Monday, October 24, 2011

Dreaming BIG

Many of you have been asking for an update on my {job status}...  I think that I've tried to write this post about four times already.  I may not do the words justice.  If that's the case, forgive me for tripping over my enthusiasm! 

I'm excited to get to tell you that I got what I was hoping for, but in typical Dana-fashion, it's not what anybody was expecting.  We were to select five positions we wanted to apply for.  The application process was simply an online application tool.  There were no interviews.  The management met in a room and filled in the right person in each position on the new organizational chart.  If you were selected, you would get one job offer and one only.  Much prayer and much wrestling, many questions and many plans later, I knew what I had to do.  To make a long story short, I requested to be "left standing" at the end of the reorganization.  Basically, I asked to be chosen as one of the ones to be laid off.  I have loved my time at Chevron.  I've learned more than I can tell you.  I've met some wonderful people.  I've had countless opportunities I would have never have had otherwise.  I am amazed at times as I look back over the last nearly three years and so very thankful for that time.  That being said, about a week before I had to turn in my paperwork, I realized that what I had to do was take a shot at getting the time I have been lacking.

You see, I'm starting my own business.  I'm well on my way.  I have my LLC, my logo, a website being built, a business plan, etc. etc.  Jeremy is uber-supportive!  The kids are thrilled!  I have so much support all around.  And if you're a frequent reader, you probably already know that adventures are my favorite.  God has made it quite clear that it's time to follow Him in this.  This is definitely going to be an exciting new adventure!

To my readers, to my family and to my friends, thank you for your support over the last six months going through this process.  Some of you have lent an ear while I talked through the many concerns that came up.  Some of you became my fan squad, cheering for me as both a Chevron employee and new business owner.  Some of you have sent links and book ideas.  Many of you have prayed.  My mentor, {Diana}, planted a seed the very first night I met her in my heart about the possibility of having my own business and dumping my early mornings, my commute and my long days away in favor of my family, my schedule, and my freedom.  If it wasn't for her encouragement, I know that I wouldn't be looking ahead the way that I am today.  She tells me that I'm her mini-me, but she's my inspiration.  My sister, {Jill}, is my very best friend and a huge dreamer, like me.  If she hadn't said on July 21, "I know the perfect business for you...", I wouldn't have caught this fire and been ready at this exact opportune moment.  No one knows you the way a sister does!  She knows my heartbeat and that is such a blessing.  My Jeremy.  Y'all just have no idea the countless ways he has held my hand through the uncertainty of the reorganization, believed in my capabilities more than I believe in myself, and found very practical ways to make this dream truly a reality, and on and on and on and on.  He's my hero.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Post of Birthdays Past

My best girl is five today!

Lexi is such a joy...  Always up to some crazy antics, always dressed in some costume or always trying to keep up with her brother.  She keeps us laughing.  She's super smart, super creative, and super fun!

In honor of her for her birthday, I decided to collect pictures from all of her birthday celebrations here.  Enjoy!

Princess Party
Due to the unfortunate events involving my hard drive in April (sad face), here is what I could locate from

Tea Party

Tinkerbell Party

Ballerina Party

Cowgirl Party

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The One with all the Cowgirls

 Lexi turns five tomorrow!
A fifth birthday means we invite five friends...
Next, it's time to set the stage...
The table is ready!


The quintessential birthday party game

Watercolor ponies, awaiting watercolor.

A little cowgirl scenery


Rocking chairs with bandana pillows
Mix in some party food... to be served from the Chuck Wagon.

Bandana napkins with Flatware rolled inside,
Ranch Style Beans and Apple Sauce

I forgot to snag a picture of the other food table.  You'll have to take my word for it that it was filled with Hot Dogs, Mustang Mac n' Cheese, and Veggies with Ranch Dip.  (Maybe Matt or Elaine got some pics... ???)
Watering Hole-Pink Lemonade, of course!

"Gimme a milk, make it chocolate!"

S'mores Pops made with love by Paige

Cowgirl cake

Party favor station
Party favors

Cowgirl Cookies {recipe here}
Bandana boxes filled with a Toy Horse and Brush,
Cow Tails Candy, and Nerds
 And now that the stage is set, to quote Andy from Toy Story, talking to Pixar's best-loved cowboy,
"It's party time, Woody!"

Birthday Cowgirl

Handsome Cowboys

My brother, Matt, and soon-to-be-sis-in-law, Karina
Cutie Cowgirls

Sami didn't know the other girls, so she wasn't up for a group photo.
She's so cute, even all teary!
Gettin' a lil' rowdy.  Chloe told us that she'd been practicing her
cowgirl phrases.  Here, she demonstrates her authentic "Yeehaw!"
And a lil' silly
Don't worry, I got Sami to calm down.
And Jeremy and Elaine got a smile for a pic with Lex!

 Time for some vittles!
Cousin Myra came all the way from Denton!

After dinner, the girls took a little break outside...
 ...while we got the Sweet Saloon ready with cake, ice cream and s'mores pops.
 "Happy birthday to you!"
Goofy big brother

Lexi gets the first slice.  It's birthday tradition!
 About the time we finished up our cake and ice cream, a truck and trailer pulled up in front of the house and you could hear the excited cries of little girls,
"The ponies are here!  The ponies are here!"
(Yes, aparently, I am THAT mom.)

(But I'd probably do just about anything to get this look of delight on her face!)

All of the girls got several turns on the ponies, since they stayed for an hour.

While the girls took turns riding, they painted their watercolor ponies while
they waited.

They brought a donkey, too.  It cracked me up to see this mass of girls walking him!

Lexi poses for a picture with Mr. Ed
Dedicated artists

The donkey finally tired of being walked, but the girls persisted.
Just like any good western film, we rode until the sun set.
After the party Lexi kept saying, "Best birthday party day ever!"
Yes, yes it was.

Next year, I promise, you're only getting a cake and your nails painted. ;)  Someone hold me to that.