Monday, August 28, 2017

Here Goes Nothing

This is what's known as payback. Tommy insisted I pose for a "First Day of School" photo. He is normally the one that gives me the most grief on having to pose for pictures so he really gave it to me this morning. He kept saying, "Wait, I think that was a little blurry. Let's try another on. Okay, I think you should fix your hair. Let's take another one. Let's try one with a big smile."  Little sass. I was seriously getting nervous that I would be late for my first day because of all of his shenanigans.

The first day was interesting. I may have overdone it a bit. A combination of nerves and stress, trying to fit in a run after class with not much food, and then getting Joe to his ortho appointment managed to bring on a migraine for me. Not the best way to kick off the school year but a good reminder not to pack in too much.  Luckily, it wasn't a horrible migraine. 

My first class of the week was psychology. The teacher seems lovely even though the work load seems a bit much. I think I will really enjoy this class despite being the oldest (by far) in the class. Tomorrow I have Anatomy and Physiology and then later in the week I have Oral Interpretation and Sociology. It is going to be a busy semester. I hope I can keep up. 

Here goes nothing!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Still There

It's still there after all these years. During my 4 years at North High School I don't think a week passed that I didn't walk by that picture and announce to all of my friends, "That's my dad!" Eventually, when my friends and I would walk by they would quickly say, "We know. It's your dad."

I can remember my mom and dad coming to high school to watch me in some play or show or game and I took them down the hallway where dad's picture was hanging. He got such a kick out of seeing his football pictures and his track picture. He doesn't remember ever seeing the hurdle picture before and seeing it up on the "wall of fame" was quite a treat. I'm so glad he had a chance to see his picture. And I was always so glad to walk down that hallway feeling a little of my dad there with me. Now, especially, that he is no longer physically with us.

Joe will be starting at North in 2 weeks and the rest of my kids will follow all too soon. I have a feeling their friends will eventually be saying, "We know. It's your grandpa." And I can't help but feel dad will be smiling down at his grandkids, watching over them, and enjoying every minute of it.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Feeling Anxious

I spent much of the week running to the store, one kid at a time, buying school supplies. After each kid had the supplies they needed we went through, labeled everything, and packed it into a bag to take to the Open House at school. 

But this year is definitely a first.

This year I had to prepare my own school supplies. I didn't have a huge list like they did but I did have to get my books (good grief, was that expensive!), a backpack, and a few folders and notebooks.

Today we finished up the school supply prep and lined up everyone's supplies neatly in the library. My supplies were right in the middle of it all. It kind of gave me a momentary freak out. This is happening. It's getting real.

It is a year of change with Joe starting high school and me going back to school. There is so much going on that I question how well I will be able to keep up with it all. Joe is on cross country, Ben and Tommy are on football, and Grace is starting dance. Not to mention all the school activities. I don't want to miss any of it. It makes me emotional thinking about it. I don't want my stuff to get in the way of soaking up as much of my kids, while they are still kids, as I can.

So much going through my head. I just hope I'm up to the challenge of it all.

As much as I dreaded taking Chemistry this summer it really did turn out to be for the best. It was a big self esteem boost to do well in something that I always thought I was bad at. I did so well that I got an email from the college asking if I would be a tutor (a paid position) for other Chemistry students. That was somewhat of a shock. A happy shock.

So this is happening. It's coming. I have one full week left of summer and I hope to use that week well. Hanging with the kiddos, relaxing, swimming, maybe even a few little day trips. I want to make the most of this week.

It's getting real.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Great To Be Eight

Today Grace is 8 years old. Eight years of having this lovely lady in our lives.

The boys did a great job trying to make Grace feel special on her birthday. While Grace and I were running errands this morning the boys hopped on their bicycles and biked to the store to buy her presents with their own money. They picked out such thoughtful gifts. A journal, colored pens, and her favorite candies. Grace was so surprised when they each lined up and handed her their gifts. It melted this mama's heart. And it didn't stop there.

Grace got a new bike for her birthday since she had outgrown her current bike and the boys took her on a bike ride to try out her new present.
They were so excited she finally had a bike that could keep up with their bikes. And keep up she did. Keep up is her middle name.
I tell ya, having three older brothers is gonna make this girl one tough chick. Round trip I think we biked about 4 miles.
I think it was a good birthday.

Yes, today is Grace's 8th birthday. I can hardly believe it. It feels like just yesterday I was trying to get her to sit still so I could get a good 1st birthday picture. 

This young lady is spunky and tough, and goofy and smart, and silly and sweet, ad independent and kind. She is the perfect combination of tough and girlie, outdoorsy/adventurous and laid back/chill, of opinionated and understanding. She is my buddy, my snuggler, my kindred spirit. I could not be more proud of this lovely soul. I am so lucky to have her in my life. Of all the little girls in the whole world I got the best one.

Happy Birthday, my favorite girl. I am so proud to be your mama. I love you!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Where I've Been

This summer has not been a typical summer around here. Normally the kids and I are crazy busy living it up and doing as many fun things as we possibly can. If the kids are excited to go back to school at the end of summer I feel as though I've failed my job. Summer should be both relaxing and fun and you should want it to last forever. This summer has not been like that.

In spring I began looking into going back to school. I ran around getting my transcripts from high school and my one year of college and sent them off to the local tech school. I met with advisers and counselors, updated my vaccinations, reviewed my medical records, and looked into classes. I went back and forth trying to decide if I should go into the LPN or RN program. It was pretty cute how interested Tommy was in the process. He asked me questions and helped me to work through the pros and cons of each program. Ultimately, I decided to go into the RN program at a local technical college. Nursing is something I've always wanted to do.  It is a decision that was met with not only excitement but extreme apprehension. 

As I was going through my transcripts I was brought back to high school and what a struggle school was for me. I had forgotten just how difficult it was until I saw my grades again. Knowing I had such a hard time the first time around I was very nervous to try schooling again. I know that as an adult I would be able to apply myself better than I had as a teenager but I still struggle with some of the same issues (dyslexia) that made school difficult for me in the first place. 

In order to even begin the prerequisite classes for nursing I had to first take a Chemistry class. That meant I had to take Chemistry in summer (a condensed 7 week class) so that I could begin my classes in fall without delay.  Chemistry had always been one of my biggest struggles. And not only did I have to pass the class but I had to get better than a C. Class was 4 hours a day, 3 times a week. And when I was done with class I would come home and study for another 3 hours or so. I studied for hours on my days off of school as well.

This little spot in my library became my study spot (and my praying spot). I would go in, pray, and then spread out all of my millions of papers and notebooks and textbooks and get to work. The kids were super supportive and tried their best to be quiet and entertain themselves so I could study. Each time I had a test the kids told me they were praying for me. They were so wonderful. And Todd was just as supportive and excited for me. 

The class was rough. A third of the people in my class were taking it for the 2nd time because they didn't pass the first time. I was told that only 10% of the students pass the first time. And apparently the summer course was even tougher because so much was crammed into such a short amount of time. Every time I would mention my Chemistry class to friends who are nurses they would tell me they had to take it twice and it was the hardest class they took for the nursing program (and they never used it as a nurse). Needless to say it gave me much anxiety.

All this to say that yesterday was my last day and final test. I got an A on the test and ended up getting an A in the class. Part of me still can't believe I pulled it off. I hadn't even told very many people that I was taking the class because I was so afraid that I would fail and then have to tell everyone I didn't make it. And here I not only passed but I did well. It has definitely given me more confidence for my upcoming fall classes. I am still apprehensive about making it through this 3 year program but I think I can do it. 

And it is amazing to me how everything happens for a reason. The first day of class I sat next to Jen. I was meant to sit next to Jen. We had very similar study styles, the same anxiety, and really helped each other through the class. When I was confused on something she would explain it for me and vice versa. We were also good stress relievers for each other. Yesterday after we both aced our final test (she got an A in the class as well- we may be the only two who got A's for the class) we went and celebrated with drinks and lunch. I am truly grateful for this lady.

So here we are in August already and it hasn't really felt like summer. Sure we've been able to do a few fun things this summer but no where near what we usually do. The kids have been awesome and haven't complained or even really noticed but I still feel guilty. My classes start in three weeks and I'm going to do everything possible to make the next three weeks fun for the kids. Hopefully we can really enjoy this time before we all start back to school.

I hope you are all well and enjoying summer. I've missed connecting with my bloggy friends and can't wait to read up on what you all have been up to.

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson