Friday, September 2, 2016

You Can Do Anything, But Not Everything

This week has been exhilarating, uplifting, and exhausting all at once. I come home every day so mentally drained. I know Chris is feeling it too. We are like zombies at home! Cooking dinner when I get home helps me to decompress and focus on one small task instead of juggling a million things while I'm at work.

Many have asked me how counseling is going--I absolutely love it. I feel like it allows me to truly get to know the students. A lot has been thrown at me in the course of one week, but I think I'm picking it up quickly, while learning and improving at the same time. 

I am excited to announce that I will be taking over the Mack Middle School Dance Team. I am working on a way to get these girlies some stellar uniforms. Many of our students do not have the funds to do the extracurricular activities that I grew up doing. I remember coming home with my dance team packet, and my mom just writing large amounts on checks for my sister and myself. It was as simple as that. Sadly, these girls do not have that luxury. Fundraising is an option, but again, the demographic we would be selling to isn't going to be purchasing an exorbitant amount of items. 

I want the girls to feel special. I looked at the box of uniforms they have worn the past few years, and it made me so sad. I want them to have sparkles! And harem pants! And combat boots! I want them to look and feel like a team. I may even set up a gofundme or other fundraiser through social media. I'm telling you, these ladies deserve to feel good while they perform. 

Like the title of this post states, "You can do anything, but not everything." I've repeated this phrase to myself this week. I start the day with a list of things I want to accomplish, but other items get tossed at me while the day progresses, and I'm left with an uncompleted list of to-dos. That's okay, though. I am human, and I'm in a job I absolutely adore. I'm raising brilliant, hilarious, and stellar kiddos. I'm dating a wonderful human who puts together bunk beds even when he's half-asleep, or cooks dinner and reheats some for me when I come home from a late-night work event.

Life is wonderful, and I'm riding its waves daily. Remind yourselves that you cannot do everything. Set goals. Repeat daily affirmations. Smile. 

Ride those waves, readers. Have a wonderful and relaxing three day weekend! I know I intend to. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

"We Grow Humans"

I have been insanely inspired about my career as of late. I give 100% credit to my administration for that. They energize us. They engage us. They care about us and our well-being. They know that if we are all taken care of, then we will carry that over to our students this school year. I wish all people understood this concept.

We hear it all of the time to "be kind". There's even a week dedicated to it at most school sites. But why is it that most adults cannot model this? Kindness really is contagious. It's an actual chasm or energy that spreads like wildfire. I feel it when I'm on campus. I see it as teachers walk by with smiling faces. If someone is not smiling, they look like the outsider. It was the complete opposite of this at my other school, and I'm sure many other educators and people in various workplaces experience it. It starts at the top and trickles down. However an administration acts is how the workplace will reciprocate what is being received. The concept is really that simple!

This begs me to ask the question of HOW bosses around the world do not get this kindness concept. Were they never employees before? Shouldn't that be one of the first lessons learned in an administration program? Who is teaching our administrators? Shouldn't they remember how teachers feel, considering they were once teachers themselves? It seriously blows my mind. I feel so sad for teachers across this nation that are villianized and uncared for.

One of the first moving statements my principal said aloud to us during a staff development day was, "Our school motto is 'We Grow Humans'. It's as simple as that." WOW. I was floored! No tracking data? No raising test scores? No higher numbers in accelerated courses? Nope. Simply care about other humans while being a good human. BINGO. It seriously brings tears to my eyes as I type those words. We simply GROW HUMANS. Take note, administrators. This woman should be ruling the world.

Oh, and first day of school procedures? Sure, we have them. But we were told our first priority is to ensure every student feels WELCOMED onto our campus. Education is about building relationships! Not shuttling cattle. Gah, does it get any better than that?!

Anyways, I'm jazzed to grow some humans this year. They need love. I've been loved by my bosses, and I will continue to spread that love on to my 6th grade babies.

Love you all. And to all of you teachers out there--go grow some awesome humans this school year.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Destiny Shaped By A Decision

Hello, friends! I know it has been two years since I've blogged, but a lot has happened in the past two years that has deterred me from it:
  1. I fell in love and have since created a life with another human being
  2. I became heavily involved with job hunting as Christopher and I had decided to move to Ohio
  3. The boys were surprisingly more needy with sports classes and daily park trips

So, let's chat about what has happened! My boo and I had trouble landing any positions in Ohio. It was brutal. We job hunted for a total of 6 months, yet we could barely get interviews. I even interviewed for a charter school and a small, farming community school, but was offered NOTHING. At this point, we had signed our paperwork saying we were leaving the district, so my job had been filled at The Hill. Christopher was lucky because his position was still available, and his paperwork was redacted. I ended up having to reapply for the district, which was one of the most devastating experiences. I had felt like a failure. Like I had given up on our dream of moving.

Then one day, my former-English-teacher-now-middle-school-principal messaged me saying she could find me a home. I was so elated. I knew this was going to be a huge challenge, but I was ready for something entirely different from what I had done the past five years. I was originally hired as a 7th grade English teacher, and even began planning with my team over summer.

By the end of June, I found out a counselor had left the new middle school I would be at. I immediately knew I wanted to jump on that opportunity, so Roxanne gave my name to her AP, and I was interviewed by all of the administration. I'm telling you guys, that interview was simply amazing. They asked tough questions. They asked emotional questions. One of my answers even made me tear up. I was embarrassed, but I also felt open to them all. Oh, and these people are the KINDEST HUMANS YOU WILL EVER MEET. They told me in the interview, "We hug here. I hope that doesn't bother you." I didn't believe them at first, but it's true. They hug and it's utterly fantastic. 

Fast forward the following week, and I was on speaker phone with them. I was offered the counseling position! Since then, I have felt like the door being shut on Ohio (for now) was the universe opening a big ass window for me. I am so thrilled to begin this new chapter of my career. There's still a chance I could be back in the classroom teaching (depending on count day numbers), but I'm just happy to be at the school I am at. 

My first few days as a counselor have been a whirlwind. The majority of my job this week and next week is scheduling. Holy heck, I never realized how intense creating schedules is. My eyes bleed by the end of every day, and each schedule I look at feels like a sudoku puzzle. Essentially, I play tetris as my occupation. Haha well, that's just for now. Once the teachers and students report back, my job will contain even more responsibilities, but that's for another blog post.

Many of you have asked about my office decor, so I wanted to show you some pictures and tell you where you can find these items. 

It's a bit plain for me this year, but it works for now! I'll definitely add to my walls as the year progresses. Here is a close up of the office supplies:

My favorite items are the Kate Spade stapler and tape dispenser! Here are links for purchasing on Amazon: Stapler and Tape Dispenser. If you're itching to have them now (like I was), go visit Paper Source or The Container Store at Town Square. They carry Kate Spade office supplies too!

Close up of the stapler that reads, "keep it together"

"make it stick" for the tape dispenser

The mouse pad and small mason jar holding paper clips were from Target. 

The paper clips were completely unnecessary, yet adorable, so I HAD to purchase them. 

The Container Store has awesome office supplies and amazing colors/styles of paper clips. If you're looking for trendy paper clips, click here. I also purchased the copper wired pencil cup there too!

The "I Am Very Busy" folders and watercolored notepad were purchased at Paper Source. I am completely OBSESSED with this store. Everything is too freaking cute. 

The Ribba frames above my bookshelf were purchased at IKEA. I ordered the foil prints from a trendy custom-print shop on etsy. Check her stuff out here
These turned out fantastic. I'm very pleased!

I am not very pleased with the tassel banner for my bulletin board. I spent a pretty penny on etsy, when I could have made something better myself. At least I saved some time? 
Crooked, but I'll fix it another day. Preferably when I'm not in a dress or skirt at work. 

My wardrobe closet is magnetic, so I hung up a ton of my Polaroid photos from Photo&Go at the Linq. You can attach magnets on the back to hang up in cool places. I also held onto senior announcements of students I'm still close with. 

My least favorite part of the office is this:

I figured I could have more post-its available, and students can vent their thoughts or spread kind words on the cork boards. I'm more than likely going to fix this up sooner than later. SUGGESTIONS ARE WELCOME!

I'll end with my Wolf Pack wall, because I love looking at my college memories. 

Alrighty, so that's my life as a brand new counselor! Stay tuned. I will not be posting any details about the job as to not break confidentiality with students/parents/coworkers etc. BUT I will always keep you all updated about my life in general! For example, I need to leave to go wipe a child's butt. Like he's literally handing me TP and bending over. Here's a reenactment:

Sunday, August 3, 2014

And though she be but little, she is fierce.

I am kicking myself in the butt SO HARD because I saw the perrrrrrfect sign for my sister's baby at Hobby Lobby a few months ago. It was chevron (my sister's favorite nursery pattern), teal+pink (my sister's nursery colors), and had the famous Shakespeare quote that is listed as the title of this very blog post. I told myself, "Oh, it'll still be here in a few months."

Wrong. Dead wrong. I guess other folks liked that sign too. My mom told me I should make one, but that's too much work. Pinterest has ruined me. After helping my mom with bits and pieces of Sarah's baby shower today, I'm completely exhausted. I don't know how you crazy-artsy-crafty-Pinterest mamas do this ALL.OF.THE.TIME. And with your kids around too?! I wasn't even with mine today, and I'm pooped.

Anyways, I'm going to post some of the pictures from the shower. If you're out there and are thinking, "Oh my gaaaaaaawd, Jessica is SO CRAFTY! I could never do that," well, you're wrong. My mom is so crafty and I was instructed by her the entire day, so there's that. Also--I wasn't working with my own budget (which is very limited), so any materials I needed, my mom just bought. I'm more of a let's-scrounge-up-what's-around-and-buy-the-rest-at-the-dollar-store kind of gal.

Soooooo without further adieu, I bid you...Frances Dylan's baby shower. We will be calling her Franki and I'm pretty sure I'm already in love with her and she's not even here yet!

Cute vinyl sign my Mom made for Franki. Sarah hates the crown--which makes no sense considering we fought to have crowns our entire lives... <--get it? That was a pageant joke. 

The day started with my Mom asking me to come over to help prep for the shower. She was very type-A about the whole thing, which I found to be nice because I can be quite lackadaisical; I like direction! So she told me to make a list, and every time we "conquered" a task, she would stop in the middle of a store and watch me cross it off because it "made her feel accomplished".
After we went to Hobby Lobby, we stopped at Party City to pick up the balloons on the way home. I fucking hate balloons. They're so pointless and are always in the way, especially on the car ride. Perhaps my hatred of them stems from Student Council days where we would constantly be blowing up balloons and tying them to make arches for every single event at school.
This particular balloon liked my hair wayyyy too much. 

She doesn't seem to mind them.

Before we pulled up to the house, my Mom had tried calling my Dad to help unload the countless bags, food, and balloons we had in the car. He didn't answer. So after we pulled into the driveway, my Mom asked me to go get him. As I walk inside, I yelled, "Daaaaad--Mom needs your help NOW or she's going to have a conniption." My Dad responded with, "What?! Don't talk about your mom like that." We both were being super silly about the whole thing, but as we walk outside, my Mom is having a fight with those stupid balloons and we hear one POP loudly, followed by a very loud exploitative from my Mom's mouth. It rhymes with truck.

My Dad tried to help my Mom as she's struggling with balloons that are popping, tangling, and escaping the car. I couldn't help but laugh about the whole thing which made them both even more tense. It was just funny to me because, as I've explained before, I fucking hate balloons. Anywho---stuff made it into the house and people calmed down inside the air conditioning. I got to work on the CANDY BAR that my sister requested. I also helped with decorations for all of the games. Here are some pictures for your viewing please:
My Mom scrapbooked the clothes-pin sign.

This was a "Price is Right" game where guests had to guess the prices of these three fabulous items. Who would have thought a butt-cream bucket could be so gosh darn cheap?

Guest book/Gift table
This was a clothespin game for everyone to play as they walked in. On each onesie was a name (i.e. Diaper, Bottle, etc.) and for the duration of the shower you could only refer to each other as your Baby Shower name. I tried to convince my Mom that Blowout and Poopy were perfectly good names for this game, but she wasn't feeling it. Next time!

My sister's coworkers are demonstrating the game beautifully. They even make a good team of "Formula" and "Bottle" sitting next to each other.

Ummmmmm how gorgeous is my sister?! 

Cake and cupcakes from Freed's. ::droooooool::

 We cute. Even my Granny photobombing us in the back is too.
 All of the Grandmas
Jo (Dustin's mama) , my Mom, Grandma Shirley

Purney Girls

FUN FACT: I picked out all of the pink Starbursts for one of the jars. My Mom thought I was nuts, but c'mon! Pink starbursts are the best kind anyways.
FUN FACT #2: I added ribbon and tulle to the jars after I posted an Instagram sneak peek. I dig it. 

Melon baby! Hahaha

Dustin showed up for cake and cigars at the end of the shower. Can we talk about how adorable they are please?! Franki is going to be a looker!!!

We also played a few other games and my Mom gave away prizes. To compensate for anyone that didn't win a prize, she adorably said, "If you didn't win, you can always take a stroll to the Candy Bar! Everyone is a winner!!!" It was super funny. I visited the Candy Bar twice.

I would have to say this was my favorite baby shower by far and I loved seeing my sister so relaxed and at ease with her pregnancy. I remember her first baby shower when she was only 18 years old--it was a difficult time for everyone and I think she was a tad more nervous to be such a young mother. This time around just seems so comfortable for her and I'm insanely happy to see her surrounded by such LOVE! Dustin's mom is so adorable and giving. Their entire nursery was completely purchased by Dustin's mom! And when Dustin came to help load up all of their gifts and treats, the first words out of his mouth to my sister were, "You look beautiful, babe."

::guuuuush:: I know it sounds so dorky, but that was the best thing to see. I love how mushy and gushy they are and I know they will (and are) wonderful parents.

Okay, it's about midnight now and I've been fighting with blogger all evening to upload these pictures. Hope you enjoyed, and remember--don't be discouraged by Pinterest. Pick like ONE thing to accomplish from that egomaniac site or else you'll go crazy!!!

Friday, August 1, 2014

I'm a Yeller...but I'm working on it.

There's something about this transition into toddler beds that has brought out the absolute worst-Mommy-version of myself. I'm not sure if it's because this new sense of freedom for the boys is making them feel defiant and independent, but whatever the reason, they are straight up not listening to me. Oh, they hear me alright. I can see the little smirks on their faces when I ask them to, "Come here," or "Lay down, please", but they actively choose to not listen to me.

This is when the yelling begins. I definitely do it out of anger and frustration and I LOATHE it. I used to hate when my Mom would yell at my sister and I for mundane things, and it created a lot of anxiety in the house. So why the heck am I doing it to the boys?

I think the more I yell, the more they think it's funny, and it just turns into one angry and tense household. I was so stressed out yesterday just because everything felt like a freaking battle. Just to change a diaper I felt like I was pinning down an "enemy" and trying out various tactics and maneuvers to "win the war".  To try and get them to hold my hand while walking to the car was one of the hardest physical challenges I've had in a while--not that I'm a triathlete, but my boys are becoming very strong and are also very fast at running.

So after a really terrible day yesterday, I woke up this morning and told myself, "This is not you. You're not a yeller. Do not scream at those boys."

And you know what? Today has already proven to be infinitely better. The moment I would catch myself feeling anxious and wanting to scream, I would start singing a song, and the boys would totally feel the energy and start bobbin' their heads and WANTING to listen to me. Or if one of the boys broke down into a meltdown, I would ignore them and play or clean.

It's a small effort and adjustment, but it was a complete game changer. So if you're finding yourself wanting to scream at your children, just start singing! Or dancing! Or doing something completely random, because life is too short to be screaming at your babies for merely wanting to become their own people.
Oh haaaaaaay, Mom. We are super sweet and enjoy snack-picnics when you're not a crazy lady yelling at us. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Lack of sleep, crazy thoughts, and other ramblings.

It seems as though many of my closest friends and family are having newborns left and right. It immediately makes me feel empathy and compassion for what these new parents (let's be real here, what these new mamas) are about to embark on. And that is sleep deprivation.

Sleep deprivation is the root of all evil. Nothing compares to the lack of sleep a new mom experiences those first few months. It drove me mad! I had always heard, "Oh, you'll never sleep again," but naively thought that my future children would be sleeping angels. WRONG. I honestly do not know how new parents function. I really don't. Pure adrenaline? I remember going to sleep each night knowing fully well I would have to wake up in 2-3 hours, and then again in 2-3 hours, and it would be freaking Groundhog's Day every day. I was in my own personal hell. My own level of Dante's Inferno. The Crime: sexy time. The Punishment: no sleep, FOREVER.

Okay, I'm being a bit melodramatic. But my boys didn't solidly sleep until about 6 months. So yeah, those first 6 months tested my sanity. Family members would once in a while come over and tell me to go take a nap, but I never actually could. It didn't matter if I was across the house and had earbuds in, if one of the the boys woke up, I could FEEL it. Damn you mother-son connections! I will never sleep again as long as a child is awake.

Anyways, words cannot express to you how much I used to enjoy my sleep. Put it this way--when I was in kindergarten, my mom specifically had them take me out of class after lunch to go take a nap with the preschoolers. And I would willingly do it! I could sleep anywhere! On a couch, in a stranger's home, in the car, on the airport floor. Anywhere! And for a long period of time! In high school, I could easily sleep 10-12 hours every night. I LOVED SLEEPING.

After having kids? Oh, it's turned to absolute crap. Even if I'm on vacation, far far away from my kids, I will wake up 2-3 times during the night, and usually cannot sleep past 7AM. It suuuuuucks. I miss sleeping. I miss feeling fully rested. Do I get more sleep than when the boys were first born? Absolutely! I hope it stays that way too!

Anyways, I digress. The older the boys get, the more I'm back on track to sleeping better. So when these new mommies come along with their babies, I immediately remember those hellish months and logically tell myself, "Never again". But then, the new mommies will hand me their babies. And. I. Melt. Into. A. Giant. Puddle. Of. Emotion.

While holding them, I instantly forget about EVERYTHING I've just mentioned. I suddenly get this wild urge to make hundreds of these tiny, vulnerable, adorably cute, and precious creatures! My ovaries start screaming for me to get to it! It's insanity I tell you!

My brain is like, "STFU you moron! That time period was pure misery!" And my heart is like, "But look at all of that innocence and beauty. You didn't cherish it enough, so you should make another one! Or twelve!"

What is this, universe?! Ask me to hold a newborn 3 years ago (pre-twin days), and I would have awkwardly stood there, holding a child, counting down the minutes until someone relinquished me from such a duty. Now, after having children, I feel like there's some weird chemical inside of me that releases stupidity once I hold a baby. I throw all logic out the window and want to procreate.

Proof of my insanity. 

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why you shouldn't have me near your babies. I say this as I'm on my way to go visit one actually (and she's a stinking cutie, by the way!). I need like a support group or something. Help! Please!!! Keep me away from your newborns. I don't need anymore children or these insane thoughts. Or maybe I could just get a puppy or something...

P.S. My sister is due with my first niece this September. I'm going to need to write like "No-more-babies" affirmations on my mirror or something!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

It's PURNEY! <--Yes, my name is legally this again.

I'm baaaaaack!!! I know it has been about a year since I've posted anything for the entire internet to troll through, but I was hesitant to post much after students found my blog. Yeah, seniors are pretty sneaky. I've got to figure out how to keep my blog public, yet not public enough for students to find it. Any suggestions are welcome! Also, like the title informs you all, I am back to Purney. Every single one of my friends told me they never even changed it from their phone, and that makes me smile, because I will always be Purney. Or purndog. Or JP. Or Smelly. Or Pruneybutt. The list goes on and on.

I've noticed that many people blog nowadays. What's irritating to me is that many of these blogs are so surface-level that it infuriates me. Where's the depth? The truth behind their life? What's the point of saying something when they have NOTHING to say? Call me a sadist, but I want to see the struggles of motherhood, the frustrations of working a 9-5, the difficulties in one's life. Not like crazy secrets or anything, but c'mon! Make it a little more juicy! Ha. I'm such a creep. 

Alrighty, I can only practice what I preach, right? So let me give you all a taste of what I've been up to this past year. I promise to be at least slightly juicy.

To be blunt, 2013 was real shitty. Like super shitty. The worst year of my life actually. I gained a ton of weight and was trying to figure out how to be a single mom. Then 2014 crept around, and a near and dear friend of the family flat out told me I had gained weight. I am SO HAPPY she did this. Everyone was kind of tip-toeing around the issue that I had 30+ pounds on my body. It was all around my stomach too, like a giant tire. Yuck. Anyways, this friend was like, "You're fat. I still love you, but I want you to be healthy."

I don't know why, but those words were all I needed. I immediately taught myself everything I could about a healthy lifestyle, and began working out 4-5 times a week. Within three months, I had dropped the excess weight and even won a competition at my work and an Advocare challenge. At this point, my confidence was boosted, and I was feeling pretty gosh-darn sexy. 

I signed up for Tinder (let the sneers and judgments begin--apparently this is mostly a hook-up dating app, but I thought, why not?) and started talking to gentleman callers. <--Hahaha this makes me feel like I'm a southern belle during the Civil War. Anywho, no one really caught my attention, until this cutie patootie messaged me--

Our first conversation :)

Christopher is thoughtful, sweet, musically-inclined, great with children, and most importantly, is patient and accepting of ME! He even helped chaperone Prom this year.

Gaaaaaaah, he makes me drool. Such a stud!
So, in a nutshell, my love life is going swimmingly. I recently visited his hometown in Ohio and absolutely LOVED it there, even though the mosquitos really took a liking to me!

Now, it's time to talk about the twins--I keep referring to them as babies, but they recently turned two and are turning into actual people. It absolutely blows my mind. Here are a few updates:

Favorite words: No, Mine, Peeeeez (please), Ooce (juice)
Atticus tests me every day and has done so since he was a newborn. He loves to steal toys from Everett, no matter what the toy be. He's suuuuper cuddly and constantly loves on me, hugs me, and forces me to kiss him. He likes to strip down naked and run around like a madman. He's also a little copycat and will repeat anything you say, so this limits my f-bombs and various other curse words. This little sassafrass is hard to discipline with his eyes and smile. He could totally get away with murder sometimes when he flashes that little grin!

Nekky Atticus refusing to let me clothe him
Favorite words: Mama, No, Aki (Atticus), Tank you, Baba (sippy cup)
Everett is such a quirky and independent little fellow. He's kind of drifted away from being clingy and enjoys his alone time. One time, Atticus walked up to him to try and play, and Everett pointed him away and said, "Go! Bye bye!" He's wicked smart and climbs on EVERYTHING. He's pretty fearless these days and is also mastering the fake-cry.

"I like to cry and then immediately stop once I realize no one is paying attention." 

They upgraded from high chairs to an actual table and chairs. ::insert Mama sobs::

I am trying to soak up all of the moments I can get while they're toddlers. Sometimes I get sucked into the "work" of it all, because trust me, it can be exhausting. Especially since I'm a stay-at-home Mom for the summer. What's next on our agenda for the boys? Well, we're working on transitioning into toddlers beds, which has been very difficult considering they engage with one another for HOURS in their bedroom. It's nearly impossible to get them to take a nap, but I'm hoping we get into the swing of things soon. Potty training is around the corner...but I'll definitely take my time until I know they're BOTH 100% ready. I honestly don't mind changing diapers for another year. (Oh, the perks of not being able to smell! Hehe)

I need suggestions for blog ideas! What do you want me to write about? Toddler mishaps? Cooking mistakes? Reviews on reality TV? C'mon people--tell me whatcha need. I'm feeling uninspired at the moment! Leave a comment or tell me on the facespace. ;)

LOVE YOU ALL! Byeeeeeeee