Sunday, September 26, 2010

Excited About Things to Come!

I had such an amazing day with my family today.  The weather was cool, it was beautiful outside, and just being with my family NOT thinking about work was nice. 

I have been thinking a lot lately about how stressed I get.  I thought back to the way I was before I worked full time, and I was stressed out then too.  I'm just a stressball.  So, then I decided that I have to make a decision to not be so stressed and to not allow things to get to me so much (it's a daily decision, but nevertheless, it's a decision). 

I also had a conversation with a co-worker about how much I work.  She reminded me that if I work all the time, I will get burned out... and my family is SO much more important.  It was good to hear that from a co-worker.  She said that she writes her lesson plans a few evenings a week, then lets it go the rest.  I can learn a lot from her!  I think I do a good job at school, and I need to learn to leave it there when I come home.  I am NEVER going to be perfect... so why keep trying?  This is the same problem that I have had for many years... so it won't go away immediately, but I know that as long as I'm prepared each day, Jesus will help me through.  He gave me this job, so He will give me what I need and He will use me for His glory. 
Too much of he time I rely on myself and what I can do, and not what He can do through me (which is SO much more than I can do in my own strength). 

I just felt so much pressure being lifted today.  Thank you Jesus!

Another thing that is awesome is that we decided that we'll just stay here at my in-laws until we can BUY a house.  We actually found one today that is almost perfect... 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and 1823 square feet for $104k, but we decided to try to buy a house right now, no matter how great of a deal it is, would probably be a bad idea.  BUT, the fact that in several months it will be a possibility is amazing.  We NEVER thought we would be able to even think about buying our own home.  We may even wait until summer because we will be able to get quite a bit saved up by then, which will be very helpful!  We'll see what happens!  I'm thinking that if we wait, it will pay off.  :)

It is so wonderful to have weekends as a family. It is a luxury that we haven't had much of our marriage.  And it is something that I feel is SO important.  I LOVE WEEKENDS!

In a few weeks, Robert and I are planning to take a trip... We plan to drop the kids off at my mom and dad's (which they are excited about!), and go to the hill country for the weekend.  I think we may stay in Fredericksburg at a bed and breakfast.  I'm so excited that we can even do something like that!  Can't wait!

I'm excited about the wonderful times ahead!! 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Fog is Lifting... Struggling with Some things

All of the changes and tough parts of this past year have really been catching up to me lately... probably because I'm so exhausted.  Thoughts/memories of my brother flood my mind often... especially when I'm trying to sleep.  I have dreams about him often.  Memories of our childhood (he was my only sibling), the few years before his death when he was at my house all the time, and his gruesome suicide are in my mind often.  I wish I had more time to journal... and I really wish I had time to go to a counselor because I really feel like it would help me.  I think the fog that I experienced for so long is lifting...
I watched a video a few weeks ago that has been circulating around facebook... and it really impacted me.  In fact, I still have it in my head often.  I just happened to watch it while I was at my parents' house... which made it even harder.  It was a VERY graphic video to get people to drive safer... but for some, I think it's not worth watching.  It showed people (including children and babies) getting killed by bad drivers and the music that went with it was in my head for a long time.  It just really brought my brother's death to life, and made me fear for my family's life even more than ever.  It also made it more and more clear just how short this life is.

Add to that my need to be perfect at everything, and call me a stressed mama.  I just have a hard time letting things go... I want to be a perfect mom, wife, and teacher.  And unfortunately I can't do it all.  And I'm wearing myself down fast.  And I'm not spending time with Jesus like I would like because I'm up at 5 to get myself ready, then to get the kids ready, and be out of the house by about 6:15/6:30.

I miss the camp... as I knew I would... We didn't leave out of bitterness but out of following God's plan and doing what we knew He wanted us to do... even though we knew it would be hard.  And I'm glad that we followed His plan because He has opened so many doors... but it's still a HUGE change.  I miss the community that we had there... We probably won't ever have anything like that here.  I'll get used to things, we'll find where we fit in, and we'll have more routine eventually, but for now, it's tough.

And as I mentioned before... My job is so stressful but I love it at the same time... it's rough.  I think much of the pressure that I feel, I put on myself.  I work too much... I try to make everything perfect... I'm trying to get ahead on lesson planning, which in turn, makes me not as prepared for tomorrow because I'm focusing on getting ahead.  I know that as I get more into a routine and especially when we have our own home, it'll get better, but again, for now, it's rough.
I guess I'm just a little frustrated because I thought I was finally hitting a point in my life in which I had a breath of fresh air, then I realized that the trials are still there... they're just different.  And as I've mentioned before... All I can do is allow Jesus to carry me because I'm thinking trials will always be there.  That's part of life.

So all I can do is ask Jesus to help me learn to let go of what I need to let go of, carry me through the things that I can't let go of, and learn to enjoy the days that He has allowed me on this earth to serve and glorify Him.

We were all home today because Robert was not feeling well and Karis has been sick... and as of yesterday, the kids' in home daycare was full of sickness.  So, we just decided to all stay home.  It was good for our family, but stressful at the same time because Ethan doesn't have the ability to go outside and play here.  Karis is still sick, so I'll most likely be staying home tomorrow and I think I'll take her to the doctor.  She has a fever, cough, and she's complaining about her stomach hurting (a lot).  So, I'm worried about her.  I hope to be able to get her in early.  We'll see how it goes.

Sorry for the negative post... It's just been a rough few weeks.  Again, I know that things will get better... but it's just tough in the mean time.
I'm thankful that God's grace is sufficient... and that even though I haven't been spending much time with Him lately, that He loves me just the same.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

My Messy House

I learned lately that if I am going to have quality time with my kids, that I HAVE to let the messiness go... So, I am happy to say that messiness doesn't bother me as much as it used to... I just don't have time to worry about it anymore.  We pretty much just leave it during the week and on the weekends we clean up and do laundry.  But, it's never as clean as it used to be :).

I don't blog often anymore for 2 reasons: 1) I don't have time, 2) I feel like I don't have much to write about :)... I live work these days (though I hope that changes soon!).

Going out of town last weekend threw me off... I didn't have time to work, and I got behind.  This weekend my goal is to clean up and get ahead on school stuff so that I'm not scrambling all the time.  I always feel 10 steps behind.

I love my job, though, I'm starting to see some of the downfalls... including the fact that this district has very high expectations... which is GREAT for the kids, but can be tough on the teachers.  I've heard many times: "if you can teach here, you can teach anywhere."  I am learning SO much and feel that it will all make me a better teacher, but I'm tired... I miss my kids... I miss my husband... I desperately want some routine so that I don't feel so scattered all the time.  I'm learning that no matter how much I work, it's never enough (because there's ALWAYS something that needs to be done), so I'm trying to let some things go and just do the best that I can.  At the end of the day, my family is more important.
So, my goal is to get ahead and figure out what things I will do when, and let it go the rest of the time.  It's hard, though, because I'm a perfectionist; and honestly, because of the way I was hired, I always feel like I need to prove myself.  I need to let that go because I know that God is ultimately in control, but it's hard to get that out of my head.  I know that a lot of the pressure that I feel is what I put on myself... I'm learning to let go :).  Learning is the key word :).  I'll get there one day!
The first year anywhere is always hard... I have to learn the curriculum, the expectations, the procedures, etc... I'm hoping that next year will be easier since I'm writing all of these lessons :).  I know that I will have to tweek things next year, but I'm hoping that I can at least start with what I have from last year and just add to it!  I'm hoping that I can begin to get more creative juices flowing soon!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Routine is Near

This week has been tough and great all in the same breath... The week started out rough because I was sick again (well, I guess I just hadn't gotten better yet).  In fact, I ended up leaving work early on Monday because I was struggling.  I came home and slept all afternoon... and I could have continued sleeping, but I wanted to see the kids :).  After that, things slowly got better.  It really made a difference to be able to sleep without the kids at home!

Wednesday we had a half day, then we had some great training.  We were told a lot of things about our (new) language arts curriculum that has made planning so much better and easier... we were also told that if it takes a really long time to write our plans then we need to talk to our director about how to make it easier.  She said that it shouldn't take hours and hours.  The goal is NOT to be able to teach ONLY from our lesson plans, but to have them as a guide.  So, I think planning will get easier now.  It only ended up taking me about 3-4 hours total (over 2 evenings) to write them this week, which isn't bad at all.  I will still have to look at them every night to really plan for the next day, but I would do that anyway :).  We were also trained more thoroughly on writer's workshop, and I'm excited about starting that soon (once I teach the kids the parts of the writing process).

I love my job.  I'm torn at times because of the time that it takes me to prepare, the time that I'm away, etc, but I know that I am where I'm supposed to be... and God reminds me of that daily.  And, I'm really starting to get into a routine and I'm finding my niche with teaching.  I still have a lot to learn, and I have a long way to go, but I'm on my way now :).

I wasn't sure if this would happen, but I really think that I might eventually be able to get back to eating the way that I think is best again.  I honestly have just not cared that much lately because I have been so busy... but now that I'm seeing routine in the future, I think it might be possible.  The only thing that bothers me about sending the kids to daycare is that she follows the food program... and I know how bad the food program is, so that doesn't thrill me :).  And if I could send the kids' breakfast and lunch, even just a few days a week, that would make me feel better.

Another awesome thing is that we have been talking about most likely moving into our own place around Christmas time!  I don't start getting paid until September 30th (because contract dates are September through August), and we'll have to catch up before we can get ahead, but once we're caught up, it won't take long to get ahead!  I can't wait.  We were thinking about going ahead and buying a house, but we've decided that we'll most likely rent for a few years before we do that.  We want to be able to take our time looking, saving up, making sure that we like the town that we live in, etc.  One amazing thing about this job is that I will most likely get a hefty bonus at the end of every summer, which will really help us with putting money in savings (the amount varies based on performance).

I am just SO amazed at how things are working out.  I would never have imagined that all of this would be happening.  Not only do I have a good paying job, but I have a good paying job that I love and it's an amazing ministry.  And my husband is incredibly supportive and helps me with anything that I need help with.  He's so proud of me and so happy for me.  It is very clear that God has orchestrated everything.