Wonderful world of work

So there a couple things you should be 100% aware of when it comes to me… I am not normal. Working in an office environment is not normal for me.

This is so more me.

This is so more me. (Photo credit to UCS and their photo of their studio, which makes me miss college and the studio that I got to use there.)

I have never worked in a normal office environment, and I never thought I would ever be working in a cubicle, let alone being excited about it. I am more the type to have weird, in-between jobs that you never even thought someone would have, and I have had quite a few of those…

Have you ever heard of someone working in a turkey farm? Or know of anyone putting away books at the wee hours of the morning?

No? Of course not. Because no sane person decided that they would deal with turkeys, or put away heavy books at warp speed (or as fast as humanly possible) at 5 a.m. Besides the point of this post though, this is about my job now.

This is the most normal job I have ever had. I work roughly 8 hours a day. I come into work, use a punch clock and then punch out when I leave. I have never had a job like this, and although I have never seen myself in this kind of job, there is one thing I love about this job.

The people are AWESOME.

All of them are so unique, and I have made so many new friends that I can hardly count them all. Even my supervisors are awesome and very helpful people and my manager is really funny and nice.

Now, I haven’t told a lot of people at work about our blog at all, so I am so not trying to butter them up through this. It is just nice to be able to like the people you work with and work for. I have found some really good friends in my colleagues while I have been here, and although I am not going to mention any names, they know who they are and they know (from me telling them on a constant basis) how truly awesome and sweet they are.

They make it easier to come into work on my bad brain days because I know I will smile at least once from something ridiculous someone says or does, or that I say or do, and at work I am one of the more random people.

I am truly blessed to not only have a job but have a job where I actually get along with and like the people.

I know this is just a temporary position, but for the time being I have a found a place in the company full of awesome people, and that works just fine for me.

~ Andreah

Growing up…finally

Well it has been a hell of a week…

I got laid off and although I still have an income because of employment insurance, it makes it harder.

Lately I have had to forego a lot of the stuff that is extra.  The biggest one for me has been that there are fewer visits with the family.

I miss everyone so much and that makes me miss the moments.  The funny moments, the happy moments, the sad moments – all the moments that I think about at the end of a long day.

I miss my mom’s healing hugs. I miss getting attacked by the younger nieces. I miss the cuddles with my little nephew.  I miss my older nephew being a butt.  I miss my other niece being a sass – and it goes with out saying that I miss my sisters and all the stuff we get up to.

But on the upside, having less has taught me a lot.

I am way better at budgeting monies!  I found ways to stretch the nickles out more and cover the bills and still get the little treats like a cup of Tim’s.

Preach, Jenna

Preach, Jenna

While growing up sucks more the older you get I still am okay with the hard things because these are the lessons.

Lessons that last a lifetime and help you grow into the future.

~ Andreah

*A huge thanks to my mommy who actually wrote this post for me while I read it out to her over the phone.  She is Wonder Woman!

Two down, one to go

I am a step-mother.

And no, not in the Disney way.

Evil-step-mother

Evil step-mother

But in the kind of way I would want my own children treated by another woman if they ever had to raise them with or for me.

More appropriately, I am a step-mom.

M, myself and J ♥

M, myself and J ♥

I am an incredibly blessed and lucky step-mom.

Seriously.

When Michael and I first began dating a million years ago, we both thought it best to hold off with meeting his then young children until we were sure our relationship was a long-term thing. He wanted to make sure I was the kind of woman he would want loving and helping raise his children, and I wanted to make sure I didn’t get sucked into a life that, to be honest, I was not exactly sure was made for me. I had a gripping fear of falling in love with such little people, with such tender hearts, that could be terribly hurt if we were to break up.

This is a decision I am so thankful we made.

Finally, when we were both ready, and we felt the children would be ready, Michael introduced his two beautiful babies to his ‘friend’ Toni. (Side note: my step-kids are incredibly smart, perceptive, and other than J adorably informing his father of his intentions to one day marry me, they saw through this ‘friend’ label faster than we thought.) Nothing could have prepared me for this moment or the million amazing and rewarding moments that would follow.

I had heard horror story, after horror story of hard, terrorizing, wicked and evil step-children/step-parent situations, and to say I was apprehensive about the whole thing would have been and understatement.

But I hit the freaking JACKPOT of step-children.

J was outgoing, loud, funny and attached himself to me quite comfortably, quite quickly. Always making sure to put a smile on my face, J’s heart is bigger than most full-grown men I have met and for that I am forever thankful.

Date night with J at the movies

Date night with J at the movies

M was a different story. When I met her, she was roughly 9 going on 40, wise beyond her years with view of the world that was a little bit different than J’s.

Saying goodbye to M before her flight to France

Saying goodbye to M before her flight to France

Slow to let in, M is an introvert by nature. Quiet, sweet, and observant, she slowly warmed to me. As I am an extrovert (SHOCKER!) by nature, and grew up in very big and loud family, this was a bit of a learning curve for me, but over time we found our groove.

Fast-forward to present day where M is my partner-in-crime and go-to girl for all things from car-ride singalongs to balancing out the testosterone/estrogen levels in our home. We share secrets, the latest gossip, nail polish and a love for shopping. More intricate than sisters, much different than mother-daughter, more fulfilling than I could have imagined, I wouldn’t trade what we have for anything.

A few years ago, my brilliant, intelligent and driven M was approached to participate in a European student-exchange program that would grant her the opportunity to host a student here and then spend three months in France. While the trip was a few years off yet, her early acceptance into the program (THAT’S how brilliant she is!) was cause for excitement, commotion, and tears of both joy and worry. We were so proud.

Our exchange student arrived this past August and fit right into our beautifully-blended family without missing a step. C was loud, loving, happy and most of all fabulous. We laughed (A LOT), shared tears of anxiety about her having to leave us, and grew together as a family with the experience.

Our last night with our C  <3

Our last night with our C ❤

In the days approaching M’s departure, I found it hard to sleep, hard to talk about her trip without tearing up, and my nerves, frankly, were shot. The drive to the airport was no different, and neither were the moments leading up to us having to let her go through her gate. I’m not quite sure which one of us was struggling with the reality of THREE whole months apart from our normal lives more – M or I – but watching her say goodbye to her two closest girlfriends, her boyfriend, dad, brother, step-dad and mom, made me want to grab her and make a run for the car, James Bond style. My inner monologue kept reminding me how amazing this experience was going to be for her, that she would be reunited with C, that she would never have this opportunity again, that it’s FRANCE…no amount of reasoning calmed me down, but it did allow me to hug her tightly, remind her how proud of her I was, tell her I loved her and then let her go.

While my composure only lasted until I was tightly strapped in for the return home, my pride in her bravery definitely has. I’m not sure high school me would have had the guts to take such a trip.

Yesterday we celebrated our M’s two month anniversary in France and it being only a few short weeks away from her return. I’ve already begun planning that week’s shopping trip to include all of her favourites and fully anticipate a request for dinner at Ye’s Sushi.

M, we can’t wait to hug you. We miss you a ridiculous amount.

~ Toni

Time, wishes, choices, and an inevitable roller coaster

“What a slut time is. She screws everybody.” – John Green*

He has a point. Do you ever notice that you feel panicked at the end of a long day, and just feel like you could have done more, or finished a project if you just had a little more time. I feel like that about long distance sistering. I feel as though I am stuck in a long day, and I will never have enough time to be there, and around for my sisters, my family, and my friends.

“The world is not a wish granting factory.” – John Green*

But what if the world was a wish granting factory? We would be able to accomplish all that we ever wanted to in a single day. We would be able to make our world a better place, and we would be able to, in my case, feel more apart of your families by choice, or families by nature.

“You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world… but you do have some say in who hurts you.
I like my choices.” – John Green*

But I am, in a way, happy that I miss my sisters, my family, my friends. It means that I have a lot of love spread around, and for the people who never gave up on me, and for the people who are always there for me, they are the ones I miss and I know who miss me. I am glad that even though I am hurt by the distance, and feel as though I am missing several limbs because of the absence, when I finally see everyone again, it will be a very sweet moment and I will feel emotionally full.

“I’m on a roller coaster that only goes up, my friend.” – John Green*

Right now, as I sit here typing this, I am on that roller coaster.

I understand it in a whole new perspective. That even though things are going wrong, and distance is created even more difficult by absence, and horrid timing of things breaking (the truck), I know with hope I can go see them, and soon.  Soon we will have everything righted again, me and Joe can work through this and I can see my all encompassing family again. My roller coaster is hope, and I am strapped in for the ride.

~ Andreah

*John Green is one of my favourite writers. He has a way of making a book for young adults reach out to everyone. These quotes are from one of my favourite books of his, The Fault in Our Stars, or TFiOS, as the nerd fighters say. This book is also becoming a movie and its release date is June 6th of this year.