Monthly Archives: February 2017

Day Fourteen

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Day Fourteen: post your favorite movies that you never get tired of watching

I LOVE TO WATCH MOVIES! My husband, on the other hand, is not a huge movie watcher. Typically, he falls asleep before the previews are over. He’s getting better, though. 🙂

  1. Dumb and Dumber
  2. Remember the Titans
  3. Home Alone
  4. pretty much any Disney movie
  5. Orange County
  6. Blindside
  7. It’s a Wonderful Life

Right now, this is all I can think of. My brain is too tired to function.

Day Thirteen

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Day Thirteen: what are you excited about?

Wow. What a morning. I forgot my school  bag. I forgot my phone. I forgot my watch. I spilled coffee all down the front of me. And I’m starving! HAPPY TUESDAY, everyone! To say that I’m excited about getting away this weekend is an understatement.

I love spending time with the people I love. Whether it’s a night at home watching a movie or a weekend out of town, as long as I’m with my people, I’m happy. This coming weekend, my husband, daughter, and I are headed to one of my favorite places on earth: Pawhuska, Oklahoma. We’re staying in a cute little cabin with a fireplace at Osage County State Park. I hope that in the evening, it’s cool enough for a fire. We plan to hike, fish, go see the buffalo at the tall grass prairie, and of course, eat some really good food. Saturday morning, I’m taking Chip to The Mercantile because he’s never been. If it isn’t super busy, we might try to eat breakfast there.

I can’t wait to spend some amazing quality time with my little family away from the hustle and bustle of every day life!! It will be a nice little break!!

xoxo,

Rachel

Day Twelve

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Day Twelve: write about five blessings in your life.

I’ve been thinking on this prompt for several days and every time I’d think of something I consider a blessing in my life, I couldn’t help but be of the opinion that they all sounded cliche in my head. With that being said, this is what I came up with: my five senses.

  1. Smell. I love the smell of spring and fresh life. It always makes me happy and feel alive. I love the way my daughter smells right after her bath. I love the way my house smells when I’m baking. Because I have been blessed with the sense of smell, I get to enjoy each of these things.
  2. Sight. The first moment I laid eyes on my daughter, I felt this love that I’d never known. When I see wildflowers growing on the side of a country road, my heart is happy. When I watch my husband playing with my daughter in the evenings, my heart swells. Watching my husband bend over to put on his spurs makes my heart go pitter-pat. Because I have been blessed with the sense of sight, I get to enjoy each of these things.
  3. Touch. Holding hands with my husband in the car or when he puts his arm around me during church, those are two of my favorite things. I love it when my daughter crawls up in my lap and puts her tiny hands in mine. I love the way my horses feel in the winter, so fuzzy and soft. I love the feeling of my over-sized fleece sweater. Because I’ve been blessed with the sense of touch, I get to enjoy each of these things.
  4. Taste. Oh how I love food. I love the first bite of cobbler, covered in ice cream. I love a fluffy, home cooked dinner roll. I love the crunch of chips and salsa. I love all things food. Because I have been blessed with the sense of taste, I get to enjoy all of these things.
  5. Hear. There is nothing sweeter than my daughter’s laugh. There have never been more precious words whispered in my ear than when my husband says he loves me. My favorite songs, birds chirping in the morning, rain tapping on my roof, and a cow mooing outside my window – all of these things make me happy. And because I’ve been blessed with the sense of hearing, I get to enjoy each of these things.

Have the best Monday ever, and count your blessings. Name them one by one.

Rach

Day Eleven

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Day Eleven: something you always think “what if…” about.

I try not to live my life thinking “what if,” but there are times when that thought does cross my mind. Sometimes I wonder what if I hadn’t taken the call from my college Ag teacher to work the gates at the Best of the Best Calf Roping. Would fate have led me to another place where I met Chip? Regardless, I’m so happy I did take that call because it led me to the man of my dreams.

I am truly struggling to come up with any what if questions concerning my life. I’ve typed, erased, started over, typed, erased, started over…..multiple times. Honestly, my motto in life is to not think about the what ifs. I know that my steps have been ordered and that everything happens the way it does for a reason. Even the really crappy things. So instead of questioning how life has turned out or worrying about the what ifs of my future, I guess I just choose to roll with the punches and face the what ifs head on.

What if no one ever reads this? HAHA That’s really all I have for you today.

Day Ten

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Day Ten: write about something for which you feel strongly.

As most of you know, I am a special education teacher at Carthage High School. I started my teaching career at East Newton where I taught 4th, 5th, and 6th grade special education. Regardless of what age group I’ve taught, one thing remains the same: I am passionate about my students.

When I started college at Missouri State, I didn’t have intentions of teaching special education. I’m so glad the path for SpEd opened, though. My mom was a SpEd teacher while I was growing up so I’ve been around students with special needs most of my life. When I tell people that I am a special education teacher, their response is typically something like “oh, your job takes a special person” or “I could never do what you do.” I think teaching in general takes a special person, regardless of whether or not you have gifted learners or students that need a some extra help. I’m no one great – I just love the heck out of my kids. I had a student once who loved to hug. I laugh when I think about her because she was such an inappropriate hugger. She would come up behind a person and squeeze them so hard, their eyes would nearly pop out of their head. Because of this, most people were turned off by her. They didn’t want her to come near them, and I can’t blame them. They were afraid she’d squeeze the life out of them. Over the course of her year with me, we talked about what an appropriate hug looked like and that before you hug a person, it’s polite to ask them if they even want a hug. 🙂 I loved this girl so much. I loved her hugs. She wasn’t always clean. I usually helped her brush her hair once she got to class because at home, fixing your hair just wasn’t a priority. She was this tiny girl but had the squeeze of a python. I had a teacher tell me one time that they didn’t know how I could let this girl hug me. I’m telling you – the Mama Bear in me came roaring out. How could I let her hug me every day?  It was easy. She felt loved and she felt special when someone hugged her. And isn’t that what we all want? To feel loved and accepted? And isn’t that my job as a teacher, let alone a human being, to be someone that made her feel loved? One morning, I was early to work so out of curiosity,  I decided to drive by this girl’s house. I’m telling you, I hadn’t cried like that before. I saw her huddled up on the porch, waiting on the bus. It was cold out. Her house was the size of a closet. And to be honest, I’m not sure anyone should have been living in that house. I thought to myself in that moment that I would never, ever turn down a hug from her. Ever.

Every day, I get to be an advocate for students that might otherwise never have someone in their corner. I’m not saying this boastfully or to make anyone think that I’m the best teacher that has ever walked the earth. I know that I’m not. But this I do know: I will always, always be a voice for my kids that don’t have one. When people tell me that they don’t know how I do what I do, I like to tell them that if they’d walk in my shoes for one day, there is so much they could learn from my kids. They teach me something new every single day. They teach me how to love without limit and to be silly and not take life so seriously. They teach me how to laugh. I will always fight for them. I will always be passionate about my students. I will always do my best to make sure they know that I love them. My job is stressful a lot of days, but I do it because this is what my heart was made to do. Remember on The Grinch when he says that his heart grew three sizes? Sometimes I feel like that, when I see my kids reaching one of their goals or learning something new, my heart is so happy. This is what I was made to do.

Day Nine

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Day Nine: post some words of wisdom that speak to you.

Several years ago -probably seven or so – one of my favorite ladies said something to me that spoke volumes. Lynda Langland was a gem. She didn’t sugarcoat anything. She told you like it was and she meant business. Everything she did, though, was done out of the kindness of her heart and with good intention. I loved Lynda so much!

One day, we were sitting around the table talking about life. I don’t remember many of the specifics or who we were even talking about (heck, it might have been me), but she told me that every single person, no matter what, has redemptive quality. I wasn’t sure what she meant by this so she went on to tell me that no matter where a person had been, or what they had done, there would always be enough grace to go around. Sometimes it’s hard to look at the people we label the “worst-of-the-worst” and see any good in them. To this day, Lynda’s words play over and over in my mind when I’m faced with a situation where I don’t want to forgive or I don’t want to show grace. Even when someone has hurt me at my core, I must make a conscious effort to forgive. I’m not always great at giving grace, but Lynda’s words are a constant reminder for me to see the good in people, even the ones who, by man’s measure, don’t deserve it. Forgive. Show grace.

I love you, Lynda, and miss you all the time.

Day Eight

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Day Eight: share something you struggle with.

Yesterday’s prompt was fun to write about. Today – not so much. What do I struggle with? Gosh. The first thing that comes to mind is SELF IMAGE and loving myself. I don’t know when it started, but at some point in my life I developed a strong hatred for the way I look. I do remember being in middle school and thinking that I needed to layer myself in tons of clothing, even wearing a yellow, fleece jacket on a hot day because it covered (what I thought was) my fat rolls. I mean, I’ve always been kind of pudgy. Not gonna lie. I have naturally curly hair that I hated until I was around twenty years old and learned what a flat iron was. I detest the gaps in my teeth and I’m always self conscious when I smile. I think I was stuck in a perpetually awkward stage for most of my middle school and high school years. I’m not sure it got much better in college, either. I’ve pretty much just hated the way I look for the majority of my life. I lost a lot of weight in my early twenties and then got in amazing shape when I turned 25. I went through a nasty breakup that sparked a desire in me to start running. I got to the point where I ran three miles every Monday – Friday and then nine miles on Saturday mornings. I was still kind of chunky but I definitely only had one chin. Not four like I have now. HAHA. Well, I’ve gotten it down to only two chins now, but you get my point.  When I met my husband I was in great shape. Then I gained five or ten pounds here and there and stopped running. Then I ended up getting pregnant and eating bean burritos every day for nine months and in case you’re wondering, that’ll make you gain a crap ton of weight. And for the record, it is a heck of a lot harder to lose weight now than when I was in my twenties. So, what do I struggle with? Loving myself as I am. I place most of my self worth in how I look. I know that sounds really vain. But it’s not like I walk around thinking I look good or better than anyone. It’s like I’m chasing a number on the scales or a change in the way I look, all the while thinking that if I can just reach a certain number of if I could fix the gap in my teeth, or get rid of the scars on my face, I’d be happy. I truly hate the way I look. I hate to look in a mirror. This is ridiculous, but when I wash my hands in the bathroom, I stand to the side so I don’t have to look in the mirror. I hate mirrors!!!! I think my biggest fear with all of this is that Morgan will develop a hatred for herself, too. It scares me so much. I try to never say anything negative about myself in front of her because I know that even at one year old, she picks up on more than I realize. I don’t ever want her to feel this way. I want her to be confident and strong and proud of who she is. I don’t want her to place her self worth on her appearance. I mean, I want her to be presentable, but I want her to know that her heart and her character are far more important than if her belly isn’t super flat. I think it’s important to teach her to take care of herself and to be healthy, but I don’t want her to get so wrapped up in how she looks that it’s debilitating to her every day life the way that it has been to me at times. It’s no secret that I’ve also struggled with depression for most of my adult life. Sometimes I wonder if the two are connected. Does the depression cause me to see myself as gross? Or does the way I view myself cause me to be depressed? Heck, I have no clue. Either way, I hope and pray that I’m better for Morgan as she grows.

I hope Day Nine isn’t as heavy.