Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Struggle's Over...

And I'm back!  This has been a good week.  Although it is not over I can honestly say that I have learned a lot.  God has been busy working on me this week!

I have learned not to "sweat the small stuff".  Let's look at the big picture here.  Because, really, is the "little stuff" all that important in the big scheme of things?  Not really.  So, I just decided to get over the dress code issue.  I can't change it so why stew about it?  Once I decided that, I had a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.  :)

Ssshhhhh.... Don't tell Mike I said this, but it has felt good going to bed early.  Like actually not crashing on the couch, but going and crawling into bed.  I have formed a bad habit of falling asleep on the couch and not actually going to bed until I wake up between 11:00-1:00.  The past couple nights I have had really good sleep.  So thankful!

I am very thankful for the students I have been given this year.  So far, knock on wood, they are a pretty good bunch of kids.  Some are chatty, some don't listen, and some demand our attention, but I really think I already love this bunch.  I know that the Lord knows my heart and he must know that while some are trying my patience a bit, I needed a group of kids like these to rejuvenate my love of teaching.  I am excited to be with them.  That is a good feeling.  :)

I was also reminded just how important it is to pray for others.  It is POWERFUL!  My friend Karessa began a blog called The Prayer Project.  (Click on the name to check it out!)  Each day she chooses somebody specific to pray for.  What an amazing thing to do!  Today, she chose to pray for ME.  Wow!  She texted me that today she was praying specifically for me.  I couldn't wait to get home from school to read her prayer for me.  It made my day before I had even read the blog.  Somebody was thinking about me and blessing me. Karessa, I can honestly say that you know me girl!  I feel lucky to have her as a friend and even luckier to know that she met the prayer needs that I did not even realize I needed.

Our God has been working on my girls as well.  For that I am most thankful.  I am blessed that this week he has helped both of them get enough rest so that we are not fussing at each other in the mornings.  I pray that this continues for us!  The two of them have been amazing in the mornings this week!  Girls, I love you both so very much!

I am sure that God has been working in my husband's life as well.  He has seen that I have been tired and has picked up my slack for me this week.  It has been much appreciated.  When I told my coworker about it, she said, "You know you are one lucky girl.  He's a good guy."  You know what?  She is right.  :)

Tomorrow is Friday and while I look forward to spending time with my school kiddos, I am looking forward to 3:30 pm.  I am still human and I am ready for the weekend!  Not sure what we will be doing, but I look forward to whatever it may be!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tomorrow's a New Day...

I have been struggling the past couple days.  My attitude was completely out of whack over a situation I had absolutely NO control over.  For whatever reason, I had my feathers COMPLETELY ruffled.  That is really out of character for me, and I really do not like the way it makes me feel...

So, I have decided that tomorrow is a new day.  A new attitude.  I am determined not to let anyone or anything ruffle my feathers.  I am going to be the "good ol' me" again.  After all, I don't have it as bad as some people.

I am fortunate enough to have a loving caring family that understands that Mommy is indeed human.  My husband is supportive and went with me to find new shoes.  He actually shopped for shoes with me.  He didn't just sit there and wait - he was looking too.  For that I am thankful.  Love you babe.  :)

I am also fortunate enough to be able to afford to get my new shoes.  There will be children who come to me this week that come from families that are financially unable to get many new things for them.  I need to remember how God has blessed my family.  Often, we take all we have for granted.  I needed to step back and remember that today.

This weekend was busy and it was good.  It reminded me how lucky I am each day.  I enjoyed being with my family as we bustled around getting ready to go back to school.  It is funny how close we can be when we are so busy.  I pray that as we end the chapter that was summer 2011 we begin the next chapter in our lives with lots of love, laughter, and success.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Bent Out of Shape...

Anybody that knows me knows that I am pretty dang laid back and I roll with the punches.  I am pretty flexible and open minded.  Basically, I think I'm pretty easy to be around and work with.  It takes A LOT to get my feathers ruffled.  Usually...

This past week we received our employee dress code.  It changed a little, but at first I was okay with it because I didn't think that what I owned would be affected by it.  Little did I know....

On Friday, we were in a meeting and had a couple items on the dress code "clarified" for us.  By the time my principals were finished, I was completely bent out of shape.  I was angry/upset for the entire day and I just could not change my attitude about it.  This is very unusual for me.  Please note that I was not upset with my principals.  They were just the messengers.  Not their fault at all....

Our dress code states that we may not wear shower shoes/beach shoes/flip flops.  In my mind I am thinking we are talking about the rubber flip flops that you pay $2 for at Old Navy.  I agree that those are completely inappropriate at school.  The flops that I own are thicker soled and "blinged out" in some way.  Definitely not shoes I'd wear in either the shower or at the beach.  They are either covered in some sort of animal print "fur" material or they are covered in crystals.  Shoes I wear to church.  They are super comfy and they have enough "sparkly junk" on them that I could wear them with a formal.  Should be good for school if they're good for church or a formal, right?  Apparently not...  :(  We were informed that if we had flip flops we could not wear them if they floated or had a foam or rubber sole.  Well, people, that is all I OWN!  All my "blinged out" flops have such a sole.   I have spent lots of money on these flips! All I could think of is that now I had NO shoes to wear to school.  :(

The other item that really got me was that teachers could no longer wear leggings.  Seriously???  Our student dress code became more lenient on leggings this year (Outer garments can be as much as 5 inches above the knee instead of 3 inches as long as leggings were worn underneath.)  Teachers are banned completely.  Somebody really did not think this through.  I am a "big girl" that does like to wear cute dresses from time to time.  I have a couple knee length dresses that completely meet dress code.  It is acceptable for me to wear them to school.  However, being a big girl I feel a bit exposed in those knee length dresses so I like to wear leggings under them.  I am sure some of my coworkers appreciate me covering them up too.  lol   I am covered up with them and feel less self-conscience when I wear them.  Plus I don't have to worry about some 5th or 6th grade boy looking up my dress as I walk up the stairs at school.  Has anybody thought about these things???  I think NOT!!!

So I stewed all day long yesterday.  These two things completely ruined my day.  Now, I know that I let them ruin my day, but I was really frustrated for a few reasons:

#1 - I work my butt off at my job.  I give my heart and soul to those kids while I am there, and sometimes, when I am not there.  I dress professionally and act professionally.  I have a good relationship with my colleagues, admin, students, and parents.  Why, then, do certain people feel the need to take away a couple of my "creature comforts"?  Is it really that important?  Will it seriously change the way I conduct my business from day to day?

#2 - We received the dress code approximately a week before school started but only clarification on such items on Friday.  That left me the weekend to correct my wardrobe.  On tax free weekend no less.  I really did NOT want to fight the crowds.

#3 - I have issues with my feet.  In the past few years it has become increasingly difficult for me to find school shoes that don't make my feet hurt so bad it feels like that are being gnawed off.  For some reason the flips work for me.  Dress shoes are stiff, have a hard sole, and are just plain uncomfortable. Plus, they are expensive.  Flips have a cushy sole, are not binding, and while I do spend up to $50 on a pair, they are still less expensive than dress shoes.  Have you priced good dress shoes lately?

#4 - We were given the dress code just a few days before school started.  Had they told us earlier in the summer I (and other people I have talked to) would not have spent good money on shoes I/we couldn't wear.  Why weren't we given this information earlier?  When we were buying school clothes  throughout the summer we were following the dress code that had always been acceptable.  Now, it is too late to take back those items and most people probably don't have the money to go shopping again.

If I could write a letter to the people who made the dress code, it might say something like this:

Dear Dress Code Makers,

In order to comply with your wishes I spent $239 out of my savings account today on 3 pairs of dress shoes. Because I am on my feet all day I was not able to get "cheap" shoes.  I MUST have shoes with some level of comfort in them.  Apparently, if you want/need comfort, you must pay for it.  I thank you for that.

My dresses will no longer be worn to school.  Without my leggings under them, I feel very exposed and unprofessional.  But, mostly, I do not want to give 5th and 6th grade boys the opportunity to look up my dress as I walk up the stairs.  I will retire those items to my closet only to be worn to church on Sundays.

I have no problem following your dress code.  I think it is important  But, please consider your teachers' reasons for changing these things back to the way they were in the past.  I believe you are asking us to be professional.  LOOK professional.  Your request is not out of line.  But, I can honestly say that on my campus, there isn't a day that goes by that my colleagues don't look and act professional.  Knowing the type of people that are employed by my district, I am sure that the same can be said for the other campuses as well.  We employ great people and in turn have a great district.

Thank you for your time.


Friends, thanks for letting me vent.  I am not a complainer, and I rarely ask for anything.  I am actually pretty open-minded and have a ton of patience.  Sometimes, though, things just rub a girl the wrong way and she's got to let it out.  Thanks for being my sounding board and know that while I am upset now, I will be back to the "good ol' me" by Monday.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Out With the Old, In With the New, and Other Random Stuff...

Welcome Back to School!  It's that time of the year.  Summer is over and I officially say adios to my crop of kiddos from last year.  New kiddos are on my roll sheets and in my grade book.  My room has once again been rearranged so that I can make the most out of my space and hopefully give my kiddos a comfortable place to learn.  I have lots of ideas running through my head, and even though I am NOT ready for my summer to be over, I am getting more motivated each day.  I have a couple weeks of lesson plans completed, to-do lists ready to go, and lots of organizing and meetings in the works.  I think I'll be ready to meet my new kiddos on Thursday of next week.  Cross your fingers they are ready to meet me too!  :)

On another note, I started something new.  I created a Facebook page for my Creative Soul photography, frames, and accessories.  I am a little nervous about it.  What if people look at my stuff and don't like it?  What if they think, "I can do that."  I hope that doesn't go through their heads, but the little devil on my shoulder just has to give me his two cents worth.  I need to find a way to shut him up.  lol  My Facebook page currently has mostly my photography on it.  I have a couple frames and I have several more to load to the page.  I think I'll stretch it out a bit so I can get them on there a few at a time and keep the page fresh.  I have already had some people ask me about my photography, and I have received a couple frame orders.  That is exciting to me!  I am so looking forward to creating the frames, and I am REALLY looking forward to shooting some pictures.  If you would like to "Like" my Creative Soul Facebook page, just go to the following link to get there.

I went to my first physical therapy appointment for my ankle and foot yesterday.  I saw 2 therapists and they both said that I had great mobility in my joints and that was really good.  They also did some "testing" on my calf to see if I had tender spots.  Turns out I do and didn't even know it!  Apparently, the tendon that I hurt is connected to the muscle that runs up the inside of our calf muscles.  It is tender and sore and I didn't even realize it until they started messing with it.  Compared to my other leg, it is extremely tender.  I guess we humans compensate for our pain by "stressing" other parts that are connected to the injured area to help compensate for the injury.  In my case the calf hurts.  

They decided to do 15 minutes of needling and 45 minutes of gym time.  Needling consists of using acupuncture needles placed in very tender spots in the muscle to relieve the tenderness and pain.  This is also good for plantar fasciaitis, which I have, so I am pretty excited that I will have help with that.  I am not 100% sure what the gym time will incorporate.  One of the therapists mentioned picking up items with my toes to help strengthen the muscles in my feet so they can help ultimately help support my tendon.  I was nervous going in to the appointment as I didn't know what to expect, but now I am a bit excited since I know what we are doing, and we will FINALLY be able to make things better and back to normal.  I'll keep you updated on my progress.  We are shooting to have this completed by August 31st!  Cross your fingers and say a prayer for me!  

Saturday, August 6, 2011

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest...

Or in our case, it just flew all over the bathroom.  And it was pretty funny.  At least now it is...   :)

This is Miley.  (In drag apparently.  My girls like to dress her up in doll clothes and do photo shoots.  I don't think she enjoys the "attention" all that much...)  
Miley is quite the hunter.  I guess she is like many other cats and prowls and hunts from time to time.  She just likes to bring it to her "room" - AKA the bathroom - to "play" with her captured treasures.  So far, other than the 4 grass snakes and one baby bird that she has caught I have been the one that has taken care of all her prized possessions.  So glad today was different.

This morning, Miley dashed through the doggy door and Mike immediately heard screeching and saw wings a-flappin' from her mouth.  She dashed straight the bathroom.  Mike chased after her and yelled at both Dixie and Miley.  Miley let go of the bird and it started flying all around the bathroom.  We got the cat and the dogs away from the bathroom and then we (he) had to figure out how to catch the mockingbird she brought in.

We had some empty tubs with lids in the garage so Mike took one into the bathroom.  I helped by shutting the bathroom door and making sure there was no excitement in the hall outside the bathroom. :D  It took a few minutes of him talking softly to settle the bird down.  He was finally able to corner the dang bird and catch it.
We (Mike) took the bird out to the backyard and opened the tub up by our peach tree.  I think he figured it might go in the tree to hide.  Instead, it hauled feathers to the back fence and the trees behind it.

I have to make this disclaimer.  I am VERY GLAD Mike was home when this happened.  To be quite honest, if this had happened when he was not home it is VERY likely that mockingbird would have been flying around in my bathroom all day long until Mike got home.

Life is good....   :D

And the verdict is...

Well, it took a few days before I could make this post.  Crazy busy week.  And school hasn't even started yet.  Sheesh...

Well, my trip to see Dr. Witt on Wednesday had results I certainly didn't expect.  He starts off by tell me, "I have good news and bad news."

Good news = There are NO rips or tears in my ankle tendon.  Yay!!!  
Bad news = There is fluid surrounding my tendon.  Not sure why.  So, he thinks I need to strengthen the tendon.  He'd like me to go to physical therapy 2-3 times a week for the next 4 weeks.  Oh, and each session is about an hour long.

Ummmm.... hello!   School is starting!  How am I going to find time to do this?  I don't know, but I guess I will.  A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

I go back to see him in 5-6 weeks to see if things are better.  If things are not better then he will have to do exploratory surgery.

All I know is that I am ready for this to be over.  It has gone on long enough!  I can't  believe I'm about to type this, but I think I hear my treadmill calling me!  hehe

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Is We or Ain't We...

If my first and second grade teacher read the title to this post I think I'd be in trouble...  She couldn't stand for her kiddos to use the word ain't....because it ain't a word.  I agree with her....somewhat....but I still like to use it from time to time...  Sorry Mrs. Dobson.  Although I don't use it often, sometimes it just feels.....appropriate.  :)

Tomorrow will be a somewhat busy day.  In the morning I have a photo shoot in Kilgore.  I am shooting pics of Mike's cousin's daughter.  She is a middle school cheerleader and I am looking forward to shooting pics of her in her uniform.  I'll post them when I get them edited and ready.  I'm excited!

After the photo shoot I am hoping to get my question answered.  Is we or ain't we?  That's the question.  Everybody that has listened to me gripe about my foot and ankle has told me that I'll probably "have surgery".  My reply has been "shut it" every time they tell me that.  I haven't been willing to admit that they might just be right.

I figured we'll just cross that bridge when we get there.  Well, I see the bridge ahead and I'm a little anxious.  What will my doc say that he saw on the MRI?  Will it be something easy to fix or not?  Will I be walking or hobbling around when school starts?  Will I have to miss some of the inservice days of school before the kids actually start?  Lots of questions I want answered...  Hmmmm.......  The next 12 hours might be kinda long.  Hope I can sleep some of them away tonight!  Update tomorrow...