Thursday, July 19, 2012

this week...

We had FHE with the Rich's and the Hall's. Spoons and Scattergories followed. And the boys are planning to go see The Dark Knight without the girls on Saturday night. Michael and I are a little depressed that girls aren't allowed.

I forgot to take pictures of everything. I apologize for another picture-less post.

We borrowed a bunch of movies from Jaime and Jason after last week's episode of the Bachelorette. Last night we were up until midnight because we just HAD to see the end of GI Joe. I am of the opinion that no matter how good looking he is, Channing Tatum is and always has been a terrible actor (except we all liked him in She's the Man, admittedly).

I won Tuesday night's game of Clue. Michael & Andy didn't even see it coming. Yesssss.

When Zack Morey asked for our address we were sure they were going to send us something announcing they were going to have a baby. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. Apparently a thank you card from their wedding is on its way :)

I have avoided doing dishes. Which makes wanting to be in our very small kitchen very unappealing. And thus the vicious cycle continues.

Michael has seen many many turtles at work. He thinks it's real cool.

I had my first cello lesson. And discovered that the thirty-minute long variety are good for children who have no attention span, but not as helpful for a girl who really wants to learn and to learn fast. Simona (she's from Romania) taught me how to hold the bow. That's what I'm working on this week. It's harder than one might think to practice very little more than holding a bow for an hour every day. 

More Blue Bell Ice Cream. Hehe... This week's variety: Cookies & Cream.

 Work was much better. I'm getting better at making calls (averaging 12 calls per hour... which seems real pathetic) and have actually talked to some interested people. However, I will never ever complain about having only a twenty hour work week and a three day weekend.

It's been stormy. Lots of rain. Lots of lightning. And lots of white-knuckle driving while lightning flashes across the sky in ways I've never witnessed in real life.

Gas prices have gone from $3.06 to $3.30 per gallon (that may be an exaggeration, but only slightly). I have an inkling that prices go up when it starts to get stormy because people start freaking out and making sure they have gas (like me). I'm patiently waiting for the price to go back down.

We've been preparing for a Sunbeam class without the fantastic Sister McCready. As well as for talks on Sunday. They told us we could talk about whatever we want. I'm the one who doesn't make decisions, so... eek!

I talked with my dear cousin Sierra for an hour while I went grocery shopping. It was an exceedingly pleasant shopping trip, if I do say so myself. 

We found out some exciting news that I probably shouldn't share until they've shared it on Facebook. But I screamed and I was mad that Michael wasn't as excited as I was.

I spoke to my dear sister-in-law Elise while I drove to watch the Bachelorette. I said, "Haaaiiiiii!" in that really excited drawn out sort of way. Don't worry, I just said it again to myself in our empty apartment to see if there was any other way to spell it. There's not.

We spent most of the afternoons and evenings in our underwear, unless we went somewhere or have company. Is that too much information? Probably. It's just so dern hot around here, even when it's raining. Especially when you're trying to save on an ever-increasing electricity bill.

I braved the weather to go watch the Bachelorette: The Men Tell All at Jaime & Jason's. A quick opinion: Chris just needs to stop being so snotty. Actually he could just stop speaking at all. And Sean, he's just sweet. Also, I've been thinking about praying for Emily to make the right decision. And by right decision I mean picking Jef.

During commercials, I helped Jaime get her blog up and going. And by help I mean telling her to go to to create a collage and then watching her figure out what she wanted to put on the side bar.

I received a small package in the mail from my mom. The annual Shuler Girl's Weekend took place last week and she bought me an owl necklace. I wore it two days ago.

We kissed a lot. Muahahahaha! 

I missed my family (when I say family, I include my family-in-law, just to let you know). Both sides went camping recently and I sure wish I could've been there for both occasions (both were up Payson Canyon also, which is pretty close to my favorite place in the world).

He's home!! Better go play with him, or he gets a little whiny ;)
I kinda like it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

a lesson on driving

Good afternoon, everyone. Given a recent ticket we received in the mail, I thought I'd give you all a short lesson on driving in Louisiana.

First and foremost. We just got a ticket in the mail. Actually, my parents got a ticket in the mail, which they then forwarded on to us. I shall draw you a picture. It's that important. (Forgive my amateur Paint skills.)

On big roads, there are two stoplights in a row, with space for about three cars before you get in the way of perpendicular traffic (because of the one-way freaky roads, which I will talk about later). This is new to us Utah/Idaho drivers. Depending on the intersection, these lights turn yellow at approximately the same time.

As Utah/Idaho drivers, we want to make it through that yellow light. So we speed up. We have successfully made it through the first yellow light. But now we have a second yellow light that is like unto a ticking time bomb. Instincts tell us Utah/Idaho drivers that stopping in the middle of an intersection is deadly. So we continue to speed up. And consequently run that second red light. Specifically, a red light that had a camera watching it. Which landed us with a big, fat ticket. Shoot.

Second. I mentioned this earlier. Most roads are one-way streets. The big ones have canals running between the lanes of oncoming traffic. Watch for those one-way street signs. They will save your life. Or make you have a heart attack as you realize you have turned into oncoming traffic. One of the two.

Third. Because of the above, be prepared to make many u-turns. In Old Metairie where we stayed for the first week of our adventures, there are rarely left turns. You go through the intersection and make a u-turn, then turn right.

Fourth.There are eight-way stops. Like a four-way stop, but with two lanes coming from each direction. If everyone's going straight, usually everything's fine. Blinkers are a must, however, if you are not going straight.

Fifth. The roads are horrible awful. Potholes, bumpy, random bumps that I'm sure will one day pop my tire. Pretty much like that one road in American Fork that everybody tries to avoid. But all over the place. However, I have found with the recent torrential downpour that bad roads make for pretty awesome puddles. Careful, though. Going through large puddles at decent speeds may cause some problems with sight. We learned that the first day we were here.

Sixth. Road names are interesting. I was going to say unique, but that's actually the issue here. There are variations of names, i.e. Cleveland Place and Cleveland Lane. And names of cities as names of roads, like Metairie Drive and Houma Boulevard. Make sure you get the right one. Also many roads are named after universities, such as Ole Miss, or states, like Alabama. My most favorite road to drive past is Incarnate Word Drive. I want to live there someday just so I can put that address on letters.

That is all for now, class. Thank you for your attention.

friday, saturday, sunday, monday, tuesday, wednesday. pretty much the past week

I've been a slacker. I'm going to say it's because I'm working and when I'm not working I'm playing with Michael. Now Michael's been put in charge of the basketball night for investigators on Wednesdays, so here I am with time on my hands.


After work (which was slightly better than Thursday) and making some not-so-great homemade pizza, we watched this little hoot. Oh my goodness I love that laugh (sometimes it verges on sounding villainous, which is even more hilarious).

She was seriously like this for the whole two hours before we put her to bed.

David & Jasmine, we think you guys do pretty good (and they're having another little girl in just a couple of weeks! We're so excited to meet little Bella.)

When David & Jasmine got home we got to chat with them for a while. David served his mission in New Caledonia and has some pretty sweet stories to tell about living in huts. They also have pretty good taste in tv shows. We like 'em :)

We got up earlier than usual (I won't tell you what time that is...) and went over to teach a lesson with the Sisters. The appointments they were planning on fell through, so we went knocking on doors and had two really great lessons. Nesrin and her children came to church on Sunday!

Later we went over to Jaime and Jason's. Woohoo! What a house! We're real excited for them and their 10-foot ceilings and king-sized bed ;). They fed us some serious fried rice and easy apple pies and we played Scattergories. Jaime, you're going to have to help me out with the favorites of the night. My memory isn't what it used to be. Come to think of it, my memory never really was all that great. Also, I have a tendency to write down very random things and then before revealing what I wrote giving a detailed justification (but hey, the jury usually voted yes).

We finally met our little Sunbeam class. There were eight 4- and 5-year-olds. Luckily Sister McCready is also in there with us and kept the kids mostly entertained with lots of songs and "sit down"s. We talked about feelings. Daniel can make a mean sad face :) It is a little insane, but I'm excited. I think Michael will need a little convincing, though. Understandably, it's a little difficult to understand our purpose with kids just running around like chickens with their heads cut off. (I love that phrase. It reminds me of 6th grade.)

Joshua came over and we introduced him to Clue. Good times. I love winning. Muahahaha.

And we made jambalaya. It was a success, aside from the very Italian sausage and Italian tomatoes that I bought. It was pretty much Italian jambalaya. A different flavor, but at least we ate it for approximately... three meals.

I'm still not used to making cold calls. Sweet Nicole (a new account executive) noticed I was struggling a little bit and lent me her book Red-Hot Cold Call Selling. I'm getting a little bit better, and I actually got two decent leads. Maybe I'll write a book about it.

We went back over to Jaime and Jason's. They fed us again. Corn and crab bisque this time. With biscuits. And chocolate chip cookies. Wow. And then we watched the Bachelorette. Let's just not even talk about it. Ok... I'll talk. I can't tell you how upset we were about her decision to keep Arie, who is simply her makeout buddy (of course that's only what I can tell from the reality tv edit... but still). Sean was a much better choice. I'm lucky to have Michael who commiserated with me the whole way home. Hey, he was upset too.

I rewrote the calling script after being accused of exaggerating the truth in order to catch people's attention. Hey, man, I didn't write it. And I understand that you're a very particular person and don't appreciate people trying to take advantage of you. But I'm not the kind of person who would be trying to do that. Have a good day.

More minor details: I filled our car up with gas and our tires up with air (they have a credit card operated air machine at Discount Zone! This was wonderful news for my dwindling stash of ONLY-FOR-LAUNDRY quarters. We always run out right when we need them the most.) and went to Walmart. And bought more Blue Bell Ice Cream. This week's variety, Red Velvet Cake. 

Another day of not exceedingly successful cold calls. My computer did not want to cooperate with me... the dreaded blue screen (I just turned the computer off and it never came back... I hope that's alright), frozen completely, and a new CPU with files on old computer. We finally got it figured out, but it was a rough one.

It was raining on my drive home from work. P.S. It rains a lot here. Like pours. A lot. Seriously. Sunday afternoon a flash and boom of lightning/thunder pretty much struck our apartment. I have never been so close to it in my life. I jumped pretty good. And so did Michael. Anyway, the rain makes me pensive. And suddenly I was thinking about home. And then I read this post by Mallory. She always knows what to say and how to say it. Some of the people that I care the most about are the ones I hardly ever communicate with, including her. Once I get my thoughts together, maybe I'll put them in a post, but right now they're still jumbled in my head. This whole pensive thing is making my head spin.

Sorry about the long, random post. But this is what we're doing down here in Louisiana.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

blue bell ice cream & cold calls & independence day

The past few days...

We've spent a lot of time eating this.

Happy Tracks by Blue Bell Ice Cream.

I've heard rave reviews from the ward ladies during Bachelorette night (go Jef!), so when I saw it at Walmart, and that it was only 2 cents more per ounce than the Great Value brand, I caved. But as we were picking it out, I did say (and Michael can back me up on this) that maybe we shouldn't get this kind until our last week here or something, because apparently we'll never want to go back to any other brand.

It's truth. I'll never go back. I drool over the creamy, chocolate-filled goodness. And sneak little bites throughout the day.

(Also, please notice there are scriptures on the table behind. We actually do scripture study around here too! Not just eating...)

Tuesday, Michael got off early. Just in time to take me over to my first day with Unishippers. I learned all about the company... or at least enough to make me not sound completely inept over the phone.

Anyway, on our way over we saw this.

Yes, a foot. A fake foot, but a foot with blood all over it, nonetheless. 

(License plate blotted out to protect the insane and murderous.)

Before going on, just a quick note about my first day of cold calls. It was rough. Without any training and having never done cold calls in my entire life, I was pretty much left with a short script, a list of businesses, the advice to "don't sound like you're reading a script," and my own devices. Four hours and fifty calls later and I have one person who seems really interested.

Ouch. I cried a little bit. And considered calling up Celeste at Old Navy and begging for my job that I had for a whole 27 hours back. But Michael has convinced me that this is just what I need. Deep breaths.

Aaaaand... I've spent the last two hours googling "how to make cold calls." No but really. Please see the below screen shot:
Anyway, last night was lovely. David & Jasmine Hall had us over again for barbeque (um, ohmygosh we don't know how we got on their list of peeps, but please never take us off!! ;)). Please see the picture for a taste of the extravaganza they created for us. That was Michael's first plate. He went back for fourths. It was amazing. There were all kinds of cuts of pork and chicken and hot dogs and bratwursts and links. "WOWOWOWOW," as Michael has got me into saying. 
Oh, and Tuesday night we went to St. Charles to report on the Independence Day bash there. Michael interviewed people (I know, I know, that's supposed to be my job. But he's just so dern good at getting people to open up) and I snapped some photos. 

Oh, and I miss these guys. Thank heaven for Skype. 

Miss you.

Monday, July 2, 2012

five jobs and last week.

Well, prayers have been answered! I've now got five part-time jobs. Let's just hope the scheduling works out better than I keep imagining it will be.  

{Job #1} Writing for the L'Observateur. I'll be writing about the St. Charles Parish 4th of July celebration next. But the celebration's on the 3rd. Which is nice for people like me (we're headed to a couple of ward barbecues on the 4th. Watch for pictures!)

{Job #2} Calling and giving phone surveys to companies for Unishippers. Training starts tomorrow.

{Job #3} Old Navy sales associate. Orientation's today at 1:00.

{Job #4} His name's Steve and he's living in Qatar managing an oil rig. And he's sending me money to pick things up at Walmart for him. And then I'll send it to Qatar. This also starts tomorrow... hehehe... Still not quite sure what to make of this. Hoping it's not a scam.

{Job #5} eBay and Lingotek. It's a little hard to explain. Pretty much going through spreadsheets and making sure the translation software did grammar and capitalization and such correctly.

And this past week...

I've been helping Jaime move. I'm so excited for her new house! It's really quite lovely... Though of course it's a little hard to know she's no longer just 3 minutes away and in a different ward. But that's probably good for me; I actually went and sat by and introduced myself to someone that I didn't know at church yesterday. But I was over there almost every day last week. When Jaime heard that Michael and I play Hand and Foot too, she just about lost it. So we took them soup and played into the wee hours of the night.

Friday night, Michael was able to talk to an old investigator in Korea over Skype. He loved it. And he's been studying Korean for about an hour a day (using Now it's time for me to get on it if he's going to be a mission president... ;)

I went to a Relief Society activity. Of course there are always fun things planned, but then everyone just wants to sit around and talk. With two seven-week-old babies in the room, and a baby due any day, of course at least half the talk was about breastfeeding and childbirth. It just happens. Also, Emily loves Provo and misses Cafe Rio desperately. Did you know Louisiana does not have any Mexican restaurants? We're missing the pulled pork salads and burritos right now. And the Creamery.

When we pulled up to our house, Joshua (an investigator who has been over to our apartment with the missionaries a couple of times) was out there waiting for us wanting to take us out to lunch. Unfortunately, we don't go out on Sundays, so he decided to make something for us! Apparently he went to culinary school, so he went all out... chicken and onions and carrots and rice. Then he stayed. And ate all of our peanut butter bars. And stayed. And stayed. :)

And we've watched this... four times. Michael thinks it's hilarious. And, admittedly, I laugh, too. (There's a little language.)