Saturday, December 31, 2011

Another year over

Well, I made it!  2011 is coming to a close, and 2012 is looking brighter than ever!  When I started this blog my goal was to put the difficult and sometimes painful or sad or overwhelmingly stressful things in my life into a new light.  A positive light.  Too often I find it is easy to think negatively...Thinking about all the bad things that could theoretically happen.  This blog was meant to take those situations and look at them in a different light.  The times that I was faithful to my posting method proved the power of positive thinking.  The problem was...I didn't post every time I was sad, or scared, or stressed.  Therefore, there were some difficult times.  However, I can't overlook the amazing things that  have occurred here in 2011.  Just to name a few...We are ALIVE (yup gotta look at the obvious one first!) we survived a year as a healthy family!  Doug had surgery, but it went well, and the outcome in 4 weeks will be nothing short of a healthier lifestyle for the man of my dreams...Can't go wrong there!  I passed my 2 year anniversary at work...marking my longest time at a job in about 5 years!  Our puppies are doing well and they are happy and healthy and we couldn't ask for more!  Our new apartment although it has its finally feeling warm and cozy!  We located a pizza place just down the street that is remarkably close (not quite, but close) to good ol New York Pizza!  A new 2nd cousin was born in January, We saw George Strait and Reba McIntyre in Concert!  Great seats...great show...great people!  Doug completed 3 college courses I ran another 1/2 marathon, and my Brother finally made it to Colorado!  And was here to see me cross the finish line!  We took a spontaneous road trip to Cheyenne Wyoming with the puppies...walked them in the park and then came home!  Wonderful conversation.  We moved from the house we were renting back into an apartment the money saved is always nice!  Although my dad ended up in the hospital...he is doing much better and we enjoyed a wonderful 2 weeks for Thanksgiving and mock Christmas.  Our tradition of attending the Dillon BBQ festival continued and we were accompanied by some new friends!  I joined the US ARMY!  and then attended a going away party for my new found friend Kristin who shipped off to basic a few weeks after.  I received a waiver for my eyes and was able to choose the 35F job that I was hoping for!  Military Intelligence Analyst!  A long time dream of joining the military is finally coming true!  I received my first pair of Army Boots and my BCT countdown began!  I went to my first pro hockey game with my amazing husband, my wonderful mom, and my wonderful dad!  And we WON!  Our out of town vacation this year took us to Puerto Rico!  We spent a week with some friends who renewed their vows, I saw where my great grandfather was from and enjoyed delicious food and great company!  Kristen got married, and Doug and I began our first year of tradition in our own home.  Yes the year of 2011 had its ups and downs, but looking back there was so much to be thankful for...2012 will be busy and challenging, but we will have the opportunity to move somewhere new, make new friends, and hopefully both Doug and I will be able to better flourish in our new location.  So much to look forward to, so although its sad to say goodbye to 2011...I can't wait for 2012!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Well, its been a little over a month since my last post, and a lot has been going on here in the world of Jennifer!  I have struggled with my job, I have struggled with my future career, I have struggled with much needed motivation, and I have struggled with feelings of jealousy and admiration.  Although, all my problems and struggles have not been solved, over the past 2 weeks, I have been doing a lot of thinking, and I have a renewed sense of being.  I have made some decisions, and I have been feeling a lot better the last few days.  The Thanksgiving holiday with my husband and my parents was lovely, and everyone was really nice about listening to my stress and concerns on repeat for days on end.  Now it is time for those thoughts to take a new spin and really come alive in my decisions.  I love the path that I am taking.  Although some of the challenges make me nervous the overall outcome is very exciting.  It is time to leave the mindset of a teacher and focus on becoming a soldier!

just living is not enough, you need sunshine freedom and a little flower

Saturday, October 22, 2011

when you least expect it...

My last entry went against all that I set out on this blog to do, which was to take things that were negative and turn them into positives through writing, because no matter how bad things are or at least how bad they seem it is important to remember that it is not the end of the world.  I didn't want to be one of those people that are always so focused on the things that are not going right that I have a hard time focusing on the good things that have happened or that are going to happen.  I have since regained my positive attitude and although things haven't changed at work, I have regained control of myself.  I mean no job is every going to be perfect, and I know that, and although my current job even further from perfect...doesn't mean I have to wallow in the imperfections.  Rather I have found, yet again a new sense of motivation.  Let me introduce you to the world of the Future Soldier Classes!  That's right, my new founded motivation began with a decision to attempt to attend one of these classes.  When I joined I found out that these classes would be held at the Recruiting Station every Thursday from 330-500.  This was not realistic for me because I work from 8-5.  After writing the last entry I knew I had to do something drastic, I began hitting the gym solo for a few days, it seemed to take some of the edge off, but also made me rethink the FTS Classes.  I decided to ask a co-worker to switch shifts with me this past Thursday.  She did so without question, allowing me to see what the deal was with these FTS classes.  I arrived at the recruiting station early, (as I always do)  It turned out that I was the only woman in the group, but yet a sense of strength and pleasure at the prospect of being the only female was surprising to me.  We began with some drill and ceremony lessons and practice outside, then came in to watch and discuss a PowerPoint presentation on Equal Opportunity within the Army.  I left feeling rejuvenated and  empowered.  I found it to be hard to keep motivated knowing I had such a long time until my ship date, but these classes make me feel part of something now while I wait, plus I get the opportunity to sit with other people who are going through what I am going through.  Doug has been an amazing support system, but he has been in the Army for a long time, and the time prior to his ship date was not nearly as far away as mine is.  I was told during my time at the FTS Class that next Thursday they would be working with us (they being the recruiters) on PT (physical training) And then on Nov. 5th there is a future soldier training event...I would have the opportunity to meet other Future Soldiers from around the state.  I have found that my joy and drive has given me the ability to think more clearly, be more organized, and stay focused on the tasks that lay ahead for any given day.  Things have a way of getting out of control.  And things have a way of taking on a life of its own, often leaving us behind.  It's easy to get overwhelmed and depressed which makes us lazy.  The trick is to realize when this is happening, and take a step back, figure out what the problem is and overcome it, before it takes control of you, because once it has control of you, it forces you into a rut that is almost impossible to get out of without some event that wakes you up.  
Just living is not must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A mind on overdrive!

Time seems to be moving very slowly which is adding to the anticipation for basic training, but also is adding to the stress of dealing with my current 8-5 job as a pre-kindergarten teacher at Primrose.  I was never meant to be an early childhood teacher I was trained as an elementary school teacher, however due to the economy I didn't get into the school system and resulted as a teacher at Primrose.  The children are young and require a lot of structure.  Over the last 3 years  I have decided that this is not the job for me.  I don't have the patience or interest such as it is to continue the path of teaching.  In the past I had a feeling of success and accomplishment not only for myself but for my students as well.  Recently however, I noticed that I have been having less changes and more frustrations.  This year there is a lack of support not only from my classroom parents, but my administration.  They seem hooked up on the wrong issues.  For example, telling children its time to wake up instead of rubbing their backs and calling them darling...(just so you are aware...I am a trained educator, I don't do the "darling" thing.  however, this wake up method seems more important to my administration than classroom structure or lesson planning.  Now this makes my job hard to handle...I begin stressed out and can't seem to stay motivated throughout the day.  These feelings although getting worse over time, have been there for a while now, and in the past my classroom parents and the students helped to keep me motivated, but I knew that I was not meant to be doing the teaching thing.  I began a search through different things that I have always wanted to do.  That led to a look at my true self and what I really wanted out of life.  Teaching began as a rewarding career, but it has since been losing its appeal, I looked at all my options and have had countless conversations with my husband and other members of my family.  These conversations have led me to the US Army.  The training that the Army can provide, can open doors to new fields that are of great interest to me.  With being stressed at work and the new changes and anxiety that await me, are causing highs and lows that I have a hard time dealing with.  I try to stay focused, but it is very hard to understand and verbalize the way I feel so that others can understand where I am coming from.  Right now I am stuck between a rock and a hardplace.  I want to start a new career, a new chapter in my life, but I am having a hard time surviving until then.  Must remember...All you need is sunshine, freedom, and a little flower :/

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Making Plans!

If there is nothing else that I am good at, I am a wonderful planner.  I love to plan, and when I am done planning, I plan some more.  All my planning results in the ability to really think things through.  Sometimes I get the feeling, that when I make certain decisions, people don't believe that they are mine and that I may not have thought them through enough.  Umm...I am not what you would call a spontaneous person.  It is hard for me to say hey lets just go...fill in the blank.  I am the one who needs to wake up knowing that we are doing something so that I may plan accordingly.  I have been this way as long as I could remember.  I appreciate well thought out plans, I do not procrastinate in making my plans into actions.  So why would anyone question my thought process or decisions that have been made?  Regardless, the decision to join the Army was long thought process, at minimum 10 years.  Although I tried other career paths, it has always been something I want to do.  I know it will be hard, and like many other things in this world, I know there will be parts that I don't like, as well as parts that I love.  As an Army wife, I know that it is not all glory and glamour like a movie, I know the reality of the day in and day out of the least on the spousal end.  One thing that the Army can give me, other than a steady paycheck, student loan payoff, medical/dental benefits, and a retirement plan, is the ability to stand on my own.  I have lived a life where in order to make a decision I needed to know what others thought was the best choice for me.  The Army will force me to distance myself from the family that I love and whose support I crave daily, for a period of time, allowing me the realization that perhaps I am capable of standing on my own two feet.  First my relationship with my parents and grandparents, which has since expanded to the relation with my husband and even our 2 dogs!  My husband and I have been together for 5 years and married for the last 3.  In that time we have never and I do mean never went one day without talking, and that includes his deployment to Iraq!  I am definitely attached to technology from the phone to the computer to the TV.  I am hoping that this time away will help to restore my individuality and help me achieve the confidence in my own self.  No one can teach confidence, however, by getting through tasks and learning new skills and making choices independently can help refocus one's mind into again seeing levels of confidence that have over the years diminished with my own self image.  I have dreamed of the day where I could be among those in uniform, proudly serving our country.  I have started a military journal which I take with me everywhere and that I hope to continue when I am away.  I think that when all is said and done and this process is just a distant memory it will be fun to look back at how I felt and more importantly how I have changed.

Just living is not enough, one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower!

Sunday, September 25, 2011


A while has passed since my last post, and many things have changed.  Over the past few months, a dream of mine has become a possibility.  I have taken steps and have spoken with loved ones, and have moved forward on the 10 year dream.  Everyone seemed surprised, some didn't like the idea, most gave advice with the best intentions.  After all conversations have been had...the decision remained the same.  I have taken the steps and joined the United States Army.  In the past 5 years I have been living the Army life, in the past 3 years, I have been living the Army Wife Life.  Now it is time to live the Army Soldier life.  I have made the decision to join the Army. I like the prospect of what the future will hold for me when I am done.  There has always been something inside of me that has yearned for the ability to stand up for what I believe in and make a difference.  I chose the college path first.  I received my BA in Anthropology and then continued to get my M.ED in Elementary Education.  I continued on that path and became a teacher in many different settings.  I have enjoyed working with children for the past few years, however, I don't believe it is what I was meant to do.  So the new path I take.  I went through a long process of testing, physicals, and waivers, before getting the opportunity to sign my contract and say my oath.  Although I have moments of panic that I am making the right decision, I remember the moment that I found out I needed a waiver, the tears flowed so forcefully I felt deflated.  And after all the worry and time that passed, I will never forget the feeling of pride that I felt when I stood in the ceremony room and said my oath in front of the captain.  I am not a fool to think that over the course of the upcoming months that there will not be new trials and tribulations that I will need to face and overcome, but the support and passion that I am feeling is so overwhelming I know that in the end it will all be worth it.

I will always remember that...Just living is not enough, one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

regaining control of my positive attitude

As with everything in life, it is easy to lose sight of the people we want to be, and the things that we want to do in our life.  I have tried to be more positive on a regular basis, however, a series of events dampened my spirit and made me feel as if I was losing control of all I was working towards.  However, a series of new events have made me regain a bit of control and a new direction has reappeared to me.  Today starts a new day and I am excited and energized to get started living my life in a positive and upbeat manner!  More updates and details to follow!

just living is not enough one must have sunshine freedom and a little flower!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

overcoming obstacles

Throughout our lives we continue to learn and grow.  We learn about the world around us, as well as the people around us.  As we learn we figure out more and more about the person we are in relation to the person we hope to become.  Our choices range from small changes to bigger changes depending on our lifestyle.  In some cases we realize a bad relationship is not the future we hope to have, the change comes from realizing it, getting away, working through the mental and physical damages that were done, and then finding a new relationship that suits you better.  This was what happened to me in 2006.   By 2008 I was married to a man who loved me for me, the things that happened were a part of a dark and distant past, and I was able to move forward, at least I thought I was.  However, like many young adults, I realize that still there are things I would like to do to continue to better myself.  I am happier now than I have ever been  in the past.  I love my life, I have the worlds best husband, and 2 puppies that keep me smiling and laughing no matter how bad a day might be.  I think that keeping an optimistic point of view is important, but I don't know how to keep one all the time, its a work in the making.  I love to teach, however, my current position is not always what I was hoping it would be.  My mindset jumps back and forth between the ability to try to make the job more of what I want, and back to changing the job to another passion that has always been in the back of my mind.  I want to be living a healthier lifestyle so that I can better care for myself as a whole person, eating better, and working out more will lead to feeling better as a whole.  Faith can also be a factor in feeling better as a whole person.  Relying on something in your life other than you.  It's important to figure out what makes you happy and thrive on that.  Through the books I have read I have gained a passion for writing, through my movies I have gained a familiarity.  Through my music, I have gained an understanding of how and why I feel a certain way, a connectedness.  It's important for me personally to remember that each day is a new day and that I decide how the day will go based on my attitude and commitment to positive reinforcement. 

Remember all you need is Sunshine, freedom, and a little flower!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Two months!

Isn't it funny how time gets away from you...You begin a routine or a system of sorts, and then life happens and one day you realize that something you have been working hard to do and keep up is suddenly pushed aside.  The importance level hasn't changed, however, a form of laziness or preoccupation takes a role.  I'm referring to my inconsistencies in my blog updates.  It has been two months since my last blog, and that's ridiculous!  If you are wondering what has been happening, here it goes, the end of the year at work is fast approaching, Spring fever has hit all of us.  My 27th birthday came and went and was celebrated gloriously with my mom and my husband.  We are moving to help save money into an apartment for what is planned at the moment for a year (so far we have been keeping with our financial goals and should be able to keep our deadline to achieving our very own Permanent home)  Also, my brother will be visiting for a weekend, he has never ventured out this way to see me, and I am honored that he is making the time with a toddler at home and a new baby on the way.  Sometimes, as we grow older we grow apart from those we love.  Daily life steps in the way and bonds are stretched to limits we didn't know exist.  However, the hope is that during this visit we will be able to rebuild some of those bonds, and hopefully find ways to reconnect to prevent the shift of communication from occurring again in the future.  My wonderful husband is enrolled in 2 online college courses in an attempt to reach his goal of getting a degree that will allow him to work in a job fighting terrorism once he is retired from the Army.  Therefore, he is taking a basic math course (algebra) and a writing course...neither he is happy with, but we work together and we make jokes, and keep it light, and together we get through it.  A little patience, a little laughter and a lot of love can get you through EVERYTHING!  Even on our bad days or days that didn't go the way we were hoping, there is always a bright side to life.  My mom and I spoke earlier this evening about when I was younger.  I struggled with feelings of adequacy.  I had low self esteem and no matter what, deep inside I just wasn't happy.  Why you may ask?  Only God knows the true answer.  I had the most amazing family!  I had the love and support of my parents as well as the other members of my family; both immediate and extended.  I was always encouraged and was surrounded by friends and family who had nothing but nice things to say, yet I couldn't fit into my own skin.  It took 23 years, but I finally did it!  I finally figured out who I am and my strengths and my weaknesses, and although sometimes I have a relapse, I know more solidly now that deep down its just a bad day.  This realization gets me through my good days and more importantly my bad days.  I know who I am, and I am not perfect, but then again no one is.  I am very self aware and try to make the right choices and do the right thing in all the situations that arise.  If I make the wrong decision, I do what I can to fix it.  I'm honest with myself and remain true and honest to those around me.  I did not like the person I was as a child or young adult.  However, I am proud of the woman that I have become and hope to continue to grow and flourish as I gain new experiences through everyday life situations.

I just have to remember...Just living is not enough, one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower!

Monday, February 21, 2011


      No one is perfect.  I am no exception.  I worry about more than I should.  I care a lot about what people think of me (although this trait is becoming less and less over time.)  I make mistakes.  I have NO sense of direction.  I am extremely sarcastic.  I do enjoy watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail, (which my husband says is a problem :)  However, I do find that when I step back and look at my life I am truly happy.  Not just content.  Not just getting by day by day.  I am happy.  No things aren't perfect...Doug travels too much, I don't get paid enough, our bills are high, and our family is far away, but we have each other.  We are the fortunate ones that do have jobs.  We bring home enough money to pay for our house, our 2 precious dogs, and all our necessities.( as well as enough to support my DVD addiction)  But in the end, we have each other, and that really is enough to bring a smile to my face every time I think about it.  We are fortunate to have 2 sets of parents that love and support us, as individuals and as a couple.  We are a family.  And when we got married our family grew even bigger; or so we thought.  When you get married you are supposed to gain relatives...not lose them. Sometimes, I look around my house at all the pictures of the family, and I am saddened that those relationships seem to be slipping away.
      At work the other day, I had a deepened discussion with a close friend and co-worker.  It got a little uncomfortable, but we spoke through it anyway.  Two different ways of being brought up, different family cultures, different personalities, but friends and therefore we talk and argue, and in the end we celebrate our friendship with lunch or game nights.  How come that doesn't happen with families?  My friend and I haven't known each other too long.  Our friendship is new and some would say fragile, but we hold true to ourselves and we communicate and each day it makes our relationship stronger.  Communication is the key.  It is the key to all relationships.  Happy, sad, angry, mad, one must talk through their emotions!  Yes, I know we have moved into a technologically inclined age, where people feel more "comfortable" typing through Facebook, or blogs, or emails, or even text messages, the problem is...the message can become distorted.  The message although may be typed just as you meant it, leads to hurt feelings, which if you were talking (phone to phone or face to face) you can work through the discussion and come to an understanding no matter how big or small the issue is.  People don't talk anymore and because of it, many people end up with hurt feelings, and become angry, and those are the feelings that can tear families apart.  My husband and I are lucky.  We have great communication, we love our parents, and we love our in-laws.  I gained an extra set of parents and an extra grandma, and Doug gained 2 extra parents and 2 grandma's.  We would do anything for each other, and we would never hurt our family, or allow our spouse to hurt our family.  Communication is the key, the faster our generation steps back from technology and opens the doors of communication with those they are close too (or supposed to be close to) the better off everyone will be.  We're the lucky ones, we are the ones who get to love and be loved always and forever.

Just living is not enough, one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.

Monday, February 14, 2011

And So it goes...

     Today is Valentines Day, and Doug isn't home from Virginia yet.  He did send me beautiful flowers today however, right to my job, which made it special.  Although, it didn't change the slightly jealous feeling that came over me when I sat and listened to how everyone was planning on spending their Valentines Day evening with their loved ones. matter how commercial, are never easy when your loved ones are away.  But, I did what I do best, I focused on other things and kept myself busy.  This task wasn't that difficult because today was our classroom Valentines Day party.  Clearly the person who decided that our party had to be on a Monday, has never been in a classroom!  It was chaotic and could very well set the tone for the rest of the week...although considering what the kids were faced with...Candy, games, and a PARTY they really did rather well. 
      Now that the party is over, and in fact the holiday itself is over, it is time to refocus my energy.  This week is full of tying up loose ends and moving forward on a pathway we as a family have already chosen.  My stress level will take a huge sigh of relief by the end of the week.  Wrongs will be made right, allowing us to move forward financially with our payment plans.  The house will get a makeover, (maybe even the puppies if all the snow melts) And my notebook will get a workout as well!  My computer will need a rest and my phone will need to be warmed up!  Recently things have gotten a little stagnate, but last friday was another successful game night, this time playing Scattegories first and ending with Loaded Questions.  Then a surprisingly entertaining Professional Development class about Environmental Practices in the classroom.  The weekend ended with a new determined look on a few things and plan of action!  Now its up to me to follow through!  Doug will be home in a few weeks, and I want him to enter into the next phase with me! 

Because Just living is not enough, one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Admired Dedication...

     Today as I was driving home from work in another wet snowfall in 35 degree weather, which coincidentally felt warm due to the miserable -15 degree weather we have had all week prior to today; there was a man on the corner with one of those arrow shaped advertisement signs.  Now they are just about on every street corner here, and some are more active than others.  However, keep in mind its dusk on my way home.  From across the street at the red light I couldn't even tell what he was trying to advertise, partly from being darker and partly because of the snowfall.  But this man continued to dance whole heartedly to him Ipod music as he spun and tossed the sign every which way imaginable.  Now, call me crazy but there isn't enough money in this world to have me spinning a sign in the snow in 35 degree weather, (even if it did feel warmer.)  As my light turned green and I was able to pass the gentleman with the sign I noticed two the sign wasn't for anything life saving it was for Sam's liquor store in the Southlands shopping center across the street from where this man was standing, and two...He was grinning from ear to ear!  Imagine it...snow...falling...wet...cold...spinning a sign on the corner...on a friday night....and still grinning?!?!??!  I couldn't believe what I saw.  I understand that in this economy a job is a job, and we should all be thankful for our good fortune that we are employed.  And its very important to like our job (at least most of the time)  Yet, I couldn't imagine ever being happy standing on a street corner in the snow and the cold.  Which gives me pause to think some more.  Perhaps there was more to it than what I saw.  Ahh "you can't judge a book by its cover."  I guess that applies to more than I realized.  Perhaps its important to just stay positive and happy in all that you do whether it is your first choice or not...Maybe that is what really would make the world go round? 

Some food for thought (at least for me)
Just living is not must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Evolution versus the Story of Creation

     For years, there has been a debate of whether or not God created man...or if we evolved from Apes.  Now please understand that I am a believer in God.  I believe that he created the heavens and earth and that he also created all that lives on this planet.  However, I am also an anthropologist and I can't deny the facts that come from finding AL 288-1 or Lucy in Ethiopia.  She is considered a hominid, from the Ape family, with facial features that are the same as a chimpanzee.  Now the argument is that the bible...(written by a variety of people over a period of time in many different languages and translated many different times again by a new variety of people) claims that God created Adam in his own image...My question...what is God's image?  Do I believe in God?  Yes with all my being!  Do I question his existence?  No, never.  Do I believe that God looks like an old man with a white beard?  Not necessarily.  We don't know what God looks like.  We only have what we are told.  Or what we choose to believe. 
     I took my class of 4 and 5 year old to the Museum of Nature and Science here in Denver.  There was a hominid exhibit in the same area as the Whoolly Mammoth and the Dinosaurs.  A gentleman from the museum was talking to the kids about the different fossils they had uncovered, and how some of these dinosaurs have evolved over time in order to survive their new environments as it changed.  A parent to be that was on the trip with us (a nanny for one of my students) was annoyed at the concept that the children were being taught about evolution.  Yet, she didn't deny that some animals have evolved.  Why is it that we as humans can't have both?  Why can't we see the possibility that God created us a differently based on the environment and the circumstances, and we evolved to what we are today?  Do I believe we once had tails and walked on our knuckles?  Not necessarily.  When it comes to science I like to deal with the facts that are provided to me.  I'm not an expert by any means on either of these subjects...But I can we believe that some animals evolved, but that humans did not and do not and could not evolve.  During our field trip to the museum we also saw a show at the planetarium.  It was called "Journey to the Stars"  The narrator discussed that in 5 billion years the sun will turn into a red giant and die (like many other stars)  the narrator also said that 5 billion years "well after humans have died or evolved in ways that we can't even imagine." 
     So which is it?  Perhaps scientists will uncover more evidence of past hominids that fill in the missing link between apes and humans without a reasonable doubt.  Perhaps they wont, perhaps we have to wait until we move on from this world to know the truth.  My question is...What do you believe?  Can you believe in both evolution and the creation story?  Can you believe in evolution but only in specific cases?  Any thoughts?

Remember...Just living is not enough, one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


     Pride is a funny thing.  Too much pride can lead to complications when dealing with other people, however, to be proud is an amazing feeling that I don't think too many people really take advantage of anymore.  I just survived 2 days of field trips to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science with my 4-5 year old class.  Both days...the kids were golden!  Today, was a more challenging group of new, younger BOYS!!!  (only 1 girl) and they were more well behaved than a group of 5th/6th graders that happened to be scheduled to see the same show as we were in the Planetarium.  There was pride as an educator that my students were not only having a blast, but they were also well behaved in the process.  Holding discussions with the students after the fact and seeing that they retained information I told them was a huge moment of pride. 
     Teaching is not the only thing that gives me pride however, and I think I don't give myself credit for all that I have accomplished in my 26 years.  I have a bachelors degree in Anthropology, I graduated from the honors college!  I wrote a thesis about Egyptian burial customs during the Ptolemaic Period.  I moved away and survived a lousy relationship, and stuck it out to complete my graduate program with flying colors.  I have always been the type of person who relied on the security that others could provide for me, but I met an amazing man, and we got married and now I am living the Army Wife life, and I get it!  I'm a genius when it comes to paying bills.  I occasionally doubt my job, but the truth is...I'm great at it.  I have completed 2 half marathons and am 4 months away from my 3rd half.  I have fundraised and volunteered for some amazing organizations...most recently Team In Training for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and Soldiers Angels.  My two puppies are treated like royalty and I wouldn't have it any other way. 
     The hardest thing to do as humans is to take credit where credit is due.  Most people wait for the external appreciation from everyone around them, however, I think that people need to take a minute and realize their accomplishments no matter how big or small.  We all deserve our moment in the spotlight, but we can't rely on others to give it to us.  It only took 26 years but I think I get it now.  What is "it" you ask?  I finally get that being me and doing my best is enough...(yes mom rest easy your message has been received) So for anyone out there that is reading this... take a minute think about it, I bet you can come up with some real accomplishments that you probably haven't given full justice too, and while you are at it, make new goals for accomplishments you would like to reach in the future...Dream Big...LIVE BIGGER!

And as always remember...Just living is not enough, one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower!

Monday, January 24, 2011

True Happiness

      A brief mention to anyone who may be reading this.  Be happy in your own life.  Be happy with who you are and what you do.  Because in the end its all that really matters.  Don't worry about what others are doing.  Live life and know that each choice you make, and each situation that arises does so for a reason, that may be out of our realm of understanding.  But in the end it all makes sense.  Remember to have respect for the property of others.  Be kind when dealing with the emotions of others, and most important be kind when dealing with your own emotions.  No one is perfect, but we get new opportunities each and every day to make better choices and do better.  Keep your eyes and ears open.  Slow down and breathe its amazing where that can lead.  Enjoy your time where you are while you are there...because tomorrow you could be somewhere else.  You never know, one day you may want this time back....No regrets!

Remember Just living is not must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

What is Love? Romance? Passion?

     Okay, my brain has taken on a new challenge today.  The challenge is this, what is love?  The dictionary definition is this "tender, passionate affection." A fine definition, but then again, many people come up with their own definitions of love.  Some poetic, some straight to the point.  When asked what is love?  My husband wasn't sure how to put it in words, but after a few moments (and a little pestering) he finally responded with..."Love is when you would do anything for the one you love.  The person you love, you would give your life for, and you always see the greatness in the person you love."  Mark Twain said ""Love is the irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired."  Sophocles said, ""One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love."  All definitions are true.  The feeling of love is unique for each person.  No two people would define what they feel the same way.  I remember a movie I saw a long time ago.  The lead actress was discussing love, and she described it as the "can't eat, can't sleep reach for the stars over the fence world series kind of thing."  I myself can remember that feeling.  However, I do think it grows and changes over time.  In the spectrum of time, my husband and I haven't really been together very long at all, not compared to our parents who are both married 30 something years, or my grandparents who were married 50-60 something years.  We just celebrated our 2nd anniversary in August, but in fairness he was deployed for 9 months out of the year, and he travels often with the Army. 
     Some that must be hard I don't think I could do it.  Now don't get me wrong, my husband being gone is no cup of tea, I prefer him home with me, he is by far the best friend I have ever had.  Is our relationship often long distance?  Yes.  Does it make it hard at times?  Yes.  I do think that our love grows stronger though because of the distance.  For example, there are times when he drives me up a wall, and I am not a fool to think that there aren't the same amount of time that I drive him up a wall; the difference is, when all you have to tie you together is a phone; conversation and communication becomes key.  It is hard to ignore feelings and emotions when you can't distract each other.  All we have to stay connected in the distance other than our hearts is our communication.  There have been times we have both wanted to scream, but I must admit, when he is away a brief phone call of explanations and discussions.  Usually lead to I'm sorry's and I'll try harder...and the funny thing is, we do.  We do try harder, and often 9 times out of 10 those issues don't reoccur in the future. 
     Our love is strong, and stable, despite arguments.  We were brought together by a higher power and I am sure of that!  Someone was working to bring us together, and I know even in the hardest times, that he loves me as much as I love him, and that he will keep me safe and do anything to make me happy as I would do for him.  Yes, he can be a little rough around the edges sometimes, but then again so can I.  It is my belief that love can not be defined.  It just is.  Love is an inside feeling that only the lucky can feel.  It runs deep and it guides us through our life. 
     Now, along with love comes the romance and the passion, as children (young girls especially) the fantasy of prince charming on a horse is our first vision of the man of our dreams.  As we grow our image of "prince charming" go from a cartoon character to other fictional characters from movies and television and even books.  Sources that seem to portray not only the perfect man, but the perfect relationship by "The end."  The truth is, as much as we enjoy watching and reading about those romances...real life doesn't work that way.  In fact, real life is so much more than that.  I can predict just about every ending to every chick flick movie.  I can read a book and know the ending of the romance section before the point of the story as even taken shape yet.  In real life however, the spontaneity is so much better!  For example, when Doug was deployed to Iraq, on Valentines Day we sent me the most beautiful roses and a stuffed animal bear.  (I love stuffed animals!)  Valentines Day fell on a Sunday...Imagine my surprise when the delivery truck showed up with my beautiful flowers and bear, along with a box of chocolate and a beautiful card.  True unpredictable magic!  My husband will occasionally sneak up behind me in the kitchen, and spin me around and dance with me, just because.  A romantic night in downtown, fancy dress and 3 piece suit, The city grille and a stroll down the main street downtown just people watching hand in hand.  A long drive to nowhere just to see the sights.  Coming to bed hours earlier than the average person because I am tired, and he wants to keep me company as I fall asleep.  Yes, our romance is real, the passion is real, and the love is undeniable. 
     Love is ours to define.  Romance is ours to create as is passion.  If you are lucky enough to find the person who means the world to you then you need to be smart enough to hold on to that person and never let the mundane parts of life get in the way of what you deserve as a couple.  We don't...we argue, we talk it out, we move forward and the magic stays alive each and every day that we are both together and apart. 

I wish everyone to know that...Just living is not enough, one must have sunshine, freedomm, and a little flower.

Friday, January 21, 2011

We are who we want to be

     This morning I was given off in order to be able to work tonight without overtime.   I was at home, relaxing, since I have all weekend to clean up around the house, I chose to relax, watch some tv (Criminal Minds has finally been cleared from my DVR) and spend time with my puppies.  I took a shower leisurely and then prepared for work at my own speed.  I fed my dogs, and watched them bask in the relatively warm winter day that we are having.  Then I put my coat on, grabbed my purse and change of clothes for the nightly job that lays ahead, and walked out the door locking it behind me, and got in the truck.  Yes Doug if you are reading, I took the truck, I like it...its big...and new...and cool to drive! 
     As I was driving I was listening to a song on the radio and as usual I allowed my mind to wander to a place where I was remembering all the things I love to do and love about my life, and a warm feeling came over me.  The past attributes to who we are and what we learn.  I feel as though I have learned a lot from the people that I have attached myself too.  I hope that my experiences and my joys and sorrows continue to be learning experiences that lead me to happier and happier places.  WE choose who we are, and therefore we choose who we want to be.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


     Each week, my class learns a new letter.  And throughout the week, we practice how to write that letter, the sound the letter makes, as well as words that begin with that letter.  This week our letter of the week is the letter 'Cc'.  Now, this is a fairly easy letter to write for my class which allows me to focus more of my time and really understanding the sound and finding words that begin with the letter 'Cc.'  Now the first step...Ask class, "Please raise your hand and give me a word that begins with Cc."  Second step..."24 hands go up"  Third step..."receive words, and write all correct words on the board."  Then when the class has exhausted all the Cc words they can think of,  the fourth step goes something like this..."What do you eat in the morning for breakfast?"  Response...CEREAL!!!  "Where does a bear sleep when it hibernates?  Response...CAVE!!!!!  "Great Job!" "How about...what do you call a group of stars that create a picture in the sky if you could connect them? ... way in the back A CONSTELLATION!!!!  (Phew thank you student in the back!)  "Ok, last one...What kind of dog is Lassie?"  ** Little girl in the front raises her hand, "yes?"  Who's Lassie? 

     At what point did I become my teachers?  Who's lassie?  I'm 26 hardly old in the general scheme of things. but clearly I have dated myself beyond recognition.  We are living in a world where Bob the Builder, Bacugons, and Dora the Explorer have taken over.  Now, I am not an activist against television, quite the contrary.  I teach 4 year old boys and girls, who have the ability to absorb all they hear and see, and I find that the shows (in general) are becoming more educational teaching everything from colors and numbers to spanish, as well as working together, sharing emotions, and problem solving.  However, I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel somewhat dated and rather saddened by the fact that the classics as I know them, are gone.  But, the new generation will grow up knowing things that...when they are in their 20's their children will look at them in confusion.  A cycle, that has been going on since the beginning.  To prove a point...Who can remember surfside 6?  What generation do you belong to?

"Just living is not enough, one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower!"

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


     As a teacher, one of my jobs is to find the one thing a child does all day that is remarkable.  It has been my philosophy that for a child, each and every day they are learning something and therefore, in a 9 hour period no matter the child, at least one amazing thing would have happened.  With this theory, I usually find wonderful moments that I can write down and share with parents so they can hold onto a piece of the growth of their child while they are out supporting their family. 
    Today, it dawned on me that as adults we don't usually credit ourselves for having at least one remarkable moment a day.  An accomplishment, a realization, a new skill learned...anything.  As a teacher getting through the day without removing a child from the group is an accomplishment in itself, however, we never praise ourselves.  We as adults rarely (if ever) pat ourselves on the back for a job well done.  Sometimes in a time when so much is changing, and the world is not as it used to be, we should remember that we have the power to make a difference, a difference for ourselves and those that are closest to us.  We have the ability to make the necessary changes in our lives and our minds.  We need to remember that we are just as important as those around us, and if we don't highlight our own importance than it will be impossible to count on others around us to do it.  Throughout my day, working with the most remarkable children I have had the pleasure of meeting, there are many accomplishments for them.  In turn however, there are also many accomplishments for me.  Skills I acquire, Talents I have, my memory even is a tribute to me.  The more I learn.  The more I do.  The more I find ways to change and grow as a person which allows me to find the strength to better myself and the world around me. 

Remember...Just living is not enough, one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The struggles...

     No matter how positive we try to be, every now and then there are always things that occur and put a glitch in the way we look at ourselves and the world around us.  There are things that pull us apart from one another, and create situations that should have otherwise been non-existent.  It is our job to look into the situations and use the most basic form of communication.  You guessed it, we need to talk.  We need to be calm, and let everyone explain their situation.  Then it is our responsibility to come up with a solution that is favorable to everyone.   Life is hard, and sometimes the lemons we get are hard and wont break open to make the lemonade without a little elbow grease.  Sometimes a little more effort is needed to make it a smooth road. 

Time for me to go use some of that elbow grease myself!

Just living is not enough, one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

time to find faith

     There are days in this life that leave us with mixed emotions.  Parts of the day that make us feel good, proud, accomplished even, and then that same day we can be battling feelings of frustration, doubt and anxiety.  It becomes very difficult to ignore the more negative emotions and focus on those that are positive.  Call it human nature.  For many of us, it is the negative feelings that haunt us in a sense.  We prefer to have all our ducks in a row, and phone calls, emails, daily life even can throw our world off balance leaving us feeling lost and confused.  It is important during these times to focus on the positive things are happening in our lives, and keep in mind that the negative parts are all learning experiences.  No one is perfect, and often at least in my world, we try to be.  I personally do not like confrontation.  I am a people pleaser and I am sick to my stomach when I do something wrong.  (Even minor things like arguing with my husband on who should clean dishes...)  The feelings are worse when they are out of my hands.  Waiting around and not being able to make a situation better makes me crazy!  This year my plan was to stay positive and moments like this really begin to stand in the way of that goal.  Yesterday I didn't write because I didn't want to turn this blog into a sad overthought writing piece.  My situations are what they are; both good and bad.  It is important for me to focus on the good, while trying to remind myself that the ones that try to keep me up at night are stepping stones to gaining a higher understanding of what is necessary for not allowing history to repeat itself. 
     For example, Doug and I have been living in our house for almost 2 years, and every now and then we get an email from the owners (we are renters for the moment) that inform us that there is a problem.  for example, most recently we had a garden hose hooked up to a spout outside.  The email simply requested that we unhook it, because the water could freeze causing the pipes to burst!  Well, I never would have thought about, its something I know now, and in the future (both in this house and in our future home) will remember not to repeat.  Also, speeding tickets, getting pulled over is always frightening, and although some are completely justified, some are not, but either way, they help us to become more aware (especially as young drivers) the different variations of driving.  Speeding, headlights and tailights, they all lead to different learning experiences.  Some better than others.  It is important to remember that no matter what you are not alone in any situation good or bad.  Keep faith that "it will all come out in the wash" and "it is what it is" Once a situation occurs there is no way to change it.  Rewards or consequences are issued.  All we can do is learn from our mistakes and share with other our triumphs.  We are of the human race, and mistakes are our specialty.  However, how we deal with them can be a part of our legacy.

It's important to remember "Just living is not enough, one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower."

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Completing Tasks

     I have been fortunate enough in my life to have discovered at a relatively young age the secret to staying motivated, even when life seems to be handing you one lemon after another.  What is the secret you ask?  Hrm, should I say?  Of course,  I will let you know...the secret to staying motivated is to accomplish a task.  Now I know what you are thinking...accomplishing tasks that make you feel accomplished and therefore motivated is hard in itself, not as easy as I make it out to be...if I am right and that is what you are thinking, then here's some food for thought, perhaps your tasks are too ambitious.  The idea is to create small manageable tasks, there may be more of them on a list or calendar schedule, however, the likeliness of them getting done with your nerves, and sanity still in tact are much higher.
     For example, if you are like me, and work long LONG days, planning to "clean the house" on Tuesday after work is 1. too vague and 2. IMPOSSIBLE!  Think about it, you got up early, and probably went to bed late.  Then you worked all day, now you have to go home (theoretically eat dinner) and then clean your whole house?  Umm I'm by no means an expert but my guess you wont get past the first room before you begin to fall asleep.  Then you go to bed frustrated and annoyed.  Think about it, what if your list said Tuesday Clean Dishes.  Now, you are tired and you come home, (you get take-out because umm you ALREADY HAVE DISHES!) You eat and perhaps share the stories of your day with loved ones.  Then you enter the kitchen clean the dishes and voila!  An hour later (depending on the method and amount of dishes) your task is crossed off!  Immediately you will start feeling better.  Go ahead give it a try...I'll wait...Just kidding, you can let me know if it worked. 

Just remember " Just living is not enough, one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower."

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pancakes and Peas

    In case you are wondering about the title of this particular blog, I shall explain.  I work in a school, and our school has a cook Ms. Pat.  A nice lady, but sometimes a bit odd.   Today was her choice, and what that means is that she takes all the leftovers and figures out how many there are and then distributes them accordingly.  Our class was the lucky winner of pancakes (sarcasm now!  pancakes should NEVER be microwaved)  usually, pancakes comes with applesauce, sweet potatoes, and sausage.  However, because she needs the sausage and sweet potatoes for the pancakes next week, we were served pancakes with peas and canned mandarin oranges...BLEH!  Needless to say, the students were starving!  Then for snack...(remember 4 year old children!) For snack we were served pineapples and cottage cheese!  REALLY!?!?  My whole class was starving, and since my secret stash of leftover yummy snacks (Pretzels, goldfish, crackers, and raisins) was cleaned out of my room while I was away on Christmas Vacation...the kids were left to starve until returning home with their parents.  I myself am not a cook, but even the oddest of them all had to realize that this particular menu choice was not in anyone's favor.  I know this seems like a very trivial blog posting, but in reality it sets the tone for the entire afternoon.   Meaning, 1. the kids are too hungry to sleep 2. they are still hungry when its time to get up, but ha ha evil beings have taken over snack and left healthy yet unappealing items for 4year olds, which then lead to 18 emotional...cranky...4 year olds!  oh yes...5 hours of cranky and emotional 4 year olds makes me desire my bed twice as much!  Sleep here I come!  Tomorrow is Chicken patties...ahh return to that which is edible!

No matter what the circumstances one must remember (one being me...and you) "Just living is not enough, one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

the role of the wife...

     As the years have gone by there are many women who feel that the role of the wife/significant other has changed dramatically.  Those are usually the women with the frame of mind that say...he's a grown man and he can do it himself.  I'm not his slave.  I am not one of those women.  I am an independent woman in the sense that I moved away from home, have lived on my own, have gotten a job when I needed more money to support myself and my lifestyle.  Also, marriage didn't really change that considering I became an Army Wife and when you marry into the Army, it is understood that being independent is a mandatory requirement.  However, personally I would view myself as an old fashioned wife.  An old friend once told me I was moving the feminist movement backwards, and I guess in her mind that was true, in my mind however, I was on a completely different page.  The wonderful women, wife, and mother role models that I have had, structured the person I have become.  There was sometimes sacrifice, and there was sometimes anger and frustration, but there was ALWAYS love.  I live in the modern world.  I work later than my husband, and we eat out more frequently than we eat at home (at least recently)  However, if he is hungry...I'll make him something to eat, if he's bored, I'll get dressed to go for a drive, if he's tired, we go to bed early, and when he is struggling with something I will do my best to help him any which way I can.  I do it out of love.  No other reason.  I don't mind, (well sometimes I say...A little help here!!!)  but mostly I don't mind.  The women before me were selfless.  They gave to others first without a second thought and with more love than you could ever imagine.  I hope to be the same, and in my heart I know that same blood runs through me.  I am one of those rare women who still gives themselves to their family with no reservations.

Just another reason why "Just living is not enough, one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower!"

Monday, January 10, 2011

Game night success

     Tonight was the first of what I hope to be many fun filled nights with the girls.  We had our first game night of the new year.  We played a game of Loaded Questions, and we were completely amused at the responses that were given.  I had to stay up past my usual bedtime, but it was worth every minute.  Today was a fairly relaxing day at work, and game night was the perfect end. Thank you Catherine, Stacee, and Alyssa for removing me reality for just a moment.  I still have a few things to work out at the school, but I have a plan and although Doug is going through a rough time at BNOC I plan to do what I have always done, which is listen to, and support him in any way that I can. 

     This is a shorter blog due to the time and level of exhaustion that is coming upon me.  so I leave you with this...Just living is not enough, one must have sunshine, freedom, a little flower. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Here's to a new beginning

      I have tried blogging before, but with little success in keeping up or following through.  Like many others the flow of our everyday lives gets underway and it becomes a matter of what we consider most important at the time.  This year I am trying something new, an attempt to keep my thoughts organized, myself focused, and perhaps even gain a little insight along the way.  Some days can appear to be routine, or unproductive, I am hoping that with the intention of writing about the daily goings on in my life, I will be able to find those little moments that take away the dreaded feeling of routine. 
     Today is my first entry as it has been my first real moment to sit down and focus on my thoughts.  Currently I am a teacher of 22, 4year olds.    I am a licensed teacher with high expectations for my classroom.  I teach (yes I said teach) 4 year olds at a Kindergarten level.  I focus on more than letters and numbers.  I teach complex concepts and ideas.  I perfect letter and number formation, and I teach the skill of blending sounds to help my small ones read a basic level one book to start.  On top of curriculum, I run my classroom 5 days a week.  I do evaluations and parent teacher conferences.  I make phone calls, create homework when requested, write comments, I write happy grams twice a month which allows me to capture the special moments of each child and share them with their families. 
     At home, I am an Army Wife.  I take care of my home, my husband, and my 2 adorable puppies.  Jinx an Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog, and Cash a border collie mix.  I am a relatively typical wife.  I keep my house clean and organized, I take charge when dealing with the finances, and I love to cook for my husband, although many times, we are a team in the kitchen.  In my free time, I watch tv shows such as, House Hunters, Holmes on Holmes, Criminal Minds, and of course we are a football family :)  GO BIG BLUE!  Unless you are of the male persuasion of the household in which case you would be a boo hoo Bronco Fan :P  Movies are my passion, and I can usually spend hours watching movies of all different genres.  I love getting lost in the characters just for a few hours.  I also love to read an assortment of books, currently finding a rhythm reading Joanne fluke murder mystery novels.  Spunky, clever, humorous easy reads that also allow a brief escape from reality.
     I mention escaping reality, but please don't misunderstand, I love my life and the way it has turned out so far, however, like most people there are times when the daily routines of our life may be busy but ultimately mundane, especially if your husband travels.  Taking a brain vacation, often allows me to return to my tasks more focused on the jobs that need to be done.  I hope that this blog will serve as a similiar tool for me as well as keep me more connected to myself, my family, and my friends.

And remember...Just living is not enough, one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower!