Sunday, September 30, 2012

Free Museum Day Hooray!

Hooray for a free day at the Natural History Museum of Utah. Yep, that's right. It was Museum Day on Saturday so Joe and I took advantage of that and brought Russell out to his first Museum. Museum Day is put on by Smithsonian magazine. This is what they say about the free day:
In the spirit of Smithsonian Museums, who offer free admission everyday, Museum Day Live! is an annual event hosted by Smithsonian magazine in which participating museums across the country open their doors to anyone presenting a Museum Day Ticket...for free.
There were an assortment of museums that were participating but I had heard good things about the Natural History Museum so we decided to go there. I must say it was a great experience. The museum itself is very beautiful and has an assortment of exhibits. I loved that there was plenty there for adults to read and appreciate but there were also kid friendly exhibits to help keep kids amused. I can see this as a great place to bring Russell once he's bigger.

Free = awesome!

We loved the view from the top of the Museum too. It would have been nicer if it were a little less hazy but it was still quite beautiful up there.

At the top of the world! Ok maybe not the world...

I remember going to museums as I grew up and even once I was older. I always love learning new things and experiencing things that are new and interesting. I still love dinosaurs and think seeing little glimpses of history is awesome. Yep I'm a nerd like that but it's good times. Even if I had to pay I'd recommend the Natural History Museum of Utah as a great place for families with kids. The whole place is very stroller friendly and when we went there were a boat load of families with kids. It never felt rushed or crowded though sometimes you may have to wait if you're looking for a specific photo op without random people in your picture. HA!

Daddy and the dinosaurs!

What's your favorite museum? Do you have any memories of museums from growing up?

So tired after seeing the Museum.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Saturday's Supper - Pesto Chicken

It's time for another yummy and easy meal. We made quite a few tasty dishes but this one was by far Joe's favorite for the week so I'm sharing it.

Pesto Chicken
from 365 Days of Slow-Cooking by Karen Bellessa Petersen 

Ingredients

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
1/2 C. prepared pesto sauce
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. tapioca
Hot, cooked fettuccine

Directions

1. Cut each thigh into 4 pieces. Place chicken in bottom of slow-cooker.
2. In a small bowl, combine pesto, pepper, garlic powder, and tapioca; pour over chicken.
3. Cover and cook on LOW for 3-5 hours.
4. Serve chicken and sauce over fettuccine.

Modifications

* We used two of the small sized prepared pesto sauce tubs because Joe likes a lot of sauce for his pasta. I'm pretty sure we used more than 4 thighs too so this was a good call or there wouldn't have been enough sauce.
* We bought tapioca flour to use as a thickener instead of straight tapioca. It seems to work fine. The book says you could use cornstarch and water too in place of tapioca. It's basically to help thicken whatever you're cooking.
* We bought a fun garden veggie fettuccine which added some veggie goodness to our meal.

* In the future we'd totally garnish this with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
* You could garnish this with roasted pine nuts for some texture.
* I would LOVE this with some oven roasted veggies tossed with the finished dish.

* Oh and if you're thinking, I don't like chicken thighs, give it a try! I don't usually like chicken thighs but they were so tender and had so much more flavor than chicken breasts have. I don't think I'll switch away from chicken breasts but I know in certain recipes I'll be all for the boneless, skinless chicken thighs.

Do you crock pot meals at home? Do you do any sort of meal planning for the week? Share any tips you have for still cooking homemade meals without going nuts or spending all day slaving over a hot stove. :)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Baby Mac Update - Yoga Baby

I wanted to share an update about our sweet little Russell for those who have followed his story. Back in August he turned 1. We're so pleased that he's doing so well and that he seems to be developing on track. I think he does some things a little slower than the milestones but I am ok with that. I know that boys do tend to develop slower than girls and I know with his rough start he may not do everything right on time. I'm happy he eventually figures stuff out and sometimes he'll do some things ahead of schedule so I guess it all events out.

No cat is safe...

Lately Russell's favorite thing to do is yoga. Well, not really but he sure looks like he's got some yoga poses going on. I wanted to share a few we were able to catch on camera. I swear he knows when I'm trying to take his picture and he quickly moves on to something else.

Head on ground, straighten legs, peek at mom, realize she's taking pic, quickly sit down...

Russell is doing great with his walking. He loves to try and run around and usually does pretty well. When he's tired though he trips and stumbles a lot. He's doing better at looking at the ground so he doesn't trip over stuff all the time anymore. He loves to be outside and enjoys playing in the grass.

My friend says in Hawaii when a baby looks at you like this you or someone you know will have a baby. I hope it's not me. We're not ready! HA HA HA!

One thing he's gotten picky on is food. He still eats a good variety of things but I think he's starting to find out what things he likes and doesn't like. He's not into meat much unless it's pieces of our food we feed to him. Luckily he still eats veggies and seems to love fruit right now. For some reason he is really liking the food in the pouches. He also really likes yogurt. We think he's partially being picky because of his teething. He has a mouth full of teeth already which is fun when he smiles. He plays with his teeth all the time and even let me brush them a little last night.

Modified tree pose. HA HA HA! He's so silly!

Overall Russell seems to sleep pretty good. Joe gets up with Russell at night and most nights he's only getting up once or twice. I think I'd push more to just let him cry it out but I also know the neighbors might not like that. Joe doesn't really complain about it either so I figure as long as we're all relatively happy then we do what works for us. With parenting I've realized everyone and every situation is different so I try not to judge what others do because I know I wouldn't want to be judged. It's hard enough to try and figure things out while others are scrutinizing your every move. OY!

Russell's food stash. Mostly organic. I think he eats better than all of us.

So, Russell is doing really well. He passed his one year checkup with flying colors. He's still a sweet and happy little man. We love him to pieces and are blessed to be able to share some of his fun and silly photos here.

I've been trying to find a good yogurt that doesn't have as much sugar and doesn't use artificial sweeteners.

What was your baby doing when he/she was just over one? Is there anything you wish someone would have told you that they didn't? Do you have an parenting pet peeves?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Couch to 5K

I had a moment this past week where I just wanted to cry because I was so tired of being out of shape. I lost a little weight after having Russell but since then I've probably gained back up to my max pregnancy weight. Maybe more... I'm not really sure. I just know that in that moment I was tired.


Tired of feeling out of shape.
Tired of feeling winded all the time.
Tired of feeling my heart race going up the stairs.
Tired of seeing the fat and the flab that makes every outfit selection a matter of how well it would hide my post baby body.

That and I was tired...


My friend Andrea had sent me some info on a Couch to 5K program and I decided at that point I'd give it a try. I'd seen info about something like that before and just made excuses for myself.

... but I have bad knees.
... but my feet have been hurting since having the baby.
... my sciatic nerve keeps acting up.
... I'm too tired to wake up early to work out.
... I don't have time to work out.


Enough of the excuses. I went onto my phone and downloaded an app that helps you through the Couch to 5K program. It was totally free and so far I've loved it. It prompts you through your workout telling you when to walk and when to run. It lets you listen to your own music while you're working out and I don't have to stare at the clock counting minutes and seconds. Instead I plug in my headphones and just follow the prompts until the workout is done. It takes 30 minutes and it's every other day. In fact it tells you that you need the time in between to recover. I've also read that if you are really out of shape or if you feel it's moving too fast you can repeat days until you feel comfortable moving on.

C25K app is awesome! Keeping me on track every other day.

For me that was key to not feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of working out every day or figuring out a workout schedule. I also liked that if I wanted to I could be running a 5K in about 2 months but if not I'd still be making progress which is far better than sitting on the couch. I have good days and bad days and I have repeated days already but I don't care. It's like those motivational pics you see where they show someone either way out of shape or way in shape saying something along the lines of at least you're lapping everyone on the couch. I'm now out there lapping everyone on the couch.

Or walk! There is nothing wrong with being a walker!

It's not easy. In order to make my crazy days work and still see Russell and Joe when I get home from work I'm up just before 4 on my workout days. I'm out and pounding the pavement by about 5:15 so I can get home, shower and get ready for work. I work all day from 7:30am - 5:30pm then commute the 40+ minutes home. After that it's tubby time for Russell, putting him down to bed, having dinner and then off to sleep so I can get some rest. On my days off I get up at 6 to work out because I like to beat the sun. (1. there's less people out that early so I don't have to feel self conscious and 2. it's cooler out.)

Early morning sunrise. I'm starting to enjoy being up early.

I have big goals to one day run a 5K, then a 10K, toss in a sprint tri, Ragnar Relay and one day an Iron Man. Who knows if my body can handle all that but I sure am going to try until I find that point where I know my body just can't take it. I don't want to break my body down but I do want to stay in shape. I do want to look good and feel good about myself but I know more important than that is being in shape so I can take care of Russell. I want to set a good example for him of healthy eating and exercise so he can learn to make good choices. I'll never stop eating dessert or give up all burgers but I know in moderation things will be fine.

Sorry this is a really long post but it's what I'm working on right now. Getting in shape is so important to me and hopefully I'll be less tired as time goes on. If anyone's looking for a workout partner I'm all for it. I move slow but I'm out there moving. Plus I want to start swimming and doing some sort of weight training too. I'd love to do zumba one day when I'm feeling a little more fit too. If you want to get out and support a good cause join me to walk (maybe run) at the Team IronDean 5K. If you hurry and register before September 30th it's only $20 and you get a rad bag full of Team IronDean swag. You know you want it!

Visit http://www.teamirondean.org to get registered! Join me for some fun!

What's your workout style? Are you the up every day early running type or the type that hits the classes at the gym? If you have any favorite workouts or great places for beginners I'd love to know about them!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fondue and coffee and jewelry OH MY!

After finally getting past our biggest volunteer event of the year Day of Caring I took off my Friday and enjoyed some time with the family.

On Friday Joe and I went out for a date night to the Melting Pot. They are doing a special deal for Dine O'Round which was great. We enjoyed some tasty food and some time together. I love Melting Pot but there is no denying it's expensive. It's one of those special treats we like to enjoy every now and again. It was our pre-Russell dinner before I went in to get induced. Ah the memories. HE HE HE.


We went out on Saturday and checked out the 21st and Twenty First Business District Arts Festival to see the little sister of my friend Amy. Amy and I went to high school together and when I found her sister was in business making some pretty awesome jewelry I knew I couldn't miss this. The Festival itself was actually pretty cool. A lot of different jewelry options but I was there for Marskii's. I wanted to buy so many things but I managed to contain myself and buy a matching necklace and earrings set and another pair of earrings. I really wanted a bracelet so I'm going to have to wait for another day to get that. Her stuff is really awesome though so you MUST go and LIKE her on FB.

Seriously cute handmade jewelry!

Puzzle piece earrings! They remind me of supporting Autism research.

On another note Pumpkin Spice creamer and lattes are out now! AH fall how I have missed you. Vegas doesn't do a good job at fall. It's hot as Hades in the summer and then it's just cold. No colorful mountains full of leaves changing colors. No nice and cool weather. Just hot or cold. I think I'll be wishing for Vegas temps come winter here but for now it's nice. I love the smells and flavors of fall. Spiced cider, pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. YUM!

Two loves. Pumpkin Spice and Chococat!

What is your favorite fall treat? Do you do anything special for Thanksgiving or Halloween?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Saturday Supper - Beef and Barley Soup

Ok today's Saturday Supper is something we actually made a couple weeks ago but it was really good so I wanted to share. I'm sorry I didn't get any pics but it's soup so it's not that exciting to look at anyway. If you give it a try come back and let us know!

Beef and Barley Soup
from 365 Days of Slow-Cooking by Karen Bellessa Petersen 

Little can of tomato paste.
Ingredients

1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 onion, minced
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 C. beef broth
1 C. chicken broth
1 carrot, peeled and diced
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 C. pearl barley
1-lb. boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 Tbsp. dried parlsey
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine oil, onion, tomato paste, and thyme; cook for 1 minute, stir, and then cook for 1 more minute. Pour into slow cooker.
2. Stir in vinegar, tomatoes, broths, carrot, soy sauce, barley, and roast.
3. Cover and cook on LOW 6-8 hours, until beef is tender and barley is cooked.
4. Stir in parsley and salt and pepper to taste; serve.

This was the barley we found but any type you like would work.
Modifications

* We are lazy so we skipped microwaving in step one and just threw it all into the crock pot. It turned out fine.
* We just used the whole can of tomato paste because we had just bought one of those small cans and thought why waste the rest.
* We added 1 zucchini and the corn from two ears of corn. You could definitely add other favorite veggies if you have some on hand.
* You could make this without the beef and more veggies if you don't eat meat.

What's your favorite soup to make? Do you like cream, tomato or clear broth based soups? Share your favorite soups and maybe I'll find a yummy recipe to share.

Monday, September 17, 2012

I'm Hiring!!!

Yep, it's true! My department is expanding and I'm hiring a coordinator to help with volunteer events, database management and volunteer management training. You'd be working directly with me and our AmeriCorps VISTA member most of the time. For certain events this position would also work with the Events Director and 2-1-1 Director and staff. It's an awesome opportunity for someone who is interested in non-profit work. I love what I do but I also know it's not for everyone. Believe me I know this. Volunteer coordinators tend to have a relatively high turnover rate and I have heard from more than one person that they would NEVER do my job. Then again there are plenty of other jobs I would never want to do too so I guess there's always something for everyone. :)

Early morning but a great time at the Healthy Kids Fun Run. Getting families out and active!

I'm looking for someone who is creative, thinks on their feet, who is detail oriented but able to make decisions on the fly and work in an ever changing environment. This person should have very good people skills in person, on the phone and over email and other written communications. The ideal candidate would be in good shape (seriously volunteer events take a LOT of heavy lifting, walking, standing and long days), have their own vehicle they could use for work and looking for a long term career opportunity. This person should be very comfortable working one-on-one with people but also comfortable standing in front of a crowd (200-700+) of volunteers to take charge. This person should have common sense, be able to think logically and able to execute directions with only a basic explanation of what's going to happen.

Heavy lifting = unloading 5,000 backpacks from the back of a semi truck.

Most of the time this person will work a regular 8-5 type schedule with a one hour lunch break. On occasion there will be weekend, evenings and early morning work. Before big events, like our Day of Caring there is a potential to work quite a few hours. I think the last two pay periods (4 weeks) I've easily worked over 100 hours. So depending on your other obligations I know this job isn't for everyone.

Working with Help Me Grow to help parents learn ways they can engage their children in play.

You've got to be willing to do whatever it takes to get things done and get along with the existing team of folks that are on staff. The ideal candidate will be able to excel within a group and independently. This person must be capable of working with anyone from the CEO of a large company to the clients the non-profits serve. This person should also have empathy for those we help and patience to work with all types of volunteers.

Agnes LIVING UNITED with backpacks for kids at one of 20 Community Learning Centers.

I love what I do and I love knowing that I get to do work that actually changes the lives of people in our community. I know that when I spend over 100 hours working that a lot of lives are being touched. I love that United Way of Salt Lake is doing amazing things within a Collective Impact framework. This is not a typical United Way thing, though it is growing. Many people probably imagine that UW just raises money but that's not all we do. We work with businesses, government, schools, non-profits and others in the community to come together to create lasting change. We're not just saying we want to end poverty or increase high school graduation rates, we're working with the key players that can make that happen! This is seriously a great opportunity for the right person.

You too could be hauling/lifting tables and chairs! Right after this I hauled some tires we used for the Healthy Kids Fun Run.
Or you could be hauling backpacks or school supplies for kids! All in a day's work!

If you're interested you can view the job description HERE. We do have a couple other positions hiring and you can check them out HERE. If you know someone who would be great for this job feel free to pass this on and have them apply. I'm looking to hire hopefully within the next two weeks so apply fast if you are interested. I love what I do and so could you! Learn more about UWSL by visiting their website http://www.uw.org.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Day of Caring Recap



This year was my very first Day of Caring and I had a great time! It was amazing to know that 100 companies were coming together to complete over 115 projects in Davis, Salt Lake, Summit and Tooele counties.

My day started with a radio interview on The Arrow 103.5 and a live TV spot on KSL at The Gateway. The Day of Caring committee had done an excellent job of setting up everything for the breakfast. It was quite a site to see hundreds of volunteers gathered together for French toast from Meier’s Prime Catering and breakfast burritos from Rico’s Mexican Market. We even had coffee, drinks and ice provided by Swire Coca-Cola, Starbucks, the LDS Humanitarian Center and Bagley Ice & Carbonic Inc. Volunteers were even treated to some fun entertainment provided by The Soulistics.
Savage Services LIVES UNITED painting the interior of the Scott School at Pioneer Craft House.
After breakfast volunteers headed out to complete projects at 85 community partners, schools and other organizations. The different projects included things like a career fair for middle school students, reading to elementary aged kids, landscaping, painting, and a variety of projects that enhanced the beauty and usability of various community locations. Over 3,800 volunteers helped to provide service that saved the community more than $615,000 in just one day!
I got to welcome the volunteers from Sprint as they helped beautify Fitts Park.
I am so proud to be a part of an organization that helps our community be a better place to live. There is so much that can be done but with support like this I know our community will be able to come together to help those most in need. Thank you to each of the volunteers who helped make Day of Caring 2012 a great success.
Harland Clarke helping to paint the interior of the Welcome Center at Hser Ner Moo.
I spent the day in South Salt Lake City. It was awesome!
If you, your family or company would like to volunteer visit uw.org/volunteer or dial 2-1-1.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Saturday's Supper - Thai Beef Curry

I've decided that each week I'm going to share something we've made and enjoyed in the last week. Sometimes it will be something we come up with and other times it will be new recipes we try. I'm also going to highlight recipes that Joe put together because I know there have got to be other guys out there who are stay at home dad's or just looking to improve their cooking skills. (Yes guys, ladies do like it when you can cook something more than a steak or burger.)

Our lives are busy and a lot of times it's managing to cook something while Russell naps or after he's gone to bed so anything I feature will likely be very easy to make. So, here's the first recipe for my weekly Saturday's Supper feature. Enjoy!

Thai Beef Curry
from 365 Days of Slow-Cooking by Karen Bellessa Petersen


This is what we found at our local Harmons
Ingredients

2 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-lb beef chuck roast, cut into bite sized pieces
2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 Tbsp. Thai red curry paste
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. onion powder
1 14-oz. can coconut milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Hot, cooked rice
Diced tomatoes
Peanuts

Directions

1. In a frying pan, heat oil; add garlic and roast. Stir and turn for about 3 minutes until meat is browned. Transfer to slow-cooker and add the potatoes.
2. In the frying pan, blend the curry paste, sugar, onion powder and coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; pour over the meat.
3. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours, or until meat is fork-tender.
4. Serve over hot, cooked rice and top with diced tomatoes and peanuts.

Couscous we found at Walmart
Modifications

* We added about 5 small carrots cut into small rounds. If you like them I think peas and/or cauliflower would be an excellent addition to this dish too. I have seen some restaurants also cook tomatoes, peppers and bamboo shoots in this type of curry so the sky is the limit if you love veggies. You could definitely make this with chicken instead or simply vegetarian.
* I definitely think you should go with the full fat coconut milk. We find the low fat versions tend to not have as much coconut flavor especially when mixed with the stronger curry flavors.
* I am going to have this with come cooked couscous instead of rice. It's yummy and adds protein to the dish if you make it without meat.
* We're not topping ours with tomatoes or peanuts but that's just a matter of preference.

This is what ours looked like after I took it out of the crockpot. Not the best pic but it's sure tasty!

Oh and if you're looking for a great slow cooker cookbook the one this recipe came in is great. It has a variety of options and most are made with simple ingredients that most people have seen. I love that I can use the recipe for an idea and add my own extras to personalize them for our families taste. I'd recommend it as a worth while purchase. We've already cooked a bunch of different recipes and we have liked all of them so far. 

Do you tend to cook the same things each week or do you love to mix it up and try new recipes? Are you the kind of cook that puts in a little of this and a little of that or do you have to follow a recipe to the letter? Feel free to share your favorite dishes too!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Dine O'Round 2012

Who's ready to try some good eats at a great price? It's time for Dine O'Round 2012! I haven't taken advantage of this culinary delight in the past but since I work downtown you bet I'll be giving some of these a try.

Starting today through September 30th you can visit a variety of restaurants and enjoy a two-item lunch for $5 or $10 or a three-item dinner for $15 or $30. This is the perfect opportunity to try something new or enjoy a great meal at a rather expensive place that you might not otherwise try.

The Downtown Alliance even has a Facebook contest to win dinner for a year. So why not get out, enjoy a date night or family night out and enter to win dinner for a year!

Check out the Downtown Alliance page for the full list of participating restaurants and links to their websites.

I'd like to try Cedars of Lebanon (my co-workers say it's good) and Wild Grape Bistro (it's close to work and looks nice) for lunch. I also like Martine Cafe so I may have to have lunch there too. Biaggi's has a delish Butternut Squash Ravioli that I could eat by the truckload so I'd totally go try something there. Joe and I enjoy the Melting Pot and actually had that as my last meal before I went in to have Russell so we may have to go back and enjoy a meal there. Ruth's Chris Steak House is so good and so expensive that it might be worth going to as well. It's definitely a dress up kind of place so get a baby sitter and get out for a fancy night out there. YUM!

Are you going to get out and Dine O'Round? What are the participating restaurants you'd like to try? If you try one of the deals come back and post here to let us know how it went.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

UWSL Day of Caring 2012

Today's the big day! United Way of Salt Lake's 20th Annual Day of Caring. I will be working my butt off all day along with a great team of folks from South Salt Lake City and UWSL.

The day starts off with an awesome breakfast and entertainment at The Gateway. Many of the volunteers for the day come and enjoy breakfast before heading off to their projects. I'll be one of those people heading off into the community!

More than 3,855 volunteers from 100 local companies will volunteer giving 35,000 total hours of service to the community. There will be more than 115 one-day service projects in Davis, Salt Lake, Summit, and Tooele counties. These volunteer efforts help save our communities $615,000.

My focus for the day is in South Salt Lake City. I'll be bouncing from project to project making sure things are going well, taking pictures and helping ensure the volunteers have a positive experience while being engaged in the work our partners are doing in the community.

WIN AN iPAD!
mobile buttonThanks to Workers Compensation Fund we are giving away a FREE iPAD! Everyone who opts in to our mobile community will be entered to win an iPad.
Text  OPTMBL to 50555*


Day of Caring will also be the day 5,000 backpacks will be filled with school supplies for kids at 20 Neighborhood Centers. It's such an exciting day filled with so many caring individuals coming together to help our community be a great place to live.

FOLLOW ALL THE DAY OF CARING ACTION ON SOCIAL MEDIA!
Follow the conversation on Twitter.
#DOC2012 @uwsl
 

Tag us on your status updates and pictures
www.facebook.com/uwsaltlake

instagram imagePlease snap a few pictures on your mobile phone
and tag us @uwsl

mobile buttonAnd of course, don't forget to opt in to mobile
to enter to win an iPad. Text OPTMBL to 50555*


If your company isn't involved in Day of Caring be sure to follow us on Social Media or subscribe to email updates on our website. We welcome companies of all sizes to participate in this epic day of service. It's a great experience and a wonderful way to give back to our community!

HAPPY DAY OF CARING 2012!!!

Is your company participating in Day of Caring? Would you enjoy your job more if your employer gave you opportunities to volunteer during the year? Let us know what you think!

*Up to 4msg/mo. Msg&Data Rates May Apply. Text STOP to 50555 to STOP. Full terms: mGive.com/E Privacy Policy

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Summer of Service Recognition Event

Last Saturday after the walk we did our last project for United Way of Salt Lake's Summer of Service program. Summer of Service is meant for kids aged 5-18 to participate in service throughout their summer vacation. The kids and their families helped to sort and count the school supplies that are going into the 5,000 backpacks we unloaded last week.


After the kids helped to count and sort they enjoyed some yummy boxed lunches and a simple recognition event. I had to speak during the event which does kind of make me nervous. I think it's only because I'm still so new to everything that I don't feel totally prepared to wing it. Normally I am great at talking about my work but being so new I always fear the questions I can't answer. Luckily at this event I just had to talk and recognize the kids who had served. Even better was the fact Christina got up super early to write me a script so I'd have something to follow.


There weren't a ton of folks there but it was a good event. Junior Achievement City was a great place for the event and we're glad we could partner with them to host our event. We enjoyed the projects we did with the kids throughout the summer. It was a wonderful experience and I can't wait for next year because I know it will just get better and better!


Do you volunteer with your kids or your family? Do you volunteer on your own or with your work or church? Let us know what you do and where you volunteer!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Workout in a Week

So this past week we've been collecting donations for United Way of Salt Lake's Stuff the Bus drive. Kim, Christiana and I have been manning a storefront location in the Gateway where people have been dropping off school supplies they collected.

Yeah, it wasn't a small truck. It was a full sized semi!

Most of the time went well with pleasant folks excited about the drive dropping off all the great things they collected with their co-workers and friends. We spent time counting and sorting some of the supplies since the storefront didn't have internet access or really anything else for us to do while we were waiting.

We'd already moved a bunch of boxes out when I took this.

The one day that was truly hard was when our backpacks were supposed to arrive. We were told they would show up between 8 and 9 in the morning. Well... 9 became 10 and after a bunch of calls and texts we found the delivery wasn't showing up until around noon. So we waited around for the backpacks and even with a noon ETA the backpacks still didn't arrive until 2 in the afternoon.

I needed proof how tall these pallets were stacked. Kim is tall too.

By then we were already hot and tired and really just wanted to get the backpacks and go back to the office to get some work done. Unfortunately we found the drivers truck was too big to fit into the loading dock and he didn't have a fork lift or pallet jack. We were also told he wasn't physically able to help us unload anything.

Boxes in the loading dock. Now to get them into the store...

Well not to be stopped Kim, Christiana and I worked our tails off unloading boxes containing 5,000 backpacks that will be donated to kids in 20 neighborhood centers. We had about 100 boxes that we had to move from the far back of the semi truck to the front then we had to move them into the loading dock. At that point we were so tired we called for reinforcements.

Ah what an adventure.

Luckily for us we work with some amazing people. My boss, the Sr. VP of our department, cancelled our staff meeting and sent the team over to help us move the boxes from the loading dock into the storefront. Agnes, Scott, Kai and Linda helped us move everything in. We couldn't have done it without them. It was so exhausting but we knew it was for a good cause.

School supplies for kids in need! How awesome!

Have you ever done something for work that was completely out of your job description or what you figured your job would require? I know for me a career as a mover or delivery person is not something I would be good at. HA HA HA!