One word cannot describe who I am. I am very complex but simple, loud but quiet... I am a constant contradiction to myself.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Infidelity… Fixable?

Confession: I am a Netflix junkie. I don’t feel right in saying movie junkie since most of the movies you can view on Netflix are not popular movies. Of course there are those good oldies that everyone has seen a hundreds of times. However, most of the movies provided for instant watching are generally from independent films, like the one I watched yesterday; which brings me to the interesting things this movie brought up. To those who are curious the movie was The Ugly People. I do not recommend it, for it was not that entertaining.
In one part of the movie there are two people having a conversation... (original huh). Anyway, they are friends from back in college and the male has just found out the female is cheating on her husband and has been for a while. He tells her that an affair is not an act of selfishness but shows that they are lonely. He then goes on to say it is caused by both people in the marriage 50/50. So, if you cheat you aren’t selfish you are lonely.

So, that brings me to thoughts on infidelity. For me, I can see the lonely aspect of things. In a relationship, partnership, and/or marriage, it certainly requires both parties to be vested. However, just because someone feels lonely doesn’t give them the right to cheat. Let’s take the spouses of soldiers for an example. If their spouse is deployed they are going to get lonely, yet they still manage to remain faithful. Well, some manage to remain faithful and others do not. This can’t be blamed all on loneliness though. For me it brings up self-control.

We are all human and crave attention and positive comments. It is always nice to hear something nice about yourself and often times hearing it from the gender you are attracted to makes it better. So how do we stop ourselves from developing feelings for someone who is paying attention and who is accessible? Is it human nature to seek those positive feelings? I think so. I think we all crave that and want it. Even the most hateful person still searches for someone who will make them feel better about themselves. So, if spouses offered this would we still seek it elsewhere? I would like to think that we would not. If we are in a relationship where all our needs are being meet then the likely hood of stepping outside that relationship decreases. So, the thought of someone in a relationship not turning to another does makes it a 50/50 thing. Half of the relationship has to put forth more effort to satisfy their half and the other half has to practice some self-control and realize there is NO perfect relationship. Movies are just that… movies, written by someone using fantasy, not real life.

Knowing this, why do we continue to struggle with divorce, break-ups, and single parenthood? My theory… we don’t try. Often after marriage people just let things fall away. Those little romantic things we once did are no longer important. The children need something, the house needs something, or our jobs demand something, so our significant other suffers. What would it take for people to do this… a few minutes to say something nice? Seems worth it to me.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Necessary Evil

The necessary evil of non-profits… grant writing! Grant writing is not the hardest thing, it is finding grants and getting them that is hard to do. As a non profit we offer services free to all the families we see. So, every forensic interview we conduct is free to the family. We have to find a way to pay our utilities, buy office supplies, and pay our employees on our own. It seems to be harder and harder to find money. Many places will give money to purchase something for our CAC but not to actually help it stay up and running. Although it is nice to have a new computer, or other machine, it really does not help the families we serve. Also, our location is a down fall. Southeast Kansas is not highly populated and the population is mostly at the poverty level, so asking people for money does not seem appropriate.

So this is where fundraising comes in. However, with that you have to be very careful. The hours you spend on fundraising cannot be used for your pay if the pay you receive is funded by a grant. Also, materials for fundraising cannot be purchased with funds that were not given for fundraising. It really is confusing!!!

Let me tell you a little about our non profit though. Our non profit is Children’s Advocacy Center, Inc located in Pittsburg, Kansas (extreme southeast Kansas). We offer forensic interviews, court advocacy, and anything else we can do to help families. We serve children who have been physically, emotionally, and sexual abused. We also see children who have been neglected and/or witnesses to a crime or abuse. The majority of the children we see are sexually abused. As a forensic interviewer I talk to the children and it is recorded so the attorney prosecuting the case can see what the child said and hopefully from the things the child told us evidence can be found. For instance, if the child said they were wearing a certain shirt and the perpetrator left some sort of fluid on the shirt, it could be used for evidence. You would think working with children we would see more money from the federal government or state government but that does not happen. We do get funding from the state and federal but it funds about 1/3 of our non profit.

Many times people say to me “I don’t know how you do that job” My reply “If I didn’t do it, who would”

I have also posted the link to our website if you want to see more of what the CAC does.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Making Money

Sometimes I wonder if I take on a bit too much. As of now I am working two full time jobs and then doing some photography on the side. At the ripe age of 27 I should be working a day job and be home with my family at night, but that is not the case. I often wonder why I do this to myself.

The full time day job I have is amazing and I love it! I love the work I do, I love the people, and I LOVE my boss! I just wish the money was enough to pay my bills plus the gas money it takes to drive 38 miles one way to work. My night job is the job I have had for seven years. For me leaving is hard because not only am I comfortable but I am also loyal. I know that if I leave they would have to go through the hiring process which can take up to six months, and in that time everyone else would have to work overtime. So, there is a part of me that feels for my co-workers.

Family seems to be the deciding factor though and location. If I stay with the day job that means moving my son to a different school, selling my house, moving to a different town and my husband would have to change jobs. Pros would be: home every night with my family, holidays off, and weekends off. To be honest I have never actually worked a “day job”. I have always been on midnights or evenings shifts at every place I work. So my first day job is being a forensic interviewer and it is awesome. Just wish the money was a bit better.

Money… I knew my degree in human services was not going to make me a lot of money. On top of that I got my letter from my student loans... they want me to pay 356 dollars a month!!! WOW! Now, I live in a different place than most but rent here is about 350 a month. So, there is no way I can pay an additional house payment with one paycheck. In the end my friends it looks like I will continue to work these two jobs until things are paid off or until I get fired from one.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Click, click, click

Being the creative little soul that I am I have been dabbling in photography for a time now. However, I have now decided to take it up a notch. I have started my own website. Yes, that is what I said my own website.

I am not your average photographer. You will not see very many pictures of families, or children on my page. Looking for the beauty in nature is more my thing. When I say beauty I don't mean gorgeous views from mountain tops, although there may be a few, I am talking about the everyday things we see. I tend to look at things in a different way than most.

Some people see trees and walk on by. I see trees and think about a lovely they are as the rays of sun passes through the leaves. Yeah... I am one of those "hippie" types. But anyway I just wanted to share my photography page on here. So below you will find the link. Check it out if you want, if you dont want to than don't....

There are no bad pictures; that's just how your face looks sometimes.”
Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, June 6, 2013


So I have just returned home from Washington DC. The Nations capital. I was honored to attend a leadership conference for my job as a forensic interviewer and child advocate. I was able to learn several things and hope to bring most of them back to my agency.

On this trip I was able to take my husband which was also nice. However, since I was in class most of the day he was out by himself seeing the sights. To be honest I don't think he actually minded that much because he was able to go see whatever he wanted on his own time. He had the chance to see many things but I was unable to see much.  However, there were a few things I did get to see.

On the second day of the conferene we had Hill Day visits. Since I am from Kansas my group was assinged to see Senator Pat Roberts, but since he was busy we spoke with one of his staff members instead. The focus of our conversation was about funding for Children's services being zeroed from the budget by the President. Instead of giving money to us they are going to use the money to build a new prison and use the money for offenders. We have been given this money for 22 years and have proven year after year that we are making progress in the fight against child abuse. We were also able to meet Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins. She was unaware of the current bill but is aware now and is on our side. Such a huge thing for us!

Before coming home my husband and I made the trip to Arlington. It was beautiful and sad. The man we spoke with stated there were about 27 full honors funerals a day!!! I couldn't imagine working in a place so sad. The rows of graves took on so much beauty yet so much sadness. I was not ble to see a lot in DC but being able to visit Arlington was worth more than seeing the White House any day.

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Day of Mothers

It is almost the day to honor our mothers. Mothers by birth, by blood, or just by being the mother figure in someone’s life are the qualifications. As mothers we are depended on to do so many things, yet they do not seem like much because it is just our job. The job of mom is so broad I would not be able to even list the things we do.

I was very blessed to have an amazing mother. My mom taught me to work hard, be independent, how to love, show compassion, and many more things. As the daughter of a single mother I am possibly a bit more independent than most females. My mom often tells me to slow down, or that I take too much on. Mom, I learned from the best. I remember you working more than one job and sometimes three jobs. I remember when you were off you always tried to do something with us, even if it was weeding the garden at the same time. By the way that was horrible and children should not have to weed a garden that is 10ft by 10ft. (That is probably an exaggeration but it seemed like it).

So as a mother I try to make sure I am providing for my child and giving him the extra things. My mom worked hard to give us the minimum and I am forever grateful for that. For me.. well I am want to give more. I know money is not the most important thing, but I think experiences are. I want my son to experience arcades, toys, trips, and other material things and if I can provide those things and still pay my bills then those things he shall have. However, I also want to provide him with tools to learn respect, love, compassion, and self control.

So, I raise my glass (of water) in a toast to mothers everywhere.. no one understands our jobs except us!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


I recently got reprimanded at work for not showing my supervisor’s respect. Honestly it was completely out of left field for me. I never thought I was disrespectful in any sense of the word. However, I have now started to reflect back on some of the things I have done in the past. When someone tells me to do something I often do it without saying anything. If the request is out of the ordinary I often ask why. Why… the one simple word that apparently shows disrespect.

The act of questioning a request never crossed my mind as being disrespectful but maybe it is the era I have grown up in. Of course when my mother told me to do something I never questioned her, but I also knew when she told/asked me to vacuum the living room it was because she was working two or three jobs and did not have time to get to it. As someone who has all the rules written in black and white right in front of my face, I tend to go with the rules.

When someone asks me to do something against those rules it is natural for me to ask.. why. Apparently I am not supposed to do that, if my superior is the one making the request, or dare I say demand. So, I am now in a position where I can knowingly break the rules because my superior told me to and possibly get in trouble. Or I can ask why, and get in trouble. Or I can say no, and be called disrespectful and still get in trouble. Why does it seem like there is no right answer here? I am now working while constantly watching my own back and depending on no one to help me in anyway.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

New World, Old News

The theory that some people have of everyone putting a stop to racism, sexism, abuse, and other horrid things are just that... a theory. A theory that has no basis or truth in it. We are a nation of critics. Many of us (including me) find it disgusting to live in a world where horrible things will never cease; unfortunately this is the world we live in.

A world where people throw their newborns in trash cans, shoot children, participate in mass shootings, ect. Let’s take the Steubenville rape case for example. Two boys, ages 16 and 17 raped a girl and videotaped it. Not only did they video tape it but other people did as well. Others also took pictures and posted them online. The video of the rape was posted on YouTube… I am not sure what I find more disturbing the fact that is was broadcasted on the internet, or the fact that there were a bunch of people around and no ONE person stood up!! Not one person in the place had a back bone to stand up for this 16 yr old girl who was lying unconscious.

Next we have Detroit. Number 4 on the list of ten of the worst places to live, and the only place that was on the list because of crime rate. From Monday March 25th at 6am-Tuesday March 26th at 6am there have been seven shootings.. yes I said SEVEN!! In the past 24 hours. It goes to show the world is not getting better or learning from past mistakes. We are just creating new ones. A toddler was shot and killed after his mother did not give to KIDS her money, the money she did NOT have. What a sick sick world we live in.

A sick world that is forever changing and usually not for the good.  

Monday, February 25, 2013

Our Messed Up System

In my mind I had this idea to go to graduate school. I was so excited when I found the college that was perfect for me. It is online, non-profit, and I can finish in a year. Also, the cost was not very high compared to the price of my Bachelors. My BAS in Human Services and Victim/Survivor services cost me around 35,000 dollars. My Master’s degree in HS and marriage and family counseling would only be 14,000. I say “only” very lightly because that is actually a LOT of money, but cheap as far as higher education in the US. After finding the school, applying, and getting accepted I found out the bad news.

Apparently I do not qualify for federal assistance because I have a Bachelor’s degree. In fact, my fafsa stated “You do not qualify for grants because you have an undergraduate degree. You do not qualify because you are seeking a graduate degree.” Ugh!!  Now I am searching online for scholarships, grants, and loans for graduate degrees. So far I have not had much luck. I have applied for several scholarships in the past but have never received them. This year I am going to do a different route and choose essay scholarships. Hopefully I will obtain some money for school.

If I do not receive the funds my education will be at a standstill. I cannot afford to pay the money out of pocket. So without some aid I will just have to stick with my Bachelor’s. Maybe I will be one of those people who go back to school at the age of 40 because I MAY be able to afford it by then.

 I find it so frustrating that as a middle class family I cannot afford to attend college, nor do I qualify for assistance. However, if I quit my job and live off the government I can get all my school paid for. Too bad I have values and self-worth…

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Going Green

So I decided on going a little bit more green. I am not the type of person to drive an electric car. Not saying I wouldn’t I just can’t afford one!!! I also like to be able to pass people at a reasonable speed rather than slowly creep past them long enough for them to memorize my face. Hence, my ability to be pulled over twice in two days. Although that was completely off track of what I was initially going to talk about, so back to the original topic of this particular blog. Going green.
Anyway, my first step is homemade laundry soap. I have heard many people talk about using it and how it works, so I have decided to jump on this bandwagon. I am tired of paying 20 dollars or more for laundry detergent that barely gets my clothes clean. I am allergic to most detergents so I have to us a hypo allergic form of soap. So, I am going to try to make my own.
Ingredients are: boarx, hammer super wash baking soda, fels-naptha laundry bar soap
Things you need: a cheese grader, bowl, and an air tight container to store the soap in.
So, it seems pretty simple, and like I said, many people say it works. I will be the next person to make my own soap and save money.. maybe… I am not sure how it will go but the items needed are only going to cost me about 10 dollars. The actually ingredients are only about 6.50 but I have to buy a cheese grader. I have no idea why I don’t own one.. apparently I never have needed one in the 8 years I have lived with my husband.
Anyway, I will let you know how it goes as soon as I find the time between two jobs and grad school to mix it up! Then maybe I will try to make my own shampoo and conditioner.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

They Say It's Your Birthday

10 more days… 10 more days until I turn one year older. My birthday usually consists of me going to work. Or it has since I started working at a young age. I don’t know what it is about birthdays but I don’t like them, at least when they are mine. I feel like the day should be special and it never is. Or at least it does not reach my level of special. When I was younger I always wondered if the man known as my father would call, or forget me. My mother could do something really special and it still wouldn’t meet the “special” criteria because the phone call never came.
As I got older my birthdays became less important. The important birthdays were those of my child and my friend’s children. Of course I would still text my friends, call, or facebook them on their birthdays but it really does become about the kids.
Last year I worked (of course), and I was not very happy with myself. I felt like I had not accomplished much in my life. This year I am happy to have accomplished so much in the past year. Honestly it has been a year of changes, and I am sure there are many more to come.
My birthday will be here in Feb 21st and I will be 27 years old. Not very old in many people’s minds but I often feel the numbers do not match my mind. I will of course be working all day, but that is fine. I have the weekend after my birthday to celebrate. And celebrate I will because I planned my own “special” time this year and I look forward to it!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

It Is My Right

Well, New York you have officially become the first state to give Obama a high five and get on his gun ban ”wagon”. Since I do not live in New York, it really does not affect me. However, if this is something all states are going to start passing I may be in a bit of trouble. According to the New York Post the new ban in New York not only bans assault rifles but also requires that a gun cannot hold more than 7 bullets. Hate to tell you New York, but it only takes one bullet to kill a person.
I am a supporter of the right to bear arms. I am not a supporter of nut jobs killing people. Nor am I a supporter of mass shootings. However, I would like to be able to defend myself if I ever find myself in a situation in which I need to. Granted, I only need one bullet strategically placed to kill someone, it would still be a pain to get all new guns because mine do not meet regulations.
I understand the fear people have of “assault” rifles and guns in general. Having the right to bear arms is something Americans fight for. We fight for the right to defend ourselves and our families. The government will not step in if I am being attacked. The government will not step in if my house is being broken into. The government will not step in if someone is holding my son hostage. It is my right to defend, and sometimes that means using a gun.
 I could take years of karate, judo, or other defense classes but it would not protect me from all things. Imagine if my 5ft 3 self was attacked in a parking lot by a man who was 6ft 3 250lbs and his intent was to rape me. The self defense classes may be able to hold him off for a little bit, but he would keep coming. I could scream for help, but what if no one heard me. I could scream no but what if he didn’t listen. Now… if I pulled out my .380 and pointed it at him, he may change his mind. If the government takes my right to own a firearm, they are leaving me like raw meat to a lion.
Many have said it, and many more will… but… the “bad guys” will get guns no matter what kind of ban if put in place. Criminals break laws, that is why they are criminals. It is the people who follow the laws that fall victim. Giving up our guns will not stop violence, I feel it may increase it.

Monday, January 14, 2013

My Body My Canvas

My body is my canvas;
The canvas tells my story;
Permanently inked;
Marked by my choice;
Beautiful on the outside;
Hides ugly stories inside;
My artful expression;
Left to interpretation;
Judge me not;
You do not know my story.