Marcy had the sisters over one evening for a beautiful girls night out on the patio. We had (virgin) mint mojitos, wood-fired pizzas, strawberry shortcake with fresh cream, strung lights, great conversation, and later, a bonfire.
I went to Tyler & Leah's wedding in Rittman -- a whirlwind weekend with almost more driving than being there. Bec, Laura, Joanna, and I left Friday afternoon and arrived in the early morning, then went swimming at a local lake with a group of other sisters. Anna picked me up mid-afternoon and we spent a casual afternoon catching up and doing chores around the house. I always really enjoy Sunday School in Rittman, and that Sunday we heard about how you know when you have peace - when your heart and mind trust and you don't have any doubts. It was a good reflecting thinking back to the time when I first had peace and how it has evolved since then. In a few more days it will be six years since I started walking with Christ and I am ever more thankful that this is the life I have.
One weekend Kevin & Cheryl invited me and another sister to go camping with them in their VW vans and I about died of excitement. Bec and I had the green one and I thoroughly adored being a hippie for two days. We met on Friday after work at the Farmington River and a few hours later were grilling hamburgers when Bec heard a sound. Cheryl, almost as a joke, went to check it out and jumped back in shock when it was a BEAR on the other side of the campers. A 300-400 pound adult bear to be exact. The next twenty minutes involved some banging of pots and pans, running to get the park ranger, and watching the rangers try to scare the bear out of the camp. Never saw a bear in Yellowstone and now I see one in Connecticut. Interesting. The four of us were pretty happy to be sleeping in vans that night rather than tents, though Bec and I both dreamed of bears that night.
One afternoon, I met a sister traveling in NYC for business and we did a double decker bus tour. While I am typically not a fan of touristy things, it was actually great fun. We didn't have to do any mapping or Subways or timing, just rode the bus and got cool views of the city and learned interesting tidbits. I'm really going to miss being so close to the city ... it has been so fun to be able to come in for the afternoon or a Saturday. From having only visited NY once before last year, now I buy ten-trip passes on the Metro North, know the different boroughs, and frequently get asked for directions. While I'm not the best, I know uptown and downtown and can generally figure out which direction people need to go to find their subway or airport. I would have never dreamed that I'd spend some time in my twenties living so close to NYC.
Up next: Cape Cod and then my family coming out to visit!
One Sunday evening early in June I drove to Englewood Cliffs, NJ, Unilever's headquarters to prep for a presentation the next day. At the end of each year in my rotational program, I present on the work that I've done and get the opportunity for visibility+evaluation by leadership. It's a pretty high stress environment -- though it shouldn't be -- simply because there are 20 of us in my year who all feel compared against each other. My friends and I (plus all of our other peers in other locations) spent weeks making our presentations and practicing in front of managers. I was glad to be on the schedule for Monday morning (get it over early!) and when it was over I had the next two days for networking events, training, and hanging out with my program class. And, of course, anxiously awaiting feedback from my presentation. Tuesday night when everyone had finished presenting we went on a harbor cruise around NYC... so yay for work perks.
After a nail-biting two weeks, I heard the results of my presentation and my next step. I had the opportunity to give input on my next rotation and had done lots of research on various locations and distances to church, the factory profile, type of role, product group, leadership, etc. One of the options I was considering was in southern Missouri, and the Silver Lining notices about St. Louis church kept coming to mind. I was contemplating where I'm at in life and asking myself if now was a time where I could be spiritually supporting a small church vs. having a close peer support group (eg SG), which is all I've ever known. The night before I found out, I just prayed that if I was meant to go to St. Louis then God would make that happen.
So here we are... the answer was yes. I received an assignment to be a production supervisor at our ice cream plant in Sikeston, Missouri. I will be supervising a line crew from Oct 2016 - Oct 2017 and I'll attend St. Louis church, which is about two hours north. Sikeston is 1098.8 miles away from Shelton and my Rockville home this last year, so yes when I found out there was some sadness because I'm leaving and starting over; but I'm glad too, for the opportunity and experience and adventure. I've made a lot of really great friends this year that I am going to miss so much, but I am at peace with this direction (and hoping for visits!).
In Sikeston we're going to be making most of our novelty ice cream for the eastern half of the US: Magnum, Breyer's, Popsicle, Good Humor, Klondike. An exciting development while I'm there is that we are beginning to make our Talenti gelato in Sikeston as well. If you haven't had Talenti, it is delicious -- especially the sea salt caramel Talenti pops. I would recommend even if I didn't work for Unilever!
So this makes my summer quite a bit more exciting as I savor my last month and a half on the east coast and plan for a mid-September move. I will be two hours from St. Louis, two hours from Nashville, and two hours ish from Memphis... Friends, get ready to come visit and eat some great southern food and of course ice cream!
I'm a twenty-something from the Pacific NW making home in new places as I follow where God leads.
My intent is to show Christ's love to the world and use business to solve some of the social problems we face: hunger, illiteracy, healthcare, economic hardship. For now, I'm in a stage of learning. A little adventuring, a few books, some good friends, and a whole lot of prayer and life runs on.