Sunday, December 31, 2017

What was, and what will be....

This is what I wrote last year at New Year's time. I thought it was very well written, and still applicable today. This year I teach First grade, my passion is for my children at school and my children at home.

2017-18 One Little Word? Many Little Words?

One of my friends posted her word for 2017 on social media this morning. The truth is, I haven't even thought about 2017 yet. I still have over 12 hours left in 2016, right?! But I started thinking about what will be MY defining word this year, my focus, the one word, ideal, concept that I come back to again and again.

PASSION. Passion for Kinders, their families, my children, pedigogy, learning, living, and possibly even loving. I mean, why do anything half-(way). Right? I could really get into this. Because I think this word already defines me. I am not a half-(way)-er. I am a whole-way-er. I tend to jump in whole-heartedly to both the good and the not-so-good for me. So passion. But wait.... I'm already there on the passion thing. In fact, maybe temperance would be a better choice. I need to slow down and really weigh out what I get so all-firing passionate about. Maybe.

But then again....

JOY. Maybe 2017 is a year for sheer joy. I am happier with myself, my life, and more at peace with the wreckage of my past than I have ever been. So maybe this is the year to bask in the glory of it all. Joy. But that seems to be a natural by-product of my FOCUS. Because when I focus on what is good and right in myself and the world, the world becomes a better place. Focus is how I got to joy in the first place. So maybe Joy isn't my word after all....

So maybe a good word would be....

HEALTH. I want to focus on my health. More water. Actually make and show up for Doctor appointments. More fresh fruits and veggies and whole foods. Less convenience foods and highly processed foods (which happen to be my favorite and my comfort foods). So getting regular movement in, changing my eating habits, drinking more water and for heavens sake, go to the bathroom when I need to! (Teachers are notorious for holding it ALL. DAY. LONG. and my kidneys are rather angry at me about this). But there is so much more to health than just the physical. There is the spiritual side. Which often drives and overrides the physical health part. So maybe my word should be....

SPIRITUALITY. I want to be more Zen in 2017. Chill. Go with the flow. Increase my awareness of what is going on within my heart and soul. Pursue yoga. Find a church. okay, I think I found a church, I "just" need to commit to getting there. Which is easier said than done. This requires both getting up AND getting dressed. At a reasonable hour. On the weekend. So that part.... I dunno. But being aware of what I feel, and accepting it. A good goal.

INTROSPECTION would be a good goal/word too. Reflecting on what went right, what went wrong and what can I do differently next time. Wait. I do that. Daily. Sometimes lesson by lesson. Sometimes minute by impulsive minute. So maybe I am satisfied with my current level of introspection. So moving on....

BALANCE. Ah, that word makes me vomit in my mouth a little. It has also been my goal for many years already. So no thank you. It is great in theory, but I find that it inhibits my passion, which I am much more excited about than my balance. So I give up on balance. Don't tell my youngest child, she's waiting for me to find more balance. But something I need to focus on is learning....

EDUCATION. Life-long learner. Isn't that what teachers commit to? Being life-long learners? Exciting. It is exciting. But I NEED to find the passion and the drive to pursue the Masters of Education plan that I have committed to. UGH. I am not currently passionate about this. But it will improve my quality of life and the quality of the lives of the children I so dearly love and what to educate to find an easier, softer way than the way I took. So I need to stop playing around with this, because I am currently a student and I need to become a studious one. So maybe I need perseverance. I need to commit whole-heartedly to this education choice I've made and let it be part of my passion.

In case you haven't noticed, I don't know that there will be ONE LITTLE WORD for me this next  year.  But I loved my word last year.... MOMENTUM. The pendulum has swung to the good, the passionate, the confident side. I have less self-doubt than I ever have. I want to keep going. Keep focusing on what is right and good and watch the good in my life increase. That was what I envisioned for 2016 and it was a good word and goal. It has been a year of positive momentum and also a year of growth. A year of passion and there's even been some joy. My real hope is that I look for the good in others and that I offer compassion as a constant gift to those around me and especially to my students.

Happy New Year's Eve Day. Or introspection and reflection day. or some such thing.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The opposite of gratitude, maybe it's exhaustion

Gratitude. No small thing. Here's my latest thought on Gratitude:
My attitudes fluctuates. And I say I can control them, but really.... I have to choose it. I have to just do it. Practice it. Until it starts to become automatic. It is never really a cut and dry victory in my life. Because, you know, life.

Lately I am overwhelmed. By the terrifying new things in my life. By the vast amount of responsibility I have at home, at school, personally. I am living on the edge. Just one more responsibility away from falling off the edge of the cliff. Into a deep abyss. Some people at my house are already falling. I reach for them, sometimes with a degree of success. Sometimes they drift on by. Panic ensues. I am always just one breathe away from panic.

What does that do to my gratitude list? Let's be honest. Some days I'm too exhausted to look for the gratitude. Somedays I am too strung out to find it when I look. But when I don't choose it, I start to lose it. And spiraling down a dark, dark rabbit hole without gratitude is hopeless. I need more hope. Not less. I need my circle of friends to surround me and be my family.

Family. Those crazy people who shaped who I am today. I need some form of family in my life. Maybe not the flesh and blood kind. But the kind that will love unconditionally. Accept us when we fall short, which is every day.

Right now, today, all I know is pressure. Pressure not to be needy. Pressure to be strong. Pressure to "make" my child conform to someone else's norms. Pressure.
Looking for a soft place to fall. Lick my wounds. And get ready to fly. No. More. Pressure.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Gerry Brooks....

Inspirational? yes. Good for a laugh? definitely. Encouraging? yes.

Yesterday my friend and I drove 2+ hours to see Gerry Brooks in person. He shared his journey to where he is today. How the videos got started. And the first one he posted. The one that went viral... the Principal gift ideas to give teachers. Apparently I started following him early in the game. He also shared about how controversial some of the videos have been and how they had to get pulled because of various reasons (public backlash-- not necessarily aimed at him, and concerns from higher ups in his district).

His "theme" for lack of better word was Cultural Climate. How important it is and how we can make a difference in the climate in our building. And the idea of talking to the person first. If (when) you vent to someone, it can only be to ONE person. More than that is gossip. Not new information. But not without a punch.

Inspiring. Loads of laughs. Glad I went.

Friday, August 11, 2017


Joining Michelle for a TGIF post today.

Trust. Today I trust that all this hard work is going to pay off. Teaching is a crazy roller coaster ride. And every year there's this packing up and unpacking. Ugh. What a lot of work. I can't wait for the day when I am not packing up from room to room and building to building. But it's still a lot of work. Many of my colleagues were there much later than me tonight.  I trust that this is the best place for me and that the chaos and clutter will settle down.

Gratitude. I am grateful for many, many things. Today I am most grateful that my principal "gets it" in regard to learning, and the brain. She knows that to find the positive and train the brain to focus on the good in life, you just have to practice gratitude! It is really that simple! Is it easy? Not necessarily.  Does it make the bad stuff not hurt, No. Does it mean that bad things will never happen? No. But the same as when I focus on negative, pathways are formed in the brain to seek out the negative, the brain will build new, positive, gratitude-seeking neurons will grow when I focus on gratitude.

Inspiration. I have been inspired to the moon and back lately. Today we learned about Trauma Informed Schools, with Heather Forbes. There is still so much to learn! Mindsets to change! I'm sufficiently inspired and motivated! I am ready!

Faith. I have faith that God will take care of me this year. I have faith that a power greater than myself is pushing me forward on every level.

What are your TGIF's? Trust. Gratitude. Inspiration. Faith.

Friday, August 4, 2017


I am not in the swing of school yet. Not enough to actually be thinking about how I love Fridays. But I am pumped about this new Friday format for blogging. TGIF= Trust, Gratitude, Inspiration, Faith. I am following my friend Michelle at Big Time Literacy (BTL) and posting my TGIF post.

Trust. Today I trust that I can pull myself out of a mess I put myself in. Because I always do. And something bigger than me (God) always helps things to work out for the good. I trust that my life will continue to improve and thrive and grow. Seems I am often at a turning point and I can choose where my life goes from here. So I am trusting that I'll make a good, productive choice and forward move on the path toward middle class. Today I trust my instincts and my gut. They are on my side. I've been told oh-so-many times about how I'm wrong, I don't know, I make poor choices, etc., etc. In general, the poor choice was listening to the fool telling me I was incapable of making the good choice and doubting that gut feeling.

Gratitude. I am grateful for so many things that I hesitate to even try to narrow the list to what I can type here. But I know that focusing on my gratitude will improve the gratitude list and improve my life in general. Today I am choosing to be grateful for the struggle. I think the hashtag is funny and I don't hesitate to use it! The struggle is oh-so-real some days. Most days. All. The. Time. I have a teenager now. She constantly tells me that I'm an angry, hateful, mean person. I've invested in becoming NOT a mean, angry person and focusing on gratitude and choosing it and speaking it and thinking it and writing it and practicing it. So when she says this, I tend to shut her out. But what if I am mean to her? Because even though teenagers think they know it all, I do not share her mindset that she is the most intelligent being ever and the rest of us are not-so-smart. The last couple days I have had the realization that iron sharpens iron and maybe I need to be open to the idea that in her mind, I am not a happy, joyous and free person. That my perception that she holds the key to my happiness, not only imprisons me, but her too. And it locks our relationship in a zone that is not loving or kind. It is not softer or gentler. It is black and white. She is wrong. I am right. Unless you are on the other side of the mirror-- her side of the mirror. It is still black and white. She is right. I am wrong. Iron sharpens iron. Today I am choosing to be grateful not only for my beautiful daughter, but for our relationship as it stands currently, because it is reflecting thoughts that need exposed and changed. I am also grateful for the relationship we will have in the future, which could possibly be part of my faith paragraph. I am grateful for the opportunity to be the mother of a teenager again. I don't think any parent "gets it right" with their teen, but I am grateful for another chance to try to be the best parent I can be, and to use positive intent with all my children and realize that they are doing the best that they know how to at this time.

Inspiration. I am inspired by my friends and family who overcome. My aunt who is fighting cancer. I know it's a fight, with battle after battle. And that chemo is a bitch. I am inspired by my friend Michelle, who was "just" an internet friend until I met her in real life this summer! She is constantly focused on love, gratitude, spiritual growth. It's inspiring to me. My daughters, who I passed my anxiety to. They overcome obstacles on a daily basis. They are amazing and they constantly strive to push through their pain. I am inspired by my friend Rebecca who teaches me something every time I see her. She helps me believe that my deficits are also my assets and to treat them as such. It is not a shameful thing to have been in poverty, to have addictions, to fight mental health demons. It is something that gives me a great big tool box to build relationships with others.

Faith. I seriously believe that most of the time, things will work out for the best. I don't believe it is good to be flip or cliche about this when my friends face unfathomable tragedies like the loss of a child. There is no "our God works everything for our good" or "someday you will understand why this happened." In the "everything happens for a reason" frame of mind, I don't count these things. But day to day, yeah, everything happens for a reason. Why? Because it is so much easier to live with this mindset. And it propels me forward instead of figuring out the "why did this happen?" that invites me to look backward. I have faith that I am facing a new building with a new teaching partner because I am on the path to being the best teacher I can be. I am overwhelmed with fear and self-doubt if I don't trust that this is truly my path. So today I choose to have faith that this is the path I need to be on. I am choosing to have faith that by listening to my daughter, instead of discounting everything as disgruntled-entitled-teenage-angst, we will build a better relationship and I will at the very least become a better parent. I have faith that if I let it, iron WILL sharpen iron and make each of us better people.

What is your TGIF today? How will it shape you this week?

Tuesday, August 1, 2017


So I am borrowing this from Michelle at BTL. I think that is the intent anyway. And she got the idea from Brene Brown (yeah, I am not sure how to put the mark over the final e in her name). Trust. Gratitude. Inspiration. Faith. Today is not friday, but I'm posting anyway! This would be a great Friday link up though (hint, hint. wink, wink.... Michelle). In her own post, Michelle quotes Brene` Brown in regard to Joy: Brene` Brown uses a metaphor of Christmas lights to explain:

"Twinkle lights are the perfect metaphor for joy. Joy is not a constant. It comes to us in moments - often ordinary moments. Sometimes we miss out on the bursts of joy because we're too busy chasing down extraordinary moments. Other times we're so afraid of the dark we don't dare let ourselves enjoy the light. A joyful life is not a floodlight of joy. That would eventually become unbearable. I believe a joyful life is made up of joyful moments gracefully strung together by trust, gratitude, inspiration, and faith."

So.... I start my day today focusing on TGIF.

Trust. It's a big issue. I don't have much trust when it comes to others. But that is not the gist of this post. I am focusing on trusting. Here I go: I trust that my new colleagues will see me in a positive light and see my intent, because sometimes I come across as bossy. I trust that it's never too late to learn a new way to interact and relate to people and that I can be the colleague I desire to work with. I trust that my kids know why there are rules at home. I trust that they know that I love them. On the best of days and the worst of days.

Gratitude. I've been practicing this longer. I know the changes it can make from the inside out. So here goes. I am grateful I am a teacher. To be in the profession that is my calling and my heart has transformed my life. I am grateful for so many things actually. I am grateful that I don't have to have everything figured out all the time. It's okay not to know sometimes. I am grateful today for friends who know every flaw and love me anyway. I am grateful for my life today, even the messy areas.

Inspiration. I am inspired by people who choose success in the face of adversity. My friend Rebecca is one of those people. She is also FULL of positive intent and chooses to see the best in people and pull them up to where she sees them at. I am inspired by strong women. My principal is one of those. She is sweet and charming and beautiful. She knows what she wants and she is pursuing it for our building, for kids. Because that's her heart and passion. I want to do that. I choose to look for those people who inspire me to be all that I can possibly be.

Faith. This is a little tough right now. Because my faith is waivering. But I can still choose to have faith. I have faith that my oldest daughter and I will continue to rebuild our relationship. I have faith this is going to be a great thing. I have faith that this is going to be the best school year yet. Not because I will have all the easy kids, but because I have faith in the power of positivity. I have faith I will be able to make a difference in the lives of my students and be the teacher they need me to be. I will choose to have faith in mankind and believe that there is mostly good in the world and that I'll find it if I look for it.

What is your TGIF?

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Health and Happiness....

They go together like.... peaches and cream, burgers and fries, boys and girls. Possibly more entangled and intertwined than this even. The last couple days I haven't felt well. I was stricken with Vertigo again. Debilitating. And joy sucking. Today I sit here feeling drained and exhausted. I think it's a residual effect. For the last 36 hours I have been dogged by feelings of defeat, depression, exhaustion, and lethargy (not to mention that spinning feeling you get when you've had too much alcohol and you just might throw up). Happy, joyous and free were not in the cards. I realized that the many things that are RIGHT in my life, were minimized and I was swallowed by my lack of ability to move. I was overwhelmed and I gave in to the feelings of defeat and depression that lurk in the shadows of my life waiting to make their presence known at any given moment. But today I have a choice. I can let my unhealthy self take over and keep me down and perpetuate a plethora of problematic health symptoms already present. Or I can choose healthy behaviors that I know will contribute to more feelings of groundedness, peace, and dare I even say it.... happiness. Happy was hard to find when my health failed me. Which in turn made it hard to seek healthier behaviors/foods because I was enveloped in darkness and depression. So which came first doesn't matter. But what I can do today will matter and will make a difference on both my health and my happiness. I am choosing to behave in ways that are healthy for me today. Which may be difficult, but I believe it will also increase my ability to choose happiness. And who doesn't want that?!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Gratitude Lately....

Michelle's post at BTL yesterday was gratitude lately. It was fabulous. Because it helps me keep focused. On all I have to be grateful for. Which is a lot. And so much more productive to focus on than the little that I am not extremely grateful for right now.

  • to learn new ways to live and new attitudes to take with me. 
  • to rethink my health and movement routines (or the lack thereof).
  • to make new friends and cherish the old
  • to learn to engage in self-care: it's a real thing, not just a concept, out there. somewhere.
  • for summer times of renewal
  • for trips of a lifetime.
Shall I expound on this? Hmmmm....
Here's a glimpse at the trip of a lifetime with my llbff.

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon


Winslow, AZ

Our home away from home at the Garden of the Goddess Retreat Center, NM

Madrid, NM, where part of Wild Hogs was filmed

New Mexico hiking

Sunday, July 23, 2017

A firm foundation

What everybody/everything needs is a firm foundation. This week I've had opportunity to reflect on my foundation as a teacher. Many thoughts flood my mind as I look at my journey as a teacher. My direction and passion continue to evolve. I am not the same. But as I look back at that first year-- we were a good team. I had great teachers holding me up and keeping me sane. I've been chasing that ever since. Let me backtrack a little farther.... student teaching set the bar HIGH. I was part of an amazing Kindergarten team. We did things together, we planned lessons together. We encouraged, shared tiny teaching tips. We built each other up. My mentor was a great example. And as a teacher, she was the best. I may have referred to her as the student whisperer. When Mrs. H spoke, everyone listened. Random, yet remotely related, thought number two of this post: first year teaching is hard. HARD. And so it goes. I often felt alone, overwhelmed, and under-supported. I have come to the conclusion that this is fairly normal. Because I also know I had great support. I reiterate: first teaching is hard.

Yesterday I had the honor of going through my first year teaching town: Guymon, OK. I met up with my partner, who retired this year. I got to reflect on the team we were, how staunchly she supported me and all the help she gave me. I missed the chance yesterday to meet up with other teachers and my principal, and I'm saddened by this. These are my friends. I love them. We were a TEAM. And everyone did achieve more because of this.

So this year, I face a new building and new grade level. My challenge is to be a great team member, not a lone wolf. I want to have a team again!

Every teacher needs a firm foundation. Who am I kidding? That is a fill-in-the-blank sentence right there. Every (____________) needs a firm foundation. I need it. And bet someone I need know does too. I don't have to be entire foundation, just one stone; part of a team, holding each other up.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

My morning view

I sit here this morning soaking up a beautiful mountain morning view. I have birds everywhere around me. I just had a hummingbird not even 5' from me.

I have never been more acutely aware that I am white. never. What I mean by that is... NEVER. Yesterday we drove through the nation that our country graciously afforded to the people who were here before us. The people we put down and make fun of and say things like.... "it's not my fault they don't want to work" or "it's not my fault that they are drunks...." or (one of my favorites)... "I refuse to feel guilty because I was born white" or even better.... "It was a long time ago, what does this have to do with me?!"

My first instinct is the thank God (the god of the white man apparently) that I am white. Because there's no way to know what kind of oppression and hell these people are (are, not were) born into. And then, yes, this epiphany is followed by guilt. And compassion. And anger at what we-- as a nation (and THAT my friends is not something over and done with and in the past)--are still doing to these people who we duped and asked for help and pushed and pushed and then graciously gave them some of their own land that grows nothing, and sustains nothing.

I will not let my guilt and grief and overcome my awe or ruin my vacation. But it is a shadow and it makes me both grateful and grief-filled.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Here we go....

Today began a monumental adventure. My llbff (life long bff) and I set out to see the world, or at least the Grand Canyon. We are taking a road trip. Hitting the scenic spots. Tonight, night one, we are in Pueblo, Colorado. We are using airBnB to book our accommodations. Tonight's accommodations are fabulous.
I found a little sticker for my coffee mug that says.... Adventure awaits. Yes it does.

On the road!
We had to stop and take a pic at the border!

Here's the sky at the KS/CO border
 Our home away from home for the night! Amazing!!! So pumped!

What is next? Time will tell....

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The River Denial

I have been dying my heart out. Something I love. But it has morphed into something that steals my time and my life and my freedom that I obsessively must do. I become oblivious to everything else in life. I *should* (I HATE that word, but I'll use it for lack of a better term) have read ahead on Masters classes. I am not only WEEKS behind in one class, but now I'm behind in both classes. I know I have a project due in the one class and I have a teleclass one day this next week. I will do that from my vacay home.

Today I woke with a pit in my stomach of all the things I have neglected in my life and home. Denial is a great thing when it works, but when it stops working, it's a special kind of misery.

Aren't they pretty though?! No wonder I love them so.

Friday, July 14, 2017


Dear SW Philly,
You are such a long time in the past, but every time I smell fresh asphalt in 100 degree weather, I am transported back to the summer of 1987, and living in that big ole building working for the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education. I completely understand when people say that smells trigger memories/emotions.
the naive country girl who was way of out her element

Dear Masters Classes,
If you could just give me a couple weeks of ACTUAL summer break, that would be great.
the burnt out student

Dear Tie Dye,
If you could just create yourself and give me some rest that would be fabulous. Thanks.

Dear Carrie,
You are not as young as you once were. Please stop pushing yourself once you get tired.
Your decrepit self

Dear school,
Stop peeking around the corning and sticking your tongue out at me.
This teacher in summer

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Thankful Thursday

When I look up the meaning of thankful and grateful, the definitions are extremely similar. Grateful, according to google's definition, is: "feeling or showing an appreciation of kindness; thankful." And Thankful, according the same google page, is: "expressing gratitude and relief." To me, gratitude is bigger. It is about an attitude. Maybe it is fair to say an attitude of thanksgiving. But when I think about practicing gratitude, I think about a lifestyle, attitude, practice. I picture thanksgiving as an act. When I think of being Thankful or giving thanks for something, I think of a singular act and my reaction to it. But for today's blog, Thankful Thursday is adequate for a title because I can't find a day of the week that starts with G. Grateful Gursday? Or Griday? You get the picture. I am choosing to be thankful TODAY and that is part of something bigger, a life filled with gratitude.

I am working with diligence to build a healthier lifestyle. Less refined sugar, no soda (and there's always exceptions to this, especially since I have a deep love for Coca~Cola), more movement, and fewer processed and heavy foods. So far I feel wildly successful. I will just need to figure out a way to keep it convenient when school starts and keep going. But with this journey comes the need for accountability. So I inquired on the infamous facebook about who want to help me with accountability. And the response was fantastic!! I realized that I could not have 6+ accountability partners! So I formed a group on fb. And we have been sharing our lives there. Sharing about foods we eat, water intake, exercise, when we eat in ways that are unhealthy, and so on. Within the group, we have formed some accountability partnerships. We started on a Wednesday. Which makes Wednesday accountability day. That is the day we make ourselves vulnerable to the few and share the good, the bad, and the ugly. And we share one good in the group. This group has fueled me. I can't wait to share SOMETHING with these ladies every day! And almost everyday I post asking my friends if someone wants to get in their daily movement with me. Walking mostly. That is my "thing". But last night we went to pool and walked the lazy river. An option from 7-8 pretty much every day. I do not know for sure how many times we walked it. And one of my friends said it's 11 laps to make a mile. So we maybe didn't even make a mile. But that is OKAY. Because it was work and fun at the same time.

Thankful Thursday. I am thankful that this group of ladies has entered my life in a new way. Some of them have been among my friends for a long time, some of them are new friends. Some live close and some live far away. But we are encouraging each other along our journeys today.

Today, on Thankful Thursday I am GRATEFUL for:
  • My Health and Accountability Group
  • The ability to learn and further my education
  • My sobriety/clean time
  • My checkered past
  • My children
  • My dogs
  • My home
  • A great "job" (being a teacher is not a job, it's an identity and a calling)
  • Life
  • Art:  crafting, tiedye!, painting, blogging (writing in any form), and.... (drumroll) gardening
The list goes on. A teacher in summer. I am getting my craft on. Which mostly translates into a lot of tiedying. But I also painted a metal wall hanging and made it look artsy. I will take a picture of that today.  My garden is art. For so many reasons. It does the same thing for my spirit that drawing, crafting and tiedye do. But in it's messy glory, I carefully chose where each plant would go and what colors would be together. And to you it may look disorganized, to me it is a little piece of joy.

So much to be thankful for. Living a life of gratitude.

Go to Big Time Literacy to read about what others are doing this month to keep writing alive in their soul. Blogging is soul food. btbc#17

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

July 2017 Currently.....

Big Time Blogging Challenge is underway this month and I love reading what my friend Michelle posts! She posted a super-cool "Currently" theme. I am not ambitious enough to fill ALL of those out so I "borrowed" an old template from Farley at Oh Boy! It's Farley. I don't know if that is legit or not. If I was ambitious and had some free time, I'd create a new template because I would love to change some of the prompts. But my ambitions don't lie with learning PowerPoint, sad but true. And time.... well, I feel like I've already gone past my allotted time for this morning and this post. Also sad, but since I'm a teacher in summer, probably not all that true.

So the last prompt was 4th of July and that ship has sailed, so I changed it in my not so savvy way.

Listening to the dogs in the yard is about as close to listening to the sounds of silence as it gets. So I am soaking it up. And there is also the sound of heavy equipment being unloaded and rumbling by and that is exciting too because my friend and her family are the recipients of the 2017 McPherson Area Habitat for Humanity house being built right around the corner. We could call this area H4H housing! There are now 4 of them within a block of each other and the new one is going up in the lot next to the house they built last summer! My house (of course), and my friend Rebecca's house is just a stone's throw out my back door, and the other two are in the block behind me on the street that I used to refer to as "crack row." Now it is H4H row!

Loving all things summer! I am doing very little teachering (it's a legit verb, trust me). Partially because I don't know what lies ahead in a new building and new grade level. And partially because I really needed a summer! I cleaning (okay, not so much), tie-dying, crafting, connecting with friends, and doing my best to get on track with my health.

Thinking about this upcoming trip! We leave the state on Sunday! So for me, this thing starts on Sunday. But really, for my bestie, it starts on Saturday because she is coming to stay over so we can head out bright and early. "Did I tell the mechanic everything he needs to know?" "Don't forget to call your insurance agent!" "Did I do everything I need to do to prepare my kids?" "What about...." And then there are these thoughts.... "We have to remember to take a picture here (fill in the word here with about 255 places)" and "I am so stoked about all things New Mexico (okay not totally true, some things about New Mexico.... not-so-much-- insert puke face emoji here)." But there is car cleaning and washing and packing and making arrangements for kids and, and, and....

Wanting to be obligation free.... and tie-dying. I have stuff to do, so there's a part of me that wants tie-dye time to be OVER. But there are some upcoming birthdays that I haven't finished the gifts for and those are soaking in soda ash already. So I am committed. (p.s. the mailman just knocked on my door which means my dyes and chemicals are here.... Christmas in July is a real thing people!)

Needing to adult again and "take care of business" as my friend says. Blech. And there's some homework involved here that I don't know how to even articulate about.

Wondering.... what lies ahead. So many things!! I don't even know where to start! The world of tie dye is growing into this entity that is taking on a life form of its own! I am so super excited! Teaching and learning are also super awesome and I can't wait to see where they take me. This school thing.... it opens the doors to the future for me. And I am good at what I do.

Not on the template.... but on my mind and on Michelle's list....
Drinking.... what I'm not drinking is coke. Which is deserving of both the sad-face emoji and the happy (?) (is there a proud?) emoji. In 3 weeks I have had approximately 1/2 of a 20 oz coke. I have seriously gone through the drive thru and ordered coke for my kids and not gotten one! I do miss it. I will not write an Ode to Coca-cola though because it is not the same elixir of life as coffee. Don't be surprised if you see an Ode to Coffee post one of these mornings. But Coke is a very close second! Last year when people would ask about those little gifty things at school to help encourage other teachers, I also replied, "Coke. coke. coke." "Coke is my love language." So this is not easy. But today is weigh and measure day and if I make gains, er, I mean losses, it will be in part to cutting out Coca-Cola. I might be re-thinking the whole no-ode-to-Coca-Cola thing. I feel a tribute coming on.

Read about everyone's summer! And join the challenge! It doesn't have to be big! or Long. Just write! Big Time Literacy Blogging Challenge '17! #btbc17

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Tie Die For.... get it? har har

Tie Dye is my spirit animal. My fun, my release. It is time consuming and occupies my mind with both something and nothing all at the same time. When my dog died, I tie-dyed. It's a fairly effective grief counselor. So if I come to your funeral with discolored hands and feet, you will know that you were truly loved.
I made these last week, and the two on the left are bestie shirts for our upcoming trip!
Tie Dye is also an obsession. And more than slightly addictive. Lunch? sorry kid, I will be outside today. What do you mean you want quality time? Come outside and talk to me while I tie-dye. What do you mean you don't want to sit outside in 100 degree heat? I don't understand.... Homework? sorry prof, I was tie-dying. I mean, something came up and I was really, really busy.... I'll do better I promise. I can stop any time I want to! I just don't want to. Kind of. I kind of want to stop. I want to become a responsible adult again. kind of. But then again... tie-dye.

So I have trying to decide what I want to do about this obsession. Someone suggested I do classes. I have had two public classes now and a private one. Success. And I have a group for it and now I have started a page. So that I can grow this thing. Yay. I can't wait! I have plans! Big plans! And so I have started. Launched. I can't wait to see what the future holds.Why? Because.... magic. Tie-Dye. Magic. They are sort of the same thing. I can plan what I think something "should" look like, but I cannot control the actual results.

Yesterday I helped a friend create some love for herself, her hubby and their grandkids. It was amazing and awesome.

Big Time Blogging Challenge 2017. Check it out! #btbc17 or visit Michelle at Big Time Literacy.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Try. try again. Or is it.... try. fail. try again. repeat. ???

The answer is yes on so many levels.

I thought this today because there's sort of a never-give-up vibe behind it. And the last couple days I wouldn't have told you that I had given up, and yet... the list of things I did not follow through with is long-ish. I didn't water the garden for two days. In Kansas. In July. And it wasn't raining. Thankfully almost all of it came through without getting burned! I didn't do ANY homework. Summertime, yay. Two classes simultaneously.... seriously?! When do I get to, you know, summer? It's kind of the opposite of adulting. I didn't journal my food. Nor did I practice restraint. I did not keep my water intake high. And last but certainly not least, I did not blog. Boo. I was on a streak too. Six days in a row. *sigh*

So the momentum is building to just let the pendulum swing and stay on this crazy avoidance ride. Because once it starts to swing, it is not that easy to stop. In fact, talking myself into.... blogging, garden-tending (at least the basics), healthy eating, drinking water, and adulting (ugh, responsibility~ parenting, providing, cleaning, homework)... is hard. Real hard. Damn hard. blah.

I was hit hard this morning with the realization that much, most, or possibly even all of this behavior could easily be coming from forgetting to take meds on a regular basis. So get started Care! Take those meds! Water that garden! Etcetera.

Yeah, well, I may or I may not. Because depression, somewhat like alcoholism, tells me lies. Alcoholism tells me I'm not really sick and that I can drink AND I can stop drinking any. time. I. want. Depression doesn't tell me that I am not really sick, but it tells me a laundry list of other lies. Like that being proactive about taking meds FAITHFULLY will not actually help. It tells me no one cares, so why bother. It tells me that if I wasn't lazy, slothful, awkward, (I can keep going, but you get the picture), then I would just do those things that "normal" productive people do.

So today I feel like I have failed. Fallen off the wagon. The healthy lifestyle wagon. The responsible adult wagon. The proactive, functional, find your inner peace through gardening wagon.

Today I will start again. Again.

I will drink more water. I will stop beating myself up. I will start doing the homework. I will climb back up on that wagon. Again. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

I Can't Even....

That is what my brain says this morning. It is everywhere. And nowhere. Probably because I stayed up waaaaaayyyyyyy past my bedtime. Like 3 a.m. So the ADHD symptoms are strong this morning. Blog. But no, first facebook. No, blog. But first, process this deep thought. Oh. I could blog about it! But first tie-dye. Research it. Next.... stop. It's time to blog. But I am thinking about.... wait. What was I thinking about? Maybe gardening. Let's garden this morning! No. First blog, then walk. Then everything else. *sigh* Where are the dogs. Maybe I'll walk my dog. After I blog? Or before. That is the question. Only one. of many. I can't even. I can't even sort out my thoughts. I can't even slow down my obsessions. I can't even focus. I can't even. And it's summer. Do I have to? Argh! Today I am only going to commit to adulting in regard to necessities. Like getting us to appointments. Because staying up until 3 am finishing up birthday cards makes adulting darn near impossible. I just really can't even....
This is what kept me up. Moving from one obsessive artsy behavior to another. But, you know, tie dye. It will be back. Gotta get this posted so I can go rinse....

Big Time Blogging Challenge 2017 is underway! #btbc17

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Transformation? It's a process, not an event

Today I am celebrating my 2 weeks of eating better, walking more, and drinking lots of water! And do I dare say..... almost (almost) no coke. Only a half of a 20 oz. bottle one time.

Today there are no picrues of the journey per se. Because although I'm PUMPED about the losses and they are significant to me, they will not show in a photo. And because my starting measurements are not for sharing. Just the progress.

Enough of the nots. Drumroll please.....

In two weeks time I have.....

  • Lost 5 pounds! 
  • lost an inch in my chest!
  • lost about 4 1/2 or 5 inches in my waist
Today is another busy day in the summertime life of a teacher renewing her spirit after a grueling year and after losing touch with so many of my friends. I will drive to a neighboring town and connect with a life-long friend and we'll talk, laugh, hug and catch up. We will celebrate each other and the chances we've taken and the changes we've made. I will probably eat more fat than I *should* but then again, life is for the living. I will still consume LOTS of water, concentrate on movement, and on developing patterns of exercise in my life. And plan a healthier supper.

I might celebrate my victory by using up the rest of the dye I have mixed up already. I mean, I need those squirt bottles empty for my upcoming class. Right? heh heh....

Big Time Blogging Challenge '17 is underway! So far, so good! Five days of blogging in the books! Check it out at Big Time Literacy! #btbc17

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Born on the 4th of July

Blogging every day in the month of July. I can do this! Whatever I focus on, increases. So today I will focus on the good. Go to Big Time Literacy to read everyone's #btbc17 (Big Time Blogging Challenge '17) posts.

Today I am not striving for Healthy eating or 10,000 steps. Just striving to be happy, joyous and free. Enjoying friends and family and my family of friends.

Adventure numero uno today: Breakfast in the hometown with the folks. I have great memories of many birthday breakfasts with my parents. Today was no different.

Many more adventures are planned today. I plan to keep loving myself. This has not always been the consensus, but today I am worth it.

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Power of my Mind

Today I am having a hard time finding the "right" thing to write about. Kids? Naw. Gardens? Naw. Tie-Dye? What is there to say? Health? *sigh* no. Dogs? Does anyone really want to know about my crazy dog life? LulaRoe? I'm not a dealer (idk what their title is, but their product is highly addictive, so I'll go with dealer), but I do love their stuff. Master of education classes? Naw. I don't even want to know about that. Okay, well, actually, there's some super interesting stuff in these Leadership Coaching Classes. Ha. I think I found something. The power of positive intent.

I am working on learning the language. Because maybe it will help me cross the chasm to Teenage-land so my child can HEAR me when I speak and not just hear "blah, blah, blah.... judgment. Blah, blah, blah, yelling." Because have a teen is exhausting. And I am super tired of being told that I am yelling when I am speaking in even tones and not raising my voice.

There's an entire way to train your brain to think, speak, act differently.... and positive intent is one of the precepts of coaching. Sometimes it still comes out sounding sarcastic. I'm working on it. But my favorite thing I've read so far says that I can create new neuropathways in my brain simply by not using the tried and true ones. That even though they run deep, by consciously choosing new ways of framing thoughts, words, reactions, actions. I can create new pathways. And if you use it, you don't lose it. So the more I use it, the more my brain will automatically go to those pathways. Going through the painful process of thinking through every word every time will eventually lead to automaticity.

Not only does this help my relationships, but it helps me! Because who wants to be a Negative Nelly all the time? If you look up Negative Nelly on Wikepedia, you will see my picture. So that is what comes natural to me after a lifetime of practicing negativity. And thinking that I know what other people are thinking. And its always negative. So... if I banish this, and assume that other people are positive with positive intent, well....

So in spite of the fact that Masters Classes interfere with my lazy summer fantasies, I am learning some really good stuff! Things that will change my life! You know why? Because you attract what you project! That is the reason I am pursuing today. Whatever I project, I attract. And whatever I look for, I find.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Six on Sunday

Day two of the #btbc17. Go to Big Time Literacy to read more!

One goal I have for blogging this summer is to keep it short and sweet. So today I have decided to post six things I am grateful for, and I am calling it 6 on Sunday.

1. I am grateful that sometimes God sees fit to restore broken relationships. I break things. Sometimes those "things" are relationships. And by trying so hard to control them, I sometimes behave in ways that I shouldn't. But today I have hope.
My oldest daughter and I

I am grateful for social media (i.e. facebook). I have connected with old friends and made new and become FRIENDS with people I never would have thought I would connect with. And blogging. I have made some awesome friends through blogs.
Meeting my blogging buddy and knowing that we are now irl friends! Priceless.

I am grateful for aging. Because as my body ages (not so fun), so does my mind and my heart. I like the person I am today so much more than any other time in life before this. I am someone I love today.

I am grateful that I can learn. I am going back to school to get another degree. And it challenges my mind. Which I can only believe strengthens me as a person.
This is how I feel most of the time. Buried under a mountain of books and homework.

I am grateful for July, the month of the birthdays. I love celebrating birthdays.
Truth. All these ladies have July birthdays.

I am grateful for tie-dye. Seriously. It is my happy place. I don't know why and I don't have any need to know why. 😏