Saturday, October 5, 2013

Government Shutdown

This government shutdown has stirred up a lot of disappoint in me.
  • I am disappointed that elected officials (Democrats, Republicans, etc.) have forgotten that they work for U.S. citizens They no longer have our best interest at heart.
  • I am disappointed that we the people, myself included, do nothing but sit back and let them run the show. Sure, we rant and complain on Facebook, but what good does that do? Whatever happened to people like those who were involved in the march on Washington? Whatever happened to people like Dr. King--people who were not afraid to die in order to make the world a better place? I am blaming myself, too. Why are we not proactive and brave?
  • I am disappointed in people who spout inaccurate information without doing the first bit of research. We are lucky to have the Internet with its unlimited information at our fingertips. Use it!
  • I am disappointed in people who abuse government assistance. While some will be angry if their government aid is delayed, it should be a lesson learned that these resources may not always be available and people should take care of themselves.
Speaking of government assistance, I realize that some people need and deserve it, and I do not begrudge them the opportunity, but that does not apply to so many others.
  • When did it not become an embarrassment? People used to be ashamed to need a handout from the government, when did that change?
  • Why should my tax dollars assist those who are fully capable of working? I know many people who receive assistance, and are capable of working, but they don't. Our assistance programs need to be reformed. Everyone needs help getting on their feet sometime, but people should not use the government permanently in order to supplement their income.
  • I think people have forgotten how to prioritize. We view comforts as necessity. We have to have television, computers, Internet, cell phones, IPods, etc., and we can pay for that, but we need the government to pay for our food because we have no money.
  • Do I think it will be easy to REFORM government assistance? No! Is there truly a right answer? Probably not. Does that mean we should not try? Definitely not. I simply think that there has to be a better way.
So it seems that the shutdown has not only stirred up a lot of disappointment in me, but a lot of questions, as well. Besides praying to the Lord above, what can we do as citizens to better our country?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My parents deserve a lot of thanks!

The first sentence of this blog was going to be, "Parents are one of the most wonderful blessings of all," however, I can only say that for me. Being a teacher, I've seen countless kids who are simply thrown away or ignored by their parents. They are not cherished.

My parents have always cherished me; I wish I could say the same. There were times when I did not understand nor comprehend their worth. I don't think I truly got a grasp of it until I became an educator and then a mother.

I don't think I give my parents enough credit. From the age of 4, they basically had to put aside me whatever they wanted to do to run  me around. Dance, gymnastics, AWANA, church, softball, basketball, cheerleading, volleyball, etc. not only took up all of my time, but their time as well.

I would hate to see the amount of money they spent. They provided me with all the necessities and more: toys, tuitions, uniforms, costumes, equipment, etc. They purchased my first car and paid it off. They paid my car insurance through college. What money I still owed to the college after financial aid and scholarships, they paid.

When I first started having panic attacks, when Jeremy couldn't be there, they were.

When we moved back from Church Hill, they pretty much gave us a double-wide.

When I had Chloe, they were there everyday. They still are. Basically every day, they watch her. No matter when I call for them to watch her, they accept the offer. They have bought her diapers, clothes, toys, a Nook, etc. When Jeremy can't make it to Pound to get her to gymnastics, they make sure they get her to me in Wise.

When I was laid off and was sad about not being able to get her a swing set, they bought her the one I picked out.

And just the other day, Mom was perusing online and noticed GAP (my favorite clothing store) was having a sale, and she told me to pick out some clothes to order.

Another thing worth mentioning, pertaining more to Mom than Dad, is my that my mother knows that I am not a smoker. Since Chloe has been born, I have not seen my mother smoke inside her own house. I don't care if it is 20 degrees below zero outside. She also does not smoke in the car when Chloe is in there!


I hope that is the type of parent I am. I wish more kids could be as lucky as me.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I remember...

I remember I was excited to miss first block because I had an orthodontist appointment.
I remember that no radio station seemed to be playing music.
I remember arguing with Mom because I wanted to listen to music and she wanted to hear the news. I didn't understand what was going on.
I remember finding out once I got to school.

I remember the patriotism that emerged.
I remember that party lines vanished and America was united once again.
I remember the feeling of pride in my country.

I remember what life was like before 9/11.
There was no worry.
There was no terror.
America was safe.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Americans as we were all affected by this tragedy, but they go especially to those who were there, who helped, who witnessed the devastation.

I remember.

We remember.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Two Years

I remember when time went by slowly. How long it seemed for Christmas or Summer to come each year when I was a child. I remember when I couldn't wait to be 13, 15, 18, and, finally, 21.

Now my daughter is going to be TWO years old in a week. It seems like just yesterday that Jeremy and I were lying on the couch watching a fight when I tried to doze off because my stomach was hurting. I eventually realized I was waking up at intervals that seemed very similar. Then, it hit me, I was probably having contractions. So we were off to the hospital and, sure enough, I was in labor.

At some point in the night my labor stopped and just as they were about to send me home, they checked me one last time and I was dilated to 4! I don't have one of those awful labor stories. I was in labor for 20 hours, hard, painful labor for an hour or so before they attempted a second epidural that actually worked, and then I giggled as I pushed for 10 minutes to help my baby girl into this world.

The only time since then that has seemed to go slow was my 6 weeks of recovery since my recovery was very rough, but now 6 weeks seems like such a short time.

Now, here I am watching my Chloe sing, dance, and play as she takes a bath. She is so awesome.

-She can say and sing her alphabet.
-She recognizes letters.
-She can count to 14.
-She can sing several songs such as Twinkle Twinkle, Old MacDonald, and several intros to cartoons.
-She can sing and dance to most Wiggle songs.
-She knows all the places to laugh when watching Sesame Street.
-She can walk, run, and jump with both feet off the ground.
-She can operate my Nook Color and my Samsung Infuse and her Innotab 2s
-She brushes her own teeth.
-She has numerous words in her vocabulary now although she still likes to jabber.

Oh my goodness, the list is endless. She has grown up so much in TWO short years. I don't know what to do with myself sometimes because she is such an amazing kid!

SO here is to you Chloe. Happy Almost 2nd Birthday! You have filled my life with such an unbelievable amount of happiness :)

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Hardest Job

I think that being a working mother is one of the hardest jobs ever. Every week day except for Summer vacation, I must get up and leave my child. It is crazy how much it hurts to this day. I know that many of you may be saying to yourself that I could easily stay home and you are right. I could stay home, but then my family would definitely struggle. This leads me to the question of whether my child would be happy even if we were struggling or am I doing the right thing by providing a comfortable life for my family and me by working? The problem is I do not think there is a wrong or right answer. It's a decision that must simply be made by Jeremy and me.

If I didn't work, we would lose half of our income and our insurance. Money is just not that important but insurance most definitely is. It is so wonderful to not have to worry about the possibly enormous bills that come along with routine check-ups and emergencies. For instance, during the month of June, I went to the local ER three times and my regular doctor four times over poison ivy and an allergic reaction to medication. Had it not been for insurance, we would probably be up to our eyeballs in debt for these medical expenses. Think about the "normal" medical expenses for a year. An adult should have a yearly check-up, two dental visits, women's health check-up (for females of course), and an eye exam annually. Also, my child is still having her well-baby check-ups so she is seen more than one time a year. Those annual exams alone could add up to a lot of money with no insurance which is why insurance is one major justification of me being a working mom.

Another reason I choose to work is financial stability. It is nice being able to do things and provide extra for my family. It is also nice being able to have a savings account. It is nice to have already started Chloe's college fund. Trust me, I understand that when all is said and done that money is not important, but the truth is that the lack of money can cause a great amount of stress.

My husband hates when I say this, but I also think that being a working mom makes me a better mom. I feel that I cherish the time with my child more than stay-at-home mom. I'm sure that statement may make some people angry, but it is just my opinion. I don't feel the need to have "me" time that I see so many stay-at-home moms desire. I look so forward to time with Chloe that I want to get down on her level and play with her when I can.

Lastly, I choose to work because I love my job. I love reading and writing and teaching. So it makes me happy that I teach English which is essentially two of my favorite things. Plus, it enables me to continue learning. I hear so many parents say they never get adult interaction and when they do all they know to talk about is their children. Now don't get me wrong, I could talk about Chloe all day, but I'm sure not everyone wants to hear every single "cute" thing she does. And I'm sure some people will argue that at least I have the summer with her, but what non-teachers do not realize is that teaching isn't simply an eight hour shift five days a week, it is sometimes a 12 or 14 hour day six or seven days a week when you consider grading, coaching, etc.

And while I sit here and type this out, justifying to myself why I work, it is still the hardest job ever being a working mother. I love my child and I want to spend every waking minute with her, but I realize that it is just not the best thing for my family. Luckily, my parents are helping to raise her since my mom is her babysitter. I love my mom and I think that she is so wonderful with Chloe. I know that she is in good hands even if they are not my hands.

Here is a picture of Chloe at the pool this Summer on one of our mother/daughter bonding adventures!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Preparing a Manuscript

So I started my blog a while back because I wanted to write more… and that is basically as far as it went. I even titled it “The Smallest Sprout” because I realized that I just needed to write a little in order for it to “grow.” Of course there is no one to blame but me for not carving out time daily to do something that I wanted to do. So I’m going to assume full responsibility and just attempt this whole blogging thing again. I’m hoping to at least write four days a week.

If you are wondering why the obsession with writing, it is all because I have begun a course in which, upon completion of the course, I will have written a manuscript for a children’s book suitable to send to a publisher! I am so excited because I have wanted to be a published author for a while now; at least for the last six years.

I have 10 assignments to complete over the next 40 weeks, and I’ve already sent in one-a short story.  So nine more to go. Now I’m just waiting to hear back from my advisor on what she thought of my first story. Unfortunately, the first assignment had to be sent by snail mail and must come back by snail mail so the wait is excruciating. However, I get to send the next assignments by email so response will be much quicker. Yay!

I think I realized that I could achieve this goal two summers ago when I completed the Summer Institute of the Appalachian Writing Project. I am so thankful for that opportunity. I just hope I can be as successful as other members of the AWP.

I know this blog seems all over the place, but that’s what happens when I don’t sit down to write often. I have so many things I want to discuss, but they should each have their separate blog. Just maybe I’ll get a chance to dive in to one of my topics tomorrow.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Room for My Thoughts

     I finally did it. I created this blog. Since my completion of the Summer Institute of the Appalachian Writing Project, I realize just how much I need to write. Writing is therapeutic. I think back to the writing I have done in my life, specifically when Livejournal was so popular, and I'm happy to have had that online journal because it began my love of blogging. I now ask myself why I waited to so long to blog once again.

     One thing that does amuse me is how long it took me to title my blog. I debated for at least two weeks. Then, I finally decided that my blog should be titled happinessisachoice. After all the debate (within my head), I began to create the blog and my title has already been taken! So I went with one of my many other choices... thesmallestsprout which hails from a Walt Whitman quote which I will leave you with:

The smallest sprout shows there is really no death;
And if ever there was, it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it,
And ceas’d the moment life appear’d.

All goes onward and outward—nothing collapses;
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.