Monday, April 30

Nepal Service and Study Tour

Q-Tip has been in charge of his high school education since before he was in high school, meaning he chose what school to attend and what focus he wanted his education to take. I can not express how proud I am for his determination and phenomenal decision making.

To start I was very unsure of what he was interested in when he initially brought the subject up over dinner one evening. He was rather excited about the school and how different his day would be from the average high school experience. My first reaction was rather unsupportive as I was not completely aware of the school he was mentioning or how the program worked and the idea of an alternative education did not abide well with me. Even with my doubt and concern he stayed focused on what he knew he wanted. If I remember right this was in 7th grade! In 8th grade when decisions needed to be made we went as a family to an informational meeting about these select schools and the process to apply. Like Q-tip I was instantly impressed with the platform and the process began.

Q-tip filled out the application which included multiple short essay answers about his desire to attend, why and how he would benefit from the program. He spent weeks perfecting these answers and creating the best presentation of information including a couple school projects he was proud of and teacher recommendation letters. They also reviewed his attendance record and school transcripts. He then attended an interview where he was informed there was limited slots available and the competition for the program was high. After which we waited patiently to hear of his acceptance. Receiving the letter congratulating Q-tip on his acceptance into the program made for a great day for all of us and the start to the most unique high school experience I have ever seen. The privilege is life changing.

Q-tip signed an agreement to attend all 4 years of high school in this program. He attends camp for 3 days before the beginning of each school year. His freshman year he spent micro term in a course about marine life that included an overnight stay at the local zoo and aquarium and a week long camping trip to the Oregon Coast. This year he spent mini term as a cabin leader for 5th grade camp students from within the district. He's taken Bike Shop where he dismantled and reconstructed bikes and then rode those bikes around town to explore and learn about his local surroundings. In Metal Fab he interacts with various mediums and equipment to create tools for his personal toolbox. Supposedly he's a decent welder. He is currently in a class where he manages all the teacher assistants (bridges) of the school and enjoys participating in after school clubs like Bee Club where they built and maintain hives of honey bees. So when he came to me saying that he wanted to apply to go on a Service and Study Tour to Nepal his Jr year I was not that surprised.

We went to the informational meeting about the different locations available: Nepal, Thailand, Italy, Hawaii and Miami. Each location had its own unique qualities and experience but out of all the options I would have to agree with Q-tip in saying that Nepal seemed the most community service based. He will be working with the Women's Protection Center which provides a safe home, education and vocational skills for women and girls rescued from human trafficking. Plus he will be working with the Gorkha Foundation in the district at the epicenter of the 2015's devastating earthquake to paint the organizations newly constructed schools, provide basic dental hygiene training with a dentist from Wisdomtooth, and converse with and train English teachers. Additionally, he will visit numerous World Heritage sites.

Due to the cost of this trip Q-tip will be using many avenues for funding, including: getting a job, savings, fundraising and donations. We have created a GoFundMe account for donations to assist in this process. If you are local and need or know someone who needs assistance with any projects Q-tip is a hard worker and quick learner. All donations and earned funds will go towards this Service and Study Tour. Thank you in advance for your time and assistance.

Saturday, August 2


It's been over a year since I updated my blog. A busy, exciting, challenging & yet very rewarding year. I have completed the MLT program & passed boards. I am an ASCP certified Medical Laboratory Technician! I feel great about all of the changes I have made and the goals I have achieved thus far. Sometimes it feels like the life I live now is more real than the adventures I have experienced in the past.

My life today is really good. I have a 13 year old son who is about to start the 7th grade, that amazes me. He is growing up so quickly! My youngest just turned 8, where that time has gone I have no idea. They are both very intelligent little guys and I am very proud of them.

After I had finished the MLT program there was a two month gap before the graduation ceremony and I wasn't sure if I wanted to walk. The boys were so encouraging. They wanted to see me through to the end so for them I walked at graduation. It was such a good feeling. It really wrapped up the education experience and made it feel complete. I think it also made me a little more prepared for boards because I knew officially that was the next step on my career path. I am currently searching the market for a MLT position and feel extremely confident that I will be beginning my career very soon.

Most people ask what the next step is or what I plan to do with the paycheck. Honestly I have no big plans. I want to live life daily. Get into a routine and enjoy the doors that will open along the way. I am very proud of myself and know that my boys are also proud. I hope that they see what I have accomplished and that encourages them to not let anything hold them back or better yet make the choices they need to for them at the time they need to be made. Don't wait to reach your dreams and don't let your dreams go because you took a different path. You can ALWAYS achieve great things!

Saturday, April 27

Medical Laboratory Technician Student

I am happily entering my 4th week of my MLT classes. I wasn't sure what the workload or schedule would require exactly but prepared myself & the boys as best I could. The month before I adjusted the boys & myself with the time changes we needed to accommodate my new schedule. The boys began riding the bus as they would for before & after school care. I am thankful for the time I had with them going through the changes slowly. For the most part it was a rather easy & smooth transition. Only once did we encounter a bus issue which was easily cured with proper information related to the driver. This gave me the comfort & confidence I needed to make it through my first few days.

The concept of being out of the house all day every day was quite new for me. This wasn't me accommodating the boys schedule or running errands & that caught me off guard at first. I've grown to enjoy this change. I like having structure as well as routine which my program gives me. It is quite similar to a routine work day, something I look forward to although I'm still nervous & uncertain about. Given time I'm sure I will be ready.

The first few days of the program were a huge adjustment. I had the schedule set but had no idea how my classroom was running or how much time outside of class would be consumed. Currently the schedule is not over taxing. This is fabulous but could easily change. I've completed a presentation on lymphocyte maturation that included a PowerPoint, something I haven't made in years. I am proud to say it went very well. The hardest part was presenting it in front of the class. I'm not good at public speaking and I'm certain that was made very clear. By the end of week 3 we were already drawing on fellow students. We had spent a few days drawing on a fake arm so I felt capable of drawing just nervous about actually performing the procedure on an actual person. Someone who feels pain or has difficult to find veins. My first live draw ended up being a butterfly in the hand. My patient had very difficult veins. We were required to do 2 draws, both of my draws were successful. As for being drawn on...that was much easier than I had anticipated. As one of my arms seemed a bit difficult I became the challenge and ended up with 3 draws that day with 4 pokes. The following day I offered up my remaining hand to a struggling student. I've been told it takes over 200 draws to get a phlebotomy routine but I am determined to have one before that. Seeing as how phlebotomy will be part of my clinical rotations I would like to have some good procedure habits before then.

The neat thing about lab is that after offering up ones appendages for fellow students to draw, we are then able to test our own blood. That's really cool. I've done a hematocrit reading, sed rate & slides. This upcoming week will will do fresh draws for more testing.

Friday, November 16

First Anniversary

Tuesday was Metalman's & my first anniversary. The day was amazing! I had no idea how to originally go about celebrating this event or what Metalman's thoughts would be but thankfully everything just came together. His enthusiasm made mine overflow. Being woken up at 4 AM by the words "Happy Anniversary Baby" is indescribable! We were both extremely happy to be reflecting on the wonderful relationship we have & the love we share for each other.

As always the thought of a year is almost unbelievable, the clock moves faster than the mind I guess. I am looking forward to the many years ahead for us. He is a fantastic companion I can share my thoughts, feelings, emotions, ups & downs but more than anything we share an amazing love & understanding. I can not show nor tell Metalman how much he means to me. I can only be thankful he seems to get it & me.

We enjoyed the evening together, had a Mexican dinner where he opened the engraved clock I got for him. I decided to go the modern route for a gift as Metalman loves clocks & "our love is timeless" seemed rather fitting. He gave me a beautiful bouquet of red roses!

It is somewhat perplexing to think that at almost 32 I am celebrating a first but I couldn't be happier. These firsts are exciting & enjoyable & I am ever grateful for my Metalman & that butterfly feeling he continues to give me. XOXO

Wednesday, September 12

One Year

Its been a year since the papers came in the post declaring my divorce. That was a good day for me. It was the day I became a civilian, an individual. It was the day I officially became a single mum & not just regularly practiced the roll because of deployments or an uninvolved father. It was the day I began my new adventure creating a life for my boys & myself.

Over the past year I have made some very good progress on the path I am now traveling. The boys & I moved "home" where we could be close to family. To Q-tip family has always been who we visited on holiday but now they are a part of our daily lives. Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles & cousins are people we see regularly not just in photos or on the computer. The boys have done well with the school transition and although Q-tip has had some difficulties they are, for him, nothing out of the norm. Animal continues to amaze me with his abilities and progress. Together they are very happy and healthy little boys. I personally have finished all my pre-requisites for my lab tech program and am on schedule to start this Spring. I will be starting Pre-Calculus in just over a week to fill my time and check another class off my program list.

I have a very strict budget that has allowed us to still have fun and enjoy our new surroundings. A current favorite for all is biking. Last weekend we loaded up the bikes and headed to the Puyallup river trail. This was Animals first ride without training wheels so he spent the hour getting accustomed to the weight of his bike and mastering his balance. I am very certain he will be zooming by us training wheel free in no time at all.

I am determined to make positive changes in my life and to learn from my past. I find it very interesting to see the direction J has taken over the past year. We have definitely set different goals for our futures, his includes another lil person next May. I personally could not make such a decision but to each their own. I have decided to take a much slower progression in my relationship with Metalman. I want nothing more than to enjoy our time together and learn to combine our lives slowly. I come with two little boys that have thoughts and feelings. They need time to adjust to another person in our lives, as well as Metalman who has to get accustomed to us. I have no doubt this is a good thing. I am confident in taking things more slowly. We are all growing together into a much calmer, healthier and happier life.

Sadly over the past year I have gained back the weight I lost in Las Vegas so I am starting that journey anew. No worries, I realize I have been through a lot the past year and am not going to beat myself up over it. I am currently walking daily after I take the boys to school. Js little sister is my workout buddy Monday through Thursday and Metalman on Fridays. I am going slow initially and enjoying the nice weather we are still having because I know that when the weather changes I can push myself in the gym. I also want to help my buddies without discouraging them or pushing them so that they no longer want to join me. I haven't had workout buddies for a long time and rather enjoy the company.

So, one year down and many more to come filled with progress, happiness and amazing memories. Life IS good!