Tuesday, April 14, 2015

National Infertility Awareness Week- You are Not Alone

Last week I wrote about Strength.
Next week is National Infertility Awareness Week.  You can find more about it here.


I have written before about my infertility journey before- you can find it here.
I do have another blog that is more for health and wellness, but this is such a part of who I am.
Here is my disclaimer: I am SUPER happy for all the families out there.  I am blessed to know so many wonderful families.  I am happy where I am.. and who I am.  That does not mean it is not hard to be happy when sometimes sad.


But this blog is more of reminding people that they are not alone.

This past year I went to my annual well woman visit at a doctor that I have been visiting for almost 7 years.  We have discussed my infertility in the past, but more importantly.. my PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) But at this point in my life.. my well woman visit was more of how I am trying to change my eating habits, using oils to be more calm and centered, and the other things I was doing.  

-You are not alone- your infertility hopes can easily change knowing your financial limits 

During my well woman visit I had the conversation of where I was going next in my infertility journey. Now, remember I had said that I had been with this doctor for almost 7 years.  During this 7 years he had recommended me seeing a true infertility specialist. I had spent thousands of dollars for medications, shots, procedures. But our time for this whole journey is not for right now.  We discussed that when I was ready to really start trying again that it would be when I had my weight better under control and would try some new medication other than clomid.

-You are not alone- know that your journey is your journey and although the time limit might not be on the timeline that you expected- strength will get you through.

So, my well woman visit finished and I went about my way.. walking past all of the young and old mothers in the waiting room.  Wondering when my time might be to sit in the waiting room with a round belly. 
My whole visit- the regular well woman visit, a few questions about my PCOS, and where I was going next- all reasonable questions so I thought.

-You are not alone- having your doctor know all of your inner secrets, wants and needs is a normal procedure

I recently contacted my OB because of a charge that I had.  It was only for $26, but it was for my last well woman visit.  The well woman visit that is covered by my insurance.  After being on the phone for about an hour with 2 different nurses and billing.  I discovered that my OB had coded me extra for my PCOS and also for having longer than a 15 minute conversation.  The $26 was not going to break the bank.  It was the principal of the matter.  The doctor that I had spent 7 years with, had shared my secrets and longings had charged me extra for asking questions.  That $26 hurt my heart.

-You are not alone-

I will not be returning to that doctor or practice. 

-You are not alone- your journey will take you to many doctors some who have your best interest and some who do not.


I have been so very blessed to be a part of so many wonderful lives. I have families that I am close to and have had a chance to watch their children grow and be a part of their families.  I have had many wonderful students that their parents have opened their hearts and arms to me. I am constantly surrounded by amazing people that support me and love me for who I am.  I also wouldn't change all of the adventures, journeys and lives I have had a chance to be a part of.

-You are not alone- there are people that surround you both young and old to help you make it through whatever journey you might be on.




Sunday, April 12, 2015

Strength


This year my word has been strength.  This quote is pretty perfect for it as well. This year I started off persistent.. and have continued that on.  When someone asks how this year is going.. I can only reply busy.  I don't even have another word to describe my life.. other than busy.  I have accomplished a ton.. and I feel that I have grown in my position, but because of this growing in my own profession have lacked in other areas.

However, this weekend I realized something...
I have failed as a friend.

I can't tell you how many text messages and/or facebook messages that I have.. that I read and respond in my head.. but don't actually respond to in real life.  Who does that!

I hope that all my friends/colleagues still know that if they ever need anything.. I am there in a heartbeat.

So, it is April.. the year is almost over.. and I am going to consciously work to be a better person and friend. To those friends that I have been terrible about responding too.. thank you for still loving me!

Here is to finishing out the 2015 year out strong.
-I will take more time for myself (have already packed my lunch for the whole week)- This means eating healthier, getting outside more, reading more.. and being with FRIENDS AND FAMILY!
-I am already front loading for next year.. I can be busy and be accomplished.. but I can't be so busy that it takes me 2 hours of working in the quiet when I get home. (did I mention that I am starting another masters next year)

Most importantly.. I will still have my word STRENGTH with me, but now it will be more geared towards having STRENGTH to be a better person.  Thank you all for always supporting me and putting up with me.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Autism Acceptance Month

I have been so lucky to have worked with so many amazing students, family, parents, and staff that are all on different journeys.  I spent 12 years in a LIFE (Living in a Functional Environment) classroom and I was always truly amazed by what every student could do without any limits of whatever their ability might be.

My word has been and always will be BELIEVE.  We need to BELIEVE in every student that enters our classroom.  We need to BELIEVE in every person that we come in contact with.  I have a heart for all kiddos, but a big piece of my heart has been for students/people with autism.

I have appreciated that many families are now considering April to be Autism Acceptance Month.  I love my friend Aimee's blog  for this month.  The most important thing that I have learned from the families and students I have come in contact with.... is that EVERYONE has differences.

I LOVE what @venspired always shares.  Check out her website here

So, this month.. I would like to give back.   So many students have given me so much in the way of learning, accepting and being a better person.. I would like to give back.  Yes, I volunteer, but I would also like to give back monetarily.  I have 2 fundraiser parties open right now.  My goal is 22 Buy 3 Get one Free! When the parties reach $500 I will match the donation.

Support Turning Point Christian Academy- check out the Jamberry Fundraiser Here
Support National Autism Association- check out the Jamberry Fundraiser Here



If you participate in supporting these fundraisers.. I will have a drawing at the end of this month for a $25 gift card.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Verso Learning

Have you ever had one of those years where you have about 5000000 blog ideas running around in your head, but then it takes you at least 3 months to get one written?  Welcome to my life lately!

Let's take a moment to travel back in time to TCEA15 in February....

TCEA always offers so many opportunities for me to connect with fellow educators, learn about the latest tools and meet cutting edge companies.


Many of my friends have joined the Flipped Classroom idea and Verso Active Learning is an amazing platform to get started in.




During the lunch I attended I was able to easily log onto the app as a student and join the classroom that was created.  

Things I loved on the student end:
-The ease of joining the classroom across various devices
-The importance of student voice.  Many times students will wait to answer prompts or questions, Verso uses anonymity when answering prompt.  Being a special educator I had many students who would not answer questions for this very reason.  I love this part!
-The ease of the teacher being able to track all of the comments and information coming in from the various classes/students.



In creating my own class through Verso I was excited to see how streamlined and easy it was to maneuver between classes, information and my dashboard.  Working in the education field my time is very limited and having access to all that I need at my fingertips is a great plus.

Things I love on the teacher end:
-The data that it gives me. I know that many teachers become overwhelmed with data, but good data allows us to be better teachers and also for our students to grow.
-The voice that it gives students.  How can a teacher not love student voice.. and this platform allows for students to feel more open to answering and commenting.
-Did I mention the ease?  This platform is super easy to use. You can connect it with your Google account.  You can also record on the go (which if you know me.. being mobile is a HUGE deal!)

I look forward to learning more about Verso Learning.   Have you used Verso and how has it changed your classroom?

Sunday, March 8, 2015

#NTTBF15

Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend the North Texas Teen Book Festival. Now, when I put this on my calendar.. I really had NO IDEA how awesome it would be!  I had received an invite from one of my favorite friends (a young woman who I used to nanny for.. and is graduating this year!)  The Festival took place just down the street from my house and when we walked in I thought.. oh.. I am just going to spend a couple of hours and then head back to the house.. I could not have been more wrong.


The festival had a robust schedule of author panels, book speed dating, book sales and the end of the day an awesome book signing.  Did I mention that it was FREE?


I dropped my counterparts in the Book Speed Dating area (To attend the book speed dating, attendees had to have a wristband to attend.  The wristband got them into the area where they chose a table and learned about 4 or 5 different books.. and then were able to choose the one that spoke to them the most.)  I headed to my first panel.



It's the End of the World as We Know It
Explore dystopian and science fiction futures.

I admit it.. my favorite books are young adult books and I love series.  I sat on this panel because I am loving Patrick Carman's books.  (I might or might not have gone through the line and purchased the Pulse, Tremor and Quake)  After sitting in on this panel.. I backtracked through the line and picked up Alex London's books Proxy and Guardian.


I had a chance to sit in on one more session One Story at a Time: Discuss the challenges and freedoms of writing stand alones with Adi Alsaid, Karen Harrington, Claire Legrand, Julie Murphy, Sara Zarr, Jennifer Ziegler and moderated by Carson Thompson

This panel really made me take a second look at the stand alone books.  It was great to hear the authors talk about how they plan out books and how they plan out characters.

My Top 5 Take Aways from #NTTFB15
5. The volunteers that put this on where AMAZING!  There were so many librarians and teachers that had brought groups of students.  Did I mention that it was the Saturday of spring break?  I attend conferences often where I am googly eyed over the different presenters. It was so amazing to see these students/kids so engaged in the author panels.. who gets a chance like that?
4. The panels were fantastic.  There were so many options with so many awesome authors.  These authors really knocked it out of the park (at least the ones that I had a chance to view) 
3. The students that were there.  At each panel they opened up the floor to questions from the audience. The questions that these students came up were AMAZING!  They were so well thought out and such good questions.  It also takes a ton of courage to get up and ask a question.
2. The joy of all attendees.  It was PACKED for this event (I mean, there were buses lined up dropping kids off)  The excitement and book conversations that I overheard were wonderful.  I am an avid gadget girl, but I love the feel of a real book.  There were thousands of young adults, students, and adults alike with their arms full of books and having conversations about all of the topics.
1. "The worst writing I have ever done, is better than the best writing I have never done." said by Alex London.  These authors inspired young learners (and adult learners) how powerful it is to share their work no matter if it is good or bad.  That it is important to be rejected, because that only makes you better.  

Tomorrow I head for #SXSWedu where I will be talking about digital storytelling.  Being a teacher of children with various disabilities I learned how important it is for everyone to have a chance to share their story.. whether it be digital or paperback.  

Thank you #NTTFB15 for an absolutely wonderful event.  I want to volunteer next year!  Happy Reading! I leave you with the lines to get books signed. This just proved that books are awesome and authors are rockstars


Selfie with Alex London

Selfie with Patrick Carman

A great article about it from the Dallas News.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Santa Claus is Coming to Town!

I know that I start most of my blogs/posts/statements out that I have the coolest parents. I really do have the coolest parents though... I mean.. my dad is SANTA!  This year he is even on a blanket, puzzle, gift bag and card.. You can find them at Boot Barn.   To make sure that I am on the Nice List... I am having a Jamberry Give Away!
#TexasSanta 2013
Just fill out this Rafflecopter!  I will be choosing a name on Friday December 19th to make sure that #texassanta doesn't have me on a Naughty List!
This is what I will be sporting next week!
Now, there is not enough time to order to get them in time for Christmas... BUT you can still order a Gift Card for that special someone!  Want to check out the full catalog.. check out my site! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Happy Holidays!

Tis the season to be crafty.  With the hustle and bustle of my normal schedule, the holidays are my FAVORITE time of year.  My family has always impressed the value of a home made gift... but I chalk up my craftiness to my Aunt Bettie and my Troop leader Nuglet (Nancy Huntington).  Last week my Aunt Bettie passed away, but some of my best memories was learning to do crafty things.. singing fun songs.. and just being with the greatest family.  I know that I have had said this before, but I am super lucky to have a ton of amazing people in my life that continually shape me into the woman that I am.

So, this blog will be overloaded with craftiness.. and done with loving memory of Nuglet and Aunt Bettie. (now, with all that being said.. my crafts are never perfect.. and they are full of cheese.. but I sure do enjoy making them!)

First.. the annual Christmas ornament.  We also created something for family members growing up, but my first year teaching I wanted to make sure that every teacher got something in their box for the holidays.  So.. I make sure to make almost 100 ornaments every year (you can't leave out the awesome cafeteria ladies and custodians!)  This year I got my inspiration from By Stephanie Lynn (you can find the original post here) not going to lie.. this is probably the easiest ornament that I have made in a while.

Materials needed: yarn (and.. the little bit more expensive yarn does work better!) ornament balls (the blog recommends Styrofoam balls but I found these ornaments on sale and when you are making 100 you get creative!) thin black ribbon and silver glitter puffy paint.


Have I mentioned I am a little partial to Santa Claus :) Now, the one tough part of this whole ornament was actually wrapping the ornaments with the yarn was a little hard when you first started because the ornament was so smooth and not an actual ball because of the top part.


 This last week was also Secret Santa.. which means another time for me to have a chance to do some crafts!  I did the regular things like leaving sodas and little trinkets in her box, but I was pretty pleased with  my larger items.



Did I mention that my Secret Santa took great care of me too? I was SO spoiled this week!
What is your favorite thing to do during the holidays? Do you have any traditions?