Hello and welcome to my first ever blog post! I figured I might want to let my readers know a little more about me, because otherwise you’d be reading about the life of a stranger! Born and raised in the PNW, I moved to Southern California to fulfill one of my many lifelong dreams of working at the one and only Disneyland! I am 20 years old and fully confident in everything I do! While this has worked wonders for me, it has also been known to get me into trouble on more than one occasion… but it always sparks a little bit of an adventure! I am a lover of country music, Disney and Grey’s Anatomy. I love animals and, I’ll be honest, my dream in life is to be a princess (because well who doesn’t want to be in charge and wear a tiara all day!?) This blog will be a way for me to share my thoughts on the world around me, as well as my personal life, my struggles, my accomplishments, and things I could have handled differently. I hope you enjoy this blog and I hope it makes you laugh, because I believe laughter is always the best medicine!
Today I began my newest adventure in the world of working with kids! I began my new position as a homeschool teacher for a 1st grader with downs syndrome! I am beyond excited to begin this amazing chapter in my life. Though I’ve never worked as a teacher before and had very little experience working with kids with downs syndrome, I am excited for the challenges it will bring. This year we will be learning to read, add and subtract, and find out as much as we can about the solar system as well as anything else he takes an interest to this year!
I find myself down in the gutter quite often at work, because some days I just feel like I can’t do anything right! Whether it’s the sandwich isn’t cut the right way or the house isn’t clean when it’s time to go home, or we just don’t get out the door at the right time, some days I just can’t win. But the worst days are the days when the kids scream “I hate you” or “go away”. They may be small but those phrases coming from someone you love so much are powerful. They hurt, but I have to remind myself that they don’t truly come from a place of hate, they come from a place of situational anger. Children, especially younger ones cannot deal with big emotions like adults can. They blow their tops any time they get frustrated because we do not understand them or cannot give them what they want. They lash out in this way because, when you’re a toddler throwing a tantrum is what you do! Remember, it’s ok for the tantrum to happen at this age they are expressing themselves in the only way they know how. Remember that you as a nanny are doing the best you can, DO NOT beat your self up just because your kids are not happy 24/7. If they were happy all of the time, odds are you’re not doing your job right. They need to know boundries, no means no. If you find yourself in this position and have no idea what to do here’s what I do 1. Remove the child from the situation If we are eating then remove them from the table, if we are in the living room move them to another area of the house where ever you are just remove them from the situation. 2. Pull the child aside and tell them they need to calm down, but in a calm cool tone This part is important, because if you are not calm and cool your child won’t be either. 3. Tell them they need to sit in a corner, next to you, on a chair etc…until the time goes off This part is far more flexible. I use this “time out” not as a punishment but as time for them to calm down without too much stimulation. For the length of time I start with the age of the child equals the amount of minutes they stay there, but often times I adjust the time depending on how long it takes for them to calm down stop crying and after I’m cooled down. You being calm and cool is important in the next step. You don’t want to go into the next step still riled up 4. Time for a conversation No matter the age of the child there is always a benefit to a sit down one on one conversation about their actions. Ask them if they know why they were in time out and talk to them about ways they could improve for next time 5. Always end on a high note I ask for a high five or a hug and then I tell them I love them then to go play This works for me any my family but there are so many ways to productively diffuse situations like this. Remember nannies, you’ve got this you’re doing awesome and they do like you I promise, today’s just being a hard day tomorrow will be better. Hang in there nannies tomorrow will be a better day. 🙂
Last summer, I went on a trip to Europe with three of my dearest friends. It was by far the biggest trip I’ve ever taken, and it was the craziest, most wonderful, exciting experience I’ve ever had!
We started our trip in the beautiful city of Budapest. At first, I was a little wary of the idea; I wanted to do the more traditional cities like Paris or London. Luckily I was outnumbered in the vote, because Budapest ended up being my hands down favorite city I’ve ever experienced! From the beautiful Hungarian landscapes, to the gorgeous river separating old Buda from old Pest, to the amazing castles and architecture! The public parks had stages for outdoor concerts and plays, public bath houses, zoos, and even a castle with a moat! (I’m always a sucker for a good moat!) The four of us stayed in a gorgeous little apartment in a very affluent part of town, right in the middle of everything. We were able to walk anywhere and everywhere we needed to go, and they had the most adorable little cobblestone streets! It was absolute perfection.
From Budapest, we hopped on a train to Vienna, Austria! Austria has always been on my bucket list, due to the fact that The Sound of Music is one of my favorite things, and I have always dreamt of “running about Salzburg in nothing but some old drapes”, while “having a marvelous time”. Vienna was not what I had expected however; I imagined rolling hills and snowy mountains, but I found it to be rather industrial. However, the Royal Palace of the Hapsburg family was to die for! If you ever get the chance it is a must see! The interior is decorated in a gorgeous baroque style, my personal favorite because it is gold And frilly And fancy And lacy And pretty And ever so elegant and romantic! Not only did Vienna have a gorgeous Royal Palace, but it was also filled with amazing churches. I was absolutely in awe of the churches here. Inside most of them, it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. The designs inside were breathtaking and awe inspiring like nothing I had ever seen before.
Our last stop on our grand European tour was Prague. Prague will always hold a very dear place in my heart, despite all of the sex museums. While I was in Prague, I got to visit Terezin Concentration Camp. The quaint town in the Czech Republic that was turned into a Nazi run concentration camp in World War II. It was eerily quiet and oddly calm. Knowing what happened here to so many men, women, and children, it was unnervingly peaceful. I prayed for the people who lost their lives here, and I cried for the children who never got the chance to be children. I’m glad I got to experience this because it is important for us to experience history in a way that resonates with us. It should resonate with us in a way that leaves us feeling a desire to help prevent horrendous things from happening in this world and to encourage us to provide hope and promise for the good days and better times.
The flight home was bittersweet. I was headed home to friends and family that I missed terribly when I was away, but I also had a longing to stay with the friends I had made in Europe that I had grown to love over that month and a half. I will most definitely be back again one day.
I like to think I’ve accomplished quite a bit in my 20 years of life. I’ve traveled, volunteered, moved away from home and had many amazing experiences. Despite adults older than me telling me I should be incredibly proud of all that I have accomplished, I still felt quite inadequate with my life for a long time. I wasn’t in school, I wasn’t getting married, and I didn’t have my career all lined up like everyone else my age. I was told I was doing things that people dreamed about but we’re too scared to do; things that people assumed they couldn’t do or didn’t have time to do. I realized how fortunate and grateful to God I am to have been blessed with these opportunities. However, I also know that if I hadn’t done a lot of the things I did, I would never have done them. Sometimes you can’t think about it; you just have to jump. I jumped into volunteering abroad and jumped into moving to southern California. I jumped and didn’t think about the “what if’s” or thought “I can’t do this”. Don’t get me wrong, there were times when I thought to myself “Allie you’re crazy! What makes you think you can do this??” Or “I won’t make it out here I need to go home now” the thing is, everyone tells you the world is full of right and wrong choices, but no one can tell you which choice is which. No one talks about how scary that is. I’m going to tell you that it is terrifying. Overwhelming. But it is so so so necessary because living inside your comfort zone isn’t living. It’s when you step out of your comfort zone, you find out things about yourself that you’d never have known otherwise. My advice to all of my friends when they wonder about making a big decision is just do it. Dive in head first and you won’t regret it. No matter what, the adventure will be worth it.
It’s been kind of a rough week. I’ve been moved around a lot at work, haven’t had NEARLY enough time to clean my house, and to top it all off I had to spend $500 to get my car fixed. And it’s only Wednesday. It makes my head hurt, worries about finances, prompts me to pray it will all turn out OK. Everyone has times like this, and I know I am no exception. In fact, I am grateful for the struggles I go through no matter how trying because I will always come out on the other side a better and far more appreciative person.
Working several jobs has its difficulties. I work seven days a week with very little time off, I am often over booked, and I don’t have much room in my schedule for rescheduling. As a cast member at Disneyland, my scheduling team can call me in early and change my location, without really asking and without much notice. It’s a challenge when you’re on your way to work in one costume, and they call you, only to inform you that they want you to extend your shift and, oh ya we need you to wear a different costume as your in a new location. When this happens, at first I want to tell them no (even though it’s not really a suggestion) and hang up, but then I take a minute to think about the blessings. They chose me. They picked me because they trust that I can jump right in and know what to do on short notice. They also are giving me more hours! Lord knows I can use them right now! I am truly blessed to be able to provide childcare for my church on Sunday mornings as well. I just wish I didn’t have to work until two in the morning the night before to then wake up at six thirty the next morning. Little sleep is not beneficial in the life of a child care worker. On these mornings I thank God for coffee. I also thank Him for the little faces that make waking up that early so worth it.
As I am looking around my bedroom as I write this, I think WHY AM I BLOGGING WHEN I SHOULD BE CLEANING!?!?!?! This thought crosses my mind often. no matter what I do, There always seem to be dishes in the sink and loads of laundry piling up and an unswept floor. As a girl who really enjoys a clean home this drives me slightly crazy. But I remind my self that all the dishes in the sink, mean that I’m eating a home cooked meal every night. I am thankful for that because it’s a luxury, not everyone has. All the laundry I have piling up- rivaling Mt. Everest at this point- reminds me that I have so many things to wear and that I should seriously go through my closet and sort out all of the things I don’t need so I can donate them to those who do. I am lucky to live in the apartment complex that I do. It’s right next to where I work and there is a Target near by #bless, but I am so hard on myself about keeping our floors as clean as possible (i prefer to be barefooted). When I go days without sweeping or vacuuming I can hardly stand myself. At times like that, I thank my lucky stars my apartment is not too big and sweeping only takes 5-10 minutes tops.
My car. My poor old well-loved vehicle. This car was given to me when I learned to drive and has been with me ever since. 5 years we’ve been together, I even call him Simon.He brought me from Washington to California almost a year ago-needless to say we’ve been through it all together. His check engine light has always been on, and we had checked it out a few times but no one ever could conclude what was wrong with it, that is until recently. You see recently Simon won’t start. Simon will try to start but ultimately he fails, unless that is, it is one of the times he does decide to start- he’s quite unpredictable this way. I finally broke down and took him to a mechanic, who ended up telling me what I needed to hear. The alternator was bad. So $500 later the check engine light is off for the first time in years, and he starts every single time I want to go somewhere. I am so thankful that it was just an alternator problem! It could have been much worse, like needing a whole new car or a way more expensive fix. I am excited to drive around without the engine light turning on! I am thankful that I get to go to work and do other things I love in a safe reliable car!
It’s hard often times to find the beauty in the things that make our lives hard. It’s difficult to be thankful for things that cost us money, keep our lives busy, or messy houses but if you look close enough there is always a reason to be thankful. Take a moment to be thankful for your not so wonderful moments today and every day, because they make you appreciate the good days that much more!
I pride myself on being a really open person. I have very few secrets, mostly because once you get me talking I can’t stop! I enjoy being an open book, it helps me build relationships and connections with many people over many different subjects and issues that a lot of us face. So without further ado, here are 10 things you probably don’t know about me!
1.I love peanut butter and pickles
And, if you were wondering if i like them together, my answer is OF COURSE!!!
2. I love to dance
This one is new for me, my whole life people have told me how awful of a dancer I was, it wasn’t until I began ballet and my teacher told me I had real potential that I began to love it.
3. I hate the word Silly
This comes as a surprise to many people because its often a word used to describe me and there is the fact that I don’t really “hate” things.
4. I wanted to be a marine biologist
When I was a kid I had big dreams of being a marine biologist because I have always loved the ocean and all things in it! This was however before I realized that the job did not entail sailing the seven seas looking for mermaids all day.
5. I fall in love with just about everything I see
Even when things seem bleak, I try to find something I love about where ever I am, in whatever I am doing, and whoever I am with. And often, that thing I find becomes so beautiful in my mind that I cannot help but love it!
6. Dumb jokes are my favorite jokes!
What did the farmer say when he lost his tractor? He said wheres my tractor! this is my all time favorite joke and likely always will be!
7. I struggle with depression
I have struggled with depression for a really long portion of my life, and it went unnoticed my my family and friends for most of that time, because I tried to keep a smile on my face thinking that was what was expected from me at all times.
8. One day I will go to Australia
I love the idea of Australia! My mom used to visit there a bunch when I was a kid and always brought back so many cool souvenirs and amazing stories. One day I am going to go and make my own memories there.
9. I’ve been told I remind people of Princess Anna
It’s probably because I lack style and grace, trip over nothing, and stumble over my words when I get nervous. Or maybe my sister has ice powers that i don’t know about??? Hmm…… the world may never know.
10.I find history simply fascinating
I have always loved history because its like listening to a story being told about real life! I love learning about facts and dates and what happened 100 years ago on this exact spot! It may make me a major nerd but that is fine by me.
Just over one year ago, I decided to volunteer abroad in Greece with one of my best friends. Before this trip I had little to no volunteer experience aside from the occasional youth group community service projects I was involved in, so this was a huge step for me and i really wasn’t sure what to expect or if i could even do what was being asked of me. We chose to volunteer with the Syrian Refugee Crisis because a mutual friend of ours was already heavily involved with the project and asked us if we wanted to help out as well. It turned out to be better than I had ever imagined, i made so many new lovely kind friends, and saw and experienced so many dazzling, brilliant, wonderful things I will never forget. I made dozens of beautiful memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
Since we booked separately, my friend and I each had to travel alone to Europe, though i cannot speak for her, I can say without a doubt that this was slightly nerve wracking for me! I had traveled a fair amount on my own flying domestically, but never out of the country. I was too excited to be worried for too long, and far too distracted by the hustle and bustle, multitude of languages, and all the different things to see just inside the airport!
When I finally arrived in Greece, I got to experience my first ever taxi ride! Ultimately we did end up lost and had to ask for directions and my cab driver didn’t speak much English and I spoke no Greek, but I made it to our airbnb for the night, ready for a shower and a good nights sleep after almost two whole days of travel!
When we finally made it to Piraeus, we were ready to take on any jobs they were willing to give us! They started us out with basic tasks like handing out shampoo, food and other supplies. The people in our camp quickly became our friends, we helped them with their English as they shared stories and experiences with us and we shared many hugs and kind words with them as well. They are some of the kindest and strongest people I have ever met in my life! I began making friends with the children, and was then pulled to help out with the children. We taught them as much English as they taught us Arabic! It was amazing seeing them grow and develop in such harsh circumstances! They drew us pictures, taught us new games, and sang songs with us. We finally were able to get them a soccer ball and they made up teams and we all played or cheered on the teams. I had finally found my niche I woke up every day and couldn’t wait to go back and see all of my new friends! Even though they were going through hardships I couldn’t even imagine, they never ceased to bring a smile to my face when I walked in every morning.
While we were volunteering, we did have a few days off for some sight seeing! I have never seen so many ancient ruins in my life and as someone who finds history fascinating, i loved every one of them! Greece is a country so full of rich history it would have been impossible to have visited every thing in one trip. We went to as many museums and land marks as possible in the limited time we had. I saw so many amazing things that I had read about in history classes but had never dreamed i’d be able to see in real life.
When our last day in Greece finally came, I was heart broken. I was going to be leaving the people I had grown to love over the past month and come to think of as dear friends. The children drew me pictures that I have kept and cherish and always will, the adults gave me hugs and wished me luck. Greece was an amazing experience I will forever be truly grateful for.
All photos taken by Allie
Moving away from my family was one of the toughest things I have ever done. Not only was I moving out of my parents house for the first time in my life, but I was moving 1500 miles south! I was lucky enough to have my grandma along for the ride down, and I really truly am grateful that she came along, because she not only kept me company for the nearly 2 weeks it took us to get to southern California and find an apartment, but we became a lot closer and now share some of my most treasured memories. As a girl who grew up on a farm in a relatively small town, southern California was a really big change for me,(I am still amazed that they deliver just about anything you could ever want directly to your door here!!!) as I am used to pine trees, snow, and wide open spaces and California has palm trees, sandy beaches and buildings taller than any I’ve ever seen! Needless to say it was a very big adjustment.
Moving away from my family was really difficult. I had only been back in the country for a few months after a volunteer trip overseas, and my dad had just gotten married to my step mother so we (my dad, my step mother, my sister, my step sister, my step brother and I) were just getting adjusted to life in the big house together. My dad was so extremely supportive of the move, he was with me every step of the way, and for that I am grateful because other people I knew who were supposed to be there for me, weren’t so supportive and tried to talk me out of it, telling me I was making a mistake, or that I wouldn’t be able to make it down here. Luckily I followed my heart and I’m doing just fine! My first few months here were a pretty lonely time in my life. I had an aunt who lived near by but other than her, I knew nobody in this big lonely city. I had never felt so alone in my life.
I was depressed for a really long time, and I didn’t have anyone I could really confide in because I felt like I had to confident, happy, and well-adjusted all the time. I felt that if I told the people around me in my life how I really felt, they would think i was a failure and that i wasn’t cut out for what i was doing. When i finally did confide in someone about what was going on i felt a tremendous amount of relief wash over me because for once, in the six months i had lived here i wasn’t carrying my burden alone.
As time went on, I made some truly wonderful friends, started working at my local church, and have had so many amazing experiences that I will never forget. I was blessed when a local church contacted me to start working in their nursery. I knew I was missing something in my life but I couldn’t quite figure it out, and when they contacted me I realized i was missing my relationship with Jesus! I am truly beyond grateful to them for bringing that relationship back into my life. His word helped bring me out of a dark time in my life and without that relationship I’m really not sure where i would be.
Moving so far away was, in the long run, really good for my self-esteem. it made me believe I could conquer any challenge thrown at me even if I was alone or frightened. I’ve had my car die on me in the middle of the night, been lost without a GPS and even had some terrible roommate situations in my time here just to name a few. I came out on top in each situation and learned something new from every hurdle I’ve been thrown.
I am not sure I was prepared for what I would encounter when moving so far from the once place i had ever truly called home, but im thankful i pushed myself off the ledge, thankful that i jumped without even thinking. sometimes all you need in life is to just go. Go out there and do it, dont let thinking get in the way of everything! When your heart is telling you to go sometimes the best thing you can do is listen.
I’ve been a nanny my entire adult life. It was my first summer job at age 13, and I now do it full time at age 20 and am absolutely head over heels for everything about this profession! So here’s a few specific reasons as to why I love what I do.
1. The Kids
I have always loved kids, and maternal instincts have always been second nature, so being able to work with and care for kids that I love as my own is truly a blessing. Getting to watch them grow, hit major milestones, and learn new things every single day makes my heart so happy! My kids are cute and totally Instagram worthy in just about everything they do; from the best days to the hard days, I wouldn’t give them up for anything.
2. The Family
I’ve nannied for many years now, and have been with several different families and honestly, I have yet to find a family I haven’t just fallen in love with! I have been fortunate enough to find incredible, supportive, loving families of all shapes and sizes. Some have become some very close friends even after we have parted ways, and many have offered valuable life advice that I still carry with me today. I appreciate every one of my nanny families!
3. Lessons Learned
I began working as a nanny at a really young age. I was a summer nanny to four kids and I’ll be honest, I had no idea what I was doing (who let me be in charge of their four kids anyway)! Luckily, I learned fast, but every day I still learn new things. From handling sibling disputes, to teaching techniques, to just learning how each child deals with day to day life, every day is a learning opportunity in the life of a nanny!
One thing I can always count on when I walk through the door, no matter how crummy my week has been, is my kids running to me excitedly exclaiming “Miss Allie” and being genuinely happy to see me. This fact alone never ceases to brighten my day. I love that fact that kids are genuine, and will tell you how they feel about everything, but mostly how excited they are about everything. I mean everything. They are just as excited to tell me big news, like telling me about the gender of their new sibling, as they are to tell me about the little things, such as completing an art project and I truly love and feed of their excitement and positivity!
5. It’s Just So Much Fun
All day, every day, I get to play with play dough and jump on trampolines. In what world doesn’t that make up the best job ever?!? Yes my job comes with monstrous responsibility. I am responsible for the care and wellbeing of multiple tiny humans every day. I have stepped in on many potentially dangerous situations. But being responsible doesn’t mean we can’t have a blast! It just means we have a blast and a supply of cartoon band aid for any minor cuts, scrapes, or “invisible” injuries.
6. Flexible Schedule
Now I know many nanny positions don’t offer a schedule as flexible as mine, but I am extremely fortunate to have found a family with the ability to give me such a flexible schedule! It gives me the opportunity to be able to do the things I need to do to keep my sanity in my crazy busy lifestyle!
7. Lazy Days
Nannies, as people go, are generally not lazy people, but like all people we get our fair share of lazy days. Luckily our lazy days aren’t spent sitting behind a desk zoning out or doodling during a meeting; it’s cuddling up on the couch with all the kiddos reading a story, or watching your favorite Disney movies on a rainy day.
Being a nanny isn’t always the easiest job, but is a job I wouldn’t trade for the world!