Thursday, June 30, 2011

19 Days of Summer

It's official...I have 19 days of summer before school starts.  Okay so technically I only have 17 after tonight...since today was 18 but when I started my count down it was yesterday and that was 19 and today was 18..
How am I counting down my days...Soaking up all the Vitamin D I can.  Yesterday I submitted my final and headed to Oxford to eat lunch with my PC friend Cody.  Yeah we had been away from each other all of a three days and I have emailed, called, tweeted, texted, or facebooked everyone of my seven classmates.  I miss them really I do.  I guess spending all day everyday with a group brings you together.
Okay back to summer... after lunch on day 19 I headed to Ms. Bridget's new pool.  I spent the afternoon floating around.
Day 18 I woke up super 5:30 and went from the bed to the couch...and at 7:15 when Cullen went to work...I took a nap until about 9:30.  Then I headed to Meagan's pool to lay out which we did until about 2.  Then Leslie and I met up and headed to Ms. Bridget's pool where we floated until 4:30.  I'm not sure what the next 17 have in store but guess what....I do know they won't have too much work in them...I'm trying to be the biggest bum I can be until July 18th when I have to begin my administrative internship.

My Sweet Cullen

Through this whole Principal Corps process I must say that Cullen has been super supportive.  I have said that of the two of us, Cullen is the nice one.  He is level headed and kind always.  I can not say the same for myself.  I think a lot has to do with being the baby of the family versus the oldest.  Cullen goes out of his way to help while I usually don't.
Thinking through this process from the beginning to now he has been 100 percent behind me.  He has never thought about the pay cut, the time away, or me being stressed- he knows how I get.
He has said through every step...if it is meant to be it'll all work out.
I would go to bed worrying and wake up worrying- Cullen got a great night of sleep and never worried at all.
It has been a bit of an adjustment moving back into the dorm.  While I've been eating out, Cullen has been grilling it up.  He has eaten all the things that I can't stand.  He I'm sure has played hours of playstation while I've been studying, but he has made the best of it.
Sweet Cullen has been a trooper.  One of my main worries was that Cullen doesn't like to talk on the phone- at all...I could talk to my phone I love it so much, but Cullen works on the phone all day so he likes to have an efficient conversation.
While we have not spent hours on the phone he has made the distance up by sending sweet texts, emails, and just calling to check in.
I'm so glad I prayed for my husband when I was in high school.  I'm so glad that my mom prayed with me for a great husband.  My prayers were answered.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pet People

     I have said it before- I am NOT an animal person.  I grew up with my dad as Dr. Dolittle, we had the Animal Kingdom right outside our back door.  Raccoons, deer, dogs, geese, guineas, ducks, fish, a porcupine, peacocks, cats, chickens, roosters & many other animals from time to time.  I have a respect for animals but think it is kinda ridiculous in my opinion to spend money on them.  I know I'm selfish and cold hearted, but I can have my own's my blog :)  Cullen was raised with lots of cats and dogs.  Even though he is extremely allergic he took medicine to deal and petted them anyway.
We were not the animal kind of family.  I don't like that type of responsibility.  I don't want to have to find a sitter or wake up to let them out...I'm selfish...
     A little over a year ago Pollyanna, a disabled cat I have posted about before came up around the house.  Cullen decided to feed her...and with that we had a pet.   She was an outside cat and Cullen took care of her, I was OK with that.  Then when the cold winter months were upon us he took to letting her into the house just to knock the chill off and then we would put her back out.  
     Well, that crazy cat loves him, and not being a responsible parent to a stray cat we didn't not get her to the vet as we should have...and guess  what...she got herself into a little situation and we had four baby kittens on Easter.  Bless her- It took us three days to find the kittens.  Once we found them messing with them led to her moving them.  It took another two days to find them.  Cullen worried and worried about if they would get eaten or get too he moved them inside the house in a box.  We ooh and ahhed over them for a couple of days and then Polly moved them again.  This time she moved them into Cullen's man cave and I let her because I could shut the door and they would stay.  After weeks of watching them grow, and learn to play they became mobile and didn't stay hidden.  In the last three weeks they took to running all over the den, playing and pouncing.  They all started out with sweet innocent names...Flopsy, Mopsy, Doodle, & Milo.  We then named them for their personality traits.  Flopsy became Skiddish, Milo became Fearless, Mopsy became Favorite and Doodle- Cullen affectionately called her Can't Get Right...because she was little 'special.'
     Having to go back to school I knew Cullen would become lax about putting them away and keeping them up...he is a softy he just wants them to be happy.  Yeah well, I HATE animal hair, I don't like the extra cleaning, and I can not stand the extra work.  So after my first week away I came home to a mess, animal hair was everywhere, they were learning to use kitty litter but the maintenance of that was just awful, and they had NO boundaries.  SO I called my mother in law and said HELP.  I was all for taking them to a shelter.  I know what happens at shelters, but I don't really get emotionally attached to them...Cullen and his mom do.  So being the saint she is she came and got them last Friday and took them to new homes....all except one.  Cullen's favorite was not the favorite of the rest and so we have one left that he says we will keep.  I don't know about all of that as long as she stays outside when school starts back I don't care, but I am not an animal inside the house kinda of gal.  He has named her Stella and she loves him.  While she bats at my hands and feet, she snuggles up next to him to take a nap.  So Polly and Stella have now become Pollard Pets.    

Exam Cram & Recreation

So looking back at last week and ahead at this week I can see the light at the end of the tunnel for my summer class.  While I thought I would lose my mind I didn't and know that come Friday I will be finished with my on campus work.  I'll be completely finished a week from Wednesday with some take home projects.
Last Thursday we had our midterm.  It was not as terrible as I had thought, but like always I could have studied more.  I crammed for a few hours two days before the test, and then for another couple the night before and then of course the morning of the test I woke up early to study.
After the exam was over one of the cohort members went in search of a pool for us to relax by and the head of the program offered her pool for the afternoon.  We drove to New Albany that afternoon and enjoyed about four hours away from campus.
That night several of us enjoyed dinner at Ajax.
Friday was a half day which gave us all a head start on going home and relaxing for a bit longer.

The weekend flew by as they always do and this week it will be a push to the finish line.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Getting a Grip

After my blog on Monday I had a small downward spiral.  Yeah who knew you spiral down even further.  It was a day that really got worse before it began fully.  I woke up to sew and monogram before going to school, guess what happened----yep my monogram machine ate two pairs of bloomers...
Headed to school a little later than gas light came on...ugh...
Once at school, orientation was happening...meaning no parking places near my dorm room...and little freshmen folks everywhere....and orientation leaders smiling at me...not just any smile though.  Behind the smile is a look of...Wow! She looks older.  Is she a FRESHMAN?  Does she need a hug?  I say the last because with every incoming group of babies...they have a chalked off Hug Box...and if you walk in the area...they wanna hug you.  I look at them and think I'm old enough to be your mom...which I'm not, but I am practicing my looks for my administration days...practice makes perfect.
As I head to class, I'm better...and then in the middle of class when every other person in the class is SO Engaged in learning...I think to myself...what am I doing here?  It was a moment when you think...I could be laying out, I could be doing laundry, I could be unloading a dishwasher, I could give back this computer and go back to my summer vacation....and in the very midst of that panic...I get a text message...and it is from the district office saying my salary for next year was fully funded...yep- no pay cut for the this moment the Heavens opened...God smiled on me and gave me the little pat on the back I needed.  So as you can attitude changed a bit.  I got a grip and realized that I was fortunate, lucky, and on a path that God had led me to and was on with me.
Now, to say that I'm back to not being crazy- hahahahahaah Cullen would laugh that might never happen, but I am coping with the longings to be by a pool during optimal tanning hours.  Some of my methods to cope-  you all know I'm a stress don't worry I am walking and going to the gym...but I am also making sure all my friends here are well fed, too.
My mom has come to visit for time away from school...

Meagan is here to study alongside me for a couple days.

And this my friends is me staying flexible...literally.  We have these crazy heavy doors to our dorm rooms that are unlocked with these little white cards.  Meagan was down the hall in a study room and needed my key to get in the room because she would be staying up roomate was studying in the room next to our dorm.  I used her key to open the door propped the door open with my foot and leaned into the study room to throw my roomie's key back to her...this was my stance...and yes, it was a moment to be captured.  So the smile was forced as it was after midnight when it was taken...was followed by hysterical laughing...Life is Good in Oxford.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Nobody Call Whitfield, Just Yet

At the risk of sounding absolutely crazy I am going to post about my current state of mind.  This last week has been such a fun/stressful week.  On one hand I am so glad to be back in school...I love school and learning new things, but on the other is school...nightly readings, assignments daily, and the pain of just having to be in a room with a projector taking notes with the SAME eight people during optimal tanning hours....while knowing all your teacher friends are laid out on a float in a pool somewhere...
I know that I am very fortunate to be in this program, I am not whining at all...but to say that I have been an  emotional wreck the past week is an understatement.  Looking back to college, every semester I probably had these same thoughts and feelings so much that by my second semester of college my mom knew the trend...third week of class...Felicia is going to be sad and overwhelmed...
I would say on Wednesday of this week the new had worn off.  Most likely because Thursday was my anniversary and I spent it with my cohort of eight rather than my hubby....but also because I spent five nights in a row in a posh dorm room...I missed home.
Coming home Friday I had a flashback to Freshman year...honestly could have teared up at the Pontotoc County sign on Hwy 6.  My cohort friends talk of loving the delta, forget the flat land...I'll take the hill country.
Cullen was a trooper.  I wanted nothing more than to sit at the house and hang out, but to still see my mom and Leslie...typing this I can say I feel better, but am so worried everyone is going to think I'm a little crazy...I think this is what school does to me....I might not be good at having to prioritize in the summer months. In fact you guys know from National Boards...I love love love to procrastinate...well, take the select 7 I'm working with these days and know that apparently most don't put off until tomorrow what they could do today...They do not love the thrill of waiting until the last minute...the rush of adrenaline when you push print at the last minute just to see if the fates will allow no printer problems...because you honestly don't have time for a paper malfunction.
Yesterday while at church, the preacher came up to talk to Cullen about the mission trip they are going on in that I am not able to go on...still upset about it...but happy for Cullen...and y'all I almost teared up.  If everything could just stop for a bit., let me get acclimated to my new normal for a minute...then I could think of all the things going on.
And one last stressor is the my baby cousin Anna is getting married in a mere four weeks.  I have a shower to plan along with helping host a bridesmaid luncheon.  I couldn't be happier to entertain everyone, but having to sit down and sure up ideas, dates, and invites...oh good gracious I'm already behind.  Okay, I didn't post this so that anyone could say, "poor me." In fact if you could just find time this week to pray- pray I don't lose my mind over something silly, pray for Cullen as he continues to live the bachelor life, pray for my cohort that the next two weeks move quickly and painlessly-assignments are completed, tests have really great study guides, and my upcoming presentation will go off with out a hitch.  It is the little things that keep me worried.  I use the term worried very loosely- if you know me you know that I don't really panic or worry about anything until the last minute..yes it it true..I procrastinate my worrying.
No, I am not going crazy.  In fact I'm having an internal monologue with myself as I type..yes, post this-no, don't-people will think you are crazy.  Don't think I'm going crazy...pray for my stress level...pray for my husband...but know that I am acutely aware of how blessed I am.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Four Years Toward Forever

I made this slide show for Cullen a few weeks ago and I have been waiting to put it on the blog. Can't believe I'm spending my anniversary here in Oxford and that we will really be celebrating Saturday night. I really can't believe that it has been four years since we stood in the sanctuary in front of family and friends and said our vows. That day will always be magical to me, but looking back it was probably the day we loved each other the least in the last four years. It has taken living as a married couple to understand that you really do love your better half more and more and from the day of your wedding forward. At the time of my wedding, my uncle was publishing a newsletter. He of course wrote about the wedding in his weekly newsletter and his thoughts can be found, here, here, & and here. After returning from our honeymoon in Mexico I remember him saying/writing this and have loved reading it over takes me back to the moment the doors opened to the sanctuary and he gave me away..
"There's a sound generated by hundreds of people moving, almost in unison, from a seated to a standing position that's hard to describe. It included the rustling of cloth rubbing against cloth, of air being sucked into open mouths and nostrils, of feet moving as people turn to face the bride, and of soft whispers of those unable to contain their joy."

Monday, June 6, 2011

My Weekend

This is how much it takes to get a girl back in a dorm room. Funny, you'd think I know my room is 101 sq. feet I'd be glad to pack this is the first load..I came back home for more...oh yeah.
This is me as a student again. Yep...student tickets and everything...I have my I.D. I'm ready!
Side note...right after this picture was taken...I decided to take one of just my I.D. Yeah, because I was SO happy....I posted it with my id number and everything online...not thinking...and also never looked at anything but the picture...after an hour lots of people alerted me to the fact my maiden name was on my i.d. and I not one time noticed...and after a good thinking I removed the picture...why would I want the world to know my I.D.---sometimes I don't think. Yesterday I had my name changed but they were able to keep the was a really cute picture.

This is my dorm room...all 101 square feet. It doesn't look like this anymore, I moved the bed around, added some lamps for better lighting, and of course brought in some art for the walls. It is much better now
Friday night after sweating it out on a tour of the campus at high noon, and then sprinting our things to move into the dorm in the 100 degree heat, we tidied up and went to a cook out at the home of Dr. Doug Davis. It was such a nice time and would have been even better had it not been 105 degrees, had we not hiked through over grown grass to see a garden. I have decided that golf carts for all three sweat-fests would have made life easier... A golf cart tour of campus would allowed us to sit and catch a small breeze. A golf cart assisted move in up the outdoor flight of stairs across the grassy field would have been more pleasant and also a golf cart path to the garden would have made me more attentive. SO yes, I had an ugly sweat three times Friday...and all were in front of others...those others were actually my new friends. Pictured above are my roomies for the summer. Once we finally cooled down and were able to chat over we were all in better moods.
These are some of the boys of our cohort. On Saturday morning we woke early to take part in the UM Challenge Course. It was a ropes obstacle course that creates opportunity for team building. It was HOT. I think I actually lost weight in the first weekend almost like I had been sent to fat camp or something. I am NOT outdoorsy ask Cullen, ask my students, ask anyone...I hate to sweat...but I really enjoyed the course. Yes, we were up close and personal, yes someone's sweat was on me...but I had a blast. The whole time I felt like I was on the Real World- Road Rules Challenge. I have some pretty hilarious video I am not sure how to upload but when I do...get ready...get your tissue beside you because I was so graceful it might bring tears to your eyes.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Double Vision

I awoke Wednesday morning to a text from my friend telling me I had made the paper--- for looking like Kathy Lee... Really???? I don't see it, nor did I submit these photos.. But someone did :)

T-minus 3 Hours

I will begin school...for a year I'll be a student. My bags are packed and sitting beside the door. I'm on the couch waiting...just a bit longer to go upstairs and begin getting ready. I woke up this morning and my first thoughts were of how different today is than my first college dorm move in 10 years ago...

10 years ago I moved to college in Mr. Brad's green four runner. I had to move in all by myself because my mom was teaching and since school had just started she wouldn't take off.
Today I'll move in all by myself because I'm old, my husband works and my mom is at work, too.

10 years ago I took too few pictures and had no idea how fast time would fly. (Looking back those were my 'good' years- should have documented them more)
Today I will document this day- just for the blog- and I know that in the blink of an eye my year away from comfort zone will be over.

10 years ago I was younger, I believed that I would changed the world before I turned 30, I was looking for my super model that loved Jesus, and my friends would never change.
Today I know that the older me may be more realistic, I only have three years left to change the world (ok really 2 years and 6 wks.), I have found my husband-that loves Jesus, and my friends' faces changed, my close knit group has diversified and I realize after ten years how God can bless you in ways you can not imagine or plan for.

10 years ago I was too young to realize you can fall on your face, people are hurtful, and sometimes being humbled stinks..Today I know all of this and think that is why I am up at 6 a.m. blogging my ramblings down.

One last realization- 10 years ago after a Sunday night service- Sylvia Gentry came to me and told me she was praying for me- that God would place a 'hedge of protection' around me. I will NEVER forget this.
Today I realize I should have thanked her that night and every time I have seen her since then, because there were times I look back on my five years at Ole Miss and know that 'hedge' kept me safe. I am praying for my on 'hedge' today.

In T-minus 3 hours I'll be back on campus, living in dorm room, I'll meet a roommate for the first time, I'll see my life plan for a year, and I'll be about to die from heat exhaustion on a historic tour of campus around 11...Please pray for my family this month...pray for Cullen- that he doesn't eat too much grilled food---in excitement that he can prepare all the food that I don't eat whenever he wants ( meat on a bone, fish, spicy food, gumbo, crawfish etc.) pray for my mom who I see almost everyday even if for just five minutes...and my move will prevent that... pray that the month flies by and that no one on campus calls me ma'am as I walk to class...I might die.