Thursday, January 29, 2009

Another Tip

I know, 2 in one week! Brace yourself!

Jessica's Tip #2

When using a toaster to toast your bread, make sure it's plugged in for maximum results.


I just wanted to write a quick note to say that I truely see my job as a blessing from God. I will have worked at State Farm for 5 years as of February 2! In some ways it went so fast and in others, I feel like I've been there forever! I know I talk about State Farm all the time and jokingly (but seriously) tell people they need to buy SF insurance, but SF truely is a great company.

The economic situation has affected every company and State Farm is no exception. But we are very strong financially because our investments are not really in the stock markets, so we are a lot better off than most large companies right now. In fact, an article on CNN the other day listed 13 companies hiring in 2009 and SF is one of them. Which leads me to my next point: what I love about State Farm is that when they talk about budget cuts (and us "little people" are involved in some of those discussions), they never bring up the laying off of employees. They talk about how we spend our money and what part we can all take in reducing expenses.

Having said all that, I am grateful and proud to be a part of this amazing organization. And frankly, I am secure in knowing that I am insured by them, too. It's nice to know that if I were to experience a loss (whether auto or fire), my insurance company is going to be there for me, not cut corners to save money, or heaven forbid tell me that they don't have enough money to cover my loss due to the economic crisis.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Just a little tip

So, recently I realized that when I am eating pre-packaged food like yogurt or a Lean Cuisine, it seems to be more satisfying if I put it into my own container rather than using the plastic ones the food comes in. It must be a psychological thing, but I feel like I am eating more of a real meal and thus, I feel more satisfied after I eat.

As my Yellow Squash Ravioli (which I totally recommend) was cooking in the microwave, I was reading the back of the Lean Cuisine box (what else was there to do besides watch the timer expire?). As I was scanning over the nutrition facts and other random information on the box, I noticed that this very tip was on the box!

So it must be true!

You should try it sometime!

**Please Note** - This is not a 'Tuesday Tip' (clearly; it's not Tuesday) nor is there going to be a weekly "tip" posting. I just wanted to share. So please do not set your expectations high and expect brilliant tips like this frequently. I can't handle that pressure!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Is it too late to post Christmas pictures?

I am finally getting around to posting pictures from my trip up north to see my family for Christmas. It was really nice to be with the whole family, especially since Greg and Charlie were both home from college for their Christmas break!

Tiff and Hannah
Charlie and John
Hannah is all smiles most of the time

Taylor loves New York!!
Sisters... watching Little Mermaid together. This is my favorite picture!

Charlie and mom

Hannah, climbing around.

Hanging out....


Greg and John on Christmas

Charlie and Taylor hanging out

Happy little hannah (and drooling Hannah)

Christmas Baby!
Taylor, probably watching Mary Poppins

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Broomball Video

I have a video of broomball thanks to my friend Ryan. He is one of my friends who I met in Montana (we worked at a large, retail store together). Ryan is an engineer and frequently travels for work and since he was in the twin cities, he gave me a call and we've been hanging out. Ryan came to my broomball game tonight and graciously offered to record a video of the game.

It's kind of hard to tell who I am because my whole team is wearing blue, but he kind of followed me around so I'm the person who wearing a black helmet and I am pretty consistently in the video.

Anyway, watch if you want, but if you aren't interested, no big deal. I wanted to post it though because some people have been asking me to. The video does not fully capture how amazing broomball is but it gives you an idea of how it works anyway.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

President Barack "H" Obama

No doubt today is historical.

Many of us witnessed the inauguration of President Barack Obama today. I suppose that anytime we swear in a new President of the United States, the day goes down in history, but this time it was historical in another way: the people of America elected an African American man to serve as our President.

Despite the fact that I didn't vote for President Obama, I must admit that I do think it's neat that we've come so far as to elect an African American president. Clearly some people are able to look beyond the color of a man's skin to something deeper: who the person is and what they stand for. (Although, I can't help but wonder how many people voted for President Obama just because he is African American. - probably not necessary to say out loud, but I doubt I am the only one wondering it - and I am sure some people voted for Hilary Clinton or Sarah Palin simply because they were female).

I watched the inauguration today, not just because it was an extremely historical one, but because anytime we swear in a new President, it's a big deal. Our country is being handed over to a new leader, to man who we are now called respect and honor by shear nature of his position.

While I remain skeptical as to what Obama will accomplish - after all, he sure made a lot of promises - I have chosen to remain open-minded about him in the sense that I will sit back and see what happens and not assume that I will be adamantly opposed to everything he will do and every decision he will make (however, clearly we will have differences of opinion being that I am conservative and he is liberal). And until proven otherwise (concretely, not just "rumors") I will also choose to believe that he truely has our country's best interest in mind as he makes decisions. And I will also believe that God did not "accidently" allow President Obama to take office.

And as a side note in regards to the inauguration ceremony, I thought it was neat that Pastor Rick Warren prayed for our new President today; it was very clear that Pastor Warren was praying to the Christian God of the Bible as he called Him by many of His names; names that only the God of the Bible goes by: Jesus, Eloheim, etc

So now, as we enter this little speck in time, a moment that will pass as quickly as it came, lets come together as Americans, supporting our country and our President. And let's also remain bold enough to live our lives in such a way that we do not compromise our own convictions. After all, that is what America is all about, isn't it?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Some are called to be Apostles, some to be teachers, and others... to be Minnesotans!

60 above zero:
Floridians turn on the heat.
People in Minnesota plant gardens.
50 above zero:
Californians shiver uncontrollably.
People in Duluth sunbathe.
40 above zero:
Italian & English cars won't start.
People in Minnesota drive with the windows down.
32 above zero:
Distilled water freezes.
The water in Bemidji gets thicker.
20 above zero:
Floridians don coats, thermal underwear, gloves, and wool hats.
People in Minnesota put on a flannel shirt.
15 above zero:
New York landlords finally turn up the heat.
People in Minnesota have the last cookout before it gets cold.
All people in Miami die.
Minnesotans close the windows.
10 below zero:
Californians fly away to Mexico.
People in Minnesota get out their winter coats.
25 below zero:
Hollywood disintegrates.
The Girl Scouts in Minnesota sell cookies door to door.
40 below zero:
Washington DC runs out of hot air.
People in Minnesota let the dogs sleep indoors.
100 below zero:
Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.
Minnesotans put the extensions on their ice augers and go fishing.
460 below zero:
ALL atomic motion stops (absolute zero on the Kelvin scale.)
People in Minnesota start saying..."Cold 'nuff fer ya?"
500 below zero:
Hell freezes over.
Minnesota public schools will open....... 2 hours late.
A friend sent this to me on Facebook and given our recent negative 20-40 degree weather, I thought this was appropriate to put on my blog =)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Life in Minnesota & What I've Learned

I can hardly believe that I have lived in Minnesota for 7 months now! In some ways, it seems I have been here so much longer than 7 months, and in other ways, I feel like I just arrived! One thing I know for sure, it has been both challenging and also an amazing journey. As I suspected, I have been challenged in far more ways than I could have imagined! And looking back, I feel like I have come a long way, yet still have a ways to go.

I would say the hardest thing about moving back to Minnesota is being willing to put myself in uncomfortable social situations in order to meet new people and make friends. About a month after I moved here, I was complaining about how I felt I had no friends or anything to do besides work. I think deep down I figured it would change, but I just didn't feel like waiting around to see what happened. I wanted to re-pack (well, I probably wasn't totally unpacked) and move right back to CA.

In an effort to help me see the light at the end of the tunnel and put an end to my pity party, my dad gave me some good advise (which, if you know him, that is no surprise; he is full of good advise and wisdom); he told me to not wait around for things to happen but to make it happen for myself. When I want to hang out, call someone I had just met. If I get invited somewhere, go! even if I knew I'd feel out of place. If someone invited me for coffee, ask if I could bring another new friend along.

As hard as it was, I tried to do just that. I failed at times but I tried. And I still try. And I still fail at times. Sometimes, it is so hard to make myself go to a place to hang out when I don't know many people. But I have gotten to meet some really cool people through being involved in different things. My heart still aches to see all my CA friends, yet I am overwhelmed at how awesome my new friends are!

I guess what I am trying to say is that I have learned that you kind of have to make life happen and be intentional about it. That means going out and socializing (with your closest friends or fun aquaintences), finding a new hobby, take a weekend trip to see friends/family in another state, joining a sports team, running errands, or even intentionally taking an evening for yourself to sit on the couch and watch the new season of 24 (which has been amazing so far) with a little Ceasars Pizza ($5 woohoo)!!!

Through this journey, I feel like I have learned a little more about who I am. And not only that, but to be more comfortable with who I am, too. This is me. Some people may like it and others won't and that is ok. Realistically, you can't be BFFs with everyone; that would be too overwhelming (and can you imagine the bridal parties?!). Seriously!

So that is just a little bit of what I've reflected on recently.

I feel like I can't publish this post without mentioning that it is -31 (negative 31) degrees here in the twin cities tonight - And, up north where my parents live is even colder!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Speeding Ticket... Averted.

How does one get out of a speeding ticket?

1- Don't know how fast you were going or what the speed limit was (or illude to such)

2- Get the officer talking about how the posted speed limit is unreasonably low

3- Tell the officer about a great place to take his wife on a date night

Easy as 1...2...3... =)

Have any good stories of getting out of a ticket?

Or getting a ticket, but made a valiant effort to avoid it?

Do tell... =)