Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The First Blog

Well, this is my first blog posting so I suppose that I should give a little background information on just who I am.  I'll start from the beginning?  

*Authors note: I'm currently working on a pretty long paper in my child development class.  This post along with probably most of the posts you'll see from me that aren't about a project or a recipe will be examples of my free writing.  A tool I use to help me combat writer's block when I'm having to work on assignments.

I was born on August 13, 1986 in the little town of Altus, Oklahoma.  If you've never been to Altus, I would not recommend it as a vacation destination.  It does not boast a whole lot to do, but there is a what I guess they consider a mountain range nearby that has some pretty good hiking on it.  They also have a small lake that I have had fun swimming in when we would go back there for family reunions, but from what I understand there are snakes in that water as well as fish... Just go to their city pool on second thought.

Anyhow, I did not live there very long, my parents made their last move back to Oregon when I was only an infant.  Albany, Oregon is the location of most of my childhood memories.  I have a sister who is seven years my senior.  She was the product of my dad's first of his two marriages.  Where most adolescent girls these days model themselves after what they see in the media (mostly the Disney Channel I'd guess?) I had my sister to look up to.  Her name is Heather, and of course she had the coolest friends and she wore the coolest clothes. The next sibling in our line was my only brother, Charlie, the first born to my parents.  He is 2.5 years my senior.  We have a bit in common, we were the athletes out of the kids.  He was a pretty good athlete, I was merely mediocre at best.  But I did really enjoy participating as he seemed to as well.  Charlie was also a pretty good student. He was not quite as concerned as I was about academic achievement, but it all just seemed to pretty much come naturally to him. Lastly, there's my sister Britni.  She is one year older than I, and for the most part my roommate throughout adolescence.  For being so close in age, we were strikingly different in interests and personality as children.  She still likes to remind me about an argument we had as kids that led to my ripping an earring out of her freshly pierced ear.  If I recall correctly, the fight was over the classic 1970's toy called the Sit N' Spin.  In any case, it was an opportunity that allowed me to assert some sort of dominance even though I was the baby of the family and it must have worked if she still remembers it so well :)

Throughout our adolescence, we watched our parents work hard to support us.  They went through multiple low paying jobs and attended school at LBCC to earn Associate's Degrees that would allow them to get better paying jobs.  I can't say how thankful I am that my parents went through the struggle of working, getting an education, and raising a family all at the same time because it created a model that I would need to follow later on.  Watching them made me know for certain that it is possible and it taught me the importance of building a reliable support system.

We lived in several different rental homes in West Albany until I was 11 years old when they bought their first house in South Albany.  Charlie was allowed to continue on in the west Albany schools, Britni was happy have to opportunity to make different friends in the south Albany school zone, and I, being very reserved in personality decided to try out the new school zone, but ultimately wanted to go back to my comfort zone.

Another big event for me at age 11 was the birth of my eldest nephew.  I instantly fell in love with John.  Over the next several years Heather had two more children, Gabe and Alaina, and each time it gave me so much joy. The early teen years were rough for me and I knew that I couldn't always count on my friends, a few situations occurred that caused me to feel betrayed.  It always seemed like there was some kind of drama going on at school, but when I was with my nephews and my niece I didn't think about that stuff at all.  They gave me peace, comfort, and love.  All they asked in return was for me to give up some tv time so they could watch Spongebob Squarepants, and that seemed like a very small price to pay.

Right before I turned 17 I got my first non-babysitting job.  I worked 32 hours a week as a beauty advisor for the new Walgreens in town.  I was such a grown up.  I finished high school a semester early and decided that since I could afford it, I should move out of my parent's house.  So I plead my case to my parents and they allowed their baby bird to leave the nest.  It was pretty sweet, I had freedom and privacy and I loved that.  But, it got lonely at times.  

In the weeks before graduation ceremony, I still wanted to walk the stage with my class, I had chosen to try things again with an ex-boyfriend.  An incident occurred that required me to make an early morning appointment after the incident occurred (are you following along?) and me, the girl who can't sleep in, accidentally slept in through my appointment.  I decided it was probably okay, the appointment was just a precaution anyhow and we should be fine.  I waited for confirmation that things were normal.  Then I waited some more. We had graduation rehearsal and everyone was super stoked to be done with the prison that is high school, they were feeling similar to how I felt in January and it rekindled the excitement about it for me as well.  Graduation was days away, I was supposed to be planning some sort of celebration with my friends, but all I could think about is why haven't I started my period?!?  I bought a test and picked up the boyfriend and we drove to Waverly Pond... I don't know why we chose that place.  It was a pretty day and I guess it was just a nice place to sit while we waited.  I took the test in the restroom and put the cap back on and walked out to wait with him.  We chatted a little, I can't remember what about, and after about 4 minutes we looked at it.  Negative.  Whew.  We talked a little more and decided to leave the pond.  Just before we threw it away, he said something like, "I think theres a faint second line there."  I didn't know what that meant, but assumed it could mean the test was positive so I called planned parenthood and got an appointment for the morning of my graduation ceremony. Their test confirmed that I was, in fact, pregnant.  She let us know all the options and sent us on our way.  We agreed that we didn't have to make any decisions immediately.

I wanted so badly to tell someone, but I couldn't.  I already knew in my heart what decision I would make, but I wanted to give it a little time so he could think about it and hopefully come to the same conclusion.  I remember walking with my sister, Britni, after the ceremony was over. I had decided to attend the all night party and I think she was walking me to the bus while my parents drove the car around to the front of the school.  I wanted to tell her, but I knew something this big might be hard for her to keep inside and I didn't think it would be fair to tell her but restrict her from being able to talk to anyone else about it.  At about midnight during the all night party, I told him my decision.  I think he was a little upset that I was making it clear that no further negotiations would be heard much more so than he was upset at what the decision was.  I was going to be a mother whether or not he was going to be a father was up to him.

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