Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Jobs, Theaters, and Shots, oh my!

    I finally got to quit my official full time job last week. It was a long time coming and I'm really pleased with it. It's nerve-wracking, especially considering the student loan debt and my financial goals for this year, but there are many good reasons for it and it was well thought-out.
    The main reason for the job move is that my husband and I really believe that Jackson can facilitate a large theater, but I simply did not have the time to devote to it. I had severely underestimated the amount of time running a small non profit takes, especially when you are doing it by yourself. I'm sticking around for a couple more weeks, but after that you can expect that I will be writing a lot more about Acting Out! and what we are planning and doing next. I have this phenomenal book called "How to Run a Theatre" that I had read before, but not deliberately used. I am now going step by step through the book and doing absolutely everything that it tells me to do. I also have a good friend of mine that is going to help me with the business end of things, and we will probably be working on getting a fundraiser together in the next couple of months so that we can do a show this summer. This is going to be completely worth it. All of our hard work and sacrifices (financially) that we will probably have to make are going to pale in comparison to what we're going to accomplish here. Don't ask me how I know. I just do.
    There are a plethora of other reasons for quitting this particular job that I am not going to go into, but suffice it to say that it's going to majorly improve my temperament.

    Yesterday I took my little guy to the doctor for his 2 month appointment. He did awesome the entire time, even when they took his temperature (although he did keep looking at me like, "Whoa, Mom. There is something stuck where it shouldn't be). He weighs 11 lbs 9 oz now and is 24 inches long. Big guy.
    And then came the shots.
    For those people who know me, they probably would say that I would be really chill about my kid getting shots. I have a really high pain tolerance and usually am very rational (i.e. it's really quick, shots don't hurt that much, he'll forget it in a few hours, etc.).
    The nurse came in with her three syringes and her lower lip stuck out at me. I laughed and asked her if the moms usually cried more than the babies do. She smiled, "I cried more than the baby the first time I gave an infant shot." "That's weird," I thought.
    She asked me to hold his knee so that he didn't jerk his leg. I grabbed it and started talking to him. He was looking around, cooing, blissfully unaware of what was about to happen. Until she stuck him.
    His leg went stiff. His eyes got huge and went straight to me and stared at me for what seemed like forever. Then his face got red and his mouth just opened. But he was so upset that no sound even came out.
    I am not ashamed to say that I started bawling. It was traumatic. And we had to do it in the other leg too.
    On the way out to the car, I promised Noah ponies, baseball tickets, ice cream, and special edition hot wheels. I cried on the way home, too.
    In fact, I have little tears in my eyes right now.
    He has to get more shots in two more months. I told Jordan that he's taking him. I'll be darned if I ever do that again.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday Goals and Updates

1. Loose 3 pounds

    Lost 2 pounds this week! So close. I am almost to the 150 pound thresh hold. The last time I was trying to loose weight, after I got under 150 it was easy breezy.

2. Read Ezekiel, Hosea, Galatians, and the Psalms

    I got through Ezekiel and half of Hosea. I had way less time than I thought to read this week, but I'm still pleased with the headway. Ezekiel is a hard book to read!

3. Start advertising my lessons more aggressively

    Eh. I gave my card to one of my student's moms. Not really aggressive, but I suppose more aggressive than I had been.

4. Write Yanci and include a picture

    I didn't get this done. It will have to be tomorrow or Wednesday. Sometime before the end of this month.

5. Be a better blogger

    I was definitely much much better this past week than I have been. The color is so much brighter and happier. The content was much better than weeks and weeks of to do lists. This will continue for certain.

This week:

1. Register for Heart for Africa 5k

    I have to do this this week or else I will start slacking on my training. Plus I need to pay the fees while I have money.

2. Revamp my resume

    An opportunity may or may not be coming my way. I don't feel comfortable advertising it yet, but I will let you all know as soon as I know.

3. Read Hosea, Galatians, and Psalms

    I think I can... I think I can...

4. Write Yanci

    Tomorrow or Wednesday

5. Make $50 in commission

    I got to quit my job to work on Acting Out more aggressively! That means I have 3 weeks to make as much money as humanly possible and pay off as much debt with it as I can.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Working Woes

    Working on sunny days is hard for anyone. It's always been hard for me, and I don't even like the outdoors. But when I'm sitting in an office or standing behind a counter I always swear that if I wasn't there I would be outside. It's probably not true.
    Being a mother, though, that makes it even harder. Because I really believe that today I would have taken Noah to the park for the very first time. And we would have had a grand time at the park, just laying on a blanket in the grass. Me thinking about how awesome it will be when he can run around and play. Him thinking about... drool. Or formula. Ah, the bliss of it all.
    The mere idea that I might have done that with Noah today was enough to send me into a spiral of hate toward customers today. Every time the door went "ding!" it was enough to put me into a rage. Luckily, I held it together and was, actually, very kind.
    Even to the guy whose conversation with me went like this:

Guy: These movies are due today.
Me: Awesome, just sit them up there.
Guy: What time do they have to be back by?
Me: Midnight.
Guy: But they're due today.
Me: Yes. By midnight.
Guy: But I rented them last week.
Me: Well... did you rent them on Saturday?
Guy: Yes.
Me: Then they're still due by midnight tonight.
Guy: But they're due today.
Me:....Today by midnight.
Guy: I'm confused. Here you go. (hands movies to me and walks out)

Also to this lady:
Lady: What's the movie with guy that babysits and he's all crazy?
Me: I'm not sure.
Lady: Well it was on the previews!
Me: I don't know what previews are on this movie, ma'am. Do you know who's in it?
Lady: Wish you knew that movie. I wanted to see it. (walks away)

That doesn't even touch how many really really dumb people I talked to today. It's like they were having a dumb convention and everyone needed movies.

    When I got home, my mom (who was watching my son) had cleaned my kitchen for me. It was the best thing that happened to me all day.

    In any case, I'm really working hard on getting to leave that job. I'm starting to realize that actors are their own small business. We are self-employed. And it's so hard to run your small business while splitting your time between one full time job and two part time ones. In the long run, I think it will be much more beneficial to our wallets and my mental health if I can do something in my area of expertise.
    My area of expertise is not teaching someone that midnight is a time of the day.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


     I don't know if I got bit by a radioactive momma spider when I was in the hospital or what, but ever since I came home I have been a crazy lunatic about getting things accomplished. It's like I never nested while pregnant, so I'm making up for lost time.
    Yesterday I cleaned out our closets. Today I went to job #1, then job #2, ran, cooked supper, read 50 pages of my book (awesome awesome awesome book, by the way. I'll get to that later in the week), got ready for tomorrow, and am now calmly blogging before feeding my sweet child. I'll wake up at 2 A.M. to feed him again and then he'll wake me up at 6 A.M. and we will start the whole crazy cycle all over again.
    I keep wondering if it's this hopped up Starbucks coffee I've been drinking.
    But more than likely, I think it's from the intense need that I have to get these student loans paid off so that I can be with my child more. I hate dropping him off so much and with so many different people. I've got to tell you all, I know my goal was to pay off half of my debt this year, but I really hope it's more. I can't stay where I'm at, it makes me so miserable. And I can't quit because living in debt is not what is best for my child. I'm riding a fine line here.
    I can get so discouraged sometimes about where my life is in the present moment. Sometimes I forget where I'm headed. I'm trying to always look to my future and Noah's future and Jordan's future and all the futures of those little futuristic siblings Noah will have someday (in the future).
    But, for now, it helps to come home to this.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Monday Goals-- You'll like this one. It has pictures

I did an ok job on my goals. I read four books of the Bible, finished one book, planned our budget, and read 200 pages of another book. I did not even touch the amazon/ebay goal. I think I need to sit down with my husband for that goal and we just didn't see each other enough to do that last week.

So, here are my goals for next week.

1. Loose 3 pounds
I love to run!

     I have started running again in earnest and I have discovered this WONDERFUL little apps that contain workouts to target different areas of my body and only take 5 to 10 minutes. So here is the rundown for this week:
    Monday: Run (done and done)
    Tuesday: Ab workout (also done)
    Wednesday: Run
    Thursday: Run
    Friday: Arms
    Saturday: Nike Trainer (this is a more hard-core version of all the other workouts. The last time I did it I was sore for a week)
    Sunday: Yoga (I think this will be the perfect end of a week/beginning of a new one)

     I am also discovering that once you start working out you automatically want to eat better. I have yet to start eating better in a major way, but I do automatically choose water or tea over soda in general and have started using way less sugar in my coffee in the morning.

2. Read Ezekiel, Hosea, Galatians, and the Psalms

    Ezekiel and the Psalms are pretty lengthy books, but I can get through Hosea and Galatians in a day or so. I would like to get through the Bible by mid March so that I can start going through it again more slowly. I am trying to read the Bible once a year with this year being the second year in a row. Then I will go back and start going through devotionals that Jordan and I have had for years but very rarely utilized. I am going to know this book.

3. Start advertising my lessons more aggressively.

    I'm not sure exactly what this will entail this week, but it will be a beginning of a lifestyle change. I have awesome business cards now, thanks to an awesome friend, and I'm starting to become more and more motivated to get this underway. If I can get a few more students this semester, that's more "extra" funds that I can put completely towards debt repayment. It's looking pretty good for my financial goals, people. I think we can do it.

4. Write Yanci and include a picture.

    I am going to write Yanci a really deliberate letter filled with as much love and concern as her three year old beautiful heart can handle. She is so freaking cute and awesome!

5. Be a better blogger

   I am fully aware that my blog lately has consisted of absolutely nothing but what I intend to do and don't quite finish. I really want that to change. When I started this, it was for moms who felt the way that I felt- that motherhood is really not what people make it out to be anymore. I will be going back to more of that, with added content on being a working mom and the challenges of completing the day to day. I also fully intend to include more pictures and I will be giving the blog a facelift in the near future. The current theme makes me think of blood. I will also be advertising a lot more on my facebook and twitter and trying to keep up with my online presence a little better.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Don't Waste Your Life

    It's amazing what getting up at 6 AM in the morning will help you accomplish.

    Since getting up I have fed a baby twice, picked up the entire house, done two loads of laundry, read my Bible, finished a book, and begun to read my 200 pages for the day. I didn't get a book read yesterday, so I'd like to try to catch up on that somehow, but I'm trying to accomplish other, more important things right now. Like blogging. And calling my grandma.

     I read "Don't Waste Your Life" by John Piper. In all honesty, this is my second time reading it, but I love John Piper and I had made it an unstated goal for 2012 to read all his books. There are a lot more than I thought (54, and most of them at least 200 to 400 pages long), so I probably won't do them all this year, but eventually I will read through them all. He's such a smart individual and he writes so candidly and authentically. He makes me feel like an intellectual while, at the same time, assuring me that although I am not as smart as he, I can put all of these points into practice.

    This is a great, great, great book and I highly recommend it. I seldom consciously make Jesus my primary focus and his glory my primary goal. Usually I just try to live well and decide that if anyone asks me, I will give Him the glory. The problem with that idea is that people rarely ask me. This book has turned that idea on its head.

    In other news, I turned 25 on Sunday. I know that I should probably change the title of the blog, but I think I'll leave it. It is simply a reminder of where I've come from... where it all began.

    In other other news, I go back to work tomorrow. I have some mixed feelings about it. I will definitely be glad for the paycheck, and I'm excited to begin the budget blitz and really start to pay off this debt. I'm sure that we'll get all the medical bills paid off and probably my old school bill. That will leave us with the three actual loans to get rid of. In all honesty, I wish I would have started this sooner so that we could get them paid off before we had to start paying on Jordan's, but I doubt that that is possible. Who knows, though? I realized that in an average month we spend approximately $800 on eating out. So if we cut out even half of that? Those loans are going to go down so fast we won't know where they went. Right?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday Goals and Updates

1. Be able to get my wedding ring off my finger

    I still can't do this, but I am so close. Maybe by the end of the month? I really hope so. My finger is starting to feel a little claustrophobic and if it doesn't come off soon I'm liable to try something drastic. Like a fad diet.

2. Register for my first 5k this year.

     I didn't register for it because of our current money situation. I've been on maternity leave for almost three months and that doesn't leave much in the bank for frivolous things. But I HAVE chosen it. I'm going to do a 5k run to benefit Heart for Africa. If you've never heard of it, go to their site. It's a phenomenal organization and I'm privileged to have many friends who have went with them to Swaziland.

3. Begin the Couch to 5k program

    I did begin it. I didn't do an awesome job at the first week, though. I ran the first day with pretty much no problem. Then it got cold. I mean bitterly cold. I tried to run again yesterday and only finished half of the training. I had tears streaming down my face from the wind hitting my eyes. I hate cold weather. Hate. It.

4. Drink 100 oz of water per day.

     I did this two days of last week. Two other days I drank at least 70. The other three days were iffy, but I did not go one day without drinking at least 16 oz. For really healthy people this probably seems really disgusting. But for someone like me who would sometimes go at least 4 days without drinking any water at all? It was pretty awesome. And it helped me to really become cognoscente of what I was drinking. And it wasn't all good, let me tell you.

5. Cook 4 days this week.

     Done and done. I am really starting to enjoy cooking. It takes all the stress out of paying for food everytime you eat it. I still am not a big fan of grocery shopping, but that will probably get easier with time.

And now for my new goals. I considered a lot what I would make my focus for this week. I think I will make it three-fold. I will be working on reading those 100 books and budgeting so as to attain my *2* monetary goals.

1. Read 200 pages of something per day
    I would prefer to make this a larger book of some sort, whether it be Jane Austen or John Piper. Just anything that would be impossible to finish in one day.

2. Read one book of the Bible per day
    I think I can do this. If I'm short on time there are many books that are just as short. :)

3. List all the items that we can sell on ebay/amazon
    We both have old laptops, cameras, and ipods that are really just collecting dust. We could sell these and easily have about $200 to either go into savings or to my student loan debt. Not to mention a lot of books that we will never read.

4. Plan our budget blitz.
    More on this later in the week.

5. Finish one book per day.

     If it's not a book that I'm reading 200 pages on, then I will grab a shorter book and just zoom through it as quickly as possible.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Monday Goals-- No updates today

I did a halfway job with every single one of my goals this past week. The only thing that I'm proud of is that I lost 4 pounds last week. That is pretty awesome. So... New goals! I think I will try to simply focus on fitness this week.

1. Be able to get my wedding ring off my finger.
    I am so close! I think a few more pounds will do it. I haven't been able to get it off since a month before Noah was born.

2.  Register for my first 5k this year.
     It needs to be about 9 weeks out from this week. Because of my next goal...

3. Begin the Couch to 5k program
    This program is 9 weeks long. If I register for a 5k 9 weeks out it will force me to complete the training program. More than anything, I want to RUN these races this year. Aside from the fact that I just don't want to embarrass myself at a race, my last race is a marathon relay, which means it will be at least 5 miles for me and not just the 3.1.

4. Drink 100 oz of water per day
    I think that a big part of my problem with weight loss is that I don't drink enough water. I know I will be on the toilet all the time, but it's going to be worth it at the end, I think.

5. Cook 4 days this week
     I have been doing a good job with this, and I think that it will help my weight loss journey so much to know exactly what is going in and out of my mouth.

Well, have to run off now. Peanut is crying for no immediately discernible reason.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Weight Loss Goal

I have until February 24 to look awesome in a dress.

I can do this.

Things I Love About 5 Weeks

  • The pacifier in my baby's mouth
  • The cooing sounds he makes while he's eating
  • He big grin when he sees me first thing in the morning
  • Cuddling him up in his blankets
  • That his eyes look exactly like his dad's
  • How he will find me in a room
  • How warm he always is
  • Wrapping him in my arms and sleeping on the couch together
  • Coming into my own as a mom
  • His pouty lip
  • That he has my nose
  • His round hands
  • His snoring at night
I really, really love this child.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"Monday" Goals? and Yearly Goals update

Crap. This just keeps getting later and later.

My friend from England was with me the last couple days, so I'm going to cut myself some slack.

    1. Finish the Bible and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"

        Nope. But I did read about six books of the Bible. Which is pretty awesome anyway. I think I'm underestimating how long the Bible takes to read.

    2. 100 freaking fitness minutes

        I got 60 done this week. I'm not ashamed of that. Better than last week.

    3. Catch up on work

        I caught up on all the calls I needed to make for my dad and I bought the piano books I needed. I still need to type out my lesson stuff. Getting prepared is good!

    4. Work on a budget

        Our main problem, we've realized, is that we eat out way too much. We really hate the envelope system. Even though it works. So we're just going to make one envelope for "fun" each month. I think this will cut our spending a lot.

     5. Get Peanut on a schedule.

        Peanut slept though the night last weekend like a champ! He's not doing too poorly this week, but there's still some work to be done.

And now for the yearly goals...

1. Pay off half my student loan debt

      In case you don't understand what I'm doing there, that's $334.39 paid out of the $10,773.16 that I want to put into loan debt this year. We're starting to get held up by some medical bills that have finally started coming in, but we always end up making a little extra here and there throughout the year. Especially the summertime. I'm not worried yet. After August, I'll be worried.

2. Read 100 books
    Still feeling good about this. I'm reading some really great stuff. And I want to try to make it a point to read the Bible through in the first half of every year, so I'm really working hard on that first.

3.  Make the Monte Carlo last through 2012

      1/12 (months)
      You can do it, baby!

4. Have a full time job in my area of expertise
      Still working on it, but lessons are starting to roll along really smoothly. Five students so far and the recommendations keep coming in!

5. Return to pre-baby weight

    -3/19 (lbs.)
    I was doing really awful at this. I actually gained 6 pounds until I finally put a stop to the binging. I have lost 3 pounds this week (I am pretty sure a lot of it was water weight from so much soda)

6. Run three 5ks

    I am signed on to be on a relay team in November, though! I'm trying to eat healthy to get some of this baby weight off and loose the cold so that starting back with running won't feel so atrocious.

7. Go on vacation

     I haven't done a darn thing with this yet.

8. Read my Bible daily

     I am totally enjoying this goal.

9. Have $10,000 in savings

    I don't want to go into detail about how much money we have. Suffice it to say that... we're ending this month with less than we came in. Once again, though, maternity leave is kind of hurting our bank account. I will, once again, be worried in August.

10. Keep up with my house
      I feel good about this one so far. Our bedroom is still a wreck, but it hasn't stunk so far this year. So that's a definite plus.

11. Write to Yanci once a month

      I've also received a letter back from her! I love that girl! She is so sweet!

12. Cook more
      I've definitely cooked more. Unfortunately, that means that I've cooked about 4 times this month. February will be better.

And, if you're lucky enough to still be reading my goals...

Goals for this week.

1. Read 2 books.
    Any books at all. I will still read my Bible daily, but I really need to put some titles up there.

2. Prepare well for my lessons this week
    I do prepare, but sometimes it's less than I would like. I want to be viewed as a professional.

3. Loose those 3 pounds 
   I would like to get back to the 19 pounds that I need to loose for this year. Then I will start being more reasonable with my weight loss goals.

4. Write Yanci
    Have I mentioned how much I love that girl?

5. Clean the bedroom
   How hard can this be, right? ... Right? 

I Dreamed a Dream

I'm not posting this on Facebook because I want to make sure that only my regular readers see it, not just random passer-bys. If you're looking for optimism on motherhood, you should go here today.

I laid my little one down in his crib to let him "cry it out" today for only the second time since he's been born. I know, it's terrible and I should have done it sooner.

I went to take a shower while he "took a nap." I closed the door and took my time for the first time in a while. While I was drying my hair, I sang, as per usual. I don't know how many people who read this are musical theater connoisseurs, but I happened to pick a song called "Climbing Uphill" from "The Last Five Years." I picked it because it's a fun song to sing that every musical theater person can relate to, beginning with a phone call to her dad detailing her audition process, leading into a dramatic rendition of what's really going on in an actor's head while they audition, and then rounding out with a declaration of what this girl plans on doing with her life. Or rather, what she plans on not doing.

I will not be the girl, stuck at home in the 'burbs
with the baby, the dog, and the garden of herbs.
I will not be the girl with the sensible shoes
pushing burgers and beer nuts and missing the clues.
I will not be the girl who gets asked how it feels 
to be trodding along at the genius' heels.
I will not be the girl who requires a man to get by.

All of a sudden, I'm singing this song (knowing that I used to sing it with all the confidence in the world) and I realize...

I am this girl.

Sans the dog, of course.

Actually, I'm not sure that where I live really qualifies as the 'burbs either.

And I can't grow a garden to save my life. Too bad gardens are actually in vogue now.

I don't want anyone to get me wrong. I love my baby and my husband more than anything in the world. Seriously. More than anything. But I can't help but feel a little... let down by what I've let my life come to.

I had some serious goals that I wanted to accomplish before having children. Most of them can still be accomplished, but, wow, do I have some fancy footwork to do to see them through. I feel bad that I have been leading everyone to believe that I want to be a stay at home mom. That's not really true. I really want to be out of my dead end job that has nothing to do with anything that I love. I love love love my child and staying at home with him would just be preferable to working at Family Video, that's all. I think that he would be just fine going to day care for a while each day. I will miss him, but it sure beats being stir crazy in this house.

So we've accomplished that I'm the girl stuck at home in the "'burbs" and that I have the baby and the crappy job.

And if you know anything at all about my husband you know that he really is a genius. He's a fantastic musician and a fantastic teacher. And everyone who has ever met him tells me I'm a lucky girl. I totally am.

But I think I could be up there too.

We have accomplished that I make a salary that would land me at the poverty level if something ever happened to Jordan. Thereby proving that I do, in fact, require a man to get by. Actually, I'm pretty sure all my money is just going to pay my debt off.

And then I ended the song and turned off the hairdryer. As if to punctuate my feelings, I hear my baby crying. An hour after I laid him down. When I walked in to the room, he had cried so much that the poor little guy had thrown up twice. More laundry that I won't get done.

I just remember a time when I was making art... not just making babies. Right now, in this 'burb, a baby is all I'm known for making.

I have always believed that you make your own destiny. When I was in grade school I wanted to be famous, and someone (I genuinely can't remember who) told me that people from Iuka, IL had a hard time becoming famous. I needed to have lived in a city for that. And I remember thinking the grade school equivalent of, "Screw that. When I'm done, there's going to be a statue of me in this town."

You make your own destiny.

The problem is, I'm not quite sure how to make my destiny. I'm not even sure who I am anymore. I look at my basement and the coffee table is littered with baby book stuff. I don't even like scrapbooking. I like to throw everything in a box and pull it out years later and say, "I should make a scrapbook out of this." I don't like to clean, but most of my house is pretty spotless right now. I hate cooking, but I'm going to start. I am 25 pounds overweight and am having a really hard time shaking it off and feeling beautiful like I used to.

I tried to reinvent myself as a mother instead of a career girl, a city girl, an actress, or an artist. It didn't work. I AM a mother, but that is not the sum of my parts. I did not feel "complete" when they placed that baby in my arms. I felt happy. I felt overwhelming love. But I did not feel complete. I think completing you may be an unfair burden to lay on a being that is literally learning how to breathe.

I will learn again someday how to create my destiny. Right now it's all I can do to take a shower and make sure this baby is fed and has his diaper changed. I'm exhausted and very nearly out of ideas.

And that's just where I am right now.