Sunday, December 30, 2007

my cold

Sneeze. Blow my nose. Sneeze some more. Sleep some. Watch TV. Sleep some more. Sneeze. This has been the nature of my day.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Flat Tire

I have no idea why, but the rear driver's side tire on our Pathfinder keeps going flat and we have no idea why. Sometimes it will be fine for days and then all of a sudden it is flat again.

Several months ago, Daniel took it off to find the hole so he could patch it and there is no hole in the tire. We have suspicions that a teenage boy who lives down the street may be deviously letting the air out of the tire at night - it never seems to go flat when we are other places.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Nomads for Christmas

We left Charlotte on Saturday and arrived in Nashville around 4 p.m. We were blessed to be able to visit with old friends and spend the night with Mark and Carolina.

Sunday we were up early for church and lunch in Hermitage with Marshall and his daughter, Brooklyn. Hillary was missing because her mother is in the hospital and things are not looking so good - she will be in the hospital for Christmas. I feel sick for my good friend and all that she must be experiencing this Christmas season.


Sunday afternoon was off to Murfreesboro to see Daniel's dad and a brief nap since we were up late visiting the night before. Then on to celebrate Daniel's mom's birthday and then back to spend the night with Daniel's dad and grandma.


Today was full of more visiting - breakfast at Cracker Barrel... lunch with extended family... errands and then to LaVergne for Christmas Eve. When in TN, we always have Christmas Eve at Daniel's grandmother's where we enjoy a meal with family, open presents and then Daniel and I spend the night.


So we will be in our third bed in three days. Visiting is always a treat, but there is a weariness that comes with it as well. I want to wish all of my family and friends who I will not see this year, a very Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Night Riding

Daniel and I periodically ride our bikes at night (Daniel more so than me). Tonight Daniel wanted to go for a ride and he also wanted to take me our for coffee... solution: we bike the 4 miles to Starbucks.

This seemed like a good idea to me until we were outside and I was freezing from the wind. I almost backed out - Daniel said I could drive there and meet him. But I decided to stick it out. The first 10 minutes were miserable, but we soon found some hills and my body started to warm up with the exercise.


Riding at night is different from the day. Maybe it is because it is December, but I love to ride and see all of the Christmas lights decorating people's homes.


I was actually sweating by the time we reached Starbucks. After drinking my coffee and cooling down a bit, I remembered that we still had to ride home and the beginning of the ride would be cold. It is much harder when you know what to expect. But once we were going, I was fine.


I definitely did not have to worry about calories from Starbucks since I probably burned as much calories from shivering from the cold as I did from sweating from the exercise!

Why don't stamp machines accept credit cards?

I was at a LONG line at the post office today. I think that stamp machines should allow you to use your credit card - in true Cheree fashion I did not have cash on me and I had to wait in the very long line and the only thing I needed to buy was stamps!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Stuff

Today has been a busy day for me - mostly because I procrastinate and have put off doing the "Christmas stuff." So today I have been busy finishing our Christmas letter as well as doing lots of baking.

We live so far away from so many family members that we have found it impossible to see both of our families during the holidays. So for us, every other year is with family or in-laws. It is nice to get to experience different family traditions, but I definitely miss it when we are not with my family.


Mostly little things make me miss my family. For instance today, while baking, I made bon bons (thanks Angela for sending me the recipe). It seems like when we are together, we are all in the kitchen making bon bons and talking and laughing. So today, I was in my own kitchen, by myself, listening to Christmas music and wishing I was baking with my family instead of alone. I guess that is the price I pay for living so far away.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Job Update

Here is the most recent update about job stuff: I am not sure where things are at between Aquent and Enventys. I have been having a difficult time getting information. I continue to pray that it will work out, but at this point, things seem to be at a standstill.

On a brighter note, I had an interview this afternoon with York Technical College in Rock Hill, SC and I am their newest adjunct professor. I will be teaching 3 back-to-back evening classes for the spring semester on Mondays and Wednesdays.


I have to admit that I am a little nervous about teaching, but I know the material well, so I am sure I will do fine.


The courses I will be teaching are: Intro to Graphic Design, Digital Photography and Photoshop CS2.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Our Fifth Anniversary

 

Has it really been five years since we got married? Last night we were reminiscing about the night before our wedding... pre-wedding jitters and excitement and being with friends and family. It is kind of surreal to look back at that time now. Daniel asked me if there was anything that I would change about the past five years and after a moment's thought, I said no. Life has not been perfect, but we have learned so much and grown so much.

 
 

When we were first married and so in love, it was hard to imagine that things would ever be better than what they were on December 16, 2002 and yet here we are on December 16, 2007 and things are better than we could have ever imagined. Our love has grown and we have both changed, but for good. Daniel agrees that there isn't anything that he would change either.


 

We spent the weekend in Hilton Head. Friday was gorgeous and sunny, Saturday was overcast and rainy and today it cleared up again. We really enjoyed our time there. It is the off season and felt more like a ghost town than a resort area. But so long as we have our bicycles, we are happy campers.


 

We ate at our favorite restaurants, talked with the locals and enjoyed the laziness of being on an island. Friday night we biked to dinner and then rode our bikes 6 miles on the beach back to our resort. It was awesome - we were able to watch the sunset, and then bike beside the waves since the tide was out. The moon and stars were incredible.




The weekend was a wonderful retreat from everyday life. It is so nice to step away from things and not have to worry about anything. 

 

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Waiting

I am still waiting on my job situation. The two companies that I am in limbo with are hopefully going to negotiate and work everything out tomorrow. It is tough not having any control over the situation, but I know that it will all work out for the best and I am prepared for any outcome.  On a happy note, Daniel and I will celebrate our 5th anniversary on December 16 (we actually remembered this year). We are leaving tomorrow for Hilton Head so we can enjoy our anniversary relaxing at the beach. It will be good to get away from all of the stress of the past week.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I will praise You in the storm.

This is an email I sent out early this morning. It recaps the past 24 hours and what has happened (actually not happened with the job thing). I just ask that you continue to keep me in your prayers.

This is a difficult email to write, but I need to ask for your prayers again.


Yesterday I was reading in Genesis about how God asked Abraham to sacrifice the thing he loved the most. So he took Isaac to the mountain. When his son asked where the sacrifice was, Abraham said that God will provide...


Yesterday, through no fault of my own, I found out that the hiring company and the placement company could not agree on terms. Devastated, I directly called the Creative Director at at the hiring company to see what was up (at this point I had been told I would not be hired after all with no explanation).


The hiring company told me they really liked me but could not agree to the terms financially. I asked them to give me a chance to talk to the temp agency. I called the temp agency and asked them to do everything in their power to get me hired.


The last I heard at 4:20 yesterday afternoon is that they are in negotiations on money. I have never wanted to work somewhere so badly. It is hard to believe that this was fully within my reach on Friday and now I have no idea where it stands. I also have my hands tied since I have a binding agreement with the temp agency and there is really no way to circumvent it.


I know that God will provide, but I selfishly ask for your prayers in this matter.


The Casting Crowns song,
Praise You In The Storm, has been on my mind this morning. I ask that you pray on my behalf and also join in praising God in this storm with me.

I was sure by now, God, that You would have reached down
and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen
and it's still raining
as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain,
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away.

Chorus:
And I'll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to You
and raised me up again
my strength is almost gone how can I carry on
if I can't find You
and as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away

Chorus

I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth
I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth

Chorus

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Bike Commuting

Daniel started commuting to work on his bicycle in April. Since then he biked more than 1000 miles and saved us a lot on gas expenses and general wear and tear on our car.

Now that I will be starting my new job downtown we started discussing the possibility of me bike commuting with him. In an effort to see if I was even up for it, we decided to make the ride this afternoon.


My new company is only 1 mile from Daniel's. So we got on our bikes and made the 10 mile ride past Land Design and on to Enventys. Going in took about an hour and was mostly downhill and a pretty enjoyable ride. Coming home we took a slightly different route and it took just over an hour.


Doing the ride back to back (20+ miles) really wasn't too bad. Some time around mile 15-ish I started to get some numbness in my feet and soreness in my tail. But as for riding one way, I am pretty sure I can handle it and will probably start riding with Daniel. I will probably wait at least a few days to get comfortable at my job and make sure that there is a place to park my bike. I am looking forward to the extra exercise and Daniel thinks we will save about $9/day on gas by not driving 2 separate vehicles. Even when we don't ride our bikes, we can still carpool.


One of our friends told us that we should get a tandem bike to commute on! I think we will hold off on that suggestion, at least for now...

Saturday, December 08, 2007

I.D. Magazine, Everyday Edisons & Answered Prayer

I am a passionate person. In the past five years, I have not had a job that I was even remotely passionate about and a part of me never dreamed that it was even possible for me to find that kind of job. Yesterday, a series of events, that I am still reeling over, led me to a job I can be passionate about.

Now for a little background: Several years ago I started reading the magazine
I.D. (International Design). It is a product design magazine that showcases new products from all over the globe. For me it was exciting to read about all of the innovations going on in the world. It also brought together engineering of products with aesthetic design which was exciting for me to share with Daniel.

Sometime last year I was flipping channels on a Sunday afternoon and I came across the show,
Everyday Edisons on PBS. It was a reality TV show of sorts. It brought everyday people together to pitch their inventions - the inventions were then taken through a production phase and then branded. It was very inspiring to me to see these everyday people sharing their ideas and then seeing them become reality.

Ok, fast forward to yesterday... around 10:30 a.m. I received a call from Aquent (a creative staffing agency). They had an immediate opening with a company that was looking for a temp-to-hire person. Immediate being I would start Monday. They gave me more information and I said sure. I received a second call wanting to know if I could make an interview that afternoon. Again I said yes.


At 4:00 p.m. yesterday, I headed downtown to
Enventys for my life to be changed...

Enventys is in a very unassuming building next to the Charlotte Rescue Mission. A brick building at the end of a dead-end street. I knew this must be a good place when I saw the parking spaces were so packed that I had to park illegally at the end of the street.


A bright orange door greeted me. When I walked in it was like walking into Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory - except instead of chocolate, they invented things. As I waited for my interview, I could see down a long corridor... there were all sorts of strollers in the hallway. Everyone that walked by was in blue jeans and had a smile.


Ashley came downstairs to give me the grand tour. We walked through the old building with different colored walls, exposed beam ceilings, wood floors and brick walls. I was in love with the architecture. She took me through the engineering spaces where I saw more product innovations and drawings on the walls for new inventions. Then she took me back to the filming room. I was blown away. I had no idea that the show,
Everyday Edisons, that I had stumbled upon, was filmed right here in Charlotte - in this location no less. All of the products from last season were displayed on a shelf. I could barely contain myself.

We walked upstairs through creative. The work areas were open and the computers were big and fast. Everyone was laid back and very friendly. I sat down with the creative director and I felt at home. We discussed the usual and then he told me that he didn't have a decision to make and could I start on Monday!!!


I will be working on producing the magazine,
Inventors Digest as well as design projects that encompass naming and branding newly invented products - it really runs the gamut for anything newly innovated. This is definitely something to be excited about. While Inventors Digest is not I.D., it is pretty exciting for me to be working on something that I am truly interested in.

As for answered prayer - I have to tell you that God works in ways that I cannot fathom. Since August I have been praying that God would lead me to a job that I could not turn down. I prayed that he would give me a job that would inspire me, something I would be passionate about. I prayed that he would shut doors (he did that with Texas). I prayed that he would give me wisdom and guide my steps. I know without a doubt that this is an answer to prayer and it all happened in less than a business day!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Christmas Tree

My sister told me once that Daniel and I need to have more traditions. We actually have some and we are building on them. Tonight we put up our Christmas tree - the one we bought at Big Lots five years ago when we were first married. It isn't much but it gets the job done - some day we will get a real tree.

Decorating the tree always brings back memories - there are ornaments from my childhood, a ton of "newly married" ornaments (since we were married right before Christmas, it seemed like everyone gave us an ornament), and then there are the ornaments we have been collecting from places we have visited over the past five years. We have them from Hawaii, Oregon, Hilton Head, and the Outer Banks. The more places we go, the more we have to decorate our tree with.


Tonight I made homemade hot chocolate - I found a great recipe online, then while listening to Christmas music we set up and decorated our tree. So that is our new tradition.

Surveys

My sister forwarded me a couple of surveys. I am not a huge fan of forwarding things, so I am going to just post my answers...

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? I think my Dad dated a girl in college who had a cousin named Cheree and he liked the name and so did my mom...


2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? I don't generally cry.


3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? It is not so great. I normally try to print for legibility.


4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? I like pretty much all lunch meat.


5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Nope.


6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Probably.


7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? I used it a lot more when I was in high school and college.


8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Yep


9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Yep


10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? There are too many to choose from...


11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Nope


12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? sure


14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? Whether they seem friendly or not.


15. RED OR PINK? Red


16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOU? I can't seem to stop biting my finger nails...


17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? my family - they all live 12+ hrs away


18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? NA


19. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Blue jeans and brown pumps.


20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Grapes


21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? silence


22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? I would be a different color everyday.


23. FAVORITE SMELLS? Anything that is baking.


24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? Daniel


25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Yep


26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Would rather play than watch.


27. HAIR COLOR? Brown


28. EYE COLOR? Blue


29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Nope


30. FAVORITE FOOD? Breakfast


31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? I prefer suspense (but not gory or stupid)


32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? 3:10 to Yuma


33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? Brown shirt with an off-white sweater


34. SUMMER OR WINTER? Fall


35. HUGS OR KISSES? Yes


36. FAVORITE DESSERT? Any kind


37. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? NA


38. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? NA


39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? SMARTS


40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? I have a track ball so no pad...


41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T. V. LAST NIGHT? 24


42. FAVORITE SOUND? Rain


43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? Beatles, but I really like the Stones too.


44. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? Time Zone wise, the airport in Narita, Japan (outside of Tokyo)


45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? I can blow bubbles with my tongue and blow them into the air - my siblings hate this talent!


46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Conway, AR but until I was about 10 I thought I was born in Hong Kong because I remembered visiting there as a child and I had no recollection of Conway as I moved to Papua New Guinea when I was 3 months old...


47. WHOSE ANSWERS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK? NA


CHRISTMAS QUIZ

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? wrapping paper

2. Real tree or artificial? as a kid: real, as a grown up: artificial


3. When do you put up the tree? Normally the day after Thanksgiving, but this year we are putting it up tomorrow night


4. When do you take the tree down? normally after New Years, last year it made it until March-ish...


5. Do you like eggnog? Nah.


6. Favorite gift received as a child? My dad made me an easel.


7. Do you have a nativity scene? I think I have a miniature one.


8. Hardest person to buy for? Everyone, I HATE shopping.


9. Easiest person to buy for? See above.


10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Must not have been that bad since I don't remember.


11. Mail or email Holiday Cards? I love snail mail


12. Favorite Christmas Movie? A Christmas Story


13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I procrastinate


14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yep


15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Pecan pie


16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear


17. Favorite Christmas song? There's No Place Like Home For The Holidays


18. Travel for Christmas or stay at home? Travel. Travel. Travel.


19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers? Uh - Yeah


20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star


21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Voyles Tradition: 1 on Christmas Eve, the rest on Christmas day. When we are with Daniel's family we open all the presents on Christmas Eve.


22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Traffic and shopping.


3. What I love most about Christmas? I love Christmas music, but I really have to echo my sister:
"Being with my family, drinking coffee, playing games and laughing (mostly at my brother) and remembering funny times in holidays past."
Merry Christmas!!!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Snoring at the movies and other interesting things...

Friday we worked on the house all day and then rewarded ourselves by watching 4 hours of season two of 24.

Saturday we worked on the house during the day and then went to see a movie at the dollar theater. We ended up seeing 3:10 to Yuma - which we enjoyed. However, the interesting thing that happened was we were sitting a couple of seats down from a guy who was alone who fell asleep and was snoring LOUDLY throughout the movie. At the end of the movie, he leaned over and asked Daniel why the movie ended the way it did - maybe if he had stayed awake he would know...


Tonight our life group went to a local nursing home to sing Christmas carols and visit with the residents. One of the women there asked me if Daniel was my husband. Then proceeded to tell me that he was handsome and I had a good catch. This was followed by her wanting to know why we didn't have kids yet...


We are now home working on hanging a grouping of 10 picture frames of various sizes on the wall. This is taking a while as Daniel is having to take measurements of everything, set up a laser level to ensure perfect symmetry and then double check all measurements on the computer with Excel. I am sure that as soon as we complete the project it will be perfect.

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