Thursday, October 27, 2005

I'm really gonna do it this time

I'm going to conquer Mt Washmore that's sitting in my bedroom. Yep, the bedroom. Everything is clean, smells good, etc-- except it's in a mountain on my bed (or beside). I'm dedicating today to laundry- sorting the seasonal, moving new seasons in, freecycling, potential-ebay choices, who knows ;o) I'll check in as I reach milestones.

and for safe keeping, I've moved the computer chair into the kitchen to avoid temptation :p~~~~

1pm: Well, I have found the floor in my bedroom for the most part. It was getting pretty bad in here. Still have some totes with stuff in it but I'm getting a good pile of stuff in the hallway that will need washing. Apparently this last "funk" of depression made a harder hit than I realized. Uhg. No more, I tell ya! I have everything sorted as far as mine, Jay's, Jackson, & Hannah's. That's getting somewhere!!

3:20: I just finished going through a tote of Hannah's clothes from last year, weeding some freecycle stuff out. Put the summer stuff in that, and got half of her winter stuff hung up. I went through a tote of hand-me-downs last night and paired the outfits together. I'll hang those up when we get back. For now, it's time to go get Jackson :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Update from our end of the world

written this morning, not able to put post through until this afternoon-----

Where do I begin?

I started the process of getting my GED (general equivalency diploma) about three weeks ago. I scored surprisingly low on the reading end, but still at an 11.2 grade level. My math and language arts were 12.9 (post high school abilities). I got kicked out of school in March of my senior year. I was simply in a rebellious stage, left to my own means. My parents are of the train of thought "what can we do to stop her?", so I had no boundaries. I admit I had my own fault in not finishing school, but to think of my child getting that far in school and not finishing? They would be walking everywhere!! but anyway- the Lord allowed that to happen for a reason and I do not grieve what 'could have been' if I had finished and went on to college; because had I, I would not have met Jay. 'Nuff said there ;o)

So I finished my practice tests with flying colors. On my essay, the woman grading it said it was THE best essay she had ever read in all the years she had been working in education. She said she'd read essays of college graduates that were not as articulated as mine. All I could say was "wow", lol. I had a good topic; the words just flowed to the paper.

I start my official testing this Thursday night, and it will continue for the next two Thursdays after this. "As long as there are tests, there will always be prayer in schools" :p~~~~

I have had numerous people from the continuing education department ask me to consider starting college this upcoming semester. I started the GED process because we had decided I was going back to work. I had not considered college until the administrators started encouraging me to at least think about it. I had already spoke with my old boss (from before I had Jackson) at my old workplace, and she said she felt she could get me in at $9/hr, up to 30 hours a week, daytime. You would think that would be a good thing, but...? The more I prayed about it, the more I felt a hand over my chest, holding me back from pursuing that option "quite yet". I'm always praying for the right timing in things, so I assumed there may be things going on at the job place and the lord could had been paving the way for me before I went back with my application.

In the second week of "waiting", my niece called me. She landed a great restaurant job earlier this year at a local conference center, and to be 19 years old she's making awesome money. The world is her oyster at this point :) She was calling because there were some positions open where she works and she thought of me; hence calling to see if it was of any interest for me. I thought that was pretty good. I would work the same amount of hours as the other place, except it would be nights (to around 9 or a little after); making at least $4 more per hour, minimum. I could live with that.

Then it hit me- if I worked nights, then I would be wide open to start college this coming semester! Full time! The monetary difference between the jobs would more than make up for part time preschool for Hannah the day’s mom and Jay doesn't keep her! Well PTL!!

Then out of the blue I get a call from the college, the office where my SIL works. A co worker of hers wanted to order some Mary Kay. When I went to deliver the order, we chatted a bit. SIL said she was 99.9% positive I would get full financial aid for the next two terms (spring and summer). I could live with that! So it seems the Lord is coming through on that timing aspect.

I could go to work as soon as I finish my GED tests, November 10th. That would give me from November 11th to January 1oth to get used to the work schedule, two months, then layering 15 hours of school on top of that. That would also give the kids time to get used to me working, then Hannah starting preschool when I start college.

I would be off on Sundays, Mondays (cause Monday is Mary Kay night), and some Tuesdays (if Jackson has basketball practice); alternate Wednesdays, work every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night, still being able to be at Jackson's basketball games Saturday mornings, possibly holding skin care classes between then and work, and holding facials at the meetings on Monday nights. Sounds like a deal to me :o)

In two years I will have an Associate's Degree in Business Administration, and could start at Wake Forest as a junior the following semester upon acceptance. Two more light years and I'd have a Bachelor's degree. My dad would be so proud ;o) hopefully by then I will already be a Sales Director in Mary Kay. That's my goal, anyhow! So the Business degree would do nothing BUT help my own business (though you do not need it to excel in the company), but land me a better job in the meantime if necessary. Gloria Mayfield Banks went to Harvard, so hey!! She has had an amazing career, I get chills just reading about it!!

Okay, I digress, but now it's time to go fold some clothes :p

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Learning a lot about myself

I have learned these past couple of weeks that I am very much an emotional eater. I scored moderate a while back on this quiz: "are you an emotional overeater?", but since I started WW, I have learned that I am indeed an emotional eater, if not an overeater if I indulge myself. Last week our local fair was in town, so I maxed my points that day (I think, in all honesty, maybe not, really...). Then the following Thursday I skipped my meeting to go to our Ladies TableTop Fellowship, which was a potluck event. So I did not lose and I don't believe I gained in the past week.

But in the past two weeks I have discovered that we have a great amount of "old" debt that should be paid off, we have decided after 5 years of staying home that I will go back to work, and I have started the process of getting my GED. I have a LOT of stuff going on. Add to that a loved one of mine was diagnosed with a brain tumor last Friday, and know that I am craving fried foods like MAD.

I'm not a big sweet eater. Oh I can eat sweets- don't get me wrong. But I thrive on fried, apparently, when stressed.Also when stressed, I lack discipline. The Lord stressed this matter to me this weekend, so I am going to make strides to correct that about myself. I've learned that all of this is tied together, and the end result is I need a better way to manage my stress than what I have been doing. The thought of any more upcoming change in our lives though is so overwhleming for me. It's a catch 22, really.

So I must move forward.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

I'm holding on

It seems I'm in a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions these days. I spent a good part of today just "here", not doing much of anything nor thinking a lot about things. It seems that if Im not trying to make sense of how things will be when I go back to work, my brain is completely down.

My daughter has amazed me in the past week. She is growing up sooooooo much. She's only three, turning four in December, but man is she perceptive and more mature than her age! She understands sooooo much now. Jackson went to spend the night with MIL last night. After we dropped him off Hannah and I went to Target to start her "Christmas Wish List". She was ecstatic. One example of her funny nature now is, she was sitting in the back of the buggy. We were in the clothes department, when I found a gorgeous dress her size. I held it up telling her to look, and she hops up in the buddy and says "Bring it here, lets see if it fits" wanting to hold it up to her, LOL Imagine while reading this, when I quote her, the words coming from a three year old's mouth, with a strong "southern twang" ;o)

Just many little sayings, things like that, she's saying these days that just catch me offguard. After Target we went for a late dinner at Chilis. She sat there the entire time coloring and drawing things in the little booklet they give kids. NO problems whatsoever, she sat there and entertained her self! Then as we were leaving I mentioned to Jay her pronunciation difficulties. For months now she's called my best friend Kristi, "aunt Fristy". I just thought it was cute until last night when it caught my ear, she was also saying "Frissmuss" (Christmas). So Jay was telling her to say this, then say that, working with the sounds, and all of a sudden aftera run of sounds, she says "Daddy what's all that about?" ROFL!! I thought of Karen on the show Will & Grace, where she points to Grace up and down and says "Honey what's this? What's all that about?" insinuating she's wearing a bad outfit :p

I laughed soooo hard when Hannah said that. It made me think of all the times I had said the same thing, doing the "Karen point" when one of the kids would be wallowing in the floor in a tantrum. I'll start pointing up and down and say "What's this? what are you doing? what's all that about?" and Jackson will start laughing, Hannah hasn't caught sarcasm yet *g*

So onto more updates. I am going to my GED prep class Monday morning. Im not nervous now, moreso getting excited. I learned Wednesday night that I have Irlen Syndrome- and found that fascinating! You really should read more about it, I am completely amazed at the difference after simple "treatment"!! It explains so much about my school career too. I love to read and do as much as possible in some shape, form, or fashion; but as soon as I got back in the classroom last week, it seemed like my "school triggered anxiety" all come flooding back. Certain behaviors or actions showed up that only happens when I am in a school setting. It's interesting, I left that night with my mouth hanging to the floor. So I should be getting my GED in about 2-3 weeks or so. My preliminary test scores were very good so, go figure. I have some sites written down as well that offer practice tests.

I located my old boss and went and visited with her at her current store. I have not seen her in seven years, since I left to go have Jackson! We talked for a few minutes, and she said she's always looking for good help, to go ahead and fill out my app, and she would discuss scheduling and wages with her store manager. She said she felt it was possible for me to get the wage I want but she couldn't promise anything, which is reasonable. So we're going to work on my resume this week, get everything together and I'll probably do an official interview next week. I've prayed and asked the Lord to open the doors that need to be opened, and it seems thus far he has! Praise Him! She did say I would have to work Saturdays ... to ensure Sundays off, more than less. I wasn't ready for that, but she said she'd put me on Sat evenings so I won't miss any of Jackson's ball games. PTL I really enjoyed working for her before, I'm relieved :) after I out some things on paper, working on Saturdays actually saved us an extra $100 a month in childcare expenses!

Speaking of Jackson, he had another dr appt this past Wednesday over his arm. He had - hads his cast on for 7 weeks. The new dr that saw him Wed said that with the knowledge of him being in a cast for 7 weeks, and lookign at the X ray, he could tell that was a severe break. They want him in a splint for two more weeks, with extra light activity. Makes sense, we don't want him to break what's healed already. I could tell by the X ray myself his arm didn't look much better than it did four weeks ago, immediately. Jackson's just relieved the cast is gone. Even though he loved the attention he got with his Spiderman cast (pics to come soon), it was really irriatating his skin between his thumb and index finger (almost raw!!) and on his arm on the upper end. I done a Satin Hands treatment on him when we got home and he LOVED it ;o) You could tell a huge difference in the texture of his skin as well. With the weather changing like it is going into fall I need to be more diligent about treating my hands as well :::blush:::

Speaking of dilligence, my face has been extra sensitive the past three-four weeks. If I sleep one night without taking my makeup off, my cystic acne comes back by the next day. We're talking, at least one "good one" on my cheekbone, and my poor chin just completely breaks out! So I've bumped up my micodermabrasion treatment to about every other day, to every two days (instead of the every third that's recommended); alternating that with the acne medication gel- it's working! Dramatic difference in three days ... THREE!! You could barely see the spots under my makeup. This is of course in routine with the miracle set twice a day. I'm also using ther oil free hydrating gel twice daily, too. If I don't the acne gel dries out my chin area too much, and I love how much smoother my foundation goes on using that. The extra layer of moisture makes a HUGE difference in application of makeup IMO! I know it seems like a lot of stuff but once you're in the routine it's "swish swash" and POOF! you're done.

Speaking of, before I get any more exhausted, I'm going to go do that. Hannah and I went back to Target tonight, then to the grocery store, and that will take it's toll on the most active a person, LOL .....

Feel free to leave comments!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

My accountability

This is my make-shift "ta da" thread, LOL As I finish chores I will post them here. This will be my motivation to get some things done around here. Actually, I will edit this particular post :p

So far today, I have:

Washed three loads of clothes, and two of them are on my bed waiting to be folded.

Picked up trash around the kitchen, and took out one bag of trash.

Made three sigs for one of my friends...I thought it was cool ;o)
I had to reduce the original size by 75% because the file size was sooo big. This is still pretty big but much better than what it was before. This took me around an hour from beginning to finish to complete. Of course that's from, coming up with the idea, thinking about how I would make it, and actually doing it :p

Lets go fold some clothes now .... and take a nap, lol

Okay, it's 5:20: I have swept the front porch, moved some things around in there;

hung up some jeans and blankets I washed on the balcony;

washed / dried another load of clothes.

We're headed to my parents now for dinner so I'll fold tonight when we get home ;o)

9:25: Jackson and I cleaned the livingroom tonight. Got all the "stuff" out of the way, I vaccumed, couch cleared off- it looks nice. Jay had to work late tonight so I thought it would be a nice thing for him to come home to instead of the normal CHAOS that ensues in the LR.

I'm about to take my shower, and fold/hang/put away a BUNCH of clothes. The washer and dryer are 'down' for the evening *g*

Saturday, October 8, 2005

One week, no blogging

I found the title line though so that's a good thing ;o) After 5 years of posting on message board forums, I cannot comprehend posting anything without a title line :p

I have good news on my weight loss blog, you should check it out.

However, not so good news for this blog. I'm practically off my anti depressants, and am crashing big time. This time it's not simply because I'm 'off' the meds, but I got a real blow last night :(

Background, right now we're living (renting) in an 800 sq ft apartment. I feel so cramped, so disoragnized with no hope in the future. I feel like I just float from day to day, shifting the clutter that would not be actual clutter if it had a home, but doesn't. I have no desire to "work" on the day to day stuff around here, mainly because of the disoragnization. I have always said I'm a very visual person, so I guess in ym subconscious, if I cannot see the fruits of my labor move forward, taking this place from walls that surround our stuff, to a home, then why bother. This has been a huge burden on me for quite some time now. I have a feeling it's added to the marital strain we have been experiencing as well.

I have been playing with the mortage calculators on, and realized we could find a nice house for the same price we're renting for. We don't pay high rent, just $550 a month. Playing with the other calculators I realized that Jay's income actually fell in line with the range we are paying now. In other words, looking at range and income, we could logically move forward to our own home. I looked around our area to see what was available, saw some prospects- my bad- I got excited. I looked outside of our box. I should know better.

I pulled our credit yesterday, and without even looking at the score, it's awful. What I did not realize was we had in excess of $10k in collections, and a $700 judgement that just happened in the past year. I am sooooooooooo tired of our financial disabilities!! Ten years we have been together and there is absoutely nothing better than it was ten years ago! We're STILL struggling from paycheck to paycheck, except now we have two kids and school tuition to pay every month that will double come next school year when Hannah starts!!

During my last counseling appointment he mentioned that my goal should be to be more of a helpmate for J. I have gotten so used to being self sufficient to a degree, we are working parallel instead of walking together, hand in hand. I see the logic in that. So this past week I started considering going back to work. I do not have much experience in much of anything. My last job was working in a deli-bakery department at a higher end grocery store, which, I was an asst deli-bakery mgr on my way up the corporate chain when I got pregnant with Jackson and left.

It would be logical to go back there, to what I know. I enjoyed the work. Food service has been my thing all of my working career, along with mgmt. Of course I cannot expect to go back in there in mgmt after being out of the workforce for 5 years .... or can I? I don't have a high school diploma or a GED, that is something else that has been lingering in the back of my mind this week. B, our 19 yo neice, went and got hers this summer in order to get hired at this fancy shancy restrauant in which she's making goooooood money now.

I guess my thoughts are, if I am going to go back to work, why not do it with a bang. Get my GED before I apply to I can be honest on my application, then apply starting with a mgmt position and work my way down. As a general laborer I cannot accept less than $9/hr or it would not be worth my going back to work. So department mgmt would start probably $10.50-11 an hour. That would be great. But can I pull it off?

One thing I have learned being a community leader for iVillage, is the premice of "selling". If you read anything on iVillage, you can see they make big things out of little things, and huge things out of big things. I already know what the job positions entails, so I believe writing the resume will not be that hard of a task. It's all in the wording, right? With the holiday season coming up, if they're needing a mgr in one of the stores, my resume just might look like a dream come true. ;o) Then again, if anything, they will know they're getting a very profitable employee.

Last time I was at the store I'm applying for (before Jackson) I was the night shift supervisor. When I went into mgmt training, they hired three people, two FT and one PT to do what I was doing.

But with all of this working hoopla, we must not forget I have two children who have depended on me their entire lives. Looking back, I wonder what I have actually offered them. Spending most of my last 5 years suffering depression, Jackson's childhood has not been that hot. I've been better with Hannah, since I was aware of my illness and combatted it proactively from her birth. However, I have spent a great deal of HER life not beign able to afford medication, so it's not like there's been a lot of quality there, either. The way I have felt for the past few weeks, which can probably be an example of "most of the time", I do good to get Jackson to carpool in the mornings. To look at our house it's not like I'm June Cleaver by a longshot. Depression still has it's toll in our home.

For me to go back to work would mean that she would go in preschool full time. Well, almost full time. J has said he would keep her on his day off and mom said she would watch her one day, so that's three days a week. Not bad. All in all, it would cost us about $500 a month for me to go back to work, tithe, Hannah's schooling, Jackson's additional childcare and gas expenses. It would probably be better for her to be away from me anyways. Then the time we spend together in the evenings would be more quality. Jackson wouldn't be missing a lot any way, he's in school until 3:15. Hannah will be in school next year anyways, so to wait would be delaying the inevitable looking at the big picture.

If I went back to work, I would meet a LOT of new people, which would mean, new Mary Kay contacts! The more contacts I make, the more sales I have, the more potential recruits, more recruits, more commission, then eventually, in due time, I will be at car then director status. Going back to work is nothing but a good thing regarding my Mary Kay business. It's impossible to meet new people with Hannah in tow. So that would be killing two birds at one time. PTL

If I went back to work, it would require teamwork regarding the house between Jay and I. Until now it's been "he works hard all day, that's my end" and believe me, if I don't do it, it doesn't get done (except clearing the LR, and taking out the trash, thanks honey.). That would actually be a huge load off of me, for several reasons.

One, I would more efficiently see the fruit of my labors, because when you have less time, you tend to work harder at something. That would go for both of us. Two, my ADD-self would be on a schedule- something we have not had in years. That alone brings more functionality to our lives. Not to mention we would be able to afford my medicine(s), which would bring more functionality to the fold. The schedule and team work would bring more quality interaction between both of us, and with our kids. Like I said, when you have less time, you work harder at things.

The only downfall would be, in order to work Mary Kay in the evenings I would need to drop Monday night visitation. but ya know? I haven't been in months so now I have a valid reason not to. Up until now it's just been "if it ain't one thing it's another" going on. My MK meeting life has been non existant for two months now, at least that will get back on track. I would still have my other two (-three) ministries so there's no real reason to feel guilty from dropping that.

Then there's the ultimate factor in whether this is what I shold do- is it God's will?

Lets examine this but briefly:
Is it God's will to have a negative credit report?
It's one thing to be poor, God takes care of the poor, the meek shall inherit the earth. The poor can still have good credit ratings, which, basically means, be fiscally responsible. So going back to work would not be about us simply having more money, but giving our family the ability to be fiscally responsible. Those collection accounts may be 5+ years old, but that money is still owed! Even if we one day become responsible with our current debts, there will always be that lingering old debt, haunting us, prohibiting us from owning our own home.

Is it God's will to not pay your bills on time?
Right now, we aren't, and haven't ever done so. We have always played the juggling game with our bills, going paycheck to paycheck just barely making ends meet. All we do is bide time. I can hardly say that is God's will for his children.

Is it God's will to be so financially tied down, you have to choose between tithing and eating?
Coming into the full knowledge recently of what our monetary situation is, that's where we are. We do not have the incoming means to faithfully tithe, AND pay our bills.

Is it God's will for our children to be in private Christain school?
YES- no doubts.

So for Jackson to remain in private Christian school, AND us be able to eat, and tithe, there's one answer- I must go back to work. The rest is gravy.

If you've made it this far, you deserve some Godiva. Go get ya some, I don't have the money for it right now ;o) This has been very therapeutic for me, thanks for being there!!