Sunday, January 25, 2015

Golden

One of the things that I've been hesitant to talk about here on the blog is the split between my son's father and myself. There are  many reasons why I haven't wanted to say much about it as I am sure that you can imagine. But the main theme is that I have moved from out of his house with the baby and am currently residing with my parents. This was more of my decision than his, and will say that we both had part in why it would not work out, though I was probably less willing to keep trying. In any event, he and I are still committed to raising our son as parents, though we may have different thoughts on how to do so. Yet, in time the details will work themselves out. Right now Zavier is happy, healthy and loved. And my decision has made me a happier, more emotionally and physically healthy mother who is able to love herself the way that she used to. And THAT is golden for all  of us.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Always "If only..."

I realized recently that over the years I have wanted to travel and live abroad, but have always found an “If only…” contingency clause attached…

“If only I didn’t have a full time job that I would lose if I traveled abroad for an extended amount of time, I would.”
“If only I didn’t have a house. wouldn’t have to worry about a mortgage and finding tenants. This would free me up to travel abroad.”
“If only I didn’t have a child. I could travel without having to worry about his well being.”

But here’s the deal…

I love to travel.
I still, after years of longing for it, want to live abroad for at least a year.

So then, I need to do it, right?

And, “if only” is beginning to look like…

“If only I take sabbatical from work. I can teach abroad- and get many benefits.”
“If only I sell my house, I can travel without a mortgage and those expenses.”
“If only my baby boy comes with me- he would have a wonderful, unique experience.”

Always “if only.” If only I take the chance and use the opportunity to seize the day!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

All Right!

When I was young I imagined one day growing up, meeting the right guy, easily falling in love and getting married. We'd get along great, most of the time, and buy a house in the suburbs with 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and a white picket fence for our large backyard. Perhaps after that some kids would come into the mix...and a dog. Our 2 cars would fit perfectly into our garage...and we'd live happily ever after.

That notion changed in my late teens and 20s when I started to see that the fun guys don't like nice girls. I gave up on boys in high school, after years of being downed for my brains and lack of sex appeal. I really only had one crush (who sadly got involved in a drug battle later down the line and is no longer with us. :-( But in my 20s I regained confidence when I realized how much European men like "chocolate"- and with little selling power behind it, might I add. But again, it all proved to be moot when after tasting a piece they are quickly onto the next fleeting, sugary dessert. ( Staright European men also like a variety of other treats- a.k.a any female that walks...)

Faith was reborn when I met and fell in love with a Moroccan man 8 years ago in Spain. Every time I take myself back to those moments I drift off into this other realm of thought and feeling that I have never before- and never since- experienced. Yet that too, proved to be fleeting. Though we communicated for some time after that brief time we spent together, at some point your lives just have to one- in one place, with one purpose, toward one goal- before it is no longer going to sustain itself. Thus I let go. And am still tying to keep the faith that it will happen again.

So I am sure that it will come as no surprise that never did I imagine that at age 31 years I'd be dining in a Brazilian steak restaurant with my 10 month old son and his father (my now ex-boyfriend, who after only 3 short months of knowing each other were able to bring forth a child) for his 30th birthday. We are getting along and enjoying ourselves, despite my distaste for red meat these days. I pay the bill as his birthday treat. He takes Zavier home to spend time for the evening. And I go to bed, pensive about whether or not I am actually in the right place in my life. I search a few online dating profiles, see some happy couples on Facebook, then slam my computer, praying to God that I can get through this relationship fog. I pray that I can let go of the ideals and just grab a hold of what is best for me and all those who I love and who love me right now.

Then I wake up. I feel achy yet refreshed. I begin my morning, stepping on the bathroom scale just because it's there...

...and I see that even after a gluttonous night of culinary over-indulging...I have lost the 1 pound that has held me in a weight decade captivity for the past 3 months!


And there it is so clear as I walk out of the door for the gym: All is right with the world.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

"March"ing toward birthdays

A big thanks to the [6 of you] that voted in my birthday poll. I think that I will be taking it easy here this year after all. I'm thinking a "paint and sip" spot and sushi afterwards with some friends would be fun. Low key...high fun!


We have baby boy's birthday theme figured out too! It will be a Seussical Celebration!


I will keep you updated on both of these March events as time progresses...

Day-to-Day Planning: Moving Now and Future Education for Baby Boy

Though my son is only 10 months old, I am already thinking about his schooling. Probably the teacher in me coming out, but I can't help but start the mental process.

If you do not know, I grew up in Philadelphia, PA. I was raised in a very racially and socio-economically homogeneous neighborhood which wasn't so highly regarded academically or when it came to safety. Thus my parents paid a hefty tuition for my younger brother and I to attend a private, Christian school in the suburbs of the city. College followed. I attended a small, private, 4-year liberal arts institution in central Pennsylvania. I indeed received a quality education in both locations...with a hefty price tag! 

Now as a teacher in the suburbs of a my large metropolitan city, I continue to see the benefits of quality education. However, in my mind neither the options that I had nor my current teaching environment seem to be the best match for my son, in my opinion. Perhaps it is that all of the options have "holes" - lack of racial diversity, high costs and well, just a lack of opportunities all around It used to seem so clear- I would move to the suburbs and my child would got to school there. But I am starting to see that there are more options out there and that I should explore them.

I never DREAMED of staying in Philadelphia as a child. I HATED growing up in the city and wanted so badly to be a suburban chic in my cushy house with a clean and well-maintained, large yard. But now I feel it when I am away from my family...when I have to drive over an hour to get Zavier to his grandparents' homes...when I love driving down Bustleton Avenue and seeing the shops of different ethnic groups co-existing...when I can be anywhere within a matter of seconds...by walking and not driving. Where there are charter schools where my son will see many faces that look like his and be able to learn a new language at a young age. Perhaps the city would be a better choice...

But my job- what pays the bills- is in the suburbs, over an hour away from these options. My son's father will still live 1.5 hours away from him too. And are the academics really up to par with those affluent schools outside of the city limits?

All of the above concern me. BUT I rest assured in the fact that I have time to consider all of the options. As it goes, my son's father and I will no longer be residing under the same roof, but we are both dedicated to fostering the best relationship and doing what is right for our son. Right now that will look like me moving to said suburbs during his infancy and toddler days. Yet, who's to say that won't change in the next 5 years? I'm just a planner. But no longer am I the daily planner I once was. I am now a planner that does so day-by-day. ;-)

In 2015...I'm sure of it!

It's that time of year again...where one ends and a new one begins. That comes along with "resolutions" or - in my book- goals for the future. I do have some. I am trying to keep them realistic and not be overly ambitious so as not to set myself up for failure. Here is a list of what I would like to see happen:


Short term/regularly/immediate
  • Drink 32 oz.of water daily
  • Wear makeup once per week
  • Add an accent necklace to my clothing one time each week
  • Exercise bike/dumbells/ab workout at home 20-30 minutes 3 days/nights per week
  • 1 hour of exercise at gym once per week
  • Take a healthy lunch to work 2-3 times per week
Monthly
  • Try one new/different healthy
  • Wear a new hair style
  • Do my nails
  • Complete 1 educational course for pay increase in August
  • Save $350 monthly for emergency fund

By March 2015...
  • Have registered for a spring or summer 5k race
  • Have found a new church to visit bi-monthly
By May 2015...
  • Lose 12 pounds (That's only 2.4 pounds per month! :-)
  • Partake in a 5K race

By August 2015...
  • Have completed coursework for pay raise
  • Have saved $3000 for new place!
  • Have moved into new place
Within 5-10 years...
  • Take sabbatical prior to Zavier going to Kindergarten (age 3 years)
  • Teach abroad while taking sabbatical
  • Open Moroccan cafe/Tapas bar

In re-reading these goals, I realize that they are beyond manageable as written. As I hone in on each, I will make it more specific. I am also printing out the list so that I can have a regular visual and check off my accomplishments. 2015 is going to be a year of dedication to the purpose- of being a mom and of being the best me that I can be! Everything else will fall into place- I'm sure of it. :-D

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Carded...again! ;-)

I have sold 5 gift cards via Raise. This has yielded quite a bit of funding. I receive the gift cards as gifts or from credit card rewards, then, via Top Cash Back, visit Raise to sell them at a discounted rate. Raise takes a minor commission, and Top Cash Back pays out $5 for every listing. Over time Raise will mail a check and Top Cash Back will provide a payout. Thus when listing $10 gift cards I can make a profit of $3 at at times.

Quite lucrative if I must say so myself...despite the fact that my credit card was just used without my permission on the site. But that has been resolved now. LOL!

Have unwanted gift cards? Check out the pages for further information and to perhaps try it out for yourself! :-)