You Are A Badass

Becoming a SAHM

When I had my fist 2 children, I was a working mother. The decision to be a stay at home mom (SAHM) was an organic one. However I never intended it to be a permanent position. My husband had just gone active duty and I decided not to return to child care. I wanted to try something new, but I didn’t know what that something was.

Fast forward 14 years and we’ve added another child and a couple of fur babies to our family. And I’m still a SAHM.

 

Family

Photo taken in 2012

 

What to do next?

One of the reasons staying at home became an organic decision was because I thought it would be nice to have another child and be able to stay at home to raise it. A year later our 3 child was born completing our family.

But slowly over the next year I found myself becoming more and more unhappy with life. I never got out of the house. I never had other adults to talk to. Most of my friends had jobs and my husband was at work or training all the time. I was lonely and often felt irrelevant. Not to mention that I was so busy taking care of my husband, children, and house, that I wasn’t taking care of myself.

I finally sat down with my husband and told him that I wanted to go back to school. I found a program that looked interesting and started taking the general studies necessary for the program.

Today I have my associates degree in Respiratory Therapy and I’m a certified EKG Technician. Yep I was pretty close to being a serial degree earner.

 

WVNCC Graduation

Graduating with my Respiratory Therapy Associates Degree

EKG Certification

My EKG Technician Certificate

 

The Transition

While becoming a SAHM was an organic decision, the decision to go back to work wasn’t. I never seemed to find that thing that just fit.

So I earned my associates in Respiratory Therapy, then used our PCS to California as an excuse to stay home. I mean the kids needed me at home right? And our youngest was no longer in preschool.

I had all my excuses ready and I wasn’t afraid to use them. Our oldest has ADHD, our youngest was diagnosed with autism in the first grade. If I didn’t stay home to handle it all, who would right?

The truth is, I just couldn’t seem to find the thing that fit me and I was scared. So I would earn a degree or certification, or sign up for one MLM or another trying to at least contribute something while making those excuses.

Finally reality hit. I started to realize that it won’t be long before my husband is eligible for retirement and we are sorely unprepared for that day. My dream after he retires is to be able to buy a house and maybe even travel. But you need money, and savings, and clean credit for that.

It was time to put on my big girl panties and get over myself.

 

The Obsticles

Somewhere in my head I thought finding a job would be easy. I mean I had the certifications and background to easily find work in a hospital right? Plus, the military hospital was always hiring from what I had been told.

I was wrong!

Writing a resume is hard! Especially when you have a 14 year gap in your employment history. My hard earned EKG certification wasn’t accepted by the local hospitals, and the military hospital that “is always hiring” wasn’t.

I was frustrated!

Then as I was doing an online job search for EKG jobs, a miracle happened. A completely unrelated job popped up in my search. It caught my eye enough that even though it wasn’t in my field, I decided to give it a look.

I’m so glad I did.

The job listing was for a behavioral technician position at CARD (Centers for Autism and Related Disorders). It was a part time entry level position, with paid training, paid travel, flexible hours, and room for promotion.

It was perfect!

The part time flexible hours make for a great transition for someone like me who hasn’t worked outside the house in 14 years. The career progression and promotion possibilities let me know that this can be a long term career if I want it.

The biggest plus for me though is the training.

Let me explain. One of the reasons that I was so hesitant to get jobs in my other fields is because even after graduating, I didn’t feel like I knew the job well enough to do them without supervision. In other words, I was scared.

There was no worries with this job though with it’s supervised on the job training along with paid eLearning modules and paid certification. I wasn’t scared, I was excited!

My study buddy

Working on some eLearning with my study buddy!

 

Plus I already felt like I was ahead of the game, having worked with my son who has autism for the last several years.

 

Then came the stress

All was going well. I applied for the job and my application was accepted, aced my interview, and was hired the next day. I signed my life away in paperwork, got all vaccinations and TB tests done and nothing.

You read that right. Nothing.

A week went by. My start date came and went and I hadn’t heard back from the person in charge of my packet. I sent emails and waited all for nothing. Finally, I got in touch with someone only to be referred back to the same person who did absolutely nothing again.

I started wondering if they had changed their minds. Nervousness, anger, and frustration was taking over. I kept having to remind myself that I signed their contracts and that they hadn’t contacted me to rescind their offer.

At the time all this was happening, I was reading a book called You Are A Badass by Jenn Sincero. The book itself was goofy to read but the message was one that I needed at the time. It talked about staying positive even when you are presented with obstacles. That what you put out into the universe is what you will receive.

 

You Are A Badass

You can read my review of You Are A Badass by clicking on this image!

 

So every day, I would get on my treadmill (my zen place) and I would work it out with myself until I was able to put positive vibes out in the world concerning my new job. My husband was big help in this area. He believed in this opportunity for me and wouldn’t allow me to give up! Yes he’s awesome!

My persistence and positive thinking finally paid off and a month after my original start date, I was able to begin training. I am now a Board Certified Autism Specialist working to become a Registered Behavior Technician with a goal towards becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

I never asked what caused the delay. It wasn’t important. All that is important now is that I am working and I am constantly improving.

 

The Whole Point

Transitions are hard. Being a stay at home parent is hard. Finding the right career is hard. Going back to school is hard. Returning back to work after a long absence is hard. But with trial and error, persistence, a whole lot of positive thinking, and a good support system, you can accomplish anything. Never quit looking. The right fit for you in what ever you are looking for might show itself when you least expect it!

If you need help keeping a positive mindset, there are plenty of good books out there like You Are A Badass that can help you with that. You Got This!

 

 

 

Mercy Denied

Title: Mercy Denied: Trinity

Series: Steele Standing Book 2

Author: Jacqueline M. Sinclair

Genre: New Adult/College/Contemporary/Romance

Release Date: February 27, 2016

 

 

Synopsis:

Merrick

She and her friend set me up. Then they sent those pictures to my wife. Little did they know that she’d already left me and that I was devastated and ready to self-destruct. Because of her, I lost everything I ever wanted … the only hope I had. Now I will risk everything I have left to destroy her. It doesn’t matter why she did it, that she was hurting, or even that she was drunk. It doesn’t matter that she looks at me like she sees into my soul. Does it?

Trinity

Melanie was the one that’d sent those pictures to his wife, but it was me who’d told her to get her camera ready. I’d been angry at my ex-fiance and took it out on Merrick, wanting to expose him for the cheater I thought he was. I never dreamed it would go this far – that he would vow to destroy me. I’d take it all back if I could, but the damage is done. My mother’s life’s work is at his mercy and he’s determined to make me feel the loss that I caused him. Still, the way he looks at me I have to ask myself, did my poor choices wake the monster…or the man?

Mercy Denied

 

Review:

Rating: 4 Stars ✰✰✰✰

Mercy Denied by Jacqueline M. Sinclair is book 2 in the Steele Standing Series but it can be read as a stand alone book.

Trinity has just ended a relationship after being cheated on. She is heartbroken and angry. Her friend Melanie drags her out to a bar and while they are there, in walks Merrick, Melanie’s friend Ella’s ex-husband. After a few drinks and some gossip about Merrick’s behavior during his marriage, Trinity decides he needs to be taught a lesson, and she’s just the person to teach it to him. She has no idea the damage she is doing or the resulting consequences of his anger when all is said and done.

Merrick is on a downward spiral after his wife and child leave him. All he wants when he walks into that bar is to numb the pain. When he meets Trinity at the bar, he feels a connection to her. Something about her makes him decide to try to make a fresh start. But he loses everything again when some incriminating pictures surface. Now he wants revenge.

Neither of them are expecting to have feelings for the other.

This book could teach you a lesson or two about making assumptions and taking it upon yourself to dish out justice. Both the characters make some pretty big ones here. They both act out of anger, even as they are falling for each other. Merrick especially can’t get out of his own head to realize that he is making even bigger mistakes and putting blame where it doesn’t necessarily belong. I got the feeling that Trinity realized her mistake and wanted to make it right. I think she also realized she had feelings for him, but then he would do something to hurt her again and she would go back to not trusting him. They both needed to get their heads out of their butts. I kind of found myself not liking Trinity’s friend Melanie as the book went on. She seemed kind of careless about hurting other people. Even Trinity. Everyone needs a Jonah in their lives. He genuinely cares about everyone and goes out of his way make everyone happy. He is just a beautiful ray of sunshine!

This was a great follow up to Renegade! I’m looking forward to the next book!

 

Get your copy for $2.99!

Amazon ♦ B&N ♦ Goodreads

 

About Jacqueline M. Sinclair:

Jacqueline M. SinclairJacqueline grew up in the rural southeast and is the youngest child of a large and rowdy family. Reading was an escape when there wasn’t much else around to do. She loves everything from classical literature to true crime and everything in between. With her two children grown and gone, she’s surrounded by a menagerie of adopted pets and a two-legged thief who refused to give her heart back after a night of karaoke.

With a day job and a dream job, her writing is a steamy combination of real life and seeking to answer the age-old question of what would happen if…and then characters come along and completely derail the plan. Letting them have their say provides plenty of sleepless nights and an endless combination of coffee and wine, but she hopes you enjoy their stories.

 

Stalker Links:

Amazon ♦ Goodreads ♦ Twitter ♦ Website

 

Mercy Denied

 

Epic Lies

Title: Epic Lies

Series: Epic Fail Book 2

Author: Trudy Stiles

Genre: New Adult/College/Contemporary/Romance

Release Date: June 27, 2016

 

Epic Lies

 

Synopsis:

DAX ANDERSON has always been the one to keep it all together.

~ His family~
~ His friends~
~ His band~

His heart is huge, but guarded. He’s the best friend. The protector. The shoulder to cry on. But he’s never been able to protect his own heart or himself. Lies from his not-so-distant past have destroyed his outlook on love – until he meets her.

GISELLE ANDREWS is confident and happy, but cautious. She’s learned to overcome many obstacles despite her past. She’s fiercely loyal and loves beyond measure. When she’s reminded of her past and the pain that she lived through, will her perfect world begin to crumble?

What connects Dax and Giselle, and will the EPIC LIES that they’ve lived through destroy their future?

EPIC LIES is the second book in the EPIC FAIL series and can be read as a STANDALONE novel.

This series is a spinoff of the FOREVER FAMILY series.

 

Epic Lies

 

Review:

Rating: 5 Stars ✰✰✰✰✰

Epic Lies by Trudy Stiles is book 2 in the Epic Fail series but thankfully can be read as a stand alone book. I say thankfully because I haven’t read book 1 yet.

I enjoyed this book. Giselle and Dax both have a history of poor relationship choices that haunt them. However they are both stronger people because of it. Speaking of pasts, It seems that fate keeps putting them together in some of the saddest and craziest of ways. They are a couple that despite some of the things they have working against them, are just meant to be.

This story jumps back and forth between the past and the present. This is important though because you get to see all the times they are thrown together that they both forgot about as time went on. They both experienced a loss that rocked them both and little did they know that their loss it the same. It’s a story of rebuilding and living life to the fullest. It’s about learning to trust again and overcoming adversity.

There are some dark moments in the book but they are done in a way that doesn’t make this book a dark read and doesn’t take away from the over all story of moving forward. The characters themselves don’t let the things from their past dictate how they live their lives either. They learn from it and grow.

Great job on this book! I highly recommend it!

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon USAmazon UK ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ B&N

 

About the Author:

Trudy Stiles

married to the love of her life. She’s the author of the bestselling Forever Family series including Dear Emily, Dear Tabitha, and Dear Juliet. Epic Sins and Epic Lies are the first two books in the Epic Fail series and will continue with at least two more standalone novels, Epic Love and Epic Holiday. She plans to write many more stories about some of the characters you’ve already met, and maybe a few new ones. Emily will get her own story, Sincerely, Emily, to be released in 2017.

She’s also a contributing author to the USA Today Bestselling anthology, F*cking Awkward, a hilarious group of short stories sure to make you cringe, laugh and everything in between. All proceeds from this project benefited the The Bookworm Box and its charities.

Trudy is a music junkie and you’ll know that she’s writing when you see her plugged into her laptop with her earbuds in. Her playlist is unique and is a must for her writing sprints.

 

Author Links:

Amazon ♦ Goodreads ♦ Facebook ♦ Twitter ♦ Instagram

 

 

This is the story of a girls life. Well my life that is.  Most of this website is devoted to bringing books and authors to readers and bringing health and fitness to those who are looking for it. But this blog right here is all about me. It’s about what I’m doing this week. What workout I’m doing and how I’m feeling about it. If I cooked any good recipes that I want to share with you. What books I’m reading and if I’m participating in any fun events and so on! I won’t lie though, my life is pretty ordinary. That’s kind of the point though. To show that ordinary people are capable of doing extraordinary things. In fact at one time I even called my business page that. I like the idea that I can show myself overcoming adversity, reaching goals, and doing the things that I enjoy and that it can encourage others to do the same.

So who am I? I guess I should start with that. As you all know my name is Jennifer. I grew up with my mother in West Virginia and later went to live with my grandparents and aunt. I was a little hell raiser in high school. I met my husband in college and married him a year later. Most of our family didn’t think that we’d make it through the first two years but 17 years later, I guess we showed them.

 

IMG_1744We have 3 kids. Two boys and a girl (not in that order). Every parent believes their kids are special but when I see all that my children have overcome, I am in awe! My oldest son has ADHD with multiple components. School and everyday life is a struggle for him. He inherited it from my husband who didn’t find out he had it until adulthood. Talk about a lightbulb moment. My son’s struggle continues through high school now and my only wish is for him to find his way to being successful and happy. He’s working on it. Even with his struggles, he’s a really great kid. My youngest son is Autistic. We found out when he was 6 years old after he had completely shut down. Over the last 3 years, I have watched him start to come alive and thrive with the help of some really great teachers and therapists. Most people wouldn’t think it’s a big deal to see their children swing by themselves for the first time, or ride a bike, or role play using their imaginations, but for my youngest, these are all monumental achievements. I’m so proud of him! Now I’m going to talk about my daughter. My daughter is what you would call a typical person or teenager. She doesn’t have any learning or behavior disorders. She is almost a straight A student. She is an athlete. She has no problems whatsoever making and keeping friends. She is your typical teenager, attitude and all. I saved her for last because She never gets the recognition she deserves and I wanted to give her this now. She is the middle child and stuck between two boys who because of their struggles, demand the majority of our attention. She has been overlooked and under appreciated most of her life. It’s not that we don’t see how well she does. It’s just that some times we get overwhelmed dealing with other things. I try my hardest to make time for her and show her how proud I am of her. And that is the bottom line! I am so proud of her. She knows what she needs to do to have the life that she wants and she is going after it! I can’t be more proud of her. As parents that’s all we really want is to see our children thrive and become happy, healthy, successful adults. That is my wish for them!

 

61308_1386795790913_1066588_nSo my husband and I got married very young. Like many young couples we struggled in the beginning to make ends meet when we both worked jobs that paid little over minimum wage. Then you add on things like deployments and trainings with the military and it was pretty stressful. After a one year deployment that started when I was 8 months pregnant with our daughter, he decided to go active duty. The moves have been hard, but we have met some really great people over the years and gotten to see some pretty awesome sights along the way. I’ve had to learn how to be a military wife. There is no handbook for it and it is a life like no other. I often find myself playing the role of both mother and father while he is away. Luckily our time in California gave us a little vacation from all that. He was home a lot more and got to be more involved in our everyday life. We got to know each other better as a couple and it really helped strengthen our marriage. I’m not going to say it’s perfect, but it’s pretty darn good! We have recently moved to Washington and he is back in a typical unit with more trainings and traveling again, but I think we got it covered now. I’m looking forward to having family visit in the summer so I can show them this beautiful area we live in now. When it’s not raining that is.

 

 

 

IMG_1468So I’ve talked kids and marriage, now let’s get to me. When Mike went active duty, I decided I wanted to stay at home. I actually didn’t mean for it to become a permanent thing, but I hadn’t been happy in my career as a child care provider, it took all my energy and I felt like my own children suffered, and I was ready for a change. When My youngest was a year old, I made the choice to go back to school. Four years later I had a degree in respiratory therapy, but we moved before I had the chance to take my certifications. Then all hell broke loose with the two boys, and I decided again to stay home. Now that things are settled with them and they are making progress I am trying again. I just finished my EKG certification and will be job hunting shortly. I won’t say that I’m not scared to death. I haven’t held a job outside the home in more then 13 years and the idea of going back keeps me up at night. But it’s one of my goals, to become more self reliant and help us be able to afford more of the things that we want to do. Let’s see what else….oh yeah! I’m forgetting a big one! I became an Independent Beachbody Coach almost a year ago. Wow it’s been that long. I have always struggled with my weight. I was a chubby kid and I got even more chubby after having babies. However 7 years after having my last baby, I couldn’t exactly blame it on baby weight anymore. I felt like crap all the time. I had no energy. My stomach always felt sick. I was worried I had an ulcer. I looked like crap. Something had to give. I went to get a haircut from a girl on post and we hit it off immediately. It turns out she was a Beachbody coach and after several conversations, I decided to try the 21 Day Fix program. The change was almost immediate. My stomach issues were gone after the second week. And my stomach roundness was greatly diminished after the first round. Fast forward several rounds later and I’m 30 pounds lighter and probably in the best shape of my life. I’m not just talking skinnier, but stronger. So I decided to become a coach. At first I’ll admit, I did it for the discount, but then people started asking me what I did to lose the weight. I decided to give it a shot and help people. I’m glad I did. I love helping people the same way I was helped. I even managed to quit smoking after 22 years. I haven’t picked up a cigarette in nearly a year now.

So that’s me in a nutshell. Right now I spend my days taking care of the house, reading, job hunting, and running my coaching business.