Thankful Thoughts and Things…

Well. In the spirit of keeping up with holiday topics and whatnot… and trying to get back into the swing of blogging things… Suppose now is a good time to reflect lightly over the last year and make you sappy about loving your family.

This time last year I was still living in Maryland, Marie and the kiddos had already moved across the country to be in Washington but I was job hunting while maintaining the job I had out there, teaching photojournalism to the military, a job I wish I had blogged more during, as it was a ton of fun and produced a lot of great memories.

But, being 2,200 miles from my daughter and hitting the start of what turned out to be the end of a relationship around the holidays was, well, terrible.

This is one of those times where I write and delete 12 different facts about how crappy I felt, deciding which facts to share and which to keep to myself. I was unhappy, missing mainly my little girl, who’s birthday party I also missed just a few weeks prior, save for a 5″ phone screen and Skype… and was about to be alone for Thanksgiving.

I was hitting an emotional life low. Then something pretty cool happened.

Some friends from work invited me over for Thanksgiving. It was a real kind of turning point for me in dealing with the distance. People I worked with became family. Bennie Davis, who has become a very good friend since, offered me a spot at his family’s table for the holidays.

We went from being work friends to, in the months that followed, becoming pretty close friends.

I learned to reach out to those around me. Which is something I don’t do often. I’ll normally keep things kind of hidden, maybe talk about things a little with those close to me, but, I try and put on a pretty good charade and not push my problems off on other people. It’s just part of who I am. But I needed people to be around, and the people I worked with stepped up, probably somewhat unknowingly, and were there for me. (For the record, that’s not a creepy, “I was in their bushes” kind of unknowingly… just so we are clear)

It has been a rough year for sure. But even as I go through the stressful days here and now dealing with everything I am going through and learning to be a part-time dad, I force myself to keep those memories close. The nights sitting alone in an apartment dwelling on my solitude, drinking more than I should have, missing my daughter terribly… That sucked a lot.

Getting to spend time with good people, that wasn’t so bad. And it got me through an otherwise terrible time.

So, onto the less dramatic and more positive thoughts… cause just writing about it is bumming me out:

Out of that down slope of a time came some really good friends, people I am still very thankful to have in my life, even if they are on the opposite side of the country, we made some great memories and I’m sure I’ll see them all again at some point.

As a lot of my friends and family know, I took a job in Seattle that has had its challenges for sure. But in the end, it has taught me a lot of things, good and bad, about working in the corporate world. It gave me the chance to get to the West coast and get back to my little girl and my family. It pays me pretty well and even though times are tough, the paycheck is keeping me afloat. Whether I stay or find other employment that maybe suits me better, I’m still thankful for getting this position.

After the separation, I went hunting for my own place, and realized that the cost of living in the Seattle area has gotten just ridiculous. So much so that it was cheaper to just buy a house than it was to rent… So I did that.

20151116_171709.jpgGot my own house, where I can do whatever I want, and if, say, a dog named Fletch wanted to wreck up the downstairs bathroom when he is kept in it for a day because he can’t stay off the counters…. I wouldn’t have to worry about the repairs, I can just do them myself. Like, patching torn up drywall spots and wrecked blinds and door molding repairs…. Just in theory of course.

 

I wanted to murder him just a little bit…

I digress.

I’m thankful for the support system of a family I have out here. I wish my dad could be closer, but I’m planning to make some trips down in the spring and summer next year. At least I’m on the same coast as him now.

In light of all the craziness that has been the last probably 8 months, I managed to meet this new lady in my life… who is pretty amazing. I’m really thankful for her. She’s Canadian, but not the “12-year-old boy imaginary girlfriend” kind of Canadian. Being Canadian doesn’t actually matter, I just like to point it out and crack a joke whenever possible.

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That’s Kyla. My selfie game is not as on point with an actual DSLR… but I still really like this photo. An older lady stopped us in the wine store while I was up there visiting to tell us we were the most adorable couple she had seen in weeks. So, we are gross like that. It’s pretty awesome.

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More on her later, but we met at a time when I needed a strong shoulder to lean on… and I’m pretty sure she works out.

Man, my dad jokes are getting better.

Anyways. Getting to the point and wrapping everything up, it has been a really rough year, and for the most part I’m glad it is almost over. I think things are starting to be on an upswing, although there are still lots of challenges to overcome; that’s just kinda how life works.

Never get ahead, always gettin’ kept down by the man…

It can be really hard sometimes, but ya gotta find the good in the bad and learn to reach out to and lean on those around you. That’s what I am most thankful for and kind of the whole point of this post I suppose. In my shitty dark days, even when I didn’t want it, there have been people there for me. And I’m thankful for them.

Even though I can’t enjoy all of their company, like all my East coast friends and family, my pops, Kyla’s family, all my friends here at home, all the people I’ve known and become friends with throughout my time in the military; I could fill a banquet hall with all the great people I have met in the last almost ten years of life… and how great would it be if we could all hang out at once?! Anyways, even though I can’t be around them all this Thanksgiving, I’ll be thinking about them more than usual, they have all had a hand in shaping who I am and how I’ve gotten through some bad times, and helped create some really great memories in the good times. Thank you all for being there for me. I love each and every one of ya.

Alright, enough sappy crap. Go eat turkey and drink beer.

Stay close, more coming soon///

 

2.5 Years Later… And Picking Up The Pieces…

Wow.

It’s been about two and a half years since I wrote a post. A whole lot has happened; some bad, mostly good I suppose.

Playing catch-up, Amelia is now three as of a couple weeks ago. I am now “Doing it Single-Daddy Style” for almost a year, but I figure that only reinforces the name of the blog, right? We moved back out to the great state of Washington, Marie and I separated, I have a job doing public affairs for a government agency, and Amelia and I have just one dog now. But we’ll get to all that.

Of course, as always, let’s get to them pictures of the kiddo:

 
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At three-years-old, she is full of personality and opinion. Sometimes too much so in a way that I still absolutely love:

We were at the store last night, she says to the cashier: “Are you so old?”

I couldn’t really managed to fake being embarrassed, but I think I suppressed laughing pretty well.

The lady took it better than I expected, and just chuckled… In Amelia’s defense, she was definitely ‘so old.’ Really nice, but… old.

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It has been a hard adjustment not having her around all the time. Being a single parent is one of the things that I never, ever wanted to do; but somehow ended up there anyways. It’s a tough road that has really only just begun, I’m sure.

One thing I don’t think I’ll ever get used to is sitting on the couch in an empty house. Finances have been tight, and I find myself trying to save pennies by playing video games on my nights without her rather than going out and wasting money. It’s tough not having your favorite person in the whole world around. And she is pretty great, I gotta admit.

Which reminds me, in the “updating since I’ve been away” theme: I bought a house. I’m adulting really hard, which is… well, really hard.

I think the best part of her age thus far is the release of an imagination onto the rest of the world. If that doesn’t make sense, see exhibit A below:

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Amelia decided that I wasn’t feeling well and started taking care of me. there was a bottle of medicine involved and lots of temperature taking. She is nonstop imagination all the time and it’s lots of fun.

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Her daycare flourishes that imagination as well. They did her face up as a kitty cat, which Fletch managed to lick off half of it between coming in the door and getting a photo of it, but oh well. But she loved it.

Ah, another update fact… I had to find Dexter a new home (one of my labradoodles) so now I just have Fletch. :/ I was pretty sad about that, but two 85-pound dogs was too much for just me, especially with Amelia.

 

So. That’s the latest in a nutshell. I want to try and get back into blogging somewhat regularly, so pardon the awkward-facts sprinkled in through this weird catch-up post.

Amelia is so full of ridiculous statements and fun moments, we are coming into that time where I have a chance to capture the little things that every parent wishes they had to look back on to help remember…which was the whole point of this blog in the first place.

Here’s to the next thing my kid says that will most likely offend someone… I know it’ll happen sooner than later, stay close///