Thursday, January 27, 2011

change times two

It's the end of January, which is hard to believe. This year I didn't experience the post-Christmas depression as bad as I have in the past. In thinking about the differences, I've come up with one big reason as to why I didn't get the blues. When taking down the tree, putting away the decorations, turning off the Christmas music and finding a place for the gifts, I knew that there were still things to look forward to. In years past, Christmas was good for mind altering - it clouded the vision of reality. This year, reality was as good as it seemed. So, it wasn't as if my happy season was ending, I knew that there would be more fun things in store. (Maybe this isn't making a lick of sense but in my mind it does.) Let me wrap this up - it's been a month since Christmas .. hard to believe.

I've had two significant changes this month, both very positive.

One: This is the first time in ten years that I have taught a self-contained classroom, meaning that we did not switch classes. Even though Reading was my specialization, I had never taught it before. It was challenging. The kids have to take a Reading TAKS test and pass it in the 5th grade and I just wasn't confident that I was doing the students justice and another teacher felt the same way about Math and Science. After voicing some concerns and frustrations, we were able to go back to the way it had always been and we departmentalized. I am now teaching Science and Social Studies, which I love, love, love. Math is also a passion but these subjects are fun. (We also take a Science TAKS test but now we are each responsible for one test instead of all three. Can you hear me taking a huge sigh of relief?) I'm back in my comfort zone. Another benefit of this is that I have all of the 5th graders, including Trey. I've always wondered what it would be like to teach one of my own and it's been great. He's adjusting to calling me Ms. Davis but sometimes "momma" slips. I am enjoying spending half the day, everyday with him.

Two: For the past year, my kids have been spending a day and half with me and then a day and a half with their dad. They did great with it and always knew where they were going to be. But, we finally got "smart" and realized that it was just too crazy, too much back and forth, they were never really settled and a lot of days they were at both houses. So, we have come up with a new schedule and it seems to be working so much better and allowing them to get to enjoy being wherever they are without all of the shuffling. Jared has them Monday & Tuesday, they are with me on Wednesday & Thursday and then whomever has them for the weekend has them Friday through Monday. This always gives them a five day stretch staying at the same place. I can imagine that it has took away some of the stress in their young lives. Ashlyn and Trey are playing basketball on Saturdays so we always get that opportunity to see them when it is not "our weekend". I am having to learn what to do with all of my spare time, I am not used to having so much time on my hands.

The changes have been good at home and in the workplace, both taking some pressure off of me. I am truly blessed through and through.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ice, Ice Baby

our first snow day...

'nuff said.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

for the record...

Geez Louise! Don't you just love when words are put into your mouth and people have you all figured out? I've been a victim of this this past week and it's really made me do some soul searching. Do I want to blog about this? Not really. Do I want to settle some controversy? It probably needs to happen. Can I predict the future? Thank goodness that I can't. But, do I know what I'm feeling? Yes, actually I do.

It's come up numerous times over the past nine months and will continue to come up, I'm sure. But, to answer the rhetorical question of: are you and Joey going to get married and there are those saying that I am ready to get married ... to both of those, the answer is NO. And here is why.

We are both at a happy place in our lives and with each other. If it's not broken, don't fix it - right? We are at a point where everything is just right. Both of us are just coming out of marriages and are not ready to jump from the fire back into the frying pan.

Now, having said all of that ... I am crazy about him and who knows what the future holds for us. I'm not saying that it will never happen (refer to previous sentence). For now, we take one day at a time, enjoy the simple things, enjoy our independence, enjoy the time we spend together and are focused on maintaining a strong, healthy relationship while having fun and not talking about marriage. Keeping it real, keeping it simple and keeping it fun... always.

They said it best in the movie Four Christmases- We are happy and I love him. Marriage brings stress and pressure. We don't want our relationship to turn into work, we want to be together because we enjoy it, not because we have to.

End of discussion and straight from the horse's mouth.

Monday, January 3, 2011

and one time at deer camp...

Since the kids were with their dad over new year's weekend, I packed up three bags and went along to the deer lease for some time with Joey.

Friday, December 31st, New Year's Eve
Our plan was to leave at 8:00 Friday morning but having known Joey for as long as I have, I have come to realize that he is on "Joey time" and beats to his own clock. We left at 10:30. Par. I used to hate road trips but four hours in the truck with him is not bad at all. He talks, we listen. We played the "quiet game" and he managed to stay quiet for all of ten minutes but made up for it immediately. That's one thing about him, he always makes me smile with his personality. We made it in time for the evening hunt and how come it's only in the silence of hunting that my stomach growls, my legs itch and I can't sit still? I thought I was going to be grounded from hunting. After the hunt we headed to visit and have dinner with some of our other friends. The waitresses at the Rockin' R Steakhouse were mean to us from the minute that we walked in. They couldn't / didn't want to seat us, they threw to-go bowls at us and jerked a bag for us to put it in. Happy new year to them, too. We went to Tonya and Kenneth's lease to check it out, stood by the fire long enough to warm up and then hit the road. And, that's exactly where we were when the clock struck midnight, welcoming 2011 - venturing down the road, dodging deer because someone (not me, Lisa or Billy) decided he needed to go through his address book and text ten people at a time "happy new year". (I took the phone and took over the task to save our lives.) So, if it stands true that what you are doing at midnight on New Year's Eve is what you will spend most of your year doing, I guess I'm okay with being on road trips with the boy and friends. And, if I am to spend New Year's Eve at the deer lease every year, so be it.

Saturday, January 1st, Happy New Year!
Saturday morning, I slept in. While the boys were away hunting I brushed my teeth with bottled water (learned how to do this in Mexico), got my washrag soapy and wet and heated it in the microwave to wash my face and hands. It's some major roughing it in the deer woods with no running water and an outhouse that drops into a big hole - this is really tough for me. I'm not a princess but I'm not a tomboy either - I like my comfort that comes from running water, toilets, cell phone service and ceiling fans - none of which this place has to offer. BUT, I go and I have a great time. I've already done many things that I said I would never do and have never done before. I am making progress. It's crazy to think of the things that we will do because you're in love.

After the morning hunt, the boys cooked breakfast, we went into town (cannot go a weekend without visting the WalMart) and got back in time for the boys to go on the evening hunt. Us girls decided that we would stay at camp and fix dinner and build big, huge bonfires (despite the burn ban). I got a couple of texts - when I put my phone in just the right spot you can get a signal - saying that we were too loud. Oops. Lisa used her girl scout/ boy scout skills to keep the bonfire fired up - it was cold. We even made the boys a round firepit by collecting rocks. Stacey and I got the cooking underway. We prepared a feast: cornbread, blackeyed peas, cabbage, steak/backstrap/sausage and baked potatoes. We used the grill, the cooktop, the stove and the microwave. We had a lot of fun hanging out, staying warm and cooking. When the boys got back we ate and shortly after, I crashed. I was exhausted.

Sunday, January 2nd
Sunday morning it was so cold. I stayed in and Joey came back earlier than usual. We got everything packed up and ready to go home. We stopped for lunch at a Mexican food restaurant and made our way back to Crandall. Once at Joey's house I did laundry, we went and picked up pizzas and then we called it a weekend. A great weekend. A great ending to a great Christmas vacation.

happy trails 2010

The motto for scrapbooking was to always stay current. Don't try to scrapbook old pictures first, do the most recent pages and then work backwards. I thought of this motto this morning as I was driving back to work and trying to make mental lists of the things I need to do. Blogging instantly popped into my head. I've been meaning to write my Christmas blog since, well, since Christmas. I have made a list of the events, got pictures in folders ready to make collages but have not started with it. So, I am staying current with my thoughts and blogging about the new year first. Staying current. Maybe I should I apply this motto in several areas of my life and I would not drown in the things that haven't been done that need to be done. It's worth a try and it might even make it onto my resolution list, wait... I didn't make a list.

I was pretty excited about the new year. So many good things happened in 2010: the boy and I started dating, the house sold and I was able to build a new one, the kids and I adjusted to a new normal and I have an abundance of good memories. But, on the flip side of that, I did get divorced, have to sell the house, caused disappointments and heartache among some of the people I love most, was involved in an unhealthy relationship and shed many tears. 2010 got off to a rough, and I mean rough, start but it had such a happy ending ... much like the movies that I like to watch and the books that I like to read.

While out at deer camp this past weekend, I thought about coming up with some New Year's resolutions. Then I remembered how I am when I feel like I have to do something. Let me just put it out there - I tend to be a quitter.

Here's what I was able to come up with: live well, love much and laugh often. It's a quote that I want to live by this year.

Live Well:
I hope to live life to the fullest. I don't want to depend on others for my own happiness. I don't want to care too much about what other people think. I want to feel free to be me. I've made big progress in these areas over the last few months. My general response has become - it is what it is. And, I could expand that to say - I am who I am. I want to have fun and enjoy life and all that it has to offer. As George Strait sings, there's a difference in living and living well.

Love Much:
Almost nine months ago, someone walked into my life and thank goodness he has not walked out of it. In the beginning, we took things very slow, getting to know each other, having fun together and with our kids, keeping things open and honest and had lots of communication. We kept things real, kept things simple and kept things fun. And, we are still doing all of these things. We've learned that things can be "serious" and yet simple. We still have so much fun and make sure to always involve our kids. And, when those rare opportunities some along for us to be able to have a date night, we go out and make the most of it - any night of the week. All of our kids have adjusted to us and to each other (maybe too much, they all "fight" like brothers and sisters - ha!) The term, "brady bunch", fits us well. In the midst of chaos among our angels, we can still hold hands and smile at each other because we know that we are right where we want to be. We both love our kids, love having them with us and love the memories that we are making all together.

There is a Bible verse that says ", hope and love. And the greatest of these is love." Coming out of a negative marriage and into a positive relationship has made all the difference in the world for me. I had lost faith in myself, lost hope for the future and was lookin' for love in all the wrong places. Now that I have found love, it has restored my faith in myself and hope for a brighter/ happier future. Joey made falling in love easy. I have never had someone that took a genuine interest in me - what I want, what I need, what makes me happy, where I want to go, what I want to do. He brought a smile to my face with his first text on March 31st and that smile has not left me yet. We don't fight, we don't argue. We communicate, we spend time together and we respect each other. It was hard for me to give my heart away again for fear of it getting broken but once I decided that I could trust him with it and gave it to him, I can clearly see that "the greatest of these is love".

Laugh Often:
They say that laughter is the best medicine. I love to laugh. Whether it is because of a prank, something crazy that has been said or done, or whatever - I laugh. I'm thankful that there are so many people in my life that make me laugh, some even by just thinking of them. I also love to make people laugh. I'd rather laugh than cry any day.

For 2011, my plan is to: live well because life is what you make it; love much - love my kids, love my family, love my friends and love my boy with all I've got; laugh often - don't take life too seriously because no one makes it out alive anyway.

I'm thankful for 2010 - it's made me the stronger, more carefree and more loving girl that I have become. I'm pumped about 2011 because I can see that things will just keep on gettin' better.

Happy New Year to all of you, may you be blessed.