I have been a busy busy lady with my new part-time job but I wanted to give a little update on my life. I began wrapping gifts for those who hate it or don’t have time for it. It has really taken off and these days I have more than I can wrap but it’s been a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to the business that’s headed my way and I’m excited for my new venture!

Due to tomorrow being the Thanksgiving I thought I would end with the things I’m thankful for!

This year I am thankful for:

My amazing husband who never ceases to aww me and always keeps me laughing.

My job and the amazing feeling of working to make a difference each and every day. Also, my work friends!

My loyal friends who have been there through thick and thin.

My loving family that knows how to have fun!

My new beautiful home.
Well kids, its Halloween weekend! While three years ago this would be the time I would be calling all my friends and throwing together an awesome outfit… it seems things have changed.

Saturday, I spent the day driving down to Roanoke with Brad to pickup some furniture, working for a few hours and helping at Abbi’s (my 13 year old little sister in the Big Brother/Big Sister program) birthday party. It was one of the scariest things I’ve seen in awhile. Those kids were crazy and two of the boys had air horns… need I say more? One of the parents asked me is I was Abbi’s mother… I’m 24? That would mean I had Abbi when I was 11 years old. It seems Abbi had a nice time so in the end it was all worth it. It defiantly scared me on the having children front.

Today, I will be assisting in the kitchen at Judgment House. A walk-through drama my church puts on each year. This will be my third year helping as well as Brads. He is very excited to not be a tour guide this year; he’s making his theatrical debut as Driver #1. He assures me it is a very important role but due to his lack of name and lines, I’m slightly unsure. Haha.

The drama lasts for two weekends (Oct. 30, Oct. 31, Nov. 6 and Nov. 7) and up to a thousand local people attend. It’s a wonderful ministry. If you’re interested in attending it’s at Abundant Life Fellowship in Pilot, V.A.. We begin at 5 p.m. and it goes until 9 p.m.
I’m grateful for the truth about the community and world that I live in. Days like today serve as a reminder of just how thankful I am for my job. It’s unfortunate, but the majority of people around us have no understanding of how bad things are.

The percentage of Americans struggling below the poverty line in 2009 was the highest it has been in 15 years in the U.S. With the country in its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, four million additional Americans found themselves in poverty in 2009, with the total reaching 44 million, or one in seven residents. (NYT) In my opinion and based upon the 11% decrease in U.S. non-profit gifting so far this year, it won’t be getting any better.

Knowing about the realities in our community is just the first step. Doing something about it is the second. I’ll let you know the third if I ever reach that step.
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This is my best attempt of putting my last three months in a paragraph... or so. After we sold our place we moved in with my folks. It was quite an adventure. God bless my Rents for letting us stay with them, especially since we weren’t sure how long we would be staying because we had no new house plans except to find one. Turns out we found the perfect house for us and closed two weeks ago! I would say time flew but did I mention my husband and I were living with my parents… haha. In all seriousness it was a stressful transition but I feel very blessed to have such a wonderful family and amazing hubby.
In the weeks since our new place I’ve been getting things settled. We are pretty much done but to be honest we were pretty much done four days in. I’m not much of a procrastinator.

It's a work in progress...
Other updates: my bestie Brittany is having a baby boy named Landon in October/November, we hired a new marketing and pr gal named Karie at work (love her and so thankful to have her), got to be a CCIS pageant judge and tagged along with Brad on a conference in Williamsburg. Ok, that’s all I got for now.
Brad and I have sold our town home. We feel very blessed, especially since we have about 60+ for sale just in our area. We did it for sale by owner and only had it on the market for a few weeks. With that being said, we will be moving at the beginning of July and have no where to live. We actually haven’t begun packing… tons to do. One good thing about my job; I've got plenty of shelter contacts... lol. We are still weighing some options. There is even more to tell but I will just have to save that for another day. ;)
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Helllloooo from Chattanooga T.N. I’ve been extremely busy the last few days. I was sent out to T.N. for a conference. I’m always an excited person, especially with my job, but this conference has been wonderful. My focus has been resource development, which I’ve been doing in my career since college. But the non-profit world is a very different machine. You have to build upon the basic principles of resource development by actively engaging people in the cause and it all is done in a very different way. I have learned a ton of ideas to take back with me to V.A. and implement in my office.

Network. Network… Network. I have met some solid people who are amazing! It is rare in my town to come across someone who understands what I do and deal with on a regular basis. It is great to sit with others who share my interests and struggles and talk for hours about ways to improve. If I take nothing else from this experience I can guarantee to take two things; great new professional relationships and that you can never break a non-profiter’s spirit. Overall, I’m very grateful for the experience.

I will leave you with this, Chattanooga is a wonderful town. Ribs are great, museums are wonderful, FREE electric shuttle, choo choos, longest pedestrian bridge in the world was very cool and some of the best homemade ice cream I've ever had.
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My weekend was spent in the very hot and sweaty Cassell Coliseum. Friday, Bradley graduated with his Masters degree in Accounting Information Systems and Saturday, one of my bestie’s Jenny, graduated with her undergraduate in Environmental Science. Even though the humidity in that place was ridiculous, it was all worth it. I’m very proud of my hubby and Jenny! Congrats guys!

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Well it has certainly been a busy couple of weeks. I’m excited for June to come for several reasons; Brad’s 29th, work conference in Tennessee, vacation with the hubby to the beach and Carowinds with Brad’s parents, sisters, brothers, their wives and husbands and our nine nieces and nephews. It’s going to be awesome! I’m a huge ride junkie and love his big ol’ family.

Work has been going well. We have been staying very busy and I will be having my first event in a few weeks. Cross your fingers that everything goes well. I know it will though! If I’m nothing else, I am truly an organizer and seldom miss anything. Unfortunately, Chris, our Intern turned Information Resource Coordinator, has moved on to the big city. He was a great asset and will be hard to replace. He’ll be graduating though and doing great things with his life, I’m certain of it.

In June Theresa, a co-worker, and I will be headed to Tennessee for a work conference. Although I doubt it will be nearly as fun as the D.C. summit I missed out on, I’m excited to learn some new resource development techniques.

Unfortunately, I think that is about it. I would like to share on behalf of mother’s day that I’m very proud of my mom. Last week at the young age of 55, she took her first stab at the GED and passed! Way to go Mom! I’m extremely proud of my mother. At her age I know it was a hard task and something she didn’t have to do. She recently got a new job and is moving on to bigger and better things. You are a huge inspiration mom and I love you!

P.S. New gift Brad and I received below. Love them!

I know what the 8 followers that read this blog have been staying up at night wondering, “where has Justina’s blog posts been for so long?” Well, that is a fantastic question. Thank you for asking. At work, as boring as it seems. My life has been filled with work, trying to sell our townhouse, hanging with my new little, family activities and working out. Hasn’t left a ton of down time so I’ve been a lazy blogger.

Work is going great. There is always a ton to do in the non-profit world. I’m happy to have the opportunity to make a difference and love my job. Are there bad days? You bet there is, but I take the good with the bad and try to make sure that everyday I go in with a smile on my face! I’m five months in and things are going good. I’ve always said I like a challenge; let’s see what happens in the next year haha.

We just got our townhouse website up and running. http://www.cburg-townhouse.com/. We hope to be one of the fortunate homeowners to sell this year. With a million for sale in our area… you never know. Ours is priced to move and a great place, so we shall see!! Keep you fingers crossed for us.

I must say that we are a bit nervous about selling. Simply because we have no idea where we will live? We hope to find a cheap one bedroom apartment to rent and save some money. Or, I would like to move in with my folks for awhile. I know it isn’t ideal for anyone who is married but you can’t beat a free place to stay. Brad isn’t going for it. It’s still early though ;).

Other than that, life is pretty normal. Then again it seems to be baby making season around here. I currently know seven women pregnant who I know pretty darn well. Crazy. Maybe in another six months or so Brad and I will be lucky enough to catch what they got! Haha.

I’ll keep you posted.
My good friend Sarah is having a 1st ever giveaway on her blog called GYRO!

Enter TODAY to win a FREE $10 itunes gift card so that you can add that new playlist to your running mix.
Change in plans. I will not be attending the D.C. summit. I’m both relieved and slightly disappointed. I did like the idea of getting some good training and new ideas to help me out in my job. I didn’t like the thought of going on a whim. I’m quite the planner and the whole idea of planning at the last minute made me a bit of a nervous wreck. I try to think positive and hope that another opportunity will come when it’s meant to happen. I just want to be all that I can be at my job and push the envelope to really make things happen!

Today is day four of Brad and my T.V. fast. Things are going well. We spent a half hour or more in prayer together and it was really motivational. We wish it would have worked in our schedules to head to the church to pray with everyone but were glad to be with our church family in prayer.

It did feel odd this week not attending basketball games. Brad is an avid sports player and played on both church and open league with friends. The season ended on Sunday and unfortunately the church league lost in the championship game. In the end they all had fun and no serious injuries through the season. So all in all it was a win! As for next week… softball starts. Brad will be playing on a new campus league, then will come the church and/or open league. It’s never ending.

As for tomorrow, I will be spending some much need girl time/sushi time with one of my besties Brit!

I’ll keep you posted.
Today I found out I will be attending a United Way staff summit held next week in Washington D.C. I’m excited to learn new things to apply to my job and I've already picked which sessions I want to attend! Timing couldn’t get any better, seeing as how I have begun 2010-2011 campaign planning and haven’t created anything yet. As for the location… D.C. is ugly. Oh well, you win some you lose some. I’m excited but not looking forward to navigating the city alone for the first time. If I know me I’ll park at my hotel and never explore. I’ll keep you posted!

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Today I attended the advertising seminar at WDBJ7 and got a lot of useful information when it comes to the advertising message. I think the number one reminder that I took home with me is that it’s never about if a person does or does not like an ad. It’s about the results. I think this is something that is frequently forgotten. I know personally in my time at The Roanoke Times I would fall into creating ads that I liked. Sometimes the worst commercials and materials are the best ones. They stick with us. Plus, the best thing about advertising is the power we hold in getting individuals around us to memorize just about anything.

Example: Well I was shopping for a new car, which one’s me?
A cool convertible or an SUV.

Too bad I didn’t know my credit was whacked,
cuz now I’m driving off the lot in a used sub-compact.

F-R-E-E, that spells “free,” credit report dot com baby.
Saw their ads on my TV. Thought about goin’ but was too lazy.

Now instead of lookin’ fly and rollin’ phat,
my legs are sticking to the vinyl and my posse’s getting laughed at.

F-R-E-E, that spells “free,” credit report dot com baby
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My favs...

What were they thinking? I'm all for a risk but come on.
This one makes me thing of the Little Mermaid song "Under the Sea."
Got poof?
I have hips so mabe I should add an extra 5 feet of fabric on one of them?
Loose those flowers on your boobs and maybe we'd have something to talk about.
Day one of no TV, I must say is quite a success. I love the feeling of getting more things done instead of sitting in front of the tube. After work, as usual, I went to jazzercise until about 7:30pm, went home and made myself some dinner, this was followed by; washing the dishes, picking up around the house, folding laundry and putting it away, picked out my clothes for tomorrow and sorted some junk. Keep in mind it’s only 9:30pm at the moment. CRAZY. You get so much more done when you aren’t just laying there. Don’t get me wrong I’m not a total bum; I usually just pick days to focus on my regular shows. The problem is that I always justify it by saying I’ve been working hard all day and deserve a few hours of shows. Day one has been a success. This house is going to be spotless by the end of the week!

Who knows what this week will hold. I may start cooking and baking...

This week our church has begun a fast. I’ve decided instead of fasting, for fear of passing out spells which I’ve frequently had with anemia, I will be going without television. Starting Monday morning and ending after church on Sunday. TV and my regular shows are definitely one of my vices. The much needed time will instead be spent on prayer and the bible. Wish me luck!
Found out today I’m going to a small seminar at WDBJ7 to learn from Don Fitzgibbons, who is a Senior Marketing Consultant with Jim Doyle and Associates. I hope to learn how to better reach people in our area with very little money. The less money I can spend on marketing the more people that can be helped! I hope to learn something from the Guru of Ads!!

Don Fitzgibbons

Don Fitzgibbons is a Senior Marketing Consultant with Jim Doyle and Associates.

Don has over 30 years of experience in broadcast advertising, marketing and sales management. Don has always loved working with retail businesses. He began his broadcast career working with Jim Doyle at a Maine radio station in 1977 and went on to become a General Manager and owner of radio stations in the Northeast.

Currently, Don consults with television stations and specializes in advertising that produces measurable results. He works primarily with small and medium-sized businesses that want to stand out from their competition and significantly increase the impact of their advertising. Over the past eight years, Don has reviewed advertising strategies for over 3000 businesses around the country. Don has also worked abroad for the U.S. State Department to teach advertising and marketing skills at emerging radio and TV stations in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

We call Don the "Guru of Ads" for good reason. His nationwide experience gives Don a keen expertise in knowing what kind of advertising works and what doesn’t. His popular seminar, "14 Rules of the Guru," helps business owners, copywriters and TV production people learn how to get powerful results with the right creative approach.

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin in Journalism, Don has also completed graduate work in Business Management and Counseling Psychology. He flew 102 combat missions in Vietnam. Married with grown children, Don's hobbies include being a high school basketball referee and a (very) competitive Internet chess player.
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Exercise of choice… jazzercise. If you haven’t tried it, you should. I will soon end my fourth class to begin my fifth and must say it’s a lot of fun and surprisingly relaxing. In large part I think I’ve been fortunate to find such a wonderful instructor, Lindsay Long. She’s extremely energetic, positive and makes exercise fun. This last class I took four days a week but was only able to get into two days a week this time. I’ve enjoyed losing about 12lbs, especially if we begin trying to be parents this summer. I figure the best shape I go into a pregnancy the better I will come out. Plus, I’m a firm believer in working out to the same degree when I’m pregnant. Lindsay worked out hard all through her pregnancy and taught our class. As soon as her daughter was born she popped right back into place. I hope I experience that, if I’m fortunate enough to get pregnant!

First I must say I was outraged with Jake’s decision last night. I didn’t see it coming, regardless of all the things I read. I guess I have a girl crush on Tenley and thought she was so wonderful he would naturally pick her. FAIL. I hope Tenley finds love and Vienna and Jake have a happy life. It’s like I always say “To each their own.”

Next up… Ali is the bachelorette and since she was my number two pick I will be watching!

Moving on to my own life! Work is going very well. Staying busy and getting to put some of my crazy ideas to use! Brad and I had a wonderful weekend together at Glades Springs. I loved the spa! Unfortunately, I was under the weather but it was nice to spend some time together in a winter wonderland and not be painting our house or fixing it up for the sale. Since it will be going on the market in the next few weeks we don’t have much time. We’re very excited for the next year. I’m not 100% sure what will be in store, but it’s all very exciting!

Best Regards!
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Happy Valentine’s Day all!

I hope everyone has a happy valentine’s day. Brad and I celebrated today with some chocolates, a movie and some seafood! Overall it made for a nice date out!

My valentine found a candy he didn't like.

I was out rocking my new do. That honestly I don’t know if I like yet…

Tomorrow will be a full day. First is church, followed by a wedding, two basketball games and some much needed grocery shopping. Other than that my life consists of working and getting our house ready for a sale!
I’ll keep you posted!
I am a usual snow lover. I have always found that one of the best things about living in Virginia is getting to experience all the seasons, but… this snow it ticking me off. For the second weekend in a row it has ruined my plans. Last weekend Brad and I were headed with his family to take his grandmother to Charleston. The snow ruined everyone’s fun. Yet AGAIN this weekend we are trapped under a foot of snow. Ok, I live 2 minutes from Target, major roads and have a four wheel drive, we aren’t trapped but I’m still not a happy camper. This weekend Brad and I had planned a romantic get away for an early Valentine’s Day treat to be at Glades Springs Resort but the snow ruined that again. Ok, my rant is over.
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When you’re married or have been in a relationship with someone you often get a sense of the things they are interested in or what they want to do with their time. But sometimes they surprise you. One of these times happened to me a few weeks ago. As we sat down for dinner Brad asked me if I had heard of a sport called flyball. I of course hadn’t, seeing as how it isn’t exactly a popular thing. He told me that at work that day a coworker told him about it and he did some research to find out more. He went on to tell me the logistics and how the dog is expected to run over hurtles, kick a box, get a ball and run back. Dogs take turns and it’s a competition to see who is the quickest and penalties are taken for getting out of their lane or dropping the ball etc. He broke out a youtube video so I could see. I knew where this was then going and found it hilarious seeing as how Annie isn’t much for direction and training. She isn’t a good listener and I understand undoubtedly we are to blame for some of that. He proceeded to tell me that Annie was a natural athlete and made for this, which he insisted the vet had said. When in actuality all I heard the vet say was that Annie was fit. All I can say is that it was one of the most hilarious situations I’ve been in for awhile.

Brad at this point had already signed her up for testing to get into a training program that would last seven weeks. There wasn’t much I could say but good luck. The following week Annie was accepted to the program and Brad and Annie go every week for practice. It was funny to me because it was out of the blue. Brad isn’t usually the one in our marriage to jump at something. He’s the researcher. Just like when we buy something expensive. He looks up everything online, goes to all local stores and narrows the choices down to a few. Then I step in to pick from the few. I know it’s funny but it works for us. Otherwise I’d spend days being drug from store to store miserable. I’m still unsure how we will begin hunting for our next home?

In closing, I went for my first time to visit flyball this week. It was… interesting. The team dogs are really great but it seems like a lifetime further than the training dogs. It’s supposed to take a year for a dog to be ready to compete… at least that’s what I’ve heard. We shall see.

I’ve been my usual awful blogger self. Things have been going great. Staying busy at work, projects here and there. Bradley and I are headed out of town this upcoming weekend to Glade Springs Spa for a little Valentine’s Day treat. I will be meeting my new little sister on Thursday through the Big Brother/Big Sister program. I’m stoked to meet her and pray that we connect. I know how important it has been in my life to have gained a valuable mentor when I was young and hope that I can in someway instill the things my coach brought into my life. Wish me well! Aside from losing my camera last month, hence no recent photos, I couldn’t ask for more right now. Which is really just great, I find myself these days regularly looking around to realize how wonderful and blessed my life is. This possibly could be due to my new career path… but who knows? No matter how it’s come my way, I plan to just enjoy right now!
Christmas was good to the Sumpter family. Brad and I spent a lot of time with family, eating good food and opening gifts. Santa was very good to us.

Now that the New Year is here, Brad and I hope for a lot this year. On top of my list is a new house and possibly starting a family! Lots of things will have to take place before this can happen. We’ll take it one day at a time.

To keep me busy while we work towards our new dreams we’ve already got lots of plans in 2010. This year we plan to take a few trips like Vegas to visit our friends Sean and Annika, I possibly will tag along with Brad on a business trip to Boston in June and a few other weekend trips like Glade Springs and a Carowinds trip with Brad’s family! I’m looking forward to each trip and excited to go to places I’ve never been before.

A few other things to keep me busy will be my New Years resolutions. This year I plan to become a better Christian. I plan to do this by learning more about our savior by dedicating more time to the bible. I also plan to learn, or at the very least attempt to learn, to play guitar. I plan to rent a guitar for three months and possibly teach myself. If that’s not possibly I may have to take some lessons. I’m not much of a musical person so this may be one of my far fetched ideas.

I'll keep you posted.