Monthly Archives: September 2014

Weekly Wishes!

weekly wishes

Oh, friends. This is usually where I talk about something super fun or interesting I did this weekend,  right? However,  this was a catch up weekend and a get better weekend so I’m gonna let my Mama have the spotlight! This weekend, like every year, she participated in the Walk to End Alzheimers. This awful disease took my sweet grandma, so my mother walks every year in her honor. This year she rose over $700 to help with research! Our hope is that someday families like ours and yours won’t be affected, ever, by the touch of Alzheimers.

If that’s not something worth cheering about to start off the week then I just don’t know what is.

I didn’t post any wishes or goals last week, so I’m starting fresh this week!

My goals are to:

1) SLEEP. This is what I’m struggling with most and it is so crucial to getting everything else done. I know I don’t function at my best academically or emotionally without enough sleep so I’ve got to make ita priority.

2) Laundry. I’m running out of comfortable teaching clothes! Must. Wash.

3) Get everything set up on my work computer. I just got a new laptop for work use so I want to transition all my tracking spreadsheets and such onto there instead of my personal computer.

That’s all for this week! What are your goals for the week? Are you ready to take on a new month? Let me know in the comments!

5 Critical Things to do Before Making a Big Decision.

5 things to do before making a big decision

Stopping over from Alisha’s blog? Hi! Welcome! I’m so glad you’re here!

Boy, oh boy, this has been a year of change and big decisions. In the past 12 months I’ve moved 3 times, worked 3 different jobs in 3 different cities, and spent more time in transitions than I have settled. Looking back, I know it took a lot for me to be able to make such big, life-changing decisions in the way that I have. I know that there are things I’ve had to consider each time and steps that I’ve taken to ensure that I am making the best choice. Of course, this isn’t fool-proof, but keeping these things in mind will help you to know when to just close your eyes and make the jump.

Sometimes the choice comes clearly and easily, other times you just have to trust life a little bit!

Here are 5 essential things to do before making that decision and jumping!

1. Lists– Oh my dears, I am a lover of lists. I have notebooks full, and more on my phone. Pro/Con lists give you the chance to see in front of you what the benefits are of each decision, as well as the risks and downsides. It’s important to remember that risks aren’t always in the con column- sometimes they are the greatest part of the decision.

2. Take time- Don’t jump into a big decision off an impulse. This goes for moving, changing jobs (or total career paths, if you’re me) relationships, everything. Some moments are hard and rough and it seems like there is only one clear decision- but in the next we feel the opposite. Give yourself enough time to feel both of these. This isn’t to say you have to spend months agonizing over which step to take. This could take an hour, a day, a year.

3. Talk to someone (just not too many someones)- Bouncing ideas off of a sounding board can really help. Hearing yourself say the words out loud will help you figure out why you are thinking the way you are. My first call is always my mama. (Hi, Mom!) And then a couple close trusted friends that know me can help me talk through my decisions.

Beyond that, be careful. Talking to too many people and getting too many opinions can make the decision even harder to make.

4. Don’t let yourself be too influenced by others. But, you just told me to get other’s input! I know, but ultimately this is your decision and the one it effects the most is YOU. You are the only know who knows what is truly in your heart and mind. I am a faithful follower of my own heart- it hasn’t led me too wrong yet!

5. Research it- where is your REAL hesitation coming from? This means researching what it will really take to make the jump and do whatever it is you are wanting. When I decided to leave my (awesome) job in the Mayor’s Office in Atlanta and try for Teach for America, I knew it would take work, but I had no idea how much until doing some research and figuring out exactly what was involved. Of course, I still made that jump and am now living my dream!

Are you hesitant because you are afraid of the “what ifs”? Or because it is actually not the right decision?

Once you can answer these questions and have gone through the other steps, you should have a pretty clear idea of what the best decision is for you. If not, the most important thing is what I said before- trust your heart and trust life a little bit.

Sometimes you just have to jump and trust that the fall will bring you to a greater place.

Your turn! What do you do before making a big decision? What steps am I missing? Do you agree with the ones I follow? Let me know in the comments!

Oh Hey, Friday! | 5 Things I’m (really) not good at

5 things i'm not good at

So this month has been a little light on the blog-front. Mostly because I dove head first into teaching AND getting back into grad school life AND moving AND trying to fit in a life somewhere in there. Just writing that sentence has me exhausted! This month, I’m calling it- I’m really not good at blogging right now.

BUT I’ve got a plan in place for next month that includes actually planning blog posts (imagine that!) and stepping up my game on all fronts. Just call me the time management queen!

In honor of the END of me not being good at blogging right now, I figured a little post with 5 more things I’m not good at would be just about perfect. Let’s do this, Oh hey, Friday style!

ONE | Going to bed at the time I planned. For example, last night I planned on being in bed by 10. Did that happen? Nope. Was I up late prepping for parent-teacher night? Yes. #TeacherLife

TWO | Parallel parking. If I’ve learned anything since moving into my current apartment, it’s that I am not all that good at parallel parking. I’m working on it though, so that counts for something, right?

THREE | Remember things. Like, all things. My friends/family know that if I forget something it’s really not ever out of spite- I really just genuinely forgot! Also read- remind me of every important thing or it just won’t happen.

FOUR| Packing less than like an hour before I’m supposed to leave. Moving? Happens the day before. Seriously. But somehow it all always gets packed and I always end up with what I need. I really consider myself the packing queen for this one. However, sometimes it leads me to be stressed out about what time I need to leave to get to the airport on time. Which leads to…

FIVE| Showing up right on time for flights. Nope! It gives me anxiety just thinking about not being at the airport WAY early. I’ve inherited this from my parents so at least I come by it honestly. I am the girl sitting at the gate for an hour and a half reading before the flight loads.

Need some more lists of 5? Hop on over to September Farm or link up your own post!

Happy Independence Day Mexico! | Travel Tuesday

dia de la independencia mexico

VIVA MEXICO!

To the country that gave me my heritage, my strength, some of my best friends, more family, and the experience of a lifetime.

mexico chichen itza

 

My time living in Mexico was everything I ever could have asked for and then some. I lived, loved, learned, and grew so much. It is in this year that I really grew from being a young girl to young woman, and I credit this opportunity with so much of who I am today.

Mexico really is one of my homes, and today, and everyday, I am a proud Mexican!

Want to read more about my time living in Mexico? Click here!

Want to read more about some other places I’ve traveled to and lived? Click the button below for some of my other Travel Tuesday posts!

Travel Tuesday

Weekly Wishes! Goal setting time!

chicago skyine weekly wishes

Home sweet Chicago!

This weekend has been incredibly fun, fulfilling, and BUSY.

After a whirlwind week teaching and going to grad school classes, one of my best friends from college showed up on my doorstep and we went out to explore more of the city, eat ALL the food, and see some generally touristy sights! Plus Sunday brunch was SO needed and I mean discovering a new brunch place never hurts! Every weekend I fall a little more in love with this city and this one was no exception. Fall is showing itself in Chicago and I’m so ready. Not so ready for winter, but I have a little more time to prepare for that. (I think. Right?)

That all being said, Monday has come too fast and I just can’t wrap my head around it yet. Can I get just one more day? No? Well then, I guess I better set some goals.

Last week my goals were to:

1) Make self-care a priority. I did, and maybe a little bit too much? I gave myself a strict bedtime which meant less work got done, but I ended up getting sick and the sleep was necessary!

2) Keep up with my grad school work. Not so much. I mean everything got handed in when it was supposed to, but I just feel behind on it.

3) Meet all my different advisers/supervisors. Yep! I ABSOLUTELY ADORE my supervisor from my grad school. She is seriously one of the most knowledgeable people I have ever met and I look forward to meeting with her weekly about how I can improve my teaching and learn more to help my students!

This week, I’m switching up priorities a little. My goals are to:

1) Get grad school work done and done ahead of time (when possible). I really need to get on this more. With everything else going on, it’s been easy to let my schoolwork fall to the back burner but I’m bringing it back to the front. Getting back into school after taking a year off is hard, but I know it will be so worth it.

2) Still make sure to get enough sleep. I’m still recovering from whatever cold/flu combo my students gave me last week so I need to be careful with overdoing it.

3) Get caught up on emails/blog comments. I really do read each and every comment you all leave and it warms my heart to see them come up in my email. Your support, encouragement, and thoughts make this all so rewarding. I promise to get back to you this week! Ok maybe I shouldn’t promise that but I do promise to try really hard!

What are your goals for the week? I promise even when I don’t respond I’m still cheering you on from afar! Life gets overwhelming sometimes but I know I can push through once I get a better routine going. Let me know what you’re working on in the comments!

The Un-Extrovert

extrovert vs introvert

No, I don’t mean introvert, I just mean… not an extrovert.

Today’s prompt is all about personality types. Growing up, I’d always be classified as an extrovert- I THRIVE off of being around people and having deep conversations with them. However, after a good amount of time and human interaction, my introvert side comes out and I NEED to have some time along, probably with a cup of coffee and book to settle myself again. I need time alone to process everything and bring myself peace. More and more often I find that being in rooms with many people makes me more nervous than comfortable, and crowds aren’t really my thing.

Recently, I’ve been classified by tests like the Myers-Briggs test as an introvert or right on the line between the two. This is interesting to me to see how my personality develops as I mature and become an adult.

Whether that first letter continues to be an I or goes back to an E, I feel comfortable with how the rest of the letters play out.

I(E)SFP

Sensing, feeling, perceiving.

I am perceptive of others’ feelings, empathetic, and make decisions based off of emotions rather than rational thought- which sometimes get’s me in trouble, but seems to have worked for me this far!

Sometimes I feel like these types of tests try to put us in neat little boxes, and there is so much more to us as people than four letters can really predict. I think it gives us a nice idea of the way our minds may work but of course there is so much more that can be said. To keep this blog post from becoming a novel, I’ll spare you on the details of my own personality!

What personality type are you? Do you agree with the results these types of tests give you? Why or why not?

 

Weekly Wishes.

Weekly Wishes

Can you tell I’ve been doing some dreaming of next year’s vacation lately? Greece is looking like more and more of an option!

You should all be so proud of me. I actually managed to blog 3 whole times last week! I’m getting back into my groove and it feels so good.

This past week with my students has been incredible. They all warm my heart so much and I feel so lucky to have this job, in this city, with these kids. Now if I can just manage to continue to stay on top of my grad school work at the same time, we’ll be good!

This weekend has been for fro-yo, friends, and food. Oh Chicago, you and your food. I seriously feel like we could eat at a different restaurant every weekend and never run out of places that are SO GOOD. Once I get some more experience here, I’ll start posting about my favorites. It’s going to be so hard to choose!

Last week, my goals were to:

1) Get to know my students! Absolutely! And it’s been amazing getting to know their little souls.

2) Get all my homework done for my grad school class! Uhm, well, ya know. I’m still working on it, I have a paper due tomorrow!

3) Continue to try to make time for myself- yoga, blogging, reading, walking, something! I’ve definitely been walking lots around town, I got caught up on blog reading, and still need to find more time to move my body outside of school.

4) Keep up (at least mostly) with the Blog-tember challenge! I feel like I did pretty good with this- 3 isn’t too bad! I’ll try to do more this week.

This week, I am going to:

1) Make self-care a priority. It is so so important that I remember to do things to make myself happy in the midst of all the busy times!

2) Keep up with my grad school work. Pretty self-explanatory.

3) Meet all my different advisers/supervisors. I have some from TFA, some from my grad program, and of course some from my school. 

I am SO looking forward to meeting this week head on. I’m feeling so good lately! How are you feeling? Let me help you out- leave me a message in the comments!

Currently | Sunday Morning

currently blog post

Reading…  Gone Girl and Bossypants. I still haven’t finished Gone Girl. WHY. I need to get on it. And Bossypants is my book club book for the month so I’m just starting it!

Watching… Once Upon a Time. I stopped at season 2 before but am now getting caught up on season 3!
Trying… to get caught up on TFA work. I feel like I have so much to do and never enough time.
Eating… a Costco croissant with my coffee this morning. SO GOOD.
Wearing… Yoga pants and a tank top. Pretty much my weekend uniform.
Tweeting… about some funny things my students do and say. Follow here.
Going… to make sure I spend time out of the house today. My days have been so busy that I go straight from work to meetings/grad school class and straight home. I need some outside time today.
Loving… spending this quiet morning in with just my coffee and the cat. A slow morning is so, so needed.
Enjoying… learning all that I can about this life I’m now living. Everything is still so new and shiny to my brain, I’m loving having a whole new life and place to learn.
Feeling… a bit sick. I could feel myself getting sick since Friday with my throat swelling and sneezing. I think it’s finally hit me. Start of the school year sickness from the kiddos!
Hoping… For a better week starting tomorrow. Last week was rough- the first week of school. I’m hoping to be able to handle blogging more while still keeping up with my other responsibilities!
Listening… To Greg Laswell, his voice is the perfect soundtrack for this morning.
I hope you are all having a lovely Sunday and a great end to this weekend. Have a cup of coffee with me and let me know what you’re up to?

10 of Life’s Simple Pleasures

Simple Peasures

Sometimes, it’s the little things in life that get you through.

Today is my very first day meeting all of my new little students! I am beyond excited and ready to meet them! I feel like all of my training and preparation has led me straight to this point in life and I couldn’t be happier about it.

Today’s writing prompt for the Blogtember challenge is to:
Write about what makes you happy, from the little joys to the huge game-changers.

I feel like this is perfect for today, as I (and don’t we all, sometimes?) could use a reminder of some of the little things that make me happy. After all- they really are the big game changers at the same time. I feel so blessed to be living this life right now, and to be able to experience these little simple pleasures.

1. Receiving letters and packages in the mail. Something about it just feels so special!

2. Clean sheet day. Oh, the best feelings.

3. Hearing your favorite song come on the radio right as you get in the car.

4. Finding money in a pocket you’d forgotten about.

5. A good, hard laugh with friends.

6. Seeing the sun go down in all it’s glory. All the colors mixed with a good view- priceless.

7. Smooth writing pens. Absolute glory.

8. Hitting lots of green lights on the way to and from work.

9. Yoga pants. Enough said.

10. Puppies and kittens exist.

Have a great day, everyone!

Weekly Wishes and the Blogtember Challenge!

weekly wishes

Get my classroom all set up and I’m a little bit in love. Here’s a sneak peak- more to come later!

You. Guys.

I literally only blogged once last week and it was this post- Weekly Wishes! Oops. I haven’t answered comments/ emails either. I’ll get to them soon, promise! This past week has been wild- in a good way! After eleventy billion hours and just as many dollars, my classroom is all set up and looking adorable and ready for kids tomorrow! Of course during the work day I had professional development and all that but I found time (aka Saturday) to buckle down and get it all ready. I’ll be sure to post some better pictures after tomorrow, I forgot to take very many when I was in there before.

Last week, my goals were to:

1) Enjoy getting to know and getting used to my new school! This definitely happened. There are still some tension points but I know all of the administrative issues will fade to the back of my mind once I meet all of my new babies!

2) Not cry at school. I didn’t! I didn’t cry once this week! I’m so proud.

3) Make some time for myself at some point this week. I did try to do this. Not as much as I should have, but I did.

Success!

This week, I want to:

1) Get to know my students! Ahh! I’ve spent all this time writing their names on a hundred different things around the room and their IEPs and such- I’m excited to meet all the little humans that go with these names!

2) Get all my homework done for my grad school class! This should be easier this week with less meetings.

3) Continue to try to make time for myself- yoga, blogging, reading, walking, something!

4) Keep up (at least mostly) with the Blog-tember challenge! 

That being said- I’m going to try out this whole blog-tember thing. I can’t promise I won’t totally quit halfway through but it’s the thought that counts, right? Right.

Today’s prompt is:

Sept 1st: Imagine the front sleeve of a hard cover novel. Give us your “About the Author” so we can get to know one another, and for fun tell us what your imaginary novel would be about.

In this really awesome fictional world where I am a real-life writer of a novel (my emotional 17 year old self would be so proud) I feel like my bio on that front little sleeve would be kept short and sweet.

Something like:

“Destiny grew up wanting to be Beyonce. She’s still working on that. Thanks for reading.”

OR a haiku because my novel-writing self would be cool like that.

I came here to write.
I will give you such a fright.
Love me and my cat.

Ok, so maybe not really, but it’s a Monday morning and that’s just about the most fun sleeve bio I can think of right now.

My novel would of course actually be an autobiography because we all know if bloggers like to do one thing it’s write about their live- or at least the entertaining parts!

Do you have a better one for me? What would your author bio say? Let me read them (and your books)!

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