Doing Our Part: COVID-19

 

Why don’t we get right to the topic that everyone is talking about… This one is long, read it all, you have time now that you’re probably at home.

COVID-19 also know as the Coronavirus is here. Where you ask? Everywhere?

How do I know this? Well, here is the thing. I don’t for a fact know that this is not some government or world collabrative conspiracy; the thought of that makes me cringe, so stop saying it. I mean maybe we are all on some game show and will be awarded a grand prize for not loosing our shit, but the likelihood of that is 0 to none.

But here’s what I do know. I am NOT a doctor. I am also NOT a doctor or health care professional attending to anyone with COVID-19 or diagnosing it. I DO NOT work for the CDC or the Federal Government and I do not study diseases and viruses for a living. I work in hospitality. An industry like many or most that are being heavily hit by this pandemic.

I AM like most Americans, below average in knowledge when it comes to this disease or most diseases. I can spend all day and night compiling a list of “facts” and putting together my own research or I can follow the instruction of professionals who do this for a living.

I can tell you all the reasons why this virus should not have any impact on my life.

  • I am beyond “blessed” to be a healthy 29 year old female (what we know of this virus is that it is primarily affecting individuals 60 years and older? maybe not?)
  • I am beyond “grateful” that I have two healthy children
  • I have a wonderful husband who is also also a healthy individual with a flexible job and means of income
  • I do not have family that I will come into contact with in the high risk category of 60+ year old adults
  • I work for a company that is trying to do it’s best to keep afloat and keep their employees employeed (but who knows for how long)

And honestly… we are completely content hanging out at home with our children and dog (most days 🙂

So why would I take the information I am given and proceed with caution? For these few reasons…

  • I work with a group of individuals that may go home to family that are immunocompromised or elderly
  • I may come in contact with individuals in the high risk category of 60+ years old in my place of work
  • I have encountered enough people over the course of my life who have minor to fatal diagnosis’ that are impacted by this illness to care
  • Most of the people I work with outside of my career and volunteer for are not financially secure to plan, quarantine or live without basic necessities for multiple weeks
  • Although I have a job today, I may not tomorrow because it is simply not safe for me to be around anyone; really for any one of us

I can very well easily not care. Seems like most Americans are split between #flatteningthecurve and #notgivingashit Whats new? We like to sit on opposite sides of the spectrum; rarely the solution is on either side but possibly in the middle.

I have seen many memes floating around but the one that stands out most is a simple thought. that seems to be coming from a huge population of Americans… “This virus won’t affect most healthy individuals, it will only affect the elderly and immunocompromised. The fact that it doesn’t stop us is the problem it self.”

Something else that caught my eye is an old highschool classmate of mine who posted a picture of her family including her child on what looks like a breathing tube; joyful and happy as ever, but with the words “Your only, is my everything.” Really let that sink in. These are her cards, her life, her child, her everything. That is all we really need to see right? It should be. But apparently not, so I will keep going.

This is the probably the most alarming thing I have seen on Instagram.

Shoud I keep going? Okay will do…

Harsh right? In all honesty, it is too close to the truth right now. Check out ‘Rythm 0’ a live exhibit by Marina Abromovic from the 1970s. When allowed to people visiting the exhibit did terrible things to this woman. After the experiment no one could look her in the face. Oh humanity… you fool me sometimes.

I get it, this world is run on money, oil, resources etc. etc. etc. We as human beings are greedy. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. OF. US. myself included. The thought of the economy going down on a world scale still leaves us in utter panic about our personal financial crisis even if it has such little play or affect by all of this. So the extreme grocery shopping and stock piling is some what of a natural response per our regular asshole like behavior. (The toilet paper situation I am yet to understand)

But I can’t help but think that although there is no solution to all of this, we can still work together. I mean that or we all die together?

Some people, like myself, are still working. IT IS A LUXURY NOT TO HAVE TO WORK EVEN IF YOUR COMPANY IS STILL OPEN. People that are still working are probably worried about a virus possibily taking down your family or your electricity being shut off. Either way I am sure our company will soon follow suit and I too will be at home. In the mean time trust that for me is it to work and back.

No one with common sense, outside of the Healthcare field or grocery store workers (because let’s be honest they are the true heroes here) are working because they want to contribute to this spread. Although my family is quarantined at home and my husband is working from our dining room, I still have to shower, sanitize, pray, hang garlic around my neck, gargle salt water and do a nightly ritual hoping I don’t catch this thing and worse, pass it along.

So now that we have that covered let’s go over a few things…

-Firstly, talk to your children. Explain what is going on. Don’t scare them, well hell scare them a little, my kids shower twice a day now 🙂 its great! (I have two boys…) They are and will be a part of this world’s history. We believe in 100% honesty and communication. We talk about the birds and bees, mental health, poverty, racism so why not this right? The more they know the more proactive they are likely to be as well. Plus let’s raise smart children together, yeah?

-Antivaxxers, ya’ll are quiet. Very quiet. Please observe and notice how vaccines work and also watch how viruses and diseases CAN and WILL BE contained. Your rebellion to vaccines put other immunocompromised children at risk; not just during this pandemic but EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I am sure I will receive the googled note from a nurse, the one that is 1 in 30,000 BUT no one wants polio… And if you still don’t get it, let us make this even more simple… we better not see you in line when there is a cure to this sucker.

-People that are stock piling food supplies. Ugh. Yes, you have the means to stock up for 3-6 months. Most Americans do not. Most Americans who do not have the means to stock up for months are the ones working to get that food from the fields, to the cans, to the stores and into your pantry. So fine if you want to stock up like a real A1 jack-o-lantern but realize when everything goes back to normal (which it will) your grocery stores are going to look really bare so get ready to turn in that white color for a quality stained one.

If you are going to stockpile, regardless to how you feel after this post ***please make sure to         shop for items without the WIC logo on the price tag. These products are the only products             the government assistance program fro Mothers, Infants and Children can purchase.***

-To everybody comparing death tolls, survival rates and age brackets. Stop. This is not the flu. We know the flu, SARS, ebola etc. etc. etc. Yes they also grew rapidly. Yes the numbers may be larger, but we have only 3 months of data and as of 3/19/2020 the numbers doubled and it would not be surprising if they double over night, every night for a while. We don’t have a solution but it can start with slowing this down by doing our part.

-Stop saying well there are so many Survivors. Realize survivors, will still live a life with damaged lungs or one of them. These elderly people dying with atleast 5-10 more years now passed away, alone, scared and without family due to contamination rules. We are human one death SHOULD mean something. It is someone’s grandmother, someone’s brother or someone’s 7 year old with asthma. You may think you don’t care, you do, look deep inside, no one is that shitty of a person.

-Wash your hands. That was news from 400 years ago. But hey let’s start doing it now?

-Toilet paper. Stop. Please. This is ridiculous. I want everyone to be able to wipe their behinds. When this is all said and done, no one is shaking my hand because I am not sure who had TP and who didn’t

-Teachers, raises for all of them. My kids are at home with my husband. He should get an award too. And for the teachers getting online to read books for their students to watch, for the ones organizing sack lunches for children without meals, for the teachers offering video conferencing and counseling for our children during this time and the ones sending emails for us 9-5er parents to stay strong as we are now relearning to be parents and even to the one’s who really needed this break to get back to their own family. YOU ARE THE REAL MVPs

– For the Spring breakers. No words. I have seen this all over Instagram. Your grandfather was called to war. You are called to sit on your couch. There is no better time to be quarantined. It is 2020. Netflix, Hulu, AmazonPrime Video… the INTERNET? it is all there, waiting for you. We flex all damn day. Let’s see who looks the cutest on the couch, snap a pic, put it on IG. Let your natural hair color grow out, nails go undone and lashes look like a naked mole rat. Whatever who cares, its COVID-19 we are all going to get ugly together.

-For the healthcare workers. WOW! Every single one of them. For the hospital staff from the maintenance and housekeeping staff to the doctors and nurses. WOW! To walk into a fire every day, look at it in the eyes and say I am here to help and then come back for another round. All of them are going to work for us; the least we can do is stay at home for them. And on that note, stop taking their masks. They need them to stay healthy, when caring for those who are sick and to lower the chances of spreading this. Unless of course you have been hiding your credentials of being a doctor in your back pocket all along and are ready to jump on the line? Then by all means buy up all the masks and we can quarantine you with a COVID-19 patient.

-For everyone that doesn’t believe any of this. See you on the other side. We can always over react and say “whelp that was silly” or we can avoid reacting and not have the oppurtunity to say anything.

-For our government….

…………..

We can all fill in the blank. But let’s all remember these few moments. When this all dies down, and when we are at the polls remember who it was that denied this ever existed a few weeks ago as this nation is now struggling and suffering economically, socially and in our healthcare system. How you choose to lead in a time of crisis is the biggest display of your ability to have ever become and remain a leader.

There is a cure, I know it. I can feel it, a little inkling. There’s talk of a cure through a Malaria drug and a study that went into effect 2 days ago. I have faith in that. I am telling myself that, trust me you should too. It helps. So does a margarita or 4 right now.

I don’t have a solution, clearly, I am writing about this on my blog named Stilettosinasandbox but my suggestion in containing this would be working together with our nation. Locking down every business except grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals and shelters. Regardless how we feel about this pandemic, one thing is clear we don’t know this  BEAST. We are seeing something that has not been witnessed for GENERATIONS. We are smarter, faster and prepared with more technology than ever before, but we are fueled with more greed than we ever shoud have been.

It seems like the only way out is to collectively struggle. Disagree all you want, I promise this blog and your opinion will probably go no where but if one person buys one less 12 pack of TP or 6 less cans of soup then my job is done. Because you made it possibly for one under privellaged familly to find a way to survive another 2 weeks.

Thanks for reading, now go wash your hands for two happy birthdays. twice 🙂

 

Seeing Faith, When It’s Invisible

This blog post will be more vague than most. Let’s be honest this is a longer conversation that what I can write in the waiting room of Mikail’s doctors appointment this bright and early Friday morning.

Faith is a big deal in our relationship, as you can imagine with Jonathan’s career based in a faith community. I come from somewhat of an in the middle of conservative and liberal Muslim family. What does that look like? Growing up…Sneaking out of the house after bedtime and changing clothes in the car on the way to a party I should have never been at in the first place 🤪 Also being an immigrant my parents toggled between balancing culture shock, values and traditions from our culture and maintaining their faith in a totally new environment. No complaints about how I was raised in my faith. I always knew right from wrong; even when I chose to ignore it and I knew that my purpose was beyond only living my life for me but to impact others around me.

Jonathan is what they call a “cradle Catholic.” You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to use that lingo. He was born and raised Catholic. Church on Sundays, Confirmation, Communion, Easter egg hunts and waiting for St. Nick by the fireplace, the whole shabang! At one point of his life he found himself looking to possibly lead in the church. (Phew… close call. We almost would’ve could’ve never been… JK 😆) In all seriousness though, today, I can proudly say he is a very significant part of his faith community and impacts quite a few lives daily.

Marriage can be a funky concept where you take two people from completely different backgrounds, upbringings, cultures, families and perspectives in the world and merge them together and hope for the best. I suppose we both could have found partners similar to ourselves and eased those hurdles but that would be too easy right? 🤣

Between the two of us we have different families, skin tones, ethnicities, experiences and much more. It honestly makes our relationship very, and I mean very complex. These differences really call us to truly put ourselves in each other’s shoes. Not just the “my wife cooks and cleans after work, I should probably take out the trash,” or “my husband worked all week tirelessly and did the laundry I can run and do the groceries,” kind. Like truly immersing ourselves into each other’s vision of the world. It is practically impossible to be a partner in a relationship if you are not willing to walk the walk of the person you love. Our relationship means toggling between different ideas and values and finding what fits our family best.

Faith is different for everyone. We recognize that sometimes faith is believing in God. Sometimes it is believing in yourself and other people. Sometimes faith is simply hope. We do believe that faith is a pretty fundamental factor in life; in whatever way, shape or form you choose.

When it comes to faith I think the most important perspective we have gained is respect. We have both taken time, energy and heart to learn about each other. Through respecting the values we come from and the values we want to uphold in our family we have to agree on every. Single. One. If it doesn’t sit right with either of us it simply doesn’t make the cut.

We’re not in the business of proselytizing anyone because well…that’s unnecessary, but we believe that finding purpose in ourselves and the people around us help us believe in our faith. That has been the underlying factor of our faith and what has become the foundation of our life together. Faith is such a personal journey and experience. I could be 100% wrong but to me your faith should mold your decisions when it comes to how you raise your children, how you view the world, and expressing those views, your stance on social justice issues, the politics you converse about and just about everything in between.

Our faith in this very moment calls us to be forgiving, kind, understanding, compassionate, and loving to all the people we find so hard to love. Forgiving those that don’t ask for forgiveness. Kind to those who we don’t feel deserve it. Understanding when you can barely find the middle ground. Compassionate even though you have no idea where the other person is or where they are coming from. And loving to people who don’t ask or don’t seem to want our love.

Funny how it is the hardest at home to do all of those things. To wake up every morning and choose to be the best person you can be to the people that surround you, the people you love the most and then to go out to the people that you don’t even know and do it all over again. Many times, and I mean MANY times I need a reminder of that. (Thankfully I have friends to CONSTANTLY remind me of that 😉)

Over the past three years the biggest lesson that I have been blessed to learn in my relationship is that faith is beyond sitting in the front pew of your home parish or letting your forehead hit the prayer mat five times a day. Faith is living the values you believe in, every day of your life even after you leave your place of religion. Faith is expressing and living all of which you hear in a homily, sermon for khutbah in your every action and word.

We are far from living our faith, everyday, but life is that journey for us. And speaking of that journey… I am also going to throw in a shameless plug since we are talking faith…

I AM BEYOND PROUD TO BE THE WIFE OF SUCH AN INSPIRATIONAL MAN.

This weekend Jonathan launches the second round of a program that he has helped in an immense way to bring to his faith community. Along with a group of amazing people who also believe in finding purpose and community; Renew will change so many lives.

I have seen this man put blood, sweat and tears into every aspect of this retreat. He saw a program that changed many lives being discontinued and refused to watch it go away. His faith in God, community and people is truly reflected in every page of these books. His vulnerability and honesty through this process is so admirable. His own breakthrough and rising through his current journey is the definition of what Renew is.

We are constantly striving to find joy and purpose in this world and this is what I have found to be one simple way to possibly find that.

Hello New Decade!

It’s a new decade, so let’s try this one more time.

https://stilettosinasandbox.blog/category/parenting/ (first blog post back!)

I think I have proved to myself that I do not own the cards that I am dealt. They are simply borrowed. This decade instead of trying to control where my cards are going I am choosing to embrace where they land.

With that, welcome back friends! This is the new(ish) StilettosInASandBox. Many of you that know me outside of my blog know that my life this past year has been a rollercoaster. 6 Flags kind of rollercoaster, the one you stand in line for 2 hours, shake in the seat, scream but also laugh through it and then get stuck upside down in the middle. 🙂

This time I have stayed away from my blog not because I didn’t have time, although I have very little like most of you mamas, but more so because my year was very personal. I needed this year to grow; and with growth comes growing pains. Although I didn’t blog, I picked up journaling. Now I find that I am finally ready to share the pages of my journal with you all.

Through everything I have experienced, I have found a small group of women that have empowered, lifted and supported me. Funny how life will take you through the depths of pain to bring you through a rainbow. I don’t know if any two people can relate on every level but I do believe that every person can find one similar something with anyone standing next to them. That has been a really beautiful realization for me this year. Understanding that everyone struggles with something to some depth, and as humans we need each other to navigate through life.

There is only three reasons you are reading this post;

  1. You accidentally clicked 🙂
  2. You are just one of those miserable people that likes to follow other people’s lives through your screen to criticize them behind their back
  3. You actually find my content relatable! YAY!

So… if you are here because you accidentally clicked, I hope you stick around. You may find something you like.

If you are just that miserable and want to watch my rollercoaster life unravel before your eyes, please take a seat I hope you enjoy the show. Because truly I am writing this blog for the possibility that ONE person finds my content relatable. Maybe that ONE person is going through the muck of life that I found myself in and I am able to walk with them to the rainbow with my words. This blog is for you 😉

Click here for my first blog post: https://stilettosinasandbox.blog/category/parenting/

Back at it!

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Hey Ya’ll! It’s 2019 and this is the first time I am writing in a very long time. I think it is safe to say it’s been a minute or so… So let’s pick up where we left off shall we?

Before that, let me catch you all up.

LIFE, remember that good friend, well it happened. I jumped in to blogging last year with the intent of sharing my life with other women to connect and form a community online. Typical wanna-be blogger stuff ya know? I have a crazy life like most of you filled with ups and downs and writing and blogging was my release.

As there were more ups and downs (definitely more ups than downs) I pushed writing to the back burner. After over 6 months of pulling back I realized it was something I missed and enjoyed doing. I received a few messages, texts and phone calls from friends and acquaintances that I had no clue were reading my blog when I posted something. (Which by the way made me feel so special!) I was so happy that many of you were able to relate to me and over the period of time that I “disconnected” from my blog, I realized I missed that small sense of community and upliftment. (That is not a word, but I think it should be so i’m keeping it there.)

I decided this was my “me thing.” So many of us shelve ourselves for people or events that we think are priorities but forgetting we are our first priority.

I’ve given some thought to the safety procedures on a plane that a flight attendant goes over prior to take off. Make sure to secure your oxygen mask before attending to your children.

Well shit, isn’t that the truth. In the heat of the moment (life) we jump to assisting the ones we love when we have not taken care of ourselves first, because we are, and dare I say it, selfless. BUT, I have come to the realization that I am able to take care of the ones I love when I, myself are in a better state of clarity, mind and happiness. So here I am, honest, as I promised about my life and where I have been.

In this whirlwind of what feels like forever this has been my messy, beautiful life…

  • Our family moved across the United States
  • I started my children at a new school, and started volunteering there a few hours
  • Started my children in 3 different sports and 2 different activities (separately)
  • I started a new job in a new city
  • Started to make new friends
  • Got a puppy! (This is probably the most exciting one)
  • Committed myself to a new car I’ve been wanting for a decade (still no regrets, check back in a month, I am sure that will change 🙂
  • Got involved with a new community
  • Started a giveback program (currently in the process of re-strategizing)
  • Got Engaged!!
  • Nearly killed my fiance a few times (vice versa; we’re still here though, haha!)
  • Traveled to Minnesota in the Summer – it felt good to come back!
  • New Orleans for our Anniversary – trip blog and recommendations coming.. no ETA 🙂
  • trip to California – always home ❤
  • Gained 20 lbs in 10 months (It’s happy weight?)
  • Started building a home (if this is not the most grueling thing in the world)
  • Got my wisdom teeth taken out (3 of them!). I DO NOT advise at the age of 28
  • My older son started Sclerotherapy (surgery to take care of some venous malformations in this leg. 1 surgery of 3 in the books… blog on this too later, maybe?)

And it doesn’t stop there friends!

  • We set a date for our Wedding, October 19th, 2019!
  • HAHA! To the last one, right? 7 months away!! So Wedding planning is in full force!
  • We move in to our home in 7 weeks
  • I am still working full time… HELP!
  • Gearing up for Summer vacation… also HELP!
  • Going to Minneapolis for a weekend of Wedding Dress Shopping (EXCITING!)
  • Having a Bachelorette Party in Vegas in May (need I say more?)
  • Bridal Festivities in Minnesota in July (heart skipping beats!)

Perfect time for me to start blogging again right? Even though it doesn’t seem like it, there is probably no better time. I found myself needing to make more me time and force myself to do things I enjoy and love. This is not life advice, I will leave that to your therapist or hairstylist, this is just my realization. If I can’t control everything in my life, I can at least control my happiness.

The whole gaining 20 pounds thing, is a little WILD, so I plan on exercising 3 times a week. I use that word loosely… I plan on putting work aside when possible and logging on for only 2 hours on my days off and focusing my free time on my children and being completely present to them. And most importantly, I plan on writing once a week, about something, anything and hopefully you will read it 🙂 and even better, relate in some way.

I can’t be the only one right? That has gotten so wrapped up in work, children, commitments, LIFE? Well feel free to share your ideas on how you started to take control of your happiness with me.

Until next time….

 

 

 

Finding & Living Your Purpose

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Super dramatic title, I know. I promise this post is equally as dramatic so with this 6 minute read you will definitely have your daily dose of unsolicited advice.

For most of us our careers are what supports our lifestyle, our hobbies are what we do, when and if we have time, our schedules are made up of to do lists and tasks and our goals usually fuel the desire to accomplish all of these things. Dreams and aspirations are usually fond memories and far from our daily life.

I literally cringed typing that because those few sentences were a huge portion of my life. It was my Monday through Sunday, what I breathed and lived. Or thought I was living? So at what point did I go in to autopilot and believe that my life had to be this routine that seemed so normal to me.

When I was a child I remember organizing a New Baby Item Drive; I believe at the age of 9. I had a goal of giving pregnant, under privileged women the essentials of what they needed for the first few weeks with their baby before they were back on the streets of Los Angeles. With two supportive parents, family friends funding my little vision and an idea that I thought could save the world, I was able to create packages for these women to take home with them from the hospital.

Fast forward a few years, when I was a teenager I was familiarizing myself with folks on the streets of Los Angeles on Humanitarian Day or volunteer soup kitchens. After having children I found myself serving food at the local food pantry, volunteering to help women and children at the local YWCA and donating extra items to foundations helping children and women get off the street and into stable housing, incomes and lives.

I would love to say I was giving back because I felt I needed to in my heart, and I am sure as a child that was where it stemmed from. Truth is as I got older and had children of my own I felt almost guilty.  Moving out of my parents’ home at 18, 7 months pregnant with my first son, I was one of those women at some point in my life. Though the streets were not my home and safety was not an issue for me I shared more in common with many of those people than the person I strived to become. The only difference was I had a little bit of luck and far too many blessings that allowed me the chance to become successful in this world.

Though I made some poor decisions, the man upstairs (or the universe, friends of the big man, karma however you want to spin it) had a different plan for me. I was blessed with a few skills, talent and heart to keep pursuing my goals, giving my children and myself the life we want, nothing short of beautiful, adventurous and memorable. Once work and life became more routine I realized I was taking my blessings as a given, as if one day they couldn’t be taken away. I started to realize every year I lease my life but not truly living it to the fullest and making a difference.

About a year and a half ago after going through heartbreak I realized no one should break me. Not because I have taken nearly a decade to build myself, career, life and family but because I have more to give. I have more to offer and to break me would mean I could not pass my light. I knew I wanted to do something. Changing the world was a little out of the scale for me but changing someone’s world was not.

I decided to live with purpose; to change one person’s life outside of my children. After months and months of searching for how I can apply purpose to my life I decided I wanted to help people who were not always given the opportunity to ever find theirs. I decided at the beginning of this year to start writing in hopes of inspiring one person, maybe a tired mother or a heartbroken girl and then to create a chain of hope. With Jonathan cheering me on I created Austin Hope Squad. With every visit to Austin, I planned how I could mark my purpose when I moved here. And what almost felt an overnight change, I found my purpose in life.

Hope Squad Austin

IG: Austinhopesquad

Aside from this being a shameless plug for Austin Hope Squad. It is a slight nudge, asking you if you are living your purpose. Do you wake up to a routine? Do you ever think about a goal or dream you never really got to? Do you think about the day you take your last breath and where ever you go to next, if you left something behind worth remembering? Regardless of if you believe in a life after, do you feel like your time here has been worthwhile?

If the answer is no I encourage you to find your purpose. Of course this is coming from the girl behind this blog so take it as you will. Whether you are an artist with a story to tell, a teacher with an idea that will change the way your students look at their education, a doctor with a gift of healing to offer someone in need, a mother with the talent of comforting someone else’s child as well as your own or just someone who wants more of this beautiful life, find your purpose. And then live it.

Hope you all have a wonderful fourth of July holiday!

That Decade Old Bucket List

So this past week I celebrated my 28th Birthday! I swear I was blowing out my 22 birthday candles, blinked, and my 28th Birthday on Friday, April 20th, 2018 happened. Not any special birthday milestone for most people, nothing like buying my first car on my 18th birthday or shots off the bar at The Hub on ladies night for my 21st. However insignificant a 28th birthday can be to the average adult, this birthday for me, by far was probably the toughest to come up on. Aside from real wrinkles starting to set in and getting tired after a few flights of stairs (HAHA…) I really had a hard time in the weeks prior to my birthday.

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I felt a slight sense of depression coming upon me. I am a firm believer that depression is partially due to being ungrateful. Disagree with me if you must but remember, this is my platform for expressing my opinions so that I will do. I try steering away from “getting depressed” about life circumstances and challenges by comparing the blessings I fail to recognize daily to the misfortunes that others may have. Seems shitty I know, but I truly look at it in a “be grateful for what you have” aspect. Somehow I missed that train for the past couple of weeks. It must have chu chu’d right past my stop.

In the stress of resigning from my current job, applying and interviewing for new jobs, planning and prepping my children’s upcoming schooling and sports, I lost sight of where I am heading.

I am a 28 year old, single (soon to change; Jonathan’s planning on helping with laundry on the weekends!), self sufficient, independent, working mom of two boys. Right? Right. Well… restarting a career, relocating your family, finding a new home, new friends and new lifestyle can be quite a curve ball that takes you right off the straight path.

For months Jonathan and I talked about one of us moving and goals we had in our careers and relationships. The time had come and we made the choice for me to relocate. Just in time for me to find my 10 year high school reunion bucket list. “Own the car I am currently driving, own a home that I am living in and make $100,000 annual salary.” I also found a page in my scrapbook with a high school graduation picture and a note to myself promising to be the best parent I could possibly be to the baby I was carrying. For the past 8 weeks my bucket list just ate at me. I am so close to crossing everything off the list. Am I just going to stop everything, right now? And just move?

Being a city girl, living in small town Minnesota or North Dakota was not going to be my life plan. I knew in my heart that this move to Austin would make me so happy, fulfill my needs to further my career and offer my children so many more opportunities in education and sports. But I couldn’t help but think that I had failed myself by not reaching the goals I was so sure and so close to reaching. I was absolutely fixated on my bucket list that my unknowing, immature, too soon to be a mom, 18 year old self had made 10 years ago.

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And then it hit me as I was packing up boxes last week, sorting through more pictures from my senior year of high school. I came across that graduation picture again. I had promised to be the best mother I possibly could be to my child. I could have been a lot of things at 18. Obviously making bad decisions was my specialty at the time, but single and a mother was going to be all too new to me. However, out of all the decisions I could have made, I chose to be a damn good mom. I have always put my children first, worked my ass off from the bottom to the top, crushed every obstacle in my way and given them a life that most children dream of. They have traveled, experienced life, culture, friendships and love that most people don’t see in a lifetime. I have raised kind, genuine, loving, caring human beings that always put others first. And if that wasn’t a blessing enough, through 10 years of relationships in my adult life I was sent a partner who has not only become my best friend but it willing to go through the rest of his life parenting, loving and caring for my children and myself. This all only adds to the countless amounts of relationships I have made with friends and coworkers and my amazing family. (Cheers to my girl gang for a wine night and card games on my birthday!)

There it is! The silver lining right before the depression tries to grab popcorn, take a front row seat and get comfortable. I have, in my life, the most valuable components to happiness. I have two studs for children, a supporting family, amazing friends and a loving boyfriend. I am making a ridiculous payment on a Buick Verano (yes I know your grandma drives the same car as me), I just signed a lease with an even more ridiculous amount on rent and I just let go of an amazing position at the top of my career. Let us just go ahead and call this chapter a huge leap of faith! Faith that sometimes there is no timeline on your goals. There is no set date on finding true happiness. Love doesn’t know timing and certainly doesn’t present itself when you are looking for it. There is no life meter measuring your successes and failures and as Notebook as this may sound, sometimes you just have to follow your heart.

So to anyone that is coming up on a milestone or personal significant birthday, take that ‘glass half full’ approach. Count your blessings for what they are worth and enjoy every day that you are living. I’ve heard that the other option isn’t ideal.

As always, thank you for being a part of StilettosInASandbox, I appreciate all of you that are following. Feel free to reach out, I would love to hear your feedback!

Mom P.O.V on Parkland, Florida Shooting

After learning more about the individuals who were killed in the Parkland, Florida shooting I felt like I needed to express my opinion about gun laws and mental illness like so many other Americans.

As a mother of two young boys it breaks my heart knowing that the parents of these victims had to bury their children much too early. We drop off our children at school, wishing them a good day and giving them a kiss goodbye until we see them later that day at pick up. For these parents there is no more kiss goodbye, there is no more see you after school, there is no more did you have a good day? It baffles me that everyone of us has a child, friend, niece, nephew, grandchild in the school system that could have been on the other side of that bullet. If not that bullet, on the other side of a bullet at any other school shooting. So why are we all not standing up for much stricter gun laws? Why are we allowing money and power to buy out the safety of our children in a place where they should feel the most safe. Please don’t get me wrong, I enjoy hunting and I do have a fascination with shooting at a gun range but I do believe that there should be much more restrictions on purchasing and handling of a gun in this country. With that being said I will also state that I do not know enough about politics and gun laws to make any further comments as I stated in the video above, however I have a suggestion on how we can better the system that surrounds it.

Actually, before I go into that I will touch on the suggestion made that we arm our teachers with weapons to protect our children with their life when they are at school. Although, we all know many teachers that would do that in an instant, like one of the victims of Parkland, is that something that we should expect? Let us be reminded of how much, or how little I should say, we pay our teachers in our country. Aside from the long hours and being underpaid many of these teachers stay beyond what is required to help our children with home work, catching up or simply to have someone to talk to. In addition we seem to be unable to provide the basic necessities to teachers in our school system, like Kleenex and sanitizing wipes. To suggest arming our teachers with weapons, training, and then expecting them to put their lives in front of our children sounds like a piss poor suggestion in my opinion. In my opinion this is practically a laugh in the face of a genuine cry for help. This wildly insane idea makes our country look like a complete joke. I have the utmost respect for the teachers in my children’s school system. My older son’s teacher communicates with parents of his students on more than a weekly basis. His principal volunteers hours to coach his basketball team. My younger son’s teacher reaches out to the parents of students who are not fortunate enough to be able to provide snacks or valentines and helps to provide that for them. I am beyond blessed by the staff in our school system and I know that most parents will agree that the teachers in our school systems do beyond what we can ever expect out of them. In my opinion Policemen and Military risking their lives everyday to protect us deserve more pay than the athletes and celebrities we like to worship and if we are unable to fill a gap in their pay, how can we ever expect our teachers to then do the same. Once again, these are my opinions and by no means do you have to agree but I hope it is something you will think about.

Last but not least, is the purpose of this video and post. I want to encourage everyone out there, whether they have children or not, to reach out to the school systems and give them a hand. This is simply a plea from a mother of two little boys. None of us would ever expect to see our child’s school on the news in this manner. We all know a child that we care about deeply, and I don’t think we should wait until something this heartbreaking happens to one of our own children, to make a change in our communities. Schools are running on very little resources and not enough staff to reach out to children who may be struggling with mental illness, bullying, trouble at home, homelessness and other issues that are far beyond their capacity to handle.We are failing as a society in helping these children. We spend so many dollars on running prisons, rehabilitation programs and reforming troubled adults to fix a problem that may have been much easier to solve where it stems. We should be spending funding and resources to make sure that these children are prepared for the world they are entering as adults.  Today, we may not change gun laws, but we can step out side and into a school and give ourselves, our time, our energy and help a child in need. This may not be your ideal solution and this is just a suggestion, but today can be a day for change. Every day that goes by trying to identify a problem is a day that the problem goes unchanged. I hope you will join me in helping your local school and doing even the smallest part because I promise, to someone you will make the biggest difference.

I hope you all have a good night and tonight let us remember the lives that were lost in Parkland and hold our loved ones a little closer and a little longer. As always, thank you all for reading and being a part of this blog. I appreciate all your love and support.

Life

Hey Ya’ll! Thank you for stopping by and showing me your love and support. This section will be reserved for the odds and ends of my life. I will use this space to talk about topics like current events, politics (jk!), unsolicited advice i’m trying to hand out like candy, personal vents etc. This section will probably be the more controversial side of my blog ;). If you’re in to that sort of thing stick around and let’s sip on some tea, shall we?