Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Letters: Capturing the Simple May 2013


Dear May, You have been a crazy month.  You have been awesome, beautiful, full of love, full of adventure, full of twists and turns and highs and lows.  May is always one of my favorite months, and this year was no exception.  May, you are my last month with my sweet Hubby and living in our cozy little home.  Starting tomorrow, I leave them both for the entire summer.  May, you were so perfect.  I do not want you to end.

Pictured below are some of our highlights of May:

Moving from left to right, top to bottom:
  • Hubby was awarded teacher of the month for his school district -- and only one of these awards is given per school per year -- so its teacher of the month for the district... but also a form of teacher of the year for his building!!
  • We went to St. Louis over Mother's Day weekend to spend time with Chris' family and my mom, and to co-host a baby shower for his sister and brother-in-law.  It was so much fun to spend time with family and celebrate Baby Nugget Rodriguez.
  • While in St. Louis, I get to meet my future sister-in-law, and the whole clan -- Millers and my mom had a great time.
  • Hubby and I had our May date and Lloyd-ey came along for part of it... in the picture we think it looks like he's smiling.  :-D
  • My Hotshot Hubby looking handsome in his suit!  He was all dressed up for the end of the year middle school award ceremony.
  • We sent our sweet Lexie Girl to Michigan for the summer to be with her Gammie and Papa.  I cherished every minute I had with her, and I'm so glad she's safe and happy and loved with my parents.
  • Our friends, the Selbigs, welcomed their beautiful baby girl, Ellery, into the world and we got to meet her and practice for when we're holding our soon-to-come newborn niece or nephew
  • Over Memorial Day weekend, we helped throw a retirement party for my dear colleague, Barbara.  It was a beautiful day and wonderful to see so many people come out to celebrate her 30+ career in education.  This picture is of Barbara and one of her most recent students.
  • Hubby and I enjoyed the retirement party and the beautiful view of Mt. Sopris

How was your May?

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Thursday, May 30, 2013


 Today is not my last day of work (I still have work on Friday)... but it IS my Last Day Of School!!!!  And, most importantly my last day of waking up at 4:00AM!!!!

Of my five school districts, two have finished for the year, two finish today, and one keeps going for another week.  My schedule has my last day with students TODAY and my last day of work tomorrow!!!

Of course, the celebration will be short-lived because I leave for Greeley on Saturday, and report for grad school on Monday... but I'm focusing on one day at a time.

Today is my LAST day of waking up at 4:00am, and getting on the road at 5:00am.  While I have enjoyed the lack of traffic, and having so many hours of the day to be productive, I will WELCOME my day to start at 6:00am, or 7:00am and NOT 4:00am!!!!!

By the end of the day today, I will be saying "HELLO SUMMER!!!!"
...It's going to be a really busy, packed, tiring, crazy summer... but it's summer nonetheless.

Happy End of the School Year!!!

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Holy Cow!!!

With the end of the year coming up on my in no time, and my departure for Greeley right around the corner... and some other factors that flew in out of the blue, I have found that I have one phrase in my head repeatedly throughout the day:


Or, more accurately,
Holy Freakin' Cow!!!!

Having this phrase in my head so often recently led me to start searching for holy cows... here are some images I found that made me laugh.





On that note... Holy Cow!

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Treasuring the Present: My Hubby

This is the my last week with my husband and puppy in Rifle before I begin my nomadic, lonely summer.

Today, I am so grateful for my husband -- for all the days I DO get to spend in the same town, same house, same room as him.

Some of my favorite things about my hubby, which I will miss the most... but today, I am treasuring the most include:
  •  his faith -- my hubby loves the Lord, and has such a strong faith in the Lord's plan, and love for His children, and His Will
  • his humor -- he makes me laugh so many times and in so many ways on good days and bad
  • his cooking skills -- he is the master chef of our household and my taste buds are very appreciative
  • his outdoor-wandering skills -- he loves the backwoods, mountain hideaways, dusty trails, places with no cell-reception, two-lane beautiful places.  I love that he takes me along for the rides
  • his romantic nature -- he loves to make me happy, and loves to make me smile.  What more could I ever dream about in a husband, than one who genuinely loves to see me happy?  I am the luckiest woman in the world
  • his hard working nature -- he is almost done with the school year... in a few weeks because his work doesn't end when the school year ends... but my hubby seriously works so hard.  He pretty much never considers himself off the clock from August-June.  His school and his students are so lucky to have him
  • his spontaneity -- my hubby and I are complete opposites!!!  but I think we work together really well.  I plan, and he flys-by-the-seat-of-his-pants.  Sometimes his spontaneous nature drives me nuts... and sometimes I absolutely love it!
My list could go on and on... but now I want to focus on my amazing husband, while I am still here with him, rather than focus on my blog.

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Remembering Memorial Day

So grateful for the men and women for whom every day is Memorial Day.

Thank you Veterans and Service Men and Women and their families.

Today and Everyday.


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Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday Letters: End of the Year

  • Dear This Week, You kept me SO busy running around like a chicken with my head cut off, but by the end of the week, it really has started to feel like the end of the year.  Things from this year feel like they are wrapping up, and some plans for next year are on the drawing board.  What a great feeling.
  • Dear Friday, I get to spend the morning taking a Small Vehicle License class, which means I don't have to drive to Vail at 5:00am -- what a fun Friday gift!!
  • Dear Sleep, I have seemed to need a lot of you this week.  After work, I have barely been able to keep my eyes open.  This week, I feel like I have work and slept.  Hopefully we can get back to equilibrium next week.
  • Dear Graduate Class in June, YOU DON'T START UNTIL June 3rd.  Why have you given me an assignment already?!?!!?!  YOU DON'T STAT UNTIL JUNE 3rd!!!!!  This is still my month off of May!
  • Dear This Summer, I am dreading you.  I am trying not to, and I am trying to focus on some positives... like the chance to grow, and whatever... but when I think about four weeks, and three weeks, and three weeks away from my husband -- oh, and then jumping RIGHT back into next school year with no break, I'm not excited.
  • Dear Barbara, Please don't retire.  I hope your retirement party is wonderful... but please don't actually retire.
  • Dear Students, Thank you for a wonderful year.  I'm very proud of you and all that you've learned this year.
  • Dear Hubby, What am I going to do without you this summer?

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Treasuring the Present: My Job

I know I've already done my "Treasuring the Present Tuesday" for this week... on Tuesday, but I was full of gratitude last night for my job, and I was afraid it might not last nearly a week.  So, I'm doing two this week.

I am not always a cock-eyed optimist, and so I am sure I have shared some parts of my job that are not my favorite in the past.  And the truth is, if I worked in a city, or a school for the blind, there would be a variety of benefits compared to my current job; however, right now for this stage of life, I really like my job.

Yesterday my boss and one colleague and I met to discuss planning for next year -- and it was a REALLY GREAT MEETING.

Sure, it could have gone better if my boss had said that my employers had just been granted 1 million dollars for being the best agency in the country -- and they were planning to give me half... but barring completely unrealistic expectations, the meeting went about as well as I could have asked for it to go.

There was give, and take, and discussion, and compromise.
There was brainstorming, and problem-solving, and cooperation.
The meeting yesterday was exactly the type and tone of a meeting that colleagues should have when working together.

  • I really enjoy traveling to such a wide area to serve students who live out in the sticks.
  • I love the independence I have with my job.  I have this area and these students and these responsibilities... and I get to choose the order I accomplish them.
  • My boss supports me.  WHAT A BLESSING!  When I need advice, or am having a real problem, I know I can trust her to offer sound advice and support me when need be.
  • While other teachers work with the same colleagues year after year... I get to work with the same kids year after year.  I get to see my students grow year after year, and it is such a joy.
  • This year I have had two colleagues.  One is retiring this year and so, next year, we may be a two-person department.  That being said, I really like my colleagues.  I LOVE the woman who's retiring... she is BRILLIANT and I learn so much from her every time we work together.  The one colleague I will still have next year is a great guy, and we have a lot of respect for each other.  In the meeting yesterday, we needed to negotiate something with our boss, and he and I were a team in our request.  It is so nice to be a part of a work environment where we stand together and support each other.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Word-Filled Wednesday: Isaiah 26:3

Isaiah 26:3
"You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You."

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Treasuring the Present: A Simple Weekend

Hubby and I are living some of the best days of our year... RIGHT NOW!

Last weekend was utter perfection.  We have not had a weekend without graduate school, without hunting, without skiing, without football, without papers to grade, without a middle school group to supervise, without ample assignments to transcribe, and without an out-of-town commitment since LAST SUMMER!  Okay, maybe there was one or two in the past nine months... but I honestly cannot remember one.

Hubby and I are both done with graduate school until June, and one or both of us have been traveling the past three weekends...
This past weekend was A-MAZING!

We actually got up and out the door early on Saturday (which we do not normally do, to be honest.  We usually sleep late on Saturday and then work the rest of the weekend) and headed to Grand Junction to have a tire on my van fixed.

It is amazing the fun AND productivity that can be accomplished in a weekend when no work is due.
We had no plans, no commitments, and the day was young.
We ended up doing the following:
  • Getting my van washed (inside and out) -- and then it poured rain :-D
  • Finding Ammunition at Cabela's (Hubby was very happy)
  • Finding good deals on women's clothes at Cabela's
  • Finding great deals on women's clothes at Ross (I had never been to one -- WHAT A STORE!!)
  • Finding great deals on women's clothes and men's shorts at Old Navy
(One of my $10 Old Navy dresses!)
  • Getting the tire fixed
  • Shopping at our favorite grocery store, Sprouts (a less expensive, less snooty Whole Foods that, I think buys from a lot of local farmers... I think)
  • Lunch at Chic-Fil-A
  • Finding a new summer purse (I REALLY needed one -- Hubby was embarrassed when I would wear my ratty old summer purse... and now I can't find it... I wonder if he hid is somewhere?)
  • Running specific errands at Wal-Mart and Bed, Bath, and Beyond
It was such a simple morning, but SOOO enjoyable, and we were home by early afternoon.

After that, Hubby went out to the shooting range with friends -- AND shot a target 550 yards away - ON THE FIRST TRY!  I married quite the Hee-Man!  :-D

(I couldn't get a picture of him hitting the target... but I did get a picture of my Hee-May sawing up a tree that fell in our yard!!  Whoo-Whoo!)

Meanwhile, I thought I was going to stay home and relax... but given that I had no work hanging over my head, I realized I didn't need to relax.  My weekend was full of relaxing, and not full of work.  So I spent a few hours... (DRUM ROLL...)
Organizing our tupperware drawer

(This picture may not look all that organized... but TRUST ME -- IT IS!  Our Tubberware Drawer usually sort of falls out of the cupboard toward you when you open it)

Hanging ski pictures in our bedroom and gathering lilacs from our yard to put in the house
(Pictures on either side of the mirror, and lilacs on our dresser)
Another ski picture kiddy-corner from the Elk

And other May projects that just never get done amidst work, and school, and transcribing.

(Lloydey sleeping in our clean car!)

Last weekend was absolutely perfect.  Hubby and I spent time together, the weekend was productive AND relaxing, and we both entered this week fully refreshed.

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Monday, May 20, 2013

St. Louis Family

Hubby and I went to St. Louis last weekend and it was awesome... and quick.  We squeezed a baseball game, bridal shower, Mother's Day, church, time with family, Family, FAMILY, and more into the fast long weekend.

Since I've married Hubby, St. Louis = FAMILY and I'm still not used to the concept.  It is very surreal for me to see aunts, uncles, cousin, grandparents, a grandpa from the other side of the family, aunts from the other side of the family, cousins from the other side of the family, and siblings in one city, in one weekend, without it being a really significant wedding or funeral.  My family is just incredibly spread out -- but Chris' family exists entirely in the city of St. Louis.  Nutso!

Here are some pictures of the St. Louis FAMILY:

Well, this doesn't really count... but my mom came in for Becky's shower, so my mom was in St. Louis last weekend too.  We had so much fun at the Cardinal's game together!

Look at the Arch behind us!

Go Cardinals!!!

We weren't able to sit with Chris and his Dad, but we all connected near the end of the game.  Cardinals won!

What a fun night -- Chris' dad and my mom.  (It was weird to call them each "Mom" and "Dad", but they are not married... kind of fun!)

Momma and me at Becky's shower.

The Miller girls -- Mandy (Nick's new fiance'), Becky (Chris' sister), and me! 

Becky and her Grandpa Miller -- he picked flowers for her (adorable!) -- this will be his first great-grandchild.

Daniel and Becky -- the parents-to-be

Chris and his dad

Hubby and me with the Little Mother!

Great-Grandma Holifield, and soon-to-be MeeMaw Miller (Becky's grandma and Mom)

Dinner after the shower - Mom and Dad Miller, Momma Sanden, Hubby and me, Nick and Mandy.

The group gets silly when more than one picture is taken.

Momma and Lexie and me... my side of the family in St. Louis

Grandma Holifield, Mom Miller, Becky, Mandy and me -- three generations of women on Mother's Day.

So much family!  So much joy!

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