Sunday, December 28, 2014

The not so traditional Christmas

Love and cherish the people that you have close to you in your life and never take them for granted.
Be patient and kind regardless of the circumstances surrounding you.
This Christmas I learned that. I took my time packing and loading up my truck to return to Colorado the weekend before Christmas. It was difficult to leave. My class had a great week and didn't need to be managed much. They did their work when asked. I actually looked around at all of them and realized how much I was going to miss them. It made it diffucult to leave even though I was coming home to my husband and my animals.
Not alot of shopping had been done. The stores to shop at are so limited. Parker and Castle Rock had a lot more to offer. The last few days in Colorado before Christmas were supposed to be for catching up on all the shopping. I thought my husband would be happy to see us. He was, but he was very short with me and yelled a lot. It made me regret coming.
Then it all happened. I dont know where to go in Garden City to get my hair done so I waited until I came back to my home in Colorado. While getting it taken care of, my husband was getting a catscan. The results were not good. I went from the salon to the hospital. He checked in and waited awhile.
I later learned that surgery was not optional. He had it, and after was told that he would be in the hospital 5-7 days. Nothing like a life changing event during the holidays, right? That meant Christmas. That meant my birthday, then a lot of other life changing events, and a lot of staying strong.
Here is what he was up against. He had diverticulitis, which is common, but he had a 7mm rupture and an abscess on his colon. That was not the end. The infection had spread from the rupture and abscess to the intestines. Then the blood work showed three different viruses in the bloodstream, one being e-coli. If he had not gone into the hospital, he would have probably died by then end of the week. I had no idea it was that bad. He never complained, but now it is understandable why he was being so mean. (Still not an excuse to talk to me or treat me like that though)
Through the week he healed and recovered, while struggling to re learn body functions. On Christmas Eve one of my very good friends invited me over with my girls. I needed that, but then getting home and setting the stuff up from Santa without him was difficult. It's his favorite time of the year. The girls woke up the next morning and saw what Santa left them. I kept hearing how they missed daddy, but tried to keep going and not say much. When I finally did, I thought about what I was going to say. I told them that next year will be better and we need to be thankful that he will be there with us. After our traditional Christmas morning in pajamas church service, we went to open presents with him at the hospital.
Presents. Now that was a challenge this year. I was able to get all of his gifts and what the girls wanted from Santa on my own. I had to wrap everything, including the little bit he got for the girls this year and take it to the hospital. He had gotten me one gift. I had to wrap it myself. But I put my best foot forward and gave the gratitude to him still being alive instead of sulking.
I took the girls to the hospital to open all the presents and then all of his family came and visited for awhile.
We took up the hospital lounge while we visited. They took the girls home for the night so I could stay with my husband at the hospital. I started to get really emotional and I got frustrated and upset. I had not ate anything in 24 hours because I was so busy taking care of everything and taking care of my kids and my husband that I didn't realize how hungry I was. Stupid things like "why didnt the family bring the Christmas meal to the hospital?" and "Doesn't anyone care that I am left out?"went through my head.  I cried a lot then I drove home and ate. After eating I got some girl time and wine drinking with the Colorado roommate. Both of us were struggling with having unique Christmases this year.  It was what we both needed. Then I went back to my husband at the hospital.
I stayed there for two days, but was close to my breaking point again. I needed rest and eat  food that was not from the hospital. I needed to go on a run or exercise. I came home to the Colorado house with my kids. I woke up on my birthday and it was just another day. My only present was socks from my mother, but they are nice socks that I will use a lot. I started to sulk but then I thought again about how lucky I am that my husband will still be around in the future and I am not dealing with death. So I took care of everythig on the homefront. I did laundry, shoveled snow, fixed lights and broken closet doors, brought wood in and got the house warm, cooked a stew that he started before the hospital visit, got food for the animals, and did some vaccuming. It's what I know. It's what I do. I take care of things and keep up a nice house for my family. The last few years that wasn't enough. I felt so lost. Now that I have my teaching job, I really didn't mind that I had to do all this today. In a few months recovery will be complete and life here will be normal again.
I am still sad about a lot of things. One is that he will be unable to go back to Kansas with us. That means he will have to take care of himself during his recovery. I wish I could be here to help him, but I have to go back to work. The blessing is that without my job we would not have had health insurance for this experience. That would have caused a lot more financial problems.
Another blessing is that I was not working and I was able to be here for this week. I just keep trying to count my blessings and look to the next day. Nothing is going as planned and everything is in the air for the future, but I am thankful not to be planning a funeral and I am also thankful that next Christmas will be back to the way we celebrate and we will all be together again.

Monday, November 24, 2014

What has happened to wearing clothing?

  A slinky wardrobe and trash talk is okay now? I must have missed that memo because in my job it would not be acceptable on any level. I am a professional somewhat in the public eye teaching the curious 12 year old eyes of our future in America. I behave and I dress in that professional manner. So why is it okay for these people that these kids idolize on television to have next to nothing on for each outfit in their wardrobe, say what they want, and write lyrics that should all be labeled with a warning? Are we teaching them that this type of behvaior and image is appropriate?
  I began to really ponder on these questions last night after watching part of the American Music Awards. Throughout the piece that I viewed, singers came on stage to sing their hit songs and dance with elaborate sets, but so many of them looked as if they were almost naked. The men wore their shirts or jackets opened bearing their chests and the girls had outfits that were very high skirts or looked like one piece bathing suits. Didn't we just diss Miley Cyrus for this a year or two ago?
Even the dance moves were all about sex appeal with booty and chest shaking, swinging around and imaginary pole, lifting legs in the air, lying on the foor and raising their legs. Oh, and lets not forget the amount of  bleeps that the network had to cover up, trashy mouths, as they recieved their awards. The rock and rap songs all seemed to have trashy lyrics in them. It is really sad that society thinks this is okay for everyone to see in the public eye, and worse is that these famous people go along with it instead of being good role models for people of the younger generation to look up to. The lyrics to some of the rock and rap songs sounded so trashy. They created a picture of a spinless woman going out and throwing herself at horny men.
   I began notice it earlier this year on Dancing With the Stars. The girls costumes have become barely anything and some men are performing shirtless. Unless, you are Sadie Robertson. Kudos to her father for taking control of the decisions made in her wardrobe and dance moves. Because of that she is keeping the show tasteful and fun to watch every week.
   A few weeks ago, I watched the Country Music Awards. The men were not bearing their chests and most the women wore elegant gowns. Their dancing and lyrics were much more tasteful too. In fact, on the AMA's, the country stars were the only ones that I enjoyed watching.
It took me awhile to settle down after the show. I don't think I will be watching anymore AMA's, and I will not be follwing all the mainstream music anymore. I can find great workout music in a country playlist or a christian playlist, and I can turn the tv off.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Great Adventure

In August right after the county fair ended, I drove away from my house on 5 acres leaving everything that I had worked so hard for the last ten years behind. Tears could not stop falling. I left the place that I fixed up and made our family home. On the outside I left my horse, a cat, sheep, a garden, rain, mountains, beautiful sunsets, majestic views, and space. I followed a dream that I was determined not to give up. One random emotional day of rejection, for the fifth year in a row of trying, while searching to be a teacher and not a substitute led to 5 phone calls within two hours of submitting my application to the state.
I toyed with the idea of leaving. I have never lived anywhere other than Colorado. I had to move forward. Nobody was willing to give me a chance or offer an explanation as to why they would not employ me as a teacher in their schools.The depression and anger had sunk in. My family didn't get a happy mother and wife anymore. I was resentful to my husband for being a part of the school board where I wanted to be a teacher. I was resentful to the schools I needed to find myself doing what I love. It was really difficult now that both my children were in school. Substituting was not easy anymore. I was tired of never seeing the same students twice and being sent all over three districts.
Interviews poured in over skype and when I got the call to visit one district. I took it. After touring several schools and meeting many administrators, I made my choice. Now to go tell my family that I made the decision, but I did take the job with a lot of thought and a relocation.
 Turns out that it was just what I needed. I have been through all the meetings, met my class, and began the daily routine of teaching the same students in the same building, and working with the same staff every day. I have been treated with respect. I have been trusted. I don't have to proove myself. I don't feel like I am walking on pins and needles anymore trying to get hired or win approval. Parents have complemented me and the administrator has visited my room a few times. I kept expecting criticism and nit picking for every little thing that I was doing wrong. It was nice not to have that.
Living in a new place and giving up so much has been a good choice. Sometimes it just takes looking outside the box and being willing to go somewhere new. I was tired of most of the people around me and I was tired of trying to proove myself. Just before summer when  I had to unwillingly step down from my coaching position, that was the end for me. I could not live like that anymore. I miss my mountains, my husband, my house, and my animals, but it will all come together in time. I was not willing to sell the house in case I did not like the change or the job. So my husband stayed behind with the house and animals, and the distance is hard on the kids. They want their family together. Maybe in time.
My point in all this....never ever give up on your dreams in life. If there is something that you want to do, make sure that you stay strong through all the failures and rejections and keep pushing through it. It will happen. It did for me and I love where I am today. I am happier.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Fog

Some women have this fog in their life. It's called motherhood, and is probably the worst until the children are school age. Not much can be remembered other than constantly wiping up spills and marks on walls making everything look shiny and clean. There were days when I carried a towel with me just following little feet around to wipe things up. Now that my children are school age I am finding myself coming out of that fog where I never had a chance to stop and rest unless it was to sleep or shower. I gave everything to the little ones and desperately tried to give what was left to my husband. Am I really coming out of the fog?
As my girls got older I decided that it would be a good idea to look at going back to work. I was a teacher long ago. It all came back to me one day when I was at volunteering for a field trip at my daughter's school. I began searching and applying for jobs. I had done this for five years.
 I had distanced myself from my daily household responsibilities, including my children. For a few of these years they became very disrespectful and felt neglected. When I realized what was going on, I slowed down my process of trying to be a teacher and decided that I was being told by a higher power to refocus where I needed to be. Since then, my children have changed. They are respectful. But I see that I missed out on such a huge piece of their life because I was so wrapped up in working again. I think I also go into a habit with my husband of ignoring him and letting him live his own life. We lost all communication. Every opportunity for a connection got lost.I found myself in the fog again. Or did I ever leave?
 A few weeks ago when I needed him most, he was not there. He was not there because I was too busy applying for jobs and trying to proove myself to people outside my family.
I have come to the conclusion that my family is more important and I need to make sure that I make time for them before everything else if I want to get what I need. I think I created a new fog in my job search. It wasn't the fog of raising babies and toddlers, which I call the early childhood mommy fog. It was a selfish fog I created putting a job in front of everything else.
The fog is never easy no matter what the reason, and it is a lonely place that sucks life and memories out of you. Now I take time to see the important things in my life and make sure they are the top priorities. No matter what the reason is for the fog, it can be overcome. Everything else, including the teaching job will come in time if it is meant to be.
No more fog for me, and if I end up in another one, I hope I have goggles to see my way out of it.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Rodeo Girls on TV???

The National Finals Rodeo has been underway this week in Las Vegas but the buzz is not on the barrel racers that are competing there. It is on a new show that launched this week called Rodeo Girls on A&E. The photos and the trailer leading up to the debut showed girls riding their horses around the barrels in shorts and bikini tops. This is pretty unrealistic, but appealing to an audience. I decided to give the show a chance and I watched the first two episodes.
All the miles of driving to rodeos, maintenance of trailer and trucks, and care of the horses was close to realistic, but not shown very often. The focus is around a group of girls. One older million dollar lady whose claim to fame was being married to Jean Claude VanDam, two 21 year old rookies, a veteran barrel racer who travels with her wrangler, and a girl who behaves in a" live in the moment with no worries," attitude.
The show focuses on the social part of barrel racing. There is sex appeal, caddiness, irresponsibility, gossip, back stabbing, and fighting over cowboys. This is what sells on television. It is drawing a crowd.
 However, it is not the typical barrel racing cowgirl. Those of us that hit the rodeo trail and are serious competitors don't have time to gossip and behave in the manner that these girls do. We are actually taking care of our horses, putting hours in on the road, investing many hours into training or correcting issues with the rider or horse, assessing the ground, and getting riding time in the arena it if we get to a rodeo early enough. Even between rodeos, we are thinking and talking about our next ride. It did not seem like this was rarely mentioned in the show.
Yes, I have heard about bikini barrel races, but the girls ranking at the top are not going to be seen entering that. They don't have time for that.  They are driven to win and they are focused on the competetion. These girls on this show must not be at the top. Besides Jean Claude's ex wife, I have never heard of any of them. The only reason I know her is because she was married to him and she made many red carpet appearances with him on television.
Anyway, there you have it. There is my opinion. The show will succeed because it is appealing to the television audience with the drinking, female conflicts, and sex appeal, but it is far from reality of a real rodeo girl.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Holiday Happiness

The feasting of Thanksgiving is over. The holiday season is in full swing. Most of it centers around several types of shopping like retail, groceries, liquor, automobiles, houses, and technology goodies. Well, maybe not so much on the houses and automobiles, but those other shopping items are huge this time of year. After spending Thanksgiving Day, or every day in the month of November recalling all the things that we are thankful for, we rush off to the retail stores to get the best deals of the year, fight crowds, and encounter grumpy people. Sometimes the best deals are not even the ones that we fight for on that Black Friday. People who go shopping a lot know that they can find good deals year round when they pay attention to sales. But the hype is still there during the holiday season. Not only is there a lot of hype but there is a lot of stress. Everyone is wondering what to cook, where to go to get the wanted gifts or special foods, who will be at the house, and keeping a clean house. All of this and so much more that people get consumed with and cause the stress and unfriendliness.
If only people would slow down and enjoy the season. Most of us don't. That causes the reason for the season to be forgotten. My suggestions- First, if feeling rushed or stressed out, don't go shopping at that moment. Go when the mood is calm and relaxed, and you have time to spare. Second, be patient in line. Nobody knows the personal problems of the people around them, but pushing through lines only makes things worse. Lines will be long no matter where you go during the holiday season. Allow the mother with her screaming kids or the elderly couple to get out sooner. Everyone will be happier. Third, come up with the positive things in every experience or every encounter. Dwelling on what did not happen or how awful it was will create a negative mindset and trigger stress and anger. Last, remember that the number of presents you give or recieve does not matter. The reason for the holiday is not to please your family, to see Santa Claus or what he left the kids, the lights, the toys, or the food. It is because Jesus was born. That is the true reason for the season.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Confusion in Complements

It was announced that three girls in my church, who just happened to be friends with me, would be taking over the children's ministry as a team. It was time for me to let them know I was happy for them and congratulate them. Was I really happy for them? I must not have been because when it was time to pay that complement to them, I avoided it. Why can't the words come out of my mouth? Is it really that hard for me to say nice things to other people to share their happiness?
I have been thinking about this for a few days now. What we think in our minds usually ends up coming out in our words. I also think that today's society has created a self centered attitude that keeps us so occupied in ourselves, in our own lives, that we do not look beyond the moments about us. If we just took a minute to think about the people around us in positive thoughts, it probably would be a lot easier to pay them those complements.
Sometimes I find myself thinking about all the faults in my girlfriends or their families. It could be that one always yells at her husband and cannot talk nicely to him. It could be that their house has clutter and is messy. It could be that they did not do the homework for a study and I did. I am judging them. I am thinking well at least I don't yell at my husband, or at least my house is clean. Instead of thinking what could I do to help her?
Our thoughts get so involved in how much better we are than the people around us that it is difficult to find positive words for them. I am going to start training my thoughts. Remember when our parents told us, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all," ? My words are similar. If I can't think something nice about someone, I should not be thinking about them.
Try changing thought patterns to all positve for a few days and see what happens.