Monday, November 30, 2015

A Lot Can Happen In 7 months...

7 months, holy blog strike?!  I seriously never anticipated that long of a unintentional break!!  So A LOT has happened in 7 is a brief recap, and I am sure in the next month I will catch up, hopefully!

I finished my first year of substitute teaching, and Eric and I went to Florida for our 10 year anniversary.  Subbing was a wonderful experience, like unforgettable and huge learning curve.  Our 10 year trip was a nice break in the action, and a fun getaway.  When we returned it was the last week of school for Miss Molly and Miss Lucy.  Lucy finished her first year of preschool, and was relieved to have survived!  Molly graduated from the 2nd grade and had a fun last week at school.  I was able to be at a lot of different last week of school activities, which I love.  Molly had a fabulous teacher for second grade, one we miss terribly!  She is an awesome, loving, caring, generous lady who deserves so many accolades, yet hardly acknowledges how amazing she truly is.

I started grad school this month.  My intent was to obtain my teaching license in K-3, and possibly a reading endorsement.  I enrolled in 6 classes.  The first class started in June, and lasted 4 weeks.  I loved it!  I loved getting back into school.  Sure the papers and the whole do 16 weeks of work in 4 was incredibly hard, but it was exhilarating, too.

June was also the month Eric's dad was officially diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.  He had been misdiagnosed for a couple months before, we were told he had bronchitis that wouldn't go away.  Not true.  By the time the diagnosis had come the cancer had spread to his lungs, throat, shoulder, brain, and lymph-nodes.  We were looking at time, not recovery.  He started radiation right away.  This diagnosis flipped our world upside down.

June was also spent at the pool.  We got a membership to a local pool for the first time ever.  The girls enjoyed it a lot!  So in between papers and studying we tried to spend as much time as the weather would allow at the pool.

School work intensified, I was not enrolled in 5 classes in 4 weeks.  This was the most stressful time of my life.  I was in 2 online classes, and 3 classes in the actual classroom.  I went to school Mon/Wed nights from 4-9, and Tues/Thurs from 11am-9pm.  It was brutal.  I have never studied harder, worked harder, or lost as much sleep as I did taking these classes.  At times I was the oldest in my classes, and probably the furthest from being in school.  But when it was all said and done I felt so proud of myself.  I got all A's, made the dean's list, only to...continued in August.  

The girls spent 2 weeks at my mom's house during July.  It was the perfect timing, too.  I could not have imagined being in the thick of work trying to entertain them and not feel guilty for working on the computer for hours on end.  My father-in-law still was battling cancer.  He started chemotherapy in July, and almost died from it.

I wanted to soak up as much of August as possible because I was enrolled in 6 more classes plus observation for the fall semester.  To be honest I was really stressed about making it all work, and feeling like I was pushing the timeline too quick, but kept trying to get over it.  We went to the pool, visited my FIL as much as possible, and then one day I got a call out of the blue offering me a position as an elementary school counselor.  I was so blown away and shocked.  I didn't even know this position was available, let alone I never applied for it.  I do not have a school license, just a clinical license.  So I am not officially "qualified."  I was hesitant at first because I was working so hard at becoming a teacher and didn't want to say goodbye to all my efforts over the summer.  I came in to interview on a Monday morning, like 2 weeks before school started.  I was offered the position on Tuesday morning.  So I accepted.  Eric and I felt like God swung this door wide open for a reason.  I don't know what the reason exactly is, but I figured I might as well walk through it and experience everything I can working with preschoolers-6th graders.  My school is outside the town we live in, it's considered a county school, and it's smaller than our city school.  I love it, and I love the people I work with.  The kids are amazing, and I seriously could not be happier.  I enjoy coming to work everyday and it honestly does not feel like work.  I still counsel kids, but also because it is a smaller setting, I teach guidance daily in the classroom.  So I still get my teacher fix.  It's like the best of both worlds.  It's been one of the biggest blessings ever in my life.

August was a downhill month for my FIL.  The day I interviewed at the school we got the call that he was going to pass away that night.  We all gathered and prayed, cried, and prayed some more.  I spent the night with my mother-in-law at the hospital.  I held my FIL's hand and cried.  He didn't pass that night, he actually got better for a couple of days.  The emotional roller coaster of the situation was starting to wear us all down.  He wanted to continue with chemo, which each time he would get another around of it, he would end up in ICU.  We eventually opted for no more chemo.

Molly started 3rd grade, and Lucy started a pre-k program that is affiliated with our school district.  Both girls love school, and have matured a lot in a little bit of time.  I start as a full time school counselor and think what have I gotten myself into, ha!

We are in the full swing of morning routines and after school pick ups.  In order for me to take this position we needed to find childcare ASAP.  Eric's dad was supposed to watch Lucy this school year, and I would pick Molly up after school each day.  Well plans have changed.  We found a wonderful babysitter for Lucy whose daughter is in Lucy's class at school, and Molly got into our after school program even though there was a wait list.  Everything fell into place in a matter of days, so we felt like this was another affirmation that taking the job was the right thing to do.

Molly was elected into student council.  Like a good politician's family we waffled if she should run or not.  With her anxiety we were nervous if she didn't win, what the fall out would be.  She wrote a speech and practiced it, and was confident of running and winning.  Thankfully she did win, and she takes her position very seriously!  She has loved being a part of something bigger, and feeling like she has a part to play.  It's been great seeing her become more responsible and active at school.

Lucy and Molly both played soccer each week, that was until Molly fell and broke her arm.  She did that the first week of school.  Molly fell off the monkey bars, and snap goes the wrist.  That was a first for us.  And a first for me.  I was the parent that didn't go to the hospital, Eric handled it all.  I was unable to be reached at school, so by the time I got the message Eric and Molly were already getting x-rays and it was all taken care of.  That was a hard day for me.  I am used to being the one who is always there, and I wasn't that day.  Eric is more than capable of doing it, it was just a hard mom moment for me.

Lucy played a full season of soccer and loved every minute of it.  She was actually way better than we thought she would be.  Lucy has a killer instinct in her.  Molly was able to play in the last tournament of the season, which was fun.  Our team came in 2nd place, we were so close to 1st!!

Lots of the, school, school, church...

Our church celebrated our first year of life!  It was awesome.  Most new churches do not make it a year, so the fact that we did is reason to celebrate.  A lot has happened in a year.  Our year celebration was bittersweet because Eric's dad passed away a couple days before it.  Celebrating was hard because his dad was so stinking proud of our church, even when he couldn't stand anymore, he still greeted people from a wheelchair at the door.

Losing Eric's dad has been incredibly hard.  Incredibly hard.  He was an amazing man that seriously was the definition of humble and generous.  So many people came to the visitation and funeral.  It was awesome to see how many people he had impacted his short 67 years on earth.  Eric performed the funeral and did an incredible job.  His dad left a strong legacy and I pray people come to know Jesus because of him.  We are still grieving and will be for a long time.  Lucy has had a difficult time with not seeing my FIL daily.  They were pals, buddies, and did a lot together.  I am so glad they had a whole year together that she remembers.  I am so glad we lived with them for 9 months, and I spent every day with him during that time.  And I am so glad we were all together at the end.  The most important things in my FIL's life were God and his family.  I hope we make him proud by sticking together.  Man I miss him so much.

I am cashed for now.  I just gave you all very broad details, ha!!  I will catch up with November soon, and then December.