Day 29: Home Sweet Home

The theme for the 29th is quite fitting, especially since we’re in the middle of the entire house-hunting process.  And I’m taking this one literally….oh and a day late.

Home Sweet Home

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com….Home Sweet Home

Whomever said buying a home is easy and fun is lying. It’s not. Easy is planning a month long trip to Europe. Fun is learning a new language. This has been one of the most mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually exhausting experiences of our lives. Yes. I speak for the both of us.

I was naive in thinking that all my hours on Pinterest looking up “Inspirational Spaces” or home decorating ideas would be equally as inspiring. Nothing can prepare you for the house hunting, especially when you’re envisioning yourselves “at home” in every single home. Visit eight homes in one afternoon and that’s alot of “envisioning.”  So here’s our top twelve things you need to know before you decide to take the plunge. We wish we had someone to walk us through this process so that we’d be better prepared.

12. Find a great realtor. This will make or break it for you. We love Jamie and Sarah Reece. They’ve been in the business for decades, but aren’t stuffy. They’re honest, transparent and will have our best interests at heart….even if it’s telling me that the townhouse I fell in love with is a total compromise and we shouldn’t buy it. Also, if your realtors knows “Nightime-Daytime” from BBC’s animal voice overs, you know have a winner.

11. Make a list of the Must-Haves for your home. Don’t negotiate or compromise when you start….no matter how beautiful that garden is. If it doesn’t have “your kitchen” don’t settle for it.  Garage? Lots of storage? Location?

10. Make a list of the Nice-to-Haves. These are the negotiables. Covered Parking? Fireplace?

9. Pack your own food. It sounds lame but house hunting is exhausting and time consuming. Oh and you’re investing in something that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. We packed our own snacks and meals while we went on longer house hunting trips. I think I scared away my realtor with a “hangry” meltdown. Also, we knew that we’d have to get back into the habit of being on a budget when we bought our house. Gone are the days of unlimited access to Senor Taco.

Packed Lunches

Photo Credit: Familyfreshcooking.com

8. Downpayments. Unless you have 20% down don’t expect your mortgage payments to be similar to your rent. It won’t be and don’t be surprised.

7. Plan for closing costs. Depending on the home, plan for anywhere between $5000-$8500 in closing costs. This is in addition to your down payment. I realize this will totally vary per situation  or you may be lucky to have the seller pay this but don’t count on it. The point is that someone needs to pay the people pulling together the paperwork, sending the emails, running the figures, and locking in your interest rates. And that person is you! If you don’t have it, it will come out of your down payment which means a higher monthly mortgage payment.

6. Redfin is in, Zillow is out. Use a recognized and updated website. Redfin’s inventory is updated at the same time Windemere’s is which makes working with your realtor that much easier.

5. Compromise. You’re rarely going to find a home that has your entire list of must-haves.  Figure out what you’re going to compromise on.

4. New Home Buyers Part 1. Sock away a few extra thousand dollars for appliances. We’re finding that not all the new homes come with them and it’s not required. For example: One of the homes we were serious about didn’t come with a washer, dryer or refridergator/freezer. It would cost well over $3500 for appliances.  You can go to the laundry mat, but you sure as well need to store your food somewhere.

Smeg Refridgerator

Photo Credit: UKhomeideas.co.uk…Smeg Refridgerator

3. New Home Buyers Part 2: Get a home inspection. Yes, it’s new but you still need to fork over the money and get one. We did and dodged a bullet. At first glance the home was immaculate and drop dead gorgeous. Upon inspection, we learned the builder cut A LOT of corners. The roof wasn’t installed properly and there was  water damage in the ceiling, the siding wasn’t installed correctly and would need to be replaced along with the roof in less than two years, and the list goes on. For $425 we saved ourselves a massive headache and a waste of money.

2. Patience is a virtue. We found that we were creating a deadline for ourselves that didn’t need to be created. Maybe you have one and that’s totally understandable. But if you don’t have one, don’t settle. Ensure your future house is meeting 60-70% of your “Must-Haves.

1. Remember the purpose of your house hunt. It’s about you and your partner finding a home that will be a part of  your family, celebrations and memories. Don’t get caught up in the ancillary stuff and focus on what is most important.

Wherever we are together we are home.

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com…Wherever we are together we are home.

Current Homeowners: Have advice for newbie and/or soon-to-be homeowners? What advice have you found to be the most valuable as you’ve experience buying-selling homes?

Disclaimer: We are not realtors. We aren’t experts in the housing market. We don’t pretend to be. This is just a list of things we’ve learned along the way. Good luck! 

Day 1: Surviving your spouse on an international trip
Day 2: Never order flowers online
Day 3: Bucket List
Day 4: Pet Peeves
Day 5: Biggest Fear
Day 8: A little honesty goes a long way
Day 10: A voice from the past
Day 11: Confessions from a wanna-be-cook
Day 13: Top 10 Must-Haves for International Travel
Day 14: Hi my name is Jackie and I am addicted to Senor Taco.
Day 17: Daily Life in the Ostlie Household…in Rhyme

Day 19: Superpower = Life without pain
Day 20: The Beautiful Life
Day 22: The Kullbergs
Day 23: Dessert for Breakfast
Day 24: TV Teachers — Five Life lessons from the small screen
Day 27: Debt Regret

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Because January can be boring. Join us for a January Blog-A-Thon. Post a photo, video, sentence, anything that you want to! And if don’t feel inclined to blog, do come back and see what we’re up to. I can guarantee you’ll be entertained.

Day 22: The Kullberg’s

I’ll be honest, when I think of kids my body cringes, I start to have a panic attack, and I immediately start searching for the nearest exit. Obviously, I’m…no, we’re not ready to have kids anytime soon. However, every time I visit my best friend in Portland, I think, “We can do this. They make it look pretty easy.” Besides, how adorable is this face?

Tate

Tate

Tate and Derek are about as close to kids as we get (for now). We love driving down to Portland to visit Ryan, Meeka, and these two awesome dudes. I went to college with Meeka, and she’s become a dear friend of mine…bestie even. Lucky for the both of us, Kyle and Ryan are two peas in a pod; which makes our Portland trips even better.  We’ll probably never have kids (never say never), so we tend to spoil these guys like they were our own.  I just knew  I’d have to write about the Kullberg’s for January-Blog-A-Thon.

I still remember when Tate was first born. He loved me.  I’m not being prideful or gloating. He really did. I’d carry him for hours and we’d just hang out. I’d walk around the house or I’d prop him up on the couch next to me and we’d watch football for hours. Well, he’d watch football, I’d talk to Meeka.  He’d coo and ohh and smile at me. Never cried. Never fussed. Except when Kyle came around. Yup, that’s right. Tate did not like Kyle….at all. Before he could talk, Tate would grunt-groan-scream anytime Kyle came near me. It was hysterical. We’d test it out on numerous situations, all leading to the same outcome. Jackie and Tate would be alone in the living room and Kyle would need to drink his beer in the room on the opposite side of the house.  Poor guy.

Kyle and Derek

Kyle and Derek

And then the day came where the tables turned. It’s still vivid in my mind. The adults had done a day trip out to Timberline to go skiing and snowboarding. We came back home, showered and were busy prepping dinner. Meeka and I were in the kitchen hanging out, Kyle alone on the couch watching sports; when suddenly Tate teeters over to him, crawls into Kyle’s lap with a book and asks him to read to him. WHAT?!? Meeka and I nearly dropped our beer. After that, Tate only hangs out with Kyle…it’s apparently a guy thing and girls aren’t invited.

Kullberg's and Ostlie's

Kullberg’s and Ostlie’s

We adore these kids and their parents as well. If I ever was allowed to give a parenting medal, I’d give it to Ryan and Meeka. They are an amazing team. They back each other up, are an awesome support system, and are the most patient parents I’ve ever met…even after the 52nd “Why?” question. Nothing gets by these two and yet they are hysterical, witty, and humble. They are engaged parents, give meaningful answers (remember that 52nd “why?” question?) and treat them as individuals. Their values and expectations live in and through Tate and Derek. I have never seen kids so well behaved than I do these little dudes. Each and every time we leave Portland, Kyle and I have have something profound that we individually picked up from observing Ryan and Meeka co-parent. It’s inspiring, encouraging, and pretty amazing to watch people parent well. It almost makes us wish we had kids.

Day 1: Surviving your spouse on an international trip
Day 2: Never order flowers online
Day 3: Bucket List
Day 4: Pet Peeves
Day 5: Biggest Fear
Day 8: A little honesty goes a long way
Day 10: A voice from the past
Day 11: Confessions from a wanna-be-cook
Day 13: Top 10 Must-Haves for International Travel
Day 14: Hi my name is Jackie and I am addicted to Senor Taco.
Day 17: Daily Life in the Ostlie Household…in Rhyme

Day 19: Superpower = Life without pain
Day 20: The Beautiful Life

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Because January can be boring. Join us for a January Blog-A-Thon. Post a photo, video, sentence, anything that you want to! And if don’t feel inclined to blog, do come back and see what we’re up to. I can guarantee you’ll be entertained.

Day 8: Honesty. A little goes a long way.

Snow-Shoeing trip. 3 days. 18 miles. 50 pounds of gear. 6 friends. It will make you miss some days for your January-Blog-A-Thon. Just saying.

Now that we got that out of the way (I really was doing stuff….just not blogging). I’ve  had this blog in my head for a while. It’s been with some cob-webs and my inner-most thoughts for some time, so here’s to hoping that it comes across as eloquently as it sounds…yup, you guessed it, from within my head.

I used to fear honesty. I craved (still do) the desire to be accepted, liked, wanted, and valued. Don’t we all?  To me, honesty was an obstacle to these things. You didn’t dare tell a “friend” that she had spinach in her teeth or her shoes didn’t match her skirt or that you really couldn’t afford happy hour. As an adult, you never told your boss that the creative concept she loved was going to be a really bad business decision, the new operation was process was so inefficient she might as well burn her budget immediately, or that we really were wasting tons of money on ______ (fill in the blank). Honesty would get you fired from friends and your job. Perhaps, I’ve had some crappy managers (which is no lie) but the environment(s) I’ve lived in and experienced hasn’t always been the safest place for honesty, regardless of what people said.

Say what you think, not what you think you should say

I’ve come to realize that honesty is a value that is not so prominent in today’s society as one would think and or hope. Perhaps it’s my aversion to bull-shit, politics, bureaucratic systems, brown-nosers, and passive-aggressive folks, but the lack of honesty has given me an auto-matic gag reflex. That and I’ve grown a spine. I’ve seen how “un-safe” environments hurt people, relationships, and businesses, with lasting impact. And I decided I no longer wanted to be a part of that. I don’t want to be an enabler. I don’t believe in those values and most certainly don’t carry them in my personal life so why should I in my professional life?

It’s taken some time but I’m now one of those people who will tell you:

– You have spinach in your teeth.
– A booger in your right nostril….no, the other right nostril. Do you want me to point?
– That a manager will make or break your job for you, no matter how awesome your dream job is.
– Make sure you like the people you work with or it’s not worth it…not matter how awesome your job is.
– Don’t waste your time on people who won’t invest in you.
– Your shoes don’t match that skirt, no matter how adorable they are separately.
– You have a fabulous new bag and I love it!
– Everyone needs to get a Kindle…regardless of if you’re an Apple geek.
– You need sunscreen….no really, you need sunscreen.
– If you don’t feed me, I’m going to be hangry.
– Is it okay if we pull over? I really need to pee.
– You have an eye-lash on your cheek. Here, let me grab it for you.
– Ummmm, your button is unbuttoned.
– Your zipper is unzipped.
– Yeah you gained some weight but you look fabulous. No, you don’t need to lose it! Flaunt it!
– Everyone needs color in their life, especially their wardrobe.
– What you see now in your relationship will only become more prominent in your marriage. Don’t settle.

telling the truth and making someone ry is better than telling a lie and making someone smile.

Granted, my good friends will tell you that “tact” is definitely an area I’m working on. But the one thing that I’ve heard time and time again is that people appreciate my honesty. I’m not going to sugar-coat anything. I’ll give you honest thoughts, ask some good questions, and challenge you, because I hope you’ll do the same for me.  I hope that the relationships I have are strong enough to share the good, the bad, and the ugly. Because at the end of the day, the goal isn’t to hurt one another. Honesty is there to build each other up, strengthen each other, and encourage one another.  Without it, how will the world carry on? On a giant facade? Yeah….I didn’t think so.

Day 1: Surviving your spouse on an international trip
Day 2: Never order flowers online
Day 3: Bucket List
Day 4: Pet Peeves
Day 5: Biggest Fear
Day 9:  Made with love…..

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Because January can be boring. Join us for a January Blog-A-Thon. Post a photo, video, sentence, anything that you want to! And if don’t feel inclined to blog, do come back and see what we’re up to. I can guarantee you’ll be entertained.

Day 5: Biggest Fear

There’s a lot in life that scares me. Spiders, sharks, eels, the ocean (I know I’m from Hawaii), and car accidents. But the biggest fear is losing Kyle. After losing my dad at 15 years old, I’ve always had this guttural reaction to never get married. I watched what my mom went through, not just a personal loss but the things that naturally come with it. Raising teenagers as a single parent, having to relocate for a job, the logistics of taking care of your loved one’s personal belongings and so on. I never wanted to deal with that. Ever.

During those formative years I made a pact with myself that if I never wanted to go through that, I just wouldn’t get married. In fact, my dear friend Rebecca reminds me of our time after college when I came home and proudly announced to the world that “I am never getting married. I have my routine. I love it. And I don’t need a guy in my life to complete my life.” Boy was I wrong.

I needed the right man in my life to complete it and Kyle is that man. He’s the person that listens to be complain and doesn’t say a word, never judges me even when I deserve it the most, surprises me with picnics and mexican food, goes running though it’s his least favorite activity, draws cold water baths when I’m returning from a training run, cleans the house because he knows I’d rather have that over a fancy birthday dinner, let’s me get my beautiful Marc Jacobs purse because I’ve been hunting for one exactly like that for over a year, massages me when I can’t turn my neck- even though he can no longer feel his thumbs.

Kyle and Jackie

Love this guy.

But my fear is still there.  The fear of losing my best friend, my husband, my snuggle-buddy. I remember the first year we got married, we’d get into stupid fights over him not calling/texting to let me know he was okay when he was out with the guys, or leaving at 2am to go to work to hit a deadline and not telling me. I’d wake up in the middle of the morning and my husband wasn’t there.  We finally figured out the root of the fights and it’s helped. I wouldn’t say it has solved everything but it’s helped dramatically in how we communicate, set expectations, and support one another. I’m not sure I’ll ever get over my fear completely. But I do know that cherishing each moment with him and my loved ones is something that is vitally important to me.  Love is bigger than fear.
Day 1: Surviving your spouse on an international trip
Day 2: Never order flowers online
Day 3: Bucket List
Day 4: Pet Peeves
Day 8: Honesty
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Because January can be boring. Join us for a January Blog-A-Thon. Post a photo, video, sentence, anything that you want to! And if don’t feel inclined to blog, do come back and see what we’re up to. I can guarantee you’ll be entertained.

Day 3: Bucket List

Honestly, it’s easy to come up with a list of your hopes, dreams, wishes, and desires. The hardest part is sharing it for fear of ridicule, laughter, and the like.  I mean, really does learning to surf count if I’m from Hawaii? But honestly, I’m excited about this list. There’s definitely challenging items, possibly unrealistic ones, but many are achievable. I don’t think I’ve ever put them down to paper until now. It’s been a meditative process, and reminds me so much of  filling out Lululemon’s life plan questionnaire. Except I’m pretty sure I never completed theirs. Kat and Linds, you should be proud.

  1. Ride a horse. My uncles had a ranch in Oregon and I remember as a kid wanting to ride them and being told no. To this day, I have yet to ride a horse. Everytime I see one, I remind Kyle of my wish.
  2. Travel in a hot air balloon. Who doesn’t want to do this?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jubyfc/1017673672/

    Photo Courtesy of @Pixilinthebox. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jubyfc/1017673672/

  3. Summit Mt. Rainier. Does Camp Muir count? Didn’t think so. And I was “this” close.
  4. Join La Tomatina (tomato smashing fesitval in Italy). Do as the Italians do.
  5. Run a marathon. One day I will get there.
  6. Race in a triathlon. Thanks Mark Clark for the inspiration. If you can do it, I can do it. Side note: key word is triathlon, NOT Ironman.
  7. Get a French Bulldog and name it “Stitch.”

    Stitch from Lilo and Stitch

    Stitch from Lilo and Stitch. Photo Courtesy: DeviantArt.com


  8. Get a brown Labrador and name it “Bubbles.” Yeah, you know where I’m going with this.
  9. Get a Weimaraner and name it “Henry.”
  10. Own a house with a garden.
  11. Bikram Hot Yoga 30-Day Challenge. Anything less is unacceptable. kidding.
  12. Live in London. Dream job.
  13. Work in London. Dream home location.
  14. Vacation in Costa Rica at a Treehouse Community. Secretly we’re hippies.
  15. Learn to surf. I’m Hawaiian but that doesn’t mean I’m cool.
  16. Learn how to cook authentic Thai Food. Because Google just can’t get it right.
  17. Backpack through the Scotland Highlands and Isle of Skye. Tim and Rich, double date?

    Isle of Skye Fairy Pools, Scotland

    Isle of Skye Fairy Pools, Scotland. Photo Credit: John and Tina Reid. http://www.flickr.com/photos/catchlightsa/5933316355/

     

  18. Start my own dessert shop. Totally unrealistic but a dream. Kyle’s already working on adult liquor popsicles.
  19. South of France-Spain-Italy-Greek Holiday. Yes.
  20. Morocco- Portugal- Egypt- Turkey Holiday. Yes. Yes.
  21. Australia-New Zealand-Fiji-Tahiti Holiday. Yes. Yes. Yes.
  22. Germany-Switzerland-Prague- Czech Republic Holiday. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
  23. Backpack Patagonia. Priceless.
  24. Rock climb…again. Need I say more?
  25. Hood to Coast relay race. Dream race. 
  26. Learn how to sew. Is it bad that Kyle knows how to use the sewing machine and the only thing I can think of is sewing my fingers together?
  27. Learn how to work on Kyle’s 1966 VW Bug. Because at this rate, it will take f-o-r-e-v-e-r to get it done.

    1966 VW Beetle

    1966 VW Beetle. This is what Kyle’s car used to look like. Photo Credit: VantageSportsCars.com

  28. Learn how to make cheesecake. It’s Kyle’s favorite dessert. Perhaps I can try a vegan version?
  29. Get a masters degree. MBA. Digital Media. I’m indifferent.
  30. Learn graphic design. I always wish I double-majored…even to this day.
  31. Learn pottery. The Swedes inspired me on our recent holiday.
  32. Fix our 1964 VW 21-window bus. Secretly I want to paint it hot pink.
  33. Century Ride with Kyle (100 miles on a two wheels). Because any competition with your spouse is bound to be awesome.
  34. Read a book a week for the year. Thanks @TacAnderson for the inspiration.
  35. Be certified to be a mountain rescue volunteer. Let’s be honest. Mother Nature is the worst place to be when you really need help.

Day 1: Something New…. Day 2: Something Two…Tomorrow, Day 4: Pet Peeves.

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Because January can be boring. Join us for a January Blog-A-Thon. Post a photo, video, sentence, anything that you want to! And if don’t feel inclined to blog, do come back and see what we’re up to. I can guarantee you’ll be entertained.

dream chaser.

i’m excited to have been invited to participate in my  first ever blog link-up. but  i’m equally as excited about meeting new bloggers and hopefully making new friends from around the world.  this week, people across the US, australia and new zealand will be sharing our own dreams and why we dare to chase them.  join us in our dream chaser adventure!

if you had asked me in high school or college if i was an orphan, i would have laughed…or smacked you…or both.  i never considered myself poor or lacking of anything.  to me the word denoted something of poverty if not a curse.  besides my only experience of an “orphan” was shirley temple.  and i hated that movie.  but little did i know that the definition of an orphan is any child who loses one or both his/her parents.  technically, i am an orphan.

in high-school my family reeled from the sudden loss of my dad. he passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack. my twin sister and i were 15 years old. looking back i was a pretty self-absorbed kid. i covered it up as much as i could with a life full of school and sports. i also know my mom did her best to support us. she moved us to another island, far from her own family and friends to provide for her attention starving and soon to be college-bound teenagers.  she risked and sacrificed a lot. something that i could never truly appreciate until i was married. but the sacrifice and risk was something that would become a common thread in linking my dreams together.

jen and jacks

honestly i really had no idea how the loss of my father would play a pivotal role in my career.  i didn’t think it could. fast forward to senior year of college. some friends and i start a program, acting on aids, to bring awareness and activism to college students about the global HIV and AIDS pandemic. we pitch our program to world vision, and voila! three college graduates start working at one of the largest NGOs in the world.   don’t be fooled. it wasn’t as easy as it sounds. there was a lot of risk and a lot of sacrifice. how do you tell your family that you’re investing your $100K college degree into a start up with no real guarantees of a job?  besides, i can’t say i had ever wanted to work for a non-profit. back then my ‘world view’ consisted of for-profit corporations and entrepreneurial start-ups. non-profits were not in my prevue.

James, Elisabeth, Rich Stearns, and me at our Acting on AIDS program roll out at World Vision USA Chapel, 2005.

obviously God had a different plan. and a sense of humor. throughout my time building acting on aids (now ACT:S) and working at world vision, my “heart was broken for the things that break the heart of God.” poverty, malnutrition, hunger, famine ravished lands, lack of clean water, education, and the need…oh the need, has stirred in me a passion and thirst that i can’t quite quench.  and i don’t’ know if i ever will. but there was something that i really struggled with. making this ‘my story.’ how was God working in my life beyond this start up and how did this tie into what my dreams were?

my dreams of working for a big company started when i was a kid. i didn’t want to be a doctor or a nurse or even a teacher. i wanted to be a business woman who made a difference in the world. i suppose having a mom who dressed up in fabulous clothes each day to head to the corporate office influenced my decision somewhat.

Mom, Jen and I at my wedding.

okay let’s be honest, it influenced me a lot. but beyond the clothes, the  jewelry, and painted nails, i knew that there was something more about the business world that was enticing. it was about making a difference.  looking back over the last few years i’ve been able to really see how that kid-passion has driven me to shape who i am, what i desire to do in life, and where i want to go.

while with acting on aids, i was given the opportunity to travel to kenya and ethiopia on a three week trip to see world vision’s work in the field. it was one of the best trips of my life. it was also one of the hardest. i traveled with a group of senior pastors from around the US, mostly sitting in the background as to not detract from their trip. i listened, observed, rarely spoke…i was a wall flower. the night before our last day in the field, my mentor and trip leader, steve haas, asked each of us what the one thing we encountered on the trip that changed our perspective was and how would we take that into our lives as we returned home to the states?  honestly, i struggled…a lot. i nearly copped out. i was tempted to say what was the easiest…the poverty, the  need, the joy, the happiness, the children’s smiles, the culture, the food…but it was something else. something bigger that i had encountered.

Photo Courtesy of Jeff Stone, Africa 2006.

it was the realization that i was just like these kids. though not poor in material wealth, i had suffered the loss of a parent.  i too was an orphan. my mom was a single parent. she was caring for two kids, making sure we had a roof over our heads, meals on the table, and the opportunity to play with our friends. i had a connection with these children i never thought possible. and my heart just broke.  since then my dreams have always included these kids. i want to be able to give these children a life and opportunity i had, even as an orphan.  no one defined me by the loss of my dad nor should they. and no one should ever define the future of our generation.  all i see is potential. don’t you?

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We believe dreams are made of the same filling as hope, joy and love – the things that give us breath to run, faith to believe, and a heart to sing. When we dream, nobody imposes limitations on us, and that which can be imagined and hoped for can be so.

We’re writing about dreams this month because we believe when we share our dreams, we are dared to chase them. These dreams have inspired us, changed us, and fuelled our love for life and God. They’ve moved us jobs, continents and through relationships. They remind us that everything is possible.

you can learn a lot over a cup of coffee & from the people who make it.

i have a lot of things on my todo list. i also have a lot of books on my reading list. they range from social media to digital marketing, from biblical commentaries to the bible itself, to business and marketing trend books to self-help books. the reading stack seems endless. unfortunately, i have not had enough time in the day to devote to pleasure reading as evident by the stack of unopened, untouched books on my bed stand.


the one book that i have been anxious to read has been howard schultz’s, onward.  for those who don’t know, i worked at starbucks for over 7 months at one of the few drive thrus in seattle a few years back. though it was minimum wage and a very short stint, it was probably one of the best jobs i’ve had to this day. ultimately, i love what starbucks stands for- it’s value, mission, philosophy and ethics.  to read about the founding of those values and ethics are inspiring and encouraging, especially when one questions the ethical business practices of today. the timing of picking up this book couldn’t have been more perfect. for one, i am truly impressed by howard’s writing. he is a great writer- articulate, passionate, engaging, concise. though i am only 5 chapters in, there are a few profound things that he says that has resounded with me on multiple levels. professional. personally. ethically.  so much so, i feel compelled to share it.

1) “there are moments in our lives when we summon the courage to make choices that go against reason, against common sense, and the wise counsel of people we trust. but we lean forward nontheless because, despite all risks and rational argument, we believe that the path we are choosing is the right and best thing to do.  we refuse to be bystanders, even if we do not know exactly where our actions will lead.  this is the kind of passionate convistion that sparks romances, wins battles, and drives people to pursue dreams others wouldn’t dare. belief in ourselves and in what is right catapults us over hurdles, and our lives unfold.”

2) “work should be personal. for all of us…infusing work with purpose and meaning, however is a two-way streat.  yes, love what you do but your company should love you back.”

3) “every organization has a memory, a history of achievements, mistakes, even unintended consequences that contribute to an ongoing dialogue  as people mold an event’s meaning for themselves.  the tapestry of interpretations informs, and often directs the organization’s future. ”

4) “i had written hundreds of memos during my 26 years at the company, and all had shared a common thread. they were about self-examination in the pursuit of excellence, and a willingness not to embrace the status quo. this is a cornerstone of my leadership philosophy…only by not speaking from my heart do i betray that trust.”

as i read howard’s “heart,” i’m fascinated and inspired by all that he has done to keep to the core values he originally founded starbucks on. you really can learn a lot about a person over a cup of coffee.  even more so by the folks who make it.