Saturday, May 9, 2020

Oh The Love...

As soon as this new way of normal began back in March, I  was blogging daily about all the things going on during this crazy time.  Then "school" started back... and I have been trying to find my way! Usually during April I also blog about National Infertility Week.. and usually I also blog about what I learned from Texas Library Association.  I did just share what we did during Lamar Teacher Appreciation Week

I am SO lucky to be a librarian! Librarians are even more important during this time where there is SO much information that is being pushed out, but also important with all the resources that we have!

April is also Library Month- and my staff was AMAZING and surprised me with a parade for School Librarian Day!

I love being me.  I love being quirky. I love overextending myself to do activities. I love coming home tired, but knowing that I have accomplished things. I love reminding others that they are important. I love showing others that they are important. I love yelling at people.. "Love you Sunshine!" I love being around other people (even when I need a break.. I need people!) I love helping students find books. I love giving students a place to try new things.  I love giving people the place to get out of their comfort zone!

All of the things above require actual physical humans.  I am lucky to live in a world where I have technology so I can see faces or hear voices.. but that doesn't take the place of actual physical interaction with people.

April is usually hard because I share my own story about infertility awareness.  You can find past blogs here, here and here.  Mother's Day weekend is usually a little tough too.. because I am human.  It is hard to know that I will probably never here "I Love You Mom"

Usually the sunny weather also makes everyone happier too, but this is such an odd time. I am also that weird person that is a people pleaser and needs words of encouragement.  I am one that takes initiative and gets things done, but I also like to make sure that I am doing things correctly.  Do any of us know if we are doing things correctly? I have felt so out of sorts.. and have felt that I am not doing enough.. or being enough. So I have been questioning myself a ton lately (which I can almost guarantee that many others are doing the same!) I also know that each of us is mourning and grieving different things right now for so many things from graduations, proms, weddings, get togethers.. and life in general.  I also am always hoping that I am showing enough love to others.

Guys.. the love that I have felt this week has filled my heart.  Irving ATPE allowed for us to have have a free grande coffee drink.. 2 times!  Although it is hard, I was able to visit my library for the first time since March 12th (I also discovered the reason that students were making TikToks in one of the corners- it is a perfect spot!) I have been able to continue to have my Girl Scout meetings (man do the look different!) I was adopted and had an AWESOME family that I have known for years deliver goodies to me.  I had one of the moms of one of my awesome Girl Scouts send me a text message with porch and when I looked outside I had had a basket full of goodies. I have a great new sign thanks to Mary Anne to hang in the library when we do go back to school. I was able to physically distance and see some of my favorite work friends for teacher appreciation. Friday  We also had the Irving Muslim community provide us with lunch.  Friday evening my husband walked out to get something from his car, and came back in asking why there were so many flamingos in our front yard.  My Girl Scout Troop 6458 had Flocked my yard, not only did the is make me laugh so hard I cried.. I loved my personalized sign

Sometimes, you just have to share the super happy things and the ones that make your heart feel full of love when you are going through a tough time.  I am thankful for those that I have in my life that continually show me love, give me words of encouragement, put up with my antics.  I know that another National Infertility Awareness Week has passed and another Mother's Day where I will not hear "I Love You Mom" is coming up.  More importantly though.. this is a reminder to myself that even though I might have tough times and I might not ever hear certain words.. my heart and life is full of love in so many different ways.

Thank you to those in my circle that give me so much love! If you ever need anything, please know that I am here for you as well! May we all get through this crazy time together.. while apart!

I love you Sunshines!

Friday, March 20, 2020

Friday March 20th, 2020

This is the last Friday of our Spring Break.  We have off Monday as well, but official distant learning will be happening on Tuesday.  I moved SUPER slow today.  I got half of the kitchen done, a little bit of laundry and then watched a whole lot of Tik Tok.  I did set my alarm this morning to send the hubby off to work!

I watch the news.. I know how scary it is outside the house where I can't control things.  However, we are in a situation where my husband needs to work.. not just for a little bit of financial stability (which we DESPERATELY need) but for himself too.  I know how I already feel day 7 of not leaving my house.  Sent him off to work with VERY strict instructions on what to do.. and then what would happen when he came home :)

Before I go any farther- HUGE shout out to ALL of the medical field, first responders, store workers, and restaurant/food places! You guys all deserve a medal!

I do have to admit, this might be my favorite Tik Tok I have made so far

Hubby got home, we followed protocol (thank goodness that in the past I had bought Lysol almost every month) talked about bills.  If you are in a spot where you are saving, already live on one income, manage your money better than we do... awesome!! About 4 years ago I finally started putting money in a 403B. It isn't a ton.. but at least it it is there.  But, that doesn't mean that we don't live paycheck to paycheck. We do pretty good about not living too much beyond our means.. but man, when you go to one income it gets hard and there is struggle.  My husband is a Chef- and these are very uncertain times.  So.. when we talk bills, we talk about what we are going to pay right away (I only get paid once a month) and who we were going to call to get extensions.  But, when he got home, we were able to talk about  bills this with a little room to breath because we knew that we were not going to be single income.

About 3 hours after he left work.. he got the phone call that the building he had just started working in was closing due to COVID-19.  His job that he had just started.. completed his first day today.. was no longer there right now.  The company is taking good care of its employees.. so he has been furloughed.  Silver lining- he has a job ready when this all passes.

As always- I do not write any of these for pity.  I know that we make our own choices for what we spend money on and how we spend money.  Sometimes we are smart.. sometimes even being smart it doesn't always work out. I also write this to remind myself of the hard things we are going through and how much better we are going to come out on the other side (and cleaner too!!) When we went to one income we started loosely following Jordan Page- check her out! She also has some great shelf cooking ideas.  I also know I am VERY lucky with all that I have- I do not take that for granted.

Happy Heart for Today
-Fun Tik Toks
-text messaging
-A roof over my head and a fridge full of food
-Talking about ideas for activities for the Girl Scout virtually
-The reminder that there are SO many awesome things happening right now.
Also- have I mentioned how much I loved Frozen 2?
-Work on a presentation with one of my awesome librarian friends

My plans for this weekend
-Finishing cleaning the house and make myself a spot in my office for actual work
-update my Google Keep
-planning a BINGO challenge for school
-working on the latest Installment
-plan those virtual activities for my Girl Scout troop
-Hopefully mow my lawn soon! It looks TERRIBLE.. but at least we have gotten a ton of rain!
-Finish up my YouTube videos for Girl Scouts
-clean out my car (which I haven't touched since last Friday)

I hope that whatever troubles that you might be going through- you find those silver linings.  Although it is super tough right now for many, I can't wait to see what the world looks like on the other side of this COVID-19.  I am sort of ready for it to already be the other side.  I also hope that you give yourself grace.. and remember it is okay to be upset, but it is also okay to talk through it... take a deep breath.. and decide what you can control.  I see you and I can honestly say I understand! These are uncertain times for so many people.. but we got this with love, compassion, understanding and grace.

One last thought.. I consider myself an Introvert/Extrovert. I put on a very extrovert face most of the time.. but spend my lunches and evenings "recharging" my introvert self. I can say.. I am recharged.. and ready to go actually see people. We got this!

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Thursday March 19, 2020

I have started only watching the news in the morning and then again in the afternoon.  The COVID-19 is on every news station, every Facebook story, almost every tweet/Instagram/Tik Tok.  However, what I also see a ton of is teachers curating resources, librarians sharing where to find books and read alouds, families reaching out to see how we can help each other (by keeping a 6 food distance), and the reminder to help small businesses that are now facing some major uncertainty.  

Today, without an alarm, I was awake by 7am (remember.. I am still on spring break)  I didn't watch Frozen 2 last night.. so I made myself a cup of coffee and muffin and sat down to watch a movie.

I loved every bit of it Frozen 2- I do believe I will be watching it again. Also, Olaf is my spirit animal.  I could totally be Olaf, I am not as funny.. but I am totally that awkward friend that is always happy even when I am not. I loved it! I also think that much of what is going on in Frozen 2 had good reminders that we can make it through right now.
This was one of my favorites of Olaf (although.. there were SO many more!)

I didn't get any Tik Toks made, but I did get a video created and shared in one of my Girl Scout groups.  I am a Girl Scout leader for a multi-level troop that has Brownies, Juniors and Cadettes (I have 30 girls!) I sort of love it.. and I am really missing my normal routine of leading them. Our next meeting wasn't going to be until March 30th, but we have cancelled that and are unsure when our next meeting will be.  One of the members posed the question if as leaders we were sending information/badges/things to work on home.  I emailed my parents and asked them these three questions:
1- Would you be interested in a virtual meeting?
2- Would you be interested in some badge work/patch work that you can do at home?
3- Would you be interested in joining a Google Classroom where I can house all of this?
I got a huge YES! Now, I also prefaced the email with I will post stuff and send stuff.. but it is completely optional and you and your family can do as little or as much they like.  This morning I created 3 Google classrooms and then recorded a video to share how I created these to the Girl Scout group.

After I posted the video I got so much feedback about sharing it, I asked if they would be interested in other how I organize my meetings and life through Google (because that is where I live!) So, it looks like I will be creating some more videos.  I used to make videos all the time, so today was nice to get back to that.  

Happy Heart for the Day:
-Creating Google Classrooms for my Girl Scout troop
-Creating a useful video for others to use (that made me feel really good)
-Finishing the guest bedroom- the closet and bedroom look amazing! 
-Watching Frozen 2
-Organizing my closet

Plans for tomorrow:
-send hubby off to work and not stress all day about this
-Tik Tok
-Kitchen is on the agenda for tomorrow!
-Record videos for using Google Drive and Girl Scouts- how I stay organized

I have also seen many teachers reminding students to write down how they are feeling and create journals of what they are seeing. This blog is a place for me to share what is on my mind, news, and reminders of our current situation.  I am also using this as a place to help with my own anxiety. There have been many breaks where I have decided that I am not leaving the house (because I am not good at slowing down)  I do always end up leaving.. but right now with no choice of leaving the house, funds are low, and there is so much uncertainty makes it hard. I am thankful to my friends that I get to chat with through various messaging apps. I hope that if you are reading this, you are doing things to take care of yourself too!

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Wednesday March 18th, 2020

I did it! I got one thing done of my To Do List.  I SUPER deep cleaned the guest bathroom.  I mean.. there are NO germs in that place!  As it took me forever because I took breaks I reminded myself that I am still on break.. even though this has got to be the weirdest break ever.

I have a couple of really big unknowns right now.. so that is sort of stressing me out. Not only is it unknown it is things I really can't do anything about right now. So, I spend hours on TikTok

Happy Heart for the Day
-Cleaning the guest bathroom- it looks great
-Texting of the #skurtcrew
-Texting with my Wednesday breakfast bunch- I sure do miss our breakfast!
-Gliding with Viola
-Making 2 TikToks- one of those starring Jax!
-Not crying today :)
-We are about to watch Frozen 2!! (well.. I say that.. and hubby said that is okay.. cross your fingers it happens!)

Reminding myself of the happy hearts of the day remind me that although times are tough.. we still have good things!  I found a TON of funny letter boards to do for Tik Toks- going to start doing them every Wednesday (#Wednesdaywords)  I would do more of the letter boards because I love them- but they take FOREVER!

Plans for tomorrow
-Actually put my laundry away (big goals!)
-Organize my closet
-Tik Tok- don't know which one yet
-Dive into curriculum

If you don't have TikTok.. or you are not my friend on Facebook, here is my fun one from today.

I know that we are all trying to navigate this craziness. It is okay to be sad.. it is okay to be upset.. but it is also SUPER important to find at least one bright spot each day.. and stay in contact with friends.  I know that I am on spring break, but I am also feeling all the uncertainty as we are about to go into school in a different way.  One of my favorite apps lately is Action for Happiness. I love the daily reminders that it sends me. Check it out here

Love you all!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Tuesday March 17th, 2020

I want to start this blog with my ridiculous known as my dancing on TikTok

I am going to know so many dances by the time we go back to school!

Happy Heart of the Day:
-Hubby got the phone call!! I know that we are all in trying times... but please send up prayers that this works.  Yes, we are still practicing social distancing.. and I already have a protocol in place for how he will come home
-I recorded 2 TikToks today
-I got to converse with friends via Glide and text which is always nice

We did venture out for a bit today to pick up a steak to celebrate tonight (it was on SUPER sale.. and the store actually had some) and cheese to go on our pizza we will make later this week.  Not going to lie.. I almost cried in the store because it is just sad. I know those guys are working SO hard right now.. and I think of all the people that are going to go without because they do not have the funds to stock up on supplies.

So, that to do list? I didn't get it all done..
-I did call some bill companies- not fun.. but got it done
-I did wash Ladybug (our 15 year old pound puppy)
-I did actually vacuum the house and do laundry
-talked curriculum and ideas
-recorded TikToks

Having just a little bit of weight lifted off my shoulders with the phone call for my husband is going to make me much more productive tomorrow.  Being stuck in the house because of social distancing.. unsure of so many makes it hard to focus!

List for Tomorrow:
-Plan virtual Girl Scout meeting
-Guest bedroom/guest bathroom
-Dive into curriculum
-Start curating the massive amount of resources that have been shared lately! Think this is going to be a great time to use Wakelet

I LOVE you all!

And I leave you with this TikTok from today.. and a cartoon my mom sent me

You can find the whole comic here

Monday, March 16, 2020

Monday March 16th, 2020

Oh my goodness.. guys.. today I actually got up and got dressed!  I also had a small panic attack as I had to have a conversation with my landlord... sometimes I adult really well.. and sometimes I SUCK at adulting!  We are not super frivolous spenders.. and we have done pretty good at trimming some things down, but when living on one income it gets a little hard.  With all the news that has come out today, please send good thoughts that something comes through financially.. we could really use a small break (as probably most of the economy)

The day started with the news information that STAAR is cancelled for this year- this is a BIG deal.

Here are the happy heart things from today:
-Did I mention that I actually got dressed... and have eaten 3 meals today!  Getting back on a schedule :)
-Made a couple of TikToks- if you are on TikTok- you can find me at @akbusybee (great cardio!)
-Chatted with some friends via Marco Polo, Glide and Messenger
-Took some deep breathes and reminded myself that we are ALL in this together (hmm.. next TikTok dance?)

We just finished watching the news.. and although it stressed me out more, I know that there are SO many people that are in the same situation that we are.  I feel for the places that are now even impacted more with the required closures.

We live in such a time where we are able to get whatever we want whenever we want and this change in what we can do is going to be hard for many.  It is an important mindset change and to take this very seriously. 

My heart and understanding goes out to:
-The businesses that are now facing some very hard decisions
-Parents that are trying to navigate a new norm of online learning and still take care of the house as well
-People that just got married or getting married
-Seniors that are supposed to graduate this year
-ALL people in leadership positions.  NONE of this is easy.  NONE of the decisions are easy.
-Those that are already financially struggling and now have to make even harder choices.

As I have mentioned before.. I am a lister.  I haven't pulled out my planner, because it gives me anxiety thinking about how unsure I am of the future. Listing, however, gives me a chance to put to paper what I really want to get done.

My List for tomorrow:
-Call a couple of our bills (these are NOT fun phone calls.. but with the way things are right now- it is the hardest part of my adulting right now)
-Guest Bedroom/Guest Bathroom/Laundry room
-TikTok- maybe another dance- but I also want to do a Library one
-Clean out my overflowing email boxes
-Marco Polo/Glide my friends
-Virtual CG!
-Think about how to help my Girl Scouts

Although our school is closed until April 6th as of right now, we are still in very uncertain waters.  What this will look like for the rest of the year and what it will look like for next year.

These blogs are a reminder for me of all the craziness that is in our world right now and the uncertainty that we are living through.  We can get through hard things, and I know I will look back on these and know that we made it through this hard time too.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Sunday March 15th, 2020

Day 3 of Spring Break... and I have done NOTHING except for
-watch Schitt's Creek and Law and Order (I REALLY want to watch Frozen 2)
-reminding myself to eat (you would think I would not have a problem with that
-I have done a GREAT job of staying off social media

I might be a super busy person, but I am a structured scheduled busy person.  I knew that Spring Break would not be structured and I would need to keep myself busy.. but the email came yesterday that we would be on virtual learning starting March 24th (that is the first day back from spring break) and will continue to April 3rd. 

I love that I work on a VILS campus.  VILS is Verizon Innovative Learning Campus.  All of our students have iPads with data.  Our teachers use the devices to increase learning and implement instruction.  The important thing to remember with any devices is that it is not just about using technology, but still using good teaching with technology.  Our district is implementing at home learning plans to prepare for the closures.  Teaching is a hard profession, and I know that there are so many teachers that want their students to succeed.  I know how important it is for schools to be closed right now.  Although I have been staying off social media, I have seen enough news articles and information from doctors in the US and friends with family members in Italy to know how much this can devastate communities.  Changing to all virtual schools is not an easy task... and our administrators and superintendents are making tough decisions to ensure safety for our students and staff.  Think about your teachers that are doing everything possible to ensure that there will still be learning going on at home.. along with some structure

Here are my couple of reminders today:
-Your school library has SO many digital resources (I know ours does!)
-Your local library has SO many great resources too!
-Reading books online (through Youtube or other ways) violates copyright.. I know.. I know.. but Andrea I can't see my kids.  There are a TON of resources out there that have the author reading their books. 
-We are all in this together! Think about your neighbor.. but also give yourself some grace

I want to be proactive as a librarian... because here is that nagging thought in the back of my head.  We are all going into very unknown waters in what learning is about to look like for a mass amount of students.  When we finally travel through these unknown waters- what is it going to look like on the other side? We are currently only adding 2 weeks, but who knows.. it could end up being more.  This will most likely effect our STAAR testing.  Schools get money with students being at school and from testing.  What will life look like beyond this?

Since we are still on spring break- I am not going to be pushing out too much stuff.  If I am overwhelmed, I can only imagine how my students are right now. I am coming up with ideas though and will begin to create things to push out.  Don't worry.. all that I make I will be sharing!

-Some at home ideas for my Girl Scout troop
-Tik Toks library style
-Videos and challenges that have students make things
-A reading challenge
-Mindfulness activities- we are all stressed!

Think About and some virtual love and good thoughts:
-Our healthcare workers
-The people that are working in the grocery stores
-Parents that are now trying to figure out a new norm (from money to food)
-Parents that have wonderful children with special needs
-Families that are living with someone that has mental illness of any type (I know that I have anxiety that has not fully been diagnosed.. but I also live with an amazing husband who is bi-polar.. so I am personally trying to be as positive as possible)
-People that are living with mental illness themselves.  We all joke about living as an introvert.. but for those that suffer with depression and anxiety- this can heighten all of this
-Those that are struggling financially and are already uncertain about how to put food/supplies in their house
-EVERYONE- everyone is trying to figure out these new norms.  Some have already started to take the advice of social distancing and are staying at home.. others are not. We all need to have grace with each other and realize that this is a VERY real deal.

I write these blogs for me.  To remind me of my thoughts, to lower my own stress, and to get on "paper" what many of us are probably thinking (right.. I can't be the only one out there with these thoughts!)