Showing posts with label non-TTC related. Show all posts

Hits and Misses

In my professional career, I've had some hits and I've had some misses. Today, I got hit with a miss. Something careless that I should have caught, something that 17 years in this business should have prevented from happening. That being said, once bought to my attention, I didn't defer. I didn't excuse. I took full responsibility, made a note of where the failure occurred, and made modifications to the plan to make sure it never happens again.

Afterwards, I sat down really heated at myself. The error was truly careless and I wanted to send emails and follow-ups to make sure “my name” was still intact professionally. Mentors advised against it. So, I did some scripture and Google queries for what I was feeling.

I presently came across 1 Peter 5:6-7- Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. I’m aware these verses were referring to something different entirely, but they helped me today. Transparency. My error was not doing a final review because “I’ve done this thousands of times” and “I have this”. I took a moment and put myself in a loftier place and I believe God allowed me to be humbled to remind me not to think more highly of myself than I should. I receive it and am appreciative of it. I never want to get to such a place that I do less than I should or present a poor representation of a client, an organization, myself, or God.

I’m writing all of this to share that I am certainly growing. There was once a time I’d have made every excuse in the world for why things happened as they did. But I’m in a place of owning my mess, even the professional ones, because I know that God is there with me. If I trust and follow Him, He’ll see me through every time--uncomfortable or not.

Weekend Recap: Visiting Umi

 Hi everyone! It’s been a pretty awesome weekend. The kids and I woke up very early to drive to the Maryland House rest stop and meet the kids’ grandmother aka Umi there because she had some Easter goodies she wanted to give them. My mom lives about 5.5. hours away and works crazy hours as a nurse. Sometimes it’s hard to catch her to see the kids, so we meet at the rest stop—halfway point for both—so we can catch up. Since the MD House has been renovated, we grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants, let the kids run around on the green space for a bit, and after a while load back up to go back to our homes before the next actual home visit. I didn’t stay as long as we usually do this time because I had to sing the next day and I also knew I would be seeing her in about two months’ time for a summer visit. The kids, however didn’t mind and had a great time with Umi.

The next morning we got up pretty early to attend church services. I was able to find a nice little ensemble that fit my baby belly and didn’t make me look too frumpy lol. This Sunday was Palm Sunday and I always enjoy the blessing of the palms, the significance of the story of the Triumphant Entry, and the realization that Christ knew that it would not be long before he gave His life for everyone. Church service was beautiful although my daughter was a bit antsy and with no nursey services, I had to turn to her a couple of times to remind her of expected behavior. I realized toward the end that she wasn’t misbehaving, just fighting sleep as her schedule had been pushed back when we went to visit with Umi. I encouraged her to try and nap, but to little avail. In addition to Palm Sunday, it was also Youth Sunday, which meant our son was singing. It also meant the blessing of babies. One of our favorite couples were blessing their recently born daughter. It is always such a beautiful sight to see babies blessed and prayer for.

After church was over, we went to the baby’s home for a Christening celebration. Since the game was on, the men were more than excited to participate. S. usually loves these events, but was feeling poorly and missed out. You know he is sick when he misses food. He actually stripped from church clothes to chill clothes and was in the bed in five minutes after walking through the door. He insisted I go with the kids since the hosts were expecting me (and I suspect he needed the quiet to recuperate).

The kids really enjoyed themselves racing in the yard, playing with their cousins, and having a great time. Their cousins are already on Spring break, so our son was a bit disappointed when we left while the sun was shining. I explained that he had school and I had work the next day. His cousins didn’t and could stay and play all evening.

All of this fellowship just opens up to the activities coming for the next few weeks. There are two Easter egg hunts, Easter services, family and love. One hunt is the Annual Hunt sponsored by our church with a golden Resurrection Egg. I volunteered to help hide eggs for some of the older groups. That way when my son and daughter hunt, there will be no conflict of interest in finding eggs.

I’m most excited about the person egg hunt I’m throwing at the house. I plan on doing it once we get home from church. I will hide the eggs, take a few pictures of the before, make sure the kids have changed out of their church clothes, and release them into the yard for Easter Egg hunting.

I’m heading to the Dollar Tree and Five Below this week/weekend for plastic eggs, candy, and also stuffers for their Easter baskets. I’m very excited. How as your weekend?


Middle School ?!

Okay, everyone. Keep me calm! Calm. ME. DOWN!!! Today, my baby. My firstborn son. My heartstring. Ya’ll! My baby is going to middle school orientation! What?! Seriously! Where the HECK did that come from?! Who gave time permission to fly like that? I was JUST carrying him in my womb yesterday and today, he’s going to middle school orientation?! WHAT!!!! Oh, and let us be clear. It’s he who attends orientation first. Yes, all of his grade mates are bussing their happy selves along with their teachers to the middle school to tour the facility, see the different activities available to the, hear about the middle school experience, and get their sign up sheets so they can think about the classes they want to sign up for. S. and I have to wait until this evening when parents are allowed to experience the same thing. Oh my! My baby is growing up!!!!

Okay, okay. I know I can’t freak out too much. After all, I am the adult. But seriously, my son is growing up and I couldn’t be prouder. He’s such a loving child, so strong in his faith, so kind to others. I know some of those things will make him a target to others. I hope he can find some great friends and do well. I met one of my best friends in middle school. Twenty years later, we are still friends and I can call her just to say I am thinking of you. I pray he finds that kind of friendship and grows comfortable in his own skin.

I can’t escape the irony that as I prepare my household for one middle schooler, I am also preparing it for a new baby. I would have never called that. But I’m more thank thankful for it. That being said “WOW!!!! I have an almost middle schooler! Guys! My little is growing up!

Pray for me!


Lunch with the (former) Social Worker

Hi everyone.  Today has been a very special day.  Today, I was able to sit down with the woman who was instrumental in creating a forever family for my baby girl H.  Her former social worker and I were able to meet for lunch and catch up on life since we've last chatted.  H.'s social worker, Ms. B, is truly one of the most kind and gentle spirits I have ever met.  I am very thankful for her presence in our lives during some pretty amazing times in our lives.

It was awesome to sit down and converse with her.  We discussed H., her former foster parents whom we still communicate with, H.'s advancements, the new pregnancy, the baby moving and several other things.  Ms. B has a relative fighting cancer. We talked about that.  I'd only planned on being there for 30 minutes. An hour and 45 minutes later, I finally left to return to the office.  That's what talking with family is like.

It wasn't until I got back to the office that I discovered it was Social Worker month and School Social Worker week. How ironic was the timing!  And if that wasn't enough, she brought H. the cutest little spring clothes.  I love her!

I will never be able to thank Ms. B for all that she has done to assist in our journey.  Our family wouldn't be complete without our H.  She is such an important and integral member in our family.  I wouldn't know what to do if she wasn't.

Happy Social Worker's Month to all the social workers out there.  Thank you for all you do.


Happy Valentine's Day

Hi everyone.  Just a quick message to wish you and yours a very Happy Valentine's Day.  Here's hoping you feel beautiful and amazingly special on this day and ALL days this year.  Love all of you!


The Interview

Today I did something that pushed me to step out of my comfort zone and into boundless opportunities.  Today, I went on a face-to-face job interview for a position within a field I love doing something that I am quite sure I would enjoy in an environment that I'm not yet sure I want to embrace.  Let me tell you something.  This.  Is.  Huge.

I've been in the same location (as in proximity) for about six years.  It's worked perfectly.  I've always been within 10-15 minutes of my children's schools, my home, and our church.  It has always been a relief to avoid the long commute of others, especially in a region where traffic is so difficult.  But, in recent months, I've been feeling stagnant.  I started out in my field doing exactly what I loved--writing and editing.  It was perfect.  An absolutely perfect day for me was finding missing punctuation, catching undefined acronyms, and rewriting technical jargon to regular layman speech. But, as the economy changed and funding in my field waned, I found myself doing more and more administrative and MS Project scheduling work and not enough of the writing and editing that brings me joy.  I love to be the team player.  I love helping out.  But I've been filling so unfulfilled lately that my effort has diminished and I know that if I notice it, surely others must as well.

So, I had a candid conversation with myself and my husband.  I want to do something else.  I want to get back into my field.  I want to feel the same excitement I once did about walking up in the mornings, ready to take on another great day.  Don't get me wrong.  I experience it still from time to time in my current position.  But the moments are so few and far between.  I want the drive I had in youth.  I want that experience of knowing what I am doing matters a lot more than notes on a paper, but in true impacy.  So, I tentatively pushed a resume out to a couple of sites.  I was just curious to see if I would get a nibble.

I did.  A rather large nibble.  A company that I was semi-obsessed with in college had their corporate recruiter contact me.  I answered a few questions, provided writing samples, did some research on the company to see if they were still the dynamic brand that I thought they were in college and it appears so.  All of that culminated in an interview today with one of the Program Managers and the recruiter.

Overall, I think it went well.  I answered the questions to the best of my ability with trut and candor.  I also was honest in the fact that I want what I do to matter in some way.  I want to leave work at the end of the day feeling like I didn't just get a lot of stuff done, but that I got a lot of important things accomplished.  I don't know if I will receive a call back or not.  That's okay.

The excitement in today's post is that I took the step to come out of comfort and embrace things unknown.  I think it's time for it.  I'm nervous and unsure, but I'm determined to see how this is going to end.

Wish me luck, either way!  (By the way, the interviewer told me I was now moving to round two of three).  Wooho!


8dp5dt: Just keep swimming

Sorry, I've been a bit absent.  Truth be told, I wanted a little time to catch my breath from the past couple of days.  On 5dp5dt, I was feeling really, really bummed because I didn't feel anything.  By anything, I mean anything.  I have been pregnant before.  I've even had chemical pregnancies advance with pretty convincing symptoms.  This time I felt nothing.  Not even a little bit.  I was disappointed and figured I was out completely.  So, I decided to log onto Instagram and saw several of my fellow #TTCsisters showing pregnancy tests at 5 and 6 days past transfer with faint lines and not so faint lines. I figured if I wasn't feeling anything and the test could confirm that, then at least I would know right?  I am also more than able to admit that there was a part of me that would see a line on my test.  It worked...kind of.

I found a couple of tests still in the house from my last testing frenzy.  The problem is they were blue dye tests.  Every single false positive or chemical pregnancy test result I have ever received has been from a blue dye test.  So, while I didn't want to necessarily put my trust in the test, I used what I had and this happened....

Hope your resolution is up.  There's a faint blue line behind that horizontal.

I had a positive.  Faint, but it was there.  Or was it.  Because I have come to trust the honest opinions of the ladies in our #TTCcommunity, I posted the result and asked for opinions.  Everyone saw the same vertical blue line.  BUT, several of the sisters admonished me to remember what I already knew. Blue dye tests are unreliable.  They asked me to try the first response early response test.

Well, silly me, I grabbed the wrong ones and got the first response rapid response tests instead.  They don't provide early pregnancy results.  So, I came up with this when I tried.

The top two were taken 5dp5dt.  The bottom two were taken at 6dp5t.
The CBs are the only ones that register positive.

There were no clear positives on the FRRR tests.  So, discouraged, I promised myself that I would not test again until beta.  But I was fooling myself.  I was so disappointed because yesterday, all I felt was a bit of nausea.  Even that was come and go.  I just wanted to see the test again.  Just to be sure.

No doubt there, it's negative
And with that, here we are.  I will not test again.  I know the result.  I know that it's done.  I know that we we have to try again.  I know that we are fortunate to have five more chances before it's up for us. I am trying to have hope, but I'm pretty sure this cycle is a loss for us.

I'll keep you updated on Friday when we finally have our 14-day beta.

Have a great day.


Weekend Recap: Date Night Revamped and Food, Glorious Food

Hello everyone and happy Monday!!  I hope you're having a great day wherever you are.  I'm determined this week is going to be amazing just because I'm claiming it as such.

Monday will be awesome.  This week will be awesome.  Claiming it!

Date Night!!

Oh my goodness! I’m so excited. I mean it. I’m adolescent preteen excited lol. Tonight, my husband and I are going on a date!
So, you may remember that S. and I found that we were having a lot of trouble communicating. Everything seemed to be about #ttc and then being intimate (not intercourse, but intimacy) just wasn’t happening. Holding hands, compliments, flirty looks, were all out the door. We were, quite honestly, in a not so great place. Frankly, it was a horrible place. While all marriages have their moments, it seemed like the frustration of not being able to conceive was weighing heavy on S. It isn’t lost on him (nor I) that sperm counts and morphology can have a pretty big impact on the male psyche especially when they aren’t doing what they are supposed to. I’ve never once cast blame or treated him harshly because of it. But I know it has to hurt his pride when he is the only married one in the family who hasn’t conceived a biological offspring. Add to that the confession of wishing to be able to increase the family by at least two and you know he is a bit distracted by this journey.

That’s why I’m so excited about this evening. Tonight, S. has booked a couples’ Swedish massage with aromatherapy followed by dinner for date night. We haven’t had a couple’s massage since April of last year. It was such an enjoyable experience and very relaxing. I hope this one will bring the same experiences. 
Have a wonderful evening and we’ll check in with you soon!

I'm going to vent now...and if I lose followers, then it must be so...#NonTTCrelated

This past week has been one of the most stressful and anxiety-causing weeks I have ever experienced in my life. The last time my level of anxiety was this prevalent was September 11, 2001.

This week, I watched on video the gunning down of two black men by police officers. In video one, the assailant was pinned on the ground. BOTH of his hands and arms were pinned on the ground. He had NO weapon. A police officer was on top of him. Another beside him.  He struggled, but to me, it looked more like the struggle to breathe when someone is sitting on your chest. And then…gunshots. The police, sitting atop this unarmed (as in no weapon in hand) black man, killed him. They shot him dead. The officer who killed him has been involved in several police inquiries of his behavior in the three or five (depending on the media outlet) he has been on the force. He even received a “letter of caution” after failing to obey orders and cause a preventable crash. Yet, he remains on the force. After the man was shot and killed, a gun was recovered from his pocket. He never reached for it. He never brandished it, but there it was. And there he was…dead. Immediately…I mean immediately after it hit the news, so too did a mug shot of this man from 2009. He had one incident that he never should have done, paid his societal dues, and was living life with his wife and five children, and the photo chosen to identify the victim to the world was a mug shot. Never mind that his wife's then public social media page had more than enough shots of this man and most were with his family.  What media chose to show of an unarmed black man shot dead was a mugshot.  And tears welled.

The next day, there was another video. This one was live streamed on FB after the shooting. The victim had done nothing wrong. He was pulled for a broken tail light. The guy tells the officer that he had a legally registered weapon in the car and that he was licensed to conceal carry. The officer asked the man to produce license and registration. When he reaches toward his back pocket to pull the wallet that houses this information, he is shot 4 or 5 times, close range with his fiancée’(though media has reported girlfriend) and 4 year old daughter IN THE CAR. Then, the cop says “I told him not to reach for it” and the fiancée calmly says on video “he was reaching for his wallet to get his license just like you asked him to”. She is asked to walk backwards from the car and her phone is thrown to the ground but still records and she is heard wailing as the father of her daughter lies dying, no already dead nearby. Her four year old daughter is the one who comforts her. Guess what happens then…the media can’t find a mug shot. He doesn’t have one. He was a productive citizen doing nothing wrong. He worked at a school as a Nutrition Supervisor.  So media demotes him to a “kitchen worker”. The head of the school, a Caucasian man, gives the most beautiful and touching tribute to this man and his simple statement marks his hurt and disbelief that "gentle Phil" died at the hands of police. That was Thursday. And I emailed my husband at work pouring out a letter of love and protection and fear and the assurances of Christ and felt the lump in my throat when he answered with the same.

Then yesterday morning, I woke up to reports of a killing in Dallas, TX. Minutes later, the reports stated five were dead and there were twelve injured. They were all cops. And I felt the pit of my stomach rebel. Twelve brothers and sisters in blue shot because some jack wipe decided that they wanted to prove a point of violence begetting violence. He was right. It does. These innocent officers were shot and killed providing coverage for a peaceful protest and were ambushed by someone of a different agenda (who despite social opinion was no affiliated with movement or organization protesting).  And suddenly with this single act of violence, the whole country is staring at each other differently. No kidding, people who speak to me everyday wouldn't speak to me at all yesterday.

Perhaps it was because of an ignorant assumption that because I am a woman of color, I must be secretly accepting of the ambush against Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs).  So instead these persons have defriended or stopped talking to me.  They don't know that two of my brothers are LEOs, that my godmother is retired LEO, and so is my uncle. They don't know that my son's birth father IS LEO. They don't know that I have lost LEO family members killed IN the line of duty, one just 24 years old.  I am the last person who is accepting of this tragedy.  

That being said, I AM a woman a color and I am troubled by this week's events and the events that have occurred for weeks, months, and years before.  I am a woman of color who has been spit at and cursed out by other races because of my skin color when all I was doing was walking down the street. I am a woman of color who has been asked to explain my very presence in places deemed "Non-black".  I've been asked to explain why and how I'm a fan of classical music and theater, why I love to read with such voracity.  I have been asked to serve as some kind of pseudo ambassador answering "why black people do" this and that as if I am a poster child for the race.  I am a woman of color who doesn't understand why compliments have been given to me on my education and my grammar, as if I am an anomaly.  Education and experiences are not the exception in my family, they are the rule.

Yes,  I am a woman of color--a wife.  I am a black wife with a black husband whom I love with all that is within me.  That man makes my heart flip and he is the most sincere man I have ever met.  His love for God is amazing and his compassion for others is breathtaking. This amazing man is a productive, contributing member of society with a wonderful job, and a beautiful soul.  But I readily admit that even before this week's events I have worried about what would happen if he were stopped by an LEO who is a bit jumpy and has an accelerated adrenaline rush because they are afraid of what could happen.  

It's a fear that is palpable at time.  It grows when I see my children, especially my son.  My beautiful, intelligent, God-fearing, love-filled son.  This same beautiful baby has already experienced some of the world's nastiness.  Three weeks after moving into a beautiful diverse neighborhood filled with professionals like myself and my husband, a neighbor's son told my (at the time) 7 year old son that he couldn't participate in neighborhood play because he was brown.  My son came in hurt and confused.  I had to comfort him and explain then that there were people in the world who would not like him for no other reason than the tint of his skin.  I had to teach him to hold his head up and keep moving forward anyway.  When no other occurrences were mentioned, S. and I hoped it was an isolated incident (knowing quite well it could be more than that).

It wasn't too long after that news of  Trayvon Martin broke and I felt that familiar worry every time my son asked to walk down to the park to play.  The week after Trayvon was killed, I was cursed out while grocery shopping by  a Caucasian teen because my son was wearing a hoodie, as if the clothing worn for the rain outside was a political statement.  As if it would have been his right to curse me if it had.  I had to go Mama Bear on some ignorant man-child coming after my child and I for ignorant reasons.

And there are so many other examples, way too many to cite in detail.  But they all seemed to culminate in this week.  Sigh...With all of the turmoil going on this week, I am tired.  Just emotionally exhausted.  So, when my son asked if he could go outside and play, I hesitated before saying yes.  I didn't want him to go too far from my sight.  I wanted to hold him and protect him and cover him.  When he came in this evening with tears in his eyes because the kids in the neighborhood literally ran away from him when he approached and wouldn't play with him, my heart ached again and I knew I wanted to ask the question of whose children and what responses, but I couldn't.  I can't be that mom.  I just had to build him up and encourage him to go outside and try again somewhere else.  I have to trust that he will be covered by God's grace and protection.  I have to trust that the lessons his fathers and I teach him are going to resonate and prayerfully keep him safe--even when his new world may be withdrawal, apprehension, and solitude.

The same goes for when S. walks out the door every afternoon preparing to go to work or to shore up something for the family.  I want him home safely.  I want to know he's here.  I want him breathing.  I know someone reading this will say they want the same for their family, that it isn't a race thing.

Here's the thing about that.  How many times this week have you tensed up every time you pass a police car even when you know you're not speeding and are doing nothing wrong?  How many times have you walked into your office and walked by certain cubicles and offices just to make sure the roll call still is unbroken? hTat is my truth, my life, and my experience.  This week just put all of it on brutal display for the entire world.

So, I'm sorry for those who I've offended.  Sorry for those who are upset that this isn't a TTC-related issue, but if you dig deep enough, you'll see it is.  I respect your right to discontinue following this blog.  I just ask that you respect my right to want to live, to have my children and my husband live, and for us to do so peacefully and harmoniously--not because we're black, but because we're human and it's what you want for yourselves.

I wish you all the best in the future.

Have a restful evening.


Words hurt (Non-TTC related)

Have you seen the below story?
Do you know what really bothers me about it? 

Someone is going to defend the teacher for the comments. I've been on the receiving end of similar comments like this from teachers. One teacher in particular stays on my mind to this day. When I was a child (about the age my son is now) I had a teacher who quite matter of factly told me that I was "stupid" and "might as well give up now" because "I'd never amount to anything". This teacher was awful to all but a selected few and I wasn't in the group. So I got it daily...and the other kids who didn't know any better gleefully repeated everything the teacher said because it had to be true if the adult in the class said it daily, right? I never said anything to my family about it growing up because I believed that adults and educators were right and to be respected and I was a young child. It did a number on my self-esteem. It took a minute for me to get to a place where I rejected that thinking. 

And today...some days..... well...People question why I am so quick to stand by my son's side if he says something is off with an educator. Because I lived through it. While I know not every educator is like this (some of the best ones in the world have crossed my path), I refuse to let my children endure what I did. So, I'm the parent that questions. Never disrespectfully, but I am not just going to take your word for it. 

People may feel some kind of way about it, but it is what it is. I truly hope this "teacher" is removed from the profession and I hope this young lady gets some counseling. People might snicker at that, but she is going to need it. Trust. Words hurt. Nasty words from people in positions of authority who are supposed to help you to be better hurt. And please don't give me this "maybe he was saying to make her strive to be better". That was told to me by an adult family member when I shared the incident with years later as an adult while reminiscing about my school days. And that hurt, too. I am very glad this daughter has a support system in her corner.

Valentine's Day (non-TTC post)

Happy belated Valentine's Day.  I hope you enjoyed it with your loved ones.  It was a very busy one for S. and I.  Our Pastor asked the Marriage Ministry to sponsor a Valentine's event for the church. Since the facilitators of the group have been ill, it fell to the members to pull most of it together.  It was a lot of work, but I so enjoyed working side by side with my husband.

I don't know if you follow our IG page, but things have been a bit stressful lately.  Both of S.'s parents have been ill, communication has been strained, responsibilities have been growing, and we've both been leaning into our faith more.  It's been a necessary thing because even when we can't find the words to say to each other, we can always find word to say to God (or at the very least utterances) and He always sends us what we need when we need it.

So, S. and I have been working this event with other members for about three months now.  We were getting a bit worried because initially it looked like the turnout would be low, but right before the event, ticket sales evened out and we had a really nice sized crowd.  Combine that with our Pastor's special guest couple and everything came together amazingly well.

With all the running around, S. and I agreed that we would not do any exchanges this year.  So, I made sure the children receiver their Valentine's Day chocolate and balloon.  The baby girl loved her balloon.  Our son has a wicked sweet tooth just like his mother, so he was more than a little excited about his box of chocolates.

It was fortunate for us that it was President's Day today.  The entire family needed the time to recuperate.  Plus, the snow that fell down on the ground made staying in bed more than a little tempting today.

Our son has tomorrow off and I'm scheduled to go in for two meetings.  I'm hoping the weather will cooperate enough for me to go in later.  

Overall, it has been a pleasant weekend for us and I pray the same for you and your family.  On the #TTC front, I will be visiting my Gynecologist in March and also my Primary Care Physician.  It's time to see if we can do anything to boost my conceiving naturally chances.  Otherwise, we have to see if our tax return can be stretched towards other #ttc related things.

Have a great night everyone.  Talk to you soon!