Saturday, December 10, 2016

Never Alone

As you all probably know from all the posts, Josh is officially in the Army.

He is away at Basic Training at Ft. Jackson in South Carolina. Basic Training will last 12 weeks (with a 2 week break over Christmas!!!! YAY!!!) During Basic he will have no access to his phone, so old fashion letters will be our form of communication. It's been 3 weeks now and I've really been trying not to be too dramatic about this separation. Especially since he will come home for Christmas in one week. (YAY!!!!!!) But I've got to be honest, it's really hard. 

The first week was alright because it was his processing week so he was able to have his phone and call every night. I got to hear about how awful the drill sergeants were and even laugh with Josh about some of the silly mistakes other members in his platoon were making.

The second week got tougher as he started official training and wasn't able to use his phone and I received no letters, not because he wasn't writing them, they just haven't come. It was a week of me constantly wondering what his day to day was like and how he was doing. 

The third week I got a phone call! He called Monday during one of my classes and luckily they were at a part in the lesson where they were independent and it was a class I trusted so I could answer. It was such a relief to hear his voice. He told me training was really hard and he got very little sleep but everyday got a little better. Unfortunately he told me he hadn't received any letters yet. I had been writing him one everyday since I got his address. We talked for 5 minutes then I had to get back to teaching. Luckily he was able to call back in 30 minutes so I could talk more during a break in my schedule. I love that man. 

After that call I have had no communication with him. Still no letters. I'm counting down the days until he is home for Christmas. (7) 

This week I was reminded of a french phrase that perfectly describes how I feel. (Get ready it gets mushy.)

Tu me manques. 

It translates to "I miss you", but it's literally translated to "you are missing from me."

(Told ya it gets mushy...)

That is precisely how I feel. After almost 3 years of marriage (holy cow that went by fast) we have become such a close team that without him I really feel like part of me is missing. It's definitely a hard adjustment to life without my teammate a phone call away. There are so many instances during my day where I think, "Oh I should text Josh this." or "I can't wait to go home and tell Josh this hilarious thing my student did." But then I very quickly am reminded that I can't call or go see him, I have to write it in a letter that he'll get days (or weeks) from now. Like I said, I'm really trying not to be too dramatic about this time apart but this is my blog so I get to be dramatic here. 

Alright I'm done with the mushy stuff, for now. 

Even though this has been tough few weeks I have been overwhelmed by the love and support Josh and I have received. I've received so many sweet texts and gestures of people just letting me know they are there for me. My husband may be miles away with very limited communication but I am not alone. 

Just tonight, I went over to my best friends place to drop something off and intended to stay and chat for an hour. That hour chat turned into a 4 hour heart to heart that unfortunately ended with my car getting booted. After paying the fee to have it removed I decided I deserved some Wendy's since I skipped dinner and well, got booted. 

I ordered 4 chicken nuggets. I pulled up to the window and the employee noticed the boot warning flyer that was in my passenger seat next to me. He asked, "Did you get booted tonight?" I replied an annoyed, "yes.." Then he responded, "Oh I am so sorry, I'm going to give you a frosty to try to help improve your night." I was so surprised by his quick act of simple kindness. He came back with my nuggets and told him he gave me 8 instead of 4. He told he he hoped that this helped make my night better and I thanked him profusely with tears in my eyes. I know it's only a frosty and some nuggets but I was so taken back by his kindness. 

But wait this story gets more embarrassing...I drove away and reached in to the bag to get a nugget and when I pulled it out I just started to cry. Like really cry. Like cry enough that I had to pull over. So there I was holding a nugget in one hand and a frosty in the other, crying. Like a crazy person. I was just so overcome with gratitude for the little tender mercies my Heavenly Father has given me these past couple weeks. 

When I was starting to feel the most disappointed about not hearing from Josh I got all call from him the next day.

When Josh left for basic and I was feeling daunted about this new adventure my sweet manager sent me flowers. 

When traffic very suddenly stopped on my way to work a big truck was able to safely switch lanes so he wouldn't rear end me. 

When I was missing Josh at a work Christmas party a thoughtful co-worker came over to express her support.

When I started to feel discouraged at school my 1st graders noticed my Sodalicious shirt and learned that I work there and began clapping and cheering for me.

When I was really wishing Josh was with me watching Netflix, my sweet brother-in-law calls me to check in.

When I was starting to really feel lonely that my teammate was so unreachable I was reminded by a dear friend that I'm not alone. 

When I was feeling the most frustrated and upset an angel Wendy's worker gave me a free frosty and extra 4 nuggets. 

Heavenly Father reminds me time and time again that I am never alone. He is mindful of me and is watching out for me. He knows what I can handle and gives me encouragement along the way to remind me of my strength. He has given me the knowledge to know that this is exactly the plan that He has for us. We are doing exactly what he needs and wants us to do. He has given me that confirmation to never doubt that Josh is precisely where he needs to be and I am where I need to be. With that knowledge, when things get hard, I can remind myself of that fact and know that I can get through these next 5 months away from my teammate. 

Alright. I'm done being dramatic and mushy. It's all out of my system now. Until next time...thanks for reading. :)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

First Year: Check!

First year for teaching is done! I had my last official teacher responsibility tonight. I have to say I feel pretty proud with how this year turned out. I learned a whole lot, struggled a whole lot, but in the end loved it a whole lot more. There were definitely my fair share of days where I wanted to just give up on the school day and go home. But there were far more successes along the way that kept me going. Here are a few of those successes to sum up the year-

I was teaching jump rope and I had a few students that were really struggling getting the rhythm down. I had one in particular that was really having a hard time and I could tell he was embarrassed so he stopped trying. I have a little spot that's more hidden to the rest of the gym and I invited him to practice in there so he could feel more comfortable. I worked one on one with him and had him slow things way down. When he finally got just one successful jump he had the most excited look on his face. I was so excited for him I seriously had tears in my eyes. By the end of the class he was still only able to do one or two jumps in row but he left feeling more confident then he came and it was so inspiring to see his determination.

I had a few students get really emotional and open up to me to tell me their parents were going through a divorce or had recently been divorced. I didn't always know what to say but it made me more determined to make my gym somewhere they can come feel safe and loved. I also worked hard to make it a fun environment to take a break from not only school work but maybe a break from their worries or struggles they carried around with them. I felt I was successful at that anytime a student would feel comfortable opening up to me then left the class smiling.

I have a student who has had some really hard struggles at home with an abuse and neglect. These struggles have influenced some severe behavior problems at school. I had struggles with him pretty much all year. He didn't trust me or necessarily seem to even like me. One class was particularly hard and he spent pretty much the whole class not following directions and ignoring anything I told him. We were playing basketball and he was hanging from a free standing hoop I have. I asked him if he would please get down because I didn't want it to fall and for him to get hurt. He said, "I don't care if I get hurt." Knowing his struggles at home this broke my heart. I quickly and firmly said, "I care. I care if you get hurt because I care about you." I then walked away to help another student and then looked over a minute or two later and he had finally done what I had asked of him at the beginning of class. I learned that showing how much you care can go a long way. From then on the rest of the year he was more inclined to follow directions and we had a much better relationship.

For the last few months of school I implemented a incentive program to help encourage my students to be good sports. They had the opportunity to earn points for anything they did that showed me they were trying their best to be good sports. The winning class got to have BYU Soccer players come and play soccer with them at school and we went to a soccer game and had front row seats! It was just a fun thing and I feel like it really made a difference in how the students treated each other. There were less arguments and tears and more fun.

When students asked if I was coming back next year and they heard I was they said, "YES!" with a fist pump involved sometimes. I even received similar responses from some teachers! That is a success for sure.

I'm grateful to have a year of teaching under my belt. I feel more confident moving forward. Still have a lot to learn but I feel proud of the year I have accomplished. I'm excited to keep learning and improving next year. But first, SUMMER. Cruise here I come!

Saturday, April 9, 2016


We are doing the Questival this weekend and we are having a blast! No sleep, adventures, good friends, and doing good. #ellamanators #questival