Thursday, October 31, 2013

Loving what you do

I seriously LOVE my career choice! And I am so happy to be able to say that I LOVE what I do! It is my passion! 

The crazy thing is that I haven't even really started yet! I have finished one semester of student teaching 6th graders and am almost done with my second semester of student teaching with freshman!

Now I will admit waking up at 4:30/4:45am did not sound fun to me at all, and yes I moaned and groaned all morning until I got to school at 6am. But when those very nervous freshman entered my room scared out of their minds that they were in high school I realized that THIS is why I love what I am doing!

Last year I worked and did my student teaching at an inner city school. I spent my afternoons working an after school program and after Christmas break I was lucky enough to student teach there. I received this beautiful note and lovely story from one of my students for christmas:

This is a story about a dog and bear, I am the dog and my student was a bear :) I received a stuffed animal bear and a stuffed animal dog with the letter :)

And this lovely note:

This is why I love my job! This is why teaching is my passion and I will never regret going to school for this, or leaving a secure job to finish my degree in education! 

Love what you do! I promise you your life will be so much better! 

Monday, October 28, 2013

My Obsessions

My weekend was relaxing and exciting! Not many pictures to update with. I was able to hang out with my grandma and grandpa while they were in town. I got to introduce Grandpa to some local MI brews. And yes, a FABULOUS dinner at P.F. Changs (why don't I eat there more? Seriously, so good!). 

P.S. check out my new link on the right side and follow me on Instagram! 

More interesting besides my weekend are the things I have become obsessed with. 

If you have been reading my blog you will find out I am a planner and scheduler. I love to plan everything.

Including what I eat. This might be weird, but during the week I eat the same exact thing for breakfast and lunch every. single. day. 

1) Oatmeal. I might change it between apple cinnamon but my go to is maple brown sugar. Every single morning, a little oatmeal to wake me up. 

2) Raspberries. I love them. I eat them daily for lunch. Sure, they may be a little fuzzy on the outside, but they are seriously my fave!

3) Protein bar. That is the "bulk" of my lunch. Every M-F you can count on me to munch on a protein bar. I love the peanut butter ones, yumm! 

4) Quaker rice cakes. The cheddar kind. M-F. yumm! 

5) A little dessert to top off my lunch with Special K 100 calorie Crisp bars! The chocolate delight, so amazing! 

So yeah, I am a weirdo. The same exact food M-F until dinner time where I like to change it up a bit! Does anyone else do this? Or am I that abnormal?

Happy Monday all! 

Friday, October 25, 2013

I did it!!

13.1 miles.

Successfully completed! 

In fact, I finished 6 minutes before my goal time of 2:30:00! So no, I wasn't super fast, and yes it was extremely hard but I completed my fitness goal I sat months ago! Also, my sister surprised me and drove from Indiana to run with me! I seriously could not have done this with out her! 

Miles 1-6 easy peasy! To be honest, I wasn't training as well as I should have leading up to the race. I ran maybe 4 miles twice a week. So to get through mile 6 so easily, I was ecstatic! 

Mile 7: Started to struggle a little. Luckily they were handing out goo to runners, so I was able to re-energize and go! 

Mile 8-9: No problem! I kept thinking, I am so close to being done! I got this! 

Mile 10: death. I had not walked up to this point. However, I have sports induced asthma and I started feeling my lungs closing. It was in my best interest to walk, no more than a quarter of a mile then I started to run again.

Mile 11-12: SO CLOSE!! I had the music blaring, rhythm going! Life was good..

Until I hit mile 13. Have you ever had those dreams where you can see the end of something, like a finish line, but you just can't get there? Well thats what happened, except real life. Mile 13 may have been the hardest thing I have EVER done in my life. It was the last mile and I physically could not move.

Luckily, I was able to be encouraged by all the people lining up as you get closer to the finish line! 

Where I finally crossed, in 2:24:32! I have never been more proud of myself or have felt so proud of something I worked SO hard for! Check out my fitness page to see where I began. 

This 1/2 marathon is a celebration of where I was and where I am today. Hard work, dedication, preserving  all are required to be successful. I can not wait to see where another year takes me, and the preparation I will be enduring to check off another half marathon in my future! Should I go for a full? I don't know...we will have to wait and see! 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

I am back

Okay, I know it has been a while. A long while. But to be honest I just needed a break.

I really had nothing to write about. Except to complain, and I don't want this to turn into a whiney fest blog where I state how much my life sucks.

Because it doesn't. However, these past few weeks have been filled with disappointments, let downs, and crazy chaotic schedules. 

I realized that I am so lucky to have the things I do have. I have a family, I have friends, and I have you all to cheer me up and and to be cheered up with your blogs! So sorry for the hiatis, but I am back...with a makeover!!

Seriously, I can't tell you how much I LOVE my first blogging buddy Rachel! She is seriously AH-MAZE-ING and if you EVER need your blog designed, seriously choose her. Look at this bad boy! It is totally me. 


She is amazing! Check her out and have a little fun having her re-design your blog! She works SUPER fast, sends you previews of everything. She is basically a rockstar :) Thank you so much Rachel! I truly love and needed this makeover! 

Monday, October 7, 2013

The "TEST"

This was one of the biggest weekends of my life thus far. The ever so dreaded 4 hour teacher certification test. 1pm Saturday October 5th. 

Supposedly my 5 years of college courses was suppose to prepare me for this bad boy. There is no study guide, you can pay for a six question practice exam, and the information can be pulled from anything about World History, anything from US History, anything about economics, anything about Geography, and anything about Government. 

Luckily, my professor gave me a great website to prepare with, unfortunately it was not enough. 

Let me start off by telling you the exam didn't start till 1pm. So I woke up in the morning and basically waited around for hours to take a test that would determine the rest of my life (okay, I am being a little dramatic).

1) My first move was to drive to the testing site. Before I could do so I needed to stop at a Walgreens to purchase number 2 pencils and a pencil sharpener. No pens or mechanical pencils aloud and I have not purchased an actual pencil in years! So I bought a pack of pencils, sharpened 6 of them to perfection and was off! This test was going DOWN! 

2) Well you get 1 admission ticket into the testing site. They don't mess around. Finger prints, photo identification, clearance screenings, I felt like I was applying to be a CIA Agent not a teacher! So I tucked my ticket into my purse as I got out of my car to keep it safe from the outside forces. Except I missed my purse and it landed in a puddle of one and only ticket into the test...prediction of the rest of my day. 

3. Luckily for me the kind lady told me she could still read my ticket and it was valid! Close one! So I settled into the testing site, gave them my thumb print, and was all set to go. There are no phones, purses, sweaters, anything besides you, identification, pencils, and your ticket allowed into the testing site. So 5 minutes before the test starts I say a little prayer to calm my nerves, reach into my pocket for my 6 pencils and notice I have no car keys. They are gone. But I can't get out of my seat and I have no purse so at this point I haven o idea where they are or no time to look for them. A perfect addition to my stress level before my test. 

4) So the test starts, At this point I am freaking out! Like I said before, you can't get out of your seat for anything, not even the bathroom or to sharpen your pencil. Luckily I had 6, sharpened to perfection. Until all of their leds decided to pop off as I was trying to bubble in answers to questions 1-4. 4 questions answered and now I have no pencil. Not to mention the questions were ridiculous! 

Needless to say I don't think the test went well. And the keys were found locked in my car....with my cell phone..... Which was an hour away from home. So after I tracked down another person, used their phone to call security, who then broke into my car. I went home and haven't felt to hot since then. 

I am sure I will look back at this and laugh. Just not at the moment. But I did realize that it is all over now, and frankly, it couldn't have gone much worse. I can re-take the test if I end up needing to, but now I play the waiting game to see how I did. Maybe I will surprise myself and do really well, maybe not. But thank goodness that day is done and over and I can move past it! 

How was your weekend!? I hope better than mine :) 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Sigma Kappa Sigma K

This past weekend was sorority recruitment. And the first time in 6 years I was not a participant of recruitment as either an active or an alumna member. So in memory of the best 4 years of my life. Here is what it means to be in a sorority :) 

1. Bid day: The moment where you find out if the sorority you want to belong to also chooses you as a member. Now theres a lot of things that goes into this process, but basically it is the moment you find your home. Sure, that sounds dumb, and believe me I thought that until I was initiated and I realized the commitment I was making. 

2. Home away from home. So everyone told me this was my new "home." I laughed, sure this was a group of girls that I would spend the next four years with, but how could they be home? Then I got initiated, and I realized that these girls, and only these girls share a secret bond. We share secrets that very few people in this world know. I thought, how deep do those secrets go? 

3. You learn what the secrets actually mean. You get a Big Sister, and you take a little. You learn that your big sister, is actually a big sister. Meaning she is there for you for every heart break, every rough night, every failing grade. She is there to celebrate you acing your exams, or your new boyfriend, or the internship you landed. And you learn that you do the same for your little. You sit with her in a car with Dairy Queen in hand as cries to you about her break up, or you comfort her with deaths in a family. You bake her goods, you buy her sweat shirts, you make her paddles, only so she does the same to her little. People refer to them as your "greek big" and your "greek little sister" but you know its more than that. They are your family. 

4. Whats family with out fun? You attend all of these sister hood events like paint balling and of course spa night. You go to dances, fraternity dances (which you are so thankful you have sisters there for those weekends!) You tailgate at every football game and you even take 17 of you to the Bahamas for Spring Break.

5. And then its time to leave. Your 4 years is up and you have to leave all of these ladies behind. You will have lasting relationships with some of them, but some of them not. And as you go through the alumni ceremony you realize this is the last time that these ladies, the ladies you went through recruitment with, the 32 ladies you lived in the Sigma Kappa house with, the ladies who have seen every up and every down but encouraged you every step of the way, and its the last time you will ever be in the same room with them, sharing the same secrets. 

But you realize it's time to go. Its time to move on, and every year around this time of recruitment you are reminded of the memories you have made. You can look back and be thankful for the organization who gave you more than just friends, but gave you sisters. And you can look at the new members envious, because they have no idea the experience they are about to have, but you do, and you can look at them and smile knowing their lives are going to be forever changed. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Monthly Goals!

It is already the first of the month! That seriously flew by! I am so anxious to hear about everyones monthly goals and what you are striving for this month! 

Last Month:

1) Save Money: I finally did it!!! woooo! I paid off 3/4 of my credit card debt, put some money into savings (here I come first real apartment!), and was able to attend a few nights out here and there :))))) 
2) Run the full 13 mile half marathon at least once: didn't happen :(
3) Complete 2 of my 8 observations: I actually completed 3!!! Which means only 5 more to go! Woo!
4) Stay on my A Game with school: So far a 4.0 and completing all of my lesson plans as needed! 

Goals for this month:

1) Complete my half marathon, October 20th ahhh!!! I was a little crazy signing up for this bad boy but I know I will feel so great when I finally achieve it!

2) Keep saving the money! My goal is to be able to move out of my parents house soon after graduation in December (not to soon, but financially able to soon). I miss my freedom of having my own place! 

3) Complete 3 more classroom observations

4) Keep up with my food logging and exercising! I have a great new app called Lose It that I use all of the time to record what I am eating and have lost 2lbs just watching what I am putting in my mouth! I also need to keep exercising, at least 3-4 times a week! I know I am busy but for my mental health, I need a run! 

What are your goals? Link up below and tell me how last month went as well! 
Erica Ashley