Tuesday, March 19, 2013


That same training also talked about the importance of networking and talked about specific types of networks that are key to success.  It motivated me to reach outside my comfort zone and ask for a networking call with the SES 3-star equivalent that I worked for at the Pentagon.  To my surprise and delight, she agreed to meet with me and we chatted for 45 min yesterday.  One of the things that she said that you don't often hear as career feedback is to worry less about what those above you think and more about what those at your level think.  She told me about several jobs/promotions that happened for her because, unbeknownst to her at the time, an old colleague was now on the selection committee or in a place of influence and spoke highly of her.

As it turns out right now I am helping on the recruiting side for a 12 proposal bundle.  I immediately turned to old colleagues with the relevant experience and asked if they were interested in the opportunity.  The three that I asked were all very interested.  Today, I was finally able to assure that all three are being bid in key roles in this proposal bundle.  I loved doing that, it made my day.  I think this is an awesome opportunity for each of them and I had to advocate on their behalf (unbeknownst to them) for their inclusion.

I am seeing exactly what that lovely mentor said in action.  That is pretty cool. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Outside time

It is funny to see how kids love being outside.  They just instinctively want to be able to play and can stay happy with much less effort when you let them outside.  The interesting thing is, I think the same is true for adults too, to a certain extent.  I love being outside in the right conditions, shade, temperature, humidity, etc.   But even in less than ideal conditions, I am a happier person if I make it outside everyday.  So this spring and summer I am going to try to get my girls outside more often.  It is going to be awesomely fun.

We are kicking off our outdoors fun with a "staycation" ("just like SpongeBob!" was Audrey's response to the news) for her spring break this year.  Sorry folks in KS, we really wanted to make that an annual trip, but it just is not going to happen this year.   Though we would love to have visitors (especially while Audrey has no school - the last week in March).  There are several good parks nearby and we are planning some picnics, hiking, and biking.  Along with the usual playground time.  It should be fun.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

"To thine own self be true"

One thing I both love and get annoyed by at work is the ever present training requirement.  On the one hand, I love taking trainings.  I enjoy learning new things and new ways of thinking, challenging my brain in the classroom, etc.  However, the must take 40 credit hours every year thing can be a bit of a drag depending on my personal level of availability.  Anyway, the latest training I am taking (a four part series with 12 hours of class time and 7! hours of homework time, called "Making the Sale") required us to take the Myers Briggs personality test to learn about our own personality as part of the first class.  I always enjoy these kind of things, so I thought I would share (these links are all free)...

Take the MBTI assessment now

http://www.personalitypage.com/html/portraits.html - click on your result to learn all about yourself.  We had to do a write-up about our results, so I had to consult the Google for additional info - and there is lots out there about each personality type.

I am an ENFP.

If you do take the test, please tell me what you are...

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Food bucket list

Recently I was thinking about how I would like to try to make French Onion Soup from scratch.  So I "consulted the Google" and was brought to a lovely baking blog - The Brown-Eyed Baker.  She has this bucket list of foods that she would like to make at some point in her life and she crosses them off - amazing.  An idea that good certainly deserves to be copied... Here is my list (to be updated as I keep thinking - naturally).

Hummingbird Cake - completed March 2013
Carrot Cake
Coffee cake
Chocolate cake - completed July 2013

French Onion Soup

apple pie filling


Margaret's rolls
Sourdough bread


flour tortillas

Prison Wine
Ginger beer
Root beer
Limeade/Margarita mix

Sunday, March 03, 2013

New Car

This weekend I went car shopping.  We replaced our Odyssey minivan and our Civic hybrid.  I tried the Honda Insight, a Ford Escape Hybrid, and the Prius V.

We are now the proud owners of the Prius V (2012 edition with 14K miles).  It is awesome.  It has lots of space, comparable to a small SUV inside, yet the efficiency of a Prius.  And best of all, I transferred my old hybrid plates - so I still get to take advantage of the HOV exemption for my commute.