Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Thinking about: What I should be thinking about so I can write about it here. Thinking about how I thought this would be a quick and easy post prompt for me to write something on the blog today. Other general thoughts are about my job, my other job, finding ways to see my family again soon (Uhm Europe...??), how much I'm going to miss this girl when she moves somewhere awesome, hanging art on our empty walls and being intentional. All bloggers think about being intentional... so I'll just go with that.

Reading: It starts with food. Preparing for our second Whole30, but first time actually reading the book, so far so good. Oh sugar, why are you such an asshole? Also, reading the book of Daniel at the moment, remembering how the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego used to be one of my favorite bible stories as a kid. It still one of my favorites. I mean like... wow. 

Listening to: First Aid Kit Pandora station. Stay Gold is the song on repeat in my head.

Thankful for: A husband that doesn't keep score with household chores and makes special ice cream trips for me. Our quick Glacier National Park trip we managed to book last minute for this Saturday. Being a puppy owner.

Photographing : Puppy Henry mostly. Hoping to spend more time with my camera in these last few 'we-need-to-camp-every-weekend' end of Summer craze.

Friday, August 8, 2014

From Unemployed Sad Person to Employment Specialist

Oh hey my blog, what you been up to while I spend my summer wondering what to do with you and what to use you for? Other than attracting the most ridiculous spammy comments? 

Isn't it funny how for the longest time it feels like nothing is happening, then suddenly everything happens at once? If you tried to remind me of these 'big bang occurrences' during my 'nothing is happening' phase I probably would have punched you and returned to my corner to sulk. However, here I am on the other side of an eventful few weeks. Eventful it still is. 

You might know by now that in the last two months we've gone from renters to home owners (although it's more like need-to-give-lots-of-money-to-the-bank-over-a-few-decades kind of "owners"). We've become pet parents. I found a full time job! I found a full time job that I adore. I found a second job that I also love for more reasons than I can say. Also, it's still summer which is like the delicious hot caramel syrup topping on the ice cream cake. 

Am I here today to brag, to use this social media tool to try make my life look amazing and puppy filled? YES! Jokes! Of course not!! I do feel it important to share, because I want to fill this space with reminders that life is weird and sometimes you need to wait and wait..... and wait for what feels like years before the next step makes itself known. Oh the wisdom of my late twenties. 

My employment life from the day I arrived in the US has been a volatile and difficult one (comparatively to my employment life in South Africa and Vietnam). I couldn't work for the first few months because of green card restrictions, so I interned and worked for free while I figured out what to do when I grow up. I did different things, I tried on the dreams of a variety of careers and nothing seemed to fit. I prayed for wisdom, I prayed for direction and the answers never seemed to be a clear cut "Do A, then B, then proceed to super fun C"... The answers where more along the lines of "Trust Me" "Don't be Afraid" "My Grace is sufficient for you". Not exactly the A-Z I was earnestly seeking, but still the most valuable wisdom I could have gotten from this season. 

I got hired for a job late last year that I don't want to spend too much time on because my time there still gives me nightmares (no really). I couldn't stay for long, I had to get out. I was desperate to find the direction and run with determination towards this idea that I've found what I was looking for. My passion. That thing that makes me come alive. You know how the Pinterestable wisdom goes right? I still couldn't seem to get it. What was wrong with me I thought? Why can't I just figure this out. 

So I became a "freelance", even now I can't exactly tell you what I was doing. Was I trying to be a Social Media Manager, a writer, a content manager? I did do some cool things for some cool people, but I was far from really making a career out of it. So the search for a job continued. I felt embarrassed. I felt like a failure for still being basically unemployed. I couldn't bare the thought of having the "So what do you do?" conversation with anybody. I didn't want to be around people. And as I would later realize I neeeed to be around people. I spent my days on Indeed.com and other generic job search websites. I felt discouraged a lot. I cried often. I would jump over the seventeen hoops that is a job application process for jobs I didn't even want to begin with. I would have hot tempered conversations with my resume for failing to be impressive enough. Bah, it sucked! 

Then one day I found a job posting on one of these generic job search sites for an employment specialist at World Relief. I would not even have thought twice about applying for something like that months before, I mean, that's like HR type work right? I'm not HRish... But in those job searching days I jumped on anything that wasn't manufacturing or medical related and read the description. "Employment Specialist" yeah, the irony wasn't lost on me. I almost didn't apply thinking that how could I help others find a job if I myself couldn't even find a job? Then it occurred to me... wouldn't I be more useful in helping others find a job with all this time of applying, and interviewing and resume making experience? I held on to the latter thought and applied. Long story short after a few rather stressful weeks in themselves later I got the job and I love it.  Working with people makes me "come alive" as they say.

World Relief, if you are unfamiliar with them as I was, is a Christian world wide NGO, their work in Spokane is specifically to help resettle and establish the weekly arrivals of refugees to the city. The refugees come from all over the globe, from Iraq to Burma, from Congo to Ukraine. I work as part of the team that help them find employment. There are so many things I want to tell you about what I've learned since starting this job in June, but I still want to find the right words. 

I moonlight for Apple Brides and try do most of my work on Fridays when I don't work at World Relief. It's a bizarre combination of things that's helping me bring home some of the bacon these days and for now, I wouldn't have it any other way. For example yesterday I was trying to say 'see you again' in Nepali and crying because one of my clients didn't get the interview. Today was spent mostly on wedding blogs putting together this post about wedding cake and colorful bridesmaids dresses. It's been an interesting week.

Let me end this sudden burst of writing my heart out here and save it for the new home tour I'm planning to share with you next week. 
If you're in a place where work or lack of work is a cause of sadness and frustration for you please email me, let me know how I can pray for you and with you if you'd like. I know what you're going through. I know what it feels like to be the grown up of 'when I grow up' without the job.  lanette 906 at yahoo dot com. That's all for now xoxo

Friday, July 18, 2014

3 amazing things right now

3 amazing things:

1- It's still summer, hot hot yummy summer

2- We adopted our puppy today! We're a family of 3 now! I can't wait to pick him up on Monday! I can't seem to talk about our puppy with exclamation marks!! Because PUPPY!!!!

3- We camped at the North Cascades last weekend. Just like we did last year and I'm sure will do every year for as long as we live in Washington State. Which makes me think I might never want to leave WA, ever.

Here a few shots from our whirlwind trip.

Not pictured: What we look like after a 14 mile hike, what we look like after driving 6 hours in an Aircon-less car across a desert, what we look like right now as we try to patiently wait for Monday. Because puppy!


Thursday, June 26, 2014

I should be packing...

... But I'll share these photos instead.

 Hashtag Northwest is Best!

Camping Big Meadow Lake. A free camping site close to the Canadian border. We camped here last year too. (Because free and trees and yes)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer to do list:

Oh hi! Disappeared on you for a bit there. Mostly because I've been going through a weird phase where I think every written sentence sounds stupid and pointless. Not fishing for encouragement (well kind of), because I know it's just a phase and I'll get over it and continue to ramble on.

I've also recently started my new job. All I can say so far, is that I feel like I'm exactly where I should be, and I haven't felt that way in a loooooong time. I hope to write about my experience in unemployment/under-employment/free lance/ 'dunno what I want to be when I grow up' soon. It's been a difficult and useful phase and I finally feel like I'm on the other side.

Just as a disclaimer, I refer to the above in terms of career path. I can assure you, I'm most definitely married to the right man and am at total peace about living in Spokane. Although, I really should write a post about the very real 'post-visiting-your-home-country-depression' something I wasn't expecting to deal with, but then did, and now I'm okay.

Woah, I actually just showed up today to share my summer to do list. Welcome, welcome gorgeous Northwest Summer, I was totally made for you and you for me. I promise you won't hear me complain about the heat. I love the heat! Also, it's just not acceptable to be one of those people who complain about the weather at all times.

This Summer will look a little different than our first care free, newlywed, newly immigrated summer and I can't tell you that I've had time to be sad about that. I'm so ready for the 'to-do' list that lays ahead. Moving boxes, puppies, office hours! Let's do it!

This summer I will:

-Do my best to introduce more watermelon to daily life. Ever since Pinterest taught me that I could scoop my watermelon with an ice-cream scoop I've been obsessed.

-Diligently watch every  Cesar Millan episode for new dog ownership tips.

-Also find the new member to the family to apply above mentioned tips. 

-Wear my new bright orange lipstick like it's nobodies business

- Embrace the after work hike. I want to go back here often.

-Weekend camping. Duh. It will take a few months to build up leave again, so we'll need to embrace the weekend quickies.

-Gardening and composting, because that's what you get excited about after living in balcony-less, big-windows-opening-less apartment for so long.

-Paint my front door yellow.

-Move into house with yellow door.

-Try a new ice-cream flavor until the end of July.

-Try to remember to wear sunscreen. Drink more water. Eat more salads.

-Run in the mornings before work. I did it this morning for the first time and now feel superior to all, also, it will very soon just be too hot to go in the afternoons... and I'll need to keep running if I want to justify all the ice-cream flavors I NEED to try this season.

-Find and purchase a grill for our backyard and BRAAI, BRAAI, BRAAI (bbq) ALL THE THINGS!

-All of them.
One last thing: YAY summer!

Photos are all from my iphone, edited with Vscocam. Follow me on Instagram here, it's fun I promise.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Friday thoughts

A few recent thoughts:

"It's summer! It's summer! It's summer! It's summer!"

"Apartment Therapy, why can't I quit you?!"

"I should probably write a post here about how we're buying a house"

"I should also probably write a post here about how I (finally after months and months of passionate patience and tears and frustrations) got a job that I'm really, really excited about starting next week"

"Shall I clean the house today and take photos of our first apartment together"

"Shall I post those pictures here?"

"It's summer!"

"When will we lift the ban on 'dog adoption websites' so we can find our third member of the family?" 

"Really loved this piece on 'happiness' as shared by Cup of Jo. Happiness is not the end goal, and I'm over the pressure of trying to be happy all the time, wholeness is better."

"What will I find in my planned Goodwill shopping tomorrow morning"

"Because I should find more modest clothes"

"Because my new job will not appreciate skinny jeans"

"I love skinny jeans"

"Hoping I win Katie's Russian Treats giveaway. Hoping you don't enter so my chances are better, or hoping you win and will share your bounty with me" 

"Am I the only person in the world that thinks 'The Goldfinch' is overrated and boring?"

"It's time for some Jane Austen next"

What's been on your mind lately? Happy weekend.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

We went camping and I can't find a good blog title for it...

Oh camping/outdoor/fresh air/long summer days! I thought you'd never get here, and here you are. (Sort of, today is cold, but generally you're here)

This last weekend was a 'trial run'. We only spent the Saturday camping and it helped us remember:

- that sleeping on the ground is in fact, still hard.
- to pack: tongs, paper towels, more cookies
- that yes! We still love it!
- we can't believe we get to live this close to this kind of awesomeness. I love you Northwest America.