Thursday, July 31, 2008

Minnesota Pics

I decided to start taking pictures, with my camera phone,
of some of the things I like about Minnesota.
Picture #1:

I am not a morning person and I definitely don't like driving to work at 6:45 am every day. The redeeming factor is that I drive over the Mississippi River every morning and I think it's really pretty. Half of this picture is "road" but I was driving so I didn't really want to take my focus off the road to focus on my picture... but you can still see how pretty it is.

Pictures #2-3

I went to downtown Minneapolis for dinner with a new friend tonight. I really like the high-rise buildings so I took a few pictures of them. I don't know why they are so cool to look at but I never get sick of it!

Picture #4
This picture is neat because, if you look at the building in the very middle, you can see a perfect reflection of the building that stands in front of it. I thought it looked really cool!

Picture #5

I am not sure how this ended up so abstract looking, but at any rate, it's another cool building.

Picture #6
This is on Nicolette Mall (named after an outdoor mall that lines the street for blocks).

There are people walking and biking everywhere!

Picture #7
This is me and my friend Ka, from work. We drove to Lincoln, NE together since we are in the same training class and this is a picture from our road trip there! I always have fun on these trips and looked forward to them (they are done now that my training in Lincoln is done).

Pictures #8-9

No matter what happens during my day or how unsettled I feel at times, it's nice to go my room where all the stuff is mine and there is a sense of familiarity.

(I don't usually make my bed and when I do, it looks like this haha)

Picture #10

My 2 favorite things about MN:

PS: I accomplished my goal for this week! Tonight I successfully drove down one-way streets the correct way!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

One-Way Streets

So, one thing I am not used to yet here in St. Paul are the one-way streets. Sure, I have driven on them before, but usually it's when I am in a big city that I normally don't visit or spend a lot of time in (like in San Francisco or parts of Sacramento). When I am such cities, I pay a lot of attention to road signs since I usually am trying to find my way to a new place. But when I am in my own town, and know where I am headed, I don't pay as much attention.

I was at the post office yesterday to pick up a package. This post office is about 1/2 mile from my house, so even though I don't fully know my way around St. Paul, I could mindlessly get home from the post office... so I thought.

After I got my package, I exited the parking lot, made a left-hand turn and crossed over the first lane of oncoming traffic. I was very quickly honked at. The first thought that ran through my head was, "yeah, maybe I should have waited for him to drive by before I cut across his lane of traffic. Bad call, Jess." Before I could compete that thought, I instantly realized that he was not honking because I should have waited for him to drive by before pulling out; I had just made a left-hand turn going the wrong way on a one-way street!

Luckily, my life was not in danger. Although there were a few other oncoming cars, it was clear they were moving out of my way. Once they passed by, I turned back into the other entrance of the post office. During this whole fiasco, I was leaving a voicemail for my friend who got a detailed and exciting play-by-play of the event (I realize being on the phone may have contributed to my lack of awareness at the time).

Obviously, I was a little embarrassed. The thing is, this is the 2nd time I have done this (gone the wrong way down a one-way street). The first time, I drove even further before I could correct the problem. Until I can master the one-way street thing, I am thinking I want to put California plates on my vehicle so that people can just shake their head and think, "It figures, CA driver!" I suspect people are already thinking things like, "Figures, a woman driver" and "Figures, a driver on a cell phone."

My new goal for this week: read road signs.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Weekend Pics/Video

Just a few pics of Hannah and Taylor from this weekend.

Right after this picture, Taylor leaned in to kiss Hannah and bobbed her on the head,
which of course made Hannah cry.
After I took Hannah out of the car seat to comfort her, Taylor climbed in and popped in Hannah's pacifier (Taylor only gets hers at bedtime)

I looked over and Taylor was busting a move to a song her toy was singing so I re-played the song and Taylor danced again for the camera!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


38° 31' N 121° 30' W


Nothing in particular

So, I am in Lincoln, NE again and I leave tomorrow. I actually had a lot of fun here. Probably because there were no tornados warnings this time! Oh yeah, and I am at a way better hotel. And I have been getting to know the Lincoln people so I have a few friends here now! I am sad to go back to Minnesota, but I plan on seeing my nieces and family this weekend so that should be fun.

I am still really missing CA. Nothing has changed there, except that I might be missing CA more than I did last time I blogged about it.

That is about it.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The girls...

A "Taylor" Video

Taylor eating yogurt like a pro...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Reality Check

Today, it finally hit me that I live in Minnesota. I am not sure what all the stages of "grief" are but I am pretty sure the first one is denial. That is where I have been stuck. At least until today.

I really miss my friends and family in CA. I really miss the people I worked with. I really miss the familiarity of the little things like knowing which grocery store to shop at, knowing how to get places and how long it will take, the radio stations I like, and feeling safe going for a walk alone.

I have tried to plug in here in MN and have been quite successful. I have a good job, a place to live with nice roommates, a new church that I love and I have met new people through work and church. I also love living close to my family. I am so glad I don't have to miss my nieces growing up anymore.

But, I really want to go back to my old life in CA... at least that is how I feel today. I feel like I have been on vacation and I am ready to go home now. Ready to sleep in my own apartment, in my own bed. Ready to go and hang out with my friends at poker night. Ready to grab my friends at work on our break and head to starbucks. I am ready to soak in the CA sun (I miss the dry heat).

I am going to take a nap now and maybe when I wake up, I will realize this move to MN was all a crazy dream.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

How to be successful...

Someone recently made a comment on their social network page that they want to be successful. I wrote them back with a few things I have learned about succeeding and thought I would post those thoughts here on my blog (and I added a few extra tips here on the blog). The following points are my thoughts based on what I've experienced and seen.

It is important to note that we all view success in different ways, so your list will be a little (or a lot) different than mine. Because of that, I think in the comment section you should add one or more success tips you have for me and other readers. It'll be fun =)

Jessica's Tips for Success:

1- You can't ever succeed if you are afraid to fail. Everyone fails. But you grow and learn through failures on your way to success so learn from them and keep trying!

2- Learn to make hard and tough decisions and stick with it. There may not always be a "right" choice but sometimes, you still have to pick one way or the other. So learn to make that decision and don't waiver from it.

3- Recognize destructive paths or potential problems and do what you can to fix it before it happens or gets worse. It's easy to just wait and make changes or decisions until you HAVE to. But if you notice the path you are on will get you nowhere, get off it and find a new path. To stay on a bad path only wastes your time and energy and lets face it, we aren't getting any younger! So, we should get off the bad paths (once we recognize they are bad) and get on with the rest of our lives!

4- Pay your bills. And pay them on time. Life requires good credit so always pay your bills.

5- Take time for self-development. Learn something you have been wanting to learn or you know you will benefit from. This could be anything from taking time to read books to pursuing your college education. And take advantage of the learning opportunities that are free; many employers pay for additional training for employees (sometimes it isn't even related to your particular role in the company) and many colleges offer free classes to help students improve writing skills, interviewing skills, etc.

6- Be a self-starter. Don't wait for opportunities to come to you. Go get them. No one is going to come and find you because there are too many motivated and qualified people out there who are begging for that job, internship, etc.

7- Be nice to everyone. You have no idea who you will run into again someday and who they may know! It's a small world. We all have stories where we have found out that two people who we know, from two totally different place in life, know each other!

8- Listen to the advise of others; even if it's unsolicited. Many people we know have "been there, done that" and can offer really good advise that pertains to a situation you are facing. Seek out wisdom from people you trust. Don't be so proud to think you can handle life on your own. News flash: You can't. You won't always take all the advise you hear; sometimes, their advise might help you discover what NOT to do. But at least listen and consider; it may not apply now, but you might come back to it. If you feel the need to roll your eyes and ignore the person who is giving you advise, refer to tip #7

9- Understand that not all things are within the scope of your control. I believe in God. I believe that there are things God allows to happen in my life and that there are things that God causes to happen in my life. Also, there are people all around us who make decisions we have no control over that directly affect our lives.

10- Be likable. Smile.

11- Don't judge others. I am not talking about making judgments about the people we interact with; we need to do that all the time (we judge a babysitters maturity before we let her watch our kids; we judge a friends driving skills before we ride in the car with them; we judge the faithfulness and character of a boyfriend/girlfriend before we commit to spend the rest of our lives with them). I am talking about judging the worth of a human being. We all sin, we all have flaws and we have no right to think we are more valuable than another.

12- Be open-minded (see my previous post on this topic for further explanation)

13- Take time for yourself and do the things you enjoy, spend time with people you care about, and try to laugh a lot.

I am sure I have a million more things I could say, but this will do for now. I have learned a lot over the years about finding my way through life. I did not learn all these things the easy way, and I am still working on many of them.

I am looking forward to hearing what YOU have to add to this list!