Wednesday, March 30, 2011

another wordless Wednesday...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

REAL sportsmanship.

You really must watch this--whether you like sports or not.



Wednesday, March 23, 2011

30 things I learned in my 20's...

Well. I'm 30 today. 3 whole decades. Approximately 10,957.266 days old. Yep...it's true.
I was born on March 23, 1981, and as much as I try to pretend that wasn't 30 years ago today, I can't deny the truth. I'm 30. In fact, if you do the math, I feel confident that you would also see that I am indeed 30 years old.
Officially 30.
I'm OK about this, though. Really---I AM!
Can't you tell??
I feel like now, I'm allowed to make an excuse about being really tired, finding a gray hair on my head, an unplanned curve on my body, or a new wrinkle on my face. I am 30 after all...

It's crazy to reflect on the past 10 years of my life. If you had asked me at age 20, what I thought my life would be like at age 30, never EVER would I have said that I would still be single-no kids, teaching in Starkville, and living in my grandparents' home. I don't really know exactly what I thought my life would be like at age 30, but I can tell you that this is not what I envisioned. Am I complaining? Not really. I'm very content with my life right now. Sure, there are things that I'd like to be different, but isn't that only human? God has taken care of me all of my life and I'm not afraid of entering another decade of my life.

I have compiled a list of 30(+1!) things I learned in my 20's. Now, I've learned eleventy bazillion things in my 20's, but here's a very abbreviated list:

1. Stay close to your parents. They probably know you better (and longer!) than anybody else, and more than likely, they're a whole lot wiser than you.

2. Got siblings? Make an effort to stay close to them too. You'll be glad you did.

3. Be a good friend and surround yourself with friends who are real. Best friends are underrated sometimes. I think every girl should have at least 3 best friends. Me? Well, I have about a dozen. Each of them was perfectly placed in my life at the time when they were needed most. Most of the time I'm not really sure what I'd do without them, nor am I sure what I've done to deserve them! Find real friends and choose not to spend your time with people who bring you down.

4. Be trustworthy, but don't trust everybody you meet. I learned this the hard way about 3 years ago. Yes, I'm still a very trustworthy person, but I'm not so easy to trust people anymore. Unfortunately people aren't always what they seem. Choose wisely.

5. It's OK to be single in your 20's (even at 29!)! Sure I'd love to be married with kids, but that's obviously not what God wants for me right now. As I reflect on my 20's though, I think about the many "girls' trips", traveling, last minute shopping trips, etc. that I did in my 20's. Some of these things may not have occurred if I'd had a family. I have no regrets.

6. Be a listener. While it's sometimes great to be there to give advice, sometimes the best thing you can do is listen.

7. Smile at strangers and be nice to people even if you're in a bad mood. Ironically, it can make you feel better as well as the strangers! My dad is a very overly friendly person. He smiles constantly and speaks to everyone he meets. I grew up rolling my eyes at this. When you're 12 years old, you're annoyed at the fact that it takes an hour to get to your table at a restaurant because your dad has to talk to everybody IN SIGHT! As an adult now, I realize that I've actually inherited this character trait! My sisters make so much fun of me, but all I can say to them is, "Um...have you never met our father?" I get this honestly. And to be honest, it makes me feel better to be friendly to others. Go out of your way to be nice sometime; You never know when you're making somebody's day.

8. Try something new. In my 2o's I began running, and now it's one of my most favorite things to do! I hope to trying something else new in my 30s!

9. Set goals. As I mentioned in #8, I enjoy running. At age 27, I decided to go out of my comfort zone and train for a half marathon, and in April of 2009, I successfully completed my first half marathon! One of the best things I've ever done. If there's something you've wanted to do in your life, do it now.

10. Apologize when necessary. One of the hardest things I've ever had to do is apologize for something I've done wrong. It's also one of the best things I've ever had to do. I've learned in "my old age," ;) that apologizing just makes everybody feel better.

11. Avoid using credit cards. Just use them for emergencies if possible!

12. Listen to your mom. Chances are, she knows what she's talking about. And if your mom doesn't seem to have it together, just call my mom. She absolutely knows what she's talking about.

13. Find a job you love. I've been in the working world for nearly 8 years, and I'm very grateful that I have a job that I enjoy. Unfortunately, that's not the case with so many people I know. The truth is, you sometimes spend more time at work than at home, so you should absolutely find something you enjoy.

14. Be yourself and don't worry what others think. I love George Strait, sometimes wear mis-matched clothes, and recently had a green "bedazzled" cast. Do you think I care what's possibly said about me? Umm.. no. It's what makes me...ME!

15. Don't expect your life to be like a romantic comedy. Sure, I'd love for Matthew McConaughey to chase me down on his motorcycle and tell me that he loves me and can't live another day without me, but unfortunately, that's probably not going to happen. Bummer.

16. Get a pet. Single? Live by yourself? GET.A.PET. Period. Even if you're married with children, you still need a pet. Sure, Max is a little--well---neurotic, but he's my buddy and without him, I would be so very lonely!

17. There are a lot of jerks out there. Avoid them. Fortunately, there are a lot of really great guys too. I hope to start avoiding the jerks and eventually finding one of those really good ones. You should find one too.
18. Don't compare yourself to others!!! If you're a female, you probably do this regularly. There's always going to be somebody skinnier, prettier, happier, taller, funnier, richer, etc. That doesn't always make them better. I'm working on this one!

19. Make friends at work! As I mentioned in #13, you may possibly spend more time at work than at home, so you need to make the best of it! As a 2nd grade teacher, there are times when I think I can't make it another day! Thankfully, my teacher friends are there to pick me up and encourage me!

20. Find a random hobby. This is something I didn't do in my 20's, but it's on my to-do list for my 30's! This summer, I plan to read more, learn to cook better, and possibly even learn to sew or knit!

21. Keep your house clean. You'll sleep better at night knowing there aren't dirty dishes in your sink.

22. Don't allow your job to control your life. Like a mentioned earlier, find a job you love, but don't let it become your life. I believe that it's important to find the balance between work life and personal life.

23. Get your priorities in line, and make sure God is at the very top of this list. Period.

24. Exercise regularly. I wasn't an extremely active person until I hit my 20's Exercising several days a week makes you feel better and look better. Find something you love doing--walking your dog, jogging, biking, swimming, etc-and decide to do these things regularly.

25. Go to church. I'm pretty sure this one is self explanatory.

26. If your grandparents are still living, spend a lot of time with them. 2 of my grandparents passed away during my 20's. I was very close to both of them and was fortunate to see them often. Of course now that they're gone, I think about how I wish I had spent even more time with them. I now have one living grandparent who lives in Meridian, and I hope I'm able to make more memories with her in my 30's.
"Grandparents, like heroes, are as necessary to a child's growth as vitamins"-Joyce Allston

27. When it comes to dating and marriage, don't settle for less than you deserve. While I am unmarried, I dated several guys in my 20's. Some of them were great guys, but I'm so very happy that none of them ended in marriage, especially at the time. I learned a lot about myself during those relationships, and I have become more aware of what I desire and deserve in a life-long mate. Thank God I didn't get married just to be married.

28. Don't allow stress to dominate your life. Period.
29. Travel. No, I'm not a world traveler, and I don't plan long, extravagant vacations. I do, however, plan yearly trips to the beach and regular trips to visit my friends (Tennessee, Alabama, Texas, etc.). I'm so glad to have these times with my dear friends!

30. DON'T GO TO TANNING BEDS!! I was never a really regular tanning bed goer, but I did go some during my 20's. I blame all of my skin irregularites on tanning beds. I'm now a regular sunscreen-wearer and for a little skin color I use Jergens Natural Glow (There are way worse things in life than having fair skin!).

+1:
31. Count your blessings. There are a lot of things in my life that I haven't figured out yet (after all, I'm only 30!:) ), but I do realize that I've got a pretty good life. I'm grateful for all that God has provided for me and shown me in my 30 years of life!

What are some things you've learned in the past 10 years of your life?

Do any of you "old people" have any advice for a new 30 year old? :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy first day of spring!

picture found here....

How did you enjoy your first spring weekend of 2011?
Mine was spently mostly outside in the absolutely perfect weather. The warm sunshine makes me so ready for my beach trip in May!
Alexa was in town so I was so glad we got to hang out last night. We sat outside and enjoyed pizza at Bin 612 (one of my favorites!).
Did I tell you how much I love this weather?

Even though this is the first "official" day of spring, it marks the end of my Spring Break. I'm oh so very sad about my fabulous week ending, but having this past week off has made me feel so refreshed. I'm looking forward to getting back to school tomorrow, seeing my "little ones," and getting our last 9 weeks of school started!

Have a perfect spring week!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

ABCs and a special birthday!

I copied this from here, and thought it was a fun way to kill some time while I actually have time to kill this week!
ABCs of me!

A. Age
I'm approximately 29 years and 359 days old. Yikes.

B. Bed size:
Double.


C. Chore I dislike:
Laundry. YUCK.


D. Dogs
My beloved Max! He'll be 5 years old in May.

E. Essential start to your day:
That would be COFFEE.



F. Favorite Color:
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

G. Gold or Silver:
GOLD

H. Height:
5'6"--on a tall day.

I. Instruments you play(ed):
I totally played the saxophone in the 5th grade band. It's true. And I was really good at it. I wish I could play the piano though.



J. Job title:
2nd grade teacher. I love my job!
K. Kids:
(See "D")

L. Live:
I'm a Mississippi girl! Always have been and quite possibly(??) always will be!




M. Mom's name:
Melita (see Acts 27:28).
Isn't she pretty?

N. Nickname:
I have many! My nephews call me "LaLa," my students call me "Miss T.," my friends call me "LT," Laura T." and "Yaya."

O. Overnight hospital stays:
I was a preemie and had pneumonia as an infant. Other than that, I've never had a hospital stay (I'm knocking on wood right now).

P. Pet peeves:
Smacking, bad drivers, cigarette smoke
Q. Quote from a movie:
Are you really going to get me started on this?? :)

Here are only a few of my faves:

"I been workin' here at the D.Q. for about, um... eight months? Seven? I don't know, somethin' like that, it's fun. Just do the cones... make sundaes, make Blizzards, 'n... put stuff on 'em, 'n... see a lot of people come in, a lot of people come to the D.Q... burgers... ice cream... anything, you know? Cokes... just drive in and get a Coke, if you're thirsty"-Libby Mae Brown from "Waiting for Guffman"

Lloyd: "Excuse me, Flo?"
[Harry and Lloyd crack up]
Lloyd: Flo, like the TV show. "Uh, what is the Soup Du Jour?"
Flo: "It's the Soup of the Day."
Lloyd: "Mmmm. That sounds good. I'll have that."
from "Dumb and Dumber"

"Hi Honey! Think KFC's still open?"- Frank from "Old School"

R. Rule that you've never broken:
I never drank alcohol as a minor.
S.Siblings:
Kristen-2 years older
Heather-2 years younger

T. Time you wake up:
Waaaaay too early...

U. Underwear
That's kinda my business! :)


V. Vegetables you don't like:
I'm a vegetable eater, so there aren't too many I won't eat. BUT, I don't really like English peas, cauliflower, or cucumbers.
W. What makes you run late:
(See "D" again...).
X. Xrays you've had:
Ironically, I just had one yesterday! I don't think I'd ever had one until this ankle incident.

Y. Yummy food you make:
See here.
Z. Zoo animal favorites:
I love a monkey!

On a different note today, it's MEREDITH'S BIRTHDAY!!!
Happy birthday to my dear, precious friend!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

NOLA!

In case I've failed to mention it, I'm turning the big 3-0 next week. I've had mixed feelings about hitting this milestone, which I'm sure is normal.
Anyway, my 2 fantastic sisters, Kristen and Heather, and my wonderful cousin, Adelia, took me to New Orleans this past weekend to help me celebrate my birthday! It's spring break for me (as well as Adelia), so the timing was really perfect. My sweet mom did a little research and made our hotel reservations, restaurant reservations, and SPA reservations! So, there were a lot of different events that were planned during our trip, but we still had lots of "free" time to roam the city . We've had this trip planned for a couple of months now, so I was so upset when I hurt my ankle and knew that I'd be in a cast for the trip. We didn't let us stop us, though! We borrowed a wheelchair from a friend and I was wheeling around in style!
I've only been to New Orleans once or twice in my life, and I was probably 14 the last time I was there. There are so many fun things to do and beautiful (sometimes eccentric!) things to see!WE.HAD.A.BLAST!


Now I will share a little about our itinerary, whether you like it or not! :)
When we got to our hotel Friday late afternoon, K&H "ordered" me and A to sit downstairs in the lobby until they gave us permission to come upstairs. After a few minutes, they allowed us to come up to our room, where they surprised me with the decorated room and yummy wine and cheese! They're the best!
We had some good R&R before heading out that night.
We had reservations that night at The Redfish Grill. It was fantastic!Sunday morning we went to brunch at the Court of Two Sisters. It was hands-down the best brunch I've ever had and the atmosphere was beautiful! You should absolutely go there the next time you're in the area. YUM.We spent the rest of the day shopping at The Shops at Canal Place and Magazine Street. The weather couldn't have been more perfect for our day!

Sunday was our "Spa Day!" We did a little more shopping, ate at Nacho Mama's , where we had yet another fabulous meal...(are you noticing a food theme here? Hmmm....). We then went to Loews, where I was surprised with a full body massage and a facial! It was heavenly. K was pampered with a massage, while H&A had pedicures! It was so wonderful, and we all pretty much agreed that that was one of our favorite parts of the entire weekend!
The rest of our Sunday was spent walking on the Riverwalk and enjoying another beautiful day!



Our trip was made complete when we went to the infamous Cafe Du Monde this morning before heading home.
Sure, I may have gained 48 lbs while I was there, but it was all absolutely worth it!
Thanks, Mom for planning this trip for us and thank you K, H, and A for helping to make my 30th birthday celebration so perfect! :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

sweet students of mine.

(Follow up from yesterday's post...)
Here are a few things that will be included in the care package my class is sending to Lucy. My students are so excited about this, and well, I am too! (They've worked so hard on their Get Well cards to her!)

You will hardly ever see me post pictures of my students on my blog, but I had to include this one (without including names, of course!). They were so excited about taking this picture to send to Lucy!
FYI--"Miss Watts" (AKA Laura Kate), the lovely redhead standing next to me in the picture, is my fantastic student teacher who has been with me since January (meaning she's been with me since I've been unable to get around because of my ankle!). She's been a Godsend to me during this time, but that's another post for another day.:)
Although some of these precious little angel faces want to make me pull my hair out (and have, in fact, caused several gray hairs on my not-even-30-year-old-scalp!), they're still my babies, and I'm so proud of them for their willingness to want to make Lucy smile!

Now, have you prayed for Lucy today?

MSU athletes at Sudduth!

What a fun day it was for ME my students today!
Several MSU athletes--from football players to baseball players to soccer players to track runners, etc--came to my fantastic school this morning to eat breakfast with the students. Keep in mind that I teach at a K-2 school, so these kids are so SO young, and seeing these athletes "in real life" was like a dream come true. They acted like these people were celebrities! To top it off, Dan Mullen was there, and if you ask me, that was the best part of all (well, that and getting to see that beautiful Egg Bowl trophy in person!). I volunteered to help "supervise" the event, but I'm pretty sure I had more fun than some of the students there!
I overheard a couple of football players telling a few of my students that if they wanted to be big and strong like them, they needed to be sure to do their homework and stay in school. I loved it! I'm sure it means very little to my students when I say those words to them, but when they hear a big, strong football player saying that to them it takes on an entirely new meaning! It was great. I was so excited to snap a few great pictures from this morning.
Enjoy.
Oh, and in case you're wondering, the Egg Bowl IS still in Starkville, for the 2nd year in a row. Just in case you forgot.

GO DAWGS!!!