Posts Tagged With: high school

Happy Callie, Checking In

I haven’t checked this blog in two months.  I know, I’m the worst.  I’m like the person that buys a really awesome potted plant, takes care of it, and then forgets to water it for a while.  (Actually, I’m not like that person– I am that person.  Plants are hard.)  But, here I am, dusting off the leaves and ready for sunshine.  And, to my amazement, my blog has stayed kicking without me, getting a steady stream of views through Google and Pinterest.  The roots are still very much alive.

This has been such an insane semester!  I did end up getting a new job; I was promoted to the lead secretary in the counseling department and I was put in charge of the high school’s College & Career Center.  I know, ironic right?  There I was, fresh out of college, ready to help kids figure out what to do with their lives when I’m still not so sure what to do with mine.  However, over the past few months I’ve found a lot of joy in helping kids discover a path in life that will take them where they want to go.  I’ve had to wipe a lot of tears and say, “Yes, the real world is scary, it’s true.  But it’s also awesome.”

Me at my desk. My office is decorated with college pennants, but the Hardin-Simmons one got prime wall space by my diploma.

One of my biggest projects this semester has been helping the seniors find scholarships.  I’ve spent countless hours scouring the internet for scholarship opportunities and talking to local scholarship donors.  I also organized Senior Awards Night, which was a huge ordeal and was probably about as stressful to plan as my wedding was.  Our seniors received $2.5 million in scholarships this year, partly because of my help!  The best thing this job has helped me realize is how much I love helping people.  Even though the job doesn’t pay much, it’s gratifying enough to make it worth it.

This is one of my projects for my students. I researched a bunch of scholarships and put them on slips of paper with the amount, due date, etc. I would remove them after they were due until they were all gone.

In March, I was finally approved to get breast reduction surgery.  This was something I thought about for a long time and I’m so glad I did it.  My chronic back pain is gone, I can exercise more, my clothes fit better, and I feel so much more confident.  The recovery process was difficult, but I feel back to normal now.  I’ve never been the type to condone plastic surgery, but now that I’ve been through it myself I understand a lot better why someone would want to go through that.  My surgery wasn’t for cosmetic reasons as much as it was to get rid of the back pain that often left me in tears after a long day of work.

Ready for surgery, but scared to pieces! I had never had surgery before.

The results have been more than I could ever have hoped for.  I feel 100% better.  I was out from work for nearly two weeks, and that made a stressful semester even more stressful.  However, I don’t regret it one bit.

Before, December 2012

After, June 2013

I spent my recovery surrounded by pandas…

… and a Panda, so I managed to recover just fine.

In other news, spring came and it brought bluebonnets!  God bless Texas.

My parents gave us this great old dresser.  Hopefully sometime this summer I will have a chance to paint it to match our bedroom.  Stay tuned for that!

My hair got super long…

Sam had a Star Wars themed birthday party, complete with a Darth Vader cake (chocolate cake recipe was Revell’s Food Cake) designed by me.

A bunch of friends came in to visit, and that was so great to see everybody and celebrate Sam’s special day.

A couple of weeks ago, we went to the Renaissance Faire with our friends Autumn and Vincent.

Ian the Korean came to visit!

Also, for the first time ever I got paid for a professional writing assignment!  I’ve been writing for a local magazine called NOW Magazine.  My first article will be published in July or August.  I will definitely post the link for you when it comes out.

Sam officially finished his first year of teaching today!  He cleared out his classroom and turned in his keys this morning.  That means we are moving again sometime this summer.  We don’t know where yet, but we are on the lookout for a Social Studies teaching position somewhere in Texas.  It’s always scary to be so uncertain about the future, but we are searching hard and I have faith something will turn up.  For now, Sam and I are enjoying the adventure.

Now you are all caught up!  I still have work for another three weeks, but after that I’ll be out for the summer and I’ll hopefully have more free time to devote to my little plant.

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Libraries, Cheesecake, and Chandler Bing

Our Christmas Tree. We received our amazing Yoda tree-topper for Christmas, but our tree is only a few feet tall. Next year we might have to upgrade to a bigger tree to better accommodate Master Yoda.

Life has a way of slipping by when my back is turned.  I can’t believe it’s 2013 already.  Sam wrapped up his first semester of teaching a few weeks ago, and he is happy for the break.  His first semester went well, though his coaching duties made it very busy.  I started my new job at the end of November, and I wrapped up the semester on December 21.  It feels like I hardly worked at all before Christmas break, and I haven’t gotten a paycheck yet, so I can’t really tell how work is going so far.  I enjoy my job, but it’s a little underwhelming.  I only work four hours a day and each of those four hours is spent either bending over a copy machine making sure staples don’t snag or migrating back and forth between my desk trying to look busy.  I work very quickly and there simply isn’t enough work to take up my time.  I work with great people and the work isn’t hard, so I’m not trying to complain or anything.  Maybe that’s the problem– the work isn’t challenging.  After slaving away for A+ grades in college, I feel underutilized running a copy machine.  It’s the same work I did in ninth grade working in the principal’s office for P.E. credit.

(Thank goodness they let awkward, nerdy girls like me get P.E. credit working in the office.  They saved me from a year of changing my clothes under my clothes and going to my next class all sweaty.  I did end up having to take a semester of P.E. in 10th grade, and I’m not kidding about this: my friend, Erika, and I would bring athletic pants to school in our backpacks and wear them over our jeans so we wouldn’t have to change for gym class.  Our P.E. teacher would always have some random activity planned, like volleyball or indoor soccer.  She even let us try archery– that lasted about twenty minutes until she realized giving a bunch of high schoolers bows and arrows and letting them go at it might not have been the best idea.  For those that didn’t want to participate in the activities, she let walk laps around the gym.  As long as we were constantly moving during class, we got credit.  That’s how Erika and I spent a semester walking laps around a gym wearing jeans and sweatpants at once.)

Anyway, I actually have an interview scheduled for Monday.  There’s an opening in the high school library for a library aide, and I really want it.  The position is full time and would be much more interesting work.  I’ve always loved libraries; I see them as a haven.  It’s where I always go when I need somewhere very quiet and safe. I don’t know if the job will work out because there are several other applicants who probably have a lot more experience than me, but I’m going to try anyway.  There’s also a full-time secretary position that I applied for, too.  I guess you could say I’m casting my nets far and wide.

Sam and I don’t really know what’s going to happen in the future… We don’t even know where he’ll be teaching next year.  That makes it hard for me to settle down and commit to things like this, but I’m learning to take everything one day at a time.  A few months of experience is better than no experience at all.  I know whatever works out will be the right thing.  I’m still very excited about the idea of trying a new  job soon… We’ll see what happens.

So much else happened last month!  December was very busy for us.  We celebrated our first anniversary on December 18!  Sam bought me a gorgeous necklace from James Avery that matches my wedding ring perfectly.  I was shocked… I didn’t even hint for it!  He picked it out all by himself and I absolutely love it.  He knows me so well.  We enjoyed a dinner at Carino’s Italian (that’s our go-to restaurant; not only is the food delicious, but it’s where we went on our first date, the night we got engaged, and the night we got married).  Then, we went and saw The Hobbit together, which I loved.

December 19 was our chinchilla Rigby’s first birthday.  We got him his favorite toy (a bundle of sticks he enjoys chewing to bits) and spoiled him with treats all day.  We love the little fuzzball.

On December 21, the world was supposed to end.  As a joke, Sam and I invited a bunch of our college friends to an “End of the World Afterparty” to celebrate, and they all showed up!  We ended up having eleven people in our tiny apartment, and most of them stayed the night.  It was a blast!  We ate a ton of food and played party games.

Sam and Ian were a little exhausted the day after the party. (Sam is the Korean on the right, Ian is the Korean on the left.)

The next day, we went antique shopping in downtown Waxahachie.  Then, Sam’s brother and his family arrived from Indiana on their way to Austin for Christmas with Sam’s family.  We joined them the next day and spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Austin. I did a lot of baking for Christmas!  I made a Christmas Checkerboard Cake using the same technique I used for my original Checkerboard Cake.  I also made my first apple pie!

The family helped celebrate my birthday and my niece Lizzy’s birthday (mine was on the 26 and hers was on the 28) by making us a panda cake!  I was beyond excited when I first saw it.

Lizzy even made me a Hello Kitty panda on the Hello Kitty dress-up app I downloaded onto my iPhone for her.  She accidentally upgraded it to the full version for $1.99 because I was dumb enough to let a kid who can’t read yet play with my phone.  Oh well, at least I got this:

We drove to Abilene to see my extended family.  We ended up playing games and I found time to see Les Miserables, which I also loved.  We made it home in time for Sam’s brother to pass back through on the way back to Indiana.  For New Year’s Eve, our friends Ben, Camille, and Anthony came over to celebrate.  We watched the ball drop online and I made my first cheesecake.  I tried a recipe from Betty Crocker for chocolate covered cherry cheesecake and it turned out delicious!  Everyone liked it.

Our house has finally started to quiet down. It’s a wreck and I have a ton of cleaning to do, but it was worth it to see so many people we love.  Now, I’m relaxing and watching Friends.  I actually saw my first episode of Friends during Thanksgiving when my older sister, Taylor, was watching one of the Thanksgiving episodes as a re-run on TV.  I know, I know– I’m about a decade late to the party, but I absolutely love this show.  I’ve been watching low-quality episodes online, and the box set is definitely going on my Christmas list next year.  The show is just so well written and the acting is great.  I’ve become emotionally invested in the characters.  I cried when Chandler proposed to Monica; it was just so sweet.

That brings me to my final point: Chandler Bing is one of the best men in television history, hands down.  He’s definitely my favorite character on the show.  He has such a kind heart and he’s hilarious.  He’s been through a lot of difficult circumstances, but he manages to laugh about it.  He’s good at making people feel better or calming people down when they’re stressed or scared.  He’s goofy and cute.  He reminds me a lot of Sam, which is probably why I like him so much.

So, happy 2013!  Watch this clip of funny Chandler moments, and let yourself laugh.  :)

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Too Great a Day

This weekend has been wonderful so far!  Yesterday, I got a job and Sam coached his first basketball game.  He finished up football season last weekend and he jumped straight into basketball.  He’s never actually played basketball, but they needed a coach and he was the one available to take the job.  He’s learning quickly, though, and he’s in charge of junior varsity so there isn’t as much pressure.

Is he handsome or what?  Basketball coaches dress better than football coaches.  He looks very official.  I’m enjoying basketball games more than football games so far because I know all the rules and can keep up with what’s going on.  Also, I get to sit much closer to Sam, which is always a plus.  It’s so fun to hear him give his players a pep talk and talk strategy with them before they hit the court.  They won their first game!  Sam insists that it was a fluke and that the other team was just exceptionally terrible, but a victory is a victory in my book.

Since football season is over, Sam doesn’t have to go up to school on Saturdays to watch film anymore.  The past few weekends, he’s been attending classes to learn how to drive a school bus, but he finished that up last week.  There was a scrimmage scheduled for today, but that got canceled so Sam ended up with his first Saturday off in a long time.  Two of our friends (Tyler and Ashley) were getting married today, but we felt rude trying to show up at the last minute since we didn’t RSVP because of the scheduled scrimmage.  However, we send them all our love and we are so happy they are finally married!

Because of our empty schedule, we were able to sleep in and take it easy today.  Sam promised me a big date night to celebrate my new job, so I decided to get dressed up and straighten my hair.  My hair is naturally curly and I usually wear it that way, and I’ve let it grow out over the past year.  In fact, I haven’t had a haircut since last December!  I didn’t realize how long my hair has gotten until I straightened all the curls out.

After I got dressed, I pried Sam away from his Xbox.  He recently bought two major games (Halo 4 and Call of Duty: Black Ops II), so he’s been playing a lot.  However, he was more than happy to grab his car keys when I mentioned that I wanted to go out for steak.

We drove 30 minutes to Saltgrass Steakhouse in Cedar Hill.  It was so delicious!  We shared a ribeye and Sam enjoyed a baked potato while I chowed down on mac and cheese.  We also shared a delicious Sangria Margarita!

After dinner, Sam took me to two of my favorite places: Half Price Books and Barnes & Noble!  At the shopping center Barnes & Noble is in, we just happened to arrive in the middle of their big Christmas celebration.  There was a live jazz band, guys on stilts, and a huge Christmas tree.

We went inside Barnes & Noble and enjoyed some holiday drinks.  I got a pumpkin spice frappuccino and Sam got a peppermint mocha frappuccino.  When we got home, we realized we had accidentally left the heater on when we went out.  We didn’t mind, though, because it was wonderful to come home to a warm house.  Now, Sam is back on his Xbox playing with his friends, and I’m sitting here under a warm blanket working on my blog.  Life is wonderful and I love my husband, and this was too great a day not to share.

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Proud to Wear His Name

The Panthers did not have a good week… The Junior Varsity team lost 54-0 on Thursday night, and the Varsity team lost 39-0 last night.  Did I mention last night was their Homecoming game?  It was pretty brutal.

A few weeks ago, I made a “Revell Sprit Shirt” to wear to the football games to support my favorite coach.  I didn’t really like the ones they were selling at the game, but I felt bad for not wearing the right colors to the games.  So, I went to Hobby Lobby, bought a shirt and some iron on letters, and ended up with this super cute shirt!

Wearing it to games is both fun and unsettling.  It’s so much fun to see Sam’s students rush up to me and gush about how much they love his class, how he’s their favorite teacher, etc.  One girl said she recognized me from the wedding picture Sam has on his desk.  The nice people at the concession stand always comment on my shirt and tell me how they love supporting the team.

On the other hand, the team hasn’t been doing well this season.  They’ve won one game out of the seven they’ve played so far, and they have three more to go this season.  Many parents are quick to blame the coaches for their sons’ performance on the field.  I’ve received plenty of sharp looks at games recently, and sometimes parents sitting behind me let their whispers carry a little too far.

Not only is this Sam’s first year of teaching, but it’s also his first year coaching football, or any sport for that matter.  He didn’t go to school to be a coach; he just ended up in the assistant coach position because that’s what his school needed.  He’s been working 70+ hour workweeks to get the team in shape and train them to play.  I think he’s done a great job so far, and I’ll tell that to anyone who says otherwise.

Maybe I’m just being a defensive wife, but I’m the one who sees him when he gets home from work in the evenings.  He puts down his bag, slips off his shoes, and goes straight for the bed to lie down.  He’s so dedicated in his work and he really cares about the team.  That’s why I never hesitate to wear my Revell Spirit Shirt to games.  I’m not ashamed of him.  I’m proud of him.

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I Have Contributed to the Demise of the American Education System

That’s Sam’s classroom.  He’s currently teaching Spanish, and doing a great job so far.  The two weeks before school started, Sam was running two-a-day practices with the football team while I was in his classroom painting it red.  I also made him some posters and decorated his bulletin board.

Cute, right?

Today is his students’ first big exam, and he stayed up late last night to finish writing it.  There is a section on the test asking students to translate dates into Spanish, so I asked him to put my birthday on the test just for fun.

“I can’t,” He said, “because you were born in December.”

“So?”

“So, the kids learned how to say ‘December’ wrong.”

“Why?”

Well, that part was my fault.  It turns out on one of the posters I made for him I listed the months, and spelled December “deciembre” instead of “diciembre.”  Sam has over 100 students, and each class got copies of the poster to study and put in their notebooks.  His students have learned the wrong way to spell (and say) diciembre, and they’re going to have a lot of trouble un-learning it.

So, when these kids are trying to pass college Spanish and their professor laughs at them for saying “deciembre,” they can send all their hatred and spite to me.  But, really, though… it goes “septiembre, octubre, noviembre, diciembre?”  I must’ve learned it wrong somewhere along the line.  So maybe I can send my blame to some other poor teacher’s wife pretending to know the subject just so she can help out her stressed husband.

But, for now, I’ll just make them all galletas con chispas de chocolate (chocolate chip cookies) and call it even.

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