Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Be My Valentine--Marriage Challenge

Confession time here. I'm not a big Valentine's Day person. I don't like all the commercialism, and I don't like the fact that we spend all this time and money to show our spouse/significant other how much we care for and love them on Feb. 14th. So here's my question... why just one day? Why not every day? Granted I would gain a thousand pounds if my husband brought me chocolate everyday (in theory--I would probably die of happiness since chocolate is one of my favorites) but really folks--we need to show our love, gratitude, and support more often.

Enter Women Living Well. They are hosting a 4 week challenge for Valentine's Day. The point -- to praise, encourage, inspire, admire, build up, thank, and appreciate our husbands, partners, and significant others-- and that, in my opinion, is a challenge worth taking.

Now let me explain... this is going to be a big deal for me. In our busy, rush-rush, trying to balance work, marriage, and an extremely active 2-1/2 year old world, true conversation with my husband is reduced to almost nothing. I mean nothing says I love like "will you please pick up your ties" or "Can I please get some help over here!", and don't even get me started on all the socks laying all over the house.... More often than not I don't give my husband enough credit for the wonderful things he does do-- like bath time with Duncan, his famous back-rubs, or even taking the time to empty the dishwasher.

This being week one of the challenge, I have jumped in full force. I've "pimped" my husband out on facebook thanking him for spending time with us on our surprise snow day Thursday; I've worked hard to find at least one thing a day to thank him for daily... and it's working. I am not only working on my appreciation, but I find that I'm beginning to see just how much he does in our marriage. And he really is a wonderful man.

I am so up for this challenge. How about you? Are you willing to work on your marriage as I am? I ask that you pray for me as work to show just how much I love and care for my husband every day--not just one day of the year.  If you are, let me know and we can do it together.

Here are this weeks details....

Week 1: January 21st-27th - Look for ways to praise your husband verbally. Praise him in front of the kids, friends, family, co-workers, on facebook, tweet it - get praise out anyway you can. Be sure to mention noteworthy things he does -- as a provider, a father, husband, lover, friend, and partner. Say something kind and loving to your husband everyday until Valentine's Day arrives and beyond!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Happy Monday

Happy Monday all! So, just because we all need a little smile and a wave hello (and who doesn't love cute kids doing it).... Hello!! Oh, and please excuse the french toast syrup face and morning playroom destruction.

picture by K.Innes

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Why January Why?

Dear January--

I have to admit you are not my favorite month. Why you may ask? Because you signal the end of the holidays, time with my family, some small time of relaxation that I get before the chaos of giving and grading high school exams. You still get dark before I get home, it's cloudy most days--granted you are giving me a small gift this weekend of almost 70 degree weather, but with a chance of rain? Come on! How am I to handle a crazy active 2.5 year old who wants to go out and play?

But seriously, January has always been a tough month for me. I struggle with the chaos of the holidays and trying to get everything done and wham...add school pressure and I want to run and hide. My first week back at school as been crazy busy. And it has not helped my situation at all. Since I find myself not sleeping well, I crave sleep--away from everyone, but that's just not possible in my world.  I find I'm getting rattled and frustrated very easily, and I don't handle things very well. I want to burst into tears and run away. I know--tough right. 

I’m 41 years old and I’ve battled depression for almost 13 years. I was diagnosed with mild to moderate depression after my father died in 2000, but looking back, I honestly think it was there even further back--in college. There were days I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t stop crying and didn't want to even get out of bed. And yes I’m now medicated and I’ve been through countless hours of counseling-- I’ve educated myself and know my triggers. Yet still I beat myself up for not being able to snap out of it.
Depression--all mental illnesses to be correct-- is beyond frustrating for everyone involved. I know, I’ve been on both ends for depression runs rampant in my gene pool hitting most of my family--mom, dad,  sister, brother, aunts and even my grandmother. Not a pretty way of life I know. I worry about my son and if he will be affected, I pray that he doesn't, but at least I know what to watch for.

So why did I start this post with my dislike for January? Because for so many people January is a rough month--and yes, I've heard the excuses "I'm just stressed "or "Oh, it's nothing, I'm just not sleeping well", and I want folks to know that I am right there with you. I hope that a majority of you who are reading this never have to deal with this beast... but if you do... you are not alone. Here's to our health and a better January.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Teacher Humor

So I was surfing education blogs to find lesson plan inspiration yesterday when I came across this little gem. Not on a teacher site, but cafe press (Yes, I'll admit I was multi-tasking and trying to find presents for my secret santa). I am in love. It is my life right now. And every teacher out there will immediately get the joke, for there are those days when you just have to wing it and pretend everything is O.K.  

Friday, November 30, 2012

Pin it Friday--Holiday edition

It's almost December and the holidays! More importantly... I have a house I can decorate!! Woo Hoo!!! Since moving to C-ville I have been dreaming of the day we get a house and I can decorate for the holidays. I am by no means Clark Griswold (via Christmas Vacation) or do I plan to make my place look like Santa and snowmen threw up on it... I love meaningful, family traditions--advent wreaths, turning off all the lights and sitting by the tree, a big wreath on the door, candles, and Christmas mugs full of hot chocolate. The smells of the holidays...fudge... I could go on and on. My mom is my inspiration for decorating-- she always made our the house the coziest most wonderful place during the holidays and I have wonderful memories of growing up there. Granted she probably ran herself ragged trying to do it all, but she never let it show. And since I am my mother's daughter after all, I hope that I can make Christmas as special for my son and family as she did for me.

So... how do I find inspiration for decorating my new huge house? Pinterest of course!!! Here are some of my favorites that I either do or are thinking of trying out. Enjoy.

                                                                              Source: via Kate on Pinterest

My first pin comes from It is one of my most repinned pins. At my house during the holidays it always smelled wonderful -- something was baking, the smell of the Christmas tree, a fire in the fireplace -- I loved it. So I tried this pin out last year to see if I could make our tiny place (we were in a tiny apartment) smell more homey, more like Christmas and it worked. This stuff is amazing. Try it. I know you will like it.

                                                                                                  Source: via Kate on Pinterest

My next Pin is about changing up the way do our advent calendar/countdown to Christmas. For so many years we had the advent calendars where you opened up the little window for the day and got a piece of chocolate. Now anyone who knows me, knows that I am all for chocolate, but do I really want my son to associate counting down to Christ's birth with chocolate? I want him to experience the season. So that is why I am trying this idea for Using activities to celebrate each day till Christmas. I hope this goes well and it can become a holiday tradition at my house.

                                                                                   Source: via Kate on Pinterest

This last idea is from Cookie Cutter Pizzas! What a fun way to serve pizzas for Dunc. I'm thinking this would also make a fantastic holiday appetizer. Just cut the dough with any holiday cookie cutter and top with pizza sauce and your favorite toppings. this is going to be so much fun. I can have Dunc help make them too.

Hope you all find some inspiration! Happy Holidays.