Friday, July 12, 2013

What the What??

This post is going to have a lot to do with me and my life…not because I’m in love with myself, but because I got nominated for the Leiber Award by a fellow blogger. With this award come certain duties: answering questions, sharing 11 random facts about you, and nominating others for the award. The award is given to recognize cute blogs with less than 200 followers. While I’m honored that at least one person thinks that my blog is cute (thanks Pam), I’m having a really hard time with sharing the love because either all of the blogs I follow have a ton of followers already or they’ve already been given the award. Sooo I won't be able to follow one of the rules...Aye caramba! Here are the questions I’ve been asked to answer…

1. How many pets do you have?
I have 3…if you’ve read anything on my blog you’re well aware that I have two dogs that I think are the cutest things on the face of the Earth. I adopted both of them from the same local SPCA..a year apart. I’m a huge supporter of the Adopt Don’t Shop movement. I love sharing my mutt babies’ stories with the hopes that it will inspire someone else to open their hearts to the blessings that animal adoption brings. So, here’s the scoop on how my mutt babies went from the street life to the lap of luxury:

Oscar was the first one to make his way into my life. Jonathan and I talked a long time about getting a dog and even looked into buying one from a breeder (I hate to even admit this). Luckily my heart led me to Doc Williams’ website and I saw Oscar’s picture (Skooter at the time). It felt like he was meant to be with us…I can’t explain it…just a gut feeling. Unfortunately, they were already closed for the day. Small dogs are usually adopted really quickly so I said a million and one little prayers before I went to sleep. (I slept about as well as a five year old on Christmas Eve). The next morning I was up as soon as the sun came up and waited in the parking lot for them to unlock the lie I was seriously the first person through the door. A worker led my crazy self to Oscar’s cage and gave me his background:

1. He was found as a stray.
2. His sister was adopted the day before...and he was sad.
3. He was heart worm postiive (and I would be in charge of fixing that if I chose to adopt him).
4. He was 2 and although advertsided as a Yorkie (he does have some of that in his blood) he was a mutt...and I was fine with that.

He was the cutest little thing ever and my heart broke for him having to be alone in a cage without his sister. The man took him out and we took him into their “play” room. Oscar had absolutely zero interest in playing…he wanted to pee and he wanted to pee on everything (the wall, the chair, the bone, the door, e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g). So we took him outside on a leash. Now he wanted to sniff everything…he wanted nothing to do with me or the dude talking about him. I started asking questions about the heart worm procedure and learned that it could be pretty pricey. I started panicking because with a wedding coming up I was in complete penny pinching mode. I know now how smart Oscar is but this was the first knock you upside the head sign…as soon as I started doubting that adopting him was the right thing to do Oscar stopped sniffing and licked every square inch of my face. I fell in love, signed the papers, swiped my card, raced to my personal training appointment in West Ashley, zoomed back to Goose Creek an hour later, picked my baby up and never looked back.


Oscar was the only four legged baby until about a year later. I wasn’t really looking for another dog for us when I came across Ophelia’s picture on the same SPCA website…I was looking for a sweet neighbor…pinky swear. She decided she wasn’t ready to open her heart for another pet and I couldn’t stop mine from feeling an intense need to help this little dog. My big sign: her name. We decided after Oscar all of our dogs would have O names and I said Ophelia would be my girl dog name. My family has always changed the names given to our babies from the shelter…but her shelter name was Ophelia. She was a terrier mix just like Oscar (her face looks so much like his it’s crazy). I had the same crazy feeling that she was meant to be with us so I started calling the shelter like the maniac that I am. They wouldn’t give me much information over the phone (or my husband, or my mother in law, or anyone else I persuaded to call on my behalf). There was no way I could make it up there before they closed that Saturday and they were closed all day Sunday. Sooo I anxiously awaited for Monday. Unfortunately it wasn’t summer this time. Teaching was torture that day. I counted down the hours, then the minutes, and then the seconds. I had my mother in law calling every hour on the hour to make sure she wasn’t adopted and to try to convince them to hold her for me. Reluctantly they sort of agreed to that…I think they were more annoyed with us than anything and that was the only way to make it stop. As soon as I was allowed to leave I raced up the road to meet Ophelia. She was much taller than her picture made her look…and very hyper. Just like Oscar, she was a stray, brought in by her lonesome self, and she was 2 years old. Once again I started to worry that I wouldn’t be able to take her home after all (I’m a worrier obviously). I told the lady that I needed to call my husband to make sure he was on the same page and she put Ophelia back into her cage while I made the call. Of course he agreed and as I waited for the lady to come let her back out for me, Ophelia stuck her paw out of the cage and into my hand. Any doubts I had went out the window as I struggled to keep myself from crying (I’m also an emotional cry baby). I signed the paper work, swiped my card, listened to a worker talk about putting animals to sleep (she covered her mouth as soon as she saw the look of disgust on my face), got my long legged baby into the car and tore out of that place as fast as I could after I said another million and one little prayers for the shelter’s other animals to make it into loving homes.

My other pet is a fish named Gary. He started out as a class pet 3 years ago, came home for the Christmas break and never went back. I’m positive he’s much happier at home than in a classroom with loudness and little faces smooshed up against the glass screaming his name. He lives in a pineapple under the sea…I’m not a Sponge Bob fan, but this fish hut was too cute to not buy. I would have a farm of animals if I could, but for now 2 dogs, a fish, and a husband are just about all I can handle. Of course my first mutt baby still holds a large piece of my heart. She doesn’t live with me (my parents kept her when I moved out…they couldn’t part with her and I couldn’t take her away from the life she had with a big yard and plenty of squirrels to chase). Paris is the smartest dog that I’ve ever had in my life. She knows the names of her toys, will get them on command, and can tell time (8:00 sharp every night she lets you know it’s time for her nightly treat). She was adopted from a local animal shelter as well. We should be the poster family for animal adoption for serious.
2. What memory from this past school year makes you smile?
The funny things that my kids say or write are always some of my favorite memories. I’ve had the pleasure of teaching some of the funniest kids on the face of the planet. I’ve also had the pleasure of teaching some of the sweetest little babies on the face of the planet. They’ve taken little pieces of my heart with them as they’ve moved on from my class whether they know that or not. With that being said, I would say having my former students come back to visit me every morning this year (without fail) puts the biggest smile on my face. Having them adore you while they’re in your class is awesome, but knowing that they still adore you 2, 3, 4 years later is something indescribable. Hearing from parents how much you mean to their child is enough to make any teacher’s eyes water. Hearing that they now love school because of you, well that’s just asking for the flood gates to open.

3. What television show would you recommend for someone looking to start a new show?

Well my cup of tea might not be everyone’s cup of tea. I personally love the Real Housewives of wherever (not so much New York…I find them boring). I don’t aspire to be like these women. I just find it entertaining. Orange County is my favorite cast just in case you were wondering. As crazy as the ladies are, I can identify with most of them (well at least a tiny aspect of each of them).

4. How are you spending your summer?

I’m spending my summer doing whatever I want to do. Going to bed whenever I want to, waking up whenever I want to, having coffee whenever I want to…I’m going to have some major adjustments to make come August. I’m trying to get back into a regular workout routine (I despise going into the gym). I’ve made it to the beach one time (thank you mother nature for all the rain). I’ve read more books than I’ve read in my entire life (that weren’t assigned reads) and I’ve watched my mom retire after 40 years of working. It’s going by too quick so I need father time to pump the brakes on the August bus that should be earning a speeding ticket for how fast it’s racing towards me.

5. If you were to do something other than teach, what would it be?
If I had to pick a different career, I would probably own a bakery. I like to bake and desserts are pretty. I like to be surrounded by pretty stuff…so a baker. Honestly, who doesn’t love a cupcake? My bakery would be half coffee shop too because coffee is delicious && while I’m at it organic dogs treats too because dogs deserve a sweet life too. My name: Sugar Plum Bakery (after my first pet…a white cat that loved cupcakes). Or a party planner….which I would be awesome at!  

6. What is your favorite quote?

I’m not a huge quote person in the sense that I don’t go searching for them unless I need them for an intro to a paper (those days are long gone) or for inspiration. I guess that’s why most searches for quotes occur huh? Anyway, my favorite quote is this:
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”- -Mahatma Gandhi (depending on the website “wish” can be substituted for “want”- -same message, but my apologies if my version doesn’t use the correct wordage).  It’s my favorite quote because it embodies everything that I believe in. The world has a lot of ugly in it no doubt. So many people choose to put hatred and ugliness out into the universe and it’s disheartening. The only way to combat the bad is to make a conscious effort to throw good out into the world whenever you have the chance. I’m not perfect…I’ve road raged it up more times than I have fingers and toes to keep count && I’ve silently chewed someone out at the grocery store for having way more than 10 items allowed in the express line, but I do make a conscious effort to throw more good than bad out into the universe. Be the change peeps (and not that’s definitely not a political reference).

7. Do you have a favorite recipe? If so, what is it?

I have a ton of favorite recipes…anything by Paula Deen is delicious in every aspect except that it’s probably going to cause some clog-age of the arteries. Her mac and cheese is divine and her key lime pie recipe is heavenly.

8. What makes you smile?

Seeing other people happy makes me smile. Some other smile worthy things: an umbrella drink, time with friends, being in the sun (and not sweating profusely), completing a workout, shopping, being appreciated, my mutt babies…I could go on forever.

9. What is your favorite grade to teach?

I’ve taught pre-k, first and second grade…I would have to say that first is where my heart is. I’m sure it has a lot to do with loving the ladies that I work with more than macaroni and cheese, but there’s something to be said about the perfect balance of neediness and independence that first graders possess.

10. What are you looking forward to in the upcoming school year?

A fresh start…meeting my new babies and watching them grow…seeing my old babies and watching them grow from afar. Attending another first grade wedding and celebrating with the girls that have become my work family in every sense of the word.

11. What is your favorie thing in your classroom?

I’m in love with my classroom (it’s ok to say that right). I’ve worked hard to make it look like I want it to. I’ve worked equally as hard to make it run as close to the way that I want it to run as is possible with the life of 6 and 7 year olds. There are plenty of materialistic things that I love in my classroom (my Adirondack chair and everything my dad made for me being some of them), but the thing I treasure the most is the love and laughter that exists between the four walls of my room. My kids knowing that I love them to the moon and back (more than any test score they could possibly produce) is the reason I teach. Of course I want them to be radical readers, wonderful writers, super spellers, magnificent mathematicians, and terrific thinkers, but I also want them to feel valued for WHO they are. So, yeah, I love love. It’s my favorite. It kind of makes everything else fall into place when they know you love them && when your class is full up on love, it’s hard for it not be filled with favorite things.  (Way deep dude I know).

Next part…11 random things about me:

1 .I have matching freckles under each eyebrow (even my body is in love with symmetry).

2. My brother and I have matching freckles above our belly buttons (his is bigger than mine). I’ll pause to let the coolness of #1 and #2 sink in………


3. I could eat sushi every day...not an exaggeration I love it!

4. A lot of things taste better than skinny feels…apparently Heidi Klum has never had the pleasure of eating cheese grits. . .or sushi.

5. I’m currently obsessed with chevron.

6. I can’t stand clutter- -organization all day every day or my brain can’t function.

7. I’m trying to make myself fall in love with working out…not gym rat status…just not to the point where I would rather clean the bathroom than go to the gym.

8. I’m a scaredy cat- -alligators, spiders, roaches, blood, kidnappers, the dark, needles, public bathrooms (especially at a pool)… they’re all legit things to be scared of right?

9. I wear my heart on my sleeve.

10. My favorite candy is by far skittles…they put the fab in fabulous.

11. Napping is a hobby of mine…who doesn’t love a good nap with a comfy blanket? If napping is wrong I don’t wanna be right!
&&&& the. end.

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