Friday, July 23, 2010

Here's to Healthy Eating

So my husband and I decided that we really needed to make some healthy life changes like changing our diet and starting to exercise regularly. I think the changes will be good, but I'm not thrilled about it. First of all, I hate change and second of all, I like to be lazy and eat junk. Really, I'm OK with it. But I know this is best for me, and I'm going to make a real effort in this with my husband, but I'm pretty sure he's more excited about this than I am.

For example, today he went to the grocery store of his own accord to pick up some high protein items that will be helpful to him as he begins to work out. He came home showing off his purchases and excitedly talking about this new routine called P90X that several of his co-workers have done that he's getting ready to start. I, on the other hand, went to the grocery store to buy our weekly list, but with several healthy changes. Things were going really well as I started picking out things like plums, bananas, carrots, and even some baby spinach. I was even ok with the brown rice versus the white rice and salmon instead of steak. But when I reached the cereal aisle, well things got a little harder. I got low-fat granola instead of the Fruit Loops or Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but it was ok. Then I passed the cookies and chips aisles and things got really tough. Those Doritos and Oreos were looking really good, but I knew I needed some healthier substitutes. So what did I get instead, you might ask? Well, I picked up a fruit and nut trail mix, which I was good with and then I went for the yogurt and cheese sticks, and I realized I was grimacing as if I was physically in pain. I felt like a five year old being forced to eat their vegetables or else there would be no dessert, except that I wasn't grimacing over vegetables, I was grimacing over what would soon be my dessert. And to make things worse, on the other side of the aisle was the freezer case filled with ice cream that was on sale for buy one get one free!! UGH!!

Well, I can honestly say that I left the store with only healthy foods except for some Italian ice that happens to be made of real fruit juice, so I figure it can't be too bad for you and a box of the new extremely cheesy macaroni and cheese. I know, I'm pathetic, but I'm going to try. So, here's to healthy eating and maybe a little bit of exercise too!! I'll let you know how it's going in about a week. Any suggestions of healthy recipes or ideas are always welcome, and if you've made the healthy switch I would love to hear that it's worth it!! :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What I Love About the Summer

Is it just me or does it seem that summer flies by much faster than the rest of the year? I can't believe that I only have 3 weeks left of my 10-week summer break, and that I have to spend one of those weeks at an AP conference! For some reason I feel like this summer has been very different from the other two summers I have had off during teaching. Maybe it's because we've had so much going on with kitchen renovations, Tyler's promotion, VBS, an eleven day trip to Florida, and mom's surgery. Or maybe it's because I'm just not looking forward to the upcoming school year. I don't know what it is, but I'm not ready for it to be over!!

There's so much that I love about the summer. I love that I don't have to work and that I can get a break from the mental stress of teaching. I know that some people might think it wasteful for me to not take a summer job and make a little extra money while I'm off, but to them I say, "I make a full time salary in 10 months that you make in 12, so maybe you're just jealous." Aside from not having to work, I also love being able to sleep in in the mornings, then watch the Today show or Regis and Kelley while eating a bowl of cereal. I also love having all day to get my chores done rather than waiting until Saturday to get it all done and then having little to no time to rest or enjoy being off.

I also love the amount of time that I have to spend with my husband, especially since we're on very different schedules during the school year. Because I get to sleep in, I'm able to stay up later and hang out with my hubbie, who's a night owl, rather than dragging myself to bed around 10 from sheer exhaustion. Also, we have time to take a trip or two together that gives us some quality time away from the rest of the world. We actually have time to talk to one another, which sounds terrible, but sometimes we just run out of time together to get to discuss everything on our minds (well maybe just on mine since I always have the need to talk). :)

I also love getting to read whatever I want! Each year I make my own summer reading list of all the books I came across during the school year that I wanted to read but didn't have the time to. I will admit that this year's summer reading has not been as prosperous as others in the past, but it's still been nice to pick up a book that I actually chose to read rather than reading what I've assigned my students to keep myself refreshed on the subject matter (not that I assign boring books, it's just that I've now read most of these books 5 or more times, and would like something new).

I also love the time I get to spend with my family. Sometimes I feel like I don't see them for weeks on end and only get to talk to them a handful of times in the course of a month because we're all so busy. I now people think that because I only live 10 minutes from their house I must spend tons of time with them, but the truth is I have gone almost a month at times without seeing my family because of how busy things can get. So the summer is a great time to get caught up, and this summer has probably given me that opportunity more than any other summer so far and I think it's the best part of my summer so far!

Well, despite the fact that summer is fading fast, I'm going to try and enjoy these last 3 weeks and not think about how little time I have left, but rather remember all the wonderful blessings that have come from this summer. Because if truth be told, I've been feeling the summer-time blues the past few days, and I really just need to snap out of it and enjoy myself, because otherwise this summer will be gone, and yet another long grueling year will be ahead of me, and I'll have worried and fretted away my last few days rather than truly enjoy them!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Not Quite "Miss Perfect"

Have you ever had one of those moments where everything has been going fine and you feel great and then suddenly without warning you just break down and start sobbing? No, huh, then maybe it's just me, but I had one of those moments today. Today is Tyler's birthday, and we were planning to go out together for lunch this afternoon and everything was fine until I picked him up from his office. I'm not sure what happened, but I had trouble finding the restaurant and suddenly it all just became too much for me and I said, "I can't do this anymore." Poor Tyler had no idea what had just happened, in fact, he asked me as I was dropping him off at his office later, "Where is all of this coming from?" To which I had absolutely no answer. Things have been busy and sometimes chaotic and even a little frustrating, but honestly everything was fine until I couldn't find 4th street!

Lunch was a disaster with me in tears and barely able to say anything. I took Tyler back to work and drove home with tears running down my face. I felt terrible because this was supposed to be a special outing for Tyler, and I had ruined it, and not only that but I still needed to get him a card and wrap his present. What kind of wife doesn't even have a birthday card yet for her husband? I was overwhelmed, so I went home and after doing a brief whirlwind of cleaning to vent my frustrations, I finally sat down and let myself cry and then I began to pray and ask God what on earth was wrong with me. Well, there were no audible answers, but I did realize that I have been spreading myself a little thin the past couple of weeks trying to take care of mom and keep up with chores around the house and running Caitlyn back and forth from volleyball camp and doctor and dentist appointments, basically trying to do it all on my own. I guess somewhere in there, with so much that has been weighing heavily on my mind I had just allowed things to build up. I also realized that I'm not "Miss Perfect" as I so desperately want to appear to everyone. No, I'm just human, and I make mistakes and I get lost trying to find my way around downtown, and I forget to pick up wrapping paper and birthday cards, and I even get a little worried over things that don't really matter. I guess I just felt guilty for not being able to do everything for everyone else, and I've been afraid of letting someone down. But once I calmed down and was able to breathe, I realized that I don't have to have all the answers, and I don't have to be "Miss Perfect," I just need to do the best that I can and when I can't do something I need to say so or ask for help. It's easier said than done, but after today's breakdown, I think it's time I start trying.

Here's to a much better night tonight as we celebrate Tyler's birthday!! He really is the best and was kind enough to inform me that had he known how overwhelmed I was, he would've stepped in and helped. Too bad I didn't know how close to the breaking point I was or else I might've told him sooner than when I was sobbing on 3rd street.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

An Awesome God

Well, once again it has been quite some time since my last post... I'm going to have to work on this! I know...

My heart is so full lately with all the amazing things that God has been doing, and I have found myself awestruck by his goodness, so I thought it might be time to share what's been going on in our lives...

The first thing that I have been awed by is His perfect timing. Tyler and I have been praying about God's plans for our future and I felt like God had given us a time table of sorts for some things that we want to accomplish in our lives, but over the past two years I've felt like maybe God wanted me to put a pause on those things. In some ways I have been frustrated, feeling like it wasn't fair that God was keeping something from me, but at the same time I realized that God always knows better than I do and that if He is keeping me from something then it is for a specific purpose. Well, despite trying to remind myself of these things, it has been a struggle, but last month something amazing happened. Tyler had been looking at possibly changing jobs for a few months now, not because he was unhappy but rather because he wanted to move up from what he was currently doing and take on some new challenges. Well, after months of looking at jobs, he got a call that led to a phone interview that then led to an in-person interview that led to yet another interview that led to a pretty nice job offer and pay increase. We had been praying all along, and amazingly it seemed to fit into that time-table thing I had in my mind, so we felt that this was from God. However, when Tyler went to his boss to share the news something even more incredible happened! His company was not willing to let Tyler go, so after several higher ups including the president of the company were made aware of his plan to leave, a new plan was devised to offer Tyler a promotion and a salary increase to match the other job offer. Again, we were awe struck. It wasn't that the other job wasn't from God, but rather God used that to open the door at Tyler's current company for him to be promoted, and it may not have happened had the other offer not come along or had it come earlier. So after vacationing in Florida for 11 days, Tyler returned to work with a new promotion! Isn't God wonderful?!?

On another note, Tyler and I got to take an eleven day vacation to Florida this summer, which was so relaxing! We are so blessed to be able to stay at his grandfather's condo on the beach, so all we have to do is pay to make our way down there. In case you're wondering, no there was no oil on the beach. In fact, it was beautiful! There were shells everywhere and in some areas you could scoop them up by the handfuls!! We saw several sea turtle nests scattered along the shore and marked by caution tape to keep people out. We also were entertained by the birds, such as the pelicans pouncing on sting ray shadows in the water, falcons dining on fish in pal trees, and a crow that couldn't seem to learn his lesson and was chased away daily by a family of mockingbirds. But the best wildlife were the dolphins that we saw each day swimming near the shore. Some days they were so close that I was sure I could have my own "swimming with the dolphins" experience for free! It was so much fun and it made me think how sad it is that while that part of the Gulf coast is pristine and beautiful, so much of the rest of the Gulf coast is being destroyed. It breaks my heart to think that so many of those same animals that we were mesmerized by are being destroyed only a few hundred miles away. But I am so thankful that there are still miles of coastline that are safe!!

In other news, when we returned from Florida, mom had surgery. She has been dealing with a lot of pain and issues for the past few years, but this year she took a turn for the worse and her doctor recommended that she have a hyterectomy to alleviate the pain. She wasn't keen on the idea, but the pain had become unbearable, so she bit the bullet and scheduled the procedure. To give you an idea of how much pain she was in, the doctor said he removed one golfball sized cyst from one ovary, a second newly formed cyst from her other ovary, and a fist-sized blood clot from her utuerus. He also found that she had endometriosis throughout both ovaries and in her pelvis and that she had inflammation from a recent infection. I'm not really sure how she even stood up straight with all that she was suffering from, but now that all of that is gone I have a feeling she's going to feel like a brand new person once the incision heals. Today, we also learned that there was no sign of cancer in any of the material the doctor removed, so we were grateful and relieved. Mom's recovery has been incredible, while she is limited in what she can do, she seems to have little to no pain (I guess this is probably nothing compared to what she had before) and her incision is healing nicely. We have been so blessed by the prayers of so many and we know that it was only through God's strength that she has done as well as she has.

Finally, I should update you on my work status since it has been so long. Well, it's official (although I've known this since the first of March), but I will be back at Glenvar full time in the fall. I am so blessed to not be traveling between schools next year and very grateful. I will have a lot of responsibilities next year with Junior Class sponsor, teaching 11 AP and 11 general, but I know that with God all things are possible, and I have a feeling I will be clinging to that verse a lot in the days to come! Also, by getting a contract to teach for the coming school year, I have also attained tenure. Granted, I have to actually show up the first day of school for it to take effect, but I'm pretty certain that won't be a problem! :) I've been thinking a lot lately about why God had me travelling last year, and I've finally decided that if for no other reason it has taught me to be appreciative of where I teach now. While it might not be perfect, Glenvar is still a unique school that offers teachers and students opportunities that other larger schools can't and I truly have been blessed to work there over the past 3 and a half years.

Well this was quite a long post and I apologize, but hopefully I won't wait 500 hundred years (as Tyler said) until my next post... But if I do... again I am sorry!!