Thursday, January 31, 2013

365 Days of Giving Thanks

Day 71 - Friday 1/25/13 - This is going to sound strange, but..... today I am grateful that I found out the truth behind a painful situation at work.  As much as it hurt to hear, I'm glad that I now know the truth.

Day 72 - Saturday 1/26/13 - Many thanks to my friend for inviting me for dinner tonight!  It was a delicious, allergy friendly dinner, and more importantly, an enjoyable evening hanging out with a great friend.

Day 73 - Sunday 1/27/13 - Grateful the Pup has finally learned to play!  The toy basket that has been sitting full and lonely has seen quite the action today!

Day 74 - Monday 1/28/13 - Today was an unexpected day off thanks to the forces of mother nature.  The chance to spend this unplanned day in my jammies was much appreciated!

Day 75 - Tuesday 1/29/13 - Thankful that there are people in my life who can see the bigger picture and remind me of it when needed.

Day 76 - Wednesday 1/30/13 - I'm grateful, surprisingly, for Facebook.  Great place to pose a {somewhat} urgent question and get lots of helpful answers in a short amount of time.

Day 77 - Thursday 1/31/13 - I am thankful for the ability to reflect upon my work.  Through this reflection, I grow, as painful as it may be.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

You Never Know

I've had the Pup for ten weeks.  Even during the messy first week I still knew.  I knew that this Pup was going to change me.

And he did.

Despite all my years around the horses and family pets, I never realized what it was like to be the sole owner of a little critter that completely and utterly depends on you.  For everything.  Like this little guy.

He makes me cry.  He makes me smile, too.  He has shown me that there is so much more out there than what I've seen and experienced.

He can't fix everything.  But he is making things a little more tolerable.
Most of the time.

Monday, January 28, 2013

VBA Part 2: Nominations

Here's the much awaited part two of the Versatile Blogger Award!  The nominations!

A refresher on the rules:
  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and include a link to their site - done!
  2. Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your blog post - done!
  3. Nominate 7 fellow bloggers that you've recently discovered or follow regularly and include a link to their site. - done!
  4. Let them know you have nominated them. - done!
  5. Share 7 random facts about you - done!
Let the nominations begin!
  1. Life Your Way - This is a blog that I discovered during November's NaBloPoMo, and I have been happily reading ever since.  From the artwork to the ideas, Chris has a way of making me laugh!
  2. Inspirational Journal of My Life - The creation of my blog began with the Inspirational Blog Challenges, which is where I met Trina.  She is one of the people who encouraged me to start blogging, and I quite enjoy reading her blog for inspiration!
  3. Therapy Addict - Amanda's blog makes me feel very grounded in the fact that there are others out there that are dealing with similar situations that I lived through.  That, and she's just got a fun blog to read!
  4. A Recovered Life - I'm new to the whole world of tumblr, and the only reason I started with tumblr was because of this blog.  The words of wisdom and pictures of peace?  Worth stopping by to peek at.
  5. The Black, White, and Read Book Challenge - This blog is one that is out of my normal reading range, but I couldn't help but get drawn into the bibliophile's bliss that is this blog!  (And she's a fellow Gilmore Girl's Junkie!)
  6. The Pretty Nifty YA Reader - I just found this blog, and was thrilled to meet another person who prefers young adult literature.  Looking forward to continuing to follow Melina's book list!  (She just switched hosts, and her old blog is here.)
  7. Harriet M. Welch - I'll admit it, I only yesterday found this blog, and I'm not sure how, but the name hooked me instantly.  Her honest, and somewhat quirky words are strangely familiar to me!
There you have it!  Seven bloggers, some new, some cherished, that have all just received the Versatile Blog Award!  Maybe you'll find some new reads!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Versatile Blogger Award

I know this might come as a surprise, but I am always shocked when someone nominates me or my blog for anything.  Always.

And this one?  Being so close to the last one?  Even more humbling and surprising.  It truly is a blessing to be able to share the confines of my head with the world, and to have others find something in my words that make them want to keep reading.

This award is the Versatile Blogger Award, and the wonderful Tamara over at Faith and Substance has graciously bestowed this upon My Purple Dreams.

Here are the rules for this one:
  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and include a link to their site - done!
  2. Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your blog post - done!
  3. Nominate 7 fellow bloggers that you've recently discovered or follow regularly and include a link to their site. 
  4. Let them know you have nominated them. 
  5. Share 7 random facts about you - done!
So first things first - a HUGE thank you to Tamara for the award!  Through the magic of the interwebs, Tamara and I have become bloggy buddies, and I enjoy her site as much as she enjoys mine.  Right now, as I am moving through a foggy space, this gives me something fun to do to lift my mood.  I'm honored to receive the award from you!

Now for seven random facts about me....
  1. Some of my best friends are fictional characters from stories that I tend to reread whenever I need a pick me up.
  2. I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up from the time I was in 4th grade.  It just took me a little while to remember it when college rolled around!
  3. I am afraid of needles, and more often than not, pass out when I get a shot or have blood drawn.
  4. I began collecting quotes when I was in middle school and haven't stopped since.
  5. The only artwork in my house are my own photos - inexpensive and unique!
  6. I like to hang on to inanimate objects that have sentimental value, even though said objects may live in boxes in the basement.
  7. I'm allergic to tomatoes.  Yes, it stinks.
Alright.  Off to work on nominations!  Part two coming soon!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Act 4

I'm so happy that these #26Acts, at least thus far, have all happened organically, with no planning or preparation on my part.  Today's act was no different.

I am a part of a two-year academic cohort along with 140 of my peers throughout the tri-county area.  At the first meeting of the year, we spent some time celebrating people's successes and accomplishments. One of our peers shared the news of another, who recently celebrated her second pregnancy, found out she had cancer.  As she was the sole breadwinner in the family, not only is she dealing with cancer, but also a scary financial situation.  An envelope was passed around and a group collection was taken.  While many of us don't know her personally, I was astounded at the total collected, and honored to be a part of the gift that she will be presented with this weekend.

And I made my contribution in memory of six-year-old Madeline Hsu, who went by Maddy.  A kind, caring, and shy little girl, Maddy enjoyed spending time with her sisters to the point where though they each had their own rooms, they all slept in the same bed because they wanted to be together.  An avid reader, Maddy enjoyed running and dancing, and her bright, floral outfits matched her sparkly personality.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

365 Days of Giving Thanks

Day 64 - Friday 1/18/13 - I really don't know how to word today's gratitude.... I'm very grateful that things fell into place so beautifully at school today.  It's so refreshing to see my students work so well together!

Day 65 - Saturday 1/19/13 - Today my friend and I experimented with some hair dye.  I am so grateful that I've got her in my life to do some rather crazy shenanigans with me!

Day 66 - Sunday 1/20/13 - I am proud of the fact that I accomplished a huge school task today, completing it six hours, rather then stressing out over the project for weeks, like I have in previous years.

Day 67 - Monday 1/21/13 - So thankful that all went well at my follow-up appointment today.  Medicine is working great, and I don't have to go back for a year!

Day 68 - Tuesday 1/22/13 - On this extremely frigid day, I am reminded how grateful I am to have a warm bed to sleep in every night.  And I'm even more grateful that I have the Pup with whom I now share it with!

Day 69 - Wednesday 1/23/13 - Little joys - today's meeting ended earlier than planned, getting me home from school a full 2 hours early!  I used the time to clean my room, putting away all clothes my closet spit out...

Day 70 - Thursday 1/24/13 - Rough week.  Extremely grateful for my therapist's patience today.  Sometimes her presence alone brings me back down to Earth.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Foodie Post

It's no secret that food and I don't get along. With the plethora of allergies I have to deal with, it's no wonder cereal is my favorite meal - it's easy, it doesn't leave me covered in hives, and it doesn't wreak havoc on my digestive system.

Thankfully, my nutritionist has the patience of a saint and she's always looking for creative ways for me to expand my palate. Right now, we're working on increasing my daily intake of vegetables, and last week, she shared this great idea - creating veggie boxes.  What you do is prep and pack ahead of time, so that you have these little boxes, full of veggies, ready to grab and toss in a lunch bag, briefcase, whatever!

For me, the big task is getting things prepped and packed each day, so considering I can pack this up for the whole week? I'm giving it a try.  I bought my three favorite vegetables - sweet peppers, cucumbers, and broccoli. I washed em and chopped them and packed them all up!

I gave it a try last week, and surprisingly, I ended up eating all my veggies!  So far this week, I'm two for two in the veggie jar department. Tonight, I packed four days worth of veggie jars... wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Twice during 2012 I participated in blog challenges that involved posting daily for a full month.  (You can see them HERE and HERE.)  Daunting as it may sound, I actually found those challenges very motivating.  Not that I'd want to do it every month, but sometimes it seems to be helpful.... especially right now.

Cause I am finding myself at a loss for words lately.  Incapable of completing a thought, much less speaking a complete sentence.  That's what depression does sometimes, at least to me.  It robs me of my ability to express thoughts and words in a coherent manner.  And yes, this is making teaching rather interesting! Thank goodness for the nine-year-old's sense of humor!  I am confident they have been quite amused as of late.

What I'm finding interesting about this particular "loss-of-words" experience is that for the first time, it's not just my sentences that are incomplete.  This time, my thoughts are so erratic that they are often incomplete, too.  It's almost comical, one minute I'll be thinking about what I'm teaching after lunch, the next minute my grocery list gets mixed in, but only for a moment before I'm thinking about the book I'm reading.  It's exhausting!

The good news is that I know my ADHD brain is used to multiple thoughts moving through the grey matter at once.  Even better news is that like all rough times, this too shall pass. I just wish it would pass at a slightly faster pace!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Liebster Part 3: Recognition and Questions

(Another shout out and thanks to
Amanda for the award!)
This final part of the Liebster Award is where I get to recognize five up-and-coming blogs and pass on the sweetness of the Liebster Award.   

There are many blogs I know that deserve this award, and if I could give it to each blogger, I would.  But in sticking with the rules, I'm going to have to narrow it to five.  And it sure wasn't easy to do so.  Almost painful, actually.  Thankfully a few that I'd like to recognize have actually already received the Liebster!

On we go with the nominations!
  • Teachers with Attitude by Dianne really makes me smile, cause as a teacher, I can so relate to her classroom capers!
  • Roses are Red by Kylie-Rose is a fellow quote-junkie's blog with lots of great quotes sprinkled throughout!
  • Waking Up by Kashley is the blog of a cyber-friend whose words resonate very much with me. 
  • Strange Little Pearls by Cheryl, who is another quote-fiend like me, is a great read with lots of inspiration in every post! 
  • Storeylines by Barbara gives insight into a sidelined writer, dealing with some extra challenges in life.

Now for the questions!
  1. Why did you start a blog?
  2. What's the one thing you can't live without?
  3. Of what accomplishment are you the proudest?
  4. What book or movie most reflects your life?
  5. What product/TV show from the past would you most like to see return?
  6. What is your favorite dish and what makes it your favorite?
  7. Looking back to a year ago now, did you end up where you thought you would?
  8. If you could jump into any story, what book would you choose and why?
  9. Where did you get the idea for the name of your blog?
  10. What is your favorite memory as a student?
  11. Hit shuffle on your iPod/music device.  What are the first five songs that play?

Finally, the fine print:

Liebster Award Details
1.  Thank the person who awarded you - check!
2.  Share 5 facts about yourself - check!
3.  Answer the 11 questions you were asked - check!
4.  Nominate 5 up and coming blogs - check!
5.  Ask them 11 questions. - check!
(oh, and you might want to let the nominees know they've been awarded!) 

Thanks for following along!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Liebster: Questions Answered

Liebster Part II: Amanda's Questions For Me

1. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
I have been given much advice over the years, and a few pieces really stand out to me.  One was given in the context of me preparing for surgery, as I was concerned about being out of school for so long while I was recuperating.  One of my colleagues said "don't be a hero" as she encouraged me to take as much time as I truly needed so that I didn't come back to work too soon, and in doing so, end up messing with my recovery.  It helped me see that I need to take care of my needs first, not put everyone else in front of me, essentially being a "hero" at the sacrifice of my own well being.
2. What is your favorite quote?
Oh my.  This is like asking a parent to pick a favorite child!  There are so many I love!  I mean, there's a whole page on this blog devoted to quotes!  They are sprinkled all over the blog!  I guess my favorite is the tag line image at the top of the page - "Just because today is a terrible day doesn't mean tomorrow won't be the best day of your life.  You just gotta get there."  (And I sprinkled a few more within this post!)

3. If you had the power to change the world in one way, what would you do?
I'd eliminate suffering.  I don't understand why people need to go through so much suffering!  Yes, I get that experiencing pain helps us appreciate the good feelings, but must there be so much suffering?   That, or I'd find a way to support all children and their families that would ensure every child received a well-supported education.  If we start by insuring that kids get a good education, then we may very well eliminate the poverty that plagues so many.  We can't do this by "fixing" schools, we need to reach into the homes and support the families so that all children have warm beds, food to eat, and a safe and nurturing living environment.

4. What is the best book you read in 2012?
I have to say that it wasn't just one book.  That's just like asking me to choose one quote!  So I narrowed it down to two.... which was quite hard, actually!  I finally got around to reading The Perks of Being A Wallflower.  It was a well written book, that's for sure, but.... let's just say it was an interesting read for me.  Another great book I read (yes, the title is strange) was Foreskin's Lament.  It is a memoir of sorts, and I really enjoyed reading it.  The first time, and the third time!  

5. If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
So funny!  This was the fifth fact about me I posted in the first part of this award response!  Since you asked again... I'd say that aside from cereal... nope.  Cereal it is.

6. What is your most prized possession?
This might be cheesy, but my most prized possession is my college diploma.  Yes, it's tucked away in a drawer, but it represents a lifetime of hard work and commitment, along with struggles and stress, that have paid off.  I love my job, I can't imagine doing anything else.  And I couldn't be doing my job with out that piece of paper.

7. What would you name the autobiography of your life?
Believe it or not, I have already chosen a title for my memoir, which shall remain secret until the memoir is actually written!  I do have some other ideas though, including Small Me, Big Stories, Once Upon a Pony, and The Booktabulous Life Of.  We'll see what ends up happening when the time comes!

8. What is your first memory of being really happy/excited?
Is it sad that I can't remember?  Cause I can't!  I have memories of times I was happy or excited, like when my dad would let me stay up late and chew bubblegum while we played checkers.  Or when we went to feed the ducks at the pond nearby.  Or the time the street flooded and we got to swim in the street, literally!  There are memories that I know were happy ones, but I can't pinpoint one single happiest moment......

9. What 5 things would you bring with you, if stranded on the beach?
If I were stranded on the beach, the first thing I'd bring is a solar powered charging base station.  That way, I'd be able to power my iPad so that I'd be able to access the internet (we're talking the G3 enabled pad) and all the books on my kindle app, as well as stay in touch with loved ones.  The third thing I'd bring is a water purifier, that would also be powered from the solar charger, so that I'd never run out of water.  Which leads to the fourth thing, a bottle to hold the newly purified water!  Finally, I'd bring sunscreen.  I am way to sensitive to be out in the sun for long without it!

10. If you could replay any day in your life, which one would it be?
This is another tough one.  When I look back, there are actually a few "events" in my life that I'd like to get a do-over for.  One sad day is the day I put my horse down.  I couldn't bring myself to be there, so my coach went to take care of things.  To this day, I wish I could go back and make myself be there, to say good-bye and give him one last hug.  One day that I'd love to redo is the day I competed in my first medal finals.  It was in the HUGE arena, double the size of the normal show rings.  I had a beautiful round!  My horse was wonderful, and everything went fantastically.  Except for the first line where I added a stride (fancy word for step).  If I hadn't added the stride, we'd have won for sure.  I'd like to ride that class again, but even with the added stride, I'm still so proud of my riding and of my horse!

11. What is 1 quality that you admire in others?
One quality that I admire in others is their self-confidence.  In the self-confidence department, I come up very, very short, and always admire those who are confident and comfortable with themselves.  

These were some great questions!  Very thought provoking!

Liebster Award Details
1.  Thank the person who awarded you - check!
2.  Share 5 facts about yourself - check!
3.  Answer the 11 questions you were asked - check!
4.  Nominate 5 up and coming blogs
5.  Ask them 11 questions.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

365 Days of Giving Thanks

Day 57 - Friday 1/11/13 - Grateful that I'm starting to finally feel better.  This virus knocked me out!

Day 58 - Saturday 1/12/13 - So grateful for my friend, who picked up the Pup so he could get some much needed fresh air on this unseasonably warm January day.  Successful puppy play date!

Day 59 - Sunday 1/13/13 - Grateful for the ability to write... sometimes it helps to let the words out of my head.

Day 60 - Monday 1/14/13 - Grateful for the 24 smiles that greeted me this morning.  The handful of hugs were kind of nice too!

Day 61 - Tuesday 1/15/13 - I much appreciate the return of my "morning person" side.  It made it a little bit easier to get out of the house this morning.

Day 62 - Wednesday 1/16/13 - Haven't said this in a while.... but I must express appreciation for my boss, who was able to find funds to send me to a school conference that I'm so excited about!

Day 63 - Thursday 1/17/13 - Grateful for friends who might not always have the answer, but they can always show me where to find the answer.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Liebster? Me?

When I was in middle school, I wanted to learn to curse in every language possible.  (Which is kind of ironic now, considering I rarely, if ever curse!)  I learned a few words in Spanish and French, but the best I could get from my friends who spoke German was an almost funny sentiment, reminiscent of the "your mama" jokes.

Anyway, I bring this up now because Amanda over at Therapy Addict has bestowed the Liebster Award upon My Purple Dreams.  Liebster means "favorite or beloved" in German, and I'm flattered and honored that this blog is a beloved favorite of anyone!

So here are the details:
1.  Thank the person who awarded you - check!
2.  Share 5 facts about yourself - check!
3.  Answer the 11 questions you were asked
4.  Nominate 5 up and coming blogs
5.  Ask them 11 questions.

I'm going to split this into several posts over a few days, make it a little more fun! 

Let's get this party started!

First, a HUGE thanks to Amanda for the nomination.  I've met some pretty neat people through this blog, and I very much appreciate all those who read it.  Even more, I love when the feeling is mutual - I enjoy their blog as much as they enjoy mine.  Amanda's is no exception, as it's one of my faves!  I've enjoyed reading about her journey and have found comfort and inspiration in her words.  Thanks again for the nomination Amanda!

Five facts about me...
  1. I love the color purple!  I know this is a "duh" fact, but what you probably didn't know is that my dream car is a purple one.  Preferably a mini cooper or a fiat.  Or a convertible.  I just want a purple car.
  2. I'm terrified of snakes and spiders.  Yet, I've had a yellow python wrapped around my body.  And yes, we rescue and release all spiders that show up in the classroom.  Oh the magic of teaching.
  3. I love music (another duh) and wish I could sing or dance, but I can't carry a tune nor catch a beat to save my life!
  4. I have wanted to be a teacher pretty much my whole life.  When I was in 4th grade, I even wrote a poem about becoming a teacher.  To this day, I still keep in touch with my 3rd grade and 4th grade teachers.
  5. My favorite food is cereal.  I could easily eat it three meals a day and not get tired of it!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Something Wonderful

For all those out there that are
wishing life were easier,

For those of you fighting,
wishing you weren't here,

A reminder for everyone.
Including me.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Act 3

I was at the pet store today to pick up more food for the pup.  I still haven't found another store that carries his food, so I went back to the store from where he was adopted. Standing in line at the checkout, I realized that the same rescue group from where I got the pup was going to be at the store later that afternoon for an adoption event.  It was a spur of the moment idea, but once the thought entered my mind, the decision was a no-brainer.

I bought a second bag of food and left it with the cashier with the following note:

And I did this act for Ana Marquez-Greene.  She was six.  Ana didn't know it, but she was going to get a Kindle for Christmas.  Ana loved music, and followed in her father, a jazz musician, as she too loved to sing.  She danced wherever she went.  Ana often wore a flower in her hair, and is sadly missed by her hockey-playing, also musical brother.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

365 Days of Giving Thanks

Day 50 - Friday 1/4/13 - I am grateful this was a short work week!

Day 51 - Saturday 1/5/13 - I am honored to have been a part of a rite of passage for one of my former students.  This is the gift of teaching....

Day 52 - Sunday 1/6/13 - I am grateful for the worlds best heating pad - a small, cuddly, dog.

Day 53 - Monday 1/7/13 - I am grateful for cell phones and bursts of calm patience that miraculously appear out of nowhere in just the right moment.

Day 54 - Tuesday 1/8/13 - Appreciation is flowing for a friend who saw something on the news and thought of me, and the fact that she followed that thought with a phone call.  The little things are so appreciated these days.

Day 55 - Wednesday 1/9/13 - I know I say this a lot, but I really am grateful for every member of my team.  Today I'm especially thankful for my doctor, who squeezed me in at the end of the day cause she's just awesome like that.

Day 56 - Thursday 1/10/13 - So under the weather today, thereby bestowing my gratitude on the puppy pads that I purchased on a whim.  They've come in really handy today so my poor little pup doesn't have to wait for me to take care of business.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Act 2

As I am being very deliberate in my acts of kindness, Act 2 took longer than I intended.  Yes, I have been doing my usual daily kindness, but the intentionality of #26 Acts is different, at least for me.

During rush hour, I was heading out of the grocery store parking lot.  The first exit had a long line of cars waiting, so I went to the next one, and was quickly able to exit. As the light at the intersection was red, I purposely paused to let the first car out.  And the second.  And the third.  And the fourth. And the fifth.

Yes, it was rush hour.  Yes, it was the end of a long, exhausting day for me.  Yes, I know that everyone was probably in a "rush" to get home, as was I.  But I was not in enough of a rush to ignore cars waiting to exit a busy parking lot.  I've been there before, waiting, hoping, praying that someone would let me out.  It's not fun.  So this time, I did something about that.

And I did it in memory of bright eyed, brown haired, six year old Olivia Engel.  Olivia was supposed to play an angel in her church's nativity play the evening she was killed.  Olivia loved school, she loved helping her teacher, being line leader, and excelled at math and reading.  She was an active child, participating in everything she could - from tennis to Daisy's.  Olivia will be remembered by everyone as a kind, well-mannered child, and will be sorely missed.

Monday, January 7, 2013


Just last week the topic of patience came up.  
Turns out I have none.  
At least when it comes to myself.  

I've been living in a depressive fog for oh, eight weeks now, 
and I am impatiently waiting for it to lift. 

But patience is the only thing that will bring relief.
 So I'm looking to purchase some. 

Please let me know if you have any to spare!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Saturday Smiles

Shirt Woot (unprinted)  (If you know the creator, please let me know so I can give appropriate credit!)

Remember this game?  I loved playing it as a kid.  There were so many variations - freeze tag, TV tag.... I think that a lot of the games we played as kids are no longer being played by kids today.... might be time to do something about that!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

365 Days of Giving Thanks

Day 43 - Friday 12/28/12 - I am grateful for friendships.  As few as I may have, the ones I do are priceless.

Day 44 - Saturday 12/29/12 - I am grateful for all those who work to protect innocent animals and make sure they are well taken care of until they find their forever home.

Day 45 - Sunday 12/30/12 - I am grateful for bad days, because they remind me to appreciate the good ones.

Day 46 - Monday 12/31/12 - I am thankful to have a warm home and a sweet puppy to make it even warmer.

Day 47 - Tuesday 1/1/13 - Happy New Year!  I am thankful I made it through another year.

Day 48 - Wednesday 1/2/13 - I am grateful for 2pm Hershey Kisses.

Day 49 - Thursday 1/3/13 - I am grateful for patience.  I know it's out there somewhere.  I just gotta find some of my own!