We went to Lake Tahoe over Martin Luther King Holiday. It was a blast. The little town there was so cute and the scenery was just stunning. I could not get over how beautiful the trees and sky where. Plus it wasn't as cold as planned on it being. We had a lot if fun with our friends. When we weren't making snowmen or snowshoeing we were inside eating lots of yummy and oh so unhealthy food, talking, playing Settlers of Catan, and getting cozy by the fireplace. Loved it and would be happy to do it again.
Home away from Home
Lola the snowman
One of the hills we climbed while snow shoeing
Christy and I at the viewpoint
Jamie and Lars talking like a bunch of hens
Basking in the sun at the view. Such a wonderful feeling and place to be.
Back in November I took on a new position within my company. I went from being a Site Manager to Operations Specialist, more of a corporate role. I was really excited about the new opportunity and have been working towards this position for a few years now. I finally felt earned the position but I went into it with low confidence because some things happened at my previous position that really hurt me and led me to start second guess myself constantly. But because I was out of the bad situation I slowly begun to rebuild my confidence. I took a trip to Florida for work and rediscovered my roots and why I started in this career, it renewed my passion to press forward. But the process of change can be slow. I still found myself lacking the confidence in my decisions and myself. I was getting lazy and relying on other people to make the big decisions. Plus I still had a bit of an attitude about how deserving I was.
I was in the new position for about a month when my boss got a new opportunity with a different company and left. I immediately had his responsibilities put on my shoulders until they find his replacement. I was extremely nervous and not at all confident I could do it but I accepted the role to prove myself and validate being put in my recently new position.
The first few weeks were tough. I basically had to train myself on certain corporate procedures that I had never dealt with before and had to quickly bring myself up to speed on client and employee issues that needed immediate resolutions. People were looking to me to lead and answer their questions so I had to start looking to myself as someone that could do that. If I didn't believe in me then why would someone else. Lars was and is such a big support. One day I was having a really hard time and he pulled me away from my computer and work and took me to lunch to give me some breathing room from it all.
This transition took place at the beginning of the year. I had just set new goals and had a lot of momentum from them. One of my personal goals was to have more sincere prayers and use and understand the atonement more. During this transition prayer has been the ultimate thing to push me through the changes. I started everyday with a prayer. I prayed for strength and understanding. I put things I could not control in his hands and then let it go and tried not to loose sleep over it anymore. The Lord seriously heard my prayers and put many things in my path to help me along my way.
Katy Perry has a new song out that truly inspired me and helped me be more confident, its called Fireworks (I will post the video in a later blog). Anytime I was feeling unsure or down the song would pop up on the radio or I would start to hum it out loud or in my head.
I was put in the Young Women's Stake Presidency a few months ago. This calling has been a blessing. This last week we visited a ward for conference and the lessons that were taught to the girls were a reminder to me about my individual worth and divine nature. Something I needed.
Then after a while I started to see the light. I was figuring this job and out and realized how easy it really is once I get past the nervousness. It was only hard because I was making it hard. It was also extremely humbling. I learned who my friends were by who helped me with the issues and was grateful for those who completed their work and are dependable. My company flew in another Operations Specialist from Northern California for a few weeks to help me with all the pending items. This guy is the me version from up north. After many discussions we discovered that our stories were very similar. Knowing that I wasn't alone in the company feeling what I felt and went through almost the exact same thing made me feel so much better. This gave me a better outlook on my old situation. I was able to close the door on that instead of focusing on the regret. This improved my attitude. My confidence was back, but not in a snotty way. I just feel better about me and am comfortable with that. I know that if it wasn't for prayer and the experiences put before me I would still be doubting me. I am glad it all happened and I was able to become a better version of myself.
Now some employees started asking me why I didn't just apply to replace my boss. It was very humbling because I never thought of myself as someone that could take on that role. Some people saw in me that I could and it changed me. I started seeing what they were seeing. I realized I can apply and take on his role. Now I didn't, for many personal and professional reasons that will have to wait for another blog entry. They have yet to replace my boss and I hope they do soon so I can go to the next phase, but if it takes them a while I know I will be okay and can make it.
This last week I was again reminded of His Hands in my life. I got very overwhelmed with some personal and professional decisions around me. One morning I was pacing in my room ready to burst into tears. So I threw myself to my knees and began to sob and cried out to the Lord for strength to get through this. He answered. I don't know how he did it but he did. During the week I felt peace and know that He or Angels were around me when I had to speak to someone about something that made me nervous or travel to a new place.
How grateful I am to be able to call upon my Heavenly Father daily for strength and love. I am so grateful for the gospel and the atonement. It brings me so much joy to know that I am a daughter of God and that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me and family and friends around me that will always be there to love and support me.
That turned out to be our theme this Holiday season.
The weeks prior to Christmas were filled with loads of work, church, and friendly gatherings in celebration of the holidays. All of them were fun and had games, delicious food, and dance floors. (Yes, I still have amazing dance skills and even got some compliments. Some people were surprised at how good of a dancer I am. White girls can dance and not just ballet.) We had tentative plans with various friends on Christmas and New Years, but we were having so much fun with just us we decided to keep it going that way. I loved it and wouldn't have had it any other way. Most of our holidays in the past have been busy with visiting family and friends. This season was quiet, but content and peaceful. I loved it and it will forever be one of my favorite years celebrated.
Christmas eve rolled around and Lars and I did out hustling and bustling. Even though it was just the two of us celebrating we were going to pull out all the stops. We got all the fixings for our traditional Barlow Christmas Roll Breakfast and some other holiday favorites. I was obsessed with smoked Gouda this year but didn't want to pay loads of money for it from Hickory Farms so we found a good amount for a decent price from our local grocery store and they had summer sausage too. I love holiday time cause sometimes we splurge on yummy food. That evening was spent in the kitchen cooking, dancing, talking, and some kissing. TEHE. This year, Lars was determined to make some fudge. We got a few different types of chocolate to experiment with.
1st batch-semisweet with Andes mint-turned out creamy and good.
2nd batch-dark chocolate with Andes mint-texture was funny on this one, but it was still good.
3rd batch-dark, semisweet, and Andes mint (double batch)-This was the best yet!
Good Job Lars
Christmas morning we woke up, exchanged gifts, finished making out delicious breakfast and enjoyed eating it. The rest of the day was spent relaxing to a few movies, games, and food. This year was special because we got to talk to and see each of our families without leaving our house. Thank you technology. We used our web cams and saw my family via Skype and Lars family via Google video chat. It was so much fun and made a huge difference this season. Talking on the phone makes me miss my family less, but web cam does an even better job.
New Years was a continuation of the above fun. We ordered pizza, watched movies, played games, and video chat with a friend. I wore my New Years shirt. I have had this shirt for an entire century. I would replace it for this a new 2011 century shirt but haven't found one yet. Until then I will continue to celebrate each New Years with this shirt. Duct tape will help me alter the year as always. Now it is back to normal life. But we are more rested, motivated, and appreciative.