Mar 29, 2010

I'll Knock on Wood First

I should probably knock on wood a dozen or so times before writing this brazen post. (Knock, knock, knock, etc.)

Life is going (knock on wood!) SWELL.

Today Ross received a phone call from the fire department and was able to pick up a couple more shifts. Doing relief work, we never quite know his schedule or, to be frank, income for that matter. That's why a call for two shifts is awesome. Those days are good days. He also found out that he passed his driver/pump operator state test with flying colors. Yes! Nearly three months of online class has culminated in a new state certification, more work opportunities, more career advancement and just generally, a feel good moment.

And another thing that happened today...forgive me, I'm going to toot my own horn here because I am tickled pink over it. A very sweet, smart and really, just lovely, nonprofit called to get my expert opinion on social media today. They keep tabs on the GSCTX social media efforts and just think I'm the cat's pajamas...yes, perhaps this influenced the above adjectives I used to describe them. In a field that is always fly by the seat of your pants, to have another organization say they love you work and would love for you to work for them, is quite flattering. (Don't worry; I turned them down. I got a good thing with zero commute to the Girl Scout office and 10 months of summer every year in Austin.) I'm walking on air at the moment and vowing not to follow through on my irrational Twitter break up thoughts from earlier this spring.

So I have to say, things are going well. We're both totally satisfied in our careers and things are looking up. We've had a handful of...let's say "creative" patches in the past few years together, though God and I know they could have all been worse, so I'm really relishing this super sunny spot.

Oh and Lexi has every child in the neighborhood smitten with her. Yes, she's doing quite well too.

I better get back to knocking on wood.

Mar 28, 2010

On the Lake - FINALLY

Originally uploaded by cheryl_lynn425.
You know winter has really come to an end when you finally make it back out to the lake. Thank you weather gods and Kristy for giving us a beautiful sunny day to celebrate a birthday (that's the Kristy part) on the lake.

This isn't my fav pic from our night at the Oasis but we're laughing and I think you can see just how much fun we're having. It's nice to have a less posed photo, especially one that makes me giggle.

By the way, the new Oasis is amazing. Three stories tall and phenomenal views. Quite the step up from the shack with a deck that it was when I last went. Wow!

Mar 22, 2010


Benanna (like banana but not quite, think of "Beniffer" or other celebrity names, you'll get there) has a blog! Right now it is a wedding blog but darn it, Anna, I want it to be a forever blog. I want dress pictures now. And in a year I want honeymoon pics. And then one day I want little baby Bryant pics. In between I want to hear all about the funny things you discover about each other so I can sit at my computer and think "HAHAHA Oh yeah I remember that one" or "That will never be us..." just to find out three months later that it is exactly us.

Welcome to the blogosphere Benanna!

Mar 21, 2010

Today I was trying to convince Ross to take a vacation to Denver with me. He sees all the same exciting things that I see so I think my convincing is going well. It brought up an interesting conversation though. Ross said he just doesn't "get" the travel bug that I have. I want to see the WHOLE world (minus a couple scary places). When, between seeing Denver, Seattle, Greece, etc, was I ever going to save up some money, he asked. Well I said we've traveled up to this point some and still saved. But turns out he means BIG SAVE. Like large sums to leave to your children save.

I may sound like a jerk, but I've never thought about leaving money to my kids. And now that I am thinking about...I'm not sold on the idea that I want to.

This kinda brought to light what I think is a big philosophical difference for us. I'm very independent. I take care of me and my responsibilities. Ross is more connected. He values his family heritage, he aims to impact his children even after death. He and his immediate family do more back and forth caring for each other.

Now I don't mean to imply that my family doesn't take care of me. Or that Ross isn't independent. We just have a bit of a different value set.

My parents raised me to take care of myself and not need anything from anyone, especially financially. I have the skills I need and if I want something, I can go get it for myself. I almost get offended over misc gifts sometimes. It strikes a note for me of "don't you think I can take care of myself." I don't mean to sound unappreciative. I don't give extravagant gifts and on the same token, I'm uncomfortable receiving them. I happily help my mom when I come home (especially getting set up for Christmas, I love doing that) but I like to take care of my own house. I don't want lots of help from my parents on moving or prepping our home. Darn it, I can do it on my own. I get excited about places like Boston and Sydney because I went there. I did that for myself (with of course the very generous support of my parents). I made that decision, I made the grades, I did the planning. I earned it.

Ross' family put more emphasis on doing what you can for each other in an ongoing way. Now at the peaks of their careers, his parents can be generous with things like gifts. They love to be such. They expect that we'll repay that by doing the same for our kids when we're at the peaks of our careers. They'll bring us sandwiches when we're working on the house and Ross will go over to check on their leaky roof. In turn, Ross loves to give big gifts. He's more fond of hand-me-downs, both giving and receiving. He's also really interested in his family heritage. That connection to other people, and therefore other places, excites him. (I however am nearly bored to tears by heritage. Probably due to the fact that with adoptions on both sides of my family, I have very little heritage.)

I don't think either of us is wrong. How can you say taking care of yourself is wrong? However, how can you say that having strong relationships is wrong? We both have both, we just favor one or another.

I do think its interesting that this sorta island vs village mindset though is the crux of so MANY differences we have. I'm not really sure how we're going avoid driving each other crazy over these things year after year. I'm sure every year I'll want to spend more on vacations and he'll want to spend more on Christmas gifts. And we'll go round and round about what is our savings for - us or posterity.

Mar 16, 2010

She loves her new patio

patio 004
Originally uploaded by cheryl_lynn425.
She was confused as heck when we were laying it but we're convinced she loves it. I mean, what's not to love?

And isn't she cute!? All clean from her bath and standing on the brand spankin' new patio. Gosh I love my life.

Mar 14, 2010

Wild Hair = Patio

patio 002
Originally uploaded by cheryl_lynn425.
About a week or so ago, maybe a smidge more, I got a wild hair. Super wild. I decided we needed a now. I think what happened was 70+ degree weather. I came home from work that day, it was lovely out but I had no place to sit outside and drink the beverage of my choice. Something was clearly wrong with this picture. So I told Ross I wanted a patio...again, like now-ish. And then I specifically requested one by March 20 when Mom and Brenda come for their visit. I couldn't have them come to visit and have no place to enjoy refreshing glasses of wine!

Ross, foolish but loving husband he is, agreed to this wild plan. That friends is how we (well, Ross) began digging a 9x10 foot hole in our backyard last week. We priced things at Home Depot a couple times and the digging continued. He worked his tail off while I was off Girl Scouting. Then since Thursday was a long (but wonderful) Girl Scout day, I took most of Friday off to join in the patio building festivities. I kid you not, I think I went to Home Depot about six times that day. Maybe seven. Between our local Home Depot not renting landscaping equipment and my car not being strong enough to carry all the supplies at once, there were many many trips to multiple Home Depots. We even repriced things after deciding the initial price wasn't as nice as we hoped. We worked late into the night as you can see from the night-time photography. By the end of Friday night we had all but seven pavers laid. At this point we realized we would be two pavers short and instead of killing ourselves to still not quite finish it, we called it quits. We (again, Ross) finished it today and now we have a patio! Woohoo!

I love my new patio. It has the slightest slope for good drainage. It also has a fun red diamond pattern in the middle. And it is going to be perfect for the new patio furniture my mother-in-law is gifting us with for our birthdays. And most importantly, you can sit on the patio with your beverage of choice and watch Lexi leap across the backyard. Bliss on paver stones y'all.

I'll share finished product photos tomorrow. I want to take them in daylight and unfortunately I missed that window of opportunity for today. Stay tuned!

Mar 3, 2010

My communications revelations

I've told you about my potential Twitter break up. Well like any good girl, instead of breaking  up with my boyfriend of my own accord, I talked to my girlfriends. After chatting with other Girl Scout communications people, I've drawn some conclusions. And here they are:
  • Twitter isn't a member communication tool; it's a tool for reaching the general public. I know a good Twitter user might say "duh" and I kinda am too. But when we first started, we had adult members in mind. I'm now shifting it to be more of a news source and putting my media relations hat back on. Who cares and why? Check it out at
  • The blog is not a general public tool; it's a member communication tool. I started having this suspicion nearly a month ago when I was very disappointed in our blog traffic. Since then I started moving away from "all parents of girls and the media" as my audience to "local Girl Scout parents." And ya know what? It's working a lot better. At this moment compared to a month ago, blog traffic (to is up more than 100%!
  • Facebook is a conversation platform. I knew this and we've been using it this way. I think I can increase its use as a conversation piece though. This is my new Facebook goal. (http://www.facebook/GSCTXcouncil)
  • Flickr and YouTube are still my photo and video libraries respectively. I'm good with that being their resources.
  • When its time to do new annual goals, I want to adjust my goals not to read things like "have 800 Twitter followers" but to read things like "develop buzz about registration" or "educate Twitterverse about Women of Distinction"
  • Cindy and I are re-evaluating Possibilities, our 100 page program guide, and how to save bucks. Potentially dramatic change but I'm into change.
K, now to do the dishes because my wonderful hubby cooked.