This week I got TWO medals at school for Cross Country! One was for our team finishing second overall in the district, the other was for finishing 14th overall, and first on my team!
As Danielle will tell you down there in her part, this week was a much less busy one as we have had lately. As she will also tell you, the weather was anything but what we normally get this time of year—it was super nice, sunny and warm all week. It was an absolute delight this close to Christmas! But I am also not under the delusion that we don’t have to start thinking about getting the snow tires on the truck soon.
A couple weeks ago it was awesome to be able to rework my schedule to be able to see Emelia run in the Cross Country finals for the Thames Valley District but this week just didn’t work out for me being able to catch the second part of that amazing moment – the school assembly. It didn’t help that they first had the assembly scheduled for another day and then last week they switched days to one I was working. When I got home that night from work when I asked Danielle how it went, she said Emelia got two medals! She came bolting out of the door after school with them around her neck and couldn’t wait to tell Danielle about them.
One of the medals was a silver for her team’s second place overall finish based on the times each of the four members of her novice girls team posted. The second medal was for finishing first on her team. I was bummed I missed the assembly, but I am equally proud of her and amazed to see how far she came in such a short period of time—literally just getting into this a couple months prior because her best friend was.
Tuesday night I worked an overnight at the store which in a quick way made three days of the week fly by before I knew it. As much as I love doing the overnights and they’re fun, they do take a couple days to get back into the daytime and nighttime rhythm and that was definitely the case this week. But before we knew it, we were at the weekend and the one event that both Danielle and I have look forward to for a couple months.
I mentioned last week how I am really loving the network of families and friends we have made in this neighbourhood—mostly through the school and other parents we’ve met while taxiing Emelia too and from there. No exceptions to this is Jay and Sylvia down the street who have a pair of twins (I know—a second set of twins Emelia is friends with) that Emelia has gone through grades with.
Every year they host a gathering that is essentially a kick off to the festive season. They invite friends from our neighbourhood, the school and work friends to their place for an evening sans kids and with the only intent to enjoy either’s company and a glass of wine (or three). Last year is the first year we went, and we quickly concluded that it will be something we always plan for going forward. It is such great time and the best part is getting to know these parents we see every day in the neighbourhood or at school and getting to know them outside the formality of having to be parents, grownups, or even mature!
It’s just another reminder that we’re part of something special here in this neighbourhood and it’s really starting to feel like the place that our street in Wallaceburg did growing up. When we first moved in on this street we were easily the youngest couple. When we first had Emelia she was almost the neighbourhood mascot for a bit there, until slowly more young families starting moving in. By the time Emelia started school we started to find all those other families out there just like us, coming out of the woodwork and we connected. Now, this neighbourhood feels like our community and these friends we’re making are part of that place we’re in. It’s pretty darn fantastic. I know I may have to move one day for Apple and I will truly miss this place we’re in probably more than any other downside to lifting up your family. But I am also reassured to know that we were once new here too, and that communities and home takes time to build. And I will always have patience for that knowing just how this feels right here and now.
The party this year was a hit, and we had a great time. Last year was amazing fun, but so much so that Danielle and I lost a good portion of the next day recovering from enjoying way too much. But, we were obviously a hit because people I apparently danced with (yah… I danced!) that I hardly know were asking Danielle if we (and specifically if I) would be coming this year again. This year we managed to keep the imbibing to a respectable place, but still had the same level of fun and laughter. It was much better today to wake up and not wonder if someone had hit me up side the head with a cement canoe paddle!
So while the biggest thing we focused on this week was something that sent Emelia over to Poppa and Grandma’s for an overnight sleepover, it was also something reaffirms why every day we grow further in love with our little section of this street and the community of families that we’re part of. And I recognize while that night out wasn’t immediately about Emelia, it also as with most everything else in our lives, entirely and completely was.
This week was calm in comparison of the last few until Saturday. The newest little daycare girl is settling in amazing, the weather has been unseasonably warm and we have been outside in short sleeves, not jackets and loving all this extra warm fall weather. You would have thought this week it was June not November.
After the busy last weekend I was able to shift my brain back to something I have been trying to figure out for the better part of a year or so. What do do with my life post daycare. No, I am not closing my daycare but I know I won’t do this profession forever. I will eventually work back outside the home but I needed to figure out what I would do. Professionally running a home daycare isn’t always seen with a lot of professional respect. Never mind that it has been years of doing my own books, managing my own website, own advertising, creating the educational and nutritional plans for various ages of babies/toddlers/preschoolers. Never mind all that but it takes the right employer to appreciate the magnitude of running your own business and educating and carrying for children. Sadly it is a profession that is not given much professional respect.
So with that in mind I knew that I would have to take some steps to assure that I was prepared for my eventual post-daycare life. After speaking with a good friend of mine about job opportunities at the hospital she works at I had researched (heavily because it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t research things thoroughly) various courses, programs and what it meant for future employment. So I found a program, now to find one that worked with our not so simple life. John’s work hours are not predictable so I realized the best option was to take the program via distance education. After finding the right school and the right program it was a matter of taking a leap of faith.
What does this mean? It means that I am a college student at the age of 43. With the support of my family starting in December I will be enrolled in the Medical Administration Professional program at Loyalist College out of Belleville. It will be a LOT of work, it will be a LOT of money but investing in me can never be the wrong choice, as well having a number of friends in the medical field I certainly have a lot of ‘ins’ for future employment.
Finding the right program for my future wasnt the only thing I was working on this week. The big event for me this week came Thursday, after a lot of planning we had our big annual celebration with my daycare friends. I have been fortunate over the last 8 years to get to know some incredible women who have chosen the same professional path as me. Being a daycare provider can be down right isolating at times and to find people who you can share your experiences and frustrations is more valuable than anything. This group of 20 women have always had each others back, been supportive and been the ears we need on a day to day basis. So Thursday night we went out for a dinner together to share, laugh and celebrate our friendships. It was an amazing night all in all.
The busiest day this week by far was Saturday. Saturdays around here are already busy but we threw in a few more things just to make it interesting. We had our usual swim/gymnastics/groceries but add into that Emelia had a birthday party for a friend in the afternoon and then a trip over to Helen and Doug’s place to bring Emelia so she could have a sleep over while John and I enjoyed a much needed adult night out.
Every year our friends and neighbours throw two annual parties. One is Easter weekend and it is a huge celebration for both adults and children, the second is always around this time of year and it is an adult only party. It is a huge gathering of friends from the neighbourhood but also extended friends of Jay and Sylvia who throw the huge party. Every year the party is an absolute blast! Last year both John and I overindulged the grown up beverages and I was determined to not feel like death the next day so I paced myself much better and had an incredible time without loosing an entire next day recovering. In the end we were up visiting, laughing and having an amazing time with our friends and woke this morning still feeling like humans – it was a win/win!
That was basically the week that was.