Well, I had some connectivity problems, so I didn't get online yesterday. So here's some highlights. David Pogue from the New York Times was yesterday's speaker. OMG! He was histerical! He was sharing about social networking and stuff and just was great to listen to. I MUST HAVE his book "The World According to Twitter!" I think this will become our new coffee table book!
Today we had this guy Jason Dorsey who is called "the Gen Y Guy." Also histerical! Mostly funny because of how true it was. I actually didn't realize how much I am Gen Y... I thought I just couldn't tell time...
I learned quite a bit. Some interesting, some only interesting to me. I have a few things to bring back to change in the store, but not a lot. We're doing a really good job!
Oh, we had the awards banquet tonight. It was really nice! There were three awards given for Stuttgart: Laura Davis got an ACS employee award, Dave Roach got Lodging Manager of the Year, and Stuttgart got the training award again. They also mentioned the program awards, but since we already had our trophies there was no presentation. Ok, well, I'll be back home before you know it. (For some of you, before you even realize I'm gone...) I just want to leave you with this music video from David Pogue (yesterday's speaker). (Oh, and PS, iPad is here! WOOT!)
So jet lag hit with a vengeance today and I almost bailed on the after lunch lecture. But I survived. Remember me mentioning trying to keep the competitive spirit in check? Flew out the window. I nearly lost it when the game wasn't functioning correctly and I had the right answer but it wouldn't accept it. Luckily they said I could have my points back. Whew! :) Anyway, some of the sessions today were really good and some were just kind of so so. What I learned is that I am so lucky to be working in what I think must be the best example of MWR in the world! I am definitely spoiled by how much support we get, by how good our leadership is, by how well we all work together, by how much everyone cares about what we do and by how fantastic my colleagues are! (Yes girls, that's you!) The main message today was that we need to be changing lives. Which is great because that's the motto I try to live by every day!
We started the Symposium last night with an opening ceremony. I actually didn't realize what I was coming to, but it's a pretty big deal. They're sort of tag line is something like "taking care of customers means taking care of you." So it's training and stuff to make us better MWR employees. The thing last night was a little overwhelming since I knew almost no one (just the others from Stuttgart) and there was like 1000 people there. But it was nice. This morning starts the lectures and classes. There's also a scavenger hunt involved, which you know I couldn't resist. I'm trying to talk myself out of being obsessively competitive. We'll see how it goes. There's also an awards ceremony later in the week. We should be getting several awards for Stuttgart. I heard they will mention the program awards (i.e. Arts and Crafts being best in the Army) but since they already presented the awards it will just be a mention. That's fine. Being recognized in front of this many people would be a bit nauseating. Ok, well, that's the only thing interesting unless you want to hear about my jet lag and being awake at 4am.
So I started out 2010 with some news. One of the scrapbooking websites that I sell my designs on was selling. The owner had two other sites she was investing in but didn't want to close this one. It's called Ahhh Scrap and it has a pretty good selection of designers and a nice sized customer base to start with. I thought about it for a good long time before I actually offered to buy it. Then I worked with her for a month learning stuff before I paid her. Well, as of 1 January 2010, Ahhh Scrap is under my management! So if you buy digital scrapbooking supplies, please buy from that site!
My next new project was to learn Adobe Illustrator. This has been on my list for several years now, and I finally took the plunge and loaded it on my computer. I thought maybe I could teach classes at the store, but after the first few hours of online tutorials...... I don't know. We'll see. Here's my first two finished graphics:
They may not look like much, but let me tell you... they were a labor of love! These are for the participation prizes at Digi_ridoo Scraps in February. I always knew that the vector graphics were higher quality. I was just daunted by the program. I've been going through some training videos on Lynda.com and they are really good. I chose the 30 day free membership as a gift with Adobe Illustrator. Pretty cool! So, I hope there will be more fun graphics to come. The coolest feature is that when I draw with the Wacom it automatically smooths the drawing! Ok anyway, don't want to turn into an Adobe commercial...
The kids went sledding yesterday with the neighbors. I promise if they go again I'll go too and take pictures. I just really hate the cold. Really. The snow is beautiful! I just want to admire it from my living room window! :)
I finally got some pictures ready to show! First, the look of Christmas:
Magstadt is pretty covered in snow! I took the first photo from the street level, but that's what we see from our living room/kitchen windows. Since we are still getting settled in the new place I didn't feel like getting a big tree. So we decorated a little potted pine and put it on top of the desk. I really like how it looks! I used real cranberries for the garland and a bunch of cinnamon ornaments from Mary. And there's all the presents under the desk. We had a candlelight service at our church on Christmas Eve. Then our friends Steffen and Ariane, and Amber came over for dinner. They brought Ethan a Carrera race track. That's the three boys putting it together. I don't know why Ethan is slapping his head, but that photo cracks me up!!!! Ariane is a professional harpist. This is the smallest of her collection of harps. She played and we all sang some Christmas songs.
I don't have many pictures from Christmas Day. I spent the whole time running around the kids sorting the garbage for recycling and writing down what gift came from who. Thank you to everyone who sent gifts! Everything from everyone is really cool! New Year's Eve was spent with the youth group. There was about 30 of us at midnight. Some of the kids left after the fireworks but I think 15 of them stayed all night. I stayed awake all night running the DVD player and doing digital scrapbooking. A surprising amount of kids stayed up all night. Including ETHAN!!! Can you figure out why? We had champagne (alcohol free) with the kids in paper cups. Haha! That was my fault. But it was kind of funny! Then Rob set of fireworks in the church parking lot. There were some really cool ones but I didn't get many good photos. The new camera is AWESOME but I should have read how to get good shots BEFORE the event. I didn't think to put it on manual focus until it was all over. Oh well! The memories are good!