Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thoughts for Today - July 2, 2009

Outside my window ... Clouds again this morning. Hope I can get the car loaded before it rains.

I am thinking ... that the landlord is not here yet, and that is making me impatient.

I am thankful that ... all of yesterday's Criticals got done, and that we have the chance to get away for a long weekend.

From the kitchen ... nothing today, since it's a travel day. However, I am planning and thinking of what all I will cook for the weekend.

I am wearing ... pink tee, dark jeans that are too darn long, flip flops.

I am reading ... just finished flipping through a book on quilting that I bought quite some time ago.

I am hoping ... that the landlord gets here soon, so that I can get on the road before lunchtime.

I am creating ... to-do lists and grocery lists to get us ready for our picnic

I am praying ... that Shawn gets out of work at a decent time today so the traffic isn't too bad for his drive up tonight, that a friend's surgery goes well today (and actually does the trick this time around), and that the weather will be nice on Saturday.

Around the house ... Finished my first Critical for the day (getting the cats all situated for the weekend), and am now working on 2 and 3 (grocery list and coupon organization).

One of my favorite things ... French Vanilla creamer in my coffee.

A few plans for the rest of the day ... head up to the Poconos and clean the house up there to get ready for our picnic.


Have a Happy and Safe 4th of July!
See you next week!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Thoughts for Today - July 1, 2009

I've seen this meme a few different places now, but I think it all goes back to this blog here.
In any event, this how today is shaping up.

Outside my window ... a momentary gap in the traffic is giving me some silence while I contemplate the clouds and wonder if it is worth attempting to hang the laundry out to dry.

I am thinking ... that I should probably be working on The Criticals. Sigh - off to a bad start already.

I am thankful for ... the well wishes and encouragement of good friends.

From the kitchen ... nothing spectacular today. The kitchen needs to be tidied up before any great creations can be made.

I am wearing ... khaki skirt (yes, I know! a skirt!), white cami, peachy-corally plaid shirt.

I am reading ... For fun, I'm still slowly plodding through New Moon (2nd time through it). Not for fun, I'm reading up on fun things like unemployment and COBRA.

I am hoping ... that it doesn't rain on my laundry.

I am creating ... a new program for myself, The Criticals.

I am praying ... that my faith about this job situation will continue to be strong.

Around the house ... much to catch up on, laundry rinsing, cats napping.

One of my favorite things ... having a cat curled up next to me while I type.

A few plans for the rest of the day ... After The Criticals are done, I need to start making to-do lists and packing for the long weekend.

Day One as a Domestic Engineer: The Criticals

Today marks the first day of the rest of my life. Sounds corny, doesn't it? But when you think about it, this day is pretty significant. It marks the start of my new job - Domestic Engineer. Oh, sure, I AM looking for a "real" job, but I'm also planning on enjoying this stint as a SAHW, for however long it lasts. I figured "Domestic Engineer" was a good title - in my "previous life" I was working toward a Master's of Engineering (MEng as opposed to MS), so why not? Too bad Domestic Engineers don't get a paycheck.

So what am I up to today? Well, for starters, I stole an idea from a friend and modified it for us newbie DE's. My friend, Rollie, posted on her Facebook page that she was implementing a 3 chores per day program for her son. I figured, if it will work for a kid, it can work for me. I call my modified program The Criticals. The Criticals are the 3 to 5 things that NEED to get done each day, before any "play time" and before any other chores. I hope this will keep me on track, and prevent me from being a lazy bon-bon eating couch potato.

Anyway, today's Criticals are: Updated at 3:20 this afternoon.
  1. Pay the rent. Done.
  2. Finish the laundry. (There's a load entering the first spin cycle as I type.) All done, except for Shawn's work clothes, which will go in the washer as soon as he gets home.
  3. Perform some financial finagle-ing. Done.
  4. Call for an oil delivery. Done.
  5. Call to cancel Shawn's dentist appointment. Done.

Believe me when I say that there are many (MANY) other things that need to be done around here, but these are the highest priority. Check back in later or tomorrow (or next week...) to see how this all worked out.

Yeah!! I got all my Criticals done - as an added bonus, they were done before Shawn got home from work. We'll see what he thinks of this program. I do think that I should consider making it a "requirement" that 1 or 2 of the items must be something to physically improve the state of our home (ahem - CLEAN SOMETHING), because it doesn't actually *appear* like I've done anything.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It's official ....

This is the note I sent to my coworkers earlier today.


And so, here it is - my last day. I'm not so good at "good byes," but then again - who ever really is? Instead, I'll say thanks.

Thanks for teaching me the ins and outs of the work we do, how to work on a team, and how to be a leader. This was my first job right out of college, but the learning didn't stop when I started working here. In some ways, the learning hadn't yet begun.

"It's what you learn after you know it all that counts," - Attributed to Harry S. Truman

Thanks for being my friend, and I hope that our friendship never fades. At one of the first farewell celebrations I went to in my early days here, the person who was leaving said that it was the people who made this job memorable and enjoyable. At that time, I wasn't exactly sure what they meant, but now I know.

"And whether we shall meet again I know not.
Therefore our everlasting farewell take:
For ever, and for ever, farewell, friends!
If we do meet again, why, we shall smile;
If not, why, then this parting was well made. "- Shakespeare

I am thankful for all the opportunities I had here, and view this not as an ending - but as another opportunity. I'm excited to find out what's next for me.

"Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next." - Gilda Radner

I'm hopeful that life will be good to each of you, and I leave you with this.

"May you always have walls for the winds, a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire, laughter to cheer you, those you love near you, and all your heart might desire." - Irish Blessing

"Be well, do good work, and keep in touch." - Garrison Keillor

Sunday, May 10, 2009

To Say Thanks, and a Progress Report

As most of you know by now, or have figured out, I found out a little over a week ago that my position at work has been eliminated due to a restructuring associated with my company's merger. My last day will be June 30th.

Since then, I have received so many messages of encouragement and love from my friends. Comments left here, things posted on my Facebook page, sweet words shared in person and through beautiful cards when the words were difficult to voice.

And so, I just wanted to take a moment to say thanks, for all your wonderful words and the many prayers you've offered up on my behalf. I feel so very blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful friends.

At this point, I've been working with a career consulting group for the past week. My company contracts with them to help employees through this time of transition. I have no doubts that my efforts will pay off and the right opportunity will come along. I fully trust that God has a plan for me, and that we will get through this.

Thank you all so much for your love and support. I will definitely keep you posted as to how this latest part of my journey through life progresses. And keep up the good thoughts and prayers - I might be optimistic, but I can still use all the help you can spare!!

In the interest of networking and helping to get myself out there...
  • I am on LinkedIn - if you are too, look me up and help me network!
  • I am still sorting out exactly what direction I want to take for my next position, but I do know that it will be scientifically minded, either in chemicals or pharmaceuticals. If you, or someone you know, works in the chemicals / pharma / biotech industries anywhere in eastern PA, please get in touch with me. I am interested in expanding my network and learning about any positions that may be out there for me.
  • I learned this week that at least 75% of all positions are obtained through networking rather than advertised positions, so - here I am to network!!

Thanks again for all your support and kind words!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Bring on the Rain - Jo Dee Messina

Another day has almost come and gone
Can’t imagine what else could wrong
Sometimes I’d like to hide away somewhere and lock the door
A single battle lost but not the war
'Cause tomorrow’s another day
And I’m thirsty anyway
So bring on the rain
It’s almost like the hard times circle ‘round
A couple drops and they all start coming down
Yeah, I might feel defeated,
I might hang my head
I might be barely breathing - but I’m not dead
'Cause tomorrow’s another day
And I’m thirsty anyway
So bring on the rain
I’m not gonna let it get me down
I’m not gonna cry
And I’m not gonna lose any sleep tonight
'Cause tomorrow’s another day
And I’m thirsty anyway
So bring on the rain

Thursday, April 30, 2009


If anyone reads this in the next 2 hours -

I came in this morning to find a meeting notice from my Department Manager (that's 3 levels above me, if you're keeping track). It was for a half hour "discussion" in building 6 - the building where the HR and administrative offices are. It did not say what the discussion is about, and there appear to be no other invitees. Building 6 is where they hold meetings when people lose their jobs, and they are scheduled in a very similar (very short notice) fashion.

To say that I am scared is an understatement.

Another person in my group has the same kind of meeting scheduled right after mine. She has 3 kids, and her husband's job is in a major state of uncertainty.

Please pray for both of us. We surely need it. I will update as soon as I can.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Behold - The Power of the Internet

Yeah, ok, it's a cheesy title. Sorry - the creativity as far as words and writing just hasn't been with me for a little while now. Hence, the lack of posts.

But why this particular title? Because the internet has done some awesome things in my life, and I wanted to share one or two of them with you.

Many of you who know me IRL (in real life) know that I met my husband on the internet - definately a life changing experience, so the internet will always hold a special place in my heart. Yeah, I know - that was cheesy, too. But recently the internet did something else that was pretty special, too.

I've mentioned before that I am a regular Facebook-er. Thought it was a pretty neat way to keep in touch with friends and family, and check in with people I've lost touch with. A few months ago, I "friend-ed" two girls that I went to college with. Let's call them J and A. We had a few short conversations, mostly of the "Hey! How are ya? How's life been since Cedar Crest?" variety. But then we discovered that we had something else in common, something other than 4 years at Cedar Crest and being floor-mates during our freshman year there.

We are all obsessed with the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer.

There, I said it - it's out in the open. We are three college-educated, married, professional women who are quite dazzled by a fictional character. Ahem, yes, pun intended.

And so, at J's suggestion and invitation, we did what any obsessed fans would do - we got together to watch the movie (AGAIN - this was at least the 2nd viewing for all of us). But that night, last Friday to be specific, was more than just a movie screening. It was a reunion for J, A and myself because we hadn't seen each other in the 7 years since we left college. And let me tell ya - we had a blast! J also invited some of her friends from work (who are also obsessed), and it made for a great evening of old friends and new. I haven't laughed that much in quite a while.

Here's a picture from Friday night (Oh come on now - I'm a scrapbooker, so of course I had my camera with me!) From left to right, myself, A, and J.

I really have to say that I'm learning more and more to value my girlfriends, and to treasure my time spent with them. It's definately something that I've seen and felt grow within myself these past couple of years. We're already planning our next get-togethers - - - a possible trip to a winery, and then of course an outing when New Moon hits theaters on November 20.

And so, no matter what evil lurks out there on the internet (and believe me, there is plenty of BAD out there), there is also a whole boat-load of good things happening because of sites like Facebook. J and A aren't the only people I've reconnected with, either - it's been an interesting mix of people from high school and college, some of whom I talk to regularly, some not so much.

And lastly, here's a shout-out to Kira, a friend from college I found on Facebook, who's prompting is what brought you a blog post today. Love ya!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Contest Closed!

The contest has closed. Edie guessed correctly at 10 pounds. Yes, I have lost 10 pounds in two weeks - how fabulous is that?!?

Edie, email me your mailing address for your gift card.
laurel_burns (at) hotmail (dot) com

Thanks everyone for playing! It was a lot of fun to do something nice for all of you, as a nice twist on the idea of rewarding myself for an accomplishment. I'll probably do this again in a few weeks, so keep your eyes peeled!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Contest

Today was my 2nd weigh-in since restarting the South Beach Diet on March 9.
The first person who correctly guesses the total number of pounds lost so far will win a gift card to Starbucks. Just leave a comment here at this post with your guess and your name.
The contest will remain open until someone gets it right.
The contest is now CLOSED. Thanks for playing, and keep your eyes peeled for the next time I offer up this lovely little contest!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


housekeeping: (noun) a collection of random tidbits that are too short to be their own blog post
  • I've done a bit of rearranging over on my sidebar. You'll find many more links to blogs and websites that I frequent. They are organized by genre. While there are more blogs and sites on my "favorites" list, these are the sites I visit most frequently.
  • I've also added my email address over to the side, in case you would prefer to email me rather than leave a public comment. I welcome and treasure your thoughts and comments.
  • To the anonymous commenter from a few posts back, yes I have perused the FlyLady's website before. I've pulled bits of her program into my domestic life. For instance, I tend to clean in 15 minute bursts (15 minutes per room, cycling through the rooms on a particular floor of our home), because ANYONE can do ANYTHING for just 15 minutes. Unfortunately, her program feels like a bit too much structure for me. I'm more the kind of person who needs just the outline of a box to work in, rather than having the box entirely divided up into compartments. Does that make sense? Perhaps at another time in my life, it will work better.
  • Progress report: As of Tuesday, I had lost approximately 4 pounds. It's a start. Hoping to see more progress this coming Tuesday.
  • We haven't gotten any more updates regarding the situation at work. Not sure if that is good or bad (probably bad), but I'm doing OK. I think I'm doing as well as I am because I have a plan. I think knowing that we are preparing in the best way we can is helping to keep my stress levels down. My current work-related stress is more project-related at this point.
  • I'm totally obsessed with the Twilight series of books, but am trying to focus on the priorities (a test next week, homework due a week or so later, a paper due at the end of April) before I dive into the third book. My friend, Ann, said it best when she described the books, especially the first, as HOT. It's true - the books are a romance novel / chick lit kind of thing, but there is NO sex. It's kind of refreshing, and good to see since the characters are teenagers, but make no mistake - there is definitely a high degree of passion and HEAT still present.
  • See above - I'm up to my neck in work for my current class. Registration starts soon for the summer and fall classes. Hopefully, I will still have a job after I register to continue justifying my work toward this degree.
  • Friday (tomorrow) is the First Day of Spring. You know what this means - - - free ice at Rita's!!

I think I've covered all the odds-and-ends for today. Not sure if I will have any other posts before the weekend - if not, enjoy the wonderful spring weather, and I will see you next week!