Thursday, March 28, 2019

Life With Him

We are having a week. Both Brad and I are swamped at work. He has grant deadlines; I have so many deadlines for so many things it's insane. I have some students that are needing a whole lot of me right now, and while I'm so very grateful and humbled to be there for them, my cup is getting pretty empty. Spring break is next week, so the kids have a million tests and projects and randomness. The kitchen is a mess and the laundry is piling up. It's a bit of a mess.

But...I am so very, very grateful to be doing this mess with the best husband on earth. We have been tag teaming laundry in between life. He has loaded and unloaded the dishwasher more times than I can count. He bought the crickets I forgot and I cleaned the tank. We have laughed. I have cried, and he held me through it.

Even in the crazy, there is nowhere else I would rather be.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Hall of Fame

Another dance competition is in the books! We were in Winston Salem this weekend, and Issa danced all three days! Since it is just over an hour door to door, and although I loved sleeping in my own bed I have zero desire to drive down that highway again anytime soon!

To end spirit week, Issa put together this little collage Friday:
 She danced her solo Friday night, and then we went back Saturday for Production. Brad was out of town, so Evan got to come along Saturday. (Friday he was with a friend.) He was not amused by his sister's affection:
 Issa and her team danced so well! They earned their first ever platinum, and they had so much fun! I am also super grateful to my adoring husband who said not a word but made the drive to bring the prop I totally forgot yesterday morning.

We are waiting for the formal pictures from the competition, but I pulled all these candids from their website:
 Dance friends are the best friends:
 I love how they support each other:
They watch each other from backstage, ready with a hug no matter what happens:
They learn it from the teachers:
 And my girl, well she's growing up so fast
 and I couldn't be more proud.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

TTP Spirit Week!

Issa's Company will compete their big Production dance for the first time this weekend, which means this is TTP Spirit Week! Issa loves nothing more than a good dress-up day, so these weeks are her idea of heaven. Work a theme and post a picture on social media? She's all in!

Yesterday was Work Out Monday:
 Most of the dancers channeled their best 90s jazzercise-self:
 I participated, too. "Favorite tank top. Favorite Barre class."
 I've started taking a barre class every Monday night at the studio and I love it! Walking up the stairs Monday night--no so much.

Today was Tutu Tuesday:
Yep. She even wore it to school. My goodness I love this girl!

Monday, March 18, 2019

A Weekend of the Arts

Every once in a while, the stars align and we have a particularly fabulous weekend supporting the arts!

Saturday, Brad, Mom, and I went to see Dear Evan Hansen at DPAC:
It was a truly remarkable show--my top three for my lifetime. It was made even sweeter because we say by a freshman UNC drama student. It was his first Broadway show, and this is his dream role. He was so cute. He also held my hand the last half of the second act because he was sobbing. Bless his heart. I can't wait to see him on the stage at Carolina.

Sunday, we girls headed to the ballet:
 I love these afternoons, and I love watching Issa watch the dancers. Three out of the four pieces were phenomenal, and Issa learned a lot from the one that wasn't. I would call that a win all around!

Monday, March 11, 2019

Meet Blake!

Meet Blake:
She is a black Subaru Outback and we are all in love! She is a 2013, but she looks practically new! Brad and I went to get her on Saturday, and I am already in love. I think this car handles better than anything I have ever driven, and it's just so comfortable. We also love all of the trunk space! I have a feeling she will take us on many adventures!

Friday, March 8, 2019

Issa for the Win

I am slowly trying to get my office under control. Since my amazing graduate assistant went and graduated, I have not had anyone to keep my life together. I honestly had no idea how much she did to keep the office running smoothly and not looking like a hurricane hit until she left. It was a very full circle moment because I remember Dr. T. calling me shortly after I graduated with the same realization. 

Alas...I have to be a grown up and take care of my own mess, which is often a series of post-its so I don't forget random bits of information. Thankfully, Issa made me this:
How cute is that?! I love how it looks, and now I have a cute way to display--and not lose--all my little scraps of information.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

An Adventure and a Guardian Angel

We had a bit of an adventure last night. Brad was out of town, so Mom and I thought we would take the kids to our favorite Mexican spot for dinner. Unfortunately, they are moving to a new location and were closed last night. We changed plans to go check out a papusa place, but I only had a vague idea of the location. I put the address in Google Maps and off we went!

We were almost there, and we ran out of road--literally. The paved road just ended in dirt. Actually, it ended in mud. I tried to do a three point turn, but the car got stuck. Very stuck. We tried rocking. Mom and I tried pushing. The kids helped with the pushing. Nothing. We called AAA.

As we were waiting for AAA, the very kind man who lives where the road ends came home. He told us we were on a private road, and I apologized all over myself and threw Google under the bus. He just shook his head. Apparently this happens often. Then the magic happened. This kind stranger offered to help us out. He went into his own garage to bring out boards and a shovel. He wouldn't let me help. He tried to talk me through rocking it out. He actually got in the car to try to rock us out. He talked about his life and his building career. He talked about his frustration with the lack of road. He couldn't get us out.

We told him AAA was on the way, but he insisted on waiting with us because it was dark and we were stuck. When AAA did get there, the tow truck guy said a whole lot of car words I don't understand, so our new friend Ray stepped in again. He understood and made it happen. He actually turned my car around once the tow truck got it out of the mud.

I offered to pay him for his time and materials (those boards will never be the same), but he refused. I will send something in the mail--I know where he lives. I also called the city to see if they could at least put up a no outlet sign and let Google know the road actually ends. It seems the least I could do.

It's absolutely hysterical now, but I am so grateful my kids got to see a slice of all of the good that is in the world. We talked a million times about how I want them to be like him. I know will never forget Mr. Ray or his kindness...

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

It's a Good Thing I Love Him

Evan has become anti-coat. If there is no snow on the ground, he is convinced his sweatshirt is enough. I appreciate when he gets to school he often ends up in just a t-shirt because his classroom is warm, so I understand that in his little brain a sweatshirt is an extra outer layer. However, it was 29 degrees when we were leaving this morning, so I made him grab a coat. We compromised on his heavy jacket, which he carried to the car because he already had his backpack on and it was time to go. He was supposed to put it on in the car so he would have it for recess.

I got to work and found this:
Yep. There it is. Keeping my back seat nice and warm. Bless his heart.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

An Open Letter to My Kids' Schools

To all the grown ups in my kids' schools:

I know today is a hard one. We dropped our kiddos off into your hands in a soft lock down because police are searching for an armed suspect not far from you. This one isn't a drill. It's real. I also know my kids are safe with you. Thank you.

This isn't about that, though. This is about you. I've been at your desk before. I've gotten the message that this isn't a drill. I know that pit in your stomach. I know how tight your nerves are today. I know you sat at your desk and sent up a million prayers and composed yourself before that first bell rang.

Because when that bell rang this morning, you fixed your face and you are teaching. You're telling kids to blow their noses. You are teaching with your eyes on the door. You are showing kids a new way to solve a problem. You have redesigned your lesson to keep your kids against the walls and away from the window. You are teaching kids how to listen and how to do math. You have already thought of the excuses you will make for the extra police cars and helicopters for the little ones so they won't be scared. You have rehearsed your speech about what is really happening so you can fake confidence and serenity when you tell the older ones the truth. You will have hard conversations with older kids. You will exchange meaningful glances in those rare moments you actually get to see another adult. Today will be hard.

You will spend all day looking into your kiddos eyes and knowing their families trusted them to you. You know this every day. But today, the weight is heavier. I feel it with you.

When we sign up to be teachers, days like today aren't on our minds. They become part of our reality. We accept that responsibility even when the world doesn't see us do it.

Please know I see you. I appreciate you. And I hope you take some time to fill your own cups tonight. You did good.

Monday, March 4, 2019

All is Well!

First, thanks for all the texts, calls, and emails checking on us! I know it's been a minute since I posted; we've just been meeting ourselves coming and going:

1. We have all had the plague. It's a lovely, ever-evolving virus that wipes you out for a few days. We had it in shifts, so I feel like it's been roughly twenty years since no one needed cough drops.

2. Work has been insane for both Brad and I. February is hands down one of my busiest months, and Brad is running two companies. No big.

3. Everyone is fine, but the van had a fender bender. It wasn't that bad, but the van was that old. Insurance totaled it out, so we are car shopping.

4. We hosted the third annual Science Extravaganza at New Hope. This was Brad and I's last year, and it went off without a hitch! We will run back-up for next year's chairs before we graduate out of elementary.

5. Issa has had two dance competitions! PrimeTime was only a competition, and she killed it:
 Both her solo teacher and I were in tears afterwards:
 Her confidence on stage has grown exponentially:
 And the lines in this piece suit her so well:
 Her poise:

 Her strength:

 It was amazing.

This weekend, Issa and I headed to Concord, NC for Radix. Her team had a great weekend:
 And I so love these dance friends:
 And her teachers:
 Ms. Brooke has a special chant that she does with each team, and it works:
These girls were awesome!

So...we are tired, but we are good! Hopefully March will let me post more!