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SUMMER!

It’s summer!!

I have my first sunburn (it’s awesome, wait til you see my awkward patchy lobster self), I got in the pool today, and I bought the cutest brown summer skirt that I’m going to wear tomorrow!

Yesterday at work we checked all the kids out. Yeah, that doesn’t really take all day, and most of the kids had their parents come and get them by lunch time. We were left with about 20 kids… so we played kickball. And it was awesome. I was wearing flip flops so I ended up playing barefoot. Not my best idea ever. I couldn’t walk on my right ankle by the end of the day… I also neglected to put on sunscreen. and it was super nice and sunny and we were out for 2 and a half hours. Yikes. I’m a lobster.

Today the teachers checked out, then we grilled out at the school for lunch! It was so fun. I got all my stuff done and just messed around at work until it was time for lunch. Our staff had a great time together, then I went home and sat by the pool with Tiff & Amanda for a couple of hours. We made slushies and sat with our feet in the hot tub (yeah, okay, I didn’t put my feet in because they’re sunburned and it hurt!). It was so much fun to just sit there and talk… no responsibilities. No work on Monday. I love being a teacher today.

After laying by the pool, I went shopping with Tiffiny and ended up finding a really cute summer skirt at Banana Republic! I usually don’t even try stuff on there, but it was the outlet and the skirt was only $15! That is an excellent deal. AND we found out that teachers get 15% off at Banana Republic! We think maybe Gap & Old Navy do it too since they are the same company. Whaaat! Being a teacher just got better. That works at Ann Taylor as well, but you have to print the coupon online.

Anyway, I’ve just had a fabulous start to summer. And it’s only been five hours. Love love love!

My awesome sunburned self last night. Don’t worry. It’s even brighter today.

Check out that awesome line on my arm. Can’t wait to wear a strapless bridesmaid dress in 3 weeks!

My favourite thing about being sunburned is how people tell me that I’m sunburned like I haven’t noticed. Oh man! I’m sunburned?! Whaaaat? Is that why my skin burns? From the sun? I’m so glad someone told me.

Uhm, guys, what happened to April?

Ooops! I didn’t blog for a month. My bad. Today I came to blog because I’ve actually stuck with something for 6 weeks and I need to share it!

I just finished my sixth week of running Couch to 5k. Huzzah!! I went from not running at all (only sometimes in basketball practice when Coach needed me to fill in or rough up some of the players) to today, when I ran 25 minutes! I’m so proud of myself. I’m to the point in the program where I don’t do walk & run intervals anymore. I used to do a few minutes of running then some recovery walking. Today I warmed up walking for five minutes, ran for 25, then cooled down walking for five. Whoa! I’m almost a runner. A ridiculously SLOW runner, but a runner nonetheless. Today Jason walked with me while I ran outside. Yes, Jason walked at the same speed that I run. Oh well. I’m just happy to be doing it at all!

In other fabulous news, school is out in TWO WEEKS! What?! How is it that we’ve been here for an entire school year? It’s absolutely unreal. This summer we are going to be visiting Texas for a week or two since Lauren is getting married. We’re both also looking for summer jobs, but we’ll take them if we need them. We want to enjoy our summer, dangit! Anyway, I’m really excited.

I did it again! I thought about it before it got here, but when it was the actual day, I completely forgot about it. I’m about four days late, but it seems like I do this every year. I am overjoyed to be celebrating five years of life.

Those of you that read this probably already know what I’m talking about. Right around March 24, 2005, I should have died. Medically and logically, there is no reason why I lived several days (and did a ropes course) with a platelet count of 2000. (Normal is 150,000 to 450,000. I sit right around the low end of normal these days. No idea what it was before.) My doctors told me that they had never seen someone alive, especially someone 19 years old, with a platelet count that low.

I strongly believe that it is by the grace of God that I did not die in 2005. I believe that he had a purpose for my life that was not complete yet and that I am still fulfilling his purpose. I know that people are sick and die all the time… I don’t understand why some die and others don’t. I don’t know if I can ever reconcile this feeling of being saved when others weren’t. Why save some punk 19 year old girl when there are mothers and fathers dying and leaving children alone? Why save some selfish girl when there are massacres happening in other countries? Why did He allow me to live? I don’t think I’ll ever understand, but I do know enough to be eternally grateful.

I was not in the best place spiritually when I got sick as a freshman in college. I wouldn’t say I was distant from God, but it wasn’t as if we had a really close relationship. I remember being at my grandparents house the night before I went to the hospital, sure that I was going to die in my sleep. I had no idea what was wrong with me, but with the symptoms I had, I knew it was bad. I woke up at least every 30 minutes all night, each time shocked that I was waking up. I feel like I came to terms with dying that night. It felt inevitable, and I remember telling God that if it was His will, then I was ready.

As scary as it to think about having felt that way five years ago, I remember being perfectly calm once I told God I was ready. Thankfully, I did wake up in the morning and my grandparents took me to the hospital. The first thing they tested me for was leukemia, which is even stranger now that I’ve had a family friend be diagnosed with it recently. My dad said he had all the same symptoms as me.

Like I said, I wasn’t in the best place with God when I got sick, but He brought me through anyway. I should have always been grateful to Him, who sent his son so that I might someday join Him for eternity in Heaven. God, who sent his son so that I may know true love and redemption. I always knew these as facts, but when God reached down and actually touched my life and saved me from death… I finally understood it. I will never be the same. It’s still a daily struggle to have a relationship with Him. I will never pretend to have it figured out. I will always be imperfect. But I will always be thankful for God’s saving grace and power that He showed me at 19 years old. It’s been half a decade since then… and the gratitude only grows.

I had been at an ACU Camps staff retreat right before I went into the hospital and was diagnosed with a blood disorder. We had done a lot of worship and it was an amazing experience. I already had most of my symptoms, so I knew something bad was going on. I don’t remember singing this song at the retreat, but we must have. It came back into my head when I was in the hospital, waiting for my doctors to tell me what we were going to do about my low platelets and I realized just how close I had come to death. The song is called “Had it Not Been the Lord” and it comes from Psalm 124, my favourite psalm now and always. I also just realized that the song was written in 1985, the same year I was born. Cool. ;)

“Had it not been the Lord who was on our side
Had it not been the Lord who was on our side
The anger of the enemy would have swallowed us alive
Had it not been the Lord who was on our side.

Had it not been the Lord who was on our side
Had it not been the Lord who was on our side
The waters would have engulfed us, we would have surely died
Had it not been the Lord who was on our side.

Blessed be the Lord who would not give us up
Blessed be the Lord for His unfailing love
The snare is broken and we have escaped
Our help is in the name of the Lord
Blessed be the Lord!”

Me in the hospital 5 years ago looking siiiick.

Me a week or two ago, with my new glasses. Hehe.

I am so happy to be alive! And I am so happy to have such wonderful people in my life. If you’re reading this (all 3 of you)… I love you. You are fabulous and I couldn’t be more thankful to have you in my life, especially during these last five glorious years that I may not have had if not for God’s grace. Thank you for showing His love through your friendship.

Well, I finally found out about the interview I had last week. The interview went awesome, and the people that interviewed me even said I interviewed really well. But I didn’t get it. ;( So I’ll still be looking for something else to do this summer. I was pretty bummed about it yesterday (I cried, of course), but I’m fine today. It was also put into perspective by finding out almost immediately after I got the bad news that a family friend was just diagnosed with leukemia. Wow. Talk about not getting a part time job not mattering at all anymore. Anyway, I’ll be praying for our friend that his chemo goes well, and it really does put everything into perspective. There are so many other things I could be worried about.

But there’s good news as well. I passed my Capstone!! I will officially be graduating with my Masters degree on May 14! I am so excited and SO relieved. I never have to write another huge paper like that again. Yaaaay. So now all I do is sit around and wait until my degree posts in May, and hopefully get hired as a librarian somewhere. I hope I hope I hope. I want to be a librarian so bad!!

Also, we had two snow days in the past week, and it’s snowing again tonight. If my girls’ night gets canceled again, I’m gonna be so sad. ;( It’s gonna storm again. We hardly get a day between storms at this point. Other good news though? Spring Break starts at 4:00 pm today!!

We have had a busy but fabulous week. Our good friends Barrett & Celina came to visit us this week on their Spring Break from school. Jason and I still had to work, which was pretty lame, but we had so much fun with them in the evenings! Especially on Thursday. I got off work early and took some time to turn in a job application (will update on that if it works out) then went and picked up Celina at the sushi place where she, Barrett & Jason were getting some sushi, then we went on an adventure!

We went to a craft store that I had seen downtown called Fancy Tiger. It was amazing!! I’ve never seen so much yarn in one place. The fabric was gorgeous too. I’m going to take Jason back and pick out some fabric to hang for decoration in our apartment. Celina loves to knit, so it was really fun to watch her look at all the yarn and books and crafty things.

After that, we went to a thrift store called Buffalo Exchange. Oh. my. gosh. New favourite store. I got two dresses and a top. One of the dresses still had the tags on it. It’s a Maggy London dress that was originally $138! I paid… $17. Booyah. It was missing the belt that was supposed to come with it, but I think I’m going to look for a colorful belt instead. Or just throw a cardigan over it for some color. You know how I love a good cardigan… The other dress is brown and pink plaid and I can’t wait to wear it out this summer. So adorable! It was Apt 9 and it was only $10! Then I got a 3-quarter sleeve shirt from Old Navy that is off white with teal ellipses all over it. Loves it. It fits perfect and I love wearing 3-quarter sleeve shirts the most.

This is the new Maggy London dress. It doesn’t have the belt though. Any thoughts about what kind of belt I should find to replace it?

After shopping at Buffalo Exchange (seriously, find one near you and GO NOW!) Celina and I went back and picked up the guys and we all went to our favourite pizza place, Virgilio’s. We always take people here because it’s AMAZING! They have the best pizza. It’s this little tiny pizza shop and we love it. They have the most amazing garlic knots too. Ughhhh I’d love to even go back and eat it again right now. Yummy. After that we went home and just hung out a bit more.

It was SO much fun to have Barrett & Celina here. They are some of our favourite people and we miss them a lot… Such a treat to see them for a few days. and then on top of all that wonderfulness, we had a snow day on Friday! B&C left early in the morning and Jason and I ended up sleeping until like noon. It was fabulous and much needed. The kids at school have been going NUTS lately. We all need a break, and Spring Break is still a week away. I can’t believe it’s not this week. We’re all exhausted… anyway, I guess I can make it through one more week now. Then 10 days off! Then only 7 weeks until summer! I can’t believe it. This year has flown.

Yesterday my principal came in for an observation. Now usually he gives everyone a heads up that he’s going to be coming by in the next week or two, but he hadn’t said a WORD this time. So I was pretty shocked when he walked in and sat down. He stayed long enough to see me work a problem or two that the kids were doing on the review (including a mention of Calculus, score!) then he left. I thought “That was weird.” and after the class ran down the hall to warn my friends that he was making the rounds. I’m glad I did because he went to my friend Jenn’s class the next block. After every observation we go to his office and talk about what he saw. He was a math teacher, so he usually has more specific suggestions for me since he taught my content area. So I went to go check after school and see if he wanted to talk… and he told me that he had to write up my annual review first. Apparently that short visit was my final observation of the year. Yikes! I think it went well, but he’s hard to predict sometimes. Either way, it’s nice to be finished. Not that what I do in my classroom will really change, but it is a bit stressful when you’re expecting him to walk in at any time. If you’re not a teacher, you won’t really understand this… but in most schools the principal’s presence in your classroom is not a positive thing. I’m lucky to have been in two schools where the principal has been in my room pretty frequently, but that doesn’t make it any less unsettling. Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing what he has to say about my year at the school as a whole. Even though there’s another quarter left to go. *shrug*

Some exciting news today! I had applied for a substitute librarian job in the library system where I live, hoping to do some part time subbing on nights and weekends and over the summer. It would be library experience and hopefully a foot in the door to the library system here in my county. I got a call today to interview for the sub job! The interview is on Monday at 6:00 pm my time (7:00 for you Texans). I am so excited about this opportunity and I’m really hopeful that I can get it. I will update everyone on how I’m feeling after the interview and when I find out how it went!

Today for exercise I forced myself again to go to the gym. I did NOT want to go, but I know I’ll be getting home really late on Thursday, so I can’t skip another day. I did 30 minutes on the elliptical, listened to my current audio book (The Maze Runner, it’s absolutely fabulous), and met a nice girl! She just moved into the complex, so it was nice to meet her. Now I’m snuggled in our chair with the pup, watching Jason get started on Final Fantasy XIII. These are his favourite games, so I’m excited that he finally has a new one! It’s been about 4 years since the last. Yes, it means I won’t have the TV again until he finishes it… but he loves it so much, I love watching him play!

My cousin’s wife had twins today! Justin’s wife Katie gave birth to two 6 pound babies this afternoon by c-section. Their names Abigail and Henry and they are absolutely adorable. It is surreal to see how much Henry looks like Justin. So weird. Especially because Justin and I look alike, it’s bizarre to see a baby that looks like him. I can’t wait to meet the babies when I go down to Texas in June. There are going to be SO many babies for me to meet and hold. And of course there’s always Chris & Ashley’s baby Eli who will be huge by then. So excited. Anyway, Happy birthday Abby & Henry! We’re glad you made it safely into the world.

As far as working out goes, yesterday Jason and I played tennis for about 45 minutes and today I walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes. I REALLY didn’t want to work out today but I forced myself to go do something. I’m glad I did!

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