Monday, June 27, 2011

At Last - CPA Swearing In Ceremony

You know you are too busy when it takes you over a week to post a blog about a BIG event in your life. Ok maybe some people wouldn't find this such a big deal. In fact, most would probably find the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy CPA Swearing In Ceremony (are you snoring yet?) a total bore. But for me, after a year and a half of studying, testing, getting up early, staying up late, crying over hard questions or long chapters, toting study materials with me everywhere...I was downright EXCITED. I know, nerd. I was excited to finally get my certificate, to see my family and to cap off this long process. Not gonna lie, it seemed a little anti-climactic considering I finished the exam last August and have technically been certified since October 14th, buuuut, they only have this ceremony twice a year so we'll just go with it. It started to sink back in the night before when I started trying on every variation of business professional clothing I owned. (I was happy to find a cute pencil skirt or two that can now return from the land of too-small, yay) After a clothing tornado, I ended up back to the suit I had planned to wear all along.

But anyway...

Trent and I hit the road somewhat early and headed to Austin for the 10 a.m. ceremony at the Palmer Events Center. Lots of people were introduced and recognized and thanked, etc, etc. The new CPAs all stood and repeated the oath. Then it came time to hand out the certificates. It was pretty reminiscent of graduation, minus the hot robe and funky hat.

Heading across the stage to get my certificate. He almost said my name right...but not quite.

Thank you Mr. Somebody whose name I don't remember anymore.

Lots more board members' hands to shake.

Ok, one cool thing about my last name moving from S to F when I got married is that I don't have to wait so long to be called on for stuff like this. The bad thing is that then I'm done quickly, the rush of excitement is over for me and I just have to sit and wait for everybody else to finish. Oof. I mostly just wanted to go hug my husband and family who were seated somewhere behind me in the crowd. But I sat patiently while everyone else had their moment to shine. One guy wore jeans (who does that...) I recognized a few of my Baylor classmates and my coworker Keith received his certificate as well.

Finally the ceremony was "adjourned" (don't we sound cool) and I started traipsing through the numerous people to look for my family. Finally I caught a glimpse of my mom through the crowd and headed her way. Up until this point I was just excited, glad to be there, enjoying it. But when I saw my mom, with tears in her own eyes, I temporarily lost it. Just like when I found out my last passing score, I didn't cry until I talked to my mom on the phone. So she's to blame for the happy tears. She hugged me and said "This is a big deal, Pie, this is a big deal!"

Hugs all around, then everybody wanted to see my certificate and I realized I hadn't looked at it yet myself. It is spiffay.

And here I am with my certificate and my main man, my sweet husband, my supporter and encourager. I couldn't have done this without him by my side.

~ sat and read at coffee shops with me while I studied,
~ sat at the Baylor library with me while I did my final practice test the night before each section
~ graded those practice tests for me while I walked around and tried to remain calm
~ made me breakfast before some of my exams
~ took off work to drive me all the way to College Station when the Waco testing center became unavailable when I had a test scheduled, then toodled around for FOUR hours while I tested, then drove me all the way home (after buying me flowers)
~ said "you can do it, babe" many, many, many times, when I dragged myself out of bed to study before work, when I got frustrated, when I got tired.

He kept telling me I could do it. And I did it.

After the ceremony, we all went to Olive Garden for lunch. I threw my calorie count to the wind and totally pigged out and enjoyed myself.

Sisters minus Katy. We miss you!

After lunch we and my family went out separate ways and headed home to Fredericksburg and Waco. Trent and I must have been in a slap happy spending mood because we stopped at REI and bought him new sunglasses, then stopped at the outlets in Round Rock where I got a Coach wristlet (see below), then when we got back to Waco, I got some new Teva sandals at Academy. And we went ahead and stopped by Michael's for a frame for my certificate. Whoo. I found the same frame and green matte that I got there two years ago to frame my diplomas, and, bonus, the frame was half off. Score!

Since I don't have an office at work, these will all just chill in our home office. They look great. I'm not sure if I will leave my certificate sitting like that, hang the diplomas a bit higher so it can hang under them, or hang it across the room between the closet doors where it would also fit nicely. At one point Trent said "Man, you have a lot of paperwork behind your name." Haha.

Close up!

And here is the Coach wristlet I got for myself on the way home from Austin. Since I got my coach purse (and wallet, and keychain...) with my bonus when I finished the exam, I thought it would be fun and cute to add one more item to top it off and commemorate the day that I got my certificate. Afterall, the C's stand for CPA, right?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Things I Learned on the 2011 CCC Mission Trip

Last week was the CCC Youth Mission Trip to Galveston, Texas. It was me, Trent, two other adults and 17 youth. We stayed at a church in Dickinson, which is about 20 miles onto the mainland and helped out Galveston Urban Ministries, a new ministry that Josh and Danielle Dorrell are starting up. We also played with sweet kiddos at the Wright Cuney Recreation Center close by and sent a small group each day to Streetscape Ministries, a place that helps feed homeless folks. It was a tiring but rewarding trip.

Here is our big group at CCC before heading out on Monday:

Here is the building we helped work on:

G.U.M. has this building and a house next door to it that they got together for $30,000. They were damaged from Hurricane Ike and needing a lot of attention. We helped move some lumber and supplies from the building to the house and then tore down old insulation from the ceiling in the building. Then we installed a lot of the new insulation. It was hard sweaty work but we got a whole lot done!

This is Josh, Danielle, Zoe and Baby Brother Dorrell, the family behind Galveston Urban Ministries:
They were great leaders, took care of us bringing us water, snacks and lunch each day. And they were a whole lot of fun too!

On the last evening of the trip, we stood in a circle on the beach and each said what we had learned from the trip. So here are a few things I learned.

~ Insulation makes a good bed? Itchyyyyy.

~Prayer and Bible study on the beach are awesome

~Girls are waaaay better at showering quickly under pressure than boys (we had one shower and 21 people)

~I can conquer my fear of unknowns in ministry with perseverance, including my cluelessness of how to minister to underprivileged, urban children

~the children in that area are precious and just want to be loved on

~Mission trips are exhausting!

~We made a good insulation installation team

~Trent and I make a good team

But we already knew that...

~this is an awesome group of youth

~My cat baby doesn't like it when we leave for a whole week

~Mission trips produce an epic pile of dirty laundry...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Hungry for the Word: How to Fix a Dog Chewed Bible Clasp

You may remember several months ago when Lucy chewed on my little Bible from Trent during our losing streak. I have been meaning to figure out how to fix it this whole time but tax season, May o' youth activities and mission trip caused me to put it off. I spent some time today working on some projects and crafts so I tackled it.

Besides some tooth marks on the cover, this is what Lucy did to it:

There is a magnet in the clasp, so I removed the magnet from the chewed off piece and trimmed the piece attached to the Bible so that I had a flat edge to work with.

Then I made a little pouch sort of thing according to the width of the remaining piece on the Bible and the length it needed to be to reach the other magnet in the cover of the Bible. I used some scrap fabric I had on hand. It doesn't exactly match, but it doesn't exactly clash either. I figure the Bible will forever have a battle story now so it doesn't have to look exactly like it did before.

I slid the magnet into the end of the little pouch thing then pulled that over the existing piece on the Bible. I had already tested to see if my sewing machine would sew through the leather using the chewed off piece. It was kind of weird to have my Bible stuck under my presser foot and needle but oh well, it worked. The only trouble was that the magnet inside stuck to my sewing machine... I just scooched it along and went slowly.

Success! I had no problem sewing through the soft leather and it ended up the right width and length.

The only problem is that the magnet kind of slides around in there and actually has room to flip over, therefore rejecting the other magnet instead of sticking to it. I may slide it to the end where it needs to be and make one row of stitched right below it across the new fabric clasp to keep it in place and on the right side.

So that is how I repaired my dog chewed Bible clasp. Hurray.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Will You Be My Mission Trip Wife?

Here is what my wedding ring looks like:

(Photo by Abigail Criner Photography) It's a lovely ring, don't you agree? Well, I didn't want to risk losing or hurting my lovely ring on the youth mission trip this coming week, so I went to Target and got a really simple, cheap ring to wear on the trip. I won't even bring my real one, just to be safe.

I brought the ring home and showed it to Trent, who was aware of my plan, then put it in my jewelry box and we took Lucy out to the hike and bike trail past the soccer fields that leads up to the dam. It was fun! (and warm) Lucy had a great time and was pretty worn out by the end. We were almost back to the parking lot and I had my back to Trent, who was petting Lu.

"Hey Anna," he said. I turned around. He was down on his knees (partly because he was petting Lu) and was holding my little cheap ring. I had no idea he had brought it with him.

"Will you be my mission trip wife?" he asked, holding the ring and grinning. I giggled and actually teared up a bit as I said "Yes!" He made a little sterling silver and CZ, $16.99 ring from Target have a special meaning. It is now my backup ring for mission trips or whatever else this youth ministry adventure puts in our path that I may not want to risk my real ring with.

I love my husband.

The end.