52 Weeks of Gratitude – Week 11

Today I’ll start my second week of teaching this year. I don’t feel quite organized enough, and I’m a bit off-kilter from all of the changes that are happening around this year. I know it will be a good week.

I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had in my life. The things that I have most wanted have come to fruition, and even with the things that have set me back I know I can always fall back on the fact that I really have been fortunate enough to travel the places I’ve wanted to go, continue my education the way I want to, and have done most of what I set out to do so far.


52 Weeks of Gratitude – Week 10

It’s time for a new school year! This morning I’ll be heading to work and the room will be filled with the kids I’ve been preparing the past few weeks for. This year we have a new assistant, new bell schedule and lunches, and a lot of new staff.

We get to start off the year with a clean ceiling! After watching the dirt collect around vents and light covers for the last 8 years they have come in and cleaned everything and replaced the bad ceiling tiles. It looks like a brand new band room. I’m very grateful to be able to teach in a nice facility.

I’m grateful to have the opportunity to do the thing that I set out to do. Not everyone ends up with that ability.

Wish I could make this longer, but it’s time to work!

52 Weeks of Gratitude – Week 9

This is the last night before a new school year officially starts for me. I am very thankful that we have hired someone as the music assistant who I believe shares a common vision and heart with me on running a band program and sharing music with kids. I am very optimistic that truly amazing moments will happen this year and our kids will have more opportunities than ever.

This week Joe was also able to get into the band room and hang up more medals from years past, some cork boards, and the tuba wall mounts. The room is starting to look really great, and I think it has a comfortable feel to it this year. I’m grateful that I had the time this Summer to go in and redo everything to fit our current needs.

Off I go into a week of new adventures!

52 weeks of gratitude – Week 8

Writing at least weekly has already changed my perspective. It’s another way that I can take time to honor myself. I won’t say that what I write is that good or helpful to other people. My brain feels like crusted over tectonic plates ready to give if I keep at it. At one time I think that I was actually pretty good and if my creative writing hadn’t slowed down over the years I think it would be quite good now. It’s all a process.

I have been spending this week at work getting ready for the school year to start. I’m about a days worth of work away from having every piece of paper filed away in my band room! Had the air-conditioner not busted I probably would have already been there. I’ve already sat down and begun ordering things for the new year and scheduled a lot of what could be scheduled so early on. Tomorrow we interview for our new assistant and I’m optimistic about what can be accomplished in the new year. I feel like a lot has been done to help set this year up as a success.

I tend to sell myself short. A lot. I’m my own worst enemy, but the problem is that I just can’t turn my thoughts off. Instead I try to keep my mind busy and distracted so that it doesn’t wander too much into overthinking everything. I’m working on stepping back and trying to see my strengths and flaws the way I would see anyones. I tend to give everyone I know the benefit of the doubt except myself. I have learned over time to work with the natural flow of things much more easily. I do still have the instinct to fight against every current if given a choice. I’m working on that as well. I think that I am allowing my highest good on this journey of life. Sure she’s gotten beat up a little bit with what happens to the living, but my good is still there. I believe that all people at their core are good and want to lead happy, good lives. I believe that all people start off wanting to do right, and wanting to be amazing. I know that people along the way are lost or pushed aside by the force of other people and living, and most of those people reach out for help getting back on to fulfilling their dreams. Unfortunately not everyone is seen when they are waving for help and that’s when they stop trying. To do my greatest good I think I need to continue to seek out those people that need help getting on the path again.

I’m grateful that I’ve had a few people reach out and grab me throughout my life, and that I can recognize that for what it is. I’m grateful for the new perspectives that I’m being offered, and for all of the time I’ve had for self-reflection this week. I’m also very grateful for the time to get my room and job much more in order than it ever has been before the beginning of the school year.

Have a good week.



52 weeks of gratitude – Week 7

Ok, so it’s week seven! It’s almost midnight on Sunday and it is admittedly harder to write today. It’s not that I’m not grateful, because I am. I was actually doing extremely well. Then I ate a cookie. So first I will start with the good.

I made the decision this year to forego new clothes for work. Usually I like to buy a new wardrobe to get myself set for a new year. This year I’m trying to not have that many clothes. The clothes that I do own I want to use until they need replacing, and then get something of quality that I will love to wear. This is the plan. This kind of freed up my spend-guilt and I decided to jump into apple land again and am now the owner of an apple watch. At first I didn’t see its full value other than an extension of the iphone, but through wearing it I see my daily habits are changing. The first is that I don’t have a need to check my phone that much. Anything important comes directly to my watch as a notification, and if it’s not important enough for that it waits. I don’t have to worry if I’m missing an important phone call or text because it will let me know. That part is very calming.

The other nice thing is the health app. I have been using a fitbit since they first came out, which I believe was around 1998. I loved it, and every time they came out with a new one I got it. Including the Force which caused a rather nasty rash. After that I went back to the fitbit one, but it never quite was exciting as having it on your wrist. The way that fitness works on the apple watch and on a Fitbit are very different, and in a perfect world I could bring back the flower that grows the more active you are, and the social aspects of Fitbit competing with steps with your friends.

My general impression of the way the activity tracker works on the Apple Watch is that it is much more useful at creating multiple habits. The three rings encourage movement, standing up throughout the day, and a calorie burn goal. I have found that already I am more active than I was counting steps overall on Fitbit.

I’m also using two other health apps, the Lose it app is fantastic. I hadn’t used it in a long time, so the added feature of being able to scan barcodes to enter foods on your phone was a nice addition. I’ve set a pretty intense goal, and being able to monitor my calorie deficit throughout the day helps me to make good decisions at meals. I’ve already lost weight in the three days that I’ve been using it. Granted, it’s the same 2-3 pounds I’ve been losing and gaining for months, but I am encouraged by it.

The other app I’m using is Lark, which is more of a general habit forming health app. So far it doesn’t focus on calories at all, just generalizations about health choices throughout the day. It’s nice because it makes suggestions based on what you’ve eaten or on sleep patterns. So far using the two of them together is a good balance for me.

So I’m running out of steam right now. I wil finish this post, but I’m grateful that I’m able to do something for myself. I know that I have a challenge ahead of me as far as getting my health on track, but I’m fortunate to have the tools to make it easier.



52 Weeks of Gratitude – Week 6

Well, it may be better late than never. Even if I’m almost to the next Sunday, I haven’t made it there yet so I I’m still kind of, almost on track to make my weekly gratitude journal.

This little guy came to feed at our kitty feeding station this week. This is the second time that we saw him. The first time I scared him off, afraid for the kitties. We let him stay this time and have a meal. I think my official stance on this will be that if he makes it to the food before I can take it in for the night he gets a meal.  There is something strangely soothing about watching the cameras to see who comes to feed. Scrugs and the two kittens come daily, and we also have “not Jeff” and now a black cat who make appearances as well. Not Jeff and the black kitty might be getting spayed if they come often enough.






On other fronts, I’ve spent a ton of time in the band room throwing things out. I will spend some time tomorrow and probably Saturday finishing arranging everything to where I want it. Now that I know that I’ll be somewhere long-term, it’s so much easier to make decisions on what to keep in my life. That part of knowing is good.


52 weeks of gratitude – Week 5

thumb_1_1024It’s already week 5 of my 52 weeks of gratitude! I’m thinking about all of the wasted time not exercising, because what a great accomplishment that would be to have 5 weeks of exercise. I’m not going to let that get me down though, there are plenty of good things going on.

Last night I couldn’t sleep and I ended up doing what I do too much of, Pinteresting and hanging out around the internet. Only now I have the kitty cam to also keep me entertained. It was actually a pretty uneventful night until about 1 am when a red fox came to visit. It was such a beautiful creature I couldn’t help but wake Joe up. So we looked at the fox and waved at him a little bit before shooing him away. I don’t want our house to become a feeding ground for him. I had only left food out that late because it stormed during the day and the cats didn’t come to eat earlier on.  I’m still not positive on who is sleeping in the cat house yet, hopefully I’ll be able to see them going in there one day.

I did get in to the school for a days work. It wasn’t what I had set out to do, but I started to come up with a new setup for next year. Overall I want to move my desk out with the band so that it’s convenient to them. As I’ve done it so far it takes up too much room, so I’ll be working on the details of that. I intend on going in tomorrow to work on it.

I’ve started a few healthful habits. I started to take my vitamins again, at least I do it almost every day. It does give me more energy and makes me feel better. I also started oil pulling in the morning. I did a post on that, but I’ve noticed a big difference in my sinuses and the whiteness of my teeth since doing it, and I think that I’m only on day 4. I plan on continuing this.

So what I’m grateful for is that I’m able to lead a pretty interesting life right here from my house. We have a lovely garden, and it’s good to be able to do something for the neighborhood cats even if Scruggs will hiss at me for the rest of my life. I also got to spend some time this week at lunch with friends which was a great way to break up the monotony. What I’m most grateful for is the opportunity of choice.

This next week I have to buckle down and get some serious work done. Wish me luck.


52 weeks of gratitude. Week 4

This marks the first month of completing my challenge. It’s the 5th of July. I’m thankful that I live in a country where anything is possible still. I believe that some people forget that although anything is possible, sometimes sacrifices have to be made to prioritize and achieve those goals. That’s another thing that this summer is about: re-prioritizing.

We decided to purchase this gigantic cow picture. It was not expensive, and it makes Joe and I very happy. We had to rent a truck to bring it home because it just wouldn’t fit in the car. The house is becoming more and more of a home every day.

We are probably going to be putting some M O O  letters next to her today.



52 Weeks of Gratitude – Week 3

I look forward to writing about my gratitude, so I’m kind of bummed with myself that I’m two days late. For me, having the weekly writing goal has been helpful. I’m usually the kind of person who goes so overboard with goals that I would have tried to have written a daily gratitude journal. This works out so much better, and it is less stressful than that.

When I was in middle school I liked to write quite a bit. I’m thinking of this because I remember Mrs. Peterson used to have us write in journals all of the time.  I used the time to copy and practice my spelling words. I did love to spell as well, and spelling tests were always after journal time. I know that the journals were never looked at, and I know that Mrs. Peterson knew I used the time to practice my spelling.

I’m grateful for this time to sit and write. I feel like I’m clunky at it, that it used to come so much easier years ago. Again, I wish I could pinpoint the moment or moments where I just stopped doing some of the things that I love to do.

I’m grateful that this week we donated and sold off even more of our unused clutter. Doing that made room for some inexpensive furniture that really make the house nice and complete. I have a lot of gratitude for the time that I have this summer to  grow and recollect my thoughts. I’m following the adventures of my FSU classmates on their way to London, and I’m really happy for them.  I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had so far in life and am looking forward to all of the crazy things that will come up in the future.


52 Weeks of Gratitude – Week 2

Every time I come back to do my weekly gratitude challenge is an opportunity to evaluate the week and delve into some optimism for next week. Today is not only week 2 of gratitude, it is also Fathers day.

I am thankful for my father and the upbringing he and my mother provided me. My dad has always been there for me and supported me in the things I want to do.

When I think about my dad I think about watching football with him from the day I was born, being woken up at 4am to go fishing out on the lake every Summer, traveling for the family business with him, and always having projects to work on. Now as an adult I think of how hard he worked to run a business, spending countless hours doing whatever needed to be done at all times of day and night to make it. He never complains about work, whatever that work might be.

So my gratitude starts this week off for my Father, who is the best dad a girl could have.