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You Only Live Once, This Is How I’m Doing It!

Month: October 2010 Page 3 of 4

Trying to be positive

Joel still isn’t all the way better and considering all the drugs he’s had in the last 24 hours this really worries me. Ugh.

On the upside Phoebe is home. I can’t believe how much I missed her. Honestly I think she was so loved and spoiled there she wasn’t thrilled about leaving. I think she missed us a little though. Either way I’m enjoying the cuddles.

No pictures yet. Hopefully I’ll have time tomorrow. Obviously Joel comes first so we’ll see what happens.

Big fat welcome home

So we’re back! The flights home were relatively uneventful. The only excitement was about three hours before landing Joel started having some sort of allergic reaction to something. Over the course of the next several hours his lips grew bigger and bigger until he looked like a very manly Angelina Jolie. We also realized what we thought were mosquito bites were actually hives. Awesome.

Thankfully he never had any trouble breathing so we landed safely in Chicago on time. My mom, dad and two of my siblings were waiting to greet us which was incredibly wonderful. We went out to eat and stopped at the pharmacy to get Joel something for his ever growing lips and hands.

Of course I thought we should head straight to the emergency room as he looked rather alarming. Joel, the pharmacist and my mom (who is a RN) all thought as long as he wasn’t having any trouble breathing he would be fine with some benadryl and rest. Not going to lie, it’s probably nicer to be at home rather than sitting in a waiting room for hours. I’m obviously monitoring Joel closely and am not sure how I’ll be able to sleep since I’m going to want to be constantly checking that he’s still alive.

Then, we walked into our apartment and were greeting with the overwhelming smell of death. It smelled like a herd of cats crawled into our living room to die.

Don’t forget, we just came from India, we smelled some unbelievably awful things. This? I’m pretty sure was worse.

We followed the smell to the kitchen where we saw black ooze coming from the fridge. When we opened the fridge door we were greeted with a cloud of fruit flies. At some point in the two weeks we were gone the fridge died. Throw in some unseasonably warm weather and you have quite the disgusting welcome home.

In an attempt to not lose it completely I went to the store to get some spray and candles while poor swollen Joel cleaned up the mess. How he did it without vomiting all over the place I’m not sure. Having to suppress our gag reflex for two weeks through various smells and odd foods probably helped.

The smell is finally starting to go away. Either that or the smell burned my sense of smell out completely. I suppose I could open my backpack to check and see if my sense of smell is still working.

I’m pretty proud of myself for not losing it completely. I haven’t slept in long enough that my brain isn’t working well enough to count how long it’s actually been. I do know we started traveling over 30 hours ago. Normally I don’t do well without sleep and can become a sobbing mess when things go wrong while I’m over tired. Just the fact that I held it together and even managed to recognize that I will eventually find humor in this, shows that this trip helped me grow a lot.

I can’t wait to share everything I learned and all my pictures and stories with all of you. I definitely missed being a part of civilization. For now I have a puffy husband to care for, candles to light and sleep to catch up on.

The cutest mascot

I don’t know what this bee is a mascot for. If anyone knows please leave it in the comments. Because it is so ridiculously hilarious and cute. The eyes blinking? Kills me. Dead.

Dream Yourself Happy

Leigh-Anne is a flight attendant as well and is definitely one I’d love to have on my flight. She gives sometimes snarky but always with some sweet accounts of her travels as a flight attendant. She’s also not afraid to give credit where it’s due and isn’t one of those flight attendant bloggers that only focuses on the negative. She seems to truly love her job which is something I really relate to and respect. This job we have? Definitely not suited for everyone.

Sometimes I wonder how I’ll fit my irregular lifestyle with being a parent. It just seems overwhelming and like it would be really difficult to figure out. I love hearing from people who have actually done it. Who not only make it work but still find a way to love it. That is one of my dreams and I hope I find a way to make it work for me like Leigh-Anne makes it work for her.

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Wow. Abigail is off to India. Following her heart and her dreams. I am sure she has heard some negative feedback about her choice, but I for one applaud her. She is strong and confident and being true to her heart. I admire that, and wish I had learned that lesson much earlier in life. I thank her for the opportunity to share a bit of myself here, as she is off to the other side of the world to share a bit of herself there.

Dreams and Goals come in many forms.

From the child who dreams of being royalty, to the adult who dreams about their next big vacation, from the teenager who dreams of being a doctor, to the adult who dreams of retiring to a life of travel… we all dream and we all have goals. What happens when we lose sight of those goals? When we stop dreaming from our true inner spirit, and start focusing on the outside world – we end up losing sight of what is truly important.

Here’s my story, and how I learned an invaluable life lesson.

I always wanted to fly. I wanted to be a Flight Attendant, I wanted to be a Pilot – I just wanted to FLY. So much so, that I tried to join the Air Force. I was told my vision wasn’t good enough to be a pilot… so I gave up that dream. I then decided I’d give Flight Attending a try. I was told that wasn’t a job for “nice” girls, and had my dreams stomped on. I carried on to University, leaving my degree half way through. I then went on to College, failing to graduate because I refused to do my practicum. I then worked for a bit, and ended up getting a diploma at a Business School. I didn’t finish my specialty there, as I couldn’t focus long enough – I got out of there and got a job ASAP. It was a good job, working with and for great people. I still was restless. I switched positions within the company, always wanting more. I quit there, and had my first baby. I tried to run a day-home. I tried going back to office work. I had another baby. I tried the day-home again. I got yet another job. My resume would be quite long if I put everything I have done on it. Yet, I was never quite satisfied. I had lost my true dream, and was replacing it with dreams that weren’t mine, and weren’t making me truly happy.

I had lost myself. I was so wrapped up in what I thought other people wanted from me, what society thought was appropriate, what my parents thought, what my friends thought, what my husband thought – that I had no idea any more what I thought. I tried so hard to be perfect, that all I did was try.. I never achieved. I was miserable.

That’s when it hit me, I needed to get in the air. I needed to FLY. I got a job with an airline, working in their Call Centre. I loved it. I didn’t like the hours, but I loved the industry. I felt like I belonged. I made the move to Flight Attendant about 14 months after I started. I have never loved a job as much as I love this. I am meant to be in the air. I am at peace when I fly. I am making money doing something I love. I am living my dream.

In my move to the aviation industry, I became more at peace with who I am. I have learned that it doesn’t matter what other people think, it matters what I think. I became a better wife and a better mother. My children see my happy. My husband sees me joyful. I am more aware of my life, and how amazing it is. I am away a lot, yes, but the trade off is happiness. I’d take that over being home every night every time. It’s not a conventional life, but it’s our life and it works for us. My children will learn that being true to themselves is more important than making a million dollars. They will learn that even when they are parents, they are still people, with their own dreams and their own lives.

That is a lesson I’m thrilled to teach them.

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For stories of her travels and adventures as a flight attendant be sure to check out her blog: Fly Girl’s Travels

and follow her on Twitter: @FlyGirlWS

It isn’t that simple

Do you ever just stop, take a deep breath and take in the sweetness of the exact moment you’re in? You know, really stop and smell the roses? Nichole has taken that philosophy and created a whole blog dedicated to it. It’s truly beautiful. Every post is like a snapshot of life’s most precious moments. It inspires me and enchants me at the same time.

Nichole was also the very first person to ask me to guest post on her blog as part of her Small Moments Mondays series. I’m thrilled that she agreed to be a part of my Life Dreams series too.

I have so many memories from my childhood. There are so many happy moments that I can pull up and replay in my head like a happy home video. With all the thought and effort Nichole puts into truly being a good mom and living in the moment I have a feeling her beautiful children will be able to do the same.

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One of my life dreams is for my children to have happy memories of their childhood.

This may sound like a simple dream, but I’m not so sure that it is.  Parenting doesn’t come with a neat and tidy manual, divided into chapters for certain success.

And what do I mean by a happy childhood?

I want them to remember…

…the routine of our mornings, snuggles and Cheerios and blowing kisses as Daddy left for work.

… the sound of my voice as I read to them, the feel of my tickles, the softness of my chest as I held them.

… that I listened to them.  Really listened.  And I pray that they remember feeling validated and important.

… that we showered them with kisses, hugs, and I love yous.

… the smell of their freshly-laundered sheets, my body wash, and Craig’s cologne.

… watching Giants, Red Sox, Patriots, Kings, and Spurs games as a family, eating peanuts, and feeling connected over the love for a team.

… my laugh and the sound of Craig singing with the radio.

… feeling safe in their world but also encouraged to stretch beyond it.

… family bike rides and feeding the ducks.

… the way that I brush their hair from their face and bury my nose in their neck.

… that I didn’t take them for granted.  That I didn’t assume that they had to love me simply because I am their mother.  That I strove to build a unique relationship with each of them.

… the love and tenderness that they had for one another and the importance that we placed on their relationship. That we actively helped to nurture that.

… that we played with them.  That we didn’t just sit through countless games of Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land, and Memory, but that we were present in the moment and that we delighted in their joy.

… that we laughed.  Together and often.

… running to and climbing on their daddy when he returned from work.  Every single day.

… that dinnertime was for talking and connecting.  For stories and plans.

I pray that we’re doing a good job.  There’s no way to know what they’ll remember, but it is my dream that the parts that stick are happy and comforting.

This is my dream.

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To share in more lovely moments of her life be sure to check out her blog: InTheseSmallMoments.com

and follow her on Twitter: @ITSMoments

Wordless Wednesdays: Wet Dog

Loosened grip

Kris has a gift of words. I call them magic words. One minute you’re sitting on your couch and the next you’re transported into whatever world she chooses to create that day. Sometimes this means laughing until you cry. Other times it’s gut wrenching sobs. No matter what, you are guaranteed to think and feel with every post.

Dreams are some of the most precious, fragile things in life. And there is nothing like having a safe place to let them come true. I’m so glad that this blog is part of that safe place. Because here? All dreams are encouraged and can come true.

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Dreams are scary things for me.

I am not speaking of the dreams I have at night, although those are sometimes frightening.

I mean the dreams of things I hope will be.

As a child I was told how special I was, and how anything was possible. And then the lips that spoke those encouraging words would lean close in to hear my dreams. I would happily confide.

There would be a span of time then in which all seemed possible.

That span of time would end. Inevitably. In a moment of anger and rage and hatred, that encouraging other would spit my dreams back into my face. Ridicule me for having hoped for anything beyond the walls of a small cold room. Mock me for the stupidity of having spoken my dreams. Insult and berate me for having trusted anyone with my heart.

Never trust anyone with my heart.

That lesson has stayed with me.

It is difficult for me to speak of the things I want. Wanting equals weakness. Wanting equals neediness. Wanting equals vulnerability.

Wanting invites rejection and pain and humiliation.

Speaking of the things I want literally brings me to tears.

I keep my hopes and dreams and desires . . . my wants . . . deep within me.

Where they are safe.

But in that silence? In that safety?

My dreams stay dreams. Beautiful and lovely to imagine, but no closer to being held in my hand than they were that first day I imagined them. Exquisite but eternally elusive.

Sigh.

Over the last eight months of blogging? Of writing posts for Pretty All True? I have somehow found the courage to loosen my grip on a few of my dreams. I have let them fly from my body and through my fingertips and out into the world. As my fingers have typed and gathered the words my mind wants to speak, my dreams have flown out into this world.

Whispered into the ears of encouraging others.

My dream of connecting with people through my words . . .

My dream of sharing my life . . .

My dream of telling my stories . . .

My dream of revealing some of my secrets . . .

My dream of capturing the magic that is my everyday . . .

My dream of pointing out the path that has taken me from there to here . . .

My dream of making a mark, even if it is only across the hearts of some future version of my daughters . . .

My dream of making no apologies for who I am . . .

My dream of writing this shit down . . .

My dream of being more fully . . . me.

This blogging thing?

Pretty All True?

It has allowed me to give voice to my wants, my needs, my dreams.

And every day that I sit down and assemble my thoughts? Every day that I post? Every day that I connect?

Every day that I trust a piece of myself with others?

Every day that I write this shit down?

I am more fully me.

A dream come true.

Happy sighs.

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Go to her blog and join the roller coaster of words: PrettyAllTrue.com

And for certain fits of giggles follow her on twitter: @PrettyAllTrue

A herd of papillons

I found Niki while searching for other papillon owners. Not only did I find someone with one of the word’s most adorable dogs, I found one of the sweetest, most encouraging people I’ve ever met. She’s someone else that I’m sure if we knew each other in real life we’d be best friends. I can’t blame her for not wanting to give up beautiful Californian weather for the bitter cold winters in Chicago though.

Niki is the biggest animal lover I know. If it were possible I’m sure she’d have a whole zoo full of animals and would love every single one. I can’t wait for someday when her dream is a reality and I can take Phoebe to play with her herd of papillons.

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When @skywaitress first asked me to write about a “Life Dream” I got really excited. I was so honored to be asked, and then I got all dreamy about what I could write. . .

Right now, like, at this moment, I’m working on fulfilling my life dream to have a wonderful career in a field I love; I’m currently in school for my LVN, I hope to one day get my RN, BSN, maybe even go on to become a Nurse Practitioner…

I have simple dreams, I’d like to get a good job, get married, have happy healthy kids. . . and a herd of Papillons.

The dream I’d like to share here? Is a dream I discovered about two years ago; I want to be involved in animal rescues and I want to help young adult pet owners. I’ve loved animals all my life, there have been horses, dogs, cats, birds, lizards, fish. If you know me at all, you know about Belle, my 4 year old Papillon who’s my adventure buddy, get to know me a little more and you’ll know that I’m a sucker for animals.

A couple years ago I was introduced to the world of animal rescue when I worked with Under the Angel’s Wings Rescue, out of Phelan, CA. It began as a few hours a weekend, but pretty soon I was spending full weekends up there with Adventure Papillon Belle right there with me, mucking stalls, feeding, watering, riding, handling, and grooming. Helping these horses who had been abused, been ignored, abandoned when they still had so much life, so much love left to give broke my heart. During my time with the rescue there was a cute Border Collie who found her way to the rescue, and quickly into my heart. I took her to the vet to get her checked out and check for a microchip, ended up reuniting her with her original family who had lost her during the snow storm. When the little kids piled out of the car and saw her, the happiness was unforgettable.

The second part of my dream? Is to start a foundation for young adults and college students who are good pet owners and animal lovers to be able to get assistance for quality preventative animal health care. Because the costs? Are ridiculously high when you’re not making a big or even reliable salary. When I brought Belle home I was 19. Not many people took me seriously as a pet owner, claiming the mentality that I didn’t know what I was in for and I would not live up to the responsibility pet ownership in college would require. Four years later? My little shadow is still one of the brightest points in my days. So I’d like to help people like me, I’d like to help them and help rescue groups. I would love to set something up with local vets to help pet owners get the heart worm, flea, vaccinations, and other care that the emergency pet funds overlook. I’ve seen the difference having Belle has made in my life, the calming ways and the cheering up on the bad days; I think just because someone isn’t 25 doesn’t mean they can’t adopt.

That herd of Papillons? Only kind of kidding, I’d love to be able to adopt and foster dogs, cats, horses, and maybe a few other farm and furry creatures. I hope in my future I have the home, the support, and the funds to make these dreams possible.
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Follow her journey through nursing school and the adventures of her courageous papillon Belle on her blog: Strawbrykiwi.wordpress.com

And on twitter: @strawbrykiwi

Pillow flight on board

This video is so funny. Can’t decide if I’d actually like for it to happen on my flight or not. Leaning towards not. But it would be something you’d never ever forget.

P.S. From the looks of their chairs it’s a Lufthansa flight. We’re flying on Lufthansa. While I’m not hoping for a pillow fight I am hoping my flight attendants are this awesome.

Cautious dreamer

I met Kathrin when I was an au pair in The Netherlands. She’s from Germany and still lives in The Netherlands which means I actually get to see her from time to time when I go back to visit my host family. She’s a dear friend and someone I definitely wish I lived closer too because with her I always have a fabulous time.

She doesn’t have a blog of her own (yet ::nudge nudge:: Kathrin ::wink::) but since she’s such a good friend I wanted to see what her life dreams were.

I shouldn’t be surprised that her and I are so similar. I’m a big dreamer in a lot of ways but when it comes down to it we share the same fear of failing. Even this trip to India I was afraid to get excited about in case it didn’t happen.

I’m so very glad it did and Kathrin, I’m sure that your dreams of a family will happen too, whenever you’re ready.

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Hi, I am a former au pair friend of Abigail’s and when she asked me to guest blog here, I was more than flattered. But I am not a blogger yet and therefore not used to writing that much. I have struggled with this post for days now and I still do not have a grip on it. However, as Abby and Joel are leaving shortly, I don’t have time anymore and will have to bore entertain you with just some personal thoughts, but hey, isn’t that what blogging is all about?*

I am asked a lot about my life dreams recently but I always give vague answers about wanting a ‘happy life’ with Mr P**. I mean that is certainly true, who doesn’t want a stable relationship and a healthy and happy life? But it is just not like I have this exciting life dream like climbing the Himalaya or find a cure against cancer. I mean I wouldn’t mind doing both, but I don’t dream of it. I am really afraid to fail and I think that is the reason or not daring to have big dreams.
I mean, it is not like I lead this boring, super organized life; I dare things, but usually the outcomes are very predictable. When they are not, I tend to not dream about it or at least don’t let the dream come too close to me. This is typical when I have a job interview for example, when I really desire the job I usually externally play it down for myself and all the people around me. There is, however, one dream everyone around me knows about but nobody besides Mr P knows how big it is for me: ever since I was a child, I dreamed of having the “perfect family” and especially children.

The closer it comes to getting children, however, the scarier it gets for me. Mr P and me have been in a relationship for more than 5 years now and while we are not married yet, I know that it will happen sooner or later and I also know that we would make quite ok parents. Mr P recently turned 30 and the questions about our ‘planning’ do not get fewer. (That’s why I always love to read about Abigail and Joel having the same dilemma ;-)). I mean seriously, last time we spontaneously visited my mother, she got all excited and bought champagne, because she thought we were coming “to tell her something”.

However, while there are clear obstacles of getting pregnant right now (like no job and money issues), there is also my fear of not being able to get pregnant at all. I would never ever dare to say that out loud*** but the older I get, the more afraid I am of not being able to have children and therefore I try to distance myself from that dream in a healthy way.

I really try to focus on ‘today’ and not get lost in fears or dreams. You know, if I died tomorrow, I could honestly say that I did have a happy life with Mr. P (too short though) and I would have spent my last evening with the love of my life and with the foresight of spending many more years together.

I don’t want to say that dreaming is bad, but I want to say that not dreaming about super exciting things is not bad either. So I finish my post with a quote of the Greek philosopher Epicurus as I think that he perfectly summarized the point I want to make:

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”

* No offense 😉

** The love of my life

***Someone once told me, once you say it, it is true.

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Be sure to follow her on Twitter and say hello, hoi or guten tag: @MissUndutchable

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