Monday, September 29, 2008

The End of an Era (and the Beginning of a Better One)

September 26, 2008

I am writing you to officially tender my resignation from the NWPA Cleft Palate Institute effective Friday, October 31, 2008.

Working for Cleft Palate has been a great experience. I could not have asked for a better group of people to work with: from the staff at the Achievement Center to the volunteer Clinic Team and Board of Directors, everyone has been wonderful. I only wish I would have had more time to get to know the two of you better. I have grown in many ways here and will always treasure the opportunities provided for me by Cleft Palate.

I will be accepting a full-time position as Communications Director with Grace Church. While I will miss all of you very much, I feel that it is time for me to begin working in my field of Graphic Design and Communications. The offer came as a complete surprise to me, and it is an offer I cannot refuse.

I will do my best to finish my current projects before my last day. I would also like to return and help with November clinic, and will be available to you and the new secretary during the first two weeks of November, if needed. The staff at Grace Church realize that it is going to be very difficult for me to part ways with clinic and are willing to work with me during this transitional period.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. I wish you all the best.

Danielle Hartland

Photo I took of Hayden, the face of the organization.
You know what the craziest thing is? His family attends Grace now.

I feel a bit more free, and I have a renewed sense of and trust in God's sovereignty. This is all happening very quickly, but also at the exact right time. I don't remember what it's like to only have one full-time job! Of course, I'll keep up with r.s.v.p.designs, but I have a feeling that everything I've been doing at 80% will now be able to be 100%. I can't wait! Oh...I guess I'm not waiting anymore!

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
-Ephesians 3:20

Friday, September 26, 2008

I Have Perfect "Color Vision"

I guess that's good, considering what I do.

My results, after my first and only try:

Compared to others:

Take the test! Let me know your results. Maybe everyone gets a perfect score and I'm not at cool as I think I am. It's possible. Have a great weekend!

I'll have some exciting news to share come next week! And who knows, maybe I'll start blogging again.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Impromptu Day of Solitude (kind of)

I drove my parents to Pittsburgh this morning so they could catch a flight to California for my aunt's funeral. She died on Wednesday afternoon. As I was driving away from the airport, I had the sudden realization that I had no where to be. Sure, I had work to do, but I didn't care all that much. I was really feeling the need to be away and alone.

After helping Dave via phone and web to locate some files, I quickly came up with an itinerary for the day. After that, I scolded myself and got off of the computer. I put everything away and just started driving. My goal? Get lost, get out of the car, and walk. I didn't get too lost: I mean, it's Pittsburgh.

My Day:

  • Went to IKEA and just looked at the room setups. Got a free bag for filling out a survey.
  • Drove downtown and snapped some pics.
  • Walked around the strip district, shopped the street market, and took more pics.
  • Ate a sandwich and a pickle outside.
  • Spent 2 hours at the Andy Warhol Museum. (15 minutes were in the cloud room. It was so peaceful)
  • Bought a belt and a shirt.
My Pics:
I only took about 20, so I didn't have much to choose from. Here are some decent ones:

My Thoughts:

  • I feel better when I take time for myself. It doesn't need to be a whole day in a different city if I make it a bit more frequent.
  • God time in the car is one of my favorites. Especially when I catch someone looking at me talking to myself. 
  • I like to take pictures. I don't feel I'm all that great at it, but it was nice to do it for myself.
  • Mourning is very different for each person. No matter how it's expressed, it's still painful.
  • Sometimes I really wish I lived in a bigger city. I just love the energy. A city on lunch hour is a sight to behold.
  • Andy Warhol is really inspiring, so is his mom's handwriting. It is gorgeous.
  • Andy Warhol was seriously mental.
  • Andy Warhol was a genius.
  • Is it normal and/or socially acceptable to cry in museums?
  • It's been a rough couple of months.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Financial Peace University: Week 1

Dave and I had our first FPU class Sunday morning at Grace. I have to admit that I was nervous about the whole experience, mainly because I have a low tolerance for cheese. I was worried the video teaching would be cheesy and overly "motivational" (if you know what I mean). Dave Ramsey is a really great speaker. He's genuine, and it shows. I was pleasantly surprised.

Beyond that, I can see that this is a masterful program. Everything is broken down to a basic level, but it's applicable no matter where you are in your financial journey.

For the first time in a couple of years, I have some hope in the area of finances. Even though we're far away from where we want to be, the end is in sight. It's not as bad as I make it out to be, and we're going to be fine...excellent, actually. My main prayer at this time is that we'd both just jump in 100% and try it together.

This week we're:

On Saturday, ask me if we did it. 

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Two Announcements and, Hopefully, Many More to Go

I just wrapped up these two projects. The first is for a couple with a newly adopted daughter, using the photos I posted a while back. The other is for a dear friend who just had a baby. She took all of the pictures and emailed them to me. I edited them a bit and put it together. Both of these have been a joy to work on:

I'm currently working on an announcement for Morrow John Piper, which makes me more happy than I can explain. I can't wait to have it finished.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My To-Do List is Ever-Expanding

I'm not going to bore you with it.

In my quest to become more efficient and ... sane, I've been tossing around some different ways to organize my time and tasks. Over the past couple of months, I feel like I've lost the ability to plan and execute. It's bad. I've said, "oh yeah, I forgot" more in the past two months than in my entire life leading up to this point. That's not me.

Some things I'm considering (a.k.a struggling with):
  • My main time slots: god | marriage | home | family | friends | grace | cleft palate | r.s.v.p.designs 
  • Online organizer: But what if I'm not online? Pssh. Yeah right.
  • Smart Phone: Is this REALLY going to help? Or will it make me even MORE accessible and scattered? I'm thinking that having my calendar in front of my face at all times couldn't be a bad thing. It's the "getting instant emails" part that scares me.
  • Workplace effectiveness: How do I get work done in environments that require relational and team/cooperative working? Should I block out "don't bug me" time? I already spend one day working at home. 
  • Tracking Hours: I've started tracking hours for the things I do. I want to see a 30-day snapshot of how I spend my time.
  • Family/Friends: I don't spend time with my family and friends anymore. When I'm at someone's house, I'm either on the computer or thinking about something I need to accomplish as soon as I get home. I've lost the ability to be "present."
  • Marriage/Home: I work WAY too much at home.
  • Balance: I have one job that is taking off and is quickly becoming more and more complicated (this is actually a good thing). I have one job that is completely in maintenance mode and requires hardly any energy (this is not good - but is beneficial to the other job). I have a business that I really want to nurture because it's amazing. It also fits into my master plan of having an awesome job if I want to work at home someday.
What strategies do you use? Found any new tools lately?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Glorious Monday

That's an overstatement, I admit it. It was a good Monday, though.

I finally dropped my laptop one too many times out of the awesome laptop sleeve Dave got for me. I really love it, but it's just not practical. I went to Marshall's and got a Sumdex laptop/briefcase type bag. Here it is:

I highly recommend it (and the brand).

I also had a great meeting with Derek at Panera and laughed a lot. I ended the day working on web redesign issues with Rachel and Chris and then dinner with Rachel. It was a very productive day.

Most days, I feel like I'm just spinning and being pulled in every direction, depending on what someone else wants. Monday was different. I set my schedule, tasks, and agenda...and it showed in the end result. Today? I'll try.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Remember That One Time? When I Blogged?

Hello? Is anyone out there? Ugh. I'm sorry I've been M.I.A. Since I put my feet down on Erie soil this week (after our Myrtle Beach jaunt), I've been keeping an incredibly ridiculous pace. I don't know if I even have friends anymore, let alone blog readers.

For now, I'm leaving you with some pictures from Myrtle Beach. Dave will post most of them over at his blog.