Thursday, December 31, 2015

Last Blog Post of 2015!!

For Pennsylvania, which is where I first celebrated my New Year holiday, making it the only time zone I have to honor when it comes to waiting for the ball drop.  Considering they only show the rest of the country repeats of the NYC ball dropping, I figure that's fine.  Oh crap...3 minutes until the ball drops, gonna wrap this up way quicker than I intended.

Happy New Year...here's to eating healthier, doing more stress relieving activities, and trying to get published...I turn 33 in 2016 so I feel like it has to be a good year.

Love you!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Day...Holy Shit, Where's the Tylenol

I'm in Colorado Springs, typing this post with my awesome Christmas present (husband surprised me with a Surface 3!!!! I cried.  I've been begging for one for months and he made me believe it wasn't gonna happen...then there it was!  Love it!).  So I'm currently sitting in the basement of our new home with my whole family.  We had a very eventful couple of weeks.  I flew with the kids to Atlanta and drove to Alabama for Steve's graduation for a one night trip.  That one night turned out to be the new worst night of my life (the runner up is now the day Jane threw up on the plane and in the airport).  Jane started throwing up in the hotel around 11 p.m. She ate 11 chicken nuggets, I learned the next day.  She threw up from 11 p.m. all over the bed and floor (I was in the other bed, Abby in her pack n' play) and didn't stop until about 4:30 in the morning.  She slept through most of it, thankfully, but I didn't sleep more than a couple of hours broken up throughout the night.  Somehow, we both still managed to make it to Daddy's graduation the next morning at 8:30 a.m.



Then Jane went with Daddy to drive to CO Springs and I flew back to Arizona with Abby.  The next morning we packed up and picked up my very amazing friend from work who offered to help and keep us company for the drive to CO.  We started our drive and stopped at the Grand Canyon (GORGEOUS..breathtaking..so glad Jane wasn't with us..that thing is a death trap!).


That day was a great day...we made a lot of progress on the drive and thoroughly enjoyed the gorgeous scenery this country has to offer.  

The next day...not so much.  Husband texted me throughout the night to let me know he too had fallen ill with a stomach thing...was puking from midnight until the next morning while he was driving with Jane to CO.  So of course, I'm now mentally convinced I'll be getting sick, as well as Abby.  Then we start driving through the Rocky Mountains and that takes my mind off of anything else. 
 

The roads were snow covered for almost the first 2 hours of our drive that day.  It took us an extra 2 hours at least to get to Denver and we barely made it in time for her to have enough time through security to make her flight.  She's always calm and cool though, which made it a lot easier for me.  And now I know my van doesn't suck too bad in the snow, so that's good, I guess.

So now we're here, with a million more boxes to unpack, but we're able to breathe again.  I'm so glad the past few months are over...

Time for another beer...bedtime is soon for the kids, and even though we showed up at this house two days ago, we're still watching the kids play with their Christmas presents and eating Christmas cookies in our home.  I love the house, by the way.  Can't wait to spend some real time here and get truly settled in, but it's a damn good start so far.  


Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2015

This is so depressing.

My kids are asleep in a house full of the boxes of all our things.  I'm battling with feeling sadness and feeling detached from all of this.  I was thinking earlier that the last time we did a move, I did something similar.  My mind's way of coping is apparently to pretend this is all normal, but it compartmentalizes these moments.  For instance, I vividly remember walking through our house in Pennsylvania when it looked like this and feeling the same way.  Like I'm sectioning off the memories of my life by states I've lived in and things I've done in each.  Lots of uncomfortable encounters in Louisiana (really bad job...then a really good job which only lasted a few months but almost made up for how bad the first job was), baby in Pennsylvania, baby in Arizona ...wonder how I'll categorize Colorado (bc for sure no more babies).  I really want to publish a book while I'm 33 (I turn 33 on 3/3 so obviously I'm a fan of the number 3)...that would absolutely be the highlight of our next state if by some miracle it happens. 

I'm drinking wine out of a kid's cup from Chili's right now because literally everything I didn't set aside today is packed in boxes.  I was proud of myself for remembering a cup for my daughter for milk and water (she's got it in her room now but I almost resorted to borrowing it tonight for my mommy beverage...I'd've cleaned it and returned it before my own bedtime...probably). 

In the past few weeks I've:
  • Celebrated a major holiday without my spouse (Thanksgiving...it was rough...just me and my kiddos...and I'm no cook but that dinner was damn good)
  • Made over 50 pieces of jewelry and shipped the last 8 packages out today...it was a lucrative holiday season for my jewelry shop and at least a few of the orders were extremely emotional for me...I make personalized items (handwritten keychains, baby footprints, etc.) so I often have sales for memorial jewelry and one in particular had me crying pretty major tears as I packaged it up
  • Worked a full time job (2 hours each night and 6 hours each day...those were the least exhausting 6 hours of my days for the past several weeks...I love my job and my coworkers and will miss them terribly)
  • Cleaned out our house of all garbage and junk we didn't want moved to CO (well...most of it)
  • Bathed and fed my children regularly (it deserves recognition)
  • Exercised regularly (highlight of most days....aside seriously from picking up my kids from school every day...that makes my heart smile every time)
  • Worked a conference with my children over a weekend in Phoenix
  • Cancelled a few utilities here (hubby helped with this)
  • Set up utilities in CO
  • Survived at least 5 major mental breakdowns
  • Oh...and moved a treadmill out of my house single handedly....then me and my awesomely strong friend from work lifted it onto the back of her truck WITHOUT the hatch down...because we're awesome....she's driving up with me to Colorado and I seriously love her...I could write a full post on her
So, I'm not trying to display how amazingly badass I am...I am just reminding a future version of myself that I can handle a hell of a lot.

I really, really, really, do not want to publish this post and go back to my reality...it is much easier to avoid than face.  I just want to write endlessly about how I feel than actually feel it.  It takes me a step away from it all.  I'll just keep writing then.  Right after I pour myself another Chili's cup of wine.

I'll write until I should go to bed...and then maybe I'll watch some Netflix on my phone.  I'm obsessed with Criminal Minds right now. 

There's so much to clean in this house...only floors and walls and sinks but there are sooo many floors and walls and sinks.  Once the movers load a room I plan to vacuum it and clean the walls (dog hair on white walls/molding is gross)...I'm hoping to get done when they do.  I have a hair cut scheduled tomorrow for 3:30 and I only have tomorrow and a couple of hours Wednesday morning to finish earning our deposit back on this house.  We close on a house in Colorado a week from tomorrow. 

One hellish week.  Thursday morning (early, early, morning) we fly to Atlanta, rent a car, drive almost 2 hours to Alabama and spend one night there for my husband's graduation from OTS...then drive (the day after we get there) back to Atlanta, fly back to Phoenix, pick up our dog, then get up early the next morning for 2 loooong days of driving to Colorado.  I know I'll be exhausted so I can't even imagine how my kids will handle it.  My older daughter will stay with her father and drive to Colorado with him...which should be fun for her. 

So one more week of this and we'll all be together again and for better or worse, we'll start the next chapter in another state.  I'm so tired...

Sunday, November 22, 2015

So many things.

I don't know where to begin.  Single parenting is so hard.  That's the root of this thought but by no means the end of the story.  But there's so much I can't write here. So many things I have in my head that I can never put down onto paper or into words...I can't even say them out loud.  And the moral of this thought is that I want to write.  Not this post, not in my journal, I want to write for real. I want to be a writer, get published, write more, become compensated for my writing enough to justify that it's all I do.  It'd be the only version of my life that I could truly love.  I love my children and my job but when I shut my eyes, I can only see that yearning to do something more.  To contribute something more, not just to my family, but to everything.  This is all selfish but it's the only way I can make myself get through things that are too hard to see past otherwise.

My younger daughter was bullying another little girl at the daycare at the gym this morning.  I was only 3 miles into a very good run that was going to go on for at least another 2 miles when I got called down.  The thing that bothers me is she's not even 2 years old and she seemed totally happy and harmless when I came in...but they claimed they couldn't put another girl down without my daughter trying to tackle her.  So as soon as I stayed for more than 2 minutes, trying to figure out what to do, my daughter started crying to the point where I knew I couldn't just have a talk with her, put her down, and go back on my merry way.  So we left and came home and I had a good cry on the drive.

Of course, this self-pitying moment let my mind spin out of control until I was thinking the deepest, darkest reasons I have to be sad.  The things I can never write down.  And the only thing that pulled me out of the new, overwhelming despair I'd fallen into, was the thought that my life could be different if I could write.  If I can focus all my extra minutes, every moment I have that isn't consumed by jewelry, children, work, house, if I can really apply myself, then maybe I can pull myself out of this ongoing failure I feel.  I can gain some independence from some things.

Now I'm begging my older daughter to take her nap and threatening her by claiming I won't take her to the pool later, like we had planned, if she doesn't quiet down and fall asleep.  In a few minutes, I need to work on jewelry.  Hopefully that won't take too long because I'd like then to spend some time doing something to dedicate my every free minute to writing.  Writing here counts because I'm committing myself beyond just my own thoughts.

If nothing else, dedicating my time and efforts toward making this lifelong dream a reality always seems to make me feel better in the interim.  So there's always that.  It's good for my mental wellbeing.  Also, I've never felt more drive, more confidence about something being a possibility than I do about this.  So even when every other thought sounds like: "so many people have this same dream that try a thousand times harder and never make it a reality, why do you think you'll be any different?", the in between thoughts are so much the opposite that I know I can't just give up on this.

Time for jewelry.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Finally, some time off.

It has been such a busy couple of weeks, it feels really good to have one full day where I spent most of it making sure my children were fed and didn't do something to hurt themselves or set the house on fire.  Truly, I still had a busy day.  We woke up early (6:15) and I fed Ike and the girls breakfast...finally sat down with coffee and my own food around 7:30.  I read for a good chunk of time (which really was delightful) then we got ready to head to the gym.  I didn't do as much as I wanted to, but I got to run a (slow) 5k, then did a little bit of muscle rolling and stair walking before the daycare called me down to check on my kids.  I assumed my younger one had pooped, but no...my older one had a bloody nose.  No big deal (seriously, it's at least a weekly occurrence in our house), but they suggested I take them home.  Fine, whatever.

We go out to the car and my 22 month old (I'd say my '1 year old' but she's almost 2...I'd say my '2 year old', but she's not quite 2...deal with it) put up SUCH a fight when I was putting her in the car that even I ended up crying after the whole ordeal was over with (I basically had to restrain her and push her into her belts like a mental patient refusing to go to the psych ward, only I felt like the mental patient when I finally got to drive out of the parking lot).

So then lunch happened...they had pizza.  Then nap time, where I usually end up with over 2 hours of blissful quiet in the house where I get real free time all to myself and the only condition is that I don't make too much noise...I'm telling you, every mother on the planet would agree that this is like a gift for us...like a biological present given to every parent of a young child (and not all are lucky enough to have children who nap...so I will never forget how grateful I am that mine do...and to have two that nap at the SAME TIME...just incredible, Im telling you).  Sadly, today, my younger one decided to continue her naughty streak and wake up less than an hour into the normally 2ish hour nap.  Damn it.

She tormented me for another hour before her sister woke up and we went to the park, spent almost 2 hours there, then drove to the fancy grocery store up the street (okay, it was over 20 minutes away...I love this soup from there and the fact that it'd eat up over an hour of our evening with kids strapped into the van and listening to music didn't exactly deter my decision to go to the far away store).  We got home, I fed them these overpriced twice-baked potatoes that they both refused to eat, then sent the little one to bed when I got back from putting clothes away and found her COVERED in potatoes.  It's now well past their bedtime and the little one has been asleep since 6:50 (in trouble for being so messy) and the older one is sitting next to me watching those damn Disney shorts on Netlix on her (my) iPad...again.

And she watched that heartbreaking one.  Again.  And this time I bawled my eyes out the entire time...I could cry right now if I stopped for even a second to think about it.  And I think my kid took pleasure in my pain.  She kept looking at me and smiling while I was crying.  Now my contacts are all dried out...again.  And I'm about to wage battle with my kid to get her to give me the iPad and go to bed.  Wish me luck.  I've had some wine, so there's a good chance she'll win.

Edited to add...
I truly adore my children, just FYI.  I spend at least two thirds of the day kissing them and telling them so...or playing with them and absorbing all of the time I get with them at this adorable and innocent age....just didn't want to let any readers walk away thinking I must be some kind of heartless and horrible mother.  Well, you can walk away thinking that, but I really only come here to vent (lately especially).

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

My Life

It's past my bedtime but I wanted to soak up this night off from all the things that have been on my mind lately.  I am 32 years old and I have realized tonight that this is probably the craziest my life has ever been and will ever be (including this chunk of time where my children are children, until they're adults and are living independently of me).  When I was in college, I thought I was busy.  I was, definitely, for a decent part of that time in my life.  There was a time when I had three jobs and still managed to take classes and do well in them.  That was still not as much as I feel like I have on my plate now.  I don't mean to sound like a complainer.  I'm just trying to come to terms with where my life stands right now, and where I hope it'll be in the future.

Take today...I got up (late...7:10am) and got my kids dressed and ready for school.  Threw a couple of meats from the freezer to the fridge to thaw for dinners the next couple of days...made myself coffee and toast.  Begged my 5 year old to get dressed.  Dressed my almost 2 year old.  Begged my 5 year old to get dressed again.  Turned off TV and finally accomplished 5 year old getting dressed.  Took kids to daycare (2 year old seemed fine at the time, ominous, I know).  Came back home and worked a little, then went for a short run with the dog.  Got in the car and went to work.  Spent three(ish) blissful hours at work with actual adults and sat through part of a staff meeting when my phone rang and a very nice woman at my daycare informed me that my almost 2 year old had a 101.3 degree fever and could I please take her home at my earliest possible ..right now.  So I made a rare announcement to my coworkers that I had to leave and basically rushed out of there.  I'm a terrible mother because I stopped for wine on the way to get my sick daughter.  It was on the evening agenda (I'm sorry Abby).

Called several times until I finally got a nurse to agree to let her come in to the health center on base to rule out ear or throat issue that could possibly need antibiotics.  Tomorrow's a holiday and taking both of my children to urgent care in the Fall sounded much worse than badgering my pediatrician to fit her in for a quick check up.

No ear infection, no throat issues.  Probably just a yucky virus.  So then we go to the store, because we're almost out of milk.  I end up putting way too much in my basket before I remember I walked to the store from the doctor's office and now have to lug all the groceries back to the car without the cart.  I buy two grocery bags (the sturdy ones with handles) to help me out.  Back to the daycare to get second child.  Then back home.  Children play in the house for about a half an hour while I recuperate (sit) for 30 minutes on my phone, mindlessly scrolling through my facebook feed.  We all get up and get dressed (with blankets and all...it's finally Fall in Arizona!!) for a walk with Ike.  Half of the walk is relaxing and half of the walk entails of me yelling at Jane to sit still and stop turning in her seat when her blanket keeps getting caught on the ground, yelling at Ike to stop yanking us in random directions for no apparent reason, and talking to Jane about things that don't make much sense (she's pretty adorable but when you're trying to zone out, her jabbering on about how funny it'd be if stroller was a real ship floating in the water is just distracting...I know I'll regret saying this in the future, but that's how I felt when I was in between yelling at Ike and trying to avoid getting hit by a car as I lifted her blanket off the ground for the 10th time).

We got home and I immediately started dinner.  We ate.  Then we facetimed with daddy and afterward, I sat them down on the couch for some truly enjoyable disney shorts on Netflix.  Then medicine for both (they have these heartbreakingly yucky coughs and bedtime for both girls around 7 and finally some quiet time for mommy (an episode of Gray's Anatomy...way too much halloween candy...and maybe 2ish glasses (large) of wine).

So while I was trying out some stress relieving activities (bath, book, then tea bags on my eyes), I realized this truly is the most hectic time of my life.  Regardless of how many jobs I have (although a full time job and a part time business are both intimidating without the two kids and a husband away thrown into the mix), and regardless of how much school made me crazy...there has never been a time in my life other than this that I've been this overflowing with things I have a responsibility to keep up with.

The moral to this entirely too long post is that if I could be granted one wish for myself (I have lots more that take priority that are for my children and family but if I were forced to pick one for myself), I'd wish that I could live long enough to see my children grown and happy and healthy and have a moment to spend some truly relaxing time on a regular basis to read or write or do whatever it is I feel like doing that doesn't leave me feeling like I've rotted brain cells (facebook) or stolen time from my children.  That was certainly a long-winded way to come to this conclusion, but that's the inspiration for this post.  Being a mother with a lot on her plate is totally worth it.  I just hope I have a moment in the future to have too much time on my hands.  God does that sound good right now.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

I'm an emotional mess.

My 5 year old daughter and I were watching Disney short films this evening on Netflix and The Little Matchgirl came on...I must not have looked up until the very end when she was lighting her matches and seeing amazing things like food and a warm place to sleep.  Then she freezes to death and a nice old woman spirit (grandmother?) comes and carries her soul away....can you blame me for being emotional??

I spent the following 15 minutes trying to make my daughter understand how lucky she has it (in between choking sobs).  She didn't get it at all, which is good on the one hand, but also so depressing on the other.  I hope I didn't just scar her in some way.  I hope she'll be a little more cognizant of the fact that not everyone has the same opportunities as she does.  She's still so young...but she's well past the point that children living in poverty have already come to fully understand their situation.

Now I can't remember what I was planning to write about earlier this evening.  Oh...NaNoWriMo...that's a no go for me this year.  With work, jewelry, husband being gone, kids, house, moving in December....there was no way I'd be able to accomplish writing 50,000 words of a new novel without needing to be committed for some sort of mental breakdown by December 1.  I do have goals, however.  I'd like to really get a good chunk (if not all) of editing done on the Earths Project book I wrote a few years ago.  I've edited it two times already and it still needs an overhaul..but I still have confidence in the story and the characters and I've never given up on believing that it has potential.  So if I go through it again, maybe I'll be able to start querying agents again by 2016....then maybe (oh, please!!) I can get a book published when I'm 33....my favorite number is 3 (and it's more than just a preference, I really feel like luck happens for me when there's a 3 involved).

So now that I'm emotionally drained and can barely see through my contacts, I'll go pour a glass of wine and try some mindless TV watching.  Hopefully there's a new episode of The Affair available.

Good night..

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Ouch...and Saturday

My dog got a little overzealous when I was preparing him for our walk tonight and threw his head into my jaw when I was leaning down to put on his leash.  I was afraid I broke a tooth but then, when the throbbing in my entire mouth passed, I realized he only caused me to put a hole in my tongue. It's hurting a lot more now than it did right after it happened.


Sorry, gross photo, but it really, really hurt! Now it's all extra yucky looking with white patches and it hurts to talk.

Otherwise today was a really great day.  Went to the gym this morning where I took my time and spent a valiant effort working up a sweat and refreshing in some mommy time, sans children.  I ran 3 miles, walked up stairs for 20 minutes, then did some foam rolling and random strength exercises.  Took over an hour nap while the kids napped, which is rare, my body must have needed it.  After naps, we went to the pool then finished off the day with a walk and pizza.  Abby went to bed without freaking out for the first time in almost a week.  It was really great to sit down with a glass of wine without feeling guilty.  Right now my oldest is still making noise in her room, after 10, and I'm feeling slightly guilty for letting her play on her iPad too long.  

No husband wasn't horrible today.  I feel okay. They are both healthy right now, and so am I...I'm dreading the days of this separation where one or all of us gets ill with something major...I'll really struggle then...that's what I'm afraid of the most for this time apart.  Maybe we'll have the one and only Fall of our lives up to this point where none of us comes down with anything.  Sadly, I know that's very wishful thinking.

If only I could find time to write while Steve's gone.  And find something to write about.  I have random urges to spew out thousands of words towards something real, but then I remember I have no idea where to start or where to go with it even if I do come up with some glimpse of a story. I keep hoping something will reveal itself in the next week so I can do another NaNoWriMo but I'm also afraid I'll be too exhausted for it so I'm questioning whether I should even try.  All I keep doing is questioning myself.  In my journal, now here.  If I should commit to it.  If I should take a pass this year.  I keep waiting for some higher power to give me an answer.  And that's where I am...where I'll be even after I finish this post and go to bed.  No definitive decision either way.

Good night.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Candy Corn and Other Things.

I'm a single parent for 2 months.  We've already gotten into a groove, which is surprising, but in one short week, I've had one child throw up and the other has complained of a sore throat for 2 days...I'm hoping it doesn't develop into a fresh batch of strep throat but I'm trying to stay positive.  Work has been a week from hell, can't even scratch the surface on that area of my life.  Jewelry is picking up, which is exciting and terrifying all rolled into a ball of extra stress in my gut.

The nights are mine though, for the most part, and that's living up to my expectations of them.  I've been watching a new series (to me, it's in its second season) on my 30 day free pass to Showtime.  The Affair.  It's a really addictive show...I'm already only 3 episodes from the end of the first season.  Joshua Jackson is in it...he's a major crush of mine from the Dawson's Creek days.  But he gets murdered, so that's gonna be a bummer.  He's not the most likable character on the show...no one really is, come to think of it.  He and his wife had a little boy who died at 4...which might be why I'm so bought in...she's cheating on him with a married man, but in my book, all deals are off when there's something as earth shattering as that in your life.

I keep feeling my head shake...like it's on the verge of losing its grip on things.  Is this what people experience right before they go insane?  No...probably not...but it feels like something concerning.  It's a shudder, like my eyes might roll back at any second and I'll lose myself in it.  It's stress.  Sometimes it's just a creative thought.  Sometimes it's nothing.  It's happening more and more often though, and at different levels of intensity.

This show makes me want to wake up my kids and hug them forever.

Oh hey!  Joshua Jackson doesn't die!  Awesome!  Also confusing...hmm...

I need to cut myself off for the night. I'll save the last two of the season for tomorrow night.

Tomorrow's itinerary...gym sometime in the morning...jewelry sometime in the morning, more jewelry during naps...jewelry after naps...dinner...this show for a couple of episodes, then bed for an early morning trip to the Phoenix Zoo (work/having a trip through to see the animals with the kiddos...Jane's super excited to see Madison and Mimi).



edited to add...i was eating candy corn when i wrote the post title.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Everything's changing

My husband leaves for OTS (Office Training School) in 5 days.  I'll be single parenting for 2 months before I see him again and I'm far from ready for all of the changes this will bring.  Not to mention moving to another state when he gets finished.  I could have gone to Barnes n Noble this afternoon during naptime, and maybe I should have, but I decided to stay home, sit in our office, and mimic my new weekend afternoon naptime routine.  This way it won't be such a foreign thing next week when I can no longer leave the house while the kids are asleep.

I can't really put into words how I'm feeling right now about all of this...it's hard to think of anything else though.  It makes me want to cry, while at the same time look forward to the ability to have some time to myself; makes me sad to leave Arizona and the friends I've made here, while at the same time I'm looking forward to Colorado Springs.

I'm honestly close to having a nervous breakdown.  Really, I feel like I might pass out at least once a day (not joking...I'm actually slightly concerned about this on a medical level, but it happened when we were leaving PA too, so I'm chalking it up to stress).

My amazing job is being so flexible with me...they've offered to give me irregular hours for the next two months so I don't have to worry about racing to and from work to make it to the daycare on time.  I'll be going in from 10-3:30 Monday through Friday (I used to work from home on Mondays...this is going to be the compromise for having me in every day)...then spend a couple of hours each evening working at home after the kids go to bed.  This arrangement made me want to cry happy tears when I learned about it on Friday.

So regardless of all of the reasons I'm stressing about this transition, I'm confident we'll get through it fine.  I've got supportive friends at work, kids that are both (usually) well behaved (just kidding, the older daughter is usually doing the opposite of what I ask of her...but with just me here, we might be able to get into a routine where she isn't getting herself in trouble most of the time...I hope), wine, books I can read, movies I can watch.  Gotta cook for the family...that's gonna be no fun...but everything I'm worrying about...everything that's making it hard to catch my breath...it's all minor compared to what some people have to manage on their own.  I'm really just being a baby about all of it.

I guess I never anticipated how much harder each of these moves is going to get.  I used to look forward to them.  In Louisiana, when Steve went to train for this recruiting job for 6 weeks, I was happier than maybe any time of my life (no offense, husband).  Up until then, I'd never lived by myself before...so 6 weeks of my own apartment while living in a city was incredible.  I'm not the type to get bored with too much time on my hands...so that's when I started making jewelry, I read about a dozen books, watched any movie I felt like watching, went out with friends for dinner and drinks (the one thing that'll be almost impossible this time around...babysitters are expensive), and my house always looked the same when I came home from work as it looked when I left it in the morning.  It was the most liberating 6 weeks of my life.  Then we moved to PA and I had a baby.  So moving out here was not easy, but we did it together.  This time, doing so much of this by myself while taking care of two daughters and a dog...it's all so much more intimidating.

I could go on and on about all of this though (as you can see), and that's something I'd rather not do right now.  I'll go read now...and finish up a couple of jewelry orders.


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

September

This post really has nothing to do with September.  I could write about how much I miss the Fall weather, but it isn't really true this year.  For one thing, I'm moving to a state with seasons in the winter, so I'm going to enjoy every last minute of the all-year-warmth that comes with being in Arizona.  For another, I've gotten good at doing all the Fall things I usually blame on the change of weather.  I'm more physically active right now (which is something I usually get inspired to be when the weather gets more crisp), I'm writing more and feeling more motivated to get out of the lazy summer habits I've formed through the warmer months.  And I'm okay with the fact that I won't be wearing shoes or jeans or sweaters for the foreseeable future.

I also want time to slow down...when we move, so much will change.  The organization I work for is perfect right now.  Perfect people, perfect amount of productivity, perfect amount of adult interaction (if you're a parent, you totally get what I mean by that), perfect tasks for what I love to do...and it's all going to be different when I'm doing it all by myself in Colorado.  There will be no coworkers, except for emails and phone calls and conference calls...and none of that is the same.

I'm not, by any means, complaining.  I'm not sad that this job, with the people I work with, has become my family away from home, but I am sad that I'm leaving all of that in a few months.  They're the only friends I have here, and when I move there, I won't be going out and making new friends (unless I want to get involved in the military spouse clubs and crap, which is really not appealing to me at all...I'm not knocking it, it's just not my thing).

Obviously, I'm underestimating my ability to cope just fine with being alone.  There's a very good chance I'll thrive in that environment.  I get so much more done when I'm alone.  I'll get to set my own pace, prioritize my day to day goals, do a load of laundry when it's overflowing, listen to my own music (not that I don't like my coworkers music, I've just never been the type to assert my own preference), catch up on all the things I say I'd do if only I had more time (like clean up the database, keep the website totally up to date, find fun things to post regularly on social media, etc.).

_____
Salami is such a great snack.  It's totally unhealthy and way too easy to indulge in, but also so satisfying.  And I'm going to run tomorrow, so whatever.
_____

So really I'm just whining.  This is how I process change.  This is how I manage to pick up my life and move it to another time zone.  It might not be the healthiest way to handle it, but it works for me. I've had a lot of experience with saying goodbye to people and places and careers...and in this particular move, I only have to say goodbye on a more muted scale.  I get to keep the relationships I have with the people I work with, I get to keep my job, for which I can't overstate my gratitude...I may even get to come back to Arizona regularly throughout the year to be a real part of the team again.  I'll do my part from Colorado, but I know and they know that it won't be the same.

Will you look at that...it's almost 10 pm.  I almost didn't make it past 8:30, but my 4 year old (soon to be 5 year old) was still trying to get away with shenanigans in her room.

That's enough for tonight, I suppose.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Catching up...

I've been so busy these past few months.  You know, no busier than I was back when I was actively writing, but still busy, so that'll be the excuse I'll go with for such a long break.  I guess I get discouraged, writing this blog to myself, essentially.  But maybe future me will get super ambitious about it and I'll want someplace to look back and reflect and say 'remember when no one read anything I wrote?'...I sure hope there's a day when people voluntarily read what it is I have to say.

Anyway...I've been training for my first half marathon and I may have run straight into a wall...there's something wrong with my left foot.  I got up from the couch the other night, about an hour or two after my first very long run (11 miles on the treadmill) and felt a sharp pain in the foot...could have happened right there but more likely was caused throughout the long run.  Now, after quite a bit of research, I think it might be some kind of cuboid issue.  Syndrome or stress fracture, all bad...all require rest.  So I'll rest tomorrow (ran today to test it out...still hurt afterward, worse).  If it doesn't feel any better by Thursday, I'll take off that day as well.  Then maybe I'll try easing back in this weekend or next week?  Then slowly building back up again before the half marathon in a few weeks?  Then just run it and get it under my belt?  Then take a few substantial weeks off doing cross training/etc.  Sound like a plan?  Good.

In other news...I've been totally dropping a million balls.  On the one hand, they have all been little...editing my book, listing new items in jewelry shop, writing in general, I'm sure there are more, but my brain is stopping there for now.  On the same token (is that how the phrase goes?) I'm still pretty disappointed in myself...which doesn't usually boost my motivation until I hit rock bottom.

I think the possible injury is what's making me the most bummed at the moment.  Please, please let me wake up pain free tomorrow morning!

Something I need to list in my jewelry shop soon...

 

The one side has your baby's real footprints stamped on there (I'll describe how this is possible some other time) and the other side of the charm is the birthday/birth time/weight/height at birth. 

So I've only tried a giveaway once before on an older blog and it didn't really work out too well but I'm willing to take another stab at it if anyone is actually reading these posts.  If a few (maybe like 10?) people comment on this post...I'll do a giveaway for this bracelet (it'll be the alex and ani style with this charm and also a baby girl or baby boy charm, name charm, and birthstone on the other part of the bangle). 

Comment below if you're reading along....maybe even share with a friend.  If 10 people comment, the next post will be the giveaway with better photos and more details.  If no one comments (which is more likely!) I'll just go about my anonymous blogging ways. 


Sunday, July 5, 2015

God Damn Scorpions

One sure-fire way to ruin a nice vacation...find two scorpions in your bathroom, then three more throughout the house...one in the kid's room.  And they're not those scary but harmless ones, they're the fucking Arizona bark scorpions, which can cause some horrible reactions in young people or old people...and so since I'm a mother of two young people, I'm pretty much chilled numb with fear for my kids.  Luckily they're ignorantly going on with their lives while I sit here forcing myself to stop doing internet searches and mentally block images of all the scorpions that are probably lurking just out of reach of one of my kids.  And I try not to expect the screaming wail from one of the girls.


And I'm failing at all of these things..I just spent almost 2 hours online researching stuff and posting back and forth on Facebook with people who've had personal experiences.  I just want a bunch of people to say "I've been stung, it's nothing!  So have my infant children and they're just fine!" but no one is saying that...


With 5 in my house in one night, I expected a lot more personal sting stories from people...but nope...a lot of people are saying they've lived here their whole lives and haven't seen any...assholes.


Fucking scorpions.  Gonna pack up the kids and move the hell out of the desert...not soon enough.  For today, I'll pack them up and take them to lowes so I can get some diatomaceous earth.  Steve's calling the exterminators.  Fuckers.

Okay, rant over.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Vacation is Almost Over :(

This was the fastest week known to man.  I can't believe tomorrow is Sunday and I can't deny that it makes me very very sad.  I think it has to do a lot with the fact that I jam packed this week full of almost everything I could think to do with free time.  We did a million family things, I listened to a full audio book (on my new iPod Nano...because I'm irresponsible with money and gadgets), made a ton of jewelry and listed a bunch of it on my Etsy shop, drank almost every night, ate way too much, even started brainstorming ideas for a writing project.  If I could fit more 'relaxing' things into this week, I'd be exhausted.  I am kind of exhausted because despite the eating and drinking, I exercised almost every day too...some days more than once.

So now I'm going to go open another beer (because it is the 4th of July, after all) and enjoy this last evening before a day off ...tomorrow will involve cleaning the house and getting my mindset back into the gainfully employed attitude.

Before I go...a couple of follow up photos of the jewelry stuff...


See?  All silver now.  Love that white copprclay!


Why don't more people make memory wire rings?  They're awesome (imho).

Monday, June 29, 2015

Vacation

My office has something called a 'shutdown week' two times a year...a very appreciated perk at this organization...we have quite a few , which makes the irregular crazy long hours worth the exhaustion and stress.  For the past two years I've chosen to work through most of this week they give us in order to gain back hours in flex time that I could use later in the year for either maternity leave or other scheduled vacation, but this year I have just about enough flex/PTO time to justify taking this week for myself.  And I'm making the absolute most of it.

I scheduled my three days before the kids have off of daycare (they're also closed Thursday and Friday) down to the minute.  I'm not kidding.  I created a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday note in Evernote and planned my agenda to make sure I make the best use of every hour.  So today I took the kids to daycare at their regular time, then made myself breakfast and got started on making jewelry.

I'm watching Dexter this summer, since I'm caught up on all the other shows I've been watching while making jewelry.  I'm obsessed with Dexter...again...and it's even more addictive this time around because the first time I watched the series was with Steve and I had to wait to start every episode until we were together and both had about an hour to spare.  This time I can watch it on my phone at the gym, on my computer while I work on jewelry, or whenever else I feel like.  I think I started Season 3 today, which is a bummer because I'm going through them way too fast.  I'll be done before August at this rate.

 Back to the schedule...so after jewelry and Dexter, I threw my gym clothes on (15 minutes behind schedule) and sped to the gym for about 20 minutes of lifting before yoga started at 11 AM.  Today was Yin Restorative yoga and it felt like a massage for my joints.  I felt numb walking back through the gym to get into my bathing suit.  Since I was running late, I decided to combine my pool time with cardio and swam laps for about 20 minutes before relaxing on the pool chair for another 20.  It doesn't feel like a true vacation without a pool and the sun.

A little obsessed with bracelets...and with the new sandals in the background!
Got back home around 1:30, showered, ate lunch, then got back to making jewelry for about another hour...another episode and a half of Dexter.  Then I came down to Target, bought a pair of cute sandals, and now I'm in Barnes n Noble enjoying the cafe and iced coffee.  Tomorrow I'll wake up early for a run, then yoga after I take the girls to daycare.  A more vigorous yoga...can't remember what it's called.  Then home to make more jewelry, then lunch, Barnes N Noble, and back to the pool.
And maybe tonight I'll make some bracelets while I watch TV with Steve.  The writing has been paused due to an uncomfortable reaction to feedback I got about a month ago.  It's fine...I'll get back into it soon.  I think my creative urges shift depending on the season.  Fall and winter turn me into an introvert and I dedicate time to writing, while spring and summer seem to motivate the jewelry cravings.  Kind of a bummer considering my busiest season for jewelry sales is November and December.

So I was called away from Barnes N Noble a little earlier than I'd hoped for because the battery in Steve's truck died and he needed me to meet him at the house so he could use the tiny bit of juice it had left to go get it replaced.  I was gonna stop at Sprouts on my drive home to get gummy worms and had to skip it...sucks.  That's becoming a dangerous addiction anyway, I guess.

This is becoming a very long blog post.  Guess that was true a few paragraphs ago, actually.  It's 7 pm and I've got my first round of firing going in the kiln, a glass of wine, and a pop tart to satisfy my sugar craving.  We're about to turn on the TV...let's see if I make any bracelets.

Believe it or not, these pieces will be silver copper when they get all polished up.
I love white copper clay.

Friday, June 12, 2015

It's Friday

Friday at 4:45 pm.  I finished all my father's day orders last weekend and I have a couple of stragglers to work on this weekend but I'm feeling seriously satisfied with the push to get everything out this week.  I get to enjoy a lot more free time over the next two days and I'm looking forward to finishing a book, going to Barnes n Noble for naptimes, and I'll fit in work time on the jewelry in the mornings...cleaning Sunday morning.

I got up to run this morning at 5:20 so around 2 o'clock I got seriously tired...and I was in a work thing, so it didn't really feel appropriate.  I struggled through though and I'm glad I ran because we had gourmet donuts for breakfast, enchiladas for lunch and stromboli for dinner....then I stopped and got gummy worms from Sprouts (the best candy on the planet) and now I'm drinking Sangria.

So...

so...

damn it.

...

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Jewelry and shit

I'm so miserable.  I shouldn't be, I really shouldn't...Jewelry has been BOOMING...more sales in the past few weeks than I get all year long, matching the amount I usually have for Christmas.  It has been crazy.  Scary really.  And after all the worrying I did about not having any sales for almost two months...having so many in such a short time has been a real shock.

I'm miserable because of work...and life...and maybe my diet.  I'm trying to eat healthier for the millionth time today and I feel like I just end up going way too far the other way every time I talk myself into this kind of crap.  Whatever.  And work has me stretched so thin, again.  I guess it's fine.

Whatever.  Nothing is really that bad but everything is a little not good, which makes it all feel crappy.  My sister edited my book and I didn't feel good about the feedback.  My job makes me feel overwhelmed.  My jewelry makes me feel the same way.  My kids will always make me feel amazingly fulfilled and in love.  My fucking god, I'm miserable other than that.  Shut up.

Good night.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Long weekends always go too fast

It's the worst, coming to the end of a long weekend.  This weekend was especially long and especially refreshing.  I'm just now starting to stress again about work and real life.  It's like we spent the past 3 and a half days in a family bubble.  No responsibilities other than exercising (which Steve and I are both into right now) and cleaning/making jewelry.  Plus, I got to spend real quality time with this new Macbook Air (I'm typing on it right now...it's wonderful).

I'm currently waiting for Steve to finish studying a chapter in his officer training book so that he can watch the girls while I go back to make 4 keychains and a bunch of necklaces.  The four year old is trying to cut a thick piece of cardboard with baby scissors and the 18 month old is trying to crawl up onto the table.  She's big into climbing now.  It sucks.

Friday I spent most of the day waiting around for the Macbook Air to get delivered.  Fedex didn't show up with it until almost 5:30 that evening so it was mostly a wasted day.  Saturday I took the girls to the gym then went to Barnes N Noble during naptime.  I wrote a lot that day, it was awesome.

Yesterday I went for a 7 mile run/walk and felt great afterward for pushing my limits so much.

Today I plan on finishing up this jewelry, then going to Barnes N Noble, then taking the kids to the gym with Steve and hopefully spending some time at the pool afterward.  For now, Steve's done with that chapter and is tagging in on parent duty.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Macbook Air

It finally happened.  Steve is going to Officer Training School (he calls it COT for some reason even though I thought it was OTS...must be a different name that I'm sure he's told me, I just can't remember).  Anyway, he needs to take a computer with him so he can study and pay bills and have a way to do homework while he's there so he decided we need a more reliable laptop for the family that he can use when he's gone.

So we're getting a Macbook Air.  It was ordered today.  I get to essentially call it mine from now until he goes to training in October, then again after the training is over.  I couldn't pass up the opportunity to write a post about it considering it's something I've wanted for years.  We got the most limited version but it doesn't matter to me, it's 11.6 inches, weighs less than 3 pounds, and has a long battery life.  It'll be perfect to take with me to Barnes N Noble, use at home, and it's bigger than the tablet I'm currently using, which is the 8" Asus VivoTab Note 8. I'd use this table as an actual tablet, which I rarely do now because I have it in a bluetooth keyboard case.  The Macbook is also reliable and fast and has been my dream computer for a very long time.  I'm so thrilled that we'll finally have one.  I'll be sad to have to relinquish it to him for two months, but it'll be great to have until he leaves.

Of course, I'll also be sad that he's leaving for two whole months while I stay home and keep working and watching the girls.  Thanksgiving will just be the three of us.  We're not positive his training starts in October, but he's friends with the woman that sets the class dates for the new selects, so it's likely.  Everything seems to be happening so fast.  I can't wrap my head around it.

I plan to talk to my boss to see if she'd consider continuing to employ me (even if it's just on a consulting basis) after I leave.  Most of the things I do can be done from anywhere, especially once I get our shared files off the server in the office and onto a cloud service.  And I started uploading everything to a trial version of Dropbox for Business and it's working great.  I've already uploaded more to Dropbox in 24 hours than I was able to upload to OneDrive for Business through over 4 weeks of working on it.

My other responsibilities include creating newsletters, an annual calendar, the annual report, and maintaining our websites and database.  It'd be beneficial for them too, to keep me on to get those things done throughout the year...they wouldn't have to rehire my position or try training other people to fulfill those roles.  It would be awesome for me too, not to have to find another job.  I worked remotely from Pennsylvania for a job I had in Louisiana and did so for over a year, but in that case the job was part time and I also worked a full time job in PA and went to school online, so I couldn't maintain all the things I was trying to do, especially once Jane was born.

I emailed my boss this week to see when we could meet to do my annual evaluation, so I'm hoping to talk to her about it then.  If she says no, I'll be disappointed and it'll be sad to have to give up this job, but I've got a lot of education and a good resume, and the possibility to live longer at our next base, which might make it easier to explain to my next employer why my resume keeps jumping from state to state.  These are the sacrifices I make for the sake of being a military spouse.

After Steve's COT or OTS or whatever it is, we will either be moving to our next base, where I'll stay for 4 months while he goes to Vandenberg, CA to train for his job, or we'll go to Vandenberg together and I'll live at the beach in California for 4 months with the girls and the dog while he finishes his training.  That wouldn't suck.  Worst case scenario is we go to the next base and he leaves me there alone for 4 months, but apparently that's pretty likely.  It sucks (for me...obviously the reasons will be different for him) because if I don't get to keep working for this job, I'll have the girls and no job and the challenge of not having anyone to watch them while I go for interviews.

Maybe I'll get my shit together and finish a book and get an agent and get a book deal.  That would be my dream scenario.  That's always my dream scenario though, no matter what's happening in real life.

Time to get my butt back to editing.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Journaling

I started this evening being stressed about work so since Steve is away for a few nights I decided to write in my journal.  Over the past few entries, I've been writing what I like to call poems.  The last blog post was one of them.  It's my way of getting through the rest of the journal before it falls apart, literally.  Years ago I'd write 2 or 3 journals a year.  This one I've had for about 3 years.  It's tough, having two kids, a full time job, a jewelry business and the everlasting desire to write fiction rather than keeping up handwritten daily thoughts.  I've still got a lot of blank pages to fill but I ended up spending the past two hours of my evening reading every entry I'd written over the past year and a half.  

Things were pretty great for me and my family, aside from the stressors of work and jewelry.  I feel like I've reset my current stress levels...looking back on all the things that I've juggled since being pregnant with my second daughter. I've managed a lot of things at once and it makes my current issues seem silly in comparison.  

Now that it's after 9, I'm feeling ready for bed, but I don't want this evening to end yet.  I want to keep going with this self-reflection.  There never seems to be enough energy left for these moments.  The moments that I have the motivation and desire to pick up where I've left off in the writing.  My mind gets all scattered after the kids go to bed and the day is so close to an end.  Every day whirls by...like I'm trying to get through a hurricane in one piece.  And I usually just give in to the exhaustion.  It doesn't help that my dog has already called it a day and is in his bed in our bedroom.  Makes me crave sleep that much more.  If Steve were home I wouldn't have dedicated this much time to reading my journal, writing a bit, then coming on to blog about it.  We'd have watched an episode or two of television and I'd be going to bed now after a short-lived mental battle that I almost always inevitably lose (or win, depending on how you look at it).  That's my life right now.

And I have to say.. this whole deal with only needing one space after a period at the end of a sentence is going to be a really challenging obstacle for me.  I am mentally programmed to put two spaces after a period.  When I don't, my mind stops putting words on the keys.  

Got a little off track there...but now you see what I mean about exhaustion getting the best of me. 

So this is my life right now.  Maybe things will get easier, but I suspect they won't.  I've been able to set aside writing time through all of it, so I just need to keep doing what I can...maybe someday things won't be so hectic.  Or maybe someday all this hard work will pay off and I'll be able to focus more time on writing because of some awesome turn of luck (like getting an agent, then selling a book...).  

Wishful thinking keeps me motivated the best.  And it's all under my control.  Whether I go to bed early each night or stay up and edit or write...that's all up to me.  I try not to be too hard on myself but if I can spend a month staying up to write 50,000 words during the busiest jewelry time of the year and still manage work and family time, I know I can keep focusing more time towards this thing that I love so much.  I just have to make it more of a habit again.  Why are good habits so difficult to maintain when bad habits come so naturally?  Like eating bad or scrolling through Facebook when I should be cleaning or doing something more meaningful with my time?  

I will go edit now.  I'll make more of an effort now.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Somedays

12 hours later with a glass of wine.

The second 7 hour of the day.

After the baby carrying and diaper changing,

after the family fun activities and fitness,

after the naps, the snacks, the dinner and doing.

This second 7 hour of the day with wine

leaves the mind and body with a break.

How could I blame myself for stopping?

Ending the have tos and should dos.

Now is when I sacrifice the want tos.

I put off till the somedays the things I dream of now.

Will those somedays still come?

Will those somedays hold that promise?

That promise of time and motivation?

The promise that will make up for all these laters?

Of course the family isn't a want to.

I know you caught that.

It's not a want to because it's a love to.

Love is there in every moment;

even in the time outs and please listens.

This want to that's waiting is something different.

This want to is for me.

It's for that later me who I know will still want it.

The me that will never stop wanting it.

For now I'll have another glass of wine,

and remind myself that it's okay.

These days are all amazing and exhausting

but someday they won't be.

-Carmella-

Friday, April 24, 2015

Microsoft Band and Strava

I was planning to get a FitBit Surge (I can't remember if I've written about that here...it was something I wanted for Christmas, then my birthday, then I gave up on the idea because I didn't want the black one and they haven't yet made the other colors available).

I branched out and kept searching for another comparable device and landed on the Microsoft Band. It's also black, but it's thinner and more sleek looking in my opinion.  Plus the screen is colorful, which makes it more fun for me.  I've been wanting it for a combo Mother's Day/Anniversary present (which is obviously still a few weeks away...May 12th is our anniversary so it makes for some heavier weighted gifts this time of year).  I kept hinting to my husband that I wanted it sooner, since it just became available on Amazon a few weeks ago and kept selling out quickly...so as a nice surprise, he got it for me last week while my parents were visiting us here in Arizona (they drove all the way from Pennsylvania for a week-long visit...it was a great trip).

So I got the watch last Thursday evening...put a screen protector on that evening (it needed to set for 12 hours, untouched, which is a super big bummer for anyone who has been wanting a new gadget for a while...patience is not something I have in abundance).  Started wearing it Friday morning and went for a run that day around lunchtime.  I left my huge Note 4 at home and loaded up my tiny little iPod Nano with a book and a podcast.  Having less weight, even just that small amount, for my run was so freeing.  I haven't taken my phone on a run again since.

Then, on Saturday, I came down with a miserable stomach bug (a lingerer from a couple of days before)...I ended up in bed all afternoon and felt almost bad enough to go to the hospital.  I got to catch up on TV though and Steve watched the girls and kept my parents entertained, and I survived.

So then on Sunday I rested and took it easy...Monday I did my first 'Guided Workout', which was something I'd researched about this watch and looked forward to trying.  The workout downloads to the watch, then you start the activity and it counts down each exercise and gives you your time and heart rate and calorie expenditure....it was really great.  I burned almost 250 calories in 26 minutes and I don't doubt the accuracy of that.  It was a really hard workout that I felt really proud of afterward...and if it weren't for my wrist tracking my progress and effort level, I don't think I would have worked so hard.  I was also really sore for a few days (I'm still sort of sore, but I've also done a lot of running and another guided workout this week).

As if this watch couldn't get any better...my favorite running app (Strava, which I was sad to stop using when I started leaving my phone at home) is now one of the connected apps with the watch!  It was just announced a couple of days ago.  I just stumbled upon the news today so I haven't tried it out yet, but I immediately connected my band to their service and now I'm super tempted to go for a run tomorrow (even though I just went today and I am prone to shin splints when I overdo it).

Everything about the watch so far seems extremely accurate.  My heart rate on runs is always in the 150s, which feels right (I always feel close to death on a run...no big deal).  It's tracking my sleep more accurately than I think my Basis watch did (I always knew I wasn't sleeping as much or as well as my Basis told me I was).  Unfortunately, I feel like it gives me low numbers for calories burned, but it's probably accurate, and my pant size and eating habits definitely reflect it.  If only I could get my motivation for avoiding snacks and alcohol in check, I'd be at a perfect weight.  One thing at a time.

All in all, I'm quickly falling deeper and deeper in love with this watch.  It's perfect for anyone who is as obsessed with gadgets as I am and wants a way to better track their progress with fitness.

Friday, April 10, 2015

What the hell is the point?

I'm going to be as obscure as possible here because I don't know who reads this (if anyone does...).  This week was a busy work week for me, I was running on this high of feeling extremely essential and today, during a little one-on-one with my boss, I was reintroduced with the knowledge that I'm still pretty low on the totem pole.  My boss literally laid it out for me (not intentionally, seriously, she complimented the crap out of me).  She has created a reorganization of the roles in our office.  And all of the people that have started working at my organization either around the same time as me or just shortly after me are in lead roles.  Except for me.  Again, I thoroughly believe this was not an intentional slight at my value to the organization.  It's just the way it worked out.

Well...so this isn't as obscure as I hoped it'd be.

Since that meeting, in which I was able to view a hierarchy of my colleagues displayed in chart form that clearly depicted me as being 'managed' by more than one coworker, I have been feeling like a rotting pile of shit.  And this meeting happened to have taken place during the middle of one of my proudest work days since starting at this organization (please take this all with a grain of salt, I really do love this job overall..this is much more of a self-pity party than a complaint about my employer).  I'm currently migrating everyone in my office from a server where we were getting our email over to Microsoft Office 365.  And so far...the process has been a success.  Alright, it doesn't sound as impressive reading it back as it feels, because it's an annoying process...and it's taking FOR-EV-ER.

Anyway...I sort of hate the cosmic influences over my life because it seemed like the worst possible moment to remind me that I'm still never going to be professionally capable of much more than a supportive role.  Whether it be because my husband is in the military and I'll be changing jobs every 3-4 years...or because I had such high expectations for myself as a kid, or because I'm just truly incapable of impressive achievements..it's just not in the cards for me and I'll probably never be okay with it.  It's like the world is trying to remind me everytime I feel my professional life gaining momentum that I should slow down and take it easy, I'm just a supplemental income in a pointless professional existence, and that's all I'm ever gonna be.

I feel like such shit right now.  I haven't been this upset over the outcome of what I've accomplished (or lack thereof) since I started this blog.  And work takes up most of my mental energy, so the writing sucks when I get this busy.  And the writing probably sucks anyway.  And the jewelry has been completely stalled (what the hell???).

I love my kids...I have to make it clear that this rant is solely focused on my disappointment in myself for not becoming anything.  Yes yes, shut up...being a mother is totally honorable, obviously.  But shut up, seriously.  We're all people...you wouldn't say that to a father, I know you wouldn't.  If a father was complaining about not being successful enough you wouldn't say "at least you're a great father"...you'd be judging him for not providing for his family, you assholes.  Don't deny it.

Honestly...I haven't had this good of a self-pity/self-disappointment cry in too long.  I even have a headache from it.  Awesome.  And I get to cart my kids to work tomorrow (on a Saturday) to finish the IT stuff no one cares about.  Terrific.  Luckily, I almost certainly get paid less than all of my coworkers, and I get the least amount of respect at the job....Amazing.  Good thing I got that Master's Degree.  Stay in school, kids, it obviously pays off.

Alright, I'm out of tissues.  And all I want to do is curse now, so this is probably a good place to stop.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Facebook is evil

I really have a love/hate relationship with Facebook, minus the love half.  So many countless times in the mornings and evenings, and basically any other free moment of my day (getting gas, waiting for pizza, waiting in any line), I have found myself on facebook feeling disgusted by myself, by people in general, or just displeased with my overabuse of it.

It does sometimes make me laugh, yes....and it is my last strong link with people I no longer get to see regularly but still want to have in my life (especially considering I'm in a military family so there is a huge benefit to having a way to keep in touch and to keep my family and friends involved in our life).   But I seriously fucking hate it.  I hate that when I pick up my phone, it's the first app I open.  I hate that sometimes when I close out of it in search of something more fulfilling or substantial, I mindlessly find myself going back into it minutes later.  I hate that, more often than not, I'm annoyed or repulsed by the things I see people posting in it.  And for whatever reason, I keep going back.  It really feels like a sick addiction sometimes.

Maybe I really need to draw some lines for myself.  I feel like there has to be a healthy balance between keeping a link with friends and family while not feeling crazy every time I need to peel myself away from it.

Maybe I'll benefit from hiding the people that I really don't talk to anymore and never really talked to and plan to never talk to again.  Like cleaning my closet...clothes I haven't worn in forever and plan to never wear again get donated....I should do this soon.  It might help.  It might not leave much left in my news feed, but maybe that's another benefit to cleaning up.

As for tonight...Steve stopped and got me a coffee after Jane's soccer practice...I wanted it to keep me from falling asleep so early...I don't need over 8 hours of sleep every night...I need to feel like I'm not a huge failure in accomplishing the things I really feel passionate about, and in order to find time for those things, I need to create time for them.  And like in November I've found that, for now, the only time I can spare are these hours past 9 when everyone in my house (including me if I didn't have coffee) is ready for bed.  So hopefully after I finish up this rambling about nothing important, I can muster up my motivation and creativity and finish this short story before the end of March.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Busy Saturday

Jane woke up today at 5:30 am.  Steve got up shortly after and they sat on the couch reading or something, I don't know exactly because I tried my hardest to stay asleep, but only succeeded in another half an hour of broken up rest.  Around 8:30 I took Abby out for a run in the jogging stroller, which I'm proud of because I slept so little and drank a few glasses of wine last night.  The run was slow but I did a full 5K, so I'm fine with it.  Then we took Jane to her second soccer game ever and she did so much better this week.  We rewarded her (and me) with McDonalds.  Now I'm at Barnes N Noble attempting to write more of my story before March is over and cringing as I type this because of a cut that won't heal on my index finger:

There's no worse place for a deep cut.  I got it at work on Thursday and it keeps opening up and bleeding again every time I do something without remembering that my finger hurts.  

In about 30 minutes I'm going to drive into Phoenix to meet my friend Christine at a frozen yogurt place by my office.  I've eaten there before a couple of times with coworkers so I'm hoping I can find it without GPS...I'll probably still get lost.  I wish I had better directional skills.  I have none, to be honest.  If anything, I have a compass that's constantly flipping around and making me think I'm going the right way when I'm always turned in the wrong direction.  Whenever I move somewhere new I eventually learn enough of the streets to make my deficiency manageable, then we move again. 

I should stop torturing my finger on this blog post and finish up a little more of the story before I have to go.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Some thoughts...

I'm a huge overthinker when it comes to astronomy and our world and the universe and the fact that we exist on a random planet in an enormous galaxy that exists in an incomprehensibly enormous universe with an astronomically incomprehensible amount of space and other galaxies and other stars and other planets.  So why aren't we more appreciative of what we have?  We have an earth that is capable of shielding us from deadly waves of radiation...a planet that gives us the perfect amount of atmosphere and gravity and distance from the closest star.  And instead of literally worshiping the ground we walk on, we give all the credit to some unknown and possibly (probably, in my opinion) nonexistent higher power.  When the higher power has been under our feet the entire time.  

Just hear me  out...If it weren't for this earth, we wouldn't be breathing, we wouldn't be loving, we wouldn't be breeding or interacting, we wouldn't be intelligent, we wouldn't exist.  Yet we keep searching for answers...what more do we have questions for?  

Why we are here?  Because this planet sustained life.  Why do we need more answers than that?  This planet is not one in a million, it's one in probably trillions that can do what it does.  What if no higher power was responsible?  That it was incredible fortune for us to have thrived in a place that could sustain us?  And here we all are, expecting something more to the question.  Expecting something that will forgive us for everything we do wrong.  But that's just human nature, right?  Feeling like we should get something for nothing.  Praying for forgiveness when we knew better in the first place.

And here I am, typing on a plastic keyboard that is probably non-biodegradable, sitting on my couch that, if burned, would probably emit horrible toxins into the atmosphere, drinking water from a plastic cup, wasting resources and leaving an embarrassingly large footprint on this planet that provides me with love, empathy, happiness, humor, opinions, entertainment, beauty, and literally everything.  

Native Americans had the right idea, is all I'm saying.  This planet...Earth...this amazingly underappreciated reason for life...is something we all take for granted and it hit me tonight that it's probably the answer to every question about the meaning of life.  How could we all be so blind?  

Why does there have to be an answer past the science of what made this planet sustain life?  There isn't one.  It's like asking why 2+2=4...it just is....it's plainly obvious.  We should all be literally worshiping this ground that we walk on, but instead, we take it for granted and excuse our treatment of it.  And it's inexcusable.   

Monday, March 23, 2015

What the hell? And parenting sucks.

This is by far the longest dry spell I've had in my jewelry shop in almost a year.  What the shit?  I don't understand.  I've been on top of listing new items, revamping stuff, promoting posts on Facebook and Etsy, but still nothing.  I'm getting a little offended, to be honest.  Anyways...that's all I have to say about that.

In other news...my husband is gone for a few nights for work.  I, on the other hand, have to handle our daughter's misbehaving attitude...please read this with the overtone of sarcasm it's being written with.  I'm not exaggerating about her misbehavior, but I love her dearly so I don't want to give anyone the wrong idea.  Here's the thing...she's four years old and today I had to sign a paper saying that I acknowledged the fact that she punched a kid in the face for getting in the way of her bubbles.

SERIOUSLY?  What the hell??  And this post really did start out with being more about the jewelry issue than the kid issue.  But yes, my goofy, incredibly intelligent, four-year-old princess closed-fist punched a kid in the face today at daycare.  I'm afraid they're going to kick her out.  Seriously.

So tonight she was forced to sit in her room and practice her letters.  No playing with her sister.  No talking.  No noise making of any kind.  And the fact that her fear of my wrath succeeded in instilling good behavior renewed my confidence that this is a controllable behavior issue, not one that needs medicine.  She's just a bad kid.  And it's our fault, I'm sure.  How could it not be?  If this were the kid of anyone I knew, I'd blame the stupid parents.

We try to give her the benefit of the doubt most of the time and we let her be her own little person...and she's punishing us for it.  So no more iPad.  No more cartoons.  No more fun and free-loving sappy parents.  No sir.  She's going to have structure now every time she sets foot in this house.  Or out of it.  I can't control how she acts at school but I can give her guidance and set limits when she's with us.  Lots and lots of limits.  Sorry kiddo.

I have the worst headache right now.  Time for some motrin and bed.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Today (edited to add: up to this point) was a really great day.

I should really knock on wood (I just did, for real), because I don't want some catastrophic thing to happen after I submit this post considering it's only 6:15 and both my kids are still up and I'm leaving to get pizza soon.  I guess I should say today up to this point has been a really great day.  Okay, I got really superstitious and changed the title of this post.  Whatever.

So the day started out early, like always, but it was shortly followed by pancakes, which is awesome.  They were funfetti.  I ran to Walmart (which was mostly empty at 8 am...the only way I can stand that place) to get a new tire for one of our jogging strollers...the single capacity one...then fixed the dead tire and we all piled into the car to go to Jane's first ever soccer game.  As a four year old with no experience in a team activity, she kind of sucked, but it was a lot of fun watching and getting to use our fancy camera to capture the event.  There was a lot of placating to get her through the whole thing without too many tantrums but all-in-all I think she enjoyed it and it was a good experience for her.  Abby had a great time too.


Naptime came next (yay! I always feel a little bad when I express my true feelings about naptime, but I know I'm not the only one who thinks kids were biologically inclined to nap in order to sustain the human race, because without naps, I think a lot of parents would go insane).  I went to Barnes N Noble and drank an iced coffee, read some of my Earths Project book and jotted down notes on it (why it sucked, then why it wasn't so sucky), then I wrote some of a short story I started after that one blog post a couple weeks ago...it's going well.  I even re-read a chapter of the book I wrote last year during NaNoWriMo and felt really proud of it...which made me feel a little less like I'm wasting my time (always an underlying fear I have about this thing I do).

I got home and played with my kiddos, then took Abby out in the jogging stroller that I fixed this morning...we did a slow 5K and I took a cool shower after (so refreshing).  Now I'm drinking a glass of wine and getting ready to leave to get the pizza.  So that brings us up to speed...great day so far, right?

Hopefully everyone stays injury and illness free for the rest of the evening so I can feel a little less superstitious about stuff.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Such a clean house

I didn't do very much cleaning last weekend, obviously...then I had off two days this week and took of a third...didn't do any cleaning then either.  Whatever.  So today, my house was gross.  Disgustingly gross.  And now it's so clean.  I feel bad for my younger daughter on days like this because she usually gets neglected and strapped into a high chair for as long as I can keep her occupied with snacks and iPads and empty paper towel rolls.  But I was able to mop, vacuum, clean toilets, clean bathroom sinks, dust, sweep off the back porch, make jewelry, feed kids lunch, all before 3 o'clock.  Sadly, the kids' naps are almost over, so I'm sure the house will look like a disaster again in about ten minutes.

They're up now and we're home from going to one of those huge local furniture stores (not IKEA, unfortunately).

I could probably go to sleep right now.  Finishing up some jewelry, then writing a little and taking the dog for a walk...then the weekend is over.  Bummer.

Oh, and I got a Kerastraight Ultimate treatment done to my hair on Friday.  Waiting for the shampoo and conditioner to get here in the mail tomorrow before I make a definite opinion about it one way or the other.

Man, I'm boring today.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Endurance

So I endured the insanely intense week and weekend of work.  We pulled off a two day fundraiser by working over 40 hours in a few days (that was just me...most of my coworkers worked 10 hour days or more for the week prior to the event, I couldn't justify taking that much time from my kids prior to the crazy long hours I knew I was going to work over the weekend).  I endured it happily, it was actually quite a bit of fun.  I lifted and walked more than I have since the last time we did this event (even back when it was only a one-dayer, it was strenuous).  I'm a little impressed with how much I can lift...I was putting bins full of cans, bins full of vegetables, boxes with six of these huge cans of chopped tomatoes up on a table over and over again, then getting them off to give them back to the contestants...I work the refrigerator truck, it has pros and cons...smells great and cools you off but the lifting is really tough and no one I work with understands how hard that gets after hours of it each day.  Anyway, it makes me feel so much closer to everyone I work with, going through events like that.  I was impressed by what we all accomplished with a minimal amount of office drama (I really hate office drama, but I like to be a supportive friend, so I listen to all of it even when I'd rather not).

I have two highlights from the weekend...well, both aren't really good take aways, but they're notable...The first was stopping a car accident on Sunday evening..we were driving a big uhaul type box truck back from the park to the office to unload and an idiot in a dark green car was driving down the road without lights on.  Neither the driver nor the other passenger in our truck saw him and we were about to turn right in front of the car.  I only saw it at the last second and screamed 'stop' several times...my coworker that was driving probably thought I was crazy.  Then he saw the car too.  That was scary.

The other highlight...oh wait, I just thought of a third...I hit a cop in the head with a large empty bin...whoops, total accident, he was coming in our mobile mini office and I was taking the bin out... hit him hard enough to knock him back a few steps...I felt really bad but it ended up being more funny than anything.

And the last was after all the things I did through the weekend, jumping off and on the back of trucks, lifting things I had no business lifting, driving gators around and almost getting in that accident...I end up with an injury from something as simple as slipping off the sidewalk while throwing away my water bottle on the way to my car at the end of the weekend.  I twisted my ankle bad enough that there's now a gross ball of swelling popping out of it.  It doesn't hurt anymore, and the swelling is only mild.

Even more difficult to endure was today's dentist appointment, but I lived through that as well.  So I'm rewarding myself for everything with an afternoon at Barnes N Noble, followed by my first hair cut in 7 months.  I LOVE getting hair cuts.  If I were a millionaire, I'd pay someone to play with my hair on a daily basis.  And clean my house.  And change my daughter's diapers...not only because wiping butts is gross, but also because she HATES having her diaper changed...cries incessantly.

I miss writing fiction...I attempted to start that short story back in January but never finished it.  I want to start one today for this month but I'm afraid to.  I'm afraid I'll never finish it, or I'll lose interest in whatever topic I choose, or it'll be terrible.  All reasons not worth my hesitation, but hard to overcome nonetheless.  I want it to be light.  Then I want it to be sad.  I was running with my dog the other night and I saw this girl probably around 12 years old wearing a very 12-year-oldesque outfit and had long thick straight dark blonde hair.  But she was riding a skateboard.  And she gave me the impression that she didn't care about anything but whatever music she was listening to in her earphones.  She looked above all the things that go on for kids at that age.  Not even really 'above' it all, but more just displaced from it...like she was just indifferent to it.  I wanted so badly to make her the center of something.  Maybe that's what I'll do.  Can't really hurt to try starting something now, even if I don't finish it, even if it does suck, even if I lose interest.  Can't hurt.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Work, work, and more work

Tomorrow is the first day of probably the busiest work week for me of all time.  Everyone at my job has been building up for it for months so I'm actually glad it's finally here, it means it's that much closer to being over.  Over the course of 3 days I think I'll be working over 35 hours.  The following Monday will supposedly only consist of unloading vehicles at the office and then us being able to go back home.  I plan to ask for the following Tuesday off as well.  I'm tired just thinking about next weekend.

Spending time doing things other than work, like running, reading my book, reading in general, and writing here are probably the only ways I'll be able to keep from getting overly stressed, even when it's hard to think about anything but work.  Unfortunately, even now on a Sunday evening with two full days of nothing but family and decompress time, I'm too exhausted to stay awake.  I feel like it should be closer to midnight rather than a little after 10.

One week from this moment and it'll be all over...good or bad, the event will have come and gone.  Just a week from now.  And hey, all the lifting and jumping up on a truck will be great exercise.  I need a good workout.

Time to stop trying to fight it, I need to go to bed.  Happy March (best month of the year!)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Birthday

I'm turning 32 in less than a week.  I can't lie...I sort of hate birthdays now.  It's just a reminder that I haven't accomplished many of the things I really really want to accomplish with my time.  Obviously I'm thrilled with the fact that I have a beautiful set of daughters and a happy life and a job and no real true worries.  But when I'm being selfish about the things I want to say I've done with my life, I want a few things on that list to show true accomplishments that reflect something I'm capable of with my own abilities.  The jewelry is fun and I'm proud of it but it's not cutting it.  I want to make time to finish editing one of the projects I've written and I want to be able to focus on getting one of them sold.  But there's never any time.

Everything is taking all of my time.  Two kids (love them dearly, yes, of course), work (takes way way way too much of it), jewelry, exercise (when I spare time for it)...by the time I have done everything I'm obligated to do either with work, family, jewelry, cleaning, etc. I have about an hour of free and open time to do with what I choose.  And unlike that awesome month back in November, I'm letting that hour go toward TV or mindlessly looking online.  And then, before I know it, it's time to go to bed.

I guess I could start staying up late again but I really need the sleep now that everyone in my house keeps getting sick and work is requiring more of my attention.  Seriously...just one hour...if that...per day.  That's it.  And so now I look at people without children, or the version of me before children, and I think...damn, must be nice.  Again...I'm not complaining about children at all, obviously...but maybe Abby could cry a little less when I walk out of the room to pee.  And maybe Jane could not spend an hour every night repeatedly being told to go to bed.  Then maybe the time I spend with them would be a little less stressful and the time I end up with at the end of the day would be a little more productive.

Wishful thinking.