If We Were Meant to Stay in One Place, We’d Have Roots Instead of Feet.

A little bird tells me that it has been 4 months since I had filled their news feed with a fresh post (or two!). I acknowledged this, and explained that I have been adjusting to a new, but familiar, normal. I felt like I was floating in some sort of limbo-land 4 months ago, and that is not to say that I may not occasionally feel that way at times, but recent events solidify my belief that things truly do happen for a reason, and rarely make sense as they happen. Some exciting things have happened when I least expected them to, and I would love to tell you all about it!

In the midst of collecting unemployment checks each week and applying for jobs I didn’t want simply so that I could say I was actively looking for work, something sort of perfect happened. You see, I had this thought in my head last October that I wanted to enroll in classes. I wanted to do it for me, but I also wanted to do it for the improvement it would make in my job situation. The university I selected was not exactly cheap, but it was the only one in the area that offered degrees fully online if I so chose, and additionally offered them live, so I could either attend in person or log in from home or work and watch the class as it was happening. Becoming a student at Lakeland University was going to be a financial sacrifice (among the other sacrifices one makes to pursue higher education as a working parent), but it was one I was willing to make.

Fast forward to mid-April and I (still jobless of course, and not exactly hating every moment 😉) stumbled across a job ad for an Administrative Assistant position at the Lakleland University campus in Milwaukee. I had to blink a few times to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. How great would it be if I were to secure a position at a university where I was a current student? Pretty opportune, if you ask me.

Well, that’s exactly what happened! I started working at Lakeland in May, and I am loving it. I am gaining exposure to the world of higher-ed, and have the opportunity to work alongside the working-professional instructors, academic advisers, and admissions each day. I get to see the workings of a university from the inside out, and familiarize myself with the technology and administration aspects. And all the while, I am receiving tuition remission. If I need to get to class, I walk down the hall. If I need assistance, my adviser is 2 offices down. In addition to being a family-oriented institution that caters to the working adult student, I have a work-life-school balance that I could have only dreamed of in my previous position. I am not saying this to boast, but to prove to everyone (especially myself! Because let me tell you, did I ever doubt it before) that an event that completely crushed me was a blessing in disguise. I pursued my goal of continuing education, and life caught up to meet me. I am not super woman, and perhaps life knew that better than I.

In other news, Jeremy and I are apparently creating our very own baseball team- we are expecting another boy in early December! I am 17 weeks along. Upon first digesting the thought of starting. All. Over. with a brand-new snuggle bug (because let’s be real.. we literally just ditched the last of the overnight pull-ups 3 months ago), I must admit I was suddenly all “Wait. What just happened?! This is not exactly the ideal time to be adding members to our little group, what with a new job and classes and all!”. But let me tell you. I am so excited! All I can think about is the snuggling and the warmth and the baby-love smell, and the rolls. Oh, the rolls.

And while we are on the subject of babies, I am not sure I can accurately describe how precious Mason is to me, and I cannot help but be thrilled that I am having another boy. The thoughtfulness, curiosity, and kindness with which Mason navigates his daily life make me so proud. If my next son is the same way, I will practically burst. Little girls are wonderful as well I am sure, but what makes boys so great from my experience is in the protectiveness Mason shows towards his Mama, his sensitivity towards others and their feelings, and his unabashed attitude towards all that is important to him in his short life thus far. It is so innocent and humbling to me, and if he can keep those values into adulthood, what a great man he will be.

This means I have 23 weeks to fit in one more semester of school, dig up the onesies and booties (!!!) from their hiding place in storage, and enjoy our family in the moment, because life will certainly be changing for the better soon… Again!

Enjoy the rest of this sunny weekend! xo

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Conflicted

Happy Friday, Beautiful People.

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Third Ward, MKE.

 Mason had a sleepover with his Munka and Bumpa last night. When Jeremy got home from work he, Charmaine, and I stopped at Gille’s Custard Stand and ordered all the fried things. We spent the night playing Betrayal at House on the Hill  with Jason. We have all recently gotten into playing unique board games, such as Tokaido, Oddville, and Exploding Kittens. It’s very possible that these games could be played all night long if you let it happen. It is quite imperative that I get back on something that even slightly resembles a sleep schedule, because while I used to think that 9pm was late, I can’t make myself go to sleep before midnight lately. Of course, Mason still wakes up at the same time every morning, therefore I am tired all. The. Time. Even without a full time job, there do not seem to be enough hours in the day for everything I want to accomplish. Sigh.

I headed to the Third Ward this morning for coffee and retail therapy (ahemm…Anthropologie). I continue to go back and forth on the job front; on one hand, I miss all of the social aspects that go along with a full time job: the coworkers who quickly become friends, the nights out, the camaraderie. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t enjoying this unplanned time off. I am very thankful for all of the extra time I am spending with Mason, and learning more about who I am as an individual, but there are good days and there are bad days, as with anything in life. Sometimes, I can’t believe how much work consumed me, and other days I sit in my living room with cold coffee wishing I could bash my head against a wall and scream at the top of my lungs because Mason doesn’t know how to talk or play at a decibel any lower than elephant stampede. As with everything else I contemplate publicly in this blog, I don’t want to sugar coat it. I am not a very good stay-at-home-mom. I don’t have that kind of patience. I’m too antsy and energetic. I am a worker. I need the self-gratification that success in the workplace brings. I am hoping that when classes begin in 2 weeks, I will have a similar satisfaction.

I have submitted my resume to a few different companies with job openings that fit what I would be looking for, but every time I end up sitting back and questioning if I would even be happy in that position. You guys, I am genuinely going insane. I actually googled “Should I be a doctor” because I had a physical earlier this week and my doctor is so upbeat and happy, and her attitude is contagious. Of course, after reading one article I quickly came back down to Earth. HELL NO, I don’t want to be a doctor. I like to help people, but it takes a certain kind of heart to DEDICATE their lives to helping people. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that I don’t think I am capable of that. Again, just being honest.

So what am I capable of? I like to create and be a leader and communicate and be the center of attention. I think I would shrivel up and die if I was put behind a desk for 8 hours a day. What can I do that would make me happy? Not sure that the answer will be easily found. I would love nothing more than to open an antique shop (it has been my dream for years), but it is simply not feasible in this stage of life to do so. Or perhaps it’s that I simply lack the faith it takes to make it a reality. I suppose that is something that no one but myself can decide.

Well, here we are at the end of another work week. I hope you all have a splendid Friday night!

xo

To run or to drink coffee?!

Cheers to the Freakin’ Weekend!

In keeping with my goals for this year, I decided to check out a new place this morning (52 List Project goal!) while Mason is in preschool: Colectivo on Prospect Avenue on the East side of Milwaukee. When I crave coffee I typically stop at Colectivo on KK Avenue, but this place is very cozy as well.

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SEE?! 🙂

Yesterday Jeremy and I got fitted for new running shoes. It’s now or never (another 52 List Project goal). After trying on many different stability styles (I tend to overpronate quite badly when running or even walking), I settled on Nike Air Zoom Odyssey’s (here). I went down into the basement this morning to start my training on the treadmill, but it is folded up in a corner of the utility room (which illustrates pretty accurately how often we have used it) and no matter how hard I pulled I could not get it to fold down. So I unlaced my new kicks and got coffee instead. Pretty even if you ask me 😉

I am going to be using the Couch to 5K app to train. I am not the type of person who can just get out there and gauge my endurance on my own- I need direction. I have used this app before while we were living in Greendale, and got about halfway through it before the weather became bitterly cold and I was honestly too big of a wuss to run in it. I feel that this is the perfect time to start- when it is cold yet mild, and Spring will be here before we know it.

In other news, I was a bit conflicted the last few days. I spent the better portion of Wednesday and Thursday afternoon perfecting my resume and applying for all the administrative jobs I could find that remotely interested me, but my heart wasn’t in it. It’s not that I don’t miss the workforce because I do, but I am very nervous about making the wrong decision when it comes to my next job. I don’t want to job-hop. I want to be stable and work somewhere I can be valued and use my individual talents to the best of my ability. Somewhere that I can grow to love the way I loved Iron Block. It sounds dramatic, but it’s true. I have so much to give and I don’t want to waste it. Now that I understand how much a job can truly mean to me, I am going to find it hard to top it. Sigh. Stream of consciousness…

I hope everyone has a fantastic day!

xo

Transitioning

Good Morning and Happy Tuesday!

I must have a faulty phone. I slept right through the alarm that would have woken me to get Mason ready for school. One would not think that such a small person would be such an enormous monster in the morning. He is worse of a morning person than me (ok, not really.)!  Anyway, I opened one eye and peeked at the time. 7:39 am.

Shit.

So, knowing how insanely difficult it is to get this little boy out of bed, I had to make a game out of it. I burst into his room and said, “Oh, no! We are so late today. Let’s see how fast you can go potty, brush your teeth, and put your uniform on! And….. go!”. He was not impressed.

Double Shit.

We managed to make it to St. John’s by 8:02 am. Poor kid. Stupid faulty phone (though if for some reason the phone is not faulty and it’s more of a user error *wink wink*, I may need to consider purchasing an ACTUAL alarm clock; one that is so loud that I can’t possibly sleep through it. Work had my internal body clock down to a science. I am all out of whack now.). I am grateful that Jeremy and I paid for Mason’s tuition in advance because even though I am technically a stay-at-home-mom now, he quickly missed the camaraderie of his fellow littles on the days I kept him home with me. I don’t know if we would have been able to send him had we not already taken care of the financial aspect. See, there it is! The bright side.

Jer and I took on some projects over the weekend. The handle that adjusts the water temperature in our bathtub wasn’t turning as far as it should, and so upon futzing with it, Jer managed to also discover that there were some broken pipes, and other parts that would need to be replaced. Our resident handyman, Dave (Grandpa/Father-in-law extraordinaire), was quick to assist Jer in replacing all of the faulty parts, though it ended up taking the entire weekend because as I am learning, home projects are always more involved than they seem. The only time they needed me was to choose a new showerhead and hardware, which made me happy because I get way too excited when it comes to replacing older things in our home with more modern, sleeker pieces.

While that was happening, Mason spent a good portion of the weekend with Aiden, and I hauled boxes containing my Etsy and Ebay inventory from the basement to my upstairs office. More and more I am seeing how my full time career literally ruled my life: the items were still neatly packed into the boxes they were in when we moved from Greendale, which was a year and a half ago. A year and a half since I put any time or effort into my antiques.

What a shame.

The lighting was perfect on Saturday, so I was able to get good listing photos of all of the items. It felt so amazing to be productive! Being that Mason is at preschool for 3 hours 3 days out of the week, I will dedicate those hours to curating my shops, and this blog (which I currently view as more of an online journal for the world to see.. lucky you! 😉

This brings me to another thought: when I first started this blog, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to make out of it. It really is a place for me to air out my thoughts and epiphany’s, but I want to create more of a structured theme to it as well.

What do people want to read? What interests them? What keeps them engaged? How can I grow my readership? I want more than anything to bring a smile to people’s faces with my writing. I have toyed with the idea of tying a theme to each of the days that I write, for example: Tuesday’s Thoughts (perhaps something I learned or reflected on that week). Some other ideas I had were to post a weekly list of links to things that I found funny/interesting/chic online that week. I wanted to dedicate a weekly post to listing the things that made me smile that week (Saturdays?).

I am turning to you for other ideas! What would YOU like to read?

xo

 

 

In the Blink of an Eye

On Monday, I was a leader, a confidant, a mentor. It was my job to ensure the daily procedures and activities of a dental clinic were carried out in an appropriate, timely, and professional manner.

 I had a tremendous load of responsibility.

On Tuesday… I did not.

It’s Thursday. It’s 2:30 in the afternoon. I am in my pajama pants. I deep cleaned the kitchen and the bathroom. I read 10 books with my son. We played with trains. And Legos. I sat on my couch and sighed; feeling a sense of urgency to do something -anything- to keep myself busy. I set myself a reminder on my phone to go off at 2pm, because I knew I would actually be able to read it. I feel strange knowing that I am wearing glasses and no mascara. I don’t know where I left my black high heels.

I would be fooling myself (and all of you), if I were to say that I do not care. That it doesn’t bother me how things played out. That the failure was somehow all my fault. I do care. Tremendously. I loved my job and poured my heart and soul into it. In the end it would seem that the powers that be did not find me capable. I am not lying when I say that some of the best people I have ever known I have met in the last 2 years within the walls of the Iron Block Building.

Life has a way of pushing people in a certain direction. You can try to shove that annoying roadblock out of your way all you want, but if it is not God’s plan, it will not budge. You can scream and push and force all of your emotions and strength at it… but something has to give. Usually that something is you.

On March 14th, I will do something I have never done before: I will walk into my first college class. It was like I had some sort of inclination that I should take a step forward. A degree has never been a priority for me. Why did it become one, suddenly?

I have come to the conclusion that I can’t be afraid or expect things with certainty anymore. My arms are wide open to life’s possibilities, instead of crossed over my chest refusing to let go of things that are “mine”.

With that said, here we are. Page 1. This should be an interesting read…

xo

 

 

 

A Series of Unfortunate Events

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This is the slightly more positive version of how I have been feeling lately. I am the Baudelaire Orphans and Life is Count Olaf, here to abduct me, kill me, and seize all my money (ok, not really, but you get the point).

I loved A Series of Unfortunate Events. Though slightly morbid, confusing, and a bit frightening, each book was more intriguing than the last. I can’t help but relate this to myself at the moment. Everything is up in the air, and I feel like I have to be one step ahead of Count Olaf. 2015 was a rough year, but the New Year holds more intrigue in it than usual for me, which is ironic considering how difficult the second half of 2015 proved to be. As Lemony Snicket put it: “In this book, not only is there no happy ending, there is no happy beginning and very few happy things in the middle.” 

2015 in a nutshell.

It’s easy for me to sit back and say “Everything happens for a reason,” when the reason has already manifested itself. It’s harder to believe when you’re in the thick of figuring it all out and there seems to be no logical reason whatsoever. I have been staying positive, and I like to think that life is as good as you make it, but I have to wonder how much of it is completely out of my control. And thus completely useless to worry about.

I need to leave the past in the past. The unfortunate events that may happen to me do not define me, but how I choose to react does. What is seemingly a series of unfortunate events are indeed the first steps of a journey.

A journey in which I discover what I’m made of.

xo

 

New Beginnings.

Today I’m ready. Ready to feel.

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Sarah Rose Budney left this earth on August 9th. Cousin by blood, but raised as sisters, Sarah has been a very special person to me for my whole life; beginning, I imagine, the day I held her after she was born.

As the oldest of all of my sisters and cousins, I always felt the need to be bossy and call all the shots when we were very little. And everyone would go along with whatever I said, and not question it or bicker with me, as little girls often do.

Except Sarah. We fought all the time.

Even from such a young age, she was the most independent and strong willed person I had ever met (besides myself), and it infuriated me when she wouldn’t do what I thought everyone should be doing, or when she wouldn’t go along with whatever my plan was. And then we would scream. And pull hair. And bite. God, Sarah. I hated you sometimes. I hated her pink Barbie doll dream house, her red velvet dress, her cozy bedroom, her two-piece swimsuits, and her blonde hair.

I remember being so jealous of the fact that she lived with Grandma and Grandpa, though I was too young to realize why she had to. And though my Grandma doted on all of her girls, Sarah was special to her in a way the rest of us weren’t- she was a daughter to her. I think Sarah envied the rest of us for the fact that we didn’t live with our grandparents.

She was always the different one. Sometimes she was negative and mean when the rest of us were having the time of our lives. Sometimes she was crazy and full of life when the rest of us were tired and quiet, and that was just how it was. You never knew what you were going to get when it came to her. She was deep and spiritual and very, very scarred emotionally.

Sarah joined me at my high school for her freshman year. It was also the year that I lived with my grandparents and her. We would ride to school together, spend the day together, do our homework, watch tv, and laugh together. I think that was when we were the closest in our lives.

Since her death, I have had a very hard time wrapping my head around the things she went through in her short life, and the mental torment she endured, even as a child. Though I saw her struggles with my own eyes, I almost didn’t take them seriously because she was always so strong. She was the one who we were always sure would pull through. She cried wolf and threatened the most ridiculous things.. and she would cut everyone off. For months at a time. And then she would breeze back into my life as if nothing had ever happened. She didn’t like to bring up the past when that would happen, almost as though she was embarrassed by it.

I think things were at their hardest for her when she had her daughter, Serenity. Living as a single mother, I do believe she did the best that she could, even though all odds were against her. I also believe that one of the reasons she ended her life was that though she fought hard for her daughter (even after messing up in the eyes of the law so many times), she knew that in the end knew that she would not be given another chance to try again. I can’t imagine how much that must have hurt her. I am not saying that I excuse her faults, but I also have no right to judge why she made the choices she did.

I miss her so dearly. There is not another person in this world who is like her, and I mean that wholeheartedly. Her zest for life was contagious; it was always a party when she was around. She is one of the few people I know who can say that they truly lived life to the fullest. She lived in the present, never considering the consequences. She just enjoyed and indulged.

Her demons became to great to bear. I have battled with guilt since she passed. I know that there was more I could have done to help her face her life when it became to hard to handle on her own. I cannot live with guilt forever. It’s a heavy cross to carry, and it’s not for me to say why she decided she needed to go. For now I will live with her memory in my heart, and always remember to live my life to the fullest, laugh hard, be strong, and try again.

I love you, Sarah Rose. Be free.

xo