Monday, July 14, 2014

Job Interview

Guess what, peeps. I had a job interview last week.

Before I went in.

I just want something part-time and when I saw that there was an opening at the Clinique counter at Macy's I jumped on it.

And then I got some serious cold feet. Retail? Sales? Oh boy.

But I went through with the interview process since I knew it would be good experience regardless. And it was. I had an initial interview with a sales manager, then a second interview with the cosmetics manager. I have to say, I kind of rocked it. That's the benefit of being 40 years old, I guess--experience has taught me what I need to say. The cosmetics manager said, "Diana was right that I would love you because I totally do. I'm surprised someone else hasn't snatched you up already."

Hello!

It is the weirdest thing to interview, isn't it? You have to talk yourself up, toot your own horn, come across as extremely valuable. And then they ask you questions that slam you right back down and make you feel like an idiot. There's no way to be ready for every question, you know? I actually studied before I went in--How do you handle stress? When have you worked in a team to achieve a goal?--so it wasn't as bad as it could have been.

I even went to the Clinique counter a day before my interview to talk to one of the ladies, ask some questions about makeup for dark skin (for Mary). Just getting a feel for how she handled me as a customer and what I might do similarly or different.

Anyway, now I have the phone interview with the Talent Plus people, kind of a personality profiling. If I get past that, then I have another interview and then find out the verdict.

It would be exciting to get the job. Clinique does extensive training and treats their consultants well. Macy's, I'm not so sure about. But I would get to wear that iconic lab coat--hey, I'm never going to med school so this is the only way I'll get to wear one. Let's be honest, that would be cool.

I'll keep you posted.



Thursday, July 10, 2014

4th of July

 The highlight of our holiday was a surprise visit from these awesome people:

Dave (my brother), Brooklyn, and their kids Cambria (9), Maya (8), and Xochi (5)

My brother and his family came through town on their way home from a family reunion in Sedona, Arizona. It was awesome to spend the evening with them!

We had dinner together, the usual summer-type feast: hamburgers, hot dogs, grilled corn on the cob, watermelon, chips, and fruit kabobs for dessert. I tried out a red, white, and blue layered drink and it worked! Cranberry apple juice, white Gatorade, and no-sugar blue Gatorade. (They liquid settles depending on sugar content.) It looked basically like this:

caramelpotatoes.com
After dinner we went to the cul-de-sac to do the fireworks we'd bought. It was a really nice night, hot but not miserable. The highlight was when our neighbors did some awesome illegal airborne fireworks--we had a great show right over our heads.

The cape was the perfect touch on her patriotic outfit, don't you think?
Best pup in the world.

Xochi

Harrison, Xochi, and Maya

Cameron and Cambria

Torches

There it goes!

Tyce 

We enjoyed our neighbors' fireworks in the street too
Maya swinging her glow stick necklace

Late-night selfie

David took this one of us.
Brooklyn and Dave

Right over head, I tell ya!

Loved this time celebrating our nation's birth with some of my favorite people. It was a short visit but so worth it to us Joneses.



Saturday, July 5, 2014

Tyce's Birthday

It doesn't seem possible but it's true--our first baby is 18. 

He and I played racquetball that afternoon. It was his first time and he was a bit apprehensive. We got to the rec center and I told him the basics, we practiced a bit, and then we played a game. I wasn't prepared for his strength--holy moly, what he lacked in precision he made up in ball speed. There were times I ran and missed and timed I just stood there while the ball whizzed past me. Our first game was close, a one-point difference. But our second game (which we only played to 11 due to time constraints) was brutal for me--he shut me out. I said, "You're lucky I let you win on your birthday!" but he knew I was lying and that he'd dominated me on the court.

Oh hi, just playing for the first time and destroying my mom at it.

After that we drove by Basic Choir's fireworks booth at the Shell station, just to say hi. He enjoyed seeing old friends and the choir assistant, Maria, even gave him a package of cool torches in honor of his birthday.

That evening we had the family party.

Cameron and Harrison made this cake for him--chocolate with cookies and cream frosting.

Cam also made hats for himself and the birthday boy.

He wore his new hat over his baseball cap!

May all your wishes come true.

Cameron also made this Batman glove so he could tell us to "talk to the hand" but it'd be a cool hand.

He loved this funny card from Mopsie and Grandpa.
Pistachios.
The family.
Finally, his big present was to go to Pole Position to do Go Kart racing with his friend Josh. Bryce took them and it looked like they had a blast!

The boys were excited!
So fast they were a blur. 
Lookin' good, 36.

Tyce and Josh raced 3 times. The races were 10 minutes long. They were trying to beat a redneck family but even the women were faster than these boys!

Bryce did one race and he said it was really fun.

So now after all this, we have a young adult in the house. When people say, "Kids grow up so fast" they're not joking. When Tyce is "on", he's the most amazing guy you will ever meet. We need to figure out a way to close up the gaps so those good moments are more frequent--because he was born to shine, to be awesome every day. We love him so much and are so glad he had a birthday.

We love you, Tyce!


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Forts and Experiments

Longer days and nights have meant that we have time to do some fun things. One Sunday night we made a fort out of our kitchen chairs and some fitted sheets. This was partly because I'm a "fun mom" and partly because I wanted to mop the kitchen floor. The resulting hideaway was surprisingly cozy and exciting. The kids brought tons of pillows and blankets and they camped out in there--for four nights straight!

I have to admit that I loved reading Harry Potter by flashlight to them. I was in the middle of two sleeping boys the first night, when I realized that I was trapped. Harrison was against the couch and Cameron had erected an elaborate tunnel system I wasn't sure I could navigate on my hands and knees. I ended up crawling through the support bars in the dining chairs, which I assure was neither graceful nor flattering.

Our living room was destroyed for an entire work week but man, that was fun.

Cameron enjoying his compartment
Getting ready to ready Harry Potter

Harrison peeking out

Me, lounging

Harrison was so excited he made us a snack: strawberries and lemonade.

Another thing we enjoyed was doing soap experiments. The first thing the boys did was whittle a bar of Ivory into oblivion. The bars were kind of small so I understand how their ideas didn't quite pan out; they were going for a boat and a ramp for Lego guys. The ramp actually worked out, just smaller than anticipated.


Whittling.

The second thing we did was microwave a new bar of Ivory soap and the results were awesome! It fluffed up like a big thing of cotton candy and felt like it too. We put ours on for 2 minutes and then it stopped growing.

Harrison is too cool.
Finally they took their whittling shavings and reshaped them into soap balls we can use in the shower.


The twins have also enjoyed playing basketball on their summer rec league team, the "Dream Team". More on that later.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Girls Camp 2014

We went to Malibu, California, for camp this year. What a sacrifice. Ha. I went as a mom, not a leader, and everything was great--our girls are in good hands. Danette, our camp director, chose "Catch the Wave" as the theme, taken from Russell M. Nelson's April 2013 talk about missionary work. This worked out perfectly because it was a great message and we spent every day at the beach.


I absolutely loved these necklaces Danette had us make! The bottle cap says "Come Unto Christ". The white pearl represents the temple, the sea star the parable of the starfish ("it made a difference to that one") and the blue bead the ocean.
Mary caught the wave and brought her friend Nikki to camp. Those two hung out with their other BFFs, Madi and Taya (who is moving next month! Wah!). Since our ward split Sara and Bella are in the other congregation even though we live in the same neighborhood. That was a hard transition for this tight group of friends.

Our car: Nikki and Alexa in the second row, Taya and Madi in the back.
Our first stop was the Los Angeles temple visitors center.

Beautiful temple. A great place to begin our girls camp.

We were the last group to get there after a long detour. Two sweet sister missionaries spoke to us about the importance of families.

Nikki, Mary, Madi, Taya, and I.
After that we all ate lunch outside on the visitor center grounds. Danette said that we stopped here first to "start with the end in mind." She challenged the girls to remain worthy to enter the temple their whole lives. She gave us our necklaces with the first charm, the white pearl.

We then drove down the Pacific Coast Highway for an enjoyable, scenic drive to Leo Carrillo State Park.

Source: touristbee.com
After we set up tents the girls walked down to the beach. There was a tunnel from our campground right to the beach!

Source: experiencingla.com
Everyone loved playing on the beach. And yes, Mary brought her red cape.






We ate like royalty, thank to Bro. Peterson and Bro. McDonald. For example, one night we had hamburgers but they were wonderfully homemade and came with a choice of provolone or pepper jack cheese AND and unlimited supply of super-crispy bacon. Every meal was that gourmet. I had to skip breakfast the last two days because I didn't want to undo a year's worth of good work in less than a week.

Mary's "creepy face"

Girls around the fire--it was incredibly cold at night.
We explored a different part of the beach the next morning.










I took this picture for Mary of the "hot lifeguard" who came to talk to everyone about safety. The waves were powerful and the girls overconfident. Two of them got knocked down and were unable to regain footing. The first girl got herself to shallow water but said it took her so long because she'd lost her tankini bottoms and was not about to crawl to shore without them. She was intercepted by the YW leaders. But the second girl looked fine to us--good thing we had our own personal Baywatch hero on duty. He ran into the waves and pulled her up and out. We hadn't even noticed her distress. The first girl was incensed because if anyone wanted the attention of the lifeguard, it was her!

Um, lifeguard? I think I need mouth-to-mouth.

We started the next day with a hike to the highest peak of the campsite, a mile up. This was Mary's lowest moment and she complained loudly the whole time. I was surprised because last year she did a difficult 7-mile hike, but this one-miler did her in. It was early (for her) and quite hot out, and the incline incredibly steep. She wasn't the only one who had a hard time. I, however, found it quite easy--which I attribute to my regular treadmill interval training and overall increased activity. I was proud of myself.




I didn't take pictures of everything but other highlights for me included getting to know the adult leaders better, watching the girls do their skits (Mary's group did a parody of the Phantom of the Opera), and sleeping in my car. I couldn't stand the snoring and I slept quite awesomely in the passenger seat, for real. I think I may start that way next year.

The girls loved going to the beach store and the owner apparently said he hopes our group comes back again because the girls were great customers. I think that is code for the fact that the girls must have bought tons and tons of junk food. They also were obsessed with all the "hot guys" around, from the beach lifeguard to all the other beach lifeguards to the guy who checked us in (Kevin) and the many, many men between 12 and 32 they saw along the way. They did not seem to be picky and they were obnoxiously vocal about it.

The final night we went back to the beach and released LED balloons that were to symbolize a commitment we made to come closer to Christ.


All of the girls.

The girls plus their leaders.




Then we went back to camp for a very lovely testimony meeting. That is always the best part of camp. The bishop and his wife came up which was a great addition to the night. I like that Danette had everyone take a turn saying something--they could could bear their testimony of the gospel, or just say something that they liked about the week. I thought that was a great way to handle it. Mary said that her favorite thing was making creepy faces at people. I wished that she had said something substantive but I was just glad that she spoke in front of the group at all.

I was very glad that Nikki was there--she is a very sweet girl. She is almost exactly like Mary, which surprised me. I've known her since she was in 3rd grade but I didn't know the extent to which she also loves creepy faces, anime, candy, and avoiding people. However, she was perfectly behaved for me and did indeed participate fully, usually pulling Mary along. Her comments in testimony meeting were that she had never been camping before and she was glad for the new experience. She said that she felt very welcomed and taken care of and enjoyed meeting new people. I thought that was awesome.

As with all good things, camp came to an end. It was a great week and I'm glad I got to go and spend time with some great young women, wonderful leaders, and my favorite Mary girl.