Summer Blues

I think I had a small bout of depression. Days where I spent a good deal of time laying in bed and staring at the fan.

Then staring into the fan turned into reading… A LOT.

 

At some point we fell into a routine that made the summer feel bearable.

We developed a pay to play system for the kids getting internet.

Our evenings were largely spent at the dojo. My son and I would walk the two mile loop while his sister was in class and his sister and I would read during his. In the beginning of the summer I took some evening classes but now my shoulder is so busted up I can’t even lift it up over my head.

Tuesday and Thursdays we’d play at the beach after hours. Three hours is just enough to get a good beach feel in without having to both burn our pasty white selves and pay a drive in fee.. Plus when Pokemon Go came out and the kids and I got addicted, I could sit by a Pokestop and bank on goods while they had their adventures.  

Fridays we’d go to the lake on base with our usual summer crew. They added this new inflatable water obstacle course that the big kids love. I tried with my daughter and we both weren’t coordinated enough to find it a good enough time.

Now summer is almost over and I wish I could have enjoyed it more.

 

 

Faithie the Homemaker

I have been a college graduate for over a month now…

I was told the entire semester before I graduated that I had the potential to be anything I wanted.

But that was complete and utter bullshit.

The people telling me that…..I don’t doubt that they felt it was true. I was supposedly a whiz in math, breezing through problems that left my class mates puzzled. My mind was a sponge for terms and applications. I was a gifted writer and confident debater. One of my advisors said that the reason I was so good at virtually everything was because I get so doggedly passionate about EVERYTHING set before me. That passion could set me in place to do whatever I wanted. It helped me rise in student ranks and become Vice President of Student Government. I felt like I was making changes, becoming this amazing person that could make my husband and children proud. I wasn’t sure where I was going, but I WAS going somewhere…

Reality though…

I have nowhere to go.. Beyond Cuma Sum Laude was a graduate with no clear direction because I had to hold my breath for the Navy to tell us where we were going in a couple of months. While everyone around me was finding paths to fulfillment, I was cracking jokes about becoming a stay at home mom again. I spent an obsessive amount of time speaking about my homemaker desires in an attempt to persuade myself that I should be happy with that lot…because in the end.. Where was there for me to go? I couldn’t exactly find a job or a new school to further my degree. I didn’t know what state or country I’d be laying my head in…………..

As deadlines for further decisions met, I watched things I really wanted slip away: positions at the college, college degree programs…. I was too proud to admit it how much that hurt. I smiled when people talked about their futures. Yay them.. Honestly, I am happy that those around me are flourishing.. They deserve to have the best of opportunities and I hope they go off and do great things.

But why don’t I get to flourish as well? Why do I have to be the benevolent benefactor (I literally got a plaque stating how I go above and beyond behind the scenes to make sure things happen, largely to the benefit of others getting the recognition instead of me…)

Upon my graduation day I joked that I was going to get a bachelors in surfing, because in my mind, if I couldn’t have what I wanted here, perhaps the Navy would bless me with an adventure instead of a clear career path. If we moved somewhere far away, then what I feel I sacrifice would have noble.

That didn’t happen, mostly because hubby would rather chew off a limb than go anywhere other than be where we live now. Like almost everything, he got his way. Not just him but my “support network”. My friends, my mom, everyone but the kids were deadset on keeping us here. As a result, instead of a bachelors in surfing, I’m now facing a graduate program in feeling like my wants and needs are invaluable to those around me.

This post is really a bummer… Hopefully I’ll be in a better place the next time I blog😉

My Latest Project

Before my husband deployed last year, I spent the last two weeks before his departure dreaming of the perfect shot. It was of his boat coasting down the river, just shy of being under the bridge.

I had a picture I loved of his previous boat in much the same way, before his second deployment, where it is framed so beautifully in the spring brush line. My friend Kelli and I had chased the boat along the water with our two toddlers either passed out, or completely oblivious to the significance of the day.

The morning the boat was set to leave was miserable. It was more misty than rainy. It was wet, but a hovering wet like we were perpetually stuck in a miserable cloud. I shivered for hours at the pier at their send off, as they debated whether they were actually leaving or not. The kids, much older, all seemed to still be oblivious to the moment they were living. They splashed in puddles, they ran around couples clutching each other as if were the last time. I was pretty moody because not only was my husband leaving, but I couldn’t get that epic shot I had wanted. That shot was meant to my consolation prize damnit! It was the last time I could get a photo of a sub with my husband on it before he came home a civilian. There were memories that this weather was ruining!

“Luck” was on my side, however, for “they” decided they would pull out the next day. The next day was a complete 180. It was sunny and the mistiness from the day before had everything glistening and shiny.

I got distracted by a lonely swan that was investigating the group of women at the waterfront.

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that I nearly missed it! Fortunately I was with people who are immune to swan watching. They pointed out that the boat was quickly approaching. With camera in hand I got the infamous shot that I have used numerous times in this blog:

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I thought it ended up looking cool black and white. It made the whole experience look classic.

I have an empty space in my living room that is long and narrow, and I figured this would be a great piece to hang up in memory of my husband’s last deployment (well assumed last deployment…)

I did some research and found that it would be over $350 to have this printed the size I wanted it. And that didn’t even include a frame or delivery. That is extortion!

I commented once to my mom that for half that price I could stitch it to the size I wanted for more than half the price..

And thus.. my latest project was born:

It will be 39x 16.11 inches which will equal 203,580 stitches.

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Being on a grayscale, there are only 24 colors in this piece. It makes for a really relaxing stitch. There’s almost no pesky confetti.. I’m in stitchy heaven!

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I am a Survivor of Horrible Planners

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Shocker Alert: I can be pretty picky……

Overall, I usually am not. I am pretty mellow and go with the flow 9 times of 10.

There are, however, some things that when I like it.. I LOVE IT.. and there is nothing that will ever get me to budge on..

Such as:

My choice in writing utensils. They must be Pentel’s .07 mechanical pencils and Sharpie’s Liquid Highlighters. They are the only things I will work with during the school season.

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Ironically… I don’t really have a preference for what pens I use….

My stitch tools: I prefer the DMC marbleized scissors. The ones in the middle I received as a gift, and use them on the rare occasion, but my heart is set on the comfort of what I know.

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Finding what you like takes some trial and error. You buy something, see if it works and if it does great! Somethings never fit and you’re stuck enduring it, yearning for an item that suits you but most likely doesn’t exist….

My item that doesn’t exist… is a planner. I’m a college student with numerous responsibilities that include keeping children active and alive and  a husband whose schedules is as fickle as the weather. Plus, if I’m being honest, I’m pretty forgetful.

I need to write things down in a specific way so that everything can get done efficiently!

I have tried various organizers in the past. To no avail. There’s not enough space.. too much space. It’s not laid out in a way that makes sense to my brain…I seriously don’t get why you need a monthly calendar AND a weekly. I also don’t understand why it bothers me so much.. but it does…all the little organizational fails in all the planners I’ve purchased over the years has turned me into a bitter planner hater.

2016 is upon us, and with another impending crazy year for this Ninja family, it was time to get a new planner. I searched.. hunted online.. even looked up templates on word to see about just adding new pages into the organizer I already had. It was a depressing journey..

Finally, I purchased a $5  organizer that I assumed I could tolerate the most.

I spent a coffee session filling it with the important dates of 2016. Mostly days the kids have off from school and birthdays of the peeps I love. Looking at the pages made me feel sad, the whole thing was bland. I grabbed my lovely 10 pack of Sharpie highlighters to jazz the first week up a bit… and the paper was so thin the color bled onto the next page..

O.O

Let’s be for real here.. the organizer was $5..It’s not like it was the top of the line..

But not being able to use highlighters, which is how I keep track of all my classes, is a major deal breaker. Color coding keeps me sane and not feel overwhelmed! Just ask my former students that I would teach how to annotate readings!

Screw that. I am sick and tired of being the victim of organizer companies that have no idea of the life I lead in order to create a decent planner to match it. No more!

This is my official declaration that I am a survivor of horrible planners and I will not endure another year of mediocre organization!

Faithie’s 2016 planner

I used Illustrator to format everything to my liking. I have an area to make weekly and daily goals. An area for school AND have a weekly quote to keep me inspired and going strong. It’s also interactive, thanks to free coloring pages on the web. I can also jot notes down and keep myself updated on our finances.

After I designed them I printed them out, backed them on cardstock, added some holes and inserted them into last year’s organizer.

MAGIC!

Each week has a different theme to keep things fresh:

We are two weeks into 2016 and my planner is everything I could hope for❤

The moral of the lesson is: Never Settle.

If you know what you like and you don’t see it out in the world.. create it!

 

 

 

 

It’s Time to be a Finisher

Abandoned Projects

When I was little, I used to be a daddy’s little girl. So much so, that I don’t really have any memories of my mother before he left us at the age of 7 other than when I would wake her up to assault my hair into a pony tail for school.

So naturally, when he deployed and never came back, I took it very hard.

To help me cope my mother taught me how to cross stitch. I never really finished a project until I was around 9. I was more of a serial starter. I would start, make a mistake, and get so frustrated I’d throw the piece never to be seen again within my terror of a room. Then I’d just start the same project over and over again.

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My problem now is that I have spent 24 years developing as a stitcher. I cannot stand to go one day without getting to sit down and stitch. It doesn’t even really matter what I stitch, just so that I do. And the result of that is that I have a ton of finished pieces laying in a completion pile with nowhere to go.

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There’s more not even featured in this photo. I guess I have the same habit of tossing the pieces as I did when I was 7, I just wait until they are complete…

This is no way for the pieces I’ve worked on to live. They deserve to be displayed more than in a photo on my blog/facebook. I will not stand for it anymore! As such, I plan on spending the year making sure that all my completed pieces get the respect they deserve and are finished properly.

So far I’m off to a great start:

Anyone have any unique finishing ideas to share?

 

 

Time to Catch Up

Last semester was a whirlwind of chaos. I usually live in a world of busy, but this time I was barely swimming with my head over the water… With that said, there have been a lot of changes in this Ninja household, which was completely undocumented.

Hubby made first class!!! He is continuing on his career without getting the boot of out  of the Navy. Not only that, but it came with quite a comfortable pay raise. Our              livelihood was saved!! But it also meant that he is now stationed somewhere else… Boo…. The kids and I are staying here until since it should be less than a year. It seemed the logical thing to as we do own a house, I am graduating in May, the kids have school, and my mom who lives with is in poor health. Despite all the reasons to stay, I secretly wished we could have packed up and went with him. It’s hard to transition from deployment to an additional year apart.

My mom ended up having breast cancer that required some extensive surgery and radiation. My mom is a hard lady to keep down though. She was back at work a few days after surgery to remove the lump and even went to work on her last day of radiation. O.O

I am now Vice President of my college’s student government council. I have loved every minute of it. I worked relentlessly to campaign for gender neutral bathrooms…and won… I am also now championing having security procedures that better assist the students. These all deserve their own posts, however. It has been extremely gratifying to feel as if I am helping my campus and promoting a more inclusive environment.

Now with some of the not so pleasant changes:

This was my last semester tutoring. That breaks my heart but also makes me able to breathe a sigh of relief. I learned as much from the peers I tutored as they did from me. They shared their struggles and their triumphs with me, not only within the education spectrum but their day to do day. On the flip side, that can be emotionally tolling and I did not have enough time or support at home to get to take care of myself or my studies as much as I should have. I have to add an extra class to my agenda this semester AND do community service to receive credit for my certificate. Something had to go…

I am up for my second degree black belt at the dojo. But due to a combination of no time and my spirit being broken with Krav being moved to another location. I don’t have the energy to give my time to the dojo as much as is deserved. Plus, I am determined to keep my weekends flexible so that we can visit with the hubby when it’s possible. The other two in my testing cycle are going up and I am so proud of them for them taking that step, but it’s also killing me inside to know I’m being left in the dust. I could always go up next year, and earn my second degree when my son earns his in karate. That seems like it would be good consolation prize.

I still don’t know what to do with my life… And there was added pressure to find out since I will be graduating in May with an Associates in General Studies and a certificate in Women Studies. My husband and I agreed to stay on at the community college and get another certificate until I can figure out exactly what I want to do.

Now that we’ve caught up, it’s time to get back to our regularly scheduled posting😉

Waiting on a thread….

When I was 19, I learned to be super cool and no longer rely on A.C. Moore for kits that it felt like everyone else was doing. Anyone could walk into the craft store and get those kits. And with seven on the rack, at least 7 people in my area were bound to eventually attempt those projects.

How unoriginal!

I found websites online and was able to broaden myself further than Dimensions (not that I still don’t stitch up a design of theirs now and again… they are still by far my favorite design company)11012648_10152987847576570_8924688923822513530_n

Kits were super lame, what with them coming with everything you need to start RIGHT AWAY. Fabric, threads, chart, and needle.. Who wants the hassle of that?!

But ready made kit or chart and floss purchased separately, there comes a time when you might not have enough to get the project done. And the bigger the chart, the more often this happens. For stitchers like myself who never seem to plan ahead the right amount of floss, this can be torture.

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I have a refined system developed over my 20+ years as a stitcher. One that has served me well to the point where I make very little mistakes. When colors run out, I have to adjust until I can get that color replaced. If the color was a major color, I’m left feeling like I’m playing battle ship with the thread. Random colors need like one freaking stick in a two inch radius and without those major colors leading the way, who knows if that little random stitch is where it needs to be. (other than with obessive counting that is…)

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Every time I run out of thread, the empty holes mock me. My eyes always keep going back to the same areas I need that color, and then it ends up just haunting me that I can’t do those damn stitches. Even if it the color running out is that random one stitcher, that one little hole in another wise complete area, keeps staring at me.

Especially if they are the last five to finish an entire project………..

The only solution is, of course, to get more thread. One of the perks of buying the chart instead of a kit means that they usually provide you with the exact color number associated with the thread and you can go to the store and life is good!

After my design liberation, A.C Moore became nothing but a thread stop, maybe fabric, before I’d start a project. But through the years, you can see that cross-stitching is a dying art.  What used to take up two aisles back when the store first opened when I was 14 has dwindled down to an often badly stocked set of DMC threads. (I waited three months for them to put out a common color {318}) After awhile, I had to break up with A.C. Moore for all my stitchy needs.

I’m reduced to ordering online, which as a perk, has more threads I can work with..

Like B12032 which makes a project sparkle like a vampire from twilight.

V1130 This shiny piece of goodness is SILK. I like to be fancy in my stitching from time to time😉

The downside is that you have to wait what feels like FOREVER for it to come…………