Thursday, December 21, 2006
I am...a twenty-something woman who says"Golly gee" (though this 'slang' would otherwise indicate I should be a senior citizen).
I believe...that there is a purpose for my life - and I try to fulfill it everyday.
I consider...myself blessed.
I desire...to be able to speak up for myself when I feel a little walked upon. :/
I enjoy...the crisp air and rich colors of fall. (Too bad it is almost over.)
I forget...that the little things are just that...little.
I giggle...at animals dressed in clothing.
I hope...that I am making a difference in the lives of my twenty little kiddos.
I identify...with those who feel a 'tug' to serve
I jump...at an opportunity to visit with those I hold near and dear.
I know...how to make a yummy Jell-O pudding bundt cake.
I love...knowing that what I am doing matters to some special kids - especially on the days when I want to run away from it all.
I make...my husband laugh - and he does the same for me.
I never...want to hurt those I love.
I only...want to be a source of joy and love in the lives of those I interact with.
I plan...to travel - anywhere, everywhere - we're just waiting on the finances to support our journeys. :)
I question...if I am always fulfilling the plan God has for me.
I rely...on others for validation - and am realizing that the 'approval' of others isn't as important as what I might think is best.
I smile...when I look at pictures, whether they were taken yesterday or twenty years ago.
I think...wearing beanies, scarves, mittens, sweaters, etc. is absolutely wonderful - and wish I could do it more often.
I understand...my parents more and more as I get older - and become more and more thankful for them.
I vow...to love my husband through it all until the day I die.
I wish...I wasn't so prone to the 'waterworks' - happy, sad, frustrated, angry - it doesn't matter, they'll come anyways.
I (e)xamine...how I can be a more effective teacher to my struggling students.
I yearn...to have a deeper relationship with my sister.
I zip...around town in my lovely champagne Camry. (lame - i know :))
Monday, December 18, 2006
while this is a season of giving, i was a wee bit selfish and gave to myself a little bit by redeeming a macy's gift card i was given for my birthday a few months ago. with all of these wonderful holiday sales, it made sense to maximize the gifted money. :)
*last, but not least, i found some cute flat keds. i wear boring black flats/loafers to work almost every day and figured i could jazz up an outfit or two with some fun shoes.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Saturday, December 02, 2006
to begin, thanksgiving was wonderful. i got some one-on-one time with my sister. i got to see my family. we ate lots of yummy food. hooray for the holidays.
matt's grandpa and step-grandma came out from texas for thanksgiving. the day after thanksgiving, he passed out in their hotel room and lost a lot of blood. the doctors weren't sure what the problem was but realized that a blood vessel in his stomach had burst. he spent the last week in the hospital and was released yesterday. he still isn't 100%....so there's some waiting to see how things will pan out.
matt's brother james has suffered from seizures since infancy. they used to be managed fairly well by a cocktail of medications. lately, the meds are not working as they should and he is experiencing clusters of seizures every four to five days. he's knocked out with valium every time (which takes him a few days - like 4 or 5 - to recover from). matt and his family is worried about what this will mean for james' future - so everyone is waiting to see what the epilepsy specialist can suggest.
so, after all that, things are on the upswing in the roberts' family health department. it hasn't been a huge toll on us - but it's been something on our minds. hopefully, things can be resolved soon for everyone.
as for our life...being back at work has been kinda crazy. i have realized that the kids seem to have forgotten all of our classroom rules and expectations over the holiday break, so the last few days have been dedicated to re-training them and trying to keep my sanity. :) matt and i are doing well. he is off building a wall in the garage of our friend's new condo. i was invited to partake in the festivities but declined. lame as it may be, i wanted to veg at home and i also have no clue how to put up a wall and figured i would be of little help.
since I am too lazy/wiped out to post anything else of substance right now, here is a fun little survey thingy for your amusement...or mine...or whatever.
One word. No explanation.
1. Yourself: unsure....(sorry to break the rule...but i don't know how to describe myself in one word - lame, i know.)
2. Your partner: swell :)
3. Your hair: dyed
4. Your mother: thoughtful
5. Your father: generous
6. Your favorite item: photos
7. Your dream last night: non-existent
8. Your favorite drink: water
9. Your dream car: automatic
10. The room you are in: living room
11. Your ex: high school
12. Your fear: failure
13. What you want to be in 10 years: mother
14. Who you hung out with last night: matt
15. What you're not: bold
16. Muffins: yummy
17: One of your wish list items:
18: Time: fleeting
19. The last thing you did: sipped
20. What you are wearing: layers
21. Your favorite weather: crisp
22. Your favorite book: romans
23. The last thing you ate: cookie
24. Your life: blessed
25. Your mood: content
26. Your best friend: honest
27. What you're thinking about right now: snack
28. Your car: champagne
29. What you are doing at the moment: blogging
30. Your summer: honeymoon-ish
31. Your relationship status: married
32. What is on your TV: nothing
33. What is the weather like: sunny
34. When was the last time you laughed: morning
Saturday, November 18, 2006
i'm having trouble finding one word to describe the previous seven days.
because i am in silly/sleepy mood, i will just make up a word combining all of these descriptions:
we went to la/slo for a wedding and visiting with friends last weekend - which was wonderful but very tiring. i felt like an old lady because the whole ride home i was so excited to be able to sleep in our comfortable bed again. :)
life in first grade is back in full force and i realized just how much i came to appreiate minimum days. i love the kids...but sending them home early was not too bad. :)
school-related commitments (meetings, trainings, etc) seem to all coincide with one another. but soon i have vacation and nobody can make me do anything.
with outside things keeping me busy/being on my mind, i tend to be a little 'snippy' with a wonderful man who has to put up with me because he married me. this has made for some stupid and unpleasant fights. but we've talked it out and things are 'us' again.
all of the things that made last week 'butiructessing' have lead me to consider the things i have that i can be thankful for. so, in the spirit of the coming holiday (and the fact that i never seem t have time to blog during the school week), here are some mushy musings about things i am thankful for:
- my husband for...everything. i am realizing that i am a little crazy/emotional/difficult at times and he is the voice of reason/calm/common sense when i need it most. he's just swell. :)
- my family for all of their support and help over the last year - from graduating college to moving back home to planning the wedding to having the wedding and every little thing in between.
- my 'family' of friends for providing the same support, love and help - in some of the same ways as my family, but in many other ways as well. :)
- having a teaching job, working with such wonderful and supportive people and spending every day with squirmy and loveable six year olds
- joint roberts-rockway family thanksgiving (so matt and i do not need to decide who we want to spend the foliday with because that is a hard choice)
- our growing little life in san jose ~ including our wonderful small group, our great church and the friendships we are making together
i hope that you all are enjoying this lovely november day (it finally feels like fall here which just makes my autumn-loving heart happy). in case i don't find some spare time to post again, happy thanksgiving to everyone. hopefully you have plenty of things to think back on and be thankful for this year. :)
Saturday, November 04, 2006
and what a wonderful day it is. :)
the days leading up to today have been busy and stressful. for example, halloween basically took over my classroom, we had minimum days, and i completed the first chunk of conferences with parents who don't speak much english but still tell me they don't need a translator (it went alright...but this makes for an interesting conversation). but the week is behind me.
and i now have two wonderful days to rest, relax and remember what it is like to spend time with the husband when we are not busy and distracted by the events of our days or the days to come. the next few weekends will be busy (a wedding in la, a 'how to teach writing' class for me, early thanksgiving with friends in sf, then real thanksgiving)...so we've decided to let this weekend be about us.
playing tennis (if weather permits).
enjoying eachother's company.
i am looking forward to a weekend where we have no set plans/obligations and can just take the days as they come. i hope that you all can enjoy this weekend and let it be exactly what you want it to be.
happy days off friends. :)
Sunday, October 29, 2006
This is my family. :)
Aren't we cute?
And isn't this a really cheesy picture? ;)
Two summers ago, the O'Reilly clan (my mom's five sisters and all those attached to them) got together for a family reunion. And during the reunion, this family snapshot was taken. :)
When I look at this picture, I can't help but smile and think about how fortunate I am to have these four people to interact with, learn from and grow up with. I know that not everyone has warm fuzzy memories of their childhoods and their families, so I apologize for the warm fuzzies that are about to come forth. As a child, how I grew up felt right and normal because it was all I knew and all I could relate to. My parents supported me in everything (within reason) I wanted to do and built me up to be the person I am today. Sure, there were problems with curfews and unsuitable boyfriends and the often uncontrollable 'wenchiness' of being a teenager. But at the end of the day, things quietly worked themselves out and we moved on with life.
Fast forward to now. I don't live with the family I grew up with. Instead, I am starting a new family (sans kids, for now) with Matt. And with this new family, I am faced with the obvious fact that how I grew up and what I am accustomed to was not the same across the board. (Duh, right?) Now, Matt's parents are wonderful and kind people who I adore...but they are definitely not like my parents. My family is more quiet and tends to avoid conflict like the plague, while Matt's parents are more 'outgoing' and like to talk things out. And as a result, Matt grew up with different norms and ways of doing things than I did. While this isn't necessarily a problem, it does present a challenge in the ways in which we communicate and 'work things out' between us.
Whenever we argue or disagree about something, the issue itself is usually VERY trivial. Not even worth any additional words. But what turns this minor, insignificant squabble into an unpleasant and silence-filled argument is the way that we handle problems and conflict. Matt grew up used to talking things out and talking things through in a calm and collected manner. I grew up used to brief outbursts of defensive words, storming off (involving me and a slammed door) and notes of apology. After that, things were fine and we went on with life. While this might not be the best conflict resolution strategy, it's what I know. So now...when Matt and I disagree, my tendency is to go on the defensive, spit out whatever I have to say and then leave it at that so I can stew. (You should be glad to know that slammed doors are no longer a part of it...look at my progress).
Is this way of arguing stupid and childish? Absolutely. Do I know how to 'fix' it? Not yet. It surprises me how instinctual and immediate it is for me to react this way. Sometimes, I hear the words coming out of my mouth and I think, "What are you doing?!?!? You love him. He is so wonderful to you. STOP!!!!!" I know that I need to train myself to argue/discuss/disagree in a way that leads to a resolution for both of us - instead of just saying what I feel I need to say and hoping that it just goes away. But I realize nothing will just 'go away' because this man will be with me for the rest of my life. I chose to share my heart and my future with him - and why should that future be full of unhappiness and stupid fights? And even though I know that a smooth and problem-free life is impossible and outside my control, I know that I can do my part make our life together happy and healthy.
So...after all the rambling and yammering on...does anyone have suggestions about adjusting your communication style? This might sound like a cop-out, but I am surprised by how quickly I jump to defend myself and try to 'win' during an argument. I hate that I do it. And I want to fix it. Any advice or tips or anything from anyone would be appreciated. Because then I can put them into practice and, hopefully, be a better communicator, which sounds really cheesy as I type it...but whatever. Cheesiness is who I am. :)
Happy week to you all!
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
so...where to begin?
i was transferred to a new school about a month and a half ago. it was hard. i did not like it. for a couple of days, i actually wished i had been fired. i realize now that this was crazy talk. while it took lots of work (to prepare the room and to 'train' these little kiddos), i can honestly say that i am settled and enjoying this experience of first year teaching. the staff has been incredibly supportive and i know that they will help me if i ever need anything.
as for the day-to-day stuff, first grade is busy. i don't know where the time goes, but i have been working long days. too long. i have decided i need to leave at 5:00. matt laughs at me and says 'ok...see you then'. i'm not sure that he believes me, but i can try. :) the curriculum is getting harder, which means there is more to teach in a limited time time. some of the kids (especially my english language learners) are getting a little wide-eyed at all the things expected of them. but there is a silver lining: i've been told it 'calms' a little bit before jumping back in again. i am waiting for the calm.
work stuff aside: life is good. matt and i celebrated a month of birthday festivities (he turned 25 on the 2nd). we spread out the presents all month and went to a yummy dinner at a trendy restaurant in downtown sj where we heard other young people go. we felt so young and hip. which is probably a little lame...because we should be those things...but are not. :) we made a delicious cake that was an almost replica of the top tier of our wedding cake - which we loved! even though both of us are super busy with work related stuff, it makes the time we can see eachother that much better.
we're heading north to visit my family this weekend for my dad's 50th birthday party - which i am very excited about! i haven't seen my family for a couple weeks, so it will be nice to catch up in person and just spend time together. i want to try and post more often...but whenever i get home i just want to eat dinner and veg and hang out with matt. maybe i can sneak little blogs in here and there. maybe they can be more interesting than long-winded updates about all things me. hope all is well with you - my whopping two or three readers. :) i love to read your blogs and hope mine can (eventually) be amusing as well.
have a super week friends.
Friday, September 08, 2006
and now i wish that this is where this post can end. but i have an additional reason for my post ~ this incredible and valuable learning may be short-lived. our school, and the district as a whole, are under-enrolled which means that there is a need for fewer teachers all around. at my school, they need three teachers instead of four and since i am the only new teacher at my site, i am first in line to be relocated/released.
while no official decisions have been made yet, it is likely that i will be moved or let go. leaving my school and my sixteen students would be awful, but a relocation would be better than nothing. unfortunately, nothing is also a possibility. my contract is for temporary employment, which i understood as a one-year contract. however, i found out that temporary can mean whatever it needs to mean - and could result in me not having a job.
i hate to freak out about something that is only speculation, but i feel like i need to prepare myself for whatever may come. my principal told me that he wanted to let me know what the possible outcomes were, just in case he was told he had to let me go. the fact that he told me makes me think that it doesn't look good - but keep telling myself that i can't lose hope. i know that he is pulling for me to stay at the school and i hope it does some good.
my mind is just all over the place about what could happen in different scenarios. if i am let go, then my pursuit of my clear credential would be delayed another year, thus delaying our plans to move out of state. could we live off one income? could i find another teaching job this late into the school year? if i am relocated, where would i go? what grade would i teach? so many questions. and at this time, no answers.
at this point, worrying will only make me stressed. i know that whatever comes of this will be the path i am supposed to take. i know that God is faithful and already knows my path. i just need to remind myself that my life is in His hands. easy to say...but harder to remember. i hope and pray that this journey i am on will continue, but at this point i also need to realize that my hopes and prayers are on such a small scale. hopefully this post will have a follow-up where everything is fine and i can laugh off the worry i am feeling now.
if you can, keep me in your thoughts and prayers as these next few days pan out. i don't know if these thoughts are coherent. to be honest, i am too lazy/drained to proofread. :)
besides this speed bump, life is great. i have the support of a husband that listens to me and hugs me while i cry it out and then tells me we'll be fine, no matter what. i have a job that i love - and the experience i have had so far has been worthwhile. we're part of a new church family and a great small group that is welcoming and encouraging. my family is great and supportive, too. and my sister is going to c.p. in less than two weeks - and i am excited to be able to visit her (and my old hometown). :) i have wonderful friends who encourage me and bring smiles to my face whenever i think of them (though i could be better about the keeping in touch thing).
so there it is - the good with the bad. i am tired and am off to relax in my comfy cozy bed. i hope you have a wonderful weekend of relaxation and good times. :)
Sunday, August 27, 2006
as of tomorrow morning at 8:40 a.m., i will be a first grade teacher.
over the last few days, i have felt stressed, then calm, then nervous, then prepared, then frazzled...who knows what tomorrow morning will bring. my poor husband tries to tell me it will all be fine and i will be a wonderful teacher. sweet and supportive, huh? i'm lucky to have him...but i kind of wish i really believed him. :)
ready or not...here it comes and i can only be along for the ride, wherever it takes me. whether you pray, meditate, cross fingers, or whatever else can be done to send good thoughts, i would greatly appreciate some headed my way. :)
when i get my act together, i will post pictures of my lovely little first grade classroom...i just have to remember to bring my camera to school. :)
hope you has a blessed week and i will (try to) be updating more often.
Friday, August 11, 2006
the enormous and messy pile of stuff (desks, computers, chairs, textbooks, paper, teacher editions) in the middle of my new classroom overwhelmed me. every time i walked in, i wondered...what am i going to do with all this - and how can i make this a place where students can actually learn? after a few days of sorting, organizing and rearranging, it's actually starting to look like a classroom. there's still a long way to go...but i now have a fresh start on what was originally daunting.
my dear friend aimee from college came over yesterday. we haven't seen eachother since my wedding and all phone calls since then have just been too brief. she is also venturing out into the world of first year teaching and it was nice to talk with someone who shared my "oh my gosh - i have no idea what i am doing! how could anyone hire me???" we were able to discuss our worry and nervousness and excitement about it...and also catch up on the important stuff, like what's happened in both our lives for the last three months. she is such an encouragement to me and just spending some time with her and talking through it all helped me to release some of my worries over the coming school year and take it as it comes. :) (i'll let you know how this 'take it as it comes' thing goes)
matt and i attended a church in fremont (about 40 miles from our apt) with some good friends of ours from poly. we were heading to fremont on wednesdays (for youth group) and sundays (for chruch services). basically, this was a lot of driving and attending church/youth group was kind of draining...not because of the things that happened once we were there, but because in order to get there, it required enduring bay area traffic. not fun. anywho, after lots of talking, we decided to find a new church closer to home. we were nervous because we had no idea where to go and meeting new people can be hard because neither of us is the super outgoing type. luckily, a coworker of matt's recommended the church he attended. we attended and we love it. we tagged along to a buble study wednesday and, once again, were a little nervous. but we felt comfortable and welcome in this new group and we're excited to continue. what seemed negative (leaving people and a church we loved) gave way to this new beginning...with less impact on our gas tanks. :)
this weekend we're going to rocklin - yay! i miss my family and am excited to see them and go to the state fair. it will probably be a million degrees, but the fair is always a fun place to be. i'll try to bring the camera and, maybe if we take any funny pictures i'll post about the california state fair. any requests for pictures? mullets? livestock? deep-fried twinkies? let me know. :)
happy friday and have a blessed weekend.
apologies for the lack of structure and order to this post...just had a lot to put down and didn't want to muddy it up with transitional sentences :)
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
what makes this a not-so-great place to be, emotionally, is that i can't just pinpoint what needs to be changed in order to break through the blah's. things with matt are good and i appreciate him wanting to do the 'man thing' of fixing my problems. but without being able to articulate how he can be mr. fix-it, he can't do anything. also, the school year is around the corner and, if anything, i am getting even more excited to start this new adventure i've been anticipating since march. and, on top of all that goodness, matt and i are lucky enough to be spending the weekend with my family, which will be a nice opportunity to visit before the busy-ness of 'real life'. as i write this, i am getting frustrated with myself for wallowing in this funk when the major aspects of my life are good overall.
i'm not sure what this post is...an outlet to share my thoughts...a request for anyone that relates...an invitation for funk remedies...i'm not sure. i'll just write it down and put it out there. and by the next time i post, i'm sure this funk will be long gone. :)
thanks for reading...happy wednesday.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
some things that have brought me smiles and bits of happiness the past few days are:
- playing our own version of frisbee golf at the park with matt
- drinking snapple raspberry white tea - baby white tea leaves sure are refreshing. :)
- talking with matt - from serious to silly and everywhere in between
- enjoying the hot tub in our complex - i love the bubbly tub :)
- new pictures of family/friends/favorite things on our walls
- generic orange creamsicles
- catching up with an old friend from slo
- the smell of banana bread wafting from my kitchen...yum
other than these little things...life has been pretty low-key. no work means i am a little bored during the day, but i always fill it with something. i've probably read more books over the summer than i did throughout college (reading books for fun, not class, that is). these days will be gone soon...so i should enjoy the free time to enjoy books, baking and being 'bored'. hopefully this little post will make other people happy and think about what makes them smile - i know i always like reading what people i care about are jazzed about. happy thursday all.
Monday, July 31, 2006
after working for bed bath and beyond for the last month and a half, my last day was yesterday. in the spirit of reflection - what have i learned? first off, working in retail is something i haven't done since high school and while it was a fun experience and an opportunity to meet some great new people, i am glad that this industry will not be my life's work. i need structure and a set week-to-week schedule...and no weekend shifts will be nice, too. :) on a more positive note, i am now almost annoyingly (in the opinions of my mom and husband) educated about random products we sold. so if you are in the market to purchase fine china, fancy flatware, overpriced stemware or gaudy wedding keepsakes, i can bore you with details about all kinds of things. all in all, it was a fun and easy way to pass time while matt was at work, but i am glad to have nights and weekends back.
with the end of this 'chapter', it means that my summer vacation is coming to a close. i'm realizing that time has flown by so quickly! the wedding seems like forever ago...and it was only 2 and a half months ago. to be honest, i'm okay that time has passed quickly because in this short time, we've settled into a schedule and lifestyle that works for us. of course, that schedule will probably need to be adjusted once i start teaching - but i know we'll adapt and make it work. life is great and i am just looking forward to the next few weeks of freedom and relaxation, where i can spend time with matt without other things weighing on my mind. this is a unique and special time. i need to seize this 'honeymoon phase' and embrace it before real life takes over everything and the 'honeymoon' feeling is sadly replaced by lesson plans, hard drives (matt's work) and chores. :)
this post has no real point to it...i'm just talking about stuff. i suppose that is what blogs are for - a venue to talk/vent/ramble without anyone actually needing to listen. to those reading, thanks for 'listening'.
Friday, July 28, 2006
while the day-to-day teaching and lesson planning will keep my plate full, what is dominating my thoughts are the first crucial days. in the first week, i need to set the tone for the rest of the year in terms of discipline, routines and my own expectations of the students. during both of my student teaching assignments, i came into an established classroom and only needed to observe how the teacher did things and then emulate their proven methods when i was the full-time teacher. i didn't have to initiate and establish anything on my own - which means i have little experience in this regard. right now, my head is so full of ideas from textbooks, other teachers and college lectures that i just need to filter through the ideas and decide what works for me.
so, whatever your beliefs, prayers, happy thoughts, crossed fingers or whatever would be greatly appreciated as i dive into this new endeavor and begin preparations.
other than minor anxiety over the things to come, life is blessed. my last day at bed bath and beyond is sunday. it's been fun, but i'm ready to have my weekends with the hubby back. also, matt and i have decided to seek out a new church closer to home. we've been part of a church in fremont (about 30-40 minutes away) and as much as we love the service, the drive (and traffic) takes it out of us. finding a church is never easy, but i know we'll eventually find something that suits both of us. hopefully sooner, rather than later. :)
since it's friday, i'll say happy weekend all! i will be spending the majority of it at bb&b. :( hope your weekends are more eventful and fun.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
once i left for college, i was granted that freedom. just as i did during high school, i was still a 'good clean fun' kind of girl. for me, this freedom meant ordering a pizza from woodstock's at 10:00 at night, starting a movie after midnight, going to a friend's dorm/apartment when i should be at home studying/sleeping. i truly enjoyed being able to make a decision that did not require me to consult with anyone else. as small as these decisions were, i was the only opinion that mattered. as i write this, i realize it was a selfish mind-set to have...but in the world of roommates, it was acceptable to 'do my own thing'.
now, months after finishing college and the lifestyle i maintained throughout those five-ish years, i find myself in a situation similar to my pre-college days. in may, i married my best friend, matt. prior to our wedding, i was living/finishing student teaching in slo while he was working hard and bringing in the bacon in san jose. though we were still together, we lived our separate lives in different cities. for the last two months, i have been so fortunate to finally be able to see him every day, talk to him (in person, that is), share a bed with him and all the other blessings that come along with marriage.
but there is this small part of me that is still getting used to the idea of being a 'we' instead of 'me'. i got so used to doing what i wanted when i wanted. if i was hungry for something, i could hop in my car and go get it ~it didn't affect anyone. to do that same exact thing now, i feel compelled to get him on board wityh me so that whatever it is can be something we do together since i don't want to be off by myself when i could spend time with him.
i know this should not be a surprise to me ~ but compromise is something i will continually need to work on in my marriage. we do a pretty good job or 'trading off' things that one of us enjoys more than the other. it will take time to get completely used to the concept that we are now a 'package deal'.
instead of viewing marriage as giving up the independence and freedom i grew accustomed to during college, i want to look at it as an opportunity to support him in things he wants and also allow him to support me in things i want wihtout feeling guilty. this rambling probably has little focus/cohesion, but i have been thinking about my feelings towards how i used to live my life and how it is different now. embracing this new life ~ and all the wonderful advantages and joys associated with it ~ is all i need to refocus my thinking. :)
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
some friends have started using blogger, and the freedom they have in their postings appealed to me because it seems to be more about the writing and sharing ideas/issues than posting comments, showing quiz results and looking at pictures.
i'm hoping to post often...but sometimes i get lazy or feel that the boringness that is my life is not worth reading. but when the mood strikes or i feel the need to get something out, you know where to find me. :)