Thursday, May 26, 2011

Reflections of the 4th Year

As my 4th year of teaching comes to a close (in just 3 short school days), I find myself with mixed emotions. This always happens at the end of a school year. The wear and tear of 180 days begins to show on my face, on my body, in my disposition, and I am ready for the sweet freedom of Summer. However, a tinge of guilt usually strikes in the final days, where I start to think...these kids weren't really that bad...we have come a long way since August...they are really a sweet group...I will miss them.

As I was grading reading letters each student wrote to me after they were instructed to discuss their growth as readers throughout the year, I found myself smiling a lot as many children offered up compliments to me that they were not instructed to write. They wrote things like, "Thank you for teaching me so much." "Thank you for being a great teacher." "I had the best year ever." "I will miss you."

In that moment, I felt overwhelmed with joy and satisfaction. I was reminded why I wanted to be a teacher...not to get end of the year gifts or compliments...but because these kids really felt like I taught them something, and that's all I ever wanted to do in the first place.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Flashback: Easter

I am calling this a flashback, but really this is me attempting to make up for my shitty blogging habits I have had over the past few weeks. You're probably sick of hearing me complain about my black hole of a life right now, but lemme say it once more, this time of year is NUTS anyway, and throw in trying to sell a house is just an all around horrible idea.

Anyway-- we did celebrate Easter, and it was a lot more fun this year with Noelle this age. Not that she wasn't adorable in her little Easter outfit last year, but seeing her collect eggs and get excited was too much fun.

Luke had to work at the ER on Easter Sunday, so we spent a quiet day at home. My mom and dad joined us for a nice dinner later.

However, the highlight of the day was when Noelle and I were at Meijer picking up some items for dinner, and she decided that she would have her first ever GRAND MAUL TEMPER TANTRUM! This child is perfection defined at any other time, especially in public. Not that day, nope. I had a McD Diet Coke (duh), and she decided she wanted a drink. I didn't think that I wanted to start her on Diet Coke at her age, so I didn't let her have any. This provoked her to start arching her back, throwing her head backwards, and screaming at the top of her lungs. Given that it was Easter Sunday, most people were at church, which meant that the store was pretty empty, allowing her screams to echo throughout the entire store...from produce to lawn furniture.

I began sweating and making my way toward the check out as soon as possible. I was even stopped by three different people, offering to "help." I don't know how they could have helped me...but I thought it was sweet to offer.

Anyway, after I got her home and she calmed down, all was well again. We had a nice time, and Luke got to come home and spend the rest of the day with us.

Mama Bear

On Sunday morning, we were at church. We don't go as much as we used to because my photography sessions sometimes get in the way. However, I had a free Sunday due to rain, and we got to go to St. Simon.

We went ahead and went in the cry room, not because we were worried Noelle would cry, but mainly because we were late and Noelle likes to get up and walk around. She doesn't like to be held much if we aren't going anywhere. So...cry room it was.

Noelle was a perfect angel, per the usual, just looking at her book and making all the old ladies fall in love. There were just a few other children in the room, one looked to be her age, and the others were a couple of years older.

Noelle started taking interest in the toy box, situated in the middle of the room. The other kids were playing there, so I think she wanted in on the action. She would take about 10 steps toward the box, and then she would turn around and come back to us. I try not to hover, so I just let her do her thing. She would then get the courage to go about 20 steps, then come back. Finally, she made it to the box, and she was proud of herself. She was so interested in the used, junky old toys that she dropped her precious stuffed cat Bella on the ground and didn't think twice about it. I saw a little drooling gap-toothed tot with pig tails eyeing Bella, so went and snatched her up before it was too late.

Anyway, my point to all of this is that each time Noelle took her steps toward the box and the other kids, I felt a tightening in my chest. I didn't know why I was having anxiety until I thought about it for a few. I was nervous for Noelle because I wanted the other kids to like her and want to play with her. I couldn't believe I was worrying about this as Noelle is only 14 months old, but the thought of her experiencing rejection at any age or time just made my stomach hurt. I wanted to protect her and tell all the little kids that Noelle had really cool toys and was a nice little girl and she would be a great friend to any of them, but I wanted to see what she would do on her own.

Like a normal 14 month old, she didn't really interact much with the other kids...that is until the little boy who looked to be about her age bumped into her and sent her straight to the ground. No babies were hurt in that collision.

Fast forward a couple of days, and we were at the Castleton Mall play area. It wasn't busy, so we let Noelle get in there. We were close by because that place can get a little crazy. Anyway, she was attempting to climb the two steps up to the slide, and she wasn't quite getting it fast enough for these two kids impatiently waiting behind her. You know the gestures you make when you are walking behind a slow old lady at the mall, and you just want to say, "Move along grandma!"? Well, these kids were doing that to Noelle, and I immediately took on my Mama Bear disguise. I wanted to knock the kids to the ground or tie their shoe laces together, but I gently helped Noelle up the steps and guided her down the slide before Hurry-Up Henry and Impatient Isabelle could hurt Noelle's self-esteem.

If I worry this much about Noelle and how others are treating her now, I can only imagine how my heart will break the first time someone doesn't want to be her friend or says she can't sit at their lunch table or if she gets cut from a team or if a boy breaks up with her. I see kids mistreating other kids all the time in my class and school, and before I had Noelle, I didn't think much about it. Now I find myself counseling my kids, trying to get them to see that their words and actions can be hurtful.

Kids will be kids...until it's your kid, and then it's a different story.

Dr. Luke

When I first met Luke as high school freshmen, I knew two things about him. 1) He was really quiet. 2) He wanted to be a doctor. Who would have guessed that we would end up together or that we would even see that long-awaited dream come true? Regardless of how we beat the odds...of a long-distance college relationship...of getting into IU Med School...of not filing for divorce after having children which a few of our friends have already experienced...of getting our first residency match choice...the fact is, we have beaten all of them and I have me a real good lookin' doctor man pulling me a Pioneer Woman meat loaf outta the oven that he made all by hisself. That's a good man right thur.

Anyway...a lot of people say they are going to do something when they grow up, and then life gets in the way. No one would have faulted Luke if he would have decided to go into a profession that was mildly less difficult, stressful, or debt-sucking. They are always looking for male teachers these days. However, he stuck with it, held on to his goals, and now he can look in the mirror and see an MD staring back. It's pretty cool.

Luke graduated last weekend after a nice little build-up of exciting activities. We had his friend Taylor's wedding, who married a fellow med student, Andrea. It's so cool to realize that Luke didn't even know Taylor existed before med school, and then he was actually in his wedding. Taylor and Andrea will be moving soon to Texas, just as a few of our other friends will be moving far away, too (Hey, Amanda!). I'm really bad with goodbyes and refuse to think that we will never see these people again, so I try to avoid acknowledging it all together.

The night before the graduation, we had a senior awards banquet to attend at the Indiana Roof Ballroom. It was really pretty and we felt privileged to get to attend a function there. It was good food and some nice speeches to listen to. I just couldn't stop thinking about how proud I was of Luke the entire evening, and how he deserved to enjoy every bit of this entire experience.

The ceremony the next day was at the Indiana Convention Center downtown. I was mildly disappointed in the venue. For the money that these men and women have paid, you would think you could have the ceremony in a little more charming of a venue instead of a huge ballroom that seats 3,000 people. I was also disappointed that other health degrees such as Masters of Public Health and Health Administration graduated with the med students. First of all, their guests took up a TON of the seats...the place was full 45 minutes prior to the ceremony and we were pretty much in the next to last row. Secondly, it made the ceremony about an hour longer than necessary. By the time they got around to the lousy old MD degrees, people were a little restless. I know everyone needs their moment, I would have thought that's what the IUPUI graduation was for the next day. Thankfully, they had a videographer who was filming them getting their degrees and hoods, and then that video was projected onto a big screen, so we could at least see him doing his thing. All in all, it was a dignified ceremony, if you forget about the little 4 year old girl sitting in front of us eating an ear of corn. At 10:00 a.m. That's Indiana for you!

Afterwards, the family that attended came to lunch with us at Bella Vita at Geist. It was good, and we had a good time relaxing after all the excitement of the day.

I still look at Luke and think, "A doctor? Really?" Sometimes, I still feel like we look 15 years old...which I suppose really isn't all  that bad. Life was good and simple then. Let's go back to that.

Congratulations to my accomplished, wonderful husband who spent 20 years of his life taking classes and preparing for this distinguished degree.

Now cut that meatloaf.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I'm baaaaaack!

The bad news is, it has been 11 days since my last post, if you can even call it a post.

The good news is that I am fully inspired to blog about many different topics in the coming days, and I have even drafted a list of blog topics as they have popped into my mind. First on the list is Luke's graduation (!!!), but also on the list are Noelle's latest advancements, some great recipes I have tried, some crafts I am excited to make, recent ponderings about life, and other wonderful subjects.

So...thanks for your patience as I went through a month long emo phase. I appreciate it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


In one word, it all feels so hopeless.

If my negativity annoys you already, then please click the X and leave.

Right now, I am gonna wallow.

I have gone back and forth between feeling like we are going to make the biggest mistake of our lives or we have already made it. Every other day, I tell myself, this is good...we will be fine...we will find a place to live...we will sell our house....we will be happy...there's life beyond the Super Target....but I just am losing hope.

Thus, I am hopeless.

I am sad and extremely depressed about it all. I am tired of physically talking about it because I feel like I annoy everyone who hears me. So...I will light the keys ablaze with my typing as I spill my guts to the interwebs. Sorry in advance.

Our house has had a measly 2 showings in one month. Personally, I think that sucks, and neither one were all that positive. Between being told that they didn't like where the master bedroom was in the house, that our kitchen and bathrooms were outdated, and we needed to tone down the teal color in our living room because it makes it look "small," I really am completely PISSED OFF at this process and no longer wish to participate.

Honestly, I have commuted for 4 years. I feel like I could probably do it for 3 more. Luke is hardcore against the thought, but it keeps running through my mind.

Also running through my mind is the LACK of options in Muncie for us to live. I am not so sure we are going to buy anymore, given that our own home is sitting happily on the market, and a home probably ain't gonna sell like a hotcake in Muncie. The thought of renting, especially in Muncie, sounds revolting to me. I have rented in Muncie, as a college student, and I throw up when I think about our options. I have always taken such pride in my home, and now to think of having to "put up with" something that will just be OK for 3 years really, really devastates me. This is me...not caring about how bad that sounded. I don't want to live in a dump, and I don't want to pay an arm and a leg to do it, either.

This is me...lovin' life...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Update in short sentences

2 weeks.
2 weeks since my last blog post.
A healthy combo of both.
Can I at least say that April was my least favorite month of 2011?
I am so happy to see it go and I welcome May with open arms.
May will be quite busy...between 2 weddings, a (med school) graduation, 12 photo shoots, and the end of the school year.
I get tired just thinking about it.
I like writing in short sentences.

Noelle has words now!
Buh = book.
Gog = dog.
Ight = light.
Bewwa = Bella (her stuffed cat)
Uh oh = oh oh.

She also points to her eyeball, hair, ear, and the light when you ask her.

The house situation is disappointing at best.
2 showings.
Negative feedback.
Suck, suck, suck.
Ready to throw in the towel.

Hoping something good happens soon.

Right now...we must celebrate...
for this blog will soon become Mrs. E and the Future MD!