Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Son's Love

I had an amazing moment the other day that I wanted to include on my blog, mostly for posterity!

I picked up my children from school and as we were walking in the house my son started a conversation that I will never ever forget.

He's just 9 years old and while he is extremely intelligent (and that's not just mother's bias either), sometimes he has difficulty expressing himself. We have become very close over the past few years and truly bonded in the past 9months or so. He's finding it easier to express his feelings but was stumped the other day.

A number of times when we've walked into the door of our apartment, he will say to me "I love our new home." We moved here in October. Our first place, just the three of us. It's welcoming (he's loved it even more now that I've added photos of the boys to the walls) and cozy and all ours. On this day he started to talk about how much he loves it here but then stopped and looked at me and said "I just love you so much. Like you don't even know!" *Cue tears*

Ean (9) with his brother, Gavin (6)

When a nine year old boy says something like that to you there's not much you can do but hug the hell out of him and that is just what I did. He looked up at me and said "no really, I can't even explain it to you how much I love you."

I think I just received the single greatest gift any mother could ever hope to receive.

I'm one truly lucky momma and with mother's day coming up, I think I got my present early!!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Goal Setting for a Five Star Life

This post was originally published in 2012. It has been updated a bit in August of 2016. Time has changed my focus a bit. 

My goal with A Five Star Life has always been to find the good things in my life and share them. This may be interesting thoughts or memories I have shared with my children. It has also been my hope to remind others to find their "five star" moments.

It's funny though, this blog rarely gets up dated.

Recently, I have spent time evaluating my life. I have been considering what I want to do with it and how I want it to look. I've taken a small break from stopped writing my blog The Debt Princess to work on this. I have spent the past week playing catch up on some obligations that I have (reviews, giveaways and sponsored posts, etc) and really evaluating what I want out of my blogs.

I have come to a few conclusions:

1. I want to continue to grow The Debt Princess but specifically focus on my "What NOT to Do" series. I bought a new domain to house that but haven't had the chance to develop it yet (I can NOT afford to pay site designers or even logo designers and right now that is holding me back, imo.).

Update: This is no longer something I am pursuing as I have discovered that full time blogging is not something I'm capable of at this time in my life.

2. I want to grow that series into a syndicated column somewhere, whether it is a local paper or an internet magazine. I want to write regular WNTD posts.

Update: I would still LOVE to have a column somewhere. I'm open for offers!

3. I want to turn those posts into a book to be used for educating young adults before they get into too much trouble with their finances.

4. I want to speak locally to area high school students and new college students. I want to warn them of the dangers of debt and help them understand how finances work.

Update: I get to do this regularly as a classroom teacher but I'd love to make it into a large scale program.

5. I want to find a brand sponsor (think to partner with for this project.

6. I want to grow this blog into something bigger. I want to find more ways to enjoy a "five star" life. My kids and I deserve it!

Update: But only if I'm able to find a great work-life balance. Teaching is my number one job after parenting.

7. I want to take classes at the undergrad level to work on a degree in communications. This is HUGE! I'm a graduate student but I want to step back and work on a second bachelor's degree. Probably a crazy idea but I really think it's the right choice for what I want in my future.

Update: Not a desire at this time.

8. I want to continue to live a healthier lifestyle and I want to blog about it more. I have loved this new lifestyle that I have taken on. I have been a vegan for the past month or so and I've really enjoyed it. I have been forced to eat gluten free but vegan is something I'm doing for my health. I want to find a way to do Gluten Free Vegan on a budget (it's KILLING my food budget right now, like blown in 2 1/2 weeks blown!) and I want to share it with people.

Update: I have lost 90 pounds thus far by eating plant based, on a budget, too! I started running and ran my first half marathon in April of 2016!

9. I want to get my mental health back on even keel and then I want to share more about it. I've had so many people contact me after reading my posts about mental illness. Many who are afraid to talk about it themselves. I'd like to lessen the burden of holding it in but giving others a place to talk about it.

Update: Happy to report it is on the right track!

10. I want to start writing in the educational realm as well as the personal finance. I know a whole lot more about education, specifically special education. I have a bachelor's degree in special education and 7ish years of teaching experience and a year's worth of grad school now a masters degree in Inclusive Education. I should do something with it. I want to find sites to write for like I have done within the personal finance community.

What that means for my day to day, I don't really know. Just being able to write out some goals is a huge step for me. My current plan of action is to get my financial aid paperwork back and then meet with an advisor at my university to see how difficult it would be to change my degree focus (if I do indeed have to become an undergrad again). In the fall, I'd like to go to school full time as well as substitute teach a few days a week for extra money. I will continue to do what I am doing with my freelance writing, I do not want to give that up, and blogging when I can.

I'm determined to find more Five Star Moments in my life! I think 2012 has had more of them then any in the past 4 years, maybe even more. I think I can keep that momentum going!

Friday, January 13, 2012

My Bio, in Rhyme!

As part of an assignment for a grad school class I am taking on Creativity in the Classroom, we have been asked to do a 2-3 minute presentation about ourselves. I wrote a kick ass poem that is sure to win a Pulitzer! 

I plan to pair it with a slide show of some pics (if I can find ones to use). If that doesn't work, then maybe I'll have the kids draw pictures on their day off from school Monday. If not, well then this is as creative as I get. 

And so I give you:

The Bio of Jessica (best when read out loud as intonation is crucial)

There once was a girl from Ohio
She started freaking out over writing her bio.

Be creative she was told.
Her reply? “UGH, I'm too old.”

So this girl she sat and she thought.
What is with this class? Come on Dr. Rhodes,
Creativity just can't be taught.

Her story began too long ago
but it gets most interesting
when she moved to Columbus, Ohio.

She graduated from Ohio State
and taught for a few years
before getting married, that only lasted 6 years.

The highlight of her life comes in the form of 2 boys
Gavin and Ean who are great
but lord their obsessed with Lego toys

Life was hard post divorce.
Money was tight and it only got worse.

Unemployment, no car, massive debt,
but living with mom was even worse yet.

This girl fought, she didn't bow out.
She put on her big girl pants
and paved a new route.

Back to school she decided to go
no where else but O-H-I-O

But that wasn't enough, she needed to make money
So she started to write a blog,
She really is quite funny.

And so she became The Debt Princess
She writes about money and her lack of good sense.

As a freelance writer her mission is clear
make some money for bills and occasionally a beer.

Her hope is to talk to high school students.
and teach them what not to do.

She'll feel better about the future,
and maybe you will too.

Now here she is in T&L 823
She'll do her very best,
She better not get a C.

*taking a bow*