Saturday, March 31, 2012

Thankful for Slicing Challenge

I've made it!  Even though I haven't sliced every single day, I am proud of slicing when I could.  I have learned a lot about myself and others.  The comments people made really made me think of myself as a writer, which I've never really thought of before.  I write in a reflective journal everyday, but to do with slicing and knowing others are going to read it was a little much to get used to first. I am so glad I got over it because I loved it!  Thanks to the other ruth for showing me about slicing and getting me hooked!  I'm already looking forward to next March!  I may even slice every so often on my blog just for the fun of it!  :)  I've also enjoyed reading other slices.  A lot of them have made me think about things I've never really thought of before or look through something in a different perspective.  All in all, this experience made me better and I thank you for that!   

Thursday, March 29, 2012

My Niece & Nephew

I have a nephew named Gavin who is 9 years old.  He is a great kid.  He looks identical to my brother.  It's absolutely crazy!  He walks like him, talks like him, even has the same mannerisms.  He's a lot of fun to be around.  I just wish I could be with him more often.  He lives in the Valparaiso area.  We will be celebrating his birthday this weekend.  I'm excited to see him and see what he has been up to.  The one thing that is becoming pretty obvious is the fact that he is so well-rounded.  He loves so many different things.  He loves to read, loves math, loves to play all sorts of sports, is skateboarder, and that boy loves candy!!!  His favorite game to play right now is what he calls, 'Favorite'.  Who's is your favorite movie star...favorite basketball team...favorite song...I love playing that game with him!!  I not only learn so much about him, but it really makes me think about my favorite things.  It's a lot of fun.

I also have niece named Zoe who is five years old.  She is the daughter of a different brother.  She is a HOOT!!  She cracks me up all the time.  She is really into Scooby Doo, lizards and frogs.  She is such a tomboy, but loves her princess things too.  Her favorite phrase is, "Awkward!".  Oh my!!  It gets me everytime.  I get to see her more often because she lives only about 30 minutes.  She'll be starting kindergarten next year.  My family says she acts the same way I did when I was 5 years old.  If that's the case, then her kindergarten teacher better have good summer because she'll definitely be a handful!!

All in all, my nephew and niece are the brightspots of my life and I love being an aunt.  It's a fun job to make them feel special and to let them know that I'll be there for them no matter what. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Buzz of a Classroom

I really do love my class this year.  I have so many entertaining stories to share and we've grown so much as a team.  The one thing that has really struck me recently is the way they truly care and respect each other.  Today during Math, we were working on a project.  They were in groups of four to five.  As I was circulating, trying to prompt student thinking, I noticed how many of them were encouraging one another and helping each other out.  It was incredible to witness.  I literally just stopped and looked around to take it all in.  I had one group who was really trying to help one student who was not understanding how to put some fractions on the number line.  I had another group praising a student (who has a hard time participating) for a good idea to put on the poster by giving him a high five.  Another group was working together by using talking chips to make sure that everyone had a voice in the project.  The last group was asking each other questions to justify their thinking.   It was an awesome thing to witness and I had to just stop to enjoy the learning that was taking place. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

An Embarrassing Truth

I have a confession to make that is rather embarrassing...
I laugh when people cry. 
It happened today.
First, let me give you some background. 
Hubster works third shift.  When I came home today, he was in bed sleeping.  He also has bad knees. 

So, I was feeling pretty accomplished because I got some things done after school that have been on my to-do list for awhile.  I was really ready to get home to Hubster.
I came home, put my things down, and literally ran to our bedroom. 
I yelled, "Hey, babe!"
He replied, "Hey!!"
And then it happened.
I went to give him a hug in bed and our knees accidently hit, kneecap to kneecap.
It hurt.
It hurt bad.
Hubster grabbed his knee and clung onto it.
He was having a hard time breathing, he sounded like he was crying.
I was holding in my laughs so I wouldn't make him mad. 
I was trying hard.  I was holding my breath, my nose, trying to stop my uncontrollable shaking.
But it happened.
Out came my laugh.
At first it was a little giggle.
Then, a little bellow.
Then, I couldn't stop.
I was laughing so hard, I had tears in my eyes and I was having a hard time breathing. 
I felt horrible.
I really do hate the fact that I do this, but I honestly can't help it.
I'm just glad I have a husband who understands me and doesn't get too mad at me when I laugh at his pain! 

Monday, March 26, 2012

I think I can, I think I can

Spring break is four days away!  Now, don't get me wrong, I absolutely love what I do.  I really do feel like I was put on this Earth to teach.  However, there are only FOUR days until Spring Break!!  Here's what I am looking forward to doing on my Spring Break:

1.  Reading for hours
2.  Spending more time with Hubster
3.  Being on my own schedule
4.  Not having to wake up to an alarm clock
5.  Ohhh, that was is so good it deserves another one - Not having to wake up to an alarm clock. 
6 .Going to lunch one day with Bestie
7.  Spending a day with my mom
8.  Exercising without having to wake up at 5:00
9.  Being on my own schedule for an entire week!!!
10.Being ready to come back and see my class.  :)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Where Everybody Knows Your Name....

Hubster and I have "a restaurant".
When I say "a restaurant", it's one of those where the owners know us and the waitress asks if we want our normal.
When we walk in, it's like their faces light up because they haven't seen us in awhile.
Everytime we enter, it's like I hear the faint shouts of, "NORM!"  Like they always did on the show Cheers. 
This place is a restaurant in Portage, which is about an hour an a half away.
It's a hole in the wall.
It's clean.
It's delicious.
It's our restaurant.
We found it haphazardly.  We were in Valparaiso one weekend when we were dating and were starving.  We punched in Chinese restaurant in our GPS (who we call Marvina) and the place that we punched in wasn't there.  So we drove around.  We were so hungry.  I vaguely remember looking at the steering wheel thinking that maybe that wouldn't be so bad to eat. 
Then, all of a sudden, it was there.  It looked just a little shady.  But it said Chinese Food.  Hubster and I looked at each other and shrugged our shoulders and went in. 
We ordered, we ate, we left.
On our way home Hubster confessed that he may have just eaten the best Chinese food he has ever in his whole life.
I agreed.
After several minutes of rehashing each morsel of taste we wondered if we were just thinking it was the best ever because we were to the point of starvation.
We just had to go back and try it again some time.
So, a few weeks later, we went back to test our our hypothesis.
Was it just because we were hungry or was it absolutely the best ever?
We ordered, we ate, we left.
We concluded it was the best ever. 
Now we try to go every month.  Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't.
We've been there while we were dating.
We've been there on our honeymoon.
We've been there as a married couple.
I suspect (God willing) we'll take our kids there one day,
Or maybe it will just be the place for the two of us.
Either way...
It is ours. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

My Favorite Childhood Memory

Easter is approaching quickly.  Whenever this time is near it reminds me of one of my favorite childhood memories.  It was Easter Sunday.  I was in fourth grade and my brothers were in high school.  Easters before this one were usually pretty formal.  My mom would have me help her and get the good China out and we would have our ham dinner with all of our usual fixings.  Sometimes my grandma, aunt, uncle, and cousin would be there too. 
But, this Easter it was just my immediate family.
It started out like any other Easter.  My mom woke up early to put the ham in and to start making all of the sides.  I was in the kitchen peeling the potatoes or setting the table.  My brothers and dad would be in the family room watching tv or maybe go out for a round of golf. 
On this particular Easter day, it was absolutely beautiful.  The sun was shining, the wind was gently blowing, it was in the mid 70's.  It was perfect weather. 
We had all of the food ready for our Easter dinner.  Everyone started to gather in our dining room to go through the motions of our yearly Easter get together, when suddenly, my mom said, "We should take this food and go on a picnic."  At first I thought she was kidding.  But, then my dad looked out the sliding glass window and said, "That's a great idea!"  My brothers and I looked at each other like we just entered the twilight zone or something.  My family was anything but spontaneous.  Let alone the fact that my mom and dad were agreeing on something that was going to be spontaneous. 
So, we packed up the food, packed up some games and headed to Ox-Bow park, which was about 5 minutes away. 
We got there, found a picnic table and ate our Easter dinner.  It was laid-back and actually fun.  We laughed, told stories, played games, played catch and went on a hike.  I remember thinking for the first time, "So THIS is how a family should act!"  It was great and I felt, for the first time, the FUN of dysFUNction. 

To be honest with you, I really do not have many great childhood memories.  I'm not exactly sure why this one sticks in my head, but I do think it has something to do with my family actually spending some quality time together and just enjoying each other's company.  This didn't happen very often, but it did on this Easter Sunday and it is something that I will cherish forever. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Just Be

Being a newlywed is a lot of fun.
I didn't slice yesterday because we decided to go to bed and read.
It was 7:00.
I loved just laying there and reading a book with Hubster by my side.
We read, we talked, we laughed, we fell asleep.
It was wonderful.
This week has been the cherry on top of the crazy sundae.
Hubster seems to always know exactly what I need.
I needed to chill, read, and just be...
No planning,
No thinking,
No slicing,
No evaluating,
No grading
Just be...
And read with Hubster by my side.
Yep, being a newlywed is a lot of fun. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Being a Fan

The buzz of the fans' anticipation of the game starting
The Star Spangled Banner being played by the school band
The cheers from the crowd
The whistles from the refs
The smell of popcorn
The "yes" when a three pointer is shot
The sound of the fight song
The flips of the cheerleaders
The chants from the crowds
The huddle of the teams
The sound of the buzzer
The hustle from the players
The togetherness of the team
The confidence of the players
The relief of the win

Notre Dame Girls' Basketball is going to the Sweet Sixteen, Baby!!  I feel so blessed that I was able to go to the first round games with Bestie.  Being a fan of Notre Dame basketball is so much fun.  I'm glad I have that in my life to destress myself and enjoy a great program with great kids and coaching staff.  I'm already looking forward to them playing in North Carolina on Sunday.  Go Irish!! 

Monday, March 19, 2012

15 Random Facts About Me:

1.  I've never seen the movie The Wizard of Oz - only parts of it in Spanish - but now I can say that I've seen a high school production of it
2.  I love music - all kinds - I even make up lyrics to songs to help my third graders learn stuff
3.  I've known my husband since I was in junior high
4.  I walked a half marathon with Bestie this October
5.  You've heard of a bridezilla, right?  Well, I was the exact opposite, although, my husband did become a groomzilla.  I haven't been the same since.
6.  I am terrified of mice
7. I played softball in high school.  Every spring, I reminisce and truly miss it. 
8.  My all time favorite movie is The Sound of Music
9.  I've been to Spain and Italy.
10.  I used to live in Bakersfield, California.
11.  When I was younger, Math was my worst subject.  I was not good at it at all.  Now, I'm perceived as this Mathie at school and it makes me chuckle in my head every time. 
12.  I have a very inappropriate sense of humor
14.  I'm superstitious - notice the number above is missing
15. I make lists...a lot!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Weekend by the Numbers

The PERFECT Weekend

25 pages scrapbooked
4 walks
4 excellent meals
28 hours of sleep
1 good book
2 calls to Hubster
3 hours of traveling
11 songs sang aloud with Bestie
1 massage
2 trips to Rite-Aid
27 ladybugs
8 flights of stairs
2 trips to scrapbooking stores
2 tickets to the first round of basketball at Notre Dame
2 outfit changes during the game
1 victory for Notre Dame girls basketball
1 giant hug and kiss from Hubster when I got home
Countless laughs

Saturday, March 17, 2012

My Best Friend

There's nothing quite like the love of a best friend. 
My bestie knows me like no other.
We've been through thick and thin.
When we laugh together, I can literally feel the stress lift off me.
I can also feel the joy in my heart.
When she hurts...I am lost.
When she is happy...I am estatic.
When she is sad...I'm sending out positive thoughts.
When she is peeved...I laugh.  :)
When she is with me...I am happy!
There's nothing quite like the love of a best friend. 

Right now I am at Camp Amigo with my best friend.  We came here yesterday and it has been so much fun as soon as I stepped into her house and we were getting ready to leave.  I took a half day yesterday and felt kind of like a rebel leaving the school building in the middle of the day.  I had that feeling of, "What if I get caught?"  Knowing full well I had planned for this day for weeks.  Putting my car into reverse, sliding my sunroof open, and allowing the fresh air to overtake me.  Ahhhhhhh, this is the stuff!! 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My Weekend Awaits

I have had such a crazy, chaotic, whirlwind type of week.

This weekend has come at THE perfect time. 

2 days of:

Come Monday, I'll be a brand new woman ready to conquer another week! 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hand in Hand

Today was the perfect weather day.  The sun was shining, the breeze was blowing, the birds were chirping.  After school today, Hubster and I went on a walk around our neighborhood.  I love it when we get to do this.  We just walk hand in hand and talk about anything and everything.  But most of all, we connect.  Our conversation flows just like our fingers are intertwined, weaving in and out of topics seamlessly, yet it all fits together perfectly.   

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Do You Have Any Kids?

Do you have any kids?

To most this is a very simple question.  It is either yes or no. 

For me, it's just mostly complex.

You would think I would have a response to this question already prepared so when I am asked I can just say something and it would be done.  But every time I am asked, it surprises me and I stumble not knowing how to find the words to encompass what I would like to portray. 

Do I have any kids?
Well, yes, I do.  However, he is no longer with me. 
If I would say this then maybe the assumption could be that he was taken away from me, which he was.  Or maybe he is now living with someone else, which he is not. 

Do I have any kids?
No, I don't. 
This response feels dirty to me.  I did have a kid and he was the sunshine of my life for 13 years.  He actually still is.  This response is not fair to Tyler and all that he was and what we were together.
There was one time when I actually did respond with a no.  I felt guilty and teared up about for weeks.  During my darker moments, I stll feel regret that I said no.  I felt like I betrayed Tyler and swore to myself that I would never do that again, no matter how awkward my response is.

Do I have any kids?
Yes, however, he passed away a couple of years ago. 
This is the response that I usually go with.  It hurts to say it every time.  It was harder to say when I had to switch the time from one year ago to a couple.  Ouch...that will always sting.  After it is said, there is a long pause because the other person is processing or trying to find words of comfort.  I usually just smile and say something like, "Don't worry about it, I am just thankful that I was his mommy." 

And I am.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sleep ~ Who needs it?

Sleep ~ who needs it? 

When I go to bed, I am so ready.  I fall right to sleep.  But then,


Around 3:00, my eyes pop open and my Brain


It's pretty indecisive as to when to shut off.  Sometimes it's just for a few minutes, sometimes it's just for an hour, today it was for two.  So, I am


My brain has a mind of its own because all I want to do is


But it has other topics in mind, like what I need to do at school, I wonder how (insert any name here) is really doing, what should I wear tomorrow?, I really need to shedule to get my oil changed, I wonder if I'll be able to sleep all the way through the night tomorrow..etc...etc...etc...

The thing about my brain, is that it doesn't realize that I will


I won't let it get the best of me.  I will go on throughout my day scoffing at it when I do something even when I am tired.


Yeah, we'll see who is boss...

Especially tonight around 3:00...

Sleep, who needs it? 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Something to look forward to...

Twice a year my bestie and I go to a scrapbooking retreat weekend getaway.  It's a time when we can just be together, scrapbook some pictures, and enjoy a couple of days away.  I love going because it seems like time stands still and I am able to rejuvenate myself because of the company and laid back atomosphere.  We're going to be leaving on Friday, and I can't wait!  Having something to look forward to will help this week go by quickly...or terribly slow. 

We'll just have to wait and see. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

No Decision Friday

Over the last 14 months, I have made a lifestyle change.  I decided to be a healthier person.  I have always considered myself "in shape" (even when I wasn't).  I just thought I had the same stamina as I did when I was in high school and playing 3 sports.  But, one day I looked in the mirror and decided that was NOT the case. 

So, I did something about it.

My bestie and I decided to do it together, because we were both wanting to make changes.  I am so thankful that we have been making these changes together.  We have really helped each other and it's been soooo nice to have someone a phone call away to talk to and know exactly how it was. 

It's pretty amazing to reflect back and see how much I have changed since I have started to be a healthier person.  A perfect example of this is what happened on Friday.  First of all, Fridays at my house are called "No Decision Friday".  It's when Hubster has to make all decisions...what we are doing...what's for dinner because at that point I could really care less.  It's a beautiful thing that we've been doing since we were dating and I totally cherish it. 

But yesterday, it kind of kicked me in the butt.

We went to Mishawaka to do some shopping and then it was at that time when we were both pretty hungry.  Unfortunately, it was that time when EVERYONE within a 30 mile radius was hungry.  We tried going to one of my favorites Flat Top Grill.  It's healthy, filling, and different.  The Hubster has never been there.  I was kind of wondering if he was "feeling" it.  We got there, and there was an a long wait.  So, Hubster decided it was too long because we were just complaining about how hungry we were. 

Unfortunately, a couple of restaurants down there's a Five Guys.  For those of you who don't know, this restaurant has greasy and delicious hamburgers with fries that are absolutely yummy.  And of course, no wait.

Hubster decided that is where we were going to eat.

So, before my lifestyle change, I would have been all over that without even thinking about it!!  There would have been no remorse, no guilt, no nothing...just a miserable feeling afterwards because I was so stuffed.

We stepped inside the restaurant and I told myself, "I got this!"  I ordered one hamburger, ate a couple of fries and that was it.  Now, there was some guilt and some, "What did I just do?"  But, it was a success because I realized where I once was and where I am now.  I dusted myself off, got up this morning, had a great workout, walked with my bestie, and feel empowered because of the realization of where I once was and where I am now...and it feels good. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Back on Track

A couple of days ago I sliced about how I was in this funk.  Well, I am happy to report that I'm baaaaaack!  I'm not sure exactly what my deal was, but I am glad that it is gone!  I woke up today...exercised...had a good day at school....actually came home BEFORE 5:00(unheard of!)...went on a walk with Hubster...had a yummy dinner...and now slicing. is back on track. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Job I Love

I feel so incredibly lucky because I have a job that I absolutely love.  I honestly feel like I was made to be a teacher.  I remember being in third grade and dressing up like a teacher for Halloween.  Now, here I am teaching third graders.  During a stressful week with ISTEP and then IREAD hanging over our heads, now is the time to really reflect and remember why I love my job so much.  So, here's my list:

1.  Greeting my students every morning with a smile and a handshake
2.  Watching the students read the welcome board and comment to each other.  "Ohhhh, we are going to fractions today!  I wonder what we will be doing!!"
3.  Listening to the students help each other, "Let's see, nope, we need to double the consonant when we're adding -ing because it's a vowel consonant."
4.  Listening to the students encourage each other, "Good job, J!  You knew that was the denominator!"
5.  Asking a question and looking out at all of the students participating
6.  Knowing the activities the class is doing is helping them reach the goals set for them.
7.  Knowing that the relationships that I have with my students will be something I remember for a long, long time.

The list can go on and on...

Monday, March 5, 2012

In a Funk

I've been in a funk all day.  I have really tried to get over it, but it has had its way of creeping back into my mind and body.  There have been pockets of okayness today, but overall it just wasn't the greatest of days. 

Then, I came home.  My husband works third shift and we do not get to spend that much time together (one of the reasons why I may be in a funk).  I gave him a rare call this morning just to let him know that I miss him and that I woke up in a bad mood.  So, he had a heads up that I would be cranky.  Anyways, I came home and dinner was made, his lips were ready for mine, and he was prepared to let me moan and groan about the rough day I had.  I am fully aware that my day was not awful, but for some reason it just felt that way.

Even though I still feel cranky and have a dark cloud over my  head, it is so comforting and wonderful to know that I have a husband here who loves me and cares for me no matter what mood I may be in.   

Moberg's Meandering Mind: The Most Wonderful Sound in the World

Moberg's Meandering Mind: The Most Wonderful Sound in the World: When I was 17 years old, I gave birth to my son, Tyler. Wow, he was the joy of my life. In many ways the two of us grew up together. He t...

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Most Wonderful Sound in the World

When I was 17 years old, I gave birth to my son, Tyler.  Wow, he was the joy of my life.  In many ways the two of us grew up together.  He taught me so much about love and life. 

See, Tyler had Hydrocephalus X, and a plethora of other difficulties.  He was blind, couldn't walk, couldn't talk, couldn't do much.  But, there was one thing he could do, and man, did he do it like no one else.

He could laugh.

Oh, his laugh was from the tip of your toes belly laugh.  Every. Single.  Time.  He didn't really know how to chuckle, he just laughed like he and these angels were always telling these jokes back and forth.  I remember it would be in the middle of the night and instead of Tyler waking me up with a cry, it would be his belly laugh.  I always thought he was just playing with his angels.

I miss that laugh.  It has been 2 years and 4 months since Tyler passed away.  I miss him every second of every day.  Instead of sulking in the fact that my sidekick is no longer by my side, I have to remind myself that he is, of course, always in my heart.  And I am thankful that I will always have the sound of his laugh to remind me that now he is up with his angels and they are playing side by side. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

My First Slice!

Saturday mornings...
Sleepy conversations with Hubster in bed
An endless list of things to do?
It can wait...