Sunday, December 3, 2023

December Randoms

I have a colleague who posts Sunday Randoms, randomly on Sundays on their social media. I enjoy reading them and always wanted to carry this into my blog. So here I am attempting the idea of writing monthly randoms. They are basically thoughts, feelings, statements that are on my mind. Feel free to add in the comments your thoughts or responses to the randoms.
  1. Do we really need to give our opinion on when everyone begins their Christmas decorating? Can we just share our Christmas decorating to bring joy to this time of year? 
  2. I was told over and over that you will love your grandchildren more than your own children. That didn’t happen. I love my children so much! I have a different love for my granddaughter. She’s my child’s child. My heart just grew even greater when she was born.
  3. Growing old can be scary especially when you feel symptoms you never felt before out of no where. Stay in touch with your doctor.
  4. The Texans are looking good again. Glad we scheduled to go see a game early on and will hope to see a great one. Texans vs. Titans
  5. Drink your water. It does the body good.
  6. Spend your time with who and where you want. Life is too short to get permission for your decisions.
  7. Take the picture. The memories last longer. 
  8. Marriage can be as strong as you let it. Learn when to pick your battles. Learn when to enjoy the moments.
  9. Take care of your mental health as you would take care of your physical health. It matters more than you know. It also has an impact on your physical. 
  10. Know when to turn off work. The work isn’t going anywhere. It will be there when you get back. 
I’ll begin with this list for December. 

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Almost Fifty

 In 2012, I made a list of 101 things to do or complete in 1001 days. This was a blog challenge that was popular at the time. I managed to almost complete the entire list - proof that when you write it down, it carries weight and is more likely to happen.

I’m around the corner to hit the big 5-0. Oddly, I remember being more anxious when I was turning 40 than I currently am turning 50. Turning 40, I remember having another child was heavily on my mind. The thought of closing a chapter in life I will never have again such as bearing a child frightened me. I was at a loss as to whether I was truly done growing my family. Then I turned 40 and all the anxiety just went away. I was pleased with where we were with our family of 4 and I was appreciative of all that was around me. 

Here I am a year and a half away until I make the next milestone. All I want to do now is celebrate where I’ve been and what is to come. This made me think of the 101 challenge I did a while back. Interestingly, I made that list 10 years ago and a couple of years before my 40th birthday. 

So, here I am back to making a new list I want to accomplish and document as I journey to my next milestone. I have learned a lot in these past 10 years. I hope to share these lessons along the way as I capture the moments. 

Let’s begin with the list.

  1. Travel for my 50th birthday using my passport. (Location to be determined)
  2. Prioritize my physical health by following a more health-filled eating plan
  3. Develop a fitness routine to maintain my energy and well-being
  4. Make time to journal
  5. Use my prayer journal
  6. Complete my doctoral program
  7. Publish literature - preferably a children’s book
  8. Get a full physical completed
  9. Teach a lesson in class
  10. Return to water or water-based drinks only
  11. Paint a picture
  12. Read novels for enjoyment
  13. Create a vision board
  14. Go to the theater
  15. Mentor a child
  16. Take a road trip (or several)
  17. Lunch date with girlfriends
  18. Send a care package to family/girlfriends
  19. Determine my game plan after retirement - small business thinking!
  20. Attend a concert
  21. Go camping
  22. Enter a 5K
  23. Throw a themed shower 
  24. Recreate a new recipe
  25. Declutter all rooms
  26. Declutter/organize all closets
  27. Write a letter to my husband
  28. Write a letter to my daughter
  29. Write a letter to my son
  30. Create a poem for my grandchild
  31. Eat cake
  32. Take a day from work 
  33. Take in the beach
  34. Sit around a campfire
  35. Play board/card games with the family
  36. Watch the sunrise
  37. Watch the sunset
  38. Try a new restaurant
  39. Write a gratitude list
  40. Volunteer for a cause
  41. Donate blood
  42. Guest speak at an event
  43. Blog 
  44. Start a podcast 
  45. Take a boat ride
  46. Give to a charity
  47. Take a class for fun
  48. Take a staycation 
  49. Catch up with Grey’s Anatomy
  50. Do a family photo session - at a location
Let's get this party started! 

Friday, January 1, 2021

Twenty Twenty

Twenty Twenty seemed like it would be an amazing year. Just the sound of the year. When you hear twenty twenty you think perfect vision, focus. Surely the year would have greatness! Not.

Twenty twenty came with lots of heartache, confusion and a blurred vision. Not even certain where to begin. 

New Years Eve was spent in a crowded hospital room with my mom and family. She was admitted for unknown pains in her legs that began in December. We brought in the new year in her hospital room. She soon recovered and is doing well.  

The next month, my dad had surgery to remove cancer that was found on his kidney. Blessed to know that the surgery was all he needed to rid the cancer. He still has his follow ups. I am grateful to God that his cancer treatment was minimal and curable. 

Then came March. There was a lot of fuzziness happening. An illness had reached the US. I don’t believe it just reached us then, but it was when our country began to really take note of what was happening and the communication about the virus started to become the main thing. Everything started to shutdown including schools, businesses, restaurants, and even the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Little did we know that this virus was about to wipe us all out and transform the world and life we live. 

March was also devastating because we lost one of our best friends. He passed away from a car accident. It was such a sudden loss that still to this day is hard to believe. Many were heartbroken and still carry this loss heavy. 

April and May is when our world truly shut down. Everyone was informed to stay home. Only essential personnel were allowed to be out. School was up in the air. Each week educators wondered if they will get to return to school before the end of the year. Teachers and school leaders scrambled around trying to make school happen online with little time to prep yet expected to have quick answers. Answers began to be “I don’t know? Or we have to wait.”  High school and college graduations either became virtual or postponed. 

June hit and it hit hard. My husband’s father, my father in law passed away after being ill (not from Covid) for a month in the hospital. It was a tough month. My children lost their first grandparent.  This was a heavy loss for my husband, especially since he had just lost one of his closest of friends in March. The pain from his loss is still heavily felt. 

Most of this world wide quarantined time was spent bbq-ing and bike riding with my family. The stillness of the world was in some way calming considering all that we were coping with in our little world.

July and August was all a blur. My son’s college graduation that was originally postponed turned into a virtual ceremony. He was disappointed, but we made the most of it with a home ceremony. We celebrated his accomplishment with our family. This is one of the highlights of our year- seeing our son receive his degree. It brought about some sunshine and excitement to our little world. 

August came and schools were opening up - virtually that is. All districts had their own timeline as to how long they would remain virtual. The first day of school brought tears to my eyes as I walked the halls looking into classrooms of teachers teaching into computers. Not a student present. It was the most oddest thing to witness. The teachers pulled all the stops out to give the best instruction they could with what they knew at the time. 

September and October rolled around and plans for face to face school was in the air. Districts were beginning to have students in person. Questions were continuously asked about safety. That was the only thing that mattered. Fear was pronounced by families and educators alike. How were we going to make the most of the school year? School was transformed to be unlike it ever was. Nonetheless, everyone gave it their all.

The year ended quietly. New Years Eve was a bittersweet evening. Not only were we saying goodbye to 2020, but it felt like we were leaving a lot behind too. Praying 2021 is brought with much blessing for all!

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Forty six

 I turned forty six. Celebrating another year was bittersweet. Nonetheless, I’m grateful to God for another year of life. 

This last chapter brought some lessons. 
  • Health matters. Taking care of your body and keeping up with annual appointments is essential. The sooner you discover something wrong, the better opportunity you have in bringing yourself back to good health.
  • Mindfulness is not a trend, but real. Just like your physical health is important, so is your mindfulness. You must take time for yourself. Read a book for fun. Practice mindfulness techniques. Play some music and relax. Journal. Anything that relaxes you. 
  • You really only have one life to live and enjoying every moment with loved ones is golden. Life is short so live each moment doing what makes you happy. Don’t hesitate to tell the ones you love I love you or even I’m sorry. 
  • Prayer is powerful. 
These lessons weren’t new to me. They just happen to test me this past year so they naturally stood out. 

This next chapter has begun with lots of uncertainties not just in our city or country, but in our world. However, what is certain is the perspective I will have. Positive. Prayerful. 

Here is to making forty six powerful and purposeful. While we can’t control life around us, we can control what is within us. How we carry on even through tested times can only keep us growing stronger. Cheers to more blessed years of life with family and friends. 

Monday, December 23, 2019

December Gratitude

My most grateful moments in December- 

1) Decluttered garages- This actually happened over Thanksgiving break, but I can’t help to feel grateful that it was in my past and was accomplished so feverishly. I still had boxes full of things from when we moved into our home three years ago. Today all boxes have been discarded.

2) Texans vs. Patriots game- Tailgating with family and friends. Texans won. End of story.

3) Rediscovering the Book of Luke- Did you know reading Luke chapter 1-24 by taking a chapter a day you discover or affirm the meaning of Christmas? Some days became tough because of late nearly nights, but I would double up to complete. Beautiful words and guidance we should follow on earth. 

4) If Happiness was a Skill session- This was a refreshing session on taking the time to pause and be in the moment. All administrators were required to attend. It was well worth my afternoon and then some.

5) Postcards from other Leaders- Last summer I signed up to be a part of a “pen pal” circle with other leaders across the country. We provided our contact information and were assigned a group of about twenty leaders to send a postcard with an encouraging note. The post card could be sent an any time of the year. I started receiving mine this month. It was heartwarming to receive a handwritten encouraging note from another human being. 

6) Gatherings- I love hosting gatherings in our home. I enjoy providing that hospitality for down time to relax, unwind and just enjoy the company and moment. Nothing fancy. This year we got to host a Christmas gathering. We invited family, friends and co-workers. It was a ton of fun. 

7) Shop with a Cop - I have been blessed to be connected to a police union who sponsors this program every year for our school. We get to take students for an evening of shopping at Walmart. It’s such a rewarding experience for us and even more so for the families. 

8) Christmas Eve mass- I joined a dear friend for the Children’s Christmas Eve mass. It was a beautiful service.

9) Road trip- Took my parents down to Louisiana for a casino trip. Dad hit big with $1,000! 

10) Christmas Day- What was a small gathering turned into a much larger one with our family joining us. It was a perfect evening of bbq around the fire. 

Saturday, December 7, 2019


It has become the buzz word. Mindfulness. Is this another fad or is it something we need to pay mind to?

I attended a Social Emotional training back at the beginning of the school year by Keeth Matheny. It was a great session. The focus was about being mindful and in the present. Our district brought him back this past week. We had a choice to attend one of the three sessions being offered. The session was titled “If Happiness was a Skill.” I chose the last session of the day.

The first thing he had us do was mark our happiness at the moment on a scale. We were going to mark ourselves on the scale at end of the session too. At that point I inferred I would most likely leave this session with joy because this guy was about to take us on a ride. 

What I was affirmed with at the end of the class are in the list below. I say affirmed because I know these things. I’ve been in bits of practice with this since a year ago when I was in my Leadership class. One of the first topics covered during class was about how to leave work behind and get to enjoy your life with family. However, the lecture was one thing. Putting it into practice hasn’t quite shifted to habit just yet.  Here they are:
  • Happiness is a decision.
  • Our thoughts elicit emotion that creates our behaviors that impact our world.
  • Be in the present.
  • Savor your moments.
  • Pause
  • Multitasking isn’t real nor is it effective
  • Technology is suppose to make work efficient but not keep you at work all the time. 
To be in the moment and happy with the place you are in is challenging for many people. We are always looking for the next best thing. The next best job, car, home, etc... that we forget that the moment we are in is something we most likely prayed for at one time. We expect the next thing to make us happy rather than being happy in the moment we are in.

My life experiences thus far have taught me how to see the bigger picture. It’s not about what the next day holds or where I will be in a year. What matters most is being happy in the moment you are living. What matters is today. 

How will I spend today living my best life? 

Sunday, November 17, 2019

The Work Bag

I tried something last week that was quite refreshing. It was simple. I left my work bag at work.

Every day I carry my work bag to and from work. It is heavy. It contains each of my daily notebooks I use on a daily basis. I do not know why I carry them back and forth. Perhaps I may need it when I am home. I do not know. Most times, I am so exhaustingly tired I do not even open up my bag. It still comes home with me. It gets even heavier on the weekends. I guess I feel I have more time, let me take more home.

So, last Tuesday I was at work late and figured why take it home. I'm coming right back. So, I did the unthinkable and left it all at work-including my laptop! Then the next day my husband said we were going to have dinner with our daughter. So, I left it again figuring I would not have an ounce of time to do anything with the contents of the bag. Then it was Thursday. I was ready to leave by 4:30, however I still had a to do list to take care of. So, I decided to go ahead and clear the list. I left a bit later- 6:00 p.m. However, I was able to leave without the bag!

There was something about leaving work at work that week that was so refreshing to my soul. I was able to come home with a clear mind. Each morning, I got up and dressed and walked out the house with just my purse. It felt so liberating! I shared this experience with someone and they assured me to keep doing it more often. The feeling was too great that I do think I will make it possible. Even just taking it one day at a time.

This forty something thing is really getting the best of me. Why does it take forty something years to realize what now twenty somethings already know- to take time to care for ourselves. Feed the soul. We only live one life. It's time to make the most of the life I have been given. This includes making the most of the time I have and spending it doing what I love and enjoy most.