Challenge 10: Best Trip of Your Life

First let me start by saying that yesterday’s prompt was “what’s in your purse?” Nothing special. My wallet? Some chapstick? Not nearly blog-worthy material. So I skipped! And today I’m writing a bit late because I spent the morning with my BFF at the hospital for the birth of her 3rd child. He is a healthy boy and I’m so glad I got to be there for her.

Anyway today’s prompt is the best trip of my life. I think that this would have to be a recent trip actually, where my family and I went to the Outer Banks, NC. We had gone previously in the summers and rented a house with some family friends. My brother and his wife and son lived in NC, but found out that they would be going to Okinawa,Japan before Christmas. Since Brian and I moved to Arizona it had been a few years since we were all together as a family, and we knew that it would be longer once they moved out of the country, so we decided to go on vacation at the beach! My parents graciously rented the house and Brian and I flew to Ohio and then drove with them to NC. We spent a week there together and it was so wonderful to enjoy each other’s company. I won’t forget it.

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Challenge 8: Your 5 Current Goals

What a hectic day today was. We woke up after getting almost no sleep because of a hot water heater emergency that kept us up until 2 am. But the day wasn’t all bad even though we’re exhausted. Church had an amazing sermon and then we had a second cake tasting for our wedding and met with our wedding coordinator and ironed out some more details. Anyway, apologies that this is late, but it’s still done!

1. Finish out the school year strong and with a psitive attitude. I am not returning to the middle school I am currently at next year. This can make things seem to drag by as I am excited to embark on a new teaching journey. However, my goal is to stay mindful and present with my current students and give them my best in the last month and a half of the school year.

2. Continue to grow in my relationship with God. This is always on my list of goals because it’s something I can continue to work towards forever. Currently I’m attending two community groups and so my goal next year is to also join a ministry team since I will be working closer to home and have a bit more time to devote to the church.

3. Continue to prepare myself for marriage and being the best possible wife I can be. This is a goal that I am so excited for. As Brian and I have been completing our pre-marital counseling, I am learning so much about the person God wants me to be in this relationship.

4. Stay creative. I have a habit of wanting to do creative activities and then not follow through with them. For my own mental health I would like to continue to do creative activities.

5. Be more active. Now that the weather is warming up I want to make sure that I’m spemding as much possible time as I can outside. Swimming, walking, fishing, reading a book, etc. I love living somewhere with so much sunshine and I would like to make sure that I remember to appreciate it.

Challenge 7: Your 5 Favorite Songs

This was yesterday’s prompt that I ended up missing. My best friend is preparing for her newest baby and we decided to spend yesterday together on a double date as a last hoorah. We started with mini golf, then played a few games of pool, and ended the night with a card game. So anyway, I’m going to do yesterday’s prompt today, my top 5 favorite songs. In no particular order of importance.

1. Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers- this song is my favorite for a few reasons. First, it’s classic. Second, it’s “our song”. One summer day, Brian and I were in his parent’s kitchen. He was cleaning one of his guns and this song came on Pandora and he just stopped what he was doing and started dancing with me and we decided on it being our song. Little did we know that it was also both of our parents’ song as well.

2. Hills and Valleys by Tauren Wells- this song is one of the main reasons that o found my relationship with Christ. I had started listening to KLove to and from work just because it made me feel good, but then one day this song came on and I was moved to tears. Listening to the lyrics I realized that God isn’t there just when you feel good, but also when you’re struggling. He’s always there and should be praised always.

3. God Only Knows covered by Michael Buble- this is the song that I would like my father/daughter dance to be at my wedding. I love Michael Buble’s cover because it’s so soft and jazzy, but the lyrics are what really get me. “God only knows what I’d be without you”. I have so much to thank my dad for. He was tough when he needed to be, but I always knew he loved me because he told me and showed me. He taught me so much and I’m so grateful that God blessed me with him as my dad because I can only imagine what my life would be like if I didn’t have him.

4. Maggie May by Rod Stewart- I can’t list my favorite song for my dad and not have one for my mom. My mom was and is such a big influencer in my life. I have so many great memories growing up with her. Singing Rockin’ Robin while she pushed me on the swing set or Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot bikini while we played with the hose in the summertime. Of all those songs my favorite is Maggie May. My middle name is Margaret and so my mom affectionately called me Maggie some days. For a period of time in my life o remember her waking me up for school in the morning singing, “wake up Maggie I think I got something to say to you” and I wouldn’t want it to end. She is an amazing woman. I can’t wait to have children so I can make memories with them like these.

5. Black Velvet by Alannah Myles- there is no sentimental story behind this one. I just really like this song and any time we go to a karaoke night you can count on me to sing it.

Challenge 5: Your Proudest Moment

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

I was struggling with this blog post today, and considered skipping it altogether. I should preface by saying that if you asked me to answer it two years ago I would have no problem answering it with an accomplishment that I thought I completed all on my own, like graduating college for instance. And I would have been wrong.

It is so easy for us to seek God when things are rough. When we’re going through the valleys and we realize that we need Him to get through it all. It is hard for us, as selfish and flawed humans, to seek him from the mountain when we reach the top. It has taken me a long time to realize that none of my accomplishments are mine. Nothing that I have done in my life has been done by me alone. No. My help comes from God. I finished college because God blessed me with loving and providing parents who helped me and an able mind to complete my hours of coursework. Which leads me back to the verse that opened the post, I can do all things with God. Praise him on the mountains and in the valleys.

Challenge 4: Your Dream Job

Today, Arizona educators statewide participated in a “walk in”. One of the reasons that I participated is because, together, we walked in to our school. Together, as a team of teachers, students, and administrators, we showed people that these kids are why we do what we do. Educating your children is my top priority; not my paycheck. I will not walk out on them.

I am so happy this is the challenge prompt for today because I have been wanting to make a post bout education for a while, but was waiting for the right time. First off, my dream job is being a teacher, so yay living the dream! I knew I wanted to be a teacher because of my teachers in school. They were so passionate and fun and really engaging. Even in the subjects I wasn’t good at I had a good time and decent relationships with my teachers , so I felt comfortable asking for help when I struggled. I knew I wanted to teach Language Arts because it has always been my favorite subject. Going through education courses in college really just solidified my decision. Every experience, whether good or bad, led me to be the teacher I am today.

I moved to Arizona because I knew they needed teachers. I knew when I moved that I wouldn’t make the most money, but I was going to be making a difference and that’s what mattered. What I didn’t know was how the behaviors of children had changed since my time in middle school. The reason that I have wanted to post about education for a while is because it’s become such a hot topic recently.

First, I do believe that educators are grossly underpaid for the amount and type of work that they do. Most of the time because of the behaviors and quantity of my students I don’t even get to teach. I spend my time waiting for them to quiet down, repeating instructions, and keeping them on task for more than 5 minutes. Don’t get me wrong, each and every one of my students brings something unique to the classroom. Even on the days where my lesson plans don’t go as planned, we still learn something together. However, as amazing as this is, I want to teach Language Arts. I want to be that exciting teacher that makes my students want to read and write and speak up and be good people.

So now, my dream is that public education gets enough support and funding that they can hire (and retain) quality teachers, so that class sizes can be more manageable and I can spend my time teaching.

Challenge 3: Favorite Quote

“Nothing great is ever achieved without much enduring.” -St. Catherine of Siena

When I started college in 2011 I was in a weird place. Since I was commuting from home I didn’t have many friends, and since it was a private Catholic college I had even less. I really just didn’t fit in. After a very rough first semester, a fellow commuter told me about Theta Phi Alpha. It was the only Greek life left on our campus and was such a cool group of ladies. So after going to some meet and greets, I decided to join.

I learned so much during my time as a collegiate member and met some amazing people. One of the most important things that I hold on to is the quote from our group’s patron saint, “nothing great is ever achieved without much enduring.” The reason that this quote means so much is because it is so true. What greatness can you expect to achieve without going through trials and tribulations? Even if the results that are achieved aren’t the ones you anticipated, going through the process will change you for the better in some way.

I hope that the next time you find yourself going through a rough patch or troubles in life you remember this quote!

Challenge 2: 20 Facts About Me

  1. My favorite color is purple.
  2. I only have one sibling.
  3. I work as a middle school teacher in Arizona.
  4. I never want to leave Arizona.
  5. I have a rescue dog named Ruger, and he is going to be 4 in August.
  6. I got engaged on my birthday.
  7. My wedding date is October 6, 2018.
  8. I can’t wait to marry my best friend.
  9. I love going to church.
  10. I grew up in a small town in Ohio.
  11. My brother and his wife and son live in Okinawa, Japan.
  12. They are both in the USAF.
  13. I lived at home while I went to college.
  14. I love sitting in the sun.
  15. I really don’t like putting away laundry.
  16. My favorite TV series is Grey’s Anatomy.
  17. My favorite ice cream is Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia.
  18. I put way too much butter and salt on my popcorn.
  19. There is no limit to the amount of chips and salsa I will eat.
  20. I’m happy.

Challenge 1: Your Blog’s Name

Well, here goes day one of the blogging challenge. My blog’s name. I guess there are a few explanations for the name. It started a long time ago on Tumblr as a fitness blog. I would share my workouts and dieting habits and progress. Then I just left it to sit on a shelf like a forgotten toy. Then, as a resolution 2 years ago I decided to blog again and rather than start from scratch I created a blog on WordPress with the same name and linked the two.

If I was going to give a reason for the name today I would have to say because this is a journey for me. A way for me to continue to write. A way for me to share stories about my life as a teacher. An outlet for me to share the gospel of Christ. A catch all for any other random musings that come to mind for anyone who is interested.