Thursday, August 31, 2006

Giggling in my office.

I'm sitting in my office reading a marketing book, and I'm giggling outloud. No one else is within 35 feet of me. So, if someone walked by my office and saw me giggling, maybe they would think I was crazy. When they said, "Why are you giggling," and I said, "I'm reading a book about marketing," then they would know I was crazy...

But then I'd read aloud this witty sentence written by Mark Stevens, author of Your marketing sucks: "If you don't have the guts to change the way you've been doing things, open your office window, toss out gobs of thousand-dollar bills, and you'll accomplish the same as you're doing now in much less time." The image of me opening up the window and tossing out thousands of dollars is very, very funny, mostly because it would be very's ridiculous...but it would probably appease those hoodlums who broke into a car in our parking lot a few weeks ago.

I bought the book pretty much because the front page made me giggle in Barnes and Noble. Now I'm giggling at my desk. And I'm learning stuff. So for the time being, we'll assume that a good thing is happening, because I'm having fun and learning at the same time.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Golf Marathon 2006!

Yesterday, 42 golfers gathered at 5:30am to begin 12 hours of labor for the Lord on the golf course! It was YD's 15th Annual Golf Marathon!

For the third year, Dr. Spencer (far right with daughter, Corrin) golfed on my behalf. Thanks to his hard work and dedication, he raised over $3000 thus far and logged 100 holes in one day! I am so thankful for him!

I was involved in a lot of the logistics of the day, gathering corporate sponsorship and preparing a lot of the mailings for the day. I also was extremely proud of the gift bags that were put together. Praise the Lord the hats I ordered showed up at 9am too!!!

Most of my afternoon yesterday was spent rescuing golfers in their nearly dead golf carts. Apparently, golf carts are not designed to hold a charge for a hundred holes. What?! That's not a normal thing to do?! I'm still feeling moderately exhausted after working for 18 hours straight, and my legs are riddled with bug bites...eeeugh. But, over $78,000 was raised for YD! Praise God for His provision!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Golf Marathon is Coming!

Monday is Golf Marathon, which means that I will be waking up at 4:00am. Why? Because at 5:30am, 40 golfers are going to show up to play 100 holes in one day to raise money for Youth Dynamics. Dr. Spencer will be playing on my behalf for the third year in a row and has set a goal of $7500. If you would like to contribute to my golfer, Dr. Spencer, click here.

For the past two months, I've been helping with a lot of logistics for the event, primarily in preparing the golfer gift bags. I have to say, that I was hoping for an Academy Awards style gift bag, with crystal duck statues, designer gowns, and original pressings of the Gutenburg Bible. But, maybe that's aiming a little high for year #1 as Gift Bag Coordinator...I mean, I have to have something to build to, right? And besides, what will a golfer do with a designer gown?

But today, I nearly shed a tear as I gazed upon my gift bags lined up so beautifully on the balcony of our log cabin office. And I'm so proud of the Port Authority Silk Blend camp shirts I ordered with embroidered YD logos above the pocket.

What I'm not proud of is UPS, who thought it would be a fun joke to reroute the embroidered YD logo baseball caps to Bellingham this morning instead of to our office? Now, my logos guy is on a UPS rampage making angry phone calls and telling them to get those hats here stat. GRRR. How dare UPS try to infringe on Gift Bag perfection.

Regardless, the golfers will be amazed when they open up their Paper Factory gift bags to discover their beautiful shirts AND hats, a complementary golf towel, extra golf balls and tees, pens and pencils, scorecards, and a Skagit Recycling litter bag filled with gum, Tic Tacs, Sunblock, Band Aids, and the ever-important heart attack preventer: Aspirin. (I actually typed that list out entirely for my own benefit so that next fall, I can open up my blog and figure out what was in last year's gift bags.)

So, stay tuned for next week, when exciting stories and photos of the 15th Annual Golf Marathon will resound from the heavens.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Native American Concerts are Fun.

Last week, I enjoyed the best Sunday afternoon that has ever been enjoyed in the greater Arlington area. That's not an exaggeration. The weather was clear and sunny...there were good friends around...and two classic early-90's bands were on the stage (Toad the Wet Sprocket and The Verve Pipe.)

We were at the Stillaguamish Tribe's Festival of the River. I'm not really sure what the point of the event was--because they gave us a free concert and then we left. Well, I take that back. Erin ate some Indian Fry Bread that she wasn't too excited about, and we ate a lot of popcorn, watched the concert...and then we left.

What the whole thing affirmed is that Arlington is full of crazy people, i.e. Belly Dancers and also affirmed that I apparently prefer friends with red hair, since I have several: Pam, Renee, SuzJ, Erin, and Jenny. And it affirmed that I know everyone in the world, because, the guys in The Verve Pipe are the cousins of my college R.A.

So. Next August, plan your life around Stillaguamish Tribe's Festival of the River. I'll be there, eating a lot of popcorn, belly dancing, and feeling nostalgic for the 90's.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

It's not your fault,'s mine.

This morning, I put in Natasha Bedingfield's cd on the way to work. I didn't really want to listen to pop at 7:30am, but listening to Glen Phillips' new solo album for the 27th time in 3 days was feeling unbearable. (I became a little OCD after hearing him live with Toad the Wet Sprocket and the Verve Pipe last weekend. More details on that later.)

The first words out of Natasha's mouth were simple: "I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you." What? Who do I love?? What in the world? How is this supposed to motivate me to go about my day?

The problem is that my Bible reading has gotten chucked out the window since I started leaving for work at 7:30am. My 12-week read-through-the-Bible has been stuck in Numbers for a month (and at the defense of Numbers, it isn't Numbers' fault. Numbers gets a bad rap--it's actually quite engaging. Seriously.) And now instead of filling myself with anything of substance, I'm hearing, "I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you."

So, I was fighting that internal struggle where I know there's a right answer, and I just haven't had the will to make it happen. I ask myself, what if this were a worship song? What if I was singing this to the Lord? At that moment, I nearly burst out in tears, because I realized how overwhelmingly I've missed sitting in His presence and reading His word this month. It was overwhelming to think of Creator God choosing to spend time with me while I instead choose to drift away in fanciful daydreams or cheer for Benji on So You Think You Can Dance.

I realize that if I really sang Natasha's words passionately towards the Lord, I'd be saying, "These words are my own, from my heart flow, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you. There's no way to better say I love you, I love you." It felt good to tell the Lord I loved Him, thanks to Natasha's words, but it also felt overwhelming. It felt like I suppose it would feel if your spouse or child disappeared for a month, and suddenly, after a month of not hearing from him or her, the phone rang, and you heard, "I love you." There would be grace and mercy there, I suppose, but there would also be that frustration and anger of, "Where have you been? Why have you left me? What are you DOING?"

So, I'm not really prodigal so much as 'easily distracted?' Maybe if you're easily distracted, you might as well run away. Is being distracted while still giving off the physical appearance of the walk and the talk worth anything anyways? Tonight, I'm going home to spend at least an hour in Numbers and Deuteronomy. I'm convinced this time will bring's been 6 weeks of distraction...and I have missed my time with the Lord.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Gary and Terrie (aka Lewis and Clark) star in "The Epic Journey West 2006"
...featuring supporting character Heather (aka Sacagawea)

On Friday, August 4th, Modern-day Lewis and Clark (Dad and Mom) arrived in their woodland cabin near Skykomish, Washington. They completed their westward journey in 10 hours. The first stop was at the nearby United States Postal Service branch! Skykomish! What a metropolis!! (Dad was particularly fond of the "Antique Stove Museum.")

The first big day trip was to Stonewater Ranch, YD's new camp property in the Cascade Mountains. Mom and Dad met lots of fun YD Adventures staff and learned how to pack food for 6-day rafting trips. They were super-impressed with the amazing 138-acres of land and beautiful lodging facilities!

After touring Stonewater Ranch, the real adventure was waiting in the historic Bavarian town of Leavenworth. Liederhosen, Christmas stores, big pretzels, and of course, the popular Leavenworth hat shop! It was hard for Dad to resist spending all of his spending money on fancy, decorative hats, but I testify that he fought the urges and emerged without a single purchase!

Throughout the visit to Leavenworth and the proceeding days, Mom and Dad received lots of introductory lessons to Whitewater. They learned about the major rapids on the Wenatchee River, and later, viewed the rapids up close and personal at Deception Falls, near Stevens Pass. In this photo, I'm saying, "See Mom and Dad! Class IV kayaking is fun!" Dad was not so convinced. He became very upset at the very thought of Class IV kayaking...(Deception Falls was a rather intimidating 'Beginner's route'...for sure...) But Mom reassured Dad that life always makes more sense if you read the instruction manuals. Fortunately, there were lots of instruction manuals nearby at the Interpretive Center to ease Dad's whitewater apprehensions.

Halfway through the trip, Mom and Dad decided to renew their vows. I was the only available person to perform the ceremony, so, I read aloud from Leviticus before re-pronouncing them husband and wife. They were thrilled!

Our last big trip as a family before Mom and Dad took a few more days to Honeymoon was to the little village of Seattle. There were plenty of fun sites to explore in this little unknown corner of the Northwest. I wanted to have fresh lobster for dinner from Pike's Place Market. Dad said, "No way! Take me out to the ballgame!" The Mariners were playing Tampa Bay, which I guarantee is not the most exciting sports entertainment in the area (especially with David Beckham arriving in Seattle that night.) So we just stopped by the field to say Hi before enjoying a nice dinner at Pyramid. Seattle proved to be rather extensive, as far as little villages go. There was the flagship REI, there was the Experience Music Project (with Robbie Robertson's guitar from The Last Waltz! My heart's joy complete!) and lots of interesting people-watching and site-seeing.

So, in conclusion, if you're wondering if a Northwest vacation might be right for you, I offer as Exhibit A, this fine photo of Dad, in typical Northwest environmental fashion, chaining himself to the trail entrance at Wallace Falls (where he was found chanting, "Heck no! We won't go home!") Apparently the joy of the week was overwhelming for him! So, if you're coming to visit, beware, because the region takes a hold on your soul and you will certainly feel compelled to stay! Mom and I were unsure what to do with Dad in his hysterical state, so we went out for Decaf Latte's at Skykomish's "Last Chance" Espresso Stand. All-in-all...a fabulous week!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Back to Work

I am back from my third trip this month. Whew. I'm excited to not be gone from the office anytime soon (you know how it is--spending several days unburying yourself only to feel behind and out-of-sync?)

But--I promise that in a few days there will be photojournalistic highlights from mom and dad's visit to Washington. (When mom brings her cable and plugs it into my computer.)

And get ready to leave comments, because the blog has been seriously rather comment-free lately...and that's sad. Leave comments!!!


Friday, August 04, 2006

Mom and Dad are Coming!

Mom and Dad are coming to visit this week. In case you forgot what they look like, here they are:

They're going to be staying in a sweet cabin in the North Cascades...halfway between Index and Skykomish (which is a fancy way of saying, "in the middle of nowhere!")

Well, kind of like the middle of nowhere, only with the amazing whitewater of the Skykomish River nearby. Look! Apparently mom and dad are already out kayaking, because I found this picture of them kayaking the Skykomish online (with Mt. Index looming in the background.)

There's nothing big on the agenda this week, during their visit. Some guitar playing and some hiking...and probably a trip to visit the Experience Music Project in Seattle. Ha HA! With their visit, I'm one tiny step closer to convincing everyone I know and love to move to the Northwest.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Meeting

Sometimes there's just no way around making yourself look silly during a business meeting. And if it happened anywhere else, it wouldn't be any big deal...but meetings in the professional sphere have this aura of "nothing weird or upsetting can happen."

Let's take yesterday for instance. I go to meet with a few business associates who are helping me with a project. I am poised woman of confidence. Well, sort of. I mean, I was wearing a nice skirt and carrying a professional-looking binder. And I was glad to meet with them and talk about the project. To make things seem really professional, we sat in a formal conference room and take notes while we talk. A complete aura of "nothing weird or upsetting can happen."

3 minutes into the meeting, it was apparent that I didn't really have a clear idea of what I wanted to tell them. I didn't feel like I was being that helpful. So...I begin feeling silly because they're looking at me saying, "Tell us what you want!" and I say, "Um...something good? Do you need me to be more specific?"

Throughout the process of already feeling silly, I reach down to scratch my ankle...and I feel something smearing on my hand. I look down, and my entire hand is covered in blood! My eyes about bug out of my head! I look down at my ankle, which I had so innocently scratched, and it is also covered in blood. Apparently my nonchalant mid-meeting ankle scratch had uprooted a beastly Owyhee River-created scab.

So now what do I do? How do you look across a table during a business meeting and say, "May I be excused? I'm gushing blood." It doesn't really work. It would really interrupt the flow of the meeting. So I did what any normal person like me would do: ignored it and pretended like nothing was wrong. All while still looking my associates in the eye, nodding, and providing interesting feedback.

Praise the Lord, I don't think they noticed. Although, should they ever read this blog, I suppose my cover would be blown.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Here's a link to news about the wildfires out here. I probably wouldn't notice so much if I hadn't seen the smoke myself last week on our river trip!

We were a day behind them, so we only saw smoldering...and a few random choppers...

The moral of the story? If you're going to be in a desert to fire season, make sure that you're travelling via kayak.

Focus on the Married Friends

If you happen to attend a church that uses the Focus on the Family monthly bulletin insert, you should know that the married couple on the August sidebar is none other than Suzanne and Barrett. That's right. I opened my church bulletin on Sunday, and gasped, because inside my church bulletin was a photo of my bestest friends who live 2000 miles away. I told lots of strangers: "These are my friends! I was in their wedding! Wow!" Of all the people I told, the head usher seemed the least interested.

My kids just looked at me and said, "Heather. You know everyone. It's not even interesting anymore."