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Friday, October 26, 2012

A list of lessons

Kinley is already a year and a half! This past year and a half has brought on a lot of self reflection. I think all new moms go through this. It's not just you anymore. When I reflect on high school I see how small that time was. Every problem seemed so big, yet it was so tiny compared to the things I have faced on the outskirts of the town I grew up in. I barely recognize myself from back then to the person I am today. When reflecting on the college years I see how I started to truly live and find out who I was. Even within the past 5 years I have learned a ton about the people around me and how the "real world" works. In celebration for surviving the first year and a half as a new mom, I wrote down these lessons and/or insights I have gained over time so that I may one day share them with Kinley. I am sharing this with you also, so that you may be encouraged to write a list for your son, daughter, or younger family member too. While reading, remember that I am in no way perfect and some of these I am continuing to work on myself.  I am scared that as I grow older I will forget these insights, so now is my time to share!!! Enjoy!

1. Your brain and your heart will often give you a different opinion. In my experience, neither is always right. reflect on what both are telling you and make your choices carefully.

2. I see you like no one else does. My mom always used to tell me that she loves me in a way that she can't explain and that one day I would understand. The past year and a half has made her point crystal clear. There is nothing you could do or say that would change my love for you. My love is endless.

3. The popular choice is not always the right one. Standing alone in a decision is better than standing with others who are choosing wrong.

4. When you are doing something that doesn't feel right then it is probably wrong. Follow your gut.

5. Do not speak unkind words. If you have to whisper for fear of getting caught or fear of hurting others, then don't speak them at all.

6. Be open to others who are different from you politically, religiously, culturally. You just may learn something and realize that you are more alike than you think.

7. Your wedding is something you will look forward to and want to plan years before you meet your match. Just remember that after the party is over you will be left with sore feet and the husband you chose. Choose wisley...I know I did.

8. Peer pressure is a strong force. If you beleive a choice or action is wrong then don't do it. I know it may feel like the world is against you, but I promise later on you won't regret it.

9.  Some choices that you make may make you "uncool" to others, however the same things that made you "uncool" then will be the things you are proudest of later.

10. I promise that the things I do not allow you to do are not because I am out to get you. I am protecting you from things that you cannot protect yourself from yet.

11. You get ONE body. It is yours and yours only. Take care of it and give it respect.

12. You will come in contact with people who do not like you no matter how great I tell you you are. These people will be either bitter or jealous. Be kind to them anyway and continue to live happily.

13. You cannot please everyone. If you try to you will end up being the unhappy one.

14. Spread God's light through actions by showing kindess, unselfishness, and good deeds to others. This will shine through stronger that any words you preach.

15. Sex can wait, I promise. A mom's wish for their daughter is for this irreplacable gift be given to your husband. I know that I cannot protect you from this, however I am going to try. I just ask that you choose very wisely. A huge piece of your heart will be given away that day and you cannot ever get it back.

16. You have filled my life with more joy and love than I can even begin to explain. Thank you for this precious gift.

17. High school is a time you use to find out who you are and how you want to be. Learn from the experiences and use them down the road. Your life is just beginning.

18. Having children is the best blessing live can give you, but you MUST live selfishly first. Experience plenty of life without children, so you can truly enjoy life with them. I am so greatful that I did this.

19. Heartbreak is awful. I believe that it is one of the worst pains you will know. I promise that it WILL pass. Know that when you experience this, I have been there and I am ready to love you through it.

20. Be the bigger person. ALWAYS. You won't regret it and the other person often ends up looking like a fool even if you don't see it.

21. I was born with a gift of seeing people's true intentions and almost always judge a person's character correctly. If you have this gift listen to it.

22. Beauty fades on the outside. Be beautiful on the inside too.

23. Do not change your beliefs, morals, or goals for anyone. If they are meant to be in your life then they will just fit.

24. If your father, mother, or family does not like someone you are dating or hanging out with there is probably a reason. Ask why and actually listen.

25. Speak your mind respectfully and follow your heart. For years I bottled up my thoughts and opinions for fear of being judged. DON'T DO THIS. "Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway."

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

SRE Crew!

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Blog #1- From teacher to.....well i'm not sure yet
Not-so-quick catch up- I have taught for four years as a second grade teacher. I moved with Ike to OKC and I find myself wondering what in the heck I am going to do with myself. I have said since we got the news that I am going to stay home and nanny. Yes I am still trying to convince myself of this. I have not ever known anything but teaching. What am I thinking? I have the chance to stay home, yet I am still hanging on to the small idea of going back at least part time. Why  would I want to go back you might ask? Because Sendera Ranch Elementary was my home. It was my life and I was good at it. It gave me the ability to act on the compulsion to always be in control (a trait that all teachers have...admit it). It gave me the feeling of being needed. It gave me the comfort of acceptance every day. It gave me the ability to add my personality into small bits and pieces. What is the part I will miss the most though? The badass teacher friends I made along the way ( a perk I have found about not teaching is that I can say badass without feeling a bit of guilt...badass...yep that feels good)! We were there for each other. Even if they weren't on the same team as me. Even if we weren't at the same school together.

I look back and see Wendy and I. We started together from the beginning. I remember going into her room and crying my first year telling her that I didn't know what in the hell I was doing or when I was attacked like a spider monkey in the classroom. I remember when Eli was born and the scare we had when we thought he was coming too early. I also remember meeting her and thinking that she talked really fast...I can now translate Wendy's language for anyone else. We have been through more together than most friends go through. We shared secrets and knew they would say inside the four walls. We just get each other....and I miss that.

I look back at this year and see Heather. Heather was the silent and steady one. I always went to her freaking out or raged by my very short temper. She would listen, shake her head, and give a few words of comfort/advice. She was the momma bird of the group. The one you could go to for anything. She was never stressed, never shaken, and could handle a pack of wild monkey children like no one else. Heather had another side I seem to have brought out in her. We could be completely inappropriate together and know that neither judged. We joked about other things too, but those things cannot be discussed or I would have to kill you.

I look back and see Nicki. She was as loud and as outspoken as me. We were attached to one another (literally our rooms were attached) and we would often find ourselves coming to one another saying the same things! We were different than one another in many ways, yet blended perfectly. When I was shaken she would vent right along with me. When she was shaken, I was there too. The best part about Nicki is that she will make you laugh until you pee your pants. Her laugh is loud and contagious. I will miss laughing along with her next year and I know she will miss this Oklahoma white trash ;)

Now the last person I am going to write a eulogy on is Becky Bragg. She is my partner from the year before and my alter ego. I swear that if I came back to life as someone else, I would come back as her. We are SCARY alike. We can talk about nothing...seriously nothing. It is usually wildly inappropriate and would make most beleieve that we are both insane. I can call her and she will give me an honest answer. She will tell me when I am right and when I am wrong, even if she knows it's not what I want to hear. She gives it to me straight and I do the same for her. She knows me better than most. She knows that I can be a little crazy. She knows I cuss like a sailor. She knows my heart and my intentions. She know the whole me. If you don't know should. She's amazing.

Small side notes about other memories I carry with me:
  • Shea and her sweet notes just when you need them. Our venting sessions too.
  • The third grade team at last years Christmas party. Y'all were freaking hilarious. I'm pretty sure Cheesecake Factory appreciated that we finally left.
  • Kim and her sweet karaoke skills
  • Megan and our math video "I love balls!"
  • Jean and I at happy hour. Even if it was just us two
  • Bev letting me vent...a little too often
  • Cheri's voice when she reads to kids. It's pretty special.
  • Sarah D and I at daycare duty...and happy hour....and out to dinner
  • Michelle and her book....
  • Suzie and her talk with me before I got married. Use your imagination.
  • Jessica, Mary, and their hilarious convos with Sarah and I at the end of last year
  • Hayley and her calling me every time there was a storm. I promise I won't let you die ;)
  • Cyndee and I in the storage closet during training trying to be as modest as possible.
  • Amy Morgan's dry sense of humor. I wasn't around it much, but when I was I loved it!
  • Melissa Bufe's faith- enough said
  • Merideth and her funny dry jokes
  • Betty always asking about my family in OKC and genuinely caring.
  • Tracey speaking up when we were all thinking it
  • Lisa in staff development. She was fun, light hearted, and hilarious
  • Emma for her sweet voice greeting the kids every day
  • Amanda and I sharing looks in the hallway. Will we make it through the day?
  • Courtney and her calm voice. She is quiet, but when she talks it means something
  • Clair and our coffee visits in the morning
  • Valerie on LSU days.
  • Christina and her jokes that we all laughed at including her. She is a hoot
  • Pat and the awesome art work she always stayed late to hang
  • Charity and her stories at lunch. She cracks me up
  • Jim and I at Fred Jones training trying to keep a straight face as we gave "the look"
  • Jaime and her smile...ALWAYS a smile. Its contagious
  • Frank greeting the kids as they came into gym and my comments of "run them to death" more often than not.
  • Brandy and her kind heart. She is sincere and a beautiful person.
  • Danette these last few months. She is wonderful and I love her opinions. She helped second grade out more than she will ever know.
  • Jenn and her sweet voice on the Kinder website a few years ago. It brought me to tears. I only wish I had a voice like that.
  • Delany and her awesome attitude. She was always up beat even when I knew it would have been way too much for me to handle so gently.
  • And anyone else that I was not intentional. I'm sure I have a crazy memory of us too!
I have several other memories that are flooding my brain, however I know I must stop typing an everlasting blog. I hope I covered everyone. My point is this: you all hold a special place in my heart. I am going to resist the temptation to go back to teaching for the sole fact that I am where I need to be. I am with Kinley. Plus, I hardly beleive that I would bond with anyone the way that I did with the SRE crew. You are amazing. Thanks for the memories! That is all.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Life is about to change

I guess the time has come to spread the the song says "it's hard to find the perfect time to say something you know is gonna change everything." After lots of sleepless nights Ike and I have decided to move to Oklahoma City. Ike has accepted a position as a drilling engineer. Over the next 4 months our lives will drastically change. Ike will be leaving for OKC in 3 weeks to start his new career and I will be staying behind to finish my year as a teacher. We will be living separately...I know how hard this is going to be. I think Ike will have the hardest time being away from his sweet baby girl. We got an iPad so he can do FaceTime with us. That way even when he is not with us he can see Kinley. A lot of traveling is in our future! While Ike is away we will be staying with my in laws who have offered to put up with Kinley and I during this time. It will eliminate travel time in the morning and make the days not so lonely. I have the best and most supportive in laws.....without them we may not have had the courage to go. We are hoping to sell the house quickly! We shall see....once we get it sold we will get a rental home. Until then Ike will be living with my father. Lots of questions have been asked about what I will do when I get there. The answer is that I have no idea. Teachers get paid $11,000 less than what I make now and I am somewhat looking at it as a new start. I am driving myself crazy trying to figure out what I want to do. I guess I will cross that bridge when I get there.
I cannot tell you how incredibly bittersweet this is for me. It has always been my dream, even as a little girl, that my family would all be together. My bother and I have been apart since I was 9, my father and I since I was 5, and my mother and step father for the past 2 years. That doesn't even cover the cousins and grandparents. Ike is making one of my wishes come true and one of his! He is becoming an engineer just as he wanted to be. We know that it will open many doors and create a better life in the long run. Financially we will be able to support Kinley through college and become more stable. On the other hand, we are leaving the only thing we have ever known and leaving behind Ike's parents and his brother. My heart is so torn and aches for the pain I know they will feel when they miss Kinley. I feel guilt every time I think about it and know that there are many more tears to come. I pray every night that their hearts find comfort. I know how much I miss my I know how much they will miss us.

As for now, we are taking it a day at a time. We will miss our friends and family here dearly, but will visit often and they can visit us. Stay tuned for the updates.... It will be quite the ride!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Blog Challenge and Assignment 1

I have taken on a challenge that I am actually pretty excited about! A group of fabulous women are writing to a topic/prompt each week by Sunday. Since I am a new mom, I am way behind on assignment #1 so I will make it short and sweet. The others will be more thought out and a lot more interesting....promise! For those of you who are addicted or enjoy blogging, feel free to join in. You know how I love to read about others....not that i'm nosey, but more that I just want to know you. Anyway, for assignment #1 we were to write about our dream vacation. Anyone who even remotely knows me knows that I am in love with the ocean, so for my first stop I would go to Austrailia!

Australia has such a laid back's full of wildlife that I love and of course is surrounded by ocean.

 I would snorkel and dive in the Great Barrier Reef,
and enjoy the cuisine and wine taste every night. Heck I may even hang with the koalas and box a kangaroo!

Next stop would be a bit East to New Zealand. New Zealand is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. It has beautiful mountains and incredible beaches. Who could want more? I would tour the countryside, check out the beaches, and do some hiking.

The last place in my adventure vacation would be my all time favorite stop. I would have to be dragged home by my hair. I'm afraid to visit, because I may never come back. Where am I talking about? That would be the beautiful Islands of Fiji. What would I do there? Absolutely nothing! I want to stay in a hut that extends out on the water with complete privacy. I want it to be so private that if I felt like swimming in my birthday suit it would be completely acceptable...who likes tan lines anyway? I am even having difficulty picking out pictures to share as I type, because they are all so breathtaking.....but, I guess all good things must come to an end. I would end my dream vaca with lots of memories, adventures to tell, and no tan lines ;) Guess I need to apply for my passport huh?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Therapy and Insight

Blogging is like therapy.. Some read blogs because they relate. Some read blogs because they are nosy. Some read blogs because they have nothing to do. I would like to believe that most read blogs because they genuinely like the person writing them. Whoever and however you are, I hope these 25 facts about me help you find something we have in common, feeds your curiosity (I knew it!), passes your time, or reinforces why you and I are friends in the first place.This has nothing to do with my sweet angel. I thought it would be fun to do something about me. A little self reflection...So my therapy begins...

1. I am extremely hot tempered and stubborn, but hide it extremely well
2. I hate competition, but I CAN"T STAND people who thrive on competition even more
3. I love pirates
4. I have an alter ego that I hide inside me. I love tattoos, art, and attitude
5. I don't judge anyone right off the bat, which has developed in me as I have grown into adulthood. I give everyone a chance no matter their looks, race, color, sexual orientation, etc. I do, however, judge if you have given me a reason to.
6. Once my trust is broken it is almost impossible to fully repair it
7. I'm horrible at keeping in touch with people, but would cross the U.S. for an old friend in need
8. My family is about as diverse as they come and to the outside world we look a bit crazy. I love each and every one of them just the way they are
9. I am an ultimate secret keeper
10. I dig old guys
11.I'm not a "pat myself on the back" kind of girl. I analyze everything and wonder how I could have done it better
12. I co-sleep with my child (uh-oh), breastfeed, and don't believe in "crying it out" Call me a hippie if you must
13. I don't go to church that often, but know what I believe and will back it 100%. I am strong in my belief.
14. I expect dedication in my relationships with people because I give dedication to them
15. I look back 10 years ago and don't even recognize myself
16.  I have horrible road rage
17. Family will always come first...I don't care how much money you offer me
18. I cuss...a lot, but I am working on it
19. I used to lack a backbone. That stage is over now
20. I love my job, even on the days when I think I don't. The kids need me and I need them. Loving them may be the only love they see each day. They fill my heart with joy
21. I hate medicine and often refuse to take it.
22. I love antiques and digging for treasures
23. Arrogance is disgusting to me. No one cares how much you make, who you know, how you are better than everyone else. Trust me, NO ONE wants to hear it
24.  I love with my whole heart and have been heartbroken many times before (no, not just by boys)
25. Today I am more me than I have ever been and happier with that than I have ever been. Could I be thinner? Yes....Could I make more money? Yes.....Could I move up in the world? Yes...but I am happy just where I am. I love my family and my diverse set of friends. I love my job. I love my husband and daughter. Life is good :)

I took this from a book that sits on my coffee table. "The Dash" by Linda Ellis talks to my heart every time I read it. I hope it finds a meaning in your heart too. Enjoy!

The Dash  by Linda Ellis
Copyright 1998

I read of a reverend who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end.
He noted that first came the date of her birth
And spoke of the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own;
The cars, the house, the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard,
Are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
That can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
To consider what's true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we've never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile?
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.
So, when your eulogy's being read
With your life's actions to rehash,
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

It's been a minute...

Actually it's been 2 months. Crazy how fast time flies when you have a baby and how little amount of down time you actually have.A lot has gone on since my last blog. From acid reflux, to colic, to explosive diapers...we have had our hands full to say the least! I just wanted to give friends and family a little update on Kinley's growth. Kinley will be 3 months old on July 19th. She is growing up so fast. When we took her for her 2 month checkup she was a healthy 10 lbs 13 oz (50% in weight), and 23 1/2 inches (80% in length). She also has a very small head (20%). The doctor said it was nothing to be concerned about. I myself have to buy kids hats...she got the small head from me ;) I am continuing to breastfeed, although we have been down a rough road with this. Kinley was diagnosed with reflux at 6 weeks old and spent 2 whole weeks screaming (especially during feedings) until the meds kicked in. She slept in her bouncer sitting up until this week. We have finally transitioned her to her little cot and the bed. YAY! So far Kinley is smiling, cooing, swatting at her toys on the play mat, baring weight on her legs when held in the standing position, holding her head up, and using a wide range of vowel sounds. We have conversations, however I think she is speaking French. Kinley has been sleeping 6+ hours a night straight and going 3-4 hours between feedings during the day (3-5 oz).
She just recently began her stubborn streak. She screams in her carseat until she falls asleep and lets you know when she is unhappy. I am hoping this passes quickly. Ike and I cannot wait to hear her laugh for the first time....just waiting any day now! I will post some videos soon so you can see her talking. It's pretty darn cute!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

10 "Must-Haves" in the hospital bag

I have a lot of friends who are pregnant, trying, or thinking about trying so I thought I would do a quick blurp about things to bring to the hospital. Some of these I brought and some I wish I would have brought. Here are the 10 must-haves that I came up with.

1. Your own pillow: pack 2 for the hubby and a comfy blanket. The hospital supplies are horrible and you will want to be comfy.
2. Sweatpants and a T-shirt: You are so exhausted when you go home, there is no use in trying to fit into jeans. Plus you are sore and recovering if you know what I mean. Loose is best.
3. Clothes for your hubby: He won't want to leave, so make sure there are a couple days worth of socks and underwear.
4: Big granny panties: Not attractive, but you will need them.
5. Toiletries: The shower was my is the best shower you will ever take. Bring soap, shampoo, conditioner, and make-up for visitors.
6. Snacks: hospital food=nasty
7. A preemie outfit and a newborn outfit (include socks and a hat): Kinley was too small for newborn outfits, so a preemie outfit was a must. She lived in the same 2 for the first week.
8. A swaddle: The hospital provides a blanket, but the swaddles are so much easier to use and really snug. Kinley had a cheetah print one that she LOVED! The nurses all knew who she was and called her the cheetah burrito. Great memory
9. Notepad and pen: for gifts that arrive. Trust me you won't remember who got you what
10. Camera and CHARGER: no description needed