Getting ready to ring in the new year, getting ready to say good bye to our house as we know it now and say hello open concept complete with new kitchen!
I can’t say that 2017 was a terrible year for me. I surrendered my life to The Lord and watched Him do His best for me. It was an amazing decision and made me more confident in the direction He took my life in.
I began 2017 employed at a job that was a temporary gig and by mid year I was laid off. I discovered how to apply for unemployment benefits and mastered applying for jobs online and uploading my resume to various job posting websites. I applied to the board of education one day and the next thing I knew I was setting up an appointment to be interviewed. I knew the position was working with special needs population and to be honest I hesitated a bit before hitting the send button. I did hit send and The Lord showed me His faithfulness and what happens when you leave things in His hands.
In 2017 I became employed by the board of education and I enjoy going to work every day. I don’t always have great days. Heck, some days are just flat out busy as anything and draining and I’m totally ready to leave at the end of the day; but I wake up the next day ready to get there and do the best of my ability. I like and admire my co workers and I know they have my back when decisions need to be made. My supervisor is a fair man and I like him as a person.
2017 gave me my Dad for another year. I’m glad to have spent another year of my life with him here. My mom became cancer free this past year after she battled bladder cancer. I no longer take her presence for granted. 2017 was a year that showed me that people in my life are there for a reason. I’m blessed with a wonderful, loving, thoughtful husband and I have children who actually like to be with me and they talk to me; not just about the weather but real life topics that are important to them and not always things that one would necessarily talk to one’s mother about. I’m so grateful for those relationships.
I bid 2017 a fond farewell and I welcome 2018 with optimism.
I’ve been spending most of my time going through cabinets, storage benches and closets and throwing away a lot of “stuff” we’ve accumulated over the years. Things you think you’ll absolutely need one day so you stick it in the back of a drawer or cabinet. Or things you don’t necessarily need but are so used to them being there like things in the infamous “junk drawer” we all seem to have. I began the clean out of some areas about a month or so ago so all I had to do was pack so that was a help.
Our renovation officially starts this coming Tuesday. I am nervous, but extremely grateful for a finished basement as that’s where we will be spending the majority of our time while home and not sleeping. There’s a great tv/entertainment center down there all set up with Netflix. I’m trying to picture my whole first floor gone. It’s difficult because this is the way our home has been since we moved in 16 years ago. Actually this renovation should have been done 16 years ago but we had too many little kids and/or babies to take care of first. I’m excited picking out cabinets and I’ll finally get my farmhouse sink (I’ve wanted since we renovated the kitchen in our first house 20 years ago).
It’s hard to believe we became homeowners for the first time 20 years ago. We were young and the house was my grandparent’s. It was a great house to start off in. I can’t think of what life would have been had we stayed. The neighborhood was changing and our neighbors for the most part were elderly. In that situation you don’t know who will move in when those elderly neighbors pass on. It sounds cold I guess but it’s the truth. I loved living there for the short time we did. Then we were off to Jersey! And 15 months later we came back to New York. I’m not a Jersey person plain and simple. I’m a New Yorker, a city gal if you will. I believe Tommy and I were meant to be where we are now. We got here in a roundabout way and that’s ok. Things work out. I keep telling myself that when I think about living through this renovation…things work out…
I was up relatively early this morning; like 7:45 ish. It was fine I’m still fighting a cold from last week. It has settled in my throat so my voice sounds a bit funny. Especially when I raise my voice which thank goodness I haven’t had to do that often.
The day after Christmas… usually a let down day after all the big build up. But today I feel really good. Alyssa, Samantha and I braved the mall early this morning. We arrived as soon as they opened, so there weren’t any crazy crowds. I was able I returned Samantha’s sneakers which turned out to be a half size too small. Yesterday I ordered the correct size so hopefully with all the holiday deliveries over with they will be here within a day or two. I also had my new watch sized which makes me so happy that it fits well.
It was Thomas’ first Christmas in the group home. It was so nice to not have Tommy run up there to get him and worry about traffic coming home and then have me bring him back today. Thomas was a bit higher maintenance than usual. He became incredibly moody at my mom’s yesterday afternoon and continued into early evening until we left to go home. I do not miss that behavior from him and I’m so glad I don’t have to live that way anymore. Thomas can be so fun at times and you can joke around with him, he “gets” sarcasm and he can be sarcastic as well. I wish I knew a way to encourage his fun side and do away with the moody joy sucking side.
Last night after we dropped Thomas at his group home I had such a great time with my girls. I opened a bottle of wine and we laughed and joked until we all fell asleep. It was a great way to end the day. My girls are so fun to be around. I love laughing with them.
I’m off this week with my kids. Well Alyssa is off all month from college. Samantha and Lelly are off this week. Since I work for the board of education I get this week off paid! I want to pinch myself at such a sweet deal!
I need to end this post and start packing up for the renovation that is starting next week. I’m lacking in the “umph” department . But those boxes aren’t going to pack themselves.
I have one particular class in the school where I work that is very busy and full of medically fragile students. As a result I’m in and out of there quite often during the day. My co workers and the staff in that room joke that I should just move my desk there already haha!
Its nice to be trusted and respected by the staff . In the past 2 weeks the school was having a fundraiser where you could send a small bag of chocolate kisses to anyone you wanted for a couple of dollars. I was busy the other day and away from my desk. When I returned there was a small bag of chocolates from one of the staff of that very room I am always in and out of. The staff member of course denied sending it when I thanked her, but she was a terrible liar, lol! They spelled my name wrong but her’s correct.
Its funny how a small bag of chocolate can make you feel so good and it’s not the sugar rush. Yesterday I arrived to that classroom a bit later than usual due to a situation I was called for. The teacher of that class called my office to make sure I wasn’t out sick when I didn’t arrive there at my usual time. I was so honored that my presence is felt and acknowledged.
Another class that we are in and out of gave us all peppermint bark bars with cards signed by all the staff. Again chocolate…how can one go wrong with chocolate?
This is the first job that I’ve ever felt so appreciated. The class that I mentioned first in this post always thanks me for coming to them when they call; even when there isn’t much I can do for the situation but be there.
And then there’s those students you see everyday for medication needs or a nursing procedures. One mom actually bought me a gift, I was so touched by her thoughtfulness.
This is such a magical beautiful season. The birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ celebrated. It’s humbling. I’ve recently been blown away by one of the most well known bible verses, John 3:16. “For God so loved the world he gave his only son. That who so ever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” Totally humbled and convicted I was. It hit me hard almost like being hit with a brick that God loves us that much. It truly is amazing love.
I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and I hope the season is magical for all.
Work. To quote a dear friend, “They don’t call it a ‘job’ for nothing…”. This past week has been quite eventful. I had to call 911 not once but twice. For two different students. It was the right decision I know that; but I feel for those kids. And I feel for those parents. The events that led to the 911 calls are in addition to the g tube feedings, daily meds and walk ins we see. I was more than ready for the weekend to be here. And believe it or not I’m okay with Monday looming ahead. I still like my job. I like going to work, I like the challenges these kids throw at me. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more at home at a job. I love that I have my own desk and space as do the 2 other nurses I work with. I think we work very well together. There is no such thing as sitting around watching another run around crazed with a situation. We help one another out whether it be doing a procedure for a student that’s not ours or consulting with each other when a challenge arises.
I’m starting to look into going back to school for my Bachelor’s degree. I graduated with my Associates way back when I graduated from Nursing school. I tried to go back when Thomas was a baby and I was also pregnant with Alyssa. I got 2 classes in when I decided that I wasn’t driven enough to continue, being a mom kept me busy enough especially when one of those children was Thomas. I’m researching colleges that have online classes. I don’t see myself going to sit in a classroom after working all day or on the weekends. I’m sure The Lord will lead the way in this venture and open the right doors at the right time. God is so good.
Thomas has arrived and settled in at the group home! His school moved him in yesterday, they offered last week and Tommy and I took advantage of their generosity. I also thought it was a great way for Thomas to transition and have his social worker and staff see his new home. After work I went right over with his new comforter, pillow, jacket and other things from his Macy’s shopping spree a couple of weeks ago. He was seemed comfortable there and I hung out for about an hour and a half. While I was there the nurse came over to sort out Thomas’ meds and ask me questions and give me recommendations for new doctors he’ll need now that he’s living here. I really liked the nurse, she was very confidant, caring and observant. Her experience caring for adults like Thomas was apparent and very comforting.
Thomas managed to talk himself into getting one of the staff to take him to the mall. He’s quite persuasive. I gave him money and he talked about getting slippers. It sounded like a good plan.
I’m so glad he’s here finally. It’s been such a long time from the beginning of this particular journey with Thomas. His school never seemed like a permanent option even though he was there for 5 years. It’s odd though because he went from teen to adult before our eyes; at a distance. He’s now a young man, not a kid anymore at all. I miss him as a kid. I don’t miss the chaos and unpredictability; I miss that I didn’t get to be a part of all of his life as a teen while he was away. But God has a reason for everything and He is good.
These kids…these students at my school that I care for…they have gripped my heart in a way I thought they would but not to this depth. These are the kids people turn away from at the mall so as not to stare, who look so very different than their typical peers or walk and talk differently. The ones in wheelchairs. The ones who wear helmets so they won’t hurt themselves. Students who yell and hit themselves and every other disruptive behavior out of the “norm”.
I feel fortunate that I get to work here. I’m even more thankful that I work 15 minutes from my house. It’s not a job for everybody. Things get messy, I get messy. And it’s ok. I get to care for these kids in a way I would want my own child cared for. I get to talk to parents in a way I would want to be talked to and have been talked to when I’ve been on the other end of the phone.
I’m also fortunate to work with a couple of great nurses who think nothing of helping each other out. The para professionals are top notch and really know their students. They accompany the students to the nurse’s office when necessary and I haven’t met one I didn’t like.
I never thought I’d like to go to work as much as I do. I like being here and interacting with such a diverse population of students of differing levels of functioning. If you told me as little as 5 years ago I would be working at this school as a nurse I would have thought you were off your rocker and something was wrong with you. I spent so many years trying to convince myself that nursing wasn’t for me. I just never looked in the right direction, or rather I never surrendered to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and let Him have his way with my life. Once I let go and let God, everything changed and it has been indescribable.
I’m looking forward to this Christmas with Thomas being in his new home. It’s a new beginning for him and us as a family.