Monday, October 20, 2014

"Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light." --Helen Keller

I spent the weekend assisting one of my sorority sisters through a life change.  Selfishly I am thrilled for the extra time we are spending together and that Ray and I get to dog-sit my dog-niece while she's away with her family for the week.  Unselfishly I just hope I'm being the type of friend I'd want if I were in her shoes.  Here's hoping I'm doing that vision justice in the name of her health and happiness.

The week leading up to the weekend was busy (no surprise) due to school activities:  Student Council organized Homecoming week, which made for a very festive and energetic school environment.  Since the school where I teach is also my high school alma mater, I particularly enjoy the spirit of the building and the Friday afternoon pep rally.

Concurrently, the students I advise in GSA took pledges for Ally Week, and since we had inservice on Monday and Tuesday, GSA is continuing to take pledges today and tomorrow.  Allies support a safe school environment free from bullying and harassment for all students, but especially lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans* students.  The Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (abbreviated GLSEN which is pronounced like the word "glisten") spearheaded the campaign beginning in 2005.  Adolescents are already going through so many rites of passage subjecting them to the judgement of others that no matter our political leanings regarding LGBT equality, I cannot imagine questioning the need for safe schools for EVERY student regardless of romantic or sexual orientation.  Therefore, I am always very happy to support my students during pledge week.

GSA students also participated in the homecoming tailgate by providing face painting and temporary tattoos along with Art Club.  It was a beautiful night with perfect weather and a lot of school spirit--especially since the football team won the homecoming game by a landslide of 40-7.

This upcoming Saturday is Homecoming/Family Weekend at my post-secondary alma mater, Lehigh University.  Ray and I are looking forward to taking Aubrey and Courtney to the Lehigh v. Fordham tailgate and football game, which will be complete with activities for the children as well as a yummy buffet.  My aunt/Godmother and her husband will also be accompanying us, which is nice because she is a 1980 Graduate School of Education alumna.

On Sunday, we hope to make it to church, especially since this past week, Sunday's half-marathon closed the street and the service was Saturday night instead of Sunday morning.  We couldn't attend Saturday night, so I look forward to enjoying this Sunday's Samhain sermon which will explain the ancient Celtic festival that is the origin of Halloween and All Saints Day.

I will likely be MIA for a few weeks since the first marking period is rounding out and I'll need to hup-two on grades.  My goal at the moment will be a post over Thanksgiving holiday, but no promises!  Until then...


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Check it out ^^^^

I'm so excited because I was able to revise my banner image ^^up there^^, and while I struggled a little with getting rid of the automatic title and resulting line that the Blogger image gadget implements, I found a great "cheat" on this lovely lady's graphic design website.

It makes me so happy to see this update up there!  I especially love the quote I found from Apple CEO Tim Cook, "Let your joy be in your journey...", because as my transitional post indicated, it's been quite a busy, challenging journey in the past few years.  I cried--a lot.  I yelled--a lot.  I felt hopeless and weak--a lot.  But I also counted my blessings (the Happier app helped) and realized that these lows were dotted with some of the most joyful highs of my life--including my marriage to Ray and my resulting assumption of the role of bonus mom (aka stepmother) to Aubrey and Courtney.

Moving onward, we are looking forward to a busy yet fulfilling weekend with traveling to South Mountain for Lehigh football versus Bucknell on Saturday and the Blessing of the Animals followed by the Bethlehem Area CROP Hunger Walk with church on Sunday.  CROP stands for Communities Responding to Overcoming Poverty and the Hunger Walks are run by Church World Service.  You can donate on our team's behalf here if you wish to financially support the cause.  Otherwise, check out my Facebook this weekend for photos, and perhaps my next post will include some of my favorites from those snapshots.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

A lifetime in three years...the Transitional Post

So the jury is out on exactly which life events are the most stressful, but most lists I Googled included divorce, becoming a parent, moving, marriage, and personal injury/illness.

All of the above--->this girl.

It's (obviously) been a while since I've posted and I had started this post at what I'm guessing was during school's spring break in 2012, then I believe I continued working on it after I crowned Mrs. Pennsylvania United States 2012, Ellie Baker Steenson.  I never finished it, and there's no reason to back-peddle now that so much time has passed and so many life-altering events have occurred.

I toyed around with the idea of starting a completely new blog, but I like the layout and design of this one, and the web address is linked to everything that asks if I have a web address.  I also felt like starting an entirely new blog would lend itself to forgetting my past and what has brought me to this point in my life.  I'm a firm believer that part of moving forward requires looking back, and between poking through this blog in order to figure out what to do with it and the advent of Timehop, it's been a true growth experience to see myself as I was two, three, four, and five years ago.

Revelation #1:  I sort of strongly dislike that person.  Or at least parts of her.

Therefore, I give you this Transitional Post, an idea which I'm unabashedly stealing from Allie Brosh of Hyperbole and a Half, except I am nowhere near as witty and entertaining as she is.

Revelation #2:  I still hide behind self-deprecation--I don't hate that part of me enough to make it go away.

If you have ever taken the time to read my little space on the web or just check it out every once and a while, know that there will be MANY changes forthcoming.  For example, my name has changed, so the title will change.  The web address will change, but will redirect to the new address once I set it up.  I am divorced and remarried, so you will likely see photos of my current husband, Ray, and my stepdaughters, who I will refer to as simply "our daughters" because I love them like my own, or "bonus daughters" when the need for clarification arises.  Since I suffered from never having a relationship with my own birth father, let it be understood that the girls have a positive and loving relationship with us and with their birth mother, and I'm enjoying being a mommy without having had to go through pregnancy, childbirth, and diaper-changing, although I am eagerly anticipating those things when my time for it arises.

If we are connected on social media, then you already know--I have moved to Pennsburg, PA in beautiful Bucks County, but I've left my heart in the Lehigh Valley (fortunately it's still pretty close by).  I am still teaching ZUMBA fitness, and the friends I've made through it have been my lifeline at times through the past three years.  I am dipping my toes in the running/race culture of 5Ks, and it hurts my shins and calves a lot, but I like that we get swag bags for participating and that registration usually supports a worthy cause.  And speaking of worthy causes, I still have a lot about which I care deeply, and I still haven't shut up about them.  I just feebly attempt to be a little more tactful in my approach nowadays.

Revelation #3:  Life is good.  I don't always remember that, but I'm working hard to make sure I do.


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