Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Springtime Hobbies

So, I naturally have more work that I could be doing and my very comfortable bed is just patiently waiting for me in the other room. However, it is a very rare moment that I get inspired to write a blog while I'm actually sitting at my computer. So I here I am, sitting in my new "office space" in the front of my little house in Alabama. Earlier this evening, I was listening to the airplanes flying around not too far from here. Right now I'm enjoying the aftermath of an unexpected storm, well, it was unexpected to me because I don't watch TV, aka the weather report. The air is very refreshing and just smells fabulous! Rain might be my favorite natural scent; there's your fun fact of the day. Tomorrow is Thursday, which is my long day thanks to Drama Club and Bowling. In other words, never fear- this won't be too long! :) This week has been very interesting for me- well, really the last few months. But we will stick with this week! So for those of you who have just joined us on our program, I'll give you a little recap of some things. First, I still remember the day that I volunteered to be in charge of PSIA at Holy Cross Catholic Academy in great detail! I also remember the day that I "volunteered" to be in charge of TAPPS Academic in even greater detail! These two events have played important roles in quite a few peoples lives I think. Oh, PSIA stands for Private Schools Interscholastic Association, it is the organization in Texas that coordinates Elementary and Middle School Academic and Art events for private schools, and TAPPS stands for Texas Association for Private and Parochial Schools, the organization that does all kinds of things for the high schools, sports, academics, music...etc. Over the next five years, I would take close to 25 trips with students to Lubbock, Fort Worth Area, Austin and Waco area, with last year's Waco trip extending from Sunday to Saturday! There are many moments from those trips that I remember better than any of my other times in the classroom. That first year, I took over TAPPS at the last minute and barely got signed up for things the week before District. We ended up having five boys qualify for Academics and Speech and came in like 11th place in the state or something. Yesterday, the school left with a Championship Trophy for OVERALL Champion and Overall Speech Champion. The coolest part about the growth that happened over the years was about a lot more than studying for a test or something. Honestly, looking back on it, I realize how much I grew over those years. Who knew I could motivate so many kids into missing school to drive 7 hours in a car to take a test, give a speech or draw a picture. Or coordinate all the madness of the trips, hotel reservations, meals, supplies, registrations and fees, managing students away from home. My trip planning skills and car convoy driving skills are pretty on point right now. I even coordinated 3 District Tournaments in that time!! I had a former parent send me a message that said "I wish you could be here to see the seeds you've planted" and while a part of me does too, honestly, I feel even greater success as an educator knowing that the success continued in my absence. Does part of me wish that I had been in that crazy room waiting with the kids all day to find out their results or walking them to their tests to wish them luck ONE LAST TIME? Or drive around the parking lot a few extra times because Ed Sheeran is playing and we have to sing along to this song one more time today? ABSOLUTELY! But I feel just as much joy and pride in this week's win from 700 miles away as I would from 10 feet. It is an odd feeling! A feeling that I think I've only really started to discover as I continue on this new path of life! Alright, well the second round of rain is here now, so I guess that's my cue. I better get to sleep so that I can stay awake while bowling tomorrow night! :) Until next time!!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Little T

Seven years of blogging and five of those years have had a New Years blog. So even though one of the biggest things I've learned this year is that things can change and the world will still move, that doesn't mean they have to. :) 2015 was a BIG YEAR for me. Started grad school, quit my job, got a new job, moved to Alabama, started a new grad school, lost a beautiful friend, gained new coworkers and friends, joined a book club and a bowling league, went to my first music festival and my first Blue Angels Show and I've spent more time in my car than I care to count. In past years, I've counted and totaled miles I've traveled in the previous year, but considering I'm starting this year with a long drive, that'll have to happen another day. I'm very grateful for all of you reading this post. I was thinking earlier about some things and the past 2-3 years, I spent so much time reflecting and wondering and dreaming. I think I filled three journals and spent every Saturday in adoration with most of my time feeling like something wasn't right. I loved my job, I mostly loved my family (just kidding) and I had fabulous friends. Saying something was missing isn't the right phrase, it didn't feel that way. It was almost like when you have to force a puzzle piece in and you're not really sure if it actually fits or you just made it fit. Don't read anything else into that cause it just popped in my head and I think it's right. Like maybe, I'm the puzzle with a piece out of place. Before I say this next part, please know Amarilloans, that I love and miss you all dearly. No matter where live takes me, Amarillo will always be my hometown and you will always be family. I'm incredibly happy in this new path. I know with great certainty that this is the path for me, even with all the fears and changes that I thought would hold me back. As a teenager, I used to wonder how famous people moved and traveled away from their family. I know that's a random thing to wonder about, but I did. Now I'm not saying I'm famous, but I get it. When you're doing something you love, you can do anything, no matter the place or people. Now, in a year or two, I could read this and just want to tell myself that's not true, I've just gotten really lucky in Alabama. But for now, even if it is just luck, it's good enough ending for 2015. Now it's time for a NEW YEAR! I love making resolutions! 
My New Years resolution is to write and send more snail mail. I'm not assigning a number to that because then I'll just be discouraged and quit by February. But I have two pages of Charlie Brown Christmas stamps, tons of stationery and a little extra time. Now all I need is your address. So kindly send those to me, I'm even thinking of buying an actual address book. I'm also going to start running again. Last year saw very little running for me and I think I miss it. Luckily Alabama winters won't make it difficult to start now. I found this challenge to run/walk 2,016 miles in 2016. It's 40 or so miles a week, unless you have a partner or a team. So if anyone wants to join me, or try to complete the same challenge, let me know. We can motivate each other! 
I really want to find a song to finish off this blog, but I can't choose one. Maybe you all should share a song with me. 
May your 2016 be filled with laughter, happiness, fellowship and whatever else you would like to see!!