Category Archives: Changes

Another Change…..

At the beginning of this month I turned 26.  I can’t believe that I have been walking around, living my life, making decisions everyday, going to school to further my education, trying to survive some days, and having every emotions imagined for 26 years.  I want to believe that each day I have learned something new, and that I have been able to grow from every experience given to me.  But I don’t know if that is necessarily true.  Some days I get home, and I am laying in bed and I begin to question my life.  The choices that I have made, the moments in my life where I went left instead of right, maybe I should have gone straight instead.  Isn’t it crazy how one choice you make could make such a huge change in your life?  What if I did something wrong in the past that will surface years in the future, and it will make my life completely different?….  I want to believe that everything happens for a reason.  I have been told by my friends that I always look for the sliver lining in life.  That I believe that the glass is half full.  Yes, I understand that it could be cheesy to restate those ideas, but sometimes being a little cheesy puts a huge smile on my face and lifts my spirit.  But how can I really believe that I have never questioned my past choices in my life…..

My life is changing.  Not just oh I finally got my own apartment and I am living on my own, but I am graduating in May with an educational degree.  I will be an Iowa state certified elementary teacher.  It will be happening sooner than later.  Two years in the making, and now I will be done with my 2nd degree in a few months.  What if I am not able to get a job right after I graduate?  What if by the time the fall term comes around I don’t have my classroom?  There is always substitute teaching, but I want my classroom.  I want to be able to decorate the walls, and plan my lessons, and get to know the other teachers in the building.  To make a stable life with a career that I love. Teaching.  Educating children, and helping them grow by introducing them to exciting literature, art, fascinating science experiments  and reliving the past through history.  Some how in my life I made the choice to go back to school, and work towards another degree to become a teacher.  I mad that choice to fill out the College of Education application, to volunteer the hours, to pay the tuition fees, to write papers and take tests….and those choices came through as one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life.

My career will change, it will begin to happen soon.  I feel like I will have my feet planted on the ground, stable.  I will begin to make big payments towards my student loans, I will be able to save for my future, and to plan more realistically for my future of a family and children.  Those are all huge steps, and maybe today it is a little too much to think about.  Instead I have been making small changes that I can handle.  That aren’t too hard for me to figure out.  So here is my quick fix…. changing my hair color.  And here is to looking at each new change as something that is easy for me to figure out.

photo

 

Until again,

alc

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Prepared?

After what happened in the last 24 hours it makes me question if I am prepared.  Am I ready for my future?  I am ready for the unexpected that is going to happen, all the good and the bad?  All the pretty and the ugly?  How do I prepare for the future?  What can my mentors do to assist me?  What can I learn from their past experiences that will make my future ones better.  What can we all do to make tomorrow more exceptional than today, and more outstanding than yesterday?

Studying to become a teacher I have seen a lot of situations that I wasn’t prepared for.  Before I was even in the program I was volunteering in a 4th grade art room, and I had a young student who was usually out going and happy very quiet during class.  Some of her friends came up to me and told me she was acting different.  So I went up to this student and asked her how her day was going.  Right away I could tell something was different.  Her eyes gave it away.  After a little bit of small talk, I asked if she would go out in the hall and chat some more with me.  She agreed, so we walked out to have some privacy in the hallway.  It was almost the end of class by this time, and so we just talked about the upcoming weekend, and how the weather was changing so quickly.  Once class was over we were actually able to talk.  I found out that there were some troubles at home, and this wasn’t the first time.  How do you prepare for this?  When a young student comes to you with a problem, any problem…can you keep your cool, figure out the problem and then move towards finding a solution.  Or do you freeze up, show too much emotion, get too attached….and become more of the problem?

Today the country wept.  I never watch the news.  It is always so sad and it makes my day worse.  I like reading the newspaper, then I can control how much news I take in at once.  But today for some reason when I was home sitting downstairs having my cereal and coffee I thought, “Hey, I’ll put on CNN and have it on as background noise when I am doing stuff around the house.”   That was at 10:30am central time.  Not long after the shooting occurred.  I was hooked on the station.  It started out as only a few people passed away, then it moved onto about 10, then almost 20, then closer to 30.  It kept getting worse and worse, and yet I couldn’t look away.  It took me back to 9/11.  Why is when we see something bad, or hear about it, we ask so many more questions.  We are intrigued   We are curious.  We want details.  We reread all the stories.  We continue to listen to the same report over and over again.  Until we think we know exactly what happened.  Until we believe we have figured out any reason why it happened.  Then we begin to question our own lives.

Within a few hours everyone on Facebook had their status’ about the shooting.  About loving their children, calling and saying I love you.  Hugging them.  Spending time with them.  Praying for the families at the school.  We think that even though we may have no connection to anyone out at the shooting, our short status update will make a difference.  This isn’t really for them, this is to comfort us.  To make ourselves feel better about our own lives.  To tell ourselves that today we are going to do better, we are going to make a difference, we are going to love more, smile more, be happy.  I hope this is true.

It leads to me writing this post.  To wondering what will change in the future as I am a teacher.  What will happen in my classroom with my students in the future, will there be any new laws that will protect my students?  And myself?  Will I be able to do anything to be more prepared?  What can I do to make a difference in my future students’ lives?

I will lay down tonight in my bed, thinking about my life.  Thinking about our country.  Guns.  Schools.  My future classroom. What can I do to prepare?  Maybe tomorrow I can start by doing some simple research to make my day more productive, and then take a deep breath.  I will take each step, each day one at a time and realize that if I prepare myself for the impossible, then maybe I will be ready for the possible.

until again, with love

alc

Almost there…

School has been overwhelming, successful, time consuming, difficult, eye opening, beneficial, and most importantly….life changing.  

Friday was my last “official day” before Thanksgiving Break.  The crazy part is that I have been looking forward for a break from school for so long, and then I was extremely busy with my classes that I thought I still had another week before break.  That makes this break even better.  During this next week I want to spend time with my family.  I want to take my nieces and nephews out for one on one time with me.  I want to watch the movie The Help with my mom and my sister.  I have a brand new canvas sitting in my room mocking me…it has been doing this for about 2 months now…I am going to paint.  I want to become “caught up” on all of my readings and other assignments.  I want to sit in my house with a cup of tea with raspberry honey from Colorado and read a book.  I want to go to a few hot yoga classes with my roommate.  I want to sleep in.  And then I want to get up early.  I want to go through my closet and cleanse my stuff.  I want to make big payments and get my financials in order even more than they are currently.  I want to still go in to my 2nd grade class and teach on my “day off.”

It amazes me how quick this semester has gone by.  Before classes started I was worried about getting up early and being prepped and ready to teach 4 mornings a week from 8am to 11am.  And now I am complaining that I only have 3 weeks left in the class.  I don’t want to say good bye to my students.  I have become extremely comfortable with them.  I listen to their stories, to their problems, to their goals, to anything they want to tell me.  We read together, we write creative wonderful stories together, they see me…smile…and give me a hug.  They are always sad when I leave on Wednesday’s because we won’t see each other until Friday.  (I have a class on campus on Thursday)  My cooperating teacher has become one of my friends.  We text on the weekends and during the evenings.  She has given me an awesome book to help me while writing lesson plans.  She knows about my life.  She is interested in my future.  And she wants me to try and get a job in the school once I graduate.  One of the students told me, “I think you should be our 3rd grade teacher here, so then we can see you again next year, and then we can be your first real students!”  How adorable are 7 year olds?  The days that I am tired or having a difficult time…I walk into the classroom and they are able to sense it.  Those days they are sweet and caring, they ask me about my day, they want to sit right next to me and hold my hand when we are walking in the hall.

I know that my student loans are outrageous   I realize this.  I know that I could have applied for the education program when I was in my first 4 years of college, but would I have truly loved it then?  Would I have worked as hard in my courses as I do now?  Was I ready for that experience when I was only 20 years old?  I don’t think I would have.  I think I would have just passed my classes to be done with them.  I don’t think I would have been comfortable up in front of 25 students teaching.  I wouldn’t have felt like it was the right choice.  But right now at this moment I know that it was.

Going back to school was the perfect push I needed to make my life better.  Looking into the future is similar to dreaming for me, but instead of just imagining the “what it could be like” I am able to say, “I am going to have my own classroom.  I am going to become an elementary teacher in this area.  I am going to love my students.  I am going to make this happen soon.”

I understand that it is going to be a lot of work.  And at moments it will be very difficult, but after being in the classroom (even for just 3 hours 4 days a week) the good moments, no the wonderful moments out number those difficult times.  I am ready for all those exciting moments ahead.  I am ready to have an apple on my desk and my students at their desks.

 

Time to teach! 🙂

 

until again,

alc

My Home State

There are many things that Iowa can offer someone.  Not only do we have farmers that are literally in our backyard growing food for our tables.  Or the livestock that we are lucky enough to eat that is healthy, and  not filled with hormones.  The people that live here. The people that are raised here.  The  have values that are unheard of in other parts of the country.  Iowa is one of the best states in education, even if the stats say otherwise currently…  I love this state.  Even though I have my Texas pride in my heart (I have to represent my birth state).  But I was raised in Iowa.  I am an Iowan.  I love to say that I am from the Midwest, and that I want to raise my family in the Midwest.  There is one thing that is a little crazy that I will never understand about this state…the weather.

How can it be cold enough in the morning for scarves and heat on the drive to work, but then by 1 o’clock you are wearing shorts and a tank top, then once 7pm comes around you’ve got jeans and a sweater back on again… tell me how many other places is able to have that amazing weather change in a few hours.  Well if you have ever lived in Iowa (or anywhere in the Midwest) you can say, “Oh yeah, I know exactly what she is talking about.”

Those days when you spend the extra 30 minutes doing your hair, because when you went out to feed the birds at 6am it was nice and cool with a gentle breeze.  Then by the time you walk out the door dolled up in your cute outfit, coffee in hand, and hair curled. Wow.  Mistake.  Hello frizz. You realize then a second after being outside that the humidity is rising, and it is going to be a scorcher.  You could have slept for that extra 30 minutes and thrown your hair up into a bun instead of wasting your time.  And this is the beginning of a normal Iowan summer day.

There are some days that are beautiful.  Those days are cool, with the sun shining, and a clear cool evening.  You can wear jeans, a tank, and flip flops.  Even better a sun dress with a thin sweater.  Or if you are an “odd one” like me, your perfect day has a crazy thunderstorm.  Those are the best days.  Days that are warm, with the sun shining, and then all of a sudden the dark thick clouds come rolling in.  You can hear the thunder miles away, you are just waiting for the storm to come.  The temperature drops. The wind beings to blow, and then the rain comes.  It is amazing when you can see the rain fall in the same fashion of an ocean’s wave.  If you are outside (and if you can run really fast…) you could maybe stay dry.

When I was in high school there were many hours spent swinging on the front porch watching and listening to the storms.  My family has taught me to appreciate and love nature.  Every aspect of it.  The good and the bad.  The hot and the cold.  The dry and the wet.  We would sit together and talk, spending time outside.  Enjoying the weather.  Loving the memories that were being made.  One of the times we were sitting outside watching the storm was the night before my mom and papa’s wedding. (Papa is my stepdad.)  I was a sophomore in high school and I was a little awkward.  I had braces.  I hadn’t exactly grown into the body I have today.  I was skinny.  I  tripped a lot (okay I still trip a lot to this day…) So we were outside on the back porch.  It began to rain.  Then it began to pour.  Then the wind picked up and the hail started to fall.  Papa pointed out a huge piece of hail that was out in the yard.  We all saw it and agreed it was a pretty big piece.  Next thing I know I was in the backyard.  Pops had given me a little “help” into the backyard.  I guess he thought it was really necessary to get that piece of hail.  Luckily I also thought the piece was pretty sweet and so it wasn’t a big deal to go out in the storm to grab it.  At that moment I know that pap was going to fit right in with our family 🙂

Enjoy the weather.  Go outside and get soaked from the raindrops.  Maybe run out in a hailstorm once in your life.  Lay out in the sun (with sunblock of course).  Sit on the porch with your family, have a cocktail, and share some stories.  Don’t just sit inside in front of the computer or TV.  Get up and move around.  Have some wonderful clean Iowan air move through your lungs, energizing you to run.  Smile that we are able to have all 4 seasons here.  Each year I get to live through extremely hot days with my curly hair, cool breezy days with beautiful leaves, freezing days building snowmen, and perfect days with thunderstorms.  And I love each and every single one of them.

Here are a few photos from a day this summer where my best friend and I were sitting outside watching her boyfriend’s soccer game and the thunderstorm came rolling in within minutes.  Man, I love Iowa.

And here comes the storm….

Black clouds took over…

Goodbye blue sky…

And then the rainbow peeks through the darkness…

until again, alc

Life as an….established….

Nothing stays the same, but change. -my mom

I have been wondering a lot lately about the choices I have made in my past.  We make choices everyday, all the time.  Coffee or tea.  What to have for lunch?  Where to live?  Do I go on a date with him?  Do I go on another date with him?  Do I marry him?  Do I go right or left?  What job should I do?  Kids?  What shoes to wear? What time to go to bed?  Do I like my hair color?  Choices. Everyday.  All the time.  Some of the more important ones for myself have included: My education.  Where I want to live. Do I buy or rent? Friendships.  My job.  What about my insurance?  Relationship.  Financial issues. Parents.

I am at a time during my life where I can make big changes.  I am graduating in May.  Once I have my teaching certification I can move anywhere.  Should I go across the country?  Around the world?  Do I stay local (where a lot of my family is centered).  I don’t have a house payment holding me down. I don’t have children.  I have the option to leave.  I came into this town almost 8 years ago as a college freshmen.  I thought I would complete my 4 years as a college student in a college town and then move.  That track changed pretty quickly. My sister and her husband lived here.  We are very close (even if there are times when we don’t talk as much as we would like, I love her and she is my best friend).  Then my mom and pops moved here.  I have lived with them on and off over the years, and I honestly imagine not living in the same town as them.  They are my rock and my best friends.  After I graduated I found a few jobs, and living with my ex-boyfriend at the time.  I thought life was good, but I knew I was missing something.  My career.  I believe that your career does define you (along with many other traits).  Then the time came, do I stay here…or do I move?

I decided to do the most logical thing, I sent in my application to go back to school.  I was wishing and praying to be accepted in the Elementary Education program.  I remember the day I found out I was accepted.  Ironically, I was wearing the Hawk’s colors of black and gold…and I knew it was meant to be.  I was going to become a teacher.

Now that I am almost done with my program the question is up again, do I stay or do I go?  Some items have stayed the same, others have changed.  Now my sister and her husband have a beautiful home filled with my amazing 5 year old niece, and crazy (but adorable) 2 year old niece and nephew who are twins.  I have 4 other nephews that are hours away from me, and I miss them like crazy.  How could I leave these 3 munchkins?  Then there are my parents.  They still live here also, but over the years I have become more close with them.  Which I didn’t realize would be possible….but my mom and I talk to each other almost every day.  And I call my pops for advice and to just chat all the time.  I need to clarify that when I say pops, that means my step-dad.  He came into my life as a blind date for my mom.  My older sister and his daughter set them up on a date, and they have been together ever since.  I was only 12 and he jumped in.  What an awesome time to “gain” a daughter.  Yes, he and I have had our bad moments in the past, but I adore this man and I never want to think about him not being my dad.

As for my career…I am of course working on my teaching certification  but to pay the bills I have been working for the city for the past 2 and a half years.  I work in a parking lot as a cashier.  This job is wonderful.  I am able to do my homework while I work, and I am offered benefits.  This job has been a main reason that I have stayed here.  I know that I would love to get a job locally once I graduate, but teachers don’t leave their jobs around here.  The school that I am in for my classes is in a really good neighborhood and I love the community in the school.  My CT told me that on day one, she could tell that I have the ability to connect with the students and I feel comfortable working with them.  In a short amount of time and words this validated my choice of going back to school to become a teacher.  How wonderful would it be if I was able to get a job in a school that I have already worked in for almost 6 months, and then be offered my own classroom!

Here I am in “my” 2nd grade classroom.  I love these students, and they are teaching me how to become a wonderful teacher.

Making a difference…. Each day I get up, get ready, head out the door, and make my way across town to head into the classroom.  I love how on the mornings that I am sleepy or cranky my students make me smile immediately and then I am in a great mood for hours after I tell them goodbye.  Working with the students each day is amazing.  I can see their progress.  I have a rapport formed with them.  I am able to create my own lesson plans and teach them.  I love the fact that I am working towards my career that I can’t wait to do everyday.

So I have established myself here.  I don’t own a house or a condo, I rent.  I have my routines that I follow each week.  I have my favorite spots to get coffee, and they know me.  I have friendships that have formed since I have graduated.  I feel as if I am a “townie”…not a visiting college student.  One of the major questions that I feel like almost every person my age asks themselves is…”Is this all there is?  Is this really going to be my life forever?”  I am there.  I am wondering this.  I am happy currently.  I love the way my has formed into what it is now.  But is this really all there is?  Do I want more?  Or do I stay with what I  know?  If it is about comfort only, I stay.  I graduate and find a job at a local school.  I buy a house and continue to live in this town until…well for the years to come. If I move and leave, wow….I’m not sure if I am ready to even have those thoughts to come out into written words.    I would guess by this feeling alone that I am ready to stay here.  To be an official townie.  This town, that was once seen as a college town to me would then become my official home.  I think I am ready for this step. For this moment.

How do you know when you are ready to settle?  Which I do not like using that word..settle…it seems like you are just letting things happen because it is the easy way out.  When really, if you settle you could have thought out your choices and then make the best option for your life.  Why is that considered  settling?  I would rather say decide, confirm, or establish.  Yes, I believe I want to establish my life in the current town I am in.

until again, alc

Grandpas

I wanted to dedicate this post to my grandpas.  I have been lucky enough to have both of my grandpas involved in my life until just a few years ago.  My family has always been a huge part of my life. And I love it.  Unfortunately my grandpa Jerry lived in Texas my whole life, and I wasn’t able to see him as often as I wanted too.  My grandpa Warren and I lived in the same town until I was 18, and we spent time together at least 3 times a week.

My parents divorced when I was young. My mom stepped up filling the mom and dad role on a daily basis.  My grandpa Warren would always take care of us.  He would be over to shovel the walks in the winter, rake leaves in the fall, plant flowers in the spring, and mow our grass in the summer.  The moments we spent together have been memories that I think of and smile.  He has taught me many life lessons, and I know that I will one day I will be able to teach my kids all this knowledge learned.

 Thanks to grandpa Warren: 

  • I can hear a Cardinal and find them up in a tree
  • I know how to grow a garden
  • I know where to go to pick wild raspberries and then make homemade jam (10 cups of raspberries are needed….but it is hard to get those cups when I end up putting more in my belly than in my bucket)
  • St. Patrick, Missouri is where my 4th of July memories were made
  • Going to watch the Cardinals play down in St. Louis
  • I understand what the mile markers are on the side of the interstates
  • I have traveled and seen, the Grand Canyon, the Hoover Dam, Prairie Dog Town, the Petrified Forest, huge sand dunes, and so much more
  • I love flea markets, antique stores, live auctions, and garage sales because he taught me how to find a treasure
  • Finding pieces for my depression glass set
  • Teaching me how to play softball and being my coach for 10 years

Here is my grandpa Warren on Father’s Day this  year.  We went down and spent the day with him.  Mom and I found this awesome Cardinal bird house to add to his collection.

Here is grandpa Warren and I at Easter this year.  I love how we have the same chin 🙂

Grandpa Jerry is another story.  He was the man I spent time with only a few weeks out of each year.  I saw him when I was down in Texas visiting my dad.  My mom has told me that I my personality is similar to his.  We both have love for Sperry Topsiders.  There has been many moments in the past where we may have been a little inappropriate…but we were both laughing the whole time.  I lost my grandpa Jerry a few years ago.  At some point everyday I am reminded of him, and how this leads me to be reminded of how much I miss him.  I continuously go through the “what ifs” and “I wish I could haves” but I they won’t make a difference.  Instead I need to write down my memories, print off photos, and talk to my family and friends about my grandpa Jerry.  I need to make time to spend every moment I can with the ones I care about and love.  I can’t concentrate on the mistakes I have made in the past, but instead look forward on the changes I am going to make in the future.

Thanks to grandpa Jerry:

  • I know how to fish, especially in the Gulf of Mexico
  • How to laugh at any situation
  • How to really use a toothpick
  • Many, many inappropriate jokes
  • I know that if you shove peanut butter up your nose it can be a really good joke
  • That Milwaukee Best is better with a little pitch of salt in it
  • To go crabbing and then have an amazing shrimp and crab boil
  • To overcome personal differences and to get along with others (even if you don’t want to, but it makes loved ones around you happier)
  • I have my very own dollhouse that he built, one very small piece at a time, and then painted with the exact same colors of his house
  • I know the clipping sound in the canals are crabs snapping their pinchers
  • Where to go to find the secret spot for fishing, and to see alligator gars jumping out of the water

This is from of the many summer days we spent together on the beach.  Grandpa Jerry is the “Old Fart”, next is my cousin Danielle, and then myself rocking the two piece.

Here is grandpa Jerry in 2006 when he presented my very own dollhouse.  Each one of the granddaughters (3 total) received their own dollhouse.  Mine was the last one to be built, and I cannot wait to have my permanent home to set up for my kids to one day play with.

Thank you to both of my grandpas for being there for me throughout my whole life.  For helping shape me into the woman I have become.  For being who you are, and respecting the person I am.  I love you both unconditionally.

What are some of your favorite stories or memories you have had with your grandparents?  Have you called them, seen them, or written them a letter lately telling them that you are thankful for them?  Take a moment and do it.

Until again,

alc

Wedding!

Yesterday I was lucky enough to spend the day at my cousin’s wedding.  Brandon and I are the same age, and even though there has been times where we haven’t see each other or hung out often, we are still really good friends.  Over the years we have seen each other grow up, through dating, parties, school, normal teenage issues, and so much more.  And now I was able to watch him marry the woman of his dreams.  Denise came in to our family awhile ago, and as soon as she was introduced I knew she was perfect for him.  Brandon has always been planning for his future.  He wants to be successful.  He created and sold his own computer company when he was in college.  He knew once he met Denise that he would again plan for the future, but with her right next to him.  She is sweet, loving, beautiful, and maybe a little crazy to want to join our family 😉 We welcome them with open and loving arms as husband and wife.

 

ps, I received a text from one of my best friends tonight that her and her boyfriend are going to be engaged soon! He went shopping for the ring with her mom, and they have begun the planning, but here is the twist….he hasn’t popped the question yet!  He is making her sweat for a bit!!  I don’t know if I would be able to handle that!!

Until again, alc

Happiness.

I have already gotten into the habit of not updating my blog.  I knew I would do this, but I wasn’t sure when it would happen.  It was brought to my attention when my cousin mentioned that she missed reading it.  So here we go, round 2.

Fall is coming.  It is my favorite season.  There are so many different things that make me happy during fall.  Pumpkin spice lattes, beautiful colors outside, sweaters, adorable hats, boots, jeans, my hair not being frizzy, classes, holidays, and so much more.

I started my classes a few weeks ago and so far I love them, but I am a little overwhelmed.  I am taking 18 hours.  And working almost 30 hours every week.  But I have come to realize that if I am not fully loaded with a crazy schedule then I get bored.  So here comes me smiling and working my behind off to get it all done.  Here is a little lay out of some of my fall courses:

One of the classes is my Reading Practicum.  This course has me in an elementary school in town 4 days a week, and one of those days I will be teaching my own lesson plan that I have created.  The only downfall is that my class is from 8am to 10:30am…which isn’t that bad until I work til 3am….and then I am a little tired.  But I only have this happen on Friday mornings, and I know that I can handle it once a week.  I went on my school visit earlier this week, and I officially start on Monday.

Then there is Classroom Management.  This course is overlapping with my Reading Practicum.  It is an amazing course that teaching me how to interact with students while I am in teaching.  This includes fun activities like ice breakers, games, transition tips, ways to keep my room organized, and so much more.  My professor is soft spoken, but strict and has been teaching for years.  I have a feeling that she will be someone I will keep in contact with in years to come.  Classroom management is almost more than the actually teaching aspect of education.  Without having organization and communication there will be no classroom community.  And without the students being part of this community they will not be able to have the best educational experience possible.  I am going to work my best at providing this for my students.

Next is Parent Teacher Communication.  This is an online course.  And I have to work my hardest at completing my assignments.  It is easy to just put it off and not do anything for it, but I need to make sure that I keep up with this course….It is pretty interesting.  Teachers need to be able to communicate with not only the students, but with their parents (or their guardians), other cooperating teachers or staff members, the community, and their supervisors.  This course gives specific examples and makes them seem extremely personal for me.  I just have to make sure I get this course done….

I have never thought I would be so interested on the effects of language and our society until I started this course, Language and Learning. My professor has studied in many different regions around the country, and she is very well educated.  While I am listening to her lecture I am completely engaged and immersed into the information given.  I love TV.  And through this course I am learning the real facts on how the many forms of communication affect young students, older students……all of us.  This includes TV, books, texting, talking, the internet, music, and so much more.  I hope to do a whole post dedicated to this course later on in the semester.

I am so lucky that I am getting closer and closer each day to becoming a teacher.  Not everyone is able to work towards a career that they actually love.  I will be graduating in May, and then hello every elementary school who is hiring!  They will know my name 🙂

Overall this post is just a little look into my over simulated brain at this current moment.  I am home from work and wide awake.  This happens often.  I will be sleepy at work, and then when I get home I will be awake for another hour or two.  I need to try to get to sleep soon though, I am heading to the Iowa/Iowa State game tomorrow! I started as a Hawkeye back in 2005 and in the past 7 years I have not been able to watch an Iowa/Iowa State game live.  I was asked by one of my best friends to attend the game with him.  Not only do I get to go to this amazing match, but I am able to watch it in the 23rd row on the 50 yard line.  I maybe a little spoiled 😉

So off to bed to dream about this past summer.  This photo illuminates a perfect moment for me. What is your perfect moment from this past summer? Does it include being with friends or family or being alone?  Does your perfect moments change depending on the season? Mine do….just a little bit though. Usually the differences are between being inside or outside, although they normally include the same people.

Image

Step out into the grass and feel the dew on your toes.  Enjoy the moment, and take a breath.

Tomorrow will bring change.

Today notice the hope.

Remember the times slipped by and smile.

Until again, alc

New outfit!

I have continued to update my wardrobe, and I have been trying to wear nicer pieces each day.  So far I have been pretty successful at this.  Here is what I wore last night to work.  I stepped out of my comfort zone and purchased a pair of jeans…. leopard print jeans.  I saw them at the store and they were on sale.  Bonus.  So here the beauts are:

I also purchased a new pair of black flats (seen in photo above).  I wanted a cute pair that were comfortable and would support me through the many hours I will be spending in the classroom while student teaching.  I have been looking all summer for a pair that are less than $50 and fulfill my needs.  I finally found a pair.  Regularly $60, but I got them for $29.  Again, bonus.  The only bad part is that I need to break them in.  And I ended up getting a monster blister last night…..

Today I will go back to my flip flops.  And I am off to go with a friend to watch her boyfriend play a game of soccer.  It has been years since I watched a soccer game, and I am super excited to spend time with her and to watch the game.

Until again, alc

Out in the Garden

Living in the Midwest has taught me many values.  Respect each other.  Love.  Take care of each other.    Be happy.  Try to not stress out with the little things, but instead take a deep breath and relax. Keep your family and friends involved in your life.  Try to live off the land.  In the past year and a half I have become more connected in the city I live in.  I have been here for years, but some people think it is nothing but a college town.  I disagree.  This city is my home.  My parents are here.  My sister and her family are here.  My grandma is here. I know the side streets (maybe not all the names but I know the area 🙂 ) There is a chance that I will get a job here after I graduate in May.  I could buy my home here.  I could get married and raise my children here.  That is a big idea to get my head wrapped around. What if I should leave for a few years and then come back?  I love Midwest values.  I love the life I have had thus far.  I love the childhood I had.  I want to be able to keep those values, and possibly this environment.

Becoming more comfortable in this town has allowed me to meet more “locals” and this in return has keep me more grounded.  My family has always been into gardening.  I enjoy it, but I have never had a real garden of my own.  I haven’t owned my own house yet, and I have lived in apartments since I moved out of my parents’ house.  I am now in a rental house, and I have a fair amount of plants in pots, and I have fixed a few flower beds…and one tomato plant…but no garden.  Yesterday I went out to a garden with my sister and her little ones.    Her friends purchased about 40 acres of land a few years ago, and they have built their home and created a garden.  They said that my sister and her family can pick as much as they would like from the garden, and in return they help keep the garden and can/freeze the produce.

While we were driving up the lane to get to the garden, we had to stop and back up…it was a little muddy and instead of getting the car stuck we decided to get out and get our feet muddy instead.  While my sister was parking the car she told me to hop out and see if that was a turtle or frog out in the road.  I was standing there searching for this animal, and I couldn’t see anything.  I couldn’t find it.  And then I did.  How my sister spotted this tiny guy is amazing.  It was an adorable baby snapping turtle.  He just sat there and stared up at me.  He didn’t run away immediately.  Estelle was able  to see him, and I took a few photos and a video.  Then he ran over to the side and we went on our way up the hill to the garden.

Just a little cutie! Can you spot him?

We went out with a mission of picking tomatoes.  Or “matoes” as the little ones call them.   Hazel did really well helping me pick cherry tomatoes as T worked on the monster roma tomato plants.  Gabe came over and showed me that he picked a green bean, so we picked those too! Estelle was eating a tomato like an apple.  It was quiet and peaceful.  The color green was everywhere. This is how a summer day should be spent.   With your family.  Doing something that doesn’t cost a ton of money.  Something that will benefit you in the long run.  (My sister has made jars and jars and jars of tomato sauce, tomato soup, pizza sauce, stewed tomatoes, and salsa is on the way.) I was able to bring home fresh tomatoes and basil, and tonight for dinner I am having the best salad ever.  Here is the directions for one of my favorite Midwestern salads!

Tomato Mozz Salad:

  • Tomatoes (fresh from a garden is the best)
  • Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
  • Fresh Basil leaves (again from a garden is the best)

Directions:

  • Cut up the tomatoes and mozzarella cheese into small chunks
  • Slice the basil into small pieces
  • Put it all in a bowl and add in dressing (as much or as little as you would like)
  • Mix it up (or shake it) so all the ingredients are covered with the dressing
  • Let it sit for about 5 to 10 minutes (I like it best cold, but room temperature is good too)
  • Enjoy!

Here are some photos from the amazing adventure I had with my family.

The little ones and T working away

Estelle checking out the corn

Gabe eating a green bean.  Can not getting any healthier than that! Straight from the plant, straight to his tummy!

Myself with fresh peppers in hand

  I have amazing people in my life that influence me to make each day better than the past.  They know I have some bad habits that I need to change, and I am very lucky that they are supporting me in my changes.  What can you do to make your day better?

Until again, alc