Thursday, May 31, 2012

I Had to Say Goodbye

The dog in these pictures is Asia.  The dog that I've owned since she was 8 weeks old.  The dog that has slept in my bed every night since she was 8 weeks old.  The dog that has always been at the door waiting for me whenever I get home.  The dog that has done all of that for 6 years.

I told you all yesterday how I posted an ad on Craigslist to give her away - because she needed a better home.  A home with a backyard and an owner that had more time to give her the love she deserves and needs. 

That woman came today.  She was as perfect as I was hoping - and scared of.  She had a beautiful baby boy with her - and they both spent some time with Asia...petting her, holding her, testing the waters to see if Asia was the dog they were looking for.  And, unfortunately for me, she was.

Asia knew something was going on.  As I held her, she was shaking.  She knew, somehow, that I was about to say goodbye.  I could feel it.  I didn't want to cry.  I didn't want to upset stupid as that sounds.  I also didn't want to let her go.  She's probably the only pet I've had for so long - and she was such a good dog.  She was loyal and loving - and she was the dog I'd wanted my whole life.  And now she's gone.

I know I did the right thing, but it doesn't make the pain any easier.  I know that Asia will be taken care of - but that won't make me miss her any less.  Already the house feels empty without her.  She's not at my feet like she's always been when I'm on my computer.  And it feels cold and empty down there on the floor where her bed used to be.

My only hope is that Asia will be happy and comfortable at her new home.  As long as she is happy, I will be happy.  It will take a lot of getting used to her not being here - but I will... eventually. 

There are a lot of changes and stuff happening in my life right now.  Some good.  Some not so good.  But, what I have to realize is that the not so good are just temporary....the good are here for a long time. 

There's two weeks until my parents come home.  I'm at the halfway mark - I've done it for two weeks, I can do it for two more.  I have a new kitty.  While I'm definitely not convinced that she will provide the companionship and love that Asia provided - Hubby likes her, so that's a plus I didn't have.  And then there's my job.  I did it!  How can I not be happy about that?  It trumps everything else going on...EVERY-THING! 

And with all this, my weight loss efforts have taken a back seat once again.  While I know that I will be jumping back on the wagon soon - I'm forgiving myself for letting it slide at the moment.  Once I'm back home, buying my own groceries, being able to get to the gym and have time to myself - things will get back to normal.  I can go back to planning my meals, eating clean, and working-out.  Yeah, I know I've said it over and over...and it's hard to believe me anymore. But I believe me.  I believe in myself.  That's all that really matters.  I will never give up - and I still have plenty of time this summer to make some serious changes. 

So, today I said goodbye to a very dear friend.  I will miss her and hold a special place in my heart for her always.  I will never forget the comfort she gave me...and that I will now have to find something else to provide the love and comfort she gave me.  But both of our lives have taken different directions.  She can go on and discover new adventures - and I will do the same.

I love you, Asia - Always will.  I know you will love your new home - and that you will miss me as much as I miss you.  Enjoy your new life - and I owe it to you to enjoy mine.

Till next time. ;)


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Thank Goodness for Therapy

It's no secret that my son sees a therapist on a regular basis. It's required for his ADHD to help him cope with some of his anger and stress issues. What I've touched on a few times, but really haven't divulged too much is the fact that I use my son's therapist as my own therapist. Sometimes. Not always...only at times when I'm really stressed out and need to vent and want the opinion of a professional. And, it's not as often as you think - thankyouverymuch! Luckily, Butter's therapist is very cool to allow me to vent and let off my own steam when the only thing I should be discussing is Butter. When you really think about it - a less stressful mom equates to a less stressful Butter... so it's win-win however you look at it. Am I right?

Today was one of Butter's appointments that turned in to 30% Butter, 70% me. Come on, are you surprised? I may have mentioned once or twice how I'm currently taking care of 6 children, secluded at my parent's house away from Hubby, and worrying about getting my teaching license switched over to Missouri. Therapy Dude (what I'm going to call him) was very happy to hear about my new teaching job, but understood the stress that has now replaced the job search stress.

What he told me was what I needed to hear. I did this to myself. He tells me straight - doesn't sugar coat anything...and I need that. I am in no short supply of sympathy or a kind word when I need it, but it's sometimes hard to find someone that will say " big baby, you only have yourself to blame". Not that he would ever use those exact words - but I got the point. He's totally right. I agreed to watch the kids. My parents didn't blackmail me, hold me down at gunpoint, or threaten to disown me for the rest of my life. They asked, I agreed. Which means? Yep, did this to myself.

It really helped to let out some of the stuff that's currently bothering me - and he told me to focus on what I'll get to do once my parents come back and life will go back to normal. He told me to focus on the fact that it's two more weeks - and as long as I stay positive, it will fly by. The guy makes a lot of sense. I have no idea what Hubby's talking about when he says he's told me the same stuff a thousand times. I don't recall any of that. And that's simply because all I want to hear from Hubby is sympathy... but he tends to be more like Therapy Dude. And I only have room in my life for one Therapy Dude. Although I still love Hubby very much - and I will make his life Hell once I get home. HA!

So, I left the therapist's office feeling good - a lot more optimistic. I got this. If anyone can do it - I can. Then, I saw that I had an email response about the ad I placed on Craigslist for my dog. That brought the walls smashing down around me pretty quickly. Just the thought of my dog not being there to greet me when I get home scares me. A lot. She's been a part of my family for 6 years... longer than my youngest daughter has. I feel like I'm giving up on her - the dog, not my daughter. OK, so she messes around the house sometimes...a lot... but is it enough for me to just find her a new home? She needs a yard to play in - I know that... but she's done without this long. Does she really need one now? The truth is yes, to both. But it's so hard to really admit that.

The woman that answered my ad sounds perfect. A teacher, with 3 kids. Hmm.. sounds familiar. Yet, she added that she lives in a nice house with a big fenced in back yard. She has a larger family dog, but wants a smaller inside dog to snuggle with. Sounds like something Asia will absolutely adore. I just hope she's as nice as she sounds. She's coming to meet Asia tomorrow and possibly take her home.

I keep telling myself that I'm not just making a good decision for the house - but for Asia. I know that once this next year starts, my time will be in short supply. It's been hard enough to give her some attention this past year - let alone once I start actually teaching. My kids are neglected enough - think about how much neglect my dog receives? Yet, I always imagined Asia being with me forever.

One day, I will have a house with a nice fenced in back yard. Then, maybe, I'll be able to get a dog that will be happy. That can run and play and enjoy all the luxuries a dog should have. Until then, it's only right that I find those luxuries for Asia now - while she's still young enough to enjoy them.

Wow...maybe I shouldn't write my blog posts in the evening anymore. I have a tendency to be very contemplative, huh? Well, letting it all out has helped. Maybe I don't need Therapy Dude as much as I thought. Or maybe Therapy Dude is the one that helped me come home and be so open with how I'm feeling. I definitely feel better now that it's all out of me and on here for you all to enjoy.

Gosh, I love my life.

Till next time. ;)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

True Confessions Tuesday!!!

Wouldn't it be nice if one Tuesday, I came on here and said "Sorry folks, I have absolutely nothing to confess this week"? You should be so lucky. As long as I'm overweight, ticked off about something - which you all know is pretty much all of the time - and breathing...I'm going to have something to confess.

So, like I've done for pretty much every Tuesday for over a year... I'm going to share this week's confessions....

I confess that... I am so happy that once I'm done babysitting at my parent's house, I don't have to attend ESL academy. I was supposed to spend the the last two weeks in June attending a 12 hour a day/7 day a week college course that would give me my certification to teach ESL. It's a course that's only offered for AR teachers - or this course is - so, now I'm no longer eligible to take it. As much as I'd like to be ESL certified, I know that spending two weeks doing that after spending 4 weeks at my parent's house would have completely knocked me over the edge of becoming clinically insane. No one wants that.

I confess that... I'm still not eating well. I'm eating once or twice a day, and my food choices are anything but clean. I know it has a lot to do with the options that I have here at my parent's. They left tons of food for me to use while they are away, but hardly any of it fits in with the clean eating I want to be doing. I think that may be why I'm skipping so many meals - it's frustrating me that I don't have the options that I want. Once I get home, things will be a lot easier in that aspect.

I confess that... I'm not drinking near enough water. I'm down to drinking maybe 32ozs a day, and my body is informing me exactly what it thinks of that decision. I'm a little swollen and bloated because I'm probably a little on the dehydrated side. I just need to start carrying my water bottle around with me everywhere.

I confess that... I posted an ad on Craigslist last night to give away my sweet, precious dog, Asia. I've had her since she was 8 weeks old, and she's now 6 years old. I don't want to give her away - but Hubby and I are really tired of her using our entire house as a toilet. It started a little after she was fixed - and it's just gotten worse. She was paper trained, and I've kept her as an inside dog. But, the truth is, she needs access to a back yard - and I don't have one to give her. It breaks my heart thinking of not having her in the house with me - but hopefully I can find someone who can give her everything I can't.

I confess that... I spent a good part of yesterday watching House Hunters and Love It or List It on HGTV, and now I'm in an ancy, must find a new house or redecorate our house mood. I'd much rather find a new house, but being that I'm just now starting a job and I still have plenty of bills to take care of - urm, student loans - I'm not sure a new house is something that will be feasible for another couple of years.

I confess that... this week, Sanity asked me if I'd be interested in teaching a nutrition class at the summer camp she's working at the week of June 18th. It will be 4 half days, teaching the same lesson twice a day. I feel honored that she asked me to teach such a class, but it scares me a little. I'm not exactly the poster child of nutrition right now, but the money is really good - and I'd love to have a little extra cash to spend. I would love to use the money on a staycation for Hubby and I. I'm thinking about teaching the class on the importance of healthy food choices and ditching the video games for some outside activities. Suggestions would be very much appreciated. Hrm, hrm, hint, hint.

I confess that... tomorrow, I will be purchasing my first furniture thing for my new classroom. A pair of bean-bag chairs. Being that I haven't gotten to think about my new classroom at all since finding out I'm actually going to have one - it was nice to find a friend that was getting rid of her bean-bags and snatch them from her.

I confess that... my mood has lifted quite a bit the past couple of days. As much as I could think of things I'd much rather be doing - I don't have that option, so I'm making the most of what I've got to work with. My parent's house is nice, comfortable, and in a relaxing location. I can either think of this as a small vacation - or a prison sentence. Who wants to spend their time feeling like their in prison? Not me! So, mini vacation feeling it is.

I confess that... I'm so jealous of Jelly right now. She left on Sunday to go spend the week with P-Momma. Yesterday, I got this texted to me...

Yep, I'm so jealous. She's having a blast in the pool. Which I'm happy about - she deserves a little break. I just can't wait until I'm able to join her in that crisp, clear water.

I confess that... I'm going to do more walking this week. Probably late in the evening, because in the morning I'm doing my blog posts and drinking coffee. Not a great excuse, but being that I was outside at 8am this morning and was dripping sweat by just sitting there - I think I'll enjoy the evening walks better.

Alright, I think that's plenty for one day. It's going to be a relaxing day for me today - and then tomorrow and Thursday I'll be able to get out of the house and do some running around. I've never been more excited about running errands - HA!

Till next time. ;)

Monday, May 28, 2012

A Day to Remember

It's Memorial Day. A day where many will fire up the grill, spend time with family, and get a day off work. It's also the day where hopefully every person in this country will remember why they get to have a day off work, fire up the grill, and spend time with their families.

I'm not someone who has lost family members due to serving in the military. I mean, I'm sure that somewhere back down my family tree there I have some heroes I'm not aware of that gave their life fighting in some war or another, I'm just not aware of any. That doesn't mean I don't have to remember to thank those that have fought or continue to fight every day for their country.

I do remember that I almost became a member of the military. Well, take that with a grain of salt... I thought very seriously about it, and inquired a lot about it. I remember 12 years ago I walked in to a recruiting office for the Navy. I was only 17, but I was starting to think about what I wanted to do with my life after high school. I had discussed the military with friends - several of them had their plans in order. Future Marines, Army, and Navy...and I was interested in following that life path. It was probably the only time in my life where I doubted wanting to become a teacher. But, times were very hard for me then. I had left home, I was confused, I was scared. I didn't know what I was going to do once I was out of high school. To a young, naive school girl - the Navy offered shelter, security, and a future.

I met with a recruiter. He took all of my measurements, gave me a bunch of pamphlets, and told me what I would need to do in the next few months to sign up - one of those things being to lose 7lbs. I was 7lbs over the weight limit for bootcamp. That seems funny, now. Only 7lbs overweight to join the Navy...boy would I love to be that weight again! I even signed up for some training with a recruiter so that he could help me muscle up and lose the weight.

A week later, I found out I was pregnant with Peanut. So, there went my thoughts about being in the Navy. Although, I wonder many times what would have happened if Peanut hadn't of come along at that moment. Would I have gone through with it? Would I have enlisted? All the could-a, would-a, should-as that come in to play. Not that I regret how my life turned out....I wouldn't change a single thing that's happened in my life. Every little step has gotten me to where I am now, and I'm very happy with how my life has turned out thus far.

But it's memories like this one that makes me really think about the military personnel that fight each and every day. They leave their families for months, sometimes years at a time. Mothers have to leave their kids, fathers have to miss the birth of their children, parents have to go for weeks wondering where their child is and whether he/she is still alive. The sacrifices that members of the military make - just to help protect the country that we live in. It's a lot.

Regardless of political, religious, or personal beliefs - the men and women that serve in the military should be honored, loved, and respected.

Today, I won't be having a BBQ. I was lucky enough to do that yesterday. I'm also lucky enough to be with my family each and every day. Something I often don't think about quite enough - and be thankful for near as often as I should. And that's how I'm going to show my thanks today - and remember. I'm going to enjoy time with my family, I'm going to tell them about the importance of Memorial Day, and I'm going to instill values in my children to respect anyone who gives up their freedom in order to protect the freedom of this country. It's not much - but it's something.

I'm also going to remember the day where I was only 7lbs away from meeting the Navy enlistment weight. I'm ten times that number away now - but I can start making some changes. While joining the Navy is no longer on my to-do list, becoming fit and healthier is...and it starts with small changes.

Have a great Memorial Day, everyone. And take just a second to remember why we have this holiday.

Till next time. ;)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Enjoying Sun-Day - And Finding Motivation to RUN!

After a very rocky start to my morning, I've decided I'm gonna suck it all up and enjoy a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

I was woken up this morning by a phone call that rubbed me the wrong way. After spending a little time by myself and having a good, cleansing cry, I wiped away the tears and realized I need to make the most of this situation - or I'm going to spend the next 19 days a very miserable, cranky woman. Or a more miserable, cranky woman than I already am.

I decided to do a little cleaning, and then I poured a cup of coffee and sat my behind out on the porch. It's hot outside, but the wind is blowing pretty hard which is giving me a nice, cooling breeze. It's relaxing, though, and it gave me the jolt I needed to get my blog post written without it being all doom and gloom. I may not be in a perfect situation right now, but I don't have to whine and cry about it every day on here.

Later today, Hubby is coming over - and he's going to cook on the grill for all of us. A little Memorial Day get-together. I sure have missed his cooking. Being here the past week has made me realize how great I have it at home. The truth is, I'm spoiled rotten. At my house, I don't cook, I wash dishes with a dishwasher, and I can talk, vent, yell, scream, and laugh with a man that really loves me. Being here without him has really put in to perspective how much I love him - and how I just couldn't live without him.

And if you're wondering why he's not here with me - well, he has to work. And on the days he doesn't have to work, he's taking care of the stuff that needs to be taken care of at home. Plus, he's reminded me a zillion times that he didn't sign up to babysit. He's totally right - he didn't. I can't hold that against him. So, he comes over when he can to spend a little time with me. Like today.

While talking to him this morning on the phone, and filling him in on the start to my day - I told him I needed him to bring my running shoes with him. It happened on the spur of the moment, but it hit me that I know something that will help me deal with my emotions right now: Running. Or at least walking.

Whenever I get in a funk - which used to be job related, but I don't have to worry about that anymore - I would go for a walk or a jog. Why I haven't thought of that sooner is beyond me. I get up at the butt-crack of dawn each morning anyway - I could be up and walking/jogging on this beautiful piece of land my parents own before anyone else is even out of bed. I know it will help me clear my head - and let's not forget about the benefits it will do to my body. I know I'm gaining weight sitting around here pouting...I need to be doing something about that!

So, starting this evening, I'm going to go for a walk...just up and down the driveway a few times. The kids can play outside while I'm doing it. Then, tomorrow morning, I can get up and do the same thing...alone.

How quickly I forgot the promise I made myself a few weeks ago. Do you remember? I said that I would go back to work after the summer break a new person. A thinner, fitter person. I was going to find myself again this summer - find the person who loved working out, eating healthy, and showing off the rocking body that was forming from the work I was doing.

I want to be back to the woman who wore size 16s with pride - because it sure was better than the size 24s that I wore previously. I want to go back to not being afraid of going to the pool, or wearing a bathing suit, or wearing shorts for that matter. I'm not her, right now. I'm slowly reverting back to that size 24 woman...I'm already back up to a very snug size 18 and more comfortable size 20. The thought of getting in to a bathing suit right now scares me to death...and I won't even look in the mirror after putting on a pair of shorts and a very baggy t-shirt.

It's funny, though. I remember being 297lbs. I remember how wonderful I felt getting down to 245lbs - and fitting in to a size 18-20 pants. I'm that woman, now, but I don't feel so great. That's because I tasted what it was like to be 212lbs. I felt what it was like to wear a size 16...and loosely. I felt what it was like to walk in to a regular department store and buy clothes in the "regular" section. And that taste now makes me crave it again. Being in a size 20 again makes me mad...really mad. And only I have the power to do something about it.

And, so that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to do something about it. Starting TODAY! I'm going to literally run from my problems. Well, not so much problems - stress. And when my parents get back, I'm going to take myself to the gym a few times a week. My poor gym membership has been collecting a lot of dust the past couple of months..and now it's time to get some money's worth out of it.

So, this is the last time you hear from "poor ol' me" - the woman who seems to find something to always complain about. I complained for months about finding a job - and I found one. I'm not about to replace that woman with complaining about doing something I agreed to do.

From this day forward, my blog is going back to what it's meant for - sharing with you all how I'm kicking butt in the weight loss world.

Till next time. ;)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

So, It's Saturday?

I've only been on Summer break for a little over a week, and I'm already forgetting what day it is. I woke up this morning having absolutely no idea, and had to switch on my phone to check. It is NOT a good sign that I'm already losing track of my days - it only shows that the craziness that starts to set in after my being off work for too long will apparently be making a much earlier appearance than I'm normally used to.

But, who can blame me? I'm currently taking care of 6 children. Three of my own, and three not of my own. Three of them are 4 or younger. Three of them are 11 or older. If the younger ones aren't whining and crying, the older ones are arguing and fighting. This is what my life has become since school got out - and I can honestly say, I'm already ready to get back to work.

I don't even want to think about still having three weeks left to do this. It already feels like I've been staying at my parent's for a month...and it's been one week. One. Freaking. Week.

For anyone that reads this and worries or questions my profession as a teacher - fear not. It's totally not the same. When I'm in a classroom, I'm in my element. Supporting kids, teaching kids, sorting out 3rd or 4th grade drama? Totally fine with me. Being with 6 kids 24/7 and doing nothing but saying "get down off that", "don't touch her/him", "stop arguing", "because I said so", "please clean up that mess", "don't put that in your mouth", and "if you two don't stop arguing, I'm going to knock your heads together" gets a little old pretty fast.

I think I'm also suffering from some cabin fever. I don't like staying in the house for too long - but when I'm toting around 6 kids, it limits my abilities to go many places.

I know that I'm a little bitter because while this should be the most exciting time of my life - it's anything but. I've had no time to enjoy getting my job. It takes so much just to try and figure out how I'm going to coordinate doing all the things I need to do in order to make sure I'm hired smoothly. I haven't even had any time with Hubby - because he's been at my house everyday while I'm here. It's all weighing on me - BIG TIME!

While my parents are off having the time of their life, I'm here - ready to pull my hair out, scream at the top of my lungs, and cry out of frustration because I can't take one more argument or fight over whose toy belongs to who. And, again, I still have three weeks left of it.

Hopefully, I'll feel a little better tomorrow - Hubby's coming over to cook out with us. And next week, I'll be doing lots of running around while getting kids to appointments, trying to get my license sorted out, and taking care of all the other responsibilities that have been left to me.

Just 20 days left - and counting!

Till next time. ;)

Friday, May 25, 2012

BYOC - Bring Your Own Crazy!!

It's Friday - finally!! With all the crazy that's been going on this week, I think today is a perfect day to participate in BYOC. Draz gives my blogging brain a break by posting five questions on her blog - and then people like me copy those questions and answer them. It's fun. You should try it!

1. Tell me about your first childhood home that you remember.

I don't know how old I was - but not very old. My parents, and my two brothers - one still being a baby - lived in an apartment in London, or as we called it a "flat". We lived on the 8th floor of a 20-something story building. The apartment block wasn't anything nice to look at, the elevators smelled like pee, and it was kind of a scary place to be after dark...not that I thought about that when I lived there, but I would be terrified if I lived there now. I don't remember a whole lot about things we did when we lived there, but I remember the flat very well.

2. What is hands down your favorite color on this Earth?

Hmmm...I really LOVE purple. Any shade of purple is fine, but I prefer a darker shade. But, I also like pink. And red. It really depends on what the color is related to. When it comes to clothing, I'm partial to red and darker colors. When it comes to nail polish or make-up, I really love purple and pink shades. When it comes to pretty things - pretty much anything else - then purple takes the prize.

3. What kind of hair do you prefer on your significant other? Or what kind of hair is a turn on to you?

Well, Hubby is very different when it comes to his hair. For the past several years, he's wore his hair short with pink spikes. Yes, I said PINK spikes. He gets this hair dye from Hot Topic that reminds me of cake frosting - and smells like it too. He uses Spiking Glue to style his hair - and the spikes are bright pink.

At first I thought it was kind of weird, but it's grown on me - and now I couldn't imagine his hair any other way. I make fun of him at times. I think he does it for attention, and he swears that's not the case. He gets a lot of funny looks from people when we're out in public, and I think that he likes it. I especially like the reactions from kids when they scream out "Look at that guy's hair! It's Pink!" The parents all then look mortified and try and hush their children. I just laugh.

I really don't have a preference with how my significant other wears his hair. As long as he's OK with me fixing my hair however I want - then he can do the same to his. Hubby doesn't really care much for short hair on a woman - and I prefer my hair that way. So, the pink hair vs. short hair is a compromise for us.

4. Now that it's you mow your lawn or does someone else? How long does it take you? Do you hate or love doing it?

I don't mow lawns - mine or anyone elses. With my allergies, I'm pretty sure that mowing would literally kill me - and that's what gets me out of it. Just sitting outside is bad enough, so I'm not stupid enough to try and do any form of yard work. Hubby takes care of the lawn at our house. Being that we live in the woods, we don't have much grass. We have a small area behind the house that is grassy - so Hubby keeps up with keeping that mowed.

Now that I'm at my parent's house for a month, they have A LOT of grass to mow. Luckily for me, the kids do it. Butter broke the ride on mower the first time he used it, so now they are having to use the push-mower...which isn't giving them great results. I have a feeling that my parent's lawn may resemble a jungle by the time they get home - but not much I can do about that.

5. Repeat question: Summarize your week.

This has been the week of all weeks. After twenty-five years of wanting to be a teacher, four years of college, and a year of working as a teaching assistant because I couldn't find a teaching job after I graduated - I'm Finally A Teacher!! Or, I will be in August. I haven't been able to really celebrate like I thought I would...but there will be plenty of time for that once my parents get back from England.

I did do a couple of things to celebrate - like take the crowd of kids to Zaxby's to eat dinner. Not exactly the five star dining experience I wanted - but it was just fine for the amount of people I had to feed. Then, after my dinner, I found a guy that was giving away free kittens in the parking lot - so I brought one home with me. I named her Katniss, and she's adorable!! She's already learned how to use the litter tray, she gives great snuggles, and she's very playful. I hope to keep those traits in her as she gets older - cause I don't really want one of those cats that just lay around all day having nothing to do with anyone.

On Wednesday, I had to drive an hour and a half away to get my background check done for my MO teaching licence. Over the next couple of days, I need to drive to my University and pick up a transcript to mail, along with my AR teaching license to the MO Department of Education. Once that is all done, I'll be ready to go for teaching in MO.

Other than that, I've been enjoying some relaxation time by doing some writing out on the front porch of my parent's house. It's where I am right now, actually. I like writing out here - it's comfortable...when it's not too hot. I have to run a few errands today, but not a whole lot planned for the weekend.

Alright, that's it for me for today. If you want to participate in BYOC - YOU SHOULD!! Then, come back here and tell me...and visit Draz and tell her too.

Have a great Friday!
Till next time. ;)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Meet Katniss...

It's been an exciting week...but also a busy one. Finally getting a job is a dream come true - but being that I'm going to be working in a different state means there's lot of leg work to do before I'm licensed to teach in that state.

My first step was filling out the application online and paying $50. Then, I found out I had to take an hour and half drive to Joplin, MO to do my background check. I decided to do that yesterday.

I hauled all six children over to my house and then took the drive by myself. It was a nice, relaxing drive. After spending the past week taking care of my own three children and three additional children - the break was well needed.

It took a whopping six minutes to do my fingerprinting. Three hour total drive for six minutes. But, it was worth it - it will all be worth it. And then I came home and was immediately greeted by arguing and fighting....ah, gotta love my life!

I have to interject here and say that it is a little ironic. I love children - I'm a teacher, for crying out loud. BUT, my preferred grades are 3rd and 4th...around the ages of 8 or 9. Anything below 3rd grade and there's a lot of tattling...the younger the kids get the worse the tattling. There's also arguing, fighting, "don't touch me" or "leave my toys alone, their MINE!". Once you go over 4th grade, the drama sets in. Boys, annoying brothers, annoying sisters, girls that don't want to hang out with younger brothers. Yeah, that's my life right now. I'm with three kids all under the age of 5 and three kids all over the age of 10. There are no in-between...the ages I love. I guess I'll have plenty of time for those kids when I start work.

Anywho, after my long day of driving and then coming home to whining and arguing, I thought it was time to go out for a little celebratory dinner. Of course, when I'm feeding 8 people - fancy is out. So, we settled for Zaxby's. The kids ate on one side of the restaurant, and Hubby and I ate on the other. We could at least enjoy a few minutes of peace and quiet. We ate, and discussed how when my parent's get back from their vacation - they owe me a weekend that's kid free so that Hubby and I can really celebrate.

While I was eating, I saw that across the street in the Wal-Mart parking lot, there were some people with puppies. I thought how nice it would be to have another puppy...although Hubby would be adamantly against it. He really hates my dog as it is. But, after the eating was over and the kids were all buckled safely in to their seats, I drove across the street....just for a look.

The puppies were pitbulls. Not that I have anything against pitbulls, but that's not what I was wanting. And then there was a guy giving away free kittens. My first reaction was ABSOLUTELY NOT. I have allergies to certain cats...a kitten was the last thing I needed. And then I saw that cute ball of fur you see at the top of the page. She was all by herself. I picked her up - and BAM I was in love.. I knew she would be going home with me.

Hubby watched the kids while I ran in to Wal-Mart to get a few basics to get me started... litter tray, food tray, food, and home we came. I've decided to name her Katniss - from The Hunger Games. The name fits - as she's a spunky little thing, but also very loving. This is us not long after getting home yesterday...

She was passed out across my belly.

I set her up in my parent's bedroom for the night. I spent some time showing her where the food bowl and litter tray were. When it was time for bed, I noticed that she curled herself up in my t-shirt that I'd put on the floor when I got my pj's on. It was hard leaving her in the bathroom all night - but the last thing I need is her having an "accident" on my parent's bed.

I checked on her during the night, and she was curled up fast asleep in my clothes. So adorable!!

This morning, I found her eating. AND she'd used the litter tray a few times during the night. How smart she is...especially being that she's only about 6 weeks old. Since I woke up this morning, I've been playing with her on the bed. She's playful - but not aggressive. She's bitten my fingers a few times, but not hard. I think she's a wonderful addition to my family - and a great celebratory gift to myself.

Now, I have to get back to taking care of six kids...

Till next time.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The One I've Been Waiting My Whole Life For

I've thought about this blog post for a few years now. I'll even admit that I've wrote it a few times...but then deleted it out of anger or because I felt having it already written was somehow jinxing me.

But now that the day is here, I'm actually struggling with words. Maybe because I'm so overwhelmed with emotion, that the words are having a hard time coming out the way I want them to.

So, I guess I could just get to the point. Blurt it out. Yesterday, I heard the words I've been longing to hear "We'd like to offer you a job". The words. Words that made me tear up instantly, and then cry like a baby right there in front of my future bosses. I didn't care - they were happy tears...and they were tears that showed my new employers how grateful I was, and how much their offer meant to me.

Now that I've said it - let's rewind a I can share how it all happened.

I drove to my interview, listening to music and trying with all my might not to worry. I got there and sat in the front office for a while. I heard someone else that was getting interviewed was getting a tour of the school - that automatically gave me a sinking feeling in my stomach. Was it normal for interviewees to get a tour? Oh well, no time to was my turn.

I was taken back to a conference room where I was introduced to the principal of the upper elementary, the principal of the lower elementary, the assistant principal of the upper elementary, the superintendent, and a 4th grade teacher. They were all very nice and warm with their introductions..and that really helped put me at ease. The upper elementary principal explained that she had a 4th grade opening in her building, and the other principal had some positions available at her school.

I started off with telling them about me - the same words I've told to many principals. The upper principal then told me a little about the area, the schools, and the students that made up the school. And then it began.

I took a deep breath, told myself to just be myself, and then started answering questions.

As the questions came, I was ready. I don't know how, but I didn't have to think I just answered. I joked. I showed a little sarcasm...that's who I am, after all. The committee laughed with me, they complemented me, they told me they could feel and really believe my passion with every word I said. I took that as a good sign. Then it was my turn to ask questions...before I could really think about it, I blurted out "How long will you make me wait? Waiting is so hard". They all laughed again, and the principal told me that they'd be making their decisions very soon. Then, the superintendent looked me right in the eyes and said "I have no doubt that you will have a job with us, I just have to figure out the best place to put you". And that's when the first set of tears pricked my eyes.

Before I had a chance to register everything, the 4th grade teacher asked me if I'd like a tour of the school - apparently it was customary to show all applicants around. We walked down a few hallways and then the principal of the upper elementary appeared. She looked at me and said "I can't let you out of here without offering you the job. I want to hire you. Would you like the 4th grade position?"

I felt my knees crumble, and my eyes sting. I did probably the most unprofessional thing I could do - I grabbed her and hugged her. She was caught a little off guard and she said "Well, I'll take that as a yes?" I laughed. She laughed. And then she started crying...and so did the other 4th grade teacher...and so did the superintendent who had joined us in the hallway. All four of us standing there boo-hooing.

Then came the other words I've waited so long to hear "Would you like to see your classroom?" I couldn't speak, I could only nod my head furiously. And so I went and saw MY classroom. The classroom I will teach and nurture and love a group of 4th grade children. The classroom I will decorate, and fill with all of the stuff I've collected over the past five years. MY CLASSROOM.

I have a lot of work to get done before I'm "officially" hired. I have to get my AR teaching license transferred over to a MO teaching license. That requires fingerprinting, a background check, mailing in lots of documents to the Department of MO Education. All easy stuff - just stuff that takes a while. I should have my contract ready to go by the end of June... but I was given the OK to share my news with the world, and that's exactly what I doing.

I can't even describe the feeling of relief I have right now. If you've been reading my blog for a while - you'll know how badly I've wanted this day to come. I just can't believe it's actually happened. Deep down, I doubted. I never expected an offer to come so abruptly - that's for sure.

Now that I really think about it, though, the plan has started to make sense. I performed my student teaching in a school that serves higher incomed kids. When I got the job I did this past year, I was a little upset... but it opened my eyes to the joy and gratification of working with a different set of kids. Kids that didn't come from much, but they had a true love of learning, they appreciated everything given to them, they wanted a better lives for themselves. I feel in love with those kids - I knew my calling. I was supposed to work with these kids.

Then, I get a call from a school that has a HUGE population of low-income, diverse students. My year working in the school I was in gave me an upper hand - I had experience doing that. Not only did I have experience, but the people interviewing me knew how much I wanted to work with these kids. One stop led to the next which led to the next. It was the plan. The plan I've doubted many times - but just like it always does, showed its self to me. I can't think of a better way to prove my favorite thought: Everything happens for a reason.

Well, now I have my reason. I have my job. My life-long dream has finally come true. I couldn't be more happy...and now, well, it's time to get back to losing weight. Right?

Till next time. ;)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

True Confessions Tuesday

Gotta make it pretty quick this morning.  I'm at home - my home - in my office...for a few minutes.  I had to come home for a bit this morning before I have to head out again, but I'm taking this opportunity to spend a short amount of time in the comfort of my office typing on my laptop.  So, if I have to write a blog post while trying to rush - I'm glad it's my Tuesday Confessions...

I confess that I'm very nervous about my interview this morning.  That's why I had to come home - because I have an interview scheduled for 9:30 this morning.  I must remember to ask how long it will be before they make their decision - because waiting without any idea how long I'll be waiting for STINKS!

I confess that I'm enjoying my break, so far, but the niggling feeling of not having a job yet is weighing on me. 

I confess that I haven't really been great with my eating.  I haven't been bad - I'm probably not eating enough.  I've skipped a few meals, and realize it's dinner time before I've eaten anything.  Not good at all!

I confess that I've been really bad about reading blogs since getting out of school/work.  I've been doing some writing, but haven't spent much time seeing what everyone else is writing about.  It's something I definitely plan on doing over the next couple of days.

I confess that I'm almost over the sickness.  I still have a little cough, but it's not near as bad as it was...and usually is much worse at night.  My allergies are still pretty nasty, but I've come to the realization that for the next three months - I'm probably going to be sneezing and sniffing and using a box of Kleenexes a day.

I confess that when I go back to my parent's house today I intend on taking my work-out stuff.  I'm going to get up every morning and go for a walk...and try and do it every evening too.  The past couple of evenings, I've sat outside and watched the kids play.  The weather has been beautiful.  I could have been playing with them, or walking around the field while they played.  Of course, now we're heading in to record high temps for the next few days... but I don't mind waiting until later in the evening...when it starts to cool down a little.

I confess that regardless of the fact that I hate waiting, I'm miffed about not knowing if I'm going to find a job or not, and hoping that something happens soon - I'm determined to make the most of this summer and chillax and enjoy myself.  I deserve it!

Alright...told you it was going to be quick.  I have to go beautify myself ready for my interview.  Prayer warriors, positive thinkers, and anyone else that has a second to think about me - please do.  This could be it - today could be the day...or at least the door way to the day I've been waiting for.

Positive Thoughts.  Positive Thoughts.  Positive Thoughts.

Till next time.  ;)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Domestic Goddess Camp, 2012!

I'll admit it, when it comes to "playing house", I'm not very good at it. Cleaning, doing dishes, laundry, cooking...all things that make me say UGH! I don't like any of it. If I had the money, I'd hire a housekeeper in a second...and never worry about cleaning my house again.

Because of my feelings towards keeping the house clean, my house often resembles a tornado sight. Now, don't get me wrong - I don't like a dirty house, but I'm perfectly fine with living in a messy house. And when I say messy house, I mean a house that looks lived in - basically toys everywhere...definitely not something you'd see on the cover of a magazine or among a house tour.

My mother, however, is one of those women that expects her house to be spit-spot clean 24/7. It's a blessing and a curse. The woman is a mother to six children, and now has opened her home to foster children - yet she still finds the time to scrub her house every single day. And when she left on vacation? She left me two pages of things that needed to be kept up with while she was gone. One of the most important things? Keeping her house immaculately clean. UGH!

So, while I'm enjoying my relaxing time at my mother's, I also feel like I'm attending Domestic Goddess Camp. I'm learning what it takes to keep my mother's house up to her standards..and it's not easy AT ALL.

I hand wash dishes 2-3 times a day. No rinsing and loading dishes like I'm accustomed to at my house. Oh no. The dishwasher is one of the items in my parent's house that is more for looks than use. Which I don't blame her - if I looked after as many people as she does - it would cost a fortune to run the dishwasher so much.

I have cooked dinner each night I've been here - with the exception of the first night when we ate pizza. That's probably more than I've cooked this entire year. When I live with a man that cooks as wonderfully as Hubby does - then I don't have to worry about it.

Today I'll be doing everyone's laundry. At my house, the older kids do their own laundry. It's one of the few chores they have. But, at my mom's house - no one is allowed to use her washer except me...cause it's like one of her children. Don't ask. Anywho, because of her love of the washer, I'm the one that has to wash all of the clothes. And laundry will need to be done 2 times a week...not once a week like I'm used to.

Now, you're probably reading this and thinking that I'm complaining. I'm not. Well, I am but that's not my entire intention. My point in the midst of the whining is that I'm actually enjoying it. It's not bothering me near as much as I thought it would. In actuality, it's taking me back to how I used to be...before I was blessed with Hubby in my life.

You see, I'm no stranger at being a domestic goddess. Back before I met the most wonderful man in the world who spoils me rotten and doesn't make me do very much around my house, I was very much like my mom. I cooked, cleaned, bathed, washed, vacuumed and dusted day in and day out...while also working. It's how I'd been raised, and I how I just knew things to be done.

Once Hubby and I got together, he basically took over the kitchen as his domain. Rarely was I asked or expected to prepare anything. As my kids began to get older, I started including them in doing some of the chores around the house. They learned how to stack the dishwasher, run a vacuum, and put their own toys and stuff away. Then, I got so sick of picking up clothes from all over their room, and not being able to tell which were clean and which were dirty - I started making them do their own laundry. My days as the Domestic Goddess became less frequent, and once every couple of weeks I found her and cleaned the house from top to bottom.

So, as part of my Relaxation Extravaganza, I'm also rediscovering my Domestic Goddess roots. I'm remembering how quickly it is to hand wash a few dishes, to tidy up a small mess, and to keep a house clean but still cozy. I may be a completely different person by the time I get back to my own house. Will Hubby even recognize me?

Speaking of which - I better go, there's breakfast dishes to wash and laundry to get done. Can't enjoy the sunshine out on the porch all day.

Till next time. ;)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Now This Is The Life!

At this very moment in time, life is good. No, it's great. I'm sitting on the front porch at my parents' house. I'm watching the kids play. The weather is cloudy and cool. I hear the gobbling of a turkey, the bleating of goats, the quacks of ducks and geese. In my mind, I'm on worries are floating away with the wind and I'm absorbing the feeling of calmness and tranquility.

The hustle and bustle of job interviews, the worrying and waiting for answers, the uncertainty of what my future holds all mean nothing at this moment. All I need to worry about right now is...nothing. I can enjoy my view, soak in the air around me, and free my mind from the pressure of worry and the unknown.

I wonder how many of these moments I've let pass me by. How many times have I missed my children playing and being carefree? How many times has the opportunity to just sit and relax come and gone without me even realizing it? Probably too many than I care to know. But - it doesn't matter... I have time, now.

I need to learn something from this. I need to learn that THIS is what life is about. I know I have to worry about finding a job. I have to worry about what my future holds. I have to worry about what I eat in order to lose weight. But, I don't have to worry all of the time... I need to let it go. Every now and then, I just have to stop. I have to relax, breath, enjoy the moments.

It's raining, now. Normally play time would be over - back in the house where it's dry. But why? A little rain never hurt anyone. Kids need the chance to enjoy the rain. Mommas need the chance to watch their kids play in the I'm enjoying now.

A couple of weeks ago, I was very nervous about spending four weeks at my mom's house. Not nervous about being here, or taking care of the kids - about being away from my "normal" life. What if someone calls with a job offer? What if I get a call about an interview? But, now, I realize that this trip is necessary. I still have my phone. I'm still reachable if anyone needs me. But, I also have some freedom.. a chance to have some down-time.

I know that this post is a little melancholy. But, I'm really very happy. A lot happier than I've been in a while. I needed an escape - some time to just free my mind a little. And when my mind starts to loosen... it spills out here. I can capture my thoughts, my feelings, my surroundings on to a page.

I'm not going through some life changing revelation. I don't suddenly have the answers to all the questions that replay over and over in my head. But, I've discovered a pause button. I've found a way that I can at least escape for a while. And it's as simple as sitting on a porch, in the country, watching my kids.

I could sit here all day. I could sit here and write all day. The words just want to flow out of me. Maybe I'll do just that... but don't worry - I'll spare you all from the endless words. That's what private journal apps are for, right?

But, I've done what I needed to do here. I've checked in. I've shared that life is A-OK. I'm enjoying myself. Something I haven't done in too long.

This Is The Life!

Till next time. ;)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Summer Has Begun

Dear Diary...

I made it to my mom's Thursday evening without too many problems... unless you count the fact that I didn't have any of my clothes packed, I was extremely tired, and oh, I got a flat tire fifteen minutes in to my trip.

Changing a tire on my car is no biggie - my car is a Mazda 3. But, since I'm going to be the caregiver to 6 kids over the next 4 weeks, I have to drive my parent's vehicle which I endearingly call "The Tank". That's because it's an Expedition - and it's huge. A flat tire on that thing? No way I'm changing it. Thank goodness Hubby was only 15 minutes a way.

But, I got it changed and managed to get the kids home without any more problems. I was so tired I basically fed the kids, took a shower, and fell asleep. And, because I went to sleep so early, I was up at 6am yesterday morning.

I was quite the domestic goddess yesterday. I got kids ready for visits, I hand-washed dishes, I took a child for a weekend visit, I cooked dinner, I washed the dishes from dinner....I'm quite proud of myself. At my house, Hubby does most of the cooking and the dishwasher washes all the dishes.

In between all of the domestic goddessism, I spent my day in front of the TV. I watched trashy reality TV and relaxed on the was magical. I know I can't spend my entire summer sitting in front of the TV - but I was totally OK with spending my first day of summer doing it.

I'm starting to feel much better in terms of my sickies. I've still got a nasty cough, but I can breath a little easier. I'm thinking that by Monday, I'll be able to start my plans of wanting to walk each morning and evening. Oh, what? I forgot to mention that part?

OK, so on Monday, I'm going to start getting up and going for a walk and then walking again in the evening. I figure if I walk for 15-20 minutes both times, I'll be able to get some exercise in. I'm aiming for 15-20 minutes, but hoping that I'll want to do more.

Tomorrow, I'm going to make some meal plans. I have to do an inventory of what food I have here, and then go out and get whatever I'm missing. First thing Monday, my summer transformation plans go in to effect. Monday is May 21st, and I go back to work on August 20th. That means I have exactly 3 months - minus a couple of weeks if I actually find a job and get to go and decorate my classroom. But that will be A-OK, because I'll be doing even more exercising while decorating and sorting a classroom. Three months to shed some serious pounds, and become a different person. I'm really looking forward to seeing how much I can accomplish.

That's it for now, I will be doing more blogging once I get stuff more sorted out.

Till next time. ;)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

So Long...Farewell...Auf Wiedersehen...Adeiu

Dear Diary....

This is it!! Last day of school is here, and after today the world is unknown.  I have been going back and forth about what I should write about.  Should I be sad and talk about how much I'm going to miss the kids I work with?  Should I be unsure and write about what could or couldn't happen over the summer?  Should I be excited and write about all the things I want to do over the break?  I just couldn't decide - so I figured I'd do it all, the best way I know how:  A list.  Or a couple of lists.  So, today, for my last day of school post I bring you My Top 5 Reasons Why I Will Love Summer and My Top 5 Reasons Why I Won't.

Will LOVE:

1.  SLEEP!  While I'm sure there will be several days over the course of the next three months that I will have to use my alarm clock - I'm pretty sure that not a single one of those occasions will require a 4:30am wake-up.  And, I plan on making it a routine to get a nap in at least 3 times a week!

2.  Swimming Even though my bathing suit body is not for all to see - I can't wait to get in a pool.  It's probably my most favorite summer time activity.  Being that I've gained so much weight this year, I'm not sure how much I'll venture to the public pools - but you can bet your rear end that I'll be making waves at my parent's pool (once they get home) and P-Momma's pool.  Get it?  Making waves?  HA!

3. Relaxation.  If I want to spend an entire day curled up on the couch reading... I can.  If I want to spend an entire week doing that.. I can.  If I want to lay out on the deck with an ice-cold beverage... I can.  If I don't want to shower or get dressed...I don't have to.  I can stay in my jammies all day long.  I'll try and not go more than one day without showering...that would just be gross.

4.  Time To Lose Weight!  I actually have three months where I can't whine about being tired or not having time or just having too much on my plate to worry about weight loss.  There will be no time for excuses.  I will have full control on when I work out, how I work out, what I eat, and how I eat it.  If it's too hot to walk during the day - then I'll do it in the morning.  Need some alone time?  Then I can head to the gym.  I meant it when I said that I wanted to return back to work (wherever that may be) after the summer is over looking like a completely different person.

5.  A chance for adventure with my kids.  I haven't been the best momma when it comes to summer vacation time in the many years I've been a mother.  I'm either working, or in school, or both.  This summer, I will be attending school for two weeks - but that's out of 3 months.  I will actually be getting a paycheck over the summer.  For the first time in many years, I have a chance to give my kids a good summer.  I want to go out and explore what my neck of the woods has to offer...and there's so much out there I've never seen before.

Won't Love...

1.  Certainty.  I will miss the security of knowing what each day will bring.  I leave today not knowing what my future has in store.  Will I be back next year?  That's a question I can't answer yet - and that makes me sad... especially for the kids.  I don't even know if I should say goodbye.

2.  The kids.  I do what I do because of the kids I get to work with.  I will miss their faces each day.  I will miss talking to them, laughing with them, teaching them.  I just realized I might actually cry today.  

3.  The people I work with.  I have made some wonderful friends over the course of this year.  I will miss working with them, seeing them, and talking to them every day.  I can always stay in touch via texting and Facebook... but it won't be the same.

4.  The Food.  While my body is screaming in delight and glee over the sweets that won't be making an appearance over the next three months...It makes me a little sad.  I have the honor of working with some of the greatest cooks that have a gift when it comes to making sweet treats. 

5.  My routine.  Even though it will be nice not having to wake up at 4:30am, or come home exhausted... I will miss the normalcy of my routine.  It's something I've grown to love - and without it, things will be a little weird.  I'm a creature of habit - and it wouldn't surprise me a bit if tomorrow morning I wake up at 4:30 completely out of whack about where I am or what I'm supposed to be doing. 

So, there are pros and cons about this being the last day of school.  I do know that regardless of what the next three months brings...I will never forget this year.  I have grown.  I have discovered many things about myself.  I have had an amazing time. 

One thing I am going to try and do over the next three months is get back to what this blog is supposed to be about.  I'm going back to weight loss.  I'm going back to sharing my goals, my plans, and my successes with my weight.  While the job hunt isn't over - I have so much more to discover about myself and my abilities. 

So goodbye school year... hello summer - and a stronger, fitter, thinner me!

Till next time. ;)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

When I Try To Think of Something Else to Talk About...

Dear Diary...

Today is one of those days where I'm having a hard time coming up with something to talk about.  Yes.  Seriously.  Me.  Having problems saying something.  Doesn't happen very often.  I can always think of something to say - even if it's the same thing I've been saying over and over and over.

But you know what?  I'm so tired of that.  I'm so tired of repeating myself.  My blog is a blog.  It's not a prayer book or a wish list or a magic genie lamp.  It doesn't matter how many times I keep repeating myself - it's not going to magically make a job appear for me.

Being consumed and obsessed with something can lead to dark paths.  My mind shuts off from everything else going on around me - and I end up with tunnel vision.  The only thing I want to see, hear, or speak of is the job hunt....forget the rest of my life that's going on outside of the tunnel.  And that stinks!

Instead of all that, I could tell you that Peanut was in her last band concert of the year last week.  I could tell how far she's come with playing her clarinet - and how I didn't hear a single squeak come from the band when they played their music.  She's also decided that she wants to be in band again next year - after some back and forth with her decisions.  I'm happy because I was such a band nerd in high school.  Band was my life.  Seeing my first born follow in my musical footsteps makes me very happy.

I could tell you that Butter was in his first play at school last night.  He didn't have any lines.  He was only on stage for about 3 seconds.  But he was the stage manager.  The person that ran the curtain and managed the props - and you know what?  You would have thought he was the main character with how excited he was.  I've come to learn something about my son from all this.  It's not about being in the spotlight for him - it's about being a part of something.  Something great.  A group effort.  His part was no less important than anyone else - and no more important.  Being a part of a team is what he wanted...and what he got.  And the play was fantastic.

I could tell you that Jelly has really started taking an interest in books and reading.  It's become more and more regular with her asking me to read to her.  She listens to the story intently.  She picks out the pictures that match what I'm saying.  She retells the story in her own words.  And she loves anything that rhymes.  Dr. Seuss is quickly becoming one of her favorite authors.  Snuggling up on the couch and reading books with Jelly has become one of my favorite ways to relax in the evening.

I could mention that Hubby has been on cloud 9 since he was able to buy him a motorcycle a couple of months ago.  He's wanted a motorcycle for years and years...even longer than he's been with me.  He was finally able to get his credit to the point where he could get a loan that is manageable.  It came at the perfect time, too, due to the weather.  He rides the bike every night to work - and it's saving a bundle on gas money.  He's also getting out more on the weekends, and spending time with his friends out on the bike.  I don't feel left out - I'm really happy that he has something he can do that he loves doing.

I've left out other things like how on Saturday, I got to go to a friend's birthday party and paint a coffee mug.  The party was held at a artsy place that specializes in ceramics, painting, yarn work..stuff like that.  I got to pick out something I wanted to paint - and paint it.  It was a lot of fun.  I really didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did - because I'm not really that great with a paint brush.  But, I loved it.  I had a great time.  And it was relaxing.  It's even something I might consider doing again...maybe taking the kids to do one day during the summer.  I don't have the mug yet, because it has to be fired in a kiln...and that takes a few days... but I'll be able to share with you a picture of the finished project once I get it. 

And I know I've mentioned this, but after tomorrow, I'll be spending the next month at my mom's house babysitting.  Even though I've known about this for months, I still haven't done anything to get ready.  Laundry hasn't been done.  I haven't cleaned the house.  I haven't even started packing.  So, I will have all that to do once I get home from work tonight.  On top of that, I agreed to burn 26 DVDs for Butter's teacher.  It's probably going to be a very late night for me - but I'm not too worried about it.  After tomorrow, I'll have three full months to catch up on sleep. 

I'm excited about having three FULL months with my kids.  It's one of the many perks of being a one-day teacher that's not a teacher yet but still someone who works the same schedule as teachers.  After the first month, I really want to make the time with my kids count.  I want to do fun things like go to the museum, do the Crafty Cottage thing, go to the zoo, go swimming, enjoy picnics at the park....anything and everything that will give me quality time with my kids - and keep my mind off what it's been consumed with the past two months. 

How quickly I sometimes forget how great my life is outside of the tunnel that I crawl in to.  The tunnel is dark, long, cold, and lonely.  I don't see any light at the end.  And then I panic and cry and feel like the world is against me.  Yes, I've wanted to be a teacher since I was 5.  Yes, I'm sad and frustrated that I just can't seem to catch a break.  But, I have to remember that if I step out of the tunnel...even for just a little while...there's so much sunshine and happiness surrounding me.  My family are on the outside.  My friends are on the outside.  The things that bring me warmth and comfort and strength. 

I really think I have to start making some changes with how I spend my time.  Sure, I have to step in to the tunnel now and then...if I'm ever going to actually get that job that I desire so.  But, I can't stay in there.  I can't live in the tunnel.  I have to live outside...where the air is clearer and cleaner and more pleasant.  I don't want to end up looking back on my life 5 years from now and remembering nothing but what it was like to look for a teaching job. I want to look back and remember all the wonderful things I did with my kids, all the fun times I shared with the people I love.  That's what's so important...and that I sometimes forget.

So, I'm taking a detour for a while.  I'm avoiding the tunnel for a few days...and seeing how I feel after some time in the sunshine.

Till next time. ;)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

True Confessions Tuesday

Dear Diary...

Today is no ordinary True Confessions Tuesday.  It just so happens to be the last TCT that I will do this school year.  This time next week, I will be on summer break.  Away from school.  Probably already missing it.  What, wait... did I say that?   Moving on...

I confess that I spent some time this morning looking back at my TCT posts from last year.  It appears not too much has changed.  The True Confessions I had exactly a year ago are almost identical to the confessions this year.... I'm eating too much, I'm stressed about the job hunt, I'm having a hard time motivating myself to work-out.  It would be really nice if this time next year, I'm looking back and something has changed.  Either I'm 50lbs lighter or I have a job.  Both would be nice.. but I don't want to push it.

I confess that I've done some emotional eating this past week.  The scale hasn't gone up any, but it hasn't gone down any either.  I can't help that I'm very emotional right now.  But, the emotional eating is less frequent - and the consumption is less.  I'll take that.  Less is better than more. 

I confess that I'm really forcing myself to stay positive.  With the end of school being two days away, I'm panicking a little.  I've had one interview in a school. ONE.  That's not much to boost my confidence.  I also know that anything can happen once school is out - so I keep repeating "Don't give up, don't give up, don't give up" over and over in my head. 

I confess that I do have another interview set up for next Tuesday - but it's in a different state.  Missouri, to be exact.  Luckily for me, it's only 30 minutes from my house.  Although, it would mean my kids having to leave the school district we're in now...and that would be really hard on them. 

I confess that I was really ticked off last night about not being able to smell or taste anything.  Hubby decided to make BLTs for dinner...and I couldn't smell or taste the bacon due to the sickness/allergies/sinus infection thingy I have going on.  Having no sense of taste works wonders on my overeating problem... but I haven't had a BLT in ages.  And even after eating one last night - I have no idea how it tasted.  BLAH!

I confess that I quoted Miley Cyrus on my Facebook wall yesterday.  While I'm not a huge fan of Miss Cyrus - her song, The Climb, does have lyrics that are appropriate to my life situation.  I'm sure I could have found a more grown up, deeper quote to use... but, well, it just fit the way I was feeling. 

I confess that I'm quite excited about spending the entire day outside for Field Day.  Yes, I know I have allergy problems.  I know I'm battling some form of sinus infection.  But none of that matters.  Today is all about making sure those kiddos have fun...and that's exactly what I plan on doing.   As much as I really don't want to think too much about it - this could be the last day I get to have fun with them all. 

I confess that I haven't started planning or packing at all to go to my parent's on Thursday.  I probably need to do that today.  Even though I can come back home any time for something I need - I need to at least have the stuff packed that I will need to take on Thursday.  Although, I can't really do too much tonight because Butter is in a school play and I'll be there. 

I confess that I'm very excited about seeing Butter in his first school play.  He's been very excited about it.

Alright, that's it for me today. 

Till next time. ;)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Starting the Home Stretch

Dear Diary...

Today is Monday.  A regular, ordinary Monday.  There's no special holiday or event taking place today... but today is special.  It's the last Monday of the 2011-2012 school year.  It's the last Monday I have to get up at 4:30am.  I'm hoping with all my might that today is also the last Monday of not being a teacher...but there's no certainty in that.

Yeppers.  This is the last week of school.  It's not really a week, though, because my last day is Thursday.  It seems unreal that there's only four days left...this year has gone by so fast.  I had hoped that I would have been offered a teaching job by now - but there's still plenty of time left.  I'm going to stay positive... I have to.

Yesterday wasn't exactly the perfect Mother's Day.  I think I have a sinus infection...or it's just my allergies being a total pain... but I felt really cruddy yesterday.  We started the day out by going for breakfast, and then we headed over to my parent's house.  While I was there, I started getting a really bad headache. It ended up cutting our visit short.  Then, we had to go to the grocery store to get something for dinner... and I just felt weak, in pain.  I was ready to get home.  I then slept for two hours.  I did feel a little better when I woke up - but the inside of my nose feels like it's been inflated to maximum capacity and could explode at any time. 

It's going to be a really busy week.  I have to think about clearing out my office at work - either ready to come back to next year, or because I won't be back next year.  I have to pack clothes ready to move to my mom's on Thursday for a month.  I have to clean my house - because it's only fair that I leave the house clean and not the tornado sight it is now.  And I also have to enjoy all the events and activities that are going on...I have to remember that this may be the last year at my school.  I'm praying that's not the case - but my future is so uncertain at this point, I just have to make sure all my ducks are in a row.

I have a queasy feeling in my stomach.  I'm not sure if it's because I'm nervous and excited about what this week may bring, or it's because of the head crud.  Whatever it is, I'm not sure I like the feeling.  My sleep last night was interrupted by all kinds of bad dreams.  I replayed the moments from last year when the realization hit that I wasn't getting a teaching job.  I had a dream, at one point, that I was standing in a room full of people I work with and people I went to school with and they were all laughing at me, pointing at me, and yelling "It's never going to happen".  I had a dream where I was in the principal's office - and for some reason my mother was there - and the principal told me I just wasn't cut out to be a teacher, and that it was time for me to move on to something else.  It was like my own horror movie marathon going on in my head. 

Regardless of what my subconscious decides to play in my head - I'm not listening!  I know it's just my inner demons trying to mess with me... but I won't let them win. 

One thing I do know is that I'm going to try with all my might to make this the last Monday where I whine about my job hunt.  I know I'm like a broken record repeating the same stuff over and over.  Unfortunately for people that enjoy reading my blog - I just have to blog about what's on my mind.  I wish I could say that I'm really focused on my weight loss efforts.. but that would be a lie, and you all know that's not how I roll.  But, I am hoping that once this week is over, I can start refocusing.  Getting back on track.  Remembering that this blog is supposed to be the chronicles of losing weight - not trying to find a job. 

For those of you that have stuck with me...and bless you for putting up with me....I need your prayers and thoughts this week.  I'm hoping that this is the week something is going to happen.  It sure would be nice to head out on summer break knowing what's in store for me next school year.  I have seen the power of prayer play out before my eyes.  Now... I'm ready to bring it home.  I'm ready to start this home stretch - and come out victorious.

Till next time . ;)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

To Be a Mother...

Dear Diary...

It's Mother's Day!  At first I thought I needed to write a post about my mother.  But I've done that. I wrote a post for her last Mother's Day, and again for her birthday.  I decided that this year?  It's my turn.  So, I'm going to write about being a mother.  I'm a mother, so I get to celebrate this day - why can't I brag on myself a little?  So, I'm going to take a little trip down Memory Lane and talk about what I think it's like to be a mother.

On Mother's day twelve years ago, I was barely 18 years old.  I held in my arms a one month old baby.  My baby.  I was scared.  I was unsure of what my future held.  But I knew one thing.  I knew that I would do whatever I could to make my precious baby's life as great as possible.  I would make sacrifices.  I would struggle. But I would never stop trying to give this precious child everything I possibly could.

I went straight from the life of carefree high school senior, to mother...literally overnight.  No more hanging out with friends.  No more parties.  No more high school.  I traded it all in to wake up several times a night, change dirty diapers, and work as many hours as possible in order to put a small roof over our heads.  I traded in the little sleep I could get for studying to take my GED... I was not giving up on my schooling.  If I was going to be a good mother, I needed to instill the importance of finishing high school to my daughter one day - despite the silly mistakes I had made.  And I received my GED the same year my class graduated from high school.  If I had the chance to go back and make some changes?  Not in a million years!!  The trade-ins I made were most definitely worth it. 

On Mother's day eleven years ago, my family had grown.  I held in my arms a two month old baby, and a year old baby.  Two babies in the course of eleven months.  My life went from hard to much harder.  But, my thoughts on life hadn't changed.  I had upped the ante on the difficulty level - but I would still do whatever I needed to do to give my, now, two children the lives they deserved.  I worked long hours, came home to cook and clean, and then spent as much time as possible with them - sleep didn't matter. 

For the first few years of their lives I made many mistakes.  I struggled more than I ever thought possible.  We moved many times, either because the money just ran out or I couldn't bare the environment for my children to be in.  Despite money being tight, I refused to allow my children to live in a house that wasn't safe or clean.  I worked several jobs.  I worked fast food, I worked in a nursing home, I worked for customer service, I worked in a pie factory, I worked as a receptionist.  Each job more demanding than the next, but providing what I needed to support my children.

My life wasn't bad.  It was the complete opposite.  Despite the struggles, we made it work.  We were happy.  We spent Saturday mornings watching cartoons.  We ate dinner together at the table every night.  We sang and danced around the living room.  Bath time was an anticipated event that required towels for all parties involved - including me...even though I sat on the toilet and watched them play.  Those are the things I remember about the first few years of my children's lives.

Life continued to get better for us.  A man came in to my life seven years ago.  A man that would make our little family bigger.  My children had the father figure they needed - and I had some support.  But, my life as a mother didn't change.  I still made sure that our routines remained. 

Four years ago, the family tree obtained another branch.  The love in my heart grew even more - and I didn't even think that would be possible.  By then, I had made the decision to go to college.  I was back to trading in sleep so that I could go to classes, work, and come home and spend time with my children - all of them.  Each year in school got more demanding and more difficult - but my children are what got me through it.  The words of encouragement, the little notes they left....all reinforced my dedication to do what I had to do.

I realized a few years ago that being a mother isn't about the things I can buy for them or the house we live in.  Being a mother is providing love, support, encouragement...and being a role model.  My life as a mother may have started out on the rocky side - but I have made it my dedication to be the best role model I can be, give them all the love I have in my heart, and encourage them to follow their dreams.

When my Peanut tells me she wants to be a lawyer one day - then a lawyer she shall be!  She can look at me and know that despite the obstacles that were thrown in my way - I worked my way through them to fulfill my life long dream.  She is like me in so many ways.  I love her passion, her dedication, and her loyalty.  Anyone that knows her is blessed.  I like to think I had a hand in that. 

When my Butter has a rough day at school, and feels like the world is his enemy... he will always know that there is one person that is never against him.  I will listen to him yell.  I will listen to him scream.  And then I'll be there to give him a hug and tell him everything is going to be OK.  He knows my love is unconditional, and I know that one day he'll look back at some of his life events and see one person in the picture every time - the person that was always there for him.  Me.

When my Jelly comes to me after a long day at work, she knows she will never be turned away.  She knows I will never be too tired to read her a book, to give her snuggles, or to listen to her amazing stories.  She is still so young, but that means I have a lot more time to shower her with love. 

Being a mother has nothing to do with working long hours, giving up sleep, or putting food on the table.  It's about love.  It's about hope.  It's about the sight of seeing them sleeping in their beds.  It's about listening to their stories.  It's about kissing a boo-boo.  It's about being a shoulder for them to cry on.  It's about enforcing consequences, even though it breaks your heart to see them upset.  It's about watching band concerts, school plays, and youth sporting events.  It's about bath time and bedtime stories.  It's about being matter how old they are.

I am not a perfect mother.  There are no books written about my parenting skills.  I make mistakes, constantly.  I am still learning... and will always be learning.  But, at the end of the day, I know I am a good mother.  I love my children with all my heart.  There is nothing in this world I wouldn't do for them. 

To be a the most precious blessing I will ever receive.

Till next time. ;)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Bring Your Own Crazy - I Need a Break

Dear Diary...

After the week I've had, I just have to take a day off.  There's just too much going on in this head of mine to be able to write something that's not basically the same stuff I've been saying day after day.  So, thank goodness for Draz.  She does this wonderful little thing called BYOC.  It gives bloggers the chance to answer 5 questions and have a little fun.  So, that's what I'm going to do today...

1. Are you a “wake up on the first beep of the alarm clock” or a “hit the snooze button 50 times before you get up” kind of person? Is your alarm clock set to the right time?

I hit the snooze button 4 times every morning.  But, I set my alarm clock to go off 30 minutes early, so by the time I'm done hitting the snooze button 4 times - it's the right time to get up.  I try to be up by 4:36am.  My snooze goes for 9 minutes.  The alarm is set to go off at, after 4 snoozes, it's 4:36am.  There, some morning math to get you started on your day.  You're welcome.  Some mornings - rarely - I get up in fewer snoozes... but it's just become my routine to do it the way I do it.

2. Do you decorate for any holidays other than Christmas?

No.  Not anymore.  Back several years ago, when I lived in a small apartment, I would decorate for Easter and Halloween in addition to Christmas.  But now that I live in a house that has a HUGE living room - it's just too much work.  Plus, Hubby would leave me if I subjected him to more decorating than once a year.  I've finally gotten him to the point where he can tolerate the "mess" of Christmas decorations... but adding holidays to that list would just push him over the limit.  I already have to listen to the "commercialism that has ruined holidays"spill - and I don't know if I could hear it more than once a year.

3. Would you consider yourself a spontaneous fly by the seat of your pants kind of person or a massive OCD controlling planner kind of person or someone in between?

I guess I would have to say I'm someone in between.  There are certain things that I can do by the seat of my pants, and there are certain things I'm OCD about.  I know that one thing I've become OCD about is my shopping list.  It causes me great pain and stress to go grocery shopping without a list.  I never used to be that way - but now that I'm trying so hard to lose weight, I can literally be on the verge of a panic attack if I don't go to the grocery store prepared.

There are many occasions when I just "wing it".  I can't think of a great example right now - but just believe me... I can be very spontaneous.

4. Tell me some of your MUST have hair products that you use consistently….you know - share your “hair routine”.

Here's an example I can use for my spontaneity.  I don't really have a "hair routine", I just fly by the seat of my pants and do whatever I feel like doing each morning.  Some mornings, I use the flat iron and straighten it... although I haven't done that in a while. That's a lot of work, and with the end of school being so close - I just haven't felt like doing much work...with my hair.

So, recently I've been wetting my hair and using volumizing curl mousse, scrunching my hair, and then going.  I have naturally curly hair, and so it only requires a little scrunching to get it to cooperate.    On other days, if I don't want to mess with that, I just brush it, spray on some hairspray to get rid of the static, and either leave it that way or put a feathered headband in.

I don't really have any "must have" products.  I use a lot of Aussie and Suave brands, because they do what I need them to do at a fraction of the cost of other products.  

I've never really been one to do a whole lot with my hair.  I prefer to keep it short so that I don't just throw it up in a ponytail.  Right now, my hair sits right on top of my shoulders and has a lot of layers.  That makes it quite easy to brush and run...which I prefer.

5. Repeat question: How was your week and what are your upcoming weekend plans?

This week has been Cra-zy!  Yesterday was 80's day, and I promised you all I would share a pic of how I looked.  First, here's a pic of me actually from the 80's - with the frilly neck line and plaid design..

And here's a pic of me yesterday...totally going for the Madonna look.. HA!

I had my interview yesterday afternoon.  It was very similar to the interview I had last week.  I was interviewed by the principal, literacy coach, current 3rd grade teacher, and the 4th grade teacher. They were all very nice - but the interview was question then answer.  There wasn't really a lot of discussion - but they were all very nice to me.  I left having absolutely no idea how well I did or if I have a shot at the job.  I hate that feeling - but I just have to suck it up and wait for the verdict.

It's also been Teacher Appreciation week, so I've eaten way too much junk food.  For some reason, when there is something special going on at work - I feel like I have to participate by eating whatever goodies are set out.  Apart from the goodies at work, I've done pretty well the rest of the time.

I can't believe that there are only 4 days left at school.  I'm sure this next week is going to be the craziest thus far.  While trying to find a teaching job, getting ready to move to my parent's house on Thursday for a month, and the activities that take place on the last week of school... I'm sure I'll be good and worn out by the time next Friday comes.  In case I haven't mentioned it - I'm moving to my mom's for a month while they go to England on vacation.  I'm house sitting and going to be taking care of her foster children.

Today, I'm going to a birthday party of a good friend.  We're going to be something artsy and painting a ceramic piece.  I've never done anything like that before - so I'm excited about it.  Tomorrow, I'll be going to my mom's for last minute preparations before next weekend.  I won't see them again after that until they get back.  So much work to do.

OK, that's it for me today.  It's been nice to have a little break.  If you want to join in - please do so, and let me know you did so I can read your answers.

Till next time. ;)