Wednesday, February 27, 2013

"Teacher of the Year" Honor (+ One of My MANY Issues)

Hey, guys. Hope everyone's having a good week. Mine's been pretty good.  It certainly hasn't been as busy (or as cool!) as last week, but I guess normalcy is good, too. 

Today I'm finally posting that I won an award a few weeks ago. Took me long enough, but more on that in a minute... 

Earlier this month, I was named the Alabama Business Education Association Secondary Teacher of the Year. I was surprised to be nominated, and even more surprised to learn I'd be taking home the honor. 

I actually debated posting this to my blog, but got a wake-up call when I talked to my dad on the phone last night. Want to know how he found out that I'd won the award?  On the Internet. 

That's right, y'all, I didn't even tell my parents. 

It's not that I wanted to keep it a secret - it's just that I don't really do well with praise. I have issues, and this is one of 'em.  People KNEW about it, I guess - a few friends, other co-workers, and relatives found out through Facebook and Twitter posts from other organizations (local paper, school district, etc.).  But that was it. I never flat-out told anyone, "I won an award!" 

Who doesn't tell their PARENTS they won an award, though?  That would be me, the weird one. So after I felt awful last night that my dad found out by hearing it somewhere else, I called my mom. 

"Hey, Mama.  Whatcha doing? What are you eating?  How was your day?  Oh, I need to tell you that I won an award a few weeks ago.  Yes, at that conference from a MONTH AGO..." 


Of course my parents are super proud. I just loved my dad's reaction. He has this way of making me feel like the smartest girl in the world.

Anyhoo, so once it became official (when the parents and parents-in-law finally learned about it), it became blog-ready! :)

It's crazy that I considered not posting it here - I guess I kinda forgot what my blog is about.  I write this blog for a few reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is the hope that my children and their children will one day read its contents (maybe through some type of book or Internet archive).

I want them to know that I loved what I did for a living, and that I worked hard at it.  Those are my wishes for them, too - DO WHAT YOU LOVE AND GIVE IT YOUR BEST.  And this award for me is evidence of that.

On another note, I would not have this award if it weren't for my co-workers. I am really just a product of my environment, y'all. The business department at my school is top notch -- teachers who are smart, savvy, hardworking, and student-focused -- and they've guided me in ways they probably don't even realize.  Particularly in this case, they've shown me the value of being a lifelong important it is to be involved in professional associations. If it were not for their guidance in this way, I would have never even gotten a chance to be nominated for this award. I am very grateful for them.

I appreciate all the kind words and congratulations I've received.  It makes me blush every time, but it still feels really good. 

The picture above is kinda dark and grainy, so you can't really see the plaque.  But here it is.   

Honestly this picture is really for me because I've been known to lose stuff like this.  I don't hang these like normal people.  I've never even framed and put up my degrees (they're *ahem* somewhere in my closet...). But maybe, just maybe, I can make this a small project for this summer...

Anyhoo, enjoy the rest of your week!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Pink & Green, Black & Gold, and Sparkles

Hey, y'all!  I've been wanting to blog all week but just could not find the time. It's been kinda whirlwind-ish.  Two cool field trips at work this week, plus an out-of-town, overnight basketball trip with the fam have kept me busy.  But all of that's over now, and tomorrow will be my first normal day this week.  AND it's Friday.  Yes.

What have we been up to?

Well, last weekend I worked our school's Miss Senior Class beauty walk. This year 78 girls competed and did a great job.  I've never been a pageant girl and am pretty sure if I could do it all over again I still wouldn't be.  I was SO nervous for the girls. I've been crowned before, but back in my day you won a title by gaining classmates' votes.  NOT by wearing a beautiful gown, impressing judges, speaking to an audience of hundreds of people, and answering questions out of the infamous fish bowl.  These girls are brave, and I was so proud.

And then they started the ceremony with THIS song while showing toddler pictures of all the girls. I almost lost it, y'all.  Sweet pictures during a sweet song that made me think of my precious time with MY sweet little one.  And how she won't always be this little...whew! :-(

(Don't listen to that song if you're a mama of a little one.  Unless you want to cry.)

The Top 30

Also this week, my husband's basketball team had a playoff game on the campus of my alma mater - pretty exciting.  I don't get to visit the campus often (the last time was two years ago), and I was so impressed with all the new developments -- including a BRAND NEW stadium.  I wanted to visit a special professor and an old boss in the College of Business, but didn't get a chance.  

Next time, though.  'Bama State was good to me.

For some reason I wanted to stop by my sorority stone, too, so I could get a picture of M with it.  

I am not an active member for a couple of reasons, but there's a possibility that one day M will choose to be.  I will not encourage nor discourage her from joining a sorority (she'll have my support either way), nor will I try to influence her choice of sorority.  But JUST IN CASE she chooses to follow my footsteps and become an AKA, I will have this sweet little picture to show her and compare to the one 15 years from now. :-)

Future AKA?

Anyhoo, what are y'all doing this weekend?  I'll be de-cluttering as usual, loving on my little one, reading, and hopefully finally watching my DVR of Beyonce's documentary and Oprah interview.  I've heard her Atlanta concert sold out in five minutes...womp!  Maybe I can talk the hubby into taking me to see her at the Essence Festival this summer...

Anyhoo, have a great weekend, y'all!


Friday, February 15, 2013

Randoms on a Friday


So glad the weekend's here! I felt like doing some blogging today. It's bullet-point blogging (and during my lunch break), so I'm all over the place:
  • Let me just say I had NO idea when I recently posted an old cruise pic that this same cruise line had people stuck at sea. Oh. My. Goodness. Bad timing for me to post that, and I'm sure it appeared tacky.  I admit I don't watch or read the news most days (it's always so sad or bad).  Glad to hear these people are back safe and sound.  
  • I've been meaning to post pics of my niece and M from a couple of weeks ago.  I had to go out of town for a conference, so M stayed with my mom for a couple of days.  For lunch one day, they went and had lunch with my nieces at each of their schools!  I know M loved seeing them (and eating pizza and cookies)!

  • Speaking of M being at my mom's, I was recently reminded just how very blessed I am in that way.   A student was doing some basic research for a business plan and came up and asked me how much I typically paid for a babysitter.  I realized I'd NEVER paid anyone to sit for us - I've never needed to.  Our mothers are our sitters.  Even though they both live an hour away, they are our go-to people for babysitting.  They have no problem meeting us or even coming to get M whenever we need a sitter. Even when we travel or do something altogether as a family, our moms are very good to us - often encouraging us to "go out" and let them help as much as possible.  Of course we know our moms love us, but they have GREAT ways of showing it. M's school also occasionally does a Parents Night Out (including tonight, allowing parents to go on a Valentine's date) at no charge.  How did we get so lucky?
  • Speaking of Valentine's Day, ours was good.  M came home with a bag full of goodies.  I've discreetly stashed that thing away. We'll pick out a few to keep, but I'm giving the rest away.  Way. Too. Much.  I also ran my I HEART Running 5K after work.  I finished with my best time yet, 30:12, so I'm glad to see some improvement.  Now that I know I can do it in 30 minutes, I'm aiming for UNDER 30 next time.  We ate dinner at Panera last night.  Cousin J stopped by to give M her Valentine's gift - GiGi's cupcakes (so sweet).  Of course she brought a BOX of them -- SO bad for my waistline.  Not that I would ever eat any of M's cupcakes... :-)

Anyhoo, my plans for the weekend include DK's basketball game and a school event Saturday night. I'm finally in Book 5 of the God Don't Like Ugly series, so I hope to spend a lot of time with that, as well as watch last night's episode of Scandal.  Yes.

Have a good one, y'all! 


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Hearts All Over the Place

Hey, guys!  Hope you're enjoying your day.  For the first time in what seems like forever, we have beautiful sunshine. Makes my heart happy.

Speaking of hearts, I've said before how DK and I don't make a big deal of Valentine's Day like we did in our dating days.  The older I got (and the more I paid attention to consumerism), the sillier the holiday got.

But then I had a kid -- a kid who eventually grew older.  A kid who is now aware of what Valentine's Day is (even if to her it means a sugar party at school).  And now a kid who has renewed my excitement for this holiday. Sooooo everyone in our house got a Valentine's goody this year. :)

Today I'm going to also treat myself for Valentine's Day. Any other time, "treating myself" would mean a new pair of earrings or new necklace (or even better - cookies or cake!).  But today, it means I'll be earning my I "HEART" RUNNING bling. (One day soon I'll tell you about my newest little obsession, running bling, but I'll save that for another post.)  Today's after-work run will be a dedicated run, where I'll try to beat my last 5K time.  Wish me luck!

In the meantime, enjoy this pic of MY two Valentines (from last month, on their way to see some Bama basketball).

Happy Valentine's Day to you!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My Weekend & a Throwback

Hey, y'all!  I'm late, but I hope everyone had a good weekend.

My little one spent most of hers with her DK's parents, so I was able to get a few things off my plate.  There were the not-so-fun things, like cleaning the bathrooms and going to my annual eye doctor appointment.  And then there were the fun things like sleeping as late as I could (even if that was 7:30) and FINALLY going to see Breaking Dawn Part II.  So it was a great weekend. I got my little one back Sunday morning, right when I was starting to miss her.

I have several pics that I need to post to this here "virtual scrapbook" and I thought it'd be fun to go back a few years today - 13 years to be exact.

Wind blowing our hair...not a care in the world! :-)

A group from my senior class took a Carnival Cruise to the Bahamas a few days after graduation.  It was my first time in the Caribbean and on a cruise, so I thought it was pretty awesome. 

We had as much fun as a group of fresh high school graduates could have on a cruise.  We swam, we ate, we partied at the teen club, dressed up for formal night (in our prom dresses - ha!), explored the islands and beaches, took silly pictures, drank tropical non-alcoholic drinks, and just had a blast.

You probably recognize a couple of these girls as they've been on the blog a few times. T, in the black dress, was last seen here. J, in the mint dress, was last seen here. The two girls in the denim dress have been on the blog, too (here and here), but I haven't seen them in a few years. All four of these girls were big parts of my childhood/teenage years, and I love them for that!  

I have several more pics from the cruise that I love looking at every few years or so. Maybe one day I'll post another one here.

Have a great week y'all!  Stay dry, those of you in the southeast!


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Letter to My Daughter

Dear M,
You turned FOUR two months ago, so it's birthday letter time. I've put this off for a while because I wanted to include every. little. thing.  But I realize now that's impossible.  Every day you grow and learn and say some funny stuff -- I'll never be able to capture it all.

So who are you as this newly-turned four-year-old?  A hoot, that's what.  If I were limited to one word, HOOT works just fine.

But luckily it's my letter and I can say  more.

Sweet girl, you are hilarious, spunky, inquisitive, energetic, and loving, yet you can also be impatient, mischievous, and downright testy.  Sometimes I wonder whose kid you are because you are nothing like your daddy or me in so many ways, but then you say or do something that make me know that we are DEFINITELY your parents. when you smile, and you look so much like your daddy.  Or when I'm putting on your clothes in the morning, and your arms are too long for a shirt that fits perfectly other places (you got your long arms from me).

You're a little bit of both of us, and a WHOLE LOT of yourself, sweet girl.  You are my sunshine, and I tell you that probably every day (in fact, "You Are My Sunshine" is our song).

Here are a few things you love at this age:
  • Stuffed animals
  • Playing outside
  • Disney movies (Cinderella is your current favorite)
  • The iPad
  • Dinosaurs, lizards, and snakes (our house is full of them -- fake ones, of course)
  • Reading and making up stories (you love your daddy's made-up stories the best)
  • Any kind of bread 
  • Oatmeal 
  • Sleeping in our bed (under your mama)
Stuffed animal hoarder...

A few things you DON'T love:
  • Bedtime
  • Loud noises
  • Naps
  • Cleaning your room
  • Sleeping in your own bed
  • And did I mention bedtime? (Seriously, when I tell you it's time for bed, your world comes crashing down.  The hard life of a four-year-old...)
We went for your annual checkup last week and learned that you are healthy and growing just as you should.  You're still a tall-ish girl, measuring in the 75th percentile for height (and 50th percentile for weight).  I am happy that you will be taller than your mother. In fact, the doc says you'll probably be a half-foot taller than me. I think that's pretty awesome (as long as you always know who's boss.)  :-)

You know things at four years old that I didn't know until mid- to late-elementary school.  For example, you're learning your presidents right now -- I'm amazed every time you say them.  I couldn't recite the presidents until fourth grade (and even then, it had to be in the form of a song).   The Books of the Bible?  Yep, you can recite those, too (I never learned to recite the Books, but I'm learning from you.). What's also super cool is that you're beginning to sound out words, and (according to the work you bring home) you're doing basic math problems. 

I can't even BEGIN to take credit for any of this.  We're blessed to have you in a child-centered preschool where you are loved tremendously and taught so much about love, the Bible, and just being a good person (in addition to all the cool stuff I mentioned above). Your favorite part of the school day, though?  Probably going outside, which you get to do twice a day. We're just as grateful that your preschool knows the value of physical activity, too because that means that some of that energy has been burned before Mommy picks you up in the afternoons.

You also enjoy going to what we call the "playroom" after school a few times a week.  Our gym has this amazing room for kids (run by two of the sweetest women) that is full of toys and has a playground attached. I go run on the track while you enjoy playtime with more friends. You love that place and feel like you're getting a treat after school.

You also love to travel, and you love being with your grandparents near and far. You love skirt and tights, pretty bows in your hair (most recently, beads), and the children's museum. You are very much like your mama in that way -- you love life and find the greatest joy in the simplest things.

I pray for you a lot, sweet girl. There are so many things I want to teach you, but there are three things that I want to point out today.  You may not understand these today, but one day you'll find truth (and hopefully comfort) in these words: 
  1. "If you keep God in your heart, there is nothing that will come into your life that you won't be able to handle." (Author Unknown)
  2. Be kind, smile, and treat people right. 
  3. "Wherever you go, no matter the weather, always bring your own sunshine." (Anthony J. D'Angelo)
If you do these things, your life will be grand. I promise.

I'll wrap up my letter to you, but know that you, my sweet girl, have taught your mama a lot. You are evidence of God's love and miracles, and I cannot be any more grateful that he chose your daddy and me to be your earthly parents.

I look forward to the lessons you'll bring me this year, Sunshine. Thanks for being your silly, inquisitive, energetic, testy, and loving self. I love you tremendously.

~ Mommy

Stuff I Talk About

2011 30 day shred age update AKA animals anniversary appreciation aquarium around the house art museum Atlanta baby/toddler sleep issues baking bama football beach birthday birthday party blog awards blog buddies blogher books camping causes celebrations celebrities cheer days childhood children's museum children's theater Christmas christmas card class reunion college days concert conference cousins crafts dance date night dating days deals decluttering dentist Disney dk easter engagement facebook faith fall fun family family fun fashion father's day favorite blogs field trip field trips football friday flashback friends fun event funny pic Gaylord Opryland genealogy girl scouts goals god grad school grateful graves' disease Halloween health holidays Hollywood honeymoon instagram Iron Bowl key west kindermusik learning letter to my daughter library Los Angeles m me miami mlk day morgan is three museum Nashville national championship game natural hair nature new look new orleans New Years nyc out on the town parks parties phone fun pinterest play days at home playdate playground action pregnancy professional development Race for the Cure raleigh ramblings reading Recipes relay for life school program shows singing skating snow soccer social networking sorority spring break spring fun stress summer summer fun summer reading summer to do list teacher life technical difficulties terrible twos Thanksgiving the girls the park theme park thomas and friends three thyroid tragedy trains traveling tricycle trips twitter valentine's day video walk for autism water play we love being outside wedding wordless wednesday work wrapup Yo Gabba Gabba zoo
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