Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wearing Many Hats

I have really enjoyed wearing many hats lately! I wear my mom hat, my wife hat, my starting-up-a-new-business hat, my maid hat, my chef hat...and today I began wearing my substitute hat. WHEW! The past few weeks has been everything that I have ever dreamed of. All I've ever wanted is to be at my child's and husband's beckon call and I LOVE IT!

I'm so thankful that I have one AMAZING husband that works so hard to provide for us and that has allowed me to stay at home. Since I wasn't getting a classroom ready this year, I was able to enjoy the mom stuff of Brooke's first day of school. Getting to go to Meet the Teacher, taking Brooke to her class on the first day of school and getting to pick her up was all new to me and I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT! Those are all things I've never been able to experience, because I've had to BE the teacher that everyone meets, BE in the classroom that all the parents bring their kids to on the first day and BE the teacher giving the kids to their parents at the end of the day. Don't get me wrong, I loved playing the teacher role, but being able to play the parent role was a new experience that built many memories for me. It makes me even more appreciate of teachers and their roles in our children's lives. Thank you teachers for sacrificing your own memories to make ours special!

Along with getting to wear my mom hat on the first day, I got to wear my stay-at-home-mom hat and do something special for the teachers. I called a few days ahead of time and asked how many were on the staff. They said that there were about 35, so I got busy on my thoughts. After gathering some ideas from former co-workers and a very creative PTA mom, I came up with a neat idea. I made flower pens for each staff member out of a Bic pen, colored electrical tape, hot glue and a fake flower. So cute! I then painted flower pots white and filled with pinto beans. I placed the pens in the beans and it turned out really cute! I also wanted to have something cool and yummy for them to eat. From experience, most teachers don't even get to eat the first day of school, because of the paperwork or making sure that each child has a correct ride home. I decided to make a Yogurt Parfait Bar for the staff in the lounge. I bought vanilla yogurt, strawberries, blueberries, white/chocolate chips and granola. Placed on a table with mini-cups and spoons and the flower pens for decorations. So cute! I had lots of compliments and will definitely try to keep it an annual event.

Today I began wearing my substitute hat. I accepted the job yesterday and I had butterflies right up until I walked into the school. It was definitely weird going from my own classroom, rules and kids for three years to being a nobody. Fortunately, it was the BEST experience I could have ever asked for! I was a sub for Special Ed for one of the local high schools. First of all, I've NEVER stepped foot in a high school classroom nor have I been so involved with Special Ed. I've always had Special Ed students in my classroom and through my experience today, I think that every teacher needs to experience it prior to teaching. WOW!

Let me back up a bit. I walked into the high school attendance office and was introduced to the sub cooridnator. I feel the Lord specifically placed her in my life today. Not that he doesn't everything else, just maybe today my eyes were opened. She was so nice and welcoming! After chatting a bit, I found out that she sews and makes things to sell as well. Loved making that connection!

My first assignment was to sit in on an English class. The teacher was very welcoming, as was every staff member that I came in contact with, and said that I may need to help some students with brain storming. After a short lesson, she allowed the students to write a fictional story based off of a couple of pictures she provided as inspiration. I had 5 students I was working with and really just let them do most of the work. It was so neat to see that things I was teaching in 2nd grade, they are learning in high school, just on a deeper level. Today's lesson was about setting, plot, characters and conflict. I was worried that I wouldn't know how to interact, but my 2nd grade lessons kicked in and I got busy. I LOVED IT! At the end of class, I thanked the teacher and told her I had an enjoyable time. She complimented me with, "You were really good. I hope to see you back again soon." That's exactly what I needed to hear :)

I then went to a World Geography class, which there wasn't anything to me to do. I learned a lot though! After World Geography was Algebra. OH BOY! Let's just say...hmmm, I don't know how I passed high school algebra. I had to apologize to the teacher afterwards, because I sure wasn't much help! Just for the record, I've never had to figure out what x and y mean in the real world :) My final class of the day was Biology. I pulled a small group of kids at the back of the classroom and helped them complete some work that wasn't completed the previous day. I really enjoyed it and I think I got more out of it than the kids did!

Overall, I had a FANTASTIC day! My eyes were opened and it really made me think that maybe I want to take my 8-12 test to broaden my horizons. Who knows what the Lord has in store for me, but I'm definitely reminded that HE is the one in charge.

"For I know the plans I have for you..."  Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Married Life

We have officially been married for 3 weeks and life is absolutely wonderful! Our wedding and honeymoon were more than we could have ever asked for.  It all seems like a blur at this point, but I'm so glad that we have pictures to look back on.

The wedding festivities began on Friday night with a Spaghetti Supper at our house.  We have the BEST parents in the world!

We had so many friends and family come in from all over. Family and friends came from Washington, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas to share our special day with us. We are BLESSED! A wedding is definitely like a family reunion as well. ALL of the Smith siblings were present :)


As a 'thank you' to our parents, we had this book made. It really isn't a 'story,' but more of a picture book from birth, childhood, first date and engagement. I love it!

Waking up on Saturday definitely didn't feel like my wedding day. I guess I always pictured how it would be, BUT it wasn't like that at all. Not in a bad way, I just didn't have plans like other brides. I knew that Anne was going to do my hair and make-up, mom was picking up the bouquets and everything else was taken care I had no where to be, or so I thought. We went up to start cooling down the event center and unfortunately 106 degrees just isn't easy on the AC units. After a few last minute things, I had lunch with Bubba and Mom at Chili's while Brooke and Anne tried swimming at the hotel pool (a massive swarm of bees cut that short). Anne did my hair and make-up before rehearsal, which I dearly miss :) I've tried re-creating my hair several times at Taylor's request, but I'm afraid she was the one blessed with the talent..not me!

We transformed the event center into a perfect wedding ceremony/reception place. To go from THIS...


Rehearsal, like everything else, was short and sweet. Then it was like time FLEW by! I quickly got dressed, touched up hair and make-up and then it was TIME. The moment that I had been officially planning for the past 96 days, but praying and hoping for the past 29 1/2 years. 

My emotions were CRAZY the past week due to stress and everything else that goes along with a wedding, but they were extra CRAZY before I was about to head down the aisle. I just kept taking deep breaths and fanning myself, but then once Anne and Brooke started down the aisle I couldn't seem to stop the flow. They were definitely happy tears though!

My mom gave me away to the man of my dreams! It was a perfect ceremony with laughter, sarcasm and sweetness all wrapped in one. I wanted a quick ceremony and I got it. From the time the grandparents began walking down to the time that we walked up the aisle as husband and wife...20 minutes! GO ME!

The reception was great all the way around. EXCELLENT DJ, friends, family, dancing and food. We couldn't have asked for a more perfect night!!! We danced to Wade Bowen's Who I Am, Brooke caught the bouquet (very much a surprise!), Aaron caught the garter, we had cake without making a mess and Brooke had her first dance with Taylor.

 I was so thankful that my sweet friends from Fort Worth came to spend the evening with us!
Marlys, Kristen and Camille
Sweet Camille


We said our goodbyes to our Sweet Pea and parents, then it was off to the honeymoon...

 We then drove to Ft Worth for the evening and got up on Sunday morning for the airport to head to the Riviera Maya, Mexico! We had an AMAZING honeymoon. It was paradise to the fullest extent!
 After traveling all day, all we wanted was to be on the beach. Unfortunately, we had this to deal with...
 Our perfect Honeymoon Suite with a view of the pool AND the ocean. My hubby did good!

We dressed up every night for wonderful dinners.

We went to Xel-ha for snorkeling and Tulum to see the Mayan ruins one day.

Taylor went scuba diving! I made it all of about 2 feet under water before I climbed back in the boat. I've never been able to hold my nose and blow to equalize my I was doomed from the start. I'm so glad that Taylor got to experience something he has always wanted to do!

I'm pretty sure my husband can do just about everything. He learned in about 5 minutes how to manuver a catamaran. He took me on a short trip, but I quickly wanted back on land due to seasickness. I was a definite party pooper.  The beach was my best friend!

When we arrived home, these are the sweet notes we found from Anne.  She's the best!

The first 3 weeks of marriage have been wonderful, but challenging.  We have been hit hard with a couple of things that would challenge any marriage, but we are leaning on the Lord for our strength and guidance. We are currently dealing with a custody issue with Brooke's father and will be going to court in September. We also recently found out that Taylor's dad, Wes, has leukemia. We are keeping our heads up and praying HARD!  We want to say a special THANK YOU to Mom & Bubba, Dale & Pat and Anne for all your help on the wedding and keeping Brooke while we were on our honeymoon. You're the BEST and we are so BLESSED!
We love you!