Monday, January 31, 2011

Another Running Milestone

On Saturday I was still upset about not being able  to coach, and felt like I needed to run. I also wanted to try this out:
I already have Nike shoes, and really wanted a way to be able to track my distance, calories, pace and time. I was really pleased with my new Nike Plus. I love how it talks to you while you run.

So while I was running on Saturday I finally hit 5 miles! I couldn't believe I ran that far without stopping. It felt so great. I only have one more mile to go before the 10k, and I have 2 months left to train.

When I first started running, I couldn't even make it for a mile. The 3 mile mark was a big victory for me as well. After three months of running I can say that I finally enjoy it. I think.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Making Sense Of It All

"The very things that hold you down are going to lift you up."
~ Timothy Mouse from Dumbo

I first wanted to thank everyone for your sweet emails and facebook messages. I didn''t even know you read this little blog! It really meant so much to me.

Since my last post I am feeling better. I finally talked to human resources and they explained that since I am already an hourly employee they would have to pay me overtime if I coached as well. Since teachers are paid a salary they are exempt from overtime, so they can coach as well. Federal law required they pay me time and a half if I worked more than 40 hours (which I would if I coached) since I am hourly. I just wish they told me that when they hired me 3 months ago, oh well.

But, to the point of this post. I love that quote above, yes it is from Dumbo. I saw it on a little sign in Hallmark awhile ago, and it actually reminded me of my students.

I still believe God is in this, somehow. I don't understand, and that's hard. I know somehow He is working, and He is still in control, and that is good. I still believe He has called me to be a teacher, and I will get there one day.

I never want to miss out on the good things God has for me. I honestly think a lot of people do. I think they get so upset because things don't turn out how they wanted, and they focus on what they don't have, they miss out on the blessings and the other great things God has for them.

Despite my bad week at work, I still love my job. I love my students, and I am blessed to work with such caring people. When I got the call about not being able to coach I started sobbing. I was at work. One of my students (who gives the best hugs) gave me the biggest hug and just smiled at me. Of course she didn't understand why I was so upset, but she knew a hug would somehow help. One of my coworkers gave me a big hug and everyone said nice uplifting things. And I've worked at places before where that would not have happened, nobody would have cared.

I know one day I will look back and understand, even if that is when I get to heaven. I still want to teach, and I'm not ready to give up on that.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Tired

I don't even know where to begin. I guess by saying I've had a rough week. Besides being sick work has been emotionally and physically hard. Having to restraint a first grader who has a nose bleed and is spraying blood everywhere (including all over me, and ruining my sweater) is not my idea of a good day. Having to take care of sick students while you aren't feeling well yourself is never fun. But today, today did it for me.

I was actually having a really good day, and the students were having a good day too. Until I got a call from the principal at the middle school where I was supposed to be coaching. He basically said that because I am paid hourly I am not able to coach. Coaches get paid a lump sum for the season, and an aide gets paid hourly. As I type this I am still trying to wrap my head around this concept, it doesn't even make sense. Why does it matter if I get paid hourly for one job and a lump sum for another? I just don't get it. The thing that really makes me upset is he is telling me this 3 days before the season is suppose to start. 3 days. Really. I have already volunteered with the dance put on by the athletic department to raise money for sports teams, attended the coach's clinic and gone by the school to pick up the rules book and other things. And that doesn't even include all the time I've spent putting things together for tryouts and practices. Oh yeah, they hired me 3 months ago!

The thing that really makes me upset, and if I'm brutally honest, truly tired is when the principal said
"It's because your not a teacher. "
I'm soooo tired of hearing that, not actually spoken by others all the time, but in my mind. "No I don't get paid for snow days." "No I don't have health insurance through my work." "No I don't get a summer break, I don't get paid in the summer!" I'm not a teacher.

It's been 3 years now. 3 years since I started this journey. And honestly, if I would have known all the crap I would have had to deal with I wouldn't have chosen this path. Maybe I should have just stayed in a job that pays well even though I was so unhappy. I don't know, I honestly believe that God has called me to this profession, but right now I am seriously doubting it.

I was starting to feel like finally things were falling into place. I finally had a job in my field, and was hopeful that it might lead to an art teaching position somehow, somewhere. I finally got a coaching position, something I was really looking forward to, another job in my field. And despite what things looked like at times I believed that God was working it all out and bringing it together somehow.

Part of the reason I started this blog was because I wanted a place to document this journey. The journey towards obtaining my goal. So I am going to publish this post, in hopes of one day looking back and seeing how far I have come. Seeing how I overcame obstacles (and believe me I have had plenty when it comes to finding a teaching position). But, right now I honestly don't believe it anymore. I don't see how this is going to work out. And I hate that. But I'm being real.

 I got a crappy student teaching placement. I have had the hardest time finding a teaching position. And now I have been offered a job and then had it taken away, for some rule that doesn't even make sense. And I'm tired. I'm tired of making the sacrifices. I'm tired of making nothing. I see on my tax forms how much money I made in 2010 and it's depressing. I'm tired of being around teachers all the time, and not being one. I'm tired of getting so upset because I'm passionate about something and it just doesn't seem to be working out. I'm tired of always being the volunteer, the substitute, the aide. I always try to see the silver lining, the upside of things.

But right now I am tired of that too.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up

I had a pretty laid back weekend. Mostly because I was sick for most of it. I had the worse sinus infection of my life. Most of the time I can suck it up and deal, but not this time. I hate canceling plans, letting people down, but I had to do it this weekend....oh well.

I did manage to go out Friday night to celebrate a friend's birthday. We went to a new cupcake place, Frostings, and got gourmet cupcakes. Mine was really good. Since there was no seating at the place we took the cupcakes to Starbuck's, and just got lattes as well!
Can you tell I was sick in that picture? I am finally feeling better, which is such an answered prayer! 

Well that was my oh so exciting weekend. (Can you sense the sarcasm?) Ha!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Because I'm a Dork

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge Golden Girl fan. It started at the very end of high school and I still just love them. I own every season on DVD, because I'm cool like that. I blogged about it here and here.

I recently saw this cool remix of their theme song (which was my ring tone for several years) and thought I would share. Maybe in hopes of finding another crazy Golden Girl fan like me.



Thursday, January 20, 2011

Goodbyes and Gratitude

I hate saying goodbyes. I know they are apart of life, part of the way god designed it. But I still have trouble accepting it. Recently our children's pastor announced that he has taken a new job in Texas and would be leaving our church.

Pastor Alan is not only our children's pastor, but he is also in charge of our young adults ministry. The one I blogged about here. So I have not only gotten to know Pastor Alan and his wife through the children's ministry, but also through the young adults ministry as well. Oh, they are also our neighbors.

Pastor Alan has always challenged us to follow god, and not to settle. He has guided us and given us good advice about choices we make for god. He has encouraged us to take risks, and put ourselves out there.

But instead of just "talking the talk" he would also "walk the walk". His actions line up with what he preaches, which doesn't always happen in this imperfect world we live in. Through different church activities whether they were summer camp or a young adult social, Pastor Alan has truly shown what it means to follow Christ. His energy, excitement and enthusiasm for working with children has inspired me to bring those same elements into the classroom everyday.

And so it makes sense that once again he is showing us what it means to really follow god. Even when that means moving all the way to Texas, and starting a new life. His family will be missed so much. But I know god has something for them in Texas, new people for them to touch, new children for him to impact. Maybe another aspiring teacher who is eager to learn how to really love children, how to relate to them or another young adult who just needs guidance or a good role model.

I still hate goodbyes.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Happy Wednesday!
Thought I would play along over at Jamie's blog. If it's your first time visiting, welcome!
Here is what I am loving today.....

 I am loving making plans for spring/summer trips! I've been researching possibilities for our summer vacation, and on my day off Monday, a good friend and I looked at beach houses online for our girl's trip this summer. It makes me want to go. now.

 I am loving these accessories...
love this pillow
and these planters.
I am loving this pendant light, thinking it might be perfect for over our kitchen table.


I am loving that I start coaching gymnastics in a little over a week. Honestly, I am kinda nervous, but mostly excited. Can't wait to get my team together.


I am loving The Biggest Loser. I just can't imagine loosing that much weight in just one week! It's so addicting, and I have so much respect for those people, trying to make a positive change in their life.


 I am loving HGTV's dream home.
Isn't it beautiful? Click here for a chance to win. (And if you do, please take me...thanks!)


And that is what I am loving on this Wednesday!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Piano Man

A couple weeks ago when we were in NYC at the moma we had the privilege of seeing a really neat performance. I videotaped some of it, so thought I would finally share:

video

He is actually moving the piano as he plays, this video doesn't do it justice.

To read/see more go here.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Beige Be Gone

When we first moved into our house most of it was painted an ugly, drabby beige color. It took two coats of white to cover it all up. We ended up painting the entire downstairs and even some ceilings to get rid of it. But we never got to the hallway upstairs. We ran out of energy and decided to finish it another time.

So Saturday we finally rolled up our sleeves and finished painting almost the last of the beige. (The master bathroom is that ugly color too, but we are saving that for when we redo the entire bathroom.)
Of course Betty had to check out the paint. She only got a little bit on her this time!
Clarke hard at work.

We love the way it looks now! So much better and brighter. And we felt so productive to be able to check something off our to do list for the house. It's true what they say about homeownership, there's always something to do.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Half Way There!

Tonight I ran 3.2 miles, without stopping! I'm offically half way there (the 10k I am training for in April is 6.2 miles, so I guess technically I am a little over halfway).

As I was driving home I thought about one of my favorite songs by Bon Jovi, Livin' on a Prayer, where he says "Whooah, we're half way there, livin' on a prayer!" Love it, so here is the music video. Enjoy!


I think I need to add this song to my running playlist. Can't believe I am almost there!!!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Last Call on the Lights

For my birthday I had wanted to go see the lights at Lewis Ginter, a botanical garden here in Richmond. I had never been, but always heard wonderful things about it. Well it snowed and they ended up closing.

So Friday night a group of us decided to go and see all the lights before they took them down for the season. I was so excited to finally get to go.
It was really neat, and all the lights were so pretty.
Inside they had a beautiful Christmas tree. I love all the colors.
In all my years of living in Richmond I had never been. So I was glad I got to see all the lights, and didn't have to wait until next year.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Europe and A Baby

Note: I am not pregnant, not planning on getting pregnant right now, nor will I be in the next year. For all of those who may have gasped when reading that title...you can breathe....lol. Now onto the real post:

I love to plan. Love to think about things I want to do with my life. Big things. Like what it will be like when I become a teacher, or what a certain place will be like when I get to travel there, or what it will be like when I am a mommy. It's part of the way God designed me, part of who I am. And I love that about me.

So back to the title of this post.......me and Clarke were talking the other night about traveling, where we want to go this year. If we won the lottery we would def. go to Europe. It's the last big thing we want to do before having kids. We have been extremely blessed with good jobs, it's been almost a year since we bought our house (that was a big dream for us) and we have wonderful friends and family. So one would think we are ready for a baby. But there is something in me that isn't ready to settle down just yet.......

There is something in me that screams, "go to Colorado and visit your cousin, see those beautiful mountains for real" or "go see that friend down in New Orleans, Clarke has never been and would absolutely love it" or "Just get in the car and go see that building in Western Pennsylvania, you've been wanting to go for years now" Something that is saying "the baby can wait, the travels and adventures can't."

I think about all the amazing places I have had the privilege to visit. I spent a summer in Lake Tahoe, California during college. I was an exchange student in France one summer in high school. I have been to Hawaii, Belize, the Caribbean, and all over the US. I am blessed!

People always ask "when are you gonna have a baby?" It's the next big step for us. But we are not ready. Not right now. Sometimes I wish they would ask "When are you going to Europe?" But I would have the same answer for them, probably sometime in 2012, but really we don't know?

And I wish I knew. It goes back to that planning part of who I am. The part that wants it all laid out.

But that's not how life is. Not how God designed it, and for a good reason. So, here I am, visiting sites like Expedia or Orbitz or Kayak pricing airfare on various destinations. Dreaming of far away places. I have no idea where our travels will take us before we do have children, but I can't wait.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Healthy Favorites

With the new year, and so many people thinking about being healthy, I thought I would share some of my favorite healthy foods. Last year I really learned how to incorporate more foods that are better for me into my lifestyle, that taste good as well (besides the regular fruits and vegetables). So here goes....

Kashi Cereal
I eat this most mornings for breakfast. It's really good for you (has as much protein as an egg!) and yummy as well. There are lots of different flavors, but the berry crumble is my favorite.


100 Calorie Packs
These are basically just crackers that are prepackaged into 100 calorie servings. I love them because they are easy, and if left with the whole bag I would eat it all.


Crystal Light
I love Crystal Light! Most of the flavors taste good, this one and the tea are my favorite.


Kashi Bars
Another Kashi product, can you tell I am a fan of Kashi? The peanut peanut butter bars are so yummy!

Sugar Free Pudding

This pudding is great when you want something sweet, without the calories and fat. Still pretty tasty.

Sandwich Thins
These are great for sandwiches, but also to make little pizzas out of as well. They are only 1 weight watcher point too!

There you go! I hope this helps for anyone who is looking for some yummy healthy food.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Miscellany Monday

Happy Monday and New Year!!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

 Running into 2011....
It is less than 3 months till the 10k! Over winter break I have been quite the slacker, only running about once a week. But I had a great run on Saturday when the weather was nice and it felt great. Right now I can run about 2.5 miles, which is good for me. When I started running I could barely run a mile! So here's to the other 3.7 miles to go!

 Dancing the Night Away....
I had a great time celebrating the new year. A group of us went to Stuzzi's, a fairly new Italian restaurant, for dinner. As always, it was really good.
After enjoying some cheese, pasta and wine we headed to The National, it used to be a theatre, but now bands play there. They had a 90s dance party, so we rung in the new year enjoying some favorites from high school and middle school.

 Smiling Faces....
While I definitely enjoyed my winter break I have missed my students so much! I am really lucky that I enjoy my job, and enjoy the people I work with, especially my kids. I just can't wait to see their smiling faces tomorrow. (I am writing this post Sunday night.)

 Because I Haven't in Awhile....
Here is a picture of Betty:
Just thought I would throw that in there!

New Edition....
For my birthday I received a gift card to Target from some friends. I had been wanting a console table for the living room, so when I saw it was on sale I couldn't resist!
I love the way it looks. I still need to get candles to put on the candle holders, maybe play around with the accessories some more. I didn't put the bottom shelf on because I want to put two storage cubes/ottomans underneath to pull out for extra seating, like they did here.

Hope everyone had a great new year's! That's it for this Miscellany Monday post!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

 
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