Aside from being completely off-topic for this blog (which I do only VERY rarely..like maybe twice in 125 posts), this long and sappy, but heartfelt and true post is for those who make a difference in my life.
I am grateful today for the people and places who help me get through this crazy time of life. Being a single mom is no fun, especially when it comes to stress and finances. There are great programs in the community that have helped me pay for school so I wouldn't end up stuck in a dead-end job, watch my kids when I need to go to the doctor or just need a few hours off, help pay utility bills, knock $10 off my monthly phone bill, get me $10 per month internet, pay for my food so I have one less thing to worry about in taking care of my family, pay for child care so I actually CAN go to school and work. I complain a lot about the bureaucracy of the Department of Workforce Services, but in all truth I'd never have made it this long without them. Thank you. The Family Support and Treatment Center is my rock...I literally thank God for the nursery there, counseling services, etc. They've done so much for me.
Individual people have found and given me jobs, loaned me gas money even though they were pretty much broke themselves, informed me about more community resources, picked up my children and watched them for me when I couldn't get there in time myself, or graciously let me bring children to meetings where that would normally not be okay because I couldn't get anyone to take them, given up pretty much every single weekend to babysit my kids even when I have to postpone paying them or "pay" them with food. Many have listened to me whine and encouraged me to keep going for my goals. Some close friends were there for me when I didn't know who else I could possibly call, and they gave me love, understanding, and excellent advice.
Wonderful brothers who take my kids under their wings, a sister who let me crash her house for over a year which also made my summer in Oregon a possibility, the best father ever who single-handedly got me through Anatomy by watching my kids 2 or 3 times a week and gave love and support and still does. A friend who took my kids overnight when I was very ill so I could just...sleep. A man who fell in love with my kids over the summer and goes out of his way to show he cares about them.
Thanks to all the people who continually encourage me in the things I do.
Friends who tell me I'm awesome, that I can do it, that I will reach my goals and don't give up on those dreams, love me unconditionally, give me great advice, act as a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on, and tell me like it is, cutting through all the bullsh**. You are the best kinds of friends, love you guys.
One unknown, wonderful person left a gift at work for me which made all the difference now as I am experiencing an interruption of food stamps, but I got to use that gift card a few days ago and have enough to feed my family. Thank you, whoever you are.
It really takes a village to do this single mom thing. I get discouraged and overwhelmed frequently. But it's so good to remember what all these beautiful people have done for me. For the part each of you have done, large or small, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and I love you all.