Posted in Me, Thursday Thoughts

Thursday Thoughts

Hello! Today, I have a Thursday Thoughts post.

I’ve shared Erin’s (@cathartic_word) Enneagram graphics in previous posts. When I’m scrolling the ‘Gram, I immediately stop and look at her posts. Her Enneagram graphics are amazing, and I immediately swipe to see what she’s created for 5w6.

I’ve had this “Things each Enneagram loves” post saved for a while, and today I’m breaking down my thoughts on the 5 (investigator) and the 6 (loyalist).

Things each Enneagram type loves…

Type 5:

  • Quiet time: Heck yes. I’ve shared before that I need my morning quiet time to start my day. If I can have pockets of quiet time throughout the day, that’s even better!
  • Take out: While I love eating out, I also enjoy just getting take out and eating dinner at home in the comfort of my home. There’s nothing better than pajamas, a good book, and food I didn’t have to cook ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • No plans: Do you know what’s better than no plans? Cancelled plans! haha
  • Long talks: This one is less like me than the others. I think after talking all day long with students, I’m ok with shorter conversations. That being said, it’s always good to catch up with someone I haven’t seen in a while.
  • Their bed: Absolutely! While I don’t mind travelling, there are times I’ve left my house thinking about how many nights of sleep until I’m back at home and in my own bed (with my favorite pillow, my weighted blanket, and my sound machine! #highmaintenancesleeper)
  • New books: Have you met me? This is a definite yes. I love a new book! It’s like meeting a new friend.

Type 6:

  • Stationery: It must be the teacher in me because I do love stationery.
  • Multiple cups: of coffee?? haha I do have my favorite coffee mug, water tumbler, and wine glass. I guess I am particular about my drinkware!
  • New pens: Again, the teacher in me…I start every year off with a new pack of pens. My faves are Optimus Fine Point Pen or Paper Mater Flair.
  • Dinner date: Sure! It’s not often we get to go out, but I do love grabbing dinner out with Travis.
  • Reliable Friends: I’ve learned through the years it’s the quality not the quantity of many things, including friends! I appreciate those who “get” me and are there for me.
  • Mismatched socks: uh no. This is definitely not me! It drives me crazy when I can’t find the match to a sock.

I feel like this glimpse of what a 5w6 Enneagram type loves is pretty spot on.

You should definitely check out Ashton’s Instagram account. She has so many fun Enneagram posts, and she often shares cute seasonal graphics that can be used for phone backgrounds.

See you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites.

Posted in Me, School

Tuesday Teacher Talk

Hello!

Well, a big part of my life (for almost twenty years!) has been being a teacher. It dawned on me that I haven’t shared much about that aspect of my life, and a few readers commented on my recent Three Things post about my current Academic Interventionist job.

So, today I’m taking a stroll down memory lane and sharing my teaching experiences through the years in my first ever…

My first year of teaching was in a small school outside of Columbia, Missouri. I graduated from MIZZOU in May of 2002 and wanted to stay there a bit longer (and I was dating Travis at the time). I taught in a very small school where I was the only English 1 teacher. I had ninth graders all day long (I was more energetic then ;). Fun Fact: I was also the cheer leading coach that year. While I may have had more energy, I’ve never been described as peppy. The coaching position was attached to the English 1 teaching position which I actually don’t think you are allowed to do! Ahhh…small town life. Anyway, I enjoyed my time there. One funny memory I have is that one day I wore two different black shoes to school…both had a bit of a heel. It was a day the cheerleaders had to stay for the basketball game, and I just remember wanting to get home and out of my mismatched shoes!

The time came where Travis wanted to move back home to Kentucky and get into the horse business. While we were serious and had discussed marriage, I just didn’t feel like I could move to Kentucky yet and he wanted to get settled with a job. So, I took this opportunity to move back home to KC. I taught at large high school with a diverse population, and my mom taught at the middle school that was a feeder school to where I taught. Since I wasn’t married at the time, some of her students got a kick out of the fact that they had Mrs. Galvin in 7th grade and Ms. Galvin for 9th (or 11th) grade since I taught both of those grade levels that year. I also had the school newspaper as a class and loved it! They were a great group of kids. I loved being closer to my family, making more money, and being in a bigger school. My mom retired at the end of that school year right as I made the decision to move to Kentucky with Travis.

We got engaged in May of 2004 right as I found my job in a somewhat rural district in Kentucky. Nicholasville is right outside of Lexington and is a great community. There are two high schools in the district, and I loved my time at East. I taught English 1 for many years. I was blessed to work for the same four principals for 11 of my 12 years there. They were amazing principals and great leaders for our school. During that time, so much changed in my life. I got married, had the kids, and met some of my best friends. It was also during that time that I earned my two Master’s degrees. In the fall of 2005, right after I got married, I started on my Master’s in Literacy. I earned the degree online over the next two years from the University of Missouri. I have always loved the literacy part of teaching English, and especially the reading aspect.

my classroom at East

With that degree, I earned my Rank 2 in May of 2008 which led me to a Literacy Coaching position at East. Our district was a part of a four year grant with the University of Louisville. During that time, I did reading intervention with students. I typically had two classes of freshmen and one class of sophomores. Because it was a grant, the boundaries of those classes were dictated by the stakeholders, and I couldn’t have more than 12 in a class! The other half of my day was spent being a resource for teachers. I worked 1:1 with students, I shared strategies with teachers, I facilitated professional development opportunities and more!

Throwback photo in my old classroom.

Also, with the grant was the opportunity to earn a Reading Specialist degree. I put that off for a bit because it was optional, and I had a lot going on. Finally, I started that degree when the kids were two years old and worked hard for a year to complete my 36 hours. It was definitely a crazy time, but I knew I’d kick myself if I didn’t take advantage of earning this degree, and it was paid for by the grant. In May of 2012, I finished that degree and earned my rank 1. When the grant ended, I went back into the classroom and taught mostly juniors and seniors. While at East, I also took on other roles as teacher rep on SBDM and splitting the English department chair position for a few years. The year my kids were in kindergarten, I knew I needed a change. As much as I hated to leave, I needed to be on the same school district schedule as them, and I was unhappy with the new administration at my school. So, I looked, applied, and interviewed; I was able to secure a teaching position at a school in Lexington.

my first classroom at my new school

I now teach at one of the largest high schools in the state. It actually reminds me of where I taught in KC. I taught English 2 for the first time ever when I moved to this school. I taught sophomores the first year, then the second year I had sophomores and two MTSS classes for students who hadn’t met benchmark on the English or Reading sections of ACT. We did other things like reading strategies, study skills, test taking skills and more. The next year, I had sophomores and one class of freshmen! Blast from the past! They were actually a great way to start my day. Then, there was a job posted for a reading interventionist at my school which I applied for and got the job in late October 2019.

My current classroom

My job title now is Academic Interventionist. It feels like I’ve been doing this job forever, and it also feels like just yesterday I made the switch. This position was created because we needed extra support for students, especially freshmen. I started by checking in with students who were struggling in their classes, and provided some support for them. Sometimes that meant study or reading skills, other times I helped them complete work, and there were times we’d empty out backpacks and get organized!

I’d barely started that work when in March of 2020, everything changed. During the pandemic and virtual learning, I still helped students…just via Zoom. I’d also make lots of phone calls home to check on students and set up appointment times to work with them.

Crazy enough, this year is the first “normal” year I’ve had in this Academic Interventionist position. We’ve been able to expand how we help our students. Thanks to additional funds, we’ve added more teachers and are now a team. I now focus on Social Studies and English classes because there’s a new counselor to now focus on students who are struggling overall academically, and there’s a science and math interventionist as well.

What I love about this job is meeting new students, and every day is different. I have a Google form, and teachers add students to it who need additional academic support. Some days, my room is a quiet place for a student to take a test, other days I’m reading chapters of Of Mice and Men aloud to a few students and then we answer questions, I help students brainstorm ideas for their paper and then complete an outline, and I also encourage students to use reading and writing strategies. I help students 1:1, pairs, small groups and even half of classes. Iโ€™m also an extra resource as I sometimes go into classrooms on days when teachers need an additional teacher when giving a test or sharing new content.

I’m also on various committees such as MTSS (academic support for students), PBIS (behavioral support for students), and 9th grade Task Force (helping plan intentional strategies and help for our 9th graders).

I hope this job lasts as long as possible. I love it. Unfortunately, in education, the funding for these positions doesn’t always last forever. That being said, this job has been just what I’ve needed at this point in my career to have some flexibility in my day (sometimes, in education, you feel like you are stuck in a rut!), help students in a different way, and use some of my other teaching skills and credentials.

Favorite Education Quotes:

You know as an English/Language Arts teacher I love a good quote. Here are some of my faves:

  • “Teaching is the one profession that creates all other professions.” -Unknown
  • “Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.” -William Butler Yeats
  • “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” -Nelson Mandela

Shew! That was a long post. I guess when you’ve been teaching twenty years, you have a lot to recap! It’s really crazy to me that I’m 2 / 3 of the way finished with my teaching career. I swear I still remember what it feels like standing in front of my first hour class on my first day of teaching in 2002. Time flies.

Thanks so much for reading! Let me know if you have any questions! Also, if you are a teacher (or have been one!), share with me how many years you’ve been teaching, and what you teach. Teachers are a tribe that sticks together!

Posted in Me, Thursday Thoughts

Thursday Thoughts: My Routines

Hello there! A few weeks ago, Amy shared a post about her routines, and I thought it would be fun to reflect on some of my routines. I’ve shared my skin care routine in the past as well as our routine when we did distance/virtual learning, and even my workout routine, so I thought I’d dig a bit deeper into some of my other routines.

Y’all, I love a routine. My former principals had us take a personality quiz once to assess our strengths and my strengths were consistency, discipline, and connecting. I thrive on a routine and would be lost without structure! ๐Ÿ˜†

Health and Skincare Routine:

I have a morning and night skincare routine of washing my face, using toner, then applying my daytime or night time moisturizer. I also use eye cream both morning and night.

I’ve shared before that I’ve been treating myself to monthly facials for over four years now! It’s such a treat to have that appointment on my calendar once a month. The membership that I have includes one treatment a month: facial, dermaplane, microdermabrasion, or chemical peel. Dermaplane and chemical peel are my faves!

Having my nails painted is a non-negotiable for me. If I don’t have my nails painted, then I don’t feel put together at all. I usually paint them every Sunday or Monday. Of course, I also love to get a gel manicure when I can.

I’m thankful that I can get away with washing my hair three times a week. I used to wash it religiously every other day, but I think Covid helped me out, and I got used to washing it less.

I shower at night. I cannot go to bed unless I’ve showered. I’ve tried, and I just can’t do it.

I get low lights/highlights and my hair trimmed every 10 weeks.

While my workouts may vary depending on what I have time to complete or how I’m feeling, I do try to workout at least five days a week. Lately, I’ve been doing four days of Beach Body videos and walking two days a week. My motivation through the week is to have a day off from working out on Sunday.

Speaking of eating…I still try to incorporate intermittent fasting when possible and eat low carb at least one day a week. I’m forever working on my water intake, but the effort is there!

Night/Morning Routine:

I typically wake up 6:00, and I definitely try to be in bed by 10:00. There are some nights that I’m so tired, I do so earlier, and the kids come tell me goodnight haha! I like to read before bed and try to be asleep by 10:30 if not earlier.

I still have my morning quiet time with coffee and blog reading. I seriously have to ease into my day. There have been a few times when I’ve hit snooze a time or two (or even forgotten to set an alarm!), and hitting the ground running is not my style! I feel so “off” if I haven’t had my time in the morning.

I also have at least one cup of coffee before waking the kids, and then I fill up my travel mug to finish my coffee drinking at school!

Meal Planning:

I have a small paper calendar on my fridge where I write activities and meals for all the fam to see. Once I have activities written out for the week, I meal plan dinners. I used to do grocery pick up on Sunday, but for a couple of months now, I’ve made every effort to place my order on Friday for Saturday pick up. It’s nice having a full fridge for Sunday breakfast and lunch. I also sometimes use my slow cooker on Sundays, so I like having all my dinner items.

I typically make something on Sunday that can be leftovers for Monday. Mondays just tend to be busy with school and often activities. I just don’t want to have to cook when I get home. On Tuesdays, we usually have pork loin, tacos, or chicken because I try to eat low carb on at least Tuesdays. Then, I will cook again on Wednesday and Thursdays. (If I get lucky and make a hearty soup or casserole Wednesday, I don’t have to cook on Thursday!)

Around the House:

After diner, I always set coffee pot for morning, so that the coffee is waiting for me when I get up!

Our bed gets made every single morning. Every. Single. Morning. Also, I can’t just toss the quilt and comforter up…the bed has to be made right. If I’m on a time crunch in the morning, Travis will make it. He understands how important this task is for me!

My house may not always be clean, but if you randomly stop by, it’s most likely tidy. Travis is more of the cleaner, and I’m more of the tidier, so that works out well. I also tidy up before bedtime, by making sure dishes are in the dish washer and the pillows are straight on couch.

When the kids were little and had tons of toys, I just always felt better having them picked up even though I knew they’d get them out again the next morning.

In the fall and in the spring, I tend to organize the kids’ rooms and closets as well as go through their clothes to see what doesn’t fit anymore and can be donated.

It’s pretty rare for me to do laundry during the week as that tends to be a weekend chore. I typically sort the kids’ clean clothes on Monday for them to put up Monday after school.

The Kids:

The kids have a good shower rotation going although I’ve told them they are to the age where nightly showers are about to happen. Also, why is it that kids don’t want to shower, but then they also don’t want to get out of the shower?!?! I swear, I spend just as much time telling them to get out of the shower as I do begging them to get in!

After school, the kids take their backpacks to their rooms, bring me any school materials I need to see, plug in their Chromebooks, and unpack their lunchboxes (if needed).

Like I said above, Monday’s chore is to put up clean laundry (and pull up the trash cans up from the curb)

After dinner, they make their lunches for the next day if needed. I used to live for the square (rectangle?) school pizza, but they hate it! I wish I enjoyed making lunches, and sometimes I will help, but I typically tell them that if they are taking their lunches, they are making them. This some times deters Hayden. Just yesterday, he bought school lunch even though he initially said he didn’t want to buy!

They make their beds daily. Sometimes I help, but I don’t waiver on this chore. I used to show my students this video, and I’ve shown it to Hayden and Hadley. Bed making is a non-negotiable. (Fun Fact: sometimes on the weekend, I make their bed for them as a trade off for making it during the week. Plus, I figure I’m home more on the weekend to walk past their rooms and see the made beds!)

In the evenings, we have a general rule of the kids being off electronics by 8:00, and in bed by 9:30. Some nights are hit or miss, but I feel better having these expectations in place.

On Sundays, they tidy up their rooms for the week. I kind of let them let it go during the week, but I feel like Sunday is the perfect time for a reset.

I’m sure they will turn out fine with minimal help from a therapist. Yikes! ๐Ÿคฃ

What about you? What are some of your routines? What do you have your kids do?

I hope you are having a great week! It’s almost the weekend!

Iโ€™m sure most of you have similar routines, but typing out my bed making situation made me feel like a crazy person ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿคฃ

Thanks so much for reading.

Posted in Me, Thursday Thoughts

Thursday Thoughts: 3 month surgery update

Hello! Today, I’m sharing my three month update after having my total hysterectomy in October. The short version is that all is well, I’m so happy I did it, and the recovery was a bit quicker than I thought it would be.

That being said, I love this quote from Brene Brown:

First, here’s my original post from October.

And… here are a few details about my recovery process and easing into a new normal:

I stayed one night in the hospital and came home about 24 hours after my surgery. My recovery was slow and steady. It was difficult for me to slow down and give myself some time to rest, but I knew that’s what I needed to do. So, that meant asking for help, accepting help, taking some time off work, and reminding myself to take it day by day.

My abdomen with three small incisions was the main issue with soreness for the first 10 days or so. Walking around actually felt good, but sitting or lying down made me realize how much I use those abdominal muscles. The first couple of nights, I slept propped up, but then I was able to sleep on my side with a few pillows for support. I’m a side sleeper, so that was of great relief for me when I was able to get comfortable on my side.

I didn’t really need pain medication. As I mentioned in my first post, I followed doctor’s orders with taking them for the first couple days, but then Tylenol/Ibuprofen did the trick.

I had follow up appointments with my doctor at two weeks and seven weeks. (I was supposed to see her at six weeks, but they called me to reschedule it.) My annual exam (yes, you still go to those even minus some lady parts) was also scheduled for that day, so it all worked out. After that appointment, I was cleared to start working out again, and I felt ready to get back doing so. Up until that point, I had just been walking to get some steps in and burn a few calories. I was happy to start doing more cardio and weights!

I wasn’t supposed to drive for the first two weeks, so that was an adjustment. Travis was basically a super star Uber driver!

I was very tired the first 3-4 weeks. Very tired. After about three weeks, I definitely took a turn for the better with my energy level and stamina. That being said, I did over do it a few times. I just would wake up feeling pretty normal and kind of plug along with my day at a regular pace until late afternoon when I would feel a little achy and exhausted.

By six weeks, I felt so much better. I’m just a tired person. I can take a nap most any day! So, now I’m back to my normal tired rather and exhausted tired… ๐Ÿ˜†

Prior to my surgery, I was having daily cramping, lower back pain, abdominal discomfort and bloat. All of those issues are gone now. I’m still looking for my abs, but I’m glad to be able to do some crunches w/o having pain, bloat, and exhaustion afterwards!

For hormone replacement, I use an Estrogen patch to delay menopause. I change the patch once a week, so that’s just another alarm I set on my phone as a reminder ๐Ÿ˜‚ I haven’t had any night sweats or whatever else comes with menopause, so I guess the patch is working!

While it took some time to come to peace with the decision to have the surgery, I am very glad I did it. I continue to be thankful to have been able to make the decision on my own and at my own time. While I feel at peace, I still have some lingering sadness about my journey and struggles through the years. It feels odd to have closed that chapter of my life. My struggles with infertility, miscarriage, and endometriosis were a part of my life for so long, that some of the “I wish I could have..” or “What might have been..” still linger. I know some people can just move on, but I also had so many share with me to take the time to “grieve” that chapter of my life.

So that’s my update! Again, I just know I learned so much when Shay shared her experience and updates, and writing these posts has been a form of journaling for me which is an added bonus in recovery and therapeutic as well.

Let me know if you have any questions. I hope you are having a great week!

Posted in Me, Tuesday Talk

Tuesday Talk

I can’t believe it’s already the third week of January! This month is definitely flying by. I believe Erika and Ashley are still doing their Tuesday Talk link up this year, so today is the day.

I’ve seen people share about their Word of the Year, and then I saw this on the good ol’ gram…

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a 5w6, so “embody” and “yes” would be the words for my Enneagram type. To be honest, while these words are fine, I’m feeling more like a 1 (progress over perfection), or a 7 (quality over quantity). Honestly, I could embrace a 5’s embody (a daily practice) because I’m pretty good at that. Consistency and routine are strong suits of mine, so embodying a daily practice would certainly be in my nature. As far as saying “yes,” to new experiences, well, I probably should do that but already feel overwhelmed from the “yes” I say to every day experiences ๐Ÿ˜‰

When I started this year, I shared my 2021 goals in a blog post, but choosing a word for the year is something I’d like to do as well.

So, self-care was a word that popped into my mind almost immediately. Through the years, I’d gotten to where I felt guilty putting myself first. #andallthemomssaidamen That being said, about four years ago, I turned a corner and made my physical health a priority with a focus on whole food nutrition and exercise. I also started getting monthly facials (or other treatments) and buying quality skincare products to include in my daily routine.

As I’ve previously shared, my endometriosis was an issue for the past few years, and really interfered with my physical health. I’m feeling so much better post-hysterectomy, so I’ve started working out again. Whole food nutrition is a priority again as well as I try to get back on track with healthy eating and working out. I will continue to have my “me” time in the morning which is paramount for my mental health as well.

So, while I will get back on track and continue with self-care, I also want to just start (from where I am). To me, start is the perfect word for where I am currently in my life. I want to start over with my fitness and nutrition. Also, time is absolutely flying by, and I want to start being more intentional with my time with Travis and the kids. I also have other goals that I want to start working on in regards to this blog.

I want to continue to grow as a mom, as a wife, as a teacher, as a friend, and so on. To do that, self-care and starting from where I am, are perfect words for me to focus on in 2021.

What about you? What’s your word for 2021?

Make sure to check out the other ladies’ posts too, and thanks so much for reading!

Posted in Holidays, Me

NYE 2020 and 2021 Goals

Hello and Happy Monday! It’s the first Monday of 2021! Of course, I feel like our two week break flew by, but it was a good one. Technically, my kids are off until Thursday! Teachers start back today though (virtually).

To kick off 2021, I thought I’d recap our New Year’s Eve and share a few goals I have for 2021.

I saw this graphic on Instagram Stories, filled it out and shared to my stories! It’s one form of reflection ๐Ÿ˜‰

I also always think it’s fun to see the Top 9 posts on Instagram. This was my Top 9 of 2020 on Insta:

New Year’s Eve:

NYE 2020: (and most years, actually)…

I kind of miss the years when we could “trick” the kids with a countdown at 9 PM. haha That being said, we had a great evening at home. Truth be told, I’ve never been a big fan of NYE. I’m not big on dressing up, going out in the cold…or staying up late ๐Ÿ˜‚That being said, we’ve spent some fun New Year’s Eves with friends sharing dinner and drinks at someone’s house, and we’ve also had some fun years at home. This, of course, was an “at home” year.

Both kids were adamant about staying up…Hayden said he was going to stay up until 3! I could barely commit to midnight, but glad that I did.

We got carry out from a local favorite: OBC Kitchen. I set the table using wrapping paper as a runner, used our winter dishes for place settings, and gathered a few decorations from around the house for the centerpiece.

The kids love cranberry Ginger ale while Travis and I had adult beverages. We had bacon and peanut butter for an appetizer, and then had dinner of salmon, steak, gnocchi, bread and salad. So good.

Hadley was ready to party!

After dinner, the kids did their own thing for a while, and then we played Emoji Uno for almost two hours. At one point I couldn’t find Homer, but found him in our bed. Apparently, he wasn’t going to stay up until midnight!

Around 11:30, we turned on the countdown, poured the Ginger ale and champs and celebrated with the countdown. We were in bed by about 12:30. I think Hayden watched TV until about 1:30. We figured with it being NYE and break almost over, we’d let him stay up. Both kids have been sleeping so late…but they slept until almost 11 on Friday and Saturday!

As I mentioned in Friday’s post, 2020 had highs and lows, but I’m still thankful for this most random year and certainly continue to count my blessings.

2021 Goals:

I’m going to start with these goals:

and focus on…

  • Allowing for “me” time: This has always been of importance to me which is why I’ve always started my day solo with my cup of coffee, favorite blogs, and scrolling social media. With having the kids home most of the time since March, “me time” has been hard to find. I still get up before them, of course, but it’s still difficult to take some time for myself. I hope to carve out a little bit of time in the evening too.
  • Drinking more water: This is usually an easy goal for me in the summer, but I need to drink more daily all year long. While being home so much, I’ve been drinking more coffee than I should, so I need to cut that off at a certain time and drink water the rest of the day.
  • Eating whole food nutrition: For January, I plan on eating healthy but also limiting fried foods and sugar. I don’t eat tons of fried food, but even on Fridays I usually pick up Chick-fil-A for the kids and indulge myself. I do have a sweet tooth and zero willpower, so I’m going to try to cut out sweets as well…except for some birthday cookie cake mid-January for my birthday.
  • Working out: While I’ve never been one to bounce right out of bed to workout, I do enjoy working out. I feel better physically, mentally and emotionally when that’s a part of my regular routine. I’ve shared a bit before, but I struggled with endometriosis prior to my October hysterectomy which really affected my being able to work out for the past couple of years. I didn’t make excuses and tried to continue to work out, but I still could never give it 100% and couldn’t work out daily. For the past month, I’ve eased back into working out, and will now continue to kick it up a notch and do so almost daily.
  • Keep reading: I love to read and have made it a part of my daily life. I usually average around 40 books per year, and I hope to read that many or more in 2021. Also, I think last year was the first year I started using Goodreads, and I hope to get more organized with my book lists on there this year!
  • Blogging: I love that I’ve been able to blog a bit more this year. I was blogging three days a week, and then was able to write 4-5 posts a week in the past six months. I think four posts a week for me is usually manageable, so I hope to continue doing that. I’d like to branch out and join some other link ups. I’d love to know of link ups you read or join, so let me know, and I can add them to my list!

and then there’s this:

I want to work on owning my time, setting boundaries, and not be so critical of myself. As far as crying and showing emotions…I’ve always been ok with that…but sometimes I let things build up (due to lack of time to deal with it) rather than process what I’m feeling in the moment. I’m reflective enough to know I’m forever a work in progress over here! ๐Ÿ˜†

What goals do you have for 2021? I’m so hopeful it will be a great year!

Have a great week (and a great year!)

Posted in Me

Monday Memo: Surgery Thoughts and Update

Hey! Hey! I mentioned in last week’s Currently post that I’m continuing to recover from my surgery. As I also mentioned, long story short, it was a long time coming. I thought today I’d share more of the longer part of the long story short.

Caution: long post where I get deep in my feelings and the details ๐Ÿคฃ

That being said, this is one of those posts where as I sit here writing it, I know people will either be very interested or very uninterested in this topic. If so, come back for other light-hearted posts later this week ๐Ÿ˜Š

That being said, when Shay shared her story last December, it was was actually quite helpful in my decision to start making plans to move forward with my total hysterectomy. So, I know there may be someone out there, even one, who may benefit from hearing my thoughts and feelings about this surgery.

I didnโ€™t know how to really start this post, but I saw this recently and it resonated with me…

My thoughts:

This decision, for some, would be very easy. I’ve been in discomfort or pain for quite some time, so why not just go for it? Just get rid of the problem. My brain doesn’t operate like that. I have to have time to process my feelings and to get a plan. So, this has been many years in the making.

I also want to reiterate that this is my experience. I didn’t take making this decision lightly, but I also don’t take for granted that I was able to make the decision without it being completely forced on me. I know there are many women who have had this decision forced on them out of necessity because of Cancer or other health related issues.

The quick time line is that it took us some time to get pregnant with Hayden and Hadley. But we finally welcomed them into the world in November of 2009. After a couple of years, I was experiencing some pain, and my OB performed a laproscopic surgery in June of 2012. There, she found scar tissue all over my right ovary which made it non-functioning. Then, there were other pockets of scar tissue and my uterus had so much scar tissue that it was adhered to the lining of my stomach. Of course, she tried to laser off what she could, but the post-op conversation was that my right ovary was of no use and the only way to be pretty pain free was to get rid of everything when I felt ready for that.

Of course, at the time, I was 32 and we still hoped to add to our family. With the help of the same specialist who we saw for H&H, I did get pregnant in 2013…but then miscarried. So, we tried for a few more years with no luck and lots of heartache.

I’m sure I could write a whole post about infertility, but I will save that for another time. I can honestly say my infertility struggles and that miscarriage changed me. To be honest, both of those experiences even seeped into my everyday life. Whether I was thinking about starting a family or adding to the family, doctor appointments, medicines, shots, counting days, and then, years later, just figuring out that right time for the hysterectomy, I’ve had all of this on my mind for 12+ years. The infertility and miscarriage even shattered my confidence. (hence why the meme above is so perfect) It’s easy to feel like a failure when your one job as a woman , to produce children (if you do choose to do so), isn’t happening easily or naturally, you start to question what you’ve done wrong and what you’ve done to deserve it.

Some would think if the parts are causing so many issues, get rid of them…but when youโ€™ve been wanting something to work for so long, you cling to hope that one day it will. #imnoquitter For me, it was actually easier to pray and hope than to give up. Until…

I realized I could be a better, more present, and more active mom to Hayden and Hadley if I went ahead with the surgery…and just tried to move on. There was never going to be a good time. Travis is super busy with work in September, November, January, and July. I work full time. We have two very busy and active kids…and the list goes on.

After talking to my doctor at the end of August, I was relieved when she said the surgery would be on October 14th. October is probably one of our least busy months. And…it’s cheesy, but 14 is my lucky number and October is my favorite month. I figured it was a sign to go for it.

Surgery:

So, leading up to the surgery, I was a bit emotional and anxious. I was at peace with the decision, but anxious for the day. I told a few people as the time got closer, but waited until the week before to tell Hayden and Hadley. I waited for a moment when I was feeling strong to let them know. Basically, I shared with them that I wanted to go to the pumpkin patch before I had surgery. The recovery time is 4-6 weeks, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Both kids had questions, Hadley more than Hayden, but it was a good little conversation.

Two days before the appointment, I had a Covid test and blood work as well as just going over what to expect.

The night before my surgery, one of my friends brought over some food. She’d written funny sayings all over the paper bag. So funny and just what I needed.

My surgery time was moved from 1:00 to 10:00 the day before the surgery. I was up pretty early after a somewhat sleepless night and missing my coffee. We woke up the kids, did the usual breakfast and backpack routine and then we dropped the kids off at the pod at 8:00, and headed to the hospital.

I checked in, and Travis sat with me in the waiting room. That was only a few minutes, and then they called me back to pre-op. Due to Covid, Travis couldn’t come with me. That being said, I was thankful to have had my phone with me. Also, my brother actually works in the OR, so he had access to me and sat with me for about an hour. My sister-in-law is a nurse at the hospital and stopped by as well.

While I was waiting for the surgery, Travis had to run home for his computer. He sent me a pic of these flowers my sweet Mom Gang sent me. #getyourselfamomgang

Also, one of my friends texted me because she knew I was a little nervous. She said, “When you’re sad or anxious, it means you’re about to do something really brave.” So very sweet…and true.

I finally saw my doctor around 11:45. Once I saw her, tears sprang to my eyes. I was just ready to get it over with. Once I saw her, things moved quickly and my 10:00 surgery finally started at 12:15. The 1-2 hour surgery lasted close to three hours. My doctor said it basically looked like last time but worse with more scar tissue and more lesions. I was so happy when I woke up (I was very nervous about the anesthesia). The nurse asked how I felt, and I said I had a slight headache. She gave me a sip of coffee, and it was the best coffee I ever tasted. ๐Ÿ˜€Then, they wheeled me to my room around 4:15 where Travis was waiting. Again, due to Covid, he had to wait in the waiting room (or cafeteria) and then was escorted to my room. I was so happy to see him. I was like, “Travis, I did it!” ๐Ÿ˜‚

A laproscopic hysterectomy is a one night stay at the hospital. My doctor had mentioned if she couldn’t get everything, then she’d have to make an additional (bigger) incision which would mean two nights at the hospital. Thankfully, my procedure was completed all laproscopically with three little incisions.

Visiting hours were only until 5:00, but the nurses said Travis could stay for a couple of hours since I’d arrived at my room so late. He stayed until about 6:30, and I rested after taking a couple of bites of mashed potatoes from the hospital dinner.

Around 8:00, the kids Face Timed me which was sweet. I shared in my Friday Favorites post my sweet conversation with Hadley that evening. I told Hadley I was proud of her for her first flute lesson that day. She said, โ€œNo, mom, Iโ€™m so proud of youโ€ because she knew I was nervous about my surgery, and she was a little anxious about it too.

Dad held down the fort while I was gone โค๏ธ

Then, I watched a couple of episodes of Guys Grocery Games and dozed off and on. Of course, the nurse came to check on me and take my vitals every few hours. I fell asleep, and woke up from a hard sleep…I thought that it must be morning…uh! It was 11:55 PM. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

I was up off and on through the night to use the restroom but then slept pretty solidly from 4:30-6:30. Around 6:30, my night time nurse said goodbye, and I met my day time nurse.

For breakfast, I was so happy to have some Sprite and black coffee. I ate the muffin and a piece of bacon while waiting on Travis to come visit.

My brother actually stopped by around 8:30 for a bit, and Travis got there around 9:00. My doctor checked on me, and said if I ate a decent lunch, I could go home. So, Travis hung out with me. I napped off and on, answered texts, and watched the Golden Girls. The kids were at home with the sitter doing school work. I was discharged around 2:00.

I was so excited to get home, see the kids, and was so shocked by all the goodies friends and family had left for us.

Care packages, honey from Savannah Bee company from my dad, a candle, a lantern, goodies and breakfast items from Wolferman’s Bakery from my mom and more.

I also mentioned last week that the kids made monster cupcakes with the sitter. So sweet.

So, I’m almost at two weeks of asking for help, relying on others, taking it slow, and healing. My days are mostly filled with taking it easy, napping, and Netflix. BUT…with each passing day, I’ve been able to be productive around the house and school work.

This meme is me right now: ๐Ÿคฃ

I will say that the pain has been very little. Honestly, I spent so much time before the surgery bloated or in discomfort that I was kind of used to it. I only took the occasional pain med the first few days because I was afraid that the pain could catch up with me even though I was mostly just feeling soreness. Then, I just relied on Ibuprofen for a couple more days. My biggest side effect has been exhaustion. Going into this surgery, my doctor said the 4-6 week recovery was more about taking it slow and resting because tiredness would be my number one issue.

Also, for now, my hormone replacement is an estrogen patch to delay menopause. So apparently #thisis40 ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ve been going to my OB for 15 years. She’s amazing, and I trust her and appreciate all that she’s done to help me on this journey of infertility, pregnancy, loss, and now the hysterectomy. At the hospital, the nurses, technicians, and anesthesiologists were all great. I couldn’t have asked for a better team during my time at the hospital.

Of course, I want to thank all my family and friends who’ve checked in on me, said an extra prayer or two, taken my kids where they needed to be, dropped off food, sent cards and text messages, and more. In the grand scheme of life, I know this wasn’t the biggest surgery in the world, but it was a big decision for me that weighed heavily on my mind and my heart for quite some time.

Of course, I need to give a shout out to T-rav. His Super Dad cape has been working overtime. I have leaned on him the most through the ups and downs of life, and I couldn’t ask for a more supportive spouse. Hayden and Hadley have stepped up to the plate as well, and I appreciate their extra love and hugs.

If you made it to the end, thanks for reading. It’s pretty vulnerable to put my thoughts out there. It’s weird for me to say this because I do have a blog, but I’m a pretty private person. That being said, this blog is a journal of sorts for me…so it feels kind of natural to share my feelings this way. And, as I said above, I know that Shay’s posts provided me with a sense of peace moving forward with my decision. Maybe this post will be that for someone else along the way too. โค๏ธ

Let me know if you have any questions! Thanks so much for reading.

Posted in Me, Self-care, Thursday Thoughts

Thursday Thoughts: Enneagram Ways to Cope

Hello! So, I’ve shared before about my Enneagram type being a 5w6. (Investigator/Loyalist) In my last Enneagram post, I shared how I’d started following @cathartic_word on Instagram. Erin’s graphics are so cool, and always seem to ring true for the Enneagram types which I think is so fun.

I recently saw her Ways to Cope series, and thought I’d chat about that.

Everyone copes with sadness, frustration, anxiety, worry, and more throughout their lives. I see with my students or my own kids, that they donโ€™t always know how to cope with all of their feelings and emotions. Knowing how to cope is beneficial and a perk of being an adult. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So hereโ€™s the breakdown for my Type 5w6…

Type 5:

graphic c/o @cathartic_word May 20,2020
  • Solo trip to the movies: Solo anything! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I feel like when I’m overwhelmed, I need space. I need time to think and decompress. A movie would be a great way to do that, and I find comfort in watching reruns of familiar shows like The Golden Girls or cooking shows….I’m basically wanting to watch something where I don’t have to think.
  • Something innovative: For me, something innovative would be writing a blog post. Or…do you know what else I love? Those coloring books with all the details. I loved when my kids were little and liked to color. Hayden likes to draw right now. I’m not a drawer…but I definitely like to use colored pencils or the thin tipped markers for coloring pages. I even have a Golden Girls coloring book.
  • The entire pot of coffee: Yes. Coffee. On repeat. Besides needing coffee to wake up my brain and function, I always feel warm and cozy in the morning when I light a couple of candles, sip my coffee, and read blogs or scroll social media.
  • Writing: I’ve always loved journaling. At different points in my life, it’s been a priority and other times not so much. Obviously, the blog satisfies that need and can be a form of coping.
  • Learn something new: Of all things listed for Type 5, this is least like me. I’m not opposed to learning something new (I am a teacher, after all!), but actually when I need to decompress, it’s usually because my brain is too full, and I just need a minute to unwind my thoughts and feelings.

Type 6:

graphic c/o @cathartic_word May 19, 2020
  • Long walks: Yes! I love a solo long walk. It’s a great time to think about my day or plan upcoming days. Kind of like watching a familiar show, I enjoy listening to podcasts when I walk as a way to zone out and cope.
  • Dogs: Of course! You know I’m a dog person. I’ve shared about our previous dogs Shiloh and Scout…and now we have Homer. I’m always amazed at how animals know when you need them. Even Homer, who can be wild and crazy, knows when I (or any other family member) needs a good snuggle for comfort.
  • A good book: I love getting lost in a good book. Reading is certainly a way to cope for me.
  • Catching up on sleep: I’m forever tired. I always need more sleep, but even in my day to day life, which can be hectic, I find that I’m making sleep a priority more and more. If there is something I’m struggling with, then the lounging in my bed for a few minutes with my eyes closed is so helpful for me to calm my thoughts and get my mind right.
  • Music: I’ve never been a big music person. For me, like I said above, I’d probably choose a podcast over music as a way to decompress. I also really love silence in the car. I’m the type that turns down the radio to think. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I don’t get too caught up in my numbers…and sometimes I think I’m more of a 6 than a 5…I think 6w5 is an option;) but I do find it interesting. If you haven’t checked out Erin on Instagram yet, you should! Go find the graphic for your type!

What’s your Enneagram number? This is the test I took about a year ago. I’ve thought about taking it again…but then what if my number has changed? I’d be so confused! haha

See you back here tomorrow for this week’s Friday Favorites post.

Take care,

Posted in Me, Tuesday Talk

Tuesday Talk: My Perfect Day

Hey! How’s it going? I’m linking up with Erika and Ashley today for their Tuesday Talk post. I like these posts because it gives me a time be more reflective and write more of a journal like entry. Tuesday Talk posts can be about anything you’d like to chat or write about.

Recently, I was listening to Landyn’s podcast, and she asked her guest about what her “perfect” day would be. Of course, that got me thinking about what a perfect day would look like for me. That being said, I’m thinking of my perfect day through the lens of a full time working mom with two busy kids. So….I hope my (mostly) sweet kids won’t be offended if my “perfect” day includes lots of “me” time. ๐Ÿ˜‰

My Perfect Day:

  • I’d start by not setting an alarm and sleeping in. That being said, I’m sure “sleeping in” would be 7:30 at the latest, but not setting an alarm is the best.
  • Then, I’d have some quiet time while sipping my coffee, reading blogs, and scrolling social media. (Honestly, that’s what I do most mornings, but I have to get up in the 6’s to get that quiet time for myself)
  • A walk or workout would be great.
  • Then, I’d most likely love a trip to Trader Joe’s and Home Goods.
  • A manicure and pedicure would be next!
  • I’d meet Travis for lunch. Who gets to go out to a lunch that lasts longer than 20 minutes? Not this teacher!
  • Then, I’d read a book and watch a show in peace and quiet.
  • I’d love to meet some friends for an early dinner where I’d enjoy a glass of wine!
  • Dessert at home by a cozy fire in the fireplace with lights out by 10:00 would be the perfect end to the day.

It’s the simple things that make the day perfect.

Now, if this was a destination “perfect day,” then I would be sitting with my toes in the sand and a view of the ocean or sipping my coffee with a view of the mountains followed by a hike with my friends and family.

It also depends on the season! I love going to the pumpkin patch or a UK football game with my family in the fall. A lazy day with snow falling in the winter is always so cozy. A hike in the spring is always great. We love to go to the pool in the summer! We love roasting marshmallows in a backyard fire, and catching up with neighbors on one of our patios. Seeing Hayden and Hadley play with their cousins or going to a movie also make for a “perfect day.”

Also, simple things like picking my kids up from school means so much to me on a regular school day. That’s not my every day when we have a “normal” school year, so I enjoy being the one to get my kids after school and hear about their day. It’s also why I have actually cherished this time at home with them since March.

Really, in a “perfect day” for me, there’d be no hustle and bustle, no to do lists that need crossed off, no appointments and meetings, and no kids fighting ๐Ÿ˜ŠI do find joy with being with my family. Sometimes the day is perfect when we’ve played a game after dinner or taken a family walk with Homer. That being said, I also know that quiet time and time for me to recharge is also good for all of us ๐Ÿ˜‰

What would your perfect day include?

Don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ posts too!

Thanks so much for reading,

Posted in Me

You Can Only Keep 3

I have a short mid-week post for you today! I saw this on Instagram the other day and thought I’d share. My three items to keep kept changing, but I finally settled on:

My 3:

  • Books: Of course, you know me, I love to read. I often read two books at once (one hardback book and one book on my Kindle)
  • Coffee: I probably drink too much coffee, but I can’t start my day without a cup or two. (or three)…with a splash of creamer.
  • Messy Bun: On repeat. All the time. My hair is usually in a low messy bun unless I have somewhere I need to be….which isn’t very often right now!

And…FYI:

I can live without

  • Jeans: Although, I do have a favorite pair or two, jeans are not a must have for me (right now with not many places to go!)
  • Tea: I do like an occasional sweet tea, but coffee and Diet Coke are my caffeine fixes.
  • Lipstick: Not a fan. I love Chapstick and lip glosses. IF I wear lipstick, it’s a soft pale pink situation…not a fan of bright and bold.

So those are the three things I’d keep. What about you? Let me know in the comments!

Have a great day!