Here we are at thanksgiving once again. this is a bittersweet holiday each year for me. i look back at all that has happened through the year and i wonder ‘did i do enough?” and now that i have kids the question resonates in a new way. “am i doing enough for them? am i doing all that i can for the boys?” I always feel as thought I fall short–that i am not doing near enough. i think back on my own childhood…i had everything i wanted. my parents were in the military so while their income was nominal they had healthcare benefits that i was able to have access to. and even still–they felt the financial strain of raising children and my grandparents often sponsored/helped my private extra curricular activities and education. I cannot imagine what my childhood would have been like without my grandparents constant financial help. it made my early years better than i will EVER be able to thank them for. probably better than i ever HAVE thanked them for. i can’t imagine my grandpa reading my blog but if he does…i love you and truly cannot thank or repay your for every thing you have done for me in the last 33 years. thank you.
obviously, i am not in the military– and would be a pretty terrible soldier at that– so i don’t have the job security and benefit package that the government provides its employees. even as both a state employee and a private high school principle here in florida my income was well below the poverty line and interestingly enough my best income has been as a bar tender…but alas, still below the poverty line. so while i am not working FOR a direct government agency–i am thankful to be able to work, pay taxes and be able to access state benefits. these benefits have literally saved Sam’s life on numerous occasions and this year has given ken a new lease on oral health despite his “shiny pretty silver teeth” because anything like porcelain in a mouth that’s only going to loose them is a silly investment :) so we will live through the silver teeth until they fall out and grow in healthfully–hopefully his adult genetics will be better than his childhoods ones lol. again, as a member of the working poor we are lucky to have access to these benefits of our government that so many take advantage of that our family genuinely needs despite my working two and three jobs to make ends meet.
second, i am thankful once again for my boyfriend loren. daddy. this year, there have been many outside influences that would have destroyed normal couples that we have navigated and continue to navigate. many stresses. job losses. health issues. housing changes. etc. that really, at times, have been overwhelming but we have persevered and will continue to be resilient. ultimately, loren has stepped up and provided for the boys where their biodad has severely dropped the ball time and time again. not to mention, continuously being my personal cheerleader even when i didn’t deserve one.
lastly for this blog post, i am thankful for my dad and his wife. no matter what crazy bind i am in they jump right in and help when they can. emergency boy pick ups. hospital visits. moral support. etc. and without nearly enough thanks or intermittent phone calls just because or visits like i should. i love them both and appreciate ll that they do for me.
so while i write this blog and eat my hands with nervousness that we can make it through the next few weeks…ultimately, i do have a lot to be thankful for. and as you look through images above, the two people i am most thankful for are sitting on either side of me right now as we watch ‘beethoven christmas’ while loren naps getting ready to drive his news paper route in a few hours. so while this year we cannot fathom shopping black friday we really do have all we need under our roof and hope the boys will understand this concept when christmas is slim this year. but love really is all you need. right?! right.
Its funny…I just looked back through my blog to see if I posted last valentines day. No–however, I did post in 2013. The gist of that post was kyles decision not to financially support the boys and the realization loren was going to be a consistent in their lives. Two years later– I don’t even ask kyle about child support and loren goes out of his way to make sure he takes days off to be with the boys when school is out. Loren has become my better half and a great daddy to the boys over the years. He lifts all of us up in the house and we can only hope we are doing the same for him.
Together we have watched other friends relationships come and go. We have watched deterioration. We have seen on again off again…the relationship that all rainbows and butterflies for two weeks and then ultimately founded on lust which doesn’t do anything or go anywhere. Our firm and natural friendship, communication and trust will outlast other peoples shows and false loves.
In other news, ken turned four this week. My little blonde haired blue eyed monster never stops. So much so we got him a trampoline for his birthday and he could jump for hours. Lol. His grandparents on both sides ( mine and kyles parents) came for his party that we had at home to harness his excitement. It couldn’t have worked out better really.
Sam has now had to report cards from kindergarten and he maintains straight a’s. While all subjects seem to come easily I can see already math is where he will excel. his mind is mechanical and he can see the number looking at manipulative with out counting.
Other exciting news is that my grandfather and kens name sake came to visit with my uncle Jim. I had been super bummed that I hadn’t been able to get out to visit when I had planned and then with life doing what it does…here they were.
Ultimately, life is grand. Loren bought me a camera for Christmas and I have to down load images lol. I have so many more of the visit and birthday there.
On with my day and I hope you’re enjoying yours with the ones you love.
Last year I began writing christmas lists. i hadn’t done that in–well in memorable history. i decided to review last years list and i must say…nothing has changed. :) a year later my birthday and christmas list remains essentially the same. we have had a crazy year spent mostly unemployed through the spring and fortunately, i am currently working but i certainly haven’t been able to purchase anything for me in a selfish manner. Miraculously, the boys dad held a job for a whopping three months and we wee able to get child support in that time only because it was forcibly garnished from his wages–even if that weren’t the case the boys always come first in my world and they will always be taken care of first. So without expecting any of this list to materialize i write my short christmas list…gifts i would like but would never buy myself because i am more interested in keeping the boys happy :)
nikon black 3200 camera–i wish i could tell you how many photos i take in a day. if you are fb friends with me you are entirely aware of this but i really would like to obtain a better quality camera than just my cell phone to take images of life here on the gulf coast.
straight talk galaxy s4 lte–while my dad DID get me a phone last year, i have decided that phones are really only made to last a year. if i can’t get a camera i am settling on this phone. :) i am mostly interested in the camera and data…and it’s within the plan program that i have.
spa sensations my gel 12″ mattress and plain bed frame–this seems like an unusual request but we currently have a full size bed. and thankfully loren and i don’t move a lot in our sleep but it is near impossible to sleep when children begin to invade. :) We have a very open door policy with the boys and since sam has night terrors we foster encouragement. in addition, all of the beds that loren and i have had to this point have been given to us and they have been shoddy or pretty worn when we inherit them.
interestingly, that’s all i am interested in. a lot of the list has more to do with my family than me personally but my family is my identity. i feel like i went from being sarabean to sam and ken’s mom overnight when i moved here and–essentially–i did. i embrace the title though …
PS–despite the boys lack of other parent support loren and i have essentially gotten the boys their requested list. :) we have known for a LONG time what they wanted so voila. :)
Its has been a VERY long time since my last blog. A lot has happened since then: i have left my position at the high school under the most unusual of circumstances, i am bar tending and thoroughly enjoying life, i have continued baking and cleaning houses, i have seen sams first straight a report card and two straight a progress reports, i have gotten to hear ken count and name colors in spanish, i have put my truck on craigs list to sell and we have had utter recent madness with our car–and much more…but through it all loren has stood by me and been my rock and partner in joy.
Today, on thanksgiving, sam floored us with the following announcement as we drove the boys to their biodad…
sam–you’re not our step dad, daddy.
sam–no, daddy kyle is our step dad.
loren–what am i then?!
sam–you’re our real dad.
ken–yup yup ours real dad
loren–well, if thats how you feel.
Neither one of us was ready for that proclamation. These are things we don’t really discuss in our house..step this and step that…titles given to parents and family etc. On thanksgiving, loren has been given the official title.
On thanksgiving, I give thanks for the family that i have made. this constructed family of unconditional love that i always hoped to have for myself and especially for my boys.
Up until I met Loren I wanted to find a gentleman like my grandfather. This thanksgiving i was supposed to go and visit my grandpa and introduce loren to him but i lost my job and finances were a concern. and then it might have been a blessing in disguise because we have had major issues with our car this week which would have been a pain in the butt had we been out of town etc. so we were lucky (?). interesting fact, even though i had always looked for a man like my grandfather one of the last times i saw my grandfather we had a bit of an argument. really, i was a dick. i was mean toward him and was hoping to see him in person to apologize. I know he isn’t getting any younger but his hearing is waning and i worry that i will never be able to say i’m sorry in real life. but if there is one living person that i am grateful and thankful for this year…it’s my grandfather.
And in reality, even though i bitch about my family and have mentioned some pretty shitty things that have happened in the past few years…I am thankful for each member of my family. Their quirks and support have made me who i am today…thank you my family–by birth and constructed.
I’m not sure if I mentioned that in addition to administrative duties I also get some teaching responsibilities. I have a daily seventh period theater and choir class and both a civic/econ and modern world history class that I’m facilitating and essentially relearning as I go with the students–choosing topics from the chapters that will be relevant if they choose to go on to college. I admit I am really enjoying the teaching as much as the administration.
The first few weeks as an administrator have been spent shadowing the owner/admin. We have been sharing an office and I have been getting a feel for the culture and vibe of the school–it has been enlightening and a learning experience for sure. I am thankful we took those few weeks to shadow.
Today…he moved out. Monday I will be all alone but he will only be a phone call away. Today I handled student conflicts on my own and was really left to my own devices and I look forward to the rest of the year. I am very much a person who can’t take ownership of a position until I’m left to myself. :)
Already I feel as though students and I are forming a bond and they are opening go to me. This is a huge step for some of them…I am very proud of them and the work that they’re doing so far and I hope will continue to do this year. The above was a resounding theme in this weeks reflections from my theater class and that excited me.
since moving to florida in 2008 i have had, if you have been following my blog, a string of not so great luck. average to bellow average jobs, s shotty marriage, awesome children, a botched escape to minnesota from my marriage, a return to florida, a lucky remeeting of daddy loren, a forEVER divorce from kyle, an ok job at the health department, another major life event i still can’t talk about but will when i can–promise–buuuuuuut i haven’t been 100% content in my career pursuits.
every position i have had since high school i have been told…you are too brainy, too cerebral, too smart, too bookish, WHY do you want THIS job, you’re OVER QUALIFIED. but the reality is that i have really enjoyed all of these positions that i’ve applied for or else i wouldn’t have applied for them. so when i saw a position advertised for a private school high school principal at a school for children who struggle in mainstream public school. IF there were one career choice that were to interest me MORE than any other…this would be it. I applied. On a prayer and a song. NEVER thinking that I would GET the position but I DID.
I am NOW the NEW high school principal at Kaleidoscope School of Discovery in Panama City, FL. AMEN. I am BEYOND thankful and excited for this year coming for this opportunity and FINALLY to have a career home.
A few weeks ago Loren and I went to a political fundraiser is panama city. Since we were next to a bakery that I had interviewed at many moons ago I thought we would go see if anything new was going on there. Not too much. Still baking small batch daily and selling for what I thought was a fair price…around $4 a cupcake to $38 a dozen. This sounds like a lot but it is entirely fair. Seriously.
Since the inception of my “bakery” sweet miss Sara I have YET to make a profit lol. I shouldn’t laugh but it is a lot of work just to break even in supplies. From the early planning stages, when kyle and I were still together I set $30 aside a week and bought $30 a week of supplies to meet the miniscule demand our town brings. Since then I have continued to strictly use my “cake money” strictly back on my cakes and cookies. The most expensive cake I’ve ever sold was $70 and of was the sea shell cake above. The little Einstein cake I didn’t even break even on. The cost of butter and my inability to buy in bulk will continue to haunt me and my ability to make a profit. Because I don’t use any money outside of the money that I make on cakes I will also never make a profit.
What I make is a labor of love…literally. people come to me because my prices are fair (below the above cost at a bakery) and I can get it done in a reasonable amount of time. I wish sweet miss Sara were the next Sara Lee and I could make a profit but that’s not how it works. I work on the honor system…I don’t ask locals to even pay me right away and a lot of the time I am certainly losing money. Baking is now and will always be I believe a hobby. A well planned hobby were an initial $30 continues to be just a profit of $30. Nothing borrowed. Nothing gained. Just a few people enjoying a treat…mostly at my expense.