Candid over Coffee ~ 1.20.2017

Today’s coffee conversation is actually happening over sweet tea. Chik-fil-A sweet tea, to be precise. I ran out of coffee last night — oh, the horror — so I couldn’t prep any coffee for this morning. I probably wouldn’t have felt like putting it together last night anyway as I got home late after judging All-State Chorus auditions all evening. When my alarm went off this morning, I remembered that there was no coffee waiting for me downstairs, so I hit my snooze button several times. Several times. After seeing how bare my pantry was, I decided chicken biscuits were the way to go, and I just can’t go to Chik-fil-A without getting a large sweet tea. I am a Georgia girl, after all.

I’m ready for the weekend. It has been a great week at work, but I’m tired and ready to be at home with my boys. It’s supposed to rain all weekend, so I’m planning on bumming it in my favorite sweats and slippers while watching movies and playing Legos and Lincoln Logs with the kiddos. I am also anxious to catch up on some reading. I’m in the middle of a book called The Oregon Trail by Rinker Buck. I’ve never heard of this author before, but I came across this book on a table at Barnes & Noble. Let me just stop first and say how much I relish an afternoon of wandering around Barnes & Noble. I could spend hours in there. So on an afternoon of perusing the best sellers last summer, I found this non-fiction book and was intrigued. It’s all about two brothers who travel across the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon. They follow old maps and current stone markers to travel in the still visible wagon wheel ruts of the pioneers. Except they are doing it all in our modern day world.

My husband thought it completely random that I bought this book. Since when did I have an interest in such a topic? I do like history, but I’ve never given much thought to the settlers in the West. And yet, this idea was so crazy and interesting to me. A few weeks ago I finally was able to start reading it, and I’m fascinated! I’ve learned so much and have found it so interesting. Rinker Buck is a talented writer who really did his research and has some incredible life experiences to share.

Can you imagine going on such an adventure? Every time I put the book down, I’m left wanting to jump in the car and put hundreds of miles on the odometer. There are too many states in our own country that I haven’t seen, and I am getting anxious to see new sights and meet new people. I’ve been blessed to travel out of the country just a handful of times, but it’s not enough. I want to see more of this great big world.

While I’m not really in a position to pack my bags for a road trip right now (3 young children and that whole job thing) I am realizing that it’s something I want to make happen when possible. I’m thankful for books like this one that can allow me to share in wild adventures that others have had while planning my own. I would love to know — what are you reading right now? What crazy desires has your book planted in your head?

 

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Candid over Coffee ~ 1.13.17

I’ve missed my Friday updates these last couple of weeks — oops! I was sick over the last few days of 2016 (food poisoning–lovely). Then on January 4th, I went back to work.

So let’s catch up, shall we?

I went back to work. On January 4th. Yes, that is the big thing in my life right now. I’m adjusting to being back on a busy schedule. It’s still not going to be our “normal” yet. My husband was laid off from his job a few months ago, and so he is still at home right now. That means my littlest guy does not have to go to daycare yet, which makes this mommy happy. Still, I am away from him and missing him like crazy. He IS pretty wonderful.

On the flip side, it is really good to be back in the classroom. Going back to the early mornings has been brutal, but my students have welcomed me back enthusiastically and are excited to be singing with me again. That has made it much easier to come back. It feels good to be at the piano again and teaching new music. I’ve tried out some new lesson plans that have been really successful, and my fellow teachers know what a great feeling that is. I can’t say enough about what fabulous kids I have in my program this semester, and so they keep me smiling and they keep me motivated. I’m counting on a great spring semester.

My coffee habit has served me well since going back to work. My coffee maker is prepped the night before and starts running at 4:40AM. It’s a good thing I am the only one up at that time because no one in my house would like me very much. After that first cup of coffee, I begin to feel like I can leave the house after all. Then I continue to drink coffee until about 10:30, at which point I switch to water. Or sometimes sweet tea. I prefer the sweet tea, if we’re being honest.

Regardless of how grumpy I feel upon waking up after a night of too little sleep (because EVERY night is like that these days), I am aware of how richly God has blessed me and how He has given me a purpose in my family and in my classroom. I’m ready to see what He has in store for me in this new year. So ready.


 

The New Year is Here!

I can’t start a new year without writing down my resolutions. It’s just what I do. Every. Single. Year. And they typically look the same.

Eat healthier.

Cook at home more often.

Get organized.

Be more active. Exercise.

Keep a clean house. Tackle chores daily.

And then, when February rolls around and I haven’t stuck to my resolutions, I get stressed out and then beat myself up over failing at things I think I should be able to do as an adult.

By the way, this whole “adulting” thing has lost its novelty. It’s overrated, really.

2016 was a tough year. My family dealt with the loss of loved ones, changes in jobs, and the stress that attaches itself to such major changes. God allowed us to walk this difficult road, and He also decided that 2016 is when we needed our precious new baby to arrive and bring us new joy in the midst of our pain. It was quite a year. Things did not always go the way I had planned, that’s for certain, and I found myself getting so caught up in striving to achieve my idea of the perfect mom/teacher/homemaker/cook/volunteer that when I faltered – which was daily – I felt like a tremendous failure and became overwhelmed with frustration. This frustration then overflowed in to my daily interactions with the ones I love the most, which was the last thing I wanted. We had too much going on last year and instead of cutting myself some slack, I beat myself up. So this year, I am resolving to give myself a break. No more stressing out over a lesson plan that didn’t go exactly the way I envisioned it. No more losing my cool when the house gets messy.  No more getting upset because my to do list didn’t get done.

To do lists. That’s another thing that has to change this year. I am big on making lists, and I always, ALWAYS fill them with a 33 hour workload and then kick myself over not having it done when it’s time to go to bed 18 hours later. No more! I am resolving to scale back on things that “have” to get done each day, and instead prioritize what really needs to get done. New items on my to do list will include playing in the floor with my boys, sitting down to talk with my husband, and taking plenty of deep breaths when the day gets crazy, as it surely will.

2016 taught me that you never know what is around the corner. Interruptions come, both big and small. A year ago, I would not have guessed that our lives would look like they do right now. Even on a small scale, sticking to my plans for the day can be tricky with high school students and three young sons. I have to accept this truth and adjust accordingly. Now, hopefully someone can remind me that I wrote these words when the craziness of 2017 sets in.