Sunday, September 25, 2011

On Big Decisions and Quite a Change

Well,  I have not been completely honest with you all.   I blamed my lack of posting on my lack of motivation and promised to fully update you and, well, I haven't done that.  And I can't go on updating you on what we've been up to until I tell you our little piece of news that's going to completely change everything in our lives around quite a bit.

No, I'm not pregnant.

(You can exhale now.)

But we are going to become parents in a different sense very soon. 

Patrick and I made the huge decision to become foster parents to a 15 year-old boy.  This boy sat in the front row of my 7th period class just last year.  At that point in time, of course, I had no idea what God was up to and the path He would be slowly leading us down for the next year.  I can look back now and see His hand in it all along the way and it makes me smile.  And laugh to myself a little bit at the sense of humor He has.  Patrick is happy to report that our first child will come potty-trained and hopefully will be some pretty stiff competition in College Football for the Wii.  No, in truth, fostering is something that we have been praying about and thinking about for a while, and, though we thought it would happen much later on in life, the way God has worked out this very situation--the timing, the connection, down to the exact day--can only be the work of His hands. 

So there are some big changes afoot! 

We are cleaning out rooms and moving things around to give this boy a room of his own.

I'm looking at football schedules and wrestling practices and trying to make sure the PSATs happen somewhere in between.

We're trying to refresh our brains for Algebra 1 Part 2 homework.

I'm contemplating what my answer will be when people see us in public and don't know and wonder if I gave birth to a child at the age of 12. 

There are lots of questions.  Few answers.  But we are relying on the strength of our Father and the plan he has for our little family.  Each little step we take daily confirms that this is something He has for us.

The story is a long one and I promise you will hear it over time as we know more details and feel more comfortable in these new roles.  I want it recorded so that I can go back and pour over this time and see what the Lord has done.  In the meantime, you can pray for us!  I'm sure we will all need it as we embark on this new little adventure.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Return to Routine and the Restoration of Sanity

Do not get me wrong, I LOVE my summers off.  I love the fact that I can sleep in (even though I rarely did).  I love the fact that I can stay in PJs for as long as I want.  I love the fact that I can drink my morning coffee out of a real mug, on the couch, spending as much time in the Word or just reading a good book as I want. 

But as much as I love all of that, I tend to flounder when there is no set routine.  And so, when school starts it feels eerily similar to a News Years holiday.  Resolutions are made.  Closets are cleaned out.  And the comfort of a new and yet familiar routine starts to take shape.

This year, the start of my year was the smoothest yet.  Four years in, I am mostly comfortable with my content, though I have changed it around and added new things here in there.  I no longer feel the insecurity of the new teacher mentality (most days).  And this year, I am finding more time and peace in my days.  For one thing, I have the greatest schedule this year.  I teach two classes and then have team planning, two more and then lunch, one more, and then I end my day with my planning period.  I wasn't sure how I was going to like it, but I LOVE it.  I love ending my day on such a peaceful note and I'm finding that I am motivated enough to get the room ready for the next day and get started on some kind of grading.

Another new thing about this year is that I have cut my cheerleading coaching in half.  Patrick and I made the decision for me to sit out of competition coaching this year.  Though I loved it, the amount of time spent after school in practice would put me behind on grading so much so that last year it took me almost until Christmas to really get back on the ball.  And, um, apparently, I was not such a nice person to be around in September or October?  My sweet husband comfronted me on this in a very loving way.  The truth is, I was spending my days merely getting by and I was completely exhausted by the evening.  So this new found time after school to jump start on grading and planning for the next day is making me feel so on my game.  I know I am better for it. 

The days are falling into a good routine.  I'm blessed to have a job that I enjoy so much.  I have time to spend with my husband each day.  I'm finding time to fix dinner pretty regularly, keep our house in a relatively manageable state, and I don't have to wait until November to work out.  Life is pretty good at the moment.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

On Blog Silence

::tap tap:: Is this thing on?

Anyone still out there?

Is that crickets I hear chirping?

You know it's bad when your own husband says, "Are you ever going to update our blog?  I'm mean, I don't even know what's going on in our lives when you don't keep that thing up..."

So let me offer my formal apologies to the (four? five?) friends that keep up with us this way.  And to my mother and my grandmother, my most avid readers and, ironically, the ones who probably don't even need to read at all because, well, you are already in the know! 

We are alive.

I have not been buried under a stack of textbooks and papers and pom-poms.  Thank you for your concern.

Over the past month and a half things have flitted through my mind and I say to myself, "I should post about this!"  And I know I talked about doing some Top 5 lists and I still plan on doing that so that my list-maker/OCD self will be pacified.  But truthfully I just really haven't been motivated.  Maybe it was the extra time I found for myself in August with only coaching cheerleading part-time this year?  Maybe it was preparing for a new school year to start?  Maybe it was the three days I spent in the dark on our couch in the living room watching Friday Night Lights on autoplay? Is it ok to admit that?  Are you embarassed for me?  Is it normal to want to be Tami Taylor in real life? 

Anyhoo, I'm back.  And I have lots to discuss and update you on and report. 

Thank you for your patience as I sort through the last few weeks and catch you up to speed over the next few posts.  And thanks for those of you who have checked in on me and told me you missed my blogging!  It means a lot to hear people tell me that they actually care about what I have to say here. 

So here's to the end of another blog silence!  I'm declaring it.  And I mean it this time.

For realsies.

Stay tuned.