Friday, February 17, 2012

Look what I found!!

I happen to run across my own blog while looking at someone else's blog. It is obvious that it had gotten lost as it hasn't been touched in a very long time. I even attempted to start another blog forgetting I had this one already.
I have finished not only my undergrad but my grad program also. I work at the same place I have for over 3 years and it isn't anything fantastic but it pays the bills. I laughed when I reviewed old blog posts and had a post about my job when it was still new and fun. I laugh at it now. I guess the honeymoon phase happens in relationships and in jobs. And speaking of relationships, I'm still single! :-)
I have spent the last year preparing my home, my life, my emotional state for being a foster parent. I completed the process in January 2012 and I now have the most beautiful little girl in my home. Baby J is the greatest addition I could have ever had in my home. I haven't smiled as much and I haven't cried as much as I have in the past few weeks. Not only is a 6 month old in my home a huge change (despite my efforts to be prepared) but knowing the history of this little life makes my heart break in a way I can't even explain. I almost feel guilty for being so happy with her because the only reason why I get to be happy with her is because her life wasn't happy with someone else; the only someone else who is supposed to keep her happy, healthy, and safe.
I've been asked a million times (and that is probably NOT an exaggeration) why I wanted to do Foster Care. My original reasons sounded something to the ring or wanting to help because I can, because the idea of them suffering any more than they are breaks my heart, and that every child deserves to be in a place that is safe, comforting, and loving to be in. Although I still believe those reasons, I have definitely wondered what in the world I got myself into. There is a long list of emotions that come with being a foster parent. A list of emotions that range between what I feel my own ability should be, to trying to have compassion for those who put this child in this situation in the first place.
But then my frustration, anxiety, and anger pushes further than that as I can recognize that this isn't an individual issue. That mother or that father didn't wake up one day unable to parent their child. That mother or father typically has lived a life in which their family and society has failed them. Although I believe whole heartedly that cycles can break and that saying something to the effect of "well my dad beat me so it's the only way I know to manage my kids" isn't acceptable. At the same time, if they really haven't been taught and shown what a parent is supposed to be, then how do we expect them to do it? We spend so much time with children teaching them and helping them to sit, crawl, walk, feed themselves, draw, write, speak, play, etc that we would never expect someone to figure that out on their own. If a child can't read then it is usually assumed that no one ever taught them. How is teaching your child how to parent any different?
I know from experience that a child can be brought up in the greatest of homes, in the greatest of circumstances, and still end up struggling in life: drugs, relationships, criminal activity, etc. However, a child who is brought up in a home in which there is no structure, understanding, teaching, or love and is full of chaos, abuse, and instability then the chances of them being able to grow up and have self worth, strong, loving relationships, and motivation to succeed in anything they put their mind too becomes impossible. I find myself between frustrated with Mom of Baby J (and all parents who have children in Foster Care) and frustrated with their parents, and their parents, and their parents - with the generations and generations who started the downward spiral.
And for those who had a chance, who came from a home that provided for them mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically in a healthy way, who ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people who fed into someone's insecurities that enabled them to start their own downward spiral then I feel the same way about those that influenced them. The fact that we need a Foster Care system isn't an individual issue, it's a societal issue. I realize people will disagree with this. That people feel that "every man for himself" is how our world should work. But until someone has caught you in a moment of weakness or has manipulated your child into unhealthy activities then maybe you just wouldn't understand. Until you can step back and recognize that as individualistic as we try and make this world, we are continuously influenced by every person we come in contact with and every action they made. If it takes a village to raise a child, then it also takes a village to destroy one.
I could keep going but I will stop for now. I'm happy that my life is where it is. I can only imagine where the next year(s) is going to take me and I can say I'm ready all I want, but I know that I'm not as prepared as I want to be, which is what makes life the adventure that it is. Right now, things are good, in a routine, anticipated. But I know, especially as I face this world of untraditional motherhood that I can't possibly plan for what is going to happen next!

I think I've caught up on where I am, what I'm doing, and how I feel about the world we live in soooooooooo, I'm going to go now.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Oh - a year has almost passed!

GEEZ where does the time go? Here my blog has sat here for almost a year with nothing exciting happening on it at all. Well, that should about sum up the past year! Nothing was happening so nothing was added :-) HAHA...and I'm kidding!
I have spent the past year working and going to school (such has been my life for MANY years now!) and just trying to figure out why I'm here, where I'm going, and how to get there. If you have answers, feel free to share!
This past year, I have spent time trying to make sure that the goals that I put into play actually were accomplished. I am happy to say that for the most part, they have! I have been lucky enough to find myself more financially stable, healthier than I have been in years (lost almost 50 lbs...with many more to go!), made time for reading, friends, and even the challenge of cooking...which I will probably never do again! I moved out of my 324 sq ft house that I lived in for almost 3 years, and even bought a car that has made a difference in my life for reasons I can't even explain! I have put in countless time and effort into my volunteer work at Streetlight and have seen the goals that the team set at the beginning of the year surpass what we thought was even possible. I also wanted to start volunteering on the Foster Care Review Board and was able to go through that process, be approved, and placed on a board (about a 6 month process). I'm thankful that I have the time and availability to contribute to my community and to gain experience that is going to make me more successful in my career. I have been able to purchase the computer I WANT which reduced my stress greatly! I made it a point this year to go back to Utah and see family and friends. Since I missed my 10 year High School Reunion due to a work trip, visiting Utah wasn't just about seeing friends and family I already keep in contact with, but I was able to see friends from school, catch up on their lives and families, and realize how incredibly far we have all come in life. I think it was better than going to the reunion actually so I'm happy it worked out the way it did. I have also been lucky enough to travel to St. George, Utah to support my little sister in the marching band and color guard competition she was in and steal a few extra minutes with her between her practices and performances. I'm so proud of her, she makes me laugh, and I'm thankful that I get the opportunity to continue to see her grow up even though I have spent most of her life in another state. My travels will continue as I go to Colorado next week and to Midland, Texas for Christmas to see more family. When most people put down "travel" as a new year's resolution, they are usually thinking something exciting and exotic but to me, my travel goals were to see family and friends that I haven't seen in a long time. Although there are people that I won't get the opportunity to see, I think that I will put "travel" down for next year also so I make it a point to continue to keep in touch with those I love. I am blessed (although some don't see it that way) that I have the time and freedom to make this a priority!
I still have a few things on my list that I hope to complete before the year is over such as the puzzle that is only partially done in my living room but hasn't been touched in WEEKS or actually applying for my passport. I'm not going anywhere but I want to be ready just incase an opportunity arises. They aren't big goals by any means but ones that I hope to finish before the beginning of the year. And if I don't, I will be thankful for the goals I have accomplished! New Year's is my favorite holiday and my most favorite time of year. Some people just see it as another day but I really use it as a time to evaluate where I have been and where I want to go. My life can get busy and bogged down with a "to do" list the size of China and an email inbox that is longer than that. It is too easy to get lost in those lists and forget to do something for yourself. I am so grateful for the year I have had. For the things I have been able to do. For the control that I feel that I have. For the friendships that I have made. For the small successes and the steps forward. I have also had heartache, breakdowns, tears, fears, and uncertainties. I have had doubt and disappointment. I have faced challenges that I thought I would never be able to overcome. But you have to take the good with the bad!
Sorry it has been so long since I last posted but hopefully this brief description of my life has brought you up to speed :-)

Monday, January 25, 2010

I would rather blog than do homework!

It's been a long time since a "survey" has been passed around. I stole it from Jody's blog and it seemed to fit the perfect procrastination project I was looking for :-) Enjoy!

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?

Started my Master's program, paid off debt, and lived without regret!

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

After graduating in Dec 2008 I gave the year 2009 a break of all pressure for resolutions and just did things that made me happy, didn't do things out of obligation, and slept ALOT! I have already set my goals for 2010 and I'm well on my way to accomplishing them. It's going to be a busy year but I'm excited!!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

YES YES YES! I know so many people that had a baby but no doubt - the arrival of Baby Edward made my world perfect!! Not only did I get to spend 3 weeks with my BFF but I got to spend 3 weeks taking in all the love of her three little boys. I have never waited so anxiously for something and have never been so devastated to have to leave. Check out these handsome little boys on Edward's blessing day.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No. My Grandpa passed away the year before but we waited for his memorial service. It was in Newport Beach, CA on a boat in the ocean - just were he liked to be. It was beautiful!!

5. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

A better body, a bigger savings account, and more time traveling to see people I love.

6. What countries did you visit?

The US of A!

7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why:

There were many experiences this year that I won't forget - Santa Barbara for our work "training" will definitely be something that will be remembered FOREVER! It was AWESOME!!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Truly living the life I wanted to live and doing the things that make me happy. Not to say that there weren't moments of tears, sadness, and stress but really, I think making it through without regret is pretty fabulous!

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not getting into better shape.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Yes - but nothing that left me unable to live so I'm thankful.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My book collection!! I had either spent countless hours in a Barnes and Nobles or Borders reading books that I loved but couldn't afford to buy because I was SOOOOOOOOOOOO poor or books that I loved but sold to get money for food and gas throughout my very poor college years. Now, without struggle, I have them all on my bookshelf. I bought them all!! Sounds stupid, but for me, it was one of things that I promised myself that I would get back one day and now I have them back.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

I'm sure that there is someone here that I should be recognizing but I can't really think of one - I'll let you know if it changes.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Probably the same ones that always do - random strangers that clearly appear to be horrible parents. It drives me crazy!!!!!

14. Where did most of your money go?

Taxes?? Haha! Probably to bills as it always does but I was also lucky enough to buy new clothes when I wanted to, an airplane ticket across the country, and to school tuition for the start of my Masters program. It was a great year!

15. What did you get really, really, really get excited about?

My trip to North Carolina and the Santa Barbara trip.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?

Don't laugh - but probably "This is my now" by Jordan Sparks. It just seemed to be what played at the right time in the right moments.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. Happier or sadder? HAPPIER for sure!

ii. thinner or fatter? THINNER (although NOT by much!)

iii. richer or poorer? RICHER (although NOT by much!)

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Play my clarinet.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?


20. Did you fall in love in 2009?

You could say that.

21. What was your favorite TV program?
Teen Mom, Days of Our Lives, Grays Anatomy...the list can go on - I LOVE TV.

22. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?


23. What was the best book you read?

I read so many!! Jodi Picoult came out with "Handle With Care" and she is my favorite author so I guess I will have to say that one.

24. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I didn't make one.

25. What did you want and get?

A job, a bigger tank for Goose, a new TV and the Wii. I got it all!!

26. What was your favorite film of this year?

mmmm...either "He's just not that into you" or "My Sister's Keeper" - I know, I'm a total GIRL!

27. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 28. I remember going to dinner and going shopping for my gift :-) I also got the book I wanted.

28. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

mmmm...winning the lottery...

29. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

The same as always - as comfortable as possible.

30. What kept you sane?

My friends at work, sleep, and books.

31. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I always fancy Ellen Degeneres and Pink. If I could combine Ellen's personality and generosity with Pink's body I would pretty damn amazing!

32. What political issue stirred you the most?

The fact that we are still waiting for the "John's Bill" to go through in Arizona. It didn't get passed last year but it is going up again this year. Branded and the community are trying to protect underage girls from being forced into prostitution.

33. Whom did you miss?

Lacy, Dan and the boys - Joyce and Luke - Courtney P - Jessica A - Taylor, Derek, and Steve - and my little sis Bob.

34. Who was the best new person you met?


35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:

Live without regret, don't carry other's guilt, and SLEEP when you are tired!

36. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

There was a time I packed my dreams away
Living in a shell, hiding from myself

There was a time when I was so afraid
Thought I’d reached the end
Baby that was then
I am made of more than my yesterday’s

This is my now, and I am breathing in the moment
But I look around
I can’t believe the love I see
My fears behind me, gone are the shadows and doubts
That was then, this is my now.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I'm aware it's been awhile!!!

I know it as been SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO long since I have actually posted but hopefully I can be forgiven. The past couple of months have been crazy busy but super fabulous! I ended 2009 well and am ready for 2010! I cleared out all the old so I am ready for the new and have set my goals. I am already busy and have a packed scheduled through MAY! I can already tell that this year is going to be a good one!!
I hope that everyone had a very Merry Christmas and were able to celebrate the New Year safely. One of my goals is to keep my blog updated (which I have heard lots of people say is one of their goals, but I think it's a good one so I'm using it too) and will try to at least post 2 times a month...unless nothing is going on then it may only be one time a month but I will try to be exciting just for you :-)
I wish everyone a happy and wonderful 2010!!!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009


My heart goes out to the American Fork High School Marching Band and Color Guard tonight. Last night after an incredible competition and a "clean sweep" for 1st place they were faced with a tragedy on their way home. A bus driver passed out and lost control of a bus leaving one of the teacher's to try and take control. Although her actions may have saved the lives of many students, her life was lost in the accident. There were several injured and many taken to the hospital for precautions but most are home safe.
After each competition the band circles together and sings "Friends". I remember it being part of the tradition and meaning so much to me. Tonight, this is dedicated to the band, color guard, and most of all, Heather. Although there is so much work that goes into being a member of that marching band and at times the last thing I ever wanted to hear was the voice of one of the instructors telling us to keep going or to do it "just one more time" I also never felt so much love, compassion, and heart from our instructors, director, and even our band mom and dads. Although this isn't my direct loss, I feel so deeply for everyone there. Please know you are in so many people's thoughts and prayers.

Packing up the dreams God planted
In the fertile soil of you
I can't believe the hopes He's granted
Means a chapter of your life is through

But we'll keep you close as always
It won't even seem you've gone
'Cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong

And friends are friends forever
If the Lord's the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
'Cause the welcome will not end
Though it's hard to let you go
In the Father's hands we know
That a lifetime's not too long
To live as friends

And with the faith and love God's given
Springing from the hope we know
We will pray the joy you live in
Is the strength that now you show

We'll keep you close as always
It won't even seem you've gone
'Cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong

And friends are friends forever
If the Lord's the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
'Cause the welcome will not end
Though it's hard to let you go
In the Father's hands we know
That a lifetime's not too long
To live as friends

And friends are friends forever
If the Lord's the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
'Cause the welcome will not end
Though it's hard to let you go
In the Father's hands we know
That a lifetime's not too long
To live as friends

To live as friends

Though it's hard to let you go
In the Father's hands we know
That a lifetime's not too long
To live as friends

No a lifetime's not too long
To live as friends

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Time for school again!!

I have VERY MUCH enjoyed the past 8 months without school. I have loved the time, the sleep, the normal schedule, the ability to do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it, it has been FABULOUS! I have been able to get involved the the groups that I volunteer for, spend time with friends, stay up late, sleep in, work normal hours, and read for fun!! It has been WONDERFUL!! I thought I would wait until January to begin a master's program but I guess I just couldn't wait that long. I applied and have been accepted into a master's program at National University in La Jolla, California. I am going to be getting my degree in Public Admin in Non Profit studies and can't wait!! I'm nervous to begin and the flashbacks of the insanity have come full force, but I can't wait forever! In order to run a non-profit, I have to have it - the sooner, the better. Depending on how long it takes me to do my thesis I can be done in as little as 14 months but we shall see if I can do it. I would love to be done by December 2010. Wish me luck!!

Anyone up for a celebration in Cali when I'm done???

Friday, July 10, 2009


He put her out on the street tonight
Too scared and trained to even fight
He forces her to be raped for a price
She’s so confused, this Pimp appeared nice

He stripped her of her hopes and dreams
Thought he could exchange it for a new pair of jeans
At 13 she was trying to find her own niche
But now can only hope to become his Bottom Bitch

She is tortured and raped, no sense of control
Her innocent life is no longer whole
She needs a place to run and hide
Somewhere to fix what’s been broken inside

With nowhere to go she stays where she’s at
With a master manipulator who beats her with a bat
She’s told she deserves it; he reminds her she’s his
A piece of property on his “for sale” list

This doesn’t happen far from here
It’s not a foreign country’s issue to bear
Even if you close your eyes
The innocence of this little girl still dies

Since you’re home and safe tonight
Please kneel down and pray that she’ll be alright
For tomorrow she’ll be back on the street
Sold to a stranger, a price they will meet

By Jessica Blanco