Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! you know, working at Toys has sometimes made me jaded. It's been hard to get into the Christmas spirit, because I deal with some many difficult people at work. It has been an interesting season, with things not working out the way I wanted them to, and people not working up to expectations. Sales seemed slow, but the store seemed just as busy. I work Christmas Eve and the day after, so I don't really get to take time off.

But, all that aside, it's Christmas!! I decided to wrap a couple presents for myself and put them under the tree. It was fun to have some presents under there. Then I put everyone else's presents under there too. I have been good and waited until tomorrow morning to open the ones from my parents. I did open one of the presents I bought and wrapped for myself cause I wanted to watch it (Dark Knight Rises) last night. Now I am in  the middle of watching the Santa Claus trilogy. So funny! Cheesy, but funny.

This is what I wish my living room looked like. Or at least one of my dream rooms. This could be my bedroom someday. You know, my dream house on Pinterest. :)

Well, Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

16 & 23 days...

'Tis Christmas at TRU! Life in the toy store gets pretty crazy around this time. I can only say that I am grateful that Christmas is only 16 days away. That also means that season ends in 23 days. (the week after Christmas is "Return Week") But enough about work!

I spent last weekend putting up Christmas lights. It was kinda fun feeling all domestic hanging them up there. And I love looking at them!

I also got a tree from Reed and Peggy. It's just a little table top tree, about 4 feet tall. I put 4 strings of lights on this little baby.

In other news, I am wearing 2 braces. One on my right wrist, for a thing called De Quervain's tenosynovitis. "De Quervain's tenosynovitis (dih-kwer-VAINS ten-oh-sine-oh-VIE-tis) is a painful condition affecting the tendons on the thumb side of your wrist. If you have de Quervain's tenosynovitis, it will probably hurt every time you turn your wrist, grasp anything or make a fist.
Although the exact cause of de Quervain's tenosynovitis isn't known, any activity that relies on repetitive hand or wrist movement — such as working in the garden, playing golf or racket sports or lifting your baby — can make it worse." -
The other brace is on my left knee. Back in July I fell down a couple of stairs while house sitting for a friend. I just kind of ignored the pain that was building since then. Finally it was bad enough that it was affecting my daily life. The ortho ordered an MRI to rule out a miniscus tear, and it turns out it just a damaged MCL. Not bad enough to warrant surgery. YAY!!! So, I just have to wear a brace for a month, ice it, and do exercises. I can do that! (except the exercises are super hard! 100 leg lifts, and 3 sets of 10 30 second wall squats.)
I also celebrated my half birthday. On Dec 2, I turned 29.5. Only 6 months away from 30, yikes! It kinda just made me think for a bit. Thats about it!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Work Work Work!

It's amazing to have a full-time job! That being said, it's very exhausting! I find sitting in a office doing the HR thing more exhausting than running around out on the sales floor and helping guests at customer service. This "thinking all day" stuff is tough. I really enjoy it though. It is stressful and crazy, but still fun.

Let me take you through the whole process of getting a job with Toys R Us. Joe Blow submits an application through our online company, Taleo. The application is run through some series of assessments, and then given a grade. The top grades are then sent to my system. This is where I get to look at them. From there I have to make the decision if I want to do a phone screening. If they pass that, I schedule them for a group interview. If they pass the group, we (my boss and I) take them into a one on one interview. After THAT, they have to pass a background check. And then, if they pass through all of those levels, THEN we can offer them a job. and then I get to on-board (orientation) and set them up with training shifts. As well as setting up their personnel files. Add on top of that keeping tabs on the continuing education that has to happen, decorating and cleaning the break room, various paperwork and filing, recruiting, enforcing dress code (which can be a full time job in and of itself) and keeping track of everyone I have hired and need to hire.

Let's look at the numbers. I need to hire 12 people:
60 applications
30 phone screens
20 interviews
18 pass background
15 accept job
12 show up to orientation


The only problem is this:
I only get 2-5 applications a day! and I have to hire between 10 and 13 people EACH WEEK for the next 4 weeks! does anyone else see the mathematical issue here?

It's no wonder I come home, sit on the couch and veg for a little while, eat dinner, make lunch for the next day, and then go to bed. I live for the weekend. Oh yeah, did I mention I work M-F now? and 9-5? oh yeah, it's pretty awesome. It won't last after Christmas, but until then I am lovin' it!

Now back to my veggin'

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Exciting things

Here are some things that are happening:

The Olympics
New job (Human Resources at Tigard Toys R Us)
Garden is a-growin'
The sun is shining
New friends
Old friends
The Olympics

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Days that make you say "Ah"

Today I had the wonderful experience of being a part of a special experience for a young girl and her mother. It all started on Tuesday.

Tuesday Morning @ Toys
"Good Morning, Tigard Toys R Us, how may I help you?"
The woman on the other end of the phone line asks me to look for a specific bike. We don't have it. 
I find it at another Portland location, ready to go like she wants. I offer to ask them to hold it until she can get there to pick it up.

That's when she says "I am calling from Oklahoma."

She then proceeds to tell me the following story:
She has a friend from high school (many years ago) who has a 12 year old daughter. Mom is Kelly, daughter is Sophie. Kelly saved up for almost a year to purchase one of the higher end bikes for her daughter. 1 month after Sophie got the bike, it was stolen. The woman on the phone (Kendell) wants to replace the bike. Kelly does not have the time or the resources to drive out to the other store to pickup the bike. 

I call the other location and ask if they can transfer the bike to our store. They are willing to. (It can take up to 3 weeks for the bike to get to our store. I tell them to go ahead and start the transfer. I get back onto the phone with Kendell and explain how it's going to happen. Once we had the bike in our store, I would call her back and we would take payment over the phone and then arrange with Kelly and Sophie to come pick it up. She agrees, and we hang up,

Tuesday afternoon
I get a call from the manager of the other store, who tells me she will be bringing the bike over that afternoon in her personal car since she needs to come to our store anyway. Awesome. I call Kendell back and tell her the good news. I told her I would call her Thursday when I work again and take payment and arrange pickup. She is amazed and grateful.

Thursday morning (today)
I check to make sure the bike is here and spiffy. It is. I call Kendell and take payment and get the information for Kelly and Sophie. She can't believe that her plan has actually worked!
I get off the phone with her, and call Kelly. I introduce myself and tell her we have a bike for her to pickup. She tell's me that Kendell had emailed her and told her to expect my call. While crying, she asks if they can come in to pick it up while I am there. I let her know that I will be here until 4 pm. 

Thursday 3:30pm
Mother and daughter walk into the store. They walk over to an employee and ask for me. I am pointed out, and they come over. "Are you Sophie?" I ask the girl. She breaks into a huge smile and says yes. "Well then, I have something for you." I call to the back and ask them to bring up the bike. Sophie can barely stand still, and Mom is trying not to cry.
The bike is wheeled up to the front of the store. Sophie sees it and squeals. On the front of the bike is a sign "Dear Sophie, Keep on rockin', Love Kendell" (I know, I am a sucker for a good magical story.) Mom is shaking and crying. (ps, it's a really cool bike) I get a hug from Sophie, and Kelly asks if she can take my picture with Sophie and the bike. Of course! (it's a little embarrassing, but what can I say?)
We talk for a little while, letting Sophie check out her new bike. Sophie and Kelly both give me a hug and head out the door. Wow.
Yes, I cried a little. 

And that is why I love my job. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

another year older...

Saturday was my birthday.
I turned 29.

I am now 363 days away from being 30. 
I know, I know, just enjoy being 29, but that thought is in my head!

It was a pretty good birthday. I worked all day, (even wore the stupid birthday crown and balloon that we give to the kids at work.) and then my sister Anna came up from Salem on the train, and we played!!! We went to the Oregon Chorale concert (simply wonderful), headed to Gustav's for the after party (SO GOOD!), then came home and enjoyed a movie (Joyful Noise).

You know, there is nothing like having a super fabulous choir sing you "Happy Birthday" in like, a bazillion part harmony. I went back to see my friends during intermission, and when I walked in a few of them yelled "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" and then I hear "We must sing to you." So they start it out and everybody just joins in. I am sure half of them weren't sure who they were singing to, since they were around the corner, but they all sang anyway. I loved it. I really miss singing with that group. I will be back among their ranks in the fall, thank goodness. 

The weekend was pretty much just Fun! Anna stayed over until Sunday evening, and we just hung out. Made super yummy food (of course.) Sadly, we didn't take ANY pictures of the weekend! We played with baby goats, ate, took naps (well, I did anyway) watched movies, and just enjoyed each other's company. I am excited to spend time with her (and ALL my sisters) again this coming weekend as we come to celebrate Kiri's high school graduation!

Man, that makes me feel old. I graduated 11 years ago. Now she is graduating! Kristel and the kids are coming as well, all the way from Utah. It's pretty much going to be a fun weekend. I am sure there will be lots of food. I hope so. I love food. But I digress.

I haven't seen Lily and Cooper (niece and nephew) in just under 2 years. WAY TOO LONG!! They are getting so big and grown up! We skyped on Sun, and they sang happy birthday to me. So fun.(I notice I like that word alot. Fun. Fun. it just makes me happy.)

Wow, stream of consciousness here. Welcome to my brain.

Celebrate another year gone!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Welcome beautiful Elise!

Please join me in welcoming the newest member of my family.

Meet Elise

I am fostering this sweet thing, but She will be with me for the next several years. Perhaps by then I may persuade her owner to allow my to officially adopt her. We have already had some great bonding time, and I feel like she has been part of my family forever. I need to majorly work out to keep up with her, but that is a challenge I am so willing to accept! I am waiting for an appt with the doctor to get her all tuned up, but that's all that's left to do!

Welcome Baby!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fake it 'til you make it, baby!

Guess what I do now? Gardening...sort of. I decided I am tired of living in a place that looks like white trash rednecks live here. (no offense if you are a redneck) SO. I cleaned up the front walk and the front flower bed, planted some flowers and herbs, and weed whacked the portion of the yard closest to the house. (The rest of the yard needs to be mowed, but that will wait until my landlord comes home from Israel.

And then...(btw, did you know that weed whacking is absolutely addicting? Yeah, it is.) I decided to weed whacked the back yard. The fenced in portion. And while I was weed whacking my little heart out, I discovered the quaint little garden plots. 2 of them. 5x10, with a little brick walkway between! (I also discovered Roger, aka Satan, a snake of some sort. Threw him out of the garden, twice. Wearing gloves, of course. YUCK! If he comes back again, Roger is going to lose his head.) Being the ambitious person that I am, I chose to dig out the plots. Yup, by hand. With weeds higher than my waist. A total of 100 square feet. Hard clay, huge grass bunches, moss, rocks, nasty weeds, and don't forget the snake...

Now it's so pretty! (well, as pretty as it can be, which isn't REALLY pretty, but better than it was.) The yard is down to stubble, the garden is down to pure dirt, and I have turned the dirt to get it ready to plant some veggies. Just tomatoes and peas, nothing more. Maybe some strawberries.

All the flowers in the front garden are pretty! There is some sort of yellow ones, some sort of petunia (I think) purplish in color, Iris, Calalilly, and a couple types of green plants. No idea what they are. But they look good! And I have some parsley, thyme, mint and lavender. I will be putting in some rosemary too.

Now for the disclaimer: I have never had a green thumb. If anything it is a black thumb, which is why I am good at weed whacking (it's really just killing things. :-D ) I hope these plants are still alive in a couple of weeks. This is how much of a gardener I am NOT: I do not have any of the necessary tools for gardening. I am borrowing a rake and shovel from a friend (thanks Abby!), and I don't even own a watering can (yet) or a working outdoor faucet for that matter. This means that I take a bucket filled in my bathtub and a small cup and water all the plants by hand. Makes me feel domestic.

BUT...I am getting tan from spending so much time outside! And trust me, that is hard for me to do. Mainly my freckles just grow together.  Which isn't a bad thing.

Ok, I think that is about it. The sun is shining and I keep thinking up things to do outside! (The list of things I want to do to my house is getting longer and longer, but that's another post for another day.) I am off to play in the dirt some more!!!!


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Updating my "look"

These are the new ones I have (cuz they are awesome!)
And these are the sunglasses I will be getting as soon as I pay off those ^ 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Monday, February 27, 2012

I love losing weight!

I went into the Dr's office today to weigh myself. 
(yeah, you read that right. I use the same scale every time. That scale just happens to be at the Dr)

Ready for this?

Since 12/29/2011 
I have lost

20 lbs!!!!!

Yeah, that's right.

It equals out to about 2.5 lbs/week

And all I have done differently is to eat healthier (foods as close to their natural state as possible)
Lots of fruits and veggies
and walking in the morning at least 3 days a week

That's it!
You too can do it! 
Just be confident in your ability to do anything you put your mind to

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The way to get things done!

Last night, I slept from about 7am - 11am. It's now 1:40am, and I am wide awake! No nap, just pure energy. I was put on a new med on wed, which I was to take at bedtime. Wed night found me not sleeping very well. Thurs night, same. Fri night, 4 hours in the morning. and tonight, still awake!! I called my Dr on Friday, and told him how I was feeling. I was so keyed up Thurs and Fri that I was getting worried. Fri night I couldn't sleep at all, even after I had taken my sleep meds. 2 hours later, still awake. So, I took another dose. 2 hours later, yup you guessed it. Still awake. Took a 3rd dose, but doubled it. Still to no avail.

You know the feeling when you have about 10 cups of coffee? Yup, that was me! Tonight at work I was so crazy that I was shaking. My heart was racing, but I got alot done!

So, I got home from work around 10:15pm. I sat down to watch a TV show on our TEVO, and when it was done (around 11) I totally wasn't sleepy. What did I do then? I scrubbed the bathroom with Clorox from top to bottom. Floors, walls, and ceiling. I have been looking at our bathroom ceiling since I moved in 18 months ago. It has ALWAYS had nasty mildew all over it. I couldn't take it any longer. Pulled out the ladder, climbed on up and scrubbed! It looks so pretty! I even cleaned on top and behind the water heater. SO GROSS. There were mouse turds on top of the water heater! How does that even happen?

My next project is to sand and paint my dresser black (not tonight, don't have a sander) and paint my bedroom. I have paint left over from the last time I painted my apartment, about 6 years ago. No idea if it is still good, but we will see! I think I am going to do it in a light tan (very light) it's actually called toasted marshmallow. Then there will be an accent wall of sage green. My bedroom furniture is black, and my duvet cover is chocolate. Throw pillows are sage green. I have considered going the way of my living room the last time I painted, but I would have to find a new bed set. Not that I would mind.

Look here for how my house looked with these color schemes. Right now my room is yellow, as it was the baby boy's room for the last people who lived here. I will have to putty and sand all the holes in the walls, and then prime and paint. But I am so excited to do it! It is going to look so awesome. I think I am going to do the bedroom the same as it is in the pics, and then the bathroom in the living room colors. That would be cool. That way I get both! (Guess I better make sure that this is all ok with my landlord.)

Anyone want to come paint with me? I did consider painting a really cool mural on my bedroom wall, but that would require that I have some artistic talent. Plus, I really like having my room calm and peaceful.

Alright, it's 2am, and I guess I am going to try to sleep!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sometimes I really hate medication

As many of you know, I have been struggling with severe depression for the past couple years. I found an anti-depressant that worked very well. The only problem: it was a contributing factor in my heart attack. SO, I had to switch to a different medication. I had actually already started tapering off just before the heart attack.

I made the switch to a new one, but there was a side effect that was unbearable. It caused severe dry eye and dehydration. As a result of the dry eye, I got corneal abrasions. If you want to know what they feel like, imagine the burning sensation that you get when you cut onions, add the feeling that you have a big something in your eye, and multiply the whole equation by 10. Yeah, it hurts.

I was given a steroid-antibiotic eye drop. (or several) Supposedly, the abrasions should heal about 6 weeks. However, I have to transition off of the anti-depressant and switch to ANOTHER one. Since I am still in the process of weaning off the 2nd med, the dry eye continues. I constantly put in (think every hour) this very nice eye drop called Celluvisc by Refresh. It is a thick gel that helps coat the eye. Also the steroid drops 4 times a day, and an eye ointment at night.

Needless to say, this has been terrible! But, I am on the last week of this med, so hopefully my eyes will heal in a few weeks. If you want to see what corneal abrasions look like, just google image it. Beware, it is a little disturbing.

Monday, January 30, 2012

These are my new favorite products.

I used them the other day. ALL OVER MY HOUSE. mopped my floor, deep cleaned my bathroom (yes, I got down on my hands and knees and scrubbed the baseboards and edges and corners) It was so amazing to sit back and enjoy such a clean house, and the smell was much more agreeable than Pine-Sol.

I cleaned out my cupboards and pantry, throwing away any expired foods, and donated all the food I wasn't going to eat. Wiped down all the shelves and rearranged the cupboards. 

Cloroxed the stove, even the fan above the stove. Top of the fridge and cabinets. Microwave too.

Yes, I am officially obsessed with cleaning.

Just call me OCD

Monday, January 23, 2012

more cleaning...

Today I did this:

took 2 of these

and 1 of these

and put it all into just this...

Which is now stored in my closet.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sometimes it is time to say Goodbye

I haven't felt or had the energy to actually clean my room for several months. 
It basically looked like this (this is not my room, but an example)

I hadn't made my bed in about 3 months. 
I would do laundry, and then leave it in the baskets and dig through it when I wanted to get dressed. 

I finally couldn't stand it any longer. Going along with my season of changes, I decided to change my room

I got rid of the following:

8 bags of clothes
3 bags of shoes (yes, shoes. I know)
2 bags of sheets
VCR + tapes
1 bag of garbage
1 bag of recycling

It was amazing how all of my clothes fit in my closet and dresser.
I finally decided I could part with almost all the clothes in the closet, because I didn't even wear them!
I even color coded my closet. 
And my dresser.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Changes Part 2

As an addendum to my previous post about the changes I am making, I have also decided to change the way I dress. A friend told me "even a barn looks better with a coat of paint." I am trying to dress a little classier than jeans and sweatshirts. If I dress better, perhaps I will feel better physically and about myself. So here's to outside changes as well as inside!

PS, I found a really yummy nut mix at Costco the other day. It is called Soy Energy Blend. It has soy nuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and cranberries. I also add walnuts, blueberries, pomegranate and mango. It makes a great "trail mix" that I take with me everywhere. It gives me a quick boost, and satisfies any sugar cravings I get.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Life Changes

Since the wake-up call from my Dr., I have decided to make some major changes. I need to lose weight, eat better, and exercise more. SO...Here we go. A friend on Facebook termed this "The Megan Movement"

  • I have given away all of my Dr Pepper and any candy stashed throughout the house  
  • I am cutting down on my soda pop consumption. To almost nothing.
  • I went through my cupboards and weeded out my processed foods and most of the prepackaged junk that I used to eat
  • I have begun eating healthier: more fruits and vegetables and salads
  • I will walk several days a week. Starting off slow, but working up to faster and longer
  • I changed from 2% to 1% milk.
  • From full fat Greek yogurt to non-fat Greek yogurt
  • I have resolved to eat fish. Probably not a lot, but fish none the less
So far, I am really happy with the changes I am making. I really do not having cravings for the candy and chocolate that I used to eat. If I do need some sweet things, I grab some dried fruit and nuts. Very yummy. When I have a salad, rather than using Ranch Dressing (my favorite) I drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar on it. I tried a pomegranate vinaigrette the other day and it was delicious! Now I just have to find some of my own. Rather than using sugar as a seasoning I have substituted cinnamon and other spices. 

The Megan Movement is also to inspire others to change. Whatever you feel needs to improve in your life, I encourage you to make the change. It is not impossible to change what we feel are habits or behaviors too embedded in our lives. Anything can be done if you put your mind to it. In some cases, it is a physical dependency, as there are very addictive substances out there. However, most of it is a matter of psychological choices. You can train your mind to be in control, rather than your body. I invite you to join me on this journey of bettering myself. Happy changing!