Monthly Archives: December 2016

A Look Back

As I look back on this year I’m a little stunned at where I am today.

For two years I’d felt like I needed to move. It was dumb though. We’d just built a beautiful new house, I had an amazing staff of great kids with younger J students feeding into a wonderful program, my small group was the best ever, most of my family was near me. Moving was a crazy idea.

The job I loved was hard. It had always been tough, but ever since the move to an eight-period day I was exhausted. If someone had told me adding one 45-minute class to a packed day would make that big of a difference physically and psychologically, I would have told them they were nuts. 

But it did. Even though it helped my program with numbers it always felt like I was running, trying to catch up, trying to breathe. 

Maybe that’s where the push to move started. I’m not sure. I do know Brian and I started praying, and this year a friend told me she was getting out of the adviser world if I wanted to apply for her job. Brian and I prayed some more, and I decided to apply there and a couple other places.

When I didn’t hear anything from the applications, I accepted that Wichita Falls was where I belonged and focused on doing what I could and letting everything else go.

Then two schools called. 

I interviewed and we prayed some more. I almost didn’t interview but like Brian said, I could always turn schools down if they offered and we decided we didn’t want to move.

The entire process was WE focused. Moving would be a huge change for me AND Brian. And no way could we do any of it without God. Our small group helped too.

Leaving home was a huge risk and it hurt. I loved my kids, my school, our city and our people, the house with everything we wanted.

Moving still felt right. And there was a real peace in knowing I’d let go and let God,

Now four months in to the move it still feels right even though it isn’t easy. We come home often. Brian’s dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer, so he splits his time between our new home in Fort Worth and Wichita Falls. My mom ended up with MRSA and has spent almost six weeks in the hospital. Being new for the first time since 1994 is tough. We haven’t found a church. Apartment living is way different than I remember. 

And still the move was right. I’ve lost 50 pounds. I love my new school and Brian has so many great opportunities in Fort Worth. It’s kind of like we have this huge blank slate to write new stories on.

It’s still scary to start over. Four months isn’t enough time to change that. But now that we’re here at the end of this year of risks and change, I’m looking forward to what the next year will bring.

We’ve joined a gym in Fort Worth (that’s a first for We. I’ve always been a member of the Y and Brian mows lawns so no gym needed), I have a local RWA group (I swear I will be there this year!) and a critique group in Saginaw that meets on Tuesdays, I love my new school and we love Fort Worth. One of the things I have to change is how much time I spend on social media. I’ve deleted Facebook from my phone. (Good idea, Bill.) I plan on a Facebook fast for January. It won’t be easy, but I think I need a reset. 

Maybe taking Facebook out of my life will lead to more blogging. 😊

Looking forward I feel a little like I need to say may the odds be ever in your favor, but I don’t want to end this on a negative.

Instead I’ll say this: for me the lesson of this year is to truly let go and let God, to listen to that voice that says if you’re unhappy in your present you’re not in chains BUT changing places doesn’t mean changing the space in your head. You have to do that too. And all the time in the world doesn’t change how you use it unless you decide to actually change how you spend your time. Finally, dream big and chase those dreams. Social media and Netflix can really get in the way of that. 😉

Happy New Year’s Eve. 🎉

In the early 90s I was a single mom going to college. Because I worked and got scholarships I had to fight for stuff like food stamps. Day care was crazy expensive. Enter United Way and the Wichita Falls YMCA. I volunteered one day a week and they took care of Katie’s day care expense. 

There’s no way I’d be a teacher today without help from those two organizations.

When I started teaching I joined the Y. That was a long time ago. Today I cancelled the membership because we’ve moved. I didn’t expect that cancellation to make me emotional, but it did. At first I was shocked by the tears, but then I remembered all the Y has been to me over the years, and I get it.

It wasn’t just Zumba and water aerobics and the elliptical and that walking track. All of that was great, but the Y literally changed my life. 

I’m going to miss it. Glad they said I can visit when I’m in town. ❤

Phone Addiction

The good thing about technology today: the world is at my fingertips.

The bad thing about technology today: the world is at my fingertips.

I need to face some serious realities about my time and how much of it is spent on Facebook and twitter and my news app. I enjoy social media, I like feeling aware of world events, sometimes I read something that touches my heart and makes me feel like I’ve found a kindred soul, but I’m spending way too much time online. 

I hereby confess: I’ve got a phone addiction.

Yesterday I had to refresh my phone and reconfigure it from a backup. It took 3 hours. I had to go grocery shopping without it. And you know what? I was fine.

My phone makes life easier: maps, Apple Pay, Starbucks mobile order. But I’m letting my phone run me, and that’s got to change.

This isn’t the first time I’ve written these words, but seriously, I’ve got to change my online habits or I’m going to wake up one day wondering where all my time went.

The newsroom

There’s this picture.

I kind of forgot about it. It’s been on the blog already, and it’s on my Facebook. It’s a photo of my Rider newsroom boxes all packed up sitting in my old house’s office.

Somehow that photo ended up on my timeline today.

Not gonna lie. Seeing that photo was a punch to the gut.

I just finished Amy Poehler’s Yes Please. She talked about grieving for SNL when she left.

I totally understand what she means.

Teaching at Rider was one of the best experiences of my life. Living in that house was too. 

I chose to leave that, and I don’t regret the decision.

But this semester has been one of grieving what I left behind while building something new. It’s the perfect definition of bittersweet.

Interestingly enough I picked up my first CTHS newsroom t-shirt today. The two moments are kind of symbolic of the whole semester so far. 

I’m in a new place and I love it. I wouldn’t trade the years at the old place for anything. ❤️

Toothbrush War

It started with a Black Friday ad from Amazon  on my Facebook, which I spend entirely too much time on.

Okay, not exactly.

It started with my tight teeth and the fact that when I try to floss, I can’t. 

AND somehow Amazon Magic and the Facebook gods know this about me even though I never talk about it.

I could not resist the Sonic Care toothbrush and water pic…or is it pik…or is is pick… (oh hey, it’s actually waterpic! Yay pictures!)

Whatever it is, I could not resist.

Especially not at such a huge savings.

So there it sat on my kitchen cabinet for a week. Until two nights ago when I mustered the courage to assemble to product and read the directions.

And so this morning my bathroom looked like I’d taken part in some kind of nightmare- induced water gun fight AND my neighbors probably think I’ve invested in a new hobby called drills are fun.

Facebook gods and Amazon Magic, you are just too funny.