Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Today kicked off the most wonderful (ok, ONE of the Most Wonderful) times of the year!  Especially for Nebraska fans!!  It's Game Day in Nebraska!   I love, love, LOVE this time of year!
I love me some Nebraska football! 

 I married a Nebraska boy, went to University of Nebraska (UNL), have one of my degrees from the University of Nebraska and was raised from birth to be a Nebraska fan even though we live (and I was born and raised) in Iowa.

My dad has been a Husker fan since he was little (and he was born/raised in Iowa, too) and in the tractor helping my grandfather, my dad would listen to the Huskers play on the radio.  So now it runs in my blood as much as his!  We bleed Husker RED in our family!   We proudly fly the flag on game days!  And have multiple outdoor Husker decor around our home to please our neighbors!  Most are Iowa fans. Boo!

So we sit now and watch the game.  Funny, we're sitting at my sister's home with her fiance, Mark and he is a die-hard Iowa Hawkeye fan!  Ha!!  Give us time....we'll turn him!  Just give us time! :)

 See....Husker-Loving through-and-through!!  

 So next to the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, THIS is the BEST time of year!  Sing it with me, "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!!!" 

So now for about 3 months, if I need to find my hubby, he's in our basement watching Nebraska football or college football of some kind.  I won't be watching anything else with him except the Huskers!  Here's to a good season, Nebraska fans!! 

Until Next time Friends, and until next Saturday.....Go Big Red!!! 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sometimes you need a good cry. Then a breakdown....

Then a Klonopin.  And a loving husband to pick you up and support you through the mess.  That's why I married this man....

Some people never fail to let you down. Or that's how I feel at times.  Too many times. Some people hurt you and make you feel less than what you truly are. Some people make you cry.  Some people you'd think wouldn't or shouldn't but they do.  But this one doesn't.  Sure we have our ups and downs.  But, he's constant.  He's a rock.  And he probably doesn't know how very much I appreciate him, love him, cherish him and need him!

It's been a rough week.  It's been a very rough 4 years. And I feel like a shell of my former self almost every day. A lot of the time I don't recognize myself in the mirror.  I don't recognize the face staring back at me.  I do what I can each day, but it's hard at times.  There is so much in my head everyday and making sense of it all is hard and frustrating, to say the least.  I want to share my story, but I need to feel it's the right time.  It's long, arduous and it's painful.  So the time has to be right.

It's been a rough four years, but this one above has never faltered or left me for one minute.  God knew what I needed when he put him in my life.  And I'm thankful, grateful and humbled by that.

Friday and Saturday although sunny, bright and warm outside, this is what my day looked like:

But, the one above and that I love brought me through.  Or at least to a place where I could start again.  And dry my tears.  So that picture and day above I know became more like this: 

My life isn't easy.  My life isn't perfect.  My life is complicated and a mess.  I never promised anyone that it was perfect and happy all of the time.  I wasn't promised that.  God puts us to the test.  And he doesn't give us anything that we can't handle.  I have to keep telling myself that daily.  I've been telling myself that ad nauseum for 4 LONG years.  But he does put us through the fire.  He does test us.  He builds our resolve to make us better and I guess appreciate life and the little things more.  I'm still trying desperately to figure it all out.  

When I can't figure it all out (which right now is always), I see a therapist. She's the best. Her name is Jennifer.  Fitting. Because the other Jennifer I would talk to is gone.  And sadly, I have a better relationship with my therapist than most others around me, except for Frank.  Again he's the exception.  The extent of my "friendships" in this Podunk town (I feel we're forced at times to live in) are at school functions for the little man.  They extend not much further than that. Except for Frank.  He's the exception to that rule.  He's my best friend. A lot of the time, my only friend. And I guess if that's how it is....then I couldn't ask for a better one to be my friend, my best friend, my companion, my comforter, my strength, my lover, and my all the rest of my life.  But I forget too often that I also have a friend in Jesus.  

What a friend we have in Jesus, 
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry 
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, 
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry 
everything to God in prayer. 

Have we trials and temptations? 
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; 
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful 
who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; 
take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, 
cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, 
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? 
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield you; 
you will find a solace there.

Yesterday, however, I forgot to pray.  I forgot to take it to the Lord in prayer. I forgot about Jesus.  I forget that more often than I should.  Sometimes it does feel like he's left me, I'm not going to lie.  But then I do look back at the times when I couldn't make it another day or minute and like the poem I look back and see one set of footprints and then I know he was there. He, like my husband, was carrying me. I think of this scripture often, too.  

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: 
He leadeth me beside the still waters. 
He restoreth my soul: 
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; 
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: 
Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: 
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
~ Psalm 23

So Friday and Saturday sucked. A lot.  We ended on a good note by watching a movie and having popcorn with the little man last night.  It was good.   I'm still trying to process some things and make sense of others.  That is what I do.  More than I'd like to at times.  So, this is my life.  For better or worse.  I never promised it would be all sunshine and rainbows here on this blog.  I never promised it because that's not my life.  My life is sometimes sunshine and sometimes rain.  Sometimes there's a rainbow.  Sometimes it's just calm after the rain.  Until another storm hits.  Again, that's my life. For better or worse.  This weekend I've see more of the rain than the sun (despite what it looks like outside).  But today is a new day. And if I find I am unable to make it through....I know two constant sources of strength in my life who will carry me. 

This song has been in my head and on my heart this week.  I now know why.  It's not just Frank who will be here for me.  It's the One who gave him to me who will and is also here for me.  It's fitting for this season in my/our life.  

I Will Be Here ~ Steven Curtis Chapman

Here's to a new day.  Here's to a better tomorrow.  Here's to the two loves of my life.  And a thanks for always being there. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Working 9 to 5! (Ok, really only 9 to 11!)

Well, today I taught my first face-to-face class in about 5 years!  Nolan was only like 2 or 3 when I started teaching online full-time.  Time flies!  With him in school all day, I've been thinking about getting back in the classroom and possibly working outside of the home full time again.  When WIT and West Monona offered me this position to teach in the classroom this year their AP English courses, I jumped at the chance!  I am out of the home and get some adult time, but I don't have to be away from home all day.  So I start at 9 and then I'm done by 11.  Home by noon!  Perfect!   And that's just two days per week on Tuesday and Thursday.  The other two days Monday and Wednesday I'm online with the students.  So it's a Hybrid course.  And they're paying my mileage to drive there and back the 2 days per week!  Again....perfect!

So today was day one of the new JOB!   Start time 9am!  First time getting up and ready for work in the early morning since I worked at the Dana College Library in 2002!  So, I was up at 7:15 and ready to roll at 8:00am.  Nolan and I were out the door and I was on the road to Onawa at 8:05 after dropping off the little man at school.  I was nervous but excited too!   Smooth sailing except for some road construction outside of Soldier, Iowa.  But, I made it in time with time to spare!

My traveling companions.  Coffee and my favorite Coach briefcase!  It's been with me since I started teaching 10 years ago!  Trusty and faithful companions! 

Heading out of Woodbine! On my way!

Time is a little off.  I DID actually leave at 8:05!  Silly Outlander! are a friend of mine!  (And will be this entire year!)  I'm sure I'll be breaking out the Nespresso from time-to-time too!

This is where I'll be every Tuesday and Thursday for the rest of the school year.  WMHS! 

Heading into the building!  Sorry no Grease 2 dancing!  But I was humming it to myself. :)

Yep, I'm the creepy stalker taking pictures of the building!  Don't mind me! 

Nothing to see here officer.   Just taking some pics for my blog!  

Kidding.  There was no officer!  But there was a lady driving really slow in front of me stopping and looking at houses with For Sale signs.  I should have taken a picture of that too.   Ok, maybe not good blog material.  But darn it multiple pictures of West Monona High School are!  I stand by that! :)

New School Clothes!  Or as I like to call it, work attire. 

My cute hot pink sandals!  Fancy! 

Fancy shoes for the first day! 

Seriously, I love these sandals!  And the skirt!

Happy after my first day!  Looking forward to the rest of the year! 

So the day went good.  Very good! Taught two Comp I courses and have a good group of students in both classes.  Everyone was very helpful, accommodating and welcoming!  Couldn't have gone better!  I'm so excited for this new opportunity and thankful to God for this blessing.  He is good!  I'll keep you posted on how the year is going.  

Until then....

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I gotta go back, back, back to school again. Whoa, whoa, I gotta go... back to schoooool.....AGAIN!

And yes, that's from Grease 2.  I know all of you (Well, at least Alesha for sure) knew that!  One of my favorite movies!!  I think of that song every "Back to School" day.   This year it applies to both Nolan and me.  But, more on me later.  First, it was back to school time for Nolan on Tuesday.  He started the second grade which means he's quite the big boy!  Not our baby anymore that's for sure!  But, come on moms....let's face it....they'll always be our babies! :)

The night before the school had their open house so we got to see his room and meet his teacher.  Nolan had quote the entourage with mommy, daddy, Aunt Alesha and soon-to-be Uncle Mark!  He's a well-loved child that's for sure!

Here are some open house pictures:  
New Desk! 

New Backpack!  Go Big Red! 

 Standing beside his desk.  And very proud! 

 His very own locker!  No sharing this year for the first time! 

Mrs. Klein's 2nd Grade Room

 There's Nolan's little bird (orange w/ light blue wings) in the flock! 

He's a big boy this year so it's up to the 2nd floor they go!  Very exciting!  Same stairs and hall that I walked many years ago! 

 Here are pictures from the first day of school!

Our "little" man!  In his new clothes!

That's either "peace" or 2nd grade!

Had to give me the "gun show!" 

So cute! 

Backpack on and ready to go! 

Awww yeah!  Go Big Red!  

He's such a goofball!  Love this picture! 

Mommies attire of choice!  Boston Red Sox hat from Aunt Alesha!  Because bed hair just isn't pretty folks.  Oh and the sunglasses are behind me on the dining room table ready to go! 

Izzie saying goodbye to per pal!

In the car ready to get the show on the road!

Heading into the school and looking like such a BIG boy!  

Up the stairs!  Seriously, he was SO excited to get to go upstairs this year!  SO excited!  

At the top of the stairs and ready to head to his new room! 

Hanging his bag in his new locker!

Standing by his locker.  That's an obligatory picture every year! 

At his new desk.

Mrs. Klein's Room

Mrs. Klein's desk

New school shoes!  He was told many times "NO!" that he couldn't wear them and today he got the "YES!"

New desk and new folder!  He's love that folder too!  Yep, we were the first ones there, too!  

Nolan with Mrs. Klein!  It'll be interesting to take a picture of him and her at the end of the year and just how big he will have gotten!  

Mrs. Eby's wall/room (she's the other 2nd grade teacher).  I just liked her apple basket! 

A quick picture of Woodbine Community School as I left our munchkin for his first day of the new school year!   Happy Back to School everyone!  

Now for me.  I started back to school writing my dissertation in July. No big deal.  Same old story.  The REAL back-to-school story for me is that tomorrow (Thursday) I start teaching AP English classes at West Monona High School in Onawa, Iowa!  I am teaching them for Western Iowa Tech Community College (WIT).  I will be at the school 2 days per week and online the other 2 days!  It's a full year contract too!  I super excited!  I haven't been in the classroom to teach for almost 5 years now!  Wow!!  I'm pretty nervous too.  But mostly excited!  It's a great school, the staff is nice and the Principal is Awesome!!  Can't wait to meet the student tomorrow morning.  I teach 2 sections of Comp I this term, then Comp 2 and lastly Introduction to Literature to round out the year.  Yay!   So that's my big news so it's Back to School tomorrow for me, too!  Better get my sleep and wear my new clothes!  Which I do have a new skirt I'll be wearing!  Fancy! :) 

And because I mentioned it earlier, here's a little blast from the past for your entertainment pleasure!  

Back to School Again (1982) - Grease 2

And, yes, I'm going to do that dance on my way into the school tomorrow whilst singing this song. 

And, I'm considering doing my hair like Miss Mason's for Alesha's wedding.  

But truthfully, I WILL be watching this movie tomorrow when I get home from teaching while I'm prepping courses for my online teaching that starts next week and grading.  Just saying.  It's such a FAB movie!  

Later, friends!  Happy Back-to-School! 

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