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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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