Monthly Archives: October 2014

5 Things You Don’t Know About Me

 

5 Things About Me

This was yesterday’s prompt for #Blogtober, but a little behind the scenes “about me” is always needed, right? Plus, I have an exciting announcement at the end of this post so it’s worth sticking around for!

|ONE| If it was up to me, I’d keep all the lights on at my house all day, every day. Seriously. Every light. There’s just something about a bright place that makes me happy.  I love having the shades and windows open when I can. Give me all the possible light and fresh air.

|TWO| My Instagram is going to be full up of the cutest kids in Chicago wearing the cutest costumes in Chicago. Am I biased? Maybe. Do you still want to click over and see them throughout the day? Totally.

|THREE| When I laugh- I laugh hard. Like head thrown back a little obnoxious laugh. I’m just that happy that you said something funny! #SorryNotSorry

|FOUR| I’m dressed as a cowgirl today and it’s super taking me back to working Boo at the Zoo with my LU sisters a few years ago in college.

cowgirl Halloween costume

Passing out candy at the Atlanta Zoo!

|FIVE| Monday I’ll be making the REAL TRUE big announcement, but just know that for now there will be a giveaway included and I’m super stoked to get this off the ground.

For now, help me out in the comments- Starbucks, Target, or Amazon?

 

These are my confessions:

confessions

Go ahead, channel your inner Usher.

Open up this video in a new tab. Go ahead. This post is best when read while listening.

It’s a slow week on the blog, and a super fast week in my life. Between classes and more new students and ya know, trying to sleep sometimes, blogging has fallen to the background. I know I said this last month as well, but I really do have a plan to get back to it soon. Pinky promise.

It’s Wednesday, which means it’s either wedding talk around blogland or confession time. Let’s be real the only weddings I have to talk about are the ones in the beautiful pictures on my Pinterest so that leaves confessions. Right? Right.

So here we go.

I’m falling a little in love with Chicago. I know. I feel like I’m cheating on Atlanta here but it’s happening. Have you seen this city in the fall? People talk about summers here but this fall thing is INCREDIBLE. The trees are seriously the prettiest things I’ve ever seen and the weather is perfection.

I’m legitimately afraid of winter. Contradicting my falling in love from above? Probably. But it’s the truth and these are confessions.

I bought riding boots this week and 100% have no intention of riding horses any time soon. Hmm, oh well. They are so pretty and I deserve them.

I’m exhausted. I’m probably not supposed to admit that. Emotionally, physically, mentally. They say October and February are the hardest for first year teachers, so that means it’s got to get easier for the rest of the semester, right?

I’m now in love with dry shampoo. My hair feels so much better now that I’m washing it less, and it cuts down on getting ready time on busy mornings too! All thanks to Amber!

I’ve eaten popcorn for dinner more often these past couple weeks than I’ve eaten real food. I’ve also eaten grahm crackers for lunch.

I’d be perfectly fine staying in all weekend and catching up on TV and sleep. I know it’s Halloween but I had a great birthday weekend this past weekend and now some alone time actually sounds pretty great. I love people, but I need to get away from them sometimes.

I really NEED to know who was in the bushes with Darryl at the end of Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead. I can’t wait to find out what happens!

I’m getting more sleep on a regular basis than I did in college but I’m more tired. #OldLady

No matter how many years of schooling I go through, buying textbooks always makes me want to cry. So much money gone for a book, amiright?

On the other hand, more audiobooks makes me oh-so-happy. Seriously, I’m addicted.

That’s all I’ve got for today, friends. Tomorrow I have another formal observation from my school and I’ve got preparation to do and children to teach at the same time.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

My Life in Numbers

life in numbers

As I get ready to enter my 24th year (Saturday is my birthday, woah!) I thought I’d share a few things about myself with you all. In numbers form. I like numbers, numbers are solid.

So, I am 8763 days old. Or 210,326 minutes old. Or 23 years, 11 Months, and 29 days old.

I’ve lived in Chicago for 5 months.

It’s been 5 years since I’ve experienced a real winter.

I work 40 hours per week (officially)

I work at least 20 more hours per week in reality. (Glamorous teacher life!)

I’ve taken 5 tests since graduating college to become a teacher.

I am 1.5 years away from my master’s degree.

0: Bones I’ve broken (knock on wood!)
1: Times I’ve had my hair professionally highlighted (I’m in love)
2: Children we lost to malaria while I was working in Uganda.
3: Sweet babies I’ve helped bring into this world.
4: Books I’ve read listened to this month.
5: Piercings I have.
6: Pairs of shoes in my closet.
7: Children in my family. I’m the youngest!
8: Pets I have had in my lifetime. That I can remember. (Mom? Correction?)
9: Times I successfully broke into my dorm room in college after locking myself out.
10: Seasons of Grey’s Anatomy I watched last summer.

15: My age when I first moved away from home and to Mexico.

mexico chichen itza

18: Number of minutes I spent sitting in the middle of the highway when my Uber car broke down on Monday.

20: Number of times I have listened to Out Of The Woods since waking up this morning.

21: Number of kids in my high school graduating class.
40: Number of students in my class every day.
200ish: Number of women in my college graduating class.

36: Posts sitting in my drafts folder.
144: Blog posts I’ve published.

58: Days until I go home to Idaho.
1,861: Miles between my Chicago home and my Idaho home.

Just Show Up

Just Show Up

This may be a little heavy for a Monday, but this has been on my mind for a bit so I figure it’s time to let it out.

So many times in life we don’t show up to experiences and back away from opportunities and risks. This happens for a variety of reasons and though it’s difficult to look past, it is possible! Some reasons might be:

We’re afraid.

We’re nervous.

We’re comfortable.

We’ve had bad experiences in the past.

I get it. I do. The thing is, however, if we don’t show up, we have absolutely no chance of success. If we at least show up and try, there is so much more of a chance that we will succeed. Even if you don’t succeed, your chances are better of learning and growing!

It’s hard to bring yourself to just take the jump and risk the “what if’s” of what might happen. But it can be so rewarding. Oh, so rewarding. It can bring you to your biggest dreams, happiest times, and a new, better, life.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sometimes hearing these things is hard or falls on deaf ears (or eyes, in the blogging world) but I feel like I am living proof of the way big risks can pay off. I am living my dream right now and feel so fulfilled by it. Of course some days are harder than others but not a day goes by that I’m not grateful for having taken my own incredibly risky jumps. From moving to new cities, traveling to new countries, and taking on new jobs, it has all led me to where I am now.

Today, this week, right now, show up. Jump.

What risk can I help you take this week? What’s holding you back? Let me know how I can encourage you in the comments below!

 

5 Things I Learned from Criminal Minds

criminal minds

Criminal Minds is one of my all time favorite shows. I used to watch a lot with my mom and still do when I visit Idaho! Recently I’ve been having my own marathon of it thanks to Netflix and this lead to me thinking about things I’ve learned from this show over the years. Here’s just 5 that, if you watch the show too, I’m sure you’ll agree with!

|O N E | Never open the door for someone you don’t know! Look out the window, peephole, etc. If you don’t know the person, don’t open the door. If the bad guy is going to break in, make them work for it, call the police- or just call Derek Morgan. Leading to…

| T W O | Find a guy who talks to you like Derek Morgan talks to Penelope Garcia. Oh, for a love like that. And oh, for Shemar Moore to be anywhere near me. He’s so pretty.

shemar moorePhoto via

| T H R E E | ALWAYS CHECK THE BACK SEAT! I mean I really do this though. Criminal Minds taught me this, and so did my mother. Every time you get in the car- look in the back seat before you get in. That’s where creepers and bad guys hide before they get you when you get in the car.

|F O U R | Don’t help men load things into their creeper vans. They don’t actually need your help, they are just criminals trying to kidnap or kill you!

Actually, just stay far, far away from creeper vans.

creeper van

Creeper van example, for your reference.

| F I V E | It is totally possible to hack into absolutely anything ever- so if you don’t want Penelope Garcia to know what you’re doing on the internet/your phone/in life, you probably just shouldn’t do it. Be a good person and the BAU will find you if needed and not get too up in your business.

Now, wheels up in 30! Let’s go.

Do you watch Criminal Minds? Are you in love with Morgan like I am?

 

Weekly Wishes

weekly wishes

I’m in 3 day weekend mode over here, so I’m not too sad to be seeing Monday come around. Not too sad at all. I just got back from a brunch at one of my professor’s houses. 2 of my classmates and I spent the morning (and some of the afternoon) discussing successes and frustrations of being first year special education teachers. We were able to get a lot of feedback and advice from her and I’m super excited for things to come in my classroom.

I’ll be spending the rest of the day of working from home before I head back into the fold tomorrow! I have to admit though- I already am missing my students and I’m excited to get back into my classroom tomorrow. I’m ready. Getting sick wasn’t exactly in my ideal weekend plans, but I’m glad have had this weekend to rest and be feeling well enough to go back to work and school tomorrow! Hopefully I’ll be back to normal super soon.

With this renewed peace of mind, my goals for this week are to:

  1. Keep up with blogging. Not having internet at my house last week left me in a bit of a rut, but I’m ready to get back into my regular blogging grind. Internet is still a little shaky, but I’ve been exploring around my neighborhood for good places to get work done and connect to get some blogging done.
  2. Do well on my formal observation this week. My not-so-favorite part about teaching is these observations where they expect the classroom to be extraordinarily, unrealistically perfect. I mean of course MY classroom runs smoothly and perfectly all of the time, what am I saying? Ugh. I wish. So, I will just do my best and keep on keeping on teaching these kids.
  3. Get ahead on some grad school work. I have only 2 weeks left of this term before classes are over and I’d like to get most of the major work done this week so I can have one week “off” before starting my new class. A girl can hope!
  4. As is the usual around here, find some time to put myself first. I don’t do enough self care and checking in on myself so I try to make it an “always” goal to take care of myself at some point too.

That’s it for the week! What are your goals this week? Let me know in the comments so we can cheer each other on!

An October Coffee Date

coffee date

Join me, won’t you?

It’s been a quiet week on the blog front. An unintentional blogging vacation, if you will. However, this has meant it’s been an extra loud week in my real life and in my mind. I know I could use a sit down with a good friend, so I’m turning to you, my treasured blog friends for a little coffee date to share what’s been on my heart and mind.

If we were having coffee, 

I’d love to try a new local coffee shop. I’ve been having trouble finding one to be able to sit down and just “be” in, but I’m working on finding it. I need a new place to clear my head, my emails, and my workload. I’d order a hot chocolate, as I’ve been drinking too much coffee at work lately. I want this time to be more calm and relaxed and hot chocolate is perfect to just make me happy.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you-

Teaching is hard work. 

This job, oh this job. There is so much to it. So much. Teaching in general is hard. Teaching special education just adds a whole new level. The politics of public education, of course, don’t make things easier, but if I can just get past this hump of being a first year teacher and doing things wrong so I can see it and fix it, things have to get easier, right?

Some days are harder than other days, but each and every day I come home exhausted. Emotionally, physically, mentally. There is just so much to be done. So much to do, so much to feel, so much to think. I can’t help but be overwhelmed on a daily basis. I never feel like I’m doing enough, despite doing as much as I can as fast as I can.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you-

I love this job.

With my whole heart and soul, I love this job. I love these kids. They make me laugh every. single. day. The exhaustion, the overwhelming feelings, they are all 100% worth it. The other day, one of my babes realized that these letter things we were working on and the sounds went together to make WORDS. They can do together and they represent the words we speak! This is HUGE in my world and I’m big on celebrating accomplishments, so this breakthrough made me want to throw a whole party. I seriously couldn’t be happier when I’m in my zone in the classroom.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you-

I am going home. 

Home! To Idaho! For Christmas! I’m so excited to be taking a trip back home to my family. Just having the trip to look forward to makes everything seem like it’s gonna be perfectly ok. My family is everything, y’all. And Idaho will always be home. (Or, at least one of my homes) I guess this is a part of growing up, learning just how much home really means and how much my sweet family has really given to help me get to this point in life. I miss face to face talks with my mom desperately, and all night cuddles from the puppies is just what the doctor ordered to cure any kind of ill.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you-

Chicago is growing on me.

Little by little. I have been SO in love with Atlanta that giving any piece of my heart to Chicago has been hard. It seems- bigger. Which I realize is strange because Atlanta is huge too. But it seems bigger and dirtier and just… not right. I’ve been a bit bitter toward this city since moving here. I’m learning to see the beauty in the community in which I live and work. I’m beginning to look forward to seeing the skyline all lit up on my way home from grad school classes. I’m beginning to look forward to exploring on my own over the weekends. I’m settling into my apartment, finding ways to make this shared place equally mine. 

We still have a long way to go in building our relationship, but this city and I, well, we’re learning to live with each other.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you-

I have some excellent friends. 

 I am the luckiest woman in the world when it comes to having good friends. From Idaho to Atlanta to Chicago and abroad, I have been truly blessed in this department. I have such understanding and giving people in my life. I have seen them give of themselves in every way and continue to be impressed by the lives they are living. 

This includes blog friends, of course. It may only be some emails, gchats, and keeping up with each other’s lives through words shared on the internet to some, but it’s so real. I truly treasure the connections blogging has brought me, and can’t wait to get more into this little space of mine.

If we were having coffee, I’d say-

Let’s do this again soon, ok? 

I needed to share these things, and I’m so glad you took the time to sit with me and talk through them. I treasure these moments. Let’s make a plan soon.

Now tell me, what’s been weighing on your mind? On your heart? What can I help you talk out? How can I best listen to you so that you feel a little lighter leaving than you did coming in? Let me know in the comments, or drop me an email. I’d truly love to know what’s going on in your lives!

 

Oh hey, Friday!

oh hey friday!

It has been a week!

Understatement of the year? Probably, but I’m calling it anyway. I know last week was the full moon but I swear my students were feeling the effects this week. Even still, I had a lot of fun this week with them. I mean it doesn’t get much better than being able to learn to write the letter D, amiright?

For this week’s 5 on Friday, we’re getting a little random and mixed up today, just to keep with the theme of the week.

O N E | This is the first week it’s really started to feel like fall. FALL! I guess the weather decided to get with the times and realized October means fall weather is supposed to be here. I have yet to have a Pumpkin Spice Latte (yep, I’m one of those girls) and it’s making me sad. BUT now that the weather is acting right, I think I just might have to venture out for one real soon!

T W O | IT’S MY BIRTHDAY MONTH! Time to celebrate! I’m still thinking of what kinds of things I can do to celebrate- both in real life and on this here blog! If you have any ideas, let me know!

T H R E E | I’ve gotten three new students this week. THREE. In my already over filled class. We are all in an adjustment phase so I know we will get better with time but at this point 3 seems like 10. You all totally came to my blog to read about my work struggles, right? Moving on…

F O U R | Looking up prices for plane flights makes me sad. It is actually going to cost me an entire paycheck if I want to try to go home for Christmas to see my family. I know I pretty much just got back from seeing them but it’s getting harder to be away for this long. Plus I didn’t go home last year for the holidays so I’d really like to be able to this year!

F I V E | got a pretty little MacBook Air this week from work and I am over the moon happy with it! I’ve never had a Mac before but I’m learning to use it and really getting use to the mobility and ease of this baby! Of course it’s for all things work related but some things blog are still totally going to happen. This blog post, for instance.

This weekend is again going to be all about playing catch up. Catching up with friends, on work, on sleep, and on laundry.

What are your thoughts on this lovely Friday? Doing anything fun this weekend?  Let me know beow in the comments!

What are you willing to suffer for?

what are you willing to suffer for?

A few weeks ago, I was reading an article that struck me in a way that has had me thinking about it on a regular basis lately. It was an inspirational piece encouraging people to follow their dreams and work to achieve them, but they added in something I had never thought of before.

In most readings, we see the usual question of “What do you want out of life?”

To which I can easily answer: I want to be successful, I want a family, I want to make a difference, I want another degree. Heck, I want to win the lottery and I want to meet Usher too, but that’s a whole different post for a different day.

Instead, this article asked “What are you willing to suffer for to achieve?”

Of course they don’t mean real awful torture suffering, but they mean- What are you willing to work hard for and worth through the trenches of to achieve?

This made me sit down and really think about the things I want out of life and what I am actively doing to work toward those things.

What am I willing to work hard for and suffer for?

For me, this means my list dwindles a little bit. I’m definitely not willing to suffer to meet Usher or win the lottery, those things are wants but definitely not things I want to put my energy towards, I’ve got other things to think about!

What I am willing to suffer for and work for is my education and my future.

it's going to be worth it

I will work, and work hard for a graduate degree. I will work hard for a job that makes me feel successful, like my position with TFA. I will work hard to make myself the kind of woman that can handle children and a family someday. Don’t worry, not any time soon though.

In my journaling I’ve been able to expand upon these things and set into action a concrete and tangible plan for working toward the things that I am willing to work for. These things won’t just come easily, it will take conscious work toward them on a regular basis.

It seems like such a small thing, but to me it feels like a big step toward my future. One that starts today, right now, and has already been in place since my move to Chicago.

So let me pose these questions to you all-

What are you willing to suffer for?

What work are you doing now to work toward those goals? What do you need help or support with?