August 31, 2008

amazing love

So I promise I didn't create this blog to make it all mushy and to constantly talk about the cliche idea of "how happy we are now that we're married". However, I wrote this poem for my writing class that I'm in and one of my friends said I had to put it on here, so here it is:

Amazing Love

I thought I was in love… I was, but not like this.

I thought I knew what love was, and how to show it…I did, but now I know better.

I thought that you were the perfect guy… you were, but now it means so much more.

I thought that we were meant for each other… we were, but now I truly know it.

I thought we were going to make a great family of our own someday… we will, and I can hardly wait for it!

The way that God has worked in me and you is inspiring. He has taken the two of us and molded us into exactly what the other person needs. You are more perfect to me now than you even were on our wedding day.

I love how you kiss me on my forehead to say goodbye in the morning when I’m not even fully awake yet.

I love how you pick up our kitty and hold and kiss her each day when you get home from work at night.

I love that you call my mom and dad just to talk, because deep down I know you are the son that they never had.

I love how when I’m mad at you for not doing something you said you would do, you simply meow or make some other obnoxious noise to make me laugh and all is good again.

I love how I’m more in love with you today than I was 3 months ago on our wedding day. I
know you better, for good and bad, and somehow that has turned into loving you more deeply now than before.

And finally, knowing that I love you more now than ever before makes me so excited and more in love with you and anxious to see how much more my love for you can grow.

August 21, 2008

the first days...

Well the first two days of school have come and gone and I find myself thinking that there are a lot of days left! Don't get me wrong, my job can be fun, rewarding and somewhat challenging, but not yet. During these first few days I find myself wandering the halls, helping cute and lost kindergartners to their rooms, fiddling around on my computer and the usual walk across the hall to Renee's room to see what's going on.
I finally was able to start pulling some 1st graders today to test. The test that I give to them is 6 parts, most of the parts get quite repetitive and I want to strangle the author of the book The Hippo in the Hole. It might be a good book if you didn't have to listen to a bajillion first graders read it to you over and over. I forgot how much these first few weeks of testing really do stink!
I'm ready to get into the teaching part of my job and done with the monotonous testing part. I'm ready to see students learn to read and see their excitement when they figure out that they actually can read!
I'm also ready to tell some exciting news...however Matt has put the kabash on letting it slip out yet, so a few more weeks and I'll be letting everyone know! (no mom, it's not baby news, not even close or in our thoughts yet, so relax!)
Another thing I'm maybe not excited for but anxious for is grad school. In about a month Renee and I will be starting our first of the Friday/Saturday classes and I'm ready to get them started. The sooner we start the sooner the end is near! I don't mind school but I am definitely not looking forward to being in class on Friday nights and all day Saturdays, yuck!
Even though I find my life to be somewhat boring right now I had a "moment" the other night. Matt and I were sitting in the living room, we had just made an awesome dinner, the kitchen was cleaned up, we had finished taking down all of our incredibly hideous borders in the house during the week, and had just finished painting the kitchen that night...and all of the sudden we found ourselves laughing hysterically, to the point of tears. (I'm not sure what it was about...ok, I lie. I do remember, but it involved flatulents and you really don't want to know the whole story, trust me.) It was at this point that I realized life is good, and I couldn't be more happy if I tried right now.
It still amazes me that every night I come home to actually be with Matt, and that I'm not waiting for the weekends to see him anymore. I'm pretty sure Matt has probably heard at least once a week something along the lines of, "It just still hasn't hit me that we're married, it's so crazy!" He probably thinks I'm crazy since I keep saying that, but it's true... it hasn't hit me yet. I'm glad it hasn't hit me to be honest, because every time I sit and realize how awesome our lives are right now and how much fun we have together and that we are actually married, I get happy. And I like that feeling. So I'll take the boring job for a few more weeks and try to concentrate on the happiness.

August 13, 2008

the old man takes a dive

My dad called me last week and informed me that he was going to go skydiving on Sunday and wondered if I wanted to go along and watch. The "airport" (aka little shack in a field) is located in Vinton, about 5 minutes from our house. So I of course said yes, pick us up. So this past Sunday dad picked Matt and I up and we headed out to have dad pushed out of a plane. We sat around and watched a video and dad signed some papers that in summary said: if you die because of us, or our equipment, it's not our fault. right!

Dad getting his harness on (watch the boys, right dad? =):

After the video dad got all strapped up, and I mean TIGHTLY strapped up, Matt and I were actually laughing watching it happen. A man named Don Briggs, you may know him for several reasons. He used to be a famous wrestler, he is currently a teacher at UNI in the physical education department, and this past winter he was the guy that attached a hose to the top of our silo and made it into an ice climbing wall. Anyway, he is a trained sky diver and offered to take dad up on a tandem jump...which is how we got to the point of Briggs tightly strapping dad's harness on.

The sweet football helmet from 1950:

After they were all hooked up and ready to go they loaded the plane and took off. About 10 minutes later we finally saw a few of the people start dropping through the clouds. At this point they all looked like little birds so we had no idea which one they were. We soon figured it out since they were the only tandem team, and therefore the only ones with 4 feet dangling down.

Dad & Briggs coming in:

Dad & Briggs walking in ( i think this picture is way sweet with the plane
just leaving behind them):

And so another wild and crazy event crossed off of dad's "Bucket List". Below you can click on the blue link to watch the video that Matt made of dad's jump. (the song in the video is Dad's FAVORITE song, it's from Forrest Gump and we've seriously listened to it a hundred times in the car, #18 on disc one, incase you were interested!)

Click the link below to see the video Matt made of the skydive:

August 11, 2008

don't mess with God's plans...

I received an important lesson today, and I'm pretty sure it was sent straight from God.

This whole "lesson" started last week. I had a voicemail waiting for me last Friday. During my lunch break from class I listened to the message from my principal to call him as soon as I had time. I called him and he proceeded to tell me that there was a good possibility that the 3rd grade teaching position would become available during the week, and was wondering if I was interested in it. After he told me I had 30 seconds to decide and I laughed out loud, he told me to get back to him over the weekend with my decision.

Third grade has always been the grade that I dreamed of teaching. They still like school and their teacher, they are just starting to really get into some fun and interesting science units, they are more independent than 1st and 2nd graders and they are starting to understand my humor (let me tell you, 1st and 2nd graders are a tough crowd!).

After spending all day Saturday and Sunday running to the bathroom because my nerves were going crazy, except for when we were out at the skydiving place watching dad jump (more to come on that later this week after Matt gets the video posted) I knew I had to make a decision. I had JUST decided last week to start grad school this semester and I was really worried that with grad school and starting a new position a week before classes started that I wouldn't be able to put all of my energy into a new position. I went back and forth all weekend and eventually came to the decision that I couldn't let my dream position pass by. However, it is important to know that even if I had decided to take the 3rd grade position it wasn't guaranteed to me because the principal would have to find a qualified candidate to take my position. Meaning, that the applicant would have to have a reading endorsement or minor in order to teach reading, otherwise they would only be qualified for the 3rd grade job.

So I got a hold of my principal and told him that I would like to move to the 3rd grade position, assuming that they could find a replacement for me (ha, like anyone could really replace me, I am pretty much the most fun reading teacher ever! =). He told me that that sounded great and then he explained that the interviews were to be Monday morning and that only one candidate had a reading endorsement. I left that conversation feeling a bit worried. However, he said that he would let me know the decision by early afternoon Monday (today).

About an hour ago I received a call from him... the teacher they would like to extend a contract to does NOT have a reading endorsement. Bummer. However I somehow knew this morning when I woke up that I would not be scrambling to set up a classroom this week, I had a calmness about me that knew I would be in my comfortable and somewhat more relaxed position again this year.

So now I sit, knowing that life will be a little bit less hectic this year than I had hoped for. That I won't be spending weekends at school setting up fun science experiments and picking neat books to read aloud to the class. (when you only have 3-5 kids at a time, read alouds don't really happen too much) And to be honest, I'm okay with all of this. I know that SO many things in my life have worked out EXACTLY as they were supposed to, and I'm taking this decision as another one of those things.

I'm ok with life

and life is ok with me.

Things are rolling along just as they are meant to be.

August 3, 2008

the grad decision

Last week as I sat alone in our quiet house, in our quiet little town (less than 1,000) I decided that I needed something to do again. I've spent the last year and a half planning our wedding or at least thinking about it nearly every day. Now that that is over and we're not ready for kids I decided that I needed something else to keep me busy (I get REALLY bored and cranky REALLY fast when I have nothing to do). So I decided that I wanted to look into grad school. I did some research online and talked to a few other teachers who have recently pursued their Master's Degree in education. I was specifically looking into UNI, where Matt and I both got our undergrads, or Viterbo University.
Viterbo University is a Catholic college in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. They offer a quick and dirty graduate program all throughout Iowa and Wisconsin. There are lots of different "sites" around the state that offer classes for credit with Viterbo and one is right in Cedar Falls. There are 5 core classes that have to be taken and 7 elective classes, equaling 36 total hours of graduate credit. The final 3 credits come from a week long "seminar" in LaCrosse the week of graduation which will be July 1010 (I'm the first to admit that seems like it's darn far away still!).
So I got some information and then called my best friend from school, Renee. Renee teaches special ed at the same school that I teach at and also started there last year. She was my personal attendant in my wedding and has been an awesome friend. I told her she needed to look into this program because we could get it done in just over a year and a half.
So the decision has been made... I start classes tomorrow. I have to admit, I'm both excited and a bit sad. Excited because I've always loved school, the classes haven't ever been too challenging, the people are fun and it's always been pretty easy for me overall. Plus, a $5,000 pay raise won't hurt either! But the other side of me is sad. I just signed up for this first class on Thursday, and now I suddenly find myself on the last real night of my summer vacation, instead of still having one more glorious week. I had counted on having next week to finish some stuff up (mainly get some sun in our pool) but instead I'll be sitting in class Monday through Friday 8am to 4pm. I know deep down this is a good thing, but it's also going to be a decent amount of work. Most of the classes are held Friday nights from 5pm-10pm and Saturdays from 8am - 6pm. If you know me well enough you know that I'm usually asleep by 9pm (and I'm not kidding, ask Matt) so the thought of sitting through a graduate class until 10pm makes me wonder if this will work for me...nevertheless I'm giving it a shot.
The class that I am taking tomorrow is a 4 hour elective course. We will have class this entire week, 2 or 3 weekends during the school year, and then ended with another full week next June. It is a writing class, focused mostly on how to run a good writer's workshop in your classroom, I think?! Like I said, I just signed up on Friday, so who knows what it will be about. All I really know is that it's dirt cheap because the school district is covering part of it, and Renee will be there. =)
So wish me luck as I take another big step for the year and become a grad student (really... wish me luck, I'm going to need it on those looooong, winter, Friday nights!)

*Oh yeah, I almost forgot! Tennis match number 2 with the rents was held today... and WE WERE VICTORIOUS AGAIN! Although we only played one set to 8 because it was SO hot out!