Nephew Love

Guess who is already 4 months old?



Positive Positive Positive Positive

Being a manager is never easy.  Can I say that again?  Being a manager is never easy!

The ups and the downs.  One minute they all love you, the next minute they all think you are out to get them.  Its a daily struggle, but one that I hope I am getting better at.  

Lately the mood in the office has been anything but pleasant.  We are going through a big transition and that means a lot of change and lot of refocusing.  To me this means great opportunities and a less stressful work environment.  To others this is just one more reason to complain.  Negative attitudes are like a disease.  They infiltrate the weak and latch on to those who are easily influenced.  It has become an epidemic in our office and the more complaining the more the morale drops.

By the end of last week I had had enough.  I had being dealing with bad moods and bad attitudes for the past month and was tired of everyone being disrespectful and down right rude.  I went home on Friday angry and frustrated, setting up a meeting first thing Monday morning to talk about the need for a serious attitude adjustment with my staff.   

On Sunday morning I went to church and listened to the message.  During the sermon, my pastor read a quote by Aristotle (he sure was smart) that made me stop and really think:

"You are what you repeatedly do.  Excellence is not an act, it is a habit"

On Sunday night I sat on my couch and prepared for my morning staff meeting.  As I sat there thinking, the quote floated through my head.

The last year of work has been hard on everyone.  Our director (who is no longer with our office) created pure and chaotic chaos (yes...chaotic chaos).  No structure, no positive feedback, no interest in what we did.  Day after day.  It had become a habit to be negative and angry.

So on Monday morning I sat my staff down and talked about this.  I talked about the struggles we've had, talked about the path we had all stumbled down.  I talked about my expectations for respect and hard work.

And then I did a super cheesy manager thing. I turned into an inspirational office poster.

  (you know the ones) 

Yes, that's right.  I said the quote: 

"You are what you repeatedly do.  Excellence is not an act, it is a habit"

If you repeatedly act in a negative way, it will become a habit.  I told them I understood how hard it is to break a habit (I don't even know how many times I've tried to stop biting my finger nails!), but it is not impossible. What if every day we made a conscious effort to be positive.  What if we walked into work with a smile on our face?  What if we walked into work and got excited to be there!  What if we stopped making a habit of getting involved in the office drama and the daily complaints?  What if our habit was to achieve excellence instead of failure?  Right now, the only thing holding us back are our bad habits.

Maybe I got through to them and maybe it was too early on a Monday morning for them to care about my motivational speech.  If anything, I have also had a change in my attitude.  I myself was not immune to the doom and gloom of the office and I understand now more than ever that to be a good leader you must lead by example.


Gator Count

Look at them there gaterrrs!
{you have to say it like you live in the middle of nowhere Florida}

Alligator Count today:


Have I ever told you that I get terribly car sick?  I won't go into too many details because just thinking about a moving car makes me nauseous.  This it perfect seeing I have to be in the car for a total of 3 hours a day, Monday thru Friday.

I can't read, write, or look things up on my phone.  My carpool companions know better than to ask me to grab something from the back while the car is in motion.  One turn and I'm a goner.  Think about how much I could accomplish if I could just read a book or work on a computer.  Almost 2,000 hours have been wasted away in the car.  I could have easily learned a new language by now, probably even two.

Snake Road is the worst part of the trip.  This 20 mile stretch of road is twisty and curvy.  Once I get onto I-75 I'm usually ok, but if the motion sickness sets in on Snake Road, its a miserable rest of the ride home.  Instead of expanding my brain capacity I just have to sit with my eyes closed or sit staring out the window (no sudden head movements!)

  So every day I count the alligators.  You may think that frantically searching for these giant beasts would make me queasy.  Its actually quite the opposite.  Maybe its because I'm concentrating on getting to the next number, but I always feel better.

come on alligators.....1.....
2.......2.........2...wait was that one?no...
  Each time I see one I scream with joy inside my head. After two and a half years I still get excited about them. 
My life is riveting.  


I Do

I've been thinking a lot about my wedding lately.  I guess no one can blame me seeing it is a little over a month away! The details are slowly coming together and I will feel relief when the day finally arrives.

I get butterfly's in my stomach, imagining the moment I will walk out onto the beach and walk towards my future husband.  I listen to my "wedding" song on repeat on the way home from work in carpool, blasting it on my ipod.  I can only imagine the emotions and the happiness I will feel.  I know that my imagination only gives me a glimpse into what it will truly be like. Surrounded by our parents and sisters, with the ocean waves gently rolling on and off the shell filled sand, the sea air whispering around us, will be a beautiful moment in time (fingers crossed for no rain :)

What I really like to imagine though is our life afterwards.  Maybe at first it won't be different.  Maybe it will feel a little bit like before.  But I know that it will be different.  I know that I will appreciate the sense of security and perpetuity.  I will enjoy the moments when I am called his wife.  I will take in the moments that we share together as a family, knowing that we are so lucky to have found each other.  When I lay in his arms I will know that we belong to each other.

 When I think about my life in five, ten, or twenty years I cannot quite see where I will be.  I don't really know where I want to live or if we will have a big or small family.  Will we still be in Florida?  Will we have one or two cats or just little Cornelius?  The only sure thing I know about my future is that Bobby will be by my side.  That the uncertainty of the future seems a bit less daunting when I know who's hand I will be holding.


Munching on Lunch

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of going to a grant workshop at the Fort Lauderdale Art Museum for work.  It was a two day workshop and it was just what I needed to get motivated to start trying for some grants.  It was nice to be surrounded by like minded people for a few days and I enjoyed being downtown.  The people, the hustle and bustle, the restaurant selection.  Wait...I'm sorry...there are 60 restaurants to choose from?  How can one decide?  At work it is either Osceola's Pizza or the Swamp Water Cafe.  Choices, choices!

Someday I see myself heading back into the city for a museum job.  But for now, I'll keep enjoying the peace and quiet of the swamp.  Hey..did I mention that the tiny gas station down the street from my office is opening a Subway soon?  Subway...yum!  Lunch is looking up!


Sounds of the Symphony

Bobby and I had a date night last week.  My sister and brother-in-law gave away date nights for Christmas this year and ours was two tickets to the Symphony!

We got all dressed up and headed to downtown Ft. Lauderdale to enjoy a night of beautiful music.

We walked up to the Performing Arts Center and were surrounded by the city's socialites.  You know the ones.  In their flowy scarves and dresses.  With their perfectly combed white hair and their husbands in sharp suites.  Talking about all that important stuff like politics and philosophy. We waltzed right on past the hoity toity and quickly found our seats so Bobby could admire the room.  He likes to point out all the things most people don't notice- like how much that teeny tiny microphone costs or why the room is shaped so funny.  

A little old man hobbled to our aisle and squeezed past us to sit next to me.  He turned to me and with a thick accent said "Ahhh...I get to sit-a next to a beautiful lady!".  I giggled and blushed and Bobby gave my hand a little squeeze. 

The music was lovely and the orchestra was great.  The visiting pianist made it look so easy to play the challenging runs.  It made me miss playing and I made a silent vow that I would practice the piano sometime this week. 

There were two British men sitting behind us and they must have been well known because everyone kept coming up to them and thanking them for being there.  They were even offered champagne at the intermission.  After the first song one of the men said to the other in his English accent:

"What did you think of the string section?"
"It was quite nice."
"Yes, I agree, it was quite nice."

It was quite nice.
Thanks Don and Elizabeth for the date night!



Pool side

I've been working on getting a little color.  Darkening that wintery and slightly transparent skin.  I like to go down to the pool on the weekends and soak in the warm sun.  The trees are flowering bright yellow and purple and pink.  The sky is a deep blue and the clouds are light and puffy.  I like to sit and watch them silently float overhead, meandering around the sky with the breeze.  

Three little boys splish and splash in the pool, giggling with such delight at their make believe games.  "Tween" girls stroll around the pool, making sure they are looking absolutely perfect. For who I'm not quite sure, seeing its just me and the family with the screaming boys.  The two girls finally get the courage to get into the water, but only far enough so they do not get their hair wet.  Thank goodness, wet hair crisis averted. They only stay in a few minutes and then scamper out to read their magazines and listen to their iphones.  I can hear Justin Bieber's voice carry over the rustling of the palm trees.  

I think summer is just around the corner.


The life of a Museum Professional

I saw this the other day and it made me smile.  Its a pretty accurate explanation of what we do at a museum.  I can't even count the number of times someone has asked me if my job is like Night at the Museum.  Ummm nope, not quite.   :)



When I was little my mom used to sing the song "K-K-K-Katy" to me.  It's a sweet song, sung by a stammering solider saying goodbye to his love called Kate.  It was composed in 1918 during World War I and was regarded as somewhat of a going away song.

Not very many people know of the song today.  When ever I think of it it makes me smile, remembering my mom singing me a special song with my name in it as she tucked me into bed at night.

K-K-K-Katy, beautiful Katy,
You're the only g-g-g-girl that I adore;
When the m-m-m-moon shines,
Over the c-c-c-cowshed,
I'll be waiting at the k-k-k-kitchen door.