Saturday, September 21, 2013

Hey there.

Hey, good people. It's been a minute, huh?  I hope everyone's been great and enjoying the month of September!  

It's been a bit of a rough month for me personally, which is why I haven't had the time nor energy to blog.  I should preface this with I'M NOT PREGNANT so y'all won't get any ideas. :)

But my thyroid condition is showing some of its uglier days.  I got a call from my endocrinologist last month telling me that the blood work from my bi-annual check up revealed that my levels weren't where they should be. That was a bit surprising since I'd had a streak of good reports (and I felt fine). He modified my dosage, as expected. I'm not sure which dosage is right for me right now, but THIS AIN'T IT.  It's been a rough month.

On top of that, I've been feeling overwhelmed and a bit inadequate.

My house is a mess, I'm overloaded at work, I've gained weight (probably more because of lack of exercise than the meds), I feel like a bad mother and wife, I'm not getting enough sleep, and a few other things. It's one of those normal periods in life where everything's just off.

My cousin died unexpectedly Sunday also, so it's tough to see my folks in pain.

I know better days are coming, though, so I'm just waiting as the storm passes. Because despite it all, we're SO blessed.

M and I have been enjoying beautiful sunsets. 

She and I watched this one a couple of weeks ago.  I recorded it (and our conversation) as it was going down.  Funny!

And have you seen the moon the past few nights?  What a sight!

On another note, as for being overwhelmed at work -- it's really a good overwhelmed.  I am LOVING this school year.  I'm enjoying the new class I'm teaching, and the students are so lively and engaged.

There are days when I'm pretty tough on the kids and sometimes go home thinking, "Okay, maybe I was too tough today."

But when you get a tweet like this, it confirms that you're doing something right:

This is one of my Management students from last year, who's now a freshman in college. I am on my students constantly about public speaking.  I stress to them that very few people actually ENJOY public speaking (heck, I'm a teacher, and it STILL isn't something I particularly enjoy), but you've got to be able to do it.  I did so many presentations in college, my head spun, and I stress to my students that they'll be doing lots of them when THEY get to college as well.  

So as a teacher, how do you prepare them?  Easy -- you give them plenty of opportunities to practice, and lots of feedback.  And in this particular student's class, it seemed like my feedback was always negative.  They had a lot of work to do, and there were days I went home thinking, "Yep, I was too tough today."

Well, a year later when you get a tweet like this, it makes you grateful that you pushed them. And it reminds you that it's not your job as a teacher for your students to "like" you every day -- it's your job to prepare them for the next level, be it college or career. 

Another cool work-related thing that happened recently was this guy visited our school.

I admit I had no clue who he was before he came a couple of weeks ago...

Principal El is a nationally-renowned teacher/administrator/author who is STILL principal at an inner-city school in Philly. I was touched by so many things he was such an honor for him to come speak to our faculty.  It was refreshing to hear the love and passion for what we do through his talk with us.  I bought his book, too!

On another note...

Last weekend, we got a chance to hit up Six Flags again. My aunt's employer had their family day there, and she asked if I could take her daughter (pink shirt) and a friend (green shirt). Um, YES!

That turned into a fun trip for my niece (white shirt) and child, too!

Despite the two-hour long line to get into the park (for a pre-planned event - I was so disgusted with Six Flags) and the hour-long line to get food (hot + hungry + a wait = ugh!), we had a GREAT TIME!

My little cousin is one of those people who'll ride anything - my kind of girl.  I told her if her friend wasn't crazy to ride the wild stuff with her (turns out she wasn't), then I'd be happy to be her riding partner for the day.  I gave her a choice because 13 is a weird age - one where she could easily feel embarrassed to hang out with her adult cousin.  She's the youngest grandchild and wasn't born until I went off to college, so we didn't exactly grow up together. But apparently that was okay with her.  She's still young enough to not care about being seen hanging out with an adult. (Or maybe I'm just cool. No?)

We rode this first:

Ironically, this is the last ride DK and I rode together at amusement park -- which was years ago.  DK is not a fan of big rides (his stomach can't handle it), and neither is any of my family.  So it's been a while since I've had a wild day at a theme park.  I was grateful for that day with my little cousin. (I needed it.  See first section of this post.)

I included this pic because it makes me laugh.  You see that dude on the right with the yellow shirt with his hands out?  He was all cool and everything when he got on the ride.  That all changed once this thing dropped, though -- haha!  It was hilarious!

There were plenty of times when I was approaching a big drop/dive/fall on a roller coaster, and thought, "WHAT WAS I THINKING?  WHY DID I DO THIS?! I'M TOO OLD FOR THIS!"

And my cousin would have this face of terror as we got closer to boarding some of the rides - ha!  I would tell her it's okay to turn back, but she never did. We'd ride the doggone things, fear for our lives, and be on to the next one!


We ran into so many people from my hometown there, including our own folks.



And more fam.

This kid is like her mama.  When she gets to these places, she scopes out the snack shops. IMPORTANT STUFF, people.  Her treat of choice was cotton candy.  Her mama's?  Funnel cakes and candy apples.  Yes, with an S! :)

Speaking of mamas, here's mine.  She was with us. Y'all know she's my ride-or-die. My favorite girl (besides my little one).

My niece is another one of my favorite girls.  M loves when she's around!

The girls on the train. :)

M convinced my mom (who refuses to ride anything because of a weak stomach) to ride the mini-coaster.  Can you spot them?  And Mama didn't even get sick. :-)

Cousin love.

We had a great time at Six Flags.  I'm so thankful for family and friends for sharing their tickets with us.  I think my little cousin had a great time!

Coming back to the present...

Say hi to Chatty Cathy.

She talks too much at school, y'all, and we've gotta nip that in the bud before we start kindergarten next fall. This child will talk your head off...which is okay at home, but not so much during math lessons.

She started back with swim last week.  I asked her if she wanted to do swim or soccer this fall, and this is what she chose.  I was a little disappointed because I wanted her to do soccer again, but this is her childhood, not mine.  So while she's enjoying the ride, I'm enjoying it even more.

Guess who turns 31 Saturday?  And I get to spend it doing something very cool...but more on that later. :-)

Cheers to the birthday girls!

My aunt, cousin, and I share the day!  
(Remember the party two years ago?)

I hung out with this little sweet pea yesterday.  Please say a prayer for her and her baby sister. They lost their mommy to a massive heart attack earlier this week. My heart is broken for them, but I know my aunt will be sure they are okay (say a prayer for my aunt, too -- she lost her only child).

In lieu of flowers, my aunt asked that people make donations to the American Heart Association. If you're looking for a way to give this month, please consider going to and giving in memory of my cousin, Carla Mitchell Richardson.  

I hope you all have a great week.  I hope to blog again next weekend.  Be good and be safe!


PS - This post was probably all over the place.  It gives you a peek of how my brain's been working lately! :)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Hello, Football Season!

Hey, good people!  Hope everyone had a fun, relaxing Labor Day.  I spent the day at home, happy to have a day to just CHILL.  I've been going nonstop for weeks, so a day off was much needed.

It was also the perfect way to end our fun weekend. It's football season, and you know what that means around here: well...FOOTBALL. And fun tailgating with friends and fam!

I'm really excited about the season this year. Last year I couldn't really enjoy it because I was so focused on grad school.  I skipped most tailgates to stay home and write (boo!), therefore missing most of the fun (though I apparently made time for Dallas and Miami -- good times!). Now that I'm done with school, I can be about that tailgating life again!

This season kicked off in Atlanta with the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game between Bama and VA Tech.

W/my boyfriend!
I tried to get a picture of all our friends and fam...but just like always, there are some that I didn't get.  I'll try again next time!

My dad came!  We were in his neck of the woods and he happened to be off that day, so he hung out with us for a little bit.  I was so glad! (Pictured w/my mother-in-law.)

The kids on our way out that morning.

Too funny on the mic!

Home Depot was giving out crafts to the kids. Here's M with her goalpost.

Also, an Alabama newspaper wanted to get a pic while the kids worked.  A friend of my sister-in-law found this shot a day later on the newspaper's online photo gallery. 

More friends and fam:

M w/her three favorite guys (and her friend, C).



I noticed the kids were in need of some energy-burning, so I decided to take the girls over to Centennial Park (about a mile away).  We took this pic right before our walk.  Little did I know, the only one who would come back with less energy would be ME.  They wore me out!

We took pics along the way.

In front of the Dome.

Getting some cool air in the World Congress Center.

World Congress Center courtyard/garden.

The girls reaching up at what they called a skyscraper (just a hotel - the Omni, I believe).

We accidentally arrived just in time for an official tailgate party.  There were lots of companies there giving away free stuff.  That would have been great had I been prepared to carry all of it. All I had was my phone and a little cash and really no free hands since I had one girl on each hand.  So we ended up taking only a few free items -- the goal post (mentioned earlier in this post) and a Barbie DVD given to the girls by a radio station.

C and that hula hoop, though!

W/their Home Depot Workshop aprons. 

I was worn out after this, and told the girls it was time to walk back to our tailgate.  They were not happy -- my child mainly.  I had no energy to deal with the whining, so I bribed with candy. Judge.

But one thing from that tailgate party that never left my mind was THIS:

Now.  I'm serious when it comes to funnel cakes, people.  And the last thing I wanted to do was get a plate and not be able to enjoy it because I had to keep up with the girls - ha!

So later in the day, I asked my dad to walk us back over so M could play some more and I could eat some funnel cakes in peace!

They got snow cones, which meant I could almost enjoy my funnel cakes without sharing - ha! (of course M wanted a few bites).  Do you see my plate of funnel cakes on the ground?  I'm still thinking about them - yum!  And that lemonade was good and sweet!

Anyhoo, we spent the rest of the evening enjoying the game and tailgate atmosphere.  It was a great day!  Even greater since my dad came!  

Many thanks to my in-laws for throwing such great tailgate parties!

I hope to use the next week and weekend to catch up.  My house hasn't had any TLC in weeks (imagine the clutter), I already have lots of grading to do for work, and my body is starting to show the lack of workouts I did in August. Gotta get my head above water. 

I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their week!  Be good and be safe!


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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