Saturday, October 15, 2011

I'm Still Alive, Pt 2

Well, hello there! Yes, it's me. I know, I know, you thought I was gone. I thought I was, too.  I'm toying with the idea of pulling the old blog out of storage, dusting off the cobwebs, and giving it another go. Now that I've lost the small following I've had, and all. ;)

This last year has been a bit rough. Health issues, emotional challenges, lots of soul searching and loads of adjusting. We've gone from brick and mortar schooling back to home schooling, MM has changed jobs again, and I've gone from full time to part time to full time and back to part time again at work (with the same great company).  We've bought a house and have spent the last six months settling in.

Part of the reason I wanted to start blogging again is because my friend M has suggested a new challenge for us. Our goal is to do the three day Komen walk next year in San Diego.

I have a history of dreaming big and not following through. I have been searching for an adventure - something that I had to work hard to accomplish, something that would benefit others, something I would be proud of myself for achieving. I've always wanted to do this walk, but never believed I could. I HATE to exercise, I have at least 100 pounds to lose, and, as I mentioned previously, I like to dream big and don't always end up following through.

I want this to be different. I want to do this for my health, for everyone who has had breast cancer, and for all the people who love them. This is for me, my grandmother, and my friend Deb. I want to raise money for the cause, I want to lose pounds and gain health while preparing for this walk, and I want to end this knowing I accomplished something I never thought I could.

I still have doubts, but, I want this. I want to finish this. I don't want to let down M, and I don't want to let myself down. I've got twelve months to prepare for this, and I'm starting my training today.

At this point, my plan is to at least keep my training schedule blogged. I'm on a three day a week schedule at work, so I'm hoping to at least check in two or three times a week. I'm starting off with an easy 20 minute stroll every day, starting today. Each week, I'll add either speed or time to my routine. Once I get acclimated to my daily walk, I'll start working on distance.

With a lot of hard work, next November I'll be spending a week with Mara in San Diego, donating $2300 to the Komen Walk For The Cure, and amazing myself with both my accomplishment and my new found, much improved health.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hellllloooooo There!

I'm not dead!

I've just been busy. And lazy. And feeling very unbloggy and introspective. I've spent the last month coming to terms with my life - what it is and isn't, what it can and could be - and finding out I'm pretty damned happy with it. 

I've been thinking about blogging, I really have. I've also been thinking about not blogging at all - thinking about writing a goodbye post and closing it all down. I started this blog to talk about and talk through homeschooling, and since we don't really do that any longer, it became my place to muse and vent and write stuff out. But, I wasn't real sure I wanted to blog about the stuff going on here anymore. I'm still not, actually.

But I'm also not quite ready to say goodbye. And then I got this blogging award from one of my dear web friends, and I thought I'd best resurface for a bit. Since she still cares and all. :) 

The award is “Cherry on Top” Award for “beautiful blogs with that little bit extra”. First of all, thanks, Sheri! I'm not sure it's deserved, but, I appreciate it!

The rules are that I answer a question and nominate six more bloggers. I'm not sure I have six people, but, I have a few in mind. Anyway, here it is:

1. Answer this question: If you had the chance to go back and change one thing in your life, would you, and what would it be?

Oh, man, I can only pick ONE? That's impossible. There are so many things I wish I had or hadn't done, so many things I would like a do-over on. If I had to narrow it down, I wish I would have traveled around the world and lived in a different country before I married and had a child. Now it seems so difficult to attain, and there are so many other people's desires and feelings I have to consider. Well, OK, only two people, really, but since I'm married to one and the mother of the other, they're feelings are fairly important to me. So it feels sometimes like more than two, if you know what I mean.

2. Pass the other award along to 6 of your favourite blog writers.

In no particular order:

My Foil Hat. I love this blog. Amy has home schooled four boys and has survived to tell the tale. I love her writing, her humor, and her insight on education. I live vicariously through her trips to the beach, and have a secret desire to hide out in her SUV and join them on the next trip.  But, in a totally non-creepy sort of way. Really.

ImPerceptibility. Even though she officially said goodbye to her blog a month ago, I'm not ready for it to end. Another homeschool blog, with a twist of, I don't know, a twist of SOMETHING. She's hilarious, she's out there, her posts often have me in tears. I love her blog, and I'll really, really miss it. But it's worth every minute to read all the old posts, so check her out. 

Where the FuhKaui. Vicki is living my dream life - traveling in an RV unschooling her kids and seeing America. She's not afraid to try anything new, she's someone I can count on for advice and and vicarious adventure, and she posts great videos on Facebook.

Squid Ink. She eats bear after being a vegetarian for 20 years. She goes to Hippie Camp. I want to steal her son's hair. I love checking in and seeing what she's up to. What more can I say?

Regular Mom. She's a poet, she's a homeschooler, she's sarcastic, and she's the Arbiter of Art. Again, what more can I say?

3.  Thank the person who gave you the award. 

Thank you, Sheri, at My Leftover Life. Sheri has been with me since the start of my blogging, she's always there with encouragement and support, and I swear she's my Canadian alter-ego. We just seem to get each other, and the older I get, the more and more I appreciate that connection with someone, no matter where they are. She is funny, sweet, and writes some pretty amazing poetry, which I've completely quit commenting on, because my comments were usually just something along the lines of "Oh, my gosh. That's EXACTLY how I feel!!"

So, I'm seeing a common link here with these blogs. They're all by women, they all make me laugh, make me think, or make me cry. They're all mom's. The first thing that comes to mind when I think of the blogs is either that they're hilarious, well written, or just someone I love to "visit". They all deserve the Cherry on Top award. And to any readers I have left, go check them out. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming

I'm feeling a more hopeful today. The benefit of my short attention span is that I don't stay upset for too awfully long.  I get distracted too easily by all of life's possibilities.

After wallowing in self-pity for a few days, shedding a few 'poor me' tears, and a lot of support from my friends and family, I feel better. Much better.

I'm going to go with option two - the much more affordable community college route - for nursing school. There's a wait list, so I'm having my test results sent over, I'll fill out my application packet and get it all turned in, and wait. When my turn comes up, I'll see where life is at that point and go from there. Nursing may never be my future, but I'm not ready to give it up yet.

In the meantime, I'm finishing up my associates degree this next semester, and moving on to ASU. For what, I'm not totally sure yet, but I have a semester to decide. I'm thinking of something along the lines of Organizational Behavior, which looks somewhat interesting, is on the list of degrees my employer will pay for and would be of use both as a nurse or at my current job. As much as I LOVE my history classes, I don't know that I want a degree in that field. I'll see how I feel in a month or two, when I actually have to make a decision.

Now, I'm off to fold a ton of laundry in preparation for my birthday trip with my mama Thursday and my root canal tomorrow.  :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Post in Which I Feel Sorry for Myself

You've been warned. Feel free to move along if you want to skip this one.

I went to the financial aid meeting for the nursing school I've been accepted to, and after it was all said and done, I'd owe somewhere in the neighborhood of $80k in student loans. That's with what I've already borrowed, plus, the exorbitant cost of the school added in. This, coupled with the fact that I'm losing my insurance and the pay I currently receive (couldn't keep my current job and do this), and the fact that my husband's job isn't reliable enough to support us completely...well, all this basically made going to this particular school impossible for me.

So, my options are to change my degree and incur no further student loans, as my current employer will foot the bill (who I love, by the way, absolutely a great company, but let's just say that being a banker/customer service rep is not what I wanted to be when I grew up); go to a community college and finish nursing school at a much lower cost (still trying to make the no insurance and loss or substantial decrease in my income work); or, say fuck it, I'm tired of all this, and quit school altogether.

Right now, I'm feeling rather sorry for myself and am leaning towards option three.

I feel like MM's job situation is not going to change anytime soon. We're thankful that we're both even working right now. AZ's unemployment rate is crazy high. I'm not sure we'll ever be in a position where I can not work again, especially long enough for me to finish two more years of school.

Which leads me to my other current issues: I feel like I've lost all the things that really mattered to me when MM was laid off in Texas. I had to go back to work and lose time with BW, home schooling went out the window when I wasn't there to facilitate it, and the nursing/ultrasound tech degree I'd been working towards in Texas now looks impossible to finish.

My employer wants me to come back to work full-time in order to change departments. My only option to get out of the department I'm in right now (which, quite frankly, I'm ready to do) is to go back to full-time. If I don't quit to finish school, I feel like my options are pretty limited there unless I'm willing to work more, and since BW opted to go back to school, I might as well.

BW is happy at school, but, he is already expressing a desire to come back home. I know if I were available to make homeschooling work, he'd be all over it. And I truly believe it would be the best option for our family. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of control over even my part-time schedule, so I'm not clear on how we'd make that work.

I'm feeling like working hard for a goal isn't enough - and we're in that place where we're not making enough money to truly be comfortable, but we make too much to qualify for any help in the way of grants and aid for me to finish school.

I'm also feeling like a complete fuck up, because if I would have finished school when I was fresh outta high school, the VA and my mom would have paid for it. Since I spent five or six years drifting, and then spent another five or six years recovering from my misspent youth and getting my act together, I'm screwed now. The VA (and my mom) are no longer willing to pitch in. This is the culmination of all my previous bad life decisions, as well as the good ones. If I were a single parent and not making the salary I make, I'd have all sorts of help.

The hard part is, MM is truly relieved that I'm not going. He's upset that I'm upset, but, relieved he won't have the burden of supporting us. And I get that, but it still sucks. He's promised he'll work two jobs, do whatever it takes to get me through school - and he would if I told him I was going to finish - but then he tells me how sick he is at the thought of not being able to make it. And how much it bothers him that I'd be leaving the job I have now.

I can't do it to him. He's not totally on board, and I don't feel like I can do it without 100% of his support. Even if I were to choose the community college route, I don't think he'll ever be comfortable with me leaving the job I'm at. He's looking for a better job, so maybe there's a chance, but I'm not all that hopeful.The job he's out now he enjoys, and the pay is OK, but it's construction-y, so there aren't reliable hours.

I'm at the point now where the life I live is completely opposite from the life I dream of. I really thought nursing would be the key to making it happen, and I feel that I'm not only giving up my career aspirations, but I'm losing the life that that career would have allowed me have. I have to get past that, and figure out how to do the things I want within our current reality.

I'm sure it's possible, but I'm not feeling very hopeful right now.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I Said Good Day!

Wow. I have been neglecting this blog something fierce lately. Not only have I not been writing, I've not been reading either - I just spent the last hour catching up on a month's worth of blogs I like to follow. I kinda feel like I just spent my morning drinking coffee with a couple of good friends, which was nice!

A lot has been happening this last month. We've had some personal drama here in our house with our adopted family member. I'm not going to go into it all, but, it's filled up a lot of our time.

I was in training for a month at work, so I had was doing a full-time Monday through Friday shift that had me up early each day. Between that and the gym, my days we're pretty full.

Hubby has been working out of town for the last several weeks. Usually he's home on weekends, but hasn't been able to come home the last few weeks. He's been popping in and out on the odd day on his way through town, but, needless to say, we haven't been seeing a whole lot of him. We miss him!

BW decided that he wanted to return to public school again. I'm not even sure what to say about that. He decided a week before school started. I'm completely depressed over the whole thing, but, we've always said it would be his choice, so we enrolled him. Hopefully it won't be like a repeat of last year. It's a different school, so, we'll see. He gets to join band this year, which seems to be the main reason he wants to go. I'll have my very own band geek.

BW had his braces put on this month. He's got this retainer thing on the roof of his mouth, and now he can barely talk. Which is just the tiniest bit awesome, because anything that slows down that kid's talking is a benefit, let me tell you. My ears get tired just listening to him on some days. I'll post a picture of him getting his teeth pulled, with the gas mask thingy and cotton rolls sticking out of his mouth, he looks like a little piggy.

I was asked if I wanted to go back to full-time at work and start doing mortgage origination. I'm torn, because I really don't want to work full-time right now, but if I want to learn this, part-time isn't an option. It'd give me a chance to possibly get into underwriting, which I think I'd like.

The day after I found out about the mortgage thing at work, I learned I was accepted to the nursing program I applied to. Now I have to make a decision, and I have no clue what to do. I've been working so hard towards school, but, I don't know if we can afford for me to go. I'd be losing our health insurance, and the income I bring in. And I LOVE the company I work for, I just don't love exactly what I'm doing right now, though that can change as time passes.

I kind of feel like I'd be on my own if I go back to school. Well, that's not quite accurate, it's just that my family isn't 100% supportive - they don't quite get why I'd leave a perfectly good job to go back to school. They aren't really negative about it, just not really positive either. When I thought I might not go, I got a lot of relieved sighs and "I know you're disappointed, but, this is probably for the best" type comments.

I'll be spending the next several days writing a pros/cons list, I guess. I am starting to feel that little bud of excitement about maybe being a real, live, actual nurse. I'll be sure to put that in the pro section of my list. :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

KD's Doll Shop

There's a lot going on here, but I have to take a minute to give a shout out to a friend of mine, Kristi. She makes these wonderful Waldorf inspired dolls, and I just bought one for a sweet child in my life. As you can see by the pictures, she LOVED it!

Check out Kristi's shop if you have a need for a beautiful handcrafted gift. You won't be disappointed!! The dolls are absolutely WONDERFUL!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

My Raw Experirment

Good Saturday afternoon to you!

I've been nearly raw now for about four days. I've been trying smoothies for breakfast and dinner (fruit and green leafy veggies - sounds horrible, looks gross, tastes surprisingly good!), raw fruits and veggies for snacks, and something cooked for dinner - mostly brown rice and steamed veggies.

It's been surprisingly easy and satisfying. I'm still having my coffee in the morning with a small splash of milk, and I did have popcorn two nights that I didn't have rice and veggies - air popped with some buttery spray (gross, I know).

I'm still in that 'inspired' stage of change, where I'm all gung ho and happy about it, so I harbor no illusions about this being a permanent change. Only hopes that I can incorporate it into one.

My weight has dropped a few pounds, I've still felt great energy wise, and my salt and fat intake has (obviously) dropped dramatically. I'm still making sure to add a little bit of salt and fat into my daily diet, but at a much healthier level. I'm still hitting the gym at least three days a week, and trying to swim on the other days. I'm still having a hard time with the exercise. I really don't *want* to do it, but I'm doing it. Maybe one day I'll find something I can somewhat enjoy.

I think living in Phoenix helps a lot with the eating - we have a lot of access to local produce and no harsh winters where nothing can grow. Our garden is producing, but not as well as we'd like. I'm hoping to be able to grow a lot more of my own foods next year. There are plans of a green house attached to the side of my mom's place to protect our garden from bunnies and quail, cute little thieving bastards that they are. I keep threatening to buy a pellet gun and add a juicy quail breast to my dinner, but the thought of eating it raw has ruined that little fantasy.

Nothing else is really new here. MM is enjoying his new toy, I'm still waiting to hear on the future of nursing school, and hoping all my transcripts get there in time to find out this month - I've sent three requests to Texas and have yet to receive anything from them. If I don't get them, I have to wait until August, which will piss me off. BW is enjoying the waterpark and all our outings. All is well!

I'm off to enjoy the rest of my weekend - and hopefully everyone else is, too.