Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Another Blog Challenge - Complete!

Today is the last day of July.  And I made it!

What I mean is, that I made it through the Blog Every Day challenge!  (Also known as NaBloPoMo.)  It got a bit sketchy at the end with some family stuff going on, but alas, another summer blog challenge is complete.

I think I'm going to make this a tradition on the blog - complete one daily challenge every summer, whether it's a special one or a NaBloPoMo.  I love the purpose these challenges give, the prompts always make me think, and usually generate some pretty interesting (and sometimes inspiring) posts!

My favorite thing about these blog challenges is meeting new friends, and this month was no exception!  New bloggy buddies, like Judy over at Charming Simplicity, expand my reading repertoire, and make blogging even more fun!

If you'd like to participate in this challenge whenever, all the prompts are posted here.  Thanks for playing along!

Day 31: A Vivid Memory

A vivid memory, eh?  This one happened more than ten years ago, and I still chuckle when I think of it!

I was nannying for a family while the parents were out of town.  I had three kids in my care for ten days.  I'd stayed with this family before, so it was nothing new.  I enjoyed spending time with them, and hey, the kids, a seven year old boy, and girls ages 9, and 11, were in school from 8-3, and had after school activities, so it was kinda easy, actually!

Friday night the girls had a sleep over. Around two o'clock in the morning, the girls flew into my room, completely freaked out, because they heard a noise downstairs.  I assured them all was fine, and told them they could bring their sleeping bags in and sleep in my room.  They got settled in, and this time, we heard the noise again.  They all screamed, and I have to admit, I was kinda scared myself!  A few more LOUD bangs followed, and with my heart pounding as loud as the noises, I crept down the stairs, leaving four pre-teen girls huddled in my bed.

The noise was coming from the kitchen, and with fear coursing through my veins, I tiptoed in, and flipped on the lights. 

There, I found their little brother, sitting in the pantry, eating peanut butter.  I unleashed the fury on him!  At this point, the girls had flown down the stairs and were standing, wide-eyed, in the kitchen door, as I screamed at him.  I think they were more afraid of me than anything at that moment! 

I totally took him by surprise, as he didn't anticipate getting caught.  He tried the "I just wanted some peanut butter!" ploy, but when questioned as to what made peanut butter so loud, he couldn't help but grin, confirming that he'd done it on purpose.  After a good minute of screaming at him, I quickly regained my composure, told him to brush his teeth again before he went back to bed, and sent everyone back up stairs.

What a night it was!

Day 31 Prompt: A vivid memory.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Day 30: Letting Go

Letting go........ two simple words......... so many interpretations......

Ironic that this is today's prompt, as today, I let my grandmother go.  She graced this Earth for more than 90, very, very full years.

Letting go does not mean forgetting.  It does not mean pretending things never happened.  It does not mean that the past is erased.

Letting go means moving forward.  It means picking up the pieces and creating a new picture.  It means growing.  It means forgiving.

As I let go to my grandmother, I will not forget all she has gifted my life with.  I will remember the good, let go of the bad, and forgive the hurts. 

Letting go means so many things.  Let go of the bad to make room for the good.  Let go and let the universe open to you, to the plans it has for you.  Let go, and just be.

Grandma, you will be missed......

Day 30 Prompt: React to this term: Letting Go.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Day 29: Music!

Oh boy.  Another one?  Seriously?  Only five?!  I have an entire page devoted to music!   Picking only five is gonna be tough.  So here's my compromise.  I'm picking five that may or may not be on the list already.  Promise me you'll check out the music page for the rest.... and note that like the quote page, it's an ever growing page, too!

Here we go.... in no particular order, five favorite songs:

Song 1: The Killers - When You Were Young

Song 2: Jimmy Eat World - The Middle

Song 3: Owl City - Fireflies

Song 4: Yes - I've Seen All Good People

Song 5: Wham! - Wake Me Up Before You Go Go

There you have it.  My very eclectic mix of songs.  It took me over two hours to narrow it down to just five!  Not an easy (or fun) task!

Day 29 Prompt: Five songs or pieces of music that speak to you or bring back memories. Use Grooveshark or YouTube to include them in the post.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Day 27: Dear Readers

Dear Readers, 
Dear Friends,

That sounds better.  You may all be reading this, but those of you that read regularly and have gotten to know me, well, you're friends.  Maybe not in the physical world, but definitely in the cyber world!

I don't know that I've ever said it before, but this is the perfect opportunity to say it: Thank you.  Thank you for reading my words.  Thank you for sharing them and google + ing them and tweeting them.  Even more than that, thank you for sharing YOUR words with me.  Your comments, whether a simple "I can relate." or a more elaborate note, mean the world to me.  I have saved many comments in my email, so that I can quickly pull up the ones that I've found particularly helpful, and re-read them when I need a little extra boost.

I never thought I'd be a blogger.  I never thought I had anything to say, to share, or anything that would be worth reading.  What started nearly two years ago as a project to help with my eating disorder recovery process has blossomed into a blog that I pour my heart into, and am very, very proud of.

The fact that you all read it is icing on the cake.  And your comments?  They are the sprinkles that make it all a bit more sweeter!

Day 27 Prompt: A letter to your readers.

Friday, July 26, 2013


You know me, not gonna miss a chance to play with numbers!  
(All positive number play, this time!)

So this is my 444th post.  That's four hundred forty-fourth.  That's a lot of posts.  
And that's a very cool number.  444.

In those 444 posts, there have been a lot, and I mean a lot of topics covered.  
Here's a sampling of them to celebrate 444:

New friends, long time friends, and visitors who will hopefully become friends, 
thank you for reading 444 posts.  Here's to 444 more!

Day 26: Good Read

So for this challenge I, once again, had quite a few options to choose from, and it was a bit tricky to narrow it down.  For once, though, I managed, and picked one of my long-time favorite and inspirational reads.

"Mom, I'm Fat"
I don't remember how I found this article.  I think it was floating around Facebook for a while.  The first time I read it, I cried.  I probably teared up the first few times I re-read it, too.  It's just that good.  At least, for me, it is such a wonderful example of how small moments can really shape a child. 

To be honest, I don't know if, at this point in my life, I'd have the guts to do what the author did.  I have so much frickin' baggage when it comes to body image that I don't know if I'd be able to shove that aside to help my daughter.  I really hope that I would be able to put my own issues aside to potentially prevent my daughter from experiencing some of the same torturous issues that I've faced.

I am so inspired by the way she handles things.  That despite her expertise in the area of girl empowerment, her own child baffles her.  As much as she inwardly struggles, she outwardly does what I think will never be forgotten by her daughter, and hopefully help her daughter move through and avoid any further body image issues.

Great read.  Truly.  Worth saving for your future children....... at least I think so.

Day 26 Prompt: Something you read online. Leave a link and discuss, if you'd like.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

365 Days of Giving Thanks

Day 247 - Thursday 7/25/13 - Thankful for a spontaneous walk through town with a favorite friend - perfect weather to meander and chat!

Day 246 - Wednesday 7/24/13 - Loved the sweet treat I treated myself to.  Haven't had an authentic root beer float in for-ev-er!

Day 245 - Tuesday 7/23/13 - Appreciate my brother for ordering me a totally delish pizza, despite the fact that cause it's GF it cost twice as much as the other pizzas.  It really was delish!

Day 244 - Monday 7/22/13 - Grateful for the cooler weather, the Pup finally got to enjoy a nice long walk!

Day 243 - Sunday 7/21/13 - Very much appreciate my neighbor who dragged the last carpet roll (that has been sitting on the landing of the entryway) to the dumpster for me!

Day 242 - Saturday 7/20/13 - So grateful to my friend E, who, once again, pulled me out of my isolating day with a last minute dinner invite, where I got not only a wonderful meal, but a great evening of kid time and grown-up catch-up time!

Day 241 - Friday 7/19/13 -Thankful for an impromptu lunch with a work friend, it was wonderful to see her and catch up!

Day 25: Hey. You!

"You are wise beyond your years."

I don't remember the first time I heard it, but the first time it stuck, I was in ninth grade.  And stick it did.  Maybe because my English teacher wrote it on nearly every paper I turned in.

At that time, I thought it to be a high, high, compliment, and was very proud to be considered such a wise kid.  Now that I look back on that, I realize that while it was most definitely meant as a compliment.......  being wise beyond your years is not always a good thing.  Cause it meant that I had experienced things that were well beyond my tender young years.  And those experiences were not always good ones, often resulting in lost childhood experiences.

Funny how a few years can completely shift your perspective on a simple comment from a well-meaning and wonderful friend.

Day 25 Prompt: Something someone told you about yourself that you'll never forget (good or bad.)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Day 24: Worst Traits?

Oh goodness.  Only three?  I could come up with a heck of a lot more, and it would be way easier than a list of positive traits, sadly.

First, I am very stubborn, er, determined.  It's not that I'm unwilling, I just need to very clearly understand the how, why, and what before I will agree...... most of the time.

Second, I am extremely hyper-vigilant.  I notice EVERYthing.  I mean everything.  To a fault.  And this gets in the way of a lot.  It is extremely frustrating, and I've yet to find a positive in being hyper-vigilant.

Thirdly, I seem to enjoy living in an internal misery.  I don't know how to enjoy life without worrying about the other shoe dropping.

Other traits?  I could list a dozen easily, but I will, for once, follow the rules of the challenge and stop with three.

Day 24 Prompt: Your top three worst traits.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Day 23: Life Lessons

I like to say that you learn something new every single day.  And it's rarely in school.  Or at least I used to like to say that.  Now that I'm a teacher, I have a modified version of it.  Or, more like, the old adage applies once you hit middle school.  Because in elementary school, you are definitely learning something new every day, IN school, at least in my class!

A few of those things include........
  • Kindness is crucial.  Genuine kindness will get you everywhere.  
  • People can tell if you're being insincere.
  • Patience is more powerful than you can imagine.
  • Silence can be your most powerful tool.
  • The golden rule really is golden.
  • The world doesn't revolve around you, no matter what you may think.
  • Things can always get worse.  Things can always get better.
  • Perspective is a little thing that makes a very, very big difference.

Day 23 Prompt: Things you've learned that school won't teach you.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Day 22: Stepping on the Soapbox

This is such a timely prompt for me right now!

Two summers I got a great pair of shorts.  As it was near the end of the summer, they were sold out everywhere, even online, otherwise, I'd have bought a few pairs.  Fast forward to this summer.  Back to said store as they brought that style of shorts back!  Yeah!  I was so excited and went straight in to pick up a few pairs.  Lucky me, there was a big sale going on, so the shorts were half-off.  Unlucky me, there was, once again, only one pair in stock that fit me.

(stepping on the soap box)

The pair of shorts I bought two years ago were my semi-typical size.  As I wore them, they stretched a bit (or I lost weight, who knows) and they got to be too big, but still wearable.  The pair of shorts I bought this year were a size LARGER than the previous pair, and are just a smidge tight on me!

What gives?!  Same store.  Same style.  Same shorts.  Totally different fit!  I mean, I'm holding the shorts next to each other, reading the size labels, and they are totally off base!  The larger size short is actually smaller than the smaller size short!  Seriously people, what gives?  Are you trying to add to the already messed up body-image that many women carry with them?    I mean come on.  An eight is an eight is an eight.  At least that's how I think it should be.  Not an eight one summer, which becomes a ten the  next, which becomes a twelve the next, yet all three pairs of shorts are exactly the same.

This frustrates me and if it weren't for two plus years working on recovery, it would really depress me, too.

(stepping off the soapbox)

Day 22 Prompt: Rant about something. Get up on your soapbox and tell us how you really feel. (a pet peeve, a current event, a controversial topic, something your husband or roommate or neighbor or boss does that really ticks you off.)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Day 21: The Archives

Hmmm.... link to my favorite posts in my archives.  That would require actually going back and reading the archives, which I actually haven't done in a while!

So.  Let's see.  I'll try and keep the list short......
  1. 11 Things (11.11.11)
  2. Farewell 2011 (12.31.11)
  3. The A Word (2.12.12)
  4. Perspective (5.28.12)
  5. Word of the Day: Emotional (6.10.12)
  6. Word of the Day: Laughter (6.18.12)
  7. Turning Point (8.13.12)
  8. Professionally Developed (10.31.12)
  9. Stormy Weather (11.13.12)
Well, it isn't exactly short, but....  Those of you curious for a glimpse into more of my story, hopefully this will clear things up a bit!

Day 21 Prompt: A list of links to your favorite posts in your archives.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Day 20: Getting Real

A struggle.  Present day.  Like, something I'm dealing with now.  Working on now.  Kinda goes along with the Day 16 post about difficulties. 

Difficulties.  Life is full of them.  What makes them liveable is how you choose to respond to those difficulties.  And I don't always respond well.

I'm........... a little embarrassed to admit........... how much I'm struggling with this whole idea of growing up.  I mean, I'm in my 30's. 
I'm chronologically an adult.  Except I feel like anything but.  I am so lost in this identity discovery, something kids usually go through as they make their way in and out of adolescence and teenage time and early adulthood.

I'm digging my heels in.  I'm white knuckling it.  I'm resisting.  Because I'm ascared.  I skipped those growing-up experiences the first time through, and while logically I know that the way to "fill those holes" is to let myself go through the experiences now.  But I must have skipped them for a reason, so to re-live something I avoided the first time? 

Let's just say my therapist has her hands full with me these days.  And I'm so, so, so, SO grateful to have her on my team.

Day 20 Prompt: Get real. Share something you're struggling with right now.

Week 48: Celebrate!

I didn't really think that I'd have much worth celebrating.  My life just isn't that exciting.

However.  When I sat down and thought about it..... and started digging deep..... shocking (or not!) I found a celebration right in front of my face!  It wasn't in existence even a month ago, but now, as I sit here and type this, it is definitely worth celebrating!

Every summer my goal has been to work on my house.  To finish the kitchen.  To redo the bedroom.  To decorate.  To do something to make my house a home.  Well my friends, this summer, not only did I set the same goal, but I'm in process of actually accomplishing it!

Project one was simple, to make my mirror look a little nicer.  $25 later and two hours later, project one was complete, and made such a difference in the bathroom!  I still hate looking in the mirror, but now I can't help but look at the mirror!

Project two involved a not-so little box that has been sitting in the corner of my dining room for over four years.  I am proud to say it is no longer sitting in the dining room.  As a matter of fact, the box is no where to be seen anymore.  Instead, my kitchen is a bit happier!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Day 19: Five Faves

Had I known this prompt was coming (and technically, I did, I just wasn't paying close enough attention!) I might have been able to select only one blog for the Day 5 prompt!  So in addition to my bloggy buddies I introduced you to in Day 5, here are five more blogs worth checking out (at least in my opinion!)

Blog 1 - Now. Here. Life -- This relatively new blog is quickly becoming a favorite, as I can relate very much to what the author shares.  That, and she's incredibly inspiring with her words, and her photography!  One of my favorite lines on her whole blog is on her About Me page - "I'm a recovering control-freak."  She's not had an easy path in life, which makes her words all the more motivating to read.

Blog 2 - Charming Simplicity -- I only recently met Judi, through July's NaBloPoMo, and charming is definitely a good descriptor of her blog, and of her!  She writes about this and that, smiles, some challenges, beautiful flowers, and life.  And she offers quite a refreshing look at things in the process!

Blog 3 - Tales of a Boundary Ninja -- If you're looking for some psychological wisdom, you're going to want to check out Attachment Girl's blog.  She has so much intellectual and scientific knowledge of this process called therapy that you're bound to learn more than you expect.  That, and she's an awesome writer, and person! 

Blog 4 - I'm Just That Way and That's Just Me -- Not one of my typical blogs, but one of my favorites.  Dani is a "sassy, crafty, mama bird from Los Angeles raising a very sweet little girl with Autism in the Midwest....and stuff" which pretty much says it all.  I'm inspired, motivated, and sometimes a little saddened by all that she has faced with her little bird, yet, I always feel good after reading her blog.

Blog 5 - I am intentionally not listing a five.... cause there are about fifty more I could list, so instead I'll steer you over to my blog roll, where you might find some repeats, or not, but it's an ever-growing list so it will make for a very long-lasting number five!

Day 19 Prompt: Five of your favorite blogs and what you love about them.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

365 Days of Giving Thanks

Day 240 - Thursday 7/18/13 -So thankful for the good night sleep I got last night, finally!  It felt so nice to wake up feeling refreshed this morning!

Day 239 - Wednesday 7/17/13 - Thrilled to run into some wonderful friends at the mall this evening!  That chance encounter and delightful conversation made my whole day!

Day 238 - Tuesday 7/16/13 - Grateful to be reminded that when washing ones hands, one is never to old to make bubbles.

Day 237 - Monday 7/15/13 - Grateful that the storms waited till after I got home - the Pup hates thunder.

Day 236 - Sunday 7/14/13 - Great take at the farmer's market this morning, though it was a little hot for the Pup!  The blueberries are delish!

Day 235 - Saturday 7/13/13 - Thankful to have completed summer project number two!  Quote hanging above cabinets in kitchen - complete!

Day 234 - Friday 7/12/13 - Happy to finally clean out the refrigerator!  Time to make room for some good food!

Day 18: Childhood

I think I was six or seven the year my parents had the hardwood floors refinished in our house.  I remember it being summer, and a good one at that, as I was going to an awesome day camp that I enjoyed a lot.

The way the house was laid out, having the floors refinished meant the only parts of the house we could access were my parents bedroom, the half-bathroom, the basement, the kitchen, and with a clever bridge that my dad created out of two milk crates and a board, we could access the full bathroom.  Everything else was off limits till the floors were finished.  Thankfully, it was summer, and my parents lack of disposable income led to a bit of creativity.

They created a campsite in the back yard for us.  Being summer, it was pretty fitting, and it was a lot of fun!  For three days we slept in sleeping bags in the tent.  While my mom cooked in the kitchen, we ate on the picnic table next to the tent and enjoyed popsicles and smores for dessert.

Three days of living in a tent were any kid's dream, cause camping meant no bath!  Except, that's where the bridge my dad built came into play.  And to be honest, it's my favorite memory of the whole situation.  It felt quite adventurous climbing across the rickety board, perilously perched atop the waxy milk crates.  It made taking a bath not so bad, at least for those few days!

Day 18 Prompt: Tell a story from your childhood. Dig deep and try to be descriptive about what you remember and how you felt.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Day 17: Me

This post feels a little exposing, as I've never put a picture of me on the blog before....

I actually really like this picture of me, which is rare.  (Both that I like the photo, and that I'm in a photo are rare, actually!)

It was taken on a beautiful spring day, the sky was a brilliant blue.  A nearby playground was beckoning me to come play.  I found myself on the swings, just enjoying the breeze, the sky, and the moments of carefree bliss....

Day 17 Prompt: A favorite photo of yourself and why.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Day 16: Difficulties

Sometimes, it seems like I've been dealt so many challenges in life, that getting out of bed is an effort that isn't necessarily worth it.  Thankfully, though, there are things in my life that *do* make getting out of bed worth it, no matter how hard it is at that moment!

I could pick any number of difficulties that I'm dealing with, as they're concurrent and continuous challenges in my world.  Instead, I'm going to let you into my biggest and most challenging difficulty.

My whole life has been spent catering to others, being who I think they want me to be, doing what I think they want me to do, doing what they actually want me to do, adjusting myself to fit in wherever it is that I am at the moment.  In some ways, that's an asset, as I can often adjust as need be.  But in most ways..... it sucks.  Because here I am, in my mid-thirties, and I have no idea who I am or what I like.  And this has been an incredible challenge as I try to navigate the world in which I live.  I have no idea what I like.  None.  I know I like cereal.  I know I like the color purple.  As far as who I am, I'm a teacher.  That's it. 

I have a lot to learn about myself, and what's making this uber challenging is that no one can tell me the answers to my questions because no one else is me.  My therapist's favorite line seems to be "what do you think?" which is often met with a blank stare and a sarcastic quip of sorts. 

Who am I?  What do I like?  Why are those questions so difficult?  If only I knew!

Day 16 Prompt: Something difficult about your "lot in life" and how you're working to overcome it.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Week 47: Motivation

This week's post is about motivation.  More specifically, what motivates me to recover.  I'm a little embarrassed to admit that my major source of motivation today is still quite closely resembling my motivation way back two years ago.....  And my motivation when I tackled this topic back in February......

Yes, I am still working on maintaining my recovery progress for my team.  They've put so much work into me, their time, their energy, their care.... I will not throw that away.  Funny thing is, while I still *need* my therapist multiple times a week, I've managed to taper back with my dietitian, and see her every three weeks.  And it's working pretty well, actually!  Maybe I have made more progress at that inner motivation than I thought....

And you know what?  I actually don't want to throw away the time and effort I've put in, either.  Yes, it's tempting, at times, to let myself sink back into my old ways, and I had a recent spell with that unwelcome visitor that I'm still recovering from.... but.... I'm not gonna throw it all away, either.  My hair finally stopped falling out in handfuls only a few months ago.  I am coming off the best school year ever.  All because I've been working at keeping recovery. 

So maybe there have been changes in my motivation to recover.... maybe it really is starting to switch to internal motivation after all.........

Day 15: A Day in the Life

Day 15 Prompt: A Day in the life (include photos from throughout your typical day - this could be "a photo an hour" if you'd like.)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Day 14: Happiness

This prompt should be pretty easy, for once!  Ten things that make me happy.....

My favorite Albus Dumbledore quote....
  1. the Pup
  2. teaching
  3. doing something new/fun on my computer
  4. reading a good book
  5. relaxing on a comfy swing or hammock
  6. a clean house
  7. hugs
  8. smiles
  9. a really good meal
  10. chocolate
Day 14 Prompt: Ten things that make you really happy.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Day 13: A Public Apology

Dear World,

I want to apologize for my behavior when it comes to saying thank you.  More specifically, when it comes to writing thank you notes.

I suck at them.  I suck at them because I am so overwhelmed with gratitude upon receiving any gifts, that I am truly at a loss of words to appropriately express my appreciation for said gift - whatever it may be.  I push myself to attempt to write individual thank you notes to each person, and end up a mess of frustrating tears because it doesn't feel my words are able to convey my true appreciation.

It may sound like a lame excuse, but this began way back when I was a teen, and has been a life-long struggle.  I owe thank you notes for graduation presents, for housewarming gifts, and for gifts from students long ago received and still very much valued and appreciated.  Know that oftentimes, gifts sit unused for months, with the promise that I'll enjoy the gift once I've sent a thank you note.  And they sit, mocking me for months, until I finally crumble.

So if you've given me anything over the years, and you didn't get a formal thank you note, please know that I do so very, very much thank you for the gifts and the thoughts, and while I might never find the words to express my gratitude appropriately, my thanks is truly heartfelt.


Day 13 Prompt: Issue a public apology. This can be as funny or as serious or as creative as you want it to be.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Day 12: I miss...

Ooohhhh...... this prompt feels like letting the air out of a balloon.  There's a lot that I miss, people, places, times...... and I really try to not dwell on them because they evoke a degree of sadness that tends to linger for longer than I care to admit.  Which means you're getting another list.  Cause they're less emotional.  Or something.

  • I miss my equestrian life.  It was such a special chapter of my life.
  • I miss my sweet, cuddly cat.
  • I miss the carefree innocence of childhood.  I didn't get to be a kid long enough.....
  • I miss the family camping trips before they got bad.
  • I miss my California "family" and the vacations I had with them.
  • I miss being able to make decisions that were not based on money.  
  • I miss the milestone experiences I skipped growing up.

Day 12 Prompt: What do you miss? (a person, a thing, a place, a time of your life...)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

365 Days of Giving Thanks

Day 233 - Thursday 7/11/13 - Thankful to the local farmer and the delicious eggs that were super yummy scrambled and served over crispy fries - excellent dinner! (Or should I say eggselent?)

Day 232 - Wednesday 7/10/13 - Grateful for the delicious nap the Pup and I took on this hot, stuffy day!

Day 231 - Tuesday 7/9/13 - Not so thrilled to be buying the allergy bed gear, but thrilled that I got it all at a discount!

Day 230 - Monday 7/8/13 - Thankful for 20 seconds of insane courage this afternoon.  That, and the incredible patience my therapist had while waiting for the words to come.

Day 229 - Sunday 7/7/13 - Very happy to find sweet cherries at the farmer's market this morning!

Day 228 - Saturday 7/6/13 - So thankful that project mosaic turned out so well! (and was so easy, too!)

Day 227 - Friday 7/5/13 - I'm quite thankful that I found the glue to complete a project - looking forward to working on it this weekend!

Day 11: Sell Yourself!

Oh boy.  Here goes nothin'....... Selling me, in 10 words or less:

Day 11 Prompt: Sell yourself in 10 words or less.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Day 10: Embarrassing!

To be perfectly honest, I've been thinking about this post since Day 2.  I can not, seriously, come up with my most embarrassing moment!  Might be because I try to keep myself from ending up in embarrassing situations.  That, and the fact that most of my embarrassment is completely internal.

I may contradict myself here, but I'm not terribly easy to embarrass, yet, at the same time, I'm SO easily embarrassed by the silliest things!  Like, any time I am publicly recognized for doing anything well, I flush with embarrassment and try to play off the acknowledgement.  (In other words, I'm embarrassed by my own talents.  I know.)  In the same (sort of) vein, I can get up in front of the entire school and do goofy stuff to entertain them at assembly without batting an eye, and without feeling embarrassed at all.  In fact, that is kinda fun to do - getting to let my inner goof-ball out in a crowd of 400+ five to ten year olds!

So while this post might not be as expected..... well, it's what you're gonna get!

Day 10 Prompt: Most embarrassing moment (s). Spill. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Day 9: One Moment

The couch.  The Pup.  Baseball.  Perfection.

Day 9 Prompt: A moment in your day (this can be just a photo or both a photo and words.)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Day 8: Advice

Don't eat yellow snow.

Don't go commando if you're wearing button-fly jeans.

If roasting marshmallows using metal hangers, make sure to wear an oven mitt.

Always look both ways before crossing the street.  Twice.

Measure twice, cut once.

Salt makes everything more flavorful.

Keep band-aids in your wallet.

Spread kindness everywhere, especially to people who are grumpy.

Day 8 Prompt: A piece of advice you have for others. Anything at all.

(A moment of silence to acknowledge that this is the 420th post on the blog - wow!)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Day 7: Fears

Holy $#¡% this is tough.  More like embarrassing, actually.  I know sometimes fears aren't rational and don't make sense.  I get that.  I also know that logic doesn't always help rationalize fears, either.  So this post is gonna be short.

Fears.  Spiders.  Severe weather.  Heights.  Driving through tunnels.  Hospitals.  Death.  Strangers.  Having no control.  Judgement.  Being "seen."  Hospitals.  Vomit.  Breaking rules.

Day 7 Prompt: The thing(s) you're most afraid of.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Week 46: Energy Boost!

What gives me energy, you ask? 
Why, chocolate, of course!

Oh.  Other than the obvious chocolate.

Hmmm...... lemme think on that.  To me, the obvious answer is to take a nap.  But sometimes I wake up more tired than energized.  Sunshine is always a good energizer, as is a quick swim in the pool, but those aren't usually that helpful in the winter!

I am energized by teaching.  Seriously.  You might think that being in charge of 25 nine year olds for seven hours is exhausting.  And it is.  Very much so.  But at the same time, it is so energizing!  When I'm running low at school, I can pause what we're doing and we can take a dance break, or go for a quick lap around the baseball field, or tell some jokes, or do some yoga.  Lots of possibilities for a quick, three-minute energy boost when you're surrounded by so much energy!

But my go-to answer when I'm at home?  And exhausted, without time for a nap?
Chocolate, of course!

Day 6: What do you do?

You want to know what I do?  It's pretty simple.

I help mold the future.
I listen to dreams, questions, and hopes.
I motivate people to try.
I learn from those I am with.
I inspire people to find their strengths.
I share my talents and gifts.
I encourage people to embrace their challenges.
I give my time to help others.
I celebrate risk-takers.
I care about those I interact with.
I embrace differences.
I love each individual as they are.
I turn self-doubts into moments of celebration. 

Day 6 Prompt: If you couldn't answer with your job, how would you answer the question, 'what do you do'?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Day 5: Bloggy-Love

Hmmm..... I'm not a fan of these "pick one" prompts!  There are too many choices out there, and in this case, too many bloggy buddies that deserve a shout out!  I've narrowed it down to three.  And might have to follow up to include a few more....!

Tayla Anne over at She'll Be Free has such a gentle spirit that overflows with kindness and compassion.  I don't even remember how we "met" but I'm a big fan of her and love the bits of wisdom she posts on twitter and Facebook.  I also find a lot of comfort in her series Voices of Ed as reading others' journeys helps remind me that I'm not alone in my own.  Tayla has been through the roller coaster of life and continues to share herself with us, her readers.

Tamara over at Faith and Substance has a rare gift - she gets my sense of humor!  She has a few different weekly posts that are just awesome, including Friday Funnies, which are my favorite!  Both Tamara and I love books, love cats, and when I'm having a crabby day, I pop over to her site or her Facebook page cause I know that I'll find a smile there!

Amanda over at Therapy Addict is how I found this blog challenge.  She's another one that I don't remember how we "met" but I've loved her blog since I found it.  She talks of her journey through life, which, as the title indicates, includes an affinity to therapy.  More than that, though, she's on a quest to become a therapist herself, and I love reading about the ups and downs in her journey.  She's got such a positive attitude on life, you can't help but feel hopeful when you read!

Day 5 Prompt: Publicly profess your love and devotion for one of your blogger friends. What makes them great? Why do you love them? If you don't have blogger friends, talk about a real-life friend or even a family member.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

365 Days of Giving Thanks - July 4th Edition

Day 226 - Thursday 7/4/13 - Surprised that I lasted as long as I did at the barbeque this afternoon - thankful that the Pup was so good, that I was able to enjoy family time while it lasted, and that we were able to celebrate independence day together!

Day 225 - Wednesday 7/3/13 - Thankful to catch some beautiful fireworks on my way home tonight - got to enjoy the beauty without enduring the bang!

Day 224 - Tuesday 7/2/13 - So appreciate the beauty of my neighborhood.... such a pretty walk with the Pup this evening!

Day 223 - Monday 7/1/13 - Thankful for a good night of sleep!  I missed that!

Day 222 - Sunday 6/30/13 - Appreciating the little relationships being built with the local farmer's market vendors - had my first food truck experience today thanks to one, and it was yum!

Day 221 - Saturday 6/29/13 - Excited about a home improvement project I'm planning, and thankful that I have the time to do it this summer!

Day 220 - Friday 6/28/13 - Grateful for a day of rest....

Day 4: Favorite Quote?

I like this one because it is SO
true.  Like, seriously true.
Very motivating when facing
inner dragons.
Seriously?  Favorite quote?  No plural?  That's pretty darn close to impossible for me.  I mean, have you seen the quotes splattered all over the site?  Or the entire page devoted to quotes?

So. I will direct you to the page of quotes HERE.  And I encourage you to explore the blog.  I'm pretty sure just about every post has a quote.  Or maybe two.  I'll leave you with three quotes that are currently favorites.  At least for today.  Cause they change pretty regularly!

Can you see the theme in these quotes? 

Day 4 Prompt: Favorite quote (from a person, from a book, etc) and why you love it.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Day 3: Uncomfortable!

Oh what a lovely topic.  I think you're gonna get a list today.  Cause I'm not in the mood to write flowy paragraphs about things that make me uncomfortable.  Sorry.

What makes me uncomfortable?
  • Spiders, anywhere in the house.
  • Fake people who pretend to like me.
  • Too much time with my immediate family, cause too much time means arguing.
  • Being in a car with my parents, no matter how short the ride.
  • Looking at and living in my body.
  • Confrontation.
  • Large groups of people over age ten.
  • Dirt and germs.
  • Getting lost in unfamiliar areas.  
  • Doing something new for the first time.  And the second.  And usually the third time.
  • Putting myself in a position where I might be judged.
That's what makes me uncomfortable.

Day 3 Prompt: Things that make you uncomfortable.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Day 2: An Education

Good Morning Class!  Today we're going to explore how to procrastinate. 

To begin your procrastination journey, write the due date of whatever the task is on your calendar.  For good measure, stick it on a post-it note on your mirror, too, so you see it every day.

Next, set yourself a schedule so you know when you need to have certain tasks complete on the journey to final project completion.  Ignore this schedule.

Third, spend at least a few minutes every morning and evening staring at your calendar, counting the days that you have left to complete the task.

Fourth, schedule an entire weekend to complete the entire project.  Prepare yourself by scheduling library time, and making a list of supplies you'll need to pick up in order to complete the project.

Then, when said weekend arrives, distract yourself by watching old movies you DVRd, and spending time on Pinterest and reading your blog statistics to see how quickly they change.

Finally, the night before the project is due, spend an exorbitant amount of time totally anxious, to the point of a panic attack.  Once said attack has passed, turn some music on really loudly to drown out all the negative voices in your head, and get to work.  Stay up as late as possible (midnight or one o'clock in the morning) and set your alarm for an hour and a half early, just to add the finishing touches.

When you turn said project in, you will feel a huge sense of relief for completing it.  You will promise yourself never, ever, ever to do that much procrastinating again.  This, of course, will go completely out the window when you get the A on your project, and realize that procrastination really is ok.  If only you could do something about the accompanying panic attacks......

Day 2 Prompt: Educate us on something you know a lot about or are good at. Take any approach you'd like (serious and educational or funny and sarcastic.)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Day 1: Story of My Life

Hmmm.... the story of my life..... that oughta be interesting! Especially in 250 words or less! Reader's Digest version, anyone?

Here goes nothing-

I was born on a Thursday morning to a couple living in a small suburb of a bustling metropolitan area.  My first babysitter was the family dog. He'd watch me in a laundry basket in the yard while my mom did whatever it was that she was doing.  I was very sheltered and protected, despite my early babysitter, even though my siblings had limitless freedoms. I had pretty strict rules imposed on me, and I found my way through life, surviving most of the time, but managing to have some fun along the way.

I was introduced to horses at ten, and spent the rest of my youth surrounded by the majestic beasts to which I credit my survival. I’ve been an avid reader my whole life, and getting lost in books kept me sane. My family camped instead of traveled, roasting marshmallows year round in the fireplace at home.  I graduated from high school and made it through university, landing my dream job.  My siblings live all over the globe, and I’m not the greatest at keeping in touch with them, but I try. My family has instituted a “family dinner night” for those that do live local, and while I try to avoid it as much as I can, it is nice to get a brief dose of the mirage that they believe in.

Day 1 Prompt: The story of your life in 250 words or less (or one paragraph... no one will be counting your words... probably)