I need an outlet......

...because poor, poor Holly has definitely heard enough of my whining, and I feel like right now it is just about all I do.  The 

I went to MCC tonight for the first time since school has started.  I haven't been away for that long since.... well since pre-August 2005 when I came to college.  While I do love my job and all the wonderful perks (salary, new pals, fulfilling days, etc.) it brings with it, I already miss the simplicity and ease of college living.  One semester I literally worked FIVE JOBS and took a full load of classes while being an RA and a youth sponsor and maintaining a plethora of relationships, and still maintained complete sanity.  Thus far this semester, I am doing like, one and a half things and feel like I can't even get those done well and/or on time!  Sheeeessshhhh. 

Good thing the little monsters, I mean, middle schoolers were mucccchhh better today than they have been yet!  Maybe I should cut my hair every weekend??  (I think yes!) 

Actual conversations---

Student: "Mrs. Brown, did you cut your hair?" Me: "No...the craziest thing, I just woke up and it was like this!"  Student: "Wait, really??"  Me: "Yahhh, no."  [I really do love them!!!]  

Another Student: "Mrs. Brown, why did you cut your hair?"  Me: "Ehh, I felt like it."  Another Student: "Yahh, but I liked it better before."  [Dangit.]

Yet Another Student: "Mrs. Brown, you are the best teacher in the whole world and for your birthday in 22 days I am bringing you chocolate and diet vanilla coke and flowers!"  [Hahaha that didn't really happen!  I wish ;)]

Anyway, basically the majority decided while they did like my hair better before, it looks pretty this way too.  Such nice little angels.  ;)

My kids did also try to tell me I enjoy being mean and giving Time-Outs today.  It's like they just don't know me at all.....those are the parts I enjoy the very least :/

For three out of the four classes I teach, today was the best day, behavior and productivity-wise, that we have had yet.  I felt like I could actually be mobile in the room and not just babysit one particular area, and there was a lot accomplished!  Hopefully tomorrow will continue to be good!  [Fingers crossed, knock-on-wood...]  I did, however, just realize I have to grade 100+ essays per the six-trait rubric this weekend, which is just lovely... bye-bye weekend...and it is only Monday!  Oh well!  

Have I mentioned just how much I love my dog lately?  He is the bomb.com for reals.  I never understood the whole "man's best friend" thing until now, but seriously he is just so dang loyal and always so excited to see me when I get home!  And he has finally figured out that if he wants to sleep on the bed, it has to be by our feet (err, my feet) because someone, ahem, cough cough, doesn't like to wake up snuggled next to our little fluff-puff of a pooch... whatever ;)  I am just so lucky and blessed to have two loves at home to escape to and relax with.  We will have had Petee a whole year in just a couple weeks (crraaazzzyyyy)!!!  It seriously feels like we have had him forever.  Life without that little pup would be so sad.  Kids?  No thanks.  We love our dog too much!  [But seriously]. 

Best life...no matter the stress of seventh grade. 


sometimes ya just give in to your emotions

I am about as typical girl as they come.  I eat junky food when I am sad, I do and say things to please and impress other people, and I start a new diet and workout plan at leas twice a week.  I listen to the same depressing songs on repeat over and over and over, and I watch movies and shows that I know will make me cry.  I still love my daddy and my momma is one of my best friends.  I have a serious addiction to wearing cardigans and have more bags than I would like to admit.  I believe in retail therapy and love to get a pedicure and drink skinny lattes.  But very much most of all, when I get irrational, emotional, and stressed, I love to cut my hair. 

Today, spur of the moment, because I wanted to, I cut my hair.  Choppy chop chop chop!  Bye-bye hair!  (Well not alllll of it!)  I cut it because I am stressed and emotional and crazy and needed to do something irrational. [Thanks to Nate-dog the bro-in-law and our bestest pal, Jordan for going with me to Great Clips!  Oops...only spent 12 bucks...cheapest haircut ever.]

Tomorrow begins a new six weeks with my precious seventh grade babies and tomorrow I am going to do better, teach better, be better, and love better.  Tomorrow.


What if your blessings come through raindrops...

Things that are good:
1.  All my shows are back.  Very lame, but very much happy.
2.  DVR.  Thank you, whoever took the VCR and transformed it into DVR.  Thank youuuu. 
3.  There are sooo many teachers constantly telling me how great I am.  (They must not have seen me attempting to teach...) But still, it is such a gift and a blessing to have so many people to believe in me. 
4.  Three words: Craft. Fair. Tomorrow. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
5. Nick said I can buy something at said craft fair, yay!  Best husband.
6.  Family who lives so close.  Sister being home. Momma teaching in my district. Daddy golfing with my man. 
7.  Quakes.  PtL for caramel quakes.  Amen.
8.  COFFEE, Coke Zero with Vanilla, chocolate, really all things caffeinated.  I am not sure I'd make it through most days without the caffeine. 
9.  Friends. 
10.  Students who show teeny glimpses of their heart each day.  They act all tough and like they don't care but there are tiny little slivers of real people inside of them that actually care...but just a tad bit. 
11.  Funny movies (Bridesmaids).  Definitely a laugh (a lot of laughs) much needed..

Thankful for blessings, thankful for Jesus, thankful for opportunity to learn and grow and struggle.  I know that though this is terribly challenging and difficult and I feel like a failure 93% of the time, I truly still believe I am in the place I am supposed to be.  As hard as it is to feel like I stink at my job almost all day and everyday, I have to continue to believe others when they say it gets better. 


"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.  But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind......Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him."  James 1


Tips to Surviving Football Season: Chapter 2!

Ladies and, well, mostly other ladies!  (Some gentlemen may need tips to survive as well, but for the most part, the fellas love the game...and lots of ladies, too, so I guess calling some ladies!)  It has been a couple weeks since my last football-related post.  I have watched some of the delightful game since then, and have indeed come up with some more hopefully helpful tips!  Read and enjoy!!

1.  Remind yourself of all the ways your man (or bff, whoever) appeases all your silly needs and desires.  Specifically, all the girly movies and tv shows he watches with (for) you (for me recently: Tangled, Something Borrowed, Glee, etc.).  Think about all the perfect flowers he has surprised you with (which he probably doesn't understand since logically, they die/don't last more than a couple days haha); all the minutes he spends on the phone with you when you are apart, and for me, well, just think about how he bought you the goofiest, cutesiest, puff-balliest little puppy on the planet and lets you call him all sorts of pet names without a single mocking comment.  After these little reminders, maaayyyybe just maybe it wont be quite so hard to sit through a riveting few hours of grunting and hitting and pushing and pigskin-throwing! 

2.  If you happen to find yourself at a location other than your own home to watch the big game, you will probably need to find some ways to entertain yourself.  I have maaannny many ways to do this, but just to name a few: arrive early to find the best seat in the house.  In your case, the best seat may not be the one with the perfect view of the tv.  Find a comfy place to sit, near the snacks and bathroom, and that is comfy enough to fall asleep in (just in case you need to rest your eyes during halftime or a commercial or something!).  Another way to keep entertained- take a million zillion pictures of yourself and all the excitement around you!  I'll admit, sometimes I take this to the extreme and end up with a serious number of pictures of just myself in the same pose... Currently I am without camera, so my phone-cam (not the highest of quality) is all I've got.  Never fear, I have not abandoned picture-taking or event-documenting, simply lowered my quality of pics.  See: the following pictures as inspiration and examples--

My favorite man with all the free stuff I got us!!

The fellas in their free hats

My favorite mother-in-law!

One Attempt of probably 40 pics I took of myself

Another one of so many pics of just myself ;)

Thrilled to be watching the Huskers!!!

How the Mr. feels about sooo many pics of us!  (There were many many more hah!)

I missed this weekend's Huskers game, but did semi-keep up with the stats and what not via Twitter on my phone, and will most likely watch some of it replayed on the Big 10 Network. 

OH!  One last tip for this week: 

3.  Watch the Bo Pelini Show with your man and actually pay attention.  It turns out, when you try to pay attention, some (now just some) of what they say is moderately interesting.  While my show of choice will always be Grey's or Glee, Bo does actually smile sometimes on his show, and maybe next week he will wear the gray sweatshirt I like so much! 

That's all for this week!  Challenge-- find something interesting from this weekend's game(s) and casually drop it into conversation this week.  Superfan status will go waaayyy up and boys will most likely be impressed and proud!   ;)

Another Week in the Books!

Sheesh, time is a'flyin!  Can I just say that I have the best fam in the planet?  My momma helped me clean my apartment and get all my laundry done (we may have taken a little trip to the ol' laundromat yesterday to get all seven loads done at once...oops), but now I am about to hang up my last load of drip dry's and am set to start some new habits.  (Most of which include actually putting the clothes away when they are clean!) 

My papers are all graded and I have just a few left to enter into the computer and I'll be all caught up to start our sixth week of school and my sixth week as a real live teacher!  Last week was SO hard, and I know there are so many things I need to change and fix about the way I manage my classroom, but I am refreshed, rested, and ready to begin a new week tomorrow.  I just know this week is going to be better!

I've cried my fair share of tears; complained, perhaps far too much, about silly things, and had plenty of laughs so far.  I am excited to see how I develop this week as a teacher and how my kids continue to adjust to seventh grade and language arts.  I continue to think I can change all their lives and touch all their hearts, and as naiive a hope that may be, I have to cling to it or I might just lose heart.  (Because honestly, reading and writing just aren't as good as life change and growth!)  I love my kids, with all my heart, and am loving learning more about their personalities and lives.  They continue to drive me batty, but I think that may just be seventh grade!  I know that where it is hardest to shine and to love is where my patience and positive reinforcement is needed most.  God will never put me in a trial that is too hard to overcome!  With Him, all things are possible!!

Some things that are getting me through the tough times:
*Vanilla Coke Zero
*Not working out (oh wait, I think a little calorie-burning might actually be a good idea and energy-booster!)
*The movie Tangled (aka my fav right now...currently watching it for the fourth time, third time this week I think!  Whoops!)
*My insanely patient husband
*The best fam ever
*Teacher-friends that get exactly what I am going through and sympathize with me and make me feel like I am NOT a failure!!!  PtL! 

Ever grateful for the chance to work with young people and attempt to share that someone cares about them!  Hopefully this week I can do that a little better (and with less raising of my voice) than last week.  God has blessed me immensely, and I am so lucky. 

From behind my first big-girl paycheck,

Mrs. Brown  :)


Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Most likely obvious if you read the title of this post, but today was not that good of a day for me.  I will humbly admit I did not feel like a good teacher today.  I raised my voice, sent kids to the Time-Out Room, and required silence at times.  I tried to offer options and provide incentives for positive behavior, but did more negative reinforcement than anything else.  I even tried to explain why I have certain policies and expectations, and that, in real life, I am not a silence Nazi or un-fun, but just the opposite! 

I definitely had some of my naiive hopes crushed today as our team experienced some unfortunate events with the students.  In my little ol' heart of hearts, I want to think each student has others' interests and feelings in mind, truly wants to succed, and is telling the truth when speaking to me.  My heart hurts to think of parents lying to their kids, not making them a prioroty, and any individual not getting the attention they deserve.  So many of these kids cry out for attention in any way shape or form, from me, from their peers, from administrators, and it pains me to know they will misbehave and act out to get it.  I wish I could spend all day telling these kids how much they are worth, how special they are, and how much they are loved.  I wish I could pour my heart into each one of them, one at a time, with no interuptions.  I wish I could feed them breakfast, lunch and dinner and never let them go to bed without a full tummy.  I wish they could know how important they are, how valuable their thoughts and opinions are, and how much they matter. 

I wish with my whole self these kids would sit quietly and work like AP seniors, but, let's be realistic here, they are 12 and 13, and most of them don't know how to even sit still for more than a minute and a half, much less with their mouths closed.  I love my job, I am going a little batty, and only some of my kids are failing.  Hoping for a better day for all tomorrow, and praying the love of Jesus is shining through my patience (yikes), reactions, and interactions. 

From behind the pile of papers to grade...Mrs. Brown [or as too many of them insist on calling me, "Miss"]


Tips to surviving football season: Chapter 1.

Calling all wives, girlfriends, and other women who are in relationship with football lovers!  It is that time again... football season.  Dun dun dunnnnnn.  I'll admit, I have already tried to change the channel and control the television and been very firmly denied by a football-loving husband.  Goodbye Food Network, hello Big 10 Network, ESPN, Huskervision, and fantasy league. 

And here's the thing...it is not that I hate all things football or anything like that.  I love camaraderie, the coming together for a common cause, hot dogs and chili, everyone wearing the same color, hot dogs, being outside in the fall, and so on...

Anyway, on to the point of this post: I grew up in a world where football was unavoidable and thus have developed a few little tricks to not only staying semi-entertained during a game (or seventy three bagillion games, same dif), but giving the appearance that I actually care and know what is going on.

1. Look the part.  Get a couple t-shirts, a sweatshirt, and maybe even a hat, and wear them as often as possible.  People will begin to associate you with your team of choice and your significant other and/or bff will be stoked you look like a super-fan. 

2.  Memorize the game schedule.  This is important for a couple reasons: One, you will know when not to make plans or schedule an out-of-town event.  Two, you will know what "the guys" are talking about when they refer to "the big game this weekend."  And three, you will sound like a super-fan when you mention your excitement for said "big game this weekend" without prompting and your lover and/or bff will be so impressed.

3. Volunteer to host the watch party and make snacks.  There are a number of benefits to this as well.  First of all, most of your man's best pals like food almost as much as they like football.  (At least that's how it is in my world.)  This is one of those "if you build it they will come" kind of moments, but more like "if you cook it they will come."  Perfect a couple hearty, easy, delicious recipes (such as chili, cheese dip, and a certain type of cookie/brownie treat) and throw those together an hour before the fellas arrive and they'll think you slaved all day over the hot stove for them.  Second of all, if you are at home, you can still get most of what you actually need to get done on Saturday finished, while still "spending time with your man" (aka being in the same 900 square-foot vicinity) doing something he loves.  Third of all, often with the football-loving-fellas come their lady-friends.  Lady-friends = someone to talk to during the game.  Lady-friends also love snacks and treats.  Lady-friends = other super-fans in disguise.

4.  Throw out random facts/names/important information.  Sign up for whatever alerts and notifications you can (i.e. @HuskerExtraBC) and memorize a couple of the facts he tweets to throw out in conversation.  Then, when your man and his pals are deep in conversation about Taylor Martinez and his expected improvement this season compared to last season, you not only know what the heck they are talking about, but may even have something to "add" to the conversation.  Your man will be so proud of his girl and his buds will be impressed.  Again, this will give off the appearance that you are a super-fan thus accomplishing your goal.   

5.  And finally, allow your man to paint your dog for gameday.  Do this, and even your dog looks like a super-fan. 

Third week in the books!

Holy holy cow.  I have taught for three weeks!  This still seriously blows my mind each day as I go back to my classroom, my students, my team, my lessons, my school.  It is still nuts to me that I am a real live teacher.

I have to say one thing that does stink is being that lame friend that has to go to bed early each night.  Probably my bad for still living in a town full of people still going to college :/  I'll admit I am jealous many nights as I head for bed and my friends are just beginning to hang out.  I love being a full-fledged grown up adult and all, but I sometimes wish all my friends were working full-time everyday too!  [Pity party]

Anyway... Another good week full of challenges in seventh grade.  I continue to fall in love with their crazy stories, heartbreaking home lives, and naiive mindsets.  I love that they ask me to come to their games, listen to my dumb stories, and know that even though I have to yell (ahem, raise my voice) sometimes to get their attention, that I really do care about them.  They are driving me insane, talking soo much, making me question all I know and do, and sucking all the energy and life out of me, and yet I feel better about what I am doing right now than ever before.  I am exactly where I am supposed to be. 

God is teaching me so much now about what it means to plant seeds and love in action and truth.  He is teaching me about being a light in the dark and living my faith.  God is so alive and real and I pray my love for Him shines through my words and deeds, in my action and especially my reactions. 

Praying for my kids; praying for patience, energy, and a positive attitude despite challenges, setbacks, and frustration; and praying people will see Jesus in me each day.

- taking a break from laboring this weekend...Mrs. Brown  :)