Thursday, December 1, 2011

30 days of gratitude - days 22-30

Uff-dah! Where have I been the last 9 days? Maybe next year I'll be able to make it through...

I figured I ought to do a little wrap-up post.

I know this is somewhat of a repeat, but it's just that important to me.

I'm ever-thankful for friends. Friends that have been for 20 years to friends that I've made in the last few months. I've never felt so connected and so loved. I'm love that I'm finding myself wanting to spend time with people. And these people are fantastic.

I'm ever-thankful for family. This time of year it's not hard to hear stories of crazy mothers, fathers, siblings, or in-laws. Even though it's hard to be so far away from my family, it's a good thing that I miss them. And in just under two weeks I'll be heading back home to see them. And I'm thankful for that, too!

So, here's to December! I hope you all had lovely Thanksgivings and you can have the time to enjoy this time of year.

Monday, November 21, 2011

30 days of gratitude - day 21

I am thankful for my job.

Exactly three years ago today I was hired. Three years and 3 weeks ago we moved to Washington. If you do the math, you'll find that it only took me 3 weeks to find my job. This was right when the economy was crashing, companies were going under, and thousands of people were losing their jobs.

Granted, my job isn't exactly the type of job with a cushy salary and nice hours. 

I work with adolescents who have cognitive and behavioral challenges who live in a group home. You could call me a support staff, I suppose. I help administer meds, try and redirect maladaptive behaviors (sometimes successfully, other times not so much...), cook meals, clean, go out into the community, and whatever else the kids need. It's 24 hours care, so it'd be rare to go a week without getting called into work, or having to switch shifts, or staying late, or coming early, or work doubles (16hrs). And since the kids are in school 9 months out of the year, I'd typically work evenings ... in other words, I had no social life. Sometimes I'd get hit, kicked, bit, cursed at, or have my hair pulled. Sometimes I would be so emotionally drained that my only response was to cry. (Not a good idea, by the way).

But, I'd do it all again.

Why? Because of one neat chick who I got to meet three years ago.

Even though this one gal made me earn her trust, (see above for details), I've gotten to form the coolest relationship with her. And she has made the hugest impact on my life. No doubt have I benefited more than she has from our time together, though I'd like to think otherwise.

I'm only working one day a week because of school, but getting to see her is almost always a highlight of my week.

I wish I could post a picture of her beautiful face and tell you all sorts of fun stories, but I don't want to jeopardize my job. So you'll just have to trust me. She's pretty amazing.

30 days of gratitude - days 17-20

Geez, the last few days have gone by fast! 

day 17 - thankful that I got to catch up with some old friends
day 18 - thankful that my group project is over with
day 19,10 - thankful for a weekend off with TJ. It's a rare occasion to have a weekend off together. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

30 days of gratitude - day 16

I am thankful for people who are passionate about what they do and work hard to motivate people around them. 

I am thankful that I get to interact with passionate people and be inspired by them on a daily basis. 

I am thankful that my nutella and toast almost tasted like a doughnut. 

I am thankful for public transportation. It's saved me hundreds of dollars in gas not to mention the cost of a parking permit.  

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

30 days of gratitude - day 15

Today, I'm thankful for Tuesdays. 

Why, you ask? Here are the top 10 reasons why:
  1. I don't have class
  2. I get to grocery shop (seriously. I love grocery shopping)
  3. I don't have class
  4. I have time to make dinner (stir fry tonight)
  5. I don't have class
  6. I get to catch up on homework
  7. I don't have class
  8. I have time to organize and clean
  9. I don't have class
  10. I get extra cuddle time with my cats 
Yep. That's why I'm thankful for Tuesdays! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

30 days of gratitude - day 14

I am thankful for my sister, Rachel.

The girl texted me this morning and told me she got a 99.5 on her English paper. To say I'm proud of her is an understatement. 

Rachel is one of the brightest people I know. She's also one of the most bull-headed and stubborn people I know. If she thinks something is pointless (say, most of high school) she won't give it the time of day. 

Last year Rachel chose to live with me and TJ. She stayed with us for 6 months. When she moved in with us, I was so excited, but a little nervous. Let's just say Rach and I didn't get along all that well growing up. It wasn't until right before TJ and I got married that we started having conversations and connecting. 

That short time Rachel lived with us wasn't always sunshine and rainbows, but overall it was good for our sisterly relationship. I got to see a side of Rach I didn't know existed. And she got to experience something resembling independence. And we had plenty of hilarious adventures.  She's got a fantastic sense of humor and great taste in t.v. shows and movies. 

The main reason she chose to move home was to pursue school. She applied, got accepted, but then had to face some frustrations during the process. She was very close to giving up on the idea of school, but she stuck with it. 

And today she aced her English paper. 

I have a lot to learn from Rachel. She has a giant heart for people. Especially for the unloved, unwanted, and cast aside. She stands up for people, even if it means risking her own reputation. She's outspoken, passionate, and won't back down.

She's using her powers for good. 

She will make an excellent social worker someday. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

30 days of gratitude - day 13

Today I am thankful for my brother, Kevin.

This weekend he got to play Edmund in his school's play - The Chronicles of Narnia. My little brother has always be a bit theatrical. In a good way. He's got a kind heart, he's witty, and brilliant. He's pensive and insightful way beyond his years. He had to grow up with three very dramatic older sisters, so he's patient and understanding.

One of the hardest parts about being so far away from my family is missing him grow up. Every time I come home he's changed. His voice has gotten deeper, he's grown taller, become involved in new activities, and made new friends. He's not the little kid I remember when I moved away.

I'm thankful for Kevin because he brings a calming presence to my family. I'm thankful for the deep conversations we have. I'm thankful that he's been so kind to his crazy older sisters. And I'm thankful to have him as my brother.