Thursday, October 9, 2014

Just One: The Other Side of the Glass

"Birds, Butterflies, & Bugs"

We were worried about the cats adjusting to our new home. So far it's been a pretty easy adjustment. Cruz has had the easiest time. His favorite thing about the new house? Being able to sit up on the window sills and watch all the wildlife outside. He seriously gets all worked up every time a bird flies by or a squirrel runs across the yard. Sitting on the other side of the glass, he's so eager to chase every creature that's out there. But, when we let him go outside, he turns into a little scaredy cat and jumps at all the new outdoor noises.  

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Feels Like Home

We finally moved into our new home last weekend! Although the house has been in our name for nearly a month now, we took our time moving all of our stuff over from the apartment. But things have been a little chaotic this past week. Boxes still waiting to be unpacked. Living out of suitcases. Not sure where anything is. Figuring out all the quirks about this house. It hasn't exactly felt like "home" yet.

Until today!

A cold front came through this weekend. In Florida terminology, that means it felt a little like Fall. We were able to turn off the a/c, open up all the windows, and just enjoy the weather. My mom brought my grandmother and uncle out to the house, and we sat on the back porch just enjoying the view and conversation. 

After they left, Dan told me that for the first time, this house actually felt like home. And he was so right! I don't know if it was the weather. Or the fact that we were able to have guests over without bribing them to move furniture or clean walls. But despite the fact that the house looks like a total mess, it truly felt like home today.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


After nearly 6 months of paperwork and speed bumps, we officially have the keys to our first home!

Even though the house is officially ours, the lease on the apartment isn't over until the end of October, so we're taking our time moving things over. The first thing on the agenda is to CLEAN! The family who was there before us had 3 little boys, and once all their furniture was moved out, you could see all the dirt and grime they left behind. So everything is getting a good wipe down and/or scrubbing before any furniture gets moved or paint goes on the walls.

To say we're excited is an understatement! A lot of things came together last minute so that we could close on the house last Friday. And even then, while sitting in the title office, we almost didn't close. But I'll save that story for another day...

I'll be back with posts later when I don't have so much homework to grade! on what we were looking for in our first home, how we found this house, and what we learned throughout the home buying process. Oh, and I can't forget about sharing pictures of what it looks like inside! So stay tuned!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Challenge Accepted?

So.... Let me fill you in on the craziness that has been happening since school started.

First of all, our school district got a new electronic system for everything. Attendance. Scheduling. Gradebook. PTO. Payroll. All that jazz. The best part about it, though? No one knows how to use it. Seriously. I wish I was joking. They've held "trainings" for the new system, but the "trainers" know just as little about the program as the rest of us because sat through "trainings" where they were taught nothing of significance.

Besides that, students have been in and out of my class for the past week while add/drop happens. Yep. I teach at a high school, but we still have add/drop as though it were a college. I've never seen so many kids complain about their schedule before becoming a teacher. I mean, when I was a student, I never in a million years thought, "Hmm, I don't like this teacher, let me switch." Or, "Hey, I need to change my schedule so I can eat with my boyfriend, or else I will die." I never knew I had the option of changing my schedule when I was in high school. Maybe, once we've all learned this new system, we can get scheduling done way early in the summer, send schedules out to students 2 weeks before school starts, and tell them they have the remainder of summer to fix whatever they don't like about their schedules. If they don't make the effort over summer to change things, then it wasn't that important to them to begin with.

I know. Wishful thinking....

But, the kicker to all of this is that I've been assigned a new course/prep. Not at the end of last school year. Not in the middle of summer. Not the week before school starts. But a week after school starts. Yep. And to top it off, its an AP course. In a content area I've never taught before!

Of all the social studies class, World has always been my least favorite. Probably because I had crappy World History teachers growing up, and I just never learned to love it. I've been spoiled these past 5 years with having nothing but US History. I'm going from teaching about 500 years of history to over 5000!

So, if you can imagine, when I found out Tuesday that all of this was happening, I entered into panic mode. My department head started looking up online resources for me, and the other teacher who teaches WHAP on campus gave me all of his files/resources. So I've had help. I seriously don't even want to think about what it would be like without their help. But it's still overwhelming. I feel like I'm a first-year teacher all over again....

But, you know what? I can do this.

I meet my little sophomores this morning. I hope they're up for the challenge too!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Just One: Periwinkle

"Lazy Days"

Summer has brought with it a lot of lazy days. And no one does lazy days better than Periwinkle. She has officially claimed the bed in our guest bedroom as her "spot" and will lay there for hours. Nothing we do can make her leave the warm, sunny spot on the comforter. Unless, of course, we grab our jar of treats.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Nearly a Decade

8/9/05. Second day of school. Senior year. This boy.

Student parking lot. Waiting for the line of cars to clear. Wraps me in a hug. Whispers in my ear. Girlfriend?

I cannot believe it's been nine years since we started dating! 

A lot has changed since high school. But one thing has remained the same...

You're still the biggest pain in my butt! But I wouldn't have it any other way! :)

Love you hun!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

First Day of School: Grey's Anatomy Style

Didn't sleep much. Get up before alarm goes off. Eat breakfast. Take shower. Get ready to leave.

Arrive at school. Check email. Check mailbox. Get classroom ready. Give yourself a pep talk.

Stand at door. Watch freshmen walk around lost. Feel sorry for them and help them out. Remember what it was like to be a freshman.

Watch upperclassmen run when the hear the tardy bell ring.

Greet students. Take roll. Introduce myself. Ask what they've heard from other students about the course. Reassure them that all the rumors are true.

Except the one about this class being easy.

Discuss classroom rules and procedures. 

Distribute three-page course syllabus. Wait for it...

Distribute homework list for the semester. Wait for it...

Then a kid raises their hand...

"You mean to tell me we have homework every night?"

"And we actually have to read our textbook?"

Yep. Welcome to junior year. And they all look at me like...

Promise that it won't be as bad as they think it will be. That these are things they will be required to do when they get to college. And that no amount of whining will change it.

Decide it will be fun to play a "get to know you" game. Some kid makes a snippy remark. It's decided...

A kid from last year stops by to say hi. Wants to tell you all about their summer and how bummed they are that they didn't pass their AP exam.

Is it time for lunch yet? No? Okay. Quick snack?

Another bell. Another class. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Tell students I graduated from UCF. Some kid decides to challenge me and says that [insert any other Florida college] is better.

Forgot to drop off copies in front office. Ask if a student wants to run an errand.

Another kid thinks they can hide their cell phone under their desk and text a buddy - after being asked to put it away twice before. 

Congratulations. My phone now. Pick it up at the end of the day.

Lunch time! Quick! Scarf down food so there is time to check a few more things off my to-do list.

One more class period to go!

Finally, 3:30 rolls around. You watch as students head to the bus loop. Back inside. Clean up desk. Lay out stuff for tomorrow. Turn everything off. Head home.

Too bad I don't drink....


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