Health Roller Coaster

We are officially one quarter of the way through the first semester. I feel more organized in some areas like my lesson plans and music selection and in other areas I still haven’t hit my groove (like grading assessments, tests, etc.). I had a blast being a Freshman advisor during homecoming week and loved the chance to interact with the students outside of school during hallway decorating and float building and at the football game. As much as my students can drive me insane some days, I love working with them and I love my job. 

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Now for a more serious post than I usually write. I had wanted to share this information earlier but I also wanted to wait until I had my results and more information.

On a personal level, the start to the school year was a little rocky. The first full day of school I started feeling a little wonky after teaching junior high choir. I was starting to walk down the hall to get some water but I was starting to feel really dizzy. Thankfully another high school teacher noticed that I was not looking good and ended up walking with me. I made it to the activity directors office where I got a trash can and promptly passed out. Needless to say, they did not let me stay and teach the rest of the day. On the plus side, I was able to help the school nurse see what needed updated in her emergency bag ;) My elementary principal took me to the local clinic and after fitting me in I promptly went home and slept away the afternoon. 

This was the second time that I had a fainting episode or Syncope episode in the last year. The first episode was the summer of 2011 while I was at my small group. That time I was so dizzy before I passed out that I had double vision and ended up passed out on the bathroom floor. Since this was my second episode, the nurse practitioner that saw me referred me to a cardiologist up in Monroe Wisconsin. The cardiologist wanted me to have a tilt table test, an echocardiogram, and a stress test. The main test was the tilt table but the other two were just to make sure everything was okay. Without the tests he was fairly certain that I had Vasovagal Syncope.

The day of the tilt table I ended up with four appointments. The tilt table started out the day, then the echocardiogram, allergist and ended with the ear, nose, and throat doctor. This last week, I had my stress test and follow up appointment with the cardiologist. Throughout this last six weeks, I have kept myself busy and tried not to think too much about the “what ifs”. It was easier to do that during the week but the weekends started to put me in a mental funk. I thought I was doing okay at school but I honestly was just getting through the days and what I needed to do and not thinking as far ahead as I needed to. I don’t like the feeling of being dizzy and since I don’t know what my triggers are, I was worried about when the next episode would happen.

My mom came up for the day of four doctor appointments and I am glad she was there. I had to go into the tilt table without drinking or eating anything from midnight since the test could cause nausea and who wants that to happen. The test wasn’t too bad but it was a little akward. After getting hooked up to the different machines and strapped to the table I was raised to a seventy degree angle standing up. After thirteen minutes of standing I started going through an episode and they brought me down. The point of the test is not to make me faint but to get me to start going through an episode. During recovery they brought my mom in. I started to get very chilled during recovery and found out that heated blankets at the hospital are wonderful! They kept me hooked up to all the systems during recovery and I am very thankful that they do that. I decided that I was strong enough to sit up but my body had other plans. After sitting up for only a couple of minutes I started to get very nauseas and dizzy. My mom and one nurse were in front of me so they couldn’t see the monitor but the other nurse could. The last thing I remember was hearing a suggestion that I lay down and laying down on my side. I woke up with three very concerned faces over me and hearing them asking me to open my eyes and talk. Apparently, my pulse dropped to 30 (not normal) and might have even paused for a few seconds. The nurse that saw it immediately said “we have to get her down now”, started tilting the table so my head was down a little and even pushed the code button. They said I started to turn blue and during my second recovery it took a while before the color returned to my lips. Um, yeah I freaked them all out. Instead of a quick one hour test and recovery I used the entire two hour block dedicated to the tilt table. I felt much better after getting liquids in my body and latter lunch.

My afternoon was less of a roller coster ride. Did you know that each valve in your heart has a different sound? We are fearfully and wonderfully made! At the allergist appointment, I found out I am allergic to dust and mold. Not grass and not cats. A little surprised but glad to find that out. My allergist wants me to do a sleep study so that is coming up in November. The ENT visit was a little more or a precaution visit. I wanted to make sure that I had not hurt my voice with all the use it gets. I lost my voice after my first month of teaching last year and never felt fully recovered. I was pleasantly surprised when he decided to scope and look at my vocal folds (this is my favorite vocal fold video so far). The good news is that my vocal folds are healthy and now I have a reference point to look at if anything happens down the road. 

Stress test was unenventful. The walking speed was not a big deal but the incline of the treadmill was intense! I think I only made it to the fourth level of the stress test but there was not a lot of talking going on during that last level :) Good news! Healthy heart!!! :D That is a big weight off my shoulders. The doctor thinks I fainted due to dehydration. I disagree because I am always drinking various liquids. If it is dehydration, it is that paired with another trigger. 

Right now the game plan is to try to get my body in balance again. Yesterday I had a massage to help balance out my muscles, I am going to start doing yoga more often and my school is starting a Biggest Loser contest that involves various group fitness activities. Since it is at school, and I tend to live at school, I am hoping it helps me with my activity motivation. 

For those of you that follow me on facebook and twitter, thank you for your prayers. I could not have gotten through this without the prayer support. 

How do you keep your body healthy and balanced?

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School Days

Where did the summer go and how is it the end of August already?!?

I have had a crazy start to the school year but I will update you about that later. For now I want to share with you my choir room. 

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One of the things I love the most about my choir room is the Baby Grand Piano! Unfortunately, the piano is stuck in the room and can only be taken out for concerts if the piano tuner comes, takes off the legs and tunes it after each move. One of these days I would like to use it in a concert but for now it makes a wonderful practice piano :) The risers are great for choir as well as show choir rehearsals that occur in this room after school. The big mirror that you see in the picture was heavy and awkward. The legs have been taken off and it works nicely back stage during the Singsation show (Singsation is the title of the show choir at my school and everyone knows show choir as Singsation). The large wooden cabinet you see in the top right picture has also been removed and replaced with more filing shelves. I was running out of room for my sheet music. The bottom left picture was taken from the center of the room on the risers. You can see the white board, random hallway, and my office. I loved that I had some flexibility in the room and freedom to create whatever atmosphere I wanted. The biggest thing that I did not like about the room was that the history of the choir department was not present and in addition to looking cold it usually was cold. 

Drumroll please…..

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Here is a peak inside my choir room a year later! This room finally is a happy place to create music! The mural was an idea I had last fall. Instead of traditional note-heads, I used paw prints since we are the Bulldogs! The racks you see in the top left picture are used for show choir costumes when we start fitting the students. Behind the racks are double hanging rods. They used to be there and then were moved up to the attic above the stage and choir room (nightmare!) and now they are back in the choir room. I am still trying to figure out how to hang a curtain in front of the costumes. I found some of the old Singsation posters and put those under the clock in the room to add a little history. Above the filing cabinets are three photo collages made by students with pictures I found in the choir room, vintage musical posters from an old calendar, and the Singsation XVI sign that was above the stage. The signs you see in the bottom two pictures are chromatic solfege signs that I made last year to help my students. I have also added hand signs to one of my office doors. 

The room may not look drastically different but to me there is life and memories and history! Plus, if I am going to spend hours in this room I want it to feel comfortable and welcoming :)

Quick view into my choir office in 2011

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Let’s not dwell on the lack of color, personality, cat hair covered office chair that is at least two sizes too big for me, and the overall blandness. 

And a happier view in 2012!

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Spray painted wood chair in place of the oversized chair that did not fit me. Small fridge and microwave for all the long days and I am loving the piano on this side of the office. Bookshelves all in a row and music storage in my office. The milk crates have honor choir music and current music for the choirs. The shelves have pulled music for all performing ensembles and the mini milk crate holds my copies of music for all the classes. The binder is something new I am trying this year. I have a monthly calendar for each grade level with all the performances throughout the year. For my elementary classes, I used sticky notes to map out how many times I would see each class, what lessons I wanted to cover, and when I wanted to start working on music for elementary performances. I love the pops of color and the organization. If I don’t at least fake being organized I think I would lose my mind teaching K-12!

Next up: Elementary Music Room!

What do you do to add life to a bland room?

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Summer Days

Summer started for me on Thursday May 31st. And I did have to look back at the date because my brain does not store that type of information. I thought I would be spending lots of time researching and preparing for next year and have lots of time to update my blog. Truth is, I do not accomplish as much when I do not have a set schedule. Not having to be up at a certain time has led to latter bed times and latter waking times. Not that I am complaining or anything ;)  

At the beginning of summer break I worked on getting my classrooms organized and ready to be cleaned and my boards ready for the school year. The first week I went to a few graduation parties and had a very relaxing trip back to my hometown. It was not a rushed trip which is very uncommon any more :) I spent the days with my parents and the evenings usually with a friend. I also had the experience of helping mow the campground my parents take care of. The riding mower has cruise control and a cup holder! Much nicer than anything I have ever mowed on :D

I have gotten some school prep. done but I am starting to feel the crunch of time even though it is only the beginning of July! Let’s ignore school for now…

The fun things of summer have included seeing two musicals in Rockford: Little Women and Into the Woods. I love watching live performances! I have gone to two Zumba classes and as uncoordinated as I sometimes feel, I really enjoy it :) I went to a water park with one of the school secretaries and her son and she somehow talked me onto several of the rides. It was fun but the lazy river wins over heart pounding slides. I also spent a day reading a book (that was not school related) just because I could. 

July is going to fly by a little faster for me. It boils down to prioritizing my lists and getting things done. I am enjoying extra family time and am eagerly anticipating attending the Iowa Choral Directors Association Conference at the end of July! I was originally going to attend with a friend and colleague but she and her husband will be adopting a baby girl that same week! I am very excited for them and have been searching for baby items for the last several weeks. I know they would appreciate your prayers!

And to close of this post, I thought I should introduce you all to my small town tradition of Outhouse Races during their Indipendence Weekend Festivities

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What traditions does your town/city have?

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Happy

Today has been an incredibly happy day! Maybe it is because I was skipping and jumping out of pure giddiness in 6th grade music yesterday while talking about how music and math closely tied together (especially with sequences and matrix’s). The inner music nerd was out and my students were a little (lot) worried. Maybe it is because I received a beautiful box full of classroom instruments today. Maybe it is because I started cleaning, organizing and purging my elementary music room. Maybe it is because my special ed. music class astounds me and leave me speechless every week!

Or maybe it is all of those put together.

By the way, where did April go?

There have been so many things I want to talk about and so many things I want to share but honestly I have been living life and savoring the moments. I was never good at keeping a journal and my inconsistent posts show that ;)

Where to start…I think I am going to start at the top of my list.

  • Music and Math. Have you searched what Pi sounds like? Cool, huh? If you are a nerd, then you will want to make your own. *Insert image of me dancing/jumping out of giddy excitement*
  • I don’t have pictures to prove it today, but dust is NewImagegone from half of my classroom, instrument cabinets are more organized and things are being moved around. There is still a lot I want to do but I feel like I have a vision and a goal of what needs to get done and what I want it to look like when it is done. I came across this color inspiration and realized that it would work perfectly in my classrooms. Our school color is royal blue and I love green and this combination helped pull it all together. Now I need to find some fabric for my boards and baskets in those colors.
  • Words barely skim the surface of the joy I have working with the PIP classroom which is a self contained special ed. room. I started working with them once a week right around Christmas and it has been slow but steady progress. The last few weeks they have been responding more, participating and surprising their helpers and myself. Today I decided to be brave and bring out my guitar. They loved it! K immediately came to me and started strumming the guitar and J was eager to try it out. He was all smiles. A doesn’t respond a lot but she was rocking the guitar! She wasn’t just strumming a steady beat, she was strumming a rhythm pattern and repeating it! I had so much joy at that moment seeing her express the music in her and it is still bringing a smile to my face and tears to my eyes thinking about it. There are so many stories I want to share about these students and I will share them soon! Another favorite thing about these students is how much they love music and the connection I have built with them. They are always wanting to wave hello and even if I am teaching they will come up to the window when they are walking past and wave at us.

Music is my life right now. My job still consumes me. Right now I am okay with that. I am trying to get involved with my small group and church on the weekends but that has been hard with some of my wacky weekend schedules. I am planning on kicking myself out of my house and work at making connections and relationships this summer. If I allow myself, I can be a loner. In high school, my parents for a while had to almost kick me out of the house on the weekends and actually asked one of my friends to get me out of the house. I kind of wish I had that friend around me to pull me out :)

NewImage Random closing thoughts:

Your fingers will hurt if you don’t gradually start playing the guitar again.

It feels good to get giddy in music class over theory and math. You haven’t made your own Pi music yet?!? What are you waiting for? :D

Random students make me a) think I am losing my mind b) laugh c) take a deep breath and continue

Going to bed early to read a book is a wonderful thing

What makes you happy?

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Zzzzz

Today I woke up late.

Late like I was supposed to be at school at 8 and I woke up more like 8:10. Somehow I manged to get to school before the first bell rang and before my frist class. I might have missed door duty but you know what, I made it. I am not proud of the fact that I was late and was so tired that I was late but I am proud that I made it in time to teach.

The one word that would describe me this week is: TIRED

I went out to eat with a friend after my JH show choir practice and there were a few moments were I felt like I could fall asleep at the table. Thus waking up late this morning.

Tonight I was crazy and brought home school stuff to do over the weekend.

My job may be making me exhausted right now but I love my job. Not the exhausted part. I like my sleep.

Three weeks until the show choir show! Excited and nervous and have I mentioned the five page list of things that need to get checked off.

Stop reading and go make these pop tarts now. You will not be sorry. I made these tonight for my and there will be more made and stored in the freezer for crazy mornings like today.

I still have some lingering sniffels from a few weeks ago.

Taking a sick days really does help you recover faster.

Should probably used one before February :)

 

How would you describe your week? Any new recipes you have tried lately?

I have a chili recipe in the works. Maybe this weekend? Maybe…

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Spicy Tissues

Well it happened. I took my first ever sick day. A bad cold that had my eyes tearing up left me miserable Thursday at school. I knew before my first class even started that I probably should not have been at school and there was no way I could make it through Friday. Friday and Saturday I spent most of my time laying down and almost ran out of tissues! I had to make an emergency run to the grocery store because that would “snot” be funny! You know how else I knew I was sick? The “snot” jock was emailed to me by a friend and I was laughing at it all day Friday :)

Do you have any foods that you crave when you are not feeling well? Whenever I am getting a cold, I crave kimchi which is a Korean food. The first time I tried it I was not a fan but now I love the stuff and have already made a serious dent in my jar. One of these days I am going to make my own! I know it is possible, I just have chickened out of trying it.

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While I may find kimchi exciting, I know not everyone does. So without further ado, Valentines day! More specifically, a blogger valentines day swap.

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One of the things that I have come to love about the blogging community is well, the community. We are connected through technology and swaps allow us to become connected on a more personal level. If you have ever heard of the five love languages you will know that each person has a different way that they express love to others. My strongest love language is gifts. It never had to be big and extravagant. It could be as simple as my parents bringing back my favorite bread when they went out to eat on a date night. As I have moved away from friends and family, I have found that I appreciate quality time with the people that are important in my life more than gifts.

Anyway, Caroline (Good Times Never Seem Sew Good) and Alissa (Rags to Stitches) organized a blogger Valentine Day Swap. Everyone was paired up, sent out packages by February 1st and then linked up and shared what treats we received. I had hoped to be craftier in my gift but times have been a little crazy.  I was paired up with Julie (Project Mommie) and we were given a list of each others favorite colors, drink, store, etc. She sent me a cute green heart that I now have in my center piece you see behind the pictures and homemade chai tea. I can’t remember if I have talked about it before, but several years ago, due to health issues, I gave up coffee cold turkey. In its place came Chai tea. When I was in Poland last summer, coffee gradually was introduced back into my life. Now I alternate between chai, hot tea and coffee. Like kimchi, I know I can make my own chai but again, I have always chickened out. Julie’s powdered chai that she sent me is delicious! I have made it several times and am motived once again to make it myself :)

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I am ready to get decked out in red and hearts tomorrow for school <3

Do you celebrate valentines day? Or is it just another day that you show your love and appreciation for those you care for?

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Eleven Questions

Hi there! Are you watching the super bowl (or commercials) tonight? I don’t have TV so I relaxing, watching Into the Woods, baking cookies, painted my nails (orange!) and watching Superbowl commercials on YouTube. I started that out with relaxing right? I have trouble doing one thing at a time ;)

As I was sitting, in between batches of chocolate chip cookies, I realized I hadn’t posted in a very long time. Does writing posts in my head count? No? Oh well, I tried. I do have several posts outlined and I did finally get my camera, computer and chord all in one place. Now I just have to sit down and put it all together!  Anyway, this time last year, I was sitting downstairs at my brothers house with my sister-in-law “watching” the super bowl. I say “watching” because I was organizing lesson plans and my work sample information and only partially paying attention. This year, I have no TV, so I am watching Into the Woods and looking on YouTube to see if I am missing any commercials that I could use in lessons to talk about music in pop culture…and I kind of like watching Superbowl commercials :)

Note to self, do not double a cookie recipe unless I have a larger bowl!

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Barely fitting in the bowl

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Bright Nails

 

 

 

 

 

 

About a week ago (oops!), I was tagged by Emma over at the Sweet Tooth Runner in 11 Things. Better late then never right?

Here we go!

Here are the survey “rules”:

#1: You must post these rules.
#2: Each person must post 11 things about themselves on their blog.
#3: Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.

1. I was home-schooled K-12. The only “public school” experiences I had was taking drivers education and accompanying the local high school choir my junior and senior years. I guess you could count taking spanish at a Christian school fifteen miles away, but there was only two other students int he physical classroom (it was a satellite class).

2. I call myself a planned surprise :) My parents wanted to have a third child but God chose to have them wait until my brothers were much older. I was born in the summer and my oldest brother was a freshman in college that fall. There are only two years between my two brothers.

3. I love to read and have at least one box of books that are sitting waiting for me to read them. Occasionally I will pick one up to start but then it gets put back on the shelf. In high school and college, I always had at least one book with me. You never know when you will have a few minutes to read. I found the best times to read were in the car before I had a license and waiting for my classes to start in college.

4. I took organ lessons but had trouble coordinating my feet and hands. I often would confuse the pedal line for the bass clef line thus playing the pedal notes in my left hand and my left hand notes in my feet. Oops!

5. Some of my favorite movies to watch are old black and white movies and tv show. And don’t forget about the classic musicals!

6. For a very brief time before college, I considered doing a double option in music and art. The art department told me that was not a wise combination…so I chose to do a double option in music education and piano performance :)

7. I almost lost my keys the first time my parents let me drive by myselft. I was one minute late by the clock my mom was looking at. The reason I was late? I stopped to move a cardboard box out of the road a block away from home. I knew I should have put it in the car as proof!

8. I never learned how to use the brakes on roller scates. I always would allow myself to slow down and glide into the wall. That worked really well until the day that I ran into the wall, full force with both of my palms. Couldn’t play the piano for at least a week!

9. I have never broken a bone. Sprained and dislocated, but never broken. When I was younger, I wanted a broken bone, probably so people could sign my cast. I even had it figured out that the only limb I could break was my left leg so that I could still play the piano and use my right foot for the pedal. I latter found out when I was on crutches that you could easily twist your body so you could use your left leg :)

10. I love most casseroles but have issues when foods that are supposed to be separate are touching. For example, mixed veggies are a huge no, and peas and mashed potatoes cannot be touching. However, I love vegetable soup. I also tend to eat one thing at a time when I have several things on my plate.

11. If it wasn’t for my love of reading, I would probably be a terrible speller. I hated spelling in school and refused to learn the spelling rules. They did not make sense to me and my logic was if I could not apply them, why memorize them. Thank goodness for spellcheck!

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Here are Emma’s Questions:

1. What is your biggest goal/dream right now? My biggest dream is to travel and see the world. Going to Poland a couple of summers ago in addition to having many international friends, has enticed me to visit my friends and family and see new places in the United States and oversees.

2. Which place in the world would you like to visit the most, and why? I cannot narrow down to one place. The places I really want to visit are New Zealand, South Korea, and Japan. New Zealand because I have heard it is beautiful and it intrigues me. South Korea because of the Korean friends and roommates I have had and my love for Korean food. One of the biggest reasons I would like to visit South Korean and Japan is to visit friends that live over there that i have not seen in a really long time.

3. What is your favorite book? Not Regina by Christmas Carol Kauffman. The setting is England during the reformation and the growing movement of antibaptists. Because of all the books I want to read, it is very seldom that I will re-read a book. I think I have re-read this book at least three times if not more. Sign of a good book! (You can find it on Amazon)

4. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? For a while I remember wanting to be a tennis player and an artists, at the same time. Then I added being a mom to the mix. Then dropped out being a tennis player and decided to homeschool, then for a very brief time, I thought about being a nurse, then I took a break and just read :) I have no idea where the idea of being a tennis player came from since I never played tennis and we very seldom ever watched it on TV. Who knows!

5. What has been the best moment in your life so far? I can think of several that all happened within the last two years. The summer of 2010 I had the opportunity to participate in a piano master class in Poland that changed my views of practice and playing music. In 2011 I student taught under two wonderful mentors, finally graduated and got my first job! In August of 2011 I started my first job as a K-12 vocal teacher in Northern Illinois. How life has changed in the last two years.

6. Your favorite color? Green, of course! I think I might start adding some orange accents around my house.

7. If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be? Hmmm, that one leaves me puzzled for a little bit. There are of course, several bloggers that I would love to meet in person and a few conductors that I would love to have the opportunity to observe or work with. As far as specific people…that would take a little more thought than I am able to right now.

8. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? I consider myself an introvert since I am not energized by people, although I do enjoy being around people. I usually become more extroverted once I get to know people. Around some of my friends I can become very goofy!

9. If you could run any race, what would it be? That would mean I would have to actually run ;) Over the summer, I started the C25K but didn’t finish. It is definitely something I want to try out. I would love to run a race that has a celebration atmosphere. Maybe a rock and roll marathon or a relay race?

10. Do you have any fears or phobias? I have become afraid of birds when I am driving. On one of my many trips to my piano lessons while I was learning how to drive, I had a hawk fly into my windshield. And yes, you did read that correctly. I was driving on a country road and saw a hawk flying up from the road. I figured since it was flying up I didn’t need to slow down. Wrong, very wrong. It decided to land again and before it had time to get out the way and before I could react, it hit my windshield. I did not swerve but I did duck :) Ever since, I have occasionally slowed down for birds when driving. I probably shouldn’t watch Alfred Hitchcock’s movie The Birds…

11. In a film of your life, which actress would play you? I am going to either go with Lucille Ball because I like her and have always wanted red hair or Anne Hathaway because watching Princess Diaries and the Devil Wears Prada made me enjoy her as an actress.

I tag…Georgia at More Like Home!

1. What is your favorite food?

2. What is your dream job?

3. Favorite movie/TV show?

4. Favorite game?

5. Do you like sports? Do you prefer to play or watch?

6. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

7. Your dream vacation would be…

8. Do you prefer to bake or cook?

9. What is your favorite craft?

10. City or small town? Why?

11. Favorite thing that happened in 2011 and what you are most looking forward to in 2012 :D

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Hello 2012

My entrance into 2012 was not how I expected it. I had planned on hanging out with some friends after our friend’s wedding. That did happen. But not to the length that I had anticipated. I also went to bed at 9pm! I know NYE is anti climatic but nothing like turning in early. The things strong pain medicine will make you do.

Note to self: when you move, find a new dentist ASAP! Especially if you can’t remember the last time you went to a dentist. If you don’t, it will come back to bite you.

At the end of our family gathering in the Quad cities, I developed a nasty tooth ache. I tried to get into a few dentists there, but they either didn’t have openings or conflicted with our last family outing. I was not going to let a tooth ache ruin my last day with my family! Frustrated, I decided I could ride it out until I got home on Monday. The next morning, Friday, I realized this was not going to happen. I am very thankful for my parents who called multiple dentists within driving distance. Friday is not a good day to find a dentist. Friday before a holiday is even worse. My dad finally found a dentist with an opening in Springfield. Yippee! Temporary filling and I was good to go. Or so I thought. As soon as the Novocain had worn off I was in terrible pain. I made it to the dress rehearsal for Lisa’s wedding and even visited with a few friends. As soon as I got home I was in tears on the floor. My dad took me to the ER and stronger pain medicine finally allowed me relief. Bonus, the nurse at the ER was a hoot! She helped keep my spirits up and got my mind off my pain.

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Let’s just say I was playing at the wedding the next morning under the influence. Of prescription pain medicine ;) Now on Tuesday, I have gradually switched over to Ibuprofen and have been able to stay away from the stronger pain medicine. I am about to head off to see the local dentist and see if a new filling will fix my tooth or if I need a root canal. I am hopping for a simple new filling *fingers crossed*

Lesson to this story: Find a dentist! Go regularly!

Not the pick you up post you were looking for? I will leave you with my thoughts for 2012.

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Sweet!

I wanted to start out by saying that this last week was crazy, but then I thought about this week, and crazy November… so I am going with November and December have been crazy! :)

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Why? I am so glad you asked! In November, I don’t think we ever had a full week. There were either field trips, half weeks for parent teacher conferences, short week for a SIP day or a half week for Thanksgiving. Then December shows up and there are three concerts in one week of each other. Enter crazy music teacher! I got in the concert zone, some of the students were not quite there yet… The K-6 concert went really well and I was so relieved to have my first large elementary concert behind me. Learned that we need a monitor so the students can hear the music better, and learned that I need less helpers back stage :) The high school concert was yesterday, Sunday and it went well. My choir students had better facials than their first concert but their volume was down. We were also missing four students! I will have something for them to do, but I hate when students don’t show up for a performance. Now I need to finish writing their final and create a study guide for them.

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With this crazy whirlwind, you wouldn’t think I had time to cook or bake. Well you are partially correct. But the Food Blog Cookie Exchange gave me an excuse to make a recipe I came across earlier this fall: Pumpkin Sinkerdoodles. These cookies are soft and have a subtle hint of pumpkin. They melt in your mouth and stay soft several days latter, though I usually give them away so I don’t eat them all. I thought about adding cinnamon chips in the batter but was nervous so I stuck to the original recipe. Next time, I am adding cinnamon chips. I don’t think I have actually baked with cinnamon chips. I usually eat them before I have time to bake with them. Oops!

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I enjoyed participating in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap this year and am planning on participating next year. It was fun getting different cookies from other people and finding out about new blogs. Hopefully next year I will have an original recipe to share :) If you enjoy baking, and getting tasty treats, I would suggest signing up for next years swap!

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Thank you Julianna, Emma, and my one mystery cookie package (need to figure that one out) for the wonderful new recipes! I am excited to try them out in the near future! Go check out their recipes! Warning, the cookies don’t last long ;)

What is your favorite cookie recipe or holiday sweet?

 

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Time Flies

Um, where did November go? And why do I feel like December is almost over when it has just begun?

So why did November fly for me?

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Does that answer the question? :) I started working on the holiday concert music with my elementary students at the beginning of October because I knew how crazy November was going to be with parent teacher conferences and Thanksgiving taking away two weeks. The way the classes are set up, this left 5th, Kindergarten and 2nd with out music those two weeks. Coming up to our concert in a few days, I am only really worried about one 5th grade class. They didn’t put in the work in class and now it is coming to haunt them. It was so bad I was considering dropping a song or changing a song. Thankfully the other 5th grade class actually knows their music!

The next two weeks are going to be organizes chaos. The next three days I will be getting ready for the K-6 elementary holiday concert on the 7th, Sunday is the high school concert and Tuesday is the 5-8th grade holiday concert. No wonder I can’t fall asleep at night!

I am the type of person that will run through thing in my head and with everything going on, this means that winding down to sleep is very difficult. Have you ever gotten to the point that you are so tired that you are no longer tired? That is kind of what it feels like. One day at a time and I will make it. I am more worried about the elementary concert because of all the transitions and the pure number of students that I have to get on and off stage and different times. That and the expectations that the teachers, administration and parents have for the concert. I might have made things simple this year compared to past music directors, but that was simple for self preservation.

I have been soaking any quiet time I can to help prepare me for the coming chaos. Thanksgiving I ended up staying home instead of going to my parents and I enjoyed sleeping in and getting things done at a leisurely pace. I didn’t accomplish everything on my lists but I did get a few things done that I wouldn’t have been able to do if I had traveled. Yesterday (Saturday) I finally made it to my small group after missing most of the meeting in November due to Saturday commitments. After group, the leader’s wife, myself and another lady worked on Christmas cards together. It has been a long time since I had a chance to get out my stamps and I enjoyed the fellowship.

Sunday nap, lesson plans, pumpkin lasagna experiment and cookies for the great food blogger cookie swap are all crossed off my list. Time to wind down and get some sleep!

What are your traditions for holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.)?

 

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