Climbing Day 10 #500WED

Climbing. There are moments where I feel like I have been climbing my whole life. There are also moments where I feel like I’ve finally reached a plateau. Those moments are few and far between since I’m always doing and working toward something.

I spent the beginning of my adult life wading through the trenches of college education. By the time I finished my Bachelor’s degree, I had 5 colleges or technical schools under my belt and I was 29. I look back and realize that finding the right place where I fit in was more difficult than I had expected. Actually, I don’t know that I had any expectations.

I spent a year at the local UW Extension. Of all the schools I attended I remember that year the most. I had some great classes, one was web design. The year was 1996. Isn’t that the year someone founded the internet? I also had an awesome public speaking class. I recall we had to work as a group and write a long paper regarding an event. Then we had to present our findings on stage in the auditorium. Our paper was about the effect Walmart had on small business in the Port Washington and Saukville area. The changes to the area were drastic.

The next year, I went on to UW Green Bay. I spent three semesters there, one of which, I was on academic probation and the other two, I worked just hard enough to squeak by. I realized later that working a little harder may have helped my GPA and my transfer credits. Although I have memory of many nights at the library. Maybe I just wasn’t ready. In November of 1998, I decided to quit UWGB after that semester. I would move home to live with my parents, get a full time job and take one (easy) class at Lakeshore Technical College. I was 21. Now, 15+ years later I am very vocal about the fact that having to decide what you want to be for the rest of your life at age 18 is an extremely hard decision and not everyone makes the right decision.

After one semester at Lakeshore, I moved on to attend Milwaukee Area Technical College. For a good part of my education there, I commuted from my parents small town to downtown Milwaukee. Many times spending an hour on the road after night class. I figured out that busting my ass at a full time job and part time school was the right fit for me. It worked that way through 2003 when I received my Associates in Applied Science emphasis Accounting. By then I was living on my own.

From there, I decided to keep climbing. I went on to peruse a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting at Ottawa University. What drew me to Ottawa is that they focus on the the adult learner. They know that most of their students are working full time and need a program that fits their needs. It was also an accelerated program so I was taking 8 week classes but covering the amount of material usually covered in a 16 week semester. I graduated in January 2006.

But I wasn’t done yet. After about nine months, I decided a Master of Business Administration: Leadership and Management Concentration should be my next step. I completed that program in less than three years, I handed in my final project on a Friday in early December and found out there was a bun in my oven who would later be named Sydney on the next Tuesday.  Even though I finished my coursework in December, my graduation date was January 2009. I walked across the stage that May, about 6 months pregnant with Sydney.

Then I quit climbing in the formal education sense. I’m really not done climbing and working hard to reach my goals. I don’t think I’ll ever be done.

 

Day 10 of #500WED. I allowed myself a two day break and will now write like crazy again. Today’s prompt was: climbing. 

Random Weekend #500WED Day 7

In an attempt to keep with the #500WED prompt, I started writing a character study. My brain is just too fried to create a story so instead I’ve decided to write about our weekend. We started off by heading to the Brewer game on Friday night. I scored tickets through work and they were better than I expected. We were right behind the visitor dugout. The visitors were the St. Louis Cardinals. Sydney hates the Cardinals. The weather was great but there was rain in the area so the roof was closed. She was not happy about that. For a five year old, she sure has some strong opinions. We weren’t able to stay the whole game because she was really tired after finishing her first week of K5. We left about the 8th inning and they ended up winning. It was so much fun to be so close to the action.

Front row Brewer Game!! fbe218b5-c488-4836-aab7-c3a77764dbe9

On Saturday, she started swim class. She was so tired, I had to wake her up so we would make it there on time. She’s the biggest kid in her class which means we need to get to the pool to practice her bobbing under water. She isn’t comfortable going under the water and I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we haven’t been getting extra practice. We stopped at the local farmers market and grabbed some veggies for the week. That afternoon, we ran a bunch of errands, including stopping at Fava Tea Company in Brookfield. I have loved tea for a long time and the crap you buy at the grocery is just that. So, I sprang for a few different bags. The first that I’ve tried from our purchases is the Ginger Lime Rooibos and it is so good. (Not sponsored. I paid for my own tea and this is my opinion.) We also shopped for shoes for Sydney and it seems as though everyone in the area wears her size. After a few other stops, we headed to Costco. She fell asleep on the way home around 4 and slept for the better part of two hours. She barely ate supper and went to bed.

On Sunday, Frank got up with Sydney and I intended to read for a few minutes and ended up falling asleep until 10! That never happens. This mama must have needed sleep. We had two playdates today with each of our neighbors. A single mom with two kids moved in two doors down so we’ve been hanging out with them. They are in K4 and K5 so it’s nice for Syd to have another friend her age around our house. Then she got to play with our other neighbor for a while too.

I feel like I never sat down today and I probably didn’t but I got floors vaccuumed, laundry washed and folded, dinners made and now it’s time for bed. I feel like there is never enough time in the weekend to get all my projects done but here’s to another week!

Daily Prompt was to write a character study. Since my goal is to write 500 words a day, not necessarily related to the prompt, I decided to give myself a pass and just write. 

Car Purchase #500WED Day 6

Part 1: Tell a story as it actually happened. Just the facts.

As an impromptu decision, we decided to buy a new car for me. We had briefly talked about making the purchase and then decided that some test driving would be in order. After driving the Sonata Turbo for the better part of the Wisconsin winter, I was in the market for something less Turbo-ish and more good on the snow-ish. The morning of the day of the test drives, I did the math to figure out what we could afford and what I wanted to spend. Our salesman at the dealership knew we were coming out and knew what we may be looking for. I didn’t really have an idea of what exactly it was that I was looking for but our salesman knew our price range. Frank told me the decision was mine so he could have his Turbo back. The first car I drove was a used Mazda. Not exactly what I was looking for. I had seen several Elantra’s around so I thought I’d take a look at one. The one I sat in had the same color interior and exterior that my old Escort had. It was too small and Escort like. We went into the showroom to warm up since it was February. I wandered around the showroom and kept coming back to the blue Tucson. It was near our salesman’s desk. I sat in it. We talked about it. I didn’t want blue. They had a black one on the lot. The black one had a person coming back to look at it on Monday. I snarked “not if I buy it first”. Once it was ready for me to drive, it had started snowing and the roads were covered. Perfect time to test out the all wheel drive. I was sold. This vehicle was solid and the price was right. I made the decision, we talked numbers and made the final decision to purchase this vehicle. This process took forever and Frank’s blood sugar got low. We found him Coke and a snack.

Part 2: Rewrite the story to be more expressive, interesting and entertaining by editing out the elements that don’t need to be there.

As an impromptu decision, we decided to buy a new car for me. We had briefly talked about making the purchase and then decided that some test driving would be in order. After driving the Sonata Turbo for the better part of the Wisconsin winter, I was in the market for something less Turbo-ish and more good on the snow-ish. Our salesman at the dealership knew we were coming out and knew what we may be looking for. I didn’t really have an idea of what exactly it was that I was looking for. Frank told me the decision was mine so he could have his Turbo back. The first car I drove was a used Mazda that felt as if it was going to fall apart even with only 40,000 mile on it. Not exactly what I was looking for. I had seen several Elantra’s around so I thought I’d take a look at one. The one I sat in had the same color interior and exterior that my old Escort had. It was too small and Escort like and not at all what I was looking for. Had I sat in a different color Elantra, I may have went with one. The price was cheaper than what I ended up with. We went into the showroom to warm up since it was February and we were in the midst of the Polar Vortex. I wandered around the showroom and kept coming back to the blue Tucson. It was near our salesman’s desk. I sat in it. We talked about it. I didn’t want blue. They had a black one on the lot. The black one had a person coming back to look at it on Monday. I snarked “not if I buy it first”. Once it was ready for me to drive, it had started snowing and the roads were covered. Perfect time to test out the all wheel drive. I drove it like I stole it. Braked hard on the snow, pressed hard on the gas on wet pavement. I was sold. I got to bring it home the same day!

This post is part of #500WED. These are the details of this prompt: This is a memoir style prompt: I want you to tell a “carefully edited truth.” Stories are full of facts, but not every fact tells the story you want to tell. I’d like you to try to tell a story both ways; first, as it actually happened – and then rewrite it to be more expressive, interesting, and entertaining by editing out the elements that don’t need to be there. Each part should be short; just do 250 words for both. Challenge yourself to pull out the details in the second version that really put a fascinating spin on the story.

My comments: There’s not really a fascinating spin on this story. 

Morning

It’s dark. Not just because the sun isn’t up yet but because the curtains keep the light out. Also because the sun isn’t up yet. I feel as if these should be opened now that Sydney isn’t sleeping in our room anymore. Let the early light in. The cell phone alarm is ringing. I hit the snooze. Most days, I just need a minute. Most days I read the Wall Street Journal headlines that came in over night, check the weather, mail and Twitter before getting out of bed. The new school year has come with a new routine which means I’m up a little earlier in the morning and so is the rest of the family. This morning was cloudy. Cloudy means the house stays dark even with the curtains open. I wake up Sydney with either “Good Morning Sunshine!” or “Good Morning Rain Clouds!” depending on the status of the weather. I open her room darkening curtains and wiggle her awake. She takes a while to get moving so she still gets a cup of juice and the iPad when I wake her. The light of the iPad shows her sleepy face as she stirs to greet the world. There are tickles and cartoons just before I jump in the shower.

Bright bathroom lights and loud water break the quiet peace of the night. The room is quickly filled with steam and the smell of shampoo and my favorite soap. Just as fast as the water came on, it goes off. The rush of getting ready and getting Syd out of bed begins. The rule is she gets up before Daddy so we have time to eat breakfast before we leave. The look on her sleepy face on a morning late in the week makes me wonder how long it will be before she’s sick. She gets up with the prompt that Mommy is doing her makeup. She loves to watch me get ready. My inhaler, brushing my teeth, making up my face and the glue (hairspray) that keeps my hair just right. She has a million questions about it all. She brushes and washes next. Clean teeth and clean face. Now it’s daddy’s turn. We both get dressed. Today, she laid on the floor and insisted I pick out her clothes, saying “I don’t care”. It’s not always that easy to get her dressed. I insisted she put her hair up. Today the temperature was already 75 at 7am, and the snarls she gets are terrible. They take forever to comb out. We spray detangler, now she smells like banana.

Once we’re dressed she in a green shirt and orange socks, me in jeans for Friday, we head downstairs to wake up the kitchen. While she worked through three bowls of cereal and watched a little more iPad, I put together lunches. This week, her lunch of choice is a multigrain tortilla, salami, cheese curds, apple, peapods and granola bar. I pack her Tinkerbell Thermos with ice water and zip up the bag. My lunch is put together too as my smoothie is churning away in the (TOO LOUD) Vitamix. Sydney hates the noise, especially since I run it twice, once to mix and once to clean. The smell of coffee from the Keurig is in the air just before we get ready to walk out the door. Shoes on and bags zipped as I pull the truck out and load up. Off to another day of K5 and work.

 

Daily prompt from #500WED. Today’s prompt: Show us your morning.