Sunday, August 20, 2017

Back to Work

This past week has been exhausting!


The boys started 2nd grade and I started a new job! They decided that going to Cracker Barrel on the First and Last Day of School will be a tradition. 

I have not worked 5 days a week since before the twins were born. Well, even before that with the tough pregnancy. (There was 2 months in 2010 that I attempted to work. The boys were constantly sick so I after many sick days, I quit.) I absolutely love it. I am a Toddler Teacher for the Child Enrichment Center at the high school. I hadn't planned on a job which included changing diapers, but I love teaching and playing with little ones. 

Going back to work is going to be a struggle and a blessing. Trying to work out the boys' school days, after school care, being part of the PTO Board, Boy Scouts, and working is overwhelming. I am still trying to find that balance and perfect schedule. Things should calm down by the end of September. Being a single stay at home mom for 7 years has been tough. Going back to work is going to be just as hard. 


However, the financial blessing for my little family is going to be amazing. I recently bought a new car, and we have a fun weekend in Phoenix scheduled once a month for the rest of the year. These new expenses will easily fit into the budget. (Plus I am really good at finding deals to help stretch our money.)


Last weekend we were able to spend the night in Phoenix and see the Cubs game.


I hope all of you had a great start to the new school year.




Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Night Before Back to School

The night before the first day of school, 
and all through the house 
no one was moving... 
except for the MOM! 
She was writing names over and over 
on every box, notebook and folder;
checking backpacks and laying out clothes
before she would sleep for the night.

For in the morning would bring 
a Back To School breakfast 
and lots of photos 
once she finally tore the kids out of bed.
Then drive off to school in a hurry, 
to check out the class 
and see all their friends. 
(Plus a few more photos.)

Then the mom would relax
in all the glory of being 
alone for the morning. 

Happy Back To School!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

7 years in the making...


As I sit here binge watching Netflix, I can barely believe what happened 7 years ago. It feels like a lifetime ago. 








I showed up a domestic violence shelter just before midnight on Friday, July 31, 2010. The twins had just turned 6 months old. I had left their father and moved us 150 miles away. 



2 friends had driven us because my car wouldn't have made it up the I-17 from Phoenix. They left me there and went to a hotel for the night. They came back the next morning to take us to breakfast and to the store for basics.






I did a short intake and then I was given a room. Because I had 2 children, we were given a private room. It was a dorm room of sorts with a shared bathroom in the hall. I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was that it would be better than what I had left, and better than the options available in Phoenix. 


That first weekend is a blur. A trip to Target that Saturday was crazy because the place was crawling with NAU students and their parents. My friends left that afternoon and we were on our own. One hot mess of a mom and two crying babies on the bottom of an old metal bunk bed.




                                                                                                                                                      

Fast Forward to today - August 1st, 2017. The twins are now 7.5 years old and I am just a 2 days of being 40.5 years old. We just signed a new lease on our duplex. We have now lived here 5 years.{After being at the shelter for 9 weeks, I was given a spot in a transitional housing program. We lived there for 2 years while I completed the program.}




This is the longest I have ever lived in one home since I have left home at 17. This is longest I have ever been part of a community with friends and coworkers and resources. I love Flagstaff with all its quirks and faults. This is where I began a new life for myself and I now consider it to be my home. {But I will not stop rooting for my Cubbies! Go Cubs Go, Go Cubs Go. Hey Chicago, what do ya say? The Cubs are going to win today!}





Next week the boys start 2nd grade at a great school. That same day I start work using the Elementary EDU Special Education degree I earned 10 years ago. I am buying a new car and building my credit back up. I am decorating my house in my own styles and colors. I am purging closets and finally letting go of boxes of stuff that has followed me for years. 







I feel like a new person. I still fight the blues but they are at that annoying exhaustion stage instead of being a full depressive episode. I can handle this! I got this! My life is what I make it! Many people have said I am not worthy, not good enough, not smart enough, not normal enough, not consistent enough, not pretty enough, not rich enough, JUST NOT ENOUGH. 





Well, guess what?

THEY ARE ALL WRONG! 

I have so much self-worth! It is hard to see it some days - but it is there! 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Suicide Prevention - Out of the Darkness Walk

It has been 18 months since the boys lost their dad to suicide. He would have been 39 last weekend. Sam and Jay spent the weekend with their grandparents remembering their daddy. I spent the weekend relaxing and trying to not be angry. Yes, I am still angry. Not that he took his own life - but that the boys are still hurting. There aren't many tears anymore, but the pain is still in the back of their mind.











In honor of their dad, my own suicide attempts, the many suicides in our community this year (including acoco friend's husband,) and the major celebrity deaths: I am walking to save lives.







In the United States, a person dies by suicide every 13.3 minutes, claiming more than 39,500 lives each year. It is estimated that an attempt is made every minute, with close to one million people attempting suicide annually. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. among adults 18-65, the second leading cause of death among teens and young adults, and individuals ages 65 and older account for 16 percent of all suicide deaths. This is a public health issue that does not discriminate by age, gender, ethnicity, or socio-economic status. 

Join Me in Supporting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

I'm walking in the Out of the Darkness Flagstaff Walk to fight suicide and support AFSP's bold goal to reduce the suicide rate 20% by 2025.

Event Details

Walk Date: 09/30/2017
Walk Location: Buffalo Park - Flagstaff, AZ
Check-in/Registration Time: 09/30/2017 at 8:00 am
Walk Begins: 9:00 am
Walk Ends: 12:00 pm
Please help me reach my goal by clicking the "Donate" button on this page:  http://bit.ly/2u7fNQL
All donations are 100% tax deductible and benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), funding research, education, advocacy, and support for those affected by suicide.
Thank you for your support!