Pad 33: The Nest is Certified!

Did you dance a jig last night? I did. My Nest (preschool) is officially state certified! Relief is setting in. It’s hard to believe we’ve come this far. It was about 3 years ago I was sitting in the back yard of my good friend Lisa’s house watching the kids at her preschool thinking, “I can do this. No I SHOULD do this”. At the time it sounded somewhat crazy considering I was in serious need of a financial gain, I was living in that wonderful but small apartment in the city and I had practically no clue how it would all work out. After years of working for various families as a nanny, doing respite care, working in the school system with handicapped kids, also at a ¬†behavioral disorder school in Chicago, often babysitting 3-4 nights a week to make ends meet, working as a children’s pastor, and then in the end working for Lisa at her preschool – WE MADE IT! It didn’t happen in that order and I’m sure if you gave me a few more minutes, I could tell you a few more things I did, like caring for old people until ‘Old man Jack’ died (that was rough on me), and going to massage school and then working at the hospital as an LMT – this Nest is by far where God wants me. All of those things seemed small and sometimes insignificant – they were just jobs – but they all have led me to this place. My “Nesting” place. I enjoyed most of my work and 90% of the people I was employed by, but this job just feels right. It’s the perfect balance of being creative, silly, nurturing and also allows me to express the ‘leader’ in me. I have many other ventures up my sleeve as to what I want to accomplish, but this ‘job’ is the right job and NOW it’s really official. (*sigh) So get your cyberspace celebration on, and click your heels with me and my Nest! We made it.

There are a few people, who really deserve to be honored as a part of this journey. I really couldn’t have done it without your care, encouragement and love.

-First, my family. They have been oh so supportive of my dreams, and endeavors. I hope to pass on the love they’ve shown me here, to my Nest. I really couldn’t ask for a better family.

-Second, my friend Lisa. If it weren’t for you – your dream that you had 25 years ago – I wouldn’t be here. You’ve passed on a legacy of teaching. Thank you. You are a wonderful friend. Thank you for the hours you’ve sacrificed in making my Nest come to life. And for your constant ear to listen… xoxo

- To my friend Donna Peters, teacher Chris Hauth, and teacher Quackenbush, who will probably never read this, but you deserve many thanks. You lit a spark in me at a very young age to love children – children that are by the worlds standards ‘less than’ but you taught me to have eyes that see the life inside their heart. Hearts that beat just the same. You allowed me to watch, and learn in the most practical ways by doing. You taught me to find the niche of each child and to bring that part of them to life. You taught me to love outside the lines and to try to learn to love myself. I often, even now, think back to the days of working alongside you as a young girl and then an adult, and how much I soaked in just because you let me participate so intimately along side your work with the kids. Thank you.

- To my husband, who gets just as much credit for my Nest. You Love, have sacrificed so much. Time, money, strength, sleep, and have exerted so much patience to bring us here. Thank you for seeing the dream in me, and making it your own. I love you with all my heart.

- Lastly, to the many parents who have been patient along the way and allowed me to care for your children. Each one has taught me so much about life, and made me fall in love with their eyes of wonder, hearts to know and minds that are eager to learn. Thank you for trusting me with your most precious.

There are many more people, but that would take a year to mark down everyone… everyone from my dentist (for reals) to my father-in-law played a part in this Nest. It just shows that, those who raise you up, really have an impact on who you are far longer and deeper than you know.

Since love is in the air, I’ll leave you pictures from our Nest Valentine’s celebration. We painted heart hats¬†out of paper plates, and baked the most delectable cupcakes EVER (they really are the best) and decorated them. We also had a dance party, filled the Valentine bags we had made out of lunch sacks and talked about all the people who love us.

Love on, you just never know who you’ll reach… or where they’ll go because of it.

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See ya tomorrow!

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