A day of new beginnings

Sunrise on Plum Island, MA

Sunrise on Plum Island, MA

I closed on my house three years ago today. It was a day of new beginnings. This is the first house I’ve owned all on my own and in my own name. I know what a huge accomplishment that is and I love my little house. The next house I own will be in New England and I’m sure I can’ achieve that goal someday.

Today is a day of another new beginning. It’s the first official day of online classes for me as I pursue a degree from SNHU. The curriculum for the classes I’m taking has been open for a few days and I’ve already been looking it over and reading my class books but today it’s finally real. I’m certain it’s the kind of mental stimulation I need at this point and I know it will lead to great things!

My daughters start school next Wednesday and while my oldest is getting all her school supplies in order my youngest keeps saying that she never wants to go to school again. I don’t now that Jordan is exactly thrilled about returning to school but she doesn’t dislike it to the degree Jaycie does. Even so, I know my girls will both excel in their own unique ways and I’m so proud of them for always trying their best!

In truth, every day is a day of new beginnings. Every day we have is a gift and a chance to start anew with fresh thoughts and perspective. Sometimes it’s hard to let go of the troubles from yesterday but it doesn’t hurt to try. If the problems still remain, each dawn gives us a chance to approach them differently and see them as an opportunity for growth. There is good in every day, you just have to know how to look for it. Not all of my yesterday’s were great but today I woke up to sunshine, blue skies and dozens of little butterflies flittering around my yard and for that I am truly grateful!

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When the time is right

snhu acceptance

This past trip to New England with my daughters was the best trip I’ve had so far! Being with my girls for an entire week was great and they got to meet most of my friends in Amesbury, MA. There was even a miracle that proved to me that anything really is possible when you’re determined enough! It also showed me that when the time is right, everything has a way of falling into place in ways even better than you imagined.

I’m always sad to leave New England at the end of my trips but each visit convinces me even more that my future lies out that way. To further my pursuit of that future, I’ve decided to pursue an online degree from Southern New Hampshire University. My current endeavor is a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and English but that might change as I figure out the best degree to accomplish my goals.

I had the opportunity to go to college right out of high school but I chose not to because I was tired of school and wanted to continue earning money in the workforce. Almost twenty years later, I’m a single mom who is making a living as a freelance ghost writer and I’m proud of my accomplishments. I know I can go so much further though and I feel that college will open up new avenues for my development as a writer and a person.

I chose SNHU because I already love New England, want to make my life out there and because they keep showing their commercials on my TV stations in NY. Everyone I’ve dealt with at SNHU has been very helpful and supportive and I’m excited about this new chapter in my life! I’ve enrolled in two courses for the first semester and while I’m certain adding that into my already busy life will be a challenge, I’m certain that I can do it. I’ve already done so many things I never imagined I could, what’s one more?

The power of the ocean

When we first arrived, they just wanted to play in the sand...

When we first arrived, they just wanted to play in the sand…

The last time the girls visited a beach was during our Memorial Day weekend trip back in May. Even then they just ran around the sand and barely tipped their toes in the water. The last time they really played in ocean waves was several summers ago when we visited Old Orchard Beach, Maine. I doubt either of my girls remember that trip and that’s okay with me.

Yesterday we headed to Plum Island Beach for some fun in the sand and waves. Both girls were hesitant to go into the water at first and seemed content to play in the sand. A few minutes later, Jordan wanted to go into the water a little ways so I went with her as Jaycie remained playing in the sand. Eventually she walked up to join her sister but didn’t stay in the waves very long before retreating to higher ground.

Then Jordan was brave enough to go in and Jaycie followed.

Jordan was brave enough to go in and Jaycie followed.

Jordan eventually started digging in the sand by the waves and Jaycie found that interesting so she went over and watched then began to help.

Jordan making her sand mound/castle as the waves come in...

Jordan making her sand mound/castle as the waves come in…

Jordan's castle washed away!

Jordan’s castle washed away!

Jordan trying to dig a hole.

Jordan still trying to dig a hole.

 

Jaycie was still nervous about going into the waves but she loved playing in the little tide pools created by some of the bigger waves.

Jaycie love the little tide pools made by the larger waves.

Jaycie love the little tide pools made by the larger waves.

jaycie tidepool2

As more time passed, Jaycie got brave enough to come into the waves with me and once she was in, I couldn’t get her out. She went from covering her ears from the loud sound of the crashing waves to squealing with delight at the bigger waves and saying “That wasn’t very big,” when a wave would fizzle out before reaching us. She almost got knocked down a few times by the waves but she stood her ground and laughed and smiled the whole time.

Jaycie digging in the sand despite the water.

Jaycie digging in the sand despite the water.

Jordan was determined to keep digging.

Jordan was determined to keep digging.

Jaycie shoveling some water.

Jaycie shoveling some water.

Into the water Jordan goes...

Into the water Jordan goes…

Jaycie followed behind but kept closer to the beach.

Jaycie followed behind but kept closer to the beach.

We were at the beach for 2.5 hours which we didn’t realize until we got back to the car and saw the clock. My phone battery died about halfway in so I’m glad I got the pictures I did. During our time on the beach, I gained new respect for the power of the ocean because in a matter of only a few hours it turned my daughters into hesitant tide pool toe dippers into wave splashing, body surfing (Jordan anyway) wave lovers! I vowed that next year we’re going to stay right on the beach so we can just walk out our door to the water whenever we want and the girls can spend even more time in one of my favorite water elements, the ocean!

From out and about to forced inside

Yesterday's sunset, wanted to remember what the sun looked like...

Yesterday’s sunset, wanted to remember what the sun looked like…

Took this picture today during a brief break from pouring to only sprinkling.

Took this picture today during a brief break from pouring to only sprinkling.

It rained all day here! It’s still raining in fact! It literally put a damper on any plans to go out and about but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Spending a day inside just relaxing is perfectly acceptable when on vacation. I enjoyed not having to drive the car anywhere and the girls enjoyed just hanging out playing and watching DVD movies.

The girls playing in the sunroom.

The girls playing in the sunroom.

Remnants of the girls playing in the sunroom lol

Remnants of the girls playing in the sunroom lol

Up until today, we’d been going out and about to various places every day. Monday was our adventure in Boston and we all had a great time! Yesterday we did some general errands and shopping in Amesbury, MA to stock up on toys for today’s rainy day indoor play. I introduced my girls to Ed Justen from Workspace 36, Kathi from Attentif’ Design and Deb from Parke Place Boutique and I was happy my daughters could meet the nice people I call friends in Amesbury.

My daughters with Kathi and Deb in Amesbury, MA

My daughters with Kathi and Deb in Amesbury, MA

Our adventures in Boston require a whole separate blog entry that I’m too tired to tell now but hopefully someday! I used today’s indoor day to catch up on my beading and redo the clasp on my handmade bead chain for my key pendant. I also started a couple other projects, took a nap and tried up online odds and ends. Having a day to regroup after running around was exactly what I needed so I don’t mind Mama Nature’s usual Wednesday “attack of the bad weather” tantrum.

My new heart shaped clasp end for my necklace. One side is blue, the other is silver =)

My new heart shaped clasp end for my necklace. One side is blue, the other is silver =)

Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and beautiful so we’ll be out and about on more adventures but for now, I’m still enjoying just relaxing. Oh hey! The sky is getting a lighter shade of gray! Maybe the rain will stop before it gets totally dark…

My baby can’t be 12!!!

Jordan loving up her little lemur and sugar glider.

Jordan loving up her little lemur and sugar glider.

When I told my oldest daughter Jordan that I couldn’t go to sleep until I wrote a blog post about her turning 12 today she said “I’d just go to bed,” in her best pre-teenager grumble.

“Sure,” I replied. “Then someday 5-10 years down the road you’ll bring up the fact that I wrote a blog post about your sister’s birthday but not yours.” To that she simply rolled her eyes and went back to reading her Xanth book in bed.

She might think I’m nuts now but she is very much like me and I recognize that so I know she’d be hurt if I didn’t blog about her 12th birthday. Aside from all that, I WANT to write about her birthday!

Jordan's flaming cupcake. I tried to do a snowflake from Frozen.

Jordan’s flaming cupcake. I tried to do a snowflake from Frozen.

My baby can’t be 12! 12 years old??? I remember when she was 12 seconds old and I didn’t even know what gender she was! Then they laid her on my stomach and said it’s a girl and I felt a huge swell of happiness, fulfillment and joy flood my heart and soul. I was meant to be a mom, it came so naturally to me. Well, it came naturally once we left the hospital and got away from the “friendly” nurses trying to tell me what to do and that what I was doing was all wrong. But I digress…

Jordan amazes me every single day. She’s smart, talented, artistic, thoughtful, considerate, kind, caring and yes, a bit of a devil too sometimes. She has the Corbin talent for sarcasm but that’s not really a bad thing. She is who she is and I love her unconditionally. We do butt heads more often as she grows older but I know that deep down she’s still my little girl with the sweet heart.

Flipping through her new Xanth guide with Avi wandering through...

Flipping through her new Xanth guide with Avi wandering through…

 

She doesn’t see the need to follow all the latest crazy fashion trends like chalk in the hair, shorts so short they’re barely underwear, shirts so small/tight/short they’re indecent and the awful hooker heels that I won’t even be caught dead in. She’s a good girl with a great head on her shoulders and I raised her to know right from wrong.

Really, Mom? A picture of me eating?

Really, Mom? A picture of me eating?

 

Do I think I’m done raising her though? Heck no!!! My teenage years were less than kind to me and I’m going to do my best to help her see that she’s not alone and that everyone goes through rough spots, no matter how put together they seem on the outside. We’re all humans with the same muddled emotions but I have faith in her strength, poise and ability to channel all that productively into her creativity and her very bright future! Happy Birthday, Jordan Pie! I love you =)

jordan blowing out candles

Just about to blow out the candles

Bookmark, not bracelet!

1/4 of the way into Jaycie's bookmark, Om Nom appeared!

1/4 of the way into Jaycie’s bookmark, Om Nom appeared!

For the last week I’ve been working on my youngest daughter Jaycie’s beaded bracelet…er I mean, bookmark! Every time I’d say I was working on Jaycie’s “bracelet” she’d quickly correct me with “bookmark!” Neither of my girls are fond of wearing jewelry so the two beaded loom projects I designed and made for them turned into bookmarks, not bracelets.

My oldest daughter Jordan requested a Yin Yang based bookmark with flowers and mountains. She sketched up her idea and I used my PatternMaker program to translate into something I could make on one of my two looms. She loved the end result and uses it for a bookmark in one of the three books she’s reading at the same time.

Jordan's fringed Yin Yang bookmark.

Jordan’s fringed Yin Yang bookmark.

My youngest daughter Jaycie didn’t specifically request a bookmark/bracelet but she does love Om Nom from the Cut the Rope app so I started working on a design of him in my PatternMaker program. It took a few tries to get him, the candy, his pal Roto and the cupcake looking recognizable in the pattern but with some input from both my daughters, I finally got it right! Jaycie loved it and asked if I’d make it for her. I promised her I would do just that.

I created the pattern months ago and got busy with other things but I never forgot my promise and neither did Jaycie. She’s been asking me for the past month when I was going to make her bookmark so I finally made the time and started working on it late last week. It’s the widest bracelet/bookmark I’ve ever made on the loom so warping the threads took some time. Weaving on such a wide strip of beads was also tricky to get the hang of but eventually I got with the flow.

I worked on the bookmark as often as I could because I wanted to complete it before our upcoming vacation to New England. Finally, yesterday afternoon I completed the bookmark!

The finished Cut the Rope bookmark.

The finished Cut the Rope bookmark.

After some off loom finishing touches I presented it to Jaycie and she thanked me with a smile before promptly disappearing with it into her bedroom. I later found her playing with it among her stuffed animals. While she may never use it as a bookmark, I know she loves it and that’s enough to fill my heart with joy sweeter than any Cut the Rope candy!

The Power of Three prepares to conquer New England!

The Power of Three in Newburyport last summer.

The Power of Three in Newburyport last summer.

This coming Saturday, my two daughters and I are heading to New England for a week-long vacation. We took a family vacation to New England last summer but it was only for my usual custody days with them, Saturday through Wednesday. This time I have them for an entire week and instead of staying in a hotel like last time, we’ve rented a cottage on Plum Island. This is the first week-long vacation we’ve ever taken just the three of us and I’m certain the Power of Three will find many new adventures!

Last summer’s vacation to New England was filled with ups and downs, including a trip into Boston that didn’t exactly go well. That was the first time I’d been in Boston in the summer and I was overwhelmed by the amount of people! We visited the Aquarium which was far too crowded and noisy to enjoy and went on a whale watch that evening. We did see some humpback whales which was amazing but the long boat ride out and back took a toll on all of us.

Girls excited about Boston on the train in.

Girls excited about Boston on the train in.

One of the whales we saw.

One of the whales we saw.

How the girls looked heading back on the Whale watch.

How the girls looked heading back on the Whale watch.

As I just went into Boston in June, I’m now better prepared for the crowds and I scouted some great places to take the girls. We’re driving to a T station and heading in that way because taking the train from Newburyport ended up being more exciting than we wanted when we had to take buses back for part of the journey due to a shooting at/near one of the train stations.

All threes of us crammed into one seat on the bus. It was a bumpy ride!

All threes of us crammed into one seat on the bus. The girls smiles are a bit more strained lol. It was a bumpy ride!

I don’t want my daughters having that last experience as how they remember Boston so this time, we’re going to take our time, have fun and take the T as much as possible to avoid getting exhausted from walking. I have faith they’ll enjoy Boston much more this trip!

I will of course be taking the girls into Amesbury, MA more than once during the trip so they can meet the new friends I’ve made there. We’re going into Amesbury Saturday night after we get in because I promised Jordan pizza from Flatbread as a second birthday dinner. This Friday she’s turning 12 and while we’re having a birthday dinner and cupcakes here at my house, it might be a bit hectic as I finish packing the car and such. My promise of a second birthday celebration once we’re in New England made Jordan’s eyes light up like fireworks and I’m sure we’ll all be happy to be munching yummy pizza after a day in the car!

We’ll also be venturing into Salem and Plymouth which I’ve been to and Gloucester which I haven’t visited yet. Even though I’ve been to places before, they’re always new to me when I have my daughters with me as they point out things I missed in previous visits. Three females on a trip together might not be all smooth sailing but we’ll navigate the waters in our usual Corbin woman way and return home with a boatload of great memories! Look out, New England, this Power of Three is coming your way!