Thursday, November 10, 2016

November

Hello!

I realize I'm the worst. It was a goal of mine to keep this blog updated, but I seem to be failing miserably. I feel that I cannot start this without commenting on the month and the weather. Guys, it's November. It hasn't snowed once (knock on wood). It's so great! I'm still wearing capris to work. I haven't had to find my winter boots! I love it. Usually by this time, we'd have had a major storm or three or four.

Last time I wrote, I had just graduated from college. Goodness, that was so long ago and so much has happened since then!

Back then, I was working at the Garden Park Nursery here in town and absolutely loving it. I fell in love with the plants that I cared for everyday. I didn't even mind the customer service aspect as long as I could spend a little time with the trees and flowers everyday. Sometime in June, my boss was approached by the owners of the other nursery in town and she sold the place two weeks later. The new owners were amazing and kept on all the employees, so I didn't lose my job. They were really great.

I honestly loved working there. The new owners gave me more responsibility and trusted me with so much even though I'd only just started working for them. It was around this time that I began questioning whether or not I wanted to continue working there. It wasn't that I was unhappy with my job, but rather, I didn't see much room for growth. As I looked at the other employees who had been working there for years, I realized that they hadn't moved up at all.

I was approached by a friend who knew a guy who was looking for an office assistant. I wasn't actively looking for a new job, but I agreed to interview for this because I figured, what could it hurt?

It was really amazing-- I know God was working things out for me. I interviewed with the gentleman on Friday evening, stressed about it all day Saturday, and then Sunday morning, I got a text from him offering me the job! It all happened so quickly. I gave my 2 weeks notice, and then started working at REMAX Properties.

That's where I am now, working as a Listing Coordinator in a real estate office. I love it. I really, really do. The first few weeks were magical-- I had actual responsibilities and I was learning so much! I'm still learning things and getting to do new stuff every week.

I'm so glad I took that step and interviewed back in June. One thing I tell people is that it's nice to be in a position that pushes me. Sometimes I have to make uncomfortable phone calls or go do things I've never done before. While sometimes I would rather be comfortable, I appreciate the opportunity to grow.

Since I started this job, my boss has been pushing me to get my real estate license. (Actually, it's a job requirement, not so much a suggestion.) Since July, I've been taking online classes to prepare for the big test. At the beginning of October, I told a friend that I while I had all the required credits, I lacked the motivation to actually study for and take the test. I committed that I would be done in October. Finished and licensed.

I went to take the test two weeks ago. It's an ordeal, let me tell you. I had to schedule the test, then go to Salt Lake City to a testing center, and when you're taking the test, they record the whole thing to make sure you didn't cheat. I was a nervous wreck all the way there. I was so afraid that I wouldn't have the necessary paperwork or that they didn't get my reservation or some nonsense.

I went into the testing room and began. The first question was so easy. I was thinking, "Man, if this is how it's going to be, I'm so prepared!" Then I got to the second question, and the third, and those thoughts turned to, "Whelp, this sucks." I made it through the first test, General Sales, and I thought I did alright. There were a few that I didn't have a clue on, but for the most part, I felt confident that I had done well.

Then I started the second test-- Utah Law. My stomach dropped after every question. It was strangely specific about stuff that I don't ever remember studying. I recall one of the questions was about how agents have to be labeled on a postcard. (Right?! I didn't know it mattered enough to be on the test!) Anyway, I finished the test just knowing that I had failed Utah Law. I comforted myself with the fact that when I retook it, I would only have to retake the second part since I was sure I had passed the first.

I exited the testing room and went to the main desk. The kid behind the desk handed me my papers and told me to sign and I could get fingerprinted after he finished with the lady in front of me. Fingerprinted?? I was told that you only get fingerprinted if you pass! I scanned my papers and sure enough, a big bold PASS was hidden amongst the other (far less important) information.

Hallelujah! I wouldn't have to come back and retake anything! I was ecstatic. The girl who I replaced at work had had to take the test 7 times before she passed. My own boss had taken it 3. I was feeling pretty good about myself.

So that's where I am now-- qualified to be an agent, just waiting for the state to approve my papers.

Having my license doesn't mean I'll be working as an agent. I'll still be an assistant to an agent, and that's right where I want to be. I love what I do and I love that my boss has the harder job of making cold calls all day long.

I'm happy where I am and only have the occasional what-am-I-doing-with-my-life crisis.

Let's see... what else. Oh! My friend Katie and I moved to a new apartment. It's so nice to only have one roommate. She and I get along and stay out of each other's way and it's just great. We moved at the beginning of September, so we've been there a few months now. I've enjoyed decorating and filling a space that's mine. When there are 4 girls living in a house, it's hard to really make it homey, but since there's just the two of us here (and I know Katie doesn't mind my style) I've had the freedom to decorate how I like and really make it feel like home. I think that's my favorite thing about this place-- it's warmer than my previous rentals.

This weekend, my Mimi and Papa are visiting me from Colorado. I'm so excited to see them, and I'm so excited to have someone stay in my guest room! (Yeah, I've got a guest room-- fancy coming to see me? You're welcome here :)

This has been fun. I'm at work right now and had some time to kill so I figured I should write a bit. I've got 12 minutes until I can leave, so I think I'll close, then finish up a few little things before I go home. It's always nice to get my thoughts out here.

Anyway, I hope your day has been wonderful.
Until next time,
Sarah

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Graduation

Hello!

How have you been? All is well here. Actually, things are going really great for me. I'm happy with where I am, what I'm doing, and the people I'm surrounding myself with.

This past week has been exciting. I am officially a college graduate! I walked the stage, I flipped my tassel, and I got that diploma! It was a really incredible weekend, and I'm so thankful to all of my family and friends who have become family for making it so special.

To start things off, some of my family from Texas came to Utah to celebrate with me. We started the party at a friends house with pizza and cake. It was so much fun to relax with them. Saturday was a full schedule, with the Commencement Ceremony in the morning, a big late lunch that afternoon, my Graduation Ceremony in the evening, followed by my sister's birthday party.

The Commencement Ceremony was really good. The speakers were great-- inspirational, just like they should be. It was so cool to walk into the Centrum to the sound of Pomp and Circumstance. I think that's when it really hit me that this was all real.

After the ceremony, I watched my roommate graduate, then headed out to spend time with my family. We had a late lunch and I invited some people from church. It was so great to have most of my favorite people in one place. I was overwhelmed at the amount of support I received from these people that I love. I'm so, so grateful for them.

After lunch, we relaxed for a bit, then it was my turn to graduate. (Instead of one big ceremony, SUU divided it up between the different colleges. School of Business went last.) We had to line up an hour early, but mostly we just stood around and talked and didn't actually form lines until it was time to walk. That was incredibly stressful and poorly organized, but whatever, it worked.

Thankfully, there was only one speaker this time and there weren't very many business people graduating. It made for a short ceremony. At the end, some of the professors who play instruments got up and played a song called, "School of Business Blues." It was hilarious, but they were actually pretty good.

Afterward, we took all the pictures and gave hugs and it was such a joyous time!

Honestly, it was just a great weekend.

Now, it's Tuesday, aka my day off, and I'm sitting on the couch, relaxing, eating a Snickers, and just taking it easy. I tried to sleep in this morning, but the sun woke me up. At least I didn't have to get up!

Work is still going really well. I enjoy nearly every day out at the nursery. We're mostly finished planting stuff, so now my days consist of helping customers and watering all the plants. Most days pass fairly quickly.

Anyway, it's great.

That's all I've got.

Until next time,
Sarah

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Almost, Sometimes, Finally Spring!

Hello!

Can you believe it's already April? Maybe this is a recurring theme in my blogs, but seriously, how is time going by so quickly?

It's been a pretty good month so far. My brother came down to Cedar to go to a concert in Las Vegas with me. We saw Adam Lambert and it was so amazingly, mindblowingly fabulous. Adam Lambert is just... fabulous. He's seriously so good live. If you remember, Zane and I saw him in Paris last January when he was touring with Queen. We both became fans after that concert. He's an amazing performer. Since then, he's released an album and a new single, and they're so good.

The concert was at The Foundry at the new SLS Las Vegas Casino. The venue is designed to be intimate, so it only holds about 2,000 people. It's rectangle shaped with the a long stage, so you could be standing anywhere in the room and feel incredible close to the performer. Zane and I were probably about 15 feet from the stage, so we had a good time. I would definitely go back because of the experience.

Work is going really well. My boss has been giving more responsibilities and I'm actually talking to customers now! I can't answer very many of their questions, but it's still fun and it's a really good learning experience. I'll be happy there this summer.

Today I went out with my roommate/photographer and took graduation pictures! I'm graduating from college this month. Crazy, huh? It'll be good to get that behind me. I have a bunch of family coming to Cedar for it, so I'm super excited about that.

Life is just moving along nicely, I'd say. It's just strange to me that we get into routines and days pass and before you know it, things have changed without you ever consciously realizing it. Or maybe they've stayed the same and once you notice, you do something to change that. I don't know. Sometimes I worry about staying in Cedar. There are many other places I would love to live, but also, I'm happy where I am. So do I stay and fall into the routine, or do I mix it up and do something else for a while? And what if I stay too long and get stuck?

I guess I don't want to ever feel like my life is mundane. I have this fantasy that one day I'll write a book loosely based on my life and I don't want to be in a place that would make for boring chapters. (But I also don't want to have unrealistic expectations of what my life should look like.)

Are you happy with your life-- how it's turned out, where you are, and what you've done? I hope so.

I hope you're having a good day and a beautiful beginning to Spring!

Until next time,
Sarah


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Springtime

Hello!
Happy March!

Things here are starting to look like Spring! I love Spring. I love when everything starts to turn green and the trees look alive again and the snow melts and the sun shines. It's probably the best season. (Followed by Fall at second best.) I'm really hoping it doesn't freeze again, because that is entirely possible here.

It's been a really good month for me so far. I started working at a small, local greenhouse here in town. It's definitely not the kind of job I was looking for, but I absolutely love it. Since I'm not going back to Idaho this summer to work on the farm, this is a good substitute for that kind of work. I still get to be outside all day, and I get to be around all the plants. This week I planted baby cabbage and baby tomato plants, and I transplanted hundreds of flowers. Basically, I played in the dirt and I loved it!

I'm learning so many things too. I now know how to plant things, for one. There's a method to it and I never knew that before. I'm learning the names of plants. My boss keeps telling me, "You have so much to learn," as she shakes her head and widens her eyes at my lack of plant knowledge. Sometimes I worry that I'll never be able to learn everything I need to know, but honestly, I think I'll do fine.

I'm going to try to post on here more regularly because I really do miss writing. It's nice because I can  go back to read what I've done, but also writing is so good for me. I feel better after I've written something.

Until next time,
Hopefully soon,
Sarah


Monday, February 1, 2016

Snow Day

Hello and Happy February!

I almost have a hard time believing that January has already passed, but then I think about Christmas and that seems like it was ages ago.

We've had the most beautiful winter in Southern Utah. There have been a few little snow storms here and there, but for the most part, it's been fairly nice. Until today, that is.

It started snowing Saturday night and it's still going strong (with a few stops along the way). It isn't supposed to stop snowing until tonight, and while I admit it's beautiful, the thought of driving through it tomorrow kind of makes me sick to my stomach.

Here's a fun fact for you-- school was canceled today at all the schools and the university. The School District in Cedar City hasn't had an official snow day in 61 years. Yeah, that's crazy, and it gives some indication of how bad the weather is today.

So, I'm sitting here on the couch, wrapped up in a blanket, watching The Notebook, and snacking way more than I should. Thankfully, I went to the grocery store a few days ago so I'm set as far as food goes!

As far as what I do with the rest of my days, I am still on the job hunt. It's super frustrating to look for a job in a small college town. There are too many students and not enough job opening for them all. But I trust that I will find something soon.

This month I'm helping with the Youth Winter Conference at my church. We'll have 50+ kids (jr. high and high school) at the church for 24 hours. It should be incredibly fun, and I'm really looking forward to it. (I'm also super nervous because that's a lot of kids and I won't know most of them.)

That's about it, really. I can hear the snowplow outside, so maybe they're getting things cleaned up a little.

Until next time,
Sarah

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Winter.

Hello, Hello!

I apologize for the long period between posts. There really is no excuse; I just didn't feel like anything worth writing about was happening.

Today is a fairly glorious day. I am officially finished with my Bachelors degree at SUU! Yesterday I took my last two finals and I'm done. Part of me is excited, but most of me is just terrified and lost.

It's a really strange feeling. After I walked out of that last test, I didn't know what to do with myself. More than 75% of my life up to this point has been spent going to school and suddenly, I don't have to do that anymore. What am I supposed to do with my life? Who am I and how do I take care of myself? I've spent so long measuring success by the grades I get and the classes I take, so my question is, now what?

How do I self-identify as anything other than a student? Because that's what I've been for years and years and years.

Then again, it's only been 1 day. Of course I haven't figured it out yet.

I have a few commitments this weekend and on Monday, then I am heading home! I know I saw my family only two weeks ago at Thanksgiving, but I'm so excited to be going home. Added bonus: on my way there, I get to see a new friend that I made a few months ago and I am ecstatic!! When she and I met, I felt an instant connection with her and I wanted more than anything to be friends with her. I'm so glad I get to see her again.

Maybe it's boring to talk about the weather, but the winter thus far has been so weird. It's only snowed three times. Three. And none of the snows have been bad. Right now, it's the middle of December and I've been leaving the house for the past week without a jacket because it's not cold outside. Don't get me wrong, I would never complain about the lack of snow; I just think it's really strange. (Watch, now that I've said something, it'll dump a ton of snow on us.)

Oh! I bought a sewing machine this week! I've been working on a few small projects-- just trying to learn how to sew well. I've definitely got a long, long way to go before I'll be confident with my skills. Fortunately, I've got a friend who is willing to teach me a few things next semester, so that'll be good.

I'll try to get back in the habit of writing here. It's almost therapeutic for me, so I need to get back into it.

Have a wonderful Christmas!

Sarah


Sunday, September 13, 2015

September, School, and Sweatpants

Hello!

It has been a busy school year already! We're three weeks in, and it's been good so far. After this next week, we'll be 1/4th finished with the semester! (It's all about milestones.)

That being said, the classes I'm taking are going really well-- I can't complain about any of them. I'm taking Human Resource Management, Entrepreneurship, Strategic Management, and Business, Government, and Ethics. Only four classes, but they each require quite a bit for each meeting. I have two major projects and a lot of little assignments. (But I just keep reminding myself that this is my last semester, and I can do anything I put my mind to.)

My birthday was a few weeks ago, and my mom came down to Cedar to see me. It was so much fun to have her here. Saturday morning we went hiking at Cedar Breaks and it was so, so beautiful. It was good to get out of Cedar and into nature.

I've been busy with church stuff and generally getting into the hang of things here. It's nice to get into a routine and have that to lean on. The first week back, I was really bummed that I had to go to class every day of the week, but now I'm appreciating the structure of it. It's comforting having a syllabus and knowing exactly what we're going to be doing in class two months from now. I just like knowing and being able to fill out my planner.

My new roommates are pretty great. All four of us are seniors, so we've been doing the school thing for a while now. We get along nicely and have had a few nights where we're all lazing on the couch watching Disney movies. Nobody is terrible messy, so the house stays clean, and we're all pretty easy going, so I imagine we'll have a good year together.

Anyway, that's what I've been up to. I hope you're well and having a beautiful September!

Until next time,
Sarah