The Start of a New Adventure

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Lately, life in the Brooks household has been quite different. Aric comes home from being gone for 8 months, school is in full-swing for both Aric and Maksen, Rowan is gearing up to start extra curricular activities, (stay tuned for that announcement) and… I got a job! That’s right, we are now a home where both adults are working!

Tomorrow starts my third week working at Clover Park School District as a substitute paraeducator/substitute clerical employee. Once Maksen’s first grade teacher learned I had my bachelor’s degree, she told me I needed to apply to work at the school and they would hire me immediately, since they were so understaffed. At the time, Aric had just left and adding a job onto my plate was not in the cards; so, I put the idea on the back burner.

Once we got settled back in with Aric’s return, I thought to myself, “what the heck? I might as well try this thing out.” I applied and within a couple of weeks, I was offered employment, did all of my background work, and became an employee through CPSD.

Clover Park School District is composed of 68 square miles throughout Pierce County. There are 17 elementary schools, two specialty schools, two high schools, and four middle schools. Six of the 17 elementary school are on Joint-Base Lewis McChord alone. I think that gives you a glimpse as to how many people and kids live on JBLM!

Map of Clover Park School District

Map of Clover Park School District

So far, I have worked at two of the high schools and two of the elementary schools. I have mostly worked at Maksen’s school, which has been a lot of fun! The kids seem to think it’s funny and maybe cool? that Maksen’s mom is a “teacher” at his school. All but one of the days I have worked, I have been in a classroom with special education kids. These days have been quite interesting, tiring, and mentally hard, but significantly rewarding. I’ve learned that I love working with these kiddos, but I definitely do not see being a teacher as something I would be passionate about for the rest of my life, day in and day out. Being on the sidelines, under the teacher’s supervision, is more of my jam.

With working all day long, comes finding someone to watch Rowan. He isn’t quite old enough to go to pre-kindergarten, so that isn’t an option until August, but he needed to have care. Thankfully, I have a pretty great friend who is a SAHM and watches Rowan at my home; and when she can’t, I have a babysitter lined out!

So far, he seems to have been okay with the transition, only crying when Daddy dropped him off at the sitter’s and when he woke up one morning with neither Aric or I at home. It will be good for him to get used to mommy not being home with him all day, as I’ve been a SAHM since he was born. (aside me taking him to Nana’s store when I was living at home during Aric’s schooling for the Army.) Rowan is pretty dependent on me and Aric, so it is a win-win for us all. And not to mention it is a huge plus for our pocketbooks; for some reason, people think that those who serve in the military are financially comfortable, which is far from the truth!! I mean, sure, the benefits are great, but the actual monthly bring home… well, it’s quite a small amount AND Washington is beyond expensive.

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Rowan enjoying a corn dog at Mrs. Jamie’s house!

Right now, life has been pretty good, which I haven’t had the chance of saying confidently for awhile. I have rather enjoyed spreading my wings and feeling like I am contributing to my family, and re-gaining my sense of self in the process. Too often as moms, we put ourselves last and don’t always reach the goals we had set. #momguilt

It has also been good getting out of the house and interacting with other people, even if they are kids. But the best part… I am putting something on my resume for the future. I am allowing myself a better opportunity for when Aric is out of the military, the kids are both older and in school all day, and I can start my career!

However, with being gone most of my day and waking up earlier than I have ever done in my life (some schools start at 7 am!!!), I am having to adjust to being able to juggle all of the things that I have normally been able to juggle, which includes this blog, and now a job! It’s definitely been a battle! Between the holidays, Aric’s school finishing up the quarter, and a new job, I haven’t had much time to dedicate to cooking and documenting it. Most of my meals have been quick and on the table in a flash. Good thing my kids like ramen, right?!

However, do not fret, I have a ton of ideas mapped out, and will be going on a three week break, starting the 20th! Stay tuned for some awesome holiday/winter meals and a ton of sweets. ‘Tis the season, amirite?!

Thanks for following along with me and all of my ventures, stay tuned for some delectable foods!!

Love you all!

X

Shandy

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