Sunday, November 10, 2013

One Year...

Friday marked the 1 year anniversary of the say that the kids and I moved out of our home and the long road to divorce started. It was a long week last week, busy kids, being busy at work, not feeling well, the looming holiday season, left me stressed and anxious, a place I had not been in a long time.

After talking to my sister, she put it best "...Pace yourself. It's too much wasted energy to be annoyed at people doing the same damn thing. You know what to expect. Just prepare for that..." Funny, that is how I have tried to live for the last 12 months, but once things became complicated I forgot.

I have so much to be thankful for-
  • Old friends and new friends who have supported me, and sometimes just tell me what I want to hear but I choose to believe them.
  • An amazing job that I love! Coworkers who make me laugh and make my days short.
  • Two healthy and happy children who work hard at school and in their after school activities.
  • A roof over our heads and food on the table
  • I have a family who tries to do the best they can to support me and my kids.
  • My ability to laugh, because sometimes it is easier to laugh than it is to cry.
I am lucky. I have made it through a lot and I think that I have proved to myself and others that I am stronger than we thought I was.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Braces are part of growing up...
I don't think I was ready for this one.
When she was little, these milestones occurred at such a rate
that there was little time to appreciate them, before the next one came.
Braces and front walkover in the same week!
Whaaaa! My baby is getting too big!


After- pink and black United rubber bands.

I love her beautiful smile!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Hot Air...

I have wanted to attend the annual Hot Air Balloon launch at Clovisfest for a long time. This is a weekend activity that requires me to wake up earlier than one should on a non-working day, today I made it happen. Abby and I slipped into our favorite hoodies and jeans and headed to the Rodeo Grounds only to find out that the balloons could not launch due a crazy weather system that blew into Fresno the night before causing high winds in the upper atmosphere.
It was a lot of fun to see the balloons up-close and to learn more about the science behind them. I guess we will have to try again next year. 

Road Trip...

Labor Day Weekend was HOT in Fresno! The smoke from the Rim Fire blew into the Valley causing coughing, wheezing, and sore throats... it was time to get out of the junky air and enjoy a day on the beach! I can't remember the last time we had been to the beach... a clear sign it had been too long. We enjoyed a picnic lunch on the beach, digging in the sand, and exploring the tide pools.

Definitely more trips to the beach in our futures!

Back to School...

Last First Day of Elementary School
She looks cool, calm and collected. She was really nervous.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Summer Vacation...

Summer vacation has not existed for me for the last few years, while kids attended Vacation Bible Schools, day camps, visited their grandparents and cousins, suffered through long hot days at campus Club, I was sneaking away to work. Afternoons were spent at my home computer working and answering forwarded phone calls from the office. I loved my job, I loved talking to the little old ladies and their stories of their lives. I often said that I probably knew more about the people who I spoke with over the phone then their own children. But life has taken a turn, every day is better than the day before (and most days are pretty great), but, continuing to work from the office became difficult and stressful, and then doing something different became necessary... The big QUESTION was -WHAT???

After spending a lot of time volunteering at the kids school during the last few weeks of school, I realized that I missed the personal interaction I had with my students, watching them grow, develop, and create. I still feel proud of all of my students from the ones that I had nearly 15 years ago for 6 weeks in summer school, to the "kid" who checks me out at the grocery store, to the ones who have chosen careers in education, government, and those who have started families of their own- I had a little hand in guiding them into the adults that they are now. The ANSWER- go back to teaching!

I applied for what seems like a million jobs, interviewed and tested for what seemed like thousands, and then I found the one... the one that was the perfect fit, the one that meant that I wouldn't have to leave for work at 5 am to commute 50 miles, the one that gives student that opportunity to experience real hands on education with practical applications, in a state of the art facility.

I am happy to announce that I have accepted a position teaching United States History and Government and Economics at the Center for Advanced Research and Technology in the Finance /Business and Hospitality / Event Management Labs. The power of this organization is incredible, students WANT to be at CART! Teachers are facilitators, students really drive their education, and community partners provide the experience for practical application.

To everyone who has supported me through this change of paths THANK YOU! I could not have done this without your letters of recommendation and support or the phone calls and emails that you took time out of your lives to complete. Thank you to those of you who listened to me complain, whine, and get really excited about the changes that I am making. You all have been encouraging, inspiring, and reminded me (often) what I am capable of doing. THANK YOU!

Saturday, June 15, 2013


Last week was limbo week, school was out but there was nothing that was filling out daily schedule expect 1 hour from 5 to 6pm- swim practice. We couldn't leave town but we had some fun around town and with friends and cousins.
 Breakfast date with Jack at Starbucks, while Abby was at cheer camp.
 A trip the library to pick up a few books, including the required summer reading for 6th grade.
 Homemade croutons.
 Swim Practice.
An intense evening of Connect 4.
 Trip to the Scholastic Warehouse Sale and the eye doctor with a friend.
More trips to "Super" Walmart than I care to count.
Another Swim Practice 
 Requested cuddle time with these two.
Instagram. Follow him-
My new happy place. 
Cheers! How moms survive a day at the water park.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

All Good Things Must Come to an End...

This has been a hard year of adjustments for the kids at home, but both kids had amazing teachers to help guide them through the school year with a few minor hiccups.

The night before the last day of school, I told Abby that she could sleep in in the morning because it didn't matter if she was tardy. She looked at me horrified and said "I can't be late! Tomorrow is the most important day to be on time!" Bewildered I asked her why. Her response was priceless "Mom, I want to be able to spend as much time with Mrs. Logan as I can." As I repeated this to Mrs. Logan the next day tears came to both of our eyes. Abby is convinced that it would just be better if she stayed in the second grade forever. **PLEASE!**

I had a million thank yous for Jack's teacher too. She has been so good to Jack, she helped him remain focused, to earn Honor Roll, to achieve 2nd place in the 5th grade Science Fair, she taught him important lessons on responsibility and self-control. When I thanked her she hugged me and said "he had a really good year, he is a very smart boy, I enjoyed having both of you in my class." I am not sure how any parent gets through that without shedding a tear or two.

I am so grateful for their school. A place that is safe, where they have friends, where they face defeats and victories, and where they learn.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Birthday Extravaganza...

Oh what a difference a year makes! For the past few years I  have dreaded my birthday, I felt like I was asking too much for choosing a dinner that was more complicated than usual or for a cake from a specific bakery. And shame on me for wanting a gift of a massage and a brow wax! I was never sure if I was asking for too much attention, but I certainly felt that way. My birthday seemed more like a day of hurt feelings, last minute, insincere gifts and time spent feeling sorry for myself- a wasted day.

Getting older doesn't bother me, shoot! I am turning back time every night with my eye potions and wrinkle creams. I believe that you are as young as you live... I will be 29 forever!

This year I decided, that my needs, wants and desires would be met, people asked me what I wanted... I told them. I have to say that today was one of the best birthdays ever! I got a free workout at the gym (score!), I went to a long early lunch with 2 friends, I picked up my birthday gift from Sephora, I had a delicious meal cooked by my dad for dinner and chocolate cake for dessert, I got a lot of great gifts, lots of well wishes and I have realized that all of these people believe in me, are inspired by me and love me for who I am and the contribution that I make in their lives.

What a difference a year makes! Not weighed down someone else's expectation of how I should celebrate, but lifted by how I want to be celebrated.

CHEERS to 38 and chocolate cake!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

He's a Tweener!!!

In the last month or so it has hit me. 6, 5, 4, 3... weeks left of fifth grade.  Actually what hit me was the pungent smell of dirty, sweaty boy feet as I entered Jack's room to tell him to turn off the light and go to sleep at 10:30. Seriously, the boy who has always required a solid 12 hours starting at 7 pm, is now up at all hours of the night. 11- that must be what it is.

CHA- CHA- CHANGES... turn and face the... zits? WHAT?

And don't even get me started on his B.A.D. attitude. This kid has a scowl that rivals his mother's.

The Doctor diagnosed him as being a teenager. I want my sweet boy back. DREAD!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Reality bites. But I am pretty sure that I can handle whatever my reality is because of perspective. I can deal with my own stuff, but everyone else's' seems overwhelming.

  • I have a co-worker whose son was diagnosed with leukemia in November, he is the same age as Jack.
  • I have a friend who only gets $75 a month in child support and has her children 99% of the time. Single mother working her butt off to provide for her kids.
  • I have two friends who have recently undergone mastectomies for breast cancer. I am too young for this... right?
  • Autism. Bankruptcy. Cheating spouses. Grandparents who don't want to spend time with their grandchildren. Sick parents.
I don't know if I could handle these realities. The thought of them brings me to tears.

All things considered, I think I am pretty lucky. I have two children who are not perfect but I think are pretty special. I have a great group of friends and family, who believe in me, who support me. I can't ask for more. So when this happens -
you take a deep breath and handle it. Why? Because it wouldn't have happened if I couldn't have handled it. It is all about perspective.


I pride myself on being honest about things, some may mistake it for brutal honesty- SORRY. But the none the less I am honest. I come by it honestly... if you know my mother she says what is on her mind 99% of the time (pun intended).

Here is what I look like in the morning. Sexy isn't it?

I like to believe that I have a moderate improvement in my looks at some point during the day when I decide to shower, dress, and put makeup on. This is a very bad hair morning, but a product of an awesome night of sleep.

48 of my Facebook Friends think that this  picture post this morning was likable and 23 thought that it was comment worthy.

This is me. No excuses! Honestly...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Science Fair work started at Thanksgiving. Jack worked on selecting 5 different topics to research and experiment. None of this was easy, especially when you don't really want to listen to what your parents have to say about things. In the end, Steve and I offered our assistance when we could but Jack did an amazing job on his project all on his own, down to typing all of the written material and using the computer to create a chart to show his data.

I was happy to find out that he earned 100% on the completed project. And even more thrilled to hear that he placed in his school's Science Fair competition. Out of 72 fifth graders he earned a 2nd Place  Medal.
Jack and the other 5th grade medalists
The completed project

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Meet Charlie...

Abby has wanted a dog of her own for years. She had asked Santa for a puppy for the last 3 years. Luckily, Santa is smart and asks moms and dads if kids are ready to take care of a puppy before delivering one to a unprepared child on Christmas Eve and Abby has asked for long lists of other things that she "needed". This year Santa was stunned to see just one gift request on Abby's list- a puppy. After a long conversation with Santa, it was determined that Abby was ready for a dog. This dog...

The King Charles Cavalier
Born on July 20, 2012- the day after Abby's birthday!

Charlie is quite the character. He loves the kids and they BOTH love him. There is much debate about WHO Charlie gets to sleep with, who gets to feed him, who gets to sit with him, who puts him in the crate in the morning... oddly enough, no one is fighting over picking up his poop.