Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bid Day

Today is Bid Day at my Alma mater, JMU. It is the last day of rush, the day when you finally know which sorority you will be apart of, the day you have been looking forward to. It brings back so many wonderful memories for me. I can't believe it has been 7 years since I rushed. 7 years, oh my gosh.

I loved being in a sorority. I loved being a Delta Gamma. I know there is that stigma that so many of them carry, but I truly enjoyed it. I met so many amazing women, got to be in leadership roles, participated in community service events, and did other fun things because of it.
My first chapter retreat. I'm somewhere in there!
Me and Laura in our letters.
Senior Alpha Sigmas (my pledge class) at pref night.
Me and my little sister, Erica.
Me and Clarke on the way to a fornal. I loved formals.

Well, that was a nice little stroll down memory lane! Some of those pictures seem like yesterday. Where does the time go?!?

Oh yeah, this post reminds that I still need to finish my sorority scrapbook. I think I have only one year left of it. I better get on that!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Live Beautiful

My friend Courtney over at live beautiful has made a list of ways to live a beautiful life, and has challenged us to make our own. So while I was cleaning up our house yesterday I made my own list of ways to live a beautiful life. These are things, in no particular order, I try to do everyday, some with more success than others.

~ Enjoy the moment.
There was a time in my life when I had so much anxiety about the future that I couldn't enjoy the present. I missed out on some great things while I was in college, but I learned from that experience. You can't get today back, so just enjoy it.

~ Be open to change.
I used to hate change, and I'm still not it's biggest fan. But change is a part of life, and it is necessary. Change can bring about great things, if we are open to it. But so many times we miss out because we are so focused on the way things used to be.

~ Follow your passion.
My pastor always says "you will never be happy until you are doing what God has created you to do." I couldn't agree more. Whatever it is you are passionate about in life, run with it. And if you don't know what you are passionate about, find out.

~ Forget Regret.
Or life is yours to miss. (Don't you just love Rent?) We all have failures, mistakes and things about our past that we would like to change. But we can't, what we can do is change our futures. So don't waste your time regretting something you can't change. Learn from your failures and move on.

~ Give it to God.
There are things, people, situations we can't change. So why waste your time worrying about it, or trying to fix it. It won't work. Give it to the only one who is capable of changing it. (I have to remind myself of this daily.)

~ Don't be afraid to fail.
Take that risk. If you fail, it's okay. You will never do anything worthwhile if you don't step out and try something new.

~ Be thankful.
So many times we are so focused on what we don't have we forget what we already do have. Count your blessings and remind yourself of all the wonderful things in your life.

~ Forgive and let go of bitterness.
Holding onto bitterness never helps you. Just because you forgive doesn't mean you are saying it is okay what that person did to you and it doesn't mean that person still needs to be in your life. As Sophia from the Golden Girls says "Bitterness is like shredded wheat stuck in your dentures, leave it there and it keeps making a wound, worse and worse. But take it out and the wound heals and goes away." It's so true.

~ Make sure people you love know how you feel.
I know this is so cliche, but it's so important. When my grandmother died unexpectedly it made me realize that sometimes there isn't a tomorrow, sometimes your time with someone ends early. I was glad my grandma knew I loved her and I made the time for her.

~ Tell your story.
All of us have a story. Things we have been through that have made us who we are. And so many times by sharing that story we can encourage others who might be going through the same thing.

~ Appreciate the way God has made you.
We focus so much on things we would like to change about ourselves. If God wanted me to have a different type of hair or eye color He would have made me that way. Psalm 139:13 says I am fearfully and wonderfully made. God doesn't make junk, we are His masterpiece and we should see ourselves that way.

~ Live a balanced life.
We need to work, but we also need time to relax, play and serve others. If there is no balance between these life can get hard. If we work with no break we can burn out. If we play without ever serving others our life can lack purpose. Life is a balancing act.

~ Don't give up.
Anything in life that is worthwhile is hard, and takes perseverance. Randy Pausch from The Last Lecture says it well, "The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough."

~ Be positive.
The glass is either half empty or half full. You decide how you want to look at it, and it makes such a big difference.

~ Sometimes hurt feelings are good.
My favorite quote from my pastor is " God would rather hurt your feelings than hurt your future." Sometimes God closes doors. We don't get that job or things don't work out the way we would have liked them to. But God can see far more than we can, and He probably has something better down the road.

~ It's okay to be different.
My students have recently taught me this. They are different than the other students in school (they are handicapped and have developmental delays). They are perfect the way God has created them. Different, but they don't care. They don't waste time worrying about what the other students think, and we shouldn't either.

~ Appreciate the small things.
Our lives are too fast paced and we don't take enough time to find the beauty in the small things. So many times we think in order for something to be beautiful or good it must be something big or expensive or complicated. Sometimes a nice card or a smile can make someone's day.

~ Don't live for material possessions.
They won't love you back. They only make you temporary happy, that's why you have to keep shopping, keep buying. There is nothing wrong with buying things, nothing wrong with shopping. But when that becomes your focus in life, when that is where you go to make yourself happy, then it is a problem.

~ Dream big.
This is something my pastor has instilled in me. I love to think about future goals and dreams for myself. Dream about what it will be like when I do accomplish them.

~ Reflect often.
In order to have a purposeful life, in order to grow, we must reflect. Think about our lives, our actions and question. Question about how we could improve, think about where we are going. Otherwise we are aimlessly going through life.

~ Focus on Eternity.
So many times we get upset about things that don't really matter. We should remember this life is temporary, we won't be here forever, and focus more on the bigger picture. Take perspective, 15 years from now will it matter if that car just cut you off?

So there you have it. How I try to live a beautiful life. If you want to see more click here. You can also make your own list and link up. I would love to read yours!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Relaxing Saturday

It seems for the past couple of weekends we have been busy going places, and doing so many different things. It's been great, and I do love to travel, but this past weekend we stayed in town and didn't really do anything. It was very relaxing, and just what I needed.

Saturday morning I slept in. Then I got a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. I have been waiting for them to come back for a long time.

Then I went to Ellie's soccer game. She was sooo cute, and I still can't believe how big she is getting.
She is number 13.
I took a lot of pictures..........
She did such a great job. Me and her mom are pretty sure her team won (they don't keep score).

Afterwards we got lunch then went to where I used to work and did some pottery painting.
It was nice to be there and not be working, but kinda weird.

A relaxing Saturday: just what I needed.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Week 2

Just finished week 2 of my new job. Still liking it, that's the main thing. But, I am exhausted. The good kind though. The kind where you come home and know you not only worked really hard, but did something good. Did something to make a child laugh or feel good about themselves. Took care of someone who really needed it, and did it with kindness.

I love my kids. All of them are soo different, and I am enjoying getting to know them. They make me smile. The littlest things make them happy. Like "the wheels on the bus" or coloring, one on one time, eating or holding them a certain way.

They all have their own challenges as well. Kicking, sitting up straight, seizures, understanding, eating or being calm. They need a lot of help, but most of the time they are grateful for it.

Most of my students have genetic disorders. They have an extra chromosome, or are missing one, or it's not in the right spot. That one little chromosome makes such a difference, I never knew. Two of my students are undiagnosed. That kinda made me mad. How can they not know what is causing this? Some of their disorders are so rare, I have done a lot of research about them. It's very interesting to me.
I think the highlight of my week was taking a student to art. It is both of our favorites. (All of them have regular classrooms they are apart of and go to one of their extra classes like music or art depending which they like the best) We had such a great time and I just loved helping her. She is so sweet, and gave me a "hey teachy" which always makes my day. (She doesn't say much, so when she looks at you and tells you hello, it's a really big deal.)

I am looking forward to taking another student to the pumpkin patch. She is adorable, I can't even describe how cute she is. She does the cutest hand gestures, and her mom dresses her in the cutest dresses with big bows. She is in kindergarten and will be going on the kindergarten field trip in October. I get to go with her. I can't wait, I know she is gonna love it.

Oh yeah, I have a stuffy nose and scratchy throat. It is really getting on my nerves. I hate being sick and it makes my job so much harder than it should be. I think my body is just getting used to this new schedule and new germs. I am hoping it goes away before Monday.

I am really enjoying working with the nurses, physical therapist and occupational therapist. A long time ago in college those were both my majors at one point, so it suites me well.

So besides not feeling 100 percent, I am still happy about my new job. Glad to be at Echo Lake and happy for the chance to love on my kids everyday.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Roanoke 2010

About two weeks ago me, Clarke, and my sister in law went to Roanoke. We go every year around the end of August. It's become sort of a tradition. 
The first night we were there we got room service. We had these yummy drinks called "the Roanoke punch" and cheesecake.
We always go to Mill Mountain Zoo,
and see the Roanoke Star.
We eat dinner at K and W cafeteria. My sister in law loves this place and the food is pretty good. Plus it's so cheap!
This year we decided to go to The Natural Bridge on the last day of our trip. I hadn't been since I was little. It was much bigger and more beautiful than I had remembered.
We also went into the caverns. It was really neat.

We ended the trip with a stop by the J.Crew factory store in Lynchburg on the way home. As always we enjoyed this trip.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ocean City

We took our last beach trip of the season this past weekend. My dad invited us up to Ocean City, Maryland for the weekend.
It was the nicest drive up there. We took the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. We stopped and had dinner on the bridge while the sun was setting, it was really pretty.
Here is the view from our condo in Ocean City. We were right on the beach.
We spent all day Saturday at the beach, just relaxing.
Saturday night we went down to the Boardwalk. It is voted as one of the top ten boardwalks in America and is over 100 years old.
The ferris wheel was my favorite part.

Ocean City was such a fun beach town. I'm glad we got to go and soak up the last few days of warm weather.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

So this is my first time doing Miscellany Monday over at lowercase letters. I decided since I have been doing a lot of random posts I should link up! So, if this is your first time visiting my blog, welcome!

I was so excited when I heard that my alma mater, James Madison University beat Virginia Tech this weekend in football!! 21 to 16, it was pretty marvelous. If you are not from Virginia this might not be a big deal, but here in Virginia it was a pretty big upset. Yeah Dukes!
I forgot that the bus stop is at the corner of my house. I leave right before the kiddies do, since I live 1 mile away from my school, and get back right before they do as well. Here is a picture from the first day of school:
Betty loves to get on top of everything. But she scared me the other day when she jmuped on top of the refridgerator:
I'm not even sure how she got up there.

That's about all for this Miscellany Monday post!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Brownies and Thank Yous!

I got the nicest card from my teacher this morning, with some burt's bees chapstick! A student's mother also brought us all homemade brownies, yum! The other teachers said she is always making us baked goods, I didn't know that was a perk of the job, but I am lovin it!

So here is to a great first week!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

First Day and My New Classroom

So I was gonna post yesterday about my first day of school, but I was so exhausted. I can't believe how much those kiddies wear me out! But, my first day was great, and today was good too.

A bit about my classroom:
First off my kids are so sweet. Most of them are in wheelchairs. I am still unsure about their specific disorders, I feel like I have so much to learn.

The teachers that I am working with are very nice as well. I think that is gonna make a huge difference because I am with them all day.

We work with a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, a speech and vision person, and other teachers. There is always someone coming in and out of our classroom.

It breaks my heart, sometimes, to see these children struggling with things I take for granted. Things like walking, or chewing or expressing myself. It makes me sad. But there are the littlest things that they love, that makes them so happy, things like something soft or getting off the bus in the morning, or music or swinging. And that makes me so happy, things most children wouldn't even think twice about.

I think it's gonna be a bit more challenging than I first anticipated, but I know I am helping these children that desperately need it, and that makes all the difference. I slept so good last night, from being so tired, but I think also because I know I am in the right place, doing something good and much needed.

Well I am off to get ready for small group. We are meeting at my house tonight.

Monday, September 6, 2010


"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. "
-Philippians 4:7

I can't believe tomorrow is the first day of school! I have such a peace about it. I was talking to Clarke about it at dinner tonight, and he asked if I was nervous. And honestly, I'm not.

I am somewhat surprised that I'm not nervous, but I'm not. I know this is where I am suppose to be. And peace from God is guarding my heart. I posted here about how I was scared to start this new job. But since then I have really felt God's confirmation about this job.

I am so excited to start this new chapter. I'm ready. :)

Week Off

Happy Labor Day!!! I've had such a great week off! I feel so blessed to be able to take a week off in between jobs and just relax and get some things done.

I scrapbooked a lot. I finally started and finished our honeymoon scrapbook.

I got to sleep in, which was amazing.

I watched a lot of Golden Girl episodes, I know call me a dork, but I love them.

I spent a lot of time with Betty.

I got to babysit one of the cutest babies.

I went out to lunch with my mom.

We went camping with some friends from my small group at church. We had such a great time, stayed up till 3am which I haven't done in a long time. P.S. corn on the cob cooked over the camp fire is delicious!

Relaxed and spent time with my hubby.

We went to a cookout at a friend's house, and enjoyed the campfire again.

Today we are doing some things around the house. I'm excited to get them done.

It's been a great week off and I am so ready for tomorrow. (The first day of school!!)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Totally Random

                              It's Snowing:
in my freezer. Something is broken, or not right and I have been putting it off, but today I am calling the repair man to come fix it. Let's hope it doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

I'll be going to the dentist today. I hate going to the dentist. So much that my husband is taking his lunch break to take me. I hate the noises and uhh, just thinking about it makes me queasy.

What I'll Be Doing:
this week: In my last post I talked about how Monday was my last day at my old job. I don't start my new job for a couple days so I am off this week! I have big plans to catch up on some scrapbooking!

I'm Ready:
for fall. The crisp cool air and pumpkins. Yes, I'm excited about pumpkins. I love the way they taste, I love carving them and I love to decorate with them.

I Can't Wait:
to see Chuck Close! He is my favorite living artist. His work is amazing, and when I found out he was coming to The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts I was sooo excited and shocked. He is such a big name artist to be coming to little old Richmond, Va.