As I go back and read some of my blog posts I realize there is much that I have skipped. I mean, no one really needs to know all the gory details, right? The fact is, I have made a lot of mistakes along the way. Things I shouldn't have done. Or should have and didn't. Or things I should or shouldn't have said. But, we learn from our mistakes (or at least we hope we do). I really try not to dwell too much on mistakes for too long because I know it's the forward that we need focus on. But, I can't help it sometimes. I do have some regrets. Like moving back here from Tulsa. I know in my heart we should have stayed there. If I could have a "do over", I would go back and embrace it. From the beginning. There was so much good there. I think it would have been better for us as a family. If there is any advice I could ever offer someone in that position, it would be to wrap your arms around your new surroundings and make the choice to be happy. And give it a chance.
Coming back here was difficult in so many ways, but mainly financially. Our little nest egg soon dwindled after buying the house in Tulsa, dipping into our savings each month, coming back to California, paying rent here along with our mortgage in Tulsa and then eventually buying a house here. Although Craig and I both had good jobs, it just was tough to ever get ahead. And we had little to fall back on.
As a parent, I know I have made plenty of mistakes. All the times I said "no" when I should have said "yes." Or all the times I said "yes" and should have said "no." Sometimes I lose my patience. Sometimes I yell. Sometimes I am not there in the moment...when I am lost in a Words With Friends game or Facebooking. But, I know I am a good mom. My kids know I love them and I am there for them whenever, wherever. I often wonder what memories they will have of me. Will they remember how I tucked them in at night? Or how we snuggled on the couch watching a movie? Or the lunches I made them? Or how I taught them some of my old high school cheers? Will they always think that I am a complete dork (because that is what they think of me...they have no idea how cool I actually am....). I may make plenty of mistakes with them, but, if I can manage to raise two healthy, happy, smart, courageous, strong, tolerant young women, then I know I did my job.
When I lost my job two years ago, I was devastated. I had no idea what I was going to do. One morning I came out of the bedroom, dressed and ready to take Rylee to school. She asked why I was actually dressed. I told her that I had an appointment to meet with a counselor at COD. When we got in the car, she asks, "So, you're going to work at COD?" I told her no, that I had a meeting to meet with a counselor to go back to school. She says, "Wait...you're going to go to school with COLLEGE AGED kids???" I couldn't help but laugh. I told her, yes, and was anything wrong with that? She then asked, "Well, you're not gonna try out for the cheer team, too, are you??' OMG....I will never forget that moment with her.
If there is anything that I can hope for, is that my going back to school is nothing but a positive influence on my girls. For them to see that there will be bumps in the road, but we pick ourselves up and dust off and we keep going. They have been able to see my study habits and that they have proven to work...with my good grades. I know they are proud of me. Rylee happens to verbalize things more. She remembers when I have a test and it will be the first thing she asks me when she gets home..."Mom, how did you do on your test?" She gets it, that kid. And Chandler, she is now thinking she may also want to pursue something in the medical field.
The last two years, as difficult as they have been have also been the happiest of my life. Not working and being able to focus on and cherish the little things...the good things...in my life. I soaked in every moment I had to be able to spend time with the kids. And even when I had my occasional moment, I made sure to find reason to be happy every day.
For the last 6 months, I have felt like my life has been in limbo. Felt a little mid-life-crisis-like. It was stress and anxiety filled. My dad's favorite expression these days is "The best is yet to come." He keeps telling me that. And I believe him. We all make mistakes. We all have regrets. I am a generally upbeat, positive person, but occasionally, I for sure have days where I have my doubts.
But, you know what? I know he's right...The best IS yet to come.