Sunday, September 23, 2012

Reese's Baptism

Today was a special day. Reese was baptized at our church, First United Methodist Church, in front of family and friends. It was very special for me because as I stood there and looked down the VERY LONG row of family standing with us (we had 19 family members standing with us) I realized how very lucky we are to have such a strong family to support us. I know Reese will feel the love and support of our strong family for years to come and it brings tears to my eyes. It really impressed upon me the importance of family.

Reese, of course, did her part playing the cute baby. She actually made it through the entire service with only a few, random cries, mostly strategically placed during a prayer when everyone was quiet. She went to our preacher and let him carry her down the aisle while the congregation sang "Jesus Loves Me" and only cried a little when he placed the water on her head. It was a very special experience.

After the service, all our families came back to our house and we had a cook-out in the backyard. Colton was excited to show off his new outdoor kitchen he built this summer. All in all, it was a special day we will always remember.


Where did the time go?

It seems like just yesterday I was typing away about Valentine's Day and here it is September. My dad always told me time flies once you have a child and boy was he right. It feels like time has just zipped by, leaving me just a little flustered and full of memories from the first five months of my daughter's life.

Reese Isabella Street was born on April 17, 2012, a healthy 8.1 lbs and 22 inches long. Life has been crazy since she arrived and I can honestly say it's also never been better. Having a child changes you and your marriage. In my experience, it has made me a better person and my marriage stronger, so I feel I am very blessed.

I am now a SAHM (stay at home mom for those of you who are acronym challenged) and I feel very lucky to have the opportunity for me to stay at home. It was a difficult transition at first because I LOVED my job and LOVED my students so it was hard to say good bye to that part of my life. However, I realize how lucky I am to be able to witness all of Reese's firsts. We are doing well staying at home and I am really enjoying my time with her.

One of my very best friends got married in Santa Fe two weeks after Reese was born so she experienced her first road trip at just 18 days old. We were very fortunate to have Colton's mom travel with us and keep her while we attended all the wedding festivities. She is already well traveled. She has been to Santa Fe, Houston, Dallas, and Fort Worth so far. She is a great little traveler.

Life is good right now and we are enjoying each day.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's...a little early

I woke up this morning to an unexpected surprise....cancelled classes due to inclement weather! Normally, you would think as an adult I would lament the fact that I would be losing a day of instruction. Instead, I squealed with joy as I pushed snooze on my alarm clock and thought of all the extra reading time I would have today. Most of the morning was spent playing on the internet and reading in the know...the things most mature adults do on their days off. No? Oh...well, that's what I did. Since the hubs and I decided to celebrate Valentine's Day a little early due to basketball games tomorrow night that I must attend, I had to run out to the store in search of the perfect card. We do not do a "big" Valentine's deal...usually just dinner. But, as a fan of expressing my feelings whenever given the opportunity, I never let the chance to buy a card pass me by. I love to give cards or notes. Hubs could probably do without but he has now been married to me long enought to realize the mistake of not having a card on a special occasion. Just ask him about the time he read his birthday card and then proceeded to toss it in the trash. Let's just say it wasn't pretty.

However, this Valentine's Day is special, I realized. Its our last Valentine's Day with it being just "us". From now on, we will have to share this holiday with our daughter and it will never be just the two of us again. Of course, I am thrilled about this and I know future Valentine's occasions will be more special because we will have a daughter to share it with. But, it does leave me feeling a little sentimental. So, since my pregnant hormones are raging more than ever, I thought I would reflect on why I am so lucky to have such a wonderful husband.

10. He makes me laugh, even when I am mad at him and don't want to.
9. He helps me realize not to sweat the small stuff and to not take things so seriously when in the big scheme of things they don't really matter.
8. He brings me down a notch when I need it (which of course isn't often) :)
7. He is intelligent and likes to talk to me about his work and mine.
6. He lets me talk about my work all the time and tell stories about my kiddos, even if he has heard them already.
5. He realizes how much I love what I do and he encourages me. He wants to know the kids I love and he gives me good advice when I talk to him about things from school.
4. He shares my love of traveling and will join in on my daydreaming about our next vacation. He makes these dreams happen for me.
3. He builds up my confidence and values my opinions.
2. He loves our families and our dog in a way that shows me he will always be a family man and I can depend on him to support me and our family no matter what.
1. He is a strong Christian man who is not afraid to talk about his faith and he will be a good role model for our daughter. He has inspired me to explore my faith more deeply.

This Valentine's I am also thankful that our daughter will get a father that will teach her right from wrong, value her opinions, show her what a good man looks like and acts like, teach her to be a good Christian, and love her unconditionally. I am so very lucky to have been blessed by God with a man who loves me so strongly and deeply.

I hope you feel blessed this Valentine's Day, too. May love fill your day tomorrow!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012- The year of possibilities

2011 was good to me. I wrapped up my first year of teaching at EHS and our first year in our new home, our goods friends the Cox's moved to Lubbock, made new friends, shared in the excitement of friends getting engaged and getting pregnant, traveled to Europe, visited New York City at Christmas, and found out we were pregnant with our first child. It has been a year of blessings and surprises. We are so lucky and so blessed. Our home is finally coming together and our life in Lubbock is blossoming.

As I spent time today and last night reflecting on the past year (as most do on New Year's), I couldn't help but smile to myself with anticipation for the year to come. We found out we are having a baby girl and she is due to arrive April 25th. Our lives have already begun to change as we prepare for our new addition. We are so excited to meet her.

As with all changes, the unknown can be intimidating and overwhelming at times as you question whether you will be good enough or be ready for what lies ahead. Fortunately for me, I have a wonderful support team surrounding me and, most importantly, my husband, who is my rock and my biggest encourager. As I embark on this new year and this new adventure of motherhood, I can't help but feel blessed to have such wonderful people surrounding me. I am so lucky. 2012- here's to a new year and a new journey. Happy New Year's!


Monday, October 17, 2011

La Bella Vita!!!

The beautiful life! Aagh, Italy. I think I am in love with you. Of all the places we mapped out on our European destination map for our July trip, I was most indifferent towards Italy. It, for me, was one of those places that is hyped up and I truly wondered if it could be that awesome. In one word...YES! I love Italy! Italy is a beautiful country, the food is amazing, the scenery is gorgeous, and the people are friendly. It was my favorite part of our trip. We spent some time in Venice, Florence, Sienna, Pisa, and Cinque Terra. I cannot wait to go back. Here is a quick recap of our trip. I will post more detailed recaps by country later when I have the patience to type and post pictures. (I still have not found that patience required for uploading pics to facebook...hmm).

July 22-29- Italy
Day One-Venice
**St. Mark's Square, gondola ride through the city, Colton attempted pasta with black ink squid sauce, and began consuming what would be copious amounts of wine throught the week

Days Two, Three, and Four- Florence & Sienna
**minor hiccup in getting the train, detour to Prato, Italy (which worked out since I teach about the Chinese fabric factories that have relocated there), Accademia to see David, Uffizi to see Botticelli, Da Vinci and company, Pitti Palace, Sienna for wine tasting class, Ponte Vecchio bridge, Santa Maria Novella church, lots of amazing pasta and we tried bistecca fiorentina (which Colton thought would not measure up to Texas beef but it was delicious!)

Days Five and Six- Cinque Terra
**Italian Riviera, Cinque Terra Hike (took six hours! hardest thing I have ever done), swam in the Mediterranean Sea, sun bathing, more amazing food (anchovie pizza and fresh pesto pasta)

Days Six, Seven, Eight, and Nine- Pisa, Munich
** quick stop in Pisa on the way to the airport to Munich, beergardens (our favorite was the Augustiner), Dachau, Glockenspiel, Englisch Gardens, Neuschwanstein Castle in Fussen, Hofbrauhaus (not that great)

Days Ten and Eleven- Amsterdam
**Van Gogh museum, Anne Frank house, lots of walking Amsterdam, Red Light district quick tour, sitting in cafes in the rain drinking hot chocolate

Days Twelve and Thirteen- London
** London Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Parliament and Big Ben, Westminster Abby, London Tower, Hyde Park, tour of Harrod's, pub food

Day Fourteen- Home Sweet Home

I will try to post more detailed accounts of each place for the random reader who cares to know more (like my mom) with pictures! The rest of summer passed by quickly. Colton and I were already dreaming up our next European vacation while sitting in cafes and biergartens across Europe. Colton believes he could live in Munich and we both agree a return to Italy is a must. Next up....maybe Prague and eastern Europe or France and Spain. Who knows?

In exciting news on the home front, Baby Street will be making his or her arrival April 25th, 2012! We are super excited and cannot wait to meet our little one!

Until next time, much love!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Whoop Whoop Holla Holla The Mats are in the House

Cheer camp...ahhh the joy! Of all my responsibilities as cheer sponsor, camp is one I usually look forward to the least. My idea of a fun time is not spending three or four days away from the comforts of my own home supervising anywhere from 15-20 teenage girls every night. It usually looks something like this....

Me during the day- Be nice. Lose the attitude. Work hard. Stay positive. Repeat in some form about 1000 times during the day.

Me during the evenings- Go to bed. Lights off. Quit dancing/texting/screaming/singing/etc. Repeat about 2000 times.

This year was different. We decided to attend private camp at a local gym here in Lubbock. The best part of this camp is it was only during the DAY! Can I get an amen?!?! It was 10,000 times better than any previous camp experience I have had and not just for the selfish reasons I listed above. Since most of our girls are newbies to cheer with relatively little formal training in any type of cheer or dance, they received much more individual attention than they would have had at a larger camp. I am really proud of their efforts, attitude, and focus during these three days. I have a feeling we are going to do some great things this coming year.

To cap off a week of hard work, we celebrated with a day of fun in the sun yesterday at Water Rampage, the mini version of Wet n Wild in Lubbock. I found myself somehow cajoled into attending this fiesta but I really had a good time. 14 of the 20 girls actually showed up and we spent the day playing at the park. I even did the water slide once with them since one of the girls would not go down until I told her if I did it she had to! All in all, it was six hours of team building and fun so I think it was a good time had by all.

I am off to my ten year reunion this weekend. I feel old just typing that. I think I may become one of those people who stops aging after 29. Don't get me wrong. I WILL have a birthday celebration every year but I will just never age. I am going to have to really invest in some good wrinkle cream to keep this charade up.
(Runs off to research wrinkle creams.....)

Have a great weekend!!! XOXO,

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Waiting for Superman...a thought or two

Some of you may have seen the documentary Waiting for Superman. If you have not, please go and rent it. I have heard about this documentary several times in the past few months and made a mental note to watch it. Since the hubs is OOT, I was perusing the film que on our on demand section of tv and saw it was now available. I decided to go ahead and rent it tonight since he wasn't around to encourage a choice of the Hangover variety. I didn't expect to find myself tearing up throughout the film but there I was on a Saturday night holding tissues under my eyes as the tears flowed.

A little may not agree with everything in the documentary. Rent it anyway. That is just the way documentaries go. You might agree with parts and disagree with others. However, as a teacher, I think it's worth spending a couple hours of your life to watch this film, for no other reason than to feel inspired. I am definitely the sentimental type so I can find inspiration in anything and a reason to cry in almost anything I watch. But, this film reminds us of the important task we, as teachers, have been given and it reminds us of our responsibility to make sure we continually work to improve the lives of kids.

Here are a few of my thoughts about the documentary...
1. I liked how the filmmaker put faces with statistics. It was not just numbers being spouted off at you. It was stories about real families in real places. Much more powerful.

2. I felt incredibly sad that so many children's hopes rely on a lottery system to get into charter schools in their neighborhoods. All public schools should be of the same excellent caliber that children learn equally and are challenged. Unfortunately, that is not the reality. It really doesn't seem fair that where you leave determines the quality of education you receive.

3. I found it inspiring to see the educators in the film who are working to find better ways to meet the needs of our students. It's motivating to see people who decided not to accept that status quo and who challenged typical ways of doing things in their respective hometowns.

4. I shed many tears because I could connect the stories in the film to many of my own students lives. I saw a lot of shared problems from the students in the film with the ones I see on a daily basis. It made the film more real to me.

More than anything, I liked this film because it reminded me that my job is important and their are people who are willing to dedicate their lives to building a better education system for our future generations. The system may be broken but I have faith we will find a way to fix it. I sincerely hope I will be part of that plan, however small or short lived my contribution may be. I hope to make a mark.