Daily Prompt: Silence

I spend at least once a week walking a nature preserve in my area. I get there around 8:30 and walk by myself in the silence that surrounds that area when others are off working or at school.

It’s a new experience for myself. Usually there is always someone in tow. A child, a friend, SOMEONE that I have to cater to in either parenting or conversation.

I get to think thoughts .. I get to observe without distraction….

I get to Pokémon hunt without judgement….

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It’s by far not the most responsible thing I should be doing with my time. My house is messy, I have homework I should be working, the usual. But it’s been one of the most cathartic moments I’ve found since I felt my world shifted.

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Today I went, and it was the day after a major rain. The paths were muddy and puddles were predominant. I nearly bust my butt and skidded a few feet in an attempt to keep my balance. It would have looked hilarious if anyone had been there to see it.

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via Daily Prompt: Silence

To Play or Not to Play: that is the question….

 

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When I was an elementary school kid, I don’t remember anyone having an extra-curricular activity that wasn’t a seasonal sport. Granted, I grew up relatively poor so that probably influenced my experience. In middle school, however, there were after school programs that met and a late bus that was able to take kids home afterwards. I was a member of the Amistad society, Young Educators society, and the art teacher eventually let me hang out in there the rest of the time. I loved that time. In high school, I was selected to be a part of special program which was out of town. No more late busses, so I wasn’t a member of any after school activities or clubs. Loving the after school programs made me almost quit the program, and there’s so much I feel I lost out on by not having those opportunities.. I’m a bit bitter by that actually..

With that said, when my children get excited and want to try something, I encourage them and usually bend over backwards to give them that opportunity. You want to do gymnastics! Let’s sign you right up! Football! Ok! I had NO IDEA just the amount of afterschool programs and the EXPENSE of it all..

Last week my son said he wanted to be part of a production performing Lion King. My son performs all the time for the dojo, and he has no fear of being on stage. He’s so funny and energetic and one who loves entertaining public audiences that a play just makes sense.  I think I was just as excited as he was..

We went to the initial orientation and the ladies were nice… but I nearly choked on the schedule. Three times a week for two hours.. There’s some expenses involved…Parent volunteer needs. And it wasn’t being held at his school like I assumed, which meant major transit.. it conflicted with his bjj/karate schedule, which is a concern because he’s testing for second degree black belt next year and during this “cycle” it’s expected karate come first. There was just so many conflictions, but I didn’t want to let my son’s hopes up.

So I largely kept my worries to myself.

Which is a lie, I panicked to my momma friend whose child also has the bjj/karate demands. She assured me we can make it work. We could trade kids and one of us would do the little kids karate run and the other would do the play. Then she reminded me that this crazy was only for a few months.

We can do that, right?

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At the orientation my son said he wanted to try out for Ed. He was given some music to practice for an audition that was to meet a week later. He spent the next day you tubing the links they wanted him to for references to sing….

And that was it. He went a whole week without practicing, or even discussing this play. Hell, I probably deserved a role for the hours that song was stuck in my head. Despite my suggestions and countdowns to the audition, my son spent his week watching Digimon in his spare time.

On his audition day, as we were waiting for the bus, he asked me to remind him to practice when he got home from school.

I don’t think I hid my twitchy anger very well….

I told him that this audition was something that he should have spent the whole week practicing for, not the hour before the audition. He was asking a lot of everyone that supported him to change their schedules, provide rides, and even finance his ability to do this play. His lack of practice showed he wasn’t willing to make the same commitment to the play as he was expecting me to make for it. I said I would still take him to the audition if he wanted, but this isn’t an organization that let’s everyone play. There are 35 slots for 50 kids auditioning. And I was willing to guarantee that those that really wanted to be in the play didn’t wait the last hour to practice. He had COMPETITION.

There were some tears, the silent and manly look away kind, and he went on the bus without saying much about it.

In retrospect, I feel like the meanest mom on the planet…

When he got home, he was fine. All smiles, he said he decided not to do the play and that was that.. Life has gone on. My sanity for the next few months is secured, but I’m sure my momma friend isn’t too happy we bailed on her united front. (although I did say I would still do the karate shuffle).

So, what I’d like to think we learned is that we just can’t do it all. If it’s important, it will work out. If not.. life goes on.

 

 

 

 

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..

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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!