My Thankful 30

This Friday we completed the second full week back to school which went fabulous, but it ended in a meeting that left me out of sorts.  I allowed myself to become bitter and I brought the negativity home with me, which is never fun for my family.

Gratitude

I decided I needed to put a stop to it and take a moment to reflect on the more popular moments of the week that I’m thankful for.  A strategy I recommend for anyone looking to turn their mood around!

  1. Celebrating McKinley’s Birthday…she is officially a teenager!
  2. Hearing Mick’s team (and the opposing team) sing Happy Birthday to her
  3. Soccer, soccer, and more soccer
  4. Cole’s Cross Country Meets
  5. Messages from former students
  6. Continuing to keep up with my blog
  7. Hearing all is healthy at my doctor’s appointment and listening to his heartbeat
  8. Some amazing students…nobody will ever see or understand those little moments that go on inside my classroom
  9. Surprise breakfast sandwich from my amazing co-worker
  10. Surprising one of our co-workers with a thoughtful gift who is a first time grandfather
  11. Everyone being able to SEE the baby kick…lil guy is active and strong
  12. Hearing my Grandfather on the phone…after his stroke I was unsure if he would recover and he is slowly, but surely making improvements!  He is the most strong, stubborn, fighter I know!
  13. Going through baby names with Craig…always fun…he thinks it’s hilarious when I start yelling the name out like he’s in trouble or he’s about to score a goal…we have to know how it will sound, right?
  14. Apple Crisp with vanilla ice cream in bed…compliments of Craig
  15. Our first daycare tour…a gofundme page is coming soon…haha!
  16. Buying some more maternity clothes…having more options in the morning makes it more likely to have a positive start to the day
  17. Cole playing bass for homecoming
  18. Grandpa licking the container out of the Apple Crisp we brought him…haha
  19. Our first visit to Brighton Farmer’s Market–who doesn’t love live music, fresh food, beautiful weather, food trucks, plants, and holding hands with your man
  20. Snuggling with McKinley while she felt her lil brother kick
  21. Eating some amazing Italian food…Veal Parm is one of my favs!
  22. Cole going to his school dance
  23. Payday $$$$$
  24. A quick chat with a friend I haven’t talked to in a long time
  25. Healthy meals
  26. A man who wakes up early to make my lunch for work in the morning…all because he wants to…he even woke up extra early one morning this week to make egg salad for me
  27. Gramps feeling the baby kick again (to be honest I don’t think he was kicking at the time, but we will just let him believe he felt him)
  28. Receiving my Fabfitfun box…always fun when it comes
  29. The smell of the house as the turkey dinner is cooking
  30. Selling a couple items on Teachers Pay Teachers (who cares if I only made a dollar—still makes me happy)

Just a short list to remember all the wonderful moments from this past week.  Next week will bring even more to be thankful for!

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Share in a comment:  What are you thankful for from this past week?

 

Crystal

 

 

Fall in Love with Fabfitfun

 

Some women buy manicures, pedicures, and massages to pamper themselves.  One way I like to spoil myself is with the Fabfitfun subscription box (click link to sign up and receive a discount).  I enjoy receiving the box in the mail and it usually arrives on a day I need some positive vibes.  I’m hoping the mailman realizes the coincidence and understands that I’m not some crazy stalker as I wait for him to deliver my box!

If you are looking for a thoughtful gift item for that special someone this would make an amazing surprise!  Items are a mixture of skin care, hair care, make-up, beauty, fitness, and even jewelry related items!  I haven’t been disappointed with a box yet!

 

I just received my box today and these are the items that came with my initial thoughts…

 

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Mer-Sea & Co. Cozy Wrap:  This looks like it might be my favorite item of the box.  Feels thick, soft and of high quality!  This will be perfect for the cooler weather on the way.  As a teacher my classroom temperature fluctuates, so I will be keeping this in the room for those moments I need a little warmth.

I purchased an extra…not sure if I will give it as a gift or hold my first giveaway. Hmmmm….decisions decisions. 

 

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dpHUE ACV Hair Rinse:  This is another item I know I will love!  Every once in a while I rinse my hair with apple cider vinegar to clean it and bring back shine, so I’m sure I will love this item!  I can’t wait to give it a try!

 

Cotext wire heart ceramic jewelry holder:  This is a cute item, but honestly I don’t have much space on my vanity for it.  I’m sure other Fabfitfun members will be looking to trade something for it, so that is what I will probably do.  Trade anyone?

 

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DECO Miami Cuticle Oil (Lavender):  I am a huge fan of lavender and take care of my nails, so I’m excited to give this item a try!

 

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treStiQue Lip Color: (Matte)  I don’t wear lip color often and when I do it’s usually lighter shades, so this will be a change for me to try.  I have a couple darker colors, but haven’t found one that is a fit for me yet.  I’ll be giving this a try to see if this is the one!

 

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The Jetset Diaries Beanie:  I will either gift this item or trade it.  I have a black beanie already in a higher quality, so I wont be needing this.

 

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Private Party Gym Bag:  I received the “Gym & Juice” bag in my box.  Since I have been slacking on going to the gym and I don’t need a bag because I change at home I will be either gifting this item or trading it.  I like it, but have enough bags as it is.  Cute item though!

 

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Whish Beauty Renewing Mud Mask:  Since I love mud masks I’m sure this will be a much loved item from the box!  My skin is so much cleaner and softer after, so I will be trying this sooner rather than later.

 

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MYTAGALONGS Hot & Cold Gel Pack:  I’m sure being pregnant this will find quite a bit of use!  I’m not hoping for a migraine to try it, but I’ll be pulling this out if it does.

The Cottonelle fresh wipes will either go in my guest jar or to one of the kids for their sports bags.

 

There you have it… a quick review of the items in the Fall Fabfitfun Box!   It isn’t my most favorite box FFF has sent out, but it is well worth the money—I have items I wouldn’t normally purchase for myself to try which I think is one of best parts about receiving them.

Sign up here to receive a discount code if you are interested in pampering yourself or someone you love!

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Share in a comment:  What is your favorite item in the Fall box?  What item do you think you would enjoy most?

Crystal

Along The Road Taken…

Whoa!  Sixteen days since my last post…I am slacking!  I was doing well with my posts and then my computer just. stopped. working.  I thought it just needed a new battery, but nope it was dead.  RIP Asus!  Unfortunately I did not have an external hard drive to back up all of my work and pictures…lesson learned!  The positive is that I can still retrieve my data off of the laptop, but the past couple weeks have been difficult without my files, photos or the use of my laptop.

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Then…a surprise came my way.

My thoughtful boyfriend knows how much I use my laptop and ran around on his day off to find the perfect one for me…this was definitely a surprise!  He has not been able to surprise me at all, but this time he did!  Never imagined he would buy me a laptop!  To top it off he gave me a pair of wireless earbuds because I made a comment how they would be nice to use while working out.  I’m one lucky lady!!

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Divorce:  On another note…I received the paperwork back stating my ex was served, BUT they left out the one important detail…they never wrote on it that the “amended complaint” was served.  Incredibly frustrating because I called the prison ahead of time to make sure they wrote it on there and put a note in with the document when I sent it.  Not to mention this is the third time I sent the paperwork to be served!  Holy frustrating!  I called this morning to see if they can simply resend the document and write “amended complaint” on it, and they are going to call me back.  They have one more hour, and then I’m going to call them back. *insert hour time laps here*  I called and they said they were still looking for the file and will call me back.  *insert another time laps here*  They called me back and asked that I resend the paper…they do not have internet access to print another form out.  I’m remaining calm and friendly on the phone through all of this because I know it isn’t their fault, but they don’t know how all of these little mistakes have added up to prolong this divorce! *insert yet another time laps here*  Paperwork was filed and submitted to the court on Friday.  Now I’m hoping Gangarosa doesn’t find another list of things he wants done before moving forward…this should not be that difficult!  Now I’ll be stalking the mailbox as I wait!

I do believe this is the last time I will have to submit them…as I left the court building…a building I have spent way too much time in, I looked out and took in the view and began to tear up.  Along the road I’ve taken I noticed something for the first time…a bridge…why it brought me such peace I’m not sure.  It isn’t a newly built bridge, but I’ve never really noticed that you could see it from the court building until that day.  Earlier in the week I had been on a walk where I took photos of it.

Did I mention it’s the Frederick Douglass-Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge–ahhh…the symbolism!

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Since it has been sixteen days since my last post I’ll leave you with sixteen pictures…

 

*hugs*

Crystal

 

 

 

 

Another Step Forward

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Divorce: I’m beyond excited to announce that I received a the final paper back in the mail Friday that I needed signed to move forward with the divorce.  I have one more step and then I can re-submit them to the court which will most likely be in the next week or two if all goes according to plan.  I found out the mail accidentally sent the envelope to another address which happens quite frequently for some reason, and then it was returned and took much longer than it should to arrive.  I’m just thankful I finally received it!  Positive start to my weekend for sure!

Love: I came home from work on Friday to find a thoughtful surprise from my boyfriend.  He has been working a lot of overtime lately, so we haven’t had much time to spend together–he crafted a delicious healthy dinner and planned out a Saturday date day.  He knows how much I’ve been stressing as I wait for the paperwork.  This was much needed for us!

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Fitness:  I’ve been consistent with my workouts, routine, and eating healthy.  I haven’t ventured out to try new machines like I’ve wanted, but I will.  I did reach out to a couple people for some advice and one will be helping me out this week.  I am feeling and seeing the results which motivates me even more.  Next step…add some weights to the mix!

Rochester Public Market:  Saturday morning haul…only spent $23 in produce and $10 on the roasted nuts!  Who said eating healthy is expensive?!?!

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Fun:  Made a visit to Rick’s Recycled Books to add to my already lofty stack of books begging to be read.  Highlight was Craig finding one he liked that happened to be autographed!

 

We drove to Mendon Ponds Park to take some wintery shots.  I wanted to stay out longer, but I wasn’t quite layered up enough to keep warm.  I did stay long enough to stumble on quite a bit of these little ones…moments like this is pure happiness!

As Sunday night comes to an end I’m finishing up the last half of the Super Bowl…and the commercials of course.

Ready for another fabulous week to begin tomorrow!

*hugs*

Crystal

 

A Part of my Heart Belongs to my Students…

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This week started a new semester teaching students…new students.  Our school is one of the few in the district with a semester based schedule to assist students on their path to graduation who may have wandered off the course for a variety of reasons.  They are able to recover credits faster which means they can get back on track to graduation.  A semester based schedule also means I receive a new class list of students in January (this week).  I realized yesterday that I’m usually a bit depressed during this time and tried to be mindful about what was causing all of this emotion to stir.

I love my students…someone once told me I shouldn’t say that, but I do…in the time I spend with them I learn so much, bond with them, care for them, and I know some reciprocate that feeling.  Some overcome so much adversity to simply come to school, so being a part of the journey to their goal to graduate is incredibly rewarding.  I prefer to teach 11th and 12th grade, but it can also come with some pains.  You bond, care, and build relationships with students in such a short time and then they are gone…some keep in touch, but the change is difficult and often weighs heavy on the heart.  How does one resist the slight depression that accompanies the change?  We (teachers) are expected to begin again with a fresh batch of students as if we didn’t lose a tiny piece of our heart…build those relationships, and watch them go…again, and again.  I will do it…because that’s who I am!

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They miss me when I’m gone…as I do them!

 

Ten things I learned from my students:

  1. up-to-date slang terms like “wavey”, “finesse”, “thirsty” or that “it’s a dub” and “lit” have more than one meaning…haha!  Ohh…and the term “corny” came back from when I was a kid!
  2. a simple hand on their shoulder or hug can calm the soul
  3. snacks go a long way
  4. That I was really rich growing up…I never remember a Christmas without a tree…we may have worn hand-me-down clothes, never ate steak for dinner, and didn’t have all the name brands, but compared to the lifestyle of many of my students I was blessed!
  5. to pick my battles and that I do not need to be in control all of the time
  6. the sloppiest handwriting can mean the deepest thoughts
  7. what a hijab is, how some observe Ramadan, and how we learn from one another when there is open dialogue
  8. that adult students do love using markers, colored pencils, and scissors…and they love receiving a paper back with a sticker on top of it
  9. students who seem tough deep down because they’ve been handed adult responsibilities just want a chance to be kids
  10. how to laugh more
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Some students have a great sense of humor!

 

My challenge for you  is to send an email to a former teacher, current teacher, school staff member, professor…update them on how you’re doing and what an impact they made.  We often wonder about students and it’s always nice to receive a positive email!

*hugs*

Crystal

 

 

A Sombre Week…Still I Shine!

We had a cold, lightless, fog filled weekend where I ventured out, alone, to capture its beauty in hopes of stimulating some positivity to come my way, but a somberness  sauntered throughout the week.  Lately, it seems as if trials continue to be tossed my way, and nothing is quite going the way I plan…maybe that is my problem…I need to let go and allow God to handle it.

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Divorce:  I’ve been attempting to obtain a non-contested divorce from one of the most evil men I have ever met.  I submitted all of the paperwork to the court in November and was told I needed to make several corrections which I did and resubmitted them again in hopes that I can soon wake from this nightmare.  The paperwork was rejected again requesting additional corrections.  Frustrating on many levels, but I continue to do what is asked.  At every point I question if God is here.  Is he seeing this?  Does he care?  Why am I put through all of the pain while he has any control?  At one point in the process he sent his mother the divorce paperwork and she felt compelled to write her initials at the bottom of each page along with the page number.  Well, I needed to make a correction on one of the pages and now am required to have her same initial on the bottom of the corrected page in order to move forward—or I need to start the process all over again.  She claims to be a Godly woman, but has done nothing except to cause additional pain.  I sent her the original paper to sign and return and a month later have not received it back.  Why on earth is a man who committed such a heinous crime allowed to have any control or say?  I continue to be hopeful, try to understand the lesson God is wanting me to gain from all of this, and know that there is a reason—one I may never know or understand, but He has a plan.

Read more about my divorce Odyssey here: Blood, sweat, and tears… and Rebuild: Divorcing a Pedophile

Love:  I am lucky to have such an amazing boyfriend who encourages me even when I allow the stress to build up and unexpectedly flow his way.  I have been on edge with him this week as we would like to plan for our future together, but must wait until my past is settled.  All in due time…

Family: Many of you know that I reactivated my Facebook account this month, and that ignited some conflict between my dear prodigal daughter and me when she misunderstood a comment I left on a photo she posted.  Our relationship has had ongoing strain, but I finally decided that I will love from afar.  I will no longer be a puppet she pulls out, manipulating, when she needs to be bailed out…literally and figuratively.  I look back to think where I went wrong as a parent…what I could have done better…why is it that my pig-tailed, little girl who once ran to me with open arms, beaming as she clung to my legs thinks it acceptable and appropriate to repeatedly cause such devastation with her words and actions?!?!  Does she even realize she is?  This is not how I envisioned our mother-daughter relationship.  I struggled with this quite a bit this week, but I guess now I know how God must feel with how I’ve been treating Him.

Career: This week marked the end of the semester, post-assessments were given, and the ELA exams were today.  I’m confident my students (some who have failed this exam two or more times prior to me) were well prepared.  All the times I heard, “Ms….you do too much” makes it all worth it!  Now, I sit and wait for the scores to come back.

A highlight of my week was yesterday when I received an email from a former student (pictured below). He wanted to touch base and let me know that he started his first day of college.  I cried as soon as I read it!  I pushed him and pushed him that he needed to continue his education and use his writing talent, and to hear that he was doing that made me incredibly proud .  It was an honor that he thought to email me his first day!

 

I leave you with a few more photos capturing the somber beauty of the fog.

 

After typing all of this I wonder if it makes sense, if I was too candid, if I wasn’t candid enough…

The week may have had a somber tone, but my soul still shines…



*hugs*

Crystal

Post was in-part inspired by The Daily Post one word prompt “devastation”

Weekly Fav: Exquisite Jook & Nona

 

 

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I subscribe to Fabfitfun which is just one of my many favorite things ever!  Every woman should subscribe to pamper herself (or…if you are reading and in need of an awesome gift idea this is it).  Fabfitfun is a seasonal subscription box that is filled will a variety of goodies!  I have not been disappointed by any of the items I have received.  There was an option to purchase a “mystery bundle” with this past winter box and I decided to puchase one for the thrill of it.  This exquisite necklace by Jook and Nona was one of the items and I am head over heals in love with it!  I tend to wear silver more, but after wearing this I will be looking to add to my gold collection.  Hello Jook and Nona and thank you Fabfitfun!

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If you would like to subscribe to Fabfitfun click here for a discount

Pros of Fabfitfun: 

  • seasonal surprise with items you may not normally purchase for yourself
  • looking forward to checking the mail…ok, more like stalking the mail carrier
  • socializing with other fabfitfunners in the chat/message group
  • falling in love with new products

 

Share in a comment:  What products would you most want to receive in the mail seasonally?   (jewelry, make-up, fitness items, skin care…)

*hugs*

Crystal

Post inspired by The Daily Post one-word prompt “Exquisite”