Sunday, March 25, 2012

It's all about the kids...

Because of my full-time job, I spend a lot of time with children between the ages of 5-12.  It's probably the number one reason why I like my job so much.

I love the adults at work too, I am fortunate to work for a hard-working principal, and a group of dedicated teachers and support staff. 

But the kids are what really make me love my job.  It's not easy being a kid these days, especially if your family life is not so great.  Through my job, everyday I see  the struggles that kids must face, when they really have no control or choice over their own lives.  While I encounter many wonderful parents who clearly put their kids first, I also see a lot who don't.

And it makes me sad.  Part of me wants to take a kid home with me everyday.  Of course I can't, but I see so many childre nwho could wind up so much better off if they were just in a better environment.  Some of these kids might have little or no chance at success in their lives solely because of the people who are raising them. 

And with all the hardship around, the agencies that are here to protect children, must pick and choose when they can intervene. The standards I have and what I think parenting should be, is far higher than what is considered acceptable parenting by child protective services.  

Many times I feel helpless, all I can do is show them kindness, listen to them, and try to make them smile.  I wish I could take them all home and give them every opportunity in the world.

After a busy and stressful week at work, that included a home visit with my boss, and two nights out during the week, I made it a point to find some time this weekend to have a little fun.  Now my fun may seem simple, but anything that lets me relax and makes me smile does the trick for me.

Saturday night, after a long day on my feet selling prom dresses, I de-stressed at Barnes & Noble with my daughter, drinking coffee and browsing through my favorite magazines and cookbooks. 

Today we saw The Lorax, a sweet movie with a beautiful message for kids and adults.  It was just what I needed to round out my weekend.  A homemade dinner and glass of wine has me ready to face another busy week.

Wishing you Peace and Happy thoughts,

Sunday, March 18, 2012

2012, so far...

Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement.
-Brian Tracy

Well, so far, 2012 is turning out to be a pretty decent year.  It's flying by, but it seems as we get older it just does!

My oldest daughter, who is away at college, will be finishing up her third year, and I can't believe it!  My younger daughter, has only one more year of high school and then she'll be off to college too!  This is an important time for her as far as school goes, so much pressure on her to get good grades, taking SAT's, and finding the right college. 

I worry so much for my girls...I want them to have every opportunity in life that they possibly can.  I want them to be HAPPY, and INDEPENDENT, and just do what they LOVE for a living.  That's not asking too much, is it??

Sometimes I just have to stop and BREATHE!!!

The bottom line, though, is that they are good girls, I couldn't be more proud and more pleased with how they are turning out.  I am truly blessed!

For me, it's been a very busy year.  I have a summer job!! Wooo hoooo!  I'm pretending that I'm completely excited about that :)  Which I am, really, but it will be different this summer, working on the weekends, probably every weekend. 

I am at that point in my life, though, that I really don't have a choice.  With one in college, and the other starting college next year, I desperately need the extra money.  I will be working at an event venue, it's outdoors, so I'm happy about that.  The last thing I want is to be stuck inside during the summer.  I will be doing a lot of hard work, setting up tables and chairs, serving and cleaning up during and after weddings and events, and even cleaning bathrooms.  A little hardwork never hurt anyone, right?!?  I am excited to be part of people's important day though, and I love celebrations and parties, so  I think it will be really fun!

My youngest just went to prom Saturday night, and I paid for her dress and all the "accessories" with money from my "other" second job :)  It's just temporary, but I am working for one of my best friends from high school at her Tuxedo Rental and Prom Dress shop.  Perfect, right??  I literally "worked off" my daughter's dress, shoes, & jewelry.
I've discovered this Author and Artist, Karen Salmonsohn, she is so positive and inspirational.

It's funny how life works out when you need it to.  I am by no means out of debt, I still work more than I play, but we do what we have to, and I am lucky enough to get to work with nice people who I enjoy spending time with.  I can't really ask for more than that.

Above all, I firmly believe in the old adage, that hard work pays off.

Someday, maybe I can save enough money to take a real vacation...I dream of Europe, I have always wanted to visit Italy, France, England, Greece....and let's not forget Spain!

Little inexpensive treats I sent to my two sweet nieces, I miss them so much!

But for now, I need a new washer, dryer, oven, and the list goes on!  I guess we are always in need of something, it's what keeps us motivated and working towards a goal.  And I'm ok with that at this point in my life.
Andes Chocolate Mint cupcakes I made for the kids going to Prom.
In my spare time, yes, there's a tiny bit of it....I am still baking and crafting, and just started with all the yard work that comes at this time of year.  I am already dreaming of homegrown tomatoes and evenings on my back patio with a glass of wine and my favorite magazine or book....
Some fun little candy bars I made for St. Patrick's Day

Hoping this year is finding you in a place of peace and happiness.

Wishing you happy thoughts,