About Me

Hi, my name is Angela and welcome to my blog. This is a place where I write about my life in an honest and open way.

I am 34 years old, single, and a Christian. God gave me a heart to work with children and so I spend my day teaching kindergarten. It is my fourth year teaching and although it is hard I love it. I currently go to a college for my BA in Elementary Education which keeps me busy. Between work and school there is not much time left but I enjoy serving and helping others, watching netflix, or reading a good book.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Last Day of Nano

I did it! I am a NaNoWriMo Winner for the second year in a row! Ok, I had technically won the last time I blogged but I wanted to finish my novel before the end of November. So here it is at 10:20 pm on Nov. 30th and I have put an end on my novel. My book ended where I thought it would but the details of how it got there were not exactly what I expected. I am happy with my story. Though of course I have not read it yet and it will take lots and lots of edits before I will be ready to share it.

Right now I sit at a Denny's. This is my second to last outing as an ML for this year. I call this the last chance write-in. We had a total of six people come, including me. Three people still had not reached the 50,000 mark. One woman was doing some editing and then a second woman and I came to finish our stories. Now as I sit here there are three of us. Me, i just finished. Steph, who is at 112K and still typing away. And Robert, who still has another 2K to write in the next hour and a half. I am trying to be supportive but I don't think he will make it, he doesn't type fast enough. 

My last event as an ML (Municipal Liason) for Phoenix is to throw a Thank God it is Over Party. We are doing it at a Denny's so food and drink I don't have to worry about. I have been advised most of it is just to be hanging out and talking. But I am planning a few things to help keep the flow and make it fun. So I have a few things I need to do before Saturday afternoon. 

I am also supposed to be working on a budget for December. I had the three days off for Thanksgiving and then I have two weeks off for Christmas/New Years so I will have to be careful with my money again this month. I have a few more babysitting jobs lined up so that will be helpful. I am also finding several opportunities for volunteering which I love to do so that makes me happy. It is just the sitting down to do the budget and see my numbers is the hard part. 

On Cyber Monday Alegiant Airlines had a deal for half off flights on Christmas Day to Moline, so it was only $50 but to fly back it would have cost be $150 so it wasn't that great of a deal. I mean who really wants to fly Christmas Day anyways. Ok, I totally would have if the flight back wasn't so high. Maybe next summer I will be able to go out to see my sister. 

Let's see what else...There is a weird situation at work. I can't really talk about it. It is an issue/concern about a co-worker. I had taken up the line of management and hopefully it will have some sort of resolution tomorrow. Oh but I can talk about the gift exchange at work. We are doing this secret santa that involves giving four gifts over the next three weeks. I still haven't figured out what to give to the girl I have. We all filled out these forms of information about us. The first gift is $0 and she said she liked contemporary christian so I thought I could give her a cd that I already own. But the gifts are supposed to be progressively better and I don't know how I don't know where to go from there. The second gift is $1 and then 3rd gift is $4 and the last gift is $10 so you spend a total of $15 and don't reveal yourself until the last gift. I haven't thought too much about it though with Nano taking up my mind. I really need to figure it out soon though because the first gift is due by this Friday. I haven't gotten my gift yet so I don't feel so bad about not giving mine yet. Maybe I will stop and look at the list when I get home.

...Robert just won. I don't know how he did it so fast but he is done. Which means I get to go home now. With Nano not taking all of my words I should post more often. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Black Friday

When I was 17 I convinced my mom that we should go shopping for black friday. Now this was twelve years ago and things were different back then. The first year we went out it was because several stores offered free items for showing up. It was there way of getting you out to their store on black friday. I remember a cookie tin at K-mart but not much else. The other thing I do remember is that we went to bed on Thanksgiving night because the stores didn't open until five or six in the morning.

The next year is more vivid in my memory. We went to JcPenny's and stood in a long line to get some free snow globes they were offering. Again it was in the morning probably five or so. The line wasn't very long maybe fifty or so people. My mom went outside for cigarette break and they happened to open the doors to let us in. Instead of being smart and handing out one to each person they had a table set up in the middle of the fragrance section. People ran to the table mobbing it. There were boxes with, I think 12 globes per box. People would grab a box and then just dump it in there bag. I found myself in the middle of this crowd not really sure how to handle it. But kept moving forward, I did want one to. When I got to the front, me being me, tried to start handing them back. I thought start handing them out and people would get what they want and the crowd wouldn't be crazy. But people didn't understand what I was trying to do. They just wanted to get to the front. So I took two, one for my mom and one for me, and got out of the crowd.

My mom was on the side of the crowd and she had tears in her eyes. "What's wrong mom?" I asked. She gave me a big hug. She explained how they had also opened the doors outside at the same time and she saw me in the middle of the crowd trying to help people in the middle of the madness and she was just so proud of me. I never forget that. I think it is one of my favorite memories of my mother.

I think we had one more black friday together. The stores opened at midnight and it was crazier out. There weren't as many free items so we just bought a few things and headed home. After mom died I have always gone out on black friday. It was like this tradition that I wanted to hold on to. That if I let this tradition go then it would be letting part of my mom go. So every year I would go and brave the crowds and buy something. Usually nothing important. In fact last year I found myself standing in a Toys-R-Us parking lot waiting to get in to buy some toy my nephew. The deal was ok but it was just silly to go out but it is this need. Even when I don't intend to I go out anyways.

This year is different. Months ago I had so, no black friday shopping. I remembered how last year I spent more money then I had on things I don't even use. I bought a stack of movies I haven't watched most of them more than once. In fact I was so caught up in the buying that I bought a movie that was blu ray only and I don't have a blu ray player. So this year I was like no shopping.

Well God heard me and He agreed. This year I have no money. I did a lot of praying this last weekend and God provided the money to take me through the end of the month. I have just what I need to pay for my obligations. If I spend anything on black friday I will come up short. I knew this. I feel like this walking on the edge is partly so that I won't be able to shop today. But it has been so hard.

I had Wednesday off work. My dad was in town and he and my brother for a large portion of the day sat at the kitchen table looking at online ads figuring out what to buy and comparing prices. They even went shopping at one point. Then today Thanksgiving we had the paper so of course we talk about shopping ads all day long. It gets under my skin knowing that part of me just wants to go out. It's my tradition and I have to keep that tradition to remember my mom. But then I remind myself that I still have that memory even if I don't go shopping for black friday. This year I bought a necklass with my mom's name and the date of her death on it. I don't always wear it but I did today. I had to keep her close to me. I had to remind myself that I am not letting her down, I am not forgetting her. I am just moving forward.

So here I sit typing on my computer with my sister-in-laws laptop next to me. My brother and his wife are out shopping but they want to order something online for her mother so I agreed to stay up and purchase it for them. I have to check every hour in case they post it early. I was doing just fine with it until I am reminded again of what I am doing. My younger brother walks in the house with the items he bought at a black friday sale. Then my dad wanting to play the "black friday game" starts talking about how he has his computer set up to help buy it incase I don't get it in time. He goes on and on about it and I don't want to hear it. I want to just go to my room but I know that he is too tired to stay awake another hour and I told my brother I would buy it and so I sit and listen to my dad ramble about how excited he is and the technical process of purchasing the item first. It is that rush, that feeling of excitement in the stores that I have come to love and associate with the black friday memory of my mother. It makes me anxious and can not stand it. I eventually speak up. Asking them to please stop talking about it. I am just going make a purchase online, its not a big deal and I need it not to be. I do not tell them how it affects me. I do not explain how emotional this day is for me. Because not only am I fighting this tradition I have with my mother who is gone all day I have thought about my sister and my brother-in-law and my nephews who I miss so very much. And it is too much.

Tomorrow they will talk about all the things they bought. I may try to escape but where would I go. Everywhere people will be out buying things and spending money and it will be in my face. So if you do not hear from me tomorrow it is because I am hiding in my room. Trying not to let black friday get to me. Trying to not let myself feel like I have ruined the memory of my mother because I did go out like I have for years now.

Monday, November 21, 2011

November


I have not posted in forever. Sorry about that but it is November. Did I mention that November is National Novel Writing Month or for short we call it NaNoWriMo. Over 200,000 people from around the world attempt to write a novel with a minimum of 50,000 words. 
This is only my second year however a leader needed to step up to help cordinate and encourage everyone in Phoenix so I decided to do this. So in addition to writing a Novel in November I am on the web site encouraging people. Sending out weekly e-mails and organizing write-in’s for people to go to. There are nearly a thousand people in Phoenix writing novels. To date we have writen over fourteen million words. But in the last few years, without good leadership, people did not attend events. So I have planned an event every day of the month, saturdays two, all around the valley. The average event has about three to five people attend. I was hoping for a little more success but this is good.
I do love leading and encouraging so I plan to do this again. Next year I will have no more than 4 events a week and I will try my best to have them all at free locations. This year I struggled with that and so I am always at coffee shops or Denny’s. And for me, who goes to everyone, the cost adds up. I know what you are asking, do they pay you to do this? The answer is no. I do this out of the kindness of my heart and out of my own pocket. I have tried to bring a little jar to encourage people to donate though I kind of stopped bringing it around as it is the same groups of people nearly every time. 
Even with the fact that I am totally broke because of this I still love. I still think that leading NaNo was the right thing to do. Everyday I am out in the community meeting people, encouraging people, being positive and upbeat to help them meet their daily word goals. I share the joy that I have with others. Plus of course I am writing a Christian chick-lit book and I do not keep that a secret. It has come up in many conversations casually how my girl is a christian. (There is a wedding in my book and I am trying to keep the book PG.) 
I think that next month I will feel lonely. After being so social next month will be hard. Especially because I have two weeks off from work (school closed) so I really will feel lonely. I should probably apologize in advance to my roommates because I will surely talk their ears off next month. Seeing that they both read my blog I will say it here; Sorry Teel and Mandy for me being annoying next month.
So November is really busy for me and that is why I have not posted. I have only found time to post now because my book requires me to use the internet and the Starbucks I am at the internet is not working very well. So it is causing me much aggravation and frustration. I would leave but I have two people writing with me so I here I sit. Trying to be encouraging, pretending I am writing my novel when I really am not. 
Did I mention how I am doing on my novel? Not yet. Well I am doing very well. As I mentioned the goal is 50K words. I am just under 70K right now but I am still working on the story. I figure the story should end around 85K words. With nine more days and one of those has an overnight write-in. I will definitely be able to give my story an ending before I am done. I currently do not have write-in’s on Thanksgiving or Black Friday but that is mostly because it will be so crazy outside. I figure maybe I will just stay home and be encouraging from there. 

There is not a lot going on my life otherwise. Ok that is not exactly true. I just don’t want to talk about it. Let’s just say after quitting my nanny job I have come across some struggles with getting more work. However I am trusting God to take care of me. It is weird because it is like He is keeping me on the edge of a cliff and He doesn’t let me fall off but He also blocks all my paths away from the edge. I was feeling a little wobbly on Saturday so I stopped and talked to God about it. He said I needed to just keep walking. So that is what I am doing. I don’t look down because that won’t help and don’t look at the safe path because that won’t help. Instead I just focus on what is ahead of me and trust that God will eventually lead my path to safer ground.
Yes, I know crazy analogy but it is totally what works for me. I mean didn’t Jesus always talk in analogies? I really think God gives me analogies to help me understand what He is doing in my life. 
But hey if you want to pray for me there is an opportunity to go to Belize in March and I think God may be telling me I should go. I don’t know how I will pay my bills next month so I have no idea how I will afford the $1500 to go to Belize in a few months. Though of course it is God that will afford it not me. And maybe I am understanding Him wrong and I won’t go. That will be fine too but…anyways. Hence why I am saying if you could pray about it for me as well that would be great.
I am trying to learn. Ok really God keeps pounding it into my head at church that I need to rely on my community, my friends, my family. I tend to just let it be me. I try to do it all myself but of course this is not very easy to do. So even putting that last paragraph is hard because it is asking for you to help me pray for something. I have to learn that the people around me care about me and love me and want good for me and so I need to let them help.
Like my shower. I had awful day last week, money issues. I had decided to buy a new shower head anyways. The one I had was old and I tried to CLR it twice and it was like it got worse each time. I was so frustrated every time I went to shower. So I come home from the store already frustrated and then just want to take a shower. I figure no big deal to change the shower head but it was giving me ridiculous problems. I mean it didn’t even make sense all the stupid things it was doing or not doing. My brother was in his living room I could have asked for help but I was being prideful. I wanted to do it on my own so I didn’t ask. The next day after work I was calm and rational and so I asked my brother for help. It took him like a minute to do what I failed to do in like 30 minutes. I was stubborn and for no good reason. 

Let’s see what else. I guess the only other thing came up last week. It was part of the stress of my money issues I think. I am still not handling my sister moving across the country very well. This last week two of my nephews had birthdays. It was the first time I didn’t celebrate their birthdays with them. I sent them gifts. It was hard trying to figure out what they would like and as I stood in the Walmart trying to decide I realized that each year it would get harder and harder because I would know them less and less. 
Saturday night when I was feeling lost about money and path I started looking for jobs in Davenport where my sister is. I mean if I don’t have anything holding me here then why not go. But of course I have free rent here and at least I have a part time job and there is no way I could afford to even pay for the gas to drive out there let alone pay for first month rent and deposit on an apartment. So it is not really practical. 
I am still horrible about calling my sister. And then she called me yesterday and I took the call while I was at a Write-In but then the coffee shop was closing so I had to let her go so I could say goodbye to the Wrimo’s that came to the write-in. I should have called her back when I got home and didn’t. Thanksgiving is this week and that is hard. Her family always came over for Thanksgiving. And then of course Christmas coming up. I seem to be living under the idea that if I don’t talk to her then it’s not true. Though of course that’s not really true either seeing that my background wallpaper on my computer is the picture of all of us when we went to Chicago. So ever time I shut down or turn on my computer, which is at least twice a day in November, I see their picture. 
Someone today was picking up their kid from after school. She said she was going to go visit her sister for spring break. She then mentioned that she hadn’t been out there since her son was one and a half, he is now six. The idea of that just pained me. But then I realize that she has done it just fine. People do it all the time. I need to just figure it out and stop pretending that it isn’t true.  
People at work keep asking if I am going to see my sister for Thanksgiving. It always makes me pause. I wish I could I always think but there is just no way. I am just trusting God I will be able to send them gifts for Christmas. 

Ok, so I have shared way to much now. In fact I totally want to delete the whole last section about my sister since she totally reads my blog. But as I have said before, it is how I feel and so there it is in black and white.