Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008: By the Numbers




Posts in 2008: 266

Biggest blogging month: March (47 posts)

Smallest blogging month: July (2 posts)

# of comments: 656 (WOW!!)

Post with the most comments: Favorite pics

Visitors arrived from: USA, Canada, UK, France, Philippines, India, Israel, Brazil, Korea, Singapore, Spain, Turkey, Netherlands, Germany, Greece, Croatia, Australia, Serbia, Malaysia, Argentina, Jamaica, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia

Ways people found my blog:
bettytheegg (my 1st email address)
free prayers for safe travel (gotta say, ALL prayers are free around here!)
co-teacher advice (wasn't advice but that's okay!)
Why credit cards are bad (seriously, especially since I didn't ever GET the stinking ipod...)
Met Angela Kinsey (ohh yea I did!)



Not ready


I am not yet ready for a new year. Not even close! I've really been enjoying my break immensely...reading books, creating crafts and cupcakes with my younger sisters, traveling to visit friends who are like family, watching Psych with my family, creating an entirely new sleeping pattern...

I'm not ready to go back to the Big City, although I desperately miss my kiddos and co-workers! I DO NOT miss working on the website, as I had to login to change a few things today and got a feeling I'm going to be updating it a lot in January. I do not look forward to dealing with the roommate and her boy, although there is a bright light at the end of that tunnel. When my lease is up, I hope to get my own place. No roommates unless it's a sibling. Basically, I don't look forward to leaving the comfort of my parents' home. Although, when I start to fight hold heated discussions over dishes with my parents like the teenager I am adult I am not ...it's about time to leave.

2008 has been a weird year for me. My first date, which I was kinda hoping would lead to a wedding something in early 2009, but yea, that's not going to happen. Lots of moving cities and houses and apartment complexes... roommate situations, Belize, feeling more rooted in Big City. Money and car issues, although they seem to apply every year.

And so...the sun sets on yet another year.
What will 2009 bring???????

Friday, December 26, 2008

Last Road Trip of '08!


Tomorrow morning I'm venturing out past state lines for the first time this month! I LOOOOOVE to travel, so I'm looking forward to the trip. I'll be back in a few days, just in time to celebrate New Year's somewhere or other...not sure where yet!

:)

P.S...just realized I lied. I have been out of state lines last week for Christmas shopping with my mom. I just forgot, and the states blend together a bit out here. Haha...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Traditions

Our 2008 Christmas tree

I love traditions, especially around the holidays but I am realizing this year that as with everything, each year brings changes to this so called "tradition"...
Pretty reflection

It used to be tradition in my family for my whole family to drive to a tree farm after Sunday Mass and saw down a live tree, followed by a busy evening of putting up the tree "Is it straight??", "a little more to the right..." etc.

I haven't been a part of the tree-getting tradition in years. My youngest sister, now 8, probably doesn't even remember going to get the tree with me, ever...that makes me so sad. This year, I think Mom, Amata, Bryan, Lily and Rachael retrieved the tree. Lily and Rachael put up a few ornaments before our party, but other than that the tree is bare.
Each of us three older girls has one of these. Although I'm not sure where they originally came from, we've had them for about 20 years and each one holds our birth stone.

A few things have stayed the same, though...

We always go out to eat around the holidays. As a family of 9, eating out is a HUGE treat. We usually try and go on the 26th, to celebrate my parents' anniversary (Yes, they got married the day after Christmas and all of us children are forbid from doing so!). This year, between Shae's new job, Amata's mission trip, and Sam's social life, Monday night was the only available time for everyone. We enjoyed a leisurely dinner at Cracker Barrel and most of us ended up

Some ornaments are special to each of us, and only that person can put them up. For some reason, as a young girl I fell in love with a Dorothy ornament, from The Wizard of Oz. Everyone knows that ornament is not to touch the family tree until I come home, even if I arrive a day or two before Christmas!
My Dorothy ornament

This ornament reminds me of my mom, a former nurse. It's an adorable ornament!

I'm not sure if it's because I'm the oldest, but I seem to have charge of most of the Christmas traditions around here. Perhaps because I was a bossy older sister, or maybe due to my parents' ruling, I am the only "child" allowed downstairs on the main floor of the house, and only then to wake my parents and alert them that we're all ready to begin opening stockings and gifts! My dad used to torture the younger kids by telling him he was going to take a shower before the gift-exchanging could begin...they'd probably still hate it!

One of my favorite, very simple traditions is that I put up the stockings before our annual party. I'm not sure how any of these traditions began, although most especially this one. The stockings sit in a box until I arrive for the Christmas holiday, and then my younger sisters help cut the string and hand me the correct stocking for each place on the stair railing.
Glass ornament...fragile as a snowflake

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Going home

It's so hard for me to come to my parents' house, to this town, for longer than a few days. I was thinking back to the party we had this past weekend, and since none of my friends attended, I hung out with a few random people and my mother's friends (not that there's anything wrong with that, I love them!).

However, alllllllll of my "friends" from high school and college are either engaged or married and most/all are pregnant or have a few children...which is always where I thought I'd be at my age. So, when people arrived at the party, people I only see about once a year, the conversation is forever turning to their child's marriage/ children. Which is fine, but it makes me feel sad, unaccomplished, way behind in life, and a tiny bit bitter. Some of these people didn't even want to GET married or have kids, and yet they are living the life I've dreamed of since I was a child. I try to be happy for them, and most of the time I succeed, especially living in Big City.

But when I come home, it's inevitable that I will run into lots of these people, especially around Christmas. They will tell me all about their life, filled with husbands, children, school plays, toddler get togethers, cute things their kids say or do...

And me? All I have to contribute, yet again, year after year after year, is "No, I'm not dating anyone", "No, there are no prospects", "Yes, it's hard", "No, I don't have any more ideas of how to meet guys", "I'm just working, but thankfully I like my job"...

Sometimes I feel so worthless. I *know* we are not supposed to try and compare our lives with other people's or be jealous. But sometimes, I fail.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Reviewing TT

*Scheduled post*


I was looking over the TT I made a few weeks ago and thought I'd see how my December compares so far....

1. December 19th has come and gone. Longest week of my life and yet super busy...

2. Oh yea, well live-in boyfriend wasn't there that day, but it's when I cut myself lol...

3. Cara never did come over...we were both too busy. Darn!

4. We had our annual Christmas party on the 20th and I think around 90 people came. We counted 90, but probably missed a few as my sisters and brothers invited people that I'd never seen before and didn't get introduced to...either way, it was a success! I didn't really have anyone to hang out with though, so that was a bummer. None of my friends ever come to the party, not sure why. :(

5. Aniya and I did have dinner together, which was a lot of fun. She's still dealing with a lot of crap from her car accident back in October. She came up with a plan for me to get a date a month in 2009 though, that should be fun...haha.

6. Babysitting jobs: complete!

7. Uh yea. School was just nuts. No comment, or I might have to swear.

8. The new computer arrived on the 6th, I think and I love it...SO FAST!

9. Christmas is only a few days away!!

10. Not sure what's up with the extended fam's visit. I'm going to visit friends in our old hometown after Christmas as long as the weather cooperates and I seriously CANNOT wait. We're going to have a blast, as always!

11. The website is up! We had some "small" issues regarding the publishing but it's up as of 2 am on the 20th. Not that I'm paying attention or anything, but I am proud of the way it turned out, especially regarding the program I had to work with. It made everything 5x as hard as it should have been.

12. I have about 20 books out from the library and finished my first this morning. I think Wednesday is my next "free day" sooo we'll see how that goes! ;)

13. Yea...the month's gone a bit differently than I thought it would...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ah, December...

Where have you gone?

I began the month of December a calm, excited soul eager for the Christmas holiday. The children were calm at school, I was set to begin making Christmas candles to hand out to co-workers, had a few Christmas ideas planned for my family, and life was looking rosy!

Then I sliced my finger, 15 minutes into making the candles the very first day I started. I was more mad at myself than anything else, but the cuts should have sent me to the ER for a stitch or two. Instead, I listened to my nature-minded, former Boy Scout father, who said "Ah, you'll be okay." And the finger is still attached to my hand, so I guess I'm alright. It has an odd feeling to it, and I ended up needing to use liquid bandages on the top cut because it just wasn't closing, but at least the finger works, right? As a result, however, my apartment's bathroom turned into a medical center, filled with band-aids of all shapes and sizes, gauze, medical tape, liquid bandages, hydrogen peroxide, butterfly bandages, steri strips, antibiotic cream, kitchen gloves so that I could still shower...

It made the weekend and following weekend interesting, since my finger was wrapped in gauze and drew questions from everyone, everywhere. I have one photo of myself from that week, and only because the kiddos at school were borrowing my camera daily at lunch. I was teased (by other teachers) that I looked constantly ready to shake hands... funny, but true!

In addition, I finished up my babysitting jobs for 2008 last Saturday. I babysat two one-year old boys and a 4-year old girl in a hotel room from 5p-2a. There's really not much to do with kids in a hotel room, in case you were wondering. At one point, I was holding cranky, screaming baby A on one hip, talking to his mother on the phone, trying to keep happy baby B from sticking his fingers in the light socket (hotels don't have electrical socket covers!!!), attempting to sign my name on the food bill, and listening to the 4 year old yelling, "Is that our pizza? I'm hungry! Who's on the phone?" and this was all at once, so it was a bit crazy! However, since the family knew it was going to be a late night, they got me my own hotel room and it was HUGE!

That same weekend, I got back to my candle making and the kitchen was soon taken over by the craft. I made over 50 candles of various sizes and scents (apple blossom, gingerbread, cinnamon roll, vanilla, boysenberry)
and also tried my hand at a new, simple craft my secretary showed me-- using an embossing tool to melt tissue paper onto a candle. I created five of those with snowman tissue paper and I think they turned out pretty cute!


The last week or so of school went soooooo slowly. The kids were extremely wild all week...to the point where most of the teachers were beginning to re-think circle time, at least until 2009. LOL.

In addition, I had to substitute for one of the teachers on Wednesday morning. That was a wild day, but I already wrote about that!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rough Wednesday

I knew today was going to be a rough one when I spilled juice ALL over my kitchen floor...and I was right.

I left my warm apartment well before 8 am and literally slid over to my car, slid while trying to scrape 1/2 inch of ice off of it, slid out of the apartment complex (we had freezing rain last night)

Then I arrive at work, ready to sub, only to find out that the teacher I'm scheduled to work with is stuck in a town 20 minutes away on a country road where she's house sitting and I have to get her classroom ready, do her circle, get the kids going on their work (usually we just go with the flow of the other teacher in the classroom...lol). It wasn't really too bad, but I just wasn't prepared to be the sole teacher at 8 am. Gah!!!

To make things more complicated, our secretary told me that our boss would like to have the school's webpage up by Friday. the 19th. In TWO days. I've been working on it for two months, at my boss' pace but now she wants things sped up...WAY sped up and I have SO much to do for Christmas but told her I would try and do what I can tonight at home and maybe even go in early tomorrow to help out. As I'm finishing what I can do at school without my computer, she informs me that she wants to add another page to the website.

I'm sorry :( I'm just having a rough day and need to vent.

So, how was your day?

Monday, December 08, 2008

Thumb Adventure Continues

Seeing as this is how my hand has looked for the past 2.5 days...

I got a lot of questions from the co-workers, students and parents today at school. The thumb is doing okay...I'm not moving it (hence the white gauze) because if I do, it'll start to bleed again. I took the bandages off tonight since they were only sticking by blood anyway. I cleaned the cuts, explored the skin underneath...it's kinda gross and cool at the same time, if that makes sense! I'm really hoping these cuts heal-- right now they are still pretty wide open. Luckily neither of them bleed much when touched, but then again the finger doesn't have much feeling still/yet. I don't know if it will get the feeling back, and that's weird!

In other news, I am borrowing my secretary's embossing tool for a few days and tried out this easy, fun project- putting tissue paper on $1 candles. Eventually, I might try and melt the tissue paper onto candles that I've made, but not right now. Soooo easy!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Well, that was fun. I got up early this morning, prepared to make tons and tons of candles as Christmas gifts. I took most of the ones I made last night out of their molds and am happy with them. As I began shaving and cutting old wax small enough to melt in other containers, all was well. I grabbed a dark green evergreen candle and a knife and went to work. Somehow, and I don't really know how, I sliced my left thumb in two places. I immediately grabbed my alumnae tie-dyed t-shirt that I was wearing and hoisted the finger, wrapped tightly, above in the air. It didn't hurt at first, but began to throb, and was still bleeding. I thought I should probably go to to ER, since after 5-10 min it was still bleeding heavily and blood was soaking through everything, so I called Cara, but she didn't answer her phone. I knew I couldn't (or at least, shouldn't) drive myself to the hospital, so was trying to think of who else to call. I settled on my parents, not to drive me as they are three hours away, but for some "should I go/not go" advice...my dad's a former EMT/boy scout and my mom a former nurse. My dad asked me a few questions and I ended up taking a picture, blurry because I was shaking but good enough that he could see where the injury was. I eventually temporarily closed the cut with bandaids and grabbed a clean washcloth, then ran to the closest store where I stocked up on gauze, bandages, hydrogen peroxide, and antibiotic cream. Now the finger is all wrapped up so that it can't bend and bleed again. My day's plans are shot, so I'm trying to think of something else to do. I think I might go with Christmas cards...

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

TT: 12/4

Thirteen Things I'm Looking Forward To In December...

1. DECEMBER 19!!!! Is the last day of school before Christmas break--- and we don't have to go back until 2009!

2. This Saturday, my roommate will be in Indiana, and I'm sincerely hoping her "live-in" boy decides to evacuate the premises so I can relax and enjoy my weekend without the stress of having them here.

3. Sometime this month, Cara is going to come over and we're going to bake Christmas cookies and swap artsy Christmas ideas

4. December 20th, my family will have their 8th annual Christmas party-- and pending any horrible weather, I should be able to attend and catch up with family and friends I rarely see!

5. In a few weekends, my old co-teacher Aniya and I are going to have dinner together and catch up, which should be fun!

6. I have about 5 more babysitting jobs coming up before the 19th...so it will be busy but extra $$ for Christmas...

7. School- even though sometimes it's nuts (ahem, yesterday!) we really do enjoy ourselves and the kiddos. Plus, we'll be doing lots of holiday activities with them- we've already started a few crafts.

8. December 5th is the day my new computer is supposed to arrive...pretty exciting!

9. December 25th is well, Christmas, which will be spent with my crazy, loud, large family

10. Our extended family will be in town December 28 & 29, always good to see the cousins

11. Crossing my fingers that my boss and I will be able to finish my school's website before Christmas break...

12. I am also looking forward to reading lots and lots on Christmas break...I love books :)

13. Seriously, just this month in general. I am working on not worrying about the weather since I can't control it anyway, and just enjoy the month- the kids at school are so HAPPY and excited, and it's rubbing off on me!

What are you looking forward to this month??

Thursday Thirteen

Tuesday


Soo I was going to write this whole long post about how yesterday was *such* a trying day at work...seriously one of my hardest days ever there...and how I had to take nappers out of our *nap room* (what a joke...at least yesterday) every 5 minutes...and how even AFTER nap, the room was crazy. And I needed lots of chocolate. And I'm not even a chocolate person...

But...I'm running late for work. I have to be out the door in exactly 26 minutes and I am still in bed. Lunch is not made, library books due today are hiding, keys are in an unknown location- so, I will leave you with this:

I am Charlie Brown's...what are you?

Just for fun...


A funny youtube video... (Christmas related)


We heard this song on the radio the other day at school and I had to look it up and download it...just too funny!! ;)

Monday, December 01, 2008

December already!!?

HOW is it already December? I was compiling my Christmas card list last night as well as beginning to create a letter to send to relatives explaining what I've been up to this past year... I had to go through my planner, because there were so many things I'd forgotten!

A year ago, I was living with a girl I hadn't known when we moved in together-- and we ended up as great friends. This year I moved in with a friend and now it's like we don't know each other. :(

A year ago, I had probably never even heard of Belize, let alone had a thought in my mind that I would go on a mission trip there for two weeks!

A year ago, I hadn't yet joined the Grace Heart young adult group-- I've made so many wonderful friends through the group, and can't imagine not knowing them or being a part of their group!

A year ago, I would have been devastated to see my paternal grandfather in the state he is now in.

A year ago, jury duty probably sounded pretty cool!

A year ago, I had no clue I'd be spending my spring break with a bunch of high schoolers much brattier than my 3-5 year old students (because, face it, my students aren't bratty, hehe!!) attempting to build porch roofs for New Orleans residents. We did manage to have some fun, too!

A year ago, I would have laughed if you told me 2008 would bring both a blizzard AND a hurricane to Big City, six months apart.

A year ago, I never would have gone speed dating. I might go for the 2nd time this week. Yes, I am pathetically, eternally single.

A year ago, I never would have guessed 2008 would bring my first ever date-- even though it didn't lead anywhere, it wasn't a bad first date by any means!

A year ago, I wouldn't have dreamed of teaching two children with Down's Syndrome-- and yet, Igo and Lana brought me some of my greatest joys (and frustrations!)

A year ago, I never would have guessed that my co-teacher Aniya would leave me...that I would have to step up and be a lead teacher (STILL scary, lol!) or that my new-coteacher would be someone as wonderful and easy going as Cara!


How has your life changed since last December??