue is my study habits. I have a hard time studying at home. I usually need to seriously stay somewhere for 4-8 hours, best place being a library but the only one I like around here is UTEP for its books and they don't let me use their internet because I am not a student. I usually end up at Kinleys, but on my days off its a pretty big waste of gas.

Outside of school, work is going well. For those who don't know I am working at Bed Bath and Beyond. I just got trained as a Front End Supervisor which is pretty sweet. That just means I work at the Customer Service desk and supervise the other cashiers and such, help with training, and do important things like approve refunds and discounts. SCARY!! We still haven't found out if we get a raise or not but I'll find out on my next check I guess. Whether we do or not, I'll still get good hours since there are only four of us.

Other than that, things are going well with family I guess. I miss my sister and her family a lot. Every once and a while I think about living out there for a few years. I don't really like that area, but I miss being near family and stuff. For now the plans are to look for a job in Dallas. I know I know. I never planned on living in Texas, but right now they have a pretty good job market.. you know.. being their own country and all. Plus I really wouldn't mind being near Brooke and her family. They've always sort of been my surrogate family :) It would be better than starting new.. again. I am hating El Paso right now because I know a total of 12 people, 3 of which were my fellow interns. The other 9 I work with and see plenty during the week. Outside of that all my friends are in Juarez, and I really don't cross over much.. it is pretty expensive.

Well thats the drill so far I am off to work on some training stuff this afternoon.

My goal: Finish training paperwork English and Spanish.
Tomorrow: Try to outline and have a rough draft of my second paper RPQ2.

Thursday, January 29, 2009



My internship ends on Saturday and I won't lie I am relieved but also stressed. I have applied to over 40 positions in El Paso and only just got my first interview for one of the least expected. Nasser and I are flying out to Missourri to get my car from my mom. I feel bad about the hit and run visit, but it WILL be good to see her, even if for just a few minutes. We are then heading to Dallas to spend some much needed qt with Brooke and the hubby. Woot! We'll pass through Abilene briefly if only to say hello to brandon, and then be on our way back to El Paso in time for Nasser to do his ref thing. Speaking of which.. yes the rumors are true.. Nasser and I are dating! Now that greaterworks is ending and there are no longer going to be communities in Juarez.. We can finally be official.. it has been a tough few months pretending like it wasn't happening, but what can I say.. rules are meant to be broken. He is a phenomenal man and I am excited to see what happens in the future!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Lots of news..

Lots of things have happened in the last week or so...

I got my shoulder surgery.. I am currently doped up and still in a bit of uncomfort. Thankfully I am surrounded by people who truly care for me and are worrying every minute possible.

Second bit is that I am leaving my internship with Greaterworks earlier than expected. I got the news Friday that I will be transitioning out by February 1st. That means I am job searching like crazy and apartment hunting as well. We have found some great choices though and pretty affordable with roommates. So that's sort of the immediate plan. I'll be flying up to Missourri to get my car from my mom as soon as I can so that I'll have a vehicle. Sort of a bummer for her since she just got it.. I feel bad since I know it has been a help to her.. but I don't have much of an option since I have to transition out so quickly. Luckily there is a pretty good bus system here until that is resolved.

In other news things are going well for me overall.. I am still living a life of vague explanations until details can be revealed post Feb 1st. But trust me when I tell you things are going delightfully well in all areas of my life. There have been a few bumps in the road, and it has been an odd journey but God is doing some crazy cool things in my life. I am nervous for the big reveal.. but I am ready to be open with my life story more than the two or three people who really know whats going on. So.. stay tuned :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sunday, January 04, 2009

job searching..

I have been exploring some training specific job boards and organizations.. I won't lie I am pretty excited about what its looking like. I am going to have some good options and directions out there.. thats encouraging :) I leave for Minneapolis tomorrow.. for our retreat. I still don't know what the next few months are going to look like, or who they will include for that matter, but I am hoping that God is in the midst of it and that it will work out as it always does. I miss the less complicated days.. but I guess you have to grow up some day.. haha.. I'm still working on that..

Well I need to go pack and possibly play a little guitar. I can almost crappily play Yesterday AND Amazing Grace. Woot.