Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Dig Deep...

It's safe to say, life has been turned on end for me and my sweet little family.  Living in Vernal was a rough change for me in the beginning.  I struggled with the lack of conveniences, the small town mentality, the big trucks, the seemingly poor service anywhere we went... It was not my favorite place to be, and I didn't want to stay. 

Jump ahead 16 years and I've made some of the best friends, had some of the most amazing opportunities, made great money at an amazing job, built a clientele with photography, learned to love the geography of this beautiful place and not take it for granted, and have raised two great kids among some of the best people ever.  I have learned to be happy with what I have, and grateful for all of my blessings, and yet, here I sit, wallowing a little because of recent events.

It's really hard not to become negative and ornery about the circumstances we have found ourselves in.  Jon losing his job has affected both of us in such different ways.  We have to live separate from each other, which is most evident in the morning when I wake up in an empty king size bed.  I have to change everything once again.  My job, my friends, my home... and this time I have to drag two kids with me and worry about how they will fair.  Jon is having to relocate, which is harder for him than anything.  Change is a hard thing for him!  It's nearly impossible to sell our house in the declining market we have going on right now.  I have a feeling I could be here for a very long time trying to get this house moved.  I am so antsy to be with my love, instead of stuck.invernal.  And in St. George?  I can't imagine a better place to live in Utah...

On a positive note, I'm able to continue relationships that need worked on.  I'm able to relinquish my favorite calling of all times to someone even more capable than I am.  I'll probably still be able to go to girls camp with my baby girl.  My kids will probably get to finish out the school year here.  I'm comfortable, we have jobs that pay the bills, and we're still together and happy.  Life could be so much worse.  So here's to challenges.  Bring it on.  Do your worst.  Actually, I don't want to hit rock bottom.  This little town of ours could really use some blessings. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

To New Adventures...

You know when you feel content?  Happy?  Satisfied and grateful with your life and your surroundings?  You know that feeling of not needing anything- being able to get it if you want it?  The feeling of knowing you can take a day off and still buy groceries?  Go on a vacation?  Eat out whenever you don't feel like making dinner?

Yeah.  Me either.

Not that I never have known that feeling... as a matter of fact, just 3 weeks ago I knew that feeling.  Sitting pretty in Vernal Utah... looking forward to warmer weather, girls camp, days on the boat, barbequeing in the backyard...let's face it, Vernal has little to offer in the Winter, so spending time looking forward to summer is quite normal.  And then Jon came home from work, after losing his job. 

Now everything is different.  Vernal is in a depression of sorts right now.  The oil companies are laying people off left and right.  There are over 350 homes for sale (including mine) and people can't afford to eat out, buy furniture, remodel their homes or anything else for that matter and somehow it's trickled down to those of us who don't work in the oil field, and we have to get out with the rest of them.

I don't know if I'm ready to move though.  Timing couldn't be worse, we'll be lucky to make enough money on our home to have something to put down on another.  We'll be back to paying mortgage insurance and dealing with a higher interest rate.  Not to mention where we're headed is a bit more expensive than where we are.  We won't have my income, and I doubt I'll ever make the kind of money I've made here.  I'm sure I'll be working full time instead of part time, and the kids will be in different schools again.  The outlook is bleak if that's all there was!

But, on the bright side- I get to go to Sunny St. George!  I love it there!  It's really more of a resort town, a vacation destination, and we get to live there!  I love the desert, I'd so much rather be warm than cold.  I love the red rocks, Zions Park, even the cactus and palm trees!  The kids will be in better schools, they will have more opportunities and things to do.  I may have to work more, but there are other opportunities besides retail I might be able to get into.  I'm looking forward to a new adventure.  It's daunting... thinking of all the things that will be new to me... even just finding my way around!  But, it will be fun- we'll make it that way at least!

Until someone looks at, and loves my house though, I'll be STuck.inVernal. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

We Are Family...

Pretty sad when I can count on one hand how many posts I've made in a year.  I'm going to be super sad one of these days that I let my "business" take priority and I didn't document all that I wanted to!

Life IS busy though.  There is so little time to myself anymore!  I spent a lot of money on a huge order of paper-crafting things a whole week ago, and haven't been able to dive into it yet!  If you know me, you know how much I love to be crafty... I need a break!

Young Women in Excellence is this week, and once that is over, things should start making sense again.  I've been very busy trying to put it together to be a memorable experience for all that attend.  Hopefully it goes smoothly, at this point that's more than I can ask for.

Work isn't getting any easier.  We're experiencing a recession in Vernal.  Whenever oil goes below $50 a barrel, we start to panic.  My manager and I butt heads as well.  I feel like I'm targeted and berated at times- but I could just be sensitive.  I feel like the harder I try, the more problems come up.  It's frustrating and hard, and if I didn't love what I do so much, I'd be out of there!
Fall is upon us here, and it's so beautiful.  I was excited to get a family picture this year, and I love how it turned out.  I really couldn't ask for a more beautiful backdrop!

We also added a new member to the family.  Keela is somewhat of a rescue.  She was penned up outside for the summer, and her previous owner didn't want her back in the house, so he was giving her away.  She's a beautiful Brindle Boxer, with the sweetest disposition.  She's a little slow... still whines at the doggy-door to come in!  But she and Rocco seem to get along, Rocco seriously needed a playmate.  He was driving me crazy trying to get attention.  Now, just to figure out what to do with her when we're all at work...
Ali is in Young Women's now.  It's just crazy to me that she's old enough to be there, but I love seeing her face every Sunday.  I truly am so grateful for this calling!  Getting to know these girls has been so much fun, and feeling the spirit and it's inspiration is so amazing!  Wish us luck for the program this week... I could use my sanity and want it back as soon as possible!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Madam President...

You'll never believe what's happened to me... I have been called as Young Women's President.  For. Real.

Am I worried?  Nah.  Am I excited?  Somewhat.  Am I ready for it?  You bet!  Ali becomes a Beehive in September.  I can't wait!  Next year we get to go to Heber Valley Camp... I can't wait!  Even Young Women in Excellence... New Beginnings... things that should seem overwhelming and stressful, right now just sound fun!  Maybe it's because we truly have the best girls ever.  Whatever the case, I'm in for the long haul... and so are those girls, like it or not!

Wish me luck.  Say prayers for me.  Or, if you feel better about it, say prayers for the girls!  This here's a wild ride!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Such a tease...

You would think after living in Utah my whole life I could get used to Spring being such a liar. There's nothing I hate more than a big fat liar. You would think I would know never to trust this evil temptress. I might be ready for snow- even though it would mean I lost a tree's worth of apricots and all the blossoms that had prematurely bloomed on every single plant I have. But no. Every year I get my hopes up that she'll actually make her presence known and STICK around for longer than a New York Minute. She consistently lets me down. Consistently sends me spiraling into the winter blues again and again. This year I tried to outsmart her though... knowing it would soon snow, and I'd lose the beautiful blossoms and blooms I've loved to see this past week, I got out and documented it! This one was my favorite. See? I'm not the only one getting my hopes up!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Guilty as charged...

Being a mom is hard.  Being responsible for kids is hard.  Disciplining kids is hard.  Watching them make their own mistakes is hard.  Watching them deal with the consequences is hard.  Dealing with them dealing with the consequences of their own mistakes is hard.

Why can't they listen?  Why don't they understand that I've been through this all- I understand, and I KNOW how to fix it!  It may not be the way they think they should fix it, but life would be so much easier if they would do what I tell them!  I wish they could see into the future.  I wish they didn't have to make the same mistakes I made.  I want to raise great kids... Being a mom is HARD.

I want to be able to trust my kids, but I know there are so many surprises yet to come.  I want to believe they are perfect.  I want to think they are NEVER to blame for problems... but I've learned the hard way that it doesn't always work that way.

I wonder sometimes if my work has gotten in the way of raising my kids.  I work a lot.  They are responsible for themselves a lot.  They do really well most of the time, but I'm not there always when things go south.  I know, I shouldn't give myself a guilt trip, but it doesn't matter how often I tell myself, I still feel somewhat to blame when they make a bad choice.

So, what do I do?  Money, the necessary evil that it is, has been a priority since I got the job I have.  I love my job, but the hours are really bad.  I'm working when they are out of school, I'm working every weekend, I'm working every holiday- I've missed so much!  Things have to change somehow...

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A New Year!

I'm excited to start a new year!  
And I always love an opportunity to write goals, lists and whatnot to try to keep myself on track!
I've noticed in years past, it's been easier to narrow down the things I need to work on the most.  I've been able to sum it up into one word or statement, but not this year.  Maybe it's because I need to be more specific- or I just have that much more to work on, I don't know.  I DO know that I feel pretty strongly about the things I've decided to write down this year.
1. FOCUS.  Whether at work, at home, or anywhere, I need to train my brain to focus.  I am horrible at details.  I can't remember what I did 5 minutes ago, which makes finishing a project I've started a bit of a joke! And I transpose numbers and letters all the time.  I never used to do that- so I KNOW I can fix it! 

2. FAMILY.  My kids are growing up so fast.  Next year they'll both be in Middle School.  Ali will be wearing make-up and Gage- well, Gage won't change much I hope... EXCEPT- I do want to spend more time together.  Less time with electronics!  I don't want the iPad raising my children.  I don't want YouTube to have more of an influence on my kids than me!  Working 3-4 days a week has taught me that I need to make quality time for my family- cause there may not be quantity.

3. ME.  It's time.  I don't need to run marathons or lift my body-weight.  (NO ONE needs that!) But it's time to start taking care of me.  I used to love exercise!  I loved the burn!  I loved trying new healthy things.  So what happened?  I have NO idea!  But I've been avoiding "me" for way too long!  It is NOT my goal to lose a bunch of weight.  If I can run a mile without having a heart attack, but don't lose a pound, it will be awesome.  

4. CHURCH.  I love my calling.  It has so much creative potential and I intend to bring it a lot more this year!  It's a great outlet for me- and I really enjoy the girls and other leaders I work with.  I also plan on being more forthright with my Visiting Teaching.  I am NOT great at getting chatty with the ladies I'm supposed to visit, but my plan is to make, and take them something every month.  Whether or not I take the time to talk long- I will at very least have something for them.  EVERY month.  And most importantly- I will be even better this year about paying my tithing.  I'll pay it first, and always.  Hmmm... sounds a lot easier than it is.

I know there are so many more things I want to improve.  A little more... a little better, to paraphrase the saying I keep on my fridge.  Let's have an amazing 2015!!!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Yuppy Dog-

Maybe it's a punishment.  He chews everything!  Books, clothes, magazines, music... brushes (we've been through 4 in a week!) slippers, the remote, you name it...he's tried to eat it.  He's shedding like crazy- I swear there's more hair on my surfaces than his...  Why did I agree to this?  He wakes me up in the morning by sticking his face on the bed and sniffing my face- he blows snot and licks me if I don't get up immediately.  He HAS to ride with us up to the bus stop in the morning.  He gets in the back seat and wipes slobber all over the windows and doors just so he can see the kids at the bus stop.  He won't let me go anywhere in the house without him...if I move, he moves.  If, by chance, he doesn't know where I went, he usually finds something to destroy- like hymn books, or books I'm reading.  So, maybe making him wear a sweater is his punishment.  But he looks so cute, huh?

Monday, November 3, 2014

It's about Time...

It's amazing how quickly time flies.  I hear it all the time.  I've been told never to take time for granted.  Cherish the time I have with my children, treasure moments spent together...blah blah blah.  While that's all fine and good- it's led me to many guilt-ridden hours away from my kids, at work- with church callings or just to "play" with friends.  I've learned something over the years.  While it IS important to spend as much time with my family as I can- the time I'm able to spend needs to be QUALITY.  This said- we're now heading for the holiday season, and once again- even though I swear every year I won't be working retail NEXT year.... I'm doing it again.  I will be spending the majority of my time at work- doing my best to enjoy it.  Working hard has paid off financially, but some days I think being poor sounds better than working so much.

Gage and I have a great relationship.  I let him play his computer game and he loves me. We beg for him to go places with us, and sometimes he does.  He's getting too old for mom and dad- too cool to hang out with us, but the relationship is still good.  Every Monday morning is "late-start" at Gage's school.  They start at 9:20 or 9:30?  I don't know, he just has to be there by 9:15.  So, we go to breakfast.  Every Monday.  It's my time with my boy...a slightly unhealthy way to make memories, and the one time each week I know he's got a full stomach when he goes to school.

Ali and I do tons together.  She still loves her mom and thinks I can do anything.  She lets me do her hair, she lets me play with make-up.  She still tells me everything.  Why do they have to grow up?  Last night I went outside to find her and she and RyLee were playing dolls on the front porch.  Dolls!  I love that she still plays dolls!  I just wish I could keep life the way it is right now... it's probably the best it's been raising kids.  I love it. I love them!

Halloween was awesome.  We didn't have to do "Trunk-or-Treat" cause our neighborhood is HUGE!  The kids went door to door just around here and ended up with a ton of candy!  We took them a few other places, but they were happy with what they got!  Gage didn't let me get pictures of him, but his costume was kinda lame... he waited too long to decide what he wanted to be!  But, Ali's costume and make-up were awesome!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

My "Personality."

Picture courtesy of Ali- and her ipod.
Life is crazy... it always has been.  I keep thinking I'll catch up, be able to relax in a clean house, laundry done, having had a full nights sleep, but no.  Life just keeps getting in the way.

Things don't seem to happen the way I want them to very often.  If it's leaning in my favor lately, it gets changed!  Case in point... my work schedule.  It all started last year when a co-worker/daughter of the owner had problems with a pregnancy and had her baby.  I agreed to help out and take an extra day here and there to cover for her while she was out.  An extra day here and there turned into working 4 days every week, while she was out turned into - and-when-she-gets-back.  Now, I realize I have a very good job- I know it pays well.  I know I am good at what I do- and I LOVE it!  But I also struggle daily with guilt associated with leaving my kids to fend for themselves.  I am ALWAYS gone.  I have these two amazing kids that I don't get to be with everyday, and they are growing up so fast and I feel like I'm missing it!  I know it sounds funny that 4 days a week working would be so different from 3 days working- but it is.  It is SO MUCH HARDER.  Last month I had to sacrifice Ali's birthday.  I had to work till 9pm that day after being told I had it off.  This month I was given one of the fall break days off- only to have my schedule changed and have it taken away- I know it's a pitty party I'm having for myself, but I can't get over feeling like I just got dumped on.  Mine is the only schedule that changed this month.  Monica was given a day with her kids, and a weekend with her husband.  I'm so, so bummed with the way things were handled with me. So, I'm to the point where I have to make a decision that will impact so many aspects of my life, and I'm not comfortable making decisions like this, let alone confronting the issues with my "boss."

Working in the environment I've been in for the last 15 years has really taught me something though.  I've always considered myself a likeable person.  I get along with so many people.  I talk to strangers on a daily basis and do my best to make them friends for life!  But I've learned that you can't make people like you if they don't want to.  Unfortunately, the problem I've run into is with a co-worker.  I wish I knew what I'd done.  I've been told over and over that it's a "personality" thing, but I don't get it.  It's not fair to tell someone that the reason you don't like them is just a "personality thing."  That's a very low blow.  It makes me question everything.  It makes me uncomfortable, and it makes going to a job I love, a little less fun. OK, a LOT less fun.  I've learned from this experience that it's OK not to like someone, but it's not fair to make them feel the way I feel, for no reason except a "personality conflict."  Grow up.  Fake it.  Have some gosh dang courtesy.
I've also been validated time and again with how I feel about my family.  The people I work for are good people.  They are EXTREMELY family oriented, and they would do ANYTHING for their kids... it's their example I've learned from.  Drop everything- no matter who it affects, and take care of yours.  It's what is BEST FOR YOUR FAMILY AND YOU... not those around you that matters most.  However, I have also learned how taking advantage of someone makes that someone feel.

I have always considered myself blessed.  If it was all about money, I would pick up every shift I could- work days I should have off and smile the whole time doing it!  But I've learned it's not about what I make anymore, but what I miss.  Who knows what the future holds- if I'll be strong enough to confront the problem- or just give up.  Whatever the case- it's hard.  My mental capability is at capacity right now- so wish me luck.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Little Reminders...

Honestly, sometimes it's hard to keep perspective, isn't it?  Life has it's ups and downs, it's times when you think it couldn't get better, and times when you wish so badly it would!  I think everything has it's good and bad- it's easy and it's hard- it's up and it's down... it's when the balance leans heavily one way or the other that you have to watch out.  For example.... this has got to be one of the cutest faces you've ever seen, right?
Yet, here I sit, covered in little white hairs, drowning in toxic fumes emanating from his general vicinity- looking forward to my 5:55AM wake up call.  It never fails, 5 minutes before the alarm would wake me up anyway... I never knew how much I could miss those 5 sweet minutes.  Good vs. Bad, Up and Down- Easy yet Hard...

School is OUT this Friday!  We are an excited bunch here!  I'm a little disappointed because I'll be working all weekend... dang furniture stores and understated holidays! Whoever thought that Memorial Day, or Presidents Day, or Labor Day would become some of the biggest furniture shopping days ever?? Kind of stupid if you ask me. I'll make money, (Good) but I'll miss out...(Bad.) 
Sometimes all you need is a little perspective.  I've felt the balance being a little off lately- and started feeling sorry for myself... but something little- or someone little, can make me realize how lucky I am to be where I am, to have what I have and to live like I do.  I am so grateful for those little reminders!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Morning Sunshine!

Sometimes it's easy to forget how beautiful things can be, right where you're standing.  I'll admit to being a little lack luster lately- I think I get this way every winter- right at the end when it starts to warm up but everything is still brown and bare.  I don't have patience to wait for the blooms and the green grass to poke through!  Then, I get reminded of how beautiful things really are, like the other morning when I took Rocco out right at sunrise- it doesn't get much prettier than that, does it?  And yes, I can Photoshop, but I did NOTHING to this picture...  Listening to the birds sing, and the frogs!  For the longest time I thought it was crickets I was hearing!  Frogs? or Toads?  Who knows, they make for a great soundtrack to a sunrise like that!  I love spring for the beauty it brings, and I hate spring, cause the weather just can't quite decide.

This guy is loving the weather though!  He loves to be inside, but the warmer it gets, the happier he is to get out!
He is getting huge!  About 40 pounds now?  I can't (and yet I CAN) get enough of that little face!  He is really getting to be a good little family member... in fact today, I did this...
My rug is back!  I love it!  It partially hides my ruined carpet, and takes the focus off the spots I can't hide!  Next project... NEW FLOORS!!!  But until I'm sure the a for mentioned little turd is past the puppy stage, ruined carpet it is! He HAS gotten a little too comfortable here:
and since I'm the only one who apparently cares if he's on the furniture or not, it's going to take some time to train him to STAY OFF!  He's incredibly spoiled!  He's becoming a little hoarder too- I went outside with him this morning and he was dragging a 3 foot piece of pipe over to his "pile" in the backyard... so glad it's in the back- we'd be looking incredibly "white-trash" if people could see it!
 Life is always interesting at the Tucker house.  Sometimes interesting isn't a good thing.  All in all, we know how lucky we are-

Easter reminds me to be grateful for the knowledge I have through the Gospel.  I tear up whenever I hear about the Atonement of our Savior and I have a testimony of it's healing powers.  I know the pain, the anxiety, the lows and the highs that I have felt- He has felt.  He knows how I feel no matter how I feel.  No matter how hard things get, no matter how brown or bare they are, He knows.  Sometimes that's all I need to get through it.  To know that someone else understands.  I think that's why he made the sun rise the way it did the other day.  He knew I needed to see it.