Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Choose Joy

What is it about this time of year that forces people to reflect on what went right and wrong this past year?

 I think it would be very easy to look back and nitpick everything that has gone wrong in the last year. But as I sit here preparing to embark on my 30s I want to reflect on the positive.

This year we've taken a lot of mini vacations with the kids in mind. Something as simple as checking into a hotel and swimming for two days. I'm thankful for time with my family.

As a family we have spent the year focusing on love and how to make each other feel loved. I'm thankful for the opportunity spoil my family and feel them give it right back to me.

We've downsized our house in anticipation of finding our forever home. I'm thankful for parents who have given us the opportunity to start anew.

Chris has quit his job and opened up an auto and tire shop. I'm thankful for the resources and timing that allowed him to become self employeed doing something her loves.

I got moved to a day shift position. I'm thankful for the timing and pure luck meant I get to be on the same sleep schedule as my family.

Aiden started 4th grade and Ryan started 5th grade. We have had a slew of sports activities, parties, and homework. I'm thankful for the opportunity to watch these boys grow and learn and enjoy life.

Chris and I celebrated our 10th anniversary. I'm thankful for the power of love, forgiveness, and hard work. That man means the world to me.

Some people might read this and think I'm sugar coating how hard this year has been emotionally. I'm not. I lived it. But I choose to see the joy and laughter because there was plenty of that.

After a lot of thought I've decided that my mantra for 2016 will be CHOOSE JOY. I'll probably find it on a mug and a shirt and get it tattooed on my face if I have to. Life can be hard. In 2016 I'm make a conscious decision to soak up all the love and joy I can.

Now it wouldn't be a New Year/New You if I didnt have some good old fashion New Year's resolutions. I'll share those with you tomorrow.

So my mantra for 2016 will be "Choose Joy"

Friday, December 19, 2014

Creeping on 30

Tomorrow I turn 29. I'm sitting around watching Gilmore Girls and writing my last minute list of Christmasy things I forgot to do.

I thought now would be a good time to write up my goal list for next year because after tomorrow I'll sort of be in go mode for the rest of the year.

For myself:
-Exercise 3 times a week
-Find a hobby
-Go skydiving
-Go whitewater rafting

For my marriage:
-Take 2 vacations. One being a long overdue honeymoon.
-Go on at least 2 dates a month
-Talk face to face at least 15 minutes a day with no outside distractions
-Laugh more
-Pick my battles and argue more
-Continue working on meeting each others needs

For my family:
-Take 2 vacations
-Replace couches with couches made for snuggling
-Say yes more

For my career:
-Start BSN
-Complete MSE book

For my finances:
-Save $1000
-Pay off debt
-Save 3 months of expenses
-Budget monthly hobby money

So that's it. Probably not the most extravagent list but it's what I want for 2015.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Mambo No.5

I've decided that I need an outlet so I want to start writing again in my little corner of the internet. This last year has been so fraught with pain and hard shit that I am just now starting to work through it all with the help of a therapist.

Now I feel like I have a newfound directions, as slow as my steps might be. So I guess now I can bring all 3 of you up to speed on life and all that jazz.

I'm working full time as a nurse. I'm just starting night shift so that's going to be an adjustment. But so far I'm loving my job and learning new things every day.

Chris and I are in marriage counseling. The last few years have been more difficult than either of us would admit and it all sort of came to a head. But I'm hopeful about the opportunity to find more fulfillment in our relationship. For the first time in a very long time our marriage is a priority. The great news is that we have been reminded why we fell in love. Learning how to meet my husband's needs and how to ask for what I need has definitely been an interesting lesson. But the bottom line is that we are best friends and a lot can be said for our desire to do the hard work.

My boys are just peachy. Growing like weeds and eating every thing in sight. Seriously where does it go? I already told Chris that he will probably need a second job just to pay for groceries when they hit the teenage years.

I have some goals for 2015 that I'm excited about. I turn 29 on the 20th so I really feel that push to mark things off my bucket list and leave my 20s with a bang. I'll share those later.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Return of High School

I'm coming out of my little blogging funk to talk about my 10 year reunion. But I guess in order to do that I would have to take you back to high school.

I've lived in SJ since I was 7. I would say that St. Johns High School is just like any small town high school in the country. There were definitely cliques, everybody loves football, and there is never a short supply of weekend shenanigans off a dirt road.

My freshman and sophomore year were very much spent acting holier than thou. I hung out with a group of people from my church. Everything we did surrounded this church and our youth group. Freshmen year is a time where you are trying to figure out where you are going to fit into this daunting high school experience. So I clung tightly to this group that took me in. But everyone that I knew was a junior or senior.

And at the end of my sophomore year because of a falling out I had with my church (which is the entire basis for my mistrust of religion, but that's another post for another day) I was off to figure out, once again where I fit into the high school experience. My junior year I dated two idiots, I went to prom looking like Cinderella, and I fell into partying like something out of a Lifetime movie. And I also used to wear these snazzy pair of teal colored snake skin pants. They are every bit as hideous as they sound.

At the end of junior year I met Chris. And the summer that followed was one for the books. It's everything that falling in love is supposed to look like if you're small town. There were midnight dashes threw the park sprinklers, hiding from the police in a ditch, chasing frogs in the rain, parties where you just know the person hosting is going to get killed by their parents, and enough Strawberry Hill and Peppermint Schnapps to make me sick just thinking about it.

Senior year starts with so much energy. Everyone is trying to plan the rest of their lives and in a rush to get everything in order to finally move on. I was taking welding through NAVIT and was on the ACADEC team. The plan was to get a scholarship, move to the valley with Chris, and figure out what type of careers we would have so that we could travel frequently. But here is the thing about plans...someone once told me that if you want to hear God laugh tell Him your plans.

Over Christmas break that year I found out I was pregnant. It was like being on a train watching all the bright lights moving around you and suddenly the power goes out and the train stops. I had to stop taking welding (because apparently welding fumes aren't awesome from brain development), I dropped out of ACADEC, and I switched all of my classes up so that I could do the minimum and just get done. My thoughts of college flew out of my window. And I stopped talking to my friends. I went to school, got my shit done and went to work or home. Looking back I was massively depressed. I watched everyone filled with so much excitement about their future. The whole 'world is ours for the taking' attitude. And all I had was a drowning sense of the unknown and a promise from a man that he would take care of me and this baby.

We all know how this story changes. How I've changed. How life turned out better than I could have expected. But I feel like its necessary to understand my high school experience to understand my thoughts on my 10 year reunion.

I really don't know why but I was nervous. Possibly too much Romey & Michelle. Possibly too many stories about reunions gone terribly wrong. But all of those nerves flew out the window when I arrived. This was quite possibly the most laid back reunion ever. We mingled, had dinner, watched a slide show from our graduation, and took a tour of the school (Seriously, SJ budget for new carpet), and then went home to our families.

There were people there that I couldn't remember for the life of me. And I can't tell you how many times people thanked me for being their FB friend (because obviously I'm a riot). I even got my backside diddled during our group picture (You're welcome very much Bailey). Honestly, there were only a handful of people that I was even curious about. And I think the reason for that is because I almost never hung out with people from my own class. I didn't really know them to begin with, so I know them even less a decade later. There were a few women that I would have kindly liked to remove the stick from their asses because I'm sure it gets uncomfortable from spending a lifetime acting superior. Other than that everyone was great. I can't say it enough. I had so much fun catching up.

After our reunion someone posted something on Facebook that essentially said people never change and she still sits on the sidelines. And I say get your ass off the sidelines. It's a metaphor for life. Go where the action is. Laugh a little. Stop waiting for life to approach you and offer you a good time. Life doesn't work that way. Because I'll be damned if I live my life waiting for the 10 year approval of people that I hardly know.

I hope everyone goes on to live a life that makes them happy and fulfilled. I hope everyone goes on to find adventure and love. I hope everyone goes on to live intentionally. Grab life by the horns and smack it's ass while you're at it. Go! Big! Red!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 in Review

1. What did you do that you'd never done before?
I become the leader of a Tiger Scout troop this year. Talk about a lesson in patience. Oh I don't mean the kids I mean dealing with ungrateful parents who bitch and moan but don't lift a finger to help out.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't make any resolutions last year. I was all about trying to learn to let go a little.
 I do have goals set for this year. they aren't extreme and aren't even significant for most people but my goals are:
-Pass my NCLEX-RN
-Get a full time job
-Lose 15 pounds during my 12 weeks challenge
-Complete P90X
-Lose 30% of my body weight
-Take the kids to Legoland
-Visit the beach
-Go on at least 10 dates with Chris
-Finish the kitchen remodel
-Start 3 month emergency fund

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My baby sister gave birth to the most adorable little girl. Averi Meadow is like a tiny, stinky light in all of our lives. Although aiden has made it very clear that he "doesn't want any stinkin' babies taking his toys.'

4. Did anyone close to you die?
I recently had a friends die at 29 years old. I have since grown really close to her sisters. In all honesty it made me feel unsettled a little. Life is so short and I don't want to die one day with regrets because I'm always chasing goals. But I'm human and I think all any of us can do is just our best. i wish I could do fun things every single day with my kids but thats not reality. So i go to work and try to finish school and cherish the time I have off.

5. What countries did you visit?
I did not travel to any countries. In fact I only left Arizona once in 2013. Lamesauce.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
I want to have more energy. I feel like the quality of my life is suffering because of how tired I am all the time.

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched in your memory, and why?
I don't really have any significant dates in my mind except this year Ryan turned 9 and Aiden turned 7. And that shit made me feel old.

8. What was your biggest achievement this year?
I feel like my biggest achievement this year was getting my depression under control. I feel more in control of myself than when 2013 started and for that I am proud.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I am going to call by biggest failure my inability to get a grip on my weight gain. But it is definitely something that I intend to face head on in 2014.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I didn't but Chris broke his ankle. and Ryan had his tonsils removed after getting an infection. Both guys are fully recovered and I couldn't be more thankful for that.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I would say my laserjet printer and a new toilet for Ryan's bathroom. When did I become so lame?

12. Where did most of your money go?
Hell if I know but if you find it give me a call.

13. What did you get really excited about?
Chris bought me tickets and meet and great passes to Stone Sour in February. He gets me in a way that no one else does.

14. What song will always remind you of 2013?
Katy Perry's Peacock. Its completely inapropriate but I can't tell you how many night I spent with the TWASS group in someone's garage doing karaoke. It was just very cathartic.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
-happier or sadder? happier, definitely happier
-thinner or fatter? fatter
-richer or poorer? neither really but in 2014 I will be getting Dave Ramsey on everyone's asses because I have entirely to much anxiety to live paycheck to paycheck.

16. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Hug my babies. because really can anyone ever do that enough.

17. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Get offended at the things Chris says. Sometimes it seems like I'm just looking for a reason to raise my voice.

18. How did you spend Christmas?
See previous post.

19. What was your favorite TV show?
Grey's Anatomy, Sons of Anarchy, and Last Man Standing

20. What were your favorite books this year?
Jay Crownover's Marked Men series and Real by Katy Evans

21. What was your favorite music from this year?
Stone Sour (whom I didn't get the chance to see live at UFest), Pistol Annies, Eric Church, KOL

22. What were your favorite films this year?
Iron Man 3. Total boy-mom pick.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 28 this year and I celebrated by working and coming home with the worst flu and bronchitis I have ever experienced.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Getting it on with Justin Timberlake? No seriously, I think going on vacation with my family would have improved the year a lot.

25. What kept you sane?
Chris, he really is my biggest support. After him my friends, those women who make me laugh and pull me out of my funk. I am so grateful to finally have great girlfriends in my life.

27. Share a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
No regrets. Life is what it is. We do our best and everything else is just a lesson. We can't beat ourselves up over the things we never did and instead have to look to right now and work toward becoming who we want to be.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Life is Like a Pigeon

It will just shit all over your head when you least expect it.

I finally got my Authorization to Test for my NCLEX-PN. Quite honestly, being one of the last three people in my class to test has made me a nervous wreck. We are a very competitive group of people and I have this fear that I was going to be the only person to fail. So I initially scheduled the exam for 09/19. And then my week promptly turned to shit.

Sunday 8th: I find an opening for the following Thursday. I am such a nervous fucking mess that I decide that I just need to get it over with because studying for my NCLEX and trying not to fail out of my last year of nursing school is just too much.

Monday 9th: I work a 12 hour shift. I come home to discover that Ryan has a fever and he isn't really interested in eating. My mom failed to call me because "she wanted me to focus on my job" What. The. Fuck.

Tuesday 10th: I have class from 8am-5pm. Chris calls me as soon as he picks up the kids and says that Ryan isn't getting any better and now he can't open his mouth wide enough to stick a finger between his teeth. at this point I am freaking out because I spent the last 9 hours in a school where "airway" is always the first concern. We take him to the ER and the CT shows a pus-filled mass in his throat that is shifting his airway to the right. They give him antibiotics and steroids and after 6 hours he is like brand new.

Wednesday 11th: We get home around 2am. I have to take Ryan back to the doctor at 8am. Luckily my clinical instructor is heaven-sent and realizes that we have families and lives outside of school. So I am off the hook for clinicals. The ear, nose, & throat specialist decides that his tonsils need to be removed. We schedule for the following Monday as long as his condition stays the same or gets better.

Thursday 12th: My parents drive me to Albuquerque, NM at 4am. We get there 4 hours later, have breakfast. I'm exhausted and scared out of my mind. I haven't studied a single thing at this point. Ryan's ENT calls me to check on Ryan. I give him Chris' cell phone number. Half an hour later Chris calls me. At this point its an hour before I go test. He tells me that Ryan is getting worse. His jaw is swelling and the specialist wants to remove his tonsils now. Except I am about to take a life altering test and am not even in the same goddamn state as my baby boy who is about to undergo his first surgery ever. Not only do I feel like a piece of shit mom for not being there but I physically feel like I want to throw up. I blast through my NCLEX in 1 hour. They allow you up to 5 hours to take this test. Let me just tell you that this was they longest drive home ever. I wanted nothing more than to be with my baby.

I am very lucky to work in healthcare and have friends that work at the hospital and take such great care of my son when I couldn't be there. Ryan is feeling like a new person only 3 days post-op. I still feel guilty that I wasn't there but I'm just going to have to work threw that.

Hopefully Life has had enough entertainment at my expense and will move on because I would love to have a few boring weeks.

My test results will be posted Monday. Fingers crossed that I passed.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Wants vs Needs

I had so many plans this summer. 
I had so many things that I wanted to accomplish.
But life has a funny way of stomping all over the best plans.

I wanted to finish my English class.
Instead I took my kids to swim lessons.

I wanted to take a break from work.
Instead, I forged new friendships and got rid of toxic relationships.

I wanted to get my LPN.
Instead, I took bike rides with my boys.

I wanted to finish the bathroom remodel.
Instead, I got to spend time with Chris.

I wanted to go on vacation.
Instead, my family played board games.

I wanted to save money.
Instead, I stretched every dollar and made due with things I had.

Most people that have known me in real life for any amount of time know that I live a very goal oriented life. I complete semester after semester of classes because it brings me closer to my goal of finishing college with a degree I can turn into a career. I put my kids in sports because it gives them goals to reach for and they strive to improve every season. Chris and I set goals that we can attain together. Since Ryan was born I have set out to prove that just because I was a "teen mom" didn't mean that I couldn't be a great mom. So I set all of these goals for myself and my family.

As I'm getting older I am learning that sometimes these goals are getting in the way of life. Sometimes it feels like I am waiting to accomplish everything on my to do list so that I can start living life. More than anything this summer made me realize that life is passing me by everyday that i choose not to enjoy it. So I am. I still have goals because obviously that's important but not more important than living in this moment right now. Because we never know what could happen and I want to be able to look back on my life with no regrets and know that I cherished the truly important things. My family.