Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Monday, March 3, 2014

Foster Care

It's been 3-4 years now that I've been a babysitter for a foster mother. (Since I began a full time job as waitress, it's been less often.) This Mother has 2 of her own children and a big heart. So she and her husband have been doing foster care for several years. 
You wouldn't believe the sad stories of some of these children. From starvation to sexual abuse to abandonment, they all have stories that make you want to cry. The look in the eyes of a 2 year old who is confused about where she is and to whom she belongs breaks your heart.

The kids who stayed the longest were Kylie and Kayden; half siblings. They were very attached to each other and were very trusting to anyone who was nice to them. They had their foster mom and their real mom and didn't seem to have a clear idea of which one was which. I took care of them for over a year, until they were returned to their birth Mother.
I was blessed to watch them grow and change in that time.
Kylie, soon after she arrived and the month she left.
 
Kayden, who barely could hold his head up after having been kept in a car seat for the first 9 months of his life. As you can tell by his older picture, he was extremely mischievous.








Look how much they changed in 2 years!!

My friend, Sylvia, also helped babysit and was, in fact, better at it then me. =) We got a Christmas picture with them in 2012. The boys second from left and on the far right are the children of the foster mom. The baby is Kaya, sister of the Kylie and Kayden.

Occasionally the pair would spend the night at my house and play with the little brothers, much to the delight of  all.  
They went back to their birth mom and baby sister last year. Sadly, that didn't turn out and they were taken away again. So, they are back with the foster family for an undetermined amount of time. Glad as I am to see them again and watch them grow up, it's so sad to know their story and realize they have never known a stable life.

Imagine never knowing if you will be in the same home a week from now. And being passed from family to family and made to adapt. It's no wonder that they are confused about who is family and who isn't.

It IS hard to do foster care. Not just all the paperwork involved, but the fact that you get attached to the children and they can be taken away at a moments notice and you might never see them again. There is also the needs that they all have. The emotional damage as well as health problems from their former lives don't just go away with the loving care you give them. 

 Still, I believe that whether you have the children for a week or a year, you can touch their lives. And you never know, it may be the only safe and bright time in their lives. 
So, to whoever is doing foster care or adopting a child, you are my heroes!!!

"See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven."
Matthew 18:10

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

“Hi, my name is Maria and I’ll be taking care of you this evening.”

I thought it would be fun to do a post on being a waitress. I wish I could say that I wrote all of these. I didn't. I just renovated an article I recently read to fit my own experience. 

So here goes: 20 things about a server:

1. Your weekends start on Sundays.

And ends on Sunday too. You try squeezing an entire weekend in one day. Not easy.


2. Wanting it to be busy but also wanting it to be soooo sloooow.
Get busy and make money that you desperately need, or stay slow and get cut in time to have a social life? DECISIONS ARE HARD.

3. People who switch tables a hundred times.


‘This one is too dark. That one is too bright. This one is too secluded. That one is too loud.’ This table will take up maybe 45-90 minutes of your life. You are not Goldilocks. Please SIT DOWN!

4. Being ignored after saying hello to a table.


Gotta love those people who think that drinks, food, and requests for lemon slices and extra ketchup are magically appearing at their table at the hands of the Invisible Restaurant Ghost. Oh no wait, that’s me.

5. The agony that is the question “What is your favorite thing on the menu?”

“My favorite thing on the menu is whatever you want my favorite thing on the menu to be. Or the most expensive thing we have. Take your pick.”

6. Or even worse, “What kind of food do you have here?”

I didn't know you couldn't read?! Oh, but you can. And funny story - that’s what menus are for! That way I don’t have to recite everything that is literally in your hand, in front of your face right now.

7. People saying they’re ready to order when they are soooo not.


“I’d love to listen to you debate the food choices that you told me you made 10 minutes ago when I arrivedat this table, but I have to go do literally ANYTHING else. Plus I was seated with four more tables while you were talking. Nbd.”
8. People who are just plain picky.
You are not allergic to extra salt, the kitchen cannot “whip up” a raspberry vinaigrette for your salad, and no, we are not going to pick the tomatoes out of our tossed salad because you don’t like them.

9. Being blamed when food takes a long time to come out.

I am not in a chef’s coat because I am not the chef. I do not cook the food. I am a server. I serve. But table 74 gives you and your empty hands dirty, dirty looks every time you walk by, and that’s when you discover just how many ways there are to get around the restaurant without having to make eye contact with them.

10…unless you really did forget to send their food order in.



Believe me, the panic we feel that moment we realize this is worse then your hunger pains.

11. That person who needs an extra side of dressing. And when you come back with that, they need a sweet tea refill. And when you come back with that, they need another napkin. And when you come back with that…

I super appreciate the exercise, but I do my running in the morning with my Nike’s on. Make a list. Ask for it all at once. Pleaseandthankyou.

12. Being flagged down in any way, shape or form.

Please please please, for your safety and my job security, do not shake your glass of ice at me indicating you need a refill. Chances are, I’ve already noticed and it’s on my list of a million things to do. Chances also are that if you shake that glass of ice at me again, I will dump it down your shirt.

13. Last minute walk-ins.


Closing at 8pm does NOT mean that you can (or should) come in and order a three-course meal at 7:59. The sheer intensity of the death stares you receive will probably burn holes through your clothing. Just don’t do it. Under any circumstances. Ever.

14. This also goes for people who got there at 6:00 and want to sit around until midnight.

No, I will not give you another refill. Your coffee is cold because I poured it three hours ago. Get out.

15. Bad tips.

This is a serious PSA: Servers make $2.13 an hour. Two dollars and thirteen cents an hour, and (all and I do mean ALL) of that is taken by the government for taxes. We literally live off tips. It doesn’t matter if you’re at Waffle House, a local restaurant or Ruth Chris. If you can afford to eat out, you can always, always, always afford to leave a 20% tip.

16. But it’s not all bad! Most guests are very happy and pleasant…

Regulars are the BEST and if you banter with me, I will be your new best friend and might even try to get you free dessert.

17. …and we leave with cash every night.

We don’t even have to wait until Friday because every day we work is payday. I make it rain $1’s and $5’s!.

18. It’s practically a requirement to go out for coffee with our coworkers once we’re off…

We’re here, we’re ready, and there’s only two hours until the cafe closes. 

19. …and as a result, we make some pretty awesome friends.


You may not always love your restaurant, but you’ve gotta give them props for hooking you up with some your best friends. 

20. Plus we’ve learned to tip like crazy!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Short Notes



Hey Psych (tv show),
 You are seriously getting me through winter evenings. The one liners make my day! And also make me wonder why I can't think of such witty comebacks.

Hey Coworkers,
Our discussions during slow hours at the restaurant really are strange, but hey! it's not just anyone who can have a half hour debate on where nursery rhymes originated from. (E.G. Was there REALLY every a Humpty Dumpty and was he/it and egg or a person?)

Hey Coffee Shop,
You smell good. 

Hey New Shoes
A nice heel, non slippery feel AND a strap with a vintage feel all for just $12.99?! YES, PLEASE!

Hey Adventures in Odyssey,
Will I ever outgrow you? I hope not!

Hey Valentine's Day,
Can't wait to 'Celebrate' you with friends. And I can buy myself some chocolates. =)

Hey Itch-to-travel,
Just you wait until spring, I have plans for you!!!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

In Which There Is A Sleepover...Er, Stay Awakeover...

So the other night a bunch of coworkers from the restaurant got together for a movie night/sleepover. I don't want to say how much junk food was consumed...it's a little scary how much girls can eat when it's late at night. So with movies and DEEP discussions and food and more movies, we managed to mostly stay awake until sometime in the morning hours. 
Thankfully none of us had to work, so we took half of the next day to get up, laugh at our own witty jokes, eat more junk food and eventually make our way to a coffee shop where we sleepily drank our coffee and tried to stay awake.
Here are several pictures...we didn't take many.
These girls are all either a waitress, hostess, or table cleaner:
Karen, me, Marla, Joleen, LeAnna, Rose, Debbi, Sherri and Bethany
Sherri LOVES nutella!
Marla and Rose at the coffee shop
Sherri, our lovely host for the sleepover.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Friends

There's nothing like a day spent with good friends such as these. 
Me, Sherri, Katrina and Serena. (Congratulations to Katrina on her baptism yesterday.)
 
Some best pals and coworkers; Leah and Sherri. The laughter is continuous with these two. 
Sylvia and Leah, my beautiful friends. (Although not the most flattering picture of either of them.) =)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

My Sister Gets Married

This is my sister Audrey. (Better known as Aud.) 
She became Mrs. Marvin Schrock in November.

Very cool wedding party.