Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Here Comes a Comeback

Well. How do you even attempt to come back from a three month blogging hiatus? In the back of my mind, I knew this was going to happen, but I was holding onto the slightest of hopes that I could continue blogging every once in a while. And while my life has been extremely busy, I have absolutely had time to blog. But when I had that free time, I just didn't want to. I could use that time to grade, lesson plan, or maybe go get a pedicure. You tell me which one of those three things I probably did. Anyway, I am not sure how many readers I will even have left, but here's my attempt to summarize the three craziest months of my life. So, thank you in advance for sticking with me!

I have to rep Texas every day at school!
We left off with a post about the start of my volleyball season, as well as with the keys to my very own classroom. Let's back track a minute and let me tell you that as soon as I was given my very own classroom, I just as quickly had it taken away. It's sort of an unwritten tradition at Bellaire that more than a few teachers will have to float each year - it comes with the territory of having 200+ faculty members in a school of 3800+ students, with a building made for maybe 3/4 of that number. I was devastated, because I won't even lie, a big part of me was so excited to decorate a classroom. I believe I've mentioned that before. So, I was pretty bummed out, and may or may not have started crying right in the middle of the front office, but it's fine. What I learned that day is that my fellow Bellaire teachers are some of the nicest humans I have ever met. 

A sweet teacher passed this down to me from when she floated
And I may not have my own classroom, but I do have my own desk (that is currently cluttered with papers on papers on papers), so I do have a little place to call home. And the floating life isn't all bad - it's kind of nice to not have to worry about keeping up with a classroom, and it has forced me to become more organized (not that I had a huge problem with that, but it has reached a whole new level). You might not believe it by this picture, but I have this whole floating thing down to a science.

So, as far as my schedule goes, I teach two reading elective classes and two English classes. It took me a little while, but I can honestly and truly say that I love them. Freshmen are absolutely C R A Z Y, and they test my patience every single day, but they also make me laugh every single day (even when I maybe shouldn't). 

I've stayed up on all of teen lingo - you should tell your girlfriend that her eyebrows are 'on fleek,' it's a compliment, I promise - and every sneeze means someone has Ebola. Freshmen have the attention span of a flea, and they can't last more than about five minutes without their cell phone, but they're (mostly) sweet, hilarious, and have said things that melt my heart

I can honestly say that my job never gets boring. I have also learned that candy and sweet treats are the keys to getting them to pay attention and participate in class, so you better believe I've used that tactic once or twice. 

And volleyball. What a ride! I couldn't have asked for a more lively and spunky group of girls for my first season of coaching.

And they absolutely wear me out sometimes!
They are sweet and hilarious and impressionable and hard-working and they bring a lot of joy to my every day. Our season started out on a bit of a rocky note - I didn't have a clear setter, we were dealing with a couple of injuries, and while we could put up a good fight, we couldn't seem to finish a game. All of that changed about five games into the season, however. Well, not all of it, but it certainly took a turn for the better. The girls started playing like a team, and they (somewhat) learned that killer instinct that my dad always taught me to have whenever I played sports. We play our last game tonight (tear), and if we win that, we will have gone UNDEFEATED in district. We beat our rival Lamar in one of the most intense games I have ever been a part of, and I have been a part of some very intense rivalry games against Memorial. And while the road wasn't without some bumps, and I came home exhausted at the end of many 15+ hour days, I am so very thankful that I had the opportunity to coach. It's in my job description to teach them something, but they have taught me more than I could ever have hoped to teach them. I also have a lot more respect for all of my former coaches!

And as far as how I am doing in general. This could get cheesy and sappy and it could also take a while. I've had good days, and I've also had bad days. I've come home complaining to my parents about how there's absolutely no way I can do this for the rest of my life, and I even started looking for other jobs. Dramatic, I know. I think it was the fact that I leave the house before even my dad, and I get home far later than he does (but that also allows me to park my car in the driveway. Bright side, right?). I've felt as though I haven't had a spare moment to breathe, which isn't entirely true, and that I've bitten off more than I can chew, being both a first-year teacher and coach. And that last point might not be entirely untrue. I am not sure I quite knew what I was getting myself into, but I certainly jumped headfirst into this new life of mine. It has been a crazy whirlwind of new experiences, and I'm still not even sure who decided it was a good idea to put me in charge of 120ish high school students. I'm extremely grateful to be at Bellaire High School, because the people here are some of the absolute best. I never walk down the hall without someone asking me how I'm doing or if I need anything. The school is very laid-back, yet still remains competitive and fast-paced. I've learned so much in the short time that I've been here, and while there have certainly been days of doubt, and I occasionally question my decision to forgo a job at Stratford, where I would have had more than a few familiar faces, I absolutely know that I am where I am for a reason, and that I am at the very right place for me.

And because Dylan would probably have my head if I didn't dedicate a portion of this post to him, let's talk about that for a minute. You'll probably respond with a big "DUH" after reading this next statement, but long distance is hard.

I didn't realize how much I valued our daily time together until it was no longer an option. Though I maybe saw him for five minutes one day picking him up from school, now we go a couple of weeks without seeing one another. 

The Krispy to my Kreme
Which isn't that long, I realize, but it's certainly been an adjustment for me - not always knowing the day-to-day of what's going on in his life, and having schedules that sometimes overlap. While we do talk on the phone often, it's obviously not quite the same. He'll hate me for this, but I'm grateful for the way he has never stopped listening to me or cheering me on, how he never told me stop complaining, rather just taught me how to see the great in every day. I'm thankful for the grace and forgiveness he has showed me when I'll snap at him for no apparent reason, or passive aggressively tell him that everything's fine, when really I'm mad for no apparent reason. It's a vicious cycle. But we've done a good job of switching off going to Houston and Austin, 

and while I would love to still live in the same city as him, the reality is that we don't live in the same city, and there are some really good things that have come out of not living 150 miles away from one another. So far, I'd say we've done a pretty good job of figuring this whole thing out!

And don't get me wrong. I love being back in Houston. Despite the traffic, that I spend far too much time sitting in, I am so happy to be back in the city that I grew up in. Some of my best friends are here - from both high school and college - 

My two Houston Med School friends took a break from all the studying to catch up over fro-yo
Kayla doesn't live in Houston, but I've gotten to see her at a few UT games
and I've enjoyed a plethora of good times with all of them. Sarah and I have gone on numerous walks at Hermann Park,

I celebrated the engagement of the other half of the Stratford dynamic setter duo,

and I even got to have Jamie Lynn come in town one weekend. I certainly can't complain. I've even found some time to bake, 

and of course, some much-needed time to run. I sort of neglected the running thing for a while, in favor of some plyometrics training - it's just faster, to be honest, and time is of the essence - but I've recently been going on some 5+ mile runs that have provided me some time to de-stress, and have also made me more and more excited (and prepared) for the Houston half in January. I have so much going for me right now, which is why I think I worried my parents and Dylan when I came home so upset every single night (because they bore the brunt of most of it), but here's what I've learned thus far about this real world thing:

Working is hard. The transition from carefree college student to real-life adult with a real-life job that I can't just skip because I'm tired or don't feel like going was a big-time wake-up call for me. Not that I skipped classes, because I really didn't (I was such a goody two-shoes), but you know what I'm saying. I've gone through some major life changes these past few months, and though I haven't spent nearly enough time reflecting on and thanking Jesus for all that He has given me, He has never stopped providing, and I am so glad that He has me right where I am. I've learned that I can have no idea what tomorrow will bring, but that I can stop each day and know that I've got the best people by my side - cheering me on through my successes, continuing to encourage me through my failures, doing my laundry and my dishes, listening to me talk endlessly about my students, and so, so much more - and that's the sweetest gift of all. And if you made it this far, I applaud and thank YOU, and I hope to start making these posts FAR more regular! But as we all know, you definitely shouldn't hold me to that one!


  1. i have been waiting for this for months, so happy to see f&f back in action!!! thankful 4 u ktom!

  2. LOVE this! You are one inspiring and incredible coach/teacher/friend/daughter/human, Kelli!