Top Ten Tuesday

First, thank you all so much for your support and encouragement after my last post.  It filled my heart and gave me confidence to just keep going.  And thank you again for giving me the space and time to reprioritize my family and work life these past few weeks.  I’m trying to get back to regular blogging because it is so good for me personally, and it’s nice to know that you guys are there, too…) 

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged and life has continued to march on as it stubbornly does at times.  Rather than try to catch you up on what’s been going on around here, I thought I’d give you my top ten favorite moments and memories from the past few weeks, in no particular order:

  1. Mickey was moved out of ICU and into a rehab facility.  We are all ecstatic about this – him more than anyone, I think.  He was so ready to get out of the hospital and start the long process of getting back home.  We are all hopeful he will be back home again in about two weeks.  Thank you to those of you who have prayed over our family this summer.  Prayers are powerful, friends.  Just look at what God has done for Mickey!

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2. One night last week, after a very long day of trying to balance working from home with entertaining my kids, I felt like a complete failure.  So, I did what failures do – I gave up.  I turned off my computer and the kids and I headed to the mall.  I remembered I had a gift card from a student last year to spend there and I sure didn’t feel like cooking after my defeated day, so I thought we could grab dinner in the food court and just stretch our legs a bit walking around the mall.  Only, it turned out that I didn’t buy anything!  Not even with my gift card!  I had so much fun with the kids that I didn’t need anything money could buy.  I just needed that completely random, completely easy, completely carefree time with them.  And they sure didn’t disappoint.  From “duck walking” through the mall corridors to Gracie sticking a suction cup to her face (and getting a giant bruise on her head that is still there today!) to Bean taking me through Game Stop and showing me all the video games he has heard about and wants to play, it was the perfect ending to a gloriously imperfect day.

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3. I have been carrying around a purse that belonged to my Grandmother ever since she passed.  Just the other night, I was digging through it and happened to find a few coins of foreign money in the bottom.  Grandma was a traveler.  She traveled the entire world several times over and I could tell this bag had made many trips with her, as coins had been carelessly thrown into the depths of the deep bag.  Finding those coins from her travels brightened my spirit in ways I can’t even explain.  I made sure to put them back in the bottom of my purse so that I always had a reminder of the legacy of adventure and exploring Grandma left behind.  We will travel to Tennessee this coming weekend to bury my Grandma’s ashes with her family.  You can be that I’ll be carrying those coins with me every minute of our trip.

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4. Gracie finally (FINALLY!) agreed to take her training wheels off her bike this past week.  She has adamantly refused to ride her bike without training wheels for two years now and, to be honest, I’d given up trying.  But one day, she just had enough and out of the blue asked me to take them off.  And then, she decided she wanted to teach HERSELF to ride the bike.  I followed her down the sidewalk in our neighborhood for almost an hour, while she would push herself off and attempt to gain her balance.  She did remarkably well!  But more than learning to ride her bike, I loved watching her little determined self push and push and push to accomplish a goal.  It was encouraging to see and reminded me that goal setting is easy, but pushing the pedals is hard.

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5. I finished listening to Lara Casey’s book, “Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life.”  It was exactly what I needed to read.  Actually, I didn’t read it, I listened to the audio version as I drove home from Pensacola last week and finished it today as I drove to Tampa for meetings with schools.  If you get the chance to listen to the audio of this book, I highly suggest it.  Did you know that I have known Lara since I was in high school?  She went to school with Chris and me.  As she has become more and more successful, it has amazed me all the ways she is gifted.  But when I knew her in school, it was her voice that was her purest gift.  And in her book, I smiled as I heard her speaking again.  She prayed with me, spoke to me, and even SANG to me!  And her voice is as beautiful as ever.  I highly suggest her book, but I even more strongly suggest the audio version.

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6. My two besties and I have discovered this app called Marco Polo.  Have you heard of it?  It’s like texting, but with video messages.  Kind of like Snapchat, but not social.  And it is THE BEST way for us to keep in touch!  We used to group text and that was great, but it still felt sort of removed.  With Marco Polo, we talk together all day long.  Literally.  All day we send each other videos.  We talk about our families, our jobs, stupid things, celebrity gossip, our faith, what we are doing each day, what we are reading, what we are cooking for dinner, what we are worried about, what we are celebrating… and it feels so much more personal than a text!  I get to see and talk to them on a daily basis now and I really do feel richer for it!  If you have long distance besties, I highly suggest Marco Polo!

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7. I have four meetings with four different schools this week for ClassMax.  A huge part of my job is sales and the hardest part of sales is getting in the door of a school.  Once I’m in the door, it’s great.  I love talking to educators and they all love ClassMax!  I went to my first meeting in Tampa today and signed that school up and tomorrow I head to Port St. Lucie for meetings with three other schools there.  This part of my job is my favorite and I feel revived and confident when I’m out in schools in ways that being alone in my office just doesn’t do for me.

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8. I have been feeling like a pretty awful parent this summer.  The kids have been troopers, but I haven’t been able to spend time with them like I have in summers past and that weighs on me a lot.  This past weekend, Gracie had a birthday party for a friend from Girl Scouts.  I told her we could go for a little bit, but we had to leave early because I had to get some work done before my travel today.  When we got there, I had so much fun watching her play with her little friends that I couldn’t possibly stop her to leave early.  Instead, we stayed for the entire party.  I know that doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but it was, sadly, one of the few times this summer when I have put my kids first (that’s so embarrassing to admit and makes me tear up just writing it), so it was a good reminder to myself that the kids don’t need massive, grand gestures of my love.  They need small gestures that show how important they are to me.  Even as small as spending an extra hour at a unicorn birthday party.

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9. I remembered to send a timely follow up to a PTA board meeting!  Woooo hoooo!  This NEVER happens in my world.  Timely is not how anyone would ever describe me.  So, to be able to have everything I needed put together in time for the board meeting was a minor miracle in itself, but to be able to follow up with an email to everyone recapping our meeting for those who couldn’t attend, well that’s damn near apocalyptic, y’all.  For about five minutes, I felt like I had my life together!

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10. The kids found an old Oriental Trading catalog in my classroom a few weeks ago when we were cleaning it out.  They decided to pool their bead money together and place an order for these spy glasses and compasses they wanted for their fort.  Imagine their incredible surprise and happiness when i explained that with Oriental Trading, you got a DOZEN of the items, not just one.  I thought their heads were going to explode.  So, we ordered the items together one night and received an email saying their package would arrive on Friday.  They could not wait.  Finally, their package arrived and they eagerly unwrapped their treasures.  Only, their little hearts learned the harsh reality of “you get what you pay for.”  They stood looking at the cheap junk in their hands and were crushed.  “Why are they so small?!” Gracie asked.  “You can’t even see in the spy glass and the compasses don’t work!” Bean declared.  It was soul sucking, to be sure.  But I found the entire thing secretly so amusing and adorable.  Needless to say, they will not be purchasing from Oriental Trading again.  “They won’t trick us again!” as Gracie appropriately said.

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