Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and Other Christmas Traditions

Lexi and I have a standing date to see The Nutcracker every Christmas, starting last year.  Here are some photos of our girls' night out...  This year we invited our friends, Elaine and Sami to join us.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry & Bright

Um.  Hello, friends!  I promise I haven't forgotten you...

I will say that I have yet to find any kind of "normal" in my life after my recent job change.  I sit here, stunned that it's two days until Christmas (and none of my presents are wrapped!) and 2012 is upon us.  Where has the time gone???

I've fallen back into my normal night owl patterns now that I don't have a work-imposed 4:30am wake up call anymore!  That's totally fine with me.  And I've spent T-I-M-E with my family.  It's been truly a blessing to be available for the little things, especially with my kiddos.  We all went to my mom's house for Thanksgiving.  Lexi and I got to stay for an entire week!  It was good to be with family.

You have to check this out...
My mom had her table extended to accommodate the entire family!
Yes, that's right folks.  She had a table in her living room that could seat all 19 of us!

If you're interested in the business I'm starting, I'd love for you to take a peak.  This weekend, I'm looking for nominations of your favorite Facebook Fan Pages for a Hall of Fame.  So, head on over to there and nominate your favs!  I put together a photo shoot for my webpage and I'm really happy with the results, you can see how it turned out here.

Merry Christmas to you and yours from The Williams Family!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

This is the Great Adventure!

I'm not going to keep you in suspense any longer!

Y'all are awesome.  I've been blown away by the number of times people have said to me that they can't take the suspense anymore and when am I going to tell all about my new adventure.  I guess I didn't realize that more than a handful of people actually read this thing.  So, that being said, "hello, readers!  Love y'all!  And you're wait is finally over!  I'm so sorry."

I'm launching my own business in Social Media Marketing.

In a nutshell, that means that i will help businesses and non-profit organizations strategize and execute their presence on platforms like Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

Drumroll, please!
My webpage is under construction.  In fact, this Sunday, we're doing a big photo shoot to get some gorgeous images for the home page!  (I'm a little A LOT excited!).  There is still more work to do on it, but you can check out my progress at

I've been pretty quiet on my blog because I've been so busy writing a business plan, getting all of my social media and website set up, taking classes, and planning my Grand Opening.  A grand opening for something so internet-based is a challenge.  It's not like I can just bake some cookies and invite you into my store!  (That would be really fun!)

People have been soooo supportive.  One thing many have asked is what they can do to help me.  (I'm feeling seriously blessed as I look back at this journey and the wonderful support!)  Okay, I have do have two things you can help with:

1.  Like me on {Facebook}.  Follow me on {Twitter}.  Add my business page on {Google+}. Then interact as much as you can, because each time you do, it spreads the word to your friends and maybe their friends and maybe even friends of their friends!  Don't you just love Social Media?

2.  I'm still looking for a handful of models for my photo shoot on Sunday afternoon.  I have a {photographer} and 21 of 25 models that I need.  I could really use a married couple, preferably older than me.  :)  And I could also use a couple of young adult men.  Comment or email me if you can help out or even if you can send someone my way!  Do you have a {PRO}motion Social face???

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


At the beginning of this month, a chapter in my life closed.  It was kind of a big deal.

Sorry that I've been holding out on you about this for so long.  I wanted to wait until it was a done deal before I talked about it on the internet.  But then, ever since then, it's been so crazy busy and I haven't had a chance to get you up to speed!  

I had a dream to start my own business.  I really wasn't sure of how the timing of all of it was going to work out.  But when the word {reorganization} comes out at work, you really start weighing what you want to be when you grow up in case this job doesn't work out.  So, when it came down to the end of the reorganization, I had a decision to make about whether to apply for my current position, or another position (up to five total), or ask to be left standing.  "Left standing" is basically asking to be let go and offered a severance package.  To me, that package was the equivalent of time.  Time seemed to be the one thing I was lacking to get my dream off the ground.

With tremendous prayer, fear, and surprising peace, that is {what I asked for}.  They agreed.

I was told over and over how they didn't know what they would do without me.  They really didn't want me to go, but I have to say that I am also so grateful for the amazing send off the people I worked with gave me.  This is a stack of thank you and best wishes emails I got before I left.  I was blown away!  (I decided to save them for a day that isn't going so great.  Thought it might be a perfect pick-me-up and confidence booster!)

On to the grand tour and a bit of work nostalgia... plus some of you have heard so much about this place, maybe some pictures would help!  (P.S.  Thanks for listening to me, friends!)

See those teeny tiny holes at the tippy top?  My office was right up there on the 40th floor.
Photo by John Huff

Here's a closer shot.  Those holes are open to the sky above and there is a balcony down below.  My desk was right next to that balcony.  Actually there are balconies on either side of the building.
Photo by John Huff

This is one of the balconies at sunset.  Absolutely gorgeous!
Photo by John Huff

Let's just be honest, when they handed me keys to basically the entire building when I first got there, I couldn't believe it.  My building is the one in the center.  Jeremy always laughed at me when I called it that.  
Photo by John Huff

But, see?  The top floor was all Conference Center.  That was mine.  I managed conference rooms on nearly every other floor in the building and managed other common space on the first and second floors.
Photo by John Huff

This is the Skyring.  It is a walkway above the road that connects two of our buildings and a parking garage.  I never thought that I'd be so enamored with a building, but it really is pretty!

Photo by John Huff

And I invested a lot of myself into it.
Photo by John Huff

Okay, we can step inside now!
This was my Auditorium.  Big stuff happened here:  Worldwide Teleconferences, Shareholder Meetings, Keynote Sessions, Town Halls, Safety Meetings.  I even gave a couple of presentations in here myself!

This was one of my smaller video conferencing rooms.  It's amazing how small the world becomes for a global organization with technology like this!

Throughout the space I had, there was all sorts of artwork that was representative of the areas around the world where we did business.  This series was my favorite.  There were four pieces that depict cities in which we operate.  I just loved the texture and the style!

Every floor has a cafe.  Mine happened to be a little extra fancy, since it was in the Conference Center.  We may provide all types of energy to the world, but I'm pretty sure the company itself ran on Starbucks.

This was a few steps away from my desk.  We didn't work in cubes on my floor, although most people in the company do.  Ours was more like a reception area, since we hosted guests to the floor all day long.  My desk was on the left, right there under the orchid.  I loved those orchids!

The first chair was mine.  Elevator lobby was straight ahead through the glass doors.  Balcony directly behind me.  You with me?

A little behind-the-scenes glimpse of where the magic happened!

All right, enough touring.  I wanted to mention a few of my favorite moments and particularly those that were captured in photos.

These guys were my team.  If you heard me whining about the AV guys being gone this summer, this is them.  Jeff and Jeff.  They were fabulous to work with and I truly miss them both!

I think one of our most bonding moments was {the great flood}.  We had to act quickly to rescue our equipment and relocate our offices into a conference room for the week while the repaired the ceiling at our desks.  Nothing like a little change of scenery and a little getting out of our comfort zone to shake things up.  Funny how tragedy can really bring a team together!

One of the things we did as a team was build "Presentation Kits".  It was a box that held microphones, a slide advancer, and other necessary meeting AV equipment.  We were brainstorming what to do when people finished meetings after we went home.  The Jeff on the left sent this tongue-in-cheek suggestion.  It cracked me up, so I had to save it!

Raymond and Nic were two other AV Techs I worked with from time to time.  Nic and I had a blast chatting it up.  He's moved on to another city and seems to be doing quite well.  Raymond stepped into my role when I left.  Gary, the guy standing and smooching, was a safety specialist and paid regular visits to us on the floor.  Sometimes they even had something to do with safety.

We got the gang together for a group shot.  This was right after the Annual Shareholder Meeting that I hosted in Houston.  Wow!  That was seriously one of my most exhausting days.  But this photo makes me smile, because it's just us.  And I love that my boss, Margarita, is in this one-she's on the far right.  My counterpart, Sheila, is right next to her.  She is such a dear.  Ack.  I'm really going to miss these people!

 Every fall, the entire company takes time out to serve the community in all kinds of local organizations.  Last year, I went to the Houston Food Bank...

and I got to bring my guys along with me!

You have no idea how awesome it felt to pack all those food boxes with my colleagues AND my family!  I couldn't have been more proud of Justus.  He worked really hard!

After the Humankind event, they do a "thank you" to those who were instrumental in organizing the various events.  Last year, they took us to the zoo and we were able to feed giraffes.  That was an incredible experience.  I never realized how shy they are!

We don't get snow often in Houston, so when we did, we HAD to go out on the balcony to see it up close!

One of my favorite moments each year was the moment that I would walk in on the day after they stayed through the night setting up the holiday decorations we had selected.  It was magical!

After Hurricane Ike, a ton of damage was done to the roof and the windows of our building.  I'll never forget the day that Bill invited me to go up onto the roof to see the work they were doing up there to repair the damage.  You can see the guys strapped in out on the edge.  We were 600+ feet above the ground.  Can you believe that weeds were growing up there???

And this picture... this one is awesome.  It's some of my favorite people from our business unit, not the least of which, was our president in the top center with the fake mustache.  Yes, my friends, this goofiness is priceless!

This wasn't a work event.  But this is one of my favorite shots of my favorite girls from work.

Have I mentioned that I really do miss these people???

I had to grab a shot of the last sunrise I'd see from the 40th floor on my last day which was November 4.
(Maybe this would be the appropriate time to mention that I don't miss 4:30am wake up calls and getting myself to downtown Houston before sunrise AT ALL!)

This is the stack of events I was working on that would carry the team through the end of the year.  I wanted to make sure they knew everything I knew about the events before I left.

It was really difficult to gather up my things to turn in at the end of the day.  I was struck with the symbolism of each item and how much responsibility I'd been entrusted with there.

I took a few minutes to go outside and capture a video of my thoughts.  Sorry for the crazy camera handling!

Goodbye, 40th floor.  It really, really was fun!

Okay.  I cannot wait to tell you what's up next for me!  Until next time...!