Sunday, December 28, 2014

I feel like this year has lasted a really long time

I freely admit it. I haven't written anything since um...the January before last. I guess I am not a great blogger. I will probably never win an award for it, I will probably never be asked to test things, or blog about them by a company. To be honest, I'm not really even sure why I am blogging tonight, I just felt compelled. Not much has happened this year in the way of big, huge things. I left a job. That was big for me because financially it was better for me and had benefits. I went back to my part time childcare job which caused me to lose 10 hours of work a week, take a decrease in pay and lose my benefits. But I could breathe again. In January or February this year I did my first paid photo session. It led to a bunch more. I photographed a wedding. I started teaching winterguard. A lot of little things happened. Things I am proud of. My daughters being good people, doing well in school because they work hard. Spending time with my husband. All those little things that add up to a good life. Lots of bigger, scarier types of things have happened in the world, in our country, that can if I focus on them make me nervous, less secure. So I choose for my own well being to take care of me, my family, my community by helping to shape little ones in to good people so they won't be part of those big scary things.

I am ready to take big, new steps though. I don't know what they are going to be. But I can feel myself shifting and getting ready and that's always really exciting. I know some really big dreams I have that will take some work now. I need to start that big work. I don't know how to get where I want to go, but I know where I am heading and that is a big part of it. Anyone else have big dreams? Anyone else feel themselves shifting and getting ready for some new steps?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What I wrote when I turned 30-time for reflection

Getting ready to write a new version of this and wanted to remind myself of my own believes and thoughts. It's great to look back and see what I was thinking and feeling.

What I wrote when I turned 30

I started my 20′s pregnant, and since then a lot has happened. I am not scared to turn 30 any more than I was scared to have a baby before I had expected I would have a baby, or anymore than I was scared to finally get my license at 24, or go back to college with a toddler, or walk in to a job interview. I don’t get scared.In this past 10 years I moved into an apartment, got married, had a little girl, moved into another apartment, worked in a deli at a grocery store, started back to college, bought a new car, got my license, bought a house, got a dog, joined a gym, got pregnant, quit the gym, continued at college, and then had my daughter, lost my sister, and had surgery all in the space of 3 months. I got a job, joined a gym, quit the gym, and finally graduated college. I lost a wonderful, old family friend and almost lost my grandmothers, and watched my dad have cancer removed. I lost weight, twice, and finally settled into dance classes. Throughout the bigger things, smaller things have weaved in and out and through, building up those things I have begun to know about myself.
I have learned that even though I never experienced my 20′s the way many others did, out at clubs or bars, chilling with friends, I didn’t miss out.
Being a mother is a great thing, but remaining my self through out it, is more difficult than I can put in to words. I think for myself, sometimes it is easier to focus on my kids and their growth and selves, than it is to focus on my growth and my self. My goal for my 30′s, is to stay me, and focus on becoming a great woman.
I have learned not to watch the news and no matter how much others think I should be informed, I do not regret that I am not up on every issue. I have learned that watching the news brings me down. I then have to go through a cycle that involves depression, thinking I can do nothing to change things, a few glimmers of hope, and then realizing that by raising my children well, I am doing something to change things. Then I swear off watching the news until I accidentally hear some or read some. Repeat cycle.
I have learned that I can fall into shit and come out smelling like roses so not to fear the shit. That is partially why I don’t get scared.  In my life I can honestly say that everything happens for a reason, and that reason is not always about me. I have found that if I am in a bad mood, I just need to sit with it. Be with that moodiness instead of analyzing how I got there. Sometimes I can get grumpy hearing a note of a song. Don’t analyze….just go with it.
I have learned that losing some one close to you is painful, but that watching someone who is close to you and younger than you die, when you can do nothing to stop it, is the most helpless feeling imaginable. After my younger sister died for a while I felt helpless and on constant edge, wondering if that would happen to my children under my watch. I have learned I can’t worry about it. I have also learned that during one of the most awful things that happened to me, I was able to stay strong and come back from it. What a relief to know that I have that strength in me.
I have learned that there are simple things that make me deliriously happy. One of those things is having a piping hot latte, and browsing a book store, or reading a book, or playing a video game, or driving, or well you get the picture. Tide laundry detergent makes my heart sing. Having full cupboards and refrigerator. Opening the canister on the vacuum and seeing how much cleaner my house must be. Taking a bath with bubbles and a book, and tea or coffee. Hiking. Tomato plants. Playing Lord of the Rings online with my husband. Scouring the racks at the thrift store.Going to yard sales and flea markets with my parents. Getting really good deals from clearance racks.Dancing.
I have learned that when you become a mother you will think there is a certain way to be. Don’t be that. Do the other one. The one where you wear what you want, say what you want, and have the kind of things you like. If they are a little off, a little strange, it teaches a good lesson to your children to be whoever you think you are and it helps keep you happy and filled up inside.
I have learned that some people do not listen to me. This is a hard one for me. I talk a lot and for me to come to terms with this says a lot about how far I have come. There are times when I am telling a story, and the person I am talking to is obviously not listening, I will trail off and they don’t notice, so I just walk away and normally the person will look a little dazed, like they were doing something but can’t remember what, and then go about their day forgetting we were having a conversation. I am learning it is ok to not have your story heard, but to be damn sure you even have stories worth telling.
I have learned that being an independent person is difficult to maintain when you are married and have children, but it is highly important to do so. This is why, I do as much for myself as I can and take time for myself as often as I can.
I have learned that I have to take care of my body. No one can do it for me, and I am going to want it in good shape when I turn 40.
I have learned that no matter how hard I try, I can not look at things outside the lens of being a mother.
I have learned that at a certain point, your kid is just not listening anymore so get in the most important points in the front.
I still haven’t learned to just get to the point!
I have found that I have NO KNACK for house cleaning. In my house there are toys, shoes, just stuff, everywhere. I tackle major cleaning projects every once and a while, minor ones every once in a while, and someday in the future my dream is to have a housekeeper. I have learned that there is no point giving myself a hard time about it.
I think the most important thing I know about myself is that I think a lot more than I should, start many projects that I don’t finish, and generally flail around looking for that one thing I want to do for the rest of my life. Often I feel angry at myself that I cannot settle with something. So I feel mad because I don’t know what I want to do with my life, guilty because I start things and don’t finish them, and then feel like a failure because of it. I’m constantly searching, looking. In my mind that one thing is just beyond my reach, so I stretch and stretch to reach it and before I can grasp it, it has drifted off again. So I have learned to give myself a break. To let it go. To not worry about what I want to do, become, or accomplish. It really stresses me out. If I have something I want to try, and get halfway through and quit, it’s ok. No matter how much I get teased or scolded, it is ok.
I have found a person to share my life with that will let me flail when I need to, who doesn’t force me to fit in to a mold, and who really takes me for who and what I am. He will wade through the half finished projects, thoughts, and things to tell me that I am wonderful and beautiful, a fantastic mother, wife, and person.
Now that I am 30 I have decided that I like what I like. Cool huh? I do not have to pretend I like something i don’t, I don’t have to pretend to be interested when I clearly am not, and I’ve decided that I like dancing, vegetable gardening, antiquing, shopping, shoes, books, coffee, clothes, crunchy leaves, learning, laughing, history, vintage clothing, snapshots I find at yard sales and at antique stores, video games, photography, and billions of other things. I still LOVE Drum Corps and miss it beyond words as I do Winterguard.  Things i don’t like that I probably never will? Politics and NASCAR.
I feel sturdier in myself and what I think and feel. I feel stronger and braver. Definitely feistier. I feel like my feet are planted firmly and I just thing my 30′s are going to be amazing. So thank you 20′s for being what you were, for bringing me my husband and my beautiful children. Thank you for showing me how strong I am, and thank you for helping me understand that I am who I am and damn it, I’m not changing. So peace out 20′s and hello 30′s!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Banging Start to 2013

Ok it's time for me to brag some. I'll be honest I don't think I brag nearly as much as I could. But I"m going to do it now and I am going to love every minute of it. Ok first thing. I got a new camera for Christms. It's a Canon T3i, which is AMAZING. Also I got a new Canon 300mm lens for it which is also AWESOME. I received a ukelele for Christmas and lessons from my sister which is SUPER exciting because I have been wanting one for a couple of years now. Ok 3rd I got my favorite photo editing software ever. Adobe Lightroom makes editing a snap and beautiful. My husband bought me a Nook HD which is really really nice and I didn't know I wanted one until I had it and realized it is WAY AWESOME. Ok put those aside in your mind.
I took a few pictures but not many just yet!

2nd thing: I am starting the new year off with a new job. I have been at my current job for 5 years and felt like it was truly home. I worked at a childcare center and though I didn't realize it, it may be my calling.I will missing working with the amazing people I have worked with but it's time to start moving forward:)  I will be starting off the new year as an Activity Specialist at a before and after school care program in the local school district with amazing benefits and full time status. But wait you say...there's more??? Why yes there is!

3rd thing. A photograph I took is in the top 8 of a contest for the Beach House rental company that my Mother and Father in law use every year to rent our beach house. If I win the photo will appear on the cover of their 2013 Booklet and I will receive a Canon D20 underwater camera. Now I don't really need the camera, but wouldn't it be awesome to see my picture on the cover? For me it would be!! You can vote if you want, I really want you too:)

Talk about charmed. If there could be a better way to start the new year I don't really know it.

Hope your new year is as good as I think mine is going to be!!
 Me and my Nephew!

 Happy 2013!!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Speak Your Mind About: Barnes and Noble

As a person with a career in Early Childhood and as a Mom and a Thinker there are things that really upset me. In our country right now we have millions of children. Of those children there are so many struggling with reading and speaking properly. In our classroom at school we make sure to have a wide variety of different types of books in all different formats and styles. It is extremely important to engage their brains and encourage them to read, write and think. Books teach lessons, comfort and soothe, teach about the world around you and help to widen children's vocabulary. At home, I highly encourage reading and find it frustrating when others overlook this crucial link in creating children who love learning. So imagine my frustration when at Barnes and Noble Booksellers this evening we couldn't find many paperback picture books. For most of their picture books they were only selling hardcover copies. Which would be all well and good if they weren't $17.99. COME ON! That is insane. How can we expect our children to learn to read and love it, if we can't afford to get our hands on books? Libraries are great. Don't get me wrong, but there is something very satisfying about having your own bookshelf with books you know frontwards and back. It builds confidence in readers to know how the story goes and to be able to retell it. The ones they did have in paperback were mostly commercial ones: cartoon characters, television shows etc.  If that is all you can buy and read, at least it is something. But I was so upset that Barnes and Noble has begun to make reading and book owning something that only the children from higher incomes can afford. So naturally I had to send off a letter to Barnes and Noble. It is not as scathing as the Disney Channel letter was, but at least it gets my thoughts out there.

To Whom It May Concern:

This evening, November 24th, 2012 I was in your Big Flats, NY store looking for copies of several children's books in paperback. You see, these are not new books, but books that are popular and should have been available in paperback picture books. The only copies I could find were hardcover books. As I looked around the children's area I saw that not only were these books only available in hardcover, but most other children's picture books as well, except for the commercial books such as Dora, Disney Princess, Curious George etc.  Now the hardcover books, they are beautiful, and much sturdier than their paperback counterpoints. However, you are selling hardcover children's books for $17.99. The paperback versions to these books are available online for $6.99. I think you can see that someone would be able to buy more paperback books for the price of one hardcover book. Also by selling only the commercial books in paperback, it really limits what our children are reading about. The greatest children's books teach so many lessons that are absent in these more commercial books.  Can I tell you what you are doing by reducing drastically the number paperback books available? Because of this, fewer parents can afford to buy books for their children.  Not only that but children will not have the variety in their libraries that helps to promote literacy. Parents need to have the ability to purchase many different types of stories; ones that are written in rhyme, poems, song, and story to name a few. This helps to encourage language. If you do not promote literacy at a young age, you will lose your readers. If you lose your readers, you have no business in the future. Just because books are now available on electronic devices does NOT mean that all children have access to those devices. Furthermore, those that need the books the most probably really don't have access to those electronic books. Please reconsider your stocking in stores. It really is important to your customers that books remain affordable so that we can get them in the hands of the kids that need them. Does it not stand to reason that a Book Store would want the generations of children growing up now to become and remain readers?
Thank You for your time.

And of course I signed it and what not. I doubt I will even get a response and that's okay. But sometimes i really think these people running these companies don't actually think about what the implications of what they are doing are. I may be wrong...but I doubt it.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Where did the time go?

I haven't blogged in a really long time. Duh you say. Duh. Pretty obvious when my last post was January. Woops. I just haven't felt much like sharing things. Isn't that sad? When you stop sharing your life with others it is almost like it isn't happening. Almost. During the summer our family was blessed with 2 new bundles of absolute joy.

My beautiful niece Roryanna Jessica
My stunning daughters!
My nephew Benjamin and his girlfriend Belle:)
And of course my girls and the babies and their aunts:) on Halloween of course!

 Now there have been other things that have happened as well. Such as:
First day of Middle School!

First day of Kindergarten!

 Plus we went to the beach!

All the Nieces and Nephews from my husbands side of the family!! SO ADORABLE!

And we lost my Grandma to cancer

The summer was full of wonderful things, and very hard things as well and as glad as I was to see it come I am glad it is over. I feel like I needed Fall to regroup, take stock and prepare to move forward. It may not be all planned out, but at least I know it's time to move ahead and am prepared for whatever that brings.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I know Christmas is over but-I wanted to share the work I did

This year for our secret santa thing at work I happened to get one of my bestest friends. I couldn't just go with your run of the mill stuff. There were 4 days of $1 gifts and then 1 final gift with a cap of $10. I decided to make things, but knew that if I gave her what I was making for those dollar gifts she would know it was me. So I started off the week giving her a can of tuna. It was funny. She immediately knew it was me, but at least I could have fun with her. Anyway, one of the gifts I made was one I had seen on Pinterest. They were scarves made out of upcycled T-shirts.

Not entirely sure what happened to the pictures I had of the actual scarves once I was done with them, but I can't find them. Anyway, I also knitted her a scarf, and crocheted her a washcloth and gave her a bar of Oil of Olay soap. No, she doesn't smell, I just liked the idea of giving her something that smelled wonderful.

Gorgeous cream color

So that was my gift for a very good friend of mine. I also made scarves out of t-shirt for my lovely sister Shawna over at A Very Dandoislion Life and knitted a scarf for my wonderful mommy!

Thrifty Lamp Fun

 Yesterday evening, or yesternight:) I went to the Salvation Army. I have a tendency to go there once or twice a week because you just never know. I went the day before that and there was nothing I wanted. In fact the shelves were almost empty. I went back yesternight(hey, this may be the next new word) and found a bunch of clothes and two lamps. The lamps have clear bases and the lampshades match...well except that one of the lampshades was stained a bit of yellow.
The lamps in their original condition.
 My hope was to ombre dye the lamp shades so that they would be darker on bottom and gradually fade to lighter colored. I also had a brighter green color in mind, more a lime green. However, this was not to be. The big batch of color didn't turn out the same color as the test batch, I must have miscounted or something. Then the lampshades didn't absorb the color as I as hoping. Plus to further irritate me, I didn't have a large enough bin so that the lampshade could go deep into the dye. I had to use the sink. They barely fit into the sink. So I had to dye all the way around it on it's side first, to cover the whole thing. Then I did the bottom and the top. Unfortunately that left a wide swath in the middle and very definite lines on them. As the dye started to dry, the shiny squares on the shades came out more and actually gave the lamps a sort of Mad Hatter at the Tea Party type look. I may add a ribbon around that middle section. Maybe. I also may redye them. But for now I am in like with them. NOT in love.

So jury is out. What do you think?