Monday, February 25, 2013

Happy Birthday to (a Sick) Me!

I was excited to have my birthday fall on a weekend so we could make it a birthday weekend filled with fun activities.  We decided to go to the mountains and do a ski trip for Saturday then hit up a brewery for some Apres ski and then Sunday (my actual birthday) would be more skiing finished with a nicer dinner or maybe to a brewery I have been wanting to try.  We got a hotel for both Saturday and Sunday night because I didn't want to be driving back in a lot of traffic on my birthday and that way we could still do a hot tub night or whatever without having the long drive back looming over our heads.  Plus then Monday I would be off to get caught up on laundry, get caught up on some work and take Cooper to the dog park and whatever else I needed to do.

Friday night I came down with a very sudden and sever throat and was convinced it was strep because of how bad and fast it came on.  But by Saturday morning I was congested and had all the typical signs of a cold.  I pushed through and we headed up to Beaver Creek to ski for the day.  I skied barely a half day and called it quits after a couple hours because I was feeling so bad.  I learned the hard way that skiing is not the type of activity that can be done when you're not feeling well. Plus it was snowing, cold and just not the best ski conditions so combined with how bad I felt I was practically crying as I went down the slopes.  Jason still skied to try to get a full day in while I took the shuttle back and got our car. We went to one of our favorite  brewery's for some apps but the whole afternoon was a blur. When we got to the hotel, we watched a movie and I was asleep by 9:30.

Sunday I woke up feeling really sick so the plan was for Jason to go boarding until at least noon, then when he got back we'd decide how I was feeling and maybe do something in Breck to make it worth the hotel stay.  At that point my plan was to still stay in the hotel Sunday night because I really didn't want to waste the $100 we'd paid for the room!  Jason went out to take Cooper out (and surprise me with McDonalds burritos for breakfast) but came back about 30 minutes later waking me up to tell me he got into an accident.  He was fine, Cooper was fine and the other car's party was fine but both cars were banged up.  Drivable but definitely needing lots of repairs.  So now he wasn't going boarding anymore, I was wide awake and the whole morning continued into this foggy, pretty awful day.  Around noon, we packed up our stuff and headed back home.  Because we were practically in a blizzard (why he even got in the accident in the first place) it took us over four hours to get home!!  So much for me not spending much time in the car on my birthday. We stopped at Panera on our way home for chicken noodle soup for me and opened my presents.  We finished the night by watching a movie on the couch while I read all the super nice Facebook birthday wishes and  then went I to bed.

Not the best birthday ever...but Jason and I have a Groupon for sushi that I asked him if we could use next weekend as a do-over.  I still feel terrible about wasting the money from the hotel and just not being able to do all we had planned for the weekend, but there's plenty more weekends we can do all the skiing and eating that we'd had planned.  I am thankful I got this sick over a weekend and today when I had already scheduled to take the day off because I can't imagine having to work with how terribly I felt, not to mention spreading germs! So I slept in super late today and while I'm still congested and coughing at least I am not in a blur today!  I am on the mend!

Thanks to all who called or texted to wish me a happy day!  Also a special thanks to anyone who sent cards!  I love getting cards and opening them all together with my dinner!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Presidents Day

Thankful for Presidents and thankful that I got a day off to celebrate them...or at least celebrate having a day off!

I'm so glad I didn't go with Jason into the mountains this weekend. I needed this long weekend to catch up.  It's 8:00 and I just realized I still haven't done the meal planning for the week or grocery shopping. Oops.  But I did enjoy so many great things this weekend. I caught up with stupid little time wasters; washing and ironing the duvet cover, scheduling Groupon hair appointments, ordering more contacts (for only the left does that happen?!), buying and re-potting my plants, writing everyone and their mothers back via email, attempt to sign up for church groups and all the other stuff that was just not getting done. And I feel so much better having all those little things checked off my "To-do" list! Plus Jason and I have a great day off together and I worked out twice this weekend! So yeah, life after a 3 day weekend is feeling great!!

Today we went to a matinee movie, Silver Linings Playbook (super good! I especially liked that it brought attention to mental illness) then went ice skating with some Groupons we bought back in December. I owned ice skates growing up at the lake house but the ice was always too bumpy from the snow so haven't really ice skated except f or a time in college when I hated it. But this time we had hockey skates so my ankles didn't hurt. It was Jason's first time in a long time and in my opinion, we both rocked it! (pic above was us skating) We finished the night with a trip to the gym then the hot tub. Ahhhh what a fun day off!

Mom, Dad (and Sophie!) are Coming!!

My mom and dad are coming for a visit in April! I have two week off for spring break (sounds great until you factor in that I'm not paid for those two weeks!) but they're coming for about a week with their dog, Sophie (insert Coopers extreme excitement here!)!

They're driving (they're nuts!) and are expected to arrive on a Friday. I'm hoping they'll get here early enough for it to work for them to see my classroom and meet my students that first day. Then we'll explore the area, do some shopping, do a coffee-date or two with my mom while the guys do their thing. They'll be here for Easter which is extra special, we'll show them our church, go into the mountains, hit up a few dog parks and eat some good food! I've been holding off on decorating the apartment since we thought we were buying a house but now that we're staying here for at least another year my mom will be able to help me shop and decorate.

I cannot wait for my dad (and Sophie) to see where we live and spend some time with all three of them!  YAY!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Long Overdue Post On Life in Colorado

So I've been wanting to write since our trip back to Illinois back in December but work has consumed me and I haven't had time. Since then I wrote on my Facebook wall that I was really missing my mom and Chicago.  I got a few responses to that on Facebook and via texts/emails. I also talked to my mom that night telling her how sad I was.

By the next day I was back to myself and loving it here and through that experience I realized a few things.

When we were back in Illinois for Christmas it felt weird. I felt like I was in a very familiar place but in a place of the past. I felt like I didn't belong there anymore, especially when we were in Chicago. Chicago is the best city ever and will always be my home, I could write probably 100 different posts about different thoughts about Chicago but for this purpose, Chicago was my home where I lived for over 7 years and did a lot of my "growing up" and typical things you do in your 20's. I am and think I always will be a city girl but for whatever reason I am being called to live in Colorado and cannot believe how much this state suits me and how easily I've adjusted to it. By the time we were heading back to Colorado I was so excited to be back "home."

But being far away from all you've ever known has it's hard days. And that particular week was especially hard because it was cold, snowy and gloomy; three words that do not normally describe Colorado. Jason was traveling, so I was extra lonely. I still don't have any friends here. I was really missing my mom because I was trying to do some decorating in our apartment which I cannot do on my own. My job was killing me that week. I also realized that week that I am just sick of everything being "new" for me. This job was another place where I knew no one, had no idea what I was supposed to be doing, didn't know the simplest things like where to put my lunch or what the rules were of where to even eat my lunch. All the newness of the second new job in only 5 months was just too much for me!

By the next day I realized it was all the things listed above plus many more that made me sad. I've realized that the weather here is just amazing and having the sun shining almost every day has probably made this transition for me.  Literally made it for me.  See that pic I posted?! It was 60 both Saturday and today with all sun. (and when it says mostly or partly cloudy that generally means just a few clouds...not what I think of when I think mostly or partly cloudy!) Love it and with the weather like that all the time it's hard to miss cold, windy, wet Illinois. (Summer...that's another story!)

I am so thankful that God has brought us to a place that is filled with such beauty and awesome weather. Jason and I have said before that He could have brought us anywhere but instead we get this amazing state where we can go hiking all summer long and skiing/boarding every weekend in the winter not to mention all the other things we've been able to do! I won't list any areas for the sake of insulting anyone but I could think of a million other less desirable places He could have brought us but He picked sunny Colorado for us!!

We live in a very rural suburb that we plan to move out of once we've saved enough to buy a house. But I do not like the area where we live. Not only is it the suburbs but it's isolated and while it's no country-living it is what I'd hope is the farthest I'll ever be from city-living. Where we currently live makes miss so much of the city, so much!!

And all of that is okay. It's okay that I really miss the city, it's okay for me to miss my mom, dad or any other family member or friend. It's okay that I was extra lonely that week and missing my husband. Its okay that I was sad in my new job of all things new. If it was easy to move to a new state I think a lot more Midwestern peeps would be doing it. But this is where God has called me and Jason and for that I am grateful. Considering I couldn't handle being only 130 miles away from home when I was in college, I think I'm doing really well. And like I said, this state (and it's weather) is exactly where I need to be right now and it's perfectly okay if I have a tough day and need to call home to talk to my mom to make things all better!

Loving the Job!

Five weeks into the new job and I am loving it.  I didn't have time to write the first couple weeks and it was pretty miserable so I didn't know what to even write without being a total Debbie Downer.  I felt like I could never get a grasp of the million different things I had to learn in a super short time.

But I officially took over as the long term sub on 2/2 and since then it's gotten a lot better!  Like I told the teacher who I took over for, anything I'm doing wrong or not doing I really don't even know right now, so I think it's going pretty well!

I've had to work a lot of late night and am beyond exhausted all the time but have already learned so much. I feel like being a special ed teacher you have literally about 100 things going on at one time and you just have to do your best to keep up with every little detail.  My students are amazing and while I think we could really use some additional support I'm doing my best and have a wonderful team who has been really supportive and helping me keep my head above water.

I've already been to several training's and have more scheduled before I'm finished with the position. I'll be doing the (fun) standardized testing so gaining experience with that as well.  I'm learning all sorts of new curriculum, how to write and work with IEP's, doing parent'teacher conferences, accepting new students and just about every other thing you can or even can't think of!

I still can't believe how I was able to get this it all came about and that I am a teacher right now and in what I think is the best situation and with an awesome teacher who has mentored me thought it all! I think it goes without saying how much work it is but it's been so much fun and as long as the next 2 1/2 months go as the past week has gone I'll be super happy!  I'm getting really excited to have my own classroom next year and use all I'm learning in my own way!

Long Weekend

There's no school tomorrow so it' a 3 day weekend. We had planned to go to the mountains all weekend but couldn't get a hotel (at a price we were willing to pray) so we decided to just go for a day. I've been super tired after work every night so the apartments gotten really messy, laundry's built up and I just wanted a day for me. Yesterday Jason was going boarding without me but I woke up to him still here and telling me he wanted to get some things taken care of so we spent most of the day cleaning and just getting life back in order. Today I wanted to go with him skiing but the weather was predicted to be cold and I still felt behind on life so I stayed back while he went boarding.

My day was perfect. It started with researching via Pinterest lots of different school ideas.  I spent a chunk of my morning in prayer and devotions, made a nice breakfast while doing laundry and dishes. In the afternoon I made soup in the Crockpot, took Cooper to the dog park then took him for a much-needed run! It was the first run I've done in a couple months that my lungs didn't feel like they were going to explode! And wow is that dog such a good running buddy (except for the one squirrel where he almost took me down.) By then, Jason was back so we went and ran some errand where I got some new plants then came home to eat and unwind. We tried going to the hot tun but it wasn't on so here I sit with time to blog!

I'm so excited to have the day off tomorrow. We have some tentative plans but I am excited to relax and maybe get caught up on some work!

Hope you had a wonderful weekend and if you're lucky enough to be off tomorrow - Enjoy!

Sunday Song - Lord I Need You

This weeks Sunday Song is dedicated to my mom since she was inquiring to make sure I was doing one today!

This week I've been feeling distant from God...not because He hasn't been present but for whatever reason I haven't felt like I am listening. This job has been an amazing experience for me and I know He is very present in my every minute of work so am really annoyed with myself. I heard this song on the way home from church last night and fell in love. It was exactly what I needed to hear so today I listened to it about 6 times while making breakfast and it completely changed my perspective for the morning.

Lord I Need You -- by Matt Maher  

I pray that this song speaks truth to you. Happy Sunday!! 

Love the chorus:

Lord, I need You, oh I need You 
Every hour I need You 
My one defense, my righteousness 
Oh God, how I need You

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Fasting for Lent

Today is Ash Wednesday and I didn't even realize it until pretty late in the day!  Now that I go to a non-denominational church I don't really "observe" Ash Wednesday  as I did in my Lutheran days but obviously still has the same meaning.

Every year I've thought about giving something up for Lent but don't actually follow through but this year I am actually going to do it!  Since I didn't actively pray for any great length of time to see what God is leading me to give up, I am going to go with what I think is most obvious that He's been working on my heart now for literally give up Facebook.  I've been without it on my phone since Friday so have only been on it a total of 5 minutes each day since but what I feel most attached to on Facebook is wishing everyone a happy birthday!  I hate missing out on sending birthday wishes!! So if your birthday is between now and Easter, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

My own birthday (which I personally think is a big deal!) is between now and then so I am going to cheat for a day to respond but other than that it's no Facebook for me!  I'm excited for this time away to hopefully devote a lot more time to God.  There are people out there who are surviving just fine without Facebook, so I should be just fine, right!?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Goodbye Facebook app!!

I took Facebook off my phone on Friday night and didn't put it back on all weekend and I am so proud of myself!

I check Facebook every other second, not because I want to see what's going on but because I do it out of habit. It needs to stop. (I've been saying this for at least 3 years!) Facebook just needs to go away in my opinion but that's never going to happen and I will probably always be on it and checking it all the time and comparing myself to the million different posts that people put on there. Even when those posts aren't nearly a true reflection of their lives...I'll still be checking it and comparing to whatever is going on in my life.  So let tell you, it was so incredibly freeing this weekend to not have Facebook up every other second!

I checked it in the evening (from my computer), said my "happy birthdays" to the prospective birthday kids while also catching up with any messages that were sent. But something that I was not was that I wasn't all caught up in whatever it was everyone else was doing this weekend...instead I enjoyed what I was doing this weekend!  

Can I tell you how freeing it was?!  I thought I'd be sad or feel isolated but instead it was super freeing. Obviously, I am on it way too much to even be writing a post about not being on it but I am so glad I took it off my phone.  I hope this small act will help to put my life back into a better perspective.  My biggest fear is missing out on everyone's "big life" events so if you're reading this will you please be sure to update me on those big events!?  

Here's to going a full week without my little Facebook app! :)

Sunday Song - Always

I love this song and today we sang it in church and it spoke truth to me that I haven't heard the many other times I have heard it.  

His promise is TRUE. He has been so faithful to me and no matter what, my God will come through, always, always.  He is so good!!  

Always -- by Kristian Stanfill

My foes are many, they rise against me

But I will hold my ground
I will not fear the war, I will not fear the storm
My help is on the way, my help is on the way

Oh, my God, He will not delay
My refuge and strength always
I will not fear, His promise is true
My God will come through always, always

Troubles surround me, chaos abounding
My soul will rest in You
I will not fear the war, I will not fear the storm
My help is on the way, my help is on the way

Oh, my God, He will not delay
My refuge and strength always
I will not fear, His promise is true
My God will come through always, always

I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord
I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord
I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord
I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord
From You Lord, from You Lord

Happy Sunday all, hope it was an amazing weekend for you! 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Day Off and More Skiing!

I took the day off yesterday to regroup. The new job started out really, really rough and while it is getting much better I wanted a day to recover and regroup. I slept in then caught up with cleaning the apartment and then attempted to get back into my blog. I went to the outlet stores which was a total bust and waste of time but I caught up with two friends back home (via phone) and finished the evening with a walk with Jason and Cooper then my favorite, Olive Garden! Pretty nice, relaxing day which I really needed and wanted!

Today we got up at 5:00 (ugh) to hit the slopes early. I lasted only a half day...well not even. It was too cold, snowy and I just wasn't feeling it! But Jason loved it and Cooper really enjoyed all the fresh snow. (How cute is he below!?) I love that we have season passes so we're able to come out and not feel guilty when I don't want to ski a whole day.

Tomorrow will be church in the morning, more catching up, probably a little work, some cooking, meal planning, grocery shopping, more relaxing and then the Grammys!

Happy Saturday! Hope you're having a wonderful weekend whatever you're doing!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Bulls Game in Denver!!

Last night Jason and I went to the Bulls game in Denver.  I love love love the Bulls so was disappointed when we couldn't find tickets at a reasonable price!  But Jason pulled through and found some online.  It was a super late game for me who needs my sleep (started at 8:30!?) but I ended up taking off work today because I am just spent so it worked out nicely.

There were plenty of Bulls fans there so I felt right at home!  The stadium isn't quite the United Center and while I thought Rocky or whatever the mascots name is was super cute, he didn't come close to comparing to my favorite, Benny the Bull. Not to mention there was no Cuppy Coffee/Biggie Bagel/Dashing Donut race (where Cuppy Coffee always wins!) but oh my gosh it was a blast, super fun time for us and for families!  I'm really looking forward to raising our kids here and bringing them to games like this (at a fraction of what a Bulls game in Chicago $10 for parking here, what?!?) Just in case there's any confusion though...our kids will still be raised as Bulls fans!

Thanks Jason for getting us tickets and going with me! Next time hopefully it won't be a total blow-out but for now I'll cut them some slack...I know how hard it is to run here in this altitude. ;-) (or wow the Nuggets really just played that well and the Bulls played terribly?!)  Go Bulls!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Monday Meanderings

It's my favorite month, February!  I have had writers block and a lack of time to write but am making myself try to get caught up.  As always, the best way to do that is with a little meanderings...

Meanderings on...

The New Job...I started subbing and shadowing the teacher 3 weeks ago today but she had her baby over the weekend so I officially started the long term sub job today.  It has been a crazy 3 weeks and so much has happened.  I've been extremely discouraged but think it may start getting better?? At least I hope!  I love the students but it's pretty overwhelming with the number of students.   On a positive note, I am learning so much!  I can't believe how much there is to know. sigh. I am so thankful for this opportunity and am really looking forward to the next 3 months to see how much I can learn!    Yay for being a teacher!

On Apartment Hunting...When we moved here we had planned to buy a house by the end of our lease but as I shared here, we paid off my student loans instead so have some more time in an apartment.  We don't like our location at all and want to move further west so we decided to spend all day last Sunday after church apartment shopping.. We found some great places in great locations all in our price range but in the end it looks like we're going to stay put.  In addition to losing money on our non-refundable deposit,  the idea of packing and moving again hasn't really motivated us to pursue another location. So as it stands right now, we're not moving...but technically haven't yet signed this lease, so only time will tell!

On Super Bowl Sunday...We went to a local brewery just the two of us.  By half time (which by the way I thought was terrible!) we decided to head back home and on our way in ran into a neighbor who Jason has talked to before and he invited us over to their apartment for  the second half! How nice was that!? And their dog gets along super well with Cooper which is also a major plus! Speaking of the Super Bowl..did you see the Clydesdale commercial? Oh my good! I miss horses! You can watch it here if you missed it. So cute!

On Feelings Last Week...I had a really hard week last week.  It was actually cold here and the sun wasn't out, Jason was out of town, work was really killing me and I don't even know what else. But it was a bummer.  I've decided that a major reason I have found it to be easy to transition here minus the lack of friends and family and city life is that the weather is just amazing.  It's been in the upper 30's - 50's almost all winter and the sun is ALWAYS shining. So the few days of gloomy, extra cold weather mixed with my job totally sucking and my husband being gone all took a toll on me.  I think I'm out of that least for now.

On Going to the Bulls Colorado...Thursday night we're going to the Nuggets game!  They're playing the Bulls and I am thrilled!  I LOVE the Bulls and especially going to games and have been super excited to go to a Nuggets game here but the tickets are expensive.  Super thankful for Jason who researched and found us some reasonable tickets!  It will be a little sad and weird to be at a Bulls game and not see Bennie but ahhhh I cannot wait!!

On random thoughts about Calendars!...I'm back at using a "daily planner.". Ever since 2005 when my planner fell in the bucket of water I had that collected water from my radiator I have used a palm pilot or phone to keep my life organized.  My phone now has my calendar and I love that everything backed up but with my new job I just have too much to add and keep track of and obviously cannot have my phone out during the day and I don't always have my computer so it's back to the old planner. I haven't figured out yet if I'm loving the new planner or hating it.  Time will tell...

Speaking of backing up...I got a new iPhone last week!  Ever since I got the new phone in October the battery has been terrible. I finally did something about it and brought it in and they checked the battery and told me I had a bad one so could get a new phone. I'm not convinced that the new one is any better but at least it's a start!  And it backed up just fine and everything!  Yay for technology working for me!

On Decorating...So everyone knows I hate clothes shopping but now I've realized I also have a serious problem decorating.  I've always had my mom to help me but obviously when there's 1,000 miles between us I don't have her to help me. (another part of my meltdown last week with missing home) I cannot decorate to save my life!  I wanted to hang all these pictures I had developed and bought all these frames but they didn't look good once I had them arranged together.  I've been so stressed about this the past week and it's killing me.  Yeah, I probably sound dramatic but I'm serious. I'm literally losing sleep over this and need some help!  I guess that's why people pay interior decorators? I cannot be the only one out here who is this challenged in that area...can I?

Happy Monday all!  Hope this will help me to get back into blogging!  Love you all and thanks for reading along!  Night!