office expressions.

musings from my experience at the home/office.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Happy Hour

I just got invited to happy hour with some girl friends tomorrow, and I realized how incredibly long it's been since I've even though about happy hour.

The first obvious reason is because I'm pregnant, so indulging in a post-werk cocktail or glass of wine simply isn't an option these days. The other reason is that, as the.home.werker, the feeling of freedom and release you get from escaping your cube to a local watering hole just isn't the same. The need to vent with co.werkers about other co.werkers or intense situations just isn't there in the same way when you werk from home. In all, the self-medicating that goes on through happy hour office gossip or drinks just doesn't seem as relevant to me any more.

When the weather was nice and I had finished with meetings early, Jake and I would occasionally head out to a local patio (or our backyard) for a cold beverage and to enjoy some quality time together. But that was the extent of my happy hour activities as the.home.werker, pre-pregnancy.

Now I find myself craving a nice chilled glass of pellegrino water with a fresh lemon wedge as I wind down the That's my 'cocktail' of choice these days, now that I am living sans-alcohol and sans-caffeinated beverages. Cheers!

Drinking Pellegrino makes me feel like I could be sitting here!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Super Powers

I am swapping super powers these exchange for the ability to grow a healthy baby, I have lost my super power of a sharp memory somewhere along the way during the first and second trimester. Normally, I am the one (between Jake and I) who remembers pretty much anything I've had a chance to see/visualize. Things like names/places/times/etc. all come to me with ease. Normally.

These days, I have found myself in the midst of conversations, whether at work or not, and....


I don't remember, maybe it'll come back to me. My mind is completely blank.

It's just like that, mid-sentence and all of the sudden I have completely lost what I wanted to say only seconds earlier. It's been happening more often lately, and I think it's becoming more noticeable. At least I'm noticing because it's so frustrating to have something that is usually so solid for me such as my memory, become rather unstable!

Jake suggested that I start writing things down so I remember them, but it happens too quickly. Mid-conversation and I've forgotten the new thought I've formed based on what someone has I probably wouldn't have any luck writing it down in time either! Oh well, Memory, I hope you enjoy your little vacation, because I'm going to need you again some day!

I'm suffering from a case of pregnancy dementia. My apologies to any of you who are caught in its trap with me!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Conference Rooms

When I first started werking in, I got lost, a lot. It's a large, 4 story building with three "wings", and the layout on all floors is almost identical until you get the lay of the land. To make matters worse, the conference rooms are named after the exotic places where my organization werks. So unless you've got the 'capital cities of the entire world' memorized, and correct pronunciations down-pat, you WILL get lost trying to find your way to Ouagadougou for the first time.

My previous position was composed of overlapping, back-to-back meetings all over the building(s). Lugging my 15 lb. laptop up and down stairs in 3 inch heels all day long isn't something I miss. I also have not missed having to find, schedule, and provide directions to conference rooms...keeping fingers crossed that there is a conference phone in the room. I have not missed having to interrupt meetings that were going too long in the room I had reserved, or getting kicked out of a room because my meeting was going too long and someone else needed the space/conference phone.

As a regional employee, the only person who ever kicks me out of my office/conference room/break room is me...and occasionally Lexi when she needs a potty break. My biggest concern is hopping on the conference line at the right time, and hopping off before someone else needs to use the line I'm on. Which really isn't a problem since I've got my own conference line.

I love being the.home.werker.
Your geography lesson for the day.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Let's be honest, I'm now in my third trimester and hormones are taking me for a ride these days. I'm truly thankful I'm in the comfort of my home office most of the times that they start raging, because I fear I am dangerously close to crossing that line of being 'that crazy pregnant woman' at werk. Instead, veiling my facial expressions and body language behind the security of a conference call has helped me maintain some of my dignity with my co-werkers...and spared them some of my irrational-hormone-induced-wrath!

Things like missed deadlines, important project tasks falling through the cracks, and other 'norms' in the world of marketing where my professional life exists...these days, they are throwing me for a loop! Normally I am the one who diplomatically addresses these missteps with a smile on her face. Or I'd like to think that's how I am at werk.  These days I feel my blood pressure spike and hear the words I'd like to use in my head before I speak or type them, and I apply a heavy 'preggo-filter' before pushing send or opening my mouth.

I'm not sure if this is very healthy, but I am really looking forward to maternity leave for a lot of reasons. Especially since I'll need to give my hormones a chance to even out after baby is born, and I'm pretty sure my co-werkers don't need to be victims of that as well.

For now, it's time to step away from the computer and telelphone and go eat a cookie, I think.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Go To Meeting

Once a quarter, my larger department of about 50 people gathers for a day long meeting, outside of, to reconnect and share with one another. I usually make the trek down to the Springs so that I can catch up with folks in person, but since I was just there all last week...the trek seemed a little unnecessary. Plus I had a few other meetings before and after the all-day itinerary that might need to get bumped if I was in transit. My boss graciously allowed me to join the other regional staff (there's about 12 of us) on the 'Go To Meeting' virtual connection for the day.

I've been attending the meeting via a web cam and chat connection, and it's honestly been going really well. I'm more impressed with the way this is being run than most of my conference calls and webinars that I normally join.

It's good to belong to a group that is made up of a bunch of us 'regional' folks, who know how to run a virtual meeting with as little pain and discomfort as possible.(The audio is muted during breaks, the presenters have relevant power point presentations and speak to the web cam when possible, and the chat moderators cue us in to 'hard to hear' parts of the meeting in the room).

Plus, while everyone is on their lunch break, I get to scoot into the kitchen and make up some homemade sugo (tomato sauce) and meatballs for dinner!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012


It was 4am. I went to 'flip' myself over in bed, which is a complicated maneuver of slowly shifting my weight from side, to back, to side, using mostly my legs. When I went to swing my legs over, the instant pain of my calf muscles peeling back like a taught rubber band shot through my legs and my whole body tensed up. I've had charlie horses before, but this one was so intense I woke myself (and Jake, and Lexi) shouting 'owowowowowowow!'. The worst part about charlie horses is that they inflict a sore pain that lingers in your leg and makes you afraid that your muscles will rebel again at any moment. After I calmed myself down, heard Jake mumble something about how I needed to go eat a banana, I fell back to sleep. Only to be awake a short time later with a similar pain behind my right knee.

I know this is a common symptom of pregnancy, and I have been fortunate enough to skip this horrible step until now. But I'm already fighting against my body's tendency to waddle wherever I go, and having sore legs this morning is NOT helping me be waddle-less.

I ate a banana with breakfast this morning and I am chugging water. But really, I'm exhausted and feel like I never actually slept last night. Perhaps this is preparing me for the sleepless nights heading my way in three short months. But I'm tempted to take today as a 'sick day' and head back to bed, fingers crossed that my alarm will not be in the form of a muscle cramp! I've got one more meeting to get through and then we'll see what happens.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

February 14 Memories

The Valentine's Days of my childhood were always special because of one person, my mom.
My mom is talented in the way she celebrates holidays, from the themed pair of socks on her feet to the little gifts she has thoughtfully prepared for her kids.

Every morning on Valentine's Day I would walk to the kitchen to find the room decked out in fun red decor, and at my place setting, a card and some small gifts and candy. Maybe it was a CD I had been wanting or a funky pair of socks and some art supplies, what the gift was didn't really matter so much now that I think about it. It was the fact that my mom went the extra mile to make sure we knew how loved we were on this special day.

Sure there have been Valentine's days with and without boyfriends, and I *may* have worn black one Valentine's day that I was single with all of my girlfriends (oh, adolescence). But the consistency of my mom showing me love in this way was always something I looked forward to. After all, who doesn't love to know that they are loved? That someone thinks you are worth going the extra mile for, even if it's only in the form of a handwritten card or a gesture of kindness.

I miss my mom on days like today, and sometimes wish I could go running back home to my parents' house on 421 Merion Drive and sit in the kitchen with my family all together again. But time and life have had us all move on from that place, and the best parts of it remain in our memories and relationships with each other.

This Valentine's Day, I challenge you to love. To make a little extra effort, and show love more clearly to someone in your life today. It doesn't have to be romantic, just sincere. Make someone's day by letting them know how special they are to you!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Like a bat out of Hell

I'm back! I made my exit from like a bat out of hell this morning. I'm not a bat, and is not hell, but the expression seemed to fit as I drove 80mph north back to Denver. It was a great few days of meetings, and coffee-lunch-dinner discussions with some quality people. I even had a king sized bed all to myself for three nights, which is something my 6-month pregnant self thoroughly enjoyed!

During one of the presentations today, a SR. VP told a story about a girl in Thailand whose nickname was pronounced 'Meow'. Immediately, the scene from SuperTroopers came to mind, and every time he used her name, Meow, in the story, I couldn't keep a straight face. To make matters worse, SuperTroopers isn't exactly a wholesome family movie, so I knew relatively few co.werkers had seen it or would understand why I was laughing. Thankfully, my dear friend was there and caught on with me, and we had a good laugh about it during the break.

I am tempted to send this clip to the Sr. VP...but I never actually will. So here you go, enjoy!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Forced Prayer= Awkward

During my time at the land.of.cubicles this week, I've been able to connect with a lot of people and this morning I was able to attend our monthly chapel service. Normally during chapel, someone leads the group in guided prayer for sponsors, sponsored kids, and other things going on in the organization. This time, we were told to turn to the person next to us and ask how we could pray for them.

Trying to keep an open mind, I turned to the woman sitting next to me who I didn't know and we introduced ourselves. She immediately told me I could pray for her husband because he was unemployed. I asked her a little more about that and she told me he had just graduated from college and was looking for a job. Easy enough, of course that's something I could try to support her with through prayer...even though we'd never met before.

Then she asked me what she could pray for and I said "We're expecting our first baby, so prayer for energy and health for the rest of my pregnancy are really important."

She looked at me, and said, "Congrats...but really, other than generally, how can I pray for you?".

I looked at her and said, "This pregnancy is a huge part of my life and health and energy are really important to me. That's all I'm asking for right now".

My take away? Apparently being pregnant is too general of a prayer request to share with a complete stranger. I'm trying really hard not to be offended or ticked off by this exchange, perhaps she's never had kids or just doesn't understand how carrying a child impacts every part of your mind, body and soul.

I was uncomfortable with the situation in the first place, so perhaps her response wasn't the only thing that bothered me. One thing that is hard about werking in a faith based environment is that people assume because you are 'brothers and sisters in Christ', they have a right to know very personal things about you, even though you are in a professional werk environment. I have mentioned before that I am a fairly private person at werk, particularly until I feel as though I can truly trust someone as a friend. I have boundaries with complete strangers, so it doesn't necessarily matter to me if we share the same faith or not...I'm not about to have an emotional breakdown on you and tell you about all of my struggles and pain. Besides, I tend to be a fairly positive person, so focusing on negative things isn't really my strong suit. Sorry.

This post has become a bit of a 'venting session', but it makes me ready to head back to Denver and resume my home.werker responsibilities. Being a part of office culture in small doses is good for me, but I'm ready to go home and be back with Jake and Lexi.

Here's a humorous look into a related type of situation:

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pinch Me

I werk with some truly amazing people. I love when I get to connect with them in person and build relationships with them on both a personal and a professional level.

Today I have been in literal back to back meetings with some of the most incredible women leaders I have ever met. Talk about being inspired! These women are all clear thinkers, decisive, good listeners, and have worked hard to earn the respect of their predominantly male peers. They speak truth in love, know how to provide constructive criticism, and are excellent at not taking werk-related issues too seriously. Most importantly, even at high levels of the organization, they still get things done. They are active people who want to see forward progress, they aren't just sitting around waiting for someone else to take care of things for them.

I resonate with these characteristics on so many levels, and work hard to develop them within myself. But it's always refreshing to be around others who have raised the bar and care passionately for their werk. This is one of those days when I pinch myself because I can't believe I have the opportunity to have a seat at the table with some of these people. *Pinch* Yep, still here!
This poster hung in my room throughout Jr. High and High School. I still love Rosie!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Kind of Cranky

Day 1 of all-day-meetings at!

-I literally have a pain in the arse from sitting on horrible conference room chairs for 9 hours straight today. Baby D did not make the situation any better, except maybe to distract me with some crazy acrobatics after my spicy taco lunch. Does a lot of movement after eating spicy food mean the baby will like spicy food, or that the baby hates it and is taking it out on my ribs? Hmm...not sure about that.

-I took off my knee socks only to realize I'm really starting to swell more these days. I've never seen such puffy indentations from socks on my legs before. Oh the joys of preggo-swelling.

-Feeling guilty and angry because a former boss cornered me and asked me all sorts of very direct and inappropriate questions about my pregnancy and life in general, that I didn't know how to deflect or avoid. The person hasn't spoken a word to me in over a year, and all of the sudden thinks she has a right to tell me how big I am for how far along I am (i.e., thinks I'm huge), and to very illegally ask me if I plan to come back to werk after Baby D. is born. I'm so glad I don't have to put up with THAT every day for nine months,  and I'm very thankful for my current boss who is the most respectful and diplomatic person I think I've ever met.

-I'm hoping the outfits I have planned for the rest of the week are more comfortable than today's outfit. I'm really missing my maternity jeans and sweats already.

-Trying to avoid salty/sugary foods as much as possible, which will prove to be a challenge this week as I navigate through breakfast, lunch and dinner at restaurants this week.

-Relief: I think Colorado Springs is an aesthetically beautiful place, but I'm so glad I don't live here anymore. This place just never fit me right and even being back for a handful of days sometimes makes my skin crawl just a little. No offense to anyone who lives here and loves it, it's just not for me!

Only three more days to go!

Here's an ad in the Springs that is completely 'normal'. Obviously they have a target market in mind. Where do all the non-Christians go when they get injured?! (j/k...kind of).

Friday, February 3, 2012

Let it snow!

I feel like I brag about this every once in a while, but it's just so amazing.

I actually enjoy snowy week days because the majority of the time, I don't have to think about getting up earlier than normal so I can scrape my car off and navigate my way to If anything, a beautiful snowy morning outside my office window means I will be baking banana bread or cinnamon rolls, just to make the house feel even more cozy. Today, the baked good of choice was chocolate chip banana bread...thanks to those lovely over-ripe bananas just waiting for it to snow today.

We got 7-8 inches of snow over night and it's supposed to keep snowing all day today. Miss Lexi isn't going to know what to do with herself when she gets outside and sees all the fresh snow to play in!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Happy Anniversary!

It's been one year since I started my maiden voyage into the land of blogging as the.home.werker. In some ways, it's hard to believe the time has gone by that fast...but so much has changed!

Now, I am sitting in my comfy office chair at my lovely desk, typing on my relatively new computer...working both cell phone and land line with ease.

Forget those days of card tables, dell computers, and my battle ax nokia-not-so-smart-phone.

My husband and I have gotten into a rhythm of werking from home at the same time. For example, he is currently brewing beer outside while I am multi-tasking away in the home office.

Lexi has also become accustomed to our daily routine, and bravely joins me in the office, whether she's lounging on her bed or sleeping on my feet, her presence is always welcome (as long as she's not snoring during conference calls!). She also enjoys a mid-afternoon break for a walk in the park before the sun sets, a huge perk of werking from home is still being able to soak up some vitamin D in the winter while werking.

Some things that haven't changed much in a year?
My motivation to 'participate in the day' through changing my clothes, showering, and getting ready for the day before sitting down at my desk. I'm still half in my pj's and working on day 2 of no shower...don't worry, we'll take care of that later today. Gross.

I still am able to cook dinner and get some chores done around the house while taking short breaks from werk, although you wouldn't know it by walking in the front door today. Some days are better than others, what can I say?

I still love Pandora and haven't made the switch to Spotify even though I have an account. It's just not that big a deal to me.

I still have a great stack of werk-related books I need to get to, because they are currently serving their purpose as office decor instead of inspirational and self-help knowledge. Oops.

I still have the same basket of samples and projects sitting on top of my desk from my old jobs, and I haven't looked at them in a year. Time to do something about that...

I find this blog to be a nice creative break or release, and I love finding the images that go with each post. Here's to another year of the.home.werker! Thanks for reading along!
Happy Ground Hog's Day!

This lady's outfit just kills me!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


I love to be inspired, and it can happen at any point, any place, sometime even in my dreams or day dreams. Usually the best source of inspiration comes from other people, a certain phrase or perspective that gives me an entirely new angle to explore.

I believe we are all essentially creative people, but the way we express our creativity takes on a multitude of forms. Problem solving for a mathematician or engineer requires a great deal of creative energy. Pitching a new product or sale to a client requires deep understanding and the ability to create just the right environment for a client to sign on the dotted line. Composing music, delivering babies, balancing a budget, teaching jr. high students...without creativity infused into our daily lives, these efforts fall flat and unremarkable on the surface of our day.

I loved to be inspired to the point of creativity or creation, when I get the sensation that I've finally got some momentum, I'm picking up speed, and gathering strength and clarity as I go. I've got a vision that I'm straining toward and the effort will all build to a great and complete werk. (It's also probably why I werk well under pressure and procrastinate, knowing that the deadline coming at me with increasing speed will likely inspire my actions and my thoughts to personal movement).

Here's a link to someone who inspired me today: 
I've got a wealth of ideas circulating around his new book and study series for a project at werk, and I can't wait to dig deeper as I learn more and get my hands on a copy! I hope that you'll watch the intro video and be inspired as well.