Yesterday we had an all day training session for Bare Escentuals.  It was fun, but mean.  Let me tell you why it was mean.  They showed us all of the new things for spring that we fell in love with but cannot access until MAY!  Look out for Bare Escentuals new all 100% natural lip glosses.  They're creamy (not sticky), soft, smell a bit like cake batter, and they do not make the lips tingle.  Come visit me in May and play with them.  I also fell in love with the brand new Bare Escentuals Buxom Mascara which is only exclusive to Sephora.  Perhaps the best mascara I've ever tried.  If you want BIG BIG lashes, go to Sephora and get them now!  I may not always love my job, but at least I LOVE the product.

On another note, it has been a beautiful week...until yesterday that is.  I heard the birds chirping and I could even see bits of brown grass peaking through the snow patches.  I am so over winter.  Then yesterday we got snow...a lot of it.  February is a tease, and I know that March is too so I'm ready for April.  Good news is that it is a BEAUTIFUL morning.  As usual, I am eating breakfast in my dining room looking out past the deck admiring the sunshine.  If Gloria were with me she would notice the snow and say, without fail, "It's not like Maui."  However, she is not here with me because she is in Hawaii with my mom and Kim Sims.  Good for them.

Enjoy the sunshine. Spring is just around the corner.



I went to antique auction tonight.  I have a friend who auctions/rings for Luther Auctions in North Saint Paul, and I wanted to see what it was all about.  
I sat there for three and a half hours, watching them sell random item after random item.  Everything from a beautifully hand carved grand piano to the emerald and diamond ring and earring set to the Gone with the Wind lamp to the mug shaped like Rip Vanwinkle's face.  
What do all of these things have in common?  They were all precious to someone at one point in time.  Antique and estate auctions are the ultimate showcase for the phrase, "one person's treasure is another person's junk."  Let's be honest, people store up these collectables or treasures, if you will, all of their lives, and then they die and their children sell them.  Really, who wants to take on their parent's collection of face-shaped mugs?  We can travel the world and pick up rare and seemingly beautiful treasures and in the end we have nothing to show for it, because we can't take it with us when we go.

It's like that old joke:
There once was a rich man who was near death. He was very grieved because he had worked so hard for his money and he wanted to be able to take it with him to heaven. So he began to pray that he might be able to take some of his wealth with him.

An angel hears his plea and appears to him. "Sorry, but you can't take your wealth with you." The man implores the angel to speak to God to see if He might bend the rules.

The man continues to pray that his wealth could follow him. The angel reappears and informs the man that God has decided to allow him to take one suitcase with him. Overjoyed, the man gathers his largest suitcase and fills it with pure gold bars and places it beside his bed.

Soon afterward the man dies and shows up at the Gates of Heaven to greet St. Peter. St. Peter seeing the suitcase says, "Hold on, you can't bring that in here!"

But, the man explains to St. Peter that he has permission and asks him to verify his story with the Lord. Sure enough, St. Peter checks and comes back saying, "You're right. You are allowed one carry-on bag, but I'm supposed to check its contents before letting it through."

St. Peter opens the suitcase to inspect the worldly items that the man found too precious to leave behind and exclaims, "You brought pavement?!!!"

Yes, I did just post a joke on my blog.  As if blogging didn't make me geeky enough.  I'm over it.

"Don't store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store you treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.  Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be." 
Matthew 6:19-21


Suit Up

It's quite the life trying to become a young professional.  This whole transition from a college student to a respectable adult is confusing and adventurous.  

I bought a new suit the other day.  There is nothing like wearing a suit.  Whenever I wear a suit, I feel powerful and confident.  When I "suit up," the world is my oyster.  A suit is the difference between a college student and a young professional.  If I show up for an auction in jeans (even super cute trendy jeans with cute boots) and a nice top, people will look at me and think, "she's 21...and unexperienced." However, if I show up with a suit and a padfolio (a portfolio with a legal notebook inside), people will say, "That's the auctioneer."  I truly believe in the dress for success philosophy.

Anyway, I bought this suit and I have had a good week.
1) Had an informational interview at Target. I don't expect to ever really get a job there, but it was awesome learning about other opportunities that were out there for me.
2) Did a public auction for two commercial real estate agents where I sold one lot which consisted of all of the equipment and furnishings in a restaurant that went bankrupt.  Although only one bidder showed up, I was able to learn more about auctioneering for legal purposes rather than just for fundraising.  It was my first auction of this kind and I was able to pull it off with credibility...thanks to the suit.
3) I booked another auction for April.  It's a small auction, but I get to assist in the planning a bit which will be good experience for me.

Not that all of these things can be credited to a suit, nor can my confidence.  However, I feel good in a suit and when I feel good, I deliver.  So in some sense, I credit the suit.

Also...the job search continues.  I applied for a couple administrative positions today, and am considering applying for a part time position as a cohost for a local TV shopping network in Eden Prarie.  Side note: working on QVC is a secret dream job for me.  I will also be going out to an antique auction house tomorrow night just to watch a friend of mine auction.  I would really like to gain more auction experience and I'm hoping to be able to get experience there, even if it is just setting up the items before the previews or being a clerk or ringman.  Ideally, I want to sell, but it all comes with time.  Wish me luck as I merge into this thing called adulthood.


Cats and Dogs

If you know me, you know that I'm not really an animal person.  I always grew up with a cat, but even then I wasn't totally stoked about it.  My current cat, Kitty, is the best cat we've had and he has begun to redeem cats in my eyes.  However, I'm still not a big fan of other peoples cats.  Right now I am catsitting for my grandma's neighbor, Mary.  The cat is a black cat named Bella.  She's a pretty cat, but I still do not really appreciate having her around.  She's all over my stuff and I keep tripping on her.  Stupid cat.  I guess it's nice to have a roommate though.

On a similar note, we (the Whitsons) have a new addition to the family...a puppy!  We've never had a dog before.  It's name is Cooper.  I hate that name, and I told my family that I refuse to call it that and I will call it pooper, puppy or kitty instead.  It's a little white puppy, and it seems to be more of a cat than a dog but it's good for us as we attempt to transition from a cat family to a dog family.  He's cute and my mom is utterly in LOVE with the thing.  The only problem is that puppy thinks the phrase, "Go Potty," means sit.  So we bring him to the potty pad and say, "go potty," and all he does is sit down and eventually he lays down on the potty pad.  It's cute and pathetic at the same time.

Not on a similar note, but fantastic nonetheless.  Valentines Day.  I got to see Nate!  I'm blessed.


Dry Clean Only

I hate buying clothes that are dry clean only.  I feel like it costs more money to maintain dry clean only clothes than it does to purchase it in the first place.  Kate, you know what I mean with all of your skirts.  The other day I bought Dryel.  You know, the dry cleaning sheets that you can use to "dry clean" your clothes in your own personal dryer.  Sadly I only got the refills.  Apparently I am supposed to have some sort of bag so that they can be steamed.  I thought about putting them in a pillow case, but instead I put them in a bag I owned that I thought might do a decent job.  They are in there right now.  I hope that it doesn't ruin them because in the bag I have three of my favorite articles of clothing:
- My little black wrap dress.  I'm planning on wearing it to a wedding on Saturday but Ellie stunk it up when she dressed it down to wear to school.  Little black dresses are not meant to be dressed down.
- My black wool pencil skirt.  It fits like a glove.  I got it on sale at Ann Taylor Loft a couple of years ago and has been a staple in my wardrobe ever since.  I don't know if I can go on without it.  I have not been able to find a black pencil skirt as perfect since I got this one.
- My highlighter yellow cardigan.  Okay, this isn't one of my absolute favorite pieces, but I still love it and don't want it to be ruined.  It's that material that after you wear it once it smells like B.O. even if you didn't break a sweat at all.  Gross. It's so cute and I've only worn it once because of it's need to be dry cleaned.  

All this to say that I really hope this works.  It will utterly break my heart if it doesn't.


Becoming an Auctioneer

So I am trying to figure out what my deal is with auctioning.  I have girlfriends who are my age, if not younger, who are winning bidcalling championships and doing multiple auctions a week, and here I am only doing a handful a year.  There is nothing I'd rather do more than auction.  This is a very serious thing.  However, I am scared out of my cute little cowboy boots of the whole idea of it.  I can't figure out why.  I understand that for my friends, it's a bit easier.  They are second or third generation auctioneers whose lives have consisted of only auctions.  It's like being a pastors kid.  You go to church events multiple times a week and your friends at school don't understand why you are going to church yet again.  With auction kids, they not only go to auctions they help with the auctions as ringmen and clerks and they eventually begin to call bids to help their dad's sell.  They can't have another job, because on weekends they are running auctions and they LOVE IT.  I envy that.  I wish my dad had been an auctioneer so I was more comfortable with the whole culture that comes along with auctions.  Right now it is all so intimidating to me.  Perhaps it's so scary because I am so passionate about it but fear failure.  It's like the people on American Idol who love singing more than everything and they but all their eggs in Simon's basket banking on winning American Idol to continue living.  Then they get to the second round and find out that they are not good enough to go any further.  What if that's the way it is?  I don't think it will be, but the fear still exists in my mind.  AHH.  

I get sick to my stomach sometimes when I think about what I need to do to get started.  Then again, I remember this same exact feeling when I was in Mason City at the World Wide college of Auctioneering.  We had to go up and show our group what we could do.  I had never uttered a single auction phrase before and I had to go after John Kisner who had been auctioneering for nearly 10 years.  I cried countless times that week.  I remember John saying to me in his little southern accent, "That smile is what's going to sell.  Your chant will come in time."  It took about 6 ten hour days into the course before my chant began to come, but it came.  Now I just want experience.

Sorry for that rant, but I just want to auction and it's killing me that I'm not.  If you think about it, pray that I will have the courage to just do it.


Pretty in Pink

I went and got my nails done today.  I picked out this deep magenta color, and when I asked Mary (the nail lady) what she thought of it she said, "It's...okay."  I asked her why she thought it was just "okay," and she thought I ought to be a little more festive for Valentines day, "Pink is better for Valentines day."  So here I am with Barbie pink nails.  I think the exact color was OPI's "That's berry darling," but I'm not positive.


Coincidence? I think not.

I remember sitting at my kitchen table doing homework.  I was sitting in the seat nearest to the backyard facing our front door.  I was in sixth grade and my parents were out of town so my Aunt Teresa was watching us.  Although I remember the moment clear, the conversation seems to be a bit foggy.  With the exception of one part.  We were talking about something, to which I replied, "that's lucky." Teresa responded, "No, it's providential."  
That was the first time I was introduced to the idea of providence: the idea, as Merriam-Webster describes, that God is the "power sustaining and guiding human destiny."  That moment, giving me a clear understanding of the workings of my Lord, changed my faith dramatically.  I began to understand that everything that happened, from the big scary things in life to the trivial joys, happened for a reason.  Imagine the peace that comes along with that! Nate pointed out to me recently that oftentimes when something unfortunate happens my reaction is, "Well, that's life."  Yes, I will whine about it for a bit, but in the end I know it is what it is and there's nothing I can do to change it.  It's life; it happened that way because it is part of the bigger puzzle.  Who am I to challenge God's will?  God's will is perfect and inevitable. 

This leads me to share my excitement for the Esther Bible study I am doing with the women's ministry at Evergreen.  It is Beth Moore's most recent study.  I have always loved Esther, mostly because she's a woman and God used her in powerful ways.  The book has also always intrigued me since I heard, or read rather, Chuck Swindoll mention that Esther is the only book in the Bible that does not mention God's name.  Why would it be in the Canon then?  Beth Moore argued that God ordained it to be included in His book because although he works in big miraculous ways (such as parting the Red Sea), he also works in ways that seem to be just ordinary life.  She shared the quote, "Coincidences are miracles where God decides to remain anonymous."  Going into this study I had no idea it would deal with providence.  I am so excited for it!

As I study the book of Esther over the next 9 weeks, I may get very excited.  I will most likely pass on what I learn.  Just a warning.