Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Entering unknown territory

This week marks the end of my twenties. I haven't spent a lot of time pondering what I hope to accomplish in my thirties, or what behaviors I need to include or exclude in the coming decade, but here are a few things I'm proud of (and not so proud of) that make the last decade a defining period for me.

- I finished cancer treatment in my 20s. I was 19 when I started chemo and 20 when I finished radiation. Mark that one down for pride.

- On the shame side let's put down all the times I got so drunk I puked. I'm hoping that this pastime is one that I leave in the history books. Or at least only do it once a year.

- I lost a few people I care for in my 20s, either by death or distance. A lot of love is in my heart for those that I haven't regained yet, but I will dedicate my thirties to maintaining friendships that are worth my time and not losing time on those that aren't.

- I gained a whole family when I married the love of my life in my twenties. Our relationship has been constant through the last decade, and I couldn't have asked for a better friend, lover, fixer, cook, baker, bbq-er, and father than what I have in Thad. He's my best friend, and I look forward to the coming adventures we face.

- I've gained and lost some pounds over the last decade, but I'll say that in the last year I've tried to lose some of the weight that wasn't with me 10 years ago. I have a great, understanding workout buddy and we look forward to continuing to challenge each other to keep dropping those pounds. Zumba has been an awesome addition to my work out routine, and I plan to keep dancing as long as I can.

- I've lost a little sanity over health issues in this decade as well. But in facing these issues I've come to realize that I can't change who I am. And I don't want to. There are aspects of my life that are both good and bad, and whether I live to be 90 years old or live to be 55, I will not worry about how long I'm going to live and worry about how I'm living right now. Worry is a killer in itself, and I don't want to devote more time to worrying than I do to actually just living.

- Two marks in my plus column for my twenties were the two best things to happen to me. Elora and Colter. I didn't think I would have kids. After cancer and chemo, I was betting on being barren and I'm glad I didn't put all my money on that horse. I went through two great pregnancies (one pregnancy was a little angrier than the other, I will admit) and came out with two of the most beautiful, funny, sweet, smart little cookies in the world. My children challenge me to be a better person every day, whether it's just teaching me to be patient or allowing me to try to teach them things like kindness, manners, and knock knock jokes. I can't imagine my life without these two little ones, and I can say honestly that they probably saved my life. I hope one day, if the internet exists in the future, that they may find their mom's old blog, and that amongst the humorous anecdotes that they see a mother that loved them more than anything. Thank you, my babies.

- I start my thirties non-dependent on nicotine. January will mark 2 years that I've been tobacco free, and I'm relieved and thankful that I had the opportunity and desire to quit and quit for good when I got pregnant with Colter. It's taken a while to learn how to enjoy drinking without it's accompanying bad habit, and I used to think that former smokers were crazy when they said that they could actually go out and still have a great time without smoking. The bars in Montana went smoke free last year, so that has also diminished any real temptation for me to start up again. I feel better, I smell better, and I'm proud that my kids won't be more likely to start smoking as a result of seeing their mom or dad do it. My parents smoked, and I have no idea what possessed me to start (peer pressure) but hopefully that cycle has been broken.

I plan to keep learning, and hopefully in the next few years I'll decide what I want to be when I grow up and start working towards that goal. I've seriously been considering opening some type of small business specializing in food, but I want to make that leap when I've got a little capital and some business skills in my pocket.

Thank you all for being my readers. Thank you for being my friends, family, and the few random folks that stumble across this blog and give it a read before moving on. Have a great week!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mid-November update

We are less than 48 hours away from Thanksgiving, and that means turkey. Not just any turkey, but Thad's First Ever Smoked Turkey. I'm not making much this year to contribute to our feast, but I figure with less to be responsible for there will be less of a chance that I'll end up doing what I did last year..... getting a little tipsy because of an unforeseen delay in our cooking timeline that resulted in the turkey not being ready when everyone and everything else was ready. John (my younger brother) tried to convince me today that we didn't eat until almost 9:00PM that night. I don't believe him, but I also have no alternate theory as to when we actually ate. I hate that he's correct by proxy.

I'm doing a relish tray/veggie tray thing, with the perfunctory ranch dip, and green bean casserole. Every time I type that I either want to type "green been" or "grean bean".

My folks are coming to Thad's folks' place for dinner. My brother and sister in law will be there as well, along with John (my younger brother). I got myself a new sweater and Elora and Colter each a cute little soft shirt/pants set. I plan to even straighten my hair for the event. Ooooh, fancy!

Gift shopping has been a fiasco, mostly because I loathe shopping. It just seems to reinforce this inadequacy complex that I seem to keep harboring about my gift giving skills. I have gifter's remorse after nearly every gift, like "WHY DIDN'T I TRY HARDER". I realize that it's the thought that counts, but I'm always wondering if I'm overthinking it, which therefore cancels out the thought that counts. Anyways, that's a ramble but I think it's good and I'm keeping it.

Elora hasn't been sleeping in her own bed. It's been a weird and recent development. She has finally been relegated to the floor whenever she comes in (what can I say, I let her come in the first few times because I love to snuggle her, but she's a BEDHOG), and she pitifully sleeps with her head on this huge oversize pillow. I've asked several times and I keep getting the answer that her brother snores and pulls her hair and that's why she can't sleep in there. I would call bulls$%& but she is only almost 4 and doesn't understand when shenanigans are being called on her.

I've hereby dubbed my son M&M, because he is a little miniature embodiment of Matthew McConaughey. I don't know if I spelled that right, but whatevs. Colter has come to be one of the coolest kids I know. He flirts, laughs, and smiles like a Matthew McConaughey, and he loves to go shirtless and drum his hands on things. I caught him going down the stairs when he was at the BOTTOM of the stairs when I went looking for him, so he's managed it down the stairs at least once without me knowing it and managed just fine. Pretty soon I'll be asking him to start the car and pour mommy the perfect Bloody Mary, he's that capable.

Thad is going out hunting Friday, hopefully to get the elk that we've been hoping for. I'm planning on staying in Colstrip until Saturday. I have no shopping that requires me to be here and up at the ass crack of dawn to get a deal. I bet all my shopping worries would be over if I'd just actually SHOP instead of browsing online. C'est la vie. I don't know if that reference had any bearing on what I just said, but when in Rome. I amuse myself.

Having a blog no one really reads or comments on is like sending a message in a bottle out to the internet.

Well, I think that my child has fallen to sleep in her own bed now that I've whittled down here willpower by logic and sheer bribery. I'm headed off to my own bed. Good night, internet, and have a blessed Thanksgiving holiday. Tell your family you love them, and punch your brother in the kidney for forgetting your birthday for another year.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Shenanigans were called

I did. I called shenanigans and for the first time since David kicked Goliath's ass with a little rock and a slingshot the little guy WON!

Several months ago I wrote about the loss of my job, and how horrible it was, and how financially distraught we had become, but I can happily say that while I am in no way "rich", but I'm no longer closing old savings accounts that hold a retainer balance just so I have dinner money at the fair. Yes, that is what I did this August. I closed an old savings account at a credit union to use the extra $25 bucks they use to keep the account open to buy vikings and fried cheese curd.

So when I got fired I filed for unemployment. At the time I didn't really know what would become of it, but I did it, and began my job search. Job Search 2010. It lasted 9 weeks, technically, because when I got hired for my new job I technically was still out of work for 2 weeks before I started. So I kept filing. And filing. And filing. And at that point I was waiting. And waiting. And waiting. And I thought that I was giving the process a lot of patience and consideration. When I wrote UI (unemployment, for short) asking for an update it sparked them to finally take a look at the claim, and DENY IT.

So fast forward through the first appeal, because the first appeal is apparently just a test of one's patience and discipline, because it's bullshit. BULL. SHIT. They don't even read what you write down in your appeal. So I sent that appeal, and got another letter, stating that after they looked at all the facts without reading any of my 6 pages of appeal information they didn't see any reason to change their minds.

So fast forward AGAIN to 10/1/10. I was in a car, with my fabulous in-laws, headed to Denver to see MUSE and this happened to be the date scheduled for my hearing. So I did the hearing by phone, while we stopped in the parking lot of the Casper Burger King and I cried on the phone to the nice woman at the unemployment hearing office. I guess it was good I wrote that bullshit since I had all my notes/dates/times already compiled and ready to go. We finished the hearing, and went along on our merry way to Denver for an AMAZING concert.

Well, I got my letter the next week. I WON. THAT'S RIGHT. WON. Me, the little guy, beat the big old bad corporation. And that not only boosted my deflated self esteem, but it's got me looking forward to trying to work myself into a different role at my current job. I am not as valuable as my last job made me feel when they fired me. I no longer have to base my worth on what they think.

And not only that, but I love the fact that now I can look back at that job and really see how shitty it was. Yes, money can make up for a lot of bullshit at any job, but at the end of the day I don't just live for my job. I live for my family, and that is what defines me now. Plus, I don't work for a corporation that REWARDS LAZINESS and ENCOURAGES MEDIOCRITY. I'll be honest, with the exception of a few people that shall remain nameless because they know that they aren't the crappy people to which I refer, the management team at my last job sucked. More than one person can't be bothered to do their job, and that is only further compounded by a manager that doesn't know how to manage and a director who loves to hear the sound of their own voice. But now I never have to listen to one single person bitch about American Idol not being on or the "On the 8s" on The Weather Channel not working. EVER AGAIN. You can generate a lot more empathy for people calling crying because of medical bills compared to the Buffalo Bills. Because they suck.

My kids are great. We just spent the last weekend baking, watching movies, and waiting for daddy to come home from hunting. Colter likes to spin in circles, either on his feet or on his butt, and Elora might be getting some ballet gear for Christmas.

We'll be spending Thanksgiving in Colstrip, in Thad's parents new kitchen/living/dining area. Love it, it's gorgeous, and I can't wait to cook there this year. My plan is to stay in town for a couple days and hang out with friends, get a little holiday baking done, and come home refreshed. Then, birthday weekend will be spent recovering from the holiday Christmas party for work, then a couple weeks of work before Christmas, and after Christmas we'll have my mom here with kiddos during my day care provider's Christmas break.

The last few weeks have been ups and downs, and I am happy to report they were mostly ups. I'm cruising full speed ahead towards the big 3-0, and I can't wait to make it to 31 with my amazing family, and the people that I am now choosing to keep in my life. Is it too early to say that I can't wait for 2011?!