I'll Fly Away...

Saturday, July 15, 2017

For the last few years as I've watched some of my best friends leave Wallace and head to new places, one of my friends has been telling me it's my turn to spread my wings and fly off to my next professional landing spot. We even have a little wing-flappy thing we do with our arms...and I've always managed to come up with excuses from A to Z as to why it just wasn't the right time.

For instance, last year when my trees were uprooted and two of my favorites left Wallace, I thought that was a sign from above that it was time for me to go ahead and move along. And then I decided that instead, I should definitely stay for the first year of a new principal to help "my people," my work family. Ultimately, that's exactly what I did (including the parts where I applied for a District Instructional Coach job in June and withdrew my application the next day. I did the same thing in December.). I was way too fickle...maybe even too loyal if there is such a thing.

I won't bore you with the details of my stories (because I really probably have enough material to write a novel!), but last year was the single most difficult year of my professional life. Change is tough, and even though I have been through tons of "tough change" experiences in my lifetime, last year truly got the best of me. I felt defeated before I even got out of bed most days.

All of this is to say that when you put your mind to something...I mean really put your mind to something, anything is possible! On Monday, I will start a new job in a new position in a new district for the first time in eleven years! Eleven years. For me, that's a long time, and I am so thankful for this new opportunity and I feel very blessed {insert the wing-flappy thing}!

A friend sent this to me a couple of days ago...

...and the way it applies to my life is levels and levels deep. 

Monday cannot get here fast enough. I am ready to love my work again, ready to be impactful again, and ready to be challenged again. I'm leaving behind some amazing friendships that will last a lifetime, and I am chomping at the bit to work with some truly talented leaders and teachers! 

I'm going to be the Secondary Curriculum and Instruction Coordinator in Luling, Texas. Home of the Watermelon Thump (seed spitting, Thump queens, and all), home of the Eagles!! Time to fly. 

More soon...

Love y'all. 

PS - If you want to hear something amazing, Google I'll Fly Away by Keith Urban; if you want to watch something hilarious and fantastic, Google James Corden with Bruno Mars...you're welcome. :)

Where I'm From

Friday, June 30, 2017

Easy answer? Brownfield. But there is so much more!

Yesterday, I attended the grand finale of Texas State University's Central Texas Writing Project. My friend Mandy is the Co-Director of the institute, and my friend and co-worker Artie was accepted to participate in the project this summer. These two women? I love and admire them with my whole entire heart. They are amazing teachers and they have beautiful souls.

Artie presented a lesson to the group focusing on a poem by George Ella Lyon - "Where I'm From." It was a lesson we'd worked on together in May, and at the time, I had full intentions of writing my own imitation of the poem just for grins. But I was stuck, and I couldn't do it. Until yesterday. Artie's guidance was exactly what I needed! Here's my third fourth fifth draft...


I am from milk toast,
from Muskogee and Marjorie Marie.
I am from dust storms - haboobs.
(Nature's free version of
microdermabrasion each Spring.)
I am from tumbleweeds and
the giant Magnolia tree
whose long, inviting limbs
led the path to beautiful blossoms
which, once retrieved, would float fragrantly in a crystal dish
on my granny's coffee table.

I am from braces, bad perms, and bottle-thick glasses,
     from Sam and Hoja.
I'm nearly from the Turtle clan
     and wholly from the Creek Nation,
from "Please join hands as we pray."
I'm from "Go now in peace, never be afraid,"
     from "Holy, holy, holy, Lord - God almighty,"
     and a well-worn and cherished Bible.

I am from Oklahoma, then Texas,
Indian fry bread, then chicken fried steak.
From my dad's days in rehab,
     cherishing each year's shiny, new chip,
Boomer and Sooner, then Red Raiders and Wreck 'Em,
South Richmond to New Castle,
     the Serenity Prayer.

Whether at Montesoma or at brunch,
my matriarchs sat in rockers on wooden porches,
laughing until their eyes leaked,
soulfully sifting through memories
of their younger years.
I watched them closely -
Listened intently to their stories.
I pray for my girls to have those moments,
reminiscing and laughing - years from now,
following in the footsteps of
my grandmothers.
Four sweet souls -
with so much unknown ground in common.


So that's my poem. And maybe more about me than I've ever shared - in an obscure way.

Enough of the serious. Here's something else that happened today that was one of those moments of awesome that you can't plan or replicate but you can definitely appreciate. Ready?

Big Box Office Supply Store Dude: M'am, is there anything I can help you find? 

Me: Yes, I'm looking for whiteout. 

Big Box Office Supply Store Dude: Oh, yeah. We have that. But sometimes it hides. 

Me: {the laughing emoji and then the wide-eyed emoji when I realized he thought I was laughing at him}


Thanks, Big Box Office Supply Store Dude, for unintentionally humoring me!!

That's all for now guys. Love ya!

Crazy Chicken Lady

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Nikki is one of those people who you just naturally love. She is warm, kind, genuine, and hilarious - she will give you the biggest hug when you need it and the biggest hug when you didn't even realize that was exactly what you needed. She loves Jesus and Christmas, and her faith is inspirational! We became soccer mom friends, and from the moment I met her, I knew she was simply an incredible person.

Nikki also owns chickens, so I live vicariously through her flock of fowl and round-the-clock-access to freshly laid eggs, and I feel her pain whenever a hen suddenly "disappears" or passes.

On New Years Eve Eve, she shared a true gift with the world. A video rant. It was amazing! I laughed sooo hard that I couldn't entirely catch my breath (#rescueinhaler), tears were streaming down my cheeks, and I was thankful for whoever invented Poise products (which apparently happens when you're in your 40s, have birthed two kids, and have a horrid response to cedar pollen)!

Since then, she has posted two more videos, equally hilarious in my humble opinion! In my mind, I call them Bedtime Stories with Nikki. I sent her a text Thursday telling her how much I needed her to make a YouTube Channel. And then I told her daughter (who is Cee's age) to show her mom how to make a channel.

Low and behold, I woke up this morning to find that she created her YouTube Channel last night!! Crazy Chicken Lady Texas, I am elated, and the world will thank you for these nuggets of love!

Although you can watch them in any order, I would recommend chronological: The Gate, Swimsuits in January, and P.S.A. I seriously can't wait for more!!

Happy weekend, everyone! Much love to all...

Oh, and P.S. - I just made the best BLT ever (I need a manicure).

Hey...Is Anybody There?

Sunday, January 1, 2017

I ask because I have been nothing short of a truly horrible blogger for the last year!

I'm not going to lie - last year was a weird year...lots of loss both personally (friends' dads - which I can't even begin to wrap my mind around, people's appendixes and gallbladders, and people's heartbreak), socially (mostly politically for me, although Hollywood icons are a close second), and professionally (former boss, treasured co-workers, opportunities that came and went, lives of precious students taken way too soon). In the same breath, there were so many positives from 2016 - lots of learning: from my mistakes, my short-comings, from new people in my life, from people who made an appearance in my life, and from people who have been a part of my fabric for as long as I can remember...last year was an exceptional year of growth for me.

Speaking of growth, my girls are really growing up - they are seeking their independence (which is totally normal, but true to form, I buried my head in the sand instead of preparing for it), and that has been an adjustment for all of us. I think I was born to be a doting mom (or a helicopter, as the girls prefer to call it), and my "mom duties" have shifted. Dramatically! Silver lining? I feel like we've learned how to reasonably navigate the storm now.

All in all, I think most Americans were just ready for 2016 and all of its crazy hot messiness to be over with, and here we are with a bright, shiny, brand-spanking new year ahead of us! That's exciting to me, and I hope it is for you as well!

After some reflecting, I think my "Blog-Everyday-For-a-Year" thing in 2015 was completely unrealistic and draining for me, and it created the perfect storm for some serious burnout; however, at the same time, writing is ridiculously therapeutic for me. So here I am, giving it another go!

"Starting today," whispered Captain Obvious.

Here are a few things I'm looking forward to in 2017:
-Passion Planning
-Daily Om
-Mint Droppers Shape Up Challenge
-Finishing the last class of my Principal Certification
-Teaching Cee what it's all about behind the wheel (eeeks...)
-Helping Jay manage the millions of things that she faces each day
-Evolving into a true volleyball mom (there are so many things I don't know!)
-Making room for everything else that comes along

A wise person once told my oldest little sister, Samantha,

"You must surround yourself with people more talented 
than you and better than you; that's how you grow."

I'm going to take that gem to heart this year!

How about you? What are you looking forward to in 2017?

Happiest New Year wishes to you and yours, much love to all, and thank you for taking the time to read along. Peace...

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