Saturday, August 8, 2015

Daily Gratitudes (compiled)

Sunday, August 2nd
1. Playing Ms. PacMan and Wheel of Fortune with Kaeden
2. Rhyder's BIG hugs that end with   exhaustive sounds and giggles
3. Momma having a good visit in Gville
4. Maranda and Riley's thoughtful gift from Destin

Monday, August 3rd
1. Freshly mowed lawn
2. The convenience of a DVR
3. Helpful friends with an uncooperative air conditioner
4. Texting with a dear friend

Tuesday, August 4th
1. Safe travel to San Angelo
2. A helpful and informative training workshop
3. Comforts of a cushy hotel.
4. Texting and talking with friends

Wednesday, August 5th
1. Informative seminars
2. Visiting with Mrs. Deaver
3. Privilege of meeting Adam Saenz. Amazing testimony!
4. New awarenesses

Thursday, August 6th
1. Teacher Supply Stores!
2. Evening swim in a pool
3. Phone calls and texts good for my heart
4. Full day seminar surprisedly ending at 1/2 day
5. Unexpected prayerful breakfast with a stranger (Debra) who is hurting deeply)
6. Enjoyable visit with a family also staying at the hotel. Great conversation, adorable children and laughing until it hurt.

Friday, August 7th
1. Google Maps
2. Safety protocols established and enforced in hotel.
3. Enjoyable afternoon at pool with my sister
4. Fun evening with the boys at DQ
5. Talking to my momma
6. Leslie's, Sheryl's, and Amber's support and honest feedback

Saturday, August 8th
1. Trey's willingness to share his insight and experience on personal matters.
2. Acey helping out with the AC issues
3. My puppy-love, who keeps me entertained.
4. Cool, breezy summer nights.
5. Sound of helicopters coming and going from Camp Bowie



Friday, August 7, 2015

Stranger Danger!!!

Wow!!  Just WOW!!

I had to attend unexpected training seminars this week so I incorporated an extended hotel stay out of town for a few days so to have a much-needed mini-vacation as I contemplate all the recent life changes and decisions. (Which also blessedly coincided with the a/c breaking down at my rent house and not being able to be repaired for 3 days in 108 degree temps(!!)

The hotel front desk just called because they stopped a guy in the lobby who said that he was meeting someone in my room number!!

When I answered the phone, they said:  "Ma'am, do you know someone named Damien?"

When I said, no, they apologized for bothering me and requested that I stay in my room.

Aaaaaagghhhhh!
Where else would I go?
It's 4:30 in the morning!!

I imagine some fool got duped by a girl in a bar or he came to the wrong hotel.

SO THANKFUL that the front desk stopped him.

Scary!!!!
And embarrassed to say, but IF the. dude had made it past the front desk, and appeared knocking at my door, I probably would have answered the door.

I.MUST.BECOME.MORE.SAFETY.CONSCIENCE!!!

And now all the "what ifs..." are running through my head so doubt there will be any more sleep tonight.

Vacation O-V-E-R!!

Yep, time to go home!
Just waiting for the sun to rise.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Daily Gratitudes (compiled)

Sunday, July 26th
1. Family's safe trip to Greenville
2. Doable trip plans to float river
3. Leslie's phone call

Monday, July 27th
1. Ability to meet all financial obligations
2. Sunny evening of floating in a pool
3. Confirmation of job assignment

Tuesday, July 28th
1. Fun antics of an elderly dog acting like a puppy.
2. Shopping with Amber for the float trip.
3. Good visit with Mr. Sommer.

Wednesday, July 29th
1. Great time with Amber as we floated the Frio River
2. Strawberry-Rita's on a hot summer afternoon
3. Casually connecting and laughing with strangers

Thursday, July 30th
1. Meeting with my "new principal". She is FABULOUS!
2. Getting to see and work in my classroom. I am in awe of what an amazing room it is. The BEST I've ever had!
3. Phone chat with Leslie
4. Evening with Sheryl and the boys and Taco Casa ;)

Friday, July 31st
1. Kind neighbors who are always willing to help
2. Sheryl for coming to my rescue with an extra house key
3. Jacks perfecting his "howl"

Saturday, August 1st
1. Playing in the kiddie pool with Rhyder
2. Watching Little Giants with Kaeden
3. Availability of workshops to attend to meet requirements for the new school year
4. Friends recommendations for places to stay in San Angelo
5. Folks at Camp Bowie on training weekend

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Daily Gratitudes (compiled)

Sunday, July 19th
1. Caring people at the Animal Shelter
2. Easy to read tire gauges
3. Fun evening at the State Park with my family

Monday, July 20th
1. Grocery shopping with my mom
2. Fish fry at the campgrounds with my family
3. Sharing of memories with Allen and Elizabeth

Tuesday, July 21st
1. Fishing with Kevin, Mitch, Allen & Kaeden
2. Rhyder's silly expressions
3. Riding in the car as Allen & Elizabeth took turns driving
4. Kaeden and the minnows

Wednesday, July 22nd
1. News that Jessica got job in Brady.
2. Uncle Ralph no longer being in pain though my heart hurts for Aunt Wanda
3. Allen and Elizabeth remaining here for a few extra days.

Thursday, July 23rd
1. Emergency Auto Assistance Programs
2. Cuddling with Rhyder and receiving surprise kisses
3. Phone call with Randy
4. Johnson's 50th Wedding Anniversary
5. "Chat" with Amber

Friday, July 24th
1. Payday deposits
2. Migraine medications
3. Reclining lawn chairs

Saturday, July 25th
1. Ability to keep up with 'old friends' through Facebook even when the news isn't happy. Praying for Kristina.
2. Enjoyable evening at my sister's house with my family
3. Time spent with Allen and Elizabeth though plans didn't go as I hoped


Monday, July 20, 2015

Summer Evenings

Kevin and his family came to the area for their last camping trip of the summer. I still find it hard to believe that the twins will be sophomores in high school this year. I can still hear their itty-bitty baby cries in my head and distinctly remember the 1st moment I laid eyes on them. Without too much bias, I can truly say that they are good kids.

Much of the evening was spent in lawn chairs and swimsuits while reliving some silly and fun summer moments. I was saddened to learn that they, even at such young ages, picked up on the underlying sadness of my life. A..W. mentioned how I seemed/acted so different when I was with my husband. E.D. brought up how all she really remembered was husband sitting on the couch except for the one time when he and A were talking about Star Trek/Star Wars.

Those precious kiddos spent at least 4 days and nights with me each summer since they were 3 years old. Of course, last summer was different with the separation and move but that's at least 10 summer trips and their memories of husband are zilch. They didn't dislike him. They simply didn't know him and never felt like he cared one way or the other about knowing them. He was rarely, by his choice, involved in our summer plans, trips, and activities.

I'm thankful that he never discouraged me from the times with my niece or nephews but listening to A and E just further  proved the fact of the majority of my married life was spent as a 'single' regardless of legal status.

While talking with counselors over the past year or so, both strongly felt that I was much further along in the natural-grieving-process of my marriage because I had spent at least a decade in grief before finally removing myself from the situation. I guess that makes sense but maannnn, I'd hate to be on timely grief schedule because this has been hard enough as it is.

Of course as I've noted before, the grief went beyond my marriage alone. Leaving my marriage brought about leaving my town, my job, my friends, my church, my dogs, my neighbors, my extended family and many personal belongings. My whole world changed and it is definitely a more peaceful, satisfying place. Now if only the ridiculously long legal aspect of all would end.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Daily Blessings (compiled)

Sunday, July 12th
1. Day-road-trip to Austin with Amber
2. Outdoor musicians
3. Cold river water
4. Kindness of strangers sharing water
5. Wine-tasting in Johnson City
6. Shared laughter with a much-loved friend

Monday, Tuesday 13th
1. Being reminded of some phenomenal Biblical truths while reading Nicole Johnson's Keeping A Princess Heart
2. Blessed by the presence of wonderful friends who continue to be such an important part of my heart for most, if not all, of my life.
3. Phone call with Leslie.
4. Leslie's safety and well-being after 2 life-threatening accidents in a 2 week time frame.
5. Kind messages from friends through Facebook
6. Good evening with my mom, sister and nephews.

Tuesday, July 14th
1. Becoming an official employee of Blanket ISD
2. A "real" shopping trip at the grocery store
3. Blessings of many sharing in my joy and excitement of a new job
4. Flying craftsy airplanes in an open field with Kaeden and Rhyder
5. Running through a sprinkler with Rhyder
6. Having both boys come over for a sleep-over

Wednesday, July 15th
1. Beginning the day with Kaed and Rhyder
2. Momma going with me out to Blanket
3. Officially signing work contract
4. Visiting with Maranda
5. Watching Little Giants with Kaed
6. Ability to help a stray or lost dog

Thursday, July 16th
1. Mr. Sommer's understanding at my need for rescheduling.
2. Kindness and support from Dr. Schum and his assistant, Kelsie
3. Fun sleepover and day with Kaeden

Friday, July 17th
1. Nice visit with Jessica B.
2. Safe options available for the stray dog currently living the backyard.
3. Leslie passing ESL test

Saturday, July 18th
1. Afternoon fun with Rhyder
2. Good evening with Mom and Sheryl
3. Mitch helping me figure out tire pressure issues
4. Birthday prayers for a special friend
5. Uncle Ralph receiving adequate hospital care



Friday, July 17, 2015

Blessings

Within the past week or so, I've come to "see" some things that were previously unseen. I didn't realize how much I lost myself over the past several years. I'm not certain whose to blame and it's not even remotely important for me to be able to do so.

Regardless of fault or intention, I allowed "me" to wither away day by day almost to the point of emotionally disintegrating and physically disappearing. I am so grateful for those God used to call me back to LIVING not simply surviving. I hope the folks listed below truly realize what strength, guidance and hope they have been to me. As I list their names, I realize how incredibly blessed I am to have such caring people in my life.

My mom
Sheryl & Mitch
Wayne & Becky
Susan T.
Leslie F.
Leslie B.
Amy B.
Kevin & Angel
my aunt, Susan
Teresa
Stacy K.
Bobbie A.
David A.
Tommy S.
Tara E.
Jennie O.
Randy D.
Nick & Marvella
Phillip and Donnie
Amber D.
Kurt
Kara J.
David W
Keith & Vickie
Kelsie E.
Adrian S.
Kimber B.
Diane R.
Jessica B.
Acey S.
Deidra N.
Anne B.
Shirley C.
Merrandie S.
Pam L.

and I'm certain that some aren't immediately coming to mind.

Regardless of the seemingly never-ending legal nonsense, I am ready to begin these next chapters of life. Exciting to think about what the future may hold.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Angering sadness.

While at the chiropractor today, he and I had a side conversation about how it is simply our human nature that leads to worry and how much easier it would be to truly take to heart that God is control.

I know that to be true but I am going to bed so angry tonight after learning that more armed forces personnel were murdered today. These men and women survive situations that I can't even fathom yet aren't safe in the routine day-to-day living in America. I'm grateful that the gunman was stopped but it is INFURIATING that this has happened on more than one occasion and that it more than likely will continue. Maddening and heartbreaking!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Daily Gratitudes (compiled)

Sunday, July 5th
1. Loving, fun-filled memories of my friend, Elaine, who would have turned 44 today.
2. Beautiful drive to Junction.
3. Great time catching up with my dear friend, Susan.
4. Laughable moments in a most pathetic motel.

Monday, July 6th
1. Safe travels for all to and from Junction
2. Interview set up for San Saba
3. Evening with my momma

Tuesday, July 7th
1. Good interview in San Saba
2. Interview set up in Blanket
3. Ice cream with Kaeden
4. Silly games of Uno

Wednesday, July 8th
1. Allen continuing to improve from pneumonia
2. Safety of all during the very unexpected flash flooding
3. New postings for potential job

Thursday, July 9th
1. Great interview with Superintendent in Blanket
2. Assurances from lawyers
3. Kaed playing well at the last baseball game of the season

Friday, July 10th
1. Watching kids perform at CABC Vacation Bible School
2. Good visit with Mr. Sommers
3. Nice conversation with Marcie and Maranda
4. Early bedtime

Saturday, July 11th
1. Peace-filled restful day
2. Sunny afternoon of reading and relaxing
3. Cool showers after getting ridiculously hot

Friday, July 10, 2015

Dear Summer Break: Please Slow Down!

It was near this time last year that my friend, Amber, assured me that I would one day have a true sense of peace in my heart despite all of the chaos, upheaval and grief. I clearly remember crying out in prayer that God would allow that to be true.

A definite shift has occurred in the past 3 weeks. A confidence is building and it's not an arrogant sort of self-confidence. It's more like a feeling of acceptance and honest expectations. I'm realizing what is true and wondering why I didn't see some truths so much sooner than I did.

The sense of fearfulness has greatly diminished. I know, without a doubt, that God is taking care of me. I realize that I never had as much control as I once imagined.

I'm at peace with the people I care about because of knowing that what needed to be said or done has been said and done. I'm alright with each new day being a new gift and potential adventure. And I'm excited to see what God has in store for the future while wondering if His plans look even remotely like what I am able to imagine.

I am interviewed out but I've enjoyed each one and have met some kind and interesting people. There are 3 strong potential places of employment. One place more so than the others but I won't be an official hire until School Board approves. I have really enjoyed and been in awe of how God has moved me through each of these meetings with a sense of peace, confidence and self-disclosure.

My summer plans haven't gone as I had planned but traveling and such just isn't feasible on my current budget.

I can't believe it is almost July 11th again. It was 28 years ago that day that we lost Elaine much more quickly than anyone anticipated. At this time on July 10th, I was reeling from the shock of Kelly's car accident and death and the very next evening, we were helping Elaine's family gather their personal belongings from the Ronald McDonald House and making our way back to Greenville. Each moment of that evening remains so clear in my mind's eye. The days to follow are beyond murky with having to deal with Kelly's sudden death and Elaine's lost battle. Corey's memorial service is truly nothing but a hazy remembrance. Worse.Summer.Ever!

Unexpected changes on the legal front. At least, they were unexpected to me. My lawyer isn't the least bit surprised and for that I am grateful.

My teenage nephew has been in my thoughts and prayers continually as he continues to fight against a high fever and pneaumonia. My heart also goes out to those affected by the torrential downpour of rain that led to serious flash flood issues. My heart breaks for the Veteran who is still missing. The community and surrounding towns really pulled together and the presence of Camp Bowie soldiers was truly felt.

After a rather eventful week, I'm looking forward to a routine task weekend and attending worship services on Sunday. It's been way too long.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Summer 2015 Thus Far

Summer 2015 has been interesting thus far.  
The time of rest has been most welcome and the time to simply “be” has been fabulous.  

This time last year isn’t much more than a blurry memory.  I was still in Tyler but in the midst of moving me and Momma to the Central Texas area.  To say that the move did not go as planned is an understatement. 

Once the moving was complete, I hit the ground running in preparation for what ended up being an exhausting, trouble-filled school year in which I was more than ready to say “good-bye” despite the love I felt for my students and their families.  I was blessed to witness and work with some amazing educators but when that door was closed, it felt ‘freeing’ to hear the door shut behind me.  I had never been in the position to be under the authority of someone who wasn’t trustworthy and it was a definite learning experience. Sad to me that someone can appear to be one way but in reality is a totally different person and others pay the cost but that’s the reality of living in a fallen world so moving on…


Here it is 11 months later and I’ve still yet to unpack all of the boxes though progress in being made.  The health concerns that have plagued me for the past 2-3 years have been figured out with remedies for such in progress.  Yay!Yay!Yay! for hormonal therapy, thyroid medication and simple fixes for anemia.  I was beginning to think that I was half-crazy with the constant fatigue, dizziness, cravings, insomnia, frequent migraines, digestive issues, etc. but turns out that there were PHYSICAL reasons behind such. I’m not grateful for illnesses but I am grateful for the discovery and the remedies and am especially thankful that the end results are not life-altering or life-threatening.  Yay for the improving health which in turn will lead to more restful and peaceful times.


Dr. Schum has been a God-send and my back, neck and legs are significantly better.  The anemia is also to blame for the leg pains and the adjustments have helped tremendously with everything else.  Repercussions of a strenuous move, lack of proper bedding for months on end, picking up children and the natural effects of scoliosis.  Dr. Schum has also been a timely and encouraging support as the legal matters move on to the next chapter.


I am still in shock that husband has made this process so complicated and drawn-out.  His attitudes and actions have been hurtful but have helped to assure me that the decisions that I’ve made thus far were the right moves for me to make.  Too bad that it being “right” doesn’t mean it’s been easy or pain-free.  The pain lessens with each passing day but the grief towards all that has been lost/changed still catches me off guard at the strangest of times.


I’m thankful for the shared wisdom of the people in my life that have been through this journey before me.  I know the path won’t always be onward and upward but onward and upward is the goal so if any back-tracking is to take place, I’ll just have to re-focus, rest up and move on.  The best is yet to come and for that I am grateful.



Sunday, July 5, 2015

Daily Gratitudes (compiled)

Sunday, June 28th
1. Supportive friends & family who understand the tough moments
2. Balancing my checkbook
3. Eric and Brooke getting married
4. All bills paid

Monday, June 29
1. Good interview in Coleman ISD
2. Appt for interview in Zephyr ISD
3. Finally hearing something back from lawyer
4. Lunch with Mom, Sheryl and boys

Tuesday, June 30
1. Test results from doctor that FINALLY make certain things make sense
2. Getting half of garage thoroughly cleaned out
3. Sweet visit from neighborhood children
4. Taco Casa coupons
5. Encouraging email from principal of potential job

Wednesday, July 1st
1. Follow-up interview being set up much quicker than expected.
2. Fun, fun time with the boys at the city pool
3. Wonderful pharmacist who shared insight and wisdom
4. Phone call with my brother
5. Increasing sense of peace and hopefulness

Thursday, July 1st
1. Cool breezes on a hot day
2. Two enjoyable interviews
3. Time with my momma
4. No side effects from new medicine
5. Confirmation of an email that was difficult to send

Friday, July 2nd
1. U.S. flags being placed at every mailbox throughout the entire town
2. Talking with Leslie
3. Helpful perspectives from friends who teach 3rd grade
4. Jacks becoming more obedient at coming when called and riding in car.

Saturday, July 4th
1. Quick relief from an allergy-induced migraine.
2. Great fireworks show out at the marina
3. Good conversation through messaging with a much-respected friend, Trey

Monday, June 29, 2015

Daily Gratitudes (compiled)

Sunday, June 21st
1. The precious men in my life who helped to fill the void in my heart from not having a real relationship with my own dad.
2. Playing Wii games with Kaeden
3. Laughter of kids in the neighborhood

Monday, June 22nd
1. Sheryl's drop-by visit
2. Yards mowed
3. DQ chocolate-dipped cones

Tuesday, June 23rd
1. Meds that kept migraine to a minimum
2. Posting of new job potential
3. Afternoon rain shower

Wednesday, June 24th
1. Pay day deposit!!
2. Enjoyable evening with Momma, Sheryl and the boys
3. Email glitches getting worked out
4. Gorgeous blue sky this afternoon

Thursday, June 25th
1. Spending day with my mom
2. Evening at Chili's with momma and Sheryl
3. Movie night with Mitch and Sheryl
4. Kaeden's terderheart at letting his pet turtle, Junior, go
5. Phone call from principal in Coleman
6. Honest 'conversation' with a treasured friend

Friday, June 26th
1. Yummy Dominos pizza
2. Good medical test reposes
3. Helpful medical personnel
4. Visiting with Amber
5.Evening with my momma

Saturday, June 27th
1. Restful day
2. Hanging out with mom
3. Sheryl's family enjoying their reunion


Monday, June 22, 2015

So much stuff...

Today has been a little overwhelming. Repacking all of my "school stuff" into plastic buckets rather than cardboard boxes has been a hot and tedious task. All will be much more manageable once it's done but it has taken longer than I expected.

Still no news on the job front but trusting that God will work out the details. My hopes are on a job opening in Bangs. Time will tell.

Billy came by today and mowed the yards. Yay for his report that the weeds are diminishing and the grass seed has taken to the ground. Now to get a sprinkler so the summer heat won't burn up the progress.

Sheryl and the boys stopped by unexpectedly this evening. I enjoyed their visit and of course the ice cream trip to DQ.

Plans tomorrow are to finish up the garage materials, get caught up on laundry, file paperwork and to get the kitchen straightened up. Such an exciting life...haha!

Car insurance scam dude was in the neighborhood tonight. I haven't talked with him since clearing the air about his reference to flirting. He just said "hello" from a distance with the remark along the lines of 'well, are you ready for a man in your life now'? Ugh...seriously!! I just half-laughed and said "Take care. G'nite." The closing of my front door drowned out whatever remark he made. I never "called-him-out" about the car wreck stuff; what's done is done and there's no reason to alienate the neighbors. I hope he keeps on keeping his distance. Both Chad and Acey are only a phone call away but grrrr...wish he'd simply go away.

Diane told me to put the print out of his criminal record on his windshield with my name on it but I threw that away long ago and definitely don't want to tick him off. I'll be so glad when all the legal stuff is finally settled and I can purchase a gun. I'd simply feel safer knowing I had access.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Daily Gratitudes (compiled)

Monday, June 15th
1. Finding out a check was more than I thought
2. Finding good chiropractor
3. Unexpected, kind and generous offer via email from local business
4. Relieving email from landlord regarding finances
5. Enjoyable afternoon with my mom
6. Peaceful stormy evening

Tuesday, June 16th
1. Comfortable interview process
2. Fun afternoon with my family
3. Plans made with both Cheri and Diane

Wednesday, June 17th
1. Complimentary phone call from local principal
2. Seeing Kynleigh perform at cheer camp
3. Spending the day with my mom
4. Arrival of new fridge
5. Phone chat with Susan T.

Thursday, June 18th
1. Mitch and Sheryl safely traveling to and from Abilene
2. Fun day with my mom and the boys
3. Enjoyable evening with Diane
4. Being able to pass the older fridge to someone in need

Friday, June 19th
1. Significant relief from chiropractic visits
2. Momma coming over to visit
3. Fun at Kaeden's baseball game
4. Good memories shared with TLS
5. Productive clean up of garage
6. Visiting with Amber
7. Sweet hugs from school kiddos at the baseball fields

Saturday, June 20th
1. Sun-filled afternoon
2. Antics of my dog with June bugs
3. My momma's chicken and dumplings
4. Shared laughter with neighbors

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Daily Gratitudes (compiled)

Sunday, June 7th
1. Mitch's safe arrival home
2. Enjoyable evening with my momma and the boys
3. Facebook chat with Elizabeth

Monday, June 8th
1. Sunshine
2. The Hallmark Channel
3. Taco Casa drive-thru

Tuesday, June 9th
1. Momma coming over to hang out
2. Finding someone trustworthy for home repairs
3. Finding and being able to order a new Bible
4. Late evening Sonic trip

Wednesday, June 10th
1. Evening with family
2. Approval from landlord
3. Items found for bedroom decor

Thursday, June 11th
1. Whataburger breakfast. Yum!
2. New Bible arrived
3. Recommendations for appliance repair.

Friday, June 12th
1. Seeing several of my classroom kiddos at the ballpark
2. Fun evening with Cheri and her family
3. Kind messages from Breeana and Aundi

Saturday, June 13th
1. Finally got hair colored
2. Able to have oil in car changed
3. Finding a better priced refrigerator
4. News that Susan T. Is planning a trip to come visit.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Daily Gratitudes (compiled)

Sunday, May 31
1. Restful day at home
2. Enjoyable conversation with neighbor
3. Finding papers that I thought I'd thrown away

Monday, June 1st
1. Fun day in Abilene with Momma, Sheryl and the boys
2. Surprise message from Kara
3. Appts available for Jacks

Tuesday, June 2nd
1. Phone message from principal in Early
2. Kind messages from 3 classroom families
3.  Arrival of garage screens

Wednesday, June 3rd
1. Yummy dinner with my momma and Sheryl
2. Bedtime stories with Kaeden and Rhyder
3. Invitation from Jessica

Thursday, June 4th
1. Interview set up with an exceptional school district
2. Sweet "hellos" from classroom families
3. Graduation cards from previous students

Friday, June 5th
1. Good nights sleep
2. Seeing friends at the baseball park
3. Jacks being kept safe despite being a backyard escape artist(!!)

Saturday, June 6th
1. Kaeden spending the night
2. Yummy breakfast with Kaed and Momma
3. Seeing Brynli and her family at the park
4. Fun afternoon and evening at the city water park with Sheryl and the boys


Sunday, May 31, 2015

Dear 2014-15 School Year:

GOOD-BYE!

What a year it has been!!

I've no doubt I was exactly where God wanted me to be these past 10 months but I am so grateful that the time has come and gone.

Loved, loved, loved my students.
Met some fantastic families.
Worked with some fabulous teachers and beyond-dedicated support staff/faculty.
The blessings have far outweighed the  negative ending.

I was reminded of some important truths this year:

* I am professionally capable of far more than I thought possible. Having 4 students with special needs was challenging even on the best of days but more rewarding than words could describe.

* I can't control what others choose to believe even if their belief is profoundly untrue.

* Some in authority positions are not deserving of such.

* Choosing to be upfront and honest is incredibly empowering even when things don't go as planned.

* Allowing people to see your weaknesses isn't as terrifying as I have feared.

* One of my greatest strengths can also be my greatest weakness.

* Having a clear conscience and full reliance on God offers more peace than I ever imagined was attainable.

* I can't change the unfortunate circumstances in some of my students' lives but I can create a safe, loving place for them during the time that they are in my care.

* Relying on others isn't always a let-down.

* I need to let adults work out their own issues with other adults rather than trying to keep peace and attempt to make all happy. "Don't put myself out on a limb for others and chop it off behind me."

It's been a rocky year---professionally and personally but the world continues to rotate and life goes on.

Excited to see what the next chapter of life has on store.

Daily Gratitudes

Sunday, May 24th
1. Momma helping me in my classroom
2. Kind words posted on Facebook
3. Rhyder's successful potty event. lol!

Monday, May 25th
1. The sacrifice and service of so many men & women (and their families) in the armed services.
2. An enjoyable day off of work.
3. Safety of friends and family who have been in the direct line of danger of severe storms, tornados and flash flooding.
4. Yummy hot dogs and hamburgers with my mom and sister
5. Momma coming over to help connect washer and dryer.
6. Helpfulness of neighbor with connecting the dryer(!!)
7. Kaeden's sweet good-night hug

Tuesday, May 26th
1. Safety of those caught in San Marcos flooding
2. Great behavior of kiddos on a "toy day"
3. Mrs. Stuart's kind 'good morning' hug

Wednesday, May 27th
1. Rhyder's sweet little high-fives
2. Walking and talking with Kaeden
3. My momma's perception at knowing just what to say and when
4. Diane's and Sheryl's understanding at an unexpected start to the day.
5. Only 1 1/2 more days!!!

Thursday, May 28th
1. Last load of classroom moving!! Yay!!
2. Nice visit with Mrs. Asebedo, Ms. Baugh and Mrs. Blake.
3. Sheryl's help in moving furniture.
4. Beautiful lightning storm.

Friday, May 29th
1. Surviving the last day of school.
2. Thoughtful gifts from Deidra, Diane and Elva
3. Enjoyable lunch with my family
4. Potential job opportunities

Saturday, May 30th
1. Being completely through with the "leadership" at WH.
2. All items successfully fitting in my garage
3. Kindness of next door neighbors
4. Momma's chicken spaghetti
5. Afternoon of air hockey and games with Kaeden and Rhyder



Sunday, May 24, 2015

Daily Gratitudes (compiled)

Monday, May 18th
1. The ability to go to work despite such a miserable yesterday. I've never experienced the side effects of a RX being worse than what the medicine was for to begin with. Yuck, yuck, yuck.
2. Ms. S being there as Diane's sub and stepping up to help with having a good day.
3. The wondrous effects of Dramamine.

Tuesday, May 19th
1. Availability of capable substitute.
2. Kind neighbors getting needed things for me.
3. Feeling much better

Wednesday, May 20th
1. Ms. S' continued assistance.
2. Kindness and support from Mrs. Deever
3. Dinner at Sheryl's

Thursday, May 21st
1. Laughter shared with ladies in the cafeteria
2. Ability to get much of classroom packed up
3. Diane returning to work

Friday, May 22nd
1. Successful "Field Day" despite rainy day adaptations.
2. Kynleigh being able to return to class
3. Momma getting dinner for us at Golden Chick
4. Fun evening at Kaed's baseball game

Saturday, May 23rd
1. Restful day at home
2. Continuing the clean and packing of classroom
3. Momma getting me dinner at Taco Casa
4. Friendship w/ Adrian S.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Each day is an adventure

Today was an adventure. After having such an adverse reaction to the newly prescribed medicine, the day began in a sense of physical weakness and mental fog.
Thankfully, I was able to stop medicine immediately and hopefully by tomorrow, all negative side effects will be gone.

The day, for the most part, is a blur. I am so thankful that Ms. S was able to sub for Diane because her help today was immeasurable. Sweet students also graciously helped me along. I was beyond embarrassed to fall to the floor for whatever reason while Deidra was in the room(!!) I remember standing up, feeling a lil clammy, leaning forward to the cabinet then BAM! My butt hit the floor. I was able to immediately get back up but felt "off" for the remainder of the afternoon. Ugh!

The day began with the surprise appearance of "Ironman" and ended with our music teacher getting a pie in his face due to a fundraiser. Crazee but fun for the kids.

It's not even 4:30 and I'm home in my pajamas wondering if I'm even go to try to make it until the sun goes down.

Tomorrow will be a better day. :)


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Fell a bit behind...

I didn't do very well at keeping up with a list of daily gratitude this past week so I'll hit the highlights.

Continued support and encouragement from school families and personnel. Even though my situation is a done deal, there is much comfort in knowing that I truly didn't do anything "wrong". A clear conscience is far more important to me than one woman's screwed up thinking and fragile ego. Though I am concerned about whatever the next step will be, I am beyond ready to leave that campus and never look back. It's sad that there are so many wonderful teachers there under such screwy campus "leadership".

After a 7 month wait, I was able to see Dr. Fowler this past week. I really liked her. She was kind-hearted, generous with her time and the nurses were fabulous. Now to find a dentist.

I had an enjoyable evening at the baseball fields with my mom, Sheryl, and the boys.

Amber and I went to a spur of the moment late night movie which was fun.

Good appointment with my lawyer. Praying that a legal ending point will be in the immediate future.

Aiden's family generously gave me their washer and dryer before they left for Ohio. Maranda and Chad graciously transported. So very blessed by kind people in my life.

I made a huge dent in the classroom moving process which is relieving.

Continued blessings of much needed rain.

Allen and Elizabeth were able to get their driving permits.

A night of giggles and a silly movie over at Sheryl's.

Kynleigh's successful surgical treatment for her broken elbow.

Meeting all financial obligations without borrowing.

A good beginning point for Trim Healthy Mama.

The opportunity to leave nothing left unsaid.

ISD payroll accomadations for the remaining paychecks.

8 1/2 more days!!



Friday, May 8, 2015

Stubbornness isn't always bad ;)

A fairly new realization sank in a bit deeper this week. For emotional support, I rely mostly, if not completely, upon the trustworthy adults that cared for me when I was a young girl---Becky & Wayne, Keith & Vickie, Randy, and David until his death.

I questioned KT about the peculiarity of that and he assured me that it wasn't strange because that's why God gives us one another.  I was forced to live in a state of alienation as a child and thought it necessary to do so for years to come. I began to step out of that mode but unwittingly began to live another phase of life in isolation because of the crippling effects of an environment shrouded by addiction. I no longer want to live that way and I won't live in a shadow of assumed shame or the darkness of secrecy any longer.

But it's harder than I imagined to rely on people without feeling like a burden or in fear that I may not be seeing the whole picture as I didn't for quite a while in my marriage.

This past year has been difficult. Blessings far outweigh the strife even though the past few weeks have been incredibly hard with the tension at work.

I often wish that I would toughen up a bit but apparently, my seemingly over-tender heart is here to stay. ALL but one individual have been so kind, encouraging and supportive. I know that this ONE individual is not being truthful. I know that the positives are bigger than the one negative view yet I've been so hurt. Frustrates me how I have allowed one person to 'rock my world'.  I've allowed her words to pierce my soul like a knife and take me down the path of recalling every negative thought I've ever had towards myself.

God tells us to "capture each thought" so that's exactly what I am doing. I am responsible for choosing what & whom to believe and I will no longer allow this feeling of weariness to take its toll. I am soft-hearted and sensitive but I am not fragile and I won't waste one more moment of this ridiculous internal battle.

So there...God-willing, the sun will come out again tomorrow and I will enjoy its beauty. :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Only thing on my mind...

16 1/2 more work days. 16 1/2 more work days...
I will NOT lose my mind.
C'mon Summer 2015
Farewell to the longest.school.year.EVER!!
:) ;) :) ;)

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Place that Built Me

"The House that Built Me"
(Miranda Lambert)

I know they say you can't go home again.
I just had to come back one last time.
Ma'am I know you don't know me from Adam.
But these handprints on the front steps are mine.
And up those stairs, in that little back bedroom
is where I did my homework and I learned to play guitar.
And I bet you didn't know under that live oak
my favorite dog is buried in the yard.

I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
this brokenness inside me might start healing.
Out here its like I'm someone else,
I thought that maybe I could find myself.
If I could just come in I swear I'll leave.
Won't take nothing but a memory
from the house that built me...

...

You leave home, you move on and you do the best you can.
I got lost in this whole world and forgot who I am.
I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
this brokenness inside me might start healing.
Out here its like I'm someone else,
I thought that maybe I could find myself.
If I could walk around I swear I'll leave.
Won't take nothing but a memory
from the house that built me.

For the past several years, I've had a compelling desire to return to 3 different places.

One place would be: my Grandfather's house in Emory.  My Granddaddy (my momma's daddy) is the only person that I ever witnessed my dad respect.  When he died, I was 13, and a huge part of my heart and my hope died.  He was the man I thought would always be there.  His death changed who I was and totally changed the dynamic of my family. I was beyond devastated and the hardest part was that even though others saw the depth of my grief, I couldn't explain why without feeling as if I were placing them in harm's way.  I refused to attend his funeral.  I couldn't stand the thought of going and having to role-play in the behavior that my dad would expect.  Wayne A. and Keith T. tried so hard to get me to open up but I just couldn't.  I remember the day that Keith took me the cemetery that he thought was the burial place so I could "face the reality".  The reality was that I would have given anything to show my respect to my Granddad but I couldn't on the day of the funeral.  I so wanted someone to take me to the gravesite but that would require asking something from someone and I just couldn't be what I felt like would be a burden.  Traveling to the cemetery in Emory was the 1st "independent drive" I made after getting my licence.  A nice man at the local grocery store showed me how to get there.  That would be the place during my high school years that would become a place of refuge and prayer.  Granddaddy built me, through his life and death, in more ways than I could adequately express.

The 2nd place is David's grave.  I am so drawn to there that it scares me.  I doubt that I will ever go back.  I have this irrational fear of simply laying on the ground and disintegrating---if not physically, may be emotionally.  As I stood under that awning that day and later went back as the men shoveled the dirt, my soul felt crushed and I knew that I would never be the same.  On the day of his burial was the day I realized how much I was longing for death in what I now know is termed "survivor's guilt"----seeing the families of Elaine, Gena, Robert, Scott, Randy, Kyle and the memories of Kelly were simply too much.  Something deep inside me broke that day.  I think the brokenness was necessary but it's not a place that I ever want to be again. The year following David's life no seems so surreal and I THANK GOD that my attempt to end my life was unsuccessful.  I no longer want to die. I want to live and I want to live well.  Brokenness will always be a part of who I am but God is healing me every day and turning those broken parts into blessings.

The 3rd place is Searcy.  That was home.  That was the place where I could freely be me.  I knew that my dad did not the arms to reach into the haven of Harding---the biggest reason I chose there rather than ACU, ETSU or A&M.  I eventually discovered that he did have some "holds" within the community and nearby Memphis but on campus, I was safer than I had ever been.  That is the place that "built me".  Searcy is where I:

  • ...learned that all people are infallible even those with the purest hearts and best intentions.
  • ...realized that I was way too quick to judge others and also my own worst critic and enemy.
  • ...learned that God is watching over me and not in the dictator-style leadership that I had always imagined.
  • ...worship was real and not just meeting an expectation.
  • ...learned that some people could be trusted while also learning that those who "should have been trustworthy due to their job/societal position weren't necessarily trustworthy"
  • ...learned that I could simply be me and be accepted.  Both Kara and Tommy knew me like no one ever had before and few have since.
  • ...I learned how capable my dad was of hurtful and damaging acts.  I wouldn't fully realize the extent of his poison until the year 2000.  I am so very thankful that God did allow me the instinctual knowledge to steer clear of him as much as possible even when I was a very young child.  The amount of lives that he had a hand in destroying still breaks my heart.
  • ...fell in love.  Sadly and regrettably, I destroyed that love with the intention of protection but regardless of intention, damage was done and the damage appears to be irreparable.
  • ...discovered that I was capable of taking care of myself and that my stubbornness could be both an incredible strength and weakness.
  • ...I learned how to 'handle finances'.
  • ...is where I truly learned how to enjoy myself and the people that were a part of my life
  • ...knew, without question, that some men could be trusted.  Thank you Tom M., Hugh G., a coach that I can see so clearly in my mind but his name escapes me(!!) ?Corbin?, and Bill L.  The wisdom of those men allowed me to see the goodness in other men, such as Randy, Keith, and David, that I allowed "in" only just so far.
  • ...thought would be my forever home but it eventually became a place too painful to stay.
  • ...have so many treasured memories that I will never regret though it is also the place of some of my biggest regrets.
I will go back to Searcy this summer.  I'm not sure when or for how long but I know, in my heart, that it will be incredibly therapeutic (though not necessarily easy) to go back and 'find myself' after having truly become so lost.  I can't wait to walk on the campus grass...see the dorm...smell the hay at the camp's horse stables...visit Riverside Park...see a small country church...B-Rock along with walking some trails at both Wyldewood and Harding's camp...going to the city park...the mall in Little Rock...the elementary schools that fired up the passion that had always been a part of my dreams...the movie theater...Walmart...stand inside some of the educational buildings...sit in a swing...chocolate-covered cherry blizzard at DQ...Shoney's hot fudge sundaes...the milkshake place...the truck stop with that good greasy gravy(!!)...the list of "things" is endless.  

I've been pricing cabins in Heber Springs along with hotels and I'm leaning more towards staying in Cabot. It's midway between Searcy and Little Rock.  I'm definitely taking my dog so that has to be considered.  Staying right in Searcy would be great so to have a place to go back to between whatever activities but staying a bit out of the area may be necessary so not to feel so incredibly awkward. Only 4 more weeks of school and prayerfully, all legal matters will be completed.   It is nice to have a trip to look forward to.  

Friday, May 1, 2015

Broken but Blessed

Yesterday was especially hard.
Waking up feeling cruddy for yet another day of missed work pushed every emotional button I had.

A post on Stephanie's blog today was a much needed to reminder of things I KNOW TO BE TRUE.

http://stephanieclayton.org/this-will-not-break-you-not-now-not-ever/


Last night was filled with tears of anguish along with my questioning of God about the simple plans that I've always wanted in my life resulting in seemingly unattainable dreams.

The dreams/plans I had in childhood in regards to unconditional love and safety within my family home didn't happen though I am so grateful that as an adult, my momma and my siblings are my dearest friends. I am also so thankful for God allowing David to become such an integral part of my life. From my 6th grade year until his death in 2008, he was the safe home I always longed for and hold tight to those precious memories.

My plans to graduate and immediately move from my family did become a reality though my time in Searcy didn't go as I hoped or as I planned. The day I left Searcy after college graduation remains as one of the most difficult days of my life. My return to Greenville for a year is little more than blurred memories of my broken heart.

My 1st few months of living independently in Tyler were fabulous followed by a few months of despair then "life happened" and here I sit almost 20 years later wondering what in the hell happened and why?

I may never know why but I am committed to further discovering how so to not ever duplicate the situations, scenarios and circumstances that have led to the 2nd most miserable year of my life.

In the midst of my tears and prayerful pleas last night, I felt God's tug on my heart in reminding me that my thoughts, ideas, plans are limited and steeped in a sinful world but that HIS PLANS are beyond my comprehension and are for the sake of this life and life eternal. He never promised anything would be easy.

After a fitful night of sickness and further unrest, today has been low-key and quiet. Nothing but uplifting music, silly TV shows and time spent in Scripture and prayer.

I was looking for a particular song on YouTube and came across a song sung by Miranda Lambert called "The House that Built Me".

In my next post, I will share why these lyrics touched my heart in such a way that led to a deeper understanding and a commitment for the summer time travel.


Daily Gratitudes (weekly)

Saturday, April 25th
1. A day to simply rest
2. Enjoyable time with Sheryl and Momma
3. Ease of communication with treasured friends thru texts, Facebook and email.

Sunday, April 26th
1. Safe traveling for friends and family throughout the severe weather today.
2. 100% fever-free for the first time in 6 days
3. Much-needed rain

Monday, April 27th
1. Fun evening with family at Kaed's baseball game
2. Opportunity to meet Carolyn L.
3. Pleasant conversation with Nety
4. Seeing Andrea, Kaylee, Deidra and Heather at baseball fields

Tuesday, April 28th
1. Time with Kaeden after school
2. Playing fetch with Jacks
3. Classroom filled with giggles

Wednesday, April 29th
1. Encouragement and kindness from classroom families
2. Support and prayers from Adrian S.
3. Watching the kids perform at AWANAS and receiving awards.

Thursday, April 30th
1. Graciousness of Diane and Deidra as I have yet another sick day. Beyond aggravated.
2. Jessica 'going-to-bat' for me and having my appt with the new doctor moved up a week.
3. The fact that we do have Memorial Day off of work and the last day is an early release day. I NEED this school year to be over.

Friday, May 1st
1. Gorgeous day filled with sunshine and rest
2. Completion of another work week
3. Landlords approval to improve backyard.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Let the CORRECT countdown begin!

Last year at this time, I was in the midst of making difficult choices that I knew would forever change in my life. The blessings that have come from these choices FAR OUTWEIGH the trials & troubles that have occurred.

The divorce process seems to be never-ending and finances remain tight but God has provided above and beyond my every need. My continual prayer is for "chapters" to be peacefully closed and for my immune system to improve. I continue to catch every lil' germ that passes through my classroom and am starting off the final few weeks of school with walking pneumonia (which is thankfully minor but oh so exhausting).

The divorce process has become aggravating. Nothing should be as complicated as it has become. Sad to realize that every single thing a counselor told me would be said or done has happened. Sad because of the reality but also relieving in helping assure me that I absolutely made the right choice.

I somehow or another tacked on 10 extra school days in my mind. Pleasantly surprised that there are only 22 school days left!! Soooo ready for summer. I'm not certain what "my next step" will be but fully trusting that God will enable me to "stand" in and with whatever occurs.

I went to the baseball field tonight for Kaed's 1st "practice baseball game". I really enjoyed bring there. I'm not the most sports savvy person but I've always loved little league ball. I was reminded this evening how blessed I am in having such Godly women in my circle of acquaintances and friends. Meeting Carolyn was a pleasure. Spending time with Andrea, Heather, Kaylee, Deidra along with Sheryl and Mom filled my heart with joy.

Being where I am right now isn't my first choice but since I'm not wanted where I most want to be, I am especially grateful for being surrounded by "good people". Every day, my awe grows for the blessings I've been given.

I am still desperately wanting a private cabin getaway but am rethinking Arkansas. It would be great to revisit places that I once considered home but it would be very hard to be there and not be able to see those whom I would most want to see.

I still have a few weeks to decide and depending on the next chapter of life, a cabin may not even be financially feasible. But a few days to get away WILL happen. It's been far too long since I've had a non-obligatory trip somewhere.



Friday, April 24, 2015

Daily Gratitudes (from past week)

SATURDAY, APRIL 18th
1. Thunderstorms
2. Sonic ice cream
3. Talking with my momma

SUNDAY, APRIL 19th
1. Codeine-based cough syrup
2. Prom pics of "my kindergarten kids" all grown up
3. Permission to speak freely to
Liesa.

MONDAY, APRIL 20th
1. Near completion of CPALLS Testing
2. Warm, sunny day
3. Opportunity to sort through a lot of classroom books and files

TUESDAY, APRIL 21
1. Great day at the City Park with my classroom cuties
2. Encouraging email from Michelle W. at admin
3. Andria's friendship
4. Kind friends who can handle my tears

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22nd
1. Fever-reducing medication
2. Availability of an experienced sub
3. Pleasant weather

THURSDAY, APRIL 23rd
1. My momma
2. Sheryl
3. Amber
4. Randy
5. Jessica

FRIDAY, APRIL 24th
1. Rocephin shot and steroid shot. Not grateful for walking pneaumonia but grateful for fast-acting meds
2. Pay day!!
3. Supportive advice and care from Sheryl, Amber and Jessica

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Mixed emotions

I was dreading the class field trip to the park because 5 hours seemed incredibly too long. I was pleasantly surprised. Every student did GREAT and we all ended up having a lot of fun.

Word is spreading that I won't be returning to WH next school year. I was caught off guard by Andria questioning me about such today and was an absolute tearful mess by the time dismissal rolled around. I'm touched and honored by those who are willing to go to the mat over this but I'm not waging war in a battle that actually isn't mine.

Mixed up emotional day and praying that sleep will come easily tonight in preparation for another field trip tomorrow.

27 more work days(!!)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Daily Gratitudes (past week compilation)

Sunday, April 12-Friday, April 17th

1. Restful weekend
2. Productive meeting with Superintendent
3. Ease of conversation with Lisa S., Liesa L. and Tammy G.
4. No work drama
5. Wonders of a true thunder storm
6. Job possibilities in surrounding area
7. Taco Casa!
8. Last administration of the CPALLS test for the year. Ugh!
9. Students growth being evident through the CPALLS testing
10. Fun and enjoyment of Aiden's birthday. Autism and Aspergers has me intrigued.
11. Enjoyable evening with just me and Rhyder
12. The beginning of Tball season and baseball. Love Little League ball.
13. Progress being made as seen through lawyers email.
14. Ability to have a straightforward though awkward conversation with guy who misread.
15. Continued kindness and support of classroom families
16. Prayerful Pals who hold me up during times of weakness
17. Sheryl's surprise afternoon snack brought up to my work one day and a surprise breakfast on another day.
18. My momma's unconditional love, support and the sharing of her wisdom.
19. Potential cabin getaway in Arkansas
20. Suitable, affordable houses in area. Looks as if a house payment would be less expensive than this rent.
21. Convenience of online application process
22. Being able to actually come home during my lunchtime.
23. The musical group, Casting Crowns.
24. Simple joys of a tennis ball and a happy dog.
25. The fact that not one person agrees with a choice that has been made. Clear conscience is a powerful thing. Confidence in God is beyond tremendous. And supportive people are comforting.

Yay for the Weekend!!

It's been a difficult week. I wasn't able to sleep at all Sunday night so that set the stage for a tiresome week. Sigh.

I met with the interim superintendent on Monday. The meeting went well even though I'm not counting on it to change my situation. I didn't realize until this personal event that there has been some unrest on the campus for several years. I'm not about to join in on anyone else's agenda to change things within a school district that I'm just barely acquainted with.

Meeting with Liesa was beneficial on many levels and exhausting on so many more. 29 more days...Double sigh.

If finances will allow, I'm planning on renting a riverside cabin in Heber Springs pretty soon after the summer break begins. I need a place of calm, peace and quiet and I always loved the Little Red River. I debated between there or Oklahoma but Edmond lends itself to making plans ahead of time and I don't want to run around and do/see/go. I want a peaceful place to simply be still for a short while. I'm hoping to see some friends while in the area but I'm not scheduling around any other time frame than what will work best for me. I don't want any have-to type of agenda for a few days.

There is a promising job possibility that would be great if it works out. A much better fit  with my teaching style for both school-district and community. If it does work out, it'll be a great "God thing" to share one day. I've no doubt that I was exactly where God wanted me to be this past year. I don't believe that He has closed this door but I do know that He has allowed it to happen and He's got a plan even though I don't have a clue.

The aggravating, incessant cough has returned and is leaving me irritated and aggravated. I'm going to call the dr tomorrow for an upcoming appointment. My kind doctor in Tyler is still allowing phone call appointments and RX refills but it's time to move on.

Husband submitted the requested paperwork and the lawyers are almost through sifting through the information. Jenn keeps 'getting on to me' because I keep insisting that I don't care if I get a dime, I just want this chapter closed. Saddens me to think how all of this has played out when what could have been a good thing would have taken very little effort at one time.

I have been especially grateful the past 2 weeks for the conversation, insight and conversation that has happened with both Lisa S. and Tammy. Adrian has also been a tremendous blessing. I'm already missing the thought of not working with them every day. Kind-hearted Tammy has deciphered poorly written texts, proofread documentation and has been a source of comfort and strength through a couple of emotional moments. Kimber's kindness and professionalism will never be forgotten. Her spunky attitude, in general, will be a great help to get through these remaining few weeks.

I am so grateful for the upcoming weekend and half-way hoping that we have a torrential rain pour so that I can simply stay home or go to my classroom and take care of the little tasks.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Home...

Home is where the heart is.

Great sentiment but not sure what to do with it when:

...where your heart is becomes a place that isn't yours.

...when who you want your heart to be with doesn't want the same.

...when your heart is so heavy with sadness that it's hard to envision "all working out".

..."home" is a place you long for but you're not really certain you've ever been there.

...when you've allowed the closest concept of home that was known to slip from your grasp.

Found a quote on Positivity Inspires that spoke to this current train of thought:
"I am homesick for a place I'm not sure even exists. 
One where my heart is full and my soul is understood." 

Strength

Wishing my faith was stronger.
Strong enough to not allow any room for panic in my heart.
Strong enough to not allow tears steeped in fears.
Strong enough to not wonder "why?" and "how?"

I understand that the sadness and accompanying grief are understandable and acceptable but the underlying fears and doubts are not.

I'm hoping that after my meeting with Liesa tomorrow, I'll, at least, have a sense of peace in knowing that I've done all that I can do. I simply want the chance to be heard and believed. I am praying for the option of a transfer but not counting on such.

I find it disheartening that one individual is allowed the power to harm and even possibly end ones long term and successful teaching career. I do not believe that the decision that has been made is based on my teaching abilities or performance.

My students have learned as demonstrated through their formal and informal assessments. I have not had any issues with students or their respective families. As far as I am aware, I have gotten along well with each and every member of the faculty and staff. I, in no way, deserve the treatment I have received. And for one who is always quick to assume blame for anything, that is saying a lot.

The situations/concerns that were previously brought to my attention are the reasons I assume are behind the decision made.  I thoroughly explained about each concern and thought all had been cleared up. I am not above reproach at any time but the concerns she expressed were explained in an honest, forthright manner. If she chooses to not believe me, I feel that she should have gone to the other parties involved for collaboration or disproof. She hasn't done any such thing.

I know God will work this out for something good in His plan but I am feeling so frustrated, infuriated and flat-out weary. I'm grateful that I am allowed the privilege of relying upon His strength because my strength is barely enough to keep standing.

My mind, body and soul are crying out for some sort of "break" in the sadness and confusion that has been a daily part of my existence for far too long.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Daily Gratitudes (from last week)

Saturday, April 4th
1. Getting to see my puppy-love, Josie
2. Both pups getting a good grooming at a reasonable price
3. Finding exactly what I needed at Big Lots
4. An enjoyable afternoon and evening with my mom

Sunday, April 5th
1. Sun-filled afternoon
2. Quality rest and relaxation
3. Finishing up some unpleasant tasks

Monday, April 6th
1. Friendship shared with Deidra and Diane
2. Good visit with Lisa S.
3. Discovering another option for a seemingly insurmountable problem
4. Enjoyable evening with Sheryl, her boys and our mom.

Tuesday, April 7th
1. Chicken biscuits and Diet Dr. Pepper
2. Tangible PROOF that someone's accusations are not true.
3. Fun celebration of Rhyder's 4th birthday!

WEDNESDAY, April 8th
1. Supportive classroom families
2. Encouraging coworkers
3. Prayerful friends

THURSDAY, APRIL 9th
1. Encouraging news
2. Fresh flowers
3. Delicious lunch

FRIDAY, APRIL 10th
1. Simple fact that it is Friday
2. Availability of time to prep for next week
3. Willingness of people to stand up for truth regardless of repercussions

SATURDAY, APRIL 11th
1. Lifetime of shared friendship with Randy & Debbie & Keith and Vickie
2. Kind messages from caring friends
3. 7 hours of continuous sleep

True Words from Another at Just the Right Time

BORROWED WORDS FROM www.stephanieclayton.org 
(CAPITALIZED WORDS ARE MINE)
To you that feels broken…afraid…lonely…in a tough spot…I NEVER IMAGINED THE PAST 8 MONTHS WOULD HAVE RESULTED IN WHAT IS. I AM NEVER ABOVE REPROACH BUT I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE FOR DOING WHAT I TRULY FEEL IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILDREN ENTRUSTED TO MY CARE NOR WILL I BE A PAWN IN THE SENSELESS POLITICS THAT SOMETIMES RULE AN EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM.
If there was an easier place to go, you would have gone…but you are here… HERE AND ATTEMPTING TO BE FILLED WITH GRACIOUSNESS AND KINDNESS DESPITE THE GLARING INCONSISTENCIES AND HURT FEELINGS.
The place where the weight of the world meets your shoulders in a fiery crash. I get it. TRULY DO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW PEOPLE SURVIVE THE DAY TO DAY WITHOUT HAVING HOPE IN A HEAVENLY FATHER WHO CAN AND WILL CAUSE ALL THINGS TO BE WORKED OUT FOR HIS BEST.
Shame and hurt have not abandoned you, although you certainly wish they would. They hang on tight like a rod wrapped around a string. Pulling you this way and that. Seems so unfair. And at times irrational and illogical. How many broken pieces can one already shattered heart hold. But God sees you. HIS AWARENESS, HIS COMFORT, HIS PEACE AND HIS GUIDANCE ARE IMMEASUARBLE. 
It hurts. But you are bold. You have strength. It’s strength of far greater value than gold. Not your own. But bought at the highest price. Paid for. It’s yours. PRAYING DESPARATELY TO REMEMBER THIS TRUTH IN THE MOMENTS OF BEING OVERWHELMED WITH SADNESS AND ANGER.
You are going to be ok. Today. Tomorrow. Forever. It’s not a chance or gamble.  Your bends and breaks are known. He’s noticed every salty sweaty tear. Each bendy twisted place. The knots tied over again and now solidified by fear can still be undone. I know this for sure. SO GRATEFUL THAT HE IS TRUTH AND HE FULLY KNOWS WHAT IS TRUE. PRAYING THAT HE WILL LEAD ALL TO THE AWARENESS AND ACCEPTANCE OF WHAT IS TRUE.
The pressure you place on yourself to be ok, right here, right now, is not necessary. You may not be ok. And that is ok. All God’s people endure fiery trials. They aren’t what makes us clean but they are what makes Holy. GRATEFUL THAT I AM ACCEPTED JUST AS I AM. MU UTMOST DESIRE IS TO LIVE IN A GENUINE, AUTHENTIC WAY THAT ALLOWS OTHERS TO FEEL COMFORTABLE IN DOING THE SAME. 
Small shards of broken glass that when put together make a glorious window. A unique lens through which we view the Savior. SHARDS OF BROKENESS IS AMAZINGLY AND ACCURATELY DESCRIPTIVE.
Dear friend, He sees you. It’s rough. But the water you swim in is safe. Take a breath and keep pressing on. Lift up a Hallelujah even when it’s grey. The clouds will part. Where He multiplies suffering there is fertile soil for healing. It’s planted and on the way. Prepare your heart and home for the harvest. In the end it’s going to be a blessing.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Then there was light...

Some days are significantly darker than others.
I will forever be grateful for knowing and being loved by The One who created the light.
Remaining in prayer for the ability to see even the faintest flicker on this current path while seriously considering what my options would be if I were to stop teaching.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Battle Fatigue

Nothing infuriates me as much as seeing someone being taken advantage of and someone choosing to believe something that simply is not true.

I seem to be fighting a battle that I can't win and the battle itself is ludicrous. As maddening and hurtful as it is, there is a strong sense of peace in knowing that the accusations against me are false and that I'm not responsible for someone accepting what is true. The circumstances certainly aren't fair but fully knowing that God is aware and will take care of it all, including me, in the ways and timing He sees fit is comforting and grants me a level of strength that I wouldn't have otherwise.

I am so thankful to the few that are privy to this circumstance "see" things as I do and have only offered support and encouragement. I'm not able to distinguish if anger or sadness is the dominant emotion. Seems to vary.

I have one more potential option then I will place the shields down and accept whatever occurs. I'm so thankful for the blessings of a clear conscience. I am not above reproach at any given time but the action(s) taking place are not in any way deserved and if the suffering is due to "doing the right thing" then so be it.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Lost foothold

Within the past few weeks, I finally feel like I've regained my footing then today knocked the breath out of me and has literally left me on the floor in sobbing prayer.

I KNOW that God is in control and all will be okay.

I will be okay.

But despite that knowledge, I wish I could see even a tiny glimpse of light on the path He's preparing. Part of me finds the "openness" of opportunities exciting while another part of me is fighting off the grip of fear of not having any idea what the future holds.

I'm thankful that the next 4-5 months have some sense of stability and desperately trying to focus on that blessing and not worry beyond the moment but that is so much easier said than done.

I was really looking forward to this holiday weekend. The first holiday since the big life changes that I feel healthy and there are low-key but enjoyable plans in place. But now I sit on yet another level of grief, anger, and confusion while pleading with God for some sort of direction.

I won't allow this undesirable news/situation steal a moment of joy from the privileged time with my family this weekend. I will also not allow such to interfere with my work responsibilities and professional attitude.

A few years back, a lady that I didn't know very well was under an intense amount of burdens. I regularly prayed for her and I will never forget the intensity and power of her "claiming her rights as a daughter of the Almighty King". She ended her talk by sharing with us her daily proclamation of speaking out loud: "In the name and power of Jesus, 'Devil, go to hell! And stay there. You will not take me from my Father's side".

I understand her words and passion-filled plea so much better now than then.



Daily Gratitudes (from past week)

SATURDAY, MARCH 28th
1. Shaved legs
2. Clean sheets
3. Relaxing day

SUNDAY, MARCH 29th
1. Finding Josie a "forever home"
2. Spending some one-on-one time with Rhyder
3. Blessings of meeting Mr. and Mrs. Harris this afternoon

MONDAY, MARCH 30th
1. Safe arrival of Kim's grandbaby
2. Enjoyable evening with my momma
3. Unexpectedly short faculty meeting after school

TUESDAY, MARCH 31st
1. For all of the unexpected blessings throughout this past year.
2. Fun evening with Sheryl, her boys and my mom at the 1st Japanese restaurant I've been to
3. Unexpected text from a much-missed friend

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1st
1. News that Josie is much-loved at her new home
2. Afternoon thunderstorms
3. Peaceful evening at home

THURSDAY, APRIL 2nd
1. A good night of sleep
2. MUCH improved behavior from my classroom cutie pies.
3. Landlord's approval to "better" the property at his expense.

FRIDAY, APRIL 3rd
1. Half-day off for the Easter weekend!
2. No traveling plans for the holiday weekend.
3. Such good participation of "school families" in the Egg Hunt
4. Kindness, support and tears from those who were made aware of my unsettling news today.
5. Kelsie and Baby Weston being released from hospital

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Truths of the Heart

This time last year, I was headed to Edmond, Oklahoma in a desperate plea for a "safe place" filled with anxiety and grief. I felt like, for all practical purposes, my life had truly come to an end. That was the.LONGEST.drive.EVER!

My safe arrival was only through the providence of God. Dear friends alternated the timing of their phone calls. Had I not been on the phone with Randy during that massive panic attack, I would have been in a wreck. He helped keep me calm enough to pull over to the side of the highway. The moment that I finally laid eyes upon Becky & Wayne was the moment that I knew NO MATTER WHAT, I would be okay.

I will forever be in awe of the love that those two have shown me since I was 5 years old despite my dad placing them in harms way; even to the point of being in a witness protection program. They have NEVER wavered in their support, encouragement and love for me. Wayne has always had the ability to make me laugh and Becky has always spoken the truth to me even if I didn't want to hear it.

A year ago, I realized that my life was no longer working and changes had to be made. I NEVER imagined the changes that would occur but I've no regrets other than not having made the changes earlier.

I have several life scenarios that play out so easily in my mind but haven't any idea if those ideas match up with the plans of God. Time will tell and I am learning to fully trust in Him even if I don't understand. Looking back over my life, I wonder "what if" I had heeded those heart-tugs from God rather than dismissing them or responding/reacting in fear.

I am far from being "fearless" but am growing closer to being such with each and every day. The next 11 weeks hold some pivotal moments and it is a struggle to not give in to worry but that is my goal and I know that I am blanketed in prayer which is a huge comfort.

I heard an "old song" by Reba McEntire and Vince Gill earlier this week and it brought to mind how I've never allowed myself to trust my heart. But now that is the only thing to trust PROVIDED THAT God's Word and His Will are first and foremost in my heart. What heartache I could have missed if I'd only heeded that Truth 28 years ago. But...can't go back so forward I will go.

THE HEART WON'T LIE
(Reba M. & Vince G.)

"Looking back over the years of all the things I've always meant to say
But words didn't come easily
So many times through empty fears...
You try to live your life from day to day...
Cause the heart won't lie
Sometimes life gets in the way
But there's one thing that won't change
I know I've tried
The heart won't lie
You can live your alibi
Who can see you're lost inside a foolish disguise
The heart won't lie...

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

366 days later...

Yesterday marked the 1 year date of a decision that would forever alter my life. When I took that first step, I never imagined that it would lead me to where I now am physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually. 

These past 12 months "have God's fingerprints" all over them. The journey hasn't been easy but the most important thing I've learned is that God really does care and He really will work things out, even to the smallest details. I haven't always understood why or even how at the times but the evidence is real and for that I'm grateful. Leaves me to wonder where the next year will lead. I, of course, have my own ideas of what I would like to see happen but I'm absolutely fine with allowing the Lord to guide the way with the continual prayer that I'll be blessed with the ability to discern His will. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Daily Gratitudes (from past week)

SATURDAY, MARCH 21st
1. Evening movie with family and friends
2. Walking and talking with Rhyder
3. Randy's encouragement and support

SUNDAY, MARCH 22nd
1. Visiting potential home for Josie
2. Momma accompanying me to the potential home
3. Sonic ice

MONDAY, MARCH 23rd
1. Sweetness of my students
2. Appreciation expressed by classroom families
3. Enjoyable conversation with Deidra
4. Surprise candy bar treat from Elva

TUESDAY, MARCH 24th
1. All requested papers prepared for lawyer
2. Spending time with Kaeden after school
3. Enjoyable dinner and evening at Sheryl's
4. Seemingly good walk-through observation by Jenny

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25th
1. Pay day!!
2. Pedi with Amber and Sheryl
3. Good conference conversation with a room mother


THURSDAY, MARCH 26th
1. Deidra's loving-kindness
2. Sheryl's supportive hugs and prayers
3. Opportunity for afternoon naps.

FRIDAY, MARCH 27th
1. Saltine Crackers and Crushed ice
2. Sunny day so dogs could stay outside
3. Mitch's safe travels home



Germs, Germs, GO AWAY!!

Waking up at close to 4 this morning with an obvious stomach virus accompanied by fever was actually relieving in that it helped to make sense of yesterday. I keep praying for a stronger immune system but the PreK class germs keep catching me. Frustrating and job-threatening.

Regardless of job outcome, I am at peace knowing that I've done my absolute best this year in not allowing personal drama effect work attendance. Pray that those in authority do believe such but that's out of my control. 16 days of absences is ridiculous but it is what it is. The classroom has always been my place of productivity; the most comfortable societal place and the place my self-confidence is in tact for the most part. If I am capable of being there and adequately functioning, that's one of my favorite places to be. I wouldn't choose a day to simply be at home.

Despite saltine crackers being my best buddies today, the day of rest has been beneficial. I long for the day that the days of rest are chosen and not forced by some form of minor illness.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Un-Expected Q and A. (sigh)

Today has been hard. From the start of the alarm clock, nothing was naturally falling into place. I didn't want to get out of bed so my repeated hit of the snooze button caused some rushing around. Thursday is the day I pick up Kaed for school. He was running behind schedule so lost a lil' more time. I hit the ground running the minute I walked into the school building doors and I was never able to establish a groove for the day. Thankfully, my students were able to just go with the flow and the non-routine day went well even though I couldn't get out of there fast enough when that 3:30 bell rang.

Exhausted and emotional would be an understatement. The plan of the evening was to get Kaed after school, go to Walmart and spend the evening on lessons for next week but plans don't always pan out.

Kaeden was filled with questions about Uncle Wayne, along with Bailey and Bela. By the time I was through with his impromptu Q and A, all thoughts were mush, and any remaining energy was gone. Dropped him off, began bawling in a way that hasn't occurred in a while and came home and crawled into bed. Sleep is always refreshing. I ended up sleeping 5 hours straight and now it's almost midnight and I'm still going strong despite the 5:30 alarm looming in the near future.

Sigh. Folks that have "been here before" assure me that these un-timely bouts of emotional chaos are  part of the normal course of healing. I can attest that they are coming fewer and farther between but I'd prefer that they didn't occur at all(!!).

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Being an Adult ;)

Lacking all motivation today. There is a cute picture going around Facebook with a chubby puppy flat on his belly with all four legs spread out and chin touching floor that's titled "I don't wanna adult today."

Perfect visual description of me today. I have much to do today but the only thing I really want to do is sit outside in the sunshine, listen to some upbeat music and read or go downtown to the carnival fun for the "Annual Rattlesnake Round-Up". Lol!! Gotta love Texas---we'll find any excuse to have carnival food and a Ferris wheel put up in a parking lot. 

But my agenda consists of a necessary Walmart trip, some past due house cleaning and hopefully, delivering my puppy-love, Josie to a new home now that's she's healthy and better trained. Love helping to rehab pups but man, it can be hard to let them go. Josie needs much more attention than I can give her and this potential home sounds like a good match. I'm concerned about how Jacks will initially react to being an only dog but I think he'll adjust well. 

Well...didn't do anything I felt that I must do or anything I originally had wanted to do. Josie did make it to her new home and it seemed like a good fit. Time will tell. I was concerned about Jacks grieving his puppy pal but silly boy has eaten twice his normal amount of food. He even dragged his kennel blanket up to the couch that Josie rarely allowed his presence. 

Spent the evening over at my sister's house and she helped me to realize why this past week, in particular, has been so hard. I'm thankful for her kind heart, willingness to listen and her abilities to discern 'what really is happening'.

Burdens of the Unexpected

This past week has been difficult but I'm not sure why. I'm thinking it was a culmination of recovering from strep, rainy days, monthly hormones and the disappointment of how the Spring Break turned out.

There were some tough moments with behavioral and family concerns with my students. Every year, I promise myself better boundaries with these babies but that's next to impossible. They become a part of my heart and I can't stand to see them hurting; especially in circumstances that they have no control over. The 4 students that are in foster care are even more endearing because I so want them to know that while they are at school, they are safe and that they are dearly loved no matter what.

I'm not depressed or feeling hopeless but there has been a prevalent and steady sense of sadness all week. I know there's no steady incline or decline in the grieving process but I certainly wish that there was a definitive ending point. Returning items to their respective owners this week was far more emotionally-reactive than I'd imagined.

I never would have thought that going with friends to see the new "Cinderella" movie this evening, would have led to an anxiety attack. Thankfully, I was able to discretely leave the theater without disturbing any one else's evening. They, of course, realized I got up and left but I didn't offer an explanation other than I began to not feel well. I walked the parking lot in the misting rain and talked with Randy until I got a grip on my breathing. Embarrassing but just part of this current journey.

I must figure out a way to let go of the intense shame and stupidity I feel for having lived so much of my life allowing others to abuse, control and manipulate me. That sense of shame feels absolutely crushing on some days, thus making it very difficult to engage in social situations. I know that as long as there is breath, there is healing and hope. My continual prayer is that it's not too late to live/lead the life I've always dreamed of, prayed for and imagined.




Friday, March 20, 2015

Daily Gratitudes (from the past week):

DAILY GRATITUDES (for the past week):

FRIDAY, MARCH 13th
1. Availability of a caring health clinic. I must find a primary care physician soon.
2. Steroid shot! Yay!!
3. John and Kyle coming over and taking care of yard.
4. Elizabeth making JV Cheer!! I'm such a proud aunt. Can't wait to see her perform.
5. Easy connections with lifelong friends thru Facebook. So blessed!
6. Two more days before returning to work.

SATURDAY, MARCH 14th
1. Balancing the checkbook the FIRST TIME!!
2. Pharmacy having meds ready 1st thing this morning so to get better ASAP.
3. Everybody Loves Raymond reruns.
4. Beautiful sunny day.
5. Enjoying a new book. (If You're Going to Walk on Water...by John Ortberg).

SUNDAY, MARCH 15th
1. Feeling better.
2. Beautiful day!
3. Having the energy to clean house a bit.
4. My mom's help with my laundry.
5. Finding a groomer that is reasonably priced.

MONDAY, MARCH 16th
1. Throat lozenges and codeine-based cough syrup
2. W. taking time to mail medical refund check. Every lil' bit helps right now.
3. Sheryl's humor at Kaed's upcoming Science Fair Project. She is such a good momma.
4. Emotional support from Amber and Sheryl when I'm 'falling apart'.
5. The cuteness if Elizabeth's new haircut. Beautiful girl inside and out!

TUESDAY, MARCH 17th
1. Cuteness of kids over the silliness of leprechauns.
2. Sheryl bringing me crushed ice to soothe my throat throughout the day.
3. FINALLY having a successful trip up to the post office
4. Groomer's kindness at my rescheduling appointment for pups.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18th
1. Linda's understanding at my appointment cancellation.
2. Kind sentiment expressed by Amber
3. Finally feeling effects from meds

THURSDAY, MARCH 19th
1. Safety and health of Kelsey and baby Weston after a delivery scare.
2. Students' giggles jumping in puddles.
3.  Opportunity to meet and visit with Sheryl's friend, Beth
4. Kaeden's company before and after school.

FRIDAY, MARCH 20th
1. Potential home for Josie
2. Amber "popping by" the classroom to say hello.
3. Sheryl and Momma bringing me a surprise lunch of pizza and a drink.
4. Rain so desperately needed.
5. Kindness and encouragement from Kimber.
6. Compliments from the parents of my students
7. Thoughtfulness and prayerful encouragement from Michelle in the payroll office
8. Opportunity to spend evening with my momma and the boys

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Memories and Wishes...

...all wrapped up in a simple song.

Garth Brooks:Somewhere Other Than the Night


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OxVgbEXjudA

Sunday, March 15, 2015

A Week that was Nothing as Planned.

Today has been an odd day. My mind has a long to-do-list but my body is not cooperating. I'm grateful antibiotics are kicking in and that my voice is finally above a whisper but still feel frustrated. I had a burst of energy and was able to get the living room and kitchen cleaned up.

This wasn't the Spring Break I had hoped for or planned but that's just how it goes sometimes. I was able to get quite a few things accomplished. I didn't get to the "fun stuff" on my agenda but am so grateful that this yucky bout with strep didn't cause any more absences from work. I know that God has all under control so I'm trying not to worry about the job situation but that's easier said than done.

I was able to get 2 pairs of athletic shoes and only have a few more pieces to figure out before the exercise bike is put together. I was able to put enough money back to get a "real bicycle" and am just waiting for an available evening with someone who has a SUV or truck. I'm behind on the "couch to 5k" schedule but not so far, that the goal is unattainable. The health food store has ordered some of the recommended supplements; the paperwork was completed at what I hope to be my new physician's office; I met with a personal trainer that I think will be financially feasible after the next paycheck; the frig is packed with healthy choices and I WILL begin the exercise program tomorrow rain or shine. And I'm already down 5+ pounds. That's a start!

All packages are finally set and ready for the post office. I'm thankful for the graciousness of friends in Tyler who easily forgave me for carrying some of their things with me in the moving boxes. (Oops!!) All of husband's belongings are set and ready to go which is incredibly freeing. And I have found a lot of comfort and relief in knowing that I've left nothing unsaid or undone in regards to another situation. I can only do what God has put on my heart to do and keep moving forward. Now to just get to the post office when the blasted thing is still open.

I'm not as well prepared for the upcoming work week but will get to campus extra early tomorrow and remedy that.

Since Spring Break didn't go as planned, my bucket list for summer has already begun. When life hands you lemons... ;)


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Grrrrr...

Lying here tonight in tears of absolute frustration! Looks like I'll be making a trip to the health clinic in the early a.m. I am beyond ready to kick my immune system smack-dab in the butt! I'm on a regular sleep schedule, taking multivitamins, being more active, eating better but still seem to be catching whatever "bug" passes by. I realize the stress of the past year has taken a toll but c'mon, body...COOPERATE with my mind!!

My throat began hurting on Tuesday. My first thought was strep but then I dismissed that because I haven't been knowingly exposed to strep and it's been quite a while since I've had that particular illness. I used to have it so often that I can successfully swab my own throat now for a culture test. Sigh. The soreness didn't seem to be as extreme as in the past so figured it was either allergy related or part of a simple cold.

I've been gargling with hot salt water, using listerine and taking Advil regularly but this evening, the soreness has greatly increased. BOO!! I was supposed to buy a bicycle tonight and the boys were coming over for a sleepover before our trip to the zoo tomorrow. But instead, the evening was spent at CiCi's pizza with forced interaction accompanied by a huge wave of sadness when a large group of guys came in all dressed in Army fatigues.

So now, here I lay feeling incredibly tired but hurting too much to sleep with the boys at their home and my participation on the zoo trip in question. I'm thankful that at least I'm off work and should be back to 100% by Monday but ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

Whine, rant, complain.
This IS a "little thing" and for that I AM grateful.