Thursday, December 11, 2008

December in Vegas...STRANGE!

What a strange concept to experience winter in the desert! I often leave for work in the morning wearing a light jacket, sunglasses, and open toed shoes. Yesterday looked like the first day of fall blowing through when a few leaves fell from the trees. I was even invited to a beach volleyball game and garage sale...I thought I absolutely hated winter out here because I just wasn't experiencing all four season....THEN I went home!:)

My first trip back to Michigan just shy of 7 months away from "home." I explained to my Mom how confused I was on the plane when the woman next to me asked if I was going "home" for Thanksgiving. Yes, and I was also leaving home. Strange concept! It was absolutely wonderful to get to Michigan and see my family!! It's so funny to me that after being gone for over a half of a year, stepping back into my parents house was still the same as it has always been. Funny! I had a wonderful surprise the day after Thanksgiving and that was my nephew, Jayden Wayne Vann was born :) That makes it official, I am the good luck charm for child birth :) Strange! What a perfect way to spend Thanksgiving! He is the cutest little boy and it will be fun to see him and Clare together for Christmas in just a few weeks.

The week after Thanksgiving I decided it would be a super idea to go BACK to Michigan. This time my trip was all about friends :) I got a round trip flight for just $40 and it was obvious why when I got on my plane. What could I expect though, right? I'd do it again for sure :) I landed at 5:30am Saturday and was back in Vegas by 10:00pm on Sunday! My weekend was spent up at Spring Arbor University and although it was a quick trip, I believe there is not one other person I could have squeezed into the trip! AND...SNOW!

It's hard to believe Christmas is just around the corner! Christmas shopping is just about done (and most of the presents in Michigan)! Woo hoo!

Life is good...God continues to be good...and Nevada ain't too bad either :)

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I hope to see you all on my visit back to Michigan this Christmas. I will be in Michigan Dec 24-30!

Sending love and Christmas wishes :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Growing, Growing, Growing...

Brought to you from the green couch on the second floor of the Palm Villas Apartment... it's Vanessa Vann with another Vegas update :)

I now know why I'm supposed to write in this thing on a regular basis... because I've started writing and deleted everything 4 times now. There is just TOO much to say!! So I might as well start from the very beginning. Grab your favorite treat and a comfy blanket cause this post is going to be a bit lengthy!

I now have THE most beautiful new addition to my family! Her name is Clare Jane Jackson and she is the cutest little girl in the world! I was able to take a whole week off of work and fly to N.C. to meet my new niece. It was so exciting to be there for the WHOLE thing (even the false alarm :) ) It was great to see Meliss (who is a ROCK STAR) and LD (who is a stud) especially because it had been so long. Because Clare decided to come in her own perfect time, my trip over lapped my Mom and Dad's too which was perfect!!! The Jackson crew will NOT be coming home for Thanksgiving so we will all have to wait till Christmas to see them! I miss my big sister like crazy!!!!!

Very exciting at just over a month, I've been able to watch 3 SAU employees (Kim Hayworth, Mike England, and Mallary Wiley) go through one of our Leadership Programs at Rapport! It is so fun every time to watch two of my worlds collide with one another. But more importantly, I get the joy of watching so much growth take place before my very eyes! As much as each of them has thanked me for the opportunity I was able to give to them, the amount of growth they provoke in my life as they continue to ask questions and stretch themselves is a blessing to me!

We also just launched our new website that I've been working on since I first got to Rapport.

One of Melissa's friends from High School got married out here on the Strip so it was lots of fun not only to go to the wedding, but also to see some more familiar faces :)

I've always been told that growin' up ain't easy... and sometimes more than others I realize that! Along with voting...Today I got to go to Court to defend a speeding ticket I received and left feeling like such a grown up :) I walked out with the exact intention I walked in with (in other words... God was completely on my side :) ) I constantly call my Mom and Dad and ask questions, advice, and for prayer... and I think that's how it's supposed to be. And if it's not... well then it is my intention to redefine adulthood :)

I am now a proud member of "The Ladybugs", a group of women that meet once a week for dinner and a Bible Study. There are about 35 women of all ages in the group. I also was able to attend the Hope Women's Retreat at Mt. Zion in St. George Utah. BEAUTIFUL! There were 85 women there, a great speaker, and awesome worship! I also continue to lead a group of eight 12 yr olds in "Refuge" (youth group) once a week. We are having a slumber party at my apartment in a few weeks. Bring on the nail polish, chick flicks, and pizza :) I love being 12!!!

This weekend I will be traveling to Tahoe to host a "Spaghetti Cook Off Fund Raiser Dinner" for work. I believe that's why I like my job so much... i get to do a little bit of everything. Today I was reminded of how absolutely blessed I am to not only have A job, but one that I love and makes an impact on the world. The economy has caused many people to lose jobs and take pay cuts... and as I watch that happen around me I am so humbled. I again go back to having complete confidence that this is the place God has me because this is the place He desires to use me. God's provision continues to astound me every single day!

I am SO very excited to be traveling home for some Turkey this Thanksgiving! I believe Thanksgiving will take on a whole new meaning for me this year as I have arrived at a place in my life that I truly do appreciate family, friends, and faithfulness. Holy smokes...I'm growin' up!

Again, thank you for your prayers!! I feel every single one of them! I look forward to seeing you all on my visit home! Drop me a line to let me know how you are doing:

(Obama JUST became president)

Sending love from Vegas,

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Flyin' high!

Hello everybody!!!
Yes, I am alive and doing quite well! It's hard to believe that in only being here 3 months I've already found myself saying... man I'm busy! yet I wouldn't have it any other way!

Let me catch you up to speed on some exciting things going on in LV :)
  • I SURVIVED my first evaluation from work!! Woo hoo! And the good news was that not only did I make it... they also gave me a little raise because of the extra work I am doing!! It was a tremendous growing opportunity for me as the corporate world continues to keep me guessing :)

  • Summer has finally started to fade and we are headed into fall! Today was only 87... not bad! I continue to be baffled by how much it costs to keep a small apt cool...yet I have a difficult time holding my ground and always end up turning it back on! haha.

  • I am now a proud member of a gym pass... although not exciting to many of you...kick boxing has become one of my favorite things to do after sitting in the office.

  • Last weekend I went on my 4th class for work: Eagle Quest! It was AMAZING!!! The class was a high ropes class (given the name of my entry...I had the opportunity to take myself to new heights). My warrior name for the class was "Joyful Star." "Joy" for something I desire to keep in my life and "star"representing a star fish and its continual growth even when faced with struggle and brokenness. This class was by far one of the most powerful things I have ever done before, but also the most powerful thing I have ever done for MYSELF. (that would need a whole entry to itself) With the class we also got to proclaim a dream for our life in which mine is that "I am a faithful Christian, confident woman, and strong warrior who allows my soul to sing, my feet to dance, and my lips to speak words that will change the world. I will leave the world a better place than I found it!" Needless to say... the take away from the class was beyond my expectation!

  • On a similar note, this week is an exciting time for me as one of my Professors (and now VP) of SAU is going through class! She flew in from MI, went to class, and will be staying with me after graduation tomorrow! I realized what a vulnerable place I have put myself in as I share my passion with another person... not knowing what the reaction will be. Yet I have also taken the realization of how confident I am in the career I have chosen and the opportunity that has been made available to me to assist others in utilizing their own potential!

  • Last night I enjoyed going to the Italian Feast in town... a huge festival with a lot of GREAT food and music. I worked a booth with the youth group from church and enjoyed such a great time!

As you can see... the last few weeks have been constant...and a tremendous amount of growth has taken place in my own life. I am continuing to develop my own sense of self and how God desires to use me in this great big world! At the same time I'm having a blast and living in the opportunities that present themselves! Next weekend I will be heading to Disneyland for 2 days with work... woo hoo!!! And then off to N.C. to meet my new beautiful niece (if my sister ever decides to pop her out... only time will tell). I will be staying in N.C. for 7 days!! What a special treat!!!

One of these days I'm going to make the venture home to see you all... I really do miss the familiar faces!! And I know that Thanksgiving will be here before I know it!

Until then... enjoy some pictures from my high ropes class last week and laugh as you imagine all the crazy fun that took place!!!

Love from Vegas :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Long time no see!

I know it's been a VERY long time since I have updated my blog! Things have been crazy and moving at 100mph! Here are some things that have happened in the past few weeks:

Mom and Dad came and visited Las Vegas!!! They got me all set up for success in my new apt and I got the opportunity to show them around town! And yes... even visit Sunset Station Casino across the street from my apt...for dinner of course! :)

I had the opportunity to go speak at the ICAN (Issues Concerning Adolescents in Nevada) Conference! I drove up to Mt. Charleston with the president of the company and had an absolute blast getting to know him better! The view was magnificent and speaking wasn't too bad either! The camp was a little whack... but I had so much fun speaking to 150 teens for about 3 hours total!

I started volunteering at "Refuge" which is the youth group at Hope Baptist Church. It's an absolutely phenomenal group of people! (about 150 teens every Sunday night!!!!) They have a great band that leads in worship, the youth pastor teaches, and then I lead a small group of eight 7th-8th graders! Love it!

I have officially, without a doubt, undeniably reached adulthood! I have signed all my paperwork and now am putting money into a 401K! Weird!

Here is some stuff to come:

I will be receiving my FIRST bonus check on Monday... WOO HOO!

I am looking into moving...YET again! 2 girls from the church rent a house and are looking for a third roommate. It's in Southern Highlands (a very nice neighborhood down the street from the church) and is a 3 bedroom house. I'm going for the world record of moving the most times within a 3 month period :) And on my way to success!!

Kim Hayworth is coming down to go through LB1 at work!! I'm super excited and I get to put together her power pack! It's the little things in life! She'll be staying with me for a night or two after she graduates!

I'll be heading to Disneyland Sept 20-21 with my company! I cannot WAIT!!!

I will be traveling to N.C. Sept 23-30 to meet the baby my sisters been carrying around for a while! I'm totally stoked to meet her and see Mel and LD!! Its been WAY too long!

And I think that's about it! Life continues to change and move at an incredibly fast pace! And I continue to grow and learn. Here are some interesting facts I have learned:
  • No one out here has basements! Go figure! The grounds to hard to dig in. So people look at you strange when you ask if there is one.
  • NO ONE out here drinks milk... EVER! Come on! Milk is like a staple at home! The only reason for milk is baking purposes or to pour on your cereal. When I offered my guests milk... you wouldn't believe the stares I got!
  • Buying red bathroom towels are the biggest mistake you could ever make! They will turn your bathtub red, your carpet red, your dryer red, and your body...RED! They need to put a warning out there!

I'm excited to be where I'm at and continue to be blessed and thankful! I have my days when I just miss my good ol' friends from home that just always get me and know how to encourage and support me. Yet I know there are great people out here that I get to build those relationships with.

Thanks for your thoughts, prayers, and encouragement! You wouldn't believe how far that stuff goes!!!


Friday, July 25, 2008

Feelin' PINK!

One full week I have now been living in my apt. I absolutely love it. I wasn't too sure how I would enjoy living on my own; I have no complaints thus far! I met my neighbors today... a nice guy and gal! I am BEYOND ready for my furniture. God always seems to provide though. Last Saturday I went out "furniture shopping" in which I came home with absolutely nothing except a smoothie and some really funny experiences. I ended up at a warehouse for "online sales only" as the man told me. However, after a few batting of the lashes managed to get him to pull out the futon I wanted to look at and put it together for me. However, when I sat on it and I told him how uncomfy it was...I think he was a little less than impressed. The good news is that I went into work and Nicole told me I was more than welcome to getting some furniture from her...a couch, bed frame, mattresses, and an armour. Sweet!!! God comes through AGAIN!

Tonight I had plans to go to the Hard Rock Hotel for some karaoke with the girls from work however unexpectedly got PINK EYE!! GROSS! And I think I'm just a bit under the weather. I was told this is the worst time of year for the Newbies to Vegas cause we all find out we have allergies. So I'm not sure which I'm suffering from. All I know is that I will be resting and getting over it quick! Tonight I did make a delicious key lime pie for the cookout at Nicole's tomorrow with some people from work.

Last Sunday I ventured to the other side of town to meet Erin, a girl I have been Emailing since before I arrived out here. She invited me out to her church and lunch. It was fun and I met some really nice people. Monday night I went to the women's Bible study and that was great too! However it makes for a crazy day going to work form 8-5, making dinner, and bible study from 6:30-9:30. It was a beautiful drive out there to the tip of the mountains though! Every day I drive home from work and just praise God for the beauty out here! I feel as though it goes over looked by so many people who live out here because they are so used to the scenery. However for me... it's absolutely beauty!

Next weekend Mom and Dad will be out here! I'M SO EXCITED!!!! Family, furniture, and fun on the strip :) I'm excited cause they get to go to a Teen graduation while they are out here too! They will be here til Monday or Tuesday.

I was so excited to get the chance to catch up with both Chris and Kris this week! Its so fun to hear how people are doing and how God is working in their lives. And daily I'm reminded that I have some way sweet friends at home!

I just realized after reading over this that the people I work with are absolutely right! I use exclamation points WAY too much! But it's just cause I'm excited about what I'm saying. (I use !!!! in my phone reports...apparently unnecessary!)

I will be sure to post some pics of Mom and Dads trip out here! :) I'm sure we'll have some good ones!


Friday, July 18, 2008

Oops i forgot the pics :)

A new place to lay my head...

Now this is home... all I need is some furniture! :) After working from 8-5:30 on Tuesday, I got home, loaded up the car and headed over to my new apt. Breann from work and her husband Brandon met me and helped me unload everything which was AWESOME! I can't say there was a lot of stuff seeing that everything I own fits into my Focus, but a lot for one person to unload up a flight of stairs in 120 degree weather for sure!

I realized there were some things that I was missing since I dont have furniture yet, so I borrowed a few things from the Rapport House (sheets, pillows, towels, etc) and headed to Target for everything else. I now sleep on the most reliable air mattress known to man and up untill today have eaten subway for every meal becuase I didn't have the gas for my stove turned on yet! But it's nice to have my own space and have a place to come home to each night that is mine.

I was SO excited to find that my apt is picking up a wireless internet signal so I do have the internet! God is so stinkin' good! As silly as it sounds after I connected to the internet I just sat on the floor (no furniture reminder) and said out loud "THANK YOU JESUS!" What a blessing! I dont have a television yet... but a girl from church is letting me borrow a TV and DVD player untill mine comes. Everything has just gone the way its supposed to and every need continues to be met!

Mom called today and asked what I was doing and as I told her how strange it is to be an adult and in my own place, I was laying on the floor making snow angels in the carpet (no furniture reminder). This weekend I have two guys coming over to drop off a dresser, book shelf, and patio furniture that has been donated to the "Take care of Vanessa fund" :) My aptartment is about 7 minutes from work (about 12 min from the strip to give you an idea) but I'm proud to announce my mailing address is no longer Vegas!

Here is my new Address:
650 Whitney Ranch Drive
Apt #3624
Henderson, NV 89014

Here are some pictures of the new place...once again... no furniture... just some walls :) I'll be sure to get some pics up once the furniture arrives:)

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Last Night...

Tonight is my last night living in the Rapport House. Tomorrow after work I will be moving to the Palm Villas... my new home! I'm SO excited to finally have a place of my own... a place to call home! It'll be nice to say it's mine and know that I don't have to come home from work and check all the doors to see if I have a new roommate for the night; I can stop labeling my groceries in the fridge; I can leave my toothbrush and tooth paste in the shower; and I can lay around in my PJs on the weekend! It's the little things in life :)

Things have been going well! Last weekend I went for the first time "On-Team" for the teen leadership classes! It was truly an amazing experience and definitely gave me a new passion for what exactly it is we do! Seeing the lives of each of these students completely transformed in a matter of 2 1/2 days makes me want to get as many teens in these classes as possible. I had two parents call me today at work (one crying on the phone) amazed at the confidence, love, and passion their children came home with. It just makes me excited and pushes me to continue forward on my own journey to one day be a Teen Leadership Breakthrough Trainer.

God has continued to bless me, grow me, and love me as I have adjusted to a new life. I couldn't have asked for this transition to go any smoother than it has! I'm still receiving encouragement cards from family and friends back home... and everyday I receive a card I thank God for all of the people He has placed in my life! People at work pass by my desk and are amazed at all of the encouragement cards I have hanging on my bulletin boards. And I have such love and pride in my heart to tell them what amazing people I have in my life. Although the transition has gone well I still can't wait for Mom and Dad to come and see what my life is about out here. And to see Meliss and LD and their beautiful lil girl. Sometimes I can't believe I have survived nearly 2 months on my own... and I know it's because of His guidance and every one's prayers!

After I get moved into my new place I will be sure to take some pictures and post them so you can see the new Crib :) Until then...


Sunday, July 6, 2008

An Eventful Weekend

I experience my first official "holiday" from work... aka a 3 day weekend! YES! It was a lot of fun... lots got done... and I feel ready for a new week! :) I did a lot of "Grown up... independent woman" things this weekend (haha that just made me laugh typing it). But it is true! And I'll prove it :) Here are a few of the things I did:


grocery shopping


cooking (I actually cooked my REAL first meal...pathetic but true)

Went shopping alone for like 3 hours!

finished up some work from last week I didn't' have time to do at the office

went to the bank for the down payment on my NEW apt :)

took care of "Finances" (haha)

went to church

worked in the nursery

oh and I may have had a bit of fun with some friends ;)

For the fourth of July my friend Aubrey, who just moved here from Georgia, came over for dinner. We met up with about 5 people from church for a movie (Hancock... real good), met up with more people from church, went to the Henderson fireworks, and then went to the pool hall for a bit... in which I kicked major butt at pool (total fluke). But, it was a fun day! Here are some pictures from the 4th!


Sunset before the fireworks

Kim, me and Aubrey

Kim and I before the fireworks

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Something to get used to...

Sorry it's been a while since I've updated. I hear it from Melissa all the time when I fall behind. Things are going well... a lot to get used to. The heat has reached the unbearable 113 degrees. A bit much at times but I've never been so thankful for air conditioning. I'm beginning to learn many of the secrets to desert living.

1)Always carry a sweater with you no matter where you go. It will be air conditioned and feel like a freezer!
2)When parking your car for a long period of time, leave the windows open just a crack otherwise your car windows have the potential of cracking due to the extreme heat.
3)Always carry the following with you: water, sunglasses, lotion, and lip gloss
4) Only play outdoor activities after the sun goes down and the temp has cooled to atleast 90 degrees.

That's all in the area of helpful hints for right now. I'm sure more are to come.

I had the opportunity to go to my final class (Power Communication) last weekend. It was a great class and a lot of fun going with Breann and some of my other co-workers. It was Fri-Sun from 8am-12pm just about every night. Needless to say we were worn out! One of my homework assignments included going to Chuck E Cheese with 18 other adults! We had a blast playing tokens, collecting tickets, eating pizza, and ofcourse getting a pic with Chuck E Cheese himself! It was a blast! But all that to finally finish out the weekend at Graduation being one of the only Master Graduates. That means I have completed over 100 hours of Rapport Leadership Training. This also gives me the certificate needed to go "ON-TEAM" with the Teen department and assist the trainers. I will be going on my first ON TEAM experience next weekend July 11-13 to a camp about 45 min outside of Vegas!

There are a lot of changes going on within my role in the company. I recently took on the job of the ON TEAM coordinator in conjunction with my current roles of Coordinator of Educational Programs and Assistant to the V.P. Bridgit (the VP) continues to tell me all of these roles are temporary untill we can hire on more staff. This past week has been filled with exciting things as Rapport Empowered Education is breaking off into it's own company from Rapport leadership International. The vision that is ahead continues to leave me speechless. Within the next 2 years there will be over 100 people working in my department (one that is currently run by 5 people). But it has been awesome as I've had the opportunity to write the new company mission statement, have a hand in picking logos, designing business cards, and creating the new company website. I will let you know when it's up and running! :) Also exciting in that area was that I was asked to accompany the Trainers to our newest training facility located in the Dominican Republic in October.

On a more personal level, the essence of "home" is about to make a major change as I will be officially moving to my new apartment on July 15th! I'm extremely excited about the move and ready to have a place of my own... with MY stuff in it! It will truly be an adventurous change as none of my furniture is arriving from Michigan untill Aug when Mom and Dad get out here. I'm headed to Target this weekend to find the most comfy air mattress you've ever seen! Again, when I get the new address I'll be sure to forward it out to everyone!

Things have begun to move forward here, but it's difficult at the same time to know that things are moving forward back at home as well! Since I've been away... Kevin graduated from High School, 6 close friends have gotten married, my sisters tummy continues to grow, LifeChangers has come and gone, friends have taken on new careers, and the fam is spending their last 4th of July up at our favorite get away! It's strange to think no one from home truly knows where I'm at, what I'm doing, or what my new world looks like! I'm ready to see you guys! I'm ready for visitors! I'm ready to get into my new place and feel like I have a place that is home for me. I'm stuck in this crazy middle step where I've been away from Michigan long enough to say I don't live there any more, but I'm still living in this crazy house that feels more like a hotel everyday!

Please continue to pray for me as I truely settle into a new place in the next week and half.
Happy 4th of July... LOVE YOU!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

It's gettin' hot in here!

Well, yesterday I experienced my first of many days of Las Vegas heat. The crazy weather forecast read 115 degrees! Which is really out of control. However, I will say that I would take this heat over Michigan heat ANY DAY!! Being outside just feels like your standing under a blow dryer because of the warm breeze...not like you are in a sauna dripping with sweat. I can honestly say that I don't miss the rain or clouds one bit. The sun is doin just fine shining out here! :)

Sunday night I went over to the park and played Volleyball with the Veritas (young adults at Hope) people. It was a ton of fun! I was so excited because we were playing beach volleyball! I told them not to expect talent...becuase honestly i come to feel the sand between my toes! haha. Surprisingly, they still let me play! I was so excited today because I recieved a call from one of the pastors asking if I would help with VBS in 2 weeks. It was kinda crazy because I had never signed up for it or anything; one of the girls I have been talking with and helping out in Children's Church told them to invite me! Very cool! However, I'm bummed becuase it's during the work week and I can't do it! Still the thought that counts!! :) Tonight I'm off to the Veritas bible study!

Breann my new working buddy is here! She is fantastic! Her and I are attending our first Teen Graduation on Sunday together. We are required to attend all teen graduations that are in Las Vegas... but I hear they are great so I'm really excited! Bridgit, my boss, is coming in town this week...which is exciting becuase I haven't seen her since I started working...oddly enough. So she'll be living with me here at the house starting tomorrow. I dont know how that works... living with your boss...but i'm going to give it a go and see what happens :)

That's about it. I'm keepin' busy...learning...growing... thinkin' about home :) Miss you guys!!! LOVE YOU!!!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A little Sun never hurt...

But a lot of sun...DOES! :) Today I had the opportunity of going to Hope Baptist and helping with a new church plant in Las Vegas! The name of the church is LifeSong Church and they will be meeting in a closed down restaurant. In order to get things ready for the first day of services tomorrow, we all went out to the site and met some of the neighbors, passed out fliers for the events coming up, prayed for the community, and had a nice lunch in the park. It was great! This was an awesome way for me to get to know some people in the church too! Although I did get a little crisp :) I met a man on the bus ride back who is part of a team that is headed to Zambia, Africa the end of July. I was able to share with him my experiences of being in Zambia and some of what we did while we were there last year. He was overjoyed to hear that I had gone. Hope wants to get involved with meeting some needs in Zambia and that is the reason for their trip. I gave him my contact info and we are supposed to be getting together soon to talk about the opportunity of sending teams to Zambia every how sweet would that be?! God is just so on top of things it continues to amaze me.

Things are going well. Everyday gets a little bit sunnier, a little bit warmer, yet a little bit colder... it seems the warmer it gets outside the colder every single building becomes. I wear sweaters or jackets over my clothes every day to work because the air is cranked up SO high! With it also came another step into adulthood... in order to stay warm at my desk I drink a cup of coffee or tea every morning! However to ensure I retain the kid in me I also have play dough at my desk ;)

My job is going great...I just simply love what I do. Monday my new right hand gal starts and I'm really excited to meet her. Her name is Breann, she's 26 and is from PA! We have talked a few times on the phone and she seems like a friendly girl! My part of the office has been VERY quiet because I'm the only one that works in the office with Empowered Education... so to get another face is a GREAT thing!

On Friday I booked my flight to Charlotte, NC to meet my beautiful niece! I had originally taken off 1 day to make it a long weekend, however my boss came back to me and told me it was important I spend some time with fam (especially living so far away) and gave me a week instead! So I will be leaving Las Vegas Tuesday night (Sept 23) and returning back Tuesday night (Sept 30). Again, God just provides and makes sure my needs are met! I am SO excited to go to Charlotte and see Melissa and LD... and I know I'll be very ready by the time September gets here!

All in all life is good and God is Great! I'm continuously reminded of His faithfulness and love! And I'm blessed to have found individuals out here that encourage me to rest in Him.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

A Magical first Week...

This was an absolutly wonderful first week! Wednesday at work we were told that Thursday was goign to be deemed "A Magical Day at Rapport." With it came discounted leadership classes and a whole lot of fun!!! Thursday when we walked into work the entire office was transformed into a Disney play land! My office was inside of Cinderella's castle for the day and the energy was amazing! Each team in the office had a theme and dressed up for it! We had ninja's, indians, beach goers, "bling bling," and my team (Team Disney). My team wore matching clothes and mickey ears for teh day! As if that weren't enough to generate some excitment, the company had brought in a "Starbucks truck" for the parking lot to get starbucks coffee all morning long, braekfast and lunch were brought in from restaraunts, treats were served all day long, cash prizes were given out, music filled the office, and it truly was a magical day at Rapport! Our goal for the day was to get $300,000 worth of people into leadership classes in one day! A very worthy goal as the highest sale day in Rapport history was $200,000! The insentive for the day grew as we found out after reaching this goal, our CEO would take the entire company to Disneyland for 2 days!!!!!!! At the end of the day we all rounded up to find our sales for the day were $386,000!!! So...WE'RE GOING TO DISNEYLAND!!!!!!

I can't even begin to explain the amount of passion and enthusiasm that was flowing through the office on Thursday! But what was extremely awesome about the entire day was that it wasn't about making money for anyone. The reason each of these people come into work each day is becuase they are truly passionate about what they do and what this company stands for. Becuase of the push for the day...over 400 people will be attending the amazing leadership breakthrough courses! It may sound ridiculous (as I read back over that), as it's just leadership development...but after seeing how much of an impact these programs are making in people's lives my passion for "this whole leadership thing" really has grown to a new level! But even more so, what was truly magical about that day was that at the end of the day as the team came together to find if we had really done what was deemed "impossible" there was an overflow of personal growth that happened at the same time. We all gathered around as Michael (CEO) asked everybody "What did YOU learn today? How do YOU feel? Where are YOU growing personally?" It is awesome to work for a company that isnt' just about making dollars (although it's important) but makes sure that the workers are growing and being impacted in their personal lives.

This company works more as a family than anything else. Everyday at 3:30 we have a meeting in which we share where we are all at individually, how we are growing, how we can encourage others to grow. People talk about everythign from their faith to their families. What I really do appreciate about Rapport is that it's not about changing people into identical mini rapport people, but about taking people to their own next level and making you a better version of yourself. They have this thought of whatever you do, whatever you believe, be the best at it! And becuase I'm a Christian... they fully support me being the best Christian I can be! And to get that from work and from my co-workers is truly awesome! I can tell a new level of growth happening in my life. Not only am I growing into this new crazy adult (which is all sorts of weird haha) I am also growing much deeper in my identity in Christ.

Aiding in that entire process is the church I have started to attend (Hope Baptist Church). Tuesday Night I went to a young adult Bible study where I encountered about 35-40 young adults (19-24). It was an awesome time and they really made me feel welcome! We had a large group devotional and then split up into small groups to dig into a lesson. Afterwards there was a BBQ and I really got to meet a lot of people! One of the girls is pickign me up to go to church tonight (saturday night service) and then I'm goign to a BBQ at one of the girls' houses. I'm also goign back in the morning to help in the Pre-School dept.

After much praying, thought, and processing I can raelly feel confident that this is where God has lead me to! I dont know for how long or for exactly what purpose, but I do know that I'm where I'm supposed to be. And because of that alone, I wouldn't wish myself to be anywhere else! Please continue to be praying for me as I continue to find an apartment in the area to live in after my company housing is up. I have recieved many cards of encouragment, emails, and phone calls...thank you so much for your constant thought and prayers :)

<3 Vanessa

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Well...I have been through 2 official work days now and I can tell you that never before have I had so much appreciation for "adulthood." :) I had my first day at work on Monday and I was recieved with such open arms from Rapport! I am very excited to find myself emersed in a company that operates more like a family. Their thought is that every single day is supposed to be the best day of you life! What an awesome thought to have even when you are walking into work in the morning. I've had to come to the realization that Rapport isn't like every other company (or many should be said ANY other company)! It's not unusual to hear horns, bells, and whistles going off when seats are sold for a class. Nor is it unusual for those sitting in office around me to take a "dance break" if they need to walk away from a stressful situation. The energy that comes from the office is one that keeps the days moving quick and fun!

I was so blessed to have had a conversation, both with one of the trainers staying with me as well as my supervisor, about how this company has pushed them so much further in their faith. My supervisor who has never been to church before began talking with me about how this company has caused her to look for the "greater being than herself" and she is just beginnign to explore the depths of Gods unconditional love! It has been so exciting for me as I get the opportunity to interact with such strong amazing individuals but also those who claim Jesus Christ as their Savior! The more I talk witht those i work with the more I can see how God is at work in each of their lives!

I'm excited, i'm blessed, and I'm goign back tomrorow :) These days have certainly been a learning experience as well as a growing experience. God continues to walk beside me each and every day! Tonight I am headed to a Young Adults Bible study at Hope.

Thank you for your constant prayers and thoughts!!!


PS-I feel as though I owe some sort of disclaimer as every person who calls my phone comments on my new voicemessage. is true! I have recorded a new voice message! Dont' let the different words fool's me :)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Real life kicks in...

Yesterday was my first official day here in Las Vegas by myself. Mom left about noon and I managed to find my way back to the house on my own. I had made contact with a family who lives down here that is friends with the Riddles...and they had invited me to a BBQ last night. Ofcourse, having no friends, I accepted te invitation! It was a great way to meet some new people and split up my Saturday night so I didnt' spend the whole time by myself! Martha, the Mom of the family, invited me to go to church with them this morning and ofcourse I accepted that invitation as well.

It was a quite night around here last night as I am the only one staying in the hosue this weekend, but it was actually an appreciate time. I was able to finish unpacking a bit, put on my PJs and watch a movie :) I was excited yesterday afternoon...I looked in the backyard and realized I had a hot tub in the backyard. Already making plans of when I was goign to get in...I walked out to check it out only to find it had NO WATER in it! BUMMER DUDE!

Its always strange around here in the morning becuase you never know if a guest has come in during the night to stay in the house. So this mornign I got up and tip toed around for a while to make sure no one had come in. I went to church this morning at Lake Mead Christian. A very nice church.I really enjoyed it!...there just doesn't seem to be many people my age. I heard about a young adult Bible study that meets on Tuesday nights at Hope Bapt so I may go over there Tuesday night.

All in all I really do like it here. I'm beginning to get a little nervous about my first day of work tomorrow. I dont know what to expect really! And I think it's a little strange that I am goign to be living with my boss for a week in the house...but who knows...maybe it'll help us bond :) I hope she likes the Bachelorette cause that's what I have planned tomorrow night :) HAHA. I will be sure to write tomorrow after work to let you know how my frist day in the "Corporate world" was :)

Love you...Miss you!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A little bit of crazy...


It's been a little bit crazy getting settled in, but we have made it! We arrived here in Vegas on Tuesday afternoon. We went straight to Rapport where I was brought to my new house! I absolutly love it...and have realized that there is no way on earth I will ever be able to afford anything like it! It's a 4 bedroom home equipped with an entertainment room, full kitchen, conference room, pool table room, and bathrooms. There are some pictures so you can take a peek! :)

Mom helped me get unpacked which really didn't take too long. I had the chance to meet my newest best friend...Margie...the cleaning lady! The reason for our friendship is becuase she too is from Livonia!! It was such a relief (for Mom) to hear that another Livonian had made the move out to Vegas...and loves it! She left her contact info for me and told me to call if I need ANYTHING (and she offered to wash my towels for me ;)

Mom and I also took full advantage of the trip and took our own journey down to the Strip! What an adventure! We shopped at the Planet Hollywood mall, ate at the Rainforest Cafe, and explored from the Trump Tower to Paris! I even bought my very first business suite from the mall on the strip!! :) It was a fun day...and a little vacation time before we got down to business finding the mundane things of life (ie the grocery store, bank, postoffice, etc).

The next 2 days were spend APARTMENT HUNTING!!! Probably my least favorite part of moving! Luckily my GPS system (aka Lucy) arrived just in time to make navigation a lot less painless. I think today we found a place for me to move in August...only time will tell!! For two days I have been driving around this new city made up of U-turn lanes and funny highway entrance ramps trying to make myself feel (look) like a local. But all went sour today when I ran into an episode at the Carwash! Not realizing I needed a car wash code to wash my car after already entering the wash...I had to back out of the carwash making those behind me quite frustrated that they too had to back out of the car wash. But I didn't have to say anything...they saw the "MICHIGAN" plate on my car and it seemed to make sense.

Mom will be here until Saturday afternoon. I talked to Jeff today and he made sure I realized how difficult the departure for Mom will be. He asked how I thought I was going to handle it and I said "check back on Sunday...when I dont have any friends left."

Im really looking forward to life out here in Vegas! Although many people can't realize it, the town really is quite quaint! You just have to step off the main mile and the town is transformed into a cute community of young people all just trying to live life! I'm excited to see what the time in front of me holds!

I'll keep you update :)

Monday, May 26, 2008

On The Road...

The new Car for the trip :)

Gettin' a little stir crazy!

The Sights...

Cleanin' off the bugs!

Well, we have been on the road for 2 days now...and getting ready to start day 3! Our journey took us from Michigan through Illinois, and over to Iowa. The plan was to end day one in Iowa, but when we pulled off the highway to get a hotel (forgetting the whole Memorial Weekend thing) we couldn't find a hotel room open for miles. We ended up spending the night in Omaha, Nebraska. Sunday took us through Nebraska and into Colorado, where we spent the night in Denver. We were able to get in by 5:00 (Denver time) and grab a nice dinner and enjoy the outdoor downtown shopping mall. Needless to say the days have been long...I fell aspleep last night at 8:30pm and didn't move untill Mom woke me up at 7:30 this morning!

The trip has been fun! We are excited about our trip from this point on as it will be filled with mountains and sites to see...unlike Nebraska and Iowa. What I have deemed the WORST 2 states in the country...and we tackled both of them! Today we will be heading through Colorado into Utah where we will stop in Cedar Springs.

I have posted some pictures of the trip to go along so you could see all the great sights with us! We didn't want you to miss a beat from the corn fields to washing the BILLIONS of bugs off the car :) Talk to you soon!

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Send off... is my last day as a Michigan Resident! Tomorrow afternoon (12:00) my Mom and I are leaving for Vegas! The 34 hour trip will put us in Las Vegas on Tuesday! We will be making the trip in my NEW car! :) Pretty exciting! I was initiated into adulthood on May 19th when I purchased a 2008 Ford Focus! I love the car and think it will make the trip out there pretty exciting! I'm lookin' for phone calls between Saturday and Tuesday on the road ;)

Upon arrival, I have to go straight to the office to get my key and information on my house. My will help me move things in and then her and I are heading over the hotel we will be staying at while Mom is in town. The house has some pretty out of control rules on it becuase it belongs to the company, so a hotel is in order. Mom will be in town until Saturday afternoon. That gives me one day to myself before work begins on Monday! :)

I am anticipating visits to new churches untill I find the right fit! I've been in contact with people from two different churches out I am excited to finally meet those Ive been Emailing with! God continues to show himself faithful throughout this entire process! A need hasn't gone unmet and his leadership seems to be evident throughout this time! Im excited to be stretched as I venture out in independence (although I'm controling the stretching by investing in a GPS system haha).

I will check in again after my arrival and let you know how I'm doing! :)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Thank you!

Hello everyone!!

Thank you SO much for sharing in this time of transition with me. I am very excited to see where God is going to take me and the people He will have me meet! I am excited for the days that are ahead as I venture into a city I know very little about!

I have decided to create a Blog so each of you can go on this jouney with me! I will be updating it periodically with stories and pictures of where I'm at! (I can almost promise humorous stories to come)

My Mom, Dad, and I will be making the 3 day drive cross country to Las Vegas the end of May, and they will catch a flight home from there! Staying just enough time to get me settled into my not so permanent home. I will be living at the company apartment (just around the block from the office) for the first two months, so I can have time to find a place of my own. So untill then, I will not have a mailing address. I will keep you updated.

Thank you once again for celebrating with me, as I like to say, "becoming a real person." I'll do my best to make ya proud :)