Saturday, September 20, 2014

Secrets Can Be So Much Fun!


At work, I participate in the Secret Pal program.  I think I've mentioned that a few times before.  I LOVE doing the Secret Pal program...because, let's face it, who doesn't like receiving little gifts throughout the year?  This year is my 4th run at having a secret pal.  I had one my first year, two last year, and now one up until Christmas.  

My first secret pal was AMAZING.  She bought me such cool stuff, and always put a smile on my face.  I vividly remember arriving to school one morning to find a Thirty-One bag hanging on my classroom door, filled with crochet goodies.  I literally broke in to tears at the sight of it.  Not only do I LOVE Thirty-One bags, but it was the EXACT bag I'd been keeping my eye on for owning one day.  It's now the bag I'm seen toting to and from school each and every day.  The rest of the year was filled with other amazing gifts, snacks, smell-goods, and knick-knacks that always arrived at the perfect time.  I found out at the end of the year that my secret pal was the school nurse, who also coordinates the program. And, she does an outstanding job at it.

My second year, I also had two more AMAZING secret pals.  Quite often I'd come to work and find my favorite candy bars and drinks sitting on my desk with a note, or a little ornament displaying a thoughtful quote, and I always wondered how I'd always receive that perfect gift whenever I was having a bad day or needed some inspiration.  She turned many a frown upside down.  I'd be struggling with something one day, and the next day BAM..there was something waiting on me that would remind me that everything would be OK, and that I could handle anything thrown my way.  I often wondered who it was that had such insight in to my moods.  Then, at the end of the semester, it all became clear when I found out that my secret pal was my co-teacher.  She'd spent every day with me, so she knew my moods better than anybody.  She kept it from me very well, and I didn't find out until the very end.  I was so thankful when it all came out, and we laughed about how many times she'd listened to me brag about my secret pal being so awesome when it'd been her all along.    

After Christmas, I got a new secret pal.. and bless her, she wasn't quite as good at hiding it as my two former pals.  Within the first couple of weeks, she let it slip when I mentioned purple being one of my favorite colors and that I hadn't written that on my "form".  Thankfully, I was able to play off like I hadn't noticed her slip up, and let her continue showering me with surprises and smiles.  The thing I love about her is her quirkiness.  I got some of the cutest stuff from her, that I would never even think I'd like until I actually owned it.  I remember walking down the hall one morning and my not-so-secret pal letting me know that I had a gift waiting for me in the lounge.  When I walked in, I saw a basket full of chocolate bars, giant marshmallows, graham crackers, and a bowling ball.  My first thought was "What on earth will I do with a bowling ball?"  After further inspection, I realized the bowling ball had been turned in to a giant ladybug, and was a very cute ornament for my garden.  I just had to love her creativity.  

This year, I have been blessed with my 4th AMAZING secret pal.  We've only been in school for five weeks, and I already know that I have been very blessed with whoever drew my name.  On the first day of school, I had a little care package of nuts and snacks waiting for me.  But this week, I have been in awe at the creativity and thoughtfulness that has been waiting for me EVERY DAY! 

This week was spirit week...homecoming week.  Every day the district participated in a themed dress up day.  And, to go along with each theme, I've received a little gift to compliment them.  On Monday, it was Neon Day.  I received a small bag with Neon colored cards, and inside a bottle of bright nail polish and some neon pink earrings.  Then, day two was Hippie vs. Hillbilly.  I received the cutest Volkswagen Bug toy filled with candy and a Dr. Pepper.  Wednesday was Disney Day, and I found an adorable Mickey Mouse box filled with my favorite snacks inside.  Thursday was Western Day, and my gift was wrapped in a bandana.  It was a bag of Old Fashioned Root Beer candy.  I am not a fan of root beer, but it sure was awesome to be able to share them with my class.  And the gift was fitting for the day.  Which brings us to yesterday, which was Mustang Pride Day.  I arrive at school to find a paper bag with my name on it, and when I opened it up... I kid you not... I squealed with delight when I saw what was waiting for me.

Driving to work that very morning, I had made a comment on how I wished I had a Mustang hat to wear with my Mustang gear.  I've got TONS of Mustang shirts, but I really wanted a hat.  Low and behold, what is waiting for me in that bag?  A Mustang visor.  And that wasn't the only thing waiting for me, but I also had two skeins of red and black (same thread with the two colors combined) yarn.  The perfect yarn to make an awesome Mustang scarf.  Like I said, I literally squealed in delight.  I was so excited.  I spent the entire day showing off my new visor to everybody and anybody that would give me  a second to brag about it.  

I know that my visor will get PLENTY of use, and I'll be wearing it at every football game I attend... and any other Mustang event where I can show it off.  

Oh well, I guess I better wrap up this post and think about getting ready for my day.  I wrote about how happy my secret pals make me, because I'm not happy about the way I have to spend today.  I figured if I think good thoughts, I'll feel much better about today.  

Today, I get to spend another long, grueling twelve hours or so working at the U of A concession stand.  It's a long, tiring day and I really hate having to give up my entire Saturday when I have so much to do.  I know that if I didn't have to keep doing it, I wouldn't feel so frustrated about it... but this is my second, and I still have four more weeks I've been committed for.  It wouldn't be so bad if I was working on weekends that didn't have to coincide with projects going on for college.  I just get to feeling so overwhelmed when I spend so many hours away from home during the week, and I can't spend very much time at home.  I promised my kids this wouldn't happen when I went back to school, that I'd spend the weekends (at least one of the days) with them.  But, on these concession stand weekends I have to spend all day gone, and then Sunday I need to try and work on homework, school work, house work, and trying to fit time in with the kids.

It's frustrating.  And I don't like to be a quitter, but I may have to excuse myself from this obligation before it ends up making me stir crazy.  I'll do what I have to do today, but I can't keep doing this.  It's not fair to me to even have this type of responsibility, it's not fair on my kids, and it's not fair on the work that's getting neglected because of it.  Sure, I want to help raise money for my kid's organization, but I think working a couple of games is plenty.  I shouldn't have to work all seven games. 

OK, enough whining.  This is supposed to be a happy post.  Time to go get ready.

Have a great Saturday, everyone!!


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