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! :)

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