Sunday, June 28, 2009

2009 Summer Regional - Lake Geneva

Last weekend marked our FIFTH summer regional with Jones. I can't believe it has been almost 5 years that we have been with them. Sometimes it seems like the longest 5 years ever and then it seems to have flown by. I would never start over again, but I'm so happy we've taken part in this journey. We have grown in many ways since our first regional.

This year, due to the economy Jones cut the regional back to only Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning. Several families opted to extend the weekend and pay for an additional night on Thursday. Dave set a goal for himself in May - if he reached a certain commision goal he was going to extend our weekend. And after the step up in intensity that he has had since receiving that mortgage letter, he definitely could use a mini vacation. He reached his goal, so we were able to go up on Thursday afternoon (yea!).

The Grand Geneva Resort and Spa was our location this year and it was beautiful. The resort was approximately 5 minutes from the lake and sat on an amazingly beautiful golf course. Our room looked out on the golf course lake and a couple of fairways.

As soon as we arrived I had to turn on the tv because I had caught a brief snippet of news on the radio while Dave was checking in and it sounded like Michael Jackson may have died - nothing had been confirmed at that point. Dave went into the bathroom and figured out that the mirror turned into a tv:) After confirmation of his death, we changed and went out to the pool where the other extenders were going to have a pizza party. We swam for a bit before seeing anyone familiar and then had a pizza buffet with the other few families that extended (Berg's, Rolo's, Williams', Wright's). We hung out and chatted for a while and went back to the room to change (and catch up on the MJ saga). We were intending to go back out for some social time, but decided we were too tired and just went to bed instead!

Friday morning we slept in and then went into town for breakfast and shopping. They have one of those quaint little shopping districts with all of the boutiques and cute stores within two blocks. We had breakfast in the worst place (because we went to the first restaurant we saw)and then did some shopping. We weren't looking for anything specific, but I ended up buying a new purse, a new wallet (like a cigarette holder - super cool), and Dave found me the perfect necklace for my new dress. He had wanted me to get a cross necklace, but we couldn't find one that I liked. He finally found one in the same store that I bought my purse. It is perfect - plain, silver, engraved with Tiffany & Co. on the back:) Beautiful. And as an aside - this was a cute, trendy women's clothing store and the owner was a big, bald guy and he had Metallica music playing in the store - totally didn't fit and made me laugh.

We had the usual introduction meeting in the afternoon and then the spouse's meeting after that. Our region has recently gone through a leadership change. Mike and Missie Wright are the new regional leaders and they were awesome! Missie had little juiceboxes of wine for the spouses meeting:) After the meeting, Pam Sharp and I grabbed a couple of extra juiceboxes and sat on the adderondike chairs until the men got out of their meeting. Dave had gone on to the gym, so I sat in the room and read until he came back. We then went to a bbq buffet at the Ski Chalet up the hill. Afterwards, Dave went to hang out at the Wright's room with some other FA's and I hung out in the room (I wasn't feeling well).

Saturday morning was, I think, the highlight of my weekend. I went into town and ran along the lake on the Lake Geneva walking path. The path is public and goes through the back yards of the houses and mansions on the lake. It winds through flower gardens and woods and yards and is gorgeous. I ran for 101 minutes, so I assume I ran at least 8 miles, but probably closer to 9 1/2 or 10. As I was running I saw a HUGE crane or heron fly away from me over and over again. A little further down the path I flushed out approximately 20-25 Condors. I had no idea what they were at the time, but thought they looked a little bit like vultures. I was a tad bit intimidated and a little nervous to run underneath the tree that they all flew into. They were enormous - wingspans of 9-10 feet. And I had to run past them twice (up and back). Regardless, the run was amazing. It was perfect weather for running (it was 5:45am) after a week of hot and humid at 5:30am (Dave and I went running together on Thursday morning and it was probably 75 degrees at 5:30... I was dripping before we even began). The scenery was stellar - hot air balloons over the lake, fishers, mansions, perennials, trees, birds. All in all, it is safe to say that running at home will now be a huge disappointment.

I went back to the room, showered and went to breakfast by myself. I sat with Loren and Austin for a little while and when they left I brought my food, my coffee & my book and grabbed a table out on the terrace and read for a while before heading back to the room for a nap! Dave got back around 1 and we went back into town for lunch with one of the wholesalers. We had lunch at Popeye's on the Lake with the Dunn's, the Powell's, the Regel's and Jim VanHowe. Afterward, Dave and I were planning to walk some of the path that I had run and we invited Mark and Pam Regel to join us (she is a new-ish FA - 2nd regional). We walked to the Condor tree, which ended up being a 2 1/2 hour walk - our best guess is between 4-6 miles. We actually finished just in time to shower and change before the awards dinner. We had a great afternoon with them!

The awards dinner was the same as usual and afterward we all went to the bar for drinks. I ended up talking to Debbie Berg and Hilary Walsh for most of the evening and really enjoyed myself.

Sunday morning we slept until we woke up, packed and went to breakfast. After Dave stuffed himself with belgian waffles and was too full to do anything, we layed on the hammock for an hour before leaving.

Every year the regional is better and better for us. We have created some wonderful relationships with people within the region and are very fond of many of them. We no longer have the issue of "Where do we sit?" at the awards dinner - we could sit with anyone and be totally comfortable. I no longer feel totally out of place at the spouse's meeting. I don't feel intimidated by anyone. We belong. We have earned it by sticking it out and persevering. There are so many people that have come and gone since we began - I am proud to have stayed through all of this. I am proud of Dave and the work that he does. I am so happy to be a part of this company and feel completely blessed that God brought us down this path.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Check up

I had intended to revisit my birthday goals on the first of every month. Last month, though, I didn't have a computer...

Seeing as how it is June 1st, I decided I need a check up and want to see what my goals were and how I'm doing at achieving them. Here we go.

1. Run 15 miles in one running session at least once.
I am working toward this goal, but I assume I will not achieve this until very close to my birthday next year. At the time I wrote the goal I was running on the treadmill and was adding a mile to my run every Saturday. Since that time I ran my first 5k and really sucked - it was the first time I had run outside since October and there were many reasons (excuses) as to my suckiness. Since that day (April 25th) I have been running outside on very hilly routes. My running has improved and I'm doing really well with it, but 15 miles is a long way away. Currently I run 5 miles M/W/Th and 8 miles on Saturday. I have two really fantastic and pretty routes that I enjoy. I think I could add a mile on Saturday so I'll have to figure out how to do that with my current route. My neighbor has asked me to do the stairs with her once a week, so I need to think about doing that - will I add it to what I'm currently do it or replace one of my running days with a stairs day?

2. Write one handwritten note each month.
I'm happy to say I've done this, however, they were both thank you notes - not sure how I feel about that and if it counts toward the original goal.

3. Spend the afternoon school time reading a non-fiction book.
Its a little more difficult to do this when the weather is so nice. Although I don't read a non-fiction book during that specific time during the day, I have been reading one in the morning before the girls get up and it has been extremely beneficial. Right now I am reading "The Life You've Always Wanted" by John Ortberg. It is about incorporating some non-conventional spiritual disciplines into your life. In fact, I'm reading it through for the second time - the first time I just read the book. Now I am going through it slowly and really working on each discipline. The first one was Joy/Celebration. The second was Slowing. The third (and the one I'm reading now) is Becoming Small. It is a fantastic book and I love it. Would be a great group study.
4. Start the whole flylady thing.
I started the whole flylady thing the very next day. I shined my sink and became anal about it for a week. I did keep it up, though, and it was nice. I was in the process of creating the control journal per her explanation when my computer was killed by my lovely Georgia. Going without a computer for a week put a big damper on the flylady process. After I got the new computer I started painting and basically everything in the house gets neglected while I'm painting (and this was a big, long project) so Flylady was not happening either. What it comes down to is this: I need to reshine my kitchen sink and jump back in.

5. Repaint the foyer, front room/dining room, kitchen and family room.
Foyer is done. It was navy blue. It is now boardwalk brown. It has been reaccessorized by Dave's client/interior decorator. I have a new light fixture. Dave installed the 6 panel doors that I got for free on The doors need to be painted and then that room is done. Foyer was repainted top to bottom - ceiling, walls, trim, doors. It is lovely and I LOVE it! There is a room in my house that actually looks "put together" which is exactly what my wish was. After the foyer, I moved on to Nora and Ryann's room (I know this was not part of the goal, but I had decided to do it long, long ago and had purchased the bedding in January). I will have to post before and after photos of that room as it is a dramatic change. That room, too, was painted top to bottom - ceiling, trim, doors, window sills, walls, and furniture. And the room makes me very happy. The next room will be the kitchen... I am going to work on getting the paint for that when I'm in MI in two weeks and will start that room sometime this summer. I'm not sure if I'm going to get the front room/dining room AND the family room done by my birthday, but I will sure as heck try.

6. Go on at least three city adventures with the girls over the summer.
I will work on this over the summer. I need to find a list of the free days at the museums.

7. Take a yoga class.
This will also probably happen closer to my birthday.

8. Write in each of the girls' journals at least once a month.
Sadly, I've forgotten about this goal and have not even looked at those journals. I need to work on this.

9. Do a personal Bible study in the morning before all the morning routines begin.
I have been reading through Isaiah in the mornings. I want to read all of the prophets. I sometimes don't understand what I'm reading, although, I've been asking God to teach me something every morning before I begin. I usually am able to learn SOMEthing about Him each morning.

10. Do not add any new television shows to my regular watch list.
I have not added anything new, which makes me happy. I guess thats pretty easy to do since its summer. Basically it is baseball or nothing.

11. Be consistent with not getting on the computer until my stuff is done.
This has not happened and it needs to. The week without the computer was WONDERFUL. I really debated about even buying a new one. Ultimately I felt I needed the internet/email access and we went ahead and bought a new one. And while I may have improved a little in my daily usage, it still occupies way too much of my time. When I didn't have the option I read so much more, I played the piano more, I found other things to do. Now its back to games if I'm bored. I need to work on this in a real way.

12. Drink 100 ounces of water on the weekends (total of Saturday and Sunday).
I did well with this for the first several weekends, but as we've gotten busier on the weekends I've falled off of working toward this goal. My issue is that I don't like to have to go to the bathroom so often when I'm not at home. I don't have an issue with public restrooms, but with the amount of water that I normally drink, I'm going often and I hate that. So I need to get back to this one.

13. Memorize Bible verses.
I have done well with this. I've memorized a verse/passage every week. I think last week was the first time that I did not work on it (not sure why). I've invited a bunch of people to join me and some have taken me up on it. My Gram is doing this with me and I love that!

I guess I'm not doing too bad. I would prefer to be doing better so I'm going to continue working on the list. I'm a very self-disciplined and self-motivated person, so when I'm failing at any of these it really bothers me;) It was good to refresh myself and its time to get back to work.

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