Sunday, March 22, 2015

I did make you a soufflé, but it was too beautiful to live.

I always let this fall by the wayside.  Oh well! Time to catch up on the rest of the internship!

After the Halloween Carnival our department was split into two teams to tackle the next two events.  I was on the team to handle the Christmas Market, the other team was to tackle the Christmas Gala.
My assignment, along with another intern, was to find more local vendors who would be interested in selling their product for the Market.
Oh background!  This was the second year that home city was putting on this Christmas Market.  Last year they had about 1,000 attendees but there was this horrible blizzard that cut it short because everyone was freezing.  For vendors I think they had about 20.
Anyway, I spent a good 3 weeks on Etsy (there is so much weird stuff on there *twitch, twitch*) searching through sellers asking if they would be interested in participating.  My fellow intern disappeared during this time.  Or if she did show up she would stay for an hour and then leave.  No one is really sure what happened there.  Before Thanksgiving break we had about 20 vendors that had sent in applications, but that included 9 food vendors.  I was disappointed because I was hoping to have at least 35 without food venders.
When everyone came back from the break we had about 41 venders!!! I was so excited.  With the help of my boss we assigned everyone to a booth while the others on my team handled getting electricity, entertainment, and the Photo Booth.
Well, December 12th came and it was beautiful weather.  Set up of the event was a little iffy but it was set up and we had over 2,000 people there!  We had fireworks for the "lighting of downtown" and everyone loved it!
We did have one vender come and randomly set up their booth.  When I told them there was a contract and vender fee they needed to pay they disappeared pretty quick.  It was one of the more random events of the night.
Unfortunately I don't have any pictures from the event.  But know it was awesome, we strung strings of lights everywhere and we had LIVE llamas and reindeer.  Those might have been my favorite part.

While I didn't really help for the prep for the Christmas Gala (for 50+) all of us were required to help out with it.  We had a coat check, live music, a dinner, and a photo booth.  Surprisingly it was more stressful than it sounds.  But I wasn't in charge so hey!
After each event we always take a picture as an events team.  We always have a nice photo and then some crazy ones.  For one of them Mary suggested we do an awkward family photo.  I'm not sure of what all happened but at one point Becks yelled "JUST TOUCH ME!"  to Brit and all the girls erupted into laughter, and we got it on film.
Is this one of my favorite photos?  You know it.  Becks is holding her head in shame by the way.
This is actually what we were going for

The last event I was privileged to be a part of was The Countdown.   It's a huge event put on in the local mall for New Years.  While I only had a small part, being in charge of crafts, it was still a blast. The only downside was that it was the only time this winter that we were in the negatives.  It was soooo cold outside.  We think that's what affected our numbers so much.  We usually have about 8,000 people come but this year we only had 5,000.  But it was still a hit to those who came.  Not to mention we cleaned out in record time.  We were out by 1 or 1:30.  Some years they were there till 5 am.  So glad that wasn't us.  
We had a closing dinner for the end of the semester and we were complimented that we were the fastest clean up crew that they've had for every event.  I think it's because we were highly motivated not to stay for hours and hours cleaning up haha.  That closing dinner was amazing by the way.  It was Asian themed.  We sat on pillows at a low table had the lights low and lit by lanterns, and had sushi.  Our director even dressed up as a ninja.  It was awesome.  We also went and played laser tag.  So sad they don't have an opening right now.  

Monday, November 3, 2014

I would, but it seems someone has broken our coffee maker...Violently

Halloween, I love this holiday.  It's one of my most favorites, but this year was definitely the most stressful.  Why?  My internship.
I'm in the Parks and Recreation department in HomeCity doing special events.  The biggest event of the year that Special Events puts on is Halloween.  I started at the end of August and that is all we have been talking about and working on.  Well except for one or two small events.
Well, Halloween came and went, obviously, and I think it turned out pretty well.
The purpose of the Halloween Carnival is to provide a safe, friendly, family event where kids can have more fun and get more stuff than from just Trick or Treating since it's getting more and more dangerous. It's hosted at the newly built rec center.
I'll try to describe everything, and I have pictures, lots of pictures =}
Let's start with what we call Trick-Or-Treat Street.  Between six of us (3 part time workers and 3 interns) we divided two rooms, or our boss did based on the same layout as last year.
Here is what the classroom looks like normally:

Looks kinda small huh?  That's how I felt too.  Anyway each of us came up with our own theme for our little section of our room.  It ended up being Ghost Busters, Space, the Flintstones, Tangled, The Lego Movie (hey that's my idea!), and Beauty and the Beast.
So we spent a lot of time making our own decorations.  I am now confident that I can probably make almost anything out of cardboard, boxes, hot glue, paper, and paint.  
This is how my section turned out:

This guy took forever.  It's the giant dog dome from Cloud Cuckoo Land 
 Here is what it looked like mostly finished.  The string of Christmas lights looked awesome lit up.  We got some more for behind Mr. Turtle there.

See how cool the lights looked?  I put a balloon arch in to be the rainbow they climb.

 Here is Wildstyle's costume. I was too busy the night of to get a picture of the volunteer and she left before the event was done ( by about ten minutes so it was okay).
I was so proud of Emmet's room too.

 A wonderful volunteer who stepped up at the last minute to be Emmet!
Here are some details from Emmet's room.

 I wish I would have gotten pictures of everyone else's areas, maybe I'll copy them from the work computer.... Anyway.
Along with Trick-Or-Treat Street we also had two gyms full of games.  I was over two of them along with The Lego Movie.
Angry Birds was a pretty easy game to plan for since it's been done in the past.  I just needed to get another shelf so we could have two lines going this year instead of one.  I also built the slingshots.

This is Brit, she is a fellow intern that was more than willing to help test it out, again and again.

The other game I was over was more tricky since it was a new space we were using and I had to come up with something.  I chose to do an obstacle course themed with How to Train Your Dragon.
The obstacle race would start with the two racers receiving one of these cute lambs they would have to carry through the course.  

 They then had to crawl through this stringy web to reach the other side.  (Most children just plowed through this part.  A few clotheslined themselves)

 Then they had to run around these dead trees.
And finally throw their lamb into one of these baskets.
I wish I would have had more decorations in this area but oh well.

I was also over the Humans vs. Zombies laser tag game.  I only have one picture from that:
It looked awesome thought because it was surrounded by black plastic so the sign jumped out at you.  
The inside wasn't that cool because we had to work around the indoor playground. just imagine a lot of black plastic to cover protective netting and caution tape and spiderwebs.

Here are a few more pictures of one of the gyms:

Here we have an Alice in Wonderland cake walk

 Here is minion toss

 Zombie Soccer!

 And Woody's round up

In the other gym there was a food eating contest, gypsies, a TMNT slide, Luigi's Ghost Mansion, and a giant operation game.  But I didn't go into that gym very often so I forgot pictures.
We also had a place where kids could meet Aurora and Maleficent; Katniss and Effie; Peter Pan and Tinker Bell; Spiderman; Glinda and Elphaba, and Mary Poppins.  
A magician and animal show was also there along with a craft room and a haunted house.  

I was all over the place most of the night because I was also in charge of volunteers.  It is one of the most stressful things I've had to be over.  We barely had enough volunteers to run the event.  And a lot that said they would come didn't.  No excuse or anything, just didn't show.  AHHHH!  That was how I felt for the first hour.  But it was all worked out in the end. 
Would I do it again?  Yes.  Would I do it differently?  Yes.  But that's the point is to grow and learn.

We had around 4000 people in attendance but it didn't feel packed, which is always nice.  So if you're around next year looking for a good place to spend Halloween, here you go.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Am I supposed to be impressed you made a nightlight?

That money talks, I'll not deny, I heard it once: It said, 'Goodbye'.
Richard Armour

Once again it's been forever since I've written... Oh well.   But you know what that means, time to play "sum up the last 6 months!"

I did everything right at university and am almost graduated!  I am doing my final internship with Home City Parks & Recreation Special Events and will be done with it January 1st, or there abouts.  We have an event New Year's Eve so I'm sure I'll be writing up reports and such for a few days afterwards.
I nannied over the summer and learned a lot about what type of parent I want to be and what my family will be like.

Anyway,  to the main subject of this post.  I went on a date!  Don't faint, I've been on a few since I had a boyfriend up at school...okay so this was the second one but still.
We meant to go out a few weeks back but both of us had busy schedules and he had a surprise missionary reunion, (Basically those who served in your mission get together and remember the fun times), so we had to keep pushing it off.
Well we finally decided that last night would be a good night.  On Wednesday he texted and asked if we could move up the time to 4 or 4:30 because some plans had changed.  I said sure and started to speculate like mad to figure out what we were going to do.  I slyly asked what type of shoes I needed to wear to get a feel if it was a fancy date or a down and dirty date or somewhere in-between.  He replied that any type of foot wear would work.  Well that helped a lot (sarcastic eye roll here).
So I wore my mid calf boots, jeans, and a plaid shirt, which I adore and love, and hoped we were going to go to this amazing pumpkin fest thingy happening close by that I really want to go to but have no time due to things being crazy at work getting ready for Halloween.
When he picked me up he apologized right away that there would be a lot of driving involved to get to our destination.  I said it was fine and started to do a happy mental jig.  We were going to the pumpkin fest!  About halfway to the pumpkin fest he finally burst and told me where we were going because he was so excited.  He whipped out two tickets and handed them to me.  I looked and was slightly disappointed, they were not pumpkin fest tickets.  Then I looked again and my jaw nearly dropped.  They were tickets to the Jazz game happening that night, no big deal right?  Until I saw that they were court side SECOND ROW tickets!  We are talking VIP seats here people.
He apparently got them from his boss at work due to being a good employee.  Did you know that the Delta Center, haha shows you how old I am, has a fancy dinning area in it? Neither did I till last night.  It's the VIP room and you get free food. Like nice, people pay tons of money to cater stuff like that food.  And the seats?  Yeah, they were right behind the Suns bench.  It was awesome.  Sadly the Jazz lost by 5 points but it was still so coooool!
Not bad for a first date right?  Too bad he's set the bar really high for his dates now, haha.  And yes, we do have a second date tentatively planned.  But for after Halloween.  I'm going to die this coming week due to everything that needs to get done by Friday.   Don't worry I'll post pictures of the event.
Oh amazing seats set aside it was a really fun date.  He is more of a soccer guy so he didn't understand some of the fouls or calls being made.  It was fun to trudge through my memory to pull out the basketball box and explain some things.  We talked a lot about our missions, he served in Australia, and about school and where we want to end up.  It was great.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Tick, tick, BOOM

All I can do is be me, whoever that is. - Bob Dylan
I always feel so bad when I have these long breaks between posts.  I mostly have the intention each week to write a post.... and then life hits and I get lazy.

I'll be brief of how I've been brave the past couple of months:

1: I'm back at university.  It's my last semester if I do everything right, aka NOT fail my classes.  It's been kinda intimidating, what with trying to figure out what I actually want to do with my life.  Finding an internship has been interesting, mostly because I keep putting off applying.  NOT healthy when you are trying to find jobs.  But I did apply tonight to two that I think would be awesome.  Now just a bajillion more to make sure I can get one.

2: I'm going on more dates.  I had the goal of going on 23 before my 24th birthday, and I think I've actually reached that.  I think that's more dates than I've ever gone on before, even with a steady boyfriend.  But let me tell you, when it rains it pours.  In one week I gave my phone number to 5 guys.  3 of them were other returned missionaries from my mission but hey!  It was one week and that's probably more than I've ever given it out to the opposite gender.  Can you tell my life wasn't exactly exciting before the mission?

3: I started painting again.  Nothing fancy, in fact I laugh every time I see them.  My roommate wanted one of the 2 I painted one night.  It's poorly painted tulips, it doesn't even look like acrylic.  More like chalk pastels.  But she loves it.  I guess it really is all about perspective.

4: Did I mention I'm in school again?  With big scary projects and grades and people I have to work with on group projects?  3/4 classes are final level classes, apparent by me ending my university career, so there are some pretty challenging things.  Like my Program Management class, I actually have to put on a program.  Not to scary right?  Wrong.  My group, yes me passing this class depends on 3 other people too, had a hard time committing to an idea.  Well we had one, then it got changed, and changed and changed.  Then we took waaaaay to long to get in contact with the school so we couldn't do our idea.  Now it's just going to be Zumba in the Park.  Which we probably should have just done in the first place instead of going with my half baked idea of a zombies game.  I DID try to get them to go with something else!  I said TED talks, or art something, and something else.  But of course the kid that is slightly strange was sitting next to me and latched onto the idea and forced two other people into our group.  Eh, whatever.  As long as I can get a c+ in that class.  Cs get degrees people!

Anyway, that's a quick update.  I'll try to be better about this whole thing.  I was doing so well while in New England. haha.  

Thursday, December 5, 2013

I don't have a skull. Or bones.

There is always the danger that we may just do the work for the sake of the work.  This is where the respect and the love and the devotion come in - that we do it to God, to Christ, and that's why we try to do it as beautifully as possible.  - Mother Teresa

I was brave today and went to work.

I got a job as a banquet server last week or so, yay! I even met a kid that served in the Northern part of New England while filling out paper work and getting some training.
Anyway, I ended up in the ER because I had extreme pain in my lower back and a fever that fluxed between 99.9 and 102.5 so work was shot for two weeks because of Thanksgiving and I only work Thursdays through Saturdays.  Oh don't worry about me, the pain when away with a nice morphine shot and the fever went away with some nasty teas and herbs from my dear mum, and lots of sleep.

I was really nervous going in because I haven't worked in food services before, especially not waitressing, but it was a lot of fun.  We worked in the biggest venue the site has but it wasn't to large of a group.  It was also a buffet so I just made sure that there was enough food out and did some bussing of tables.  Then helped clean up the wait room and straighten the tables after everyone left and it was all set.  It made it really nice that there were two other people there who hadn't worked before and they were awesome.  Our team lead was great too so it flowed really nice.  I think I will enjoy working there till Christmas.

Luke 2

Friday, November 15, 2013

I hope we're still friends after I taser you

Do not take life too seriously.  You will never get out of it alive. - Elbert Hubbard

Today I was brave and hung out with my trainer (a missionary that has been out for at least 6 weeks, sometimes shorter, that shows a new missionary how to transitions into missionary life and work).

It doesn't seem too scary but I look up to this woman so much.  She was a rockstar in my mission.  Everyone knew who she was, trained most of her mission, and opened up 3 new areas in a row.
Intimidating?  Yes.  Not to mention I was nervous because I wanted to show her that the awkward/timid missionary she trained wasn't really me.  I don' know how well that went because I'm still in what people call "the awkward phase" of trying to socialize again (What do people talk about when not talking to anyone and everyone about the gospel of Jesus Christ? Or what you studied that morning during personal study? Or what you're going to teach a family that night?).  Not that I was ever really good at small talk anyway.
But we had fun.  We went to the temple, which was a huge blessing, as always.  It was full of little blessings.
After that and dinner we went and had some fun with some other missionaries from the mission.  I had never really talked to them, they were serving in Boston when I was in Connecticut, but we had fun.  Carpenter had had a really hard couple of days so she and Hansen had gone to DI and picked out a lot of glass objects, and a bat.
The 4 of us hoped in a car, drove to a local pavilion, put down sheets to catch the glass, and started to swing.  There is something really therapeutic about hitting something with a baseball bat and hearing it shatter.  And don't worry we cleaned up all the bits and pieces.
We then headed over to Lawter's (another mission buddy who I never really talked to) and enjoyed his dance party.  Mostly.  I felt super awkward trying to dance, so our group mostly hung to the wall.  Except for Caldwell, she kept trying to get us to dance.  I would try but just felt so strange and like I would be so judged.  Oh well.  Still had fun.

Ease your storm.

To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often. - Winston Churchill

I meant to start this blog as soon as I got back from my mission in New England, but, as always, things got away from me.
There are several ideas behind this blog.  1) To just start over.  I have had my old blog since I was 16 I believe, but coming back from my mission I felt like I needed a clean place to write.  2) The title of the blog "Today I was brave" comes with the idea that everyday we all do brave things.  However, in the simplicity of some of these actions we forget that these everyday actions take bravery, so it's a way to remind myself, and maybe you, of the courage we all have.  Not to mention to keep/brush up on my writing skills.

So lets play catch up shall we?

Brave actions of October:
October 10th:   I said goodbye to most of my mission family.
October 11th:  I got on the plane that would take me from all that I knew for 18 months and back to where I grew up.  I also took of the name tag that defined me for those 18 months.
October 13th:  I gave a sermon to my local congregation about my time in New England.  No notes, nothing truly thought out.  Just a few experience I wanted to share and scriptures.  A huge change from when I left and everything was written out.
October 16th:  I wore pants and a casual t-shirt for the first time since being back.
October 17th:  Started truly looking for a seasonal job
I even found one, started working, and then quit because of conflict of interests.  I start another one next week.

Those are the most specific acts I can think of.  More to come as life goes on!