Sunday, May 8, 2016

Being your mommy....

Dear Hailey and Logan,

I love the cards you gave me, the painting you created, and the poems you wrote, but on this special day I want to write something to you. I want to tell you what it means to be your mommy because I am blessed.

Being your mommy means I get to see you experience many firsts. Your first steps (too soon), first words, the first time to went to school, when you rode your bike, danced on stage, or caught your first baseball. I cheer from the audience when you nailed a dance routine, hit the ball without a "t," or rode your bike with no training wheels. I am proud when you conquer each first and support you when you need to try again. I hug your sweet faces when there are tears of defeat, and am the annoying (screaming) mom when you do well. I tell you to stop growing because time is going way too fast, but I love watching you change and become who you are.

Being your mommy means I encourage to try your best, work hard, make mistakes, and be kind. Being your mama means I treasure our time together. When we read at night before bed and you have me read the same story over and over. When we bake cookies and you both want to crack the eggs and I am hoping no one notices the eggshells they are eating. When we practice hitting in the front yard and I have to retrieve the baseballs over the roof, in the street, and in the neighbor's yard.

Being your mommy means when you are sad or scared, I can comfort you. I am beside you before your surgery,  cry with you when Izzy ran away, and cuddle when you have a nightmare. I am there to give you a hug when a friend is mean to you, encourage you to apologize when you have done wrong, and to communicate when you feel misunderstood. I feel your pain, and I am relieved when your smile peeks out again.Your resilience amazes me.

Being your mommy means I make a lot of mistakes. I forget your lunch, I lose my temper, I don't laugh enough, and give the evil eye way too much. Sometimes I say I am sorry and I try to do better the next time. You tell me, "It's okay, mama!" and I am overwhelmed by your ability to forgive.

Being your mommy means I am okay with being the uncool one when I have to tell you, "No!" I feel your anger when you tell me, "I am not your fwend anymore," and I understand because I once felt that way too when I was a child. It is my job to guide and direct you as you grow, even when it means I have to turn you down. I am amused by your negotiating skills, persistence, and explanations of why you think you should have that dessert or toy. Sometimes the answer is still, "No!"

Being your mommy means the ultimate joy when you feel happiness. You lose your first tooth, you read for the first time, make a new friend, or ride your bike without training wheels. Your happiness and pride gives me complete joy.

The best thing about being your mommy is I never stop taking pictures of you (and it won't stop). I am the family historian, so one day you can look back and remember all the memories that have flown by way too quickly. So when I ask you to stop giving your sibling bunny ears, fidgeting, sticking out your tongue, and to smile (bribery needed sometimes), you will look into the camera and give me your happiest grin. As you already know, your smiles I adore.

Being your mommy means every day is a special day for me because you, Hailey and Logan, are you.

I love you both forever and always.


Sunday, May 1, 2016

She's a graduate!

My "baby" cousin is graduating college today. Although we are not physically in Alabama, we are cheering her on from here. We love you!!!


(It will be a miracle if I can get through this without soaking a few tissues. Here we go…)

I cannot believe the day is here, college graduation. One of the best moments of your life. Your hard work and dedication has finally paid off. The sorority parties, frat parties, late night fast food runs, millions spent at Jamba and Starbucks were just some of the things that made it possible! Oops, I meant long hours of studying, completing homework, acing exams, and completing the volunteer hours of student teaching. 

I knew from early on that you would become a teacher. Your passion, drive, and charisma with children is evident in every activity you do. Your positive and bubbly personality do not go unnoticed and you will inspire many, more than you already have.

Teaching is not for the weak at heart. “It will be fun they said….” Yes, it is fun. It is also a profession that allows you to change, grow, and learn daily. You will think about why Student A cried during math, or if Student B was given dinner, and why Student C is not opening up to his peers. You will research different ways to communicate to parents effectively, to reach the unmotivated child, to differentiate instruction so each student can understand curriculum, and ponder why the government implements silly teaching methods and laws. 

Just remember there will be more to your classroom than curriculum, mandated tests, and bogus education laws. Have the desire for your students to experience learning as a journey, letting them navigate, pushing them to explore, watching them discover, encouraging their questions, allowing them to struggle, and supporting their thinking. 

It is amazing when your career and passion collide. You were called to be a teacher. One who inspires, instructs, mentors, guides, encourages, and love students. You will laugh, cry, and work harder than you ever thought you would before. Some days you will try to the change the world, while some days you will just try to make it through the day. Above all, and most importantly, remember to be enough of a realist to know that you cannot change every child, but an optimist to get up every day and try. 

Congratulations on this next chapter in your life. I am so excited to see what God has planned for you. I will be here cheering you on. I love you, my FELLOW TEACHER!


(It took three tissues)

Spontaneous, I am not.

If you know me, you know there is not one spontaneous bone in my body. So when the Curtis family asked us to camp at Jalama in less than 6 hours and I am at work and the trailer isn't packed and I haven't grocery shopped and I haven't packed clothes for the kiddos or myself and and and and.... I was hesitant. We ended up going, and I am so glad we did. It was gorgeous. No wind and the weather was hot. It was our first time taking the trailer to the beach. We will definitely have to do it again. 

Since camping wasn't enough with the group, we all had Jambalya at our house and planned a couples trip! Sunday nights with good friends, excellent food, and awesome vacationing planning is always welcomed. 

Daddy watched the kiddos while I got a manicure. I always love receiving pictures of their crazy adventures. 

Logan and I playing on the play ground and walking by the bus barn while sissy is at softball practice. 

It's official. Michael was sworn in to SLO Police Department. We are ecstatic that they are closer to home.

Some nights are so jammed packed that it requires this mama to pack dinner in brown sacks. We had a tball game, dance, and a visit to the Cabrillo Aquarium all in one evening. Phew! 

Kayla and I working the baseball snack shack. We refrained from eating those delicious fried burritos. It was so hard! 

Hails is getting so big. She is a talkative little girl that has her daddy wrapped around his finger. Last week she was getting in the car and Brian left her a note and flower. It made Hailey's day.