Change.

I’m unemployed. I haven’t had to say that in a while. Granted this was by choice, and due to a pretty hefty move halfway across the country, but still. It’s kind of a scary thing. When I was leaving the office, I was saying goodbye to some of my co-workers, I wasn’t expecting to get emotional since I hadn’t been happy there for a long time. When I got to my favorite co-worker, the tears started flowing. Even when you hate where you work, it sucks leaving behind the people who made it bearable.

This week, my job will be to pack up our home of the last three and a half years. We dropped Calista off at the Lone Star Leadership Academy this afternoon, so we were able to pack up her room pretty quickly. With her here it was hard because she wants to keep everything. Tomorrow we will tackle the kitchen and clean up the Caliber to get it ready to sell.

I’ve completed a couple more books. I’m currently on book 30. I decided to read the Harry Potter series since I had never done so before. That’ll get me through a few weeks of reading.

It’s been 6 hours since I left Calista at camp. I’m a little lost without her, but I know she’s going to have an incredible week. I saw a couple pictures that the camp posted, and can’t wait to see if/how she documented her time away on the camera I sent with her.

Until next time,
j

17 days and counting

Wow.  I have been terrible at updating this.  More terrible than I had ever thought I would be.  So much to update you all on!

My last post was about fundraising for Calista to go to the Lone Star Leadership Academy, as I’m sure you’re all dying to know, I was able to raise enough for her to go!  June 22nd, I’ll be dropping her off for 5 days and 5 nights of education and fun!  It’s kind of crazy, after 10 years, I’ve never been away from her for this length of time.  For my 30th birthday, I went to San Diego for 3 days, but even then, she was with my mom.   So I was still able to talk to her every day, and keep tabs on her.  Luckily, the camp will be posting updates and sending me pictures throughout the trip, so it won’t be so terrible.

While she’s gone, we’re going to finish packing up the apartment, since we are MOVING!  Seattle, Washington, here we come!  It’s all so overwhelming, but so exciting at the same time.  We have so much to do, and not a whole lot of time to do it.  It’s bittersweet, leaving Dallas.  I’ve made a few good friends, made a ton of memories, including my last memories with my mom.  Since she’s gone, we don’t have a reason to stay here.  My job isn’t great, Tyler’s job for sure isn’t great, we’ve made friends, but we still have no family here.  We had thrown a few places around, but in the end we chose Seattle.  My sister is there, as well as my two younger brothers, it’s closer to Alaska, so it’ll be more cost effective when we choose to go back for vacations.  I’m really looking forward to all the new opportunities that should come across us, and the new people we will meet.

We had also decided to turn this move into our summer vacation!  I can’t remember if I talked about this website before, I’m pretty sure I did, but either way.  RoadTrippers.com is how we’ve found a ton of the things we plan on doing.  I keep adding and subtracting things,  most of what I have scheduled isn’t put into the Road Trippers itinerary, but it has helped us find a lot of things I never would have seen without it.  If you have any interest, you can see the basis of our trip here.  To keep my friends and family posted, I’ll be doing my very best to be posting daily updates on our trip.  I’m expecting it to be around a week, maybe more?  I really have no clue.  After Disneyland we really have no timeline.  I wanted to go to Yosemite, but I had no idea campsites filled up that fast.  Within hours of the reservations for the season opening.  Double damn!

On to some updates.  I haven’t been eating well, and have not lost any weight.  In actuality, I’ve probably gained 100 pounds.  Or at least it feels like it.  I still have not had any soda, so it’s been, 8 months now?  As far as reading goes, I’ve read a few more books, I’ve slowed down a lot, but I’m still on track to completing the challenge!

 

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Seriously…I’m Kidding is hilarious.  I felt like every page I was laughing.  The Longest Ride was great, finally a romantic book, without teenagers haha  Finally, Room.  I hated it.  I just couldn’t get past the book being narrated by a 5 year old.  So hard to read!  I think I’m going to read the Harry Potter books soon.  I’ve never read them, and actually never watched all of the movies.  So I figured that was something that Calista and I could do together…

Oh!  I went to see The Fault in Our Stars!  And strangely enough, I went by myself.  Myself, plus 59 other strangers.  It was kind of nice, going by myself.  I think I want to make a habit of this.

Anyway, I will probably write once more before we go, but please, keep reading, and keep me in line!  Make me write!

 

 

until next time,

j

lone star leadership academy

Yesterday was a GREAT day.  I mean, it was an ordinary day for the most part.  Until I got home from work.

Calista was selected to try out for an academy level soccer team as a guest player!  It would just be for 1, maybe 2 tournaments since we’re moving, but still.  It’s awesome that she has been chosen for consideration!  Her confidence was never high on the field, but for whatever reason, this year, she’s on cloud 9.

When she got home from step practice, she handed me some envelopes.  I had asked a few of her teachers (some had retired) to write a note to Calista.  I had received one from her kindergarten teacher, and yesterday her 2nd grade teacher had sent one home.  It was the best note I’ve ever read.  It’s so great to see that other people appreciate Calista as much as I do, and I know many people do.  This letter though, perfect.

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The second envelope, included a letter from her current teacher.  Stating that she was nominated to attend the Lone Star Leadership Academy!  It’s a great opportunity for her to learn a ton about Texas History, and get some leadership skills under her belt.  The camp is educational, so all of the counselors are educators.  The only downfall, is that it is $900.  Because of this, we are seeking donations, applying for scholarships, and will be holding a fundraiser of some sort.  If you want to help Calista attend said camp, I’ve started a GoFundMe, if you could donate $1, $10, $20, $900!  Every little bit helps.  If you would like to donate and get a tax deduction, you can go to www.educationinaction.org, click on Financial Aid, and then Gift Certificates, the recipient will be Calista Kahklen, and once they receive your payment, they’ll send you the tax form.

I have picked up my reading a little bit.  I read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children written by Ransom Riggs, as well as the sequel, Hollow City by Ransom Riggs.  Not usually the kind of book I enjoy, but these were pretty good.  I think it’s because their “powers” weren’t the main part of the story, it was mostly about the path.  If that makes any sense.  Based on the last page of Hollow City, there will be a 3rd book, which is exciting to know.

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I’ve got a huge stack of books to get through though, and I can’t stop buying more.  I guess there are worse problems to have.

I may have to push the move date back a little because of this leadership camp, but I’m okay with that.  One more week to prepare for the big move.

until next time,

jessica

oops part deux.

This is probably my 3rd or 4th attempt at having a blog, and consistently writing in it.  Obviously, I’m not doing so great.

I’ve been struggling to find the time, the want, the topics to write.  Life hasn’t been super interesting.  I read, eat, work, and play taxi cab to Calista with all her activities.

I haven’t been working out, or eating well.  I want to, but in the end, choose not to.  I’ve come to terms with my weight, and don’t hate myself over it.  I do want to be healthier, thinner, fitter, but at the moment don’t have the energy, or the will power.  I believe that I will get there eventually, hopefully.

In about 9 weeks, we will be making our way to the PacNW.  I’m very excited about our new venture.  Excited to leave the sad memories behind, but also sad to leave the good ones.  It all comes with the territory, of being a habitual mover.  Meet really wonderful people, and then leave them behind.  I am hoping that Seattle is our last move, but who can say what will happen in the future.

I’m currently reading book 23 of the 50 Books in 2014 challenge!  I’m stoked to still be ahead of schedule, and have read some really great books.  Although I’m still not reading as much as I was in the beginning, I’m still happy with my current pace.  I mean, considering in the last 10 years, I think I read less than I have in the first 4 months of this year.

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April 9th, one of my co-workers passed away.  His name is Patrick, and he was one of my favorite co-workers.  He was very quiet, reserved, professional.  I adored him because he hardly ever complained.  The rest of us, complain usually on a daily basis, and it was just nice having someone in the office who was a positive light.  He was incredibly young, 35 years old.  Last we heard, he had died of a heart attack, but we wouldn’t know for sure, unless his father decides to share that information with the office.  After the funeral, his friends had invited me and a few co-workers to a party in his honor.  I had asked his closest friends to share their story of Patrick, since we only knew the Patrick at work.  Turns out, I had no idea who he was.  A year of working with him, having multiple conversations with him a day.  I had no idea who he was.  It makes me sad, and makes me think, I need to start caring more about people in my life.  Asking more questions, learning more about people.  I don’t want to not know the people in my life.  It still sucks going to work, and not having Patrick there, but after the funeral, and the party, I feel like I’ve gotten the closure I needed to not be as sad I was prior to those things.

I also found out my step-dad is not doing so great.  He has stage 4 terminal lung cancer, and isn’t going to be around for much longer.  I haven’t really put much thought into this situation, as I’m not ready to handle it quite yet.  I don’t have a lot of time left, so I need to figure something out.  He only lives about 3 hours driving from me, and I WANT to go see him, but…I don’t know if I can.

Yesterday we took some family photos, I haven’t gotten any of the proofs back yet, but I’m excited to show y’all.  I wanted to take the photos partially because we’re leaving, and I won’t be able to have NIA Photography take anymore photos of us, and partially because I wanted to document my hair.  Sounds silly, I know, but my hair hadn’t been that long in roughly…well, since I was probably 7.  Anyhow, after the photo shoot, I went to my favorite place to get haircuts, and chopped it all off.  A lot of people say that they are too scared to have such a drastic cut, but I really feel more comfortable with short hair.  When my hair is long, I don’t know what to do with it, so 98% of the time, it ends up in a ponytail.  The cut I ended up with, isn’t exactly what I was wanting, but it’ll grow out a little and then be perfect.

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Other than that.  We are just starting to pack, and clear things out of the house.

Oh, and today’s PostSecret!

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It’s oh so true.  For whatever, I feel embarrassed when people give me gifts.  ESPECIALLY when the gift sucks haha

So, until next time.

oops.

Well, it’s been a while since my last post.  It feels like nothing has happened since, but that would be a lie.  

Calista started soccer, her team isn’t very good, but she’s having a lot of fun, and the kids seem to be enjoying themselves.  Calista is one of the better players, with the most fundamentals, she really enjoys being able to tell the other kids what to do on the field.  I wonder where she gets that from.  

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 Reading has been slowing down quite a bit.  I think it’s because the books I’ve been reading haven’t been catching my interest as much.  I mean, they’ve been good books, but not so exciting to where I can’t put them down.  Except for Eleanor & Park, I loved that book.  Cheesy romantic comedy, that’s what I’m into I guess.  Although, Thirteen Reasons Why wasn’t so bad either.  I wasn’t super fond of the ending, but it kept me wanting to know what happened next.  

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I celebrated my 31st birthday last Friday.  30 didn’t treat me very well, so I wanted to make sure I started 31 off right.  I told Tyler that for my birthday, I didn’t want presents, I wanted to go to Austin.  Since we’re leaving Dallas in a few months, I wanted to make sure that Calista and Tyler got to experience Austin, since I had such a great time when I went in 2012.  

I had found this scavenger hunt thing, where you take pictures with a bunch of murals around the city.  Unfortunately, we only found 3 of the murals.  Time constraints and what not.  

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We had such a good time though, I would definitely go back.  So much good food!  So many activities.  We didn’t even get to do everything I had planned to do, but honestly, I don’t even care.  We all had so much fun.  Calista and Tylers favorite part was canoeing in Zilker Park.  It wasn’t the same part of the park that I had gone canoeing in before, but it was just as fun.  

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So, that has caught you up on what I’ve been up to over the last few weeks.  I’ll do my best to post more often.  I really need to get my ass in gear on this reading thing.  I don’t want to fall behind.  

until next time,

j

 

 

Secret Sunday

This weeks postcards were mostly about rape. Which makes me sad. Taking that piece of security from someone, in such a way that is supposed to be so intimate.

It makes me wonder what the rapists are thinking. How sad they are as well. I know that’s not what I should think, but I can’t help it. How depressed are they that they feel that this is their only option? What has lead them to think that this is the only way that they can connect to someone in a sexual manner?

The postcard I’m sharing this week isn’t about rape, since I have never experienced such a horrific thing. But it does explain how I feel about my job. The reason I stay at my current job is to beef up my resume. Prior to working here I never kept a job for longer than 2 years. And that was 10 years ago. I wanted to make sure that employers knew I could stick around. But considering after 3 years, I barely make enough to survive as a single parent. I work my ass off. I do every single project my bosses ask, on top of my current work. I feel taken advantage of, every day. 4 months left. And then I am done. If it weren’t for the fact that we were moving, I would definitely be looking for jobs elsewhere. All day long.

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until next time,

J

onward and upward!

If you weren’t aware, this summer, my family and I will be leaving Dallas. We moved here 3 years ago, to help take care of my mom because she was sick. Now that she’s gone, we have no reason to stay here. We have no family here, our jobs are not wonderful, we have made some friends, and it is going to be sad leaving them, but we have to make changes.

I found this completely RAD website on Pinterest the other night.  It’s called Roadtrippers, and it’s really helpful for anyone going on a road trip.  No matter how short or long the trip is.  Basically, you put in where you’ll be departing from, and your final destination.  It’ll give you the best route to take (you can change the route to take certain highways that you would prefer), and then you can choose attractions, restaurants, there are 9 different categories, with subcategories, and you can choose how far off your path you’re willing to travel.  Then, it will put little pins at all the different things you’re looking for.  It’s awesome.  This is what I’ve got so far for our road trip:

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If you click on the photo, you can click on the numbers, and see what kind of stuff we’ll be doing while on the road trip.

I was excited about this move before, but since I found this website, I’m even more excited!  I even decided we would take a detour and knock off one of my bucket list items!  We’re going to go to the Four Corners!

until next time,

j

sunday fun day.

Well, it’s a 3 day weekend.  For Calista.  Working in the claims department of an insurance company, we don’t get all the holidays unfortunately, so back to work tomorrow for me.  The family and I had a little fun today though, played catch, did some art stuff.  I ordered one of Calista’s birthday presents, which I am SO excited about.  You’ll have to wait another 2 months to see it though, and it’s going to be a family affair.  I’ve got one for each of us.

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In regards to my working out, I haven’t gone back to the gym since I busted my knee a couple weeks ago.  I can walk like a normal person now, but I can’t do much more than that.  My knee doesn’t like it when I take corners, or stairs at a fast pace.  I’m pretty sure I should have gone to the doctor about this, but alas, no insurance.  I have been doing little things at home, I bought a resistance band, and Calista and I do sit-ups and stuff.  Calista will be starting soccer this week, and I’ll be helping with practice.  The days she doesn’t have practice, I’ll start walking again at night, since it’s warmed up again.

On to my favorite resolution of the year, 50 Books in 2014.  I’m still ahead of schedule, I did take a week off though.  I was reading SO much, it was starting to feel like a chore.  I know there are people out there who read double what I’m reading now, but hey…prior to this, I was reading maybe half of a book every year.  So, it’s a ton for me.  These are the books I’ve read since my last post about the challenge:

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I was never really interested in reading The Hunger Games trilogy, honestly I’m not really interested in the movies either.  They were decent reads, I don’t think I would read them again, but they were fun, and I’m glad I read them. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail was great.  It’s based on the author’s own experience, and it makes me incredibly jealous.  I’ve always wanted to have an adventure like that.  Maybe not hiking 1,500 miles, but a great adventure.  I really suggest that anyone read this.  The Hour I First Believed was my first paperback book of the challenge.  Everyone has their preferences on how they like to read, I think I prefer reading on my iPad, just because I like reading at night, and don’t have a bedside lamp.  Anyway, this is probably the longest book I’ve ever read.  A whopping 723 pages or something.  The great thing about this book is that, even with 723 pages, there is ALWAYS something going on.  There are so many intertwining stories, it honestly feels like there could have been more than one book in here, but I really loved the read.  The ending was sad, I won’t give anything away, since some of you may not have read the book yet.  Caelum has so much shit happen to him, I was really thinking that he was going to commit suicide in the end.  Anyway, you should read this.  Seriously.

I’ve started book 14, so that puts me roughly 6 or 7 books ahead of schedule.  I do love this challenge, I feel better about myself knowing I’m spending more time reading, rather than watching TV, or playing games on my phone or something idiotic like that.

My little diet challenges have failed miserably.  I’ve recently become obsessed with M&Ms.  I’m still doing well with water, I still haven’t had a soda.  I stopped keeping track of how many days though, since well, I don’t care about any other beverage anymore.

Well, it’s been like 2 weeks since my last post, but I’ve caught you all up now.  Work.  Help Calista with homework.  Read.  That’s my life.

until next time,

J

life lessons.

When we have kids, we always think they’re perfect.  They’re the best at everything that they do, and no one can tell you any different.  I am not the exception.  Calista plays soccer, she’s in honor choir, on a step team, she does every activity she can.  As perfect as I think she is, she isn’t always chosen to be the captain, or to have a staring role.

Calista had been practicing the routine for her school step team for months.  When it was time to finally decide who was going to compete, she wasn’t chosen.  She was an alternate, and this angered me, and made me sad.  I wanted her to be in the competition!  After the the semester ended, a couple of the kids were kicked out of the program because their grades were less than the B- that is required.  Calista was no longer an alternate, she was in the show!  Which was wonderful (not so much for the kids who were kicked out), but then I found out Calista got this janky part of the routine.  She was to roller skate across the stage.  And that was it.  She would roller skate.  For 15 seconds across the stage, and that was her whole part.  She has practiced twice a week, for an hour and a half, for 4 months.  And every single day, for the last week, for an hour and a half.  Even the last 2 Saturdays for 3 hours.  So she could roller skate across the stage for 15 seconds.

Calista didn’t seem to mind, she was just glad to be in the performance.

On Friday, they had their competition.  There were about 14 teams I believe, Calista’s school was the 11th to perform.  During their performance, the DJ messed up one of their songs.  From what I understand, this disqualified them from being able to place, because it made their performance time too long.  Calista was incredibly bummed.  She didn’t talk much for the rest of the night, and to top it off, she lost her jacket somewhere.  For those of you who don’t know Calista, she’s very sensitive., her feelings get hurt over the smallest things.

I’m very proud of their team, no matter what.  They all worked so hard, and were so dang cute doing it.  Here’s her step team performing.  You can tell when the song gets messed up.  It’s kind of awkward.  Haha.  Calista is the one in the very beginning, skating across the gym.

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So, the lesson is, my daughter is perfect.  No matter what.  But she won’t always be a winner.

my luck.

I’ve finally started getting serious about getting healthy.  It’s not that I haven’t wanted to get serious before, but as you know, life keeps throwing rocks at me.  My plan was to start going to the gym last week, but I had that seizure, and then my eye was so swollen at the end of the week (unrelated to the seizure), I could barely see.  I went to the gym on Monday, I attempted the first day of couch to 5k training, but realized, I need to start off a little slower than that.  I am so out of shape, it’s ridiculous.  Utterly ridiculous.

Day 1:

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I think I’m going to take one of these photos every day I go to the gym.  To hold myself accountable, or something.

Day 2:

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A friend of mine has been trying to talk me into Weight Watchers for a long time, I’ve always been hesitant and made excuses.  For some reason, I was looking up recipes for it last night, and it just clicked.  I’m definitely going to do this.  I’m terrible at making decisions with food.  I am a lover of pizza, cheeseburgers, burritos, cheesecake.  Oh man, the list goes on.  Weight watchers will help me be able to have these things, but show me a better way about it.  So, come March, I will be getting a raise at work, which will basically pay for Weight Watchers.  I’m going to do it.  And I’m really fucking excited about it. 

This morning I was leaving my house, headed to work.  I got probably 3 steps away from my door, and BLAM!   I am on my knees, with my feet 90 degrees to the side.  I really don’t know how to explain it, but I just thinking of people break dancing.  Apparently my body doesn’t know I’m not a dancer, and that my legs don’t move like that.  At least not without an immense amount of pain.  I made it to work, and still walked up the stairs.  I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to go to the gym today though, maybe I can just make it a weights day.  I don’t think that me and the treadmill are going to be able to be friends for a while.  The inner side of my knee is absolutely killing me, while I SIT, let alone walk. 

FML.  Seriously.  Just, FML.  Maybe January was just meant to get all of my bad luck out of the way, and the rest of 2014 will be better.  Fingers crossed. 

Oh, and happy anniversary to me!  4 years with Mr. Tyler today!