Not for the Faint at Heart

We never know the love of a parent till we become parents ourselves.
-Henry Ward Beecher

You know that old cliché, “Parenting isn’t for the faint at heart.” I got it, but never got it until my kids turned into teenagers. I know Dan and I have agreed that if we knew 14 years ago how awful this world was going to become, we’d never have had kids. That’s an awful thing to say, but true. Man, we had it great as kids. We could just be kids growing up. Not so true these days. I’d have to say the last few months, being a mom; I’ve had to dig up extra patience and understanding.

So, if there’s one thing I do know, it’s to keep them busy. Not busy to the point of exhaustion, but busy to keep their hands idle free. Get rid of boredom to limit getting into trouble. SO we encourage the kids to find something they like to do. I don’t care if it’s underwater basket weaving. If they like it, we’ll support them. Thursday this last week we got to go to Bear’s first track meet. A good meet. She got either first or second place in her events. You could tell she was a bit rusty, but she is starting ahead of where she finished last year.

WAY TO GO BEAR!!

Have you inspected poop lately?

Every person is like a book. Judging people is like judging a book by its cover.

When we read, we know the intricacies of that book and then like it, whatever the cover may be like.

That’s why being judgmental is a very narrow minded approach of limiting your intellect.

Once you turn over a new leaf and start to form your own opinion without overanalyzing situations and people, you’ll see the difference.”
-Unknown

    WOW!! What is up with the poop inspector’s lately? And honestly…who ever wanted that job to begin with? Why can’t people learn to accept that everyone’s poop stinks?

I’ve been on this soap box before…so here It goes again….

 

I don’t believe in an “eye for an eye.”

It simply would make us a blind world.

I also seem to recall that in history class, people came to the new world to:

TO HAVE FREEDOM!

Freedom from tyrant rulers.

Freedom of religion.

Freedom from economic hardship.

 

Ok we could list a million reasons, but in reality, the true reason was to do whatever the hell they wanted to do without persecution.

So when any AMERICAN becomes a poop inspector…it makes me cringe.

No one in this country has the right to judge another based on religious belief, sexual orientation, race, or gender.

Pure and simple.

I don’t care what your religious philosophy is…

What cracks me up and baffles me more…even inside the same circles people do not believe the same things.

When someone offends another person by their indifferences…the throw them out of the circle. Make examples of them.

Why? What purpose would that serve….except to make you feel better?

Can someone please explain it to me?

I’m not getting the full picture in my mind…or my mind is so simple I can’t wrap my mind around it?

I like to share what I believe with others…

I like to hear what others believe.

We can be different and that’s ok.

In the end it’s who we believe our maker is that will judge us for our actions.

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Nervous Energy

Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strengths.”
― Charles H. Spurgeon

I am a good victim of anxiety. I suppose it is that, “I can’t control the outcome” part of me. If it was my way, everything would end with rainbows and unicorns with glitter. Today I see my oncologist. I had my scans last Thursday and Monday. I know deep down that there is nothing there. Yet, there is a little dark spot that whispers…there might be. It’s going to be a sigh of relief to hear him say everything is ok. Then the true road of remission can start. I know that it will ease Dan’s mind. I think this nervous energy is why I’ve stayed busy all week. If you stay busy you don’t have time to stop and let your mind wander.

Yesterday, surprisingly, my mind got an unexpected break. I have decided that every Thursday is my day. I was going to go visit the zoo, but the Garden of the God’s called my name.

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I like how I can see the park from my house. Yesterday, it really stood out from the mountains. I was actually anxious going by myself. Not so much being alone, rather asking myself, What if I fall? What if I step in a hole and break my foot? At first I just decided to stay in the main park area. Walking down into the park I felt a sense of calmness. I knew I had to keep my eyes and ears open. Most of the birds have returned from their winter vacation. I know there are three kinds of birds unique to the park and I wanted to take pictures of all three. There’s a bend to the trail that stopped me in my tracks.

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There are just times when you see something that is just neat. I don’t know why the opening in the park, with the view of the snowy mountains calmed my anxious mind. From there I didn’t think about anything. I just let my ears hear and my eyes wonder.

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I decided to get brave and try one of the loop trails. It was a bit painful as most of it was stairs going up and down. It was really neat! It took you up above the main park. The sun was still waking, so I thought the shadows and highlights were awesome. After the loop, I finally found where all the chatter was coming from.

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I even got to watch a couple bunny rabbits frolic in the snow.

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Leaving the main park, I wasn’t ready to go home. SO I took a right turn towards a trail head. I think it was called Cabin Canon trail. I started park way down it, and got to a point where it looked like we would be going up…a lot… so I turned back and went down the Siamese Trail. Glad I did. It wasn’t too bad. I did spot a Mountain blue bird. I love these birds! They are so beautiful. I tried to get a picture, but the sun was behind the bird. This trail lead to the rock formation called the “Siamese Twins.” From what I could read it is among the most famous places for pictures. Mainly because of the “hole” at the bottom. You can see Pikes Peak. Except, today, Pikes Peak was sleeping in and hiding under the covers of clouds.

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AS I walked back down towards the blazer I decided that I was going to go home and print up a map of the trails. I think my goal will be to get down all of them. Each trail leads to a rock formation. I know the Kissing Camels and Balanced Rock. So it’s time to work on the other 16 formations.

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When did going to school cost so much?

“Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.”
― Walter Cronkite

    I’m not speaking about college. I’m talking about elementary and above education. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like every time we turn around we are passing out 10.00 bills to the kids for this or that activity. It’s not upsetting in the way I’m complaining. After having spent a few years in the fifth worst school district in the nation, I understand all too well how underfunded schools are. I guess since we were in school, educations have been placed on the bottom of the funding list. We must live in some sort of screwed up society. We put researching meaningless things above the needs of our school systems. Should educating the next generation be at the top of the list? By any and all means? Be it technology updates or school maintenance? Why are so many districts getting their funding cut short? That to me, is about as dumb as cutting Meals on Wheels.

I am super proud to be in the school district we are in. We have some great teachers and administrators working hard and it shows in my kids. When we moved here both Amanda and Andrew were struggling. Not because they have a learning issue, but because these schools were so far ahead of Washington schools. Amanda was still struggling to read at her level. The awesome part is being able to recognize these issues and have a team of teachers work with the kids to get them caught up. It helps that the kids themselves could adjust their attitudes and focus on learning. With Andrew it took a while, but he came around. His self esteem used to be in the dirt when it came to school. I also really like how they are making learning interesting. This is where the 10.00 bills come into play. Just this month we spent money on kite materials and model rockets. This was part of Amanda’s science class. Amanda also was a part of an 8th grade social project in which they spit the 8th grade up into three categories: German Nationals, Nazi, and Jewish people. They kids got to experience what it was like during World War Two. They are also reading The Diary of Anne Frank. It really impacted the kids. They got to experience discrimination and how it felt to discriminate. Amanda had a hard time with it. She doesn’t have a mean bone in her body. I think the project left a great impression on her.

I feel fortunate that we moved here and I shouldn’t take for granted what we have. It’s hard to live here. There are some “neat” tourist activities here, but other than that it’s a desert with a mountain view. It’s really an uninspiring place to be. I guess you can say that this is not my genre. The only way to really change my view is to get out there and discover more of what is available. I’m ready to go. Most of the festivals and events I want to attend are on the other side of the state…the pretty side of the state. I am, however, going to find the wild flowers this year. That is my number one Spring goal. Anyways, enough yammering this morning. I just thought I’d complain/praise the school district.

Just Got this alert on my phone… Here’s to hoping we actually get something other than wind out of this…

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Contention

con·ten·tion

/kənˈtenCHən/

Noun

Heated disagreement.

An assertion, esp. one maintained in argument.

Synonyms: quarrel – strife – dispute – argument – contest

    Over the last couple of weeks there has been a source of contention in our house. I’m having trouble trying to pin point what or where it is coming from. I think it really has to deal with the changes that are happening. They are bound to happen, but at the same time, if part of us do not deal with change, well…. It makes it difficult. I think for myself I feel like I’m moving out of my old bubble shell and into a new bubble. I’ve been able to stratch beyond what used to be comfortable and do new things. Well, they are not new things. It’s the same old cooking and cleaning, but it’s something I have not been steadfast in for a year or so. I always managed to do what I could when I could. Now, it’s just a part of my daily routine.

I think what stumps many of us is change. I’ve been looking forward to getting back into life full swing. I think it’s easy for me to just move into a leading “house” role because that’s what I enjoy most. I know I’ll complain about the mass amounts of laundry….after it seems I did a mount Everest of laundry. If it’s not laundry it’s bathrooms…eww yuk! But really, I have always felt that if I couldn’t go to work have provide a few extra dollars, the next best thing was to have a clean house, clean clothes, and a yummy dinner. My way of showing the family I care about them and who wouldn’t want to spend all day in school or work and come home to that? I think sometimes change is hard because we have to let go of something. Letting go of control over something can be hard. I know Dan is struggling with this avenue. He’s been everything to everyone for a year, and now that’s changing. He’s struggling with it, yet I understand because in a way everything he took over, I had to let go of last year. What a flip of events! Every mom out there can imagine and understand what I’m saying.

The hardest part of cancer, was never the cancer its self, but dealing with the fact there were things I just couldn’t do: work, clean, cook, attend my kids’ events… Dad was always the go to guy for being picked up from school and attending concerts or sport events. Dad got up and made the lunches. Dad made sure we did our chores and helped out. Dad did the grocery shopping. Dad helped with the homework. Dad was there when they needed someone to talk to. It’s not like I was some sort of comatose inept human. They just knew that Dad was the go to. In some sort of way it was a chance for Dad to see what a deployment without him was like. There were no real breaks for him, except when we took the kids to their grandparent’s house for a bit during the summer. Even then, he still had his day time job to contend with. If it wasn’t his job, then it was a trip to Denver for a surgery or treatments. So I can see why this change is hard for him. If there is something I’ve learned about Dan, he likes to be needed by the people that love him. I couldn’t think of anyone other than my dad who would stick with being the top dog…even if they didn’t want to. Now a part of him has to let that all go and fall into my hands. Hard thing to deal with.

At the same time, I feel like this is a second chance. A chance to be better at home. I strived hard to make myself known to the working world. My heart and mind was always focused on it. Looking back I sacrificed a lot of time and energy towards my family. It’s like I’m saying….I’m here now. Not going anywhere and you guys are my priority. Sad. I know. Shameful thing to admit to. We don’t learn for these things until we see them for what they are. Now to just make things right. The other night I was trying to communicate how I felt to Dan. I think he misunderstood the entire conversation. I was trying to tell him there had got to be a way to use my organizational strengths to make things run better and smoother here at home. Meaning, If I can turn an entire store from a 4 year running fail (operations audit) into a “c” in two months I should be able to manage my time and use my talents to do some pretty cool stuff here.

I decided the next morning to start with super cleaning the upper portion of the house. Then it’s just maintaining each day. I also sat down and made up some weekly calendar sheets. If there is one thing I have completely lost sight of it’s what is going on. I used to be awesome at know what was coming. Now I wake up and I’m shocked I forgot “xyz” was going on. Drives me crazy!! I also included meal planning! This is another place I used to excel. We’ve been really cheese balling grocery shopping. Let’s face it, that stuff is not getting cheaper and my kids aren’t going to regress in growing. The fun part was getting onto pintrist and printing up some new recipes. Then I looked over coupons and made a list. I think that’s the first list in ages! I only over spent by 20.00 from what we normally spend, and I swear we made out with more food than we usually do! Source of pride there!

The only other thing I’d like to work on is a workout program. During Dan’s second deployment he got hooked onto P90x (my best friend and him are cringing). I know I’m not going to do the weights portion of it. I don’t want to look like buff super woman. I’m more after the yoga and kick boxing side. Later on I’ll add in the plyometrics. I like the workout because no matter what, I don’t have to do everything they are doing. It’s like a coach you can mute. I want to strength build, but not with weights. I can barely balance a small laundry basket. It isn’t that I’m not strong enough, it just feels awkward. When I pick up something heavy, I can actually feel the weight on my leg. Isn’t that weird? Any ways, Besides walking to Bee’s school, I want to start getting my body stronger.

Finally, I’m going to add photography back into my life. That is one source of contention in me. I wished I could return back to school. It’s not an option, so I’m going to use several sources I have at my finger tips to work on things I don’t know. Now that I can move about better and my energy level is slowly rising, I want to get back into my challenge. I might just restart my 365 challenge. I know this will help settle my inner self. It probably sounds silly, but to me everything is out of balance with each other. I feel that getting life back under control – meaning the things that I do have control over – me, it will hopefully get this source of contention to go away.

Who knows…only time will tell?

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Can’t Go Back

Hard is trying to rebuild yourself, piece by piece, with no instruction book, and no clue as to where all the important bits are supposed to go.”
― Nick Hornby, A Long Way Down

I am completely and utterly distracted today. I know I have a million and one things to do today, but my mind is elsewhere. Dan said it best. To paraphrase… How do we go back to something that was never started? You can’t go back because things have changed, people have changed. So where do we go from here?

Life has no instructions!!!

“So what do we do? Anything. Something. So long as we just don’t sit there. If we screw it up, start over. Try something else. If we wait until we’ve satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late.
– Lee Iacocca

For a decade if not longer I have been selling myself short. I figured it out when I became a shift leader at Pamida. I can’t begin to tell you how scared I was my first night of running the store on my own. I had imagined every possible bad thing happening and coming out being a complete failure. In the end, everything went smooth with no hiccups. I remember sitting in the parking lot after closing thinking what the hell was I thinking?!? I always thought that I wouldn’t be a good leader. Leading isn’t really that hard. It gets complicated when manger and friendships are involved. In reality I was such a…. a good word is escaping my mind. I mean seriously I have had the education and skills all along, just stupid fear always held me back. I let my social situation dictate what I did. I won’t elaborate on that, but let’s just say we haven’t exactly lived at the top of the food chain all these years.

This morning my friend asked why didn’t I look for part time work? I didn’t have an exact answer but my gut cringed. Why? Because that’s all I thought I was good enough for. There. That’s the honest answer. I don’t want to sell myself short anymore. So I’ve begun to look at local jobs. Mainly assistant store manager jobs. Not just retail as in “Pamida or Walmart” retail. I talked to my friend about being an assistant manager of a housing complex and other similar jobs. I think I’m looking for another chance to get the training I need to be a store manager. Nothing big. Not like a big store like Walmart. I was actually half excited to start looking around and see job listings. I like to look at the qualifications knowing I can do all those and then some.

For years I actually dreaded finding work. I mostly looked at the bottom of the barrel. Now I know I don’t have to do that. I’m prepared to go to interviews and told no. I just know that there is something waiting out there for me. It’s going to be a little while before I can jump into working. Honestly (and this might be stupid) I hope to grow my hair out a bit. It might be midsummer or the end of summer before I start applying.

Dan’s right, we can’t just go back to the way things were. It’s time to start new and pave a new road. No more driving in the fast lane of a turnabout spinning circles. Reminds me of the first turn about Dan drove on in Washington…..he drove on the side walk part. (lol) There’s still much that needs to be done, but I think if we can manage to keep out wits about us, we’ll fair well. It’s somewhat a scary idea, but like Iacocca said, if we wait till we are satisfied it might be too late.

There’s also the pain of patience and waiting for the gun and not jump starting at the start line. Boy have I jump started many times and that never ends well.

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