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! πŸ˜†

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! 🀣

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!

I’m sure most of you have similar routines, but typing out my bed making situation made me feel like a crazy person 😬🀣

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… πŸ˜†

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 πŸ˜‚ 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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‚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! πŸ˜†

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 🀣

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 😊

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 didn’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 you’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. πŸ˜€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!” πŸ˜‚

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, β€œNo, mom, I’m so proud of you” 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 ❀️

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. 😳

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: 🀣

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 πŸ˜‰

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. ❀️

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 don’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. πŸ˜‰

So here’s the breakdown for my Type 5w6…

Type 5:

graphic c/o @cathartic_word May 20,2020
  • Solo trip to the movies: Solo anything! πŸ˜‰ 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. πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ˜‰

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 😊I 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 πŸ˜‰

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!

Posted in Me, School, Tuesday Talk

Tuesday Talk: Teacher Life

Hello! I can’t believe it, but it’s already the third Tuesday of the month. So, I’m linking up with Ashley and Erika for their Tuesday Talk link up where you chat about whatever you’d like to talk about!

With school starting back up, and eighteen years in education under my belt, I thought I’d chat about why I chose to be a teacher.

To be honest, I always wanted to be a teacher. I played school a lot as a kid…but I remember liking setting up a desk area, organizing my teacher supplies, writing and coloring and then being done with it. No real teaching going on. (I also used to do the same thing as a kid playing with Barbies. I’d set up Barbie’s house, get Barbie and her friends clothed and organized and move on to the next activity!) The creative side of my brain lacked at that point, but my organizational/Type A brain made up for it.

This says so much about me…of course, I actually like the teaching part too!, but I make my classroom feel like home. I want students to feel comfortable in my classroom while learning and interacting with their peers. I always feel so much better about school starting once my classroom is unpacked and organized.

classroom the past few years
until I moved down the hall last October

I always generally liked school. I understood the importance of getting good grades and having a plan for the future. I struggled in school with math, but I always loved reading and writing.

My mom was a middle school Language Arts teacher for 31 years. I remember visiting her at school, drawing on her classroom board, and helping her grade papers. Her best friend taught Reading right next door to her. They even shared a wall that opened, so they could co-teach their classes.

My love for reading and writing combined with strong role models as teachers set the tone for my future plans.

I loved elementary school, and had wonderful teachers. Once I got to middle and high school, my English/Language Arts teachers always stood out to me fostering my love for learning and my desire to be a teacher.

I remember sitting in my first education class in college and the professor asked us to introduce ourselves and share why we chose the field of education. I shared that I’d always loved school and had so many wonderful teachers who made an impact on my life. I wanted to do the same for my future students.

I was shocked when so many shared about wanting to be teachers because they’d such a negative experience in education. They had teachers who weren’t passionate about their jobs, didn’t take the time to get to know their students, or were uninterested in helping students achieve their goals.

I realized right then how truly blessed I was to go to the schools I went to and have the teachers that I had throughout my educational career.

I hoped to create lessons that excited my students, build caring relationships, and provide opportunities for young people to grow and achieve in my class.

Also, I’m a planner. Even when I chose my major in college (and never once switched majors), I knew that some day when I was married and had kids how great it would be to the extra time in the summer with them. My mom was always home with us in the summer, and we rarely had a sitter. So, I knew those summers off would be necessary to recharge, but they would also be a good set amount of time to have quality time with my family.

Of course, experience is key. You can only read so many textbooks or plan so many lessons, but it’s the experience of being in the classroom, tweaking lessons, working with students, differentiating instruction, and thinking on your feet that really helps your classroom and your students feel like yours.

Every single year, in March, I make notes in my lesson plan book of what I want to do differently or strategies and activities I want to implement the next school year. Not that I can’t try some of those strategies or activities at the end of the year, but in August, teachers set the tone of their classrooms. πŸ˜‰ I’m forever learning. I want to know more and do better each and every day.

College and practicum opportunities didn’t prepare me for the heartache and worry that comes with being a teacher. Sometimes, your lesson plans shift because teenagers need to talk. There are kids that are more resourceful than you are because they’ve had to bounce from house to house. There are students who are sad, angry, and lonely…and school is the only place that soothes those worries. There are students who are hungry, and their only two solid meals of the day are the breakfast and lunch that the school cafeteria provides.

Through the years, I’ve gained perspective and sympathy. Also, it didn’t take me long to realize that most class periods needed to include time for interaction, and that sometimes the class content needs to wait. It’s more important to meet the students and their needs where they are because they deserve that.

Of course, I feel an immense amount of pride seeing my students overcome obstacles, master content, and succeed at their goals. I love nothing more than seeing a student walk across the stage at graduation, tell me about their post-high school plans, and come back to visit me and fill me in on what they’ve been up to in the next chapter of their lives. I hope I’ve made an impact on my students while encouraging them to try their best and be life long learners while keeping a plan for their future in mind.

I think we all know and agree that educators everywhere came together last spring when the country was (and continues to be) in crisis. Teachers packed backpack meals for students who would otherwise go hungry, made phone calls home, visited students (from a distance) to check in on them, created curriculum and provided instruction for a variety of learners who did and didn’t have the resources to learn from home. I feel blessed to be in a profession that comes together through thick and thin for the sake of our students.

Through my 18 years in education, I’ve earned one Bachelor and two Master’s degrees. I’ve taught at four different high schools. I’ve been a teacher. I’ve been a literacy coach. I’ve been an interventionist. I will always fight for my students, work with my peers, and take pride in my profession.

Oh…a couple more things I’ve learned through the years…

to always write my lesson plans in pencil…and there’s no tired like teacher tired (especially during the first few weeks of school!)

I know it may be a school year like we’ve never seen before, but I have faith in the teachers, the students, and the parents. We’ll get through this year together, and we’ll make the most of it.

Other School Related Posts:

I hope everyone has a great school year!

Posted in Me, School

Enneagram Backpack

Hey hey! We made it to Friday. I guess it’s technically my last Friday of summer before my teacher responsibilities start on Monday! I’m hoping to have a fun day with the kids today leading into a pretty relaxed weekend (with one baseball game).

So, back in the fall, I took an Enneagram test because I’d heard so many people talking about it. I posted a bit about my results and thoughts about the test in an About Me post in September.

I’m a 5w6. Type 5 means that I’m an “Investigator” and I have some 6, “Loyalist,” tendencies. I don’t live or die by these descriptors, but when I see something about Enneagram references, specifically with 5’s and 6’s, I usually like, “Yep. That’s me!”

Recently, I started following @cathartic_word on Instagram. Erin is an artist and her graphics are fun and beautiful! She creates various ones specific to Enneagram types focused on ideas like, “Road Trip Essentials,” “Step Inside My Mind,” and “Enneagram Colors.”

Recently, I saw her “What’s in My Backpack” series, and thought , with school starting soon, it would be fun to look at 5w6 graphics. They are pretty spot on for what would be in my backpack!

Type 5:

graphic c/o @cathartic_word July 9, 2020
  • Headphones (noise canceling) :I don’t know that I need noise canceling headphones, but I do like quiet when I work. Headphones are perfect for drowning out extra noise.
  • Notebooks: I heart notebooks. I can’t ever have too many. I tend to use one notebook (or colored pad of paper) for meetings, another notebook for lesson plan ideas, etc.
  • Books (old and new): Give me all the books! Y’all I know I love to read. I also love to re-read some books and even mark them up with pen and pencil or dog ear pages!
  • Laptop: I need my laptop for all the things.
  • Phone (for research): Can’t leave home without my phone. And, I do use it to look up many things as well!

Type 6:

graphic c/o @cathartic_word June 8, 2020
  • Water bottle: I have been working on drinking more water πŸ˜‰ I do prefer to have a refillable bottle to use for my daily water intake.
  • Planner: I must have my planner. Always. I have my lesson plan book (with dates, meetings, appointments) as well as my desk calendar and my calendar on my phone to keep me organized.
  • Travel mug (or 7!): If I’m leaving the house in the morning (for school, early game, workout class), I always have a travel coffee mug.
  • Phone charger: I’m the type of person who panics if my phone battery is less than 70% πŸ˜‰ So, a phone charger always comes in handy.
  • Snacks: I often have snacks on hand for myself and the kids. You just never know when you’ll need something to tide you over until the next meal!

Weekly Recap:

That’s a wrap on this week!

Go check out Erin and @cathartic_word on Instagram! What would go in your backpack for your Enneagram type?

Have a great weekend!