Monday, August 24, 2009

Greater Things Have Yet to Come!

Today marks the beginning of a new season for me. School began today and it is the first time in 4 years I am not welcoming children into a classroom. This year would have been my 5th year teaching. It is crazy to think I have been out of college and teaching that long. Where does the time go? Those years in the classroom treated me well and if anything, they taught me how to be a better person. I think it's incredible when the profession you choose teaches you how to love deeper, care more, and to "be kinder than necessary because everyone is fighting some sort of battle" (a favorite quote of mine). Being a teacher also prepared me to be a much better mom. Even though I'm not technically a mom yet, I know I'll be a better one because of the experience I have from the classroom. Dealing with 18 children on a daily basis taught me so much, even though I went to school to learn how to teach them. I know I'll go back to teaching one day, but for now, I can't wait to teach my new little one come December.

One of the hardest parts for me at the moment is not having the baby here. If my sweet baby was here I don't think I would have as much sadness in my heart about not teaching this year, but I have to remember that "greater things have yet to come and greater things will be done" in my life. Those words from Chris Tomlin are such a reminder to me of God's plan. Full time teaching was His plan for me for a season, and it may be His plan for me at a later date, but currently there is a different plan for my life that I am waiting to unfold. Thank you Lord for your faithfulness.

So, today instead of being in the classroom, I am learning how to be a stay at home mom. I have started learning how to "coupon". Yes, I'm using that word as a verb because it takes a lot of doing to be good at couponing. I have started a new ritual of buying the Sunday paper every Sunday on the way home from church. Then I spend the afternoon researching the BOGO (buy one, get one) deals at Publix, Target, Walgreen's, and CVS while cutting out every store, manufacture and competitor coupon I can find. After I have a mess of coupons on my kitchen table, I organize my grocery list for the week. I literally write out where the best deal is, what the deal is, and how much money I can save using a coupon. (Look at that! I am not even at school and I'm using part of the 5 w's and the h! Go me!) It seems like a daunting task, but when I leave the store on Monday, I feel invigorated and ready for the next week of couponing to begin. I must admit, it was a bit overwhelming at the beginning and I am still learning the ropes, but if I'm going to be a stay at home mom, I better make it a goal to save money!

So today, I went to Publix, Walgreen's, and CVS to buy our weekly groceries. I bought 2 1bs of apples, 1 lb of bananas, 6 boxes of cereal, 2 boxes of cheeze-its, 2 boxes of mac & cheese, 2 loaves of bread, 2 frozen pizzas, 1 squeeze bottle of jelly, 2 bags of cape cod chips, 2 bottles of coffee-mate creamers, milk, toilet paper, Ibuprofen, dish detergent, and 2 packs of blank note cards to mail letters to my old students. I spent 50.02 total and saved 60.65 in coupons and store deals. I saved MORE than I spent and I'm not even an expert couponer yet. You should see how much some of my friends save! My favorite deal of the day was buying Ibuprofen and dish detergent for $4.80 total at Walgreen's as well as spending $0.99 for milk at CVS. Now, that's a deal!

Check out my groceries! :)

So far, my first day as a "soon to be" stay at home mom was a success! I am still working part time at Sun Country as their cheerleading director, so tomorrow is a working day, but we will see what other mommy things lie in store. We serve an awesome God who has a perfect plan for our lives. Just remember greater things have yet to come! And, when I'm having a bad day, hold me accountable and remind me of God's faithfulness. What else are friends for?

Much love to you all! Until next time..

Friday, August 14, 2009

26 years and 21 weeks

Tuesday, August 11th, was my 26th birthday and my 21st week of pregnancy. I can't believe 26 years has already flown by. Where has the time gone? I remember just being a little kid and now I'm going to have a little kid of my own! :) It was a wonderful birthday! David took me to my favorite restaurant - The Melting Pot! The cheese fondue is my FAVORITE! It truly was such a wonderful night. This week has been a bit crazy! David and I have both been working A LOT! I had cheerleading camp all week as well as regular practices to coach and office hours to hold. Thank you for the 16 messages left of my voice mail. I am still returning phone calls!! The Melting Pot only had two people working on Tuesday, which made service kinda slow, but the Lord knew we needed it. The best present I could have gotten was one on one time with my incredible husband. We had 3 hours to talk, catch up on life, and eat some amazing food! What a wonderful birthday present! :)

Here we are on my b-day! Look at that belly! I think the horizontal stripes make me look even bigger!

Oh, by the way... if you know David at all you will know that he refuses to eat vegetables. Well, he ate ceaser salad at The Melting Pot and actually liked it! I know what you're thinking - it's a miracle! :) He says it's because the salad had parmesan crusted pine nuts (which I have to admit were a great addition to the salad) but I think he was looking for an excuse as to why he has refused to eat salad for so many years, and now he suddenly liked it. Hmmm... I love you honey! I just had to take a picture so there was proof!

Well, I am sure you are wondering what my 21-week old belly looks like (those horizontal stripes are deceiving, I think). Here is my birthday belly and it's only getting bigger!
I can still fit into my jeans - wahoo! But it certainly is different to look down and see that huge bump. There is no laying on my tummy anymore and boy does that baby kick! As I sit here and type at the moment the baby sure is having a party in my belly! :) Hmmm, is it a boy or a girl throwing a party in there? August 29th is the big day. Can't wait!!

Thanks to everyone to made my birthday so special. Annie, I LOVED those cupcakes at bible study! Thanks so much for thinking of me! Steph, thanks for lunch and Lauren, thanks for tagging along. Family Group, thanks for my special card. I loved all my gifts from all my special friends and thank you so much for all the wonderful phone messages I received. You guys truly made this birthday a wonderful one! Much love to you all!


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Cohort 29 Wedding

When I transferred to UF into the Elementary Education Program I met some wonderful girls. These were the girls who transformed my life from living in the dark to living in the light. They challenged me to think about what was important in my life and what my life could be with Christ as the center. They loved me, prayed with me, encouraged me, studied the bible with me, and were an inspiration in my growth in becoming who I am today. Christ used these girls not only to lead me to him, but to lead David to him as well, and for that I am forever thankful!

This past weekend Emily got married and a few of the Cohort 29 girls were there to celebrate with her. Emily and John met at a friends wedding in January and were married just last weekend on August 1st. I know what you must be thinking - "They met and got married within 8 months!" But, God had a plan for these two. As Emily says, "When you know, you KNOW!" I have to agree with her, especially when you are in love with the Lord as much as she is. I know God would not lead her astray! Below is a picture of the wonderful girls of Cohort 29 celebrating with Emily.

Marie, Chrissanna, Emily, me, Kristy

It was so great to see these girls and find out what everyone is doing now with their teaching degree. Only 2 out of 5 of us are teaching still (Emily & Marie - although Marie is teaching ESE now). Chrissanna is working at an outdoor camp for kids full time and loving it. And, Kristy and I are becoming moms (Well, Kristy has been a mom for a little over a year and is expecting another little one in March!! :) with part time jobs in the education realm or cheerleading for me! God sure does direct our paths in different ways, but he has wonderful plans for each of us.

"For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11

Here's a picture of the wonderful newlywed couple! Congrats Emily & John!