It’s been a week for sure …

This week has felt a bit like a roller coaster, for good reason of course …

1. It was my first full week as the project manager for the software team at TBG.  The main thing for me is learning how to balance my time between the management part and working on my own projects.  It is a bit of an adjustment, but I know I can do it.  God will never give me more than I can handle.  Next week shall be a true test as the bosses are on a much deserved vacation.

I will never get over how much God has blessed me with this job and each person I work with.  It’s an amazing bunch.  I love that I have never not felt appreciated by everyone there, and that if I doubt myself my boss will look at me and go “You can do it.”  They never doubt our ability to accomplish and learn new things.  In the past year and four months, I have learned more things than I can count and for that I am eternally grateful.

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American Dreams

~ This is an interesting essay I wrote in my Essay Writing course my junior year of college.

It is Thanksgiving Day 1996, and the U-HAUL truck is backed into our tiny one-car driveway, back open, nearly full with everything my family has collected the 14 years we have lived in this house. My brother and I, young and excited, help our parents by carrying the light boxes into the garage so that they can load them into the truck. Above us the sky threatens to rain on our parade at any moment. We continue to help my parents, making a game of every moment, while we spend our last moments in that home.

All 11 years of my life have been spent in this three-bedroom, 1,248 square-feet home. The grey-bricked, pale-blue and white trimmed structure was the first home my parents owned together. They moved in September 1982 and rented it until they purchased it the month I was born in 1985. The small, cozy rooms house not just furniture, but our memories.

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What Girl Scouts means to me …

I joined the Girl Scouts in fall 1991 as a Brownie Scout in Troop 466 and never looked back.  When I graduated from high school in 2003, my troop (now #262) was a combination of three troops.  There were five of us, from three different cities and each of us went to a different high school.  We were quite the bunch, and Girl Scouts for us was “social hour” and volunteering in our service unit, churches and community. 

On this, the Girl Scouts of the USA’s 100th Birthday, I feel extra proud to be a part of something that does so much for so many girls and women (and men).  The Girl Scouts is more than just selling cookies, as many outside of the organization perceive it to be.  It has provided me with so many opportunities that I would not have had otherwise, I met some of the best friends I will ever have in my life, and it taught me a lot of things about being a strong, confident women.

I want to reflect on some of my memories of being a Scout …

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

So this weekend is a “free” weekend; i.e. I’m not in Little Rock, nor did my boyfriend didn’t come up.  I love these weekends.  Not that I don’t enjoy spending time with “the boy”; it’s just nice to only have to entertain myself and be on my time and move at my pace.  There is usually a point during these weekends where the loneliness settles in, and I miss having someone around.  When you get used to that, it’s weird for there to not be someone around, especially if you’ve been on the go for several weekends on end.

Anyway, I woke up yesterday about 5:30 a.m. or so, but dozed off and on until 8:15 when I determined it was definitely time to get up.  I ventured out at 10 a.m. and spent some money at Target, Kohl’s, Old Navy, Best Buy, Penny’s, and “baby” Wal-Mart.  Generally, about this time every year I like to buy some new clothes and weed out some old ones – I’ve yet to do the weeding.  I ended up with a new pair of black pants, a few tops, a new cardigan, a skirt and a dress. 

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“Little Black Dress”

Little Black Dress by Susan McBride Dates Read02/26/2012-02/28/2012 I really enjoyed “Little Black Dress” by Susan McBride. It was a quick, page-turning read. This story is about three women, two sisters and a daughter, and a little black dress. Each chapter alternates between Evie and Toni’s point-of-view. Evie’s point-of-view takes place during the 1960s, while Toni’s is current day. Evie’s sister, Annabelle, is the first of three women to experience the power of the dress, which when one of them puts it on, fits perfectly and shows them a brief vision of the future. This aspect of the story is somewhat reminiscent of “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”. I think this book has a good message of forgiveness and being there for your family even if you have hesitations, fears or “better” things to do. Definitely check this book out if you get a... read more

“One Day”

One Day by David Nicholls Dates Read12/29/2011-01/14/2011 I would definitely call “One Day” one of my favorite books.  It was very well written and covers one day, July 15, in two peoples’ lives over the course of 20 years.  I found myself really enjoying the way Nicholls’ described what they were doing and how their emotions.  I am glad I didn’t read this book nearly as fast as I usually read books, because I think I absorbed it better. This book takes place in England.  It’s always entertaining to read books that take place over there because I learn all sorts of new words – next time I’ll make a list of these words and share them with you. Other than new, “British” words, I think there is a lot a reader can take away from this book.  What those things are, I might still be wrapping my brain around those. It’s definitely a book about appreciating who you have in your life and not taking them for granted; about living your life and making the most of it. I bought the movie version this morning and plan on watching it tonight.  I am anxious to see it and compare it to the book.  Hopefully, I won’t be disappointed!  I’ll keep you all updated on that. — I just watched the movie.  It was a very good adaptation of the book.  They didn’t change or leave out a whole lot, which is always good.  However, I think I got more out of it having read the book … having read more of the feelings/emotions of the characters throughout the... read more

2011: Arkansas Makes My Heart Happy

2011 has been the most unexpected, exciting, crazy year I have ever had.  (Not like I am all that old.)  I moved back to Arkansas December 23, 2010, expecting to transfer to the local Kohl’s, take the three classes I needed for the NTLP through the Arkansas Department of Education, do a summer program to get a provisional teaching license and get a job teaching.  The only thing that happened in there was my taking the three classes I needed for NTLP.

In January, I sent my resume to a few Web design firms in the Fayetteville area.  I heard back from a couple, but only one interviewed me.  The Belford Group.  I had a phone interview, went in for an interview a week or so later and was offered a position within 30 minutes of leaving!  I started the next day, working part time through May when I went full time.  I’ve not looked back.

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“Something Borrowed”

Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin Dates Read12/26/2011-12/28/2011 I knocked out “Something Borrowed” in about two days, but that could possibly be because of Christmas and my time off of work.  It was definitely an easy read and now I would be interested in seeing the movie.  It is always interesting to see how well a movie does in portraying the book; very rarely does that happen well. Anyway … “Something Borrowed” is about this girl, Rachel, who has an affair with her best friend’s (Darcy) fiance starting on her thirtieth birthday.  It is written from Rachel’s point-of-view and details her thoughts and feelings about the whole thing, and flashing back to events in the past that help explain her feelings toward Darcy. Overall, I don’t think I got much out of this book.  It was a light, easy read that doesn’t leave much of an impression.  I think I read books like that a lot, because I don’t always like to think while I am reading. I do think that I will check out some of Emily Giffin’s other... read more

“How to Bake a Perfect Life”

How to Bake a Perfect Life by Barbara O’Neal Dates Read12/14/2011-12/19/2011 “How to Bake a Perfect Life” was about a baker in Colorado who is close to losing her bakery, working through a family feud, takes in her daughter’s step-daughter and reunites with a man she loved in her past. Overall, I liked this book.  One thing that stood out to me was how the author incorporated bread starter recipes and recipes for a couple other baked goods.  A few of them sounded like something I would like to try!  I always think it is neat when an author puts in elements that break up the monotony of how novels are generally written. The book is written primarily from the point-of-view of Ramona, the main character, but every other chapter or so is from Katie, the step-daughter’s, view, and from Sophia, Ramona’s daughter’s, journal.  It was nice to get this perspective of the different characters in the book because of what each character is going through in her life at that moment. Favorite Quote: “And suddenly I am completely aware of this exact moment–the smell of potatoes browning on a grill, the clatter of someone putting dishes away, the low murmur of polite patrons–because, as I look up at Jonah, I realize there is no returning from it.  Whatever happens, I can’t un-fall in love with him.” (pg.... read more

Blogging on Books

The other day, my boss Angela Belford suggested that during my spare time I blog about the books I read.  In general, I have a new book in my hand every week that I spend my lunches and evenings reading.  So, I thought I would give it a shot, although, I am not sure how to tackle this “challenge”. What goes into a good blog about books? Perhaps … A synopsis What I took away from it Books it’s like Maybe I should read some book blogs before I embark on this venture? The first book I will hopefully have a post for is called “How to Bake a Perfect Life” by Barbara O’Neal. I finished this book the other day, and should write about it while it’s still fresh in my... read more

About Me

I am Christine Bartell. Other than Web design, I have a passion for reading, writing, architecture and photography. Currently, I call Fayetteville, Ark., my home but I am always up for a new adventure.

define: Poonchka

from pacz-ki (pawnch-kee) n., pl. - a traditional Polish donut, filled with jam or another sweet filling and covered in powdered sugar or icing.

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