13 August 2014

4 Years

I can't believe it's been 4 years since I was last happily pregnant. I had lunch out and just wanted to shout "I'm having a baby!" to anyone who'd listen.  An hour later, my life was irreparably changed by the words, "there is no heartbeat, and no movement" by a very sweet ultrasound tech. It's something I never would have imagined could happen to me, but as people with a solid faith in God have said,  "why not me?" I am not immune to sadness and loss and I now have 2 babies waiting for me in heaven to prove it. Today, 4 years since the first time one of my babies died, is a day to remember them and all the babies who knew only love. I Iove you, Taylor, and can't wait to meet you and your brother... Someday.

23 June 2014

9 Surprise Lessons I've Learned About Work and Money

It's true, I've been in panic mode for almost 2 months now, since I quit my job at the bank.  It's extremely stressful not making money and having the extra income, especially when you've managed to irresponsibly rack up credit card debt and still have some student loans.  It also makes you feel losery and worthless to not be adding monetary value to your household and to know that you tried and did not succeed at a new "career."  Then, there is the layer of guilt for putting all the slack on your husband for paying all the bills.  Seriously, I do feel really (really, really, really) bad for all of that.

BUT.  That all being said, I have learned several valuable lessons that I never would have figured out before.  In no particular order, not working has taught me:

1.  The value of who you are and what you mean to others cannot be expressed in monetary terms.  I have 2 amazing kids who have grown up so incredibly fast it makes me want to cry.  In just a few short years, Trent will be 18 and finishing high school.  The time I miss with them now cannot be recovered.  The biggest two regrets I have about working full time at the bank were missing almost all of last summer with them, and taking out my work frustration and exhaustion on them when my days were long at work.  Have the kids felt the impact of the zero bank balance?  Absolutely!  But the time I have been able to spend with them has been invaluable.  Being able to go on a field trip, hang out for field day, go to an awards ceremony, drive my son to camp, cook dinner every night, be the one to take them to their activities instead of showing up late, grumpy, and tired mean more to them than me being able to spend an extra $2 on gum every time we're at Target. 

2.  Making money is hard.  In an effort to make some supplemental money until I find a job, I have scoured my house for any and all goods I don't need anymore.  Turns out, they aren't worth much.  The 100 books I had from my college days that I spent thousands on?  I spent 2 full days online, looking for anyone who wanted them.  The result?  Sold only 20 of the books to the tune of just under $80  ($60 of which I can't even currently retrieve due to the name on my paypal account not matching the name on my bank account, but that's another story).  Took some old clothes of Taryn's (and by old, I mean mainly purchased in the last year) to a kid's consignment shop (2, actually).  Netted $15.65 (wooooo).  Took some of mine and Trent's old clothes to a teen consignment shop (again, old being within the past year or 2).  My earnings?  $10.60.  Dragged out almost everything we had from the basement and garage saled it.  After lugging it all out to my driveway THREE separate times, I made about $77.  And I still have a garage full of stuff I wish I had never bought.  I mean, really!  Did each of my kids need 70000000000 outfits before they were 2?!  Take heed, parents of little ones, DON'T BUY MORE THAN THE BARE MINIMUM OF CLOTHING AND TOYS FOR YOUR KIDS.  It's not worth it.  What I'm attempting to get at is that it is easy to spend money on things you think you need, but hindsight has taught me the hard lesson that acquiring money is way more difficult than spending it.  I may be unemployed but I have not worked this hard in a very long time!

3.  Setback does not equal failure.  Disliking my job waiting tables doesn't mean I failed.  Disliking my job at the bank, trying to sell credit cards and loans and accounts to people who just wanted to activate their debit card and leave doesn't mean I failed.  Flubbing up and spending some money I shouldn't doesn't mean I failed.  All of these things taught me so much about who I am, what I enjoy and don't enjoy, and what is important.  Had I learned nothing or failed to acknowledge what I know now about myself, THEN I would have failed.  But I am moving onward and upward and will continue to learn, grow, and move on.  No failure here. 

4. Struggling for every dollar you have makes you appreciate it a million times more, and 5. letting your kids watch you work your butt off for almost nothing is a priceless lesson for them.  I have felt bad time and again for telling them no: no, we can't go out, no, we can't get ice cream, no, we can't buy candy, no, no, no, no, no.  But all those no's have shown them that every little extra spent here and there is A. a treat, and B. adds up to a ton of money.  I'm hoping this time spent being thrifty and getting minimal extras will help them think twice about their own spending habits, now and forever.

6. Being employed can be exceptionally deceptive.  I was making ok money at the bank.  Compared to other jobs, it was just ok, better than Mimi's, about the same take home as Perkins, but at Perkins I made the money in 25-30 hours vs. 38-40+ hours at the bank.  That's a minimum of 8 extra hours per week, yikes!  And now we can all see why serving is a job that is easy to end up doing for 10,000 years!  I knew this the whole time I was working at the bank and I knew I had debt to pay down, but I could afford extra stuff because I had a job!  Right?  WRONG.  Having a job tricked me into telling myself I could buy stuff I shouldn't have been buying.  While it's true I did need new work clothes, I didn't need a closet full of new work clothes.  While it's true that some days were payday, I didn't need to eat lunch out just because I had plenty of money in my account on payday.   Several years ago, I lended a friend some money, and before she paid me back, she had bought some non-necessities for herself.  Man, was I pissed!  I angrily confronted her and she angrily wrote me a check for the full amount while I stewed that she was mad at me for saying something.  It blew over quickly, but looking back, I wonder why I don't hold myself to the same standard.  I owe Visa money.  I owe MasterCard money.  I owe Discover money.  I owe Nelnet money.  We all get the idea.  Obviously these companies aren't my friends and don't want me to pay off my balances, but the concept is similar.  Why am I not angry at myself for spending money on lunch out or ANOTHER pencil skirt I'm not going to wear when I owe my buddy Bank of America a bunch of money?  Well, because I have a job and have money coming in so I can afford to.  That was the lie I told myself for a long time and when I do get a new job, I hope and pray that I won't forget this lesson!  All I can currently afford is the money I owe other "people."

7.  It's not all about the money.  I have stupidly become obsessed with money, despite having a lifelong cavalier attitude about it.  I'm not obsessed with building a big bank account or buying lots of things, just with getting and staying out of debt.  But the things in life that matter the most aren't how much you make or what stuff you've got.  I have a great family and supportive friends, am happy with my religion and developing relationship with God, and I have everything I need.  I am lucky.  I am blessed.

8.  If work feels like torture, it will poison your whole life.  I am searching for something I am passionate about and love doing because then it will not feel like work.  I won't stupidly hold out forever for the ideal, but now I do have a long term goal of finding something I LOVE doing.  Working in a restaurant is fine.  Working in a bank is fine.  But I got to the point where I hated being at work and that makes the job 100% not worth it.  I don't know where I'll end up, but I know it won't be in a job that is just "fine," or worse.

9.  I am ok and have everything I need.  Not working doesn't mean you aren't valuable.  It doesn't mean your world is going to fall apart.  It doesn't mean you're lazy or afraid to work hard.  If anything, this has taught me that working hard feels great!  Until I find my next job, I will continue to be ok.

19 June 2014


Next month, I will be 33.  I have 2 kids who are rapidly approaching adulthood.  I have a college degree, earned over 11 years ago.  I have been married for nearly 8 years.  I worked in restaurants for almost 16 years.  I enjoy psychology, sociology, literature, writing, drawing, painting, crocheting, criminal justice, music, children, walking, and karate.  I know that ideally, I'd like to do a job that isn't customer service, at least for a while.  I know that I don't enjoy sales at all.  I think sales pitches are ridiculous and sometimes even insulting.  I hate been sold to and I don't want to do it to anyone else.  I have learned from my last job that confidence and self assuredness will get you very far.  I have learned that loving what you do is key, because if your job makes you miserable, it will spill into real life and make those around you miserable as well.  I learned that it's not that easy to just "make money" and the harder you work for the money, the better it feels to have it.  All of THAT being said, I have come to the scary, stressful, and maddening "what do I want to be when I grow up?" crossroad.  I wish I had come to, and torn past, this juncture a decade ago, but nothing will change the past.  I keep telling myself and everyone else, I don't know, I don't know, I don't know what to do.  But I do know, really.  I want to do something creative (make paintings and sell them, teach elementary students art class, write a novel, or write and illustrate stories for elementary aged children), independent (clean houses, deliver mail, make art and literature), and/or something that helps others (social work, case management, counseling).  So far my own self doubt is by far the biggest hurdle standing in my way.  I am unsure of my talents and passions, and scared of failing, so I don't fully throw myself into anything.  I have been grasping at straws to find a way to make extra money, and none of my ideas have worked well, thus far.  But I haven't thrown myself fully into anything I'm passionate about.  I know these things take time, patience, and perseverance, so I am resolved to try, REALLY try, one idea at a time.  First on the list, creativity.  I am going to set up an etsy store, start painting things that I enjoy painting, and see if anyone else loves what I create.  I have a few exciting ideas for paintings and am eager to see what I can do.  I have also resolved myself to spending time writing a book.  I have lots of ideas that have been on my mind, some old, some new, and they won't write themselves.  Taryn recently told me that I should be a writer, and I would love to.  But with no manuscript, a career as a writer seems completely unattainable.  Since this has always been a passion and a dream of mine, there is no reason why I shouldn't make the time to pursue this.  I do not want to feel like a failure due to lack of effort on my end.  Should I "fail" at either of these endeavors, I want to know I tried as hard as I could!  I cannot continue to be too afraid to try because I am unsure.  If I sell no art, and never publish my book or books, at least I will have spent my time creating them and pursuing a dream.  In the mean time, I still will need to work a "real job,"  and I know deep down there is an amazing job out there for me that will further my development and make me happy.  I am praying that I find it swiftly and ask that you pray for me and wish me good luck on this journey.  Having so much encouragement has been motivating and inspiring and I feel blessed to be able to take this time to figure myself out and have friends and family cheer me on along the way.

15 May 2014


It's been 2 years since I lost my second heaven baby.  I marked my calendar with a little heart.  I have little flashbacks to that day, and the few days after it.  Feeling lost.  Feeling stunned.  Feeling... like I didn't know how to feel.  Maybe I was too calm.  Maybe I was too detached.  Maybe I didn't care enough.  I know that's not true.  But sometimes I feel like it is.  Of course I was sad and upset.  But not devastated.  Maybe that's what happens when you are expecting it.  That's pretty sad.  The way I explained it to someone was something like, "obviously I didn't want it to happen, but after it already has, you kind of expect it to go that way."  I still don't feel so totally torn up over it like I did the first time.  I guess time helps soften the blow.  I'm not saying I don't care, just that there's a little bit of numbness to the whole experience. 

When you have kids in heaven, it changes everything.  Who you are, how you feel, what you think about life, death, and God all change.  I am not the same person as I was before August 13, 2010; and even more different than who I was prior to May 15, 2012.  Knowing your child died, and not knowing why, or not knowing why the fatal problem happened to them in the first place, or not knowing if they felt anything, or suffered, or the exact moment they went from growing, developing, and BEING ALIVE to dead is the most haunting aspect of the miscarriage experience.  Knowing that your body went through labor that is not recognized as labor, knowing that society doesn't regard these babies as actual people, that is the most angering.  Hearing people say, "I know how you feel" when they haven't gone through it, and sometimes even when they have, or, worse, people comparing their WANTING to have a baby with your loss... really???  Maybe I'm being an ass about the whole situation, but you WANTING to get pregnant at a certain time and having life changes ruin that plan, or WANTING to have another kid and not having it happen for a long time are certainly frustrating and I'm sure (I don't know because I HAVEN'T been in those situations) full of anguish, but they are in no way the same as having the baby you are pregnant with, who actually is alive, die in your body!!!  It's just not, and it dishonors the women who lost babies and the babies who died to suggest that the situations are similar.  People usually do not trivialize the death of a child who lived outside the womb, it is maddening that it keeps happening to children who die before they are born.  2 of my children are less than because they didn't live long enough to be born?!?  Think that one over and tell me it's logical.  I'd love to know how we are able to come to that conclusion!  Half of my kids are dead, that's pretty bad odds, so yeah, I get a little riled up about the societal attitudes toward babyloss.

But today, I really don't know how to feel.  I guess I am just staying busy and remembering that no matter what, those babies were mine and nothing can change the memories I got to make with them.  And I'm ok.

29 January 2014

"I've heard that's really common"

Several months back, those very words were said to me by a co-worker when it came out that I had lost 2 kids. "I've heard that's really common." Girl, what?! It was all I could do not to bite back in the meanest possible way with "I heard it's common to lose your parents." But what asshole would say something so mean, thoughtless, and absurd? What point would it serve to slap her in the face with words over the loss of her mother whom she loved so dearly?  But what makes child loss, especially miscarriage, any different? Yes, my children weren't even born, they were tiny, they were developing, I didn't even meet them. But they were MY kids. They lived in my body and in the few weeks I knew about them, my brain had already played out millions of moments of their lives and not one of those moments included their death and me not getting to meet them in this life. So why do we act like it's ok to disregard them with statements like that one? Yeah, it's common to lose a child. Lots of things are common, it doesn't make them any less terrible and knowing that it's common doesn't do anything whatsoever to make it easier. Cancer is common. Having parents pass away is common.  Having your identity stolen is common. But our reactions to those events are much different. I cannot fathom ANYONE saying "yeah that's common" when someone they know is diagnosed with cancer or some other terrible disease. No one would say such a thing with a straight face and expect that to be somehow comforting. My kids DIED. Knowing it's not uncommon does NOTHING to ease that. At this very moment, HALF of my children are not here with me and I have missed 1 and almost 3 years so far with them. A million moments, stolen away.I'm glad I'm not alone in that but knowing it's happened to other people really only makes me more sad. Other people have had to go through this shit! Friends, relatives, women I love dearly! I wouldn't wish this on anyone. So please remember that while it's common to miscarry a child, it's also a very terrible thing and the only words appropriate to utter are, "I'm sorry for your loss(es)" or some other similar but sensitive phrase. I know the topic is uncomfortable, but living on earth with kids in heaven is uncomfortable, too.

13 January 2014

bikini body/bikini ATTITUDE

Photo: DO IT
A friend posted this on facebook, and it was PERFECT for how I've been feeling lately!

When I was 15, I could eat junk all day and was literally so thin people I didn't know would ask me if I was anorexic.  In gym class sophomore year, we were measuring our body fat with calipers and a girl I didn't even know came over and asked if anyone had 0% body fat.  My group of friends and I told her no and she looked at me and said, "oh, we thought maybe you did."  I was close to 6 feet tall, weighed no more than 145 (getting sick sophomore year took care of that and brought me down to the low 130s for the rest of high school), had thighs so skinny I couldn't MAKE them touch, and ate horrendously.  People TELL you it won't be like that forever and that you just have high metabolism, but you don't realize how much and how quickly things change.  (For the record I was completely obsessive about having a skinny waist and would wake up at 5 in the morning to do abs of steel workouts- all this after one little comment by my mom when I was 12 that I was getting a little bit of chunk at my waist.  At 5'9" and 115 pounds or so, looking back I'm sure it was either pretty much nothing or she was completely kidding- but that comment stuck with me, well, forever.  So I did get a fair amount of exercise in high school, I also walked a LOT).  But, after I had my baby Trent, my body never went back.  Despite actually still being skinny and fit (maybe tipped the scales around 155) I was still OBSESSED with being skinnier.  I weighed a little more and my waist was one whole inch bigger than before and it drove me crazy.  After I had Taryn, I was just a bit heavier than before I got pregnant with her.  Then, when Taryn was about 2, I gained about 20 pounds.  I was heavier than I had ever been except when I was pregnant and I thought it was totally unacceptable.  I began eating better (at this point I wasn't exercising ever) and lost 25 pounds in a couple of months.  After I met Ryan I gained a little back.  Then I started exercising again and toned up.  Then I got a little flabby.  When we got married I weighed somewhere around 160-165.  I wore a bikini one day on our honeymoon and after we got the pictures I was appalled.  All I saw was my fat gut.  I asked him why he let me run around like that and to look how fat I looked.  He said, "I just see us on the beach."  Right after we got married, I was stressed out and still trying to handle this whole being a grown up thing and started gaining again.  Then I got obsessive about exercising.  If my weight fluctuated AT ALL it freaked me out.  Then I stopped caring.  Then about 4 years ago, I gained my holiday weight and could NOT get rid of it.  Then in the summer it just fell off for no reason I could figure.  Then I got pregnant with Taylor.  That 10 weeks I gained probably 8 pounds.  Too much.  The next couple of years were the same.  Pack on weight over the holidays.  Watch it disappear when the weather got warm despite no changes to diet or exercise.  In 2012, I gained my holiday weight.  But it never went away in 2013.  In fact, the scale just kept creeping up and up.  My clothes were tight, I'd look in the mirror and think I was disgusting.  My tummy was flabby for the first time in many, many years (even after babies, I'd work hard to get at least a 4 pack back).  My thighs wouldn't NOT touch.  Mind you, at 6'1"ish and still under 180, I'm NOT huge.  But my head tells me I am.  So one of the goals I have this year is an either/or.  EITHER I'll lose weight- HOPEFULLY from eating healthfully, so that whatever chronic disease is plaguing me and making me feel terrible all the time will go away and a logical side effect will be weight loss, OR I'll "get over" my weight gain and JUST MAKE PEACE WITH HOW I LOOK.  I want to wear a bikini this year; just not with the stipulation of only doing so if I'm fit and look skinny.  I want to put on a bikini and not compare myself to EVERY. OTHER. WOMAN. I. SEE.  I want to put on a bikini and not CARE if I don't have a 6 pack- or even a 4 pack- or even a 2 pack!  I want to put on a bikini and know that the 20000000000000000000000000000 stretch marks I have are from the 4 babies who lived in there and not care if they're noticeable.  I want to put on a bikini and know there's nothing wrong with the body I'm in- whether it's 175 pounds or 155 pounds or any other NUMBER of pounds.  I don't know how I'm going to get to this point, but that's my goal.  And to not say how fat I am in front of my kids.  We shouldn't be judging any woman by her size, and I shouldn't be teaching them to by tearing myself apart.  My body can earn a black belt, care for my family, and take my dog for a walk.  It can house children.  All those things should be good enough!  I just have to get to the point where I always think those things ARE good enough- about myself and any other woman, bikini-clad or not.

08 January 2014

church notes- literally typing (swyping on phone) notes during church

Favorite and not favorite things

DMV, taxes, jury duty, disciplining kids (dislikes from the crowd)

No one likes to suffer.
WHY do we dislike/hate suffering?
We're creatures of comfort/pleasure
UNLESS there is value/payoff/benefit to the suffering/discomfort/pain/difficulty
Suffering a rite of passage for Christians (hard time in faith is a typical Christian journey)
Matthew 5 (blessed are those who suffer and are persecuted) verse 12: rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven
Christian or not, people will go through trials because we live in a fallen, sinful world.
Suffering: sin filled choices and mistakes. We sometimes choose the wrong path due to our sinful nature.
Sometimes it isn't due to our wrongdoings or bad choices.
Hebrews 12:
Suffering at the hands of others.
God marked or our race, we must fix our eyes on Jesus who endured the cross and sits at the right hand of the father. Ephesians 4: we, through the lens of the blood of Jesus Christ, are seen by God as holy and blameless
Persecuted due to their faith because they walked away from Judaism. Banned, abolished, suffering because they believed in Jesus.
Jesus= free grace! (Woohoo)
Keep on!
Struggle against sin different from struggle WITH sin. Keep persevering!
"The Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son"
We want our kids to learn to work hard and learn discipline; we don't (and God doesn't) want us to SUFFER, we want them to grow up with values and grow into maturity BECAUSE WE LOVE THEM. The concept is the same with God and us. He is saying, "you belong to me." This involves difficulty at times!
In order to shelter us from pain, He would have to protect us from ourselves and everyone else. He gave us free will instead. We have the choice to accept or deny him. As we suffer, we have good to look to and good to find our hope in! We should seek discipline in order to grow (in Him). We respect our parents for disciplining us; God is our heavenly father. Discipline produces a harvest of goodness. There are benefits of discipline and suffering!
Suffering= benefit of faith. New lens and perspective.
James 1:2-4: "consider it pure joy whenever you face trials... We will become mature and complete from it"

Through the text I used the words us and we. The above photo is a reminder that he loves us ALL and wants us all to love him back (No matter how bad we think we are)

Ironically, this was my daily bible verse for today on my bible app:

1 Peter 5:10

10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

07 January 2014

Random thoughts

How did I end up with a giant black bruise on the inside of each of my thighs and not remember hurting myself? I'm assuming it's from karate but still. OWWWWWWWW. I'm such a baby.

When i cross my legs they hurt each other!  Why do my bruises never look quite as bad in pictures as they actually are?!  Apparently i can't be trusted with wooden nunchucks. Also, I whacked my elbow about 1,000,000 times so it hurts the most but the damage isn't quite as evident.

I just had to switch from typing on my phone to typing on the computer and when I logged in, I used my work password.  I think I'm there too much!

My dog is curled up on our new cuddly blanket (or, "mankey" if you're Taryn) and she looks so cute!!! She doesn't look as cute as she really does in the pictures I snapped of her.  Perhaps I am a terrible photographer. 

Isn't she so cute!!!  I like her so much.

I can't really think of what I want to say so sorry about the rambling.

I did have a few other new year's wishes:
1.   Don't get angry while driving
2.  Calm down and just be nice to people (like when I was at work on Christmas eve and on the phone and I kind of rudely asked a customer to hold on just a second and he was just telling me merry Christmas.  gosh.  I felt like such a bitch).
3.  Don't look at the phone while I drive, ever.  For any reason.  I need to just get in the habit of putting it in the trunk.

I had thought of some others earlier today but now I can't remember so probably my first ten posts will have things I want to work on this year.

I know I'm no where near 500 words but I think that's all I've got in me today.  Good thing a picture is worth a thousand words!

Also, the terrible song 7 things I hate about you is stuck in my head.  No idea why.  I wish it would stop.  Although trying to think of 7 things I hate about the singer (Miley Cyrus for those of you who don't have the misfortune of knowing offhand) makes it more amusing.  And I just broke my wish #2 above.  Ha.

06 January 2014

words and reso's

Thanks to Jamie at forget me not, oh Lord, I am signed up for the 500 word challenge to write at least 500 words every day in the month of January. Obviously it's the 6th so I'm not off to the best start ha ha. But that's ok. I was really excited to see this idea because I have really been wanting to get back to spending time each day writing and I'm hoping to write every day. Maybe not 500 (or more) words every day, and maybe not always here, but definitely at least 15 minutes every day to myself to be creative and let some thoughts out. I'll edit this post later to link to the 500 word challenge (I'm on my phone so it's a little complicated at the moment. Also my dog is squeaking her toy incessantly and it's totally hilarious but also moderately distracting).

I'm not really one for making resolutions (that I totally never keep. At all). So here are my WISHES for the year:
1. At least TRY- really hard- to eat clean for at least a month. This will require extra work, extra planning, extra effort, and probably extra money but I think it would be extremely beneficial and I'm excited to see if we all feel better. (Update, I haven't braved going to the doctor but Ryan recently had and m.s. is suspected, so I'm hoping it will help him too).
2. Spend more time reading, writing, and being creative and less time watching t.v. or messing with my phone.
3. Walk every day. Even if it's cold, or late, or I'm tired.
4. Go to the stupid doctor (and find one who doesn't suck)
5. Read the bible and my daily affirmations every day.
6. Get good at my job or find one I am good at and happy at.
7. Feel better about babies. Dunno how to do this but maybe I'll see a therapist or something. I need to make peace with my reality and move forward.

I'll revisit these wishes for 2014 every couple of weeks to keep them fresh and stay mindful of them. Wish me luck!

30 October 2013

Bulletpoint Update

I'm on a computer all day at work, so, honestly, I haven't wanted to blog AT ALL.  And I kind of don't now but I happened to be on here and it's been a loooooooong time, so here's a quick update in bullet points.  I'm hoping this will give me a jumping off point to get in depth later!

*work is still... yeah... I dunno.  Still learning, still struggling a bit, still hoping I'll get better, still not thrilled with the hours.  Trying harder and gradually improving, but not where I thought I'd be 6 months in... workin' on it!

*wanting a baby status: over it.

*sad about Taylor and Tristan: getting much better.  Less bitter.  Easier to cry when I think of them but strangely that's helpful.  Not like I bawl daily, just actually letting myself feel when the it comes up.

*other babies:  easier.  Still not always that easy.  More "wow what a cute baby" moments and less "I hate you for having a baby" moments.  Still removing people from my facebook news feed THE first time I see the "having a baby" posts.  Actually caring about them and checking up on them on my time/terms.

*black belt: earned.

*marriage:  work in progress.  I don't touch on it much here and I don't want to air other's issues, but I'll say there have been a lot of struggles in the last year or so.  I'm learning a lot about myself and how to be a better person through it, though, and I think that's important and worth mentioning.

*friends: miss them!  no time.  burning out kinda fast with everything.  NEED MORE TIME WITH FRIENDS

*life:  need a better balance/to prioritize.

*church:  zoning out a bit.  definitely need to improve my relationship with God!

*health: meh.  gaining weight, hate that!  chronic pain not AS bad.  gland stuff, icky and not very good.  Jaw tense and awful.  upper back full o' knots.

*pets:  Taryn's 3 frogs all died, but... we got a little doggie!!!  She's a 4 year old shih Tzu named Coco and I loooooove her!

*Trent: outgrew me!

*survived:  3 year anniversary of saying bye to Taylor (8/13/10).

*revelation:  losing a grandchild is hard for grandparents.  watching their kids want kids is hard for parents.  my m.i.l. is awesome and strong and also probably really struggling watching us lose kids and another one long for them!

*looking forward to:  going to Glenwood Springs with Ryan to celebrate our anniversary this weekend.  Hot springs and delicious food, here I come!

30 May 2013

Update. Part 1 of ???: New Job

Many of you know that I have spent the last bazillion or so years working in restaurants.  Mainly at Perkins (12 1/2 years), and then at Mimi's Cafe (with many of the Perkins crew) for the past 2 years.  Many of you also know that I have never wanted to make a career out of this profession and have been burned out for almost as many years as I have been doing it in the first place.  Was it all bad?  No, absolutely not.  I met many great people, I made good money, the hours were totally flexible around school and my kids, and, frankly, I was really good at it.  I don't usually toot my own horn, but let's just be honest.  Maybe not so much at Mimi's, but certainly at Perkins, I was totally the bomb at this job.  But, it wasn't challenging and it got to the point where I didn't enjoy it, at all.  I enjoyed the regulars, and I still miss them.  But, there is a lot of drama and ridiculousness that comes with restaurant work, and I don't like drama or ridiculousness.  Plus, it is physically and mentally demanding.  And, at Mimi's, I felt totally unappreciated AND I felt like I was just wasting my time because it was far away.  I wasn't totally opposed to working in a restaurant or bar but didn't see the point in driving 20 miles away to do it when I didn't really have a reason to.  That's why I decided to just give up.  Really, I could sugar coat it, but why?  That really is what happened.  I was just done.  So, one day, out of the blue, I told my boss I needed to talk to him before he left for the day.  He was like, "are you leaving us?"  And all I could do was mockingly look at the ceiling and say, "uh huh."  I gave my notice and hoped that, just once, the news wouldn't spread like wildfire.  OF COURSE, in a restaurant, that was totally wishful thinking.  Within a shift or two, people would trickle to me, "Don't leave," "are you really leaving us?" uh, yeah, I had to.  I didn't have anything else lined up, I didn't have a plan of action, I didn't know where to start or what I wanted to look for but I just had to GO.  I figured it would be a kick in pants because "job search" had been a line item on my to-do list for years, and IT NEVER GOT DONE.  It never even really got started. 

For one (scary) month, I was unemployed (NO, I couldn't afford it, et cetera et cetera, but I felt SO GOOD for that month anyway.  The cloud of unhappiness and stress lifted almost completely).  I looked online every day for jobs and was pleasantly surprised that there were some good ones out there.  I got an interview for one that sounded AMAZING and had a screening interview but never even got a call back for a longer interview.  I tried to be positive and told myself it just wasn't meant to be, that I just wasn't who they were looking for, and that it would be inconvenient anyway (and it would have been), but rejection still really sucks.  Funny now though, because as down about it as I was at the time, I haven't even thought about it in probably 2 months until now.  There really was something different out there for me.  I applied to anything I thought MIGHT be feasible, because I figured if I felt I could be qualified for something, maybe someone else would think so, too.  If not, at least I tried.  I figured some no's were better than not even trying and I was right.  I got a call from the manager at a bank that is less than 10 minutes away from my house, and I just had a good feeling about my first interview.  I interviewed with the assistant manager and things went pretty well.  She was super nice, and I was excited at the prospect of starting something completely different.  She told me they had a few other interviews and I'd hear back within a couple of weeks, so I was pretty surprised when I got another call later that day from the manager asking if I could come in the next day to meet him.  By the end of the interview, where I also had a chance to meet the banker and hear about the job I was interviewing for, he was like, "so, whaddaya want?"  He agreed that my asking salary was reasonable and told me he'd check with his boss.  That was Friday, and on Monday afternoon, I got a call from the assistant manager, offering me the job for roughly the salary I had requested. 

About a month ago, I started.  I have had a lot to learn and I have had a few struggles wondering if I did the right thing and if I am doing ok.  Sometimes I feel like I am being compared to the other banker, who is a very confident young go-getter (with banking experience), and I really can't compare at this point.  But I have taken it upon myself to learn as much as I can and keep as busy as I can and I think I'm doing ok.  There's been a big learning curve and sometimes it's a little hard because I feel like I've been expected to figure a whole lot of it out on my own.  But I know tons more than I did a month ago and I'm starting to feel more comfortable helping out some customers on my own.  Today, I had someone call asking for me, and even though someone else was able to help him, it made me feel good that I was proficient enough when I had spoken with him before that he would ask for me again.  I also spoke with another customer over the phone, a regular, who was very nice and thanked me profusely and said she hoped to make it in soon and meet me, so that was also really nice.  It's nice to have that recognition and appreciation from the customers, but it also sucks when I don't know how to help them and they don't seem to understand that I am still learning and trying my best.  I guess there is a lot of value in having a steep learning curve because as I make mistakes, I do get one heck of a learning experience from each and every one of them, but who likes to make mistakes?!  Especially in front of customers, because, let's be honest, they don't care that I'm new, they care that I'm not able to help them that minute.  I also have a little bit of a struggle because the managers both say things like, "oh, she won't be up and running on her own for a while" or "you still are struggling with ________________."  Which is fine, I need to know how I can improve, but I also feel like I'm told something vaguely once and expected to remember how to do it some significant time later and that isn't very helpful.  I also feel like I could be up and running if someone would just take the time to show me how to do a task, from start to finish and without controllable distractions, just once or twice.  My training has been pretty scattered, so it's kind of hard to know what questions I'm supposed to ask when I open a new account, when I haven't seen that done but have been just told the steps.  Geez, here I am just complaining!  I didn't start this post with that intention at all, I just feel a little overwhelmed having so much to learn and I am a little bewildered that there isn't a better training plan in place so that tasks are learned in an orderly, and thorough, way.  But, that's just at the branch level, and I do understand they are busy and have other things to do than just train me.  On a higher note, they do offer an in-class banker school and I did the first week of that last week.  It was actually fun and really helpful.  It was also nice to get to meet other new(ish) bankers.  It made me feel like I wasn't going through everything alone.  I go back for the second part next week and can't wait to see all my new banker buddies again!

I guess... just wish me luck, say a little prayer that I learn quickly and get my confidence up some.  I know I can do it, I just hope it will be soon, and very well.  And that my coworkers will see it soon, too.  I'm not asking for praise all day, everyday, but it'd be nice to feel like I had someone backing me up and rooting me on.

20 February 2013

bubble... burst!

"do you and your husband have any kids together?"

"just 2 dead ones."

sometimes being blunt is fun and kind of hilarious.

is it messed up that I think so? there's a tiny bit of very mean spirited satisfaction when I see that look of slight shock on someone's face when I'm actually honest. maybe part of it is that I just like to talk about my kids- ALL of them and I feel AWESOME when I do.

even if it makes someone squirm.