Friday, June 7, 2013

I'm a Nanny {the best job for me}

Last year I had the privilege of sitting in on a very good motivational speaker in Milwaukee. I'm not really one for motivational speakers. But this one was different.
He talked about many awesome things about his life, job, and experiences. But one thing in particular stood out.He was talking about how helpful it is to step outside of ones comfort zone and how making yourself a little uncomfortable can ve a good thing. Because living in a life of comfort is really not living. You aren't moving when you stay within your comfort zone. You have set limits on yourself. Set limits on your potential.

This hit home.

I realized I had been limiting myself. I had been playing it safe, and he was right, it wasn't living. It had been a long time since I had taken any chances. When we got home from the trip I thought about what the speaker had said. I tried convincing myself that It was ok to not take risks, that I was happy with where I was in life. But I knew I wasn't.

After brainstorming on possible things I could do, I decided to open an online jewelry store selling some of my handmade items.
It was a great place to start!
However I have a hard time structuring my days and after awhile I realized that I needed something more. Which led me to taking a huge step and apply for a "grown up" job.
I applied to be a personal assistant.... ::YIKES::
I was terrified. I had no experience. But I took a chance and applied anyway.
I scrambled to update my resume and did a lot of research about working in a business setting.
I got an interview which went smoothly, but in the end I wasn't hired.
Oh well. It just wasn't meant to be and I was ok with that.

A few months later while I was getting my nails done, the technician/co owner of the salon and spa asked me if I would be interested in being her kids nanny. I really liked this lady and had been going to see her every 2 weeks to get my nails done for close to 2 years. I agreed to meet her kids to see if it would work. I was really excited but also pretty nervous. 
My biggest fear was "What if they don't like me?" I told the lady that kept running through my head the next time I saw her. She said that they were really excited to get to meet me. That really put my mind at ease.

A few weeks later I met my kiddos. They were perfect!  They had tons of personality and energy and just a sincere passion for life! I got to meet their dad and he was so nice and you could tell both parents were just crazy about these kids too!

After that first meeting while as I was walking out to my car it hit me. I knew this job was for me. This was where I needed to be.
These kids definitely fill a void in my heart. A void I had been ignoring.
I'm a nanny and its the perfect job for me!

Friday, July 13, 2012

In Memory of Granddaddy

In October my little granddaddy who was there for me and with me in every part of my life fell very ill. I remember the moment my grandmother and I walked into the ER room where he was laying on a bed. I knew. I knew that we would be losing him soon. He looked at me and I knew he knew. He looked at me with those reassuring blue eyes I loved. Almost saying. 'I'm so sorry to have to leave you soon, but you'll be fine. I know you are strong. You'll be fine." Then we both looked at Grandmother who was completely distraught. I will never forget the fear in her eyes. In her expression and movement. 

The next few weeks were filled with love. Love for granddaddy. Love for grandmother. Love for our entire family. We were close but these turn of events drew us even more close than we could have imagined. I wanted to spend all my time with my family. I was so happy granddaddy called all his children to be with him. He was doing well. Getting stronger every day it seemed. He was so happy to see everyone, to have all his greatest accomplishments with him. That made him content. He smiled.

The next morning when I had received the call. I was shocked. I remember collapsing on the floor in complete anguish. I knew that putting granddaddy in a drug induced coma and on a ventilator was not a step forward. It was taking a step backwards and turning around to face the other direction so future steps will continue to go in that direction. It was at that moment I knew he would be leaving us soon. My grandmother would be a widow and my aunts and uncles would no longer have their dad. My cousins and I would no longer have our little granddaddy. Life was going to be changed. This was my first major loss. And I was devastated. "Not my granddaddy. Not him." I remembered screaming over and over in the car. 

The day before Thanksgiving 2011, I knew even before my mother called. "This is the day. This is the day my entire world is going to flip over. My mom called and gentley said, "Ashley. Its time. We are taking granddaddy off the machines at 7:30 this evening. We are all going to be there. You too if you'd like." Granddaddy was like a father to me. I've been lucky to have three. My dad, My step dad, and my granddaddy. I wanted to be there. I wanted to be there for him. I wanted to let him know I'll be ok. I wanted to be able to hug my aunts and uncles and cry with them. I had decided at that time I would be there.

I had never seen anybody die before. After thinking about how it would be I had talked myself out of being there. I made the decision to see him beforehand. I'd sit and talk with him. So at 6:30 Pm I walked through the doors of South Crest, with an odd assortment of things I cherished. 1) My Dolly my Granddaddy had given to me when I was a little girl 2) The scarf I had started knitting for him when he went into the hospital and just finished the morning before. 3) A heartfelt letter I wrote to him on his desk that very morning. I laid all these on his lap.

As I walked into that first room past the nurses desk in the ICU all the fear I had vanished. Granddaddy was here with me. He was there and he would help me through this. I held his hand for what seemed not long enough. I kissed it and cried on it. As I looked up at him, at his closed eyes, I managed to lift myself up I got close to his face. I Traced his laugh lines with my fingertips and kissed the top of his head as I always had. I held his hand again. I looked up at him, and started to speak. "Granddaddy, you mean so much to me, I'm going to miss you. But don't worry about me. I'll be ok. I will live like you. I will see the beauty in everything, create beauty, speak beauty, sing beauty. You're My granddaddy forever." 

While I was talking to him his heart rate accelerated, as if he could hear me and was responding. After I was done talking I held his hand again, but more tightly. I said this slowly and clearly. "Granddaddy, I love you and I will be ok." I kept holding his hand tight as ever. and said "I love you, and I know you love me. I've always known that and I will never ever forget it." Granddaddy's pulse went down to normal after that. I went into the room not thinking he could hear me but I gave it a shot anyways. By the time I had to leave I knew he could hear me. 

I stood up and looked at him. He was hooked up to so many machines and tubes. I hated seeing him like this. But he was still my strong Granddaddy. I knew he'd be leaving his earthly form soon and I knew he would be free. This brought me comfort. I smiled. I bent down to give him one last kiss and said, This is not good bye...No, its never good bye. We'll see each other again one day."

I bent over to the pile I had laid on his lap earlier. Looked at my dolly and granddaddy's scarf he would never be able to wear and the letter I'd written to him. I ruffled my Dolly's hair and sighed. She was going to stand in for me while the doctors took him off all the things that were keeping him alive. I was thankful to have her here. I took one last long look around the room. and then back to my granddaddy and said, "I love you, Granddaddy." I backed up, drew the curtains, and turned off the lights.  


....and life changed. 

I cried for days. And then one day I stopped. There were no more tears. At that point I got out a piece of paper and wrote....


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sherkat Ranch

A few weekends ago my dad came into town with my stepmom and little brothers! We had a blast, its always so good to see them! My uncle own a large amount of Property in Weleetka, OK. We went to visit and go fishing and just spend time together!!!


Here is the entrance to the pasture! It says "Sherkat" which is my maiden name!


I just fell in love with the cows, there were so many! The little baby cow here is named "Happy" I had never seen a cow with markings like this! The name "Skunky" was in consideration due to her markings. But since she jumps and frolics and is just so happy, that what they named her!


More cows! The one looking at the camera is Little Red. I didn't catch all their names, but each one has their own little personality. 


Little red Looking out! I love this shot because of the contrast between Little Red and the darker cows!


This is little Stephanie. She was 6 days old in this photo. Stephanie's mom wasn't really being very motherly. She leaves Stephanie and won't nurse her when she is hungry. My uncle is trying to get the mom to bond better by putting them both in an enclosed area.

We were looking everywhere for little Stephanie that morning. Mama cow left her alone in the pasture and went to join the adult cows towards the front of the property. Let me tell you, she was hard to find! But we finally did!


Little Stephanie running to find her mama. She was calling out to her the whole time. The mama cow finally answered her call. My uncle might end up having to bottle feed this little one if mama doesn't start letting her feed.


Heres my little brother Jackson fishing! He is 9 years old and is seriously the sweetest little guy I've ever met! Jackson caught several largemouth bass on Sherkat Ranch! I was so proud of him, He's a very good fisherman!


This is my Littlest brother, Owen! He is 4 but will be turning 5 next month. Owen is very fun and high spirited! He's a very active little guy and has a great sense of humor! He had a hard time fishing at first but ended up catching quite a few fish too! He's going to have some great fisherman stories to tell!!!


Caught a great one of Jackson and Owen in the act! Jackson found a small dead snake by the house and was using that as bait! He would drag his line all over the pond to make it look like the fish was swimming! Such a smart little guy! Owen got so good at casting his line. Thats a hard one to do when you're little!

We had such a good time! There was talking, Laughing, picture taking, and a lot of good family fun! Ryan and I will be going back soon, we loved the remote location and my aunt and uncle are two of my very favorite people!

We love Weleetka, OK!!!!