I attribute my love for coffee to my grandmothers. While my mom loathes the taste of coffee, my Granny always drank her morning coffee, and my Grandma can not function without it. Coffee is a staple for my day, and it has to come early in my morning routine. When I was a kid and would spend the night at my Grandma’s house, my siblings and I knew the rule: don’t talk to Grandma until she has had her coffee. This was not a joke, either. I can remember coming out of the bedroom to find Grandma sitting by the window overlooking her rose bushes as she stared out at the North Georgia mountains. I could usually tell if she had just poured her coffee, in which case I went back to my bedroom to read for a few minutes while she had her quiet time.
I now hear myself telling my boys that “mommy needs some quiet time” while I drink my coffee. Like my Grandma, I am not a morning person, but coffee helps me cope. As my siblings will tell you, this is just one of many traits that I inherited from my Grandma. I think she is smart to have always insisted on quiet time in the mornings. I have found that when I can get it, my quiet moments in the morning with a hot cup of joe in my hands are precious for many reasons. Mostly, it gives me a chance to reflect. Put the smartphone down, turn the tv off, and just think. That’s when I am really “candid” with myself.
If you google the word, candid is defined as being “truthful and straightforward; frank.” My goal in creating this blog was to be truthful and straightforward about life as a high school choral director, both in and out of the classroom. Sometimes it’s easy to be candid on social media and in our conversations with others, but other times it can be difficult. Sometimes our life is just not going as planned. Other times, we are so distracted that we are missing a lot of what is going on around us. How often do we just sit without distractions? Really, when was the last time you just sat still, alone, and without looking at a screen? For me, it is rare. Too often, if I have a free moment, I am picking up my phone and scrolling through Facebook, or I am adding items to my “to do” list. I spend my work days with over 150 teenagers and then come home to three children under the age of 5. I need time to just be still.
This time to myself is best accompanied by lots of caffeine poured in to a mug that has a special memory attached to it. It is so good to be able to “just sit.” So today, I am reminding myself that my Grandma has it right when she makes her coffee time a priority. It’s ok for me to tell the kids that Mommy will be better after she has had her coffee time. That Grandma of mine is a smart woman.
Waiting for fireworks to start after our 4th of July Family Picnic, 2009
It’s an early morning for our first coffee chat. Our new addition to the family decided to start the day at 5:15AM. That really shouldn’t be so bad since I’m typically up by 5AM when I’m working. However, since little man refuses to go to bed before midnight, I wasn’t particularly appreciative of the early start today. Really, if I am being honest, I have nothing to complain about. Today is his two month birthday, and he typically sleeps through the night. My first two never slept–even still, my oldest routinely gets up at least once a night. It has been awesome having a baby that sleeps so much. I know it can’t possibly last. In fact, it probably will change right about the time that I return to work.
Return to work. That time will be here in the blink of an eye. I’ve already started taking some time to do some lesson and rehearsal planning for when I return to the classroom. This is my first maternity leave that has lasted longer than 8 weeks. I took 8 weeks with my first child due to difficulties at home. What difficulties? While we were still in the hospital after the birth of our son, our best friend went by our house to feed our dogs. When he arrived, he found water running out the back door. A pipe had burst in our upstairs bathroom and had flooded most of the house. We couldn’t even come home to stay with our new baby. Instead, we went to live with my Grandmother that first week -oh how thankful I was to be with her during such a stressful time. When we got the ok from ServePro to come back home, we lived out of the bonus room and guest bathroom for about four weeks. When it was time for the contractors to come in and try to put our house back together (seriously, they had to rebuild walls, ceilings, new floors, everything), we moved in to a hotel room for two weeks. Throughout this craziness, my husband had just started a new job with his company and was having to put in extra hours at the office in addition to managing the problems with our house, insurance claims, and being a new father. It. was. nuts. We moved back home about a week before I returned to work. On my second maternity leave, our house behaved itself and I only took 6 weeks. That was still tough. With this pregnancy, I knew I would take an extended leave. What a difference it has made! Especially since it has been during the holidays.
Holidays. All music teachers have particularly crazy holiday seasons due to extra rehearsals, holiday performances, and more. While I still have my church’s musical program to prepare for and perform in, it has felt very odd to not be working on Christmas music with students. I have actually really missed it. I am hoping my students are loving the holiday music I picked for their winter concert. I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t get to work on it with them, because I happened to love the music I picked out for them. Holiday music is some of the best work we do all year. Who can be in a bad mood when you are singing Christmas music? It certainly simplifies classroom management when everyone is in a good mood and they are enjoying the task at hand.
My little guy is done with his morning nap (which was much too short) and so it’s time for me to refill my Christmas mug with one more cup of coffee and turn my attention back to him. Thanks for reading my random Friday morning train of thoughts. I’m hoping to share more of my scatter-brained self on Fridays, which means a lot of random ramblings, and in between the Friday posts I hope to offer some helpful articles for the classroom and that life you’re supposed to have outside of the classroom.
Almost a year ago, I decided I needed a new coffee maker. More importantly, a bigger coffee maker. While I love my Keurig Mini and my tiny French Press, a measly six ounces of caffeine wasn’t getting the job done.
I researched coffee makers for days – I was not messing around. I finally found one that keeps up to 8 cups of coffee hot in a reserve tank, so all I would have to do after making coffee is push my mug up against a small lever and I would immediately be served hot coffee – for up to four hours after I made it.
I bought it. I loved it. I drank excessive amounts of coffee every day for a month.
And then I found out I was pregnant. I had to back off of the caffeine, and so with a sad face, I put the Goliath coffee maker in the back of the pantry.
About two weeks ago, I excitedly put my practically-brand-new coffee maker back in it’s spot on the kitchen counter and I have fallen in love all over again. I love sitting in my living room with my hot cup of coffee and having a few moments of reflection. It’s always my chance to let my mind work through some of the things ahead of me in the day or consider things going on in my life, both good and bad. It does me a world of good to just take time to sit and let my thoughts wander and roam.
If it’s good with you, my friends, I would like to start a new series on the blog. I’ll be here on Friday mornings with my cup of coffee, sharing some of my thoughts for the week. I would love for you to join me and jump in to the conversation with me! Brew some coffee…two cups, at least…and pop on over to the blog!