Thanks Minnesota

Oh my goodness last week was a whirlwind!

Like I said in my last post, it was SO COLD here in Minnesota that we had 2 cold days off on Tuesday and Wednesday. To make it even better, we had ANOTHER cold day on Thursday. That made 3 DAYS OFF because it was too cold to go outside! I also mentioned that last Monday, we had a late start because there was a snowstorm the night before and the roads were too bad right away in the morning to make it safely to school.

So once Friday morning came around, we had only been to school for half of a day. To make it even better, we had a scheduled early release scheduled Friday afternoon for self development. That meant that by the time my students left Friday afternoon, I had seen them for a total of 1 school day….I basically lost an entire week of school.

On the bright side, because we had no school, I didn’t have to make any new lesson plans because I just get to use exactly what I had planned to do last week. The down side is that I’ve been behind my colleagues by almost 2 weeks in both math and reading (and probably a month behind in science) and last week was my week to catch up while they used the week to review. We’re now jumping into this week and they’re moving forward skipping review so I’m pretty sure I’ll be 3 weeks behind. Go me!

It’ll all work out I just get paranoid being the new teacher in my grade level (and school) and not being on track with my team at all!

On a complete separate note, because of the cold, all sports were cancelled and rescheduled last week so my gymnastics schedule is going to be INSANE this week! We had 2 meets scheduled last week (Tuesday and Thursday) that we couldn’t have because we didn’t have school so we had a make up meet Friday, and now this week, we have a meet scheduled for Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. I love coaching and meets are a blast, but most nights I don’t get home until at least past 10 (when I usually get to bed by 8 on a school night…..) and then have to be up the next morning at 6. It’s exhausting to have 1 meet in a week but 3….it’s going to be rough! Thanks Minnesota!

My plan for this week is to get caught up as much as I can in reading, math, and science while also starting to plan our Valentine’s Day party/activities. Things were so messed up last week that I honestly can’t wrap my head around the fact that Valentine’s Day is next week. I’m usually more planned and on top of school things like this but this one totally through me off! I’m just going to make it day by day and keep my eyes on Saturday morning when I’ll get to sleep again!

Back to Normal (Kind of)

This week has been a normal and solid week. We came back to school on Tuesday after having Monday night and it was a nice refresher. It was hard to wake up Tuesday but once I got my butt to school everything was fine!

We had winter testing this week and OH MY GOODNESS it takes forever! We take the NWEA reading and math tests twice a year and then our standardized grade level tests in the spring. The NWEA test is supposed to show what level each kid is at based on the questions they get. If they get things wrong the questions get easier and if they get them right they get harder.

We tested reading Tuesday morning and math Wednesday morning. I wanted to get them done with as soon as possible so I didn’t have to think about it. I did feel bad giving them these tests right after a 3 day weekend but they did great! Everyone in my class did better in reading! Most of them did better in math which I’ll take since my class really struggles with putting in their best effort when it comes to anything math related.

On top of those tests I had to retest their fluency levels. Once again, most of my class improved by at least 10 words per minute (which doesn’t sound like a lot but when your class is as low as mine that’s a huge win!)

Because of a 4 day week and testing, we had pretty much no reading time this week. We tested during our reading block and then jumped right into math right after. I know I probably could have switched my math test to be during our math block but because my kids aren’t the biggest fans of math, I needed to use the time on that!

Today we started our persuasive writing unit and I am SO EXCITED to share with you what we did! I won’t post anything now but let me just tell you that the activity I did was a complete success and my students are putting their bests efforts into making the best persuasive essay they possibly can! (I may or may not have bribed them with donuts if they do well……..oops.) I wish I could take credit for this awesome TPT resource. Today we did prewriting and rough draft writing so tomorrow we can dive into the final product.

The other great thing about this week is my kiddos are FINALLY back to getting along! I think they just needed some time apart because I don’t have any of the same issues I had last week! (It might help that a few of my instigators have been absent but I’m going to pretend that’s not the reason.)

On top of school, my gymnastics coaching schedule has been crazy! We’ve had at least 2 meets a week which gets pretty draining coming from a full day of school. Things are starting to wind down though and I’m pretty sad about that. This weekend we get to go compete at the Minnesota True Team State competition which will be super fun! Only the top 10 teams in the state are invited and we managed to squeak our way into it! It’s all day Saturday but it’s totally worth it!

I have had a week with some interesting medical issues going on. 2 years ago (around this time of the year) I got this weird rash/allergic reaction on my hands. It lasted for about a week and then disappeared. Last year, the same thing happened but it lasted almost a month before I finally went to see my dermatologist and got some heavy duty ointment to go on my hands. Then, what do you know, Sunday it shows back up again when I wake up. The weirdest part is it showed up on the SAME day it showed up last year! It’s super painful and keeps me up at night because it itches so bad! Last year, my doctor came to the conclusion that I had touched something I was allergic to while my body was fighting off something so the reaction was intense and didn’t go away. I believed her until it showed up for the 3rd year in a row. Luckily, it’s not as severe as it was last year and I’m able to function without putting lotion on my hands every 5 minutes but I’m still at a loss for what it might be. This might be a little gross to some of you but I do have these 2 pictures I took of them on Monday morning if anyone has any idea what my problem is.

 

The weirdest part is that I’ve tracked what I’ve eaten, the weather, cleaning supplies that I’ve used, and anything else I could think of and nothing has related to just these incidences. I’ve eaten the same as I do any other time of the year, it hasn’t been super cold like it can be, I’ve been using the same cleaning supplies and laundry detergent for my entire life…..ugh it just makes no sense to me! I went to urgent care twice last year before I saw my dermatologist and they were convinced I ate or touched something different but I hadn’t. I’m just a medical mystery I guess!

Apart from my hands, it’s been a good week and I have a good feeling the week will end just as great! (My kids will have inside recess for the next week though so you might need to pray for me for the next 5 school days! Next Thursday our HIGH is supposed to be -10 degrees….yeah people that’s not including wind chill……..)

Gymnastics, Family, Yoga, and New Girl

Today is was a nice and relaxing day. It was the perfect Saturday after a full week back.

I started the day with a nice cup of coffee while lying on the couch. There’s nothing better than waking up and not having to do anything for awhile so you can just relax on the couch in your pajamas.

I then went to judge a gymnastics tournament. I LOVE gymnastics. I did gymnastics, I coach gymnastics, and I also judge. Some tournaments can be super long (and I was not really excited to spend my Saturday working) but the meet was only 2 hours long! I was in and out of the gym and it was still the afternoon. It was also a fun meet to work and watch.

The rest of the day was pretty great as well. I went to hang out with my family for a couple hours. I feel like I haven’t seen my family since Christmas since things have been so busy lately and I only live 15 minutes away from them! I love catching up with them and just spending time all together.

My yoga with Adrienne for the day was all about ease and serenity. It was a 30 minute meditation practice. It was all centered on the floor and was about mindfulness and taking things easy. After a long week of teaching, it’s just what I needed. I love finding my center and creating those positive vibes throughout my body.

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I then got some chores done around my apartment and now I’m ending the day watching some New Girl and drinking a glass of wine. Does anyone else love New Girl? Seriously, she is me to a tee. (I’ve always secretly wished I lived in an apartment with 3 guy roommates.)

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I forget how much I love Saturdays when there’s nothing to worry about and no school work to get caught up on. Sorry this post was kind of random but it was such a nice day I needed to write about it.

The Best of 2018

Every year I like to go back and reflect on the events that shaped this year into what it was (like most people out there). One year ago, I marked 2018 as the year of me. I wanted to push into the new year with my focus being on myself and taking care of myself. I’ve been able to fulfill that resolution through many different new things I have experienced and have done that I’ve never done before.

January 2018:

I started the year by creating a mantra for myself, “you are strong, you are beautiful, you are enough.” I got this idea from a daily devotional I received a few years ago. The book is called, “Staying Strong 365 days a Year,” written by Demi Lovato. Each day she gives a quote, her own background to the quote, and a goal written at the bottom of the page to keep in mind for that day. January 1st had the goal to create a mantra that is just yours. Hence, the mantra I created for myself. I tried hard to stick to this every day and to repeat it to myself when times were hard.

I also started the year by creating a bullet journal to keep track of 6 goals a month I had for myself and my feelings each day. Every day I recorded if I attained the goal for the day and my mood/feelings for that day. My goal was to do this every day for a whole year and I was successful in that goal!

February 2018:

Looking back, February was filled with gymnastics and nothing more. Every weekend was spent at a different tournament for the different teams I coached. It was a blast and an incredibly fun month, but needless to say that was the month I missed school the most for getting sick. Coincidence?

March 2018:

In March, I started a new coaching position coaching pole vault for my high school’s track team. This was a very new experience for me. I never did pole vault myself but the head coach (also being my mom) was desperate to find a pole vaulting coach and asked me because of my gymnastics background. It was definitely a job of firsts. I love to know what I’m doing and I like to know that I am good at my job. This was a job I had no idea what I was doing 90% of the time. I had to learn to be okay with that and learn along side the vaulters.

This was also the month that I was cut from my 4th grade teaching position in my hometown. This was very hard for me to work through. Our district was in incredible debt and myself, along with all of the other non tenure teachers in the district, knew we would not have our jobs the next school year. I knew this was coming but it was difficult to deal with nonetheless. Little did I know, this would end up being one of the best things to ever happen to me!

April 2018:

April was a month I spent a lot of time with my family. A major reason behind this was being able to coach alongside my mom each day. In April, my mom and I went to the NCAA Regional Gymnastics Tournament in Minneapolis, MN. We are both HUGE NCAA gymnastics fans so this was a treat for us. We got to watch the then ranked no. 1 team in the nation, Oklahoma and their star gymnast, Minnesota native and NCAA no. 1 ranked gymnast, Maggie Nichols.

May 2018:

May was CRAZY. My birthday is in May and this was a great day in itself. The day before my birthday I interviewed for a 3rd grade position in a neighboring town. The day I turned 23 my phone rang and I was offered the job. I was hesitant at first but I LOVE my school and my kids more than anything. On Mother’s Day, my younger sister and I decided to get matching sister tattoos. We both have a few and had always wanted to get ones that matched.

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I also made the decision to move out on my own. Halfway through the month I began looking for apartments and signed papers 2 days after I started looking. Our last day of school was May 31st and I moved into my new apartment June 1st.

June:

June was spent mostly furnishing and decorating my apartment. I spent many hours and tons of money creating the perfect space for myself. I live on my own which meant I was able to design it exactly how I wanted to. I also made the biggest decision of my life and decided it was time for me to sign up to see a therapist for my daily struggles. This was a HUGE step for me and it was one of the best decisions I had ever made.

July 2018:

July started off with my first ever therapy session. I’ve had a lot in the past 6 months and they have made a huge difference. It’s crazy for me to think back and see a turn in my mood and thoughts. I spent the month making the most of being with friends and family. I also competed in my first triathlon of the summer, which was also the hottest day of the entire summer! Finally, I ended the month by booking a trip for myself over spring break this year to London and Paris!! In one of my sessions, I was asked what was something I’d always wanted to do. Paris has always been a dream of mine. In a crazy turn of events I was told about a traveling company that takes groups of 18-29 year olds all over the world. I took the plunge and booked a trip for myself. Something I NEVER would have done!

August 2018:

I spent most of this month getting ready for school to start again in my new school. I had 2 weeks of workshop along with putting together my room. I had my 2nd triathlon of the summer and signed up to start doing Crossfit at my local gym. (Again, signing up was something I never had the guts to do but I did it anyways and love it!)

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September 2018:

September 1st I got to go to see the one and only Taylor Swift on her Reputation tour. I’m a die hard fan and have now officially seen her 4 different times. (Her music is my guilty pleasure!) September was also the month I officially started my new job!

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October 2018:

October was a month I centered around keeping myself healthy. I had a pretty tight routine of school, seeing my family, and working out. I worked on staying mindful and tried to implement that into my classroom with my kiddos.

November 2018:

High school gymnastics started!! I hadn’t been in the gym since the summer (which is new for me, I’m usually in there every day) so it was so great to be back! I had to adjust to this new crazy routine but it was worth it. I got to be back and work with girls I hadn’t seen since they were 10. I’m also a nerd when it comes to Harry Potter so I was in heaven when Crimes of Grindelwald came out. I definitely went to see that twice in the same week.

December 2018:

I started December with my shiny new blog. Even if no one reads my posts, there’s something very therapeutic about writing your thoughts down to share. I have loved being able to start this journey. Like December for most people, mine was centered around my friends and family (and gymnastics) with Christmas. As stressful as school had gotten during this month, I was able to spend my off time with people I love and who make me happy.

This year has been a year of many many firsts. Looking back, I accomplished my resolution of celebrating the year of myself. I was able to do new things for no one else but myself. I did my best to keep myself healthy and to try new things to keep me happy and healthy. Here’s to 2019, the year of adventure and happiness! I will start 2019 with the same mantra I started this past year with, I am strong, I am beautiful, I am enough.

Christmas Break Bliss

This week has been just what I needed to refresh my spirits and energy. I’ve been able to clean, sleep, read, and do pretty much whatever I want whenever I want.

I’ve been trying to sleep in this week but, ironically, I’ve been waking up just when I usually would on a school day. I’ve been trying to stay in bed as late as I possibly can but I have been up by 7:00 every morning. The nice part about this is, unlike on a school day, I’m able to enjoy a nice cup of coffee on the couch while still in my pajamas.

Yesterday, I spent most of the afternoon reading an amazing book I was given as a Christmas present. The book is titled, Life is Short, Don’t Wait to Dance, written by Valorie Kondos Field. You can find it here on Amazon.

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If you’ve never heard of her before, which is pretty common, she’s the UCLA women’s gymnastics head coach. Gymnastics has been a major part of my life growing up and I’m currently an assistant high school gymnastics coach. A judge, at one of our recent meets, told us about this book and our other assistant coach purchased on for us and our head coach. It’s an incredible story that goes through parts of her life but also gives out advice on how to live a happy and positive life.

The book is just over 200 pages long with 19 chapters. It’s a quick and easy read and is extremely relatable whether you are familiar with gymnastics or not. In fact, she was never a gymnast herself so the book isn’t focused around her gymnastics career entirely. I am a person that struggles with anxiety, and has for a very long time, this book puts a new perspective on how to handle daily anxieties and little pieces of advice that anyone can use in their daily lives.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 and she explains her experience through a few chapters in the book. She talks about how she never let the cancer faze her and she thinks that’s part of the reason she is now cancer free. She also had a very close relationship with UCLA’s famous basketball coach, John Wooden. She talks about how his philosophies, especially on success, inspired her to be the person she is. Finally, she talks about the recent abuse stories that have been exposed in USA gymnastics. She is very close to the girls who have opened up about their pasts. She doesn’t dwell on this in her writing, but focuses on how strong these young ladies are and how she worked with them to help them overcome the past traumas they had endured.

I honestly LOVED this book. Being a coach, it gave me advice and a new perspective on handling tough situations but it also gave me a new perspective on myself and my life outside of coaching. If you are in need of a good happy read, this is the book for you.

We had a pretty bad snow/ice storm the past few days, so this morning the roads were terrible. I decided to use my time to stay at my apartment to get more chores done. I have spent my morning doing some more cleaning and (sadly) putting away my Christmas decorations. Everything is clean and open again but it is sad for me that my beautiful tree is put away until next year.

It’s crazy to me that It’s already been a week of break. I’m excited to see my kiddos again but I could use another full week off.