Monday, February 16, 2015

Preparing for Lent

Happy President's Day! I'm enjoying this beautiful, sunny day off from work. It's been a great day so far. My husband and I both have the day off from work so we took our little man to the park and met up with my friend and her little girl. A person couldn't have asked for better weather. The Baby Monster had a blast!

Baby Monster having a blast.
My week has been thrown off a bit because I had the day off and it wasn't until a mama friend reminded me that I realized Lent begins this Wednesday! I really enjoy Lent. In my adult years I have begun to appreciate it as a time to refresh and renew my faith. I feel like it always comes when I need it most- right when I have hit a wall and feel like I cannot do it anymore.

With cancer diagnoses in the family, mom's very long visit in the hospital, and some other things I just feel like I can't do it anymore. Well, life gets in the way because that's what life does. It's on going, never stops and I can't wait for it give me a break to catch up. Sometimes I wonder if I feel like this because I haven't been as strong in my faith as I have been in the past. My husband even mentioned that he still misses the woman he married- the one who was positive and never gave up.

Usually I give up things like bad food, sweets, coffee, ect. I wanted to do something different this year. The topic of Lent came up in my favorite mom group ever and one of those moms posted this link: I looked it over and feel more prepared than ever for Lent and I am looking forward it.

So here is my "1-1-1" plan:

One Sin- I am going to concentrate on Envy. I have been unhappy lately and it's because of envy. I hear myself say, "I'm so jealous!" a lot; even when I'm joking. A lot of the times I don't know if I'm really joking anymore. It has crossed my mind more than once that perhaps I am too jealous or envious. I know it's not right.

One Add-In- For me this is reading a Gospel and going to church more often. Currently going to church is difficult because of our schedule and going to church with the Baby Monster is mighty difficult when having to do it alone. I'm going to set aside time to read and make more an effort to attend church. I feel better when I go.

One Give Up- I knew exactly what I wanted to give up after reading this pamphlet more. I am giving up complaining/excuses. This goes back to not being happy. I can fix many of the things I complain about by just stopping the complaints and the excuses. I think this will be hardest for me because it's become such a habit. Honestly, I can't remember when it became such a habit, but I'd like it gone.

I'm praying for strength and the ability to follow through. This is my promise and I want to successfully adhere to my plan. I believe that this will make me a better person. I hope it benefits others as well. My goal is to a be a ray of sunshine, to help others, to make others happy and to be a better Christian. I want to do good in the world.

Monday, February 9, 2015

If You're Angry and You Know It Raise Your Hand!

CANCER! I hate it. It's a despicable disease and I'm trying to understand why it even exists. Honestly, there are enough horrible ways to pass away that cancer doesn't need to be one of them. If I have to learn about one more diagnosis I think I will scream. Why does something that can look okay one day and then drastically different the next, to the point where it severely cuts a person's life expectancy rate- have a hold in our world? The disease boils my blood.

The fear of cancer is beginning to crush me. At every turn there is a new threat looming. Don't eat those cupcakes with that low calorie sugar because you'll get cancer. Deodorant may cause cancer. You have to let that sweat out! Some of these warnings aren't even a proven with science, but it doesn't matter because in the back of your mind it picks at you with the, "What if?" I'm pretty sure that the next thing we will be warned about is breathing! Taking in too much oxygen just may cause cancer, folks.

Why am I mad? Since December I have learned that 4 people I know, three of those people being related to me, have been diagnosed with cancer. I can't help but wonder if I'll be next; especially with my family history. Preventing the nasty disease from making itself at home in my body seems near impossible. I'm scared. And being scared makes me mad because it is starting to rule me. That is not how I want to live.

Right now I am trying to eat better and exercise. My next step will be going in for screenings. I try to help out with raising money for research and other services through the American Cancer Society by participating in Relay for Life. With all of that, it doesn't seem like enough.

Be vigilant, fight back and if you get angry about it like I am right now; take that anger and use it to help power your will to put cancer in its place. There has to be a cure one day. I have to believe that.

Do you feel that, cancer? That's me being OVER IT!  You're going down!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

It's A New Year So Let's Try It Again

I'm late to the party, but here it is: Happy new year to you all! I didn't realize how much I was looking forward to 2014 getting out of the way for 2015. 2014 had some amazing highlights. One of them being it marked a full year that my hubs and I were parents. Another one is I finally became an kindergarten teacher. I also lost 43 pounds. Oh, and I found out at the very end of the year that I'm going to be an aunt!  However, there were some downs and I'm ready to leave them in the past.

My blogging has not be consistent and I am sorry to say the reason for that is that I have done NOTHING. I don't  even know what to share because my little family got into such a routine that we got into a rut. This was my life for the past couple of months and it near drove me crazy! Ready for the snooze fest?

Wake up and get ready for work.
Go to work.
Come home, play with Baby Monster, get dinner ready, eat dinner and play with Baby Monster some more.
Get Baby Monster ready for bed.
Baby Monster goes to sleep.
Catch up on work that I wasn't able to finish at work.
Go to bed.
Do it all over again.

Are you catching z's yet? There is nothing wrong with this schedule or my life. I really do have it good. I have a great job, a great husband and a great kid; but I was beginning to realize that my family was sitting on the sidelines as life was passing us by. Maybe I desire too much, but I want my day to vary with some fun and exciting things. That's why I know 2015 is going to be our year, and it's going to be filled with many more exciting and wonderful moments than last year.

We ended 2014 with a bang by visiting Disney for Christmas, spending time with my family and having friends over for New Year's. I want to keep that momentum going. This is going to be the year of DOING. My husband and I both wrote down our New Year's goals and shared them with one another. We both want to achieve similar things and I think we are finally ready to really tackle them.

I haven't been this excited since waiting for my son to be born. I can feel the positive energy for this year pushing me and God letting me know I'm strong enough to make the changes I want to see. Yup, I'm going to rock 2015!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Spirit

Guess what today was! Alright, I'll let you was the last day of school before winter break. We have just about made it through the half way point in the school year. It's become tradition this time of year for our school to have a pajama day as a reward for school wide behavior. It's a ton of fun. The kiddos get to wear pj's, enjoy a treat and watch a holiday movie. I've enjoyed spending time with my students at this event every year since I began teaching, but this year was extra special now that I teach kindergarten. They are still at that age when everything is magical and exciting. They were able to be kids today and it was a beautiful thing to observe. 

What has touched my heart this holiday season is the love that my students have given me. Many of them wanted to give me something, anything, as a Christmas gift. Some sadly told me that they couldn't and others gave me something sweet, like a snowman ornament. While I enjoy the gifts that I received, I let my students know that the greatest gift they have given me this season was the chance to be their teacher. I'm completely truthful when I say this. The trust, faith and love they bestow upon me is amazing. Each "aha" moment from them when they finally figure out a skill they have been working on to master is a gift. When a student beams at me because they can blend the sounds in a word and can finally read it always brings tears to my eyes. I just get so excited for them when they are able to achieve their goals. 

When you take away the stressful parts of teaching, the parts no one tells you about in college, and you focus on the moments when you are teaching, what's left is magic and reminds you about the spirit of Christmas. Everyday I'm thinking about others and how my actions affect them. I want to know how I can help my students to make their lives better in the long run. Once I figure it out, then I do it.  That's what Christmas is about- focusing on blessing others and thinking about them. 

I hope my students have a wonderful holiday season. Yes, I'm excited about break because I get to spend time with the Baby Monster, but I will miss my kiddos!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Enough is Enough

Well, I was going to write about my diminishing desire to keep up with my workouts, but I decided to watch Women of the Bible on Lifetime. It just made me decide to get over it. I need to drop the excuses, believe in myself and just DO IT! Women are strong human beings who have endured through centuries. I can endure a 20 minute workout and I can respect my body by nourishing it.

Poor me. Why me? Why aren't things going the way I want them to? It's no one's fault but my own because some where along the way to where I am now I lost something. My tenacity is gone. My hope has vanished and the fear has set in. It's time to start looking at myself like those around me see me. I am beautiful. I am strong. I am tough. I am enough.

Monday, December 1, 2014

'Tis the Season

Going back to work, whatever your work may be, is difficult after a lovely vacation. Today was my first day back in the classroom after nine days off for our fall break. I enjoyed the time I had with my husband, son and the rest of my family. We had a movie night that featured Frozen and Malificent. We shopped at the mall as a family to find the Baby Monster a pair of new shoes because his feet are GIGANTIC! Mom and I baked holiday cookies. My week was filled with moments like these. So, to say I had extreme Monday blues was an understatement. The Baby Monster didn't make it any easier when he burst into tears the moment he saw me walking out the door. I had to wipe a few tears of my own away by the time I made it to the car.

Then, when I walked to my classroom door a pop of red caught my eye and the joy of the Christmas season made its presence known. One of the amazing teachers I work with delivered a small poinsettia to every teacher on my team. Right then and there I knew it was going to be a good day.

My Monday continued to get better when I  picked  up my kiddos and every face broke into a smile when they saw me. Just like that I couldn't wait to get back in the classroom teach. It's hard not to smile and feel jolly when children are all a buzz because they know it's December and that brings Christmas. But wait, it got even better!

 During one of our lessons a student was working on addition word problem. Now this student was concentrating and hard at work connecting cubes to model an addition sentence. Then suddenly he stopped what he was doing, looked at me and said, "I missed you last week." My heart melted. Being a teacher feels like a privilege some days because I have the chance to earn the trust and respect of children who look up to me everyday and count on me to guide them. My Grinch heart definitely grew a few sizes within those moments.

My day was a perfect example of what the holiday season is all about. It's about giving, working to make others happy because you want to while spreading kindness and cheer.

It also means eggnog, which now completes my magnificent Monday.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Thanksgiving through the end of November

Wow. I cannot believe that November is over tonight and tomorrow is the very first day of December. The past thirty days have flown by. I'm always left in shock when a month ends because there are times when it feels like it drags on forever and then, whoosh it's over. So here it is- the wrap up to my Thirty Days of Thankfulness.

Day 27- I am thankful for the Thanksgiving holiday. As a kid I never really appreciated it. I enjoyed learning about the pilgrims and the Native Americans because that appealed to my heritage. Sure, whipping up butter and making pilgrim clothing out of paper bags was fun. Then there's always the food to look forward to. A Thanksgiving feast meant a delicious gold oven roasted turkey, whipped mashed potatoes, buttery corn, cheesy broccoli, sweet and tart cranberry sauce, steamy stuffing, and mom's pretty pearl onions; however there weren't presents! Lame.  Every Thanksgiving morning I woke up to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, which felt like an all day event. Surely the turkey would have been done once the parade was over and Santa made an appearance. My impatient youth didn't allow me to really appreciate the true beauty of Thanksgiving. It took moving 1,000 miles away from the family I grew up with to truly be grateful for Thanksgiving. That special Thursday in November means waking up to tradition and that feel good excitement of knowing a parade is starting that will instantly transport you to your childhood. Thanksgiving means truly being grateful for your parents who gave you all they could while growing up and never letting you down when the holidays came around. I never knew until I was old enough to catch on that we went without a lot of things. Thanksgiving means spending time with family near and far (through the phone) and loving every moment of it. It means the beginning of the Christmas season when all things seem magical and the possibilities are endless. As an adult and as a mom, I am truly thankful for Thanksgiving Day.

Day 28- I am thankful that I do not have to work in a grocery store on Black Friday and that I can sleep in.

Day 29- I am thankful for a mom who always gives me a pep talk and believes in me no matter what.

Day 30- I am thankful that God knew that I was ready to feel like I had more than I could bare and lead me back to church this morning. It felt like coming home.

So there you have it! Thirty days done and over with. My fall decorations are packed up and the Christmas decorations have come out. It's also the first day of Advent, which when I was growing up was one of my favorite times of year. My heart is singing and saying, "Welcome to the Christmas season!" So with that I am going to have sip of eggnog and head off into dream land.