Unemployment… It’s Ruining My Life!

I remember when I decided to go back to college in 2010. I felt so empowered and exhilarated about this new chapter in my life. At that point in time, I had a 6 year old boy. After finally receiving my Bachelor’s degree in 2013, I had accumulated another little chickadee. There’s nothing like giving birth to a baby boy on the 8th of January, only to start spring semester the next day! After all that hard work and perseverance, I was convinced that I wouldn’t have any problems finding a good, quality job that I somewhat enjoyed. I worked my butt off for years so I could receive that degree. And I moved to Chicago so I could make something of myself, and so my kids could be proud of what I have accomplished. But ever since getting unexpectedly laid off from Renewal Chicago five months ago, I’ve just been scared. I’m terrified that I’m going to lose my apartment, or my car. I can barely keep food on the table. It’s somewhere I never thought I’d find myself after being offered a position that was supposed to last at least 3 years, and moving my entire family here to be a part of it. Then to just be let go with no real explanation. It’s so frustrating. I moved into this apartment September 6th and they let me go less than 2 weeks later.

Fast forward 5 months, and I’m still looking?! I know William absolutely loves this time he’s been able to spend with me, but the stress is eating away at me. I want to enjoy our time together, but as each day passes I find myself running a calculator in my brain 24/7. Each bill I can’t pay gets added to the amount in my head, and it makes me sick. I have always been the provider and protector of my family. Without that, I don’t even know who I am. I want to find an opportunity where I can continue to be who I’ve always been. I want to provide for my family and go back to being able to cherish my time with my kids without the stress of bills.

If anyone out there in Chicago has any positions they are looking to fill, please let me know! It seems like filling out applications and sending resumes just isn’t going to be enough. If you don’t know of any positions, please just keep me in your prayers!! Thank you!

Have You Ever…

– taken a walk with your children without electronics and just watched them?

– sat down for dinner and truly talked to your children about their day and LISTENED?

– seen the joy in your children’s eyes when they ask you to play a game with them and you ACTUALLY have time for it?

– gone to a quiet and sacred place by yourself and relished in the nothingness that follows?

– taken your children out on a rainy day to let them splash in puddles AND joined in with them?

– spent an entire day with your children without pausing to take a call or reply to a text?

– sat down for family night without turning on the television?

We sometimes take for granted what we have. It’s not until it’s gone that we realize everything that we’ve missed out on. Don’t be too busy to enjoy life!

No Nonsense Exercise Circuit

Planning to lose 15 pounds by the end of the year. I think this will help quite a bit!
Just in case anyone has similar goals, I thought you might want to see this circuit and do it as well!

IMG_2798

Also, Joss & Main has a Giveaway. This cabinet is freaking awesome.
Click the banner below to enter to win!!!

Now That I’m Older, I Totally Get It!

Ever heard of the Maxine Comic Strip?
When I was younger, I thought it was such a dumb comic strip. Never found it funny and always bypassed it when looking at the comics in the newspaper or online.

Now? It’s freakin’ hilarious.
Oh, the joys of getting older :-p

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Maxine1  Maxine2

Maxine3  Maxine4

Maxine5  Maxine6

Maxine7  Maxine8

Maxine9  Maxine10

Free Shipping on all Gift Baskets!

Why Many Single Mums Don’t Cry

I wrote this post in May 2014. I never finished it, probably because it was too hard. I read something from one of my readers that made me decide to post it. Sometimes things are so hard or feel so lost that we want to give up. Even if life isn’t that bad, it can feel like it is. I just wanted to share this to my single mum readers. If you’re not a single mum but know someone who is, please share this. If you feel like you have no more options, contact me, and perhaps I can help you think of a solution. Sometimes, just running your problems/thoughts by someone else is all you need to come up with a game plan. I’m always willing to be a sounding board.

We wake up before dawn. Our thoughts riddled with the worries of the day before we even open our eyes. Sometimes, it’s as trivial as worrying whether we’ll have enough time to make coffee before taking the kids to school. Usually, it’s whether we’ll have enough money for food and rent that month. The exhaustion kicks in before we even make it to the restroom. Hunched over on the toilet in the dark, relishing those two minutes of silence and peace before all hell breaks loose. Our backs, minds, and feet hurt. Then we realize we’ve just woken up and there’s no sense in thinking about bedtime just yet.

Checking on the littlest one before heading downstairs, we remember a time when we slept that peacefully. A slumbering bedhead full of hope and joy, with nothing to terminate our dreams but the soothing voice of a loving mother that can’t wait to hold us once again. Those are always the memories we hold dear. Clinging to them like a life raft as we wait to be rescued.

We descend the stairs in angst, wondering what the day will bring us. One step at a time. The minutes will fill the hours, we know. Before we realize, the children are ready. All gleaming from head to toe. We look down at ourselves, grimy but presentable. Grabbing the car keys, we head out the door. On the way to school, the children busy themselves with toys and books as we painstakingly attempt to stretch math into making everything add up so all the bills gets paid. As we calculate in our heads, with no sleep, while driving; for a split second we honestly think we made it work. Until we get home and actually use a calculator. Then we realize we just need to learn to add correctly.

Unsure of how an hour after waking up, the house could look like the remains of a city after a tornado, we crawl around the floor, picking up toys, books, games, and food while the little one tries to jump on our backs to play. We don’t say no because this “game” is probably the closest we’ll get to playing with him today so we let it continue on. Our homes are somewhat recognizable so we sit in front of the computer to get some work done while the baby eats in the high chair next to us. We cradle our breakfast (coffee mug) in our hands as we contemplate the piles of projects that need to be finished ASAP. After half an hour, the baby is done and needs to get out. We give him a bath and realize we need to leave if we’re to get to the babysitter in time for our second job.

Throwing items into the diaper bag and running out the door, we make it just in time to drop the baby off and work a few cherished hours where we spend the entire time thinking that we have a list a mile long of errands to run that we’ll never get to. Getting off work just in time to pick up the oldest from school, we grab the baby and run home to decide what healthy options we have for dinner in an empty fridge because we simply don’t have time for grocery shopping. We throw something together, and while it cooks, we go back to the computer to try to finish the work from our first job. Before we know it, it’s dinner time. Everyone is fed and we forcefully smile as we explain for the millionth time why {insert the same crap as always here}. For us, it’s typically the reason why the oldest should help with chores and responsibility. As we feel ulcers starting to grow inside our tummies, we escape the moaning and complaining for a few quick seconds alone in the bathroom, only to have the door swung open by a grinning baby with aviators and one sock on. {Best way to get interrupted on the toilet by the way}.

Ordering the oldest into the shower and off to bed as we put the baby in pajamas for their bedtime as well, we guiltily can’t wait for the silence that comes once the children are in bed and the dishes are done.

Why don’t we cry you ask? Because we are strong. We don’t give up. We know that even in the hardest or loneliest of times, there’s a silver lining. We know that those precious moments with our children is what keeps us going, and being strong and brave for them is the wisest choice we can make. If we let them see us cry, we’re crushing their beautiful and innocent outlook on life. We see the problems and the anguish, but all they see is a mommy. Someone that loves them no matter what. They see a safe home and a warm bed. They are content with their life because we’re in it. Our children are our world, and we are theirs. Don’t let them see you cry. No child’s shoulders should hold the burden of our problems. And don’t forget how strong you really are, even if you don’t feel like you are. We are resilient and beautiful. We have options. Always.

Wedding Paper Divas Sale

Missing a Man – But Not For The Reasons You Think

I thrive on being able to perform activities that “men” are only known to accomplish. Put up a tv mount? I’m your girl! Fix a cabinet? Piece of cake! Sometimes it has been referred to as my Napoleon Complex. I assume some of it has to do with how small I am. The rest probably involves my feeling of insignificance. Why do I feel insignificant? I have no idea. It’s been an ongoing problem for me. But that’s beside the point…

I miss having a man around. Regardless of my Napoleon Complex, sometimes I really just don’t feel like having to do everything around the house. Sometimes I want to watch my strong brawny man take care of his woman and his home. Do I have one of those? Nah. Although, my little 2 year old, William might beg to differ. He asks for a screwdriver to “fix” his tricycle on a daily basis. It’s probably the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen in my life.

I guess my point is that even though I thoroughly enjoy being capable of taking care of my home and my family, it doesn’t mean I can’t miss not having to.

I don’t miss how inconsiderate men are. Or how they don’t notice anything. I don’t miss their illogical logic. Definitely don’t miss having my blanket stolen every night. Last, but not least, I especially don’t miss having to cook and clean after them. Can you tell I’m always with the wrong guy? Hahaha

If you’re a single mother, be proud of what you can accomplish. Even if you’re struggling in any way. Don’t be afraid to miss a man, but never forget that you are beautiful and powerful, and there’s nothing you can’t handle because God made you that way.

Keep your chin up, and remember that I may only be a blogger to you, but I’m always here if you need something 🙂

Award Winning Service and Free Shipping.

 

New City, New Life, New Me?

We all have claimed that if we moved somewhere else, had more money, or dated someone different (etc., etc.) that we would be happier and would be more content with what we have. I am completely convinced that is not true whatsoever! I moved to Chicago in June 2014. It’s the one place I’ve been raving about for a decade now. I’m here to tell you that the location won’t change how you feel about your life one bit. Yes, I still LOVE Chicago, and am so happy to be here, but I still have the same problems I had before! Although I am more content with where I’m at, my life still isn’t where it needs to be, and that reflects in how I feel throughout the day.

It’s that sluggish and insignificant feeling that follows me around wherever I go. Do you know what I’m referring to? I am convinced that I haven’t accomplished even the tiniest bit of anything that I really wanted to accomplish at this stage of my life. “What stage are you referring to” you ask? I’m 32, two kids, not married, no master’s degree, no career, and I’ve never started a thriving business (large goal for me). I had convinced myself that once I moved out of Indianapolis, and arrived in Chicago; things would just blossom for me. That is obviously not the case, and might I add that I am aware that 4 months in, I might be a tad hard on myself. But I am positive I’m worse off here now than the day I moved to Chicago.

Now you’re thinking, “Geez, this is depressing”….

Not so. Hold your horses 😉

We sometimes have to come to grips with reality (as harsh as it may be) before we can let go of the fantasy, and embrace what is actually before us. I am in a thriving city, with so much potential. What I make of it is my reality. If I sit around and mope that things aren’t working out the way I’d hoped, than I’m wasting away my life, and the opportunities I’ve been given here.

Because of this, I’ve gone back to thinking about what I enjoy doing, and hopefully taking one of those “hobbies” and building a career out of it. For too long I have worked because I had to, dealing with “jobs” that I didn’t enjoy because I had no choice but to make money for my family. Here’s what I’m thinking:

1. I want to start knitting again. I really enjoyed it when I started a few years ago. If I get good enough, I can sell scarves and blankets on Etsy full time!

2. I want to start blogging more. I know it’ll take some work to build a large reader base, but I love giving my advice and input on different topics, and blogging is such an amazing way to talk through the goings-on of my life. Plus, I love getting advice in return from my readers!

3. I just started a new blog (will give out the link soon!) where I take pictures of the environments surrounding trees. If you think about it, if trees could talk, they would have soooooo many stories. The “blog” will be filled with beautiful pictures of our world. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes of it.

That’s all I have for now! I am hoping to bring a new me out into the world; slowly improving myself one day at a time. Have a wonderful night everyone!

 

When Your World Comes Crashing Down

My mother moved us to Indianapolis when I was a preteen. I despised it from the moment I arrived. As the years passed, I grew from hating it to accepting that I was here {for now}. I became a mother to my oldest and his father did not want me to move out of state for fear that he would never see his son. I remained here so that they could maintain their relationship. After giving birth to my youngest, and finally seeing a profitable and happier future in Chicago, I chose to leave this August. Now the baby’s father is denying me the right to move to Chicago. Indianapolis has nothing to offer for me anymore. I crave a career and I want to help launch a new church in Chicago. I am devastated at this point because I can’t see myself living here any longer.

He currently sees our son every other weekend. I offered to elongate his visits so he can see him even more than he does now and he still refused. I am trying so hard to be positive and give it all to God, but I can’t help but burst into tears every time I think about this mess… I desperately want to move on with my life and help launch this church, actually receive the education I want, and build a better future for my children. I know he is bitter about the fact that we aren’t together anymore, but I don’t see why I can’t move on with my life just because he won’t.

I know my posts are almost always positive, and I like to keep it that way, but I need my loyal readers to give me lots of hugs and prayers right now. I hope everyone is doing well and I appreciate all the love you all are sending me right now!!

{When He Can’t Have Both}

So, I admit I have been putting off writing about this because even I don’t know how I feel about it… But I think I’m ready to accept your thoughts and comments about my situation.

My {almost} 10 year old has been asking me for about 5 years now if he can go live with his dad. Initially, I was appalled at the question and somewhat offended that my son didn’t want to live with me. I always attributed this desire to his father’s inability to be a disciplined and structured family beacon. I assumed he got away with everything, never had to brush his teeth, and could stay up all night. I believe there might have been some truth to that in the beginning, but no longer. His father has flourished in his role as a father, and I’m incredibly proud of who he has become as a person and a dad. He recently brought up that he had a desire to move to Louisiana and for the first time, commented that he wished our so could move with him.

I’m not sure if I was just too caught up being busy, but in all these years, I’d never considered that he wanted our son full time. I asked my son what he thought about possibly trying to live with his dad full time and I’m fairly certain he had a mini heart attack. I’ve never seen this child so excited. For me, it’s a bittersweet possibility. My son is a man’s man already. I see him come to life when he spends time outdoors, goes fishing and hunting with his dad; and although I attempt to fulfill both roles of mom and dad on a daily basis, I’m offering him nothing compared to what he needs from his father.

20140131-094037.jpg

My question to you is: What the heck should I do?!

His father and I agreed he could choose who he wants to live with when he’s 13. We both know he’ll choose his dad. But I feel like I’m standing in the way of this incredible relationship that they share by keeping him all the time until then. When my son was 5 years old, I felt his father wasn’t ready to be a full time parent, but after 5 years of being asked regularly, I am much more content with the idea. I guess I am scared of being judged as a bad mom if I allow this incredibly life-changing situation to occur. Any thoughts would be appreciated!