Thursday, January 27, 2011


A week ago or so I came on here and wrote a post. I was angry. I was irritated. I was sad. I hated it here. I wanted to change it. I wanted to leave so badly. I wanted to go back to California right then. Here is the thing. I hated it in California. I was miserable there. I couldn't wait to get out, counted the days to our new life. I had high hopes and set my expectations way too high. Now I am here and I need to learn to accept it. It is something I have always struggled with. I used to drive my parents crazy. I couldn't ever be happy with what I was doing, the job I had, the boy I was dating... whatever it was I wanted to change it. It's how I roll. I don't know why it is so hard for me to accept things the way they are. It is something I am very aware of in my own personality and try sometimes to change it and at other times hold steadfast to my decisions to change things, justify them and do everything I can to make everyone around me understand why it needs to be changed. That is the other thing about me. I want validation in everything I do. I want everyone that I love and care about to climb on the Nina bandwagon. I love it when people agree with me. I get totally irritated when they don't. I know it's irrational. I know it sounds childish and ridiculous. I didn't say it's something I like about myself I just said it's something about me.

 Moving to Virginia was kind of an irrational leap of faith. It wasn't my decision alone, I swear I did not "talk" my family into this. I didn't have to. Our situation in California was getting ugly. The kids even knew something had to change. I just don't think that any of us realized how big of a change this would be until we got here. I think we were all so desperate for change and something better that we just jumped in with both feet and then we got here and were like "hmm, this is harder than we thought." I also think that in our minds Chris and I thought moving would make so many other things better. Financially I just thought we would be right on track. I didn't realize a cross country move was going to be so expensive that it would take us 3 or 4 months to even get on our feet.

After I wrote my last post I have done a lot of thinking. The first day I sat around and cried. ALOT. Cried for all the things I missed about home. Cried for my mom. Cried for my kids missing their friends. Cried for my husband and how stressed he is at his new job and all the pressure he feels to make this work.
The next few days after that I made mad plans to move back to California. I got on my own bandwagon and schemed a way for us to get back in 18 months. Seriously 18 months. Who does that? Who moves their whole lives across the country and then 2 months into says "we are going back." I do. Again, I know it's crazy but it is how I roll always. Then I thought some more and I realized I need to do things different this time. This time I need to accept my (our) decision to move here and I need to STOP trying to get my family on the Nina bandwagon and I need to make the best of this. We are here. It is our new home. Like it or not. I believe that everything happens for a reason and we are here for a reason. We just don't know what that is yet. It might take a year before we know what it is. It might be 20 years from now that we look back on this and say "thank God we moved to Virginia otherwise we would have never (fill in the blank). I am learning to be ok with that. I am learning to accept this decision. I am doing my best to embrace our new state and all that it has to offer. I can't wait to start working in real estate and learn more about that aspect of Virginia as well. There is so much to learn and see. I am not saying that we are never moving back to California or moving anywhere else for that matter I am just saying that for now this is where we are and we are here together and I am going to be the best wife and mom I can be while I am here and I will promise to teach my kids that we need to see all the good in what has happened to us and not focus on the negative.

Yesterday we had our first big snow since we have been here. It was awesome. It is beautiful and peaceful and fun. We took a ton of pictures and we shoveled and we played in it and we truly enjoyed the new experience of it. I am so glad that my kids are getting the chance to experience new things. I love that they can add this to their life list of things they have done. They are actually spending more time together and I love that too. My girls are 5 years apart so they have never really been "friends" just sisters. Gianna looks up to her big sister so much that sometimes it makes my heart ache to see it. I worry about how she loves her so much and wants to be her so much. I so want her to have her own identity and learn to love herself that much. It reminds me of how I was with my brother Mike and I just hope that Allison realizes someday how much everything she does and says effects Gianna. I think that moving here has helped their relationship so much and I am so grateful for that.

 I am closing with pictures from the last two days. Get a blanket out before you look at them, they might make you want to snuggle up!
that is me getting to know the snow shovel.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but...

I feel as though I haven't been honest on here lately. I feel as though I have been candy coating some things. I do it partly for myself and partly for my kids and my husband. This is hard. Moving this far and doing it with two kids and uprooting them is super hard. We are working on it and I am honest about that. But here is the real deal. I have been here since October 16th. I have not made one friend. I need you to understand something if you don't know me. I can make a friend on a deserted island. It's who I am, I am approachable, I make conversations with strangers everywhere I go. Not one person has made me feel comfortable enough to open up to. It's so not what I expected. I really, truly thought the people would be much friendlier. They aren't. Today I took Allison and her friend to Subway for lunch and I was ordering the veggies for my sandwich, I was listing them all, "lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, pepperoncinis..." she looked at me like I was from another planet and said in a snotty, irritated manner "uh, you mean banana peppers" I am not kidding you she was irritated. Who the hell cares what I call them? I am from California, I am Italian and where I come from they are frickin pepperoncinis. That is pretty much how everybody has treated me. Bothered. Irritated. What happened to southern hospitality? Don't these people know how bad I needed this? How much I wanted this move? How I couldn't wait to get here and start our new life. Oh and have I mentioned that not ONE woman/mother in the neighborhood has introduced themselves. NOT ONE.
The friend issue is not my only issue. The other problem I am having is that I hate this house. I HATE this house, it's small. It feels dirty no matter what I do. It is not what I expected either. I will never rent a home online sight unseen again. Pictures aren't always true. Real estate agents aren't always forthcoming. It is not what I would have picked by a long shot. I know in the pictures it looks fine, but that is because that is what I wanted to show. I didn't take pictures of the yucky parts, I only took pictures of the things I like. We have to live here for another 16 months. I am sure it will fly by but I can tell you right now that the countdown has begun and even on my blackberry calendar I get a countdown update at the first of every month.

I am not writing this because I want sympathy, please, please do not comment on here or on facebook and tell me how great it is going to be "someday".I so appreciate all the support but again I am in one of those places mentally/emotionally where the last thing I want is a pep talk.  I wrote this tonight because if someone read my blog and thought that this was easy I wanted to be clear. There is nothing easy about this. Moving across country, while still struggling financially, with two kids, without a job, not owning your own home... it's not easy. Does that mean I hate it? No, absolutely not. It is a life experience and someday I will appreciate it and what it has taught me, Chris and the kids. I am proud of us for doing it. I often wake up and think 'holy cow I live in Virginia, how did this happen?' I look forward to the day when it's not hard. I am excited for the time when I can host some kind of gathering at my house with new friends. This Tuesday I start a real estate course to get my license. I would have never done that in California. I think it is going to open lots of doors for me and start a wonderful new chapter in my life.
Thanks for letting me vent. I really do love all the support you all offer me. This blog has saved my life in some ways. My inner circle has dwindled and having here to come to and be able to have strangers, or people I haven't spoken to in years support me it's been wonderful.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snow days, sick days and weekends too.

Today I am home with a sick little girl. Gianna has asthma and if there is something going around she gets it. Not only does she get it but she usually gets it 5 times worse than everybody else. Poor baby. As I sit here and type her nebulizer is humming in the background. Second treatment today and lots of medicine and she still feels and looks so sick. I hate it. When I was a little girl and I was sick my dad used to say "poor baby, I wish it was me" I never understood it, I thought he was crazy, why would anyone want to be sick? But now I know, as a parent watching your kid be sick, struggle to breathe, be lethargic when they are usually so full of energy is heartbreaking and if you could be sick for them you would in a heartbeat.

Yesterday was a snow day. I am slowly beginning to learn that "snow days" here don't necessarily mean that it is snowing out, it just merely means there is a chance of snow or maybe it snowed the night before. It is so funny, we only got about an inch and the kids stayed home from school. It was practically all melted before school would have even been out. It's okay though, at this point my days are long and lonely when the kids are at school so any chance of having them home with me is good for me.

I have been working on some Valentine's Day projects lately with the intent to list them on etsy but never seem to get around to the listing part. Then something comes up and I end up giving the things that I make away as gifts to teachers or someone else. Oh well as long as they go to a good cause. Here are a few things I have made so far.

I think part of the reason that I never list anything is because I can never take great pictures of them like so many of the sellers on etsy do. I have photo intimidation! Oh well they have given me something to do, I love making things and it keeps me busy.

I can't believe it's already Thursday and I never blogged about my weekend. Sundays for us have been spent exploring our new home state. We literally have been getting in the car and just driving. We usually have an idea of where we want to end up but at the same time leave the house knowing that we will probably end up other places too. It's all new to us so we are happy to find new places. This time we set out to Charlottesville. My brother Randy had suggested it and said he and his family loved it so we figured we would check it out. There seemed to be a lot to do/see. Monticello, the home of  Thomas Jefferson is there and also the University of Virginia. It took us about an hour and half to get there but the drive there was traffic free, scenic and fun. The town itself is really cool, typical college town but yet this town has so much history too so it made it really special. The only problem with this town? It just about shuts down on Sunday. Not one restaurant was open, it was so unbelievably cold outside that walking around was ridiculous. So we quickly piled back in the car and headed to... Ikea. Yes, from historical town to a mega European furniture store. On the way to Ikea we did make a side stop at Montpelier. It is the home of James Madison, 4th president of the United States and the father of the Declaration of Independence. It was stunning. It was so cool. Gianna especially loved it. She kept thanking us for bringing her there and saying how glad she was that we stopped. We learned some interesting things just by driving around the grounds and by visiting the gift shop. Did you know that James Madison wrote George Washington's inaugural speech? Isn't that crazy?

We had a great day. I think Chris told me 3 different times over the next couple of days how much fun he had on Sunday. Things have been stressful around here for so long that we truly have learned to cherish the good times. With everything that we have been through in the last two years or so the good times are so appreciated.
Well my sick little girl needs me now so I am going to call it a post. In just a few days I start my real estate course to get my license. I am super excited and can't wait. I look forward to sharing my experience on here. 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Big Dreamer

I am a dreamer. I am forever coming up with ideas of things that I want to do for a living, businesses I want to open, jobs I want to look for... but to no avail. I never follow through. I have pretty severe ADD. When I say pretty severe, I kind of test off the charts. I was first diagnosed when I was 23. I didn't do anything about it for many, many years. I didn't believe in medicine. I didn't think I needed it. I felt that I had gone so long living this way that I could keep doing it. The biggest misconception of people with attention deficit disorder (not quite the same as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is that we are lazy. That we lack motivation. It's so the opposite. Our minds never stop working. Years ago there was a commercial for an ADD medication and the commentator comes on and says "do you feel like there is a remote control in your mind and it never stops changing channels." That is how we live. Non stop thinking, non stop planning. But because we never stop in our minds it's almost impossible to follow through with something, because our minds have already moved on to the next thing. Two years ago I finally chose to medicate. I decided to try adderall. It changed my life. I was a different person. I was making lists. I was checking things off of those lists. I had never, ever been so organized. At the same time my daughter Gianna was diagnosed and we also put her on the medication. I have two daughters. One who has ADD and one who is so far from having it that it's not even funny. Allison is organized, she plans, she prepares she is always ready for what is next. She doesn't like to not know what is going to happen tomorrow. Gianna is so much like me. She hates to plan for anything. She wants to always fly by the seat of her pants. She gets emotional and stressed out at the thought of doing homework, yet she is a super smart kid. I see her struggle, I know how hard this is to live with. It is like you are forever self sabotaging. Gianna and I started taking the medication at the same time. It changed her also. It helped so much, but it was also a little difficult for her to take. The amphetamine in the medication can make you have some severe mood swings and if you are not able to handle/control them it can be difficult. Her grades were up, her focus was unbelievable but she was an emotional wreck. Our two prescriptions together were costing a fortune, we could no longer afford them and we decided to let it go. Gianna was kind of relieved but almost immediately began struggling in school.
The reason I am telling this part of my story is because I am at a point in my life where I really need to figure things out. I am almost 42 years old and I feel as though I still am trying to find myself. Find my niche. There are some things that I love to do. Some things that I am really pretty good at. But unfortunately with ADD it is so hard to stay focused on any one thing long enough to really succeed.
For the better part of my life I have worked with children. It comes natural to me. The environment is a little different every day. I don't have to sit a desk and look at a computer all day. I love the interaction with the kids and the parents. The only problem is my patience isn't what it once was. My drive isn't what it once was, I have experienced major burn out in the field in the last year. I am ready for something new.
Over the years I have taken random breaks from teaching to work in other fields. Mostly sales. I am a people person, I am so much like my dad that way. I am absolutely in my happy place talking to people, hearing their story, trying to get to know them, to find a common denominator between them and myself. I love showing them, or selling them something that they will love. For a short time I worked at a tile/stone showroom. I loved that job so much. I could tap into my creative side, I love design, I love homes. It was a perfect fit. It was a high pressure, commission driven job but I loved it. Unfortunately the owners of the company didn't like that I spoke my mind when I saw something wasn't right. They loved that my sales were high, they hated my big mouth. It was the first job I had ever been fired from. I was devastated. It was humbling, and it shook me to my core. It was an eye opening experience and I learned a lot from it.
Having said all that I think that I am ready to go back into the sales world. This time I want to sell homes. I am going to get my real estate license. It's a short course, I really feel like I could follow through with this. I feel like I have to follow through with it. It would be a great way for me to meet people here in our new town, it would be a great way to learn more about the area and most of all it will be a great way to make money and still be with my kids when they need me.
Tomorrow morning I have a meeting at a real estate office to talk about a job at their office and to see about taking the course. I am excited. I am nervous. I am ready.
I want to do this for many reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is to show my kids that even though I have this issue I can see something through. I want Gianna to see that I worked hard and reached a goal. I want to be able to inspire her. I do not want her to be a 40 something year old woman still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up.
I look forward to tomorrow and all the promise that this next step in my life will bring.