Saturday, May 12, 2018

Teacher Appreciation 2018

We just finished up Teacher Appreciation week.  I know that I am always looking for ideas (and.. I do already have an idea for next year!)  I have written about our 80's Teacher Appreciation here and our Hollywood Week here.  This I helped with Teacher Appreciation Week and our Girl Scout Volunteer Awards event.  (LOTS of pictures, but I have to admit... when I am looking at ideas for what I want to do, I look at pictures to get ideas)
This year our theme was Elliott Teachers are the Best in the World!  Each day we traveled to a different location.
At the beginning of the week I invited staff to explore new world with a new book.

Have I mentioned how much I love using Piktochart?  I absolutely love using the website and use it so many different ways!
Decorations were super easy.  We had paper airplanes, suitcases, and globes

The first day we traveled to France- also known as Sonic.  Our principal took groups of teachers during their planning to get a fountain drink.  YES PLEASE!! Speed of sound was discovered in France.

Tuesday was Sweden with a Spa Day.  Our amazing parent liaison and parent volunteers transformed this room into a spa room.  All the staff was pampered with Mary Kay items!  You can check out Sandra Hall for your Mary Kay needs.  One of my habits on my bucket list for this summer is to take better care of my skin.. so I splurged and got some great products!  

On Wednesday we traveled to Mexico.  Our PTO did a great job of putting on a "Nacho" ordinary nacho bar.  The food was AMAZING!!!!
 Wednesday we traveled to a Galaxy Far Far Away during our Staff meeting.  We had Princess Lays, Yoda Soda, Vador-ade, and Darth Vador told us to come to the dark side because there were cookies.

Thursday was to England with tea, coffee and breakfast

Check out these awesome personalized cups that we each got!

Friday was back to America.  The Masons who always support our staff grilled hamburgers and hot dogs for us!
I LOVED traveling all over the world!
For our Volunteer Appreciation event it was Irving Girl Scouts are "Nacho" Ordinary volunteers
Made this one using Canva (another one of my favorite websites to use!)
For the volunteer appreciation we had a nacho bar and had the attendees bring desserts to share.  We awarded volunteers with various awards (I even got a 10 year pin for being a 10 year volunteer!)
Nacho Ordinary Girl Scout- celebrating the girls who were graduating, earning Silver and Gold Awards

You are on Fire! Each volunteer walked away with a door prize and a box of hot tamales and red hots
It was a GREAT and busy week.. although I think that I write about every busy week.. I am the busy bee!
Hubby surprised me with these on teacher appreciation day! 
There was a dinosaur in school on Friday! Prentice is an AWESOME teacher.. and I LOVED that she dressed up like a dinosaur.  Her sign said- Ask me why I am a dinosaur.  It then read: Almost all of my students met their MAP goal and are DINO-MITE and it is teacher appreciation week and I will do what I want!

Tucker gave me a super cute gnome- There is "Gnome" I would rather work with.
Finishing out May strong with end of the year Girl Scout Troop activity, one more ukulele performance, buy one get one free book fair, state testing, ATPE banquet... oh.. and closing down a library for the end of the year!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

National Infertility Week- SEEK

April has been one of the best months this year, but by far the busiest as well!
-Attended the Texas Librarian Association Conference in Dallas where I also presented at poster session and was on a panel session.
-Took a Destination ImagiNation team to State! So proud of the Nerdy Birdys!
-Took my Girl Scout Troop on their first real camping trip! We were missing a few girls, but it was still an awesome weekend and I can't wait to camp more!
-Hosted the first Uke Can Do It Performance with the ukulele club.
-Attended and volunteered at the North Texas Teen Book Festival.

My word this year is Seek.  I wrote about it here and I talked about seeking time for myself and doing the things that I enjoy doing. Now, April was a busy month.. and I was probably cranky.. but it was so awesome!

During a week in April is also National Infertility Week.  I blog about our trials every year and you can find past blogs here, here, and here.

When my husband and I married in 2005, I knew that we might have problems starting a family.  I have PCOS, and my husband is older.  When you are on a infertility journey it is not just about one person... and it is not just about bodily functions.  An infertility journey can easily encompass your whole life and being.  We went to doctors, I took medicine, gave myself shots, and went to more doctors.  During all of the years of trying, I would watch my friends get pregnant and start their own families and be heartbroken.  Not because I was upset that they had started their own family, but because I didn't ever know if I was going to have the chance for my own family. 

We have not been actively trying for over 2 years.  I won't lie, mother's day is rough.  I go through other down times (I am a human)  In keeping my word of the year in mind, I have really worked hard at SEEKing things that make me happy.  That is why my April was so full.
Not only was April full, but it was full of finding my own fulfillment and happiness. 

Although I will never be biological mother.. I have to take a moment to share about my Girl Scout Troop.  3 years ago, I became a leader to a 3rd generation Girl Scout Troop.  My girls started out as Daisies and they are currently Brownies.

I am so very grateful that these moms have trusted me in leading these girls.  I can't even begin to explain how happy they make my heart (even if sometimes our meetings get a little loud)  I share this on my infertility blog, for many reasons.  My journey has not taken me on the path that I thought it would.  Camping this week was something that I thought I would have done with my own child.  If life had gone as I had planned (which you know it is not supposed to!) I would have had a child about the age of these girls.  I LOVED camping with them so much and having those experiences with them.  From hiking to campfires to singing songs... this troop is such a big part of my life.  I won't lie.. there were a few times that I had to take a few deep breaths when I thought about that it was not my own child having these experiences.  This Girl Scout Troop is allowing me to directly work with a group of girls that I already see growing into strong young women.  They started in kindergarten and are already in 2nd and 3rd grade!

For all of those out there on an infertility journey.. I know it isn't easy, I know there are going to be times where you just want to break down and cry, and I know that there are times when you smile ear to ear and your heart is happy because you are creating your own path.  I am thankful that I have surrounded myself with a wonderful loving husband that understands that I need to find a way to be involved with experiences that will give me fulfillment.  I am surrounded with amazing families that have allowed me into their lives not only in Girl Scouts but with all the school families. I have also surrounded myself with amazing friends who are always willing to listen. I also have learned to give myself some slack to grieve when I need to. 

Whatever journey you are on, remember.. you are not lost.. you are just seeking your own fulfillment. To those that have not had to worry about infertility, you have probably come in contact with someone who has.  Give them an extra smile or a hug if you can, it can be rough.

Thank you to all that have made my own infertility journey better by allowing me to be a part of your lives.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Princess Party!

This weekend was my birthday... and I decided that I wanted to have a Princess Party! I mean, how can you not appreciate a reason to wear a tiara and have a wand?  I combined it with a Stella and Dot Party (which is still open) so guests had a chance to try on beautiful jewels too!

I usually have a TON of pictures, but I am on a loaner phone right now (first world problems here.. it only has 8GBs of memory!!! I hopefully will have my original phone back tomorrow!) so I had to rely on my hubby's phone, friends phones, and my camera.

For this blog, however, I wanted to share how I set up for the party and the different crafts that I had ready (there are even Youtube videos guys!)

So for my party, I knew that I wanted guests to create their own tiara and have a wand.

Making Wands

Making Lace Tiaras

For the Tiara station I had super fancy rhinestone headbands that I got from one of our local stores- Miz (and they were only $1.00 each!) I also had jewels and trinkets set out for guests to embellish their own tiara.

Princess station
My tiara that I decorated
For food- I had this awesome caterer (aka- EAT... Custom Catering... my husband)  We had fruit wands, he taught me how to make strawberry roses, and we had all different types of light bites.  Of course there was red and white wine.. and a super yummy sherbet fruit punch. My favorite treat on cheese and wine nights is Kroger cupcakes, so of course I had to have a cupcake cake too!

I love that I am able to surround myself with friends that don't mind being silly with crafts and support me.  I know that not everyone was able to come, but I had SO much fun being a pampered princess for the evening! Even better it was on a budget and with things that I had in house!

Black curtain with some twinkly lights made the perfect backdrop for some photos.. even though I didn't get hardly any!
You know I love a Selfie (and look at all those beautiful ladies!)

Bracelet from hubby

Sunday, December 31, 2017

A Year In Review- Top 3 Best and Worst Moments

2017 is ending soon, and what a year it was.
This year my word has been Seek, and I have done a ton of seeking in myself, friends, and family.
This year brought graduations, wedding announcements, breakfast with friends, loss of friends, knee scooters for sprained ankles, gaining of understanding of family, and the beginning of the work on the 40x40 list, and so much more! Do I have more than 3 GREAT moments of the year.. of course!  Do I have more than 3 of the WORST moments of the year, absolutely.  But what makes a year other than the memories of what happened and how you get through both good and bad. 
Before I get into the top 3.. I wanted to share my dreams for this past year (William and I had some as well.. and we actually did over half of them!!)
I had this frame sitting next to my bed.. and reminded myself often.  The first one... don't feel guilty and enjoy life- I am finally getting to that stage.. but I had to do some of my own scripts of how to handle situations in order to achieve this (of course I am still working on it) 4.0 average for TWU.. OMG.. when I talk about my top 3 BEST and WORST you will understand more why this was amazing :) Be at a better weight.. yep.. down 10 pounds!  #40by40 adventures, you can check out the blog hear about my updates

Now to the lists (and if you know me.. you know how much I love to list!)
Top 3 BEST Moments of 2017
1. I graduated from TWU!!  Not only did I graduate, but I a did it with a 4.0 average and was also recognized as an outstanding student. I am now officially a librarian!!!
2. My husband was diagnosed bi-polar.  Mental illness is not something to joke about, but because of the diagnosis it has changed how our household runs. It has also helped with my own understanding of how important it is to help support those that have mental illness.. but also support myself.  I could NOT have made it without all the friends that I have, my husband getting the help that he needs.. and the love of my family and 2 amazing ladies. It is not easy to say that someone needs help.. and it is not easy to recognize that you need extra support to make it through too.  I am proud of my husband and the talented created chef and person that he is.  I am thankful for my parents that have been with me every step of the way.. and I am so thankful for Robin and Elaine being there ALL THE TIME!

3. Working on my #40by40 list.  I LOVE lists, and working on my #40by40 list has helped me branch out of my comfort zone.  I have learned how to make my moms biscuits and my dads gravy, I have gotten 3 new tattoos, I have learned how to play the ukulele, I have been more mindful in birthday cards (guys.. I even sent out a few Christmas cards this year!), went on a photo journey to Canyon with Elaine, been on a ghost tour (on a knee scooter too) and so much more!! As petty as this sounds.. I love my #40by40 list because it is things that make me happy.  You can check out my list here .  I have done an updated blog about adventures so far here .  Side note... my goal was 3 tattoos.  One was the one to represent William (which is from Where the Wild Things Are) and the other 2 were to represent my parents. In my family if you love someone, you don't say I love you this much.. because that is not very much, but you love someone This Manys.  On my feet (because my parents have been with me every step of the way) I got This Manys.  One side is my dads handwriting and the other side is my moms.  My other tattoo is on my back.. because William always has my back!

 Top 3 WORST Moments of 2017

1. Losing an amazing friend. In May I (and HUNDREDS of other people) lost a truly amazing young woman.  Kylie was one of a kind and I sure do miss her text messages, phone calls, dates, and hang ups.  I wrote about her here. But she also has helped me with my word of the year Seek.
2.  Going to school. Okay, I LOVE school (and learning).. but doing 2 classes a semester and keeping up with my life in general was REALLY tough.  I know that I am an over achiever, but between home life, school life, librarian life and going to school.. it was ROUGH. 
3. Getting my husband diagnosed bi-polar.  A diagnosis of being bi-polar is only the beginning.  In order to get true help.. it requires doctors visits, medications, strength, support, love and so much more.  Although we are finally on the right path.. combining life in general (see number 2 and 1) made for some really tough times.

But, here comes 2018! I am excited to see what adventures it has in store.  One of my husbands favorite books is Where the Wild Things Are. I carry a Max in my purse with me, and when I go out of town.. Max goes with me too.  I recently read the book again.. and I loved it even more.  Of course it tells the story of Max who is just a little too wild, but who goes out to find adventures, be the king, and still comes home to a warm plate of food.  I know that I am ready for 
The Wild Rumpus To Start!
P.S.- I know that there are SO many people that have helped me along on this journey that I call my life.. and please know that I am SO thankful for each and every one of you (even if I don't say it enough)
P.P.S.- I am going to work on bullet journaling this year to help with my own mindfulness. You can follow me on Instagram to see what I am up too.. but I do plan to be adding more Youtube videos and be better about blogging here and at Bee in the Bookends! I also have lots of adventures in store for this year!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

#40by40 Update!

Hello Fabulous Friends! I know that I have been MIA, but that is because I am trying to get through this LAST semester of grad school! Graduation is just around the corner (YAY!!)  Not going to lie.. October was one of the toughest months in awhile (librarian certification exam, graduation portfolio, an ER visit because of a crazy bloody nose (not mine!) and a totaled car) BUT.. no worries.. we are all on the mend!

#7 Go on a Ghost Tour.
During TXLA in San Antonio, I had a chance to go on a Ghost Tour that started at the Alamo. Not going to lie.. it was awesome... but it was ROUGH! I had just hurt my ankle a couple of days before so I was on a knee scooter. Thanks to Skye, I was able to make it, but it was a lot of work!

#8. Go to Canyon with Elaine.
July 4th weekend, Elaine and I loaded up the car and headed towards Canyon! We had a ton of fun exploring and taking a TON of pictures!

#15 Get 3 Tattoos.  I got my first one.. and hoping as a graduation gift I get my other two.
#25 and #26 Learn to make Mom's biscuits and dad's gravy.  I learned how to make it when Elaine and I went to Canyon.. and I have since then tried my hand at it.  The biscuits weren't as fluffy.. and the gravy was a little lumpy.. but OMG it smelled and tasted just like home! I can't wait to make them again!

#32 Learn to play a song on the guitar.  I am editing this one.. because.. let's be real.. it is never going to happen.  My husband is an avid guitar and drum player.  I have tried SO hard to be interested in the guitar.. but it just hasn't happened! Over the years my hubby has bought me 2 guitars and a mandolin.. and I have tried for a bit, but it never worked.  HOWEVER.. at the beginning of this year, I got a ukulele.. AND I LOVE IT!!!! This is Stella (after Stellaluna the book) Since I got her, I have been using her in the library during kindergarten story.. and have a slew of songs that I am able to play.  I am soon going to be using her with my Girl Scout troop.. and I am actually working on a grant to get some uke's in the library!
Excited about November.. and all the adventures I am about to have as I will have some time after grad school!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Real Talk

Hello Fabulous Friends (This is how I start every email)!
Tomorrow begins my 16th year in education.  I have been in school for 32 years.. isn't that crazy! It begins my second year as a librarian (my most favorite job ever!)

This year, we began our staff development talking about Grit.  I LOVE that we are talking about grit.
I have shared this video before, but I have to share it again.  You can also find my blog about Grit here.

I was very lucky in how I grew up.  I had 2 amazing parents that continually taught me the value of hard work and love.  I have a great sister (who although we annoy the heck out of each other.. I am super proud of all that she has done).  I have family that I grew up with that shared love and compassion.  Now I have a husband that helps motivate me to be a better person and work hard when life gets hard.  I of course am surrounded by family and friends that have helped me grow into the person that I am.

But here comes the real talk!
Although I have had a life that has not been filled with trials and tribulations as others, I still have trials and tribulations and have those times where I have to use my own Grit to get through life.

1. I have anxiety.  I over think things.. I worry about how situations are going to turn out.. and I stress. I worry about how other people see me and what I do (seriously.. I rethink conversations ALL THE TIME... did I say something weird.. am I to quirky.. did I say too much)  I have always been this way.
How I cope- I list. I use essential oils (I LOVE valor) I say sorry alot. I also plan!

2. I am introvert.  Now, if you know me.. I am sure you are thinking WHAT!?! I do enjoy being around people.. a ton.. but I also get easily over stimulated.  I have to have quiet.
How I cope- It took me years to figure out that I needed breaks during the day! I build myself quiet moments into my day.. it might only be 15 minutes every 4 or 5 hours, but it is a time where I can sit and reflect and make my brain be quiet.  This is very helpful during conferences.  I used to feel odd letting people know that I need a break.. but now I don't feel so bad :)

3. I deal with a ton of things.  I overbook myself with things that make me happy (okay.. so sometimes they stress me out a bit too) but I love feeling like I am making a difference. I love being a Girl Scout leader, a Destination ImagiNation team manager, and being active in the community. When I say I deal with a ton of things.. those are not the things.  I am not going to make this list to make you feel sorry for me.. it is just a list (see coping number 1) I deal with infertility, I deal with being in debt, I deal with mental health obstacles in myself and my family, I deal with so much more that I probably won't ever write in a blog.
How I cope- I know that tomorrow is another day.  Okay.. Real Talk.. I freak out and yell. I get LOTS of hugs from my husband, family and friends

I write all this to remind others that it is totally okay to still put on that smile for the outside world.  It is totally okay to talk to someone about the problems and anxiety that you have.  It is TOTALLY okay to be YOU!  I am the person that I am today because of how I was raised, the people that have been brought into my life, and all the situations that I have gone through.  Life is rough sometimes.. but life is great too!

I welcome year number 16! I hope wherever you are that you take a moment to think about how you got to where you are, and how you are going to get to where you are going. I am going to continue to SEEK out ways to encourage myself and others to be the best they can be.