Tuesday, July 18, 2017

God is faithful

This has been a huge summer of God's blessings and provisions. HUGE. Short story: He has blessed my family with a new car (mine was in dire straights for awhile), a new job, and a new house. Can I tell you about how faithful He's been?

Last year I wrote a post about how I was starting a new adventure, how God was calling me back to teaching and the journey was starting. For the last year I have prayed, emailed, fasted, cried, worried, lost hope, gained hope, trusted, interviewed, and held my breath. I wasn't sure how He was going to work it all out but I was (okay, mostly) sure He had a plan. By about March is when I really had to step up my trust game. See, the school that God had led me to was shrinking. There weren't any new positions opening up for next year. The district I am in is also not doing well. They are out of money and not hiring...in fact they are cutting a bunch of positions. I couldn't figure out why He would put me THERE. A place where there wasn't any foreseeable future beyond being an aide. I didn't have an "in" in any other district, so no one was looking twice at me when I contacted schools outside of my district.

Here's where the good stuff happens. As an aide, I've worked really closely with two third grade students, and coincidentally, the third grade teachers. One of the third grade teachers is very close friends with a third grade teacher at another school. When she knew of an opening on their third grade team, she called her friend and got me an interview. So about two months ago, I interviewed at this school for a third grade ELAR position. It went fantastic. I mean, I went back to school beaming and told my girlfriends that I nailed it. The next day I found out I'd been passed over and I was crushed. Back to wondering what I should be doing, why God had put me here, was I even doing the right thing. I've spent another month sending out fourth and fifth rounds of emails to principals, just trying to keep my name out there.  I didn't know what else to do.

Three weeks I was on the phone trying to figure out how to run an estate sale (my grandmother died at the beginning of June. It was quick and so sad to watch, but that ties into the house story) when I heard my phone ding that I'd received an email. When I hung up, I check to see what had come in.

Y'all. It was the principal from the month before offering me at fourth grade ELAR/SS position. A job. A real, actual, money-paying job. I screamed, I danced, I didn't know what to do with myself except call my momma. God had come through, He hadn't forgotten me. The plan He had set in motion last March had finally been brought into the light. The plan is by no means finished...I still have to, you know, do the job. But I am beyond thrilled to be in a place He has put me. None of it was me, it was all God. Then yesterday my principal emailed me again and told me she was actually going to move me down to 2nd grade. The grade I've thought for years was "the perfect grade". How amazing is the God we serve?

When my grandmother died in June, that obviously left her house vacant. Guess who is going to buy it from my dad and aunt (who are in charge of the estate)? ME! I am hopeful to move in a couple of months!

As for the car....I can't even with that story. Lets just say that I can't wait to pass on the blessings that received through that process and now have a reliable car that has a third row. Luke doesn't have to sit in the front seat any more!

There is so much He has done for me over the last year. He has brought me new friends that I can't believe I won't get to see every day next year. He has taken care of us financially, making things work that I didn't believe possible. He has granted me patience and a network of people praying for me. It has been so fun to share my good news with each person that I know has been praying for months and months about this. God is so so good, all the time, in everything. If you don't know my God please ask.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

New job, new adventure

This summer God put it heavy on my heart to go back into teaching. I didn’t know how He was going to do it. I didn’t know where He was going to use me. I didn’t know if this would be a year to get my foot in the door or would be a full on leap into education. Honestly, I didn’t care. I was willing to do whatever it was He needed me to do. It has been a really difficult path. After a couple of months of no leads, I stepped up my game and fasted from coffee until I got a job. Have you ever given up coffee for an EXTENED period of time with no end in sight? Sometimes I wasn’t sure which was worse, craving coffee or not having peace about where this job thing was going. Let me tell you, there was a whole lot of praying going on. All I could do from the time I woke up until lunch was pray. After a few weeks of that and still not having any clarification on what I was supposed to, I put it out on Facebook to help get leads. I applied for every school district around me. I watched the websites like a hawk. I cold-emailed dozens and dozens of principals. I got a couple of really good leads from the Facebook post, but nothing panned out. Every time something looked promising, it fell through. So Friday morning (you know, yesterday) I woke up so bummed that on Monday teachers go back to school and I hadn’t gotten a job. I wasn’t disappointed in God, just sad that it hadn’t worked out quite like I hoped. I thought long and hard, and had a cup of coffee. Yes, a cup of coffee. I didn’t feel like I was giving up on God per say, more just moving my hope from “NOW NOW I WANT THIS NOW” to “Okay, well, just let me know what to do next whenever you can since clearly now isn’t the time.”  Still not one to sit around and twiddle my thumbs, I went ahead and started cold-emailing the same principals from a couple of months previous, while sipping my terrible coffee because apparently I'd forgotten how to make a good cup. I didn’t know what else to do. I was hoping at this point in the year I could snag a kinder position that came up due to late enrollments. One principal emailed me back immediately. She said she didn’t have a kinder position that would be available, but she did have two special ed aide positions available. I immediately responded that I would love to visit with her about them.  (okay okay, after I called my mommy) She had me come in Friday afternoon at 1:00 for an interview. She had me come back at 3:30 to meet the team. She emailed me at 5:45 to offer me the job. Yep. In less than 12 hours I went from despondent to “holy-crap-did-that-just-happen-I-start-on-Wednesday?!” Have I ever done special ed? No. Did I ever think I would be a “paraprofessional”? No. But this school seems amazing. I could not feel more blessed than getting to join this family, no matter the role. And I think working with special ed kids is going to change me for the oh-so-much better. Praise Jesus for His provisions. My God is patient with me even when I throw temper tantrums and pity parties. He is gentle and kind and I am forever grateful that He calls me His own precious daughter. Frisco’s Carroll Elementary…here I come!

(here's how we all feel about it)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Twelve Months

Elyse- It happened. The day came. You turned one and there isn't anything I could do about it. My baby is technically no longer a baby. I held you a little longer the night before and may have cried a little.

Your birthday was on a Tuesday, so the Sunday night before I threw you a birthday party. You were NOT sure about all those people in your house! But you loved the cake. You've always done this little "huhuhuhu" giggle thing when you are pleased, and you definitely "huhuhu"ed your way through that cake. You weren't too interested in unwrapping your presents (which I expected), and I know you will be MUCH more impressed with the diamond studs your daddy bought you in a few years. He LOVES you!

Tuesday on your real birthday we took a trip out to the pumpkin patch. You didn't really care about that either. But it was something to do! And later after dinner we sang you happy birthday again and let you have a cupcake. You only turn one once, after all!

Wednesday you had your 12 month well check. You weigh 19 lbs and are 29 inches long! That means you've grown a whooping 9 INCHES in a year. That seems like a lot. It is a lot. But you are still a petite little thing, and I love it.

Saturday we took your 12 month pictures with Stacey, and I can't wait to see them!

Let's see....what are you up to..... You still crawl the same way, with one leg down and one leg up. But you are pretty fast at it. You eat just about everything (although, not a whole lot in quantity!) and drink almond milk in your cup. We don't nurse during the day and you are almost out of frozen milk, so pretty soon you will just nurse morning and night. You say "dadada" and "pa-pa", but you will only say "momomomom" when you are upset at something. Not sure what that means. You wear size 12 month clothes and a size three diaper. Lately you don't seem to really care about your paci. I find that odd!

So this year was a smashing success. I love you more than you can imagine. Your daddy loves you. Your brother loves you. Your sister loves you. Your grandparents just eat you right up. Thank you for being you, my sweet baby. I have loved every minute of the past 365 days and I'm so thankful we have countless more to go.

-Your Momma

 Pictures from your party:

Monday, September 15, 2014

Eleven months

Dear Tiny Human.

There is no way that in a month you will be a year old. Nope. I refuse to believe it. For now I will cherish my still-new baby and marvel at your precious babyness.

Elyse, you are wearing size 9 month and 12 month clothes, a size 3 diaper, and are still long and lean. You are my petite little thing. You literally just started crawling on Saturday (it's currently Monday) and  your capacity for getting places has grown. You twirl yourself around with feet and legs, push yourself around with your arms, "crawl" like a monkey, and have started pulling up a little.  While you still LOATH to be on your tummy, you've learned to go from your tummy to sitting (again. this was as of SATURDAY). We're inching forward on progress!

Yeah, you started vertical on the waterproof blanket and ended up like this.

Things that you love: blueberries, peas, pinching people (particularly on the back sides of the arm), and your middle finger. Yep, you read that right. Where normal babies use their pointer finger to do everything, YOU my dear, use your middle finger. You use it to pick things up off the floor, you use it to get food off your tray, you use it to point. And it's not that you just used your middle finger to point at things, you put all of the other fingers down while you do it. This results in you being in a constant state of flipping everybody off. You flip people off in bible class. You flip people off at the store. Heck. You even give me the finger when I'm trying to fix you dinner. We'll be working on getting that fixed reeeeeeeal soon.

I don't know what's up with your tongue either. You are constantly sticking it out. And it's always pointed.

Beebee girl, you are finally getting more teeth! You've only had the bottom middle two for the longest time, but you are currently cutting all four top teeth (there's a picture of them at the end). It's leading to a little problem of you biting me while nursing, so I'm not sure how much longer you'll have access to my boobs. I love ya, but your teeth are sharp. I let you try milk in your cup at meal time to see how you like it, and while you thought it was just okay, your diapers said it didn't agree with your little tummy. So I've switched you to almond milk (which is what Evan drinks), and I think it may be working out better for you.

I think maybe the biggest thing that happened this month is you got your ears pierced! Mom and I took everyone to get Evan's backpack for school, and on our way out of the mall, I decided that was the day. A little unceremonious? Yes. But I'm so glad I did it. It only took you two weeks to loose one, but hopefully that will be it!

So as you can see, you've had a great month. We've had our ups.

We've had our downs.

But your family loves you to bits. And I'm pretty sure you love us the same way. We are so thankful for you!

P.S.- Everyone is super jealous of your eyelashes.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Ten months

Elyse, you are 10 months old! It just cracks me up how much personality you shine with each day. You are the utter joy of your dad, your brother, you sister, your grandparents, and of course ME! I love that you have become quite the momma's girl. Never have I had a child brought to tears when I drop them off at church, but you my darling, cry big crocodile ones. Forget about trying to clean up the table when we go out to eat. I stand up to throw away all the trash and you let the ENTIRE restaurant know that your momma is walking away and you aren't going to have it.

But look at this face.

It's so pretty it hurts my heart. That picture was taken at VBS this year. You were my helper! I volunteered in the kitchen this year so that I could keep you with me.  We had so much fun! Tamara volunteered in the kitchen so she could keep Jace with her too, and had brought this walker up for him. He wanted nothing to do with the walker, but you loved it! You puttered yourself around here and there, and she let us bring it home with us since you have no interest in crawling. Jace is now walking. Kate has been crawling for awhile. But you my dear? You are perfectly content with having everyone come to YOU. If you really want to get some where, you've figured out you can just push yourself around while sitting up. It may take awhile, but you get there eventually.  Eeeeeeevery now and then you'll try to pull up. One of the first places was Target. I'm trying not to over think the significance in that.

What you are good at is EATING. You loooove to eat. You've gotten good with your cup.

Momma's gotten brave at letting you handle bigger pieces of food. 

You've even figured out where half of your meal goes after the tray is clean.

Some other random things: you have the funniest little giggle that you do allll the time. You love your middle finger. It's weird, I know. But anything you do with your fingers, you always lead with the middle one. You are getting closer to sleeping through the night. It's about half and half now on whether you wake up at 2:30 or just wait till 5:30. You don't sleep in the cradle at all any more. In fact, I need to take it down, but that hurts my momma heart to know I don't need it anymore.

Oh Leesee Ann, I love you. With your big blue eyes, quick giggle, and the bashful way you bury your head in my neck when someone talks to you, my heart just goes wild. Thank you, little girl, for being MY little girl.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Nine months

My dearest Elyse, you are 9 months old! This is another one of those odd mile markers…from now on you will have lived outside of my body than you lived inside. Thank goodness I still can claim your dependency on me. While you do eat table food at this point, you are "eating" for practice, for taste, and for texture. NOT for nutrition…that you still get from me! But you do love to eat. You've tried all kinds of fruits and veggies. I have only spoon fed you a couple of times this month because you love to eat my food so much! And whatever it is, it's working! At your nine month well check you were 17 lbs (36%), 27 inches long (42%), and I don't remember what your head circumference was, but I do remember it was the 60%. Sister, you're on the verge of disproportionate there. Thankfully Kim showed me how you have stayed on the exact same growth trajectory since you've been born. That's awesome!

I moved you into your own room this month. Mostly. You usually wake up crying between 3 and 4, I bring you to bed with me and then you wake up again around 5:30 to nurse. I have mixed feelings about you not being in my room anymore.

One thing I'm not thrilled to remember from this past month was your first real boo boo.

You fell in the bathroom and busted your face. You cried and cried. I cried and cried. But in the end you were okay, except for having kind of a difficult time nursing with a busted lip. And it was BUSTED. The inside was split and the outside was scabbed. Thankfully it healed completely!

We've gone to restaurants, and you've loved sitting in high chairs with the rest of the family. We've gone swimming a lot (which is your favorite). You aren't crawling. You hate being on your tummy, so that poses to be a problem for the whole "crawling" thing.

Oh my darling. I love you so much. You are the first child of mine that is actually THRILLED to see me when I come home. You've become quite the momma's girl, and you are the first child of mine that gets really upset when I leave you somewhere or someone else holds you. I secretly love it. Elyse, I love you, I love you, I love you.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Eight Months

 Leesie Ann, you are 8 months old! What a change you've gone through over the last few weeks, mostly in the vocal area (a loud vocal area. Girlfriend. You are LOUD.) You've developed a growl to let people know you are not happy! You lock out your knees and elbows, clench your fists, and screw up you face while you make this screechy growl noise to let me know you are NOT thrilled about something. Could be hunger, could be being set down, could be the sibling mere inches from your face and you JUST. NEED. SPACE. It makes me laugh every time though, you feisty little thing. You also talk non stop. Mostly "bababa" and "dadadada" and "bubububu". We were at Nana and Papa's the other day and you were distinctly saying "baa baa" while waving at us. But I'm NOT counting bye bye as your first words because it's not Momma. Whenever you say maa maa, THEN you will have your first words. Mkay?

You still love baths, you still love playing,  and you LOVE other babies. You get all squeely and engaged when you see another baby around. You still aren't crawling, but you've kinda figured out that you can scoot around some while sitting up by doing this bouncing thing (moves you forward) or pushing out your legs to go backwards. You HATE laying on your tummy, so I'm not sure if you will ever crawl. Food is hit or miss, sometimes you love to eat and sometimes you just that aren't into it. I've still made all of your food. Nursing you is like nursing a wild cat. You are constantly stopping to look around, flexing your nails into my skin, and flailing about. It's......pleasant. But I'm not ready to stop yet!

Sleep is hit or miss. Sometimes you sleep semi well- don't cry that much at night and only wake up once during the night, while other times it's pretty bad. I'm talking crying for a couple of hours in the evening and then waking up twice or so during the night. I was doing good at just giving you a paci at 3 am, but lately I've been tired that I forget and just bring you to bed and feed you. We'll get back on track one of these days! You can't sleep in that cradle forever!

Elyse, I love you so much. Squishing my cheek into your cheek is one of my favorite things to do. (even when you are pushing me away because I'm smothering you. Ha!) Making you laugh and rocking you are probably among my other top favorites. I'm so so so very glad you are my baby.