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Finding Light in Strange Places

2 Oct

A couple of weeks ago Bennett picked this flower, roots and all,  and brought it inside as a gift to me.

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I was just a little agitated because I didn’t even plant these this year, it came up in a totally random place, and it sprouted way later than it really should have. It just seemed like it was meant to be there. I’ve really been trying to pick my battles, so I filled a vase with water and stuck it in the windowsill with little hope that it would last.

I haven’t written a post in quite a while. I was really struggling with some things that I needed to figure out and I just didn’t feel like I could write anything without sounding dreary and depressing. I had what I felt was a very rough year at work and as the year continued, more and more things started to pile on. It wasn’t all bad, but when I looked around I saw family members battling cancer, a dear friend doing the same, and a young cousin that lost his life in a tragic car accident. I felt like I had done my very best at school and wasn’t seeing the results I expected to see. I was very much “in the dumps”.

I kept thinking I must have done something to have so many negative things going on around me. As much as I thought of it, I couldn’t find a “why” so I started praying about it more. I started noticing that these people who were dealing with these things on a first-hand basis weren’t asking “why me”. They were praying for God’s help and praising him for small miracles. I saw them finding strength in Him. I saw them helping others find strength. I also saw families coming together and finding peace after the loss of my cousin and then the passing of my friend at the end of the summer.

I know that none of these individuals or their families have completely overcome the issues they are and have been dealing with, but I know that things have been made easier because of their relationships with Him.

I have really been working on my relationship with God and have been trying to praise Him and turn to him in my time of need rather than depending solely on myself. I feel a new peace, less worry, and more strength. I know that He has a plan for me and will not make me carry the weight on my own. I feel better at home and at work and I know that my family and my students are benefiting from my renewed spirit and positive attitude.

Tonight I am writing in honor of and praying for my cousin Lora, her new baby Harper, her husband, and twin girls. Lora delivered Baby Harper last Sunday at 26 weeks. He weighed in at 1 lb 9 oz and is fighting hard right now. You can read more about Lora and sweet Baby Harper on her blog Raising Steppe Sisters.

One of my favorite lines in a Grateful Dead song says “Once in a while you’ll be shown the light, in the strangest of places, if you look at it right”. When I looked at that flower tonight, growing  in a vase with just a little water and sunlight, I thought of myself and the happiness I’m feeling from getting that necessity that’s been lacking in my life and of little Harper thriving in less than favorable conditions. I know that both of us will be just fine as long as we trust in the Man upstairs.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all He has done.  Philippians 4:6

Jaime

Little of This, Little of That

6 May

Happy Monday people!  Another weekend in the books before my summer officially starts (sorry if you’re getting sick of hearing it already, but at this point in the year, it’s what’s keeping me going).

This was one of those weekends when you don’t have anything on the books and yet you still manage to go, go, go.

Saturday morning I dropped off my truck to get the oil changed and my mom scooped me up for a little shopping to kill some time.  We started out at an estate sale where my mom picked up several designer skirts and jackets for work.  She also walked out with a beautiful vintage coat for $10!

As I looked around, I spied a picture that looked like something my grandfather would have framed in his shop before he died.  I reached to the back to feel for the felt bumpers he always used and knew immediately it had to be his.  We removed the picture from the wall and found the sticker with his business name and address, which he placed on every picture that made its way through his shop.  I knew I had to have it.  I didn’t really care what it even looked like, but it has a gorgeous picture of an old church.  I can’t wait to get it hung in our office spare bedroom junk/craft room.

We then went over to the local Elk’s Lodge since they were hosting a Shopping Shindig to help raise money for Relay for Life.  The event featured many local vendors and included things like body wraps, bra fittings, and deals galore.  I grabbed up a discounted gift certificate for a spray tan and an adorable new top, which you may have seen yesterday if you follow me on Instagram, from CoCo Clothing Company, which you can check out on IG (@cococlothingco) or FB.

Later on, Chris, Bennett, and I ventured out to Memphis to take advantage of some of the complimentary meals that Bahama Breeze gave me when I was there last week.  We also went to see The Croods.  I laughed and laughed at the movie and then Chris laughed and laughed at me because I also bawled my eyes out at the end.

Yesterday I woke up with a mission to get the house in shape.  I worked for a few hours and then went down to my mom’s house so she could check the hem on a pair of pants she’s making for me.  They are going to be awesome.  You’ll have to look for them next weekend on IG because I’ll probably wear them on Saturday since my baby brother is finally graduating from the U of M with a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering.  I am SO proud of him.

After that, I went to dinner with Chris, B, Hunter, Timorie, my mom, and stepdad.  We just couldn’t pass up celebrating Cinco de Mayo.  If you didn’t see me pictures from that escapade, then you MUST check them out on IG.  I swear my husband must have been Mexican in his first life.

I ended the day with a trip to the gym to give Tabata a try.  I found a link to some examples of the workouts on Peanut Butter Fingers a few days ago and thought they looked tough but fun.  It was definitely hard working my way through the routine, but I felt great!  Between each set of exercises, I did 10 minutes on either the treadmill, elliptical, or bike.  I will be doing this again for sure!

I have to say that finding the picture was one of the best moments of the weekend.  Have you ever happened upon a treasure that reminded you of a family member?

Hope you had an awesome weekend too!

Thanks for reading,

Jaime

 

Takin’ Care of Business

26 Apr

Is it Friday already? Just kidding. This has been the longest week.

Bennett had two games at the beginning of the week, baseball pictures last night, a possible make-up game tonight, and an ugly stomach virus to cancel out the two previous things.

You know that never-ending pile of laundry? There is one sure-fire way to make it grow exponentially…let your baby get a stomach virus.  I’m just hoping that the rock solid immune system that comes as a perk of teaching holds up and doesn’t let me cave. I’ll never catch up on the laundry if I’m in as bad a shape as B has been.

Add a major work load, professional evaluation deadline, and the task of keeping 20 high-energy second graders silent for a week while the fifth graders across the hall take TCAP and you have one tired momma.

I’m looking forward to my real weekend since this unexpected third day off hasn’t exactly been relaxing or productive. Hopefully, it will kick off tonight because, if B is feeling better, I’m going to leave him under the care of his daddy and head to Memphis for dinner at Bahama Breeze with some other great ladies.  We’ve been invited to come try out some new menu items and happy hour cocktails. Check back next week for my thoughts on the new items and your chance to win a party for 20.

Hope your weekend gets off to a good start!

Thanks for reading,

Jaime

 

Dangling a Carrot

18 Apr

As a teacher, I encounter a child almost every year that is unmotivated to do the things that I need and/or want them to do.  This is something that all teachers struggle with, motivating the unmotivated learner.  I have sat through entire training sessions on this very topic.

I remember so many things running through my head:  What are some of these parents doing?  Why is their kid like this?  What have they done up to this point that has caused their kid to be this way?  I couldn’t handle it if my personal kid was like this.

Well, we all know that God likes to teach us lessons, especially when we think we can’t do something (or we say we would never).  Bennett can be very laid back about things, but he  is normally a wild child when it comes to playing.

He has enjoyed baseball up to this point, and he says he still likes it, but Tuesday night he was on the verge of sedation.  It was driving me INSANE.  I can deal with him being unable to do something, but when I know he can, it infuriates me for him to not try to do his best.  I think it’s one of his strong-willed ways of showing me that I can’t control him.

B Hustling to field

Check out the way he “hustled” onto the field while trying to carefully step on the white lines.

B dragging bat

He picked up the speed a little bit when he was up to bat, but drug the bat the whole way as if it were too heavy to lift.

B batting

Chris talked to B about keeping his eye on the ball and hitting it hard when the coach pitched it to him.  B’s response: Nah, I like to hit it off the tee better.

B running

He didn’t even attempt to run as fast as he does when playing with Klyde or racing with his friends.  Instead, he barely jogged to first base while kicking his legs out to the side.  We asked him why he didn’t run as fast as he can.  His response:  I just didn’t want to.  Uuugghhhh!

He is normally very observant and didn’t even notice when another runner was headed toward the base he was standing on.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love my baby and I am so very proud of him, but…

What is he doing?  Making me eat my words.

I know it’s his first season and only game two.

I know he will get better.

I know this is a learning process for him…and me.

Buuuuuuuttttttttt, I can’t stand it!

I am not above a little bribery, but I want to help him become  intrinsically motivated to work hard and try his best.  There won’t always be a cool prize at the end of the job.  This is so important to me because I AM a teacher and I SEE kids that behave in ways that I don’t want my child to behave.

Where is my parenting handbook?  I get an instruction manual with some of the most rediculously self-explanatory things, and I get this complicated individual, and basically one shot to get it right, with no one right or wrong way to do it.

Help!  I need some ideas.  How do you motivate an unmotivated child???

Thanks for reading,

Jaime

 

Nom Nom + Weigh-in Wednesday

3 Apr

No, that was not the sound of me eating. That title came from the TWO award nominations that I’ve received.  I’ll get to those in a second, but first I need to remind you to enter the giveaway for the three awesome gift cards that total $700 and tell you about my progress in the weight loss department this week.

Weigh-in Wednesday

For the past two Wednesdays, I have told you about gains (first 1/2 pound, then 2 1/2 pounds).  This morning I was down 2 pounds from last week, which leaves me just a pound up from the weight I’d gotten down to.

That’s not too bad considering that I have been on spring break for a week (eating and snacking whenever I want), had three Easter feasts, and three Easter baskets.  We also had pizza last night (gasp! the night before a weigh-in) because I was exhausted after our second grade field trip.  I’m just happy to not have a third week of gain logged in the books.

Now back to the nomination part of my post title.

I received my first nomination from Laura a couple of months ago and had some trouble completing the requirements because I was new to the blogosphere as a reader and writer, so it slipped to the back of my mind and was forgotten until I received the second nomination from Wendy this week.

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The Rules:
1. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
2.  Answer the questions that the nominator set for you.
3.   Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
4.  Choose 11 blogs you love (with less than 200 followers) and link them in your post.
5.  No tag back (but please leave me a comment on this post with the URL to your Liebster post so I can learn more about you)!

The Nominees:

1. Aleasa at Happy Life
2. Annabelle at The Carolina Country Girl
3. Wendy at The Sweet Life of Second Grade
4. Rachel at Cupcakes and Horseshoes
5. Terri at Peace, Love, & Applesauce
6. Laura at Serrano Style
7. Shelli at Beauty and the Baseball Coach
8. Nicole at The Greatest of These is Love
9. Rach at This Italian Family
10. Alicia at Brew Mama
11. Less at Less of Less

Random Things:

1. I prefer doing things on the right side of my body first (putting on socks, painting fingernails, etc.).
2. Football is my favorite sport (Go Vols).
3. I love fashion, but don’t think I’m very good at styling things.
4. I live on the same road as my mother, grandparents, and several aunts, uncles, and cousins.
5. I attended/graduated from the University of Memphis, which I said I’d never do.
6. I was a broadcasting and communications major before I switched to education because I wanted to be a news anchor.
7. I like even numbers and hate thinking that I chewed food more on one side of my mouth than the other (strange, I know).
8. When I was pregnant, I craved McDonald’s french fries, lemons and limes, the spiciest food I could find, and sweets.
9. I have three earrings in my left ear and two in my right.
10. I can not stand to see orange and black or red and green together unless it is Halloween or Christmas.
11. For several years in college, I was a hippie and would sew and sell purses and bags to help pay for our expenses as we travelled around to see the bands we liked.

My 11 Questions:

1.  What is your favorite color? Probably blue depending on what you’re talking about
2.  Why did you start blogging and how long have you been doing it? I started on New Year’s Day this year to help keep me accountable for my goals and to help me document my family’s life more.
3.  What do you do for a living? I teach second grade
4.  If you could live anywhere, where would it be? As long as my family and friends were there, I’d pick either the beach or a mountain.
5.  Dogs or cats? Dogs
6.  What are your favorite hobbies? Reading, watching tv, eating, being around/on a body of water, spending time with my family and friends, crafts
7.  What did you want to be when you grew up as a child? a teacher or a nurse
8.  What is your favorite food? too many to choose
9.  What is your go-to outfit that you end up wearing most? For work, pants from New York & Co. (7th Avenue Stretch I think), casual would be jeans and a t-shirt with flip flops
10.  Flats or heels? Love heels, but I’d much rather be comfy
11.  What’s your favorite indulgence (whether it be soap operas, desserts or pedicures)? A comfortable pair of pajamas, fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a glass of milk, and a good movie
Your 11 Questions:
1. Baked or fried?
2. Iced or hot coffee?
3.  What was your first car?
4.  If you could go back to high school, would you ? Why?
5. Do you like to wear hats? What kind?
6. Night owl or early bird?
7. What is your favorite part of your body?
8. What is your strangest quirk?
9. What scares you the most?
10. What’s your favorite holiday? Why?
11. How did you meet your best friend?
Now for the second nomination.
Sisterhood award
The Rules:
1. Post a thanks and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Provide 7 little known and/or interesting facts about yourself.
3. Pass the award on to 7 other bloggers of your choice who you feel promote the “sisterhood” of bloggers and let them know they have been nominated.
4. Include the award logo in your post or on your blog.
7 Little Known/Interesting Facts About Me:
1.  My husband was my boyfriend in third grade.
2. I had a Motorola Razr for almost 5 years and cried when I got an iPhone.
3. I can eat more biscuits and gravy than my husband.
4. I could eat cheese dip for dinner most any night of the week.
5. I don’t care for margaritas (I know, it’s tragic isn’t it).
6. I fell down a flight of stairs in college when the heel of my shoe broke and had to hobble the rest of the way to the car, which took about 20 minutes, and then hobble faster from one concrete divider to another because the blacktop was burning blisters on my feet. Where are your friends when that kinda stuff happens?!?
7. My belly button is so deep I can almost put my pinky in up to the second knuckle (crazy huh?).
7 Bloggers I Feel Promote the “Sisterhood”:
5. Elle Noel at Elle Noel
Thank you to both Laura and Wendy for the nominations!
And that, my friends, is the world’s longest blog post.
Thanks for reading,
Jaime

It’s OK to Thoroughly Enjoy Thursday

28 Mar

I have thoroughly enjoyed this Thursday.  I’ve done two cool things that I’ve never done before (I’ll get to those in a minute) and today’s weather is actually reflecting what I’d want my spring break to be.

But first…

Its Ok Thursdays

I’m linking up with Neely to tell you it’s ok…

That I haven’t cleaned the house as much as I’d hoped over spring break.

That I really want to win the adorable monogrammed clutch that Neely is giving away for her birthday (even if I wouldn’t buy it for myself I would definitely get some use out of it).

That I haven’t even bought B one birthday present.  At least I’ve scoped some out and know where to find most of it and about how much it all costs.

That I never played a day of softball in my life. I’ve seen enough that I can still give my (almost) 4 year old a few tips.

That I have to go back to work Monday.  I would prefer a little more time at home, but it will be better for my weight loss goals and I’ll only have about 8 weeks left (all of which will be cram packed so they’ll fly by [hopefully]).

That I haven’t worked on school stuff at all during my spring break. I needed the break and I’ll be glad I made the choice in the long run.

Now for the two new things I did today.

1) I got in the backyard with B and played an actual game of catch…with gloves…and a real baseball.  He is growing up so much.

2) Bennett and I went to the local animal shelter to help walk dogs before the shelter closes for the long weekend. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but we enjoyed interacting with the dogs and I know they were happy to get out in the sunshine.

Jethro was the first dog we walked. He was sweet and wanted to socialize with the other dogs.

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Bennett called the second dog Tricycle for some reason.  This sweet dog wanted some lovin’ so we kept him out for a little while longer and talked about why he probably wouldn’t make a very good friend for Klyde.

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There were about 15 adorable puppies.  This is just one cute litter.

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Why not finish this post up with an update on that 100th follower I talked about yesterday? I have officially reached 111 followers if you count my WordPress and Bloglovin’ followers.  Thanks to all of my followers new and old!

I know today is Friday for many of you because of Easter, so I hope you enjoy your long weekend.

I’ll end my post with a flower from B to you (it’s really a weed, but it’s all in how you perceive it).

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Thanks for reading,

Jaime

1 Easy Way to Try a New Trend + Weigh-in Wednesday

27 Mar

Whoaaaa! Is it Wednesday already? Spring break is flying by and I haven’t been doing a very good job of staying on my routine. Today’s post is going to be a complete and total hodgepodge of stuff. Please excuse my randomness.

What do you want to hear first? The good or the bad? Ok, good idea. Let’s get the bad out of the way and then I’ll perk us all back up before I’m done.

Weigh-in Wednesday

I’m linking up with Erin and Alex for Weigh-in Wednesday to tell you all about the hideous behavior I have exhibited over the past few days. I started last week with a bang (three work week workouts and a 5K on Saturday, which I promise I’ll be posting about over the next few days). When the 5K was over, I felt like I was starving and sleepy, which I set out to cure. I have done nothing but those two things since (or so it feels like).

I’m guessing I’ve really been needing to catch-up on my sleep because during this spring break I have gone to bed earlier than most work nights and slept about 4 hours longer each morning (not to mention the cat naps that have worked their way in).

Also, I have been doing some major gluttonous eating. You know the typical alternating between cheese and chocolate. I have really been wanting cheese (mozzarella sticks, easy cheese, queso at the Mexican restaurant). I know, disgusting, huh? I was in one of those “well I already screwed up, so let’s keep the ball rolling” kind of moods.

I seriously debated not even weighing-in this morning, but that wouldn’t be very truthful with myself or you lovely readers. The scale told me exactly what I expected it to this morning. I was up 2 1/2 pounds from last week. Not happy about it, but you reap what you sow, and I knew what I was doing the whole time.  Ok, so that’s over and it’s time to get back on track.

Remarkably, I was still in a good mood and have been much more active today, aka cleaning the house. That definitely makes me feel better. Even though I hate cleaning, I do love a clean house. I’ve even gone so far as to weed out some old clothes from my drawers so the clothes that do fit and aren’t falling apart have an ample amount of room. If you follow me on Instagram, you have seen a couple of items this morning that have needed to go for a while.

Now for a couple more mood boosters…

Bennett’s team had their second practice last night, and even though it was sooooo cold, it is adorable to watch those little guys play.

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Yes, I was that idiot last night and, no, I was not ashamed:)

I have already told you guys how much of a cheapskate I am, and in order for me to jump on a new trend, such as the fabulous mint color that seems so popular this spring, I have to try it out on me in a way that isn’t going to break the bank.

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I grabbed this great new color for about $2.99 at the grocery store on the way home from ball practice. Please ignore my old lady hands and poor polish skills and pay close attention to this pretty color. It has totally pulled me into the mint trend and got me into the mood for spring, which is here but enjoying torturing us with these cold temps.

Who could forget the awesome giveaway that I’m participating in. If you haven’t entered for your chance to win already, get your rear in gear! What are you waiting for? I would LOVE for one of my fabulous readers to win the $200 Piperlime gift card.

And last, but certainly not least, I see that I am at 99 blog followers! Come on folks! If the giveaway isn’t enough to make you want to follow my blog, think about the joy and happiness you will bring this small town girl (who flubbed her weigh-in this week) by being the 100th follower.

Have a great Wednesday and let’s chill with the snow dances already! Bring on the sunshine Mother Nature!

Thanks for reading,

Jaime