Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Happy Anniversary To Me!

Wait, keep reading. This is not another post about how much I adore my husband (an incredibly large amount) and how long we have been married (8 months and 6 days). This anniversary is my work anniversary.

That's right. One year ago today I started with a little tiny company in St. Joe called Heartland (that "little tiny" was sarcastic if you don't know). I have had a year full of growing and learning. It hasn't always been pretty and I haven't always handled every situation gracefully, but boy oh boy have I grown a lot and learned a lot.

In the past year I learned two new software solutions and trained nurses and physicians on these solutions. I have walked into a doctor's office and felt unwelcome and I have walked into a doctor's office and made friends. I have driven to Nebraska to give a sales presentation to a room of physicians and didn't even cry or throw up (both things I would have advised you to bet money on that I would do). And I have done difficult things like watch coworkers move on. And I have done wonderful things like help write my first resonse to a state request for proposals.

And a lot of life has happened in this past year of work. I have gotten married, moved into our first house, watched best friends have babies, ran my first half-marathon, and so many wonderful things I can't even name them all right now...to which you are probably thanking me.

But all of this is just to say that I hope on your one year anniversary at work, or five year or ten, I hope you can reflect on all of the wonderful things you have learned. I can look at this past year and think, wow, I can't believe I did that, and wow, I can't believe how much I learned from that, and wow, I am so blessed to have met this person or worked with that person.

So Happy Anniversary to me and my company! Have a wonderful Tuesday.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sister #4 and Ethiopia!

Two years ago I had the amazing opportunity to travel to El Salvador and spend a week in a small village there, building a well. I can't explain how life changing this was for me. To this day I dream about the people I met there and still pray for them by name. Sometimes I feel selfish thinking about everything I gained from this trip. I think that Heaven will look a little like El Salvador.

For Sister #4, this piece of Heaven is Ethiopia. My little baby sister (yes, she is 22 but yes, she is still my baby sister) is heading to Ethiopia next spring for seven days to work at two different schools and share God's love with the people she meets there. I couldn't be more excited for what this is going to do in her life and in the lives of each person she meets there. Hannah is this little, hyper, ball of light who spreads love and joy to everyone she crosses paths with. I have always admired her energy and excitement.

If you have a minute, please check out her website. I think it would be so encouraging if people from all over who read my blog, who she might not even know, would donate money or leave her a nice message to help her along the way!


Monday, October 17, 2011

Practice What You Preach

I had the most wonderful weekend. It's weekends like this that make me feel so overwhelmed with joy and blessings that I honestly don't know what to do. I woke up early this morning, I think my body is conditioned to get ready for my runs, and instead of getting out of bed and running in the cold, dark early morning, I just laid there and counted my blessings.

Among these blessings were the health of my friends and their newborn baby, the relationships I have with my sisters and parents, my adorable and adoring husband and the almost 8 months of marriage we have been blessed with, the Fall weather and this holiday season, and on and on and on for an hour or so.

And then I got up, started to get ready, and went through my morning prayers, asking God to show me how I could be a good person today. I always ask Him to not let me miss things. I don't want to let a moment go by where I could have been the person He wants me to be, only to miss that moment and hurt someone or not help someone else. So I prayed that I keep my focus on the right things today and that He would guide me.

There was a Monday morning, not so long ago, that I walked into work to find one of my friend's not here. He was gone that day because his wife had suffered a miscarriage that weekend. This is something I can't handle.

Then there was another Monday that I rode with my manager to a demo and he got a call that his father might not make it unless they got to Mayo very, very soon. This is something else I'm not good at handling.

So this particular Monday, I walked in with my Fall coffee and visited with my manager who just got back from visiting his dad at Mayo. His dad is doing great! And I walked by my friend's cube and he was there, and his wife is due with their baby in April and they had a good weekend. And I sat down in my cube and started working, happily working.

Now I have set you up this way for a reason. Because this is the scene when an hour later my other friend came and sat next to me to tell me he had bad news and needed to tell me. My mind rushed through some horrible thoughts. He stared at me for a second, and then said that our team had won $200,000 in the PowerBall that we all play twice a week and that I had not gone in this past Friday so I would not be splitting that money with them. He said they had each won about $4100.

The pit in my stomach filled again with hope. I actually sat waiting for the bad news, but that was it. This, my friend, is NOT bad news. Yes, it's not good news. Yes, I wish that I had been put in that pot, but compared to the nightmares playing in my head, this was nothing. This was something I could handle.

My beautiful grandma Wilma used to say that "if it's a problem that can be fixed with money, then it's not a problem." I think that also, if it's bad news about money, than it's not really bad news.

So yes, this can go in the "not the best of Monday mornings" list. That list is quite short. It doesn't even compare to my list of blessings.

Have a wonderful Monday morning.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

13.1 Miles!

We did it! And we did it quicker than we thought we could. We trained at a ten minute mile pace and ended with a 9 minute, 33 second average! This might not sound all that fast to you, but to me it's a huge accomplishment! We finished all 13.1 miles without walking, in 2 hours and 5 minutes. It was so much fun.

And along the way we saw a sign that said "Keep running because you can." And I thanked God that I could and then I did.

It was a beautiful day. I felt blessed and thankful for all of the beautiful mornings my friend Molly and I spent training together, the beautiful weather, our loving husbands who were there cheering the loudest, for my physical capabilities, and for all of the loving messages and phone calls we have had. This run was one of my favorite accomplishments and memories.


During. This is the home stretch. Last block!


And after again. Isn't he too cute?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pre-Race Day Jitters

I was just sitting here, doing just fine at work, when I decided to review my race day packet. I feel like I have remained very calm through all of this, but all of a sudden I got really nervous. Really, really nervous. Like when I looked at this picture I got the "throw-up a little, Christmas morning excitement, wondering if they use a gun shot to signify the beginning of the race, what if I fall over and die" type of nervous. Tell me this is normal.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"Live Like You Were Dyin'..."

I heard this Tim McGraw song again today after hearing it a lot lately. And here it goes, prepare yourself for the cliché, but it really hit me: Why am I not living every day like I’m dying? I know that if I really knew that tomorrow was my last day on earth I probably wouldn’t sit at work and I would probably give all my money away without worrying about my future and I would do crazy things. I know that we can’t really do those things. We have to work and we have to save money and not go into debt. But, on a much smaller scale, I plan to implement this idea.
For instance, what would I do if I found out that at the beginning of this winter someone was cutting down every single tree on Ashland? Well, I would drive that way more often, even if it was out of my way, and enjoy each beautiful tree (while safely still watching the road). Or what if I knew that maybe Sister #1 wouldn’t live in the same house she’s living in now by next winter? I would make sure to sneak in more times sitting on her deck watching her kids play in her backyard. Or what if I knew that next Fall my favorite orchard wouldn’t be there? I would make sure I went every weekend that I could and would bake as many apple-ingrediented dishes I could think of.
So instead of selling everything I own and walking out on my job and moving to Yellowstone to live with the wolves and my husband and brown dog, I am just going to try to think this way a little bit more every day. I’m just going to try to sneak these things in more, knowing that there is no guarantee that the same opportunity or view or event or person or moment will be there tomorrow.

Friday, October 7, 2011


My sisters and mom and I are all a little weird together (no laughing). We have this thing where if, say my mom is thinking about one of us, we usually end up calling her at that second. Or if I'm really missing one of my sisters in particular I get a text or an email or something. This happens daily to us.
This morning was my annual review. I can't believe I've been here a year already; it has flown by. My review was great. As I've said before, I work with amazing people that are hard workers, driven, supportive, and exciting. This review completely re-energized me. I get excited thinking about my goals, and I'm lucky enough to work for a company that never let's us not have goals. Our CIO just asked us, a few months after his talk on the subject, what our personal, work, and world goals were. He followed up and reminded us to keep working on them.
I will share with you that when he asked us to have goals, to actually write them down, that I did just that. I decided that one of my personal goals would be that I would be the best, most supportive wife that I could possibly be, one of my career goals would include getting my Master's so that I could think about a leadership position with my company in the future, and that one of my overall goals would be to find a home church for my new little family that would help me do big things in the world. Pretty big goals. But guess what, I'm working on them and think about these things almost daily.
You might be saying to yourself right now that one of my personal goals should be to not get so distracted. Where was I?
I was walking back to my desk from my review thinking that I couldn't wait to talk to Sister #2 about this particular topic tonight when I received an email from her that her boss had sent. (If you want to hear about what's movin' and shakin' with her career, bug her to update her blog. Seriously, Love It All, it's way overdue.) Sister #2 didn't even know I had my review or that I was all excited and motivated, but this pretty much summed up what my boss and I talked about for the last few minutes while planning the next year. I printed it out and pinned it to my cube. Don't you think that while thinking about your goals, it wouldn't hurt to keep these things in mind?

The Optimist Creed

Promise Yourself
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Here's To You, Baby Kennedy Sue

My amazing friends, Brady and Marissa, had their baby girl, Kennedy Sue today. Kennedy was actually in our wedding. We didn't know at the time, but Brady and Marissa knew, that she was standing up there with us. What I did know was that two of my bridesmaids were very pregnant. See the Purple rectangles below for Emily and Kimi, and then Marissa in the silver circle.

Emily had Neely about a month after our wedding:

And Kimi had Livia about a month after that:

And now, eight months after the picture with the silver circle, presenting...

Kennedy Sue Purvis!

Wednesday Humor

I saw this on a Facebook friend's profile today and had a little chuckle.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Things I Love That Aren't Books

You have to admit that I don't usually push things on you or talk about brands of things I love or restaurants or shops or anything, but that's all about to change. And please don't throw Harry Potter in my face - I am very aware that I did nothing but push that on you. And I don't regret that. If you trust my opinions and views on the books I read, maybe you care about some of the other things I love too (or maybe not), so I thought I would start talking about some of these things between talking about books. Let's start with my hair stylist.

There's this fantastic, family-owned shop on The Plaza that has been there for over 30 years. Family-owned. On Main Street of the Plaza. For over 3 decades. Wow.

My future brother-in-law and his family own this wonderful business. I wanted to tell you that right off, that it's my brother-in-law's shop, so you don't think I'm being sneaky and trying to promote it for that reason alone whenever you might find that out. It's true. But, that's not why I think it's awesome.

This shop is awesome because of the atmosphere and the talent. When you first walk in, the beautiful receptionist greets you by name, offers you coffee or water, and tells your stylist that you are there. They make you feel famous. And to them, you are that important. You really can tell that they know and appreciate each and every one of their clients.

The stylists are all very experienced, talented people. The Salon does things like send their stylists all over the world (I'm not exaggerating on that one) to continue their education and refine their skills, or fly people in to do on-site, private trainings.

The Salon's stylists are somehow always a few months ahead of the current styles. (I remember the first time Shane told my mom he could put a feather in her hair. We thought he was crazy. Fast-forward six months later and everywhere is sold out of those same feathers.)

The list of products and services is huge. I go for my hair. They do cut, color, special occasion styling, permanent straightening or waving, extensions...and the list goes on. But in addition to hair, they do facial treatments, massages, waxes, body wraps, brow tinting, make-up, make-up lessons, etc. I even bought my wedding lipstick from The Salon - this is truly a complete salon.

I know I'm rambling on here, but I have been going to The Salon for almost three years now and I haven't ever been disappointed. It has become my fun, escape, pampering place. I can't tell you enough that I think you should check it out for yourself. In fact, I think we should make a day of it together. I've been dying to get a facial treatment before the dry, dry winter. Check out The Salon's website (http://thesalonkc.com/index.html) or Facebook page, and then call me and we will plan a day together!