Over the last few weeks, I have enjoyed checking the mailbox and online blogs for everyone’s Christmas cards, letters and especially the photos. Pictures really do say 1000 words! I love seeing all your smiling faces and watching your kiddos grow up. So many of you asked how I’m doing and since I’ve joined the blogging world this year, I thought I’d post here and review what’s been happening with me in 2007.
This year’s update really starts in December of 2006. About 2 days after I sent out my Christmas cards last year, I got laid off from my job. I had been doing marketing for KB Home, and if you watch or read any news at all, you’re probably familiar with the woes in the housing market. Truthfully, I was not entirely surprised, and while many said, “Bummer getting let go right before Christmas,” I actually was pretty happy about it. If you’re going to be out of work, why not have some extra time off at the holidays? It was GREAT!
I was also about due for a vacation, and decided there was no reason to postpone, so I booked a trip to the big island of Hawaii. Did I mention there was a severance package? WOW. Hawaii is amazing, and I highly recommend it if you ever have the opportunity to visit. I started plotting my next trip on my flight home! I enjoyed lots of sightseeing, some snorkeling, and visited Volcano National Park. Coincidentally, my uncle arrived in Kona on business the day before I left, so we enjoyed a rare chance to catch up over dinner. Mental note: job-hunting priority should focus on jobs including business trips to Hawaii.
When I got home from Hawaii, I learned that finding a new job is both time-consuming and… well, boring. Don’t worry, I’m not about to put you to sleep by getting into details! By March I was still unemployed, and I was starting to feel a bit stir-crazy, so I took a road trip to visit friends in the Bay Area and family in Lemoore and Hanford (CA central valley.) While out of town, I got a call for an interview for the job I eventually accepted, and on March 30 I went back to work.
I am now doing marketing for RMSA, a retail consulting company in Riverside. I have joined the ranks of (crazy) Californians who commute to their jobs, and travel about one hour each way. The hours are 7-4, so I beat the traffic a little bit. Who knew that so many people are actually awake at 6:00 am? I was intrigued by what this company does, and by the opportunity to get in with them at a time of expected growth. For a lot of reasons, it hasn’t quite turned out to be what I signed up for, and I’ve resumed job searching for something that is a better match for my interests. Like something with frequent business trips to Hawaii. Australia or Tahiti would be OK too.
After going back to work, I squeezed in a few weekend trips this year… April, I visited some good friends in the Phoenix area… in May, most of my family flew to Canada to attend a cousin’s wedding in Ponoka, AB (south of Edmonton)… in September, I visited cousins in Lakewood, WA, south of Seattle… and in late October flew to the Bay Area for a weekend. I’m starting a local chapter of Traveler’s Anonymous… “Hello, my name is Rebecca and I have a traveling problem.”
In October, California caught on fire. Let’s just say that when I left for work that Monday morning, I wasn’t exactly prepared to be gone for a week! Although the fire burned through the backyard, there was no fire or smoke damage to the house, and really very little ash to clean up. (I posted fire updates on my blog daily; you can scroll through the October posts to read more.) I did get home almost a week later, and for about 10 days after that, we lived without electricity which was interesting!
Throughout this year, I became more involved at my church which I enjoyed a great deal. I help out with nursery and hospitality events, and joined a Bunko group just for fun! Next year, I’ll be doing some singing with the praise team and getting involved with some worship planning, which I am really looking forward to! My church has become an important part of my life, and I have very much enjoyed the fellowship there.
In November, I took a long vacation, which I’d have to say was highlight of my year. I flew to Chicago and visited with friends there before driving to Michigan for a week to see many more friends and spend Thanksgiving with my “Michigan family.” As always, I couldn’t spend enough time with everyone, and missed a number of people I really had hoped to see! But it was so wonderful to visit with as many people as I did, and it was hard to say goodbye. These visits are never often enough or long enough!
Living here in California where I have lots of family nearby, I actually enjoy the chance to stay home for Christmas. I made two trips to the airport to drop off and pick up my Grandma. She is almost 87 (!) and is a special part of my life. As I’m sure is true of many of you, various celebrations extend both before and after Christmas with various family members and friends, and it is the same for me. I relish the chance to have Christmas last longer, and we will have our last get-together on New Year’s Day.
For me, having lived away from here for so many years, Christmas has always been a special family time for me. I love the visual feast of festive decorations at home and pretty much every where else. I love the Christmas cookies way too much, and like every other year, will be starting January with a resolve to lose a few pounds! And I love checking the mailbox every day for your Christmas greetings, so thank you for filling it!
I wish for all of you a wonderful 2008, and hope that it brings blessings beyond your expectations.
Happy New Year!