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2017
01/20

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Back to Square One

Most all family and friends now know that Nate and I have started training to become foster parents. This has been a possibility for us for many years. We have often brought up the subject and quickly dismissed it. As we have gotten older the dismissing didn’t come so quickly. I have always wanted a larger family and Nate has always been content with stopping at two. Then last Spring happened. Foster Care was everywhere. I just couldn’t stop thinking about fostering. I felt inundated with foster information and knew that there was something to it.

When we lost Nate’s parents a little over a year ago things changed so much for our family. I won’t go into everything now but, I knew that it was too soon to talk to Nate about my budding foster feelings. So I prayed. (If you don’t know the story of Baeya’s adoption this feels very familiar.) I prayed for months for clarification from Jesus if this was truly from him or my own wants. I finally got up the nerve to tell Nate how I was feeling when he was on his work trip to Germany. Notice that I wait until he is out of the country to get up my nerve. Don’t get me wrong I had thrown out the foster words a few times throughout the summer to gage his reactions, but I am pretty sure he was a bit stunned to get the phone call. His response maybe stunned me more though. He said, “Ok we will talk about it when we get home.”

Now let me just side note this a bit with; Nate’s aversion to change is REAL, and that is putting it mildly. This was HUGE. I like to put it like this, when I get an idea that will effect my family I have to wrap a rope around Nate’s waist and pull as hard as I can for him to just consider the possibility.  Please know that I say this with the utmost love and respect for my husband. If Nate had a fraction of my love and need for change, there is just no telling where my harebrained schemes would have led us in the past 10 years. I’m about 99.9% sure we would be in a much different place.

Now back to the original intent of this post. Here we are starting again. We have sent in the application, started going to trainings, harassed friends and family for referrals, and I have the longest list of things to do. Currently I would like to show you what I am working on.

floor plan

My hardest subject ever was geometry. NO joke. Spatial intelligence is in Nate’s top 5 strength categories and my #1 weakness. I have no idea why I thought it would be a good idea for me to take this on. In fact I stopped midway to blog about it. I’m tired.

Stay tuned if you want to hear about more of the foster steps. It’s really fun.

2015
07/11

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Issues part 2

I have this reoccurring neck pain. It comes around every other month to every three months. Sometimes it’s in the form of spasms up my neck and into my head or down my shoulder. Sometimes it’s just a terrible crick in my neck. A couple of times it has been completely unbearable to the point of a chiropractor visit. My first visit happened when Owen was a little over a year old and I fell down the last step at our home walking downstairs with him in my arms. Luckily He was not hurt at all but my back/neck (that I already had problems with) was jarred pretty good.

Recently there was no stand out event but the neck pain was back in full force. So I decided to go back to the chiropractor. I only lasted two sessions the first time. I can’t handle the popping, it is so awkward to hear all that popping in my body. I end up uncontrollably laughing after every adjustment because it’s so creepy. So this week when I went to get adjusted, it was no different during and after the cracking. What was different about this time around was that the chiropractor decided to set me up on a machine. It made little pulses that tickled on my neck and felt very cold. He had me lay face down in a dark room for ten mins. And as he left said,” there are no children for you to take care of, you are completely stress free just relax.” So naturally I start freaking. Who does he think he is? Does he not know that I have much more important things to do than relax? So I decide to make mental lists of what I needed to do, while I waited for the dreadful 10 mins. to be up. When he FINALLY came back into the room he escorts me to another table. Wait what? I can’t go now? (This is in my head because I may be a crazy Type-A control freak but I am not rude.)

He has me lay on my back on a half massage table half water bed where the “bubbles” pummel my back while, again, I am to relax for the next 10 mins. So instead, I mentally wrote this blog about the annoyance of having to go to a chiropractor. Then I realized… My Issues are Starting to Show again, although not through my children, which is nice.

So I stopped writing this blog and left it as a “draft” for the past month. Now as I am rereading my neurotic words I am just laughing because the truth is, that is just how crazy I am.

Nate and I choose to live our lives in a chaotic way. I’m not really sure why, but I like to pile it on and Nate doesn’t like to turn any invitations down. So we end up doing a lot, a lot of the time. It is rare when we have a day of rest and relaxation. In fact yesterday, was the first day that we had no plans in I am not sure how long. Lately I have been spending Sundays at the library working on a group project but as summer school ended last week and fall starts this Thursday I had a rare moment of quiet. So I made the whole family re organize all toys and pick up the house. I will tell you though that on this Monday I feel so much better with the toys organized.

Like I said before, I start class on Thursday, Brain and Behavior and Intimate Partner Violence, and my internship at an Adoption Agency on Wednesday. Needless to say I don’t really see our lives slowing down. I just felt like I should post this blog anyway due to the need to be transparent. No big proclamations about slowing down because the fire in my gut won’t let me but boy are my issues glaring in this post.

2015
03/11

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If it looks and sounds racist…

I don’t even know why I am surprised to see a fraternity singing racist songs. I know better, I know that racism is everywhere. Maybe I just don’t want to believe that a group of college men would actually sing a horrifically racist song. Then again, maybe this video will get through to people that racism is still here. Here is a blatant reminder that racism still exists for the people who actually think it’s gone. I am glad that in this reminder no one was physically injured/killed (this time), but let this be a kick in the pants for all of us to continue working on a future free from racism and white privilege. I saw a news story yesterday afternoon about some of the fraternity guys’ parents making statements and apologies about their sons and mentioning that they aren’t actually “racist”. One of the fraternity members singing his heart out on the video said he wasn’t a racist in his statement. What I would really like to say to them is, “Oh no, Y’all are definitely racists.”  If you are able to sing those words? If you can even stomach being apart of a group of people who would sing those words then you qualify. Welcome to the real world guys. It’s almost like the word is more offensive than the meaning. No no we aren’t racist we are just singing about hanging people because of their skin color.

Racism: Hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

As an elementary school social worker I used to tell my students that if you are hearing or watching the bullying go on and not doing anything to stop it, then you are a part of the problem. As adults, it can also be hard to stand up and say, No, that is wrong and completely unacceptable.  This is bad, this is real bad and always has been. We need to open our eyes. Don’t uncomfortably laugh at a racist joke because it is a boss or “friend”, tell them that you are not ok with joking about race. Tell them that people are equal in God’s eyes and equal in yours.  Don’t allow people to treat others different because they have a different skin color. For that matter we might add in gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or any other reason I may have missed. I realize I am way late to the game but I am just so tired of hearing these excuses for Ferguson police, for college “boys”, for the Eric Garner murder.

Another term used in some of the statements issued was “prayerful”. Clearly Jesus is the one to get through to these guys and I pray that they truly seek him. We all need more prayer, we all need Jesus.

For the commandments, “Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not covet,” (and if there is any other commandment) are summed up in this, “love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Romans 13:9-10

2014
12/16

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Help for my future

From the moment Nate and I decided that I should stay home from work when Owen was born I have known that I would go back to school. It’s something I have wanted to do since undergrad. Social Work has been a huge chunk of my identity since 21 years of age. I have never felt like I belong to a group as much as I do with social work. It has changed my reading habits, my relationships, and my self esteem from the day my sister said “Jackie you want to do social work”. This is when I was a sophomore in college explaining to my sister (a social worker) what I wanted as a career. My sister and I were so different growing up that never did I think our professional careers would align. Turns out there are hundreds of different jobs through social work and my sister and I have taken very different paths within social work. Also turns out my sister and I are not as different as I thought.

Social work just comes natural to me. It feels right and at the same time pushes me completely out of my comfort zone constantly, which makes me love it even more. So when Owen was one month old I applied and was accepted into the UTA SW graduate program. Yes I know, Owen is almost 4 (tear) and yes it’s a two year program but I am still going. I take two classes a semester so let’s be honest it’s probably going to be another 2 years before I finish. I’m not in a hurry though and I actually really enjoy learning so it is what it is. School has kept at least one of my feet in the SW world, but I took a semester off when Baeya was born and just returned this fall. I took one online course and one Wednesday night course. On Tuesdays Nate and I enrolled in a 9 week parenting class. It’s just a more intense class than the women’s class I took this summer regarding the book, The Connected Child. We had several hours worth of homework each week, because I really needed more homework and on Thursdays Nate had his cornhole league. As you can see, we are crazy people. Needless to say, I am so happy to have the holiday break from school. Unfortunately I am fast approaching my next internship and have NO IDEA where I want it to be! I loved my homeless shelter, elementary schools, and the psychiatric hospital from the last internship (blogged about in My issues are starting to show). Not to mention my love of adoption. I am completely stumped. So I wrote this whole thing just to ask for help. Where should I go? I really don’t know what I want to do when I go back to work, there are too many options. So if you have any advice PLEASE tell me!

2014
12/16

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Music

133  Muse in Mexico 2008

I can’t count the many times I have gone to see live music, as I’m sure you can’t either. I love music, as do most people, and have gone to some great shows recently which caused this blog post. As I have been thinking about writing it, all these key moments keep popping up. Y’all its five AM so if I sound ridiculous, it’s because I am. I wake up really hyper if it’s before 6AM, luckily no one ever sees me this way.

I started dancing at a studio when I was 7 years old. I fell in love with Michael, Janet, and Madonna literally on a dance floor. Madonna really did teach me how to strike a pose and express myself. My dad taught me the undeniable goodness of Motown and my mother taught me some pretty fun ’80s songs. The preteen years (and my 3 years in Iowa) taught me how powerful a good rap can be. Yes I am talking specifically about Tupac, yes I still love him, and yes he is still alive, (Machiavelli, where you at).

I did have a love for country at one point but for some reason it just didn’t stick that well…

In my teenage years I will give Nate the credit for introducing me to rock. (Your welcome dear.) My dad had listened to some rock on the radio when I was growing up but Nate showed me at the time how great a little 311, Radiohead, and emotional Incubus could be. My college years would be my time of music reflection. My little hippie friends made me the Led Zeppelin fan I am today with, of course, a little Beatles, and some Jack White dashed in there. So after my first concert, yes it was N’sync and no I am not ashamed, I loved the concert going experience. Nate was a drummer in a band our senior year of high school which meant we spent many weekends listening to his band “of the moment” (there were a few throughout hs and college) and many others in Deep Ellum on the weekends.

While in the “music scene” in these younger years there has always been one thing that grinds my gears (Nate, my editor, told me to say that).

ENCORES. Encores are the WORST. It is one of the most arrogant situations I have encountered. If your preacher left the stage after a Sunday service only to be applauded back on so he could preach more, I PROMISE YOU, you would never go back to that church. (I may or may not have stolen that from my pastor, according to my editor.)

So to all the band members reading my blog (I laughed out loud when I wrote that), Listen, I know one of the three songs you are going to play in your encore will be a favorite and I know you are tired and could use a little break. BUT, you look ridiculous. Our feet hurt too. We want to go home and go to bed too. Oh and btw they quit serving alcohol over an hour ago so for a few different reasons your probably not sounding as good as you were two hours ago. Ya done yet? (Just so you know, Nate tells me I am the only person who feels this way, so I understand if you don’t agree, kind of.)

On the way to see The Black Keys a few weeks back as we were anticipating a fun night with an encore (insert eye roll here), Nate helped me type up all the shows that I have gone to (and can remember) and since this blog tends to be a place I frequent for good memories I am going to write them here. Plus I don’t foresee a lot of future blog writing on music so might as well right? I would encourage you to write them down too, it was really fun reminiscing. This is in no way a thorough list nor does it have any order but I don’t really care, I’m posting any way.

  1. Black Keys
  2. Delta Spirit (2)
  3. 311(6?)
  4. Incubus (3)
  5. Franz Ferdinand(2)
  6. Wild Feathers
  7. Deathcab for Cutie(3)
  8. The Police
  9. Elton John
  10. Billy Joel
  11. Muse(2)
  12. The Eagles
  13. N’sync(3)
  14. Coldplay(2?)
  15. Primus
  16. Arcade Fire
  17. Pixies
  18. Sublime
  19. G Love and the Special Sauce
  20. Band of Horses
  21. Dawes
  22. Fleetfoxes
  23. Blue October
  24. Black Lips
  25. MGMT
  26. Yonder Mountain String Band
  27. Eric Clapton
  28. Ben Folds
  29. Bella Fleck and the Flecktones
  30. Radiohead
  31. Modest Mouse
  32. Vampire Weekend
  33. Matisvahu
  34. Steve Winwood
  35. Dr. Dogg
  36. Doves
  37. Counting Crows
  38. Etta James
  39. Iron and Wine
  40. Jake Bugg
  41. The Killers(2)
  42. Beck
  43. Justin Timberlake

Music Festivals

  • ACL (2008ish)
  • Lalapalooza (2006)
  • South by Southwest (2004,2005, 2007ish)