Tuesday, November 27, 2012

For the past five months, I have been a wreck. Every month or so I have a major freakout about life - anxiety rolls in, doubt overtakes my heart, and the most important things to me seem breakable. And the thought that I could hide my soul's discomfort was a joke - many times at work, my wonderful friends would ask me if I were okay to which I replied, "I'm just tired." when really my soul was crying out for God to deliver me from whatever hurricane was going on in my heart.

This happened again this weekend and I finally had it. After a couple of days I have realized (thanks to God) that I have placed my heart, being, happiness, etc. into all the wrong places and people and it has truly shattered a lot of good things - as it should. God has been so merciful in my painful realization. I asked a couple of my closest friends to pray about what's going on and to let me know what they feel the Lord is saying while they pray. Last night I got a text message from one of them and it said this:

"When I was praying for you tonight I heard the word 'go' over and over. I don't know where you are supposed to go, but that's what I heard, maybe you know. I'll keep praying and keep letting you know." 

Go. At first I thought this meant that I needed to let go of something or that it was part of some unknown phrase. But my heart is believing more and more that "go" meant to go to Him - to stop running and putting my worth in everything but Him. 

Go I shall. 

I am taking a two week sabbatical from the things I have put my worth in - things that have kept me from running and pouring my heart into Christ. When I come home the TV isn't turning on - it will just be me and Christ. The goal is to learn how to be completely content in Christ alone - no matter what He is calling me to do. 

I started this tonight and I cannot explain how much lighter I feel. I haven't felt this excited or this happy in months - and it's only been one night! 

I'm excited to see what God reveals to me during these two weeks - questions will be answered, a content heart will be renewed, and my burden will be light. This I know for He says to expect great things. 

During this time, I am using my deceased grandfather's Bible. As I was reading tonight, I saw notes Granddaddy had taken and it literally brought tears to my eyes. Everything he bracketed or starred related directly to his character. He was truly after God's own heart. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Hello Old Friend

The last time I posted it was August 26, 2012 - the day before I started my first year of teaching. That should tell you something.

It has been a whirlwind that I can't seem to get out of. There have been many tribulations, changes, and to-do lists that have caused me to continuously be thankful that God has given me the strength and energy to survive each week. I love my job and am passionate about my kids, but this type of momentum is unexplainable. Working 11-12 hours every day and being completely content with going to bed around 8:30 or 9 every night has become the norm. I'm still trying to figure out all the ins-and-outs but it's a learning curve. Here are some thoughts:

1. I haven't been able to blog or to do my "Pinterest challenge" - I hadn't been on Pinterest for so long, that this morning I had to actually sign back in.

2. Family and friends/prayer support have grown to mean more to me during this phase of my life than ever before. The patience, encouragement, understanding (my poor friends want to have late hang-out nights- I physically and mentally (literally) cannot participate on the weekdays), and prayers that I continue to receive is amazing and truly help me get through each day.

3. I have always known about my passion for the "unreachable" kids - the kids who have an attitude problem, too many learning disabilities, etc. but it has become very real  to me these past couple of months as I am now a teacher. There is no such thing as an "unreachable" child.

4. I feel old. I'm 23 but I feel like I'm 70 as I lay in bed with a sore hip/knee from who knows what (probably from racing the kids to the bus stop). Enough said.

5. I feel like my life has taken me away from God. My lack of energy has challenged me to go to church every Sunday and Home Group on the given weekdays. I feel dry and have realized how easy it is to allow work to consume your life.

6. The weather isn't telling me that my favorite season is finally here. I want to be able to wear my favorite outfits such as this:

7. My next project will be an Autumn wreath! 

 and/or a makeup brush holder... yes, this is a soup can and marbles. Brilliant.

8. I honestly could not get through this life without my Jesus. It's amazing how although I feel dry right now, He continues to be there. He continues to give me the strength, energy, and the right words every single day. 

9. My first paycheck will be because of Him! 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ready, set, GO!

Tomorrow is my first day of being a teacher. Here are a few thoughts: 

1. I might take some ZzzQuil so I can actually sleep tonight. A mix of anxiety and excitement seem to be a part of me and I can only dream about my students and school supplies lately. With that said, I've been having some restless nights. 

2. I am VERY lucky. I experienced a job hunt that was relatively easy. I whole heartedly believe that this had nothing to do with me and everything to do with my loving Savior. Not only was the job hunt successful, but I was given a job at the school that I have grown to respect and love. I love the staff and am absolutely blessed to be part of the fourth grade team - I'm slowly becoming obsessed by how awesome these women are. All I can say is that God knew what I could and could not handle and has provided beautifully. 

3. I'm short. I have always known this and it has always been something that I have been self-conscious about, but after meeting my fourth graders on Friday, man... finding me in class will be hard. They are either my height or will very soon be taller than me. Ironically, they didn't seem to notice, hm. 

4. Lack of balance. I haven't been able to not think about school, the kids, my sticky-note(s) to-do lists, etc. since I started training two weeks ago. I have always said that I want to be able to balance my life and leave work at work. I'm beginning to wonder if I can do this...I might need to talk to my coworkers who have seemed to master this concept. Maybe I just haven't found my groove quite yet...

5. My feelings are all over the place. I'm terrified and excited at the same time. My responsibility is deeply important - to foster each of my students academically and also foster to their well-being. That's a lot of responsibility! I know I can do it, I'm just afraid I will fail. Geez, I love them too much, ha. 

6. It's going to be a great year. Beyond the fear, anxiety, and the sporadic excitement, there is a deep peace that this year is going to be wonderful: learning will occur not only for my students but for myself, old friendships will deepen and new friendships will blossom, and I will be part of my students' growth. What a gift that is! 

7. God is good. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

It's Getting to Me

This past week I had new teacher training and surprisingly, after the week, I felt more calm and relaxed rather than stressed. Granted, it did help that I student taught in the district so I was familiar with most of the tools, technology, etc. our wonderful leaders went over. But furthermore, and most importantly, I was given a great insight into how the fourth grade team would work together and the women who composed this group. I have to say that I feel truly blessed. These women are amazing and are becoming good, close friends. I love them and I am truly excited to be part of their team and excited for the students that they will undoubtedly impact this year. A lot of my fears have been erased and replaced with excitement because of these women. I cannot wait to begin this upcoming school year!

Mike, Marisa and Lucy came to visit me at Gulledge the other day and I truly enjoyed showing off my school, classroom and teammates. Also, Marisa surprised me with a WONDERFUL and so thoughtful gift...

A supply cake!
I love it so much I can't seem to have the heart to take it apart.
 Thanks Marisa! 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

It is Finished!

What a great weekend! Jason Mraz and a completed headboard!

Jason Mraz was AMAZING. I still can't get over how wonderful that concert was. Loved it. Here are a couple pictures from the night:
Love my friend!! :) Also, I promise I'm wearing a dress. 

Can't get over how talented he is!

In other news... I FINISHED MY HEADBOARD! A BIG thanks to my brother-in-law, Mike for doing the woodwork and my wonderful mother for helping me with the creative side to the project. I really love the finished product and am so glad I ran across this idea. All I have to do is buy another side table/lamp and maybe add some colorful pillows, but here it is! 

Step 1 after cutting your door to fit your bed size: paint. 

Step 2: Cut fabric to fit your panels. 

Step 3: Mod Podge fabric to panels. 

Step 4: Hot glue cord to the perimeter of your panels. 

And then enjoy!

Sunday, August 5, 2012


I've been told I need to write about my "Pinterest Challenge" on my blog, so here I am! Although I won't go through everything I've done, I will talk about my latest (as in 5 minutes ago) craft.

I am currently redoing my bedroom. I'm taking a plain door and making it into a fun headboard with the help from my brother-in-law. Since the headboard is still in progress, I thought I would go ahead and work on the wall facing my bed...aka the empty, boring wall.

Luckily as I was searching for ideas, one of my sister's wedding photographers posted a picture of her new wall that she revamped in her house. A light bulb went off.

I searched through many letters, postcards, new and old pictures, and decided on 17 different things to put on my wall. I was surprised by how many picture frames I already had and went to Target and Hobby Lobby to buy the rest. And yes, I gave myself a budget for this project - didn't want to go overboard.  Here it is! Enjoy!


After! (Feel free to see it whenever - it looks better in person :)) 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Counting Down

Summer is almost over and I'm counting down the days until I meet my first group of students. I am constantly feeling a mix of anxiety and excitement - especially when I walk into my school and do work around my classroom. I can't seem to wrap my head around the fact that I'm finally a teacher. I have wanted this since I was a kindergartener and the fear of disappointing my colleagues, my principal, myself, my students' parents, but most importantly, my students will at times get to me. I have to continue to push it away because I am reminded as soon as my fear comes, that God has placed me where I am for a reason. In fact, He has never changed the direction of my choice of career and passion: I have always seen myself as a teacher. 

My room is 97% ready, I'm looking at curriculum, and I continue to be blessed by old and new friends and family. As I count down the days until my first day of school as a teacher, God continues to be merciful and show His love. I continue to be ever so thankful because the fact that God is for me is never far from my heart and mind. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Puerto Vallarta!

About a week ago, I got back from vacationing at Puerto Vallarata with the sisters and my mom. We did a lot of different things: snorkeling, kayaking, touring the city, massages on the beach, riding a banana boat, parasailing, taking a mini salsa dancing lesson, and spending most of our time on the beach. It was really great to spend time with just the girls. I didn't take many pictures, but here are some of the ones I did take. Enjoy!

This is where we spent most of our time. Lovely isn't it? 

I was convinced I could imitate the sea lion's facial expression. I think I did a pretty good job. 

Mom was brave and rode the deathly water slide at the hotel. This thing would squirt you out at high speed leaving you with a nose full of water. Yes, Mom screamed the whole way down...and yes, Marisa and Elena could hear her as they were walking towards the pool. :) 

Me and Marisa exploring Puerto Vallarta!

Elena and I parasailed and it was FANTASTIC! I highly recommend it! 
(Parasailing man - he didn't let us die so we took a picture with him. :)) 

On our last full day, Paige, Elena, and I took a ride on the banana boat. 

(Us with our banana boat friend) 

While we shopped in Puerto Vallarta, I purchased a sombrero for my 4th graders to wear on their birthday and a homemade, moveable, wooden alligator as a decoration. Check out the gator's neck (it says "Gulledge Gators!") 

So much fun! Round 2 anyone?? 

Monday, July 2, 2012

New Apartment!

What a whirlwind! I just finished moving into my new apartment! I really love it and feel as though the pictures below don't do the apartment justice. I will say that it's odd to live by myself for the first time. Odd but very much welcomed! 

Here are pictures...feel free to stop by any time you want! 

Remember my key holder that I made a few months ago? Well, it's finally being used!


Dining room/living room (a tad dark, my apologies). The couch is purple with turquoise and gold pillows. The mirror is multicolored and the frames are turquoise. 

 I'm getting a really pretty chair from Elena. This chair will be put into my bedroom. Also, I'm going to purchase another chair and bench for the dining table. Can't wait!

Bedroom (my desk is on the other wall, but that would have been a boring picture. ;))

Bathroom (same as before)

Walk in closet!

My work-in-progress cross wall (across from the dining table).

My washer and dryer that sings to me haha 

And just because... I miss her!

I'll be posting pictures from Puerto Vallarta soon! I did a really bad job at taking pictures during the week we were there so I'll need to steal some from the sisters! 

Friday, June 15, 2012

I'm a 4th grade teacher?

For those of you who have been asking for pictures of my classroom thus far, they are finally here! Again, the room is still not completely finished, but I'm 95% finished! Enjoy!

From the hallway. 

From the hallway. Desks will be in groups. 

Rewards, helpers, and leveled reader books. All books aren't placed yet. In the off squares, there will be gators. 

Math, Integrated, Spelling and Vocab. chart, and filing. Mom is making three cabinet covers for the cabinets below. The fabric is green and blue and wonderful. 

Reading and Writing

Classroom library with included pillows!

Center station 

Calendar (I now have a calendar haha) 

My gators will have plenty of work to show off! 

Birthday center. I now have a birthday calendar and will hopefully find a fun, birthday hat for the kids to wear in Puerto Vallarta. 

I'm tired of tangled wires. Simple, huge, push-pins fixed this problem. 

My desk! The left bookshelf will have all my kids' textbooks. 

Still part of my desk. The inside of the right cabinets. 

Well, there ya go! I still have some more work, but it's looking pretty good!