Thursday, October 29, 2009

Carving Pumpkins, making memories...

We had 9 pumpkins this year! 2 for each of us in our little family and one for good luck. Tyler, my son, just turned 3. He was very eager to help cut the "jack-o-latern" faces out of the pumpkins. A 3 year old with a sharp object?! Didn't sound too fun to me. Actually it sounded like a spell for disaster. It was late by the time we started so I put my daughter to bed. We had such a wonderful time carving our pumpkins. I helped Ty, he didn't like the "gross" mess (the guts and seeds) and I helped him trace and carve. What a great memory- we carved pumpkins and started a new family tradition ;) So exciting. I can't wait until next year. My daughter will be old enough to help!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

In my soul, though my veins and in my heart...this will work!

I want to be successful. Not just as a mother and a wife but in my career as well. School, as many of my family members will contest to is a major part of my life. But, unfortunately the only MAJOR in school I worked on the hardest was just Straight out of high school I wanted to do something fun, fresh and exciting! I had taken 3 years of culinary training in high school and really enjoyed it. I decided that was where I wanted to be. So, without any advisers or help I went and signed myself up for the hospitality management course at Mission College. I was thinking BIG. Like running a 5***** restaurant on a Cruise ship- how fun would traveling be. Boy was I wrong. The classes were very intimidating and had nothing to do with the exciting aspects but rather the financial and managerial sense (go figure hospitality MANAGEMENT!) I hated it. It was not for me!

So I was onto my next adventure. I like to do my hair and make up so I signed up for cosmetology school. The school was unprofessional in the most ridiculous ways possible. I was given the most disgusting set of toenails to paint my 1st day on the job. Lets just say she didn't need her toenails painted because they were already GREEN with FUNGUS!!! ehhh!!! I couldn't do it...I decided very quickly that the glitz and glamour I had seen in the movies was far from where I was at. So...then what was I to do? I took some Greek mythology classes for fun and finished up my math courses at Mission.

I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Then my husbands' sister was going on leave at her job as a preschool teachers' assistant. I took over her position and feel in love with the job. I really enjoyed the rewards of teaching a child something. I started taking online courses through Vanguard University. I was never planning to go too far with that. I need 12 units to have a class of my own. That was my goal. Then, the school I worked at transitioned owners. The atmosphere changed because no one was happy. Other teachers left. New staff came in. It was no longer somewhere I looked forward to going but rather a delimma each day as to whether I continue or stand up for how I felt. It was no longer about the kids to the new owners but about the "business" of it all and I didn't believe in that. So I quit.

Where to go from here? I needed to do SOMETHING. I wanted to make a life change. I made a decision. We moved to Rocklin. My grandmother talked up Heald like it was the next best thing to Harvard! I went in and was signed up for Accounting within 2 months of living out here. I enjoyed dressing professional and I was good at what I was learning. Then I found out I was pregnant. My thought on life changed. I was not longer planning for me but for a family. Was being a CPA what I really wanted? I did not know. That is my problem. I have never been given the time to decide without someone else's opinion fogging my decision. When I did have the option to decide I was impulsive about it and went with what sounded good at the time. I made it 3/4 the way though my courses at Heald before deciding it wasn't the route I wanted to take in life.

After Ty was born I sat down and re-evaluated where I wanted to be. I had been told the medical field was a perfect field for me. So- I looked into nursing. I went to Western and they have a program that takes you all the way through an RN! Sounded great. So I signed up for the 1st step in the process-medical assisting. I was doing great! Ty was in daycare and I even managed to have perfect attendance. Unfortunately I miscarried around this time and I was put on a L.O.A. and not given permission to return to school for 1 week. There went my perfect attendance, grades, and my baby...I was devastated. I didn't want to go back. Especially since I started to break down my last day there and had to be taken to the ER. But I went back. I wanted to finish SOMETHING. I found out I was pregnant with my daughter in January 2008. I was almost done with school. My externship was scheduled for March. It was February and I was sick. Very sick. The pregnancy was making me unable to eat. After days of no food I went to the ER and was admitted to the hospital with severe dehydration and Hyperemesis Gravidarum (fancy wording for severe morning sickness). So once again I was put on a LOA. It wasn't until August that I was able to complete my externship. But I still walked with my class in June. I did it. I finished something! I didn't receive my certificate until July 2009 because there were money issues (that school is SOMETHING else!)but at least I am done with that part of it.

But, being a medical assistant at $8-10 isn't where I planned to stop when I started all of this. I would never have even bothered. I find that line of work unrewarding. Having 2 children to put in daycare while I attend school is very expensive. School is a full time job in itself. So I have found myself at a stand still, as a stay at home mom. I love my kids; but my prime working years of gaining experience and connections and success are dwindling away. I don't want to start my career when I am 35. I want to be successful by then. I am done doing what everyone thinks is the right road for "me". And that is how it happened...that is how I got to where I am today...letting everyone else live their dreams through me!!!

I am ready to take a leap of faith. I am ready to do what I love. The right way. Not the half way, to get it done way. I want to learn this craft inside and out and be outstanding at what I love. I want to captivate and move people. I want the passion I feel towards it to be visable through my work. This is the 1st thing I have wanted to do as a slow process so I can be sure not to fail. Slowly learning on my own and taking workshops. Networking and taking that risk. I feel it. Photography is in my heart and soul. It is in everything I do. Everywhere I go. Everything I see. I see it though the lenses of my camera. Which, at this point is no more professional than the one sitting on your own desk. But that too, will take time. I am no where near where I hope to be in 5 years. I know I need time. I need faith. I need encouragement. I need clients! I need equipment! I need more confidence! I need to not let the negativity of the opinions of others on my many career choices influence me! I can do this. I will do this. I am slowly learning about lightning and shadows. I am learning about the best times of day to take a picture-and from what angel. I am learning about lightroom and elements (photoshop cs4 still just a dream at this point). Layering, masking, burning, lasso-ing, RGB... I am learning about starting a website and getting my own domain name and server space. I started my blog :) (THANKS FOR VISITING!)and I am going to be signing up for workshops in San Francisco. I am going to attend my 1st photography conference. The passion I feel isn't dwindling but getting that much more intense. I find myself driving down the freeway looking at objects figuring out the best way to have photographed the situation. Or when we plan our day I enjoy planning it around somewhere I can photograph. I am like a little girl on her birthday eagerly awaiting the second I return home so I can upload the photos on my computer and manipulate this and that until the photo is even more MINE. I am trying to figure it all out. I am contemplating contacting other photographers. I want to hear their stories and be told where to go. I want to know of their experiences as they started out, as an inspiration to where I am going. But, I don't want them to feel as if I am asking for that magic key to success.I have already found it...a will to succeed. I don't see failure in this and that is how I know it is right!

This picture I am posting with this entry was a picture I asked my husband to take. I wanted a picture of myself for my blog. I had fun editing it!

Outta State...Outta mind...

Be spontaneous. Like you use to be, I told him. Hoping it might spark that sense of adventure I know he still harbors deep down. The kind of adventure that creates the memories we cherish most. It was already 11am when I decided I wanted to go somewhere. Somewhere far, somewhere we could go that would keep us out all day and away from any and all we know. This is a hard time of year for me and as the date approaches I feel myself holding onto each hour as if it again were her last. I found I was torturing myself with the "this was happening right now a year ago" and experiencing her death all over again. Time is passing but my undying wish to still have her here is not. Time. The one thing I long for the most...more time...with her... I find myself running in any direction...and today was one of those days. I wanted to go. Far. Anywhere. Well anywhere that I could shoot some photos. My new hobby has lead me to so many beautiful places.

The drive was stomach turning as I felt we were going to go over a cliff at any second. Something about a 7,000 ft. elevation...kinda got me thinking. But the conversations my husband and I had were nice. We talked about our favorite things about California and what makes it unique. I talked about what I have to do to get better at photography. We listened to music and took time to enjoy the ride quietly. I didn't realize how nice that part of our trip would be. There wasn't much for us in Reno. I have to admit I am not sure why they call it the "biggest little city in the world." Unless you like the smell of cigarette smoke and cackling old ladies or drunk, obnoxious 21 year olds...not our scene...especially with 2 kids. We knew this before we went. But-now we have been out of state together and I was able to be outta state...outta mind...I needed that. It was refreshing.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Lattes, Motherhood, and Devotion...

She ordered a "Venti, soy latte." As I stood there trying to quiet my 2 children, feeling out of place and wondering if people thought I was a babysitter that was on her first outing with the first kids she'd ever sat for in her life because I looked that unorganized. The stroller-which was mearly at this point being used to push around the arsenal of toys Ty had insisted we bring into the coffee shop was of course locking up and the only cash I had was buried at the bottom of the stroller. At this point do I just walk out now that everyone in here has noticed me? No- I need that coffee! I need to seem like I have taken control of the situation. Not to mention the fact that my 3 year old would start WW3 if we were to leave without cocoa! (Another issue we are working on...temper!)- I get up to the counter, after struggling with my daughter in arms as I bend over and try to maneuver my hand through my smashed purse to find that $5. "PLEASE" I keep thinking. Just find it so you can get Ty to stop running around and so you can stand up and so it LOOKS like you aren't a fool!" I think about had we never gone in there maybe all the customers WOULD have returned! I finally feel the resemblance to money touch my fingertips and I feel myself start to get hot! I don't even want a hot coffee anymore- just the anxiety of the chaos has me awake and I definitely wasn't cold anymore. I was hot...embarrassed hot. Was a cup of coffee really that important? As we waited I felt a calmness-that's over. She was happy in my arms and Ty was sitting down talking about "it's too hot for me cocoa." As my name was called I suddenly realized it was about to start all over when I had to put her in the stroller so I could handle the hot coffee. She screamed. Her infamous high-pitched-everybody look at me- screams. The kind that makes you say whose kid was that? Yes that is my shining star! As I apologized and thanked them for my coffee at the same time I found myself relieved for everyone in the cafe- the lady with her loud kids was leaving. As we walked to the door I looked over and there she was again- she was enthralled with her computer, on her ear piece and drinking her latte. Her hair was done up and she had on some of the cutest shoes I had ever seen. She looked like she was too busy to have even heard my children scream let alone be bothered by it. She looked up and half way smirked at me, almost like she felt sorry for me naive girl with the 2 kids. As I fumbled with the door, she went back to her busy life of being important (or at least looking that way) in whatever she was doing. And I....I was coming home, to clean-make a bottle- and change a diaper...

From time to time I wonder what life would be like as a "business woman" or a "career traveler." To order that fancy named coffee not because you wanted to impress the people around you but because you had that many Starbucks mornings that trial and error no longer obtain to you." I feel I must stop myself before I continue and tell you that I wouldn't change my life as a mother-ever. I love to be a mom. I love having a family and taking care of them. What I am saying is I wonder what life would have been like to "struggle" without them-before them and to have been successful in a career before they were born. I wonder this of course I also think that my children are my drive- I want success because I want to succeed for them. Motherhood creates a drive in me all on its own.

Being a mom makes me wonder how my mom could have ever left. Before I had kids I was just angry at her. Now- even though we have had more communication in the last 3 years than in the past I feel even more distant than ever. I hold so much animosity and resentment towards the mother she is and the mother she is chalking herself up to be. Becoming a parent made me realize so much about my own mother. She told me she left for my own good. But after 24 years and from a mother’s point of view I have stood over my own daughters bed at night and listened to her breathe in her every breath. From the faint light through the crack in her door I can make out the rosiness of her cheeks and the way her long eye lashes flutter as her eyes flicker as she dreams. I am here for that- each and every night as she lies asleep in her bed. And when she wakes up it is to me- each and everyday- I am here- I am her constant feeling of comfort and love. I am her security. I could never take that from my daughter- or my son. Being a parent isn't about being to me-it's about experiencing life, because I never experienced anything like this before they came along. As a parent it is our privilege to walk our children down this road of life and teach them the right direction to turn and which ways to go. You should never give up on "being" a parent because your children don't play into the way you've mapped you're life out. ...and I guess that is where my mother and I differ a bit. I am strong-for me and for my children- and I guess I can say she taught me one thing though it was through many let downs and lonely times -the undying devotion to never leave my children's' side. And for that Jamie I thank you.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Happy to be home...

When we were looking for a house I was picky about the neighborhood we would live in. I wanted somewhere safe for the kids to play outside. I was mainly concerned with the area close to our house, and the schools. The house itself was secondary to all that. (even though I love our house!). Little did I know we would spend a lot of our time out and about around the neighborhood. We are within walking distance to the local library, train station, old church, pet store, parks, and the cutest Ma and Pa restaurant called the Grill. I really enjoy living in a small town. I like it in Rocklin because we have the brand new areas like the Fountains where Boudin's and Whole foods. Among other things are the Galleria Mall that makes me feel like I am not in the middle of nowhere. But, we still have that small town charm. I love the architecture and the landscaping here. I like how well maintained our town is. When we moved here I couldn't wait to get back to the bay area! But now, even though I love to go visit family there, I sure do love to come home-here to Rocklin. To me this IS home now. I feel safe here, my kids are safe. That is what the most important thing to me is- their safety and how they are raised. I think Rocklin is the perfect place to raise our family.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Who took that picture?

So, I have decided to take the next step...I am starting a blog! Here it is, me, my family, my pictures, and my stories and while I can't promise the most amazing photography you have ever seen I am trying and one day hope to turn my hobby into something day...I enjoy my everyday with my children and as a way to always remember the times I started to take pictures. Now, I feel it is turning into a really fun hobby and I am enjoying making plans around where we can go to take pictures. One day I will have that pro camera :) Someone wrote me one my facebook and asked "who took that pic"... she later told me she thought a pro did it...what a great feeling and one day maybe I will be just that...a pro :) I know I know...from cosmetology to teaching to accounting to nursing to photography...but I am still on the long and winding road to becoming a nurse. But hopefully I can do what I love on the side...only time will tell. I can do anything I put my mind to- no matter what anyone says!