Friday, August 31, 2007

Catching Up 5 - Wedding Day

I can’t believe tomorrow will be four weeks since the wedding! (I can’t believe I’m only blogging about it now!) Time for me to have a little fun reliving that day.

The morning began with my hair appointment.

Then it was on to my make-up appointment. I never wear make-up and therefore know very little about the products and application, so I thought it best to go to someone who knew what they were doing. I went to the department store where Mitch and I met and the women who knew us while working there were just thrilled to see me dolled up for the big day.

After my hair and make-up appointments, my bridesmaids and I all met up to get ready together. It only took four ladies to help me get into my dress! During this time, my bridesmaids gave me "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" gifts. My sister gave me old, blue butterfly pins to put in my hair; my cousin gave me an old handkerchief with a blue flower on it, sprayed with my husband's cologne; my other cousin let me borrow her blue sapphire ring; and my friend gave me an anklet with a heart attached to it. They were beautiful gifts and it was so thoughtful of the girls to do that for me.

After the girls were ready, we headed out with the photographers and spent two hours taking pictures. It was a lot of fun and I can’t wait to see how they turned out!

At 4:00, the ceremony started. We couldn't have asked for a better day. The sun was shining and there was a slight breeze. The scenery and music were beautiful and I didn’t even cry! (I guess I got it all out at rehearsal.) Instead of performing the unity candle ritual, Mitch and I did things a little differently with a unity sand service. It has the same message, two lives coming together to form one new life, but is completed by each person pouring a different color sand from their container into a new, "unified" container. I will post a picture of our jar later.

Following the ceremony was the reception, dinner, and dance. The food was delicious and the dancing was a blast. Several guests told us we should throw more of these parties! (We will be sure to do that the next time we get married!) My husband and I definitely have family and friends who know how to have a good time!

The day went by so fast, as everyone said it would. It was absolutely perfect, though – everything I hoped it would be and more.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

School Moments

Wednesday's frightening moments:

I realized I am the grown-up. This happens every day during class (as I suppose it should) and usually when I hear myself saying "this is your only warning." Yikes. I'm still waiting for one of my students to step forward and take the position.

A student of mine (a junior in high school) tells me she does not know how to calculate what her paycheck should be. Folks, this is obviously the girl to employ!

Wednesday's "I'm glad I'm a teacher" moments:

A student I had last year in Algebra I told me that Algebra II (with the other math teacher) has been really easy this year and proceeded to thank me. For what, I'm not quite sure. I'm certain this kid is smarter than me - he probably should be teaching my classes.

A parent told me that her son was hoping to have me for a teacher again this year because I explain things really well. Apparently he wasn't paying attention during class.

Monday, August 27, 2007

First Day

Today was my first day of school with the students. I had a very good day and I think the year will go well. I definitely have a lot of good, fun kids in my group. And of course, I already know what students I will have to look out for. They will keep me on my toes! I look forward to seeing how they all contribute to the class and can't wait to learn from each and every one of them. It's amazing how much you learn as a teacher. I've only been teaching for a year, but I learned more than I ever thought possible in that first year. It should be interesting to see what I learn this year.

Every year while growing up, my parents took a picture of my sister and me on our first day of school. We would show off our new school clothes and backpacks while pretending to be walking out the door. Well, I continued this tradition during college, for my first day of student teaching, and now as the teacher. I will, of course, have to send this picture to my mom tonight since she will be waiting to see it.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Workshop Days

The first two days back at school have gone well. While I learned nothing from the workshop yesterday - nor did any of the other teachers and the principal even admitted it was a waste of time - today's speaker wasn't too bad and the curriculum mapping (online lesson-planning) program she introduced us to was interesting. It was easy to learn how to use and I won't have any problems getting my class information entered in by January. In fact, I have a feeling I will be helping the gym teacher (whom I share a room with) quite a bit with his classes as he can barely use a mouse!

Today I also got to spend time with the other math teacher. He is so much fun and a great resource to have around. I'm very lucky to have a person like him at my school and even more lucky that he is in my discipline. Although I'm the same age as his daughters, he treats me like an adult and a professional which makes me feel more confident in my abilities. Visiting with the other teachers today put my nerves at ease and I'm feeling much more comfortable than I was even yesterday.

I have a very good feeling about my second year. I no longer have that feeling of dread I had a couple of days ago. I feel calm (even a little excited) and ready to get started. It will be fun to meet my new students and to welcome back the old (hopefully some of them matured a little over the summer). I am also getting more involved which will probably make things more fun. My husband has been coaching football at my school the past several weeks so now I really don't have an excuse to skip the games (I hate football!). I volunteered to take tickets for the first half of the games and then the second half I plan to entertain myself with my camera, playing with the settings in hopes of getting a good action shot. I will also be yearbook and prom advisor this year. The teacher who worked on the yearbook the last ten years decided she had done it long enough, so I volunteered to take over. I thought it might be something I'd like to do and I'm looking forward to getting started on that. Should be interesting! Last year I was prom advisor and the principal wants me to do it again this year, so I agreed. No one else wants to do it and it's kind of fun getting caught up in the magic of it all. Although, it does make me feel a little old. It's hard staying up that late!

Needless to say I'm going to have a busy year, but it's going to be a good year. Two is my number, after all.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Time Will Tell

Tomorrow I start my back-to-school workshop days. On Monday I meet my new students. I cannot believe how fast the summer went! I'm really not ready to go back. My husband thinks it's because I won't be able to sleep in late and watch my "programs" on TV. While I will miss those things, I'm not ready to go back because I'm nervous. Not "first day" nervous, but "future" nervous.

Last April I wrote the following:

My first year of teaching has been awful. I've hated it. During student teaching, I knew I had found what I wanted to do with my life. It wasn't exactly a 'calling' but I enjoyed my days and went to bed every night excited to go back the next day. It was a lot of fun. This year is quite the opposite. I have a hard time getting through my day and at night I dread getting up the next day to go back. I've begun the countdown to the last day of school (18!) and cannot wait to be free from those negative feelings I've been carrying around. I don't quite understand why things are so bad or what I can do to make them better, but I'm hoping and praying that things turn around. It's okay to hate a 'job,' but to hate your career is another story. A career is suppose to hold a future for you and I'm extremely worried because mine may not.

Needless to say, the frustration and anxiety from work has carried over to every other aspect of my life. My fiance has had to deal with a lot. From the complaining the minute I step in the door to the sobbing at night - the list goes on and on. Bless his heart for being such a trooper. My friendships have suffered as well. I retreated into my shell and only recently have come back out to play. Thank goodness they are so understanding and welcomed me back with open arms.

I do not want to go back to feeling the way I did during the school year. I want to stay the happy, excited person that I've been these past three months. I'm trying to stay positive and think of all the things that brought me into teaching. I'm trying to remember the good things that have happened in the classroom and that there will be more of those kinds of days in the future. I learned a great deal last year - things that can be used this year to make life easier. Though my planning becomes less stressful, all that knowledge does not necessarily put the drive in my heart. You can fill your brain with all the information you want but it can't make you feel. I do not want to turn into the robot I was last year - it's precious moments of my life that I'm wasting and it's definitely not fair to my students. They deserve to have the enthusiastic, creative teacher I know I can be.

So with butterflies in my stomach, I start my second year of teaching. As much as I love butterflies, I want to see these fly away. I hope this year shows me where I should be, what I should be doing. Perhaps next year I will be in the classroom again, dealing only with the simple, "first day" butterflies. Time will tell.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Catching Up 4 - The Day Before

The day before my wedding was nice and relaxing. My sister, cousin, and I had lunch at a local restaurant located inside a drug store. I never knew the restaurant existed - apparently you can still learn new things about your hometown after 26 years! When my sister told me about the place and mentioned that every Friday they had cheesebuttons, I was sold. The place was buzzing with cute little old people and business people on their lunch breaks. The meal was delicious and on our way out my cousin was able to buy a tube of rash cream! It doesn't get much better than that!

That evening, we worked on our fingernails and then I got in some quality alone time with my sister. We talked about our past, the present, and where we were going in the future. We laughed, we cried - the usual sister stuff. I wanted to get to bed early, but that didn't happen. Once I finally did turn the lights out, I didn't sleep all that well. I tossed and turned all night. My heart would not stop fluttering in my chest and my stomach insisted on doing somersault after somersault despite all the PeptoBismol I was feeding it. I was quite relieved when the morning came.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Catching Up 3 - Rehearsal

Rehearsal was two days before the wedding. August 2 at 2:00. Our pastor thought this a perfectly humorous time as we had previously decided on August 4 at 4:00 for the wedding. Why not August 3 at 3:00? Well, she had another wedding to officiate on Friday, so lucky for me we got to have all our events on even days at even times!

The day was absolutely beautiful, which worked out great since our ceremony was to take place outdoors. I kept my fingers crossed that the day of the wedding would be just as beautiful as rehearsal. After introductions were made and a welcome prayer was said, our pastor went through the wedding day events. Surprisingly it was my bridesmaids that got in trouble with the pastor for talking and not the groomsmen!

Everything went fine and dandy (I mean, how hard is it to pretend you're walking down an aisle?) until the vows. I surprised myself with a stomach full of butterflies and then bawling while trying to get my half of the vows out. I never expected that to happen! Needless to say, I was unable to use my outdoor voice as the pastor had instructed. My husband on the other hand does not have an indoor voice, so he had no problems.

After rehearsal we all headed over to my in-law's house for dinner, games, and chit-chat. I had so much fun. We have great families and chose a wonderful wedding party!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Does anyone else crave weird things when they are sick? I've been down with the flu the past three days and all I can think about eating today is pickles. And not the pickle spears - I want the little round ones that come on burgers.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Catching Up 2 - Stickers & Flowers

I've been doing a wonderful job at avoiding the thank-you cards. They are still not done. (My mom should never have told me she just got her thank-you card from a wedding she attended in June.) My husband said we need to do them tonight after dinner since he won't have any time during the week so I thought I had better blog while I can.

The day after our photo outing, my sister and I got to spend more quality time together playing with stickers. My husband and I bought little stickers with cute phrases such as "Happily Ever After" and "To Have and to Hold" to put on the bottom of Hershey Kisses. It was a fun little project. Of course, my sister had a system and got way more Kisses done than me but in my defense I did have to get pictures to document the day!

Two days later (two days before the wedding), my sister and I were back in the living room with our cousin working on the bridesmaid's bouquets. The flower lady was apparently color blind and thought when I said I wanted the bouquets to have purple and white tulips that I really meant I wanted purple and hot pink tulips! Needless to say we all thought they looked horrible so my sister and cousin, being the crafty girls they are, offered to help me tear them apart and redo them. This mistake turned out to be a little blessing. The three of us had a blast and the bouquets looked a lot better after we did them than they had when we received them. This made us think we should go into the wedding planning business. As if that wouldn't be a little crazy!

Saturday, August 11, 2007


Last night my husband (husband!) and I deviated from our Friday night pizza routine to join my cousins at their place for jambalaya and cornbread. My cousin loves cooking and I'm not one to pass up a home-cooked meal, especially something I've never had before. The meal was absolutely delicious - you can't go wrong with chicken, sausage, and shrimp mixed together with rice! It's definitely a dish I would like to make myself in the future. Thanks, Mollie, for the wonderful meal. I can't wait to do it again!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Catching Up 1 - Sister Day

I have quite a bit of catching up to do so I thought I would avoid thank-you cards and school work a little longer and work on my blog. Can you blame me?

I recently spent a week and a half back in my hometown, preparing for and celebrating my wedding. My next few posts are going to cover all the things I was able to do and share with my friends and family during that time.

The evening I arrived home, my mother and I went downtown to visit my sister at her booth at the outdoor public marketplace. Every Thursday during the summer, local artists, crafters, food vendors, farmers, and entertainers gather on the streets to showcase their talents and sell their goods. My sister is one of the many, talented individuals involved and I'm thrilled that she's helping bring a little culture to our way-too-conservative state. While visiting, I looked through some of the photos she had for sale and was awestruck. She had amazing work displayed and it inspired me. We decided then and there to go out and spend an afternoon taking photos.

While we didn't get a whole afternoon with our cameras - it was more like an hour - we both got some wonderful shots. We only made it one block from her apartment so that means we have a lot more of the city to cover next time I get home. I can't wait! It was a fun time and it made me realize how lucky I am to have a sister with whom I can share this hobby. Below is one of my favorite shots from the day.